"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

Christmas Story ...

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Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/
11.12.16 4:00 am

Used with permission ...

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If it does succumb, it will take any hopes of reviving the Tasmanian forestry industry with it ...

Don Knowler* Pic: Swift Parrots, Flickr, Dave Curtis First published: December 10
11.12.16 3:55 am

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The dead parrot sketch ( HERE ) might have been one of Monty Python’s most popular, but the demise of our own swift parrot is no laughing matter, writes Don Knowler

Timberbiz: Cold comfort for Tasmanians Six Tasmanian government businesses are operating with a letter of comfort from the Treasurer including Forestry Tasmania. During a government business enterprise hearing scrutinising the Tasmanian Public Finance Corporation, Labor MLC Craig Farrell asked Treasurer Peter Gutwein which state-owned entities currently had a letter of comfort. Mr Gutwein named Forestry Tasmania, Hydro Tasmania, Tasmanian Irrigation, TasRail, Tasports and Tasracing. Hydro Tasmania has been operating under various letters of comfort from Mr Gutwein — also known as a support agreements — since the Liberals took office …

• John Hayward in Comments: This parrots’ prospects would be dire enough if the bumbling LibLabs were merely indifferent to their fate, but all evidence is that these pollies bear the same blanket resentment toward nature that they do toward those humans who wish to protect it.

Geoff Law: Groom flouts UNESCO request to protect wilderness character in World Heritage … “Minister Groom has ignored the request of the World Heritage Committee and his own commitment to accept the recommendation of UNESCO’s experts and is undermining the protection of wilderness,” said Geoff Law, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. “Wilderness is a defining feature of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area, a powerful brand for Tasmania and something that has always had strong, clear protection through previous management plans. “Now, Minister Groom has signed off on a plan that explicitly allows private, commercial developments to intrude within secluded and tranquil settings. Buildings and helicopter noise will degrade this wilderness. “The plan released today will reduce the protection for wilderness, an indictment on Tasmania and a genuine threat to our credibility in the international World Heritage arena …

Matthew Groom: Outstanding significance of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area protected with new management

Rosalie Woodruff: Warped Liberal Politics Put MONA’s Macquarie Point Vision at Risk

Rosalie Woodruff: Liberals Prioritise Presentation over Preservation in the TWWHA

ABC: World Heritage Area: Claims hut plan for wilderness area outside UNESCO wishes

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People of Tasmania would like to know ...

Pete Godfrey. Pic* First published December 5
11.12.16 3:50 am

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Pete Godfrey in Comments, HERE So if the government don’t accept that the damage to the Basslink cable was a force majeure, then what do they think caused the damage? The people of Tasmania would like to know.

ABC: Tasmanian Government rejects Basslink’s ‘no-cause’ finding on cable fault

• Pat Synge in Comments: As far as I know the location of the Geelong Star when the cable was damaged has never been ascertained and now it has left Australian waters.

• Kelvin Jones in Comments: … Then there is still the question: where was the Geelong Star at the critical time of cable failure? No one has presented any proof that it could not have been the cause.

ABC: Power bill hike fears if Basslink regulated, Bryan Green says

Bryan Green: Secret Basslink power play exposed

• Kelvin Jones in Comments: Lightning ... Without going into transmission line theory Pete Godfrey is on the mark. A lightning bolt sufficiently powerful enough to overcome the spike protectors entering the cable would blow the insulation along the cable length. This will continue until the voltage in the spike was attenuated by arching to earth through the shattered insulation. The rest of the energy pulse would continue down the cable until absorbed to earth by the cable capacitance. It would not, I repeat would not blow a hole from inside to out … In view of leaving port with newly and extensively modified nets it would no be unreasonable that Geelong Star set a course running south of Geelong to allow a quick return if net testing showed more land based modifications were needed. If this initial course was taken then not needing to return to port would put Geelong Star on a course to NSW waters that is highly likely to cross the cable at the damage point. If the net for some reason took an unexpected sudden dive whilst they crossed the cable we have a recipe for the damage to the cable.

