Tasmanian Liberals

Tasmanian Liberals

2017-18 Budget

Budget 2017

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I welcome Tassal’s decision not to proceed with their application to pump treated waste into Macquarie Harbour.

 I had made it clear that I was not comfortable with the previous proposal and that it was outside of community expectations.  I am very pleased Tassal has listened to my concerns and that of the community, and come up with an alternative proposal.

The partnership with TasWater to remove the waste is a logical solution that should alleviate the concerns of environmentalists and the community, and one that I’m sure will be welcomed by all stakeholders.

 

 

The Hodgman Liberal Government is pleased to announce the new Environment Protection Authority (EPA) board for the next three year term will comprise of Warren Jones, Tony Ferrier, Professor Colin Buxton, Belinda Hazell and Amanda Locatelli.

Mr Jones was re-appointed for a second term as Chair and has served on the board from 2008 to 2011 in his capacity as the former Director.

The Deputy Chair Mr Ferrier and Professor Buxton were also re-appointed for a second consecutive term.

Mr Ferrier brings knowledge and experience in local government environmental management, and Professor Buxton provides expertise in a number of environmental disciplines.

Ms Hazell is new to the board and has been appointed as the member with industry environmental knowledge, while Ms Locatelli has been appointed as a deputy member if another member is unavailable.

The EPA Director Wes Ford remains on the board in his statutory position.

The board’s primary functions are to assess environmental impacts and determine appropriate operating conditions for the larger scale developments described in the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members - Catherine Murdoch, Harry Galea and Dr John McCambridge for their contribution to the board.

 

The 2016-17 Department of Justice Annual Report has confirmed that the Government’s commitment to supporting our frontline staff is working.

Workers compensation for Tasmania Prison staff has dropped from 23.8 average days lost in 2015-16, to just 11.3 in 2016-17.

Upon coming to office, the Hodgman Liberal Government committed to a change management program at the TPS which has now been implemented, and these figures demonstrate our measures are working to better support staff and reduce the possibility of any workplace injuries.

It adds to other measures we have taken to support the TPS, which includes increasing staffing levels by 47.3 FTE since coming to Government, the recruitment of 37 new Correctional Officers since May last year, and recruiting and training 36 more Correctional Officers with 18 new recruits in training as we speak.

In the last two State budgets, we have funded the addition of 81 new beds that are due to come online in mid-2018.

The report also confirms the Government’s strong policies are working to reduce recidivism rates and help offenders get their lives back on track.

Prisoners released during 2014-15 who returned to prison within two years is below the Australian national average of 44 per cent.

We want to continue to reduce recidivism rates and encourage the effective rehabilitation of prisoners so they can adapt to a normal life once their sentence ends, and these figures are very encouraging as they confirm our policies are working to create a safer Tasmania.

 

Rebecca White has once again refused to stand up for victims of crime after Labor confirmed they will vote against our plan to scrap remissions.

Labor’s position means they want Tasmania to be the only state or territory in Australia that still lets prisoners out of jail early under remission.

Even worse, they are yet again trying to save face and walk both sides of the street by saying they want to reform remissions, instead of scrapping them. This comes after they initially expressed support for scrapping remissions when we first announced it, and again last month.

It’s yet another example of Rebecca White’s soft on crime approach that sides with criminals and lets criminals back on the streets before they serve their full sentence.

The Hodgman Liberal Government will stand with the community on this.  We will act to prevent the early release of prisoners under remissions granted through the Corrections Act 1997 as it is an outdated practice in Australia that is against community expectations.

 

 

I am very pleased the House of Assembly has today passed the Limitation Amendment Bill 2017, which will make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to seek damages.

The Bill takes the major step of retrospectively abolishing the time limitation for civil claims for damages for survivors of child sexual abuse, in line with recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It also goes further by extending the abolition of the time limitation to physical abuse because the consequences are similarly traumatic and often connected to sexual abuse. It is also not restricted to sexual or physical abuse in an institutional setting.

Survivors of sexual abuse often find it very difficult to report the crimes perpetrated against them to authorities, which then impacts on when crimes are reported and civil litigation can be taken.

The impacts of child sexual abuse can last a lifetime and victims do not need any unnecessary obstacles placed in their way when seeking justice, and this Bill will rectify the current situation and recognise the unique circumstances that arise from sexual or physical abuse of a child.

This legislation builds on other measures we have taken to provide justice for victims of child sexual abuse, including our ongoing commitment to introduce minimum mandatory sentences for predators who sexually abuse children.

 

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to holding criminals to account, which is why we established a specialised unit to deal with unexplained wealth investigations.

Today’s annual report from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions confirms that the establishment of the Crimes Assets Recovery Unit continues to be an outstanding success.

In the 18 months since the Unit started operating, approximately $2 million dollars in forfeiture and unexplained wealth orders have been made.

This means less money in the pockets of criminals, and confirms the Unit as a crucial tool in the fight against serious organised crime

 
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