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New Silicon Valley Partnership to Propel ChargeIQ Electric Vehicle Charging Solution into US

DiUS Computing co-director Clency Coutet
14.08.13 9:20 am


In a push to capture a slice of the burgeoning worldwide electric vehicle charging infrastructure market,
estimated to exceed $3.8 billion by 2020, the Australian producers of ChargeIQ electric vehicle charging
solution have established a partnership with a leading Silicon Valley based technology supplier.

ChargeIQ, a Smart Grid friendly electric vehicle charging solution proven to slash driver’s charging costs in
half, has been developed over three years by Australian technology company DiUS Computing.

ChargeIQ is set to make its debut in the North American market by the end of 2013 after DiUS established
a partnership through its commercialisation subsidiary Percepscion with Global Network Resources, Inc. -
a leading Silicon Valley based technology supplier.

The move establishes the beginnings of an international sales and distribution channel for ChargeIQ, as well
as other products in Percepscion’s innovative Smart Energy portfolio.

ChargeIQ is the world’s first Zigbee-certified Electric Vehicle charging solution with intelligent Smart Grid
integration that allows electricity utilities to communicate directly with consumers to manage charging

ChargeIQ, which features a web interface and smartphone application, enables utilities and consumers to
cooperate in real-time to shift electricity demand.

A recent report produced for the Victorian Government by DiUS, in conjunction with United Energy and the
University of Melbourne, found ChargeIQ was able to halve electricity charging costs for drivers.

DiUS Computing co-director Clency Coutet, said the sales and distribution agreement with Global Network
Resources Inc. recognised ChargeIQ’s appeal to the growing number of plug-in vehicle drivers globally.

“In many parts of the U.S, a plug-in vehicle is now cheaper than its petrol counterpart.’’

“ChargeIQ represents the next generation in electric vehicle charging. With ChargeIQ, drivers save charging
costs, without effort or inconvenience. ChargeIQ makes electric cars smarter,” he said.

President and Founder of Global Network Resources, Kurt Miyatake said ChargeIQ and Percepscion’s other
Smart Energy products were exciting additions to the company’s portfolio.

“We’re delighted to partner with DiUS in bringing ChargeIQ to North America.

Electric cars are taking off in California and we see huge potential for this innovative
product here and elsewhere around the world,” Miyatake said.

The distribution deal is one of a number of significant developments surrounding
ChargeIQ in recent months.

In May, ChargeIQ was named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Australian Cleantech
Competition, which discovers and fosters Australia’s best clean technology
companies and products.

The winner will be announced on 2 October and go on to represent Australia in the
global competition.

This followed ChargeIQ being recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative
products for 2013 by Anthill magazine.


DiUS Computing is an Australian-owned technology company, comprised of over 100 talented professionals with a
passion for the intelligent application of emerging technology to help businesses compete.
DiUS’ involvement in the Smart Grid arena began in 2006 with Victoria’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
program. Since then, DiUS has helped a number of Australian utilities with technology strategy, planning,
architecture, design, build, testing and procurement related activities for their AMI solutions. DiUS’ primary focus
now is on unlocking the value of AMI by providing Smart Energy Solutions.

Percepscion is a ‘Smart Energy’ product commercialisation joint venture majority-owned by DiUS Computing.
Percepscion’s portfolio of innovative Smart Energy solutions help utilities and consumers better use and manage
our valuable energy resources. Percepscion’s products include PowerVu, an innovative home energy monitor, and
ChargeIQ, a world-leading electric vehicle charging system.

Global Network Resources Inc. (GNR) is a technology sales, marketing and engineering support company
headquartered in Santa Clara, CA – the heart of Silicon Valley. Established in 1993, GNR has expanded to deliver
software and hardware solutions from multiple locations to customers worldwide. Their product portfolio includes
advanced semi-conductors, flash memory, liquid-crystal displays, along with contract manufacturing, assembly
and test.


Marillac House fundraising cocktail party (Friday, 6 September 2013)

Marillac House, A special work of the St Vincent de Paul Society
14.08.13 9:14 am

In 2012 six enthusiastic Tasmanians were drawn together from all corners of the State as part of the
Tasmanian Leaders Program, with the common goal of undertaking a community project big enough
to matter but small enough to achieve.

It now comes full circle with the team of dedicated volunteers inviting all Tasmanians to an evening
of fun and entertainment, including the opportunity to hear from renowned larrikin priest Father
Bob McGuire, who is making the trip to Tasmania with the sole purpose of supporting the recipient
of the event’s fundraising efforts, Marillac House.

Marillac House is a wonderful initiative of the St Vincent de Paul Society based in
Launceston. Marillac House assists patients, carers and family members in times of crisis,
accommodating those undergoing surgery, hospital treatment, emergency care or rehabilitation in a
supportive and caring environment.

The Marillac House cocktail party will be held on Friday, 6 September from 5.30pm at QVMAG in
Inveresk, Launceston. Tickets are $65 each or two for $120 and can be purchased by contacting
Jennifer at Marillac House on (03) 6331 0405 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

All funds raised will go towards assisting Marillac House to carry out much needed work to upgrade
facilities in the house, including making sure at least two of the bathrooms have disabled access.

For more information about Marillac House visit

WHAT: Marillac House Cocktail Party to raise much needed funds for
Marillac House based in Launceston. This
event is a Tasmanian Leaders community initiative.

WHEN: Friday, 6 September 2013 from 5.30-7.30pm

WHERE: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk,

COST: Tickets are $65 each or two for $120 and can be
purchased by contacting Jennifer at Marillac House
on 6331 0405 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Most memorable volunteer moments wanted!

Volunteering Tasmania CEO Adrienne Picone
14.08.13 9:06 am

Volunteering Tasmania is calling on Tasmanian volunteers, volunteer managers and those who
benefit from their tireless work, to submit their most memorable volunteering moments from the
last 20 years.

