In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Community Comes Together on Drug Abuse

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
01.11.14 5:55 pm

Last night’s drug forum at Smithton opened an important conversation about how we all – individuals, families, communities, governments – respond to drug abuse.

There was a strong message from last night that the Circular Head community does not want to be singled out as an epicentre for illicit drug use, which it clearly is not.

What was very evident on the other hand is that this is a close-knit community that passionately cares for its own, and that genuinely wants to help those affected by drugs and deter others from going down the same road.

The Liberal Government is taking the issue of drug use, particularly that of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, very seriously.

As Health Minister, I was encouraged to see so many people attending the forum and constructively sharing their experiences and their thoughts.

Along with my Braddon Liberal colleagues and indeed federal and state parliamentarians from all parties, as well as highly respected members of the community including Western District Police Commander Lochy Avery and former magistrate Don Jones, I attended last night to listen and to respond.

The Government has released an interim report from Alcohol and Drug Services following the review that we ordered into drug use in the North-West, and it does show that there is a gap in service delivery in this region.

A range of options are being considered and we will work across Government – health, police and education – with the community sector and the wider North-West community to assess how we can reduce and then better meet the demand for services.

Following community consultation, no doubt spurred on by last night’s forum, a final report, including recommendations, will be handed to the Government later this month, and we will then respond accordingly.

The Government commends the North-West community for taking ownership of a problem that confronts all parts of Australia.


Upper House motion on Feed in Tariff and Jobs Jobs Jobs

John Thirgood Managing Director Jessups
01.11.14 6:29 am

Tuesday past the Upper house almost unanimously - apart from Liberal Vanessa Goodwin - passed a motion by Save our solar Tas . org to call on the Government to re address the feed in tariff primarily as it is unjust and is stripping some 400 jobs and decimating the Tasmanian solar industry.

All unnecessarily says John Thirgood of Jessups Solar Squad the coordinator of Save our solar Tasmania.

Mr Thirgood states that a feed in rate that sees no subsidy nor a cross subsidy would see some 17 ~18 cents rate instead of the current 6 cents rate that unfairly rips off solar owners and has all but closed the domestic market for solar sales state-wide.

A neutral F.I.T. of around 17~18 cents could revitalize jobs and drive back some $4million in gst revenues whilst makes domestic rooftop solar a very viable way to contain energy costs and sees no cost to government or the energy sector whist water proofing our dams and clearly Aurora can continue to make great profits as well with their quadrupling of results on previous years outcomes.
Simply a win, win for all ... with vital jobs , driving positive economic outcomes for Tasmania and Tasmanians all round. But only if the new Government would realize the full facts and value outcomes without a subsidy or handouts the state coffers clearly sees only a benefit and again no financial input from the state or state owned energy companies.


Award Winners Demonstrate Excellence in Education

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
01.11.14 6:05 am

Tonight’s RBF Department of Education Awards for Excellence Awards recognised some of our best public educators, volunteers and staff.

The 18 award winners represent the wealth of individuals and teams within the Department whose outstanding excellence, innovation and talent is at the forefront of educating our young people.

The school-based awards, which I was pleased to present, were won by principals and teachers from across the State.

The Liberal Government is committed to investing in education to create a job-ready generation, and the award winners and finalists recognised tonight are critical to helping us achieve that goal.

On behalf of the Government, I would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists, and I would also like to thank the Retirement Benefits Fund, ME Bank and the Teachers Health Fund for partnering with the Department to present these awards.

Recognising excellence is always important in any field, and it is particularly important for those whose work has such an impact on others and benefits Tasmania more broadly.

The Winners ...

2014 RBF Tasmanian Education Award Winners: 
RBF Secretary’s Award for Overall Excellence
Winner: Nigel Cross (Educational Performance Services)
Runners up: Tino Delbourgo (Penguin District School) and Vicki Howe (Human Resources)
School-Based Awards
Principal of the Year Early Years and Primary: Heather Fahey (Longford Primary School)
Principal of the Year Secondary: Tracy Siedler (Hobart College)
Teacher of the Year Early Years and Primary: Kirby Medcraft (Windermere Primary School)
Teacher of the Year Secondary: Tino Delbourgo (Penguin District School)
Teachers Health Fund Outstanding Young Teacher: James Charlesworth (Jordan River Senior School) and Stephanie Heathcote (Perth Primary School)
Outstanding Use of Innovation or Technology in a School Setting: Ben Wilson (New Town High School)
School Business Manager of the Year: Jan Robertson (Penguin District High School)
ME Bank Support Staff Employee of the Year: David Hulton (Kingston Primary)
Service Awards
Employee of the Year: Nigel Cross (Educational Performance Services)
LINC Employee of the Year: Cindy Carr (Huon LINC)
Young Employee of the Year: Jack Nielsen (Finance and Business Services)
Outstanding Service Delivery (Team or Individual): Vicki Howe (Human Resources)
Outstanding Team of the Year: Budget and Resources Team (Finance and Business Services)
Outstanding Use of Innovation or Technology in a Non-School Setting: Digitisation Project (Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, LINC Tasmania)
Community Awards
Volunteer of the Year Award (Non-School Association): Tim Cox (New Town High School)
Outstanding Volunteer Contribution to a School Community (School Association): Gary Underhill (Scottsdale High School)
Images Available: Photos of all award finalists, including winners, are available for media use at


2014 WorkSafe Tasmania Awards

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
01.11.14 6:04 am

A North West Tasmanian business has been named as the Overall Winner at the WorkSafe Tasmania awards for the second year in a row.

