I am delighted that Tasplan is a sponsor of this evening’s function given our long-standing partnership with Unions Tasmania, which ticked over 26 years last Wednesday, 1 May.

1 May is a significant date on the union calendar, Tasplan commenced operations on 1 May 1987, and I relocated my family to Hobart on 1 May, 1987, for a two year term.

Through the efforts of the initial Board which included Paul Lennon, Alan Evans and Allan Kenny, Tasplan was created as an alternative to interstate industry funds and was promoted as a superannuation fund for Tasmanians.

When industry funds emerged in the 1980’s, the skeptics and cynics referred to them as Union Funds, specifically challenging the acumen of union delegates representing employees on superannuation Boards.

These cynics were mostly the life insurance companies who soon realized the threat to their retail businesses, given that their focus was on employers, whereas the industry fund focus, was, and still is, on members.

Thankfully, their silence is deafening, however, the Australian Financial Review continues to ‘chip away’ with references to Union Funds.

From my experience, and I am sure it is the same with the RBF and Quadrant Boards, the contributions made by employee representatives across the whole spectrum, cannot be questioned and have been crucial to the remarkable success of Industry Funds.

I have seen first- hand their capabilities and commitment to manage their superannuation responsibilities, to meet their Trustee training obligations, their dedication to the Trustee roles, and, their time management skills. What makes it more remarkable is that they also have their own day job.

Tasplan is a TASMANIAN SUCCESS STORY as the annual BRW publication of the Top 500 Private Companies by Revenue has again ranked Tasplan No1 in Tasmania and 146th in Australia.

And in support of our success, the independent rating agencies continue to rank our Superannuation and Pension products with Triple AAA and 5 STAR Ratings.

We currently have over 11,000 active employers making contributions on behalf of our members and we just under $2bn Funds Under Management.

While Tasplan’s main objective is to grow the retirement ‘nest eggs’ of our 108,000 members, we also make a major contribution to the Tasmanian economy through the employment of our 30 local staff, the many local service providers we choose to do business with, and, our local infrastructure investments through our Tasmanian Growth and Development Fund, namely; The Shoreline Shopping Centre,
The Riverside Shopping Centre,
K-Mart Newtown,
The redevelopment of the Redline Bus Depot, which now houses Medicare, and,
The Marine Board Building, which we are relocating to this weekend.

As a superannuation fund, Tasplan has taken a leading role in raising Mental Health Awareness, and supporting the cause for Suicide Prevention, through active participation in events and current social issues, sponsorship, our website, and participation in forums, and other mediums.

We will continue to strengthen our commitment, as we believe that we have a responsibility to champion this initiative as a good, corporate citizen. It is predicted that depression alone will be one of the world’s largest health problems by the year 2020.

We are currently refreshing and modernizing our navbar-nav-brand from 1 July. Tasplan will be renamed ‘TASPLAN SUPER’, with a new logo and our new Positioning Statement will be “THE QUIET ACHIEVER.

”And finally, I would like to make comment on the Australian superannuation landscape.

Our superannuation system is recognized world-wide as best practice mostly due to the 9% mandated contributions which will move to 12% by 2019.

Unfortunately, superannuation is now part of the ‘political football’ particularly at Federal level.

The industry is experiencing constant, major changes and we have to be very careful going forward.

Change means complexity.

Complexity means costs.

Costs are borne by the members, which is messing with their minds.

Member’s lose confidence in the system.

The Baby Boomers are moving into the post-retirement stage.

Longevity risk is turning most retirees into ‘Nervous Wrecks’ as the age pension is under constant pressure due to other extenuating forces and circumstances.

We must have a bi-partisan approach to restore confidence in superannuation through certainty and stability.

It is incumbent that everyone involved must align their interests, in the best interests of all superannuants.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak and please enjoy the night.

BUS passengers are being asked to support drivers by refusing to pay fares on Thursdays.

The measure means buses should be able to continue to run throughout the drivers' pay dispute with Metro management.

"Bus drivers desperately want to avoid causing the community any inconvenience and strike action is always a last resort for them," said Unions Tasmania Secretary Kevin Harkins.

