Further funding for Tasmania’s Family and Sexual Violence Services

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Further funding for Tasmania’s Family and Sexual Violence Services

10 January 2022

Eliminating family violence remains a top priority, which is why the Tasmanian and Australian Governments are pleased to announce additional funding for Tasmania’s family and sexual violence services under the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-23 (National Partnership).

Under the National Partnership, Tasmania will receive $5.65 million over two years (2021-22 and 2022-23).

Under the first instalment of this new National Partnership, $1.413 million is being provided for five important initiatives to address frontline service demand in Tasmania:

  • Additional counselling for adults affected by family violence (Engender Equality);
  • Additional counselling for children and young people affected by family violence (Australian Childhood Foundation);
  • Additional transitional housing for people affected by family violence through the Rapid Rehousing Initiative;
  • Additional funding for the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes program, which provides security upgrades so women can remain safely in their home; and
  • Funding to extend a pilot of the Family Violence Migration Service to support people on temporary visas affected by family violence (Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service).

The remaining National Partnership funding will be released over the next 18 months, and we will continue to work closely with our community-based specialist services to respond to emerging issues and ensure support is available where it is most needed.

In addition, the Tasmanian Government will also be releasing our third family and sexual violence action plan in July 2022 which will build on our successes, and further refine and target our efforts to achieve our goal that every Tasmanian is able to live free from violence.

Aerial firefighting fleet bolstered

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Aerial firefighting fleet bolstered

6 January 2022

Tasmania’s firefighting capacity has been bolstered with the launch of the summer aviation fleet to help keep Tasmanians safe from the threat of bushfires.

Tasmania now has 12 specialised aircraft on hand to help fight fires from above, including a mix of firebombing, air supervision and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft. Eight are helicopters and four are fixed wing planes.  These aircraft are made possible through the collaboration of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments who jointly fund the aircraft through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.

The fleet are all strategically positioned so that they can be moved quickly around the State to respond to fires.

In addition, 20 local aircraft are available to call on to assist when required, taking the total firefighting aircraft available in Tasmania to 32.  This will ensure a rapid response to bushfires when they start, keeping fires small until ground crews arrive.

Tasmania is well prepared for the bushfire season, and we recognise the importance of having access to a sophisticated, flexible, aerial firefighting capability to respond to bushfires, protect our communities and to support firefighters on the ground.

The Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timbers Tasmania have been busy preparing for, and responding to bushfires over the last month.

We know that investing in the aerial firefighting fleet is a critical part of keeping Tasmanians safe during bushfire season.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing $111.5 million over the forward estimates for bushfire prevention and safety measures.

Tasmanians encouraged to continue staying safe on our roads

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management 

Tasmanians encouraged to continue staying safe on our roads

29 December 2021

I’d like to thank all the Tasmanians and visitors who have driven safely on our roads over the busy festive period, and encourage everyone to continue to drive to the conditions and do the right thing for the remainder of Operation Safe Arrival.

Nearly 500 drivers have been detected speeding since the Operation commenced on the 23rd of December. Safe Arrival aims to encourage Tasmanians and visitors to drive to the conditions, wear a seatbelt, rest if they are tired and keep their hands off their phones.

We know that speed is one of the fatal five contributing factors to fatal and serious injury crashes on our roads, and I implore all drivers to slow down and keep themselves, their loved ones and the community safe.

While many Tasmanians are able to enjoy this festive season with their families, many of our frontline police officers are working to ensure the safety of all Tasmanians and I’d like to thank them for their efforts during this time.

Police will continue to be out in force targeting known hotspots for unsafe road behaviour, patrolling main roads, highways, and alternative routes out of towns and cities.

Police will also target back streets, rural roads, and entertainment districts.

With borders now open, the remainder of the holiday period will continue to be one of the busiest on Tasmanian roads with additional cars, caravans, boats and trailers, making it even more important to follow the rules and obey the speed limits.

It is always better to arrive safe and late rather than not at all.

Contract awarded to build the Southern Special Operations Group Facility

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Contract awarded to build the Southern Special Operations Group Facility

25 December 2021

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a plan to keep Tasmanians safe which is why we are investing $3.6 million to build a southern based Special Operations Group (SOG) facility.

The $3.6 million contract has been awarded to Vos Construction and Joinery, a Tasmanian building contractor, who will undertake the construction with Tasmanian company Philp Lighton Architects leading the design.

This investment builds on the $8.9 million announced in last year’s Budget to employ an additional 20 SOG officers over four years, and an investment of $1 million to build a purpose built SOG facility in the North.

SOG officers are highly trained and equipped to respond to a wide range of security situations, and can be deployed during high-risk policing incidents in response to security threats or to support criminal investigations.

