Tasmanian Times


Nick McKim, Campaign Launch

Green Friends,

Tasmania is one of the world’s great places, and home to some of the world’s best people.

We Greens have a vision of a future that will see Tasmania as a beacon to the rest of the world, taking its place as an early adaptor to the global sustainability crisis, and as a leader in showing how looking after the health of our environment looks after the health of our people, and the health of our economy.

We will respect and protect our place, our island home, its ecosystems and its special places, and in doing so we will look after our people.

I’ll start with our people.

Cost of living

Talking to Tasmanians over the last couple of years, by far the most common issue they raise with me is the spiralling cost of living.

Power bills up over 30% in the last two years, rents up, new water and sewerage bills, car rego up, Metro fares up… For many Tasmanians, the added weight of these cost of living pressures is becoming unbearable.

I’ve been in the position more than once in my life when I’ve had to choose between paying a long overdue power bill, or paying the rent.

Having to choose between refuelling the car to get to work, and putting food on the table.

I will never forget those days, and I am determined to do more to help the growing number of Tasmanians who are facing these difficult choices every day. These are tough decisions to make, when the money just won’t stretch, no matter how hard you try.

We have already announced numerous policies to reduce the cost of living…

Free Metro travel for every student in Tasmania, the most comprehensive package of energy concessions for low income earners, policies to deliver lower water and sewerage bills than either of the other two parties, help with rooftop solar to reduce power bills and energy usage,

and removing the social cancer of poker machines from Tasmania to tackle problem gambling and its devastating impact on families and household budgets.

Today I can announce further commitments to reduce the cost of living in Tasmania.

The Greens will introduce a gross feed-in tariff for electricity in Tasmania of double the retail rate for all power generated. The electricity retailers will pay you more for the power you generate on your home or small business, than you pay them for the power you buy.

Coupled with our solar rebate scheme, we will drive the installation of up to 8000 micro power stations on the roofs of Tasmanian homes, shacks and businesses.

The Greens will provide an opportunity for each and every Tasmanian home or small business not only to generate electricity, but to generate income.

On average, this will save those who participate nearly $400 per annum on their power bills. We will also invest $9m to compensate electricity retailers for their extra expenditure so that other people’s power bills don’t go up.

We will show the kind of leadership that governments should show

We will put our money where our mouth is. We will invest $5m over the next three years to install solar panels or wind generators on the roofs of up to 500 of Tasmania’s public housing stock homes, turning government owned homes and units into part of Tasmania’s electricity generation grid.

And we will pass on all of the money saved by government in lower electricity bills to tenants of every Housing Tasmania dwelling in Tasmania, further reducing the power bills of each and every Housing Tasmania tenant.

Again, real action to lessen the pressure on the wallets of Tasmanians who are doing it tough.


For Tasmania to be the best place it can be, for we Tasmanians to have the future we deserve, we must be united, we must work together, showing common vision and a common goal.
The Greens are determined to see an end to some of the long standing divisions among Tasmania’s people.

Perhaps the most divisive issue is the future and use of Tasmania’s forests. Right now, long standing, seemingly intractable divisions over forestry are holding us back as a community.

The Greens Forest Transition Strategy, which we launched yesterday, is a comprehensive plan to heal community wounds caused by decades of division over forest policy, to protect our magnificent high conservation value forests, and create over 500 timber industry jobs in the next five years.

Our plan will deliver a sustainable future for our forests, for Tasmania’s timber industry, and the workers and families that rely on it for support.

It’s time that we had a timber industry that each and every Tasmanian can be proud of.

And I say to the Tasmanian people not only that this can be done, it must be done.

And the Greens stand ready to deliver.

Return of Aboriginal Lands

But there is an older wound which must be healed.

Aboriginal Tasmanians had their land taken from them at the point of a gun by early European settlers, and the hurt has not been lessened with the passing of time.

I am determined to progress this issue, to build on progress that has been made, and move towards a more just and decent Tasmania

Today I can announce that the Greens will establish a Return of Aboriginal Lands Commission, to finally provide a framework for returning further land to the ownership of the Aboriginal community.