The call comes in the lead up to Volunteering Tasmania’s 20th birthday celebrations, which will see
20 of the most memorable moments published in a special publication.

Volunteering Tasmania CEO Adrienne Picone said it was vital to recognise the contributions of the
158,000 Tasmanian volunteers who give more than 49,000 hours on any given day across the State.
“Statistics show that over 41 per cent of the State’s adult population are engaged in formal
volunteering, compared to the national rate of just 36 per cent,” Ms Picone said.

“Volunteering is the lifeblood of many Tasmanian communities and as such their contributions, time
and dedication must be recognised and celebrated.

“Volunteers help make Tasmania the great place it is to live and the difference they make to our
society is immeasurable.

“As such it is important that we acknowledge the ever growing wide range of roles which make up
the volunteer sector and the important role they play in our lives.

“Over the years we have had many memorable stories come through Volunteering Tasmania and as
such, thought it would be a great way to show those involved in volunteering, as well as the general
community, the positive effect volunteering can have.

“We are asking anyone who is a volunteer, who manages volunteers, or has been affected by the
kindness or generosity of a volunteer, to share their most memorable moment with us.

“Not only will this reward current volunteers and managers, but we hope it will encourage more
Tasmanians to offer some of their time and skills to a volunteering role.”

Tasmanians wishing to share their memorable moments should head to Volunteering Tasmania’s
website ( and follow the directions to upload their story.

Two lucky submissions will also receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday,
30 August 2013.


Tasrail closes rail network overnight

Polly McGee Tasrail Corporate Relations Manager
14.08.13 7:50 am

Severe weather conditions overnight resulted in TasRail closing the rail network just after midnight. Excessive rain, wind and hail hampered service crews that were trying to establish the extent of the risk.

One of the major concerns leading to the decision to close the network was a land slip at Kimberley Bank on the Western Line, which was unable to be assessed for its severity due to the amount of water on the track.

CEO Damien White has congratulated his Infrastructure teams on their responsiveness to a difficult situation.

“Our teams have worked throughout the night to make assessments of the track safety for our people and assets in impossible conditions.

“A number of freight movements were scheduled overnight, these services faced extreme weather and commensurate track issues that had to be managed in real time.

“To make the rare decision to close the entire track is an indication of the significant safety risk we believed was present on the mainline. Safety is paramount at TasRail, and we are prepared to take strong measures to ensure a zero harm environment.”

The track has reopened between Railton and Devonport this morning, with other sections of the track forecast to open later today. A full assessment of the condition of the land slip is currently underway with daylight and a brief reprieve from the rain improving access.

TasRail staff are monitoring rising water levels in rivers that impact the track throughout the morning.

About TasRail

TasRail is a State-owned Company, established on 1 December 2009 by an Act of the Tasmanian Parliament. The principal objectives of the business are set out in the Rail Company Act 2009 and require the Company to operate a rail business in Tasmania, effectively and efficiently and to operate its activities in accordance with sound commercial practice.

With a workforce of around 260 men and women, Tasmania’s current freight task is approximately 2.5 million tonnes per year – generating annual revenue in the order of $35 million. Since it was established, TasRail has spent $97.7 million purchasing goods and services from more than 900 Tasmanian Companies.

TasRail conservatively estimates that the freight it transports by rail each year effectively removes the equivalent of 100,000 B-Double truck movements from the State’s road network. Even after taking into account the total of TasRail’s reported annual carbon emissions (fuel and energy), this equates to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of some 45,800 tonnes.


Croome’s pressure on ALP prompts 24-hour call on Liberal candidates

Tasmanian Family First Senate candidate Peter Madden
14.08.13 6:07 am

Family First Senate Candidate Peter Madden has cited Rodney Croome’s pressuring of ALP sitting members Dick Adams and Geoff Lyons on homosexual marriage, saying it could change preference flows.

Mr Madden said:

“The people of Tasmania deserve to know where candidates from both major parties stand concerning family values issues. Though Family First is very focused on Tasmania’s economic restoration, family values are essential to who we support. Our support will go to family values candidates, not to any specific party”.

“Mr Croome’s pressuring of ALP candidates yesterday has highlighted the fact that Dick Adams and Geoff Lyons have proven their support for family values. The overwhelming majority of Liberal candidates uphold family values and will be supported by Family First” He said.

“Brigadier Nicolic and Eric Hutchinson however, have not made it clear where they stand on this important issue and this is not acceptable. Consequently we are calling them out, to make their position clear in the next 24 hours, otherwise preference deals may be finalised” Mr Madden said.


Future of AFL Games in Tasmania

Marti Zucco Palmer United Party Candidate for Franklin
13.08.13 1:56 pm

Alderman Marti Zucco Said today; “It is time the future of AFL games played in Tasmania is seriously put back onto the table with a view to grow the games within the State I have always said that these discussions should occur after the second year of the North Melbourne deal and that time is now”

He also said “Tasmania has demonstrated that it supports AFL games Tasmania wide and now is the time to commence the process to secure more games across the State”

The hard work the original task force did as the catalyst to establishing the games in Launceston and on what it took a small group of committed people against all odds to fight every step of the way to secure games in Hobart should go a long way towards embedding and growing the games in Tasmania.

Any discussion should not be left in the hands of our State politicians as what occurred in the past should never be repeated.

The AFL is the governing body of the Australian game and discussions should be with the AFL and all relevant stakeholders so that whatever the model will be for Tasmania it is developed in a proper businesslike manner rather than with political influence.

Both the Hawthorn and North Melbourne deals are soon to expire it is time now to think about the future and further grow the game and work with the AFL in achieving that.

