Aug 28, 2015

Cadbury cash still M.I.A

Two years after Tony Abbott’s election eve stunt promising a new tourism project at the Cadbury factory, not a single dollar of the funding has been delivered.

On this day in 2013, Tony Abbott promised $16 million to build a new visitor centre, increase production and create 320 new jobs at the Hobart chocolate factory.

Since that time he has offered nothing but excuses, blaming his departments and Cadbury whilst to take responsibility the project’s non-delivery.

The project finally collapsed in March this year with the Government axing the funding in the 2015-16 Budget.

One hundred and fifty days ago Trade Minister Andrew Robb said replacement projects for Tasmania would be announced in ‘weeks, not months’.

Three weeks ago the Prime Minister said funding was coming ‘soon’.

Today, there is still no sign of a single new project.

Tasmanians have a right to know where the funding is.

It is outrageous that Tasmania is still waiting for it, and the many jobs that would flow from it at a time when unemployment is nearing seven per cent.

Tasmanian Liberal MPs should be knocking on the Prime Minister’s door asking for the funding for be delivered.

But since being elected, the Abbott Government has done nothing but slash support for tourism, making it even harder for the sector.

They haven’t even bothered to appoint a designated Tourism Minister.

Upon being elected, Mr Abbott cancelled a job-creating, competitive regional tourism grants program funded by the former Labor Government in the 2013-14 Budget.

Millions in matching private capital for much-needed development was lost after 38 ready to go applications from Tasmanian tourism operators were dumped.

Had these grants proceeded, projects would have already been up and running, with new jobs created and money flowing into local Tasmanian communities.

This is not good enough.

Mr Abbott must deliver the investment and job creating projects Tasmania needs.