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ABC - Liberal Party Call to Privatise Service

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Tags: Privatisation


Just confirming: we are in parliament, you are here at the table, and we are debating the future of the ABC. Sound familiar?

The Tasmanian Liberal delegation to the federal Liberal Council was 14 members who went to Sydney last week when the vote was passed to sell the ABC. According to your party's website, you, as the state parliamentary leader, are a member of the delegation. In parliament yesterday, you first said you were not there and your media Twitter account said that if you had been, you would have voted against the sale. An image of you at the table was published. Suddenly you were there but did not vote to support the ABC. Media reports confirm no member of the delegation voted against the sale and, indeed, the Tasmanian delegation erupted in applause.

Premier, which one is it? Were you so out to lunch that you were unaware of the debate and the vote? Or were you lying low, hoping no-one would notice you and not have to take on Senator Abetz and your other hard right colleagues as they vowed to kill off the ABC?



Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the mirror image of questions from the Labor Party, which is not surprising and entirely predictable. I have explained my involvement in the Federal Council, which I never denied being at. It was reported in the papers on the weekend that I was there, making a speech in support of our state, putting our state very much at the forefront of national considerations, very much taking the opportunity to advocate for our state, as we are so often asked to do. Then, when we do it, they still complain about that.

The Liberal Party is very democratic, much more than the Greens. At least we allow the media into our conferences. They are banned by the Greens. At least we have these conferences. Labor have delayed theirs.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. The Premier has wittingly or unwittingly misled the House. We do allow the media into our state conference every time now.

Madam SPEAKER - I am unaware of the answer to that one.

Mr HODGMAN - It may be a departure from their old practice where the media was not invited. At least you have a conference. Labor has delayed theirs, bizarrely, presumably to avoid -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, relevance. The question was clear. It has nothing to do with us or the Labor Party; it is the Premier failing to stand up for the ABC.

Madam SPEAKER - Thank you, Premier, address the question.

Mr HODGMAN - I will do so again and stand alongside the Prime Minister, no less, and senior ministers who have said that the ABC will not be sold, never should be. I totally agree with that. I will stand up for the ABC; for our GST; for our state; and I will stand up for our Budget and what it delivers for Tasmanians. As amusing as political playtime is, what this week should be about is our state Budget. When you have no alternative, the first thing you do in politics 101 Labor is go to a diversion.