In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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


Politics | Media

Ending the Labor-Green Recession

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
21.11.14 3:53 pm

Today’s State Accounts show the Liberal Government has ended the Labor-Green recession.

Tasmania’s Gross State Product for 2013-14 recorded its strongest growth rate in five years, increasing by 1.2 per cent to $24.91 billion.

Our GSP per capita was 0.9 per cent higher than last year and grew more than the national per capita growth rate.

State Final Demand was up 1.8 per cent in the June Quarter, which is proof our long-term Plan for Tasmania is already starting to show results.

Since we’ve come to Government, we’ve seen business confidence rise to the highest in the nation, retail spending is at a record high and around 3,000 jobs have been created, with unemployment queues the shortest they’ve been in 18 months.

We know there’s a lot more work to be done and while we can’t turn the ship around overnight, today’s figures show we are on the right track and the economy is recovering.



Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson
21.11.14 3:51 pm

The new Mountford Berryfruits, at Longford, was officially opened for business today by Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson.

Mr Hutchinson welcomed the new agricultural enterprise as a major investment for the region that created jobs during construction and is already providing more employment opportunities in irrigation, horticulture and seasonal work in the State’s Northern Midlands.

``The project involved construction of 48 poly-tunnels housing 200,000 strawberry plants covering four hectares,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

These plants are expected to produce about 150 tonnes of strawberries.’’

Mr Hutchinson said that the irrigation installed on the Mackinnon family’s Mountford property had the capacity to allow farm production to be doubled over the next three to five years.

The new farming enterprise was one of the projects partly financed by the Federal Government’s Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan with a $400,000 contribution from the Federal Government and another $632,118 private investment.

The $106 million Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan is part of the Federal Government’s economic growth plan for Tasmania to build a stronger economy for the State by supporting jobs and growth.

The plan will deliver important infrastructure for the state including $38 million for the Hobart Airport expansion and $400 million for the Midland Highway upgrade.


More ridiculous claims from the unions

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
21.11.14 3:26 pm

The simple fact is, if the unions had accepted the sensible wage freeze that was proposed, no teacher would have lost their job.

The additional 500 job losses are the unions’ fault.

The $400 million in election commitments that are referred to include funding for Gonski, $76 million for elective surgery and funding for additional police. The unions’ arguments are nonsensical - on the one hand they claim they want more investment in frontline services, yet in the same breath they say they oppose it.


Regional approach to sustainable fisheries management

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
21.11.14 3:04 pm

Australia has demonstrated commitment for a regional approach to fisheries management with the delivery of a training program in Indonesia this month.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) today concluded the fourth and final in-country phase of the Australia-Indonesia Fisheries Management/Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Training Program which was held in Indonesia.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said training was delivered to officers including personnel from the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Marine Police, Customs and the Fishing Port Authority.

“Australia is committed to working with our regional neighbours in a joint approach to fisheries management,” he said.

“Our fisheries are among the most sustainable and best managed in the world. We’ve made some tough decisions and put in management measures that ensure sustainability – this is paying off and we are seeing the rewards.”

“We have the opportunity to share our experience and knowledge with our regional partners and work together to ensure the future sustainability of our shared fisheries resource.”

Senator Colbeck said Australia works closely with Indonesia to strengthen fisheries surveillance and enforcement networks that support the long-term sustainable management of fisheries in the region.

The program was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Gutwein the Christmas Grinch hurting small business

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Minister for Small Business
21.11.14 3:03 pm

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Small Business has called on Treasurer Gutwein to abandon his public service job cuts so that consumer confidence can be rebuilt during the vital Christmas period.

Madeleine Ogilvie said public servants were dispirited and worried by the Treasurer’s threats to their livelihoods.

“Cuts like this affect the whole community,” Ms Ogilvie said.

Ms Ogilvie described the sackings as both a human tragedy and a major blow to small businesses that relied on consumer confidence to provide a boost to their businesses.

Ms Ogilvie called on the Treasurer to rethink his callous attitude to public servants.

“Our local economy and jobs in the private sector rely on everyone having secure employment.

“Cuts to the public sector are also cuts to the private sector as worried consumers tighten their purse strings.”

Ms Ogilvie challenged the Treasurer to meet with small businesses to explain why he was prepared to sack public servants on the eve of the most important economic and family period of the year.

She said she will be monitoring closely the Christmas period spending to ensure that Tasmanians have confidence in their future. 


Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame Induction

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Sport and Recreation
21.11.14 3:02 pm

Tasmania has a proud tradition of producing exceptional athletes who put Tasmania on the map.

Today’s inductees into the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame are no exception.

I congratulate footballer John Leedham, sailor Gary Smith and hockey player Kim Walker on joining more than 100 great Tasmanians recognised in the hall of fame.

John Leedham is one of the greatest footballers our state has ever produced. John debuted for North Launceston in 1946 aged 17 and was regarded as one of the finest players in the country in his era, and the best Tasmanian player not to have played VFL/AFL. He represented Tasmania in the 1947, 1953 and 1958 Australian National Football Carnivals and was chosen as the sole Tasmanian representative in the first ever All-Australian team in 1953. John was elevated to AFL Tasmania icon status last year.

