Media

In Their Own Words

Editor
01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Jan Davis: Putting prisoners to work on the land is a win-win for all of us

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
24.09.14 10:16 am

There’s a small group of Tasmanians, nearly all of them men, who would give their eye-teeth to quit what they are doing, get out into the bush, fix up some fences, clean up some fire hazards, do some exercise, get some vitamin D and pick up a life skill all at the same time.

What’s more they don’t have to be paid (well, not much) and from what we saw of them last year, they are a good bunch of people, keen to give back to the community for their sins of the past. They are the prisoners of Tasmania.

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Tasmania has almost 500 prisoners. Their median age is 32; the median sentence they are serving is two years; 15 per cent of them are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait origin (and indigenous people are 3.6 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous people); and 65 per cent have been to prison before. By and large, they are not murderers, rapists or people in prison for serious crimes against the person. Most are people who have run off the rails at some stage and they are looking forward to getting out and to picking up the pieces of their lives.

We met some of these people last year when they came out of prison to lend invaluable assistance to those who lost property and livelihoods in the bushfires that devastated Dunalley.

The work that they did in the aftermath of the Dunalley bushfires was remarkable. Working in small, supervised gangs, they took on tough, hard work to repair fences and clean up property that had been devastated by the fires. The farmers who worked with them appreciated their efforts. They fitted in well and they were respected for what they did. Importantly, they gained work-ready skills and an accredited training outcome as a result of this experience.

It set me to thinking. People doing time, pumping iron, getting bored in our prison system is a wasted resource. Tasmania has a huge problem meeting the cost of maintaining the national parks and reserves that we have so generously created for the generations to come. More than half the state is locked up, if you’ll pardon the pun.

In fact, in the current resource-constrained environment, we simply cannot meet the cost of maintaining our parks and reserves. With climate change, they become a potential threat each bushfire season. Pest animals and weeds abound. Fences need to be mended and maintained. These problems escape onto neighbouring properties, exacerbating risks and creating huge costs for the adjoining landowners.

At the same time, many low risk prisoners would welcome the opportunity to get out of their confinement and do something meaningful that will help them prepare for life after their sentence.

I am not talking slave labour, and I am not talking about a return to the days immediately after settlement when convicts were consigned to landholders.

I think these people could find rewarding work in our reserves and recreation areas and pick up on new skills and trades that they will be able to use in their life after prison.

It’s happening in the US. A 2011 feature article in the New York Times reported a positive reaction. Having a job in prison was linked to decreased violence, improved morale and lowered recidivism – but most effectively, when the task was purposeful.

“Using inmate labour has created unusual alliances: liberal humanitarian groups that advocate more education and exercise in prisons find themselves supporting proposals from conservative budget hawks to get inmates jobs, often outdoors, where they can learn new skills, ” Michael Jacobson, director of the Vera Institute of Justice, a research group in New York, commented.

“The days of just breaking rocks with sledgehammers are over. At the grossest financial level, it’s just savings. You can cut the government worker, save the salary and still maintain the service, and you’re providing a skill for when they leave.”

For many, prison is a wasted period in their lives. It sets them back. We could all assist to make it more productive – for them and for the community at large. That’s a win-win outcome.

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Less than half of Tasmanian women support new laws allowing abortion ...

Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke
24.09.14 9:19 am

Less than half of Tasmanian women support new laws allowing abortion on demand up to
16 weeks and thereafter with the approval of two doctors.

Just 47% of women (50% overall) support the legislation according to a new Galaxy
Research poll of 400 people aged 16-49, undertaken in August for culture-changing social
marketing charity, Emily’s Voice.

The phone survey showed 45% of women opposed the law, with 8% remaining undecided.
Among men, 54% said they supported the legislation, 32% were opposed, while 14% were
undecided.

Overall general support for abortion has dropped 3% to 58% in the 18 months since an
initial poll undertaken by Galaxy for Emily’s Voice.

Sixty-five percent of respondents also said more should be done to encourage parenting
and adoption instead of abortion, including 67% of women.

Emily’s Voice commissioned Galaxy Research to undertake a survey in February 2013
before starting its ongoing social marketing campaigns of TV, radio, online and outdoor
advertising.

Emily’s Voice seeks to “help every Australian fall in love with the unborn, and encourage
and support women with an unplanned or crisis pregnancy.’’

Emily’s Voice board chair Katrina Hobbs said the latest Galaxy survey showed 72% of
women recalled seeing the ads, with 78% of all respondents, and 82% of women saying
they were credible.

“We are delighted that Tasmanians remember and like the ads,’’ she said.

“The advertisements feature true personal stories of women and couples facing an
unplanned or crisis pregnancy.

“The ads are purposely truthful, hopeful and sensitive.

“We are pro-woman and pro-child and want the best for both.’’

The Galaxy poll of 400 respondents aged 16-49 was conducted from August 15-18, 2014.

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Forest products industry recovering after years of Labor mismanagement

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
24.09.14 8:27 am

A new industry survey reveals Australia’s forest products industry is recovering under a Coalition Government that recognises the importance of forestry.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed findings of the Australian Forest Products Association’s (AFPA) first annual business confidence survey, released today.

“The AFPA business confidence survey highlights positive signs for the forest products industry, with the national business confidence index scoring a positive 13.73 which indicates confidence in the year ahead,” he said.

“The majority of businesses are predicting increased capital investment and increased sales this financial year, with the best result coming from South Australia where 77 percent of executives are expecting to increase capital investment.”

