Media

In Their Own Words

Editor
01.03.11 12:00 am

MEDIA RELEASES:GovernmentGreens TasmaniaAustralian Greens, Bob BrownAustralian Greens, Christine MilneTasmanian LiberalsTasmanian Liberals, Will HodgmanTasmanian Labor, David BartlettFederal LaborFederal LiberalAustralian DemocratsTasmanian Socialist AllianceAustralian Socialist AllianceEthics & Sustainability PartySenator Online - Australia’s first and only internet based political partySustainable Population Party

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Politics | Media

AUSTRALIA TAKES ACTION AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS The Hon Julie Bishop MP SENATOR RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
28.07.15 2:57 pm

The Australian Government has ratified the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Port State Measures Agreement (the Agreement). 

The Agreement commits all parties to act against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which has a serious economic and environmental impact in Australian and international waters.

All parties to the Agreement are required to take action against vessels and operators suspected of IUU fishing, denying entry into ports and preventing access to markets for illegally caught fish. 

IUU fishing is a threat to the sustainability of our fisheries and threatens food security on a global scale as well as the viability of domestic fishers.  This agreement will help protect the livelihoods of legitimate, sustainable operators and people who depend on the industry.

The agreement complements the work we are doing with our Southeast Asian partners to share information about known IUU operators including trade routes and vessels. This has led to the detention of a number of IUU vessels that have tried to enter Asian ports.

We will continue to work with our international partners in the fight against IUU fishing. 

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OPEN letter to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

Joe Collins Secretary AWPA (Sydney)
28.07.15 2:28 pm

Dear Pacific Islands Forum leaders,

On behalf of the Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), I am writing to you concerning the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua[1].

There has been no improvement in the human rights situation in West Papua since the last Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Summit was held in Koror, Palau.  The West Papuan people continue to suffer human rights violations from the Indonesian security forces. We continue to hear from governments that there is an improvement in the situation in West Papua, that Indonesia is now a democracy and human rights abuses are something that occurred in the past.  But where is the improvement in West Papua?

Throughout 2014, the security forces cracked down on peaceful rallies called by civil society groups and in particular on the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). These peaceful rallies were met with an excessive use of force by the security forces with arrests and incidents of police brutality against the demonstrators. In fact, all aspects of society in West Papua including lawyers, human rights defenders, activists, clergy and journalists faced regular intimidation or the threat of arrest. 

On Monday 8th December 2014, the security forces fired into a crowd of approximately 800 peaceful demonstrators (which included women and children) in Enarotali in the Panai regency, killing four. Up to 17 others were reported injured. The demonstrators had gathered to demand an explanation for the beating of a number of children by soldiers the previous evening. We point out that at this stage none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. This incident shows that the security forces can act with impunity in West Papua.

The crackdown on civil society groups by the security forces is ongoing. On the 1st, 20th and 28th of May this year, the security forces cracked down on rallies called by civil society organizations with over 400 peaceful demonstrators arrested. The West Papuans were commemorating the 52nd anniversary of the administrative transfer of West Papua to Indonesia.  These arrests are examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression in West Papua.

We understand that many people were encouraged when the Indonesian President announced (during a visit to West Papua at the beginning of May), the granting of clemency to 5 West Papuan prisoners and the lifting of media bans for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. However, to receive clemency or pardon, prisoners have to admit guilt before it is granted. Political Prisoners such as Filep Karma one of the most well known political prisoner in West Papua has refused clemency as have the majority of political prisoners. They refuse to admit any guilt in return for a release.

The lifting of media bans for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua raises a number of questions.

1) Is this just an image making exercise or stunt? The Indonesian President has received international condemnation because of his policy on the death penalty for drug offences.

2) Will his decision be actually implemented? Jakarta’s or Jokiwi’s policies are not necessarily carried out by officials and security forces in West Papua.

3) If journalists are allowed in will official minders or BIN agents follow or control their movements?

Already statements from Indonesian officials question how free journalists will be to report on issues of concern in West Papua. The Indonesian Parliament’s Deputy Chairman Taufik Kurniawan has already suggested that President Jokowi should reconsider his policy to open access for foreign press in Papua. “I think it’d be better to reconsider because the issues in Papua which are currently are very sensitive could be easily politicized either its poverty or social aspects if there is no filter”. Indonesia’s Military Chief General Moeldoko said his institution was considering implementing a policy of having security personnel accompany foreign journalists in Papua to ensure their safety. It is hard to imagine West Papuans discussing the human rights situation with journalists while the Indonesian security forces are in attendance.

We also note the growing support throughout the Pacific region for the right of the people of West Papua to self-determination. An indication of this support is the fact that at the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit in the Solomon Islands, the West Papuan umbrella organization the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), was granted observer status at the MSG.

In light of the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua

AWPA urges the PIF Leaders

To discuss the human rights situation in West Papua at the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in PNG and to acknowledge these concerns in the official communiqué.

To request permission from the Indonesian Government to allow a PIF fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory.

According to Papuans Behind Bars there were at least 45 political prisoners in Papua at the end of June 2015.  We ask the PIF leaders to urge the Indonesian Government to grant an amnesty to all West Papuan political prisoners, releasing them immediately and unconditionally.

We note the large number of non-self governing territories and organizations that have various types of status at the PIF[2]. The glaring omission is the territory of West Papua.

We urge the PIF leaders to also grant observer status to genuine representatives of the Melanesian people of West Papua, those who are struggling for their right to self-determination. 

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Power Pricing system under attack ... We lose ...

