Only PM Turnbull and Premier Hodgman to blame if Tasmania’s bid for a $50M new Tourism site fails

JLN Independent Senator Elect for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie, after recent meetings with Premier Will Hodgman, Senator Eric Abetz and the Tobruk Project Manager for the Saint Helens - District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Peter Paulsen – has named the Prime Minister and State Premier the only people to blame - should Tasmania’s bid for ex-HMAS Tobruk fail.

Click below to view YouTube conversation between Senator Elect Lambie and Tobruk Project Manager for the Saint Helens - District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Peter Paulsen

“At this late stage of the Navy bid process - only the Australian Prime Minister and Tasmanian Premier can save a project that is guaranteed to generate at least an extra $50M into the Northern Tasmanian economy - and hundreds of new jobs over the next decade.  If our Tobruk dive site bid fails - there are only two people to blame in this game - that is Malcolm Turnbull and Will Hodgman.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“It’s clear after speaking to both Senior Tasmanian Liberal federal and state politicians - and community stakeholders, that both the state and federal governments have gone out of their way to blow up the Saint Helens Community’s bid to sink ex- HMAS Tobruk in the East Coast’s waters of Skeleton Bay.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“And right now – there are only two people who can undo the harm that their governments have deliberately caused to the Break O’Day Council and Chamber of Commerce & Tourism bid for HMAS Tobruk – and that’s Premier Hodgman and Prime Minister Turnbull. That shouldn’t be a problem because they are supposedly, both Liberal leaders in charge of their governments and bureaucracies. And they both have the power to ensure Tasmania gets a fair go.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“From the federal perspective, the Prime Minister must ensure that Tasmania receives the same deal that other states have enjoyed regarding the sinking of ex - Naval Vessels for Dive Tourism. Parliamentary Library Research shows that precedents have been set for the following ex-naval ships:

Ex-HMAS Brisbane

This vessel was scuttled on 31 July 2005 2.9 nautical miles east of Mudjumba Island, off the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. In October 2001 the Commonwealth Government agreed to provide $3m in funding for this project.

Ex-HMAS Canberra

This vessel was scuttled on 4 October 2009 off Ocean Grove, Victoria. In July 2007, the Commonwealth Government agreed to $7m in funding for the project, with any additional funds required to be provided by the Victorian Government.

Ex-HMAS Adelaide

This vessel was scuttled on 13 April 2011 approximately 1.8km off Avoca Beach near Terrigal in NSW. Following a period of negotiations, the Commonwealth decided to provide up to $5.8m in funding, with the NSW Government initially contributing $250,000 but needing to meet additional costs relating to the project.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“And from the Tasmanian state perspective - Premier Hodgman must be prepared to fight for Northern Tasmanian tourism projects as hard as he did for Hobart Tourism projects. If the Premier and his government can invest $10m in Dark Mofo – they can do the same for the Tobruk Tourism Dive site project. Mr Hodgman is the Premier for all of Tasmania – not just Hobart.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“I’ve been informed by the Saint Helens community that a deadline by the end of this month has been imposed by the Department of Defence regarding the acquisition of the Tobruk. I’m urging Premier Hodgman to ensure that the state makes a conforming application for Tobruk – while I put pressure on the Federal Liberal Government to give Tasmania the same deal that other states have enjoyed when they’ve taken possession of former Naval vessels.

We can ensure that the Tobruk project will be successful – but we’ll all have to work smarter, harder and co-operatively to guarantee the deal.” said Senator Elect Lambie.