Premier to push to keep funding

PREMIER Will Hodgman is refusing to outline how health services will be funded if he cannot convince Canberra to reinstate $1.7 billion in funding set to go over 10 years.

Will Hodgman

Will Hodgman

He has less than six weeks to change the federal government's mind before $27 million is cut this coming financial year, or the equivalent of 197 beds over four years. 

``It's my job to put a strong case to Canberra as to why that is unreasonable, why that is unsustainable,'' Mr Hodgman said yesterday.

Mr Hodgman would not say if cuts to services or further savings would be found if the Commonwealth does not budge. 

``It's a big if,'' he said yesterday.  

The Prime Minister has rejected the states' demand for an emergency Council of Australian Governments meeting, but Mr Hodgman said he would still work with his federal colleagues. 

``We expect that there will be ongoing discussions with our federal colleagues, including the Prime Minister,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``It's my job to understand the issue . . . and to put a case to Canberra as to why we are disadvantaged, in my view unfairly, in a way that will put our health system in an unsustainable position and that's exactly what I'll do.''  

The state opposition has called on the state government to also detail the impact of looming shortfalls in education funding beyond 2017.

Last week, Labor estimated abandoning previous funding agreements on health and education would cost Tasmania $1.6 billion combined over 10 years.

``That figure was initially rubbished by Will Hodgman who has since revealed a $1.7 billion black hole in health alone,'' deputy opposition leader Michelle O'Byrne said. 

``It is time for Tasmanian Liberal members, both state and federal, to come clean.''

Meanwhile, the Greens called for the Liberals to join with the Greens and Labor to send a tripartite delegation to Canberra to lobby the Prime Minister and Treasurer. 

``A delegation of all three parties represented in the State Parliament, presenting a united voice on behalf of all Tasmanians, will send a loud and strong message that we refuse to be ignored by Canberra,'' Greens leader Kim Booth said. 


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