I was pleased to present the top award to Flowerdale-based electrical contractors, Powerlinestas, at tonight’s presentation in Hobart.

Powerlinestas is an electrical contracting company specialising in services on low and high voltage, overhead and underground power infrastructure, as well as vegetation management and other network services.

Tonight’s other winners included Hazell Bros Group, taking out the ‘Best workplace health and safety management system’, while Burnie’s Grange Resources Tasmania was crowned this year’s top problem solver, winning the IPM Safety Award for ‘Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue’.

Danny Fraser from the Tasmanian Health Organisation–North was awarded the Safety Institute of Australia Award for ‘Health and safety representative of the year’ and the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s, Ted Leeson, won the ‘Best individual contribution to work health and safety’ award.

The Norske Skog paper mill won the ‘Commitment to a workplace health and wellbeing program’ category, praised for demonstrating a personalised approach to its health and wellbeing programs.

Veolia Environmental services won the Self Insurers’ Association of Tasmania Award for ‘Best injury management and return-to-work program’, being recognised as a business that prioritises the wellbeing of its employees through a well-planned, therapeutic rehabilitation program.

The WorkSafe Tasmania Awards have been held annually since 1996 and are an opportunity to recognise businesses, organisations or individuals who are leading the way in work health and safety.
The WorkSafe Tasmania Awards are a highlight of WorkSafe Tasmania Month, encouraging all of us to do our bit to keep our workplaces safe.


Call for rethink on paid parental leave

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom Website:
31.10.14 6:36 pm

“A new childcare study by researchers at the University of Adelaide indicates that paid parental leave may be a counter-productive policy,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today. 

The study has found that children who regularly attend childcare centres in the first three years of life are more likely to develop behavioural problems by the time they start school.  They are more likely than children cared for by their parents or nannies to become hyperactive, disruptive and aggressive.

These findings are in line with longitudinal US and UK research – which also shows that these negative behaviours continue through school years, disrupting the education of the children themselves and those around them.

“Paid parental leave for six months, funded by the taxpayer, acts as an incentive for women to rejoin the workforce when their children are very young,” Ros Phillips said.  “They have to use childcare for their toddlers if they want to get paid leave when they have their next baby.  But they may be placing at risk the education of their children, as well as those of other children around them.

“Increasing rates of very young children in childcare will mean that more children will receive a less effective education, leading to lower productivity.  Is this what the federal government really wants?” Ros Phillips asked.


TasRail’s Mine Success Demonstrates Value of Rail Investment to Tasmania

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
31.10.14 5:23 pm

TasRail’s selection as the preferred transport provider for a new mine near Campbell Town confirms the value of investment in rail and rolling stock and the importance of Tasmanian rail infrastructure in helping to drive economic growth.

Australian Bauxite Limited has selected TasRail to haul ore from its Bald Hill project to Bell Bay.

This is expected to see TasRail operate up to six new rail services between Conara and Bell Bay each week from early next year, potentially removing the need for an extra 13,000 truck movements a year on the Midland and East Tamar highways, and through the Launceston CBD.

Rail continues to be a key player in meeting Tasmania’s transport task, and this decision by Australian Bauxite Ltd demonstrates that TasRail can make an even greater contribution to economic growth in this State.

On behalf of the Government, I congratulate TasRail management and staff on securing this new business opportunity.


Albany Convoy Commemoration

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
31.10.14 5:21 pm

The Liberal Government remains strong supporters of our veterans.

As the member responsible for veterans’ affairs, I will represent the Liberal Government at the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event to be held over the next two days.

A number of commemorative events will be held in Albany to mark the 100th anniversary of the departure of the first convoy of ships to take Australian and New Zealand troops to the battlefields of World War One.

The events will include the Royal Australian Navy Ceremonial Sunset today and a Troop March and Commemorative Service on Saturday 1 November 2014.

Tasmanian soldiers from the 12th Battalion who left Hobart’s Ocean Pier on 20 October 1914 were among the troops farewelled from Albany on 1 November 1914.

Merchant ships and three cruisers – the HMA Ships Melbourne and Sydney and the HMS Minotaur - carried troops from New Zealand, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.

They were joined two days later at sea by ships from South Australia and Western Australia, along with the Japanese cruiser, HIJMS Ibuki.

The newly established National Anzac Centre, located within the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum Precinct in Albany, will also be officially opened on 1 November 2014.

The Centre is a state of the art interpretive museum that offers people of all ages and generations the opportunity to learn about, and reflect upon, the service and sacrifice of Australian men and women during World War One.


Raising Awareness of Good Oral Health

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
31.10.14 5:19 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to improving health outcomes for children and families in Tasmania.

