In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Rockliff Unable to Detail Pathway Planners Job Losses

Nick McKim MP | Greens Education spokesperson
02.09.14 11:37 am

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff has refused to confirm exactly how many Pathway Planners will lose their jobs under his budget cuts to education, instead claiming that Guaranteeing Futures ‘is not working”.

“Guaranteeing Futures has been a crucial part of delivering a sustained improvement in Tasmania’s Direct Retention rates every year since 2008,” said Greens Education spokesperson Nick McKim MP.

“The Minister has made it clear that Tasmania’s hard working teachers will be forced to take on the work of about 50 people who will be lose their jobs as a result of the Liberals’ extravagant election promises.”

“Mr Rockliff is gambling on the future of our young people by abolishing a program that is demonstrably working, and asking teachers to work even harder to pick up the slack.”

“This is a direct cost shift onto our schools, and there is no doubt that some teachers will have to drop core teaching duties in order to cover the funding gap caused by the Liberals’ extravagant election promises.”

“While there is of course more work to do on post year 10 retention, the job has just got a whole lot harder with the loss of 50 positions specifically and successfully working to improve post year 10 retention,” Mr McKim said.


Tony Abbott’s new laws bring back some of the worst parts of Workchoices

02.09.14 9:23 am

Dear Colleague,

I apologise if you have already received a copy of this email, but I felt it was too important NOT to send it. Please take the time to get the ACTU perspective on the crisis currently facing not only public sector workers, but all workers ‘Tony Abbott’s new laws bring back some of the worst parts of Workchoices.’ Ged Kearney (ACTU President)

A vote is taking place this Wed., so please take the time to visit this link—
and ask senators to vote against the radical new anti-worker laws.



Celebrating our Hospitality Industry

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
02.09.14 8:29 am

I congratulate the award winners at last night’s Tasmanian Hospitality Association annual Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner.

The hospitality industry is critically important to growing our tourism industry and helping us to reach our target of attracting 1.5 million visitors to our state by 2020.

It was a great pleasure to present the Minister’s Award for Contribution to the Industry to Errol Stewart and the Premier’s Award for Contribution to the Community to Allen Hansen. Both men have made enormous contributions to the sector.

The hospitality industry is our state’s third largest employer, with more than 2,000 cafes, restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts and accommodation venues across the state.

It plays a vital role in ensuring tourists have a positive experience while exploring our island, as well as showcasing our produce.

That’s why we’re providing more than $1.5 million in funding over four years, including $800,000 for the Tasmanian Hospitality Industry Strategic Plan, $400,000 to maintain the Workforce Development Program and $300,000 to implement a Customer Service Program.

I would also like to congratulate the Tasmanian Hospitality Association on its 175th anniversary. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the THA and the industry.


AFL backs Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
02.09.14 7:32 am


The Australian Football League (AFL) has backed marriage equality in a move welcomed by advocates.

AFL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan, revealed the league’s stance on the reform in response to a letter from Geelong woman Sharyn Faulkner, who has a gay son.

In a letter to Mr McLachlan Ms Faulkner wrote,

“If the AFL publicly declares that they are in support of marriage equality you will give that young player who is struggling with their sexuality the courage to realise just who they are.”

In response, Mr McLachlan wrote that football was no place for homophobia, and gave his personal commitment to “continue to speak out in this area whenever I can.”

“The AFL will keep saying no matter how many times it takes, that our game does not tolerate discrimination in any form, be that sexual identity, gender, race (or) religious views ... we also support the position of marriage equality for all people.”

“This matter is a serious issue for many young gay people, in terms of how they are treated in the wider community, and football leaders such as myself will continue to say that we do not tolerate it, and will continue to push for a change in behaviour from all sections of society.”

Ms Faulkner welcomed the AFL’s support for marriage equality saying,

“The AFL’s policy of having no tolerance to discrimination in any form was heartening and for them to actually say that ‘they support the position of Marriage Equality for all people’ will make it so much easier for people to say ‘If the AFL and my football club can say no to discrimination and yes to equality, then so can I!’.”

“I applaud Gillon McLachlan for giving his personal commitment to continue to speak out for marriage equality whenever he can and I hope that all the AFL Club Presidents and members give that same commitment.”

National director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, also welcomed the AFL’s support.

“I applaud the AFL for extending its leadership on combatting homophobia to support for marriage equality.”

“AFL is central to Australian identity and the AFL’s support for marriage equality reaffirms that values like inclusion and fairness are central too.”

“With almost three quarters of Australians supporting marriage equality, the AFL’s support for the reform will be welcome by many AFL players and fans, and in all likelihood draw new fans to the game.”

The AFL’s support for marriage equality comes just weeks after the Geelong Football Club became the first senior club to support the reform:

A copy of the AFL’s letter is attached.


Let’s get back in touch with the people, says Peter Coad

Peter Coad Candidate for councillor and mayor
02.09.14 7:13 am

Peter Coad, the independent councillor and mayoral candidate for the Huon Valley Council, says the decision of the council to abolish both township committees and the five regional annual forums must be reviewed by the new council after the October poll.

As a councillor and mayor, he says, he would work to develop a much closer relationship with the valley’s disparate communities.

He plans to promote the idea of “township development boards” that would be given budgets to spend on local needs.

Peter Coad says: “They will not need the approval of council to expend their funds, but they will be required to adhere to proper governance procedures set down by council.”

These appointed boards would develop new ideas and opportunities that are conducive to economic development within their areas.

“The actions of these boards will be reported back to the community,” he says.

“Revitalising the townships in the Huon Valley is essential if we are to generate real employment opportunities and be able demonstrate to funding bodies, such as state and federal governments, that Huon Valley Council has the capacity and ability to make positive things happen. It is important for tourism and industry that town brands are developed and promoted.”

