In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

MEDIA RELEASES:GovernmentGreens TasmaniaAustralian Greens, Bob BrownAustralian Greens, Christine MilneTasmanian LiberalsTasmanian Liberals, Will HodgmanTasmanian Labor, David BartlettFederal LaborFederal LiberalAustralian DemocratsTasmanian Socialist AllianceAustralian Socialist AllianceEthics & Sustainability PartySenator Online - Australia’s first and only internet based political partySustainable Population Party


Politics | Media


20.08.14 4:40 pm

Senator Lisa Singh has labelled Tasmanian Liberal Senators as “slow learners”. More than six months after the Abbott Government’s politically motivated Warburton Review started its work and consultation on the Renewable Energy Target, they have finally come out and taken a position.

“Eric Abetz should have been defending Tasmania’s renewable energy industry from the beginning against the threats from climate sceptics in the Coalition,” Senator Singh said.

“But when I asked him in Senate Question Time as recently as 17 July this year whether he could confirm a commitment to the RET, he refused to take a position, saying only:

‘I can confirm that the government are committed to undertaking the review which was always on the cards and which is now being undertaken… Are we committed to renewable energy? The government are committed to working through these issues…’

“It is only now, after the Warburton Report has been completed and with the RET in jeopardy, that Senator Abetz has decided to say something,” the Senator said.

Those in the renewable energy sector have been calling on him and his government to secure investment and jobs for months. In its submission to the review and subsequent public comments Hydro Tasmania has made it clear that the RET is essential to investment in its renewable energy projects, including the progress of the $2 billion King Island hybrid renewable development.

“Tasmania cannot turn its back on the jobs and economic growth provided by renewable energy. We are a hallmark state in this area, providing half of Australia’s supply of renewable energy.

“That is why Labor is committed to stopping the Abbott Government abolishing the Renewable Energy Target, which has helped generate $18 billion in investment since its introduction.”

Figures from the report ”Who really benefits from weakening the Renewable Energy Target?“ show that Tasmania stands to lose $750 million in investment if the RET is abolished.

“Hydro Tasmania has already lost $70m from the abolition of the carbon price and it may also face losses if unable to sell renewable energy certificates. The abolition of the RET will also end the Granville Windfarm project and its 200 job opportunities on the West Coast of Tasmania. There are over 21,000 solar photovoltaic installations in Tasmania providing employment for an estimated 450 people whose jobs are also under threat from the abolition of the RET.

“But while Labor is united behind renewable energy, the Liberals are hopelessly divided, with Tasmanian MPs Whiteley, Hutchinson and Nikolic refusing to come out in support of the RET in conflict with their Senate colleagues,” Senator Singh said.


Peg Putt, Jenny Weber: New Leaflets Raise Alarm Over 1.5 Million Hectare Logging Grab

Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt, Jenny Weber Bob Brown Foundation
20.08.14 4:13 pm

As the Legislative Council resumes consideration of the Hodgman government’s revocation of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement new leaflets (see attached) from Markets For Change and The Bob Brown Foundation are landing in letterboxes, sounding the alarm that existing reserves of many years’ standing will be opened to logging alongside abandonment of promised ‘peace deal’ reserves.

“One and a half million hectares of Tasmania that is currently off limits to logging will be opened to the chainsaws under Hodgman’s extreme new forestry legislation,” said Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt.

“This goes much further than simply scuttling the 400,000 hectares of new reserves promised under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and also allows all Conservation Areas and Regional Reserves across Tasmania to be opened to logging for specialty timbers.”

“Many of these places were protected years ago under rigorous scientific provisions of previous forest agreements like the RFA, and going back as far as the 1980s. It’s a stealth attack on some very precious forests, with rainforest particularly targeted.”

Ms Putt briefed Legislative Council members this morning.

“There is very little time to rein in this excessive proposal so we are urgently letterboxing households to let people know about how 30 years of forest protection is set to be undone at the same time that we lose promised new reserves,” said Campaign Manager for The Bob Brown Foundation Jenny Weber.

“Proposed ‘partial logging’ in reserves for specialty species is not environmentally sensitive, and there needs to be acknowledgement that there is another way for specialty timbers, including a long overdue wood bank and increased recycling. 

This proposed logging regime will bring recreational users and commercial tourism operations into conflict with logging operations. Parks and Wildlife will be expected to manage the logging,” she continued.

“Modified clearfelling to be used in the 1.1 million hectares of reserves removes 25-70% of the canopy and often allows post-logging fires and insertion of permanent snig tracks, to be used every 20-30 years. Old growth trees that are also vital wildlife habitat, such as for nesting, are the target. New logging roads may be bulldozed,” Ms Weber concluded.


Too much doubt surrounding Sue Neill-Fraser trial

Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison
20.08.14 4:07 pm

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has again called for a review of the Sue Neill-Fraser trial at the ‘Too Much Doubt’ rally today.

“I’ve been following this matter for some time and remain concerned that Ms Neill Fraser was convicted in the absence of a body, weapon and motive,” Mr Wilkie said. “There is also ongoing concern about unanswered questions that arose during the case.

“I have made no comment on Ms Neill-Fraser’s guilt or innocence and do not presume to know the truth of this matter. However it is clear that any conviction built on circumstantial evidence must be beyond reasonable doubt and in this case there are simply too many doubts remaining.

