Media

In Their Own Words

Editor
01.03.11 12:00 am

MEDIA RELEASES:GovernmentGreens TasmaniaAustralian Greens, Bob BrownAustralian Greens, Christine MilneTasmanian LiberalsTasmanian Liberals, Will HodgmanTasmanian Labor, David BartlettFederal LaborFederal LiberalAustralian DemocratsTasmanian Socialist AllianceAustralian Socialist AllianceEthics & Sustainability PartySenator Online - Australia’s first and only internet based political partySustainable Population Party

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Politics | Media

West Papua ...

Anne Noonan, Jo Collins, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
08.07.15 7:40 am

Read more here

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Tasmania’s tourism accolades keep coming

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events,
08.07.15 7:22 am

Tasmania has been named the best island destination in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region and the fourth best island in the world at the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

The Travel + Leisure World awards are among the most highly regarded tourism awards and will put Tasmania front of mind of travellers the world over.

It is the fifth time Tasmania has been named by the magazine’s readers as the best island destination in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, having won in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The island rankings are based on the readers’ rating of five characteristics: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness and value.

Tasmania’s top rankings confirm what we’ve long believed; Tasmania is the place to be.

It also intensifies the international spotlight that has been shining on our state recently, including the Lonely Planet ranking Tasmania the 4th best region in the world to visit, the Chinese President’s visit and our tourism businesses winning an unprecedented 10 gold at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

This year’s awards will be published in the August edition of Travel + Leisure World, which has a readership of around 6.6 million people globally, an online viewing audience of 2.5 million unique users every month and around 700,000 social media followers.

This is great exposure that no amount of money can buy, and will no doubt help us to reach our target of attracting 1.5 million visitors to our state every year by 2020.

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Battery Point Hall: Final exhibition, Elspeth Vaughan AM

Paul Thomas
08.07.15 7:08 am

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FINAL EXHIBITION

ELSPETH VAUGHAN AM

BATTERY POINT HALL, HOBART

OPENING:  BOB BROWN introduces DR FRANK NICKLASON

6PM FRIDAY 17 JULY, 2015

CLOSING 4PM SUNDAY 19 JULY 2015
COME EARLY, BUY EARLY, AND AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

PROCEEDS TO PARKINSON’S TAS

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Health reform and record health funding will help address double shifts

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
07.07.15 6:18 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a clear plan to fix our broken health system and record funding to match it.

The attempt by Labor today to use overtime data in the Royal Hobart Hospital Intensive Care Unit to make a political point is a serious own goal by a party with no health policy or Plan.

The statistics released today show that overtime in the Royal Hobart Hospital ICU peaked in January 2014, under a Labor Government.

We have a commitment to provide additional staffing in the ICU to support the opening of two new beds. Labor has actively opposed that commitment.

We also have record health funding, including an additional $100 million directly for frontline services like Intensive Care.

We’re committed to working with the ANMF and the THS to reduce the prevalence of overtime and double-shifts.

There is only one party with a Plan to fix the broken health system. Labor has obviously forgotten that just last week they pledged support for the White Paper and committed to not playing politics with it.

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Fisheries industries boosted by White Paper

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
07.07.15 3:57 pm

Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industries will benefit from the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, launched by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, over the weekend.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the White Paper promises to cut red tape and boost trade, R&D, competition and productivity - resulting in better returns for our fisheries and aquaculture industry.

“We are committed to providing the best possible regulatory environment for our producers and will establish a Productivity Commission inquiry into red tape affecting fisheries and aquaculture at all levels of government.

“This work will be complemented by $20.4 million additional funding to streamline the approval of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, to further cut the cost of doing business for the aquaculture sector.

“Our enviable biosecurity status is a key element of our seafood exports and the government is investing a further $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis and $12.4 million to modernise our traceability systems.

“We’re committed to the best research and development to boost productivity, which is why we’re doubling our $100 million investment in the Rural R&D for Profit Programme to enable it to continue until 2021–22. Australian fisheries are recognised among the best managed and most sustainable in the world and this will continue under our science based approach.

“We also have producer-specific priorities to better target funding, and better governance of our Research and Development Corporations. All this means better research outcomes and value-for-money for our research dollars.

“The White Paper is boosting competition in the sector by establishing an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner dedicated to primary industries and supply chain issues.

“The Government recognises the importance of market access for our premium products and we have allocated $30.8 million in new funding to help us tackle technical barriers to trade and grow as well as maintain markets through five new overseas counsellors.

“The Government is also developing a National Aquaculture Strategy and work is well underway, with the National Aquaculture Statement released last year. This demonstrates a commitment to the growth of an efficient, innovative and sustainable domestic aquaculture industry.