If you wish to contact him see or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Authorised by Aidan Direen 7368 Channel Hwy Cygnet 7112


Vote Peter Coad 1 for councillor and 1 formayor

Peter Coad Candidate for councillor and mayor
02.09.14 7:09 am


Peter Coad hits campaign trail for Huon Mayor

Peter Coad — previous deputy mayor Huon Valley council and councillor for more than a decade
— has announced he will be campaigning to become the Huon Valley’s next mayor.

Lifetime residents of the Huon, Peter and Patricia Coad live at Deep Bay. They have four children,
Brad, Simon, Carmen and Cassandra, most of whom have made the valley home. “Family is
everything,” says Mr Coad, “so it is essential that we create a dynamic and sustainable lifestyle for
all of us.”

In addition to his long experience in local government, Mr Coad — well known for his strong
interest in innovation and technology — has held executive positions in the construction industry
at state and national level, and management roles in developing co-operative research centres
with national universities and international bodies.

He has also owned and operated a small business in the aquaculture industry in the Huon Valley.
“The fishing industry, including the recreational fishing sector, is vital to the state’s economy,” he

He says that, as mayor, he would raise the profile of all potentially sound businesses in the valley
by streamlining and better utilising existing council services and resources.

“My campaign will be about recognising significant challenges that are about to occur, and that
we, as a collective community, must address. First, as a council and a community, we must work to
remove the division and frustration that exist among us.”

Mr Coad, pointing to the forest industry in the valley, says: “It must be supported, and, in
particular, the people most affected by the changes in that industry in recent years.

It should not mean a continuation of the practices that have brought the industry to its present
dire situation. “New proposals to establish an industry that is sustainable and adds economic value
to the region must be supported in a positive and constructive way by council,” says Mr Coad.

Mr Coad says that, in standing for election as councillor and mayor, he wants to make a real
difference to the community “so that my children and other families’ children and grandchildren,
can grow up knowing that they will not have to leave the valley to find employment or the
opportunities needed to safeguard their families and their aspirations.

“We need to care for and manage our environment and use it in a sustainable way so that we can
all reap rewards from the ensuing economic benefits.

“In the weeks ahead, I will present specific policies and remedies that I feel will put our council
in tune with the needs of the people of the valley and with the interests of its economic and
environmental well-being.”

If you wish to contact him see

Authorised by Aidan Direen 7368 Channel Hwy Cygnet 7112


Greens Alternative Budget Avoids Public Sector Job Cuts and Pay Freeze

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
01.09.14 6:16 pm

The Greens’ Alternative Budget Statement 2014-15 has identified new Revenue and Savings means the Greens will reverse the Hodgman Budget’s damaging cut to public sector jobs and wage freeze (amounting $374.3 million); and cover all their costed March election commitments which totaled approximately $239 million, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

The Greens’ Alternative Budget Statement 2014-15 delivers:

• Avoids Liberals’ 700 Public Sector Job Cuts and Wage Freeze

• All Greens’ March Election Commitments Funded

• Kicks-Starts Long Term Structural Reform

“The Tasmanian Greens Alternative Budget Statement 2014-15 delivers all our election promises, saves 700 public sector workers jobs and their wage agreements, and commences the long term structural reforms necessary to protect the Tasmanian economy and our quality of life,” Mr Booth said.

“The Liberals move to sack 700 public sector workers is ideological and unnecessary and is based on a “pin the tail on the donkey game” rather than a rational, critical appraisal of the public services Tasmanians need.”

“The Liberals have sacrificed good public sector workers on the altar of ideology and to pay for their extravagant promises which they made to buy their way into power.”

“We have re-prioritised budget expenditure and as well as delivering all our financially responsible election commitments, we have retained all 700 public sector workers targeted for the Liberal axe and also retained their wage agreements.”

“The Greens have also faced up to the long term structural problems facing the Tasmanian economy which are the massive debts hidden in the total state sector, ie, GBE’s SOC’s and the massive $5.5 billion unfunded superannuation liability.”

“The Greens will fund an independent State Finances and Taxation Review, which will have as part of its brief an examination of the Government Business Enterprise and State Owned Company risks including the massive unfunded superannuation liability.”

“The Greens self- funding Pokie-free Tasmania strategy will see the community finally rid of these dangerous and destructive machines.”

“Interestingly the Liberals have now adopted our six year rolling deficit policy and their budget papers identifies exactly the same economic growth of 1.5% as the last financial year.”

“We have delivered a budget that cares for the community, protects our beautiful places and lifestyles and builds on our clean green comparative and increasingly, competitive advantages.”

“We demonstrate there is a different and more constructive way than the Hodgman Liberal government’s way,” Mr Booth said.


DOWNLOAD: The Greens Alternative Budget Statement 2014-15, released September 2014.




Breast cancer surgeon answers her critics

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National research officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom
01.09.14 6:13 pm

Respected US breast surgeon Dr Angela Lanfranchi – pilloried in the Australian media for her lecture tour explaining the reasons behind various breast cancer risks such as delayed childbirth, smoking, hormonal contraception and abortion – gave a scholarly presentation at a FamilyVoice meeting in Adelaide yesterday.  She will also deliver a lecture to a group of obstetricians, gynaecologists and other medical practitioners at 7.30 pm tonight at the Tennyson Conference Centre, 520 South Road, Kurralta Park.

Dr Lanfranchi decided to become a breast surgeon following the tragic death of her much-loved mother from breast cancer.  When Dr Lanfranchi began practising in 1984, US breast cancer rates were already on the rise – but today those rates are even higher.

