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

Summary of events in West Papua for September

Anne Noonan, Jo Collins, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
07.10.15 7:23 pm

Read more here


Greens’ claims part of thinly veiled opposition to fuel reduction burns

Jacquie Petrusma, Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Management
07.10.15 6:17 pm

The Greens’ Cassy O’Connor and Rosalie Woodruff should hang their heads in shame for attempting to politicise such an important issue as bushfire safety.

We all know the Greens have an ideological opposition to fuel reduction burns, and their claims today should be seen entirely in that light.

While our hardworking career and volunteer firefighters have been out there protecting lives and property, the Greens are more intent on trying to score cheap political points.

The Liberal Government is committed to protecting Tasmanian communities from fire, and we have backed that up with a $28.5 million investment over four years in the most comprehensive cross-tenure fuel reduction program in this State’s history – a program which was opposed by the Greens when they were in government.

Under this program, a record nearly 30,000 hectares of land has been subject to fuel reduction this year, meaning that Tasmania is better prepared than ever for the coming bushfire season.


Biggest biosecurity reform in 100 years

teve Hannan, Westpac’s General Manager Agribusiness
07.10.15 3:49 pm

The passing of the Biosecurity Act 2015 is being hailed as the biggest reform to Australia’s biosecurity system in more than a century, and Westpac is encouraging Australian farmers and agribusinesses to have their say in how the associated regulations are being developed over the coming nine months.

The Biosecurity Act 2015 does not come into force until 16 June 2016, with the interval allowing people and organisations to make a smooth transition and to join in consultations as new Biosecurity Regulations are developed.

“The new Biosecurity Act has been more than six years in the making and the Department of Agriculture consulted with more than 400 organisations to get it right,” said Mr Steve Hannan, Westpac’s General Manager Agribusiness.

“This is good news for Australia’s farmers because a strong biosecurity system means crops are safer from exotic pests and livestock are safer from introduced diseases.

“A recent ABARES report found that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Australia could devastate our livestock industries and cost billions of dollars over many years.

“The new biosecurity system will greatly reduce Australia’s risk of such devastating pests and diseases – plus it will reduce compliance costs across the supply chain because of improved processes.

“Westpac Agribusiness is keen to see all Australian agribusinesses become educated in the new biosecurity systems that will be put in place next year, particularly in the consultation process for the detailed regulations,” said Mr Hannan.

Public consultation is now open for the first regulation, and more information is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

“Our latest edition of Produce magazine has a more in depth feature about the new Act and what it means for Australia’s primary producers,” said Mr Hannan.

Produce can be found online at


Labor commits to social and emotional learning in schools

Rebecca White MP Shadow Health Minister
07.10.15 1:48 pm

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White has marked Mental Health Week by launching a youth mental health policy.

14% of Australians experience mental health issues at some stage during adolescence, which is equivalent to 16,850 young people in Tasmania.

“It is widely acknowledged that early intervention and prevention during childhood and adolescence is the most effective way to address mental health issues,” Ms White said.

In government, Labor will introduce compulsory social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in Tasmanian schools.

“Social and emotional learning programs would be introduced into primary and high schools to compliment work already being done in classrooms.

“As leaders, we need to make sure there is appropriate support in schools for students experiencing mental ill-health.

“Introducing SEL programs into the classroom of every Tasmanian public school will help give all children the opportunity to develop personal and social competence, manage their emotions and behaviours, perceive and understand other people’s emotions and viewpoints and form positive relationships.

“Labor is committed to providing teachers and support staff with the appropriate resources to deliver SEL.

“We’re committed to addressing the stigma associated with mental health and determined to improve the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians.”


Greens call on Government to refer Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to Productivity Commission

Australian Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
07.10.15 1:36 pm

The Australian Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to request that he refers the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) to the Productivity Commission for full economic assessment.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The public and the Parliament have a right to hear the full story about the TPP, not just the spin from the government.

“The Treasury has previously said that the ‘benefits of FTAs currently under negotiation have been oversold and the negatives largely ignored.’ The Parliament and the public need to be given all the information so they can make up their own minds about the pros and cons of these deals because you can’t trust the government to tell us the whole truth.

“When selling the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement the government made a basic maths error and overstated the potential jobs benefit by a factor of thirty-three.

“Inquiry after inquiry, the most recent being the Harper Review of competition policy, have called for genuine independent economic analysis of the potential benefits AND costs of these deals.

“We strongly oppose the inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions in trade deals and we have enormous concerns about the impacts of changes to intellectual property laws, digital rights and financial regulation that may flow from the TPP.

“I have written to the Prime Minister asking him to refer the TPP to the Productivity Commission for assessment. If the TPP really is the ‘foundation stone for future prosperity’ that Malcolm Turnbull says it is then he should have no fear in putting it up for proper scrutiny,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.


