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

The Barn Market- Midwinter

Tamsin Singleton and Anita Manners The Barn Market Management Team
06.07.15 6:54 am

Forget the winter chills this July and head to the Midwinter Barn Market, Saturday July 25th 10:00- 3:00.

Rekindle your love for all things beautiful for the home, garden and you and the family -at the Barn Market as we bring another spectacular line-up of fashion, art, design and produce to the Barn, Rosny Farm. 

Barista coffee, cider, wood-fired pizza, hearty soups and a luscious array of boutique baked goods should convince the whole family to linger.  Enjoy music from talented buskers while you discover the best of the Barn Market, this winter!

Where: The Barn, Rosny Farm (on Rosny Hill Rd between the golf course and Eastlands)

When: Saturday July 25th 10:00 - 3:00

For more information go to:

t: @thebarnmarket
i: @thebarnmarket
fb: /thebarnmarkethobart
e: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Provocateurs for Peace ...

Provocateurs for Peace
06.07.15 6:27 am


A group, styling itself ‘Provocateurs for Peace’, has challenged an Australian General to a game of hide and seek.

The challenge is contained in an ‘invitation’ letter addressed to Major General Stuart Smith, the officer commanding Australian Forces during the Talisman Sabre military exercises, due to start in Northern Australia.

The invitation, which the author claims to have written ‘in the spirit of civil disobedience’ has been conveyed to the general in the regular mail.

Provocateurs for Peace claims that numerous copies have been sent to the general, from all over the nation, to make sure that he gets the message.

The invitation advises the general to ‘Watch out for the Cat in the Hat’ and includes a picture of the hat worn by the famous Dr Seuss character.

The group has also released a photograph of an unidentified person, wearing the hat, apparently placing an item in a mailbox ‘somewhere in Australia’.

Download Invitation ...




Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
05.07.15 8:45 pm

“Australians will not be guided by what some Chinese or Burmese official thinks is ‘decadent’.” - Rodney Croome

Marriage equality advocates have dismissed as irrelevant the possibility, raised by Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, that Asian countries may see marriage equality as “decadent”.

Joyce’s comment echoed Senator Eric Abetz who earlier this week said Australia shouldn’t allow marriage equality because our Asian neighbours haven’t.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“Several of our Asian neighbors allow polygamy and criminalise homosexuality, things most Australians find abhorrent.”

“The only relevant international benchmark are those countries closest to us in law, history, culture and language - countries like New Zealand, Canda, the UK, the US and Ireland - all of which have marriage equality.”

“Australians will not be guided by what some Chinese or Burmese official thinks is ‘decadent’.”



Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson
05.07.15 8:43 pm

The White Paper released yesterday by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture is a welcome for Tasmania on the surface, however it has failed to address many issues that are pertinent and the Greens will be keeping a close watch on both the Abbott and Hodgman Liberal governments to ensure those issues are not ignored.

Aside from the obvious failure to address the most significant threat to our wellbeing of the modern day; climate change, the White Paper does not provide an avenue to address concerns specific to Tasmania, such as biosecurity, weeds and pests, water availability, dams and drought.

While there is an emphasis on counselling and increased mental health services for farmers suffering stress and anxiety due to uncertainty around the economic climate and falling commodity prices, it does not take into account that Tasmania’s mental health system is already in significant crisis due to lack of resources and significant under funding.  Will the Abbott government being providing additional support to Tasmanian farmers living with mental illness given these circumstances?

Tasmania’s feral cat problem, along with other biosecurity concerns, likewise do not appear to have been considered by the Department in drafting the document and the Greens want to see further consultation with State departments as there has clearly been a lack of communication of the needs of primary producers here. 

The explosion of feral cats around the State is driven by the alarming drop off in numbers of the Tasmanian Devil and is a clear example that Tasmania’s numerous endangered species need to be carefully considered in any implementation of the recommendations contained within the White Paper.

The Hodgman government have recently tabled legislation to amend the process and regulations around the construction of dams on private property in Tasmania and likewise that will need to be very carefully managed as while removing red tape can provide for faster and further development, lack of proper regulation and scrutiny will come back to haunt the State if it is not implemented correctly.


17 years since the Biak Massacre- West Papuan people still oppressed

Anne Noonan, Jo Collins, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
05.07.15 8:12 am

Read more here


Education Act Public Forums Locked-In

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
04.07.15 3:18 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to improving education, to ensure every Tasmanian student has the best chance at gaining a job and living a fulfilling life.

