Lambie laments Budget, applauds Agfest

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In the wake of the Federal Budget, Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie is at Agfest this weekend connecting with her constituents.

Senator Lambie praised Agfest and the rural community in Tasmania, but she remains sceptical of what the Budget holds for rural communities.

‘I think it’s going to be tough. I know they’ve taken money out of mental health. That’s going to be tough because those rural farmers out there are already feeling it,’ she said.

‘I don’t see much given to the farmers out there whatsoever.’

Senator Lambie said that while the government has said the budget will help agriculture, there is no benefit for Tasmanian farmers.

She also acknowledged that the agricultural sector has been hit hard by the recent dry spell.

‘I know we’re doing it tough here because we’ve had the drought which has been really difficult,' she said. 'We’ve had a pretty tough year.’

Lambie and her party, the Jacqui Lambie Network, are lobbying for better access to education as a way of benefiting rural Tasmania.

Their plan focuses on creating a more functional approach to the vocational education and apprenticeships undertaken through TAFE.

‘If you want to be a hairdresser or you want to get into agriculture, whether or not you’ve got a job you should be able to go and do your apprenticeship through TAFE,’ she said.

Senator Lambie said farmers could then employ young people straight from TAFE institutions.

‘We have some really smart young Tasmanians out there and we’re just not using them effectively enough,’ she said.

With the Budget over, the path is clear for the Prime Minister to request a double dissolution election.

In March, Malcolm Turnbull declared his intention to call a double dissolution if the Government’s controversial plan to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission was not passed by the Senate.

Senator Lambie condemns the Prime Minister’s tactics.

 

‘Absolutely it was irresponsible, because they still haven’t got the cross-benchers. There’s four or five of us who are up there that are not up there for self-interest. If that means we lose our seats because we stood up for workers’ rights, then so be it.’

She maintains that the cross-benchers will stay strong in the face of threat from the government.

‘He thought he was going to put us in a corner and we would crumble. We won’t crumble.’

Malcolm Turnbull is expected to visit the Governor-General this weekend to officially call a double dissolution election for Saturday 2 July.

Some have suggested he might visit Government House on Sunday, however Senator Lambie is unimpressed by that prospect.

'I wouldn’t think it’d be Sunday because it’s Mothers Day. I’d find that quite disrespectful, myself.'

Patrons can visit Jacqui Lambie at stall 214 on Second Avenue.

 

Photos: Annie Greene

Senator Jacqui Lambie at Agfest