“The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is a significant investment in our nation’s future and it’s an investment that recognises the importance of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.”

The White Paper is available at agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au

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Overtime spikes as pressure grows at Royal Hobart Hospital

Rebecca White MP Shadow Health Minister
07.07.15 2:32 pm

A Right to Information document obtained by Labor shows that ICU nursing staff working at the Royal Hobart Hospital are performing hundreds of hours of overtime every month.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said the new figures highlight how much pressure the hospital system is under.

“If you compare figures from April last year to the same period this year, there is an increase in overtime of more than 40 per cent,” Ms White said.

“It gives you an insight into how much is being asked of our health workers.”

Figures for April 2015 show that an additional 737.2 hours were worked by ICU nursing staff as overtime for the month, compared with an additional 445 hours in April 2014.

Figures for March 2015 show an increase of 45 per cent compared to the same time last year with an additional 659 hours of overtime performed by ICU nursing staff.

The overtime cost for ICU nursing staff for the period April 2014 to April 2015 was $401,420.

“The increased pressure on our hospitals is not only costing taxpayers more in overtime but placing an enormous burden on staff who are required to work longer hours,” Ms White said. 

“The Government put a freeze on recruiting staff to fill vacancies six months ago and the result is now shown in the increased hours of overtime.

“The Government needs to realise it cannot make savings purely by reducing FTE numbers as it creates a false economy.”

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Health services in Tasman secured

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
07.07.15 2:31 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is very pleased that the Hobart District Nursing Service has agreed to continue operating health services from the Tasman Multi-Purpose Service.

The Liberal Government, particularly my Liberal Lyons colleagues Rene Hidding, Guy Barnett and Mark Shelton, were very concerned at the possibility that the federal and state funded aged care and health services delivered at the Tasman MPS by the HDNS may not have been able to continue.

HDNS works hard to deliver these services for the benefit of the Tasman community, and I am pleased that there have been strong messages of support from the community for HDNS as the provider of health services in the area.

All levels of Government – Commonwealth, state and local – have a commitment to the provision of health services in the Tasman municipality.

The Liberal Government acknowledges that HDNS and Tasman Council will be forming a Tasman Advisory Group to communicate with the community about health provision in the region, and the Tasmanian Government will work with HDNS to ensure health services in the region have a viable future.

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Heritage No Excuse for Logging the TWWHA

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Environment and Heritage spokesperson
07.07.15 2:28 pm

Senator Colbeck’s comments supporting selective logging in the World Heritage Area are offensive, and use of heritage as a transparent disguise is laughable.

Heritage is a key part of Tasmania’s identity, but the assertion that our precious wild places be destroyed in its name is insulting.

The TWWHA was once again recognised by UNESCO as being a precious international asset that warranted protection for its wilderness and cultural heritage values. Those values that would be compromised if it was opened up to logging activity.

The Hodgman Liberal Government should be listening to UNESCO and the Tasmanian aboriginal community when it comes to protecting wilderness and cultural heritage, not their Canberra colleagues.

Public comments supporting an industry that may put aboriginal heritage at risk are insensitive to Tasmania’s first people, particularly during NAIDOC Week.

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Ag White Paper is a win for Tasmanian farmers

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
07.07.15 2:27 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper as an investment in Tasmanian farmers and a boost for local economies.

Senator Colbeck said the White Paper will deliver the confidence that Tasmanian industries need to remain profitable into the future.

“This government is building modern water, transport and communications infrastructure for the 21st century including a $500m investment in water infrastructure,” Senator Colbeck.

“Tasmania has 12 per cent of the nation’s fresh water resources, but these are not evenly distributed across the State.

“This is why we have committed $60 million to the Tasmanian Irrigation’s Tranche II irrigation schemes to deliver 40,000 megalitres of new water to agriculture across Tasmania.

“There is an important $30.8 million investment in enhancing our market access internationally – an investment that will help producers in Tasmania and across the country make the most of Australia’s reputation as a reliable, clean and green producer of agricultural products.

“This money will go towards reducing technical barriers to trade in key markets, and to establish five new agriculture counsellors in overseas markets – to help promote our products and the robustness of our assurance systems, and to help us understand what our international customers want.

“Tasmanian primary producers will also be able to double their Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) to $800,000 from 1 July 2016 and banks will be able to allow farmers to use FMDs as a loan offset, reducing interest costs.

“ABARES has estimated that if all FMD holdings are used to offset loans, the benefit to the farm sector in interest savings nationally could amount to $150 million a year.

“The White Paper provides farmers with greater flexibility to manage taxed income by allowing farmers to opt back into income tax averaging 10 years after they had elected to leave.

