The Examiner, June 3, 2017 - By Hayden Johnson
A Legislative Council inquiry has been established to canvass options and analyse King Island’s ongoing shipping issues and freight costs.
Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest will chair the inquiry and call for submissions from the community in an effort to understand and look and options to fix the island’s transport problems.
Circular Head CHRONICLE 4 May 2017
By Ashleigh Force
Vying for the seat of Murchison in the Legislative Council Elections, candidates Ruth Forrest and Daryl Quilliam met to discuss their priorities at a forum last week.
Held at the Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre last Wednesday (April 26), the candidates forum provided an opportunity for locals to make their voices heard.
Organised by Smithton Lions Club, the forum was supervised by independent chair Tom Glynn.
Candidates were given five minutes for an opening and closing address before answering set questions, which touched on upgrades to the Bass Highway, the future of the Tarkine, the reopening of recreational tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, water sources and irrigation, and forestry and agriculture.
Candidates then had the opportunity to hear about the issues that locals are most concerned about.
By SEAN FORD The Advocate 4 May 2017
A Christian group is urging its members to pray Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest will lose Saturday’s election.
Australian Christian Lobby Tasmanian director Mark Brown has emailed the group’s supporters asking them to “join me in praying for one particular electorate”.
He did not name the two independent Murchison candidates, but made clear he was targeting Ms Forrest.
By ELI PERRY - Circular Head CHRONICLE
27 April 2017
Politics. Next week’s Legislative Council Election will determine if the previously safe seat of Murchison will go to Independent MLC Ruth Forrest or new contender, Daryl Quilliam. The Chronicle asks the candidates about the issues that matter to them.
Media Release: 28 April 2017
Murchison Legislative Councilor Ruth Forrest says the Government needs to act to fix laws so that foster parents don’t miss out on compensation if they are injured whilst undertaking their role.
Workers compensation law already provides cover for volunteers who are helping the government deliver services. But foster parent volunteers are not on the list yet.
Carers at the Wynyard Care Centre went on strike for 30 minutes on Friday in industrial action against what the union called a ‘disrespectful’ employer.
About 45 workers and supporters gathered on the corner of Quiggin and Moore Streets at 2.30pm to listen to speeches and vote on further action.
The carers have been trying to negotiate a new agreement with Sydney-based Synovum Care Group since their last one expired in 2013. They overwhelmingly rejected the company’s January proposal, which the Health and Community Services Union said stripped away significant rights and limited pay rises to 1.5 per cent a year.
The message to me as been clear and unequivocal.
Major employers in the sawmilling industry in my electorate of Murchison fear job losses if the Government’s plan to unlock currently protected forest proceeds.
Major employers, Ta Ann and Britton Brothers, have indicated their opposition to this move by the Government. Genuine concern has been expressed that jobs are likely be put at risk.
Existing employees too have made it plain they fear job losses.
I have recently been accused of following the dictates of the Salamanca set and voting against the wishes of my electors, so I’m doubly conscious of doing what’s best for my patch as I always seek to do. I am even happier if it coincides with the interests of all Tasmanians.
The Advocate - 11 Apr 2017
The rise of the robots will bring many opportunities for the North-West, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest believes.
Improvements in technology can benefit traditional North-West industries and the region has potential to be a leader in robotics, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest says.
It is widely believed improvements in technology and robotics will sweep away many jobs around the world, but independent Ms Forrest believes the region could become a leader in robotics.
Ms Forrest also believes technology will have many benefits for traditional industries in the region, such as agriculture, forestry and mining.
Failings in our health service delivery have again been highlighted in mainstream and social media. Communities rightly feel let down by State and Federal levels of Government when timely access to care is not available. We are repeatedly informed that the cost of health rises above the rate of inflation and if unchecked could consume the entire State budget in 20 or 30 years’ time. This may be the reality and should not be the end of the discussion.
Health care has historically focussed on the provision of acute, or hospital based, care. A greater focus on, and priority given to, health and wellbeing through wellness promotion, illness prevention, early intervention and chronic disease management programs, is essential. Not just with glossy brochures and words, but funding commitments and action from both State and Federal Governments.
We continue to see the State Government commit, at most, five percent of the State health budget to preventative health measures with acute health services continue to demand more and more money as we fail to keep Tasmanians out of the acute health (hospital) settings. The Federal Government ceased the National Partnership funding for Preventative Health adding further strain to an over-burdened system.
