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Tasmania penalised by Hawke government policies and mismanagement



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MEDIA RELEASESENATOR FRED CHANEY DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION C O M M O N W E A L T H PARLIAMEMTABY^URRARV

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

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TASMANIA PENALISED BY HAWKE GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND MISMANAGEMENT

"The Hawke Government seems to have a vendetta against Tasmania", the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Senators Fred Chaney, said today.

"Through policy decisions and as a result of its gross mismanagement of the pilots' dispute, the Hawke Government has inflicted disproportionate suffering on Tasmanians", he said.

"No Australian is exempt from the pain caused by the failure of the Government's economic policies and the botched handling of the pilots' dispute.

"But the people of Tasmania are being treated particularly unfairly".

Senator Chaney was speaking at a press conference in Hobart where he was campaigning for the Liberal candidate for Denison, Michael Hodgman.

"Since 1984-85, it is estimated that direct Federal grants and borrowing limits imposed by the Hawke Government have been reduced in real terms by $441 million", he said.

"On a per capita basis, Federal funding for Tasmania has fallen in real terms by $984 over this period compared with a fall of $496 for the rest of Australia.

"The dreadful impact on Tasmania of the 100-day old pilots' dispute can be laid squarely at the door of the Hawke Government. Its promised financial assistance for the island's tourist industry is a pittance compared with the damage done by its failure to resolve this dispute.

"The Opposition has condemned the outrageous, non-negotiable original claim by the Pilots' Federation and the tactics used to pursue it.

"But the Prime Minister behaved like an arsonist with his provocative behaviour early in the dispute and his war of attrition tactics since then.

"For months now, the pilots have been claiming a willingness to negotiate on pay, productivity and conditions.

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"The least the Government should have done was to test the sincerity of that offer by directing its own airline, Australian, to talk to the pilots, either individually or through their nominated organisation.

"Two months ago, Andrew Peacock put down a nine point plan which provided a principled framework for a settlement.

"During those two months, the Government has done nothing except pay out taxpayers' funds to the airlines and trot out widely-varying versions of claimed airline capacity.

"The incalculable long-term economic damage caused by the dispute demands now, as it has always demanded, a commonsense, non-provocative, constructive approach from the Hawke Government."

HOBART 25 November 1989 Contact: Keith Kessell (09) 385 9430