Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

Hawthorn Football Club 'Tasmania Match' Dinner

31 July 2015

MCG, Melbourne

The President of the Hawthorn Football Club, Andrew Newbold and CEO, Stuart Fox.

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Small Business, and the Tasmanian Government's most passionate Hawks fan, Adam Brooks.

While we are here on this most magnificent of stages, at the M.C.G., tonight we are transporting you to Tasmania.

And it’s a great honour, as Premier of Tasmania, to be here with so many people who have some connection with, or affection for, our state.

I am especially proud to be here with some of our finest producers, and tonight we will all enjoy a taste of Tasmania, from a menu brimming with Tasmanian delights.

Tasmania is now very much the place to be.

But it was just on 10,000 years ago that Tasmania broke free from mainland Australia.

Through forces of nature and good fortune we separated from the rest of the pack and have become our nation's island state. Defined by geography, but with boundless opportunity.

And I thank heavens for it. For the water that separates us, though seen by some as a handicap, is a major advantage that truly sets us apart from the pack in so many ways.

Tasmania stands alone, and now in the global spotlight. And we are open for business.

You see, it's not just Hawthorn kicking goals in Tasmania.

Business confidence is now the highest in the nation, and business conditions areamong the highest.

We have the lowest tax ratios in the country; the lowest land and accommodation costs; the lowest business licensing costs.

My government has taken the economy from recession to positive growth, and the budget from deficit back into surplus at twice the rate predicted.

We have just recorded the highest rate of growth in the country of international tourists coming to Tasmania.

Lonely Planet has listed us in the top 4 places in the world you have to visit. We’ve  just been voted the best island in our region.

With a population of only 500,000, we now warmly welcome well over a million visitors to our state each year.

Our most famous of those being Xi Jinping, President of China, who has since become one of our greatest promoters abroad, after enjoying a memorable visit to Tasmania last November.

My government supports close to a hundred festivals and events - sporting and cultural - many of which are world class, and all of them are part of a rich tapestry of unique, often quirky, fun things to do in Tasmania.

The best private art gallery in the world.

We have been awarded the best whisky in the world; the best temperate climate wines.

The best boutique hotel.

The best beaches, bush walks and golf courses.

We are disease free and GMO free.

Our fresh seas and fertile soils produce some of the world's finest foods.

We see more hour’s of daylight than any other capital city.

We get half as much rain as Sydney, yet have 13% of the nation's water, on just 1% of its landmass, providing fresh, clean water for our towns and our country, and our carbon free Hydro power supply.

We have the cleanest air recorded in any populated place on the planet. 

Our brand is pure, authentic and tantalising.

We have the lowest cost of living, the most affordable housing. 

We have an average commute time of 20 minutes.

And we have the Hawthorn Football Club.

For 14 years now we’ve had a partnership that is an important and valued part of the Tasmanian community.

In that time the Hawks have become the AFL's premier team - a perfect combination with a state that is also associated with excellence

A partnership that not only brings AFL to Tasmania, but an economic impact of close to $30 million a year.

Today's Tasmania game is an annual opportunity for us to celebrate this partnership.

And tonight is the perfect opportunity for me to announce that we have agreed to renew our partnership for another five years.

It is a great partnership that delivers great social and economic benefit to Tasmania, and which continues Hawthorn’s special connection with the great state of Tasmania.

We look forward to more successes in the years ahead, and we look forward to a great game tonight.