"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

Open Season on the Tarkine Coast

Image for Open Season on the Tarkine Coast

Doug Nichols* Pics: Doug Nichols
22.12.14 5:00 am

I first visited the southern section of the Tarkine coast, from the mouth of the Pieman River north to the Interview River, in November 2010 and was immediately captivated by the wild beauty of the area. Less captivating, however, was the state of the track, caused by off-road vehicle access over many years; the many places where vehicles had strayed unnecessarily from the track causing damage to marsupial lawns and coastal vegetation; and the incredible number of discarded beer bottles along the whole 10kms of track between the two rivers – piles of them under practically every bush. I wish I had taken photographs of that aspect of the walk (instead I focused on the natural beauty).

Christine Milne on Tasmanian issues, Tarkine 4WD tracks and forest furnaces I totally support the actions of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community who are taking to court the government for the fact that they are going to re-open four-wheel-drive tracks in the Tarkine which will jeopardise aboriginal heritage. It is just shocking that this government is determined to behave in such a manner, as vandals, that is all you can call it. It was bad enough that Minister Burke under the last government failed to protect the Tarkine in its entirety as the Heritage Council had recommended. But he could not avoid protecting those Aboriginal sites.  It is an incredibly rich area of Aboriginal heritage and to now see the government open up all of these tracks, many of which have been closed for a very long time, it is just appalling. It will be environmentally shocking, but culturally it will damage, no doubt at all, damage Aboriginal heritage. And the Aboriginal community deserve all of our support in taking this matter to court.

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TFGA supports fracking moratorium

Shaun Thurstans. member: frackfreetas.org Pic*
22.12.14 4:45 am

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The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) has waded into the Tasmanian debate on fracking with their recent submission to the current government review, citing a need for taking the ‘precautionary principle’ when it comes to fracking and recommending a 3 year extension to the current moratorium ‘to provide adequate time to thoroughly undertake the required studies.’ The long-term issue of gas-well integrity is also highlighted in the submission. The TFGA’s submission first summarises the economic importance of farmland in Tasmania. They cite that Tasmania’s agriculture, forestry and fishing industries collectively amounted to almost 9% gross state product (GSP) for the 2012 year, making agriculture ‘a more significant contributor to the economy than in any other state’.  With this in mind, the TFGA argues that with the number of issues that have arisen surrounding this method of gas extraction on the mainland, it doesn’t bode well for its potential here in Tasmania:

• NATIONAL TOXICS NETWORK SUBMISSION: Review of hydraulic fracturing in Tasmania (2014)

Rohan Church, Mercury: Tread carefully or we risk fracturing our environment

ScienceDaily: Fine particulate air pollution linked with increased autism risk

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NATION: Rise of the Hard Man. Cairns ...

Guardian. Pic: of Tony Abbott
22.12.14 4:30 am

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Overseer of ‘stop the boats’ strategy moves to social services, while Sussan Ley in health becomes second woman on frontbench and David Johnston is dumped from defence

Queensland police charge Cairns mother with murder of eight children

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News Corp’s siege coverage built on a ‘take-no-prisoners’ culture

Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism at University of Melbourne. Pub: Dec 21
22.12.14 4:15 am

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“AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats.” In one brutally insensitive tweet, Rupert Murdoch told the world everything it ever needed to know about the central tenet of the News Corp culture: nothing matters except the story.

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But wait ... there’s more: TT’s Tasmanians of the Year

Lindsay Tuffin. Pub: Dec 19
22.12.14 3:45 am

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Good things come in Threes ... no better exemplified than last night at The Hope and Anchor Tavern where TT knighted this year’s Tasmanian Times Tasmanians of The Year. And they are, from left, Martyn Goddard, Donzo Knowler, and Tom Ellison. ... all holding their - courtesy of the wonderful Artery - framed awards. A marvellous celebration of the wondrous contributions to society made by these three selfless writers. As the awards’ citation says: Keep Writing ... [The interloper in the middle is Lindsay (Poncy Wankers always talk of themselves in the Third Person)]. PS: We gatecrashed the Island party. Thanks Guyzzzz!x

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Kim’s Cooking Cure. WIN books!x

Paula Xiberras
22.12.14 3:42 am

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• Tasmanian Times has been given three McCosker cookbooks to give away. Simply write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) First in, best dressed!x

Read all about it here

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Paddington Bear saves the Planet?