This Commission would consist of representatives from the Aboriginal community, from government, from community and environmental groups, the Social Inclusion Commissioner and other key stakeholders.

We will give this Commission a budget of $1m to hold public hearings, and make recommendations to government and Parliament on which lands should be returned, and appropriate frameworks to manage that land – including the protection of heritage and environmental values.

Preventative Health

We all know that government budgets will come under immense pressure to cope with spiralling health costs. The best way to solve this problem is to invest in healthy lives and healthy living.

The Greens recognise that a healthy environment makes for healthier people and communities, and a healthy economy.

We have already announced funding to establish a Water Quality Commissioner, and to clean up Tasmania’s waterways to protect the health of Tasmanians.

On health, we take a longer view than the old style parties who only talk about health at election time. They focus on treating the symptoms, not the causes of poor health, then leave people to languish on waiting lists for years.

We recognise that it’s important to make sure our hospitals are well resourced and staffed with the best and brightest, but we also recognise that to keep our overburdened hospitals viable in the future, we must invest more in preventative health today.

Less than one percent of the State’s massive health budget is spent keeping people well and out of hospitals. That’s a false economy because we know that every dollar spent on preventative health, saves ten times that much down the track dealing with the chronic disease consequences of unhealthy living.

Tasmania has the highest rates of chronic disease and cancer in the nation. We can turn that around, and save lives.

And to ensure our health system and health promotion organisations have an effective capacity to do this, the Greens would establish a Tasmanian Health Promotion taskforce to advise government on evidence based and effective health promotion strategies, and we would aim to double the health budget’s current allocation of 1.5% towards health promotion to 3% within five years.

It won’t be enough to fix all the problems in preventative health, but it will be a start and it will save lives.

Today I can also announce that the Greens will invest $30 million over three years in building and staffing a network of Tasmanian Life Health Centres, alongside and integrated with the 30 Child and Family Centres to be constructed around the state.

These Life Health Centres would take a world-leading integrated approach to health promotion and chronic disease prevention, focussing on children and families, and also on those Tasmanians who need help and medical support to manage their health, eat better, exercise more, drink less and smoke not at all.

These Life Health Centres would take walk ins and referrals, and services would be free. They would work closely with primary health services and our hospitals – providing the follow up for patients that is currently limited to non-existent.

These Centres would house or be able to access professionals with expertise in chronic disease, nutritionists, counsellors and therapists. They would have the capacity to connect to primary and acute care services, the community sector and healthy living support networks, tobacco, drug and alcohol programs, as well as recreational and sporting clubs in our communities.

The Greens Life Health Centres would deliver the health promotion message into our communities, with the outreach capacity needed to improve the health of Tasmanians.


We need to invest in infrastructure that will set Tasmania up for a prosperous, low emission future.

This will be intergenerational infrastructure, true Green infrastructure,

The Greens have already committed to fund a passenger light rail from the Hobart CBD to Glenorchy, the only party to make such a commitment.

The state government now owns both the tracks, and the rolling stock delivering freight to our ports on our rail system.

The Tasmanian Railway Company has a bright future providing low emissions freight transport, reducing road maintenance costs, improving road safety, and reducing traffic congestion.

I can announce today that the Greens will invest $32.5m in rolling stock to set up the Tasmanian Railway Company so that it can grab its opportunities with both hands.

$12.5m for up to 5 new Locomotives, $10m for up to 50 wagons, and $10m over three years to upgrade and refurbish existing rolling stock.

We took ownership of the tracks last year, now we can have the train set Tasmania deserves.

This capital injection will set the Tasmanian Railway Company up to thrive, as a modern, low emissions, smart transport company, and provide it with the opportunity it needs to grow
Green Friends, the announcements I have made today continue the pledges we have made to the Tasmanian people during the campaign.

They will reduce the cost of living, invest in the health of our people and the health of our environment and unite the Tasmanian people so that we can reach our potential.

We have a plan to look after the places that make Tasmania special, and the people who make Tasmania great.

I will leave you with a very simple message…this year, this election, the Greens are ready to deliver.


