In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media


01.09.15 9:44 am

Labor welcomes the start of Dementia Awareness Month and calls on the Abbott Government to show some leadership in creating a dementia friendly nation.

The month-long awareness campaign by Alzheimer’s Australia promotes dementia friendly communities, which enable people living with dementia to remain active, mobile and engaged within their communities.

Shadow Minister for Ageing, Shayne Neumann said the Abbott Government’s cuts have jeopardised efforts to raise awareness and reduce the risks of dementia.

“Dementia is an ongoing challenge that is not going away,” Mr Neumann said.

“Dementia costs the nation about $6 billion a year in health and aged care as well as lost productivity.

“The Abbott Government’s short-sighted cuts to dementia care and innovative programs will lead an unfriendly dementia nation.”

Approximately 342,000 Australians are living with dementia, with over 25,000 aged under 65 years. It is the second leading cause of death in Australia and will soon be the leading cause of disability.

Senator Helen Polley says the Abbott Government has no real plan to deal with dementia.

“The Abbott Government has handed down some of the cruellest and misguided decisions in dementia care,” Senator Polley said.

“As a result Australia is at risk of losing its reputation as a world leader in dementia awareness and risk reduction.

“Those living with dementia in Australia, their families, friends and carers need a government that can show leadership and courage in the face of this growing crisis.”

Tony Abbott’s cruel cuts to dementia include:

• Axing the $16 a day Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement
• Slashing $20 million from innovative care projects
• Abandoning the Younger Onset Dementia Key Workers program from June 2016
• Discarding the world’s first dementia risk reduction program, Your Brain Matters


Vale Brian Speers

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Racing
31.08.15 7:03 pm

Tasmania has farewelled a champion of the local racing industry, and a great contributor to business and community life in Hobart.

Brian Speers, the chair of Tasracing, passed away on Wednesday 26th August 2015. His life was celebrated at a service in Hobart today.

Brian was involved in the racing industry for more than 40 years as a participant and an administrator. He was a founding member of the Tasracing board, and took up the Chair in November 2009.

In his six years as Chair, he oversaw a period of rapid change in the racing industry, navigating the local industry through many changes including:

• Introduction of night thoroughbred racing;
• International expansion of Tasmanian racing to France, Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand;
• Redevelopment of the Spreyton racecourse and the introduction of Australia’s first Tapeta synthetic race track; and
• Managing the company through a period of dramatic change in national wagering markets, during which time Tasmanian wagering increased by over $130 million or 32 per cent in the last four years.

Brian was well known and well liked. I am grateful for the sound advice and strong support he provided to me as Minister over the last 18 months, and the mutual trust we built as we moved towards a sustainable business model for Tasracing.

Our thoughts are with Brian’s wife Di and the rest of his loving family.


Support for older Tasmanians

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
31.08.15 1:29 pm

I am pleased today to launch the Report - Finding out: supporting older people to access the right information at the right time.

The Report, which provides insights into the experiences of older Tasmanians accessing information, is the culmination of the ‘Finding out’ project within the Tasmanian Government’s Inclusive Ageing Strategy.

Older people are an active and growing part of the Tasmanian community.

Already hosting the ‘oldest population’ of all Australian jurisdictions, Tasmania, by 2056, will have more than 27 per cent of its population aged over 65 years and more than 10 per cent aged over 80.

The Finding Out Report explores some of the issues faced by older Tasmanian when accessing information, including the kinds of information older people want and need, where the information is sought, the barriers experienced in the process and some practical solutions to improve access to information.

The Report notes that in times where much of the available information is provided online, many older people sought information from media, doctors, pharmacies and family more often than they used the internet.

The Report identified barriers faced by older people in finding information and found that these barriers could be reduced through a number of practical changes to existing systems that would help improve access for older Tasmanians, including face-to-face communication options, hard-copy alternatives to online forms and clearer online instructions.

In addition to the Report, a poster has been produced which should prove useful as a reminder to organisations about improving communications with older Tasmanians.

The Report, poster and fact sheets are available on the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s website at and on COTA Tasmania’s website at

The Hodgman Liberal Government is a strong supporter of older Tasmanian and providing provided funding of $125,000 per annum to COTA for two years until June 2016 to support the implementation of the Inclusive Ageing Strategy.


Lake Dulverton to brim with opportunities

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
31.08.15 10:24 am

The Hodgman Liberal Government is proud of Tasmania’s trout fishery and today we are delivering on our commitment to increase fresh water angling in Tasmania’s south.

We are investing $200,000 over three years in targeted projects from Oatlands to the Huon to get even more freshwater anglers hooked in the south.

Every year around 28,000 licenced anglers cast a line in our trout fishery, including more than 6,000 anglers from interstate and overseas.

This is not only a great recreational pursuit for families and dedicated anglers, it is also a major economic and tourism boon for our state. Tasmania’s recreational freshwater fishery is estimated to generate $94 million in economic activity, from direct expenditure through to boat sales, fishing tackle and the like.

We want to increase the lure of the fishery, particularly in Tasmania’s south where there is a huge opportunity for increased participation. While over half of the Tasmanian population lives in the south, only one third of freshwater licences are sold to those in the region.

We believe we can increase this with targeted investment in projects including:

• Developing a trophy trout fishery in Lake Dulverton – the Inland Fisheries Service in partnership with the Southern Midlands Council will increase water levels in the 51 hectare lake, initially with water purchased from the Midlands Water Scheme and the addition of hundreds of brown trout. This will not only provide additional fishing opportunities, but also deliver significant recreation, tourism and economic development outcomes in Oatlands and the surrounding region.
• Derwent Anglers Access – the highly successful Derwent Anglers Access Project will be expanded with more access sites developed for the launching of canoes and float boats plus improved riverbank access along the Derwent River.
• Southern Lake Fishery Feasibility – A feasibility study will look into the potential for a new dedicated lake fishery in the Huon/Geeveston area.

