Tasmanian Governance Report Card 2003 - 2006 by Mike Bolan updated by Gordon Craven
ELECTION time draws near and it behooves us all to remember how Premier Lennon’s government has fared over their period in office. A quick retrospective of the performance of this government might include what’s happening in the health and human services arena, how the government supports Tasmanian businesses and the general quality of their governance, leadership and management. Listed are areas of potential interest to Tasmanians along with a few of the headlines of the times to remind readers of what has been happening in their world.
This is only a fraction of the stories, readers can make up their own minds about the State Government’s performance.
GP Crisis (Mercury 2003)
describes how changes to insurance and other ‘rules’ are forcing GPs out of the system leaving Tasmania with too few doctors.
Dying on heart op list (Mercury 2003)
telling how 17 people died while waiting for cardiac surgery.
30 year wait for dentist in North (Examiner 2003)
Northern Tasmanians face a wait of up to 30 years for examinations and extractions.
Angels wear dental masks (Mercury 2003)
Story of how a Buddhist relief organization came to Tasmania to provide relief for NW Tasmanians waiting for dental treatment.
Cancer crisis hits patients (Mercury 2004)
Reports on a cancer treatment crisis created by severe staff shortages.
2000 in uproar (Examiner 2004)
2,000 people in Latrobe boo and stamp David Llewellyn after collapses of health care in their area.
Chemist shortage worst in 20 years (Mercury 2004)
Reports on extreme shortage of pharmacists in Tasmania.
Tasmania worst in delays for surgery (Examiner 2004)
reports how Tasmania’s waiting lists for surgery are Australia’s worst.
Poverty, poor health revealed in shock report (Mercury 2004)
Anglicare report shows disturbing cycle of poverty and ill health for most people with serious mental illness in Tasmania.
Cancer crisis costing lives (Mercury 2004)
Medical specialists say the State Government is gambling with cancer patients’ lives by failing to fix radiation treatment problems.
Brain op woes (Mercury 2004)
Tasmanians with serious neurological conditions are waiting up to 5 times longer for treatment than patients in other States.
Ill health (Mercury 2004)
Describes how Tasmanian public health system is at breaking point with low staff morale and resignations.
3rd world care (Mercury 2004)
Reports that Tasmania’s public hospitals are being propped up by doctors from 3rd world countries.
Waiting in pain (Mercury 2004)
Tasmanians suffer record and painful waits for cataract, haemorrhoid and heart bypass surgery according to official figures.
Immunisation fails the grade (Mercury 2004)
Up to 1 in 3 young children do not have up-to-date immunization shots.
Painful wait to get on RHH waiting list (Mercury 2004)
Hobart patients have told of 4 years waiting for operations only to be told they aren’t on any waiting list.
Bed horror (Mercury 2005)
An 87 year old woman lay for 17 hours on a stretcher because the RHH had no beds for her.
Patient wait shame: Tassie stats nation’s worst (Mercury 2005)
Reports that Tasmania’s public hospitals are failing to provide timely care to critically ill patients showing that 10% don’t get attention in the time required.
Tom’s dental care; pliers and whisky (Mercury 2005)
A Clarendon Vale man was so desperate to deal with dental pain he used whisky and pliers to help himself. An exhibition of the failures of public dentistry was given in Hobart.
5 year wait for breast surgery (Examiner 2005)
Highlights the plight of women with cancer who have to wait 5 years for breast surgery.
Bodies in corridors (Mercury 2005)
Dead people have been left in corridors at the RHH because of cramped conditions says parliamentary report.
Tassie hospitals ailing (Mercury 2005)
A new review of public hospitals rank Tasmania as among the nation’s worst.
Surgery upsets shame exposed (Mercury 2005)
Reports that over 430 operations were cancelled or postponed in Tasmania’s public hospitals in May alone.
Hospital on sick list (Mercury 2005)
All elective surgery cancelled at RHH due to lack of nurses and anaesthetists.