It is clear Tasmanians are supportive of this through their participation in our review of the Tasmanian Education Act.

A series of community consultation forums will be held in July, to give Tasmanians a chance to find out about the feedback to date and to help tease out the emerging issues relating to the Education Act.

We are committed to consulting with key education stakeholders and the Tasmanian community, and I encourage all to come along and have their say on the way education will look into the future.

Details of the forums have now been finalised and include:

• Hobart, Monday July 27, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
• Hobart, Tuesday July 28, 12:00pm to 2:00pm
• Hobart (Eastern Shore), Tuesday July 28, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
• Glenorchy, Wednesday July 29, 9:00am to 11:00am
• Launceston, Wednesday July 29, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
• Launceston, Thursday July 30, 12:00pm to 2:00pm
• St Helens, Wednesday August 5, 10:00am to 12:00pm
• Devonport, Thursday July 30, 5:00pm to 7:00pm
• Burnie, Friday July 31, 11:00am to 1:00pm
• Queenstown, Friday July 31, 4:30pm to 6:30pm

This is the next important stage of an extensive consultation process, which will ensure we have modern delivery models to reflect contemporary educational practices and make sure it meets the needs of our students into the future.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by July 17 to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with their chosen session. An information pack and venue details will be provided to registered attendees.


Welcoming the agricultural White Paper

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
04.07.15 3:07 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government today welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to farmers through its Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

While we continue to work through the detail, it is clear that our Federal counterparts share in our commitment to invest in our competitive strengths such as agriculture.

Many elements of the White Paper directly align with the Hodgman Liberal Government’s objectives being achieved through our AgriVision 2050 Plan.

The Federal Government has committed to continued investment in irrigation. The Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments are investing $90 million to progress the five proposed tranche two irrigation schemes, which together with private investment totals some $115 million towards these developments. Expanding access to reliable irrigation water will strengthen our regional communities and create new jobs on farms and in our country towns.

The White Paper demonstrates a commitment to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity, which is an investment in the protection of our state’s boarders, and the protection of our reputation for producing safe, clean and fresh produce. In the recent State Budget we committed an additional $4 million in detector dog teams and upgrades of vital biosecurity infrastructure such as laboratories.

It is also clear that the Federal Government shares in our commitment to reducing red tape to allow the agricultural sector to get on with the job, and will assist our state with our reform agenda to reduce red and green tape.

Additional Commonwealth support to access premium markets on top of recently signed Free Trade Agreements should benefit Tasmanian farmers and help us to reach our growth targets.

There is also an important investment in research and development, an area where the Hodgman Liberal Government is also investing to cultivate innovation and increase the value of our produce.

We are committed to increasing the value of the agricultural sector to $10 billion by 2050 and look forward to working in collaboration with the Australian Government to achieve this.


O’Connor admission on specialty timbers in TWWHA torpedoes no case

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
04.07.15 3:05 pm

The admission by Greens’ Leader Cassy O’Connor yesterday that the Greens have changed their position on specialty timber harvesting in the TWWHA since the election completely torpedoes the “no” case against it now.

In 2013, the Greens’ Cassy O’Connor and Nick McKim voted for the Tasmanian Forests Agreement and its so-called “Taylor amendment” which allowed for specialty timber harvesting in any area in the TWWHA.

This TFA was also strongly supported by the Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley.

Prior to losing the last election, the Greens’ claimed to be long-term supporters of our vital specialty timber industry, saying that it was the future of our forest industry.

But now, Ms O’Connor claims that because she lost the election and the TFA has been ripped-up, “all bets are off”* and she will now vigorously oppose something they actually voted for just two years ago.

My simple question is: if it was acceptable then, why isn’t it acceptable now?

As the sector themselves have made clear, they are seeking access on a last-resort basis to only a tiny fraction of the total TWWHA, on a selective harvesting method only, to sustain our iconic wooden boat building, furniture, and craft sector.

I call on Ms O’Connor and the Greens to put aside their hypocrisy, and just once be prepared to act in the interests of the state, rather than their own political self-interest.



Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
04.07.15 2:57 pm

Resources Minister, Paul Harriss’s ridiculous claim that the Greens supported logging in the World Heritage Area does not stand up to scrutiny.  He is, again, being deceitful and divisive for base political purposes.

