In Their Own Words...

Liberals | Labor | Greens | Premier Will Hodgman | Labor Leader Bryan Green | Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor

Guardian: Liberals and Labor neck and neck in race for Turnbull’s seat – poll

29.08.18 9:19 am

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The Briefing ... Dutton’s strange au pair case

The Saturday Paper
29.08.18 7:04 am

More details have come to light about a controversial deportation case involving home affairs minister Peter Dutton.

Guardian Australia reported on Monday that in 2015, a staffer for AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan asked Dutton’s office to approve a tourist visa for Alexandra Deuwel, a French woman who had previously worked as an au pair for a McLachlan relative and was due to be deported …

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New York Times Opinion Today

New York Times
29.08.18 6:40 am

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New Yorker: Donald Trump’s Petty Response to John McCain’s Death

The New Yorker
29.08.18 6:38 am

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Peter Dutton defends au pair intervention after political donations as Labor calls for inquiry

29.08.18 6:36 am

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Julie Bishop loves to speak in code and she saved her best one-liner for last

29.08.18 6:24 am

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Royal Hobart Hospital at risk of losing training accreditation again over lack of operations

29.08.18 6:23 am

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Tasmania’s House of Assembly approves legislation to enable participation in National Redress Scheme

29.08.18 6:20 am

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Letter to the editor on Roundup

Bob Phelps Executive Director Gene Ethics
28.08.18 6:34 pm

Dear Sir/Ms:

It’s time to lovingly embrace the knowledge revolution as the toxic chemical age draws to a close. Roundup herbicide and its ‘active’ ingredient glyphosate are rejected everywhere in the world.

Monsanto saw the collapse coming, so sold its poisoned chalice of Genetically Manipulated crops and Roundup herbicide to Bayer in June, for $66 billion. The market is deserting Roundup, with Bayer/Monsanto and Nufarm - key Roundup makers and marketers - losing more than 10% of their share value.

This followed the Johnson vs Monsanto ruling that awarded a dying victim of Roundup $289 million. Evidence that Roundup’s ‘active’ ingredient is unsafe to humans and animals is accumulating and juries agree. There will be thousands more court cases, in the USA and globally.

A Brazilian court also banned glyphosate on health grounds. Cities and regions everywhere are opting for alternatives, including 35 Australian municipalities so far.

In North and South America, Roundup Ready GM seed massively increased the chemical’s use but those markets are now fully supplied and have dried up. Weeds also resist Roundup wherever it has been repeatedly used, driving farmers and other land managers to use toxic tank mixes that wreak even more havoc.

Australian growers are deeply divided over a new Cooperative Bulk Handlers’ segregation that has zero tolerance for glyphosate residues in barley for export, which customers demand. This results from Roundup (and other toxics) being used in crop topping and crop dessication prior to harvest, which leaves detectable residues in the grain.

Food contamination is a critical issue for us all. The Maximum Residue Limits which our regulators set create just a gloss of safety that potentially ruins our quality of life with chronic illness and premature death.

Agribusiness and chemical industry leaders demonise anyone who questions Roundup safety as ‘fanatics’. A more mature approach is to embrace people like Matt Landos, director of Future Fisheries Veterinary Services, who calls for more R&D resources to discover and develop affordable non-chemical alternatives, such as the Harrington Seed Destructor.

Non-chemical weed management innovations could be a bonanza for everyone and we should welcome and embrace them.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Phelps
Executive Director
Gene Ethics


Protest outside David Coleman’s Office today

Emma Comley
28.08.18 4:53 pm

Protest outside David Coleman’s Office today August 28th

Residents gathered today outside the office of David Coleman to protest against the continued abusive policy of offshore detention.

They want all kids on Nauru and their families to be brought to Australia as an immediate first step to ending offshore detention and closing the camps.

Local resident, Emma Comley, says, “Many ordinary people are appalled by the cruelty of this policy. We want it to stop without delay and a humane policy to be put in place. We want to close the camps, permanently, and bring them here, all of them, without delay. As a nurse, I am horrified at the deliberate medical neglect and systematically induced mental illness unleashed onto people including children, who have only asked us for help”.

About thirty residents turned out today for a snap action in Coleman’s marginal seat of Banks. They say they have more plans to show that they want to see an immediate policy change. David Coleman has been appointed the new Minister for Immigration under the Scott Morrison government. The seat of Banks is currently held by a margin of 2,588 votes.


