Strengthening our strong Buy Local policy

Source: State of Tasmania Government

1 June 2020

Peter Gutwein, Premier

Buying Tasmanian made and supporting local business has never been more important as we look to recover and rebuild from coronavirus.

Tasmanian businesses are not only renowned for their quality, but also their ingenuity and diversification – and a fantastic example of that is Lark Distillery, which has successfully innovated from its core business to meet demand for sanitiser products.

As a result of COVID-19 we expect many other businesses to innovate and diversify into products that we currently import from interstate or overseas. It will be important that Government and other large purchasers where possible buy local and support the investment being made by local firms and the jobs that they will create here in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government has already implemented a strong Buy Local policy which includes up to a 20% weighting of local content when making purchasing decisions, with an aim to ensure 90 per cent of all Government contracts are awarded to Tasmanian businesses by 2022.

We are well on track to achieve this with 86 per cent of Tasmanian businesses awarded Government contracts in the March 2020 quarter, but we want to set the bar higher, to keep putting Tasmanian businesses first.

Therefore under the challenging economic circumstances we face I have tasked Treasury to consider how we can increase our weighting even further towards Tasmanian content and also consider how the investment that is being made locally by firms, as they innovate to deliver products that in the main have been imported, can be recognised more fully in our Buy Local policy.

I expect that this review will be finalised in coming weeks so that we can ensure that Tasmanian businesses are considered first and foremost to lock in greater social and economic benefits right here in Tasmania.

The Government believes that buying Tasmanian made products and services where there is demonstrable benefit to our economy and also value for money for the taxpayer has never made more sense than right now and the Government will lead the way on this, backing jobs, aiding recovery and helping to rebuild our economy.

It is Tasmanian businesses who will help to rebuild Tasmania, and we need the policies and processes in place to support them to do it.

Planning the final projects on the Midland Highway

Source: State of Tasmania Government

1 June 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Community consultation has opened on concept designs for the final projects to be delivered under the Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan.

The Midland Highway Final Stages will deliver safety upgrades to the remaining five sections of the Midland Highway, totalling around 54 kilometres in length.

This is a vital road network and freight corridor, and these major upgrades will provide a safer and more pleasant driving experience for locals, tourists and freight operators, as well as reduce travel times.

Tasmanians are invited to provide feedback on concept designs for projects at Powranna Road to South of Symmons Plains, Campbell Town North, Ross, Tunbridge, and Oatlands.

Feedback can be provided online through an interactive map and will help inform key design decisions, including the locations of turn facilities, and overtaking lanes.

The Oatlands project covers approximately 17 kilometres of the Midland Highway from south of the Old Mill Road junction near Jericho to north of High Street, Oatlands.

The Ross project stretches about 14 kilometres from Mona Vale Road to Campbell Town.

The Campbell Town North project covers approximately 20 kilometres of highway between Campbell Town and Epping Forest.

The Tunbridge project includes approximately one kilometre between previously completed projects, spanning from Blackman River Bridge to Tunbridge Tier Road.

The Powranna Road to south of Symmons Plains covers approximately two kilometres of the highway.

Construction on the Tunbridge and Powranna Road to south of Symmons Plains sections is expected to start in Spring 2020, with construction on the three remaining sections, Oatlands, Ross and Campbell Town North, expected to commence in Spring 2021.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments are investing $500 million to upgrade the Midland Highway to a minimum three star AusRAP Safety Rating along the key north-south corridor, with the Australian Government committing $400 million and the Tasmanian Government committing $100 million.

To date, 16 projects have been completed and four projects are currently under construction.

Consultation opened today, Monday 1 June, and will close at 5:00 pm on Friday 12 June.

For more information visit

Police continuing to investigate multiple Launceston car thefts

Source: Tasmania Police


Police continuing to investigate multiple Launceston car thefts

Monday, 1 June 2020 – 2:56 pm.

Two people remain in police custody as investigations continue into multiple car thefts in Launceston overnight.
A member of the public reported an attempted motor vehicle stealing near the Launceston General Hospital in Frankland Street about 1:30am. The offenders, believed to be two men, ran from the scene after being disturbed by the vehicle’s owner.
A short time later a security box at the LGH was forced open. As a result of that five government-owned vehicles and more than 30 sets of car keys were stolen.
A teenager and a 24-year-old man from Legana, were arrested in the early hours of this morning following separate evade incidents in Ravenswood and Launceston involving two of the stolen vehicles.
Police recovered two more of the stolen vehicles in Launceston and Invermay this morning.
The fifth stolen government vehicle was recovered after being dumped in St Helens this morning, following another evade incident on the Tasman Highway. The Westpac Police Rescue Helicopter was utilised in the search.
The person driving that stolen vehicle has not been located at this point.
Police are also investigating a sixth vehicle theft incident, with a privately owned Mazda 121 stolen from Frankland Street overnight. The vehicle was recovered a short distance away, missing fuel and personal property.
The teenager and man in custody are assisting police with their enquiries.
Anyone with information about any of the above incidents, or the whereabouts of the third person involved, is asked to contact Launceston Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

Supporting learning and play at TMAG

Source: State of Tasmania Government

1 June 2020

Elise Archer, Minister for the Arts

The Tasmanian Government is committed to supporting the State’s important cultural and creative sector.

