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

An evening with Dr Helen

Ula Majewski, Campaigns & Engagement Coordinator Oxfam Australia
25.11.14 4:47 am


One in 9 people go hungry every day. While global hunger has fallen in recent years, climate change threatens to reverse this trend. Making tens of millions more people hungry by the middle of the century.

Increasingly, scientists are talking about the planet reaching a tipping point at which changes, including an increase in extreme weather events, will be irreversible.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Join Dr Helen Szoke, Chief Executive, Oxfam Australia, in Launceston or Hobart as she discusses the challenges we face in feeding a world with a changing climate. Find out how you can become part of the global movement growing a better future.

6.00 – 7.30pm. Monday 24 November
Rory Spence Theatre, School of Architecture & Design
University of Tasmania
8 Invermay Rd, Launceston
RSVP to this free event now

6.00 – 7.30pm. Tuesday 25 November
The Founders Room
Salamanca Arts Centre (enter from Wooby’s Lane)
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart
RSVP to this free event now

Join us this November and help create a future where everybody has enough to eat.


Selfish Unions Put Self Interest First, Again

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
24.11.14 5:53 am

The Liberal Government was elected to fix the $1.1 billion Labor-Green budget mess and we won’t be deterred or held ransom from doing so.

We have invested a record $1.4 billion in education, which means every Tasmanian school has a minimum of a five per cent increase in the Fairer Funding component of their resource package funding.
However, because the Australian Education Union chose a pay rise over our sensible pay freeze proposal there’s simply not enough money to fund existing staffing levels.

Not one teaching position would have lost their job if the unions had accepted the pay freeze.

The straw-man proposal put up the unions simply didn’t add up - it would have left a $70 million hole in the budget.

Parents who are concerned about the impact on their school should ask their local AEU representative why they chose a pay rise, knowing the consequences.

I would like to assure parents that we are working with every Tasmanian school to gather information about how many staff members plan to take part in the strike, and we will advise parents as soon as possible about what it means for their school on Thursday.


Saving our Devils’ Wild Future

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
24.11.14 5:52 am

Right now, we have a special window of opportunity in the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil and re-establish healthy populations in the wild.

That’s because the Tasmanian Devil, as a species, is now more secure than it has been at any time during the past decade.

This is due to the fantastic work of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program to date and, in particular, the outstanding success of the Insurance Population Program.

A sustainable and genetically diverse insurance population of over 600 devils is now established, and is being maintained in the program’s facilities and in 31 zoos and wildlife parks across Australia.

A wild population of Tasmanian devils has also been established on Maria Island where devils, and the disease, did not previously exist.  28 disease free devils were originally released on the island in 2012 and 2013.  Following several successful breeding seasons, it is estimated that there are now over 70 wild devils on the island.

At the same time, the Tasman Landscape Isolation Project is now well underway, and the program is moving ahead with plans to repopulate the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas with disease-free devils from late next year.

The success of the insurance population means that the future of the species is now much more secure but if we are to save the Tasmanian Devil’s wild population we must seize this window. The challenge of securing a future for the devil in the wild remains profound. But we now have a special opportunity to act.

It is for this reason that the Tasmanian Government, in concert with the Commonwealth Government, is commencing a new Wild Devil Recovery Project. Through the new Project the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program will be refocusing efforts towards population monitoring, field research and research and development into possible vaccines and immunisation techniques.

The new Project will comprise a number of key initiatives including:

*        A field work initiative at Stoney Head in the North East of the State, on land managed by the Department of Defence, initially to trap and monitor the movement of devils, and then to test ways of augmenting the wild population.
*        A population monitoring initiative which will focus on better understanding the impact of the disease in Tasmania’s North East, where the disease first began to spread.
*        Field trials undertaken in collaboration with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research to test a new immunisation technique Menzies has developed.

Despite the presence of the disease in the North East over a long period of time and the savaging of the devil population in the region, our monitoring of the population suggests that the Devil is continuing to survive albeit in extremely low numbers.

Our best estimates are that the number of devils in the North East have remained fairly constant over the course of the last decade. Securing a future for the Devil in the wild requires us to have a much better understanding of what is occurring with the population in this part of the State.

As part of the Wild Devil Recovery Project we will be deferring the planned landscape isolation project on the Freycinet Peninsula for further consideration at a later time.

This will allow us to invest in the Tasman Landscape Isolation Project on the Tasman Peninsula and we will test and refine the concept in that setting. These learnings will be invaluable in developing further landscape isolation projects in the future.

We will also continue to invest appropriately in maintaining the insurance population at appropriate levels. It is the success of this initiative that has been critical in providing the window of opportunity to commence the new Wild Devil Recovery Project.

This is an exciting and important new phase for our efforts to save our iconic species, the Tasmanian Devil, in the wild. We owe it to this precious and iconic species to secure a strong, disease free future in its natural setting, where it belongs – in the wild.



Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome,
24.11.14 5:51 am


Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, has welcomed the removal from the Airbnb website of a Hobart Airbnb whose advertised house rules said same-sex couples were not welcome.

“I congratulate Airbnb for taking swift action to protect its good name and the good name of the Tasmanian tourism sector.”