John Thirgood, Managing Director Jessups Solar Squad, Co-Ordinater Save Our Solar Tas .org Media Release
28.07.15 1:44 pm

image

Tasnetworks / Aurora’s fairly new Boss Lance Balcombe launches the bad news via the media.

Did he consult with the Government first and they are staying to the side to allow the public furore aim at him first and await the consequences and soften / amend the situation as hero’s perhaps.

Get rid of T41/2 heating hot-water rate @15 cents kw and merge all onto T31 lights and power currently 25.02 cents a k.w.  Reflective pricing he says to marry in with national standards .

Your boss’s via our state Government, the revolting people you serve will not stand for this mate.

Believe me we will be revolting on this, no question.

If we for some reason must change, Then let us change for a fairer more “Reflective”  situation holistically.

A much fairer system meeting Mr Balcombe’s “Reflective “ pricing agenda,  might be to see small business and domestic customers whom make up the biggest part of your data base and volumes , when the super big accounts are excluded.  Than other contested customers that are currently serviced by Aurora / Tasnetworks &  NRM with known examples of billing account of only $25k annually pay as little as 8 cents or 12 cents   for off peak 7 pm ~7am!  and then 14 cents to 21 cents for peak 7am ~7pm.

Whilst say 5 surrounding small business customers and pay 25 cents 25/7

If off peak period is 7pm ~7am Clearly then it should be off peak for all. To be “Reflective”

Then He also had the nerve to state that peak demand is a problem if T31/42 floor, we the residents of Tasmania place undue demand on the network.

I thought we saw ended up paying 50% more for power over recent years to “Gold Plate “ the network at our expense and beyond expected peaks that experts said would never occur ! Albeit we have some pockets of peak demand to address like Kingston I believe.  That saw no gold perhaps.

However such areas and as a whole would greatly benefit with more efficient heating for both water and home and led lights, and timers to shift use towards either soak up solar feed in or shift to cheaper off peak time frames etc , surely a better way to decrease loads.

I also note that ERM are intruding on the Local state owned retailers patch and under selling the power is one thing but delivering it technically through the national grid Bass-link high, then over our high voltage network and then over local poles and wires, plus then make a profit on pricing as low as 4 cents off peak and just 8 cents for peak!!  To the suburban doors of a known local government client for one.

On this basis all the schools for another group can stop paying 25 cents and get the deal to put more precious money into tomorrow’s generation. However such outcomes will only undermine the state owned Tasnetworks Distribution and   Poles and Wires particularly returns.

This in turn must drive both small business and domestic users to soaring prices to cover the cost shortfall . Either that or higher fees and taxes and charges hidden elsewhere.

Naturally we would also need to grandfather T61/62 off peak customers on 12 cents rate for a decade to allow gradual upgrade to the super efficient heat pumps say.

The most popular heat pump in Tassie is cheaper to run than wood gas electric etc to service the typical 3 bedroom home and delivers up to 10 kw heat output.

Older models of this common 8 kw/10 kw output unit did use 2.86 kw maximum input,  but now the latest version uses only 1.91 maximum that typically. One should run these 24/7 and see thus a per winter quarter cost typically $230~250 .  Under my proposal the day running efficiency levels in peak 7am~7pm may only place some small extra running cost per quarter . perhaps $20 ~$35 extra ! Due to the highest efficiency to produce heat in Peak 7 am ~ 7 pm periods, due to the then higher ambient temperatures.

Over all small business and residential customers would then better manage their power usage away from peak day use where appliance costs per kw would be higher and move to use off peak 7am ~7Pm times frames accordingly.

Also my mooted proposal of true “Reflective” pricing would assist Solar power grid connect customers not grandfathers post grandfathered as no longer would we feed in excess on T31 for the rip off 5.5 cents plus gst and immediately buy our own power back for 15 cents on T41.

But in summary is the cost of replacing and or re-programming another burden like water meters have become and simply the cure is worse than the disease.

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PLEBISCITE WOULD DELAY MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
28.07.15 9:51 am

AUSTRALIANS WANT REFORM DEALT WITH NOW

Advocates say a plebiscite on marriage equality would unnecessarily delay a reform Australians want dealt with now.

It has been reported that the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is canvassing with his colleagues the idea of a marriage equality plebiscite at or after the next election.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“A plebiscite would delay marriage equality until at least 2017, and possibly much longer given the result would not be binding, when we know it can be achieved this year through parliament.”

“Australians are tired of debating marriage equality, and of other countries moving ahead of us, and want it enacted as soon as possible.”

“A plebiscite would be seen as the Prime Minister spending millions to deny parliament the right to vote because he knows marriage equality could pass if there is a Coalition free vote.”

The last time Australia had a plebiscite was in 1977 on the question of the national anthem. The plebiscite outcome then took seven years to implement.

“A plebiscite outcome would not be binding so even when Australia voted for marriage equality the issue would still return to parliament and face the same set of opponents it does now.”

“We are also concerned about the poor rules governing plebiscites including the fact the government can set the question without parliament’s approval, as well as how potentially divisive and polarising a plebiscite campaign could be.”

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MANSELL ACCUSES PREMIER BAIRD OF DOUBLE STANDARDS ON EXTREMISM IN SCHOOLS

Michael Mansell, Secretary Aboriginal Provisional Government
28.07.15 7:29 am

Aboriginal leader and Secretary of the APG, Michael Mansell, has accused NSW Premier Mike Baird of “picking on Islam while turning a blind eye to everyday white supremacy teachings in NSW schools”.

