26 June, 2016
TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. SENATOR RICHARD COLBECK,
MINISTER FOR TOURISM AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
DOORSTOP AT HOBART AIRPORT
Subjects: TDDI funding for Hobart Airport, Clive Palmer, national costings, Federal Election
Terrific to be here in Hobart today to announce $120,000 in Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure grants for Launceston and Hobart Airports to provide visitor information as tourists arrive at our two gateway airports.
So this funding is funding for a decision made prior to the election and will be matched by Hobart and Launceston airports to provide that information at our gateway as tourists come in, to give them the best experience when they first arrive here looking for map information and interaction with the opportunities for tourism attractions in Tasmania.
So that will be both hard and electronic information that's available to them and two airports working together as the key gateway airports to Tasmania, providing a high quality experience and first impression as tourists first arrive in Tasmania.
What kind of information will tourists be receiving (inaudible)?
Well there's obviously they'll still have brochures available and that's (inaudible) brochure exchange here in Tasmania. But also there'll be interactions with social media for events that are occurring in Tasmania and other electronic media information that will be available for various locations and information about those locations, events and particular attractions.
Scott Morrison is set to hand down the Coalition's costings today. Is there anything in it for Tasmania that you know of?
Well the costings that will be handed down today will include all of the announcements that have been made for Tasmania, those costings will demonstrate that we have a balanced and responsible financial position unlike the Labor party who have announced in the last couple of days they will run up an extra $16.5 billion worth of debt over and above what we are proposing and then magically come back into surplus at the same time as we are. So we will be rolling out a responsible spending platform and all of that is contained in the budget.
Are you feeling confident going into Saturday given your place on the Senate ticket?
Look, I'm looking forward to Saturday and looking forward to Tasmanians having the opportunity to decide who represents this state. I'm certainly hoping that they will recognise that I've worked hard for them over the last 14 years and I look forward to representing them again after Saturday.
The tourism industry wasn't happy with the small amount of money that was pledged towards Cradle Mountain plan, do you think that may (inaudible)?
No I don't. I think that what we've announced in respect of Cradle Mountain is a responsible announcement and it demonstrates that we've looked very closely at the plan that the Cradle Coast Authority developed. It looks at what still needs to be done to bring the project to investment stage and also the number of studies and pieces of particular environmental work that need to be completed. If you look at the project itself it gives us the opportunity to properly examine how much taxpayers' money we should put in given that I think there is significant opportunity for private sector investment, we shouldn't determine how much the private sector is prepared to spend before we commit to what was being asked for.
Bearing in mind that nobody has brought to the table at this point in time the full amount that was being requested by the tourism industry, they were asking for $30 million from the State and the Commonwealth.
The State Government has quite rightly offered $15 million towards work that they need to do at Cradle Mountain.
Bill Shorten flew past and dropped $15 million out the window basically because that's how much the Tasmanian Government put up and said oh by the way if the Federal Coalition put up $30 million we'll put up more. So there's no basis for his funding announcement.
We've examined the project and what we're doing is funding the work that we think needs to be done to bring it to fruition. We'd like to see this development occur and so we've taken what I believe is a very responsible approach to a project and we will work closely with the Tasmanian Government, the Cradle Coast Authority and the tourism industry here in Tasmania to try and bring that project about.
Clive Palmer said this morning he thinks that Palmer United Party will hold the balance of power in the Senate, meaning that he can essentially force decision to make Tasmania tax free. What are your thoughts on that?
Clive Palmer has said a lot of things over the last three years and his money at the last election gave us Jacqui Lambie. I'm not too concerned about what Clive Palmer says, I have to say, I'm more focussed on providing responsible government for Tasmania and Australia and making responsible decisions to the benefit of our community so that we can continue the growth that we've seen over the last three years in this state and have responsible government and stable government that will provide the economic fundamentals and the agenda that we need to continue to grow the economy and provide jobs for our local communities.
Can you ensure that all the major announcements that the government has made over the past seven weeks of this campaign will be in the budget costings, and if not is that something that you will be standing up for?
Look I think you only need to look at our record in delivering on our election commitments. We've done that over the last three years and we made a number of election commitments at the last election, they are either delivered or being delivered. The Hobart Airport runway for example is proof (inaudible), a really important part of enabling infrastructure project for Tasmania. It's been through the process whereby inside two years it's fully approved and ready to go and construction can start very soon. I think that's a clear indication of the fact that we take our promises very seriously and that's why we are making responsible promises and we're not just spending money like a drunken sailor as Bill Shorten is, we're making responsible promises for Tasmania and Australia and we will deliver them and that's our record.