In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Tasmanian Rural Women’s Award Winner

Federal Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson
28.04.15 4:59 pm

Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson congratulated Glengarry Hazelnut Grower Carol Bracken on being named Tasmanian Rural women of the year today.

Ms Bracken was awarded the top gong for the Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation’s Rural Women’s State Final at a lunchtime event at Tasmania’s Parliament House.

Mr Hutchinson said that Ms Bracken won the title from an impressive group of country Tasmanian women.

Finalists included, Amanda Mackinnon of Dodges Ferry, Sally Murfet of Buckland, Lynn Murfet of Sorell School Farm and Christine Mann of White Hills.

“It shows the diversity and opportunity within the state’s agricultural sector, “ Mr Hutchinson said.

“Agribusiness is so much more than working on a farm.”

“These are smart, passionate, entrepreneurial women who should be proud of being selected as finalists.”

Mr Hutchinson wished Ms Bracken success in the national finals in Canberra later this year. 


Investigation of a Civil and Administrative Tribunal for Tasmania

Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General
28.04.15 4:50 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government has commenced work to assess the feasibility of a single Civil and Administrative Tribunal for Tasmania which could reduce duplication and improve access to justice.

Tasmania is the only Australian state that does not have a single tribunal and administrative appeals structure. The Department of Justice alone currently supports 15 bodies which will all be consulted as part of this project to assess their suitability for consideration for inclusion in an amalgamated tribunal. Any other relevant tribunals and boards which fall within other portfolio areas will also be considered as to their suitability for inclusion in a single tribunal.

Each existing tribunal has its own administrative and legislative framework, requiring a high level of resourcing and support that could be streamlined to deliver a more efficient and accessible service.

I have asked the Department of Justice to develop a discussion paper which will examine the range of bodies suitable for amalgamation, as well as the possible structure, legislative requirements, governance and leadership of a single tribunal.

Any development of a single tribunal would ensure that the Tribunal continues to have access to the expertise required, and would focus on eliminating duplication of administration and support costs. 

Reform of this kind to Tasmania’s civil and administrative decision-making processes has the potential to improve service delivery and consistency of processes, provide better access to justice, and reduce red-tape and duplication.

It is anticipated that the discussion paper will be completed by mid-2015. Providing initial consultation and discussion supports further investigation, an options paper would then be completed by the end of the year.


Working with recreational fishers on fisheries management

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
28.04.15 4:46 pm

Recognising the importance of recreational fishing to Australian communities, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has today hosted a forum with representatives from the recreational fishing sector.

Attending the forum, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck said that meetings like today’s were an important part of sustainable fisheries management.

“The Australian Government has given a commitment to give the fisheries sector, which includes the recreational fishing community, the respect it deserves,” Senator Colbeck said.

“With an estimated five million Australians participating in recreational fishing, the sector is a valuable contributor to healthy lifestyles and the nation’s economy.

“I congratulate AFMA and the representatives of the recreational fishing sector here today for their engagement on issues which affect recreational fishing and Commonwealth fisheries.

“Held since 2013, these forums are invaluable to ensure a healthy dialogue exists and recreational fishing has a voice.”

AFMA Commissioners also attended today’s forum and the Deputy Chair of the AFMA Commission, Mr Richard Stevens noted the recent work of the Authority to better engage with recreational fishers and strengthen the relationship.

“In addition to the AFMA recreational fishing forum, AFMA has recently held two forums for recreational fishing and conservation stakeholders on the management of the Small Pelagic Fishery,” Mr Stevens said.

“Furthermore, in July last year for the first time, AFMA appointed a recreational fishing liaison officer.

“Based at the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation’s (ARFF) headquarters, the officer is helping to ensure views and concerns of recreational fishers are considered by AFMA and build the capacity of ARFF to engage in fisheries management, again furthering the relationship between the two bodies.”

The forum included presentations on key recreational fishing species, the Small Pelagic Fishery, and legislative recognition of recreational fishing.



Federal Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson
28.04.15 4:45 pm

FEDERAL Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson was pleased to announce substantial funding for two Southern Tasmanian businesses today and present them each with certificates of achievement for their innovation and investment.

Bridgewater business Moo Brew was granted $70,300 from the Federal Government’s Innovation and Investment Fund towards the cost of a $140,600 new canning line.

The investment will cover the purchase and commissioning of the line which will allow the business to introduce a new lower cost product.

Moo Brew brewery has expanded substantially since it was first installed on the MONA site when it was still Moorilla Estate, near Hobart, in 2005.

It developed its second site, at Bridgewater in 2010 where all its brewery operations are now carried out.

