In Their Own Words...Liberals | Labor | Greens | Premier Will Hodgman | Labor Leader Bryan Green | Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor
20.06.18 1:25 pm
20.06.18 1:20 pm
Graeme Wells, Wells Economic Analysis
20.06.18 1:13 pm
AGM - 25 June
The last of the tickets are avialable for our AGM with Simon Baptist. Simon will be presenting the EIU’s global outlook update. Tickets can be puchased here: http://esatas.org.au/event/34373/annual-general-meeting-with-simon-baptist
Launceston Event - 28 June
Professor Can Seng Ooi, Dr Anne Hardy and Chris Griffin will be discussing ‘Peak Tourism?: Managing Tasmania’s tourism growth’ in this event in collaboration with the Institute for Study of Social Change, the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, and Tourism Northern Tasmania. RSVP here: http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2018/june/peak-tourism-managing-tasmanias-tourism-growth
Australia’s Economic Outlook - 4 July
Please join us for our next Women in Economics event with Dr Angelia Grant, Head of the Macroeconomic Conditions Division in the Australian Treasury. In this presentation, Angelia will discuss Australia’s economic outlook and the economic forecasts contained in the Australian Government’s 2018-19 Budget. RSVP here: http://esatas.org.au/event/34587/wen-event-dr-angelia-grant
Giblin Lecture - 13 July
This years’ lecture will be presented by Rod Sims, Chairman of the ACCC. It is titled “Companies Behaving Badly?” and will discuss the various ways that companies engage in misconduct from an ACCC point of view; why this may be happening, and what can be done about it from the perspective of Australia’s national competition and consumer law regulator. RSVPs are now open: http://esatas.org.au/event/34622/2018-giblin-lecture-rod-sims
BRIAN MITCHELL MP FEDERAL LABOR MEMBER FOR LYONS
20.06.18 10:11 am
Telstra’s announcement that it intends to sack 8000 employees is a body blow to Australian telecommunications.
The company must make it clear immediately how many Tasmanian employees and contractors will be affected by the announcement.
“There will be many Tasmanians working for Telstra who will be shaken by this announcement, and wondering whether they are in the firing line,” said Brian Mitchell, the federal Labor MP for Lyons.
“Telstra must provide certainty, so that affected workers and their families can prepare for the future.
With the rollout of the NBN continuing to be plagued by congestion and connection problems and this week’s World Cup streaming failure by Optus, the job losses at Telstra point to deep-seated problems in Australia’s telecommunications sector under the Turnbull government.
“Telecommunications is meant to be one of the great growth industries in Australia – the last thing anyone would have expected would have been this haemorrhaging of so many jobs in this sector,” said Mr Mitchell, the Deputy Chair of the federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee into the NBN.
“Just yesterday the Prime Minister was lecturing 60 year old aged care workers that they should aspire to get a better job.
“Now we have 8000 Australian Telstra workers who’ve been told they won’t even be able to keep the job they have. This is a tragedy for those families and shows there is something going wrong with Australia’s telecommunications sector.”
20.06.18 10:09 am
Fragrance Group has lodged a Development Application (DA) with the Hobart City Council for a four-star hotel and apartment complex in Elizabeth Street. The application has also been referred to the Environment Protection Agency due to some required site excavation.
The development will provide much-needed housing in central Hobart and will help address the current shortfall in visitor accommodation in Hobart. In turn, this will foster the positive growth of Tasmania’s burgeoning tourism industry. With an estimated construction cost of more than AUD$80million, the proposed development will also provide employment and new jobs for Tasmanians and an increase in economic activity in the State, both during construction and when in operation.
The proposed development is set back significantly from the road frontage and will not be imposing when viewed at street level. Traffic also will enter from the rear minimising any impact on Elizabeth Street.
Importantly, the design retains the heritage ‘Kelso terrace’ retail frontage and this has received support from the Tasmanian Heritage Council. The building has been designed to respect the local heritage and community sentiment, while ensuring its commercial viability and sustainability. It represents an extremely good outcome for a building that could have been lost to decay and now has the potential to become a valuable asset for Hobart and the community. In fact, the development will respect and may even enhance the appreciation of the adjoining public park.
At the same time, in response to public feedback, Fragrance has also made amendments to significantly reduce the height of its proposed hotel and convention centre development in Collins Street. This project is still going through the approval process and will be advertised to the public for comments subsequently. More information regarding the Collins Street development will be provided in due course.
Both proposed buildings will be no taller than a number of existing and approved buildings in Hobart.
The Fragrance Group is strongly committed to Tasmania and has already successfully developed the 296 room IBIS Styles hotel in Macquarie Street. It has additional property interests in Hobart and Launceston, with plans to be announced for those sites over time.
The Fragrance projects will bring significant new investment to Tasmania and are not reliant on any government grants or subsidies, taxation or rates relief, or any other form of assistance. As the investment funds are coming from outside Australia, the projects will not impact on funding for other development activity in Tasmania.