National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 passes

Elise Archer, Attorney-General
28.08.18 4:50 pm

Today the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 passed the Lower House.
This legislation is another critically important milestone that facilitates Tasmania’s formal participation in the National Redress Scheme.
The Bill will allow both the State and non-government institutions to formally participate in the national scheme.
The legislation ensures that Tasmanian applicants are able to access not just a financial payment, but also crucially provides access to counselling, as well as a direct personal response to the extent requested.
Whilst we can never undo the suffering experienced by so many, Tasmania’s involvement in the Scheme acknowledges the wrong that was done to Tasmanian survivors.
Today is a significant step towards organisations acknowledging and taking responsibility for the sexual abuse that happened to the children for which they owed a duty to care.


Speaker Hickey ejects two MPs from Parliament

Sue Bailey, Examiner
28.08.18 4:37 pm

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Giving Robert financial regulation responsibility shows contempt for Royal Commission

Greens Treasury Spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
28.08.18 4:30 pm

Greens Treasury Spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, comments on the new Prime Minister’s appointment of Stuart Robert MP as Assistant Treasurer with responsibility for financial services who has claimed financial scandals are ‘inevitable’.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “After these comments, I wouldn’t even want Stuart Robert to be the junior minister who puts his name to media releases about the latest edition of commemorative coins, let alone put him anywhere near the oversight of the financial system.
“His out of touch comments imply that misconduct is normal within our financial system and is just a fact of life we must accept, not try too hard to eradicate.
“Stuart Robert’s comments about wanting the banks to self-regulate is an insult to every bank victim and shows a total disregard for any of the evidence that comes out from the Royal Commission.
“Has Stuart Robert even been paying attention to what’s been going on at the Royal Commission? Has he seen the constant contempt the banks have had for the regulators and that ASIC and APRA have been routinely scolded by both the Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission for a lack of public enforcement of existing laws?
“Did Scott Morrison ask who is the best person to raise donations from the financial sector, rather than who is the best person to regulate them? If the new Prime Minister wants the public to have any confidence that he is serious about reining in the banks then he has to make some changes immediately,” he concluded.


Health Minister fails to reveal details of new termination service

Sarah Lovell MP Shadow Health Minister
28.08.18 3:25 pm

• Tasmanian women need to know details of new termination service
• It shows complete disregard for women’s health
• The Government continues to drag its feet on this important issue

Health Minister Michael Ferguson must reveal details of a new service to provide Tasmanian women with access to terminations in Tasmania.
The Minister failed to answer Labor’s questions on the five-year deal in Parliament today.
Shadow Health Minister, Sarah Lovell, said this was indicative of the Minister’s complete disregard for women’s health.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Minister is proposing to have resolved this issue when he has no idea of any of the details,” Ms Lovell said.
“We need to know where the service will be located, how much it will cost, how frequently the service will be provided and how women access it.
“How can we have any faith in the Minister’s ability to deliver for women in this state when he clearly can’t even provide the details of a service he claims will resolve the current crisis?
“Michael Ferguson has been so determined in getting his own way in blocking access to terminations that for the past 9 months, Tasmanian women have been forced to travel interstate to access the service.”


Ferguson fudging the figures on Tasmanian crime rates

Shane Broad MP Shadow Police, Fire and Emergency Management Minister
28.08.18 3:24 pm

• Assaults against Tasmanians increase as government fails to provide protection
• Assaults against police officers rising
• Mandatory sentencing threats by government not acting as deterrent
Police Minister Michael Ferguson is again trying to con Tasmanians on crime rates with the latest release of statistics showing the number of people – and police officers – who were the victims of assault increasing significantly.
Shadow Police Minister Shane Broad said the 2017-18 Crime Statistics Supplement released today showed the number of assaults in Tasmanian climbed from 2,800 to 2,998 over the year, an increase of seven per cent.
Dr Broad said importantly the number of assaults committed against police officers increased by 15 per cent, proving that the Hodgman Liberal Government’s mandatory sentencing mantra was not acting as a deterrent.
“What the statistics demonstrate is that clearance rates are up and police are to be congratulated on that but crime continues to increase under this government,” Dr Broad said.
“From 2005 to 2013 crime rates were decreasing every year - as soon as the Liberals came to government, the trend was reversed and crime increased.
“Despite Michael Ferguson’s rhetoric about being tough on crime, this government is not being smart on crime.
“All of Michael Ferguson’s talk around mandatory sentencing protecting police officers is just not effective.
“This move by the government is not protecting the police officers the government claimed it would.
“Michael Ferguson has today cherry-picked the statistics claiming the government is tough on crime and is protecting Tasmanians.
“The figures actually show nothing could be further from the truth.”