“An accommodation ad that effectively says ‘no gays’ is as offensive and as illegal as an ad which says ‘no blacks’ or ‘no Asians’.”

“To ensure the highest possible standards in Tasmania’s tourism industry, I urge Tasmanian Airbnbs to seek accreditation through the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania’s ‘Rainbow Tourism Tasmania’ program which is the best gay-friendly accreditation program in Australia.”

“I also urge Tourism Tasmania to throw its weight behind the TICT program to ensure all visitors to our island are welcome, regardless of their sexual orientation.”


School crisis meetings highlight extent of savage budget cuts

Michelle O’Byrne MP Deputy Labor Leader
23.11.14 10:24 am

School crisis meetings to be held next week put lie to the Education Minister’s claims that savage budget cuts will not have an impact on learning outcomes.

Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minster for Education, Michelle O’Byrne, said the reality of the Liberal Government’s callous cuts to education was beginning to set in for school communities.

The Taroona Primary School Association will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the impact of the cuts, which include removing up to two teachers from every school.

“When Jeremy Rockliff claims that these savage cuts will not have an impact on learning outcomes he is either in denial or he is lying,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“School Associations know these cuts cannot be sustained without impacting on subject choices, extracurricular activities and learning outcomes.

“First he took aim at critical Pathway Planners, now he is forcing schools to slash programs like music, sport and excursions which are all an important part of the education experience.”

Ms O’Byrne said the Labor Party would stand shoulder to shoulder with school communities to fight cuts to education.

“Jeremy Rockliff and the Liberal Party need to hear loud and clear that cutting education in order to fund $400 million in unaffordable election promises is unacceptable.

“If they don’t get the message through stop work action and crisis meetings then they are clearly incapable of listening.”


Girls Day Out 2014

Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly
23.11.14 10:19 am

Today I was honoured to officially open Girls Day Out 2014 at Princes Wharf Shed No. 1 in Hobart, Tasmania’s largest female lifestyle expo and fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

With more than 50 exhibitors, this year’s Girls Day Out includes gourmet food and wine stalls, health and wellbeing information, cooking demonstrations, fashion shows and live music.

Inspiring panellists taking part in Q&A Forums come from a variety of backgrounds and are breast cancer patients and survivors, entrepreneurs, counsellors and health professionals.

Girls Day Out 2014 supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation by raising awareness and money which will be used to fund research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer.

On average, the disease claims the lives of seven Australian women every day, while around 350 Tasmanian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

While there is no doubt Girls Day Out is a fun event to attend, it also carries an important health message about breast cancer prevention, early detection and supporting a cause that sadly too many of us have been touched by.


Tasmanian Victoria Cross Enduring Memory

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
22.11.14 6:06 pm

The Victoria Cross award to Tasmanian Sergeant John Whittle has been auctioned and will remain in the Australian War Memorial for generations to come.

Sergeant Whittle had a long and distinguished career in the Australian Army and Royal Navy, originally fighting in the Boer War before being deployed in World War One.

During his service on the Western Front in 1916 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for rushing a German trench and compromising the position.

In 1917, during the German retreat to the Hindenberg Line, Whittle stormed a German machine gun post, neutralised the combatants and seized the gun.

Further to his accolades, Whittle was wounded three times during the war and in 1934 was presented the Certificate of Merit for saving a drowning boy.

It is wonderful that Sergeant Whittle’s Victoria Cross will remain at the Australian War Memorial, it will serve as an enduring memory of a brave Tasmanian soldier.



22.11.14 3:07 pm

Labor Senator Lisa Singh confirmed the Abbott Government has failed in its bid to water down consumer protections for investors seeking financial advice.

Labor has fought the weakening of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws by the Abbott Government every step of the way.

Senator Singh said this is a monumental defeat for the Abbott Government and its determination to give the big banks a boost at the expense of consumers. 

This week the Senate rejected the Government’s attempt to water down consumer protections introduced by Labor following the scandals involving Storm Financial, TimberCorp, Trio and Westpoint.

“The vote in the Senate is a victory for consumers and thousands of victims of dodgy financial advice. It’s a stinging rebuke of the Abbott Government which continues to try to sneak around the Senate to pass its unpopular policies,” Lisa Singh said.

“The disallowance is a major embarrassment for the acting Assistant Treasurer, Mathias Cormann.”

“It’s also a reminder that this agenda was started by the Assistant Treasurer, Arthur Sinodinos who remains sidelined pending NSW ICAC proceedings.”

The Government’s regulations remove essential consumer protections by watering down the Best Interests Duty, removing the Opt-In Requirement and allowing for the return of previously banned forms of conflicted remuneration.

“Tony Abbott has consistently ignored serious community concerns in Tasmania and across the country and remained determined to reduce these critical protections.”

Senator Singh is extremely concerned that despite tens of thousands of investors losing their money, the Abbott Government remains determined to weaken – rather than tighten - consumer protections.

“This should be a wake-up call for the Prime Minister – when will he finally get the message?” Senator Singh said.

Labor’s FoFA reforms ensured a strong, fair and efficient financial advice sector with strong safeguards in place. 

