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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

AMA CONCERNS ON PULP MILL MUST BE HEEDED

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

The Tasmanian Greens today supported the concerns raised by the AMA regarding a range of potential impacts of Gunns’ proposed pulp mill on human health, including effects on respiratory disease, impacts of odourous emissions, and the likelihood of increased road traffic causing road fatalities, air emissions and noise.

Greens Member for Bass, Kim Booth MHA, said that the government and Gunns Ltd must take the concerns of doctors seriously, and that the RPDC would need to revise their decision not to require a baseline health study for the Tamar valley in their final IIS Guidelines, because such a study is integral to addressing whether health impacts can be shown to have originated with a pulp mill.

“The concerns of doctors that a pulp mill could have a range of significant health effects are very real and must be taken seriously rather than being batted away with the usual spin-doctored statements asserting world’s best but evading full impact assessment,” Mr Booth said.

“The respiratory health impacts in the polluted Tamar air shed which extends over Launceston are already a national scandal affecting many of my constituents, yet a pulp mill could add to these and the AMA has put the acid on the government and Gunns to get serious about it.”

“A glaring hole in the Integrated Impact Statement guidelines was the failure to require a baseline health study throughout the Tamar valley so that there is something to make a scientific comparison with if a pulp mill is built and pollution from it seems to be having an effect, and the RPDC really should look at this again.”

“”The issue of increased logging traffic and other vehicles is also of note for the impacts on road trauma, as well as the increase in noise and particulate emissions,” Mr Booth said.

GREENS TARGET CONSTRAINTS OF TRAINING, INSURANCE, AND RAIL FREIGHT TRANSPORT

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

The Tasmanian Greens today said that key areas for action on the Tasmanian economy emerging from the latest Tasmanian Survey of Business Expectations are the need for increased investment in education and training to improve the availability of suitably qualified employees and managers, to address the constraints on business growth imposed by high insurance costs, and to assure the future of rail freight services.

Greens Opposition Leader Peg Putt MHA said the Greens have policies focusing on these areas as priorities and dismissed the implied anti-Greens stance of the TCCI, saying that the Greens emphasis on achieving these key results for the economy will be helpful in pushing a new government to get serious about tackling them.

“The Greens strongly support a transition to a clean, green and clever economy which means that we recognise the constraints on growing a knowledge-based economy posed by the lack of suitably qualified employees and managers and are making a policy push for improved education and training opportunities,” Ms Putt said.

“Also a constraint on economic growth is the high cost of insurance, and here the Greens propose to cut stamp duties on insurances which will assist business and increase safety.”

“Another area of concern for the future of our economy is transport, particularly the future of rail freight, and again the Greens are pushing for a result that ensures these vital services remain.”

“I differ with the TCCI over the role of the Greens in promoting a strong economy, because our push for training, for tax cuts to stamp duty on insurances, and for retention of rail freight services will reinforce the political will of the other political parties to deliver on these areas.”

“No other party has outlined a plan to cut stamp duties on insurances, despite a push by business and consumer groups.”

WAITING LIST DATA STILL NOT AVAILABLE

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

What Is Minister Llewellyn Up To?


The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Government to either publish the Elective Surgery waiting list data for the final quarter of 2005 or explain why the figures have not been updated despite the DHHS website stating that, “this information is updated 10 working days following the end of each quarter.”

Greens Opposition Health and Human Services spokesperson Tim Morris MHA said that since reporting had begun, the usual practice was for the Elective Surgery waiting list statistics to be published by about the 14th of the month past the end of each quarter, but for some reason this time the latest figures have not been published within the usual timeframe.

“The Greens are starting to get suspicious that the Government is going to play tricks again and either change the way the Elective Surgery waiting list data is collated or reported so as to prevent the public being able to compare and measure the performance in this vital area,” Mr Morris said.

“The Government is clearly hiding the latest figures for elective surgery, presumably to cover up for their abysmal performance.”

“We are sure if the number of Tasmanian waiting for elective surgery had been substantially reduced from in excess of 7000, as reported for the September quarter, then the data would have been published in accord within the timeframe advised by the department.”

“It is now time for the Minister for Health and Human services to come clean and release the latest Elective surgery waiting lists figures in accordance with departmental policy, and explain why he has withheld them,” Mr Morris said.

New Minister is Uninformed and Inflammatory

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

New Minister is Uninformed and Inflammatory


The Tasmanian Greens today responded to vitriolic anti-Green comments by incoming Federal Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and Conservation Senator Eric Abetz saying that he is ill-informed on the Greens’ plans for job creation in the forest industry.

Greens Opposition Leader and spokesperson on Forests Peg Putt MHA called for Senator Abetz to recognise that the Greens represent the views of a substantial proportion of the population who will be insulted by his incorrect and inflammatory remarks, and said that he should be prepared for dialogue and co-operation in his Ministerial role.

“Contrary to Senator Abetz’s spiteful claims, the Greens have thoroughly researched plans for job creation in the forest industry, which we can make truly ecologically sustainable, and there is a lot to talk about for anyone genuinely interested in shifting to a high value-adding, job creating industry and away from mass, low value woodchipping in the clearfelling culture,” Ms Putt said.

“We can create around 900 jobs through a combination of new timber processing ventures based in the existing plantations and tourism jobs gained through forest protection.”

“Many Tasmanians support the Greens which is how we come to be in Parliament, and Eric Abetz needs to recognise that we represent their views and that his vitriolic put down of them is insulting and a poor start for a new Minister who should be prepared for dialogue.”

“It is disappointing that the Senator has not bothered to inform himself of the actual policies of the Greens on forestry but has instead run on blind prejudice, sounding like an obsessed ideologue,” Ms Putt said.

GREENS LAUNCH FULL BASS TICKET

GREENS LAUNCH FULL BASS TICKET

The Tasmanian Greens today launched a strong five member ticket, headed up by Greens Member for Bass Kim Booth, to contest the 2006 state election with a firm eye to retaining the Greens’ hard won seat and increasing and consolidating their primary vote.

Greens Member for Bass, Kim Booth MHA, said that he was looking forward to the coming contest and felt that the Greens in Bass were well placed to wrest further votes from Liberal and Labor as disillusioned voters deserted the major parties, drawn to the Greens’ long term economic, social and environmental vision.

“It is with great pride that today I announce the full team of Green candidates that will contest the forthcoming state election,” Mr Booth said.

“They are all standing up for Tasmania, putting themselves on the line to work for the best possible future for Tasmania.”

“Our Bass team is made up of people engaged in all walks of life and brings a breadth of experience, talent and vision that will have great appeal to the electorate.”

“Bass really is at the crossroads as we look back on a past that has seen a focus on exploitation of our natural resources and a bulk commodity low value mentality.”

“Tasmania needs more people in parliament who understand that the pathway to the future will be built on clever economies recognising the finite nature of our planet’s resources and having the courage to honestly face the reality of global environmental and social challenges.”

“This great Bass team includes candidates with backgrounds in engineering, education, the arts, health and disability services as well as myself who has come from owning and running my own business.”

“I have been struck by our common aims in recognising the potential for growth and employment within our region whilst also factoring in the cost and contribution of our environment and people and look forward to working with them all to see the Greens poll strongly in Bass.”

The Green’s Bass Candidate Ticket:

Kim Booth MHA is the Greens Member for Bass and Greens spokesperson for Primary Industry, Infrastructure, Water, Racing and Gaming and Small Business. He was first elected in 2002 having previously owned and run his own sawmilling business.

Jeremy Ball works as an Executive Assistant to Greens MHA Kim Booth and has previously stood for the Greens in both local government (2005) as well as in the last federal election (2004). He was raised in Launceston and returned from living and working overseas in 2002 and was Northern Campaign Coordinator for the Greens in the 2002 state election.

Peter Cover grew up in Tasmania close to the sea and has always had an affinity for Tasmania’s natural environment. He has been an academic in Engineering and Biology with research in Fisheries.

