Today in the Senate Estimates Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee hearing, the Greens Senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson, grilled the government on whether it has any plans to restore Australian Federal Police to Hobart airport after its proposed expansion.
Senator Whish-Wilson asked that given the government is planning to expand the Hobart airport runway will they reconsider the cutting of AFP staff upon expansion.
Remarkably, neither the AFP nor the Attorney General, Senator George Brandis could answer this simple question.
The AFP also noted that the Tasmanian government was given barely one day’s notice about this dramatic budget cut.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The government’s left hand doesn’t know what its right hand is doing. They are simultaneously trying to wind down and expand Hobart airport.”
“There has been close to zero consultation with the Tasmanian government, and zero with the Tasmanian people.
“There are no plans in place for a smooth transition from the AFP to the Tasmanian Police and no monetary support is available from the Australian government to help them.
“If the Liberals were serious about making Tasmania a global base for Antarctic research they wouldn’t be downgrading its status as an international airport with these AFP cuts,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.