Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The Budget …

Budget 2016: ‘jobs and growth’ pitch costs wealthy retirees, smokers and multinationals Scott Morrison’s first budget offers company and personal tax cuts – for those earning over $80,000 – but nothing for families on $37,000 to $80,0000

Scott Morrison has paid for vote-seeking “jobs and growth” tax cuts for higher income families and small and medium businesses by squeezing revenue from wealthy superannuants, smokers and multinational tax avoiders.

But his critical election-manifesto budget offers nothing for average families earning between $37,000 and $80,0000 – the usual beneficiaries of election-time largesse.

He cited Treasury modelling that found the company tax cuts would increase gross domestic product by 1% over what it would have been, as evidence of the growth-boosting power of his measures. Treasury officials said this increase would occur “in the longer term … over decades”.

All workers earning more than $80,000 – the top 25% of income earners – will get a tax cut as the government moves the threshold for the 37% tax rate up to $87,000. The cut is worth about $315 a year for most higher income families.

And those on more than $180,000 will next year be freed from the Abbott-era 2% deficit repair levy as well.

Those earning less than $37,000 get a $500-a-year refund on the tax they pay on their superannuation contributions – to compensate for the fact that it is actually higher than their marginal tax rate – as the government reinstates a rejigged version of a Labor low-income super scheme it has previously said it will abolish.

Morrison said workers on less than $80,000, apparently left out, had already benefited because they kept tax cuts designed as compensation for the now-abolished carbon price.

Read more HERE

• Use the TT NEWS dropdown menu for other sources of breaking news/comment on The Budget …

Guardian: Essential poll shows Labor maintains a 52-48, two-party preferred lead The poll shows 57% support for Labor’s carbon emissions policy and 43% of voters in favour of negative gearing

• Andrew Wilkie in Comments: A bad Budget for Tasmania

• Sinead Colee, NUS, in Comments: Dates for Budget protest

Mark Shea: One small step that could make Australia the Innovation Nation! … TT Travel HERE

• Jarvis Cocker in Comments: ScoMo had that look about him tonight. You know the one: the lost, defeated, tortured look of a bloke stuck in the wrong job, with no way of escaping it. Actually, in light of his recent D-Grade media appearances, he put on a half-decent show. The Murdoch papers will say it was a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ performance, and a responsible Liberal Budget. Whatever news outlets lefties read these days will scream about the lack of funding for Gonski/asylum seekers/doctors/furries (delete fave self interest group where relevant). And for anybody actually looking at the Budget forecasts, well, they’ll probably wonder where it all went so horribly wrong for this government …

• In Comments: What TasCOSS, AEU, Will Hodgman, the Three Amigos etc, reckon …


Guardian Politics Live: Turnbull government unleashes the Big Sell

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Simon Warriner

    May 11, 2016 at 1:17 am

    re 31, for pantomime and high farce it is going to be hard to go past Aunties coverage on Sunday arvo of the trip by the PM to the Lodge to see the gov gen’l.

    I only chanced on it because I wanted to watch landline, and left it running in the hope it might stop eventually. It did, but not before it did serious damage to my view of the credibility the ABC as a serious news organisation.

    I have seen less pathetic efforts from broadcasters in third world dictatorships and that is what the coverage immediately brought to mind.

  2. Mike Bolan

    May 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    @33 A.K. could usefully add ‘compliant media’to the ‘get rid of…’ list!

  3. A.K.

    May 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    #32 Luigi, fibre to the home, is an extremely worthwhile future investment. It will allow us to co-ordinate our state properly and empower the people to become involved. The dumb stupidity of FTN, wireless and satellite are the waste of money, they all revolve around systems which are extremely prone to breakdown and damage for their entire life.

    This is bad budget all round, put together by delude cloned fools who have no idea what they are doing in any way. All they do is obey is the dictates of their ideological masters, vested interests and bank accounts.

    It’s when people come up with idea’s that things can go forward. The light rail and bridges are really beginnings of idea’s which can be expanded and adapted to what will really be a worthwhile investment.

    Personally, think the approach is wrong and we should be using the rail line for bringing goods into the city, from major depots in Bridgewater. This would reduce congestion, pollution and the need for wasting money on roads which if things keep going as they are, we won’t have many cars as fuel will become scarce and extremely expensive.

    The way to go, would be to develop electric powered Ferries on the Derwent, rather than more polluting diesel ones. Then we would solve a lot of problems and it would be easy to do and allow us to develop a true 21st century electric power industry.

    A decent budget for Tas, would be one that took us into this century, rather than as it is now, all the political parties want is to keep us trapped in the dying past.

    We have a choice, keep electing the idiots and sink into social collapse, or get rid of the problems driving us to the bottom of the pit, political parties.

  4. Luigi

    May 10, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    At this point in an election, value-for-money, utilisation and efficiency are not relevant. We just want something.

    So demands for NBN fibre-to-the-home on the west coast, a light rail link for the Derwent shore and a bridge somewhere, anywhere are all gathering voice – despite the fact that none of these remotely represent a good investment of taxpayer dollars.

