01.03.11 12:00 am
MEDIA RELEASES: •Government •Greens Tasmania •Australian Greens, Bob Brown •Australian Greens, Christine Milne •Tasmanian Liberals •Tasmanian Liberals, Will Hodgman •Tasmanian Labor, David Bartlett •Federal Labor •Federal Liberal •Australian Democrats •Tasmanian Socialist Alliance •Australian Socialist Alliance •Ethics & Sustainability Party •Senator Online - Australia’s first and only internet based political party •Sustainable Population Party
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
26.11.15 6:25 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to ensuring all Tasmanian children and young people gain an education that gives them the best start in life.
For many children who live in isolated parts of our State or who due to medical, psychological or other reasons are unable to participate fully in mainstream schooling, the Tasmanian eSchool is a strong alternative.
Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Education has finalised an interim staffing formula for the Tasmanian eSchool for 2016, based on predicted enrolments for each campus.
The following eSchool staffing funding arrangements will be in place for 2016:
• Northern Campus – 12 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staff, including an Assistant Principal, an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) and 10 teachers
• Southern Campus – 10 FTE staff, including the Principal, an AST and eight teachers
This includes a base level of 14.1 FTE staff through the Fairer Funding model and an allocation based on predicted registrations throughout the year, remembering that many students come to the eSchool after the commencement of the school year.
Should registrations exceed predictions a further adjustment may be made.
The decision has been made to retain the Assistant Principal position at the Northern Campus following discussions with parents.
Some parents have raised concerns with the Government about future staffing levels under the Fairer Funding model.
We listened to those concerns and we are pleased that we have been able to maintain staffing at current levels.
Throughout 2016, more work will be undertaken, in consultation with the school community, on best practice models for providing education through the eSchool.
This will include the eSchool working closely with other schools to keep students connected, wherever possible, to mainstream schooling.
Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
26.11.15 6:24 pm
The Tasmanian Government has renewed it plea to motorists to take care on the roads and look out for devils.
The Tasmanian devil is already under threat from facial tumour disease, the last thing we need to do is put further strain on this iconic Tasmanian species through avoidable deaths on our roads.
It is extremely disappointing that since yesterday another two devils that were recently released on the Forestier Peninsula have been run over. That means four of the 39 healthy devils released just last week have been killed. In most circumstances roadkill deaths are entirely preventable if drivers just slow down.
It is important to point out that the two release trials are showing encouraging results. But as a community we must do more to ensure that the healthy devils released into the wild are given the best possible chance to survive and help rebuild the wild population.
The Government is doing everything it can to protect these devils, but if motorists refuse to heed the message we will continue to see more deaths occur. I share the frustrations of so many scientists in Tasmania and around the world who are working on saving the devil only to see their hard work affected by deaths which in most circumstances are entirely avoidable.
Tasmanian devils are scavengers and they are often attracted to roadkill, which ultimately increases their chances of becoming roadkill themselves.
For the sake of the devil, if you see roadkill, slow down. If you’re driving in an area where devils have been released, particularly the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas, slow down. If you’re driving between dusk and dawn, slow down. If you see a devil, slow down.
While it’s unfortunately inevitable that some devils will be run over, we are all responsible for helping the devil population to recover and I again urge motorists to play their part.
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
26.11.15 5:07 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government has a long-term Plan to rebuild the budget dollar-by-dollar so that we can continue to invest in job creation, infrastructure and frontline services.
Today’s announcement by Standard and Poor’s that they are affirming their ratings is a clear sign that our long-term Plan is working.
In making their decision, Standard and Poor’s said that:
“The affirmation reflects our view of Tasmania’s very strong financial management, strong economy, exceptional liquidity, and low contingent liabilities.”
“The stable outlook reflects our view that the state government will achieve the bulk of its planned savings to keep its debt at moderate levels.”
There is no doubt that Labor and the Greens left the State’s finances in a complete mess. We have made the necessary savings and we remain committed to maintain the fiscal discipline needed.
The budget is on track to return to surplus in 2016-17, a full three years ahead of schedule.
Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Education spokesperson
26.11.15 4:35 pm
The Greens welcome the news that Minister Rockliff has back-flipped on a previous announcement to cut staff numbers to the Tasmanian E-School.
The Greens were proud to sponsor a petition, signed by 352 Tasmanians, to keep the current staff levels at the E-School.
It’s wonderful that the Minister has chosen to support students with a disability in Tasmania by keeping the 8 FTEs assigned to the E-School.
We congratulate the team at Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby on their successful campaign to reverse the planned cuts to the E-School system.
Federal Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson
26.11.15 4:32 pm
Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson has expressed frustration at the Senate today voting down proposed changes to coastal shipping laws.
“Tasmania’s Labor and Green Senators along with Senator Jacqui Lambie have denied Tasmania significant opportunities,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“This condemns the coastal shipping fleet around Australia to further contraction, with increasing loss of jobs in the maritime sector.
“It has put at risk countless more jobs onshore in businesses all around the country, but particularly in the island state in the island nation.
“It has also put at risk the $30 million investment by DP World at the Burnie port which would have meant jobs both onshore and offshore as well as the construction and investment opportunities
“It astounds me that Senators who purportedly represent Tasmanians could stand by and watch businesses struggle under the high cost of Bass Strait and coastal shipping generally.”
Kristen Desmond, founder of the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby
26.11.15 4:32 pm
The Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby (TDERL) today welcomes the announcement that the Tasmanian eSchool staffing levels will not be cut in 2016 and will stay at 2015 levels. We also welcome further consultation in 2016 to ensure that the staffing model used for the Tasmanian eSchool appropriately resources the fantastic support provided to students with disability.
We thank the Education Minister for taking the time to talk to the TDERL and parents of eSchool students about the impact any staffing cuts would have had on the innovative programs offered to eSchool students and to work positively with us to ensure that the staffing formula applied to the eSchool truly reflected its student population.
