Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I reflect on what has been happening on the eastern shore of Hobart and the closed council decision meeting at the Clarence City Council last night, I believe, around the extension of the development for Shandong Chambroard petrochemical company on the Kangaroo Bay site. That is such a controversial project and it has been going on since 2015.
It has received a huge amount of support from the Liberals and state and federal governments. It received a federal government grant of $5 million in funding towards a so-called jobs and growth plan for the Kangaroo Bay hotel hospitality centre. That was the proposed development. It received $2.5 million-worth of prime waterfront land in Bellerive from the Tasmanian Liberal Government. It has received untold amounts of support from the Coordinator-General in the secret dealings that were undertaken between the developer, a Chinese petrochemical company, and Hunter Developments, which undertook the design and project and management for what is happening there.
What we have is a development that has not started. It was totally unsupported by the community because it completely contradicted the existing community-established and Tasmanian Planning Commission-endorsed planning development for the Bellerive Bay area.
The design as has been agreed by the council does not have a public open space, it is twice the height of the community development-Tasmanian Planning Commission height limits for that area. It is a monster of a problem for parking and for traffic management in the Bellerive community.
Leaving all of that aside, what we have is a situation where a company has twice now received an extension, I believe for another 11 months, to continue with their activities. We have UTAS weighing in to provide succour to this Chinese petrochemical company and to give them a lifeline. The money that he has spent as taxpayers, forwarding the aspirations of this Chinese petrochemical company to establish a so-called hospitality centre, extends not just to the $5 million grant that they received but also to $200 000 that went to TasTAFE, through Drysdale's Hospitality Training Centre, that were allegedly to supply the hospitality training services.
After $200 000 was spent - I confirmed that with the minister in budget Estimates this year - TasTAFE realised that they were not capable of delivering Masters level hospitality training. It took them $200 000 to make that amazing discovery. It quite beggars belief that it took them so much money and so long to do something which ought to have been written down in their business plan. TasTAFE has walked away from this project and now UTAS has come in and signed an MOU with Kangaroo Bay.
Shame on them for not doing proper due diligence. Shame on them for not looking at the real environmental impacts and the community controversy around this development. Shame on them. Who gets to benefit from this? By the university's statement they say it is going to have a profoundly positive influence on our economy and society. For whom? We understand there will be no Tasmanian people trained at this hospitality centre. It will be full fee-paying Chinese nationals being trained at a hospitality centre which is being put on Tasmanian land that has been gifted to a Chinese petrochemical company, against all the support of the community. How are we winning? We are just outsourcing hospitality training to a foreign country. What are we getting out of this for Tasmania?
Some people think it will be great to have a building built in that space. The community wanted a development. They wanted it to be the height of the planning scheme and they wanted it to be for the benefit of their community with a public open space that should have been there. Instead, it is being gobbled up by a hospitality centre that most residents understand is more likely to be used as long-term accommodation for people who come out here, Chinese students who may wish to stay and become permanent residents. That is nice, but who is winning out of this? Certainly not the residents of the eastern shore. Certainly not people from Bellerive and Rosny Hill. This continues to be conducted in absolute secrecy, in closed meetings of the Clarence City Council. There have been ratepayer-funded trips to China to beg cap in hand, as Mayor Chipman did earlier this year.
It is not what the Kangaroo Bay community wanted and it is certainly something that this Liberal Party has been actively pushing for. It just speaks volumes about where their interests lie, which is handing over public land to private petrochemical companies. We should have no part of inviting companies like that to set up residence in Tasmania. We are meant to have a brand for a clean, green image. Not only has the Liberal Government got on board behind this but it is now really disappointing to see that the vice-chancellor and the council have signed off on an MOU with this company. It is not in the state's best interests.