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Politics Random Ramblings

Tasmanian Legal System (or lack of)

After long legal proceedings the sentencing for the DPP has been handed down… What a bloody joke, a four month suspended sentence…

DPP Tim Ellis sentenced in Hobart Magistrates Court
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Politics Random Ramblings

What is Joe Hockey Smoking?

What is Joe Hockey Smoking? One has to wonder what goes through the mind of Joe Hockey to make such an insulting comment on the people of Australia…

Hockey accused of arrogance for saying poor people ‘don’t have cars’
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Politics Random Ramblings

Return to Van Dieman’s Land?

ASYLUM seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC says Tasmania should be declared a haven for asylum seekers in a move that would save the nation billions of dollars and boost the state’s economy.

image

Mr Burnside outlined his proposal of a “Tasmanian solution” to Australia’s offshore asylum seeker processing crisis during a public lecture in Hobart.

Social welfare groups such as the Tasmanian Council of Social Service say Mr Burnside’s “bold and sweeping plan” has serious merit and should be considered by the incoming Abbott Government.

Premier Lara Giddings said she would not be supportive of a series of permanent prison-like detention centres being set up around the state.

“We have been welcoming of the Pontville detainees but we need to be cautious about going down a pathway too far,” Ms Giddings said from Asia yesterday.

Mr Burnside said the Pontville experience had shown Tasmanians were open to having asylum seekers in the community.

He said Tasmania was a logical place for the proposal to be trialled with its island status and historical link to being a place of detention.

“But I am not talking about these people being banged up in detention centres but allowed to live and spend in the community,” he said.

“These new detainees would spend in the community and provide a population boost to struggling rural towns.”

Mr Burnside proposed the Tasmanian Government be offered a $1 billion sweetener to embrace the idea.

“If we did this, and even if every asylum seeker was on Centrelink benefits, Australia would still be saving $2 billion a year,” Mr Burnside said.

“That is a huge amount of money and the solution would be a huge benefit to Tasmania.”

Mr Burnside said he would float the idea with the new Federal Government.

“I cannot believe the Australian people are comfortable with the nation spending $4 billion a year to damage people when we could spend half that and help not only the individual asylum seekers but the state of Tasmania and rural communities crying out for a population boost,” he said.

TasCOSS chief executive Tony Reidy said the incoming Prime Minister should look seriously at the proposal.

“Tasmania is ideally situated to take this on,” Mr Reidy said yesterday.

“Asylum seekers are typically coming from desperate situations and coming here while their applications are being assessed would be like arriving in paradise.

“This is a humane way of dealing with Australia’s asylum seeker problem and it would provide a significant boost to Tasmania, especially if regional and rural settlements were accompanied by the provision of social security benefits and significant resourcing to the Tasmania Government to quadruple its affordable housing efforts.

“We need instant action to keep Tasmania’s builders, shopkeepers and other small businesses gainfully employed and this bold idea could be just the thing.”

Sourced from The Mercury

This has to be one of the most crazy ideas that has been suggested in recent times as a band aid fix to a global problem. Tasmania’s European settlement was established as a penal settlement to rid England’s so called thieves, murderers etc, but that was ceased in 1853 now Julian Burnside wants to essentially return the state to an island detention centre. So does that make the current Australian citizens (Tasmania’s current population) in “detention” making us a 2nd class to those who live in the other states/territories? Clearly should this plan even get off the ground I can see a lot of people who will be forced out of their homes because they won’t want to be in a state of detention!

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Return to Van Dieman's Land?

ASYLUM seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC says Tasmania should be declared a haven for asylum seekers in a move that would save the nation billions of dollars and boost the state’s economy.

image

Mr Burnside outlined his proposal of a “Tasmanian solution” to Australia’s offshore asylum seeker processing crisis during a public lecture in Hobart.

Social welfare groups such as the Tasmanian Council of Social Service say Mr Burnside’s “bold and sweeping plan” has serious merit and should be considered by the incoming Abbott Government.

Premier Lara Giddings said she would not be supportive of a series of permanent prison-like detention centres being set up around the state.

“We have been welcoming of the Pontville detainees but we need to be cautious about going down a pathway too far,” Ms Giddings said from Asia yesterday.

Mr Burnside said the Pontville experience had shown Tasmanians were open to having asylum seekers in the community.

He said Tasmania was a logical place for the proposal to be trialled with its island status and historical link to being a place of detention.

