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Premier - Absence from Parliament

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Tags: Chinese Communist Party


Why is the Premier not in parliament? He has a state to run and a health system collapsing under the strain but he is still in China on a lengthy junket being wined and dined by an authoritarian regime and making an international fool of himself on matters of Antarctic security. As political analyst Richard Herr said in today's media it is highly unusual for a Premier to absent himself from parliament for an entire week.

Can you please explain to the House why the Premier has chosen not to face parliament this week? Why he has prioritised cosying up to the Chinese communist government over his responsibilities to the Tasmanian people?



Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. It is not a surprising question from the Greens, who are anti-jobs, anti-economy and anti-trade. Tasmania exports more than 90 per cent of what we produce. We need to have a vigorous campaign when selling Tasmania's fantastic produce to export, our education to export and, as has been demonstrated in recent times, the record tourism growth being experienced under the Premier's watch, as Minister for Tourism and Hospitality.

The Premier is on a trade mission, as the member pointed out, and those opposite granted him a pair to go. The Premier is over there -

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. We are off to a bad start yet again. I remind members we are here to work for the public and they expect more decorum from us. Please allow the Acting Premier to finish his answer.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Madam Speaker. The Government is not interested in playing politics with Tasmanian businesses selling their produce to international markets.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. I am going to put Ms O'Connor and Ms O'Byrne on first notice. There will be no second notice. That is the first and only warning. I would like to keep you in the Chamber and I respectfully ask you to obey the rules.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Accompanying the Premier on the trade and investment mission to Asia are a number of Tasmanian exporting businesses, creating wealth in our community, employing Tasmanians, with their only desire to sell more of their fantastic produce and employ more people.

I am not surprised the Greens are anti-jobs in this sense. Tasmania is an export state. We have to get out there and sell the very good value of what we produce across the number of enterprises in Tasmania. The record clearly shows we are getting on with the job, selling Tasmania's brand nationally and interstate, our great produce and they are employing more people. For the first time, we have 250 000 Tasmanians employed.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. We still have not had an explanation from the Acting Premier as to why the Premier has absented himself from parliament for a whole week.

Madam SPEAKER - Would you like to answer that?

Mr ROCKLIFF - I have answered the question, Madam Speaker.

Madam SPEAKER - I accept you have.

Mr ROCKLIFF - It is important the Premier accompany businesses on international trade and investment missions. The Premier is doing a fantastic job leading the state and leading that delegation. For the first time ever, we have 250 000 Tasmanians employed. That is all about the Hodgman Liberal Government getting on with the job, growing our economy domestically and increasing international trade.

We are an exporting state. We rely on our exports; some 90 per cent of what we produce.

International trade and international trade relations are a very important part of selling Tasmania and allowing businesses to get on with the job and employ more people.