In the short term, the additional officers are supporting Tasmania’s COVID-19 response capacity in areas such as quarantine checking, compliance and assessment, which are critical services in helping to keep our community safe.

The Southern SOG Facility is scheduled to be complete by December 2022.

Discovery and Wilderness Rangers ready for the summer season

Minister for Parks

Discovery and Wilderness Rangers ready for the summer season

24 December 2021

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service’s Discovery and Wilderness Rangers are ready to welcome both locals and visitors to Tasmania, enhancing the visitor experience within our national parks and reserves.

10 Discovery Rangers, and 12 Wilderness Rangers recently completed four days of training ahead of their deployment across Tasmania to support existing Parks field staff and volunteers right throughout the peak summer season.

The aim of our Discovery and Wilderness Rangers is to provide an enhanced visitor experience by supporting walker safety and knowledge through the delivery of information and activities, as a way of providing interpretation of an area’s natural and cultural heritage.

Importantly, they also provide education on how to experience all that Tasmania has to offer in an environmentally responsible way, through the delivery of key messaging including ‘Leave no Trace’ principles.

This ensures visitors to our beautiful State enjoy our national parks and reserves, but importantly, leave the environment just as they found it.

Discovery Rangers have been delivering services in Tasmania’s national parks for more than 40 years.

This Summer they will be stationed at eight popular locations including Maria Island National Park, Cradle Mountain National Park, Mt Field National Park, Freycinet National Park, Narawntapu National Park, Stanley, Strahan and the West Coast.

The Discovery Rangers will also run a range of free activities including guided walks, evening talks, games and activities to suit all ages.

Wilderness Rangers provide support to walkers in Tasmania’s remote track locations including at Mt Anne and Walls of Jerusalem, to ensure walkers are well prepared and educated on safety requirements for some of Tasmania’s more challenging tracks.

For more information, visit the PWS website: Education programs | Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania

Operation Safe Arrival launches

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Operation Safe Arrival launches

20 December 2021

Tasmanians are reminded to keep themselves, their families and the community safe on our roads this festive season, with Operation Safe Arrival launching this week.

Operation Safe Arrival is running from Thursday, 23 December to Sunday, 2 January, and aims to encourage Tasmanians to drive to the conditions, wear a seatbelt, rest if they are tired and keep their hands off their phones.

Police will be out in force targeting known hotspots for unsafe road behaviour, patrolling main roads, highways, and alternative routes out of towns and cities. Police will also be targeting back streets, rural roads, and entertainment districts.

With borders now open, this holiday period will be one of the busiest on Tasmanian roads with additional cars, caravans, boats and trailers, making it even more important to follow the rules and obey the speed limits.

Sadly, last year we had one person killed on our roads and nine people injured in crashes over the festive season.

This year, I urge all Tasmanians to take extra care on our roads to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe holiday period.

It is always better to arrive safe and late rather than not at all.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe, and any death on our roads this holiday season is one too many.

Keeping Communities Safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Keeping Communities Safe

14 December 2021

The Australian Government has today launched a $2 million national campaign to ensure Australians impacted by bushfires and other natural hazards better understand what to do when they receive a warning message.

The national campaign is in response to a recommendation from the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The Australian Warning System will provide nationally consistent warnings through three warning levels: Advice (yellow) – Watch and Act (orange) – Emergency Warning (red). Using consistent colours, symbols and messaging.

In Tasmania, the Australian Warning System has been in place since September 2021 to alert the community of bushfires. Later in 2022, the Australian Warning System is expected to also be used to warn the Tasmanian community of flood incidents.

Tasmania has worked closely with other fire and emergency service agencies across the country to establish this new system.

The system aims to provide simple and consistent warnings, to help Australians make the most appropriate decisions for their safety during a range of emergencies and disasters.

For more information visit www.australianwarningsystem.com.au

Further strengthening Tasmania’s family violence laws

Elise Archer, Attorney-General
Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Further strengthening Tasmania’s family violence laws

13 December 2021

A draft bill to introduce a new standalone criminal offence of non-fatal strangulation, choking and suffocation, and to amend the definition of ‘consent’ in relation to stealthing has been released today for community consultation.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government recognises that non-fatal strangulation, choking or suffocation is a significant form of violence, which can be a precursor for escalation in the severity of family violence.

It is never acceptable, which is why we went to the election promising to strengthen our laws and send a strong message it will not be tolerated in Tasmania.

The introduction of a standalone offence appropriately recognises the seriousness of this behaviour, allowing it to be charged and prosecuted as a specific indictable offence in its own right.

Importantly, it would carry a statutory maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment – consistent with most crimes in the Criminal Code Act (1924).