She told the packed FamilyVoice meeting yesterday that the increase is due to a number of factors following huge changes in Western culture in the last 50 years, including:

•      Childbirth delay: having several children soon after early marriage, and breastfeeding them, provide significant protection against breast cancer.  Now many women delay childbirth or don’t have children.  Delaying childbirth increases a woman’s breast cancer risk by 5% each year after the age of 20.
•      Smoking: tobacco is now acknowledged as a carcinogen contributing to cancers in the lung, mouth, throat, kidney, liver, breast and elsewhere.  Tobacco companies targeted young women in the 1960s – 80s with ads saying: “You’ve come a long way, baby!”  Many more women became addicted and are now suffering the consequences.
•      The pill: introduced in the 1960s, its oestrogen/progestagen components were classified by the World Health Organisation as class 1 carcinogens in 2005.  Prolonged use of hormonal contraception and hormone replacement therapy are now acknowledged risk factors for breast cancer.
•      Abortion: legalised and normalised in the 1970s, now shown to be a risk factor for breast cancer – particularly when performed in the second trimester, or before the first full-term pregnancy.  Early miscarriages, caused by insufficient oestrogen to maintain the pregnancy, do not pose a risk – but late miscarriages or very early premature birth (before 32 weeks) are acknowledged breast cancer risks.  Cervix damage caused by a previous abortion can result in premature birth in a following pregnancy, thereby further increasing the breast cancer risk.

Dr Lanfranchi explained the physiological changes in the breast during pregnancy, when oestrogen levels soar – increasing the number of types 1 and 2 breast lobules which are vulnerable to carcinogens.  It is not until the last two months of pregnancy that hormones change the lobules to types 3 and 4 which are cancer-resistant milk-producers.  Interrupting the pregnancy before this stage leaves the lobules in a cancer-vulnerable state.

“I did not know about these risks back in 1984,” Dr Lanfranchi said.  “I had a family history of breast cancer, but I did not know that delaying childbirth would add to that risk.  I was married for 17 years before I had my first and only child at age 41.  I could have had a child earlier, but no one told me why that would have been a good idea.”

Dr Lanfranchi said breast cancer rates have long been highest in older, post-menopausal women.  Breast cancers can take up to 14 years to become a detectable lump.  She became concerned when her patients began to include more women in their 30s or even younger.  She began asking them about their medical history, including their reproductive history.  She found that many of the younger women with aggressive forms of breast cancer had previously had multiple abortions.

She then looked at the medical literature – and discovered studies showing a link between abortion and breast cancer.  A 1996 meta-analysis of all published studies since 1957 found a 30% average increase in cancer risk following an abortion.  A study of female rats, specially bred to develop breast cancer when injected with a certain chemical, found that of three groups of rats – virgins, aborted rats, and rats that had given birth – only the rats that had given birth did not develop breast cancer, and the aborted rats had the highest cancer rate.

Some other studies have been cited, purporting to show no link between abortion and breast cancer – but on closer inspection have been found to be methodologically flawed. 

A 2014 meta-analysis by Huang et al has found a clear link, with the breast cancer risk increasing in line with the number of abortions the woman has had.

This year a comprehensive review of the link between induced abortion and breast cancer by Dr Lanfranchi and Dr Patrick Fagan has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Issues in Law & Medicine, Vol 29 No 1.

“Woman deserve to know if they have breast cancer risk factors,” Dr Lanfranchi said.  “They are then more likely to have regular mammograms.  If cancer does develop, it can be detected at an early stage when it is more easily treated.”

Such knowledge can save lives.


Weeding Out a Threat to Primary Producers

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
01.09.14 6:03 pm

This week’s Australasian Weeds Conference, hosted by the Tasmanian Weed Society in Hobart, highlights the importance of weed management to the environment and to primary producers.

In opening the conference today, it was pleasing to speak to participants from across Australia and New Zealand of the Tasmanian Government’s strong, new agenda for the State, and particularly for our primary industries.

Our Agrivision 2050 is a plan for growing the value of Tasmania’s agricultural produce ten-fold to $10 billion a year by 2050.

A key policy initiative of the Liberal Government was the creation of Biosecurity Tasmania to consolidate our efforts to protect our primary industries from pests, diseases and, importantly, weeds.

Weed management is a serious issue and one that requires a response across different levels of government and from the wider community.

Council weed inspectors and government officers work cooperatively to tackle invasive weeds alongside an army of volunteers through Landcare and Natural Resource Management groups.

In Tasmania, weed management has focussed in recent years on those weeds we have a good chance of controlling.

Significant programs have targeted serrated tussock, other needle grasses, and orange hawkweed, while annual programs focus on agricultural weeds such as ragwort, Patterson’s curse and St John’s wart.

The Australasian Weeds Conference, which runs from today to Thursday, presents a great opportunity for participants to learn from each other on how to tackle a problem that is not only environmentally damaging, but that can be expensive for farmers.


Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Research Symposium 2014

Lynne Maher Workforce Development Officer Alcohol, Tobacco & other Drugs Council Tasmania
01.09.14 6:00 pm

On Tuesday 2 September, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council (ATDC), in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, will present the second Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Research Symposium.

The Symposium will present the work of four emerging researchers from different faculties within the University of Tasmania.

“The ATOD Research Symposium provides the opportunity to celebrate some of the diverse and excellent ATOD related research being undertaken in Tasmania,” said ATDC Policy and Research Officer, David Gardiner.

David Gardiner observed that “the Symposium enables the sector to learn from these researchers who are helping us to better understand this complex issue.”

“Frontline staff are potentially able to improve their services to clients by applying evidence based practices which improve client outcomes,” continued Mr Gardiner.

The ATOD Research Symposium program for 2014 includes the work of three new researchers to the sector and one known well-known young researcher who has new work to present. Presentations at the Symposium include:
•      Monitoring Substance Use in Prisons: Assessing the Potential Value of Wastewater Analysis
•      Yoga Therapy: Application in Drug and Alcohol Treatment
•      A Smartphone Application for Monitoring Alcohol Consumption and Risk Taking Tendencies
•      Practitioner Leadership, Change and Knowledge Exchange


Libs cuts undermining outcomes for students

Michelle O’Byrne MP Shadow Education Minister
01.09.14 3:21 pm

Axing pathway planners from the education system grossly undermines efforts to improve outcomes for students, including year 11-12 retention rates, Shadow Education Minister Michelle O’Byrne said today.

“Last Thursday Peter Gutwein put the entire pathway planning structure and the people who staff it in grave jeopardy,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“His budget told them the approach to pathway planning would be ‘redesigned’.

