Working with Council to improve local recreation infrastructure

Source: State of Tasmania Government

15 August 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for State Growth

Robby Walsh, Waratah-Wynyard Mayor

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is contributing $300,000 to Waratah-Wynyard Council to improve walking tracks at the Waratah Falls and revitalise the Waratah Rail Bridge as a tourism experience.

Both projects are seen as community priorities, identified in the Waratah Community Plan being progressed by the Waratah Community Board.

State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson said the Government has been working with the Council to progress community projects.

“The improvement of the Waratah Falls walking tracks and a viewing experience/interpretation alongside the Waratah Rail Bridge was put forward,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We look forward to seeing visitors and tourists alike enjoying these experiences.”

Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robby Walsh said the walking track project would benefit the community for decades to come and is the start of a staged program of improvements for the Waratah Falls area.

“The Waratah Falls are iconic and there are very few places where the waterfall is in the middle of town. Much can be done to maximise the tourism and economic benefit of the falls and we thank the state government for their support for both of these projects,” Cr Walsh said.

“Securing this funding has been achieved through the Waratah community identifying priorities and the Community Board undertaking the critical work to keep these matters progressing.”

The announcement follows notification by TasWater that the expression of interest process to identify a new owner for the Waratah Dam has been unsuccessful, leading to likely decommissioning of the dam.

The Government worked in conjunction with Waratah-Wynyard Council and TasWater to find a solution that would allow a new owner to take over the dam, but despite all three parties working together collaboratively, a financially viable outcome could not be achieved.

“Clearly the community will be disappointed with the outcome of the Waratah dam expression of interest process, however we hope that both the Council’s and Government’s contribution to these new priority projects will offset some of those feelings,” Cr Walsh said.

75th anniversary of VP Day

Source: State of Tasmania Government

15 August 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

The 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day and the end of World War 2 was marked today with a commemorative service and wreath laying ceremony at 11am at Tasmania’s Government House.

It was my honour to acknowledge Tasmania’s World War 2 veterans and commemorate VP Day when the Imperial Japanese Army unconditionally surrendered to the Allies and the Second World War ended on August 15, 1945.

Tasmania was not immune from the effects of the War. Enemy mines were found near the entrance to the Derwent River and a ship was sunk in Bass Strait, temporarily closing this important sea link. A Japanese seaplane also flew a reconnaissance mission over Hobart.

During 1945, Australian forces were more heavily committed overseas than at any other time during the conflict. World War 2 was of particular significance for this state with 30,000 Tasmanians serving from from a population of just 250,000.

It is also estimated that nearly 16,000 people, including 5000 women, worked in factories and on the land to support the war effort and supply the armed forces with vegetables, dairy and meat products.

Over one million Australians served in World War 2 – 27,073 were killed in action or died, 23,477 were wounded and 30,560 taken prisoner of war.

The Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs is acknowledging the significance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with a Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration.

The medallion and certificate are available to every living veteran of the Second World War. While Australia can never repay the debt we owe almost one million Australians who served, this medallion and certificate are a small but meaningful way we can thank living veterans of the largest global conflict of the 20th century.

Applications can be made by visiting the DVA website here or for those without access to the internet, by phone on (02) 6191 8217.

Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards open

Source: State of Tasmania Government

14 August 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Science and Technology

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is proud to again partner with the University of Tasmania and Inspiring Australia to open the 2020 Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards for excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths.

These awards recognise the achievements and innovations of our leading local scientific practitioners, researchers, teachers and students, who not only help deliver the knowledge, products and services that improve our quality of life, but also boost our economy to grow even more local jobs.

With six categories and a total prize pool of $30,000 up for grabs, we encourage Tasmanians to make their nominations for the fifth annual STEM Excellence Awards. Categories include:

  • The Premier’s Tasmanian STEM Researcher of the Year;
  • Tasmanian Young STEM Researcher of the Year;
  • The Minister’s Tasmanian STEM Innovation of the Year;
  • Tasmanian STEM Teacher of the Year for Primary Years;
  • Tasmanian STEM Teacher of the Year for Secondary Years; and
  • Tasmanian STEM Communicator of the Year.

The awards link in with National Science Week, which runs from August 15 to 23.

Nominations can be submitted at until 11:59 pm on Friday, September 18, 2020.

The Tasmanian National Science Week program is available at

Industry associations and regional organisations to drive export success

Source: State of Tasmania Government

14 August 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Trade

Tasmanian industry associations and regional organisations will have the opportunity to support Tasmanian businesses to team up to find, build and grow export markets through the new Tasmanian Trade Alliance Program.