“The list of people concerned about the trial is growing and includes eminent lawyer and researcher Dr Bob Moles who specialises in miscarriages of justice.

“The previous Tasmanian Government refused to examine the matter and the current Government continues to refuse to revisit it. This is despite the growing number of leading legal and civil liberties figures voicing their concern. The lack of political will to instigate a review that looks afresh at the trial proceedings is another failure of government leadership.

“Tasmania’s politicians have turned to jelly on this one. Almost no-one is prepared to act like a leader and to take on the establishment. Instead they prefer to hide behind the good names of the judiciary, legal profession, police force and media. That sort of self-interest just makes politicians part of the problem.

“For some, this is about guilt and innocence. For me, this is just as much about being able to have confidence in our justice system. Tasmanians deserve to feel served by fair and effective court processes and the doubt around this case blemishes an otherwise fine system.

“The lingering doubts about management of Ms Neill-Fraser’s trial undermine Tasmanians’ confidence in that system and this needs to be addressed by the Government.”


Avoid risky business and shred confidential documents

NIDFAW spokesman Zach Pote
20.08.14 4:01 pm

Business owners are being warned to shred all paper-based confidential documents ahead of National Identity Fraud Awareness Week (October 12-18).

NIDFAW spokesman Zach Pote said documents containing personal and financial information can provide fraudsters with sensitive information that has the potential to paralyse entire business operations.

“Business owners have a legal responsibility to protect their staff and client’s confidential information,” Mr Pote said.

“Whether you manage a florist shop or work in the health industry, your business holds confidential personal or financial information. If you fail to store or dispose of this information safely and it falls into the wrong hands, you risk prosecution under the Privacy Act for breaching client confidentiality and you could lose your business.” 

Under the Privacy Amendment Act 2012passed in March 2014, individuals found to be in breach of the Act can now be fined $340,000, with penalties of up to $1.7 million for an organisation.

Mr Pote said businesses must ensure they have a process for receiving and disposing of documents that may contain sensitive personal information relating to business operations.

His warning comes as an Attorney-General survey found the personal information of almost one in 10 people has been misused in the previous year.

Of these, more than half were victims of theft of credit/debit card information, name (40 per cent), bank account information (31 per cent) and address (24 per cent).

The Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia online survey of 5000 people, conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Attorney-General in May 2013, found that more than two-thirds of Australians are concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud in the coming year, up from 60 per cent in 2007.

Mr Pote said while there had been a growing emphasis on protecting your online identity in recent years, paper-based crime was still rife in Australia.

“Your personal identity is as valuable as money – all it takes is for somebody to go through your rubbish or steal personal documents from your unsecured letterbox or desk to obtain details such as your full name and address, which can then be used for criminal purposes.”

Mr Pote, who is the National Sales &Marketing Manager for security products company Fellowes®, recommended that all documents containing confidential personal information be shredded before being safely disposed of.
There are several simple and cost effective security methods that business owners and consumers can put in place to help reduce the risk of identity theft.

These include:

• Shred all personal and financial information before placing it in the bin
• Avoid sharing personal details or sending moneyonlineto people you don’t know or trust
• Lock all personal documents in a safe container when not in use
• Ignore suspicious mail and emails
• Lock your mailbox or usea Post OfficeBox
• Avoid storing personal information on mobiles and laptops
• Check your billing and account records carefully
• Choose strong passwords and never select the ‘remember my password’ option
• Install anti-virus software on your computer
• Check your credit history annually to make sure there have been no major changes to your credit rating

NIDFAW, which is supported byFellowes®, aims to educatebusinesses and consumers on identity fraud prevention by promoting awareness of the value of personal details, the importance of protecting yourself online and destroying hard copy documents containing personal information, such as bank statements.

For more information on how to protect against identity fraud, visit

National Identity Fraud Awareness Week is Australia and New Zealand’s only nationwide awareness campaign designed to help you protect yourself or your business from identity fraud – the world’s fastest growing crime. Now in its eighth year, National Identity Fraud Awareness Week is an initiative of leading security products company, Fellowes®, aiming to educate Australians and New Zealanders about the dangers of identity fraud.

The facts:
• Australians lost $1.4 billion dollars in a 12-month period due to personal fraud according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Fraud Survey 2010-11.
• Personal fraud affects 1.2 million Australians, or about 6.7% of the populationannually.
• Private information such as your date of birth, mother’s maiden name and passwords are as valuable as money.
This is enough information for a fraudster to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, loans and much more.
• Businesses that suffer corporate identity fraud may be in breach of client confidentiality, which exposes them to legal action for non-compliance with the Privacy Act.


Marti Zucco: Lambie is a disgrace

Hobart Alderman Marti Zucco
20.08.14 2:12 pm

Alderman Marti Zucco said today “I am totally appalled at the antics of Senator Jacquie Lambie, she can only be described as a racist with a brain the size of a pea “If Clive Palmer has been labelled as a “buffoon” the words to label Senator Lambie would be unprintable”

I call on all Tasmanians to make a stand against her slur of China this is a slur against all Tasmanian Chinese Australians and all members of other ethnic communities, All Tasmanians should be appalled that a Tasmanian Senator would make such comments.

This is just another example as per the nature and character of Senator Lambie in the manner in which she threatens and demeans people.  I know full well I was subjected to her verbal abuse and if people doubt her now the public know what damage she can do to our Country and State. It is now getting to the stage whereby it is embarrassing to our country and who know a security risk in many ways.

