Labor has hit out at the Tasmanian Liberal Senate team for supposedly failing to secure new public service jobs under a federal decentralisation program.
In April, Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Tasmanian Liberal Senator Jonathon Duniam launched a push to attract public sector jobs to Tasmania.
The 2017-18 federal budget committed the federal government to a decentralisation agenda, prioritising public service jobs in regional areas.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s third budget, handed down on Tuesday night, showed that, in addition to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, six additional government agencies would be moved from Canberra to other parts of the country, including Adelaide, Darwin, Wodonga, Dubbo and Toowoomba.
On Thursday, Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart said despite “grandstanding” from Mr Gutwein and Senator Duniam, Tasmania was the only state to miss out on new public service jobs.
“The Turnbull government has left Tasmania off the map again … despite both state and federal Liberals lauding their campaign to bring more jobs to Tasmania,” Mr Hart said.
“When Labor was in government in 2013, there were 4239 Commonwealth public servants in Tasmania - the latest figures show there are now just 3468.
“[And] I would encourage the Tasmanian Liberals to join the fight for Tasmanian jobs.”
But Senator Duniam said he was already fighting for public service jobs for Tasmania.
“Unlike Labor, who oversaw an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, I won’t be giving up on bringing more jobs to Tasmania,” he said.
Retiring independent McIntyre-West MLC Greg Hall has long been a vocal supporter of decentralisation.
“Decentralisation, I think, is important in regard to departmental public sector staff, to move them into regions where they ought to be to give some equity,” Mr Hall said.