In Their Own Words...

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Advocates say Brandis’ religious freedom plan ‘lawyers’ picnic

Rodney Croome, just.equal
18.11.17 11:05 am

Equality advocates have described Attorney-General, George Brandis’, plan to entrench freedom of religion and conscience into the Marriage Act as a potential “lawyer’s picnic” that could override state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

It has been reported that Senator Brandis is considering amending Senator Dean Smith’s marriage bill to incorporate word-for-word the first clause of article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“The only conceivable reason for inserting these rights into the Marriage Act would be to override state and federal laws that prevent discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people and others who fall foul of religious beliefs.”

“Freedom of religion and conscience are important rights, but the appropriate place to deal with them is in a stand alone law that can define how they interact with existing discrimination protections.”

“Senator Brandis’ proposal risks clogging the courts with claims that religion freedom trumps other rights, and would end up being a lawyer’s picnic.”

“Much greater consideration should be given to how Australia protects freedom of religion and conscience, and the issue should not be used as a way to slow down marriage equality.”

Mr Croome also expressed concern about Senator Brandis’ proposal to allow all civil celebrants to refuse their services on the basis of religion.

“Civil celebrants are delegated by the government to perform an official duty and should not be allowed to shirk that duty because of their personal religious beliefs.”

“Giving civil celebrants the right to refuse their services on the grounds of religion or personal conscience blurs the boundary between church and state.”


Mackay protesters march for Manus

Jane Salmon for Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition
18.11.17 11:01 am


Seven refugee protesters marched through Mackay (north Queensland) from the old Town Hall to Liberal Party MP George Christensen’s office, Friday 17 November in support of the refugees detained on Manus Island.

The seven protesters were escorted by 12 police observers.

“The Mackay protest is just the latest demonstration of the widespread and growing calls in the Australian community for the governbment to end the siege on Manus Island, provide the immedaite food , water and medival care they need; and welcome them to Australia,” said Ian Rintoul from the the Refugee Action Coalition.

Meanwhile ...


Emergency protest rally: “End the Manus Siege; Bring them Here,” Saturday, 18 November, 1pm, Hyde Park. Speakers include : Peter Penn (St Georges Anglican Church) Ann-Maree McEwan, organiser Independent Education Union; Shannen Potter, NSW Young Labor; Imogen Szumer, Refugee Action Coalition .

Fears among the refugees and asylum seekers were heightended last night when local people atcked the Hillside Camp and turned off the generator. With the power cut, refugees locked themslves in their rooms fearing that the camp was about to be attacked.

PNG police came to the camp after the local guards had fled - but the power was not restored.

The operation of the generator in the more settled area of the Hillside Camp has been a major issue at recent local Manus meetings, that have called for all asylum seekers and refugees to be returned to Australia.

The incident highlighted the complete lack of security at Hillside, again putting the lie to the Minister Dutton’s claim that the areas around Lorengau are safe.

Meanwhile, the government siege of the Manus detention centre continues.


Special Energy Bonus extended

Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy
18.11.17 10:56 am

The Hodgman Liberal Government will extend the $125 Special Energy Bonus to even more Tasmanians doing it tough, including veterans, carers and disability pensioners.
The Special Energy Bonus will now be available to all Aurora Energy account holders with a Pensioner Concession Card, thanks to an additional investment of $500,000 into the scheme.
Helping with the cost of living is a top priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government.  Power bill relief for aged pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders has been warmly welcomed.
We have also heard since the announcement calls for other concession groups to be included. The Government has worked through this with Aurora in recent weeks, as part of identifying the households to receive the bonus and it is very pleasing to be able to extend the Special Energy Bonus further to others with a Pensioner Concession Card.
Aurora’s work to identify all the eligible aged pensioner households has resulted in a lower than the originally anticipated number meaning with the small increase in the scheme value, we are able to now include all Pensioner Concession Card holders who are registered with Aurora Energy for a concession.
As with the original Special Energy Bonus, the extension is funded by energy businesses as a result of higher than expected profits. In line with our Tasmania-first approach, we believe that higher than expected returns from our energy businesses should be returned to the pockets of Tasmanians, rather than retained by the Government.
Cheques for $125 per eligible household will be automatically mailed to Aurora Energy account holders registered for an electricity concession with a Pensioner Concession Card.
The application process for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders to receive the bonus has today (November 18) been advertised in newspapers. Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders can apply by presenting their valid Commonwealth Senior Health Card along with their Aurora Energy account details to a Service Tasmania Service Centre (1300 13 55 13). An agent may present these on behalf of the card holder.
Eligible recipients for the Bonus are Aurora Energy account holders registered for an electricity concession with either a Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards.
Only one bonus is available per household.
People who may have a Pensioner Concession Card are recipients of: Age Pension, DVA Pension, Bereavement Allowance, Carer Payment, DSP (Disability Support), NAP (Non Agency Payment), PPS (Parenting Payment Single), WFA (Wife Pension Age), WFD (Wife Pension DSP or Work for Dole).
More information is available at


