In Their Own Words

01.03.11 12:00 am

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Politics | Media

Senator Colbeck to highlight Australian forest industry during trip to Japan and China

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
19.04.15 7:24 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Australian forest industry representatives will visit Japan and China this week to promote Australian forestry exports and explore new trading opportunities.

Senator Colbeck said the Forest and Forest Industry Market Development Mission: Japan and China would have a particular focus on promoting Australia’s forest and wood products industries.

“During this trip, we’ll be taking part in high-level discussions with government and industry about possible areas for development and growth for Australian forestry exports,” Senator Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck said China and Japan are key markets for Australian forestry exports—worth $542 million and $394 million respectively.

He said Australia has a reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and clean agricultural products and the delegation would focus on promoting the merits of Australia’s sustainable timber industry.

“Australian agricultural exporters are in a good position to look ahead at future trading opportunities with Japan and China thanks to the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) that entered into force in January, and the conclusion of negotiations for the China–Australian Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA).”

  “We also expect that this trip will also help us to better understand the Chinese and Japanese forestry sectors and how we can meet the needs of these key markets,” he said.

Senator Colbeck will also take the opportunity to promote Australia’s seafood export industry and agricultural export industries more broadly.

“China is our biggest agricultural export market and is valued at $9.8 billion, while Japan remains Australia’s second largest agricultural export market, valued at around $4 billion.

The Forest and Forest Industry Market Development Mission: Japan and China will run from 19–24 April.


Federal Liberal Government has no credibility on super trawlers

Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
19.04.15 3:00 pm

The Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson attended today’s community rally against the Super Trawler in Hobart and provides the following comment about the ongoing debate.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “Senator Richard Colbeck has done everything possible to avoid scrutiny in his handling over super trawlers fishing in Australian waters.

“His two major announcements in relation to super trawlers have been ‘dump and runs’ late on Christmas Eve and the day before Good Friday, in a clear attempt to limit debate and avoid scrutiny.

“The hundreds of Tasmanian people turning out in protest this weekend are right to not to trust this government in making sensible fisheries decisions.

“Has Senator Colbeck has picked an arbitrary size limit for the banning of vessels above 130 metres for shallow political reasons, or is this based on sound science?

“Last week Senator Colbeck stated ‘This government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management, we will continue to make any decisions regarding access to all Australian fisheries based on sound science’.

“If this is correct, he should immediately release the science on which this important decision was based.

“Senator Colbeck has no credibility in talking up the science behind his super trawler decisions unless he releases the science for public scrutiny by which he set the 130 metre threshold.

“If he doesn’t, how can the public have confidence that boats over 130 metres are unsustainable and need to be banned, but slightly smaller vessels are OK?

“On one hand the Liberals are saying the size of the trawler doesn’t matter, but on the other they are saying big boats are bad and should be banned. No wonder people are sceptical.

“Only last week the US fisheries regulators implemented an immediate ban on commercial fishing for sardines because of a massive crash in stocks, meanwhile in Australia the Liberal government appears to be doing everything it can to open up these fisheries for exploitation,” he concluded.


Coordinator General’s $2 million office a furphy

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
19.04.15 2:22 pm

State Labor today questioned the value for money of the Liberal Government’s high flying Coordinator-General’s office.

“Taxpayers are footing a $2 million bill for the office but nobody actually knows what it’s doing,” Labor Leader Bryan Green said.

“Where has the Coordinator-General been in the fight to keep the 280 Caterpillar jobs in Burnie and what is he doing to turn around declining investment and the loss of jobs in Tasmania’s mining industry?

“The Government promised the role would provide access to board rooms around the world, but we didn’t even get a foot in the door of Caterpillar’s headquarters in the United States.

The office was established three months ago but still doesn’t even have its own telephone number.

“It has a1800-listed number that goes straight to a message service in the Department of State Growth.

“What kind of message is that sending to businesses wanting to talk to the Coordinator-General?

“It might disguise the Liberals’ broken promise to have 10 Coordinator-General staff based in Launceston, but it doesn’t hide the fact it’s a token gesture.

“Most of the staff are in Hobart with only three in Launceston.

“It is clearly not what the Liberals led people to believe would happen when they promised to set up the $2 million office in Launceston.”



Will Hodgman, Premier
17.04.15 5:18 pm

The Federal Government’s decision taken today at COAG to adopt the GST relativity recommendations made by the Commonwealth Grants Commission is a good result for Tasmania, and was the right outcome.

The distribution of the GST reflects the very fabric of our Federation. It is about ensuring every Australian, whether they are living on a southern island or in the far west, has the same opportunity to access the same quality services.

It is about being fair.

It should be above an annual political brawl, which is the very reason the Commonwealth Grants Commission exists, to provide the fairest possible model to allocate GST funds - state funds - away from politics.

While we have won this battle, we have to keep fighting to ensure that the GST continues to be allocated fairly under the current formula.

This week’s events, combined with the fact that our share of GST will inevitably decline in future years as our economy improves, reinforces the need for strict budget discipline.

