Vica Bayley:

Last night in Parliament we had confirmation that when it comes to the stadium, we’ve just got dud deal after dud deal. Everybody knows that the agreement that Premier Rockliff signed with the AFL is a dud deal and it has Tasmanian taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, including every single dollar of cost overrun that he will inevitably come with this stadium.

But last night it was confirmed that the Treasurer failed to negotiate a GST exemption for the $240 million of the Commonwealth contribution towards the Mac Point Precinct. This is a double whammy in relation to that money because we already know that that money isn’t necessarily earmarked for the stadium. There’s preconditions on that money from the federal government, that it be spent on wharf upgrades and housing. So we do not know how much of a contribution would actually be made for the stadium from that $240 million. But now we know that it comes at a cost to our GST over the longer term.

That means it’s a cost to healthcare, to housing to other critical infrastructure that Tasmanians desperately need. So this is a double whammy for Tasmanians. It’s a dud deal and this confirms that it’s a done deal. And it took our motion in Parliament to tyre lever this confirmation out of Treasurer Michael Ferguson. It’s a disappointing day. We would support a GST exemption for any Commonwealth contribution for infrastructure here in Tasmania. But basically this means that Tasmanian taxpayers will be on the hook for even more when it comes to this billion dollar stadium.