In Their Own Words

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


Politics | Media

Liminal Studio: It’s now time to take a breath and reflect on the year we’ve had …

Liminal Studio
19.12.14 12:10 pm


But before we do we’d like to say thanks for your support throughout the year. We wish you a festive holiday season and look forward to working with you in 2015.

We will be taking a little break from the 19th December and returning on the 5th of January feeling refreshed and ready for the new year.

Read more here



Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson
19.12.14 12:07 pm

FEDERAL Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson today congratulated Perth man William Egan, the only Northern Tasmanian regional radio Heywire winner for 2014.

Mr Egan is one of 41 young winners across the country in this year’s Heywire competition funded from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Micah de Smit, from Margate, is the only other Tasmanian winner this year.

Funding of $100,000 is provided annually to help community organisations pilot the ideas raised at the Heywire Summit.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Scott Ryan said that the Heywire winners represented the diverse experiences of young people growing up in rural and remote Australia.

Mr Hutchinson said that each one of the winners had a story to share about their lives and commended them for taking the time to do this.

Next February the winners, including Mr Egan, will come together at the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra.

The summit culminates in a public forum in Canberra during the first Parliamentary sitting week of 2015 where participants pitch ideas to politicians, policy makers and funding bodies.

Winning stories are professionally produced and featured on ABC radio, TV and online.

Winners receive a trip to the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra.

For further information visit


New home for ANZAC memorabilia

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
19.12.14 12:00 pm

We are delighted that the extensive collection of memorabilia held by the Campbell Town Centenary Group and local Research and History Group has been able to find a home in the old Court House Building.

The Court House building is owned by the Department of Justice and it has been leased to the Northern Midlands Council which in turn has made it available on a short term basis for this display to commemorate the upcoming ANZAC Centenary.

It is vital that this regional memorabilia is available for public exhibition to mark this historic milestone and the hard work of local historians is commended. One of Tasmania’s VCs, Lewis McGee, came from the Campbell Town region.


New Police Officers Help Swell Ranks

Will Hodgman, Premier Rene Hidding, Minister for Police and Emergency Management
19.12.14 11:59 am

The Liberal Government is delivering on its commitment of putting 108 new police officers on the frontline to rebuild Tasmania Police.

Premier Will Hodgman today reviewed the latest graduating course of the Tasmania Police Academy at Rokeby. This is the first recruit course initiated by the Liberal Government as part of implementing its policy.

“The 19 new constables graduating today will soon be working in cities and towns across the State, helping to keep our community safe,” Mr Hodgman said.

“Coming from diverse backgrounds and experiences, these officers have completed a comprehensive training program to prepare them for a challenging career that carries great responsibility and trust.

“We congratulate them all on their achievement in graduating, and wish them the very best in their new profession.

“Today’s graduation also represents an important step in delivering on our promise of putting an extra 108 police officers on Tasmania’s streets over four years.”

Police and Emergency Management Minister Rene Hidding, who also attended the graduation, said the Liberal Government was getting on with the job of rebuilding the police service.

“Restoring the number of police officers to 1228, the level in place before the previous Labor-Green government’s cuts, will ensure Tasmania Police can deliver the highest standards of effective community policing,” Mr Hidding said.

“Importantly, as we recruit new officers, we will be able to progressively rebuild and expand such specialist capacity as the Serious and Organised Crime and the Public Order Response capabilities.

“We want Tasmania Police to be recognised as being the best law enforcement agency in the country, and we are confident the new officers graduating today will help achieve that vision.”


Hobart City Farm has a home

Louise Sales
19.12.14 10:01 am


After a highly successful launch to their crowdfunding campaign the Hobart City Farm team are excited to announce the farm’s location. Founded by five local Tasmanians – Bridget Stewart, James Da Costa, Sam Beattie, Louise Sales and Hannah Moloney, the farm will be located in the St Johns Creative Living Park between Creek Road and New Town Road in New Town. The Creative Living Park is an initiative of the community arts organization Kickstart Arts.

Read all about it here


Senate Seafood Labelling recommendations a Christmas present for Tasmanian seafood industry

Fisheries spokesperson for the Greens, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
19.12.14 10:00 am

The Greens welcome this first step towards adequate labelling of seafood that would ultimately be beneficial to consumers, the local fishing industry, the marine environment and the national economy says the Fisheries spokesperson for the Greens, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “The message from the Seafood Labelling Senate Inquiry to the Tasmanian seafood industry is ‘Merry Christmas’.

“When the Northern Territory introduced seafood labelling laws, the value of the various sectors of the Northern Territory seafood industry grew four to eight-fold.

