In Their Own Words...Liberals | Labor | Greens | Premier Will Hodgman | Labor Leader Bryan Green | Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor
25.05.16 5:30 pm
Andrew Connor, Digital Tasmania
25.05.16 4:45 pm
Speedtest.net Tasmania to Melbourne on 2 separate 50mbit Internode NBN connections. Depicts regular peak time congestion and severe degradation yesterday during Telstra fibre break. Permission granted for publication with credit “Digital Tasmania”
Launceston, TAS, 25 May 2016 – Digital Tasmania today called on Internet Providers to improve their technical performance and customer service standards in the wake of several major issues affecting Tasmanian consumers. The issues include widespread, persistent slowdowns and complete service outage to many customers in recent days.
Since Friday, thousands of Telstra NBN & ADSL customers around the country including in Tasmania have been without services when the telco made software updates to customers home routers. The update forced some routers to reboot repeatedly which prevents Internet and Phone services from working, and had a knock-on effect to unaffected customers by overloading their systems.
Spokesperson for consumer group Digital Tasmania, Andrew Connor said “Telstra took several days to recognise the issue and then simply referred customers to their website to attempt a reset, a difficult proposition if the Internet was not working. A viable solution involves changing the router, if customers have their old router about it may work, otherwise they may need a new one.”
Mr Connor continued “Additionally, in recent weeks the performance of iiNet, Internode and associated TPG brands in Tasmania has been slipping at peak times as their connection, a congested alternative to Basslink has been reaching capacity. This was exacerbated on Tuesday night when part of that capacity over Telstra fibre failed causing major slowdowns during the evening.” These brands represent around 30-40% of the Tasmanian consumer Internet market and they already experienced 8 days of severe slowdowns after the Basslink cable was cut for repairs in March; for which promised compensation and credits have not been forthcoming for many customers.
On Tuesday the operator of the Basslink power cable, which also provides wholesale telecommunications services to many Tasmanians, advised that the cable repair had been delayed a further two weeks by weather and would not back in service until the end of June.
Mr Connor said “Internet slowdowns and outages can’t simply be dismissed as affecting customers ability to stream video, it impacts on their ability to conduct the business of their daily lives from home and to stay in touch with friends and family. Reliable Internet is no-longer a luxury, it’s an essential service and needs to be recognised as such. Internet companies need to improve their network and technical capability to provide robust services to Tasmanians. Their customer service channels also need to be well trained and informed about outages so they can help customers without spending hours on the phone. Adequate compensation for downtime needs to be mandated, rather than ‘free data days’ or miniscule pro-rata compensation for days per month of downtime, set penalties for each day of outage need to be set in law.”
Digital Tasmania recommends that if consumers are without service or are not getting the service they are paying for, and they have not directly contacted their provider and raised a fault, that they do so as soon as possible. If they can’t get their Phone or Internet provider to fix their issue within a reasonable timeframe they should escalate to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058 or online at http://www.tio.com.au.
Mr Connor concluded “Tasmanians need reliable communications services, the best way to achieve this is with NBN’s Fibre-to-the-Premises service for most and Fixed Wireless where that is not possible. Beyond the NBN, Tasmania needs another Fibre Optic cable across Bass Strait to improve resiliency and competition in the communications sector.”
About Digital Tasmania:
Digital Tasmania is a consumer action group, created in 2008 to give a voice to the views and needs of Tasmanian consumers in the digital age.
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save the Tarkine, Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, Bob Brown Foundation
25.05.16 4:10 pm
The Bob Brown Foundation and Save the Tarkine have questioned the timing of a removal of a DPIPWE water monitoring station on the Nelson Bay River, down stream of the Shree Minerals’ Nelson Bay River mine.
The monitoring stations was removed two weeks ago, approximately coinciding with the unmet deadline for Shree Minerals to return acid producing waste rock to the mine pit.
One of the factors assessed at this station was acidity (field pH).
“The timing of this decision is suspicious in the least. Given the status of the acid producing waste on the mine site, and the impact of fires over the summer we would expect a heightened need for the data from this monitoring station,” said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.
“Given this government’s lack of transparency, I have to question why they no longer want what appears to be useful data”.
“We urge the responsible Ministers to explain why water quality testing has been discontinued in such a contentious site, a conservation area,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Yesterday more than 100 people demonstrated on parliament lawns in Hobart calling on the government to take action on the environmental breach at Shree mine, discontinuing water quality monitoring of a river in a conservation area that has been compromised by mining upstream is not the type of action we mean,” Jenny Weber said.
“When two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages by 2025, Tasmania needs to securely protect water catchments rather than risk turning them into acid drainage systems from failed mine catastrophes. We campaign for secure protection for the Tarkine to avoid the current environmentally damaging problems evident in the Shree mine case,” Jenny Weber said.
25.05.16 3:27 pm
AN EVENING OF STORYTELLING, CULTURAL PRESENTATIONS AND CONVERSATIONS
FROM YOUNG PEOPLE FROM REFUGEE BACKGROUNDS
Friday 3rd June 6:30 to 9pm
Young people from refugee backgrounds will share their stories and culture with the Cygnet community to build understanding.
A light multicultural supper will be served during the interval.
Students Against Racism is a group of students who came to Australia as refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from a diversity of countries and personal circumstances.
They have developed a dramatic presentation that explains why they left their homelands, the journey that brought them to Australia and their lives now. They have also created a range of cultural awareness activities that teach participants about the issues and challenges facing people new to the Australian community. The project started in 2008 and the group has presented to schools, university classes and community organisations around Tasmania as well as in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. They have won a number of awards including the 2015 Australian Human Rights ‘Racism It Stops With Me’ Award.
