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O’Byrne confirms Labor is considering selling TasNetworks

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
05.12.17 8:04 pm

In a startling admission, de facto Labor leader, Michelle O’Byrne has revealed Labor is considering selling TasNetworks to fund their election promises.
In a train-wreck interview on ABC this morning, Michelle O’Byrne was asked directly if Labor wants to sell TasNetworks.  She replied:
“Is selling TasNetworks the best way to do that?  I don’t know that yet and I don’t think you should put anything off the table”.
True to form, Labor wants to spend, spend, spend and in order to pay for it they are going to have to literally beg, borrow and, in this case, sell, to pay for it all.
Last time Labor was in Government they left a cumulative deficit of $1.1 billion, trashed the State’s finances and drove the economy into a deep recession and clearly they’ve learnt nothing.
Our position is clear: we will not sell TasNetworks or any other Government business.

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Justine Keay tables documents confirming she held British citizenship until after election

Examiner
05.12.17 6:03 pm

Read here

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Labor has a history of selling government businesses ...

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
05.12.17 5:46 pm

… at least ten government businesses sold between 1998 and 2014

It’s clear that Labor is considering selling off more tax payer owned businesses to prop up their election spending.
This morning Michelle O’Byrne admitted on radio that Labor would consider selling TasNetworks.
Scott Bacon’s forced denial was too little too late, because as we all know with Labor you can’t trust what they say, instead you need to look at their record.
Between 1998 and 2014 Labor sold at least ten government businesses, including:
• The Trust Bank
• The Tasmanian Government Insurance Office
• The Civil Construction Corporation
• The Hobart Airport
• The Tote
• The Printing Authority
Labor sold off all of these assets and Tasmania has absolutely nothing to show for it, because when Labor was voted out, the State’s finances were a mess, the economy had been in recession and the budget had a cumulative deficit of over $1 billion.
It’s obvious that Labor would want to continue selling government businesses so they can prop up their reckless spending.
The choice at the next election couldn’t be any clearer – a majority Hodgman Liberal Government that can balance the books and invest to grow the economy and create jobs or a Labor-Green minority government that will flog off the silverware at the first opportunity.

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Politics live: Citizenship, same-sex marriage dominate Parliament’s last days for 2017

Fairfax
05.12.17 5:09 pm

Read here

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Greens to reintroduce amendments to reduce discrimination ...

Rodney Croome, justequal
05.12.17 5:05 pm

... IN MARRIAGE BILL

“These amendments are historic, even if they don’t get up, because the Greens are taking a stand against religious privilege at a time when too many others are bowing to it.” – Peter Furness, former Australian Marriage Equality convener

Equality advocates have praised the Greens for again attempting to improve Dean Smith’s marriage equality bill by reducing the possibility of discrimination against LGBTI people.

This afternoon, Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said he will re-introduce amendments to the bill to limit exemptions that allow discrimination in wedding services against marrying couples, including same-sex couples, on the grounds of religion. 

The amendments also rename the bill so that it explicitly says it enacts marriage equality.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, praised the Greens for listening to the concerns of the LGBTI community.

“LGBTI community surveys auspiced by just.equal and PFLAG have shown there is deep concern in the LGBTI community about exemptions that allow unnecessary discrimination and we thank the Greens for listening to those concerns.”

“By voting Yes, a majority of Australians not only affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry, they also repudiated the No campaign’s proposition that freedom and faith need additional protections from same-sex marriages over and above existing religious protections in the Marriage Act.”

“We thank the Greens for constructively engaging with just.equal, PFLAG and Rainbow Families over a period of several months regarding the concerns of the LGBTI community and how those concerns should be reflected in amendments to the Smith bill.” 

“We ask other parties to support the amendments so that Australia, like every other country with marriage equality, can achieve this reform without unnecessary caveats or carve outs.”

Executive director of Rainbow Families Victoria, Felicity Marlowe, said,

“I support the amendments proposed by the Greens as they reflect the feedback I have been receiving from our rainbow families since the postal survey announcement.”

“Rainbow families do not want to see marriage equality compromised by unnecessary and complicated additions to the simple proposition that 61.6% of postal survey respondents voted for, LGBTI people should be able to marry the person they love.”

Former Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Peter Furness, said,

“Civil marriage celebrants were established in 1973 for the sole purpose of providing couples who sought a non-religious wedding ceremony outside the setting of a state registry office the opportunity to have one.”

