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In Their Own Words...

Liberals | Labor | Greens | Premier Will Hodgman | Labor Leader Bryan Green | Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor

Sydney Uni’s champagne tastes led to $500k budget blowout

Canberra Times
26.02.18 9:14 am

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Joyce affair weakens case for secret Coalition deal

Canberra Times
26.02.18 8:26 am

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Why Tasmania needs a bigger parliament

Examiner
26.02.18 8:24 am

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Tasmanians rejecting Liberal scare campaign on poker machines

Sarah Lovell MLC Labor Campaign Spokesperson 26 February 2018
26.02.18 8:23 am

• Labor determined to improve the health of communities      
• Tasmanians rejecting scare campaigns from the Liberals and poker machine industry  
• Liberal policy is a liability for sitting Denison MP  

Tasmanians have rejected entrenching poker machines in communities until 2043 despite being subjected to a multi-million dollar scare campaign from the Liberals and the gambling industry.

The Liberals have spent close to $5 million to attempt to buy the election on behalf of vested interests but the scare campaign isn’t working.

Labor Campaign Spokesperson Sarah Lovell said independent polling released by The Mercury shows 57.1% of Tasmanians support Labor’s policy to remove poker machines from pubs and clubs.

“Labor’s policy on poker machines is the right thing to do for the health of Tasmanian communities,” Ms Lovell said.

“Our policy was based on evidence and our determination to put people first.

“Tasmanians are seeing through the lies and know that removing poker machines from pubs and clubs is the right thing to do.

“The Liberals’ decision to entrench pokies in communities until 2043 has been rejected.

“In every electorate support for the Liberals’ policy is lower than general support for the party, meaning Liberal voters are backing Labor’s policy.

“In Denison, Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein’s policy to keep poker machines in communities is a liability for incumbent Elise Archer with 71% of voters backing Labor’s policy.

“The Liberals’ decision to let the poker machine industry write their policy could cost Ms Archer her seat.”

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USyd Students’ Representative Council response to EROC’s ‘The Red Zone Report

Imogen Grant, SRC President and 2017 Women’s Officer, Jessica Syed , SRC 2018 Women’s Officer, Maddy Ward , SRC 2018 Women’s Officer
26.02.18 6:46 am

Download The Red Zone Report ...

http://cdn-src.tasmaniantimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/The-Red-Zone-Report.pdf

On Monday 26 February, End Rape on Campus revealed ‘The Red Zone Report’ which
exposes vile college rituals and abuse at universities across the country, along with the
complete failure of colleges to address rape and misogyny within their own communities.

“The Red Zone Report details nearly a century of abuse at USyd Colleges. We know that for
decades students and survivors have been urging universities to address sexual violence within
their communities. But these calls for change have been put at the bottom of the agenda. As a
result, we have seen the same stories of sexual assault and institutional betrayal emerging time
and time again” says Imogen Grant, USyd SRC President.

“O-Week is one of the most dangerous weeks of the year for students. Sexual assault service
providers receive a spike in calls from university students and one in eight attempted or
committed rapes at USyd colleges will happen this week.”

“Despite many colleges claiming that hazing is ‘opt-in’, students are coerced into participating
often directly or indirectly by knowing that refusing to take part will result in extreme social
ostracism due to the insider-outsider culture.”

“Hazing normalises a culture whereby personal boundaries and consent are ritually violated and
contributes to a culture whereby students with more power feel entitled to the bodies of those in
marginal positions.”

“For too long these colleges and their councils have protected acts of misogyny, racism and
homophobia by their residents. At the end of the day, this is a structural problem that is
entrenched in the college acts. It’s not going to just be changed in a shakeup of council and
consent training.”

“The colleges at the University of Sydney have proven themselves time and time again to be
islands of impunity that operate under different laws and standards than the university on which
they stand and the broader community.”

“The current arrangement which was enacted to ensure freedom from religious interference has
led to a culture of militant entitlement and bullying.”

“At a time when students of low-to-moderate-income struggle to obtain a degree with the lack of
affordable accommodation preventing equitable access, that these colleges are allowed to
operate in such ways is absurd.”

We reject the entitled culture of bullying that colleges foster and call on the federal and state
governments, colleges and the University of Sydney to accept the recommendations of The Red
Zone Report in full.