About Fragrance Group
Fragrance Group headed by Mr James Koh (Koh Wee Meng) is an established developer in Singapore, to date having successfully completed more than 100 developments comprising hotel, residential and commercial / industrial buildings. The Group has been active in Australia since 2014 and has major developments in Melbourne and Perth, as well as Hobart.
Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
20.06.18 10:06 am
Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney brings speakers from the Northern Territory and around the country to Hyde Park North on Saturday, 23 June at 1pm to stand against eleven years too long of the Northern Territory Intervention.
The NT Intervention was introduced with bipartisan support as an “emergency” in June 2007. Its tragic policy of injustice and community disempowerment continues to meet opposition.
The protest this week marks the end of the 11th year of the disastrous NT Intervention. It is glaringly obvious that the social and economic situation for many Aboriginal people in the NT continues to deteriorate. Lands, culture and family structures are under threat. These dire circumstances will not improve until First Nations’ people achieve self-determination. They have the answers but who is willing to listen?
Speaker Christine Kngwarraye Palmer is a Kaytetye Arrernte woman who travelled to Canberra in May as part of the Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert Region, against child removals. She has been active against youth detention and gave evidence at the recent Royal Commission.
She states, “After five years living interstate and coming back into my community I have seen little change for the better. I have seen money making businesses popping up everywhere and First Nations people are being targeted and exploited by individual and small groups and services.”
Raymond Finn, also a speaker, is a Wongkangurru man from Thirri Munga, (Red Sandhills) of South Australia’s Simpson Desert. He says, “Let’s do a game change on the insidious policy of the Intervention.”
Further speakers are Kunja man Ken Canning, a decades-long activist against youth detention and deaths in custody; Eva Cox, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, UTS and NSW MP David Shoebridge. Gumbaynggirr woman and poet Lizzy Jarrett is MC.
A march to Redfern will follow the rally.
Stand against this huge injustice and suffering imposed on First Nations’ People.
20.06.18 9:56 am
Australia is generally a healthy nation but there are some key areas where we could do better, according to the latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The two-yearly report card, Australia’s health 2018, was launched today by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health.
The report shows that Australia sits squarely in the best third of OECD countries when it comes to life expectancy, with girls born in 2016 likely to live 84.6 years, while boys can expect to live to 80.4 years.
Fewer of us are smoking or putting ourselves at risk from long-term alcohol use than in the past. More of our children have been immunised and we’re doing well in terms of preventing avoidable deaths.
At an individual level, we’re feeling the effects of these good results, with more than 4 in every 5 Australians grading their own health to be at least ‘good’—if not ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.
But with a population that is living longer, we are now experiencing higher rates of chronic and age-related conditions. For example, we know that older Australians use a higher proportion of hospital and other health services and 75% of all PBS medicines were dispensed to people aged 50 and over. And with health spending continuing to rise—reaching $170 billion in 2015–16 and outstripping population growth—we see the important role our health system plays in both prevention and treatment.
Long-term health conditions are common—often underpinned by lifestyle factors
Half of Australians have a common chronic health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, a mental illness, or cancer. Importantly, almost a quarter of us have two or more of these conditions, often making our experiences of health and healthcare particularly complex.
Many chronic health conditions share common preventable risk factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and not getting enough exercise—in fact, around one-third of our nation’s ‘disease burden’ is due to preventable risk factors.
Our expanding waistlines are a notable example: about 6 in 10 adults—or 63%—are either overweight or obese, while carrying too much weight is responsible for 7% of our total disease burden.
Over the past two decades, the proportion of Australians who have a healthy body weight fell, while the proportion who are obese increased. Over the same period, the proportion who are ‘severely obese’ nearly doubled.
AIHW CEO Barry Sandison said that when it comes to obesity, it is not just a case of poor diet or exercise habits. Rather, a range of factors—biological, behavioural, social and environmental—contribute to our likelihood of becoming obese, including the walkability of our cities, rising work hours and increasingly sedentary jobs, larger portion sizes and food advertising.
‘Understanding why someone may be obese—or in good or poor health generally—is complex and it’s important to look at the raft of factors across a person’s life that may be at play,’ he said.
Tackling the ‘why’ of poor health
Mr Sandison said that through data, we are able to better understand how a diverse array of social and other factors contribute to our health.
For example, the report shows a clear connection between socioeconomic position and health—compared with people living in Australia’s highest socioeconomic areas, those in the lowest group are almost 3 times as likely to smoke or have diabetes and twice as likely to die of potentially avoidable causes.
Those in the lowest group are also more likely to have cost barriers preventing them from accessing health services—more than twice as likely to avoid seeing a dentist or filling a prescription due to the cost.
The impact of socioeconomic position on health can also be thought of in terms of disease burden, with those in the lowest socioeconomic group experiencing disease burden 1.5 times higher than those in the highest group.
Mr Sandison noted a similar pattern was seen among people living in remote areas, while certain groups—such as veterans—experience higher rates of mental health conditions such as depression. LGBTI Australians, people with a disability, prisoners and people of cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds also experience specific health challenges.