Jill Thompson has worked for Disability Services and completed degrees in Philosophy and Psychology and Information Systems. She is particularly interested in health issues and feels strongly about providing more capable essential public services.

Kate Case grew up in George Town and Launceston and is currently a teacher of jewellery making and silversmithing at TAFE. She has two teenage sons and her interests include art, science, reading, music, singing and bushwalking.

NEW CAMPAIGN TO INSPIRE TASMANIAN HOLIDAY - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

NEW CAMPAIGN TO INSPIRE TASMANIAN HOLIDAY - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

A new-look holiday marketing campaign positioning Tasmania as an inspiring island experience will cut through the clutter of holiday advertising on mainland Australia.

Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt said Tourism Tasmania is about to start phase nine of its highly successful destination marketing campaign to increase preference for the State as a holiday destination, and more importantly, to increase the number of people intending to holiday in Tasmania now.

“This campaign is different to past marketing, and follows extensive consumer research and testing in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” Ms Wriedt said.

“It’s designed to drive home the message that Tasmania is an inspiring island experience – that you can rejuvenate through inspiration, and by engaging in island life.

“The advertising communicates the distinctly different holiday experience and lifts the perception of a Tasmanian holiday: from passive to active: from journey to experience; and from quaint to contemporary.

“It captures Tasmania’s wilder personality, and informs potential visitors of the many different, more engaging ways to explore the wonders of the island state - experiences Tasmania is already internationally recognised for.”

Ms Wriedt said consumer research undertaken over the past few months, revealed that for those people who had not yet been to Tasmania there was a lack of urgency to visit, that it was comfortable and nice, and that it would always be there.

“Tasmania was thought of as being passive, rustic, historic and preserved for all time,” she said.

“In contrast, those who have been to Tasmania recently were more aware of a sense of engagement, doing more than seeing, interaction and a contemporary place.

“The campaign has captured this in its new look and feel.

“The primary change in the look of the advertising is the use of a striking black background, and several images focusing on a specific Tasmanian experience.”

Advertising will be conducted through the Good Weekend magazine (inserted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age) and on outdoor billboards in both Sydney and Melbourne. There will also be a new and revised interactive website, www.discovertasmania.com

The campaign, which starts on 28 January 2006 and runs until the end of May, will target three primary groups in Melbourne and Sydney: older affluent people, young couples/singles and people in the lower older demographic (45+).

Tasmanian Firefighters to assist with Victorian Fires - David Llewellyn, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Tasmanian Firefighters to assist with Victorian Fires - David Llewellyn, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Deputy Premier David Llewellyn today announced Tasmania will send firefighters and equipment to help Victoria battle some of that State’s worst ever fires.

“It’s a horrific situation in Victoria, and this morning Victorian Authorities formally asked for Tasmania’s assistance.

“We will send a number of personnel and possibly up to 10 light tankers as soon as possible, probably tomorrow.

“The Chief Officer of the Tasmania Fire Service, John Gledhill assures me that Tasmania won’t be left short changed by sending some of our firefighters to Victoria.

“John Gledhill says, the forecast weather for Tasmania for the next week is looking ok however we will be able to maintain more than adequate cover should fires break out here.

“Tasmania’s personnel are likely to be deployed in forest areas, due to our Service’s obvious experience and ability in fighting those sort of fires.

“It’s a tense situation in Victoria and it’s important that as a State we do what we can to help fellow Australians in need.

“It’s expected the firefighters will relieve exhausted crews and be in action for about five days.

“We wish our firefighters well and hope that they can help make a difference in the difficult situation.”

For further information about the deployment please contact: TFS Chief Officer John Gledhill on 62308605.

Majority Government Vital For Continued Growth - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Majority Government Vital For Continued Growth - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings said the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had correctly identified that stable, majority Government was vital for the State’s continued growth in its latest Survey of Business Expectations report.

“Look at the enormous economic and social progress that’s been made in Tasmania over the last eight years and compare it to the drift and stagnation that occurred under the minority Liberal government from 1996-98,” Ms Giddings said.

“Minority government has a history of seeing confidence shrink, investment dry-up and unemployment rise.

“Nobody wants to go back to the dark old days when Tasmania was widely considered to be closed for business and Australia’s ‘rust-belt state’.

“The Tasmania we live in today has undergone a remarkable transformation.

“We have Australia’s fastest-growing economy for the first time ever and Tasmanians are feeling good about themselves.

“The TCCI has correctly identified that a hung parliament would be a disaster for Tasmania.

“The State Labor Government is confident that Tasmanians will not be prepared to put our progress at risk.

“Every single poll indicates that only Labor is capable of securing a majority at this year’s election and we will put forward a strong record of achievement for voters to consider.”

Ms Giddings said the latest TCCI report found that around 65 per cent of Tasmanian businesses surveyed expected economic conditions to remain strong or improve moderately over the next 12 months.

The Minister said it was clear that business also had positive expectations for the 2006 March quarter and that the December quarter had seen strong growth, including:

· General business conditions up 15.4 per cent;

· Total sales/revenue up 18.9 per cent;

· Average selling prices up 17.5 per cent;

· Profitability up five per cent;

· Employment levels up 13.5 per cent; and

· Capital expenditure on plant and equipment up 20.9 per cent.

“In earlier surveys, Tasmanian business was highly optimistic, based on expectations formed when the level of economic activity was much lower than it is currently,” she said.

“It’s unrealistic to expect businesses to continually expect even stronger economic conditions after Tasmania has experienced strong growth and reached very high levels of economic activity over recent times.

“The latest TCCI survey shows that the majority of businesses in Tasmania are upbeat about the future, which can only be good news for continued growth.”

Ms Giddings said the State Labor Government would continue working to attract sensible development, added investment and more new jobs.

“Already this week, we’ve seen Access Economics admit they’ve been too harsh on Tasmania in the past,” the Minister said.

“The TCCI survey provides further reason to believe our economy will continue to grow strongly under a stable, majority Labor Government.

“We recognise that the number one constraint on growth is the lack of availability of suitably-qualified workers.

“That’s why we have provided $40 million over consecutive State Budgets to address this problem – and we will continue working with industry to overcome it.”

Ms Giddings said it was interesting to note that compliance with existing industrial relations legislation was not even among the top 10 constraints on growth listed by Tasmanian business.

“This provides further proof that the Howard Government is pursuing an ideological agenda that doesn’t have strong support in the Tasmanian business community.

“The Commonwealth Government would do far better to work with the State Government and provide more resources to address the skills shortage than to embark on a campaign of ruthlessly slashing the entitlements of the most vulnerable workers in our community.”



Furt

Hospital Staffing Vacancies - David Llewellyn, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Hospital Staffing Vacancies - David Llewellyn, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Deputy Premier David Llewellyn said today it was time the Liberal Party caught up with the facts about medical staffing in the State’s hospitals.

Mr Llewellyn said that contrary to the alarmist claims of the Liberals, the State’s hospitals were recruiting strongly.

“The allegations by Ms Napier about 95 specialist vacancies at the Royal Hobart Hospital are a complete work of fiction.

“This is yet another attempt by the Opposition to undermine the Royal and denigrate its recruiting successes.

“The facts are:

Ø The RHH has just two specialist vacancies - for a Director of Geriatrics and a Director of Neurology;

Ø Except for the 10 specialists for yet-to-be completed facilities, just three of the Royal’s new Better Hospitals specialist positions – in cardiology, general medicine/respiratory and rheumatology – are currently unfilled;

Ø Of 97 junior medical positions in this year’s RHH intake, 94 have been filled and just three remain unfilled – for two paediatric registrars and one ENT registrar.

“That is a vastly different picture than the doom and gloom being peddled by the Liberals to try to divert attention from the long-term impact of their disgraceful assault on the Royal when Ms Napier was Deputy Premier.”