“To establish a new category of religious marriage celebrant is a distortion of the very purpose of marriage celebrants as representatives of the state. It creates a dangerous precedent for other roles performed by the state which should properly be separate from church or religious influence.”

“These amendments are historic, even if they don’t get up, because the Greens are taking a stand against religious privilege at a time when too many others are bowing to it.”

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said,

“I’m pleased that the Greens are listening to the LGBTI community and standing firm against discrimination in the name of religion.”

“Our sons and daughters have waited a long time to be seen as equal to their siblings, and the Greens are doing their best to ensure there is no lingering legal discrimination.”

The Marriage Act already protects religious freedom by ensuring no minister of religion or faith community is forced to solemnise marriages in violation of their doctrines.

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Massive black hole in Labor’s All Aboard policy

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
05.12.17 5:02 pm

A massive black hole has emerged in Labor’s All Aboard policy which proves, yet again, you simply cannot trust Labor with money.
Labor’s so called ‘free fares’ policy for students has been costed at $9 million over an unspecified timeframe, although most other concepts in the policy are costed over 10 years.
However, the Department of State Growth have advised the absolute minimum lost revenue for this is $4.8 million per year – and even this is underestimating as free buses would be expected to stimulate additional demand.
This means that over 10 years, the minimum amount of money needed to pay for this is $48 million, and even over 5 years the amount needed is $24 million- and yet Labor has allocated just $9 million!
Labor need to provide answers on how they will pay for this policy without blowing the Budget- will it be through the sale of public assets such as TasNetworks, perhaps?
It is also important to note families who are on lower incomes already receive free student travel through the existing concession structure.  So not only is Labor’s policy uncosted, it is likely to only benefit those families on higher incomes.

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Labor wrong on Ferry Plan

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
05.12.17 4:54 pm

Labors claims we have abandoned James Walker’s Ferry Plan are wrong.
As we said at the time, it is a bold and welcome vision which we would continue to pursue irrespective of the outcome of the Pembroke election, and informs work we have already done since coming to Government
The Government is continuing to work closely with all stakeholders on the issue of public transport in Hobart, and I will have more to say about Derwent River Ferries prior to the election.

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Victoria Police employees ‘fear retribution’ for exposing corruption, IBAC survey finds

ABC
05.12.17 4:53 pm

Read here

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Q&A: Eric Abetz and Lisa Singh go head to head over Manus Island crisis

ABC
05.12.17 4:51 pm

Read here

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Families and students will save in Labor’s free bus travel plan

Craig Farrell MLC Shadow Public Transport Minister
05.12.17 4:27 pm

 Labor’s free student bus travel will provide cost of living relief
 Hidding being desperately misleading and dishonest on costings
The increasingly desperate Hodgman Liberal Government has done nothing to relieve cost of living burden for Tasmanian families, placing its energies into trying to thwart free bus travel for school children.
Shadow Public Transport Minister Craig Farrell said Labor’s comprehensive All Aboard transport strategy included providing free bus travel for Tasmanian kids to their nearest school.
But Mr Farrell said Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding was determined to prevent families saving money by wildly exaggerating the cost of the program without providing any proof of how he had arrived at his claimed costings today.
“The Labor policy is clear that $9 million has been committed over the period of our Economic Direction Statement to fund this initiative and that figure is based on the best available public information about the numbers of student using Metro bus services at the moment,” Mr Farrell said.
“The Minister appeared confused today when he simultaneously accused Labor of increasing pain for families by not giving them free travel to a school further away and then under-estimating the cost.
“Our policy is clear – free travel to the nearest local school – and for those travelling further the full concession fare will apply.
“The Liberals appear to have made their costing claims based on every single student taking the bus for free, including students who already qualify for free bus travel.
“Mr Hidding needs to back up his claims by releasing this information, if indeed he has it.”

