Taxpayers slugged $440,000 a month for empty detention centre

It’s been revealed during Senate Estimates that Labor spent more than $440,000 a month to maintain an empty detention centre in Tasmania after it was closed and Labor promised not to re-open it.

“The revelations that it’s cost taxpayers more than $4 million dollars to maintain the empty Pontville Detention Centre in Tasmania is yet another gross example of Labor wasting taxpayers’ money,” Senator Abetz said today.

Continue Reading

Forced Redundancies at the ABS in Hobart

“Documents provided to the opposition (attached) show Labor’s financial waste has now led to the need to cut a 6 further jobs from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Hobart,” Senator Abetz said today.

“The sad fact is that Labor’s legacy of waste is now catching up with the community.”

Continue Reading

Rail, Tram and Bus Union strike smashing the economy

After months of increasing tensions, the commencement of strike action today by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union at Pacific National Coal is set to wreak havoc for the NSW and national economies with a $50 million hit and $8 million loss of royalties to the cash-strapped NSW Government.

During the shutdown, PN Coal will be unable to load, haul and unload its coal trains in the NSW region, preventing more than 600,000 tonnes of coal from reaching the port.

Continue Reading

Labor won’t even acknowledge Tasmania’s jobs crisis

“If you needed any further proof that Labor is refusing to address the chronic unemployment situation in Tasmania then it’s worth noting that despite Tasmania having the highest level of unemployment in the country, Federal Labor’s Employment spokesman, Minister Shorten failed to even mention Tasmania in his media conference following the release of the latest unemployment figures today,” Senator Abetz said today.

“Tasmania’s unemployment rate is at 7.8%, the second highest level in the last twelve months and almost a whole percentage point higher than this time last year as well as a significant increase on last month.”

Continue Reading

ACTU has no confidence in Fair Work Commission

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver’s address to the Press Club today is a vote of no confidence in the Fair Work Commission.

“Mr Oliver’s suggestion of inserting penalty rates and leave entitlements into legislation while there is an ongoing review of the Modern Awards taking place shows he has no confidence in the Commission taking a balanced approach on these issues,” Senator Abetz said today.

Continue Reading

Greens side with Whitehaven hoaxer

Today in the Senate the Australian Greens opposed a motion - passed by the Coalition and Labor - which criticised the Whitehaven hoax perpetrated by Jonathan Moylan.

“Senator Milne invoked a “long and proud history of non-violent, direct action”, and argued that, although the Greens disapproved of law breaking, the Greens were opposing the motion because Whitehaven Coal was also doing so,” Senator Abetz said.

Continue Reading

Shorten’s Silence on Crossin’s Unfair Dismissal Deafening

“Minister Shorten’s silence on the unfair dismissal of Labor Senator Trish Crossin by the Prime Minister shows Labor’s hypocrisy at its ugly worst,” Senator Abetz said today.

“Whilst demanding employers follow due process before dismissing workers on the one hand, the Prime Minister then turns around and does the exact opposite, publicly humiliating Labor Senator Crossin in the process.”

Continue Reading

Reports Concerning The Global Mail

Reports today that The Global Mail has treated its workers poorly and fostered a “culture of bullying, nepotism and incompetence” are deeply concerning.

The Coalition trusts that the Fair Work Ombudsman will investigate any allegations that are made to it, and that the Fair Work Commission will duly consider any cases brought before it in relation to conduct at The Global Mail.

Continue Reading

Address to the Brisbane Club Workplace Relations Special Interest Group, Brisbane

It’s always good to come from the state closest to Antarctica to the state closest to the Equator. Our State Governments are poles are apart as well. In Tasmania we have a tired old Government, compromised by the Greens, who are more focused on advancing a destructive social agenda - no doubt to bring it into line with their economic agenda.

In contrast, in Queensland, you have a strong and effective Government prepared to make the tough decisions to repair the damage of gross Labor mismanagement and protect future generations from the wicked burden of debt.

Continue Reading

Address to the National Safety Council of Australia, Sydney

It’s good to be in a room of OH&S practitioners because I am assuming that in setting up the event you would have completed a full safety assessment.  That’s good for me. Given neck braces weren’t handed out, I assume my task is to keep you awake and alert.

Occupational health and safety is important. It is the difference between a child seeing their mum or dad that evening; literally the difference between life and death or disability.

Continue Reading

Transcript - Senate Chamber - 14 March 2012

Just when you think this shambolic government cannot get any worse - oh yes, they can. Just when you think they cannot bend over to the Greens anymore - oh yes, they can. Just when you think the government surely cannot have another liability issue on their hands after pink batts, the live cattle exports, after the Australian network tender debacle - oh yes, they can. This is the one area where this government excels.

Continue Reading

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

Read more


136 Davey Street
Hobart  TAS  7001
(primary office)

(03) 6224 3707

48 Cecilia Street
St Helens  TAS  7215
(satellite office)

(03) 6376 1972