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The War on Welfare ...

Maddison Garden, Sydney, Australia ... From an anonymous Trainer in the Job Active System Pic* First pub: Dec 8
11.12.16 3:30 am

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A Comment on New Matilda’s article, Unemployed Worker’s Union Report Reveals Shocking Job Network Failures ... Trans-Ed or Foundation Skills as it is otherwise known, targets ‘transitioning’ welfare recipients including those on disability payments ‘ toward work’ as part of the government’s ongoing policy of war on welfare.

• Ed: Tell your stories of dealing with ‘job providers’ in Tassie in the Comments section …

• Terentius in Comments: … A rep from Centrelink told me soon after this when I asked for release from the Newstart ‘agreement’ that major heart damage and permanent physical impairment were beside the point. Having been dead and then revived meant that my health situation had improved and I was recovering. The words “improved” and “recovering” were part of the Centrelink disability claim form questionnaire … I congratulate those who are well intentioned toward providing for those less fortunate amongst us. I observe and despair at the ongoing mistreatment of the unemployed, the disaffected, the disadvantaged, the disabled and the poor. I fume at and wish great misfortune upon those porcine entrepreneurs and leeches at the vast government trough who claim small fortunes in the fields of job providing, job training, education, child minding, welfare and numerous other good lurks where the priority is self enrichment rather than the stated goals …

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A letter to Dr Vanessa Goodwin on foxes

Dr Clive A Marks, Dr David Obendorf First published December 5
11.12.16 3:15 am

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… We seek to clarify aspects of Tasmanian law in respect of importing and distributing fox carcasses, scats and tissues in the environment …

• Ian Rist in Comments: I don’t think they will ever admit to the damage this badly thought out and executed 1080 meat baiting campaign is responsible for ....Quolls definitely have worn the brunt of it, Devils copped it as well. One small population of five Devils that I was on a first name basis with completely disappeared after 1080 meat fox baiting occurred in their home range area.
I have been contacted by owners that have lost domestic and working dogs, a dreadful tragedy that simply should never have been allowed to happen…especially when it was all based on a “bright shining lie” …

• Ian Rist in Comments: … In excess of 350,000 1080 fox baits have been put out in the Tasmanian Landscape since 2002.

• John Hayward in Comments: It is well-established that sub-lethal doses of 1080 have been found to cause residual damage to organs such as the brain, heart, and reproductive system. What I have never encountered, despite repeated queries, is a Tas Government response to this issue. In light of this, the Tas Govt’s refusal to countenance the re-introduction of disease-free devils to the mainland, which is strongly urged by the scientific community, needs to revisited by credible authorities.

Mercury: Man to appear in Launceston court over fox find by Frankford Highway

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I am calling it early ...

James Dryburgh*
11.12.16 2:00 am

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I am calling it early: This is the book that has given me more than any other in 2016. I won’t try to describe this wonderfully diverse journey, just read it. Physick by Pete Hay

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Boycotts ramp up on The Body Shop and L’Oreal

Isla MacGregor*. Pic: The Body Shop ...
10.12.16 2:39 am

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In the lead up to Christmas cosmetic retailer The Body Shop is coming under increasing pressure from women’s human rights groups with calls for consumers to boycott their products. The Body Shop is one many corporate offenders on the Collective Shout 2016 Crossed Off list an annual blacklist of corporate offenders who have sexualised girls and objectified women throughout the year …

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Growing Within the Community ... The Christmas Party ...

Josie Young* Pic: The Chrissy barbie ... First published December 5
10.12.16 2:20 am

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… A Story of Gratitude from the Hobart Women’s Shelter … … Every so often however it is through the kindness of a stranger, a simple act of selflessness that I am snapped back to the reality of the time we live in. Our community faces huge challenges, but we can change that …

Christmas came early ... Christmas came early to some of Glenorchy’s most special residents with our annual women’s and children’s Christmas Party. Attended by 50 children, and 30 women this was one of our biggest gatherings yet. Amidst laughter, water sports and a traditional Aussie BBQ Santa arrived to add some magic and gifts to the mix …

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The rise of the lumpen fuhrers ...