ABC Online: Forestry workers target launch, HERE

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Abe, (#20), I never said I didn’t care, I said I didn’t know, which is what you will see if you read my post again.
    I am sure they would have attended whether they were being paid, or not being paid. All I know is the idea was raised, the question went around, and management at two major workplaces agreed. They all seemed pretty committed to me!
    I am from neither of those workplaces, and I went in my own time.
    ‘Bye now.

  2. Abe

    March 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I really can’t believe that you don’t care if those workers were paid to attend the anti-Greens rally George.

    Paying people to protest is a dangerous distortion of the political process, and it is also something that the forestry sector regularly accuses its opponents of doing, without proof, only to then openly do it themselves, without shame.

    If people won’t protest without being paid, then its obvious that they don’t actually care all that much, isn’t it?

  3. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Pete Godfrey, (#17), (God-free perhaps?), Scott McLean is on leave from the CFMEU, and the role of State Secretary of his division is being ably filled by Martin Clifford, also based in Launceston, but who was in Hobart on the day organising the rally.
    I have spent a lot of time and effort encouraging good management of Special Timbers, which is better than the duplicitous nonsense coming from the mob you support

  4. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Chad, (#16), no gods, no masters. I follow my own course, and I write my own material. As for proof, there are enough people gathering it, and I hope challenges are made to the tax exempt status of a number of organisations.
    Yes, 6 days, Chad, and a Green agenda will still not win a vote on the floor of parliament.

  5. Pete Godfrey

    March 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Woodworker you say the rally was organised by the CFMEU and TCA. … Doesn’t Scott McLean work for the CFMEU and isn’t he running for Bass. Bit rich for a running candidate to organise a rally to protest against his opposition.

    The TCA well they are only industry representatives as well with their board stacked by members such as the CEO of NAFI, Manager of Norske Skog and CEO of Australian Tree Growers it really is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    You of course should be doing something about the trashing of minor species in the Tarkine not going to … rallies.

  6. Chad C Mulligan

    March 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    George – you will of course be producing proof of ypur wild eyed claims. Best go back to your masters for fresh material.

    6 days George, 6 days.

  7. Brian

    March 13, 2010 at 12:09 am

    #14 Woodworker- why is it that political lobby groups like the Wildnerness Society can get tax exempt status? I can’t think of any environmental work that TWS actually does.

  8. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Oh, get a life, Abe! I really don’t know whether the workers from the two mills who attended the rally will get their normal pay, or whether they will be docked for the time absent from their workplaces. I did hear that their employers approved the request to attend the rally, and that it was jointly organised by the CFMEU and TCA.
    I also heard that the bus driver was disappointed he could not join in the rally. (Good on ya, Harry!) He would have preferred to park the bus nearby, but had to return to the stand by point across town.
    It is well known that tree-sitters have been paid, and that the Wilderness Society pays campaigners to stalk city streets for donations and recruits and to disseminate information. As well as that, the overtly political activities the Wilderness Society engages in is contrary to its tax free status, and that should be challenged.

  9. Abe

    March 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Don’t know, or don’t want to know?

    Workers have been paid to attend pro-woodchipping demonstrations in the past, and I’d really like to know if thats what happened here too.

  10. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I don’t know.

  11. Abe

    March 12, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Hey George – were the workers paid while they were protesting?
    And who paid for the transport to and from their protest?

  12. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Sure is, Sabina, (#9), but wouldn’t it be better if the Wrangler was a Yaris?
    Also, I hear the Prius is manufactured using electricity generated by nuclear reactors!

  13. sabina01

    March 12, 2010 at 1:12 am

    So sorry Woodworker to be so tardy. Busy singing and working for the man.

    I read an interesting thing recently comparing a Jeep Wrangler with a Prius and the argument went in a cradle-to-grave kind of way that the energy used to make and keep a Wrangler going might compare favourably with a Prius when you take the chemicals into account with the batteries etc. It’s a funny old world isn’t it?