“It appears that ‘redesign’ in fact means scrapping the program, in line with a $148 million cut to education.”

Ms O’Byrne, Labor Leader Bryan Green and Member for Franklin Lara Giddings met with a pathway planner and concerned members of the Huonville school and business community today.

“To axe about 50 professional pathway planners shows the scant regard Jeremy Rockliff has for achieving anything other than the Liberals’ poorly thought out election slogans for our schools,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Dismantling the pathway planning set up undermines efforts to increase retention rates.

“Why even bother to have a policy for years 11-12 if you intend to scrap the pathway planning program that sets it up for success?

“The Liberals were already grossly inflating the progress they’re making on extending Tasmanian high schools to year 11 and 12.

“Every school that was hand-picked for the Liberal Party’s policy already provide year 11 and 12 courses.

“Labor supports expanding educational choice is regional schools but the Liberals have to be realistic about what they’re proposing.

“Axing pathway planners only damages the prospects of students staying in school through until year 12, and puts educational outcomes at risk.”


Send a tweet to China for Australian dairy farmers

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
01.09.14 2:56 pm

Tasmanians who want to support their dairy farmers in securing a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, putting them on the same footing as NZ farmers, are being invited to tweet a selfie (post a photo of themselves on Twitter) with a message promoting the cause.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is backing the campaign by the Australian Dairy Farmers organisation.

“China is Australia’s largest dairy export market, worth $524 million a year. It should be a level playing field between Australian and NZ farmers, but NZ has had an FTA with China since 2008,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said today.

“New Zealand dairy farmers have free access to the Chinese market; we have to pay $30 million a year in tariffs. That money should stay within the Australian economy.

“It means we are at a considerable disadvantage and that particularly affects the 43,000 people employed here in the dairy supply chain,” Ms Davis said.

“Whether you’re a dairy farmer, politician, supporter or an everyday consumer, you can help,” she said.

Selfie photos can be posted to #FTA4dairy and #FTA4farmers hashtags on Twitter.


Lord Mayor candidate Philip Cocker: Candidate Points to Performance

Philip Cocker Alderman Hobart City Council
01.09.14 1:32 pm


Alderman Philip Cocker today announced his candidature for Mayor of Hobart City Council. Alderman Cocker said he was keen to alert ratepayers to his record as the Chair of the Council’s Finance, Superannuation and Audit Committees.

When I became the Chair of the Finance Committee rate rises of 5% per annum were projected for the next ten years and budget deficits had been the norm. With my colleagues we have this year delivered a minimal CPI rise this year and Council enjoys a very healthy surplus.

We have examined all of the 300 services that council undertakes and searched hard for efficiencies without lessening of service and in many cases we have improved service provision.

As the Chair of the Superannuation Committee we have revived a defined benefit scheme that post the GFC was considered out of control. This work required major restructuring to restore it to a fully funded scheme. This work is now complete.

The next four years for Hobart City Council is one of delivering the Gehl liveable city projects which the council is financially prepared for.

We are ready to fund stage one of the Battery Point Walkway as it passes the planning stage.

As the Chair of these committees I have led in a cooperative manner, a marked improvement in the Council’s financial position and we now have the capacity and ability to fund major city improvements.

I have also strongly pushed shared arrangements with other councils where it has delivered efficiencies.


Council amalgamations a must, says Zucco

Hobart Alderman Marti Zucco
01.09.14 1:29 pm

LONG-TIME council amalgamation advocate Marti Zucco has urged local government to seriously consider council amalgamations.

Ald Zucco said the time had come to reduce the number of local councils in Tasmania and if councils didn’t act then the State Government should intervene.

“Council amalgamations should be managed in an appropriate manner with serious consideration of all issues,” Ald Zucco said

“Consultation needs to be based on big picture benefits and what’s best for each region rather than political grandstanding.

“The increased sophistication in service delivery and provision of amenities has outstripped the colonial boundaries of our current local government jurisdictions,” he said.

“We need to look at amalgamations with an open mind.  The State Government says it will leave it to local government to determine but it must act and take the lead on this issue or the status quo will ensue.

“Unfortunately, I can’t see local government representatives electing to vote themselves out of their roles.

“At the same time, it’s interesting that the State Government is considering legislation to allow an open field for Mayors and their deputies so why not put amalgamations on the table as well?

“I am prepared to risk my position as an alderman in a process that evaluates the benefits of amalgamations and to see this through. I will continue to pursue this. The State that is over-governed with 29 councils for a population of a little more than 500,000 residents.” 

Alderman Zucco said the amalgamated council scenario could see a greater Hobart/Southern region comprising four distinct geographic areas – central, outer northern, south and east.  A proposal for amalgamations should reflect this geographic reality, and would provide a visionary approach to this matter.

He said the proposal would not adversely affect democratic traditions and would be based on an eastern council (Clarence, Sorell, Tasman), a central council (predominantly Hobart and Glenorchy), a southern council (Kingborough and the Huon Valley),  and an outer northern regional council (Brighton, Derwent Valley, Southern Midlands and Central Highlands) with each city maintaining its status within the regions.

“Ultimately we need to look at the big picture and how we can improve the economic benefits and cost effective services for the regions and the ratepayers, rather than what may be an idealistic view point that fails to grasp the most important issue of concern and that is the ever increasing charges and the rising costs of living for households.”


New scholarship round launched for Tasmania’s LGBTIQ youth

The Pinnacle Foundation Tasmanian Chairperson, Mike Cain
01.09.14 1:24 pm

The Pinnacle Foundation’s Tasmanian Regional Committee today called for new applications for the 2015 academic year to support young disadvantaged Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) youth.

Tasmanian Chairperson, Mike Cain, said the launch was a great opportunity for The Pinnacle Foundation to help young 16 to 24 year old LGBTIQ young people in Tasmania to light the sparkwithin and realise their potential.

“We know some young people can face a tough time coming out to their families, friends and schools, with some finding themselves without money and support to keep up their studies. That’s where we come in,” Mr Cain said.