Reid Fruits received $1.1 million from the Federal Government towards its $4.4 million project to establish a non-traditional high elevation orchard at Plenty.

The project includes a retractable-roof greenhouse to mitigate weather risk which will extend the cherry season in Tasmania.

Reid Fruits exports cherries to more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is one of the biggest cherry producers in Australia.

The Reid family’s involvement in the state’s fruit industry started in 1856 when James Reid settled in the Huon Valley south of Hobart and planted his first apple orchard.

The family orchards have expanded with each generation with Reid Fruits turning its attention to cherries in 2000.

More than 80,000 cherry trees have since been planted at Plenty along with 36,000 apple trees.


Just another Wilkie publicity stunt

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
28.04.15 3:13 pm

Andrew Wilkie’s latest claim about the Geelong Star is just another publicity stunt from a headline seeking MP, said Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture.

Senator Colbeck said it was appropriate for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Commission to consider advice from stakeholders before deciding total allowable catches for Commonwealth Fisheries.

“Andrew Willkie’s suggestion that the process of setting total allowable catches is somehow rigged is completely false. It is just another cheap attempt for him to steal a headline,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The SPF Resource Assessment Group (SPFRAG) and South East Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC) provide advice to the AFMA Commission about the management of the fishery.”

“These groups are made up of members who are either engaged in or have experience in the fishery and they are obliged to declare any conflict of interest.”

In 2012 the Commonwealth Ombudsman concluded that AFMA had undertaken a range of remedial and corrective steps to address the issue, which was previously raised by Wilkie in a similar stunt.

AFMA’s current arrangements in place for management advisory committees and resource assessment groups reflect the steps undertaken in 2012.


Canada Down Under videos ...

Larin Sullivan Marketing and Communications Specialist
28.04.15 2:45 pm

Canada Down Under has some great vids and yarns on its website here, including an interview with Ground-Control-to-Major-Tom astronaut Chris Hadfield ...


• Watch Canada Down Under in Hobart:

• Watch Canada Down Under Franklin Discovery Lecture Series:


Tasmanian Rural Women’s Award Winner

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
28.04.15 2:41 pm

Congratulations to the Tasmanian Rural Women’s Award 2015 winner Carol Bracken.

Carol has proven an inspiration since establishing Tamar Valley Hazelnuts with her family five years ago.

Carol’s dedication and hard work won’t stop here as she heads to Oregon, USA, a heartland for hazelnuts, with the $10,000 bursary.

I’ve no doubt Carol will gain invaluable insights during the visit to one of the world’s most competitive markets, which has the potential to change the way we do things on our island.

Carol will also attend the prestigious Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, and represent Tasmania at the national selections for the Australian Rural Women’s Award.

I would also like to congratulate this year’s runner-up, Christine Mann who won the Encouragement Award.

The Rural Industries and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Awards Tasmania are a fantastic opportunity to pay tribute to women of Tasmania’s land, to develop leadership and visions for the future of Tasmania’s primary industries.

The Hodgman Liberal Government recognises the vital contribution women make to Tasmania’s rural industries, agribusiness and rural communities, and is proud to support the awards, together with other major sponsors.

We also recognise the value of our agriculture industry and are committed to growing it tenfold by 2050 through our AgriVision plan.


Putting forestry onto a sustainable pathway

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
28.04.15 2:22 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is rebuilding the forest industry after it was left decimated by Labor and the Greens.

It was under the former Government that Forestry Tasmania was hit with a perfect storm of the three Gs - the GFC, the collapse of Gunns, and then finally, the Green-Labor government.

When Gunns withdrew from native forest harvesting and the forest industry, Forestry Tasmania needed careful support from the Government.

Instead, it was ripped apart with the disastrous Forest Deal which retired more than 150,000 cubic metres of sawlog production, caused thousands of job losses, halved FT’s production forest, and forced significant write-downs to FT’s balance sheet.

As a result, FT has recorded consecutive operating losses and in the two years following the disastrous Forest Deal the total amount paid to Forestry Tasmania from the budget by Labor and the Greens was nearly $100 million and Labor Leader Bryan Green is again calling for money to be put into Forestry Tasmania at the expense of front line services.

As promised, the Hodgman Government stopped this support to FT from the budget, instead providing a $30 million equity transfer from TasNetworks so a complete review and rethink of the way FT operates could occur.

We committed to put the business on a long-term sustainable footing and to end the funding from the Consolidated Fund and the Ministerial Statement I will be delivering tomorrow will confirm that is the case – not one red cent from the Consolidated Fund for FT’s commercial operations.

It will also be made clear that we will not be seeking additional Commonwealth funding for FT as the Greens suggested.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to rebuilding our forest industry and putting Forestry Tasmania onto a long-term, sustainable pathway.