As I did with the original North Melbourne proposal, tomorrow I will be tabling a Notice of Motion for a report to get the ball rolling. I attach a copy of that motion which clearly points towards what is needed to see this happen.

In conclusion Ald Zucco said that “My preferred option is to see an extra game played in both Launceston and Hobart with the current team models. Ultimately that decision will be made by the AFL and this report should pave the way towards an outcome”


That a report be prepared that gives consideration to the Council:
1. Strongly supporting the continuation of AFL games being played in Tasmania.

2. Seeing the AFL brand strengthen its overall value to the whole state by playing 8 or more games in Tasmania.

3. Calling on the AFL to urgently articulate its plans for the playing of AFL football in the state, including the number of games to be played, the team(s) involved and the venues for those games.

4. As a minimum, seeing the preferred option to be no less than the current model.


At present, the Hawthorn Football Club is playing four AFL roster games in Launceston and the North Melbourne Football Club is playing two AFL roster games in Hobart. These arrangements expire at the end of the 2016 and 2014 seasons respectively.

The future of these games is a matter listed for discussion with the Launceston City Council under the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Councils. It is therefore important that the Council has a policy position on the playing of AFL games in the state.

This motion is about preserving the status quo and seeking to grow the brand recognition of the AFL in the state.


Christine Milne: Stop faux GST argument and fix mining tax

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne
13.08.13 1:50 pm

“Why are Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott having a faux argument about GST when they should be talking about fixing the mining tax?” said Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

“There appears to be an agreement between Tony Abbott, Labor and the big end of town to bury any discussion about raising money from the big multi-national mining companies.

“Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott care more about pleasing the big end of town than people living in poverty, like those on Newstart, students on Youth Allowance and single parents.

“They show no duty of care or compassion to refugees who seek our help. They would rather insulate themselves from a negative mining industry advertising campaign.

“While the old parties are engaged in a distracting going no-where debate on the GST, the Greens are putting forward proposals to fill the gaps from the revenue write-downs exposed by the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) statement.

“In 2012 Rio Tinto made $9 billion profit from Australia’s iron ore and is not paying any Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

“The Greens’ plan to fix the tax will raise around $20 billion over the next four years. We will submit our mining tax policy, along with all our other election commitments, to the Parliamentary Budget Office for costing in light of PEFO so Australians can see there is a real achievable alternative to raising revenue instead of cutting services.

“The question for Tony Abbott is: will he do the same responsible thing with his election commitments?

“Is he hiding his real agenda? Can Australians trust him not to slash and burn after the election?

“We need revenue to build a more caring society. Labor and Tony Abbott are only promising budget cuts to single parents, universities and public servant jobs,” said Senator Milne.


Immediate action, not more talk, needed on child detainees

Anna Reynolds, Greens Candidate for Denison
13.08.13 1:47 pm

Minister for Immigration Tony Burke must take immediate action to release child detainees at Pontville into the community, according to Greens Candidate for Denison Anna Reynolds.

“While the community was heartened at Mr Burke’s announcement that his Department would work on the release of child detainees at Pontville, it means nothing if they are not released quickly.”

“I call on Mr Burke and the State Government to put people, specifically children, before politics on this issue,” Ms Reynolds said.

“The State Government could help speed things up by convening a meeting of key people in Mr Burke’s department to kickstart the process of screening families for homestay.”

Ms Reynolds said there are 100 families in and around Hobart ready and willing to host teenage detainees.

“Children, wherever they are from, deserve the warmth of a family, instead of the cold loneliness of a detention centre,” she said.

“The urgency for the Minister to get moving is even greater with more children being detained at Pontville just yesterday.

“There is no sign of a deadline being given by the Minister to his department, which makes it seem that there is a lot of talk and very little action.

“Every day that those children remain in detention is a tragedy for them and a sad indictment on Australia.”

The Hobart community has led the nation in campaigning for a more compassionate approach to the treatment of children in detention in Australia.

“There will be strong community support for the Minister if he has the courage to move quickly to end this inhumane situation.”


Greens dental plan will help over 43,000 families in Tasmania

Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
13.08.13 1:45 pm

Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said today that the Greens have a fully-costed plan to make it easier for every Australian to see a dentist.

“The Greens already delivered a down payment on Denticare and now we want to finish the job,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

“Oral health is important for overall health but unfortunately one in three Australians say they can’t afford to see the dentist.

“The Greens believe that your health shouldn’t be determined by your bank balance so we made dental reform a priority in this term of parliament.

“The Greens secured an investment of more than $4 billion and from the first of January, 3.4 million kids will be able to access dental treatment through Medicare.

“Thanks to the Greens, over 43,000 families in Tasmania will be able to take their kids to the dentist as easily as they take them to the GP.

“The Greens see this investment as a solid down payment but we won’t stop until everyone has access to high-quality dental care.

“We have a fully-costed plan to make Medicare funded dentistry available to all Australians, beginning with those who need it most.

“How much money you have shouldn’t decide how well you get looked after when you are sick.

“The Greens have the guts to make sure we properly fund health care in Australia,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

For more information:


Sue Neill-Fraser has now been in prison 4 years

Eve Ash CEO, Seven Dimensions,
13.08.13 1:35 pm

Sue Neill-Fraser has now been in prison 4 years - this is even LONGER than Lindy Chamberlain was in prison (around 3.5 years)!

There are intriguing parallels between the Lindy Chamberlain and Sue Neill-Fraser cases:

The comments on the petition on ( reflect incredible outrage about the justice system in Tasmania.

eg The injustices committed here leave me outraged.

It appears that this woman has not been treated fairly and the police and the courts just wanted to close the case with little or no evidence. Justice must prevail no matter what. I believe that this case should be reviewed outside of Tasmania as I have very little faith in Tasmanian justice.