"This measure hits Metro management and transport minister Nick McKim where it hurts, and hopefully avoids the need for further stoppages.

"Drivers are seeking a modest 3% increase but Metro is sticking to 2%. The government-owned company insulted drivers yesterday by increasing its offer to 2.1%.

"Metro management and Mr McKim seem happy to drag this out, inconveniencing the public but drivers are keen to avoid that as much as possible." Mr Harkins said.

"Drivers could face disciplinary action for refusing to accept fares that are offered, but that doesn't stop the public from showing support by refusing to pay."

Mr Harkins said No Fares Thursday would continue every Thursday until the dispute was resolved.

"These drivers take our kids to school and ferry us around the state in sometimes appalling conditions. They deserve our support and respect." Mr Harkins said.

"In defending Metro management, Greens minister McKim says he and other politicians have kept their own pay rises to 2%—what an insult to the workers of this state."

"Bus drivers will accept 2% of Nick McKim's fat pay packet anytime."

Public Rally for your local ABC

The Community and Public Sector Union is meeting with ABC management on Wednesday 12 December.

We need your support to send a strong message that the ABC is a valued part of the Tasmanian community.

See attached flyer for further information.

Attachments:
Download this file (ABC Tas Rally flyer_12Dec12.pdf)ABC Tas Rally flyer_12Dec12.pdf[ ]148 kB

In 1884, the 1st of May 1886 had been chosen as the day the Federation of Organised Trade and Labour Unions of the United States and Canada had earmarked "as the date from and after which eight hours shall constitute a legal days labour". On the 1st May 1886, Australia's first anarchist organisation was formed - The Melbourne Anarchist Club.

From 1887 to 1889 the 1st May was remembered and celebrated in Australia only by anarchists associated with the Melbourne Anarchist Club. In 1890 May Day celebrations were held in the office of Dr. Maloney MP in Melbourne, Chummy Fleming, a well known Melbourne anarchist, attended these celebrations. Demonstrations and celebrations were held in Ipswich and Barcoldine on the 1st May 1891 during the Shearers Strike, over 1,000 men took part in the Barcoldine march, 600 mounted on horseback.

Melbourne held its first public May Day celebration on the 1st of May 1892. The celebration on the Yarra Bank was proceeded by a march which began at the Burke and Wills monument. The meeting at the Yarra Bank was chaired by the principal organisers of the March, the anarchist Chummy Fleming. May Day was celebrated in Australia from 1892 to 1899. It was not celebrated in Melbourne and the rest of Australia from 1900 to 1927.

When May Day celebrations were recommenced in 1928, Chummy Fleming the Melbourne anarchist, although not part of the official organising committee led the May Day March in Melbourne until his death in the mid 1950's. He normally started marching 30 minutes before the official march and waited for the main march to catch up with him.

Joe Toscano from Anarchist Age Weekly Review 
Number 297 27th April - 3rd May, 1998

May Day Melbourne 1901

Although Melbourne¹s City Father¹s saw fit to ban the May Day procession. Around thirty hardy souls gathered at the Burke and Wills statue on Sunday the 5th of May outside State parliament to march to the Yarra Bank. Chummy Fleming, the Melbourne anarchist who initiated the first May Day March in Australia in Melbourne in 1891, led the procession carrying his red flag. Under banners reading "free railways" and "8 hours labour or less", they began their stroll down Bourke and Swanston street. At the intersection of Bourke and Swanston Street, the little procession was split up by a regiment of cadets. Chummy Fleming who according to the Age¹s Monday 6th, May 1901 edition "carried a red flag and an air of serious determination bore his standard to the Yarra Bank alone".

By this time around 1500 people had gathered at the Yarra Bank around a platform made up of three lorries. Once the brass band which had come along for the celebrations stopped playing, a succession of speakers paid tribute to May Day. Speaker after speaker stated that "the worker was an abject slave who was downtrodden and oppressed both by capital and Government". A well known free thought lecturer slammed the press which he stated produced "abominable deluge of infernal rubbish" (looks like nothing¹s changed). Resolutions carried by the crowd "opposed militarism in all its forms, expressed a determination to overthrow capitalism and wagedom, to bring in an international co-operative Commonwealth in which the instruments of industry would be owned and controlled by the community, they affirmed the principles of one vote one value and a tax on land values and they demanded the legislative enactment of eight hours and a just wage in all occupations.

