Like many Tasmanians I was disappointed to hear that Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected an independent tribunal’s findings recommending that a Victoria Cross be awarded to Ordinary Seaman Edward “Teddy” Sheean.
I have written to Prime Minister Morrison asking him to reconsider.
Some staff of the North-West Regional Hospital (NWRH) remain concerned about the handling of the recent COVID-19 outbreak which saw the hospital close for deep cleaning, and are calling for a Federal led independant commission into why such a larger outbreak occurred.
An independent upper house member believes now is the time to genuinely consider tax reform and design changes to the state's tax system.
Responding to Treasury's May budget update on Friday, Murchison independent MLC Ruth Forrest said tax revenue would drop 25 per cent next year as a result of the economic downturn and tax relief measures associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
The vilification of health professionals on social media has far reaching implications for those working in that field. Ruth Forrest MLC asks that all community leaders stand up for our health care workers and that we all offer our support rather than criticism at this difficult time.
A transcript of this speech is also available here on my website:
ADJOURNMENT⎯ A Motion was made (Mrs Hiscutt) and the Question was proposed, that the Council will at its rising adjourn until 10.00 o’clock am on Friday 8 May 2020. Ruth Forrest MLC proposed that the Council adjourn until 11.00am Thursday 7 May.
Murchison independent MLC Ruth Forrest has spoken out strongly against internet trolls who she has blamed for vilifying health care workers on the North-West Coast.
During a debate in the Legislative Council on Thursday night, Ms Forrest said North-West health workers and community members had felt maligned by people from other areas of the state, some of which had laid blame on them for the outbreak of coronavirus in the region.
Just one positive case of covid-19 has been recorded in a testing blitz at three aged care homes in the North-West and Premier Peter Gutwein has used the virus outbreak to again disrupt Tasmania's usual partisan political rhetoric.
In Sunday morning's briefing, Mr Gutwein confirmed a 79-year-old woman had contracted Covid-19 at the Melaleuca aged care home in East Devonport. Premier Peter Gutwein said it was a "bittersweet" result as although it was only one positive result from about 500 tests completed at the homes, the virus does affect older people more aggressively.
Today's editions of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age highlight the impact of the closure of the North-West Regional Hospital amid the Tasmanian coronavirus outbreak - believed to have started with COVID-19 patients from the Ruby Princess cruise ship — and how it is affecting the community.
Let’s keep NW Tasmania on the national radar so that after this pandemic passes we can ensure this region has the social and financial support we deserve to ensure this region is lifted out of the higher than average poverty and disadvantage we have in this region. I will be particularly focused on ensuring this is the case and working hard on behalf of this whole region.
I encourage you all to read the following article and my comments in Croakey, which is a social journalism project that looks at health issues and policy:
A decision to re-instate two senior midwives recently stood down from Burnie's North West Private Hospital has been welcomed.
However, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest said it should not have been allowed to happen in the first place.
"I am very pleased to see these midwives re-instated, and we need to be sure such a decision is not made again during this (coronavirus) health crisis," Ms Forrest said.
It comes after the NWPH chose to let the midwives go at a time when more medical staff were desperately needed. There was no reduction in the public birthing services the hospital has a contract to provide.
Standing down midwives when the State Government has a recruitment campaign to increase the size of the health workforce to cope with the coronavirus emergency did not make sense, a health union spokesman said.
"For this sort of thing to be happening is extremely alarming," said Health and Community Services Union assistant state secretary Robbie Moore.
The North West Private Hospital is not responding to calls to ask why it let go of two senior midwives in the middle of a health crisis. There has been no reduction in the public birthing services the NWPH provides under a contract with the Tasmanian Health Service. NWPH chief executive Keith Cock was contacted on Monday and Tuesday for comment.
My first newsletter for 2020 is now available. This newsletter will provide regular updates of some of the things I have been doing in the electorate, as well as legislation that will be debated in Parliament during the year.
Please feel free to share this link with your contacts who might be interested, or come into the office to pick up a hard copy if you would prefer to read it that way.
Live Well Tasmania (LWT) is a not for profit community organisation based in Wynyard, aiming to improve the health and well-being of our community with a focus on disadvantaged youth, using a whole of Community well-being approach.
MURCHISON MLC Ruth Forrest has been named as one of the country's most influential women and she plans to use her higher profile to inspire other women.
As a finalist in the 2019 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards, Ms Forrest was recognised for her recent contributions to debate and reform around marriage equality and gender law and her advocacy in a host of women's issues over decades.
She was nominated for the prestigious award by fellow politician, Speaker Sue Hickey.
HER boots and tights tell me she loves purple, but Tasmanian politician and former midwife Ruth Forrest, 57, is no shrinking violet. The Murchison MLC could not have chosen a more fitting colour to wear when we meet to talk about an honour that would make any good feminist proud.
A member of the state’s Legislative Council since 2005, Forrest is the only Tasmanian finalist in the 2019 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards.
A motion calling on the Tasmanian government to explore how a pill testing trial could occur during the upcoming summer festival season has failed to gain the support of the upper house.
Murchison Independent MLC Ruth Forrest introduced the motion which, in an effort to minimise harm related to drug use at Tasmanian festivals and events, asked the government commit to looking into the steps that would need to be taken to conduct a trial in 2019-20 festival season.
TASMANIAN MLC Ruth Forrest says it is a "disgrace" that teenagers with serious mental illnesses do not have appropriate treatment facilities in the state.
Ms Forrest said she was aware of a young person who had been sent to Melbourne for treatment that could not be provided in Tasmania after "languishing" in a secure adult psychiatric unit in Hobart for at least 12 months.
"We have heard ad nauseam from governments, past and present, that we will have an appropriate adolescent acute mental health unit and beds in Tasmania for years," she said.
Murchison Independent MLC Ruth Forrest hopes that latest review of hospital emergency departments will result in action to improve them.
The state’s four hospital emergency departments are being examined closely in an ongoing audit.
The Tasmanian Audit Office is reviewing emergency departments (EDs) at the North West Regional, Mersey Community, Launceston General and Royal Hobart hospitals and will report on its findings early next year.
A new York Street and Flowerdale-Preolenna bus service will start on Monday for students at Boat Harbour Primary School.
The new service is in response to issues with overcrowding on the existing bus service to and from the school and reports of children sitting in aisles for long periods of time on winding rural roads.
Murchison independent MLC Ruth Forrest this year raised the problem with the government, citing a 2013 audit which found there were 86 children eligible for the service with a vehicle capacity of 96 children – with 17 children standing.
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.
Anti-Discrimination Bill could go to committee in Upper House. Murchison Independent MLC Ruth Forrest is set to seek support from the Legislative Council to refer the Anti-Discrimination Bill to a committee when it is discussed in the Upper House on Tuesday.
Independent MLC for Murchison Ruth Forrest has announced she is pursuing a Code of Conduct complaint against Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding after she said she was "bullied" and "intimidated" by Mr Hidding at a Government function. Ms Forrest also said she is not ruling out going to the Police.
Legislation allowing ride-sharing service Uber to operate in Tasmania will require the support of at least one undecided MLC to pass, with several members concerned about the bill’s impact on the state’s taxi drivers.