In Their Own Words...

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UTAS Bike Fair 2018

Cycling Towards Sustainability
20.04.18 7:58 am



Minister refuses to release details of probe into polo pony deaths

20.04.18 7:55 am

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Kim Peart’s address to Northern Midlands Council

Kim Peart
20.04.18 7:38 am


Kim Peart ~ running as an independent candidate in Prosser
39A Bridge Street   Ross   7209   Tasmania
Mobile: 0400 856 523   Twitter:
To be kept informed of Kim Peart’s campaign, ask to receive the ~ Prosser Battlefront

Kim Peart took the battle to fix the housing crisis to the Northern Midlands Council meeting this week, addressing the Councillors.

See ~ page 404 ~

Kim’s photo survey includes one solution to the housing crisis, with the container house, which would also double as a store of emergency accommodation on the island in case of any catastrophe, such as another fire event. ~

A basic converted container with door and window added can be provided for around $5,000, then add insulation and other amenities.


Promoting Enterprise in Prosser

Meet Kim Peart at a Community Meeting. ~ I welcome hearing about any matters that concern you.

    Ross ~  6pm Thursday 26 April, Town Hall supper room

    Sorell ~  6pm Saturday 28 April, Sorell Memorial Hall supper room

    Bagdad ~  2pm Sunday 29 April, Bagdad Community Club, 1661 Midlands Hwy

    Oatlands ~  6pm Monday 30 April, Ex-Servicemen’s & Women’s Club, 1 Albert St, Oatlands

    Eaglehawk Neck ~  6pm Tuesday 1 May, Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall

    Swansea ~  6pm Wednesday 2 May, Swansea Town Hall

Or invite me to meet your community as I travel around Prosser.

About Kim Peart ~  As a visual artist I have had my own gallery over the years, and made crafts sold around Tasmania. Since 2006 my focus has been with the space industry, using the virtual worlds as a way to communicate globally, set up displays, and build working models. In collaboration with my wife, Jennifer, we founded Space Pioneers in 2011, which is a registered business name in Australia. If elected to Prosser, I would be able to be more effective in promoting ways for Tasmanian enterprise to connect with the global space industry.

A Vet Clinic Needed ~  There is at present no vet clinic between Richmond and Longford. I am working toward the establishment of a vet clinic in Ross. I am wondering if this could be a country campus for one of the large vet schools on the mainland. When the way is found to make this happen, there could be a branch on the East Coast, to focus on marine veterinary science. Success will see university level studies made available in central Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government will be invited to support this happening. Will you help?

Light Industrial Park ~  For many years the need for a light industrial park for Ross has been raised by many voices, but has never yet happened. If created, this would provide a home base for trades people who help keep the farms working. This can include storage facilities for grains and farm products. If the need exists, exactly where it will be located is a moot point. Trades education could follow. Would you like to help make this happen?

Recycling Service Needed ~  Recycling is essential, but we have been sending our trash to China, and now they are saying, “No!” We need to investigate local recycling. 

Space Development ~  Australia now has a space agency. We need to investigate every possibility for connecting with the global space industry. Can we grow food for space, just as the Australian Defence Forces have a facility to produce food for their needs in Scottsdale? Could we develop a space camp in Tasmania, where people going into space can prepare for the experience? Space tourism is about to take off, and if we offer the service, anyone going into space could combine a holiday in Tasmania with a space camp. Could we develop a youth activity with space, seeking the support of the new Australian Space Agency? Activities could include drone racing. A robust space industry in Tasmania will create work, allow youth to find exciting careers, and lead to new enterprises being forged. Space will also inspire youth to engage in the STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), which will be a boon for future innovation and prosperity.

Australian Convict Trail ~  In 2016 I proposed an Australian Convict Trail, to create paths for walking and cycling between country towns. This would be a new form of tourism in Tasmania, connecting country towns to the cities and airports. A mini coach service would evolve, which country residents would also use to go to the city for work, family, or entertainment, without having to drive long distances at night.