We hope that the new formula developed for the eSchool is the beginning of a shift in thinking about how students with disability can be funded more appropriately. This process has also shown the Governments willingness to move beyond words and into real action. We hope to continue to work with the Minister to ensure that the systemic reform desperately needed for students with disability in Tasmanian schools is delivered as quickly and appropriately as possible. Today’s decision gives us hope that with continued collaboration we can move the Tasmanian school system to one that appropriately resources the needs of students with disability, allowing them to access the quality education they deserve.
Kristen Desmond, founder of the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby said
“Inclusion is more than giving students access to an education it is ensuring that students with disability are given the appropriate supports allowing them to achieve great educational outcomes, it cannot be forced, the Tasmanian eSchool provides great support to students with disability when all other mainstream schools have failed and we are very proud to have worked with parents and the Minister to get such a positive outcome”
“Students with disability enrolled in the Tasmanian eSchool often have very complex needs and mainstream schooling has failed to support them. This new staffing formula is starting to recognise this. Both the TDERL and parents look forward being active participants in any 2016 eSchool consultation.”
“The TDERL hopes this is the beginning of real systemic change for students with disability in Tasmanian schools. We believe that today’s eSchool decision highlights what great outcomes can be achieved when the Government, Education Department and Parents work together”.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Liberal Member for Bass
26.11.15 4:23 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to build on its goal to make Tasmania the healthiest state in Australia by 2025 with the official opening of the George Town Skate Park.
The opening of the skate park fulfils a promise made at the 2014 election and will provide an important recreational space for George Town’s youth to have fun, to be physically active and improve their fitness.
This is another step to support our forthcoming five-year strategic plan on preventative health in Tasmania and will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the health of George Town’s young residents.
Skate parks are a great addition to any local community as they promote an enjoyable outdoor activity that is positive for health as well as providing a safe and attractive place for young people to gather. We are so pleased that residents of George Town now have a first-class skate park they can enjoy.
The skate park was completed by Invision Developments and designed by Simon Williams of Concrete Dreams after the Government’s contribution of $120,000 was added to $80,000 from George Town Council and $7,600 of fundraising from Wattle Group.
It demonstrates the willingness of the Hodgman Government to manage and invest strategically in productive infrastructure that drives our economy and creates jobs for Tasmanian workers.
I want to pay a special tribute to the Wattle Group organisation for proposing, advocating for and managing this project through to completion.
Michelle O’Byrne MP Deputy Labor Leader Shadow Education Minister
26.11.15 4:22 pm
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff’s latest backflip on harsh cuts to Tasmania’s eSchool is welcome news for students, parents and teachers.
Shadow Minister Michelle O’Byrne said the backdown follows similar announcements on Online Access Centres and the Big Picture School.
“As predicted, Jeremy Rockliff has completed his hat-trick of education backflips,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“He’s now the Shane Warne of education ministers.
“It is now becoming a habit of this Minister to make harsh decisions to cut education services and then backflip in the face of community outrage. I worry what happens to those services that pass secretly or where those affected have no voice.
“This is good news for those who fought to save the eSchool but it is highly embarrassing for the Minister, who should never have flagged it for savage cuts in the first place.
“The eSchool provides invaluable support for students in the North including many who live with a disability.
“The Government’s backdown is due to a strong community campaign, led by people like Kristen Desmond from the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby.
“Labor was proud to play a part in reversing the damaging cuts planned for the eSchool.
“This is a great result for the community, even if it took the Liberals too long to wake up to their mistake.”
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
26.11.15 4:21 pm
ABS data released today shows that under the Hodgman Liberal Government, the economy is growing and jobs are being created.
The ABS data shows that right around Tasmania, businesses have the confidence to invest and grow.
In the three months to the end of September 2015, private new capital expenditure increased by over six per cent compared to the three months ending June 2015.
That was by far the biggest increase of any state in the country. Compared to this time last year, expenditure increased by over 16 per cent.
Under the Hodgman Liberal Government, Tasmania is well and truly open for business and these figures prove it.
Since the election, nearly 7,000 jobs have been created, there are more people working than ever before, retail trade is at record highs and as these figures show, there is a building and construction boom going on around the State.
However, there is more that can be done. That’s why the 2015-16 Budget included a $315 million jobs plan and a $1.8 billion investment in infrastructure.
Georgina Gartland, Pia Pagotto
26.11.15 4:05 pm
Concerned Australians has received overnight the attached MR from the Berlin Office of the NGO the Society For Threatened Peoples (STP), calling on the Australian Government to form clear agreements and to enter “credible dialogue to treaty/ies with the Aboriginal Australians.”
This has occurred in the lead up to this weekend’s Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM 2015) meeting in Malta, November 27-29th
The action also coincides with the 5th Global call to action regarding closures of Aboriginal communities on November the 27th.
A bound package of information from STP with letters of request and petitions is being delivered to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Of Nations’ , Kamalesh Sharma’s London office on November 27th and the same package is on its way to Queen Elizabeth II and PM Malcolm Turnbull.
The 3 minute footage explaining Society For Threatened Peoples, in English, action can be found at - https://youtu.be/2Qo-Gf1DP6Y
A one minute footage (no words) showing the Berlin protest of Nov 13th just prior to PM Turnbull’s meeting with Chancellor Angel Merkel is at -
Permission to use footage and all material is approved by the STP
The Society For Threatened Peoples Media Release is below ...
There have long been calls to treaties from Aboriginal people in Australia. More recently e.g.
