BASS STRAIT EQUALISATION SCHEMES
Mrs ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Madam President, I stand too to commend the member for the motion he has brought forward and support it.
Tasmania is severely disadvantaged in terms of transport to the mainland States, as we do not have the opportunity of road or rail, as is the case on the mainland. As was mentioned by the member for Windermere. When we had the meeting with a lot of the businesses from George Town, they pointed out to us just how difficult it is doing business in Tasmania and the added costs involved. Of course, the costs are passed on and it does not matter what they are making or manufacturing, someone has to pay the added costs for working and operating in Tasmania; I think that was one of the concerns that came across to us. When you look at some of the businesses that were in difficulties down there - such as Rio Tinto, Temco - it is obvious that to operate in Tasmania you are at a severe disadvantage to start off with. The fact is that we do not want to lose those businesses to the mainland because along with them go the opportunities, and the prospects of jobs and employment. While the businesses that I am speaking about at George Town are located in the member for Windermere's electorate, a lot of the people who work there live in all areas, including Launceston. A lot of them live in my area; they live in the area of Rosevears and many others; so it means lost opportunities for employment and there are so many different areas that it branches out into through this freight equalisation scheme, so I certainly support it.
I will not go over any of the figures that have been mentioned because I think that is wasting time but I do thank the member for bringing it forward and support the motion.