Mr Llewellyn said the recruiting successes of the Launceston General and North West Regional Hospitals were similarly impressive.

“Of 190 medical positions at the LGH there are just seven current vacancies, including two emergency specialists, one endocrinologist, and one visiting medical officer in plastics.

“The LGH had 89 junior positions in this year’s annual intake and has filled 86 of them, with just three – two emergency registrars and one surgical registrar – still vacant.

“The NWRH has just four vacancies from 47 junior doctor positions and has only eight current senior medical vacancies, with a total of 33 applicants and locums in all but one of the positions.

“We will always have positions that are difficult to fill and there will always be staff turnover in a system as large as our public hospitals.

“However, we are heading in the right direction and Tasmanians should be congratulating the hospitals for their success.

“It is time the Liberal Party owned up to its culpability for the problems we still face and stopped attacking those who are trying to fix them.”


EDUCATION FUNDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

EDUCATION FUNDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Education Minister Paula Wriedt said today that since 1998 the Labor Government has provided more than $5.1 billion for education, information services and training in this State.

“This has included $951 million in additional funding over the Government’s term.

“The annual Consolidated Fund budget for education has been increased by $227.4 million or 43.46%.

This increase has included the funding of the following achievements:

· The Teacher Nexus Agreement

· Provision of more than 3000 Laptops for Teachers ($4 million)

· Funding of the Community Health and Wellbeing Program ($20.4 million)

· Implementation of Tasmania: State of Learning Strategy ($5.4 million in 2005-06)

· Providing $4.3 million per annum from 2005-06 to support students with high and additional needs and associated programs

· Increased assistance for families with the cost of education through the Student Assistance Scheme ($2.9 million annually)

· Employed an extra 68 primary school teachers and also provided an additional $2 million to further reduce class sizes in pre and grade 1

· Providing $15 million over the last five years for the development and implementation of the new curriculum

· Investing in strategies for literacy and numeracy in the early years

Ms Wriedt said that this clearly demonstrates a very strong commitment to public education and training in Tasmania.

“Mr Gutwein is showing his ignorance of the State Government Budget process as we are now in an accrual budget management environment and it is no longer relevant to focus solely on the Consolidated Fund outlay.

“The Consolidated Fund outlays do not reflect the fact the DOE also receives significant funding through the Government Infrastructure Funds.

“This has provided an additional $45.47 million in funding for the education portfolio,” she said.

Ms Wriedt said that many of the Liberal’s policies are not realistic and have not been costed correctly.

“For example extending the Liberal’s proposed reduction in class sizes would result in an additional annual cost in excess of $32 million.” she said.

“If they are serious about being an alternative government then it’s time that they came clean on how they would pay for their extravagant promises.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Fruit wines comes of age. 23/01/2006. ABC News Online

Fruit wines comes of age. 23/01/2006. ABC News Online


The Australian fruit wine industry is coming of age, with production ramping up across the country.
The sixth annual fruit wine show in Hobart yesterday attracted a record number of entrants, with 183 varieties.
From liqueurs made from jostaberries to 'black devil port' made from tropical black sapote, the wines were an instant hit with the thousands of people who were up for a slurp and sniff.
Among them was North Londoner Jacqueline.
"I've tried blackberry, loganberry, nectarine, plum, all sorts," she said.
"I'm going through all the different fruits just to try them all out. I've enjoyed most of them, some of them a little dry for my taste. Only problem is if you try too many of them you end up slightly tanked."

Patrick to seek to end Pacific National joint venture. 24/01/2006. ABC News Online

Patrick to seek to end Pacific National joint venture. 24/01/2006. ABC News Online

Tasmanian exporters face yet another complication with rail freight company Pacific National.
One of the half-owners of Pacific National, Patrick Corporation, is to seek approval in the Victorian Supreme Court this week to end its joint venture with Toll Holdings.
Tensions between the two transport companies reached a flash-point last week, when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) rejected Toll's $4 billion hostile takeover of Patrick.
Patrick says it has lost trust and confidence in its partner and that Pacific National has become dysfunctional.
Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council spokesman Jim McCormack says there must now be uncertainty about the $118 million Commonwealth-State funding package to keep Pacific National in Tasmania on the rails.
"One or other, or both governments will become fed up and say 'you've got a deadline now and you need to respond by such and such a date', and I would think that would be a legitimate position for either government to make, given that Pacific National claimed this was urgent when they first made the request in October last year," he said.

Bruny boat is let loose [24jan06]

The Mercury: Bruny boat is let loose [24jan06]: "A HOBART couple yesterday launched a $300,000 bet with a splash of French champagne and the promise of an exhilarating cruise from Sullivans Cove to the tip of South Bruny and back.

Hobart Lord Mayor Rob Valentine was at Watermans Dock for the ceremony and had the job of christening the 11.3m Wild Thing for its owners Glen Shackcloth and Kylie Baxter.
He stood on the deck, splashed some of the champagne onto the bow, named it, then announced the rest of the bottle was too good to waste.
The other guests on a quick spin around the river agreed.
Wild Thing will run seven days a week from the dock to South Bruny and return (about three hours) as well as daily 90-minute cruises to Betsey Island and the Iron Pot. "

Fears of forest face-off [24jan06]

The Mercury: Fears of forest face-off [24jan06]

"The only thing that burns cleaner than CNG, or LNG the liquefied form, is hydrogen which is still in the experimental stage.

"As boot space in most council vehicles is not a priority, the CNG tank in the boot would not be a problem and, with most vehicles used within city limits, a single refuelling station would be sufficient.

"As a fuel, natural gas would cost around 60c a litre equivalent and that means saving money at the bowser for ratepayers.

"Even the Lord Mayor's limo could be converted."

In March 2003, the Environment, Resources and Development (joint standing) Committee, chaired by Mr Parkinson, said compressed natural gas should be the preferred fuel for all government-owned vehicles, and said the State Government should take a lead in changing to CNG.

Yesterday, Mr Parkinson said he had continued to push CNG in government circles since the committee's report was released.

He said the State Government was not dragging its heels.

"I know there is a project group within Lara Gidding's [economic development department] which has been working on this in general for some time."

Mr Parkinson said a number of mainland councils had moved to introduce the technology, including -- he believed -- Liverpool and Waverley in Sydney, and the entire Brisbane bus fleet operated by Brisbane City Council was moving to become CNG powered.

Natural gas push for council cars [24jan06]

The Mercury: Natural gas push for council cars [24jan06]

"The only thing that burns cleaner than CNG, or LNG the liquefied form, is hydrogen which is still in the experimental stage.

"As boot space in most council vehicles is not a priority, the CNG tank in the boot would not be a problem and, with most vehicles used within city limits, a single refuelling station would be sufficient.

"As a fuel, natural gas would cost around 60c a litre equivalent and that means saving money at the bowser for ratepayers.

"Even the Lord Mayor's limo could be converted."

In March 2003, the Environment, Resources and Development (joint standing) Committee, chaired by Mr Parkinson, said compressed natural gas should be the preferred fuel for all government-owned vehicles, and said the State Government should take a lead in changing to CNG.

Yesterday, Mr Parkinson said he had continued to push CNG in government circles since the committee's report was released.

He said the State Government was not dragging its heels.

"I know there is a project group within Lara Gidding's [economic development department] which has been working on this in general for some time."

Mr Parkinson said a number of mainland councils had moved to introduce the technology, including -- he believed -- Liverpool and Waverley in Sydney, and the entire Brisbane bus fleet operated by Brisbane City Council was moving to become CNG powered.

Room to move on fishing restrictions [24jan06]

The Mercury: Room to move on fishing restrictions [24jan06]

THE boundaries of proposed marine protected areas off Tasmania may be altered in a bid to minimise the impact on the state's fishing industry.

During a series of meetings yesterday Tasmanian Liberal senator Richard Colbeck said he had discussed proposals put up by fishermen to alter MPAs and all options would be considered.

