"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

Tasmania’s economy - out for lunch. Back Soon

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Tom Ellison* Pic: of Peter Gutwein in Parliament, with Will Hodgman, left, and Rene Hidding, right. Pub: Aug 28
30.08.14 7:30 am

Nobody doubts why the Hodgman Government won so convincingly in March – it was viewed as a better economic manager than its predecessor.  Its primary mandate could be likened to that of the administrator of a failed company – tasked with keeping the place afloat and making some tough decisions.  Like restructuring, cutting staff, increasing efficiencies and removing the dead wood accumulated over the course of 16 years.  This Budget goes some way towards achieving that.

TT Media HERE for all the responses - from Labor to Greens, unions to conservationists .... • And, use the TT NEWS dropdown menu (top nav bar) for MSM reports

Mercury: $2 billion King Island wind energy project hit by Renewable Energy Target review

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Abbott’s climate denial puts Hydro Tasmania on life support

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens senator for Tasmania. Pub: Aug 29
30.08.14 7:00 am

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Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens senator for Tasmania offers the following comments on the impact of the Government’s climate policies on Tasmania: “The reckless climate policies of the Abbott Government such as repealing the price on carbon will have dire consequences for Tasmania as was clear in yesterday’s state budget. “Hydro Tasmania is the leading producer of clean energy in Australia, generating approximately half of all the country’s renewable energy, and Abbott’s climate sceptic policies have just smashed it. “Hydro has been providing a river of gold to state government coffers. Abbott has made these rivers of gold run dry.

Medical students support a strong renewable energy target

Peter Martin, The Age: Success. The Renewable Energy Target’s greatest failing ... includes video of a Christine Milne lash for Abbott

Matthew Groom: RET Must Continue to Support Tasmania’s Energy Assets

Mercury: $2 billion King Island wind energy project hit by Renewable Energy Target review

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Early vote in Tasmania’s Legislative Council flags end for forest peace deal

ABC. Pic: Daniel Haley. Pub: Aug 27
28.08.14 7:30 am

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The Tasmanian Government is on the cusp of repealing the historic forestry peace deal after the Legislative Council voted in favour of the broad plan to overturn the deal.


TT Media HERE for the range of viewpoints, including Kim Booth’s MR revealing that taxpayers are continuing to subsidise Forestry Tasmania, and Nick McKim’s MR revealing that the anti-protest laws have been sent to an Upper House committee ... Legislative Councillors explicitly outlined that they were ignoring a swag of personal messages received in the past week from Tasmanians opposed to new forestry legislation which scuttles promised ‘peace deal’ reserves and also opens hundreds of existing protected areas for logging. The Premier has also received and ignored over 1500 letters of concern sent to him since Friday over the opening of 1.5 million hectares for logging. A dire situation for conservation has arisen after amendments of the Legislative Council were adopted that aim to ensure Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is achieved by Forestry Tasmania despite the abandonment of environmental commitments and a new assault on forests. “The government has gone much further than tearing up the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and has shamefully maintained their intention to open protected reserves of many years’ standing to environmentally destructive logging for specialty timbers, despite an outpouring of community concern,” said Tasmanian Conservation Trust Director Peter McGlone.


Paul Harriss goes all King Canute-ish and ‘turns back the Green tide’ (for the first time in Tasmania’s history), Vanessa Goodwin reports on shunting the Workplace Protection from Protesters Bill to committee,  and there’s learner drivers, hearts, and Eric Abetz ‘s backdown. PLUS Christine Milne saying the Tasmanian Brand is trashed. All in TT Media HERE

• Anne, in Comments: Apparently Ivan Dean (who couldn’t wait to vote according to Harriss and Hodgman’s dictates) reckoned 90 per cent of the emails he received were from people urging him not to repeal the bill. Ivan, however, chose to disregard everything that was said by all these concerned members of the community - and people he was elected to represent - on the arrogant assumption he’s better informed. The arrogance (and ignorance) of these MLCs is appalling.

