Published: 30 October 2023

ALL state governments are facing sustainability problems.

Tasmania is no exception.

The instability of the government increases the unwillingness to face reality.

Rather than have honest discussions about our plight our political leaders prefer Plan B, create a distraction and pretend it's part of the solution. 

You won't find a better diversion than talk about a Tasmanian AFL side requiring a stadium on a contentious site.

As if a few more footy games alone are the palliative solution to our woes.

That the diversion was a deliberate strategy was confirmed when the government unveiled Mac Point 2.0 which revealed more questions than answers most of which won't begin to be addressed for 12 months while detailed plans are developed and assessment guidelines consulted on.

The very next day a plan for an alternative stadium, around the corner at Regatta Point, was released. The government did know about this proposal but continued to claim Mac Point was the only possible stadium site.

This proposal is likely to be far less contentious. Yet we in the Legislative Council will have to decide this week whether to designate the government's proposal as a Project of State Significance (PoSS) to undergo an integrated assessment by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

This assessment will be funded by Tasmanians and likely take some time.

The Labor Party has indicated its intention to support the referral but that appears to be based on its belief that the process will fail, and the government will be left with egg on its face. In other words, a Clayton's policy from the Steven Bradbury playbook which relies on everyone else falling over.

The process thus far has been appalling.

Let's not continue the charade.

The waterfront sites are prime publicly owned assets. Whatever is done requires the government's imprimatur. It is incumbent on the government to not merely facilitate a process which allows private investors to make money that may trickle down, but to ensure it can garner a revenue stream so we can all benefit.

These assets are attractive to large investors because of the potential gains.

Amending the PoSS to enable the alternate proposal to be assessed, funded by the proponent, not the taxpayer, would be a far better approach.

The Advocate, Monday 30 October 2023


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