She is a disgrace to Australia and in particular Tasmania, her comments and action have no place in Australia and if I had my way I would have her deported if that could be arranged.

Clive Palmer and Jacquie Lambie should both be shipped out as they have no place in Australia.

I also question the stability of Senator Lambie decision making as she constantly sends me request to be a friend on “face book” and “linked in” which I refuse to accept to the point I feel its harassing. She is a national pest that Australian needs to rid of at the next election if not sooner.

The extremist views of the PUP Clive Palmer and Jacquie Lambie were the exact reason why I resigned from the Palmer United Party on the 3rd of December 2013 after only being a member for less than 6 months. This is the type of Political Party and people like Palmer and Lambie who have extremist views and opinions that Australia must eradicate.

The views of Clive Palmer and Jacquie Lambie are not what mainstream Australians and in particular those like me with an ethnic background consider appropriate. In the past I have taken these two people to task and in the public domain have questioned their integrity and all Australian must ask the same question.


China comments condemned

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
20.08.14 12:21 pm

Tasmanian Labor condemns the comments made about China by members of the Palmer United Party.

“Tasmanian Labor highly values our long-standing relationship with China and recognises that China is one of our most important trading partners,” Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said.

“Labor is proud of the work it undertook to build the strategic relationships and networks that are now delivering significant new investment to Tasmania and increasing visitor numbers.

“Tasmania is home to a proud and hardworking Chinese community that contributes much to the growth of our state and Tasmanian Labor values their contribution.

“Tasmanian Labor condemns the dangerous, provocative and irresponsible comments of Clive Palmer and Tasmania Senator Jacquie Lambie.”


Liberals lazy and deceitful over support of mining industry

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
20.08.14 11:46 am

Labor Leader Bryan Green today accused the Liberal Government of a deceitful and lazy response to challenges facing the mining industry on the West Coast.

“The Liberals have abandoned their pre-election commitment to ban appeals by environmental groups against mining developments in Tasmania,” Mr Green said.

“Now the leader of the Government’s West Coast Working Group, Adam Brooks, needs to come clean on whether he went on holidays to Queensland following the closure of the Mt Lyell mine in Queenstown.

“Mr Brooks appears to have taken a wrong turn on the way to Queenstown, did he end up sunning himself in Queensland instead?

“My office was inundated with calls from people on the West Coast who were angry at being fobbed off by a recorded message when they tried to contact Mr Brooks’ office.

“It is not good enough and sends a dreadful message to the people of the West Coast.

“Mr Hodgman needs to call Mr Brooks to account or immediately replace him on the working group.

“As we’ve seen so often Mr Brooks is all talk and no action.

“When he was the Liberal’s mining spokesman prior to the last election, Mr Brooks gave an unequivocal commitment to ban appeals against Venture Minerals Riley mine.

“Now we see Venture suspending operations at the Riley mine because of ongoing appeals and an unfavourable economic environment.”

Mr Brooks said that under the Liberal’s mining policy:

“Neither Save the Tarkine nor any other Green front group would have the right to delay, frustrate and even kill off mining projects. Our policy is very clear”….Advocate, June 7, 2013.

“Under questioning in Parliament today, Will Hodgman refused to say whether that was still the Liberal’s policy,” Mr Green said.

“The mining industry and the people of the West Coast need to know whether the Liberals stand by the policy announced by Mr Brooks, and if so, what action the Premier or his Resources Minister have taken to implement this policy.”


Cosmetic testing on animals - Have your say

20.08.14 11:44 am

The Australian Labor Party is setting its policy on animal testing and cosmetics and all Tasmanians are invited to have their say.

Earlier this year, Labor committed to run a national consultation on phasing out the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients tested on animals.

Federal member for Hotham Clare O’Neil said that almost 8,000 submissions had already been received from the community through the consultation process.

“Animal testing is a policy area that Labor believes should reflect community views,”

“This is a great opportunity for members of the public to contribute to Labor’s policy process,”

“We want to hear from people about whether they believe the sale and manufacture of cosmetics tested on animals should be banned and what would be the most effective way of doing this,”

“I don’t believe I use products that are tested on animals but this is one of the issues; many of the products available for sale in Australia have at one point or another been tested on animals,” Clare O’Neil said.

Senator Singh said forums have been scheduled to take place in six cities across Australia.

“I encourage anyone with a view on this issue to come along to our public forum because we believe that the values of the community should be reflected in Labor’s policy.”

“Consumers want to know that products they buy are not tested on animals. I believe that industry needs to be supported in ensuring a national ban is effective.” Senator Singh said.

Public Forum
Thursday August 21
Battery Point Community Hall, Hampden Road

Written submissions are due 29 August. To make a submission or to RSVP for the forum, visit


Jan Davis: Be careful what you wish for - fresh local food may soon vanish

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
20.08.14 11:27 am

Recent weeks have seen scores of column inches written on the supposed trashing of vegetables in Tasmania because they don’t meet the Utopian shape, size and weight of the market – carrots too long, potatoes the wrong shape, etc.

There has been a fair bit of misrepresentation as well.

One supposed authority, the Eat Well Tas Report makes a lot of assertions but provides little in the way of facts to back up statements such as these:

“For most horticultural producers, it is simply a fact that 30-50 per cent of the produce they grow, harvest and grade and/or wash is unsuitable for first grade, retail sale. Much of this produce becomes second grade, which is either sold at a reduced price to be made into juices for example, or is fed to cattle.”

