"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The mess we’re now in: The leaked TASSAL document ...

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Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Senator for Tasmania Speech to the Senate. Pic*
18.11.17 5:15 am

Speech to the Senate on the salmon industry on November 14 … So my question to the state government, who are spruiking a job-rich salmon industry as a basis for a social licence for the Okehampton Bay project, is: are you aware of a plan to cut jobs and use technology? Are you aware if it has been accepted by the Tassal board? Are the 40 jobs stated by the Tassal CEO in his public statements net of the 20 jobs to be lost as forecast in this document, or is it only likely to be 20 jobs at Okehampton Bay — half the figure publicly stated by stakeholders? …

• John Biggs in Comments: … Not surprisingly perhaps this completely backs up Christine Milne’s claims ( TT HERE ) that corporate donations and like with Gunns, corporate mates and to hell with the public interest. Christine’s claims that the Greens are the only party that put public interest first. That message is so obvious yet so deliberately avoided and distorted by the major parties and some minor ones, and the press. This so easily may be taken further to systemic levels: that is, that the Westminster system and its reliance on two party government and opposition is so easily open to corruption. A multi-party and power-sharing system is so much less open to corruption because the voting keeps shifting issue by issue. While we are unfortunately a long way from that, one easy step of major importance would be to ban corporate donations both local and foreign to political parties …

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: … despite all our efforts (and yours at the 2015 Senate Inquiry) Huon Aquaculture continues to this day, now 10 plus years on, to discharge 26 million litres every day of the year of fish poo, fish sewage, fish effluent, fish shit ... into the once-pristine Russell River in Lonnavale. This company is showing no interest in protecting this river …

Jeremy Rockliff, Elise Archer: Tassal shift to oceanic farming welcomed

Rosalie Woodruff: Tassal’s “Off-Shore” Spin Tassal’s so-called “commitment to Tasmania” in moving their operations apparently “off-shore” is simply a PR exercise. It seems to be designed to secure their share price and water down the intense public scrutiny of their activities, and the current court hearings. What they are proposing is just to move from several tiny and environmentally damaged sites in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Rivers, as they consolidate and intensify operations at Long Bay near Port Arthur. The Long Bay lease is 45m from the shore in a relatively shallow and unflushed bay. Despite an implicit apology in Tassal’s statement about the environmental harm they caused in Macquarie Harbour, the company might “accept the lessons learned”, but clearly haven’t learnt from them …

Labor: Labor welcomes Tassal’s off-shore move

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‘5000 Tasmanian households go without meals each year ...’

Kym Goodes, TasCOSS CEO Media Release. Pic: ABC, from Two Tasmania's
18.11.17 5:06 am

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Energy costs are one of the most significant strains on a household budget …

Guy Barnett: Special Energy Bonus extended

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EXTRACT: The ignoble end ...

Christine Milne. Pic: of Christine Milne, by Karen Brown
18.11.17 5:00 am

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EXTRACT from An Activist Life, Christine Milne. Extract notes from Chapter 5 pages 321-22, © UQP 2017 … Clearly Premier Field had not told some of his front bench of the plan because when the No Confidence motion was successfully moved, they clearly thought the government had just fallen. The Minister for Forests David Llewellyn walked straight out of the parliament and into talks with the forest industry to get Resource Security back on track …

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Misrepresentation, deception, lies and fraud

Dr David Obendorf* Pic*
17.11.17 4:00 am

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… Despite the expense neither the Department nor their collaborators – the Invasive Animals CRC – were able to confirm the existence of any live foxes in Tasmania. Beginning in 2014 independent peer-reviewed research demonstrated that the physical evidence gathered in Tasmania was unsound and to date neither organisation has chosen to vouch for their data or justify the expenditure of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to eradicate an animal they could not locate …

… Premier Bacon literally head-hunted journalists he wanted from the local newspapers, commercial TV and the ABC and paid them far more than they could ever earn in the private sector. In this way local media was tamed to play along with Government policy. Twenty years on and arguably there are more journalists now employed inside government to fend off the public interest than exist outside to defend it. Moulding public perception is now a bog-standard skill of government with little regard for truth …

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Forestry Tasmania’s demise in detail: Billion Dollar Loss

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk, http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
16.11.17 4:30 am

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Forestry Tasmania’s slide from its peak in 2004 has seen it lose $1 billion …

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: “There’s no evidence the newly branded STT is any more sustainable (or profitable) than its predecessor FT”. That final sentence by John Lawrence is all we need to know. As usual we Tasmanians have been lied to, conned and ripped off. It’s time to shut down the public native forest industry once and for all.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Dear John, On these most excellent and detailed figures Barnett is proven to be an incompetent, lying pollie whose tenure in office should be immediately terminated.