Mr Mansell said, “When the media and Premier Baird talk about ‘extremism’, they should have a closer look at how political propaganda is rammed down the throat of Aboriginal kids everyday they attend school.

Our children have to suffer hearing and singing the white national anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’, including its claim ‘for we are young and free’, an obvious reference to white history at the expense of Aboriginal history and reality. This is ideology glossing over dispossession, rape and murder, and continued domination of one people by another.

While asylum seekers are condemned for not getting permission to enter Australia, nor did Mr Baird and the ancestors of today’s white Australians. Immigrants are now forced to learn basic language of white Australia and answer questions about the country, none of which white people had to do when they entered Aboriginal lands.

The school curriculum is heavily weighted towards Anglo-Saxon teachings. Schools do not teach Aboriginal language and history, and where they do it is peripheral. Every year children are taught to respect the spirit of the ANZACS but there is barely a mention of the fallen Aborigines in defence of their country against the white invaders. This is the beginnings of nationalism, reflected in the Cronulla riots and yobbos wrapping themselves in the Australian flag every January 26th.

It is not just Aboriginal children who are exposed to this form of extremist ideology: the exposed of white children to a curriculum that focuses on the trials and tribulations of the white pioneers and learning of ‘the’ law, not about how white law is but one alongside the many Aboriginal laws in the country, is a recipe for programming unwitting children to accept a mild form of white supremacy.

And Mr Baird is worried about Islam!”

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Enter the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards

Mark Gilbert
28.07.15 6:20 am

Enter the 2015 United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards ...

Here:  http://www.unaavictoria.org.au/awards-programs/media-awards/ and our hashtag is #MediaPeaceAwards

Nominations close 5pm September 5 and there is an early bird fee for all entries submitted before July 31.

The Media Peace Awards is a prestigious National Awards Program that recognises those journalists, producers and editors, who seek to promote understanding and awareness about humanitarian and social justice issues in our society and stimulate public debate. Journalists and producers whose work has appeared in the Australian media between 2 September 2014 and 4 September 2015 are encouraged to nominate now.

Nominations opened Wednesday 1 July and close on Monday 4 September 2015. Enter before July 31 for the early bird rate!

The Award categories include:

Major Award Categories -
•      Best Print
- News
- Feature
•      Best Photojournalism
•      Best Radio
- News (less than 10 minutes)
- Documentary (more than 10 minutes)
•      Best Television
- News/Current Affairs (less than 20 minutes)
- Feature/Documentary (more than 20 minutes)
•      Best Online

Special Award Categories -
•      Promotion of Indigenous Recognition
•      Promotion of Multicultural Issues (sponsored by the Australian Multicultural Foundation)
•      Promotion of Positive Images of the Older Person
•      Promotion of Women’s Rights and Issues (sponsored by the Office of Women’s Affairs)
•      Promotion of Children’s Rights and Issues
•      *NEW* Promotion of Disability Rights and Issues
•      *NEW* Promotion of Climate Change Issues

Winners of the Media Peace Awards 2015 will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at the ANZ Pavilion in Melbourne, on Friday 23 October.

You can find more information about the Award categories and entry criteria using the following link:

http://www.unaavictoria.org.au/awards-programs/media-awards/

United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division)
GPO Box 45, Melbourne VIC 3001
Tel: +613 9670 7878 || Fax: +613 9670 9993
http://www.unaavictoria.org.au

Download Flyer ...

2.07_.15_MPA_Official_Flyer_.pdf

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Canada Down Under: Innovation & Creativity

Canada Down Under
28.07.15 5:08 am

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Read more here

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Mental Health Consumers empowered to find out more about Northern Mental Health Services

Miranda Ashby, Executive Officer, Flourish
27.07.15 6:36 pm

As a follow up from the first Northern consumer forum in April this year, mental health consumers will have another opportunity to question and find out more about their Government Mental Health Services.

Another quarterly forum will be held in Launceston on Thursday, with July’s forum focusing on Improving Emergency Department communications with mental health consumers.  Andrew Adam, Acting Area Manager/Nursing Director Mental Health Services, Tasmanian Health Organisation – North will also update consumers on what is happening in Mental Health Services across Northern Tasmania.

Miranda Ashby, Executive Officer of Flourish, Mental Health Action In Our Hands Inc, is excited about the forum and explained that ‘Flourish and the Tasmanian Health Organisation - North are hosting regular sessions in collaboration to ensure that consumers across Northern Tasmania have the opportunity to meet and discuss major issues with Mental Health Services staff.  It is important that consumers are able to provide feedback and ask questions on the service they have received in a friendly environment’.  Miranda further explained that ‘Flourish was about empowering mental health consumers, and forums like this provide opportunities for increased empowerment for a traditionally vulnerable, disempowered and silent group in our community.  She urged all mental health consumers in the North to come along or to send in a question via 0448 185 629 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)’.

This free forum will be held on Thursday 30th July 2015 from 1.00 – 3.00pm in Meeting Room 2, Northern Integrated Care Service (NICS) Frankland Street, LAUNCESTON.  Afternoon tea will be provided.

Flourish is funded by the Department Of Health and Human Services.  http://flourishtas.org.au/

Download:

mhcon_v1July_2015.pdf

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Power Misplaced

John Thirgood Managing Director Jessups Solar Squad Co-Ordinater Save Our Solar Tas .org
27.07.15 5:10 pm

Tasnetworks / Aurora’s fairly new Boss Lance Balcombe launches the bad news via the media: ABC: Scrapping discounted energy tariff will not lead to higher household power bills, TasNetworks says

Did he consult with the Government first and they are staying to the side to allow the public furore aim at him first and await the consequences and soften / amend the situation as hero’s perhaps!

