Mr BAYLEY question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
Last week it was reported that the cost of the new Wesley Vale racecourse had blown out from $18 million to nearly $40 million. This is the latest in a long line of construction projects with skyrocketing costs. The New Town Private Hospital doubled, the Hobart Aquatic Centre upgrades doubled, the new Glenorchy ambulance station doubled, Brighton High School doubled, the Northern Suburbs Recreation Hub tripled, and Cradle Mountain cableway tripled. I could go on.
Yet, in the face of all of this, you continue to guarantee Tasmanians your stadium project at Macquarie Point will not go a cent over its back-of-the-envelope budget. You say this despite the fact that we are apparently still a year away from having project design. You famously equated managing the budget of the state to managing the budget of the spud farm. Given you are so confident about delivering this project on budget, would you put the spud farm on the line and commit personally to paying every dollar of cost overspent on the stadium?
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I will be detailing the full cost of restoring the Big Spud; I am getting some quotes on that now. As devastating as that has been for many people, I would have to say, you could add that to the list if you like, although that will not be incurred by the Tasmanian taxpayers, I hasten to add.
Dr Woodruff - It's a serious matter that we're talking about.
Mr ROCKLIFF - What is serious is that you have outlined a number of infrastructure investments but we are going to get on with the job.
Dr Woodruff - They are all massively over budget.
Mr ROCKLIFF - That member laced the question, of course, with the stadium proposal, almost an order of the day with the Project of State Significance Order today, but I will let it go through the keeper if the Speaker permits that.
Ms White - You're on that sticky wicket.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Look, Ms White, the only people on a sticky wicket is the Labor Party, who refuse to go out on the lawns and back in the former Labor premier's stadium proposal which also includes some significant investment of taxpayer funds, I hasten to add. Dr Broad can sit there with an amusing smile on his dial, but the fact is we are builders, not blockers.
Today is another step in which the parliament will have its say with respect to the Project of State Significance Order. This allows the community to have its say in terms of the economic, environmental and social aspects of such a significant development.
I am very pleased with the Macquarie Point Precinct Plan and very pleased with the Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport's announcement just the other day in terms of the Greater Hobart traffic and the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor, as well as investment in the ferry network.
Things are happening in Tasmania. We are doers. We are doing things and getting on with the job. Record infrastructure -
Mr O'Byrne interjecting.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Mr O'Byrne, you are in no position to talk about getting money out the door, I hasten to add.
Mr O'Byrne - You don't drive on the Brighton Bypass?
Mr ROCKLIFF - There is a little piece of infrastructure just south of that which is called the Bridgewater bridge, and the Labor Party could not lay a brick there either.
Mr SPEAKER - Order. Members on my right, order as well.
Mr ROCKLIFF - I respect the member's question and I respect the fact you have a position. You do not like the stadium and you have stuck to your position the whole time - well done - unlike the wishy-washy flip-floppers over there who cannot even back in their former Labor premier's own proposal. This is an opportunity today for the Labor Party to again try to draw a line in the sand. Occasionally that line gets rubbed out and redrawn and all those sorts of things in the Labor Party. Today is another good day when we progress forward because we are builders, not blockers.