I am pleased to announce that thanks to a $1 million funding commitment from our Government, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery will open an exciting new exhibition in 2021.

The new long-term interactive Children’s Exhibition has been designed in recognition of the importance of family learning at the heart of the museum experience.

TMAG aims to inspire a sense of wonder and discovery in everyone, especially young people. It’s exciting to see the plans develop for a new experience designed especially for this audience.

The new exhibition is intended to be a space where young people and their families can learn and play together, and plan to visit regularly. The intended target audience is children aged 0-7 and their carers.

Following a tender process, Thylacine Design has been engaged as the exhibition designer. Thylacine has successfully created place-based experiences for TMAG in the past such as the award-winning ningina tunapri exhibition. They have also undertaken work for Hobart’s world-renowned MONA. Thylacine have been undertaking concept design throughout April and have now provided TMAG with an early conceptual visualisation of the design for the new space.

The delivery of the project will employ Tasmanian based fabricators and installers during the construction and installation phase, and Tasmanian products where possible, commencing later this year.

The early concept plan released today aligns with the overarching theme for the exhibition of Little Big Home as well as important sub-themes of homes, habitat and Tasmanian Aboriginal culture, and the placed-based features of the natural environment including island geography and our mountains and rivers.

The design also shows how Thylacine intends to make use of physical height in the gallery to facilitate the active and tactile nature of children’s learning.

The TMAG Children’s Reference Panel, involving 20 Tasmanian children aged from 7 to 17, has played an integral role in the development and planning of this new exhibition space to ensure that children’s voices are central to both the concept development and its implementation, and I thank them for their substantial and important contribution.

The new exhibition is still scheduled to open at TMAG in April 2021.

Supporting Tasmanian film production

Source: State of Tasmania Government

1 June 2020

Elise Archer, Minister for the Arts

The Tasmanian Government is a strong supporter of the State’s cultural and creative industries.

We are proud to announce that, thanks to a $100,000 Tasmanian Government funding commitment through Screen Tasmania, a new television series entitled The Tailings is set to begin filming in our State, including the West Coast, later this year.

The series started as a local English teacher’s idea and is now set to be Tasmania’s first live television drama production since the onset of COVID-19. The production team have indicated they will be seeking Public Health advice before they begin live production later in the year.

The production will see expenditure of approximately $570,000 on Tasmanian goods and services and will directly employ up to 50 Tasmanian screen professionals.

This project first came to our attention when teacher and emerging Tasmanian playwright, Caitlin Richardson, pitched her idea to SBS executives at Screen Tasmania offices in 2017.

On top of $22,000 in development support provided in 2018-19, our additional investment will help to enable a 14-day shoot in and around Queenstown and Hobart.

As Tasmania starts to recover and rebuild from COVID-19, the production is expected to provide much-needed employment opportunities for 45 local cast and crew, as well as cash-flow for various local businesses and suppliers.

Of the 21 scripted roles, at least 18 will be performed by Tasmanian actors.

The Tailings will be set in a fictional mining town and will showcase Tasmania’s exceptional West Coast locations. It will premiere on SBS On Demand in 2021.

The drama will follow a daughter’s investigation into her father’s death and take place in her tight-knit, remote community in the wilderness of the West Coast of Tasmania.

By partnering with broadcasters and highly credentialed production teams, the Tasmanian Government can support our emerging writers, such as Catlin, to tell their unique stories to national and international audiences.

Our Government continues to invest in our burgeoning Tasmanian screen industry and it’s wonderful to see this investment reaping significant rewards for Tasmania, with the projects showcasing Tasmanian talent, our stories and landscape, and connecting with audiences around Australia and the world.

Continuous high-quality productions generate jobs, investment and skill retention and development here in Tasmania. By investing additional funding in key projects and innovation, we also guarantee these benefits continue into the future.

This support was reflected at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTAs) last December, when Tasmania received  a record number of 35 nominations and 14 awards.

The Tailings is a Liz Doran Productions production for SBS, in association with 2 Jons and Roar Film. Principal production investment is from Screen Australia in association with SBS and it is financed with our support through Screen Tasmania.

O’Byrne Labor-Green with infrastructure envy

Source: State of Tasmania Government

Premier of Tasmania – O’Byrne Labor-Green with infrastructure envy

31 May 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

In another desperate bid for relevance and to help manufacture his leadership ambitions, David O’Byrne has attempted to talk up a big game when it comes to infrastructure expenditure.

As try as he might to rewrite history, Tasmanians haven’t forgotten that Mr O’Bryne was Minister for Infrastructure in the Labor- Green Government, which coughed up just $288.9 million in their last full year of Government. This compared to our $676.2 million in the 2018/19 financial year.

In fact, the Tasmanian Liberal Government is investing 230 percent more than Mr O’Byrne’s Labor-Green Government.

