Tuesday 22 May 2012

Hansard of the Legislative Council



Noting of Budget Papers

Mr Hall - Through you, Madam President - it was always a promise of the former Treasurer that the Department of Economic Development was going to reduce red tape, as other states have. Other states have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced red tape but here it does not seem to have happened.

Mrs TAYLOR - Not yet, let us be positive about this. I thought it might be an interesting question to ask next week in estimates: what has happened to red tape?

Madam President, there are good points in the budget and I am not trying to be totally negative. I applaud the funding of a Tasmanian government innovation and investment fund and let us hope that it provides money for investment and not just more departments.

Child and family health centres particularly in areas out of the city are hugely successful. I am aware of the one, for instance, in St Helens which has only been open for six months or so but appears to be providing really great support for young local families. Money for integrated care centres has not been cut. It has been pushed out into future years but, nevertheless, the money is still all there.

Investment in irrigation is significant. It is mostly led by, and invested in, by farmers who pay for water, but at least this government supports it, and that is a good thing.

There are some measures in this budget that appear to be wasteful. The phasing out of sow stalls and battery hens is being accelerated. Whether there is enough money in the budget to help farmers do this in the time allocated is another matter - I hope there is. It is only a few years ago that farmers had to invest in larger cages for caged hens as a result of the government initiative. They spent millions of dollars on cages that would last 15 to 20 years and we are now less than 10 years down that track. Can they be compensated for that investment and can it be done with the money that has been given?

Mr Dean - Through you, Madam President - is that a priority right now when people are dying waiting for surgery?

Mrs TAYLOR - I will let you to speak to that when you get up. It is certainly a questionthat needs to be asked.

Mr Finch - Through you, Madam President - I was talking last week about a piggery in my electorate. The owner was offered support of $100 000 to redesign the piggery but he did not take it up. He felt that the change in regulations regarding sow stalls would make it uneconomical for him to continue in the business, even with a$100 000 injection. He had to say no to it.

Mrs TAYLOR - So what will he do? Just go out of business?

Mr Finch - And then wait to see what unfolds