Mr President, I rise on adjournment to speak of an urgent and important matter.
Mr President - five women in Australia have been killed in the last ten days – this is one every two days in Australia.
We know that on average one woman a week is killed by a current or intimate partner – this is one every two days!
We know that tragically, still after years of raising awareness about the devastating toll on women and their families noting that still. In the last six days alone there have been four such deaths we are aware of.
Mr President, organisation Counting Dead Women Australia and the Facebook group Destroy the Joint are a group of people dedicated to campaign for national action on violence against women including researchers who seek to report on all violent deaths of women in Australia.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I wish to use this opportunity on adjournment to speak about Huntington's disease and request the Government take certain action.
I have spoken before in this place about Huntington's disease, but I wanted to remind members that Huntington's disease is a genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease. It progressively diminishes physical, cognitive and psychological functions to severe levels. It has devastating impacts on individuals and families. Each child of a person with Huntington's disease has a one-in-two chance of inheriting the faulty gene and if they do, they will develop Huntington's disease in the future. Because of this genetic inheritance, Huntington's disease often appears in numbers within a family and across generations, creating complex and very challenging circumstances.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, over the last few years it has been a privilege to watch the emergence of a remarkable piece of new community infrastructure in my community on the north-west coast. The Watershed, on the banks of the Inglis River, has thrived, delivering a range of much sought-after programs. It has been a privilege to attend many events and engage with many of my constituents at sold-out evenings, all run by young people employed in training programs delivered by well-known community organisation Big hART. I commend the minister, Mr Jaensch, for his foresight in funding this and other Big hART projects such as Project O over recent years.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I wish to make a statement on the adjournment regarding the latest response from the Leader to my questions relating to the all weather safe harbour at Grassy on King Island.
In my most recent question I reiterated previous advice the Leader had passed on in answers to my earlier questions. I noted that in previous answers TasPorts had advised the Leader that there is no demonstrable need for a second safe harbour at Grassy, and nor is there a demonstrated need to develop a master plan for Grassy Harbour.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - I rise to raise a concern related to a highly gendered matter related to reproductive care that is resulting in a huge inequality.
I am referring to the appalling gender disparity in contraceptive procedures, specifically focusing on the intrauterine device (IUD) and vasectomy. I wish to draw members' attention to the unfairness in the rebate discrepancy and the gender bias related to women bearing the financial burden and potential side effects of contraception.
I am sure most, if not all, members know what an intrauterine device is and how it works; but to reiterate, the IUD is a female contraceptive procedure that involves the insertion of a small device into the uterus, to prevent pregnancy.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, some days I feel like I am bashing my head against the wall and I just want to scream. The mild frustration pales into insignificance when it comes to my constituents in Circular Head.
I wish to raise a matter of great concern to me in my electorate and, sadly, one I have raised previously. Here we are again, saying the same thing. It is deeply concerning for me and the community of Circular Head. I am referring to ambulance services. I want to refer to these briefly, including the comments made to me on this issue.
I have asked questions in the past couple of years about ambulance services in Circular Head. I would like to refer very briefly to the answers provided to two questions in August 2021 around unfilled positions. The Leader said:
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I wish to speak briefly on adjournment and raise a matter of concern regarding equity of access to justice for families on the north-west and west coast, and seek a response from Government on this important matter. The matter relates to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. They service the north-west coast of Tasmania by circuit to Burnie every four to six weeks.
The week starts with short procedural matters including adjournments, orders for documents to be filed, and orders for conferences to occur. The court then moves to interim hearings, urgent decisions that need to be made, often early proceedings, and the court then moves to trials. The FCFCOA has never had its own premises but relies upon the state or local government to provide the use of premises. It is not cost effective for the FCFCOA to purchase or lease standalone premises given the frequency of the circuits.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - I acknowledge the responses I received from the Deputy Leader and I will forward that information to the people directly impacted by that. I do appreciate such a prompt turnaround. It is appreciated by myself and by the constituents I am sure.
I wish to raise another matter in regard to the answer to a question I received last week. Last week I received an answer to a question related to current facilities available to the volunteer ambulance officers on King Island and requested the consideration of repurposing the unused Hydro Tasmania building in Currie superfluous to their needs after moving to newer premises. I was disappointed with much of this response. It completely minimised the reality of the volunteer ambulance officers on King Island. They feel unsupported and are expected to make do with clearly inadequate facilities. To quote and respond to aspects of the answer received:
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - I did dash up the stairs after some doing some committee work in the office. Please excuse my shortness of breath.
Mr President, as I foreshadowed in question time, there are some matters I would like to raise in response to a couple of answers I received to questions, and I will pose a further question. I do not have in front of me the copies of the answers that were provided, but I was listening carefully.
