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Property Council 'Leaders' Debate

23 Oct 2017

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader 

The Property Council knows which side its bread is buttered on. 

It’s hosting a debate between the leaders of the two political parties who are in furious agreement on changes to the planning scheme written by and on behalf of developers, the handing of extraordinary powers to the Planning Minister which are a recipe for corruption, the compulsory acquisition of the pinnacle of kunanyi/Mt Wellington for a private development, and the refusal to support donations reform to prevent vested interests buying political favours.

Former Labor Minister, Brian Wightman, now heads up the Property Council, while the Liberals’ pick to help rewrite the State’s planning rules, was former Property Council Executive Director, Mary Massina, recently appointed CEO of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation.

While the Property Council refused to release their list of 77 members to the Greens, we do know the Federal Group is on the Council.  Today’s debate is being held at Wrest Point.

Little wonder the Greens weren’t invited to present a different perspective.

Instead of allowing for a debate that represented the wider Tasmanian community, the Property Council is shutting out the concerns of every Tasmanian who wants to see the special cultural, aesthetic, community and wilderness values of this island protected.

The Council doesn’t want its members to hear that the new Statewide Planning Scheme was written by and on behalf of developers, that it shuts everyday Tasmanians out of having a say.  It doesn’t want to debate the developer free-for-all in our protected areas, or the recipe for corruption that is the proposed Major Projects legislation.

The Property Council should have provided its members with an opportunity to hear from the Greens.  We represent a significant proportion of the Tasmanian electorate and on key issues in Parliament, we’re the only voice standing up for clean, green, future-focused Tasmania.

Instead, those who paid the hefty lunch fee will be subject to a lacklustre debate between two leaders who will no doubt snipe away at each other on minor political points, but on the big issues will be singing in unison.

I hope the food is good because the entertainment will be bland and genuine vision is unlikely to be on the menu.