Jo Zananiri* Pic*
10.12.16 2:00 am

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You see them here, you see them there, you see them almost everywhere … yes the lumpen proletarian are being conjured up eerily across the globe at the behest of some rather nakedly ugly politicians playing racist tunes.  And indeed they have a new Clinton-coined name ... the basket of deplorables …

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NATION: All tip and no iceberg ...

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic: Donkey Hotey, Flickr First published December 5
09.12.16 5:00 am

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“A bunch of bong-sniffing, dole-bludging, moss-munching, glue-guzzling, K-Mart Castros are again vandalising Parliament. And stopping other opinions being heard.”

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Light rail ... It beggars belief ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison. Speech to Parliament. Pic* First pub: Nov 30
09.12.16 4:50 am

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Deputy Speaker … building light rail in Hobart would link communities, reduce road traffic congestion, ease the cost of living and help clean up the environment. And it could be easily achieved because the land corridor is there, the community wants it and the media is on board …

So Deputy Speaker, the fact that Hobart still doesn’t have light rail really does beggar belief. It is, I regret to say, yet another symbol of the long-running failure of governance in Tasmania, and of too many lazy and incompetent politicians …

• Peter Brenner in Comments: … And we should not reduce the freedom of walking to a humiliating begging for permission to cross thunderous roads like scurrying rabbits (for example). The hard edge fast, individual motor traffic is oh, so passé. Oh, so fifties of the last century …

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Letter to the Editor on Eric Abetz ...

John Green* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website First published December 8
09.12.16 4:45 am

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When I read the Eric Abetz article in the Features Pages of The Mercury on Wednesday 7 December 2016 I had the weird feeling that someone from a parallel universe was trying to make contact with Planet Earth. Eric Abetz seems to live in the sixth dimension who are born with blinkers and extremely narrow minds … Eric Abetz would have credibility as a Human Rights Advocate if he also condemned the evil dictators that the CIA helped to install in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Eric Abetz is of course a member of a Government which has placed people fleeing prosecution by evil dictators in prison camps where conditions are such that the refugees and their children have suffered severe psychological damage …

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The Liberals Plan to Flog off Taroona’s School Bushland

Ted Mead* First published December 7
08.12.16 4:30 am

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Flogging off more of the family silver to developers! With no community engagement, The Liberal government has submitted a subdivision proposal to Kingborough Council for the residential development of a 9 lot land parcel within the Taroona School bushland precinct.

• Phillip Lowe (UK) in Comments: I remember this land around the Taroona School and a very nice place it is to walk. It does seem sad to contemplate residential housing on this community social space. What is even sadder is the picture that your commentating readers paint of Tasmanian politicians and establishment authority in general. What kind of confidence would this give to anybody who was thinking of moving to Tasmania?

Jeremy Rockliff: Halt to Taroona High School subdivision

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Poverty of 20th & 21st century architectural imagination ...

Stefan Petrow* Pics* First published December 7
08.12.16 3:15 am

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Book Launch Municipal Magnificence: The Hobart Town Hall, 1866-2016 Tonight ( TT here ) we celebrate the history of the building that more than any other reflects the social, cultural, religious and political history of Hobart over 150 years …

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Change The Date

Erik Jensen* Pic* First published December 5
07.12.16 4:15 am

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At a basic level, politics is the search for will. It is about finding the possibilities for a country. But if anything has defined the past decade or so of public life in Australia, it is the misplacing of this key principle. It is no longer plausible to expect our leaders to lead. That is why this message is not directed towards politicians. They are not listening. This is a message to musicians, to artists, to families. It is a call to boycott Australia Day celebrations on January 26. It is a call to find a new date to celebrate as one people. It is a call to move the culture, so the politics follows …

New Matilda: CHANGE THE DATE: Read This If You Want To Know Why Australia Day Is So Offensive

First Dog: Wait what?! You want to move Australia Day?! You monsters!!

