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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 717


Ms KEAY (Braddon) (13:45): I rise today to talk about a full-time jobs crisis that is consuming Tasmania. ABS figures for the year ending November 2016 showed Tasmania had lost 6,300 full-time jobs. There are no signs things are getting any better, with another 1,300 jobs lost over December and January. So what is this government's response to this ongoing crisis of full-time job losses in Tasmania?

Today we have learnt the government will not rule out closing its Launceston-based Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency, and the office could be moved to Darwin. And then, of course, there is the Joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council. This body has not met since April of last year. Is this body, too, being wound up by this government? When the council did meet, it said that its priorities were infrastructure, through a feasibility study into a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, and that boosting education attainment was critical to the state's economic future. But even on these two matters the government has not met its own goals. The timeline for completion of the interconnector study was extended to January 2017, so where is the report? And the government's answer to improving educational attainment has been to rip millions of dollars of Gonski funds from Tasmanians schools.

This government has given up on Tasmania. Labor took to the last election a plan for Tasmania to boost jobs, invest in infrastructure and improve educational outcomes. This plan was overwhelmingly supported by the Tasmanian community, and it is time this government accepted the will— (Time expired)