Get rid of T41/2 heating hot-water rate @15 cents kw and merge all onto T31 lights and power currently 25.02 cents a k.w.  Reflective pricing he says to marry in with national standards .

Your boss’s via our state Government, the revolting people you serve will not stand for this Mr Balcombe!

Believe me we will be revolting on this, no question!

If we for some reason must change, Then let us change for a fairer more “Reflective”  situation holistically.

A much fairer system meeting Mr Balcombe’s “Reflective “ pricing agenda,  might be to see small business and domestic customers whom make up the biggest part of your data base and volumes , when the super big accounts are excluded. 

Then other contested customers that are currently serviced by Aurora / Tasnetworks &  NRM with known examples of billing account of only $25k annually pay as little as 8 cents or 12 cents   for 7 pm ~7am off peak !  and 14 cents to 21 cents for peak 7am ~7pm.  Whilst say some five surrounding small business customers   pay the full 25 cents 25/7

If off peak period is 7pm ~7am then clearly then it should be off peak for all , To be “Reflective”

Mr Balcombe said that clearly the T41 /2 rate is subsidising the t31, 25 cent rate !  But is it when country wide 25 cents is similar or less than !

Then Mr Balcombe also had the nerve to state that peak demand is a problem if T31/42 floor, we the residents of Tasmania place undue demand on the network !

I thought we saw ended up paying 50% more for power over recent years to “Gold Plate “ the network at our expense and beyond expected peaks that experts said would never occur ! Albeit we have some pockets of peak demand to address like Kingston I believe.  That saw no extra gold perhaps !

I also note that ERM are intruding on the Local retailers patch and under selling the power is one thing but delivering it technically through the national grid Bass-link high, then over our high voltage network and then over local poles and wires, plus then make a profit I suspect, and   for as little as 4 cents off peak and just 8 cents for peak!! 

What just 1 or 2 cents respectively for each sector of the supply chain !  As delivered to   the local premises of a known local government facility.

On this basis all the schools for one can stop paying 25 cents and get the deal to put more precious money into tomorrow’s generation. However such outcomes will only undermine the state owned Tasnetworks Distribution ,  Poles and Wires particularly.

This in turn must drive both small business and domestic users to soaring prices to cover the cost . Either that or higher fees and charges hidden elsewhere !

Naturally we would also need to grandfather T61/2 off peak customers on 12 cents rate for say a decade to allow gradual upgrade to heat pumps.

The most popular heat pump make in Tassie recently seen as holding over 50% market share by itself, is cheaper to run than wood gas electric etc to service the typical 3 bedroom home and delivers up to 10 kw heat output yet did use 2.86 kw maximum input power just 4 years ago,  but now only 1.91 maximum that typically one runs 24/7 and per winter quarter cost typically $230~250 .  Under my proposal the day running efficiency levels in peak 7am~7pm may only place some small extra running cost per quarter .

Over all small business and residential customers would then better manage their power usage away from peak day use where appliance costs per kw would be higher and move to use off peak 7am ~7Pm times frames accordingly.

A program of replacing polluting wood heaters and sundry power hungry electric, gas and oil heaters, could see a program of say 2% interest loans over 5 years to allow energy cost savings to facilitate lowering peak load, plus making essential home heating in Tasmania affordable.

Also my mooted proposal of true “Reflective” pricing would assist Solar power grid connect customers not grandfathers post grandfathered as no longer would we feed in excess on T31 for the rip off 5.5 cents plus gst and immediately buy our own power back for 15 cents on T41 !!

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Tasmania A Hub For Action On Suicide Prevention

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
27.07.15 5:09 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is making a significant $3 million investment in suicide prevention programs.

I spoke today at the opening of a national conference in Hobart to discuss suicide prevention.

The National Suicide Prevention Conference brings organisations and individuals with an interest in suicide prevention together to network, collaborate and learn.

The gathering recognises that by working together on the intersection of research, policy, practice and lived experience we can reduce the prevalence and impact of suicide.
The Liberal Government is serious about taking action on suicide prevention.

Since being elected, the Government has committed an additional $3 million into targeted and proactive suicide prevention initiatives.

We are currently developing a new Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy and a Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, which will be based on contemporary research, policy, practice and lived experience.

Two reports prepared by the Youth Network of Tasmania and released today will form part of the research looked at in the development of the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy and a Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy.

They will help form a clear picture of the issues that are important to young people when looking after their mental health and wellbeing.

The Tasmanian Government supported the SPA National Conference as principal sponsor, enabling Tasmania to attract 400 experts to our state to discuss this important and complex issue.

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Power prices lower under the Hodgman Liberal Government

Matthew Groom, Minister for Energy
27.07.15 5:08 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to delivering power prices for Tasmanians which are fair, sustainable and as low as possible.

Since being elected, we have seen significant downward pressure on power bills through the abolition of the Carbon Tax, reducing bills by an average of $164 for residential customers.

We have ended spiralling electricity prices which were a hallmark of Labor and the Greens, rising by 65 per cent in seven years.

We are doing more to support our vulnerable users, in partnership with Aurora energy we are investing a further $2 million in the Budget over the next two years to implement energy affordability programs targeting vulnerable households.

It is expected that through this program Aurora will be able to considerably expand the scope and reach of its Your Energy Support (YES) program from around 1500 customers to 2500.

We are committed to doing more though to ensure we are delivering the lowest, sustainable prices we can.

There is a strong push nationally toward the greater use of cost reflective tariffs to improve the efficiency of the electricity supply chain, to put further downward pressure on prices.

