01.03.11 12:00 am
MEDIA RELEASES: •Government •Greens Tasmania •Australian Greens, Bob Brown •Australian Greens, Christine Milne •Tasmanian Liberals •Tasmanian Liberals, Will Hodgman •Tasmanian Labor, David Bartlett •Federal Labor •Federal Liberal •Australian Democrats •Tasmanian Socialist Alliance •Australian Socialist Alliance •Ethics & Sustainability Party •Senator Online - Australia’s first and only internet based political party •Stable Population Party
Richard Griggs, Tasmanian Director of Civil Liberties Australia.
09.12.13 2:41 pm
Civil Liberties Australia today noted the inconsistencies with the Tasmanian Liberals election policy “Rebuilding the Forest Industry – Cracking down on illegal protestors”
“The Liberal party often assert they are the strongest defenders of free speech. But if you are to live up to that standard that means ensuring everyone in society can speak freely, not just those you agree with,” said Richard Griggs, Tasmanian Director of Civil Liberties Australia.
“Dramatically raising fines for protestors and introducing mandatory jail sentences is inconsistent with a liberal commitment to free speech.
“There are competing rights at play here. On the one hand workers have a right to access their place of employment but, on the other, the community has a right to free speech. Existing laws do a reasonable job of balancing these rights and this new policy would dramatically reduce free speech,” he said.
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save the Tarkine
09.12.13 2:08 pm
The dates set down for the hearing in the Judicial Review of the Riley Creek mine approval in the Federal Court have been altered to 10-11th February 2014.
A request to the court by the Commonwealth to adjourn the scheduled December hearings was not opposed by Save the Tarkine.
Australian Greens spokesperson on trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
09.12.13 2:06 pm
Today Australian Greens spokesperson on trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, was fiercely critical of the Abbott Government’s refusal to abide by the will of the Senate and publicly release the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) text.
“Last week the Greens were sucessful in moving a motion through the Senate which ordered the production and public release of the secret TPPA trade deal,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“This was a win for every Australian who demanded to know how their farm, small business, cost of medicines, labor rights, internet freedoms, and local environment could be effected by this Nation’s biggest ever trade negotiation - a negotiation happening in secret under intense pressure from the United States Government, US corporations, and their interests.
“But the Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann, has now written to the Senate on behalf of the Government and refused to release the text of the TPPA trade deal.
“What this letter says is that the Abbott Goverment will not abide by the will of the Senate to allow all Australians the right to know how the TPPA trade deal will affect their lives and businesses because the United States has not said it is OK to do so.
“The Abbott Government has shown contempt for the Senate and the Australian people.
“Our legitimate role in opposition is to scrutinise any trade deal to ensure it’s more than just ‘free’ but is also ‘fair’ for our nation.
“There is no such thing as ‘free trade’ in the real world - to get something we have to give something up and there will be winners and there will be losers.
“The question is who gets to pick the winners and who becomes the losers in Australia?
“Do the Australian people have a say or will US corporations pick who wins and who loses?
“If we want honesty in politics in Australia we need transparency in Parliament, and today I’m asking Tony Abbott again - if he has nothing nasty to hide - to come clean and release the final draft for public scrutiny prior to it being stamped and sealed by Cabinet.
“The Greens will continue to use all measures available in the Senate to pursue the collation on this issue,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne
09.12.13 9:45 am
Will Hodgman has declared war on people who care about our forests but it’s an approach that has been tried and failed and further risks the future of the forest industry, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said today.
“Twenty years ago Liberal Leader Ray Groom tried to silence dissent through draconian anti-protest laws and he failed. Will Hodgman is set to go down the same path with this flawed approach,” Senator Milne said.
“Everyone, except Mr Hodman, knows there is no future in logging high-conservation value forests. The markets will simply not accept products and Forestry Tasmania will never secure FSC certification.
“It will be Mr Hodgman who costs the industry more jobs if he seeks to re-open high conservation value areas to logging and to silence people with any concerns. Mandatory sentencing risks eroding the separation of powers, and is not something the Greens support as a general principle.
“Most Tasmanians want to live in a community where we talk through our differences, not one where people are thrown straight into jail for daring to disagree.
“What Mr Hodman wants to do is have the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area listed as ‘In Danger’, undermining Tasmania’s brand of clean, green and clever and destroying jobs in tourism, food and accommodation.
“Instead of dealing with the realities facing the forest industry Mr Hodgman is continuing the Liberal Party’s ‘born to rule, silence and destroy’ approach. It failed then and it will fail now.
Jo Collins and Anne Noonan, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
09.12.13 6:49 am
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for November –beginning Dec. 2013
On the 4 November thousands of students marched to protest against the Draft Bill on the Special Autonomy Plus law. The students from a number of organisations jointly known as (Uproar) marched from Abepura to Jayapura, carrying banners and shouting Special Autonomy Plus will bring no change to Papuans. After arriving at the office of the governor of Papua which was protected with a barbed wire fence, the authorities allowed a small number of student representatives to meet with the Governor to convey their concerns. After the meeting with the Governor the rally dispersed quietly. The students protested again on the 6 November outside gates of Cenderawasih University in Abepura and Waena. In Abepura the rally was disbanded. However in Waena the students made speeches and blocked the gate with banners. The protest continued with a silent protest held by the students on the 12th outside the university gate in Waena to protest the arrest of a number of students on the 7 November in Kotaraja, Jayapura.
A number of rallies organised by the KNPB took place in various towns in the territory. On 26 November police cracked down on a peaceful rally in Jayapura. Up to 28 people were arrested. Local journalists covering the rally were also intimidated. In a statement by Amnesty International it reported that “According to a human rights lawyer who saw them in detention at the Jayapura City police station, there were indications that they had been beaten after they were arrested. Some of the detainees had bruises or swelling on their mouth, eyes, forehead and body. At least 12 people are still in police custody”.