“But I am not talking about these people being banged up in detention centres but allowed to live and spend in the community,” he said.

“These new detainees would spend in the community and provide a population boost to struggling rural towns.”

Mr Burnside proposed the Tasmanian Government be offered a $1 billion sweetener to embrace the idea.

“If we did this, and even if every asylum seeker was on Centrelink benefits, Australia would still be saving $2 billion a year,” Mr Burnside said.

“That is a huge amount of money and the solution would be a huge benefit to Tasmania.”

Mr Burnside said he would float the idea with the new Federal Government.

“I cannot believe the Australian people are comfortable with the nation spending $4 billion a year to damage people when we could spend half that and help not only the individual asylum seekers but the state of Tasmania and rural communities crying out for a population boost,” he said.

TasCOSS chief executive Tony Reidy said the incoming Prime Minister should look seriously at the proposal.

“Tasmania is ideally situated to take this on,” Mr Reidy said yesterday.

“Asylum seekers are typically coming from desperate situations and coming here while their applications are being assessed would be like arriving in paradise.

“This is a humane way of dealing with Australia’s asylum seeker problem and it would provide a significant boost to Tasmania, especially if regional and rural settlements were accompanied by the provision of social security benefits and significant resourcing to the Tasmania Government to quadruple its affordable housing efforts.

“We need instant action to keep Tasmania’s builders, shopkeepers and other small businesses gainfully employed and this bold idea could be just the thing.”

Sourced from The Mercury

This has to be one of the most crazy ideas that has been suggested in recent times as a band aid fix to a global problem. Tasmania’s European settlement was established as a penal settlement to rid England’s so called thieves, murderers etc, but that was ceased in 1853 now Julian Burnside wants to essentially return the state to an island detention centre. So does that make the current Australian citizens (Tasmania’s current population) in “detention” making us a 2nd class to those who live in the other states/territories? Clearly should this plan even get off the ground I can see a lot of people who will be forced out of their homes because they won’t want to be in a state of detention!

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It's not rocket science

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that the actions taken by the “Regulator” that you would have ended up with this problem! SERIOUSLY

TASMANIAN residential electricity costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average for low consumption customers, a report by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator says.

The performance of the energy supply industry in a 2011-12 report showed that not only did some Tasmanians pay higher prices but they generally paid for a larger amount of electricity.

Because of the cooler climate and a need for a greater amount of home heating Tasmanian consumption (9.33MWh) was significantly higher than that in South Australia (6.11MWh) and Victoria (5.6MWh).

The report said that at very low consumption levels residential costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average.

At high consumption the costs were comparable with a national average.

The report revealed that Tasmanians had been hit hard by electricity price rises and had trouble paying.

“Increases in the number of customers on payment plans, the number of customers experiencing difficulty in paying their bills and the number of customers defaulting on their agreed payments was concerning,” Tasmanian Economic Regulator chairman Glenn Appleyard said.

Several indicators suggested Tasmanians were having trouble paying bills in 2011-12:

THERE were 2762 customers on payment plans, compared to 1834 customers in the previous year.

AURORA Energy charged 120, 581 residential customers a late payment fee in 2011-12 compared to 103,505 the previous year.

THE total amount of residential late fees was $562,745 compared to $509,455 the previous year.

27,338 business customers were charged a late payment fee, increasing from 25,213 the previous year.

IN 2011-12 Aurora Energy assisted 2,433 customers to a total value of almost $326,000 compared to $281,435 the previous year.

Tasmania electricity prices have risen by 100 per cent since 2001.

Mr Appleyard said Tasmania’s lower than national average rise (10.56 per cent) on July 2012 meant households with high consumption of 10MWh were now close to national average.

He found that only a small proportion of contestable customers had switched between retailers in the year, but said that the beginning of full retail contestability on January 1, 2014 would not guarantee lower prices.

“Industry reforms will help the development of effective full retail competition in the future, however, such reforms will take time to implement and competition alone will not guarantee lower prices for Tasmanian electricity customers,” he said.

Mr Appleyard said that Tasmania’s power system had the capacity to meet demand in the short to medium-term whilst the reliability and security of the State’s electricity supply continued to be assured by the adequate capacity of generators, good inflows into water storages and the availability of imports via Basslink.

He said Aurora Energy had met almost all reliability standards.

“The performance of the distribution network has generally improved year-on-year over the last five years, and has just fallen short of the expected target,” he said.