Senator Colbeck said it is particularly pleasing to see a high level of industry confidence returning after years of mismanagement under a Labor Government that did not recognise the importance of forestry.

“Timber is undoubtedly the building material of the 21st Century and Australia is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this trend.”

Senator Colbeck said the Coalition is focussed on creating the right policy foundation for a strong and sustainable long-term future for the forestry industry, including the forest products sector.

“We have done as promised and removed the toxic carbon tax, resulting in significant cost savings for business,” he said.

“I recently announced the establishment of the Forestry Advisory Council which will develop a national plan for the industry. Council members have wide-ranging experience within the forestry industry and community.”

“We are committed to supporting long-term Regional Forest Agreements and establishing a 20 year rolling life for each agreement and have begun working to implement this policy.”

More details of the AFPA annual business confidence survey can be found on their website – http://www.ausfpa.com.au

*** In Tasmania 73 per cent of executives are predicting increased capital investment in the industry and 90 per cent are predicting an increase in sales.

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UNHCR launches biggest aid push in a decade

UNHCR
24.09.14 7:35 am

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In response to the growing crisis in northern Iraq, the UN Refugee Agency has conducted a massive aid operation to assist some 500,000 Iraqis displaced by conflict. Airlifts and transport of relief supplies by road and sea, such as water, medicine, shelter and food are being delivered to families in desperate need.

Read more here

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Peter Coad: Are Huon Valley Council policies costing jobs?

Peter Coad MVC Candidate for councillor and mayor, Deep Bay, Cygnet
24.09.14 6:19 am

“With Huon Valley unemployment at about an alarming 9%, it is totally inappropriate that the Huon Valley Council should be contracting out its employees to do work on State Government roads,” says Peter Coad.

“If this has been happening, which I believe is the case, the practice is costing jobs for Huon Valley contractors. Clearly, private contractors are at a significant disadvantage because they do not have the benefits that the council has of using rate revenue to pay workers’ wages and to buy and maintain its plant and equipment.

“It would be good to know if council’s current policy complies with National Competition Policy (NCP), or if council is even aware of NCP,” he says.

“Serious questions need to be asked about why council is using its own workforce to take work off local private contractors. There are two possible reasons: (i) council has more staff than it needs to carry out its own infrastructure program; or (ii) council needs to raise revenue to cover its high wages bill.

“If contractors are able to compete on an equal basis,” says Mr Coad, “there are many with employees and equipment that can efficiently and cost-effectively undertake the work council is doing. Mr Ross Pettit said his company has been concerned for some time. My company has the equipment but cannot compete on the same basis as the HVC he said.

“There needs to be tighter controls to prevent councils competing with the private sector and using ratepayer funds to sustain their often inefficient models.

“A state infrastructure plan that involves both local and state government is required. We must be more innovative in how we maintain and grow Tasmania’s infrastructure requirements.

“The Huon Valley Council, and local government generally, in association with the State Government, should review this important issue if we are to provide real economic benefits to the state and to the Huon Valley in particular,” says Mr Coad. 

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Candlelit vigil for the French Journalists arrested in West Papua

Jo Collins and Anne Noonan, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
24.09.14 6:15 am

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A candlelit vigil for the French Journalists arrested in West Papua was held outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney this afternoon, 23 September.  Anthony Craig of the DLP organised the rally.

Joe Collins of AWPA who was also at the rally said,

“Normally journalists arrested in West Papua for visa irregularities are deported and the arrest of the French journalists (who could face up to five years in jail) takes the intimidation of journalists to a new level.  This is obviously a challenge to the incoming president, Jokowi by the security forces who want to protect their interests in West Papua and want to see how he will react to the situation. It should be remembered that Jokowi has recently visited West Papua twice, and in the lead up to the election promised to open West Papua to foreign journalists and non-government organisations if he won the election. “Why not? It’s safe here in Papua,” he was quoted as saying. “There’s nothing to hide.  Not only should the Journalists be released but also all political prisoners in West Papua”.

More here:
http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/photos-of-rally-for-french-journalists.html

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New Report on Tasmanian Women and Girls

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Women
23.09.14 7:43 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to tackling issues facing women and girls in Tasmania.

A key action under the Tasmanian Women’s Plan 2013-1018 was to improve the data available on how Tasmanian women and girls are faring in key areas.

To build this evidence-base to support the Tasmanian Women’s Plan, I today released the first biennial Women and Girls in Tasmania Report.

The report provides a data snapshot of the status of women and girls in Tasmania as of 2013 and provides a baseline for future measurement of change.

With the release of this report, we now have the opportunity to track the progress and improvements made through the Tasmanian Women’s Plan and identify where more work is needed.

While in areas such as education, alcohol consumption and life expectancy Tasmanian women are faring better than men, there are still significant challenges facing women.

The report found that:

• 86 per cent of reported victims of sexual assault were female.
• 31.5 per cent of assaults against women were perpetrated by the victim’s partner.
• Females on average achieve better literacy and numeracy results and are more likely to complete undergraduate or post-graduate degrees.
• Sole female parents were 16.4 per cent less likely to participate in the labour force than sole male parents;
• Tasmania had the lowest gender pay equity gap in the nation but female workers still earned on average $116.80 less than males each week.

We must continue to tackle the serious issue of sexual assaults and domestic violence against women and girls.

The Liberal Government is working with the Commonwealth Government to develop the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, as well as uniting with the Commonwealth and other States and Territories to jointly fund the new Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

We are also implementing strategies under Taking Action: Tasmania’s Primary Prevention Strategy to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children.