Not surprisingly, statements like this lead people to question why, with Tasmanians’ overall health the worst in the nation, farmers allow this to happen; why we grow food that is inappropriate for the market, that permit perfectly good food to go to waste, plough it back into the ground at the same time as a large proportion of the population has an appalling, unhealthy diet leading to the worst incidence of cardio-vascular disease in the country.

However, it’s not that simple.

All our produce is high quality, tasty and nutritious and value for money. We don’t do second best.

Farmers grow a range of products to satisfy a range of different markets; and each of these markets will have different customer specifications. What is being talked about here is simply produce that does not meet supermarket specifications. It could and does meet other customer specificationss – processed vegetables, minimal transformation, independent outlets, institutional or other food service agencies, stock feed, biomass, etc.

It is true that, from time to time, there are unexpected oversupplies of fresh produce. Farmers can’t control everything. They work at the mercy of the weather, international market prices, production dynamics in other market places etc etc. That’s a tough reality.

Where there is oversupply, many farmers already donate produce to Foodbank or Second Bite.

Having said that, farmers need to make a dollar out of every activity. To ensure that is possible, two things need to happen:

• farmers need to receive a realistic return for their investment and effort;
• all parts of a crop (or a beast) need to make a return at farm gate

The real problem is the dominant position of the two major supermarkets. Coles and Woolworths call the shots on the presentation of fresh vegetables. More than 80 per cent of product in Australia is sold through these two major retailers, both of whom are quite up front about driving costs back to supplier and pushing retail prices further down in search of ever-increasing market share.

There is little margin for investment and product diversity at the farm gate when channels to markets are so tightly controlled and the benefits of investments are captured further up the chain.

There is also the pertinent question of consumer demand. What do most people want in their vegetables? What do they want when they buy carrots? It’s all very well to say that people will eat misshapen fruit and vegetables. There are undoubtedly some who are happy to do this; but the vast majority are not. They buy what they expect to see in the supermarket. Experts say that to be successful new products must be demand-driven rather than supply-pull.

Farmers are astute business people. They have to be to survive in such a fast moving and volatile industry, where margins are very small. They simply wouldn’t do the same thing time after time, if they ended up making a loss on each crop.

Perhaps this is why we are seeing more farmers moving out of fresh market production into products where there is less volatility and better return to the farmer.

Perhaps Australian consumers now about to reap what they themselves have sown. If they are happy to accept imported price-driven products that compromise Australian quality and safety standards, then the inevitable result will be that local product will be driven out of the market. And we will all be the poorer as a result of that.


Swing into SPRING with Ten Days

Ten Days Artistic Director David Malacari
20.08.14 10:00 am


Ten Days, in partnership with Hobart’s Cultura Espresso Bar and Restaurant, is delighted to present
SPRING, the second in a series of seasonal dinner and concert events.

Ten Days Artistic Director David Malacari said SPRING follows on from the successful WINTER event and
would be held on Sunday, 31 August 2014 at 4.30pm for 5pm.

“SPRING is a celebration of the change of seasons, as we put away our winter coats and the days become
noticeably longer,” Mr Malacari said.

“To begin the night, guests will be swept away by an enchanting woodwind performance from the
University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music TRIO 221 in Gallery Ten while enjoying a glass of
Tasmanian Jansz sparkling.

“TRIO 221 is an exceptional woodwind group featuring musicians Hamble Geary, Benjamin Pallagi and
Madeleine Randall. The trio will perform a musical set that will be a reflection on the season that is

“Immediately following the concert, guests will be served a four-course Tasmanian spring-inspired menu
at Cultura, just a short stroll from Gallery Ten.”

Cultura Owner Luke Rocchia said the first event WINTER was such a success that he was thrilled to be
participating in SPRING.

“Ten Days is a fantastic Tasmanian brand and it’s great to see them partnering with Tasmanian producers,
artists and businesses to present such an exciting event,” Mr Rocchia said.

“Chefs Jay Marsh and Stuart Fulton will prepare a sumptuous menu of the best local seasonal produce,
including Tasmanian spring lamb and the finest scallops in the state.

“I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so all I will say about the dessert is that it will incorporate Tasmanian
apples, prepared in three alternative ways.

“The menu showcases the finest produce our fantastic state has to offer and guests will not be

The seasonal events presented by Ten Days represent a new strategy to provide audiences with arts
experiences throughout the year, in addition to the acclaimed biennial festival.

Tickets are available for $125 per person, which includes a welcome glass of Tasmanian sparkling, the
four-course meal and a night of delightful music.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, simply head to, phone 6210 5700 or visit the
Ten Days office located at 71 Murray Street, Hobart or Cultura at 123 Liverpool Street.


New signs and technology help visitors at Port Arthur

Andrew Ross Marketing Manager Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority
20.08.14 9:55 am

New signs and technology are helping visitors find their way and connect with history at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

The first new feature visitors will notice as they enter the Site from the Visitor Centre is the striking 46” digital display screen that has replaced a clock face with moveable hands that displayed the next tour departure time.

“In addition to counting down to the next tour, the new screen offers the all-important ‘you are here’ map, information on the weather, historical stories and details on any special events or activities that may be occurring at any given time or day,” said Dr Jody Steele, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) Manager of Heritage Programs.