We cannot assume that our share of GST will remain at this level indefinitely and it’s important that we don’t overcommit to recurrent expenditure that won’t be affordable in future years.


Support for medicinal cannabis a significant step forward

Lara Giddings MP Shadow Attorney General
17.04.15 3:54 pm

Shadow Attorney General Lara Giddings today welcomed moves to grow medicinal cannabis in Tasmania as a significant step forward.

“Finally getting some Government support on this issue is a tribute to the courage of Tasmanians like Nicole Cowles, Natalie Daley and Lyn Cleaver who stood up and pushed the case so strongly,” Ms Giddings said.

“If it wasn’t for their determination and the pressure they kept up on government it would not be happening.

“The State Liberals have been dragged kicking and screaming to this point but now it appears they are on board.

“According to media reports, Michael Ferguson has finally approved CBD to be classed as a schedule 4 prescription-only medicine.

“Medicinal cannabis is a medication that has turned patients’ lives around and it seems Mr Ferguson is finally acknowledging that.”


EDO Bulletin Apr 17, 2015

Environmental Defenders' Office
17.04.15 3:43 pm


Read more here


Rhetoric Outperforms Substance in Treasurers 2015-16 Outlook Speech

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader
17.04.15 3:42 pm

The 2015-16 Tasmanian Economic Outlook report emphasises the urgent need for the government to look outside the box and focus on long-term structural reform of the state’s financial base, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“An economist would describe the Treasurer’s 2015-16 Budget Outlook speech as a large projection of political rhetoric, and a worrying reduction in substance,” Mr Booth said.

“I have never heard a speech that talked so much about nothing. Its passivity was also worrying.”

“We need an independent State Taxation review, and analysis of current expenditure priorities, to help develop a plan for long-term structural reform and drive a more robust and resilient economy, and this latest Outlook reaffirms now is the time to do so.”

“Where is the long-overdue assessment of, and plan to tackle, the state’s unfunded superannuation and debts held by government owned businesses are an economic time-bomb, which cannot continue to be swept beneath the carpet.”

“Instead of a plan to discharge those looming liabilities, the Liberals have continued to use the GBEs, such as Tas Networks as a milking cow.”

“It won’t be the Treasurer, laying back in his limousine, that pays for the $30 million forestry losses, it will be schools , hospitals and families paying for the waste through their electricity bills.” 

“The Treasurer avoided talking about the details of the next financial year’s budget outlook, and continued to hide either behind statistics or the GST debate to disguise the lack of vision or plan for economic structural reform.”

“Tasmania can no longer remain so passive and accepting of the fact that the bulk of our economic future and stability lies in the annual GST carve-up. We must also re-examine the areas over which the state does have control and ensure we are leveraging them to build a modern and resilient economy capable of withstanding external economic shifts.”

“The Treasurer is sounding more like a used-car salesman every day. The Greens urge that he takes a proactive position and get underway an independent review of our revenue base and expenditure, to ensure Tasmania is better positioned to withstand national and global financial forces beyond our control,” Mr Booth said.


National Recreational Fishing Group Fails to Represent Fishers

Mike Stevens, Nobby Clark, John Edwards, Rebecca Hubbard
17.04.15 3:37 pm

Tasmanian fishing groups and national Stop the Trawler Alliance groups are disappointed that Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation has backed down and is negotiating with owners of the super trawler Geelong Star. They have reaffirmed their commitment to fight the Geelong Star and large freezer factory trawlers operating in Australian waters.

“The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation is not representing every day fishers when they try to negotiate some second-rate deal with super trawler owners who have a track record of breaking government fisheries regulations overseas,” said Mike Stevens of TasFish.

“We do not believe that negotiating with the super trawler owners will help protect our fishery or local fishing. Any move-on rules or exclusion areas will be bandaid solutions because we still do not have a scientific understanding of fish movements and how to avoid localised depletion,” said Nobby Clark of Game Fish Tasmania Sports Fishing Club. “This vessel is currently fishing with the permission of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority without even consulting important stakeholders in southern Australian states.”

“We do not want the factory freezer trawler Geelong Star operating in Australia, and it is time Senator Colbeck and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority started doing their job properly and requiring the necessary science to be done, instead of leaving it to community groups to defend our fisheries,” said Mr Stevens.

“While we understand why the ARFF have entered the discussions with the SPFIA we remain totally opposed to the super trawler. We are disappointed that it has come to this when AFMA and Government have failed to implement appropriate management arrangements in the SPF before giving the green light for industrial scale fishing to a level never before permitted in the Australia SPF. An overwhelming disapproval of a super trawler remains within our membership and we will maintain our commitment to the campaign against it,” said John Edwards of the Tuna Club of Tasmania.

“Environment groups, tourism operators, commercial fishers and community members across Australia do not want to see one out of touch organisation negotiating empty promises with the super trawler owner. We want to see the Abbott Government protect our threatened species and local fisheries from this huge freezer factory trawler and it’s time Prime Minister Abbott delivered on that promise,” said Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania.