Naturally, these projects complement our already wonderful river and lake fisheries in the south of the State, which are managed and constantly improved by the Inland Fisheries Service such as the recent angler access projects for the Huon and Tyenna Rivers and stocking of Craigbourne Dam, to name just a few.

I want to thank the Inland Fisheries Service and the Southern Midlands Council for their work particularly in establishing the partnership to ensure water levels within Lake Dulverton are maintained, which will not only increase angler participation, but drive economic activity in the local region.


Young Tasmanians urged to apply for Science and Innovation Awards

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
31.08.15 10:23 am

Grants are now available for young people with a passion for agriculture, fisheries and forestry to kick-start innovative research projects and creative thinking.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, is encouraging young Tasmanians to apply for the 2016 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“I know there are a lot of energetic young researchers, scientists and innovators in Tasmania and I urge them to think big and apply for a grant,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Agriculture, fisheries and forestry are significant industries in Tasmania, with agriculture alone contributing $1.2 billion to the economy in 2012–13.

“Grants are available for original projects aimed at contributing to the ongoing success and sustainability of our agricultural industries. Tasmania’s dairy production and cherry farming are just some areas that present exciting opportunities for such projects.

“Agriculture in Tasmania is brimming with opportunities for young people and I strongly encourage young Tasmanians to get involved. This is an opportunity that can light up career paths and also contribute to boosting the state’s productivity and profitability.

“Research and development is central to profitability, and these awards provide the next wave of rural leaders the chance to make their mark and come up with new solutions to ongoing challenges and barriers to productivity.”

The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a competitive grants programme targeted at young Australians aged 18-35 to undertake innovative research projects that will benefit Australia’s agricultural industries.

For further information, including application form and profiles of the Award partners, visit


Mental Health Council of Tasmania Welcomes the National RUOK Day Roadshow

Catherine Delpero
31.08.15 7:40 am

The Mental Health Council of Tasmania (MHCT) would like to extend a warm welcome to suicide
prevention organisation R U OK?, who will be visiting Hobart today as part of the organisation’s
campaign Thanks For Asking.

The event, which marks the first time the national R U OK? Team has visited Tasmania, will take
place at Parliament Lawns from 11.30am – 1.30pm on Monday 31st August (today).

The Thanks For Asking campaign encourages everyone to take the time to say thanks to someone
who has supported them through a tough time in their life.

The MHCT welcomes the opportunity to support this worthwhile national campaign and to help inspire
people in the state to share their stories and spread the word about the benefits of discussing mental

The MHCT CEO, Connie Digolis, said that encouraging meaningful discussions surrounding mental
health and suicide in our Tasmanian community is a simple but practical way for everyone to play their
part in suicide prevention.

“It’s important that we take the time out of our busy lives to make sure the people around us aren’t
alone when they’re going through a difficult time. With so many Tasmanians experiencing mental
health issues each year, it’s essential that we recognise just how beneficial a question like ‘are you
okay?’ can be,” said, Ms Digolis.

The event also offers the chance to show support for organisations that represent the Tasmanian
Suicide Prevention Community Network (TSPCN), and to raise awareness of the valuable suicide
prevention initiatives that are provided by organisations across the state.

Advice on how to report sensitively and accurately on mental health and suicide can be found at:


Support for Legacy Week

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
30.08.15 5:49 pm

I urge all Tasmanians to dig deep and support the great work done by Legacy during this year’s Legacy Week.

Legacy Week runs from September 2-5 and was first held in 1942 as the annual national appeal for Legacy.

Legacy provides services to Australian families suffering after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service.

The services offered by Legacy include counselling, special housing, medical, advocacy and social support to families and also helps with education fees and resources.

I moved a Notice of Motion in the State Parliament last week recognising Legacy Week and extending the support and appreciation from the Hodgman Liberal Government to the many staff and volunteers for their tireless efforts in supporting these families.

Legacy is particularly close to the hearts of many Tasmanians because it grew out of the Remembrance Club which was formed in Hobart in 1923 by one of the nation’s foremost World War 1 heroes, Tasmanian Major-General Sir John Gellibrand.

I urge Tasmanians to donate to Legacy this week so that they can continue their vital work in the community.



Danial Rochford, Chief Executive Officer RAW
30.08.15 5:43 pm

Rural Alive and Well is proud to announce that Rhonda Gee-Mackrill has been appointed RAW’s new Rural Outreach Worker for North Eastern Tasmania according to RAW’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Danial Rochford. 

With their motto of “Talk to a Mate”, Rhonda joins a team of passionate rural outreach workers who collectively work with over 2000 clients each year right across rural Tasmania. 

“Rhonda joins the team at a very important time, Mr Rochford said. 

“Tasmania unfortunately has the second highest rates of suicide in nation, double that of the Tasmanian Road toll each year.

“Our Outreach Workers have an important role in working with clients to help them on a pathway to a better place emotionally and mentally, Mr Rochford said. 

Rhonda brings a wealth of experience working in mental health, suicide prevention and community development having worked for MI Fellowship for the past eight years and previously with the Richmond Fellowship. 

“I am so pleased to become a member of the team at Rural Alive and Well.  Ms Gee-Mackrill said. 

“I am looking forward to hitting the ground running and becoming very proactive in the communities throughout the North East, 

“Having grown up in George Town I am very familiar with the region and I know some of the many challenges the region has faced over the past few years, 

“I am ever mindful of the impacts such as the forestry re-adjustment can put on the mental health of the in the North East, Ms Gee-Mackrill said. 

