MINISTER FOR THE HUNTER
The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER:
My question without notice is directed to the Treasurer. In his capacity as Minister for State and Regional Development, is the Treasurer aware of a number of recent public clashes between the Minister for the Hunter and prominent Hunter business leaders that have denigrated into personal attacks, including calling the chief executive officer of the Knights rugby league club a bully, overseeing the removal of the head of the Hunter Development Corporation after reportedly he gave her some frank advice, and also removing the Lord Mayor of Newcastle from the Hunter Development Corporation after he announced his intention to stand against her at the next State election? Is the Treasurer aware that increasingly concerns are being raised in the Hunter regarding the Minister's ability to continue in her role as a leader of the Hunter? Given the importance of development in the Hunter and the pressing attraction of soccer games to the region, including LA Galaxy and the Soccer World Cup, will he take control of the future of the Hunter Development Corporation and repairs to the Energy Australia stadium before the Minister for the Hunter does irreparable damage to the Hunter and its international reputation?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL:
My experience in this place has taught me that one should be very guarded in taking the commentary of the honourable member at anything more than face value. He has been known to gild the lily a little bit, to colour the views, to over-exaggerate, to emphasise incorrectly, and some might even say—I would not—to mislead. In the context of that knowledge, and indeed as an avid reader of the Newcastle Herald
amongst many other great publications, I am aware that there are certain issues developing. What I can say, however—and the honourable member did touch on this—is that we look forward to LA Galaxy football team coming to the Hunter. That event was arranged on the basis of some decisions taken locally and support from the New South Wales Government. I am confident that LA Galaxy will be playing there, I am confident that it will be a very successful event and I am confident that the Hunter will continue to make a major contribution in terms of the economy of New South Wales.