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


Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison
30.03.15 5:01 pm

The Tasmanian Government’s announcement today on the modest shift in the concentration of health services to Hobart and Launceston is a start, but goes nowhere near far enough.

This is a missed opportunity to close one of the three northern hospitals in Tasmania. Having three in the north is unnecessary and dilutes the funding available for services state-wide, including at the Royal Hobart Hospital. The bottom line is that patients across the state would receive even better quality and more timely treatment with one less hospital.

The Government is ignoring inquiry after inquiry which have all pointed out that services are spread too thinly across the state. The number of Tasmanian patients who wait over 12 months for operations is close to 12 per cent – almost four times the national average. Clearly this isn’t good enough and the Government should be leading a frank conversation with the community about the future of these northern hospitals.

This is another terrible case of parochialism, and of protecting the electoral prospects of northern politicians, being put well above good health policy yet again. I give some credit to the Government for taking some small steps today, but the reality is that much more is needed to fix our ailing health system.


Official Opening Triabunna Marina Extension and New Boat Ramp

Angela Turvey Executive Officer Glamorgan Spring Bay Council
30.03.15 4:49 pm





The Triabunna Marina extension and new boat ramp were officially opened by The Hon. Rene Hidding MP, Minister for Infrastructure on Saturday the 28th of March as part of the Seafest 2015 festival.

Four years ago the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council decided that it could no longer wait for others to come to the area and invest in the development of the Triabunna region, something had to be done.  With the slowing down of the local economy and the subsequent collapse of the forestry industry, the Council decided to act to help restore confidence in the area and stimulate some growth.  The Triabunna Marina development was born. 

Council’s role in driving economic growth has been vital in the Spring Bay area and an important one in the Triabunna township and community, given the absence of major private investors until recently.

Acting Mayor Arnol said:
“Council has a vision for Triabunna as the boating hub of the East Coast for both commercial and recreational marine activities and the Triabunna Marina development is a vital part of achieving this vision. The development caters for both increased commercial and recreational boating activity and the aim is to bring other marine related industries and businesses to the area.”

Minister Hidding acknowledged the former Mayor of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Clr Bertrand Cadart, the General Manager David Metcalf and the previous Council for their vision in taking on this development to stimulate growth in the township of Triabunna.

The Triabunna Marina development has been planned in 4 stages.  This was the opening of Stage 1 & 2, which involved an extension of the marina berths and construction of the new all tide, 4 lane public boat ramp.  There were 27 marina berths as part of Stage 1 and Stage 2 has seen the construction of an additional 22 recreational berths plus the capacity for an additional 2 berths for visitors and 7 commercial berths.

The construction of the new all tide, 4 lane public boat ramp was funded by MAST and is to be managed and maintained by Council.  Council has constructed the new vehicle parking facility at the boat ramp.  Minister Hidding informed all those present at the official opening that the new Triabunna boat ramp is the second largest in Tasmania and offers the largest parking facilities of any boat ramp in the state. This will play a very important part in the reinvention of Triabunna into a boating and marine activity mecca.

Once the official opening had been completed, Minister Hidding, Mr Mark Shelton MP, Ms Lia Morris CEO of MAST and Acting Mayor Arnol rowed a wooden long boat, guided by Mission Afloat coordinator Allister Martin, to view the new boat ramp from the water.

The future stages of the development will involve further marina extensions and a private developer plans to build boatel apartments within the next 1-2 years.


West Papuan leaders and solidarity groups join the Palm Sunday rally in Brisbane

Anne Noonan, Jo Collins, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
30.03.15 4:48 pm



Australian Government’s Tax Discussion Paper

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
30.03.15 4:46 pm

We welcome the release of the Australian Government’s Tax Discussion Paper as the first step in a national conversation.

The State Government will carefully consider the Paper and the questions that it raises.  I also intend to discuss the Paper with other state treasurers.  The issues raised in the Paper are closely linked with the wider discussion that is already underway about the future of the Federation, particularly the allocation of spending responsibilities between the Australian and the state and territory governments.  These must be considered holistically.

Tasmanians can be assured that the Government will make Tasmania’s case as strongly as possible, that we do not support any changes to the GST and, most importantly, that we will continue to support the equitable way in which the GST is distributed between the states.  We will put Tasmania’s best interests forward and will not accept anything that will financially disadvantage Tasmania.


New Signs to Help Keep Cyclists Safe

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
30.03.15 4:44 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is working with the community to help improve the safety of our most vulnerable road users.

As promised, we have installed new advisory warning signs along popular cycling routes around Tasmania to alert motorists to the presence of cyclists and to urge them to pass at a safe distance.

The 269 signs come in two designs – one for speed zones up to 60km/h showing a recommended safe passing distance of 1 metre and the other showing a recommended safe passing distance of 1.5 metres for speed zones above 60km/h.

Locations for these signs were selected in consultation with local councils, cycling groups and cyclists through the Road Safety Advisory Council’s Cycling Safety Steering Committee.

Without the protection of a vehicle, cyclists are particularly vulnerable on our roads to being serious injured or worse.

That’s why to complement the new signs the Government has changed the Tasmanian road rules to allow motorists to cross centre lines to pass cyclists, when safe to do so.

We have also launched a number of road safety campaigns particularly targeting the safety of cyclists.

