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Secret, Closed Door Deals through Office of Coordinator General

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tags: Coordinator-General, Transparency, Public Assets, East Coast

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Tasmanian people have a right to know about major development proposals that impact on their communities and the environment, yet the Liberals' secretive enabling processes for developers are shutting people out and bypassing good planning practice.

A proposed major development on the Swansea foreshore is now with the Office of the Coordinator General.  Like every one of the Expressions of Interest bids for development in protected areas, this information is deemed 'confidential'.

It's worth reminding the Liberals, every time, that we are talking about public assets here.

What the Liberals seem to constantly forget is that the key stakeholders they are responsible to are the Tasmanian people and the communities that would be affected by development deals done behind closed doors.

The nearly $3 million a year Office of the Coordinator General rolls out the red carpet to developers, identifies public assets that can be sold or traded off, clears a regulatory and legislative path for developers, and then at the 11th hour lets Tasmanians know some aspects of what the deal is.

It's a secretive, back room process that shuts the average Tasmanian out as the people of Swansea have been shut out so far on the development proposal that would fundamentally change their foreshore and valued community facilities.

If we want to attract good, sustainable, sensitive development that has community support, then far greater openness and transparency is required.

A loss of public trust due to opaque, back room processes is ultimately bad for the State's long term sustainable economic development.

We would advise any developer who wants community support for their proposal to engage with communities openly before they allow themselves to be lured into a secretive process that erodes public trust, as the Office of the Coordinator General does.