A press release from KNPB at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/1-press-release-knpb-police-shoot-dead.html In Timika 31 people were arrested at a rally calling for the right of self-determination for the people of West Papua. http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=80900 A report and photos from West Papua media at http://westpapuamedia.info/2013/11/29/shootings-killings-beatings-arrests-as-hundreds-flee-to-jungle-after-indon-police-open-fire-on-peaceful-knpb-demo/
Statements from the national police chief shortly after the rallies raised great concern for West Papuans that might take part in future rallies. The National Police chief Gen. Sutarman said “that the police would crack down on groups that intended to separate from the unitary state of Indonesia, including by strictly enforcing a ban on flying the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) separatist flag, which West Papuans often try to raise in a special ceremony each Dec. 1” AWPA release at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/media-release-bintang-kejora-flag.html
Buchtar Tabuni and Wim Rocky Medlama have been put on the wanted list simply because they were involved in leading the rally on the 26 Nov.
West Papuan National flag day
On the 1 December, West Papuan national flag day, the Morning Star was raised in West Papua and at rallies around the world to celebrate the first official flying of the flag in December 1961. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1311/S00398/west-papuan-national-flag-day-1st-december.htm AWPA would like to thank both Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils for allowing the flag to be raised on their town halls. Anthony Craig of the DLP also organized a protest outside the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney. Flag raising and actions also occurred in Newcastle, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide and in countries in the region including New Zealand, Vanuatu and PNG (Apologises to those left out).
There was a series of events in PNG starting with the presentation of the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award’ for 2013 to Powes Parkop. the Governor of Port Moresby and the National Capital District. On the 28 November Governor Parkop hosted a meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/powes-parkop-receives-award.html
On the 1st December the West Papuan national flag flew alongside the PNG flag at City Hall as part of celebrations to mark 1 December. The event was not without controversy and three of the event organisers were arrested. Benny Wenda and Jennifer Robinison were warned by the authorities that would be arrested, prosecuted and deported if they attended the meetings. A report in the Guardian by Jennifer at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/05/a-historic-flag-raising-event-signals-an-awakening-to-west-papuas-plight
There was also a lot of media coverage on Australian Indonesian relations over the spying scandal. A number of opinion pieces below. Julie Bishop flew to Jakarta at the beginning of December to mend relations with Jakarta. AWPA urged her to raise concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian Government. AWPA release at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/media-release-julie-bishop-should-raise.html
Papuans Behind Bars reported that there were at least 71 political prisoners in Papuan jails at the end of Nov. (At the end of October there were 54).
Papuans Behind Bars: November 2013
At the end of November 2013, there were at least 71 political prisoners in Papuan jails. 112 political arrests were made this month in three separate cases, bringing the total number of arrests so far this year to 537. This represents a 165% increase in the number of political arrests as compared with the same period in 2012, signaling a significant deterioration in the environment for free expression and assembly in Papua.
The police response to increasingly organised and coordinated demonstration activities across Papua is of concern this month, including several mass arbitrary arrests, repeated use of excessive force, blocking lawyers from accessing detainees, cruel and degrading treatment of detainees, and arrest and coercion of student activists to sign agreements to stop demonstrating.
Students of Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) have become locked in a bitter battle with university authorities over the involvement of lecturers in the drafting of a controversial revamp of the Special Autonomy bill. University authorities appear to be actively inviting police to suppress political activity on campus, leading to numerous arrests and beatings of students. A number of Papuan leaders have expressed concern at what they perceive as police efforts to systematically close down political space, particularly ahead of significant dates such as 1 May and in this case 1 December.
On 26 November 80 people were arrested in four different cities during demonstrations in support of the opening of a Free West Papua Campaign office in Papua New Guinea and the Sorong to Samarai campaign. One demonstrator was killed and three others have disappeared.
The trial for the six 1 May Biak detainees continue and mentally ill prisonerYohanes Boseren remains in detention despite his condition. Human rights lawyers and NGOs have called for his release. Investigations continue into the case of four community leaders in Sorong who face charges of conspiracy to commit treason. http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=2326
The Jakarta Globe reported on attack on Yongsu village (about 25 kilometres from Jayapura) on the 30 November. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/military-not-involved-in-deadly-raid-tni/ Villagers said that a man was shot during the raid and he was the village secretary, identified as Eduard Bunyan. “However, officers claimed the victim was an OPM member Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, Papua’s deputy police chief, said that police had received reports that Adranus Apaseray, said to be an OPM leader, had been fatally wounded in the shootout. “But his body has not been discovered,” Metro TV quoted Paulus as saying. Markus Haluk, a Papuan human rights activist and a member of the Papua Customary Council, told the Jakarta Globe that several military personnel were involved in the attack on a house in Yongsu village, about 25 kilometers west of Jayapura, on Saturday morning. Markus said following the attack, most of the village’s 200-odd residents fled, hampering investigations. “The villagers have evacuated and some houses were reportedly burned after the incident,” he said. Markus said villagers who wanted to return home were not allowed to enter their own village, and the victim’s family were denied access to their relative’s body by military personnel. “The victim’s body has been taken to the police hospital [in Jayapura], but the family is still not allowed to see him,” he said. Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Sulistyo Pujo Hartono said his officers undertook a raid on the village based on initial suspicions it was being used as a separatist military training ground. The OPM said the raid was to intimidate local people into not taking part in celebrations of their national flag day on the 1st December
The Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses brought the issue of West Papua to the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting in Sri Lanka. He said the people of West Papua are still bound by the whim of imperialism and colonialism so “we cannot continue to deny them their rights thus I call on our collective efforts to support their cause.” http://www.dailypost.vu/content/pm-carcasses-asks-commonwealth-“listen”-west-papua
Indonesia MP opposes Papua ban for foreign journalists
RNZI 15 November 2013 . An Indonesian parliamentarian, Eva Sundari, says there should be no restriction for foreign journalists wanting to go to Papua. Ms Sundari, who is a member of the Human Rights and Security Committee, says she was surprised to hear that foreign journalists were banned from the easternmost province. She says the chief of the military had assured her that Papua was as free as other regions. “Why if you have freedom for press for Indonesian journalists, but not for foreign journalists, what is the point here? Is there anything you want to hide from foreigners? I cannot accept this because if we employ a democracy it must be all over Indonesia at the same time, and also if you employ a freedom for press it must also be applied for Papua.” Eva Sundari says from her point of view, the situation for human rights is bad all over Indonesia
West Papua military leader extends thanks to Vanuatu in person.
