Hodgman stands by decision to delay budget

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey addresses the forum in Launceston to mark the state government's first 100 days in office. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey addresses the forum in Launceston to mark the state government's first 100 days in office. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

PREMIER Will Hodgman told business leaders in Launceston yesterday delaying the state budget until the end of August was the right move.

Following Thursday's speech in Hobart, Mr Hodgman addressed a second Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry forum in Launceston on the government's performance in its first 100 days.

As the 100-day milestone approaches tomorrow, the focus has shifted to the upcoming state budget.

"I can assure Tasmanians that whatever your perspective, the coming budget is not a budget to be afraid of," Mr Hodgman said.

The state budget is normally handed down in early June, but one of the new government's first decisions was to push it back by almost three months.

Mr Hodgman said the extra time would help the Liberals work out how to reform the health and education systems to deal with a massive $2.1 billion shortfall in expected revenue from the Commonwealth over 10 years and a worse- than-predicted state budget bottom line.

"It allowed us to fully understand risks to the budget that were flagged by the former government, but not quantified," Mr Hodgman said.

"And with a well- telegraphed tough federal budget coming, it allowed us to understand the ramifications for Tasmania and to plan for the challenges it presents.

"Delaying the budget has not prevented us from delivering on our plan in the first 100 days, but it has helped us to better plan for the future."

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