Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for PARKS, Mr HODGMAN
Over the summer, seven cruise ships will park inside the Freycinet National Park at Wineglass Bay, despite the repeated concerns raised by the tourism industry and environmental groups. They are asking why are large intrusive cruise ships still being allowed into the sheltered pristine waters of Wineglass Bay.
Can you confirm that the report your Government commissioned into the future of cruise ships in Tasmanian ports was completed shortly after the state election? Why have you sat on this work for five months and done nothing to implement its recommendations and get cruise ships out of Wineglass Bay?
I thank the member for the question. Yes, work is underway and has been for some time with respect to this matter to ensure that we not only develop a sound strategy and take on board the concerns of communities and key stakeholders but also develop an appropriate response in relation to this matter to ensure that we do achieve the right balance and allow appropriate access to our state where we are able.
Ms O'Connor - You never say no to anyone, do you?
Madam SPEAKER - Order, Ms O'Connor.
Mr HODGMAN - We provide the ability for people to witness, enjoy and experience our natural areas but preserve what is special about our state and ensure that those wilderness areas are properly maintained and preserved. That is what we are seeking to do. Yes, there is much interest in cruise ship visits to our state. They have increased significantly in recent years because our appeal continues to grow. Travellers come to our state, increasingly in various ways. Many of them do come on cruise ships. They bring thousands to our state and regions. They inject a lot into our economy.
In response to this, the Access 20/20 [TBC] working group is in the final stages of completing the Tasmanian cruise market profile and regional cruise ports review. The Tasmanian cruise market profile will provide us with a better idea of the market size, economic contribution of cruising and will outline the most attractive target segments,
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Can we ask the Premier to clarify whether the report is complete, or if work is still ongoing? Our information is that you have sat on it for five months?
Mr BARNETT - Madam Speaker, on the point of order; clearly it is another question. It will have to be treated as another question. She cannot ask
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Clerk informs me it is not a point of order and the Premier is allowed to answer the question as he sees fit.
Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was halfway through a sentence in response to the question. I have advised the member about progress. She asked whether -
Ms O'Connor - I am trying to help you to not mislead the House.
Madam SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, if there is another comment I am afraid you will have to leave the Chamber.
Mr HODGMAN - progress is being made and it is. I have referred to the cruise market profile and the work being done. The review is due to be presented to the Premier's Visitor Advisory Council, which will meet very shortly and will consider the options and issue of cruise ship visitation, including into Wineglass Bay. We recognise there are considerable community and industry views on this matter that are being taken into consideration for the review.
This year at Wineglass Bay there will be two visits and they are for 45 minutes. Considering more broadly the context of cruise visitation to our state, which has been significant and brings with it many benefits, we are conscious of the issues the member has raised and of those in the community who have communicated with us; the Access 2020 group, key stakeholders, the tourism and cruise ship industries and local communities that receive these visits. Work is progressing, as the member asked. It will be concluded shortly and I look forward to reporting publicly when it occurs.