Mike Stevens, TasFish,
Nobby Clark, Game Fish Tasmania Sports Fishing Club,
John Edwards, Tuna Club of Tasmania,
Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania.


Youth Parliament Bills Presented

Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly
17.04.15 3:36 pm

Today I accepted on behalf of the State Government and Parliament the Youth Bills that were passed by students taking part in the 28th Tasmanian Youth Parliament in Hobart this week.

At the official closing ceremony I also presented around 50 youth parliamentarians in Years 10 – 12 (from close to 20 schools and colleges around the state) with certificates acknowledging their participation.

This year’s Youth Parliament theme was “speak up, be heard,” and students sat in both the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, demonstrating the popularity of the program.

Bills that were passed by the Youth Parliament included Mandatory First Aid, Taboo Reduction, Mandatory Sexual Education, Baby Boxes for first time parents, Education Reform, Immunisation and Narcotics Regulation.

I have been thoroughly impressed with the students’ ability to articulately express their opinions on a range of complex issues, as well as the way in which they have grasped our political system and its procedures.

The Youth Bills will be provided to the leaders of each party and I have no doubt the concerns, ideas and solutions presented will help shape future policy.

The Liberal Government supported the 2015 Youth Parliament program with a $14, 750 grant through organising body, YMCA Hobart. The Tasmanian Parliament provides considerable assistance with liaison staff, catering and the venue.

I commend the students, the Youth Parliament Taskforce, the YMCA and Tasmanian Parliament staff for their efforts in ensuring the week-long event was a success and surpassed all expectations.


Seaweed Extract Wins Prestigious International Cosmetic Ingredient Award

Becher Townshend Font PR
17.04.15 3:34 pm

A unique seaweed extract manufactured by an Australian biotechnology company has been announced as the winner of the silver medal at the Green Cosmetic Ingredient Awards in Barcelona, Spain.
Developed by Hobart-based company, Marinova Pty Ltd, the concentrated seaweed extract has been shown to exhibit soothing, protective and anti-ageing properties. In human clinical trials the compound has been shown to not only reduce wrinkle depth and skin roughness, but also increase skin elasticity and moisture retention following UV exposure. Branded as Maritech® Reverse, this novel cosmetic ingredient has already been successfully commercialised in Australia. The award coincides with the European launch of Maritech® Reverse and paves the way for uptake by the large European-based cosmetic companies.

The Green Cosmetic Ingredient Awards are announced each year at the prestigious in-cosmetics exhibition. A gold, silver and bronze medal is awarded to a natural skincare ingredient that makes a significant environmental or social difference in the area of sustainability. In announcing the winner, the judges complimented Marinova on the level of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of Maritech® Reverse, as well as the fact that this ingredient is derived exclusively from wild seaweed which has been harvested on an environmentally sustainable basis.

Marinova CEO, Mr Paul Garrott, described the award as a tremendous achievement and attributed the success to a significant and sustained investment in research and development. “Marinova spent nearly 5 years developing and testing this unique cosmetic ingredient. To have created – and now commercialised – a product that is as effective as it is natural is testament to the expertise of our scientists. More than ever, the global cosmetic industry is looking for effective natural ingredients; very few natural ingredients however, are backed by the same levels of science that support Maritech® Reverse.”

In explaining the significance of the award, Mr Garrott added, “This award further consolidates Australia’s reputation as a leader in the field of marine biotechnology.”

The in-cosmetics exhibition is the largest trade show for the cosmetics and skincare industries, servicing the US$454 billion global beauty sector. More than 700 exhibitors – and more than 7000 visitors – are expected to attend this week’s event in Barcelona.

The announcement of the award also coincides with the publication today of the research findings confirming the efficacy – in both clinical and in vitro studies – of the Maritech® Reverse seaweed extract.

These research findings have been published in the reputable international journal, Cosmetics. Entitled Topical Benefits of Two Fucoidan-Rich Extracts from Marine Macroalgae, this publication is available online at


Education Act Review: Submissions Online

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
17.04.15 3:20 pm

Tasmanians can now check out what others had to say on our review of the Tasmanian Education Act with the submissions available online from today.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to improving education and it is clear Tasmanians are very supportive and keen to be a part of this, with 230 responses received.

Each response has been carefully assessed and considered before being published, however some have not been published due to a request from its author or concerns for privacy issues.

This review is vital to ensuring we have modern delivery models to reflect contemporary educational practices and make sure it meets the needs of our students into the future.

I sincerely thank all individuals, groups and stakeholders who took the time to discuss and share their ideas, knowledge and feedback with us.

The responses are being individually considered, and will inform the development of an exposure draft of the Bill for the new Act.

This is the beginning of an extensive consultation process, because we want to get this right. The feedback from our consultation will determine the timeframe for the exposure draft.

We are committed to improving educational outcomes in Tasmania, because we firmly believe that education is the cornerstone of our Plan to build Tasmania’s economy and create a highly skilled, job ready generation.