To further protect women and children, this government will invest an additional $924,000 over 4 years into preventing sexual assault and increasing after hours sexual assault services.

The Government is also committed to continuing to tackle all areas where women still experience barriers to participating equally in society.

The Report released today is an important milestone which will inform policy development and help us to track the progress of efforts to ensure Tasmanian women and girls have access to the best opportunities our society has to offer. The full Report can be downloaded from http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/csrt/

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Hospital Auxiliaries Conference

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
23.09.14 7:41 pm

It was an honour to officially open the State Hospital Auxiliaries Conference in Launceston today.

The volunteers of the auxiliary do wonderful work motivated by a desire to help others.

Auxiliary representatives from hospital and health care facilities from across the state attended the conference with the theme ‘Healthy Auxiliaries, Happy Hospitals’.

I thank all members of the auxiliary for donating their time and energy to support our hospitals, our health care facilities, our staff and our patients.

I note some members of the auxiliary have been active in the movement for 40, 50 and even 60 years.

In the past year they have raised in excess of $700,000 toward equipment and activities to enhance patient care and comfort; a remarkable effort.

The auxiliaries are wonderful role-models and their work benefits the entire community.

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Derwent Estuary Program Partnership Extended

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
23.09.14 7:39 pm

The Liberal Government has extended an agreement with local government and industry partners to restore, promote and protect the Derwent Estuary.

The Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) was established 15 years ago as a partnership between the Government and six councils to ensure the health of the Derwent.

Today that partnership was extended with the State Government, Brighton, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough councils, and major industry partners Nyrstar Hobart Smelter, Norske Skog Paper, TasWater, Tas Ports and Hydro Tasmania committing to managing the estuary through the DEP over the next five years, with the aim of reaching aspirations we have for the estuary over the next 10 to 20 years.

The Liberal Government is contributing funding of $138,000 in 2014-15 plus in-kind support for the DEP.

The Derwent Estuary lies at the heart of the Greater Hobart area as an asset of great beauty and natural diversity.

Substantial improvements to the estuary have been achieved by the DEP since its inception. The State Government and all of the program partners are committed to continuing this improvement over the next decade and beyond.

Since its inception in 1999, the DEP has been nationally recognised for excellence in reducing water pollution, conserving habitats and species, monitoring river health and promoting greater use and enjoyment of the foreshore.

The first Derwent Estuary Program Partnership Agreement was signed in 2001 and the second in 2009.

Key areas for action under the new partnership agreement include:

• Managing and reducing heavy metal contamination
• Preventing the excessive growth of algae and other organisms
• Promoting water sensitive urban design
• Conserving iconic habitats and species
• Enhancing catchment flows and water quality
• Education and interpretation

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Port Arthur Penitentiary steels itself for restabilisation

Kate McCarthy Sales & Marketing Coordinator Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority
23.09.14 4:32 pm

Port Arthur’s most emblematic ruin, the Penitentiary has been the focus of major conservation works for the better part of 2014. The engineering project, which costs in excess of $7 million dollars, will ensure that the ruin, once the largest building in Tasmania, will endure for generations to come.  A critical and much anticipated milestone in the project will be realised tomorrow and will provide quite a spectacle as the largest of a series of steel columns wind their way down to Port Arthur on the Arthur Highway.

The series of 14 steel columns has been manufactured in Kingston, Tasmania by Saunders & Ward. The largest of these columns, being 12 metres in length weighs 4.8 tonne and has seen a local manufacturing workforce of 20 employees contributing to the conservation of the Penitentiary, which is a familiar feature of the World Heritage Listed site.

Project Manager Lucy Burke Smith said,  “The columns are part of a suite of engineering interventions which will ensure the stability of the remnant walls and reinterpret the internal spaces differently from that of the past 30 years and will enhance the visitor experience.”

“We are deploying staff to capture the spectacle of these enormous structures arriving on Site which will undoubtedly be a vision like no other seen here at Port Arthur – there is a strong sense of anticipation and excitement among the team.”

The project, due for completion in December this year, is an excellent example of the ongoing conservation works to the Port Arthur Historic Site and how we combine progressive engineering practice with excellence in conservation.

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Trip of a lifetime for Tasmanian agriculture leaders

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture
23.09.14 4:31 pm

The prestigious Nuffield Scholarship has been awarded to two Tasmanian agriculture leaders, who will travel overseas to experience global best practice in their chosen fields.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, congratulated the 2015 Nuffield scholars - including Thomas Snare of Boat Harbour, farm manager at the TIA Dairy Research Facility, and Abby McKibben of Roaring Beach, who works at Huon Aquaculture.

“Nuffield scholars have the opportunity to travel overseas and experience different farming techniques in their chosen field, before returning home with new ideas to implement in their own business and to share with others,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The program has made a profound impact in Australia and here in Tasmania, with scholars bringing home revolutionary technology, production techniques and ideas that have benefited the industry.”
“The opportunity to study overseas helps farmers stay at the top of their game and be world leaders at adoption of technology, best practice and innovation.”

Thomas’ scholarship is supported by Dairy Australia and will enable him to travel to New Zealand, Europe, Canada and Japan. He is interested in discovering opportunities to value-add to Tasmania’s currently expanding dairy industry.

Abby, supported by Blundstone Australia, will attend the Terra Madre food festival in Italy and other countries such as Switzerland, France and the USA. She will study luxury seafood marketing with an aim to raise the markets perceived value of Australian seafood.

