Crime Stoppers National Illegal Firearms Campaign

Crime Stoppers National Illegal Firearms Campaign

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

18 February 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe, and we welcome the new Crime Stoppers Tasmania campaign to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the community.

Launched today, the campaign encourages Tasmanians to share what they know about illegal guns and to safely surrender any they may have without penalty.

Crime Stoppers is partnering with Tasmania Police to deliver the campaign, which will see community engagement events across the State to raise awareness.

We know that firearms are deadly, and can cause serious harm to Tasmanians, which is why I’m urging anyone with an illegal firearm to come forward and surrender it to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their community safe.

To share information about an unregistered or illegal gun, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go online at www.crimestoppers.com.au/illegalguns

The Tasmanian Government has been rebuilding police numbers since coming to Government, by recruiting 308 additional police officers – a 30 per cent increase to ensure that Tasmanians continue to remain safe.

Community consultation opens for our third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Community consultation opens for our third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan

11 February 2022

Eliminating family violence is a top priority for the Tasmanian Liberal Government. Since the launch of our first, nation-leading Action Plan in 2015, our Government has continued to build upon its commitment, investment and scope in responding to family and sexual violence in Tasmania.

Recent national conversations have highlighted the importance of hearing from people with lived experience, which is why the Tasmanian Liberal Government is putting the voices of victim-survivors at the centre of our approach in developing our third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan.

Today I am delighted to launch the opening of the community consultation process which will inform our next Action Plan.

Our collaborative approach has been developed in consultation with community sector service providers and victim-survivors of family and sexual violence.

There are five key elements of our community consultation:
•    Hearing Lived Experience Survey 2022 
•    Establishing a Victim-Survivor Advisory Council
•    Targeted workshops with key stakeholders, including a focus on diverse communities and priority areas for action
•    Partnering with Tasmanian Aboriginal community-controlled organisations
•    Public written submissions

The Hearing Lived Experience Survey 2022 is an online public survey of adult victim-survivors with lived experience of family and sexual violence.

The Survey will be open for 12 months and builds on our ground-breaking 2018 Survey by including victim-survivors’ lived experience of sexual violence in addition to family violence.

I would like to thank Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council Mary Knowles for agreeing to be our Consultation Ambassador, and acknowledge her tireless work advocating for family and sexual violence as a victim-survivor herself. Mary will feature in our state-wide advertising campaign to encourage other victim-survivors to share their story.

The survey will be promoted through our family and sexual violence service providers, community newspapers, social media and radio to help get the message out to every corner of Tasmania.

The Survey can be accessed through www.safefromviolence.tas.gov.au, the Tasmanian Government’s central portal for information and advice about family and sexual violence. There will also be a QR code on posters so Tasmanians can access the Survey directly from their phones.

For those who can’t access the internet, a shortened version of the Survey will be available as a hard-copy booklet from Service Tasmania outlets or your local Neighbourhood House in March.

As well as the survey, our Government is establishing Tasmania’s first ever Victim-Survivor Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council will inform our next Action plan as well as provide ongoing advice to the Government during the life of the Action Plan, ensuring our policy and program design continues to be informed by lived experience.

In addition to the Survey and our Advisory Council, the Department of Communities Tasmania will in March also seek public written submissions.

We will also partner with Tasmanian Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to develop specific strategies and actions under our third Action Plan.

The new Action Plan will be released in July 2022 and 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.

If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence, please call the Family Violence Response and Referral Line 24/7 on 1800 633 937.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual violence, please call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis Line 24/7 on 1800 697 877.

In an emergency, always call 000.

For further information please visit www.safefromviolence.tas.gov.au

Contract awarded for Bird River works

Minister for Parks

Contract awarded for Bird River works

9 February 2022

The contract to undertake the construction of a new bridge and connecting walkway to the Kelly Basin walking track at Bird River has been awarded to Tasmanian construction firm, Phil Templeton Building.

This project will see the reopening of one of Tasmania’s very popular 60 Great Short Walks on the West Coast, following the closure of the historic bridge over the Bird River which was closed last year due to structural defects.

The new bridge will be built about 50 metres upstream of the original bridge, providing an excellent view of the historic structure.