Congratulations Trowunna Tours

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
28.04.15 2:20 pm

I congratulate Tasman Langford and Sheldon Thomas on the official opening of Trowunna Tours.

Since January, the pair has been taking visitors to kunanyi (Mount Wellington) where they share stories and cultural insights of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

This unique journey goes beyond the wilderness and to the heart of Tasmania’s first people to give the world a deeper understanding of our island and its traditional owners.

I was delighted to join Aboriginal Elder Aunty Girlie today to cut the official opening rope, and to provide $3,000 through the Premier’s Discretionary Fund for the venture.

Aboriginal tourism provides an opportunity for Aboriginal people to tell their story in their way, sharing cultural insights, traditional practices and contemporary concerns.

Cultural tourism is a growing market, with the latest Tasmanian Visitors Survey revealing more than 35,000 visitors experienced the Tasmanian Aboriginal culture in some way during their stay last year, an increase of 12 per cent from 2013.

We want more Tasmanians and our visitors to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for our Aboriginal heritage through authentic and engaging experiences like Trowunna,  which will also help achieve our ambitious target of 1.5 million visitors to the state by 2020.


Budget cuts compromise safety of Tasmanian workers

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
28.04.15 1:58 pm

Labor leader Bryan Green today accused the Liberal Government of compromising the safety of Tasmanian workers after cutting the number of workplace inspectors and refusing to rule out axing more jobs.

“Sadly, 11 Tasmanians died as a result of workplace accidents last year representing a quarter of all the deaths at work around Australia,” Mr Green said.

“At the same time the Government got rid of 11 WorkSafe Tasmania inspectors to meet its cost cutting targets.

“These are frontline jobs that the Liberals promised never to cut.

“The Government has a responsibility to ensure all Tasmanians are safe at work and workplace inspectors play a crucial role.

“For Peter Gutwein to focus on a reduction in workers’ compensation claims to defend cutting the number of inspectors is deliberately misleading.

“Mr Gutwein needs to understand there is a difference between workers’ compensation and workers’ safety.

“There is no substitute for having inspectors on the ground in workplaces, not only to make sure employers are doing the right thing, but to educate employees to ensure their safety.

“Mr Gutwein needs to put the safety of workers first and rule out any further cuts to the number of inspectors.”


Premier Exposed over Election Double-dealing on Super Trawlers

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
28.04.15 1:49 pm

The State Liberals have been exposed promising one thing to anti super trawler campaigners before the state election, and then voting the opposite way once they achieved power, Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“Email correspondence, issued by Mr Hodgman’s Chief of Staff while the Liberals were in opposition during the 2014 election campaign, reveals that Mr Hodgman and his staff accepted super trawlers to mean ‘freezer factory trawlers’, and undertook to pursue a permanent ban on such vessels ‘in waters under the control of the Commonwealth Government’,” Mr Booth said.

“In return for this undertaking to support a ban on freezer factory trawlers in Commonwealth waters, the Liberals sought a commitment from the stakeholder group to cease their TV, radio and other media advertising campaign targeting the Liberals.”

“Yet when provided the opportunity last week to follow through on their election promise to support a ban on a factory freezer super trawler, the Geelong Star, the Premier shamelessly broke this written commitment issued by his own Chief of Staff.”

“We have heard these last few days that the Liberals apparently only object to super trawlers of 130 metres in length or more.  Yet this email makes no mention of trawler size, but specifically refers to ‘freezer factory trawlers’.”

“Clearly, if the Liberals were standing by the election campaign commitment issued by the Premier’s Chief of Staff, they would have voted in support of our motion to write to the Commonwealth objecting to the Geelong Star’s operation in the Small Pelagic fishery.”

“Either Will Hodgman’s Chief of Staff sent that email with his knowledge and authorisation, in which case this is a blatant broken promise by Will Hodgman.  Or does he actually want people to believe he is treated as a puppet by his own staff who enter into policy commitments without even bothering to inform him?”

“The message to the Tasmanian public is clear, you cannot trust the Hodgman Liberals. This email is proof Will Hodgman has so little integrity he is prepared to promise the world when in Opposition, only to walk away from those commitments once the has gained power,” Mr Booth said.

DOWNLOAD: Copy of pre-election email sent by Mr Hodgman’s Chief of Staff to Super Trawler campaigners, dated 21 February 2014, tabled in the house of Assembly today, Tuesday the 28th of April 2015:



Draft DPP Act Amendment to be released for public consultation

Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General
28.04.15 1:45 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government will undertake public consultation on an amendment to the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1973 to introduce a ten year, non-renewable term for the position of DPP.