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Hidding abandons Hobart ferry plan two months after it was announced

Shane Broad MP Shadow Infrastructure Minister
05.12.17 4:13 pm

Ferry plan announced during Pembroke by-election “not government policy”
Metro never involved in planning despite Pembroke announcement using Metro logo
The Hodgman Liberal Government has distanced itself from a plan to run commuter ferries on the Derwent River which was announced during the Pembroke by-election campaign.
Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told GBE hearings today that the plan floated by Liberal candidate James Walker and announced side-by-side with the Premier was “James Walker’s idea” and “not a policy”.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said the so-called “high-frequency, fast ferry service” between Bellerive and the city announced on October 12 was clearly never seriously on the Hodgman Government’s agenda.
“Despite lofty artist’s impressions depicting a ferry carrying Metro signage, it appears this was nothing more than a candidate’s thought bubble,” Dr Broad said.
“It’s been abandoned along with Mr Walker and any ideas he may have had.
“Will Hodgman stood beside his Pembroke candidate backing in the plan and giving the clear impression that ferries were part of his government’s transport plan.
“Mr Hidding today conceded that this plan had no input from Metro, despite the fact that when it was released in October, it included extensive detail about terminal infrastructure, ticket pricing and future expansion plans.
“But it’s now just as clear there is no plan because the Liberals have no solution to help alleviate Hobart’s or Tasmania’s serious traffic congestion issues.”

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Labor Refuses to Rule Out Privatising TasNetworks

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Energy spokesperson
05.12.17 4:11 pm

This morning on ABC Radio, Labor’s Michelle O’Byrne refused to take the sale of TasNetworks ‘off the table’, in a short-sighted attempt to fund possible election commitments.

Electricity is an essential service. The Tasmanian Government has an obligation to provide the infrastructure needed to deliver that electricity at the lowest possible cost.

Many other states have sold off their electricity utilities, promising cheaper electricity and better delivery.  In every case, those promises have proven false.

NSW, Victoria, and South Australia used to have some of the cheapest electricity in the world, but since privatisation, are among the most expensive.  In those states, there are growing calls to return their grids to public ownership.

Publicly-owned electricity grids are the only way governments can cap costs, keep energy competitive and manage the country’s energy crisis.

Labor is opening the door to a fire sale privatisation of TasNetworks to free up an election slush fund, which is irresponsible and would cost Tasmanians dearly in the long run.  The experience from other states shows the short-term financial gain of selling TasNetworks would soon be squandered, with Tasmanians in the near future paying the price through higher power bills.

TasNetworks must stay in public hands, and keep its primary mission as delivering energy security and electricity at the lowest possible cost.

If they really want to ‘put people first’ Labor must commit to keeping Tasmania’s electricity network in public hands.

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Potentially heavy rain in eastern Tasmania on Wednesday

Lorien Martin | Supervising Meteorologist, Bureau of Meteorology
05.12.17 4:06 pm

 A low will pass to the east of Tasmania on Wednesday bringing falls of 15 to 50 mm to the eastern half of the state. There is some uncertainty as to how close the low will come and exactly how much rain will fall.

 Depending on the proximity of the low, isolated falls may reach up to 100 mm on the east coast and in elevated areas.

 A Severe Weather Warning for heavy rain and a Flood Watch have been issued for eastern parts of the state. 

 Warnings are updated as required. Please refer to the latest available at http://www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings/ 

 Conditions will ease on Thursday as the low moves away to the southeast and a cold front approaches the west later in the day.

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Hidding abandons Hobart ferry plan two months after it was announced

Shane Broad MP Shadow Infrastructure Minister
05.12.17 12:29 pm

 Ferry plan announced during Pembroke by-election “not government policy”
 Metro never involved in planning despite Pembroke announcement using Metro logo
The Hodgman Liberal Government has distanced itself from a plan to run commuter ferries on the Derwent River which was announced during the Pembroke by-election campaign.
Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told GBE hearings today that the plan floated by Liberal candidate James Walker and announced side-by-side with the Premier was “James Walker’s idea” and “not a policy”.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said the so-called “high-frequency, fast ferry service” between Bellerive and the city announced on October 12 was clearly never seriously on the Hodgman Government’s agenda.
“Despite lofty artist’s impressions depicting a ferry carrying Metro signage, it appears this was nothing more than a candidate’s thought bubble,” Dr Broad said.
“It’s been abandoned along with Mr Walker and any ideas he may have had.
“Will Hodgman stood beside his Pembroke candidate backing in the plan and giving the clear impression that ferries were part of his government’s transport plan.
“Mr Hidding today conceded that this plan had no input from Metro, despite the fact that when it was released in October, it included extensive detail about terminal infrastructure, ticket pricing and future expansion plans.
“But it’s now just as clear there is no plan because the Liberals have no solution to help alleviate Hobart’s or Tasmania’s serious traffic congestion issues.”

