"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

Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

Image for Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

James Boyce* Pic*
20.08.17 7:00 am

Next month the parliamentary select committee on gaming will make its recommendations. The ALP will then decide the poker machine policy it will take to the next election. Because the Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, has reiterated the Government’s commitment that all existing venues can keep their pokies whatever the Committee recommends, it is the Labor Party that will decide the future of poker machines in Tasmania …

… It is not surprising given the current state of play that the pokies industry is focussing its lobbying efforts on the ALP. It is perhaps a sign of how out of touch they are with the genuine changes that have occurred in Tasmania over the last decade, that the two men they have chosen to represent them, Paul Lennon and Steve Old, embody Labor’s discredited past …

… Lennon and Old are pushing for Labor to return to its past and continue to provide special deals for corporate mates without regard to the public good. After two Productivity Commission Inquiries, three Social and Economic Studies, and countless research reports, the evidence is in – pokies do more social and economic harm than good …

• Stephen Menadue in Comments: … As an ex addict of nearly 3 and a half decades of addiction to the pokies, I can with all authority state that these machines eroded all the bedrocks in my life and helped me do many terms in jail because I stole to feed the machines placed there by someone who knew that there was someone like me who would do whatever I could to keep feeding the machines.The Licencees will say that they definitely don’t want to encourage criminal activities by the placement of their machines but will look the other way as a shitload of money is laundered via their gaming ‘lounges’ …

• Cataraqui in Comments: … Stephen has the courage to anecdote his failures and his remedies and his regrets. Well done Stephen, give this man a medal for his public courage … and take the medals off the monsters who get them for their community servitude all wrapped up in crackling PR. Multiply the Stephens and the subject of this anecdote by the thousands. See them in the night-lights and bright hours of the day emerging from the mouth of the monster, in wheel-chairs and walking frames, young mums in momentary escape from domestic drudgery, the suddenly-single from partner-loss and on and on we can anecdote the victims of Hells’ singing angels …

Mercury: State Government pooh-poohs pre-poll pokies deal with Federal and Tasmanian Hospitality Association … “Can you confirm that Federal Hotels and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association have struck a deal to try to subvert proper parliamentary process?” Ms Dawkins said. “Will you now rule out locking in an arrangement with Federal Hotels and the THA before the next state election?” Mr Hodgman rejected suggestions of a deal. “I do understand a submission will be made with respect to the future of gaming activity, and it’s part of the process,” Mr Hodgman said. “It is a matter for the THA and Federal Hotels as to what they do but I reject any suggestion…that implies a motive or anything inappropriate by this government” …

Andrew Wilkie: Government must not accept Federal Hotels grubby deal

Mercury, Pat Caplice: Talking Point: Cheap pokies deal won’t cut the mustard

• James Boyce in Comments: … And may the ALP stare down the bullies and reject Lennon and Old’s deal which only redistributes some of the super pokie profits of the Federal Group to the few large hotel chains that own almost all the rest of the pokie hotels.  In the first drafts of my book, I included Steve Old’s reply to stories of suffering made at a parliamentary hearing:  ‘Don’t play the heartstrings with me mate’,  but decided to leave the comment out because it might be too upsetting. But I think now, with today’s concerted push to lock in misery, that his words should be read and remembered by MPs next time the THA boss knocks at their door. His comments got national media attention but were never retracted or apologised for …

Read more


Why and how English law is a taxpayer-funded racket, luckily for Cardinal George Pell

Evan Whitton*
19.08.17 5:45 am

Image for Why and how English law is a taxpayer-funded racket, luckily for Cardinal George Pell

This article pulls together just about all Evan’s got to say about the law ...  “The legal trade, in short, is nothing but a high-class racket.” - Professor Fred Rodell, Yale Law School

Read more


Mincing my words ...

Charles Wooley* Pic*
19.08.17 5:00 am

Image for Mincing my words ...