Mental Health Council Supports Tasmanian Labor School Mental Health Policy

Catherine Delpero Communications Officer|Mental Health Council of Tasmania
07.10.15 1:21 pm

The Mental Council of Tasmania would like to express support for the announcement made today by
the Hon. Rebecca White MP, opposition spokesperson for health, on the Tasmanian Labor policy to
introduce compulsory social and emotional learning (SEL) programs into the school curriculum in

Through this proposed initiative, Tasmanian Labor have acknowledged the need for widespread
prevention and early intervention initiatives in schools that will assist Tasmanian children to build
resilience and develop the skills to maintain their own mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“We are pleased to see that whilst we are focussed on reforming the mental health system to deliver
a better model of care for everyone, this policy addresses the need to ensure we are actively putting
measures in place that will prevent mental illness and equip our children to assess how they are
feeling and confidently seek help when they need it,” said Mental Health Council of Tasmania CEO,
Connie Digolis.

“By starting initially in Primary schools and making it part of the compulsory curriculum, this
initiative seeks to guarantee that no child will fall through the cracks in terms of providing them the
best chance we can offer to build their social and emotional wellbeing skills at this crucial stage of

“It is the hope of the Mental Health Council that this policy be adopted with bipartisan support as
part of the ten year plan for reform the ‘Rethink Mental Health Project.’ Labor has proposed that
this program will have no additional costs as part of the budget so it will be important that it is
adequately resourced in order to have maximum impact for Tasmanian children, said Ms Digolis.”

Advice on how to report sensitively and accurately on mental health and suicide can be found at:

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Hawks celebrating our winning partnership

Will Hodgman, Premier
07.10.15 1:00 pm

The Hawthorn Football Club’s victory lap of the state today is a great opportunity for Tasmanians to share in their Grand Final victory.

It is a chance to meet the team behind the three-peat and say congrats, particularly to Tasmanian premiership player Grant Birchall.

This third successive Premiership puts Hawthorn among the greatest AFL teams of the modern era. It’s a terrific time for Tasmania to be their partner. It is a true partnership in every sense of the word – it is good for them, and it is even better for us.

This partnership draws interstate visitors to Tasmania, about one in three spectators at Aurora Stadium, to boost our tourism and hospitality sector during the traditionally quieter winter months.

It gives Tasmanians a chance to watch live AFL action in their backyard. It encourages our kids to get active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, with about 45,000 young Tasmanians getting involved in Hawthorn’s community and school engagement programs.

And, it puts Tasmania on the map.  Saturday was the fifth time that Tasmania has been front and centre, emblazoned on the heart of the guernsey of every Hawk, at an AFL Grand Final.

For more than 120 minutes our state was seen by almost 100,000 fans live at the MCG, a domestic TV audience estimated to be more than 2.5 million and a global audience spanning 250 countries.

This audience isn’t just sports fans; it includes holiday-makers, investors, and expats thinking of coming home.  Putting Tasmania centre-stage makes our state front of mind for many, and turns a great spectacle into a great opportunity for our state.

While every dollar we invest in Hawthorn is returned nearly ten-fold in direct spending and exposure, we also make a very important contribution to the Hawks. For the Hawks, they have a sponsor who backs them in every single way.

They have Aurora Stadium, where they’ve won the past 15 games; the club’s longest winning streak at any ground.

And, they have a legion of loyal Tassie fans including 9,000 members, which represents more than 12 per cent of their total membership.

By any measure, our partnership is a valuable one. Whether the future holds another flag or not, Hawthorn and Tasmania are both winners out of this deal.


Kids’ talent on show at RHH

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
07.10.15 12:52 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is fixing the broken health system and just yesterday an important milestone in rescuing the Royal Hobart Hospital was reached with the start of construction of the temporary forecourt facility.

The forecourt is now a construction zone with hoardings in place so that works can get underway.

Hospitals can be stressful and scary places for patients, especially if you are a child facing serious health challenges. To brighten the surroundings and help distract young patients the Royal Hobart Hospital conducted an art project involving children and families at the hospital.

Today I was very pleased to inspect the artwork which will be placed on hoardings and present certificates to those who had participated.

The creative artworks will help make the hospital a nicer place during construction and highlight the artistic skill of the young participants.

I wish to thank the children who are contributing to the rescued Royal redevelopment.


Improved facilities at Mt Field National Park Visitor Centre

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
07.10.15 12:47 pm

Construction is under way on a project to improve facilities at the Mt Field National Park Visitor Centre as the park continues to see record visitor numbers.

Tasmania’s world-class natural environment is a key part of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s plan to attract 1.5 million visitors per year by 2020 and recent visitation figures to parks showed 52,000 more visitors in 2014-15 than the previous year.

The Mt Field visitor centre extension will add about 40 square metres of dining and retail floor space to the visitor centre providing an improved function area for the Waterfalls Café at the centre.

The Waterfalls Café proprietors, Rachel and Greg Power, are to be congratulated for providing a quality café and gallery with much improved customer service. This building extension will help to service the demand created by this increased business activity.

Construction has started and is expected to be completed in early December 2015, in time for summer peak visitation period.

Mt Field National Park had record visitation for year ending June 2015 with more than 146,000 visitors recorded. The majority of visitors are on day trips around the visitor centre taking in Great Short Walks such as Russell Falls and the Lady Barron Falls circuit.