TasNetworks is going through a genuine public consultation process with consumers and I want to make it very clear that no decisions have been made. We want to ensure this is done in a way which is fair and reasonable and consistent with our objective of delivering predictable prices.

It’s the height of hypocrisy to see Labor crying crocodile tears about power prices when Bryan Green has confirmed he supports a new carbon tax which will push power prices back up.

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Government delivering real skills for real jobs

Will Hodgman, Premier Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
27.07.15 4:58 pm

The Tasmanian Government’s number one priority is jobs.

Premier Will Hodgman today visited Shiploads Sandy Bay, which is a prime example of the strong business confidence being seen in Tasmania.

“In just five years, Shiploads has grown to 300 employees across 11 stores,” Premier Will Hodgman said.

“Shiploads is a great example of a Tasmanian business that is confident about the future in Tasmania and has plans for further expansion and job creation.

“This Government is strongly focussed on creating jobs and encouraging investment and we are supporting economic growth through our $315 million jobs creation package in the State Budget.

“We are also rolling out programs that will directly help the retail sector, like our Buy Local campaign and our Local Benefits Test that is helping more Tasmanian businesses win Government contracts.

“While there is still a lot of work to do, we are seeing positive signs. The latest ABS data shows that in May, total retail spending hit $476.7 million, a 0.2 per cent increase on April and a 3.7 per cent increase since the Liberals were elected in March 2014.

“Along with record retail spending, we are also seeing a booming construction sector and business confidence among the highest in the nation.”

Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom joined the Premier at Shiploads, which is benefitting from a Government-funded training program to upskill staff.

“This Government is about delivering real skills for real jobs,” Minister Matthew Groom said.

“Through Skills Tasmania, we are providing $262,382 to help 127 Shiploads employees gain their nationally-recognised Certificate III in Retail Operations.

“The training program, Skill-Ship, is being delivered by Tasmanian registered training organisation Scala Institute, as part of a wider workforce development program for Shiploads.

“The Government has a long-term Plan to grow the economy and create jobs and a key aspect of our plan is engaging with and investing in our Tasmanian workforce.

“We are committed to helping businesses grow by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens and at the same time ensuring Tasmanians have the best possible training and employment opportunities.

“We are committed to supporting industries to grow and making sure they have the skilled workforce to do it.”

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Groom’s cold shock for power users

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
27.07.15 1:01 pm

Energy Minister Matthew Groom must immediately rule out any rise in power bills if TasNetworks scraps Tariff 41.

Labor Leader Bryan Green said the move follows the Liberals ripping $30 million from the energy business.

“The Liberals took $30 million from TasNetworks to prop up Forestry Tasmania, now they have a secret plan to put up power prices,” Mr Green said.

“This is Matthew Groom’s cold shower for Tasmanian households.

“Mr Groom must explain his clear broken promise to reduce power bills.

“Many households rely on Tariff 41 to keep themselves warm over the cold winter months.

“The removal of Tariff 41 would have a significant impact on the price of power for a lot of Tasmanian families.

“This plan would leave most households being charged under Tariff 31 which could mean dramatically higher power bills for Tasmanians.

“The Liberals have to explain what the cost will be for households if the Tariff is removed.”

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Government meets commitment to seafood industry

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
27.07.15 12:59 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck today announced funding of $550,000 to support the National Seafood Industry Alliance (NSIA) to investigate options to establish a new national seafood industry peak body.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable and competitive seafood industry. Prior to the federal election we promised to support national commercial fishing peak bodies and we are delivering on that commitment,” Senator Colbeck said.

“This is a substantial investment for the commercial fishing sector over four years and will help them to promote sustainable fishing practices and provide strong representation by peak bodies.”

“The peak body will be representative of the broad seafood industry encompassing wild-catch, aquaculture and post-harvest sectors. The NSIA will consult broadly in undertaking this work and I encourage interested members of the seafood sector to have their say to ensure we have a peak body that is representative.”

Senator Colbeck highlighted the importance of strong industry representation and said these funds would help strengthen industry engagement with government.

“Peak bodies provide the most effective and central point for government consultation and engagement with industry and this funding will help industry to have a strong, united voice,” he said.

“Our seafood industry is a significant contributor to the economy of regional communities and more broadly contributes to the national economy. Production from wild-catch fisheries and aquaculture is forecast to have a value of $2.6 billion in 2014–15, with export earnings accounting for around half of the total production value”.

“An engaged and well-represented industry is central to a vibrant and competitive seafood sector, and one that is well placed to take advantage of markets and opportunities.”

“The government promised to support a sustainable and competitive fisheries sector and we are delivering on that promise.”

NSIA Chair, Grahame Turk said the commercial seafood industry has suffered from the lack of an adequately-resourced representative peak body, since the demise of the Australian Seafood Industry Council over a decade ago.

“This funding will allow the development of a business model for an industry-funded organisation with the resources and capacity to undertake the essential industry representative peak body function,” Mr Turk said.

“I commend the Australian Government for its vision in supporting this important industry.”

0 comments

SETFIA July 2015

South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association
27.07.15 9:02 am

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Read more here

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DOOR-TO-DOOR CANVASSING FINDS 71% SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY ...

Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality spokesperson, Andrew Badcock
27.07.15 12:10 am

... IN HOBART SUBURB OF TAROONA

A large, colourful banner proclaiming ‘Taroona supports Marriage Equality’ was unveiled today on Hinsby Beach by local residents following the canvassing of every household in the Hobart suburb of Taroona by members of Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality.