Their aim in developing this project was to be proactive in the face of the racism they encountered. They felt this racism often came from a lack of understanding about why asylum seekers, refugees and migrants were settling in Australia. The project aims to build understanding in an open and interactive way and therefore reduce racism.
All funds raised go to the Students Against Racism, an award-winning anti-racism education program.
Other concession $15
Buy online at http://www.trybooking.com/LNKC
To buy tickets by cash or cheque contact:
Gini Ennals, 0428 642 506
Presented with support from
Julie Alderfox | Community Development Officer | Kingborough Council
Address Civic Centre, 15 Channel Hwy Kingston TAS 7050
Dr Eric Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania
25.05.16 3:23 pm
BirdLife Tasmania is concerned by Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley’s attempt to secure Federal support for the proposed Robbins Island Windfarm in the far northwest of Tasmania.
“Whilst the contribution wind farms make to the generation of renewable energy is important, the Robbins Passage/Boullanger Bay wetlands is a completely inappropriate site for such a development” the convenor for BirdLife Tasmania, Dr Eric Woehler said today.
“The wetlands support up to 25,000 migratory and resident shorebirds every summer. Many of these birds migrate to the area from Siberia and Alaska to spend the summer months in the wetlands before returning to the Northern Hemisphere” he said.
“Individuals migrate some 25,000km annually, and some birds live for 20 years. That’s half a million kilometres in their lifetime” he added. “How could a 300 turbine windfarm be sited within the most important area for migratory shorebirds in Tasmania?”
The Robbins Passage/Boullanger Bay wetlands are recognised internationally as an Important Bird Area (IBA) under internationally-applied guidelines. “We are concerned that the Member for Braddon is lobbying Environment Minister Greg Hunt for support for the project” said Dr Woehler after a video of the pair visiting the site was posted on twitter yesterday. “I wonder if Mr Whiteley mentioned the impacts the development would likely have on shorebird species protected under federal legislation and international conventions?” asked Dr Woehler.
“Many of the migratory species are listed as Threatened Species under the EPBC Act. Just 3 weeks ago, another six species of migratory shorebirds were uplisted under the Act, including several species as Critically Endangered, in recognition of their high probability of extinction.”
“The last thing these species need are 300 turbines in the middle of the wetlands shredding individuals as they fly around the wetlands to feed” Dr Woehler added.
“BirdLife Tasmania will oppose any efforts to establish a 300 turbine windfarm on Robbins Island in northwest Tasmania as it is utterly inconsistent with the shorebird values recognised around the world” Dr Woehler concluded. “We hope that when the time comes to assess such a proposal under federal legislation the next Australian Government will do the same”.
Friends of CSIRO
23.05.16 6:46 am
Friends of CSIRO has recently been set up in other Australian States to campaign against the current job cuts in climate, land and water research. The projected loss of key people has undermined CSIRO staff morale, and will impact drastically on CSIRO’s world-renowned research capacity.
Cuts that will reduce staffing in Hobart and other mainland cities will occur in coming weeks. These cuts come on the heels of earlier reductions in CSIRO funding in recent years which have already caused the loss of many jobs and crucial expertise.
A public meeting has been called by Friends of CSIRO at 1 pm in the IMAS Building, Castray Esplanade, near Salamanca Place, to create a Hobart chapter.
Speakers at the meeting include:
* Kelvin Michael (National Tertiary Education Union),
* Mark Green (CSIRO Staff Association),
* Jackie Cocker (Australian Youth Climate Coalition).
A number of State and Federal politicians have also indicated that they will attend to speak out about the CSIRO cuts.
What is Friends of CSIRO?
Friends of CSIRO is a network of concerned citizens who are campaigning to restore critical funding to CSIRO and reverse the job cuts now and in the future. It has been formed in response to the ongoing cutbacks to CSIRO’s funding over recent years, and in particular, the recent announcements that CSIRO will cut approximately 275 jobs in a number of divisions, including from the Oceans and Atmosphere and also the Land and Water divisions, which are crucial to laying the basis for action to limit harmful climate change.
Friends of CSIRO has members in QLD, NSW, Victoria and the ACT and is quickly becoming a national organisation, as the public increasingly expresses opposition to the damaging CSIRO cutbacks.
For Media Comment and Visuals
There will be an opportunity to film before and at the public meeting, with the people listed below available for comment in person from 12:30 pm, as well as politicians:
Peter Whish-Wilson, Lisa Singh, Andrew Wilkie.
Dr Ross Gwyther, Friends of CSIRO – 0408 782 983
Mark Green, CSIRO Staff Association – 0408 103 523
Dr Kelvin Michael, NTEU – 04 1651 4492
Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison
05.05.16 3:54 pm
It’s heartbreaking that the Prime Minister, in response to my question in Parliament today, refused to rule out further job cuts in Hobart as a result of his so-called public service efficiency dividend.
And it was infuriating to hear the PM try and suggest the Government is growing CSIRO when it is suffering a substantial net loss of jobs this year, even before the Budget efficiency drive is factored in.
This makes a mockery of the Government’s 2014 planning to shift public service jobs from Canberra to places like Hobart.
Tasmania is already getting a raw deal in this Budget with continuing chronic underfunding of health and education and virtually no stimulus spending. A further round of public service job cuts will just make a bad situation worse and have a disproportionate impact in Hobart where the economy is smaller than Canberra and where the effect of job losses will be greater.
The federal public service is a big employer in Hobart through agencies such as the Department of Human Services and the Australian Taxation Office, all of which will have to shed jobs on account of these cuts.
Not only will these job cuts hurt the people involved and the local economy, they will also mean a poorer level of service for the public. For example, wait times at Centrelink remain far too long and cutting staff is not the way to fix the problem.
Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison
05.05.16 11:54 am
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will ask the Prime Minister the following in Question Time today:
“Public service efficiency dividend is just budget-speak for job cuts. They’re regrettable at any time, and even more so in places like Hobart where local economies are smaller and the effect of job losses greater.
