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In Their Own Words...

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

Welfare ‘bludgers’ on tabloid front pages don’t pass reality test

Guardian
25.09.16 5:32 pm

… Conservative governments often struggle with welfare, given their default position that it is a “problem” that requires cutting. They aren’t helped by friendly media outlets so desperate to push the idea of those on welfare as bludgers that they will rush to paint youth as such on their front pages, regardless of the facts. The struggle is compounded by the findings of reports, such as that released this week, which show the biggest driver of welfare spending is the age pension, and that those who remain on welfare for lengthy periods are in small and very specific groups. That reality doesn’t look good on a tabloid front page and so that rather benign information is smothered with large hypothetical figures. Joe Hockey tried this approach last year in his much criticised Intergenerational Report. That report actually predicted all welfare payments would decrease by 2055 as a proportion of GDP except for the age pension and the carer payment – both of which are linked to our ageing population …

Read more HERE

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Support for Wood Pellet Plant Study

Guy Barnett, Minister for Building and Construction
25.09.16 4:44 pm

Creating jobs is the first priority of the Hodgman Liberal Government, and it’s why we are committed to rebuilding the forest industry.

Forestry is a key employer of Tasmanians, particularly in regional communities, and a resurgent industry that is growing in confidence has the potential to create many new jobs across our State.

Today, I am pleased to announce funding of $250,000 to help complete a feasibility study into a $115-145 million plantation fibre-only wood pellet plant in Tasmania that would deliver 55 new jobs.

New Forests Asset Management Pty Ltd is progressing a $5 million study and has already completed pre-feasibility work showing encouraging results.

The feasibility study will fully investigate the viability for an advanced wood pellet plan to be established in Northern Tasmania.

Analysis undertaken by New Forests has indicated a significant market for advanced wood pellets in Japan, where there is an active policy framework to support increased renewable energy generation.

Advanced wood pellets are a sustainable and renewable energy option that can be directly substituted for coal in existing large power stations.

This project would, if it proceeds, open up a new export market for Tasmania, putting our State at the forefront of new renewable energy markets.

The pellet plant would be expected to employ 25 full-time equivalent workers on site, with an estimated 30 jobs in raw material processing and supply.

The Liberal Government’s funding support for the feasibility study is another example of how we are working constructively with the forest industry to identify and seize new opportunities.

Our commitment sends a strong signal to both investors and potential customers that the project is supported by the Tasmanian Government as a long-term, sustainable value-adding enterprise.

The Office of the Coordinator-General has been in discussions with New Forests on the proposal as it has developed over the past 12 months.

New Forests is a significant player in our forest industry, with its investments in the State including the Timberlink Australia sawmill, the Taswood softwood plantation estate and Forico Pty Ltd.

This commitment by New Forests to exploring new investment opportunities for further value-adding demonstrates why there is growing confidence in Tasmania’s forest industry.

0 comments

Tim Flannery names his three priority areas in addressing environmental concerns

Karen Middleton, The Saturday paper
24.09.16 8:22 pm

Environmentalist and chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council Tim Flannery explains the need to overcome the vested interests against climate change action and how to best use an innovation fund.

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The poor are not the problem with the welfare system ...

The Saturday Paper
24.09.16 8:18 pm

Porter spoke enthusiastically of “tailored metrics” and “a very significant, maybe close to revolutionary, new direction in welfare reform”. But there is nothing revolutionary, or even close to revolutionary, in blaming young people for a lack of employment opportunities. There is nothing tailored about arbitrarily withholding support. Until this government engages with all forms of entitlement, especially those of privilege, there will be no “new direction” and nothing that resembles “reform” in any meaningful sense. Instead there will be the same demonisation of the same group, the one who can least respond to it: the poor.

Read more HERE

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Premier’s response to bullying scandal exposes his lack of leadership

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
24.09.16 7:25 pm

• Will Hodgman fails to respond to Rene Hidding scandal
• Minister clearly breached the code of conduct
• Premier doesn’t live up to his own rhetoric

Premier Will Hodgman’s failure to address a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct highlights his lack of leadership.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said the Premier’s reaction to the events of the week have been telling.

“We have seen a complete lack of leadership from Will Hodgman over the Rene Hidding scandal” Mr Bacon said.

“A highly respected member of the Legislative Council is bullied and intimidated inside parliament by a member of Will Hodgman’s cabinet and the Premier’s response is complete silence.

“The Minister himself has acknowledged his behaviour was unacceptable and it is a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

“The Premier’s only public comment has been to defend his minister.

“It’s becoming a trademark of Will Hodgman to go missing when there is bad news to deal with.

“This has been the worst example yet of the Premier’s failure to back up his rhetoric with action.

“He says he doesn’t tolerate bullying behaviour but when he’s faced with a very serious example of it within his own government, he says and does nothing in response.

“By excusing Rene Hidding’s behaviour, the Premier is sending a message to the rest of his government that bullying and intimidation is tolerated.”

0 comments

Gunns Ltd has failed to appeal a Supreme Court decision in Hobart

Examiner
24.09.16 11:44 am

Former timber giant Gunns Ltd has failed to successfully appeal a ruling that the company should not be granted damages for a water license application that took about six years to be addressed.

The company’s receiver applied to construct and fill a $750,000 dam at Tamar Ridge Wines, near Evandale, in 2005.

Construction of a 295 megalitre dam began but the company was notified in 2011 that, under the Water Management Act, only 16.6 megalitres of water would be allocated.

In 2015 Gunns Ltd unsuccessfully argued the minister in charge of administering the water license had a duty of care to approve or deny the license within a reasonable time.

Gunns attempted to sue the State for $645,260 in damages. An appeal to overturn the trial ruling was lodged earlier this year.

Chief Justice Alan Blow ruled on Wednesday that no duty of care existed and the former company’s attempt to sue the state had no grounds for appeal.

In the grounds for appeal Gunns argued that, historically, the former company had never been refused a water license in instances where a permit to construct a dam had been approved.

Read more HERE

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Opus Dei alleged links to Liberal Party campaigners against same-sex marriage…

Catholica
24.09.16 5:29 am

Liberal Party members behind same-sex marriage misinformation campaign …

Read more HERE

1 comments

The statewide planning scheme’s threat to Tasmania’s National Parks ...