    We haven’t been promised anything yet, but it’s still early days in this loooong election tedium.

  5. Mike Bolan

    May 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Since we have no way of checking what we are being told, and we have no way of assuring that the various ‘promises’ are actually kept, what is the point of paying any attention to the ‘election campaign’?

    We suffer long periods of hyped up advertisements on commercial TV, interspersed with even longer periods of election ‘ads’ for which we have paid. ABC doesn’t have the ads but it certainly provides airtime for various political wannabees to speculate and posture. If I believed the news and current affairs shows, everything is about politics and nothing is about real people in real situations.

    It’s a pantomime, and a waste of life and the sooner we start to ignore this nonsense, the better off we’ll be I’d suggest.

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    May 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

    #27 Mike seabrook, sorry for the delayed answer!

    At this point in time I agree a new Bridgewater Bridge is unnecessary as it will not relieve traffic congestion closer to the city.

    The answer is to properly complete the link from Risdon Cove to the northern approaches of the UNDER UTILISED Bowen Bridge, currently at the Elwick end modifications are already underway.

    Our government has to be willing to make the effort to politically by force if necessary to overcome the silly out of date nonsense surrounding the Risdon Cove area and get on with the job and provide state of the art roading infrastructure to provide a SWIFT traffic link from the Risdon roundabout to the western shore via the preexisting Bowen Bridge.

    We are not living in the Stone Age or that matter with our earlier colonial past, we have to move on and bring ourselves up to improved living standards.

    Politicians need to move out of their cocoons and be prepared to make sometimes tough but practical decisions about future land use, so far its all play school with an emphasis on hide and seek.

    The land across the miserable swampy hole at Risdon Cove provides the paramount access solution for the bridge problem across the Derwent River.

  7. Mike Adams

    May 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    As Saul Eslake points out, the budget contains ‘decisions taken but not yet announced’ with big numbers for 2016- 17.

    Announcement date probably chosen and advertising arranged and financed.

    And we can look forward to minimal time being granted to comments by other parties on the merits or otherwise of the ‘decisions taken’.

  8. Basil Fitch

    May 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Just checked Morgan Poll (23/24,30&May1;,2016),
    Interesting! (next one out 16/5/16).
    ALP 51% – L-NP 49% (possible hung Parliament)

    “Primary support for the L-NP is 40% (down 0.5%) with ALP at 32.5% (up 0.5%). Support for the Greens is down 0.5% to 13.5%, Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) 4% (down 0.5%; 20.5% in South Australia), Katter’s Australian Party is 1% (up 0.5%), Palmer United Party is 0% (unchanged) and Independents/ Others are at 9% (up 0.5%).

    Analysis by Gender shows men favouring the L-NP while women are easily favouring the ALP. Men: L-NP 52% (down 1%) cf. ALP 48% (up 1%); Women: ALP 54% (up 1%) cf. L-NP 46% (down 1%).

    Analysis by Age group shows that Turnbull’s biggest problem remains convincing younger voters to support the L-NP. The ALP leads easily with electors under 35: 18-24yr olds (ALP 63% cf. L-NP 37%) and also leads amongst 25-34yr olds (ALP 64.5% cf. L-NP 35.5%) and the L-NP now leads with 35-49yr olds (L-NP 51.5% cf. ALP 48.5%). However the 50-64yr olds are split (L-NP 50% cf. ALP 50%) and L-NP leads easily amongst those aged 65+ (L-NP 59.5% cf. ALP 40.5%).

    The L-NP now holds a two-party preferred lead in only two Australian States. The L-NP leads in Queensland: LNP 52% cf. ALP 48% and Western Australia: L-NP 51% cf. ALP 49%. The ALP now leads in Victoria: ALP 54.5% cf. L-NP 45.5%, South Australia: ALP 53% cf. L-NP 47%, Tasmania: ALP 52.5% cf. L-NP 47.5% and New South Wales: ALP 50.5% cf. L-NP 49.5%.”

    Lets see how the other polls figures stack up, especially now Budget has been released. Basil

  9. mike seabrook

    May 5, 2016 at 12:45 am

    # 7

    surely a bridge across the derwent from geilston bay to risdon road and the brooker would offer better value than the bridgewater bridge – given congestion on the tasman bridge – would likely be high priority in 10-15 years time.

    the under-utilised bowen bridge would be adequate for traffic from the north and bridgewater.

  10. mike seabrook

    May 5, 2016 at 12:39 am

    wilkie says it is a bad budget

    has he said thank you to morrison and the libs for funding the $600 million hobart hospital promised him by gillard in return for his votes in the gillard government

    why are the libs paying up to get wilkie re-elected.surely these funds could be better spent on buying votes for the libs elsewhere – like north of oatlands

  11. Phil Lohrey

    May 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Why so little talk of Turnbull’s budget cuts to health? So much emphasis on small business and big company incentives, ignoring the nasty detail on health. Check out Labor’s analysis:

    Mr Turnbull has again smashed Australia’s health system, ripping another $2.1 billion out of health spending and keeping the GP tax in place for another two years – a measure that will drive down bulk billing and force patients to pay more.