I don’t believe that the police were unbiaised in their investigation and all avenues of investigation were not pursued with diligence.

I believe Tasmanian judges take too much of what Police and Prosecutors allege on face value, and this is a classic case of this.

It doesn’t leave you with a lot of confidence when you are at the mercy of the legal system after seeing a case like this. Its disturbing and frustrating to believe that so many leads are ignored because of some pre conceived belief. I would be ashamed of myself if I had any involvement with the prosecution in this case and I don’t know the woman or any of the people involved.

There are now hundreds signatories and comments adding daily to the petition.

People are viewing the 9 short extra videos that give more more details on the case ( and taking time to read the details they may not have been aware of ( )


Cameron’s sub partner dives into Australia’s deep unknown

Esri Australia
13.08.13 1:30 pm

Submarine engineer Ron Allum will be appearing at Australia’s largest spatial event, Ozri 2013

The man who sent Titanic Director James Cameron to the bottom of the ocean is ready to dive into a new project to map the unknown depths of Australia’s ocean floor.

Submariner and intrepid adventurer Ron Allum will present the vision for his new expedition in Brisbane next month at the nation’s largest spatial event, Ozri 2013.

Mr Allum – who co-designed the submersible that took Mr Cameron on a world-record 11km-deep trip to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in March last year – said there were significant benefits to mapping Australia’s final frontier.

“There are currently vast sections of the ocean floor – some just 80 kilometres off the Australian coast – which we have absolutely no knowledge of,” Mr Allum said.

“While these stretches of ocean may be out of sight for many, it’s vital that we start to learn as much as possible about these environments.

“The benefits of mapping these areas are immeasurable – from expanding our knowledge of marine life, hydrothermal vents and geological plates and fissures to improving our nation’s emergency response and defence systems.

“Removing some of the confusion around climate change is another good example – we have next to no understanding of what effects rising ocean temperatures are having in areas below 6,000 metres.

“The answer lies in mapping our ocean floors.”

Mr Allum said the technology needed to drive the expedition is already available and called on support from government and industry to help bring the project to life.

“My work with James Cameron proved we can build a vehicle to work beyond 6,000 metres – which was once thought to be a limit in deep sea exploration,” Mr Allum said.

“The ability to create autonomously operated vehicles and robotics we need to do this exploration already exists here in Australia.

“What we need now is the vision and commitment of Australia’s government agencies, scientists and industry to back this kind of project for the interests of the nation.”

Ozri 2013 Technical Director Kellie Persson said the mapping project will have significant implications across a broad range of sectors.

“By creating a detailed picture of our marine environment, the Defence agencies charged with protecting our borders will have access to a depth of information never thought possible.

“Likewise, emergency response teams conducting rescue and recovery missions will be able to instantly ascertain what’s occurring below the ocean’s surface – which is incredibly important when dealing with incidents such as plane or boat crashes.

“Major mining and resources companies will be able to clearly understand the effects and ramification of oil spills.

“Even biologists will be able to take the information gathered to analyse the relationship between the distribution of organisms and water temperature, to address questions around the impacts of climate change.

“Many of these groups will be attending Ozri to meet with Ron – as well as hear about some of the other spectacular adventures he’s had exploring the bottom of the ocean.”

Ozri 2013 will run from 4-6 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

Hosted by Esri Australia, the market leader in Australia’s $2.1 billion mapping technology industry, the event is expected to attract more than 700 Geographic Information System (GIS) professionals from across the Asia Pacific.

To register visit:


Regent Square could be saved ...

Kim Booth MP Greens Member for Bass
12.08.13 7:54 pm


The Tasmanian Greens Member for Bass Kim Booth MP today said that the future of Georgetown’s historic Regent Square was now in the hands of the Liberals to publicly commit to supporting the push to protect the site from the controversial construction.

“Labor has been particularly arrogant and slippery over Regent Square and appear determined to ride roughshod over the community wishes,” said Mr Booth.

“The community have clearly spoken that they want a Child and Family centre but they don’t want it on Regent Square.”

“The Greens have tabled motions in the House, which if passed would effectively stop the construction on Regent Square and force Minister Michelle O’Byrne to use an alternative site.”

“We know Labor won’t support it so all we need now is a commitment from the Liberals to oppose this development in Regent Square and the job is done.”


New US Ambassador to Australia marries his male partner

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Rodney Croome
12.08.13 7:34 pm



America’s new ambassador to Australia, John Berry, has married his husband, Curtis Yee, in a moving ceremony in Washington DC, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2009 (statement from Ambassador Berry and photo (above) from the wedding are included below).

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Rodney Croome, congratulated the newly-weds and said the failure of Australian law to recognise the happy couple will be a source of embarrassment for many Australians.

“It’s a happy time when any couple marries and I congratulate John Berry and Curtis Lee on their special day and wish them well for their married life together.”

“Sadly, they join hundreds of other same-sex couples whose overseas same-sex marriages aren’t recognised under Australian law.”

“It will be a source of deep embarrassment for many Australians that our law fails to respect the marriage of the chief representative of our closest friend and ally, the United State.”

Mr Croome said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s commitment to introduce marriage equality in his first 100 days gives him hope reform will happen soon and Ambassador Berry’s marriage will be recognised.

“Kevin Rudd’s commitment is a reminder not just that marriage equality is important, but that it is urgent. This increases pressure on Tony Abbott to commit to a conscience vote so marriage equality can finally be passed.”

Mr Croome said Australians have an opportunity to help achieve marriage equality when they vote on September 7th.

“This election provides voters with the opportunity to vote for love, by electing candidates who support marriage equality” 

Australian Marriage Equality is calling for marriage equality supporters to pledge to vote for love, and will soon launch a major website informing voters where their candidates stand on the issue.