Sophie Underwood, Freycinet Action Network
24.09.16 4:54 am

Community, science and environment voices raise alarm over statewide planning
scheme threat to national parks, threatened species and urban amenity.

In the lead up to the final opportunity for consultation on the proposed State Planning
Provisions, a growing range of community voices are coming together to highlight key
concerns with the direction of the changes and the alienation of the public in planning
decisions. Next week the Tasmanian Planning Commission will hold hearings on aspects of
the scheme.

The proposed State Planning Provisions, a key component of the Tasmanian Planning
Scheme, remove both environmental and community protections and the capacity for
public engagement in planning decisions. It amounts to gifting the real estate and tourism
development sectors a similar ‘special deal’ that was granted to aquaculture 20 years ago
and forestry and mining industries before that.

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme is the most significant legislative change to planning law
since the introduction of the Resource Management and Planning System in 1993 and
unfortunately it counters many of the objectives that system was designed to implement.

Planning Minister Peter Gutwein is expected to sign off on the new State Planning Provisions
in December and strong protections and public involvement provisions must be retained.

These are historic changes that most Tasmanians have no idea about.

“Tasmanians have traditionally been wary of politicians that get too close to big business.

We need to know that our government isn’t just box ticking development plans for the big
end of town, while locking locals out of the process that should give them a say about what
happens in their own backyard,” said Laura Kelly, Strategic Director for Environment
Tasmania.”

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick has studied the natural values of Tasmania’s parks
and reserves for 40 years and said “a planning process simply shouldn’t allow development
in Tasmania’s conservation reserve estate to be exempt from rigorous and transparent
assessment as it will lead to an inevitable deterioration of the natural and cultural values the
reserves are designed to protect. The public service is simply not adequately resourced to
carry out community-based planning.”

Sophie Underwood recently spearheaded a campaign with RACT members regarding expanded tourism development in Freycinet National Park. She said the response to that proposal demonstrated how valued national parks are, and how critical it is that the community has a say in the way that parks and reserves are managed.

“If the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is introduced, the community will lose the ability to properly scrutinise future proposals by a proponent like the RACT, opportunity for public comment will be limited and the right of appeal will be taken away.”

“The iconic natural and scenic beauty of the East Coast is being threatened via changes to planning laws that put developers interests ahead of the public interest and sound and democratic planning processes,” said Todd Dudley, President of the North East Bioregional Network.

Nick Sawyer is spokesperson for the Tasmanian National Parks Association and worked in reserve management for the Parks and Wildlife service for many years. He said “opportunities for public scrutiny of proposed developments within national parks are already inadequate and full introduction of the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme will only make the situation worse. Changes are urgently required to guarantee both public comment and appeal rights.”

Concerns with the proposed new planning scheme extend to non-reserved land, including private land that is known to hold important natural or community amenity values. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust has worked on private land conservation issues for decades and noted a disturbing weakening of protections in the new planning scheme. “The government has failed to ensure that threatened species habitats will be protected with appropriate zoning on private land so it seems that wherever industry has an interest, habitats will get second priority,” said Trust Director Peter McGlone.

“Planning schemes should provide a safety net for species, prohibiting development in critical habitat areas, but this scheme is a net with so many gaping holes it is hard to see how threatened species will be saved by anyone other than enlightened proponents.”

Robert Vincent is an Architect with urban and regional planning experience and is spokesperson for the Tasmanian Planning Information Network (TasPIN). Mr Vincent said “These planning changes are complex and detailed and will have far-reaching ramifications for people and places across Tasmania. They are being imposed with little explanation but will serious consequences for our urban amenity.”

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick

Todd Dudley – NEBN

Robert Vincent – Tas PIN

Peter McGlone – Tasmanian Conservation Trust

Sophie Underwood – Freycinet Action Network

Nick Sawyer – Tasmanian National Parks Association

Download briefing on the Statewide Planning Scheme ...

Brief_-_Statewide_Planning_scheme.pdf

0 comments

Liberal Party members behind same-sex marriage misinformation campaign

The Age
23.09.16 5:26 pm

Read more HERE

0 comments

Features to tell story of education opportunity

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
23.09.16 5:08 pm

The Education Bill represents the most significant transformation of and investment in the structural reform of education in more than half a century.

One of the most important changes in the Bill is the introduction of a new, voluntary starting age of four and a half years, while the compulsory age remains unchanged at five years of age.

This will give every young Tasmanian access to quality, play -based, enquiry-led early learning sooner. It will also result in more than a $100 million investment in more teachers, teacher assistants, specialist staff and infrastructure upgrades.

A series of short features has been created to tell Tasmanians about the opportunities this change will create. It features parents, experienced educators and academics, including:

Alison, parent:  “If I was given the opportunity, I would absolutely send my kids to school six months earlier. Their ability to build solid relationships, to build confidence, self-reliance and resilience, far outweigh anything that would be detrimental to their future education, it is paramount.”

Mark Morrissey, Commissioner for Children:  “For me the great opportunity here is to address equity. Many children don’t have access to the same high quality early learning and day care and schooling that is effectively their right. I believe this legislation, and these changes to how we introduce our children to early learning, will benefit probably the most those who need the most support.”

Rachel, a parent: “He’s had a few learning difficulties since starting kindergarten, I was never aware of them until he started, they were able to pick up on them and now a process has been put in place, what we can do to help him. If he’d gone six months earlier we’d have a better outcome.”

Elizabeth Daly, former Superintendent of Early Childhood Education: “I really believe we have to do something about that inequity. To be able to participate in experiential and play based learning is exactly what they need to have.”

Prof Eleanor Ramsay, Education Ambassadors: “No matter the family budget, no matter the location in our very diverse state they live in, all of our families will have access to that wonderful way to beginning on that life-long journey in education.”

Kim McVeity, experienced teacher: “Children learn best through play based learning. Play based learning is child-led, then supported by the adult.”

The Education Bill was tabled in Parliament this week, and will be debated in coming weeks.

Mb

Video 1 - https://youtu.be/4uIbxMWLC48

Video 2 - https://youtu.be/0h8LieMigHc

Video 3 - https://youtu.be/3jmA2yLhuGA

Video 4 - https://youtu.be/h8dua8i4k2k

0 comments

Sociologists/lawyers plan Plebiscite

Ivan Hinton-Teoh (just.equal)
23.09.16 2:46 pm

Australia’s peak organisation for sociologists has panned a plebiscite on marriage equality calling for a free vote instead.