Grants of up to $25 000 are now available to help undertake collaborative projects across the state and our industries, to build on their competitive advantage and develop solutions to trade and export challenges.

Forming trade alliances helps strengthen both the reach and reputation of local businesses and the recognition of Tasmanian goods and services more generally.

Businesses aligning together in a specific industry or geographic region is a growing trend globally, and has proven effective in increasing sales and building efficiencies.

The Trade Alliance Program will, under the leadership of industry associations and regional organisations, help connect businesses, networks and precincts to engage mainland and international markets, collectively maximising the reach of these trade groups.

Examples of industry alliances often include companies involved in aspects of bringing products to market such as freight, e-commerce and supply chains, or the sharing of knowledge, equipment and infrastructure to maximise return on investment.

With COVID-19 creating significant trade challenges we are working closely with our producers, exporters and manufacturers to develop collaborative projects that have the potential to generate immediate and ongoing trade benefits for our economy.

Tasmanian industry associations or regional organisations interested in supporting a trade alliance can get more information at

The new Tasmanian Trade Alliance Program is part of our commitment to empowering local businesses to take their world class products and services to customers around the world and is a key initiative of the Interim Trade Action Plan launched in July 2020, along with an additional $2.65M announced for trade development.

Agriskills Entry Program

Source: State of Tasmania Government

Premier of Tasmania – Agriskills Entry Program

14 August 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Entry in to the Agriculture sector has just got easier with a new training program launched today to build skills in our fruit growing, vegetable, livestock and dairy workforces.

The Agriskills Entry Program, developed between TasTAFE and Fruit Growers Tasmania, is an industry driven skill set package that will supply new workers with the skills our agricultural businesses need.

It includes three groups of skill sets, with the price for each skill set considerably discounted to be attractive to new entrants to this industry.

  • Skill Set 1 includes entry level units such as first aid, manual handling, operating quad bikes and operating and maintaining chainsaws.
  • Skills Set 2 includes forklift licence, tractor and front end loader operations.
  • Skill Set 3 includes training in the transportation and storage of chemicals and how to apply and prepare chemicals to control pests, weeds and disease.

Participants will receive a statement of attainment for the skill sets and credit if they enrol in the Certificate II or III in Agriculture.

The Agriskills Entry Program is now open to enrolments with the first of the skill sets to start on 1 September.

This is a great example of TasTAFE working closely with industry and being agile in adapting its training and packaging it to meet identified skills needs.

For more information on the Agriskills Entry Program, visit:

Taking positive action to protect Tasmania’s Swift Parrot

Source: State of Tasmania Government

14 August 2020

Roger Jaensch, Minister for Environment and Parks

Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources

The critically endangered Swift Parrot will be better protected with almost 10,000 hectares of potential nesting habitat to be excluded from wood production.

It follows extensive research and consultation between Sustainable Timber Tasmania and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment, with a Swift Parrot Public Authority Management Agreement (PAMA) to be implemented for the Southern Forests.

Minister for Environment Roger Jaensch said this is a positive step to help protect the habitat of the critically endangered Swift Parrot in Tasmania.

“This is an important step for the critically endangered Swift Parrot and will help us to ensure its survival for the future,” Minister Jaensch said.

“The landmark agreement outlines various measures to protect the Swift Parrot, including the exclusion of almost 10,000 hectares of potential nesting habitat from harvesting within land managed by STT.

“STT will also continue its policy of not harvesting on Bruny Island, recognising that this area is free from sugar gliders and is therefore critical breeding habitat.”

Minister for Resources Guy Barnett also welcomed the agreement saying the PAMA provides certainty for the timber industry and for the conservation of the Swift Parrot.

“Tasmanians can be proud of the Government and STT’s commitment to protecting our threatened species, like the Swift Parrot, and our world class forest management practices.”

The PAMA sets out the roles and obligations of DPIPWE and STT with regards to forestry operations on Permanent Timber Production Zone land in the Southern Forests, which consists of 58,000 hectares of mature, regrowth and regeneration forests.

STT is also developing a Swift Parrot Management Plan for public production forests as part of a broader strategy of conservation for the Swift Parrot.

The protection of Swift Parrot habitat was identified as part of Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s Audit Report for Forest Stewardship Council certification, which is publicly available on STT’s website.

The Audit Report noted that STT:

  • Demonstrate[d] an ethos of responsible management for and stewardship of a robust array of values and resources
  • Demonstrated a culture of innovation and adaptive management through dedication to continuous improvement. Significant changes and improvements are recognised from 2014 to 2019
  • Met 93 per cent of the indicators required to achieve certification

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to a responsible and sustainable forestry industry that protects our threatened species, recognising the sector injects billions into the Tasmanian economy and provides thousands of jobs in regional communities.

