The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to the long-term future of the Mersey Community Hospital, and that is why we are removing the risk of any future Government from taking this money away from the people of the North West Coast.
The Hodgman Government will be putting legislative barriers in place to prevent any future Government from raiding this fund for purposes it was not intended for.
We have already heard that Labor wouldn’t think twice about raiding the fund for other purposes. Tasmanians have not forgotten that under Labor, Mersey funding was dishonestly taken from the hospital and spent in the South.
If they got the chance, they would do so again.
When in government they raided $1.5 billion from the superannuation account, and they have indicated they will vote this week in the Upper House against our legislation to lock the TT-Line Ship Replacement Fund.
The deal announced by the Premier and myself this week has secured a new, $730 million 10-year deal for the Mersey Community Hospital.
This provides much needed certainty for the staff at the Mersey and the North West community.
All money received through the deal will be invested with TasCorp, the finance authority responsible for coordinating and implementing Tasmania’s borrowing and investment programmes.
Every year, TasCorp will make an annual payment to the Budget to cover the operating costs of the hospital.
Treasury has advised that the funding will cover the operating costs of the hospital for between 10 to 12.5 years. This is based on modelling of a conservative range of investments returns, between 4.0 to 6.6 per cent.
The legislation is likely to be introduced to Parliament during the budget session.