“The Northern Territory labelling laws has allowed local producers to better compete with imported lower-quality seafood and therefore reinvest in their businesses and invest in sustainability measures.

“With the right information, consumers can have greater confidence in the seafood they are buying, and make purchasing decisions that don’t impact on the health of our oceans.

“The Inquiry recommendations are a platform which we can build on in the future, as we move towards a complete and holistic approach to seafood labelling in Australia.

“Country-of-origin labelling is a good start, but if we don’t take further steps to better care for the health of the oceans, in the long-term, no one will be a winner.

“On the evidence presented at the Inquiry, the Greens recommend a staged approach that would go beyond country-of-origin labelling by requiring mandatory fish naming standards, and sustainability and provenance labelling.

“The Inquiries’ recommendations, whilst a step in the right direction, could still go further to achieving better ocean sustainability outcomes, which are long-term requirements for both the marketplace and marine stewardship.

“I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this Inquiry, and I applaud the efforts of advocates who have ensured that Australians are now more engaged than ever on the need for seafood labelling.

“In 2015, the Greens will be working with their allies to introduce a Bill into Parliament that will back change for consumers and our marine environment,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.


Adam Brooks failing people of the West Coast

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
19.12.14 10:00 am

The Liberal Government must step up its efforts to create jobs on the West Coast.

Disquiet is growing at Adam Brooks’ hands-off approach as chair of the West Coast Economic Working Group.

Labor Leader Bryan Green said beyond bringing forward some pre-election commitments, the Liberal Government had done little in response to the closure of the Mt Lyell and Henty mines.

“Talking to people on the ground in Queenstown and Strahan yesterday, it is clear that locals are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of urgency and leadership from Adam Brooks and the Liberal Government,” Mr Green said.

“Months ago Labor called for the $16 million Federal Government grant to Cadbury to be redirected to stimulate job creation and investment on the West Coast. This money remains unspent.

“The Government’s only plan appears to be sitting on its hands waiting for the Mt Lyell Mine to reopen.

“The people of the West Coast cannot wait for jobs – they are crying out for assistance now.

“While funding for walking tracks, mountain bike trails and road upgrades is welcome, Mr Brooks cannot even say how many mine workers have been employed on these projects.”

Mr Green said Labor had consulted with the West Coast community to put forward a range of initiatives which had been ignored by the Government including:

- Prioritising the roll-out of the NBN to the West Coast to create short term construction jobs and long term innovation.

- Establishing a whisky distillery in Queenstown.

- Supporting the construction of world class links golf course at Strahan.

- A public/private partnership to purchase a new sea plane to improve tourism access to Macquarie Harbour.

- Fast tracking development of the $200 million Granville Harbour wind farm.

The Government should also be looking at commercial opportunities to clean up the contamination of the Queen River, while also extracting copper through the process.

“The release of the West Coast Economic Working Group’s final report is shaping up to be a major test for Adam Brooks.

“It must be backed up with tangible actions and funding to create jobs.”


St Davids Cathedral: Christians together for asylum seekers

Jeff McKinnon Regional Minister, Tasmanian Baptists Pastor, City Baptist Church
19.12.14 9:51 am


A service of Hope: Christians Together for Asylum Seekers

December 21

St David’s Cathedral
Macquarie St, Hobart


Port Arthur Penitentiary opens once again for visitors

Kate McCarthy Sales & Marketing Coordinator Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority Port Arthur, TAS, 7182
19.12.14 9:48 am

The Port Arthur Penitentiary will once again be accessible to visitors come the morning of Saturday 20 December. The large scale conservation project at Port Arthur’s Penitentiary, to ensure its survival for future generations, has meant that visitors have not been able to enter the ruin since January 2014. It is with significant pride and delight that the project team unveil the revitalised and now structurally sound ruin to community and visitors. It showcases this iconic structure in a way never before seen.

The completed project allows visitors to engage with the layers of remaining, original fabric in new ways. Previously inaccessible areas are now open to visitors revealing original window joinery, remnant glazing and plastered finishes.

New interpretative features include the footprint of the Musteryard at the front of the building, a timber floor that reflects the original corridors and a glass walkway which affords previously unattainable views of the interior of the building. The fabric of the original cell floor has been laid bare and is complemented by interpretative installation at the opposite end of the building, outlining where the original cells once stood.

PAHSMA Conservation Manager, Lucy Burke-Smith says “We are proud to showcase the project to visitors this summer. The project is another example of conservation practice of an international standard, as befitting this World Heritage Listed Site.”

