Giddings pushes for Tasmanian workers

FOREIGN workers should not be the solution to Tasmania’s chef shortage, Franklin Labor MHA Lara Giddings says.
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The Tasmanian Hospitality Association says there are more than 140 vacant jobs for chefs and cooks across the state, with restaurants increasingly turning to importing workers on 457 visas.

The state government has pledged to work with the industry to attract the best possible people to the state, but Ms Giddings said the solution should lie closer to home.

‘‘I hope that we could actually grow our own, rather than bring others in to take jobs that really should be going to Tasmanians,’’ she said.

‘‘I can understand for industry that if they can’t get Tasmanians to fill those jobs then they have to find employees from somewhere.

‘‘I think what the government’s role is, is not to keep supporting foreign workers coming in and taking those Tasmanian jobs, but actually working with people on the ground in Tasmania.’’

Ms Giddings said she believed shows like MasterChef could spark an interest in young people to want to take up a career in cooking.

State Growth Minister Matthew Groom said the government was working with the industry to plan for the long-term, and wanted to bring more young Tasmanians into the sector.

‘‘Tasmania has got a great opportunity when it comes to the hospitality sector, that’s not just off the back of the tourism sector,’’ he said.

‘‘We want to work with the hospitality sector to make sure that young Tasmanians recognise that they can have a positive and exciting future, a positive and exciting career in hospitality.’’

There are about 270 TasTAFE students studying various cookery courses.

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Lambie’s son ‘ice addict’

Jacqui LambieSENATOR Jacqui Lambie has revealed her son’s ice addiction in Parliament in an impassioned speech arguing for involuntary detox for children.
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On Monday, Burnie-based Senator Lambie lamented her inability to fix her son’s drug problem while making an emotional plea on mental health laws.

‘‘I am a senator of Australia and I have a 21-year-old son that has a problem with ice, and yet even with my title I have no control over my son,’’ she said.

‘‘I cannot involuntarily detox my own son.

‘‘I am not talking to my son any more; I am now talking to a drug.

‘‘And I can tell you I am not the only parent out there in that situation; there are thousands of us.’’

In the speech she warned of the devastation of ice.

She wanted specific legislation for compulsory treatment for minors.

‘‘The way that ice is affecting these kids is phenomenal and it is a very, very bad result,’’ she said.

‘‘These kids will have three or four choices in their lives: they will either end up on a slab, end up in a mental institution or end up killing somebody else because of their actions, because they do not have control of the drug.

‘‘This is where this society is heading, and we are sitting here and we are not doing anything about it.

‘‘When we realise that this ice is a major problem in our society, it will be all too late.’’

Tasmanian community workers have warned that ice use could reach epidemic levels if not addressed.

The state government provided $4.8million in its recent budget, which would fund 12 new rehabilitation beds, although Rural Health Tasmania continues to call for early intervention and prevention services.

Senator Lambie said ice was a ‘‘mental health crisis’’ that would grow unless both federal and state governments took strong measures to prevent ‘‘mental health injuries’’ in young people.

She wanted political parties to consider national legislation making detox mandatory for children who were drug addicted.

She said Tasmania had a massive ice problem.

‘‘Australian parents deserve the right to speak to their children, not the drug, when they are trying to put them back on the straight and narrow.’’

She opposed a bill to amend social services laws, saying it would let the government cut the disability support pension to psychiatric or forensic patients accused of serious crimes.

‘‘It is very easy to take a populist position and vote for legislation which takes a hard line against people who are alleged to have committed terrible crimes and who have serious mental illnesses,’’ Senator Lambie said.

‘‘The harder position is to oppose this legislation on the basis that it undermines basic civil rights and the chance of a quicker recovery for people who are very sick with mental illness.’’

She said she was taking the ‘‘hard road’’ by voting against the legislation.

‘‘In this debate, I think the government has forgotten that the people affected by this legislation have already been assessed by the courts and found to be mentally very ill.

‘‘It seems that the government is trying to undermine the courts’ rulings and punish these people.’’