Gary Smith continues the great tradition of outstanding sailors produced by our island state. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member has had an outstanding career in dinghies and keel boats.

Gary claimed the Fireball class Australian Championships in 1983, before going on to win the World Championships in San Francisco in 1984. He then went on to the Sharpie class, winning the Australian Championships in 1986. Both titles were won in boats he built. Gary then moved on to Flying Dutchman, winning the Australian Championships before competing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Gary was inducted into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame in 2010.

Kim Walker’s combination of skill, hard work and dedication enabled her to reach the highest level in her sport. Kim has an exceptional record, having represented Australia in hockey 172 times, making her debut for the Hockeyroos in the Tri-Nations in Argentina in 1998. Kim became one of the Hockeryroos most valuable players and in 2007 was voted Hockeyroos player of the Year. She won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Games.

For a state of half a million people we have proven time and time again to be a force in sport regularly shining on the world stage.

I congratulate our Hall of Fame inductees who will continue to inspire generations to come.


Better Healthcare on Flinders Island

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
21.11.14 3:00 pm

Residents in the Furneaux Islands will receive access to better healthcare with today’s official opening of the redeveloped Flinders Island Multi-Purpose Centre.

The Centre now has five acute beds, in addition to another bed through the redevelopment, which will facilitate the provision of palliative care.

There is also a new two bed emergency room and adjacent treatment room, along with nine residential aged care bedrooms with ensuites - with an application made to the Federal Government to allow us to offer these facilities for Respite Care.

The Multi-Purpose Centre also features a range of other services including GP clinic, community nursing, day centre activities, consulting rooms, X-ray room and dental clinic.

The redevelopment is now allowing us to look at additional services and some of those are already being offered, including chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

It’s pleasing to see that it’s not only patients set to benefit, with staff enjoying a new kitchen and laundry, also welcoming Ambulance Tasmania into the building with a modern new office and storeroom.

The Government has provided $7.3 million towards this work and the result is an excellent facility, which offers access to better care for the community.

The Liberal Government has a long term Plan for Tasmania to rebuild essential services and fix the health system, and today’s opening is another step towards a better future in health.


Christine Milne: Tasmanian representation and World Heritage Area development

Greens Leader Christine Milne
21.11.14 12:57 pm

“The main thing, my concern, is to make sure that as Tasmanian senators we represent the state in the best way we can.

“I’m very proud of the record the Tasmanian senators have had, the Australian Greens Tasmanian senators, not only did we stand up for Tasmania in saying we don’t want to see the carbon price abolished – Jacquie Lambie voted for the abolition of the carbon price that’s cost Hydro $200 million in one year – also we’re standing up for the renewable energy target, that’s critical to Tasmanian’s future.

We’re also standing up for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, have done for more than 25 years, and we don’t want to see it undermined and destroyed by Tony Abbott in cahoots with Will Hodgman. First of all trying to log it and then having been stopped from logging it wanting to build resorts and roads all over it.”



Niall Doran
21.11.14 12:42 pm


A sample of Joe’s award-winning cinematography, which dominated the Wildlife & Nature category of the ACS award ceremony, and is gaining Tasmania national and international attention.


Last Saturday night, Tasmanian natural history cinematographer JOE SHEMESH was awarded a rare DOUBLE GOLD AWARD from the prestigious Australian Society of Cinematographers at their awards dinner in Melbourne. The ACS normally only presents a single Gold Award per category, but Joe’s work in Wildlife and Nature Cinematography has been so outstanding that they gave him a double Gold Award: one for his work on SIXTEEN LEGS with the Bookend Trust, and the other for his MOUNTAIN AIR project in collaboration with the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service.

Joe’s winning images have previously been seen at the world-famous Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada and the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival in Launceston, where they co-premiered on the same day earlier this month. Now Hobart audiences will have a one-off FREE opportunity to see an encore showing at the Bookend Trust’s 2014 Public Presentation Night at UTAS in Hobart on 26 November.

Earlier glimpses of the project were given to a packed audience of global media experts in France in June, and at a hugely successful public exhibition run in collaboration with Clarence City Council in August.

“That is what Tasmania is all about for me as a filmmaker,” Joe said of capturing Tasmania’s beauty and wildlife on screen. “This sort of project would normally be handed to the BBC, but the Bookend Trust had the belief that the project could be achieved locally, and I’m really proud to have achieved it.”

As well as showcasing Joe’s outstanding cinematography, the evening will also present works from upcoming Tasmanian students, including Sophie Ambler (Clarence) and Julia Parker (Smithton), who have won Antarctic flights as a result of their achievements.

The event will be held at 7pm on Weds 26 Nov, 2014 at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS Churchill Avenue, Hobart. Tickets are FREE, but to attend people need to RSVP via


Tasmania’s Momentous Week

Will Hodgman, Premier
21.11.14 12:39 pm

It has been an historic and momentous week for Tasmania.

The eyes of the world and especially China have been fixed firmly on us, and Tasmania has shone brightly.

Tasmania’s warm welcome to the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan has strengthened our enduring friendship with China, our largest trading partner and source of international visitors.

