Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
Last week full-page advertisements in the Mercury and major national newspapers warned Tasmanians and you of the criminal and fraudulent record of our island's new salmon giants. International and local communities alerted you to Cooke's methods of violating laws, litigating to avoid accountability, and disastrous marine harms. JBS's history of operations is a carbon copy.
Can you confirm that last Wednesday, you hosted an exclusive Liberal Party fundraising dinner, for which tickets were $4400 per head? We understand the small group included one of the Brazilian butchers himself and Cooke's CEO - very corporate cosy. Can you confirm you told the executives from JBS and Cooke that, 'We have a 10-year salmon expansion plan. It's not going to be popular but I'm here to tell you we will back your industry all the way.'?
Why are you so willing to sell out coastal communities and our marine waters across Tasmania to predatory global corporations?
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. We have indeed engaged with industry and businesses. I have put on the record many times my support for the salmon industry. You and I have had a lot of engagement in this Chamber with respect to the salmon industry. I have been consistent in my support for jobs involved with the salmon industry, the growth in the salmon industry and have led significant reforms when it comes to the salmon industry in Tasmania with regard to independence of regulation.
Dr Woodruff - You mean allowing corporate vandals to come in. Sweet place to work.
Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - I would expect, irrespective of the ownership of our salmon companies, that they comply with our environmental laws. We are actively engaging in a 10 year salmon plan -
Dr Woodruff - Tell us about the dinner.
Mr SPEAKER - Order, member for Franklin. The same warning goes to you and your leader. If you continually interject on the Premier, I will ask you to leave.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Our Government is ensuring that our salmon industry remains sustainable, is world-leading and retains the support of the Tasmanian community. We recognise the need for all Tasmanians to be able to support the growth in the salmon industry and the jobs it provides across rural and regional Tasmania. There will be a minority of Tasmanians who will never support the salmon industry, the mining industry, aspects of the agricultural industry or the forest industry. We recognise that.
Dr WOODRUFF - Point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 45. The Premier has gone nowhere near whether there was a dinner, whether JBS, the Battista brothers and the CEO of Cooke were there, and if he made that statement to them.
Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, thank you for resuming your seat. I remind the Premier of standing order 45, relevance. However, I also remind all members that standing order 45 is not an opportunity to make another point or two to reinforce your question or your issue. Premier, if you could be reminded of standing order 45 and I will allow you to continue.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have always said publicly and privately that we will support the sustainable growth of the salmon industry. There is nothing new in that. I have made that clear, as I would speak of all our resource-based industries that need to be sustainable and to ensure they have the broad support of the Tasmanian community and I believe they have.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 45, relevance. If you are frustrated that we take points of order, it is because the Premier and ministers do not answer questions. He did not answer the question.
Mr SPEAKER - That may be your view. I presume in the Premier's view, he has. I cannot control that. It is a matter for the minister or the Premier who is answering the question. The Premier has sat down so I will call on the next question.