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Tasmanian casinos set for windfall under Liberal plan

Bill Browne, The Australia Institute
26.02.18 6:23 am

New research by The Australia Institute Tasmania has found that the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s new gambling policy could increase taxes for pubs and clubs by around $10 million per year while cutting taxes for the state’s casinos by $9 million per year if Federal Group’s proposed rate is used as the benchmark.

“The Liberal policy proposes ‘benchmarking’ casino taxes to the interstate casino tax rate, but does not specify what that rate is”, says report author Bill Browne.

“The casinos would save about $11 million a year if casino taxes were set to the rate that Federal Group says is the benchmark.”

“That’s an overall saving of $9 million once their additional Community Support Levy obligations are taken into account.”

The report approximates what would happen if the casino tax rate was set to 11%, as proposed by poker machine monopoly holder Federal Group and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association. The current rate is 25.88%.

It takes into account the casinos’ new Community Support Levy obligations, which are part of the Liberal policy to double the levy’s size to nearly $9 million per year.

Taxpayers would also contribute an extra $1.7 million to the Community Support Levy to counter the costs of problem gambling.

“Any reduction in their tax rate will save casinos money at the expense of taxpayers – using the Federal Group rate would cut the casinos’ tax bill almost in half.” Bill Browne says.

http://www.tai.org.au/

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Connecting Tasmania

Wayne Turale , Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party Tasmania
26.02.18 6:21 am

The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party Tasmania is committed to addressing public transport, both commuter, tourism and freight rail.

Following on from our government department decentralisation policy, we believe the way forward for Tasmania is passenger rail, connecting all Tasmanians.

Railways will reduce traffic congestion, improve regional communities, and bring much needed employment across the state. Rail would breathe new life and renewed optimism into Tasmanian regional and rural towns.

SFFP would connect Tasmania, passenger rail, from Launceston to Hobart, across to Strahan and Stanley connecting New Norfolk, Sorell, Kingston and Bruny Island.

Is this a bold and visionary plan, yes? Will this take a few years, yes, but that’s ok because governments must start to plan well beyond the election cycle, we must build for the future.

Will it cost a few billion, yes? However, visionary infrastructure is required to move this state towards the future, not hold it back.

If elected SFFP will aim to:
• Fund a detailed business plan for connecting Tasmania
• Upgrade and rebuild the 200+ level crossings and stations
• Refurbish existing tracks
• Build railway bridges if required
• Fund $10 million towards tourism ventures and upgrades on heritage railway lines

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Support our endangered wildlife

Wayne Turale Chair Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party Tasmania
26.02.18 6:20 am

Stray and feral cats pose a risk to Tasmania’s wildlife, environment and agriculture. Cats are known to be a carrier of diseases that affect wildlife, livestock and humans.

From 1 July 2012, new cat management laws came into effect in Tasmania. Under the Cat Management Act 2009 cats found in a prohibited, rural or remote area may be trapped, seized or humanely destroyed.

However, all we hear from those in parliament is token gestures. It’s well past time to seriously tackle the issue. Valuable resources were used chasing mystical foxes, yet it seems to be a struggle to deal with the present environmental disaster caused by feral cats.

If elected, Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party will significantly increase funding to organisations like Landcare, Field Hunting & Conservation and other like-minded organisations to work together on targeted feral cat eradication programs. SFFP would allocate $20M over 10 years towards the targeted program.

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NUS Response to the Red Zone Report

NUS National Women’s Officer Kate Crossin, NUS National President Mark Pace
26.02.18 6:18 am

Download the Red Zone Report ...

http://cdn-src.tasmaniantimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/The-Red-Zone-Report.pdf

End Rape On Campus Australia’s ‘The Red Zone Report’ has shed light on the prevalence of sexual violence and hazing cultures at university residential colleges. The report includes details of 89 years worth of media coverage around misogyny, bullying and hazing at the colleges of the University of Sydney and other Australian universities.

The National Union of Students is appalled by the savage hazing activities which contradict the values and principles advertised by colleges.  “It is appalling that even after 89 years of media coverage, these colleges still contain dangerous and barbaric traditions of hazing and abuse,” said NUS Women’s Officer, Kate Crossin.

With these colleges reported to cost students between $584 and $831 per week, many students are paying almost the entire cost of their degree to live on these colleges.