Another meeting will be held in Hobart today.

Senator Colbeck moved to allay fears that the dumping of federal Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald would delay negotiations over the controversial MPAs, which some fishermen have warned could wipe out some areas of the sector.

Senator Macdonald was to have visited the state this week for a series of meetings with the state's fishing industry which is desperately trying to stave off the no-fishing zones contained within MPAs, some of which cover lucrative commercial fishing areas.

Lennon story scrapped [24jan06]

The Mercury: Lennon story scrapped [24jan06]: "A state election must be held before September, but there have been indications Mr Lennon is preparing for an early March poll with the campaign likely to run through February.
A Women's Weekly reporter and photographer are understood to have spent two days in Tasmania in November at the Lennon family's newly renovated country estate.
Ms Thomas said it was a normal feature about the Premier's home life and family.
Mr Lennon, wife Margaret, their two adult children and grandson Josh feature in the article in the context of the Lennons' three-storey sandstone home, Stonyhurst.
During the 2003 New South Wales election, then premier Bob Carr paid $40,000 for an eight-page advertising section featuring himself and his wife Helene to appear in NSW copies of the Weekly, in an attempt to make his austere image more appealing to female voters.
Ms Thomas said the Women's Weekly often profiled politicians, and not just when an election was pending.
The Weekly is owned by the Packer family's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd which was a beneficiary in November of the Tasmanian Government's controversial decision to license the part-PBL-owned betting agency Betfair to operate from Tasmania.
State Liberal justice spokesman Michael Hodgman said yesterday the apparent scrapping of the 'puff piece' in the Women's Weekly gave further weight to questions about the probity of the Lennon Government's dealings with PBL.
Mr Hodgman called on Attorney-General Judy Jackson to investigate exactly how the feature on the Premier's family came about and who initiated the idea.
'This has the scent of cronyism about it,' he said.
Mr Rogers said the timing of the article's publication was entirely a matter for the Women's Weekly and had n"

Smith chips in to save bay [24jan06]

The Mercury: Smith chips in to save bay [24jan06]

THE battle to stop logging on the historic north-eastern peninsula of Recherche Bay has almost been won -- as long as its owners agree to sell the land to conservationists.

Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith promised yesterday to immediately provide a conservation trust with all the funds needed to buy the Vernon family property at Recherche Bay in Tasmania's far South.

Mr Smith donated $100,000 outright in his bid to save the bay, where 150ha is scheduled to be logged soon by timber giant Gunns.

The remaining funds offered by Mr Smith, estimated to be at least $2 million, will effectively be on loan to conservationists, to be repaid within a year of the land's buyback.

Recherche Bay is known as Australia's "other Botany Bay" for its unique place in the early European exploration of Australia.


The breakthrough deal -- if the Vernon family agrees to the sale -- also removes a potential flashpoint from next month's likely state election campaign.

Mr Smith is part of a national fundraising effort, co-ordinated by Australian Greens senator Bob Brown, which is negotiating with brothers David and Robert Vernon about alternative uses and ownership of their land.

Part-owner David Vernon yesterday declined to comment on Mr Smith's funds pledge.

But Mr Smith, who has been bushwalking in Tasmania for more than 30 years, said his offer was not about taking sides or breaking a deadlock between greenies and the timber industry.

"I am not a rabid anti-logger and I understand that Tasmanians need to be employed," he said yesterday.

"But this is an exceptional area of Tasmania, and of Australia, that must be saved."

French explorers spent several months in 1792 and 1793 anchored in Recherche Bay while charting the remote region, collecting botanical samples and mingling with local Aborigines at nearby Southport Lagoon.

Mr Smith is adamant Recherche Bay is a national issue.

"I have the same view of this as I had about Franklin River," he said.

"This needs to be saved for all of Australia.

Mr Smith said he had spent last Christmas on his boat anchored in Recherche Bay, and believed the historic and beautiful place should be protected.

"It's just the most extraordinary area. I didn't believe it [when told] that area was going to be logged so heavily," he said.

"I immediately contacted [Senator Brown] and said: `Look, I'd be happy to put some of my own money up to try and stop this from happening'."

Mr Smith said he hoped other corporate and individual donors would join in buying back Recherche Bay.

The entrepreneur, who recently also bought land on the Tasman Peninsula at Crescent Bay near Port Arthur for a private retreat, admitted he thought the Federal Government should also chip in to save such a historically important part of Australia.

But Senator Brown insisted yesterday no deal had yet been completed with the Vernons.

He also appealed for all speculation about the land's future to cease to allow "breathing space" for the delicate negotiations to continue over the next fortnight.

"There is a lot at stake here -- not least of all for Tasmania -- and it is extremely generous of the Vernon brothers to be involved in negotiations," Senator Brown said.

He said David and Robert Vernon were sincere, direct and honourable people who wanted the best outcome for Recherche Bay.

"They are extremely good Tasmanians who have been put in quite an unusual situation, being asked to change course [from what they had planned]," Senator Brown said.

"Whatever the outcome, even if our negotiations don't succeed, Tasmania will owe a great thank-you to the Vernon brothers for being prepared to consider alternatives."

The Vernons have signed an agreement with Gunns to harvest 150ha of their land within the next three years, yielding 30,000 tonnes of woodchips and 5000 tonnes of sawlogs.

Their forest practices plan authorising the logging has been approved by the State Government, as well as the construction of a 4km logging access road to cross the protected Southport Lagoon Conservation Area.

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

GREENS LAUNCH FRANKLIN TICKET FOR STATE ELECTION


The Tasmanian Greens today launched their Franklin team of five endorsed candidates to contest the forthcoming state election this year, reconfirming that sitting Member Nick McKim will spearhead the Greens campaign in Franklin as their number one candidate.
Greens Member for Franklin, Nick McKim MHA, said that the Greens’ campaign will target key issues that are important to people in Franklin and build on the strong Green record of standing up for open and transparent government, sound economic management, appropriate development and job creation, accessible public health and affordable housing, and protection of our unique natural forest and coastal environments.
“I am delighted, proud and honoured to be fronting such a dedicated team of endorsed Green candidates who are determined to represent the views and needs of the Franklin electorate loudly and passionately in the forthcoming election,” Mr McKim said.
“We are hearing loudly on the streets that people are fed up with Labor’s secrecy and cronyism, deals with the big end of town while people are struggling to put a roof over their head, the community’s inability to access public health services, and the erosion of our unique natural environment.”
“The Franklin Green Team brings together a broad range of expertise and experience to present a strong vision for a healthy, clean and green Tasmania that will provide sound economic and social foundations for current and future generations,” Mr McKim said.
The Greens’ Franklin Candidate Ticket:
Nick McKim is the Tasmanian Greens current sitting Member for the electorate of Franklin. Mr McKim was first elected in 2002 and since then has been the Greens Opposition spokesperson for the portfolios of Energy, Environment and Planning, Attorney-General, Justice and Industrial Relations, Youth, It, Multicultural Affairs, and Assisting the Leader on Treasury.
Jane MacDonald is a South Arm resident and teaches Biology, Environmental Science and Marine Science. Ms MacDonald is an instrumental campaigner in the Save Ralphs Bay Inc organisation, and is currently working on restoring the Lauderdale Conservation Area.
Mark Rickards is a former Royal Australian Navy Officer and currently works as a Real Estate Agent. Mr Rickards believes Tasmania need a trustworthy government, and is passionate about encouraging employment growth and sustainable appropriate development.
Mike Anderson is a meteorologist following a previous stint as a Parks ranger. Mr Anderson is widely recognised as a champion of environmentally friendly and energy efficient homes, and sees a huge potential to promote Franklin as a world-class ecotourism destination.
Gerard Velnaar currently works in the aged care sector and also has senior management experience in providing business, training and employment opportunities. Mr Velnaar believes improving our health system, education and other vital social services must be a priority to ensure younger generations have a vibrant future.