    In another disastrous night for health, Mr Turnbull’s first Budget:

    Cut another $182.2 million from the health flexible funds, taking the total cuts to these crucial health programs tackling drug and alcohol abuse, chronic disease, communicable diseases and rural health issues to almost $1 billion
    Abolished the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, ripping a net $1 billion out of Commonwealth Dental spending
    Ripped millions more out of health through cuts to Medicare items.

    These are on top of the Mid-Year Budget Review that:

    Cut $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology
    Gutted crucial health workforce training programmes by $595 million
    Ripped another $146 million out of health prevention and eHealth

    The Budget also continues to pursue two of Tony Abbott’s 2014 Budget measures:

    The $1.3 billion hike in the price of essential medicines by increasing prescription charges by $5 for general patients and $0.80 for Health Care Card Holders
    The $267 million attack on the Medicare Safety Nets

    In total, Mr Turnbull has ripped $4.2 billion from health in just eight months in office. This proves the Liberals only ever see health as a source of Budget cuts, and will always look to make healthcare less affordable for those who need it most – the sick and the poor.


  12. Luigi

    May 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    #23, Sadly the “middle majority” is really the middle minority. Barely 10% of voters are willing to shift their vote from one party to the other as they see fit, so it is that 10% minority who decide the outcome of elections.

    At this point I’m wondering how either party is aiming to snare that 10%. Both are doing a fine job of appealing to their usual clingons, but that’s about all.

    And it’s not even worth sharing the love with the Clive Palmer Rump Party this time.

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Others, particularly the middle majority already skeptical and trending towards cynicism about the two major parties, could well read Comment 22 as ‘In short, the Fed Oppn’s response is the same as the Labor Party’s – keep on dodging and bullshitting as if there were no tomorrow’.

    For The Greens (and fellow apocalypto-alarmists), the last six words would be ‘as if there is no today’.

  14. john hayward

    May 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    A comprehensive answer to all of Andrew Wilkie’s criticisms at 1& 2 can be found distilled at 11, Will’s response.

    In short, the Fed Govt’s response is the same as the Liberal Party’s – keep on dodging and bullshitting as if there were no tomorrow. With this quality of leadership, there probably isn’t.

    John Hayward

  15. Luigi

    May 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    If Will Hodgman, Eric Abetz and the Three Amigos say it’s good, it must be.

  16. JDN

    May 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    #15 “A budget designed to destroy any chance of a viable future as fast as possible, whilst enhancing the power and control of the rich a ideological elite. A budget which can only be described as pathetically dumb and one which will only bring disaster to our future.”

    What an absolute hyperbole. This is a very centrist budget, even for the liberals but one that see’s enormous benefits to small & growing businesses that have not been seen in a very long time. This is where our industries of the future lie.

    There has never been a greater time in Australian history for startups to develop and thrive in our country, this is especially true for the Tech industry.

    Heavily supporting Australian enterprise is by far the most efficient way of ‘making the country independent’ as we see large multinational companies taking their manufacturing and natural resource mining to far cheaper 3rd world countries.

    If Labour cannot match these policies alone to small business, the Libs have my vote.

    As for the deregulation of University fees, good. This may make people think twice before signing up for years of debt & Government assistance for an over-saturated arts degree no one is looking for (shout out to those of you reading this that are in this predicament) I’d rather my tax dollars didn’t go towards your poor life choice.

    Do you think that STEM graduates ever worry about paying off a future increase in debt? No. Their degree’s are still in demand and pay very handsomely.

    This budget does a fair effort at treating economic issues at the root cause (i’ll exclude negative gearing here, I don’t think the libs want the legacy of popping the bubble), and not just applying a band-aid of unsustainable socialistic spending to buy vote of left wing Australia.

    That’s not to say the Liberals have not paid a ideological price as Malcolm has directs the party closer to the center.

  17. Mike Bolan

    May 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    @19 There’s a simple test for all of this…we ask and answer the question…”who can provide the best education for our kids; politicians, education bureaucrats or teachers?”

  18. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 3, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    About Comment 10’s “Turnbull’s Federal Budget fails Tasmanian [school] children”: here is who have failed Tasmanian schoolchildren – and repeatedly:

    ~ ministers of education who can’t tell actual schooling from an edubabble cliché;

    ~ departmental bureaucracies without a clue about Yr 9F;

    ~ academics in faculties of education who didn’t / couldn’t / wouldn’t teach their undergrads their classroom subjects and / or train them in classroom skills; and, back to

    ~ ministers of education who had neither the guts nor the nous to say this to vice-chancellors / heads of education faculties: “Your graduates are not fit for purpose because they lack subject knowledge and professional skills – they can, therefore, not be registered to teach in my schools”;

    ~ teacher union officials who, instead of focusing on their core constituency (teachers), and their core business (teachers’ wages, welfare, working conditions and rights – too boring maybe?), prostituted their positions by using them as rungs on ladders of political ambition and / or neglected their duties for compassionista photo-opping after trendoid causes irrelevant to their jobs.

