Press Releases

Labor seeks to divide community to benefit big energy companies

Labor seeks to divide community to benefit big energy companies

7 December 2018 - Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team

Under the big stick energy legislation public power assets will remain in public hands and there will be a tough cop on the beat if Labor Governments and the big energy companies try to gouge their customers.

Colbeck: “The Coalition Government’s big stick energy plan will protect customers from big public and private energy companies while keeping public assets in public hands.

“Tasmanians will be disappointed to know that Tasmanian Labor is running a protection racket for a rogue Queensland Labor Government which is paying for its reckless spending by price gouging electricity customers.”

Abetz: “Labor are again working against the national interest and trying to divide the community based on lies to protect the sectional interests of big unions and big business.”

“Responsible State Governments will have nothing to fear, such as the Tasmanian Liberal Government which has delivered the lowest regulated power prices in the nation.”

 Bushby: “It is deeply concerning that Labor opposes the powers outlined in the big stick energy legislation, which will only apply to companies whose conduct is dishonest, in bad faith, fraudulent, and for the purpose of manipulating prices.

“It is deeply concerning that Tasmanian Labor is again cosying up to these kinds of corporations, as they have infamously done with the militant MUA and CFMEU.”

Duniam: “The ACCC review identified serious misconduct in the energy sector and the Liberals make no apologies for acting swiftly to bring down energy costs for Australians.

“As history shows, under Labor power prices always go up, whereas only the Liberals have a plan to get energy prices down for families, pensioners and small businesses.”

Any divestiture of a government owned enterprise is only to be made to another government owned energy company where the two entities genuinely compete with one another.

The Treasurer can only make an application to the Federal Court for a Divestiture order where both the ACCC and the Treasurer are satisfied that the order would result in a net public benefit.

The ACCC’s price gouging report can be found here: https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/restoring-electricity-affordability-australias-competitive-advantage

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Coalition Government Delivering on Phoenix House Promise for King Island

Coalition Government Delivering on Phoenix House Promise for King Island

5 December 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

The Coalition Government has delivered on another by-election commitment, this time to King Island with $120,000 for the Phoenix Community Complex – Stage Two.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said the upgrade to the facilities for the Island’s Community Centre will provide a safe, friendly meeting place for the local community.

Senator Colbeck: “The Liberal Party is the only Party who is delivering our by-election commitments to the people of West and North West Tasmania.

“King Island’s Phoenix House does extraordinary work in the local community and $120,000 to upgrade their facilities recognises the strong value locals place on their services.

“The Coalition Government is proudly committed to its role in backing the work of volunteers, particularly in remote areas like King Island, where they form the backbone of the local community.

“The consolidation of Phoenix House, including its Men’s Shed, Community Centre and community garden will bring King Islanders from all walks of life together.

 

“Like similar community centres across Australia, the King Island Phoenix House Community Centre will offer support to locals who need a bit of space and some friendly, easy-going company.

“It will also bring the full array of community services available to more people and in a more accessible way.”

“The Men’s Shed, for example, is extremely important because men are often the last ones to make their health and wellbeing a priority and it’s imperative that we do what we can to ensure they get the support they need and deserve.

“The Coalition Government delivered $125,000 for Stage One of the Phoenix House and the delivery of Stage Two funding will now finish the project.

“By supporting a strong economy the Coalition Government is able to deliver on its election promises and the essential services Tasmanians rely on.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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The Future of Better Regional Telecommunications

The Future of Better Regional Telecommunications

5 December 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

The release of the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review reinforces the Liberal National Government’s strategy to invest in telecommunications to build a stronger regional economy and help create jobs.

The 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review: Getting it right out there puts forward 10 recommendations to improve access to telecommunications infrastructure, ensure modern and appropriate consumer protections and promote digital inclusion. 

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said that the Review provides a pathway for the Liberal National Government to improve regional telecommunications that will support local small businesses, keep friends and family in contact and provide reliable communications in times of emergency.

Senator Colbeck: “We are seeing the benefits already of our investment in regional telecommunications in Tasmania, through more reliable services and strong uptake by business but we can’t afford to slow down.”

“With better telecommunications, small business owners can grow their enterprise without being held back by the tyranny of distance as they know customers are only a click away.

“The Liberal National Government has funded 867 new mobile black spot base stations, compared to 0 from Labor, including at Temma, Gawler, Rocky Cape, Sisters Beach, Elliot, Melrose, South Riana, Loyetea, Gunns Plains,Devonport and two at Yolla.

“The NBN is also rolled out right across the state with more that 99% completed, including delivering fibre down the West Coast.

“The Review shows there are many benefits flowing from increased digital connectivity, with economic modelling showing that digital agriculture could increase the value of the industry by $20.3 billion.

“Better telecommunication also drives a more successful tourism industry that creates jobs in our regions. Tourists being able to share their images and stories in real time from Cradle Mountain or the wild West Coast is showcasing our region to the world.”

The Committee was the most consultative ever held, with 22 public sessions across the country, including in Devonport and Circular Head. More than 380 submissions were received from a range of individuals and organisations.

The Government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2019.

The final report is available at: www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review

ENDS

Media contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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NSW Regional Forest Agreements signed off

NSW Regional Forest Agreements signed off

31 November 2018 - Minister David Littleproud, Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck, NSW Minister Paul Toole

The Australian and NSW governments have released a modernised approach to forest management through the renewal of three NSW Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck and NSW Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the improvements and the
20 year extension to the RFAs provide long-term confidence and sustainability for the future of NSW’s $2.4 billion wood product manufacturing industry. 

“We’re pleased to deliver our commitment on these RFAs,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We understand certainty matters to business and that’s what we delivered.”  

Assistant Minister Colbeck said the forest industry was the backbone of many regional communities and was set to provide even more opportunities under the extended RFAs.

“Timber is the building material of the 21st century, with global demand expected to quadruple by 2050, so it is important we give regional communities the confidence to invest in their forest industries,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Australia has a recognised world-class forest management system and one covered by multiple internationally recognised sustainability certifications, which give assurance to consumers that their beautiful native species floors,
furniture and feature pieces are sourced with the highest ethical standards.”

New South Wales Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said as a result of the NSW RFAs, the native forest timber industry operates with some of the highest levels of sustainability in the world.
“The renewed Agreements pave the way for the continued sustainable management of the state’s forests, while providing critical protection of the environment and threatened species,” Minister Toole said.

“The renewed RFAs bring together extensive community and stakeholder input, as well as key recommendations from a detailed independent review of our past performance.  
“We are committed to maintaining our support for the long-term NSW RFAs, and the ongoing certainty of a truly renewable industry.” 

The Agreements will be underpinned by the NSW Government’s $7.2 million forest monitoring program that focuses on adaptive management and fine-tuning in NSW’s management of the forest estate. 

Fast facts:

  • In NSW there are more than 22,200 employees in the forestry and wood products manufacturing sectors 
  • Valued at $2.4 billion, NSW’s forest and forest products industry sector makes a large contribution to both the Australian economy and many regional and rural economies.

 

Media contacts:

LITTLEPROUD: Les White, 0409 805 122

COLBECK: Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

TOOLE: Ashley Gardiner, 0429 063 494

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Celebrating the best of Australian regional exporters

Celebrating the best of Australian regional exporters

28 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Businesses from across the country came together last night in Canberra for the 56th Australian Export Awards, with Barossa Valley winemaker Torbreck Vintners taking out this year’s Regional Exporter Award.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the award celebrates exporters outside our metro areas that are succeeding internationally.

“Our regional exporters play a vital role in supporting the prosperity of local communities, driving jobs and economic growth through their business ventures,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Congratulations to Torbreck Vintners for taking out the 2018 Regional Exporter Award.

“I would like to congratulate all the finalists for their hard work and dedication in raising the profile of Australian products in the international marketplace, particularly a number from the agriculture sector.

“It takes a lot of work to build international trade links and each of this year’s finalists has demonstrated extraordinary talent to succeed in a highly competitive global market.

