Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

8 March 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Finance

Labor wrong on numbers again

In a desperate bid for relevance, alternative Labor Leader David O’Byrne, is once again trying to talk down the strength of Tasmania’s economy and our responsible budget management.

The facts speak for themselves, Tasmanian businesses are the most confident, we have the fastest growing economy, we have sustainable high-performing GBEs and a record 21,100 jobs have been created since coming to Government.

.All of our commitments are fully costed and fully budgeted- a fact David O’Byrne would know if he could read a Budget properly.

We know Labor under-invested in health for 16 years, and infamously cut half a billion dollars from it, sacking nurses and cancelling surgery.

Their latest attack shows they learnt nothing. Our strong economy means we can invest in our essential services and the Government makes no apology for investing an additional $600 million in health over four years.

Mr O’Byrne should be reminded that it was his party that extracted dividends from Hydro Tasmania at a time when it was facing challenges as a result of depleted water storages, let alone when he raided the Superannuation Provision Account, which was a mechanism in place to safeguard thousands of retired Tasmanians.

My O'Byrne should be reminded of the 108 police that he sacked as a result of budget failure.

Mr O'Byrne should be reminded of the forest industry collapse when he was in charge of economic development, caused by his disastrous "peace deal" with Nick McKim, which destroyed jobs and devastated Tasmanian working families.

Tasmanians have not forgotten that under the former Labor-Green Government, 10,000 Tasmanians lost their jobs, the state-wide unemployment rate at one point hit a whopping 8.6 per cent and our state was driven into recession.

The only thing that is not surprising today is Mr O'Byrne's latest "look-at-me" episode.

We will continue to manage the State’s budget responsibly and sensibly, making decisions in the best interests of Tasmanians, to grow the economy and invest record amounts in the essential services Tasmania needs, including Health.

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