After this failure in the Parliament, the Government must give up on its efforts to unwind these important reforms.

Labor will always stand for ensuring important consumer protections.


Women’s Network – Hitting the Road

Roy D Palmer, FAICD, PCO Executive Director - Aquaculture without Frontiers -
22.11.14 3:02 pm

Our Women’s Network was unofficially launched when 5 members from the AwF Women’s Network presented at the 5th Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF5) symposium in Lucknow, India as part of the 10th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (10IFAF) of the Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch.

Of those 5 members one is AwF (Australia) Ltd Board member, Meryl Williams and the balance represent fifty per cent of the Women’s Network Committee namely Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit, Chloe English, Marie Christine Monfort and Bibha Kumari, whowas awarded Prize winner Best Paper, Highly commended(Congratulations Bibha!). Meryl (special guest and coordinator of GAF) gave a plenary talk and ran a workshop, Gender Aquaculture and Fisheries Writing Workshop.

Chloe commented “This was a quality event that welcomed many new people starting to work on gender within fisheries and aquaculture.The highlight for me was long time gender contributor, Meryl William’s plenary talk. She gave a great summary of the history of gender in aquaculture and fisheries and highlighted we are now slowly climbing to productivity and this movement requires long term, measured effort by all.”

The AwF website has been updated to include information from this event and to share some of the Women’s Network plans and contacts.

One of new AwF Women’s Network ideas we are excited to announce is the‘Woman of the Month’ Award. The aim of this is to promote and foster pride in, and recognition of, outstanding achievements which advance AwF’s goals and values; to develop an appreciation of the diversity and depth of personal and community achievement within women in aquaculture/seafood; to promote and recognise individual aquaculture/seafood women for the time and dedication they have demonstrated for members of the community, and, to provide positive role models for women in aquaculture/seafood. The details of the program are on our website.Note that the deadline for nominations for January is 20 December 2014. An inaugural winner for December has been selected and will be announced shortly.

AwF will be holding a Board Meeting and a Session at the Aquaculture America 2015 in New Orleans between 19 and 22 February and have been invited to give a keynote in the Women in Aquaculture Session. We look forward to meeting lots of old and new friends at that event.


Angling Hall of Fame Inductions

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
22.11.14 3:00 pm

Since the first trout hatched in Tasmania 150 years ago our state has forged a reputation for being our country’s premier trout fishing destination.

It is only fitting that we acknowledge and celebrate the fishers who have helped to achieve this world renowned reputation.

I congratulate all those who have helped shape Tasmania’s trout fishery in this celebratory year, and pay a special tribute to Les Monson and Ian French who have been posthumously inducted into the Angling Hall of Fame.

Les was a life member of the North Western Fisheries Association and the Ulverstone Angling Club, who held a seat on the Inland Fisheries Advisory Council and authored many submissions to the Government and fisheries department.

His book Centenary of Angling Culture, which was launched in 2005, was a testament to trout fishing in Tasmania and Les’s contribution to it.

Like Les, Ian was a life member of the North Western Fisheries Association and Ulverstone Angling Club; he also served as President on the Australian Fresh Water Assembly, and was a driving force on the Central Highlands Shack Owners body.

Les and Ian dedicated their lives to recreational fishing and our trout fishery is all the better for it.

I would also like to acknowledge Anglers Alliance Tasmania for its role in the Hall of Fame and for working positively with the Inland Fisheries Service to shape our vibrant trout fishery.

The Liberal Government is proud of Tasmania’s trout fishery. It is a great sport enjoyed by thousands of locals, and it also attracts anglers from interstate and across the globe.


A Star Centre Court for Hobart International

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Sport and Recreation
22.11.14 2:59 pm

The Hobart International’s reputation for attracting the world’s best continues with Australian tennis star Casey Dellacqua returning for the event that’s synonymous with the Tasmanian summer.

Last year a record 15,400 fans were courtside for the event, injecting about $2 million into our economy and driving media exposure valued at more than $3.5 million.

There’s no doubt the Hobart International is putting Tasmania on the map, drawing high calibre players from across the globe, along with coaches, support staff and their family to Tasmania.

The Liberal Government is committed to building on our competitive strengths such as events and tourism, which is why we have contributed $50,000 to this year’s event and $75,000 each for 2016 and 2017.

But the value for Tasmania goes well beyond the economics. Tasmanians love their sport and the Hobart International offers the chance to watch world class tennis in our own back-yard.

To draw the likes of Casey to the Hobart International is a testament to the event, the organisers and our state.

Casey will use the 2015 Hobart International as a warm-up for the Australian Open, after a rapid rise to the top 30 in the world – a career best.

The Hobart International will run from January 11 to 17 at the Domain Tennis Centre.


Adverts tell parents how Hodgman’s schools cuts will hurt students

AEU Tasmania President Terry Polglase
22.11.14 11:04 am

The AEU Tasmania Branch is running newspaper advertisements across Tasmania today as part of its campaign against Premier Will Hodgman’s broken promises and cuts to education.

AEU Tasmania President Terry Polglase said the Hodgman Government’s plan to sack 266 teachers from Tasmanian schools is devastating and will hurt students.

