Doorstop interview - Hobart

01 Apr 2023
Hobart, Tasmania
Prime Minister
Visit to Hobart Shepherd Centre; New South Wales state election results; Macquarie Point stadium proposal; working constructively with state and territory governments.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Look, it's an absolute pleasure to be here at the Shepherd Centre here in Hobart, one of two centres that we will be having here in Tasmania. The Shepherd Centre does extraordinary work for giving young people at the earliest of ages, giving them hearing, effectively, is what happens. Allowing them to hear is something that isn't just a skill, it's a part of life. And what that does this enable them to fully participate in society. It's quite extraordinary that cochlear implants, of course, were discovered and built here in Australia. They were are great breakthrough. What the Shepherd Centre does is to give young people hearing and to support their families. And having them located here in Tasmania is something that we promised to do at the election campaign. We put it in the Budget in October. The funding came through last week. And here we have a centre that, instead of families having to fly to the North Island for up to three months a year, they'll be able to get that support right here where they live.

JOURNALIST: It looks like Labor won't form a majority government in New South Wales, with the Liberals picking up two more seats. Are you disappointed with that?

PRIME MINISTER: It is an outstanding result for Chris Minns to be able to form a government in New South Wales. And he clearly will have a workable majority. There are people on the crossbenches who've signed up to confidence and supply very early on. And he will do what my Government does, which is treat people with respect across the Parliament. I'm convinced that Chris Minns will be a great Premier of New South Wales. And I look forward to working with him.

JOURNALIST: Do you have any update on whether your Government will fund the stadium proposal for Macquarie Point?

PRIME MINISTER: We've received a proposal. We are considering that, along with other proposals from state and territory governments in the lead-up to our Budget.

JOURNALIST: Cricket Tasmania is saying that with a fixed roof on the stadium, which is what the proposal is at the moment, we won't be able to have test cricket at the stadium. Would your Government want to fund something that would rule out a really important sport like that?

PRIME MINISTER: Look, what we'll do is examine what's been put forward, not just in terms of a sporting precinct, but for an urban renewal here in Hobart. We'll examine it. It's been put forward by the State Government. We will work constructively, as we do, with state and territory governments when they put forward proposals.

JOURNALIST: And what about the state Opposition? Are you also talking to the state Opposition about its view of the stadium?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I'm aware that there are a range of views about the stadium. It's been put forward, though, by the Tasmanian State Government. And we work constructively with state and territory governments across the country.

JOURNALIST: The Premier has said that there's a concept of the stadium out at the moment and, until funding is secured, the design won't be finalised. Would you like to see the design before making a decision on whether your Government would fund it?

PRIME MINISTER: We're looking at these issues objectively through the Department. We don't have colour-coded spreadsheets, unlike the former Government. What we do is make assessments based upon cost-benefit and based upon the contribution that they would make. We, of course, also do it based upon the priorities that state and territory governments have.

JOURNALIST: Tasmania is the only state not governed by Labor now. Are you confident that Rebecca White and the Opposition can take it up to the Rockliff Government?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, Rebecca White takes it up to whoever's been in Government. And there have been a range of Premiers, of course, here in Tasmania. Rebecca White has been a friend of mine for a long period of time. She's passionate about improving educational health and housing outcomes for people here in Tasmania. I'll continue to work with Rebecca in a constructive way, as I have for a long period of time with the different capacities that I've had. I enjoy positive relationships with all of the Premiers and Chief Ministers. I had a good relationship with Dominic Perrottet. But as a Labor leader, I, of course, would always prefer for Labor to be successful. And Tasmania is no exception to that. And I look forward to continuing to work with Rebecca and her team. Thank you.