North West Tasmania has some of the poorest health outcomes in the State and nation with high levels of chronic disease and social disadvantage. These realities are known to impact negatively on the health and well-being of individuals.
Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest has raised concern that sections of the Bass Highway in Circular Head require priority upgrades to assist primary producers, forestry contractors and local manufacturers who transport product daily on this highway from Circular Head and Wynyard to other parts of Tasmania.
Ms Forrest is calling on the State and Federal Governments to prioritise this work to ensure business confidence and economic growth is not negatively impacted.
“The Bass Highway west of Burnie has received upgrades over recent years through State and Federal Government funding however key sections of this highway, particularly from Detention River Bridge to Black River, need urgent upgrades” Ms Forrest said.
“It is disappointing that the section of the Bass Highway between the Detention River Bridge and Black River was not included in the last major upgrade of the Bass Highway in this region. This section provides no overtaking lanes, is very narrow and dangerous in parts and is a constant challenge for the drivers of the many heavy vehicles using this road every day” Ms Forrest stated.
“It is difficult to understand why this section was not included in the last upgrades when it has long been a section of concern to local truck drivers and other road users in this region. I have personally had a near miss on this section of the road in a particularly narrow section near Peggs Beach” Ms Forrest said.
Ms Forrest has been contacted by local farmers raising their concerns. “Local farmers have asserted this section of the road to be some of the worst in the State, particularly considering the volume of traffic and produce transported” Ms Forrest said. Road users have also suggested that this section was not included in the previous upgrade as the Circular Head Council did not include it in the proposal to Government.
“Widening of this section and the addition of overtaking lanes needs to occur as a priority, especially as we are experiencing an increase in motor homes and caravans on the roads with very few opportunities safely pull over and enable trucks and other road users to pass” Ms Forrest stated.
“The Bass Highway is a key link from some of the most productive areas of the State and needs to be upgraded as a matter of priority to support business and industry in the area” Ms Forrest said.
13 February 2017
BLAIR RICHARDS, Hobart Mercury - November 14, 2016
RENE Hidding and Ruth Forrest say they have put their differences aside after a “full and frank discussion”.
Mr Hidding, Tasmania’s Police Minister, and Ms Forrest, a respected independent MLC, had been on a legal collision course sparked by a bullying allegation.
Ms Forrest accused Mr Hidding of bullying her during a parliamentary dinner in September.
In turn, Mr Hidding threatened to sue Ms Forrest for defamation, saying she publicly linked her bullying allegation against him with violence against women.
1 Nov 2016,The Advocate by Patrick Fahey
A commemoration ceremony honouring providers of land for the construction of the Riana Area School and recreational surrounds took place at the Riana Community Centre on Saturday, October 22.
The provision of the land was made by Harry Emmerton, Horace Brown, Perc Corbett and the Riana Recreation Ground Committee in 1946 for the benefit of the construction of the Riana Area School in 1954.
Politicians take bus from Smithton to Marrawah to experience uneven surface of Bass Highway
Kathryn Bermingham - The Advocate - 31 Oct 2016
A school bus operator is calling for urgent repairs to the Bass Highway west of Smithon, amid concerns for the safety of student passengers.
On Monday, operator Wells Wagons invited politicians and councillors to experience first hand the uneven surface of the highway.
The group took the bus from Smithton to Marrawah and back to gain a better understanding of the repairs required.
Media Release : Thursday 6 October, 2016
I have taken legal advice in relation to an incident at an evening social event at Parliament House on 20th September 2016.
The decision I have taken reflects my commitment to speak out against any act of intimidation, bullying and/or violence, particularly when women are the target. I support the view of the Australian of the Year, David Morrison, that the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. I believe all behaviour within the Parliament and outside the Parliament needs to reflect this standard. Robust debate is important and necessary and can be undertaken in a respectful manner without the need to resort to such behaviour.
By Georgie Burgess and Rosemary Bolger ABC 27 Sept 2016
Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding will not face disciplinary action over an argument with an Upper House MP, after the Premier received advice from the Solicitor-General.
Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest told Parliament last week that Mr Hidding had "bullied" and "intimidated" her at a social function during an argument over government legislation.
Mr Hidding later apologised for his conduct, but Ms Forrest has been seeking legal advice.
BLAIR RICHARDS, State Political Reporter, Mercury
September 23, 2016
A LONG-serving Tasmanian Upper House MP will today seek legal advice after she says she was bullied by a State Government minister at a function.