The visit was followed by millions of people online and watched by hundreds of millions through news broadcasts, generating unparalleled exposure.

What was particularly special, was the Chinese President’s reflection on his visit to our state, saying it was “a very beautiful day.”

Tasmanians should be proud; we demonstrated how friendly, beautiful and abundant our state is.

The inaugural TasInvest Forum showcased an investment portfolio worth more than $2.1 billion across our competitive strengths including agriculture, viticulture, aquaculture, mining and Antarctic research.

The interest was overwhelming and Tasmanians can be optimistic this will result in major projects. The Liberal Government is working hard to turn this interest into investment to strengthen our economy and create jobs.

The Free Trade Agreement with China will unlock further opportunities for our primary producers, who have been waiting for an even playing field against competitors like New Zealand for decades.

There’s an increasing demand for our clean, fresh and safe produce, especially in China’s emerging middle-class, and this will allow our producers to compete in that market.

And, the unsolicited bid proposal has really hit home that we’re open for business by creating a framework for unique proposals, to open new opportunities, generate investment and create jobs.

On top of this, 10 Memoranda of Understanding were signed creating a range of opportunities including; cementing our reputation as the Gateway to the Antarctic, strengthening our sister city ties with the Fujian province and building on our competitive strengths like renewable energy and fruit production.

I hope that in years the come we’ll look back on the events of this week with pride in what we’ve been able to achieve.


Hollywood Comes to Stanley

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
21.11.14 12:38 pm

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Tasmania, including the state’s fast-growing film sector.

This week the DreamWorks SKG production The Light Between Oceans has begun filming in Stanley.

The Liberal Government has provided $75,000 to help facilitate this fantastic opportunity for Stanley and the Tasmanian film industry.

The production will spend approximately $1 million on Tasmanian goods and services, accommodation, crew and extras casting over the course of five weeks of pre-production and one week of filming.

The film stars Michael Fassbender (X Men, Prometheus, Inglorious Basterds), Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina) and Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy, The Mummy, The Lovely Bones) and is directed by Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine) from his script based on the debut novel by M. L. Stedman.

Government funding will also provide a boost to the region by supporting the restoration of the Stanley wharf to its original heritage condition, representing a long term benefit to the community and an investment in infrastructure in the region.

The Government has also facilitated for Queenstown locals to be involved in the production, with Screen Tasmania providing additional funds to support the employment of five security personnel, and 10 cast to work on the production.

About the decision to shoot in Tasmania, producer Jeffrey Clifford said “Stanley in North-West Tasmania offers the elements we need to tell the film’s story. We have a beautiful, unspoiled seascape, and a town with authentic buildings that fits the period and blends seamlessly with the other places we’ve filmed.”

The Light Between Oceans is set on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.

The Tasmanian screen industry is at its strongest and most active in 35 years.

A range of productions are being filmed around Tasmania, including television series, The Kettering Incident, currently in production in Hobart, and the feature film Lion starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) expected to film in Tasmania in May 2015.


Dangerous increase in Tasmanians taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers
21.11.14 11:58 am

A staggering thirty per cent of Tasmanians aged 18 – 29 are risking their lives behind the wheel by
using their mobile phones without hands-free devices, and alarmingly the figures across all age
groups are on the rise, according to research conducted by RACT Insurance.

RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers said the figure represented an increase of eight per cent from the
previous year and close to triple the state average of 12 per cent for those driving while using a
mobile not on hands free, highlighting the need for immediate action.

“The data also revealed 29 per cent of those aged 18 – 29 regularly check messages and emails while
driving – again close to three times the state average of 11 per cent and up 10 per cent from last
year, with the second worst offenders being those aged 30 – 39, at 15 per cent,” Mr Sayers said.

“The younger generations are not the only offenders with 24 per cent of those aged 30 – 49
regularly using the phone when not on hands free, a three-fold increase on the previous year, as well
as some 15 per cent checking messages or emails while driving, close to double of the previous

Mr Sayers said the reckless and illegal behaviour illustrated in these statistics, across all age groups,
is quite concerning and has significant safety implications for all road users, not just the driver
undertaking such dangerous acts.

“All drivers have a responsibility to their fellow road users to drive with care and diligence, which
starts by correcting these potentially fatal behaviours,” he said.

“Driving can be dangerous even when you’re paying full attention to the road conditions, so to
attempt to talk or check emails or texts while in control of a moving vehicle is incredibly reckless

Mr Sayers said RACT had advocated for measures to combat driver inattention, particularly mobile
phone use, to see increased driver education, more severe penalties for mobile phone use while
driving as well as more resources to allow for Police enforcement.

“We need to create a deterrent for this type of behaviour sooner rather than later – we owe it to all
Tasmanians to ensure our roads are as safe as possible,” he said.

The current penalty for being caught while driving without a hands free device is $300 and 3 demerit
points, which is almost double the cost of most hands free devices.

