"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

Tabloid-driven sentencing policies waste public money and lives

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David Harper, University of Melbourne
24.07.14 5:00 am

The simplistic nature of the tabloid coverage of sentencing ignores the hard truth that the threat of punishment serves only as a vague general deterrent. Particular sentences, and even publicised increases in maximum penalties, serve almost no deterrent purpose at all. Witness, as an entirely typical example, the public brawl last May between James Packer and David Gyngell at the height of the publicity given to a new maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for a death resulting from a “king hit”. Tough new ‘one punch’ penalties clearly didn’t deter James Packer and David Gyngell. Nevertheless, the hopelessly skewed message of the tabloids has its effect.  The tendency to public outrage is fostered. The public’s desire for sterner punishments is born and then cultivated. Inappropriate law and order policies are adopted.

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Richard Flanagan lone Aussie on Booker longlist

Jason Steger, Literary Editor, The Age
24.07.14 4:55 am

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Richard Flanagan is the sole Australian writer on the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize, the first time the prize has been open to writers of any nationality.

What The Man Booker Prizes says about Richard Flanagan

• And a little more reading ...

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Tasmanian Times Traffic Report July 2014

The Editors
24.07.14 4:39 am

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Dear Readers, It has been a while since the last TT traffic report so here’s a long-overdue update.

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Submitting material for Tasmanian Times

The Editors
24.07.14 4:30 am

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Readers are encouraged to contribute material to Tasmanian Times (TT). It could be a news article, an opinion column, a portfolio of photos, a cartoon, links to videos or anything else you think would appeal to TT’s audience. TT also publishes media releases from a wide range of groups to help record debates about important topics.

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Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Bob Burton. Photo: Hobart Town Hall. Photo Bob Burton. First pub: July 21
24.07.14 4:00 am

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When Tasmanians vote in the October local government elections they will have no way of knowing who is funding the election campaigns of the candidates due to the state’s outdated local government regulations. Nor will voters ever find out, as Tasmania is the only state in Australia that has no requirement for local government candidates to disclose who funded their campaign.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

The Mercury: Clarity call on local government election donors

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8 comments

Tony Abbott briefed Rupert Murdoch on paid parental leave before party room

Laura Tingle, AFR
24.07.14 3:19 am

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Tony Abbott gave media proprietor Rupert Murdoch a detailed briefing on his controversial $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme before he announced it without consulting his shadow cabinet or MPs.

James Massola, SMH: Joe Hockey biography by Madonna King reveals Treasurer wanted tougher budget

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Forestry Tasmania’s Blueprint for Entitlement ...

Dr. Gordon Bradbury, http://www.blackwoodgrowers.com.au ABC pic of Steve Whiteley
23.07.14 10:27 am

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Forestry Tasmania creates logging blueprint for state’s timber production zone: Mercury here, and: Forestry Tasmania here It’s all a bit hum-hum, sad and pathetic isn’t it? Forestry Tasmania is in absolute crisis and they go and release a 3 Year Wood Production Plan as if it’s business as usual – wasting Tasmanian taxpayers’ money and continuing the political dogfight logging our public native forest.

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When the mayor’s away, a relaxed council plays

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 6:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  Robert Armstrong — Huon Valley Council’s sometimes mayor and the Huon Division’s sometimes member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council (parliament’s upper house) — was, I believe, still playing council clown and toying with the municipality voters when Wednesday’s council meeting (July 16) began. And he wasn’t even there.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times. Bob Burton: Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

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Damon painting his last canvas

Andy Woodworker. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 5:15 am

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The residents of Hobart directly elect the Lord Mayor in October this year. The role is important being the Mayor of the capital city. This election is an important one as, for the first time the Mayor will be elected for a four-year term rather than a two-year term.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

•Alderman Jeff Briscoe, in Comments:In this era, more that ever, the times are a changing, transparency and honesty are required and conflicts of interests should be declared and/or managed openly and that includes the overdue reform of declaring donations to Lord Mayoral campaigns. Those paid guests to Damon Thomas’s last canvas launch at the C3 on Wednesday should be reminded of that before they open up their cheque books.

Helen Burnet hosting women in local government event

Peter Gutwein: 102nd LGAT Conference

Nick McKim: Still Time to Ensure Transparency for Local Government Elections

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Righteous pollies come down hard on Jacquie ...

ABC
23.07.14 5:00 am

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Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued an apology for a radio interview in which she described her perfect man as being well-off and “well-hung”.

• Mark, in Comments: Yes, as expected every lightweight media dribbler and self-righteous pollie is desperate to weigh in. On the media side, well it’s just a reflection of their operating levels. They’d rather sink their teeth into this one and wail about Lambie being fit for office than go out and dig up any real stories. On the political side, spare me. We’ve got the likes of Bryan Green weighing in with their opinion. I’m still more concerned with Bryan’s two well hung juries than Lambie’s well hung comments.

• Simon Warriner, in Comments: Being lectured by Bryan Green about embarrassing Tasmania is hypocrisy exemplified. The sanctimonious nonsense being spouted by her political opponents is no surprise. She is unafraid of calling a spade a spade and using one. Having her digging in the dirt that is Tasmanian politics must scare them shitless.