“It gives visitors much deeper access to information. It also gets around the way that some mischievous visitors would move the hands on the old clock, causing confusion all around.”

The digital sign is just one part of an overhaul of the way-finding and interpretive signage across the Historic Site.

“Various types of signage had been installed at Port Arthur over recent decades, with at least five different interpretation signage styles, with many one-off signage elements scattered around the site at various locations giving a disjointed presentation of information,“ said Dr Steele.

Research also revealed that visitors were having difficulty finding their way around, particularly at some of the major pathway intersections.

“In designing the new signage, we have aimed to help visitors find their way while engaging them with historical and contextual information that add meaning to the Site as they move around it.”

Three levels of signage will, when completed, display precinct or locality signs that introduce the main features of the area and the relevant contextual themes, features and functions of buildings and other features and some of the characters of the site. Small, discreet and sometimes tucked away for the visitor to discover, these signs may be a quote picture or a phrase.

The changing profile of visitors is reflected in directional and basic information being presented in both English and Simplified Chinese. Future plans include provision of additional information in multiple languages via mobile technologies such as QR codes or near-field communication chips, which can be embedded on the signs and updated as technology advances without the need to replace the signage infrastructure.

The overall signage strategy incorporates coherent design across all three historic sites managed by PAHSMA, including the Port Arthur, Coal Mines and Cascades Female Factory Historic Sites.

The first stage of what has is a multi stage project was supported by the Commonwealth Government through a Tourism Quality Projects Grants (TQUAL) to the amount of $100,000, with funds matched by PAHSMA.


Tasmanian farmers in the spotlight

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
20.08.14 9:03 am

Tasmanian farmers have been recognised among the best in the industry, with three locals being named as finalists in the 2014 Australian Farmer of the Year awards.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, congratulated the three Tasmanian finalists who have been recognised for their innovation, professional management strategies and sustainable farming businesses.

“It’s great to see Tasmanian famers at the leading edge of the industry,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Having leaders in the agricultural industry is essential for growth and innovation and I’m pleased to hear of Tasmanians doing so well in their chosen fields. I congratulate the finalists on their nominations and wish them all the best.”

The Tasmanian finalists are bee keeper Lindsay Bourke, who is a finalist in the 2014 Biosecurity Farmer of the Year category; Nigel and Rachel Brock from Montana, who are finalists in the Dairy Farmer of the Year category; and Danny Jones of Pure Foods Eggs, who is a finalist in the inaugural Egg Farmer of the Year category.

Tasmanian farmers received significant recognition at the 2013 Australian Farmer of the Year awards, with Tim Reid of Reid Fruits receiving the major award, Australian Farmer of the Year, as well as being named Rural Leader of the Year.

Huon Aquaculture’s Peter and Frances Bender won the 2013 Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award and the Frampton family at Gawler won the 2013 Dairy Farmer of the Year.


West Coast Road Projects to be Brought Forward

Adam Brooks, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade
20.08.14 6:21 am

The Liberal Government is committed to supporting the West Coast through the challenging economic circumstances prompted by the closure of the Mt Lyell mine.

Today the Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding moved a motion in Parliament to temporarily exempt for two years all works occurring within the West Coast Municipal Boundary from review by the Public Works Committee.

The Public Works Committee ordinarily is required to consider and approve any public works which will cost more than $5 million, a process which can take many months to conclude.

However, the Government is of the view that it is vital that we can speed up and bring forward projects on the West Coast.

This exemption, which will be debated by the House tomorrow, will allow work to proceed as soon as possible on the next stage of the $8 million Murchison Highway Upgrades – a 3km section from Pieman Road to Boco siding and a 3.5 km section from Boco siding to Animal Creek.

The requirement for the Public Works Committee to review these projects may have held up work from beginning this construction season. The exemption will ensure this project begins in the coming months, bringing vital jobs and activity to the West Coast.

The Murchison Highway Upgrades are in addition to the previously-announced $5.2 million road upgrades at Strahan to support the West Coast’s growing aquaculture industry. It is expected that the Strahan Roads project will create 30 jobs during construction.

The Liberal Government continues to support the region through the West Coast Economic Working Group. At our latest meeting on Monday this week the Working Group further progressed several key initiatives – including seeking proposals and costings for a Mountain Bike Hub at Zeehan and a walking track to Princess Falls.


Greater Democracy and Choice for Tasmanians

Peter Gutwein, Minister for Planning and Local Government
19.08.14 7:49 pm

Today, the Liberal Government tabled the Local Government Amendment (Mayoral Candidate Eligibility) Bill 2014 in the House of Assembly.

Currently, a person is only eligible to nominate for mayor or deputy mayor if they’ve been a councillor for at least 12 months.

This Bill removes that eligibility requirement. If you’re eligible to be a councillor, you’ll be eligible to stand for mayor or deputy mayor.

This amendment is especially important before the upcoming Local Government elections. This year, Local Government elections move to four-year, all-in, all-out terms, while mayors and deputy mayors will be voted in for four-year terms rather the previous two year terms.

Given the move to four year terms for councillors, without these changes it would effectively mean that a person would need to serve a full four-year term as a councillor before being eligible to nominate for mayor or deputy mayor.

These positions are crucial to local communities and Tasmanians should be able to decide who their leaders are without being hampered by unnecessary and undemocratic rules.

Local Government supported this bill at the Local Government Association of Tasmania conference.