The submissions are available here:


Labor Figures Turn Their Backs on Green

Joan Rylah, Liberal Member for Braddon
17.04.15 3:20 pm

Bryan Green is stacking up an unenviable record as Labor Leader with a second high profile party figure publicity criticising its direction in a little over a month.

Former Labor candidate and union heavyweight Scott McLean is showing his disdain for Labor and Mr Green’s leadership by running against the party’s endorsed candidate in the Legislative Council election for Windermere.

Mr McLean said last month he was not happy with the direction the party was headed (Examiner, March 15).

Now former Unions Tasmania boss Kevin Harkins has criticised Labor, saying: “I’ve had not much to do with the Labor Party over the last few years and, quite honestly, on a number of issues they’ve been pretty disappointing.” (Southern Cross News, April 16).

Mr Harkins is so unhappy he is working to set up his own political party.

The Labor faithful have clearly lost faith in Mr Green.

He has failed to articulate any policies and took no time in turning his commitment to be a constructive opposition into a sad joke.

If Mr Green cannot even command the support of lifelong Labor identities such as Mr Harkins and Mr McLean, what credibility does he have left?


Comments invited on implementation of Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Resources Paul Harriss
17.04.15 3:14 pm

Work has commenced on the third review of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) to assess progress in implementing commitments under the RFA and ensure the agreement is delivering the right balance of environmental, economic and social outcomes for Tasmania.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Paul Harriss, welcomed the review saying it was an important step in the governments’ progress towards negotiating an extended agreement and establishing a 20-year rolling life for the RFA.

“Both the Australian and Tasmanian governments consider that the Tasmanian RFA continues to provide the right framework for balancing the competing demands on Tasmania’s forests,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Our forest industry plays a vitally important role in many regional communities. A 20-year rolling life will provide ongoing resource security and investment certainty to the industry, driving employment and growth in regional areas.

“Once the review has been completed, we will commence formal negotiations with the Tasmanian Government to extend the Tasmanian RFA which is due to expire in 2017,” Senator Colbeck said.

The Australian and Tasmanian governments have jointly prepared a report on implementation of the Tasmanian RFA and invite public comments on the report.

Minister Harriss said he was looking forward to the outcomes of the review, and to getting on with the business of negotiating an extended agreement.

“We are pleased to announce that Dr Glen Kile, who has a wealth of experience and an extensive background in forestry issues, has been appointed to undertake the review,” Minister Harriss said.

“Dr Kile will consider the progress that’s been made implementing the agreement, along with feedback from stakeholders, and will deliver his recommendations in a report to be tabled in the Australian Parliament later this year.”

Public comments must be received by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth by 5pm on Friday 29 May 2015.

For more information on the Tasmanian RFA review, including the implementation report and how to make a submission, visit the Tasmanian Department of State Growth website


New Exhibition to Commemorate Tasmania’s Experience of War

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts
17.04.15 3:12 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to supporting the arts, and also to commemorating the wartime experiences of Tasmanians.

Opening today, a new exhibition in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) marks the Centenary of Anzac.

The Suspense is Awful: Tasmania and the Great War draws from the museum’s collections to highlight previously untold stories, including those of Tasmanian Aboriginal servicemen and of the men and women who provided medical support on the frontline.

The exhibition’s title comes from a letter by a desperate Hobart father to authorities seeking news of the fate of his son on the beaches of Gallipoli. “The suspense is awful,” he wrote.

The Suspense is Awful is not only focussed on what happened on the battlefields, it also tells the story of the wait so many Tasmanians endured back home during the long years of war.

The exhibition includes several interactive elements, including The Islanders, which tells the story of Tasmanian Aboriginal servicemen who joined up to serve at a time when they were denied many rights at home.

It also features a reconstruction of a typical Tasmanian home from the era where families would have waited for news, and an audio roll-call of the names of all the Tasmanians who lost their lives in the conflict.

Members of the public are invited to contribute their own images of the many memorials that sprung up around the State in the aftermath of the war as part of an evolving photographic display.

The exhibition will be open from today through to 28 February next year, and will also feature its own website at

Admission to TMAG is free, and it is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm.


Tassie Success Story: Houston’s Farms 25th

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
17.04.15 1:38 pm

I congratulate Houston’s Farms on 25 years of innovation and success in agriculture.

Houston’s is an incredible Tasmanian success story that has inspired so many farmers across Tasmania and Australia.

The Hodgman Liberal Government values Tasmanian farmers like the Houston family, and that’s why we’re investing in agriculture.

We understand that a strong agriculture sector will strengthen our regional communities and create hundreds of new jobs on farms and in our country towns.

Since moving to the Coal River Valley in 1972 the Houston family has created a nationally recognised brand that is synonymous with fresh and premium produce.

They have rolled up their sleeves to build a thriving business that has adapted to a changing market, pioneering the production of the first fresh cut, ready-to-eat salad products in Australia.

There’s no doubt that they have also been a shining example of what can be achieved with access to reliable water through irrigation across Tasmania.