The door-knock of every house, apartment and flat in Taroona sought to gauge community support for marriage equality and found 71% support.

The marriage equality campaigner who co-ordinated the door-to-door petition, Benedict Bartl, said,

“Time and time again we were told by Taroona residents that love is love and that regardless of sexual orientation all couples should be allowed to marry. Our federal politicians should heed the views of their local communities and pass marriage equality legislation.” 

Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality spokesperson, Andrew Badcock, noted that community sentiment for marriage equality was clearly in support and called on politicians to finally pass marriage equality legislation:

“Door-to-door petitioning is a great way for us to talk to our fellow Tasmanians about why marriage equality matters, as well as demonstrating that the community-led campaign for marriage equality will be won. We call on our members of federal parliament to do the right thing and pass marriage equality legislation.”

The canvassing of Taroona follows a similar door-to-door poll in the Hobart suburb of Battery Point late last year which found 72% support. For a news report, click here:

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/battery-point-backs-same-sex-marriage-push/story-fnj4f7k1-1227155205448

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ADVOCATES SAY MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACHIEVABLE WITH CROSS-PARTY FREE VOTE

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
26.07.15 6:41 pm

LABOR INCREASES PRESSURE ON ABBOTT TO ALLOW FREE VOTE

Marriage equality advocates say marriage equality can be achieved through a cross-party conscience vote during this term of government following today’s decision by the Labor National Conference not to bind its members to vote for the reform.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“By deciding not to bind Labor MPs to vote for marriage equality, the Labor Party has increased pressure on Tony Abbott to ensure Coalition MPs are not bound to vote against it.”

“We believe marriage equality is achievable in this term of government through a cross-party conscience vote so our campaign will continue to be directed towards the Coalition allowing a free vote and getting the numbers on the floor of parliament.”

“We urge supporters of marriage equality in the Coalition to carry the issue forward in their party room and we urge the Prime Minister to stick to his pre-election commitment of allowing the party room to debate a free vote.”

The Labor Party national conference has decided to retain its current policy of a conscience vote for this term of government and the next one, with a binding vote not possible until at least 2019.

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TasTAFE’s Masterclasses a step toward new job opportunities

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
26.07.15 4:03 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs.

That’s why we are committed to delivering more training opportunities to help Tasmanians gain employment in growing industries such as hospitality.

Today, I was pleased to launch TasTAFE’s new Masterclass series of one-off classes designed to introduce students to the training provider and give a taste of what is on offer.

The Masterclasses will be taught by industry professionals in small groups using TasTAFE’s commercial-class facilities around the State, and will cover a range of interest areas, from creating the perfect pasta to making sensational sausages.

The classes will be about learning new skills, and will open the door to further training and possibly new careers in hospitality.

And, with the Government working hard to achieve our vision of increasing visitor numbers to Tasmania to 1.5 million a year by 2020, hospitality is very much a growth industry for the State.

Highlighting the variety of Masterclasses on offer was a demonstration at today’s launch in Devonport of chocolate-making techniques by renowned chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen, of Anvers Chocolate, who will deliver the “Just Chocolate” Masterclass.

The two to four-hour single session classes, which will begin from 29 July, will be run by local chefs and cooks, showcasing local skills and, in most cases, local produce.

They will be an affordable option for Tasmanians wanting to learn new skills, and will be offered during the evenings and on weekends so more people are able to attend.

Next year, there are plans to extend the Masterclass program to courses in such areas as the creative industries, horticulture and building and construction.

This is an exciting initiative by TasTAFE, and is part of its push to become more accessible to the wider Tasmanian community and to be the training provider of choice for a range of future students.

More information on Masterclasses, including how to book, is available online at http://www.masterclass.tastafe.tas.edu.au

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More like Tarkine Tall Tales

Adam Brooks, Liberal Member for Braddon
26.07.15 9:53 am

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a clear message for Green groups taking part in tonight’s “Tarkine Tales” tactics meeting - enough is enough.

We do not support any attempts to lock up the Tarkine. The facts are clear – despite claims it’s all pristine wilderness, it contains our biggest mine, some of our best prospects, and has been a multiple use area since European settlement.

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

It’s clear fringe environmentalists won’t be happy until they’ve locked up the entire state forever. The Government can’t and won’t let this happen. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with industry in the North West and support our mining sector.

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

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

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African Ocean and Coasts - our heritage, our life, our destiny.

Swakopmund Matters (For Swakopmund Matters the environment of the Namibian coastline and its ocean matters)
26.07.15 8:32 am

Today the African Day of Seas and Oceans and the launching of the 2015-2025 Decade of African Seas and Oceans are being celebrated.

Africa has a combined coastline of over 47,000 km, and with that a vast ocean resource and potential new economic frontier. However, it is under threat and in decline, writes Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili. She is a member of the Global Ocean Commission, an independent high-level initiative aiming to restore the high seas, the international parts of the global ocean, to ecological health and sustainable productivity. She is a former Nigerian Education Minister, a former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and a co-founder of Transparency International.

In her statement she emphasised these important points:

Africa has an opportunity to lead on ocean issues at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the AU on Maritime Security and Development, being held in Togo in November.

Strong, concrete commitments to action for the next decade to implement the Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIM) must be reached. This is particularly vital as negotiations will begin at the UN in 2016 to develop a new treaty for conserving the ocean beyond national jurisdictions, the outcome of which will have major implications for African fisheries and other marine assets in the future.

Africa will need to stand up as one to counter those who would rather leave the high seas open to the anarchic race to the bottom that is currently driving ocean decline and inequity.

