Tasmanians have been left feeling disappointed and excluded from last night's federal budget, the Australian Greens said today.
"Labor has let Tasmanians down with a budget that slashes university funding and renewable energy investment and fails to care for single parents and the unemployed," Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.
"This budget misses opportunities to fund research and innovation, support small businesses, strengthen the agriculture sector or invest in Hobart light rail.
"We are pleased the government has recognised the importance of Antarctic research to Hobart and welcome the boost to road safety, but funding for education and disability reforms needs to come sooner," Senator Milne said.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the failure could have been avoided if Labor had the backbone to stand up to the big mining companies, abolish fossil fuel subsidies and fix the mining tax.
"This year Labor's dud mining tax collected a shocking $200 million, down from the promised $3 billion," Senator Whish-Wilson said.
"It's outrageous that $3.5 million of cuts from the Caring for Country environmental program will fund a special council whose role includes overseeing the "durability" amendment in the Tasmanian Forests Agreement, an amendment that was designed by the wreckers in the Legislative Council to promote conflict and undermine conservation outcomes.
"This budget presents no vision for Tasmania, it's just more of the same rhetoric from Labor which is why our state is in trouble," Senator Whish-Wilson said.
Key Budget failures for Tasmania:
- Opportunity missed to transform Hobart with light rail, while Perth and Melbourne receive $3.5B for commuter rail projects;
- Slashed university funding will hit UTAS hard and would mean 100-150 job losses according to Peter Rathjen;
- No announcement of funding for an allied health school or sports science research institute in Launceston, a project which could have transformed the north of our state;
- Single parents and job seekers let down by failure to increase Newstart by $50 per week or roll back of single parent cuts and
- Cutting regional development funding because the flawed mining tax has not raised enough money.