Behavioural observations (source: Nature – Research – Analytics – Insights, online survey conducted
for RACT Insurance with a representative group of 632 Tasmanians between 14/10/14 and
> Regularly use the phone while not on hands free:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 13% 22% 30%
30 – 49 13% 8% 24%
50+ 3% 5% 7%
> Check messages or emails while driving:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 13% 19% 29%
30 – 49 14% 8% 15%
50+ 5% 3% 9%
> Easily distracted by GPS, Radio or phone:
2012 2013 2014
18 – 29 14% 20% 17%
30 – 49 22% 6% 24%
50+ 10% 13% 9%


FTA good but not perfect

TFGA Chief Executive Jan Davis
21.11.14 11:56 am

If you are feeling somewhat giddy from the hype of the last week, join the club. We’ve had the Chinese presidential visit, major investment seminars, multiple memoranda of understanding, smorgasbords for the world’s leading foodies and column inch after column inch in national press predicting that we are on the dawn of a new age of prosperity.

Perhaps it is time for some sober reflection.

There is no doubt that our world is going to change - but it will not happen overnight. There is no silver bullet. There is no magic panacea for its economic woes. There is no great benefactor. We have to make our own way in the world.

Undoubtedly, Tasmanian agriculture has been given a boost - but it will not mean dollars raining down on us tomorrow.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been ten long years in the making; and it has delivered more than we might have hoped for.  This agreement will open bilateral investment opportunities in agriculture that have eluded us for far too long.

Under the agreement, Chinese tariffs on dairy products will continue for the next four to nine years. Similarly, we have to wait nine years for the tariff on beef to be eliminated and eight years for sheepmeat. For vegetables, it’s four years before we have a level playing field.

Therefore, free trade it is not. We are still behind the eight-ball. There is seldom a true level playing field in free trade agreements. We usually come off second best because our farmers operate without tariff protection, without government subsidy and are innocent bystanders as far as the Australian dollar is concerned.

But, as TFGA Dairy Council chair Andrew Lester noted: “… anything that gives us improved access to the Chinese market has got to be a good thing.” And this FTA does at least place us on an equal footing with New Zealand.

Meat Council chair Brian Stewart said: “The gradual removal of the tariff burden will have an immense impact of the profitability of Tasmanian sheep and cattle producers.”

Wool Council chair Michael Parsons also welcomed the FTA, saying it would provide a vital boost in an already established market.

“China already accounts for 75 per cent of Australia’s raw wool exports and our quota of 287,000 tonnes is only taxed at one per cent. The country-specific quota is recognition of our current place in the market and the quality product that we have continued to provide and the positive relationship that has been fostered with our Chinese customers,” he said.
China is Australia’s largest agriculture and fisheries market, worth around $9 billion in 2013. China’s demand for high-quality agriculture and food products is growing rapidly. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) predicts that China will account for 43 per cent of global growth in agricultural demand by 2050.

Tasmanian farmers, too, have a long history of trade with Asian nations, including China. In 2011/2012, they exported product worth more than $120 million to ASEAN countries. Major products exported to ASEAN countries included dairy ($42 million); seafood ($32 million) and wood products ($20 million estimated from private forestry sector). More than 20% of those exports were headed to China.

Until now, the absence of a bilateral FTA with China has meant Australian producers and exporters have faced significant tariffs on agricultural products and have been at a competitive disadvantage with respect to countries that already have an FTA with China – including New Zealand, Chile and the ASEAN nations. The Agreement will give Australia a significant advantage over larger players in the Chinese agriculture market – the US, EU and Canada. It will also provide a base for further liberalisation through a review of market access outcomes three years after entry into force.

Having said that, it is important to understand that Free Trade Agreements must deliver benefits to both parties. Tasmania is well placed to benefit from the expansion – through increased production, increased Chinese financial investment here, and our input to Chinese domestic production techniques.

In return, we will be able to provide knowledge and technology to assist Chinese farmers in improving their own productivity. The fact that we are in the southern hemisphere means that our main production season is mainly counter-seasonal with that in the northern hemisphere and therefore adds scope for us expand product availability in the Chinese markets.

This FTA clearly opens many doors for Tasmanian producers. It underscores the fact that agriculture will continue to be a stabilising influence on our economy.

I’ll leave the last word to our Chairman, Wayne Johnston, who said that “The events of the past week have certainly put us on the map for those who were unaware of our potential. Tasmania - and Tasmanian farmers - are in a prime spot to benefit.”


TFGA says industrial hemp before medicinal cannabis

TFGA policy manager Peter Skillern
21.11.14 11:52 am

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says there is no doubt medicinal cannabis could be grown securely in Tasmania given the success the island’s farmers have had growing opium poppies within a tight security regime.

However, farmers remain wary about the prospects, given the stonewalling and a “red curtain” of regulations they have faced from governments over growing industrial hemp for food products.

“That remains our first aim, to establish a broad-based industrial hemp industry,” TFGA policy manager Peter Skillern said today.

“Let’s get the runs on the board with producing industrial hemp within similar parameters to poppies, we have a lot of land already under trial crops for fibre production and it is now time to expand this to food production, then we can negotiate the possibility of growing medicinal cannabis.”

Mr Skillern said the TFGA appreciated the point made by the Legislative Council that, for many people, the medicinal use of cannabis can be therapeutic, but “until we can get to first base on industrial hemp, growing medicinal cannabis appears premature”.