“I want to reinforce to all,  if you are feeling like you are in a difficult place at the moment you can reach out to me for support, 
Our service is a free one and everyone can “Talk to Mate” by calling RAW’s 1300 hotline on 1300 HELP MATE (1300 43576283), Ms Gee-Mackrill concluded. 


University partnership to drive better health outcomes

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
30.08.15 3:00 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is making better health care for Tasmanians a high priority.

The ‘Making the Future Partnership 2015-2025’ agreement struck between the Hodgman Liberal Government and the University of Tasmania is about working together to improve educational, social and economic opportunities for Tasmanians as well as drive better outcomes in health.

This will include;

• Driving continuous improvement in Tasmania’s health and human services system;
• Collaborating on workforce planning, education, training and development to help meet the future needs of Tasmania’s health and human service workforce;
• Build a stronger relationship in the areas of sport and recreation science, physiology and community development as a strategic investment in better health outcomes for Tasmanians; and
• Jointly host two forums annually that address ongoing challenges in areas including health.

Over the next decade, we are also committed to Improving educational outcomes in Tasmania by raising the number of Tasmanian students in higher education by 10,000 as well as growing the research and higher education sector in Tasmania by increasing the turnover of the University of Tasmania so that it reaches at least one billion dollars a year by 2025.

We are also committed to increasing the flow of international students into the Tasmanian community and double their contribution to the economy to $400 million per annum within five years as well as bringing new capital investment worth more than $400 million into regional centres and increase the contribution of students to community life in our cities.

The joint work we do in health will complement the One Health System reforms the Government is implementing as we work to fix the broken system.

The Government and University already have a track record of working together, with the Tasmanian Health Service collaborating with Health Service Innovation Tasmania on the clinical redesign project to find long-term strategies to improve the flow of patients through our hospitals.
This partnership will build on that relationship and will help drive better health outcomes for Tasmanians into the future.

The Liberal Government’s One Health System reforms are aimed at providing safer and more timely care for Tasmanians - offering better services to which all Tasmanians have access.


Grants to help protect vulnerable road users

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
30.08.15 2:24 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to working with the community to achieve our Towards Zero goal, a long-term vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Today, I am pleased to announce that 10 local projects will share in $584,000 under the Government’s Vulnerable Road User Program for works aimed at improving safety and preventing road trauma.

This is part of our strong focus on doing more to protect vulnerable road users – cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and we welcome the shared commitment of the six councils involved in delivering these projects.

Together they are contributing $366,000, bringing the total value to $950,000 and demonstrating the leveraging value of the program.

Vulnerable road users are overrepresented in our road toll, accounting for almost a third of Tasmanian road fatalities and 40 per cent of serious injuries over the past five years.

Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists clearly lack the protection of a motor vehicle, and invariably come off second best in a collision.

That’s why our Vulnerable Road User Program invests in infrastructure projects that help to reduce the risk of conflict between motor vehicles and vulnerable road users.

Part of our Action Plan under the Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2007-16, the Vulnerable Road User Program is funding new bike lanes, footpaths and pedestrian crossings around the State in partnership with local councils.

The projects receiving funding are:

• St Leonards Road/Kings Lane Intersection, St Leonards (Launceston City Council) – $56,000 to install bike lanes and edge lines to create a separate space for cyclists;

• Elphin Road: Kenyon St to Lyttleton St, East Launceston (Launceston City Council) – $15,000 to install green bike lanes and symbols at side road junctions to increase driver awareness of cyclists;

• Cole Street, Sorell (Sorell Council) – $10,000 to install a pedestrian crossing near the Coles shopping complex;

• Tarleton Street: John St to Stephen St (Devonport City Council) – $44,000 to construct two new pedestrian islands with holding rails and reflective signage;

• Forbes Street: Charles St to Tasman St, Devonport (Devonport City Council) – $62,000 to install a new pedestrian island with holding rail and reflective signage;

• William Street: Tasman St to Stewart St, East Devonport (Devonport City Council) – $22,000 to construct two new pedestrian islands with holding rails and reflective signage and to upgrade existing pedestrian islands;

• Rosny Hill Road from the Tasman Highway pedestrian overpass to Riawena Road, Rosny (Clarence City Council) – $70,000 to provide an off road pathway for cyclists and pedestrians;

• Hobart Road outside shopping complex, Kings Meadows (Launceston Council) – $75,000 to install a signalised pedestrian crossing;

• Main Road/Crescent Street, Penguin (Central Coast Council) – $100,000 to install pedestrian islands, median treatments, kerb extensions and reduce parking lane width; and

• Gordon River Road, Westerway (Derwent Valley Council) - $130,000 to install 400m of footpath from the school to the old railway station.
On behalf of the Government, I commend and thank these local councils for sharing our commitment to doing more to keep all Tasmanian road users safe.


New partnership with the University of Tasmania to deliver a brighter future for the state

Will Hodgman, Premier
29.08.15 8:33 pm

An exciting new partnership agreement struck between the Tasmanian Liberal Government and the University of Tasmania marks a dramatic shift in how we will work together to improve educational, social and economic opportunities for Tasmanians.

As a Government we firmly believe that education gives Tasmanians the very best chance of getting a job and living a fulfilling life, and also to unlocking the State’s full potential. The university of Tasmania shares this vision.

