The cost to Tasmanian taxpayers of the state government's promise to clean up the mess left by recent bushfires remains a mystery.
Premier Lara Giddings yesterday said she was still not in a position to say how much it would cost the government to carry out the promised clean-up, or how it would be paid for.
``Of course I'm concerned about the budget bottom line, but it's not going to impede on what we want to do right now to help communities get back on to their feet,'' she said.
Extra costs will be attached to the work of various departments and government agencies, as well as the clean-up that Hazell Brothers was contracted to carry out without tendering on Saturday.
``Tender processes take some weeks and, in fact, can take months to finalise, which is why I made the decision as Treasurer to change the procurement in this manner so we can start helping communities to rebuild,'' Ms Giddings said.
``People were already starting to ask the questions: how is the clean-up going to happen; who is going to do it; and how is it going to happen, so we wanted to be able to answer that as soon as possible.''
The government has promised to clean up private properties with the consent of owners, as well as public properties.
Ms Giddings also said the government was in talks with insurance companies to see whether the clean-up costs they are obliged to pay could go towards rebuilding damaged and destroyed properties.
Lyons Liberal MHA Rene Hidding said the opposition agreed that the clean-up must be carried out as soon as possible, and it was appropriate for the government to co-ordinate the task.
However, he said local businesses should assist where possible, and insurance companies should pay their share.