“There is a history here of over-regulation and delay for new projects like this,” he said. “That makes farmers wary about committing acreage and investment to it.”


SA prostitution debate continues

Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National research officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom
21.11.14 11:51 am

“I was in the public gallery of the South Australian House of Assembly yesterday afternoon when MPs explained why they would not be supporting Steph Key’s private member’s bill to decriminalise the prostitution trade in South Australia,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.

Vincent Tarzia, Liberal MP for Hartley in Adelaide’s north east suburbs, said most of his constituents opposed the bill because it would damage the social fabric of their community.  The legislation had many practical problems as well as moral problems.

Adrian Pederick, Liberal MP for Hammond (Murray Bridge) said the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill would make local councils responsible for controlling brothels and street prostitution.  Councils are already stretched to the limit, and controlling all forms of prostitution is something they are not equipped or resourced to do.

Mr Pederick read out a 2012 submission about a similar law in New Zealand by the then Deputy Mayor of Christchurch, Ms Ngaire Button.

Ms Button said that Christchurch had gone through tough times since huge earthquakes wrecked the CBD, but the Sex Work Reform Act 2003 had only added to the city’s problems, including financial problems.

NZ Police no longer control prostitution, and council inspectors cannot handle it.  The Christchurch City Council tried to limit the placement of brothels, but the owner of three brothels took the Council to court – and the Council lost.  It cost Christchurch ratepayers $100,000.

Ms Button said the Christchurch City Council had no power to regulate street prostitution, which was causing great public nuisance.  “The street walkers fight about possession.  They yell at each other across the road, and there’s mess [including condoms, needles, faeces] in people’s gardens, because there are no toilets.”  She said husbands had been solicited in their driveway as they came home from work, and that pimps and exploitation were problems as well. 

The Deputy Mayor was not aware of any prostitute murders before the sex industry was decriminalised in 2003, but since that time three Christchurch sex workers have been murdered.  “Yet the law was supposed to make it safer,” she said.

Ros Phillips said Ms Button had given a very different picture of New Zealand prostitution from the one reported by a 2008 NZ parliamentary committee, which claimed the law was working well.  “The NZ Sex Work Reform Act passed by just one vote in 2003,” Ros Phillips said.  “Yet the 2008 review committee did not include any MP who had voted against the bill.  There was concern expressed at the time that the committee had ignored or discounted evidence they received about problems with the new law.”

SA Premier Jay Weatherill has said that parliament will be prorogued in the summer break, so all legislation still on the notice paper – including the Decriminalisation of Sex Work Bill – will lapse.

“I urge Steph Key not to re-introduce her bill next year,” Ros Phillips said.  “I suggest that she consider instead a bill to implement the Nordic model, where exploiters and customers are penalised, while sex workers are given compassionate help to leave the industry and retrain.  The Nordic model has cut sex trafficking by half, and is now operating in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, South Korea and Canada.”



Senator the Hon Stephen Parry President of the Senate Senator for Tasmania
21.11.14 11:00 am

A new Glenorchy facility is a significant addition to Tasmania’s aged care landscape.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry today officially opened OneCare’s Barossa Park Lodge which will be home to 136 older people from the area.

“This is a fine example of contemporary aged care,” Senator Parry said.

“Older Australians have become more empowered when it comes to aged care and they will be the driving force behind the design and delivery of aged care services in the future.”

Senator Parry said it’s up to governments and service providers to ensure that when older Australians need aged care, they get what they need and want.

“The fact is older people are living healthier and longer lives on their own terms,” he said.

“Many people want to remain in their own home for as long as possible and the Federal Government is providing more support to help make this a reality.

“But for many, continuing to live in their own home is not an option, which is why it is so satisfying that we’re seeing residential aged care services continually lifting the bar.”


Encouraging Girls to Participate in Sport and Recreation

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Women
21.11.14 9:25 am

This morning I had the pleasure of officially opening the Womensport and Recreation Tasmania (WSRT) 2014 St Luke’s Health School Girls’ Breakfast.

Womensport and Recreation Tasmania is an advocacy body for female participation in sport and active recreation in Tasmania, and provides programs and services targeted at increasing female participation in all aspects of sport and active recreation including athletes, coaches, officials and administration.

The 2014 St Lukes Health School Girls’ Breakfast is aimed at school girls in grades 6-10 from southern Tasmanian private and public schools.

There was a fantastic attendance from school girls and teachers, event sponsors and representatives from state sporting organisations from all over the state.

Elite sportswomen Olympian Jane Flemming OAM, Ellyse Perry, member of the Australian cricket and football teams, Klara Wischer, member of the Hobart Lady Chargers basketball team and members of the Tasmanian Roar cricket team were present.

Other guests attending included Eloise Southby, commentator and former Australian netballer, Roxy Perry, Tasmanian and Australian representative rock climber and Tasmanian Kate Eckhardt, Australian Canoeing’s 2014 Junior Canoeist of the Year.

Participating in sport, recreation and physical activity is important for women of all ages and this morning’s breakfast was a fantastic chance for young girls to see and hear from some of our most successful sportswomen.

Following the breakfast, WSRT is hosting the 2014 Women in Sport Leadership Conference.