The multidisciplinary design team, headed by HPA Projects of Sydney, employed progressive design solutions which were capably executed by locally based Managing Contractors, Hansen Yuncken and a team of committed subcontractors. “You don’t achieve quality outcomes such as this without consultants and contractors who genuinely engage with the place and its significance. Everyone involved has made a significant contribution to the conservation of this historic structure and should be commended for their efforts.” said Ms Lucy Burke-Smith.

The ‘new’ Penitentiary, together with the other summer and activities and offerings, makes the Port Arthur Historic Site a ‘must see’ destination this holiday season.


Jan Davis: Clearing the way for growth

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
19.12.14 9:47 am

The TFGA welcomed the state government’s announcement this week of a review of a policy that would soon end all land clearing on Tasmanian farms, forever.

The pending ban was to come into force as a result of a clause included in the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement 1997 that sought to end broad-scale clearing and conversion of native forest on both public and private land.

The authors of the RFA determined that Tasmania should keep a certain percentage of the native forest cover that existed at the moment the RFA was negotiated, ie in 1996. They deemed that the figure would be 95 per cent. Once we got down to that level, all land clearing should cease.

From January 1 2015, under those rules, farmers would have to reduce their clearing to a total of 20 hectares over any five-year period, which is hardly enough to graze a few additional cows.  In effect, this policy stops new farmland being established.

Tasmanian farmers have long shown their commitment to protecting and preserving the environment. In fact, they are the largest funders of environmental and conservation activities in this state. So our opposition to this policy is not to protecting and preserving threatened species.

Rather, we’ve never been able to reconcile the fact that there is so little scientifically verified data to support this policy.

How do we know that we are closing in on 95 per cent? And 95 per cent of what? Did somebody count all the native trees in Tasmania in 1996? If so, who and how? Who is counting them now? Does anyone know exactly which species are at risk? Does anyone know where precisely those threatened species are? The list of questions goes on.

This is pretty fundamental information: the data has to be evidence-based and has to be incontrovertible, given the ramifications it has for farmers.

Furthermore, this policy was set almost 20 years ago. More than half the state is now protected in reserves; and these protected areas continue to expand. We’re told the expansion of these reserves is designed to ensure that the habitat of threatened and endangered species is protected.

One of the justifications for the accepting the outcomes of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement was that it would bring ‘peace in the forests’. In other words, there was a tacit acceptance that this was the last throw of the dice for anti-forest protestors. The terms of the agreement were meant to ensure that the most important areas of environmental concern were protected in reserves.

If this is the case, then what is the basis for a continued blanket ban on any clearing? Even if there is evidence that some areas of important conservation value remain unprotected on private land, this is clearly going to be an exceptional circumstance. Measures can be taken to deal with such a situation, but this should not extend to a ban across all farmland in the state.

This policy has stifled increasing production on private land and added to the burden of regulation imposed by many other overlapping regulations, including the federal government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act; the state government’s Nature Conservation Act and the Tasmanian Forest Practice Authority regulations; and various local council edicts.

The government’s commitment to review this policy is therefore welcome. It will enable an evidence-based assessment of the current situation, and allow fine-tuning of regulations to reflect actual environmental risk, rather than a blanket approach of negativity.

As part of that review, we will be seeking hard data from those supporting the continuation of the policy as it stands - data that shows firstly why such a ban might be an appropriate response to the current environmental situation we face in Tasmania. We’ll also be seeking hard evidence that demonstrates incontrovertibly that, if there is evidence supporting a ban, that a blanket ban is more effective than a targeted ban.

We’ll also be submitting evidence to the reviewers of the impact this policy is having on us, and the price we are paying to keep the Tasmanian landscape fixed unchanging at a point decades in the past.

On that basis, we’ll be seeking recognition that, if farmers are expected to bear the cost of environmental stewardship in Tasmania, they will have to be paid compensation for the economic activity they have been forced to forego.


EDO Bulletin December 19

Environmental Defenders' Office
19.12.14 9:34 am


Read more here



Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson
19.12.14 9:30 am

OATLANDS RSL and Community Club is one of eight community groups across the state to be the first to receive Federal Government grants to buy and install renewable energy systems.

The Oatlands Club will receive $21,983.50 from the Federal Government Solar Towns Program set up as an election commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nationally.

Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson announced the funding during a visit to the RSL and Community Club this morning.

The other recipients in the Lyons electorate of first round funding are communities at Bagdad, Bicheno, Gagebrook, New Norfolk, Nubeena, Sorell and St Helens.

Mr Hutchinson said that the funding will give communities an opportunity to engage at a local level with clean renewable energy, improve local environments and generate a sense of community ownership and self-reliance.

