Battery Point ALP Dessert Night

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Thanks to the ALP Battery Point Branch for a great dessert night. Great to join with Labor colleagues Craig Farrell MLCElla Haddad MP, branch president Claire Bugg and dozens of branch members to raise funds to help Labor take on the Liberals at the next State and Federal elections.

Supporting Local Youth Leader

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In this job I get many requests for support from community groups and individuals. While I support as many as I can, there are some requests which stand out as being very worthy of support.

Toby’s was one of these.

He’s a volunteer lifesaver, a Scouts Medallion winner, and he’s been selected to be a mentor on the Windeward Bound’s upcoming Youth Leadership Challenge.

Over a ten-day voyage he will help mentor 20 young people from diverse backgrounds, including recently settled refugees, to promote inclusiveness, community and understanding.

I was very pleased to be able to present him with a donation to help him reach his fundraising goal of $2,000. I wish him all the best with this exciting journey.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019

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250+ participants joined together yesterday to make the sixth annual Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania a resounding success. The weather gods smiled on us and the rain held off until shortly after the walk concluded.

With additional funds collected through registrations on the day, merchandise sales, raffle ticket sales and cash donations the total so far is $28,387.35. As usual we will keep the online page open for further donations for the next week before announcing the final total. These funds will go to Cure Brain Cancer to help with advocacy, raising awareness and funding vital research into new brain cancer treatments.

But the walk was a success for more reasons than just the fundraising. Many people feel an emotional connection to this event, as it has given them an opportunity to pay tribute to loved ones who have died of brain cancer. It helps raise public awareness of the disease, and brings people touched by brain cancer together as a community united for a common cause.

I have many people to thank and I hope I don’t miss anybody!

Firstly to our sponsors – Top of The Town BakeryWoolworthsPennicott Wilderness JourneysTassal Tasmanian SalmonBunnings Warehouse AustraliaJulie Collins MPMarguerite GoninonChoices Flooring KingstonState Cinema & Cristy Bishop Remedial Massage Therapies.

Thank you to the Hobart Chapter #314 Order of the Eastern Star and Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge for your phenomenal fundraising efforts over the past 12 months.

Thank you to the Kingborough Council for your incredible support, and to the Dru Point Reserve Kiosk and St John Ambulance Australia Tasmania for your contributions. Thank you to Triple M Hobart for including us in your community calendar and to Nightly News 7 Tasmania for (sadly) being the only TV news station to cover the walk this year.

Thanks Sigrid Denehey for your very touching memorial address and Fiona Hutchison for the musical entertainment (and especially for turning up despite being unwell).

Thank you to Cure Brain Cancer for all your great work raising awareness, advocating and funding research, and to the lovely Annabelle Wilson from CBC for coming down to support the event. Looking forward to seeing your daughter Primrose at next year’s walk!

A big thank you to my staff and the army of volunteers who helped out on the day and to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets, bought merchandise, registered, walked, fundraised and made donations. Your support has been overwhelming.

There is a big movement of people in Tasmania touched by brain cancer who are getting to their feet and taking action to combat this terrible disease. Over the past six years your efforts have helped me raise over $185,000 – enough for a small clinical trial. Keep walking, keep fighting and keep believing that we will one day find a cure.

Hobart City Mission’s Annual General Meeting

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I was delighted to attend Hobart City Mission‘s Annual General Meeting. The charity has been providing assistance to Tasmanians in need since 1852.

HCM celebrated a successful year in which they tripled the funds raised from their winter appeal which, sadly, was also met with a dramatic increase in demand for their services.

The meeting also acknowledged the incredible contribution of Robin Errey, who retired from the board after 46 years of service!

An insightful panel session on housing and homeless was held after the meeting featuring HCM’s CEO John Stubley, CEO of Shelter Tasmania Patti Chugg and Don McCrae from the Salvation Army Tasmania.