Crikey Weekender: Game over, Abbott. Now resign ...

Crikey Weekender
18.11.17 7:45 am


Resoundingly defeated in the outcome of the marriage survey, Tony Abbott has lost the only weapon that made him a decent politician, writes Bernard Keane.

Read here


The Saturday Briefing ... Kevin Rudd’s attack on News Corp

Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper
18.11.17 5:53 am

A decade after he took office, former prime minister Kevin Rudd has launched a full-throttle attack on the global power of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which backed his rise. Rudd has labelled News Corp a “cancer” on democracy and called for a royal commission into its relationship with the federal Coalition, in particular how the two organisations have handled the National Broadband Network.

“The Liberal Party has seen fit to call a series of opportunistic royal commissions into the Labor Party over many decades now,” Rudd tells Karen Middleton. “If ever there was a case for a royal commission in Australia on the waste of public funds and the unseemly relationship between the Liberal Party on the one hand and the Murdoch party on the other in the destruction of the NBN model for Australia, this is it.”

Plus: Paul Bongiorno on Malcolm Turnbull’s marriage equality reality check, and Guy Rundle on understanding politics through character. 

Read more here


Glenorchy City Council Board of Inquiry report

Peter Gutwein, Minister for Planning and Local Government
18.11.17 5:51 am

I can confirm that the Government has now received the Board of Inquiry report into the Glenorchy City Council.

I will now give the report thorough consideration.

However, I know that there is significant community interest in the report and I will ensure it is publicly released as soon as possible.

I anticipate that the report will be made public by the end of this month.


TasWater ownership report

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer
18.11.17 5:50 am

I note that the Legislative Council Select Committee on TasWater Ownership has handed down its final report.
The report does not make any recommendations, rather it lists a number of the key arguments for and against the Government’s TasWater takeover proposal as findings.
However the Government disagrees with the findings that suggest councils will be adversely affected by the proposed takeover.
The fact is councils will get every cent currently promised to them until 2025 and after that 50 per cent of all returns. Under the current arrangement councils have no guarantee of any returns beyond 2025.
At the end of the day, the infrastructure shouldn’t be seen as a council asset or even a State Government asset.  These assets belong to the people of Tasmania and given both the Economic Regulator and the Auditor-General have confirmed the infrastructure is falling apart faster than it can be fixed something has to be done.
The status quo clearly isn’t good enough.
Our proposal would see councils continue to receive guaranteed dividends, it would see more money invested in infrastructure upgrades sooner and it would see customers paying as much as $550 less than is currently expected over coming years.
We have consulted widely on our proposal and it has enormous community support including from:
• The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• The Housing Industry Association
• The Tasmanian Hospitality Association
• The Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania
• The Property Council
• The Tasmanian Small Business Council
• The Master Builders Association
We look forward to the Council debating the legislation next week.


Labor welcomes Tassal’s off-shore move

Shane Broad MP Shadow Primary Industries Minister
18.11.17 5:22 am

 Transition to oceanic farming strikes right environmental balance
 Industry willing to embrace change
Tasmanian Labor has today welcomed Tassal’s move to retire its in-shore leases and move toward oceanic fish farming.
Shadow Primary Industries and Water Minister Shane Broad said the company was demonstrating a commitment to striking the right balance between the environment and industry sustainability.
“This is about keeping the industry sustainable for the future and Tassal is to be applauded for acting on the Tasmanian community’s concerns,” Dr Broad said.
“Labor has always been a strong supporter of the salmon industry and it was Labor that oversaw the growth of the industry as it evolved into one of Tasmania’s largest and most important.
“Labor has a comprehensive policy with further measures to ensure it upholds the integrity of the Tasmanian brand.
“Those measures will mean the salmon industry maintains its competitiveness at the same time it meets environmental standards.
“A majority Labor Government will always support the industry and jobs in the industry while regulatory framework is improved to increase transparency and confidence.”