Oatlands RSL will use the $21,983 to install a 12.5kW solar panel system on its clubrooms, at Oatlands.

Funding for the seven other recipients will be:
Bagdad Community Club, $20,000; Bicheno Golf Club, $13,529.73; Gagebrook Community Centre, $19,858.23; New Norfolk Football Club, $19,998; Nubeena community, $18,030.91; Sorell Council, $18,181.82 and St Helens Healthy House, $19,700.

Mr Hutchinson said that grants for this first round of Solar Towns funding was capped at $20,000 with total funding for the eight Tasmanian projects adding up to more than $150,000.

He urged other community groups to apply for financial help to buy and install solar panels, hot water systems or heat pump hot water systems from this and future funding rounds.

Nearly $2.1 million will be made available through the program from 2014-15 to 2016-17 to help with the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems in selected regions nationally.

Mr Hutchinson said that this round of grants will close on February 20, next year and further calls for applications in other regions will be made next year.

``I strongly encourage community groups such as sports clubs, service clubs and community health services to consider making an application.’’

Further information about the program including guidelines and how to apply is available at



FEDERAL Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson
19.12.14 5:03 am

FEDERAL Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson was pleased to attend the announcement today of a start to work soon at the new Tasmanian bauxite mine, near Campbell Town.

``It was heartening to hear that Australian Bauxite intend to go ahead and develop this significant bauxite deposit near Campbell Town and that the company already has future plans for further operations at Fingal as well as in the Meander Valley,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

``This is particularly good news considering the recent retrenchments at the Cornwall Coal Mine, near Fingal.’’

Mr Hutchinson said that Australian Bauxite intended creating 180 new direct and indirect jobs in the state from the new bauxite operations from mining and transport services.

The Bald Hill operation, near Campbell Town, will be Australian Bauxite’s first mine in Tasmania and the first new bauxite mine in Australia for more than 35 years.

``Initially the bauxite from Tasmania will be shipped directly to customers in China – favourable ore prices and more favourable exchange rates have enhanced the attraction to proponents of this investment,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

``They say that it is more financially viable at this stage to ship directly to China rather than elsewhere in Australia for further downstream processing.

Mr Hutchinson said that this reinforced the importance of reforming Australia’s coastal regulations which he highlighted in a private members business motion to Federal Parliament three weeks ago.


Population growing under Liberal Government

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
19.12.14 5:02 am

Today’s ABS population figures show that the State’s population is growing.

While the rate of Tasmanians leaving the State to find opportunities elsewhere is still too high, it is finally starting to reduce and with over 6,000 new jobs being created since the election and a construction boom underway we hope to see more ex-pat Tasmanians return home to live, work and raise a family.

The Liberal Government is committed to our population target of 650,000 people by 2050.

We know this is a bold target that’s not without its challenges but we need to go for growth because we recognise that population growth is critical to sustaining economic growth for Tasmania.

Given the significance of the population challenge, growing the population will require deliberate, targeted and strategic intervention.

That is why the Government is developing a Population Strategy. As part of the development of the Strategy, early in the new year the Government will be releasing a Discussion Paper seeking input from experts, local government and the broader community on the best ways to achieve our population target.

Our Population Strategy will be a comprehensive blueprint for Tasmania’s future and will complement our long-term Plan for the State.

In the meantime, we are getting on with creating jobs and growing the economy, because that is the best way to attract people to Tasmania.


Regional jobs growth under Liberal Government

Jeremy Rockliff, Deputy Premier
19.12.14 5:00 am

The Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs and especially creating jobs right around the State.

While there is still a lot of work to do, it’s great to see that over the last month 400 new jobs were created in the North and 250 new jobs were created in the North West.

In fact, there are now more jobs in the North West than at any time since July 2011 and employment is growing at more than twice the rate of the rest of the State.

There’s no doubt that the Labor-Green forestry deal destroyed regional jobs and regional communities and we are cleaning up the mess, but it will take time.

Tasmania is finally starting to head in the right direction with over 6,000 jobs created since the last election, business confidence through the roof, retail spending at record highs and a construction boom starting to take off around the State.

Our long-term Plan is all about keeping the momentum going, creating even more jobs and growing the economy.


180 jobs created as Bald Hill Mine opens

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
18.12.14 4:02 pm

The Liberal Government welcomes today’s start of civil works at the Bald Hill bauxite mine near Campbell Town and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.

Around 1.5 million tonnes of bauxite, the main ingredient in aluminium, will be mined by Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) and shipped through Bell Bay for both domestic and international markets.
Up to 180 jobs are expected to be created from the Bald Hill Mine, including 45 direct jobs and around 135 indirect jobs.

