The Hobart

Hobart Happenings April 2020

by Hobart Magazine
Hobart Happenings April 2020
GP Outreach

Dr Meg MeKeown is medical director for Moreton Group Medical Services (MGMS) and has recently returned from a stint in Antarctica (you might remember she was our Local Lady in December). MGMS has funding from Primary Health Tasmania to provide after hours care to vulnerable Tasmanians. Meg shared with us, “We have a large box backed ambulance fitted out with all the gear we need to have a GP clinic anywhere. We travel to regular locations several evenings a week to see patients all over the greater Hobart region in their homes, in their emergency accommodation, at their local community centre or on the streets.” The service doesn’t cost the patient and all visits are bulk billed. How good is that. “We have extra funding from local philanthropic support to provide an affordable medicines program and we collaborate with Your Hobart Chemist to provide this program,” Meg said, “We’re proud to support the Salvation Army/Hobart City Mission Safe Space in the city which was opened just before Christmas last year.” The team is often seen operating the street clinic alongside St Vincent de Paul’s Loui’s Van as they deliver meals to the same population. Meg shared that they’re planning to evolve to include day time GP services, providing a stable and affordable day time GP service for our vulnerable Hobart population. The GP outreach has four General Practitioners working across the roster and all of the doctors are fully qualified and experienced General Practitioners.

Salamanca Square Big Screen Switch Off?

Many people choose to shield their children from the full extent of the news, and at home you can control how much they see. But outside the home, it’s becoming a little trickier. So there’s momentum growing to turn off the live Sky News feed from the big screen on The Mercury building in Salamanca Square. Parents have expressed concern at graphic news images and stories (there’s sound too if you haven’t seen the screen), as well as discussion about issues that might not be ideal for a public place with a mixed crowd. Is this screen really necessary? Could that graphic real estate be better utilised?

Mother’s Group second time around

We all know how valuable mothers and parents groups are for first time parents, but there’s also merit in second time mothers being supported via these groups. In mainland states second (and subsequent) time mums are encouraged to join their local group, but here in Tasmania this is not the case. There are many support groups – new parents, fathers, post natal support, premmie support, the list goes on, but for a second time around mum who’s had a pretty standard run, there’s no group support. All mums should have access to peer support, regardless of how many births are under their belt. First time parents can learn a great deal of “on the job” knowledge and other parents can enjoy the support and camaraderie that comes from being “in the trenches” on the same timeline as others.

Doing it for Disey

Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) will be up for discussion later this year, buoyed by a new campaign led by Jacqui and Natalie Gray. “We lost our Mum Diane, five months ago following an 11 month torturous battle with gastric cancer. We have become advocates for VAD as a promise to her, as she desperately wanted to utilise VAD for herself.” The sisters have launched Your Choice Tas, including a website, www.yourchoicetas.com.au and a Facebook page. They shared, “We don’t want to force our opinion on anyone. We want to raise awareness that this legislation will hit parliament in August and if you believe you/we should have the right to make our own end of life choices, then now would be the time to act and have your voices heard. There’s a petition to be tabled in Parliament by Cassy O’Connor and we’re taking this opportunity to go around the politicians to address any concerns they may have regarding Mersey MLC Mike Gaffney’s consultation bill. We want to ensure everyone has a greater understanding of the proposed legislation and give Tasmanians the chance to have their voices heard on this matter.”

Oops! Correction.

We fired too soon. In last month’s issue we mentioned an horrific accident that occured at the Elizabeth Street bus interchange in February, where a woman had a roof panel fall on her which sliced her leg open and broke some bones. Another man was the first responder, and he ended up having a nasty fall knocking out his front teeth. We wrongly intimated the bus shelters were maintained by Metro Tasmania, when they are in fact the responsibility of the Hobart City Council. In any case, the poor woman was just on her way to work and has now ended up with an ongoing and awful injury, and the man stopped to help (like all good humans should!) and will now be out of pocket for expensive dental procedures and in lots of pain.

Single use plastic ban is on

The City of Hobart will proceed with a by-law banning the provision of single-use plastic takeaway food packaging and related items. Enforcement of the by-law will commence in 2021, following a period of trader and community education and awareness. It’s anticipated that the introduction of the by-law will result in a 600 tonne annual reduction in single-use plastics to landfill, which is a fantastic contribution to reducing our impact. The council has also resolved to lobby the Tasmanian Government to consider implementing a statewide initiative to reduce single-use plastics, so watch this space.

Test your Mettle

If the tragic murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children left you feeling helpless about what you can do, here’s a suggestion. It’s only small, but it could mean the world to a woman doing it tough. Mettle is an ethical gift delivery social enterprise employing women who are experiencing homelessness due to domestic and family violence. They equip survivors of domestic and family violence with the skills, confidence, and financial security required to secure and maintain employment and in turn, safe and stable housing. Once they’re working in the social enterprise, the Mettle team then assist these very brave women in finding long term employment in their chosen field. It’s such a great initiative with corporate and gift boxes start at $40 featuring some pretty cool products like Hey Tiger chocolate, Homie socks and Mettle’s own bath products and incense. Send a gift at www.mettlegifts.com.

Arrested development

We’re 100% all in for appropriate development and moving Hobart, and Tasmania forward in the right direction. But the Gutwein government’s proposed Major Projects Legislation, which is coming up in Parliament in May, might not be the answer. It’s proposed that potential developments could be referred for consideration to be a major project by the proponent, the relevant Council or the Minister for Planning (currently Roger Jaensch). If the Minister deems something to be a Major Project, an independent panel specially convened by the Tasmanian Planning Commission will assess them. This takes the decision making away from elected members of the community and puts it into the hands of the government of the day’s chosen bureaucrats. It could result in opportunities for governmental secrecy and less accountability, while taking away genuine community consultation. Watch this space!

OVERHEARD!

At the new playground at Fern Tree, a car pulled into the start of the Pipeline Track. An inquisitive five year old yelled out to his dad, “Is he allowed to park there?” The driver got out of the car and quipped, “Mate when you qualify as a cleaner you can park here too.”

Tasmanian Dragon Boat Paddlers Dominate

Dragon boat paddling may be a sport that dates back hundreds of years but it’s also a worldwide sport that many people enthusiastically participate in today. In Australia, our most talented paddlers strive to become members of the Aurora squad and compete internationally with the best of the best. Being accepted means that person has attained world class standard as a paddler. There’s no quota on Auroras. It depends on the number of people trying out for each campaign and if they can meet the standards required. Tasmania is very fortunate to currently have four Auroras, which is a magnificent achievement given our small size and population compared to the mainland states. In fact, all four Auroras are Hobart residents – Ali Mourant (Tasmanian head coach), Geoff Andrews, Angie Turner and Martin Turner.

How long did it take you to achieve Aurora status?

Ali: I tried out for the 2011 campaign unsuccessfully, so dedicated the next two years to training to successfully gain selection. I’ve represented Australia in 2013 (Hungary), 2015 (Canada), 2017 (China), 2019 (Thailand).

Geoff: I was paddling for four years before I thought I was competent enough to try out for the team.

What’s been the highlight of your journey?

Martin: Winning gold in Thailand in the Mixed 10’s with my wife Angie in the same boat!

Angie: The friendships and team bonding in the lead up and during the campaign, the sense of achievement, the feeling of 20 paddlers all paddling as one. ■

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July 2022

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