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State Growth - PESRAC Report

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Tags: Environment, Economy, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, as you are aware, the Premier's Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council in chapter 6 makes some strong observations about the way Tasmanians who contributed to the PESRAC process - but we believe it is more broadly - feel about the contradiction between government policy in relation to the environment and what is happening and the need to protect the environment and the brand. The key recommendation is that the Government develop a sustainability strategy for Tasmania.

What regard, if any, would State Growth and the Office of the Coordinator-General have for the recommendation in PESRAC that we need to do things differently in order to look after the environment and what regard would there be for a genuine sustainability policy?

Mr JAENSCH - The sustainability strategy recommendations from PESRAC are being led by DPAC. It is a whole-of-government responsibility so I expect that my departments and the areas of government that I am responsible for would be drawn on and feed into that in whatever way we are asked to.

Ms O'CONNOR - Do you understand we have to do things differently and even PESRAC said it, so putting a windfarm on an internationally-significant bird habitat in a fly way could not be regarded as sustainable, could it?

Mr JAENSCH - That is not the Government's proposal and we have environmental and threatened species legislation and we have land use -

Ms O'CONNOR - That hasn't helped the swift parrot, has it?

CHAIR - Order, Ms O'Connor, please.

Mr JAENSCH - processes through which that proposal will need to pass and it will need to be assessed rigorously. It will be referred, I am sure, and dealt with under federal legislation as well. Why wouldn't you want it to be? Why wouldn't we want any proposal like that that has a footprint that -

Ms O'CONNOR - Why can't you say no sometimes when a proposal is manifestly not compliant with federal law?

Mr JAENSCH - This is the issue that comes up again and again. The Greens keep on telling us that our regulations need to be stronger, they need to be more independent, they need to be more expert led. But as soon as they decide they don't like something they want the minister to be able reach in and nobble it. You can't have it both ways.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, just to say -

CHAIR - Order, Ms O'Connor, I have given you four questions in a row here. Let the minister please finish his answer.

Mr JAENSCH - The Greens can't have it both ways. You can't have an independent arms-length evidence-based process on the one hand but retain the right of veto or patronage, which is what they accuse us of, when something comes up that Ms O'Connor, or someone she knows, doesn't like.


Mr JAENSCH - That's the hypocrisy that we're hearing again and again and again.

Ms O' CONNOR - It's not about not liking something.

Mr JAENSCH - Unfortunately, for Ms O'Connor, you can't just turn that captain's call off and on to suit yourself.

Ms O'CONNOR - Well that's how we got Cambria Green, isn't it?

CHAIR - Ms Dow, sorry -

Mr JAENSCH - No, we don't have Cambria Green, Cambria Green isn't even a development.

Ms O'CONNOR - That's how we got the proposal, because your Government says yes to everything.

Mr WINTER - Chair.

CHAIR - Enough.

Mr JAENSCH - It's not said yes to anything. It's going through the process and it's being assessed by the Tasmanian Planning Commission, Ms O'Connor. You know that. There's due process.