Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for ENVIRONMENT and PARKS, Mr JAENSCH
A large and growing constituency of Tasmanians from every possible walk of life are opposed to the privatisation of Halls Island in Lake Malbena, an EOI proposal for which you carry responsibility. These Tasmanians are furious that under the terms of the Halls Island proposal lease and licence, they can be arrested for trespass inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. Your Government has effectively given that island to Daniel Hackett for $80 a week.
The reserve activity assessment for Halls Island which was leaked to the Greens last year, states the proponent will invest a projected $500 000 in the project. We now have an internal Parks briefing note indicating the proposal is a $6.97 million investment on a tiny island inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. This rings alarm bells for the Greens.
What is going on? What are Daniel Hackett and his mystery backers actually planning for Halls Island? Will you be transparent about it and will you tell the truth?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. We make no apology for inviting people with good ideas for sensitive and appropriate innovative tourism experiences and businesses that can help to protect and present the natural values of our wild places to the world.
Once upon a time the Greens would come in here and tell us that eco-tourism was our future, that Tasmania could do that better than anywhere else in the world, and that eco-tourism and presenting our natural values was one of our major natural advantages in the world -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, standing order 45 relevance. The minister's introduction to his answer has no relation to the question. He needs to explain why the Halls Island proposal is now apparently a $7 million proposal, rather a $500 000 proposal. This is the question that your constituents are asking, Mr Jaensch.
Madam SPEAKER - I am sorry, Ms O'Connor, that is not a point of order.
Mr JAENSCH - Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Greens used to think that our state had the opportunity to be a world leader in nature-based tourism, eco-tourism, showcasing our wild areas, and building an economy from it maybe, in their view, displacing other industries which they had thought were less in line with our brand. They have obviously given up on that one. We have not. We are very happy to be hearing from people who have good ideas who are prepared to invest in Tasmania -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I do not think that this should be tolerated by the House. Standing order 45, relevance. This relates to a massively inflated projected spend in an island that the Liberals have privatised in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and we ask the minister to draw his mind to the question.
Madam SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. Please proceed, minister.
Mr JAENSCH - Madam Speaker, I do not know what documents Ms O'Connor is referred to but what is interesting to me is, as the Minister for Environment and Parks, my interest and my involvement with this process comes down to the Reserve Activity Assessment and the lease and licensing program that ensures that any activity that proceeds on that site or in our parks and reserves is able to meet the requirements of the management plans that are safe to do so there. We set appropriate guidelines and requirements for them to meet.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. We have two questions in this place. We have been asked by constituents of Mr Jaensch to drill down into this project. He needs to explain why it is now an apparently $7 million spend on a tiny island.
Madam SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, you know my reservations with Standing Order 45. There is nothing I can do about it. I have allowed your words to be put on Hansard, but, minister I can only ask that you be relevant.
Mr JAENSCH - Madam Speaker, I am the Minister for Environment and Parks. My involvement with this process has to do with the conditions under which someone may be given permission to run a business activity in our World Heritage Area. I make no apologies if some of our requirements will make some aspects of this development more expensive than they were before. I am interested in our parks and reserves and appropriate development in them. I am all about the conditions and the protection of those reserve areas, but obviously for Ms O'Connor, it is all about the money.