“The Pinnacle Foundation scholarships are a great way for Tasmania’s young LGBTIQ people to break the chains that sexuality-based disadvantage and truly light the spark within.”

“With so much determination and unrealised potential out there, we’re about providing financial and mentoring support to young people who may not be able to achieve their educational or career goals on their own. Pinnacle aims to give young LGBTIQs the chance to achieve their full potential.”

“There are two scholarship types available in 2015, the Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship of $3,000 for the first year and Sponsored Scholarships of $5,000 for the first year.”

“Education is a powerful tool makes a difference in people’s lives and we’re proud to help young people reach their potential and live their lives with confidence,” he said.

The Scholarship round is open until 1 October 2014 and applications forms can be found via the website

Download addresses by Michael Cain and Rodney Croome from this morning’s launch of the next Pinnacle Scholarship round at Parliament House:




Melbourne to host crucial marriage equality fundraiser

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
01.09.14 1:22 pm

Melbourne-based supporters of marriage equality are being urged to help raise much needed funds for whatcould be the final stage of the campaign for same sex marriage by attending a special cocktail fundraiser at Melbourne Town Hall later this month.

Called Tipping Point, the glamorous event will benefit Australian Marriage Equality, the leading advocacy organisation for same sex marriage in Australia.

Liberal Councillor Christine Forster, the sister of PM Tony Abbott, Aussie Rules footballer Jason Ball along with St Kilda AFL footballer Sam Gilbert will be among the many high profile guests at this inspirational evening ofcelebration.

Guests will be treated to fine wines and beers, delicious canapés and a special performance by Rachel Dunham from her sell out show Oprahfication, plus they’ll have the chance to take home some sensational auction items including art, homewares, unique experiences, and entertainment and dining packages.

AME National Director Rodney Croome says the event will provide guests with a unique opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the fight for marriage equality as well as find out how AME’s advocacy efforts are tracking.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been to achieving marriage equality in Australia,” Mr Croome says. “In fact we’vereached a tipping point with 72% of Australians now supporting same sex marriage, according to recent research done by the Coalition’s own pollsters Crosby/Textor.

“In addition to this, all the signs point to a conscience vote on marriage equality in the Federal Parliament sometime in the next six months. All we need to do to achieve our goal is to persuade 25 Coalition MPs to voteyes, and we’re on track to achieve this, but we need to raise much needed funds to keep the fight going.

“AME is a volunteer ¬based organisation that relies solely on the financial support of everyday Australians who believe in making Australia a place where all love is equal. So if you share this vision and you’re in Melbourneon September 17, I encourage you to help make a difference by attending our Tipping Point event with family, friends and colleagues.”

WHAT Melbourne Tipping Point: Australian Marriage Equality Fundraiser
WHEN Friday 19 September, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
WHERE Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town HallCOST $139pp (inc. all food, drinks and entertainment)


Andrew Wilkie: Merits review for asylum seekers

Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison
01.09.14 1:16 pm

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, today introduced a Bill to restore merits review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for asylum seekers with adverse ASIO security assessments.

“The Bill is fundamentally about fairness,” Mr Wilkie said. “Currently asylum seekers are denied access to merits review by the AAT if they are the subject of an adverse security assessment.

“ASIO must be allowed to determine security risks, but to deprive asylum seekers of the right to have those assessments scrutinised is just part of the litany of attacks by this Government that target asylum seekers with punitive and cruel measures.

“The bottom line is that Australian citizens can challenge adverse ASIO security assessments but asylum seekers cannot. This is a clear statement by the Government that asylum seekers are second class human beings who don’t deserve their fundamental human rights.

“Moreover, besides being plain wrong, it’s also at odds with Australia’s obligations under international law. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Refugee Convention, refugees should be afforded the right to question their detention and have it examined by an official judicial body.

“The current situation is simply discrimination. If there is a genuine security concern then the original adverse assessment will be upheld on review, and if there isn’t then innocent people are not arbitrarily detained.

“Australians have nothing to fear from this reform, and we must pass it as a compassionate and fortunate country which believes in equality before the law.”


Johnston calls for aldermen to live in the municipality ...

Alderman Kristie Johnston, Glenorchy City Council
01.09.14 11:14 am

Alderman Kristie Johnston will today call on Glenorchy City Council support her proposed electoral reform which would require all Aldermen to live within the Municipality and fully disclose their residential address. 

Alderman Johnston, herself a proud lifelong resident of the Municipality of Glenorchy, said that “many Glenorchy residents are surprised to discover that a person does not have to reside in the municipality that they are elected to represent and are greatly concerned that currently more than a quarter of their aldermen do not reside in the Municipality of Glenorchy. Furthermore there is also concern that when residents have tried to discover where their alderman resides they are unable to do so as their addresses are withheld”.

Alderman Johnston said that it has been remarked to her by a number of residents “that it appears as though there are quite a few aldermen who live out of a PO Box!”

It is disappointing that basic contact details about a candidate/councillor/alderman can be withheld from the voting public. A requirement for full disclosure would allow electors to make an informed choice about who they are voting for and would provide a basic but important avenue for residents to contact their elected aldermen.

Given that the Minister for Local Government has indicated a willingness to amend the electoral provisions for local government and the great level of community concern about this matter it is timely that this request is made by Council to the Minister.


Fears of university fee hikes expected to boost scholarship demand

Rod Wellington, Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health
01.09.14 11:10 am


Tomorrow’s opening of undergraduate scholarships targeting rural allied health students is expected to generate huge demand due to speculation of university fee hikes next year, according to Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH).

Applications for scholarships of up to $10,000 a year to study courses including physiotherapy, social work, speech pathology, podiatry, dietetics, paramedics and other allied health degrees open from 2 September to 3 November.

Last year, SARRAH awarded 208 undergraduate scholarships to students based in rural and remote Australia, with funds provided by the Australian Government under the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme. SARRAH currently has five allied health scholarships on offer, including Postgraduate, Clinical Psychology, Clinical Placement and Continuing Professional Development.