So in the 125th anniversary of the University of Tasmania we are uniting our efforts with the signing of a new strategic alliance - ‘Making the Future Partnership 2015-2025’.
Over the next decade we are committed to;

• Access and attainment: Improving educational outcomes in Tasmania by raising the number of Tasmanian students in higher education by 10,000;
• Economic impact: Growing the research and higher education sector in Tasmania by increasing the turnover of the University of Tasmania so that it reaches at least one billion dollars a year by 2025;
• Internationalisation: Increasing the flow of international students into the Tasmanian community and double their contribution to the economy to $400 million per annum within five years;
• A modern economy: Enhancing the contribution of research to the Tasmanian economy by cementing the university’s place as one of Australia’s top 10 universities in terms of attracting research income. Aligning higher education programs with Tasmania’s current and future workforce needs so that the university becomes a leader in workforce development and reform. Developing new industries with high value jobs and improve the capacity of Tasmanian businesses, institutions and enterprises to innovate; and
• Revitalised regions: Bring new capital investment worth more than $400 million into regional centres and increase the contribution of students to community life in our cities.

By the end of December this year joint five-year targets will have been established, to track the progress of achievement against these five objectives.

The State Government and University of Tasmania will commit a senior officer for three years, with responsibilities to deliver the key commitments of the partnership.

Progress under the partnership will be overseen by a group to be chaired by the Vice Chancellor and myself, which will include key Government Ministers and the Council of the University, and we will meet every six months.

An annual statement will be provided to the community and a major review will be conducted every third year.

This exciting new partnership marks a strong commitment by the State Government and the University of Tasmania to work together to deliver a brighter future for our state.


Tenders called for $32m Brooker Highway Upgrade

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
29.08.15 2:25 pm

TENDERS are now open for the construction of Brooker Highway Junction Upgrades at Elwick, Goodwood and Howard Roads to improve safety and traffic flow.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrades will improve the efficiency of the Brooker Highway, minimise peak-time bottlenecks and improve connections between local communities.
“The Australian Government has committed $25.6 million and the Tasmanian Government $6.4 million towards this project,” Mr Truss said.
“Apart from the Tasman Bridge, the Brooker Highway carries the highest volumes of traffic in Tasmania and this project is vital to fix the productivity traps and poor traffic efficiency at these junctions.
“It will also provide welcome job support for Tasmania.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said the project was identified as a high priority in the 2012 Strategic Review of the Brooker Highway.
“The proposed works include realigning the junctions at Elwick and Goodwood Roads to form one signal-controlled intersection,” Mr Hidding said.
“They will also include replacing the Howard Road roundabout with traffic lights, and coordinating the traffic lights at both intersections for efficient traffic flows.”
Further information and artist’s impressions of the upgraded junctions are available from
Tenders will close on 21 October, with the successful contractor expected to be announced late November.
Work on the Brooker Highway is scheduled to start in December 2015, with completion estimated to be by mid-2017.


Director Appointed for $60 million Northern Cities Initiative

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
29.08.15 2:23 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is extremely pleased to announce James McKee has been appointed as Director of the Northern Cities Major Development Initiative.
James McKee comes with a wide range of experience and networks both in Tasmania and nationally. Best known as the CEO of NRM North, he is also the Chairman at Tourism Northern Tasmania, and of the Launceston Airport CACG.
He has been involved with many of the regional and local planning initiatives over the past decade and was until recently, a member of the UTAS Northern Advisory Board and the National Landcare Advisory Committee.
Mr McKee comes with a high level of regional development experience, particularly in water management and agriculture from his time working in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin, and I look forward to him applying those skills to this major job creating infrastructure package.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is investing $60 million to turbocharge development in Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, where the economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as the south.
The Office of the Coordinator-General has been working with other stakeholders on projects including the Devonport Living City, the Launceston University of Tasmania Campus Relocation Project, and enhancing the presence of the University of Tasmania at West Park in Burnie.
The Office of the Coordinator General will work in close collaboration with northern Tasmanian councils to strategically drive these infrastructure investment projects.
To ensure the Coordinator General has the necessary support for this project an additional $225,000 has been made available in the State Budget each year for the next two years.
The Office of Coordinator General, together with Local Governments, will work together to direct the $60 million across the northern cities, and manage the timing and nature of the investments.
This is an important opportunity to change the economic fabric of our northern cities, generating hundreds of millions in construction work and thousands of jobs.
Mr McKee will start in the role next month.


Questions over whether Coordinator General is up to the job

Michelle O’Byrne MP Deputy Labor Leader
29.08.15 2:23 pm

Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne said the creation of a new position to manage the rollout of infrastructure spending in the North highlights that the new Coordinator General is not up to the job

“The Treasurer Peter Gutwein gave the responsibility to the Coordinator General, but it obviously isn’t working and someone better is needed to get the job done,” Ms Obyrne said.

“What is the Coordinator General himself actually doing?

“The office was established to attract national and international investment to Tasmania, but the Coordinator General has not delivered a single job.

“Now after Mr Gutwein gave responsibility to the Coordinator General for the Northern infrastructure spending he has had to find someone else for the job.”

“The establishment of the Coordinator General’s office in Launceston was a half baked election promise that has been plagued by resourcing issues and delivered nothing.”


Football leading change for the better

Will Hodgman, Premier
29.08.15 2:21 pm

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to changing attitudes and behaviours that lead to family violence.

Today I am delighted to announce that as part of our deal with the Hawthorn Football Club, players will take a leadership role in The Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020.

This ground breaking plan paves the way to a Tasmania where families are safe.

AFL players can play a crucial role when it comes to changing attitudes and behaviour.

The new Hawthorn deal includes a specific commitment that Hawks players will be involved in our strategy to prevent family violence.

Hawks player Shaun Burgoyne is already one of four ambassadors for The Line campaign run by Our Watch, which focuses on helping young people prevent violence against women

Players can provide models for young men and boys, because the statistics tell us the vast majority of violent behaviour is committed by men against women.