Invitation - 2015 Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism and the Walkley Documentary

The Walkley Foundation. First pub: Sept 22
07.10.15 12:45 pm


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A partnership that delivers school holiday smiles

THAT Chairperson Chris Symonds
07.10.15 12:45 pm

Tasmania Hospitality Association Together (THAT) and Colony 47 have partnered to provide 200 young people with an outing to the movies at Village Cinemas.

THAT have generously purchased and donated the tickets to Colony47 to distribute to families.

THAT Chairperson Chris Symonds stated “As a result of cost of living pressures, too often families are excluded from participating in fun activities.

This is a wonderful opportunity for young people and their parents to share some quality time together and participate in a fun activity without having to feel the stress of financial constraints “ said Mr Symonds.

Colony47 this year has provided opportunities and solutions to over 20,000 vulnerable Tasmanians, including those with lived experience in homelessness, mental health, parenting challenges, financial difficulties and unemployment.

This is the second year that THAT and C47 have teamed up and CEO Therese Taylor is keen to see more projects developed between the two organisations, providing more opportunities for children and families. 

“Entertainment, such as a movie, is an extravagance for many families. This partnership allows many more families to enjoy time together.” Ms Taylor said.

Event Details:

8th October 2015
11.00 a.m.
Village Cinema

9th October 2015
11.30 a.m.
Village Cinema


AustSafe Super recognised for SuperRatings Awards

Craig Stevens, CEO of AustSafe Super
07.10.15 12:40 pm

AustSafe Super has been nominated as a Rising Star Finalist in the SuperRatings Fund of the Year Awards. This is the second time AustSafe Super has been nominated as a Rising Star Finalist in the SuperRatings Fund of the Year Awards.

The Rising Star Award seeks to recognise the fund that has excelled in terms of enhancing their value proposition to members through significantly improved services and benefits.

Craig Stevens, CEO of AustSafe Super says the industry super fund for rural and regional Australia has worked hard amid a raft of regulatory changes and reviews to deliver outstanding value for its members.

“This nomination is a pleasing acknowledgement for the Fund at a time when competition is increasing in the superannuation industry,” said Mr Stevens.

“The nomination recognises the hard work and effort that everyone at AustSafe Super has contributed over the last year improving our capabilities and the benefits for members.

“Rural and regional Australia has been doing it tough for a while now, and it’s nice to know we are helping in a small way by offering low fees,* outstanding performance and a raft of financial education and mental health programs to better support our members.

“This has been topped off with excellent returns on AustSafe Super’s MySuper (Balanced) investment option of 10.56%p.a. for the past financial year, and the third consecutive year of double digit returns for AustSafe Super’s MySuper (Balanced) investment option.

“These results reflect our strong history of returns to members, with the MySuper (Balanced) option producing above median results over 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years#,” said Mr Stevens. 

SuperRatings, an independent research company, helps Australians make informed decisions about their superannuation.

The awards will be presented at the 13th Annual SuperRatings Fund of the Year Awards on October 13.


IAB and Nielsen Release First Mobile Ratings Report

Alice Manners CEO - IAB Australia
07.10.15 9:26 am


Source: Mobile Ratings Report, July 2015

Industry moves closer to cross-device and daily audience measurement

SYDNEY, 7th October, 2015:  IAB Australia and Nielsen today released Nielsen’s Mobile Ratings Report, the first official step towards releasing the industry-supported smartphone and tablet audience measurement for the Australia market. It follows on from the pilot work completed in 2014 by IAB Australia, the digital industry and Nielsen to build quality panels to measure smartphone and tablet users.

The release of mobile audience data via the Mobile Ratings Report is the first phase of major upgrades to the digital audience measurement system in Australia.  In early 2016 the Mobile Ratings Report will be replaced by Digital Ratings Monthly which will fuse smartphone and tablet panel data with Nielsen’s home/work PC panel data and tagged website data. Digital Ratings Monthly will be the base for further development which will see Nielsen transition to daily delivery of digital audience data through Digital Content Ratings, which is slated for launch in mid-2016.

According to Lisa Walsh, IAB Research Director, the release of the Mobile Ratings Report is another significant step towards the provision of comprehensive cross platform digital audience measurement and daily audience measurement. 

“With over 15 million Australians now owning a smartphone and some 12 million owning a tablet device, these two devices count for 59 percent of all time spent online.  It’s critical that the industry has access to data which quantifies the importance of mobile media audiences and helps to inform marketing investments in the digital realm.

“This report tackles a particularly complex area of measurement and we are confident publishers and agencies alike will gain considerable insights from it. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the industry to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of digital audience measurement globally,” said Walsh.

Ed Harrison, IAB Board Chairman and Yahoo7 CEO, commented: “Australia is once again at the forefront of measurement globally, becoming just the fourth market in the world where Nielsen has established a mobile panel.  We are confident we will continue to achieve industry milestones with the next iteration of our online measurement currency due next year thanks to the strong support of publishers, who are working closely with Nielsen.”