“Student’s are paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to a college that doesn’t care about their safety” said Crossin.  “These colleges are turning a blind eye, they have chosen to prioritise money, prestige and their own reputations over their students wellbeing.”

“The illustrious list of college alumni undoubtedly knew about this toxic culture and perhaps even took part in these activities during their time at university” said Crossin.  “It’s disgusting to think how many of them might have had their misconduct and behaviours covered up so as to protect their own reputation.”

The National Union of Students supports all recommendations made in The Red Zone Report and is calling for immediate government action on both sexual violence and hazing.

“State governments must intervene and take action against hazing rituals, and reconsider the place of colleges on campus that have allowed this culture to manifest”, said NUS National President Mark Pace. 

The National Union of Students and End Rape On Campus Australia have been working collaboratively, for years, on campaigns to end sexual violence on campuses.  The most recent of these campaigns being ‘The Red Zone’ and ‘We Will Not Be Silent’.

NUS would like to thank Nina Funnell, Anna Hush and Sharna Bremner on their tireless work in creating this report, as well as their ongoing advocacy for survivors. NUS would also like to recognise the brave students who have come forward and shared their experiences for this report.  We believe you and we stand with you.

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The Briefing ... Racial tensions resurface in Kalgoorlie

The Saturday Paper
26.02.18 6:05 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

Hundreds of people have marched in the Western Australian town of Kalgoorlie in protest at the possible release of the man who killed a 14-year-old boy.

Elijah Doughty died in 2016 after being run over by a 56-year-old man in a four-wheel-drive, pursuing him over what he believed was a stolen motorbike. Elijah’s grandfather Alfred told the ABC the prospect of the man gaining parole “sends a message that you can kill a black kid and get away with it”, and that “justice hasn’t been done”. Threatening flyers reading “if a thief was to steal my motorbike … I would run him down” were posted along the march’s route.

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Letter to the Editor Re: Missing Candidate Profile in the Mercury

Kim Peart, Independent candidate in Lyons
25.02.18 3:46 pm

image
Kim Peart in Longford with his election barrow (photo by Jennifer Bolton)

Dear Editor,

Running a low-budget campaign is tough going.

The going got tougher today, when I found that I was not included among the candidates in Lyons in the on-line version of the Mercury. ~
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/tasmanian-state-election-the-pitch-from-every-lyons-candidate/news-story/9a262e5795a88851d368b0387ad8a9b9

After lodging this matter of missing fairness with the reporter and the Editor (see below), I may have since appeared.

I did find that though the Election Guide does not appear following the Digital Print edition, it can be accessed separately below on the page. ~
http://mercury.digitaleditions.com.au/?key=44db588a-9266-4e23-90bb-a8bbd11403b7&target=TheMercury

I am a tad concerned that a short letter, that a Mercury editor checked with me about, didn’t see print, along with a later letter (included below).

You can judge their worthiness for publication.

I am concerned that my media releases do not get any air, especially when they include ways to create work, improve tourism and prepare for worsening climate change in Tasmania, but, the editor is god, and I respect that (grumbling about deities).

Rewarding Ideas ~ not just Power and Pestilence
Kim Peart, candidate for Lyons in the State Poll
20.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/rewarding-ideas-not-just-power-and-pestilence/

How to make the March 3 poll anything but boring ...
Kim Peart, candidate for Lyons ... a lion for Lyons, a tiger for Tasmania
18.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/how-to-make-the-march-3-poll-anything-but-boring-/

Where is the Public Car Park in Ross?
Kim Peart, Candidate for Lyons in the Tasmanian election, a lion for Lyons, a tiger for Tasmania
18.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/where-is-the-public-car-park-in-ross-saturday-17-february-2018/

Today on the campaign trail in Lyons
Kim Peart
15.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/today-on-the-campaign-trail-in-lyons/

Today in Kim Peart’s campaign in Lyons ...
Kim Peart, a lion for Lyons, a tiger for Tasmania
13.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/today-in-kim-pearts-campaign-in-lyons-/

TasSpace ~ Election Event 2pm Sunday 25 February 39 Church Street, Ross
Kim Peart, a lion for Lyons, a tiger for Tasmania
09.02.18
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/tasspace-election-event-2pm-sunday-25-february-39-church-street-ross/

Work on the Australian Convict Trail will continue after the election, along with TasSpace (see last link), and drumming the needs of preparing Tasmania for a future where this planet is getting hotter.