Tasmanian Greens ...Media Release

CHEAP-SHOT DRUG

Sturges Out of Date on Greens’ Current Policy Review
The Tasmanian Greens today described as desperate muck-raking a media statement issued by Denison backbencher Graeme Sturges which they say mirrors Family First’s discredited federal election misinformation campaign on the National Greens’ Drug policy.

Greens Opposition Leader Peg Putt MHA reiterated that the State Green Policy Platform of 2002, which they took to that State election, is currently being reviewed and updated as is standard practice for all political parties between elections.

“Labor is indulging in a fear and smear campaign and Mr Sturges should be ashamed of himself for repeating discredited fabrications previously spouted by Family First,” Ms Putt said.

“The Greens have recently revised our State Drug Policy, as part of our overall platform review process, in order to clarify aspects which were maliciously being taken out of context by other political parties.”

“The Greens Drug Policy is to impose criminal sanctions on drug dealers, and to require diversionary programs and community treatment orders in response to personal drug use.”

“This essentially reflects the status quo in Tasmania, and recognises that personal users need to be confronted with their problem and also assisted away from drug use.”

“The Greens would never dream of supplying drugs to children or anyone else, and are appalled by the very notion of a ‘drugs free for all’, and are sickened that any political party would stoop so low as to make such outrageous claims.”

“The Greens recognise, as does the current Labor government as demonstrated by its current actions, that small time users should be put through diversionary programs under community treatment orders to try and end their drug use.”

“We understand that personal drug use is a very serious health issue and would treat it as such, however drug dealers are another kettle of fish who prey on others and deserve the full weight of criminal sanctions.”

“Voters should be warned that they will see more of these gutter tactics from the Lennon government which has been given the go-ahead by the Premier to indulge in fear, smear and misrepresentation over Greens’ policy, and who will come up with all sorts of ludicrous and extreme claims rather than focus upon real issues facing Tasmanians now.”

“There are Greens’ Members of Parliament themselves who have children and are very aware of the dangers that drugs can pose for young people and as parents are committed to promoting a safe and healthy Tasmania.”

Ms Putt also pointed out that all the Greens’ policies are currently under review and will be announced between now and the election, and that the Drugs policy is as stated in this media release.

“Mr Sturges is quite behind the eight-ball here as the Tasmanian Greens website clearly states that the Policy Platform which we took to the 2002 state election is currently being reviewed and updated, as some have naturally become out of date over the last four years.”

“I challenge Graeme Sturges to stop muck-raking and start trying instead to get the Premier focused on spending money on health and housing instead of horses,” Ms Putt said.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

STATE OUT-PERFORMS NATIONAL TOURISM IN JOBS AND SPENDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

STATE OUT-PERFORMS NATIONAL TOURISM IN JOBS AND SPENDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Tasmanian Tourism has far outstripped Australian tourism in its growth in jobs and visitor spending.

Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt said the figures released today by Tourism Research Australia were outstanding.

“Tasmania has experienced significantly higher growth in the amount of money spent by overnight visitors, compared to Australia as a whole since 1999 – a massive 67.2 per cent growth compared to 14.8 per cent,” she said.

“In addition, tourism accounts for a significantly higher proportion of Tasmania’s total employment, at about 19 per cent compared to tourism’s contribution of around nine per cent to total employment across Australia.”

Ms Wriedt said that these figures brought Tasmania’s gains over the past seven years starkly into focus.

“The value of tourism to the Tasmanian economy in 2003–04 is estimated to be $2.68 billion, which is a total contribution to Gross State Product of 11.2 per cent, compared to Australian tourism’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product of 3.9 per cent,” she said.

“This is a remarkable achievement for Tasmania’s tourism industry to perform so well when the report shows Australian tourism’s contribution to GDP in 2003–04 was declining steadily.”

Ms Wriedt said that these figures are especially significant in light of Access Economics’ statement that the Tasmanian economy as a whole has been doing consistently better than the economy of any other Australian State for the past few years.

“Not only is tourism making an outstanding contribution to Tasmania’s economy but these tourism comparisons indicate that we are on a very firm footing to manage the challenges of changing visitor patterns confronting tourism throughout the country today,” she said.

“With new developments proposed by tourism investors and continued cooperation between industry and government on marketing initiatives, there is optimism that Tasmania can consolidate the 45 per cent growth in visitor numbers achieved in the three years to June 2005 and continue to build industry performance in line with Tourism 21 goals.”

Call for the Council to Go Natural! - Doug Parkinson, MLC - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Call for the Council to Go Natural! - Doug Parkinson, MLC - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Member for Wellington Doug Parkinson is all revved up over Natural Gas and he wants the Hobart City Council to follow suit.

“While the Hobart City Council is looking at alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, it would do well to look at the possibility of running its fleet on natural gas.

“The Council should read the Parliamentary Committee Report on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a vehicle fuel.

“I’d like the council to look at the possibility of a Partnership with the Government in a refueling facility.

“The facility could be used for all types of vehicles - fleet, taxis and any member of the public who decided to convert to CNG could use it.

“CNG is produced by compressing natural gas, it is mostly methane which is the cleanest known alternative fuel.

“The only thing that burns cleaner than CNG (or LNG, the liquefied form) is hydrogen which is still in the experimental stage.

“As boot space in most Council vehicles is not a priority, the CNG tank in the boot would not be a problem and with most vehicles used within city limits, a single refueling station would be sufficient.

“As a Fuel, Natural gas would cost around 60c a litre (equivalent) and that means saving money at the bowser for ratepayers.

“Even the Lord Mayor’s “limo” could be converted.”

Further informatio

Release - Premier’s Women

HON MICHAEL HODGMAN QC MHA
Her Majesty’s Shadow Attorney General
Monday, 23 January 2006

Premier’s Women’s Weekly article scrapped
Dealings must be investigated
by Auditor General


Shadow Attorney General Hon Michael Hodgman QC said that the apparent scrapping of Premier Lennon’s puff-piece in the next edition of the Women’s Weekly gave further weight to questions over the probity of the Lennon Government’s secret dealings and it was now time for the Auditor General to investigate this scandal.

Mr Hodgman said that the scrapped puff-piece on Premier Lennon had all the scent of cronyism with the Premier blankly and arrogantly refusing to release any details about how the article came to being.

“It is now time for this murky and secretive dealing of Premier Lennon over the Women’s Weekly puff-piece to be investigated by the Auditor-General, an independent authority, who can determine whether the Premier acted inappropriately or not on this occasion as well,” Mr Hodgman said.

“The scrapping of the puff-piece on Premier Lennon begs the question, did the publishers want to extricate themselves from the secret, arrogant and dodgy dealings of the Tasmanian Labor Premier?

“Or was it that the Premier realised the massive political strife that he would get into, following the Crown Casino scandal, and asked for the article to be scrapped?

“Alternatively, Labor backbenchers who, behind the scenes, were describing his behaviour at Crown Casino and the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as 'foolish, unwise and inappropriate' may have demanded that he ask for the article to be scrapped.

“Whatever the case may be, this murky dealing of the Premier’s has become even murkier.

“Other Labor Party leaders around Australia have used the Women’s Weekly as an electoral tool, but have used Labor Party funds to pay for it, as much as $90,000 for one article. Unlike these Labor identities, such as Bob Carr, neither Premier Lennon nor the Tasmanian Labor Party paid one cent for Premier Lennon’s puff-piece.

“The disgrace with Premier Lennon’s dealings is that the negotiations over the article, along with the Premier’s $20,000 of free, six star Crown Casino hospitality, occurred at the same time that the Premier agreed to legislate to license Betfair, a massive $700 million deal.

“With this arrogant Premier refusing to tell the whole truth on his dealings over the Women’s Weekly article, it is entirely appropriate that the Auditor General examine the issue.