Head of Nielsen’s Media Industry Group, Monique Perry said that through support from IAB Australia and the digital industry, Nielsen has been able to focus and invest heavily in technology, platforms and meters that can measure these important mobile audiences.

“This data gives the industry an independent first view of Australian mobile audiences and is a fundamental input into IAB Australia and Nielsen’s more comprehensive trading currency, Digital Ratings Monthly,” said Perry.

Key findings of the July 2015, Mobile Ratings Report include:

12.5 million Australians accessed the internet on smartphones and 7.4 million Australians on tablets
Australians 18+ spend more time on smartphones than any other digital device, with just over 33 hours per person per month spent browsing or using apps
Current Events and Global News category is dominated by the same brands that have historically been strong on desktop (,
9 million Australians used commerce or shopping sites on their smartphone and 5 million on their tablet
Over 10.7 million Australians used video and streaming services on their smartphone and 5.2 million on their tablets
75% of Australian smartphone users are connecting to financial services or information every month
Time spent browsing or on applications is now highest on smartphones than desktop or any other device with 42 percent of total time spent on smartphones;
More than 10 million Australians are using smartphones for entertainment, news, social and search each month;
More than eight million are using smartphones for shopping, music, travel and gaming;
Google and Facebook are the leaders in both smartphone and tablet rankings with a number of other global brands being very high in rankings.  Local companies also feature strongly with Yahoo!7, Telstra, Fairfax, Coles, Commonwealth Bank and News all ranking highly.
According to the IAB PWC Online Advertising Expenditure Report issued in May 2015, close to one-third of all display digital advertising dollars in Australia was spent on mobile advertising in the March quarter of 2015.



The Mobile Rating Report provides a first look at results based on the mobile panel which consists of 2,000 iOS and Android smartphone users and 500 iOS and Android tablet users aged 18+.  This panel is nationally representative of Australian smartphone and tablet internet users, has individual privacy agreements in place with all panellists and passively measures the online behaviour of panellists on their mobile device through an on-device meter (Android) or proxy solution (iOS).  The panels provide granular data on a monthly basis that can be used by media buyers and sellers to better understand the mobile consumer and assess the opportunities available in what is now a significant media channel.

The full Mobile Ratings Report will be uploaded to the Nielsen website on the 7th October.

About The Interactive Advertising Bureau

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Limited is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia and was incorporated in July 2010. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally, and with a rapidly growing membership, IAB Australia’s principal objective is to support and enable the media and marketing industry to ensure that they thrive in the digital economy.

The role of the IAB is to work with its members and the broader advertising and marketing industry to assist marketers to identify how best to employ online as part of their marketing strategy, to better target and engage their customers and build their brands.

By addressing the core pillars of growth of the online advertising industry - simplified and standard online audience measurement, research, and online operational standards and guidelines, and regulatory affairs, IAB Australia leverages the skills, experience and commitment of its members to advocate the benefits of online advertising by acting as an authoritative and objective source for all online advertising issues whilst promoting industry-wide best practice.

IAB Australia is a registered not-for-profit organisation; membership fees and revenue generated is invested back into the IAB’s membership benefits such as resources, events, reporting, and industry representation.

For further information about IAB Australia please visit:


Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population.

For more information, visit


Employer of Choice Event: Welcoming migrants to our workplaces

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth
06.10.15 6:41 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a bold and ambitious target to grow Tasmania’s population to 650,000 by 2050 to drive economic growth, create jobs and improve the standard of living for all Tasmanians.

The Population Growth Strategy sets out our approach to growing our population by promoting Tasmania as the place to live, work, invest and raise a family. The Strategy commits $10 million to implement 50 actions in three key areas: job creation and workforce development, migration, and liveability.

Migration is a key area of Tasmania’s Population Growth Strategy, and this includes actively encouraging people to move to Tasmania from overseas. Assisting local businesses to employ migrants and helping new Tasmanians to feel welcome in our communities and workplaces are just some of the ways that we can help.

As part of this year’s Employer of Choice forum held today, four Tasmanian businesses provided an insight into the benefits their businesses enjoy from employing migrants and how they ensure their migrant employees feel welcomed, informed and fully able to participate in the workplace.

The speakers included:

• Ben Crowley, Managing Director, Bioflex Nutrition Pty Ltd
• Chris Griffin, Human Resource Manager, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart
• Leigh Delaney, Human Resource Manager, Glenview Community Services
• Paul Gadomski, General Manager, Cripps Nubake

One of the key actions of the Tasmanian Population Strategy is to implement an education and support program to encourage and assist Tasmanian businesses to sponsor overseas migrants and to employ international students.

This Employer of Choice event is an example of how the objectives of the Strategy are being implemented through the Government’s ongoing programs and policy development in addition to specific strategy action items.

