Thursday 21 June 2007 - Estimates Committee B (Wriedt) Part 1
ESTIMATES COMMITTEE B
Thursday 21 June 2007
Mrs Smith (Chair)
Hon. Paula Wriedt, Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment
Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment
Scott Gadd , Secretary
Felicia Mariani , Chief Executive, Tourism Tasmania
TOURISM & THE PLUP MILL
Mr FINCH - I just want to go back to something that Mr Gadd was commenting on in respect of the workers who will come in if the pulp mill gets the go ahead. Of course those workers - maybe up to 1 500 workers - will be in the Tamar Valley for probably 12 months and more. Sure, the local accommodation places will benefit tremendously over that time but then there is the problem for tourists who want to come and stay in that region on the marketing of the State that is in place. Has Tourism Tasmania looked at that potential problem? What does it see as possible remedies?
Ms MARIANI - We did initially have a look at that about six months ago. What we have tried to do is gauge it according to the timing of the peaks and troughs within the industry depending upon when the start of the construction will begin. Obviously there is ramp-up period and then it will reach a peak and then it will decline.
Mr FINCH - If that occurs.
Ms WRIEDT - Can I add to that answer? For a number of years there has been some work on the potential to provide not only tourism-related accommodation for the construction workers but also some form of temporary demountable housing, given the vast number that will need to be accommodated particular at the peak of the construction. That is not in my area, but one of the other ministers may be able shed some light on that. Certainly I am aware from past discussions that that has been under consideration.
Ms MARIANI - Yes. But we worked on that premise in doing the study. We overlaid that against occupancy levels of different times of the year. So we did try to see the impact of, for instance, when the construction period would peak - and if that happened in the winter period, we would not have those implications. We have worked on a whole lot of assumptions but we did have a look at that as part of a process about six months ago.