RNZI 2 December, 2013. The most senior commander in the OPM rebel force in Indonesia’s Papua region is in Vanuatu to thank that country for its support for the indigenous people’s push for independence. Commander Richard Joweni slipped surreptitiously out of Indonesia, through Papua New Guinea to reach Vanuatu. He has met with the Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, and thanked him for his backing in speeches at the United Nations General Assembly and at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. But a spokesman, Rex Rumakiek, says he also wanted to convey the importance of a planned visit by a Melanesian Spearhead Group ministerial delegation. “Since the decision by the MSG in June the people are ready to welcome the foreign ministers’ delegation to West Papua. So it is a big issue in West Papua where everybody is waiting for them.” Rex Rumakiek.
Accident at Freeport, one dead
One person died and another injured in an incident at an underground deep ore (DOZ) mining zone belonging to gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia (PT FI), on Sunday 1 Dec. (The Jakarta Post, December 01 2013)
Indonesian soldier shot in Papua
The Jakarta Post reported that on the 28 Nov. an Indonesian soldier, Chief Sgt Wandi Ahmad was shot by a group of armed civilians in Papua. Wandi was shot in the head when he was on duty in the regency of Puncak Jaya at 10 a.m. local time He was hospitalized at the Army Hospital Marthen Indey in Jayapura. Besides Wandi, a driver by the name of David was killed and his car was set on fire by the shooters. Chief Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua said that both military and police would hunt for those who shot a soldier in Ilu market, Puncak Jaya regency, in Papua. “We will seek and destroy those who are armed and disrupt public security, perpetrate shootings and disturb the government,” he said on Friday. “
Alleged Papuan Separatist Killed in Clash With TNI
The Jakarta Globe reported that on the 4 Nov an alleged member of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) was shot dead by soldiers in Papua’s Puncak Jaya province. “One member of an armed group was shot and a firearm was confiscated,” Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua, the top Indonesian military (TNI) officer in Papua, told the Jakarta Globe. Kiwo Telenggen, the alleged OPM member, was shot in front of the Mulia district offices and died instantly.
Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.
Churches join fight against HIV in Indonesia’s Papua
Free healthcare overwhelming Indonesia’s Papua
Tackling indigenous unemployment in Indonesia’s Papua
Photos of Sydney flag raisings
UN inquiry must be NZ’s first step
Another policy solution for Papua?
West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders
We Can’t Afford To Be Ignorant On Indonesia
Indonesia Spies On Its Own In Papua
Australian consular staff threatened West Papuans with police, Dfat admits
Year of dangerous living
West Papua activist says PNG is threatening him with arrest
Asia’s Palestine? West Papua’s Independence Struggle
08.12.13 5:29 pm
For us to be healthy and happy we must have a balanced energy system. Due to disease, trauma or stress our energies become blocked resulting in energy loss and a decreased life force. Signs of energy loss are increasing obstacles in every aspect of our life including depression and long standing illness.
Tse Dup Yang Bod is a comprehensive Tibetan healing system and spiritual practice that comes from a 7th century Tibetan Bon text written by Lama Tsewang Rigzin. The Bon culture has a unique way of recognizing the soul and the system works with the 5 external elemental energies, which are also represented inside the body and relate to 5 major chakras and organs. There are several ways to determine the energetic root of the disease and the practice uses the Bon Long Life mantra to connect with these 5 distinct healing energies to return the one’s energy, strengthen the life force and extend the life span.
Geshe Chongtul Rinpoche has said that this form of energy healing can be very effective when someone is not responding well to medical treatment and is still very sick as it works with the essential Mind that is seen as the true root of the disease. Working with this premise, Tse Dup has the potential to greatly strengthen and heal the soul and life force energies.
Introductory Talk & Healing Meditation
Tania will give an introduction and overview of this healing system and next year in 2014 will begin teaching students who wish to learn this healing practice themselves.
Date: Saturday 14th December, 2013
Time: 2.15pm for 2.30 start – ends at 4pm
Venue: Bahai Center of Learning for Tasmania
Admission: $20.00pp at the door
(Call 0417 107 127 to reserve your place as space is limited)
Tania Smith is a recognized Drup Shen Ma & Lopon (Healer/Teacher) of Tse Dup Yang Bod. Originally from Tasmania, she resides in the US and is one of the first western teachers of this ancient healing modality after a 5 year training intensive with Chongtul Rinpoche who gave her the spiritual name Lumo Woekar.
To book a private healing session with Tania
call Yanet Roubicek 0417 107 127
Sessions: Friday 13th – Sunday 15th – Monday 16th December
More info at http://www.crystalgypsy.com under “Healing”
Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
08.12.13 11:30 am
Whaling fleet leaves Japan for the hunt - so where is the promised Australian Customs vessel?
This morning, as reports come in that the Japanese whaling fleet has left for the summer hunt, Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has called on Tony Abbott to honor his government’s election commitment to send an Australian Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
“Australia’s purpose built Southern Ocean patrol vessel, the ACV Ocean Protector, has been cruising off the coast of Christmas Island thousands of nautical miles from the whale sanctuary,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“Why is the ice-rated ACV Ocean Protector being used as an expensive tropical water-taxi for Minister Morrison’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ when Minister Hunt has promised a vessel would monitor the whaling fleet in the Antarctic?
“The Australian Greens are very concerned the Abbott Government is going to break another election promise as, under scrutiny in Senate question time last week, the Government backed away from its commitment to send a customs vessel to the whale sanctuary.
“It is clear there are divisions between ministers in Abbott’s cabinet on delivering this election promise.
“The clock has been ticking for our whales in the Southern Ocean and, now that the Japanese poachers are reportedly heading south, time is up.
“Tony Abbott must step in and uphold his government’s commitment to immediately send an Australian Customs vessel to monitor illegal whaling activities and protect our ‘sovereign waters’.
“The Abbott Government knows the cruel slaughter of whales by the Japanese whaling fleet is something Australians feel very strongly about and that is why Minister Hunt went to the last election with a clear commitment to send a customs vessel to monitor the illegal slaughter in the whale sanctuary.
