Federal ministers not happy with Giddings

THE RIFT between Tasmania and the federal government appears to be growing, with three federal ministers this week expressing a lack of confidence in the state government.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday accused Premier Lara Giddings of scaremongering over the National Broadband Network, after Ms Giddings suggested Mr Turnbull was delaying substantive news on the roll-out until after the state election.

Ms Giddings was talking about a letter she received from Mr Turnbull last week in reply to her request in November for certainty on the roll-out in Tasmania.

"What I wanted was to know that Malcolm Turnbull was going to stick by the Liberal Party promises, before the last election, that they would complete the contracts that had been agreed to here in Tasmania," she said.

"The letter fails to give that pre- election commitment the Liberals made any certainty now.

"To me, this absolutely stinks of politics. It's about Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott not wanting to deliver to Tasmania before a state election."

Mr Turnbull said he had put the roll-out "back on track" since becoming minister and said Ms Giddings was well aware the roll- out suffered significant delays in the middle of last year, before the Coalition took power.

"This is a rather pathetic attempt at scaremongering by Premier Giddings," Mr Turnbull said.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt also criticised the state government yesterday, saying it had "no weight in Canberra".

On Monday, assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Field said he was "deeply disappointed" with Ms Giddings for what he described as using the NDIS as "a tool to score political points".

But Ms Giddings said she was concerned the state opposition would not stand up to federal Liberal policies.

"What you need is strong leadership that is prepared to take Tasmania's fight up to Canberra and is not prepared to take no for an answer," she said.


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