1821 Macquarie Tour ~  In 1821 Governor Lachlan Macquarie travelled through Van Diemen’s Land, with his wife and son, from Hobart to George Town and back again, naming many places including Perth, Campbell Town, Ross, Oatlands, Brighton and Sorell. Should there be a state-wide celebration of this event in 2021? What would you like to see happen?

Fixing the Housing Crisis ~  It surprised me that the housing crisis had arrived in Ross, where there are now no rental properties available. It is shocking to read of an employed father having to set up a tent for his family at the Elwick Showground. How can this be happening in Tasmania? On top of this there are reports of families going without food. We need to fix the housing crisis, which we can, by ending homelessness on this island. I have proposed a few practical low-cost solutions, including for country towns. When there is no place in a town for a worker to rent, where do they live? When workers cannot live in a town, they are not available in that town for work. Lack of available workers undermines the economy of any town and district. Ending homelessness in Tasmania will fix the housing crisis, will draw rents down, and can also be matched with community gardens to grow food. A country solution to housing and food can also be extended to the cities. No citizen or child in Australia should ever go without a home or food. Can we work together to fix these problems?

Heritage Needs ~  At the Ross Bridge Festival this year, Saturday 20 October, we will consider ways to improve heritage planning. In a town like Ross, heritage underpins much of the economy. A heritage plan that works for Ross can work for many heritage towns. There is no heritage plan for Ross at present, and this planning vacuum is allowing many opportunities to fall by the way. Inspired by the unique convict art of the Ross Bridge, there could be a sandstone carving challenge held one day, with prizes, even this year. Is there anyone out there interested in a sandstone carving challenge?

Climate Change Plan ~ The Earth is getting warmer and climates are changing. Tasmania needs a Climate Change Plan. We need to prepare for a population influx into Tasmania, with people from the mainland seeking a cool change. We need to plan for this now, as city traffic jams will become an unbearable nightmare, along with more housing stress. I suggest that Tasmania needs to decentralise the population, with more people being able to live in country towns. My proposal with the Australian Convict Trail could help achieve this, building on our success with tourism to plan for a changing future. We also need to energy and water proof this island, as we now know that Tasmania is not immune to drought and other catastrophes. Would you like to engage in debate about preparing a climate change plan for Tasmania?


Kim Peart, Tasmanian political candidate, and his dream for humanity’s future in space
Aneeta Bhole, 16 September 2017, ABC News Online


Searching for a Home
2 April 2018 ~ photo survey ~ includes an option for an inexpensive home: the container house

Fixing the Housing Crisis …
15 March 2018

A Christmas Carol
21 March 2018

PETITION: Ending Homelessness in Australia ASAP
25 March 2018

A letter to Will Hodgman
27 March 2018

See the comment from Kevin Moyland following the letter to the Premier

A Simple Target: Zero Homeless
4 April 2018

‘Housing Crisis, or Political Vacuum?’
9 April 2018

Does Tasmania Need a Climate Change Plan?
19 February 2018

Moreton Bay to Port Arthur
30 April 2016

Campaigning along the Australian Convict Trail
15 February 2018 ~ map and photo survey ~ more images to be added

ABOUT Kim PeartBorn in 1952, Kim was raised in Howrah when it was farmland, played in the old fort in Bellerive, and rode the old ferries to Hobart to go to movies. Kim plied the life of a visual artist, with a studio in the Salamanca Arts Centre, and then in Murdunna, and later in Bellerive in the old bakery. In 2007 Kim was listed among Tasmania’s top 200 movers and shakers for “An urban bushland conservationist who has worked tirelessly over the years to maintain walking tracks and protect wildlife from the encroachment of bush-front housing developments.” Kim is campaigning for an Australian Convict Trail, with the Tasmanian leg running from the ferry in Devonport to Port Arthur, along with foot and cycle paths by Tasmania’s highways and roads. After being at the launch of an Australian Space Agency last September, Kim is seeking ways to create employment, careers and new enterprise in Tasmania with the global space industry. Kim now lives in Ross, with his wife Jennifer, and a small tribe of alpacas.