“The Premier should, today, commit to allowing the Auditor General to fully examine the dealings of his office over this murky Women’s Weekly puff-piece affair, particularly any relationship it may have had with the licensing of online betting agency, part owned by PBL Ltd, the owner of the Women’s Weekly publication.

Mr Hodgman said that if the Premier wanted to be truly open with the Tasmanian public, he should immediately release all documents surrounding his or his office’s dealings with PBL, ACP Magazines or with Women’s Weekly.

“Premier Lennon should also indicate whether or not the Solicitor General has been asked to provide any advice over this serious matter. Did the Solicitor General tell the Premier that he acted inappropriately?

“If Premier Lennon really believes that he has nothing to fear over his Women’s Weekly puff-piece dealings, then he clearly would have nothing to hide and will release all relevant documentation,” Mr Hodgman said.





For more information, plea

Tribute to former Master

Media Release



MICHAEL HODGMAN, MHA
Her Majesty’s Shadow Attorney General
Monday, 23 January 2006

Tribute to former Master of the Supreme Court of Tasmania


Tasmania has lost a great lawyer with the death of Mr Richard Carter (Ric) Southee, a former Master of the Supreme Court of Tasmania, Shadow Attorney-General Michael Hodgman QC said today.

Mr Hodgman said he had studied Law at the University of Tasmania with Mr Southee, had appeared against him as a Barrister and before him as Master of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

“He was a great lawyer, a man totally committed to justice, and a kind and compassionate gentleman,” Mr Hodgman said.

“I also had the honour of counting Mr Southee as a friend for over forty years.”

Mr Hodgman said that Mr Southee really loved Tasmania and had rendered great community service, particularly as Patron of the Canine Defence League and Patron of the University Football Club.

“Ric will be sadly missed. His untimely death has come as a great shock to all who know him. He really made his mark in the law and his service to Tasmania was quite outstanding,” Mr Hodgman said.

future pressures on Tasmanian economy

WILL HODGMAN, MHA
Shadow Minister for Economic Development
Monday, 23 January 2006

Access Economics warns of future pressures on Tasmanian economy


The September Quarter 2005 Access Economics Business Outlook warns of the future pressure that the Tasmanian economy will face with population, house prices and retail under threat as house prices stabilise, jobs growth easing and interstate migration ‘starting to come a cropper’, which reiterates the need for the State Labor Government to have a plan to Secure the Economy.

Shadow Economic Development Minister Will Hodgman said the latest Access Economics report also warns that recent economic growth may not be sustainable which highlights the long held view of the State Liberal Team which we are addressing in our plan to Secure Tasmania’s Future.

“Like many States and regions of Australia, Tasmania has benefited from a strong national economy and record GST windfalls. We have had some positive gains from the economic sunshine that Tasmania has been blessed with, however the report’s concerns about sustainability must be addressed.

“With many of the economic drivers now appearing to be losing momentum, urgent attention is needed to stimulate population increase, maintain property growth and to generate jobs.

“Tasmania must accept the findings of the business outlook report and not take the State Government’s approach to simply ignore the warnings of challenges ahead.

“The uncertainty regarding a sustainable economic future require the Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings who is now being likened to Paris Hilton due to her infatuation with the camera lens, to focus on outlining a comprehensive vision and strategy to Secure Tasmania’s Future.

“As the State Liberal Team is making clear, Tasmania needs a plan for Securing Tasmania’s Future, and we are delivering a plan to Secure our Economy which includes:


· The total abolition of land tax, to generate new investment and jobs;

· Providing a better business environment with lower taxes;
· Providing a Plan for Tasmania’s Building Industry;
· Establishing a Major Projects Facilitation Unit to ensure better management and facilitation of major developments;
· A business and skills attraction campaign;
· A long term infrastructure blueprint;
· An overarching international strategy for the State;
· Enhancing economic opportunities with China;
· Boosting Tasmania’s population through skilled migration;
· A Come Home to Tasmania marketing campaign;
· Industry focussed scholarships to tackle skills shortages;
· A Young Farmers Future Fund;
· Tripling funding for Brand Tasmania;
· Boosting resources for Water Development;
· Boosting International Tourism Marketing;
· Keeping the Budget in Surplus; and much more, with more to be announced between now and the next election.

“The State Liberal Team have also all signed a guarantee that we will not govern in minority with the Greens or anyone else, which is something that the Lennon Labor Government and their candidates have not been able or willing to do in the lead up to this years State election,” said Mr Hodgman.




For more information, please contact:
Patrick Clancy (03) 6233 2505 or 0411 279 252
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Premier’s secret Women

Media Release



HON MICHAEL HODGMAN QC MHA
Her Majesty’s Shadow Attorney General
Sunday, 22 January 2006

FOI request submitted to access Premier’s secret Women’s Weekly documents


The State Liberal Team has today submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Premier and his Office in an attempt to uncover the secret dealings that he or his advisers may have had with PBL, part owner of Betfair, over a puff-piece to appear in the next edition of the Women’s Weekly to be released tomorrow.

Shadow Attorney General Hon Michael Hodgman QC said that the Women’s Weekly puff-piece on Premier Lennon had all the scent of cronyism with the Premier blankly and arrogantly refusing to release any details about how the article came to being.

“This secretive and arrogant Premier is refusing to release any correspondence he or his advisers had with PBL or with Women’s Weekly management about this article, giving the notion of secret dealing a great amount of credibility,” Mr Hodgman said.

“Is it that Women’s Weekly initiated this puff-piece or is it that the Premier or his advisers saw the positive impact that such an article had upon former NSW Premier Bob Carr, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke or former ALP Opposition Leader Mark Latham and decided he wanted to get one himself in the lead up to the State Election.

“The latter situation is very likely. A puff-piece in the Women’s Weekly, after all, would be an ideal way for Premier Lennon to attempt to soften his notorious bully-boy, arrogant image amongst the Tasmanian electorate.

“If he really believes that he has nothing to fear over his Women’s Weekly dealings, then he clearly would have nothing to hide. He could simply release all relevant correspondence.

“But the Premier has chosen not to go down this track. He is giving the public the distinct impression that he fears being caught out on an issue of cronyism, just as he got caught out over the Crown Casino suite scandal.

“That is why the State Liberal Team are forced to submit a formal freedom of information request to the Premier seeking all correspondence he or his advisers have had with PBL or Women’s Weekly management at ACP Magazines. (text of request below)

“Even in the unlikely event of this secretive Premier releasing all documents, as he will go to all lengths to exempt documents from release, we will still be unable to get to the bottom of this serious matter.

“We will still not have access to important phone records nor will we know what discussions the Premier had at Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival or in the lofty heights of the Crown Casino tower.

“The only way we can gain this information is if Premier Lennon decides to release the details off his own bat, a very unlikely situation given his track record of appalling and arrogant secrecy,” Mr Hodgman said.


For more information, please contact:
Nick Proud 0408 538 126
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Hodgman cheers

Media Release



MICHAEL HODGMAN, MHA
State Liberal Member for Denison
Friday, 20 January 2006

Hodgman cheers naming of new HMAS Hobart


State Liberal Member for Denison, Hon Michael Hodgman QC MHA has today cheered the announcement that one of the Royal Australian Navy’s three new Air Warfare Destroyers will be named the HMAS Hobart.

Today in Canberra, the outgoing Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, announced that the three new Air Warfare Destroyers would be named HMAS Hobart, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney.

“Last July, I put a very strong submission to the Chief of the Navy, Vice-Admiral RE Shalders AO CSC RAN, that one of the new Air Warfare Destroyers be named HMAS Hobart and that he might even consider naming the new Class, the Hobart Class,” Mr Hodgman said.

Mr Hodgman said that he pointed out to the Chief of the Navy that Tasmania was Australia’s maritime State and that it was most appropriate that Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, be honoured by having a ship named HMAS Hobart.

“I am really delighted with the news and the fact that HMAS Hobart was listed first, may mean that she will be the lead ship of the Class,” Mr Hodgman said.