  14. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 11, 2010 at 2:13 am

    This was a quiet and orderly protest by saw mill workers outside the Greens campaign launch. Reports on ABC Radio News in the early afternoon of the Greens leader Nick McKim and Kim Booth being heckled were toned down, and the report that the police were called because of heckling was withdrawn. The police were there from the beginnig, and a friendly and jovial rapport developed between them and the mill workers.
    I did have an exchange with McKim and Booth over their invisible Special Timbers Zones, and my call: “where’s your maps?” was audible on the news tapes, but that was hardly heckling!
    This must be a bit embarrassing for Simon Frazer, as it was his reporting that was softened as the afternoon progressed.
    Another incident that amused me was the spectacle of a black Jeep Wrangler, (a 4 litre gas guzzler), with a Greens triangle sticker on the back window, which did two laps of the block before finding a freshly vacated parking spot near the entrance to the launch venue. When the driver approached the entrance, I asked him “how’s your carbon footprint?” much to the amusement of the saw mill workers standing nearby. Who was that guy?
    Meanwhile inside, the usual nonsense was being uttered, with references to inclusiveness, consultation, and ending conflict over forestry issues.

  15. Mike Adams

    March 11, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Your choice: vote Greens or vote Gunns.

  16. Karen Weldrick

    March 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    The Greens are the ONLY party who HAVE a vision for Tasmania. The Laborials are more of the same old same old last millenium policies that got us in the mess we are in now and most certainly will not deliver solutions. The ONLY hope for a bright future for Tasmania (and Australia) is some bright ideas. I will be voting for this party because they give me hope.

  17. phill PARSONS is beyond salvation

    March 10, 2010 at 10:56 am

    # 4 should list what is lost clearly and without evasion.

    Tasmania has lost its ethical and moral standards in the parliament and the public service including the politicised police, Tasmania has lost its productive employment rich forest industry replaced by a model unsuited to the environment, the scale of the economy, our location and the modern world.

    Tasmania has lost opportunity after opportunity as the ideas of the past drag us slowly down, scrabbling to retain a position in a world that no longer exists with late births for alternative energy schemes.

    Tasmania still awaits education reform that delivers, for health reform that moves health care back to basics and for an integrated transport system that co-ordinates the movement of people and freight and reduces Carbon pollution.

    We will know soon after the 20th whether its another 4 years of the same old failed old policies by the same tired old parties tied to the ideas of yesterday and unable to lead.

  18. Hooker's Silky Fowl

    March 10, 2010 at 12:43 am

    In other words ‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful’, Lord help us one and all because ‘rose coloured glasses, for the moment everything is new. Rose coloured glasses everyone’s smiling’ and there’s a lot to loose if you vote Green.

  19. salamander

    March 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I vote for those who respond to the people’s issues with more than words, backflips and expensive proposals that are unlikely to either be funded or feasible.
    Scott Bacon is a new face for Labor, but so what? He will be told what to do and say by those who pull the strings. Like Lisa Singh, who has done good things – but sold her soul for the pulp mill.

  20. mia

    March 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    This is the case of union puppets vs grassroots politicans

    it seems to me that the union and union puppet
    David O’Byrne want people to vote for because
    the union has (backed) his campaign.

    on the other hand we have two sitting members Daniel Hulme and Ross Butler, who have worked hard in the community and have proven that they
    can deliver to the community with there on going
    support and concern for the people.

    i for one will vote no for union funded O’Byrne
    and vote yes for grassroots politicans Daniel Hulme and Ross Butler.


  21. sabina01

    March 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    To the tune of Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree:

    “Tie a green ribbon ’round the old growth tree
    It’s been twelve long years
    Will you vote for me?
    If I don’t see a ribbon round the old growth tree
    I’ll stay on the bus
    Forget about us
    Put the blame on me
    If I don’t see a ribbon round the old, the old growth tree

    Bus driver, please look for me
    ‘Cause I couldn’t bear to see what I might see
    I’m really still in prison, and Tassie holds the key
    A simple green ribbon’s what I need to set me free
    I wrote and told her please:

    Tie a green ribbon ’round the old growth tree
    It’s been twelve long years
    Will you vote for me?
    If I don’t see a ribbon round the old growth tree
    I’ll stay on the bus
    Forget about us
    Put the blame on me
    If I don’t see a ribbon round the old, the old growth tree

    Now the whole damn bus is cheering
    And I can’t believe I see
    A hundred green ribbons ’round the old, the old growth oak tree”

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