Authorised by: Jennifer Bolton, 39A Bridge St, Ross


The Briefing ... Harsher punishments for corporate wrongdoing

The Saturday Paper
20.04.18 7:07 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

The government has introduced greater criminal and civil penalties for corporate and financial misconduct after the royal commission into the banking and finance industries heard details of illegal fee charging and unethical practices by lending institutions.

The commission heard yesterday that Commonwealth Bank of Australia subsidiary Count Financial charged clients up to 10 years after they had died, and from Westpac customers who lost their life savings after receiving poor financial advice. CBA representative Marianne Perkovic was accused by senior counsel assisting the commission, Michael Hodge QC, of “dissembling” and failing to answer questions, while commissioner Kenneth Hayne also criticised Perkovic’s answers as insufficient and directed her to listen to a question again …

Read here


Sickening bank behaviour shows need for broader probe

Canberra Times
20.04.18 7:06 am

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What do we need? A royal commission into tax evasion now

Canberra Times
20.04.18 7:05 am

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Sunday: 4th Hobart Language Day

Sonia Parra/Matthew Bishop
20.04.18 6:59 am

Traditional live music and dances from Afganistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,calligraphy and readings in other alphabets, Braille alphabet, Auslan,  ochre hand prints, story time in different languages, Human Rights Declaration video recording in different languages and Aboriginal hand sign language with Clarrie and April Anmatyeer women in the Hobart Language Day, on Sunday 22 April 2018, 10 am-13pm in Mather’s House, Bathurst St, Hobart.

This year the celebration of language diversity in the city will be in the same place and time of the popular Farmer’s Market.

Hobart Language Day is about celebrating languages spoken in Hobart and cultural diversity that shows our strong sense of community.

The language day has support from the Hobart Council, Tasmanian Government, Multicultural Council of Tasmania and Bellendena small grants. It’s a free and family event.


New York Times Opinion Today

New York Times
20.04.18 6:57 am

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Live Exports: Scathing of politicians who keep supporting the trade

20.04.18 6:55 am

Following the release of horrific footage of the conditions for sheep on live export ships shown on 60 Minutes on Sunday April 8, at least three politicians have broken ranks with their parties to call for a ban on the trade. Liberal backbencher Sussan Ley is leading the charge with Private Member’s Bill to shut down the trade, and support for the indusry from within the ranks of both the Coalition and Labor is slipping.

Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty’s Suzanne Cass, while welcoming the move, was scathing of politicans who remain supportive of the industry.

‘Animal advocates, as is the whole wider community, are just shaking their heads and wondering if these people saw the same vision as we did. Those poor sheep, filmed over no less than five voyages, were absolutely piteous. It’s within the regulations to cram sheep in at three per metre, but outside the regulations, we saw that pregnant sheep had given birth to lambs who died horribe deaths, feed troughs containing nothing but dust from poor quality pellets, and the water troughs were almost empty. And most of the sheep couldn’t even get near them - evn if they could, they were drowinging in excrement, and well past the point of no return. Even sadder is the knowledge from whistleblower Faizal Ullah confirmed, that this is “just routine”’.

Ms Cass believes that some of the sheep thrown over the side were still living. She also remains unconvinced that Tasmanian sheep are not being exported to the Middle East, but says it is impossible to confirm that. 

‘I asked the Department of Primary Industry about this some time ago, and was told that “they don’t know”, which hardly seems good enough’.

Since Ms Ley has taken this stand, another Liberal backbencher, Jason Wood, has spoken out, along with Labor’s Josh Wilson, the Member for Fremantle, from where the majority of sheep are exported. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has announced that a review is to be undertaken, but no shipments heading for the northern summer will be suspended.

‘There are many problems with the Minister’s announcements’, sid Ms Cass. ‘Firstly, the ship at the centre of this storm, the Awassi Express remains docked in Fremantle and cannot get a licence. If and when it does, it will only be allowed to load 57,000 sheep. However, the Maysora, a smaller and older ship, was allowed to sail on one of the longest of long-haul voyages last week with 77,000 sheep and 9,500 cattle on board. There is nothing about that that can be defended’.
The Maysora is one of the only three remaining ships to have double-tiered pens, so that twice the number of sheep can be loaded. All three are the oldest of the the live export fleet (Maysora at almost 30 years old, The Al Shuwaikh at 34 years old and the Bader III at 41 years old).