Today I was delighted to launch Building Healthy Smiles, an educational resource for health and education professionals engaged with children aged from birth to five years, at the wayraparatte Child and Family Centre in Geeveston.

The Building Healthy Smiles flip-chart was developed in partnership with the Child Health Association of Tasmania, Oral Health Services Tasmania, and the wayraparattee Child and Family Centre, with a funding grant provided by Calvary Health Care Community Council.

Many mothers attending the wayraparatte Child and Family Centre provided input to the development of the Building Healthy Smiles flip chart.

Early childhood decay is one of the most common childhood diseases and is one of the few chronic diseases that is mostly preventable, if preventive messages are implanted in the minds of young children and their parents.

It can be a devastating disease in the birth to five years age group and often results in hospital admission, pain, poor nutrition and problems with face and jaw development. 

There is also an association between oral diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

An integrated, partnership approach is needed to reduce the risk of poor oral health and promote oral health for our children.

The collaborative effort involved in developing Building Healthy Smiles has resulted in a practical asset that has the potential to positively impact the health of many young Tasmanians.


Domestic, family and sexual violence at the forefront of Research Agenda

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
31.10.14 5:14 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to tackling the scourge of domestic and family violence which is widespread in Australia.

We have united with the Commonwealth and other States and Territories to jointly fund the new Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

Today ANROWS officially launched the 2014-2016 Research Program. The program will build our knowledge on domestic, family and sexual violence and find ways to reduce its prevalence and impact on the Australian community.

Evidence produced from each project will address a key gap in current research on violence against women and their children.  These gaps are identified in the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

ANROW’S research program comprises 20 projects with a total value of $3.5 million. Projects vary in length and will be delivered at various points over the next two years.

We know that around one in three women have experienced physical violence, one in four experience emotional abuse by a partner, and almost one in five have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Worse still, across the nation one woman a week dies at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.

The Liberal Government is also working with the Commonwealth Government to develop the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and implementing strategies under Taking Action: Tasmania’s Primary Prevention Strategy to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children.

The Liberal Government is strongly committed to making Tasmania a safer place and ensuring women and children are protected from family violence and sexual assault and our significant contribution to ANROWS will go towards achieving this end.


Liberals Use Public Money to Attack Public Sector Workers

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
31.10.14 5:10 pm

The Hodgman government’s belligerent refusal to negotiate a wage freeze agreement with the public sector unions is set to cost the Tasmanian community further, with the government’s hiring expensive international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to represent it in the state Industrial Commission hearings next week, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said.

“This is ideologically driven right-wing vendetta gone mad,” Mr Booth said.

“It defies logic to sink an estimated $145, 000 per day of taxpayers’ on fly-in fly-out international lawyers, to try and prevent state employees from implementing a wage freeze for themselves to save the state $17 million.” [1]

“Trying to prevent the public sector unions from altering awards to fhelp the state save money through a wage freeze does not make sense in itself for an apparently cash-strapped government, but to then not even use its own in-house lawyers adds another layer of insult to injury.”

“This is completely over the top and begs the question as to why the government even needs lawyers, i-house or not, for what should be a straight-forward hearing on Monday.  To bring in the expensive lawyers used by the Federal government in their ill-fated WorkChoices campaign is an extraordinary over-reaction.”

“The Premier and the Treasurer need to stop with the expensive sledgehammers and instead negotiate like mature adults,” Mr Booth said.

[1] The average daily cost to government for the Ambulance Paramedics dispute was $145, 000, as per information provided by Tasmanian Unions.


Eve Ash: 2014 has been a big year ...

Eve Ash, Motovational Psychologist and Speaker,
31.10.14 5:01 pm


Read more here


Tally is $3538.26

Ruth Howie
31.10.14 4:48 pm

At close of business yesterday Derwent Valley Community Card no 6194994 tally is $3538.26. Points will now not be upgraded until Monday. That leaves only Until close of business Tuesday to add points to this card throughout Tasmania at ANY Woolworths or BWS. All point $ will be donated to New Norfolk people in need. Last year Vinnies NN gave $12,500 away in Derwent Valley as $50 grocery vouchers. Buy your Melbourne Cup goodies and make a real difference to people doing it tough. Please help us


Government splurges on international lawyers to fight its own workers’ offer of a pay freeze

Unions Tasmania President Roz Madsen
31.10.14 2:44 pm

The Tasmanian Government has hired a topflight international law firm to represent it at the Industrial Commission in Hobart and is set to spend more than a $145,000* a day in an expensive bid to stop its own workforce achieving a pay freeze.

The “fly in fly out” international legal team from Herbert Smith Freehills will represent the State Government at the hearing on Monday in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission where public sector unions have lodged applications to vary Awards to bring into effect a financial year pay freeze.

“Premier Will Hodgman is hiring a gold plated international legal team to fight a move by his own workforce to offer him a wage freeze and savings of $17million this financial year alone,” said Unions Tasmania President Roz Madsen.

“It’s completely ludicrous that we have a Government prepared to pay upward of $145,000 a day to make sure their own workforce are prevented from instituting a pay freeze to save money and jobs!” said Ms Madsen.