Royal Hobart Hospital specialists plight (Mercury 2005)
Royal Hospital is short 95 medical specialists.
Helpless (Mercury 2006)
A young Tasmanian mother was left alone in a casualty waiting room for 8 hours and asked to ‘keep quiet’ as her groans of agony were disturbing other patients.
Op that went horribly wrong (Mercury 2006)
A TASMANIAN woman has been left a quadriplegic after complications during surgery at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Glenda Bromfield, 53, of Glenorchy, had surgery for facial pain last July  and has been at the Royal ever since.
SEWAGE ALERT: Stench and disease fear as systems fail (Mercury 2006)
Property Council of Australia state executive director Stewart Wardlaw says infrastructure for sewage is woefully inadequate and Tasmanians will have to get used to the stench and disease threat from raw sewage on their beaches.
Beach sewage outcry (Mercury 2006)
The stinking faeces on the shore suggests the cosy little beach is now a cesspool of disease and ill health. ...... "The stench is enough to knock you over," Mr Horne said.
Port's septic condition: Kettering toxic with effluent (Mercury 2006)
BACTERIA levels thousands of times higher than health standards allow are regularly recorded in the bay of a premier Tasmanian port town.
CARE OF THE NEEDY
Tassie hit as social failure (Mercury 2003)
over housing shortages, high child death rates and care of vulnerable children.
Shelters turn away homeless in crisis (Mercury 2003)
Reports how shelters are turning away men and women desperately seeking crisis accommodation while shortfalls in government funding leave some shelters empty or below capacity.
Child-harm cases crisis (Mercury 2004)
Details how children at risk of harm are being left without any support by DHHS.
Hospital sends heart patient to bus stop (Examiner 2004)
A patient who had heart surgery at the RHH was forced to catch a bus home to Devonport wearing pyjamas and on-loan shoes.
270 state houses empty: tent is still home to family (Mercury 2004)
Despite 270 vacant public housing properties, a mother and 3 young children still have to live in a tent at a county sports ground.
Family in care shock (Mercury 2005)
A foster family implicated in the Ombudsman’s abuse inquiry was given approval to foster another child by the Health Department.
Maggot horror (Mercury 2005)
A disabled man was found infested with maggots in an appalling case of neglect in a State government run home.
101 suicides almost double road deaths (Examiner 2005)
Coronial inquests reveal that Tasmania has almost twice the number of suicides as road deaths.
Abuse claims strain (Mercury 2005)
A shock report by staff, unions and department managers shows Tasmania’s child protection system is failing to cope with a huge increase in claims of neglect and abuse.
Disabled woman of 56 dies after neglect (Mercury 2005)
A disabled woman dies after being neglected in a government home.
Public housing fails needy, says auditor (Mercury 2005)
State Auditor General’s report shows that few of the 20,000 households living in ‘housing stress’ are being helped by government housing policies.
Wait times double for public housing (Examiner 2005)
Needy Tasmanians are waiting twice as long for a public house than in 2000.
Mentally ill put in jail (Mercury 2005)
Mental health patients are being put in prison instead of being treated due to loopholes in Tasmania’s laws.
Son's dying wish (Mercury 2006)
A young man with only weeks to live has one dying wish to see the Tasmanian government keep its promise to him to give his mother justice. His mother was promised their claims would be settled last year after they reported systematic sexual, physical and mental abuse of patients at the Launceston General Hospital.
Casual worker shock (Mercury 2006)
MANY Tasmanian casual workers struggle to put food on the table, a new study shows.
Harradine deal a dud (Australian 2003)
$40 million to develop Tasmania’s IT industry had failed in its task according to industry. In later reports the entire project was said to have been ‘bungled’ by the State government.
State shops expose grocery exodus (Mercury 2003)
Reports that 70 major grocery companies have deserted Tasmania in the last 5 years, many in the last 10 months.
