Legislative Council, Wednesday 16 August 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I tend to focus my contribution strongly on the content of the bill as we have many other opportunities to speak about the related matters. I will do an abridged version of some matters the member for Nelson covered as to why we are here. It is relevant to the debate as to why we are seeking to amend this piece of legislation.
In terms of why we are here, there have been many public and some not public airings of the arrangements between the Government and the AFL that go back some time now, including a previous premier and the long standing desire for Tasmania to have its own AFL football team. The majority, with the exception of a small number, in my view, from people I have talked to, support our own team. It is a national competition and reports indicated it would be sustainable. I am not going to go into that any further because it is a matter for another debate, if we ever need to have it.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 25 May 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I do not intend to speak at length on this bill. There will be a lot more debate to be had in the Committee stage when we get to the various provisions of it. I will say that I absolutely welcome this bill.
In my experience, I have had very good builders, with absolutely no complaints about their work, the way they conducted themselves or the way they have developed their contracts; and during that period where defects can be managed, they were also very responsive. I have absolutely no personal complaint about a builder; but I am sure we do not have to go very far to hear a horror story about people who have had troubles. I appreciate the representation we received this morning in the briefing, from people who have been deeply harmed by works that have been done on their prize possession - their own home - that have seen them completely let down; completely done over in every way; cost them a huge amount of money; and pushed them to the point of taking their own life, only to be prevented by their loved ones.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 24 May 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I welcome this, what could be described as a long-overdue bill, as we heard in our briefings today. We are also aware that the recommendations for these sorts of approaches were made many years ago following the royal commission into child abuse in institutions.
All of us should have watched, if we did not watch, in horror at some of the evidence that was provided to not only the royal commission, but also to our own commission of inquiry about the circumstance some children faced, and the life-long harm that those experiences have left them, to the point of some even taking their own lives. I welcome this legislation and hope to see it progressed.
As has been said many times, every child has a right to be safe. Every child should know that right and be able to live that right. Sadly, we know that at the hands of others, many children have not been safe.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 29 March 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, before I make my contribution I had prepared ahead of the debate to some degree, I thank and acknowledge those who briefed us today. They provided a very thorough and very helpful briefing, going through the various provisions and how they are applied in the bill that is before us. I said at the briefing that the summary that was read and explained the whole process would be very helpful to have it included in Hansard as part of the debate because it gives really clear guidelines and information about how each provision is set to impact. I am not sure whether that is even possible but the Deputy Leader might have to check with her staff whether that can be included as part of the debate in that it gives really clear stepped-out instructions.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 29 March 2023
Ms FORREST - the Government is requesting at least $340.5 million more than was budgeted last year to meet a range of cost pressures, the majority of which are operating. There is only one item that is capital - $7.9 million.
A supplementary appropriation bill is not an appropriate - no pun intended - mechanism for this and does enable parliamentary scrutiny. I am always a little bit cynical as to why some of the proposed expenditure needs were not anticipated, but I will get to that. In any event, one assumes this is not the last of the requests as no doubt we will see a number of requests for additional funding, or RAFs, at the end of this financial year, which should only be for unforeseen expenses at the time of the passage of the 2022-23 Budget.
Legislative Council, 24 March 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Like others, I also welcome this bill. It is a bit sad that we are the last jurisdiction to do a formal recognition of carers. Being a carer is not a new thing. People have been caring for others for time immemorial, but it is welcome and it is important.
As other members have said, recognition is an important step and perhaps even more is the support that should come with that. I will touch on some of the matters that have already been raised by other members because they are all important factors. We all know and it has been alluded to by others, that any one of us could find ourselves as a part time or full time carer at any point in time. It happens at any age or stage of your life, young people, older people, people right through the spectrum.