Tasmanians love their footy and are proud of our history in producing great players and coaches.

This week I met with the AFL Commission when it held its first meeting in Tasmania and we agreed on a joint program to develop and support Australian Football in Tasmania.

This is a significant step forward in laying out a pathway for the long term future of Australian football in our state, including having our own team and developing an academy to strengthen the link between junior players and the elite level of AFL.This is an exciting time as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of footy in Tasmania, and map out the future direction of the AFL here.


Aminya Aged Care Facility Scottsdale and May Shaw Health Centre

Aminya CEO John Brooks, May Shaw Health Centre Chief Executive Officer Julie Orr.
29.08.15 2:16 pm

Aminya Aged Care Facility Scottsdale

Presbyterian Care Tasmania has formally confirmed it has entered into negotiations with Swansea based May Shaw Health Centre Inc. for the transfer of North-East Aminya aged care facility to the Swansea based operator. 

Chief Executive Officer John Brooks said a consortium, appointed by the former Aminya committee under the auspice of Dorset Council has developed a proposal involving the May Shaw Health Centre becoming Aminya’s approved provider and will take on responsibility for the operation of the facility. 

“After making the difficult announcement that Aminya will need to close by May 2016, Presbyterian Care Tasmania has been very cautious to announce any further developments, on the basis it may create false expectations in the community,” Mr Brooks said.

“While it is still early days and a contract is yet to be exchanged, all parties are now working towards confirmation of a formal contract by Monday, 28 September. 

Mr Brooks said it was hoped the announcement would lead to securing the future of Aminya, and offer a degree of certainty for residents, staff, family and friends of the facility as well as for the Dorset community. 

“This has been a difficult time for all concerned and while there is more work to be done, all parties involved are committed to working towards achieving the best possible outcome,” Mr Brooks said.

May Shaw Health Centre  

May Shaw Health Centre has welcomed an announcement that will see the organisation negotiate with Presbyterian Care Tasmania for the transfer of the North-East Aminya aged care facility.

May Shaw Health Centre Chief Executive Officer Julie Orr welcomed the move, saying while there was a significant amount of work to be done prior to any agreement being reached, the announcement of the discussions was a positive development.

“We will now work closely with Presbyterian Care Tasmania in the hope of exchanging a formal contract by the end of September,” Ms Orr said.

Swansea based May Shaw Health Centre have been appointed by the former Aminya committee under the auspice of Dorset Council to see the transfer of the facility to the organisation and then be responsible for its operation. 


Liberal credit card scandal deepens

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
29.08.15 10:39 am

The Liberal Party has questions to answer over whether payments made by disgraced former director Damien Mantach were hidden from its own financial auditors in an attempt to cover-up the credit card scandal.

“Claims that the failure to disclose the payments to the Electoral Commission was an administrative error need to be investigated,” Mr Green said.

“Premier Will Hodgman, as a member of the Liberal State Executive now as he was in 2008, has admitted he knew Party funds had been misappropriated and now must come clean on whether its auditors met their obligations.

“Mr Hodgman should stop instructing journalists not to ask him about the scandal and handball questions to other members of the party’s executive.

“Labor is now seeking legal advice as to the fiduciary responsibilities of Mr Hodgman and Senator Eric Abetz as members of the State Executive of the Liberal Party.”
“Who was responsible for the so-called administrative oversight?

“If the failure to disclose those payments was an administrative oversight, why wasn’t it picked up by the Liberal Party’s auditors?’

“It raises ethical as well as legal questions over whether the repayments made by Mr Mantach were deliberately withheld from the auditors given the strict guidelines for chartered accountants in relation to the failure to report criminal offences.

The Chartered Accounts Handbook states:

3.8 Failure to Report Criminal Offences
3.8.1 In dealing with a client’s affairs, a member may become aware of conduct
      which may be unlawful or criminal in nature.
3.8.2 A member should be aware that, in failing to report the matter to the relevant
      authorities or failing to act in a proper manner, the member may be liable to
      prosecution. For example, as a consequence, the member may be accused of:
(a) Inciting a client to commit a criminal offence; or
(b) Helping or encouraging a client in the planning or execution of a criminal offence which is committed; or
(c) Concealing, destroying or fabricating evidence; or
(d) Misleading the police by statements which are known to be untrue.


Future of Tasmanian Football

Will Hodgman, Premier AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, Joint Statement
28.08.15 5:51 pm

The AFL Commission and the Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman met today and agreed on a joint program to develop and support Australian Football in Tasmania.

The AFL Commission heard a report from AFL Tasmania about the challenges and opportunities, and has agreed with Government to deliver an investment plan for developing and supporting junior, community and elite football in the state.

The AFL Chairman, Mr. Mike Fitzpatrick today formally thanked the Premier, the Tasmanian Government and the Tasmanian public for their continued support for Australian football which has helped take the number of AFL games from one in 2001 to a new high in 2015 of 7, with 65 games in total played over that period.

Mr. Fitzpatrick also noted that AFL football had never had a stronger presence in Tasmania than it does right now, a result of 15 years of consistent and increasing market presence and investment, and is in a healthy position to continue to embed and build this presence longer term.

The AFL Commission and the Government today agreed that for Australian football to continue to prosper there needed to be a commitment to, and investment in what has been a stronghold of the game for 150 years.

The Commission and the Government today agreed that a working party will be formed to develop and test specific Tasmanian recommendations from the AFL’s Future Directions of Football project.