For more information, including State-wide sign locations, visit:


China trade mission

Will Hodgman, Premier
30.03.15 1:47 pm

The first half of our trade and investment mission has been busy and very productive, with new opportunities to expand our relations with China, our largest trading partner.

Over four days of meetings in Fuzhou and Xi’an we have built upon our already strong economic, cultural and diplomatic links, which will create further opportunities for Tasmanian trade, investment and jobs.

The inaugural meeting of the Joint Committee for Cooperation and Development between Tasmania and Fujian has identified key prospects for trade, including an exciting commitment from Fujian to explore better air links between us.

We visited a Yongshui Superstore, one of the largest supermarket chains in China, which sells quality Tasmanian produce to Chinese consumers.  There is enormous potential for our exporters, a number of who are represented on the mission, with an estimated 200 million Chinese consumers now seeking the type of high quality products Tasmania provides.

Meetings with senior Fujian and Shanxi Province officials were very productive in strengthening our economic and cultural relationships, including the signing of a new sister-city agreement between Hobart and Xi’an. These partnerships include commitments to increase trade and exchange in areas of mutual interest, such as energy, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, education and tourism.  We have secured commitments from both provinces to send delegations to Tasmania to see first-hand what we have to offer.

Tonight in Beijing it will be my great honour to again meet with His Excellency President Xi and Madam Peng, providing an extraordinary opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with China and to promote Tasmania at the highest level.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I will be joined by additional delegates including the Coordinator-General, and we will be sharply focused on business and trade opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai.
Programmed events include business roundtables, a TasInvest and tourism networking forum and direct meetings with potential investors.


Release any Preferred Short List for Cadbury $16 Million Reallocation

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
30.03.15 1:40 pm

The Hodgman government needs to disclose whether they have made a formal submission to the Abbott government regarding investment priorities for the $16 million previously earmarked for Cadburys, and the methodology utilised for any potential allocation of funds, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“There are many questions surrounding the reallocation of this promised $16 million, and the longer we wait concerns grow that its allocation will be based on Liberal pork-barrelling imperatives rather than merit,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens are calling on the Treasurer to disclose whether the government has made any application to their Federal counterparts over the reallocation of these promised monies, whether they are negotiating any priority areas for funding, and if so on what basis were they selected.”

“There are a range of key public policy areas worthy of consideration, including boosting the maintenance and management of our national parks’ ecological integrity, public infrastructure such as a state data cable to connect with the global network, and tourism support, as well as public health campaigns in rural and regional areas.”

“Clearly $16 million will not go far across the wide range of well-deserving options, and we need to ensure its allocation is based on a transparent process, and is not an exercise in cherry-picking and pork-barrelling.”

“Tasmanians deserve to know not only where the $16 million is going to go, but also how and why that decision was made, and what involvement the State government had in determining where the money is invested.”

“There should be complete disclosure of any State preferred options short-list submitted to Mr Abbott, as well as a cost-benefit analysis released with the eventual decision for the reallocation of the $16 million,” Mr Booth said.


The 40th Masters Swimming Australia National Championships

Peter Tucker
30.03.15 1:23 pm


What:  The 40th Masters Swimming Australia National Championships
Where: Hobart Aquatic Centre
When: 8th to 11th April 2015 – Daily between 9.00am and 5.00pm
Who: Over 600 swimmers from all over Australia aged from their twenties to their nineties


Event website:

Event Facebook page:

Masters Swimming Australia website:

Program of events:


West Papuan Leaders join forces with International Solidarity Groups in Brisbane

Peter Arndt West Papuan Solidarity Group Meeting organiser, via Anne Noonan ...
30.03.15 1:21 pm

West Papuan leaders of the newly formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) including Benny Wenda, Octovianus Mote and Rex Rumakiek met in Brisbane over the weekend with Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand solidarity groups. 

As their campaign for full membership for West Papua tothe Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) gains momentum, the ULMWP met to strengthen campaign support for the July MSG meeting in Honiara, where the application for West Papuan membership will be considered.

The newly formed ULMWP, is the coordinating body representing all organisations in the struggle for West Papuan self determination as a unified front.

Over 40 delegates representing 13 West Papuan solidarity groups from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand,met in Woollangabba, Brisbane with theULMWP to network, hear stories and develop resources for the campaign to gain full membership of the MSG for West Papua.

Solidarity groups in attendance included Australian West Papua Association (South Australian Branch), Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), West Papua Solidarity Group Brisbane, Catholic Justice & Peace Commission ofBrisbane, Catholic Worker, Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, Free West Papua Campaign (Perth), Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights, Oceania Interrupted, Rize for West Papua Brisbane, Surfers for West Papua and West Papua Action Auckland.

Spokesperson for the ULMWP Benny Wenda, said“This gathering is very significant because this is where the people who have been behind us from the beginning of the campaign until today contribute their ideas. We cannot do this on our own we need everyone to come together to bring West Papua back to the family of Melanesian countries in the Pacific”.

The solidarity groups meeting agreed on pursuing a coordinated strategy of activism with Pacific Island communities, Indigenous and church communities in the lead up to the July MSG meeting.