Powerful inquiry into banks in the balance as Nationals MPs ponder crossing the floor

18.11.17 4:24 am

Read here


Same-sex marriage: Men of God hold no mortgage on the national soul

18.11.17 4:22 am

Read here


Donate to Gay Tas Early History HERE

Robert Thompson
18.11.17 4:17 am


I’m in a position to already have a number of reliable contact points for research on early GLBTI history in Tasmania.

This will include digitally recording oral and written interviews by elderly residents, and gathering referrals to further surviving members of the community.

I do have endorsement from leading researchers and archivists willing to contribute material to this Gay Tas History Project.

My costs will include purchase and hire of digital recording equipment, manuals, transport and freight within Tasmania and eventually interstate.

I welcome enquiries and referrals to this very detailed new project.  It will bring a greater in-depth understanding (for historic archiving) of a now far more widely-known and accepted community.

Donate HERE


Tassal’s “Off-Shore” Spin

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Marine Environment spokesperson
17.11.17 4:39 pm

Tassal’s so-called “commitment to Tasmania” in moving their operations apparently “off-shore” is simply a PR exercise. It seems to be designed to secure their share price and water down the intense public scrutiny of their activities, and the current court hearings.

What they are proposing is just to move from several tiny and environmentally damaged sites in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Rivers, as they consolidate and intensify operations at Long Bay near Port Arthur. The Long Bay lease is 45m from the shore in a relatively shallow and unflushed bay.

Despite an implicit apology in Tassal’s statement about the environmental harm they caused in Macquarie Harbour, the company might “accept the lessons learned”, but clearly haven’t learnt from them.

If they had truly learnt their lesson from Macquarie Harbour and were prepared to meet community expectations, they’d abandon their expansion plans at Okehampton Bay.

Storm Bay is a massive 860ha of public waterway close to Wedge Island that is not oceanic, and is regarded by many boat users as “coastal”.

Tassal have vaguely described their plans as “more oceanic” and “further off-shore”. What it shows is a company that’s willing to put the gloss on any site it wants as ‘off-shore’ if it suits their corporate growth plan.

Tassal admitted earlier in the week their new feeding strategy will result in reduced roles. This leads to questions about the number of jobs involved in their Storm Bay operation.

Even fish farming companies themselves are acknowledging Tasmanians want salmon farms off-shore. What the government must provide is a transparent, legal process that enables people to have a say about what they want, and where they want it. 

Instead, this has taken place behind ministerial doors - over the course of successive Liberal and Labor Governments - hidden from the public using leases that are decades old.

The Hodgman Government is currently failing to regulate with the interests of people for the long-term. Tasmanians love and enjoy the marine environment, and they must be able to have a say about this huge corporate sea-grab.


Tassal shift to oceanic farming welcomed

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Elise Archer, Minister for Environment and Parks
17.11.17 4:26 pm

The Hodgman Liberal Government welcomes today’s announcement by Tassal of their plans to retire several of their inshore leases.
Minister for Primary Industries Jeremy Rockliff said Tassal’s decision demonstrates fish farming companies are listening and working cooperatively with the wider community.
``Tassal’s decision is welcomed and aligns perfectly with the Government’s policy, as detailed in our Draft Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for the Salmon Industry that future industry growth will largely be in oceanic waters. It also shows a commitment by the company to think broadly of the sustainability of the industry,’’ Mr Rockliff said.
``This Government has worked hard to reform the industry and ensure an appropriate balance between fish farms, local communities and the environment.
``We have strengthened penalties and regulations, and put the independent Environment Protection Authority in charge of all aspects of environmental control of the industry.’’
Minister for Environment and Parks Elise Archer said the salmon industry is making real inroads to change.
``This comes on the back of Tassal’s decision last week to not proceed with their original intention to dispose of waste filtrate water back into Macquarie Harbour,’’ Ms Archer said.
``This demonstrates a willingness to listen to the concerns of the wider community, and I applaud this, as it reflects positively not only on the industry but on the State as a whole, to ensure Tasmanian salmon is the most sustainably produced in the world.’’
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment will advertise a public consultation period from tomorrow, for the maximum possible period of eight weeks and we encourage those interested to participate.


