In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Tasmania is Open for Business

Will Hodgman, Premier
01.08.14 5:16 pm

The Tasmanian and Federal Governments are sending a clear message to the world that the state is open for business.

Today, the Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish and operate a Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency.

The agency was a Federal Election commitment of the Coalition and will provide potential investors with a one-stop-shop that will identify the Commonwealth approvals required for significant projects.

The agency will co-locate in Launceston with our Government’s new Office of the Coordinator General, which will be tasked with reducing and streamlining regulations that have stifled investment, and promote Tasmania to investors.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government welcomes this cooperative approach to reducing the regulatory burden on investment. This will send a clear message to investors across the world that Tasmania is open for business.

This collaboration is united with a clear objective to get things done, cut red and green tape, pursue investment and create jobs.

We are delivering on our election promise to establish an Office of the Coordinator General, we are getting on with fixing the budget mess and laying the foundations for a better future.


Centenary of ANZAC: A Service Marking the Centenary of the Declaration of The Great War

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
01.08.14 5:12 pm

The Liberal Government, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Council of Churches, is hosting an Ecumenical Church Service marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of World War 1 on 4 August 1914.

The service, held as part of Tasmania’s Centenary of ANZAC commemorations, will be held at St David’s Cathedral in Hobart on Monday 4 August 2014 at 10.00 am.

This service is not a military event but rather an event for the Tasmanian community who are all invited to attend.

The Liberal Government is committed to recognising the service and sacrifice of Tasmanian service-men and women in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.


Welcoming Macquarie Point appointment

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
01.08.14 5:07 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green has welcomed the appointment of Mark Ryan as the chair of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation.

“Mr Ryan is an experienced and appropriate selection for an important position,” Mr Green said.

“Labor welcomes his appointment and looks forward to the site reaching its full potential.

“With Toll and TasRail moving to the Brighton Transport Hub in recent weeks, the space has been vacated for development at Macquarie Point.

“This, along with Mr Ryan’s appointment, means it’s time to get on with the project.

“Labor is willing to work in a constructive, bipartisan manner to ensure that the Macquarie Point transformation comes to fruition in a timely manner.”


Continued support for Pacific fisheries

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
01.08.14 4:55 pm

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of an additional $23.5 million to support sustainable fisheries management in the Pacific.

Australia is providing the funding over four years to the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), bringing Australia’s total support for Pacific regional fisheries to $40 million.

Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, made the announcement today after attending the 45th Summit of Pacific Islands Forum in Palau.

“The Pacific Island region has an extremely valuable tuna resource and the funding supplied to the FFA will help the region continue to develop strong fisheries management strategies,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Funding provided to SPC is aimed at supporting sustainable fisheries for inland and coastal communities in the Pacific.”

Senator Colbeck said long-term sustainable fisheries management is vital as many Pacific island countries depend on the fisheries industry for their economic viability.

“Strong fisheries management strategies are essential for economic growth and regional development,” he said.

“It’s important to ensure these Pacific island countries can maximise their returns from fish resources while safeguarding stocks for future food security.”

Senator Colbeck attended the Tenth Annual Session of Pacific Fisheries Ministers in Tokelau last month and signed the Agreement on Strengthening Implementation of the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region (NTSA).

The NTSA came into force this week after it was ratified by Vanuatu and Samoa. This treaty is a key instrument in reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the South Pacific region.


Kim Booth: Shree Minerals False Hope Exposed

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
01.08.14 4:49 pm

Shree Minerals’ welcome relinquishment of their Rebecca Creek exploration licence in the Tarkine, should now help focus efforts into genuine diversification of the north-west economy and local job-creating opportunities, Greens Leader and Mining spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“People have been warning all along that Tasmania should not be risking the integrity of the Tarkine, on the wild promises and false hope from the likes of Shree Minerals,” Mr Booth said.

“Already Shree Minerals’ track-record for delivery in Tasmania is looking very dodgy.  First they rejected reports of their intention to suspend mining at the Nelson Bay site, only to confirm the shut down a month later.  Now they have walked away from the Rebecca Creek site.”

“This should now make clear that these operators were only selling false hope, and that this is a narrow escape for the north-west from relying upon the unreliable.”

“We now need to seize this opportunity and consolidate real job creation through diversification and building on the strengths of the north-west that draw people from far afield.”

“Protecting the Tarkine, and establishing a genuine north-west icon will give the region a unique Brand to leverage for the growing wilderness experiences, adventure tourism,  fine food and produce industries.  The Tarkine brand is worth gold in its own right.”

“Tasmania has so much more to offer than holes in the ground.  Lets focus on boosting local industries which build on our strengths, create local jobs, and keep profits here.”

“The mining industry has a role to play in our economy, however we must accept that Tasmania cannot afford to put all our eggs into that sole basket, and we need to diversify our economy so we can withstand the boom-bust mining cycle,” Mr Booth said.


