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Hospitality and Events – Budget Allocation

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Tags: State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - The funding for the Events and Hospitality output in the State Growth part of the Budget declines to $6.5 million in 2025 26. This is, in real terms, the lowest forward Estimates allocation this output has ever received since its establishment.

I know you're a new minister. I know you didn't have much time to influence the Budget. But it doesn't look great. This is not a Dorothy Dixer, but what are you bringing to the table as a new minister? What are your priorities in this portfolio? And why doesn't the Budget reflect those priorities of yours?

Mr STREET - The information I've been given about the drop-off in funding is simply to do with the timing of contracts that are in place at the minute.

The example I've got is, given the timing of Dark Mofo, the planning and progress payments for the 2022 festival are made in the 2021-22 financial year and the closure payment for the 2022 festival is made in 2022-23. So, there are discrepancies across the forward Estimates in terms of events.

What we know is that when contracts expire for specific events, that before they expire, there will be an analysis done of the return on investment that those events have provided. We will secure the ongoing funding for those events that have been in the schedule that have proven to be a satisfactory return on the Government's investment for re-investment into the future.

Ms O'CONNOR - Do you want to take the opportunity to talk about your vision in this portfolio which is not reflected in the Budget?

Mr STREET - My vision for this portfolio is for an events schedule in Tasmania that reflects everything we have to offer to the outside world. I shouldn't say the 'outside world' -

Ms O'CONNOR - But it is outside.

Mr STREET - It is outside. In terms of events attracting people to Tasmania so that they can see what we've got to offer. If that's Dark Mofo, that's great. If it's a sporting event, that's great as well.

My commitment as the minister is that I will fight for every dollar of funding necessary to bring events to Tasmania that raise the profile of Tasmania and lead to more people coming here and seeing what we've got to offer.

I don't think that there's any coincidence that the more money we've invested in events like Dark Mofo, the more people have come here and then they choose to either come back here for repeat holidays or come back here and live. The events bring them here the first time, it breaks down preconceived ideas of what Tasmania might be for some people, particularly on the mainland. Once they get here and they see what we've got to offer, they either come back again, as I said, or they choose to come back here permanently.