The aims of the working party will be to develop recommendations including:

• Pathway to a one-team model as the next step for AFL football in Tasmania
• The potential for a Tasmanian academy that strengthens the link between junior and the elite level of Australian football.
• Investments required to support and strengthen Community and State League football
• Resources needed to support the growth of Women’s football
• Future Governance and Funding of AFL Tasmania

The working party will also develop an understanding of:

• Economic and social benefits of football for the State of Tasmania
• Job and training opportunities and potential partnerships with business and Government

The full structure and composition of the working party will be determined and announced in the near future.


Lack of commitment to ALF academy a missed opportunity

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
28.08.15 5:45 pm

The lack of firm commitment by the AFL and Premier Will Hodgman to establish an elite football academy in Tasmania falls well short of expectations.

“It is disappointing that the AFL could not be convinced of the need to establish an academy in Tasmania,” Mr Green said.

“We appreciate the great work of the Tasmanian Football Council and Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie and agree that it is important to be involved in ongoing discussions.

“Given recent comments by AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan that Tasmania deserves to be part of a truly national competition, we need to be developing the strategy now for our own team.

“The establishment of an elite football academy is the logical next step to help develop our local talent.

“Will Hodgman needs to lift his game if Tasmania is to be considered a serious contender to have its own team in the AFL.”


Fears Australia is about to hoist the white flag on pests ...

Invasive Species Council
28.08.15 5:42 pm


Fears Australia is about to hoist the white flag on pests and diseases

Read more here


New appointments to the Tasmanian Veterans’ Advisory Council

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
28.08.15 5:37 pm

Four new appointments to the Tasmanian Veterans’ Advisory Council will bring a broad range of experience from around Tasmania and a shared vision to improve the lives of Tasmania’s veteran and ex-serving community.
The Council is made up of men and women with a diverse range of experience, from those who are currently serving, those who have served (including reservists), to family members, partners and legatees from many conflicts and peace keeping operations.
The Council is an important advisory and consultation mechanism for the Hodgman Liberal Government, particularly as Australia commemorates the Centenary of World War One.
It provides information and support on issues affecting our community, and encourages cooperation across all veterans’ organisations in Tasmania.
The Council also provides a forum for the serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force and their families to communicate directly with Government.
Congratulations to the new members and also to those existing and re-appointed members of the Council which does an outstanding job in representing the ex-serving community and also the Tasmanian community in general.
The four new members on the Council are:
• Mr Steve Smith from Blackmans Bay
• Ms Annette Wyatt from Taroona
• Ms Raylene Garwood from Bridgenorth
• Mr Andrew Dixon from Claremont.
They join four re-appointed members:
• Mr Michael Gallagher from Sandford
• Mr Michael Howarth from New Town
• Dr Andrew Gibson from Riverside
• Ms Helen Watling from Lindisfarne.
The remaining four members are:
• Mr Terry Roe from South Arm
• Ms Janet Munday from Pyengana
• Ms Melanie Pike from Blackmans Bay
• Mr Nicholas Murnane from Granton
Members of the serving and ex-service community are encouraged to provide the Council with feedback and information about issues that affect them, particularly issues for which the Tasmanian Government is responsible.
To assist with this, the Council will be conducting forums with times and dates to be published on and in daily newspapers.
The Council can be contacted by email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by telephone on 6232 7143.


Montpelier Project Approvals Upheld

Sarah Wilcox-Standring Community Engagement & Communications
28.08.15 5:21 pm

Sultan Holdings acknowledges that the Resource Management Planning Appeals Tribunal decision made public yesterday afternoon essentially re-affirmed the previous approval conditions imposed by the Hobart City Council in February 2015.

Mr. Sultan was satisfied with the decision but felt that the process and timeframe had gone on for far too long. “The appeals have essentially been a repeat of the appeals made previously,” he said,“ and the resultant delays to our project plus the added costs of the appeal have been an unreasonable burden.”

The decision provides some certainty for the development but Mr. Sultan is mindful that the other parties may appeal the outcome.

Sultan Holdings lodged its development application for Montpelier in November 2014 and had planned to commence the excavation earlier this year, with the intention of completing this work before Christmas.

“The delays that have occurred through this planning appeal process plus our inability to resolve a Construction Management Plan with Hobart City Council have been disappointing and the end result is there is no prospect of any works commencing on site this year.” Mr. Sultan said.

“We intend to review our position over the coming months and to consider the best way forward with the site.” 



28.08.15 4:55 pm

Senator Helen Polley has today called on the Member for Bass, Member for Braddon and Member for Lyons to ensure federal funding for the Family Food Patch initiative.

Family Food Patch creates opportunities for our most vulnerable families. It brings people together to have a discussion about healthy living and eating. The initiative provides an environment where families can prepare, cook and eat fresh local produce and engage with physical activity.

“This program is wonderfully designed, it’s simple and it empowers people. The entire community should be having discussions about healthy living and eating and this program does it in a supportive environment. The program is targeted at children so they learn from a young age healthy habits,” Senator Polley said.

Funding for Family Food Patch will not continue after June 2016. 

“Today I am demanding that the Federal and State Liberal government’s discuss the importance of Family Food Patch and the Abbott Government commit to funding this vital initiative,” Senator Polley said. 

“We need to keep striving for a healthier and happier Tasmania, this program does that, it’s social and economic benefits are boundless. It’s that simple, don’t cut the funding”, Senator Polley said. 


China Trade Mission

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
28.08.15 4:53 pm

The eyes of the world are on Tasmania and the Hodgman Liberal Government is capitalising on the momentum to drive investment and create jobs.

Next week I am leading a trade and investment mission to China, to build on the diplomatic and business ties generated by the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tasmania last year, as well as the Premier’s previous Trade mission and our TasInvest forum.