Forestry Bill threatens ancient forests, FSC certification and timber markets

Vica Bayley, The Wilderness Society, Phill Pullinger, Environment Tasmania.
01.08.14 4:17 pm

The Tasmanian Government’s legislation to repeal forest protection and open ancient Rainforests and oldgrowth forests to logging, is incompatible with an environmentally acceptable forestry industry and directly threatens Forestry Tasmania’s chances of achieving Forest Stewardship Council certification and securing markets, environment groups said today.

Environment groups have responded to Forestry Tasmania’s request for feedback on plans to meet FSC’s high environmental standards, raising serious concerns about new legislation impacting FSC. A briefing paper is attached.

“The Tasmanian Government agrees FSC is essential to secure timber markets, but in the same breath is taking a huge and unnecessary risk by opening up protected forests,” said Vica Bayley spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

“FSC certification is hard to get. All five previous attempts to certify wood from public native forests in Australia have failed. The Government can take the punt that its legislation doesn’t threaten Forestry Tasmania’s FSC application, but the decision makers at the end of the day are the auditor, SCS and FSC International.”

“Premier Hodgman must be a betting man – the Government is playing Russian roulette with FSC certification and the industry’s future. The Tasmanian Forest Agreement provides the best opportunity Forestry Tasmania will ever have to obtain FSC, but the government seems prepared to throw that away and roll the dice.”

“Stakeholder support is important in the FSC system. Currently legislated forest protection provides an unprecedented opportunity to secure environment group support for FSC in Tasmania, but the government will erode that support by failing to deliver legislated forest protection.”

“You can’t on the one hand say you support a non-contentious forestry industry that has FSC certification, whilst on the other hand, put forward legislation to enable logging of ancient rainforest like the Tarkine and old growth forests like the Blue Tier,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, spokesperson for Environment Tasmania. 

“Forestry Tasmania’s proposal to meet FSC requirements is premised on Tasmania’s outstanding forests being protected in parks and reserves.  The government’s proposed forestry legislation runs directly counter to an acceptable industry with FSC certification - with loopholes to log rainforest, cut forest out of so-called ‘moratorium’ areas and open up 800,000 hectares of existing reserves to logging,” said Dr Pullinger,

“Forest reserves aren’t forest reserves when they can be logged at the stroke of a Minister’s pen; this will be clear to FSC International and its auditors.”

“In its rushed approach to the legislation the government hasn’t addressed these glaring uncertainties or any adverse impacts on FSC certification. The safest way to maximise the opportunities of FSC is to amend the legislation to remove the logging loopholes and provide secure and permanent protection of the future reserve land.”




Average Wage Lost on Each Pokie Machine Last Financial Year

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Gaming spokesperson
01.08.14 1:28 pm

The latest poker machine loss figures released by Treasury, reveal that Tasmanians lost the equivalent of an average annual salary of $53, 182 on each and every pokie machine in the state over the last financial year, Greens Gaming spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“The latest figures show that Tasmanians lost $14, 624, 255 in June this year alone.  We know, however, that these losses are felt most acutely in areas of socio-economic disadvantage where gaming machines in pubs and clubs are concentrated,” Ms O’Connor said.

“The total lost by Tasmanians on poker machines over the 12 months of the last financial year is a staggering $190 million.”

“That’s a huge amount of food not going on to the family dinner table, warm clothes not being bought for school children, rent and other bills not being paid.  The social cost of these enormous financial losses is felt most acutely by families who can least afford to lose.  The impact on the children in the families of problem gamblers is profound and potentially life-long.”

“The average take of each of the state’s 3572 pokies is between $4, 000 to over $4, 800 per month.  Over the last twelve months that totals to an annual take of $53, 182 per machine.”

“Research has confirmed repeatedly that pokies are the worst form of gambling for problem gamblers, and have the highest negative impact on those in our community who can least afford it.”

“Labor and Liberal governments have turned a blind eye for far too long to the real human cost that poker machines wreak upon Tasmanian families, individuals, and local businesses,”

“It is now well past time that the state’s casinos, which have the largest concentration of poker machines, also make a contribution of their profits to the Community Support Levy, just as local pubs and clubs with pokies are required to do.”

“”This blind addiction by the State to poker machine revenue off the back of disadvantaged Tasmanians,  must be reined in,” Ms O’Connor said.