The Employer of Choice Program aims to assist employers to attract and retain skilled workers to support the growth and sustainability of their business through;

• recognising organisations that successfully attract and retain skilled staff by creating a great place to work through the Employers of Choice Awards
• Organising knowledge sharing events - workshops, forums and information sessions where Tasmanian businesses come together to share ideas about successful workplace practices.
• Facilitating professional development and business networking for recognised Employers of Choice


TasWater acts on drinking water

Simon Pilkington, TasWater
06.10.15 5:09 pm

TasWater confirms customer feedback and water testing over the last few days indicate a return of an earthy taste in parts of Hobart’s water supply.

Customers will recall last summer a period of where water contained an earthy flavour and in some areas was odorous.

While the water may take on the taste, its quality is not affected and is completely safe to drink.

TasWater CEO Michael Brewster says after extensive testing TasWater has identified very low levels of Methyl-Isoborneol (MIB) in the water, produced by the presence of algae in the raw water source.

Michael Brewster says “this is at the lower end at which the taste is noticeable and has been reported by customers in areas of as diverse as New Norfolk, the eastern shore down to Lauderdale and in parts of Glenorchy, central Hobart and Sandy Bay.”

“TasWater has already commenced carbon dosing at the Bryn Estyn water treatment plant as a means of removing the taste and odour from the water.

“This is a process carried out across the country in response to taste and odour issues and is similar to what was undertaken last summer by TasWater in a number of treatment plants.”

Carbon dosing equipment installed at Bryn Estyn earlier this year remains in place and is currently operating. TasWater is also installing new equipment to come on line in December to further increase capacity to control taste and odour in warmer months.

It’s anticipated carbon dosing will result in the water returning to its usual quality by the end of this week with the impact being evidenced a little later at the extremities of the Hobart water network.

TasWater assures customers the taste and odour is caused by a naturally occurring algae and the water is completely safe to drink.
Mr Brewster says “we have not been able to clearly identify or locate the source of the algae but testing will continue hand in hand with the carbon dosing process to mitigate the impact on water users.”

“We apologise for any inconvenience but stress, the water is safe to drink.


Another major jurisdiction allows for voluntary euthanasia

Lara Giddings MP Labor Member for Franklin
06.10.15 5:08 pm

Today California became the fifth state behind Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont in the United States of America to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

Member for Franklin Lara Giddings welcomed another international jurisdiction affording its citizens the right to choose their own death if terminally ill.

“Terminally ill people in California can now choose to end their own life with dignity, a right which should also be available to Tasmanians,” Ms Giddings said.

“California follows in the steps of other US states which have already passed dying with dignity laws.

“The fears of anti-euthanasia advocates have not been realised in these states, giving impetus to the legislation.

“It is important that any legislation has sufficient checks and balances to ensure that vulnerable people are not coerced into ending their life.

“Any new bill in Tasmania will look at these laws as well as legislation in other jurisdictions across the world to ensure the best model is developed for our state.

“I hope that when the Tasmanian Parliament debates this issue again, members will look to the growing number of jurisdictions where voluntary assisted dying is legalised and follow the lead of these countries in order to give ill Tasmanians the right to die at a time of their choosing.”


Hodgman Government left behind on medicinal cannabis

Lara Giddings MP Shadow Attorney-General
06.10.15 3:57 pm

The Liberal Government in Tasmania is being left behind on the issue of medicinal cannabis.

The Andrews Labor Government in Victoria has today confirmed it will legalise access to medicinal cannabis products from 2017.

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings said it was a compassionate move from a progressive Labor government, which further serves to show how far behind the times the Hodgman Liberal Government is on this issue.

“Congratulations to Premier Daniel Andrews for taking the next step to legalise access to medicinal cannabis,” Ms Giddings said. 

“This will ease concerns of users of medicinal cannabis in Victoria, who live with the fear the Police will knock on their door to arrest them for using a drug that provides them with relief from, for example, chronic pain, cancer treatment induced nausea or epileptic fits.

“The Liberal Government in Tasmania is being left further behind on this crucial issue,” Ms Giddings said.

“Other jurisdictions are showing far more compassion than the Government here, who have failed to respond adequately to the issue of medicinal cannabis.

“Minister Michael Ferguson was dragged kicking and screaming to the issue and the Premier has failed to show any real leadership on the issue either.

“The very least they could have done was to assist Tasmanians participate in the interstate trials by offering to partner with other states.

“However, considering the wealth of evidence from across the world to support the use of medicinal cannabis, there is no reason why they couldn’t follow the lead of Premier Andrews and legalise medicinal cannabis in Tasmania too.

“Not only is there a medical benefit for patients, but also an economic benefit for farmers.

“Tasmania should be pursuing opportunities to grow and manufacture medicinal cannabis, however, with the slow response from the Hodgman Government we risk losing this investment and jobs to Victoria.”

The Labor Party is holding a forum tomorrow (7 October 2015) on medicinal cannabis with Shadow Assistant Minister for Health Stephen Jones, Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins, Senator Anne Urquhart and Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings at Parliament House at 9.30am:


Irresponsible Labor playing politics with child protection

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services
06.10.15 3:52 pm

Labor has today irresponsibly encouraged industrial action that flies in the face of the needs of our most vulnerable children and that is at odds with the decision of the independent umpire, the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.