“It is great to see regional Australian businesses using innovative approaches to help contribute to our global reputation as a provider of world-class products.”

The 2018 Regional Exporter Award finalists included:

  •          Blue Hills Honey – Tas
  •          Envirostream Australia – VIC
  •          Telsoft – ACT
  •          Torbreck Vintners Pty – SA
  •          Opmantek – QLD
  •          Churchview Estate – WA
  •          Spell & The Gypsy Collective – NSW

The Australian Export Awards is a national program that recognises and honours Australian companies engaged in international business who have achieved sustainable growth through innovation and commitment.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has sponsored the Regional Exporter Award since 2015.

For more information, visit https://www.exportawards.gov.au/

Media contact:

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

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Delivering the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan

Delivering the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan

27 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Colbeck

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) has considered the views of stakeholders and agreed to implement a Tropical Rock Lobster (TRL) Fishery Management Plan, from 1 December 2018, to coincide with the commencement of the Torres Strait Fisheries Amendment (Tropical Rock Lobster) Management Instrument 2018.

The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and Chair of the PZJA, Senator Richard Colbeck said the Australian Government had taken decisive action to deliver the TRL Fishery Management Plan after extensive consultation.

“Today’s historic announcement is the result of strong and decisive leadership from Torres Strait Islanders, non-traditional fishers and the Australian Government, and adds to Australia’s reputation as a world leader in fisheries management,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Management Plan will implement a quota management system and includes an allocation process that will take a minimum of 10 months.

“The PZJA has agreed to an interim total allowable catch (TAC) of 200 tonnes from 1 December 2018, which will allow fishers to head out and free dive and lamp fish from this weekend, and hookah fishing can commence on 1 February 2019.

“The annual stock assessment undertaken by CSIRO has been completed and the PZJA expects to receive advice from the TRL Resource Assessment and Working Groups early next year, in order to determine a final TAC by late March 2019.”

The Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Pedro Stephen, said recent community visits included discussions with Traditional inhabitants across 16 islands and there was considerable support for the TRL Management Plan and instrument.

“Management arrangements have been made for the 2018–19 fishing season while the Management Plan gets implemented,” Mr Stephen said.

“The instrument will ensure Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) fishers are allocated 66.17 per cent of the TAC and 33.83 per cent will be allocated to the Transferrable Vessel Holder (TVH) licence holders, according to the October 2007 provisional allocation notices.

“These new arrangements will provide certainty for the fishing community, from the fishers, to fish receivers, communities and seafood retailers, whilst the allocation process under the Management Plan is completed.

“The PZJA recognises and fully supports the aspirations of Traditional inhabitants to increase their share of TRL Fishery quota to 100 per cent and the Management Plan will pave the way.”

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the development of the TRL Fishery Management Plan has been very thorough.

“I thank the industry and all stakeholders for their comments and submissions, which have allowed the PZJA to improve the draft Management Plan and to create a strong foundation for the TRL Fishery into the future,” Minister Furner said.

The PZJA is comprised of the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.

Further information about the TRL Management Plan and associated management measures can be found on the PZJA website at pzja.gov.au

 

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$100 million to support type 1 diabetes patients

$100 million to support type 1 diabetes patients

27 November 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

The Liberal National Government will expand free access to glucose monitoring devices for pregnant women, children and more adults with type 1 diabetes, saving people in West and North West Tasmania up to $7,000 a year.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck welcomed the $100 million announcement and said the investment guarantees certainty.

“This additional funding over the next four years will ensure that free glucose monitoring devices will be available to over 37,000 eligible people with type 1 diabetes across Australia,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Delivering a strong economy is allowing the Liberal National Government to invest in the essential services Tasmanians rely on.

“Diabetes management is an ongoing challenge for many people, but particularly pregnant women and young people, and the consequences of mistakes can be dire.

“Free access to glucose monitoring devices will ease household budgets and make life just that bit easier for people facing the challenge of monitoring and managing their type 1 diabetes.”

From March 1, 2019 eligibility for fully subsidised continuous glucose monitoring devices will be expanded under the National Diabetes Services Scheme to include:

  • women with type 1 diabetes who are pregnant, breastfeeding or actively planning pregnancy
  • people with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have concessional status, and who

have a high clinical need such as experiencing recurrent severe hypoglycaemic events

  • children and young people with conditions similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin.

This includes a range of conditions such as cystic fibrosis related diabetes or neonatal

  1.  

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin. People with this condition must be able to monitor their glucose levels day and night.

Continuous glucose monitoring devices continually monitor a person’s glucose levels and provides alerts if glucose levels drop too low.

It involves a sensor, usually attached to the stomach, that monitors the glucose levels and has an alarm that can alert people or their carer if the levels drop to low

Our Government also plans to add the new the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system to the scheme for these people with type 1 diabetes. This will provide patients with more choice in how they manage their diabetes through this important program.

The FreeStyle Libre device involves a sensor on the arm that monitors glucose levels and sends readings to a user’s mobile phone or diabetes management device. When a patient passes their phone or device past the sensor it provides a reading of their glucose levels.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government will work with Diabetes Australia and key diabetes experts to implement the expanded scheme and finalise the clinical criteria.

“Expanding access to these glucose monitoring devices helps reduce stress and anxiety as well as emergency visits to the hospital,” Minster Hunt said.

“These devices will bring peace of mind to Australians with type 1 diabetes and improve their quality of life now and into the future.”

In line with a commitment made during the 2016 federal election, the Coalition Government has already made access to glucose monitoring products available to eligible children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes - nearly 9,500 young Australians - through the National Diabetes Services Scheme have already taken up the free devices.

The Morrison Government’s strong economic management means we can make sure more patients have access to more life-saving and life-improving medicines and treatments.

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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Future-focused forest research grows in Tasmania

Future-focused forest research grows in Tasmania

23 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Tasmania’s forest industries are set to benefit from $5.5 million of new research through the inaugural round of projects funded by the Launceston centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI).

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, joined Tasmania’s Minister for Resources, Sarah Courtney, in congratulating the funding recipients and welcoming the benefits these projects will bring to Australia and Tasmania.

“The projects will provide economic returns to Tasmania’s forest industries and the local economy while the lessons learned here will help lead the way across Australia,” Minister Colbeck said.

“They range from improving remotely acquired forestry data to increasing the durability of Tasmanian hardwoods and developing next generation engineered structural timber.

“Global demand for timber products is expected to quadruple by 2050 and the Coalition Government’s National Forest Industries Plan will deliver world-class research and one billion new trees to meet that demand.

“The total combined value of this first round of approved projects is over $5.5 million in a combination of Commonwealth and State funds, and matched funding and in-kind contributions by industry and research agencies.

“This investment will play a vital role in fostering collaboration, supporting cutting edge research, boosting innovation, growing jobs and securing Tasmania’s place as the centre for forest-industry research.”

Tasmania’s Minister for Resources, Sarah Courtney, said the first round of projects would contribute to further enhancing Tasmania’s forestry management practices and bringing new ideas to life.

“Tasmania has a proud history of supporting a sustainable and well-managed forestry sector,’’ Minister Courtney said.

“These exciting and innovative projects will maximise the economic value of our forest products, ensuring sustainable jobs into the future.

“The Tasmanian forest industry continues to evolve into a sophisticated, high value industry. This is only possible due to our extensive expertise and local knowledge and I congratulate the successful recipients.

“I encourage innovators in the industry to apply for the second round of grants opening soon.”

Find out more about the NIFPI recipients and the round one projects here: www.nifpi.org.au

Fast Facts:

  •          The establishment of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, and its regional centre in Launceston, was a 2016 election promise.
  •          The Australian Government is providing $4 million toward the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation with matched funding by the Tasmanian and South Australian state governments ($2 million each) as well as by industry.
    •          The Australian and Tasmanian governments are contributing $1.9 million to these successful projects—which is being matched by $3.6 million of funding and in-kind contributions from the forestry industry and research agencies.
  •          The dates and parameters for the next round of proposals will be released soon on the NIFPI website.