SARRAH CEO Rod Wellington said applications were expected to be higher this year across all five scholarships, due to ongoing speculation that proposed changes to higher education in the 2014 Budget could increase student debt.

“We have early indications from social media that many students are looking for extra financial support to attend university next year,” Mr Wellington said.

“Rural families always face more strain to get their children to university, due to the travel and accommodation costs that country students face because they cannot study near home.
“Unlike city-based students, our scholars have to rent in cities and towns with a university, before you even take into account the cost of daily living expenses and university fees.

“The obstacles that many rural Australians have to overcome in order to get to university are insurmountable for many, which is why we need scholarship programs just for them.”

Mr Wellington said it was crucial to keep encouraging rural students to study for allied health degrees because they were more likely to return to rural settings once qualified.

“Once they graduate, young allied health professionals are having a huge impact on rural patients in crucial areas of need such as aged health care, mental health, early intervention and Aboriginal health.”

SARRAH administers five streams of scholarships that aim to attract and retain allied health providers in rural and remote settings. Applications for all five streams are now open on SARRAH’s website Allied health professions include: audiology, chiropractics, dental and oral health, dietetics and nutrition, diabetes education, exercise physiology, genetic counselling, health promotion, medical radiation science, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, paramedic practice, physiotherapy, podiatry, prosthetics and orthotics, psychology, social work, speech pathology, sonography.


Australian environmental justice activist refused entry to Malaysia

Tully McIntyre (Australia), Stop Lynas campaign
01.09.14 11:08 am

Australian resident Natalie Lowrey was refused entry into Malaysia after returning as an observer on the criminalisation of environmental defenders against Australian rare earth miner, Lynas Corporation.

On arrival at in Malaysia, Lowrey was detained by customs who said she had been blacklisted by Bukit Aman (the police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur) and that she would be deported back to the country she flew in from. She is being sent to Bali and will fly into Sydney on Tuesday 2 September at 6.50am. Lowrey was informed of a strict denial of entry to Malaysia, reasons not given.

Australian rare earths company, Lynas Corporation Ltd, whose processing plant is in Kuantan, Malaysia is the focus of Malaysia’s largest environmental movement. Lynas has been under pressure for the past three years for having no social licence to operate. Their 2 year Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) is due to expire on 2nd September.

Local people are concerned about the contamination of coastal environments and adverse health impacts that could arise from mismanagement of radioactive waste streams, as seen with the rare earth refinery operated by Mitsubishi Chemicals at Bukit Merah in the 80s and 90s.

Lowrey said “The neoliberal model of ‘development’ I s destroying the environment and pitting communities and eco-defenders against powerful corporations and colluding police and governments all around the world.”

Lowrey and 15 Malaysians were arrested at a peaceful protest in June demanding Lynas to close down its operation of the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) in Kuantan. Lowrey was detained for 6 days then released without charge and no mention of being unable to return to the country. The Malaysian arrestees are being tried under the Penal Code.

“Their charges against the 15 peaceful Malaysian citizens arrested with me on June 22nd must be dropped including the Gag order that was part of their bail conditions. I was released with no charge so why are they facing a trial, which if convicted, may include jail time?”

Concerned citizens across Malaysia are appealing to the international community to apply pressure on the Malaysian Government and Lynas corporation about the lack of transparency of waste management at the LAMP and for its intimidation tactics against environmental defenders, including members of the grass roots movement Himpunan Hijau.
“The Malaysian government must allow the full enjoyment of environmental and human rights, including the right to defend rights and ensure that corporations operating within it’s country respect the rights of nature, people, and rights defenders.”continued Lowrey.

Local Kuantan resident Seet Ping and secretary of the grassroots movement Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) said, “The LAMP was quietly built in our backyards without us knowing about it, and day by day the toxic radioactive wastes are piling up in open storage ponds in the plant which is situated in a low lying swampy area exposed to yearly extreme monsoon weathers.”

“Thousands of Malaysians have mobilised against Lynas over the past three years. We have collected 1.2 million physical signatures within 36 days in a petition calling for the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant to be shut down. We want Lynas to pack up, clean up and get out of Malaysia.”

Download the recent Stop Lynas Inc. paper criticising the Lynas lack of social licence in Malaysia:


Tasmanians puffing twice need to seek advice National Asthma Week 2014 (1-7 September)

The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania
01.09.14 6:54 am

While many Tasmanians will rejoice in the first day of spring, for some it heralds the dreaded hay fever
season, notorious for exacerbating asthma symptoms. The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania (AFT) is
warning those with uncontrolled asthma to seek advice.

Many people assume asthma symptoms are simply part of life, but AFT says if people are puffing on
their blue/grey reliever two or more days a week, then their asthma is out of control.

Speaking at the launch of National Asthma Week today, AFT CEO Cathy Beswick said one of the most
alarming things about working with people with asthma was just how many had uncontrolled asthma
and simply didn’t realise.

“If you use your asthma reliever medication two days or more each week, then your asthma is out of
control, but the good news is you don’t have to put up with it – for most people, it can be brought
under control quite easily,” Mrs Beswick said.

Mrs Beswick said despite the fact that preventive medications had been around for decades, there
was still a lot of confusion over how asthma medication worked.

“If you are prescribed preventer medication – that’s the medication that helps stop flare-ups from
happening – it takes up to six weeks to work, but when it doesn’t work immediately, many people
stop using it before it has a chance to take effect,” she said.

“Many people also don’t realise that once it starts working you have to keep taking it because as soon
as you stop taking it, it stops working.

“Unfortunately up to 75 per cent of those prescribed preventers are not taking them regularly, or at
all, which means they are living with uncontrolled asthma and are risking permanently damaging their
airways, potentially causing serious breathing problems for the rest of their lives.”

Asthma is responsible for thousands of emergency presentations every year in Tasmania and is the
main reason why Tasmanian children present at emergency departments or are hospitalised.