Infrastructure and Police Minister Rene Hidding resisted calls for his resignation yesterday after Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest said he “threatened, intimidated and bullied” her over a piece of legislation.
Hobart Mercury August 2, 2016
IT is often said that one’s health is everything.
Those with good health and wellbeing often take it for granted until they experience its loss. Education is a key to health and wellbeing.
If, as a society, we do not get education right, we will not see improvements in the overall health and wellbeing.
The Hobart Mercury, Blair Richards - June 6, 2016
TASMANIA’S Treasurer says there are no job cuts hidden in the Budget, despite the Government falling short of its original target of 1200 full time job cuts.
The Hobart Mercury - January 9, 2016
I’m not a monarchist but I do like the Queen. Especially when she asks pertinent questions as she did in 2009 when visiting the London School of Economics. Referring to the Global Financial Crisis she asked her learned hosts: “Why did no one see it coming?”
The Hobart Mercury, March 16, 2016.
A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry has recommended an overhaul of Tasmania’s preventative healthcare systems with the state lagging far behind the national average in several areas. A joint select committee report detailed a sorry summary of the state’s health and well being trends and subsequent need for reform including greater funding.
March 19, 2016 12:00am - The Hobart Mercury - Opinion
I used to work in the Safe Schools program that faces the axe. It was not called that then. It was Family Life Education. I was employed by the Catholic welfare organisation Centacare, to deliver a program to school students from Kinder to Years 11 and 12 across the North-West Coast.
Wednesday 11 November 2015. 4.39 p.m.(No. 46) Second Reading
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, the purpose of this bill is obvious from the opening line of the speech. The bill is to recover some of the general costs of law enforcement and administration if a person is sentenced for offences in Tasmania.
November 15, 2015. 2.44 p.m.Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
Mr President, this is the supplementary question to the question I asked yesterday which was not fully answered by the Leader.
November 15, 2015. 4.00 p.m.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, each year the section 19 report gets a little better. I am not referring to the amounts in the report, more the accompanying explanations. When it comes to the impact on the budget, we do not get the full story.
Tuesday 10 November 2015. 11.16 a.m.International White Cane Day
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I am very confident in suggesting that not one of us in this Chamber gave any real thought to whether the entry to Parliament House may have changed this morning as a result of the current works underway on the Parliament Square development, and whether we may need to avoid obstacles or take additional care to avoid running into something as we walked along.
ALL the heavy lifting has been done, all major decisions made. The Tasmanian Government is back on track. This is what the media releases and headlines tell us. But is it really the case? The fact the general government sector, which covers all departments and agencies commonly referred to as “the government” forms only part of the overall state sector, is often overlooked.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I am sure all of us love to be entertained and we often travel long distances to attend quality productions that offer class acts in terms of great acting, music, comedy and all-round entertainment.
Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
With regard to the provision of rural school bus services, are all or any school bus routes or services currently under review or due to be reviewed? If so, when will the review be completed? Will the outcome of any review be publicly available? With regards to each route and service, what criteria will be used to determine whether they are viable?
All Governments do it. Cherry picking figures to suit their narrative.
The Treasurer released the Government’s Preliminary Outcomes Report for 2014/15 and proclaimed a much better result than the estimated outcome contained in the May Budget papers, which in turn was much better than the original budget handed down in August 2014.
More than any other State, Tasmania doesn’t have much wriggle room when framing budgets. The Treasurer’s recently released Revised Estimates Report for 2014-15 shows this year’s budget hasn’t strayed too far from what was expected. It would have been alarming if it had as only four months elapsed from budget day to the end of the first half year.
2015 will no doubt bring challenges, surprises and the inevitable good with the bad. Tasmania’s future will continue to be uncertain until there is a shared understanding of the problems the State faces. It will be easier to solve problems together if we can develop such an understanding.
ONE would have expected dancing in the street – or at least an acknowledgment – after the news that Tasmania may have dodged a bullet. Hidden in the Federal Budget papers is Tasmania’s projected share of GST for the next three years at $500 million more than expected a year ago. The Hodgman Government’s response has been remarkably subdued.
The community are often the forgotten stakeholders in the debate around health service delivery. To achieve meaningful change the community across Tasmania needs to have a real understanding of why health service delivery has changed and why it is vital that it continues to change.