Media contacts:

COLBECK: Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

COURTNEY: Ben Hansen, 0439 553 390

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Growing forest research in Mt Gambier

Growing forest research in Mt Gambier

23 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Australia’s forestry industries are set to benefit from $3.3 million of new research through the inaugural round of projects funded under the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) centre in Mount Gambier.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, joined South Australia’s Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone, in congratulating the funding recipients and welcoming the benefits these projects will bring to Australia and South Australia.

“These projects will play an important role in exploring and facilitating innovation in areas such as forest management, worker safety, advanced remote sensing, forest water use and the application of advanced technologies ” Minister Colbeck said.

“Importantly, the research done in Mount Gambier will have national implications—it can be applied to other plantation regions across Australia—and it will maximise the economic returns from every dollar invested.

“Global demand for timber products is expected to quadruple by 2050 and the Coalition Government’s National Forest Industries Plan will deliver world-class research and one billion new trees to meet that demand.

“The total value of this first round of approved projects is $3.3 million through a combination of Australian and South Australian government funds, together with funding and in-kind contributions from industry and research agencies.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone, said these projects provide exciting opportunities for the future of the South Australian forestry industry.

“Forestry is truly a sunrise industry in South Australia—I am proud to see Mount Gambier leading the way in building knowledge on Australia’s plantation forests and revolutionising the way they are used,”
Minister Whetstone said.

“I encourage innovators and researchers to apply for the second round of grants opening soon.”

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the South East of South Australia had a long history in plantation forestry dating back to the establishment of some of Australia’s first forest plantation trials in the 1870s, and that this local knowledge was invaluable.

"By building on this long tradition of plantation forests, and by making the most of local knowledge in the South East and research and innovation capacity, we can increase the plantation sector’s contribution, not only locally but also to the broader South Australian and national economy," Mr Pasin said.

Find out more about the successful NIFPI recipients and the round one projects here: www.nifpi.org.au

Fast Facts:

  •          The establishment of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, and its regional centres in Mount Gambier and Launceston, was a 2016 election promise
  •          The Australian Government is providing $4 million toward the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation with matched funding by the Tasmanian and South Australian state governments ($2 million each) as well as by industry.
  •          The Australian and South Australian governments are contributing $1.3 million to these successful projects – which is being matched by $2 million of funding and in-kind contributions from the forestry industry and research agencies.
  •          The dates and parameters for the next round of proposals will be released soon on the NIFPI website.
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Shorten walking away from Battery of the Nation

Shorten walking away from Battery of the Nation

22 November 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said Bill Shorten’s plans announced this morning to subsidise chemical batteries has cast doubt on his commitment to Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project.

Senator Colbeck: “Today Labor jeopardised 3,000 jobs in regional Tasmania so that Elon Musk can buy a new yacht.

“Labor’s announcement today on chemical battery handouts has shown that once again Bill Shorten is crab-walking away from vital Tasmanian energy infrastructure that is genuinely renewable.

“Under the Coalition Government, Tasmania is gearing up for a once-in-a-generation investment in the pumped hydro Battery of the Nation project which will bring down power prices, provide reliable energy into the national market and future-proof our State’s economy.

“Under Labor, Silicon Valley billionaires will be licking their lips and the Tasmanian taxpayer will foot the bill.

“Expensive chemical batteries will only drive up prices in the grid and send profits offshore, whereas pumped hydro will provide cheap, reliable power and the profits will go into the Tasmanian economy.

“Shorten’s plan will also cripple the business case for a second Bass Strait interconnector which is vital for pumped hydro and a range of major North West wind power projects.

“It is becoming clear why Bill Shorten and Labor are only proposing some vague concept of a “Renewable Energy Zone” rather than backing pumped hydro and a second interconnector.

“Justine Keay must decide whether she supports Bill Shorten and Elon Musk or construction and energy workers in Tasmania.

“Only the Coalition will put Tasmanians before tech billionaires.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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Labor meatworker union reveals plans to butcher Tasmanian economy

Labor meatworker union reveals plans to butcher Tasmanian economy

22 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck, said Labor’s union masters have endangered Tasmania’s economy by demanding a future Labor government gut the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES).

Assistant Minister Colbeck: “With Bill Shorten’s union masters demanding he scrap the TFES for unprocessed Tasmanian goods, Labor must reveal their plans to cut the TFES.

“The Labor-aligned meatworkers union demanding the gutting the TFES is the one of the most staggering acts of economic sabotage I have ever seen.

“What is so disturbing about the proposal to end TFES rebates for raw materials is that it will be an economy-wide hit on Tasmania’s primary producers – from farmers to foresters, miners to fishers.  

“The meatworkers union, like the MUA, are calling for Tasmania’s agricultural sector to be brought to its knees and a permanent handicap be placed on our economy.

“Bill Shorten and his Tasmanian Labor-Green cohort must come clean on their plans to butcher the TFES and hold Tasmanian primary producers to ransom.

“The Coalition Government has a proud record of extending the TFES on many occasions since its inception, including most recently by extending the TFES to exports and donated drought relief fodder.

“The extension of the TFES to exports in 2015, in particular, was regarded as a game-changer for the Tasmanian economy and our unparalleled export growth since then has proved it to be true.

“Livestock has been a part of the TFES since its inception under Malcolm Fraser and Labor’s plans will rock the scheme to its very core.

“Gutting the TFES is quite simply an act of treason against the Tasmanian economy and Bill Shorten must come clean on his plans.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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World-class AFMA to welcome new acting leader to the helm

World-class AFMA to welcome new acting leader to the helm

22 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

The agency responsible for the sustainable management of Commonwealth fisheries, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), has today farewelled their CEO, and has welcomed a new acting leader.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, thanked outgoing AFMA CEO, James Findlay and welcomed Anna Willock to head the authority.

“James has done an exceptional job at the helm of AFMA over the past eight years, ensuring that Australia continues to be a global leader in fisheries management,” Minister Colbeck said.

“James worked effectively to balance the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers, environmental and marine stakeholders, regional and global institutions and policy agencies from all Australian fishing jurisdictions, leaving our Commonwealth fisheries in excellent condition.

“For the fifth year in a row, not a single fishery managed solely by the Commonwealth is subject to overfishing, which sets a shining example of effective fisheries management internationally.

“Our fish stocks are sustainably harvested with domestic and international consumers enjoying safe, high-quality Australian seafood sourced from flourishing marine ecosystems.

“I would like to express my gratitude to James for his leadership and commitment to a sustainable fishing industry, and wish him well in his new appointment to Parks Australia.

“I’m pleased to welcome Anna Willock as AFMA’s acting CEO to carry on this important work, including leading our world-class fisheries management policy.

“The authority is in safe hands, with Anna bringing 20 years’ experience in fisheries management conservation and regulation, across national, regional and international positions.

“She comes across from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, where she has been leading the department’s Biotechnology, Dairy and Levies Policy branch.”

A selection process is underway to identify the new permanent AFMA CEO, and is expected to be finalised in early 2019.

For more information on the important work AFMA does please visit: https://www.afma.gov.au/.

Media contact

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

 

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Celebrating National Agriculture Day

Celebrating National Agriculture Day

21 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed National Agriculture Day today and encouraged Tasmanians to celebrate by buying local Tasmanian produce.

Assistant Minister Colbeck: “For generations agriculture has been the backbone of Tasmania’s society and economy, and it is important we honour this important industry today.

“I urge all Tasmanians to celebrate by buying Tasmanian produce at their local shop and enjoy the high-quality produce our farmers work hard to deliver to us every day.

“Tasmania is recognised as producing some of the best food and fibre in the world and it is important we stop and reflect on the value of this special part of living in Tasmania.

“Our meat producers provide the cornerstone of a healthy diet and keep Tasmanians strong and performing at their best.

“Our dairy industry has shown its resilience and consumers have responded with a clear show of support for our locally produced milk and dairy products.

“Our horticulture industry provides the two fruit and five veg we need daily to keep our families healthy and happy.