The bauxite will be panel mined and topsoil will then be replaced on to the disturbed areas, while there will be no waste rock dump or tailings dump required.

Bald Hill is Australia’s first new bauxite mine in more than 35 years and comes at the perfect time for Tasmania, with the emergence of China as a major consumer of the type of bauxite Tasmania produces, which is in short supply worldwide. 

That supply shortage has led to a firming in the price which, coupled with the low Australian dollar at the moment, makes Australian bauxite more globally competitive and gives us a chance to become a long-term player in this market place.

ABx is also looking at other prospective sites in Tasmania and this project will provide a lead-in to other potential bauxite deposits.

Tasmania has a rich history when it comes to in mining but particularly in this area, as our state is where the Australian aluminium industry began after World War II, with the first bauxite screen process plant, alumina refinery and aluminium smelter in Australia all built at Bell Bay.

The opening of the Bald Hill mine will not only generate welcome economic activity but showcases the mineral diversity and potential of Tasmania.

Tasmania is open for business under the Liberal Government and we will continue to work with our mining sector to capitalise on the industry as one of our state’s key strengths.



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
18.12.14 2:50 pm


Advocates are hopeful Julia Gillard’s appointment to the board of mental health awareness organisation, Beyond Blue, shows she is moving towards support for marriage equality.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said international research shows a clear link between marriage equality and mental health.

“Gays and lesbians in places with marriage equality are much less likely to experience the kind anxiety and depression that comes with legal and societal discrimination.”

“I hope Ms Gillard’s appointment to the board of Beyond Blue shows she is evolving toward support for marriage equality.”

As Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was against same-sex couples being able to marry despite being a left-of-centre atheist in an unmarried relationship.


NBN connection process needs to be easier

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Minister for IT and Innovation
18.12.14 2:06 pm

Shadow Minister for IT and Innovation, Madeleine Ogilvie, says there is an urgent need for a connections process improvement to make it easier for customers to move onto NBN.

“It is clear to me that people want a single point of contact for the entire connection process,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“My small business priority list has delivered connections, as I promised, but I have only been able to assist companies who have asked. I have been able to help people connect.

“I see that people are frustrated with having to contact multiple providers, have multiple visits, and make multiple follow up phone calls.

“A better process would be to have a web based single ‘connections’ point of entry behind which sit telecommunications providers, contractors and ISP processes.

“My constituents should not have to understand three companies’ back end processes in order to be connected.

“The Federal Liberal government has completely failed to protect consumers during the cut over process, and must act to reform regulatory oversight in this critical area.

“Of the key sector regulators; the ACCC, ACMA and the Telecommunications Ombudsman, not one has direct oversight of the entire NBN connection process. It is not good enough.”


A year of progress on many fronts for the Port Arthur Historic Sites

Andrew Ross Marketing Manager Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority
18.12.14 1:51 pm

The 2013-14 year has been a period of significant progress for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA).

PAHSMA Chair, Professor Sharon Sullivan, named the recovery from the effects of the 2013 bushfire disaster, a massive project to restabilise the Penitentiary, the dramatic increase in Chinese visitation, a new pontoon for cruise ships and substantial progress at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site as just some of the highlights of what has been a very productive period for the Authority.

“The biggest challenge facing PAHSMA has been the re-stabilisation of the Penitentiary, a project that, based on professional engineering advice, needed to be completed as a matter of urgency,” said Professor Sullivan at the Authority’s final Board Meeting for the year.

“Financial assistance from both the State and Federal Governments along with continued strong visitor numbers and revenue enabled commencement of the project, which is nearing completion; the Penitentiary will be open again to visitors from this weekend.”

“The Port Arthur Historic Site achieved an 18% increase in visitor numbers over the previous year, which was impacted by the bushfires, but importantly it was a similar increase on the 2011–12 result.”

“The dramatic increase in Chinese visitors coming to the Port Arthur Historic Site is also a very pleasing outcome for PAHSMA’s long-term engagement with that market and investment in providing a quality visitor experience to Chinese visitors.”

As the State’s only tourism government business enterprise PAHSMA is committed to making a positive difference in Tasmania.

“The Port Arthur Historic Sites plays a significant role in attracting visitors to the State and encouraging regional dispersal. From an environmental and community perspective PAHSMA’s commitment to conserve and preserve these sites guarantees they will remain for future generations.”

PAHSMA contributes to the economy, having directly employed 126 staff during the period and also engaging many local contractors to supply services and utilising local produce in the visitor centre and in food and beverage outlets wherever possible.