“Quality education is too important to give up without a fight and we want Will Hodgman to be held accountable for his broken promise not to cut frontline staff from schools,” Mr Polglase said.

“These ads will inform parents as to what is at stake in the schools their children attend, and will urge them to tell Premier Hodgman that the cuts must be stopped.”

“He was elected on a promise of investing in our schools, but has now turned round and said he will cut 266 teachers from schools.”

“Primary schools will lose up to two teachers, and colleges will lose up to four. This will have a huge impact on what they can offer to students.

“They’ll find it harder to offer literacy and numeracy support, or they’ll have to cut music, languages or other subjects.”

“Children will miss out on opportunities at school and won’t get an education that lets them reach their full potential.”

“Mr Hodgman promised many times that these cuts would never happen under a Liberal Government. For example, he said in the Liberals 2012 “Future Directions” document that:

“Unlike Labor and the Greens we won’t sack nurses, teachers or police. We’ll prioritise essential frontline services over other, less essential areas of Government.” (Will Hodgman)

“There is already a lot of anger in the community as parents are finding out their children will be in bigger classes, and will be getting less support next year.”

“Education is crucial for Tasmania’s future and Tasmanian children need properly-resourced schools. That’s what Will Hodgman promised and that’s what he needs to deliver.”

“They have tried to blame teachers for these cuts, claiming they have been made necessary because teachers rejected a wage freeze.”

“But the Hodgman Government was never negotiated and would never guarantee that a wage freeze would save jobs.”

“The buck stops with Will Hodgman. He promised on many occasions before the election to quarantine front line services from cuts, and he has chosen to go back on his promise.”

Mr Polglase said that Tasmanian teachers would stop work for two hours on Thursday 8.30am to 10.30am, November 27, in a bid to stop the cuts.


Gutwein’s Guillotine Unnecessary

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
22.11.14 11:02 am

The Treasurer’s assertion that the Liberals have ‘ended the recession’ exposes Peter Gutwein’s guillotine hanging over the heads of the state’s public sector as an unnecessary and revenge driven sham, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“Mr Gutwein cannot have it both ways.  He cannot claim to have fixed a ‘recession’ over the last six months, during which the current number of public sector workers were employed, and then post-recession assert that over 820 Tasmanian jobs must be cut or the state finances will suffer,” Mr Booth said.

“The simple fact is that the recent State Accounts data shows Tasmania’s improved financial position occurred with the current number of teachers, nurses, police and emergency workers gainfully employed.”

“It may be that those 820-plus full time positions now threatened by Mr Gutwein’s guillotine contributed to the local economy and played a part in the state recording its strongest Gross State Product growth rate in five years.”

“If the Liberal-described recession can be turned around while the now targeted 266 teachers were still working in our schools, then let’s keep them there.”

“If the GSP growth rate can increase by over 1.2 per cent while Tasmanians could access current community services provided by the public sector, then let’s ensure that investment is maintained.”

“Instead of trying to claim credit for the welcome shorter jobless queues, Mr Gutwein needs to reassess how his plan to sack over 820 Tasmanians will undo all that hard work, and hurt the state’s unemployment rates, confidence, and local economy.”

“Mr Gutwein needs to cut the spin, not the workers. If the Treasurer wants to claim credit for the latest State Account data, then he also must admit that the attack on the public sector is revenge and ideologically driven,” Mr Booth said.


Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area threatened again

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation
22.11.14 5:25 am

The Bob Brown Foundation has warned that the Tasmanian Government can not be trusted to manage environmentally sensitive areas, saying that the World Heritage Area is a no go zone for development.

“The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area needs to be protected from tourism development. Private development should be outside the World Heritage Area and National Parks and developments inside National Parks should be public and well funded”, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“The Tasmanian Government are mistaking environmental devastation for progress. This is the same Government who stood by as their Federal counterparts proposed and failed to withdraw 74 000 hectares from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.” Jenny Weber said.

“Developments that require new roads, clearing of land and are insensitive to the outstanding universal values of the World Heritage Area will destroy Tasmania’s priceless wild appeal,” Jenny Weber said.

“There are many options for considered tourism that showcases the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Maydena, Lune River and the Liffey Valley are gateways to the World Heritage Area that could see economic growth for these communities”, Jenny Weber said.


EOI Submission Period Closes

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
22.11.14 4:58 am

The Liberal Government is taking action towards transforming Tasmania into the environmental tourism capital of the world.

The period to submit Expressions of Interest for sensible and appropriate tourism developments in our National Parks and World Heritage Area closes at 5pm today.

There has been a great deal of excitement about the EOI process, both from investors and the Tasmanian public.

We are very excited by the level of interest that has been shown in the EOI process, with more than 110 requests for additional information having been received.

Through our conversations with investors over the past six months and particularly at the recent TasInvest forum, there have been strong indications of a desire to capitalise on this unique tourism investment opportunity.

This is another important milestone in the Liberal Government’s commitment to grow our economy and create new job opportunities.

The past week has been a momentous one for Tasmania and the Liberal Government is keeping the momentum going to ensure we secure investment and jobs for the state.