‘The Bader III is expected in Adelaide tomorrow, and in 2014, 4,179 sheep died on one heat exhaustion event in a 24 hour period, in conditions arguably even worse than thiose we saw on the Awassi Express. As for the Minister’s Whistleblower Hotline, he cannot be serious. The exporters will NEVER allow vision like we’ve seen to get out again, so no crew member will be allowed to keep their phone after these ships sail. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve seen this posturing so many times before, both from the LNP and from Labor before them.

‘If the Minister was serious, and expected any faith or trust from the community he would halt all live exports immediately and permanently, and move forward towards a total ban on the trade, thereby providing jobs to Australians instead of shipping them offshore, as he just has by giving Vietnamese slaughterhouses $146 million taxpayers’ dollars. Overall, he seems to be trying to treat the Australian community as fools’, Ms Cass concluded

(Further note: Proposals for an Inspector General for Animal Welfare so far have it sited within the Depatment of Agriculture, which would make it as compromised as the Department itself is)


The Nib: Wedding Weirdness

The Nib
20.04.18 6:53 am

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Labor and Liberal must remain open-minded over calls to break up the banks

Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
19.04.18 5:03 pm

Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling upon both Labor and Liberal Parties to remain open-minded to calls to break up the banks in light of the compelling evidence at the Royal Commission of banks being unable to manage the conflict of interest inherent in owning financial advice businesses.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “At the 2016 election the Greens proposed that any Bank Royal Commission specifically examine the question of whether banks could responsibly own and run financial advice businesses, and if not, to examine the question of how the sector should be restructured.

“So far the evidence from the Royal Commission suggests that banks can’t be trusted to manage conflicts of interest and that the regulator doesn’t have the tools or willingness to deal with it.

“The Greens welcome the comments by former ACCC Chairperson Allan Fels that tighter regulation simply won’t be enough and that a vertical and horizontal break-up of the banks be seriously considered.

“I hope that that the coalition Government and the Labor opposition do not hastily dismiss these sort of calls and start putting the policy work in place to examine how a mandatory bank break-up might be implemented in a structured and ordered manner.

“When I put forward a proposal that the Royal Commission should examine the question of breaking up the banks it was criticised by the Treasurer Scott Morrison, former Commonwealth Bank CEO David Murray and former NAB Chairperson Michael Chaney. But given the evidence before the Royal Commission so far it is clear that the Greens have been vindicated,” he concluded.


100 Day Plan: Family Violence Action Plan evaluation under way

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Premier
19.04.18 4:57 pm

The Liberal Government is continuing its commitment to address the scourge of family violence.
Tasmania’s first comprehensive Family Violence Action Plan – Safe Homes, Safe Families – was released in August 2015, and has been widely acknowledged as a nation-leading response to family violence.
As part of our 100 Day Plan, the Hodgman Government committed to commence a comprehensive evaluation of the Family Violence Action Plan.
The evaluation began on 26 March with a meeting of senior public servants to discuss the evaluation framework.  That framework will be considered by Cabinet shortly.  The evaluation will be integral to the development of the next five-year Action Plan, which will be prepared over the next 12 months and will commence in July 2019.
Public consultation with the community, and key stakeholder groups, including the Family Violence Consultative Committee, will ensure that all Tasmanians will have a say.
The Hodgman Government has also committed additional funding over the next two years to meet increased demand for services, boosting funding by $750,000 per annum and investing in the innovative Project O family violence prevention project on the North-West Coast.
Consultation will also occur this year on new laws to further strengthen family violence legislation, reflecting our commitment to create a nation-leading new offence targeting persistent family violence offenders.


Farewell Event – Au Revoir to Bertrand Cadart (former Mayor GSBC)

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council
19.04.18 4:53 pm


Former Mayor and Councillor of Glamorgan Spring Bay, Monsieur Bertrand Cadart was today bid a very fond and emotional farewell at the East Coast Heritage Museum in Swansea. Bertrand was honoured for his service and dedication to the communities of Glamorgan Spring Bay.