Thank you to Hobart City Mission for the wide range of services you offer to Tasmanians in need. Your work is invaluable.

Li-Ve Tasmania Annual General Meeting

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Li-VeTasmania celebrated another successful year at their Annual General Meeting today. The organisation has a strategic plan to grow to twice the size in five years while staying true to its culture and values.

Congratulations to Chair Sue Leitch, CEO Paul Byrne and all the other staff and volunteers for your ongoing excellence in service to Tasmanians with disability.

It was great to catch up with Mat Blunt from Eastside Lutheran College, and his son Archie. The college was acknowledged for their assistance to Li-Ve Tasmania and for providing a venue for the fundraising events run by the fabulous Acorn Branch.

Outgoing directors and life members were also acknowledged for their service.

$5,620 raised for Cure Brain Cancer

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A huge thank you to the Hobart Chapter #314 Order of the Eastern Star, with assistance from the Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge for raising an incredible $5,620 for Cure Brain Cancer.

These funds will be included in the total for Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019 and will help efforts to raise awareness of brain cancer, lobby for government action and invest in life-saving brain cancer research.

As a Cure Brain Cancer Ambassador, I was pleased to attend a meeting of the Chapter to receive a cheque on behalf of the organisation. A number of members told stories about the experiences of friends and loved ones with brain cancer, which demonstrates how many Australians’ lives this disease touches.

Brain Cancer remains the biggest cancer killer of young Australians and kills more children than any other disease. The Order of the Eastern Star’s fundraising efforts are an important contribution to helping turn this around.

Kids Cancer Project

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Today The Kids’ Cancer Project came to Parliament to highlight the fact that 950 Australian kids are diagnosed with cancer every year. They decorated the lawn of Parliament House with paper dolls to represent each of these children.

One project my colleague Senator Carol Brown and I are particularly interested in is the 2017 Kids Cancer Project announcement for the Royal Hobart Hospital. The commitment of $140,000 to assist with the establishment of a state wide Children’s and Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital will assist many Tasmanian children with cancer. They recently recommitted the funding for a further 3 years.

Thanks to Dr Fraser from the Queensland Children’s Hospital for informing me about some of the challenges of treating children’s cancers.

Morrison Government’s refusal to take responsibility for the consequences of their cuts

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I am absolutely appalled at the Morrison Government’s refusal to take responsibility for the consequences of their cuts to, and mismanagement of, the NDIS.

There should not be lengthy delays to the finalisation of participants’ plans.

There should not be inconsistencies in assessments from one year to the next.

Getting a decent outcome should not depend on the advocacy of people like me and my Parliamentary colleagues.

This is an outrage.

MEAA visit parliament

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Members of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance came to Parliament House to talk to Senators and Members about the need for the government to support Australian stories and Australian talent.

We need to ensure top quality drama, comedy and children’s content are produced in Australia and the ABC and SBS are properly funded.

It was lovely to meet Hugo Weaving and Leah Vandenberg with my colleagues Brian Mitchell MP and Senator Helen Polley.

Screen Sector visit to Parliament

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Earlier today I met with the CEO of Australian Directors’ Guild Kingston Anderson and Owen Johnston from Screen Producers Australia to talk about issues and developments in the Screen Sector.

It is a key part of our culture to have film and television made in Australia that tells our stories to ourselves and to the world.

I look forward to seeing future production in the sector, particularly in Tasmania.

Australian Reading Hour 2019

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I was delighted to join Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers for the launch of Australian Reading Hour 2019.

This Thursday, Australians are encouraged to stop what they are doing and read a book for one hour. Research shows that reading is highly effective at reducing stress in adults, and as a former early childhood educator I am well aware of the enormous benefits it has for learning in children. Reading can develop not only language but self-awareness, reasoning, empathy and imagination.

There are many ways to join in: at home, the local library, or your favourite café or bookshop. Get together with a group of friends or colleagues or give your children an extra-long bedtime story.