“The naming of HMAS Hobart will give great pleasure to all who have served in previous Royal Australian Navy ships named HMAS Hobart, including, particularly, the family of the late Captain Emile Dechaineux who lost his life on HMAS Hobart during World War II.

“The Royal Australian Navy was not complete without an HMAS Hobart,” Mr Hodgman said.

Mr Hodgman said that all Tasmanians would look forward to the first visit of HMAS Hobart and he hoped that the new ship would be granted the freedom of the City of Hobart as its predecessor had been.

Waterfront authority canvasses artists' opinions. 22/01/2006. ABC News Online

Waterfront authority canvasses artists' opinions. 22/01/2006. ABC News Online

One of Australia's leading artistic directors has been hired to assess the cultural importance of Hobart's waterfront.

The Tasmania Government appointed Sue Nattrass to the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority.

Ms Nattrass is meeting with 50 different art and culture societies to find out what development they want in the waterfront area from Hunter Street to Salamanca.

"They want to be able to show what work they do, show the arts of this state and this city in the best possible way," she said.

Ms Nattrass says further consultation is planned.

"First of all we're consulting with a large number of people and then we will, out of that, develop an issues paper and then come back and consultant and talk about the issues that we've found," she said.

"Eventually a draft paper will be given and then that can be discussed and it'll be eventually on show to the public."

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CNN.com - Danish prince in�line�christened - Jan 22, 2006

Danish prince in�line�christened -

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- The baby prince in line to be the future king of Denmark was baptized at a Copenhagen chapel packed with royals, government officials and other dignitaries.
The 3-month-old son of Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary was christened Christian Valdemar Henri John by the Lutheran bishop of the Danish capital.
Some 300 guests and the eight godparents, including the heirs to the thrones of Norway and Sweden, attended the ceremony at the neoclassical Christiansborg Palace Chapel in the heart of the snow-covered city.
The name Christian came as no surprise. Denmark has a four-century-old tradition of alternating between Christian and Frederik as names of Danish kings.
Two earlier Danish kings were named Valdemar, while Henri is the birth name of Frederik's French-born father, the husband of Queen Margrethe. John is the name of Mary's father, John Donaldson.
Young Prince Christian, who is second in line to the throne after his father, was awake during the first part of the ceremony but closed his eyes and slept blissfully in Mary's arms shortly after Bishop Erik Norman Svendsen splashed water on his forehead.
"He is very quiet and easy. He has really grown a lot," Mary told reporters after the ceremony.
The baby prince wore a christening robe made for his namesake, King Christian X, when he was baptized in 1870. The baptismal font, made of silver and partially gold-plated, has been used for royal christenings in Denmark since 1671.
A few hundred people gathered outside the chapel to catch a glimpse of the royals, braving a chilly breeze that made the temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius (30 Fahrenheit) feel a lot colder.
Frederik, 37, and 33-year-old Mary, who wore a printed dress and a light-blue jacket and off-white flowers in her hair, were in charge of arrangements at the 19th century chapel, which was decorated with grape hyacinths and narcissi, blue and white French anemones and blue African lilies.
The Danish government gave Christian a 5-year-old Welsh Mountain Pony. Other gifts included two Tasmanian devils from Mary's native island of Tasmania and a vintage tram from Melbourne, which will be put on display in a museum west of Copenhagen.
The godparents of the prince, who one day is set to become King Christian XI, are: Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit; Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; Frederik's younger brother Prince Joachim and his cousin Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece; Mary's older sister, Jane Stephens; and two friends Hamish Campbell and Jeppe Handwerk.
Other guests included Greece's exiled king, Constantine, and his Danish-born wife Queen Anne-Marie, the sister of Queen Margrethe; Prince Laurent and Princess Mathilde of Belgium; and Prince Constantijn and his wife Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.
Mary Donaldson married Frederik in a lavish fairytale wedding in May 2004 at Copenhagen's Lutheran Cathedral. The couple met in a bar during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Fishermen to seek marine plan changes. 23/01/2006. ABC News Online

Fishermen to seek marine plan changes. 23/01/2006. ABC News Online

Tasmanian fishermen will be lobbying for minor changes to the Commonwealth's proposed marine protected areas (MPAs) at meetings with federal minsters this week.
Federal Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald has cancelled a planned trip to Tasmania to discuss the issue, after announcing his resignation.
The meetings will now be run by Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck.
Fishermen want a review of the marine park boundaries, saying the parks cover Tasmania's best fishing grounds.
The president of Tasmania's Fishing Industry Council, Neil Stump, is hopeful they can find a satisfactory solution.
"With some slight changes to the boundaries and classifications and a proper application of the ecological risk assessment which was undertaken by DEH [Department of Environment and Heritage], that there will be less impact on the fishing industry but are still able to achieve the conservation benefits for which these MPAs are being established," he said.

Congratulations To Access Economics - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Congratulations To Access Economics - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Embargoed till midnight

The Premier today said it was satisfying to see Access Economics finally admit it had been unfairly harsh in its predictions on the Tasmanian economy.

“Access has an unfortunate record of being the most pessimistic of all forecasters about Tasmania but I’m glad to see it is finally owning up to its mistakes and acknowledging what others already accept - that Tasmania’s is officially the strongest and fastest-growing economy in the nation,” Mr Lennon said.

“We’ve had 44 consecutive months of employment growth in Tasmania – a record that no other state can match and one that Access said could never happen.

“But we’ve proven them wrong and we will continue to do so.

“The Tasmanian economy grew twice as fast as the national economy last year and four times faster than New South Wales.

“For the first time in history, we lead Australia in economic growth.

“Tasmania has come a long way under stable, majority Labor Government over the last eight years and our progress has been difficult for some economic forecasters to keep up with.

“We accept that but it doesn’t mean we should ease up in our determination to encourage sensible development, attract more investment and create more jobs in Tasmania.

“It’s not often that we hear economists say they were wrong and for this we congratulate Access.

“I note, however, that Access still remains unconvinced about some aspects of Tasmania’s longer-term outlook and I look forward to proving them wrong once again.

“It seems they continue to make the fundamental mistake of assuming that Tasmania’s strong economic performance is due to cyclical factors, which ignores the underlying structural changes we have brought about that will benefit Tasmania over the long term.

“I’m happy to have this Government’s economic record compared with Access’ record of predicting Tasmania’s economic growth any time.”

For example, in September ‘03, Access acknowledged Tasmania’s economy was doing well but forecast weak conditions in future – even predicting negative jobs growth and weak economic growth in 2004-05.

However, ABS figures (and even Access’ own subsequent reports) prove how inaccurate these gloomy predictions were.

Access expected employment to grow by around 200 people between 2004-05 and 2005-06 – but in the six months to December ‘05 alone, average employment growth was 900 people per month.

“We have strong confidence in Tasmania that is being driven by record jobs growth, record population growth, record export growth and records in many other areas,” Mr Lennon said.

“There is no case for pessimism about Tasmania’s future and I encourage Access to spend a little more time seriously analysing the progress in Tasmania."



Further information: Tasmanian Government Communications Unit
Phone: (03) 6233 6573

Jump In Bookings To Mark Spirit III Second Anniversary - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Jump In Bookings To Mark Spirit III Second Anniversary - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases: "

Spirit of Tasmania III has marked its second full year of operation with a dramatic boost in bookings.

The Minister responsible for the TT Line, Bryan Green, said this month had marked Spirit III’s second anniversary on the Devonport to Sydney run.

“After a slow start to bookings and competition from cut price airlines the trend for Spirit III is extremely positive.

“So much so that TT-Line has scheduled extra sailings for Spirit III to meet demand.

“Bookings on Spirit III to the 30th June of this year are now over 61,000 compared to 59,524 for the entire 2004/2005 financial year.