Electronic Gaming Machine Expenditure (Losses) 2013/2014
Month; Player Expenditure; Pokies; Take per machine (average)
Feb ‘14 $14,513,074 3572 $4,063.01
Jun ‘14 $14,624,255 3572 $4,094.14
Apr ‘14 $15,070,179 3572 $4,218.98
Sep ‘13 $15,508,225 3572 $4,341.61
Nov ‘13 $15,689,629 3572 $4,392.39
May ‘14 $15,897,574 3572 $4,450.61
Mar ‘14 $15,955,792 3572 $4,466.91
Oct ‘13 $15,995,872 3572 $4,478.13
Jan ‘14 $16,105,936 3572 $4,508.94
Dec ‘13 $16,117,106 3572 $4,512.07
July ‘13 $17,060,350 3572 $4,776.13
Aug ‘13 $17,429,699 3572 $4,879.53

Annual Total $189,967,691 Annual average amount lost per machine (over last financial year) $53,182



Jan Davis: Ramsays’ courage the key to success

TFGA Chief Executive Jan Davis
01.08.14 1:26 pm

For generations, Tasmania’s farmers have been at the forefront of innovation, diversification, pure invention and pioneering new markets.

I don’t have to tell them how smart they are, but I do have to remind the non-farming community that we lead the way.

The latest additions to the roll of honour are Bothwell farmers John and Annie Ramsay. Earlier this week, they were announced as the winners of the inaugural MLA Challenge, which recognises significant productivity improvements. Their win came against stiff opposition from interstate farmers.

The Ramsays run a 14,000 head flock of merino and composite sheep on two properties, Ratho at Bothwell and Tarella at Dysart. Essentially, what they did in a period of 12 months was to break a long-held tradition of running only merinos, which had involved three lambing dates, winter lambing and excessive haymaking. Instead, they opted to use crossbred ewes, including 2000 extra head, lambed in the spring - and ended up producing more meat per hectare.

John Ramsay says the results have been fantastic. After a year in the MLA Challenge, the Ramsay’s pregnancy scanning results rose from 135 per cent to 175 per cent; they were turning off 30 per cent more lambs, earlier, and their labour efficiency improved from 7000 dry sheep equivalent per full time equivalent, to 8500.

John Ramsay says that, after changing to crossbred ewes, their lambs generated a potential additional $75,000.

“By the end of June, we had turned off 6500 lambs, compared to 3000 lambs the year before. The increase comes from producing more second-cross lambs and from focusing on finishing them more quickly and effectively. At $100 per lamb, that’s a major improvement, plus we can run more ewes through winter without the lambs hanging around,” he says.

At the same time, they upgraded staff management practices and also changed banks.
These are remarkable achievements, especially when considered against a background of the safety of staying with the status quo. Breaking from their traditional merino production was a courageous decision.

It is easy to continue along the safe and well-worn path of what is a traditional and, essentially, working business model for the farm. The Ramsays’ journey to this award is a good example of what can be achieved if you are brave enough to look inward, seek advice and, if necessary, change business direction.

Examining all aspects of the farm business model includes honest evaluation of one’s own skill sets and admitting that there are parts where you may need to seek expert advice can be confronting. That advice can show return on the initial investment quite quickly.

The Ramsays’ win reinforces our farmers’ reputation, certainly within the industry, of being innovative and knowing their stuff. They show they are prepared to reassess and revise processes to deliver better business outcomes.

It also once again underscores our position as ‘best in breed’ – leaders on the national industry scene.


Speaker to attend National Memorial Service for Flight MH17 Victims

Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly
01.08.14 1:00 pm

On behalf of the Liberal Government, I will be attending the National Memorial Service to take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne at 10.30am on Thursday 7 August 2014.

Even though, thankfully, there were no Tasmanian victims of this horrendous tragedy, we stand in solidarity alongside our interstate counterparts as they grieve for the 38 men, women and children who called Australia home. We grieve with them and extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those killed.

As declared by the Prime Minister, 7 August will be a National Day of Mourning, and flags on all Government buildings will be flown at half-mast, including Tasmania’s Parliament.


Andrew Wilkie endorses Glenorchy City Council mayoral candidate

Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie
01.08.14 1:00 pm

The fiercely Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie MP, will today announce that he is, for the first time, endorsing a candidate in the upcoming local government elections.

Mr Wilkie endorses and launches Kristie Johnston’s campaign to become Mayor of Glenorchy City Council.

Mr Wilkie has previously declined to endorse any candidate at any election but is today making an exception. Mr Wilkie said “Kristie is a first-class alderman, hard working and a champion for the community. She has the experience and skills to be an excellent mayor at a time when Glenorchy City Council is in need of new leadership and fresh ideas. I am especially impressed by Kristie’s genuine independence and focus on the public interest, rather than political and personal self-interest. Endorsing anyone is a very big deal for me and something I would only do very rarely, but I believe local government is sufficiently removed from federal and state politics to allow it, and because Kristie is such an exceptional candidate for mayor.”

Kristie Johnston, an Alderman at Glenorchy City Council, said that she was honoured to have such a well-respected member of the community publicly endorse her campaign to become Mayor of Glenorchy. Ald Johnston said “As a resident and Aldermen in this municipality I am deeply concerned with the direction that Glenorchy Council is heading in. Our ratepayers are suffering from unreasonable rate increases and are frustrated by Council inefficiencies and lack of genuine community engagement. Our Council has become characterised as lacking transparency, accountability and vision and this is simply not good enough”.