And if you don’t have a book to read, why not drop by your local bookstore and pick up one of the limited edition Reading Hour books for only $2.99?

UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors

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Today I met with four of UNICEF Australia’s Young Ambassadors – Ash, Lachlan, Steve and Indi.

They’ve spent the last year talking face-to-face to 1,500 young Australians to find out their concerns.

These young Australians have a real passion for shaping the future of Australia and it was fascinating to listen to their experiences.

From their research, they’ve produced the 2019 Young Ambassador Report.

The report outlines 5 key areas of concern young people raised with them: Wellbeing; Safety; Learning; Equality; and The Environment.

If you would like to find out more, you can read a copy of the report here.

St James Catholic College visits Parliament House

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One of the nicest parts of being a Senator is talking to students from local Tasmanian schools that visit Parliament House.

Today Year 6 students from St James Catholic College visited Parliament House as part of their trip to the capital. They’ve already visit Questacon, the War Memorial and the Australian Institute of Sport amongst other places.

It is wonderful to speak to young people eager to learn more about how our political system works.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your time in Canberra before the long trip home.

Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre

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Just visited the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre’s community garden to check on the fruit trees that I and various other sponsors have helped to purchase. Pleased to also meet the garden’s friendly co-ordinator Leah and some of the garden’s volunteers.

The community garden is not just a great way to promote healthy eating and provide food security to local residents – it is also helping the prisoners who volunteer here to gain valuable work skills which will assist them in securing employment on release.

Tasmanian Royal Flying Doctor Service

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When we think about the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS), we often think of red dirt and blue skies in the outback.

However, the RFDS has been operating in Tasmania for almost 60 years! And while they make more than 1,200 flights per year between airstrips on King, Flinders and Cape Barren Islands, Queenstown, Wynyard, Burnie, Devonport, Smithton, St Helens, Launceston, Hobart and Melbourne, they also offer a range of ground based services to communities across regional Tasmania.

It was lovely to meet today with John Kirwan, the CEO of the RFDS Tasmania and hear about their emergency and primary health services as well as their award-winning dental outreach program and their mental and physical health programmes that are all provided free of charge.

To find out more about their services, or to make a donation to this fantastic cause, please visit their website.

Aging Wonderfully Well Expo

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It was fantastic to attend the Ageing Wonderfully Well Expo at the Kingborough Community Hub today. There was a wide range of stallholders providing important information to help ageing Tasmanian’s get the best out of life. Thanks to Dementia Friendly Tasmania for hosting this event!

Palliative Care Tasmania

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It was wonderful to catch up again with Colleen Johnstone from Palliative Care Tasmania for an update on the work they are doing, and to meet Rahme, who is doing her student prac placement with the organisation.

As the peak body for palliative care in Tasmania, PCT is doing excellent work educating service providers, carers, volunteers and the community about hospice, palliative care, death, dying, grief and bereavement while running a number of other palliative care projects.

Throughout 2016 and 2017 I lobbied successfully to save PCT when they were at risk of being defunded. I am looking forward to working with them to ensure they have a sustainable future and that their excellent work with the palliative care sector, and the wider community, can continue.

I Choose Road Safety Campaign

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Even though today has been extraordinarily busy I had time to stop in and sign the pledge for the Australian Road Safety Foundation‘s ‘I Choose Road Safety’ campaign.

It was lovely to meet ARSF Ambassador Craig Lowndes, whose support for the campaign is greatly appreciated.

1 in 2 rural drivers and 1 in 3 metro drivers admit to speeding, using mobile phones or driving distracted while their own kids are in the car. This is a shocking statistic and all drivers should keep in mind that it’s not just their own lives at stake.

Merck Australia meeting

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At Parliament House I was pleased to catch up with Stephen Coutts of Richardson Coutts, and Paul Lindsay from Merck Australia, and receive an update on Merck’s new medicine for Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer, and for Multiple Sclerosis.