• John Lawrence in Comments: Stu (#6) ... What you’re saying is quite correct. There is no doubt that downstream industries do add value to harvested timber. Industries are always keen to advertise how much value they add, but one always need to approach such claims with caution. Take poker machine operators for instance. They claim to contribute x dollars to the Tas economy, but most of the money spent on poker machines simply is a diversion from other areas. Spending would have occurred in those other areas with probably even better employment and flow-over effects for the economy …

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The Quest for Security: Is it rational? has it actually made us safer? At what cost?

Saul Eslake*
16.11.17 4:23 am

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Download address to the Royal Society of Tasmania, by Saul Eslake, Independent Economist, and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Tasmania, Government House, Hobart, 14th November 2017 … 

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Funding cuts to Scarlet Alliance: Michael Keenan gets it right ...

Isla MacGregor* Pic: of Rosalie Woodruff
16.11.17 4:18 am

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... Rosalie Woodruff gets it wrong I can only congratulate Justice Minister Michael Keenan for not allocating funding to the Scarlet Alliance in the 2017/18 round of funding to NGOs for combating sex trafficking and slavery in Australia …

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Jail Time and Debt Recovery using the powers vested in Senator Ryan, then Special Minister of State

John Hawkins* Pic: Scott Ryan from the parliamentary website
16.11.17 4:15 am

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It appears from the statements issued by a Senator Scott Ryan, then Special Minister of State, and Antony Green, the ABC guru on election matters, and Senator George Brandis, the Attorney-General, that they all consider those who fail the dual nationality test are liable to repay their salary and entitlements. This is hardly surprising since that is the law … !

ABC: Citizenship saga: Why disqualified MPs and senators won’t have to repay their salaries … But how is it fair when taxpayers are forced to repay welfare debts all the time? That is a fair point. With eight MPs ensnared in the crisis, and possibly more to come, the government could in theory claim back millions of dollars in salaries …

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The latest on coal ...

Bob Burton, CoalWire, https://endcoal.org/category/coalwire/ Pic*
15.11.17 5:28 am

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CoalWire is a weekly news bulletin which summarises the most significant developments affecting the global coal industry and highlights the efforts of groups around the world working on coal-related issues. CoalWire is published by CoalSwarm.

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Australia’s same-sex marriage postal survey: 61.6% YES, 38.4% no – live

Guardian. Pic: Nic McBride, Flickr. Cartoon: Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/ , used with permission
15.11.17 5:26 am

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Andrew Wilkie: Community says YES to same-sex marriage “While the LGBTI community should never have been subjected to this costly and divisive postal vote in the first place, I’m delighted that a yes vote has been returned,” Mr Wilkie said. “This is a win for those who’ve worked tirelessly to end the discrimination in the Marriage Act. It’s also a win for the thousands of same-sex couples who just want to have the same rights as everyone else. “But the fight isn’t over. Malcolm Turnbull must reject the disgusting bill being circulated by some conservative members of the Liberal Party, which would entrench new forms of discrimination and bigotry in Australian law …

Rodney Croome: Love wins the day as Tasmanians and Australians vote for equality

TT Media here for the range of reactions

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‘Major Projects Legislation will fast-track the cable car, skyscrapers and resorts in reserves’

Peter McGlone Director Tasmanian Conservation Trust Media Release Pic*
15.11.17 5:07 am

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The Tasmanian Conservation Trust puts the Liberal and Labor parties on notice about the dangers of the State Government’s ‘Draft Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Major Projects) Bill 2017’(Major Projects Legislation), which will soon be tabled in the state parliament. ‘The ‘Major Projects Legislation’ is unacceptable and, if the state government insists on introducing it, the Legislative Council should refuse it,’ said TCT Director Peter McGlone …

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EXTRACT: Christine Milne, An Activist Life ...