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Government and Council at odds over traffic congestion – with no solution

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Local Government and Planning Minister
05.12.17 12:28 pm

• Bus mall move in five days will lead to increased traffic chaos and safety concerns
• Hidding puts the blame firmly at Hobart City Council’s feet
• Minister - ridiculously - suggests Tasmanian police now supervise bus stops
After almost four years of presiding over Hobart’s traffic nightmare, Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding still has no solution as the city’s commuters face fresh chaos on the roads from next week.
Shadow Planning Minister Madeleine Ogilvie said Mr Hidding today wiped his hands of addressing increasing traffic congestion, blaming Hobart City Council for chaos on the roads as well as a decision to move bus stops from Elizabeth Street into the high traffic Macquarie Street.
Ms Ogilvie said Mr Hidding’s only solution today to the traffic congestion engulfing Hobart – particularly as we head toward Christmas – was to blame the Hobart City Council.
“It’s been four years since Mr Hidding took over responsibility for transport issues in this state and it’s an indication of his commitment – or lack of – that today he told GBE hearings he had been watching congestion issues ‘closely but from some distance’,” Ms Ogilvie said.
“Traffic congestion is a serious problem for Hobart but it is just not an issue that is on the Hodgman Government’s radar.
“With the removal of stops from the bus mall on December 10 it is about to become a lot worse.
“There are also serious safety issues for school children with this move and today we have learned that major Hobart schools have not been consulted.
“Mr Hidding was clear that responsibility for roads and kerbs rests with the council. He was happy today to blame Lord Mayor Sue Hickey for growing congestion.
“It will take a Majority Labor Government to address Tasmania’s traffic issues with an investment of $60 million over 10 years to modernise passenger transport.
“Labor will establish a new Passenger Transport Corporation and dramatically lift the expectations of Government owned and private transport providers.
“A Labor Government will also test the market for potential operators to run a rail service between Hobart and Bridgewater to open up the public transport corridor.”

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Australia’s first free, independent solar and battery advice service

Damien Moyse, ATA policy and research manager
05.12.17 10:20 am

The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has launched Australia’s first free, comprehensive and independent solar and battery advice service.

The online service, at http://www.ata.org.au/ata-solar-advice, gives people looking to buy a rooftop solar and/or battery system guidance on the right size for them, along with expected energy bill savings and payback times.

The advice is based on where they live, their energy consumption, electricity tariff and budget. It is also presented now, and into the future.

Damien Moyse, the ATA’s policy and research manager, said the service was the only one of its kind in Australia.

“When it comes to solar, one of the hardest decision for households is what size system they should get. This is even more complex when it comes to batteries,” Mr Moyse said.

“This type of advice is not provided accurately by solar installers and should be obtained before seeking the usual three quotes.

“Electricity prices are continuing to rise and are unlikely to fall back to their previous levels in the next decade. Having solar not only saves you money, it’s good for the environment.”

Mr Moyse said now was an ideal time to be looking at installing a rooftop solar system and battery prices were coming down.

“Summer is the solar season – it’s prime time for this kind of technology – and we hope to be helping as many people as we can through our free solar advice service.

The advice service is available at: http://www.ata.org.au/ata-solar-advice

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Premier has serious questions to answer over tender scandal

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
05.12.17 10:18 am

 Hodgman’s story doesn’t add up                  
 When was the Premier first made aware of the tender scandal? 
 When did Minister Matthew Groom become involved?
 Why didn’t the Government disclose the Integrity Commission and police investigations? 

The Premier has serious questions to answer over the tender process scandal that forced a senior public servant to resign.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said it’s completely implausible that Will Hodgman did not learn about the circumstances around Peter Mooney’s departure until yesterday.

“How can the Premier possibly expect Tasmanians to believe he didn’t know about a scandal that was referred to both the police and the integrity commission?”

“Does Will Hodgman stand by his statement that he only found out about the scandal after the ABC launched an investigation?

“Minister Matthew Groom must have been aware of the circumstances surrounding Peter Mooney’s departure, did he brief the Premier? Was the matter raised in cabinet?

“The Premier’s story simply doesn’t add up, and given his government’s culture of secrecy and cover-ups it can’t be believed.

