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Real Community Engagement Needed for Regatta Point

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Tags: AFL, Stadium

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Liberals’ secretive plans for prime public land at Regatta Point is yet another example of their contempt for Tasmanians. It also shows their apathy towards key cultural institutions.

With Prime Minister Anthony Albanese poised to announce federal funding for the Macquarie Point stadium, it‘s now clear that other key developments planned for the site will be pushed elsewhere.

It seems one of those locations is Regatta Point, a place which is publicly owned, connected to the Cenotaph, and has been the home of the Hobart Regatta for nearly 200 years. This decision has apparently been made without consulting RSL Tasmania, the Regatta Association, or the Hobart community.

The Liberals know how unpopular their $1 billion stadium is with everyday Tasmanians. They know spending huge sums of taxpayer funds on an un-needed and unwanted project would be hard for most people to swallow at the best of times, let alone during the state’s worst ever housing crisis.

This new half-baked proposal is a pathetic fig leaf to feign concern for the tens of thousands of Tasmanians who are struggling to find or afford a place to call home.

Given the way the Rockliff Government has approached the stadium issue, Hobartians are right to be cynical about the Liberals’ new plans – especially given the secretive, ad hoc approach we’ve seen so far.

Rather than trying to design and implement good social policy that tackles the housing crisis, Jeremy Rockliff’s government is instead trying to mop up a political mess of their own creation while looking after their donor and developer mates.

What they don’t seem to understand is that treating Tasmanians – not to mention important cultural organisations – with disdain will only lead to more problems.  

The Liberals need to start showing some respect to the community, be open about their plans, and make sure there is a genuine community consultation process for the Regatta Point site.