"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 tear of reminiscence ...

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Donald Knowler* Pic*
14.12.17 4:56 am

A tear hung on Don Bentley’s cheek, refusing to budge, refusing to run down his face and splash on the floor of the No 34 tram to St. Kilda. Bentley could see a young Asian woman, a student maybe, looking at him, looking up from her scrolling on a smart-phone. He didn’t care, he willed her to come over to his seat from the far side of the isle, to ask him why a man in his early seventies, was riding the No 34 tram with a tear on his cheek, and more welling in his eyes …

• Robert Middleton in Comments: Words as good as gold, Mr Knowler. Writing at its finest. Powerful enough to be felt and savored here, on the other side of the world from you. Good as gold.

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Poker machine apocalypse? LABOR’S POLICY ...

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk: http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
14.12.17 4:14 am

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There seems little doubt the fate of poker machines post 2023 will be an issue that will get plenty of coverage during the upcoming State election campaign. Depite the government assuring the Joint Select Committee into Future Gaming Markets it would be open to recommendations based on evidence, Premier Stansfield and Chief Strategist McQuestin had their minds made up well before the Committee reported.  The government arranged for a Dorothy Dixer on the 11th of September to allow the Treasurer to set out the government’s policy on gaming. If pokies are banned from communities it would have a “devastating effect on pubs and clubs” he told parliament …

… Currently on average, only 20% of player losses remain with pubs and clubs via net commissions from Federal Group’s Network Gaming. The rest flows out of town to Network Gaming. It is well beyond the wit of this writer to figure why the government is so willing to accept the dumb proposition that stopping the haemorrhaging of regional towns will have a devastating effect on those communities. It’s going to be very difficult to convince an electorate growing weary of political lies …

• Stephen Menadue, in Comments: Thanks John. As if we didn’t already know that the flow on benefits to community would be great from getting rid of the pokies, the Government would have us believe that the increased employment and sporting group t-shirt funding would be of more benefit. A child waiting outside a Gaming Lounge for their mum or dad to finish inside paints a picture of exactly how many ways these machines are tearing apart families and values …

• John Biggs in Comments: … The relevance to this thread is that the Liberals and their mates are interested only in making money. The effects of pollution and poker machines on community health and welfare simply doesn’t matter. We should be very angry indeed about that and ensure that we chuck the rotters out next election …

CWA: It’s time to get pokies out of Tassie’s suburbs The CWA in Tasmania has added its voice to the statewide campaign to get pokies out of Tasmania’s suburbs. Lindy Cleeland, state President CWA in Tas, said: “The CWA stands for strong communities and our members know just how much stronger those communities can be with pokies gone from our local pubs and clubs. “We urge everyone with a view on this issue to speak up and get that message to their local political representatives and the candidates for the 2018 election …

Andrea Dawkins, Greens’ gambling spokesperson: … Will Hodgman and Rebecca White need to think long and hard about whether they intend to prioritise the lives and wellbeing of Tasmanians, or the coffers of Federal Group.

Rebecca White, Labor Leader: Poker machines out of pubs and clubs in five years under Majority Labor Government A re-elected Majority Labor Government will act to remove poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs over the next five years. Last financial year Tasmanians lost $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs - money that could be better spent in our communities supporting small business and families. A report by economics professor John Mangan shows that if just half of those losses from poker machines were diverted to other parts of the economy, more than 180 full time jobs would be created. The harmful impacts of poker machine gambling are widespread. They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected …

Rebecca White, Labor Leader: Poker machines out of pubs and clubs in five years under Majority Labor Government A re-elected Majority Labor Government will act to remove poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs over the next five years. Last financial year Tasmanians lost $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs - money that could be better spent in our communities supporting small business and families. A report by economics professor John Mangan shows that if just half of those losses from poker machines were diverted to other parts of the economy, more than 180 full time jobs would be created. The harmful impacts of poker machine gambling are widespread. They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected …

Rebecca White on Labor’s policy HERE

Meg Webb, Anglicare: Listening to the people Anglicare has welcomed the Labor Party’s decision to support the removal of poker machines from hotels and clubs. “We are pleased to see politicians catching up with community sentiment,” said Anglicare’s Meg Webb. Manager of the Social Action and Research Centre. “Labor has responded to the clear vision of Tasmanians who want thriving local neighborhoods free of poker machines.” “Labor took the time to consult and has developed a policy that’s in the public interest,” said Ms Webb. “They examined the evidence, listened to local communities and have made the right choice on this issue …”