The Kelly Basin walk is a popular longer day walk within the Macquarie Harbour Historic Site that offers insights into the early mining history at Mt Lyell when ore was transported by rail to Pillinger at Kelly Basin on Macquarie Harbour.

The Government’s commitment of $134,000 for this important construction project is scheduled to commence shortly and is scheduled for completion during March this year.

The Kelly Basin Walking Track will remain closed at the Franklin River Road intersection for the duration of the works.

More information about the Kelly Basin Walking Track can be found on the PWS website: Kelly Basin | Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania

For information on the latest closures visit the PWS alerts page: Alerts | Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania

West Coast Off Road Vehicle Strategy

Minister for Parks

West Coast Off Road Vehicle Strategy

5 February 2022

The Tasmanian Government has been working with the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area Management Committee and other key stakeholders to identify priority initiatives for off-road vehicle use within the area and reserves across the West Coast.

A Request for Tender for the development of a West Coast Off Road Vehicle Strategy has now been released by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS).

The Strategy will inform future investment of the our $10 million commitment to supporting sustainable recreational off-road vehicle opportunities in the APCA and more widely on the West Coast.

It will also inform future investment in track management and campsites as well as protecting natural and cultural values on the West Coast.

We recognise the importance of recreational off-road vehicle access to the Tasmanian community and will continue to work to develop sustainable opportunities on the West Coast whilst protecting our Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage.

The Request for Tender is open from 5 February to 28 February 2022 and more information is available at: www.tenders.tas.gov.au

For more information on the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, please visit the PWS website: https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/arthur-pieman-conservation-area

Community feedback sought on Lower Gordon River Recreation Zone Plan

Minister for Parks

Community feedback sought on Lower Gordon River Recreation Zone Plan

4 February 2022

The draft Recreation Zone Plan for the lower Gordon River has been released with Tasmanians encouraged to have their say on the future management of the river.

The Gordon River is truly one of Tasmania’s iconic experiences, with more than 100,000 visitors cruising each year amidst the wilderness to admire the ancient Huon pines and reflections of nature in tannin rich waters.

The Plan aims to provide sustainable visitor experiences while protecting the natural and cultural values of one of the most visited locations in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The draft plan has been informed by public input on the Background Report which was released as a knowledge base for stakeholders.

Key issues addressed in the plan include ensuring visitation by motorised vessels is consistent with the protection of the river’s fragile banks, while also maintaining a quality wilderness experience.

Work has been undertaken over recent years to preserve the area, including a substantial upgrade to Heritage Landing in 2016-17.

This includes 800 hours of volunteer labour to restore the historic hut at Sir John Falls, which is one of the only remaining physical reminders of the battle to save the Franklin.

The feedback period closes on 21 March 2022 and to have your say please visit: https://parks.tas.gov.au/be-involved/have-your-say

Contract awarded for Ben Lomond snowmaking feasibility assessment

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Parks

Contract awarded for Ben Lomond snowmaking feasibility assessment

1 February 2022

The contract to undertake a Feasibility Study and Economic Benefit Assessment of the viability of snowmaking on the Ben Lomond Ski Fields has been awarded.

The highly regarded Tasmanian consultancy firm GHD Pty Ltd will carry out the study following an open tender process by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in November last year.

The report will assess the viability of snowmaking and will investigate economic, environmental and socially sustainable options for the ski fields.

Consultancy firm GHD brings considerable experience and expertise in alpine environments to the study, which will inform our approach to future investments on the mountain and most importantly, a new Management Plan for the park.

Ben Lomond is an important destination for Tasmania’s winter recreational pursuits, and it also has the potential as an emerging location for summer and year-round activities.

This study forms part of our commitment to invest $2.8 million towards making Ben Lomond a year-round recreational and tourism destination for all Tasmanians.

Stakeholder and community engagement will be part of the preparation of a contemporary Management Plan, including improvements to infrastructure that support the site’s future.

The snowmaking study follows other improvements completed by the PWS over the past two years, including the development of new walking tracks to the summit, a new car park at the base of Jacobs Ladder and a new toilet facility at the lower car park.

The outcomes of the study are expected to be finalised later this year.

For more information on Ben Lomond National Park please visit the PWS website: https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/ben-lomond-national-park

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.