    And so many posters (including some on TT) sheet the fundamental blame home to teachers and parents!

  19. Luigi

    May 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    It looks to me like a regular, run-of-the-mill election budget. It’s main purpose is to benefit the traditional Liberal voter while ignoring the traditional Labor voter. So it favours the big end of town, aspirational small business operators and folk on highish incomes. Those earning less than $80k get nought. Why give money to folk who won’t vote for you?

    The clear distinction between the well-off and the less well-off was most evident in the treatment of income tax. The high income “temporary” deficit levy was abolished – even though five more years of deficits were forecast, bracket creep was addressed for the over $80ks, and the under $80ks got a lecture about how they had already received their windfall with the abolition of the carbon tax. Somehow I suspect that the well-offs gained more $$$ from the carbon tax abolition than the less well-off, so it’s not clear why they alone also needed a reduction in tax rates.

    The rest of it was smoke and mirrors. A (reversible) land acquisition plan for the mythical inland railway, more assertions about a local defence industry, more assertions about funding of science R&D, real reductions in health and education.

    The only long term promise was the reduction in company tax rates for the big end of town. It was therefore a budget for Malcolm’s mates. They’d see it as very fair.

  20. Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group MR

    May 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Tasmania way off track with infrastructure priorities

    The 2016 Federal budget has confirmed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s enthusiasm for Urban Rail, investing more than $3.4 billion in urban rail projects across the country.

    Hobart’s Rail Action Group President Ben Johnston says, “Sadly, Tasmania received $0.00 of this massive investment in Urban Rail as the Hodgman Government has failed to submit the Hobart Light Rail business case to its Federal Liberal colleagues. This failure isastonishing given the most recent Hobart-Glenorchy rail business case predicted up to $1.58 of benefits for every $1.00 invested.”

    Mr Johnston says, “Urban rail is a key feature of Malcolm Turnbull’s Smart Cities Plan to build a more prosperous and innovative nation. Tasmania is missing out by failing to put forward sensible projects such as Hobart Light Rail.”

    Checkout our latest video https://youtu.be/bASJ-3HhM-8

    Reference: http://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/pf/releases/2016/May/budget-infra_02-2016.aspx

    Ben Johnston

    Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group

  21. A.K.

    May 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    A budget designed to destroy any chance of a viable future as fast as possible, whilst enhancing the power and control of the rich a ideological elite. A budget which can only be described as pathetically dumb and one which will only bring disaster to our future.

    Not one thing regarding climate change, the growing collapse of our services and the never ending failures of every political party in the country. Then we get them all posting here in a futile attempt to make sense out of complete nonsense and has any one noticed, close to 90% of these fools are lawyers and academics, probably never done a real days work in their lives, have virtually no experience outside and school room and office. This has been the case for the last couple 4 decades, idiots elected on lies and deception.

    No attempt to make the country independent on any fronts, let alone the most important fronts of our society. No attempt to develop 21st century industry, all they are doing is clinging desperately to the past, by propping up industry and big business which is destroying our society All in all, what we can look forward to is nothing, but a downhill ride to oblivion and disaster.

    No attempts to support or introduce critical 21st century industry which would grow our economy and future, all they are relying upon is the crumbling fossil industries and destructive practices across the country. Whilst relying on overseas suppliers for our food, energy and fuels.

    The real facts are, we have a budget which does nothing, other then make things incredibly worse for the future in all ways.

    Trade agreements are designed to increase profit growth for multinationals and to disfranchise Aus industry and the future.

    Then we come to negative gearing, which may well cover almost all our federal party politicians. Yet they keep that and hit the 75% of people who get less than $80000, the majority of those earning less than $40000.

    Another budget for the rich and never the needy, delivered by rich. Something badly wrong with our system and that’s why it is collapsing rapidly.

  22. Mike Bolan

    May 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    A budget is really a financial expression of funding for some project(s)/policies that are intended to get some desired result. In that context we’d expect to know where the LNP was taking Australia – the characteristics and rationale for some desired future…but no…the government is silent on the reasons for the budget. It seems its only motivation is financial…but without a society there is no point to the finance. Why are we doing this? What role can citizens and businesses play? How can we help?

    As it stands, we’re passive recipients of largesse handed down to appeal to some groups. Just as our ‘refugee policy’ has no means to settle refugees, so too our budget policy has no end goal or state. Everything is short term fix.

    All of which leads me to ask…”How can I participate in Australia’s future if I don’t know what it’s supposed to be?”


  23. Fed Lib Team MR posted by editor

    May 3, 2016 at 11:52 am



    3 May 2016

    A strong plan for the future and a proud record
    of delivering for Tasmania

    “The Turnbull Government’s Budget yet again shows our commitment to ensuring Tasmania successfully navigates the transition to a more diversified and stronger economy,” said the Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck.

    “This is a strong plan to ensure greater growth and more jobs for the Tasmanian economy, while also taking into account the fact that we must live within our means.”