Read her full statement with this web link:

http://www.theafricareport.com/North-Africa/african-ocean-and-coasts-our-heritage-our-life-our-destiny.html

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Launceston Cycling Festival Launched

Sarah Courtney, Liberal Member for Bass
26.07.15 8:31 am

I was extremely pleased night to launch one of Tasmania’s top sporting events last night - the 2015 Launceston Cycling Festival.

Run in December, the festival will once again showcase Tasmania’s outstanding natural beauty as participants race their way through road, track and charity cycling events.

Among the festival’s many races are two headline events, the Stan Siejka Classic and Sally’s Ride.

The Stan Siejka Classic is one of Australia’s premier cycling events, incorporating Australia’s most iconic Criterium.

The Hodgman Liberal Government, through Events Tasmania, last year provided a three-year funding grant of $75,000 to assist with a substantial international relaunch of the event in 2014, with the aim of attracting international name riders to the Stan Siejka Classic.

As a result, the 2014 event secured the participation of TeamSky duo, 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome and Tasmania’s own Richie Porte. A documentary, The Climb Starts Here, was made chronicling the participation of Froome and Porte in the 2014 Stan Siejka Classic and aired around the country earlier this month as a lead-up to the national broadcast of the 2015 Tour de France.

The other headline event, Sally’s Ride, started in 2002 when Sally Fletcher rode solo around Tasmania to raise funds for mental health. In 2009, the project was expanded to a community bike ride through the Tamar Valley.

Sally’s Ride now consists of five rides of varying lengths for individual cyclists that commence in Launceston and travel through the Tamar Valley, as well as a corporate team challenge. The annual event is targeted towards professional and recreational bike riders, and aims to draw awareness of the importance of mental health issues within the Tasmanian community.

Sally’s Ride raises important funds for youth suicide prevention programs, which in previous years, has included Resilient Youth Australia and CORES Australia.

The uniqueness of this Festival is that it engages so many people; from social cyclists to world class athletes in addition to large crowds of spectators.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the hundreds of volunteers who dedicate many, many hours to ensure the success of the Festival.  It is a weekend that is always marked in my diary and I look forward to again participating in Sally’s Ride and enjoying the excitement of watching the SS.

The Launceston Cycling Festival is on during the weekend of December 5th and 6th.

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Savour Tasmania-China showcasing our premium produce

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
26.07.15 8:29 am

Tasmania’s world-class produce will be the cherry on top of the upcoming China Trade Mission with Savour Tasmania to be held in China for the first time.

Savour Tasmania will be the centre piece of this trade mission to our largest trading partner, with a gala dinner for 300 in-market influencers in the food and beverage sector, tourism and investment to be held on Wednesday September 9 at the Peninsula Shanghai Hotel.

Tasmanian delegates will also attend and chefs will serve Tasmanian salmon, wild abalone and beef along with our world-renowned pinot, sparkling and whisky.

I’m delighted to announce that Wrest Point’s Executive Chef, Andre Kropp, will partner with the Head Chef of the Peninsula Shanghai Hotel to craft a menu that highlights premium Tasmanian produce in a Chinese context.

Mr Kropp said he was honoured to be taking part in the trade mission and representing Tasmania on the international stage.

“I’ve been fortunate to be involved with Savour Tasmania since it first started in 2008 and this is the cherry on top,” he said.

“Normally we bring chefs to Tasmania to showcase our produce, but now we’re taking the produce to the chefs and sharing it with a whole new export market, and I’m confident this opportunity will open up a lot of doors for local business.

“We’re lucky to work with the freshest and best local produce everyday here at Wrest Point, and I’m excited to be showcasing some of the state’s finest salmon, trout, beef, oysters and apples to the Chinese market.

“We’re working on a menu for the Savour Tasmania gala dinner that uses westernised cooking methods with Chinese influenced flavours” he said.

The trade mission will also focus on international education and training, hospitality, tourism, energy and the Antarctic and is yet another opportunity to strengthen our friendship and economic ties with one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. Economic growth in Asia has created an opportunity to combine the power of China with the charm of Tasmania.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has an important facilitation role to play in growing investment in the state. Trade missions are a key tool in ensuring that we continue to provide local companies with the opportunities and support they need to open up new markets.

Accompanying me on this trade mission will be more than 40 delegates from over 25 organisations representing industries including agriculture, education, energy, Local Government and the Antarctic sector.

An itinerary will be released closer to the start of the Trade Mission, which will run from September 4 to September 11.

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Liberal = fairer taxes to support small business, Labor = higher taxes to hurt small business

Adam Brooks, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade
24.07.15 6:49 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s agreement to close the loophole for online purchases that attract GST is a real win for local businesses.

Currently, overseas retailers operating online have an unfair advantage over Tasmanian retailers because sales from local stores attract GST, but online purchases of less than $1000 do not.

Reducing the threshold for online purchasers to attract GST is a sensible evening of the playing field.

It is an unfair disadvantage to local retailers when the same product costs 10 per cent less online from an international company just because they haven’t had to pay GST.

This is a welcome development that ties in with our commitment to back small business and to make it easier for Tasmanian businesses to compete on a level playing field.

In contrast, Labor’s Scott Bacon has today confirmed Labor’s position to tax working Tasmanians more through an increase to the Medicare Levy.

This proposal, which will rip around $1,000 per year out of the pocket of working Tasmanians, will have serious negative flow-on effects to local businesses.

Labor’s solution to fixing their budget mess is always to tax people more, without thinking of the consequences on families or small business.

Rather than support the cooperative and constructive approach taken by the Premier and his colleagues this week, Labor simply wants to tax more.

