MONEY spent relocating Mineral Resources Tasmania to Burnie could have been better spent bolstering other government departments in the region, the Community and Public Sector Union has said.
The CPSU has opposed the move since it was announced as a 2014 election commitment by the Liberals, and Tasmanian secretary Tom Lynch said the move was political and a waste of money.
Premier Will Hodgman announced on Tuesday that MRT would have more than 20 Burnie-based employees by March 2018.
The agency’s Burnie office now has five employees.
Mr Lynch said money spent on the move should have been spent bolstering child protection or biosecurity staff numbers.
‘‘No one has ever put forward an argument that says this benefits and furthers Tasmania’s mining industry,’’ Mr Lynch said.
Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council chief executive Wayne Bould dismissed Mr Lynch’s comments as ‘‘froth and bubble’’.
‘‘We’re happy to support the sensible relocation to Burnie and happy for the government to manage the finances of MRT in the best way possible,’’ he said.
‘‘Having MRT based out of Burnie allows staff far more access to where the mining occurs.’’
Mining Minister Adam Brooks said the move was about ensuring MRT was best placed to grow the industry and create jobs.