Cracking down on unexplained wealth

Elise Archer, Attorney-General
28.08.18 3:23 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government is pursuing our law and order agenda and that includes stronger tools for our police to crack down on serious and organised crime in Tasmania.
I will soon be introducing a Bill to further refine Tasmania’s Crime (Confiscation of Profits) Act to ensure that our laws provide the tools that are needed to combat organised crime.
In our first term of Government, we introduced a range of effective tools in the Removal of Fortifications Act that allow Tasmania Police to disrupt attempts by organised crime groups to conceal their criminal activities in fortified clubhouses.
We also implemented the Confiscation of Profits Unit, focused on disrupting criminal activity by reducing the profitability of crime and removing the financial means to commit crime from criminals and their associates.
Since the Unit’s establishment in October 2015, in excess of $3 million has been seized from criminals and criminal organisations.
This means less money in the pockets of criminals, and confirms the Unit is a crucial tool in the fight against serious organised crime.
These figures show our methods are working, and only the Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to take action and get results.
Our strong law and order agenda stands in stark contrast to the efforts of the Labor Party who sacked 108 police officers, opposed tougher sentences for child sex offences, and last week tried to delay debate on legislation to crack down on organised crime groups.


Tasmanian Conservation Trust turns 50

Peter McGlone, Director Tasmanian Conservation Trust
28.08.18 3:16 pm

Paul Gilding

For 50 years the Tasmanian Conservation Trust has fought to protect our island’s special natural areas, our unique wildlife and our historic cultural heritage.

The President of the Trust Council, Michael Lynch, said it was very much a date to celebrate.

“Not only is it uncommon for small organisations that rely almost entirely on community support to last so long, but the Trust can be exceedingly proud of its track record.”

“We have achieved much in the last 50 years and we intend to be around for another 50 doing what we do best. Our achievements are impressive and wide ranging however the challenges ahead are numerous but certainly not insurmountable.”

Our successes have included stopping the Tamar Valley pulp mill; arguing in the Federal Court against an export woodchip licence for Gunns; being instrumental in the establishment of marine protected areas in Tasmanian waters; the development and implementation of historic cultural heritage legislation; and initiating a state-wide car tyre and car body clean-up.

The Trust has been at the forefront of campaigns to protect those things that make our island home so special.

We have led activities to recognise sea urchin barrens as the greatest threat to Tasmanian reefs; to reduce the number of native animals killed on our roads; to bring an environmental perspective to housing affordability; and to defend our planning system from “planning reforms” and high rise developments in Hobart and Launceston.

There is much more to be done – responsible cat ownership and cat management; stopping the use of 1080 poison; the environmental and social impacts of unplanned and unmanaged tourism; climate change.

“One of the major reasons for our survival has been our focus on looking ahead. It is part of our DNA to identify and confront potential environmental problems before they occur”, Michael Lynch said.

“That is why we have invited Paul Gilding as our guest speaker at our celebration this Thursday evening (30 August) at the Sustainable Living Centre at Hobart College, Mt Nelson.”

Paul is one of the world’s most experienced and respected authorities on the implications of sustainability and climate change for business strategy and the economy. With over 40 years experience, Paul provides deep insights into the challenges and opportunities that environmental and social trends present for society, companies and investors.

Download bio of Paul Gilding ...


No sign yet of millions promised to Latrobe during byelection

28.08.18 10:10 am

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Christopher Strong Sustainability Grant Announced

Greg Lundstrom Tamar NRM
28.08.18 10:06 am

Green & Gold frogs

Ecologist Kathryn Pugh

Tamar NRM recently announced the successful applicant to its Christopher Strong Sustainability Grant which is offered annually to support sustainability projects in the Tamar Valley.

This year’s $1,500 grant went to Honorary Associate at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), Kathryn Pugh in support of her project entitled “Litoria raniformis (Green and Gold Frog) in Launceston’s urban wetlands”.

The project will include habitat assessments of selected sites and on-ground surveys searching for this large and beautifully patterned frog which is listed as vulnerable. The survey will include day and night-time active searches, will build on previous studies and work with UTAS students and QVMAG staff.

Roger Tyshing, Tamar NRM President said “Our assessment panel had to work through a number of quality applications before deciding on the green and gold frog survey project”. “The project will verify known locations of the green and gold frog in and around Launceston and identify unknown sites for the species”. Mr Tyshing went on to say “By funding this project, we will have supported the identification of sites that require habitat protection or sites suitable for habitat restoration”.