The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site broke visitation records, with 22,999 paying visitors during the year, which also saw the introduction of a $5 site entry fee that raised $40,935. The visitor experience continued to be developed, with the completion of the Yard 1 interpretation works and the Matron’s Quarters Conservation Project. The Heritage Tour saw a 97% increase in numbers whilst Her Story had an increase of 31%.

These and many other achievements are detailed in PAHSMA’s Annual Report for 2013-14.

The Report is available for download from


Backflip on land clearing to create forest chaos

Greens senator Janet Rice
18.12.14 12:44 pm

The federal government’s about-face on the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement’s land clearing controls signals a new level of chaos for forest management, Greens senator Janet Rice said today.

“Both state and federal Liberal governments have secretly colluded to give the go-ahead for environmental destruction,” said Senator Rice, who is the Greens spokesperson for forests.

“Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) were supposed to provide long-term certainty for conservation and the logging industry.

“Landholders have had ten years to prepare for the broad-scale clearing and conversion ban and millions of dollars have been spent helping them adjust.

“Without the broad-scale clearing ban we can wave goodbye to rare and threatened forest types found in dwindling pockets around the state.

“The Coalition’s lifting of a land-clearing ban within the Tasmanian agreement shows it can’t be trusted to honour its deals.

“RFAs have so far been a disaster for conservation, with many threatened and endangered animals sliding further into decline since the agreements were enacted.

“Australians want to see our forest heritage protected, not destroyed,” said Senator Rice.


Investigation needed into how pirate vessel Thunder was let free by authorities

Greens spokesperson for Fisheries Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
18.12.14 11:55 am

The discovery by Sea Shepherd of the notorious pirate vessel, illegally fishing in the Southern Ocean between Heard Island and Antarctica indicates a worrying failure of international co-operation, Greens spokesperson for Fisheries Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “In December 2013 Interpol issued a Purple Notice alerting authorities that the Thunder was fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.

“In May 2014, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) reported that the Thunder had been arrested and impounded in Malaysia for illegal fishing from the Southern Ocean.

“What has happened between May and December 2014? When was this notorious pirate vessel released by authorities?

“Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Richard Colbeck, has previously argued that their Asian port-side compliance efforts absolved the Government of their election promise to patrol the Southern Ocean for illegal fishing.

“Just like with the monitoring of whaling activity, again the Sea Shepherd has done the Government’s job.

“The Government needs to immediately conduct an independent investigation into how the Thunder was allowed to go free to plunder the Southern Ocean again.

“Why was it let go? Was it bribery, corruption or incompetence? Do laws need to be tightened? What did Australian authorities know, when did they know it and what did they do to stop the release of the Thunder?

“This is a scandal of the highest order. The Government has some serious explaining to do.

“The Government must also immediately indicate what it is going to do now it knows the Thunder is fishing over the extended continental shelf off Australia’s Territory of the Heard Island and McDonald Islands.

“When is the Government going to send its ice-rated patrol vessel ADV Ocean Shield to do the job it was purchased for, and stop a free-for-all for pirates in the Southern Ocean?

“These issues were precisely why the Greens established the Senate Inquiry into Southern Ocean management,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
18.12.14 11:53 am

With just a week to go in Australian Marriage Equality’s Pozible fundraising drive, leaders from across the political spectrum have joined to offer an exciting range of new rewards for donors.

Rewards include lunches with key Australian political figures like Deputy Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek, Greens Leader, Christine Milne, key MPs including Martin Foley, Sarah Hanson-Young and Adam Bandt, and Liberal Sydney City Councillor, Christine Forster, who is Prime Minister, Tony Abbott’s sister.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“The fact that political leaders have united in support of our fund raising drive shows how marriage equality brings people together from across the political spectrum.”

“Achieving our $50,000 target over the next week is crucial if AME is to successfully campaign into 2015.”

“Political insiders tell us 2015 is the key year for marriage equality and we have to be ready to expand our successful grass roots electorate campaign and make sure our voice is heard in Canberra.”

“I have no doubt many supporters of marriage equality will relish an opportunity to meet some of our key political leaders up close, as well as supporting the marriage equality campaign.”

AME has already raised $30,000 in donations but needs another $20,000 if it is to receive any of the money at all.

For more on the Pozible fundraising, click here:


The real cost of a pet for Christmas

Alyssa Brown Elevate PR Account Executive
18.12.14 11:51 am

A wonderful animal that can fill your house with love and joy for years to come is the perfect gift for Christmas.

However, welcoming a new addition to the family household can carry unexpected costs, leaving pets neglected or dumped at shelters after the festive season.

