You are here

Public Process Needed on Future of Arts School

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 16 October 2015

Tags: UTAS, Arts, Public Assets, Privatisation

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Tasmanians must have a say in the future of the Hunter Street Arts School before the Liberals make any unilateral decisions about handing it over to private developers.

In its rush to transfer valuable public assets to private interests, the Liberal Government needs to avoid making backroom deals with private developers that shut out the true owners of these assets - the people of Tasmania.

Generations of arts' students have earned their degrees at the historic waterfront Arts School. They should be given an opportunity to have a say in the building's future.

Current Arts' School students should have a say, so should artists, teachers, local historians and heritage experts, tourism operators, port users, the Hobart City Council and the wider community.

The Hunter Street site is not the Liberals to flog or lease to a favoured private developer. Any decision on its future must be subject to a proper and transparent process that fully involves its owners.

There has been too much secrecy about proposed asset transfers under the Liberals since coming to government. We've seen it over the proposed sale of the Treasury Building, the transfer of up to 500 Housing Tasmania properties, the sale of Forestry Tasmania's plantations, and now the Art School.

The Liberals need to be reminded that just because they are in government, doesn't give them cart blanche to sell the farm out from under its owners, the Tasmanian people.