Mary Joku-PonifasioWest Papuan member of Aotearoa New Zealand based group Oceania Interrupted, said “I encouragePacific Island women to speak out for the women who are suffering in West Papua and be their voice. We Melanesian women are one family”

“Australian’s and New Zealander’s can play a vital role in supporting the Melanesian Nations in standing up to the regional powers and moving to end the illegal occupation of West Papua.”

“There is growing support for West Papua in our region, and it is vital for all the solidarity groups to work together to support the ULMWP’s efforts to achieve this important step towards freedom for West Papua”, said Peter Arndt, meetingco-organiser and representative of West Papua Solidarity Group Brisbane.

“There is now an opportunity to turn this support in to concrete, effective action, by getting the MSG leaders to grant West Papua a voice at the table.”


Tax reform an opportunity to act on climate, inequality

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne
30.03.15 11:01 am

The Greens say any change to Australia’s tax system must be progressive, correcting rising inequality and acting on global warming.

“The whole point of tax is to raise the revenue we need to pay for the Australian society we want: caring, innovative, healthy, and protected from the impacts of global warming” said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

“That means ending taxpayer support of polluting fossil fuels; it means actually collecting the tax owed by corporate Australia and multi-nationals, and it means closing tax loopholes for the richest among us.

“Instead of cutting from the people who most need our support, we need to crack down on tax avoidance and raise revenue from those who can afford to pay.

“The Greens are ready to work with the government to do both those things.

“We have announced nearly $80 billion in revenue measures, and I have written to the Prime Minister to outline them all,” said Senator Milne.

“Two-tiered company tax would shift the burden from small businesses to the large, wealthy ones.

“Ditching fuel credits for the big miners would save $10 billion over the forward estimates, without disadvantaging farmers.

“Taxing super contributions on a progressive scale would end the use of superannuation as a tax haven for the wealthy, while helping people on lower incomes to save more for their retirements.

“There seems to be furious agreement on this progressive super tax proposal, with Labor’s shadow treasurer indicating a willingness to consider it, and the government’s own advisers backing it in the tax white paper.

“It’s a sensible reform that would deliver a super system for everyone. The Parliamentary Budget Office says it would raise $10 billion over the forward estimates.

“The cruel ideas put forward by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey in the last budget have been roundly rejected by the people. The government has invited discussion with this white paper, so now we just need them to listen.”


Pacific partnerships key to sustainable fisheries

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
30.03.15 10:57 am

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, is in Honiara this week to meet with Pacific Island Fisheries Ministers and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

Senator Colbeck said strong regional partnerships are essential to ensuring a sustainable future for key fisheries across the Pacific and this trip would reinforce Australia’s commitment to the region.

“The Australian Government works closely with our Pacific Island neighbours to cooperatively manage tuna stocks throughout the Pacific,” he said.

“Pacific fisheries play an important role in the economies of many Pacific Island states so it is vital we all recognise that consistent and coordinated fisheries management is critical to ensuring that these vital resources remain sustainable and available to future generations,” he said.

“Australian fisheries are recognised as being among the best managed in the world. We are committed to ensuring Australia’s fisheries remain sustainable and underpinned by good science and part of this involves sharing our experience with our regional neighbours.”

Australia’s Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and Eastern Skipjack Fishery rely on migratory tuna stocks fished throughout the Pacific by both Pacific fleets and distant water fleets.

Sustainable management of our shared stocks underpins Australian supply and the success of our domestic fishers in Australia’s $1.4 billion commercial wild caught fishing industry.

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery is one of Australia’s most valuable Commonwealth fisheries, with a gross value in 2012–13 of $24.8 million.

Senator Colbeck said this trip will be an opportunity to learn from Pacific nations, share the science and fisheries management framework that supports Australian fisheries and to improve the sustainability of regional fisheries into the future.

Australia provides $5 million annually to the FFA in core funding and has recently committed an additional $2.4 million over three years through the Global Partnerships for Development programme to assist FFA members to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing.

Senator Colbeck will attend fisheries meetings in Honiara, Solomon Islands, from 30 March to 1 April.

Mr James Movick, Director General of the FFA, will host the meeting, which also includes primary industries Ministers from Fiji, Palau, Niue, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands.



Dr David van Gend
30.03.15 6:36 am

AMF ad pulled without warning by Channel 9

Without any reason given, the new Australian Marriage Forum ad booked for broadcast nationwide on Channel 9 tonight has been pulled. AMF condemns this silencing of their voice on the vital issue of same-sex ‘marriage’.

Only hours after sending a media release announcing the latest ad in their campaign, “Think of the Child”, the President of the Australian Marriage Forum has reported that Channel 9 has pulled the ad, without any notice or explanation.

“I was gobsmacked to get a call from our advertising agent at 6.45 EST, who got a call at 6.29 EST from Channel 9 saying they had pulled the ad from the 6pm news. It was meant to have been shown in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart by then and other state and territory capitals soon after” Dr van Gend said.

“No explanation has been given. A follow-up email from our advertising agent at 6.45 Brisbane time states:

Further to our conversation earlier, I confirm that I was called by a representative of Ch9 at 5:29 pm Brisbane time to inform me that they will not be proceeding with the 30 second commercial we booked on the nine network that were due to air in their 6pm news service.  By the time we received this call, most ads should have already aired.