“These initiatives are on top of the depreciation measures for fencing, fodder storage and water infrastructure announced at the Budget in May this year.”

Other White Paper measures that could also benefit Tasmanians include:

• $11.4m to boost Australian Competition and Consumer Commission engagement with the agriculture sector
• $100 million for pest and weed management and eradication
• $2.75 billion in concessional drought loans
• $200 million for increased biosecurity surveillance and science

“This White Paper is truly a once in a generation plan for agriculture and our farmers to boost farm profits,” Senator Colbeck said.

“I encourage all those with a connection to the land to read the White Paper to find out what is in it for them.”

The White Paper is available at agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au

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No World Heritage Logging Will Take Place

Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation
07.07.15 10:05 am

The Bob Brown Foundation has rebuffed Senator Richard Colbeck’s contention that logging of rainforest in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is reasonable or permissible.

“The global reaction to taking bulldozers and chainsaws into World Heritage rainforests in Tasmania would damage the domestic and international image for wild and scenic beauty which has become pivotal to our economic and employment well being. Sacrificing tourism promotion to logging would be a public interest disaster,” Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager, said.

“The rainforest timber industry has been grossly mismanaged for years with millions of tonnes logged and burned in regeneration burns while those now advocating logging in the World Heritage Area clapped it along. There has been no stronger advocate for the historic waste and destruction of industrial logging in Tasmania than Senator Colbeck,’ Jenny Weber said.

“The only thing special about ‘specialty timbers’ is the protected rainforests that they come from, World Heritage listed rainforests that need to remain intact. The shameful disregard of millions of tonnes of rainforest species burnt over the years was met by silence from today’s rainforest logging advocates, and ancient rainforest tracts protected as World Heritage are off limits as it should be,” Jenny Weber said.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNED OVER FAST TRACKING OF SEX LAWS POLICY

National Director Simone Watson...Nordic Model Australia Coalition
07.07.15 9:48 am

Human Rights and Womens groups along with Survivors have been outraged over the continued attempt by Amnesty International to rail road through their policy on prostitution after being exposed for failing to properly consult with their international membership base and stakeholders.

The proposed Amnesty International International Council policy calling for the decriminalisation of sex work released at the Amnesty International Australia AGM held in Sydney last weekend, has been roundly condemned by human rights, womens’ and Survivor groups and Amnesty members all over the world.

The policy will be decided on by the International Board at a meeting in Dublin in August.

This is an appalling abuse of due process by the Amnesty International Council and for an organisation that has become increasingly top down in its consultation processes with members.  The International Secretariat previously admitted after receiving responses in 2013 to their Sex Work policy discussion paper that…

‘There is no question that the consultation process could have been handled much better.’ “

Of the 29 Sections which submitted consultation responses nearly all were from Europe and North America but few responses were received from sections in developing nations or those where indigenous populations have proved to be at high risk of human rights abuses in the sex trade.

With just under 60% of Amnesty International Sections not submitting any response on the Sex Work Policy and only 4 Sections giving support to the policy, it is appalling that Amnesty persists with their policy direction.

Of the 40% of sections who submitted written feedback to the policy, all supported decriminalisation of sex workers.

28% of sections that responded said they needed more research to be conducted by Amnesty to inform their views.  And further, 38% of respondents had called for an extension to the consultation process.  Others found the consultation process to be flawed.

During the previous 2013 consultation period on the Amnesty Sex Work Policy, some Amnesty Sections notified the International Secretariat that the policy was deficient in its ‘rationale and evidence base’ .

The International Secretariat also realised that the Sex Work Policy may have detrimental impacts on the organisation:
‘Amnesty International must consider the risks incurred by adopting a policy on sex work, including with regard to the organization’s credibility, funding, membership, and partner relationships.’

NORMAC understands that many Amnesty members have been devastated that this entire process has been fast tracked and that a more impartial approach to the various human rights approaches was not taken by Amnesty, as has been done by many jurisdictions recently when researching the broader human right implications of prostitution and its conflation with gender inequality, child abuse and sex trafficking globally.

Website: normac.org.au

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‘Black ice’ a deadly factor on Tasmania’s roads in winter

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers
07.07.15 9:40 am

Tasmania’s motorists are urged to be vigilant of black ice and frosty and wet conditions, with RACT
Insurance data revealing 76 per cent of claims involving black ice were made during the months of June
and July over the past five years.

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers said figures also revealed an increase in single vehicle accidents on
Tasmania’s roads during winter from the previous year’s figures.

“According to the most recent RACT Insurance claims data, 687 single vehicle accident claims were
made across Tasmania during the June-August period in 2014, up from 492 for the same period in
2013,” Mr Sayers said.