As well as social factors, our natural environment is connected to our health and wellbeing—with air and water quality, exposure to extreme weather, and other events such as bushfires and drought all playing a role.
‘There is more to learn about the connections between health and the natural world—and in turn, the interplay between these and other risk factors,’ Mr Sandison said.
Employment and income key factors in improving Indigenous health
There have been some big improvements in the health of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population—but challenges remain.
Life expectancy for Indigenous Australians has improved over time and with higher education attainment closely associated with better health outcomes, rising year 12 completion rates among Indigenous Australians are a positive sign. There have also been reductions in smoking rates and alcohol use, as well as a significant improvement in child death rates.
While the improvements seen in recent years are positive, the report shows that social factors are key to making further progress—social factors such as employment, education and income are responsible for about one-third of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. By comparison, health risk factors such as smoking and obesity account for one-fifth of the health gap.
The value of data and looking forward
Mr Sandison noted that in a digital age, there is enormous potential to fill data gaps through new sources of health information.
‘Health data is collected for a variety of reasons—in hospitals, at our GP and through the prescriptions we receive, while new sources of information are emerging, such as through the Australian Government’s My Health Record.’
Despite the breadth of health and welfare information available, there are gaps in our knowledge and opportunities to make better use of existing data.
By bringing together data, we can gain important insights into people’s pathways through the health system and experiences of their own health, such as the relationship between different chronic conditions and the services and treatments yielding the greatest improvements in health outcomes and quality of life.
‘With a structured, strategic approach to health information and leadership from agencies like the AIHW, Australia’s health data assets can be built and improved to fill gaps in our knowledge and understanding—to drive better health outcomes for all Australians,’ Mr Sandison said.
RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers
20.06.18 9:43 am
As the colder weather sets in, RACT Insurance is reminding Tasmanians to be vigilant when
heating their homes this winter following an increase in major house fires.
RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers said a review of claims data for the winter months showed
that fire related claims increased 22 per cent in 2017 against 2016, with wood heaters being
responsible for 32 per cent of these.
“We found that over half of these fires were caused by inattention or accident, like logs falling
out of the fireplace or not closing the door properly. The remainder were caused by poor
maintenance, which is concerning as there were a number of total house losses which may
have been prevented,” said Mr Sayers.
“Of course, we see house fires occurring throughout the year, but the increased use of heating
in the cooler months does increase the risk.
“New RACT Insurance market research also found that 60 per cent of Tasmanians don’t have
an emergency evacuation plan set up in case of fire.
“When we consider this against our claims data, this statistic is very concerning.
“It is vital the whole household know what to do in the event of a fire at home. Don’t leave it until
the fire takes hold to realise that you don’t know what your escape route is, or where the family
should reunite once you are all safely clear of the fire.
“Prevention is of course the best way of keeping your home safe and we urge Tasmanians to
have their chimneys and flues cleaned regularly and check smoke alarms are working. You
don’t want to find out your smoke alarm isn’t working when a fire breaks out.
“It’s advisable to check your smoke alarm once a month and replace batteries annually. You
could lose everything in minutes so it pays to be proactive.”
Mr Sayers said RACT Insurance claims data also revealed electrical faults caused 28 per cent
of winter house fires and cooking 18 per cent.
“The electrical fault fire were linked with appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines
and dryers and likely due to increased use over winter with many of us spending more time at
home,” he said.
“Luckily, these fires tend to be localised as people are usually at home when these fires break
out, but it does highlight the importance of regular checks on your appliances.
“Make sure the lint filter on your dryer is cleaned regularly, ideally after every load and make
regular checks to power cords for any damage or fraying and unplug appliances immediately if
“With the 18 per cent of winter home fires caused by cooking, again we found inattention was a
major factor. People should never leave cooking unattended and always keep a fire extinguisher
or fire blanket close by just in case.”
For advice on how to stay fire safe this winter, visit http://www.fire.tas.gov.au or free call 1800 000
699 for additional information about fire safety in the home.
20.06.18 7:30 am
The Saturday Paper
20.06.18 7:29 am
Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.
Residents of remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory have been drinking water contaminated with high levels of uranium.
The ABC’s 7.30 reports that Laramba, Willowra and Wilora, north of Alice Springs, source their water from bores that contain more than twice the recommended amount of uranium. The water in 72 remote Indigenous communities does not meet the Power and Water Corporation’s aesthetic guidelines, which govern how public water is supposed to look, taste and smell. Northern Territory Labor MP Scott McConnell, who grew up in Laramba, said “if we aren’t able to provide even the most basic infrastructure, like water, that is a sign of a failed state” …
Strategic Culture Foundation
20.06.18 7:02 am
New York Times
20.06.18 7:00 am
The New Yorker
20.06.18 6:56 am
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
19.06.18 2:34 pm
All governments divest of property which is no longer fit-for-purpose or can be better utilised by others.
The Treasury Building and Precinct is a magnificent site with significant heritage and history.