We are delivering on our commitment to make our wilderness areas more attractive and accessible to tourists and Tasmanians. The majority of Tasmanians support the aim of making Tasmania the environmental tourism capital of the world, and of our wilderness areas having sensible, appropriate infrastructure and tourist facilities that are genuinely world class.

These areas are an extraordinary natural asset which should not be locked away from the world, but open and accessible for us all to enjoy, while ensuring the environmental and cultural values that make them special are protected.

Proposals received in the EOI process will be assessed through a two stage process. Stage 1 will involve high-level assessment against a number of criteria, including:

• The appropriateness of the particular development to a particular site;
• The qualifications of the proponent to establish and operate the development; and
• The ability of the proponent to finance the development.

Proposals which pass the Stage 1 assessment will then proceed to Stage 2 of the process and will be asked to provide a more detailed proposal which will be assessed by the Coordinator-General.
Details on the number of Expressions of Interest received will be available next week.


EDO Bulletin November 21

Environmental Defenders' Office
22.11.14 4:54 am


Welcome to our fortnightly EDO Tasmania Bulletin.  This bulletin contains news and current developments in planning and environment law and information about upcoming events and opportunities for public comment.

Read more HERE


Ending the Labor-Green Recession

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
21.11.14 3:53 pm

Today’s State Accounts show the Liberal Government has ended the Labor-Green recession.

Tasmania’s Gross State Product for 2013-14 recorded its strongest growth rate in five years, increasing by 1.2 per cent to $24.91 billion.

Our GSP per capita was 0.9 per cent higher than last year and grew more than the national per capita growth rate.

State Final Demand was up 1.8 per cent in the June Quarter, which is proof our long-term Plan for Tasmania is already starting to show results.

Since we’ve come to Government, we’ve seen business confidence rise to the highest in the nation, retail spending is at a record high and around 3,000 jobs have been created, with unemployment queues the shortest they’ve been in 18 months.

We know there’s a lot more work to be done and while we can’t turn the ship around overnight, today’s figures show we are on the right track and the economy is recovering.



Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson
21.11.14 3:51 pm

The new Mountford Berryfruits, at Longford, was officially opened for business today by Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson.

Mr Hutchinson welcomed the new agricultural enterprise as a major investment for the region that created jobs during construction and is already providing more employment opportunities in irrigation, horticulture and seasonal work in the State’s Northern Midlands.

``The project involved construction of 48 poly-tunnels housing 200,000 strawberry plants covering four hectares,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

These plants are expected to produce about 150 tonnes of strawberries.’’

Mr Hutchinson said that the irrigation installed on the Mackinnon family’s Mountford property had the capacity to allow farm production to be doubled over the next three to five years.

The new farming enterprise was one of the projects partly financed by the Federal Government’s Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan with a $400,000 contribution from the Federal Government and another $632,118 private investment.

The $106 million Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan is part of the Federal Government’s economic growth plan for Tasmania to build a stronger economy for the State by supporting jobs and growth.

The plan will deliver important infrastructure for the state including $38 million for the Hobart Airport expansion and $400 million for the Midland Highway upgrade.


More ridiculous claims from the unions

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
21.11.14 3:26 pm

The simple fact is, if the unions had accepted the sensible wage freeze that was proposed, no teacher would have lost their job.

The additional 500 job losses are the unions’ fault.

The $400 million in election commitments that are referred to include funding for Gonski, $76 million for elective surgery and funding for additional police. The unions’ arguments are nonsensical - on the one hand they claim they want more investment in frontline services, yet in the same breath they say they oppose it.


Regional approach to sustainable fisheries management

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
21.11.14 3:04 pm

Australia has demonstrated commitment for a regional approach to fisheries management with the delivery of a training program in Indonesia this month.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) today concluded the fourth and final in-country phase of the Australia-Indonesia Fisheries Management/Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Training Program which was held in Indonesia.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said training was delivered to officers including personnel from the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Marine Police, Customs and the Fishing Port Authority.

“Australia is committed to working with our regional neighbours in a joint approach to fisheries management,” he said.

“Our fisheries are among the most sustainable and best managed in the world. We’ve made some tough decisions and put in management measures that ensure sustainability – this is paying off and we are seeing the rewards.”

“We have the opportunity to share our experience and knowledge with our regional partners and work together to ensure the future sustainability of our shared fisheries resource.”

Senator Colbeck said Australia works closely with Indonesia to strengthen fisheries surveillance and enforcement networks that support the long-term sustainable management of fisheries in the region.

The program was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Gutwein the Christmas Grinch hurting small business

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Minister for Small Business
21.11.14 3:03 pm

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Small Business has called on Treasurer Gutwein to abandon his public service job cuts so that consumer confidence can be rebuilt during the vital Christmas period.

Madeleine Ogilvie said public servants were dispirited and worried by the Treasurer’s threats to their livelihoods.

“Cuts like this affect the whole community,” Ms Ogilvie said.

Ms Ogilvie described the sackings as both a human tragedy and a major blow to small businesses that relied on consumer confidence to provide a boost to their businesses.

Ms Ogilvie called on the Treasurer to rethink his callous attitude to public servants.

“Our local economy and jobs in the private sector rely on everyone having secure employment.

“Cuts to the public sector are also cuts to the private sector as worried consumers tighten their purse strings.”