Four out of five Greens’ MPs gave support to the Tasmanian Forest Agreement because it was the vehicle for a 170 000 hectare extension to the WHA, provided a pathway to end unsustainable logging and to create formal reserves in 504 000 hectares of forested land.

It also more than halved the minimum sawlog quota and required Forestry Tasmania to achieve Forest Stewardship certification, a potentially remarkable change in practices for the government entity and a goal that looks increasingly out of reach under this Liberal government.

In not voting against the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill 2013 as amended, we made it clear in the debate that we did not support every aspect of the Bill in its entirety, and we did not – and will never – support logging in the WHA.  This is demonstrated in the April 2013 Hansard record of debate on the amended legislation.

We recognised the then, and current, World Heritage Management Plan did not allow for logging in the WHA.  It is Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, who is seeking to amend the plan to allow for logging in an area of outstanding universal value as recognised by the United Nations.

In the debate on the amended Bill, we were also reassured by correspondence between the then Minister for Forests and the Signatories Council indicating the Tasmanian Government would support the Australian Government position that there would be no logging in the World Heritage Area.

Finally, we stood by environment groups on the now-disbanded Special Council who not only did not support any logging in the World Heritage Area; they had the right of veto over any future logging plans.

The Liberals are the people who want to distort the facts, play cheap politics and log in the World Heritage Area, much to our shame internationally.


Tasmanian farmers welcome Ag White Paper

TFGA chief executive Peter Skillern
04.07.15 11:16 am

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) welcomed today’s release of the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, saying it sets the course for farming.

The White Paper builds the nation’s water, transport and communications infrastructure and promotes smarter farming while also imposing a new oversight regime to ensure fair trade between farmers and the wholesalers and retailers they supply.

“The TFGA welcomes the measures in the White Paper that seek to ensure that agriculture remains one of the nation’s five economic pillars and a major creator of economic growth in Tasmania,” TFGA chief executive Peter Skillern said.

“We will be drilling down into the detail of the White Paper in the immediate future to assess its full implications for the state industry, which is tasked with increasing production five-fold in the next 35 years.

“On the face of it, the White Paper contains the measures we need to pursue that target competitively and profitably.”



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
04.07.15 11:01 am

Marriage equality advocates have responded to Senator Eric Abetz’ criricism of a Hobart City Council motion in support of marriage equality by asking him to show respect for how strongly the issue is supported by Hobart residents.

National Director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, said,

“I ask Senator Abetz to respect the Hobart City Council’s unanimous support for marriage equality and the fact that Council support reflects strong community support for the issue among Hobart residents.”

“I also ask Senator Abetz to show more respect to children being raised by same-sex couples because to say, as he has, that children are better off brought up by a mum and dad re-inforces prejudice against these children, as well as being plain wrong.”

“Senator Abetz has every right to express his views, but it’s a bit rich for him to accuse other people of being distracted by marriage equality given the time and effort he puts in to resisting the reform.”



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
04.07.15 10:40 am

Advocates have applauded the National Rugby League (NRL) for supporting marriage equality.

In a letter to Australian Marriage Equality the NRL says it supports the reform, joining a growing list of businesses and community groups that also back change.

NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young said:

“One of the NRL’s core values is inclusiveness and we have put in place practices and policies to support and recognise the rights of our LGBTI community. Accordingly, the NRL supports marriage equality.

“We are very proud that the NRL was the first national sporting organisation to join as a member of the Pride in Diversity Index. For the past three years our welfare and education programs have included homophobia as part of our broader Respectful Relationships programs.”

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“We applaud the NRL for its principled stand in support of marriage equality and for its defence of fundamental Australian values like equal opportunity and a fair go.”

“The NRL’s stance reflects growing momentum for marriage equality across all sections of Australian society.”


Green groups’ lock up plan exposed

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
04.07.15 10:38 am

Today at the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Conference I have sent a resounding message to Green groups who are trying to get the Tarkine added to the World Heritage Area – enough is enough.

In my speech, I outlined our plan for Tasmania’s mining and minerals processing sector.

There’s no doubt mining across Australia has been going through a tough period. But with forecasts that most commodity prices will have recovered by 2017, we need to lay the groundwork now to fully capitalise on the upswing.