I am always glad to learn about developments that will help people with severe medical conditions live a more stress-free life.

Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia Commemorative Event

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Many Australians would be familiar with the lyrics to “I Was Only 19” by Australian band Redgum, including the words “Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon”.

21 July 1969 – or 50 years ago today – was the day the first man walked on the moon. Australian veterans of the Vietnam War remember it as the day two mines exploded in the “light green” zone, killing two Australian soldiers and wounding many others.

One of those men wounded was Dave Sturmer, now a well-renowned artist. I felt privileged to be invited to a commemorative event, organised by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia, at which some of Dave’s work was exhibited. You can see examples of his work on his website.

The event was also a commemoration of the Battles of Hat Dich and Binh Ba.

It is important for Australia’s troops in any deployment to be fully supported, even if the decision to send them is controversial. It’s quite shameful that it took many years after the end of the Vietnam War to give Australia’s Vietnam Veterans the acknowledgement and thanks they deserve. I thank all Vietnam veterans for putting their lives on the line in the service of our country, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Transport Workers Union Branch

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Fantastic to talk to Transport Workers Union, Victorian/Tasmanian Branch delegates today about the importance of fighting the Government’s attacks on safe rates for transport workers.

Safe rates make the roads safer for everyone and ensure that loved ones return home at the end of their shift. Safe rates save lives! 

Stillbirth Research Opinion Piece

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My opinion piece in today’s The Mercury, The Examiner and The Advocate welcomes the Government’s response to the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education and reiterates Labor’s offer of bipartisanship on delivering the policy.

To this day, my family continues to be deeply affected by our own experience of stillbirth 36 years ago. In some areas, Australia’s approach to supporting affected families in their grief has improved somewhat since then, but it is disappointing that so little progress has been made on reducing the rate of stillbirth.

Volunteer BBQ and Kingborough Helping Hands Luncheon

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I had another busy weekend. On Saturday I attended Ben McGregor, Labor Candidate for Clark‘s volunteer thank you BBQ and then helped to set up for Edna’s Soup and Sandwich Luncheon – a Kingborough Helping Hands fundraiser. Then home Saturday night to make soup for the luncheon.

On Sunday I had a busy time emceeing that event.

I would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make the Soup and Sandwich Luncheon a success. The funds raised from this event will help provide practical assistance to people in Kingborough who have fallen on hard times.

Thank you also to all the attendees who came out on a cold winters day and gave so generously. Without the donations from you, KHH could not do the amazing work that it does.

Meeting with The Australian College of Nurse Practitioners

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A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse who has completed additional study at Master’s degree level.

They are the most senior clinical nurses in our health care system and have the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute or chronic health conditions.

It was lovely to meet with Hazel Bucher, Secretary of the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners to talk about issues facing Nurse Practitioners.

Visiting Community Group – Stitch and Share

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Pleased to visit and view the crafts being made by members of the Stitch and Share group, which meets regularly at the Channel Mens Shed. I also handed over a cheque to assist the group to purchase more materials.

These wonderful volunteers produce crochet blankets, knitted baby clothes, scarves, beanies, jackets, intricate Christmas decorations and more. Craft items are then donated to various organisations including Kingborough Helping HandsMargate Primary SchoolRoyal Hobart Hospital‘s Paediatric Ward and Legacy Children’s Christmas Party. They have also donated clothes to children in need in Timor Leste, Kwazulu-Natal, Liberia, Cambodia, the Cook Islands and Nepal.

NAIDOC Week Flag Raising Ceremony

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It was very moving to attend the official flag raising at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) today as part of NAIDOC Week.

The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 years old. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, as well as reflect on the challenges that we face together as a nation.

This year’s theme is “Voice. Treaty. Truth.” – three principles espoused in the Uluru Statement which outlined the vision of First Nations people for the way forward for reconciliation.

