The Tasmanian Greens have outlined an alternative state budget with free TasTAFE courses, 4000 new Housing Tasmania dwellings, and more teachers, nurses and midwives, funded by increased royalties on mining and fish farming companies.
The party has continued to point out the far lower rates of royalties and licensing fees received by Tasmania compared with the national average, believing increasing these could help to fund reforms in health, housing and the environment with $1.4 billion extra in the state coffers.
Other proposals included an accelerated transition to a fully plantation-based forest sector, a youth Job Guarantee to provide employment in environmental restoration projects, a Tasmanian Employment Office and public school fee concessions.
Leader Cassy O'Connor said that Greens ideas the government had previously labelled "kooky" in the past - like electrified public transport, energy efficiency upgrades in public housing and a medicinal cannabis regime - had later been adopted.
She said she expected their current proposals to follow a similar trajectory into government policy.
"I guess our vision for the future isn't so kooky after all," Ms O'Connor told Parliament.
The party's alternative budget largely drew upon ideas - described as a "Green new Deal for Tasmania" - detailed ahead of the May state election.
The Greens based its royalties and license fees estimates on a 2018-19 Deloitte report, commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, as well as Australian Bureau of Statistics data for gross state product and on Tasmania's budget papers.
Ms O'Connor said the state receiving lower royalties for mining and fish farming compared with other states and territories placed it at a disadvantage.
"We demonstrate fiscal responsibility through targeting big corporations such as big mining, logging, fish farming and gambling, who for decades have been paying the lowest royalty and licensing fees in the country," she said.
"It is well past time the free ride was ended and a better return delivered to the Tasmanian people to fund hospitals, schools and community services."
Following the Greens releasing its proposal for increased royalties in April, Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the party should go to the West Coast and "look into the eyes of a miner" and say "we want to put you out of a job".
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When asked if Chinese mining companies, such as MMG, should pay more in royalties for extracting Tasmanian minerals with prices and profits increasing in recent years, Mr Barnett said more exports meant more royalties under the current regime.
"The way it's structured in terms of our royalties, the more they produce, the more they sell, the more they pay. The state is deriving the benefit from the mining industry," he said.
"They are growing the economy, they are employing Tasmanians, we welcome investment here in Tasmania whether it be from the mainland or foreign investment because it creates jobs."
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