Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Yesterday at a function at David Walsh's outstanding Museum of Old and New Art you sat next to the businessman whose family refused your Government's request for permission to alter the Federal monopoly deed to allow MONA to establish its high rollers casino. How did you feel sitting next to Greg Farrell? A bit awkward, especially after, in 2008, you described the monopoly as a mates deal? Did you take the opportunity to say your Government will not be blackmailed into extending the monopoly deed, that it wants to help MONA achieve financial viability? If not, what did you talk about?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Denison for her question. It was an exceptional luncheon at that magnificent venue, MONA, showcasing the magnificence of Tasmania's visitor economy, the magnificence of MONA and everything that has been attached to the effort of David Walsh and his team to elevate our creative industries.
Ms O'Connor - You are doing nothing to help him.
Mr HODGMAN - That is not true. It was also wonderful to hear from one of the nation's leading CEOs, Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, who spoke in glowing terms about the mood of optimism in Tasmania. He described Tasmania as being abuzz with enthusiasm, optimism, great business confidence, a booming tourism industry, wonderful products we are now exporting to the rest of the world, and a great deal of enthusiasm about our future. What I did at lunch was listen to Alan Joyce talk so glowingly about Tasmania. He said the rest of the country should take a lead from Tasmania. It was wonderful to hear.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Standing order 195 goes to relevance. The Premier was asked what he talked to Mr Farrell about.
Madam SPEAKER - I am not going to allow the point of order. I counted about five questions. You opened door; the Premier is addressing the very broad issue of the luncheon which you described in great detail. The Premier may resume. If you are going ask lengthy, broad questions, the Premier can answer as he sees fit.
Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, the point is that we were there to listen to Mr Joyce. We listened enthusiastically to his ringing endorsement of our state, its economy, our tourism industry and how well people are now feeling about living in our state.
Any conversations with any interested party, including Federal Hotels, about the future of any gaming deed, are matters that will be discussed at an appropriate time and in an appropriate fashion. Any suggestions there were discussions on such matters over lunch yesterday are fanciful.
We are determined to continue to support wonderful established businesses in Tasmania that employ thousands, and they are employed under the Federal Hotels group. They are also employed at MONA. The Government is prepared to support Tasmanian business because they create jobs and help sustain our economic growth. It is not true for the member to claim that we, as a Government, do nothing to support MONA or David Walsh in his endeavours because it is well known and well established, as happened under the former government, that we are very supportive of a number of major events and festivals run through MONA. They have been very transformative of Tasmania's economy.
It was wonderful to have the opportunity to attend that lunch yesterday. It was fantastic to hear one of the nation's leaders, Alan Joyce, who has, in his own way, demonstrated great leadership by transforming Qantas, to hear him talk so glowingly about what the majority Liberal Government in Tasmania has done to deliver a brighter future for our state.