“The Government could have used its own in-house lawyers but clearly no expense is to be spared when it comes to stopping its workers from saving the Government money that it is says it desperately needs.”

In hiring international lawyers, the Government has snubbed its own public sector lawyers and private sector law firms in Tasmanian. It makes a mockery of their policy to support Tasmanian small business called the Think Local First Campaign.

Public sector workers offered the Government a financial year pay freeze with a commitment to negotiate savings into the next financial year but the offer was rejected in less than 24 hours.

“Workers have offered the Government all the savings it wanted for this financial year with a commitment to negotiate further savings next year. The workers’ wage freeze plan delivers all the savings of the Treasurer’s own amended ‘pay pause’ legislation,” she said.

Public Sector Unions lodged amended employment Awards at the Industrial Commission last week (Monday 27 October) which defer public sector pay rises from this financial year until the next and seeks to force the Government to the negotiating table. The hearing is at the Industrial Commission on Monday 3 November at 10.30am.


Recognition for inspiring community leaders

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
31.10.14 2:42 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green congratulates the winners of the Tasmanian Australian of the Year awards.

“Last night’s ceremony in Hobart was truly inspiring and an honour to attend,” Mr Green said.

“This year’s selections were all very humble in receiving their awards but clearly they are all working extremely hard in their own way to make Tasmania a better place to live and work.”

Mr Green paid tribute to Adam Mostogl (Young Tasmanian Australian of the Year), Henry Reynolds (Senior Tasmanian Australian of the Year) and Smithton’s Mary Kay (Tasmanian Local Hero).

“Three great Tasmanians at different stages of their lives, all recognised for making the state a more interesting place,” Mr Green said.

“But the night’s big winner was no doubt Rodney Croome.

“Rodney’s a tireless advocate for equal rights in Tasmania and across Australia.

“His leadership on behalf of the LGBTI community is an inspiration to many and has been for a very long time.

“Rodney’s energy, enthusiasm and ability to keep fighting for what he believes in has to be admired.

“Throughout Rodney’s time advocating for change, Tasmania has become a more inclusive place.

“But we still have some way to go and that’s why I’m proud to reaffirm my support for marriage equality.”


Tasmania Wins Best Parade in the nation for the second time in 3 years

State Chairman: Denis Bignold, Historian:LT COL Doug Wyatt OAM, RFD (Retd), Media Liaison: Peter Bignold
31.10.14 2:22 pm

Board Members Denis Bignold, Alec Young and Peter Bignold receiving award from Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher AC GCPO and Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP Speaker of the Federal House

Demonstrating once again that Tasmania punches well above its weight on the national stage, The Reserves Forces Day Council (RFDC) of Tasmania is proud to announce that Hobart won “Best City” in the national council awards dinner held in Sydney on 25th October 2014. Beating 18 other Australian cities Hobart was awarded this coveted prize for overcoming significant challenges to successfully hold the parade in July and replacing a bronze plaque commemorating the departure of some 1000 Tasmanian troops to the battle fields of WW1.The award was presented byFormer Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher ACGCPO and Hon Bronwyn Bishop MPSpeaker of the Federal House of Representativesat a Gala Dinner in Sydney. State council spokesperson, Peter Bignold said, “this makes all the hard work worthwhile. It is a huge undertaking,by a small group of dedicated volunteers, to organise this important annual parade. To be named “Best City”, against 18 Australian cities including large cities like, Melbourne and Sydney with huge committees, is a real feather in our cap”.Hobart won the same award in 2012. The launch of Reserve Forces Day 2015, the ANZAC centenary year, was hosted the same weekend by His Excellency General TheHonourable David Hurley AC DSC Governor of the State of New South Wales at Government House Sydney.


Volunteers under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG QC formed the Reserve Forces Day Council in NSW in 1998. The inaugural National Chairman was the late Sir Roden Cutler VC AK KCMG KCVO CBE. After 15 years Sir Laurence retired and the National Chairman is the Honourable Tim Fischer AC. His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the national Patron-in-Chief for the Reserve Forces Day Council of Australia.

The Council in all states consists of serving and former members of the Services whom give of their time voluntarily to manage the Reserve Forces Day activities. The inaugural Reserve Forces Day celebrated the 50th anniversary of the reforming of the Citizen Military Forces after World War II on 1 July 1948 .

The objective of the day is to raise the profile of the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserve Forces, to recognise serving and former Reservists and to thank families and employers for their support. In 1998 12 cities throughout the nation held parades with 22,000 serving and former members taking part. Such was the success of the 1998 event that parades and celebrations are now run annually throughout Australia. Many new Unit Associations were formed and existing Associations have enjoyed increases in their membership. The Unit Associations and their members still support the Australian Defence Force family and although they are no longer serving are keen to support the current Units. This year 20 cities will conduct parades and celebrations throughout Australia. In 2012 Hobart won “Best City” for its parade beating out all other Australian cities that year.


Each year we establish a theme relative to ADF events and the involvement of Tasmanians. This year will be unique and very exciting.  We are going to remember the departure of the first Tasmanian troops to Europe for WW1 from the docks at Hobart on 20th October 1914.