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes: At Long Last ... The Change Tasmanians Want With Labor’s announcement of its policy on poker machines today, Tasmania sits at a moment where profound change is possible. “This is one of those moments, much like the announcement of how Tasmanians voted on marriage equality a couple of weeks ago—a moment when we can feel meaningful change in the air,” CEO of TasCOSS Kym Goodes said. “The overwhelming majority of Tasmanians will feel represented by this policy announcement and it bodes well for a future where the power and strength of the Tasmanian people sits at the core of our vision for the future of this state. “This is not simply about a change to long term policy on pokies in our state. “This announcement and the clear and genuine consultation that preceded it is an acknowledgement that our political representatives recognise that they are meant to do just that: represent the views of the people of Tasmania …

ABC: Poker machines out of Tasmanian pubs, clubs by 2023 under Labor promise

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison: ALP pokies policy a win for the community and common sense … “We know that poker machines cause or at least add to many social ills including crime, domestic violence, suicide and childhood poverty. That’s why I recently launched the Pokies are the Problem campaign to encourage the Opposition to come up with a decent policy on poker machines, and I’m glad that this has finally happened. “I now call on the Liberals to step up and match Labor’s commitment because completely removing poker machines from hotels and clubs is the only sensible policy and the only policy that will seriously reduce harm …

Unions Tasmania: Unions Tasmania reaction to poker machine removal

Andrea Dawkins, Greens gambling spokesperson: Community Pokies Campaign Yields Fruit

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster: End of pokies scourge a good move

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party: SFFP does not support an attack on Rural and Regional employment in Hospitality and Tourism

Labor: Does Hodgman actually have a poker machine policy?

Andrea Dawkins: THA Must Reconsider Approach to Pokies

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A former mayor says nay to an old warhorse

Bob Hawkins* Pic: of Adriana Taylor
14.12.17 4:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  It was respectful. It was diplomatic. But it certainly was a dressing down that Huon Valley Council commissioner Adriana Taylor handed former councillor and sometime deputy mayor Mike Wilson at HVC’s November 29 meeting …

… A NAGGING THOUGHT. Why is Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein so determined that HVC will not get involved in local government-reform talks with its Kingborough Council neighbour? For some mysterious reason, Gutwein — despite his enthusiastic appeal a couple of years back to councils to get talking about local-government reform among themselves — has segregated HVC from all other councils and virtually barred it from participating in inter-council discussions, especially on the possibility of amalgamations …

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Letter to the Editor ... on Flinders Island ...

Cameron Hindrum, Launceston, Tas. Pic: ABC, Rhiannon Shine
13.12.17 9:45 am

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Sir, I hope that the news from Flinders Island today is embraced by all Tasmanians. The island is now being run almost entirely by renewable energy, specifically wind and solar power, and I hope that this provides a feasible blueprint for the development of a feasible renewable energy policy by the next state government …

ABC: Flinders Island going for green with renewable energy hub, farewells dirty diesel

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There’s certainly some good news in this year’s Tasmania Report ...

Saul Eslake* Pic: of Saul Eslake
13.12.17 9:30 am

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The TCCI Tasmania Report 2017: Executive Summary Tasmania’s economy is about $4¼bn (or 8¼%) larger than previously reckoned, because of revisions to the ABS estimates of gross state product which were included in their most recent State Accounts published last month. These revisions stem largely from the fact that the ABS now thinks the Tasmanian economy grew faster than previously reckoned between 2003-04 and 2012-13 …

Cassy O’Connor: Greens the only party with vision The social and economic challenges laid out in the Tasmania Report reinforce the need for courage and vision from all political parties contesting the 2018 State election …

Labor: Tasmania Report forces Government to confront reality on colleges

Will Hodgman: Response to the Tasmania Report

Examiner: Saul Eslake’s Tasmania Report critique sparks debate on future of colleges in Tasmania

Examiner: Saul Eslake says Tasmanian Government should sell off some of its companies

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’ ‘Fake News,’ Trump’s Obsession, Is Now a Cudgel for Strongmen’ ... ask Will ...

New York Times: Pic: of Will Hodgman from his website
13.12.17 5:20 am

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BRUSSELS — President Trump routinely invokes the phrase “fake news” ( TT: as did Tassie Premier Will Hodgman ... )as a rhetorical tool to undermine opponents, rally his political base and try to discredit a mainstream American media that is aggressively investigating his presidency …

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NATION: A double agent in the house ... ?