When the Craigbourne Dam opened in 1989 and the irrigation pipeline passed through their property, the access to reliable water was the catalyst for trying new products and they found success in lettuces.

Now, Houston’s has farms at Cambridge, Richmond, Campania and Forcett, they have a packing and processing plant at Cambridge and a second in Brisbane and their products are on the shelves of major supermarkets throughout Australia and independent grocers too.

Just like Houston’s has grown with innovation and hard work, we are committed to ensuring the Tasmanian industry as a whole has the same support.

That’s why have invested $30 million in the Tranche 2 irrigation schemes, we are investing almost $3 million in research and development and we are strengthening our ties with China, which has an incredible hunger for our fresh, safe and premium produce.

We believe we can grow the annual farm-gate value of production in the state tenfold to $10 billion by 2050.


Sell our brand in markets of all sizes

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
17.04.15 1:28 pm

Farmers across the country are becoming more and more aware of the need to sell themselves if they are to succeed in their businesses domestically and globally.

For Tasmanian farmers, we have already embarked on this awareness campaign but we are constantly reminded of the need to ensure our place in the economy is fully understood.

The National Farmers’ Federation and Meat and Livestock Australia have just announced that they will work together to expand the use of the “True Aussie” brand across a broader range of Australian agricultural products.

They want consumers here and across the world to be sure that what they are getting is genuinely Australian and that our brand means the produce is safe, reliable and of the highest quality.

The branding is being used at major trade shows in key export markets including China, Europe and the US and in consumer branding activities in-store in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and many Middle Eastern markets.

From MLA’s point of view “True Aussie” is aimed at underpinning the quality and the clean, green and safe positioning of Australian beef and lamb.

From the TFGA’s point of view this is a really valuable exercise and one we fully support. However, we still have a lot to do to maintain community consciousness in Tasmania of the importance of locally-produced food and fibre to Tasmanians and the fact that our rural industries are of strategic importance to the future of the island’s economy.

In summary, we have to maintain public awareness of what we do and, just as importantly, what dire straits we would be in if Tasmanians were not to support farming.

In the past, some of us may have believed that farmers’ markets were a sideshow to the main industrial-scale activity in which our main commercial farms are involved. They are not. They are part of the patina of producing Tasmanian food. The purpose they serve for all of us is to raise awareness of the importance of backing local growers. These growers may be small scale but they are part of our industry, part of our branding; they help us to sell on the grander scale in the bigger domestic and global markets.

My hope is that more and more smaller farmers and hobby farmers will take the opportunity to participate in the various forums that the TFGA offers; become members; have their voice heard.

Our greatest allies are our supporters. These are people who understand what we do, what we strive to achieve, the legacy we aspire to for our children and grandchildren and who back us daily through the power of the purse.
We have to succeed domestically if we are to become competitive internationally.

My message to farmers is to take nothing for granted. Never lose the opportunity to shout your virtues from the rooftop. We have to remain uppermost in people’s minds if we to continue to make a great contribution to Tasmania’s future.

Sell yourselves.


Government enforces ban on supertrawlers

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck
17.04.15 1:22 pm

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, described the Labor/Green opposition to commercial fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery as a thinly veiled attack on the entire Australian fishing industry.

“The latest science clearly shows the Small Pelagic Fishery can be fished sustainably, but Labor and the Greens appear hell-bent on destroy the fishing industry in Australia and will say absolutely anything in the process,” Senator Colbeck said.

“During the previous debate Labor and the Greens defined supertrawlers as vessels more than 130 metres in length.”

“The Coalition has accepted their definition of a supertrawler and we have enforced a permanent ban on vessels more than 130 metres from fishing in Australian waters. This regulation takes effect this week.”

Senator Colbeck said the Geelong Star is not a supertrawler and falls under every threshold put forward during the previous debate.

“The Geelong Star is less than 100 metres in length and has a storage capacity under 1100 tonnes – significantly less than the Greens definition of a supertrawler as a vessel with a storage capacity greater than 2,000 tonnes,” he said.

“The goalposts keep being moved in this debate and it’s clear that some people just don’t want commercial fishing in Australia, which is frustrating as it is a legitimate and sustainable industry.”

“The Small Pelagic Fishery provides great value to the Australian community and is assessed as one of the most environmentally friendly protein sources on the planet.”

Senator Colbeck said the Coalition is doing as promised by continuing to seek updated science for the Small Pelagic Fishery.

“The latest science shows that the Small Pelagic Fishery can be fished sustainably – revealing continued opposition by Labor and the Greens is completely unjustified. It is clear they are not interested in the science and will say anything that fits their anti-fishing industry campaign,” he said. 

“Australia’s fisheries are recognised among the best in the world and our fisheries management is based on the best available science.  This was reaffirmed in the recent ABARES Fishery status reports which show no solely Commonwealth managed fisheries are subject to overfishing.”

“This Government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management. We will continue to make any decisions regarding access to all Australian fisheries based on sound science.”


Budget pain inflicted by Liberals far from over

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
17.04.15 11:54 am

Labor Leader Bryan Green today accused Treasurer Peter Gutwein of creating an illusion that Tasmania’s budget challenges are over. 

