Tasmanian Times


Bartlett at the centre of pokies deed, says Hodgman

State Opposition Leader Will Hodgman says Premier David Bartlett was at the centre of negotiations to extend Federal Hotels monopoly in 2003 without going to tender.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee report tabled yesterday is highly critical of the government’s handling of issues related to the Deed.

The Public Accounts Committee recommended that an open and transparent tender process should apply to the issuing of gaming licences unless exempted by Parliament.

Mr Hodgman says Mr Bartlett’s claim today that as the then Treasurer’s Chief of Staff he was nothing more than some sort of “message boy” in the negotiations was “laughable”. .

And it was also highly critical of the government’s lack of transparency over changes to Federal Hotels’ resort at Coles Bay that was required to be built as part of the new Deed.

Amongst other things, the report said State Government failed in its duty by not keeping the Tasmanian community informed of variations to the projected timelines and to the substantial change to the nature of the development at Coles Bay, particularly at the time of the third extension.

“The State Opposition has welcomed and strongly supports the Saffire development at Coles Bay, but we remain critical of the government’s failure to disclose changes to the public and we asked legitimate questions about these in Parliament. That led to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry and its report has vindicated our concern about the government’s lack of transparency,” said Mr Hodgman.

David Bartlett confirmed that as the then Treasurer’s senior adviser, he was at the heart of the negotiations between the government and Federal Hotels to extend the deed without going to tender.

“In light of his intimate involvement in this matter – and the nature of the recommendations in the report – it is extraordinary that he claimed not to be aware of it, even though it was tabled by a member of his own government, Heather Butler, yesterday<" said Mr Hodgman. "I suspect this is another attempt by the Premier to stonewall questions on a subject he doesn’t like." Press Release:

On Tasmanian Times: Bullying has done its job

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  1. Bob Barnes

    November 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Bartlett will run his messages for the gaming boys. In the process deliver the ALP a kick in the groin… but what would he care, he thinks that Duncan will bequeath Denison to him.
    As for blommely he’s a liberal poster boy who vision is himself.

    I say Peg Putt for the Federal seat of Denison and give these ALP jerks a lesson in democracy.

  2. P Burns

    November 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Federal Hotels, should declare now who they support and how much money they will give them, for this coming election. It is laughable at how cheaply the ALP sold their ethics for, the ethics obviously weren’t worth much to them in any case.
    But lets face the real reason that the ALP without warning and with no preparation extended the lease immediately after an election. It was Jim’s gratitude for being introduced to Honey, by Greg Farrel. The original lease for gaming, which Federal Hotels again paid nothing for would have expired this year, 2009.
    Bartlett was an errand boy (still is for Federals), there was no bargaining, no consultation and as Don Challen admitted no cost-benefit analysis completed or asked for. Everyone shut up and did the deed, like little lap dogs yelping for any morsel thrown their way by Federals. They just rolled over onto their tummies and acquiesced. The worst performance was by Rene Hidding, who was so intent on having his tummy tickled by Greg Farrel, that he did not even arrive at a dollar value for the extension. The one person who should have acted as Her Majesty’s loyal oposition, sat up and begged for a scrap of acknowledgement from Farrel. Hidding didn’t do his job properly and because of that, investment in the hospitality industry has stalled. Why would anyone want to build a backpackers or a large hotel in this State when the tourism boards only advertise to Federal Hotels customers/demographics. Indeed all the controlling bodies of tourism are stacked with consultants or employees of Federal Hotels. The TCCI is complaisant and quiet, the AHA is owned and controlled by Federal Hotels and as any hotel that wants gaming has to ask Federal Hotels on their knees for access to gaming or keno, everyone is quiet and uncritical. For that they have the most mediocre hospitality industry in Australia. The hoteliers like Hidding and Bartlet, never critiscize, question or comment other than lip service to their god, mammon. The AHA is the weakest industry organization in a conga line of suckholes who hope that anything they do is not seen as critiscism. For if you critiscize Federals beware their wrath as they offer gaming machines to your opposition or as Boyce points out, to maintain the discipline of the Libs, full page adds as a warning broadside shot, this is democracy at work with a large monopoly.

  3. Sam Betts

    November 18, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Not bad being a message boy on $100,000 a year.

  4. Mr Pork

    November 18, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Yadda, yadda, yadda. Who cares ? I want to know what Willy’s going to do about getting rid of poker machines.

  5. Jane

    November 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    And what was Will the Parliamentarian doing and saying when this all happened back in 2003?


    Isn’t hindsight wonderful.

  6. Mark

    November 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Excuse me Will but isn’t that Liberal wannabe Brendan Blomeley Vice President of the Federal Group? Did he have any involvement in the negotiations? It’s just like one big happy family in grandma’s feather bed.

  7. Greig Ferrell

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Watch out for those full page ads Willy.

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