Tasmanian Times

Economy

Tote sold. Will police now keep their phones?

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TOTE SALE NEEDS TO PASS “FAIR AND REASONABLE” PRICE TEST

The Tasmanian Greens were today reassured that the State Auditor General would assess the sale of TOTE Tasmania, as required in the TOTE Tasmania (Sale) Act 2009, saying that they would seek confirmation that the review will assess whether the offer is a “fair and reasonable price.”[1]

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said the majority of the party room made it clear last week that they were prepared to countenance a sale of TOTE.

Mr McKim also said he would be writing to the Auditor-General seeking clarity around his assessment of the sale and expressing the Greens’ view.

“The Auditor-General’s assessment should include an evaluation of whether the offer is ‘fair and reasonable’, and I will be writing to him to clarify this will be part of his review,” Mr McKim said.

“The majority of Greens MPs agreed with TASCOSS’ call that TOTE should be sold and that some of the revenue should be spent on cost of living initiatives.”

“The Premier has undertaken on the public record that if the sale proceeds, the revenue would be used to fund cost-of-living measures for struggling Tasmanians, including Professor David Adams’ Strategy.”

“We expect the Premier to deliver on her commitment to the Parliament.”

“The Greens have also been very clear that if this deal does go ahead, the money should not be used to prop up recurrent expenditure, but should be used to invest in measures to bring down cost-of-living, much needed social infrastructure and economic transition.”

Greens Racing spokesperson Kim Booth MP, who is also Chair of the Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the TOTE, reiterated his position that the sale is pre-emptive and ill-advised.

“I do not believe that the projected sale price anywhere near matches the true value of TOTE Tasmania, and I stand by my previous warning of how this could undermine the industry,” Mr Booth said.

“I was hoping that my Committee would have had the opportunity to make recommendations for a restructured racing industry including reviewing the funding deal struck by Michael Aird when he pushed through the Tote Sale Act 2009, and I still believe that this work is necessary,” Mr Booth said.

[1] Section 24, TOTE Tasmania (Sale) Act 2009

• Mercury: Phones cut in police budget

Increasingly desperate to slash costs after the State Government cut its budget by several million dollars, the Police Department’s latest cost-cutting measure will see 265 staff and officers lose their mobile phones from January 1.

Those ranked inspector or above and others in senior executive public servant positions will keep theirs but on-call positions will not.

The news comes less than a week after the department confirmed it was cutting 31 cars from its vehicle fleet, prompting the Police Association of Tasmania to suggest police could soon be catching taxis to crime scenes.

The ready availability of vehicles was apparently already a problem before the cuts.

“It’s now getting ridiculous,” a senior police officer told the Mercury today.

“People are already joking about police having to catch a taxi if there aren’t any cars available – now we won’t have a phone to call one.”

Full story, Mercury HERE

• The Age, AAP: Police off the air and off road in tougher Tasmania

TASMANIAN police have sometimes been teased by their counterparts across the country, but now there are two more reasons they may face further ridicule.

The latest state government cost-cutting efforts will deprive officers of their mobile phones – and some will even lose their police vehicles.

Tasmania Police confirmed the planned budgetary cuts yesterday, with 265 staff facing the prospect of having their mobile phones taken away by January 1.
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The move comes a few days after it was announced 31 cars would be removed from the police fleet.

Rank-and-file members are resisting the cuts, with one officer telling a Tasmanian newspaper that the budgetary decisions were becoming ridiculous.

”People are already joking about police having to catch a taxi if there aren’t any cars available,” the officer told The Mercury.

”Now we won’t have a phone to call one.”

Assistant Commissioner Phil Wilkinson said reducing the number of phones would save $15,000 a month.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/police-off-the-air-and-off-road-in-tougher-tasmania-20111201-1o977.html#ixzz1fJgsT6ME

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Buck and Joan Emberg

    December 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry. This is no joke it is just bad government from present and past!

  2. Mikey

    December 3, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Kim barks, Nick bends. Either way, just hot air coming out. And Lara laughs. To and AT both of you.

    Green boys, call it a day. A good loser knows when to call it quits.

  3. Tim Thorne

    December 2, 2011 at 12:44 am

    There goes an income earner for us taxpayers. Tote sold = less money coming in = less money for health, schools, police (or more state taxes). Meanwhile we’re stuck with an income loser in Forestry Tas.