Rail man slams government (Mercury 2004)
Railway operator lashed out at lack of State government support for smaller operators, saying that big business was dominating tourism in Tasmania.
Winegrowers slam ‘underhand’ slug (Mercury 2005)
New licensing fees were introduced without consultation or explanation said winegrowers.
Trade plague dooms our patch (Mercury 2005)
The threat of overseas imports casts a long shadow over Tasmania’s billion-dollar vegetable industry.
Beekeepers abuzz at leatherwood logging (Mercury 2005)
Beekeepers would lose up to 600 hives if leatherwood trees, the mainstay of their businesses, were cut down in planned forestry operations.
Government adds to skills shortage (Advocate 2005)
Tasmania’s skills shortage is being compounded by cashed up government departments paying over the odds for private sector employees
`It's appalling' (Examiner 2006)
"appalling low level of service" in the State's tourism and hospitality industries.
$300m HYDRO CASH CRISIS (Mercury 2006)
Internal documents obtained by the Sunday Tasmanian show the Hydro has borrowed to the hilt and is unable to access more loans. They also reveal the Hydro has not got the "free cash" to meet projected demand for capital expenditure and operating costs.
Essential learnings program explanations not comprehensible to parents (Mercury 2005)
EL's rubbish, say teachers: Students now learning less (Mercury 2005)
Tasmania's Essential Learnings program should be abolished as students are learning less using it say teachers.
Business hits ELS reports: Make no sense say employers (Mercury 2005)
Tasmania's business community says it doesn’t understand the new EL report cards.
Bottom of class (Mercury 2005)
Tasmania's Essential Learnings curriculum is the worst primary school education system in Australia (National Report).
Low grade (Mercury 2006)
Tasmanian students in their first year of high school have the lowest writing standards in the nation, says a new national education report.
Shock $90 million veggie loss (Mercury Sep 05)
$2.8 billion vegetable industry in crisis (Mercury 2005)
Anger at inaction on grain (Tas Country 2005)
Farmers are angry that the State government has taken no action on the import of weed contaminated grain into Tassie.
PROBITY, POLICY, EFFECTIVENESS, FAIRNESS
Tassie ‘fuzzy’ accounts lashed (Mercury 2003)
Tasmania was reported as hiding gambling revenue and was the least accountable State in its budget spending (Access Economics report).
$280 million hike in Basslink (Examiner 2003)
reveals cost blow out that increases risk to Tasmanian taxpayers.
Critics lash Lennon budget (Mercury 2004)
Paul Lennon was accused of pouring money into racing at the expense of health, housing and business.
Yes Minister – 34 times (Mercury 2004)
Reports how David Llewellyn took 34 bureaucrats with him to help him through a parliamentary scrutiny.
$2 million land sale row (Mercury 2004)
Reports how Housing Tasmania sold land for $270,000 that sold again in less than a year for over $2 million.
Why Butler had to go (Mercury 2004)
Paul Lennon defends his decision to call for Richard Butler’s resignation and pay him $650,000 golden handshake.
Secrecy blast (Harris group 2004)
Tasmanian Councils are hiding behind some of the country’s most secretive laws covering conflicts of interest.
Feds blast State forestry failures (Examiner 2004)
Reports serious Federal Government concerns about certain aspects of Tasmania’s forest industry and condemned State Government for failing to meet commitments to the RFA.
Tassie in worst rating (Mercury 2004)
Tasmania has been judged the worst performing state in key social, environmental and economic indicators.
Hamstrung: Hospital boss blasts red tape (Mercury 2004)
RHH chief says that Tas public hospitals are being frustrated by red tape.
Memos expose quotas (Examiner 2004)
Tasmania's specialist police officers, including those in forensic and fraud investigations, are being ordered to meet quotas for issuing minor traffic infringement notices.
Take a look at red tape (Mercury 2004)
Housing industry says red tape is clogging small business
Gagged: How the law silences critics (Mercury 2005)
Describes how Tasmanian laws prevent people from speaking openly about crises in care.