The Tasmanian Government provides funding support to WSRT with the organisation receiving $10,000 for the past four years through the State Grants Program.


Celebrating Australia’s world-class fisheries on World Fisheries Day

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
21.11.14 9:15 am

Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, encouraged Australians to enjoy a meal of sustainable local seafood to celebrate World Fisheries Day.

Senator Colbeck said today, World Fisheries Day, is an ideal opportunity to highlight Australia’s fisheries which are among the best managed in the world and play an important role in providing sustainable seafood across the globe.

“Australia is committed to a sustainable approach to fisheries management and our fisheries are well-managed as a result,” he said.

“For the first time in eight years no solely Commonwealth managed fisheries have been classified as subject to overfishing – this is a great endorsement of our science based fisheries management and provides confidence for seafood consumers.”

Senator Colbeck today launched the OceanWatch Master Fishermen Programme at the Sydney Fish Market – a program that accredits responsible fisheries management and practices.

“This is a great initiative that promotes sustainable fishing practices and reassures the community that our seafood is caught using best-practice techniques,” he said.

“We know our fisheries are among the best in the world – we have an excellent story to tell and it’s important to share this with the broader community.”

The Master Fishermen Programme provides participants with a QR code which can be attached to the consignment note when fresh seafood goes to market, linking to profiles of the fisher, the fishing methods and industry information.

Senator Colbeck said QR codes are an effective way to provide consumers with more information about a product without imposing regulations which could be costly and difficult to regulate.

“Consumers can be confident they are supporting a sustainable fishery when buying Australian sourced seafood,” he said.


A Focus on Performance

LGAT President Mayor Barry Jarvis
21.11.14 9:03 am

It is a dynamic time in Local Government with over one third of councillors being newly elected and
nearly fifty per cent of mayors new to the job.

The Local Government Association of Tasmania is helping them approach their new roles with
confidence and professionalism through a raft of training opportunities.

This week, the Association held two highly successful workshops with mayors. Donning the Robes
provided some key advice on the role and procedures for brand new mayors, and Leading
Performance provided both inspiration and tools for mayors to lead high performing councils.
LGAT President, Mayor Barry Jarvis said the sessions were extremely well attended, the mayors were
highly engaged and all said they found it valuable, both in terms of learning and building a strong
collegial network.

“It is great that the newer and younger mayors are able to meet those who are more experienced and
identify mentors, and the enthusiasm in the room has brushed off on all of us, even if we have been
mayor for a while,” Mayor Jarvis said.

On Saturday, 22 November, the Local Government Association of Tasmania is running a course for
new councillors. Local Government 101 has nearly 60 councillors attending and will cover roles and
responsibilities, strategic planning, pecuniary interests, meeting procedures and more. This early
training will be built upon with an elected member professional development weekend, scheduled for
28 February - 1 March 2015.

“It is fantastic to have so many new councillors attending training this early in their term,” said Mayor
Jarvis. “I think it shows the passion and commitment in Local Government, and the drive to deliver the
best outcomes for communities”.


Labor backs cannabis committee’s findings

Lara Giddings MP Shadow Attorney-General
20.11.14 9:09 pm

The Labor Opposition welcomes all of the recommendations put forward by the Legislative Council committee looking at medicinal cannabis.

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings commends the Upper House members on the large amount of work put into the report.

“The Legislative Council report is consistent with Labor’s policy on medicinal cannabis,” Ms Giddings said.

“The committee’s six recommendations represent common sense and much needed reform.

“We’ve seen a number of personal examples over the last few months illustrating just why cannabis should be available for medicinal use.

“Labor strongly believes legislative change on medicinal cannabis has broad community support.

“It’s disappointing to see the Liberal Government seemingly dismiss the report almost as soon as it was tabled.

“Despite the Liberal member of the committee, Leonie Hiscutt, not putting forward a dissenting report, a tweet from the Premier’s Chief of Staff indicates the Government does not support the findings.

“This is a bizarre way to broadcast Government policy.

“Who took the time to study the committee’s report before the tweet was sent?

“Unlike the Liberals, Labor supports change when it comes to medicinal cannabis and on behalf of the thousands of Tasmanians who petitioned for change, calls on the Government to implement the committee’s findings.”


Tourism industry welcomes Unsolicited Proposals Policy

Luke Martin Chief Executive Officer Tourism Industry Council Tasmania
20.11.14 8:51 pm

Tasmania’s peak tourism industry organisation has welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s new policy and guidelines for managing unsolicited proposals.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CERO Luke Martin, said the policy was much needed, would encourage ideas and proposals for investment to come forward, and ensure Tasmania remains competitive with other States for the investment dollar. 

‘Essentially this policy establishes a clear process for government ministers and public servants, as well as developers and investors, who come forward with proposals involving government assets and activities,’ Mr Martin said.

‘Other States have adopted similar guidelines, and it’s been proven to increase investor confidence, protect intellectual property and facilitate private investment.

‘From a tourism perspective, we’ve seen this type of policy bring forward in other States major investments in hospitality and tourism activity.

‘It’s a common sense approach that encourages investors to come forward with new ideas and proposals.

