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BILL SHORTEN MP Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services Parliamentary Secretary for Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction
04.12.09 8:14 am
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, has visited Hobart to attend a forum on Ageing and Disability organised by Oakdale Services Tasmania, a provider of accommodation for people with disability.
Mr Shorten said the forum was a great opportunity to listen to the concerns of people in the sector, and that are facing people with disability as they grow older.
Mr Shorten said he was grateful to Tasmanian Senator Catryna Bilyk for inviting him to the forum.
“Senator Bilyk is a strong advocate for the rights of Tasmanians with disability, and is working hard to ensure they get their fair share of services,” Mr Shorten said.
Attended by over 100 people, the forum brought together key stakeholders in the Aged and Disability Sectors, together with people with a disability, their families and carers, federal and state politicians, professionals, and government representatives.
“Australia is growing older and we need to prepare for the fact that our population with disabilities is growing older as well,” Mr Shorten said.
“As people with disability age their needs change, and we have to start thinking about the best way to provide them with accommodation, support and opportunities to socialise and enjoy life.”
“The forum today has given me an insight into some of the challenges we are facing.”
Attendees at the forum raised concerns about the lack of eligibility for “ageing in place programs” for people with disability in supported accommodation.
Mr Shorten said that changes were necessary in the way Australia funded disability services.
He said that last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that the Federal Government would ask the Productivity Commission to undertake a study into new approaches for funding and delivering long-term disability care and support, was an exciting development.
The study will examine the costs and benefits of replacing the current system of disability services with a new approach which provides long-term essential care and support for people with severe or profound disabilities however acquired, and will look at the possibility of a no-fault insurance scheme.
“I hope this study will eventually lead to a better system for people with disability, which offers long-term care based on an individual’s needs as well as better early intervention,” Mr Shorten said.
Oakdale Services is a not-for-profit company which operates services for people with disability across the greater Hobart area, employing nearly 100 staff.
Australian Institute of Architects
04.12.09 8:04 am
Esteemed American architect Richard Meier will be the first of the world’s leading architects to visit Australia next year for an international speaker series, commencing in Sydney on 23 February and Melbourne on 24 February.
The legendary New York-based architect will present to audiences as a guest of the Australian Institute of Architects. A holder of the profession’s highest accolades, Mr Meier has received a bevy of awards for his outstanding work - including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, the Gold Medal from both the American Institute of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects, as well as the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association. In 2009 he was awarded the President’s Medal from the Architectural League of New York.
Since establishing his practice in New York City in 1963, Mr Meier’s work has encompassed major global commissions, including award-winning museums, corporate headquarters and housing and private residences. Some of his most significant works include the:
· Getty Center in Los Angeles;
· City Hall and Central Library in the Hague;
· Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona;
· Stadthaus (Civic Exhibition and Assembly Building) in Ulm, Germany;
· Hypobank Headquarters in Luxembourg;
· North American Headquarters building for Swissair in Melville, New York;
· Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles.
Australian Institute of Architects President Melinda Dodson said the launch of the International Speaker Series in 2009 with Toyo Ito had been a resounding success, with the 2010 series set to showcase more exceptional and inspiring architects for talks across several major cities.
“Richard Meier is a distinguished architect and Pritzker laureate, who has attracted enormous attention over several decades for his extraordinary work. This rare visit to Australia from Mr Meier will, no doubt, draw significant interest from both the public and profession alike, and is an exciting way to commence the 2010 series.”
International Speaker Series – Richard Meier
23 February 2010, Sydney & 24 February 2010, Melbourne
Tickets on sale: Friday 3 December 2009. For details, log on to architecture.com.au/internationalspeakerseries
The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing more than 9500 members across Australia and overseas. The Institute actively works to improve the quality of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design. Visit the Institute at architecture.com.au
Australian Institute of Architects
04.12.09 8:02 am
A national competition designed to visualise Australia’s urban spaces in 40 years, and beyond, has fired the imagination of the nation’s architects – with 129 vastly different scenarios submitted revealing possible cities of the future.
The competition - Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ - was run by the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale Creative Directors, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, to source material for next year’s exhibition in the Australian Pavilion in Venice.
The team’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘now’, before dramatically representing futuristic urban environments as they may be ‘when’ we reach 2050 and beyond.
Designed to source material for the WHEN part of Australia’s exhibition, the Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ competition was intended to liberate architects from current planning and design constraints, encouraging speculative, futuristic visions.
A shortlist from the 129 teams who submitted expressions of interest will be announced on December 18. Those teams will then present developed proposals in March next year, and a final group chosen for exhibition in Venice from late August.
John Gollings is one of Australia’s premier architectural photographers, who successfully applies a visionary ideology across all areas of his work. Ivan Rijavec is Principal of Rijavec Architects, an innovative Australian architectural practice established in January 1979. The 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale will be guided by leading Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, who was announced as Director last month – making her the first woman to hold the internationally sought-after position.
Competition shortlist announced: Friday 18 December
12th Venice Architecture Biennale – Confirmed Dates:
Vernissage: 26, 27, 28 August 2010; Exhibition: 29 August – 28 November 2010
This update for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale is proudly sponsored by Zip Industries.
The Australian Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale is a major project of the Australian Institute of Architects. The Institute would like to thank sponsors Austral Bricks, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Zip Industries, Autodesk and Architecture Media. The Institute also recognises the significant contribution of Network Venice practices and donors, and gratefully acknowledges the help and support given by the Australia Council for the Arts, including the use of the Pavilion for this exhibition.
The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing more than 9800 members across Australia and overseas. The Institute actively works to improve the quality of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design. Visit the Institute for more information - architecture.com.au .