Dr Chris Sarra (founding chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute and the Commissioner of the Australian Rugby League) included a call to treaty/ies in his Australian Senate Occasional Lecture , “Delivering Beyond Indigenous Policy Rhetoric” (13th Nov 2015). His full speech and NITV 3 minute news clip from the Parliament studio can be found at -
The Yolngu Nations Assembly more recent call to treaty is urgent. Their document and rationale can be found at -
SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLE
Göttingen / London, November 26, 2015
Rights of the Aboriginal Australians in the Commonwealth: STP submits appeal in London
On Friday (November 27), on occasion of the global day of action of the Australian initiative #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) will hand over an appeal to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London: The appeal, which focuses on the rights of the Aboriginal Australians, was signed by 2,000 German and European supporters. “The Aborigines need clear agreements with the majority society. If they are not granted clearly defined rights, they will not be able to achieve self-determination – leaving them dependent on the government and the authorities,” stated the international human rights organization on behalf of the ethnic and religious minorities. “Following centuries of exclusion, racism, oppression and persecution, most of the 460,000 aboriginal Australians are now living on the fringes of society. They have no real perspective, and many of them are ill and uprooted.”
The STP’s appeal is addressed to Kamalesh Sharma, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, and will be handed over as part of a protest action initiated by the “London Australia Solidarity Activism Hub”.
The protest action will take place on Friday, November 27, 2015 (starting at 12 o’clock), and the demonstration route will lead from the Australian Embassy (Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA) to the Commonwealth Secretariat (Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX).
In June, the STP had already addressed an appeal to the Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II. Further, the STP held a vigil during Malcolm Turnbull’s inaugural visit to Berlin in November, urging the Australian Prime Minister to finally enter a credible dialogue to treaties with the Aboriginal Australians.
According to the STP, the situation of the Aboriginal Australians is “depressing”. The life expectancy of the indigenous people is ten to twelve years shorter than that of the majority population – and the infant mortality is twice as high. An alarmingly high number of Aboriginal Australians are dying from diseases that could be treated, such as diabetes. 27.4 percent of all prison inmates in Australia were of Aboriginal descent in 2013-2014 – although they only make up 2.3 percent of the population.
Recently, on November 9, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council criticized Australia in this respect. More than 100 UN member states submitted more than 300 suggestions on how to improve the situation of refugees and the indigenous population – and the STP presented the UN with a status report on the human rights situation of the Aboriginal Australians.
When the meeting of the government representatives of the Commonwealth of Nations CHOGM in Malta starts on November 27, the concerns of the Aboriginal Australians should be on the agenda!
Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck
26.11.15 3:50 pm
Senator COLBECK (Tasmania—Minister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment) (13:42): As Senator Canavan has just indicated, the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is a really important piece of legislation not just in respect of shipping but also for industry and commerce generally in Australia.
I say at the outset that the government is committed to a safe, secure and efficient transport system. This is unambiguously also the case for coastal shipping. Nowhere is this more important than in my home state of Tasmania, which, by virtue of geography, requires affordable and competitive shipping. It plays an incredibly important role in our economic prosperity.
Under Labor, the fleet of major Australian registered ships with coastal licences dropped from 30 vessels in 2006-07 to just 15 in 2013-14. The changes that Labor made were supposed to save the Australian shipping industry. Under Labor’s changes, there is less freight, fewer ships and less employment. So the costs that were imposed on all of the Australian industries that used those coastal shipping services have not done anything to save the Australian coastal shipping industry, as Labor promised when they passed the legislation.
Between 2000 and 2012 the shipping industry’s share of Australian freight fell from 27 per cent to just under 17 per cent while the volume of freight across Australia actually grew by 57 per cent. What Labor’s laws did was take freight off the coastal shipping routes and put it onto the roads of Australia. You only need to think about that additional load on the road transport system to consider what the potential impacts might be, yet Labor said that they were going to save the coastal shipping sector.
When we look forward—with Australia’s overall freight task expected to grow by 80 per cent by 2030 but, under the current settings, coastal shipping is to only increase by 15 per cent—there will be more trucks on the road and less freight being carried around the Australian coastline by ships.
The government’s objective is to facilitate greater use of coastal shipping services around the coastline. The coastal shipping has more to do. It can do it economically and it can do it efficiently, particularly for a number of industries.
I say that nowhere is more important than my home state of Tasmania. Why should Bell Bay Aluminium pay something like $29 a tonne for moving its freight from Bell Bay to Gladstone when the global going rate is about $17 or $18 a tonne, and before Labor’s coastal shipping laws came in the rate was about $1 or $2 more than the global rate.
Labor’s laws have inflated costs and made it more difficult for Australian industry to compete within Australia. Labor’s coastal shipping changes are locking Australian industry out of the Australian market. That is the effect of Labor’s coastal shipping laws that they said would save the industry, but it has had less freight, less ships and less employment as a result of their process.
Our amendments provide a more competitive and efficient coastal shipping industry for Australian shipping users. It replaces the cumbersome and complex framework, which was put into place by Labor, with a single permit significantly reducing red tape and regulatory burden.
There is some view being put around this place that these changes will create some form of disaster in employment in Australian coastal shipping that does not exist already. One of my Tasmanian colleagues foretold job losses at Toll, TT-Line and Searoad. All of those businesses existed within a coastal shipping framework that existed prior to these costly Labor regulations. All of those businesses operated using Australian employees prior to the commencement of these destructive changes that were brought in by Labor in 2009 and 2012. So to suggest that there is not some concept where they can exist within a new environment that takes us back more to that framework I do not accept.
It was the changes that were made by Labor that actually cost Tasmania its international shipping service. That is one of the reasons the AAA service left Tasmania—
Senator Lambie: That is rubbish!
Senator COLBECK: You ought to talk to triple A, Senator Lambie. I know it is the truth because I have had the conversation. Senator Lambie, through you, Mr Acting Deputy President, I know you are trying to pretend that you support Tasmanian business, but you are locking Tasmanian industry out of the Australian market. You are stopping Tasmanian businesses from participating in the Australian market with some sort of pretence that you care about them, but you are voting against Tasmania by voting against this piece of legislation. Quite clearly you are voting against Tasmania.