It also addresses Action 30 of Safe Homes, Families, Communities: Tasmania’s action plan for family and sexual violence 2019-2022 which commits to implementing legislative reform to strengthen legal responses to family and sexual violence.

The Government has listened to our stakeholders and the community in drafting this legislation, and we encourage everyone interested to view the legislation and make a submission.

The Bill also amends the definition of consent in relation to ‘stealthing’ which has been the subject of legislative reform in other states.

Specific recognition of ‘stealthing’ in the law will help educate the public, discourage would-be offenders, and encourage complaints and prosecutions for sexual offences such as rape.

This legislation confirms we are continuing to ensure our laws are strong and robust to protect victim survivors of family violence, and ensure perpetrators are appropriately punished for the severity of their crimes.

The Bill is available for public comment through the Department of Justice website at https://www.justice.tas.gov.au/community-consultation/consultations/criminal-code-amendment-bill-2022, with submissions closing on Friday 18 February 2022.

Mount Anne Circuit and Lake Judd Track to reopen 13 December

Minister for Parks

Mount Anne Circuit and Lake Judd Track to reopen 13 December

6 December 2021

The multi-day Mount Anne Circuit and the day walks to Lake Judd, Mount Eliza and Mount Anne will all reopen on 13 December following works to repair extensive damage from the 2018-19 bushfires.

Contractors and Parks and Wildlife Staff have been working hard to rebuild more than 11km of hardened track, 4000 steps, 20 bridges and a toilet block on the challenging 34 km Mount Anne Circuit since early 2020.

This $3.5 million project was funded through the Community Recovery Fund and importantly was completed utilising Tasmanian contractors and locally-sourced materials.

I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to reopen this stunning wilderness track in time for the upcoming holiday season, including PWS staff, contractors and specialists.

I’d also like to acknowledge Hobart’s Hilary Wallace and her late husband Allan whose support through Wildcare’s Wild Bushwalking Tracks fund has added more than a kilometre of timber-planking, tent platforms and a new toilet at Lonely Tarns, as well as a new toilet at Shelf Camp.

Anyone planning to undertake the multi-day walk of the Mount Anne Circuit, staying at Shelf Camp and Lonely Tarns, is asked to register their walk via the free online registration system.

The walker registration system was introduced by PWS to manage daily departures and to reduce the potential for long-term damage to remote bushwalking environments.

The daily departure cap for those wanting to camp at Shelf Camp and Lonely Tarns is 12, with toilets now provided at both locations as well as tent platforms at Lonely Tarns.

Overnight walker registration for camping at Shelf Camp and Lonely Tarns opened today.

The Mount Anne Circuit is an alpine walk suited to experienced walkers who are prepared for the ever-changing conditions.

Walkers are encouraged to read the Safe Walking Guidelines, the Walk Safely video, the Hypothermia Safety video and use the Walker Pack checklist, available at: https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/know-before-you-go/safety-in-parks

To register your walk, please visit the EventBrite website: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/mt-anne-shelf-camp-lonely-tarns-circuit-walker-registration-tickets-189386097917

Don’t wait until it’s too late – do your 5-minute bushfire plan now

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management 

Don’t wait until it’s too late – do you 5-minute bushfire plan now

4 December 2021

This Tasmanian Liberal Government understands the importance of keeping our communities safe from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing $111.5 million in bushfire prevention and safety measures over the Budget and forward estimates.

A Fire Permit Period was declared on Wednesday the 1st of December to ensure the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) is able to monitor fires during the upcoming spikes in fire danger and to mitigate the risk of bushfires as best as possible.

While the current overall assessment for the 21/22 Bushfire Season is for a normal fire potential, this means we will have bushfires and Total Fire Ban days – because that is normal for our state during the summer months.

The TFS is well prepared for the bushfire season, and we are urging the Tasmanian community to do the same, because we cannot be complacent about the dangers of bushfire.

A new advertising campaign ‘Bushfire – Why Risk It’, has been launched today calling on Tasmanians to act now and spend just a few minutes planning for what they will do if a bushfire threatens their home.

Tasmanians will see and hear ads on social media and in newspapers, on television and radio, all with the same message – “Don’t wait until it’s too late, do your 5-minute bushfire plan now!”

An easy-to-use template is available on the TFS website and is an excellent resource to get Tasmanians of all ages thinking about what they will need to do if a bushfire occurs near them.

Being prepared can make it less stressful and may reduce the impact it has on you and your loved ones if a bushfire does occur near you.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, go to www.fire.tas.gov.au to do your 5-minute bushfire plan now.

To view the campaign visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h08csv0ssryllxp/AABGeCHVyl4fc7o1cGD-EZVCa?dl=0