How uncaring is Ms White that she would rather support the real opposition in the union movement than the vulnerable children in our child protection system?

After 16 years of Labor and Labor-Green governments, Tasmania was left with a broken system, with caseloads a known issue for 10 years or more.

This is why this Government has already increased agreed staffing levels, as we, unlike the previous Labor-Green government, are actually working to address the long-standing issues we inherited, including that staff and management work through an independently facilitated process to reach a mutually agreed conclusion to this dispute.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has committed to redesigning our child protection system, and that work is underway, which will feed into the 2016-17 Budget process.


Adopted children need a mum and a dad too

FamilyVoice Victoria Director Peter Stevens
06.10.15 3:51 pm

FamilyVoice Victoria Director Peter Stevens today called on state MPs to reject the Andrews government’s bill to legalise adoption by same-sex couples. 

Pastor Stevens is concerned that amendments to Victoria’s adoption laws would remove two key safeguards for children – stability and an optimal parenting environment.

“Where possible, children should be brought up in a stable context with the love of both a mum and dad,” he said.

“Male and female parents offer unique, complementary and important nurturing roles.  Social policy for adoptive children must be guided by the best interests of the children, who ideally need role models of both sexes,” Peter Stevens said.  “As a father and an advocate for the importance of marriage and family life, I am very concerned that this bill puts the desires of adults above the welfare of children.”

Frank Ligtvoet, who is raising a girl with his male partner, has expressed his adopted daughter’s struggle with the reality of not having a mother in her day-to-day life.

“How can legislating for such arrangements be in the best interests of children?” Peter Stevens asked.

“At the very least, religious groups who care deeply about the welfare of children need exemptions from this legislation to protect their fundamental right to freedom of conscience and belief.  Otherwise, our state’s much vaunted Charter of Rights will be seen to be a hypocritical failure.”


Security of Staff our Highest Priority

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
06.10.15 3:50 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to the highest level of safety and security of staff and patients at the Wilfred Lopes Centre – Tasmania’s dedicated secure forensic mental health facility.

While it is not appropriate to comment on specific security arrangements at the Wilfred Lopes Centre, I do want to reiterate that Government takes the issue of staff security seriously.

A Right to Information request released today, and posted online, shows there have been 16 assaults or attempted assaults in the five years to July.

I am advised that the particular incidents of concern have been considered through the Tasmanian Health Service serious incident review processes.

Following a security review earlier this year, improved security arrangements were put in place and new security is well progressed.

Any threat or injury to staff or patients is unacceptable and the Government is acting to ensure the safety of all who work or receive treatment in this facility.


Tasmanian Families go Head to Head in the Challenge to be the Most Sustainable

Lissa Villeneuve Food Programs Manager & Festival Director
06.10.15 2:48 pm

There is a lot of discussion about improving our quality of life and reducing our environmental impact these days.  Throughout October, Sustainable Living Tasmania is teaming up with Heart 107.3 to challenge Tasmanians to make changes in their homes and lifestyles to do just that.

The Sustainability Challenge will help households to track their energy use, waste and transport and then offer simple tips and tricks to improve sustainability.

“It is amazing how many simple things can be done in the average Tasmanian household to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and make life more enjoyable”, reports Festival Director, Lissa Villeneuve.

“By taking our Challenge, not only will you reduce your ecological footprint and utility bills, but if you track your progress using our online form and bring it into the Festival, you will go in the draw to win a fully installed Apricus Solar Hot Water system*! “ said Lissa Villeneuve, Festival Director.

To take the Sustainability Challenge, just download the form from the Sustainable Living Tasmania webite. Fill in the baseline information and then track your progress for 1-2 weeks, while you make changes to your home and lifestyle. 

According to Lissa Villenevue , “Installing a solar hot water system could save up to three quarters of your hot water heating, which makes up 25% of the average households electricity bill!

So start taking the Sustainability Challenge today.

Full details about the Sustainability Challenge can be found at

*Terms and conditions apply.  Small scale technology certificates remain the property of Apricus Australia. Entries to the prize draw must be handed into the Sustainable Living Tasmania stall by 3pm Sunday 1st Nov.


Construction start for RHH forecourt

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
06.10.15 2:44 pm

A significant milestone in rescuing the Royal Hobart Hospital has now been taken with the start of construction works for the temporary inpatient facility.

The 54-bed capacity inpatient facility will be built in the RHH Liverpool Street forecourt.

Today I was very pleased to inspect the start of works on the temporary facility which will see key acute services accommodated during the redevelopment, allowing patients to remain on site with access to critical medical facilities.

This is a major improvement on the previous government’s dangerous and incomplete plan to send acute care patients into inappropriate accommodation in the suburbs of Hobart.

The RHH Liverpool Street forecourt is now a construction zone and changes to access and parking are in place to ensure patient, staff and visitor safety.

Key changes are:

• Vehicle access to the forecourt area will be restricted to emergency services and contractors only;
• Safe pedestrian access to the Liverpool Street entrance will be through an enclosed central walkway; and
• Patient drop-off and collection will be available at the RHH Argyle Street and Campbell Street entrances.