To pledge to vote for marriage equality go to:

A statement from Ambassador Berry and his husband Curtis Yee and photos from the wedding are included below.

Statement from John Berry and Curtis Yee:

“John Berry and Curtis Yee, partners of 17 years, were formally married on Saturday August 10, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC.  Music was provided by Dr. Theodore Guerrant and soloist, Christian Hoff. The wedding was attended by family and close friends, including the Secretary Of the Department of Interior, who then celebrated after the service at the home of Mr. Yee and Mr. Berry.”

For a news report of Ambassador Berry’s wedding go to:


Forest Stewardship Council Fails to Protect Strzelecki Rainforest

Suzie Zent, Anthony Amis Friends of the Earth and Friends of Gippsland Bush
12.08.13 3:32 pm

Environmental organisations Friends of the Earth and Friends of Gippsland Bush today released a detailed case study investigating the impacts of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on the rainforests of the Strzelecki Ranges. The case study investigates key issues pertaining to management and recommendations made during Forest Stewardship Council audits over the past decade. The certification of Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP) in 2004 was the first FSC accreditation given to an Australian Timber company. HVP remain certified with the certifying body, Smartwood/Rainforest Alliance despite a litany of problems.

The case study has found that FSC certification, regarded as the world’s greenest forest certification system has failed to lead to greater protection for rainforests of the Strzelecki’s.

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Anthony Amis said “The case study is worrying as it is evident that FSC has been unable to withstand the tactics and influence of the pulp and paper industry in terms of getting sound ecological outcomes. Because the certifiers are paid by the company being audited it would be fair to suggest that the system is not fairly balanced to safeguard ecologically significant areas such as rainforests. This is extremely disappointing. It would appear that business interests are outweighing environmental interests.”

“It is also concerning that it would appear that similar interim standards to those used in the Strzelecki’s, will be used in regards to the recent Tasmanian Forest Agreement. Interim Standards are set by the certifiers, and operate when there is not a national standard in place. Various stakeholders have input into the National Standard, but not the Interim Standards. Australian FSC standards may not be implemented until 2015, whereas the Tasmanian Agreement has to be completed by late 2014” Mr Amis added.

Since FSC certification in 2004 industry has continued to convert native forests to plantation, remove regenerated forest, habitat links, old growth and High Conservation Value Forests with apparent impunity from FSC.

According to Friends of Gippsland Bush spokesperson Susie Zent “In terms of rainforest specifically, FSC has allowed logging to occur in rainforest ecotones against the best advice of scientific experts. FSC has also sided with industry against the long term ecological integrity of the Strzelecki Ranges, by allowing logging in close proximity to rainforest thereby increasing the risks of damage to that rainforest by threats including wildfire, the disease myrtle wilt, buffer disturbance, weeds etc. FSC has also allowed for destruction of stands of Strzelecki Warm Temperate Rainforest, the most endangered Ecological Vegetation Class in the Strzelecki Ranges.”

The report can be downloaded at:


U-Turn program getting smart on crime

Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Police & Emergency Services Spokesperson
12.08.13 3:30 pm

The Tasmanian Greens today strongly welcomed the decision to renew State Government funding to Mission Australia’s U-Turn youth justice program.

Greens spokesperson on Police and Emergency Services Paul O’Halloran MP said he wrote to the Police Minister last week expressing serious concern over the cancellation of funding to the program.

“The Greens are extremely pleased to see the Minister is taking action to restore funding to what is an effective diversionary program for young offenders,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“U-Turn has had a really positive effect, and the evidence suggests that the percentage of young people go on to re-offend after completing the program is very low.”

“The tired old mantra of being ‘tough on crime’ leads to policies that are short-sighted, ineffective and costly.”

“We have to get smart on crime instead, and that’s exactly what the U-Turn program is all about.”

“Once you put a young person through the prison system, the chances are you will only create a hardened criminal who will go on to commit more serious crimes.”

“We need to work with our wayward young people and help build the self-confidence and skills that they need to get back on the right track.”


Union “Vote Smart” election TV advertising starts today backing Greens in the Senate

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania
12.08.13 1:33 pm

Today, election TV advertising for the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) “Smart Vote” campaign starts in Tasmania highlighting the importance of university funding and backing the Greens in the Senate.

“Australia’s universities are under increasing pressure from decades of underfunding by both Labor and the Coalition,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

“Labor’s cuts to higher education in Tasmania put up to 150 jobs and $10 million per annum at risk.

“The University of Tasmania (UTAS) pumps about $500 million into the local economy every year, employs nearly 3,000 academic and professional staff directly, and has nearly 30,000 students enrolled.

“You can’t support the Tasmanian economy and Tasmanian jobs if you are cutting UTAS funding,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

Dr John Kenny, Secretary of the Tasmanian Division, said the NTEU was backing the only party who has guaranteed to restore adequate funding for higher education.

“Higher education has always been a high priority for the Greens,” said Dr Kenny.

“The Greens opposed the Labor Government’s $2.3 billion cut to universities and student support in April of this year.

“Peter Whish-Wilson has condemned the cuts to UTAS and he has argued strongly for the need to invest in new industries and innovation to build the Tasmanian economy and create lasting and meaningful jobs,” Dr. Kenny concluded.

The NTEU TV advertisements are part of a $1 million campaign nationwide and will air across Tasmania from tonight urging people to vote for the Greens in the Senate.


Save the Tarkine commences Nelson Bay River Mine vigil

Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan
12.08.13 12:11 pm

Save the Tarkine and partners have today commenced a vigil outside the Shree Minerals Nelson Bay River proposed mine.

“We are hear to bear witness to the destruction of this area, and the threat that this mine poses to the Tasmanian devil,” said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.

“We will be making sure the world knows what is happening here.”