“Tasmanian salmon farmers Frances and Peter Bender were this year awarded Australian Farmer of the Year and a feed of seafood would also be a fitting tribute to this landmark achievement.

“Tasmania’s forest industry also continues to grow in an effort to meet the surging global demand for our sustainable timber and timber products.

“Celebrate this National Agriculture Day by buying local, and particularly by buying Tasmanian.”

To learn more about National Agriculture Day please visit: https://www.agday.org.au/

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St Devonport TAS 7310

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Revamped fisheries harvest strategy policy

Revamped fisheries harvest strategy policy

21 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Colbeck

The harvest strategy policy underpinning Australian fisheries has been updated, in a move which reflects advances in international best practice, further supports trust in our world-class fisheries management systems and provides certainty for commercial fishers and the environment.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said that the Second Edition of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and implementation guidelines would ensure that Commonwealth-managed fisheries remain at the forefront of sustainability.

“Australia is a world leader in fisheries management and I am committed to keeping our fisheries healthy and sustainable for the benefit of all Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“This policy is the cornerstone of the government’s commitment to Australia’s fishing industry—providing the framework for the evidence-based approach to setting sustainable harvest levels.

“The second edition of the policy has been updated following developments in fisheries science and fisheries management practice, as well as stakeholder consultations and technical reviews.

“The policy now gives even greater guidance on managing for variability in our ocean environment, and more explicit consideration of recreational and Indigenous fishers.

“It also ensures consistency of management across fisheries to provide the industry with a more certain operating environment.

“By using the best available research, we’re able to meet these sustainability targets and support jobs all over the country, particularly in regional areas.

The Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and the Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy, also released today, are the foundation for the management of Commonwealth fisheries.

The Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy is available online at agriculture.gov.au/fisheries/domestic/harvest_strategy_policy.

Media contact

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

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Reducing bycatch in Commonwealth fisheries

Reducing bycatch in Commonwealth fisheries

21 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Australia continues to improve its fisheries management systems with the release of a new Commonwealth policy for avoiding and minimising bycatch—species caught but not targeted by commercial fishers.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said that the Second Edition of the Commonwealth Fisheries Bycatch Policy and implementation guidelines give practical instructions to limit fishing impacts on the marine environment and further supports trust in our world-class fisheries management systems.

“Being World Fisheries Day, today is a perfect opportunity to launch the revised policy and highlight Australia’s role as an international leader in sustainable fisheries management”, Minister Colbeck said.

“This bycatch policy complements and supports the new Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy, and will contribute to Australia’s world-class, sustainable and environmentally responsible fisheries management regime.

“This will in turn increase the confidence of retailers, consumers and the general public in the world-leading sustainability of Australian seafood.

“The bycatch policy and harvest strategy policy will also provide greater management certainty for fishers.

“We continue to work collaboratively with marine scientists and fisheries managers to drive innovation in on-water practices, bycatch mitigation technologies and fishing gear design.”

Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price, said the policy aims to reduce fishing-related impacts on bycatch species and the marine environment consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

“The purpose of the bycatch policy is to ensure that direct and indirect impacts on marine systems are taken into account and managed accordingly,” Minister Price said.

“This is done through mechanisms that reduce bycatch, improve mitigation measures for protected species and minimise impacts of fishing on the marine environment.

“These policies reflect the significant commitment by the government, industry and scientists to ensure Commonwealth fisheries are managed on an ecologically sustainable basis.

“This Government pursues bycatch management options that are practical, cost-effective to apply and that support environmental and fisheries legislative requirements.”

Media contact

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

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Genome mapping for trees critical to Australian horticulture

Genome mapping for trees critical to Australian horticulture

21 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

A new $13.3 million joint research project will look at tree genetics to better understand how genes control traits that are valuable to Australian horticultural growers.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck said this genomic project is essential to ensure Australia’s horticulture industry growth remains competitive domestically and internationally.
“This is a landmark investment in research and development that will improve productivity, farmgate profitability and global competitiveness for Australian horticultural industries,” Minister Colbeck said.

“This five-year project, delivered through Hort Innovation and its research partners, aims to build a complete DNA map, which shows the genetic make-up and variability of Australia’s leading tree crops – avocado, mango, macadamia and citrus fruits.

“The Coalition Government is committed to its vital role in enabling research and development which will bear fruit for industries, workers and businesses in regional Australia.

“Understanding our leading tree crop DNA will help our Australian growers to develop more resilient trees and produce new plant varieties in response to pest and disease outbreaks, climate variation, and evolving consumer preference.

“In times of drought, trees which are able to produce more value for less water are critical and will allow our growers in areas like the Murray Darling Basin to better adapt to dry spells.

“I am excited the Australian Government was able to contribute to Hort Innovation’s research through Commonwealth co-investment in the Hort Frontiers Advanced Production System Fund.

“Australia’s horticultural industry operates in a highly competitive market—domestically and internationally—and has a reputation for high quality and safety standards across all stages of the supply chain—from the farm to consumers.

“Excluding wine grapes, our competitive horticultural industry is Australia’s third largest agricultural industry, behind meats and grains. For it to remain competitive, our growers need cutting edge research and efficient production technologies.”

Further information on the project can be found at https://horticulture.com.au/co-investment-fund/advanced-production-systems-fund/.

Media contact

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

 

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Forest industry grows for fourth year running

Forest industry grows for fourth year running

20 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed the continued growth in the forestry sector as outlined in the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report released today.

Minister Colbeck said the forestry sector was experiencing a strong surge in confidence and was benefitting from regulatory certainty and growing global demand for sustainable product.

“The Australian forestry industry continues to provide more jobs, exports and sustainable products for Australian and global consumers,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Coalition Government continues to enable a strong resurgence in the forest and wood products industry, with the industry growing 4.4 per cent to $8.8 billion in 2016–17.

“The value of woodchip exports, in particular, has soared to a record $1.3 billion in 2017–2018, a 6.1 per cent increase from the year before.

“Paper and paperboard exports also increased by 5.8 per cent to $962 million, driven by a massive 33.9 per cent growth in the value of newsprint exports.

“Global demand for timber and timber products is projected to quadruple by 2050 and the Coalition Government has delivered a National Forest Industries Plan to take advantage of this, which includes the planting of a billion new trees over the next decade.

“The Coalition Government will also establish Regional Forestry Hubs based in leading production zones to drive strategic development and research opportunities in regional Australia.

“20 year rolling extensions to the Regional Forestry Agreements are providing long-term certainty across the country, with the Tasmanian agreement already signed and other states set to follow.

“Exciting opportunities also exist with the recent release of the national standard for the Forest Stewardship Council certification to go with our existing Australian standard of the ‘Responsible Wood’ certification.

“Consumers and communities can be confident that Australia’s forestry and wood products industry continues to grow as a preferred supplier of sustainable timber products both here and around the world.”

Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2018 is available here: www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.

Media contact

Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

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Water Fund to Help Transform Tasmanian Farming Communities

Water Fund to Help Transform Tasmanian Farming Communities

20 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will deliver an extra $500 million for water infrastructure, including in Tasmania.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the Coalition Government is committed to a stronger economy.
Assistant Minister Colbeck: “We can grow a strong economy by investing in infrastructure that grows jobs and opportunities for Tasmanian farming communities.”

“Irrigation infrastructure has been transformative for farmers right across Tasmania and access to new resources will provide expanded export opportunities.
“Tasmania has a competitive advantage because we are one of the only areas in Australia where we are actively developing water resources.
“This year the Coalition Government, in partnership with local irrigators and the Liberal State Government, has delivered funding for the $57.3 million Tranche 2 Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme.

“For some farmers in that region it has given them the opportunity to double their herds because the right amount of water at the right time provides the certainty they need to invest and to grow.
“The Duck River scheme in Circular Head has also been vital for that region’s cropping and grazing operations and was made possible by a $15.8 million Coalition Government investment.
“The transformative effect of irrigation is seen most starkly in the Midlands, where irrigation has reinvigorated the area and been a major contributing factor to the strong growth of our exports.
“New markets for Tasmanian farmers have emerged through Coalition Government Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, Peru, TPP-11 and now Hong Kong, and Tasmanian farmers will be able to take advantage by investing in new water infrastructure through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.”