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Cyclone-type damage in freak thunderstorm

ON THE SCENE: Emergency personnel at a damaged building in Ulverstone last night.A LOCALISED weather event caused “cyclone-type” damage at West Ulverstone last night, according to the SES.
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What appeared to be a brief thunderstorm tore off part of the roof of the Lions club and damaged Queen Street shops, including the office being used by the Richmond Fellowship, SES acting regional officer Damian Hingston said.

The soccer club roof in Flora Street was also damaged.

“I’ve seen it from cyclone-type damage before where it looks like the wind has got inside the [Lions club] building and then it’s pressurised the building and then blown some of the roller doors out from inside,” Mr Hingston said.

“I spoke to the Bureau of Meteorology and they were not even aware of it so it didn’t even show up on any of their monitoring equipment. It’s just one of those things that’s dropped out of a storm cell.”

Some other buildings were damaged by debris. Mr Hingston said there did not appear to be any serious damage to residences in the area. Police were first to attend about 7pm.

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Dinosaurs come to life on stage

YOU can pat, feed and learn about the behaviour and habits of dinosaurs at Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo.
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This cutting-edge theatre production will be held at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre on August 25 at 11am and 6pm.

“Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo fuses together extraordinary artistry with captivating scientific facts, all the while bringing a collection of dinosaurs to life in front of your eyes,” BAFC director Geoff Dobson said.

“Erth are recognised as an innovator of physical and visual theatre, both nationally and internationally, creating a menagerie of large-scale puppets.

“The world’s largest known flying insect, the Meganeura monyi, will even be there. Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo is suitable for primary school students.”

Student group bookings are available for the 11am show and there is a resource kit available for teachers.

There is also a puppet-making workshop on August 25 at 2pm, where children can learn how to make and operate their own dinosaur. The workshop is suitable for ages five to 12 and costs $15 per person. Bookings are essential.

The workshop is supported by the Unearthed Arts program, which, in partnership with MMG, provides access to quality arts experiences for the community through audience development activities, workshops and opportunities to exhibit and perform.

For show tickets or workshop bookings, visit 梧桐夜网 or call the box office on 6430 5850.

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Applying the Heat on premiership drought

SOMERSET stalwart Leigh McInnes is the only coach to date to have taken the Heat to an NWBU senior men’s grand final appearance.
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That was in 2003, against Devonport.

“I remember it was a massive crowd and Mark Banovic came out and shot 23 points in the first quarter and that killed us,” McInnes recalled.

“We prepared well and did everything right but just couldn’t get over the line.”

While the 400-game veteran is no longer playing, McInnes said it would delight him to see the Heat claim their first-ever NWBU men’s title in tonight’s grand final against Burnie.

“Even though I’m not playing, it would still mean a fair bit,” he said. “I coached a lot of those guys and played with a lot of them – it would be fantastic for the club.”

McInnes said he would be at Ulverstone tonight cheering the team on, along with several other former players.

Current club president Graham Hyland has been involved at Somerset since 1993 and was also involved in the 2003 grand final defeat as team manager. Hyland is also hopeful the Heat can come out on the winning side of the ledger this time around.

“I feel calm and collected, and I just hope these boys can go on with it,” he said.

“Dave [coach David Kay] and Josh [assistant Josh Salter] have been two great coaches, they really have – they’ve put in a lot of time and Dave has done a lot of travelling [from Smithton], averaging three times a week coming up here.”

Hyland, who was treasurer at the club for 19 years and has been president for the past two, said a premiership victory would mean a lot to him.

“It would put the icing on the cake for me because I’m not getting younger, I’m 74, and I’m probably the oldest by a good 10 years of anyone here.

“It would be very, very nice.”

Current player Damien Aherne said the team was “quietly confident” of breaking the club’s premiership drought.

“We’re really focused on getting out there, everyone fulfilling their role, giving 110 per cent and leaving nothing out there,” he said.

Somerset’s men are aiming for their first-ever premiership in the competition.400-game former player Leigh McInnes and long-time club president Graham Hyland will be cheering on current player Damien Aherne and the rest of his team. Picture; Stuart Wilson.

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