Senator Catryna Bilyk Labor Senator for Tasmania
04.12.09 7:17 am
Labor Senator Catryna Bilyk marked International Day of People with a Disability by hosting a morning tea in her Kingston electorate office. The morning tea was attended by a number of Clients from Oakdale Services Kingborough based homes along with their carers.
Senator Bilyk has an ongoing involvement with Oakdale and the morning tea was an opportunity for some of Oakdale’s clients to enjoy an outing with each other.
“I really enjoy my visits to Oakdale. It was pleasing that both the clients and the carers enjoyed the visit to my office. There was lots of conversation and laughter and we all enjoyed some great food,” said Senator Bilyk. Senator Bilyk has great admiration for people with disabilities who do not let it dampen their enthusiasm for life and also for the carers who are so devoted to those people in their care.
“The rest of the community should be inspired by their enthusiasm,” said Senator Bilyk. Senator Bilyk encourages everyone to remember that it could be them or their loved one suffering a disability and to treat every one with the respect they would expect from others.
/Ends 3 December 2009 Media Enquires: Phillip Dalwood 0428 522 415
Kim Booth MP Greens Racing and Gaming spokesperson
03.12.09 3:03 pm
Fire-sale Failure Another Bartlett Government Blunder
The Tasmanian Greens today said that the Treasurer’s confirmation that his attempt to sell TOTE Tasmania has failed comes as no surprise, and is yet another example of the Bartlett government’s incompetence.
Greens Racing and Gaming spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that despite serious concerns and warnings being raised at the time, Michael Aird had forced through his decision to put TOTE up for sale which has now resulted in nothing but destabilising the racing industry and wasting at least $3 million taxpayers money on the aborted sale process.
“Despite all Michael Aird’s loud assertions otherwise, clearly the market does not have an ‘appetite’ to purchase TOTE Tasmania, which has left him with very expensive egg all over his face,” Mr Booth said.
“At least $3 million of taxpayers’ money has been burnt on this failed attempt to sell TOTE, and it was utterly negligent and incompetent for Treasurer Aird to have even entered into this process in light of the industry’s opposition and the fact that he did not have a business plan.”
“The gobsmacking spin of Michael Aird’s media release, with it’s desperate attempt to describe this abject and embarrassing failure as a ‘conclusion’ would be laughable, except for the fact that the racing industry has been left in the lurch while the taxpayer has forked out at least $3 million for the privilege of subsidising yet another extraordinary bungle by this arrogant Bartlett government.”
Jeremy Rockliff MP Shadow Minister for Racing
03.12.09 3:02 pm
The Treasurer’s announcement of the Government’s failure to sell the TOTE highlights yet again how incompetent Labor are.
The Treasurer put the TOTE on the market to plug a hole in Labor’s budget, but as a result of the failed sale it’s actually cost the budget $3 million.
This Government is so incompetent they couldn’t win a one-horse race.
This brings to a humiliating end 12 months of incompetence and betrayal by the Treasurer and Minister for Racing, Mr Aird.
Twelve months ago Mr Aird promised not to sell the TOTE, and within a matter of weeks reneged on that promise in order to plug a hole in the state budget.
The State Opposition opposed the sale of TOTE Tasmania from the start because we knew it was not in the best interests of the Racing Industry or the Tasmanian taxpayer.
This failure just adds to the Treasurer’s trail of incompetence – ambulance tax, water and sewerage, land tax, and now, TOTE.
Kim Booth MP Greens Energy Spokesperson
03.12.09 2:38 pm
Mum and Dad Electricity Users Will Pay the Price
The Tasmanian Greens today accused the Bartlett Government of driving up electricity bills through its own incompetence after it was revealed that Aurora Energy’s Tamar Valley Power Station lost $9 million in just a few weeks of operation earlier this year, with Aurora now blaming Hydro Tasmania for the result.
Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that while Aurora are blaming Hydro for the loss result both are actually overseen by the same Minister, which means that the Bartlett Government is effectively at war with itself over the appalling financial loss that has now occurred as the result of purchasing the Tamar Valley Station.
“The Bartlett Government made itself out to be a white knight when it stepped in and purchased the Tamar Valley Station without any business plan, but now we can see that they have purchased a white elephant and that mum and dad electricity users will be forced to pay for their incompetence,” said Mr Booth.
“The Greens warned about this purchase at the time but the majority Labor Government ignored our concerns, and have now overseen a loss of $9 million in just a few short weeks.”
“It is notable that the Bartlett Government have ruled out price competition for the mum and dad electricity users which means that they will be the ones forced to dip into their wallets every time they use electricity, to pay for Labor’s recklessly incompetent purchase of the Tamar Valley Power Station.”
“This was a very reckless and foolish purchase by the Bartlett Government which did not even have a business plan when it bought the Power Station.”
“Labor’s incompetent purchase of the Tamar Valley Power Station has already driven up electricity bills for Tasmanians and now, after losing $9 million in just a few weeks, it is obvious that there are more power price rises coming to pay for this irresponsible purchase,” said Mr Booth.
Kim Booth MP Greens Energy Spokesperson
03.12.09 2:35 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today pursued the government over the decision to not introduce a Gross Feed-in tariff system, saying that it would offer greater incentives for investment in renewable, provide an increase in power competition, and result in lower energy prices in the long term.
Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP, who questioned the government’s decision to only announce the more limited feed-in tariffs option, said that Minister David Llewellyn’s argument against gross feed-in tariffs did not add up.
“It is disappointing that Minister Llewellyn has refused to bring in Gross Feed-In tariffs, as it is clear that such a system provides real incentives for the private sector and ordinary Tasmanians to invest in renewable energy systems.”
