Estimates reveal clear commitment to grow economy Fri 1 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier This week's Budget Estimates hearings have shown the Government is serious about supporting economic growth during difficult financial times, the Premier Lara Giddings said today. "We are working to put Tasmania's finances on a sustainable footing while protecting core services in health, education and police," Ms Giddings said. "We are also working to support those most in need, through a range of initiatives including the $5 million announced in the last State Budget to help vulnerable Tasmanians. "Our commitment to these goals has been borne out over the past four days of estimates hearings. "By contrast, the Liberals have been exposed for their ignorance over the budget, their inability to grasp the extent of the global financial crisis, their refusal to recognise the challenges facing our forestry sector and their attempts to con the Tasmanian public with their alternate budget." Ms Giddings said the Liberals alternative budget had effectively endorsed all of the Government's savings measures, even though the Party claimed to be opposed to them. She said the Tasmanian Liberals had continued to ignore any positive signs in the State's economy - instead opting to continue their campaign of relentless negativity. "This week, we've seen the official opening of the $84 million Statewide Independent Wholesalers distribution centre near the Launceston airport - and did we hear anything from the Liberals welcoming this development? No," Ms Giddings said. "Likewise, they were nowhere to be seen when there was positive news on the $40 million South East Irrigation Scheme, a new mining lease near Tullah which is expected to generate 30 jobs in the construction phrase and a similar number when operational and the potential expansion of Tasmania's salmon industry in Macquarie Harbour. "And they've been conspicuously silent on the three months of consecutive growth in retail trade, 25 per cent growth in capital expenditure over the past year, a 16.7 per cent increase in investment in building and structures and the 26.9 per cent growth in plant and investment. "We have been up front about the challenges we're facing and what we plan to do about it - and, instead of spouting cheap slogans and hiding behind a fictitious alternative budget, it's time the Tasmanian Liberals did the same."