Tasmania to provide support to flood affected NSW

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Tasmania to provide support to flood affected NSW

5 July 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is pleased to again provide support to flood affected NSW to assist in the ongoing crisis.

The floods currently occurring in NSW are having devastating impacts on local communities, businesses and the environment.  We know that our emergency services across the country are there to help us when we are at our most vulnerable, and I commend the significant and ongoing efforts of the NSW SES and emergency services in responding to these floods.

During times of emergency such as these, our emergency services across the country can call on national partnership arrangements for additional support and Tasmania is pleased to be able to offer this assistance to our peers and friends interstate.

Ms Audrey Lau, Flood Intelligence Specialist with the Tasmania SES Flood Policy Unit, will travel today to assist with the NSW flood response.

This is Ms Lau’s third deployment in support of the SES NSW, with her expertise in flood analysis and hydrology greatly recognised and respected within the emergency services sector.  We gratefully thank Ms Lau for her ongoing assistance to NSW, and wish her well.

Tasmania stands with our interstate emergency services colleagues and our thoughts are with the people of NSW as they continue to experience and respond to these devastating floods.

Restoring wetlands site on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast

Minister for Parks

Restoring wetlands site on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast

29 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is ensuring that our special natural places are protected and presented in ways that allow people of all abilities to enjoy the natural and cultural values they contain.

Today marks an important milestone in the history of the work of the Seymour Community Action Group Inc. (SCAGI) to rehabilitate 54 hectares of Crown Land at Seymour on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast.

Seymour Swamp has an interesting land use history. In 1857, it was brickworks, with clay dug from the area where the swamp now lies and shaped into blocks before being baked in a large sandstone kiln.

Today, this former industrialised area with a history of gorse infestation, has been restored as an important wetlands site, which has now been added to the Seymour Conservation Area.

The wetlands have been lovingly restored by a group of enthusiastic and skilled SCAGI members, who are very passionate and committed to caring for this important landscape and rich habitat that supports a number of important flora and fauna species. As well as supporting environmental values, the area is of social significance to the local community, many of whom have worked as part of SCAGI to restore this vital ecosystem.

Through the efforts of SCAGI and partner organisations, plant species of conservation significance have been recorded at the site, including lowland spiral orchid (Spiranthes australis) and mossy pennywort (Hydrocotyle muscosa). Other significant plants are recorded from the adjoining land, including the existing conservation area, and may now begin to colonise across the extended reserve.

The land also contains year-round fresh water recognised as being a “high conservation value waterbody” which is importantly home to the green and gold frog (Litoria raniformis), which is Tasmania’s largest frog and listed as vulnerable under both the State and Commonwealth threatened species legislation.

The work of SCAGI epitomises the aims of the United Nations Decade on Ecosytem Restoration 2021-2030, with the group also winning the 2021 Landcare Tasmania Community Group Award in recognition of their years of commitment and dedication to this important restoration work.

With the gazettal today of the previous public reserve now being declared part of the Seymour Conservation Area, SCAGI members who have put in many hundreds of hours in on-ground work are to be commended, acknowledged and celebrated for their incredible efforts.

We also acknowledge and thank the hundreds of volunteers, including community groups such as Wildcare and Landcare groups that work right across Tasmania’s reserve estate, supporting and complementing the work of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania more broadly – caring for Tasmania’s special places, wildlife and cultural heritage.

I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and dedication of all of our exceptional and wonderful volunteers and for the important work that they do.

5 year Partnership with Our Watch to help eliminate family and sexual violence

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

5 year Partnership with Our Watch to help eliminate family and sexual violence

23 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government and Our Watch have a shared commitment to eliminating all forms of family and sexual violence in Tasmania.

We know that elimination will only occur if we ‘stop it at the start’ – by addressing the underlying drivers of violence and providing early interventions for individuals at a higher risk of perpetrating or experiencing violence.

Today, I am delighted to announce a further 5-year partnership (2022-27) between the Tasmanian State Government and Our Watch, continuing the important work that has already been undertaken over the last seven years, and importantly, our national first primary prevention Senior Advisor role will also continue under our renewed partnership.

The Our Watch Senior Advisor has developed strategic and productive relationships with key stakeholders across multiple settings – increasing Tasmania’s primary prevention capacity and laying the foundations for future collaboration in Tasmania across Government, community, sporting and education sectors; as well as connecting organisations that are delivering primary prevention activities to the Our Watch suite of resources.