Christine Milne. Pic: Front cover of the book, just released ...
15.11.17 5:00 am

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This is an incredibly important extract from legendary activist Christine Milne’s first campaign ... against the Wesley Vale Pulp Mill ... Before the Wesley Vale campaign I was a well-respected local mother and teacher. Afterwards I was an independent member of the Tasmanian Parliament, either fair game for every abuse hurled from a passing car or held up as Boadicea of the Bush. Before, politics was something I encountered through campaigns and mostly at arm’s length; afterwards politics framed my day-to-day existence and my challenge was to fundamentally change it …

… Wesley Vale was the first national environmental campaign to go beyond wilderness protection ‘out there’ and to address pollution ‘at home’, by telling the story of ordinary people fighting for their precious place, their clean air, clean water and uncontaminated soils, and their right to be heard. But it was something more. The Wesley Vale campaign was started to save a community from the environmental impacts of a pulp mill (which converts native forests to woodchips and into pulp for making paper), but it rapidly morphed into a campaign to restore democracy and give the people a voice. That was its power. …

• John Biggs in Comments: This book is inspirational, as was the conversation between Christine and James Boyce at its launch. The distant view one had of Christine as a senator is rounded out with much personal detail and knowledge of her perspective of things …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: That Christine Milne is no longer in mainstream politics is to the cost of every Australian. In her period as a Greens’ MP she ranked among a mere handful MPs of all colours who were across all the issues rather than just those in their own portfolios. She was eternally fluent, and factually precise, in all her utterances. Her ability to finish a sentence was probably matched only by JWH. Meanwhile, for the moment, we are saying goodbye to Jacqui Lambie. She isn’t an ex-solicitor; she isn’t an ex-barrister; she isn’t an ex-accountant; she isn’t an ex-union leader; she isn’t, to my knowledge, an ex-used-car seller; she isn’t, to my knowledge, an ex-journalist; she isn’t to my knowledge an ex-real-estate seller; and she isn’t, I believe, a racist bigot. What she is, is an ex-soldier; and she is, I understand, the offspring of a working-class family. In her short time in parliament, she has worked her butt off to promote the causes she believes in …

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So there’s an election. What happens now?

Martyn Goddard* Pic*
14.11.17 5:10 am

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Will Hodgman thought his worst case scenario was losing the Pembroke by-election to Labor. He was wrong …

ABC: Royal Hobart Hospital horror stories linked to bed shortages, inquiry hears A suicide in the Royal Hobart Hospital’s emergency department waiting room and a patient “sexually touched” are among incidents aired at an inquiry into Tasmania’s acute health services. Doctors and nurses have blamed several “terrible incidents” on bed shortages which are being exacerbated by the hospital’s redevelopment. Witnesses at an Upper House parliamentary inquiry into the state’s acute health services have revealed a damning list of critical incidents at the hospital …

TT Media here for the range of reactions

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: As Saul Eslake keeps telling us, we Tasmanians are living well beyond our own means. Fiscal austerity is essential to bring Tasmania back onto a sustainable financial footing. The problem is that this involves significant economic reform and pain for the community, again as Saul Eslake keeps repeating. The problem is that Tasmania has too much of a cargo cult mentality. Every election involves a begging bowl. Tasmania has plenty of social and economic potential but it is rarely realised, even less now after 40 years of wedge politics has embittered the community. Does anyone remember Tasmania Together? While winning elections is more important than community cohesion and economic performance we will continue to decline as a community.

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NATION: Have I missed something ... ?

Bob Hawkins* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website
14.11.17 5:00 am

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… Another freeloader, as I read it, is Senator Eric Abetz. He was in parliament for nearly 16 years before he produced a document relating to his renunciation of a citizenship other than Australian. He must have picked up millions since he was elected as a senator in 1994 …

• Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler), who normally writes NATION, is having a couple of weeks off ...

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Fiction, or Gaming ... ?

Dennis Jones
14.11.17 4:44 am

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Sometimes a view of the future can only be presented in the form of fiction, even though it represents a viable hypothesis of where events are leading. It is, in effect, strategic gaming. It was certainly the case with Stefan Possony’s great book, Waking Up The Giant (1974), which discussed how a US president takes office during the Cold War …

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Welcoming tourists to our Southern Forests ...

