Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
People on the east coast are asking why is your Government so prepared to pollute the near-pristine waters of their east coast. As Minister for Tourism you must know these clear waters and beautiful beaches are increasingly a magnet for visitors, including those who come to Tasmania by cruise ship. Over the past summer the Greens understand eight cruise ships pulled up at Wineglass Bay, in a national park, yet not a single dollar flowed to the local economy as a result.
As you know, Triabunna is one of the great deep water ports. You also know the local economy in Orford and Triabunna needs a boost, which is why the Greens are proposing a conversation with locals be undertaken to bring the cruise ships into Triabunna, which could become a hub of visitor activity in the region.
Do you agree there is a real opportunity here? Will you now commit to investigating this proposal to deliver long-term jobs and opportunities to the region?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I can confirm, as I said in my Address this week, that this Government will continue to strongly support the pillars of our economy, socalled traditional industries, resource-based industries as well as the booming visitor economy, the tourism and hospitality industries that are going through extraordinary growth.
Our reputation has never been better. At the National Tourism Awards we won more awards than any other state, which demonstrates how well we do it. Many of those awards were in the ecotourism space - businesses that were attacked yesterday by the Greens but which have been regarded as the best in the country -
Ms O'Connor - It is not eco-tourism to exploit the wilderness. It is not.
Madam SPEAKER - Order.
Mr HODGMAN - at the National Tourism Awards.
Ms O'CONNOR - Madam Speaker, a point of order. Standing order 182, the Premier is digressing from the subject matter. The question was about delivering cruise ships into the port of Triabunna and opportunities for the region. He has not gone near it.
Madam SPEAKER - The Premier is given time to answer a question, as you know. There is latitude in the question so equally the Premier is given the same amount of latitude in answering the question.
Mr HODGMAN - I want to assure the member and the Tasmanian people that we will continue to strongly support Tasmania's visitor economy, as I have outlined. We want more attractions that capitalise on our competitive strengths like our wonderful environment, where we were held up by the national tourism industry as doing it better than anyone. I reject the suggestions by the member that we cannot do tourism in an ecospace world, because the National Tourism Awards, and the high regard in which we are now held as a destination of choice for those who want to come and experience our wilderness areas, is second to none.
We need to do more and that is why we will progress -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I just asked you to draw the Premier's attention to the question. He has not said the word 'Triabunna' and he has not said the words 'cruise ships'.
Mr FERGUSON - On the point of order, I draw your attention to the disorderly conduct of Ms O'Connor in bringing to your attention a point of order that does not relate to question time, but relates to questions before the Chair. It is very disorderly and designed to stop the Premier from giving us good news.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. I am not going to accept either points of order. They are both grandstanding, quite frankly, and it is wasting the valuable time the Premier has left.
Mr HODGMAN - I just wanted to make the very important point that we can do tourism and protect and enhance our wonderful natural assets better than anyone.
With respect to cruise ships we are strongly supportive of that sector of our visitor economy as well. We have had record numbers, 95, coming to our state and that is expected to increase to about 130 and they do bring economic benefit. The Greens want to attack the cruise industry, but they bring about $60 million -
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, the Premier has just misrepresented the Greens' position on cruise ships and I ask him to withdraw.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The member will sit down. A member knows that in question time if they feel aggrieved by something - and this is not an occasion for personal grief where you ask to withdraw - but if you feel misrepresented there is the adjournment at the end of the day for clarification. Members are wasting time on frivolous and pointless points of order and I am not going to continue to put up with it. The Premier will need to wind up now because of the waste of time.
Mr HODGMAN - The Greens have been critical of the cruise industry. You have made critical comments, and indeed in your question you said they call -
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The member for Franklin, Ms Woodruff, will stop shouting at the Premier.
Mr HODGMAN - You have been critical of our fuelling. You have been critical in your questions by saying they come into Freycinet and deliver zero economic benefit. I am pointing out that it has been estimated that they return $60 million.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The same applies to the member for Denison, Ms O'Connor. Stop shouting at the Premier.
Mr HODGMAN - $60 million into our economy is not nothing. It is not zero. It shows that your true intent is to damage the cruise line industry. You are not supportive of it; we are. We will continue to be the strongest supporter of Tasmania's visitor economy.