1 year ago




86 SENATE Tuesday, 14 February 2017 Palliative Care Tasmania does a lot of work in professional development, helping people in health and aged care better understand how to care for people who are dying and how to support them and their families in making informed choices about their care. But Mr Mathewson also pointed out that the closure of this program will lead to reduced support for individuals, families and communities. Last week, the ABC highlighted the story of Trish McDonald, a patient with stage 4 melanoma. Seeking answers about her own mortality, Ms McDonald enrolled in a course on death and dying run by Palliative Care Tasmania. Not only did Palliative Care Tasmania help her to understand her situation; they also helped her to approach the subject of dying with her son, who was 11 years old at the time of her diagnosis. In the online article, Ms McDonald spoke passionately about the need for the service Palliative Care Tasmania provides. She said: To have education within the community about death and dying, that's hugely important because if you don't talk about it, it's hidden. We know that encouraging conversations with family about death and dying and that knowing how to approach those conversations and what to discuss leads to an improvement in end-of-life care. These conversations, and the education that helps facilitate them, have a massive impact in improving the quality of life for people who are dying, while also saving millions of dollars in acute care. Not only in Tasmania but across Australia, there is a need to change attitudes to death and dying and to encourage conversations about end-of-life care. This project has covered major ground in meeting this need in Tasmania, but there is much more to be done. With the closure of Palliative Care Tasmania, there is no other organisation or agency that can provide this service in my home state. To demonstrate the degree to which Tasmanians value the work of Palliative Care Tasmania, a petition I organised to call for further funding attracted more than 1,000 signatures in just a few weeks. When Palliative Care Tasmania closes its doors, I will be making it very clear to those petitioners that this intransigent government is at fault. Unlike the Turnbull government, Labor understands the value of Palliative Care Tasmania's work in this area. Prior to the last election, we committed to extending their funding so that they could continue to deliver the project for another three years. Not only did we commit to extending this project but we also committed to evaluating it for a national rollout. What we are facing now is the impending closure of a highly successful program—a program that should be rolled out across Australia but instead is ending because of the pig-headed ignorance of this government. The kind of community education that Palliative Care Tasmania provides is vital to improving end-of-life care in Australia, yet this government has demonstrated that it does not understand the value of community education in end-of-life care. To allow Palliative Care Tasmania to close is absolutely shameful, and it is right that those opposite be condemned for it. Tasmania Senator URQUHART (Tasmania—Opposition Whip in the Senate) (19:49): Cradle Mountain is a globallyrecognised natural landmark. The look on a visitor's face the first time they gaze up at its presence and beauty is why its tourism potential has been recognised for over a century. It was in 1911 that Austrian naturalist Gustav Weindorfer bought land in Cradle Valley and built the original 'Waldheim' chalet for guests to use as a base when exploring the region. Our First Australians have used the land for at least 10,000 years, with the valley and surrounding area containing many Aboriginal living areas and sites. Cradle, as it is affectionately known, attracts over 200,000 visitors each year and, in the second half of 2016, there was a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers compared to the same period the year before. These visitors support thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment both in the valley and across Northern Tasmania. To meet the expectations of visitors and to ensure we continue to preserve the valley, urgent infrastructure upgrades are needed at Cradle. The Tasmanian National Parks Service, Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, Kentish Council and the regional Cradle Coast Authority developed the Cradle Mountain Master Plan, which they presented to all political parties before last year's election. Labor made a commitment of federal funding of $15 million, but the federal Liberals, despite their slogan of 'jobs and growth' and despite the then federal tourism minister living just an hour away, could only stump up $1 million for a feasibility study. What has developed in the seven months since the election demonstrates how little the Liberals care about Tasmania. Prime Minister Turnbull and then tourism minister Senator Colbeck made a clear commitment during the election. Despite his appalling result in Tasmania, the Prime Minister must honour his commitments to the Tasmanian people and deliver the promised funds. But today we have learnt that the process for delivering just the $1 million for the feasibility study is to give the money to the state government first. Instead of the funding being administered by the Commonwealth and delivered directly to the Cradle Coast Authority, an organisation which regularly receives direct Commonwealth grants and is equipped to manage them, the federal and state Liberals have decided to deliver the money to the Cradle Coast Authority through the state government's great bureaucratic white elephant, the Coordinator- CHAMBER

