Dr WOODRUFF question to TREASURER, Mr FERGUSON.
Shandong Chambroad have put the Clarence Council community through the mill over the last seven years. The company has comprehensively failed to listen to community views about the beautiful site at Kangaroo Bay. It has three times failed to fulfil contractual obligations. With the strong backing of locals, council has taken legal action to buy back the land and is consulting with community about future developments for the site.
The developer has now submitted a major projects application to you to bypass the council and build - they claim - a hotel. However, Chambroad has repeatedly failed to find a hotel operator. On 10 April 2022, we understand the council was briefed by Chambroad with a proposal to build apartments instead. If true, that would be an offensive privatisation of the heart of Clarence.
Why are you championing the interests of Chambroad Petrochemicals? Will you rule out approving this as a major project or compulsorily acquiring the land?
Mr SPEAKER - The member's time has expired.
Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. It is a matter of fact that the member is thoroughly anti-development in any respect. Regardless of the developer, you can count on the Greens to oppose it. Particularly, if it is about building a better Tasmania and new opportunities for the families of our state, you can count on the Greens to be blockers with their good friends the Labor Party. There will be a further discussion on planning and I welcome that later in the day.
In respect to Chambroad and their specific request - I will be very careful with what I say because this is a statutory process - there is very little that I can offer the House in respect of this particular matter. I can confirm that Chambroad has written to me and formally requested that I consider their Kangaroo Bay hotel project for declaration as a major project, and has provided me with a major project proposal in relation to the project. There will now be a process to determine whether the project is eligible to be declared as a major project.
This process will be administered by the State Planning Office on my behalf. As required by the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act, passed through this parliament, I will shortly be sending letters notifying the Clarence City Council, the other southern councils, relevant state agencies, adjacent landowners, and the Tasmanian Planning Commission of Chambroad's request.
In return, I expect to receive extensive advice as to whether those parties consider that the Kangaroo Bay Hotel Project is eligible to be declared a major project or not and why that would be the case. It is important to note -
Dr Woodruff - Will you make that publicly available?
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr FERGUSON - It is important to note that under the act, I do not form an opinion in relation to eligibility until I have received that advice. Once I have received and considered the advice, I will then determine whether to declare the project or not, noting that I have to be satisfied that it meets the eligibility criteria.
Dr Woodruff - Your opinions are on the public record.
Mr SPEAKER - Order, Member for Franklin.
Mr FERGUSON - For obvious reasons, I therefore will not be offering any opinions until I have received good advice to guide me, determining the matter based on very best interpretation of the law. That is what I will be carefully following. You can shake your head all you like but you are anti-development and you have already made your decision.
Dr Woodruff - You are on the record already supporting this.
Mr FERGUSON - Unlike you, Dr Woodruff, I have not made my decision. I have not prejudiced the matter and I look forward to that advice.
For the benefit of the House, to be eligible, the minister must be of the opinion that the project has two or more of the following attributes: one, the project will have a significant impact on, or make a significant contribution to a region's economy, environment or social fabric; two, the project is of strategic importance to the region; and three, the project is of a significant scale and complexity. The determination guidelines produced by the Tasmanian Planning Commission and already available on their website, provide additional information in relation to those eligibility criteria. I look forward to having more to say in public after those matters have been carefully stepped through, completely in accordance with law.