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) today released a statement in the name of its president, Assoc Prof Katie Hughes, that reads in part,

“We believe as Sociologists that any move which implicitly or explicitly encourages an intensification of abuse or violence, whether verbal or physical, increases the risk of adverse social and health consequences for LGBTI citizens.”

“TASA believes that the debate on whether to amend the Marriage Act should not be undertaken through a protracted plebiscite process that will increase stigma, fear, and isolation among LGBTI people; but instead be undertaken by Parliament without any further delay.”

The statement cites Federation University lecturer and TASA board member, Luke Gahan, whose research shows young LGBTI people of faith are particularly vulnerable to the kind of abuse expected during a plebiscite.

“My research has shown young LGBTI people of faith are very vulnerable to prejudice wrapped in religion, which is just the kind of prejudice that will stride the stage of a plebiscite”, Mr Gahan said.

Ivan Hinton-Teoh, spokesperson for LGBTI advocacy group, just.equal, welcomed the TASA statement.

“The TASA statement highlights the growing body of research into the vulnerability of LGBTI people to public hate and fear-mongering.”

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Law Society has added its voice to the growing chorus of opposition to a plebiscite.

TLS president, Matt Verney said,

“It is dangerous to subject to the whim of popular vote the rights of minorities. Regardless of popularity, people are either equal or not.”

Mr Hinton-Teoh called on other professional law bodies to follow the TLS lead and publicly condemn plebiscite.

“The proposed marriage equality plebiscite set a dangerous precedent for law making in Australia”, he said.

For the TASA statement, see attachement or click here: https://www.tasa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Australian-Sociological-Association_Marriage-Plebiscite-Statement.pdf

For a news report on the Tasmanian Law Society statements, click here: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/law-society-of-tasmania-object-to-samesex-marriage-plebiscite/news-story/1830b081c210eeedf822f85cc73861d7

0 comments

Premier has to act on Hidding’s breach of Code of Conduct

Lara Giddings Shadow Attorney-General
23.09.16 2:44 pm

 Unacceptable behaviour must be addressed

 Weak Premier needs to show leadership and launch investigation

 Ministerial code clear on respect, courtesy, harassment and discrimination

Police and Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding’s appalling bullying of a respected Upper House MP must become the subject of an immediate investigation centred on his clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings said serious questions raised by Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest about whether Mr Hidding had breached the Code remained unanswered while Premier Will Hodgman continued to play down the shocking incident at a function at Parliament House on Tuesday night.

“The Premier’s deafening silence around Mr Hidding and his behaviour clearly shows he is hoping this will go away,” Ms Giddings said.

“But this type of behaviour by a Minister of the Crown cannot go uninvestigated, it cannot be ignored and it cannot be swept under the carpet by the Premier.

“Even Mr Hidding himself has admitted his appalling behaviour was unacceptable and that should be grounds enough for the Premier to act.

“Last night Ms Forrest quoted Australian of the Year David Morrison: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

“If the Premier does nothing, he is sending a strong message that verbal abuse and intimidation is acceptable.

“If the Premier is to remain true to his values he should be investigating a breach of the Code.

“If his leadership was not so weak he would have already asked Mr Hidding to resign.”

The Tasmanian Code of Conduct for Ministers, released by Mr Hodgman in April 2014, is clear in its section titled Respect for Persons:

“Ministers are to treat everyone with respect, courtesy and in a fair and equitable manner without harassment, victimisation or discrimination.”

“The allegations raised by Ms Forrest could not be clearer – she was treated in the most inexcusable fashion by this Minister who clearly set out to bully and intimidate her,” Ms Giddings said.

“Mr Hodgman himself signed off on the Code of Conduct which could not be clearer – Ministers are to treat all Tasmanians fairly and equitably, they are to undertake their duties with respect and courtesy and they are not to victimise people.

“Mr Hidding’s behaviour in this atrocious incident was the polar opposite of that.”

1 comments

Further consultation needed on Strategic Infrastructure Bill

TFGA CEO Peter Skillern
23.09.16 2:43 pm

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) commends the Legislative Council on its decision to adjourn the Strategic Infrastructure Corridors Bill in order to allow further consultation on this complex and contentious piece of legislation.

“While the TFGA does not object to the legislation, we believe that further state wide consultation is required as this Bill will impact on all non-operative rail corridors throughout the State,’’ TFGA CEO Peter Skillern said.

“Many adjacent landowners are clearly unaware of the potential consequences of this Bill, as a result we believe that further consultation is necessary.”

0 comments

Alarm over statewide planning scheme

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc.
23.09.16 2:00 pm

Community, science and environment voices raise alarm over statewide planning scheme threat to national parks, threatened species and urban amenity

In the lead up to the final opportunity for consultation on the proposed State Planning Provisions, a growing range of community voices are coming together to highlight key concerns with the direction of the changes and the alienation of the public in planning decisions. Next week the Tasmanian Planning Commission will hold hearings on aspects of the scheme.

The proposed State Planning Provisions, a key component of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, remove both environmental and community protections and the capacity for public engagement in planning decisions. It amounts to gifting the real estate and tourism development sectors a similar ‘special deal’ that was granted to aquaculture 20 years ago and forestry and mining industries before that.

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme is the most significant legislative change to planning law since the introduction of the Resource Management and Planning System in 1993 and unfortunately it counters many of the objectives that system was designed to implement.

Planning Minister Peter Gutwein is expected to sign off on the new State Planning Provisions in December and strong protections and public involvement provisions must be retained. These are historic changes that most Tasmanians have no idea about.

“Tasmanians have traditionally been wary of politicians that get too close to big business. We need to know that our government isn’t just box ticking development plans for the big end of town, while locking locals out of the process that should give them a say about what happens in their own backyard,” said Laura Kelly, Strategic Director for Environment Tasmania.”

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick has studied the natural values of Tasmania’s parks and reserves for 40 years and said “a planning process simply shouldn’t allow development in Tasmania’s conservation reserve estate to be exempt from rigorous and transparent assessment as it will lead to an inevitable deterioration of the natural and cultural values the reserves are designed to protect. The public service is simply not adequately resourced to carry out community-based planning.”