Grant recipient Kathryn Pugh said “I’m pleased to have received the sustainability grant from Tamar NRM and hope the project will have flow-on benefits for local wetland flora and fauna, not just protecting the habitat of the green and gold frog as important as that is”.

The project will be undertaken within the wetlands and floodplains of Launceston during spring-summer 2018-19.

For more information on the project call Tamar NRM on 6323 3310, or visit the Tamar NRM website:


Freycinet Lodge renewal project welcomed as a win-win-win

Vica Bayley, Sophie Underwood, Peter McGlone
28.08.18 9:58 am

Sophie and Vica on the site of the originally proposed motor home park ( taken 27 Aug 2018)

The finalisation and launch of the first two stages of the RACT’s Freycinet Renewal Project, an investment in the upgrade and enhancement of the iconic Freycinet Lodge, has been welcomed by advocates as a win-win-win. It represents a positive example of community engagement and planning as Tasmania struggles to manage the boom in tourism visitation and interest in Tasmania.

At the invitation of the Hodgman Government, RACT initially sought to expand the lodge footprint into the Freycinet National Park, with a lease extension into intact bushland adjacent to its existing, legacy lease. However, following public debate and a genuine dialogue with critics, the RACT amended its proposal to remain wholly within the existing lease area.

“This experience was a win for all involved and we welcome the opportunity to celebrate the launch of this project with the RACT and its stakeholders,” said Sophie Underwood, convenor of the Freycinet Action Network.

When originally proposed, the lodge extension project (see here) was for exclusive access to additional national park land for the development of a motor home park and cabins. The amended proposal invested in upgrading existing infrastructure and building on an under-utilised tennis court, all within the existing lease footprint.

“This was a win for the integrity of the national park and its values, which remain intact; a win for the RACT who made a significant investment and improved its product; and a win for the community, who were given a genuine hearing and ultimately, were heard,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

The Freycinet Lodge is established on a 1950’s lease wholly within the national park boundary. Across Tasmania’s reserve network, there are high levels of concern over the privatisation of public land through the negotiation of new leases for the construction of new visitor accommodation. There are over nine project proposals involving dozens of individual accommodation developments across Tasmanian reserves, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Reserve.

“The RACT established genuine dialogue with critics and amended its original expansion proposal to progress with a development wholly contained within its existing lease and this is welcome” said Peter McGlone, Director of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.


Cold conditions

Bureau of Meteorology
28.08.18 9:48 am

• A ridge of high pressure over Tasmania with the associated high to cross Wednesday, then track eastwards on Thursday. An intense low over the Tasman Sea to move eastwards. Cold fronts to cross early and late Friday.

• Mininum temperatures this morning were mostly 3 to 5 degrees below average, and 8 degrees below at Strahan. Mt Read had its lowest minimum temp of -5.3 deg, and Strahan -2.3 being the lowest August temp.

• Very chilly nights tonight and Wednesday night, with widespread morning frost.

• Current warnings:
A Strong Wind Warning is current for eastern coastal waters from the northern tip of Flinders Island to Wineglass Bay.
A Road Weather Alert is current warning of snow covered roads above 500 metres, and ice on susceptible Tasmanian roads during Tuesday, and will be issued for ice on roads Wednesday morning.

• Today’s state forecast: Showers about the south and east, mainly coastal, falling as snow above 600 metres, otherwise fine. Very cold at first with widespread frost. South to southeasterly winds.

• The next few days will see rain develop about the northwest Thursday afternoon, to extend statewide during the evening. A cold front to cross on Friday will bring statewide rain with the highest falls in the northwest of 20-40mm.

All Tasmania warnings are updated regularly at: 


Slut shaming forced me to quit: Husar

28.08.18 9:33 am

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Speaker Hickey secures funding for women’s surgery but govt under fire over abortion services

Sue Bailey, Examiner
28.08.18 9:29 am

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Royal Hobart Hospital is like a ‘car up on blocks’, doctor tells Health Minister Michael Ferguson

28.08.18 9:25 am

A senior clinician has gatecrashed a press conference to grill Health Minister Michael Ferguson on the lack of beds and training opportunities for surgeons at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH).

Mr Ferguson and Speaker Sue Hickey were at the hospital to announce $4 million in State Government funding over two years which will attract $3.2 million of Federal Government funding to reduce the elective surgery waiting list for women’s surgeries.