Of particular note is the body of work undertaken with the local government sector, and the commencement of work with Tasmania’s sporting codes, including Football Tasmania and AFL Tasmania, and we look forward to this work continuing.

Since 2015 Tasmania has had a long and productive relationship with Our Watch, which has helped to shape primary prevention responses to family and sexual violence within the Tasmanian community, and this partnership will be a key feature of our third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan.  Our third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan will be launched soon, and is being informed through community-wide consultation, with the voice of victim-survivors at the centre.

Our Watch CEO, Patty Kinnersly, said Tasmania’s leadership on this issue should be applauded.

“Tasmania was the first State to sign up for a dedicated, embedded role partnership with Our Watch, which has now been adopted in the Northern Territory, and which we hope to build on in other States and Territories.

“The work happening in Tasmania helps inform Australia’s national approach, and we know a cohesive and holistic approach is critical for women’s safety and equality. It also means the work the Tasmanian Government is doing is informed by national frameworks, expertise and evidence.

“Our Watch values our partnership with the Tasmanian Government, and we look forward to the next five years strengthening our work together.

“Women deserve to be safe, respected and equal. It’s as simple as that,” Ms Kinnersly said.

More Police on Tasmania’s streets

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

More Police on Tasmania’s streets

17 June 2022

Tasmania Police numbers have again been bolstered with 24 new constables sworn in at the Police Academy today, as part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

These 9 women and 15 men have completed 31 weeks of intensive training including road policing, scenario-based training, investigations and operational skills.

Importantly, our new constables will be stationed around the State, with two heading to the Devonport Station, two to Bellerive, four to Burnie, five to Hobart, four to Bridgewater and seven to Launceston.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has been rebuilding police numbers since coming to Government, through recruiting 329 additional police officers, which is a 31 per cent increase to ensure that Tasmanians continue to remain safe.

A career with Tasmania Police is highly rewarding, with officers highly regarded and respected within our community for the invaluable and life-changing work they undertake.

Congratulations to our graduating officers and I wish them all the best for their career with Tasmania Police.

For anyone considering policing as a career, please go to the Tasmania Police Recruiting website for further details – https://recruitment.police.tas.gov.au/ 

TWWHA Status and Trends reports now online

Minister for Parks

TWWHA Status and Trends reports now online

15 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is ensuring that our special natural places are protected and presented in ways that allow people of all abilities to enjoy the natural and cultural values they contain.
 
We know that the ecosystems within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) are of outstanding significance for their exceptional natural beauty, distinctive landforms, paleo-endemic species and plant communities, and having ecological processes that result in some of the tallest vegetation in the world.

The statutory TWWHA Management Plan (2016) remains key to specifying how the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is preserved and managed to promote protection of the property for future generations.

The delivery of Status and Trends reports are identified as an action under the Management Plan, so I am pleased to advise today that this important suite of reports that will inform adaptive management within the TWWHA are now available online including:

  • Status and Trends in the Condition of the Natural Values of the TWWHA;
  • Status and Trends in the Condition of the Cultural Values of the TWWHA; and
  • Summary Status and Trends in the Condition of Cultural and Natural Values of the TWWHA.

These important Status and Trends reports will assist the Tasmanian Government in making priority policy decisions on adaptive management within the TWWHA both now and into the future.

This will be the first time that such a wealth of information on the values of the property have been compiled for publication.

The TWWHA makes up almost one quarter of Tasmania, and this important body of work is in addition to the TWWHA Natural Values Climate Change and Adaptation Strategy 2021-2031; the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy 2021 – 2031; and the TWWHA Fire Management Plan, which all assist in helping to protect this precious landscape for Tasmanians and visitors to enjoy for generations.

The Status and Trends reports are available now on the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s website.

Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our police officers

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our police officers

9 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, and particularly supporting our hardworking police officers. 

Due to our Government’s targeted investments and focus on tackling crime, Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and raise a family.

When Labor lost Government in 2014, Tasmania was left with fewer police officers than when Labor first came to office 16 years before in 1998.

This is Labor’s legacy. They slashed Tasmania Police and between 2011 and 2013 alone they cut 108 police officers.

We are rebuilding police numbers from these drastic days by recruiting 329 additional police officers, which puts us on track to bring Tasmania to its highest ever establishment of 1,449 by July 2026. These additional police officers are allowing the establishment of safe staffing numbers at all of our 24/7 police stations.

Labor simply has no credibility when it comes to the health and safety of our police officers.