Ted Mead* Pic*
13.11.17 4:30 am

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This year Forestry/STT was gifted $ millions to maintain their roads on the announcement that it would provide access for tourism. We all know it’s just another forestry funding deception but if tourists do drive out into those regions here’s what they will quickly discover …

• Teresa Maddox in Comments: #4 ... Nice try at justifying SST’s “gifted”” budgetary appropriation, but, since when were forestry roads essential services? Just how does this benefit all Tasmanians and not just the protected species of the deforestation industry? People are wising up to the BS from FT/SST don’t worry! Putting the word sustainable in a title doesn’t make it so!

• John Hawkins in comments: #8 Just suppose we had no forestry roads. Then Cowell, we would still have a magnificent Forestry resource from which we could selectively log for the next 500 years. Forestry Tasmania would be a profitable government business that we could all be proud of. Instead we have given away the crown jewels at enormous cost to all Tasmanian’s thanks to our corrupt pollies and their mates in Gunns and Ta Ann. It is as simple as that.

Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society: Loss of swift parrot habitat refocuses call for an end to logging in critical forests Logging in known swift parrot habitat and the loss of mature nesting trees, recently discovered by scientists who have been working to safeguard the survival of the species, highlights ongoing failures of the forest practices system in Tasmania and has prompted new calls on government to immediately end all logging in swift parrot habitat. With just 2000 parrots left in the wild and the insidious problem of predation on nesting parrots by introduced sugar gliders, continued habitat loss is compounding the pressure facing the species, which cannot afford the loss of a single nesting or foraging tree …

ABC: Conservation scientists ‘shocked’ at logging of endangered swift parrot nesting site Scientists working to save a critically endangered species say they are shocked and frustrated about the logging of a known swift parrot nesting site in southern Tasmania. Dr Dejan Stojanovic, a conservation biologist at the Australian National University, said he and his research team had been monitoring the habitat at Tyler’s Hill for a decade. Last week he visited the site to plan for the installation of predator-proof nest boxes, used to protect the birds from sugar gliders. Upon arrival he found the area had been felled …

Greens: Liberals’ Forestry Agenda Putting Swift Parrot on the Chopping Block

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Forestry Tasmania’s final report: The Billion Dollar Loss

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk, http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
12.11.17 4:15 am

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A survey of the wreckage left behind by Forestry Tasmania (FT) reveals since its peak in 2004 it has lost over $1 billion from forestry activities …

ABC: Government rejects claim that waste log export operation is ‘rorting’ federal subsidy

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: When the forest industry is already the most heavily subsidised industry in Tasmania, Andrew Wilkie is spot on: ABC: Government rejects claim that waste log export operation is ‘rorting’ federal subsidy. It is the taxpayer who is being rorted. Job creation? What rubbish! Centrelink timbers in the sheltered workshop ... that is the forest industry.

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The Embalmer from Burnie who Buried the Liberal Party ...

John Hawkins* Chudleigh. Pic*
12.11.17 4:00 am

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In early May I wrote to each of the 12 Tasmanian Senators - including Senator Stephen Parry - regarding Senator Eric Abetz and Section 44 ... as recorded on Tasmanian Times ( John Hawkins’ questions for Eric Abetz ) …

• EXTRACT from Senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson’s speech to the Senate ...

… I have been open with my documentation. I also know that Senator Di Natale has been open about his, but it has been brought to my attention that one person in this chamber has not been willing to clear up public speculation and doubts about their efforts to rid themselves of dual citizenship when they were duly first elected: Senator Eric Abetz.

We know that Eric Abetz was once a German citizen. We know that he is now no longer a German citizen. What we don’t know is whether—or how long—he sat in this chamber before he rid himself of his dual citizenship. It could’ve been anything up to 16 years. We don’t know whether he took all reasonable steps to renounce his German citizenship before he took his place in the Senate. He has previously said he would publicly release documentation, but I understand he has not done so …

Mercury: Eric Abetz steps up pressure on Braddon MP Justine Keay to prove she renounced British citizenship

ABC: MP Justine Keay took steps to renounce UK citizenship one month before nominations closed

• John Hawkins in Comments: Dear Editor, The Wikipedia site ( HERE ) for Senator Erich Abetz is very closely watched ... I revised and edited the Wikipedia entry for Abetz under the section entry,  Eligibility to hold Senate office at 0735 today 6 November 2017. By 0851 some 75 minutes later my entry had been removed and the subject matter re-edited by Liguer, presumably acting for Senator Abetz. This has happened before …