However, the carefully managed press conference ran off course when Dr Frank O’Keeffe, a staff specialist at the Royal and college counsellor for obstetrics and gynaecology in Tasmania, jumped in at the end to ask his own question of Mr Ferguson.

Dr O’Keeffe expressed concern that although the Royal was a training hospital, its trainees had very few opportunities to perform major surgery.

“In fact, our numbers at the Royal Hobart Hospital are exceptionally low for major surgeries,” he said.

“And for our trainees to go forward and graduate [to] being capable surgeons, we need to be able to do major surgeries. They are not happening.”

Dr O’Keeffe said throwing money at the problem would not address the bed shortage.

“There’s plenty of staff but we do not have the beds to do the surgery, and it often gets cancelled. So until that is addressed, there’s still going to be a problem here,” he said …

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Bid to cap Hobart building heights splits council committee

28.08.18 9:19 am


High-rise developments above 60 metres in Hobart are still a possibility after the city’s council planning committee failed to recommend height limits be implemented.

The four Hobart City Council alderman on the planning committee were split on the motion to recommend the full council introduce a 60-metre building height limit in the inner city, and lower caps throughout 10 different height zones.

The committee chairman Alderman Jeff Briscoe, as well as Alderman Eva Ruzicka, voted to recommend the full council adopt proposed limits, but the motion was defeated when Alderman Helen Burnet and Alderman Tanya Denison voted against it.

The committee was considering a 107-page report by architect and urban design consultant Leigh Woolley on building heights.

Mr Woolley’s recommendations, and amendments by council planning officers, will now go to the full council without endorsement from the planning committee …

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Australian spy’s lawyer Bernard Collaery threatened with jail over book

28.08.18 7:59 am

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Crikey Worm: NAPLAN runs into more problems

28.08.18 7:36 am

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The Briefing ... Alan Jones’ hand in leadership spill

The Saturday Paper
28.08.18 7:28 am

Sydney shock jock Alan Jones has admitted urging two Coalition MPs to support a challenge to then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull during the Liberal leadership crisis last week.

Speaking to the ABC’s Four Corners on Monday, Jones said he contacted the member for Bennelong, John Alexander, and an unnamed second MP, telling them “this is critical stuff, you’ve really got to think about this, the party’s got to change direction”.

In his farewell press conference on Friday, Turnbull blamed “powerful voices in the media” for undermining his position.

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Guardian: Deaths in custody, Turnbull quits, Myanmar horror

28.08.18 7:06 am

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Memorial service for International Overdose Awareness Day

Alison Lai Chief Executive Officer Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania
28.08.18 6:55 am

A memorial service will be held at the Salvation Army Bridge Program this Thursday, 30 August ahead of International
Overdose Awareness Day (Friday, 31 August).
To be held at the Hobart Bridge Centre in New Town at 12.30 pm, the service will take place at a memorial garden that
has been restored by a team of volunteers.
Salvation Army Bridge Program Manager Penny Chugg said that they would be welcoming family and friends of current
and past clients to the memorial and remembrance service.
“As an organisation we strive to reduce the harms associated with substance use and to reduce overdose in our
community through education and effective substance use treatment,” Ms Chugg said.
This event will be dedicated to those no longer with us through overdose and substance misuse.”
ATDC chief executive officer, Alison Lai said that International Overdose Awareness Day was an important opportunity
to raise awareness that most overdose deaths can be avoided.
“The majority of drug overdose induced deaths in Australia are from pharmaceutical opioid drugs that people
take for pain relief,” Alison said.
“Most of these deaths are accidental, with the risk of an overdose being higher for those taking different
drugs at the same time, including alcohol.
“We also know that middle-aged males living in regional areas are particularly at risk.”
With more people dying each year from accidental overdose than through car accidents or accidental drownings, Alison
encouraged people to take care and seek advice when using pharmaceutical drugs.
State Manager of the Bridge Program Penny Chugg, and ATDC chief executive officer Alison Lai will be available for
interview. To respect the privacy of individuals, no past or current clients of the Salvation Army Bridge Program will be
available for photographs.
Who are the ATDC? The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council is the peak body representing the interests of the
community sector organisations that provide services to people with substance use issues in Tasmania. A membershipbased,
independent organisation, the ATDC advocates for adequate support and funding for the delivery of evidencebased
alcohol, tobacco and other drug initiatives.
What is the Salvation Army Bridge Program? The Bridge Program has been in use in Australia for over 40 years
providing for the recovery needs of people with alcohol or other drug addictions. Part of the Salvation Army network of
services, the Bridge Program works with individuals and families through residential and day programs.