“It is concerning to see these figures increase in 2014 and RACT Insurance is calling on motorists to turn
this around in 2015 by taking extra care on the roads during the winter months.

“Winter has always been a dangerous period for motorists and I can’t stress enough the need for
Tasmanians to drive to the conditions – a message also communicated regularly by our police and
emergency services.”

Mr Sayers said in the south of the state, roads such as the Huon Highway, Southern Outlet, Channel
Highway and Nichols Rivulet Road were particularly prone to ice during the winter months which could
make driving conditions incredibly dangerous.

“The combination of overnight rain and cold mornings can be a recipe for disaster, not just in the south
but across the entire state,” he said.

“Motorists need to be aware of how much sun exposure a road is likely to get during the day, as it can
mean they don’t dry out at all and cause a very icy start to the morning.”

Mr Sayers said in the interest of safer motoring for all road users, it was the responsibility of all
Tasmanians to ensure their vehicles complied with basic vehicle safety.

“Safety starts at home, which means ensuring the tyres on your vehicle have enough tread, checking
windscreen wipers, as well as making sure your headlights, tail lights and brake lights are all working,”
he said.

“Motorists should also have their brakes checked and ensure indicators are all working, but most of all,
if there is a problem they should get it looked at immediately.

“Winter is also a timely reminder to motorists that under wet or icy conditions, or when travelling
above 80kph, drivers need to leave more than the recommended two-second gap between their
vehicle and the vehicle in front, and instead look to leave a three to four second gap or more.”

Mr Sayers said new winter road safety measures were currently being trailed in Tasmania to help
drivers better negotiate potentially dangerous conditions, with new technology installed along a
stretch of the Huon Highway near Vince’s Saddle in the states south.

“The new solar-powered road markers have built-in temperature and moisture gauges which flash blue
when the air temperature and dew point reach a critical point where ice may form,” he said.

“The technology will be trialed over the winter months and if effective, the Department of State
Growth will look into installing the lights in other ice-prone areas around the state.

“The driving speed and behavior of motorists when the lights are activated will determine the success
of the new initiative.”

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Local restaurateur helps grant the wishes of Hobart children

Amanda Street Vice President Make-A-Wish Hobart Branch
07.07.15 7:14 am

Luke Rocchia believes in the power of a wish. That is why his city based business, Cultura Espresso Bar and Restaurant, will be serving free coffees to patrons all day on Wednesday 8th July, with punters asked to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Australia as a thank you.

In 2014, Hobart branch volunteer Kell Lesa approached Luke to see if he might be interested in supporting Make-A-Wish.

“I have known Luke for years and he has such a strong community spirit. I knew that he would come on board to help us raise funds to grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses” she said. 

The first ‘Coffee for a Wish’ day back in 2014 was such a success that Luke decided he wanted to do it again.

“Last year was so much fun. We were blown away by the generosity of the people of Hobart, and their willingness to support this fantastic charity,” he said.
“We are hoping to double the amount raised last year, so I encourage everyone to come along and get your coffee and support Make-A-Wish.”

Members of the public might also see some super heroes in the streets nearby, collecting donations on the day.  Heroes for Kids are a great supporter of Make-A-Wish Hobart and have kindly leant their support to this initiative.

‘Coffee for a Wish’ day will be held on Wednesday 8th July at Cultura Espresso Bar and Restaurant, 123 Liverpool Street. Coffee will be available all day, starting at 7.30am.

To donate to Make-A-Wish Australia please visit http://www.makeawish.org.au or call 1800 032 260.

www.makeawish.org.au

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Homeless funding extension a win for our most vulnerable Tasmanians

Michael Ferguson, Acting Minister for Human Services
06.07.15 6:07 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to working to address homelessness in Tasmania.

That’s why we were pleased to sign up to an extension of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

Under the agreement, Tasmania will receive up to $2.8 million each year to 2017 from the Commonwealth to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This investment will assist our five existing Supported Accommodation Facilities, along with a sixth facility that is due to commence operations in late 2015.

Importantly, the funding will also enable the Tasmanian Government to invest in a new Youth Head Lease initiative that will help 25 young people a year into affordable private rentals.

Since we came into office last year, the Government has worked very hard with our Commonwealth counterparts to secure an extension to this program.

This agreement demonstrates that working closely with the Federal Government can deliver strong outcomes for Tasmania.

In this case, the funding will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is also continuing to develop in consultation with the community sector an Affordable Housing Strategy that will improve access to affordable, safe and appropriate housing for Tasmanians.