Legislative Council, Thursday 17 November 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, this bill seeks to address the issues related to workload and good governance in this parliament. I agree, there have been issues in the recent past that have highlighted these matters. However, there are issues other than an increase in the numbers of parliament which are being ignored. Structural problems were identified in the recent Bolt report, Motion for Respect that go much deeper than the workload of Government members. My consideration of this bill, noting the large body of work needed to ensure parliament is an effective, well-functioning, adequately resourced and safe workplace for all is there is much more that needs to be addressed well beyond increasing the size of parliament.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 9 November 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - I commend the Government on continuing to broadly consider the welfare of animals. Animals are voiceless. Whilst many of them are able to communicate in many ways, including chooks - and I love our chooks; they are quite mad but I do love them - they are vulnerable to the actions of humans and have limited capacity to stand up for themselves.
It is incumbent on us, as humans, but also it is incumbent on the Government to ensure that where strengthening of the legislation can occur, it should occur, to ensure that animals are protected as much as they can be, in light of the role that they play in our society.
Legislative Council, Thursday 27 October 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, this bill is pretty straightforward and quite simple. As the Leader described, it is to give greater flexibility with the approvals to the commissioner. The point I raised in the briefing, and that I want the Leader to address, is in relation to the billboards. It is a bit hard to know from a road user's perspective of whether this is an approved billboard or not. It does not have a sign 'approved by the commissioner' on the bottom of it, so to speak. You probably would not be able to read it anyway. Driving around the state, as I do a lot - and particularly up in my electorate - we see these electronic billboards.
Legislative Council, Thursday 29 September 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) – Mr President, I am very aware of the real challenges we face and the amount of time lost, particularly under our previous federal governments, to take a decisive and meaningful action on the very real threat we in Tasmania, Australia and the world face in terms of our climate. We are facing a climate emergency that demands urgent global and local action. We are seeing many more so-called climate refugees seeking refuge in safer parts of our world, including here in Tasmania.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 7 September 2022
Ms FORREST - Mr President, I was not really planning to get up straight away but no one else did. Between the time this bill was debated downstairs and now it is here, I have read through the bill and all the information that has been provided alongside it, including the draft statement of expectations and the letter from the minister. I appreciate that we have just been circulated a document that talks about the differences between what this bill seeks to deliver and the bill it effectively replaces, the Homes Act. Mr President, I am going to read through the notes I made before the briefings and, depending on the time - it will not take that long.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 22 June 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, this is one of the bills that normally I would prepare a few written thoughts. I am not going to go on for ages, having said that, but there has been so much changing in such a short and tight time frame, with all good intent in my respect, to deal with the very real problems that many of us have identified with this approach. I may be a little bit repetitive or I may go over stuff. I might forget to say stuff I intended to or things I intended to.
Let me say from the outset that people would know in and outside this place that I have always had a strong belief in the right to free speech, and for the right to protest. I, too, like the member for Rumney, have participated in protests in my former work life, particularly for the right of all workers to go to work and return safely.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 1 June 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I have listened to the debate and found that even among members who currently have or have had local government experience there is a divergence of views, which reflects the divergence of views in local government itself. I said that in 2013 so I thought I would read it again. It was pretty much where I started.
Mr Willie - There might have been more local government representatives in the Council then.
Ms FORREST - There probably would have been, slightly more.
Mr President - I believe the other place has more retired mayors than we do now so that old joke has fallen flat.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 2 June 2022
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AMENDMENT (ELECTIONS) BILL 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I have a few comments that are directly related to the motion before us - not to the bill.
There is a constant request, and it has been constant more recently, for this House to ignore or overlook our proper processes to deal with legislation, always on the claim that it is urgent. Recent legislation that comes to mind is when we were dealing with the Forest Practices Authority. This may seem slightly off the task but I want to tell you why I believe we need to be very cautious.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 4 May 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I cannot recall in recent times a shorter second reading speech than the one we just heard. This is also a short bill. It is almost impossible to argue against measures that provide relief for Tasmanians who own property in Tasmania, obviously not all Tasmanians. I know from the Leader's second reading speech the intent of the Government - which was outlined by the former premier in his state of the state response - was to reset land tax rates and thresholds, but no mention of the base. It is the same discussion we have time after time, some of us do, as it is usually a one-way conversation.