The Tasmanian quota in the 1st AIF departed from Ocean Pier in Hobart aboard Transport ships Geelong and Katuna, 39 Officers and 996 other ranks departed for Europe. During the first world war the Tasmanian 12th and 40th Battalions were raised as part of the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) and served with outstanding distinction in Gallipoli and other European Theatres.  Around 400 did not return. Their sacrifice earned the two Battalions three Theatre Honours and 25 Battle Honours.

The 12th/40th Battalion, The Royal Tasmania Regiment (12/40 RTR) is now an Australian Army Reserve battalion and holds more Battle and Theatre honours than any other unit in the Australian Army . These are all displayed on their Queen’s and Regimental Colours.

In 1948 Ocean Pier burned down. The original brass plaque (pictured below) which was attached to the pier in honour of the departed troops was lost. As a tribute to those brave Tasmanians the Reserve Forces Day Council will replace the plaque as a permanent reminder of the part our state played in the Great War.

Board Members Denis Bignold, Alec Young and Peter Bignold with His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC Governor of the State of New South Wales at Government House Sydney

Image of Memorial Plaque


Sector backs report on Antarctic funding hike

John Brennan Chair Tasmanian Polar Network
31.10.14 2:19 pm

Tasmania’s peak Antarctic voice has backed the findings of a Senate Inquiry into Australia’s future activities and responsibilities in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters which says the sector can only grow with adequate funding for infrastructure, resources, science and education.

The Chairman of the Tasmanian Polar Network, Mr John Brennan, said the government and business interests represented by the Network are unchanged in their stance on funding if Tasmania is to appeal to other nations as a supply and stepping off point to the Antarctic.

“Not only does funding for scientists and logistics need to be maintained it needs to be increased so that we can capture future opportunities and remain attractive to other nations such as China and South Korea,” said Mr Brennan.
Of particular significance is the recognition by the standing committee that the Antarctic and Southern Ocean sector requires to be funded adequately if it is to
benefit from attracting international scientists, students and icebreakers to the state.

“We welcome all existing commitments from the Federal Government such as the Hobart Airport runway extension and look forward to the time when flights to parts south from Hobart will be operating on a schedule.

“Tasmania appeals for several distinct reasons but as a sector we cannot rely solely on proximity to the continent and an attractive location backed up by a science hub. The evidence is abundantly clear that the time to invest in science, people and education is now or we may miss the boat,” he said.

Mr Brennan said the TPN strongly endorsed the recommendations released this week by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade standing committee -

Mr Brennan said a key recommendation was that the Commonwealth government and the Government of Tasmania work together on the development and implementation of a dedicated strategy for maximising Tasmania’s potential as an Antarctic Gateway, including joint investment toward the upgrading of Hobart’s port and other key infrastructure, and drawing upon the recommendations made in the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan.

He said the recommendations of the report are very complementary to the recent 20 year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan, submitted to the Federal government by Dr Tony Press

Other Senate Committee recommendations included -

•    a recommencement of maritime patrolling in the Southern Ocean
•    commitment to continued funding of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership to 2020
•    that researching changes in the Southern Ocean on the Australian and global climate remain a strategy priority
•    an immediate commitment be made by the government to continue funding for Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research beyond the sunset dates of existing collaborative initiatives in 2017 and 2019.
•    that future allocation of research funding for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean include specific funds to support young and early-career scientists, in recognition of Australia’s comparative advantage in maintaining world-class scientific expertise in these fields into the future.

Mr Brennan said the Antarctic and Southern Ocean sector is a key contributor to the future of Tasmania’s economic growth, with Hobart having the highest concentration of Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientists in the world, as well as being a hub of excellence for science research and related commercial activities.

The full list of Committee recommendations can be found here:


Public Education Hit by Liberals

Nick McKim MP | Greens Education spokesperson
31.10.14 2:14 pm

An email from the Secretary of the Department of Education to staff shows that the Liberals’ decision to slash the education budget will impact on school funding and staff allocation, with the decision already made to cut half of Tasmania’s Principal Network Leaders who provide support to government school principals.

“The Minister is giving with one had under the Gonski banner but clawing money back from public schools with the other hand,” Greens Education spokesperson Nick McKim MP said.

“Schools have already been made to take responsibility for funding pathway planning and IT support, and now it seems as if they will have to do so with less funding than they would have been expecting under the Gonski reforms.”

“Schools will now have to decide whether to cut extra support for high needs students, excursions, stationary, AV equipment, art supplies, and make do with fewer teachers at the same time.”

“It looks like our public schools will bear the brunt of the Liberals’ decision to slash education funding.”

“Cutting the number of Principal Network Leaders will reduce critical support for principals, who are already under enough stress dealing with smaller budgets that they expected after the Gonski reforms.”

“Cutting six PNLS positions means six jobs lost. Only another 260 to go,” said Mr McKim.

DOWNLOAD: Copy of DoE email, Thursday 30 October 2014:



North West Adult Day Centres

Leonie Hiscutt, Liberal Member for Montgomery Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
31.10.14 2:05 pm

The Liberal Government has today ruled out the closure of three Adult Day Centres at Latrobe, Ulverstone and Wynyard.

