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Government Spending Priorities


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 3 March 2022

Tags: Housing Crisis, Housing, Treasury

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN

This week you announced a $750 million stadium to be built within five years and $1.5 billion to be built in 10 years. Why do you consider a stadium a more urgent need than housing? Why are you spending the same amount each year on a fancy stadium with a retractable roof as you are on homes during a housing crisis? Why is it going to take twice as long to build homes for Tasmanians who desperately need them than it is a massive stadium that if it is ever built will be empty for most of the year?

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens for that question. Your question does not surprise me. You have taken a view on super cars. You have taken a view on football in the past. This is one time that I hoped that you could have been aspirational, that you could have acknowledged that on one hand early this week the Government announced the most significant -

Mr SPEAKER - Premier, if you could through the Chair. I am trying to make it so Ms O'Connor is not incited into making some interjections.

Mr GUTWEIN - That has ruined my strategy then, Mr Speaker. It was a light-hearted comment.

Through you, Mr Speaker, I hoped that the member could have acknowledged that we made the most significant announcement on social and affordable housing that has ever been made in this state; that we laid down a longer term plan to address both the need to build more social and affordable housing and, at the same time, how we were going to provide people with the opportunity to get their first step into the property market with the Housing Market Entry program. The Government will take significant equity to provide young Tasmanians the opportunity to get off the rental roundabout and into a home of their own. That equity will need to be returned to the state Government as it currently is with the HomeShare program. It is a fantastic opportunity to break the cycle. In a state of this size, scale can be against us. In this instance we had the opportunity that some of the larger jurisdictions do not have.

Regarding the stadium announcement, the facts that the member walks past are that:

(1) the construction of that stadium will provide significant job opportunities;

(2) the construction of that stadium will provide significant economic opportunities; and

(3) it will provide for young Tasmanians, boys and girls, men and women, the opportunity to be aspirational. As the stadium is subject to gaining an AFL licence, it will provide the opportunity for young Tasmanians, regardless of who they are or where they live to have the same opportunities that other kids in other states have.

I would have thought that was something the member for Clark and the Leader of the Greens could have supported.

This is about putting a flag on top of the hill, as Clarko said. What will happen is that we will broaden and strengthen the base socially, economically and in sport, community sport as well. This provides us with an opportunity to provide for our people the same opportunities that others have in other states while, as I announced on Monday, delivering the most significant program of social and affordable housing builds this state has ever seen, providing the greatest opportunity for young Tasmanians to get off the rental roundabout and get into a property of their own.

At the same time - the member walked past it - we announced a 10-year vision for health. More than $1 billion will be spent on health facilities around the state to ensure that Tasmanians can get the care that they need when they need it in fit for purpose facilities across the state.