The Government is doing exactly that by embracing new technology and innovation, sending a message to investors that Tasmania is open for business in mining and working with industry to cut through the barriers and get new projects off the ground.

We are already seeing a number of positive signs, including a new Bauxite mine at Bald Hill, a mining lease issued to Forward Mining for the proposed magnetite iron ore mine at Rogetta and Unity announcing $5 million in new exploration work.

We are standing with industry against the latest campaign to lock up the Tarkine. The facts are clear – despite claims it’s all pristine wilderness, it contains our biggest mine, some of our best prospects, and has been a multiple use area since European settlement.

It also contains some big reserves to protect values that need protection – the Savage River National Park, the Savage River Regional Reserve and the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area.

We are sending a clear message that Tasmania is open for business and we will not let green groups hold Tasmanian jobs to ransom.

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs and we are unflinching in our support of the mining and minerals processing sector.


Special Species and the TWWHA

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
04.07.15 10:19 am

Nick McKim and Vica Bayley need to be honest with Tasmanians and explain why they supported special species harvesting in the World Heritage Area under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement but don’t now.

The Upper House Amendments to the TFA allowed for special timbers to be made available from any of the reserved areas – including the World Heritage Area.

Nick McKim went on to vote for the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and The Wilderness Society welcomed the agreement, but now both have done a 180 and are attacking it.
This is another case of the Greens’ moving the goal posts, a sport they are world champions in.

We have indicated through this plan that we want to deal with the sensitive issue of the special species timber sector, and we will do so in close consultation with all stakeholders, including the United Nations.

We think it’s an iconic industry of Tasmania, it’s a very traditional one, and we want to make sure that we’re in a position to secure a resource, and so we’ve been working through those issues and will continue to do that in the context of the development of this management plan.

It’s entirely hypocritical for the Green movement to now oppose this, when they actively supported it, and in the case of Green MPs actually voted for it.


Major student accommodation project in Hobart CBD gets underway

University of Tasmania, Communications and Media Office
03.07.15 5:10 pm

Work on the University of Tasmania’s major student accommodation project in the heart of the Hobart CBD will begin in earnest on Monday.

The complex, to include 430 apartments, a University shop front, retail space and a park-and-ride bike hub, will be located on the corner of Melville and Elizabeth streets, and behind existing heritage shops in Elizabeth Street, up to Brisbane Street.

Stage one, which is expected to take nine months and employ 80 people at a cost of $9.7 million, follows the completion of an archaeological survey on site. It will see building contractor Fairbrother demolish the Black Prince Hotel, the Brown and Banks Building and the Transit Centre over the next two months and then construct a three-level car park.

Demolition work is expected to have minimal impact on the site’s neighbours and the public. Prior to work commencing, Fairbrother briefed the site’s immediate neighbours to ensure the nearby business owners were fully informed about the nature of the work and the upcoming construction sequence.

The development is part of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which is a program jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments. It is designed by local firm Terroir and Melbourne’s Fender Katsalidis (the designers of MONA) and is due to be completed for occupation by semester 1 in 2017.


Senator Lambie Needs to Apologise

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
03.07.15 4:40 pm

Once Senator Jacqui Lambie removes her foot from her mouth, she should apologise for comparing conservationists - who are trying to protect the environment for future generations - with murderous terrorists who have no concern for human life.

Senator Lambie’s comments were unnecessary, divisive and nasty.  Her offensive ‘joke’ at the Minerals’ Conference today said a lot more about what Jacqui Lambie stands for than it says about the Greens.

The Greens are simply standing up for Tasmania’s wild places for a sustainable future.  That is what we have done since our beginnings and that is what we will continue to do.

ISIS terrorises and kills people, and destroys priceless treasures will wilful abandon.

To link us with ISIS is wholly offensive.  Senator Lambie should apologise and mining industry leaders attending today’s conference should distance themselves from her stupid, divisive ‘joke’ at the expense of all Tasmanians who support environmental protection.


Positive outcome at Ministerial discussion about low-THC hemp in food

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
03.07.15 4:39 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s push to accelerate work on the lifting of the prohibition of hemp food products has been agreed to by a forum of Australian and New Zealand health ministers.

The Tasmanian Liberals have been long-time advocates for the use of low-THC hemp in food, which would present a huge opportunity for our farmers.

Minister for Health Michael Ferguson today secured agreement at the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation for work on the issue to be accelerated.