After being made aware of this issue yesterday I immediately raised my concerns with the Health Minister and highlighted my opposition to any such proposal. He assured me he would look into it as a matter of urgency and I’m pleased he has called me back this morning ruling out any closure.

I am advised this was only a potential savings proposal from THO-NW which was not put forward or approved by either the Minister or the Liberal Government and I was the first and only person to raise it with the Minister.

Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said these services were too vital to lose.

“There’s no doubt we need to put Tasmania’s finances back on a sustainable footing but we need to get the balance right, and in my opinion closing these centres would not have done that.

“There are around 140 people who use the three Adult Day Centres in Latrobe, Ulverstone and Wynyard - these are Tasmanians who need this service and need a place to be and the Government is not closing these centres.”

The Liberal Government is committed to fixing the Budget mess and delivering the health system Tasmanians need and deserve and we are extremely pleased these centres will remain open.


Jan Davis: Forestry schemes a disaster

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
31.10.14 10:22 am

One subject certain to touch a raw nerve of Tasmanian farmers is forest managed investment schemes. Farmers have been left high and dry as scheme after scheme has failed.

Some have been investors as well as growers, in the true sense of the word. Now, with the collapse of Gunns, for instance, they have plantations growing on their land, they have trees whose ownership is in question but for which there may not be a market even if they had clear title.

It is a disaster, particularly for those farmers who saw participation in the schemes as an attractive, sensible, productive, commonsense way to provide for their retirement, their superannuation.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is critical of the lack of research that went into the Howard Government’s initial approval of the concept of the schemes, a concept that has damaged tens of thousands of Australians, not only farmers.

And, in true fashion, successive federal governments have not addressed the shortcomings that led to this avalanche of financial disasters for so many Australians and so many Tasmanians.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised to examine regulation of the schemes as part of his overall review of the national taxation system. The outcome will be riveting.

In the national press recently, attention focused on the plight of investors in Great Southern plantations who saw their investments collapse, but particularly for those who took out loans to finance those investments. They face crippling interest at the bank, notably the Bendigo Bank, which bought the debt. Those investors face paying huge, inflated loans for a worthless asset. It is like paying the mortgage on land you don’t own and on buildings that have been razed.

But what do we do? What do the courts do? What does the government do? Intervene and say that the loans are not repayable because the schemes collapsed? What about those who paid hard cash for their investment, didn’t take out loans? Equity demands that both sets of investors be treated the same.
The fate of all investors hangs on an imminent decision in the Victorian Supreme Court. At the same time, at the political level, NSW Liberal senator Bill Heffernan and ALP powerbroker Sam Dastyari are calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the Great Southern collapse and the involvement of banks.

You have to draw the conclusion that, once again, because of the relatively unregulated state of the financial advisory industry, investors were sold a pup. They have lost immense amounts of money; and only the promoters of the schemes have won.

Meanwhile, with the associated collapse of Gunns, it is Tasmanian farmers who have been left stranded – unmanaged trees on land leased from them but the leases have not been paid and, when they thought the trees would at least revert to them as a form of collateral, even that has not applied.

This is a mess, a tragedy, a disaster - and it is taking its toll on those who are the victims. It should not be swept under the carpet. State and Federal governments need to address the hardships that continue to afflict so many long after the quick money men have packed their bags and moved on.


Ivan Dean MLC wins the day for solar jobs, solar owners and GST revenues for Tasmania

John Thirgood Managing Director Jessups
31.10.14 9:55 am

Ivan Dean was successful in putting up’s motion to request the new Government to fully address the feed-in issue to bring equity to the feed-in rate, Mr John Thirgood of SOST says.

The previous government was heavily influenced by bad Treasury maths and data and a bias against a fair FITR rate; plus the impending sale of the Aurora book further overshadowed a balanced decision that went against solar owners and the solar industry that has seen up to a 95% downturn in domestic solar installations across Tasmania; resulting is business stress and some 400 jobs affected ... either lost or under threat.

The Liberal Government is avoiding this vital issue for jobs and investment and all be it at no cost to the Energy providers and a loss of some $4 million dollars in GST revenues to the state coffers.

John Thirgood
Managing Director
138 Wellington street
launceston 7250
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



AME acting director, Ivan Hinton-Teoh
31.10.14 9:54 am

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, has been named Tasmania’s Australia of the Year for his contribution to LGBTI human rights and equality.

At a ceremony in Hobart last night, Mr Croome said his award shows how far Tasmania and Australia have come since he and over 100 other people were arrested for setting up a gay rights stall in a public market 26 years ago

“It’s a sure sign of how far we have come that a man once arrested for defending LGBTI human rights is now honoured for it”, he said.

But he was quick to highlight ongoing discrimination including against transgender and intersex people, and against same-sex couples refused the right to marry.

“Wherever I go around Australia I meet people who want the growing social acceptance of LGBTI folk to be reflected in marriage laws that celebrate love rather than entrench outdated attitudes. I know that in this award these many Australians will find great encouragement.”

AME acting director, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, welcomed Mr Croome’s award saying it shows the contribution of equality advocates is valued.