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Tasmania’s specialty timber industry should be valued and supported

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
06.07.15 6:04 pm

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said the Greens backflip on specialty timber policy shows they will say absolutely anything as part of their anti-industry agenda.

“ENGOs were actually the ones to propose harvesting of special species coupes inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) as part of negotiations for the sham forest peace deal – this was supported by the Greens,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The Greens decision to now change their position shows they will say anything to suit an argument at a particular point in time – it shows that their word means little.”

“Tasmania has an iconic specialty timbers industry that includes artisans, boat builders, luthiers and cabinet makers. These are mostly small scale businesses that produce high value products that embody the essence of Tasmania’s culture and history.”

“It is an industry that should be valued and supported – not undermined as the Greens are trying to do.”

“It’s now time for the Greens to recognise the importance of Tasmania’s special species timber industry and to work with the Tasmanian Government to ensure the industry has resource security.”

Senator Colbeck welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s statement that they would engage closely with all stakeholders, including the United Nations, to appropriately manage the special species timber sector.

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Positive outcome from Fisheries Ministers Meeting

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
06.07.15 6:03 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, joined Pacific Fisheries Ministers in Tuvalu last week at the 11th Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee meeting.

Senator Colbeck said a key outcome of the meeting was promoting the adoption of Target Reference Points for key tuna stocks through a regional Roadmap for Sustainability of Pacific Fisheries.

“Sound management arrangements are vital for the region and we must continue to be ambitious in reaching our sustainable management goals for Pacific fisheries,” Senator Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck was a strong advocate for the agreement to set management targets for four key tuna stocks within three years, so that within 10 years the region would be well on the way to reaching the targets for the skipjack, yellowfin, albacore and bigeye tuna stocks.

“This is my second ministerial meeting in the Pacific and the momentum that I’ve seen generated during this time is outstanding,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Australia’s experience in introducing harvest strategy management arrangements has proved invaluable in guiding sustainability in these regional forums.

“We’ve been able to demonstrate the positives of this approach, with our Commonwealth fisheries showing measureable improvements in sustainability since the introduction of harvest strategies to guide catch limits.

“We’ve seen great results first hand and want to share these lessons so Pacific fisheries can benefit from the same positive outcomes Australia has experienced.”

Senator Colbeck said the new Roadmap for Sustainable Fisheries and tuna report cards articulate the shared vision of the region for both its inshore and offshore fisheries

“Australian aid was critical in the development of the new community-based inshore fisheries strategy which focuses on food security and livelihoods across the region,” Senator Colbeck said.

“For the first time we have a joint strategy covering both inshore and offshore fisheries.

“This was a very successful meeting and another valuable opportunity to work with our neighbours to achieve results. We will continue to work together to manage our fisheries sustainably into the future.”

For further information on the Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee visit: http://www.ffa.int

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CONTEMPORARY DESIGN FOR AN OLD BUILDING

Kathryn Edmunds Operations Manager Mersey Community Care Association Inc.
06.07.15 5:56 pm

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MERSEY COMMUNITY CARE’S EYE CATCHING TRANSFORMATION

Local Devonport Company, OLIVER KELLY CONSTRUCTION has made huge progress with the renovation of the Mersey Community Care (MCCA) premises, in Steele Street, Devonport.

A dedicated team of builders and tradesman have worked through one of the coldest winters that we have experienced for many years and are on track to have the project completed by
8 August 2015.

The transformation of what was once the Devonport Ambulance Station is eye catching to local residents and the organisation has received many comments from members of the public, who are pleased to see some progress that will improve the street appeal of the building, which is located next door to the old Maternity Hospital that has been vacant for many years.

The extension to the building has new toilet facilities including a toilet for people with disabilities, with additional office space and a new Board Room upstairs that will have a splendid view over Devonport and surrounding areas.

Designer Jaron Coward, from Starbox Architecture, said “The alterations and additions to the Mersey Community Care building at 167 Steele Street, Devonport are a contemporary insertion to an existing ‘brick box.’

Mr Coward went on to say, “The intent of the design, other than the practical and functional requirements of a growing business and advertising public awareness of its location, is to abstractly promote the business ethos. For example, the colours used externally are to reflect its branding, the curved battened facade, which softens the hard existing edges, symbolises the many volunteers that are united and focused on a good cause; and the orientation of the addition and new covered walkway to the driveway entry add a sense of welcoming.”

Operations Manager, Kathryn Edmunds, said “The renovation of the building is very exciting and when completed will have a fantastic street appeal. We hope that this face lift will make us stand out and will assist us to attract new volunteers and make the public aware of MCCA and what we do”. There are a lot of people living in the Devonport and the surrounding municipalities who have no idea about the services that we provide and we want to continue to grow and support people that need our assistance to remain living in their own homes”.

