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Small Business, Hospitality and Events – Kangaroo Bay

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 23 November 2020

Tags: Kangaroo Bay

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, in 2017 the Clarence City Council approved land on the foreshore at Kangaroo Bay in Bellerive for a very large hotel and hospitality training centre development, much larger than the existing community and Tasmanian Planning Commission planning scheme for the local area allowed. It was a very controversial development. It still has not turned a sod and you would be aware of where that project is up to which is going nowhere clear at the moment.

My question is about the hospitality training centre. There has been a number of attempts over the years for the Government to get something like that partnership going. TasTAFE was thrown I think $200 000 and it did not result in any money. There was nothing from Drysdale. It looks like the University of Tasmania, although theoretically interested, has no prospect in the coming years to make any sort of extension into that area.

Where is hospitality training in Tasmania and what do you say to people on the eastern shore who have this project hanging over their head?

Ms COURTNEY - The training of our hospitality sector is really important in Tasmania. As I have outlined in a previous question we have a lot of support across a range of different agencies to support training within the hospitality sector.

Regarding the aspiration to grow that even more, we have committed $1 million in the Budget over two years to support the establishment of a new not-for-profit industry registered training organisation. This is led by industry and the RTO will help build specific skills to meet the demand of emerging markets, including where training is not currently available and it will provide training and experiences differently to reflect a post COVID-19 environment. It will create new pathways and improve access and employment opportunities for Tasmanians living in regional areas, as well as help for businesses and industries to grow.

From apprentices to front of house staff, to chefs and restaurant managers, we want Tasmanians to have a wide range of training choices tied to meaningful and sustainable career pathways.

The Tasmanian Government already has a record of significant investment into building and training and workforce capabilities of the hospitality sector with our commitment of $6.8 million over four years to the THA. Informed by these peak bodies - the THA and the TICT - the new RTO will complement private training providers and TasTAFE's Drysdale arm to expand this market. The new RTO will focus on areas that Drysdale does not deliver, such as industry informed non accredited training with training programs. To support the investment in skills and workforce development the tourist and hospitality workforce advisory committee is currently being established, with representatives from THA and the TICT as well. This will align the tourism industry and other key sectors to ensure they are providing advice to Government through the model that works well for them.

At the same time our support for TasTAFE's Drysdale arm is clear. We have invested $6.7 million since we came to Government. This has included a range of initiatives from Devonport to Hobart, making sure that we have support in a range of locations.

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, other than giving money to some very large Liberal Party donors to do some work which may or may not be related to this, it's a very big step down from the proposal that was on the table in 2017 when Shandong Chambroad was putting that development through Clarence City Council. Can I take it from what you have said that there is now no commitment for the State Government to be involved in any capacity in a partnership arrangement for hospitality training with Shandong Chambroad? If that is the case can you let the community and the eastern shore understand that information. They would appreciate knowing what the big development that is proposed is really going to be doing.

Ms COURTNEY - I am not going to comment on that development. What I am commenting on is the support that the Government has been and is currently providing for the hospitality sector. It is really important that we have pathways for training. I know the minister responsible for education and training, Mr Rockliff, can expand on the programs that are available under this portfolio responsibility. In our COVID-19 response, providing more training and support to different sectors is a critical part of that.

I personally feel very strongly that we have good support mechanisms for our young people to be able to transition into meaningful careers in hospitality. We have a good opportunity here. Historically and pre-COVID-19, many businesses in the hospitality sector were struggling to get the trained staff they needed to support their businesses. I have a lot of confidence in the hospitality sector into the future.

COVID-19 has been an extraordinary challenge but we have innovative businesses, we have operators who love what they do, and we want to ensure that while we are providing the support right now - such as the $10 million in the Budget to support grants for businesses to assist them with their energy costs - we are also focused on the future, and ensuring we are responding to their training needs appropriately as we move through a recovery from COVID 19 and into the strong future the hospitality sector will have.