“Since the Liberal Government was elected Tasmania has been one of the strongest advocates for this prohibition to be lifted,” Mr Ferguson said.

“While a vote was disappointingly defeated earlier this year, we fought hard for the issue to remain on the forum agenda. As a result the meeting today was provided with an update on work addressing information gaps in relation to low THC-hemp for use in food.”

“The forum today agreed with our push for the completion of this work to be brought forward to the first quarter of next year so we can consider lifting the prohibition much sooner than July 2016, as was previously proposed.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff said that lifting the current prohibition would be a sensible reduction of unnecessary red tape.

“Allowing the use of low-THC hemp in food products has huge potential to open new markets for our agriculture industry, strengthening the economy and creating jobs,” he said.

“The Liberal Government is committed to the industry and has taken action to implement significant reforms that will make it easier for our farmers to grow industrial hemp, including the introduction of special purpose legislation for the cultivation and supply of industrial hemp for commercial production and the extension of licencing from one to five years.

“This has ensured that as soon as the prohibition on hemp foods in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is lifted Tasmanian farmers are well placed to capitalise on new markets.”



Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie
03.07.15 3:35 pm

The decision by the Federal Government today to continue stalling on the legalisation of industrial hemp for human consumption is spineless.

The fact is this is a lucrative and safe crop for human consumption, not something you can get high on and legal in just about every other country.

Instead of educating the community, the Government is pandering to naivety, some weird ideological bent and scaremongering by the police.

To claim that more time is needed to consider the matter is ludicrous.  The human consumption of industrial hemp products has been investigated time and time again and is lawful in just about every other developed country.


University to host NAIDOC Week celebrations

University of Tasmania, Communications and Media Office
03.07.15 3:27 pm

In celebration of NAIDOC Week (July 5 – 12), the University of Tasmania is proudly recognising Aboriginal culture and heritage with a host of engaging and thought-provoking activities.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Aboriginal Research and Leadership) Professor Maggie Walter said the NAIDOC activities were about bringing the University community together to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage. This year’s events reflect this, being a collaborative effort of Aboriginal staff, especially those from Riawunna, Aboriginal community members and non-Aboriginal staff from across the University.

“NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture, past and present, as a part of who we all are as Australians and Tasmanians,” Professor Walter said.

Cultural events will be conducted by Tasmanian Aboriginal artists across the University. These include children’s workshops, where children will have the opportunity to work with shells and use puppetry to explore interpretations of ‘Coming into Being’ stories, at Riawunna Newnham on Tuesday, 7 July.  A music and song writing workshop will be held on the Sandy Bay Campus on Thursday, 8 July, and there will be traditional arts workshops such as working with kelp, shell and natural fibres and bush food at both campuses over the week.

The inaugural annual Japanangka errol West Indigenous Scholar public lecture will also be launched. The lecture honours the life and work of the late Japanangka errol West, a leading Tasmanian Aboriginal academic and internationally-recognised poet and scholar. Scott Manning Stevens, a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and Director of the Native American Studies Program at New York State’s Syracuse University, will give his lecture Memory and Presence in Native America Today.

The lecture will be held at the Stanley Burbury Theatre on the Sandy Bay campus from 5.30pm on Monday 6 July, and live-streamed to the University’s Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie. It will also be presented at the Newnham Campus’ Sir Raymond Ferrell Centre from 5.30pm on Tuesday, 7 July.

Her Will to Survive, the Tasmanian episode from the First Australians television series, will be screened on Tuesday at Noon at Centenary Theatre at Sandy Bay and at 1pm on Thursday, 9 July, at the Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre. The film will be followed by a panel discussion. The Hobart event will be live-streamed to Burnie.

On Friday the celebrations conclude with members of the University’s senior management team participating in an In Country experience at pulatina (Oyster Cove).
NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) originates from the 1938 ‘Day of Mourning’ Aboriginal protest led by William Cooper through the streets of Sydney to present a national policy for Aboriginal people to Prime Minister Joseph Lyons.

The day was marked annually from 1940 and in 1955 ‘Aborigines Day’ was moved to the first Sunday in July and realigned as a day of celebration, and became a week-long event in 1974.

For a full calendar of the University’s NAIDOC Week events, visit


Huon Aquaculture’s impressive expansion

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
03.07.15 3:24 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green has congratulated Huon Aquaculture on the opening of its new processing facility at Parramatta Creek.