Contractors entered the site around 11.00 am this morning in passenger vehicles, in contravention of permit conditions. Save the Tarkine is contacting the Environment Minister to alert him to this clear breach, and urge him to act immediately to suspend works on site.


Wilkie and NTEU unveil Denison TV ad campaign

Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison
12.08.13 11:14 am

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, joined the Tasmanian President of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), Kelvin Michael, to unveil the NTEU television ad campaign supporting Mr Wilkie’s re-election in Denison.

Mr Wilkie said he was delighted by the television advertisements and the NTEU’s support.

“Higher education is of critical importance to the electorate of Denison so it’s appropriate that it plays a major part in this election campaign,” Mr Wilkie said.

“The Federal Government’s $2.3 billion cuts to universities and university students will devastate tertiary education, costing 150 jobs at the University of Tasmania alone.”

Copies of the advertisement are available at 


Mixed messages from Abbott on Tasmanian jobs

Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Dr Richard Dennissv
12.08.13 10:50 am


The Opposition’s pledge to create jobs in Tasmania could be undermined by its plan to reduce the size of the public service, a new analysis by The Australia Institute reveals.

The analysis shows Tasmania could lose more than 200 jobs under the Opposition’s planned public service job cuts.

The Australia Institute used historic separation rates to show where Tony Abbott’s job cuts would hit hardest if they are spread across every electorate.

“The Coalition is creating uncertainty by refusing to clarify exactly where its public service job cuts will be,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Dr Richard Denniss said.

“Tony Abbott has announced a special scheme to boost employment in Tasmania, yet he hasn’t ruled out Tasmania when it comes to his plans to slash at least 12,000 jobs in the public service.

“People get outraged over the potential for job losses in the state’s forestry and logging industry, but the same emotion doesn’t seem to apply when 200 public service jobs are on the chopping block.

“The Opposition is trying to woo Tasmanian voters with only half the story. It’s time for Tony Abbott to come clean on exactly where the public service job cuts will be made.”


Kevin Rudd does another about-face

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom Website:
12.08.13 10:49 am

“Just over three years ago, shortly before he was deposed as PM, Kevin Rudd promised to retain the natural meaning of marriage as a union of a man and a woman,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.

“Less than three months ago, he broke that promise – saying he now supported same-sex marriage.  But he then made a new promise.  He said on his blog: ‘For the record, I will not be taking any leadership role on this issue nationally’.

“Last night on national television, Kevin Rudd proceeded to break this promise too,” Ros Phillips said.  “In direct contravention of his vow to shun any leadership role on gay marriage, he made the issue his main priority if re-elected as Australian Prime Minister.  He promised there would be a same sex marriage bill before the parliament within the first 100 days of his government.  A complete about-face!”

Ros Phillips said Mr Rudd has ignored science.  “The purpose of marriage is to provide the safest environment, with both mum and dad role models, for the raising of the next generation,” she said.  “Marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined.” 

FamilyVoice Australia has sent a ten-question election survey to all 54 parties registered for the federal election, and some party replies are already on the website.  Responses from individual candidates are also being sought.  The second question is on the meaning of marriage.

“We believe that Kevin Rudd may regret breaking his promise on this issue,” Ros Phillips said.  “As the Tasmanian elections demonstrated in May, true marriage is a vote-winner.”


$30k boost to make all Tasmanian schools Asthma and Anaphylaxis Active

Cathy Beswick CEO – The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania
12.08.13 10:48 am

The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania (AFT) is set to achieve 100 per cent sign up to its schools
program, thanks to a $30,000 boost from Hobart Friendly Care Pharmacies.

The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania’s Schools Program aims to reduce loss of life and improve
quality of life for Tasmanian students by putting simple, practical measures in place to create a safe
environment for children with asthma and severe allergies.

AFT Chief Executive Officer Cathy Beswick said with more than 80 per cent of Tasmanian schools
already on board, AFT was well on its way to achieving 100 per cent.

“The schools program provides school staff with a practical means to help decrease the likelihood of
deaths, physical discomfort and mental anguish due to asthma or allergies, and to reduce
absenteeism due to asthma,” Ms Beswick said.

“The generous donation will enable AFT to continue rolling out the successful program across the
state as well as raising awareness and encouraging those schools not already signed up to do so.

“Thanks to Hobart Friendly Care Pharmacies, our program will continue to educate and train key
staff and help Tasmanian schools meet the essential criteria to gain their Asthma and Anaphylaxis
Active accreditation.”

Hobart Friendly Care Pharmacies Chairman Mike Jury said the organisation was proud to be
supporting such a strong community-led initiative.

“If we can take preventive steps and help educate our younger generation about their health, then
this donation will mean much more than just dollars,” Mr Jury said.

“The schools program is a community-based program for children, which appealed to us greatly, as a
proud Tasmanian not-for-profit organisation.

“Our organisation was looking for a great local cause to invest in and it’s hard to go past the health
of Tasmania’s next generation.

“The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania does fantastic work with young people and I hope the
students are able to pass on their knowledge to their wider circles of friends and family.”


Brain Injury Awareness Week Celebrates DisabilityCare Australia

Deborah Byrne, Brain Injury Association of Tasmania
12.08.13 10:02 am

National Brain Injury Awareness Week 12-18 August

The Minister for Human Services, the Hon Cassy O’Connor MP today launched National Brain Injury Awareness
Week in Tasmania. The week, which incorporates the national BANGONABEANIE campaign, will this year focus
on the introduction of DisabilityCare Australia.

Brain Injury Association of Tasmania (BIAT) Executive Officer, Deborah Byrne, said that while BIAT – the peak
advocacy organisation representing the needs of Tasmanians living with or affected by acquired brain injury
(ABI) – welcomed the launch of the national disability insurance scheme, it had concerns that people living with
ABI could be disadvantaged due to their disability.