Senator Lambie interjecting—
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bernardi): Order! Senator Lambie.
Senator COLBECK: It is cheaper to bring sugar from Thailand into the Australian market, as Senator Canavan quite rightly said, than it is to bring it in from Queensland, so the Australian sugar industry is locked out of the Australian market. It is locked out of its own market. It is cheaper to bring timber from New Zealand to every eastern port in Australia than it is to bring it from South Australia or Tasmania. The South Australian timber industry and the Tasmanian timber industry are locked out of their own Australian market. It is cheaper to bring cement from China than within the Australian market.
The measures brought in by Labor increased costs, reduced flexibility, made it less competitive for Australian business in the Australian market and it did nothing—as they claimed it might—to save the Australian shipping industry. In fact, the Australian flagged vessels that are leaving the Australian coastline right now are doing so under Labor’s provisions. Labor’s provisions that were supposed to save the Australian coastal shipping industry are doing nothing to save the Australian coastal shipping industry.
Why is it that they are not prepared to stand up for the rest of Australia’s industry sectors that want an efficient and cost-effective shipping system? Why is it that they will not stand up for them?
Throughout the debate on this bill there have been some quite mischievous claims with respect to the impact on Australia’s marine environment and maritime safety, and they are quite clearly false. Australia’s strong environmental safety laws will continue to apply to all ships operating in Australian waters. All ships operating in Australian waters are subject to the Port State Control regime administered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is world’s best practice.
AMSA advise that their port state control statistics indicate that in the 2014 calendar year the deficiency rate for Australian-flagged ships was 3.9 deficiencies per inspection, compared to the deficiency rate of 2.9 deficiencies per inspection for foreign-flagged ships. Looking at the statistics, you can see that Australian and foreign-flagged vessels are basically on a par when it comes to reporting deficiencies. If a vessel does the wrong thing, regardless of its flag, AMSA will detain the ship until it is fixed and if a vessel continues to fail to comply, AMSA can direct a vessel out of Australian waters.
The reason for bringing this legislation forward is so that it can work for the benefit of the Australian shipping industry. My colleague Senator Abetz talked about the impact of a proposed development at Burnie in my home state of Tasmania where DP World are proposing a major container port expansion. The impact of that expansion and the resultant increase in flow of coastal shipping and changes to coastal shipping would reduce the price of a 20-foot container from $2,800 to $1,350—that is, more than halving the cost.
It brings it back to more like the cost which occurred before Labor brought in their disastrous coastal shipping reforms—again, that were supposed to save the industry. That saving, by more than halving the cost, is great news for Tasmanian business. It epitomises the fact that this legislation would be a stimulus for investment in my home state.
I will close my remarks by commending the bill to the Senate. I urge members in this place to continue to engage with us and, hopefully, to support the legislation.
Madeleine Ogilvie MP Labor Member for Denison
26.11.15 3:49 pm
Madeleine Ogilvie, Labor Member for Denison, has released an exposure draft of a bill dealing with end of life decision making.
“The Dying with Care Bill is broadly based on current South Australian legislation dealing with cessation of medical treatment and the dying decision,” Ms Ogilvie said.
“The proposed bill provides for codification of the common law, taking the existing common law and putting it into legislation. This should help patients to know and understand their rights to refuse treatment and turn to palliative care. It deals also with advanced care directives in the context of end of life decision making.
“I’m hopeful that this approach will also help families and medical practitioners to understand the boundaries of their rights and duties in end of life decision making situations. The aim is greater clarity.
“The bill also proposes the establishment of the role of a Public Advocate with power to assist difficult end of life decision making processes. This is particularly important for scenarios in which a patient may lack competency to make decisions (children, patients lacking general capacity including coma situations).
“The bill does not provide for euthanasia (the intentional ending of life). This is in line with current common law.
“The bill works in conjunction with the Relationships Act (family members/next of kin), the Guardianship and Administration Act and the Guardianship and Administration Act. Consequential amendments are proposed to that act.
“People will no doubt understand that as an opposition member I do not have access to parliamentary drafting support.
“I have made best efforts to prepare this bill, however I acknowledge it might benefit from the assistance of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.
“I’m looking forward to this being the start of an inclusive conversation on these issues.”
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
26.11.15 3:47 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government welcomes the Commonwealth’s response to the Mental Health Commission’s review of mental health care and services.
Mental ill-health and suicide are significant issues in Tasmania and across the nation.
The Commonwealth’s response complements our own Rethink Mental Health strategy, which was launched earlier this year.
Rethink is a roadmap for improved mental health services and support over the next decade.
The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments agree that the one-size-fits-all model does not work best in mental health.
Our Rethink strategy is committed to providing the right care and support at the right time and in the right place. It focuses on individual tailored support and early intervention.
Rethink also recognises that people need to know where and how to get help and that it should be easy to access the support they need at the time they need it.
The Commonwealth’s response backs the Rethink strategy neatly.
The Tasmanian Government will work constructively with the Commonwealth, Primary Health Tasmania, community sector organisations, consumers and carers to improve mental health in this country.
Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly Liberal Member for Denison
26.11.15 3:27 pm
I was delighted to launch the second Namaste book series today, authored by Keiron Galloway.
This series features the fascinating stories of Eh Eh, Faisal and Isaiah, three refugee migrant men living in Tasmania.
The books tell of how and why the men fled their countries of birth and the difficult journeys that brought them to seek asylum in Australia.
The stories of these young men show the strength and resilience that individuals can find within, and serve as a profound reminder of the importance of supporting and embracing those who seek refuge in Australia.
Clear, honest story telling can influence attitudes and behaviours, and lead to cultural change.
Telling stories is essential to engage people, break down barriers of isolation within or between groups, and to explain customs and values.
The Namaste book series is an important concept and resource to help achieve this.