“Mr Llewellyn’s argument that gross feed-in tariffs are somehow inequitable completely misses the point. By encouraging those with renewable energy sources to feed into the grid clearly provides for competition, and will result in lower prices overall in the long term.”
“Gross feed-in tariffs would result in a decentralisation of energy generation and an increase in generation capacity in the state, which will make more electricity available for consumers, and bring power prices down.”
“NSW has just moved to introduce a Gross Feed-In Tariffs system to provide greater incentives to households and businesses to invest in renewable energy technology and feed into the grid, and the Greens believe that there is a similar opportunity in Tasmania which should be seized.”
Tim Morris MP Greens Water spokesperson
03.12.09 2:33 pm
Llewellyn Duds Environment - Again
The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Bartlett Government to stop compromising the environment and lift the proposed cease to take level in the South Esk River from the existing 40 Mega Litres Per Day ML/day to a minimum of 120 ML/day in line with the recommendations in the Draft South Esk River Catchment Water Management Plan 2009.
Greens Water spokesperson Tim Morris MP, who raised the issue during GBE committee hearings today, said that unless the level at which no irrigation water will be allowed to be pumped for irrigation from the South Esk River is raised from the existing 40 ML/ day to at least 120 ML/ day, no proposal to develop any further irrigation schemes or proposals will have any credibility whatsoever.
“The Minister for Water, Mr Llewellyn has put out a draft plan for the South Esk that proposes to continue to compromise the river environment by allowing irrigators to keep pumping until the flow has been reduced to 40 ML/day despite a recommendation in the very same plan that it should be between 100 and 160 ML/ day,” Mr Morris said.
“Minister Llewellyn will further damage what little credibility he may have left if he allows the environmental flows to be entirely subservient to irrigators who will not put storage dams in to store winter water.”
“There can be no doubt from the draft Water Management Plan for the South Esk that the river is severely over allocated for direct summer take water and this plan must set in a system that transfers existing rights to take water into rights for winter take only.”
“It is in everyone’s interest to make sure that the South Esk River has sufficient flow in order to try to minimise the risk of events like the blue-green algae outbreaks that have occurred in recent summers in Lake Trevallyn and it is highly probable that the existing low cease to take point has been a significant contributing factor to these outbreaks.” Mr Morris said.
Brett Whiteley MP Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services
03.12.09 2:31 pm
· CES funding has not increased for seven years under Labor
· Labor has consistently failed to commit to more recurrent funding for the CES
· Liberal policy will inject extra $1.5 million a year into CES
The Liberals have re-committed to significantly increasing recurrent funding to the CES together with annual indexation following a call to the parties as part of Our Island Our Voices campaign.
The Liberals’ policy was announced in June 2009.
The Liberals are the only party who have recognised the hardship faced by people with disabilities in accessing equipment and technologies, and committed to rectifying this.
The Government said in response to the Liberal policy:
“There is not a lot of point putting in more money to prop up an ailing program – I don’t consider that a sensible use of taxpayer funds”. (Examiner, 19 June 2009)
Yet as the State Manager of National Disability Services, Margaret Reynolds, has said today, additional funding is needed for the scheme just to address current levels of unmet demand.
A copy of the Liberals policy can be found:
03.12.09 2:30 pm
Skateboarding Australia (SbA) is about to roll out another huge summer of skate with the highly regarded talent pool of Tasmanian skateboarders given first opportunity to showcase their skills, when the first qualifying round of the six stops national series; the “SbA DEW Series presented by Arnette” drops into Devonport this Saturday the 5th of December.
With less than 48 hours left before the first round drops in for summer 09/10 the junior skaters from all over Tasmania have been putting their final runs together in preparation for the event. The nationally-coordinated event will unearth the best skate talent that Tasmania has to offer, with twenty four of the state’s best skaters going on to represent Tasmania at the national finals being held in Sydney during March 2010.
Devonport City Council Youth Officer, Mr Damian Collins, said hosting the event is a great way for the Devonport area and its local skaters to be recognised on a national level.
“Having part of this Australian series in our backyard is a significant opportunity for skateboarders and kids in the Northwest of Tasmania,” Mr Collins said.
“There has been a great amount of hype and excitement being generated throughout Devonport and Tasmania since the announcement of the series that kicks off in Devonport this weekend.”
Cassy O’Connor MP Greens Health and Human Services spokesperson
03.12.09 2:28 pm
Tasmanians Living With Disabilities Deserve Better
The Tasmanian Greens today acknowledged International Day of People With Disability, and gave in-principle support to the call from the Our Island Our Voices campaign for an overhaul and better resourcing of the Community Equipment Scheme which provides a variety of equipment, aids and appliances to support Tasmanians with disabilities to live in the community.
Greens Health and Human Services spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said the Labor Government’s neglect of the Scheme has left it virtually dysfunctional, which is impacting on the ability of thousands of Tasmanians to enjoy a reasonable quality of life while living in the community.
“The Community Equipment Scheme is intended to enhance the functional wellbeing of Tasmanians with a disability and to enable them to enjoy active lives in the community, but the Labor Government’s gross neglect of the Scheme means that thousands of Tasmanians with disabilities, and those family members and carers who form their support base, are missing out,” said Ms O’Connor.
“Labor has dragged its heels on this issue to the point where the Community Equipment Scheme is effectively dysfunctional. Tasmanians living with disabilities are now suffering because Labor has prioritised political wants such as the pulp mill, racetrack renovations, and the employment of an army of spin doctors, over and above the needs of the those relying on the Scheme.”
“Remedying this injustice for Tasmanians living with disabilities is core to any genuine social inclusion agenda for Tasmania.”