“Words alone are not good enough - action from the Australian Government is needed to deter the Japanese from butchering whales in Australian territorial waters as happened last year.
“We also need to send a strong signal to the Japanese poachers that any aggressive and intimidating behaviour against the brave Sea Shepherd crew will be closely monitored by the Australian government,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.
WATCH // SENATOR WHISH-WILSON’S SCRUTINY IN QUESTION TIME LAST WEEK
READ // DOWNLOAD A MEDIA BACKGROUNDER HERE:
Eric Hutchinson, MP Member for Lyons
07.12.13 1:57 pm
LYONS Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson has congratulated the Tasmania Fire Service as the only organisation from the state to be recognised in the 2013 Resilient Australia Awards.
Mr Hutchinson said today (Saturday) that he was impressed with the Tasmania Fire Service’s success as one of the two winners nationally in the state or territory government sector of the awards announced this week.
Two South Australian organisations were included in this sector alongside the Tasmania Fire Service.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan made presentations to the South Australian Climate Change Adaption Program as a winner, a highly commended to the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission as well as the Tasmania Fire Service for its win.
The Tasmanian win was for the fire service’s community protection planning.
The awards were among 20 presented to recipients by Mr Keenan.
The awards recognise the innovation that is making Australian communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage emergency situations, Mr Keenan said.
He said that in the past few years Australia had experienced a devastating series of natural disasters.
``The Resilient Australia Awards showcase how communities are rethinking the way that they prepare for emergencies and disasters,’’ Mr Keenan said.
This year’s federal government awards attracted 170 entries from all states and territories, the biggest number since they started in 2000.
Mr Hutchinson said that he was pleased to see the Tasmania Fire Service’s work acknowledged on the national stage.
Liberal candidate for Lyons, Guy Barnett
07.12.13 1:45 pm
Australia’s first same-sex marriages being celebrated in Canberra this weekend may be short-lived, Liberal candidate for Lyons, Guy Barnett said today.
“Any same-sex marriages held in Canberra this weekend and until the High Court’s decision is handed down this Thursday 12 December are designed to gain publicity and may well be found to be invalid.
“If the High Court rejects the ACT laws, the same-sex marriages solemnised are likely to be invalid as if they had never happened.
“Marriage between a man and a woman as defined in the Commonwealth Marriage Act was supported at the recent federal election. The push for same-sex marriage was rejected at this year’s Legislative Council elections and has now been defeated twice in the state parliament. I believe Tasmanians want to move on to focus on priority issues such as the economy and jobs, Mr Barnett concluded.
Kim Booth MP Greens Gaming Spokesperson
06.12.13 6:03 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today said the Federal Government’s plan to scrap pokies harm minimisation measures including pre-commitment had put the responsibility back on the states.
Greens Gaming spokesperson Kim Booth MP today pledged that the Greens would use the next term of Parliament to continue the campaign to get rid of pokies and end addiction.
“The Greens will not give up our campaign for justice for pokie victims,” Mr Booth said.
“We will use the next term of government to continue our campaign to get rid of this social and economic scourge from our state.”
“It is quite obvious that the Federal Government doesn’t care enough for pokie victims to do anything serious about the problem, which puts the responsibility back on states.”
“The Greens remain fully committed to getting rid of pokies from Tasmania, with measures like a $1 bet limit and mandatory pre-commitment steps toward that goal.”
“This is also a challenge to the Tasmanian Liberals to stand up for something.”
“When they pretended to care about pokie victims, the Liberals hid behind the Federal Government’s introduction of mandatory commitment as an excuse to do nothing in Tasmania.”
“Now that their excuse has been removed by the Abbott government’s callous indifference to pokie victims, the Hodgman Liberals need to stand up.”
Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Energy Spokesperson
06.12.13 5:55 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the announcement of a temporary solution to general practitioner services on the west coast, but stressed the need for more fundamental measures to address problems in healthcare delivery.
Greens Health spokesperson Paul O’Halloran MP said the Greens had been pushing for a number of months to get some clarity for west coast residents, following the announcement that Independent Practitioners Network was pulling out.
“This temporary solution will give the community some reassurance, but what’s really needed are more permanent solutions a whole host of problems around health service delivery on the west coast,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“One of the most serious concerns is the cancellation of after-hours nursing services, which locals believe is putting more strain on already-overstretched services.”
“Locals are unhappy at the high medical staff tumover rate, which is making it impossible to maintain continuity of patient care.”
“The Greens believe that part of the solution is the introduction of physician assistants to the local workforce.”
“Physician assistants will help to address the staffing shortages that the west coast faces while improving access to care and reducing the cost of employing locums.”
“Local industry leaders say health service downgrades are a big disincentive for people to live in the region, and are one of the major factors inhibiting the growth of the region.”
“It’s clear that inadequate of healthcare services only putting lives at risk, but it is seriously hampering economic growth on the west coast.”
ACAPMA CEO, Nic Moulis
06.12.13 5:51 pm
Today’s deal between the ACCC and supermarket giants to cap ‘shopper dockets’ does not come as a surprise to ACAPMA CEO, Nic Moulis, who has welcomed the move.
Mr Moulis said the deal to reduce the depth of discounts, while not the perfect solution for smaller independent businesses, would relieve some pressure on financially-stressed operators.
“While the 4c a litre shopper docket discount looks here to stay, this agreement will put a stop to the deep and sustained price promotions that include discounts of 10, 20 and up to 45 cents a litre.
“It was these massive discounts that the regulator was obviously – and rightly – concerned about.”
Moulis said that over the course of the past four years, it is these discounts that have had a material effect on smaller independent operators. Citing ACCC data from 2009 to 2012, he indicated the petrol convenience industry has seen close to 1,000 of these operators close their doors for the last time.
“Petrol margins are low,” he said, “which means these discounts are being subsidised by other parts of the business.”
“In other words, the average Aussie consumer is paying for these deep discounts via the weekly supermarket bill.”
“As ACCC Chairman Rod Simms has reiterated on several occasions, if the practice of shopper dockets continued unabated the consumer would be worse off in the future.”
Moulis said the agreement would mean that these cross-subsidies would have to end, and the grocery, liquor, hardware and petrol arms of the supermarket giants would need to be ring-fenced from each other.