“The Tasmanian dairy industry is at an exciting time and there is a lot of potential to grow the industry even further. Thomas’ scholarship will enable him to further research the dairy industry and the potential for development,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Tasmania’s aquaculture industry is also at an exciting stage and there is enormous potential to further build on our highly acclaimed international reputation – Abby’s scholarship will enable her to build on this reputation.”

“I wish Thomas and Abby all the best and look forward to seeing what ideas and inspiration they bring back to Tasmania.”

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EDO: Hobart Community Mining Law Workshop

Environmental Defenders' Office
23.09.14 2:20 pm

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You are invited to attend:

Hobart Community Mining Law Workshop

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

All the details, HERE

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Premier creating uncertainty over tourism investment

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Tourism Minister
23.09.14 2:15 pm

Premier Will Hodgman must show leadership and act decisively to secure crucial investment in Triabunna.

Shadow Tourism Minister Scott Bacon says the Liberal Government is sending out mixed messages when it comes to investment.

“The Liberals’ witch hunt over the Triabunna mill is putting current and future investment opportunities at risk,” Mr Bacon said.

“It’s greatly concerning that Graeme Wood has put the go-slow on his tourism plans because the Government hasn’t ruled out compulsory acquisition of the mill site.

“Will Hodgman needs to wind up the pointless inquiry and send a stronger message to investors.

“The inquiry makes a mockery of the Government’s promise to put up the ‘open for business sign’.

“Tasmania needs to welcome positive investment opportunities regardless of the political stance of the investor.

“The Liberals are playing a dangerous game and fuelling sovereign risk for their own petty political purposes.”

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Liberal ministers continue dodging questions

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
23.09.14 2:15 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green today accused Liberal Government ministers of ducking for cover to avoid questioning by the media over important issues.

“Whenever there are questions ministers don’t want to answer they hide behind a Government spokesperson,” Mr Green said.

“Attributing responses to spokesmen and spokeswomen is becoming the norm.

“It is almost impossible to get straight answers from this Government.

“We saw it again yesterday when a spokeswoman responded to questions over Qantas’s commitment to call centre jobs in Tasmania instead of the Premier.”

Mr Green called on Government ministers to be more accountable.

“It should not be left to behind the scenes advisors to concoct responses on behalf of ministers,” Mr Green said.

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Labor vows to hold Government to account on NBN promise

Madeleine Ogilvie MP Shadow Minister for Technology, Communications and Innovation
23.09.14 2:13 pm

Labor will keep the State Government to its word that the NBN roll out will deliver fibre to the premises for 80 per cent of Tasmanians, according to Shadow Minsiter for Technology, Communications and Innovation, Madeleine Ogilvie.

“This was a commitment made by Michael Ferguson during Budget Estimates hearings and we intend to ensure the Government sticks to it,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“It is disappointing the NBN roll out has been delayed to businesses and residential areas despite pre-election promises from both Federal and State Liberal governments, but Mr Ferguson’s commitment is now on the public record.

“I am delighted Mr Ferguson has pledged 80 per cent fibre to the premises because that is what Tasmanian homes and businesses need.

“I will be doing everything in my power to work with the Government to ensure it delivers on this promise.”

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Glenorchy RSL Bocce Club OZ Bocce Season ...

Andrea Ramondino, Glenorchy RSL Bocce Club
23.09.14 7:25 am

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Pic of 2013-14 OZ Bocce Season winners (from left to right David Williams, Heidi Balsiger, Jed Gillian)

The 2014-15 Glenorchy RSL Bocce Club OZ Bocce Season starts on Thursday 9October 2014.

OZ Bocce is a fun filled event that all ages can enjoy, which allows participants to have a go at Bocce in a relaxed atmosphere, with opportunities for coaching and tips if one so wishes. There is a BBQ and drinks for sale, making it an enjoyable night towards the end of the working week.

GOOD NEWS, the first week you come along during the season is FREE!!!

There is no need to form a team before registering, both individuals and groups of people are welcome to come along, with no requirement to come every week as games are organised on the night based on who turns up.

Bocce balls and equipment are provided by the Bocce club.

Although it is a relaxed atmosphere, results of all games played go towards the 2014-15Glenorchy RSL OZ Bocce Champion.

Costs are:

• $5 night including a BBQ, first week of attendance is FREE
• $20 for annual membership

David Williams, aveteran of OZ Bocce finally cracked through with a 1st placing in the 2013-14 OZ Season, having been placed second and third in previous seasons. The other places getters last season were (see pic below):

• 2nd–Heidi Balsiger
• 3rd – Jed Gillian

Our sponsors ensure that the season is affordable and enjoyable:

• the Italian Pantry in 34 Federal Street North Hobart provide sausagesfor the BBQ and other tasty treats
• the BP on the Brooker Highway will provide prises for the 2014-15OZ Bocce Champion

People interested in a fun competitive event on a Thursday night should contact the Glenorchy RSL Bocce Club by email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 0408 569 018.
Private bocce events can be organised for groups.

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Hundreds Taking Chance to be China Ready

Will Hodgman, Premier, Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
22.09.14 7:13 pm

The Liberal Government is committed to attracting 1.5 million visitors to Tasmania every year by 2020, which the industry says will create 8,000 new jobs.

China is our number one international tourist market and will help us to reach this target.

A record 20,400 Chinese tourists visited our island in the 12 months to June, a 61 per cent increase according to the latest International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia.

The Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania is hosting workshops to ensure the industry is “China ready”, which provides a great opportunity to better position ourselves to build on this trend.