Access to the RHH emergency department and Zouki café will remain the same.

Tasmanian company Fairbrother is the successful sub-contractor for the $22 million facility which is expected to be completed and demolition of B-Block underway by April next year.

Every effort will be made to reduce inconvenience during construction, but safety will always be put first and I ask that staff and those visiting the RHH to be patient.


New trial of duty lawyer services for Magistrates Court

Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General
06.10.15 2:43 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to ensuring all Tasmanians have access to justice.

In August I announced $1.6 million in grants distributed from the Solicitors’ Guarantee Fund.

I am pleased to announce a further grant of $300,000 to the Law Society of Tasmania, Centre for Legal Studies and Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania (LACT) to trial a new duty lawyer service around the state.

The service will provide assistance to clients in the Magistrates Court who would otherwise be unrepresented, and will significantly contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Magistrates Court.

The Law Society of Tasmania, Centre for Legal Studies, and LACT will collaborate to deliver the service in the Burnie, Devonport, Launceston and Hobart Magistrates Courts. The trial will involve:

• One lawyer employed by the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania engaged exclusively at the Launceston Magistrates Court;
• One lawyer employed by the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania shared between the Devonport and Burnie Magistrates Courts; and
• Ten lawyers engaged on a weekly roster (two lawyers per day) at the Hobart Magistrates Court.

The Hobart positions will be filled by recent graduates of the Centre for Legal Studies who can be employed either as graduates employed by a legal firm or by the Government.

The scheme will operate as a pilot program for 12 months, after which a review will occur to measure success and assess the efficiency of the scheme.


Trans Pacific Partnership positive news for State

TFGA CEO Peter Skillern
06.10.15 2:39 pm

The TFGA has welcomed the news that a positive conclusion has been reached for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TFGA CEO Peter Skillern said that the outcome would improve long-term trading conditions for many Tasmanian farmers.

“We understand that the partnership is a positive step for many sectors of the Australian agricultural community, which will inevitably flow through to Tasmania,’’ Mr Skillern said.

“This will help cement Tasmania’s already well established economic relationships with TPP countries like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.”

The TFGA also looks forward to hearing the finer details of the arrangement and working with state and federal governments to ensure that the Tasmanian agricultural sector can capitalise on the new opportunities that the partnership will bring.



Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie
06.10.15 1:07 pm

Any hope that a new Prime Minister would improve animal welfare has been dashed by Minister for Cruelty Barnaby Joyce’s trip to Jakarta to drum up business for the live cattle export industry.

Nothing has changed. The live animal export trade is still systemically cruel, not in Australia’s economic self-interest and lacks popular support. But still the Agriculture Minister is nothing more than the lackey for an industry that benefits very few people while mistreating an enormous number of animals.

New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to respond to the overwhelming public opposition to the live animal export trade by putting in place a plan to wind up the industry and resurrect the Australian red meat processing sector.

A good first step would be to corral Barnaby Joyce.


Minister must resolve child protection dispute by listening to staff

Rebecca White MP Shadow Human Services Minister
06.10.15 12:49 pm

The Liberal Government needs to finally realise that staffing levels in child protection are inadequate and that the time has come to properly support its workforce.

Shadow Human Services Minister Rebecca White said the onus is on Jacquie Petrusma to step in and resolve the stand-off between the DHHS and unions.

“Despite a crisis on the North West Coast and industrial action from her workforce, Jacquie Petrusma still doesn’t seem to realise there’s a problem in child protection,” Ms White said.

“The Minister is right when she says the welfare of vulnerable children needs to come first, but that can only happen if staff are properly supported.

“The staff are taking this action because they have genuine concerns about their capacity to provide appropriate support to Tasmania’s vulnerable children.

“The Minister’s hands-off approach in her portfolio is leaving staff feeling unsupported.

“The Government benefited from an additional $590 million in GST revenue in the last Budget. There’s an obligation to spend some of that money on essential services.”



Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
06.10.15 12:48 pm

Advocates have welcomed an ANZ report showing marriage equality would inject over $1 billion into the Australian economy in the first year. The full report can be read HERE.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“Any government that wants to improve the economy, boost small business and create jobs should support marriage equality.”

“We call on the Turnbull Government to move quickly on marriage equality to stem the tide of same-sex couples marrying overseas and ensure the wedding spend of Australian same-sex couples boosts business and jobs in Australia.”

The ANZ report was released today and is co-authored by ANZ statisticians, Cherelle Murphy & Mandeep Kaur.

The report found same-sex couples will spend at least $1 billon on their weddings in the first year after marriage equality. 

On top of this, the ANZ report says the Australian economy will benefit from

- improved health outcomes for same-sex attracted people
- the welfare safety net marriage will provide same-sex partners
- a boost to consumer confidence
- greater workplace equity
- Australia improving its international reputation

Marriage equality is supported by all major Australian banks including the Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, ANZ and St George.