In Queensland, 21 per cent of the dogs received in animal shelters were euthanized between 2012-2013, which totalled over 10,000 animals.

The RSPCA reports more animals are surrendered in January than any other time of the year, attributed to owners who find they cannot care for the pets they were gifted for Christmas.

Classified websites such as Gumtree also report advertisements for animals being given away for free increase to more than six times the average of the rest of the year after the holiday period. 

Sustenhance Veterinarian Dr David Isaac said it is important to understand the costs associated with pet ownership and how to give and care for animals responsibly before gifting a pet for Christmas.

“The first cost is registration; depending on the dog and council regulations, most dogs need to be registered by 12 weeks of age and this starts from $120.00,” Dr Isaac said.

“The second cost is having the animal desexed. Veterinarians recommend desexing your dog or cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies, resolve behavioural issues, cease bleeding for females in season and can reduce or eliminate ‘spraying’ in cats. These procedures can start from $80. 

“Another cost for pets is immunisation. A disease such as parvovirus is very serious and can be fatal even with treatment. Puppy vaccinations can commence from six weeks of age and aim to be completely vaccinated by 12 weeks of age. It is recommended that your puppy or kitten doesn’t socialise with other animals, or go for walks in parks until at least one week after their last vaccination.

“Worming is also essential for pets, as worms are a common cause of ill health in pets and cause problems such as, appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and in severe cases can even be fatal. At this time of year fleas and ticks are an issue in pets, which can cause allergic reactions and even death.

“Finally dogs need to be trained and cared for appropriately. Dogs need between 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, require house-breaking training from an early age and need to be sourced from an ethical seller.”

Dr Isaac urges consumers to consider the person they are purchasing a pet for and if their lifestyle can fit an animal in it.


Today’s Catch: Recreational Fishing Survey

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
18.12.14 10:33 am

A fresh feed of flathead continues to be top of the menu for Tasmania’s recreational fishers according to the latest What’s the Catch? survey.

The survey commissioned by DPIPWE, and funded through recreational sea fishing licence fees, is conducted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies every five years.

It provides updated details on key trends that are vital to ensuring our recreational fisheries continue to be sustainably managed for generations to come.

The 2012-13 survey found that recreational fishing is a hugely popular past time for Tasmanians, with almost one in four dropping a line in at least once in 2012-13.

Flathead remains the catch of the day, with more than 1.6 million taking the bait, and almost half of those released. Australian Salmon is the second most hooked fish, followed by trout.

Fishing is most popular among men, with the highest numbers of fishers aged between 45 and 59 years of age.

There are major spin-offs for the economy, with fishers spending an average of $1,000, or a total of $93 million on boats, fuel, fishing gear and other equipment.

Recreational fishing is one of the many wonderful experiences enjoyed by thousands of locals, and it also attracts fishers from interstate and across the globe.

A brochure summarising the key findings of the survey and copies of the full report are available at


No values, no policies, no ideas - just another deal with the Greens

Adam Brooks, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade
18.12.14 10:33 am

Despite Tasmanians giving Labor an historic drubbing at the March election, Bryan Green has learned nothing.

The Opposition Leader has confirmed once again he is Green by name and Green by nature.

In an interview with the Examiner newspaper, Mr Green has confirmed that under his leadership Labor is so directionless that that he is consulting with the party about their “values”.

He has also revealed that Labor will remain a policy free zone until at least the second half of next year.

Without any policies of their own, Labor’s constant carping and rock-throwing simply have no credibility.

Worst of all, Mr Green has confirmed that he is still willing to form minority government with the Greens if it means he can get his hands on treasury benches.

“If there was a minority situation and the Labor Party was in a position to govern as such then we would just do that based on the numbers on the floor.” *

Mr Green has confirmed that a vote for Labor is a vote another Labor-Green minority government.

*Examiner Newspaper December 18.


Liberals’ tough talk in support of mining amounts to nothing

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
18.12.14 10:32 am

The Liberal Government is not living up to its promises to stop legal action aimed at obstructing Tasmania’s mining industry.

“It’s clear that the Liberals are all talk and no action when it comes to the kind of support they pledged to mining companies and investors before the election,” Labor Leader Bryan Green said.

“The Liberals said nothing would stand in the way of mining developments and they would stop third party appeals, yet Shree Minerals is now facing more uncertainty following a successful appeal by conservationists.

“Resources Minister Paul Harriss remains deathly silent and all the tough talk from Adam Brooks has amounted to nothing.

“The reality is that Tasmania’s mining sector is going backwards under the Liberals.

“Investment in mineral exploration is disappearing which doesn’t bode well for new mines in the future.