Mr Hinton-Teoh said,

“This is a wonderful recognition of the ongoing life work of a great Australian.  It is both an honour and a privilege to work alongside Rodney for a more inclusive Australia.”

“This award highlights the overwhelming support that exists in Australia for fairness and inclusion. Today Tasmanians have honoured Rodney for his advocacy for equality. We look forward to the federal government also recognising the importance of equality for all Australians by moving forward on marriage equality.”

At last night’s ceremony Mr Croome praised the other finalists for their passion, and for the understanding and respect they have shown others who do not share their views. 

“We live in an age when dogmatism is mistaken for principle, shouting for persuasion and empathy for weakness.”

“I hope that, at its best, my work, and the work of the other Tasmanian finalists here tonight, shows there is a better way forward.”

Mr Croome is now in the running for Australian of the Year, together with seven other state and territory representatives, to be announced onJanuary 25th next year.

His address from last night is included below.



31.10.14 9:17 am


A DHHS worker has inadvertently seen a statement clearly indicating they are looking to close adult day centres at Latrobe, Ulverstone and Wynyard that provide care to around 140 people and employ 19 staff.

At the bottom of a DHHS intranet page relating to employment at the Latrobe Adult Day Centre, is a comment from a senior manager in THO NW to the Acting CEO of THO NW which starts “If we are serious about closing these day centres…”.

State Secretary Tim Jacobson said, “The information posted on the intranet was obviously put there by accident. However, what isn’t accidental is that the government is intent on slashing state services, with no regard for the impact. There has not been so much as a whisper of consultation with workers or the families and communities that this will impact so severely on.

“This is another hit for the North West coast. People who desperately need work are being tossed out on the street, along with seniors and people with disability who need and deserve social support.”
Numerous studies have shown that socially isolated seniors have an increased risk of early death regardless of their health and demographic background.

Adult day care is a way to counteract social isolation, and also give caregivers a much-needed break. Adult day care centres deliver programs of activities designed to promote well-being though social and health-related services.

“Yet again the Hodgman government is showing its blatant disregard for Tasmanians. The demand for services for the elderly and people with disability is increasing. The Hodgman government’s brain wave is to force people who need support back out into the social isolation they are trying to escape, and increase unemployment at the same time.”


Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards

Will Hodgman, Premier
30.10.14 7:38 pm

Sincere congratulations to Rodney Croome AM on being named the Tasmanian Australian of the Year.

This award acknowledges the personal sacrifices Mr Croome has made campaigning for equal rights over the past 26-years.

Mr Croome’s fight against discrimination, and ultimate success, has changed Tasmania for the better.

Each year our nation celebrates individuals who inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia.

There is no doubt the Tasmanian Award recipients have made a tremendous contribution to shaping our state and I congratulate them all:

• Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year, historian Professor Henry Reynolds; who has enriched the nation’s understanding of our past and pointed the way to a better future as a leading authority on Australia’s Indigenous people.

• Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year, business mentor Adam Mostogl; who has inspired young people to realise their potential and seize opportunities, particularly on the state’s West Coast.

• Tasmania’s Local Hero, Volunteer radio operator Mary Kay, who has operated the Smithton Coast Guard radio for 18 years from her home, receiving around 5,000 calls a year for support and advice from boaters and fishermen in Bass Strait.

While there can only be four award recipients, every finalist deserves our gratitude and respect.

Our award winners will now be considered for the 2015 Australian of the Year Awards, which will be announced by the Prime Minister in a ceremony in Canberra on the eve of Australia Day.


2nd Annual Western Forest Industry Conference, January 28 2015

Hakan Ekstrom Wood Resources International LLC Seattle, USA
30.10.14 7:30 pm

We are proud to announce that Wood Resources International and the Western Forestry and Conservation Association are organizing a conference on January 28, 2015 titled:

“Mapping the Course – Timberlands, Forest Products Processing and Energy Issues for 2015”

The conference will be held at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, WA, located close to Portland, Oregon’s airport.

Please join us for this one-day conference for in-depth discussions and analysis on forest products market challenges, opportunities, threats and issues in Western North America for 2014 and beyond. Industry experts and analysts from the US and Canada will address topics such as:

  - Strategic issues for timberland owners in 2015.

  - Where will the wood come from? Timber supply in the US Northwest and beyond.

  - British Columbia wood supply and demand in 2015.

  - Perspectives from the paper, lumber and biomass sectors in Western North America.

  - Evolving lumber economics and wood quality in British Columbia.

  - The US Northwest hardwood industry.

  - Forest products ocean freight and port update.
  - Sustainability and certification influences on the forest products sector.

  - Navigating the export landscape: China in 2015 and beyond.

  - Global market drivers affecting Western US and Western Canada

For the full program and to register, please go to the Western Forest Industry Conference 2015.

If you have any questions, please contact either Richard Zabel at WFCA (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or Tim Gammell at WRI (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).


Premier’s Reading Challenge Success

Will Hodgman, Premier
30.10.14 6:20 pm

I congratulate a record number of Tasmanian students who completed the 2014 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

More than 31,000 Tasmanian students accepted the challenge to read 10 books over 10 weeks, and 14,000 students completed the challenge – the best completion rate since 2008.