Martyn Turner, Irish Times. Used with permission
22.12.14 3:40 am

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Buzzfeed: 18 Scientists On What They Actually Think About Climate Change   We face a problem that could be addressed with relatively minor shared sacrifices, but instead there is a mass effort to ignore, defer, deny, and lie. Knowing that it will fall mostly on our own children, and their kids. On the part of people – of a generation – who are farther from hardship than almost any in history. Global warming doesn’t bother me as much as what it is revealing about humans. Maybe I need to just grow up and get over it! But that won’t help my kids any.

ABC: Government strips wind farm lobby of charity status

ABC, Fact check: Do Australia, US ‘compare favourably’ on emissions targets?

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When is temporary really temporary?

Eva Ruzicka, Eva Ruzicka's blog, http://evaruzicka.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: of Eva Ruzicka
22.12.14 3:35 am

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Once again (15 December, 2014) Hobart City Council Aldermen have taken yet another leap of faith on a planning matter, and approved the first stage of transitional planning amendments for the site on the Hobart waterfront known as Macquarie Point, contained in the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme.  You may know it as the old Railyards.  It is also known in planning circles as Activity Area 3.0.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (43)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic: A birds-eye view ...
22.12.14 3:32 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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School ‘reform’ undermines intelligence

Des Griffin*, via Bill Rowlings OAM CEO, Civil Liberties Australia http://www.cla.asn.au/ Pic*
22.12.14 3:30 am

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By a niggardly, narrow focus on the mechanics of illuminating children’s minds, we’re selling them and our nation short in terms of future intelligence, Des Griffin says.

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What kind of ABC do we want?

Prof Don Aitken, via Bill Rowlings OAM CEO, Civil Liberties Australia http://www.cla.asn.au/ Pic*
22.12.14 3:15 am

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So far the debate has been mostly about funding, Don Aitkin says. But it’s equally important for Australians to decide exactly what type of ABC we want.

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Bank anger

ABC, via Carol Rea
22.12.14 3:00 am

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Queensland vet David Pascoe has accused big banks of “corporate terrorism” for foreclosing the properties of drought affected farmers…

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How 21st century capitalism is failing us

The British Medical Journal, Christmas 2014 Editorial. Pic: of Thomas Piketty
22.12.14 2:30 am

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It requires a thoroughgoing democratic transformation

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Why Australia is a paradise for white collar criminals

Evan Whitton @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic*
22.12.14 2:15 am

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Warning: This barely scratches the surface of white collar crime. Even so, it may dismay taxpayers who fund the legal system and pay the wages of prosecutors and untrained judges. 

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How to squash an economy

Martyn Goddard*, Health, Arts, State Finances analyst. Pub: Dec 17. Pic*
20.12.14 5:30 am

Image for How to squash an economy

The state government is slashing the public service because, it says, Tasmania can’t afford to pay its way and faces a fiscal crisis. But does it? Changes need to be made, argues Martyn Goddard ‒ but not this quickly and not this way.

Teresa O’Leary: Peter Gutwein has a surprise for the New Year

Kim Booth: Is Harriss in Breach of RFA – or Has it Been Changed Secretly? The Minister for Resources Paul Harriss must come clean on whether he has secretly negotiated a formal change to the Regional Forests Agreement (RFA) with the Commonwealth, or whether he is in breach of the RFA with his announcement to overturn the January deadline for an end to broad-scale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land, Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

Peter Gutwein: Westpac report shows jobs growth leading to a stronger Tasmanian economy

Jeremy Rockliff: Lazy Labor’s Incompetence in Health continues

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The fall and fall of The Mercury

Bob Burton. Pub: Dec 18
19.12.14 5:15 am

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The Mercury – Tasmania’s largest circulation newspaper – is in deep, deep trouble. A leaked News Corporation Australia’s financial report from July 2013 provides a stark insight into the rapidly deteriorating finances of the Murdoch empire’s three Tasmanian newspapers:  The Mercury, the Sunday Tasmanian and Tasmanian Country.