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Hodgman comes home empty-handed despite big promises

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
24.07.15 3:54 pm

The Premier’s mission to retrieve the $2.1 billion cut from health and education in Tasmania has failed dismally.

Will Hodgman has returned home from the COAG retreat in Sydney empty-handed.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said it’s an embarrassing outcome.

“The Treasurer and Premier were full of bluster before the meeting, but Will Hodgman has come home empty-handed,” Mr Bacon said.

On Monday, Treasurer Peter Gutwein’s message was clear.

“We want our money back! We want our money back, $2.1 billion was taken from the state in last year’s Federal Budget.” (WIN News 20/7/2015)

“Now the Premier has seemingly given up,” Mr Bacon said.

“The bottom line is health and education are looking at a $2.1 billion funding gap over the next ten years.

“Tasmania has been let down badly by the Federal Government and the Premier has failed to change Tony Abbott’s mind.

“Labor supports Tasmania being involved in discussions over health reform, but the Premier’s priority was to claw back the $2.1 billion.

“On that measure, his trip to COAG was a failure.”

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PREMIER HODGMAN FAILED TASMANIA AT COAG

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Member Bass
24.07.15 3:49 pm

Premier Will Hodgman has effectively achieved nothing in the 2 days he’s just spent at COAG.

He’s come back without the $2.1 billion he went there to retrieve, and it also looks increasingly as though he has failed to ensure there is no increase to the GST.

Many people here are already at a significant financial disadvantage and struggling to meet everyday commitments.  The Premier has almost certainly failed them, and should feel embarrassed by his performance.

No details have been released on the possible broadening of the Medicare system, and the Premier has missed an opportunity to lobby his federal counterparts for a much better solution to healthcare funding.

Pursuing multi-national pharmaceutical corporations to reign in tax evasion would go a long way toward funding the public health system, and would relieve the burden placed on the already working poor who make up a significant proportion of the population.

To increase the burden on Tasmanian household budgets with a tax hike is a slap in the face, and Tasmanians should feel absolutely let down by the failure of their Premier to look after their best interests.

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EDO BULLETIN 24July 2015

Environmental Defenders' Office
24.07.15 3:44 pm

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Read more here

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POKIES NEED INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gaming spokesperson
24.07.15 3:41 pm

The odds are already stacked against patrons who play the pokies, and with those machines malfunctioning the losses are set to be even greater.

The latest machine malfunction debacle comes on the back of almost $180 million worth of losses by Tasmanians on the pokies over the last year.

As a result of the deal struck with Federal Hotels, State coffers are being boosted to the detriment of the Tasmanian public. 

Without independent oversight of the machines, that public can’t even be sure their own government isn’t stacking the deck against them.

In an industry which regulates itself, and with only 6 government auditors in the State, the Liberal government must urgently assess the need for an overhaul, and the establishment of an independent regulatory body to ensure at least some level of fairness for patrons.

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Jeremy Rockliff’s broken promise to racing will cost jobs

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Racing Minister
24.07.15 3:40 pm

Tasmania’s racing industry has been strong in its condemnation of Minister Jeremy Rockliff’s decision to break a core promise and cut stakes money.

Shadow Racing Minister Scott Bacon said trainers and owners are speaking out about the inevitable consequences.

“Leading trainers, owners and officials have been clear that the cut to stakes money will mean job losses in the industry,” Mr Bacon said.

“The Government has put the industry in a very difficult position, despite the Liberals’ promise to boost stakes money across all three codes.

“The Liberals promised the industry it would be better off, not worse off.

“Jeremy Rockliff has been sitting on a secret report since October last year, refusing to release it publically.

“The industry needs to be put on a sustainable footing but it also needs to be vibrant and world-class.

“The Minister needs to think very carefully about the ramifications his decision will have for those who rely on racing to earn a living.”

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Recognising the value of recreational fishing in Australia

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
24.07.15 3:34 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, will this weekend attend the National Recreational Fishing Conference and Tournament on the Gold Coast where he will speak about the Government’s commitment to the sector.

“The Government is working to further strengthen lines of communication with our recreational fishers – who are estimated to contribute a massive $2.56 billion to the nation’s economy,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Recreational fishing is an important part of the Australian culture and way of life. About 20 per cent of Australians are involved in recreational fishing and make a valuable contribution to our economy each year.

“The Government recognises these values and we are committed to ensuring a sustainable recreational fishing sector. That’s why we’ve committed $550,000 to encourage national leadership for the recreational fishing sector.

“This funding will enable the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) to deliver a range of initiatives to promote sustainable fishing practices and build a social licence with the Australian community.

“ARFF also intend to use the grant to revise and promote a national Code of Practice for recreational fishing which will set out aspirational goals for behaviour of the sector.”

Senator Colbeck said the Government is also in the process of finalising the terms of reference and membership for the National Recreational Fishing Council.

“This Council will help ensure recreational fishers have a strong voice in informing government policies and programmes,” he said.

“We’re also developing a rolling five-yearly recreational fishing survey that will give us a better and more accurate picture of the views, challenges and opportunities faced by the sector nationally.

“I want to thank the hard work and commitment of recreational fishing stakeholders, the state and territory governments, ARFF and RecFishing Research to develop a framework for national and regular surveys.”

Senator Colbeck said events like the National Recreational Fishing Conference and Tournament were also an important forum for recreational fishers.

“For stakeholders to come together to discuss the issues that affect them and to develop consensus positions on ideas they can bring to government makes gatherings like this important,” Senator Colbeck said.

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