  4. Russell

    December 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Going once, going twice, SOLD to the cheapest bidder for a third of its agreed value.

    So, Treasurer Giddings didn’t know what the value of TOTE was before signing the deal? Incompetent

  5. PB

    December 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I am all in favour of the Tote being sold but the fact that the State Government continues to guarantee annual funding for the racing industry of $27 million, plus indexation, whilst slashing critical front-line services is utterly reprehensible and unjustifiable.

    http://www.media.tas.gov.au/release.php?id=33816

  6. moo

    December 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    #2 Merk, Telling language indeed! Perhaps someone should inform Minister McKim that it is not what the Greens are prepared to countenance, but what former Green voters are prepared to countenance.

    Unfortunately, it looks increasingly like Minister McKim is banking on the Tasmanian voters notoriously short memory….a couple of gestures in the right direction just before an election and voila! they’ll forgive us.

  7. Carol Rea

    December 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I know The Mercury sometimes simplifies things for us ‘slow’ readers but how does todays quote from our Treasurer ( and Premier) accord with the announcement. “Ms Giddings said she could shed no light on the sale process, which was neither announced nor advertised and was largely conducted in secret by Treasury officials.

    “There has been discussion with Tatts for some time now, when that process began I don’t know because I haven’t been involved in it,” she said.

    “Today is the first day that I’ve known that Tatts was even in the process.”

    Well that’s just not good enough Lara – another reason to relinquish the Treasurer role. Or did your Treasury officials keep you in the dark? Though maybe Bryan Green had an inkling as Racing Minister.

  8. Simon Warriner

    December 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    re 3, Pete, It was when that word was outlawed that my respect for those in that place completely evaporated. Plain spoken truth has its place, and lies are just that. Parliament is the LAST place that word should be banned.

  9. Tom Nilsson

    December 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Good on Kim Booth for taking a stand on this. In principle selling the Tote makes sense, but selling it for a lot less than it is worth is criminal.

    It is not that hard to work out that it is not a good idea to sell an asset when share prices are down.

  10. Dave

    December 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    My sources tell me Mckim voted against the TOTE sale in the party room but voted for it on the floor.

  11. Pete Godfrey

    December 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I suggest that Parliament has been misled by the child premier.
    It is obvious that the deal to sell TOTE was already done long before it was countenanced in parliament.
    I know that “liar” is a word that gets people thrown out of parliament but is needs to be used a lot more often there.
    Maybe it could be changed to “the minister speaks with bifurcated lingual appendage”

  12. Merk

    December 1, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Telling language coming from the office of Tasmanian Greens Leader Nicholas McKim: “the party room made it clear last week that they were [b][i]prepared to countenance[/i][/b] a sale of TOTE”.

    Since when did Greens decision-making become about what they were prepared to countenance, and not about what they were proud to support?

    I’d suggest it was when Mr McKim and his partner Miss O’Connor took ministries in a comprehensively bankrupt Labor Government. Anyone in the Greens who thinks McKim and O’Connor are actually taking the party forwards has got to be living in a fantasy world.

  13. William Boeder

    November 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    I would like to think that the dudes at Forestry Tasmania and all them other of the State GBEs are having to surrender part of their enormous vehicle fleets, not just our busily working officers of the law and enforcement brigade that actually do need them, and far more than any other government department?
    Even the new phone system introduced that equips the State’s officers with ultra efficient communications and internet access, is now being hammered?

    With Bryan Green instructing Lara Giddings, (our State Premier for goodness sake, “though she be inept and unruly in that capacity,”) to the manner of how he would like things to happen in Tasmania, I am to believe it’s a given that the Forestry Brotherhood are still zipping around the bush in their opulent 4WD style.

    All this craziness is on a par with what went down with the Greek people recently and now the Italian people, though them lot are a great deal more demonstrative in displaying their angers and dislikes toward the ruin set upon them by their Boof-Headed government ministers.

    Soon the Tasmanian citizens will have to take to the streets to hunt down our State ministers and ask them to take pay-cuts for their harms they have wrought upon Tasmania and its people.

    Meanwhile We have Bryan Green gifting State revenues to the most undeserving clowns in our GBEs?
    For those persons anxious to join in the hot-footed pursuit of those port-folio harrowers duly guilty by way of their flambouyant fiscal pomp and their collective delinquent stupidity, perhaps we might ask our Deputy Premier to broker a deal where Forestry Tasmania could generate some true and honest State revenues for a change?

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