“Considering this, do you rule out further public service job cuts in Hobart?
“Or have you abandoned the Government’s 2014 plan to shift public service jobs from Canberra to places like Hobart?”
Australian Marriage Equality, National Director, Rodney Croome
04.05.16 10:09 am
GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS $160 MILLION FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY PLEBISCITE
The Government has confirmed its intention to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality, with $160 million committed to a plebiscite in the 2016/17 Federal Budget.
“Fairness and equality for all Australian shouldn’t cost a cent,” Australian Marriage Equality, National Director, Rodney Croome said.
“The Budget has confirmed just how costly a plebiscite will be, and how wasteful given Parliament could pass marriage equality tomorrow.”
“Corporate, political and religious leaders, and mental health experts, have all raised concerns about a plebiscite.”
“We call on the Government to drop its plan for an expensive and unnecessary plebiscite and spend this money on essential services instead.”
“Regardless of who wins the next election we need to build support in the community and parliament, and in the lead up to the next election.”
“In our largest election campaign ever, AME will be running campaigns in more than 30 seats across Australia to win over candidates and communities.”
“If the Coalition remains committed to a plebiscite and is returned to government we will run a ‘yes’ campaign that unites Australians behind a reform that reflects our nations’ values of fairness and equality,” Mr Croome concluded.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
03.05.16 6:41 pm
Chair of the Senate Select Committee into the Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures and Greens Senator for Tasmania, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the release of the Senate Inquiry Report into the CSIRO budget cuts.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “What is clear from this entire debacle is that both the Australian Government and the CSIRO management has at no stage placed any value on the work being done by the CSIRO climate scientists.
“If CSIRO Management or the Government had spent any time contemplating how important the knowledge gained by these climate scientists is to Australia and the world, then there is no way they would have rushed to make these decisions.
“The work by the Oceans and Atmosphere unit is critical foundational knowledge to guide Australia through a period of massive climate uncertainty and change. The works of Land and Water makes this information accessible and useful to industry and governments at a local and regional scale.
“The report makes clear recommendations to halt the restructure process until the election is over. Both the Board and the Government have the ability to do this right now.
“My view is that the Board members have not engaged sufficiently in this process and have been caught unawares regarding the depth and breadth of the job and capability cuts.
“No restructure should occur until an appropriate independent body like the Productivity Commission conducts a proper valuation of the worth of the climate research being done. The Government and the public should be able to examine hard data on the worth of this foundational information over the long term.
“It’s patently obvious to me that the more precise projections we have about the collapse of the Antarctic icesheet or the medium-long range rainfall or bushfire projections for Tasmania, then the better we will be able to adapt to climate change. The sooner we can put hard data around this the harder we will make it for cuts like this to occur in the future.
“This whole process has been heartbreaking for scientists. They have seen their future careers put at risk and their work to date publicly devalued. I thank them all so much for their contribution to this inquiry and I will keep pushing for more resources for you to do the work that is so critical for us all,” he concluded.
Alina Thomas, Executive Officer, SHE
03.05.16 4:41 pm
Wednesday 4 May will see communities across Australia gather together to light a candle and pay tribute to the women and children who have lost their lives due to family violence.
The vigils, which are held simultaneously in states and territories across Australia, are organised by member agencies of DFVCLAN - the Domestic and Family Violence Crisis Lines of Australia Network.
This year in Hobart the candlelight vigil will be held at 5.30pm at Parliament House lawns.
Representing the combined group of government and non-government family violence services, Alina Thomas EO of SHE says that the vigil send important messages to the community about the seriousness of family violence. “Over recent years we have seen the vigil growing in size as our awareness and intolerance of violence against women increases. This is a social issue that is not going away and we are seeing more and more community members come out to say that women have the right to live in safe communities”, states Ms Thomas.
The Candlelight Vigils are a moving tribute to the women and children who have lost their lives due to family violence. “They also send a message to people who are living with family violence or who have left abusive and violence relationships that the community cares,” Ms Thomas explains.
Over the past 12 months the state and federal governments have both taken unprecedented steps to address family violence through strengthening responses and making the combined systems more efficient and effective.
With all family violence services experiencing peak levels of demand Ms Thomas states, “We are looking forward to the family violence services in Tasmania being bolstered by additional funding, we all have longer waiting lists, and are turning women away at rates that have never been seen before.”
Since the DFVCLAN Candlelight Vigils were held at the same time last year, up to 77 women and children have been killed in Australia as a result of family violence.
The first Candlelight Vigil to honour women killed by family violence in Australia was held in Queensland in 2004. Vigils have been held in Tasmania since 2009 and is held on the first Wednesday of May, on the lead up to Mother’s Day.
If you or someone you care about is living with an abusive partner or family member call the Family Violence Counselling and Support Services: 1800 608 122 or SHE on 6278 9090.
Statistics on Family Violence in Australia
• Australian women are most likely to experience physical and sexual violence in their home, at the hands of a former or current male partner.
• 15 per cent of women had experienced physical or sexual violence from an ex-partner (the most likely type of known perpetrator for a female victim).
• For 62 per cent of the women who had experienced physical assault by a male perpetrator, the most recent incident was in their home.
• In 2015, a woman in Australia was killed by a current or former male partner nearly every week.
Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
03.05.16 12:39 pm
Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that the Turnbull Government is doing more to protect the Japanese whalers from public scrutiny than it is doing to protect minke whales from being slaughtered in Australia’s whale sanctuary. The Government has refused a FOI request from Sea Shepherd Australia and the NSW EDO.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Government has cited relations with Japan as a reason they won’t release footage obtained by the Australian Government of the slaughter of whales in Australia’s whale sanctuary.