Senate Swearing In

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This morning I was sworn in as a Senator for Tasmania for another six-year term.

I am honoured to have again been chosen by Tasmanian voters to represent them in the Senate. I am looking forward to continuing to work as part of the Federal Labor team on delivering for Tasmania, holding the Morrison Government to account and developing a positive Labor agenda for the next Federal election.

I will continue to provide practical assistance to my local constituents and community groups.

I also intend to keep pursuing the national causes that I have been active in promoting, and which I believe are important to many Australians:
● More investment in research into brain cancer and other cancers with low-survival rates,
● Better co-ordinated care for cancer patients,
More investment in palliative and end-of-life care, including community education about the importance of advance care planning,
● Better public awareness of how women can reduce the risks of stillbirth during pregnancy,
● Providing children with greater safety from abuse and harm, particularly in the online environment,
● Bringing our charity fundraising laws into the 21st Century, and
● More investment in early childhood education.

Tasmanian Volunteer Awards

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A huge congratulations to Edna Pennicott, President of Kingborough Helping Hands, for being awarded the Aurora Energy Lifetime Achievement Award in the Tasmanian Volunteering Awards held at Government House today.

This award is a well-deserved recognition of Edna’s tireless dedication to the cause of helping people less fortunate – something she has spent hours doing day-in-day-out for decades without seeking, or expecting, anything in return except for the satisfaction of helping her community.

Thank you to Volunteering Tasmania for organising the awards and for this fitting recognition of Edna’s outstanding contribution.

National Walk Safely to School Day

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National Walk Safely to School Day is an annual event which encourages primary school children to walk or commute to school. Walking to school promotes physical activity, social interaction, learning about road safety and helps the environment.

Thank you to Taylen, Cameron, Baileigh and Danielle for helping me get safely to Snug Primary School this morning.

Election Pre-Polling

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Gorgeous sunny weather at the Kingston early voting centre and the Bureau predicts it’ll keep up for Election Day.

Let’s hope we see the sun shining on a victory for Bill Shorten and Labor, and a government that puts schools and hospitals before tax breaks for the top end of town.

Thanks to Audun, the hardworking volunteer who’s joined me here today.

One Community Together

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Exciting things are happening in Clarence Plains with the opening today of One Community Together‘s new offices. One Community Together has been bringing together local services providers to address community need under the Collective Impact model for the past 5 years.

Great to catch up with Labor colleagues Julie Collins MP, who cut the ribbon, Alison Standen MP and Sarah Lovell MLC. Also pleased to see Cate Clark from the Rokeby Neighbourhood Centre and John Stubley from Hobart City Mission.

The Road to Election

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Throughout this election, I have worked with and supported Labor’s strong Tasmanian team for the House of Representatives.

Justine Keay MP, Ross Hart MPBrian Mitchell MP and Julie Collins MP are all hardworking members who care about and have delivered for Tasmania and Tasmanians. If successful, Ben McGregor – Labor candidate for Clark will make a great Member for Clark.

I am also proud to again be part of the Labor Senate team. The Labor preference is for people to vote 1 Labor above the line (please ensure you number at least 6 boxes above the line to make your vote count).

If you want a government that puts people first you need to vote Labor in both the House of Reps and the Senate.

Early Education Opportunities

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As a former early childhood educator, I appreciate the important contribution Playgroup Australia and many local playgroups make to strengthening families and the community – just like this one I visited in Lindisfarne during National Playgroup Week.

A Shorten Labor government will provide grants of:

  • $15,000 to establish new, or expand existing, Toy Libraries or Playgroups or undertake minor capital works; and
  • $5,000 for existing organisations to purchase new toys, books, paints, craft materials or other consumables.

This $6.1 million grants program is an important investment in providing children with the early education opportunities they need for the best start in life.

Pensioners Association of Tasmania

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This morning I joined Julie Collins MP outside my office in Kingston Plaza to celebrate the Pensioner Association of Tasmania’s wheelchair accessible bus.

