I was reading the newspaper today and had to check to see whether it was April Fools day.
In a commendable, but seriously delayed, move the Tasmanian Liberals have decided that it is appropriate to bid for relocation of Commonwealth public service jobs in the regions, in particular to the north and the north-west of Tasmania.
I would welcome the investment of well-paid jobs in northern Tasmania. I know my colleague Justine Keay will also welcome more Commonwealth public service jobs in north-west Tasmania.
The problem for the Liberals is that rather than just announcing a press release about this, the Tasmanian Labor MPs made a detailed submission in October 2017 to an enquiry considering plans for government decentralisation calling for more tax office and human service department jobs to be transferred to the State, but only after consultation with existing public service employees.
Since 2013 the Liberals have cut nearly 800 jobs from the Commonwealth public service in Tasmania. Potential privatisation of the visa processing Centre in Hobart places at risk a further 100 jobs.
Senator Eric Abetz even announced in December last year that it was a good thing that the federal government was reducing the size of the public service.
Public service jobs in regional Tasmania will lead to greater diversification of employment and will assist in the continuing diversification of the regional economic and employment bases in Tasmania.
Compared with other states Tasmania is heavily reliant upon GST revenue due to its lower capacity to raise revenue, necessarily higher demand for government services and a greater cost of delivering services.
I welcome the fact that the Liberals have finally recognised that they should listen to organisations like Northern Tasmania Development and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce who have recognised that public service jobs, particular well-paid federal government employees should be relocated to regional Tasmania.
There is a good business case for this to be done, great quality of life and benefits all round.