“This is a government more interested in protecting the feelings of the whalers than they are about taking legal and diplomatic action to protect the whales.
“If Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt are so worried about the feelings of Japan that they won’t release footage that belongs to the Australian people, then there is no way they will be willing to take the fight up to Japan in international courts.
“Greg Hunt talked the talk in opposition about whaling, but now with a few days until his term is over he has shown himself to take the weakest stance an Australian Environment Minister has ever taken on the issue.
“In opposition, Greg Hunt promised sending patrol boats to collect evidence against the Japanese whalers but in government all we got was a wet fish Minister and Australia turning a blind-eye to Japan restarting their illegal whaling activity,” he concluded.
Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation
03.05.16 11:51 am
A new website SaveBrunyIsland.org, including a short film, was launched today by Bob Brown Foundation with a peaceful demonstration on the doorstep of Hobart’s Parliament House. Conservationists held placards of the Swift Parrot, with an image drawn by cartoonist First Dog on the Moon.
The new campaign is designed to mobilise members of the community to send emails to the Prime Minister and Tasmania’s Premier Hodgman, urging protection of all Swift Parrot habitat in secure reserves. The online email actions are also targeting customers of logging company Ta Ann, asking them to reject timber from logged Swift Parrot habitat.
‘Swift Parrot habitat remains on Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedule. All logging of Swift Parrot breeding habitat should cease immediately, future logging plans for the habitat needs to be scrapped and replaced by secure long-lasting conservation reserves’, Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.
‘Bruny Island’s logging moratorium is only a temporary reprieve, not secure protection for these forests or the Swift Parrot. The forests on Bruny Island need to be added to the South Bruny National Park,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘The International Union for the Conservation of Nature recommended that all places on public land that support Swift Parrots should be under secure conservation management. The Australian and Tasmanian Governments must act to prevent extinction of a critically endangered species and implement IUCNs recommendation,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘We look forward to gathering people from across Tasmania, Australia and around the world to take action for the Swift Parrot’s habitat protection. It’s the world’s fastest parrot that breeds only in Tasmania. If the world’s fastest parrot is to survive, it is critical that logging is permanently halted on Bruny Island and in all Swift Parrot breeding habitats in Tasmania,’ Jenny Weber said.
LGAT President, Mayor Doug Chipman
03.05.16 10:55 am
The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has developed an advocacy document for the 2016 Federal Election.
In launching the document, LGAT President, Mayor Doug Chipman, described it as providing a blueprint of “the matters that are of importance to Local Government in Tasmania that all political parties should commit to in the interests of Tasmanian voters and their communities.”
“Local Government has a critical role to play in the Tasmanian economy,” Mayor Chipman said. “It has a presence in every part of the State and is a key partner in delivering strong economic outcomes.”
The LGAT document, Partnering for Prosperity, seeks commitments from an incoming Australian Government under a range of key areas including: Financial Assistance Grants; roads, bridges and other community infrastructure; improved freight movement; climate change and human services. Key state and regional projects are identified such as the Bridgewater Bridge, water and sewerage infrastructure, the Cradle Mountain Masterplan and investment in the University of Tasmania’s north and north-west campuses.
The Tasmanian Local Government sector’s agenda leverages off the national advocacy agenda of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) - Local Government’s Plan for an Innovative and Prosperous Australia. “LGAT seeks a range of investments that will serve the nation well in increasing productivity and securing the wellbeing of all communities”. “However, the highest priority for our sector is appropriate funding levels commensurate with the growing statutory and community roles played by councils, and the increasing costs of providing quality infrastructure and services to deliver vibrant and sustainable communities,” says Mayor Chipman. “It is vital that the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) funding indexation is restored immediately,” he says.
The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) advocates and negotiates on behalf of the Tasmanian Local Government sector. LGAT represents Tasmania’s 29 councils, with 293 elected members, over 4,000 employees and half a million constituents.
Partnering for Prosperity is available on the LGAT website at http://www.lgat.tas.gov.au. ALGA’s Local Government’s Plan for an Innovative and Prosperous Australia is available online at http://www.alga.asn.au.
Sinead Colee National President | National Union of Students
03.05.16 7:27 am
The National Union of Students expects doom and gloom for students in the upcoming Federal budget that is to be handed down this evening by Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal government.
“Students are expecting yet more cuts to funding, research and income support.” Said NUS President, Sinead Colee.
“We completely reject any increase to university fees. The government needs to recognise that it has a responsibility to fully fund higher education, not to cut it even further.”
“This government has failed in every respect when it comes to education. They’ve tried, and failed 3 times, to introduce deregulation with no indication they are giving up in this upcoming budget.”
The National Union of Students will be holding demonstrations around the country on May 11th to protest the Liberal government’s continued attacks on students, expected to be repeated in tomorrow’s budget.
“I encourage all students who are disappointed with actions by the government, whether it is the prospect of $100,000 degrees, huge waits on centrelink or cuts to medicare, to march with us and to send the government a message that we won’t just sit by and accept their total lack for respect for young Australians.”
MAY 11 Rally Details:
SYDNEY: Fisher Library, University of Sydney - 1pm
MELBOURNE: State Library, Swanston Street - 2pm
BRISBANE: Queens Park - 2pm
PERTH: Forrest Chase - 2pm
ADELAIDE: Adelaide, Rundle Mall (William Street side) - 3pm
HOBART: Central Mall, University of Tasmania - 2pm
National Union of Students acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
03.05.16 7:26 am
The $15 million earmarked in the 2016 federal budget to eradicate carp from Australia’s river systems will give native fish and freshwater ecosystems a fighting chance.
“Carp are a highly adaptive fish species introduced into Australia more than 100 years ago that have had long-term, highly destructive impacts on our river systems,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said today.