“The ACCC has shown it is concerned about this cross subsidisation, and the negotiations over capping shopper dockets probably included discussions on this matter,” he said
“This doesn’t mean that there won’t be large discounts now and then, but they will have to be more short-lived and they will be harder for the supermarkets to fund them.
“Coles and Woolworths now control close to 50 per cent of all retail fuel sold in Australia, this has reduced competition in the market and provided them with the power to control pricing.”
Moulis also indicated that the Federal Government’s promised ‘root and branch’ review of competition policy might throw up more cases of cross-subsidisation and other anti-competitive practices.
“While a deal may have been struck to limit shopper docket discounts, it does not address the serious competition issue facing the Australian economy,” he said.
“The ACCC must use the evidence gathered about the supermarket fuel businesses to inform this review of what can be done to strengthen section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, to tackle misuse of market power.
“Competition that benefits the consumer requires big business and small business to actively push each other. Unfortunately, in recent times Australia has only seen big business squash small business.”
The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) is a notforprofit employer organisation that has represented the interests of businesses in the petroleum distribution and petrol convenience industries for over 38 years.
As the leading association and national peak body responsible for the development and growth of the petroleum distribution and petrol convenience retail industries, ACAPMA members include over 90 per cent of the 120 businesses that operate in petroleum distribution and storage, while representing through direct ownership, operation or supply – over 3,500 service stations. ACAPMA’s membership profile in the main is independent smalltomedium businesses operating in metropolitan as
well as regional and rural Australia.
For more information about Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA), visit http://www.acapma.com.au
06.12.13 5:35 pm
Andrew Denman has once again produced a beautiful Gartside 10 traditional clinker dinghy for us, made from Huon, King Billy and Celery Top Pines.
Whilst his winning recipe hasn’t changed, in the words of a loyal fan, “his workmanship just gets better each year”! Nina features a balanced lug rig, rudder, centreboard and hand crafted Oregon spars. She comes with mast and sail, custom oars, two Stormy life vests and nestled on a Kings Trailer,
Total prize value is $24,537
Delivered free of charge to anywhere in Australia!
Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom Website: http://www.fava.org.au
06.12.13 5:06 pm
“New research by Dr Gabriella Gobbi of Canada’s McGill University1 suggests that fatherless children are more likely to grow up angry and turn to drugs,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today. “The study used Californian mice who, like humans, are monogamous. The male and female mice normally raise their young together.
“The researchers found that the absence of a father could permanently alter the structure of the brains of their offspring, making them more aggressive and angry. Female young were more severely affected than males. Dr Gobbi believes the same brain changes could occur in humans in similar situations.”
Mrs Phillips said the findings have significant implications for current moves to legalise and legitimise the artificial creation of children via assisted reproductive technology for single women and lesbian couples.
“We should not lightly ignore the age-old wisdom that every child deserves, if at all possible, both a mum and a dad,” she said.
Mr Guy Barnett, Liberal candidate for Lyons
06.12.13 4:41 pm
Volunteers are the backbone of the community said Mr Guy Barnett, Liberal candidate for Lyons today.
“Tasmania’s volunteers give freely of their time, money and effort to support the wider community”, said Mr Barnett. “Where would we be without our volunteers? Our volunteer ambulance officers, fire-fighters, the Salvos or the mums and dads that run our school sport teams and tuck shops and the countless many more are essential.
“It is the volunteering spirit that builds that trust in each other that breeds strong communities.”
Mr Barnett’s comments, which marked International Volunteer Day, came as data from the recent “State of Volunteering Report 2012” (Volunteering Tasmania) showed that Tasmanians were more likely to volunteer than most other Australians.
“The figures show that 41% of Tasmanians formally give of their time and effort to help others, compared with the national average of 36%,” said Mr Barnett.
“Tasmanians are doers and generous. We punch above our weight for sure and this is particularly so in the regional and rural areas, said Mr Barnett. “We should be doing all we can to support and promote both our volunteers and the growth of self-sacrificing volunteer spirit in Tasmania.”
Mr Barnett volunteers for a range of community organisations including Motor Neurone Disease Australia and Diabetes Australia as Ambassador.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne
06.12.13 10:39 am
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has expressed profound sadness at the passing of the great Nelson Mandela, but says the world will celebrate his life as a gift to South Africa, the world and all of humankind.
“South Africa and the world will today mourn the loss but celebrate the life of the great leader, freedom fighter and President, Nelson Mandela,” Senator Milne said.
“Nelson Mandela inspired people around the world with great courage, commitment and personal sacrifice.
“As a global symbol for peace, for freedom and for the struggle for liberation from suppression and violence, Nelson Mandela will live forever in the hearts and minds of Australians, just as he will for people across the globe.
“The world will be united in mourning for Nelson Mandela and in celebration of this great life. I express my own personal gratitude for Mr Mandela’s personal sacrifices and gifts to humankind.
“I had the immense privilege of being in the audience when Nelson Mandela addressed the World Parks Congress in 2004. I was humbled to be in the presence of one of the greatest and wisest leaders of the century.
“Mr Mandela’s message at the time was: ‘A sustainable future for humankind depends on a caring partnership with nature as much as anything else.’
“He was also passionate about including young people in decision making, saying: ‘Without the involvement of the youth, the future cannot be secured.’
“His passion for education was a great source of personal inspiration for me as a teacher and a parliamentarian – ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’
“I can remember distinctly the day 11th February 1990. I watched on television, just as millions did around the world, as Mr Mandela finally walked from prison having served 27 years of his life behind bars for standing against apartheid.
“On behalf of the Australian Greens I send best wishes and thoughts for Mr Mandela’s family, the people of South Africa, and to all those who will mourn this great loss to humanity.”
Jenny Weber Huon Valley Environment Centre
06.12.13 5:14 am
Final days of the Huon Valley Environment Centre - and we have some great furniture that still needs a home.
We were trying to sell it and now we are looking for offers.
Would you like to help by purchasing some great items for the festive season and help us lighten our load? We have some great sales on selected items in the gallery/shop space.
Would you like to purchase some great hand-made furniture or know someone who will?