Ms Ogilvie challenged the Treasurer to meet with small businesses to explain why he was prepared to sack public servants on the eve of the most important economic and family period of the year.

She said she will be monitoring closely the Christmas period spending to ensure that Tasmanians have confidence in their future. 


Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame Induction

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Sport and Recreation
21.11.14 3:02 pm

Tasmania has a proud tradition of producing exceptional athletes who put Tasmania on the map.

Today’s inductees into the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame are no exception.

I congratulate footballer John Leedham, sailor Gary Smith and hockey player Kim Walker on joining more than 100 great Tasmanians recognised in the hall of fame.

John Leedham is one of the greatest footballers our state has ever produced. John debuted for North Launceston in 1946 aged 17 and was regarded as one of the finest players in the country in his era, and the best Tasmanian player not to have played VFL/AFL. He represented Tasmania in the 1947, 1953 and 1958 Australian National Football Carnivals and was chosen as the sole Tasmanian representative in the first ever All-Australian team in 1953. John was elevated to AFL Tasmania icon status last year.

Gary Smith continues the great tradition of outstanding sailors produced by our island state. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member has had an outstanding career in dinghies and keel boats.

Gary claimed the Fireball class Australian Championships in 1983, before going on to win the World Championships in San Francisco in 1984. He then went on to the Sharpie class, winning the Australian Championships in 1986. Both titles were won in boats he built. Gary then moved on to Flying Dutchman, winning the Australian Championships before competing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Gary was inducted into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame in 2010.

Kim Walker’s combination of skill, hard work and dedication enabled her to reach the highest level in her sport. Kim has an exceptional record, having represented Australia in hockey 172 times, making her debut for the Hockeyroos in the Tri-Nations in Argentina in 1998. Kim became one of the Hockeryroos most valuable players and in 2007 was voted Hockeyroos player of the Year. She won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Games.

For a state of half a million people we have proven time and time again to be a force in sport regularly shining on the world stage.

I congratulate our Hall of Fame inductees who will continue to inspire generations to come.


Better Healthcare on Flinders Island

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
21.11.14 3:00 pm

Residents in the Furneaux Islands will receive access to better healthcare with today’s official opening of the redeveloped Flinders Island Multi-Purpose Centre.

The Centre now has five acute beds, in addition to another bed through the redevelopment, which will facilitate the provision of palliative care.

There is also a new two bed emergency room and adjacent treatment room, along with nine residential aged care bedrooms with ensuites - with an application made to the Federal Government to allow us to offer these facilities for Respite Care.

The Multi-Purpose Centre also features a range of other services including GP clinic, community nursing, day centre activities, consulting rooms, X-ray room and dental clinic.

The redevelopment is now allowing us to look at additional services and some of those are already being offered, including chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

It’s pleasing to see that it’s not only patients set to benefit, with staff enjoying a new kitchen and laundry, also welcoming Ambulance Tasmania into the building with a modern new office and storeroom.

The Government has provided $7.3 million towards this work and the result is an excellent facility, which offers access to better care for the community.

The Liberal Government has a long term Plan for Tasmania to rebuild essential services and fix the health system, and today’s opening is another step towards a better future in health.


Christine Milne: Tasmanian representation and World Heritage Area development

Greens Leader Christine Milne
21.11.14 12:57 pm

“The main thing, my concern, is to make sure that as Tasmanian senators we represent the state in the best way we can.

“I’m very proud of the record the Tasmanian senators have had, the Australian Greens Tasmanian senators, not only did we stand up for Tasmania in saying we don’t want to see the carbon price abolished – Jacquie Lambie voted for the abolition of the carbon price that’s cost Hydro $200 million in one year – also we’re standing up for the renewable energy target, that’s critical to Tasmanian’s future.

We’re also standing up for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, have done for more than 25 years, and we don’t want to see it undermined and destroyed by Tony Abbott in cahoots with Will Hodgman. First of all trying to log it and then having been stopped from logging it wanting to build resorts and roads all over it.”



Niall Doran
21.11.14 12:42 pm


A sample of Joe’s award-winning cinematography, which dominated the Wildlife & Nature category of the ACS award ceremony, and is gaining Tasmania national and international attention.


Last Saturday night, Tasmanian natural history cinematographer JOE SHEMESH was awarded a rare DOUBLE GOLD AWARD from the prestigious Australian Society of Cinematographers at their awards dinner in Melbourne. The ACS normally only presents a single Gold Award per category, but Joe’s work in Wildlife and Nature Cinematography has been so outstanding that they gave him a double Gold Award: one for his work on SIXTEEN LEGS with the Bookend Trust, and the other for his MOUNTAIN AIR project in collaboration with the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service.

Joe’s winning images have previously been seen at the world-famous Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada and the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival in Launceston, where they co-premiered on the same day earlier this month. Now Hobart audiences will have a one-off FREE opportunity to see an encore showing at the Bookend Trust’s 2014 Public Presentation Night at UTAS in Hobart on 26 November.

Earlier glimpses of the project were given to a packed audience of global media experts in France in June, and at a hugely successful public exhibition run in collaboration with Clarence City Council in August.