Concerned citizens barricade doors of Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Georgia Hill, WACA - Whistleblowers, Activists & Citizens Alliance,
17.11.17 12:01 pm


Members of the Brisbane community have barricaded the doors of the Brisbane headquarters of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to protest the Australian government’s ongoing policy of offshore processing of asylum seekers on Manus Island.

The group are calling for refugees on Manus Island to be brought to Australia for onshore processing and provided with the opportunity to reside in either Australia or New Zealand. 

The action comes amid the closure of Manus Island Detention Centre. Currently, 420 refugees remain inside the abandoned facility and are refusing to leave due to safety fears.

Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches Fr Denny Guka has said PNG Church leaders consider the ongoing detainment of refugees in their country a serious concern.

“The decision to build new facilities on a new site and have them transferred is no different to how and where they have been in the last 4 years.”

“The situation is a moral global shame to both Australia and Papua New Guinea.”

One participant said they are participating in the barricade because they are appalled by the government’s disregard for human rights

“The Australian Government has allowed the refugees detained on Manus Island to be without fresh water and food for 18 days.”

“These people have not been convicted of any crimes, yet many of them have been detained at the Manus Island Detention Centre for more than 4 years. “

Another participant has said they will continue to engage in protest until the Government implements a more humane solution.

“The Australian Government continues to play political games with the processing of asylum seekers and refugees.”

“Building new prison camps is not the solution, the solution involves transporting and processing refugees on Australian shores and allowing refugees to build a life in our communities.”

This follows Malcolm Turnbull’s rejection of New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees. New Zealand has also pledged $3 million to provide services to refugees detained on Manus Island.

This morning, protesters are outside Canstruct Pty Ltd’s headquarters in Brisbane to demand the company rethink its plans to profit from Peter Dutton’s cruel offshore detention regime.

In a separate action, Construction business Canstruct is slated to take over operation of the Nauru Detention Centre - including security, movement of refugees, food, clothing and welfare - and has already been quietly paid $8.1million upfront by Australian taxpayers. The move prolongs the operation of the detention centre, where men women and children have been unlawfully detained for up to four years.

Protesters say Canstruct faces significant reputational, legal and financial damage for doing business in abuse and should reconsider its involvement.

Photos: Media contact:

Letter From Manus:

Dear friends,

It’s 16th day that we are still surviving with no food water and electricity. We are still resisting to leave this prison camp not to create a problem for the Australian and PNG governments but only for our freedom and safety.

Why should we suffer here with no food, water, electricity specially medical facilities. Our health condition is deteriorating. What we need? What is our demand? What we are seeking? The answer is freedom freedom freedom.

The two governments keep pushing us to move from this prison to another prison where our safety is not guaranteed. They want us to be prisoners forever to maintain their borders to keep them protected and for their political career.

Im shame to say this, I have no choice but to tell you that for the last three days I did not have a food just I’m eating coconut from the bush. I have no good water to drink I couldn’t have a good shower. And dear brother and sister I couldn’t even use to go to toilet I’m crying while writing this letter.

I’m a young man. I have thousands of imaginations of my future. Every thing has been destroyed by this government. I have already lost my four years time. I aspire to become a vet but I have no hope. They are playing a game with my life. The Australian government abandoned us and the PNG people don’t want us to be here and the New Zealand government want to help us but the Australian don’t want to let us to be settle somewhere safe and start a new life.

I’m fed up with this life I hate myself.

K. Shaminda


Voluntary Tasmania E-news

Volunteering Tasmania
17.11.17 11:57 am

Read here


Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege

Jane Salmon for Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition
17.11.17 11:52 am



Despite constant claims from the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister that new relocation areas are safe and ready, photos from West Lorengau on Manus Island show that the area is still a construction site.

“Dutton’s claim that he wants to close Manus Island as soon as possible; that’s a lie. Dutton wants Manus, like Nauru to become a permanent prison island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. 

