Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, you met with Paladin, the proponent of the coal to hydrogen project for coal from near Fingal on 18 January 2023. You also met with the Sri Lankan Government at the same time they were there. What did you discuss with Paladin and the Sri Lankan Government? Did you provide any offer of support? Why was Sri Lanka at that meeting?
Mr BARNETT - Firstly, I don't share the confidences of private meetings directly but I am happy to advise that as a government minister, and a former minister for resources, I am supportive of any proposals or plans for developments that will grow our economy, create more jobs and deliver outcomes that are beneficial to the community and are in the public interest. When those proposals come to government they need to be listened to carefully rather than thrown out of hand, as the Greens may do.
Our Government is different. We take on board these proposals; we consider them carefully; we refer them through the appropriate planning and approvals pathway. We provide encouragement and support to proponents, wherever they come from, with respect to getting a fair economic, social and an environmental benefit for the state of Tasmania.
Dr WOODRUFF - In a climate crisis that is hardly unreasonable to fight to make sure our money is going in the right direction, is being well spent. So, you made no commitments of funding support for Paladin?
Mr BARNETT - Again, I indicate we do not go into those sorts of details in this place. We have heard from them, we appreciate their interest and we will always support what is in the best interests of the state. That is the position of the state government.