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart

Authorised by: Jennifer Bolton, 39A Bridge St., Ross

David Killick ~ The Mercury ~ 25 February 2018

Dear David,

Have I died?

I could not find myself in the list of Lyons candidates in the Mercury.

Have I been black-banned?

I did receive an Email from a Mercury editor about publishing my letter, included below, but it never appeared.

Did I miss that?

When I look at the Mercury today, both digital and on-line versions, I cannot be found among the candidates for Lyons. ~
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/tasmanian-state-election-the-pitch-from-every-lyons-candidate/news-story/9a262e5795a88851d368b0387ad8a9b9

How bizarre is that?

The Digital Print Edition has left out the Election Guide completely, so I’ll have to drive downtown to see what the score is in the hands-on paper edition.

If I am still alive and running as a candidate in Lyons in the coming week, am I to be given special coverage?

To date, my media releases have been ignored.

Now I have been ignored as a candidate, entirely.

Is this fair?

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart

Thanks for the opportunity David,

Sincerely,

Kim

Profile portrait

Kim Peart

Running in Lyons

66 years of age

Lives in Ross

Visual artist

Independent

In 2007 Kim was listed among Tasmania’s top 200 movers and shakers for “An urban bushland conservationist who has worked tirelessly over the years to maintain walking tracks and protect wildlife from the encroachment of bush-front housing developments.” Kim is campaigning for an Australian Convict Trail, with the Tasmanian leg running from the ferry in Devonport to Port Arthur, along with foot and cycle paths by Tasmania’s highways and roads. After being at the launch of an Australian Space Agency last September, Kim is seeking ways to create employment, careers and new enterprise in Tasmania with the global space industry.

TO: Michelle Paine ~ 12 February 2018 ~

Dear Michelle,

Agree.

I should have included that.

Sincerely,

Kim


Hi Kim,

I’d like to run your letter on North Korea but would have to say you’re a Lyons candidate underneath it :
Kim Peart
Independent candidate, Lyons

Are you happy with that?

Thanks,

Michelle Paine

On 30 January 2018 at 06:19, Kim Peart

wrote:

Kim Peart
39A bridge Street
Ross   7209   Tasmania

Re: Winning peace with North Korea

Dear Editor,

Will we ever declare peace with North Korea, which remains in perpetual war, and with nuclear weapons now in the mix, there is a form of conflict that could send all nations down the nuclear gurgler?

North Korea fired a rocket higher than the International Space Station, so could space be the way to peace with North Korea?

If leading nations, including Australia, engaged in a mission to launch industry in space, and invited North Korea to join the mission, if they will be peaceful on Earth, this could be the way to avoid nuclear madness.

Space as the way to peace has not been tried yet, so should we investigate that?

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart

Letter to the Editor of the Mercury ~ 17 February 2018 ~

Kim Peart
39A Bridge Street
Ross   7209   Tasmania

Re: Editorial ~ Help the Homeless

Dear Editor,

The status quo is so entrenched in Australia, that the economy and politicians depend on under-employment, unemployment and homelessness to maintain growth.

This is criminal level negligence, revealed in Hobart’s housing crisis (Editorial, 17 Feb), and the political driven abuse of the Centrelink robot debacle.

If this were not the case, the problem would not be upon us.

The simple solution to homelessness, is to provide homes.

Finland did that, and found it works.

Any politician unwilling to fight for housing provision as a basic human right, does not deserve a vote.

All voters need to vet the moral credentials of who they will vote for.

The other simple solution to homelessness, is to launch a government work guarantee, with real work paying the minimum wage.

Housing would come with a work guarantee, as workers need homes.

Less tax would be paid, because more people would be paying tax.

Centrelink would shrink.

Scam training and other blights, would be history.

A work guarantee would need to be a national program, but it could be launched at a community level in Tasmania, driven by citizens who care.

Everyone with a heart needs to find candidates who will fight for a Fair Go in this election.

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart

Kim Peart is running in Lyons in the Tasmanian election.

I am willing to visit Hobart and address a meeting of interested people.