“Dutton intends to scuttle any plan for safe resettlement. He is deliberately depriving refugees of the necessities of life to force the refugees were forced into less safe areas of Manus Island than provide the safe resettement that he is obliged to.”

“As the Turnbull govenment sinks in the opinion polls, Dutton sinks into infamy, engulfed by international condemnation.

“The naked brutality of the government siege has exposed the use of torture that has underpinned Manus Island from the beginning. Labor has now joined the call for Dutton to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees. Labor urgently needs to take another step.

“The only guarantee of safety for all the asylum seekers and refugees is for the goverment to end the siege, evacuate them all, and bring them to Australia.”

Emergency protest rally: “End the Manus Siege; Bring them Here,” Saturday, 18 November, 1pm, Hyde Park. Speakers include : Benjamin Law (writer), Ann-Maree McEwan, organiser Independent Education Union.


Have your say ...

17.11.17 11:48 am

Emerging Architects Tasmania is running a survey about desirable building heights for Hobart’s CBD. 

You can have your say at

For Press details, see The Mercury Thurs 16 Nov 2017 p.3.

Happy voting!


Cake is cake ... stop giving bakers a bad name!

Rodney Croome, just.equal
17.11.17 10:34 am

A group of Hobart wedding service providers have pushed back on attempts by conservative politicians to give businesses and charities the right to refuse services to same-sex weddings.

The owners of Sweet Envy, Teena and Alistair Wise, owner of Expose Photography, Cassandra Smith, and editor of Bride Tasmania, Steve Mihalenko, said such exemptions were not necessary.

“I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t want to bake a cake for someone,” said Mr Wise.

“We’ve made plenty of cakes in the past for gay commitment ceremonies and if you voted ‘no’, we’ll bake a cake for you too. Cake transcends such differences.

“We don’t want to be dragged into this debate and held up as an excuse to discriminate against same sex couples. Stop giving bakers a bad name!”

It is already illegal for businesses to refuse services on the grounds of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

Ms Smith said she failed to understand why special exemptions should be made to allow wedding service providers to discriminate against same-sex couples.

“It’s a bit insulting really. We are professionals and we are capable of dealing with a diverse range of customers in a professional manner. That’s how you run a good business,” said Ms Smith.

Tasmania’s wedding industry is set to boom if marriage equality is enacted. As Editor of Bride Tasmania, Mr Mihalenko, said Tasmania’s high vote in the postal survey was a message to same sex couples around the country that they are welcome.

“This is an enormous economic opportunity for Tasmania. We have shown that we are one of the most open and inclusive states in the country,” said Mr Mihalenko.

“Couples should know that if they come here they will find a range of excellent wedding services that treat all of their customers in a professional and respectful manner.”


Solar-powered lights at Bridport ...

Wendy McLennan
17.11.17 9:07 am


The Dorset Council Bridport workforce has just refurbished the solar powered lights at Bridport and they are now better and brighter than ever. 

The solar powered lights and information plaques on the foreshore at Bridport were the brainchild of Donna Millwood and Wendy McLennan in 2007.  Ten years ago this was very new technology and was one of the first forays into solar powered lights in Tasmania.  The information plaques on the history of Bridport were provided by local historian and photographer Jeff Jennings.

‘It is so encouraging to see a community project be so successful’.  Thousands of visitors have walked and ridden the foreshore track over the last ten years and enjoyed the history and outstanding views that we have in Bridport.  Wendy McLennan said.

It is so encouraging to see a community project become one of the centrepieces of our lovely town.


Fear of reprisals, boss woes, affecting Tasmanian Justice staff, survey finds

17.11.17 8:47 am

Tasmanian Justice Department workers love their jobs but have little faith in management and fear reprisals if they report improper conduct, internal surveys obtained by the ABC reveal …

Read more here


The Briefing ... Cory Bernardi ...

Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper
17.11.17 6:07 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi has revealed divisions in the government after moving a motion opposing Medicare funding for abortions.

