Blame game begins over devil funding

DOUBT over the future of federal funding for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has sparked a "three ringed circus" blame game between the state and federal governments.

All federal funding for the program was cut from June 30 last year.

Environment Minister Brian Wightman said he had written to his federal counterpart Greg Hunt requesting he consider transferring $2 million committed to fox eradication to the devil program.

"His office has advised that this is not possible," Mr Wightman said.

Without federal funding, Mr Wightman said many devil programs were in jeopardy.

Launceston's Mount Pleasant laboratories has already been forced to significantly reduce its work and staff have been reassigned.

However, Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson said claims that the federal government had refused requests to transfer the funding was "a gross hypocrisy".

"Mr Wightman is using the opportunity of the pending state election to have a whack at the federal government," Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Hutchinson said he had been working with Mr Hunt on the issue.

"I am confident that money will flow to the Tasmanian devil program," Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Wightman said Mr Hutchinson "should be embarrassed about his complete ineffectiveness" in trying to secure the funding.

Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth called on the parties to end the blame game and stand up for the Tasmanian devil.

"What is happening now is a three ringed circus of Mr Hutchinson, Mr Hunt and Mr Wightman all claiming they are doing something while jobs are lost and the devil dies," he said.

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