After my marriage broke up in the 1990s, as a poor artist I was sleeping in my car and working in my studio in the Salamanca Arts Centre during the day.

On a winter night I would tape icypole sticks to my fingers, so I could open my hands in the morning.

I organised a conference on unemployment as a human right during human rights week in the 1990s (see article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The event went well, but I was amazed to see how poverty workers on Government funded positions went behind my back to kill off any outcomes of the event that could make a difference. Part of the problem we have, is a poverty industry that will not fight for real solutions to the problem, as solving the problem, would mean that their services would no longer be needed.

“The Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment is a term used by economists and politicians to refer to the level of unemployment, between 4% and 6%, considered necessary to prevent inflation taking off.”
‘How the unemployed ‘disappear’ and why it matters’
Rose-Marie Stampe & David Fryer, The Conversation, 12 January 2015
https://theconversation.com/how-the-unemployed-disappear-and-why-it-matters-35850

An article of mine on the matter ~

Creating a Future Beyond Homelessness
Tasmanian Times, 13 February 2017
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/creating-a-future-beyond-homelessness/show_comments

ALSO ~

Creating a Future that Works
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/creating-a-future-that-works/

‘Help! Saving Australia’
Kim Peart, 6 April 2015, Tasmanian Times
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/help-saving-australia/

‘Liberating Australia from an Addiction to Unemployment’
Kim Peart, 16 March 2015, Tasmanian Times
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/liberating-australia-from-an-addiction-to-unemployment/

Dawn of the Centrelink Robot
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/dawn-of-the-centrelink-robot/

All about the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ...

Adrian Pickin
25.02.18 3:44 pm

Watch here

Liberals break advertising spending records

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
25.02.18 3:43 pm

• Estimates the Liberals have spent $5 million on advertising      
• Fuelled by poker machine money, Will Hodgman is trying to buy victory
• Time for the Liberals to come clean on how much they’ve been given  

With less than a week to go until polling day it’s increasingly obvious the Liberals are trying to buy the election with the biggest advertising spend Tasmania has ever seen.

Across all mediums, it’s estimated the Liberals have already broken through the $5 million mark.

“The advertising blitz from the Liberals has been obscene,” Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said.

“They started by ruining the cricket with back to back negative ads and they’ve continued to bombard Tasmanians ever since.

“Funded and cheered on by the poker machine industry, the Liberals have racked up the biggest advertising bill in Tasmanian political history.

“By flooding the market, it’s estimated they’ve spent around $5 million, not to mention the enormous campaigns launched by Federal Group and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association.

“It’s time the Liberals came clean and revealed just how much money they’re getting from the poker machine industry.

“Will Hodgman has been bought and corrupted by vested interests.

“He signed off on the policy the poker machine industry wanted and now he’s trying to surf their wave of donations to victory.”

Sayed Abdellatif: hope for asylum seeker after removal from Interpol list

Guardian
25.02.18 3:11 pm

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HobartNotHighrise: Town Hall, Macquarie St, Hobart Tue. 27th Feb @ 5:45pm for 6:00pm start

Brian Corr for Hobart Not Highrise Inc.
25.02.18 2:38 pm

image

Town Hall Meeting:

 Town Hall, Macquarie St., Hobart

 Tue. 27th Feb. @ 5:45pm for 6:00pm start.

Discussion Topics: Highrise and Major Projects.

Programme:

 Live performance of our theme song: “Don’t Get Tall (like other cities)”. See the video on our website http://www.hobartnothighrise.com.au;

 Introduction: Brian Corr, President Hobart Not Highrise Inc.;

 Speaker 1: Hon Elise Archer MP, Liberal Party, Denison Member & Candidate (8 minutes max.);

 Speaker 2: Hon Madeleine Ogilvie MP, Labor Party - Labor Whip, Denison Member & Candidate (8 minutes max.);

 Speaker 3: Hon Cassy O’Connor MP, Greens Party - Party Leader, Denison Member & Candidate (8 minutes max.);

 After the 3 speakers, each will have a ‘right of reply’ (3 minutes max. each)

 Questions from the floor.

 Close meeting (7:00pm approx..)

All speakers have been confirmed.

Highrise & Major Projects are big issues for the future of our city, so we ask that the meeting be confined to these two areas; thanks.