Source of Article, the Age, Monday 6th May 1901.

Joe Toscano from Anarchist Age Weekly Review 
Number 447 23rd ­ 29th April, 2001

 

I'M CONVINCED Tasmania has a positive future, but our collective thinking as a community needs to change.

A failure to embrace change means the negativity will continue.

The foundation of a healthy Tasmanian community is jobs, and well-paying jobs at that. A full-time, well-paid job offers a family security.

It provides the ability to make major spending decisions without the worry of how they will pay, and in turn this stimulates business and employment.

I find it frustrating that every time a reasonable development application hits the table, one group or another begins the work of undermining both the development and the jobs that come with it.

Some objections have merit but I think on many occasions protesters are oversensitive.

There needs to be a reasonable balance between environmental issues and developments that create jobs, and this applies equally to a sustainable forest industry.

The government must commit to ensuring publicly funded projects are built by Tasmanian-based companies, so the jobs stay here. This was not the case with the gas pipeline and many of the large electrical infrastructure projects undertaken in recent years.

Today, the same is true of the Musselroe Wind Farm. Mainland workers are flown in and flown out again, when there are skilled workers here and young people eager to work.

I do not support the job cuts to our frontline public services nor in government-owned companies such as Aurora Energy. They are short-sighted decisions that cramp our economy and scare the community into feeling insecure.

It worries me greatly that job opportunities will not be there for my kids and they could be forced to leave the state.

The private sector has simply not filled the void as promised by Premier Giddings and this is obvious when you consider our unemployment rate is more than 7 per cent.

To suppose that our state can be economically stable on the back of tourism and hospitality is naive.

Both industries are very important to our economy but they generally offer low-paid, casual and often transient jobs.

We need to significantly increase Tasmania's population. Our land mass is about the same as Ireland _ hardly a densely populated country _ and we have less than one-sixth its population.

With fewer than 520,000 people spread across the state, it is difficult to create a critical mass of economic demand. How we might accomplish rapid population growth, given we currently have the slowest rate, requires bold thinking.

Tasmania could become the education island. We have a world-class university and of course the world-famous Australian Maritime College. We could tap into both Australian and international education markets.

We could choose other areas of education where demand is high and opportunities unavailable in other states.

The flow-on benefits would be significant and add to our vibrancy. Cities such as Oxford and Cambridge exist almost exclusively to service their universities.

Tasmania certainly has appeal as a place to live while studying: inexpensive accommodation, tourism experiences that appeal to young students living abroad, relative safety.

We should abolish the current local government structure. It is an unnecessary cost to the community. There are a number of options to consider: three local councils covering the traditional regions _ or none at all. It is also commonsense to have a single streamlined planning process which would encourage investment.

The state government should be doing everything it can to create jobs but frankly It seems devoid of ideas, constrained by being in a minority government. We need a majority government. It would be no surprise that I would personally prefer Labor, because workers generally do better with Labor governments. In saying this I mean a true Labor government that stands by true Labor values and protects jobs and protects the most vulnerable in the community.

While the Greens have some reasonable policy positions, they continue to compromise on everything, excluding environmental issues.

Minister Nick McKim's treatment of prison staff was a disgrace, as was his plan to slam the door on 20 schools. The Greens' ongoing support for the budget cuts, especially in health, is surprising, but I guess the feel of green leather is just so comforting.

The bleak times we are facing will pass. Government revenues will inevitably rise as they have inevitably fallen. But as a community we have a choice about what our future should look like. Do we really want to be doing more of the same, or are we willing to take the risk to do things differently and carve for ourselves a future that provides Tasmania with strength and security.?

An electrician by trade, Kevin Harkins is secretary of Unions Tasmania. Previously he was Electrical Trades Union secretary. He grew up in the small town of Tocumwa in outback New South Wales, lived in Tasmania for three years in the 1980s and settled here in 2000. He was twice thwarted from standing for Labor federally after former prime minister Kevin Rudd mistook him for another union official and campaigned against him.