“That is what Tasmania is all about for me as a filmmaker,” Joe said of capturing Tasmania’s beauty and wildlife on screen. “This sort of project would normally be handed to the BBC, but the Bookend Trust had the belief that the project could be achieved locally, and I’m really proud to have achieved it.”

As well as showcasing Joe’s outstanding cinematography, the evening will also present works from upcoming Tasmanian students, including Sophie Ambler (Clarence) and Julia Parker (Smithton), who have won Antarctic flights as a result of their achievements.

The event will be held at 7pm on Weds 26 Nov, 2014 at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS Churchill Avenue, Hobart. Tickets are FREE, but to attend people need to RSVP via


Tasmania’s Momentous Week

Will Hodgman, Premier
21.11.14 12:39 pm

It has been an historic and momentous week for Tasmania.

The eyes of the world and especially China have been fixed firmly on us, and Tasmania has shone brightly.

Tasmania’s warm welcome to the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan has strengthened our enduring friendship with China, our largest trading partner and source of international visitors.

The visit was followed by millions of people online and watched by hundreds of millions through news broadcasts, generating unparalleled exposure.

What was particularly special, was the Chinese President’s reflection on his visit to our state, saying it was “a very beautiful day.”

Tasmanians should be proud; we demonstrated how friendly, beautiful and abundant our state is.

The inaugural TasInvest Forum showcased an investment portfolio worth more than $2.1 billion across our competitive strengths including agriculture, viticulture, aquaculture, mining and Antarctic research.

The interest was overwhelming and Tasmanians can be optimistic this will result in major projects. The Liberal Government is working hard to turn this interest into investment to strengthen our economy and create jobs.

The Free Trade Agreement with China will unlock further opportunities for our primary producers, who have been waiting for an even playing field against competitors like New Zealand for decades.

There’s an increasing demand for our clean, fresh and safe produce, especially in China’s emerging middle-class, and this will allow our producers to compete in that market.

And, the unsolicited bid proposal has really hit home that we’re open for business by creating a framework for unique proposals, to open new opportunities, generate investment and create jobs.

On top of this, 10 Memoranda of Understanding were signed creating a range of opportunities including; cementing our reputation as the Gateway to the Antarctic, strengthening our sister city ties with the Fujian province and building on our competitive strengths like renewable energy and fruit production.

I hope that in years the come we’ll look back on the events of this week with pride in what we’ve been able to achieve.


Hollywood Comes to Stanley

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
21.11.14 12:38 pm

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Tasmania, including the state’s fast-growing film sector.

This week the DreamWorks SKG production The Light Between Oceans has begun filming in Stanley.

The Liberal Government has provided $75,000 to help facilitate this fantastic opportunity for Stanley and the Tasmanian film industry.

The production will spend approximately $1 million on Tasmanian goods and services, accommodation, crew and extras casting over the course of five weeks of pre-production and one week of filming.

The film stars Michael Fassbender (X Men, Prometheus, Inglorious Basterds), Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina) and Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy, The Mummy, The Lovely Bones) and is directed by Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine) from his script based on the debut novel by M. L. Stedman.

Government funding will also provide a boost to the region by supporting the restoration of the Stanley wharf to its original heritage condition, representing a long term benefit to the community and an investment in infrastructure in the region.

The Government has also facilitated for Queenstown locals to be involved in the production, with Screen Tasmania providing additional funds to support the employment of five security personnel, and 10 cast to work on the production.

About the decision to shoot in Tasmania, producer Jeffrey Clifford said “Stanley in North-West Tasmania offers the elements we need to tell the film’s story. We have a beautiful, unspoiled seascape, and a town with authentic buildings that fits the period and blends seamlessly with the other places we’ve filmed.”

The Light Between Oceans is set on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.

The Tasmanian screen industry is at its strongest and most active in 35 years.

A range of productions are being filmed around Tasmania, including television series, The Kettering Incident, currently in production in Hobart, and the feature film Lion starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) expected to film in Tasmania in May 2015.


Dangerous increase in Tasmanians taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers
21.11.14 11:58 am

A staggering thirty per cent of Tasmanians aged 18 – 29 are risking their lives behind the wheel by
using their mobile phones without hands-free devices, and alarmingly the figures across all age
groups are on the rise, according to research conducted by RACT Insurance.

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers said the figure represented an increase of eight per cent from the
previous year and close to triple the state average of 12 per cent for those driving while using a
mobile not on hands free, highlighting the need for immediate action.

“The data also revealed 29 per cent of those aged 18 – 29 regularly check messages and emails while
driving – again close to three times the state average of 11 per cent and up 10 per cent from last
year, with the second worst offenders being those aged 30 – 39, at 15 per cent,” Mr Sayers said.

“The younger generations are not the only offenders with 24 per cent of those aged 30 – 49
regularly using the phone when not on hands free, a three-fold increase on the previous year, as well
as some 15 per cent checking messages or emails while driving, close to double of the previous

Mr Sayers said the reckless and illegal behaviour illustrated in these statistics, across all age groups,
is quite concerning and has significant safety implications for all road users, not just the driver
undertaking such dangerous acts.