“Under Labor, mineral exploration was at record levels because we invested heavily in technology like 3D mapping to support and encourage investment.

“The challenge for the Liberals now is to reverse the slide in mineral exploration and build more confidence in the sector.

“The mining industry is doing it tough because of the exchange rate and lower commodity prices and now more than ever the government must step up and show it’s not all talk and no action.”


Michael Ferguson sends damaging message to developers

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
18.12.14 9:45 am

As pressure grows on Health Minister Michael Ferguson to answer questions over hospital funding, Labor Leader Bryan Green has criticised the Minister’s attack on the proponents of the CenoTas project.

In an opinion piece for the Mercury, Mr Ferguson derided the CenoTas proposal.

“Dean Coleman and his team put forward a bold project and they’ve been disparaged by the Liberal Government,” Mr Green said.

“This sends a very worrying message to developers who want to invest in Tasmania.

“Instead of working with the CenoTas consortium, Michael Ferguson has decided to run down the project in the local paper.

“It’s not the behaviour of a mature government and it’s certainly not the behaviour of a government claiming to be open for business.

“The CenoTas consortium deserves nothing but praise for putting forward a bold plan and consulting with hundreds of stakeholders.

“It doesn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of pot shots from a minister who cannot handle criticism.

“Michael Ferguson needs to come out today and explain where he will find the additional $70 million needed for the redevelopment.

“He has also failed to stand up to Tony Abbott over a predicted $86 million dollar hit to the health budget due to a worsening federal budget position.”


It’s going to be a long hot summer for the Hodgman Government

Teresa O’Leary, South Hobart Primary and Taroona High parent
18.12.14 6:12 am

Tomorrow will be the last day of school for the year and the last day of my personal protest against the education cuts.

I will pack up my signs and take a short break for Christmas.

Is this the end of the road for my campaign?

Certainly not. 

I take heart that out of adversity a community of articulate, thoughtful individuals has been formed.

We now have a working group who are prepared to plan and lead protest actions over the summer.

The first big protest event will be at the opening of the Taste of Tasmania. School Associations are now communicating with each other daily and sharing information so they can speak with one voice, they can demystify the rhetoric the Government is so determined to use as a response to our protests. 

When Peter Gutwein thought the easy road to cutting the budget was to take teachers out of schools, he was mistaken.

It’s now going to be a long haul for the Hodgman-Gutwein team to gain the trust and respect of Tasmanian parents. 

I for one, look forward to the summer, it sure is going to be a hot one for the Government.


Australian mooring network - a global blueprint for coastal ocean observing

Dr Tim Lynch, Tim Moltmann, Marian Wiltshire
18.12.14 6:05 am

CSIRO technicians Clare Davies and Ryan Crossing prepare bottles to collect water samples at Ningaloo in Western Australia. Image credit: T.P. Lynch, CSIRO.

A network of nine National Reference Stations deployed by Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is providing the latest physical, chemical and biological information to help scientists and industry understand our coastal seas.

The network of National Reference Stations is described for the first time today in a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE

Lead author, Dr Tim Lynch from CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, says “Scientists have already been able to use the IMOS data to observe extreme events, such as marine heat waves and coastal flooding and rare events such as plankton blooms.”

IMOS has implemented the network of reference study sites to build on three long-term locations where monthly water sampling commenced in the 1940s and 1950s.

The modern network adds in-situ moorings and enhanced monthly water sampling to collect more than 50 data streams, some in near real time. Building on sampling for temperature, salinity, and nutrients, the network now observes dissolved oxygen, carbon, turbidity, currents, chlorophyll a, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Additional information to understand ocean acidification and bio-optics are also collected at a subset of the sites. All of the data are made freely and publically available via the IMOS Ocean Portal

“Sustained observations allow us to track changes in ocean and marine ecosystems, however until IMOS these have been rare in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Dr Lynch.

“For the first time in Australia, we have combined forces across our various marine institutes and research organisations to build a continent-wide sampling of our coastal seas and ecosystems, so we can continuously track and understand variation at daily, seasonal and annual time scales.”

IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann says, “Australia’s large ocean territory provides massive social, economic and environmental benefits to our nation.”

“However we haven’t been very good at sustaining marine observing programs over the years, making it difficult to distinguish things like short-term variability and longterm change,” says Tim Moltmann.

“IMOS has overcome this problem by putting in place a single national collaborative system, made possible by core funding by the Australian Government, to deliver efficient and effective marine observing and data management on an ongoing basis.  The National Reference Station network is an excellent example.”

IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by Australian Government. It is led by University of Tasmania in partnership with the Australian marine and climate science community.