‘If, for example, a developer saw an opportunity to redevelop an existing government office building in Hobart into a hotel, this policy provides a clear process for both the investor and the government to consider and progress such the idea.’



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
20.11.14 8:49 pm


“As an MP, Mr Harwin has the respect of his colleagues in the Liberal Party, but as a gay man he is yet to to be treated with respect under the Marriage Act.”
- Rodney Croome

Marriage equality advocates have praised NSW Liberal MP, Don Harwin, for publicly declaring he is gay, and have called on the federal Liberal Party to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality in the wake of the prominent Liberal coming out.

In his final address to parliament for the year, Mr Harwin, who is President of the NSW Upper House, said he was the first Liberal MP in Australia to publicly support marriage equality, during a debate about the legal recognition of same-sex relationships in 2010.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“We applaud Mr Harwin as a role model for gay Australians who seek to become community leaders, and as a key voice in the campaign to achieve marriage equality.”

“But it is shameful that someone who has made such an important contribution to public life is still not treated equally by the law.”

“As an MP, Mr Harwin has the respect of his colleagues in the Liberal Party, but as a gay man he is yet to to be treated with respect under the Marriage Act.”

“I call on the federal Liberal Party to have a conscience vote on marriage equality so Mr Harwin and all gay Australians can be equal citizens.”

In his address today Mr Harwin said of marriage equality:

“It is remarkable how quickly public opinion has shifted and, indeed, our house has voted to support marriage equality in principle. I hope that my many friends who are waiting for the opportunity to marry will not have to wait too much longer for the Commonwealth Parliament to reform the law.”

For a news report on Mr Harwin’s statement, click here.


Government Open for Innovative Business Ideas

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
20.11.14 8:40 pm

The Liberal Government has declared Tasmania open for business after years of Labor and the Greens stymying investment.

This week’s TasInvest Summit is a prime example of the Liberal Government promoting the opportunities available directly to investors from around the world.

As part of our commitment to allow businesses to get on with delivering exciting projects for the Tasmanian economy, the Government has today released an Unsolicited Proposal framework.

An Unsolicited Proposal is a unique or innovative proposal initiated by the private sector and put to Government. Such proposals may present clear value and benefits for the state but the Government currently has no way to assess or assist with these proposals.

For example, current procurement policies mean that Government currently disposes of surplus land or buildings through an open sale or competitive tender process. If a proponent approaches the government with a unique use for Government-owned property, the Government can’t deal directly with that proponent, even if the proposal has clear value and benefit to the state.

Several other jurisdictions including the ACT, NSW and Victoria have Unsolicited Proposal Guidelines.

This is about attracting and facilitating new investment and creating jobs in Tasmania. It’s about taking Tasmania to the world and continuing the momentum from TasInvest and the visit of the Chinese President.

The framework released today will mean that a proponents intellectual property is protected while a transparent and consistent assessment consideration of the project’s values and benefits takes place.

This ensures that developers can have the confidence to come forward with ideas for job-creating Tasmanian projects. It also means the public can be assured that there is a transparent process for assessment of these ideas which will ensure any proposals approved are in the public interest, represent value for money, are viable, and align with the Government’s policies and strategic objectives.

The framework is underpinned by five principles, with proposals needing to:

• Be unique or innovative and not able to be delivered via normal procurement processes;
• Align with the Government’s policies and strategic objectives;
• Represent value for money and benefit the Government and broader community;
• Demonstrate a need and appetite for the project and be in the public interest;
• Be financially, economically, socially and technically feasible.

Assessments will consist of a three-stage process and includes high levels of probity at each stage before a proposal can advance to the next. Proposals will be lodged with the newly established Office of the Coordinator-General, which will oversee the process.

The framework will apply to unsolicited proposals that have a minimum private investment contribution of $10 million or will create of a minimum of 100 direct jobs in Tasmania. It has been developed to work alongside current procurement policies including the Liberal Government’s Buy Local Policy.

With more than 275 investors in the state this week looking for opportunities through TasInvest, now is the time for Tasmania to show the world that we are now open for business.


Interim Committee Report

Leonie Hiscutt, Liberal Member for Montgomery
20.11.14 8:34 pm

I note the release of today’s interim report.

It’s important to place on the record that I did not agree with every recommendation, in particular the recommendation relating to the need for legislation. I urge interested people to read the report and make further submissions to the committee so that the final report can fully reflect the community’s views.


New Aged Care Facility Brings 100 Jobs

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
20.11.14 2:51 pm

About 100 new jobs will be created with the opening of the Fairway Rise Retirement Village at Lindisfarne.

Incorporating a 91-bed residential aged care facility, 84 villas, 22 self care apartments, a community centre and a dedicated dementia facility, this $54 million project represents a significant investment in economic and social infrastructure in Southern Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government has long supported the Fairway Rise development, and I am pleased to represent the Premier at the official opening today.

The facility we are opening today created 250 jobs in construction, with 100 ongoing positions in providing care and support for residents.

This is a project that began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the then Government and the Clarence City Council for the development of a 9.1 hectare parcel of land in 2009.

Subsequently, the Government of the day provided a loan through the Tasmanian Development Board of $1.305 million to Southern Cross Care, and building began in May 2012.