Mrs Beswick said despite the fact that there were around 55,000 Tasmanians living with asthma, the
Foundation only spoke to hundreds of asthmatics each year.

“We estimate more than 13,500 asthmatics in Tasmania are not in adequate control of their asthma,
as evidenced by statewide pharmacy data,” she said.

“As part of National Asthma Week 2014, we are calling on Tasmanian asthmatics to pick up the phone and call our free 1800 number to find out how they can control their asthma and start feeling better.

“Of course, this number is not for emergencies or life threatening situations, and people experiencing an asthma attack should call 000 immediately.

“While there is no cure for asthma it can be controlled, and the impact it has on the lives of those who have it can be significantly reduced, which many people don’t seem to realise.
“There is no need to feel ‘breathy’ all the time and thanks to some great new medicines and techniques, simple activities shouldn’t be a big chore, no matter what your age.”

The Asthma Foundation provides free help and advice to Tasmanians living with asthma. To start feeling better, call the Foundation on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) or visit:


Sue Hickey: Farewell Doone Kennedy (Officer of the Order of Australia 1994)

HCC Alderman Sue Hickey
31.08.14 1:48 pm

It is with great sadness I acknowledge the passing of my mentor and friend, Doone Kennedy.

Doone Kennedy remained a woman of great wisdom and humouruntil her sudden passing.

She was an inspiration to so many of us.  Doone was an amazing contributor to this City not only in her capacity as Lord Mayor and Alderman but also in her tireless work for charity and she was a trailer blazer for females in politics.

Background:  Doone Kennedy had been supporting my campaign for Lord Mayor and was authorising my printwork.



Paying tribute to Mrs Doone Kennedy AO

Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly
31.08.14 1:32 pm

I would like to pay tribute to Hobart’s first and only female Lord Mayor, Mrs Doone Kennedy AO, who passed away yesterday aged 87.

Mrs Kennedy served as an Alderman of the Hobart City Council from 1982 to 1999 and was Lord Mayor for a decade from 1986 to 1996.

After leaving Council, Mrs Kennedy continued to work tirelessly for the city of Hobart, assisting several charities and community organisations until she passed away.

She was deservedly made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1994 for service to Local Government and the community.

Mrs Kennedy was someone I admired greatly and I was thrilled when she endorsed me when I ran for and was elected to the Hobart City Council in 2007.

She was a strong, courageous woman who was prepared to navigate unchartered waters as the first female Lord Mayor at a time in our society when women in senior leadership roles were uncommon.

Mrs Kennedy has left a lasting legacy, and I am grateful for her immense contribution to the City of Hobart. I express my sincerest condolences to Mrs Kennedy’s family on her passing.


Media conference Christine Milne Hobart Sunday 31 August, 2014 Tasmanian issues

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne
31.08.14 1:23 pm

I am very pleased that the DPP is going to pursue John Gay for the full proceeds of crime. I think around Australia people were shocked that the fine that John Gay received, $50,000, for insider trading was all that occurred. White-collar crime is serious and I think it is important that if John Gay made $3 million out of insider trading, that the $3 million be returned.

When were you made aware the DPP was pursuing the full amount?

I’ve just been following it in the media, I’ve had no private briefings or information. I welcome the fact that ASIC is getting serious about white-collar crime. We have seen an awful lot of other prosecutions leading to young people ending up in prison and there is an enormous resentment about the fact that people on corporate boards get away with substantial white-collar crime and don’t end up in prison and don’t end up having to return the proceeds of that crime. That is why this ASIC case against John Gay is so important.

On another Tasmanian story, the Abbott government is really mounting a major assault on Tasmania. It is bad enough that getting rid of the clean energy package and a major attack on renewable energy target is hitting the state budget hard, is hitting the Hydro hard, but the attack on the University is another example of it. For example, taking away the capacity for Tasmania to raise the research dollar that it has will end really costing us as a University. I am really proud of the fact that as a regional university Tasmania has been able to attract world-class scientists our hub here on the Antarctic Southern Ocean and climate science is world-class and that is now reflected in the fact that we have had nearly $100 million earnings from our research program. We’re attracting foreign students were making a name for ourselves and this is the future for jobs and investment in Tasmania. I am hoping that the Chinese will declare Hobart to be there base. That would be the next major advancement for jobs and investment in our university, in research, in tourism. That is not going to happen if the federal government keeps up this assault on universities, deregulating fees and making such substantial cuts. So I am calling on Eric Abetz and calling on Will Hodgman to stop actually protecting the Prime Minister and actually get out there and take on the Federal Cabinet because they are seriously undermining the future of Tasmania. The future for us, the competitive advantage, is in renewable energy, in climate science, in Southern Ocean science, and we are losing if the federal government continues this assault on universities funding

Matthew Groom is making a last ditch attempt to change their mind on the RET he is flying to Canberra this week, what chance does he have do you think?

Tony Abbott has made pretty clear that he wants to destroy renewable energy. It was his idea to abolish the renewable energy target altogether. The sad fact is that because of the level of uncertainty they have already created about the future of renewable energy there will not be investments in large-scale renewable energy in the foreseeable future. But small-scale is still there and I would encourage people to get out and put solar panels on their rooves and solar hot water as soon as you can just to show Tony Abbott he is going in the wrong direction and the community favours renewable energy.

Are people like Matthew Groom in a difficult situation when he is obviously a big supporter of renewable energy and yet his colleagues in Canberra do not seem to share the same views?

I think it is time that if Matthew Groom supports a clean energy future, supports renewable energy, that he stands up and really condemns the direction of the Abbott government and rejects utterly the Warburton report on renewable energy. The problem with the Tasmanian Government is that they are really attacking the federal government with a wet lettuce leaf. Frankly, it is pathetic. If they are going to make a stand they need to stand with the jobs, with the University, with the renewable energy future, and against Eric Abetz. It’s time to take on the federal government.