We look forward to a great meeting.

Authorised by Brian Corr for Hobart Not Highrise Inc.

Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?

Guardian via John Tully
25.02.18 2:36 pm

Islamist militants – with Turkish army support – are wreaking havoc with a pocket of peace and sanity in the Syrian war

Read here

Addiction doc says: It’s not the drugs. It’s the ACEs … adverse childhood experien

Aces Too High
25.02.18 2:31 pm

Read here

Fostering Differentiated Learning for the Gifted

Tasmanian Association for the Gifted
25.02.18 8:12 am

Read here

Tasmania Fire Service Left Short

Leigh Hills UFUA –TAS Branch
24.02.18 6:57 am

United Firefighter Union of Australia call on the major parties and candidates to make commitments to community Safety, Stability and Integrity of the State Fire Commission (SFC).

UFUA are calling on the parties to commit to upgrading Heavy Pumper Fire Trucks, additional career firefighters to assist volunteer brigades, Infrastructure upgrades and Equipment.

To date, during this election campaign there has been no commitments from either major party towards Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS).

The Liberal party have been pork barrelling into the Police service under the banner of Crime Reduction and Community Safety.

Whoever forms government after this election needs to ensure the relevant minister doesn’t do the same as the incumbent minister. That is, only focus on one part of their departmental responsibility.

The funding for the SFC is derived from Rates, MAIB and Insurance levies, specifically for fire incidents not from consolidated revenue.

A 2016 parliamentary enquiry found that the cost of funding the SES had been moved from Police & Emergency services revenue to the SFC since 2014. This has drained the SFC cash flow by an average of 2.6 million per year.

This has meant that TFS has not been able to carry out the scheduled replacement or upgrades of its equipment or infrastructure.

TFS receive approximately $200 000 a year specifically for the training and equipment associated with Road Crash Rescue kits (RCR).

Quotes attributable to UFUA Senior Industrial Organiser Leigh Hills

“Operational Road Crash Rescue equipment is being used off vehicles for training due to not having any training kits.”

“Firefighters have had to pack up operational equipment in the middle of training to respond to actual serious Road Crash Rescue incidents in the middle of training on a number of occasions.”

“TFS management admitted they cannot account for the RCR money, other than it has gone into the broader budget. That money is not specifically accounted for as it should be. ”

“The parliamentary enquiry recommended that the SFC be fully reimbursed for the cost of the SES from 2014 – 2017, this has not been committed too.”

“The enquiry also recommended that Fuel Reduction Programme should be directly funded from government consolidated revenue”

“Not having fully functional, insufficient equipment and resources may cause a significant delay in response times, putting the community at risk. This is clearly unacceptable. ”

Donate to keep kunanyi free of a cable car ...

Residents Opposing a Cable Car
24.02.18 6:50 am

image

Donate here

Crikey Weekend ... ‘The worst couple of weeks in the ABC’s modern era’

Crikey
24.02.18 6:03 am

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The Saturday Briefing ... George Brandis ...

The Saturday Paper
24.02.18 6:00 am

The Saturday Paper has obtained details of a private address former attorney-general George Brandis gave to ASIO on February 7. Brandis acknowledged, and effectively endorsed, fears already in the agency that changes to Australia’s security structures, in particular the new Home Affairs Department, could place operations at risk of political interference, writes Karen Middleton.

Brandis is reported to have quoted from a speech given by Home Affairs Department Secretary Michael Pezzullo which he stated: “How we do things today is not going to be … how we will need to do things tomorrow. The state has to embed itself invisibly into global networks and supply chains, and the virtual realm, in a seamless and largely invisible fashion, intervening on the basis of intelligence and risk settings, increasingly at super scale and at very high volumes.”

Plus: Paul Bongiorno on Barnaby Joyce’s siege, and Maxine Beneba Clarke on Black History Month.

Read here

New York Times Opinion Today

New York Times
24.02.18 5:59 am

Read here

FactCheck: are ‘around 5000 jobs’ at risk if pokies are removed from pubs and clubs ...

The Conversation
23.02.18 3:31 pm

Read here

Guardian Brit: Barnaby resigns ...

Guardian
23.02.18 3:06 pm

Read here

My views on the Australian Poultry Code review ...