The week-long trade and investment mission will commence on September 4. It will focus on promoting our key growth sectors in agri-food, international education and training, hospitality and tourism, our Antarctic Gateway, and energy intensive industry, while also fostering government relations.

The delegation will be one of the largest ever sent from Tasmania, with over 50 delegates from more than 30 individual businesses across 7 industry sectors forming the trade mission.

These include Hobart International Airport, Tasports, Tasmanian Fruit Growers Association, Tas Irrigation, Tasmanian Polar Network, Local Government and the University of Tasmania, as well as individual businesses, schools and industry representatives.

I am delighted that the delegation includes the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Sue Hickey and Mayor of Launceston, Alderman Albert Van Zetten. In addition to advancing their individual councils and fostering government to government relations, the mayors are also marking the 35th anniversary of the Tasmania- Fujian sister state/province relationship, ahead of the 2016 Fujian Week celebrations.

The trade mission will visit 6 cities and attend over 30 engagements and events during the 8-day visit. The itinerary has been developed to provide opportunities to establish new relationships as well as build upon existing relationships, increase awareness and secure business opportunities from key Chinese buyers, investors and organisations.

A key event during the mission will be Savour Tasmania in China for the first time and I’m delighted the Premier will be joining the mission for this event as well as to support Tourism Tasmania’s mission that will be in Shanghai.

This year we are reinvigorating the Savour Tasmania concept by promoting premium Tasmanian food and beverages directly to our largest trading partner. Savour Tasmania-China will showcase, as it has done since its inception in 2009, premium Tasmanian food and beverages – this time to a high-end Chinese audience that will include buyers from the 5-star hospitality sector.

Some of the other itinerary highlights include:

• TasInvest Roundtables.
• China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT).
• First Joint Committee follow-up (under the Agreement on establishing the Joint Committee for Cooperation and Development between Tasmania and Fujian Province) in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province.
• Meeting with the Polar Research Institute and the State Oceanic Administration of China.
• Education and business forums in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Fuzhou and Hainan.
• Visiting the Asia Fruit Logistica and Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
• Australia-China Business Week (ACBW) and Australian China Chamber of Commerce (AustCham) investment and trade functions.
• The signing and witnessing of a series of MOUs; and
• Engagements with senior government officials and individual businesses meetings.
The Hodgman Liberal Government has an important role to play in facilitating investment in our State.
Our focus is to ensure that we continue to provide local companies with the opportunities and support they need to pursue commercial negotiations, while also pursuing opportunities for investment into Tasmania.
Benefiting from China’s economic potential will happen through a partnership approach between the Chinese and Tasmanian governments, businesses, investors and individuals.
This mission will continue to promote this partnership approach with all parties having a part to play and over time we will see those benefits flow to Tasmanians through a stronger economy with increased job opportunities for Tasmanians.
Delegation itinerary – 2015 China trade and investment mission
Friday 4 September, Hong Kong
Asia Fruit Logistica                                                              
AustCham Investment and Trade Luncheon            
Wine Masterclass, Renaissance Hotel      
Tasmanian Schools Education Showcase, Grand Hyatt
Australian Vegetable industry dinner
Sunday 6 September, Haikou
Fly to Haikou
Monday 7 September, Haikou
TasInvest and Trade Promotion event (agrifood, tourism and tourism infrastructure, education)           
Meeting with Hainan Government officials      
Lunch arrangement with Hainan Government          
Site visit and meeting with Hainan Airline Group      
Site visit and meeting with Hainan State Farm Group        
Site visit and meeting with Mission Hills Group        
Depart Haikou for Fuzhou and Tasmania – Fujian week
Tuesday 8 September, Fuzhou, Fujian
First Joint Committee meeting follow-up meeting            
Visit to Fuzhou No. 8 High School (with Launceston Mayor and Hobart Lord Mayor) 
Meeting with Fujian officials        
Fujian Week in Tasmania discussion      
China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT)         
Meeting with aviation sector        
CIFIT China Banquet Dinner
Wednesday 9 September, Shanghai
Visit Polar Research Institute        
Tasmanian Schools Education Showcase        
Meeting with Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade        
Aquaculture buyer meeting        
Savour Tasmania Gala Dinner, Peninsula Shanghai      
Thursday 10 September, Beijing
Visit Bank of China                        
Austrade Podcast Interview        
Visit to COFCO        
Horticulture Innovation and signing ceremony at the Australian Embassy
UTAS partners dinner  
Friday 11 September, Beijing
TasInvest Roundtable (Energy and Energy Incentive Industry) China World Summit Hotel
State Oceanic Administration of China (with UTAS and Antarctic sector)       
Tasmanian Schools Education Showcase        
Energy sector meetings and signings      
Meeting with two Tianjin Colleges and TasTAFE      
TasInvest Roundtable (Energy and Energy Incentive Industry)     
Visit China Development Bank
Saturday 12 September, Jakarta
Fly to Jakarta
UTAS and maritime functions in Jakarta


Liberal Party forced to disclose Mantach payments

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
28.08.15 4:36 pm

The Liberal Party has been dragged kicking and screaming to declare payments made by disgraced former director Damien Mantach.

“On Wednesday Labor raised concerns that the Liberal Party had breached the Commonwealth Electoral Act by failing to disclose repayments totalling $47,981.78.

“The Premier, Will Hodgman’s first response was to mislead Parliament by wrongly claiming that only donations are required to be declared. He later claimed he had misheard the question.

“I wrote to the Australian Electoral Commission raising concerns that the alleged repayment by Damien Mantach did not appear on the Liberal Party’s electoral returns, as required by law.