• Brenda Rosser in Comments: I revised and edited the Wikipedia entry for Abetz under the section entry,  Eligibility to hold Senate office at 0735 today 6 November 2017. By 0851 some 75 minutes later my entry had been removed and the subject matter re-edited by Liguer”...” The same thing happened to me when I tried to correct the erroneous figures of the extent of land in Tasmania protected from deforestation.  Quoting official reports from the Tasmanian and Federal Government.  Still it was erased and reverted back to the document’s original lies.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Brenda, how very interesting. I think we are touching the tip of the iceberg that is Fake News controlled from the Dirt File HQ in Canberra that gives Abetz his power. Mantach was the most obvious manifestation when he was forgiven half a million for not spilling the beans. Liguer is smart ... he has a user account with Wikipedia meaning that it is impossible to track his IP address. How many more readers of TT have had their Wikipedia contributions trashed by our political masters? We are well into the Orwellian world of controlled information.

Advocate: Keay confirms she British at time of nominations

Advocate: Citizenship fiasco: Brett Whiteley would make comeback bid

Fairfax: Malcolm Turnbull plans to recall Parliament to deal with citizenship issues

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Have just listened to ABC’s World Today. I can’t believe that, of all people, Eric Abetz would even think of buying into the dual citizenship debate. But there he was, as spooky as ever, intoning advice. Yet it’s not really surprising: he would be an expert in the question of dual citizenship.

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: … I’m still flabbergasted by the deafening silence re the Criminal Code that already applies for providing false or misleading statements. But I’m guessing our leaders don’t want to mention ‘the war’. A penalty for up to 12 months imprisonment isn’t a good look for our MPs and Senators.  And then there’s the unexplored issue surrounding unqualified/illegitimate Parliamentarians and voting legitimacy in Parliament, pay & pensions.  Just the tip of the iceburg as well?

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‘Community-owned Tourism Plan Required for Bruny Islanders’

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Member for Franklin Media Release. Pic*
11.11.17 3:30 am

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… The Bruny Island Neck’s car park scars the very landscape people go there to see. It shows the Liberals’ indifference to local communities and to Tasmania’s natural values …

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Elon Musk powers ahead whilst Australia goes limp

Ted Mead* Pic*
09.11.17 4:45 am

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Australia has just witnessed the last Holden vehicle to come off the factory conveyor. This signals the end of a once vibrant national manufacturing industry, which has ultimately fallen to international competition through cheaper imports and the removal of tariffs. American car manufacturing on the other hand is moving with the times, and the Tesla initiatives are setting the world stage alight with advanced renewable technology, electric vehicles and energy storage …

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Letters to my grandchildren (26)

Anton Clever*
09.11.17 4:43 am

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Dear Chilliwops, Do you remember in my fourteenth letter I wrote the following? …

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

The mess we’re now in: The leaked TASSAL document ...

Media Releases
And Media


Advocates say Brandis’ religious freedom plan ‘lawyers’ picnic

Mackay protesters march for Manus

Special Energy Bonus extended

Crikey Weekender: Game over, Abbott. Now resign ...

The Saturday Briefing ... Kevin Rudd’s attack on News Corp

Glenorchy City Council Board of Inquiry report

TasWater ownership report

Labor welcomes Tassal’s off-shore move

Powerful inquiry into banks in the balance as Nationals MPs ponder crossing the floor

Same-sex marriage: Men of God hold no mortgage on the national soul

Donate to Gay Tas Early History HERE

Tassal’s “Off-Shore” Spin

Tassal shift to oceanic farming welcomed

Concerned citizens barricade doors of Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Voluntary Tasmania E-news

Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege

Have your say ...

Cake is cake ... stop giving bakers a bad name!

Solar-powered lights at Bridport ...

Fear of reprisals, boss woes, affecting Tasmanian Justice staff, survey finds

The Briefing ... Cory Bernardi ...



Bett Gallery: STEPHANIE TABRAM, The way it is out here 



Black Inc.:January 2018 new releases 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Screening of Journey to the West in Australia 

What's On

What's On

Wrest Point, L’ton, Burnie: Lee Kernaghan 



First Dog, Guardian: Paradise Papers 



Thank you for this article, Saul. It encapsulated much of what I have been thinking about this topic. With regard to security,…

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