While it has served the Department of Treasury and Finance for many decades, the buildings are not well suited to modern and efficient office accommodation.
The Government believes these beautiful buildings could provide the perfect opportunity for a new development with greater public access, to take better advantage of the building’s heritage and prime CBD location, whilst conserving these features for future generations.
It is hypocritical of the Greens and their coalition partners in the Labor Party to cry crocodile tears about the sale of the Treasury Building when under their watch they sold a number of significant properties, some with iconic or historic elements, including:
- City Villas, former students hostel, 132 Elizabeth Street, Launceston 2010
- The Cottages, Wellington Street, Launceston – 2010
- Highfield House, Murray and Bathurst Streets Hobart – 2009
- 1 Franklin Wharf, an iconic waterfront commercial property – 2008
- 7 – 9 Franklin Wharf – 2008
- 3 – 9 Barrack Street, Deloraine, an ex-Teachers Residence and Hall – 2008.
At the same time, the former Labor-Green government also sold-off Tasmanian business assets, including:
- Hobart International Airport Pty Ltd (on behalf of TasPorts) – 2008
- The Printing Authority of Tasmania – 2008
- The Southern Regional Cemetery Trust – 2008
- The TOTE – 2008
Not to mention, their biggest act of fiscal vandalism - raiding Tasmania’s superannuation fund which will never be forgotten.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader
19.06.18 2:30 pm
Neither the Premier nor the Treasurer today could provide Parliament with any justification for flogging Tasmania’s iconic Treasury Building to private developers.
Nor did either bother trying to pretend they have a mandate for this unjustified privatization of a treasured public asset. They have absolutely no mandate.
It’s clear, having led Tasmanians to believe last November that the Treasury Building would not be sold, Peter Gutwein actually couldn’t wait to get his hands on it and the money to be made out of its sale to commercial interests.
This is a cash grab by the Liberals, pure and simple. They could not give less of a toss about the public interest and the fact that the Treasury Building and Franklin Square offices are not theirs to sell.
This is a sneaky, dishonest and self-serving move to enable the effective theft of a public treasure from its true owners.
Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein are following a familiar pattern, making an unjustified and unjustifiable decision three years out from an election in the hope Tasmanians will have forgotten by the time the next election rolls around.
If they have their way, by then this c.1824 heritage treasure will no longer belong to the people of Tasmania.
19.06.18 2:14 pm
Margie O’Tarpey, the CEO of Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT
19.06.18 2:11 pm
Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT has identified at risk groups under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the largest health reform since Medicare is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. Launched in July 2013 following years of discussion about the need for a major reform of disability services in Australia, the scheme [NDIS] has been trailed in various regions and by 1st July 2018, the NDIS will be in full scheme roll-out.
Margie O’Tarpey, the CEO of Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT, the peak body for early childhood intervention in NSW and the ACT states that “ECIA NSW/ACT has identified ‘cohorts of children’ under the NDIS who are not likely to be eligible and children and their families who are at risk, who may or may not access or be supported by Early Childhood (EC) Partners and mainstream services”.
“ECIA NSW/ACT has been consulting with the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) sector over the last twelve months in order to ascertain the viability and eligibility of the NDIS for children age 0-6 with a developmental delay or disability. We have identified various ‘gaps’ in service delivery under this scheme that will have a large impact on children, families and the carers of children and this is of major concern” notes Margie O’Tarpey (CEO ECIA NSW/ACT).
ECIA NSW/ACT has recently developed a Position Paper in response to this issues in order to assess the ‘gaps’ in early childhood intervention services for children age 0-6 with a developmental delay or disability under the NDIS. This paper makes various recommendations in order to address these concerns.
Factors highlighted in this paper identifies at risk groups’ under the scheme, including children who have been identified as ‘ineligible’, children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, pre-term infants, rural and remote children and families, families experiencing vulnerability, mainstream and community interface, Community Services, Non-Government Organisations, Early Childhood Intervention Services and the Early Childhood Education Sector.
The Position Paper developed by ECIA NSW/ACT reflects on implications for children and families in NSW and makes a number of recommendations for consideration.
These recommendations include:
• An integrated whole of government working group be established to undertake or investigate.
• A documented mapping profile of services that are currently provided for children with disability and developmental delay, by NSW Government, across all regions in NSW.
• More granulated research and data analysis of participation rates of children age 0-6 and their families in relevant NSW Government services.
• Establishing common data collection and data sharing systems, to enable further study of different cohorts of children accessing NSW Government’s early childhood development and learning services, including a common data capture tool for all children age 0-6, such as the Scottish Government’s My World Triangle.
• All of NSW Government population based service planning for children age 0-6 and families not eligible for the NDIS that will require supports from NSW government services.
• Develop a tailored pathway for different cohorts of children with developmental delay.
• General training and up-skilling of the following agency staff with regards to developmental delay and disability as it occurs in children age 0-6.