This delightful group joined me in my office later for an impromptu morning tea.

Thanks to Julie, the Association received a Stronger Communities Programme grant of $18,000 to convert the minibus to allow wheelchair access. The grant will help members of the Association requiring wheelchair access to attend events and outings.

Jack’s Story

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It was a bittersweet honour to officially launch Jack’s Story by Ken Fleming at Fullers Bookshop last night.

This book tells the sad story of a young man who fell victim to glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer and died last year aged 21. I am inspired by Ken’s love for his son, and his determination to save the lives of other young people like Jack by raising funds to fight brain cancer.

Thank you to Fullers and Forty South Publishing for helping this loving father to tell his son’s story.

The book can be purchased at Fullers or online

Speaking for Brain Tumour Alliance Australia

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I was honourned to be invited to speak to a patient forum organised by Brain Tumour Alliance Australia (BTAA) about my brain cancer journey and the low survival rate cancers Senate inquiry.

The BTAA do excellent work raising awareness of brain tumours and providing support, information and resources to patients.

Cure Brain Cancer Second Annual Black and White Ball

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The second annual Black and White Ball was a huge success raising thousands for Cure Brain Cancer (final total yet to be announced).

We heard stories – some tragic and some heartwarming – from speakers who had lost loved ones to brain cancer, but who had also been motivated by their experiences to do everything they can to support the cause to find new treatments and one day a cure.

I was proud to join the organising committee for this event with the fabulous Teresa Briggs and Sandy Turner, and to MC the event.

A big thanks to all the people who purchased tickets, helped organise the event and donated prizes for the raffle and silent auction.

I look forward to the next Black and White Ball.

A reminder that the next Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania will be held on Sunday, 3 November.

Snug Oval ANZAC Day Service

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It was windy at Snug Oval but the weather did not spoil an excellent ANZAC Day service organised by the Lions Club of Kingborough.

It was great to see so many children from various schools, scout groups and little athletics involved in both the march and ceremony – a positive sign that the tradition of honouring our service men and women on ANZAC Day is being passed to the next generation and will continue for many years to come.

Thanks to Kingston Rotary for supporting the BBQ.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service Kingston Beach

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As the sun rose this morning thousands turned up to Kingston Beach to pay their respects to Australia’s service men and women – those who served, those currently serving and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Attendees were then invited to breakfast at the RSL.

Thanks to the Kingston Beach RSL Sub Branch for putting together another great ANZAC Day commemoration.

Lest we forget.

Cattle Hill Wind Farm Visit

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The Cattle Hill Wind Farm, situated by the shore of Lake Echo, is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Tasmania.

I thoroughly enjoyed touring the site at the invitation of Goldwind Australia.

Some key facts about the Cattle Hill development:

  • 48 turbines are being constructed
  • the development employs around 200 workers
  • when operational, it will generate just under 150MW, or about 5% of Tasmania’s electricity needs
  • to help facilitate the movement of equipment, including the 69-metre-long blades, the proponent has invested about $10 million in local road improvements.

Labor knows that Australia’s energy future needs to be renewable and that Tasmania has a strong role to play in our renewable future.

We are committed to having 50% renewables in Australia’s energy mix by 2030. More information about Labor’s climate change and renewable energy policy is available at https://www.laborsclimatechangeactionplan.org.au

Tassie Senior State Gymnastics Championships

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It was an honour to hand out medals today at Tasmania’s State Gymnastics Championships in Kingston. While competition was fierce there was still a great sense of teamwork and friendship both within and between teams.

A big thank you to Gymnastics Tasmania for the invitation and congratulations to all the volunteers an participants for making the event a success.

It was lovely to also catch up with Heather Chong.

Derwent Valley Autumn Festival 2019

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A beautiful day in the Derwent Valley for the 2019 Autumn Festival. The event was well attended, and there was great entertainment, food, lots of activities for kids – something for everyone!