• Mark, in Comments: As was written in one of the sidebar sites: Out in the boonies the media is a rough deal. The reporters have an average age of 12. The editors are crusty and conflicted. And the money is running out. They report what they want to happen. Potential mines. Potential pulp mills. Potential farms. Potential developments. Potential money drops from Canberra. Potential Chinese buy-ups. News is all about crossing fingers. At best, 5% of the potential comes true. If you dig through old newspapers you’ll find stories about the same mines and the same “100’s of jobs” they were going to create. Five years ago. Ten years ago. Fifteen years ago. Convince people something’s around the corner and you might convince someone to advertise. You might keep your newspaper alive. Sadly, you don’t inform anyone of anything. http://www.idiottax.net/2014/11/my-abc.html

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Justice Estcourt rules Nelson Bay River mine permit amendments unlawful

Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save The Tarkine Media Release. Pub: Dec 17
18.12.14 5:15 am

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… today’s win is bittersweet. “The fact is that we started this legal process last November, and the EPA has delayed and frustrated this case, including seven months of delays to provide a Statement of Reasons.” “Justice delayed is justice denied, and this is true for this mine. The destruction inflicted on the landscape at Nelson Bay River by unlawful mining is a blight on our regulation systems, and act as a warning to governments that seek to water down environmental protections and remove public participation”. While the legal challenge to the amended approval took thirteen months, the mine itself was placed into shutdown after just seven months citing financial factors. …

Kim Booth: Supreme Court finds for Tarkine against EPA

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FT and the Economic Regulator

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pub: Dec 16
18.12.14 5:00 am

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If Forestry Tasmania were a government agency, as in the days of the Forestry Commission, it would clearly be required to adopt full cost attribution.  If prices were required to reflect the full costs of producing the goods or providing the services then Forestry Tasmania would have to cease unprofitable native forest harvesting. But under the rules that apply to government businesses conducted via a corporate entity the full cost attribution rules may not apply and the government can continue to provide deficit funds or equity transfers.

But that could lead to the absurd situation where a loss-making government activity competing in the private sector was corporatized so as to avoid full cost attribution. Which would obviously contravene the principles of competitive neutrality? Certainly the spirit if not the letter. So why isn’t the continued propping up of Forestry Tasmania using the resources of the State against the principles of competitive neutrality? It might take a complaint to the Regulator to determine …

Peter McGlone: Is Minister Paul Harriss telling the truth regarding changes to the forest clearing policy? The Minister for Resources Paul Harriss announced last Sunday that he had amended the Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy to postpone the date by which broad-scale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land is to cease, from 1 January 2015 for an unspecified period while the PNFE policy is reviewed. But the Tasmanian Conservation Trust has disputed the truth of the minister’s claim to have changed the deadline for clearing because the deadline is a commitment contained in the Tasmanian Regional Forests Agreement and would require both governments to agree to the change. “The Minister for Resources needs to come clean with the Tasmanian public about whether the Tasmanian Regional Forests Agreement has been changed in secret,” said the TCT Director Peter McGlone. “The date for ceasing broad-scale clearing of native forest on private land is a commitment contained in the Tasmanian Regional Forests Agreement and either this agreement has been changed in secret by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments without the Tasmanian public being informed or Minister Harriss has made a serious error and does not have the authority to change the deadline”.

Kim Booth: Is Harriss in Breach of RFA – or Has it Been Changed Secretly? The Minister for Resources Paul Harriss must come clean on whether he has secretly negotiated a formal change to the Regional Forests Agreement (RFA) with the Commonwealth, or whether he is in breach of the RFA with his announcement to overturn the January deadline for an end to broad-scale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land, Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

Greens: Backflip on land clearing to create forest chaos

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What can we say? Pakistan ...