The overwhelming participation of hundreds of tourism workers over coming weeks is a clear indication of the industry’s enthusiasm for this undertaking.

The workshops, part funded by our Government through the Department of State Growth, will be held in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie, Cradle Mountain and Bicheno over the next two weeks.

More than 150 participants will take part in Hobart today, while the final workshop in Bicheno has already attracted 70 enrolments; from tour guides through to service station workers.

I commend the industry’s commitment to making our state China ready.

The Asian market is key to Tasmania’s economic prosperity and the potential for growth in our competitive strengths, especially tourism.

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New Mine to Create 30 Jobs

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources
22.09.14 7:08 pm

A mining lease has been granted for a new bauxite mine near Campbell Town that promises to create 30 jobs.

The lease, which I have granted to Australian Bauxite, covers an area of 205 hectares adjacent to Macquarie Road, with a maximum disturbed area of 41 hectares.

More than 1.6 million tonnes of bauxite, the world’s main source of aluminium, is expected to be mined for domestic and international markets from three pits on the lease site.

The bauxite will be panel mined across the top of small hills, from west to east, and topsoil will then be replaced on to the disturbed areas, while there will be no waste rock dump or tailings dump required.

The ore will be shipped through Bell Bay, and some is of such quality that it will not need to be upgraded by screening.

This is an exciting project that will both create jobs and economic activity, while showcasing the mineral diversity and potential of Tasmania.

It will also provide a lead-in to the company’s other prospective sites.

Subject to other necessary approvals, the company expects that preliminary work will start next month and the new mine will commence operations by December.

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Farm School Zoning Move Welcomed

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
22.09.14 7:06 pm

Brighton Council’s move to amend its planning scheme to secure the future of the Jordan River Learning Centre school farm on its current site is most welcome.

This school farm, like others around the State, is of great value to students, staff, parents and the wider community.

The Liberal Government made very clear that we support the current location of the school because it helps to bridge the gap between rural and urban Tasmania, and provides an accessible, hands-on learning experience for students.

The council has listened to the community and acted responsibly, and I applaud the Mayor and Councillors for following through on their commitment.

Establishing a special zone will ensure the school farm can continue to operate in compliance with the council’s planning scheme and by-laws, and is an appropriate outcome.

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Greens Demand Answers on Qantas

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Member for Denison
22.09.14 7:05 pm

Premier Will Hodgman must come clean on exactly how many jobs Qantas promised in return for the $10.9m deal with the Premier after Qantas appear to have ignored Tasmania in favour of creating new jobs in Auckland.

“The Premier was pretty quick to pat himself on the back when he announced the deal, so how does he explain how Qantas seems to have snubbed extra jobs in Hobart in favour of creating jobs in New Zealand,” said Greens Member for Denison Cassy O’Connor MP.

“The real question is how many jobs did Mr Hodgman actually create when he did the deal, and how many of these jobs will now be delivered?”

“On the face of it, Qantas appear to have played the Premier for a fool, which wouldn’t be so bad except we are talking about over ten million dollars in cash and lost revenue which belong to the people of Tasmania, not the Liberal Party,” Ms O’Connor said.

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Tasmanian Business Access: Free advertising ... seven days to go

Tasmanian Business Access
22.09.14 6:51 pm

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Read more here

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Appointment of Acting Judge of the Supreme Court

Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General
22.09.14 6:50 pm

Today the Lieutenant-Governor Justice Alan Blow appointed David Lindsey Harper AM QC as an acting judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

Justice Harper AM has been appointed from 10 November 2014 to hear an appeal by Tim Ellis. He will remain an acting judge of the Court until that matter has been finalised.

Justice Harper served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1992 to 2013.

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Advocates welcome Gillard’s declaration that Marriage Equality is inevitable ....

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome
22.09.14 4:21 pm

Marriage equality advocates have welcomed former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard’s, declaration that marriage equality in Australia is inevitable.

While in office Ms Gillard opposed marriage equality, because of what she today described as “as an old-fashioned, feminist view” about creating “some other way of solemnising relationships”.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“I urge those Labor MPs who continue to be conflicted about marriage equality to consider Julia Gillard’s comments and ensure they are on the right side of history when marriage equality is next voted on.”

“Equality and choice are two key feminist principles which Ms Gillard lost sight of by opposing marriage equality and hopefully they are now coming back in to focus.”

In acknowledging the inevitability of marriage equality Ms Gillard said, “I accept the course of human history now is that we are going to see same-sex marriage here and in, you know, most parts of the developed world.”

For a full report on Ms Gillard’s comments, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/gillard-says-same-sex-marriage-a-matter-of-time/5760460

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Art and the recollection and resolution of trauma

Communications and Media Office, University of Tasmania
22.09.14 4:19 pm

How can art and art collections assist in the recollection and resolution of experiences of trauma and conflict and in social reconciliation?

That is the question a group of 10 Indonesian and East Timorese artists, curators, academics, officials and community workers have been exploring in a series of appearances throughout Australia this month.

University of Tasmania Associate Professor Pam Allen will chair a discussion tonight between the visiting writers, textile artists, painters and thinkers at the Sandy Bay Campus.

“With a shared background of conflict, these ten visiting artists are sure to bring a fascinating range of views on the role of art and literature in reconciliation,” Professor Allen said.

The visiting artists include Indonesian writer and journalist Seno Gumiro Ajidarma, textile artists Rosalia Madeira Soares and Jacky Ximenes from Timor Leste.

What: Indonesia, East Timor and the Arts: Recollection, Restoration, Reconciliation.

