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Greens to create firefighting capacity within the Australian Defence Force

28 Jun 2016

The Greens have pledged to establish a specialist firefighting unit within the Australian Defence Force and bolster Australia’s aerial firefighting fleet.

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TransCanada to sue US Government over Keystone decision putting global climate action at risk

26 Jun 2016

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says the decision by TransCanada to sue the United States Government for $15 billion in damages using the Investor-State Dispute settlement provisions in NAFTA over the Keystone pipeline decision puts global climate action at risk and also serves as a warning for Australia to not ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Senator Whish-Wilson says, “The chickens are coming home to roost with these ISDS provisions. A fossil fuel company who was refused planning permission is using a clause in a trade deal to undermine a decision made in the public interest.

“This will send chills down the spines of government’s around the world that are seeking to act on climate change. These Trojan horse clauses in trade deals are undermining democracy and undermining the world’s ability to seek a safe climate.

 

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Greens to invest in Antarctic Science. It's time to remove the world’s blindfold as we face climate change

26 Jun 2016

Greens spokesperson for Antarctica, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has today released the most comprehensive Antarctic science funding package ever put forward by a political party.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The work of Australia’s Antarctic scientists is pivotal in understand the risk of climate change. Nothing shows this more than the recent discovery that the East Antarctic ice-sheet giant isn’t as stable as we thought and is now starting to collapse. This alone could potentially add several metres to catastrophic sea-level rise.

“Without understanding Antarctica we can’t hope to better predict the droughts, fires and floods that have plagued Tasmania over this unprecedented summer. The work of our Antarctic scientists is central to how we manage our economy over the coming years and decades and our investment in Antarctic science should reflect this.

“On top of cuts to CSIRO, the funding for the Antarctic Ecosystems and Climate Cooperative Research Centre and the Antarctic Gateway Partnership runs out in the coming years without any sign it will be renewed by the major parties.

 

 

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Greens welcome UTAS funding announcement

24 Jun 2016

Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the UTAS funding announcement today.

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Australia should stand with Clinton and reject the TPP

22 Jun 2016

Australian Greens spokesperson for trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has today welcomed Hillary Clinton’s call for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) to be rejected.

In a major policy speech Hillary Clinton gave just hours ago, the Democrat nominee said, "To do that, we should renegotiate deals that aren’t working for Americans, and reject any agreements — like the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that don’t meet my high bar for raising wages or creating good-paying jobs."

Senator Whish-Wilson welcome this and said, “Hillary Clinton has belled the cat. The TPP was negotiated in secret to advance corporate interests. It will not benefit ordinary people and is a threat to wages and conditions.

 

“I call on both the Coalition and Labor to face up to the reality that the TPP is a dud deal and should be rejected.

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Mountain Biking in Tasmania - Number 1 by 2030

20 Jun 2016

Mountain Biking in Tasmania—Number One by 2030

 $6 million for adventure tourism in Tasmania


 Tasmania is a unique environment and we want to share it with the world. Mountain bike riding is increasingly popular, and Tasmania is a perfect place for adventure tourism. The North East of the state has proven this. The Greens want to get the infrastructure and marketing in place to get riders visiting other parts of the state too, including more remote areas. This will provide employment and business opportunities for other parts of Tasmania.

 

The Australian Greens would introduce a new tourism and development package for Tasmania to make the state the world’s No. 1 mountain biking destination by 2030.

 The Greens think there’s more that can be done to promote Tasmania as a mountain bike destination by adopting a more holistic approach to development and promotion. This will require the development of a Tasmanian Mountain Bike Master Plan to encourage consistency and cooperation between stakeholders, agencies and land holders.

 A similar holistic approach was originally targeted in 2007 and 2009 by the state government and other stakeholders. But recent feedback has suggested the need to revamp this approach if we are to achieve the status of being world leaders in this rapidly growing area of adventure tourism. For example, the Tasmanian Government, through its West Coast Rescue package, was planning the creation of tracks on the West Coast that will match the facilities on the East Coast. This has recently stalled.

 Tasmania has many existing riding trails and potential new trails that suit beginners right up to extreme sports fanatics. Amazing wilderness, culture and heritage abound on many of these trails. Tasmania also has many mountain biking enthusiasts and a thriving community of riders. There is no reason we cannot use these competitive advantages to better capitalise on this massive tourism draw card.

 Most tourism in Tasmania is currently centred on Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Mountain. The Greens’ plan is designed to help push more regional and wilderness areas to the forefront, and support local businesses providing accommodation, tours, rentals and other support industries. This would include Tourism Australia and Tourism Tasmania directly marketing the state as a destination for mountain bikers.

 The international mountain bike race ‘Wildside MTB’ has also experienced difficulty recently. This major tourism event should be given the support needed. The Greens believe the state government should consider the purchase of this business given the importance of the race in promoting Tasmania and building adventure-based tourism. We would fund a feasibility study into this purchase and how to redevelop and promote ‘Wildside MTB: re-animated’.

 Nature-based tourism has higher yields in Australia than other types of tourism, with visitors spending 22% more time and 17% more money. Regional areas in Tasmania with wilderness areas have the potential to capitalise on the growing interest in wilderness by attracting riders from all over the world.

 

The Greens’ plan:

-    $100,000 to develop the Tasmanian Mountain Bike Master Plan in consultation with stakeholders from the public and private sector. The 2009 Tasmanian Mountain Bike Plan is an excellent starting point that provides a strategic overview for developing a statewide and coordinated approach. It is however 7 years old and needs updating and review.

-    A $20,000 feasibility study for the purchase and development of ‘Wildside: MTB’ by Tourism Tasmania to be upgraded to ‘Wildside MTB: re-animated’.

-    $250,000 to Tourism Australia or Tasmania to be used for adventure tourism market research and targeting with a focus on growth markets in Europe, the US and Asia.

-    $250,000 for a targeted marketing campaign based on the results of this research.

-    $5,000,000 to get the infrastructure that’s needed for visitors - clearing trails, signage, access and visitor’s centres, as well as additional costs associated with managing leases and licenses.

-    $500,000 for specific assistance for small businesses working in nature-based adventure tourism in Tasmania. We want small businesses to grow, employ locals and build a thriving bike tourism sector in the state.

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