Ms O’Connor also said that as a member of the Community Development Committee she has absorbed the most painful human stories of the profoundly negative impact that the Scheme’s failings are having on the lives of Tasmanians living with disabilities and their families, and carers, and that the problems are even worse for those living in rural and regional areas of Tasmania.
“On International Day of People With a Disability, the Greens are calling on the Bartlett Government and the Liberal Opposition to heed the call from National Disability Services (TAS), TasCOSS and other key stakeholder organisations to commit to better resourcing and strengthening the Community Equipment Scheme as a matter of urgency,” said Ms O’Connor.
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson
03.12.09 2:25 pm
EMRS Polling Confirms Need for State Tax Review
The Tasmanian Greens today weighed into the land tax debate by calling for an extension of the appeal period relating to re-evaluation of land, saying that many people and small businesses are shocked to discover that they cannot appeal any increase in their land tax bill that is based upon property re-evaluation.
Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Nick McKim MP that while comprehensive and long term structural reform of the state’s taxation base is needed, action should be taken now in some areas which would assist those struggling under the land tax burden, without impacting on critical service delivery.
“Property owners currently have the right to appeal when re-evaluation of their property occurs , but many are not aware of the implications of their re-evaluation until they receive their land tax bill, by which time it is too late,” Mr McKim said.
“The Greens are proposing that the property re-evaluation appeal rights be extended up to 60 days from receipt of the land tax bill rather than from receipt of their re-evaluation.”
“This is about making the process as fair as possible, and understanding the difficulty faced by many families and small business owners facing massive increases in land tax.”
“People’s rates are also based on property valuation, so it is important that this process is as fair and as equitable as possible.”
“Many people are unaware of the valuation and appeal process. The arrival of their land tax bill serves as both a valuation update and also the trigger for some to seek an appeal mechanism, only to discover that door had closed on them without their understanding or knowledge.”
Mr McKim also said that the EMRS polling data released by TasCOSS today reinforced reiterated the need for the Greens’ call for a full review of Tasmania’s taxation system to be commissioned, with the aim of reducing or eliminating taxes on positives such as jobs and investment, and instead generating revenue by taxing things that are negatives, like pollution.
“The Greens are committed to delivering a fairer and contemporary tax base for individuals and businesses, better outcomes for people, and improved service delivery across critical areas including health, education, and public housing.”
Peter Gutwein MP Shadow Treasurer
03.12.09 2:21 pm
David Bartlett appears set to take Paul Lennon’s political advice and back-flip on land tax.
Yesterday Mr Lennon wrote that David Bartlett should back-flip on land tax, like he has on water and sewerage, in order to try and neutralize the issue politically.
Today we read that Mr Bartlett is set to take exactly that course of action.
But just like with water and sewerage, it appears Labor will take only short-term, politically expedient action and ignore the real issue.
While we would welcome Labor adopting our position of capping land tax receipts at $90 million and returning the windfall gain to those hit by massive increases this year, this would do nothing to address the inherent unfairness of land tax.
People shouldn’t forget that Labor is philosophically opposed to cutting tax. It’s not in their genes. Any back-flip on Land Tax will be a short-term blip on the radar. Rest assured that if Labor is re-elected, people will continue to pay more and more for Land Tax.
The Liberals are the only party committed to taking real action on land tax, and we will have more to say about how we will do that before the election.
Peter Gutwein MP Shadow Treasurer
03.12.09 2:19 pm
Small business confidence in David Bartlett’s Labor Government has collapsed by 11 percentage points in the last quarter, according to the Sensis December 2009 Business Index, released today.
This was the largest fall in Australia, and demonstrates that not only is Labor out of touch with the people of Tasmania, they are out of touch with Tasmania’s close to 30,000 small businesses and the people they employ.
With its bungled water and sewerage changes and its outrageous land tax increases, Labor is hitting small business hard and the politically expedient back-flips they are taking in these areas won’t fix the problems.
In addition, the survey shows that:
- Profitability expectations are the lowest in the nation;
- Sales expectations are the lowest in the nation;
- Tasmanian small business have the weakest employment expectations;
- Tasmania has the lowest proportion of SMEs exporting.
Only the Liberals have the capacity to deliver for Tasmanian small business. We will start by slashing red tape, really fixing Labor’s water and sewerage bungle, and taking real action on land tax.
Labor is philosophically opposed to reforming land tax and water and sewerage. It’s not in their genes. They believe that taxes and charges should be high and governments should spend up big. They don’t believe that government should get out of the way of business. Their back-flips are political quick-fixes, but Tasmanians can be certain of one thing – if Labor is re-elected, Land Tax will go up, water and sewerage charges will go up and small business will be buried under a mountain of costs, red tape and restrictions.
Will Hodgman MP Leader of the Opposition Brett Whiteley MP Shadow Minister for Heath and Human Services
03.12.09 2:17 pm
· Smoke alarms for profoundly and severely deaf Tasmanians cost $500
· A 2009 survey found only 11 out of 89 hard of hearing households had visual alarms because of cost
· Liberal program will subsidise each alarm system by $450, ensuring equity with the cost of a standard smoke alarm
The Liberals will subsidise specialist smoke alarms for profoundly and severely deaf Tasmanians to ensure equity for those at increased risk because of their disability, and to save lives.
A Hodgman Liberal Government will fund 100 units and, in partnership with Tasdeaf, would subsidise each $500 unit to the value of $450, reducing the cost to the cost of a standard smoke alarm.
“This is a policy the Liberals took to the last election, but because of the Labor Government’s failure to act despite years of lobbying and the deaths of two hearing impaired Tasmanians in house fires, we today reaffirm this commitment.
“For a small cost, risk can be reduced and lives possibly saved,” Mr Hodgman said.
Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services, Brett Whiteley, said three other States had programs in place to make specialist smoke alarms more affordable for deaf and hard of hearing people.
“Yet in Tasmania, only those living in public housing are able to access assistance, while people living in private rental or their own homes are not eligible for any assistance.
“A recent survey by Tasdeaf revealed 59% of survey participants did not have specialist smoke alarms fitted because of the cost.
“Requests to the State Labor Government to address this issue have been ignored since 2004.
“The Liberals fairer Tasmania framework is about ensuring equity for disadvantaged groups in our community..
“Specialist alarms for those who are severely and profoundly deaf are not affordable, and by subsidising these units, we can ensure deaf and hard of hearing Tasmanians are not disadvantaged because of their disability.”
The policy will be funded through the Community Equipment Scheme, which the Liberals have already committed to doubling the annual funding.”
Chronology of inaction by Labor:
2003 – Coroner finding in death of an elderly hearing impaired man at Ouse in a house fire; had a visual/sensory smoke alarm been fitted, “it may ... possibly have saved his life”.
2003 – Tasdeaf begins its lobbying of Government, with a written proposal to Minister Llewellyn with the response, “please try again in 2004-2005”.
2004-2006 – Tasdeaf resubmit its submission.
2005 – Liberal policy to subsidise smoke alarms.
2006 – Meeting between Tasdeaf and new Health Minister, Lara Giddings, with the response there were no funds and a pilot project would not be beneficial to Tasmania.
2007-2009 – continued negative responses to requests for funding
03.12.09 5:37 am
The annual Motor Cycle Riders Assn Toy Run to Hobart this Saturday December 5th provides a timely reminder of the power the motorcycle riding fraternity have to do good for others.
Founder of the inaugural ‘Ride for Hope’ Jim Playsted said the ride to the Elwick Showgrounds venue was set for Sunday 21st February 2010 and was expected to attract 1,000 motorcyclists.
Rotary Clubs had been invited to cater for the crowd and a free concert for all participating would follow lunch. Entry will be $20 per bike and is tax deductible.
Jim Playsted said the choir was doing important work through music, friendship and social inclusion and had recently received a donation from Minister Lisa Singh to help with ongoing finances. A group of business people donate their time to plan and manage choir finances, audit and legal requirements, insurance and public liability.
The Choir of High Hopes Hobart Inc replicates the work done by the Choir of Hard Knocks in Melbourne. The Hobart choir which meets each Tuesday in a Hobart church hall, celebrated their second birthday during November.
Since founding – the choir has gathered a family of more than 170 people from a tapestry of backgrounds and life experiences, mostly intent upon rebuilding their lives through song and volunteer support.
The Ride for Hope has been planned to coincide with Summer weather and after the Christmas rush. Calling on all motorcyclists for their support Mr Playsted said he hoped the ride would become an annual event after 2010 as a major fund raising initiative of this kind was required to ensure the choir could continue to help others less fortunate than ourselves.
Jim is available for interview and can be contacted on 0437 222 600. He will be (i) attending the launch of ‘East Coast Motorcycle Friendly’ at Bicheno 5.30pm Thursday December 3d and (ii) will be handing out ‘Ride for Hope’ flyers with choir members at Hobart’s Salamanca precinct from 3pm Saturday Dec 5th.
Choir of High Hopes Hobart Inc
Paul Oosting, Wilderness Society
03.12.09 4:36 am
In December 2004, Gunns sued Senator Bob Brown, the Wilderness Society and 18 others as a result of the campaigns to protect Tasmania’s forests.
During the next five years, Gunns suffered a series of legal losses and capitulated against many of the defendants, paying them over $1m in costs. Author and ‘bush lawyer’ Greg Ogle was the Wilderness Society’s Legal Coordinator during this time, organising and coordinating their legal response to the case.
Gagged tells the inside story of the defence of the Gunns 20 case, and of a number of other similar, but no less dangerous, law suits.
In a personal account of more than a decade defending so-called ‘SLAPP suits’ over the Hindmarsh Island bridge, battery hens and the Tasmanian forests, Greg tells the history of the cases and their impact on the defendants and the community. This passionate portrayal illustrates the effect of such litigation on free speech and political protest, and makes an eloquent call for law reform to ensure that these incursions on civil liberties never happen again.
In March 2009 Gunns settled its claim against the Wilderness Society, paying the environment group $350,000. Gunns recently settled the case against another two defendants, leaving only four remaining in the case.
Greg will be in town to launch his book in Hobart and Launceston.
When: 1pm Monday 7 December
Where: Wilderness Society Shop, Salamanca
Launched by Dr Frank Nicklason, Gunns 20 Defendant
When: 6pm Monday 7 December (combined with Christmas party)
Where: Launceston Campaign Centre
Jess Wright Climate Action Hobart
02.12.09 2:48 pm
Groups campaigning for action on climate change have welcomed the defeat of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in the Senate today and called for Rudd to go back to the drawing board.
“The Coalition parties did the right thing, even if for the most irresponsible of reasons,” said Jess Wright, spokesperson for Climate Action Hobart. “The CPRS was worse than nothing, and its failure to become law has been welcomed by the Australian climate movement.”
“We applaud the Australian Greens and Nick Xenophon for voting against it for the right reasons and we call on the government to go back to the drawing board and come up with climate policies that will really make a difference.”
Labor’s emissions trading scheme, if adopted, would have seen polluting industries receive billions of dollars in handouts. The scheme would have also locked in emissions reduction targets so weak that “if adopted globally, practically guarantees destruction of most life on the planet” according to leading NASA scientist James Hansen.