“Congratulations to Peter and Frances Bender and the whole Huon Aquaculture team,” Mr Green said.

“This is a terrific commitment to Tasmania from the company and a boost for the state’s economy.”

The Federal Government funding for the project was secured as part of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement process.

“Labor was very proud to leverage around $100 million in Commonwealth funding for economic development in Tasmania.

“The Liberals of course opposed the Forest Agreement process from start to finish.”

Mr Green said Labor will continue to be a strong supporter of the aquaculture industry.

“Aquaculture is a shining light in Tasmania’s economy and a major employer.

“We’re proud of the role we’ve played in the sector’s growth and Labor stands ready to help the industry expand further in the future.”


Paul Harriss takes his hands off the wheel again

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
03.07.15 3:11 pm

Tasmanian Labor is calling for new mining opportunities to be more actively marketed and promoted nationally and internationally to help re-invigorate the industry.

“Since the last election an average of 100 mine workers a month have lost their jobs and mineral exploration has collapsed,” Mr Green said.

“Resources Minister Paul Harriss made it clear today that he has taken his hands off the wheel when it comes to mining.

“What Mr Harriss should be doing is re-doubling his efforts to kick start the mining industry at a time when it is on its knees.

“The stark contrast between Labor’s plan for mining and the Liberals’ approach was highlighted again at the Tasmanians Minerals and Energy Council conference in Queenstown.

“Paul Harriss’ answer to the challenges facing the mining sector is, in his own words, for Government to get out of the way.

“Just like Tasmanians have seen with the forest industry, the Liberals have no plan other than to shift total responsibility to the private sector.

“Labor believes in positive Government intervention because Tasmania needs a strong and vibrant mining and minerals processing sector.

“We need to get mining moving again.”


Course at Hobart City Church of Christ

Paul Arnott Executive Director Community Care Churches of Christ Vic/Tas
03.07.15 2:40 pm

A course that will be held next month at Hobart City Church of Christ.

It arose from a desire to help equip Christians to connect with others in a way that makes a difference to their lives.

The book that is being used is Jill McGilvray’s workbook God’s Love in Action.

Download Flyer…



Where does the Hodgman Government stand on skills assessment?

Michelle O’Byrne MP Deputy Labor Leader, Labor Spokesperson for Workplace Relations
03.07.15 2:11 pm

Labor’s Spokesperson for Workplace Relations, Michelle O’Byrne, has called on the State Government to confirm whether or not it was consulted over the removal of mandatory skills assessment for trades workers employed as temporary migrants under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“Skills assessment requirements are being removed for ten occupations, including electricians,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Does the Hodgman Government have an opinion on these significant changes or was it kept in the dark like the rest of Australia?”

“Does the State Government endorse the change of policy?

Ms O’Byrne said The Federal Shadow Minister for Trade & Investment, Penny Wong, has raised some very valid points in relation to skills assessment removal.

“Labor is right to ask what safeguards have been put in place to maintain safety standards in Australian workplaces?

“And has the provision been based on advice from Australian occupational and trades skills regulators?”



Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie
03.07.15 2:09 pm

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has welcomed Metro releasing information to address the growing anxiety in the community about its plans to move to largely cashless tickets on its buses.

``A number of elderly constituents have contacted my office concerned that Metro was completely phasing out cash tickets and the difficulties they would have with these changes,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

``They were worried they would have been left on the side of the road because there are only eight agents in the whole of greater Hobart to purchase and top up the cashless ticketing Greencard option.’’

Mr Wilkie said the changes were clearly designed to encourage people to switch to Greencards and were a stepping stone to an entirely cashless system.

``While the retention of paper tickets (cash) for single trips is welcome, a lot of people rely on day tickets,’’ he said.

``From October, elderly and vulnerable Tasmanians who do not make the switch to a Greencard will no longer be able to use cash to buy paper day tickets.

``Metro must now clearly explain these changes to the travelling public and ensure that commuters are not disadvantaged in any way by these changes.

``The vacuum of information up until now has caused a lot of anxiety in the community and Metro must learn from this and improve its communication with the public as it implements these significant changes.’’


GovHack event opens the door for exciting technology developments

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Information Technology and Innovation
03.07.15 2:07 pm

Teams from all around the state are competing in Launceston and Hobart over the next three days as part of the annual GovHack open data competition.