Around 100 people attended a farewell reception, which involved the launch of a special exhibition in Bertrand’s honour featuring a number of artefacts from the 1979 film Mad Max in which Bertrand played the role of Clunk and built all of the motorcycles for the film.

As one final surprise the flamboyant Frenchman donated his infamous Mayoral scooter to the museum at the event. This will remain as a permanent display and quirky reminder of Glamorgan Spring Bay’s interesting French Mayor.

Bertrand served on Glamorgan Spring Bay Council for 12 years, with a large part of this time as Mayor.  During that time, his dedication to the community and his commitment to his Council duties were exemplary.  His love of the East Coast of Tasmania shone through and resulted in media attention for the region both nationally and internationally. 

Ruth Dowty, CEO of East Coast Tourism said:

“There were many years of patient and tenacious effort from Bertrand to further tourism on the East Coast – and look at where we are now, due in no small part to Bertrand’s tireless commitment.  No other region in the state is growing as fast as the East Coast –that’s what happens when leaders like Bertrand work tirelessly for years and develop the groundswell of support across the community.”

In September 2017, Monsieur Bertrand Cadart was forced to resign as a Councillor from Glamorgan Spring Bay Council (GSBC) due to illness and has since been living in Queensland receiving treatment for leukemia. 

A very emotional Bertrand said:  “I cannot express how much I miss Bicheno and the East Coast of Tasmania and I truly believe I spent the best years of my life here.”

Senator Eric Abetz in his speech today said:

“When I first met Bertrand I very quickly became fond of him and believe he not only put the East Coast of Tasmania on the map of Tasmania and Australia but the world.”

And in the ultimate compliment, Mayor Michael Kent said:

“As Mayor if I can achieve half as much as Bertrand did, I will be a very happy man.”


Josh Frydenberg must settle on recycling solution at upcoming Meeting of Environment Ministers

Greens spokesperson for Waste and Recycling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
19.04.18 2:15 pm

Greens spokesperson for Waste and Recycling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, urges the Ipswich City Council to reconsider their decision to start dumping recyclable material and calls upon the Federal Government and states to urgently agree on a policy response at next Friday’s COAG meeting that averts similar decisions from other Australian councils.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “No council should be dumping recycling in landfill full stop. It is unacceptable and I urge the Ipswich Councillors to reconsider this decision, and wait for a full policy response from next Friday’s COAG meeting.
“The China National Sword policy should not be being used as an excuse by councils to dump these materials in the ground but the decision by Ipswich City Council is a timely warning of how councils right across Australia might act if the Federal Government doesn’t put forward a plan to lead us out of this crisis.
“Friday next week, the Meeting of Environment Ministers will be meeting to discuss the recycling crisis and it is critical that at this meeting a national policy response is agreed to. Announcing another talkfest is not going to cut it, Josh Frydenberg needs to show federal government leadership and take control of this right now.
“The entire recycling industry is screaming for a national policy response and so far Josh Frydenberg has failed to engage in the issue in any substantive way.
“If Josh Frydenberg doesn’t put forward a plan that will actually fix this crisis, then more and more councils will make the decision that Ipswich City Council has. The Environment Minister must act now to stop this contagion,” he concluded.


Guardian Brit: Labour would rip up definition of affordable housing, Corbyn says

19.04.18 2:04 pm

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Hodgman must go back to the drawing board on short-term accommodation