“They are 58% over what they were at the same time last year, meaning TT-Line can look confidently to meeting its budgeted number of 87,520 passengers for this financial year.”

Mr Green said this month’s milestone for Spirit III has demonstrated the State Labor Government have made the right decision to purchase the ship in the first place and give it a real chance to crack the Sydney market.

“Over the past two years Spirit III has carried more than 132,000 passengers to and from Tasmania.

“That means about 49,000 extra mainland visitors have been bought to Tasmania injecting $132.3 million into the State economy

“On top of this are monies spent by TT-Line on goods and services and the wages of Spirit III’s 200 Tasmanian employees which only adds to the crucial role the ship plays in the local economy.”

Mr Green said this month has also been positive for all three Spirit of Tasmania vessels.

“Total passengers carried on the Melbourne and Sydney routes have exceeded last January’s result which is very pleasing.

“Bookings for the Melbourne to Devonport route have continued to improve with new marketing activity.”

Mr Green called on the Tasmanian Greens to abandon their policy to sell Spirit III in light of its success.

“The Greens spruik support for the tourism industry but their policy betrays that position.

“Its about time they lived up to their rhetoric and showed real support for Tasmania’s tourism industry, its 40,000 employees and the 200 Tasmanians who are directly employed by Spirit III.

“I say to Ms Putt and her colleagues, there is no shame in admitting ‘we were wrong’,” he said.

Tasmania Joins High Court Challenge on IR laws - Judy Jackson, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Tasmania Joins High Court Challenge on IR laws - Judy Jackson, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The Bridport Bowls Club is entering a new era for year-round competition helped with State funding for a synthetic green to replace the lawn rinks.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Jim Cox has presented the Club with funding of $55,000 to help the project proceed.

“The installation of a new synthetic green will reduce the time and money spent on maintenance and will enable members to enjoy it all year round.

“This is fantastic for the club’s competitive members and will hopefully encourage more locals to visit the club for a social bowl.”

Mr Cox said that the Facilities Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible organisations to develop quality facilities that meet the sport and recreation needs of the community.

“The Facilities Grant Program will distribute more than $1.1 million to 58 projects throughout the State during 2005-06.

“The Facilities Grant Program provides grants of up to $200,000 for new and existing facility developments, with funds made available through the Community Support Levy.

“The State Government is committed to the development of a strong and vibrant sport and recreation industry that is capable of supporting Tasmania’s physical activity needs now and well into the future,” Mr Cox said.

The Bridport Bowls Club president, Michael Furlonge, said the synthetic green would be a great advantage.

“Our mild climate at Bridport means there are many winter days when people could use the green if wasn’t being rested under greenkeeper’s orders.

“It will add to the season and hopefully bring new members to the club and visitors who can enjoy a game in the usual off season.”

Mr Cox said Bridport had always enjoyed a reputation as a summer holiday spot, and, with developments like the nearby Barnbougle Dunes golf links, visitors and locals alike were seeing the potential of spending time actively enjoying the town at other times of the year.




New Turf To Improve The Roll At Bridport Bowls Club - Jim Cox, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

New Turf To Improve The Roll At Bridport Bowls Club - Jim Cox, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The Bridport Bowls Club is entering a new era for year-round competition helped with State funding for a synthetic green to replace the lawn rinks.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Jim Cox has presented the Club with funding of $55,000 to help the project proceed.

“The installation of a new synthetic green will reduce the time and money spent on maintenance and will enable members to enjoy it all year round.

“This is fantastic for the club’s competitive members and will hopefully encourage more locals to visit the club for a social bowl.”

Mr Cox said that the Facilities Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible organisations to develop quality facilities that meet the sport and recreation needs of the community.

“The Facilities Grant Program will distribute more than $1.1 million to 58 projects throughout the State during 2005-06.

“The Facilities Grant Program provides grants of up to $200,000 for new and existing facility developments, with funds made available through the Community Support Levy.

“The State Government is committed to the development of a strong and vibrant sport and recreation industry that is capable of supporting Tasmania’s physical activity needs now and well into the future,” Mr Cox said.

The Bridport Bowls Club president, Michael Furlonge, said the synthetic green would be a great advantage.

“Our mild climate at Bridport means there are many winter days when people could use the green if wasn’t being rested under greenkeeper’s orders.

“It will add to the season and hopefully bring new members to the club and visitors who can enjoy a game in the usual off season.”

Mr Cox said Bridport had always enjoyed a reputation as a summer holiday spot, and, with developments like the nearby Barnbougle Dunes golf links, visitors and locals alike were seeing the potential of spending time actively enjoying the town at other times of the year.




Harmony re-enactment brings story to life - Judy Jackson, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Harmony re-enactment brings story to life - Judy Jackson, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The welcome received today by the ‘female convicts’ from Heritage Minister Judy Jackson, at the Female Factory Historic Site’s Harmony re-enactment was a pleasant distraction from the harsh reality of convict life.

The ‘female convicts’ retraced the steps of the 100 women and 33 children who 177 years ago to the day who marched from the notorious female convict transport ship the Harmony to the Female Factory along Macquarie Street and the South Hobart Rivulet.

Ms Jackson praised the Board and friends of the Female Factory Historic site for bringing Tasmania’s convict history to life.

"While nearly all of the Female Factory’s buildings have been demolished, the Board, staff and friends of the Female Factory Historic Site have been instrumental in keeping the Site’s history alive through wonderful events such as this,” Ms Jackson said.

“The telling of stories was an important part of keeping the State’s historic heritage alive and meaningful for current and future generations.

"By focusing on the stories and profiles of people associated with the Female Factory, Tasmanians and interstate visitors have a greater understanding of the significance of the site and are provided with a much more meaningful visitor experience.”

This initiative is part of the State Government’s commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goal 21 – Value, protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage.


Federal Sacking Delivers More Uncertainty To Fisheries - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Federal Sacking Delivers More Uncertainty To Fisheries - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases:

Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Steve Kons says news that Federal Fisheries and Forestry Minister Ian Macdonald is to lose his post only delivers further uncertainty to Tasmania's fishing industry.

Mr Kons said a planned visit by Senator Macdonald to Tasmania early this week, when he had planned to discuss the proposed Commonwealth Marine Protected Areas, presumably won't go ahead.

"That's a pity because we had some strong points to make about the ill considered reserves system.

"The changes would devastate many fisheries off the Tasmanian coast, particularly the resurgent scallop sector, which would be cut by up to 70 per cent.

"Some regional centres like St Helens and Strahan would be severely impacted and cities like Devonport and Hobart would also feel the effects."

Mr Kons said given the brief period allowed for public comment on the proposal any replacement for Senator Macdonald would be at a great disadvantage in trying to come up to speed with the issues.

"On the other hand I'm sure some fishermen would argue that as their Federal minister Senator Macdonald will be no great loss.

"After all he failed miserably in trying to represent industry views against arguements from the Environment branch.

"It's just another example of the green infiltration of Liberal thinking and how out of balance the Federal Government has become since winning control of the Senate.

"The anomaly of banning our sustainably managed scallop and rock lobster fishermen with their minimal impact methods from areas where the mining industry would be permitted to operate is breathtaking.

"We can only hope the new Fisheries and Forestry Minister is able to point this out at the highest levels before it's too late for our vital fisheries."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tasmania's Journal of Discovery

Tasmania's Journal of Discovery

Call of the Wild

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Rob Blakers is one of Tasmania’s most accomplished wilderness photographers, and he waits with immense patience for the perfect moment. Share two new portfolios here and you can preview his new calendars and diary here

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Tasmania's Journal of Discovery

Tasmania's Journal of Discovery

Shipstern Bluff struts its stuff

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Tasmanian surf photographer Stuart Gibson has long specialised in capturing the awesome power of the heavy surf at Shipstern Bluff in south-east Tasmania, and is now sharing our state’s best breaks with the world. Emily Davey explains our local surf culture, and Stuart’s pivotal role …

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