“The announcement that this year’s federal budget will include a $15 million National Carp Control Plan will give Australia’s rivers and native freshwater fish a fighting chance against the proliferation of invasive carp.”
The plan includes the staged release of a carp control virus developed by the CSIRO with the support of the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre that kills carp only, leaving other fish unscathed.
“Clearing carp out of our waterways will be the first step in bringing our rivers back to life,” Mr Cox said.
“Once the carp-killing virus has been released into our waterways we can rebuild healthy rivers by restocking them with native fish and replanting river edges to help freshwater ecosystems recover from years of carp infestations.
“We congratulate the federal government for properly backing the carp release. This new funding supports the clean-up operation and kick-starts the recovery of damaged rivers.”
Carp have increased pressures on native fish. They make water turbid, cause erosion and outcompete native fish for food and resources.
In some areas of the Murray-Darling Basin carp make up more than 80 per cent of the fish biomass.
“We will not be sorry to see carp numbers decline once the virus is released in about three years time, after clearing regulatory hurdles,” Mr Cox said.
02.05.16 5:22 pm
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling on the Turnbull Government to use tomorrow night’s 2016-17 Budget to begin restoring the $57 billion ripped from national health funding under previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Mrs Neroli Ellis, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Health on Friday in Devonport to outline the dire impacts arising from health cuts and the cessation of the $325m Tasmanian Health Assistance Package on 30 June…
“The Government’s massive shortfall in health funding means that the level of care being delivered by frontline nurses and midwives continues to be compromised in health and aged care settings.”
“The Turnbull Government must use the Budget to stop the cuts to health funding and instead start focusing on providing sufficient funding to the States and Territories which will allow for a fair and equitable health system which provides improved health outcomes for all Australians.”
The ANMF says the Budget must: • Restore the $57 billion from Australia’s public health system;
• Reverse cuts to Medicare services such as pathology and diagnostic imaging;
• Stop plans to privatise Medicare payments;
• Stop further cuts to preventative health programs and services;
• Protect the penalty rates of nurses and midwives;
• Ensure funding and resources are invested into the depleted aged care sector.
“In this election year, the Turnbull Government now has the opportunity to use its first Budget to address the inequities in health and aged care across the country and deliver genuine solutions through the restoration of public health funding,” “Restoring the billions axed from public health and maintaining Medicare must be its key priorities – the privatisation of the country’s health services is not the answer.”
The ANMF, with almost 250,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison
02.05.16 12:43 pm
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, today introduced into Federal Parliament a Private Member’s Bill that would rein in poker machines.
“I’ve introduced this Private Member’s Bill today because it’s beyond time that the Parliament acted on poker machine problem gambling,” Mr Wilkie said.
“We know that between $10 billion and $12 billion is lost every year on poker machines and that by some estimates 40% of that comes from problem gamblers. So the fact that the previous Parliament did so little, and this Parliament has refused to act at all, is simply unconscionable.
“But no wonder when we look at the enormous donations that both the Labor and Liberal parties receive from the poker machine industry. Who can forget the $75,000 that the industry donated indirectly to then Liberal social services spokesperson Kevin Andrews. And the Labor Party even owns poker machines in Canberra.
“Yes, modest reform was achieved in the last Parliament. But that was quickly overturned by the Abbott Government, with Labor support, in a dreadful disregard for the community and poker machine problem gamblers in particular.
“Let’s hope the Government and Opposition see sense and bring on this Bill for a proper debate. They could have it through both Houses of Parliament and law by the end of the week if they wanted to.”
The Bill would implement the recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in 2010 including, among other things, $1 maximum bets and mandatory pre-commitment.
The speech can be viewed at http://andrewwilkie.org/home-page/wilkie-takes-pokies-reform-to-the-parliament-again/.
Ned Worledge, Font PR
02.05.16 10:18 am
MyState Limited (ASX:MYS), the ASX-listed banking and wealth management group, today announced the retirement of Mr Ian Mansbridge as a non-executive director effective 30 April 2016 and the appointment of Mr Brian Bissaker as a non-executive director with effect from 1 May 2016.
MyState Chairman, Mr Miles Hampton, said: “On behalf of the board, our shareholders, our employees and our customers, I would like to thank Ian Mansbridge for his long service to the group. He was appointed to the board of Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees Limited in 2004 and became a director of MyState Limited at the time of the merger in 2009. Ian’s experience, knowledge, hard work and dedication have been greatly appreciated by his colleagues and his contribution to the board has been invaluable.
“We are very pleased that Brian Bissaker has agreed to join MyState’s board. His extensive recent experience in the financial services industry will enable him to make a significant contribution to the company as we seek to embrace new ways of doing business and expand our operations,” Miles Hampton said.
Most recently, Mr Bissaker was CEO of Virgin Money Australia and a group executive of Bank of Queensland, after leading the team that acquired Virgin Money for the bank. Prior to this, he spent 10 years with Commonwealth Bank, including six years as CEO of Colonial First State which had funds under management of $70 billion. During this time he was also a director and deputy chairman of the Financial Services Council. Earlier, he held senior management positions with BT Funds Management and KPMG. He is currently an adjunct professor of management education at University of Sydney Business School. Mr Bissaker holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
About MyState Limited
MyState Limited is the ASX-listed non-operating holding company of the diversified financial services group consisting of MyState Bank (including The Rock – A division of MyState Bank) and Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees, a trustee and wealth management company. MyState Bank is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. MyState Bank and Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees hold Australian Financial Services Licences issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Harriet Binet AEU Tasmanian Branch
01.05.16 2:27 pm
Malcolm Turnbull’s policy on school funding does not meet the needs of Tasmanian students and will entrench generational poverty and disadvantage, the AEU Tasmanian Branch said today.
“It’s a piecemeal, pre-election, political patch-up job designed to get Malcolm Turnbull a headline - not meet the educational needs of our students,” said Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmanian Branch President.