Legislative Council, Tuesday 31 May 2022
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - The Government deserves plaudits for achieving a better result for the year about to end, the 2021-22 year, than was expected in the 2021-22 Budget when it was handed down last August. The better bottom line is principally due to extra general purpose grants from a bigger GST pool, higher receipts from state taxes, which includes extra stamp duties of $64 million, and extra payroll tax of $32 million. It must be noted that extra specific purpose grants also helped to cover the extra pandemic costs.
Legislative Council, Thursday 25 December 2021
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I have previously spoken in the past in support of the introduction of a container refund scheme. As the member for McIntyre said, the former member for Rowallan, Western Tiers and McIntyre was a strong advocate for this scheme. It is a no-brainer in modern society. We should all be doing whatever we can to reduce litter and waste and encourage recycling in our communities. I do not think anyone's motivation should be questioned, by asking questions about whether this is the right model. This will be in place for a long time. In a small state, it is important to get it right.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 24 November 2021
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, we have not had one controversial piece of legislation, we have had two, or probably three. My challenge with this one and the one coming up next is that the players are this far apart and that makes it really hard for any of us here to fully understand or appreciate what the best outcome is. I have had hours of meetings with various industry players, union officials, phone calls, emails - eleventy-squillion emails; that is not an accurate number because I have not counted them, but it is in that vicinity. I have read them all. I have not responded to them all because I simply have not had enough hours in the day and my electoral assistants respond to people. I read them but I cannot possibly respond.
Legislative Council, Tuesday 9 November 2021
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I rise to speak on this bill, a bill that is very complex, not least due to the complexity of the taxing and licensing arrangements, but also as an amending bill which you really must have the principal act on hand to cross-reference.
I did think when reading through, scrutinising every clause that a completely new gaming control bill might have been a much easier option.
Add to this the vast array of proposed amendments, and it makes for a very complex task and one I will not support working late into the night to deal with this bill. A bill that clearly requires full and proper scrutiny and understanding.
We all know decision-making is impaired when people are fatigued.
You can listen to me speak on my proposed amendment to Clause 155, Gaming Control Amendment (Future Gaming Market) Bill 2021 relating to EGM licence fees and taxes, as well as my reply to other members comments here.
The transcript of this speech can be viewed here:
The tabled document referred to in my speech is available here:
Legislative Council, Tuesday 31 August 2021
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I welcome the opportunity to reply to the budget. It is important we address our minds to the overall plan for the future and our financial position. As I do, I have read right through the budget papers and my comments are focused on the budget, our future and some matters of particular interest to me. There are many I could mention but I will leave those for a later time.
There is no doubt this budget hands out a lot of money to a lot of people. I commend the Government for meeting its election promises. I commend the Government for spending a bit more than last year. I commend the Government for adopting a more coordinated approach to renewables, climate and future industries, but that is about it. Overall, I see this budget as a wasted opportunity.
- SUPPLY BILL (No. 3) 2021
- TREASURY MISCELLANEOUS (COST OF LIVING AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPORT) BILL 2021
- WORKPLACES (PROTECTION FROM PROTESTERS) AMENDMENT BILL 2019
- JUSTICE MISCELLANEOUS (COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY) BILL 2021
- PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT (PREVENTION OF SALE OF SMOKING PRODUCTS TO UNDER-AGE PERSONS) BILL 2018
- ENERGY CO-ORDINATION AND PLANNING AMENDMENT (TASMANIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET) BILL 2020
- END-OF-LIFE CHOICES (VOLUNTARY ASSISTED DYING) BILL 2020
- COVID-19 DISEASE EMERGENCY (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) AMENDMENT (QUARANTINE DEBT RECOVERY) BILL 2020
- LAND TAX AMENDMENT BILL 2020
- HOMEBUILDER GRANTS BILL 2020