The Fund’s expansion to more than $1 billion, as well as the existing $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program, means more than $3 billion is now available from the Federal Government to support State and Territory Governments and their project partners, to build new water infrastructure and provide greater social and economic opportunity for Australians.

Further information on the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is available at https://infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/water-infrastructure/nwi-development-fund/.

ENDS
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$2 billion fund to transform access to finance for small businesses

$2 billion fund to transform access to finance for small businesses

19 November 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Small and family businesses in Tasmania will benefit from the Coalition Government’s introduction of a $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said many small business owners on the West and North West Coasts find it difficult to obtain finance, and funding costs can be unnecessarily high.

Senator Colbeck: “Family businesses know all too well the daunting feeling of putting up the family home as collateral as a condition of getting finance.

“Small and family businesses are the engine room of our economy, particularly in regional Tasmania, but their enterprise is often restricted by a bottleneck in finance and a lack of competition among lenders.

“The Coalition Government believes it has a strong role to play in enabling businesses to get the vital access to capital to grow, develop and employ more Tasmanians.

“To overcome the finance bottleneck and ensure small businesses in Tasmania are able to grow, the Australian Business Securitisation Fund will invest up to $2 billion in the securitisation market.

“This will provide significant additional funding to smaller banks and non-bank lenders to on-lend to small businesses on more competitive terms.

“The Government has introduced a number of measures to support Australian small businesses including our small business tax cuts, the $20,000 instant asset write-off and cutting nearly $6 billion worth of red tape.

“This stands in stark contrast to the Labor-Green opposition who are committed to imposing $200 billion in punishing new taxes, including on housing, low-income retirees and family businesses.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

 

 

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Workshop to strengthen relationship of seafood and petroleum industries

Workshop to strengthen relationship of seafood and petroleum industries

16 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Australia’s seafood and offshore petroleum industries will benefit from a workshop held today that provides a forum to discuss issues and opportunities to promote stronger relationships into the future.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck said both industries make an important economic contribution to Australia and share a commitment to safe and environmentally-responsible operations.

“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting a sustainable seafood industry, protecting the marine environment and encouraging the investment in, and development of, Australia’s offshore petroleum resources,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Our oceans are a shared resource and coordination between both industries will allow them to continue to be major job creators for regional Australians.

“That means open dialogue, better information sharing and constructive cooperation, including the joint research already underway to identify effects of seismic testing on fisheries.

“Australia is a world leader in sustainable fisheries management and has one of the most robust regulatory regimes for offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the world.

“This workshop will build on the successes already under our belts as well as review the Memorandum of Understanding between the industries.

“The challenge for the fisheries and petroleum industries is to learn from past experiences and move forward in a way that promotes collaboration and a constructive and positive relationship between the industries – it is important that they work together cooperatively.”

Fast facts:

  • In 2014 the oil and gas industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several of Australia’s peak commercial fishing, aquaculture and seafood industry associations.
  • The renewed MoU will aim to improve the consultation practices between the industries and Seafood Industry Australia.
  • No petroleum activity, including seismic surveys, can occur in Australian waters without a valid petroleum title and an Environment Plan accepted by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
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Helping the community care for our natural resources

Helping the community care for our natural resources

15 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, is encouraging local landholders and community groups to apply for round 2 of Smart Farms Small Grants.

Assistant Minister Colbeck said Landcare groups, NRM bodies, Indigenous organisations and community groups in Tasmania could apply for grants of between $5,000 and $200,000.

Assistant Minister Colbeck: “Tasmania is incredibly lucky to have committed people from all walks of life who value their local environment and regularly make a contribution in caring for it.

“The Coalition Government is backing industry and community groups to continue the excellent work they do on natural resource management in Tassie with round 2 of Smart Farms Small Grants.

“Sustainable, long-term land management practices make for profitable and productive farms which support jobs, particularly on the North West Coast and King Island.

“The flow-on effects of strong land care initiatives are felt throughout our natural systems and healthy, functioning environmental processes contribute so much to our economy.

“Timely interventions on pest and weed management are vital in ensuring we protect our native flora and fauna, as well as improving land use productivity.

“Proper care of our waterways will also protect our valuable fisheries resources and ensure Tasmanian families can all take part in this key part of the Tasmanian way of life.

“The first round of funding was highly competitive and I strongly encourage those who missed out to apply again.”

More information is available online. Visit the Community Grants Hub to apply.

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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Download Cap Scrapped on NBN Sky Muster Satellite Service

Download Cap Scrapped on NBN Sky Muster Satellite Service

14 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Colbeck

Tasmanian families and businesses are set to be major beneficiaries of a new initiative to upgrade the capacity and capability of the NBN Sky Muster satellite service.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed the upgrade as a major boost to internet access in remote areas.

Senator Colbeck: “Sky Muster provides NBN access to some of our most remote areas, such as King Island and the West Coast, where access to high quality internet is essential to overcome the tyranny of distance.

“On the North West, West Coast and King Island we have 1,000 premises registered on the NBN Sky Muster satellite service and scrapping the download cap will encourage a further 2,638 premises to take up the service.

“Businesses in remote areas, particularly those in primary industries, will also be able to further modernise and digitise their operations, which will drive productivity gains for our exporters.

“Farmers are increasingly embracing precision agriculture, with harvesting data becoming almost as important as harvesting crops.

“Boosting “burst” downloads speeds above 25 Megabits per second will make data transfers between farmers and agronomists far less excruciating than previously.

“With mountainous terrain, isolated communities and a primary industries sector punching above its weight, the North West, West Coast and King Island will be major beneficiaries of the $2 billion NBN Sky Muster program.”

The new product is to be known as Sky Muster Plus and it will provide unmetered monthly data for web-browsing, email and software updates, and is expected to be available in 2019.

For more information about the Sky Muster satellite service visit: www.nbnco.com.au

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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New Australian standard for forest stewardship

New Australian standard for forest stewardship

12 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Colbeck

Australia’s forestry industry is set to benefit from the launch of a second Australian certification standard for the sustainable management of the nation’s forests.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck welcomed the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) National Forest Stewardship Standard, which joins the existing “Responsible Wood” certification standard in providing assurances that Australian wood products are from forests managed to the world’s highest standards.

"Australia's forest and wood products sector is a great contributor to our nation—through the jobs and wealth the industry creates and its dedication to sustainable production,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Global demand for timber products is projected to quadruple by 2050 and the new Australian FSC Standard will help us tap into this growth market by utilizing a globally recognised trust mark for sustainable forest management.

“Certification continues to be an important part of the Australian forestry sector and demonstrates the strong sustainability credentials of our well-managed forest industries.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of, and interested in, the origins of the products they buy and the processes that go into making them.

“Both nationally and internationally, certification has developed as a way of providing assurance to consumers that the wood products they are purchasing are from sustainably managed forests.

“The new FSC national standard was jointly agreed by industry, environment and community interests. Australia now has national standards aligned to the two global certification systems, PEFC and FSC, which have been specifically tailored to Australia’s unique conditions and high-quality regulatory framework.

“The Australian Government contributed $900,000 to the development of both the new FSC standard and the Responsible Wood standard and is fully committed to sustainable management of Australia’s forests.

“This new FSC standard will also complement the Coalition Government’s new National Forest Industries Plan, which will help plant one billion new trees to meet future demand and establish research and production hubs to help set up the industry for decades to come.

“The forest industry is in a strong position to continue to grow and prosper, and the Australian Government will be there every step of the way.”