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Catastrophic failure of justice system in Sue Neill-Fraser case

Eve Ash. Graphic: Miguel Robertson
21.07.14 5:30 am

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‘Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction is a wrongful conviction’, says Dr Bob Moles one of Australia’s foremost experts on miscarriages of justice. Chester Porter QC, Robert Richter QC, Stuart Tipple and other top Australian legal minds are alarmed by this case. It is a catastrophic failure of our justice system in Tasmania and Australia.

Barbara Etter: In Baden-Clay Scratch Marks on His Face - In Sue Neill-Fraser a 1-2 cm cut on her Thumb?

Court of Criminal Appeals decision. Read for yourself, here

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Public opinion and democracy

Max Atkinson. Pic: of Edmund Burke
21.07.14 4:30 am

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Richard Cooke, writing in the June edition of The Monthly ( The People v the Political Class, here ), condemns politicians for ignoring public opinion. His thoughtful and informative essay on the causes of the present discontent looks to the demise of two-party politics to restore substance to democratic ideals; but is there any basis for this optimism other than that it might restore integrity to political debate by challenging doctrines of party unity? His account of the problem, persuasive as it is, arguably ends just where serious debate begins.

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Nothing more than a one-sided comparison of various chunky gifts to the porcelain gods

Barbara Mitchell, in TT comments. Pic: ABC
21.07.14 4:00 am

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Comment first made on this article here: All our staff acted in a lawful and professional manner, July 16, 2014 The Monthly magazine article that has Paul Harriss and Guy Barnett livid with rage at the ‘sickening’ activities of radical greenies and the unconscionable apparent complicity of the previous Labor/Greens government was published this month (July 2014).  The activities at the Triabunna Mill to which it refers took place in late September 2013, almost nine months ago.

• Tim Thorne, in Comments: Meanwhile, I, too, await with fascination the answer to Barbara Mitchell’s question about which category of the committee’s scope justifies the inquiry.

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No ʻBravoʼ  ... Australia!

Georgi Marshall*, Witness to Australiaʼs Offshore Processing Regime
21.07.14 3:45 am

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ʻThey told us to go to the front gates; they told us that we will be safe thereʼ. It is a year since Australiaʼs Regional Processing Centre burnt to the ground, yet the haunting nightmare of that evening has far from faded from the minds of asylum seekers left there, stranded in Nauru.  Breezing past us in the morning tabloids a year ago were the Nauru riots, where on the small Pacific Island nation over a hundred men were rounded up and imprisoned, later to be released on bail to the torture of indefinite detention and unjust legal proceedings.

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3 comments

Shake-Up on Opium Island (Tasmania)

Keith Bradsher, New York Times. ABC pic
21.07.14 3:30 am

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Tasmania, Big Supplier to Drug Companies, Faces Changes Now is the sowing season for opium poppies in the Australian state of Tasmania. Tractors chug up and down paddocks, pulling elaborate machinery that drills pairs of adjacent, miniature holes in the dirt, and then drops a dozen tiny kernels of fertilizer in one of the holes and a tiny poppy seed in the other.

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Growing up Queer: Caleb Nichols-Mansell

Caleb Nichols-Mansell, The Anthymn Blog
21.07.14 3:15 am

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My name is Caleb Nichols-Mansell and I am eighteen years old and a proud young Aboriginal man from Tommengene land on the North West of Tasmania. I live with my boyfriend Brodie on the North-West Coast of Tasmania and attend TasTafe. I am currently studying for my Certificate III in Business Management under a scholarship through The Pinnacle Foundation.

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Asset recycling no dream for Hockey, but efficiency boost likely

Graeme Wells University Associate School of Business and Economics University of Tasmania, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
21.07.14 3:10 am

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The federal government’s A$5 billion asset recycling initiative, part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim to be the “infrastructure prime minister”, has passed the Senate

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Livestock school highlights positive attitude of next generation

Catriona Nicholls, Whitemore. Pic*
21.07.14 3:00 am

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“Attitude is everything” was the focus of a unique livestock handling school held in the Tasmanian Midlands recently for 27 young participants aged from 11 to 18 years of age.

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Beyond the Craic Down Under

Philip Lynch
21.07.14 2:30 am

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With the demise of the so called Celtic Tiger in 2008 the Irish are deserting the Emerald Isle in droves. But I wonder if we Irish are sometimes too quick to go. Is an unemployed, well-educated Catriona from Cavan or Timmy from Tipperary any more deserving of hoped for greener pastures than the thousands fleeing from decimated war-torn countries?

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns? 

Media

Media

No New Taxes: The Liberal Party is the party of lower taxes 

Arts

Arts

Award-winning Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival official ... 

Books

Books

Transportation Island: The London Project Launch - Darren Lee writes 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania: Pointing to food, wine reviews, with latest news, MRs below ... 

Travel

Travel

Struth! 

What's On

What's On

Country Club, Wrest Point: Bevan Gardiner as John Denver 

Satire

Cartoons

Final proof ... ? 

Comments

Comments

It is interesting how cut up we have all been about MH17, but rather ho hum about the situation in Gaza. 

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