“DisabilityCare Australia has the potential to maximise recovery, improve outcomes, promote social integration,
and meet the support needs of the many Australians living with acquired brain injury,” Mrs Byrne said.

“However, ongoing cognitive disability, such as poor memory, concentration and impulse control, and a
reduced ability to learn, to plan, organise and problem solve, could result in people experiencing difficulties in
navigating the new world of DisabilityCare Australia or exercising control and choice over their individualised

“BIAT is actively working with Brain Injury Australia to ensure support co-ordination services are available to
assist people with ABI develop and manage their own individualised plan, identify and then choose from the
services and supports best qualified to meet their needs.”

Whilst the main focus this year is on DisabilityCare Australia, the main aim of National Brain Injury
Awareness Week is greater community understanding and awareness of ABI.

“One of the biggest barriers for people living with acquired brain injury is the lack of community awareness and
understanding; the week is the perfect opportunity for people to learn more about ABI,’’ Mrs Byrne said.

A highlight of Brain Injury Awareness Week 2013 was today’s launch of the contemporary arts project Angels of
our Better Nature Art Teller Machine at the Hobart Town Hall.

Headway Rebuilding Lives, Executive Director, Darren Osborn said since late 2012, five professional artists from
Kickstart Arts have worked with 21 people with ABI, their partners, parents, friends and carers to produce
Angels of Our Better Nature.

“The Art Teller Machine is a 2.3 metre tall, steel plated sculptural object featuring stunning digital art exploring
the unique life experiencesing with acquired brain injuries,” Mr Osborn said.

Another feature of the week is the opening of the Tasmanian Acquired Brain Injury Services (TABIS)
Art Exhibition in Launceston on the 15th of August by Mr Geoff Lyons MP.

Deborah Byrne said another aspect of the Week is the BANGONABEANIE campaign which encourages
people to buy and proudly wear a blue campaign beanie in support of Brain Injury Awareness Week.

“Whether you realise it or not, we all know someone affected by ABI; they contribute to our community and
deserve our support,” Mrs Byrne said.



Rudd’s cynical resurrection of homosexual marriage

Tasmanian Family First Senate candidate Peter Madden
12.08.13 9:59 am


Family First Senate Candidate Peter Madden has accused Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of blatant opportunism in trying to raise the homosexual marriage issue once again in Sunday nights debate.

Mr Madden said:
“Here we go again. Too much parliamentary time and taxpayers money have already been spent on this issue. “Marriage redefinition has already been dealt with and clearly defeated with a major majority in both the lower house, with ALP’s bill ,and recently again with a major majority in the Senate with the Greens’ Sarah Hanson Young’s bill”.

“For average Aussies … it’s over! Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s new found zeal for marriage redefinition, which he opposed up until his recent leadership bid, is a cheap political stunt and needs to be called for what it is. A desperate bid to appease elements in the Labor caucus, the homosexual lobby and to keep the Greens on side” He said.

“Average Australians are concerned about feeding their families and paying their ever rising bills, about the economy and their children’s future. Recent polling makes it clear that resurrecting the issue of homosexual marriage is not important to the majority of Australians but that jobs, business and the economy are” He said.

“Mr Rudd, in cynically seeking to gain the young people’s vote, will clearly and deservedly lose him the family values vote. Family First is fully committed to stopping Kevin Rudd’s irresponsible push for the dangerous social experiment of marriage redefinition” Mr Madden said.


New Tasmanian Wildflower App Released

Bill Higham MSc Forest Ecology and Conservation
12.08.13 7:05 am


Discover the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of Tasmanian wildflowers with this new app for iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Whether you’re just going walkabout,  a student of botany, or an avid flower hunter this app is for you.

With over 580 detailed photographs the Flowering Plants of Tasmania app describes over 460 native species with 113 species found nowhere else than in Tassie. With a description of the botany of each species along with the preferred habitat and main flowering period the app will help you easily ID both common as well as rarer species.

A distribution map also highlights where in the state the species typically occurs. Functional and easy to use flowers can be browsed by both plant form and flower colour. For those that already know their flowers a search function allows you to sort the list either by scientific or common names.

Plants listed as threatened at either the state and/or national level are also highlighted with links to relevant sites for further information. Though specifically aimed at Tasmanian flora the app also has relevance for mainland Australia with 342, 300 , and 226 of the species listed being also found in Victoria, NSW, and South Australia respectively.

Name: Flowering Plants of Tasmania
Devices: iPod/ iPhone/iPad
Released: 1st Aug 2013
Version: 1.1
Size: 189 MB
Requires iOS: 4.3 or later
Developer: Bill Higham MSc Forest Ecology and Conservation
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


17th Martial Arts Hall of Fame comes to Tasmania

Steve Weston
12.08.13 6:09 am

On Saturday 17th August a gathering of over 140 martial artists from the Australasian region will be visiting Tasmania for the
17th Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame induction.

Three prominent Tasmanian Martial Artists will be inducted this
week-end Johnny Koay, Frank Hussey and Hanifa Macfarlane.

A series of FREE workshops will be held at Wrest Point Wellington room on Saturday from 9.30 until 3.30pm.

All Tasmanian martial artists are invited to take part in these hands on rolling workshops, a unique opportunity to train with the cream of the Martial Arts scene in the Australasian region.

Members of the public are welcome to observe.

This event is hosted for the second time by
Les Elliotts Karate & Kobudo Academy Hobart.


Both leaders take step forward on marriage equality

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Rodney Croome
11.08.13 8:17 pm


Advocates say tonight’s leadership debate shows how far Australia has come since the 2010 election when the leaders of both major parties vocally opposed marriage equality.