“It is time for new leadership and a new direction that will deliver this Council back to what the community wants and needs. I’m asking residents to join with me and clean up Glenorchy and clean out this Council!” said Ald Johnston.


Scott Jordan: Shree Minerals relinquishes Rebecca Creek exploration licence in the Tarkine

Scott Jordan, Campaign Co-ordinator, Save The Tarkine
01.08.14 11:52 am

Save the Tarkine have welcomed yesterdays announcement by Shree Minerals that they have surrendered the Rebecca Creek exploration licence in the Tarkine. This comes on the back of the suspension of mining at Nelson Bay River in June.

“Shree Minerals actions expose the lies and false promises that have been perpetrated on the people of north west Tasmania”, said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.

“The snake oil salesmen from the mining industry told us that if we are just prepared to sacrifice the integrity of our rivers, our forests, our wildlife and our outstanding world heritage value wilderness, then we will have a jobs and wealth for everyone”.

“Well, clearly, that’s a lie, and we see that the real growth in jobs has been in the tourism and food sectors linked to protection of the Tarkine wilderness”.

“Now is the time for the governments to abandon the folly of new mines in the Tarkine, and to revisit the Cradle Coast Authority’s Tarkine Tourism Development Strategy that laid out a plan for 1100 jobs and a $58.2million visitor spend”.

“We can have our cake and eat it too, but only if we have the right recipe”.

The then Liberal opposition previously backed the Cradle Coast Authority’s Tarkine Tourism Development Strategy on it’s release in 2008.


Abbott attempting to blackmail Tasmania on assets

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
01.08.14 6:19 am

Labor Leader Bryan Green has slammed the Abbott Government for trying to blackmail the state into selling valuable public assets.

“Tony Abbott went to the election promising to create jobs and economic activity in Tasmania. He didn’t tell voters that any assistance would be contingent on selling assets,” Mr Green said.

“This is a clear case of economic blackmail from the Federal Government.

“Rather than recognising the urgent need to provide assistance to Tasmania, the Liberals have embarked on an ideological crusade.

“Selling assets like the Hydro, TasPorts and MAIB would result in Tasmanians paying more for essential services and squander future opportunities to create wealth for the state.

“It’s all very well for Will Hodgman to oppose asset sales, but where is the cooperative approach between the state and federal governments that he promised?

“Where are the positive outcomes that have resulted from having Liberal Governments in Canberra and Tasmania?

“The fact is that the incentive to sell off assets wouldn’t cover even half of the cuts to health and education inflicted on Tasmania in the Federal Budget.”


Liberal Government Delivering Investment

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
31.07.14 8:35 pm

Today’s quarterly Investment Monitor from Deloitte Access Economics is another indictment of the former Labor government’s economic management.

The report shows investment in the 12 months to June 2014 was down 21 per cent on the previous year. The report also notes there was little change in commercial construction.

The Liberal government has acted decisively to address the budget and economic mess left behind by the former Labor-Green Government.

We have moved to lay the foundations for a better future by supporting infrastructure spending.

We have already secured key investment projects such as the Myer redevelopment, which will revitalise the Hobart CBD.

We have committed funding to key infrastructure projects, including the Solis Louisville Golf Course and Musselroe Bay Eco-tourism Development to create jobs and grow the economy.

Our policies have facilitated developments such as the Macquarie Shed No 1 Hotel while our commitment to cut red and green tape through the building regulations review will support the $2 billion construction industry.

While Labor and the Greens talked a lot about investments, they never happened.  The Liberal Government will deliver investment and jobs for Tasmania.

Projects that are underway:

• Parliament Square
• Brooke St Pier upgrade
• Pumphouse Point
• Coal River Farm
• Midland Highway Upgrade
• North-West Cancer Centre

In addition, we are opening up National Parks and World Heritage Areas for sensible, sustainable development.  We have also implemented a water and sewerage headworks holiday and we are fixing the planning system so it is fairer, faster, simpler and cheaper as well as reviewing the building laws to cut red and green tape.

Labor failed Tasmanians and failed to grow the economy. Confidence is now growing under the Liberal Government and that will be reinforced with the budget where we will keep our promises, fix the budget mess and lay the foundations for the future for the benefit of all Tasmanians.


Violence is never the answer: logger in court for assaulting forest protester in Tasmania

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation
31.07.14 7:07 pm

Today in Hobart Magistrates Court, a logger was handed a good behaviour bond, with no conviction, for assaulting a forest protester.  In 2013, peaceful protests were held to oppose the logging of World Heritage forests in Butlers Gorge.  Just weeks before these forests were listed as World Heritage, they were still being logged.