When: 6pm, TONIGHT.

Where: Stanley Burbury Theatre, Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania.

For more information, visit http://www.events.utas.edu.au/2014/september/indonesia,-east-timor-and-the-arts-recollection,-restoration,-reconciliation

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Why I oppose Tasmanian trials for medical cannabis

Hans Willink. Candidate for Deputy Mayor of Clarence. Responsibility for election comment is taken by Hans Willink, 799 Acton Road Acton Park
22.09.14 3:11 pm

I oppose Tasmanian trials for medical cannabis and I oppose special, Tasmanian legislation to legalise its. My opposition has nothing to do with opposing pain relief or fearing the spread of illicit drugs but everything to do with removing duplication of effort. I actually support legalisation of medical cannabis, but what I don’t support is the waste of time and effort in producing unique to Tasmania legislation and then conduct unique to Tasmania trials, when the issues facing us are no different to those facing NSW and Victoria, both of whom are further ahead both preparing legislation and approving trials. This week both NSW and Victoria approved trials, which they are in a much better position to resource from their much larger primary industry and health departments. Even the Prime Minister seems to have come on board.

But its worse than that, after the trials have finished and presumably, unique to Tasmania regulation and controls have been put into place, we will need to have a special group of new public servants to monitor compliance and accredit Tasmanian medical cannabis suppliers. This will result in a higher cost to Tasmanian patients, as suppliers will have to factor in the cost to meet the unnecessary, unique to Tasmania rules.

So here is my idea . Scrap the legislative council committee (I bet half their submissions are the same as those provided to their equivalent NSW/Vic committees anyway), scrap the trials, scrap trying to come up with our own legislation, wait until NSW and Victoria have finished their trials and legislation, then copy the legislation and use it here. With all three governments from the same political party, what they come up with probably won’t be that different, anyway. As far as which products and suppliers are acceptable in Tasmania, if its good enough for NSW or Victoria, just say its good enough here. 

Alternatively, in a Utopian world, perhaps all three trials could be replaced with a single National trial conducted under the auspices of COAG. Now there’s a thought. Just think of money, political argument and public servant time that might all save!

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Warning: ‘80% of dentists should be avoided’

Aldwyn Altuney AA Xpose Media Director/ Photojournalist
22.09.14 1:37 pm

Dentists are ripping off patients in Australia and overseas, doing inadequate work and at least 80 per cent should be avoided, according to dental technician Werner Sauer.

Mr Sauer, who runs Werner Sauer Oral Design in Brisbane, said many Australian dental technicians would not recommend 80% of dentists to customers, family or friends and some would be even more selective.

Having worked in the industry for 43 years, he regularly sees first hand the lack of quality and care taken by many dentists worldwide.

Mr Sauer said patients needed to be informed about their dental treatment, especially cosmetic procedures.

“If teeth are not functioning properly, it could lead to neuromuscular problems such as migraines, neck and jaw pain,” Mr Sauer said.

“With an oversupply of dentists and people travelling overseas for treatment, dentists are under more pressure to cut costs. This has been compounded by corporations and health funds buying up dental practices and pushing their employed dentists to produce more work for lower costs and KPIs.”

He said young dentists were no longer mentored by their employers, as had previously happened in traditional family practices and were not receiving adequate on-the-job training.

“The focus is on profits, not patient care,” he said.

“Almost 70 per cent of dental lab work is going offshore and the savings are not passed on to the patient. Some dentists are buying dental crowns in China for about $50 and selling them fitted to patients for up to $2100.”

He said the local cost of a crown was about $250 to $400, yet regardless of where the dentist bought it from, they still charged ridiculous prices and ‘pocketed the difference’.

“Patients are not told where their crowns are being made or offered the choice or the saving. In Germany, there is full disclosure legally by dentists,” Mr Sauer said.
“Australian patients should demand the same level of transparency.”

He said patients were making decisions far too lightly and based too much on price.

“Not recognising the consequences of poor treatment can be much worse in the long term,” he said.

“Usually it is more expensive and the treatment more extensive to repair failed dental work than it would have been to have it performed properly in the first place. With dentistry, problems may take years to manifest, so many patients are unaware of the ramifications of inadequate dental work.  It’s much better to seek treatment from a dentist that you can trust to do the work properly, will not take shortcuts to save costs or treat above their skill level.”

Retired Sydney dental technician/ author of ‘Open Wide- What Your Dentist Won’t Tell You’, Tom Parker backed up Mr Sauer’s warning, saying he and many other dental technicians would only refer their families to 1-3% of dentists.

He said the biggest problem with going overseas for dental work was there was no continuing service and it would take 2-3 years for problems to show, so the one-year warranty offered by some travel companies was worthless.

“You can get brilliant dentistry in Australia (and overseas) and you can get butchery,” Mr Parker said.

Patients need to know how to ask the right questions to find a quality dentist that they can trust with their care.  If patients want to be referred to quality dentists and neuromuscular dentists they can trust, call 3368 2283 or visit http://www.wsod.com.au

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Meehan Monster: Monster Digest Vol 2 ...

Meehan Monster
22.09.14 10:21 am

image

What’s new in the Zoo ...

Find out here

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The UNAA Media Awards ...

United Nations Association of Australia (Victoria)
22.09.14 9:07 am

Download invitation

UNAA_Media_Awards_2014_-_Official_Invitation.pdf

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Candidates’ statements at the 2014 PRSAV-T Inc. Council election

Lyle Allan, Proportional Representation Society of Australia (Victoria-Tasmania)
22.09.14 8:00 am

Candidates’ statements at the 2014 PRSAV-T Inc. Council election
in response to Returning Officer’s invitation to have them posted here
To access the statements of candidates listed below - in ballot paper order - scroll down.

