Thursday 14 October 2010
Hansard of the Legislative Council
DEVIL OF A DINNER – A DIVINE DEGUSTATION
Mr FINCH (Rosevears)- Madam President, I acknowledge the fantastic
fundraising effort that the member for Murchison was talking
about and I want to talk about a fundraising dinner that certainly
political parties could only dream of; more than $800 a plate
in Tasmania, from a mix of ordinary people, not billionaires
and mining magnates. In a couple of hours we raised $164 000,
and that is just over food, wine and a few brief speeches.
Dream on party fundraisers. It is unlikely that any of Tasmania's
political parties could have found a benefactor with a cause
who would have matched every dollar raised with one of her
own, effectively paying $400 or probably nearer to $500 a
plate for everyone who attended, and no party would have attracted
such a cross-section of support.
Who pulled it off, Madam President? Our threatened State icon,
the Tasmanian devil which crosses all party lines. The occasion
I speak of was termed 'A Devil of a Dinner - a Divine Degustation'.
It was the second one and it was held at Hobart's Elizabeth
Street Pier on Monday 4 October, just a couple of weeks ago,
and why was it such a success I hear you cry?
Ms Rattray - Because I attended.
Mr FINCH - Yes, but do not take all the credit, please.
Firstly, it was for a cause which has captured world imagination
and, secondly, it was organised by an exceptionally motivated
and talented group of Tasmanians who work under the banner
of the Devil Island Project. The big benefactor was Jan Cameron
who has promised to match every dollar raised from the dinners
and this was our second as mentioned.
The project works hard to set up large breeding reserves for
devils and is progressing rapidly. Devil Island 1 of 30 acres
has had a successful second breeding season with up to 10
more joeys being raised. Devil Island 2 has 60 acres near
Bridport and is nearly ready to be stocked with devils. Devil
Island 3 of 60 acres on the Freycinet Peninsula is about four
weeks from completion. Devil Island 4 is awaiting a new site
after landowners pulled out of the original one but $250 000
is now available to start building as soon as possible.
The project is awaiting directions from the Save the Tasmanian
Devil Steering Committee and DPIPWE as to future plans regarding
more devil islands, their management regimes and also their
size and it involves the entire community and Tasmania's wildlife
parks. The Devil Island Project is working in partnership
with the Government to establish an insurance population in
Tasmania. The Chairman of the Devil Island Project, Bruce
Englefield, who is the architect designer of devil islands,
is a finalist tomorrow in a national award for innovation
in design and use of materials and it will be announced on
the Gold Coast.
Star attractions at the Devil of a Dinner included the famous
Sydney-based chef Tetsuya Wakuda. He brought a team of chefs
with him from Sydney and our own chefs in Tasmania - Will
Goodman, Iain Todd, Matt Starkey, Paul Foreman and Aaron Gillespie
- were there along with our master of ceremonies for the night
and our famous Tasmanian Ray Martin who did a splendid job;
our winemaker Dr Andrew Pirie and auctioneer Adrian Kelly.
Fiona Hoskin was the main organiser and you may know Fee,
she is the Fee of Launceston's Fee and Me Restaurant. Olympic
champion and now champion for the devils, Shane Gould was
'the driver' who organised what was a complicated event to
David Hopkins, whose Lions Club members assisted with the
building of the hut at Devil Island 1 and the construction
of the Devil Island fence at Flax Road to the value of $11
000, had one of his paintings of three baby devil joeys sold
for $4 500 on the night at auction - not bad. Special thanks
to our Hobart committee headed by Christine Neely who helped
with the organisation. The Minister for Environment, Parks
and Heritage, David O'Byrne, attended and he is taking a special
interest in the project.
Tetsuya Wakuda is Tasmania's brand ambassador and has been
for about six years. He loves Tasmania. He comes here regularly
to look for new products and to help many of our food producers
get their products to market. He has single-handedly been
responsible for the success of many small to medium producers
selling their products and expanding their markets, particularly
internationally. He is so well regarded internationally and
a recommendation from him has chefs from around the world
taking notice. Of course Tetsuya's additions to the menu for
the dinner were magnificent as were the additions from the
local chefs. It was a hell of a night and a hell of a dinner,
Ms Forrest - A devil of a night?
Mr FINCH - A devil of a night, thank you. With $164 000 raised
in one night it was a great success.