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TAS Country : February 3rd 2011
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 4, 2011 Your Say Urgent need to bolster Tasmania's biosecurity I WRITE in response to David Byard's column, Safeguards serve state well (Tasmanian Country, January 28). The Tasmanian Liberals strongly agree with Mr Byard's concerns. The State Government has again proven its incompetence in the primary industries portfolio by putting Tasmania's abalone industry at huge risk because it has underfunded biosecurity in Tasmania. The Abalone Industry Council says it created a biosecurity plan several years ago, but after token efforts from the Government, the implementation did not get enough funding from the department. The AIC is rightly disappointed with the Government's poor effort. The Government is stumbling from one disaster to the next, and key issues are being ignored. We have long been campaigning for a well- resourced biosecurity system and urge the Government to increase funding to the program. Jeremy Rockliff MHA Liberal Primary Industries Spokesman Milked for every drop A SHORT sighted price war, or purposeful manipulation of the dairy industry? You decide, but one thing for sure is that regardless of Coles' and Woolworths' assurances of absorbing the costs of slashed-price milk, the farmers will eventually suffer. Dairy farmers are right to be sceptical about a promise from the duopoly. For example, more than a year has passed since both Coles and Woolworths promised they would end restrictive covenants aimed at preventing competitors opening stores close to their own, yet in 2011 many of the covenants remain. How are we to believe they are about to place the welfare of dairy farmers above their single bottom line when they have not acted in this way previously? Despite the duopoly's frequent spotlight on rolling back prices, it is worth noting that bargains generally buck the trend because Coles and Woolworths grocery prices have risen 41 per cent since 2000 --- that's eight per cent more than the OECD average. With this in mind I am joining other parliamentarians in supporting a call from the Australian Dairy Farmers for an ACCC inquiry. It is impossible to believe these $100 billion giants of retail would be so naive as to consider such a price cut as anything but damaging to all dairy farmers. Pura and Betta will invariably be pressured by customer demand to reduce their prices in line with those offered by the supermarkets, and these processors have offered no such promise of absorbing the costs. They will pass them on to farmers. This is all about increasing market share of unbranded product, forcing consumer prices down and dairy farmers to the wall. The ACCC must recognise this and show some backbone in their inquiry. Twenty three cents out of every dollar spent in Australia goes to Coles and Woolworths, it is time they recognised that it is not only consumers but also producers who keep them in business. Christine Milne Greens Senator for Tasmania w w w.australia.gov.au/paidparentalleave Parents 13 61 50 Employers 13 11 58 PPL4/M8 Taking time away from work for a new baby is a common part of working life. Paid Parental Leave will help parents spend time with a new baby, and help employers retain skilled staff. What is Paid Parental Leave? Eligible working parents may get 18 weeks Government-funded pay at the National Minimum Wage, currently $570 a week before tax, to help them care for a new baby. Parents who adopt may also be eligible. Am I eligible? Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible. You must have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) for 10 of the 13 months before your new baby arrives. You can have up to an 8 week unpaid break between two working days and still be eligible. You can earn up to $150,000 a year (individual salary) and still be eligible. Is it for both parents? Yes, usually the mother must apply for Paid Parental Leave. If you are eligible, you can transfer some or all of the pay to your partner (they need to be eligible too). The scheme gives families more options to balance work and family. When can I take it? You can claim up to three months in advance, and your pay can start at any time you choose from when your child is born or adopted. It will be paid in one continuous period from the start date and must all be taken within the first year after the birth or adoption. You are encouraged to apply early. What about employer-provided entitlements? Eligible parents can receive Parental Leave pay at the same time, before or after other employer-provided paid leave or entitlements. The existing minimum entitlement to 12 months unpaid parental leave for long-term employees is unchanged. What does it mean for employers? From 1 July 2011, employers must provide Government-funded Parental Leave pay through their usual pay cycle to eligible employees who have been with their business for at least 12 months. Other eligible parents will be paid through the Family Assistance Office. Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra Advertisement To learn more about Paid Parental Leave or to apply, visit the website or call the appropriate number below. If you re a working parent expecting a child, there s something else you can expect On 1 January 2011, Australia s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme was introduced. It s a new entitlement for working parents, funded by the Australian Government. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania 2048557-04 Please remove any hidden obstacles in your poppy paddocks while they can still be seen and ensure access is clear. Delays are costly for everyone.
January 27th 2011
February 10th 2011