Each candidate’s statement below was posted on 21 September 2014 and will
remain here, unchanged, unless withdrawn earlier at the candidate’s request.

Each single statement below is the only statement for each candidate
that will appear here until the close of the poll on 10 October 2014.
                     
LYLE ALLAN: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

As a member of the PRSAV-T Council I have drafted the majority of its Municipal Electoral Representation Review submissions for the most recent round of such reviews by the Victorian Electoral Commission. I have also made personal submissions to various Representation Reviews and also to the Georgiou Review on Local Government Elections in Victoria. My major interest has been in local government elections, both in Victoria and to a lesser extent in Tasmania. I have presented papers on local government elections at academic conferences, and have written articles in the Tasmanian Times. I am a former TAFE teacher. I have experience as a Returning Officer at Western Melbourne TAFE (now part of Victoria University) over two decades using PR.

I have acted as Secretary during the occasional unavoidable absences of the Secretary.

Should I be re-elected I expect to continue these activities. I believe the present Council has acted in a cohesive and cooperative manner, and I would like this to continue.

ANTHONY VAN DER CRAATS: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

If a candidate is excluded from the count, all ballots should be treated as if that candidate had never stood. - A reiterative counting system, where the counting of the ballot is reset and restarted on every exclusion, is the best means of fulling this principle. This way a full value vote is always attributed to the first available continuing candidate of the voters choice - One vote one value

A. van der Craats

CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Candidate: Anthony van der Craats

Website: http://prsa.melbcity.net.au

Profession: Systems Analyst

Life Member of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia
Member of the Australian Labor Party
Life member of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

Achievements:  Principle Architect of the ALP policy adopting Proportional Representation for Local Government in Victoria and the reform of the Victorian Legislative Council
 
Committed to Pure Proportional Representation at all levels of Government

Issues

The PSRA Executive Council to date has been remiss in not addressing a number of important issues and flaws in the way the cote is counted.

The PRSA needs to become more proactive in promoting electoral reform and the merit of Proportional Representation.

Proportional Representation is under threat. Public confidence is at an all time low. Community groups are actively advocating to replace proportional representation for single member electorates for Local Government. This is in part due to the complexity and distortions in the way the vote is counted. The system of counting the votes are outdated. The PR society is operating in the days of the Typewriter and hand held calculator
 
The system that is in place is in need of serious review and reform

The system of counting the vote as advocated by the PR Society is out-of-date and must be reviewed.  It was designed to facilitate a manual counting procedure and in the process a number of procedures implements distort the proportionally and outcome of the election.

The PRSA Council needs to undertake a review of the counting rules with the aim of embracing and incorporating computer based technology and a more stream lined counting procedure.
 
The Wright System (named after the late Jack Wright President of the PRSA).

I am a strong advocate for the Wright system
 
The following issues MUST be addressed

The adoption of a weighted value in calculating the Surplus Transfer value.

Abolition of the last bundle transfer distribution method in favour of a full distribution of preferences in proportion to the value of the vote

A single transfer of all ballot papers per candidate, without segmentation, in distributing preferences. This is best achieved by resetting and restarting the count on every exclusion ensuring that a full value vote is always allocated to the first available continuing candidate in accordance with the voters nominated order of preference:

The guiding principle that a vote should be distributed as if the excluded candidate had not stood.

The retention of remainders with the value of the vote

The method of recount is in need of serious review to take into consideration all unused ballot papers and not be limited to the the number of votes that elected the vacating candidate.

Abolition of the Droop Wasted Quota so as to allow all votes to be of equal value to be counted in full

Analysis of the 2007 Queensland and Victorian Senate vote and the 2012 City of Melbourne Council elections highlights the flaws in the system currently in place.

In the past a pure proportional representational counting system was prohibitive. With the use of computer aided counting system this is not longer the case. We need to review the rules to include and take full advantage of computer based technology.
 
Software Package:

The Association should develop a readily available software package to assist in the conduct of a proportional representation election,
 
Web Site:

The PRSA needs to seriously review its web site. The current design of the web site has little to desire.  It needs to be more accessible and better structured to service members needs and to facilitate open public debate on electoral reform. If elected I will offer my services to restructure and better manage the web site.
 
Membership:

It is appalling that we only have 38 financial members and this is declining with an aging membership. Much more needs to be done to encourage greater participation and engagement in the Association if the association is to survive.
 
National Constitution

The National Constitution needs to be reviewed to ensure that it fulfills the aims and objectives of the Society by ensuring that the executive and office bearers are elected by a system of Proportional representation. In fulfillment of Clause 2(b) of the Societies Constitution,  The council must be more proactive in undertaking this review.

More policy and details available on my website http://psra.melbcity.net.au

Anthony van der Craats

Life Member Proportional Representation Society of Australia

LEE NAISH: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

I am a Senior Fellow in the Computing and Information Systems Department of Melbourne University.  I have been a PRSAV-T Council member for many years and have previously served as President and Secretary.

My contributions have included:

* alerting the then Minister to a critical amendment he agreed was needed to his Bill that brought in PR for the Legislative Council,

* submissions to and appearances before various committees (such as JSCEM, Victoria’s Constitution Commission, and municipal electoral reviews),

* participation in the vote-counting service of the Society as an Accredited PR Vote-counting Officer,

* articles in the press and academic publications, and

* raising awareness and support for the Meek vote counting method within the Society.