Five Coalition backbenchers – Eric Abetz, Barry O’Sullivan, Zed Seselja, Matt Canavan and Anne Ruston – crossed the floor to vote for the Bernardi motion, which was also supported by One Nation. Bernardi moved a series of provocative and divisive motions that prompted a number of Coalition senators to cross the floor.  One linked progressive activist organisation GetUp! with US billionaire George Soros and criticised anti-domestic violence organisation White Ribbon for advocating for legal abortion …

Read more here


Launceston, Wed, 22 Nov, 6.30pm : Planning Matters Alliance meet

Anne for Sophie Underwood—Co-ordinator, Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania. First pub Nov 15
17.11.17 6:00 am


Download invitation ...



Select Committee Report confirms no water and sewerage crisis

17.11.17 4:37 am

The Final Report of the Legislative Council Select Committee on TasWater Ownership has confirmed that there is no crisis in the provision of Tasmania’s water and sewerage services, refuting the Government’s pretext for its planned takeover.

TasWater says the Select Committee report appears to provide a reasonable balance of the submissions made by interested parties.

It says the Committee has accurately reported the Corporation’s detailed evidence and has recognised the significant progress made in improving water and sewerage infrastructure and services since the reform began in 2008-09.

Chairman Miles Hampton said TasWater would now consider the report in detail, but it stood by its submission and did not believe the Government had provided any justification or basis for its proposed takeover.

“Importantly, among 48 findings, the Committee’s report determined there was no consensus of a crisis in the Tasmanian water and sewerage sector as claimed by the Government as its reasons for the takeover,” Mr Hampton said.

“While the Environment Protection Agency reported a downward trend in environment performance from sewerage treatment plants over the past five years, the Committee recognised differences in measurement metrics and also that TasWater and the EPA had established a memorandum of understanding regarding the prioritisation of environmental compliance issues.

“We are now continuing this infrastructure upgrading work as a high priority.

“The Committee reported that evidence suggested TasWater operates in a sustainable manner. Conversely, it says there was insufficient evidence to clearly demonstrate the veracity of the Government’s financial modelling with respect to long-term funding of Tasmania’s water and sewerage needs.

“As well, evidence suggested that there would be a significant cost from consolidated revenue to support a takeover of TasWater, with no short-term measurable savings as a result.”

Mr Hampton said the Select Committee confirmed that Tasmanian residential customers paid more than $300 a year below the national average for water and sewerage services.

It also confirmed the sustainability of some Tasmanian council services may be jeopardised if dividends from TasWater were reduced and council rates may have to be increased from 2025.

“There is nothing in the Select Committee report to justify the proposed State Government takeover.

“There are now three independent reports, from the Productivity Council, the Tasmanian Audit Office and now the Legislative Council Select Committee that show the takeover is neither justified nor appropriate.

“We now look to the Legislative Council to reject this flawed, ill-conceived and potentially costly legislation,” Mr Hampton said.


Ticket Reselling in Australia - The Treasury - Citizen Space

17.11.17 4:34 am

Read here


TasWater executive salary report distorted

16.11.17 2:54 pm

Executive salaries at TasWater, the local government-owned statewide water and sewerage corporation, increased by an average of 4.5 percent, in line with sector movements in the past financial year.
Chairman Miles Hampton said the reported 16 percent annual increase in executive salaries was a distortion as this included termination and movements in leave balances as well as replacing a position that had been vacant the previous financial year.
Mr Hampton said one senior executive role had remained vacant for a year and this had been replaced by a new role in 2016-17. We are also planning to remove another executive position this year. The reported salaries’ total included the new role as well as termination payments and movements in leave balance.
When these factors were taken into account the real average increase in TasWater’s executive remuneration was 4.5 percent. While this was marginally higher than general salary rises, some longer-term managers had received increases to bring them in line with market rates.
Mr Hampton said TasWater operated in a competitive national market and it was necessary to offer appropriate salaries to attract and retain the best people.
“Salaries are benchmarked against comparable national and local pay levels and are consistent with that of other State Government Business Enterprises (GBEs). However, unlike other GBEs, TasWater does not pay executive bonuses.
“As well, the inference that TasWater executives set their own salary levels is incorrect. The Chief Executive’s salary is set by the Board and the Board approves increases for all executives, based on recommendations from the CEO.”