”Yesterday I received a reply from the Electoral Commission assuring me the matter was “under consideration.”

“Today it has been revealed that after this matter was raised in Parliament and with the Commission, the Liberal Party – Tasmanian Division, lodged a Request for Amendment to their 2007-2008 disclosure return to include three payments made by Mr Mantach totalling $42,375.42.

“I intend to also refer these latest developments to Tasmania Police.

“Importantly, no change was made to the party’s total payments in the 2007-2008 financial year.

“That means the original disclosure included the payments made by Mr Mantach but they were not itemised, despite the fact they were over the $10,000 threshold.

“This is further evidence that the Liberal Party attempted to cover up the circumstances surrounding Mr Mantach’s departure.

“It only creates more questions for Will Hodgman and the Liberals to answer.


Labor refers Mantach affair to Tasmania Police for investigation

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
28.08.15 11:20 am

This week the Premier Will Hodgman has refused to answer serious questions in relation to the Damien Mantach credit card scandal.

Outstanding questions still remain:

How was the misappropriation of $48,000 uncovered?

What was the money spent on?

Over what period was the money spent?

Why wasn’t the matter referred to police?

“Labor has concerns that illegal activity has occurred, and that’s why we have taken the very serious step of referring the matter to police for investigation.

“I have written to Police Commissioner Darren Hine seeking a full and thorough investigation.

“It is clear that a police investigation is now the only way to get the bottom of this matter.”


China hungry despite jitters

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
28.08.15 11:18 am

The world’s eyes are on China. Where just a short time ago, it was a matter of ensuring that we maximise our trade with China, that we don’t miss opportunities, today we watch to see how they manage an economy under pressure in order that we maintain our faith.

Tasmanian farmers have as much of an interest or stake in that economic management as anyone else. After all, we look to China for our own growth towards a target $10 billion in annual agricultural production by 2050.

To put China’s real potential in perspective, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest macroeconomic projections, by the year 2030 China will have all but eclipsed the US in terms of the size of its gross domestic product (GDP).

The US currently accounts for 23 per cent of the world economy. By 2030 that will be down to 20 per cent and China will be breathing down its neck. China’s GDP will have doubled in that time.

Already China is responsible for almost 60 per cent of world imports of soybeans, 60 per cent of iron ore, 32 per cent of integrated circuits, 31 per cent of copper and 14 per cent of all oil imports.

So, when we see its economic growth slowing, not meeting China’s high expectations, when we see their stock markets plunge, what are we supposed to make of it?

“China’s sharemarket may be in free fall; but its economy is not.”

That appears to be the general view of China watchers, as expressed by Professor James Laurenceson of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney.

“Big fluctuations in the sharemarket have never reflected the state of the broader economy,” he wrote online in The Conversation this week.

“That was true when the Shanghai Composite Index surged by 130 per cent between last August and this June. And it has remained true as it has fallen by nearly 40 per cent since then.”

And that was only at the beginning of the week.

The theory is that demand will remain high for agricultural imports because of the very size of the economy and that growth expectation towards 2030. Chinese parents will still want high quality food for their children; will still want the milk that we can supply.

Meanwhile, it is sobering to watch how the Chinese manage their economy when, quite suddenly, they are faced with a dynamic situation in consumer and trader confidence.

What to make of it?

The golden lesson for everyone is diversification. Australian investors have been shown the wisdom of investing across investment sectors rather putting all their (nest) eggs in one basket.

As farmers, we appreciate the wisdom of diversifying our production so that we do not become slaves to one commodity that will make us or break us.

Similarly, while our future may appear to be largely in the hands of Chinese consumers, we have to maintain a broader vision, a wide-angle lens on all the possibilities for selling what we produce.

That is the lesson in all this upheaval.

By the way, following my concerns in last week’s column about increasing crime and vandalism in Tasmania’s country areas, I shall be meeting Police Minister Rene Hidding today on behalf of the TFGA.



How should we support bullied children?

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom
28.08.15 11:08 am

“Many parents are relieved that NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has cancelled the plan by the Burwood Girls High School principal to screen a film promoting gay parenting during two lesson periods this week,” FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips said today.

“The Principal said that the screening was part of the Safe Schools Coalition program.  But this program is misnamed. 

“It aims to make schools safe, but only for those who have transgender or same-sex feelings.  It ignores the vast majority of students who are bullied.  These include the ‘fatties’, ‘skinnies’, ‘rangas’, ‘dummies’, ‘nerds’, ‘ethnics’ and many other groups.  Some suffer so greatly that they attempt or commit suicide.”

Ros Phillips pointed out that the federal government has allocated $8 million to fund the Safe Schools Coalition Australia, but much needed programs addressing all forms of bullying have missed out.

“I urge Tony Abbott to defund the controversial Safe Schools Coalition and use the money to support proven anti-bullying programs such as Choose Respect, RULER or CASSE Peaceful Schools,” she said.


Minister and TFGA President to discuss rural crime

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
28.08.15 10:58 am

TFGA President, Wayne Johnston, said today that he will be meeting with the Honourable Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, to discuss the TFGA’s concerns around rural crime.

Mr Johnston said he was encouraged by the Minister’s recent comments when the Minister stated that rural crime was as important and significant as those crimes committed in urban environments.

The TFGA has been concerned for some time about the rising crime within rural communities and the seemingly disregard for the law and private property.  Mr Johnston said “we look forward to constructively working with the government and Minister Hidding to find strategies to deal with this ongoing problem that has plagued many rural communities over recent years”.

The government’s strong commitment to law and order and recent increase in police numbers are important elements as we move forward.  However, rural crime poses unique problems and additional strategies will need to be developed.