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Treasury - Sale of Crown Land

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 6 September 2021

Tags: State Budget, Crown Land

Ms O'CONNOR - You're happy to do that? That's very good.

One of the policies we didn't hear about during the election campaign, but we sure heard about soon after, was the proposal to sell off what your minister described as 'excess' Crown land. There's no line item in the Budget that I can find for the potential sale of Crown lands. There's some extra money in there for Crown Land Services. What is the genesis of this policy to sell off public land without any consultation, without any policy announcement, land that belongs to the people of Tasmania?

Mr GUTWEIN - My understanding of the genesis, and I would need to check, is that significant roadworks over the last handful of years have meant that in many cases there are small parcels of Crown land left stranded. You would be aware - I think, you were in government - when the previous Labor government ran the Crown Land Assessment and Classification process. Through CLAC, a range of sales occurred then. This is where, I believe, the department began looking at stranded Crown Land assets and this has progressed to where the minister has now identified a range of parcels that will be put up for sale.

I am happy to get some further advice on that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thanks. You would be aware that Michael Mansell from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is strongly encouraging Government to return Crown lands to the palawa people, to Aboriginal Tasmanians. Have you considered that as an approach, in terms of returning some of these lands to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people?

Mr GUTWEIN - I am waiting on the report from Kate Warner and Tim McCormack. That should arrive in October and I am certain [inaudible] level of advice based on her discussions with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and others around a whole range of matters, I expect land return to be one of those. I am expecting to consider those matters then.

CHAIR - The time -

Ms O'CONNOR - On that. Just for clarification for the TAC -

CHAIR - Very quickly.

Ms O'CONNOR - Are you prepared to put some pause on the Crown land sell-off in order to wait for that report on land returns?

Mr GUTWEIN - I haven't given that any consideration but I am happy to take some advice on that, bearing in mind, my understanding is that in large part, the Crown lands we are talking about are parcels of Crown land that have been stranded. I am not sure what value that would have to either the Aboriginal community or to other landowners. I am happy to take some advice on that. But my intention was to wait until Kate Warner and Tim McCormack provide their report. I am certain that they'll canvass these issues in that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you.