The local Lions Club did a great job managing the parking.

A sterling effort by Brian Mitchell MP on the two-person crosscut saw in the celebrity woodchopping.

It was great to catch up with friends and family.

Sing Australia Day

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Sing Australia held a regional concert today as part of their National celebration. Their celebration day saw 105 Sing Australia groups gather in 32 regions to showcase the organisation and promote the benefits of making singing an inclusive and non-judgmental activity.

Due to a case of the lurgy, I didn’t sing but I thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was particularly lovely to catch up with Jane Hudson from Launceston who I haven’t seen in decades!

A big thank you to Sing Australia for the invitation (and the afternoon tea).

Say NO to Stigma

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All too often in politics we hear phrases like ‘crazy decision’ or ‘political suicide’.

I am standing with SANE AustraliaEverymind and Mindframe and pledging to avoid using language which stigmatises mental illness.

A Fair Go For Schools

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This morning I stood on the lawns of Parliament amongst a sea of names of public schools that have had their funding cut by this uncaring Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.

Labor will fully restore the $14 billion the Liberals have cut from public schools. To find out how much your school will receive visit A Fair Go for Schools.

Thanks to the AEU for organising this display.

New CEO of Palliative Care Australia

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It was my pleasure to meet Palliative Care Australia‘s new CEO Rohan Greenland and to discuss their Palliative Care 2030 vision.

Facing a future where Australians will live longer, there is an increasing need for access to high quality palliative care for those living with a life-limiting illness.

As co-convenor of Parliamentary Friends of End of Life I strongly endorse PCA’s message about the need for governments to invest in, and plan for, the future palliative care needs of our ageing population.

Kingborough Community Hub Opening

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Hundreds of locals turned up for the official opening of the Kingborough Community Hub, an exciting milestone in the Kingston Park development.

Kingston Park, a $6.4 million master planning exercise, was started by Kingborough Council on the former site of Kingston High School, with the support of State and Federal Labor governments, and has had bipartisan support. It is creating a new commercial Centre for Kingston with the potential to attract hundreds of new jobs to the area.

A big thanks to everyone involved in the opening including Aunty Brenda, who delivered a wonderful welcome to country.

Rosny College Awards Night

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I would like to congratulate all the Rosny College students who received awards at last night’s 2019 Achievers Ceremony. It was my privilege to sponsor The Playgroup Award and present it to Jessica Allen.

Thank you to Principal Anthony Coe for inviting me and giving me a chance to see the extraordinary depth and breadth of talent among Rosny College students. I wish all the students will with their future career and study plans.

Lifeline Tasmania Meeting

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It was lovely to chat to Elizabeth Cooper from Lifeline Tasmania about their ongoing work helping people at risk in the community.

Lifeline is currently looking for new volunteers to provide companionship to recipients of home care packages and people living in residential aged care.

If you think this would interest you please contact Elizabeth on 6282 1515 or email lib.cooper@lifelinetasmania.org.au. If you think someone else would be interested, tag them in the comments below.

Kingborough Family Church Community Care Program

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Really excited to see the great work Mark Ireland and the staff and volunteers at Kingborough Family Church are doing with their Community Care program.

With the assistance of a variety of suppliers the church delivers around 6-8 tonnes per week of food relief to families from across Southern Tasmania.

Pleased to visit with my Labor colleagues Julie Collins MP and David O’Byrne MP.

Multicultural Women’s Council of Tasmania

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Congratulations to the Multicultural Women’s Council of Tasmania for a great International Women’s Day event, featuring lots of entertainment and a delicious afternoon tea.

It was also lovely to catch up with Fran Bladel.

While International Women’s Day has been recognised for over 100 years, we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality – even in Australia where women have lower pay, retire with lower superannuation balances, and are far more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

The challenges women face in achieving gender equality are so much greater for women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, which is why the work of the MWCT is so important.