The Act currently provides for a lifetime appointment to the position of DPP, and the provisions for removal from office are limited and restrictive in the view of many stakeholders. The draft amendment proposes introducing a ten year term for the DPP which cannot be renewed.

The introduction of a fixed-term appointment is in line with practice in other Australian jurisdictions, including NSW and Victoria. The limitation to a single term ensures there can be no perception of Government influence over a DPP seeking reappointment.

The same term of office will also be introduced to the Solicitor General Act 1983 to provide consistency between the two statutory officers.

In the lead up to the decision to remove the former DPP from office, it became increasingly apparent that there were widespread community concerns around the lifetime appointment to this office and the suspension of the former DPP on full pay for a lengthy period of time.

It was clear also that there was a similar concern around the lack of clarity in relation to the power to remove those occupying that role on occasions where removal may be clearly warranted.

At the time of the removal from office of the previous DPP, the Government committed to amending the Act to provide greater consistency with other statutory office holders and allow greater flexibility for the government to take appropriate action in exceptional circumstances.

The draft amendment proposes that removal from office provisions should mirror those for the Solicitor-General, which provide that the office holder can only be removed during their term if a resolution is passed by both house of Parliament.

These changes are important to ensure that Tasmanians can have full confidence in the important office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and to preserve the independence of this office.

The Government will consult with legal stakeholders and the public regarding the amendment before tabling legislation prior to the end of June.

The draft amendment and information about the consultation process will be available in early May at


Michael Ferguson urged to honour NBN promise to North-West

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Minister for Technology, Communications and Innovation
28.04.15 1:44 pm

Labor today called on Minister for Technology Michael Ferguson to stand by his promise that the NBN roll out would deliver fibre to 80 per cent of Tasmanian households and businesses.

“Mr Ferguson promised Tasmanians this would happen across the State,” Shadow Minister for Technology, Communications and Innovation, Madeleine Ogilvie said.

“Labor strongly supports calls by Mayors on the North-West Coast for a review of the NBN roll-out given the Liberals’ failure to deliver.

“Why should the North-West region be treated any differently than other parts of the State?

“Michael Ferguson made a clear commitment; it is on the public record but now he has gone silent.

“Talk is cheap. What is needed is action by Mr Ferguson.

“I just hope Mr Ferguson is not taking his riding instructions from the perennial apologist for the Abbott Government, Brett Whiteley.”


Wooden Boat News ...

28.04.15 1:38 pm


Read more here


Nepal Earthquake

Will Hodgman, Premier
28.04.15 1:37 pm

On behalf of Tasmanians I extend my deepest condolences to all of those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.

The extent of the devastation is yet to be realised as the search for the missing continues and the death toll is rising.

Our thoughts are with all those affected; especially the two Tasmanian families with missing loved ones. The Government has offered assistance and support to these families.

The Department of Health and Human Services is working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, offering supplies and assistance from medical personnel should it be required.

The Department of Police and Emergency Management is also on standby to provide search and rescue and disaster victim identification should that be required.

We extend our thoughts and support to Nepalese Tasmanians and Nepalese students studying at the University of Tasmania.

I know Tasmanians will show their support for the Nepalese community, many of whom are planning prayer vigils.

Tasmanians with concerns about the welfare of families and friends in Nepal are encouraged to call DFAT’s 24-hour consular Emergency Centre on 02 6261 3305 or on 1300 555 135.



Paul Arnott
28.04.15 1:36 pm

The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia, Elizabeth Delaney, has written to Australian Heads of Churches proposing that Refugee Sunday on June 21 be a Day of Prayer and Fasting.

Ms Delaney said, “Archbishop Philip Freier, Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, has proposed that all churches mark Sunday 21 June as Refugee Sunday observing it as a day of prayer and fasting.”

She said, “For all who believe in the power of prayer, the combined prayer of Christians from all churches is surely most powerful. This, combined with fasting - prayer in action – is surely a witness both to Christians responding to the Gospel call to welcome the stranger and to our desire to express our desire for unity through common action.”

Ms Delaney encouraged all heads of churches to promote this within their parishes and communities, to share prayer resources and to use the media that is available to them.


Cabinet Split Over Forestry Tasmania Review

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
28.04.15 12:16 pm

The Premier, Will Hodgman, must come clean and disclose whether his Cabinet is split over the internal Forestry Tasmania Review and its accompanying Cabinet Minute, Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“It is very telling that when provided the opportunity to do so in Parliament, the Premier failed to rule out a Cabinet split over the Treasurer Gutwein and Minister Harriss co-signed Cabinet Minute and Forestry Tasmania Review,” Mr Booth said.