Overall our students read tales from the pages of more than 140,000 books and shared their thoughts through more than 1,300 book reviews.

But most importantly, these young Tasmanians were encouraged to read regularly to foster a love for books and reading.

I was pleased to present certificates to students from Port Sorell, Molesworth and Mole Creek primary schools, where a high percentage of students completed the challenge.

Reading and literacy skills are the basic building blocks for life, and books can open a world of adventure.

I congratulate all the students who took part and thank their parents and teachers who provided support and encouragement during the seventh annual Premier’s Reading Challenge.


Premier’s Reading Challenge Success

Will Hodgman, Premier
30.10.14 6:16 pm

I congratulate a record number of Tasmanian students who completed the 2014 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

More than 31,000 Tasmanian students accepted the challenge to read 10 books over 10 weeks, and 14,000 students completed the challenge – the best completion rate since 2008.

Overall our students read tales from the pages of more than 140,000 books and shared their thoughts through more than 1,300 book reviews.

But most importantly, these young Tasmanians were encouraged to read regularly to foster a love for books and reading.

I was pleased to present certificates to students from Port Sorell, Molesworth and Mole Creek primary schools, where a high percentage of students completed the challenge.

Reading and literacy skills are the basic building blocks for life, and books can open a world of adventure.

I congratulate all the students who took part and thank their parents and teachers who provided support and encouragement during the seventh annual Premier’s Reading Challenge.


Lazy Labor Misfires Again

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
30.10.14 6:15 pm

The extent of Labor’s Laziness continues to reveal itself with their members yet again skipping the research and resorting to simply making up silly assertions and revealing their own complete incompetence.

Having stumbled into declaring his own election commitments unaffordable earlier this week, Bryan Green’s latest cunning plan is to have his members reveal one after one that after 16 years of government they don’t know how fixed-term contracts operate.

This must come as quite a surprise to the thousands of people on fixed-term contracts that were not renewed under their government, including 557 fixed-term positions which were not renewed within six months in 2011.

Today in question time Labor demanded that:

• If someone is employed on a six-month contract to cover maternity leave, they should remain in that position indefinitely after the person on leave returns, having two people employed in the same role.

• Anybody employed to undertake a specific project on a fixed-term contract should be renewed indefinitely after their contract expires, even if the project is completed and the funding for the project spent.

These are farcical arguments from people who allegedly were in charge of the public service for the past 16 years. No wonder Labor let public service wages bill spiral out of control, contributing to the huge budget mess they left behind.


Upper House motion on Feed-in-Tariff and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

John Thirgood Managing Director Jessups 138 Wellington Street Launceston 7250
30.10.14 6:02 pm

Tuesday past the Upper house almost unanimously - apart from Liberal Vanessa Goodwin - a motion by to call on the Government to re address the feed -n tariff primarily as it is unjust and is stripping some 400 jobs and decimating the Tasmanian solar industry.

All unnecessarily says John Thirgood of Jessups Solar Squad the co-ordinator of Save our solar Tasmania.

Mr Thirgood states that a feed-in rate that sees no subsidy nor a cross subsidy would see some 17 ~18 cents rate instead of the current 6 cents rate that unfairly rips off solar owners and has all but closed the domestic market for solar sales state-wide.

A neutral FIT of around 17~18 cents could revitalize jobs and drive back some $4million in gst revenues whilst makes domestic rooftop solar a very viable way to contain energy costs and sees no cost to government or the energy sector whilst water proofing our dams and clearly Aurora can continue to make great profits as well with their quadrupling of results on previous years outcomes.

Simply a win, win for all ... with vital jobs, driving positive economic outcomes for Tasmania and Tasmanians all round. But only if   the new Government would realize the full facts and value outcomes without a subsidy or handouts the state coffers clearly sees only a benefit and again no financial input from the state or state owned energy companies.


Opportunity to Voice Views on Fracking

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
30.10.14 6:00 pm

Tasmanians now have the opportunity to have their say on the mining practice of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, as part of a review of its potential use and impact in the State.

As we promised we would before the March election, the Liberal Government introduced a 12-month moratorium on fracking upon coming to office.

This moratorium was to allow the review to be undertaken before the practice is considered and given the considerable public interest, particularly the concerns in primary industry and rural communities.

Today, the Government is releasing the Terms of Reference for this review and inviting public submissions.

The review is being led by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment in partnership with Mineral Resources Tasmania.

It will consider on one hand the potential use in Tasmania of fracking, including technology and processes, scientific evidence and best practice environmental and safety standards.

On the other, the review will examine the potential impacts on agriculture, groundwater, and the broader Tasmanian environment, as well as considering developments and experiences in the regulation of fracking elsewhere.

Also under scrutiny will be the robustness and operation of the current laws governing exploration licences and any future extraction licences, and whether any changes are required to improve protections for landholders.

DPIPWE has prepared an Issues Paper to assist with public submissions, which is now available on the Department’s website along with the complete Terms of Reference.

Submissions will close on December 5 and a final report on the outcomes of the review is expected to be completed by next March.