Urban Wronski* Pic: Flickr, Donkey Hotey
13.12.17 5:15 am

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Loud hosannas resound in Canberra. Hallelujah. Could it be the joyous news that Harry and Meghan Markle will grace us with their royal presence at a charity polo match in Marvellous Melbourne early next year? Or is it Dotard Trump’s Middle East diplomatic masterstroke? Swayed by Zionist lobbyists and fat-cat Republican donors’ demands he moves the US embassy to Jerusalem? Images of rioting, protesting Palestinians appear immediately. Any moment, son-in-law, slumlord Jared Kushner, will “deliver peace” in the Middle East on cue …

MSN News: ‘What are you saying?’ Malcolm Turnbull in heated clash over indigenous MPs Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney ‘Q&A’ hosted fiery and emotive scenes as Malcolm Turnbull was challenged about his record on indigenous recognition, culminating in a visibly offended Prime Minister urging his critics to support Indigenous MPs from both sides of parliament. The Prime Minister was appearing as the sole guest on the program and received a grilling about issues from the MPs with dual citizenships, to the same-sex marriage plebiscite, the influence of the right-wing of the party, his views on climate change and, finally, the National Broadband Network …

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The Prosser dinosaurs ...

Paul Tapp*
13.12.17 5:07 am

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For years now where the Prosser River meets the sea in the once-sleepy hamlet of Orford, modern dinosaurs have been disturbing the tranquility … in the name of the inevitable triplets of such a beautiful spot, Progress, More Progress and Even More Progress …

Libs: Swansea Boat Ramp launches boatloads of benefits

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Bitcoin ...

Cartoon*: Martyn Turner, used with permission
13.12.17 5:00 am

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Cartoon*: Martyn Turner, used with permission

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‘The Palace, the Governor-General and the Dismissal of the Whitlam government ...’

John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations. Pic*
12.12.17 3:50 am

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Contrary to the accepted story that the Queen was not involved in the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975, it is now clear that the Palace had a significant role in the process. Those involved, in Australia and in Britain, kept this involvement hidden from the Australian people in a process of collusion, deception and artifice …

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Why ‘Love Makes a Way’ is not loving

Andrea Tokaji* Pic*
12.12.17 3:45 am

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On the eve of the closing of Nauru and Manus Island detention facilities, I think it is helpful to reflect on those that contribute positively to change, and those that, through their advocacy might institute further harms …

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I don’t want smart meters

Don Maisch*
11.12.17 4:32 am

Image for I don’t want smart meters

Here is a sample ... I suggest you write your own detailing why you do NOT want smart meters ...

This is money: The great smart meter rip-off: Energy giants will use devices to DOUBLE the cost of power when you need it most • Digital smart meters rolled out as an energy-saving measure. • Meters send instant information back to energy suppliers on usage. • Energy giant British Gas is trialling charging more at peak times. • Watchdog Ofgem warned in report suppliers would develop new tariffs

• Dr Pri Bandara in Comments: Introduction of these wireless “smart” meters is not a smart move at all considering the further increase of public exposure to microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR), an environmental pollutant with serious biological/health effects that can damage mental and physical health of exposed people. 236 scientists from 41 countries who have researched on RF-EMR and published in peer-reviewed literature have urged the UN and the WHO to protect public health from this exposure …

Canberra Times: Smart meters new default, unregulated installation costs ‘encourage competition’

Advocate: Inching towards smart meters

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Southern-fried half-baked woodchips

Tom Allen, campaigner, The Wilderness Society. Pic: Jam-packed crowds at the Dover meeting
11.12.17 4:25 am

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Here’s some gratuitous advice for the proponents of the proposed Southwoodfibre1 woodchip export facility at Dover: When you hold a ‘community consultation’, have a map of the site for people to see, ensure your laptop works and that you can answer questions with more detail than just platitudes. Especially if about 200 people fill a school hall, thirsty for information. Which they did and they were …

Chris Harries in Medium: Land use policy may end up being much more important than renewables Growing trees absorb more carbon than we can poke a stick at! Given all the remedies for stalling climate change, my home state of Tasmania has illustrated, almost by accident, the huge role that changes in land use can play. Tasmania has the luck of having hydro-electric resources — lofty mountains and rainfall. But being a remote economy it has also relied heavily on exploiting and exporting its natural commodities, especially via its dominant native forest logging industry. A massive turnaround in the state’s carbon emissions occurred around 2012- 2015, whereupon the state Minister for Climate Change, Matt Groom, announced that the state had quite suddenly and unexpectedly achieved its 2050 emissions abatement target several decades ahead of time. This remarkable success came about despite the state government having a very weak mitigation strategy, having almost no deliberate policies in place to reduce emissions. How did this magical, phenomenal result come about then? It was all to do with a downturn in log exports …

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The Robot Journo ...