Sophie Underwood recently spearheaded a campaign with RACT members regarding expanded tourism development in Freycinet National Park. She said the response to that proposal demonstrated how valued national parks are, and how critical it is that the community has a say in the way that parks and reserves are managed. “If the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is introduced, the community will lose the ability to properly scrutinise future proposals by a proponent like the RACT, opportunity for public comment will be limited and the right of appeal will be taken away.”

“The iconic natural and scenic beauty of the East Coast is being threatened via changes to planning laws that put developers interests ahead of the public interest and sound and democratic planning processes,” said Todd Dudley, President of the North East Bioregional Network.

Nick Sawyer is spokesperson for the Tasmanian National Parks Association and worked in reserve management for the Parks and Wildlife service for many years. He said “opportunities for public scrutiny of proposed developments within national parks are already inadequate and full introduction of the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme will only make the situation worse.  Changes are urgently required to guarantee both public comment and appeal rights.”

Concerns with the proposed new planning scheme extend to non-reserved land, including private land that is known to hold important natural or community amenity values. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust has worked on private land conservation issues for decades and noted a disturbing weakening of protections in the new planning scheme.

“The government has failed to ensure that threatened species habitats will be protected with appropriate zoning on private land so it seems that wherever industry has an interest, habitats will get second priority,” said Trust Director Peter McGlone. “Planning schemes should provide a safety net for species, prohibiting development in critical habitat areas, but this scheme is a net with so many gaping holes it is hard to see how threatened species will be saved by anyone other than enlightened proponents.”

Robert Vincent is an Architect with urban and regional planning experience and is spokesperson for the Tasmanian Planning Information Network (TasPIN). Mr Vincent said “These planning changes are complex and detailed and will have far-reaching ramifications for people and places across Tasmania. They are being imposed with little explanation but will serious consequences for our urban amenity.”

Nick Sawyer – Tas National Parks Association
Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick
Todd Dudley – NEBN
Robert Vincent – Tas PIN
Peter McGlone – Tas Conservation Trust
Sophie Underwood – Freycinet Action Network
Vica Bayley

Download briefing on the scheme ...

Brief_-_Statewide_Planning_scheme.pdf

0 comments

AFL must recognise Tasmanian who designed Final 8

Brian Mitchell MP | Federal Labor Member for Lyons
23.09.16 1:57 pm

AFL MUST RECOGNISE TASMANIAN WHO DESIGNED FINAL 8

In 1994 Tasmanian man Kim Crawford sent the AFL his idea for a Final 8.

The AFL told him it wasn’t interested. Six years later it introduced the system, without ever acknowledging it was Mr Crawford’s idea.

For 16 years, Mr Crawford, who lives in the Lyons electorate, has been asking the AFL to acknowledge his work by naming the Final 8 system the Crawford System. But he has been one man against a wealthy and powerful organisation.

Mr Crawford has plenty of evidence to prove the idea is his, including original documentation and even letters from the AFL that call it the Crawford System (issued before the AFL implemented the system).

We teach our children that sportsmanship is not about winning, but about how we play the game. Two years ago, Gillon McLachlan took the helm of the AFL as CEO, asserting he wants the game to belong to the people.

Heartened by Mr McLachlan’s desire to bring the beautiful game back to the people, I have today written to him to ask that he blow the final siren on this injustice and acknowledge Mr Crawford, a Tasmanian who simply loves his footy, as the author of the AFL’s Final 8 system.

0 comments

Ita Buttrose asks Australians to celebrate sight

Lyn Thurnham & Tara Fohmsbee
23.09.16 1:55 pm

Ita Buttrose is asking Australians to help raise awareness of macular disease and celebrate sight by entering the sixth annual mEYE World Photographic Competition, now open.
 
“The mEYE World Photographic Competition reminds us all to appreciate seeing the world we live in,” said Ita, Macular Disease Foundation Australia Patron and competition judge. “My father lost his sight later in life to macular degeneration. It completely changed his life, which is why raising awareness of macular disease is a priority for me.”

Macular disease is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia and includes macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

The mEYE World Photographic Competition is easy to enter, free, and open to all. Simply submit a photograph online with a brief description of how it captures the theme “See My World’.

“Photography captures the world around us like no other medium,” said Ita. “I encourage all Australians to embrace the competition theme “See My World” by entering a photo that highlights and celebrates the importance of sight in their life.”

Macular Disease Foundation Australia CEO Julie Heraghty said, “The competition has become a fixture on the Foundation’s calendar and is highly respected. The quality of the entries we receive is outstanding.”

The 2016 judges will be Ita Buttrose and photographers Rex Dupain, Alan Pryke and Graham McCarter.

This year there are more than $8,000 worth of prizes to be won but entrants need to be quick as the competition closes 18 October 2016.

For more information and to enter, visit http://www.mdfoundation.com.au

0 comments

Drone warfare role at Pine Gap – Time to Reassess?

Kath Kelly, Independent and Peaceful Australia Network
23.09.16 9:14 am

The need to close the drone warfare program at the Pine Gap Joint Facility near Alice Springs will be debated at the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network annual conference in Alice Springs next week. 

Alex Edney-Browne, a researcher on drone warfare at the University of Melbourne, will be among those debating the issue at the Saturday, October 1 conference.

Ms Edney-Browne said the Australian public was not told about the alarming rates of civilian casualties from drone strikes and the psychological effects of living under drone surveillance and attack.

“There are numerous reports of men, women and children too afraid to sleep at night. In North and South Waziristan, in Pakistan, anxiety disorders have manifested into physical illnesses including headaches, heart attacks and suicides.

“Many children no longer attend school.  People avoid congregating socially in public out of concern about what the congregation could be mistaken for from above. Local communities have been depoliticised as they worry about attending local jirgas (community meetings), as jirgas have been ‘accidentally’ targeted in the past.

“Government and military spokespeople in the US and allied countries tell the public that drones are an ethical weapon – that drones stop civilians from being killed and limit the destructive effects of war. This is simply not the case.

“The use of drones allows the US and its allies to wage war in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, countries with which neither the US nor Australia are formally at war.  It couldn’t wage this proxy war with land forces: using drones therefore enables war rather than limits it, thereby increasing, not decreasing, destruction.