In 2008, Labor blocked a proposal put forward by the Liberal Government to ensure that Tasmanian police officers injured in the line of duty received equitable worker’s compensation.

In stark contrast, our Government is working hard to support our police officers, and we have invested $7.5 million to date, with $3 million every year embedded in the Budget to support their mental health and wellbeing.

This funding allows for additional services, such as psychologists and counselling, and ensures that all our emergency service personnel and volunteers are able to receive the support that they require from the Health and Wellbeing Program.

We know that emergency services personnel are exposed to challenging incidents including being confronted by situations most of us are never likely to experience and this can impact their mental and physical health.  We also removed workers compensation step down provisions for police officers and introduced nation-leading legislation for presumptive PTSD.

Labor cared so little about Tasmania Police officer’s health and wellbeing that they allowed police houses to rot and forced our hard-working police to live in sub-standard accommodation. In comparison we are investing $21.7 million to upgrade 67 police houses across the State to ensure contemporary, secure and comfortable homes.

In comparison, The Government is providing state of the art facilities and equipment to ensure our police officers have contemporary and comfortable accommodation and accouterments including:

  • Deployed 812 body worn cameras to general uniform policing units;
  • Strengthened laws regarding assaults on police;
  • Funding 20 new police for a full-time Special Operations Group, and $400,000 since 2018-19 for equipment they need for the roles;
  • Building new police stations;
  • Delivered new $5 million New Norfolk Police Station and $5 million Longford Police Station;
  • Established the Crime and Intelligence Command to tackle emerging crime trends, organised crime and incorporating the cold case unit
  • Significant investments to improve Tasmania Police’s information technology systems to further enhance policing and protect our officers, including;
  • Implemented the $17.27 million Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch (ESCAD) system, to provide an integrated system for all emergency services
  • Implemented a new state of the art Triple Zero System with funding of $6.75 million;
  • Providing $6.2 million to replace the Department’s automatic vehicle location systems to ensure officer safety on the job;
  • $59.1 million towards the upgrade of information technology systems, including for Atlas and Project Unify;
  • $860,000 on drone technology, to crackdown on antisocial driving;
  • $760,000 for the rollout of new Glock pistols over three years;
  • $500,000 to scope the Emergency Dispatching, Messaging and Alerting Project;
  • Implementing the $567 million Tasmanian Government Radio Network, with migration to the new network on track for completion in 2023;
  • Removed police from Launceston and North West courts;
  • Implemented the Country Police Station Relief Policy with $2.65m invested already and $10.6 million funding over the forward estimates; and;
  • $24.6 million for the Large Vessel Replacement Program.

While Labor continue to play politics with such a serious issue, the Liberal Government will continue our unprecedented investments in Tasmania Police, and the wellbeing of our officers, to ensure they can continue their important work of keeping Tasmanians safe.

While Labor continue to play politics with such a serious issue, the Liberal Government will continue our unprecedented investments in Tasmania Police, and the wellbeing of our officers, to ensure they can continue their important work of keeping Tasmanians safe. 

Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania

Minister for Parks

Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania

9 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is providing $1.3 million in the 2022-23 Tasmanian Budget for Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania to support joint land management outcomes between the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

The funding provided will enable the PWS to employ Aboriginal Engagement Officers to ensure the success of the cultural burning program, support engagement activities between the PWS, Tasmanian Aboriginal people and organisations, and identify areas that are suitable for cultural burning.

Aboriginal cultural burning practices have been undertaken for tens of thousands of years and have helped shape the Tasmanian landscape we know today.

Importantly, this Government recognises that Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania is only undertaken by Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

This is because of the deep, ongoing connection that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have with their land, including sophisticated land management practices such as cool burning, and the important part this has played in Tasmania’s culture and history.

We want to draw on the deep connection Tasmanian Aboriginals have with this land and to share in their knowledge of cultural burning practices to help reduce the impact of wildfires, and also deliver ecological benefits for Tasmania’s landscapes, including fauna and flora.

These important engagement activities will be supported by the Cultural Burning Policy and procedures, which is being undertaken in consultation with PWS Aboriginal staff and Tasmanian Aboriginal people, and will support Aboriginal community controlled organisations to undertake cultural burning activities.

This important body of work is currently out for consultation with input sought from Tasmanian Aboriginal people and organisations prior to the PWS undertaking consultation with other stakeholders.

The pilot program in 2021 also included a Cultural Burning Grants Program with grants provided to undertake cultural burns, purchase equipment, travel to burn locations, and attend Firestick Alliance training.