Migrants like Eh Eh, Faisal and Isaiah continue to enrich this country and preserve its legacy as a land of opportunity, and add to our skill reservoir and help to create a vibrant, culturally enriched and economically sustainable future.
The Namaste series is funded by the Hodgman Liberal Government’s 26TEN Strategy for Adult Literacy and Numeracy grants program.
The books will be available at no cost through LINC Tasmania, TasTAFE and other outlets.
Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie
26.11.15 3:21 pm
The news today that the super trawler Geelong Star has killed two more seals is simply dreadful. This apparently seems to bring the vessel’s gruesome tally to nine dolphins and fourteen seals, making the Geelong Star every bit as deadly as its opponents warned.
The fact remains that these monster ships are very bad for the environment, deplete local fish stocks and put at risk other commercial fishing operations as well as tourism ventures.
They’ve already gutted fisheries elsewhere in the world and it beggars belief that the Australian Government is delighted to have one of the awful things in our waters.
The Geelong Star should be banned immediately and sent packing. If it’s to remain in Australia, perhaps it could be turned into a monument to bad politicians making bad decisions.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Liberal Member for Bass
26.11.15 3:19 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government has a goal for Tasmania to have the healthiest population in the nation by 2025.
Making every day healthy choices at an early age will help us achieve this important target.
Today I was very pleased to present the Gordon Square Early Learning Centre at George Town with a highly prized award for its efforts in helping set its young children on the path to long-term health and wellbeing by making healthy choices normal.
The Move Well Eat Well Early Childhood program promotes healthy eating and physical activity.
It is vital we develop lifelong healthy habits among Tasmania’s young children to help avoid overweight and obesity.
Helping children develop healthy eating and physical habits from an early age means they are more likely to avoid the many illnesses plaguing so many of our adults.
I would like to thank the centre’s staff and management for enthusiastically adopting the Move Well Eat Well program and making national dietary guidelines and physical activity recommendations a part of its routine.
The program also provides staff training, family information sessions, advice and links to local community resources.
All participating services receive a full menu review from Public Health Services dietitians to ensure food and drinks supplied or recommended meet Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Tasmania now boasts over 300 Move Well Eat Well early childhood services and primary schools.
For more information about Move Well Eat Well visit http://www.movewelleatwell.tas.gov.au
Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck
26.11.15 1:30 pm
I entered my photograph of Cradle Mountain in the Visit My Electorate competition being run by Tourism and Transport Forum Australia and Tourism Australia.
A great opportunity to promote Tasmania as a tourist destination – plus the chance to win a cash prize for a local community organisation or charity.
It’d be great if you could give my photo a ‘like’ on Instagram or Twitter!
Jenny Denholm Communications Manager
26.11.15 11:20 am
Tasmania’s primary health network welcomes the opportunity to help lead a more coordinated and tailored approach to the delivery of community-based mental health services across the state.
Primary Health Tasmania CEO Phil Edmondson has responded to the Australian Government’s announcement today that the country’s 31 primary health networks (PHNs) will be charged with planning and commissioning a range of mental health services based on local needs.
“Let me be clear that this won’t be about Primary Health Tasmania telling mental health service providers what the needs are and how they are to be addressed,” he said.
“It will be about working as a sector to pool knowledge, agree on what we want to achieve, co-design solutions and share the responsibility for outcomes – which needs to amount to better mental health for Tasmanians.
“There’s a level of flexibility with this funding which means we can partner with local communities and providers to come up with solutions that work in Devonport or Cygnet or Swansea, irrespective of whether they’d work in Canberra or Melbourne.
“And that local knowledge and expertise will be key to working out what results we want, the best way to achieve them, whether we’re actually getting the results we planned, and what we could do better moving forward.”
Primary Health Tasmania’s first step will be to start discussions with the sector, including peak body the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, service providers and consumers.
“I’ve already spoken to Mental Health Council of Tasmania CEO Connie Digolis about working together to ensure this opportunity delivers the best possible results,” Mr Edmondson said.
Today’s announcement constitutes the Australian Government’s response to the National Mental Health Commission’s review of mental health programs and services. Details are online at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-review-response
Commonwealth-funded community-based mental health services are currently provided by a range of organisations around the state under contracts which, in many cases, expire on 30 June 2016.
The Government has decided that over a three-year phasing-in period, PHNs will move to eventually commission all regionally delivered Commonwealth mental health programs.
Primary Health Tasmania is awaiting further detail about exactly what funding it will receive for which purposes and at what time.
The State Government also provides a range of hospital and community-based services, and Primary Health Tasmania will not replicate these services.
“The State Government has a 10-year plan for mental health – Rethink Mental Health Tasmania – which also aims for an integrated system delivering support in the right place at the right time,” Mr Edmondson said.
“We will continue to work with the State Government to ensure our work links in with that plan and supplements services already available through state-funded programs.
“Importantly, as well as being commissioning entities, the PHNs have a role in linking different parts of the mental health system – including public and private, community-based and hospital – to promote more seamless care for individuals.”
He said while there is clearly a lot of change ahead, a priority will be ensuring service continuity and access for clients.
“Any changes to services will be planned in a way that ensures there is no loss of capability or continuity; rather we will aim to improve capacity to deliver high quality mental health services,” Mr Edmondson said.
Primary Health Tasmania is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation working to connect care and keep Tasmanians well and out of hospital. It was established on 1 July 2015 under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks Program to support and enable a coordinated, primary care-focused health system.
26.11.15 9:17 am
The Mental Council of Tasmania would like to respond directly to the announcement by the Hon. Sussan Ley, Minister for Health in Canberra today regarding the direct changes to the funding structures for mental health services nationally.
MHCT intends to work with Primary Health Tasmania who will be given a level of responsibility in commissioning community based mental health services rather than a contracts based system due to expire for many services in June 2016.
The Minister has expressed that the aim of the re-structure is to ensure that services are more integrated and efficiently managed between acute care and community services.