It is well on the public record that Mr O’Byrne underspent and failed to deliver the Midland Highway upgrades, the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment and the refurbished Spirit of Tasmania ships, which this Government is delivering.

It seems the very ambitious, but incapable Mr O’Byrne, has a case of infrastructure envy. But we won’t be distracted as we move to get a number of key projects underway, to help our State rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cutting red tape and supporting investment

Source: State of Tasmania Government

31 May 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for State Growth

This week in Parliament, we will introduce the Building and Construction (Regulatory Reform Amendments) Bill, as we continue to reduce red tape and attract more private sector investment in Tasmania.

Unnecessary red tape and over regulation can cause difficulties and significantly increase costs for Tasmanian small businesses and we are committed to removing these barriers and growing our economy and jobs.

This is particularly important as we head into post-COVID recovery, with investment and job creation now more important than ever before.

Our first tranche of reforms will introduce legislative timeframes for the permit process for energy, water and sewerage services, as well as apply timeframes to some planning processes that are not currently subject to any legislative timeframe.

Given the challenges Tasmania is currently facing, the need for clear, timely and efficient planning approval pathways has become a matter of increasing urgency and priority.

Later this year, we will introduce further legislative reforms as part of our ongoing work to provide clear, timely and efficient assessment processes that can deliver private and public sector infrastructure and development by streamlining the existing regulatory processes.

We know appropriate regulation is required to protect our community, but the impact of outdated and unnecessary red tape is a major concern for businesses.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a target to fix 85 per cent of reported red tape issues by 2022 and we are well on our way to achieving this.

Launceston man remanded for assault on off-duty police officer

Source: Tasmania Police

Launceston man remanded for assault on off-duty police officer – Tasmania Police


Launceston man remanded for assault on off-duty police officer

Sunday, 31 May 2020 – 12:34 pm.

A 22-year-old Launceston man was remanded in custody following an incident involving an off-duty police officer in the Launceston CBD on Friday night.
The man appeared in an out of hours session of the Launceston Magistrates Court this morning charged with one count of Criminal Code Assault, 2 counts of Common Assault and one count of Unlawfully Use a Dangerous Article in a Public Place.
The man was not required to enter a plea and was remanded to re-appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court tomorrow at 2.15pm.

17 year old driver detected speeding 58kmh over the limit

Source: Tasmania Police


17 year old driver detected speeding 58kmh over the limit

Saturday, 30 May 2020 – 5:04 pm.

A 17 year old novice driver has had his vehicle clamped and will be summonsed to appear in court after being detected travelling at 58kmh over the speed limit.

Police on mobile patrol detected a black Holden utility travelling at 148kph on Bridport Road, Pipers Brook about 12.45pm today.

The vehicle was intercepted, and the driver was found to be a 17 year old novice P1 licence holder from Launceston. The driver had only held his licence for 19 days at the time of this offence.

As a P1 driver he was restricted to 90kph in the 100kph zone. He was also travelling with a teenage female passenger.

The vehicle was clamped, and the driver will be summonsed to court. He faces a significant period of disqualification in addition to up to $1500 in fines and penalties.

“Speeding is a well-known risk factor in serious and fatal road crashes,” said Senior Constable Tammi Lambert.

“Tasmania Police is always working hard with the community to educate drivers of the risks created by excessive speed.

To see someone so inexperienced choose to drive this way, is disappointing given the significant risk that he not only placed himself under, but his passenger and all other road users.”

Anyone who witnesses dangerous driving behaviour should contact Police on 131444 with as many details as possible, such as registration number, colour and make of the vehicle, time and location.

No place for racism in Tasmania

Source: State of Tasmania Government

30 May 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Disability Services and Community Development

While we all work together towards recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, it is disappointing to hear of reports of racially motivated offences occurring in Tasmania.

Such offences are unacceptable, abhorrent and will not be tolerated.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that, no matter where people are from, every Tasmanian is treated fairly, with respect and without discrimination, and have an equal opportunity, and responsibility, to engage in Tasmanian life.

A diverse, multicultural Tasmania benefits our entire community, helping to drive economic growth, create jobs and improve the standard of living for all Tasmanians.

Migrants make a strong contribution to our economy and to the rich cultural diversity of our communities.

To support those that have helped support our economy and diversity, our $3 million targeted assistance for temporary visa holders is helping the estimated 26,000 temporary visa holders in Tasmania, including students, fruit pickers and skilled workers such as chefs and health workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

The Tasmanian Government made a significant investment in the 2019-20 State Budget to help ensure migrants feel welcome, to be able to participate socially and economically, and to find a new home in Tasmania, including funding of $595,000 for the multicultural affairs portfolio, and an additional $240,000 for on-island support for refugees.

All Tasmanians have a responsibility to stay true to our long and proud history of welcoming migrants from many countries – this is home to people from 177 different countries, with 159 identified languages spoken in Tasmanian homes.

As we look towards recovery, people from all walks of life need to be treated fairly, regardless of their background.