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Re-negotiation of Deal or Allow for a Conscience Vote

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Tags: Stadium, AFL, Macquarie Point


I am extremely surprised the minister could not acknowledge the presence of firefighters in the Chamber today.

Premier, it is clear the wildly unpopular billion-dollar stadium you have attached yourself to has not only reduced your Government to minority, if we are to believe one of the defectors - the Independent member for Lyons, Mr Tucker - it is also dividing your Cabinet and your party room. Do you have the courage to acknowledge what a disaster your stadium folly is, and seek to renegotiate the deal with the AFL? If you cannot do that, will you allow your members a conscience vote on the stadium?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. Our team is absolutely united on our own AFL and AFLW team, and stadium, and the Macquarie Point Precinct urban renewal development opportunity. We are united in the cause, and believing in the cause, and fighting for the cause of having our own AFL and AFLW team, which many thousands of Tasmanians support -


Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Many thousands of Tasmanians support and have fought for, for decades. I recognise it is difficult. It is a tough sell. Big projects in Tasmania have been a tough sell - often, if not always, opposed by the member and the Greens. Now, of course, they have joined forces with the Labor Party, who are about playing politics and that is all.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, Standing Order 45, relevance. It was not a hard question and it was not a long one. Will the Premier either renegotiate the deal, or give his members a conscience vote?

Mr ROCKLIFF - The deal that we have put on the table, with openness and transparency, has brought $360 million of AFL investment to Tasmania, and has brought $305 million of investment from the federal government to Tasmania - all of which the Labor Party fought against. The difference between the Labor Party and the Liberal Government is that we will build it and they will stop it. We will support the jobs and they will stop the jobs. We will support the opportunity and you will stop the opportunity.


Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - We realise Tasmania's true potential. We have fought for the last decade, taking this state out of the quagmire of the Labor-Greens government between 2010 and 2014.

Ms Butler - What about the Cenotaph?

Mr SPEAKER - Member for Lyons, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - When I speak of quagmire, I speak of the fact that over there, when they were together, they sacked a nurse a day for nine months. We will not let that happen again.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker. I implore you to draw the Premier to the question.

Mr SPEAKER - All I can do is remind the Premier of Standing Order 45. How an individual minister wishes to answer the question is up to them. I cannot put words in their mouth. Premier, I remind you of Standing Order 45, relevance.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Thank you, Mr Speaker. When we talk about opportunity, Tasmania's potential and how far we have come in the last 10 years -

Ms O'Connor - Talk about a conscience vote.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - When our police officers diminished in number by 108 as a result of your budget in 2011, where you sacked a nurse a day for nine months -

Ms O'Connor - You are desperate.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Where you put beds in storage in closed wards, I will not let that happen again to Tasmania.

Dr Woodruff - You leave people on the street. They cannot get into the hospital under your Government.

Mr SPEAKER - Member for Franklin, order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - It is far too important. That is why we believe in this key investment. That is why we invest in infrastructure. We believe in Tasmania. We are builders, not blockers. We believe in potential, and the potential the AFL and AFLW team and the stadium can bring to Tasmania, unlocking that tourism potential, the convention potential, private investment coming in, and small businesses employing Tasmanians so we can fund the essential services, such as the good people in the Chamber today.

I acknowledge all our frontline personnel - the paramedics we are investing in, the nurses we are investing, and the firies we are investing in. I take my hat off to every single person who puts themselves on the frontline. We want more of it and to invest more in those essential services, which is why we are investing to grow our economy - and a strong economy at that.

We have had economic growth of 5 per cent, 4.5 per cent. We are building on that economic growth as a result of the Budget outlined and worked through by our Treasurer, Michael Ferguson, supported by our entire team, which includes record investment in health, record investment in education, record investment in housing, and includes investment in education, which includes record investment in housing, which includes investment in stadia infrastructure, both in the north and the south as well as our own AFL and AFLW teams. We are believers in Tasmania. We realise Tasmania's potential. We want to build Tasmania's potential and we will not back down.