“It’s clear the Government didn’t want the story to come out because it casts a cloud over the history of tender processes run by the department.”

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Tasmanians reminded to make boat safety and security a priority this summer

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers
05.12.17 9:57 am

With the warmer days making for perfect boating weather, RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers is reminding Tasmanians to make boat safety and security a priority this summer.

Recent statistics from MAST have shown a significant increase in the sale of boats over recent years, with 1 in 17 Tasmanians now owning a boat over 4hp. This figure is likely to be closer to 1 in 10 if you include boats under 4hp, such as kayaks and canoes.

“You might find it surprising that thieves are often more interested in stealing the contents of the boat than the boat itself,” said Mr Sayers.

“What we see is that in 90 per cent of all thefts from boats in driveways, the auxiliary or outboard motor is taken.

“Not only is this likely to be the most expensive piece of marine equipment you own, it is also one of the easiest to steal. Investing in a good outboard motor lock and ensuring your boat is left in a well-lit area will help deter the majority of potential thieves.”

While theft is always a concern, RACT Insurance has also seen claims for impact in the water double between December and February against the yearly average.

“It’s concerning to see such an increase in the number of accidental damage claims relating to impacting other boats or debris in the water,” Mr Sayers said.

“We urge boat owners to take responsibility for themselves and their passengers and make sure they are carrying the correct safety gear and that they know how to use it.

“The last thing you want is to encounter an emergency situation in the water and find yourself under prepared.”

In addition to carrying out regular safety checks on your boat, RACT Insurance recommends regularly evaluating the security of your boat and its fittings, and ensuring you are adequately covered for theft or damage.

For more information on boat safety visit http://www.mast.tas.gov.au

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Groundhog Day from Tasmanian Liberals

Shaun Thurstans President, Frack Free Tas Inc.
05.12.17 6:55 am

Frack Free Tas are highlighting how similar the Tasmanian Liberals’ fracking policy today is to that offered in the lead-up to the 2014 election.

In 2014, the Tasmanian Liberals’ policy was to have a 12 month moratorium and conduct a review of hydraulic fracturing (known as ‘fracking’).  They formed a government, called the moratorium, then held a review. But despite the response being overwhelmingly negative (over 90% of submissions were opposed to fracking), the Liberals made the non-decision of calling another moratorium (for five years, to 2020) and another review (which has not yet started).

“We have not seen any sign of a review since the last one received a resounding ‘no way’ from Tasmanian individuals and businesses.  Now, heading into a new election, it’s like ‘Groundhog Day’. If they get in again, we have to face another review before the moratorium ends in March 2020.” – Shaun Thurstans, President of Frack Free Tas Inc.

Tasmanians from many walks of life and business pointed out, in the 2014 review, how unwelcome industrial gasfields would be, with the associated risks and unsolved toxic contamination problems that would destroy our clean green image.  Southern Midlands communities went on to declare themselves ‘Gasfields Free’, joining hundreds of others around the country.

The Hodgman Government has recognised that clean water is integral to the Tasmanian brand by using it as a justification for a takeover of TASWATER, yet they dither on a fracking ban. 

“Maybe the lack of decision is because the Liberal party brand is too closely tied to fossil fuels? ”– Shaun Thurstans,  “To those of us buoyed by the thriving tourism and high-end products getting unprecedented global attention, a Tasmanian government holding out for a toxic and incompatible industry stinks of looking after mates and donors”.

“Thankfully the Tasmanian Labor Party supports a permanent ban on fracking, (albeit with a caveat for geothermal extraction), with the Greens also recognising the overwhelming benefits of protecting our soil, air, and water.”

Frack Free Tas Inc. repeat their call for a clear decision, not more dithering.  Tasmania needs to legislate a permanent ban on fracking and all unconventional mining. We need to join Victoria and the growing number of jurisdictions around the world who refuse to expose their land and people to the well-documented risks.  All candidates and parties need to clarify and justify their positions on a fracking ban in the next term of parliament.

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The Briefing ... Losing the vote in the House ...

Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper
05.12.17 6:38 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

The government has lost a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, which passed a motion urging the government to accept New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offer to resettle 150 refugees held on Manus Island.