We have some large furniture for sale; they include some really nice hand-made furniture by Rainer Kurth. These wonderful items need a happy home. If you are interested let us know, or pass it on to someone you think might be interested.
Large counter: H 1000mm X W 3300mm X D 530mm (width and depth at widest points).
Small shop counter : H 815mm X W 666mm X D 910mm ( width and depth at widest points).
Long cupboard with doors : length 3 metres,
Matthew Holloway, NORMAC Spokesperson
05.12.13 5:54 pm
This week the lower house of the French parliament under François Hollande’s Socialist government, passed a package of legislation based on Nordic model laws on prostitution and focused on moving the nation towards the abolition of prostitution.
In wake of the passage of legislation in France, NORMAC is sending out a wake up call to all Australian states and the Federal Government that they must act to support a human rights based approach to the sex industry, an approach that is now sweeping through many jurisdictions in Europe.
NORMAC is Australia’s only secular, inclusive network which spans social and political divides in support of action against the now internationally recognised human rights breaches inherent in the legalised sex industry.
The legislation was passed by a vote of 268 in favour to 138 opposed. The legislation will see heavy fines imposed on those who seek to obtain sexual services in exchange for money. First time offenders would face a charge of €1,500 (approximately $2,250 Australian Dollars) while repeat offenders would be fined €3,750 (approximately $5,600 Australian Dollars).
All offenders would be required to undergo awareness classes on the abuses that prostitutes suffer and the dangers of sex work and other repeat offenders may face gaol sentences.
The move by Legislators in France to follow the Nordic model shows the ever growing International evidence that the criminalisation of those who benefit from the purchase of sex – the pimps and the johns – and the decriminalisation of prostituted persons, is the only effective way to counter gender inequality and exploitation in the sex industry.
It should also be noted that France’s major legislative changes designed to tackle gender inequality and exploitation have been passed to coincide with international human rights week.
Legalisation of the sex industry in all jurisdictions in Australia has been a dismal failure in its intended purpose to improve the health and conditions of people working in the sex industry and protect them from violence.
“In the wake of the French decision, NORMAC renews its call to all Australian jurisdictions, to investigate and implement the Nordic model as an effective measure to combat discrimination and exploitation in the sex industry, and the ever-increasing crime of sex trafficking.” said Matthew Holloway.
On International Human Rights day of December 2012, NORMAC launched ‘The Red Light Report’ at parliament house in Hobart, Tasmania. The report shed light on coercion and the mental, emotional and physical abuse suffered by those within the sex industry in Australia. This report was a clear challenge to the rhetoric of sex industry lobby groups which promote open slather sex trade as the only way to create a safe environment for those involved in the industry. The report can be found using the following link, http://tasmaniantimes.com/images/uploads/The_Red_Light_Report_-_NORMAC.pdf
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
05.12.13 5:52 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the Federal Government fulfilling its commitment of $7 million dollars to manage new reserves, but called for the Liberals to stop sending mixed messages on forestry.
Greens Leader Nick McKim said that there was still no clear commitment from the Federal Government to honour its signed agreement for $9 million dollars in indexed annual funding, to manage the reserves in perpetuity.
“We need an immediate commitment from the Commonwealth to provide to Tasmania an annual indexed payment of $9 million for the ongoing management of our world-class reserve system,” Mr McKim said.
“That was the signed agreement, and that’s what needs to be delivered.”
“The forests will be there in perpetuity, and so should the funding for managing the proposed new reserves.”
Mr McKim said the Coalition’s ongoing threat to log in the World Heritage Area was reckless and politically motivated.
“These forests have been included in the World Heritage Area because of their outstanding universal value, and the Liberals’ plan to log them is akin to mining the great pyramids of Egypt for road gravel.”
“The Liberals want to plunge the community back into the conflict and division that most Tasmanians want to move past.”
“Even the Tasmanian timber industry is now openly pleading with the Commonwealth to leave the World Heritage Area alone.”
“If the Liberals want to go ahead and rip up the World Heritage Area, then they can kiss goodbye to market access and new jobs in forestry.”
Kim Booth MP Greens Energy Spokesperson
05.12.13 5:43 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today exposed the fundamental failure of the Labor and Liberal parties’ energy policies, which had failed to deliver the lowest possible electricity prices to Tasmanian households.
During GBE scrutiny hearings today, Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP pointed to the Liberal and Labor parties’ refusal to follow the Electricity Expert Panel’s advice that Aurora Energy’s value would be harmed without wholesale energy market competition.
“The Aurora Energy hearing has once again highlighted the Liberal and Labor parties’ failure to understand the need for wholesale competition in order to lower power prices,” Mr Booth said.
“Liberal and Labor’s refusal to listen to the Electricity Expert Panel’s advice regarding wholesale competition has resulted, as predicted, in the failure to sell Aurora at a massive cost to the public purse.”
“Not only did Liberal and Labor ignore the expert panel’s advice, it now seems Aurora had also raised the exact same issue regarding the need for a competitive wholesale power market.”
“This coalition of convenience between Labor and Liberal has condemned mum and dad electricity users to continue to pay more for their power than they otherwise should.”
“Instead of a fully competitive, low cost energy market in Tasmania, mums and dads will once again pay with their power bills.”
Kim Booth MP Greens Energy Spokesperson
05.12.13 5:41 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Hodgman Liberals to rule out support for the sale of Hydro Tasmania, given that the party’s new Denison candidate has publicly backed the proposition.
Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that Robert Mallett, in his role as the Tasmanian Small Business Council Executive Officer, had effectively called for the sale of Hydro Tasmania in a submission to the Economic Regulator.
“Privatising public assets is in the Liberal Party’s DNA, and any guarantees they make about keeping the Hydro in public hands should be treated with utmost suspicion,” Mr Booth said.
“Just recently the Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that the Coalition Government was planning to pay states to privatise their public assets.”
“And now it has come to light that the Liberal Party has pre-selected a candidate in Denison who has publicly expressed support for the sale of Hydro Tasmania.”
“It’s well understood that Will Hodgman is open to suggestions from his federal colleagues, but he needs to rule out succumbing to pressure and supporting the sale of Hydro Tasmania.”