Asbestos law (Mercury 2005)
State government has illegally failed to alert buyers of public housing in Gagebrook about asbestos in the properties.
Tassie wait times hush (Mercury 2005)
Politically damaging statistics showing waiting times for elective surgery in public hospitals are to be kept secret.
Pulp mill project gets Tas budget support (ABC 2005)
Over $6 million of taxpayer money will be spent to support Gunns pulp mill proposal over the next 3 years.
More shops to shut (Examiner 2005)
over 130 of Tasmanian small retailers had been forced to close in the last 6 months, mainly as a result of 7 day trading and the growth of major chains.
Tainted water from our taps (Mercury 2005)
Thousands of Tasmanians risk sickness if they drink their local water supply drect from the taps.
Court backlog needs fix: Law society (Examiner 2005)
Law society calls on the State government to address the growing backlog in Supreme Court in Lauceston where cases can take over a year to be heard.
Volunteers save the life of ambo service (Mercury 2005)
The ambulance service is being kept workable by the efforts of more than 450 unpaid volunteers.
Coastal policy ignores sewage(Mercury 2005)
Tasmania’s new coastal policy failed to address the growing sewage spills and water pollution damaging the State.
Rail crisis hits Tassie (Mercury 2005)
A crisis in rail freight operations is feared to put road users at risk as freight is shifted to already busy and overstretched roads.
Child group slams plan (Examiner 2005)
Tassie's peak child health group is deeply concerned about State government plans to reduce child health care centres by 75% from 98 to 23 and to scrap vital child health checks.
Basslink $2.3 billion sting (Mercury 2005)
Tasmanians taxpayers are stuck with an obligation to pay $2.3 billion to the UK company that owns and operates Basslink
Office bullies (Mercury 2005)
One in 4 Tasmanian workers have reported being bullied in the last year, with over 26% of Tas public servants reporting being bullied or harassed in the last year.
Crime cut creativity (Mercury 2006)
TASMANIAN police have been asked to reduce the number of reported offences in a bid to meet Tasmania Together "benchmarks". Among leaked memos by inspectors, one suggests how to cut reports. For example, if a wallet was reported as "stolen" but there was no evidence, a "lost property" report was more appropriate. Notes to officers read: "As part of our commitment to Tasmania Together there is a requirement placed upon Tasmania Police to reduce the number of reported offences.
Minister admits cronyism (The Australian 2006)
TASMANIAN Deputy Premier Bryan Green is under pressure to resign after apologising for an alleged blatant act of cronyism in secretly granting a lucrative monopoly to former Labor ministers.
Rot at the core of the apple isle (The Australian 2006)
ALONG with pinot noir, goat's cheese and timber, Tasmania is rapidly gaining a reputation for growing dills.
Giant tree cooked to death (Mercury 03)
Australia’s biggest tree was killed by Forestry Tasmania in a ‘regeneration’ burn.
Britons go to bat for Tassie forests (Mercury 2004)
UK MPs supportive of more protection for old growth forests.
Deaf ear to church attack on Forestry (Mercury 2004)
Reports that Forestry Tasmania ignored warnings of the impact of its practices on water quality and quantity.
Forestry & Gunns fined over breaches (Mercury 2004)
Organisations fined for breaching forest practices plans.
Tasmania, name your poison (9MSN 2004)
Reports how aerial spraying of herbicides and pesticides can enter the water supplies of towns and threaten human health.
Monitoring shows State rivers dying (Examiner 2005)
Reports how many Tasmanian rivers are close to being unable to support life.
Plantations sucking us dry; farmers (Examiner 2006)
Farmers say that [woodchip tree] plantations are stealing the water that farmers need to grow food.
Tamania listed as extinction hotspot (Mercury 2006)
A scientific study has identified Tasmania as a global hotspot for future species extinctions.
TYPICAL TASSIE CULTURAL COMMENT (unedited)
jonh howley ~ Email: email@example.com (Oct.