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Feminists celebrate MPs’ defeat of Victorian Birth Certificate Bill

Tessa Anne* Pic*
07.12.16 3:00 am

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… We were disappointed to see that Labor member Gayle Tierney continued to deny the impact of the proposed law on women’s right to female-only spaces and services, such as domestic violence shelters, changing rooms within female-only facilities and sports teams. …

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Tarkine Gems Threatened by Future Liberal Logging

Ted Mead* All pics: Ted Mead. First published December 4
06.12.16 3:00 am

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There is no longer a Forestry war between Industry and Conservationists, yet the State Liberals want such a controversy, and they are convinced that opening up old wounds through the logging of deferred forests prior to the next state election will win them governance again.

Bob Brown Foundation: Only 8 weeks to stop Tarkine rainforest destruction

Analysis of logging plan shows important values need protection

Bob Brown ob Brown Foundation making final appeal to the state government to remove sections of the Tarkine from Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedule

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Abrupt Climate Change ...

Keith Antonysen* Pic*
02.12.16 5:00 am

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On a New Zealand radio station Guy McPherson suggested that humans would be extinct within 10 years. He made these comments on 24 November 2016 …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: … Could we be extinct in 10 years? Yes given the right alignment of systemic failures. Can a Turnbull/Trump world save us? Staggeringly unlikely. What must we do to survive? Revert to smaller self-sustaining communities, seize control of our own lives and futures, and stop relying on the growing hordes of people who say that they know what’s best for us. If we haven’t worked out yet that handing our survival over to political parties is a mistake ... well ...

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Peace: the final frontier

Kim Peart* of Ross. Pic*
02.12.16 4:30 am

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First Day ... December ... a tribute to Leonard ...

Giles Hugo
01.12.16 4:00 am

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December 1 ... and Hobart photographer Giles Hugo celebrates the incomparable Leonard Cohen ... who performed at the Derwent Entertainment Centre in 2010 ...

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

If it does succumb, it will take any hopes of reviving the Tasmanian forestry industry with it ...

Media Releases
And Media


Sweden’s Recycling Is So Revolutionary, The Country Is Running Out Of Trash

From ‘fascists’ to ‘feminazis’: how both sides are biased in their political

Australia won’t meet Paris climate change targets, urgent policy needed on emissions: Finkel

Garrison Keillor: Garrison Keillor: And now we sit and watch in disbelief

John Hewson: Why certain Liberals can’t believe in Climate Change

Mona’s Macquarie Point vision aims to shine a light on the state’s dark past

Lenore Taylor, Guardian: Turnbull was right in 2009: ruling out emissions trading is ‘bullshit’

Liberals Prioritise Presentation over Preservation in the TWWHA

Warped Liberal Politics Put MONA’s Macquarie Point Vision at Risk

Outstanding significance of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area ...

Brighton Council AGM

Harness Racing Australia to ban use of whips over animal welfare concerns and ‘industry’s image’

World-first PNG seabed mining project forges ahead; miners express confidence about commodity prices

Groom flouts UNESCO request to protect wilderness character in World Heritage

New ‘Make it Law’ campaign urges Liberals to champion free vote

Bold Mona plan can’t hide Groom’s incompetence

Tender called for report into earlier school starting age

Tas Planning Scheme update ...

How life for milk’s market darling (Tasmania’s Bellamy’s) turned sour in China

Done below the line to end poverty

Where the hell are the Liberal moderates?



Despard Gallery: Gift an original this Christmas ... 



Spin in the Antipodes ... 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Free Preview of ‘In search of la dolce vita’ – 3 days only 

What's On

What's On

John Farnham at the Royal Hobart Regatta ... 



Peas in a Pod ... 



Is there something in the Hobart water? Why the concerted vitriol and cynicism? Why the loaded, negative rhetoric? Why the…

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