Charles Wooley*
11.12.17 4:20 am

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Ideally a column needs a good opening line to grab the reader. How about this one from my wife Donna when I arrived home from a fishing trip: “Charlie I want you to meet my new lover …

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The Decline and Fall of RMPAT: Tribunal loses its teeth

David Halse-Rogers* Pic*
11.12.17 3:30 am

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Have you had an inappropriate development approved in your street?  Do you realise that the loss of your view, light or airflow is now considered irrelevant to planning authorities? Developments, which maximise profit at the expense of neighbours’ amenities, are now festering like un-lanced boils across many suburbs and town in Tasmania As many Tasmanians will now be aware, the State Government is in the process of implementing new, contentious, standardised planning legislation designed, supposedly, to make development applications …“fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler”.  The Government mantra does not state for whom the new State-wide planning scheme will be ...“fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler”, but it is not hard to work out that the developer will be in the driver’s seat from now on …

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Whose victory was it that the MPs were celebrating ... ?

David Chadwick* Pic: Nic McBride on Flickr
10.12.17 8:00 am

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With a truly wonderful outpouring of emotion at 5.58pm Friday evening at that moment the parliament erupted in what I’m sure was the most a heartfelt joy ever expressed in the chamber of the new parliament house.  It was so good to watch.  It would have been nice to have been there, but would it?  Whose victory was it that the MPs were celebrating … ?

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Just how removed is the Integrity Commission from government influence ... ?

Lyndall Rowley* Pic: Nelson Pavlosky, Flickr
09.12.17 4:00 am

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Concerned about the numerous stories on TT surrounding mismanagement, maladministration, misconduct and many other negative accounts of poor government and poor conduct by public servants in Tasmania, I went browsing over the internet …

Mercury: Tasmanian Integrity Commission warns on public servant exits TASMANIA’S Integrity Commission has recommended changes to allow disciplinary findings against public servants who have quit their post. A commission report has found changes should be made to the State Services Act to prevent investigations ceasing once an employee subject to allegations of misconduct leaves. The recommendation is one of three made by the Commission following an investigation into the management of misconduct in the state’s public service. The report also recommends a written record of proceedings and action taken be kept for seven years …

ABC: Integrity watchdog calls for significant changes to handling of misconduct by Tasmania’s public service

Examiner: Tasmanian Integrity Commission delivers report on state service misconduct

The Integrity Commission: Investigation report recommends legislative changes for misconduct accountability

• David Obendorf in Comments: … In the case of Pandora’s box, unbridled curiosity when acted upon opened up and released consequences. As the myth tells it, when the box was open: Pandora could still hear a voice calling to her from the box, pleading with her to be let out. Her husband Epimetheus agreed that nothing inside the box could be worse than the horrors that had already been released, so they opened the lid once more. All that remained in the box was Hope. For me, the lesson from Pandora’s box is – be careful what I release because sometimes all that remains is Hope …

• Bob in Comments: Hodgman’s Chief of Staff Stansfield comes from the Abetz office. It shows and says it all really! ‘I didn’t say that’ and ‘not available for comment’ appears to be the Liberal Party mantra these days. Roll on March!

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For Eleanor ...

Dr Michael Rowan*
08.12.17 5:00 am

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Editor: I asked Michael Rowan for a copy of this wonderful eulogy at the celebration of Eleanor’s life a couple of months ago. Here it is …

• Isla MacGregor in Comments: Thank you for posting.  I very much enjoyed reading Michael Rowan’s eulogy for Eleanor. She truly was a great contributor to girls’ and women’s equality and for the principles of universal and high standards of education.

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Misrepresentation, lies, deception and fraud ...