I am very pleased to announce that the grants program will continue with the PWS currently undertaking a review of last year’s program to inform the future structure of the program.

I am also pleased to announce that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Fire Management Plan has been finalised. The Plan outlines the adaptive management framework that will be utilised to modify fuel characteristics and behaviour, and to protect fire-sensitive natural and cultural historical assets that form an important part of our cultural landscape.

Sorell Emergency Services Hub

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Sorell Emergency Services Hub

9 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is delivering on its commitment to build contemporary and fit-for-purpose facilities for our police and emergency services in Sorell, as part of our plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

As the South East region, and Sorell in particular, is one of Tasmania’s fastest growing areas, this project will provide the community with bolstered emergency services capability now and into the future.

I’m delighted that 60 volunteers who live and work in Sorell and surrounding areas will be attending the Tasmania Police Academy tonight to undertake their induction to the Sorell Emergency Services Hub for the TFS and SES.

Because these volunteers live and work in the Sorell area, they enable the hub to have around the clock response capability to fire, flood and road crash rescue, and a roster system will be put in place to ensure 24/7 coverage and response.

In addition, the 2022-23 Tasmanian Budget included $420,000 for our SES to purchase new rescue vehicles and a storm trailer to provide our SES with the equipment that they need to respond to emergencies at our new $12 million state of the art Sorell Emergency Services Hub.

From talking with volunteers, I understand that many people join their local brigade or unit for reasons including proximity to home and a sense of community with neighbours, friends and peers, therefore brigades such as Midway Point, Dodges Ferry, Orielton and Richmond will continue to operate and provide their local community with outstanding local emergency response and capability.

This sense of community is a vision we likewise share for the Sorell Emergency Services Hub, and it was great to attend the recent recruitment drive in April this year where locals were able to visit the new site and seek information on becoming a TFS or SES volunteer.

Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and raise a family because of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s commitment to investing in our emergency services.

2022-23 Budget investing in 21 additional police officers to continue to keep Tasmanians safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

2022-23 Budget investing in 21 additional police officers to continue to keep Tasmanians safe

8 June 2022

Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and raise a family because of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s commitment to tackling crime and investing in our emergency services.

In the 2022-23 Budget we are investing in a further 21 additional police officers, meaning we are recruiting 329 new officers, a 31 per cent increase in policing numbers since we came to Government. This means Tasmania Police will have a record 1,449 police officers by July 2026.

Tasmania Police continues to actively recruit in line with these commitments from government.  In 2021 alone we had 70 additional police officers graduating across three recruit courses and taking up roles on the front line.

Currently, we have 64 police recruits, 28 women and 36 men, in the Academy, including 40 who started in April and will graduate on 25 November this year. This course includes 16 recruits as part of our new northern satellite course. There are also 24 recruits who commenced on 1 November last year and graduate on 17 June this year. The next Academy Recruit Course commences on 1 August 2022 and the aim is to have 26 recruits in this course.

Our new northern satellite course means that recruits from the north and north-west of Tasmania can complete their 31-week training in the north of the state, without moving to Hobart to train at the Rokeby Police Academy.

And once they complete their training, the northern-based recruits will be stationed in their home districts, so they won’t need to move across the state for the job.

The recruitment progress for Tasmania Police is impressive and will take the establishment to the highest number of police officers in history.

Protecting the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy

Minister for Parks

Protecting the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy

8 June 2022

The Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting, promoting and managing Tasmania’s world-renowned parks and reserve system, which includes responding to the threat of invasive weeds, animals and diseases.

As a key outcome of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Management Plan 2016, the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy 2021-2031 has been developed to respond to the threat of invasive weeds, animals and diseases.

The Tasmanian Budget 2022-23 includes funding of $3.27 million over the next four years, with $870,000 for this year to implement the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy.

The purpose of the Strategy is to guide management activities and decision making to minimise the impacts of invasive organisms on the natural and cultural values of the TWWHA.

The TWWHA covers almost a quarter of the land area of Tasmania and is recognised as possessing Outstanding Universal Value under UNESCO’S World Heritage Convention.

The Strategy identifies seven goals to address biosecurity risks in the TWWHA and provides a framework covering aspects such as leadership, planning, communication, documentation, training, education, research, compliance, coordination, and emergency response.

The Strategy was developed following an extensive risk assessment which considered natural events, and management and recreational activities that occur in and around the TWWHA which could spread or introduce invasive organisms.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is delivering on the TWHHA Biosecurity Strategy to strengthen Tasmania’s future.