To read the Position Paper, go to https://www.ecia.org.au/News/ArticleId/90/gaps-position-paper
ABOUT ECIA NSW/ACT
Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT a not-for-profit organisation and is the peak body for early childhood intervention in NSW and the ACT. Formed in 1982, our organisation is the professional body representing and enabling professionals and organisations that work with children with developmental delay or disability and their families.
Our mission is to promote the awareness of the importance of early childhood intervention and inclusion for children with developmental delay or disability, their families and communities. To represent, support and develop organisations, professionals and practitioners working with young children with developmental delay or disability and their families and communities.
Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie
19.06.18 2:03 pm
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will ask the Prime Minister the following in Question Time today. Please check against delivery.
“Prime Minister, a whistleblower tells me that from 1 July Centrelink will stop backdating payments to the intention to claim date.
“This is unacceptable because people needing Centrelink can initially be in crisis and unable to lodge the paperwork immediately, for example women fleeing domestic violence. And when they do the process can be convoluted with delays commonplace.
“This change would also appear to be illegal because section 13 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 clearly intends that a person is taken to have made a claim when they first contact Centrelink.
“Prime Minister will you stop this unfair, unlawful and sneaky attack on the most vulnerable members of our community?”
WHEN: Approximately 2:15pm TODAY 19 June
WHERE: House of Representatives (watch live at https://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events/Watch_Parliament)
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader
19.06.18 1:57 pm
It was a photo finish that brought the Premier back in to Parliament today, to confirm that he had actually been in the room when the Liberal Party Council voted to sell the ABC last weekend.
In Question Time earlier, the Premier told Parliament he wasn’t even in the room when the vote was taken. That was just before an image of Will Hodgman sitting in the Council, while Senator Abetz clapped, was posted on social media.
If the picture hadn’t surfaced, would the Premier have corrected the record?
The bottom line is that Will Hodgman was inside the room when the motion to sell the ABC got up and the Tasmanian delegation erupted in applause. The fact is, he did not speak against the move and apparently didn’t care enough to pay attention during the debate.
The only conclusion to draw is that the Premier does not oppose the sale of the public broadcaster.
It is a hallmark of authoritarianism to attack and shut down the free press.
WACA spokesperson Charlotte Lynch
19.06.18 1:47 pm
Refugee Supporters have interrupted question time and are currently occupying the public gallery and foyer of the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne demanding that the State Government cancel its contracts with refugee abusers Wilson Security.
ACTION CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
Refugee supporters are currently occupying the foyer of the Victorian State Parliament in Spring Street, Melbourne, calling for the Andrews government to cancel all of its contracts with Wilson Security.
Other members of the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens alliance (WACA) and friends have also interrupted Parliamentary Question Time in the lower house of the Victorian Parliament.
Banners read ‘REFUGEE ABUSERS ARE GUARDING OUR PARLIAMENT’ and ‘VIC GOVT- REFUSE TO BE COMPLICIT’. More than ten Victorian Government Departments have contracts with Wilson Security.
WACA spokesperson Charlotte Lynch said “Wilson Security stands accused as one of the main perpetrators of human rights abuses in immigration detention centres managed by the Australian Government. Wilson Security has a culture of human rights abuses and cover ups; as perpetrated against asylum seekers and refugees, including children, in immigration detention and allegedly committed by its guards in mental health units in Victorian public hospitals.
It has no social license to operate in our communities or public institutions.”
The Daniel Andrews ALP State Government has previously claimed to support the #LetThemStay movement to stop forced transfers back to Nauru of refugees who needed medical care in Australia.
Charlotte Lynch states,
“In 2016, photos were widely publicised of Daniel Andrews accompanying child refugees on a zoo excursion. This publicity appears to be in stark contrast with the government’s business dealings with Wilson Security. The contracts tell a story - one of compromised integrity and the prioritisation of profit over human lives. The Victorian Government’s Ethical Procurement Framework and its Human Rights Charter legislation is blatantly compromised through its contracts with Wilsons Security”.
The #BoycottWilson campaign has been active across Australia, with other state-owned institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria recently cancelling their contract following community pressure. This campaign also resulted in the removal of Wilson Security from the Melbourne University campus.
WACA spokesperson Tori Ball says,
“We demand that the Andrews Government makes a public commitment to cancel all of its contracts with Wilsons Security. As a company prepared to violate human rights for profit it must be disqualified. The Victorian government led the way in Australia in legislating a Human Rights Charter. To continue contracts with Wilson Security makes that Charter a hollow document.”
“WACA representatives have frequently attempted to directly engage with the state Government over this issue and have had meetings with Robin Scott, the Minister for Finance. WACA are requesting a meeting with Daniel Andrews to question the use of taxpayer money being used to fund human rights abusers. If Daniel Andrews is serious about supporting people seeking asylum, the government MUST cancel their contracts with Wilson Security. There is no business in abuse,” Anu Algama concluded.
During 2016 and 2017 WACA attempted to engage the State Government via the Premier’s Department and then on referral to the Finance Minister, Robin Scott.
