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Adjournment - Bruny Island Ferry Reference Group

30 August 2018
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to make some comments about references made in the adjournment debate yesterday by the member for Franklin, David O'Byrne, and by the Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Jeremy Rockliff.

Both members made reference to some comments I made in the adjournment debate on Tuesday night about the process of constituting the Bruny Island Ferry Reference Group. In that speech I made reference to Mr Trevor Adams, who has been made the chair of the very reference group after the original person who had been nominated for that role by the secretary of the Department of State Growth declined that role. I also made reference to allegations that the person had been pressured to decline the offer.

In no way did I intend to link the appointment of Mr Adams as chair to those allegations about pressuring of the previous person declining to take up the offer. That was entirely unintentional.

Mr Adams is indeed a much respected person on Bruny. He is known to many people there. I understand he is a lifelong resident and a key member in the RSL community and has done many other important community works. I also understand he is doing a good job in his role as the Chair.

I wanted to correct that unfortunate connection between two sentences. They were in no way related in my mind and I did not intend to make any inference of impropriety at all with Mr Adams.

Some of the other comments made by the Deputy Premier and the member for Franklin reveal a certain hysteria that seems to surround the Sealink Community Consultation process, which do point to some deeply flawed processes that are underway at the moment. The hysteria, unfortunately from the member for Franklin, is at the suggestion that everything is not being undertaken in a tickety-boo fashion. I am incredibly disappointed that he accused me, saying that I should get out and talk to more people. I have had much correspondence from people on this issue. I do not know who Mr O'Byrne speaks to, but perhaps he needs to get out more and understand that it is not about filtering the community, as he alleged I was doing, but about opening the net to the major concerns that residents expressed at the public meeting about the need to have the transport access to and from their island maintained in a way that they can function with their everyday life in a reasonable way. That community demanded and agreed to a motion from the community that SeaLink must undertake an extensive consultation with the broader community of Bruny Island in determining the suitable access for residents to the ferry.

The terms of reference for the Bruny Island Ferry Reference Group which were established initially by Kim Evans, the Secretary of State Growth, and provided to a number of Bruny Island groups, have changed. Initially, according to an email that Mr Evans wrote to one member of the groups proposed that there were to be representatives from Friends of North Bruny, Bruny Island Primary Industries Group, Bruny Island Environment Group and Bruny Island Tourism Association. Those people were to be representatives of their community organisation.

Subsequently the terms of reference have changed so that people are now sitting on that ferry reference group as individual members in their own right. In addition, two other people have been added to the ferry reference group who do not represent any group. They are Mr Matthew Fagins and Mr Bill Hughes. Those community members were invited to be on the ferry reference group but do not represent any organisation. There are questions about the functioning and the purpose of this ferry reference group.

I acknowledge the correspondence from the President of BICA, talking about the process that is in train at the moment. It is a difficult space for organisations and individuals on Bruny. Everybody wants to reach an agreement that will be great for tourism and business on the Island but fundamentally puts the needs of residents and shack owners right up there. The concern is that the consultation that SeaLink is undertaking leaves out shack owners, people who work off the island and people who are not in Dennes Point. That is why will continue to keep our eyes on them.