Consumers and producers can read the ‘National Forest Stewardship Standard for Australia’ here: https://au.fsc.org/en-au/standards/forest-management

Fast Facts

  •          The standard was developed over 5 years, with input from a range of economic, environmental and social stakeholders.
  •          The development process included extensive consultation, expert input, and field testing.
  •          There are two forestry certification schemes operating in Australia, the FSC and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accredited ‘Responsible Wood’ standard.
  •          According to the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), over 90% of Australia’s native forest operations are independently certified under the FSC or Responsible Wood certification schemes.
  •          The forest industry is vital to our regional communities, directly employing more than 70,000 people.
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Heritage Rifles Presented to Honour Centenary of Armistice

Heritage Rifles Presented to Honour Centenary of Armistice

8 November 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

8 November 2018

 

Heritage Rifles Presented to Honour Centenary of Armistice

On behalf of the Department of Defence, Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck today presented Wynyard RSL with heritage rifles in the lead up to the Centenary of Armistice.

Senator Colbeck said it was a special honour to recognise the service of local veterans and contribute to their preservation of our military history.

Senator Colbeck: “The Wynyard RSL is a passionate custodian of the local military heritage, with a collection of artefacts and memorabilia from conflicts spanning more than a century.

“The presentation of M16A1 rifles is significant because they are weapons of high heritage value and are immediately recognisable as a weapon used by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.

“In many ways Centenary of Armistice this Sunday is a reminder of the sacrifice of generations in the hundred years since the end of the “War to End All Wars.”

“The presentation of these heritage rifles to Wynyard RSL reminds our veterans of later conflicts that their stories are intrinsic to the story of Australia at war, and to the freedom we all enjoy today.

 

“North West Coasters played a vital role in all wars fought in the name of this country and the presentation today is a reminder of the sacrifice of our region in the pursuit of peace.”

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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Simplot Progresses Major Economic Development Grant

Simplot Progresses Major Economic Development Grant

7 November 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck and Liberal Candidate for Braddon Gavin Pearce have welcomed the progression to Full Business Case assessment for Simplot in their application for a $12 million economic development grant.

Senator Colbeck: “The Coalition Government is committed to unlocking significant private investment in our regions through the Regional Growth Fund, which will support the generation of new local jobs.

“Simplot has successfully passed the initial phase of the grant process for its Ulverstone plant and is now invited to submit a Full Business Case for final assessment.

“Industry Minister Karen Andrews will be touring the facility today to gain an understanding of the importance of this potential $12 million investment, which will unlock a further $37.1 million investment from Simplot in Ulverstone.

“The upgrade of the potato processing facility will see Simplot increase production capacity by 5-10% over the next decade, driving a projected growth of $164 million in the local economy over that period in logistics, packaging and raw materials (including potatoes) with additional revenue for local businesses reaching approximately $11.5 million by Year 3 of operation.”
 

Mr Pearce: “As a farmer I get how important it is to invest in the economic future of our region, particularly when it comes to helping our businesses compete.

“Simplot directly employs 320 locals in our region and sources potatoes from over 150 local growers and 15 seed growers.

“I’m very pleased to see the commitment from Simplot and the Coalition Government to progress this project to the next stage.

“Agriculture is one of the core industries in our local economy and the opportunity to facilitate the growth of downstream processing and the increased demand for product from our farmers is very welcome.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Felix Ellis 0457 517 734
 

Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, 5-7 Best St, Devonport TAS 7310

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Devonport to Host First Dairy Code Consultation

Devonport to Host First Dairy Code Consultation

6 November 2018

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed the beginning of the consultation process around a proposed mandatory Code of Conduct for the dairy industry.

Assistant Minister Colbeck said he was pleased the North West was able to lead off on the consultation process nationally.

Assistant Minister Colbeck: “North West Tasmania is dairy heartland and the perspectives of farmers here matter a great deal when it comes to future decisions made for the industry.

“I encourage all dairy farmers in the region to come along and have their voices heard.

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New showcase building demonstrates benefits of structural timber

New showcase building demonstrates benefits of structural timber

31 October 2018 - Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resource Richard Colbeck

A showcase midrise timber building launched today will benefit Australia’s construction and forestry industries by demonstrating the extraordinary capacity of timber as a sustainable, renewable and versatile building resource.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said Forest and Wood Products Australia’s (FWPA) midrise demonstration represents an exciting step forward for Australia’s forestry sector.
“The change to the national construction code in 2016 has created new opportunities for the forestry sector to market timber products as a renewable rival for steel and concrete,” Minister Colbeck said.

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Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan to be in place by 1 December 2018

Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan to be in place by 1 December 2018

30 October 2018 - Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck

The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) has reaffirmed its intention to have the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster (TRL) Fishery Management Plan in place by 1 December this year.

The PZJA has also further considered implementing catch share splits between the Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) sector and the Transferrable Vessel Holder (TVH) sector for the 2018-19 TRL fishing season.

“A quota management system will better ensure the sustainability of TRL stocks and encourage greater business efficiency and profitability than the current management arrangements,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Safeguarding the health of our Aussie seabirds

Safeguarding the health of our Aussie seabirds

24 October 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Australia continues to improve its fisheries management systems with the release of a new national approach to mitigating incidental catch of seabirds.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the rele­­­ase of Australia’s National Plan of Action for Minimising Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Australian Capture Fisheries (NPOA–Seabirds) demonstrates Australia’s commitment to ensuring our world-leading sustainable fisheries don't negatively impact our unique environment.  

“It’s very important that we maintain trust among Australian and international consumers, and manage our fisheries with minimal impact on the natural environment – including seabirds,” Minister Colbeck said.

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Support for headspace boosts youth mental health in West and North West Tasmania

Support for headspace boosts youth mental health in West and North West Tasmania

16 October 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Mental health care for young Australians is set for a $51.8 million funding boost.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said the Government’s extra investment in the national network of headspace centres and the digital portal, eheadspace, means young people will have access to around 14,000 additional services nationally, shorter wait times and extra clinical staff.

“We want young people to know they are not alone on their journey, and that we’re backing quality frontline support,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Round 4 of Mobile Black Spots Program Opens

Round 4 of Mobile Black Spots Program Opens

16 October 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck is today encouraging local residents, community organisations and businesses to get on board to support the opening of Round 4 of the Coalition Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).

“The Coalition Government is committed to making it easier for small business in rural and remote areas to serve their customers and keep in contact with suppliers,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Our Government is also focused on helping to keep Australians together, and one of the best ways to mitigate the tyranny of distance is for families to have access to reliable mobile phone coverage.”

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Pressure on Justine Keay to Stand up for Small and Medium Business

Pressure on Justine Keay to Stand up for Small and Medium Business

11 October 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck welcomed today’s announcement to fast-track legislated tax relief to bring down the tax rate to 25% for businesses with a turnover under $50 million by 2021– five years early.

“Small and medium businesses employ more than 50% of our workforce and tax relief gives them the ability to provide more opportunities for workers and young people in Braddon,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The first wave of tax relief has already boosted jobs, investment and wages in towns right across our region.”

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Southern Bluefin Tuna rec fishing survey

Southern Bluefin Tuna rec fishing survey

4 October 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to undertake a survey of the recreational catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT).


Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Richard Colbeck, announced that the survey will be conducted by the University of Tasmania, starting 1 December 2018 and concluding on 30 November 2019.


“This survey will encapsulate recreational fisher efforts, catch, release and harvest estimates of SBT and other large tuna and billfish,” Minister Colbeck said.

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Trust Mark for Craft Cider Comes to Fruition

Trust Mark for Craft Cider Comes to Fruition

2 October 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck has congratulated Cider Australia for launching the world’s first trust mark for craft cider.

“Australia, and particularly Tasmania, produces some of the best apples and pears in the world and Cider Australia’s trust mark will let consumers know that the cider they are buying is made from the highest quality fruit.

“Provenance is playing an increasingly important part of consumer choices, and the trust mark of Australian fruit also lets people know the product is quality and safe.

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Applications Open for $200 Million Regional Funding Round

Applications Open for $200 Million Regional Funding Round

2 October 2018 - Assistant Minister Richard Colbeck

Communities in West and North West Tasmania are invited to apply for a share in $200 million under Round Three of the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Senator Richard Colbeck is urging communities in the region to take advantage of the fund and get local infrastructure and community-building projects of all sizes off the ground. 