Below is one letter in a series of communications and meetings attempting to brief the Minister on the Victorian Government’s need to uphold the Charter of Human Rights and their own Ethical Procurement Framework for awarding public money to contractors.
September 12, 2017
Dear Mr Scott,
Re: Victorian Government Contracts with Wilson Security
Further to our meeting on August 16, and at your’s and Kate Dunn’s request, we submit the following information for your consideration and request that you examine Victorian Government contracts held with Wilson Security using the lens of the Victorian Government’s Ethical Procurement Framework.
Whistleblowers, Activists & Citizens’ Alliance (WACA) asserts that Wilson Security fails the criteria for this framework; specifically in the areas of:
Section A integrity, ethics and conduct
Section D labour and human rights; and
Section E health and safety.
We note the State’s commentary on its code:
“The Victorian State Government (the State) is committed to ethical, sustainable and socially responsible procurement. To support this commitment, the State has implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct (the Code).
The State views its suppliers as partners and cares about the way that they do business when providing goods or services, including construction works and services to, or on behalf of, the State.
The Code describes the minimum expectations that suppliers should aspire to meet in the areas of:
A. integrity, ethics and conduct;
B. conflict of interest, gifts, benefits and hospitality;
C. corporate governance;
D. labour and human rights;
E. health and safety; and
F. environmental management.”
It is further noted that the public is not granted full access to the Code as it applies to the procurement process. As such, we have not been able to examine it in depth.
In our discussion with you we made reference to the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. We maintain, that in the broad definition, the Victorian Government has obligation to uphold its principles.
“Its importance, beyond simply identifying a range of human rights, is that it commits public authorities to actively respect and protect these rights and fulfil certain obligations. In operation, this means that all public authorities must give proper consideration to human rights in their decision making and to act compatibly with the rights contained in the Charter when providing services and making decisions.
Governments have a responsibility to protect, promote, respect and fulfil human rights…”
Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
The Victorian State government holds extensive and lucrative contracts with Wilson Security. These include the following departments and agencies.
• Department of Treasury and Finance (VIC)
• Department of Business & Innovation (DBI)
• Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD)
• Department of Human Services (VIC)
• Department of Human Services – Office of Housing
• Department of Primary Industries
• Court Services (VIC
• Vic Police
We note that not all contracts are available for public scrutiny and question this lack of transparency. In particular, the state purchase contracts for “Security Services” are not publicly available on the government’s own web pages.
State Purchase Contracts
The scale of Wilson Security’s involvement in, and infiltration of, Victoria’s public life, day to day operations and social fabric is immense. It receives significant tax-payer funded monies. We believe that Wilson Security has no social licence to operate within our communities.
Please refer to the Appendix A for links that contain reports that indicate the critical and serious nature of Wilson Security’s alleged human rights abuses. These crimes are committed against people who sought Australia’s asylum, as is their right under the UN Convention on Refugees. http://www.unhcr.org/en-au/1951-refugee-convention.html http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.pdf
These people have been, and remain, detained in Manus Is. PNG, and in Nauru detention centres under Australian management and supervision, with Wilson Security contracted by the Australian government to supply garrison services. Both the federal government and Wilson Security have sought to avoid public exposure and accountability for human rights abuses allegedly committed by Wilson Security employees (and formerly G4S employees on Manus Is.) On a related note, Serco employees have also been implicated in human rights abuses committed against asylum seekers, both on-shore and during transfers and deportations.
As revealed in the Panama Papers Report, the owners of Wilson Security, Thomas and Raymond Kwok, have been embroiled in a corruption scandal in Hong Kong. Raymond Kwok is currently serving a prison sentence for bribery convictions. Allegations of tax evasion made by the company in Australia were reported (see Appendix D). Wilson Security must also be examined on these matters using the Victorian Government’s Ethical Procurement Framework Code.
WACA applauds the Andrews’ government’s announcement of a $600k funding package to assist asylum seekers affected by the federal government’s decision to withdraw already minimal financial support and housing from them. We also note that the Victorian government provides ongoing assistance to ameliorate the void left by the federal government’s inadequate support of asylum seekers in general. We hope that Daniel Andrews stands by his statement made last year that:
“Victoria will accept full responsibility for all of these children and their families”
(in reference to caseload legacy clients).
We call on the Andrews’ Labor government to join the ACT government in declaring the whole of Victoria a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone’ (See Appendix B). Many of our local councils have formalised this process and have also signed up to the ‘No Business in Abuse’ campaign (See Appendix C).
We believe that the Victorian government must take brave action to apply its Ethical Procurement Framework to all of its government contracts. This will prevent public funds being paid to companies that commit human rights abuses and that make profit on the bodies of asylum seekers.