“All drivers have a responsibility to their fellow road users to drive with care and diligence, which
starts by correcting these potentially fatal behaviours,” he said.

“Driving can be dangerous even when you’re paying full attention to the road conditions, so to
attempt to talk or check emails or texts while in control of a moving vehicle is incredibly reckless

Mr Sayers said RACT had advocated for measures to combat driver inattention, particularly mobile
phone use, to see increased driver education, more severe penalties for mobile phone use while
driving as well as more resources to allow for Police enforcement.

“We need to create a deterrent for this type of behaviour sooner rather than later – we owe it to all
Tasmanians to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” he said.

The current penalty for being caught while driving without a hands free device is $300 and 3 demerit
points, which is almost double the cost of most hands free devices.

Behavioural observations (source: Nature – Research – Analytics – Insights, online survey conducted
for RACT Insurance with a representative group of 632 Tasmanians between 14/10/14 and
> Regularly use the phone while not on hands free:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 13% 22% 30%
30 – 49 13% 8% 24%
50+ 3% 5% 7%
> Check messages or emails while driving:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 13% 19% 29%
30 – 49 14% 8% 15%
50+ 5% 3% 9%
> Easily distracted by GPS, Radio or phone:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 14% 20% 17%
30 – 49 22% 6% 24%
50+ 10% 13% 9%


FTA good but not perfect

TFGA Chief Executive Jan Davis
21.11.14 11:56 am

If you are feeling somewhat giddy from the hype of the last week, join the club. We’ve had the Chinese presidential visit, major investment seminars, multiple memoranda of understanding, smorgasbords for the world’s leading foodies and column inch after column inch in national press predicting that we are on the dawn of a new age of prosperity.

Perhaps it is time for some sober reflection.

There is no doubt that our world is going to change - but it will not happen overnight. There is no silver bullet. There is no magic panacea for its economic woes. There is no great benefactor. We have to make our own way in the world.

Undoubtedly, Tasmanian agriculture has been given a boost - but it will not mean dollars raining down on us tomorrow.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been ten long years in the making; and it has delivered more than we might have hoped for.  This agreement will open bilateral investment opportunities in agriculture that have eluded us for far too long.

Under the agreement, Chinese tariffs on dairy products will continue for the next four to nine years. Similarly, we have to wait nine years for the tariff on beef to be eliminated and eight years for sheepmeat. For vegetables, it’s four years before we have a level playing field.

Therefore, free trade it is not. We are still behind the eight-ball. There is seldom a true level playing field in free trade agreements. We usually come off second best because our farmers operate without tariff protection, without government subsidy and are innocent bystanders as far as the Australian dollar is concerned.

But, as TFGA Dairy Council chair Andrew Lester noted: “… anything that gives us improved access to the Chinese market has got to be a good thing.” And this FTA does at least place us on an equal footing with New Zealand.

Meat Council chair Brian Stewart said: “The gradual removal of the tariff burden will have an immense impact of the profitability of Tasmanian sheep and cattle producers.”

Wool Council chair Michael Parsons also welcomed the FTA, saying it would provide a vital boost in an already established market.

“China already accounts for 75 per cent of Australia’s raw wool exports and our quota of 287,000 tonnes is only taxed at one per cent. The country-specific quota is recognition of our current place in the market and the quality product that we have continued to provide and the positive relationship that has been fostered with our Chinese customers,” he said.
China is Australia’s largest agriculture and fisheries market, worth around $9 billion in 2013. China’s demand for high-quality agriculture and food products is growing rapidly. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) predicts that China will account for 43 per cent of global growth in agricultural demand by 2050.

Tasmanian farmers, too, have a long history of trade with Asian nations, including China. In 2011/2012, they exported product worth more than $120 million to ASEAN countries. Major products exported to ASEAN countries included dairy ($42 million); seafood ($32 million) and wood products ($20 million estimated from private forestry sector). More than 20% of those exports were headed to China.

Until now, the absence of a bilateral FTA with China has meant Australian producers and exporters have faced significant tariffs on agricultural products and have been at a competitive disadvantage with respect to countries that already have an FTA with China – including New Zealand, Chile and the ASEAN nations. The Agreement will give Australia a significant advantage over larger players in the Chinese agriculture market – the US, EU and Canada. It will also provide a base for further liberalisation through a review of market access outcomes three years after entry into force.

Having said that, it is important to understand that Free Trade Agreements must deliver benefits to both parties. Tasmania is well placed to benefit from the expansion – through increased production, increased Chinese financial investment here, and our input to Chinese domestic production techniques.

In return, we will be able to provide knowledge and technology to assist Chinese farmers in improving their own productivity. The fact that we are in the southern hemisphere means that our main production season is mainly counter-seasonal with that in the northern hemisphere and therefore adds scope for us expand product availability in the Chinese markets.

This FTA clearly opens many doors for Tasmanian producers. It underscores the fact that agriculture will continue to be a stabilising influence on our economy.

I’ll leave the last word to our Chairman, Wayne Johnston, who said that “The events of the past week have certainly put us on the map for those who were unaware of our potential. Tasmania - and Tasmanian farmers - are in a prime spot to benefit.”