“Further the Premier also attempted to avoid answering the very simple question whether it took three attempts to get the Forestry Tasmania Review and Cabinet Minute through Cabinet, which finally occurred yesterday.”

“The Greens have it on solid advice that it took at least three attempts to get the co-signed Treasurer Gutwein and Minister Harriss proposal through Cabinet, and Mr Hodgman’s refusal to confirm or deny when asked, only goes to confirm there was, and may still be, a split in Cabinet on this matter.”

“We all know that if it did not take three attempts to get the Gutwein-Harriss proposal through a split Cabinet, the Premier would have delighted in ruling out and denying that assertion.  His refusal to answer, is in fact as good as an answer.”

“This clearly raises the serious question over exactly what the Parliament will be provided tomorrow during the expected Ministerial Statement, and how much of the original Review and Cabinet proposal has been altered and revised before Cabinet considered it fit for public consumption.”

“Tasmanians also deserve to know why the Review and Cabinet Minute were blocked the first time, the second time, and what changed to get it through the third time? The public also deserves to know whether it was the Premier’s faction responsible for blocking the Gutwein-Harriss co-signed proposal?”

“Clearly the first two failed attempts to get Cabinet to sign off on the Gutwein-Harriss Cabinet Minute and proposal goes some way to explaining why this review of Forestry Tasmania is so over-due.  However the Cabinet split raises further serious questions over any proposed reforms,” Mr Booth said.


Cuts to come but Liberals pretending the pain’s in the past

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
28.04.15 12:15 pm

The Liberal Government cannot be trusted when it says there’s no more pain to come from budget cuts.

Labor Leader Bryan Green said nearly $600 million in savings are yet to be achieved.

“The Liberals wants Tasmanians to think everything is just fine but that doesn’t match reality across the public service,” Mr Green said.

“The savings targets next year in health and education are significantly larger than they were this year, that means further cuts are inevitable.

“We know more than 400 jobs remain on the chopping block. Where will they be cut from?

“Peter Gutwein must explain how cuts of $54 million in health and $38 million in education will be achieved without breaking a sweat.

“The jobs the Liberals have already cut will save the budget some money, but it does not account for the full amount.

“It’s clear the Liberals have a plan to cut by stealth while telling Tasmanians there’s nothing to fear.”


Greens Table Proposed Forestry Tasmania Commission of Inquiry Terms of Reference

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
28.04.15 12:07 pm

The Tasmanian Greens today tabled in the State Parliament their proposed terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry into Forestry Tasmania, to investigate financial mismanagement, decline in asset value, as well as viable alternatives for the future management of the forest estate.

“The Greens’ proposed Commission of Inquiry would be independent, autonomous and without the baggage which has prevented previous internal or parliamentary committees attempts to break the public hand-out cycle of Forestry Tasmania,” Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“It is a safe bet that the Hodgman government’s internal departmental Review of Forestry Tasmania will not be as forensic as our proposed Commission of Inquiry, and nor will it address the range of serious and outstanding considerations contained in our proposed terms of reference.”

“These are the matters, that the Harriss Review will seek to sweep under the carpet.”

“However all Tasmanian taxpayers deserve to know where the hundreds of millions of public subsidies have gone, the probity of commitments entered into by the corporation on behalf of the Crown, as well as an objective assessment of its future.”

“No matter the spin of the expected Ministerial statement on the internal review, our proposed Commission of Inquiry Terms of Reference will provide the checklist of pertinent and outstanding matters warranting investigation, and answers to be provided to the public,” Mr Booth said.

DOWNLOAD, the Greens’ proposed Terms of Reference for a Commission of Inquiry into Forestry Tasmania, tabled by Greens Leader Kim Booth MP, Tuesday 28 April 2015:



Minister Finally Provides Some Detail on Heritage Removals

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Heritage spokesperson
28.04.15 12:06 pm

In Parliament today, Heritage Minister, Matthew Groom MP, finally came out of hiding on his plans to remove a third of the properties from Tasmania’s Heritage Register this year.

Greens’ Heritage spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said while the few details provided today are welcome, it is now more than five months since the Heritage Council met and resolved to remove the first tranche of properties from the Register.

“In what’s become a very opaque process, owners of currently listed heritage properties affected by the Council’s statutory decision will be contacted by Heritage Tasmania this week.  There is no explanation for the delay other than fraidy-cat political meddling on the Minister’s part.  Mr Groom knows this is a very sensitive subject to many Tasmanians.”

“The Heritage Council met again in February and made another statutory decision to remove an unknown number of properties from the Register, yet no word to owners since and no public statement about that meeting.”