Gaye Demanuele Kat Moore
On behalf of WACA (Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance)
Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Regional_processing_Nauru/Regional_processing_Nauru http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Regional_processing_Nauru/Regional_processing_Nauru/Submissions?main_0_content_1_RadGrid1ChangePage=5_20
Final Report: Taking responsibility: conditions and circumstances at Australia’s Regional Processing Centre in Nauru http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Regional_processing_Nauru/Regional_processing_Nauru/Final_Report
Manus Island Detention Centre class action http://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/home/law+and+practice/class+actions/manus+island+detention+centre+class+action
Amnesty International Report: NAURU 2016/2017 https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/nauru/report-nauru/
Offshore processing: Australia’s responsibility for asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru and Papua New GuineaSection 4.2 The conduct of private companies and organisations contracted by the Australian government to provide services in Nauru and PNG may also be attributable to Australia. These companies and organisations ‘act on the instructions’ of the Australian government, as represented by the DIBP. The instructions are set out in their contracts and also issued to them directly by DIBP officers in the course of their work. These companies and organisations also ‘act under the direction or control’ of the Australian government, which monitors their work closely through the DIBP. The conduct of Transfield and Wilson Security (and formerly G4S on Manus Island) may also be attributable to Australia on the basis that they are exercising elements of governmental control in detaining asylum seekers and providing all ‘garrison, operational and maintenance services’ at each centre. http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/publication/offshore-processing-australia%E2%80%99s-responsibility-asylum-seekers-and-refugees-nauru-and
Evidence shows crimes committed by our government on Nauru and Manus https://www.lawyersalliance.com.au/opinion/evidence-shows-crimes-committed-by-our-government-on-nauru-and-manus
Wilson Security’s appalling record on Nauru https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2016/04/09/wilson-securitys-appalling-record-nauru/14601240003105
Wilson Security guards handcuffed asylum seeker boy on Nauru as a ‘joke’ https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/28/wilson-security-guards-handcuffed-asylum-seeker-boy-on-nauru-as-a-joke
Twelve of the most harrowing accounts from the Nauru files – in pictures https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/gallery/2016/aug/10/twelve-of-the-most-harrowing-accounts-from-the-nauru-files-in-pictures
Nauru files reveal cases of alleged sexual violence and child abuse not disclosed to parliament https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/11/nauru-files-reveal-cases-of-alleged-sexual-violence-and-child-abuse-not-disclosed-to-parliament
Former guard on Nauru details allegations against ‘corrupt and incompetent’ Wilson Security http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-04/nauru-whistleblower-details-allegations-against-wilson-security/6478492
Nauru detention centre not safe for children, says Senate committee calling for full audit into abuse claims http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-31/senate-inquiry-calls-for-children-to-be-removed-from-nauru/6738644
*N.B. This by no means an extensive list. There exists a multitude of reports readily available within the public domain.
ACT offers to resettle refugees held in ‘inhumane’ offshore detention centres
Refugee Council of Australia: Refugee Welcome Zones https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/our-work/refugee-welcome-zones/
ASSOCIATION WITH ABUSE: The financial sector’s association with gross human rights abuses of people seeking asylum in Australia http://cdn.getup.org.au/1851-Association_with_Abuse.pdf
No Business in Abuse - Sign the Pledge https://www.nobusinessinabuse.org/site/take-action
Companies Involved In Offshore Detention Frozen Out By City Of Sydney https://newmatilda.com/2015/12/15/companies-involved-in-offshore-detention-frozen-out-by-city-of-sydney/
Panama Papers leak: Australian security company Wilson linked to Hong Kong corruption scandal http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/australian-company-wilson-linked-to-hong-kong-corruption-scandal/7291178
Wilson Parking’s tax numbers appear to defy economic reality http://www.smh.com.au/business/wilson-parkings-tax-numbers-appear-to-defy-economic-reality-20160408-go1w4u.html
Four Corners: The Panama Papers - Secrets of the Super Rich
No Buisness in Abuse
The Saturday paper on Wilson Security
David O’Byrne MP Leader of Opposition Business
19.06.18 1:45 pm
• Premier Hodgman caught in the act with blatant lie to Parliament
• Premier Hodgman incapable of standing up for Tasmania and prepared to lie about it
• Premier Hodgman cannot be trusted on issues critical to Tasmania including GST
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman lied to Parliament this morning about whether he was in the room when the Tasmanian Liberal delegation voted to sell the ABC.
Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly David O’Byrne said the Premier knowingly lied to the Tasmanian Parliament and resorted to weak weasel words when caught in the act.
“Premier Hodgman was asked why he didn’t stand up for the ABC to his party colleagues and intervene to stop this vote as leader of the Tasmanian delegation,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“Video evidence places the Premier at the scene of the crime – he obviously didn’t know this evidence existed and treated the Parliament with the same contempt he shows for Tasmanians and lied.
“Premier Hodgman is treating Tasmanians like mugs – he won’t fight for essential services, our share of the GST or for the ABC and he’s shown this morning that he’s prepared to lie about it.
“He’s too gutless to stand up as Tasmania’s leader and fight for us.
“He’s too weak to stand up to Eric Abetz.
“And then when questioned on the matter he knowingly lied.”
Alison Lai Chief Executive Officer
19.06.18 1:41 pm
Dear valued supporter,
Your feedback is so important to us. Complete our annual survey and be in the draw to win a $100 gift card!