The alleged plot to bring down an aircraft in Australian airspace failed because the hand luggage carrying a meat grinder packed with explosives was deemed too heavy for cabin baggage. It had all the clumsy and incompetent elements of one of those Hollywood high-flying farces but inept terror is still frightening and it has ongoing consequences for travellers …

Read more


‘You’re the problem, not the art’

Leonard Colquhoun
19.08.17 4:45 am

Image for ‘You’re the problem, not the art’

Left civil wars over purity of belief “You’re the problem, not the art”  -  according to WSJ contributor Terry Teachout, an American critic, biographer, librettist, author, playwright, and blogger. He is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of Wikipedia …

Read more


Eric Abetz MUST resign

John Hawkins*. Pic*
19.08.17 4:30 am

Image for Eric Abetz MUST resign

… I contend that Abetz sat knowingly and fraudulently in the Senate from 1994 until 2010 when I forced him to legally renounce his citizenship to the High Court. He then sat on illegally until the end of his term in 2011 - and those in power colluded and did nothing. As a lawyer Abetz knew that the 1992 document would not meet the foreshadowed test case in the High Court, and so he was forced to legally renounce his citizenship in 2010. His big mistake was to state to Sue Neales that he had the evidence and would provide the 1992 document to the Mercury - but he never did …

Read more


‘Federal and State Governments admit that world’s largest freshwater lobster is in trouble’

Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pic*
18.08.17 5:49 am

Image for ‘Federal and State Governments admit that world’s largest freshwater lobster is in trouble’

Bob Brown Foundation urges secure conservation reserves … “We welcome this first step by the Federal and State governments in recognising that this threatened species is in trouble and habitat loss is a major contributing threat to its survival. The government now has an obligation to provide leadership and real action to protect the species and remove the threats to its survival. Action is critical, not just desirable,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager, Jenny Weber said. “The next steps include removing the immediate and emerging threats to the world’s largest freshwater lobster and placing all habitat in secure conservation reserves, such as the proposed takayna / Tarkine National Park. We are calling on the state government to remove all Giant Freshwater Lobster habitat from the logging schedule,” Jenny Weber said …

Save The Tarkine:  RFA extension is rank dishonesty as Turnbull and Hodgman sign an agreement they are already committed to breaking … “What rank dishonesty to stand together before the cameras and sign on to extend an agreement that the state has already legislated to undermine”, said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator Scott Jordan. “Who would have thought that Malcolm Turnbull would be willing to trash the very rainforests that John Howard protected” …

Peg Putt, Markets for Change: Twenty year extension to conflict and forestry favouritism embodied in today’s Tasmanian RFA

Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society: RFA a manifest failure – overseeing industry collapse, environmental damage, taxpayer subsidy and community/market place conflict

Peg Putt, Markets for Change: 20-year extension to conflict and forestry favouritism embodied in today’s Tasmanian RFA Today’s 20 year extension of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) locks in devastation of precious native forests whilst continuing to sideline national endangered species protection law and deliberately ignoring the unfinished business of protecting 350,000 ha of high conservation value forests previously designated to become reserves under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement …

Mercury: Prime Minister, Premier announce the Regional Forest Agreement will be extended by 20 years

Institute of Foresters: Science wins the Tasmanian forestry debate The extension of the Tasmanian Regional Forestry Agreement for another 20 years is a tribute to the role of professional forest scientists in making sure that Australia manages its forests in accordance with solid facts rather than emotion. Bob Gordon, newly elected National President of the Australian Institute of Foresters has welcomed the extension saying, ‘The extension of the RFA provides certainty to the thousands of Tasmanians involved in the forestry industry in Tasmania including park managers, ecologists and timber workers …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Read more


They will be wrong ...

Rodney Croome* Pic: of Rodney Croome
18.08.17 5:35 am

Image for They will be wrong ...

The Tasmanian Upper House’s decision to vote against watering down hate speech laws is sure to be controversial. Some people will say it will unduly limit free speech. They will be wrong. With every right comes an equal responsibility not to abuse that right to harm others …

Read more


Is the pot calling the kettle black ... ?