“Labor suffers from its own form of climate change denialism,” said Jess Wright. “Presenting garbage like the CPRS to the public, pretending that it is a serious response to climate change, is in itself a refusal to take the issue seriously. Unwittingly, the climate change denialists of the Coalition, by destroying such a gift to the polluters, have opened the door to real strategies to reduce emissions.”
Climate Action Hobart is calling for a emissions reduction target of at least 60 percent by the year 2020, which would require a rapid transition away from coal towards renewable energies, major investments in public transport and energy efficiency and the protection of our native forests as carbon stores.
“The science should set the benchmarks for action” said Susan Austin, Climate Action Hobart spokesperson. “This legislation would have slowed down change on climate over the next 10 to 15 years which are the years in which the most rapid change is essential, that is, the legislation would have blocked the necessary emergency action.”
“We need to face reality, urgently slash our emissions from fossil fuels, draw carbon down into soils and forests, and cool the planet. There are highly effective solutions for doing this and we need to stop ignoring them.” Austin said.
Climate Action Hobart is one of more than 150 community based climate groups that has argued for the scrapping of the CPRS in favour of a more effective scheme.
Bob Brown, Christine Milne
02.12.09 2:37 pm
Canberra, Wednesday 2 December 2009
The Australian Greens have written to the Prime Minister and Minister for Climate Change today proposing new action on climate change.
“We are at a moment of great opportunity for this country and this planet if we choose to move decisively towards renewable energy, energy efficiency and forest protection,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown said.
“The Prime Minister has said that we must act for our children and our grandchildren, but the question is: do we act according to the world’s brains trust or do we act according to the pressure of the big polluters?
“The government chose the big polluters in designing its failed scheme, but it now has the opportunity to choose the future, choose the science, choose the children.”
A copy of the Greens’ letter is attached.
“Where the CPRS would have locked in failure, triggering investment in more coal projects, the Greens have a blueprint for success,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.
“Now is the opportunity to come together and look at positive solutions that can get Australia moving in the right direction.
“Let’s unleash innovation and job creation with real, meaningful climate action.
“At Copenhagen, Australia must commit to its fair share of action on climate change. The Government cannot walk away from that and the Greens certainly will not.
“Now that the CPRS is out of the way, the Government has no option but to work with the Greens to deliver that result.
“With the final demise of the false solution of the CPRS, let’s move ahead with real solutions, let’s do what it takes and put Australia on the path towards a safe climate.”
Alderman Elise Archer Chairperson, Finance & Corporate Services Committee Hobart City Council (Liberal for Denison)
02.12.09 2:36 pm
Alderman Elise Archer, Chairperson of Finance & Corporate Services Committee (who is also a Liberal candidate for Denison in the State election) says that the committee yesterday recommended that parking at Salamanca from Gladstone Street to the Silos should remain free on Sundays but that there should be a three hour time limit.
“The general feeling of the committee was that there was insufficient evidence at this stage to justify charging a fee for parking on Sundays at Salamanca between Gladstone Street and the Silos purely to encourage people not to park there all day or for extended periods. Therefore, the committee has recommended that signs advise of a three hour time limit on Sundays and that there be a report back to the committee in six months’ time to determine if this has resolved some of the businesses’ concerns that people park there all day”, says Ald Elise Archer.
“The difficulty I had was that a survey undertaken by our council officers to date revealed that only 13% had parked in this area from 10am to 3pm (a period of five hours) without moving on. It should be noted that this item on the agenda only came to council at the request of some of the businesses who were concerned about people parking at Salamanca for extended periods of time or all day (and not at council’s instigation). However, when all Salamanca businesses were surveyed (100), the majority of those who returned the survey (65%) were not in favour of charging for parking on Sundays.”
“It is my personal belief that Council should have very strong and sufficient evidence to justify charging for parking on Sundays simply to discourage all day parking. Based on the current survey, the percentage doing this is quite minimal. However, by encouraging a maximum three hour stay, it will be useful to monitor the situation in the next six months with a further and more specific survey to see if there is an improvement for the businesses concerned.”
“Full Council will decide the issue at its next meeting on Monday, 14 December 2009”, says Ald Elise Archer.
02.12.09 2:35 pm
A new group aiming to end the divisions in Tasmania over forests will launch tomorrow.
‘Our Common Ground’ is a broad, diverse group of Tasmanians out to end the artificial conflict between protecting jobs and protecting ancient forests.
The launch will feature the release of State-wide poll results, an advertising campaign and a new website.
Representatives of Our Common Ground will also be present, including:
· Former ABC Journalist, Judy Tierney
· Small Business Owner and farmer, Frank Giles
· Economist, Assoc Prof. Graeme Wells
· Environment Tasmania Director, Dr Phill Pullinger
What: Our Common Ground Campaign Launch
Where: Woolstore Hotel, Drover’s Board Room
When: 12.30 PM Thursday 3rd December
Jeremy Rockliff MP Deputy Leader of the State Opposition
02.12.09 2:33 pm
At last night’s People’s Debate, David Bartlett confirmed that he will seek to continue to govern after the state election, even if he has fewer seats than the Liberals.
And it is apparent that he will be able to do this, with Greens’ leader Nick McKim refusing to rule out supporting the continuation of Mr Bartlett’s Labor Government on the floor of the parliament.
Notably, Mr Bartlett last night only ruled out “backroom” deals with the Greens, but did not rule out other form of deal.
Our position is very clear. We are aiming for majority government, and we think it is achievable.
But it is now crystal clear that if we fall short of this, and Mr Bartlett has as few as nine seats, he will seek to continue to govern, and the Greens are likely to allow him to do so.
So if you want to change the Government, you have to vote Liberal.
* With apologies to Paul Keating – “[they – Prime Ministers] have got Araldite on their pants … They want to stick to their seat.”