“There is no doubt the Register could do with a thorough examination to ensure listed properties do in fact belong on the Register, and that important sites have full heritage protection.”

“For example, Woolnorth Estate is not listed on the Register and it surely should be recognised as a place of immense heritage significance to Tasmanians.”

“Regrettably, what could have been a sound, publicly respected process has been compromised from the outset by the Minister setting a target in the Budget papers of 1653 properties for removal, and by his own spokesperson declaring the removals will lower costs for heritage property owners and reduce the expense of maintaining the Heritage Register,” Ms O’Connor said.


Message to Ms Plibersek: marriage laws don’t discriminate

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom
28.04.15 12:05 pm

Federal deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek should check the law before calling same-sex marriage ‘legal equality’,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.

“Just two years ago, Australian Federal Court Justice Jayne Jagot ruled that marriage is not discriminatory.  Every Australian has an equal right to marry.  And marriage, like other institutions, has several pre-conditions: the intending spouses must be two adults, not closely related, of opposite sexes, and their union must be voluntary, exclusive and intended for life.”

Ros Phillips said that same-sex couples may have a close and loving relationship – as indeed may other groups of people – but it is not the same as marriage, which has been recognised overwhelmingly by cultures and religions throughout history as the union of a man and a woman.

“Ms Plibersek has a background in communications rather than law,” Ros Phillips said.  “She would do well to check her legal facts before sending her message.”


Tasmanian Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme closing date extended to 30 June

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff
28.04.15 12:03 pm

The Australian and Tasmanian governments have agreed to extend the closing date for applications for the Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme to 30 June 2015.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, said farm businesses in Tasmania would now have more time to take advantage of the loans scheme.

“These loans are designed to support producers who are experiencing debt-servicing difficulties, but are considered financially viable in the longer term,” Minister Joyce said.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture and Senator for Tasmania, Richard Colbeck, said that the Australian Government had made a total of $15 million in loans available to eligible farm businesses in Tasmania for the 2014–15 round of the loans scheme, and that funding was still available.

Minister Rockliff said that loans of up to $650,000 were available to eligible farm businesses for debt restructuring, productivity enhancements, or a combination of the two, with an interest rate currently set at 4.34 per cent and a loan term of five years.

“I welcome the Federal Government’s support to extend the loans scheme, which provides a helping hand to Tasmanian farmers,” Minister Rockliff said.

“In many cases, it has been a productive season for Tasmanian agriculture, but of course there has been challenging conditions for farmers in some areas.

“I encourage Tasmanian farmers who may be interested in taking advantage of the loans to find out more, and submit an application before the extended June 30 closing date.

“A Farmer Liaison Officer program continues to be provided through the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association to assist in obtaining further information, contact 1800 154 111 or visit Or contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 883 276,” Minister Rockliff said today.

In addition to the $420 million Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme, the Australian Government had a range of assistance measures available to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship—including income support through the Farm Household Allowance and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

“I encourage farmers not to self assess their eligibility for any of these measures, but to talk to the experts and find out more about their options,” Minister Joyce said.

The Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme in Tasmania is delivered by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth. More information, including eligibility criteria and application details, can be found at

Loan applications close at 5pm on 30 June 2015, or when funds are fully committed, whichever is sooner.

For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance available to farmers, farm businesses and rural communities, visit


Rosny Hill reveals potential to become top tourism destination

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman
28.04.15 12:01 pm

A proposal to create a major new tourism destination on Rosny Hill would see the development of new accommodation, restaurants and a conference centre for the area as well as improving public access for locals and visitors to enjoy the spectacular views and native parklands.

Clarence City Council has awarded Tasmanian firm Hunter Developments with preferred developer status, as part of the third stage of its expression of interest (EOI) process, enabling the Rosny Hill concept to be released for public consultation and feedback.

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the proposal aimed to balance tourism opportunities with improved recreational facilities for the public, ensuring existing trails and viewing areas were maintained and enhanced.

“The proposed development includes new public facilities, such as viewing platforms, toilets, walking trails, interpretation sites, seating, BBQs, picnic areas, use of spaces for weddings and community events, as well as improved parking,” Mayor Chipman said.

“It also aims to improve the landscape surrounding the site, protecting native species in the area, reducing weed infestations, planting appropriate natives and managing the site for bushfire protection.”

Mayor Chipman said following initial stages of the EOI process, Council had deemed the proposal worthy of further consideration and it would now be released for pre-statutory community consultation, before undergoing further approval processes.

“This pre-statutory community consultation period is not a legislative requirement and I applaud Hunter Developments for going above and beyond standard procedure to encourage public input into the project,” Mayor Chipman said.