“The Liberals have tried and failed to sell off the Hydro once before, and they cannot be trusted to keep it in public hands if they ever win government.”
“Given the Energy spokesman Matt Groom’s studious refusal to rule out any such move during GBE scrutiny hearings today, Will Hodgman needs to come clean.”
“Mr Hodgman must rule it out and pull his candidate into line.”
The Drug Education Network (DEN)
05.12.13 2:15 pm
Mt Carmel School students will showcase work done in schools, however parents are the key to attitude change
Tasmania has a very high level of alcohol consumption and is the slowest state to reduce its habit.
Alcohol creates more social and health problems than any other drug in Australia. In recent years increasing numbers of young people do not drink or drink little.
60% of young people under 16 do not drink; alcohol is problematic for 5% of young people, and may lead to addiction in later life.
Many parents remain unaware of the Teen Drinking Law enacted in November 2009, regulating the supply of alcohol to young people under 18.
The Drug Education Network (DEN) in collaboration with Tasmania Police have developed a range of resources to inform and educate parents about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to young people and alcohol.
The Party Rules Booklet: A Guide for Parents and Young People, A Facilitator’s Manual and an animation prepared by Tasmania Police Sale and Supply of Alcohol to Youth will be launched for the southern Tasmanian community today 3.30pm on 5 December in Hobart @ The Hockey Centre 19 Bell St Cornelian Bay.
The resources have been welcomed by parents and young people.
One parent commented: “We made it clear to our kids anyone turning up drunk or high wouldn’t be allowed in. Knowing we’d be responsible if anything happened, we figured it wasn’t worth the risk.”
Parents need to be confident in their responsibilities in seeking permission from parents/guardians to supply alcohol to under 18 year old.
As the responsible adult, the legislation requires them to NOT be intoxicated themselves, and provide a safer environment through the supply of water and food when young people are using alcohol.
The Drug Education Network (DEN) is a non-government organisation funded to deliver a range of health promotion, prevention and early intervention programs to reduce the harm associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drug use across Tasmania.
Senator Helen Polley
05.12.13 2:06 pm
The new Member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, needs to come clean on grants for five projects under the government’s “Community Development Grants program”.
Senator Polley believes that Mr Nikolic is taking credit for plans that were already announced by Labor whilst in
“Mr Nikolic has been very busy trumpeting the $3 million redevelopment of the North Bank Precinct in Launceston, but this was identified in the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan long ago. So how exactly can Mr Nikolic claim that this is delivering on an election commitment?
“Similarly, the North East Mountain Bike Trails in the Dorset Municipality was announced by former Labor Member for Bass Geoff Lyons in June this year.
“It complemented work that Labor undertook through the Jobs and Growth Plan to assist the Tasmanian economy and enhance employment opportunities, but Mr Nikolic seems to have conveniently ignored all of this. He is gilding the lily when it comes to announcing these projects,” Senator Polley said.
Senator Polley also was also keen to draw attention to the Abbott Government’s decision to axe 34 council community projects in Tasmania by refusing to fund round five of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
“What this means is that five councils in Bass are being stripped of valuable project funds and yet Mr Nikolic hasn’t addressed this at all. It seems to have simply escaped his attention.
“I would like Mr Nikolic to explain to the people of Bass why they will no longer be receiving new council projects, it quite simply isn’t good enough,” Senator Polley said.
Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson
05.12.13 1:58 pm
LYONS Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson today welcomed more national recognition for Cressy-based Tasmanian Quality Meats. Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week talked up achievements of Tasmanian Quality Meats at a national business council anniversary dinner, in Sydney.
Mr Abbott was the key note speaker at the Business Council of Australia’s 30 th anniversary dinner on Wednesday night. Tasmanian Quality Meats was one of a handful of businesses Australia-wide to get a special mention from Mr Abbott as among the finalists in Austrade’s export awards late last month.
The Cressy-based, family-owned business took out the top gong for the most successful regional exporter at the national awards, adding to its fast-growing reputation as a Tasmanian regional success story.
The business was founded in 1997 by current directors Brian Oliver and John Talbot who initially processed Tasmanian quality lamb, mutton and veal for the domestic market then grew the business to fill export markets in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and Vietnam.
Its workforce has grown from 20 in 2011 to more than 75 and there have been four major plant upgrades in the past 15 years. Mr Abbott said on Wednesday night that Tasmanian Quality Meats had grown from nothing to $12 million a year in export sales to new markets in the Middle East, tripling its workforce along the way and bringing prosperity and economic activity to a small Tasmanian town.
Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson said that the Cressy business deserved the recognition. ``Brian Oliver and John Talbot are among a rare breed of Tasmanian rural businessmen who have worked hard and achieved success in a difficult economic climate,’’ Mr Hutchinson said. ``We are determined to provide the support necessary to encourage more businesses like this to succeed in the future to build the state’s economic base to make Tasmania financially sustainable.’’
Greens Leader Nick McKim
05.12.13 1:48 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed confirmation that that Will Hodgman, after three days of grovelling, had failed to secure a Federal Government commitment to fund the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill.
Greens Leader Nick McKim said Mr Hodgman’s taxpayer-funded junket to lobby for taxpayer money for the pulp mill was a sign of his poor judgement and skewed priorities.
“It seems that that the best Will Hodgman could achieve after three days of grovelling to Tony Abbott was a vague ‘commitment to consider’ providing taxpayers’ money for the pulp mill,” Mr McKim said.
“It is a sign of the Liberals’ poor judgement that they would even contemplate using taxpayers’ money to prop up a project that investors have universally shunned.”
“Maybe Mr Hodgman should have spent less time listening to his old colleagues deliver their maiden speeches, and more time standing up for Tasmania.”
“Honestly, where are Will Hodgman’s priorities?”
“He should have been fighting for Tasmania’s NBN funding, or for the remaining Gonski money, or for Tasmania to get a fair share of the GST, or for CSIRO jobs.”
“Instead he is living in some kind of time warp, where taxpayers are treated as fools and forced to pay for reckless and environmentally destructive white elephants.”
University of New England
05.12.13 11:47 am
The first Tasmanian alpine sword-sedge, a small clumping plant has been discovered by University of New England researchers a long way from its natural home.
