Tuesday 1 September 2009
CONSTRUCTION OF LEVEES, LAUNCESTON
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - I rise to support this amendment and I particularly applaud the gesture by the Treasurer in wanting to find a way forward. I think the word that resonated with me that he used was 'bloody-mindedness'. He could opt to take that course considering the pressure of constraints that are now on Treasury and he could say, 'No, the deed is the deed. We have signed it and the Launceston City Council signed it in good faith'. At least he is listening to the message that is coming from the member for Windermere, that there is a situation that has developed and which is out of the control of the Launceston City Council, or it was unforeseen by the Launceston City Council and the Treasury officers in their development of this plan to overcome this major issue.
Obviously a one-in-200-year flood is going to have a solid impact on the city. We live in fear at the moment. It means that we need that solution to come forward now. We cannot be putting things off. If the council waits until it can afford to do it, people are then compelled to live in fear until the job is done. The Treasurer recognises that and I applaud the opportunity. I can also understand his caution, and I can see that others would protest if all of a sudden the council put its hand out for more money and Treasury said, 'Here you go. The election is coming up and we are going to make big fellows and big girls of ourselves and we'll sign off on this'.
Mr FINCH - I wanted to include all genders there, but I shouldn't go too far.
However, I appreciate the fact that the Treasurer is listening to what the member for Windermere is saying and that he is looking for ways to move forward with this so that an investigation can take place. I appreciate the caution of not saying, 'Here it is', and instead saying, 'Let's consider this. We'll take the Treasury officers up there and go through the process to make sure that we can confirm that this situation needs support'. I think the member for Windermere and certainly the general manager of the Launceston City Council will build a strong case for the money. I support the amendment and congratulate the Treasurer for being cooperative in this issue.