Ms Edmunds also said “It is good timing that renovation is taking place now, particularly with so many changes happening within Devonport City. It is great that the city is going ahead and we are pleased to be improving our premises to be part of the changes”.

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Vale Lincoln Siliakis: World Heritage legend

Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne
06.07.15 5:32 pm

Lincoln Siliakis, a man who dedicated decades of his life to the protection of World Heritage properties has died in Paris.

“Lincoln Siliakis never sought publicity or acclaim for the role he played in protecting Australia’s places of outstanding universal value but today we should all pay tribute to this legend of World Heritage advocacy,” said Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne.

“Lincoln was central to the peoples’ nomination of the Daintree as World Heritage in the early 1980’s, and then became the anchor of the legal team to save the Franklin River. After his move to Paris I joined him there as we campaigned together at UNESCO against the Jabiluka Uranium Mine in the Kakadu World Heritage Area.

“His mastery of the French language and his legal skills were invaluable as we met with Ambassadors at UNESCO; pointing out just how determined the Howard government was to develop uranium at the expense of both Aboriginal traditional owners and the environment.”

Following Australia’s near miss at having Kakadu listed as World Heritage in danger, the Australian government tried to have the operational guidelines of the World Heritage Convention changed, to allow any nation affected to block an ‘in danger’ listing. Lincoln came to the fore in assisting Senator Milne – who was at that time the Vice President of the IUCN, which informs World Heritage decisions – in thwarting the Australian government’s efforts.

“Over the years he has also been a central player in trying to secure inclusion of Tasmania’s magnificent forests in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), and played a critical role in exposing the flaws in the 2008 UNESCO Mission Report and in securing the Doha decision in 2014, which prevented the Abbott government from excising 74,000ha from the TWWHA.

“These wild places now exist in perpetuity thanks to work of people like Lincoln Siliakis.

“I extend our love and sympathy to his widow Anne Froger,” Senator Milne said.

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Pro-Palestinian activists shut down Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, on anniversary ...

WACA
06.07.15 5:23 pm

...  of Israel’s ‘Protective Edge’ assault on GAZA

Read more here

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Gay marriage threatens more than one fundamental freedom

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom
06.07.15 5:08 pm

“Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson’s column defending religious freedom in today’s Australian is a breath of fresh air.  Unlike gay activists such as Rodney Croome, Wilson does not condemn those who disagree with him as bigots,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.  “Nevertheless, Wilson’s proposed gay marriage compromise fails to adequately protect fundamental human freedoms – not only religious freedom, but freedom to speak the truth.

“For example, his proposal would not prevent recent injustices like the sacking of a respected Boston urologist because he resisted pressure from his hospital to take part in the city’s Gay Pride events, citing serious health risks associated with anal intercourse. 

“These risks are part of the reason sodomy has been considered a perversion across many cultures throughout history.  Legalising gay marriage effectively gives sodomy an honoured status, on a par with procreative vaginal intercourse – an affront to many in our community, whether or not they are ‘religious’.

“Fundamental freedoms are under threat even without legal gay marriage,” Ros Phillips said.  “As Angela Shanahan pointed out in her Weekend Australian column last Saturday, Hobart’s Catholic Archbishop could be hauled before the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner after allegations by Rodney Croome and others that Tasmanian Catholic schools have been teaching students Catholic doctrine on marriage!”

Ros Phillips said Article 26(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives parents the prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children – but in countries where gay marriage is legal, this right is rapidly being eroded.

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The Barn Market- Midwinter

Tamsin Singleton and Anita Manners The Barn Market Management Team
06.07.15 6:54 am

Forget the winter chills this July and head to the Midwinter Barn Market, Saturday July 25th 10:00- 3:00.

Rekindle your love for all things beautiful for the home, garden and you and the family -at the Barn Market as we bring another spectacular line-up of fashion, art, design and produce to the Barn, Rosny Farm. 

Barista coffee, cider, wood-fired pizza, hearty soups and a luscious array of boutique baked goods should convince the whole family to linger.  Enjoy music from talented buskers while you discover the best of the Barn Market, this winter!

Where: The Barn, Rosny Farm (on Rosny Hill Rd between the golf course and Eastlands)

When: Saturday July 25th 10:00 - 3:00

For more information go to: http://www.thebarnmarket.blogspot.com.au

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Provocateurs for Peace ...

Provocateurs for Peace
06.07.15 6:27 am

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A group, styling itself ‘Provocateurs for Peace’, has challenged an Australian General to a game of hide and seek.

The challenge is contained in an ‘invitation’ letter addressed to Major General Stuart Smith, the officer commanding Australian Forces during the Talisman Sabre military exercises, due to start in Northern Australia.