The Editors
18.12.14 4:35 am

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Three people dead: a barrister and mother of three young children, a café manager and a deeply troubled and threatening man with a gun. An unknowable number of lives were profoundly affected for the worse last night after the traumatic events in the Lindt café in Martin Place: family, friends, the freed hostages, police, colleagues and the broader community. And then there was the global newspaper mogul gloating about what one of his newspapers did. What can we say?

Guardian: The Pakistan Taliban horror … The Nobel Peace prize-winner, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban two years ago for speaking out in favour of education for girls, said the Peshawar attack had left her heartbroken. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this.” Even the Afghan Taliban condemned the attack as “against Islam” …

Guardian: John Kerry: Pakistan school attack is ‘gut wrenching’ - video

Watch Russell Brand: Don’t Let Sydney Siege Claim Your Freedom: Russell Brand The Trews (E212)

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TONIGHT: TT H@A ... Come on Barbie, let’s go party ...

Lindsay Tuffin. Pub: Dec 15
18.12.14 4:30 am

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If you are passing the Hope and Anchor Tavern,  65 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS 7000, , TONIGHT, Thursday, December 18, 6pm onwards, DROP IN ... and join the Island and Tassietimes’ workers for an ale, or an OJ or even a sparkling mineral water. Tis the season to be jolly ... and the time to announce the 2014 TT Tasmanian of the Year ...

• Gwenda, in Comments: ’ll raise my glass to TT in absentia, in recognition of the compulsive and sometimes maddening reads offered up over the year.  Thanks to all the thoughtful, incisive and stimulating writers (you know who you are) - and compliments of the season to the rest of you. My nomination for TT Tasmanian of 2014 is Richard Flanagan for his remarks on giving away his prize money (apparently one was enough?) and for getting Lindsay on ABC TV!

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MYEFO takes $86 million from Tasmania’s Health Budget

Martyn Goddard, Health policy analyst. Pub: Dec 15
16.12.14 5:30 am

Image for MYEFO takes $86 million from Tasmania’s Health Budget

… The figures in the MYEFO represent another major cost-shift from the Commonwealth to the states and to individual patients. It comes on top of large cuts already foreshadowed in the May Budget. State and territory governments are now left with a dilemma ‒ whether to top up their health budgets from their own resources, including by borrowing, or allowing services to deteriorate further. More patients will be forced to pay for care which will no longer be available in the public system. Less well-off people will, therefore, be disproportionately hit. …

Peter Gutwein: MYEFO confirms need for budget discipline

• David Obendorf, in Comments: This is the stimulus that Abbott and Hockey will now use to get the State Premiers and the Senate to agree to increasing the GST receipts by limiting the exemptions or lifting the rate. It will also be the stimulus to increase the rate that Australian taxpayers fund our universal healthcare system - Medicare. If China now contracts further and coal and iron ore prices continue falling then Australia is in for years of government deficits and reduced public sector spending. And please remember, the opportunity to increase public revenue from a Resource Tax on miners was thwarted by the Liberals in 2009.

Rebecca White: Michael Ferguson must explain plan for health black hole

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

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Open Season on the Tarkine Coast 



Workers protected from protesters as of Wednesday 



The Rundown ... This Weekend 



Maps and Monsters! 



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



Travel Videos: The two streams of Travel Video – Technological and Personal 

What's On

What's On

DEFENDANT 5 - Encore broadcast 9.30pm Sunday 14th Dec 9.30pm. Iview 



Decoding Julie Bshop ... 



Doug, who one can only presume is of Aboriginal descent, should have done the neighbourly thing and picked up the beer…

Funding and Disclosure

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka


Martyn Turner



Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper


Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me


Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check


Bluestone Magazine


No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax



Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

David Horton

Failed Estate


Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

Tim Squires


Gazette of Law & Journalism

The Culture Concept Circle