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Hospitality and Events – Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Tags: Tasmanian Hospitality Association, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Chair. Minister, I am interested in exploring with you the $8 million over four years that's been given to the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA), which represents Liberal Party major donors. What's the total state Government contribution towards the Tasmanian Hospitality Association in this term of the parliament, or across the forward Estimates?

Mr STREET - Thanks to Ms Conway for putting the information directly in front of me. The total THA commitments from 2018 to 2025, which is the period that we have for the grant commitments that are in place, is $14.8 million, Ms O'Connor -

Ms O'CONNOR - Wow, what an outstanding return on investment for them.

CHAIR - Ms O'Connor, please let the minister finish.

Mr STREET - in terms of support for a peak body in an industry as important as the hospitality industry. They are advocates for the industry, but they also, with that money, are running programs to support continuous improvement in the industry. The hospitality sector is an incredibly important sector in the Tasmanian economy and as such, support for the peak body is delivered to them.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you for the answer to the question, minister. I think a lot of Tasmanians would be really stunned at that number; that, since the 2018 state election, which the Tasmanian Hospitality Association participated in as a political participant, and as an enabler of donations to the Liberal Party, has since that election has received or will receive $14.8 million dollars from the Tasmanian Government. We regard this as a quid pro quo.

Exactly what is the return on that investment to the people of Tasmania, because that is a staggeringly high amount of money. I know many peak organisations, particularly in the community sector, that would look at a number like this and would be quite taken aback.

Mr STREET - There's a number of different programs that the THA runs, as I said, in terms of supporting the industry.

Ms O'CONNOR - What is the return on investment for the people of Tasmania?

Mr STREET - In terms of the return on investment, I am more than happy to pass to Ms Conway to explain the vast range of programs and supports that the THA provides to this important industry and that, quite frankly, is the return on investment that the Tasmanian community gets from our support for the THA.

Ms O'CONNOR - This is the return on THA's investment for supporting you people in 2018, actually, in our view.

Mr STREET - I completely disagree with that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Well, you were not here.

Mr STREET - Yes, I was.

Ms O'CONNOR - Were you?

Mr STREET - Yes, I was.

Ms O'CONNOR - When did you get elected?

Mr STREET - 2016.

Ms O'CONNOR - I apologise. Well, you should know better.

Mr STREET - Walked into that one, didn't I?

Ms CONWAY - I am just happy to provide a little further of a breakdown of what the current grant deeds cover that are coming to an end at the end of this financial year. There has also been a new commitment, and new grant deeds will be entered with the THA for those things.

The first round of commitments related to supporting the THA with a number of initiatives, and included: workforce development, which is a very important issue for the tourism and hospitality sector - that was a $3 million grant; the Great Customer Experience program, which is something that THA operates. The THA goes out into all the businesses that would like the support from that program and they get a bespoke assessment of their needs, where they sit, and get given access to a range of training materials that help with customer experience, customer service, those kinds of areas; there is support for the Clubs Tasmania program, which basically is helping local community clubs to develop, to access other funding, to look at their strategies, engagement in community sponsorship, those kinds of things.

Ms O'CONNOR - Through you, minister, can I ask, when you say 'community clubs', what does that mean?

Ms CONWAY - I think that applies to RSLs.

Ms O'CONNOR - RSLs. Gambling venues for RSLs?

Mr STREET - Are you talking about Clubs Tasmania? It's not just RSL; it's sporting clubs as well. All clubs are able to be a member of Clubs Tasmania and receive the support that the THA provides through that program.

Ms CONWAY - That's an $800 000 program. The Great Customer Experience Program, just for completeness is worth $2.785 million. And then the final of the existing grants now is about improving the safety of patrons which is focusing on the Coward Punch Campaign and supporting safety in clubs and venues, and that is $350 000.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is there any COVID-19 safety requirements on the THA in the grant deed funding? Is there any funding to the THA to assist businesses when that money run out in November at events to make sure that they're COVID-19 safe?

Ms CONWAY - There has been specific additional COVID-19 related funding that I think the THA accesses, particularly around mental health support for workforce. And there are continuing commitments, the new round of commitments; we are yet to sign grant deeds on those, but that's being worked on at the moment. There are similar programs and a new program around supporting women in leadership in the hospitality sector. I can talk more about those or break down the funding if you like.