Libs need to 'do more' on economy

BELL Bay Aluminium general manager Ray Mostogl believes Tasmania's Liberal MHRs have not yet done enough to remove significant economic barriers on freight, high electricity prices and renewable energy targets.

At the question and answer session in Launceston yesterday are Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson, Bass MHR Andrew Nikolic and Braddon MHR Brett Whiteley.  Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

At the question and answer session in Launceston yesterday are Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson, Bass MHR Andrew Nikolic and Braddon MHR Brett Whiteley. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

The business leader was speaking at a Bell Bay Aluminium-sponsored event run in conjunction with the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic, Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson and Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley sat in a question and answer session.

Mr Mostogl said a major priority of the federal Liberal government should be the removal of federal barriers that prevented Tasmanian business from moving forward.

``As we head towards the end of almost the first year of the federal government . . . I'm just not sure if we have seen enough definitive changes on the ground at this stage,'' Mr Mostogl said.

``What we are desperately looking for is some pro-Tasmanian reforms led by the Liberal team.''

Mr Mostogl said inflated electricity costs robbed the  business community, and  the general community, with some people going without heating.

``Before you say it is a state responsibility, I would challenge guests to outline what action they have taken at a federal level because the state energy companies are actually operated within federal legislative guidelines,'' he said.

``The major industries (in Tasmania) are injecting $900 million in salaries, payments and taxes throughout Tasmania every year, so why don't we hear more of what local members are doing in this space?

``Please, if there is nothing to be done, be courageous enough to tell the community that you are not actively addressing what is potentially siphoning 50 per cent of Tasmania's current export.''

A last question from the audience again related to Bass Strait shipping, but a definitive answer as to how the federal members would tackle the freight issue was not forthcoming, with one member running out of time to answer.

In terms of passengers Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley said it was a state issue, but perhaps TT-line could compete with low airline fares if it removed cabins and cut ship travelling time to six hours.

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