Mental Health Week Events Commence Across Tasmania

Catherine Delpero
06.10.15 12:45 pm

Mental Health Week is part of a national mental health promotion campaign that is held in October
each year to engage people from the community in discussions on how to manage their own mental

There are a wide variety of events happening right across Tasmania this week. Please see the list
below for all the events coming up tomorrow that may have opportunities for media to do
interviews and explore the issues in the diverse and complex area of mental health

Tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Events open to the public:

Glenorchy Mental Health Week Event
Glenorchy City Council are holding a day of activities for Mental Health Week at the LINC. There will be free
morning tea, Tai Chi, Mindfulness activities, yoga and relaxation, face painting, cooking demonstrations,
mental health information and services and much more!
Who: Glenorchy City Council
Where: Glenorchy LINC in Terry Street
When: 11.00 am - 2.00pm
Lift the Lid - Huon Valley
Free Community Health & Wellbeing Event
7HOFM’s Mick Newell ‘’Master of Ceremony’’
• Free BBQ,
• Meet Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt (AFL Star)
• Special guest speakers - Local Health Professionals
• Lucky door prizes
• Entertainment
• Information on mental health and wellbeing
• Services/Stalls and Displays
Who: Rotary Club Huon Valley
Where: Cygnet Town Hall
When: 6.00pm - 9.00pm
10 Things You Can do for YOUR Mental Health
Join in on 10 activities that you can do that will directly improve your mental health. From massage to candle
making there will be something to suit everyone! There will be information on the day from a range of Mental
Health services as well as a pop up market selling local produce!
Who: Jordan River Service Inc
Where: Gagebrook Community Centre, 191 Lamprill Circle
When: 10.00am - 2.00pm

Healthy Active Minds - George Town Community Hub.
Youth focus community festival involving expo of mental health providers, Tazorb activities, family focused
activities, ‘mental health begins with me’ photo booth and free BBQ.
Who: George Town Community Hub.
Where: Regent Square and Community Hub in George Town
When: 11.00 am - 3.00 pm
My Mental Health @Morton’s
Choose Life Services in conjunction with City Mission will be running a mental health morning in the
community outreach kitchen. There will be food, mental health activities and entertainment throughout the
Who: Choose Life Services
Where: City Mission Frederick Street Launceston
When: 9.00 am - 1.00pm

Depression - Let’s Talk!
Community Education Session on depression and seeking help for mental health issues, followed by afternoon
Who: New Mornings Mental Health Support
Where: Ulverstone Baptist Church
When: 1.00pm - 3.30pm
Contact for more information: Jenny Fabian 64254500
West Coast Youth Project – Holiday Program
Mental Health Information Session
Free Community Health & Wellbeing Event
• Free BBQ,
• Lucky door prizes
• Activity Centre (PCYC MAC TRAILER)
• Obstacle Course
• Zorb Balls
• Boxing
• Information on mental health and wellbeing
• Services/Stalls and Displays
Who: West Coast Youth Project & Youth Family Community Connections
Where: PCYC Building, The Esplanade, Queenstown
When: 11am to 2pm, Wednesday October 7th
Transport: Free Bus, Zeehan & Rosebery starting at 10am from Zeehan. For booking please txt or call Cathy
Whish Wilson on 0407307569.

For the full program of events go to:

Advice on how to report sensitively and accurately on mental health and suicide can be found at:


Support continues for bid to win Pacific Patrol boat tender

Adam Brooks, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Trade
06.10.15 12:44 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to be an active supporter of the bid to win the tender to build a new fleet of Pacific Patrol Boats in Tasmania.

Tasmania has the engineering, manufacturing and system integration expertise to complete this $600 million project over several years.

Our bid to win this tender is led by the TasPac Maritime Group (TPMG) - made up of its joint venture partners ThysseKrupp Marine Systems Australia (TKSMA) and UGL Engineering with vessel construction by Incat and Haywards Steel.

TasPac is confident that it has brought together outstanding talents in this field to produce quality boats at the best price and which are ideal for their designated use and they report that there has been encouraging feedback on the bid.

The Tasmanian stand features a fully operating ships navigation simulator and a detailed scale model of the proposed 39-metre Taspac Pacific Patrol Boat vessel.

Tasmanian firms represented at the Pacific 2015 Expo are Incat Tasmania, Liferaft Systems Australia, CBG Systems, Taylor Brothers, Pivot Maritime International, Muir Windlasses and Australian Maritime College.

Pivot Maritime International has set up a magnificent 3D fully interactive model of the Taspac patrol boat on the simulator so that visitors to the Tasmanian stand can actually steer the vessel into Fiji’s Suva Harbour.

As the only comprehensive international expo of its kind in Australia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, the Pacific 2015 Expo provides a showcase for commercial maritime and naval defence industries to promote their capabilities to decision makers from around the world.

With displays by more than 400 participating exhibitor global companies the Expo is expected to attract over 10,000 visitors and as well as military and government delegations from about 30 countries.

I was delighted to see the quality and innovation of the Tasmanian product stand out in the international market place and congratulated the companies for committing significant resources of their own to be at Pacific 2015 Expo.