Josh Willie MLC Shadow Housing Minister
19.04.18 1:58 pm

 Housing and tourism groups now join chorus calling for reform
 Government has got it badly wrong on investor property, short stay accommodation in inner city areas
The Hodgman Liberal Government needs to urgently reconsider its positon to rule out changes to short-term visitor accommodation and publicly support a Parliamentary Inquiry into the housing crisis.
Shadow Housing Minister Josh Willie said Premier Will Hodgman could no longer ignore the growing chorus of calls for proper scrutiny around investor property, short-stay accommodation which was having a huge impact on the private rental market in the south.
“Mr Hodgman needs to concede that he has got it badly wrong with his reforms to deregulate visitor accommodation like Air BnB and his decisions are contributing to Tasmania’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis,” Mr Willie said.
“The Liberal Government needs to support the proposed Parliamentary Inquiry into public and community housing, private housing affordability and residential and tenancy issues.
“The opportunity needs to be given for all stakeholders to put their statements on public record and so that recommendations can be made to inform future planning for housing in Tasmania.
“The government should be developing comprehensive plans for housing, including short, medium and long term options, with key transition points and timelines for accountability.
“But it’s become abundantly clear the Liberals are just not serious about addressing homelessness and housing affordability, with Roger Jaensch unable to answer even the most basic questions on this critical issue.”
Mr Willie said the Hodgman Government needed to:
 Outline how it will spend the $125 million promised for housing affordability during the election campaign – including timelines – and expand on the communique released after the housing summit
 Stage a Parliamentary inquiry into public and community housing, private housing affordability and residential and tenancy issues with bipartisan support
 Announce a pause on short stay accommodation for stand alone investment properties in high stress areas and support the proposed Legislative Council inquiry
 Make genuine allocations towards public housing in the next budget after a reduction in spending of $45 million over the last term of government which has resulted in 500 less available dwellings.


Guardian Oz: Lib MP introduces bill to ban live exports ...

19.04.18 12:21 pm

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Young local artist finds support through innovative new employment program

Bonnie Tuttle
19.04.18 11:47 am


Adam Dabrowski (work above) is a charismatic and engaging 24 year old from Lenah Valley, who came to the Youth Entrepreneurial Services (YES) Initiative after a period of unemployment.

Although interested in music and technical theatre for most of his life, Adam stumbled upon painting when a friend sent him a link to a Bob Ross tutorial.

Through the Youth Entrepreneurial Services Initiative, Adam was able to hone his craft and turn a hobby into a career option.

“From the day I started, I’ve received overwhelming support from family and friends, which helped me drive forward.  Youth Entrepreneurial Services was also very supportive throughout it all.  The coaching I received and the skills I developed were pivotal in my decision to move forward with this pursuit,” said Adam.

The YES Initiative gives participants many options as outcomes, and through the coaching elements of the program Adam’s entrepreneurial nature was discovered.

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) was a perfect fit for Adam’s future study and self-employment dreams, and so he was supported to enter that program.

Although a Graduate of YES, Adam is still engaged as an external participant, with several of his paintings available for sale on consignment from the YES pop up shops and online.

“I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to have a space and outlet to sell my art,” said Adam.

Youth Entrepreneurial Services is an initiative of Workskills’ community arm, impact Communities. The initiative offers young people between 15-24 years of age who are at risk of long term unemployment an opportunity to gain a variety of work experience, learn more about themselves in a supportive and exciting environment, and ultimately progress into work, self-employment, or further education.

Entry to the program is via expression of interest or referral, and is subject to entry requirements.

For more information see

To view or purchase Adam Dabrowski’s work, visit


Standing together for quality aged care. Rally today Noon, Parliament lawns, Hobart ...

HACSU State Secretary Tim Jacobson
19.04.18 8:48 am


Across Australia aged care workers, residents, families and employers are today joining together for the first time to call on our nation’s leaders to support quality aged care. For too long funding for vital aged care services that support some of our community’s most needy, and on which many of us will one day rely, have suffered from deep and sustained cuts. As a result of the Government cutting more than 4 billion dollars from aged care, service providers have been struggling and standards could slip.

The Our Turn to Care campaign has been created to end these cuts by standing for a dignified life for older Australians and improved funding for aged care. Today marks the first time that those touched by cuts to the sector have united to say enough is enough.

As the oldest state with the highest care needs, Tasmanians have been uniquely impacted by these cuts - many of us are seeing their impact first hand. Our vision is for an aged care sector that delivers quality care that can meet our community’s growing needs and we are calling on nation’s leaders help us realise this.

To demonstrate the scale of the cuts that have for too long gone unseen the campaign has created a Field of Families that will be on display to help politicians and community members alike see just how far the cuts have gone. Each family represents around 10 million dollars worth of cuts in funding to the sector, funding that limits the ability of service providers and staff to deliver care to those who need it.
With our friends across the country, we call on all politicians to commit to quality care and a dignified life for all older Australians.