Trade minister Steve Ciobo and backbencher Warren Entsch were absent from the vote, triggering the 73-72 loss after all crossbenchers, bar Kennedy MP Bob Katter, supported the motion. While speaker Tony Smith allowed the vote to take place again once Ciobo and Entsch were present, it marked the second time the government had lost a vote in the House. Greens MP Adam Bandt, who moved the motion, said “some government MPs didn’t think men languishing in horror was important enough to turn up and vote on” …

Read more here

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Peter Mooney’s tips to win Maria Island ferry tender referred to Integrity Commission

ABC
05.12.17 4:58 am

A decorated Tasmanian public servant resigned over allegations of interference with a tender process for a ferry service, a matter which was referred to Tasmania Police, the ABC can reveal.

In an email seen by ABC News, the former head of Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Peter Mooney, contacted a company vying for the Maria Island ferry contract with tips to improve its application.

The late-night message, sent not long after the tender process was announced in April 2016, said …

Read more here

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Citizenship saga: Here’s the list of every foreign citizenship link declared by Australian senators

ABC
05.12.17 4:54 am

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Eric Abetz in the Senate ...

Read more here

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End. Tax. Havens. Now!

AVAAZ
05.12.17 4:37 am

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Add your name to the open letter!

Dear President Mauricio Macri and leaders of the G20,

The level of global inequality is appalling—8 people own as much wealth as half the planet.

And the gap is growing, thanks in part to the shadowy world of tax havens which lets trillions be syphoned offshore from our economies. Right now, the rich get richer, and the rest of us pay.

Eight years ago the G20 agreed it would shut down these practices. It’s time to deliver. We call on you to act immediately to end tax havens and ensure that those that run and exploit them are held to account.

Nobody should be able to evade their duty to pay tax for the public good. It is your responsibility to make that so. As citizens from around the world, we demand action.

Sincerely,

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Cancer discovery in novel seaweed extracts

Claire Smoorenburg, Marketing & Communications Officer
05.12.17 12:01 am

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Dr Helen Fitton_Marinova Chief Scientist

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Hobart, Australia: Breakthrough research confirms two unique compounds extracted from seaweed have significant cancer inhibiting properties.

A series of animal studies undertaken at the prestigious McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth) have shown that the two seaweed extracts – known as fucoidans – reduced tumour growth in select cancers and significantly improved the effectiveness of the common chemotherapy drug tamoxifen.

The breakthrough demonstrates the potential for fucoidan to be safely used as a complementary cancer therapy alongside traditional chemotherapy.

The extracts, developed and manufactured by Australian biotechnology company Marinova, were tested in human cancer mouse models, including cervical, breast and ovarian cancer.

Ingestion of the fucoidan extracts decreased the growth of a human ovarian cancer tumour line by up to 33% and a human cervical cancer tumour line by up to 70%.

Researchers found that fucoidan considerably improved the efficacy of the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen towards breast cancer. Fucoidan decreased breast cancer tumour growth in this animal model by up to an additional 26% when taken alongside tamoxifen.

Laboratory studies showed that the two seaweed extracts did not interfere with key metabolic pathways necessary for chemotherapy function and directly inhibited a number of human cancer cell lines.
Strong synergistic activity between fucoidan and the chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and tamoxifen was observed, as well as additive activity with topotecan.

Associate Professor Dr. Judith A. Smith, Director of the Women’s Health Integrative Medicine Research Program in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, led the research project and commented on the findings:

“This was the first research program to comprehensively assess the metabolism of fucoidan compounds for possible chemotherapy drug interactions.

“A pharmacokinetic study is now underway at UTHealth to further assess safety and observe quality of life parameters in human cancer patients.”

A further study in the research program found that both seaweed extracts enhanced the immune function of cancer-affected mice. Immune markers immunoglobulin G (IgG) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were significantly modulated, with a 500% increase in IgG levels after 1 week.

IgG is the main type of antibody found in humans. It helps control infections by binding to
bacteria and viruses and alerting circulating immune cells. IgG levels are often suppressed in
cancer patients making them vulnerable to a wide range of infections.

Dr Helen Fitton, Chief Scientist at Marinova, highlighted the importance of these findings:
“These results show the potential for fucoidan to help restore functional immunity in cancer
patients. To have identified a safe, natural compound that has such a significant effect on
immunity in an oncology setting is really quite remarkable.”