“This is a vital step in the process, with public feedback informing the further design of the proposal and identifying any issues to be resolved, and I encourage the community to have their say on this exciting opportunity for Rosny Hill.”

Hunter Developments Director, Prof. Robert Morris-Nunn, said the proposal comprised a number of exciting features, including 120 guest villas, a hotel with restaurant and bar, gym and spa facilities, a conference and function centre, as well as a standalone 100-seat café-restaurant for the general public.

“There is a clear need for high-quality accommodation and conference facilities in and around Hobart and the Rosny Hill proposal seeks to create a major new tourism destination that will strive to strike a balance between private and public use for tourists and locals alike,” Prof. Morris-Nunn said.

“We look forward to facilitating discussions with the community about the proposal and listening to the public’s feedback, which will help inform its further design.

“We hope this accommodation will result in a proposal that we can submit to Council for consideration under its Planning Scheme, which will include a statutory public consultation period.”

The community is invited to attend a public forum on the Rosny Hill proposal to be held on Wednesday, 6 May 2015 at 6.30pm at the Rosny Park Bowls Club.

The proposal will be on display for the next three weeks in the foyer of the Clarence City Council offices at 38 Bligh Street, Rosny Park, where feedback forms are also available.

The community can also submit feedback via email to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Farmers seek pit-stop funding

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
28.04.15 12:00 pm

The TFGA wants the State Government and farmers to know more about the state of their health. To that end, at next year’s Agfest it plans to shepherd them into a health pit-stop to be checked out.

In its Budget submission to the government, the TFGA is recommending a $100,000 program to gather information on farmers’ health, analyse it and report what it shows.

“There is little data about the overall health of Tasmanian farmers and the impact that health issues may be having on their productivity,” TFGA president Wayne Johnston said today.

“We all profess to be as strong as a Mallee bull, but who knows? We tend not to go to the doctor’s until it is absolutely necessary.

“Without accurate, current data the government cannot know with any accuracy which health services should be targeted to rural areas.

“We need services that have the capacity to deliver improved productivity and that will translate into future cost savings to the health system through preventative health.”

The TFGA has proposed the health pit-stop at Agfest 2016 “to coordinate and conduct holistic health checks for Tasmanian farmers”.

Mr Johnston said the “health mechanics” in the pit-stop would survey farmers about their health and walk them through a series of free health checks that would include eyesight, hearing, blood pressure, simple blood sugar levels, heart and lung function and mental health.

“Agfest is the perfect opportunity to do this sort of mass screening of farmers,” Mr Johnston said.

“We might need a good dog to round them up but I am sure we’ll get them in there.”


New west coast depot to support infrastructure upgrades

Simon Pilkington, TasWater
28.04.15 11:59 am

A new workshop and depot, officially opened in Zeehan for TasWater’s west coast crews will be a vital hub as the water and sewerage organisation spends tens of millions of dollars on critical infrastructure improvements in the region.

Upgrades on the west coast valued at $29 million are either underway or in the planning and design phase, including a $10.5 million sewage treatment plant in construction at Rosebery, $3.5 million upgrading Queenstown’s Conglomerate Dam and a new water treatment plant planned for Rosebery, with construction to start later this year.

The west coast will also benefit each year from Taswater’s $40 million statewide investment in renewing water and sewer mains and CCTV pipe inspections. This is part of TasWater’s $110M spend annually on infrastructure projects across Tasmania to improve water quality and environmental outcomes from ageing infrastructure.

The new Zeehan depot will provide critical support and improved efficiencies to TasWater crews carrying out their works program.

TasWater’s General Manager, Operations and Maintenance Glen Jameson said “the new depot is an indication of TasWater’s commitment to the west coast community. It will provide crews with all the equipment and work space they need to carry out repairs, maintenance and testing facilities to manage water and sewage systems in the areas of Zeehan and Rosebery through to Tullah.

“It’s also important to give employees improved work place facilities, and especially on the west coast where shelter is more than welcome during the winter months,” Mr Jameson said.

The building, constructed by Ausco Modular, is an innovative design, pre-prefabricated in a factory and transported to site and assembled by local contractors.

Ausco’s Tasmanian Manager Thomas van Oosterom said the business had been operating in Tasmania for 25 years and valued the opportunity to take part in the development and construction of the Zeehan prototype project.

“We are big supporters of projects that add value to the communities we operate in and believe the Zeehan facility will help TasWater bring significant benefits to the region in the long-term,” Mr van Oosterom said.

“Ausco maintains a long and successful relationship with TasWater and has been working closely with the team for the past 12 months to design, develop and construct this facility which provides a modern and efficient working environment for staff.

