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Crown Land - Details of Negotiations with Private Developers

4 April 2017

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

[10.39 a.m.]
Can you understand why a growing number of Tasmanians are suspicious and worried about the cavalier way your Government is trading in public assets at the behest of private developers? Communities from Swansea to Stanley, Table Cape, Boat Harbour and Wynyard are faced with losing their treasured coastal crown land places to private developers who are having the red carpet rolled out by your Office of the Co-ordinator General.

Do you agree that all crown land in Tasmania belongs to the people of Tasmania? Given that all of this trading in crown land assets has to date been undertaken in secret, will you now be upfront with the owners of these assets, the people of Tasmania, and commit to provide the House with details on all areas of public crown land that are currently the subject of negotiations with private developers for sale or long-term lease where the effect is exactly the same as a sale and the true owners are the poorer for it?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question and pose the rhetorical question back at her: did you believe in those things when you were in government? It is exactly the same thing that happened when you were in government?

Ms O'Connor - This has been a fire sale through the Office of the Coordinator-General.

Mr HODGMAN - No, you did not colour it with the language you have just used to make a political point, and which does not hide the hypocrisy of what you have just said. I refer the member, and anyone who is listening, to what are dishonest assertions and claims made by the member for Denison, to the fact that this practice was very common under the Labor-Greens government.

Under a former government, from 2010 to 2013, of which the member for Denison was a member - and a minister - the previous government sold 350 properties. These sales ranged from significant properties through to shack sites, building blocks, parcels of crown land - sold for consolidation with an existing title. Transfers of crown land were also more common under the previous government.

In 2011, 86 properties were transferred. You might contrast that with what happened last year under our majority Liberal Government when eight were transferred. This is classic hypocrisy, scaremongering and dishonestly frightening communities. The member for Denison would not have told them, 'What we are complaining about now, we did in government'. I bet the Leader of the Greens has not been able to say that. I have a long list of wonderful Tasmanian places that the member for Denison might look through at some stage.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I would like the Premier to table that list so we can make a comparison, because there is dishonesty here.

Madam SPEAKER - No, it is not a point of order. The Premier will resume answering the question.

Mr HODGMAN - We will provide to the Leader of the Greens the list of the 350 properties that were sold by the government of which the Leader of the Greens was a member.

The hypocrisy is blatant. It is a practice which we embrace with transparency and accountability. All planning processes and procedures are still adhered to - the same sorts of processes under the former government.

Yes, it is true, my Government is keener to invest and support Tasmanian business and to continue growth in our economy and development around the state under very strict controls and regulations. Yes, we are better facilitators of business and investment. Yes, we are better creators of a strong economy. Yes, we are able to rein in a budget and bring it back into balance. These are things that support local communities and support jobs.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I asked the Premier to table the details of what areas of crown land are currently the subject of negotiations with private developers.

Madam SPEAKER - No, that is not a point of order. I have already ruled on that. It is not the appropriate way to deal with that matter. The Premier will resume and wind up.

Mr HODGMAN - I am happy to have available for the Leader of the Greens the full list of properties that were transferred or sold by the Labor-Greens government.

Despite the fact the Leader of the Greens will run around scaring communities and making false, dishonest claims - and she did it on the radio the other day, about what the Government is doing and she has done again in a question now - all planning processes and procedures are adhered to. There is ample time, in our view, for community consultation through the relevant planning processes. We are a government that wants to support and facilitate, including through the Office of the Coordinator-General, growth in our economy because it supports jobs and regional communities. It supports a budget that is now back in balance, which we can invest into health and education and essential services.

This is the difference between our strong, stable, accountable, majority Liberal Government and a Labor-Greens opposition that is exactly the same as they were in government: that is anti-development, and negative to supporting key areas of growth in our economy. That is a former government that was prepared to make it too hard to get things done in this state. Things we are now doing; delivering a plan, delivering and building a stronger Tasmania.