The sedge, Lepidosperma monticola which is unique in being the only species in that genus restricted to alpine regions of Tasmania was identified by UNE Botanist PHD student George Plunket in the herbarium at Armidale in New South Wales.
Mr Plunket says he made the discovery while examining seed and plant samples, which had been loaned to the UNE herbarium.
“Discovering a new Tasmanian plant species is a rare event because the flora from that state is relatively well known. It was the length of the leaf compared to the stem which originally made me more interested in investigating these plant samples.”
He says follow up work included examining fruit from the plant, which appeared to have a distinctive smooth surface.
George Plunket says after realising this could potentially be a previously unrecorded plant species, the next stage was trekking the high mountains of Tasmania to locate the plant in its natural surroundings.
“It took a while to actually find one, they only grow to around 7cm, but once I knew what to look for, then they appeared to be everywhere.
The Lepidosperma monticola is related to the Lepidosperma family of sword sedges, which take their name from distinctive elongated and flattened leaves, shaped like a double-edged sword.
Mr Plunket says ants remove the tiny fruit after it falls from the plant, giving it a distinct place in the local ecology.
He says now that one new species has been identified, that probably opens to the door to finding even more members of the family.
VT CEO Adrienne Picone
05.12.13 11:41 am
International Volunteer Day – Thursday, 5 December 2013
With Tasmania’s volunteering population set to age dramatically over the next 38 years, the focus of
this year’s International Volunteer Day is firmly placed on the contribution of young volunteers
acting as agents of change in communities.
At just 18 years of age, Sophie Thomson-Webb is a prime example of a committed young volunteer,
contributing her time to many Tasmanian volunteer organisations including the Oaktree Foundation,
Vision Generation and UN Youth Tasmania as well as being a Youth Ambassador for the Inspire
Foundation and a Board member for Volunteering Tasmania.
Volunteering Tasmania (VT) CEO Adrienne Picone said she was inspired by young Tasmanians such as
Sophie, who provides comfort and hope for volunteer youth engagement strategies to future-proof
volunteerism in Tasmania.
“In 2012 we released the State of Volunteering Report Tasmania (SOVR 2012), which explored the
impact that Tasmania’s ageing population will have on volunteering and offered ways forward for
volunteer-involving organisations, business and government,” Ms Picone said.
“Currently Tasmanians aged 65 and over account for 1 in 5 of the State’s volunteers, but in 20 years
this will increase to 1 in 3 of our volunteers, or one third of Tasmania’s entire volunteer population.
“The SOVR 2012 outlined eight recommendations to ensure the sustainability of Tasmania’s vital
volunteer sector, including the importance of engaging and working with all generations and age
groups to ensure a viable volunteer community.”
Ms Picone said one year on from the release of the SOVR 2012, VT was now unveiling the SOVR
Annual Report Card to track the progress of the report’s recommendations.
“While the process of creating the SOVR, the research, the conversations with stakeholders, the
recommendations themselves and the subsequent discussions with the community itself have
contributed to change, a range of strategic activities have also been put in place,” she said.
“These include VT’s new workforce development and communities practice group, volunteer
management arrangements with Aged and Community Services Tasmania, a statewide volunteer
management review of Meals on Wheels’ 33 programs, a volunteer management review at Glenview
Nursing Home and a review of VT’s Schools Project.”
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
05.12.13 10:47 am
The Tasmanian Greens today renewed calls for the Federal Coalition to honour its signed agreement to fund the management of Tasmania’s new reserves, including the new World Heritage Area.
With Federal Cabinet reportedly meeting to discuss forest policy today, Greens Leader Nick McKim also called on the Coalition to heed calls from forest industry groups to leave the current World Heritage Area boundaries intact.
“Any move to open up logging in the World Heritage Area would trigger an international outcry, and turn the Australian government into an environmental pariah,” Mr McKim said.
“The world wants conflict-free timber, and any attempt by the Coalition to unpick the World Heritage Area would ruin any hope of a certified industry in Tasmania.”
“The industry is crying out for the Coalition to support the Tasmanian Forests Agreement, and not plunge Tasmania back into the dark days of conflict and division over forestry.”
“Instead of threatening to log a World Heritage Wilderness, the Abbott Government should instead honour its commitment to fund the management of new reserves established under the TFA.”
“The initial payment of $7 million from the Commonwealth was due in September this year, but not a cent has been forthcoming.”
“We need an immediate commitment from the Commonwealth to provide to Tasmania an annual indexed payment of $9 million for the ongoing management of our world-class reserve system.”
“This money is needed to protect and enhance the natural and cultural values of Tasmania’s reserves, including reducing the risk of bushfire.”
“It would also create many new jobs in Tasmania for rangers and scientists.”
“The signed funding arrangements between the Commonwealth and the State is a formal contract, and it is incumbent on Prime Minister Abbott to honour this contract with the Tasmanian people.”
Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne
05.12.13 10:37 am
The ongoing equivocation within the Liberal Party over Tasmania’s World Heritage Area is endangering the state’s tourism and food branding, risking community division and will hurt the very people Tony Abbott says he wants to help, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said today.
“The community does not want a reignition of the ‘forest wars’, which is what would happen if redneck elements within the Liberal Party get their way and scuttle the World Heritage Area,” Senator Milne said.
“The forest industry knows that tearing down the conservation outcomes will shatter any hope for jobs or markets.
“Fiddling with the World Heritage Area would be an economic blow to Tasmania. It is integral to our clean, green branding and any moves which could endanger it would set the state back decades,” Senator Milne said.
“If the government tries to alter the World Heritage Area’s boundaries then it risks it being listed as World Heritage in Danger, which would devastate the state’s tourism, agriculture, and branding.
“It would also be an international embarrassment, putting Tasmania in global news for the wrong reasons and would add to the world’s uneasiness over Australia’s behaviour at the recent climate talks in Warsaw and handling of the Indonesian spying dispute.
“In 2008 it was estimated that our World Heritage area was responsible for close to 4000 jobs and $424 million in business turnover, why would you risk such an important part of our economy?
“It’s time for Tony Abbott to drop the idea and pay up the outstanding $9 million for management of the area,” Senator Milne said.