Both studies have been published in the journal, Integrative Cancer Therapies:
“Evaluation Fucoidan Extracts From Undaria pinnatifida and Fucus vesiculosus in Combination
With Anticancer Drugs in Human Cancer Orthotopic Mouse Models”

“Pre-clinical evaluation of safety of fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida and Fucus vesiculosus
for use by oncology patients”

About Marinova Pty Ltd | http://www.marinova.com.au
Marinova is an Australian biotechnology company dedicated to the development of high
purity seaweed extracts for the betterment of human health. The company specialises in the
research, development and manufacture of fucoidan compounds for use in nutritional,
pharmaceutical and dermatological applications.

Marinova is recognised globally for its commitment to innovation and the exceptional quality
of its Maritech® fucoidan extracts. The company is a GMP, ISO9001 and HACCP accredited
manufacturer and the only producer of certified-organic fucoidan. As the world’s leading
fucoidan supplier to research institutions and nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies,
Marinova exports its fucoidan extracts to more than 25 countries across the globe.

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Wilkie calls for Raiders to reimburse gambling addict ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison
04.12.17 7:43 pm

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will discuss the letter he sent today to the President of the Raiders Belconnen club in relation to losses on poker machines by Professor Laurie Brown. He will be joined by Professor Brown and her partner Dr John Formby.

WHEN: 10:30am TOMORROW 5 December 2017
WHERE: Raiders Belconnen, 155 Hardwick Crescent HOLT

“The fact that Professor Brown lost over $230,000 on poker machines at Raiders Belconnen is appalling,” Mr Wilkie said. “And it’s made all the worse by the fact that, according to media reports, the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission found that Professor Brown’s losses were the result of Raiders Belconnen failing to record signs she had a gambling problem.

“It’s now time for Raiders Belconnen to go some way to putting things right and immediately reimburse Professor Brown, which is why I have written to the club President.

More broadly the Club must put in place measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again to other people.

“But in any case, the fact is that this would not have happened if effective harm minimisation measures had been in place on the poker machines in the club or if poker machines had been removed from the club entirely. There is an unprecedented level of support for reform in the community which is what I’m hearing loud and clear from around Australia.

“Professor Brown’s case is tragic but hopefully it will fuel the case for meaningful poker machine reform.”

Download a copy of Mr Wilkie’s letter ...

AW_to_Raiders_Belconnen_4_Dec_2017.pdf

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Get pokies out of communities ...

Emily, Kirsti. GetUp
04.12.17 7:29 pm

We could win a ban on pokies in Tasmanian pubs and clubs — that would set precedent for the rest of Australia to follow.

Right now there’s a rare opportunity to get destructive pokies out of Tassie communities, with the lease held by the company with a monopoly on poker machines up for renewal. With reports stacking up detailing the damage pokies are doing to Tasmanians, more than 50 community groups pushing the change and an election coming up — if we back them in, we can help win a ban on pokies in pubs and clubs.

But it won’t be an easy battle. The gambling industry has massive resources and deep pockets. To win it, we all need to come together now to counter the influence of the powerful corporation profiting from pokies.

Sign this petition HERE to all Tassie state politicians — pokies belong in casinos, not communities ...

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/rapid-response—2/get-pokies-out-of-communities/get-pokies-out-of-communities?t=yOMMqU439&utm_campaign=Put_the_pokies_in_their_place&utm_content=24159&utm_medium=email&utm_source=blast

Pokies do the most damage when they are easily accessible — having them restricted to only casinos like they used to be would reduce a lot of the harm they do to vulnerable people and their families. Tasmanians lose almost $200 million at the pokies every year, and the majority of it at pubs and clubs.

Poker machines are designed to be addictive. They provide the impression that punters are ahead when they are losing and the algorithm is rigged against the player. This means a large number of people who play the pokies will become addicted. The consequences are dire — from relationship breakdowns, homelessness and even suicide.

Tassie’s powerful Federal Group owns every pokie license in the state. They have a lot to lose and are using their influence to put profits before people.

Let’s join more than 50 church and community groups and come together now to get pokies out of Tassie pubs and clubs.

Sign the petition now, while politicians are deciding their stances ahead of the Tassie state election.

GetUp members have fought the damaging pokies industry before — targeting Woolworths at their AGM, delivering more than 50,000 voices and broadcasting a heavy hitting ad in cinemas in the busy Christmas season. We had an impact then, and we can again.