As the peak body for volunteering in Tasmania, it is the mission of my team to “create an environment which promotes and sustains effective volunteerism”.
To ensure we are achieving our mission, we check in with our supporters every year to:
• seek feedback on how we have been doing
• ask what you want and need from us in the future
To help us understand how we’re going, I invite you to complete our annual survey.
To make it as short as possible, we split our survey into two:
1. One for volunteers: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MM83V8J
2. One for people who are employed by a Volunteer Involving Organisation:
Please click on the survey link most suited to you. If you wear ‘two hats’ and you are a volunteer AND you work for a Volunteer Involving Organisation, we would be delighted if you completed both surveys.
Each survey is short, simple and can be completed anonymously if you wish.
As an added incentive, every survey that is completed in full before Friday, June 30, 2018 will be entered into a prize draw for $100 gift voucher (one entry per person per survey, and you’ll need to provide us with your contact details at the end of the survey so we can contact you if you win).
Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey, your feedback is extremely valuable to us.
With kindest regards,
Chief Executive Officer
19.06.18 1:39 pm
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
19.06.18 11:13 am
Labor Leader Rebecca White has seemingly walked away from all but one of her Election promises.
Who could blame her, after Ms White and her policies failed Labor and led them to their third worst election defeat.
Ms White released about 100 headline policies during the election, yet today she is only spruiking one single policy: industry advisory councils.
Ms White must use her Budget in Reply speech to detail exactly what Labor stands for and which Election promises Labor is walking away from.
Does Ms White still stand by her job-destroying, anti-pokies policy?
Does Ms White still support her disastrous Medi-hotels policy?
Does Ms White still want to slug Tasmanians with a shack tax?
The list goes on, and Ms White must today explain what she and her party stands for.
Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie
19.06.18 10:39 am
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will discuss the Government’s decision to stop backdating Centrelink payments to the intention to claim date, which will be unfair, unlawful and sneaky. Mr Wilkie will also ask the Prime Minister about this in Question Time today.
Download a copy a leaked Centrelink directive and the relevant section of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 ...
WHEN: 12:30pm TODAY 19 June
WHERE: Mural Hall, Parliament House CANBERRA
“A whistleblower has told me that, from 1 July this year, Centrelink will stop backdating payments to the date that a person originally contacts Centrelink about the claim,” Mr Wilkie said. “Instead, payments will only be backdated to the date that people are able to submit their formal claim.
“This is a very bad move. People who need Centrelink support are often in crisis and can’t lodge the paperwork immediately, for example women fleeing domestic violence, people suffering debilitating illnesses, and carers. Because of these changes, they will no longer have the assurance that they will be backpaid to the date that they contacted Centrelink.
“And let’s not forget that when people do make a claim, the process can often be convoluted with many delays. Documents go missing, people aren’t told that they need to provide additional information, and when they try and find out how their claim is progressing they can’t get through.
“Moreover this move appears to be illegal because section 13 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 clearly intends that a person is taken to have made a claim when they first contact Centrelink. The Government is trying to make this cut by stealth without going through Parliament.
“This is just another attempt by the Government to dismantle the social security safety net. We’ve seen them continue to send out thousands of incorrect debt notices to people and I’m pleased that the Ombudsman has agreed to my request to investigate that system again. The Government needs to stop seeing government pensions and payments as a budget line item and instead realise that every cut will hurt people who genuinely need support.”
Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins St Hobart
19.06.18 7:49 am
The Saturday Paper
19.06.18 7:44 am
Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.
Thousands of people have attended vigils around the country for Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon and other victims of gendered violence.
More than 10,000 people gathered at Princes Park, while monuments across Melbourne were lit orange, the colour used by the United Nations to symbolise ending violence against women and girls. Victoria Police assistant commissioner Stephen Leane said police were working to identify people who vandalised an impromptu memorial to Dixon on Sunday night, saying “it would be my joy to see these people charged and brought before the courts” …
Will Hodgman, Premier
19.06.18 6:34 am
Tasmania will host four games of the inaugural Hockey Pro League season, a new international competition, involving the Australian Hockeyroos and Kookaburras.
The competition will generate significant international exposure for Hobart, with games broadcast live around the globe.
The Government has provided $200,000 to host games in 2019 and 2020, which will be held in February.
The inaugural season of the Hockey Pro League begins on 19 January 2019, with 152 matches scheduled to take place between January and June.
Nine women’s and nine men’s teams will be competing for the Hockey Pro League title, playing eight home and eight away matches throughout the first six months of every year. The top four teams will then compete to determine the winner in a Grand Final later in June.
The Women’s League will see Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA all going head to head, while Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain will be fighting it out for the men’s title.
The Australian program will be held in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney.
Hockey Pro Hobart schedule:
Sat 9 Feb Kookaburras v PAKISTAN Hockeyroos v CHINA
Sun 10 Feb Kookaburras v GERMANY Hockeyroos v GERMANY
New York Times
19.06.18 5:16 am
19.06.18 5:14 am