House debates

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Constituency Statements

Turnbull Government

10:42 am

Photo of Julie CollinsJulie Collins (Franklin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Local Government) Share this | | Hansard source

Of course, the last elections saw the self-styled three amigos of Tasmania from the Liberal side completely wiped out in Tasmania. We have no more Liberals in Tasmania in the lower House. I can tell you that Tasmanians sent a very loud and clear message to this government and this Prime Minister that Tasmania does not want to be continually left off the map. But then again, what do we have today? We have front page headlines saying 'Tassie left off the map again'. The government's so-called Smart Cities and Suburbs program has left Tasmania off its consultations. They are going to every capital city in Australia. They are even going to Rockhampton, but they are not coming to Tasmania at all—not one single session in Tasmania.

Tasmania is sick of this government and the Liberal Party leaving it off the map. You would have thought that they would have learnt from the election that Tasmanians will not continue to accept this. It is not good enough Prime Minister. It is not good enough to tell Tasmanians that: you do not care; you are not interested in them; you have no plan for Tasmania. Since he became Prime Minister, there have been 5,000 jobs lost in Tasmania under this current Prime Minister—5,000 people are no longer in work in my home state because of this government. We sent a clear message to the Prime Minister at the election; he is still not listening, and he does not want to care about Tasmania. That has become apparent. He has not been to Tasmania since the election. He barely spent any time in Tasmania during the election or even before the election, even when he was communications minister responsible for the NBN. He came down to Tasmania, I think, for two days in the whole three years. He is just not interested in visiting my home state; he is not interested in Tasmanians; he does not appear to care what happens in Tasmania at all. His government continually makes decisions that affect Tasmania and leave Tasmanians off the map.

We also had news today that the Australian Antarctic station on Macquarie Island will close. There are great concerns in the scientific community that all the funding that has been invested in Macquarie Island to remove certain rodents and animals will be wasted, because there will no longer be a presence on the island. Macquarie Island is part of my electorate. Yes, it is remote; mine is the most southern electorate in Australia.

This government is continually making decisions that affect Tasmania and it just does not seem to care. It is not good enough, Prime Minister, to continually leave Tasmania off the map and to continually make decisions that affect our state without even coming down to talk to Tasmanians about it. You have no ministers at all—not one member from Tasmania on the front bench. Tasmanians are continually left off the map by this government, which appears not to be learning the lesson at all. Not to have any member or senator from Tasmania in any frontbench position, not to show any interest in Tasmania and not to have any federal government committee or organisation come down to Tasmania when they are going everywhere else—that is simply not good enough.