During these protests, a protester was punched in the head by a logger.  The incident occurred in the town of New Norfolk, many kilometres from the protest site.

“Violence is never acceptable in our society. We are non-violent protesters and yet we face ongoing violence by some in the logging industry while conducting peaceful protests.

There is never an excuse for violence and this was another occasion in the long history of protesters being physically assaulted while peacefully defending the environment in this age of destruction,” the Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said today.

“In Tasmania we have a Government which has passed the worst and most draconian laws in the country against protests, pending passage through the Upper House in the coming weeks.

It is astounding that there is not a crackdown on violence perpetrated against peaceful citizens practicing their democratic right to defend nature. Instead protesters are being demonised in Tasmania, as a dangerous precedent is set by the Liberal Government in an attack on democracy.”


Supporting Regional Tourism

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
31.07.14 7:04 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to building on our competitive strengths, particularly regional tourism.

Our target is to attract 1.5 million visitors to the state every year by 2020, which the industry tells us will create 8,000 new jobs.

Regional tourism organisations like the Port Arthur and Tasman Tourism Association, who I met with tonight to discuss the future of tourism in the region, are important partners who will help us reach this target.

Our Government shares in the association’s commitment to grow tourism in the Tasman region.

The latest Tasmanian Tourism Snapshot figures show tourism in the region is booming, with a 13 per cent increase in the number of visitors to the southern corner of our state.

In fact, of the record 1.06 million visitors to our state in the 12 months to March, more than 216,000 visited the Port Arthur Historic Site.

These are encouraging figures, but I’m confident we can do better and that’s why we are investing $3 million to help stabilise the Penitentiary Precinct, $4 million for the Three Capes Track and we are seeking a commercial boat operator to boost access to the track.

We are backing our competitive strengths in regional Tasmania including tourism, agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; assets that are abundant in the south.


New Icebreaker to Enhance Tasmania’s Position as Gateway to Antarctica

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister for State Growth
31.07.14 7:00 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to growing our economy by capitalising on our competitive strengths, including our position as a gateway to Antarctica.

Today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Government that two companies have been invited to participate in a Request for Tender process for a new multi-purpose icebreaker is confirmation that Hobart will continue to be the base for Eastern Antarctic expeditions and research.

The Antarctic science industry is a critical one for Tasmania, generating significant income for our economy.

By replacing the ageing Aurora Australis with a new icebreaker to be based in Hobart by 2019-20, Tasmania’s place as a centre of Antarctic research will be assured.

The capabilities expected of the new vessel will offer exciting possibilities for expanded research expeditions to be launched from Hobart.

This also offers opportunities for local businesses to benefit by providing supplies, maintenance and support for Antarctic expeditions.

The Liberal Government will work with the Commonwealth to continue to build on the opportunities for Tasmania as a centre of Antarctic research.


Building Approvals Rise Under Liberal Government

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
31.07.14 6:59 pm

The August budget will deliver on our promises, fix the budget mess and lay the foundations for the future.

Monthly building approval figures out today show our plan is working as confidence continues to grow under the Liberal Government.

In June, dwelling approvals were over 37 per cent higher than what they were 12 months ago.

This is welcome news for the building industry, which is worth more than $2 billion a year and employs around 17,500 Tasmanians.

The Liberal Government promised to cut red and green tape to help business grow and we are delivering on our promise by reviewing Tasmania’s Building Regulatory Framework and reforming the broken planning system.

We are backing our building sector to grow the economy and create jobs, and today’s figures show Tasmania is on the path to a better future.


New Research results from Crosby/Textor show ...

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
31.07.14 4:41 pm


Research from the Liberal Party’s own pollster, Crosby/Textor, shows marriage equality is a vote winner for the Coalition.

Crosby/Textor today announced new, previously-unreleased research results which show marriage equality has majority support among Coalition voters and among swing voters.

Director of Research at Crosby/Textor, Jim Reed, stated in an article published today on the ABC’s Drum website that allowing same-sex couples to marry is “a vote winner” for the Coalition.

According to Mr Reed,

“Some will say that right-of-centre voters are opposed, but our polling says all party bases and, yes, the all-important swing voter group have a majority in favour of marriage equality.”
“There is very little electoral downside here, but a lot of upside; especially when our poll also finds that this is a far more important issue to those that support it than to those who oppose. In other words, legalisation is a vote winner.”
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“Allowing a conscience vote so marriage equality can pass through parliament is not only the right thing for the Coalition to do, it’s also the smart thing.”

“Removing obstacles to marriage equality is a sure fire way for the Federal Government to reclaim some of the support it has lost in recent months.”

Earlier this month Crosby/Textor released research which found support for marriage equality has reached a new high of 72%, with majority support extending across every demographic. Today’s research results have not previously been released.

