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Public Reaction to Planning Proposals

Parliamentary Activity - Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to celebrate the power of the community of people in Tasmania who have risen up from the east coast but much more broadly than there to declare their love for the place they live in and their determination to resist this massive development being proposed for the east coast which we know from what the developers have announced will completely change not only the experience of living on the east coast for all the people who live there and those who go there on holidays, but the wildness, the beauty, the unbelievably clear water and beaches and a lifestyle which Tasmanians are incredibly happy and fortunate to have. It is a lifestyle that people are saying they want to keep because they recognise it is special and it is ours and they want the future for their place to be on their terms with their formal involvement in the conversation about what that would look like.

I also attended today's meeting at the Hobart Town Hall and I have never been in that hall when it was so packed. People were flowing out the doors, down the stairs and were jammed into the back section standing all around the edges. It was a tribute to the determination of people to come together and work as one on this issue.

I also want to pay tribute to a couple of other communities in Tasmania who have celebrated such important wins over the last couple of months. Last night the Clarence City Council knocked back Cricket Tasmania's proposed changes to Blundstone Arena's operational hours. This was something the community had absolutely no idea was coming. It was presented as just some minor amendments. When it was advertised residents were not given information about the fact it was a change to the operational hours of Blundstone Arena, just that it was a development application in respect to a particular street number but not the fact that it was affecting the oval.

There were traffic changes which would have been drastic for those streets that are already clogged during any event that is held at the oval, an increase in operating hours and length of operations of events, changing it to concerts - just a whole raft of changes which have been a steady erosion of what was once a publicly owned and publicly managed piece of land that has since seen the historic trees on the edge of the beach steadily taken away and all of the parking in the local area and the lifestyle and amenity of people who cannot live during a game without having bright lights and ads blaring into their lounge rooms. People rose up. They had a public meeting and made their concerns known to Cricket Tasmania and our local councillors and they were successful. It was unanimously knocked back.

Those people did not really want to have to do that, but they all recognised the value of fighting for the place they have and speaking up for other people in their neighbourhood who do not have the ability to do that, such as older people and people who do not have the time - so good on them.

Likewise, especially good on the people of Dover, good on the people of the far south of Tasmania who, likewise, had no idea they were being hit with such a massive development application until it was announced that James Neville Smith would be looking at setting up a woodchip export facility in their beautiful bay of Port Esperance, proposing to truck every five minutes by B-doubles along roads 800 000 tonnes a year of woodchips to export the highest volume, lowest-quality forestry product you could imagine into their beautiful bay, putting at risk the biosecurity of the area for other businesses but especially putting at risk the future they are carving out for themselves.

Again, it was people with no experience, who had never been to a rally or done any form of organising, but were united by the love for their place and a fierce and passionate determination that they were not going to let this happen. It ought to be the residents of an area who get to have a say first about what happens to their future. Yes, other people get to be part of that conversation, but first and foremost it should be the residents who get to have a proper say before the development application is stitched up for years in the making by this Liberal Government, either in a secretive expressions of interest process, such as the Rosny Hill development and the Kangaroo Bay development, neither of which have had a public consultation with the Bellerive and Rosny communities about what happens on crown land - their land, their place.

The Greens stand with every community in Tasmania who demands a say about what happens in their place and formal appeal rights to be able to challenge decisions that are unfair. The people of Norfolk Bay, the southern beaches and the Tasman Peninsula demand to be able to have a say about their livelihoods. It is not just about Huon Aquaculture shoring up their profits, production volume and flow of their business in Storm Bay. What about Mr Flathead? What about his business? What about him? He goes out every day taking people on recreational fishing tours. That is his business. Why does he not get asked what happens in his bay, to the area he takes people to fish and to look at the eagles, the dolphins and migratory whales? What about the people who have been trying to protect the red handfish? What about all those researchers who have been working hard to protect those newly found colonies of red handfish? Do they get a say?

Why does the company get to do its own impact assessment? Why is there not some independence to our system? Why let the big end of town just go for broke? Why is 'open for business' good for Tasmania? It is a mantra that people across Tasmania are realising is not good for us for the future. People are rising up around the state. The expression of people power today from the east coast and everyone else supporting the east coast bid to rid it of that noxious development are just one example of what is happening all around this state to protect forests, agricultural land, beautiful marine life and the places people love to live, just because that is what they have always done.

The Greens will be working and continuing to support those communities in their community activism to have their voices heard.