    Tasmania is set to benefit from tonight’s Federal Budget.

    Middle income earners will see tax relief through the increase of the middle tax bracket threshold from $80,000 to $87,000 from 1 July this year, benefiting almost 40,000 Tasmanians.

    Cutting the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent for those with a turnover of less than $10 million annually will significantly help the 36,800 small businesses that employ 100,000 Tasmanians thrive and create more jobs.

    Tasmania will benefit from an $840.3 million investment over four years in a Youth Employment Package (Youth Jobs PaTH) to assist vulnerable young people take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader-based growth.

    We are also introducing the most significant package of national education reforms in a generation. Total Commonwealth funding to schools across Tasmania will increase by $62 million by 2018-19.

    The Government will provide up to $2.9 billion in additional funding to the states and territories to support public hospitals. Funding will be continued for the Mersey Community Hospital.

    We are committed to tackling domestic violence with $1.05m to be provided for a Specialist Domestic Violence Unit in North-West Tasmania, operated by the Women’s Legal Service Tasmania.

    The productivity of Tasmania’s agriculture sector will be enhanced through the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Programme which includes $200 million to support the construction of dams and backbone irrigation infrastructure.
    Also, $20.4 million will be provided in 2016-17 for the Freight Rail Revitalisation programme in Tasmania and our state will benefit from the extension of the Bridges Renewal Programme to upgrade and repair bridges in our regional areas.

    Tasmania’s reputation as an international gateway to Antarctica is enhanced with the Turnbull Liberal government committing to the single-biggest Antarctic investment by an Australian government.

    New funding of $2.167 billion delivers key priorities under the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20-year Action Plan and includes Australia’s new icebreaker.

    The Tasmanian wine industry will be in a stronger, long-term position with a record investment in international and domestic wine promotion, a strengthening of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) integrity rules and reducing the WET rebate.

    The $50 million saving will be directed to promoting Australian wines internationally and creating wine tourism for regional areas, while the rebate changes will benefit many new whisky distillery start-ups in Tasmania.

    These measures announced tonight will bring the WET back to what it was intended – to support small and medium businesses.

    Tonight’s Federal Budget is a further demonstration of a commitment to building a strong and sustainable Tasmania.

    Since 2013 the Tasmanian Federal Liberal team has been working and delivering in the state’s best interests:

    • Addressing Tasmania’s energy security, with the announcement of a feasibility study into building a second interconnector for Bass Strait.

    • $38 million for the Hobart Airport runway extension, which will help meet tourism growth targets and provide a boost to Tasmania’s premium food and wine exporters.

    • Establishing the Joint Commonwealth and Economic Council, which is tasked with identifying opportunities to boost Tasmania’s economy.

    • Launched the Major Projects Approvals Agency which has resulted in more than $450 million of investment.

    • $203 million expansion to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme.

    • $400 million funding to continue the upgrade of the Midland Highway.

    • $50,000 to establish the Tasmanian Horticulture Market Growth Project, a key recommendation of the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce.

    • $13 million provided to the University of Tasmania for the Sense-T project, boosting information, technology and communications in Tasmania.

    • $60 million to Tasmanian Irrigation’s Tranche Two schemes.

    • Secured trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea which are already boosting export opportunities and creating more jobs.

  24. tony lynch

    May 3, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Yes. Being opposed to concentration camps and torture for those fleeing violence and poverty can only be ‘leftie self-interest’. Deep stuff. Takes real insight and character to see through Jesus, empathy, compassion and justice and see – what? Well, just yourself.

  25. Will Hodgman MR posted by Editor

    May 3, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Will Hodgman, Premier
    Federal Budget
    The Tasmanian Government welcomes the Federal Budget, which will support continued jobs and economic growth in Tasmania.
    Tasmania’s economy is growing at its fastest rate in six years, and several initiatives announced tonight will build on that growth and create jobs across the state.
    The Federal Government’s commitment to supporting small businesses with tax cuts and incentives will greatly benefit our economy.
    Small businesses are one of our state’s largest employers, with an estimated 36,800 small businesses employing about 100,000 Tasmanians. Importantly, many of these jobs are in regional areas, with two in five small businesses located outside our city centres.
    The Federal Government’s changes to personal taxes will also assist almost 40,000 working Tasmanians.
    As a result, instead of up to $14 million in taxes going to Canberra, this money will stay in the pockets of Tasmanians and be spent locally. This is great for our retailers, with a recent increase in discretionary spending driving retail trade to a new record of $491 million in February.
    The Federal Government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and creating jobs is also ramping up in Tasmania this year.
    This financial year the Commonwealth Government will invest $202 million in Tasmanian roads and rail infrastructure projects, including the critical rail upgrades through the Freight Rail Revitalisation Program and the continuation of the Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan. This represents a significant increase on last year of about $60 million.
    At this stage it appears funding for education, health and the GST is broadly in line with expectations for the coming year. We are still working through the finer details and we will make further comment as appropriate.