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
31.08.14 1:20 pm

Tasmanian school student, Lottie Frohmader, has made waves with her letter to Tony Abbott asking him to allow same-sex couples to marry (letter attached).

In her letter, Lottie, aged 11, wrote, “I hope you think again about your law. What you are doing is discrimination, and I think it is wrong. Every couple, gay, straight, or lesbian, should be treated equally”.

Now the letter has hit the headlines with Lottie telling the Hobart Mercury,

“I have lots of friends and family that are gay and lesbian and I was just wondering why Tony Abbott did not accept it”.

Lottie’s mum, Carolyn Frohmader said,

“Lottie asked me out of the blue if kids can write to the Prime Minister. I said ‘of course, it’s a democracy’. The next thing I knew she showed me her letter, handwritten so everyone would know she had written it herself.”

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“More and more young Australians have gay family members and friends and simply don’t understand why gay people should be treated differently to other people.”

“Children often see the truth better than adults, in this case that marriage is about love and commitment not the gender of the partners.”

“If politicians want to know how the next generation will judge them on this issue they need to read Lottie’s letter.”

Lottie has sent her letter to all of Tasmania’s federal representatives.

A copy of Lottie’s letter is attached. The Mercury report can be found here:


Liberals must come clean on impact of job cuts

Michelle O’Byrne MP Labor Deputy Leader
31.08.14 1:16 pm

Labor Deputy Leader Michelle O’Byrne said today half of the jobs to be cut because of the budget could come from across Northern Tasmania.

“The social and economic impacts of the Liberal’s budget will be felt right around the State and will hit regional communities hard,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“The Government says it will cut 700 jobs but the real figure is expected to be more than 1100.

“This will see an estimated $80 million a year in wages alone taken out of circulation in regional economies throughout Tasmania.

“With around half of the public service in the North and North-West of the State, Peter Gutwein must come clean and detail exactly how many jobs will be lost in northern Tasmania.

“Obviously Peter Gutwein has not thought through the consequences of his budget.

“The reality is that tens of millions of dollars in wages will be lost to local communities.

“This comes on top of the three quarters of a billion dollars worth of cuts outlined in the budget.

“It is not fair that Tasmanians are being forced to bear the brunt of these cuts just so the Liberals can pay for their election promises,” Ms O’Byrne said.


Queenstown Heritage & Arts Festival

Roger Jaensch, Liberal Member for Braddon
30.08.14 7:51 pm

The 2014 Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival was officially launched tonight at a gala fundraising event.

The biennial festival began in 2010 and has become a significant contemporary cultural event for the West Coast region.

The 2014 festival will encompass the centenary of the heritage listed Lake Margaret Power Station – the oldest operating hydro-electric power station in Australia and a site of high cultural and industrial significance to Tasmania. The overarching theme of the 2014 festival is Power of Water.

The Liberal Government, through Events Tasmania and Arts Tasmania, is proud to support this event.

Events like the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival are an important driver for tourism, both to attract visitors to the West Coast and to encourage visitors to stay and explore.

The State Government has provided $50,000 to the festival as part of our election pledge for the West Coast, which we have brought forward in response to the closure of the Mt Lyell mine.

I was delighted to be part of the official opening of this great event and I would encourage all Tasmanians to come and experience the Festival.

The 2014 Festival will be held from 10 to 12 October 2014, further information is available from the festival website


Consultation kicks off on Launceston sewerage services

Andrew Moir, TasWater General Manager Asset Management
30.08.14 7:38 pm

The Launceston community is being asked to help shape one of the biggest water and sewerage projects ever undertaken in Tasmania.

Andrew Moir, TasWater General Manager Asset Management said the Launceston Sewerage Improvement Project will focus on the planning of sewerage services within the greater Launceston area for the next 50 years. This significant project may cost in the order of $200M.

“TasWater will be conducting information sessions and an extensive consultation process to gain an understanding of the expectations of the local community around sewerage services in the area,” Mr Moir said.

“It is a service that most people don’t think about unless they haven’t got it, but it’s something which will shape the future of greater Launceston.

“Community health and safety, environmental sustainability and the capacity of businesses to invest and create jobs are all linked to a high quality and reliable sewerage system,” he said.

TasWater currently operates and maintains a network of seven sewage treatment plants across greater Launceston that process the equivalent of 15 000 olympic-sized swimming pools of sewage and services 75 000 people.

“Inherited from the days when smaller councils operated separate systems, most plants are well in excess of 30 years old,” Mr Moir said.

“It has resulted in an outdated and piecemeal system that is unable to meet the environmental standards and population of a modern Launceston, let alone support future demand.
“A range of options are on the table from upgrading all seven sewage treatment plants to major rationalisation.

“The Project will be guided by the expectations and the views of the local community and will inform a business case to be presented to TasWater’s Board later this year.

“While the project concept has been raised previously, the formation of a state wide organisation in TasWater now means we can lead the way and deliver real outcomes,” he said.

The community will have their chance to find out more and have a say over the coming months. Check out—-Environment/Water—-Sewerage-Improvement-Projects/LSIP


Calls for Liberals to be honest about budget impacts

Scott Bacon MP Labor Shadow Treasurer
30.08.14 7:14 pm

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon today called on the Liberal Government to detail the hidden cost of jobs cuts to regional communities around Tasmania because of the budget.

“The Government says it will cut 700 jobs but the real number of people affected is expected to be more than 1100.

“The loss of wages alone is likely to be almost $80 million a year,” Mr Bacon said.

“The social and economic impact this will have, particularly in local communities, will be enormous.

“This comes on top of the three quarters of a billion dollars worth of cuts outlined in the budget.

“The tens of millions of dollars in wages alone that will not be circulating in local communities is another bitter pill to swallow.

“These job losses will be felt across the entire State. Hundreds of jobs will go from regions that are already doing it tough.

“It is time for Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein to stop the lies and be honest with Tasmanians about the true impacts of the budget.

“Tasmanians should not be forced to carry the burden of Liberal cuts just so they can pay for their election promises. This budget is a complete con.”