GovHack showcases innovative use of government open data and how it can benefit the community and the economy, and make government more effective and efficient.

The event sees some of our best and brightest in the ICT sector exploring ways to use government data to make information more accessible or improve services.

For example, publication of open transport data has allowed for the development of smartphone and mobile device applications that provide bus routes and timetable information to commuters and tourists.

One of last year’s GovHack Tasmania winners used motor vehicle accident data to map the location and severity of accidents.

Tasmanian entries performed well in the 2014 national prize awards, winning three first places, three second places and several ‘highly commended’ awards.

GovHack is held around Australia and New Zealand every year. The event will run in both Launceston and Hobart over July 3, 4 and 5, the first time it has been held in Launceston.

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of GovHack and is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of this year’s GovHack event.

As part of the competition the Government has made more than 70 datasets available, which cover a broad range of Tasmanian subjects including convicts and early settlers, World War I servicemen, property boundaries, contours and digital terrain models, transport, education, bushfires, air and water quality, river flows and dam levels, electoral boundaries and climate change.

The Government is supporting the Tasmanian ICT sector to help improve productivity, business competitiveness and economic growth. GovHack is just one of the initiatives supported by the Tasmanian Government helping young Tasmanians to develop ICT skills.

The Tasmanian rollout of Code Club, a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led after school computer coding clubs for primary school students aged 9 to 11, is progressing well and giving more and more Tasmanian students skills which will be crucial for their future employability.

Initiatives like GovHack and Code Club will help to ensure Tasmania can create and attract jobs in the ever-growing ICT industry.


Issues change, not integrity

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
03.07.15 2:05 pm

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association held its annual general meeting in Launceston this week.

It ratified the appointment of two new directors, Marcus McShane and Brian Stewart, to replace retiring directors Di Fowler and Brett Hall, who, respectively, had represented the wool and meat commodity councils on the board.

The new board then re-elected Alan Davenport as vice-president me as president.

I made the point during the meeting that, given the time and effort we all put in, it would be patently obvious to anyone that we were not doing it for the money.

We took the attitude several years ago that we could not take an increase at that time and, in fact, in the past 12 months directors have taken a voluntary drop in pay.

Normally, I wouldn’t raise this as a matter of public discussion in a newspaper column but too often we overlook the time and dedication that volunteers and their ilk contribute to our society and, in this case, our industry.

As someone in the audience paraphrased JFK: “We shouldn’t be asking what the TFGA can do for us but what we can do for the TFGA.”

We have worked long and hard to build our reputation and profile – today it is called our brand – and we will not give it away lightly.

The TFGA board is resisting signing a memorandum of understanding with the industry’s peak body, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), which is trying to muster support for a single national farming identity.

Frankly, we have yet to be given an adequate explanation from the NFF about how the TFGA would fit into such an organisation without jeopardising the brand and profile it had so carefully built. Watch this space.

The strength of the TFGA has been that it is close to its membership and we have been with them through thick and thin.

Today the farming landscape here is changing. It’s becoming more intensive and more diversified. There are more cows in the paddocks than ever before; there are more paddocks carrying cows than ever before. Look around, there are pivot irrigators everywhere. At last, more and more of our farmers can count on water when they need it.

By the year 2050 our farms have to contribute $10 billion a year to the overall economy, $10 billion a year towards Australia’s food security and the growing world demand for commodities. That’s a big ask. We need everyone onside.

I told the annual general meeting that we had had some big wins:

the review of the Primary Industry Activities Protection Act 1995, which establishes at law the right of a farmer to continue their farming activities without unnecessary interference;
we are back inside the tent on forestry;
the dam approval process has been streamlined;
we have a new loan system similar to HECS to assist primary producers to develop their businesses, particularly in the early years, the start-up years. We have a $10 million low interest loan scheme to do just that
the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme has been extended to include a subsidy for exports. Now we have to ensure that those added benefits reach our pockets and not the new owners of the Port of Melbourne.

Lobbying and advocacy is a continuing process. The issues may change but the need for integrity on our part is a constant. We are pledged to maintain that.



International graduands celebrated in ceremonies across China

University of Tasmania, Communications and Media Office
03.07.15 2:03 pm

The University of Tasmania will celebrate the achievements of more than 400 international students set to graduate in ceremonies across China in the coming days.

