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Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Page: 4302


Mr LYONS (Bass) (13:46): Last week we saw that the Leader of the Opposition will say anything to any audience, but at Agfest on 3 May his noncommitment to current Tasmanian GST funding sent a shudder down the spine of every Tasmanian. I know it did for many constituents in my electorate of Bass, who raised the issue with my office. Mr Abbott's play for WA votes on 30 April revealed our worst fears; if elected he would tear more than $630 million out of the Tasmanian economy in GST revenue every year. This would devastate our state. His weasel words at Agfest in Tasmania did not offset his words in WA. Just to give people an idea, this means an equivalent loss of 800 doctors, 3,000 nurses, 500 allied health professionals and more than 100 child protection staff. It would mean losing seven out of every 10 health employees in Tasmania—a grave concern indeed. This is a despicable attitude by a person who is supposed to stand for all Australians instead of just his coalition mates. Now those opposite oppose the school bonus. This move shows how out of touch they are on the opposite benches. This along with the Victorian Liberals' port tax, which will cost business in Tasmania $74 million, is a kick in the guts by the Liberals and an attack on Tasmanians.