Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Your Government's open-for-business mantra has most recently manifested itself in a 3185 hectare mega development proposal at Dolphin Sands on prime agricultural land on the east coast. The footprint of the Cambria Green development proposal is massive. It is unlike anything Tasmania has seen before.
Can you confirm that since the Beijing-backed and based developer visited you and presented you with a gift in April 2015, he and his project have been cosied along through the process by your Government and the Office of the Coordinator-General to where we are today? Can you understand the concerns of east coast residents? Thanks to the work of the Office of the Coordinator-General and Glamorgan Spring Bay Council this mega development is through the first step of the planning process. Is this mega development your vision for Tasmania's future?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Tasmania is open for business. My vision on coming into Government just over four years ago was to open our state to business, to investment, to development, and to job opportunities for Tasmanians, for growth in regional economies such as on the east coast. The Government strongly supports good financial management and strong economic progress. Tasmanians need progress in this state. Our state needs progress and development if are going to better fund things such as our health system, education system and housing system. We are able to do that because our economy is now strong and our budget is back in balance.
With the gift register, I would need to check the disclosures which we make as members of government in accordance with the rules to declare any gifts. It is not uncommon when visiting parties come to our state, including those who have an interest in our state, for them to offer a gift to government. I would need to check the register as to the specifics of that.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Standing order 45 goes to relevance. I have asked the Premier, is this development your vision for the future of Tasmania?
Madam SPEAKER - Thank you. I ask the Premier to proceed on that one.
Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am trying to go through each of the points you raised, the gift register being one of those. She is trying to draw some spurious connection that I refute categorically because it cannot be substantiated.
I am aware the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council has spoken in favour of rezoning part of the property at Dolphin Sands. It is a matter currently being exhibited by the council and will be put before the Tasmanian Planning Commission for their assessment and planning. The Government, the Minister for Planning, has had no direct involvement in the matter.
Some do not support ecotourism and developments of this nature. The Greens pick and choose as they see fit and also implicitly suggest anyone of a particular foreign persuasion or origin should not be able to invest in our state. This is a recurring theme we are hearing from the Greens, or at least the more protectionist element of the Greens. Senator McKim was more economically liberal, especially with respect to the sharing of accommodation.
The proponent has said the majority of the property will remain as agricultural land. The assessment of the proposal is following the standard rezoning processes under LUPA, the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act. The independent Tasmanian Planning Commission is the responsible body to assess and decide on rezoning applications. We have trust in this independent process. This is typical of the Greens. One day they want to support due process and independence of the TPC -
Ms O'Connor - Due process? In China they think it is a done deal.
Mr HODGMAN - but when there is something they do not like they try to undermine it and the people involved in making that independent investment.
Ms O'Connor - It is a done deal they reckon. They have had a signing ceremony.
Dr Woodruff - They signed the document three days beforehand in China.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. I am trying to show as much tolerance as I can, but we do need to show respect and the Premier is speaking. I will ask you to wind it up.
Mr HODGMAN - I will, thank you, Madam Speaker. We have faith in the independent planning process. It is essentially the same process that existed under the Labor-Greens coalition. We entrust the personnel in those planning approval bodies, including the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council in this case, to discharge their functions responsibly and independently.
With respect to our vision and my vision for the state, it is a Tasmania that is open for business, one that has a strong economy, one that is providing more job opportunities for Tasmanians wherever they live, not the exclusive, elitist nonsense we hear from the Greens.