Housing Tasmania is forced to pay off millions to Federal Government, writes Ruth Forrest
ONE of the essentials of life is shelter. If a person or a family does not have safe, secure and suitable shelter their chances of good health and of gaining an educational outcome that will assist them into employment and reduce reliance on social support is extremely high.
WOMEN on low incomes and in regional Tasmania are being disadvantaged because of a lack of abortion services in public hospitals, says Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest.
She will move a motion in the Legislative Council calling on Health MinisterMichael Ferguson to ensure all Tasmanian women have equitable access to termination of pregnancy services in the public hospital system.
Ms Forrest said her motion was not about whether terminations should be available because that had already been decided by parliament in 2013.
THIS year’s Federal budget and the Opposition response suggest there is $300 billion worth of revenue over the next 10 years that the Government is willing to hand back to taxpayers.
What may appear to cynics as a vote-buying exercise has been pitched as tax reform. We are part of a federal system. When it comes to tax reform, are tax cuts to individuals and companies at the Federal level the most urgent?
The only promise missing from this election campaign is the one we most desperately need. A State Optometrist. Someone to check the vision of those responsible for the daily deluge of pledges from all parties with little connection to any clearly articulated vision or long term plan.
The majority Government of the last four years has wasted its grand opportunity to lay down a long term plan and is still relying on a hotchpotch of promises to shore up votes.
Government hasn’t stuck to its agenda for major projects, says Ruth Forrest
THE TasWater takeover Bill which will soon be discussed in the Legislative Council contains provisions requiring the new corporation to formulate a 10-year infrastructure plan to be agreed with the Government, which must be reflected in the corporate plan and budgets.
If only the Government would run its own affairs like this. When it comes to sticking to infrastructure plans this Government has been woeful.
Ruth Forrest says judges and courts must have power to balance crime with punishment
TOUGH on crime or a political stunt to win votes?
With barely three months having passed since the Legislative Council rejected the Government’s bill to introduce mandatory sentences for serious sexual offences against children, the Government has given notice it wants MLCs to reconsider.
The state needs to devise a better plan for infrastructure spending, says Ruth Forrest
THE annual Budget circus is about to get under way. Will it be the same old vaudeville that we’ll be glad to see the back of after a few frantic weeks, or will we see some fresh performances and displays of leadership? Is it too much to hope for a spirit of greater co-operation to move this state forward a notch or two?
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.
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.
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.
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.