In his article Mr Reed wrote that those who claim marriage equality is not supported in particular areas like western Sydney or regional Queensland, among older people and married couples, or among people of faith are wrong.

“This is an issue whose time has come. It is not about age, it’s not about sexuality, it’s not about geography, it’s not about politics and it’s not about faith. This is about a majority of people deciding that something is right.”

To read Mr Reed’s article, go to


Storm Damage

Will Hodgman, Premier
31.07.14 3:57 pm

The Liberal Government commends the professionalism and hard work of Tasmania’s emergency services personnel, career and volunteer, who are responding to the wild weather conditions currently gripping the state.

The Government is receiving regular updates on the damage being reported from high winds and rising flood waters around the state.

I urge all Tasmanians to reconsider travel in the current conditions and to keep up to date with the latest warnings from authorities, with several roads, rail lines and schools being closed, ships unable to dock and thousands of homes and businesses without power supply.

I have been advised a person has died as a result of being hit by a falling tree in the north of the state and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of that person.

At times such as these, we stand behind our SES volunteers, our TasNetworks crews and our emergency services personnel, all of whom are doing tremendous work in very difficult conditions.

This is not a time for sight-seeing. Rising flood waters, wind-borne roofing materials and trees that have been weakened in sodden ground all present real risks for the public at this time.

I urge Tasmanians to tune in to ABC local radio for updates on conditions and to check the following websites:


State Should Resist Abbott’s Cash-for-Assets Lure

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
31.07.14 3:44 pm

Tasmania should not be further penalised by the Commonwealth should the State Liberals uphold their public commitments to not sell off assets, including energy assets or ports, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“The Greens expect Will Hodgman will live up to his previous public commitments and resist this shameful cash-for assets lure being dangled by Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott,” Mr Booth said.

“Tasmanians cannot afford to have the farm sold out from beneath us.” 

“We are already having to absorb the huge annual income loss of at least $70 million to $100 million due to the Liberals’ ideological fixation on removing the carbon tax.”

“Abbott’s one-off- offer of $600 million does not fill the gaping hole of the annual $70 - $100 million the State was projected to receive via Hydro Tasmania.”

“Over ten years that is almost $1 billion in income that has been stripped from Tasmania’s ledger by the Federal Liberals but also cheered on by Peter Gutwein and Will Hodgman,”
Mr Booth said.


Severe weather impacts train services

TasRail Chief Executive Officer Damien White
31.07.14 3:33 pm

The impact of extreme weather conditions across the State is impacting train services, particularly across the North West and West Coast.

Chief Executive Officer Damien White said train loading operations were continuing at TasRail’s terminals but reported that TasRail had taken a proactive approach and temporarily suspended train services on the Melba Line and West of Western Junction. Other train services are being closely monitored.

TasRail is in regular contact with its customers and will continue to keep them updated as conditions are assessed. “Any disruption to train services and our customers is regrettable, but unavoidable given current weather conditions”, Mr White said. “The safety of train operations must be a priority”.

“We are seeing a lot of trees, tree limbs and storm debris falling across the tracks”, he said. “Track obstructions are a real concern because of the risk of a train derailment and/or collision”.

Flooding is also an issue in some areas of the network, particularly across the North and North West of the State. “We’ve already seen a number of washaways, but our teams are continuously assessing the condition of the network and, as an added safety precaution, Temporary Speed Restrictions are being imposed in affected areas”, Mr White said.

With the extreme weather forecast to continue for at least another 36 hours, TasRail would not predict when full services would resume.

“We are working hand-in-glove with our customers to minimise any impacts”, Mr White said. “As soon as weather conditions ease, TasRail will be in a better position to make a final assessment and to complete necessary repairs as quickly as possible”.

TasRail would like to publicly acknowledge the efforts and commitment of staff who were working in difficult weather conditions to ensure the safety of the network.


ACT Police Raid Highlight Urgent Need for Medicinal Cannabis Law Reform

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Health spokesperson
31.07.14 12:28 pm

Law reform recognising the use of medicinal cannabis is urgently needed, to remove the threat of criminal sanctions from those suffering terminal illness or other severe health conditions, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“Nationally we are seeing brave and desperate parents come forward to tell their deeply personal stories of fearing for their child’s health and well-being, who are then subjected to police raids and potential prosecution,” Ms O’Connor said.

“The recent ACT example, where an individual’s home was raided after the resident alerted the Chief Minister to the use of a cannabis tincture to treat seizures suffered by a two year old girl, has again highlighted how out of step the law is with people’s health needs.”

“Earlier this month, Victorian parents who spoke out publicly detailing how cannabis oil assists in treating the severe medical condition of their young son, were also then raided by Victoria Police and arrested.” 

“Nationally, we are woefully behind the rest of the world.”