At this stage, we have not been given a reason as to why they decided not to air our commercial, despite receiving written confirmation that the booking was proceeding as planned. I’ve asked for a written explanation and have not received any written explanation to date.

“In other words, after our media release had gone to hundreds of journalists announcing the broadcast, and an email blast to our 68,000 supporters, and our tweet announcing the ad was on air, we get told it has been pulled”, Dr van Gend said.

This is the ad, which argues that we as a nation have apologised once for violating the bond between mother and child, and should not contemplate another policy – marriage rights for two men – that would again violate the bond between mother and child:

The bond between mother and child was broken, and we have apologised:
“The most primal and sacred bond there is - the bond between a mother and her baby.”
The primal bond between mother and child would be broken again
if we institute marriage without a woman, which creates families without a mother.
Who will apologise to the Motherless Generation?”

You Tube:
TV version:

“I am not easily disturbed, but if this is what our ‘free society’ is coming to, when an intelligent contribution to a vital public debate, fully approved by the CAD regulator and duly contracted by the TV station, is suddenly pulled without prior notification - that is a little disturbing”, Dr van Gend said tonight.

“We did everything properly and the ad was given an open rating by the regulator, CAD. If there was anything improper about the ad it would not have received CAD approval.

“Coming so soon after the blatant ideological censorship of our first ad by SBS – for which we have still received no explanation – this bombshell from Channel 9 is beyond belief.

“Of course, Channel 9 is not a government broadcaster, but if they censored us for ‘commercial’ reasons the way SBS censored us for ‘ideological’ reasons, what does that say about free public debate on matters of political importance? How are those citizens who support the current legal definition of marriage going to be able to take part in public debate?  Maybe there is some other explanation for Channel 9’s actions – but we have been given none so far” Dr van Gend said.

“We raised $42,000 for these ads in the last fortnight, and every dollar came through crowd-funding from hundreds of Australians who donated via our website. These citizens care about this issue and want their voice to be heard. Now they have been silenced by Channel 9 the way they were silenced three weeks ago by SBS.

“We have had enough of this silencing of our voice and our sincere and relevant arguments, and we demand an explanation from Channel 9 as to why they pulled our fully-approved ad at the very last minute.

“This event, coming so soon after the SBS scandal, is a test of whether or not Australia really is a free society where citizens are able to put their case in the public square on matters of public importance”, Dr van Gend concluded.


Caped Crusader Strikes Again

(Caped Crusader) AJ van Tonder, Andrew Paine
29.03.15 1:51 pm

... Refugee protestor disrupts the Cricket World Cup final

A cape-wearing man has disrupted play during the final match of the 2015 ICC World Cup between Australia and New Zealand by running onto the field at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the second time in two months.

The man was wearing a shirt bearing the slogan ‘I [Heart] Refugees’ and a cape with the words ‘End Offshore Detention’.

The same man also ran onto the field at the Australia versus England match in February to raise awareness about the plight of asylum seekers in Australia’s onshore and offshore immigration detention centres.

“People around the world should boycott Australia in order to show their opposition against the Australian Government’s illegal and unjust treatment of asylum seekers, in the same way that nations, including Australia, boycotted South Africa during its Apartheid era,” said the man in a statement released this afternoon.

“Governments around the world must condemn Australia’s actions because they break international human rights agreements and conventions.’ he continued ‘They should impose economic sanctions to force Australia to abide by its obligations, as well as support the push to bring Australia to account at the International Criminal Court. Also, companies should refuse to do business with the Australian government or else risk being complicit in its violations,”

The pitch invasion took place at the same time as the Palm Sunday ‘Walk for Justice for Refugees’ demonstrations which occurred in major cities across Australia and saw thousands of people marching in the streets in support of asylum seekers’ rights and condemning their treatment by the Australian Government. Similar demonstrations are also taking place in cities around the world this weekend under the banner ‘Global Call to End Mandatory Detention’.


Hockey’s Bank Deposit Tax must be replaced with Lambie’s Financial Transactions Tax

Rob Messenger
29.03.15 1:24 pm

Independent Senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie has called on the Liberal Party to scrap their plans to impose a new tax on bank deposits, which will be passed onto customers – and replace it with her Financial Transactions Tax.

“My Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) (see attached) will raise almost 3 times more in revenue than the Liberal’s bank tax, while only targeting about half a dozen high frequency share trading companies in Australia. Independent financial experts from the Australia Institute have told me that a FTT between 0.1 & 0.01% on high frequency share trades by Australian companies which use super computers and are located in our main stock exchange - will raise up to $1.4B p/a.” said Senator Lambie.

“This new money can then be linked to and reinvested in our Veterans’ and Aged Australian’s pensions. It will boost our annual Aged pensions by almost 2%. In doing so, we’ll also protect our mum and dad investors from $2B worth of profit skimming by these High Frequency Share Trading companies - which the Abbott government have clearly allowed to have an unfair technical advantage in our financial markets.” said Senator Lambie.

“At the moment these High Frequency Share Trading companies account for 30% of Australia’s financial market. In America it almost stands at 70%.  So there’s strong international evidence that my Financial Transaction Tax has the potential to produce significantly more new revenue in the next few years.” said Senator Lambie.