During this evening’s leaders’ debate Kevin Rudd committed to introduce marriage equality legislation in the first 100 days of a re-elected Labor Government, while Tony Abbott declared it ‘a very important issue’ and failed to defend the status quo.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Rodney Croome, said,

“Mr Rudd’s plan for prioritising marriage equality in the first 100 days of a Labor Government is an important step forward, but he can’t achieve this reform himself, putting the onus back on Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote.”

“Our hope that Tony Abbott will allow a conscience vote has been strengthened by his declaration during the debate that marriage equality is ‘a very important issue’ and the fact he pointedly didn’t defend the status quo or argue against the reform.”

“This evening’s debate shows how far Australia has come since 2010 when both leaders openly defended the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.”

“For both current leaders it is not so much a matter of if, as when.”

Mr Croome says he believes voters will welcome Mr Rudd’s commitment.

“Recent polling has shown Mr Rudd’s pro-marriage equality stance is popular among younger voters, and this popularity just took a big boost.”

“The message to Coalition candidates is that by opposing marriage equality you are effectively saying to young Australians ‘don’t vote for me’.”

The Worm, an indicator of public response during the Leaders’ Debate, was low during Mr Abbott’s response but shot up when Mr Rudd spoke.

Today, Australian Marriage Equality called for a cross-party working group to help achieve marriage equality in the next parliament, a move endorsed by the Greens. For more click here:

For recent polling showing Kevin Rudd’s stance is popular among young voters, click here:

For recent polling showing young voters believe marriage equality is a high priority, click here: 




Rudd must come clean on forest deal funding

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science
10.08.13 6:24 pm

During his visit to the North West today, Kevin Rudd must come clean on his dodgy forest deal funding.

1.    How were over 400 applications assessed in just 6 days?
2.      What was the application process to access the funding?
3.      Who was eligible?
4.    What were the terms and conditions?
5.    What is the process for assessing projects or applications?
6.    Who was on the panel with Professor West and how would they operate?
7.      What was the process for announcing the grants?
8.    What are the compliance arrangements?

These questions remain unanswered, and Kevin Rudd must answer them before he leaves Tasmania today.


Land owners want the facts on fracking, not the spin

Tim Morris MP Greens Member for Lyons
10.08.13 6:17 pm

The Tasmanian Greens today said that landholders in the Tasmanian Midlands were not being told all the facts about the possibility of shale oil and gas fracking in the region.

Greens Member for Lyons Tim Morris MP said that both Mineral Resources Tasmania and the Premier had recently made selective and potentially misleading statements about the potential for shale oil or gas fracking in the southern Midlands.

“Petragas itself has said that a shale oil project in the Tasmanian Midlands could include unconventional extraction techniques, known as fracking, if a commercial project goes ahead.”

“The company’s recent statement to the Australian Stock Exchange clearly indicates that the company is contemplating unconventional techniques.” [1]

“We already knew that the exploration work would not involve fracking in the first two years, but quite frankly that is a total red herring.”

“We also knew that the extraction techniques are different to those used for coal seam gas, but that’s also completely irrelevant.  Nobody has said anything about coal seam gas.”

“If the resource proves commercially viable, and is ‘unconventional’ then the company itself has said that a commercial extraction project in the Midlands could involve fracking.”

“This fact appears to have been glossed over in recent statements of both the Premier and Mineral Resources Tasmania.”

“Nobody is scaremongering here, they are simply asking for landholders and the broader community to be given all the facts.”

“Mineral Resources Tasmania is supposed be an unbiased administrator of the state’s underground natural resources, and not a mouthpiece for the petrochemicals industry.”

[1] Link: ASX Release by Petratherm Limited (too tired to click on and look up the actual link then copy and paste!x)


Rudd must come clean on risks to Tasmanian economy from Labor policies

Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson
10.08.13 6:01 pm

Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said we are simply getting more of the same today from Labor and if Prime Minister Rudd had any integrity he should come clean to Tasmanians about the risks to the State economy from Labor policies on carbon pricing and University cuts.

“Jobs and vital revenues to our State from two of our key institutions - the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Hydro Tasmania - are at risk under Kevin Rudd’s policies,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

“It’s one thing to be talking up 140 short-term construction jobs from government pork-barrelling, but what about the 150 long-term jobs at risk from Labor’s cuts to UTAS higher education funding?

“You can’t talk about jobs in Tasmania without talking about the importance of UTAS and higher education.

“UTAS directly employs over 2,700 academic and professional staff and delivers up to $500 million into the local economy per annum - it is the third biggest employer in the state.

“Further, Labor’s back-flip on the carbon pricing mechanism will blow a hole in the Tasmanian budget.

Advice from Treasury shows Labor’s back-flip will impact on the Hydro and cost Tasmania around $60 million - a loss that will be felt through 2016.

“Business and investment decisions were made in response to the carbon price and in step with the necessary transition to renewable energy sources.

“Now there is only uncertainty - for our emissions reduction effort, for renewable industries, and for Tasmania’s capacity to generate wealth from its renewable resources.

“The policies of both the old parties will result in a hole in the Tasmanian budget where a bonus for our unique energy strengths should be.

“Kevin Rudd must come clean on what Labor’s plans really mean for Tasmania,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.


A statement regarding Labor’s asylum seeker add campaign

Andrew Wilkie, MP, Independent Member for Denison
09.08.13 4:26 pm

“Labor’s decision to continue taxpayer-funded ads in the Australian media about their inhumane PNG asylum policy is hardly surprising.

“Running these ads in Australia was always about trying to win votes. The line that ads are needed in Australian media to communicate with locals involved in people smuggling is nothing more than a flimsy excuse.

“This ad campaign was clearly a cynical political move from the very beginning so it’s no surprise Labor wants to continue running these ads until election day.

“I call on the Labor to immediately release exactly how much taxpayer money they will have spent on this cynical vote-grabbing exercise by election day.”