Metro Tasmania patronage bouncing back

Source: State of Tasmania Government

14 August 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Tasmanians are travelling on public transport again in increased numbers, with Metro Tasmania reporting patronage has returned to about 75 per cent of 2019 levels when compared to the same time of year. That’s more than 30,000 journeys a day.

As expected, patronage decreased due to people staying home as directed through the COVID-19 pandemic, with numbers falling to 20 per cent of 2019 figures in the two weeks immediately after the State of Emergency was called.

However, as restrictions were lifted and students returned to school, passengers have returned to Metro services in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.

Metro has done an outstanding job continuing to operate during the pandemic, while implementing a number of important health and hygiene measures to keep people safe.

An enhanced sanitisation regime was introduced, access to the front row of seats was restricted to protect the driver, and free Greencards were introduced during the Government fare amnesty to enable passengers to move to a contactless payment alternative to cash.

Metro’s commitment to keeping employees and passengers safe is recognised by the Tasmanian Government during what has been an extremely difficult time for businesses and individuals.

The Tasmanian community has also done a remarkable job during the pandemic, but it is important we remain vigilant.

If you are using public transport, please act responsibly and follow our Travel Safe Together advice:

Education Regulation Review commencing

Source: State of Tasmania Government

13 August 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

The Tasmanian Government is committed to improving educational outcomes for Tasmanians, meeting the needs of young people and best preparing them for the future.

An independent steering committee has been established to improve the governance framework for the statutory entities that regulate education in Tasmania.

I announced a review of the framework in the 2019-20 Budget, to look at the Office of the Education Registrar, the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification, and the Teachers Registration Board Tasmania.

The aim of the review is not to change what the entities do, rather it is about improving how they are delivering their existing functions including:

  • A modern governance framework that allows an agile approach to delivering essential functions;
  • A sustainable, transparent, and more efficient funding model;
  • A model that drives the adoption of better practice regulation focused on delivering educational outcomes for learners; and
  • A model which ensures the provision of independent advice to the Minister.

In order to achieve these, the committee will consult widely so that it can develop options and provide a recommendation to me on a preferred model and a phased implementation plan.

Consultation will commence shortly in Term 3, 2020 with the release of a discussion paper to help inform the recommendations of the committee.

Latest data shows jobs growth

Source: State of Tasmania Government

Premier of Tasmania – Latest data shows jobs growth

13 August 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Finance

The latest ABS Labour Force data, released today, shows Tasmanian employment continued to grow in July, with 7000 more returning to work, in seasonally adjusted terms.

While these are challenging times, it is welcome to note Tasmania’s employment growth of 2.9 per cent was the highest in Australia. Tasmania also has recorded the lowest unemployment rate of any state.

Today’s result confirms that the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s glide-path approach towards recovery is supporting gradual employment growth.

We know we have a long road ahead of us and many Tasmanians and Tasmanian businesses are facing tough times. We will continue to help Tasmanians wherever we can.

The Government’s two-year construction blitz will support $3.1 billion in construction and 15,000 jobs as we recover and rebuild a stronger Tasmania.

TasTAFE nursing centre opens

Source: State of Tasmania Government

13 August 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Tasmanian nursing students will now have the opportunity to train in exact replicas of real hospital wards following the opening of the $1.4 million nursing centre at TasTAFE’s Clarence Campus.

The new facilities will allow TasTAFE to train more Tasmanian nurses and help meet the high demand for health care workers.

In line with the latest industry standards, the state of the art facility includes three nursing training wards, a nurse’s station, task training rooms, classrooms and tech labs providing real life experiences for students.

The flexible, reconfigurable training spaces were designed by Loop Architecture with construction by Fairbrother, supporting local jobs and the Tasmanian economy at a time when we need it most.

In 2019, the TasTAFE Diploma of Nursing program was accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) for the maximum five years, resulting in a refreshed program that fully meets industry needs.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government recognises the importance of TasTAFE in ensuring Tasmania has the skilled workers we need to support our economy, and we have invested in new infrastructure projects to enhance training facilities for students.

This includes $21 million for a Trades and Water Centre of Excellence to be built at Clarence Campus, a $4 million upgrade of Alanvale campus in Launceston, new training kitchens at Devonport’s Providore Place and $5 million for an Agriculture Centre of Excellence in Burnie.

I’d like to thank all of the staff of TasTAFE for the excellent work they do each day in training and supporting students and meeting the state’s skills needs.