“I want this to boost and protect our Veterans’ and Aged Australian’s pensions. My tax policy stands in stark contrast to the Liberal’s bank deposit tax which:

1.    Deliberately ignores the dirty little secret about the licence to print money Government has given to Australia’s High frequency share traders who use super computers to skim profits from mum/dad and retail investors, including our superannuation funds.

2.    Deliberately targets Aged Australian’s and Veterans’ Pensions as well as all bank customers.

I’m disappointed, but not surprised that the majority of the Murdoch media have decided to ignore and cover up public discussion on my Financial Transactions Tax. It will guarantee the big-business friends of the Liberals pay their fair share of tax. It also effectively blows the whistle on a very unfair financial scam. As one person told me – players in Australia’s financial market are on a level playing field – only if you own a Super Computer located in the Australian Stock Exchange.” said Senator Lambie.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Jacqui Lambie and the financial transactions tax


Strong Team, Clear Direction Wins NSW Election

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Premier
29.03.15 12:03 pm

The Coalition’s victory in yesterday’s New South Wales State election demonstrates the importance of having a strong team with a clear direction.

On behalf of the Tasmanian Government, I congratulate re-elected New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and his team.

We look forward to continuing our good working relationship with the Baird Government.


Call for Cadburys Funding to be announced this week ...

Luke Martin Chief Executive Officer Tourism Industry Council Tasmania
29.03.15 11:48 am

... As Tourism Operators Recognise Value of Parks & Reserves

Tasmania’s peak tourism industry organisation says it expects Federal Tourism Minister, Andrew Robb MP, to announce during his visit to Tasmania this week details of how $16 million in funding committed to the abandoned Cadburys project will be reinvested into other tourism priorities across the State.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO, Luke Martin, said the ongoing debate about the likely use of these funds was a disstraction for the industry and that it was a time for the ‘hint dropping’ by local politicians to end.

“The facts are this funding is in AusTrade’s tourism budget this year for the purpose of stimulating tourism growth in Tasmania, and even the Prime Minister has been saying for two years this funding is for growing tourism” Mr Martin.

“It was promised to the industry days prior to the 2013 Federal Election to create a major new visitor attraction at Cadburys, and now that project has fallen over the last thing the industry needs is a protracted statewide lobbying campaign to identify other opportunities across the State to use these funds to stimulate tourism actiity.

“The industry has done a lot of work over recent years developing Destination Management Plans for each of Tasmania’s four tourism regions identify clear priorities for the use of these funds to stimulate visitaion into regional areas.

“This funding presents a critical opportunity to invest strategically in regional tourism priorities to benefit the whole industry, and we dont need to waste more time.

‘The Federal Minister is in town this week and we expct he’ll end the uncertainty and announce details about how this funding will be directed in a strategic and transprent process.

Mr Martin said a good starting point for investing the funds to benefit regional toruism would be through Tasmania’s National Parks & Reserves, and released new industry research showing how much Tasmanian tourism operators value the State’s Parks & Reserves.

“Our twice-annual Industry Sentiment Survey has been out with industry this week, and the results present some compelling evidence of how important Tasmania’s Parks & Reserves are to the State’s tourism industry’.

“69% of tourism oprators across the State describe Tasmania’s Parks & Reserves as important or very important to their business.

“Just 11% of operators said they are not important to their business.

We know 38% of all visitors to Tasmania visit a National Park or Reserve, and our Parks are the major attrractions in regional Tasmania, and with record numbers of visitors to Tasmania and our Parks, investing this Cadburys money in our Parks infrastrcture would repreent a sensible investment to benefit tourism operators in regional Tasmania.


Inaugural Meeting Builds Stronger Links between Fujian and Tasmania

Adam Brooks, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade
28.03.15 5:09 pm

The Tasmanian Government and the Chinese provincial government of Fujian have held a very successful first meeting of our new Joint Committee for Cooperation and Development in Fuzhou yesterday.

The joint committee was established during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Tasmania in November last year.

With a population of more than 37 million, Fujian is one of China’s most affluent provinces and has a rapidly growing economy.

Yesterday’s meeting, which I was pleased to co-chair, was attended by more than 30 representatives from Tasmania and Fujian, and agreed to a number of tangible outcomes to further cement our relationship.

We agreed to expand the scope of exchanges and cooperation on all fronts, and discussed several projects with innovative ideas and great prospects.

Industry sectors discussed with potential for greater cooperation included livestock breeding, greenhouse vegetable cultivation with water conservation technologies, wood and forest product trade, and aquaculture.

Education was recognised as a particular opportunity, with the establishment of sister relationships between institutions and schools to be encouraged, along with art and cultural exchanges.

We agreed there is great potential in tourism, and will work to enhance existing and encourage direct air links between Fujian and Tasmania.

Following the meeting, the Premier, as Minister for Tourism, signed a letter of intent for cooperation between Tourism Tasmania and Fujian China Travel Service.

In celebrating our growing ties, we will hold a Fujian Week in Tasmania and a Tasmania Week in Fujian in 2016, as well as establishing closer relationships between Hobart and Fuzhou, and Launceston and Putian.

The next meeting of the Joint Committee will be held in Hobart in 2016.