I am reluctant to comment at length on the other candidates, but I think the group dynamics of the council influence how effective we can be. Although I do not agree with all the opinions of the other current members of council, we are always able to have respectful, rational discussions leading to a consensus position which we are all comfortable with. My preference is for the composition of the council to remain unchanged.

If I feel an urgent need to supply more facts or opinions I will update
http://people.eng.unimelb.edu.au/lee/prsavt14.html

GEOFFREY GOODE: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

I have served as the Treasurer, and more recently as the President of PRSAV-T Inc, succeeding Dr Lee Naish in that role. Lee’s experience as a Fellow of the Computer Science Department at the University of Melbourne has always helped us keep abreast of that necessary side of modern communications and electoral practice. As our Vice-President, Lee has joined me in useful meetings with the recent Local Government Minister and the current Shadow Minister, and in an earlier meeting with Dr Denis Napthine.

I have been pleased to work with a harmonious and productive Council that has assisted the progress in Victoria and Tasmania of the quota-preferential proportional electoral system that is the main reason for the PRSA’s existence. PRSAV-T Inc. Officers’ involvement in submissions and appearances before Inquiries at Federal, at State and at Local Government level, as is recorded at those hyperlinks.

That PRSAV-T Inc. Council unfortunately lost the services of our former Treasurer, the late Maurie Fabrikant, owing to his premature illness and death, but fortunately we were able to attract and retain a much younger, well qualified, new member to the Society, and to the Council, in the form of Maurie’s successor as our Treasurer, Dr Jeremy Lawrence, who has proved to be equally reliable, responsible and constructively innovative.

I have been pleased to work as well with the other members of the Council, the Branch’s Secretary, Dr Stephen Morey, who was recently decisively elected - by the entire PRSA membership - as the PRSA National Secretary, and Lyle Allan. Stephen has provided an excellent service in the prompt production of accurate and complete minutes and the management of our correspondence.

During Stephen’s occasional overseas academic work, Lyle Allan - who holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne - has always deputized for Stephen and operated to the same high standard. Lyle’s extensive knowledge of Victorian politics is always valuable to the Council, and thus to the PR Society.

Each of the five present members of the PRSAV-T Inc. Council has assisted with its work, and each is well suited to contributing, as they have, to our advocacy work in attending meetings, asking searching questions of officials, and making the Society’s presence felt in as effective a way as is possible with our present resources. We also work to steadily increase those resources.

The Council has brought other members into the Branch’s work through its volunteer team of Accredited PR Vote-counting Officers, who are appreciated by community groups, as they help make PR elections practical, and economical, for them, and help spread the word about the advantages and practicality of PR elections. They count ballots for them - or train them - to produce a PR result instead of the badly flawed multiple first-past-the-post procedure that so many groups resort to by default.

I trust PRSAV-T Inc. voters will recognize, when voting, that there is a good and varied spectrum of age and knowledge on the Council that is worth maintaining, although we need to somehow interest more women in PR. 

JEREMY LAWRENCE: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

I should be elected to the PRSAV-T council because we form a great team and we do great work. I am also a life member of PRSAV-T, the incumbent treasurer and most likely (at age 40) the youngest member of the society. I am interesting in working for a better world by introducing PR where ever possible. This can only be achieved by working as part of a team. Members of the council must be able to work together. This means they must be able to actually listen to each other.

Even more important, they should also be able to present a good image when representing us in public. In my opinion our existing council members, Geoff Goode, Lee Naish, Stephen Morey, Lyle Allan and I, are all able to do this. We have a great balance of skills, including writing submissions, speaking to submissions, involving other branches, and knowledge or PR.

We have focussed our limited time on the actions most likely to achieve results. We have not wasted our time on frivolities, red herrings or unimportant details. PR requires steady steps forward, not wild steps backward. I hold a PhD in Engineering and am quite capable of distinguishing between spurious topics and valuable priorities.

Our biggest challenge for the upcoming year is to get all national members to approve a clear set of of PRSA policies regarding the senate, house of representatives and state parliaments. Only with a clear set of policies can we unite all the branches and begin to attract new members. This process requires steady and careful negotiation with multiple stakeholders.

Vote (1) Jeremy Lawrence, and vote (2, 3, 4, 5) for the existing council.

STEPHEN MOREY: Statement received on 21 September 2014.

Stephen Morey, candidate for election to the PRSAV-T Inc. Council 2014-15

As current Secretary of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia, Victoria-Tasmania Branch Inc., I am seeking re-election to the council.

I am a research fellow in the field of linguistics at La Trobe University.

I believe that the interests of the society will be best represented by the re-election of the existing council members: Geoffrey Goode (President), Lee Naish (Vice-President), Stephen Morey (Secretary), Jeremy Lawrence (Treasurer) and Lyle Allan. We have worked very well together in the active promotion of PR and good election arrangements in Victoria and Tasmania.

Our work of advocacy has included carefully argued and well thought out submissions and appearances at Parliamentary Committees of both State and Federal Parliaments, preparation of and publication of articles in ‘The Conversation’, a large number of submissions to the Victorian Electoral Commission’s Local Government Reviews (particularly by Lyle Allan) as well as to the recent Local Government Review.

Our articles on ʹThe Conversationʹ, published in April and September 2013, got a high readership and brought PR to the attention of a wide range of people.

I urge you to vote for all five of us, in whichever order you prefer, to continue this important work.

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