ANDREW NIKOLIC’S FIRST YEAR REPORT CARD READS: “FAILED BADLY”
Andrew Nikolic has not delivered for his electorate during his first year as Liberal Member for Bass.
Prior to taking office Mr Nikolic said that people wanted “federal politicians to focus on the big issues confronting our nation” and that “local jobs” were his priority.
However, it appears that his number one focus during his first year representing Bass has been promoting himself and engaging in juvenile antics.
- In March he spent a considerable period of time engaging in a battle over whether SKY TV or ABC News should be shown in the Parliament House gym.
- In June he reportedly challenged Victorian Labor MP Rob Mitchell to a fist fight in the House of Representatives Chamber and then refused to apologise.
When opportunities have arisen to stand up to his colleagues in the Liberal Party and look out for his constituents he has failed miserably.
- He appears to be comfortable with the University of Tasmania having to raise student fees, slash courses and abandon research due to Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s higher education reforms.
- He has remained silent whilst Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull pulls the plug on local businesses and households receiving world-class broadband, even though Mr Turnbull promised that all existing NBN contracts delivering Fibre-To-The-Home broadband in Tasmania would be honoured.
- He has remained inactive whilst Australian Tax Office jobs in Launceston have been terminated by the Abbott Government.
- He has sat by whilst Team Abbott cancelled the nearly $1 billion “Tools For Your Trade” program, leaving many apprentices feeling betrayed.
- He stood by in silence as Tony Abbott vowed to close National Joblink (Youth Connections provider) in Launceston by cutting $1.7milion in funding. Since 2010 this organisation has helped over 1,400 young Tasmanians statewide develop the required skills to return to school or training. It has an 80% success rate and is contributing to better educational and job opportunities for young people.
- He has failed to clarify where he stands on calls from Coalition Premiers and Treasurers to alter the GST revenue distribution formula.
- He remained mute when it became clear that the Abbott Government was allowing barely any time for the receipt of submissions to the Bass Strait Freight Equalisation inquiry.
But it gets worse, on numerous occasions Mr Nikolic has been caught red-handed taking credit for Labor policies and programs.
- During a 90 second speech in Parliament he claimed responsibility for delivering funds to enable the construction of the North East Tasmanian Cascade Forest and Blue Tier iconic mountain bike trails project even though it was the former Labor Government which injected $2.5 million towards the project.
- He trumpeted the $3 million redevelopment of the North Bank Precinct in Launceston, a project that was part of Labor’s Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan.
- Mr Nikolic also took credit for 180 new student apartments at the Newnham University of Tasmania campus. These apartments fell under Labor’s Rental Affordability Scheme, a scheme that was scrapped in the federal Budget just days after Mr Nikolic cut the ribbon at the opening.
Senator Polley believes that his performance so far has left much to be desired.
“Mr Nikolic assumed office and promised the world but after one year it is clear that he has been utterly focussed on himself, not the people of Bass.
“Sadly he hasn’t stood up to his own party on policies that are harmful to his electorate.”
Senator Polley said that this pattern of conduct demonstrates that Mr Nikolic is more concerned with his own political ambitions rather than the people he represents in Canberra.
“We know that Mr Nikolic is a strong campaigner but he needs to realise that his priorities must lie with delivering outcomes for his constituents.
“In the next year in office I certainly hope he finds his voice and stands up for the people of Bass, they deserve better.”
SUNDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: JOHN RONAN 0408 542 547
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