“This fund is dedicated to unlocking the economic potential in remote and regional Australia and I encourage all eligible organisations with a great project idea to apply for the third round of funding,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Reports show strong Australian fisheries management

Reports show strong Australian fisheries management

2018 09 28 - Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck today welcomed the latest Fishery status reports by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), which show that Commonwealth fisheries management continues to deliver for the sustainability of our oceans.

“For the fifth year in a row, the reports show that no solely Australian government managed fish stock has been classified as subject to overfishing,” Minister Colbeck said.

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Agriculture Research Futures for Young Tasmanians

Agriculture Research Futures for Young Tasmanians

28 September 2018 - Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck

National grants of $22,000 are being offered for young people between 18 and 35 to find the next big breakthroughs in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry.
“I encourage young Tasmanians looking to build their future in agricultural science to apply - you might be able to make the next game-changing discovery in your field,” Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck said.

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Tasmanian Men’s Sheds given a boost

Tasmanian Men’s Sheds given a boost

25 September 2018 - Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team

The Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team has today announced $34,147 in grants to Men’s Sheds around Tasmania to support their work in local communities.

“Men’s Sheds provide an important space for some friendly, easy-going company, right around Tasmania and the Federal Government, along with the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team, are pleased to support them,” Senator Colbeck said on behalf of the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team.

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Devonport and Burnie Men’s Sheds to be Upgraded

Devonport and Burnie Men’s Sheds to be Upgraded

25 September 2018 - Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck

The Devonport Men’s Shed has been awarded a grant of $2,500 from the Morrison Government for new digital equipment while the Burnie Men’s Shed is set to receive $3,545 for soundproofing upgrades under round 17 of the Government’s National Shed Development Programme.

“Like similar sheds across Australia, the Devonport and Burnie sheds offer support to any local men who need a bit of space and some friendly, easy-going company,” Senator Colbeck said.

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West and North West Coasters urged to contribute to aged care Royal Commission Terms of Reference

West and North West Coasters urged to contribute to aged care Royal Commission Terms of Reference

20 September 2018 - Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

People living in West and North West Tasmania can have their say on the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into the aged care sector through an online feedback tool.

“As the Prime Minister has said, there are thousands of operators, facilities, care providers, nursing and other clinical staff, volunteers, cleaners, cooks and therapists here in West and North West Tasmania and across the nation who are out there improving the lives of senior Australians every day. This is something we should all be proud of,” Senator Colbeck said.

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WORLD-CLASS BIKE TRAILS A STEP CLOSER IN TASMANIA’S NORTH-WEST

WORLD-CLASS BIKE TRAILS A STEP CLOSER IN TASMANIA’S NORTH-WEST

14 September 2018 - Minister Colbeck, Minister McCormack, Minister Rockliff, Senator Martin, Mayor Thwaites, Mayor Freshney

Work has begun on 45 kilometres of world-class mountain bike trails in north-west Tasmania as part of a plan to promote the state as a first-rate adventure holiday destination.

“It’s likely to become one of Australia’s leading mountain bike attractions, hosting annual mountain bike events, including national championships which will benefit the local economy and market the north-west as a wilderness-based adventure destination,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Nominate a mobile phone black spot today

Nominate a mobile phone black spot today

2018 09 13 - Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

The Coalition Government has re-opened the Mobile Black Spot Program’s Database of Reported Black Spot Locations for new nominations from state and local governments, and Federal Members of Parliament.

“I strongly encourage residents in Tasmania to contact my office as soon as possible to nominate any mobile phone black spots in our community,” Senator Colbeck said.

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A billion new plantation trees - Forestry’s plan for the future

A billion new plantation trees - Forestry’s plan for the future

12 September 2018 - Minister Littleproud and Minister Colbeck

Australia’s renewable timber and wood-fibre industry will be better prepared for future challenges and opportunities with the support of the Australian Government’s National Forest Industries Plan – Growing a better Australia.

Minister Colbeck said the delivery of the plan will underpin growth in the renewable timber and wood-fibre industry, provide the vision and certainty for Australia’s sustainable forestry industries, and support the sustainable forestry industries as long-term growth engines for regional Australia.

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Schools' Mailout Arrives in West and North West Tasmania

Schools' Mailout Arrives in West and North West Tasmania

10 September 2018 - Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

Senator for Tasmania the Hon Richard Colbeck is pleased to announce schools in the West and North West will soon be receiving their annual educational kits in preparation for Remembrance Day, this year marking the centenary of the First World War Armistice.

“Today we know 11 November as Remembrance Day, but its origins started 100 years ago when the Armistice ending the fighting during the First World War was signed,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Liberal Senate Team

Liberal Senate Team

9 September 2018 - Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

“I congratulate fellow candidates Claire Chandler and Tanya Denison for their selections,” Senator Colbeck said.

“I am delighted to lead a powerful ticket to represent the values of Tasmanians in the Federal Parliament.

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Opportunities for Tasmanian Protected Horticulture

Opportunities for Tasmanian Protected Horticulture

30 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck welcomed the release of a KPMG report* on Dutch agricultural lessons for Australian producers.


“I have had the opportunity to observe protected horticulture in the Northern Hemisphere when I was previously in this role and from those observations I believe that Tasmania could be one of the best locations in Australia to develop this practice,” Assistant Minister Colbeck said.

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Strahan Connected to the NBN

Strahan Connected to the NBN

29 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Strahan has officially become the first major West Coast town to connect to the NBN today, with around 400 premises served by the new infrastructure.

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its election promise to the people of Strahan, who can officially sign up today for an NBN service,” Senator Colbeck said.

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Senator Colbeck Elevated to Ministry

Senator Colbeck Elevated to Ministry

27 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck is delighted with his inclusion in the new generation Morrison Ministry.

"It is an honour to serve my country as Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and I'm delighted to return to this portfolio which I know well," Senator Colbeck said.

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Statement on the Leadership

Statement on the Leadership

24 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck congratulated the new Liberal leadership team of Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg and thanked outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party Julie Bishop for their service to the people of Australia.

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Remembering Dame Enid Lyons

Remembering Dame Enid Lyons

21 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the day Dame Enid Lyons became the first woman elected to the Australian House of Representatives.

Senator Richard Colbeck paid tribute to the Smithton native who represented the seat of Darwin, the precursor to the seat of Braddon in North West Tasmania.

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Josephite Centre opened at St Peter Chanel Catholic School

Josephite Centre opened at St Peter Chanel Catholic School

17 August 2018 - Richard Colbeck

Students and staff at St Peter Chanel Catholic School in Smithton will have full use of the newly constructed Josephite Centre consisting of the extended general learning areas, the new general learning areas and multipurpose hall and the refurbished administration area thanks to funding from the Turnbull Government.

Senator Colbeck participated in the opening of the new facilities today on behalf of the Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

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Coalition Extends TFES for Tasmanian Drought Relief Fodder Donations

Coalition Extends TFES for Tasmanian Drought Relief Fodder Donations

10 August 2018 - Senator Richard Colbeck

The Coalition Government has extended the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) to include northbound donated fodder, in a move which will ease some of the hardship in drought affected areas of the mainland.

“We don’t know what next summer will bring but, with this historic amendment to the TFES, mainland farmers can be sure that Tassie has their backs," Senator Colbeck said.

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Keay’s Bold-Faced Lie Derails Labor Campaign

25 July 2018

Former Braddon MP Justine Keay has been exposed in an act of brazen deception towards the Tasmanian people in the final days of the campaign.

“Ms Keay, in prepared remarks that she later double down on, told the people of Braddon at the TCCI forum that her party would match the Coalition Government’s business tax reduction to 25%,”* Senator Richard Colbeck said.

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Funding to Complete Devonport Gymnastics Facility

6 July 2018

The Coalition Government will contribute $300,000 to complete a new facility for the Devonport Gymnastics Club.