“The laser guided drone weapons only land within their target radius 50% of the time.  Amidst the hype about “surgical precision”, it’s easy to forget the obvious: missiles and bombs produce deadly blasts that endanger the lives of everyone in the vicinity. The kill radius of drone strikes can be up to 90 metres. Putting “warheads on foreheads”, as the US call it, is a practical impossibility no matter how technologically sophisticated drone warfare appears to be.

“Strikes often target the GPS signals of an individual’s mobile phone.  If that mobile phone changes hands, or someone borrows it when the person is targeted, the new holder of the mobile phone and the people nearby will be killed.

“Algorithms are created through monitoring people’s daily movements and are used to identify “suspicious” behaviour but these are an un-intelligent tool.  It doesn’t follow that because someone is walking a different route one day to buy their groceries, that they are going to meet with a terrorist group.”

More information:  http://www.ipan.org.au 

IPAN 2016 Forum (30 September) and Conference (1st October) - other speakers’ profiles …

Professor Kosuzu Abe

Professor, Department of Policy Science and International Relations, Faculty of Law and Letters. University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa.

Beginning with the anti-offshore platform construction struggle in Henoko, Nago City, Professor Abe has been deeply committed to the protest movement against US military bases in Okinawa. She set up an affinity network “Project Disagree” with her friends to protest JP-US agreement in October 2005; she is struggling with continuous
non-violent direct actions by loosely connected people. Also Abe is one of the sit-inners of Takae, Higashi Village, where Japanese government has been forging ahead on construction of U.S. military helipads (i.e. Osprey pads) since July 2007.

http://www.projectdisagree.org/

Associate Professor Lisa Natividad

Dr Natividad is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Guam.  She is a native Chamoru who has research interests that include the impact of colonization and militarization on her people. Dr. Natividad is the President of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice and has shared Guahan’s plight with militarization in countries all over the world and at the United Nations. 

Dr Natividad is a core country representative and steering committee member of the International Network of Women Against Militarism and was the chairperson for organizing a meeting of the network on Guahan in 2009.  She is featured on two documentaries examining militarization on Guahan- Living Along the Fenceline (which was aired on NPR stations throughout the US) and an NHK documentary that was aired on NHK World.  She has published numerous articles on the militarization of Guahan and continues to be a voice elevating the concerns of her people. 

Richard Tanter is Senior Research Associate, Nautilus Institute, and Professor in the School of Political and Social Studies at the University of Melbourne. Richard has worked on peace, security and environment issues in East and Southeast Asia as analyst, policy advocate and activist since the 1970s. His research has focused on militarisation and peace issues in Indonesia, Korea and Japan, as well as the wider politics of East and Southeast Asia
‘With world-renowned expert on Pine Gap Des Ball, Richard is completing a project on Pine Gap today, from which eight detailed papers have been published by the Nautilus Institute to date, with more come.

http://nautilus.org/briefing-books/australian-defence-facilities/pine-gap/the-pine-gap-project/http://nautilus.org/briefing-books/australian-defence-facilities/pine-gap/the-pine-gap-project/

http://nautilus.org/network/associates/richard-tanter/

Senator Scott Ludlam- Senator for WA

Co Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and spokesperson on Foreign Affairs.

Senator Ludlam was first elected to the Australian Senate in 2007, and re-elected in 2014 and 2016.  He has served on numerous Senate Committees and holds the portfolios of Foreign Affairs; Defence and Veteran’s Affairs; International Aid and Development; Communications; Sustainable Cities; and Nuclear issues.

Dr Margaret Beavis  

President Medical Association for the Prevention of War - Australia
Dr Beavis is committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons, and the end of the hazardous nuclear industry. Her concerns for the human costs of war have led her to work as a volunteer GP with Melbourne’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. She also has a particular interest in health and the environment, both on a global scale, and in her local community

https://www.mapw.org.au/media-profile/dr-margaret-beavis

Ray Acheson

Based in the USA, Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will, which is the disarmament programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). WILPF is the oldest women’s peace organisation in the world, founded in 1915. Reaching Critical Will leads WILPF’s international work to stigmatise and end war and violence, from banning nuclear weapons to challenging the arms trade. Ray monitors and analyses intergovernmental negotiations and discussions related to disarmament and arms control, does research, writing, and editing for WILPF’s publications on weapons-related issues, and represents WILPF in advocacy on disarmament.

Berlin Guerrero  

Berline Guerrero is an ordained Uniting Church Minister in Victoria, involved in social justice advocacy.

In 2007, he, as a United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) pastor, was abducted by armed men at a memorial service for a friend who was assassinated in 2006. Heavily involved in social justice activities in the Philippines, Pastor Guerrero had caught the ire of corrupt officials looking to stamp out opposition, particularly from those critical of government and the ruling elite.  Mr Guerrero was held captive, and tortured, for 15 months before being released from trumped-up charges of sedition and murder.

Although he was officially free, his safety was not assured.  So, when he was offered sanctuary with the Uniting Church in Australia, he and his family made the difficult decision to live apart.  Mr Guerrero has since been reunited with his family in Australia.

http://crosslight.org.au/2015/11/20/berlin-guerrero-ordained-uniting-church-minister/

Senator Lee Rhiannon    

Lee is the Australian Greens Senator for NSW.  In the early 1980s Lee was centrally involved in the Pine Gap Women’s Peace Camp to bring to public attention the secrecy of the US Base and Australia’s vulnerability as a nuclear target. She was keen to meet with members of the local Pine Gap Interest Group to share information and discuss possible activities around the 50 year anniversary of the signing of the Pine Gap treaty in December next year.

Russell Goldflam  

Russell Goldflam is a lawyer based in Alice Springs. He is in charge of the Alice Springs office of the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission, and is the President of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory.  He speaks at the conference in a personal capacity.

Russell, a long term Alice Springs resident and activist, was an organiser and participant in the 1987 Pine Gap protests. As one of the lawyers for the Pine Gap 4, he dissected the legal ins-and-outs of their case, in which their convictions by a jury on serious charges arising from their 2005 Pine Gap trespass were overturned on appeal.

George Kyreakou  

Alice Springs delegate, Electrical Trades Union, and Branch member actively involved in the ETU No Asset Sales Campaign.