“We are very excited to be a part of the much-anticipated launch,” Mr van Ossterom said.

The Zeehan depot is the work base for TasWaters local crew of six staff who are already making good use of their improved facilities.



Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison
28.04.15 11:51 am

2The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has revealed concerns about the legitimacy of the Geelong Star fishing in Australian waters that include allegations the freezer factory ship’s operator helped set its catch quota.

Mr Wilkie has written to the Commonwealth Ombudsman with the concerns on the eve of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commission meeting in Canberra tomorrow to decide the next Small Pelagic Fishery quota that starts this Friday 1 May.

Mr Wilkie is aware of a serious complaint to AFMA that contains the conflict of interest allegation, as well as issues with process and possible instances of AFMA ignoring scientific advice from its sub committees.

The source of this information is within AFMA and Mr Wilkie has seen a copy of the document this person has put to the Authority.

``I’ve asked the Ombudsman to investigate the allegations that include that a director of Seafish Tasmania – the operator of the Geelong Star – was allowed to participate in the process of setting the recommended Total Allowable Catch for the fishery,’’ Mr Wilkie said.  ``If this is correct, it’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house and leaves a huge question mark hanging over the fishing quota and legitimacy of the Geelong Star fishing in Australian waters.’’

Mr Wilkie said the allegations about AFMA’s process in setting quotas were very concerning considering the authority’s recent history and would leave many Australians questioning the management of Australia’s precious fisheries.

In 2012 Mr Wilkie reported similar concerns to the Commonwealth Ombudsman about AFMA’s setting of the quota relevant to Seafish Tasmania’s previous vessel, the super trawler Margiris.

The Ombudsman found that AFMA did not follow the law when the South East Management Advisory Committee finalised its recommendation for the quota relevant to the Margiris.

In particular the Ombudsman found that one of the members of that committee had a financial conflict of interest but was allowed to remain in, and contribute to, discussions about the quota.

As a direct result of the 2012 Ombudsman’s investigation, AFMA said it had undertaken remedial and corrective steps to address the substantive issues arising from Mr Wilkie’s complaint.

``These steps appear not to have worked,’’ Mr Wilkie said.  ``I’m getting a bad sense of déjà vu.  If a director of Seafish Tasmania has been allowed to help set the fishing quota for his own vessel, then AFMA has learned nothing from the Ombudsman’s findings.

``In the circumstances I believe AFMA has no option but to suspend the current and next year’s quotas until the Ombudsman has fully investigated this matter.’’

Please find attached a copy of Mr Wilkie’s letter to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.


Forestry Tasmania

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
27.04.15 8:06 pm

This week I will begin briefing stakeholders on the outcome of the Government’s review of Forestry Tasmania.

I intend to make a Ministerial Statement to the Parliament on Wednesday to outline the findings of the review, and to announce the Government’s response.

The Government took to the election a commitment to put Forestry Tasmania onto a sustainable footing into the future, and we intend to deliver.


Henty exploration announcement warmly welcomed

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
27.04.15 8:04 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green has welcomed the announcement of further gold exploration at the Henty mine on the West Coast.

“To hear that Unity Mining Limited is willing to spend up to $5 million in a partnership with PYBAR Mining Services to fast track gold exploration at Henty is a very positive development,” Mr Green said.

“The ‘Farm-In Agreement’ between the two companies is a vote of confidence in the future of Henty and mining on the West Coast.

“I met with mine officials when it was announced that Henty was heading for care and maintenance and we discussed possible future exploration opportunities, so today’s news is very encouraging.

“In government Labor expanded the size of Henty’s lease.

“While it’s my understanding the new investment does not prevent Henty from going into care and maintenance later this year, today’s announcement provides significant hope for the future. 

“The Liberal Government must do whatever it can to make sure this exploration work goes ahead.

“In my opinion the Liberals have been too quick to accept job losses as inevitable without putting up a fight.

“The situation at Caterpillar is a prime example of the Liberals showing a lack of urgency.

“1600 jobs have been lost from mining in Tasmania since the election, so some potential good news is very welcome indeed.”


Bryan Green’s budget claims are wrong

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
27.04.15 8:03 pm

Bryan Green’s comments today about the budget are just more scaremongering.

The fact is, the savings made in 2014-15 are structural and deliver ongoing savings over the forward estimates and Mr Green’s claims today are just wrong.

No wonder Mr Green is reluctant to release an alternative budget.  He doesn’t even know how to read the real one.

It demonstrates a level of dishonesty that unfortunately we are coming to expect from this failing Opposition Leader.

What’s clear is that Labor has no plan to fix the budget mess they created.