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 SENATE 87 General. I note that when announced by the state Liberals the Coordinator-General was meant to attract new investment to the state, not manage Commonwealth grants that could be managed directly. The people of Tasmania are crying out for new investment. Whether the conservative ideologues in the Liberal Party like it or not, there is a strong role for government in attracting investment to Tasmania. What we need for investment is certainty, not silly games from a government that continues to fight within itself rather than get on with the job that the Tasmanian people deserve. Tonight, I call on the Prime Minister and Senators Abetz, Bushby, Parry and Duniam to do what Labor did in government—hunt as a pack and deliver for Tasmania. Senators, you need to go and demand that the Prime Minister and the minister responsible deliver the funds as per the Prime Minister's election commitment, and then follow it up with constant pressure to ensure the Prime Minister matches the commitments of federal Labor and your state Liberal colleagues of $15 million from each jurisdiction. Use the government investment to attract private investment and get the development started. The project is the No.1 priority for Tasmania's tourism industry and is supported by all levels of government. The development will generate 145 full-time jobs during construction and 113 new full-time jobs once complete. It will support thousands more jobs in both the Cradle Valley and across northern Tasmania. It will give tourists from across the world a sensational experience as they enter the valley. It will deliver a second 'wow' that supplements that natural beauty. The Cradle Coast Authority recently said that visitors are reporting disappointment with the sense of arrival at the valley. Therefore, it is a real risk that the attractiveness of Cradle will be overtaken by other sites. The chase for tourists only gets harder each year. This project must be supported properly by this government. I urge the government to get on with the job of governing and deliver their election commitments to the people of Tasmania. Brandis, Senator George Pauline Hanson's One Nation Senator KETTER (Queensland) (19:54): During question time today, I asked a few simple questions. However, when you are dealing with the most accident-prone Attorney-General in history, Senator Brandis, nothing is ever quite that simple. As usual, the Attorney-General took the Senate down a long, windy and unedifying response. In fact, his claims were false. His claims that the Queensland Labor Party had approached One Nation for preference deals were not true. Senator Brandis' claims that my colleague, Senator Chisholm, was the state secretary at the relevant time of the alleged approach were also false. The behaviour of the Attorney- General is misleading, disappointing and extremely unhelpful. In his answer, Senator Brandis attempted to somehow tie a senator, Senator Chisholm, to preference deals with One Nation in Queensland. Senator Dastyari raised the point earlier on as a point of order. Senator Brandis, please be aware that Senator Chisholm is not the state secretary of Queensland Labor; he is a Senator. I understand that Senator Brandis must be upset. His Western Australian colleagues have thrown him and the Queensland LNP under the bus. Indeed, Senator Brandis has previously thrown his own Queensland LNP team under the bus—after previously revealing that he does not think they are very good. Senator Brandis' current rhetoric suggests that the Queensland Liberals will go down a similar path to the Western Australian Liberals. I say this because of his reluctance to denounce One Nation policies. What I can say, like the rest of my Labor colleagues, is that there will be no deal between One Nation and Labor. How can Senator Brandis sit in this place—how can he seriously sit here in the Australian Senate—and in good conscience contemplate support for One Nation's policies? During question time, I also referred to comments from the former Treasurer, Mr Costello. The former Treasurer denounced One Nation's foolish economic policies, as did former Prime Minister John Howard, but the current government supports them. Senator Brandis, the senator representing the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Government in the Senate, is somehow unable to denounce their policies. Although, to his credit, the Attorney-General did accept that the two per cent flat tax was a foolish policy. This is shameful. It is shameful because their policies do not make any sense. As I said in question time, one senior cabinet minister has claimed that One Nation's approach had a certain 'economic rationalism', 'reflective of what it is to govern Australia in a fiscally responsible way,' and that theirs was a 'mature approach to economic policy'. Let me just reiterate what those policies are. One Nation's policies include: the flat two per cent tax on every Australian; exploring the removal of federal taxation; getting rid of penalty rates across the board—and, for me, that is one of the most serious of One Nation's policies which can cause the greatest of harm to vulnerable workers across the state of Queensland; opposition to globalisation; opposition to free-trade economic policies; and a promise to withdraw from international treaties. If these policies are the policies which are part of what the CHAMBER

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