The first ceremony will be held tomorrow (Saturday, July 4) at the Pinfeng Campus of the Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, where 77 students will receive their Bachelor of Computing degree.

The degree program is jointly hosted by the University of Tasmania and the Zhejiang University of Technology (ZUT).

On Wednesday (July 8), 356 students will attend the graduation ceremony for the combined AIEN Institute, Shanghai Ocean University (AIEN SOU) and University of Tasmania program.

Students will receive degrees in Bachelor of Information Systems and Bachelor of Management, and Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Management.

This year - the University’s 125th - marks the 10th year of graduations from this partnership.

The China graduations will be officiated by University Chancellor Michael Field AC.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen congratulated all students graduating in ceremonies this week.

“All your hard work, dedication and commitment is honoured and celebrated in these ceremonies,” he said.

Professor Rathjen said the ongoing success of program partnerships with institutes in China demonstrates the University’s reputation in excellence across teaching and research.

“The University’s strength in various partnerships in China is crucial to Tasmania, both socially, culturally and economically,” he said.

“Our Alumni association has a strong membership in China, with more than 4350 graduating through our programs since 2002.

“Our graduates are global citizens. They go on to live and work in a variety of fields internationally, either through employment opportunities or higher research avenues.”
University Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor International Professor Mike Calford said the institution was focused on creating new friendships in China as well as building on ties which were deep and enduring.

“These graduations reflect a strength in relations with our partner institutions in China at the same time as we are seeing positive growth in the number of international students choosing Tasmania as a destination to study,” Professor Calford said.

“The University has committed to strengthen its outlook in the region through other important initiatives such as the creation of the Asia Institute Tasmania.

“Through these things, we foster a heightened understanding of Asia, our place within the region and relationship with it.

“We believe this serves to both enhance and enrich our own society.”


School Nurses report for duty

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
03.07.15 2:01 pm

Today we officially welcome 10 School Health Nurses into the Tasmanian Department of Education, marking a significant milestone in the reintroduction of the role in our schools.

These specialist staff will play a crucial part in supporting our school communities and creating an environment that promotes lifelong health and wellbeing.

Over the past year stakeholders have been consulted to develop an implementation plan for the roll out of the School Health Nurse Program, a $5.8 million commitment of this Government.

Stage One of the process has involved recruiting 10 full time equivalent Registered Nurses, who today took part in an induction program ahead of starting work in Term 3.

There are five Primary School Nurses and five Secondary School Nurses, with three to be based in the north-west, three in the north and four in the south.

Nurses will collaborate with support staff including psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, vision and hearing services, physical impairment coordinators and autism consultants.

In primary schools, nurses will largely focus on vision and hearing checks, developmental checks and nutrition.

In high schools, they will look at areas like mental health and wellbeing, body image, healthy relationships and nutrition.

Across all levels of school, the nurses will also deliver local, state and national health promotion initiatives and targeted screening.

It is expected that by July 2017 there will be 20 full time equivalent nurses working across Tasmanian schools, and each nurse will be allocated a number of schools within their region.

For the full list of schools go to:


Mining Ban needs to be in WHA Management Plan as ...

Nick McKim MP | Greens Parks spokesperson
03.07.15 1:55 pm

...  Government Ignores United Nations on Logging and Tenure

The government’s claim that it is not planning to conduct ‘broad-scale logging’ in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) does not stand up to scrutiny, and represents a continued snub of the United Nations.

The UN’s World Heritage Committee has specifically asked for all logging to be ruled out, yet the government has stubbornly refused to accede to this request.

The WHC also asked for land tenure upgrades in the TWWHA to prohibit logging and mining, which the government has completely ignored.

Under the current management plan logging is prohibited in the entire TWWHA, but the government’s new draft management plan allows for logging in the entire property except for visitor services zones.

The government’s own legislation classifies some areas inside the TWWHA as Future Potential Production Forest, and allows for logging in iconic forests including the Styx, Florentine and the Weld inside the World Heritage Area.

The government’s verbal commitment to not mine in the TWWHA is welcomed, it but it needs to be explicitly stated in the management plan for the area.

It’s all very well for the Deputy Premier to rule out mining at a press conference, but Parks Minister Matthew Groom needs to state clearly that the mining ban will be explicitly included in the management plan for the area.