Ulysses Club: Grow Old Disgracefully in Tassie

Sarah Courtney, Liberal Member for Bass
28.03.15 5:06 pm

A national Ulysses Club event in Launceston next year is expected to attract more than 3000 visitors to Tasmania and provide a major tourism and economic boost for the state.

Ulysses Club members from throughout Australia and overseas will descend on Launceston from February 29 to March 6 for their annual general meeting and touring event.

The Tasmanian Government congratulates the Launceston-based Tamar Tourers branch of the Ulysses Club in securing the 2016 event and I am proud to represent the Tasmanian Government at today’s official handover in Albury-Wodonga.

The Ulysses Club is a social club for motorcyclists over the age of 40 and has 25,000 members in Australia who live by the motto “Grow Old Disgracefully”.

The AGM includes trade displays, tests rides of the latest bikes, a Grand Parade and several nights of entertainment.

It is anticipated that many of the 3000 visitors will spent upto 7 days touring Tasmania before and after the AGM which should provide a significant financial boost to Launceston and other regional parts of Tasmania.

The members of Ulysses will be able to experience our diverse landscape and scenery on some of the most spectacular road networks in Australia. Members will also get the opportunity to enjoy award-winning restaurants, farm gates and cellar doors on their journey around the state.

Attracting these types of events will help spread the message about what Tasmania has to offer and help towards our goal of 1.5 million visitors by 2020.

The Tasmanian Government, through Events Tasmania’s Major Events Partnership Program, is providing $40,000 to the volunteer management committee to help stage the event.

Events Tasmania is also working with the management committee to help deliver this major event which requires more than 10,000 hours from 450 volunteers.

The AGM Event in Launceston will be focused around the Inveresk Precinct, Aurora Stadium and Launceston Showgrounds and will include a grand parade through Launceston.

The Ulysses AGM was last held in Tasmania in 2006 in Ulverstone.


Triabunna A Recreational Boating Mecca

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
28.03.15 10:49 am

The Hodgman Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the State’s recreational boating community and recognises its contribution to the economy, particularly in regional Tasmania.

That’s why we are committed to investing in infrastructure through Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) to improve opportunities for boaters to get on the water safely.

Today, I was pleased to open new facilities that will help achieve the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council’s goal of making Triabunna the East Coast’s boating mecca.

A joint initiative between MAST and the council, the new four-lane, all-tide boat ramp and floating pontoon is one of the two largest in the State, and will provide for the improved launching and recovery of commercial and recreational watercraft.

The new ramp will complement the Triabunna Marina development, the first two stages of which we also opened today.

The four-stage development is designed to cater for increased commercial and recreational boats and boost the potential for other marine-related industries to come to Triabunna.

MAST provided $300,000 for the construction of the boat ramp, while the council assisted by providing a new car and trailer parking area, and will manage the facility.

Tasmanian businesses Burbury Consulting and ASD Contractors worked on the project, and have delivered a very impressive facility on a greenfield site, which makes it unique as most new boat ramps are built on established sites.


Tasman Bridge Knocks Up a Half-Century

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
28.03.15 10:47 am

Tomorrow marks half a century since the State’s iconic Tasman Bridge was officially opened.

One of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Tasmania, the Tasman Bridge is part of the Tasman Highway, a key strategic traffic route from Hobart’s Central Business District to the Eastern Shore.

Construction began on the bridge in April 1960, with more than 400 workers employed on site at peak times.

First opened to two lanes of traffic on 18 August 1964, all four lanes were operational on 23 December 1964.

The official opening by the Queen’s uncle, and a former Governor-General of Australia, HRH Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester, occurred on 29 March 1965.

It was almost 10 years later when disaster struck at 9.27pm on Sunday 5 January 1975, with the bulk carrier MV Lake Illawarra colliding with the bridge, bringing down three spans and claiming 12 lives.

The 40th anniversary of this tragic event was commemorated earlier this year.

The rebuilt and upgraded bridge, with a fifth lane and extra safety measures, was reopened on 8 October 1977.

Today, the Tasman Bridge remains not only Hobart’s but also Tasmania’s most important transport infrastructure asset.

Bridge Statistics:

* Length – overall including approaches – 1417.3m
* Width – 17.37m
* Clearance – more than 45.7m above sea level
* Navigation spans – 94.48m overall
* Quantities of materials – 145,000 tonnes of concrete, 5200 tonnes of steel reinforcement, 116.68km of high tensile steel wire strand and steel bar, 216 bored piles. The deepest pile is 80.77m below sea level.


Liberal Government committed to breaking the cycle of youth crime

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for Justice
27.03.15 6:54 pm

On the occasion of the graduation of the last course of the U-Turn program the Government wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Mission Australia and the program staff in assisting many young people to turn their lives around over the past 12 years.

The Government has previously announced that a revised intervention model will be implemented for young people aged 18- 25 years with guaranteed funding of $500,000 per year over the forward estimates for this purpose.

This decision was taken because on coming to Government we became aware of an evaluation undertaken by the Department of Police and Emergency Management, which showed that U-Turn has not been working as well as it should be and in some cases may actually have been counter-productive.

On receiving that advice the only responsible thing to do was to continue our funding commitment and redesign the program to provide better outcomes for participants.

We are working closely with stakeholders, including Mission Australia and UTAS on the redesigned program.

It is anticipated that the new intervention model will be finalised shortly with a tender for program delivery to be released within the next 2 months.

