Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

8 December 2017

Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources

Willie confirms Labor would continue STT subsidies

Josh Willie has today confirmed what Labor have been hiding –they will continue to subsidise Tasmania’s forestry business with $25 million per year.

In GBE hearings today, Mr Willie revealed Labor was fully aware that at the time of the so-called peace deal that they were signing up to subsidise Forestry Tasmania to the tune of $25m per year.

When I put to Mr Willie that Labor continues to have a policy to take $25m out of hospitals and schools to subsidise Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT), Mr Willie’s response was that Labor regarded those subsidies as unavoidable without renegotiating the long-term contracts signed by the former Labor-Green Government.

Unlike Labor, who want to continue to subsidise the forest industry, we would rather see that money going into important services, such as health, education, and protecting the most vulnerable in the community.

That’s why we have taken decisive action to clear STTs debt and restructure the business - actions opposed by Labor in preference for a $25m a year taxpayer handout.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering on our commitment to return STT to a sustainable footing, with the restructure set to deliver a $7.5m a year improvement to the bottom line.

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