“Peter Gutwein is pretending to be a magician by trying to make the impact of his budget cuts disappear,” Mr Green said.

“The consequences of Liberal’s deep cuts in the last budget particularly in health and education will be felt across Tasmania for years to come.

“The Government has broken its promises not to cut frontline jobs and community services and it hasn’t finished yet.

“These cuts are imbedded in the budget over the forward estimates.

“The Government is cutting 1200 jobs which means 400 hundred more workers will lose their jobs.

“The Liberals will make well over half a billion dollars worth of further cuts over the next three years; it’s in black and white in their budget.

“There are $200 million in cuts to be made in the coming financial year including $54 million in health, $38 million in education, $17 million in State Growth and $11 million in police.

“The government’s own target is $592 million in cuts by 2017-18.

Mr Gutwein is being too clever by half by trying to pretend that relief is on the way in his next budget.

“Peter Gutwein wants people to believe he’s not as bad as what they think. The message I’m getting from Tasmanians is ‘tell him he’s dreamin’.

“The ongoing cuts to essential services mean it won’t be getting easier, it will be getting harder. 

“Peter Gutwein is no magician and no matter how hard he tries to fool Tasmanians, he cannot make his budget cuts disappear.


Farmers rise to the Rabobank challenge

TFGA president Wayne Johnston
17.04.15 10:32 am

Tasmanian farmers will answer the challenge to position the state’s agriculture on the podium that Rabobank and others are saying is its true place, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association said today.

TFGA president Wayne Johnston was commenting on Rabobank’s just released Ready, Set, Grow analysis that shows the food and agricultural sector can be the springboard for the whole Tasmanian economy.

The availability of water through the irrigation roll-out is one of a number of “clear competitive advantages and strengths that will support the growth opportunities in the sector”, according to Rabobank, which went on to nominate five key industries: seafood, dairy, horticulture and vegetables, red meat, and wine and beverages.

“The TFGA believes we have an extraordinary opportunity to lift rural production to a new level,” Mr Johnston, who is a farmer at Meander, said today.

“Like any business, it is a matter of seizing every marketing opportunity that presents itself as well as ensuring that we operate at top efficiency and at low-cost because we can never dictate the prices we receive.”

Mr Johnston said access to water had been a game-changer for Tasmanian farmers.

“It has given us the competitive edge. But we have to tailor our production to demand, particularly in Asia and we have to ensure we have economies of scale.

“We have to insist on the visibility of our brand. Provenance is all-important, globally and domestically.

“The state government has been totally supportive of agriculture and we have every confidence that will continue,” Mr Johnston said.


Hobart Airport traffic delays

Toni Kibbey, Marketing Manager, Hobart International Airport
17.04.15 10:29 am

Passengers travelling through Hobart Airport this week are advised to arrive early for departures and to expect traffic delays, due to minor road works scheduled from 20-25 April 2015.

Temporary diversion of the commercial traffic lane directly in front of the airport terminal will mean that all commercial traffic must be redirected into the passenger drop-off lane.

Unfortunately, this may cause delays in the passenger drop-off lane.

Anyone travelling from 20-25 April is advised to allow extra time for their car travel, or to consider using Hobart Airport’s parking facilities.

Hobart Airport’s Main Car Park is a short walk from the terminal and is free for the first 10 min. Prices start from $3 and $20 for the first day.

The Saver Car Park is $14 per day, capped at $60 per week and an additional $10 per week thereafter.

Details on Valet Car Parking and a car park pricing calculator are available at

Hobart Airport management apologises for this inconvenience.



DEBORAH O’NEILL Senator for New South Wales Chair of the Senate Select Committee for Health
16.04.15 4:50 pm

The impact of the Abbott Government’s health policy on the Cradle Coast will be investigated by a Senate Select Committee tomorrow as part of a national inquiry into the health system.

The committee will hold a public hearing at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre to better understand and document the issues facing health providers and families on the Coast. 

Senator Deborah O’Neill, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Health is committed to ensuring that people living in this region have an opportunity to put their voice on the record.

Witnesses include local GPs, who will take part in a discussion round-table, local mental health counsellors, the Tasmanian Branches of the AMA and RACGP and Rural Health Tasmania.

“My committee and I are here to hear from health service providers and community members about the impact of reduced federal funding for GP, hospital and other health services.”

“This government is already cutting $57 billion out of hospitals, while at the same time trying to rip billions of primary care,” Senator O’Neill said.

Despite claiming to have taken the GP Tax off the table, Health Minister Sussan Ley at a press conference in Canberra recently said, “The policy intent was and remains a good one”, which means she still wants to send a price signal to Australians that will prevent sick people from accessing the care they want.

“Labor is deeply concerned about the ongoing attack on universal health care. Witness after witness continues to point out that it is impossible for the States and Territories to cover the massive cuts in their budgets. 