We also have a range of initiatives to assist younger offenders and break the cycle of youth crime. The Liberal Government committed $3.3 million over three years to these programs, which include Save the Children’s Supporting Young People on Bail program and Post-Detention Transition program, and support for Tasmania’s PCYC network to improve relationships between Police and young people and help divert young people from anti-social or criminal behaviour.


Premier to meet with President Xi

Will Hodgman, Premier
27.03.15 6:52 pm

It is a great honour to be invited to meet President Xi and Madame Peng next week.  This meeting will enhance Tasmania’s enduring friendship with China.

I have been invited to join the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at a State Banquet hosted at the Great Hall of the People on Monday evening, as the guest of President Xi and Madame Peng.

Last year’s visit by the President was a significant milestone for Tasmania and an unprecedented opportunity to showcase everything that makes our state unique, from our warm hospitality to our premium produce.

We have since seen the immediate benefits and a hint of what’s to come, with an increase in Chinese tourists and strong growth in exports, from cherries to salmon.

I am grateful for the President’s invitation, which demonstrates a mutual respect between our Governments. Tasmanians have every reason to be optimistic that this is yet another great opportunity for our state, and for our future prosperity.

I look forward to this opportunity to promote stronger economic and cultural ties between Tasmania and China.


Government Supporting Aged Services Training Outcomes

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
27.03.15 6:49 pm

Today I joined graduates at Aged and Community Services Tasmania’s (ACST) Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice graduation ceremony to announce a $150,000 grant to support development of an online Workforce Hub to support employment growth in the sector.

The Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Program is key to the successful recruitment of nurses into the aged services sector.

All graduating nurses need to be part of a transition to practice program as they commence employment as a graduate nurse.

ACST is the second largest deliverer of this program after the Department of Health and Human Services.

This program puts the sector on the front foot in recruiting new and younger workers, helping it replenish and rejuvenate the workforce.

The aged services sector needs to grow, up-skill and re-skill its workforce.

To do this the sector needs to maximise the opportunity to recruit and develop interested workers, through providing consistent information and opportunities to connect potential employees, current employees, job seeker agencies, training providers, and employers.

The online Workforce Hub will include information on pathways to employment, ongoing professional development, and career pathways.

The Hub, and the work that ACST will undertake, are important steps in the training and workforce development system more broadly.

ACST will ensure the development of the platform enables its use or replication by other sector organisations with comparable workforce development needs and capability.

They will make the platform accessible to such organisations and share knowledge, experience and learnings in the use of sector specific resources and materials on the platform.


V8 Supercars welcomed to Symmons Plains

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
27.03.15 3:53 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government welcomes the return of the V8 Supercars for another successful round at Symmons Plains this weekend.

The V8 supercars represent Tasmania’s single biggest sports event and regularly attracts crowds over the three days in excess of 50,000.

It also represents a major tourism attraction with many visitors basing their stay in Tasmania around this event while viewers in the hundreds of thousands tune in nationally and internationally.

It is estimated that each round of the V8s generates in excess of $4.5 million for Tasmania and attracts nearly 4000 interstate visitors so it was for this reason that late last year we locked in the V8 Supercars contract until 2019.

Additionally we think it is also important for Tasmania to stage national events of this calibre so that Tasmanians and their families can experience and participate in events of this standing.

The V8 Supercars are one of the most professional and competitive car racing competitions in the world and it is for this reason they have such a huge domestic and international following.

Symmons Plains has hosted 42 rounds of the V8 Supercars/Australian Touring Cars since 1969 and rates only second to Sandown, in Victoria, with 44 races.


Ferguson must take responsibility for redundancy rort

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
27.03.15 3:32 pm

Health Minister Michael Ferguson is trying to whitewash very serious concerns about redundancy rorting within his Department.

When Labor first raised this issue in Question Time this week both the Minister and the Premier claimed that everything was above board.

Mr Ferguson told the Parliament: “I have been assured by the department that the TNVR process has been operating in accordance with managing positions in the State Service guidelines which is oversighted by the SSMO. It has also been in accordance with the State Service Act.”

Now he is referring the matter back to the State Service Management Office (SSMO), the very same office that originally signed off on the redundancy payout.

Labor Leader Bryan Green said the Minister had repeatedly failed to answer simple questions.

“The Minister’s actions to date have been woefully inadequate and show the Government is trying to whitewash this very concerning matter,” Mr Green said.

“The Minister needs to answer some simple questions.

“Why was someone moved into a role slated to be abolished? Why not just abolish the empty position?

“How long was the “Project Manager” position left vacant prior to it being filled?”

Mr Green said the Minister has not denied the position was only filled for four weeks before it was made redundant.

“Why did the person only serve in the role for four weeks?

“Why would the person be given a redundancy instead of returning to their substantive position?

“Michael Ferguson’s attempt to handball this matter off to the State Service Management Office is weak and inadequate.

“It’s time for the Minister to clear this matter up.

“How common is the practice of moving someone from a substantive position to another role so they can be eligible for a redundancy?”


Aged services program helps State retain talented nurses

Robert Hill, Aged and Community Services Tasmania
27.03.15 3:20 pm

With Tasmania recording the nation’s highest rate of unemployment and a rapidly ageing population, Aged and Community Services Tasmania (ACST) today celebrated the achievement of its Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Program with a graduation ceremony at Hadley’s Hotel in Hobart.