The Liberal Government is laying the foundations for the future and this bill is an important step toward greater democracy and choice for all Tasmanians.


$2 million commitment to U-Turn

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for Corrections Minister for Justice
19.08.14 7:47 pm

The Liberal Government is rebuilding essential services and helping at-risk young Tasmanians to turn their lives around.

The upcoming State Budget is all about keeping our promises, fixing the budget mess and laying the foundations for the future.

We will be providing $2 million over four years to reinstate the youth justice diversion program U-Turn.

U-turn is a restorative justice program that has been operating in Tasmania for 10 years, designed for young people aged 15-20 who have been involved in, or been at risk of being involved in motor vehicle theft or offences.

The highly successful program had been left with no certainty of continuing under the previous Labor-Green Government after ongoing funding for the program was cut last year, with Labor and the Greens only providing a one-off payment to extend the program for one more year after the Liberals made our $2 million commitment to continue the program.

The program will now be administered under the Department of Justice through Community Corrections, which has extensive experience in the delivery of preventative and diversionary programs, providing a more appropriate fit for managing U-turn.

This funding will ensure that the program can continue to work with young people, and divert them from the criminal justice system into education and employment to get their lives back on track.

Unlike Labor and the Greens, the Liberal Government recognises the value of helping young people move from the criminal justice system back into learning opportunities and employment, and that is why we are committed to the U-turn program.


More passengers on Spirits helping to grow state’s visitor numbers

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
19.08.14 7:34 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to making travel across Bass Strait more affordable and more attractive to help achieve our vision of growing Tasmania’s visitor numbers to 1.5 million a year by 2020.

Today we are pleased to advise Tasmanians that the TT-Line has recorded strong growth in passenger numbers.

The TT-Line will also forego a CPI rise in fares, meaning a saving for passengers.

To August 3, passengers on the Spirit of Tasmania vessels had increased by more than nine per cent compared to the same time last year, and forward bookings for the period August 25 to November 23 are up by 9.8 per cent.

Of particular note is that the number of passengers travelling on day sailings has grown by 20 per cent.

By choosing not to raise fares in line with a CPI increase for the next 12 months, the TT-Line is delivering a real saving for passengers, which comes on top of a slight price fall from July 1 due to the removal of the carbon tax.

The increase in passenger numbers and the fare saving comes even before the TT-Line delivers to the Government a new business plan that will provide for more frequent day sailings to further reduce fares and increase passenger numbers.

Our plan for the TT-Line will continue to drive growth in Tasmania’s visitor market.


Liberal Government delivers on GMO pledge

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
19.08.14 7:32 pm

The Liberal Government is getting on with the job of delivering our long-term plan for Tasmania, including working to achieve our vision of growing the value of our agricultural produce ten-fold by 2050.

Next week’s Budget is all about keeping our promises, fixing the budget mess and laying the foundations for the future.

Today, the Liberal Government is fulfilling its commitment to extend the existing moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Tasmania for five years. 

Importantly, this will provide certainty to our primary industries to further develop markets for our produce, protect our state’s brand and support future growth in the food and agricultural sector.

The Genetically Modified Organism Amendment Bill 2014 that I tabled in Parliament this morning takes into account the findings of the comprehensive 2013 review by my Department, which considered 160 public submissions and new market research.

The review demonstrated that there is currently no imperative to change from having a moratorium.

The Liberal Government believes that a five-year moratorium is a common sense approach that strikes an appropriate balance between the needs of today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Through AgriGrowth Tasmania, we will actively monitor developments in technology, markets and consumer sentiment throughout this period.

A new Tasmanian Gene Technology Policy and associated Gene Technology Guidelines provide the necessary detail on how the moratorium will be implemented.

The policy and the moratorium will be reviewed prior to its expiry in 2019. 

Further information is available from the DPIPWE website:


Labor hypocrisy over Triabunna wharf

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
19.08.14 7:24 pm

Labor’s breathtaking hypocrisy over the future of the Triabunna wharf has been exposed for all to see.

The fact is that in December last year the then Labor Minister for Infrastructure, David O’Byrne, told a Legislative Council committee that his government was in discussions about the future of the wharf.

When asked if Triabunna Investments was interested in buying the wharf, TasPorts chairman Dr Dan Norton replied: “They may be. We do not know.”

Mr O’Byrne then added: “That is why we will put a proposition to them.”

This proves that discussions over the future of the wharf began under the previous Labor-Green Government with the full participation of the then Labor Minister.

It is hypocritical for Bryan Green to try to criticise the Liberal Government when it was the Labor-Green Government that stood by when the Triabunna mill was sold to environmentalists, leaving the wharf a stranded liability.

And it is even more hypocritical when you read the Hansard that shows that TasPorts began discussions with Triabunna Investments under that same Labor-Green Government.
Bryan Green has egg on his face and should be held to account for his appalling double-standards.



Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
19.08.14 7:03 pm

Venture Minerals’ decision to suspend operations at its Riley project is extremely disappointing.

In their statement to the ASX, the company cites “operational risk associated with on-going appeals against the project’s approval as well as an unfavourable broader economic environment” as the major reasons for its decision.

The statement goes on to say that it was well-placed to move ahead with the Riley project in mid-2013 but was delayed by appeals.

This is the strategy Green front groups such as Save the Tarkine use to threaten mines and the jobs they bring.