Growth of the natural gas industry in Tasmania was continuing, although the rate of growth had slowed in the past year, with a 4.3 per cent increase in consumption and a 10.3 per cent increase in the number of retail customers.

Sourced from The Mercury

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It’s not rocket science

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that the actions taken by the “Regulator” that you would have ended up with this problem! SERIOUSLY

TASMANIAN residential electricity costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average for low consumption customers, a report by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator says.

The performance of the energy supply industry in a 2011-12 report showed that not only did some Tasmanians pay higher prices but they generally paid for a larger amount of electricity.

Because of the cooler climate and a need for a greater amount of home heating Tasmanian consumption (9.33MWh) was significantly higher than that in South Australia (6.11MWh) and Victoria (5.6MWh).

The report said that at very low consumption levels residential costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average.

At high consumption the costs were comparable with a national average.

The report revealed that Tasmanians had been hit hard by electricity price rises and had trouble paying.

“Increases in the number of customers on payment plans, the number of customers experiencing difficulty in paying their bills and the number of customers defaulting on their agreed payments was concerning,” Tasmanian Economic Regulator chairman Glenn Appleyard said.

Several indicators suggested Tasmanians were having trouble paying bills in 2011-12:

THERE were 2762 customers on payment plans, compared to 1834 customers in the previous year.

AURORA Energy charged 120, 581 residential customers a late payment fee in 2011-12 compared to 103,505 the previous year.

THE total amount of residential late fees was $562,745 compared to $509,455 the previous year.

27,338 business customers were charged a late payment fee, increasing from 25,213 the previous year.

IN 2011-12 Aurora Energy assisted 2,433 customers to a total value of almost $326,000 compared to $281,435 the previous year.

Tasmania electricity prices have risen by 100 per cent since 2001.

Mr Appleyard said Tasmania’s lower than national average rise (10.56 per cent) on July 2012 meant households with high consumption of 10MWh were now close to national average.

He found that only a small proportion of contestable customers had switched between retailers in the year, but said that the beginning of full retail contestability on January 1, 2014 would not guarantee lower prices.

“Industry reforms will help the development of effective full retail competition in the future, however, such reforms will take time to implement and competition alone will not guarantee lower prices for Tasmanian electricity customers,” he said.

Mr Appleyard said that Tasmania’s power system had the capacity to meet demand in the short to medium-term whilst the reliability and security of the State’s electricity supply continued to be assured by the adequate capacity of generators, good inflows into water storages and the availability of imports via Basslink.

He said Aurora Energy had met almost all reliability standards.

“The performance of the distribution network has generally improved year-on-year over the last five years, and has just fallen short of the expected target,” he said.

Growth of the natural gas industry in Tasmania was continuing, although the rate of growth had slowed in the past year, with a 4.3 per cent increase in consumption and a 10.3 per cent increase in the number of retail customers.

Sourced from The Mercury

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Aurora's Honeymoon is Over!

Well this comes as no surprise!

THE honeymoon period for Aurora customers is to come to an end, with electricity disconnections set to more than double in Tasmania in the next 12 months.

Aurora had given Tasmanian customers a four-month amnesty on disconnections as they rolled out a new billing system in the last half of this year.

However, the company has warned it will soon be operating like energy companies in other states, which have been disconnecting customers at a growing rate.

In Victoria, 24,000 households had their power cut off in the past year — a 33 per cent increase from 2011. Disconnections in South Australia have grown by 38 per cent, Queensland 20 per cent, and New South Wales 25 per cent.

Aurora spokesman Richard Wilson said the company expected 2000 disconnections next year — double the average of 1000 disconnections a year for the past two years.

Only 226 Aurora customers lost their power in 2011-12 because of the four-month amnesty on disconnections to allow a new billing system to be installed, Mr Wilson said.

Disconnections dropped from 998 in 2010-11 to 226 in 2011-12. Of these, 178 were residential customers and 11 were businesses.

Mr Wilson said making regular payments through a payment plan was the best way to avoid a disconnection.

“Disconnections are the worst outcome for everyone but especially for the customer,” he said. “It affects their credit rating and they lose their electricity supply.”

Mr Wilson said the company had arranged 2490 payment plans in the last quarter.

The increased disconnections will come as a blow to the State Government, which is set to sell Aurora customers at the end of the year into a full retail contestable market.

Energy expert Frontier Economics director Danny Price told the Mercury in late October concerns about the credit ratings of Aurora customers and Aurora’s market monopoly were scaring off energy retailers.