“There are genuine fears that the Abbott funding cuts are so severe that states are already finding that they cannot ensure that Australians are able to access the hospital services that they expect and require.” Senator O’Neill said.

To date the inquiry has heard evidence from doctor’s concerned about the uncertain future of Medicare, healthcare providers have detailed serious issues with the Abbott Government’s dismantling of Medicare Locals, and Indigenous workers have outlined the challenges they face in urban and remote Australia.

Labor believes Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.

“Only Labor will protect ordinary Australian families from the Liberals attempt to wreck Medicare and push up health costs for people already under financial pressure,” Senator O’Neill said.

“We are looking forward to talking with locals and receiving their submissions to document the truth about the impact of this budget on the health and well-being of the people on the Cradle Coast.”

Senator O’Neill said members of the public are invited to attend. Visit

Hearing details:

Friday, 17 April 2015

Burnie Arts & Function Centre

Wilmont Street, Burnie
9.20am:    Hearing commences.

10.30am:    Morning break

Senate Select Committee on Health – First Interim Report is available at


SARC Survey ...

Brett Galbraith SARC and Strategic Communications Manager Anglicare Tasmania Inc. SARC is Anglicare Tasmania’s Social Action & Research Centre
16.04.15 4:28 pm

Every year Anglicare’s Social Action and Research Centre (SARC) does a stakeholder survey to help us better target our research and advocacy work. Recently we sent out an email seeking your help. If you haven’t filled in the survey yet, we would really appreciate your input.

Please follow the link below – all responses are anonymous unless you would like us to know who you are.

Thank you for your time, we appreciate any and all feedback.


Agricultural strengths a key asset

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
16.04.15 4:26 pm

The latest Rabobank report confirms what the Hodgman Liberal Government has long known; agriculture is one of Tasmania’s greatest competitive strengths.

Agriculture employs more than 7,000 Tasmanians and is valued at about $1.2 billion at the farm-gate.

We have a plan to grow the annual farm-gate value of production in the state tenfold to $10 billion per year by 2050.

There have been some extraordinary opportunities in Tasmanian agriculture in the past 12 months and we’re working hard to seize every one of them.

The landscape of agriculture in Tasmania is being transformed by the Federal Government’s $60 million investment in irrigation, together with $30 million from the State Government and $27 million in private sector investment in the five Tranche 2 schemes.

The Australia-China Free Trade Agreement will unlock further opportunities for our primary producers by ensuring our products are competitive in the Chinese marketplace.

Already the growth in China’s demand for Tasmanian produce, particularly dairy, is exponential. There is strong demand for our fresh, premium and safe produce, which is providing unprecedented opportunities for Tasmanian farmers.

Over the next four years the FTA will see a further transformation in the attractiveness of Tasmanian exports into the Chinese market.

Adding to this are the opportunities from Tasmania’s strengthened relationship with our largest trading partner China, which are yet to be truly realised.

There’s no doubt that the President’s visit to our state last year and the Premier’s recent trade and investment mission to China will have an enormous positive outcome in increasing trade and investment between our two countries.

The Liberal Government is ready to back our agriculture industry and seize every opportunity because we understand that a strong agriculture sector will strengthen our regional communities and create hundreds of new jobs on farms and in our country towns.


Upskilling those at the heart of our schools

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training
16.04.15 4:26 pm

Tasmanian School Business Managers, who work at the heart of Tasmanian schools and keep everything ticking, are the latest education workers to be given an opportunity to upskill through the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Developing Our Workforce Strategy.

The new Business Management Development Initiative is the third instalment of five to be introduced through the Developing Our Workforce Strategy.

The initiative offers School Business Managers and Corporate Services Staff a chance to earn a Diploma of Business Administration, with a clear pathway to achieving a Bachelor of Business Administration down the track.

The Diploma aims to further develop the skills, knowledge and experience of those workers who play a major role in supporting our schools, from day to day administration to assisting principals to balance the books.

These employees provide a vital leadership and administration role in our public schools, in fact our schools and our students simply would not succeed without them.

The on-the-job training will be delivered through the Department of Education Professional Learning Institute and the University of Tasmania.

Participants course fees will be paid for by the department and flexible study time will be allocated.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a long-term Plan to lift education standards and educational outcomes in Tasmania.

The Developing our Workforce Strategy, undertaken as a partnership project between the State Government and University of Tasmania through the Underwood Centre of Educational Attainment, is a great step to improving education in Tasmania.

The strategy provides $4.2 million as part of the Better Schools Tasmania Agreement (Gonski) to fund additional opportunities for teachers and education staff to better develop their skills, to ensure we have the best and brightest minds inspiring our students. This funding been always been earmarked for these projects; it was never destined for school classrooms.

By developing and supporting Tasmania’s education workforce we are investing in the future of Tasmania as a whole.

For additional information and to apply, please visit the Department’s Professional Learning Institute’s website at


Jobs steady but participation heading in wrong direction

Scott Bacon MP Shadow Treasurer
16.04.15 4:22 pm

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon has cautiously welcomed the latest set of employment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Unemployment remains steady at 6.5% and while there’s been a slight increase in full-time employment, total employment has marginally reduced.