With hope,

Emily and Kirsti for the GetUp Team

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Survey on Building Heights - Results

Brian Corr, President, Hobart Not Highrise Inc., Peter Black, Treasurer, Hobart Not Highrise Inc.
04.12.17 7:16 pm

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Poster re survey showing start & end dates, etc.

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2. Survey position as at 6:27am on the 1st December

We congratulate Hobart’s young architects for their initiative in running a survey on height limits in Hobart. The survey ran from 5th to the 30th November and had over 5,000 submissions, suggesting that the results are a good reflection of public feeling on high-rise buildings in Hobart.

• Close to 73% do not want buildings above 75m

• Over 64% want the maximum at 60m or less

• Over 58% want the maximum at 45m or less

• Over 22% want the maximum at 30m or less

Clearly the great majority do not want skyscrapers. Hobart Not Highrise Inc. is pleased with this result, and thanks the young architects for their efforts.

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Advocates/academics raise alarm over Abbott motion ...

Rodney Croome, justequal
04.12.17 5:04 pm

... MOTION COULD “LEGITIMISE AND ENCOURAGE DISCRIMINATION”

“I am concerned this motion’s wording may be used to justify discrimination in relation to same-sex marriage.”
- law lecturer, Anja Hilkemeijer

“Mr Abbott has lobbed a grenade into the marriage equality debate that will legitimise and encourage discrimination.”
- equality advocate, Rodney Croome

Equality advocates and legal academics have raised alarm bells about a motion from Tony Abbott that will weaken anti-discrimination laws for same-sex and other couples.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“Mr Abbott has lobbed a grenade into the marriage equality debate that will legitimise and encourage discrimination.” 

“If Parliament backs Mr Abbott’s motion it could be used in court to knock out cases taken by same-sex and other couples who have experienced discrimination.”

“It could also be used by religious bodies to apply for special exemptions under anti-discrimination legislation.”

“Most of all, Mr Abbott’s motion, if successful, will also send the message that discrimination against same-sex and other couples has the tacit support of Parliament.”

“The last thing we want to see is wedding businesses, marriage registrars and welfare agencies believing that discrimination is okay because Parliament has given them a defence in court.”

“When same-sex couples experience discrimination they should be confident they have the same legal protections as everyone else.”

University of Tasmania human rights law lecturer, Anja Hilkemeijer, said,

“There is no justification for cherry picking or privileging one conscientious view over all other views.”

“This motion may be relied on by judges in interpreting anti-discrimination acts and will increase the possibility of litigation.”

“I am concerned this motion’s wording may be used to justify discrimination in relation to same-sex marriage.”

Mr Abbott’s motion will be voted on as part of the broader debate on Senator Dean Smith’s marriage equality legislation.

For a copy of this statement on the web click here

Mr Abbott’s motion is as follows:

Whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House notes that it is vital that individuals and entities are not disadvantaged nor suffer any adverse effects as a result of conscientiously holding a particular view of the nature of marriage.

1 comments

Weekend rain event causes sewer spills

TasWater
04.12.17 4:59 pm

TasWater advises that as a result of the large rain event over the weekend there has been a release of sewage into Pittwater.

“It was a one in ten year rain event in Richmond and a one in five year event at Cambridge,” said Bennie Smith, TasWater General Manager Service Delivery. 

“At 5pm yesterday we could see through remote monitoring that the high rainfall was going to cause a partial bypass at Cambridge Sewage Treatment Plant.”

“We immediately alerted the Environment Protection Authority and other relevant stakeholders in the area including the oyster growers.”

“The Bilney Street (Richmond) Pump Station was also overwhelmed at one point with the pump station completely submerged in stormwater.”

As of this morning the overflows have ceased. TasWater crews are in the field investigating the effect of the rains and any impacts it has caused to the pipes, pumps and treatment plants. Teams are also out sampling water in creeks and in the bay all around the area.

TasWater has invested heavily into the infrastructure around Pittwater, and even though these spills occurred, they were delayed and reduced as a result. 

“This rain event demonstrates how important it is to invest wisely in areas of high priority like Cambridge, Richmond and the areas around Pittwater,” said Mr Smith. “A number of projects to further upgrade the infrastructure are already underway.”

A rain event of this size, coupled with a sewer spill, will usually disrupt operations for oyster growers for a specified period. This is determined by Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (TSQAP).

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The operation that took medicine into the media age

BBC
04.12.17 3:55 pm

Read here

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