The Greens should not, however, be popping the champagne corks as Venture has signalled that it remains committed to Riley and to its flagship Mt Lindsay project.

There is good reason for confidence in Venture achieving progress with both projects in the future, and the Liberal Government remains steadfast in its support.

Unlike Labor and the Greens, we support our mining industry and we will work with companies such as Venture that want to invest and create jobs in our state.


Labor learns nothing - still joined to the Greens’ hip

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
19.08.14 6:53 pm

Bryan Green has shown in Parliament today that Labor remains joined at the hip to the Greens, and is in lockstep with radical environmentalists.

Labor continues in its opposition to the Liberal Government’s efforts to protect Tasmanian workers.

Labor not only went into government with the Greens, it failed to act when protesters repeatedly stopped law-abiding Tasmanians from earning a living.

And at the March election Tasmanians made very clear what they thought of Labor selling out to the Greens.

Five months on and Labor has learnt nothing.

Our Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Bill is about protecting the right of Tasmanians to go to work to earn a living for their families.

Clearly, Labor is more interested in remaining wedded to the Greens than in protecting the rights of Tasmanian workers.


Laying the Foundations for the Future

Will Hodgman, Premier
19.08.14 6:51 pm

Next week’s budget will deliver on our promises, fix the budget mess and lay the foundations for the future.

We are getting on with the job that we were elected to do and delivering our long-term plan for Tasmania.

While it’s early days, we are already seeing promising signs. Business confidence in Tasmania has risen to the highest of any state since we were elected, and since March 1,800 new jobs have been created.

We are delivering on our policy promises including already starting the roll-out of Year 12 in six high schools, and our Legislation to repeal Labor and the Greens’ jobs destroying forest deal, which will be debated in the Upper House this week.

We are making sure investors know we’re open for business by abolishing headworks charges, reforming our planning system and cutting red and green tape.

We’re delivering on our commitment to invest $76 million to reduce elective surgery waiting lists with an extra 673 procedures to be delivered between July and October.

We’re taking advantage of our competitive strengths by opening our National Parks and World Heritage Area to expressions of interest for appropriate and sensible development.

In contrast, Labor has no plan. At their State Conference last month Labor officially abandoned its Platform. They have no Platform, no policies and stand for nothing.

We promised to deliver a long-term plan for Tasmania and we’re getting on with the job of doing that.


Neale Daniher’s Courage

Guy Barnett, Liberal Member for Lyons
19.08.14 6:29 pm

Yesterday, AFL champion Neale Daniher announced his recent diagnosis with deadly Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

As Ambassador for MND Australia, I applaud his courage in sharing his battle with the public.

MND affects every country of the globe with an estimated 400 000 people currently living with the disease. The disease, which has no known cause or cure, kills approximately 100 000 people globally each year, including more than 500 Australians.

Around 1900 Australians live with the disease, including an estimated 30 Tasmanians.

For each person living with MND, an estimated 14 members of their family and friends will live with the disease’s impact forever.

I will shortly be participating in the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, a fund-raising initiative for MND charities, after being challenged by the CEO of MND Australia to take the challenge.

I encourage Tasmanians to support those they know living with MND and the work of MND Australia and Tasmania in searching for a cure.


Jan Davis: Farmers support continued GMO moratorium, with caveats

TFGA Chief Executive Jan Davis
19.08.14 6:26 pm

Tasmania’s peak farming body, the Tasmanian Farmers and Growers Association, today acknowledged the Liberal government’s continuation of the moratorium on the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in Tasmania.

“We welcome the clarity that this is a moratorium rather than ban,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said.

“The recognition of the need for continuous reassessment of the situation, rather than shutting the door on the subject for the next five years is vital if we are to make the most of our competitive advantages. The inclusion of trigger points to enable regular monitoring and review of developments, both externally and domestically is therefore important.”

Ms Davis said the TFGA had told last year’s GMO review that opinion was divided within the farming sector over the use of GM crops and the claimed benefits.

“Research commissioned by the previous government confirmed the fact that remaining GM-free comes at a cost to Tasmanian farmers. The government must recognise this impact on farmers’ overall returns. We need to be open to re-assessment of the situation as new technologies and products are developed, and as markets change.”

“There is no doubt that we are losing productivity and competitiveness because we can’t access GMO technologies that arguably could enhance current production outcomes and methodologies.” she said.

“Without a promotions campaign in the marketplace to support the moratorium decision, which now goes back 10 years, we’re getting the worst of both worlds. That campaign has never happened; and we’ll be looking forward to discussing possible ways forward with the government,” Ms Davis said.


Tricky Libs’ Spirit fares smokescreen

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
19.08.14 6:23 pm

The Liberal Government is still refusing to commit to the 20 per cent reduction in Spirit of Tasmania fares that it promised before the election.

Labor Leader Bryan Green today accused Infrastructure Minister Rene Hiding of dodging repeated calls to cut the fares.

“In Parliament today, Rene Hiding attempted to claim credit for an increase in passenger numbers on the Spirits but the truth is it was not his doing,” Mr Green said.

“In fact, the Liberals have made no changes to the operation of the company but are still claiming the credit.

“The Liberals promised a 20 per cent fare reduction during the election but in Government they have repeatedly failed to say when or if the promise will be delivered.

Mr Green called on the Government to detail what discussions it has had with the TT line about reducing fares by 20 per cent.

“The Government must prove it is fair dinkum about cutting fares and that its promise was not just about winning votes,” Mr Green said.