MHCT CEO Connie Digolis said, “For Tasmania, we can see the value of more streamlined models of funding and service delivery if it means that the outcomes for those living with mental illness are improved. We want to see a better standard of care across the board and this needs to be done in such a way that is consultative and inclusive of all major stakeholders.”
“We welcome Primary Health Tasmania’s suggestion that they will ensure that key stakeholders including consumers of mental health services and the service providers themselves will be assisting and providing guidance on the process, however, there is a risk that this process could cause a disruption to the care of people currently in existing services.”
“What we don’t want to see is services that are working well in the community diminished in any way so that there is a reduced capacity in Tasmania to improve our current mental health system. We already have a ten year plan at a State level on where we want to see the sector evolve and this should be in collaboration and reflect the aims of that plan ,” said Ms Digolis.
Will Hodgman, Premier
26.11.15 9:08 am
Sales registers will be joining the Christmas chorus and local businesses can expect a much welcomed shot of retail therapy with the opening of the new $100 million Myer store.
Tasmania is now open for business with a renewed sense of optimism about the future, and there is no better demonstration of this than the reopening of Myer after eight long years.
After seven years of inaction following the devastating fire that destroyed the Myer store in 2007, we acted within the first 100 days of this Government to get the project off the ground.
The Tasmanian Government is proud to have helped with a $15 million commercial loan to the Kalis group made through the Tasmanian Development Board.
Our number one priority is jobs and since the election 6,800 jobs have been created and more people are in work than at any other time in Tasmania’s history,
Add to this the record high retail turnover, the boom in our tourism and hospitality sector and our construction sector going from strength to strength it’s no wonder businesses are confident.
Today marks the return of the missing piece of Hobart CBD’s heart.
Stage one of the new Myer store on Liverpool Street returns this section of the City to its former glory.
Hurdle after hurdle has been overcome by those closely involved in this project and they can today be proud of what they have achieved with the opening of a great signature store.
Many people have made this possible and I want to congratulate and thank the Kalis Group, Hutchison Builders and the many other Tasmanian sub-contractors who have contributed to this project.
I also want to thank the team behind Myer, including the more than 200 team members who have been working around the clock to ensure its opening success.
I look forward to completion of the next stage in Murray Street which will generate more investment and create further jobs.
Tess Oddie Marketing & Communications Officer Marinova Pty Ltd
26.11.15 9:07 am
Hobart, Australia - A unique seaweed extract developed in Tasmania shows promise for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori-related diseases and gastric cancer, according to new research undertaken at the University of Western Australia.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that infects more than half of the human population worldwide. Infection of this bacteria is a primary cause of chronic stomach inflammation, peptic ulcer diseases and gastric cancers, leading to more than one million deaths per year.
Effective treatments for H. pylori are limited with a rising percentage of treatment failures, primarily due to antibiotic resistance. Alternative and additional treatment options are widely recognised as a significant global healthcare issue. Results from this latest study show that fucoidan, a sulphated polysaccharide found in brown seaweed, may offer a solution.
The study took place at the University of Western Australia in the laboratories of Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Barry Marshall, who is recognised for his discovery of H. pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. The research involved testing fucoidan extracts derived from the Fucus vesiculosus and Undaria pinnatifida species of brown seaweed. These certified organic, high-purity extracts were developed and produced by Tasmanian biotechnology company, Marinova Pty Ltd.
The in vitro studies showed fucoidan extracts are extremely effective at dislodging H. pylori from infected human stomach cancer cells. This significant result positions fucoidan as a potential alternative to the increasingly inadequate antibiotic treatments.
Dr Alfred Chin-Yen Tay, Research Associate at The Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases who supervised the study, said: “These research findings are an encouraging step forward in the control of H. pylori-related diseases. Fucoidan is a natural extract and oral delivery to the stomach is simple. It would be a welcome option for suffering patients, especially before having to undergo invasive diagnosis and treatment options.”
The study also showed fucoidan exhibited significant anti-cancer activity. Researchers found that the fucoidan extracts were profoundly toxic to human gastric
cancer cells in vitro. Gastric cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with H. pylori strongly associated to these cases.
Chief Scientist at Marinova, Dr Helen Fitton, highlighted the significance of these research findings: “The cytotoxic activity of fucoidan towards gastric cancer cells is extremely encouraging and illustrates a dual benefit of fucoidan. Not only can it remove the H. pylori bacteria from infected cells, but it can also induce stomach cancer cell death.
“Interestingly, the fucoidan extract with the highest concentration of antioxidant compounds showed the strongest bioactivity.”
Future human clinical trials will further investigate the potential for these seaweed extracts to treat gastric cancer and other H. pylori-related diseases.
The research, published in the well-respected journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, can be viewed online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/120981
About Marinova Pty Ltd | http://www.marinova.com.au
Marinova Pty Ltd is a progressive Tasmanian biotechnology company dedicated to the development of high purity seaweed extracts for the betterment of human health. The company specialises in the research, development and manufacture of fucoidan compounds for use in nutritional, medical and dermatological applications.
Marinova is recognised globally for its commitment to innovation and the quality of its Maritech® branded fucoidan extracts. The company is a cGMP, ISO9001 and HACCP accredited manufacturer and – as the only producer of certified organic, high-purity fucoidan – is the preferred supplier to research institutions and leading nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies across the globe.
Rob Messenger for Senator Jacqui Lambie Senator for Tasmania
25.11.15 11:18 pm
Independent Senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie has used a speech in the Australian Senate to prove why it’s false to say that Islam is a religion of peace.
“Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan OBE FRSL was a British military historian, lecturer, writer and journalist.
He wrote 25 military history books, including “A history of Warfare” which was described by the UK Sunday telegraph as “Magnificent”. The book also won the Duff Cooper Prize. In other words Mr President – its an impeccable historical source.