Cheryl Forrest-Smith
23.02.18 2:58 pm

image
https://www.facebook.com/AnimalsAustralia/photos/a.107448345298.115177.32799215298/10157222318010299/?type=3&theater

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute my views regarding the Australian Poultry Code review.

I join well over 117,000 Australians – and counting, in one organisation alone, who are telling our governments to ban battery cages.

This new legal review of the code has been written 16 years* after the last one and, unbelievably, there is still no mention of even a phase out of battery cages!

This is despite a new, and damning Victorian government-commissioned, independent scientific study by leading international experts, that has categorically concluded what most of us have long-known to be true -  that battery cages are cruel! 

This is the same evidence that has led the governments of New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the entire European Union to conclude that battery cages should be banned.  Major companies, including retail, hotel, and restaurant chains around the world, including Australia, have switched, or are switching to cage free eggs.

In Australia, if you treated a cat or dog this way, it would be a criminal offence.  The only difference is that one is a food animal, the other a companion animal.  And yet hens are equally sentient, and equally deserving of our protection from cruelty.

Millions of hens have suffered extreme cruelty in cages throughout the 16 years since the last review.  But the government departments responsible for animal agriculture, are charged with representing both the interests of the industry AND the welfare of the animals.  If they had prioritised their animal welfare obligations, the cages would have been banned in 2002.

How many more millions of hens must suffer before Governments abide by their own rules, listen to science and the people?

I urge Animal Health Australia to now act on the evidence in the study and, at the very least, support a ban on battery cages in the draft standards, and an end to standard industry mutilation practices, such as beak trimming and the maceration of male chicks. 

I further urge that slaughterhouses ensure all birds are humanely killed before being plunged into the scalder: 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-16/chickens-boiled-alive-inside-melbourne-abattoir/9157186

And that the Guidelines include measures to ensure no collusion, and/or any conflict of interest between the poultry industry and government departments responsible for poultry agriculture: 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-21/egg-farmers-accused-of-colluding-with-nsw-government/9229242
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-08/concerns-poultry-welfare-standards-stage-managed-by-industry/9299256

Australia is lagging well behind international standards when it comes to our treatment of hens.  But in 2018, there is an opportunity for progress.

Yours faithfully,
Cheryl Forrest-Smith


*  Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines, Nov 2017

Further references and background information:

Companies switching (or have switched) to cage free:

“Unilever”  -  was the first food giant to announce a big switch to cage-free eggs, saying all 350 million eggs it uses annually in the US to make mayonnaise would come from free-ranging hens.  (AA 2014)

“Compass Group”  - The largest food service company in the world, with food outlets in 45 countries, including Australia (AA 2016)

Australian egg farm housing trails the rest of the world’s.  Australian-type cages are banned in the European Union and are being phased out in several other countries, notably India. New Zealand will end cages by 2022. Major European chains such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Aldi have stopped stocking cage eggs, and in the US, where battery cages are still legal, some of the biggest names, from hotel chains to Sara Lee, Kraft, Nestlé (Globally), are committed to phasing out cage eggs. In 2010, Unilever was the first food giant to announce a big switch to cage-free eggs, saying all 350 million eggs it uses annually in the US to make mayonnaise would come from free-ranging hens. Restaurant chains Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s and Subway are all moving to free-range eggs. Across the UK and Europe, McDonald’s uses only free-range eggs. 

McDonalds Australia announced in 2014, that it would phase out cage eggs.  (AA 2014),  Subway, Hungry Jacks, …….

7 major supermarket chains, including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, IGA

Saturday 24 - Sunday 25 February 2018

David Abbott
23.02.18 2:56 pm

Jam packed motoring weekend ahead for Baskerville’s 60th anniversary

February 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the Baskerville – the longest continuously operating licensed motor racing circuit in Australia.

To celebrate this milestone event the Hobart Sporting Car Club is conducting Round 1 of the Tasmanian Super Series for racing cars – marking the beginning of the motorsport season in Tasmania, and Round 2 of the Sports Riders Club of Tasmania motorcycle series.

The club will also be hosting the opening round of the Aussie Racing Cars National Championship series, renowned for spectacular and close racing. Aussie Racing Cars are scaled down purpose built racing cars driven by up-and-coming motorsport stars.