02.12.09 7:57 am
ULTRA TASMANIA INC. PRESENTS THE 2009 CROTTY LEGAL/DENTAL
BRUNY ISLAND 64K ULTRA RUN & RELAY
SAFETY FIRST IMPORTANT PRE-RACE INFORMATION
COMPETITORS MUST RUN ON THE RIGHT AT ALL TIMES. Please follow this instruction and remind other competitors. Make changes only at designated changeover points
Please bring adequate water required for the run with you onto the Island. Bottles can be filled at the start and at the 40km changeover marker, not at the Hotel please.
START & FINISH
To avoid congestion on the road organizers will be staggering start times. A Parks and Wildlife Official will control parking at the finish. Please follow their instructions. At the finish remember to touch the lighthouse door to stop the clock and give your team number to the timekeeper. Soft drinks will be provided at the finish for the competitors.
Safety first is the main requirement when stopping at a relay changeover it is requested that where possible, cars stop after the changeover marker.
Please take it carefully when running (keep on the right side of the road facing oncoming traffic, except where it is not practical). For drivers stop only where it is safe to do so! All roads are open to the public and absolute caution is required.
PARK ENTRANCE FEES
Bruny lighthouse is within a national park, entrance to which requires the payment of a park fee. As supporters of the Bruny Run, Parks and Wildlife Services have very kindly agreed to waiver the fee for all cars, runners and support crews associated with the event. Remember dogs are not permitted in National Parks.
T-shirts will be available at the presentations to purchase @ $20.00ea
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE (Hopefully Not)
For medical assistance on the Island contact the Allonah Medical Centre on 62931143 or phone 000 in case of an emergency.
Hot soup and bread will be served in the Hotel Beer Garden after the event, please join us there for the presentations
ORGANISERS HOPE YOUR DAY IS SAFE, FUN & REWARDING
Will Hodgman MP Leader of the State Opposition
01.12.09 8:32 pm
Tuesday 1 December 2009
Ladies and gentlemen,
My vision is a Tasmania where the government is trusted to make the right decisions for the right reasons;
Where we back local businesses to create local jobs;
Where we achieve higher education standards – and results.
I want a Tasmania that is not only smarter, but one which is fairer.
Where Tasmanians can get better health care, and sooner.
Where every Tasmanian has the opportunity to achieve their potential;
And where there are more reasons for people to stay here, than to leave.
Now a government I lead will adopt the following principles;
It will live within its means, get value for money, and we will take responsibility for getting results.
We will invest in our people, our schools, our hospitals and our roads - not in highly paid political minders or a top heavy government.
We will give people and communities the power to make decisions about what is best for them.
And we will be honest, accountable and govern with integrity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
By 2014, after four years of a Hodgman Liberal Government…
Tasmania will be a more competitive place to do business.
There will be more jobs in existing and new, industries…
We will have cut land tax…
We will have slashed red tape and planning laws will be simpler…
We will have halted Labor’s disastrous and divisive Tasmania Tomorrow changes…
Our education system will no longer be bottom of the class…
School buses will be free…
And sick Tasmanians will get their operations sooner…
And if they can’t have their operation done on time in a public hospital, they’ll be looked after in a private hospital – at no cost to them.
The first stage of a new generation Royal Hobart Hospital will be underway.
And the State Government’s hands won’t constantly be in your hip pocket – especially those of you who can least afford it.
We will have fixed Labor’s bungled water and sewerage changes
And with more competition, electricity costs should be cheaper
We will have taken the politics out of decision making on major infrastructure projects, and we will have a state infrastructure plan
And by 2014, a four lane Midland Highway will be under construction.
In the first term of a Hodgman Liberal Government we will tackle the issue of the size of our Parliament.
And critically, Tasmanians will have regained trust in government.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am extremely optimistic about the future of our state.
But Tasmania now needs a new government, and I am prepared to show the leadership to make the right decisions for the right reasons, and to deal with the challenges we face.
These are key commitments, with more to be announced over the coming months.
But I will give Tasmanians leadership and vision, and I will deliver results.
But I will need your support to do it.
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
01.12.09 4:33 pm
Labor Dons Typical Pre-election Green Spots
The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the Bartlett government’s move towards introducing feed-in tariffs for electricity fed back into the grid from small renewable energy systems, saying that it is a good first step.
Greens Leader and Climate Change spokesperson Nick McKim MP said that although it is a small step forward the announcement falls short of the preferred Gross Feed-In Tariffs scheme for which the Greens have been advocating over the last decade.
“Unless the Bartlett government goes further this is effectively a little more than a ‘mickey mouse’ scheme which will do little to drive distributed renewable energy generation in Tasmania,” Mr McKim said.
“Introducing a Gross Feed-In Tariff scheme is needed to make inroads and encourage the installation of small renewable energy systems at the residential and business level, as it will provide real incentives to move to renewables.”
“The government’s proposal will only offer people the same retail price as it costs people to purchase power from Aurora, and in no way compensates for the up-front capital costs of installing renewable technology.”
“In comparison, a serious Feed-In Tariff scheme offers people more for the renewable energy they supply to the grid, than the retail price.”
“Tasmanians won’t be fooled. This is another example of Labor pulling on the green spots just before an election, which they do attempt every time.”
Office of Senator Stephen Parry Chief Opposition Whip in the Senate Manager of Opposition Business in the
01.12.09 4:31 pm
THE election of Tony Abbott to the leadership of the federal Liberal Party will now refocus the debate on the Rudd Government’s reckless response to climate change, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry said today.
Senator Parry said he had taken, after much consideration, a principled position on Thursday, resigning from his position of Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate because he could not support the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) Bills prior to the Copenhagen talks.