“Mr Turnbull is offering funding crumbs when parents, teachers and the Tasmanian Education Minister all agree our schools need the full implementation of Gonski,” said Ms Richardson.
“School funding must meet 100% of the learning needs of our kids and anything less denies them the opportunity to reach their learning potential.”
“Our kids deserve the very best start in life - not a false start because Malcolm Turnbull’s priority is to get himself elected without honouring Gonski.”
“The education and welfare of our children must be above politics and that’s why we’ve sought bi-partisan support for Gonski school funding reform.”
“Malcolm Turnbull is playing politics with our kids’ future and it is profoundly disappointing, especially given parents and teachers know what works - Gonski.”
“Gonski provides for more teachers, smaller classes, more individual attention and tailored support with reading, writing and maths – all of which will be denied to our kids under Malcolm Turnbull’s policy.”
“Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff says disadvantage will be entrenched for generations of Tasmanians unless Gonski is delivered in full and Malcolm Turnbull’s political stunt has done nothing to change that.”
“Tasmania has the highest need of any state or territory and too many of our kids are being denied the opportunity to achieve their learning potential because schools are not equipped to meet their individual educational needs.
“Tasmanian teachers, support staff and principals are dedicated professionals completely committed to the meeting the learning needs of their students but they can’t keep doing more with less.”
Greens spokesperson for Schools Nick McKim
01.05.16 2:25 pm
The Federal government has today confirmed its abandonment of full Gonski funding, Greens spokesperson for Schools Nick McKim says.
“Today’s announcement of funding for ‘high-performing’ schools will redirect resources to the top, and risks reigniting the funding battle between public and private schools,” Senator McKim said.
“It will also work against States, Territories and schools with more disadvantaged students.”
“The government has already tried to end Federal funding for public education - today’s announcement opens up another front in the class warfare the government seems determined to prosecute.”
“The Gonski funding principles are now dead in the water as far as the Liberals are concerned.”
“On top of this, the federal government continues to ignore students with disability and starve hundreds of thousands of children the resources they need.”
“Only the Greens will ensure that every student in every school will get a fair go.”
“We have already committed to the full funding of the Gonski reforms along with a much needed $4.8 billion investment in students with disability.”
Rob Messenger for Senator Jacqui Lambie Senator for Tasmania
01.05.16 2:25 pm
Tasmanian JLN independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on both all political parties to commit to halve Australia’s $50B foreign aid budget over the next 10 years - and increase Australian Aged pension payments by an extra $25B.
Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Police spokesperson
01.05.16 2:20 pm
The Greens will debate an amendment to the Firearms Act in Parliament this week that aims to improve community safety.
A new shotgun on the market, the Adler 110, can fire off 6 shots in about 6 seconds and can be legally owned by anyone with a gun licence in Tasmania. At least 7,000 have been purchased in Australia, and several hundred of these are estimated to be in Tasmania.
This is a case of technology being ahead of legislation. The Adler is a lever action shotgun that didn’t exist in 1996, but if it did it would have been categorised along with pump action shotguns and restricted to licence holders with a demonstrated need. There’s no reason for ordinary gun owners to have this rapid fire weapon.
We can’t forget the lessons that were so tragically learnt at Port Arthur. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars removing rapid action firearms from the community, and there hasn’t been a mass public shooting since then.
The Prime Minister made a commitment at the 20th commemoration of Port Arthur last week to strengthen our National Firearms Agreement to protect the community. Is Police Minister Hidding going to back-in that commitment and support this Bill that will fix a legal loophole?
*a copy of the Firearms Amendment (Rapid Fire Shotguns – Community Safety) Bill 2015 can be found here: http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/bills/pdf/60_of_2015.pdf
Elizabeth O’Brien The LEAD Group Australia
01.05.16 2:18 pm
Dear LEAD Action News Subscribers,
There’s some really good news in this LEAD Action News at http://www.leadsafeworld.com/lanv16n3-only-12-weeks-to-volcano-art-prize-entry-deadline/ – I’m hailing Perry Gottesfeld as the lead-safety hero of the year - and its that time of the year again when anyone who’s anyone in the world of lead-safety would be uploading their photos/artworks/films/slide shows at http://volcanoartprize.com/submitentry/ – so go for it, and get your image on a Lead Safe World Poster at your doctor’s or vet’s or childcare centre or gun club!!
Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim
30.04.16 7:24 pm
The Greens welcome the operational review into the management of the Tasmanian bushfires.
While the review rightly lauds the work of our hardworking firefighters, it identifies a number of areas of improvement, such as staff numbers, training, aerial firefighting and communication with the public.
Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim said the state government should adopt all of the recommendations contained within the review.
“Last summer’s bushfires laid bare the tragic and frightening side of global warming which we know need to address head on,” Senator McKim said.
“The Greens call on the Tasmanian government to adopt all of AFAC’s recommendations.”
“We agree with AFAC that the Tasmanian Fire Service needs to have greater resources, as well as higher levels of training for remote firefighting.”
“We also agree with the recommendation for greater communication and information to be shared with the public before, during and after fire events.”
“We want to see a greater use of aerial firefighting where appropriate, and call on the Commonwealth to consider additional resources for next summer.”
“As we have consistently said, our firefighters deserve the very best, and we need to be sure that they have the best possible planning and resources in place for next time.”
Ben Johnston President, Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group
30.04.16 5:26 am
... and wiser investment of infrastructure funds
The Action Group’s President Ben Johnston says, “without question, passenger rail gives the ‘best bang for infrastructure buck’ since we already have a rail corridor, which parallels corridors of traffic!” The State Government’s 2013 study into light rail between Hobart and Glenorchy showed up to $1.58 would be returned for every $1.00 invested in light rail - a no brainer!
