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Rudd must come clean on risks to Tasmanian economy from Labor policies

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 10 Aug 2013

Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said we are simply getting more of the same today from Labor and if Prime Minister Rudd had any integrity he should come clean to Tasmanians about the risks to the State economy from Labor policies on carbon pricing and University cuts.

"Jobs and vital revenues to our State from two of our key institutions - the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Hydro Tasmania - are at risk under Kevin Rudd's policies," said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

"It's one thing to be talking up 140 short-term construction jobs from government pork-barrelling, but what about the 150 long-term jobs at risk from Labor's cuts to UTAS higher education funding?

"You can't talk about jobs in Tasmania without talking about the importance of UTAS and higher education.

"UTAS directly employs over 2,700 academic and professional staff and delivers up to $500 million into the local economy per annum - it is the third biggest employer in the state.

"Further, Labor's back-flip on the carbon pricing mechanism will blow a hole in the Tasmanian budget.

Advice from Treasury shows Labor's back-flip will impact on the Hydro and cost Tasmania around $60 million - a loss that will be felt through 2016.

"Business and investment decisions were made in response to the carbon price and in step with the necessary transition to renewable energy sources.

"Now there is only uncertainty - for our emissions reduction effort, for renewable industries, and for Tasmania's capacity to generate wealth from its renewable resources.

"The policies of both the old parties will result in a hole in the Tasmanian budget where a bonus for our unique energy strengths should be.

"Kevin Rudd must come clean on what Labor's plans really mean for Tasmania," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.


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