Former Senator, Jo Vallentine

Jo Vallentine is an Australian peace activist and Quaker, a former senator for Western Australia. She entered the Senate on 1 July 1985 after election as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party but sat as an independent and then as a member of the Greens Western Australia from 1 July 1990. She resigned on 31 January 1992.
Jo represents the WA People for Nuclear Disarmament on the committee of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. She will be MC for the IPAN Conference on Saturday 1st October.

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Cycling Tourism Strategic Action Plan draft released

Will Hodgman, Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
23.09.16 7:27 am

Tasmanian tourism is booming and cycling is a niche market that can contribute to further growth in our visitor economy, drawing more visitors to our State and creating more jobs.

If Tasmania is to continue to grow our tourism numbers towards our goal of 1.5 million visitors by 2020, we need to seize new opportunities and capitalise on our competitive strengths.

My Government is committed to developing a Cycling Tourism Strategic Action Plan to identify what we need to do to establish Tasmania as a leader in this exciting market.

The amazing Blue Derby trails have put the North-East firmly on the world mountain biking map ahead of hosting the Enduro World Series at Derby next year.

Road cycling is also growing rapidly, assisted with events like the Cradle Mountain Peaks Challenge, and the listing by Lonely Planet of the West Coast as one of the best touring routes in the world.

Three priorities have been identified in the Action Plan to help support and grow cycling tourism out to 2020:

• Consolidating trails and routes.
• Marketing what we already have to offer.
• Providing the supporting infrastructure and services to provide the best experience once a cycling tourist arrives.

A concise list of potential actions has been identified in this draft strategy and we will welcome the input of people with an interest or expertise in this area, like those attending the Bike Futures Conference today.

More information is available of the Department of State Growth website.

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Construction fill

Martin Shirley, CEO, WorkSafe Tasmania
23.09.16 7:26 am

WorkSafe Tasmania wishes to correct the considerable amount of misinformation that continues to be put out by a CFMEU organiser Mr Kevin Harkins.

Mr Harkins asserts that testing results are “largely irrelevant” (The Mercury 22 September). It is this scant regard for the facts that makes Mr Harkins’ fear-mongering dangerous.

None of the testing of the fill material originating from the Parliament Square redevelopment indicates any contamination that warrants regulatory action or removal of the material from its current location on health or safety grounds.

The facts of the matter are as follows:

• asbestos was removed from the buildings that formed the Parliament Square project prior to its demolition.
• a certified occupational hygienist confirmed in November 2013, prior to demolition, regarding the removal of asbestos, “that the Parliament Square project buildings are fully cleared”.
• a certified occupational hygienist confirmed that asbestos removal work was completed in accordance with the requirements of the SafeWork Australia code of practice.
• testing conducted at the holding site for “Parliament Square fill material” reports (16 September) that there are no free fibres of asbestos and in fact no asbestos detected.

Mr Harkins’ attacks on builders and contractors, the regulator, and state and federal governments are unsubstantiated and unwarranted. It is the unnecessary fear built up in the community that necessitates an informed and factual response.

WorkSafe Tasmania inspectors will continue to provide timely, proportionate, evidence based regulation to advance workplace safety.

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Hodgman can’t ignore serious allegations against Police Minister

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
23.09.16 7:24 am

 Minister acted appallingly in bullying and intimidating Upper House Member

 Serious questions need to be examined about Hidding’s behaviour

 Premier must refer matter to Tasmanian police for independent investigation

 Hodgman happy to let Ministers misbehave without repercussions

Premier Will Hodgman has no option but to either sack his Police Minister or demand his resignation after an appalling incident which potentially breaches both the Ministerial Code of Conduct and the Criminal Code.

Labor leader Bryan Green said Minister Rene Hidding’s shocking bullying and intimidating behaviour toward independent Upper House Member Ruth Forrest at a social function this week could not be brushed aside by the Premier and his government but must be referred to the police.

Ms Forrest told the Upper House last night that the Police Minister had attempted to intimidate her into voting for Strategic Infrastructure Corridors Bill with threatening behaviour.

Ms Forrest told the Upper House:

“… I do not appreciate being threatened, being coerced, being intimidated or having bullying tactics used to try and browbeat me into supporting this.”

“I don’t appreciate the Minister doing that, in a public forum at a social event. I don’t appreciate him attacking me in such a personal manner.”

“Because if I don’t he won’t bother with the amendments that seek to address the concerns of the tourism and heritage rail people and funding will just be gone for the Burnie project – it will be on my head, it’ll be my fault, I’ll have to wear that.”

Ms Forrest told ABC Radio today:

“I’m pleased that I have called him out for his behaviour. I think it’s absolutely unacceptable to behave in such a manner, for anyone to behave that way.”

Mr Green said the incident should be referred to police for an independent investigation and the Premier must also order Mr Hidding face an inquiry for potentially breaching the Code of Conduct for Ministers.

“Section 70 of the Criminal Code relates to interference of Parliament and unlawfully influencing members – the Premier knows this and needs to treat this matter very, very seriously,” Mr Green said.

“This cannot be fobbed off, it cannot be swept under the carpet as Mr Hodgman has done time and again when Members of his Cabinet have made serious errors or lied about their conduct.

“Mr Hidding’s position is untenable.

“The Police Minister has allegedly engaged in what could constitute criminal behaviour.

“Tasmanians will be watching very closely now to see if Mr Hodgman does the right thing.

“If not they will see a Premier willing – yet again - to tolerate the most unacceptable and appalling behaviour by his Ministry.”

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State Liberals Powerless on Backpacker Tax

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson
23.09.16 7:21 am

The Primary Industries Minister’s comments about intervention on the poorly handled backpacker tax highlights the powerless position this government is in.

It’s clear the State Liberals are still being punished by their Federal colleagues for the poor federal election result.

Time is running out for growers. This season’s produce is being planted or already budding with no certainty that the 10,000 pickers who’ll be needed this Summer and Autumn.

Under questioning on his efforts by the Greens, Minister Rockliff could only point to phone calls to Canberra and the paltry pleas of the Premier’s former-Deputy of Chief of Staff, now backbench Senator, Jonathon Duniam.

People plan their working holidays well in advance. The planned 32.5% tax on backpackers has already deterred people from coming to Tasmania to work and holiday this Summer.