“The one concern is a falling participation rate,” Mr Bacon said.

“We’ve seen a steady decline in the participation rate since November last year.

“At 60.9% Tasmania ranks last of all Australian states. It’s a certainly a trend we do not want to see continue. 

“I welcome the positive results in today’s announcement, but with job losses pending on the North-West Coast it’s time for hard work not celebration.

“The Liberal Government must demonstrate it’s working to stimulate employment and implementing measures to increase participation.

“Labor’s made a pledge to be positive from opposition and there’s a lot to be optimistic about, but the participation rate can’t be ignored.

“We need to make sure people are confident about entering the jobs market and optimistic about finding employment.”


Employment Figures

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
16.04.15 4:20 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs.

Today’s ABS data shows unemployment is down by 1 per cent since the election and the gap between the national and Tasmanian unemployment rate is steady at 0.3 per cent.

The number of people with a job in Tasmania is 240,400, and employment numbers this year are at the highest level they have been at in six years whilst the unemployment queue is the shortest since December 2011.

While there is still a long way to go, and more work to be done the latest figures are encouraging as they show we are holding onto the gains that have been made.

Our long-term Plan is all about creating jobs and growing the economy and today’s results show we are heading in the right direction.


Harnessing the Power of Social Media to Promote Tasmania to the World

Roger Jaensch, Liberal Member for Braddon
16.04.15 1:13 pm

An iconic Tasmanian attraction is being promoted to the world every day through the eyes of visitors in an innovative pilot project using social media.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a plan to attract 1.5 million visitors a year to the State by 2020, helping our hospitality and tourism industries to continue to grow and create many new jobs.

Statistics released yesterday showed Cradle Mountain is already ranked ninth on a list of Australia’s most popular attractions to feature on the photo-sharing social network Instagram.

The #Tassie365 project, a joint initiative between Tourism Tasmania and the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, will help drive Cradle – and our State – up the list by encouraging visitors to share their photos online.

As part of the project, a sign with a bracket for smartphones / cameras has recently been erected at Cradle Mountain to prompt visitors to take a photo of the landscape ahead and post it using the hashtag #Cradle365.

Over the course of a year, the images will showcase the mountain through changing seasons, weather, lighting and natural phenomena.

Already more than 100 images have been shared using the hashtag.

A time-lapse video will also be produced and shared through social media channels and the Tourism Tasmania website:

This is about using the growing popularity of social media to gain the help of those who have already visited and fallen in love with our State to promote Tasmania to their friends and family, and to the wider world.

If the project is successful, Tourism Tasmania and the Parks and Wildlife Service plan to place signs at other iconic locations to capture more crowd-sourced imagery.


2015 Tasmanian Heritage Festival

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
16.04.15 1:12 pm

Tasmania’s historic heritage is one of our greatest assets and it was my great privilege today to launch the 2015 Tasmanian Heritage Festival, celebrating our history and unique stories.

This year’s Heritage Festival is themed ‘Conflict and Compassion’, providing an excellent opportunity for Tasmanians and visitors to explore, share and celebrate our historic heritage, while at that same time reflecting on the impact past conflicts have had on Tasmania, particularly in the context of the ANZAC centenary.

Once again the National Trust is to be commended for putting on a wonderful program with more than 200 events including exhibitions, open homes, walks, tours and art installations being held during the festival which runs for the month of May.

A large number of these events are run by local community organisations and interest groups, often with the support of volunteers who play in an important role in sharing their knowledge of Tasmania’s historic heritage and our unique stories.

The Government would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers for their contribution, not just to the festival but to the maintenance and protection of our heritage more broadly.
The full program of events can be found online at


Where is Tony Abbott on Caterpillar jobs?

Bryan Green MP Labor Leader
16.04.15 1:09 pm

Labor Leader Bryan Green has urged Premier Will Hodgman to put the future of the 280 jobs at Caterpillar in Burnie on the table at tomorrow’s COAG meeting.

“This is an issue of national significance for our manufacturing industry,” Mr Green said.

Mr Green has written to both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten calling for a bipartisan approach.

“Will Hodgman, Brett Whiteley and Employment Minister Eric Abetz should not give up so easily in the fight to save the jobs at Caterpillar.

“Labor has never said that throwing money at the problem is the only option. We need to understand from Caterpillar what it will take to keep these jobs here and it owes a better explanation.

“Now it is up to the Prime Minister Tony Abbott to intervene and Labor is willing to join with him.

“To date Tony Abbott has been nowhere to be seen or heard over this issue.

“Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten has offered to work with Mr Abbott but so far his approach has fallen on deaf ears.

“It is simply not good enough for the Prime Minister to ignore an issue of such importance to the nation.

“Caterpillar’s decision to move jobs from its profitable Burnie operation to Thailand is a tipping point not only for our region but for manufacturing around Australia.
“It time for Tony Abbott to join the debate and engage with Caterpillar’s management at the highest level to fight for these jobs here”