  26. AEU MR posted by editor

    May 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Turnbull’s Federal Budget fails Tasmanian children
    Malcolm Turnbull’s Federal Budget confirms he will axe Gonski school funding reform and fail generations of Tasmanian children, the AEU Tasmanian Branch said today.
    “The budget confirms the worst fears of teachers and parents by cutting Gonski school funding that would have helped lift generations of Tasmanians out of poverty and disadvantage,” said Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmanian Branch President.
    “It’s a bitterly disappointing political, pre-election budget, designed to suit the interests of Malcolm Turnbull’s election plans rather than the educational needs of our students.”
    “Parents, teachers and the Tasmanian Education Minister all agree that our schools need the full implementation of Gonski and by axing this critical reform he is failing our kids.”
    “Budgets are about priorities and Malcolm Turnbull has put Tasmanian school students last by deciding to cut $100M in Gonski school funding to our state.”
    “The Budget also fails supporting students with disability. The funding allocated for 2016 and 2017 will go nowhere near meeting the needs of the 270,000 students with disability not receiving funded support.”
    “Malcolm Turnbull has walked away from what parents, teachers and the Tasmanian Education Minister says works for our kids – Gonski.”
    “Gonski provides for more teachers, smaller classes, more individual attention and tailored support with reading, writing and maths – all of which will be denied to our kids under Malcolm Turnbull’s policy.”
    “Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff says disadvantage will be entrenched for generations of Tasmanians unless Gonski is delivered in full and Malcolm Turnbull’s budget has done nothing to change that.”
    “Tasmania has the highest need of any state or territory and too many of our kids are being denied the opportunity to achieve their learning potential because schools are not equipped to meet their individual educational needs.
    “Tasmanian teachers, support staff and principals are dedicated professionals completely committed to the meeting the learning needs of their students but they can’t keep doing more with less.”

  27. Kym Goodes (TasCOSS) comments posted by Ed

    May 3, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS:
    • The budget locks in $13 billion in cuts from family payment, income support for young people and paid parental leave, and adds a further $3 billion in cuts to payments for essential services. This includes cuts to Medicare and dental health and income support for people with disability.
    • There is nothing in the budget that would see Tasmania turning a corner to catch up with the rest of the country.
    • The budget shows a disappointing lack of leadership. This wasn’t the budget for income tax cuts this was the budget for tax reform.
    • We need to look further at the jobs package but we welcome any initiative that supports young people into employment and particularly recognises the failure of work for the dole.

  28. Frank again

    May 3, 2016 at 4:37 am

    And what about “Progress with Prudence” say a number of practical projects that make practical sense but are not so politically sexy?

    Cleaning up the horribly polluted Tamar River is one.

    Launceston City’s raw sewage sludge released into the Tamar?

    Possibly it will go down, past the corner at Freshwater Point like this:

    Still, some would like to do even more muck raking at night as a “much cheaper” alternative option. …

    We’d always done it that way mate!

  29. Robin Charles Halton

    May 3, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Re #1 and #2 Andrew Wilkie’s comments

    Royal Hobart Hospital revamp, will never happen to satisfactory completion standard thanks to State Labor under Bartlett/Gidding ambitious plan to squander federal money on a very restricted site in Hobart’s CBD.
    In the longer term its money down the gurgler, eventually a new site during the mid first half of this century will have to be found within the Greater Hobart expanse to construct a suitable Southern state of the art Public Hospital facility.

    Light Rail, while low population densities are scattered cannot be justified to serve Hobart- Glenorchy- Brighton areas.

    A new Bridgewater Bridge is unnecessary at this point in time.

    PM Turnbull has correctly identified various priority transport links for Melbourne and Sydney where high population growth continues.

    It is believed a major modern fast rail link linking Melbourne and Brisbane is on the Federal agenda to deal with increasing freight and demand by passengers in lieu of trucks and airlines respectively.

    Although I would be inclined to think that Andrew should continue to support the treatment of Bass Strait as a part of the National Highway system.

  30. Frank again

    May 3, 2016 at 3:04 am

    People try the Federal 2016 Budget?
    Nothing on climate change?
    Care about climate change?
    Sorry fella. There’s nothing for you in Scott Morrison’s speech, and it is clearly not much of a focus. So while the earth cooks under our feet, be glad for small business tax cuts.


    … its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia…

  31. John Hawkins

    May 3, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Having tripled the deficit:

    We will try and buy your vote between now and the election with a steady roll out of new non core financial promises which we float before every election.


    An extension to the runway at Hobart Airport. Forty million

    Dual carriageway from Launceston to Hobart. Five hundred million

    A second undersea cable to the mainland. One Billion.

    The mugs will as always believe the spin and the lies.

    The Scruffy manifesto:

    Vote Scruffy.

    Vote for a secure future, jobs and growth and investment all in a world where every dog is a winner.

    Please do not forget on this wet and windy night the promised new roof over my Kennel made from clean and green solar panels.

    Paws for thought.

  32. Jarvis Cocker

    May 3, 2016 at 12:45 am

    ScoMo had that look about him tonight.