Liberals fail to live up to tough talk

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
19.08.14 6:21 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green said the halt of Venture Minerals iron ore mine on the West Coast is a blatant failure of the Liberal Government to live up to its tough talk about supporting Tasmania’s mining industry.

“Venture has cited the risk of ongoing appeals and an unfavourable economic environment as the major reasons for its decision,” Mr Green said.

“The Liberals promised to stop court appeals against mining developments and trumpeted that Tasmania’s mining industry would be open for business.

“They are failing on both counts.

“The fact is that before the election Adam Brooks said the Liberals would prevent future court action against mining companies.

“Venture’s decision is extremely worrying for the West Coast and now the would-be Minister, Mr Brooks, is nowhere to be seen.

“The hands off approach and weasel words of Resources Minister Paul Harris won’t cut it for the people of the West Coast.

“The question for the Government is, what is it going to do to ensure Venture’s Riley project and other mining developments are not lost to Tasmania?

“The previous Labor Government’s commitment to the mining industry and our efforts to get new mines up like the Riley project cannot be questioned.”


Children in off-shore detention centres ignored by Coalition

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Spokesperson for Multicultural Affairs
19.08.14 6:21 pm

Labor spokesperson for Multicultural Affairs Madeleine Ogilvie today welcomed the release of children being held in mainland detention centres but said the Coalition’s belated move does not go far enough.

“If the Government was truly concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers it would help the hundreds of children that remain in offshore detention centres,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has finally bowed to public pressure over keeping children in mainland detention centres but is still ignoring the welfare of those under lock and key on Nauru and Christmas Island.

“Mr Morrison is using children detained offshore for his own political ends.

“To suggest that keeping children detained offshore will stop people seeking asylum is ridiculous.

“It is typical of the Coalition’s cold-hearted approach that children in off-shore detention centres are left in indefinite legal limbo.”


Hidding misleads House over negotiations

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
19.08.14 6:17 pm

Rene Hidding has misled the House while defending his Government’s rank hypocrisy over the sale of the Triabunna wharf to Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood.

Labor Leader Bryan Green said Hansard documents proved Mr Hidding’s comments to the House about Labor negotiating to sell the Triabunna wharf were false.

“It is completely untrue to say that Labor was in negotiations with Graeme Wood and Jan Cameron to sell the wharf,” Mr Green said.

“The very documents Mr Hidding is trying to use as evidence prove that.

“Mr Hidding has misled the house and needs to correct the record.

“The Liberals are desperate to deflect attention from the fact that Guy Barnett’s Triabunna witch hunt has blown up in the Liberals’ faces.

“Evidence demanded by Mr Barnett himself revealed the Liberals were in backroom discussions with Mr Wood and Ms Cameron to sell the Triabunna wharf, which has been described as an important asset by the Triabunna Chamber of Commerce.

“Mr Barnett has clumsily dragged Rene Hidding into the debate and Mr Hidding is clutching at straws to avoid having to front the inquiry himself to give evidence.”


Hodgman not listening to constituents on medicinal cannabis

Lara Giddings MP Shadow Attorney-General
19.08.14 6:16 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to show how heartless it is when it comes to medicinal cannabis.

Today in question time Premier Will Hodgman was asked why he had not responded to invitations to meet with Nicole Cowles, who gives her daughter Alice medicinal cannabis to stop Alice’s epileptic fits.

Ms Cowles wrote to her local Franklin member, Mr Hodgman, more than a month ago and again in the past week.

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings asked Mr Hodgman in Question Time to commit to meeting Ms Cowles.

“Will Hodgman not only wouldn’t commit to a meeting, he refused to even say Nicole’s name,” Ms Giddings said.

“It was a cold, ignorant and heartless response to a simple question – will you meet with Nicole?

“Instead Will Hodgman played the politics of the issue, attacking Labor when he should be listening to his constituents.

“In NSW, Liberal Premier Mike Baird met with Daniel Haslam, who has terminal cancer, to hear his story.

“After that meeting Mr Baird declared he would support legalisation to legalise medicinal cannabis.

“Will Hodgman should respond to Nicole, meet with her and hear her story and talk about how he, as Premier and her local member, can help her.”

Today Labor tabled 5000 signatures from Tasmanians supporting a trial of medicinal cannabis with thousands more to be tabled in coming sittings.


Stubborn Government Refuses to Listen to Legal Experts

Nick McKim MP | Greens Justice spokesperson
19.08.14 3:36 pm

The Liberal government is refusing to listen to constitutional and legal experts, and refusing to seek its own legal advice on the Workplaces ( Protection from Protestors) Bill 2014.

“Despite the opinion of experts such as Professor George Williams and Mr Greg Melick SC, the government is stubbornly refusing to consider abandoning some of the most anti-democratic legislation Tasmania has ever seen,” said Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MP.

“Even the TFGA has received its own advice about problems with the Bill, but the Attorney General clearly feels more comfortable remaining ignorant than being informed.”

“This radical legislation threatens the liberty of farmers, pensioners, fishermen, environmentalists, and working Tasmanians, yet the government still refuses to listen.”

“Despite repeated questions, the government is refusing to disclose whether it has sought its own legal advice. We can only assume that it has not asked the question because it does not want to hear the answer.”

“Welcome to life under a majority government, where secrecy and opacity win the day over honesty and transparency” Mr McKim said.