Dr David Obendorf* Pic*
08.12.17 4:47 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 …

• Jack Jolly in Comments: … Deception is the way this is done. That’s how High Rise Harry gets to turn Sydney and Melbourne into Hong Kong. He’s given a licence by the state government to do so, and to hell with what the people who live there want. Did anyone ask the people of Sydney and Melbourne? Nope. Oddly, governing the state would be a hell of a lot easier if it was done on the basis of finding out what the public wanted done and what public values require … If you can chase something that does not exist for 15 years and spend $50 million on it, then claim that it has been an outstanding success, then there are no limits to the bullshit you will project. Anything is possible. Isn’t that the lesson of the fox fiasco - that government has no shame and no fear of the public whatsoever? They can look us in the eye and lie time and time again. There are no consequences …

• David Obendorf in Comments: … Perhaps it is a bitter pill. That this expensive eradication program was based on some unconscionable lying and the use of imported hoaxed evidence calculated to deceive. The presentation of false, unsubstantiated allegations to Tasmania Police was bad enough, but lying to a fox ecologist compounds the offence. To falsify physical evidence using dead fox exhibits adds to the gravity …

• Jack in Comments: Of course, the government in the lower house can always cancel parliament when things get too hot as Do-Nothing Malcolm (Member for Goldman Sachs) has just done: HERE

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: … David – the above questions are rhetorical only. You need to rest and save yourself for the Royal Commission. In the end - after the clean-up - Mr Ian Rist and you David, as well as other courageous and persistent fighters for integrity in government as well as in science, deserve a public apology from government for how you’ve been treated and should instead be given our sincere thanks.

• David Obendorf in Comments: … Are any of these resignations, investigations of nepotism, white-collar fraud and cronyism linked to a systemic and unaddressed malaise in the Tasmanian Public Sector? You can literally exhaust yourself trying to shine a light on those in the leadership positions who leave these expensive and sickening trails of chaos. And I haven’t even mentioned the extensive investigations into staff misconduct, nepotism and misuse of funds in RSPCA (Tasmania) only a few years ago.

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TWO Martyn Turners on Trump ... and Jerusalem ...

Cartoons*: Martyn Turner, used with permission
08.12.17 4:45 am

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Cartoons*: Martyn Turner, used with permission

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‘Jacqui Lambie looming large over 2018 Tasmanian election, as Liberals, Labor neck and neck’

ABC. Pic: of Will Hodgman from his website
07.12.17 4:45 am

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The Hodgman Liberal Government is facing a disaster at next year’s Tasmanian election and Jacqui Lambie is partly to blame, according to political analysts …

Mercury: Poll shows Labor level with Libs TASMANIA is hurtling towards minority government as Labor draws level with Will Hodgman’s Liberals in a key poll for the first time in more than seven years …

The definitive Dr Bonham: Dr Kevin Bonham: EMRS Says The Wheels Are Falling Off, HERE If the December EMRS poll is to be believed (see also the helpful trend tracker), the Hodgman Government is currently headed for a Campbell Newman-like reversal of fortune at the 2018 Tasmanian state election.  Having won a massive victory from Opposition at the 2014 state election, the current poll suggests Hodgman’s government, much like Newman’s, could be going straight back where it came from and that election night could be carnage with incumbents losing all over the place - to Labor, the Greens, the Lambie Network and their own party.  On a like for like basis (which is rather difficult to follow through old EMRS poll reports) this seems to be the Liberals’ lowest primary in an EMRS poll since August 2006 …

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

The tear of reminiscence ...

Media Releases
And Media


Dockers’ New President Delivers Frank - But Optimistic AGM Speech

Myer reveals horror start to Christmas sales

John Alexander has not declared rental income from his $1400 per day country estate

Stage 1 water restrictions for Bridport

THA Must Reconsider Approach to Pokies

Further reductions in full-time Tasmanian jobs

Diversity and innovation spark national interest in agricultural education conference

POLL: Liberals, Labor, Greens. Who do you support on pokies in Tasmania?

Swansea Boat Ramp launches boatloads of benefits

Petuna Not on Pathway to Sustainability

Does Hodgman actually have a poker machine policy?

‘We’ll Take That As a Comment’

Australian stepfamilies face their most challenging time ...

Burnie Dockers Women, Welcome New Players to Pre-Season Training

UN committee against torture issues interim measure ...

The Briefing ... The Royal Commission ...

SFFP does not support an attack on Rural and Regional employment in Hospitality and Tourism

Doug Jones declared victor in Alabama race for Senate; Roy Moore may seek recount

EPA considers proposal for meat processing facility on King Island

Gig in the Gardens showcases youth talent

Northern Prison Not a Solution



Remote Indigenous artworks at TMAG 



Lark Whisky Bar, December 14, 5pm: Launch of Tasmanian Whisky, The Devil’s Share ... THIS ARVO ... 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Meet a Local Travel Series – The Original Australian Series available on DVD! 

What's On

What's On

Wrest Point, L’ton, Burnie: Lee Kernaghan 



Martyn Turner on Brexit ... 



A $4 billion bill ... Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council. (ABC News) Mr Sullivan said the Australian Catholic Church…

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TROVE at National Library

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