Stop Centrelink Privatisation

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I was proud to join my Labor colleagues Julie Collins MP and Alison Standen MP, the CPSU Tasmania and the Huon Valley community rallying to oppose cuts to Centrelink services in Huonville.

The CPSU called today’s rally in response to plans to merge the Huonville Centrelink office with Service Tasmania – a move that will lead to a further reduction in services.

It is outrageous that the Morrison Government would seek to impose cuts to services on a community that is continuing to suffer the economic, emotional and psychological impacts of the recent fires, especially when many local residents will need help accessing disaster relief payments.

International Women’s Day

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For International Women’s Day I attended a business luncheon organised by Kingborough Tigers Football Club to discuss the participation of women in sport and gender equality in sport.

Great speeches from Rebecca White MP, Trish Squires from AFL Tasmania and Peggy O’Neal, President of Richmond Football Club, all of whom also spoke about the challenges of being women in their roles.

Female Football Week

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It was a pleasure to celebrate Female Football Week at a breakfast this morning with Football Tasmania, State and Federal Labor colleagues and many other invited guests.

Interesting speeches from Julie Collins MP, former Matilda and Canberra United FC Head Coach Heather Garriock covering the need for development of women’s changerooms, encouraging female participation in sport and equality for women in sport.

Bears of Hope Tasmanian Branch Meeting

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It was delightful to meet with Maria Bond from the Tasmanian Branch of Bears Of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support.

Bears of Hope is a wonderful organisation providing support and care for families who experience the loss of their baby during pregnancy, birth or infancy.

The recent Senate inquiry into stillbirth research and education, which I participated in, has led to a greater awareness of this heartbreaking issue and made recommendations that will lead to more appropriate support for grieving parents and families.


Tasmania’s Renewable Energy Potential

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I met today with Rick Perrin and Paul Fulton, from Joule Logic, along with John Titchen, from Goldwind Australia, to talk about Tasmania’s renewable energy potential.

Goldwind’s Cattle Hill Wind Farm, currently under construction, will provide enough clean power to supply approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes.

Labor is serious about tackling climate change and supporting the transition to a clean, affordable energy sector, driven by our commitment to 50% renewable energy, and a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Fair Go For Schools

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Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to schools, investing another $52 million in Tasmanian public schools from 2020-2022.

Today I joined the Australian Education Union Tasmania‘s Fair Funding Bus at Illawarra Primary School which will receive $270,000 from 2020-2022 under Labor’s fairer funding for public schools. A Shorten Labor Government will reverse the Liberals’ cuts, investing another $52 million in Tasmanian schools from 2020-2022.

To find out how much your school will get under Labor visit https://fairgoforschools.com.au.

Out and About in Northgate

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Busy day out at Northgate with ALP candidate for Clark, Ben McGregor, talking with people about the important issues that are affecting them – health, education and housing to name a few.

Cure Brain Cancer – Second Annual Black and White Ball

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Caught up this morning with Teresa and Sophie Briggs to discuss preparations for the 2nd Black and White Ball in support of Cure Brain Cancer.

As an ambassador for Cure Brain Cancer I really appreciate the great work these two do organising this fantastic fundraiser.

If anyone has any queries about the Ball – which will be held at the Elwick Function Centre on Saturday 27 April – please contact Teresa on 0429 013 204 or rickiebriggs@bigpond.com.

Meeting with Kingborough Lions United Football Club

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I and Julie Collins MP were pleased to once again catch up with representatives of Kingborough Lions United Football Club to discuss the growing popularity of soccer in Kingston and their need for expanded playing and change facilities.

Kingborough Council Annual Awards Presentation

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Congratulations to the Kingborough Council on another successful annual awards presentation. It is wonderful to see so many people volunteering in the community in so many varied areas and making such a huge difference in so many individuals’ lives.

For a full list of 2019 Kingborough Awards winners Click Here.