Delegations to Canberra seem to have failed.  The Turnbull Government has dismissed the crippling impact the backpacker tax will have on the State’s agriculture and tourism sectors.

The opportunity to fix this has almost passed, and all Minister Rockliff can claim to have done is telephone his Federal colleagues.

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Huon Valley Ratepayers Shouldn’t Foot Gutwein’s Bill

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Local Government spokesperson
23.09.16 7:16 am

The Minister for Local Government revealed in Parliament today that he is considering charging the Huon Valley Council with the costs of their mediation process.

It’s outrageous to bill Huon ratepayers, given Minister Gutwein refused to take the advice of the independent Board of Inquiry, which strongly recommended not going down that path.

The last three months have been a waste of time and energy for councillors and staff of the Huon Valley Council. They were forced through a process that was designed to fail from the beginning. 

Given the deadlock between councillors, along with the Board of Inquiry recommendation, Minister Gutwein should never have directed a mediation process be undertaken.  It’s unreasonable for him to expect ratepayers to pay for his mistake.

Minister Gutwein said it would be unfair that ratepayers in Hobart and Flinders Island should have to pay for mediation in the Huon Valley.  Instead of blaming voters and ratepayers in the Huon, he should take a look the mirror.  Mediation costs are the result of his decision to ignore the Board of Inquiry.

It’s unacceptable to blame Huon Valley residents for their dysfunctional Council, and then to hand them a bill.  Why should Huon residents pay for the turmoil that has been inflicted on them for the past three months because of Minister Gutwein’s poor judgement?

The Board of inquiry cost the State Government $258,000. This cost could also have been avoided if Peter Gutwein had acted on the many letters of complaint from residents and councillors in the months leading up to the Board of Inquiry.

Minister Gutwein refused to step in and take action at the start of the process, and now he needs to bear the cost of his inaction, instead of charging the people of the Huon Valley.

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Rockliff Silent on Fish Farm Regulation

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
23.09.16 7:11 am

The Minister for Primary Industries made it clear in Parliament today he has no intention of limiting or stopping the expansion of Tassal onto the East Coast, despite a review that’s still ongoing.

When the Greens questioned Minister Rockliff in Parliament this morning, he talked up his assessment process and defended the industry’s decision to ignore it in the very same breath.

Submissions on the Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage Marine Farming Development Plan 1998 are open until late September.

Minister Rockliff requested an independent assessment by the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel of the 20 year-old lease for salmon farming at Okehampton Bay, citing a need for community confidence. 

As well as appropriate monitoring, the assessment will examine effects to the ecology, visual impact, and predicted impacts of increased marine farming on the area.

Whatever the Panel’s findings, Tassal has stated their intention to proceed regardless. This is despite findings not being expected in February next year, and community members still preparing their submissions.

Tassal’s sustainability manager said on September 8th that, “as far as I’m concerned, we have a lease in place and we have a licence… we could put a pen out there tomorrow if we wanted to and start growing fish.”

It doesn’t bode well that the proponent is continuing regardless of what the Panel may recommend, and the Minister is just shrugging his shoulders at their actions.

Either Minister Rockliff wants the East Coast community to have a say about development in their region, or he wants to roll out the red carpet, unchecked, for industry. But he can’t have both.

Minister Rockliff needs to choose whether he will have an independent and modern regulatory assessment process, or do things the old Tasmanian way.

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Meeting with the Hon Ruth Forrest, Member for Murchison

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
23.09.16 7:10 am

This afternoon, I met with the Honourable Member for Murchison, Ms Ruth Forrest.

I apologised in person for my unacceptable behaviour towards Ms Forrest on Tuesday night.

It was a cordial meeting and at the end of it, we shook hands on the basis that we can continue to work together for Tasmania into the future.

I would like to thank Ms Forrest for meeting with me today to discuss the matter.

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Statement from Rene Hidding

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
23.09.16 7:09 am

On Tuesday night I attended a function at Parliament House.

At that event I had a conversation with the Honourable Member for Murchison, Ms Ruth Forrest.

It was a very frank conversation, between two people who are both very passionate about Tasmania.

This morning I became aware that Ms Forrest had told the Legislative Council about our conversation.

As soon as I was aware that I had clearly offended Ms Forrest, I contacted her and apologised unreservedly. 

I have spoken to the Premier about the matter, and assured him that at no time did I intend to offend Ms Forrest.

I have also apologised to the Premier for my actions in offending Ms Forrest, which he has made clear to me were unacceptable.

I reject categorically any claims that I threatened or intimidated Ms Forrest, or that I threatened to withhold funding.

The funding in question is potential federal funding, and I was pointing out the fact that if the Bill was unduly delayed that funding application could be at risk.

I would like to again apologise to Ms Forrest for my actions, and we have arranged to meet today.

I am confident that this will not affect our working relationship into the future.

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Regional employment figures confirms need for Northern economic stimulus

Will Hodgman, Premier
23.09.16 7:07 am

Regional employment figures released today confirm that unemployment in the North of the State is too high.

Pleasingly, the ABS Regional Labour Markets figures show that the unemployment rate on the North West has dropped from 8.9 per cent when we came to Government to just 5.9 per cent today.  The unemployment rate on the North West is now lower than it has been for at least 17 years.

Meanwhile, in the South where a number of significant private and public construction projects are underway, the unemployment rate is steady at 6.2 per cent.

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in the North of the State is 7.7 per cent.

That’s why the Government is preparing a major, targeted stimulus package for the North.

We will have more to say at the CEDA conference on Monday and at a TCCI function in Launceston on Tuesday, but this will be a significant package which will underpin and bring forward economic activity valued at in excess of $100 million.

This shows that when you get the budget back under control, you can afford to reinvest in Tasmania, in the economy, in jobs and in regions that need our support.

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Profit or not, community sector pulls its weight

Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS
23.09.16 6:40 am

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes said a new study into the governance and performance of not-for-profits shows that the sector delivers positive outcomes through well governed organisations.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) report1 states the NFP sector is well governed, achieves outstanding results, and has continued to evolve in its 200 year history.

“These organisations are often highly sophisticated, efficient and well-governed organisations—they not only achieve mission success and financial strength but often do so in complex environments,” said Ms Goodes.

However, the AICD study also highlighted that over a quarter of directors believe their NFP should make a profit of three per cent or less—which in real terms means no growth at all.

