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Greens Response to Labor Comments

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 15 November 2023

Tags: Political Leadership, Stadium, Pokies

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Speaker, I rise tonight to reflect on some of Labor's comments in the House and through their media releases today. Mr Winter had a lot to say about the Greens, and how clutching and confused he sounded. The Opposition Leader did not like Mr Bayley referring to Labor's track record in this place. Labor voted with the Liberals against the Greens' long-overdue reforms on renters' rights and free public transport recently. They are still claiming to care about the cost of living.

They backed the Liberals on political donations reform. They claim to have integrity, even though their Leader in the Legislative Council gave this explanation for their position: 'We have not said we will not support any amendments. We have said we will support amendments that the Government supports.' It is clear exactly who they are standing with. Labor is also now in lockstep with the Liberals on mandatory minimum sentences against the pleas of victims/survivors and those in the family violence prevention sector, such as former Australian of the Year Grace Tame and the Women's Legal Service and Laurrel House.

Ms Haddad, the shadow attorney-general, seemed proud of it. She delivered a whole speech on how bad the Government's bill was, and then in the last two minutes she said Labor would be supporting them. Ms Haddad said this decision was made to protect victims/survivors. The real-world consequence of voting this bill through will be terrible impacts on victims/survivors, who will be retraumatised in the courts. That is what the experts and advocates have confirmed today.

When we talk about folding on a principled stance, it is hard to look past Labor's position on the pokies. A whole election campaign they ran on doing the right thing, only to go silent and backflip at the end. Then they signed a secret MOU with the pokies lobby. Why would the Opposition Leader not want us to remind the House about that today?

There is last fortnight's betrayal: the stadium. We should not forget that Labor promised Tasmanians that they would stop the stadium. They have handed out stickers to stop the stadium. They have asked question after question about the Liberals' stadium folly. They have knocked on doors and collected signatures to stop the stadium. What did they do? They stood next to the Liberals who they have been berating for months and they supported the stadium through the parliament.

They had the chance presented to them to do exactly what they told Tasmanians they said they would do, which is to stop the stadium, and they backed it. Labor's own petition to stop the stadium says:

The petition of the undersigned citizens of Tasmania draws to the attention of the House, we don't support a new $750 million stadium in Hobart. Overwhelming concern from the community that the Government has its priorities wrong. We already have two perfectly good AFL stadiums, and a new stadium was never included in the AFL taskforce business case for a Tassie team. People are living in tents, cars and couch surfing, waiting years to find a home. People cannot get the health care they need while more people are struggling to make ends meet, and our health, education and essential public sector workers need an overdue pay rise. Your petitioners request the House to call upon the Government to immediately stop its plans to build a stadium on Macquarie Point and commit to priorities that will make the lives of all Tasmanians better.

What would have done that? Not supporting it in parliament, not voting it through in the lower House, not voting it through again in the Legislative Council, not voting it through in the first opportunity. That is pretty immediate. I had a look at the Labor Party's 'stop the stadium petition site' and it is still up and running. Here it is, in case people do not believe me. There it is, still going, harvesting votes, saying that they are going to stop the stadium immediately. I wonder how long it will be up for. They have no shame. I pointed this out before. They do not seem to mind this. I wonder if the Opposition Leader will write to all those people who signed their petition and explain that they have done the exact opposite. Somehow, I do not think so.

Just like they peeled the 'Pokies to 2043? Not for me.' stickers off the back of their Labor cars, the 'no stadium' bumper stickers are already disappearing. This in addition to the Labor Party's unity ticket with the Liberals on the draconian, anti protest laws that they waved through parliament, and environmental destruction. They have been cheerleading destructive industries relentlessly, while threatened species are pushed to extinction: the Maugean skate, swift parrot, masked owl, Tasmanian devil and wedge tailed eagle, just to name a few.

We are not surprised that Mr Winter, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Labor colleagues are feeling sensitive today. They have been exploding all day with faux outrage and sanctimony. As my friend and former colleague in this place said to me today, 'They are deflecting and projecting because their sellout status is complete'. That is the Labor so-called opposition in Tasmania. To us, they look eerily similar to the Liberal Government.