The invitation, which the author claims to have written ‘in the spirit of civil disobedience’ has been conveyed to the general in the regular mail.

Provocateurs for Peace claims that numerous copies have been sent to the general, from all over the nation, to make sure that he gets the message.

The invitation advises the general to ‘Watch out for the Cat in the Hat’ and includes a picture of the hat worn by the famous Dr Seuss character.

The group has also released a photograph of an unidentified person, wearing the hat, apparently placing an item in a mailbox ‘somewhere in Australia’.

Download Invitation ...

20150219_INVITATION.pdf

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FEAR OF ASIAN DISDAIN FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY DISMISSED AS IRRELEVANT

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
05.07.15 8:45 pm

“Australians will not be guided by what some Chinese or Burmese official thinks is ‘decadent’.” - Rodney Croome

Marriage equality advocates have dismissed as irrelevant the possibility, raised by Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, that Asian countries may see marriage equality as “decadent”.

Joyce’s comment echoed Senator Eric Abetz who earlier this week said Australia shouldn’t allow marriage equality because our Asian neighbours haven’t.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“Several of our Asian neighbors allow polygamy and criminalise homosexuality, things most Australians find abhorrent.”

“The only relevant international benchmark are those countries closest to us in law, history, culture and language - countries like New Zealand, Canda, the UK, the US and Ireland - all of which have marriage equality.”

“Australians will not be guided by what some Chinese or Burmese official thinks is ‘decadent’.”

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WHITE PAPER WELCOME BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR TASSIE

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson
05.07.15 8:43 pm

The White Paper released yesterday by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture is a welcome for Tasmania on the surface, however it has failed to address many issues that are pertinent and the Greens will be keeping a close watch on both the Abbott and Hodgman Liberal governments to ensure those issues are not ignored.

Aside from the obvious failure to address the most significant threat to our wellbeing of the modern day; climate change, the White Paper does not provide an avenue to address concerns specific to Tasmania, such as biosecurity, weeds and pests, water availability, dams and drought.

While there is an emphasis on counselling and increased mental health services for farmers suffering stress and anxiety due to uncertainty around the economic climate and falling commodity prices, it does not take into account that Tasmania’s mental health system is already in significant crisis due to lack of resources and significant under funding.  Will the Abbott government being providing additional support to Tasmanian farmers living with mental illness given these circumstances?

Tasmania’s feral cat problem, along with other biosecurity concerns, likewise do not appear to have been considered by the Department in drafting the document and the Greens want to see further consultation with State departments as there has clearly been a lack of communication of the needs of primary producers here. 

The explosion of feral cats around the State is driven by the alarming drop off in numbers of the Tasmanian Devil and is a clear example that Tasmania’s numerous endangered species need to be carefully considered in any implementation of the recommendations contained within the White Paper.

The Hodgman government have recently tabled legislation to amend the process and regulations around the construction of dams on private property in Tasmania and likewise that will need to be very carefully managed as while removing red tape can provide for faster and further development, lack of proper regulation and scrutiny will come back to haunt the State if it is not implemented correctly.

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17 years since the Biak Massacre- West Papuan people still oppressed

Anne Noonan, Jo Collins, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
05.07.15 8:12 am

Read more here

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Education Act Public Forums Locked-In

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
04.07.15 3:18 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to improving education, to ensure every Tasmanian student has the best chance at gaining a job and living a fulfilling life.

It is clear Tasmanians are supportive of this through their participation in our review of the Tasmanian Education Act.

A series of community consultation forums will be held in July, to give Tasmanians a chance to find out about the feedback to date and to help tease out the emerging issues relating to the Education Act.

We are committed to consulting with key education stakeholders and the Tasmanian community, and I encourage all to come along and have their say on the way education will look into the future.

Details of the forums have now been finalised and include:

• Hobart, Monday July 27, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
• Hobart, Tuesday July 28, 12:00pm to 2:00pm
• Hobart (Eastern Shore), Tuesday July 28, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
• Glenorchy, Wednesday July 29, 9:00am to 11:00am
• Launceston, Wednesday July 29, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
• Launceston, Thursday July 30, 12:00pm to 2:00pm
• St Helens, Wednesday August 5, 10:00am to 12:00pm
• Devonport, Thursday July 30, 5:00pm to 7:00pm
• Burnie, Friday July 31, 11:00am to 1:00pm
• Queenstown, Friday July 31, 4:30pm to 6:30pm

This is the next important stage of an extensive consultation process, which will ensure we have modern delivery models to reflect contemporary educational practices and make sure it meets the needs of our students into the future.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by July 17 to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with their chosen session. An information pack and venue details will be provided to registered attendees.