    You know the one: the lost, defeated, tortured look of a bloke stuck in the wrong job, with no way of escaping it.

    Actually, in light of his recent D-Grade media appearances, he put on a half-decent show.

    The Murdoch papers will say it was a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ performance, and a responsible Liberal Budget.

    Whatever news outlets lefties read these days will scream about the lack of funding for Gonski/asylum seekers/doctors/furries (delete fave self interest group where relevant).

    And for anybody actually looking at the Budget forecasts, well, they’ll probably wonder where it all went so horribly wrong for this government.

    It wasn’t meant to be like this. After all, this is a land of prosperity. A place where you can negatively gear your toddler into a new Blacktown brick ‘n tile. Millionaire bogans.

    Instead, we’re staring down the barrel of never-ending string of Budget deficits, with spending going through the roof, year after year.

    Let me explain.

    Even when the GFC was done and dusted, Australia wasn’t in bad shape. Unlike the US of A, we still had a functioning banking system, and most of our negatively geared houses had new pink batts in the roof.

    And then, things went awry.

    Rather than do the responsible thing (start concentrating on building a non-mining dependent future, tidying up tax loopholes), instead we had a string of dysfunctional governments lead by people without the ability to lead, let alone develop any sort of narrative as to where the country should be heading.

    We got crazy Kevin. The dodgy Slater & Gordon refugee. Abbott (who, by all accounts was a rational, functioning human right up until he was appointed PM.)

    Any now, Malcolm, who in a very short space of time has been weighed, measured, and found wanting.

    At least he had ScoMo to take the heat of him this week, to stop people looking into Turnbull’s banking past. I mean, for a man who carved out a reputation as successful finance dude, this sort of show is an embarrassment.

    But all isn’t lost. That’s because this Budget has a lifespan of around eight weeks.

    Before June is over, it will be blown out of the water.

    Labor hasn’t even started ratcheting up its election spending campaign yet.

    And when it does, Malcolm and the rest of them will be forced to match it. In the absence of a single vote winner in this Budget, one must conclude the killer promises have all been left in the kitty.

    So it’s not a Budget at all.

    It’s a housekeeping statement, to be ditched then redrafted after the election.

    The lack of infrastructure spending will be replaced with billions in promises. Health – the bottomless pit that’s ruined many a State Budget – will get more money.

    The real Budget, the one that continues the current Liberal trajectory of big spending, big government and big taxes, won’t be revealed for a few weeks.

    So I’ll report back then.



  33. Sinead Colee, NUS MR posted by Editor

    May 2, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Budget Still Has No Vison For Students. Students Still To Pay More For An Education.

    The National Union of Students (NUS) tonight are furious that the budget handed down continues to investigate various levels of fee flexibility and cut funding to the higher education sector; part of the government’s agenda in its war against students and fair education.

    “After 3 years of government, we still see no real plans for the higher education sector except to cut funding and see students pay more for their degrees” says NUS President, Sinead Colee.

    The government has announced it will be delaying the commencement of its policies announced in the 2014-15 budget by another year to 2018, which include the widely detested introduction of fully deregulated university fees. By doing so, savings of $1.4 billion over 4 years will be seen in Higher Education.

    “Finally this government has started to see fee deregulation for what it is – unpopular and unachievable, yet they they still remain committed to increasing student HECS contributions and restricting access to higher education to our country’s most disadvantaged” says NUS President, Sinead Colee.

    Included in the 2016-17 budget is the axing of Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) funding by $150 million and funding cuts to the Office of Excellence in Learning and teaching by half, saving 20 million dollars.

    “Cuts to university equity funding will only see less students from Indigenous, Low-SES, remote and regional and non-English speaking background enrolling in and completing university degrees.” says NUS President, Sinead Colee.

    While the government are now ruling out full fee deregulation, they remain committed to a degree of fee flexibility. The government is recommending flagship programs for university courses that are identified as high quality and innovative. This will allow Universities to charge whatever they want for a degree through the un-capping of fees for these particular courses.

    Ms Colee said “Entry to a degree should be on merit, not on your ability to pay. Do we really want to see an Australia where our best and brightest are limited by their bank balance?”

    “Ignoring measures that are clearly needed, such as fully funding higher education and closing the tax loopholes that let billion dollar companies avoid tax, this government has opted to save money by restricting access to people from low socio-economic backgrounds. Unless the government is prepared to impose a cap or maximum fee, they can not rule out the possibility of $100,000 degrees” added Ms Colee.

    NUS will be rallying across the country next week on May 11th in protest to these blatant attacks against students.

    “If you don’t believe you should be paying more for your degree then come out on May 11 and show this government we won’t be silent. We’ve beaten deregulation before and with the election looming it’s more important than ever we come out against this measure.” says NUS President, Sinead Colee.