Mr Johnston says, “the morning ‘express’ bus from Bridgewater to Hobart takes around 1 hour, by rail this would be reduced to under 30 minutes. Commuters could bus or car to the station then sit back and relax for the congestion free rail journey.”
We have the perfect project for Malcolm Turnbull. Checkout our latest video https://youtu.be/bASJ-3HhM-8
Ride Hobart’s Groovy Ghost Train, youtu.be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bASJ-3HhM-8&feature=youtu.be
It should be rolling. The Tracks are there, the traffic jams are there, but according to the State Government, it’s ‘a good idea whose time is yet to come’. ...
Catch the Train Walk this Sunday: https://www.facebook.com/events/242298622783744/
Kay McFarlane, Tasmanian Greens Convenor
30.04.16 5:24 am
The Tasmanian Greens are pleased to confirm their Senate and House of Representatives ticket in the event of a double dissolution election.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson will be first on the ticket, with Senator Nick McKim second and Hobart Alderman Anna Reynolds third.
Tasmanian Greens convenor Kay McFarlane said the three Senate candidates would be ably supported by House of Representatives candidates Terrill Riley-Gibson (Bass), Scott Jordan (Braddon), Jen Brown (Denison), Martine Delaney (Franklin) and Hannah Rubenach-Quinn (Lyons).
“Our candidates for Tasmania are a diverse and intelligent group of people who all have a proud record of fighting for the state in different capacities.
“Only the Greens have the courage and vision for Tasmania’s future, to end our reliance on fossil fuels, to show compassion to people seeking asylum and protect our precious places.”
The Senate ticket order was determined by the party’s executive based on the length of the Senators’ time in office.
Trevor Gauld State Secretary CEPU - Tasmania
30.04.16 4:30 am
At the very bottom of this email you will see a press release from the Government.
Below is the current exchange between the CEPU and Workplace Standards. You will note that contrary to the Governments claim “The joint venture partners have also advised WorkSafe Tasmania that they have not received any reports of workers experiencing illness due to mold.”
You will note in the correspondence between the CEPU and Workplace Standards that at all material times the CEPU included joint venture representatives in our emails.
It is astonishing that on the day after international workers memorial day, a day on which we reflect on those workers injured or killed through work, that this Government would attempt to score political points off the backs of workers injured on their watch.
Somebody is telling lies and it isn’t the CEPU.
Subject: RE: Your cc email to WST Info dated 22 April 2016 s.117 entry RHH
Thanks for your quick response, and action contacting the employees.
Mick and I have run out of time this week to meet, but will give you a call on Monday to set up a time later in the week, tentatively perhaps Wed morn?
WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY INSPECTORATE,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
(03) 6166 4691 : 0419 540 373 : Fax (03) 6233 8338
30 Gordons Hill Road, Rosny Park 7018
Subject: RE: Your cc email to WST Info dated 22 April 2016 s.117 entry RHH
Thanks for your email and commitment to address the issue raised, and we are more than happy to participate in its resolution.
Given the broad range of information you are seeking, we would seek a meeting when convenient to discuss. I will collate the requested documentation in preparation for our meeting.
Notwithstanding I can confirm I have contacted those employees I have details for at dot point three as requested, however each of them indicated to me their reluctance due to their concern they will be treated adversely by their employer if they participate in this process.
In the interest of expedience, the CEPU encourages you to commence an investigation by exercising your right to gather the contact details of every employee engaged on the ‘Modscape’ site, and conduct enquiries with those people irrelevant of their employer, offsite, in relation to the adverse health effects which have occurred.
CEPU - Tasmania
Sent: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 10:34 AM
To: Michael Anderson
Subject: Your cc email to WST Info dated 22 April 2016 s.117 entry RHH
Thank you for your cc email of the issues noted during your site visit.
I have specifically been directed to investigate the concerns relating to the potential effects of mould and other contaminants in the new (Modscape) modular building on Liverpool St.
To enable me to do that, could you do the following:
• Provide the contact details of the PCBU representative that informed you, or your members, that the mould has been incorrectly dealt with. If possible please provide the date and approximate time of any meeting, and where it occurred.
• Provide the contact details of the direct employers of any workers who advised you of abnormally high rates of illness.
• Contact the workers who notified you of their high rates of illness and request that they contact me directly.
• Provide copies of any relevant correspondence you have had with any PCBUs at the Royal Hobart Hospital site in regards to this issue.
If you could provide the information, and confirmation of your contact asap that would assist in undertaking the investigation in a reasonable timeframe.
If you have concerns about providing the information voluntarily, or any other concerns don’t hesitate to contact me.
WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY INSPECTORATE,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
(03) 6166 4691 : 0419 540 373 : Fax (03) 6233 8338
30 Gordons Hill Road, Rosny Park 7018
From: Michael Anderson
Sent: Friday, 22 April 2016 4:24 PM
Cc: WST Info (DoJ);
Subject: s.117 entry RHH
In accordance with s.117 of the WHS Act, please regard this as the written entry report.
Concerns conveyed to PCBU (JHFBJV) on arrival;
1. Access / Egress procedures
2. AS/NZ 3012 contraventions
3. Illness clusters related to contaminants in modular building
4. House keeping
5. Adverse treatment of workers raising issues relating to asbestos concerns
General issues observed in relation to the above; (with only modular building of RHH entered)
1. Workers remediating contamination issue did not have any proper exits paths – one with inadequate signage, the other not clear of materials/tools
2. Inadequate exit and emergency signage in the forecourt, amenities area
3. Testing and tagging out of date or not present
4. No clear defined access to some temporary distribution boards
5. Inadequate exit and emergency lighting in the work areas
6. Incidental to the above, inaccurate exit and emergency plan
Specifically relating to illness clusters of workers due to contaminants in modular building reported to CEPU;
- The PCBU made admissions that they have incorrectly dealt with the potential effects of mould and other contaminants, albeit through their subcontracted hygienist. As a result, for several past weeks until recently, workers have been directed to work in areas which are now subject to quarantining because it has been found to have potential adverse health effects.
