Tasmanian Times

Politics

Where have funds gone for housing maintenance Minister?

· Massive drying up of funds for maintenance of public housing

· With $90 million backlog, why are funds being withdrawn?

· Sub-contractors and small businesses forced to cut jobs around State

Sub-contractors engaged to maintain public housing properties are concerned with what appears to be a massive drying up of Government maintenance funds.
These sub-contractors operate small businesses from all parts of the State, and include builders, heating contractors and painters.
They have engaged staff and built a workforce based on a guaranteed annual program of work.
But it appears maintenance funds dried up just a few months into the financial year and the State Labor Government need to explain why.
One small business and sub-contractor in the north had built a workforce of over 50 to complete the annual maintenance work. Their workforce has now dwindled to 15 because no funds have been forthcoming since the end of August, and they will have to cut back further.
The State Labor Government came to office in 1998 promising to improve maintenance standards for public housing and introduce a speedier and more reliable service.
In 2007, the Government contracted NSW/Danish consortium in the North and North-West over local businesses, with negative flow-on implications for local jobs.
Now, it appears the Government has cut funds to head contractors in all regions which again is resulting in local job losses for sub-contractors and small businesses.
If the Premier is serious about standing up for jobs in this State, he should be looking at the decisions his Government Ministers are making which are having a direct impact.
Slashing the maintenance budget while there is a $90 million backlog makes no sense and an urgent explanation is needed.
Brett Whiteley MP Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services

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