“Earlier this week, conservative Republican Congressman, Mr Scott Perry from Pennsylvania announced he will be introducing into Congress a law to legalise nationally a cannabis-based oil for children suffering seizures from debilitating epilepsy.” [1]

“At the same time as US conservatives are moving to address this compassionate medical need, in Australia, the police are sent in.”

“The lack of legal recognition of medicinal cannabis - despite it becoming more widely recognised as a potential treatment for those suffering excrutiating pain and other severe symptoms - places patients, carers and police officers in an invidious situation.”

“People who are profoundly suffering or dying should not also have to fear prosecution when seeking relief from that pain or their symptoms.”

“Parents watching their child endure brain-damage threatening seizures hundreds of times on a daily basis should not be forced to choose between a potential treatment and their own freedom.”

“Our laws need to catch-up and reflect the compassionate choice that is medicinal cannabis.”

“Recognition of medicinal cannabis is happening globally.  The law needs to catch up in Australia to remove the threat of criminal sanctions from those who are suffering, and from their carers,” Ms O’Connor said.



Initiative planned for Tasmanian Visitor Information Network centres

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
31.07.14 12:20 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to attracting 1.5 million visitors to Tasmania per year by 2020.

The Liberal Government, through the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network (TVIN), is embarking on an important initiative this year, in partnership with the Tasmanian Fire Service and State Emergency Service.

A submission has been made by the TVIN for federal funding to finance a project to develop resource material and training that will prepare visitor information centres to undertake a critical communication role in times of emergency.

A workshop has already been held in Tasmania with TVIN members and a representative from Tourism Victoria, to look at the emergency response role that visitor information centres played during the Victorian bushfire and are now playing in that state.

A visitor information centre is a usually a reliable first ‘port of call’. This was evident during the January 2013 bushfires. Popular tourist destinations on the East Coast, Derwent Valley and the Tasman Peninsula were significantly affected by the bushfires raging in the state.

At the height of the bushfires, people who were travelling in the state needed guidance and advice about the places they were intending to visit. Many of these visitors also needed to make alternate arrangements when it came to places to stay and attractions to go to.

The TVIN Centres played an invaluable role during this period by reassuring travellers and helping them make alternative arrangements.

This initiative will ensure that the TVIN can continue to help visitors have a safe and pleasurable Tasmanian holiday, and just as importantly – one they will go home and tell everyone else about.

The Network consists of 20 accredited visitor information centres located throughout Tasmania. The centres are owned and operated by local councils.


PRIA strong in Tasmania

PRIA Tasmanian President Jacquie Ray
31.07.14 9:03 am

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Tasmania has hit the ground running, holding a sell-out
event in Hobart tonight, following the formation of a new PRIA State Council.

The event, to be held at the RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel, runs from 5.30 to 7.00pm and will expose
more than 100 communications professionals to leading media outlets on the topic of the changing
Tasmanian media landscape.

A guest media panel featuring ABC State Director Andrew Fisher, Mercury Editor Matt Deighton, Southern
Cross Television News Director Grant Wilson, and WIN Television Tasmanian News Editor Nathan Motton,
will discuss how they are evolving to deal with funding cuts, reduced resources, longer news bulletins, and
the ever-increasing demand for online content.

New PRIA Tasmanian President Jacquie Ray said she was excited to be involved in strengthening the PRIA in

“We are really encouraged by the fantastic statewide response to our newly formed State Councils’ first
event,” Ms Ray said.

“We see this as an indication that Tasmanians working in the communications and media sectors want to be
involved, and engaged with the PRIA and other professionals in the field.”

National PRIA CEO Ray Shaw will also speak at this evening’s event.

“Ms Ray and the new state council have done a fantastic job to organise this event just a few months after
re-forming. They are working to re-establish an even stronger PRIA branch in Tasmania as the peak
professional body in this state,” Mr Shaw said.

“The PRIA has a long and proud history in Tasmania and now that we have a State Council in place I am sure
there will be more strong contributions from the state in the future.”


Foxtel Ci is screening SHADOW OF DOUBT on Sunday night at 9.30pm ...

31.07.14 7:00 am


Eve Ash’s investigative doco, Shadow of Doubt which last year triggered the outrage at the murder conviction of Sue Neill Fraser in 2010, is returning to Foxtel’s Ci Channel on August 3 at 9.30pm and also on Aug 4 at 1am and 9am, just days before the 5th anniversary of Neill Fraser’s arrest (Aug. 20).

The documentary, nominated for an AACTA Award earlier this year, exposes the flaws in the police investigation of the case of missing Hobart radiologist, Bob Chappell, Neill Fraser’s partner of 18 years.

Chappell was missing from their yacht, Four Winds, when it was found to be taking water early on 27 January 2009. His body has never been found

TasPolice were convinced Neill Fraser was guilty of his murder, but were unable to provide the prosecution with any probative evidence. The ODPP took the matter to trial, where the ODPP speculated that the missing man had been struck by Neill Fraser with a wrench from behind, winched up two decks, bundled into the dinghy and dumped in the water … somewhere, sometime, somehow, all by Neill Fraser, alone.