With regard to the question about noise monitoring in and around Burnie port, as I understand from the Leader's response, she said the last monitoring was done in 2021. It is now 2023, in case anyone has not noticed that.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - I also have a question about the answer I received regarding the King Island shipping wharfage charges. The Leader clearly stated that when SeaRoad were doing the freight from Melbourne, Devonport, King Island and sometimes there was a Melbourne/King Island leg, I have it on very good advice that the cost to King Islanders was the same. However, the Leader said that they did not take the freight off in Devonport.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I will speak briefly so we can try to get home nearly on time. I rise again on adjournment to discuss the ambulance services in Circular Head. Further information has come to me and I ask the Leader if she would work hard to get some sort of response from the Premier and minister for Health in response to these issues, which I will reiterate and raise.
The information came to me from the General Manager of the Circular Head Council. I will read most of the email that she sent to me:
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I wish to use this opportunity to speak on adjournment about ambulance services and availability of paramedics in the Circular Head region. In doing this, I acknowledge the amazing work our paramedics do in our region, and particularly the volunteers who we rely on so heavily in our regions.
I was somewhat disturbed to read this letter to the editor in the Circular Head Chronicle. I have since had communication from the Circular Head Chronicle itself, seeking to get a response. I will read in the letter to the Editor, and I hope that members will see that this should surprise us all that in a community as large as Circular Head a member of our community has experienced this. It was written on 15 November 2022 by Scott Tuffnall from Smithton:
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise to make a brief contribution on the adjournment about access to radiology and oncology services on the north-west coast. We know, particularly from our rural health committee report, that people in rural and regional Tasmania have poorer health outcomes generally and poorer access to health services. The development of the North West Cancer Centre at the North West Regional Hospital was welcome.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise on adjournment to reference an article that was in the Mercury today. I read from this article and express my complaint and my request to Government. It was told a seriousness of rape case focus of court [TBC]. It states:
A Supreme Court judge says a man's rape of a former partner might be generally regarded as less serious than a violent attack on a stranger at a park.
The comments were made on Tuesday by Acting Justice David Porter during sentencing submissions for a man who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I wish to make a brief contribution on adjournment. In response to the comments made by the member for Mersey in his summing up of debate on the bill we have just dealt with, I feel that it is important to speak to support Associate Professor Spruijt. In my view, it is a misrepresentation of what she has said and what she has commented on, both to members of the parliament, but also in the article that she wrote. She wrote an article in the Medical Journal of Australia, which I referred to in my speech, in response to an article in The Age newspaper. When that article was published in the Medical Journal of Australia, there were a number of comments on the online version. Some were very supportive of her position, others were quite contrary, which is the nature of the beast in this field, as we have said. We should be very careful about respecting differing opinions here.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I will make a brief contribution on adjournment. This matter came to my office just a few days ago and disturbed me to the point that I asked the people involved if they would mind me sharing their story on the adjournment here and ask the Government if it is able to assist in any way.
The email and communication came from a behavioural specialist in Wynyard who works with people with severe and complex disabilities, who are funded by the NDIS.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise to raise the important health matter and to raise awareness of a condition that has been a silent killer, one which can be easily managed or serious complications avoided if people are aware they have the condition.
This condition is haemochromatosis. Why now? This week is World Haemochromatosis Week and it is timely to inform members and the public that haemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in Australia. About one in 200 people of northern European origin have the genetic risk for hemochromatosis.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise to speak on adjournment because we will not return until the end of August. I am unsure of plans for the Legislative Council elections, but it may be that this is the member for Rosevears' last sitting day with us. While he looks very happy about that, it is important we acknowledge the long contribution of the member for Rosevears in this place, in case it is the last time we sit with him in our Chamber.
Ms FORREST (Murchison ) - Mr President, I raise a complaint about the way some constituents of mine have been dealt with by the Department of State Growth. I do not do this normally but this has been going on for months. I am seriously concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of my constituents as a result of the way they are being stuffed around.
In August 2018, my constituents, who own a property leased to State Growth, were aware that the term of their lease was approaching in a year's time. Since then, they have gone through an exhaustive process and responded to an expression of interest. State Growth decided to go out for expression of interest to look at the suitability of other properties or whether to allow this property to continue, which is entirely appropriate - although sometimes you wonder why they would do that when they had an eminently suitable property, but maybe there are some issues with the property.
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise to speak on a number of matters raised over the last two weeks during various stages of the debate on the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018.
I commence by restating my support for the legislative reform. I am pleased with all the work done over the last four to five months, and particularly to see this bill arrive back in this House, that resulted in the preparation of amendments to the bill presented to this House that clarified a number of concerns with the bill that was presented to this House.
My support does not reflect in the voting on the third reading of the bill, as I was in the chair with the President away from the House on other parliamentary business.