“Some directors surveyed were concerned that being seen to be ‘too successful’ would result in reductions to funding or donations,” said Ms Goodes.

“Many of our members see a considerable cash flow throughout the financial year – the only difference between the financial position of our members and corporate companies is that our members are reinvesting in the services that continue to help the lives of their stakeholders.

“The community sector is the back bone of our society and despite the overwhelmingly positive outcomes, we do need the government to assist our organisations in reaching their potential.”

AICD Not-for-Profit Sector Leader Phil Butler said the report showed how good governance, government support and financial strength can shape not-for-profit organisations for the better.

“If not-for-profits are only breaking even, it actually means their ability to deliver crucial services that benefit Tasmanians will shrink moving forward,” said Mr Butler.

“The report also highlights the need for a conversation with government about removing archaic fundraising practices that restrict their ability to deliver for Australians and achieve good governance.”

A coalition of peak bodies, including the AICD and ACOSS, has also called for a nationally consistent fundraising regime to be introduced, in place of competing and outdated state and territory regimes. A nationally consistent fundraising regime would deliver more than $15 million in savings every year for charities alone.

TasCOSS is the peak body for the community sector in Tasmania.

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Backpacker Tax Statement by Senator Lambie

Rob Messenger for Senator Jacqui Lambie Senator for Tasmania
23.09.16 6:35 am

JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued a statement on the Backpacker tax matter following an article by Phil Pyke the business development manager for Fruit Growers Tasmania in local media which reveals the Liberal Federal Government has ignored the crisis since May 2015.

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-taxing-fiasco-failing-family-farm/news-story/0e98d4a42395cd60e734775bf14cdcb9

“With regard to the Backpacker Tax Crisis - the facts speak clearly. The Liberal government has known about the emerging jobs and investment crisis for 16 months, since May 2015.

Already under the leadership of the Liberal and National parties the Backpacker Tax Crisis has caused tens - possibly hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Tasmania’s farming and tourism industries – because of political arrogance, stupidity and inaction.

The facts also show that Tasmanian Liberal senators have either:

1.    No influence in Canberra and are dangerously incompetent or

2.    Are part of a deliberate Liberal plan to destroy the tourism, berry, fruit and vegetable industries in Tasmania.

They have sat back, made lame excuse after lame excuse and watched - while Tasmanian farmers have been slowly strangled of seasonal workers and are forced to risk their families’ life savings. Tasmanian farmers and tourism operators are lucky that an independent fair-minded crossbench holds the balance of power in the Senate.

If the government held a majority in the Senate, all Tasmanians in the Agricultural and Tourism industries, especially those who visited Canberra last week, now know there’d be no hope of scrapping this unfair, stupid and damaging backpacker tax.

However, hope is justified – because its clear that this Senate Crossbench will not pass any Backpacker tax law, which threatens the viability of so many hardworking Australian farming families.

It is one thing for the Prime Minister Turnbull and his deputy Barnaby Joyce to talk about being agile and smart and say their government will create jobs and growth. However, it takes a special kind of foolish, political hypocrite to utter those words - while actually doing the opposite.

Every day the Backpacker tax issue drags on – more international damage is caused to brand Tasmania. Frustratingly, the solution to all this madness and hurt is so simple. All the PM has to do is call a press conference and say, There won’t be any Backpacker tax. It is scrapped.” said Senator Lambie.

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Treasury shafts younger people and future generations by ignoring climate change and housing ...

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
23.09.16 6:17 am

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has today strongly criticised the Treasury Secretary John Fraser for seemingly ignoring two of the biggest issues facing Australia today, climate change and the housing crisis, when pulling together the Treasury Corporate Plan.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Any objective and dispassionate assessment of the economic challenges facing Australia would include climate change and the fact that most young people simply can’t buy a home anymore. But both of these massive challenges are completely absent from the Treasury Corporate Plan.

“This is politicisation of the Treasury writ large. Treasury are deliberately ignoring major economic challenges because these issues embarrass their political masters.

“Climate change and climate change policy will fundamentally alter the Australian economic landscape. The G20 are currently examining the risks of these through their Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Treasury not taking these issues seriously is placing a blindfold on Australia as it faces the future.

“Just over a year ago John Fraser said that it was unequivocal that Melbourne and Sydney faced a housing bubble, yet somehow housing fails to get a mention in the Treasury Corporate Plan. The Liberals are embarrassed by their defence of unconscionable negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks that benefit private investors and strip young people of the ability to buy homes to live in. Treasury is more interested in helping its bosses avoid embarrassment over negative gearing than it is in the risk of locking a generation out of home ownership,” he concluded.

Link to Treasury Corporate Plan here: http://treasury.gov.au/~/media/Treasury/Publications%20and%20Media/Publications/2016/Corporate%20Plan%202016%2017/Downloads/PDF/Treasury-Corporate-Plan-2016-17.ashx

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Tasmania’s GovHack winners recognised at awards night

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Information Technology and Innovation
23.09.16 5:30 am

Congratulations to Tasmania’s best IT minds who competed in the fourth annual GovHack event and were recognised at an awards event tonight.

GovHack is the annual `Hackathon’ that brings together some of the nation’s best digital developers to create new ideas for government, industry and community using government information, or datasets.

Nine teams won awards across eight categories, with two – Beat The Press (Hobart) and Mission Attrition (Launceston) - to go on to represent Tasmania at the national finals in Adelaide on October 22.
The Most Commercial Potential award was won by Bin There, a team made up of university and secondary students.

Bin There developed a smartphone app which helps to locate the nearest rubbish bin and showed promise in helping councils to manage other fixed assets.

This new award, sponsored by the Tasmanian Government, gives the Bin There team 12-months access to the Enterprize innovation hubs, which is part of the state’s $500,000 initiative to develop and implement early-stage IT business opportunities.

The Enterprize Hobart hub was officially opened earlier today. The Enterprize hubs give entrepreneuers and startups the tools and support to jumpstart new business and create jobs.

The Tasmanian Government is the platinum sponsor of the GovHack events which were held in July.

This year’s event saw 70 participants form teams, to work over 46 continuous hours in Hobart and Launceston, with thousands of data sets, including 100 from the Tasmanian Government.

Award winners:

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