CEPU members and other workers had recently advised us of abnormally high rates of illness among their work groups resulting in personal leave. Specifics on illness is unknown at this time.
The CEPU has grave concerns that the PCBU has failed to provide a safe and healthy workplace in accordance with s.19 of the WHS Act, among others.
We request that the PCBU provide, in response to this, or under another ROE if they wish, documentation of how they provided a safe and healthy workplace from the beginning of the modular building fit out, to the time when potential health impacts were recognised, if in fact quarantine was necessary the entire time.
Specifically relating the adverse treatment of workers raising issues relating to asbestos exposure;
- A CEPU member has alleged that an inappropriate phone call was made to another worker (employee of Fairbrothers) regarding them both, after they requested the PBCU provide written documentation about a suspected asbestos issue/exposure. The call is alleged to have been made by a senior manager of Fairbrothers.
- It suggested that;
o Further enquiries should cease so no ‘trouble’ was caused and he should ‘pull his head in’
o Our member should be ignored as ‘the Union (CEPU) is in his ear’
- The PCBU undertook to review the matter.
CEPU - Tasmania
P. (03) 6228 0098
F. (03) 6228 7557
M. 0400 981 024
P. (03) 6228 0098
F. (03) 6228 7557
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2016 2:47 PM
Subject: Update on RHH Worksafe Investigation
29 April 2016
Adam Brooks, Minister for Building and Construction
Update on RHH Worksafe Investigation
WorkSafe Tasmania commenced an investigation of the allegations made by a Union, including concerns regarding alleged “illness clusters” on 27 April 2016.
WorkSafe has advised me that the union has not provided details of any workers experiencing illness due to mold.
It is regrettable that the union does not wish to cooperate with the inquiry it called for.
The joint venture partners have also advised WorkSafe Tasmania that they have not received any reports of workers experiencing illness due to mold.
Throughout the building project and also since the mold issue arose, Worksafe has conducted regular on-site compliance inspections.
I am advised WorkSafe Inspectors have recently received occupational hygienists reports commissioned by the relevant builders. These are currently being reviewed.
During onsite inspections WorkSafe Inspectors have observed that appropriate controls have been implemented.
Following the union and Labor Opposition allegations, WorkSafe Tasmania have increased the frequency of compliance inspections at the site.
Today, Worksafe have advised me:
- They have observed that access to the affected area is restricted to workers wearing appropriate personal protective equipment [PPE];
- Signage is installed to ensure people on site are aware of the isolated work area and requirement for PPE use;
- The Joint Venture partners maintain that they have had no reports of workers experiencing illness due to mold; and
- WorkSafe inspectors have requested the Joint Venture partners provide details of sub-contractors within the affected areas in order to further investigate the claims of an “illness cluster”.
The investigation is on-going.
29.04.16 1:56 pm
Environment Tasmania is calling for immediate independent review of the Tasmanian Government’s unexpected decision to increase the density of farmed fish in Macquarie Harbour, citing evidence that the harbour is already in a state of chronic environmental stress.
“Macquarie Harbour is already experiencing ongoing problems with dissolved oxygen levels, bacteria mats and disease outbreaks,” said Laura Kelly of Environment Tasmania.”
“This decision is really about the aquaculture industries supply problems, and their undue influence over the Tasmanian Government, who cannot ignore what the science is telling them indefinitely.”
“What the science shows is that any expansion of fish farming at this site is unsustainable. The Tasmanian Government may refuse to take notice, but shareholders concerned about ongoing supply issues won’t. Nor will consumers – who will increasingly be offered poor quality products pumped full of antibiotics if environmental conditions at fish farm sites aren’t improved.”
“The Government’s own status reports document alarming dissolved oxygen and water temperature readings. They clearly demonstrate that the site cannot support existing fish farms, let alone an increase in fish density, which will only worsen mass fish kills,” said Ms Kelly.
· The Tasmanian Government’s 2016 Update to the Macquarie Harbour Status Report states that 52% of benthic conditions have been breached in the last 11 months and dissolved oxygen levels are at hypoxic levels throughout the Harbour and into the World Heritage Area.
· Huon Aquaculture’s own study states that the Dissolved Oxygen and temperature conditions in Macquarie Harbour make it unsuitable for fish farming for at least 6 months of the year, and the conditions are unacceptable for fish health and production.
· “There is a history of pathogen emergence events; some of the pathogens may be associated with chronic environmental stress and there has been clinical expression of pathogens generally found subclinically elsewhere in Tasmania. The emergence and persistence of other pathological syndromes such as nephrocalcinosis and multi-organ inflammation have also been identified.
“Internationally, repeated pathogen emergence has been observed as an indicator of declining fish health status and as a precursor to epizootic emergence.” Cawthron Institute review of environmental and fish health impacts in Macquarie Harbour.
The 2016 Update to the Macquarie Harbour Status Report can be found at:
Carol Bristow (Convenor of Refugee Rights Group)
29.04.16 8:28 am
Event: “Bring them Here”- Snap Action
Time : Friday 29th April 1p.m
Place Outside the office of Senator Eric Abetz, 136 Davey St Hobart
Purpose: to protest against the Australian Government’s response to the Manus Island decision; to demand that Australia takes responsibility for these asylum seekers and brings them to Australia for immediate processing of their refugee claims.
Main Group Involved: Amnesty’s Tasmanian Refugee Rights Group
This will be a peaceful protest drawing attention to the Australian Government’s responsibilities regarding Asylum Seekers.