Tasmanian Labor Minister Misguided

Media Release

JB009/2013

13 November 2013

Tasmanian Minister, David O'Byrne, has today released an extraordinary statement about the Australian Government's commitment to the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth plan.

It is unfortunate that his statement is full of assumptions and falsehoods.

The Australian Government is moving quickly to deliver the $100 million in funding to recipients under the plan.

I have already contacted each recipient personally to begin the process of funding these commitments; a fact Mr O'Byrne seems to have missed, or ignored.

Of course all projects will be subject to the usual risk assessment and analysis to ensure the projects represent value for money.

It may come as news to Mr O'Byrne and the Tasmanian Government, but when this Australian Government funds projects, it will do so prudently.

Furthermore, we are not going to blindly handover $100 million to the Tasmanian Government to deliver the grants which are 100% funded by the Australian Government.

For Mr O'Byrne to make this request is at best ambitious, but mostly misguided.

If the Tasmanian Government wants a stake in these commitments, it should provide some funding.

Mr O'Byrne also claims to have been shut out of the process. He can thump his chest all his likes, but he should at least be honest and admit that rather than being avoided, he is actually meeting with both the Deputy Prime Minister and I following the State Transport Ministers meeting in Brisbane on Friday.

Mr O'Byrne needs to choose whether he wants to play Labor Party politics or look after the interests of the Tasmanian people.

The Australian Government is committed to building a strong, prosperous economy and a better future for Tasmania.