Official Opening of the Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail in Deloraine

Martin Hay, Colony 47
16.11.17 2:48 pm


‘Kooparoona Niara cultural
trail is the gateway to the
Great Western Tiers, home
to many sacred
Aboriginal sites where my
people lived and survived
generations ago -”
Greg Murray

Please join us to celebrate the official opening with many activities

An official opening ceremony, a fire-stick procession along the trail
to the yarning circle, traditional cultural ceremonies, BBQ and
refreshments and much more!

Saturday 16th December, 2017
Deloraine Apex Train Park, 13 West Parade, Deloraine.
Please bring a picnic blanket or chair for lunch near the Yarning Circle.

Parking available at the Train Park and West Parade.


Same Sex Marriage

Will Justo President, Law Society of Tasmania
16.11.17 2:30 pm

The Law Society of Tasmania, as a supporter of same sex marriage, acknowledges the result of the Same Sex Marriage Survey and congratulates all Australians who took part.

The Society looks forward to reviewing the proposed legislation put forward by Government.


The Briefing ... marriage equality ...

Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper
16.11.17 9:33 am

Good morning, and welcome to The Briefing.

Liberal senator Dean Smith has introduced a bill legalising marriage equality after the same-sex marriage postal vote returned a solid “Yes” majority.

A total of 61.6 per cent of respondents voted “Yes” in the survey, with every state and territory and 133 of 150 federal electorates recording a majority. The largest concentration of “No” votes came from western Sydney, a trend ABC election analyst Antony Green ascribed to high levels of social and religious conservatism among some migrant communities. Labor member for Blaxland Jason Clare, whose electorate recorded a “No” vote of 73.9 per cent, reaffirmed his commitment to voting in favour of marriage equality if Senator Smith’s bill reaches the House of Representatives.

Read more here


An Open Letter to all politicians ... The Launceston and North-East Railway

Wendy McLennan Community Engagement Officer, Launceston and North East Railway
16.11.17 7:41 am


Tourism is about diversity and catering to the whole spectrum of visitors.

The Launceston and North East Railway (LNER) have presented an opportunity to create a different product from bike riding.  We have the $40mill railway infrastructure, the experienced track personnel to repair and maintain it.  Let all government parties and instrumentalities come together and make it happen.

A $50,000 study has been completed which has stated that our railway operation would be viable. 

Now a cost benefit analysis of rail and bike is to be completed.  This does not make sense any more.  It is wasting time and creating conflict within the community.  It would make sense to stop creating barriers and work with all involved to create the best outcome for Tasmania and tourism.

Bike riding in Derby has proven to be highly successful.  Keep developing that area to keep it the best in the world.

Victoria has recognised the value of heritage and tourist rail.  We should not miss this opportunity.

The Victorian Government has just announced that they are putting $8.2 million into Vicotria’s iconic Puffing Billy, creating a Discovery Centre at Lakeside Station, improving educational and volunteer facilities.

Loved by locals and visitors alike, Puffing Billy continues to attract record numbers of passengers. More than 487,000 people flocked to the railway in 2016-17, with 60 per cent visiting from overseas.

This is the highest patronage of any narrow gauge steam heritage railway in the world that is a volunteer-based, not for profit operation.

Tourism means serious business in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges – creating around 7,300 jobs and generating close to $560 million for the local economy in 2015-16.

Puffing Billy is a major driver of this activity, delivering around $10.2 million to the economy, supporting 101 jobs, and engaging more than 900 volunteers.

LNER are currently investigating the establishment of a heritage hub in Lilydale which will have a focus on the railway.

We will have a working model railway based on a panorama of the North-East as well as providing a space for regional tourist promotion such as Holybank and the Lavender Farm.  We will be taking the community with us and have a working art space.

Tasmanian governance needs to stop procrastinating.

None of this makes sense any more.  Please just do something to create diversity of tourism in the North East and the whole of Tasmania and put some reasonable thought into progressing Tasmania on the world map.


Managing tourism and the increased number of cruise ships

Anne for Freycenit Association Incorporated
16.11.17 7:29 am


While tourism is undeniably important for Tasmania’s economy, the industry needs to be properly managed, and that arguably includes limiting/restricting the number/size of cruise ships coming our way, and the thousands of people that are on board, so areas are not overwhelmed with visitors, and both visitors and locals enjoy a positive experience. It all comes down to adequate planning and ensuring all aspects are properly managed for the protection of environment and people alike …

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