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Welcoming the agricultural White Paper

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
04.07.15 3:07 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government today welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to farmers through its Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

While we continue to work through the detail, it is clear that our Federal counterparts share in our commitment to invest in our competitive strengths such as agriculture.

Many elements of the White Paper directly align with the Hodgman Liberal Government’s objectives being achieved through our AgriVision 2050 Plan.

The Federal Government has committed to continued investment in irrigation. The Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments are investing $90 million to progress the five proposed tranche two irrigation schemes, which together with private investment totals some $115 million towards these developments. Expanding access to reliable irrigation water will strengthen our regional communities and create new jobs on farms and in our country towns.

The White Paper demonstrates a commitment to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity, which is an investment in the protection of our state’s boarders, and the protection of our reputation for producing safe, clean and fresh produce. In the recent State Budget we committed an additional $4 million in detector dog teams and upgrades of vital biosecurity infrastructure such as laboratories.

It is also clear that the Federal Government shares in our commitment to reducing red tape to allow the agricultural sector to get on with the job, and will assist our state with our reform agenda to reduce red and green tape.

Additional Commonwealth support to access premium markets on top of recently signed Free Trade Agreements should benefit Tasmanian farmers and help us to reach our growth targets.

There is also an important investment in research and development, an area where the Hodgman Liberal Government is also investing to cultivate innovation and increase the value of our produce.

We are committed to increasing the value of the agricultural sector to $10 billion by 2050 and look forward to working in collaboration with the Australian Government to achieve this.

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O’Connor admission on specialty timbers in TWWHA torpedoes no case

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
04.07.15 3:05 pm

The admission by Greens’ Leader Cassy O’Connor yesterday that the Greens have changed their position on specialty timber harvesting in the TWWHA since the election completely torpedoes the “no” case against it now.

In 2013, the Greens’ Cassy O’Connor and Nick McKim voted for the Tasmanian Forests Agreement and its so-called “Taylor amendment” which allowed for specialty timber harvesting in any area in the TWWHA.

This TFA was also strongly supported by the Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley.

Prior to losing the last election, the Greens’ claimed to be long-term supporters of our vital specialty timber industry, saying that it was the future of our forest industry.

But now, Ms O’Connor claims that because she lost the election and the TFA has been ripped-up, “all bets are off”* and she will now vigorously oppose something they actually voted for just two years ago.

My simple question is: if it was acceptable then, why isn’t it acceptable now?

As the sector themselves have made clear, they are seeking access on a last-resort basis to only a tiny fraction of the total TWWHA, on a selective harvesting method only, to sustain our iconic wooden boat building, furniture, and craft sector.

I call on Ms O’Connor and the Greens to put aside their hypocrisy, and just once be prepared to act in the interests of the state, rather than their own political self-interest.
*http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-03/specialty-timber-workers-want-unesco-tick-for-tasmanian-logging/6594506?section=tas

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MINISTER HARRISS BEING DELIBERATELY DECEITFUL OVER WHA LOGGING

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
04.07.15 2:57 pm

Resources Minister, Paul Harriss’s ridiculous claim that the Greens supported logging in the World Heritage Area does not stand up to scrutiny.  He is, again, being deceitful and divisive for base political purposes.

Four out of five Greens’ MPs gave support to the Tasmanian Forest Agreement because it was the vehicle for a 170 000 hectare extension to the WHA, provided a pathway to end unsustainable logging and to create formal reserves in 504 000 hectares of forested land.

It also more than halved the minimum sawlog quota and required Forestry Tasmania to achieve Forest Stewardship certification, a potentially remarkable change in practices for the government entity and a goal that looks increasingly out of reach under this Liberal government.

In not voting against the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill 2013 as amended, we made it clear in the debate that we did not support every aspect of the Bill in its entirety, and we did not – and will never – support logging in the WHA.  This is demonstrated in the April 2013 Hansard record of debate on the amended legislation.

We recognised the then, and current, World Heritage Management Plan did not allow for logging in the WHA.  It is Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, who is seeking to amend the plan to allow for logging in an area of outstanding universal value as recognised by the United Nations.

In the debate on the amended Bill, we were also reassured by correspondence between the then Minister for Forests and the Signatories Council indicating the Tasmanian Government would support the Australian Government position that there would be no logging in the World Heritage Area.

Finally, we stood by environment groups on the now-disbanded Special Council who not only did not support any logging in the World Heritage Area; they had the right of veto over any future logging plans.

The Liberals are the people who want to distort the facts, play cheap politics and log in the World Heritage Area, much to our shame internationally.

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