On behalf of the Liberal Government, I congratulate all involved in seeing this new aged care facility completed on schedule.


Interim Report on medicinal cannabis

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
20.11.14 2:48 pm

The Liberal Government is supportive of trials and potential use of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania, subject to a proper evidence-based approach, strong local regulatory framework and appropriate approvals from national regulators.

The Premier put the issue of a national approach to medicinal cannabis use on the COAG agenda earlier this year, and as a result Health Ministers from across the country are working together to explore the potential for use of cannabis-derived products for medicinal purposes.

I note that the committee’s recommendations endorse the Liberal Government’s position regarding cooperation on clinical research and trials between jurisdictions and a national approach regarding a regulatory framework.

We have previously said we will not be moving to legislate, as recommended by the Legislative Council committee today, as advice from Tasmania Police is it’s not necessary and could potentially create a new set of problems including opening up the risk that people would self-medicate, with no licensing or limit to quantity.

The Police Commissioner has said Tasmania Police will not seek to criminally pursue terminally ill users of cannabis, or people who have appeared before the Legislative Council inquiry, or commented on the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

The Government will review the report and will await the committee’s final report and recommendations.


AMA Tasmania statement regarding RHH redevelopment rescue taskforce report

Cedric Szigeti, Font PR
20.11.14 2:02 pm

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) Tasmania would like to clarify issues which have
arisen from recent media reports regarding the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) Redevelopment
Rescue Taskforce report.

AMA President Tim Greenaway said the statement of AMA support for the Queens Domain
proposal was incorrect. AMA Tasmania has, however, written to the Premier asking the
proposal be considered seriously. This undertaking has been given. AMA Tasmania has
reserved its decision regarding the RHH redevelopment.

AMA Tasmania believes the state deserves a quality tertiary medical facility and will base its
position on the redevelopment options when further information is available.

A/Prof Greenaway was misquoted in the article and has not seen the final report of the
Taskforce, does not know if it has been delivered to the Minister and does not know the
report’s contents.

A choice between an on-site hospital redevelopment and the greenfield proposal is
Professor Greenaway’s interpretation of the situation facing the Government.


Dorset Council ticks off on election commitments

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
20.11.14 1:48 pm

The Liberal Government has a long-term Plan for Tasmania and our election commitments are key to us driving economic growth to create jobs.

It’s pleasing to see Dorset Council authorise the Deed of Transfer for the Musselroe Tourist Road, which paves the way for the Liberal Government’s $5.25 million election commitment to upgrade the road once the Musselroe Bay project starts.

The North-East community was one of the hardest hit by the Labor-Green shutdown of the forest industry and the $185 million Musselroe Bay Ecotourism Development would bring much needed investment to the region, creating hundreds of new jobs during construction and over 120 fulltime jobs once it’s finished.

Dorset Council also approved the planning application from the Scottsdale RSL Sub Branch to build a Military Museum, which will help stimulate the local economy, create jobs and restore confidence.

We are contributing $230,000 toward this shovel-ready project to construct a hanger to display an Iroquois helicopter from the Vietnam War.

The Liberal Government is committed to supporting regional communities and it’s pleasing to see these important projects moving forward.


Auditor-General Audit of Public Sector Means Job Cuts Must Halt

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
20.11.14 1:06 pm

The Greens have received notification by the Auditor-General, Mr Mike Blake, pursuant to the Greens’ written request, that he will undertake a ‘high level compliance audit’ of the State Sector’s regulatory compliance obligations, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said today.

“Premier Hodgman must immediately place a halt on any government moves to cut public sector jobs while this independent and high level compliance audit is underway,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens have been raising for months concerns that resourcing and staffing cuts are potentially placing some public sector workers at risk of breaching their regulatory obligations, but Mr Hodgman and Mr Gutwein have refused to address these serious concerns.”

“The government does not know whether public sector workers currently are able to comply with their legal requirements currently, let alone after the Liberals’ resourcing and staffing cuts.”

“We know, for example, that currently child protection workers are distressed at not being able to meet established timeframes for assessment and reporting processes. Potential for breaches will only increase in light of future cuts.”

“This work should already have been done.  It is utterly irresponsible to embark on savage funding cuts without assessing baseline capacity and legal requirements.”

“No matter the audit’s outcome, the fact the Auditor-General has decided to undertake this work, vindicates concerns raised by stakeholders and the need for such a baseline assessment.”

“It also exposes the rash and uninformed haste with which the Liberals have embarked on their slash and burn regime.”

“This overdue State Sector audit is being conducted by an independent Statutory Officer, and therefore it is incumbent on the Hodgman government to respect this process, halt the job cuts, and instead utilise the completed audit to inform appropriate resourcing of the public sector moving forward,” Mr Booth said.

1. Letter from Greens Leader Kim Booth Mp to the Auditor-General, 31 October 2014: Nov20_Letter_to_Auditor-General_K_Booth_31Oct2014_K_Booth_ATTACH1.pdf

2. Letter from the Auditor-General to Greens Leader Kim Booth MP, 19 November 2014: Nov20_Auditor-G_Letter_to_K_Booth_19Nov_K_Booth_ATTACH2.pdf