Isla MacGregor* Pic: of Bob Brown from Bob Brown Foundation
16.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Is the pot calling the kettle black ... ?

The dispute within the Greens does indeed go back a long way with the typical machinations of takeovers and power mongering we expect from all (mostly) aspiring candidates and political parties …

Read more


Under threat: The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species ...

Claire Gilmour*
15.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Under threat: The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species ...

The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species, the Far Northwest Tasmania, is under threat …

Vica Bayley: Wilderness Society congratulates Environment Ministers on plan to save world’s largest freshwater lobster

Read more


NATION: Macho Mal ...

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
14.08.17 5:47 am

Image for NATION: Macho Mal ...

… Back in Canberra, a macho Mal endorses The Donald’s latest madness in provoking North Korea; threatening “fire and fury”. Turnbull invokes ANZUS, for the second time in our history. It’s a distortion of a treaty which is just an agreement to consult but he’s playing hard the only card left him, the loyal US sycophant. Turnbull pledges Australia’s unqualified support in an unknown conflict between a con-man, a fake president and a crazy dictator. Oddly, there seems to be a reluctance from any other US ally to rush headlong into another bloodbath. By Sunday, he’s looking typically over-eager - just as he did when he fawned and gushed all over Trump in his meeting last May on the USS Intrepid, in New York …

Fairfax: Tim Minchin’s homophobe video goes viral ...

Paul Bongiorno, The Saturday Paper: Why Tony Abbott can’t be ignored

Fairfax: Tony Abbott’s ‘No’ vote can win the same-sex marriage debate

Read more


A pleading letter to the Derwent Valley Council

Ivo Edwards* Pic*
14.08.17 5:44 am

Image for A pleading letter to the Derwent Valley Council

Dear Derwent Valley Council members and staff, Please allow me to present some pertinent facts regarding the proposed Maydena limestone quarry, scheduled to be voted on for approval or not at the 17th August 2017 DVC meeting …

Read more


Contrarian Views On Temperature Have Melted Away ...

Keith Antonysen* Pic*
14.08.17 5:40 am

Image for Contrarian Views On Temperature Have Melted Away ...

It should not have been necessary to write about increasing global temperature; but, with Donald Trump as leader of the US there appears to have been a resurgence of contrarian opinion. Trump and his cabinet are climate change deniers; evidence does not support their views. When considering the time span climate science has been developed over, the sophistication of equipment used to ascertain that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, the observations made, and objective factors displaying change; it is difficult to understand that contrarians exist …

Read more


Forestry economics is a form of brain damage!

Ted Mead* Pic*
14.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Forestry economics is a form of brain damage!

Commercial forestry and land clearance is raping the earth all across the globe, denuding landscapes, destroying biodiversity and pushing more living creatures and plants towards extinction every day. Yet who is to benefit? Certainly not the people that live around or near the forests, not even the extended communities. So why is it allowed in this 21st century? Visually there is no better display of this global madness than within the insular shores of Tasmania …

Read more


Adding insult to injury ....

Simon Warriner* Pic: All Blacks perform the Haka ...
14.08.17 5:15 am

Image for Adding insult to injury ....

My 16 year old son played rugby on Saturday. Burnie Emus against University, from Hobart, at the Burnie ground. During his first touch of the ball, in the second half, on the wing, he got tackled and injured his knee. He was in considerable pain, and was not able to get into our vehicle. St Johns on site called the ambos, and that service, while slightly delayed due to a more urgent case, was professional and competent. They warned us the Burnie A & E department was full up and we would be waiting a while …

Read more


Terminal Decline ...

Michael Buky* Pic*
14.08.17 5:07 am

Image for Terminal Decline ...

The Victorian Government has taken the lead on Dying With Dignity demonstrating yet again that Tasmania does not have the cojones to be the first to do anything, but hang on … End of Life Choices does not have to apply only to shuffling off mortal coils …

Read more


‘Bill of Rights introduced into Parliament’

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison Media Release. Pic: of Andrew Wilkie (from his website)
14.08.17 5:04 am

Image for ‘Bill of Rights introduced into Parliament’

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has introduced legislation today in the Federal Parliament that will enshrine a Bill of Rights in Australian law …

Read more


Toughness and unwillingness to back down ...