There are 50 events scheduled for the weekend with over 150 racing cars and motorcycles competing. A large crowd is expected to see this significant event in Baskerville Raceway’s history.
The diverse assembly of racing cars and motorcycles at this anniversary event will provide spectators with one of the best motor sport experiences of the 2018 season.

Northern Syria: poison gas and executions by the Turkish army?

Kamal Sido, the Society for Threatened Peoples Middle East Consultant
23.02.18 2:52 pm

Northern Syria: poison gas and executions by the Turkish army? A commission must investigate possible war crimes of NATO partner Turkey!

Göttingen, February 20, 2018—- On Tuesday, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demanded the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the serious allegations that Turkey is committing war crimes in northern Syria. “Apparently, the Turkish army is using poison gas in the northern Syrian region of Afrin. The international community should not ignore the alarming reports of doctors and eyewitnesses,” said Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Consultant in Göttingen. “In addition, we were repeatedly informed about executions of Kurds who were captured by the Turkish army or by allied Islamist militias – which would be serious war crimes as well. If there are allegations like this against a NATO partner, they must be investigated. Denials by Turkey are by no means enough!”

According to Sido, there is worrying evidence that recent reports about executions of prisoners of war are true. For example, Turkey has stopped publishing figures about captured Kurds. Now, there are only reports about “neutralized” or “eliminated” members of the Kurdish YPG. The YPG are protecting northern Syria from IS and other radical Islamists.

Further, Sido warned that many statements by the Turkish government are to be seen as “window dressing”, such as the constant assertion that no civilian targets are being attacked in Afrin. Several eyewitnesses informed the human rights activist (by phone) that the Turkish Air Force attacked ten villages in the northern Syrian region on Monday alone. One of the targets was the refugee camp “Robar”, located 18 miles away from the Turkish-Syrian state border, where thousands of refugee families from all over Syria are now living. In the south of Afrin, Turkish rockets hit the village Basuta.

According to first information, the 13-year-old girl Haifa Kallahu died, and eight other members of the Kallahu family were seriously injured. There are many members of the religious community of the Yazidis living in Basuta. Since the beginning of the Turkish war of aggression against peaceful Afrin, at least 183 civilians got killed, 431 were injured, and around 70,000 were forced to flee.

Kamal Sido, who was born in Afrin, talks to eyewitnesses in northern Syria over the phone every day. The people there have repeatedly confirmed the indiscriminate attacks of the Turkish Air Force against targets in the city of Afrin.

“Russia and Iran have repeatedly tried to cover up the atrocities of the Assad regime,” the human rights activist criticized. “It would be a feeble ‘tit-for-tat’-response if the US and other states were to back up their NATO partner Turkey and cover up war crimes by the Turkish military.”

Letter to the Editor on Barnaby Joyce ...

Bob Phelps Executive Director Gene Ethics
23.02.18 2:49 pm

Barnaby Joyce’s peccadillos are a minor matter. He killed off the safety review scheme for agricultural pesticides that was to have started on July 1 2014.

It was an election promise he had made to the chemical industry.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation (Removing Re-approval and Re-Registration) Amendment Bill 2014 (1) passed with ALP support.

That year both the Nationals ($42,500) and Labor ($22,300) got donations from the chemical industry’s peak body CropDeath.

Killing the review scheme reportedly saved the chemical industry just $1.3 million but cancellation will continue to gravely impact public health, safety and our environment far into the future.

Thousands of pesticides were approved up to 50 years ago, before modern safety testing methods became available. New scientific evidence on chemical toxicity is alarming, yet most old toxins have never been reviewed.

All farm chemicals need reassessment every 15 years, as the scheme would have required, to improve safety for farmers, farm workers and those shoppers who eat sprayed foods. The National Farmers Federation crowed over the cancellation.

Barnaby also defunded chemical residue monitoring in the food supply, after just one year of a five year program.

He should be jeered for poisoning us all, not for his fun and games.

(1) Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Removing Re-approval and Re-registration) Bill 2014 https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5196

(2) $42,500 to the Nationals and $22,300 to the ALP, Donor to Political Party Disclosure. http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Returns/60/WDVJ2.pdf

Tim Winton is coming to the Tramsheds in Launceston on Saturday March 24 at 4:30pm

Anne Layton-Bennett
23.02.18 2:41 pm

Read here