On August 20, 2014, Neill Fraser’s current legal representative, Barbara Etter APM, will be speaking at the Plenary Session of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences, at Sydney’s Union University Club. Etter, a 30 year police veteran and former Assistant Commissioner of Police (in WA) and former Integrity Commissioner (in Tasmania) will outline her first-hand exposure to a miscarriage of justice case in WA where Andrew Mallard spent 12 years in gaol for a murder he did not commit. She will also discuss the Neill Fraser case. She was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) in 2008.


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Chinese market a growth opportunity for Tasmanian agriculture

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
30.07.14 6:39 pm

The Liberal Government is seizing new opportunities for Tasmanian primary industries to help achieve our vision of growing the farm gate value of our agriculture ten-fold to $10 billion a year by 2050.

Tomorrow, I will be participating in the Australian-Sino 100-year agricultural partnership forum (ASA 100).

An initiative of businessman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the partnership seeks to establish Australia as China’s key food supplier and will be attended by 50 representatives from each of Australia and China.

The Chinese market presents great opportunities for Tasmanian primary producers, particularly as its growing middle class demands high quality, safe foods.

The Liberal Government’s strategy, through AgriGrowth Tasmania, is to capitalise on our state’s competitive advantages, such as our reputation for premium produce.

Dairy, beef, seafood and our fruit and vegetable sectors all have the potential to increase their markets into China, and we are confident the ASA 100 forum will help us to gain a stronger foothold.


Sue Napier Scholarships to encourage our future teachers

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
30.07.14 6:36 pm

The Liberal Government is proud to support the Sue Napier Scholarships and Fellowship, which are aimed at encouraging and supporting talented Tasmanians to become teachers.

Today I was very pleased to present the 2014 Sue Napier Scholarships in Education to two former Devonport students, Rebekkah Rundle and Emily Pickett, who both studied at The Don College.

Rebekkah is studying for a Masters of Teaching, while Emily is undertaking a Bachelor of Education.

The Sue Napier Postgraduate Fellowship was presented to Alison Manson, a Hobart-based teacher who is studying for her PhD.

Funded through my Department, the scholarships were established to honour the late Sue Napier, who was respected by all sides of Tasmanian politics and who made a tremendous contribution to this state and particularly to education.

We are confident that with this support, all the scholarship recipients will be able to complete their education and make significant contributions to learning in Tasmania.
The Liberal Government is investing in education to create a job-ready generation.

We have already employed 25 additional teachers to provide specialist literacy and numeracy help to the students who need it most, and we will be creating more jobs for teachers through our policy of extending high schools to Years 11-12.


Access to Better Services for Public Housing Tenants

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
30.07.14 6:33 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to rebuilding essential services in Tasmania.

I was very pleased today to open the Mowbray office of Community Housing Limited and the Devonport office of Housing Choices Tasmania.

Community Housing Limited took on management of around 1,190 tenancies in Northern Tasmania earlier this month, while Housing Choices Tasmania have been managing 1,172 properties in the North West since June this year.

The opening of these offices marks the successful rollout of the Better Housing Futures program.

Community Housing Limited and Housing Choices Tasmania, together with Centacare Evolve Housing and Mission Australia in the south, are now managing almost 4,000 properties through Better Housing Futures.

Local offices will give tenants better access to more responsive and efficient services which are a key part of what Better Housing Futures delivers.

The transfer of public housing to the community sector is consistent with the Liberal Government’s commitment to a new way of providing services to the most vulnerable Tasmanians.
The Better Housing Futures program meets Tasmania’s obligations under the Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan and National Affordable Housing Agreement, which required the transfer of management of up to 35 per cent of public housing stock to the community housing sector by July 2014.

Tasmania is the only State or Territory to have met that target.

We are making affordable housing a priority. In the first 100 days of Government we overhauled the HomeShare scheme to make it easier for low to middle income earners to buy their own home.

We’ve also started work on a State Affordable Housing Plan which will provide a clear framework for the next decade around home ownership, affordable rental, public and community housing, and crisis accommodation.

The Liberal Government is committed to delivering improved housing options for Tasmanians.


Recognising the contribution of David Crean

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
30.07.14 6:32 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green today paid tribute to David Crean as Chair of Hydro Tasmania.

“David Crean has made an outstanding contribution as chair of Hydro Tasmania,” Mr Green said.

“Under David’s leadership Hydro has navigated significant challenges and emerged as a highly profitable, diversified and respected company.

“His steady hand will be missed as the company faces considerable uncertainty following the abolition of the carbon price.

“Given this uncertainty, it is incumbent on the Government to announce its intentions for the role sooner rather than later.”