Buck and Joan Emberg. Pic: of Buck and Joan ...
14.08.17 5:00 am

Image for Toughness and unwillingness to back down ...

2017 Letter to friends and family … I am reminded of the shuddering that took place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis … We are not there yet but could be soon.  Joan and I lived in Korea twice for a total of a bit over two years and we were in N. Korea a number of times and taught on the DMZ at the university there (U. of Maryland). We came to understand the Korean (North and South) mental set was toughness and unwillingness to back down. They were good people, strong people and UNBENDING.  It is that same unbendingness we worry about.  Now, however, there is the element of a sociopath being in charge of the OTHER side … namely Trump and, I am afraid, many of our Australian leaders …

Read more


Her reverie is broken by a rough hand on her arm ...

Christopher Nagle* Pic*
14.08.17 4:30 am

Image for Her reverie is broken by a rough hand on her arm ...

Written for a writing competition ... City of Septimius Severus, my Emperor The street, the Cardo Maximus, is broad and straight, but the paths amongst the fallen gods leading from it are are now crooked, narrowed and choked by the bones of sentinels that long ago held them up. The once crowded temples are mute remains of holy reverence, grand design and overwhelming imperium. The desert sun keeps past magnificence mummified in light, shimmering reflectively in the late afternoon, as an offshore breeze moans memorial chants through the remaining upright pediments and gables. This ruined city is not forgotten, for careers in resurrecting memory are big. ’Tis foundation rootstock for the urban forests that have grown and multiplied since this Roman showpiece was endowed by imperial favour at the end of the second century. Yet, others would destroy and desecrate its ancient vanity to cut that root, for iconoclasts do not forget their enemy’s ancestors …

Read more


How long did Senator Eric Abetz hold dual citizenship: 16 years ...?

John Hawkins* Chudleigh, and Hansard. Pic: of Eric Abetz in the Senate from his website
13.08.17 6:10 am

Image for How long did Senator Eric Abetz hold dual citizenship: 16 years ...?

… 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 …

Read more


Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

Media Releases
And Media


Science wins the Tasmanian Forestry debate

Michael West: Shambles of a government shambling through shambolic shambleathon

NYT Opinion: ‘I voted for Trump and I sorely regret it’

The Saturday Briefing

Cable car consultation process

Ipswich council staff running secretive call centre that earns LGAQ millions

Prime Minister, Premier announce the Regional Forest Agreement will be extended by 20 years

Tasmanian Liberal Party members expected to look to election at State Council meeting

Derwent Valley Council takes action ...

Final minor flood warning issued for the River Derwent

Spain terror attacks: 13 killed and 100 injured in Barcelona and Cambrils attacks – as it happ

Legislation adjournment erodes confidence

Forth, September 2, 8 am: The Occasional Market ...

Minor flood warning issued for the River Derwent

20-year extension to conflict and forestry favouritism embodied in today’s Tasmanian RFA

National student organisations join up to support the YES campaign

See The Saturday Paper at the Canberra Writers Festival

Stage set for sanitised Liberal conference as promise to empower women disappears ...

Government must not accept Federal Hotels grubby deal

RFA a manifest failure – overseeing industry collapse, environmental damage, taxpayer subsidy

Twenty year extension to conflict and forestry favouritism embodied in today’s Tasmanian RFA



Irish songstress reaches the heights in Australia 



Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes 2017: congratulations to Forty South authors 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Australian Motorcycle Adventure Film now available for download 

What's On

What's On

Bett Gallery: Philip Wolfhagen 



Our personal protection against the coming nuclear war ... 



Thank you Tim And Simon for your responses. Canberra has already dedicated it’s resources, and in-kind monies, to a…

Vote Compass

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka


Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands