Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Over the past five years, your Government has done everything possible to get a cable car across the Organ Pipes to the summit of kunanyi - allocating departmental resources, introducing enabling legislation and playing stone-deaf to Tasmanians who want our wild mountain left as it is.
Last night the Hobart City Council voted resoundingly to reject any use of council land for cable car infrastructure. Given that CUB also moved against the Mt Wellington Cableway Company's plans, this is a double setback for your Government's pet proponent.
Will you now rule out your Government again bringing in special enabling legislation that overrides the will of council, or will you again pull every bureaucratic and legislative lever available to get this divisive project off the ground? Will you rule out any further special treatment for the cable car proponents?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question but refute the assertions contained within it and any suggestion that we have done anything other than act to ensure that a project which should, and will most likely, go through the appropriate planning approvals processes, has been able to do so with a greater degree of certainty than had previously been available to them, hence the legislative changes that passed through this parliament last year.
Yes, it is true we support sustainable and sensible development. We are supportive of the notion of a cable car on Mt Wellington but we have always said it has to obtain the necessary approvals. We have not done, as you suggest, provided any special treatment whatsoever. We are very conscious of the need for it to obtain all the necessary approvals. The normal planning process provides an opportunity for public comment and review informed by the full details of the project, and a call on the council to work towards this objective is not an unreasonable thing.
What should be understood is that the proposed flora and fauna study on council land would only have further informed the council's decision-making process. It is concerning that it seems determined not to take this sensible step. We are supportive of sustainable development in our natural areas, provided it is done in a considered way, meets the appropriate approvals and preserves those special areas of our state, including kunanyi.
We have previously passed legislation through this parliament which is not project specific. That is a fact the member who asks the question continues to ignore, and in fact has previously said that other policy commitments of this Government with respect to Cascade or CUB, were done with a view to fast-tracking or supporting this development. By the nature of the content of her question alone, that disproves that conspiracy theory of the Greens as well.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, going to relevance. I asked the Premier if he will rule out any further enabling legislation or special treatment for the proponent.
Madam SPEAKER - I rule that we did hear that question, so it is up to the Premier to answer it as best he can.
Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have said very clearly that we will not provide, as the member for Denison suggests, any special treatment at all. We will continue to ensure Tasmania is an environment that is conducive to good, job-creating development and investments in our state, because that is what this Government endeavours to do in a way that is responsible, sustainable and supports the growth in Tasmania's economy which is now one of the strongest in the nation.