Now in its fourth year, the program has been successful in helping the State attract, develop and retain passionate and competent aged services nurses.

ACST CEO Darren Mathewson said the program, which invests in graduate nurses through support and mentoring, was critical in helping the aged services sector in Tasmania retain and attract skilled nurses.

“Tasmania has the fastest ageing population in the country and it is absolutely vital that we continue to invest heavily in workforce development so that our sector can cope with the challenges we face over the coming years,” Mr Mathewson said.

“By retaining our skilled graduate nurses, we can ensure the aged services sector, and indeed the broader health sector in Tasmania, is well-equipped to provide quality services to older people to help them remain in their own communities.”

Mr Mathewson said the Graduate Nurse program was just one of a number of initiatives currently underway aimed at further strengthening the aged services workforce.

“We’re currently developing the Aged Services Sector Workforce Hub, which will not only provide a vast range of information for individuals seeking work within our sector, but also act as a repository of resources for people already employed in the sector as well as the organisations providing services to our older population,” he said.

“Despite the ongoing challenges that come with adapting to a rapidly ageing population and the nation-wide reforms to the sector, there has never been a better time to be working in aged services.”

2014 program participant Jeremy Scott said the program had helped him discover his passion for aged services and develop a range of skills and abilities.

“This program has helped me develop skills in so many different areas and has shown me that aged services can be a really rewarding and successful career path,” he said.

“Our mentors have been very supportive and the way the organisations have shared ideas and resources is just incredible.”


Inaugural Australia China BusinessWeek

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Premier,
27.03.15 3:19 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to seizing every opportunity to strengthen Tasmania’s economic and cultural ties with China.

Last year’s visit by the President of China coupled with the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement have created unprecedented opportunities for our state.

Our friendship will be strengthened during Premier Will Hodgman’s current trade and investment mission, and when he has the honour of again meeting with the Chinese President Xi next week.

Our Government is committed to turning interest into investment and pursing every opportunity.

Today’s Inaugural Australia China BusinessWeek 2015 is about ensuring Tasmanian businesses have the same opportunity to take advantage of the fastest growing economy in the world.

Tasmania is already a step ahead of the country, we have incredible brand recognition in China and there is a desire for our premium, fresh and safe produce.

But for many businesses, farmers and exporters it can be a daunting new market. Through BusinessWeek, experts in trade, investment and marketing are sharing their insight into how to make products more appealing in the Chinese market.

The growth in demand for key produce is exponential. Milk product exports has risen from $61 million in 2012 to $151 million in 2014, and in the same three years the value of cherry sales rose from $8 million to $24 million.

The best is yet to come, with our friendship with China and the FTA to further transform the attractiveness of Tasmanian exports into the Chinese market.

The BusinessWeek is also another chance to showcase all that is special about Tasmania, with more than 100 business representatives from across Australia meeting in our state.

In yet another exceptional event for Tasmania we also have Senior Officials from the Fujian Department of Commerce who are attending BusinessWeek and taking the opportunity to tour wineries and farms.


Voluntary Redundancy

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
27.03.15 10:41 am

I have asked that the State Service Management Office review the details of a voluntary redundancy provided by the Department of Health & Human Services to ensure that all processes and guidelines were correctly followed.

As outlined yesterday, the advice provided to me after the matter was raised in Parliament was that the position in question was a permanent pre-existing position and that the redundancy was therefore in line with the State Service Act and all relevant guidelines.

Labor Leader Bryan Green’s decision to target an individual public servant in Parliament is regrettable.

While no information has been provided to me that suggests proper procedure wasn’t followed by the agency in question, it is important that the public can have confidence that government agencies are following proper procedure.

The review by the State Service Management Office will provide an opportunity for both the public and the government to be assured of the facts.


Farmers laud Water for Profit

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
27.03.15 10:41 am

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association today welcomed the State Government’s announcement of a $1.5 million Water for Profit commitment to ensure farmers make the most of the irrigation roll-out.

“It is central to the effort that we as farmers can make towards further improving the economy and Tasmania’s outlook,” TFGA president Wayne Johnston said.

“We manage almost a third of Tasmania’s land area. We are blessed with near ideal growing conditions here. We share the government’s vision of expanding production from the present $2 billion to $10 billion by the year 2050.

“It’s all very well to have 12 or 13 per cent of the nation’s rainfall but if you don’t get it where you live, or you can’t store it and distribute when it is needed, it is all but useless and will flow to the sea.”

Mr Johnston said the irrigation roll-out had been a phenomenal game-changer for farmers.

“It has been a true partnership between public and private enterprise, between governments in Tasmania and in Canberra and farmers on the ground. Farmers have dug deep into their back pockets to make this all happen.

“These 15 schemes account for $1 billion capital investment on and off-farm, with most of it, $628 million, coming from farmers, inevitably via their bankers.

“We have to have the skills to maximise the potential and our returns from this irrigation revolution. To do that we need a comprehensive extension program, we need to understand the science of the soils we are working with and their water requirements and we need to establish benchmarks so we can judge our progress. That is what is being delivered today,” Mr Johnston said.