Michael Kent is the Chairman of TOTE Tasmania, the Tasmanian government-owned racing betting agency. He is also the chairman of the Statewide Independent Wholesalers' and "holds directorships with a number of other commercial and not for profit organisations."
In 2002 Kent retired from a 40-year career in the retail industry, which began in 1961 in a supermarket in Hobart. "He then joined the Purity Supermarkets group in 1963, and was appointed GM in 1972. Woolworths subsequently acquired Purity, and Kent went on to become the GM of Woolworths in Tasmania," However, Kent became a consultant and lobbyist for Woolworths.
In August 2009 Andrew Scobie, the Managing Director of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, announced that Kent, who had been a chairman of the lobby group, had been awarded the Joseph A Lyons Award for "his strong advocacy for the deregulation of shop trading hours." "Thanks to his efforts Tasmanians can now shop when they want and business is stronger for it," Scobie said.
Funder of Tasmanians for a Better Future
Late in the 2006 election campaign, Kent revealed himself as one of the financial backers of Tasmanians for a Better Future, a front group for business people opposed to the possibility that the Tasmanian Greens would hold the balance of power."There are a number of business people, there are a number of TCCI members that are supportive of that process and I'll be honest with you, I have financially supported that organisation myself because I strongly believe we must maintain a majority government," he told ABC radio.
Pulp Mill Booster
Kent was an outspoken supporter of the pulp mill proposed by the woodchip company, Gunns. In July 2007 Kennt derided the broad opposition to the pulp mill. "It is hard enough to compete against the rising dollar and cheap foreign labour. Yet we still have a clique of globetrotting economic vandals intent on ruining our honest lawabiding businesses," he said.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- TOTE Tasmania, "About Us", TOTE Tasmania website, accessed September 2009.
- "Family beckons as retail chief checks out", Australasian Business Intelligence, June 30, 2002.
- "UTAS checks out Woolworths Chair", UniTAS, University of Tasmania, Volume 261, June 22, 2004, page 2.
- Andrew Scobie, "TCCI Honours Legends of Tasmanian Business", Media Release, August 10, 2009.
- Michelle Paine, "Show your hands, Green critics told", The Mercury, March 16, 2006.
- Robyn Grace, "Tas: Christian group attacks Greens policies", AAP, March 15, 2006.
- Michale Kent, "Tasmania must say yes to sustainable development", Media Release, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, July 19, 2007.
- "Upfront donors in the minority", The Mercury, March 17, 2006.
- Chris Harries, "Who is Michael Kent?", Tasmanian Times, April 3, 2006.
- Richard Dowling, Comment, Tasmanian Times, April 4, 2006.
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