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Government looking to work cooperatively with Upper House

Michael Ferguson, Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly

This week in the Legislative Council, the Government will be looking to continuing our track record of working cooperatively with Upper House members who want to deliver good outcomes for the Tasmanian community.

Following the recent Pembroke by-election, there's no doubt that passing legislation will be much tougher with the Labor "block" of four votes just saying "no" for political reasons.

But as the Premier said last week, politics is the art of the possible, and we want to give it our best shot in order to deliver for Tasmanians.

Important legislation up for debate this week includes the bill to dismiss Glenorchy City Council and hold fresh elections; and the next step in phasing out suspended sentences.

While we won't be abandoning our core principles, we are open to discussion on contentious legislation.

With the report into the Government's plan to take control of TasWater not expected to be tabled until mid-week, it is unlikely that bill will come to a vote this week.

By taking over Taswater we want to provide better infrastructure quicker at a lower cost for customers and if the legislative council have sensible suggestions to improve the outcomes we seek we want to make it clear that the Government is also open to discussion about this bill.

With the Government prepared to work constructively, the heat will also be on Labor - will they compromise, or are they just going to keep on saying "no" for base political reasons?