TCCI cancels budget reply events

TCCI chief executive Michael Bailey

TCCI chief executive Michael Bailey

THE state government has continued to criticise Labor for not handing down an alternative budget, saying it had to cancel its Northern budget reply events "because it's hard to sell something that doesn't exist".

The budget events hosted by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry were set to be run in Launceston and Ulverstone, featuring Labor finance spokesman Scott Bacon, but were cancelled due to lack of numbers.

TCCI chief executive Michael Bailey said the Hobart budget reply function was still going ahead.

"We just didn't get the response needed to make the other events viable," Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said the numbers were low before the opposition announced it wouldn't be handing down an alternative budget.

"After a sound defeat at the last election, the opposition is keen to engage with business to find out what business requires," Mr Bailey said.

"I think it's really pleasing they are engaging," he said.

Mr Bailey said he did not think there would be great value in Labor developing a budget.

Deputy Labor leader Michelle O'Byrne said it was a shame the events were cancelled.

"I know numbers were strong in some parts of the state," Ms O'Byrne said.

"We're going to continue our conversations around the state," she said.

Ms O'Byrne said the Liberals delivered only five alternative budgets in 16 years of opposition.

"They were rubbish, we had a wonderful time tearing them apart," she said.

"That's obviously what this government was hoping for," she said.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said "no one wants to go because no one wants to listen to Scott Bacon talk about Labor's lazy, non-existent reply".

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