Crikey Worm ... for early birds

19.04.18 8:45 am

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The health of Australia’s mums and bubs varies by where they live

AIHW spokesperson Anna O’Mahony
19.04.18 8:43 am

The health of Australia’s pregnant women and their babies has improved across a range of health indicators, with infant death rates and the rate of women smoking during pregnancy on the decline, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Child and maternal health 2013–2015, presents findings on four indicators measuring the health of babies and their mothers: infant and young child deaths, the rate of newborn babies who are of a low birthweight, mothers smoking during pregnancy, and mothers attending antenatal care services during the first trimester of their pregnancy.
The report shows that despite generally positive results across these indicators nationally, these positive trends are not seen equally across Australia’s 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas.
‘For example, while nationally there has been a consistent decrease in the proportion of mothers smoking during pregnancy—falling from about 1 in 7 mothers in 2009 to 1 in 10 in 2015—rates in some PHN areas are nearly 18 times as high as in others,’ said AIHW spokesperson Anna O’Mahony.
‘The other indicators also varied, but to a lesser extent, with rates up to 3 times as high in some PHN areas’.
Northern Sydney PHN area (which includes the suburbs of Manly, Hornsby and Avalon) recorded the lowest rates for three of the four health indicators: low birthweight babies (4% of all births), mothers smoking during pregnancy (1% of mothers) and deaths among infant and young children (2 deaths per 1,000 live births).
In contrast, Northern Territory PHN area (which covers the whole of the Northern Territory) had the highest rates for two indicators low birthweight babies (8% of births) and infant and child deaths (8 deaths per 1,000 live births). The Western NSW PHN area (which includes the Bathurst, Dubbo, Broken Hill and Orange) had the highest rate of mothers smoking during pregnancy, with almost one in four mothers smoking at any time during pregnancy (23%).
In general across all indicators, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies and those outside metropolitan areas recorded poorer results.
‘For example, metropolitan areas had a rate of almost 4 infant and young child deaths per 1,000 births. The rate was around 1.4 times higher in regional areas with about 5 deaths per 1,000 births,’ Ms O’Mahony said.
‘While about 1 in 10 Australian mothers smoked during pregnancy overall, the rate was much higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers, of whom almost half (46.5%) smoked at some point during their pregnancy.’
The AIHW reports on a range of topics relating to the health of mothers and their babies, but Ms O’Mahony noted that there is more to learn.
‘This includes improving data on mothers’ experiences with domestic violence, mental health issues, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy,’ she said.
The AIHW will next month be releasing its first report on the health and wellbeing of teenage mothers and their babies.
Today’s report is available at


Temporary reprieve for Hobart homeless staying in tents, cars

19.04.18 7:12 am

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The Briefing ... Wrongfully convicted man receives $1.3 million

The Saturday Paper
19.04.18 7:08 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

An Indigenous man who served almost five years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of manslaughter has been awarded a $1.3 million payout by the Western Australian government.

Gene Gibson, from the remote WA community of Kiwirrkurra, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ prison in 2014 after he admitted to causing the death of Josh Warneke, 21, in Broome, but claimed on appeal that he was not provided with an interpreter and did not “understand what was going on” due to a cognitive impairment as police pressured him to plead guilty. Warneke’s mother, Ingrid Bishop, campaigned for Gibson’s release since 2014 in the belief that he was innocent of her son’s death …

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Zimbabwe sacks 16,000 striking nurses, says their action is ‘politically motivated’

19.04.18 7:04 am

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New York Times Opinion Today

New York Times
19.04.18 5:42 am

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The Nib: See No Evil

The Nib
19.04.18 5:41 am

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‘This is not some tin-pot dictatorship’: Comey pushes back ...

Washington Post
18.04.18 4:55 pm

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This start-up will 3D print your house … for $10K

Washington Post
18.04.18 4:48 pm

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Our options in Syria ...

Australian Foreign Affairs Weekly
18.04.18 3:24 pm

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Guardian Brit: Barbara Bush dies aged 92

18.04.18 2:27 pm

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