On page 33 where John Keegan writes about the differences between Christianity and Islam he says: and I quote:
Muhammad, unlike Christ, was a man of violence: he bore arms, was wounded in battle and preached holy war, Jihad, against those who defied the will of God, as revealed to him.
Mr President, In this factual statement we can clearly find the challenge that modern Islam faces. “ said Senator Lambie.
“The founder of their religion was a great warrior, who was wounded in battle – and if other historical texts are to be believed - killed many people in the course of converting people to his religion. He was not like the founders of our world’s two other great religions Christ and Buddha – who lived their lives always as pacifists, not as warriors.
All Islamic leaders must do a better job of explaining to their young men and women why they must become pacifists and not kill in the course of converting people and other cultures to their religion.
The great challenge for Islamic preachers and politicians who insist on saying the Islamic religion is the religion of peace – is to reconcile their statements with undisputed historical fact.” said Senator Lambie.
Note – To view the Senator Lambie’s full speech – click below:
Islam is not the religion of Peace : Lambie
Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
25.11.15 6:21 pm
This evening the Senate failed to disallow regulations that had lifted a ban on night fishing by the factory-freezer vessel Geelong Star by a single vote. A tied vote, 31 for and 31 against, means the disallowance motion to reinstate the night-fishing ban was unsuccessful. The Geelong Star courted controversy earlier in the year when it caught and killed 9 dolphins.
Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said, “If it’s dark and you can’t see if there are dolphins nearby in the water, how can you take action to prevent dolphins being caught in the nets of a giant factory-freezer vessel like the Geelong Star?
“AFMA introduced the night-time ban in the first place calling it a ‘logical mitigation measure’. The documents we received about the dolphin deaths under Freedom of Information said that because the Geelong Star was fishing at dusk and into the night, the ability of the crew to see if there were dolphins nearby was limited.
“The Greens want the strongest possible measures put in place to actually protect protected species like dolphins and seals. If anyone else had harmed these protected creatures they could face penalties of up to 2 years in jail.
“The Environment Minister is responsible for making sure that ‘all reasonable steps [are taken] to ensure that cetaceans are not killed or injured as a result of the fishing’. AFMA once thought a night-fishing ban was a ‘reasonable’ step to prevent dolphin deaths. The Greens gave the Senate an opportunity to reinstitute the ban on night-fishing for the super-trawler but unfortunately they didn’t make that call.
“The Greens are going to continue to the government to account over factory-freezer vessels and will keep fighting for our marine life and local communities,” he concluded.
Morgan Barnsley, Marketing Coordinator, 936 ABC Hobart
25.11.15 4:34 pm
ABC Tasmania is preparing to launch the 2015 ABC Giving Tree Appeal on Friday 27 November with a
special live broadcast where the beautiful Giving Tree’s fairy lights will be switched on.
This continues the tradition of being one of the biggest Christmas charities in the state, partnering with
nine charities to give disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the Tasmanian community the chance to
share the joy of Christmas.
From Friday 27 November until Friday 11 December, ABC Tasmania is encouraging people to donate
money and gifts suitable for children, young people and families which will be distributed by the charities
over the festive season.
This year donations are also encouraged online, making it easier than ever for people to donate much
needed funds for those doing it tough over the holiday period.
The charities receiving and distributing the donations are the Launceston Benevolent Society, Launceston
City Mission, St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army, Uniting Care Tasmania, Hobart City Mission,
Mission Australia, Anglicare and Colony47.
Toni Muir, State President of St Vincent de Paul Society in Tasmania, said that the charity is delighted and
grateful to be participating in the 2015 ABC Tasmania Giving Tree Appeal.
“Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, and the gifts we receive from the ABC Giving Tree will help us to
restore hope to the lives of hundreds of Tasmanian families experiencing hardship.
“Not only are children catered for but the kindness and generosity of others enables us to provide gifts for
all family members so the festive season is a happy and joyful occasion for all.”
ABC Local Manager Jocelyn Nettlefold says the ABC Giving Tree is an important institution in Tasmania.
“Tasmanians donate to the appeal knowing their contribution goes directly to those in need, and for so
many people giving in some way to the appeal is part of their festive tradition.”
As well as gifts and donations, there will be a number of special Giving Tree events including:
The ABC Giving Tree Launch at 10.30am on Friday, 27 November in the ABC Hobart foyer.
Launched by the 2016 Tasmanian Australian of the Year, Jane Hutchinson, and hosted by Mornings
presenter Leon Compton, the live broadcast will mark the beginning of the festive season. Featuring
choirs and local ABC personalities, the Launch is one not to miss. The Hobart foyer will be open for
the first two weekends of December for people wishing to place a gift.
An outdoor broadcast from Salamanca Market on Saturday 28 November with Chris Wisbey from
936 ABC Hobart and ABC Northern Tasmania. This special program will feature Peter Cundall live
from outside the Salamanca Arts Centre with gardening talkback, ABC News Weather Calenders for
sale, signed copies of coveted Marjorie Bligh books, and our Giving Tree volunteers rattling the tins.
Quiz Nights across the state – with Rosebery already raising over $11,000, the Launceston, Hobart
and Burnie Quiz Nights are a popular staple in the seasonal calendar. More info here:
After all the gifts have been delivered, an Elf Breakfast will be held at the ABC on Tuesday 15
December where presenter Ryk Goddard and some special elves will help to sort out the presents
This year, the ABC Giving Tree Appeal is calling for the following suggested donations for children, young
people, and their families:
Food vouchers (food only, no alcohol)
Non perishable items
School holiday activity vouchers eg movie passes, bowling, playlands, etc.