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Embarrassing business lunch belly-flop for Shorten

4 July 2018

Reports* that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Devonport business lunch has had to be downgraded to a “working lunch” due to a lack of numbers are telling about what business think of Mr Shorten, Senator Richard Colbeck said today.

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Labor Trainwreck Interview Exposes Keay

27 June 2018

Senator Richard Colbeck has called on Justine Keay to come clean with the electorate and tell them if she backs Tasmanian colleague Bass MP Ross Hart or leader Bill Shorten on Labor’s new company tax hike.

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Keay Must Rule Out Tax Hikes on 388 Businesses in Braddon

27 June 2018

Today Justine Keay must call on leader Bill Shorten to rule out rolling back legislated tax cuts on all businesses between $2m and $10m which would hurt the workers of 388 businesses in Braddon.

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Keay Caught Out Again

21 June 2018

Senator Richard Colbeck has said that Justine Keay shows no shame with her misrepresentations.

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Mary Binks OAM

13 June 2018

Senator Richard Colbeck paid tribute to the life and contribution to her community of former Devonport Mayor Mary Binks OAM.  “I had the genuine pleasure to serve on Devonport Council with Mary when she became Devonport’s first female Mayor from 1999."

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Tackling the Scourge of Ice in Circular Head

11 June 2018

The Coalition Government is delivering on our strategy to tackle the scourge of ice in our communities, with a Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) being established in Circular Head.

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Ulverstone Neighbourhood House Solar Communities Grant

5 June 2018

The Coalition Government continues to deliver on its commitment to regional communities with a $7,827 grant to Ulverstone Neighbourhood House for a solar PV system.

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Liberals guarantee future for National Resource Management organisations in Tasmania

1 June 2018

The Federal Coalition Government has delivered $660,000 for the Cradle Coast and Southern National Resource Management organisations to ensure business continuity.

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Another Labor Con - Mobile Phone Towers

1 June 2018

During their seven years in Government from 2007-2013 Labor delivered ZERO new mobile phone blackspot towers in Braddon – they scrapped the Black Spots Program. The facts are, since being elected in 2013, the Liberal Government has delivered nine new mobile phone towers in Braddon and three more have been announced in recent weeks.

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Shorten fails to rule out preference deal with the Greens

30 May 2018

In today’s Advocate, Bill Shorten twice failed to rule out doing a preference deal with the Greens in Braddon.

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Tasmanian Trade Mission to Asia to Benefit NW Agriculture

29 May 2018

Senator Richard Colbeck and Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley have urged North West businesses to jump on board the State Government’s latest Trade Mission, announced today.

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Shorten must rule out preference deal with Greens

29 May 2018

Senator Richard Colbeck has called on Bill Shorten to rule out a preference deal with the Greens in the upcoming Braddon byelection, during his visit today. "Mr Shorten needs to be upfront with the voters - will he rule out doing a preference deal with the Greens?" Senator Colbeck said.

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Colbeck Responds to Shorten

28 May 2018

Bill Shorten’s promise today is as dodgy as he is - it’s a fake promise that won’t be delivered because even if Labor win the Braddon by-election, they won’t be in government.

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Keay Caught Out on Company Tax Numbers

22 May 2018

Former MP Justine Keay has been caught out fudging the numbers on her company tax claims. Her recent claims that only ten businesses on the North West Coast would benefit from the Coalition Government’s tax relief have turned out to be completely false.

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Colbeck Responds to Keay Over Bass Highway

22 May 2018

"The Labor position is little different from the Liberal position except they have allocated $6 million and we have allocated $400 million," Senator Colbeck said. "Labor hasn’t nominated a single project for the Bass Highway. Both need to talk to the State Liberal Government. We don’t pretend to ride into town and tell the State what to do. We all know Bill Shorten came to Tassie and promised enough money to build less than a quarter of the Bridgewater Bridge."

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Colbeck Debates European Union Ambassador in Hobart

18 May 2018

With negotiations set to heat up around a potential EU/Australia Free Trade Agreement, Senator Richard Colbeck has debated the European Trade Delegation on the issue of Geographic Indicators in Tasmania. Senator Colbeck, who was previously Minister assisting the Minister for Trade, said that protecting Brand Tasmania was a critical part of the state’s future but that Geographic Indicators were not the way to do it."

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High Value Timber Improvement Project in Smithton

14 May 2018

The next phase of the Britton Brothers High Value Timber Drying Improvement Project (HVTDIP) has commenced, with the project to provide five full time jobs in the timber industry in Smithton as well as five in construction. Senator Richard Colbeck congratulated Britton Brothers on the progress of the project, welcoming the boost to jobs in the North West forestry sector.

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Funding for Exports in TFES

12 May 2018

The Coalition Government continues its strong commitment to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) with continued funding for the export component across the forward estimates in the 2018/19 Budget. Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said that since its expansion to include exports in 2016 the TFES had been the assisting Tasmanian businesses to compete in markets around the world.

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Exceptionally good budget for Tasmania

8 May 2018

This year’s Federal Budget is an “exceptionally good” budget for Tasmania, the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team said tonight. It delivers a record-breaking nearly one billion dollars in infrastructure funding, as well securing essential services funding, while delivering tax relief that will directly benefit around 170,000 Tasmanians. Spokesman for the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team, Senator Richard Colbeck, said: "This budget delivers for Tasmania, and is clear evidence of the Federal Government’s commitment to our state."

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Braddon families to benefit from added early learning support

30 April 2018

Families in Braddon are set for more support to access early childhood education and care, backed by new funding from the Turnbull Government. Senator Richard Colbeck today welcomed the support for much needed local child care and early learning services.

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Senator Colbeck Raises Awareness for World Vaccination Week

26 April 2018

Tasmanian Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck has acted to help lift flu immunisation rates by getting his flu vaccination administered by a local community pharmacist.

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Future Jobs Boom in Agriculture

24 April 2018

The agriculture sector is predicted to be a significant area of jobs growth over the next 6 years, with a report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research predicting 80,900 job openings for farm managers in that time.

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Coalition backs young sporting champions

24 April 2018

Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck has urged young athletes to apply for a Local Sporting Champions grant to support their involvement in sport. “The Coalition Government is committed to getting Australian kids more active, more often,” Senator Colbeck said today.

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Australia Defence Export Office and Defence Industrial Capability Plan to Support Tas Industries

23 April 2018

The Turnbull Government has taken the next step in creating a significant defence export industry with the establishment of a coordinating body to link suppliers with overseas customers.

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Europeans attempt to undermine Brand Tasmania

20 April 2018

Ahead of early negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Australia, the Europeans have made ambit claims over a number of generic product names that are widely used in the rest of the world. Senator Richard Colbeck said that Tasmanian producers of feta, parmesan and many other goods would be harmed by European insistence that only producers from particular continental regions can use such terms on their labelling.

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AFL Steering Committee Disconnected from Community

19 April 2018

In a sign of the increasing disconnect between the AFL and the many Tasmanians who love the game, Gillon McLachlan’s new steering committee met far from the people they seek to provide solutions to. “It was telling that while Tasmania’s State League footy club Presidents met in Hobart last night, the AFL steering committee deigned to meet in Melbourne to decide their fate,” Senator Richard Colbeck said.

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Qantas Pilot Training College

19 April 2018

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck has called on the Tasmanian State Government to take the lead in coordinating submissions to Qantas for their proposed Pilot Training College.

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Recreational Fishing Forum

19 April 2018

The North West Recreational Fisheries Public Forum held last night at the Devonport Yacht Club was an opportunity for around 65 interested recreational fishers, DPIPWE fishery managers and IMAS fisheries scientists to come together to discuss key challenges and opportunities for the industry.

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Keay Behind the Ball on Mobile Black Spots

12 April, 2018

Labor’s Justine Keay has proven once again that she is out of touch with issues facing the electors of Braddon.

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Penguin Men's Shed

6 April 2018

The Penguin Men’s Shed has been awarded a grant of $4930 from the Turnbull Government for new tools and building maintenance under the Government’s National Shed Development Programme.

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