He said the sale of energy customers on the mainland had generated about $1000 to $1500 per customer but Aurora would be lucky to get $300 per customer.

Sourced from The Mercury

Now as Tasmanians have no option but to use Aurora and with power prices having more than doubled over the last few years. Aurora’s subsidiary Momentum offering power to Victorian households at nearly half the price of what Tasmanians get from Aurora, it’s no wonder why we’re mad at all the bullshit that the Tasmanian Government keep telling us that having a closed market is better for us… :/

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Aurora’s Honeymoon is Over!

Well this comes as no surprise!

THE honeymoon period for Aurora customers is to come to an end, with electricity disconnections set to more than double in Tasmania in the next 12 months.

Aurora had given Tasmanian customers a four-month amnesty on disconnections as they rolled out a new billing system in the last half of this year.

However, the company has warned it will soon be operating like energy companies in other states, which have been disconnecting customers at a growing rate.

In Victoria, 24,000 households had their power cut off in the past year — a 33 per cent increase from 2011. Disconnections in South Australia have grown by 38 per cent, Queensland 20 per cent, and New South Wales 25 per cent.

Aurora spokesman Richard Wilson said the company expected 2000 disconnections next year — double the average of 1000 disconnections a year for the past two years.

Only 226 Aurora customers lost their power in 2011-12 because of the four-month amnesty on disconnections to allow a new billing system to be installed, Mr Wilson said.

Disconnections dropped from 998 in 2010-11 to 226 in 2011-12. Of these, 178 were residential customers and 11 were businesses.

Mr Wilson said making regular payments through a payment plan was the best way to avoid a disconnection.

“Disconnections are the worst outcome for everyone but especially for the customer,” he said. “It affects their credit rating and they lose their electricity supply.”

Mr Wilson said the company had arranged 2490 payment plans in the last quarter.

The increased disconnections will come as a blow to the State Government, which is set to sell Aurora customers at the end of the year into a full retail contestable market.

Energy expert Frontier Economics director Danny Price told the Mercury in late October concerns about the credit ratings of Aurora customers and Aurora’s market monopoly were scaring off energy retailers.

He said the sale of energy customers on the mainland had generated about $1000 to $1500 per customer but Aurora would be lucky to get $300 per customer.

Sourced from The Mercury

Now as Tasmanians have no option but to use Aurora and with power prices having more than doubled over the last few years. Aurora’s subsidiary Momentum offering power to Victorian households at nearly half the price of what Tasmanians get from Aurora, it’s no wonder why we’re mad at all the bullshit that the Tasmanian Government keep telling us that having a closed market is better for us… :/

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Random Ramblings

Windows 8 WTF?

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Aurora Fined!

AURORA has been fined $40,000 for cutting off power wit hout notice to customers known to require life-support equipment.

But the energy company says the fine by the Australian Energy Regulator is too much.

Aurora spokesman Richard Wilson said the definition of life support was broad.

“Aurora accepts that the regulator can issue the fines and has paid the regulator $20,000 for each of two alleged ‘type-one’ breaches after we reported these to the regulator,” he said

“However, we were surprised the regulator chose to issue the fines and we consider them to be out of proportion to the actual impact on the life-support customers involved.

“Aurora has well-established processes around the prioritising of electricity supply to life-support customers and Aurora voluntarily provides an electricity discount to customers reliant on life-support equipment. Neither incident for which Aurora was fined by the regulator involved injury to a life-support customer.”

The Australian Energy Regulator has asked Aurora to strengthen internal processes to meet its obligations to life-support customers.

Mr Wilson said work was already under way.

“The regulator had a range of possible enforcement responses and the alleged ‘type-one’ breaches were the first of their type to be reported by Aurora under the National Energy Customer Framework,” he said. “The framework has only been in force in Tasmania since July 1 this year and Tasmania and the ACT are the only two jurisdictions in Australia that are currently subject to it.

“Aurora’s error rate is very low when seen in context.”

Mr Wilson said up to 107,000 customers experienced a planned outage each year and Aurora had processed 6800 disconnections on customer premises in the first five months since the framework started, with an error rate of 0.059 per cent of the total.

The National Energy Retail Law and Rules that started in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory on July 1 this year were set up, in part, to establish a framework for the protection of customers with medical life-support equipment.

Sourced from The Mercury

So now lets hope that our bills don’t get jacked up because of this… 😐

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