    SYDNEY: Fisher Library, University of Sydney – 1pm

    MELBOURNE: State Library, Swanston Street – 2pm

    PERTH: Forrest Chase – 2pm

    BRISBANE: Queens Park – 2pm

    ADELAIDE: Rundle Mall (William Street side) – 3pm

    HOBART: Central Mall, University of Tasmania – 2pm

    Sinead Colee
    National President | National Union of Students

  34. Andrew Wilkie MR posted by Editor

    May 2, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    But Tasmania overwhelmingly gets a very raw deal in this Budget. There’s no sign of any funding for important infrastructure projects such as a Hobart Northern Suburbs Light Rail or the upgrade to the Bridgewater Bridge. There’s also no extra money to properly fix the continuing cost of Bass Strait beyond what was announced last year.

    This Budget also misses the point that strategic thinking and investing is required. The Government needs to make decisions that will pay dividends in the future. For example we know that investing in preventative health means that you save the health budget big money down the track.

    The Government has also failed to lay down a credible pathway to budget repair even though there are a number of areas of potential revenue and savings. For example it continues to refuse to implement a super profits tax. And while a small business tax cut is welcome, it is not the time to be cutting company tax for larger corporations given the need for budget repair.

    And the Government will spend some $2bn on offshore processing over the next four years, and is committed to an additional $195bn over the next decade on expanding our defence presence. Surely much of that money could be better spent on health, education and jobs.

    Let’s not forget that every hit to public services and the disadvantaged disproportionately affects Tasmania. Tonight’s Budget shows that the Government either doesn’t understand this or doesn’t care. Or they’re saving all the good news for the election campaign which would make a mockery of the Budget process. In any case the Government’s taking the Tasmanian community for fools.

  35. Andrew Wilkie MR posted by Editor

    May 2, 2016 at 11:52 pm


    Tasmania isn’t on Malcolm Turnbull’s map of Australia. This is a deeply disappointing budget that does next to nothing for Tasmanians.

    Health remains chronically underfunded. The Government has extended the freeze on the Medicare rebate paid to GPs and other health professionals and there’s no sign the bulk billing incentive for pathologists will be reinstated. And the new dental scheme is a sham because it provides less money than the existing Child Dental Benefits Schedule but is supposed to somehow help more people. All of these cuts will hit Tasmania harder because we have poorer health outcomes and a higher reliance on the public health system.

    The Budget confirms that the Government won’t extend the $325m Tasmanian Health Assistance Package. Moreover the extra $2.9bn spread over four years promised nationally for hospitals is much less than what’s needed. Wait lists at the Royal Hobart Hospital remain appallingly long, for example, and our small share of tonight’s announcement is way short of what’s needed to turn the situation around.

    The Government is taking steps to reform mental health care, which is welcome, but there’s no sign of any significant boost to funding for our chronically under-resourced mental health system. Whether this reform is any more than a rebadging exercise remains to be seen.

    Funding for the NDIS remains inadequate because we know from the Tasmanian trial that the payments service providers receive are way less per person than what is required. There are also serious questions around some of the savings measures that will apparently pay for it, such as cutting back on disability support pension and carer payments.

    The Government has committed some extra money for primary and high schools but it’s much less than the $5bn a year David Gonski recommended. The pitiful amount of $118.2m nationally for students with a disability is a token amount and an insult to families who are struggling to get adequate assistance for their children. Again Tasmania will be hit hard because of our higher reliance on the public education system.

    The Government has left all of the adverse changes to higher education on the table, including deregulation of fees and changes to HECS-HELP, by deferring implementation for a year while they ‘consult’. But they’ve given the game away by also booking over $2bn in budget savings from the ‘consultation’. And they’re also cutting $152m from the Higher Education Participation Program, which funds universities to improve access to students from low socio-economic backgrounds. There’s also no sign of any funding for the UTas redevelopment, and in particular the $150m needed from Canberra to revitalise the north and north west campuses and the $250m to establish the STEM facility in Hobart.

    Mention of affordable housing is hard to find in this year’s budget with no additional funding allocated for increased supply and insufficient funds for the upkeep of existing stock. The Budget also omits continuation of the National Partnership on Homelessness.

    The boost to Antarctic research is good news. But the savage cuts made already to the Antarctic Division and CSIRO in Hobart, which have cost hundreds of jobs, are still in place while the latest public service efficiency savings will no doubt cost even more jobs.

    These problems are just the tip of an iceberg. For instance aged care has taken a big cut, there’s no attempt to resurrect the foreign aid budget, funding isn’t restored to the ABC and SBS, the environment and climate change barely rate a mention, and arts funding is again sadly neglected in the Budget.

    For the Government to give a tax cut to high income earners, and to not continue the Temporary Budget Repair Levy, are also plain wrong at a time when pensions and payments have fallen so far behind the cost of living. Again this will have a disproportionate impact on Tasmania where more than four in five Tasmanians won’t see any relief from these tax cuts. And there’s no respite for the nearly 48,000 part-pension recipients who have been affected by the Government’s cuts to the income test treatment for defined benefit pension recipients.

    To be fair there are some good initiatives in the Budget. The crackdown on superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy, and the introduction of a low income super contribution for people earning under $37,000, is good news. Also a focus on small business is always good news for Tasmania which relies heavily on smaller firms.

    cont …

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