``Adopting what amounts to a new tax on business and on families without matching commitments from other nations is an irresponsible course of action with no global benefit,’’ he said.
``This is why I fully support the decision by the party room today to seek, in the first instance, for the CPRS Bills to be referred to a Senate committee.
``If this is not successful, our position is that we will vote against the Bills.
``A strong, two-thirds majority of the party room supported this way forward in responding to the Government’s CPRS Bills.
``Tony Abbott has now rightly contrasted the Opposition to the Government on this key issue.
``We will not copy Prime Minister Rudd’s reckless approach to addressing climate change. We will seek action that is responsible and in the national interest.’’
The Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team ... Advancing Tasmania’s Interests
Kim Booth MP Greens Forests Spokesperson
01.12.09 4:29 pm
Forest Sector Changes the Rules Instead of Meeting Green Building Standards
The Tasmanian Greens today expressed their dismay at the forestry sector once again being allowed to shift the goalposts, this time in regards to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) which had previously only recognised timber regulated by the internationally-renowned Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), but which will now accept timber from the weak Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) following months of “intensive lobbying” by forestry unions, the Labor Party, and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania.
Greens Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP said the Tasmanian forestry sector is unable to achieve FSC certification because it is an unsustainable industry that relies on felling ancient forests which were growing before Europeans even arrived in Australia, and that the AFS standard was set up as a specific response to this inability to gain international certification for unsustainable timber products.
Mr Booth also said that this move from the GBCA is undermining its own reason for existence and risks making the organisation irrelevant to those who are seeking advice about truly sustainable building practices.
“What is the point of setting up a certification program for sustainable building products and practices, and then allowing unsustainable inputs?,” said Mr Booth.
“AFS was set up as a direct response to FSC’s refusal to certify the clearfelling, firebombing and poisoning of ancient forests. It is a sham scheme that has no relationship to the sustainability of the timber it is certifying.”
“Once again we see the forest sector simply changing the rules when confronted by the unsustainability of their own practices.”
“The Green Building Council has just undermined the very reason for its being – it is supposed to be ‘encouraging the adoption of green building practices,’ but its decision to allow an unsustainable input now raises questions about all other allowed inputs that it recommends.” 
“It is notable that after getting his way on the certification of unsustainable timber products, even Michael O’Connor of the CFMEU believes that the Green Building Council now has ‘no credibility’.” 
“If the GBCA are going to let themselves be bullied into acting as stooges on behalf of the native forest woodchip industry, then they are of no value as consumers cannot have any confidence in their ratings or recommendations,” said Mr Booth.
“Launched in 2002, the GBCA is a national, not-for-profit organisation that is committed to developing a sustainable property industry for Australia by encouraging the adoption of green building practices.”
[Green Building Council of Australia, “Welcome to the Green Building Council,” http://www.gbca.org.au/ ]
‘“I have little faith in the covenant of the Green Building Council and they have no credibility with us,” Mr O’Connor said yesterday.’
[“Deal brokered on sustainable timber,” Tom Arup, The Age, 30 November 2009, HERE ]
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Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
01.12.09 4:27 pm
The Tasmanian Greens today reiterated their call for the Bartlett Government to extend electricity concessions to assist Tasmanians who are struggling to keep pace with spiralling costs of living.
Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said concessions for electricity use are currently offered at a flat rate, irrespective of how many people might be living in the household, and the concession structure requires reform to extend higher concessions to larger households while retaining the current levels of support for single occupant households.
Mr McKim also said the pricing structure for electricity currently rewards consumers for using excess electricity, and this obviously requires reform to reward low-energy users.
“The Greens used Parliament to call for an extension of concessions for electricity and for water and sewerage charges in October this year, but the Bartlett Government used its majority to defeat our call,” said Mr McKim.
“The Premier has now acknowledged that water and sewerage concessions needed to be extended, and we are reiterating our call for the Premier to also broaden the scope of concessions offered for electricity use.”
“Changing the electricity pricing structure and extending concessions for households with more than one occupant will go a long way towards removing the fear of fuel poverty for many Tasmanians.”
“The Greens are reiterating our call for the Bartlett Government to extend electricity concessions and reform the electricity pricing structure to assist Tasmanians who are struggling with spiralling cost-of-living increases,” said Mr McKim.
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
01.12.09 4:25 pm
And Rudd Snubs Tassie
The Tasmanian Greens today described as a missed opportunity the next CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) meeting being hosted by Perth, arguing that Premier Bartlett should have seized the opportunity to have it held in Hobart after the Prime Minister succeeded in securing Australia as the host country in 2011.
Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that with approximately 60 Heads of State, including the Queen or her representative, attending the CHOGM it would have been a marvellous opportunity to put Tasmania on the international stage, but Premier Bartlett was obviously too busy trying to save Labor at the polls to focus on maximising opportunities for the state.
Mr McKim sad that the CHOGM is held every two years in a different member state in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, and is chaired by that nation’s Prime Minister or President.
“Premier Bartlett should have seized the opportunity to lobby Prime Minister Rudd to have the 2011 CHOGM held in Hobart,” Mr McKim said.
“This would have been an extraordinarily opportunity to sell Tasmania to the world, but obviously Mr Bartlett is more concerned about saving himself at the polls instead of prioritising Tasmania’s interests.”
“Premier Bartlett has allowed a fantastic opportunity slip through his fingers and now Perth will be the beneficiary of the national and international interest that 60 Heads of State, including the Queen, and over 1000 media representatives will bring.”
“We have also missed out on the associated meetings which usually take place in the weeks preceding the CHOGM, which consist of senior officials from different countries, as well as the parallel special events that involve non-government, business and youth organisations which are held to coincide with each CHOGM.”