Back to school items
Money can be donated online here: heroix.everydayhero.com.au/event/abcgivingtree2015/donate
New, unwrapped gift items can be delivered to the Giving Tree at the ABC Hobart and ABC Launceston
reception, as well as these locations:
New Norfolk Library
St Helen’s Library
Burnie City Council Offices
For more details please visit http://ab.co/1kSI7Cp
Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
25.11.15 4:19 pm
The stunning views and beautiful cabins that are a feature of the soon to open Three Capes Track on the Tasman Peninsula are featuring on Tourism Australia’s Facebook site.
The photos of the Three Capes Track were posted by Tourism Australia at around midday today and have received nearly 15,000 likes already. This is a clear sign that the Track is going to quickly become an iconic Tasmanian visitor experience.
To date, nearly 1,800 people have already booked to walk the Track. On average, 25 people a day are booking their spot and it’s clear that the Track is a massive drawcard and will bring in thousands of interstate and international visitors once it opens in a few weeks.
The Track is fast becoming one of the ‘must do’ walks in Australia and looking at the photos posted today by Tourism Australia, it’s easy to understand why.
Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck
25.11.15 4:18 pm
Thirty two elite Australian scholars from among the 2016 Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship and Research Fellowship recipients are being honoured at a gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra tonight.
Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the annual Endeavour Programme had achieved outstanding success since it began in 2003.
“The programme helps exceptional Australian scholars study or undertake research overseas and also funds scholars from other countries to study in Australia,” Senator Colbeck said.
Of the 698 scholarship and fellowship recipients, 198 are Australians and 500 are citizens of other countries.
“The awards extend invaluable experience to our best and brightest, who might otherwise miss out on the career opportunities that international exposure offers.
Senator Colbeck paid particular tribute to Dr Katherine Benfer for helping Bangladeshi children at risk of cerebral palsy, and Emma Lee, an Indigenous researcher whose expertise in parks and wildlife management is achieving great results.
“The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships strengthen Australia’s reputation for education excellence and support valuable research collaboration between institutions,” Senator Colbeck said.
“The areas of research are diverse, ranging from managing environmental risks to influencing health strategies, and their work has regional and global significance.
“The Australian Government supports international student mobility through a range of scholarships, grants and loan programmes to promote ongoing connections between Australia and the world.”
Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck
25.11.15 4:17 pm
Figures showing Australia’s hotels continued to grow in 2014-2015 were welcomed today by the Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Tourist Accommodation 2014-2015 found the number of Australian hotel rooms increased by 1,035 on 2013-2014 and room occupancy increased 0.7 per cent to 64.9 per cent as a result of higher accommodation demand.
“In 2014-15 total accommodation revenue hit $10 billion, an increase of more than $300 million, driving revenue per available room night up by 3.5 per cent.
“These results reflect the dynamism in Australia’s accommodation sector amid record international tourist arrivals and domestic overnight visitors,” said Senator Colbeck.
Recent figures from Tourism Research Australia show international arrivals increased 6.6 per cent to a record 6.6 million and domestic overnight visits were at a new high of 83.2 million in 2014-2015.
“The Government’s decision to make tourism infrastructure one of five National Investment Priorities has supported industry efforts to boost capacity and realise this growth but there is still much more to do, particularly in regional Australia where 45 cents in every tourism dollar is spent.” Senator Colbeck said.
This growth will be supported by the tourism investment pipeline, which grew nine per cent to $53.7 billion in 2014. Accommodation specific projects in this pipeline are valued at $8.5 billion providing a potential 15,915 new rooms.
Senator Colbeck said tourism supported around one million jobs, including 69,700 directly in accommodation, and the industry could become Australia’s fastest growing over the next decade but there was no room for complacency.
“Recent research commissioned for Austrade found red tape continues to affect the appeal of new hotel development,” he said.
“We must reduce undue costs in the planning process to ensure new rooms continue to come on stream and we are working with the states and territories to facilitate investment.”
Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
25.11.15 4:16 pm
A novel approach to drive the road safety message all the way to China has been launched in Tasmania.
Today we launched a new road safety campaign with Bridestowe Estate featuring Bobbie the Bear who is an iconic and huge figure in China our largest source of international tourists.
Images of Bobbie along with the key messages of the road safety campaign will greet tourists disembarking from both the Launceston and Hobart airports.
Tasmania’s road conditions may prove challenging to inexperienced international drivers, and warnings about wildlife, icy conditions and gravel roads all feature on the new billboards at our major airports, as well as messages about the importance of driving on the left side of the road, wearing a seatbelt, and parking the car off the road to take photos.
The safety messages will be displayed in both English and Mandarin.
Between 2010 and 2014 Road Safety Advisory Council research found that around 10 per cent of serious casualty collisions involved international and interstate tourists.
This new campaign is one element of a road safety strategy that we are implementing which targets visitors to our state.
We want everyone who visits our state to travel safely along our roads, while admiring Tasmania’s landmarks and rugged natural beauty and enjoying its fine produce and delightful experiences like Bridestowe Estate.
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
25.11.15 4:15 pm
The Hodgman Liberal Government is cutting red tape in the building sector to grow the economy and create jobs.
Today, the Government launched the next stage of our reform of Tasmania’s Building Regulatory Framework.
New laws have been drafted that will make it easier for builders and customers. We’ve begun consulting on the draft laws and I encourage anyone who works in the industry or who is thinking of building or renovating a house or a business to provide their feedback.
There are two draft laws open for consultation – the Building Bill 2016 and the Occupational Licensing Amendment Bill 2016. Both are available for public comment at http://www.justice.tas.gov.au. Submissions close 12 February 2016, with the bills expected to be tabled early next year.
The Building Bill 2016 looks to introduce a risk-based approach to building and plumbing approvals that will streamline the process.
The Occupational Licensing Amendment Bill 2016 seeks to bring all of the high-risk occupations in the building and construction industry under one set of laws, which will simplify the administration process and provide greater consistency in licensing, compliance and enforcement regimes.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to removing unnecessary red and green tape, making it easier to do business in Tasmania which will drive economic growth and creates jobs.