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Huon mayor missing in inaction

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong. First pub: Aug 26
27.08.14 6:58 am

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Huon Valley guessing games  Claytonesque seems the best fit for Mayor Robert Armstrong, MLC these days. Huon Valley Council’s sometime mayor, for the second time in a row, wasn’t there for his council’s monthly public meeting (Wednesday, August 20). Last time, he was visiting his new grandson in Melbourne. This time, he was away in Hobart playing law-maker in the Legislative Council and delivering his maiden speech — neither of which activity can be deemed unreasonable. 

TT MEDIA HERE ... as Anna Reynolds announces her candidacy for the HCC, and Michael Ferguson says the RHH Taskforce is Worth Every Cent etc, etc

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“Nathan Carswell” called

Bob Burton. Pub: Aug 25
27.08.14 6:30 am

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“Nathan Carswell”, it seems, is back from his reported recent trip to Brisbane. Friday week ago “Nathan” called, a little over two days after the “Who is Nathan Carswell?” story first went live on Tasmanian Times. “Nathan” was a man on a mission: he wanted a full retraction of the original story with no ‘ifs’ and no ‘buts’.

Alderman Jeff Briscoe: Council may oppose Wellington Park Trust bid to extend pinnacle zone for cable car

TT Media HERE for Polly and other Opinion, including literacy week, mining inspectors, Public Sector jobs, container deposit scheme, Legacy, Op Shop Week, Iraq, Sue Neill-Fraser, Sue Hickey etc etc


ROCC: Hobart City Council stalls Pinnacle rezoning The Hobart City Council tonight sent a clear message to the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) calling on them to provide information on how the proposed amendment to the Pinnacle Specific Area furthers the vision, principles and objectives of the Management Plan for the mountain. As landowners, the Council asked for the process to be suspended until, as landowners, they were given more information about the justification for the proposed amendment. “ROCC fully supports the council motion,” said Mr Ted Cutlan, spokesperson for ROCC. “The chairperson of the trust Dr Christine Mucha has repeatedly claimed that the amendment to the pinnacle is not related to any particular development and yet tonight Alderman Freeman said repeatedly that ‘we all know it is about the cable car’. Who is right?”

TT Media HERE for MRs including a call to comment on Abbott’s plan to flick-pass environmental powers to the state, and Community Renewable Energy Roadshow hits Scottsdale ... AND ...

Last-minute plea to MLCs, Pulp Mill warning, Public Sector job losses, Health, Budget, red-faced Ferguson ... all in TT Media HERE

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The callous, appalling and simplistic response of Brett Whiteley

Jane Teniswood* Pub: Aug 25
27.08.14 5:15 am

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Since the 1980’s I have worked both in Burnie on the North West Coast and now in Triabunna on Tasmania’s East Coast. With this experience I was appalled to read in last week’s Weekend Australian Magazine article “Down & Out” ( By Greg Bearup in The Australian here ), of the simplistic, callous response of Local Member Brett Whiteley, to the unemployment issues facing the once-thriving industrial town of Burnie.

I wonder if Brett Whiteley used “controlled crying” on his own children, who I understand live interstate.

Idiot Tax Blog: When you have no economic value Local Liberal stooge, Brett Whiteley bagged the seat at the last election on the “he’s not Labor” vote and was up in arms about the article. Whiteley too wanted a focus on positivity. Look at his motivations and it’s easy to understand why. He’s walking a fine line. The sunshine and lollypops routine is needed or else his unwavering support for brain dead welfare reduction schemes becomes farcical. Playing on the lie that jobs exist and the unemployed are little more than children who need a paddling, allows him to puff his chest out and offer the following … The type of blindness you’d expect from a certain type of Liberal. The type, who as far back as I can remember, has been under the employ of the local, state or federal taxpayer. I couldn’t put my finger on one notable thing he’s done. And in 25 years time, when he croaks, we’ll be encouraged to remember his “loyal public service”. While the CEO of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence raised the prospect of the poor becoming destitute under the new welfare regime, Whiteley rejected it. Whiteley also likely rejects poverty being the parent of crime and revolution. Brett loses either way, because if it’s not social upheaval, maybe it will be political.  Read more HERE

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Will Tony follow Michael’s fine example?

Age. Pic: of Tony Abbott
27.08.14 5:05 am

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Will Prime Minister Tony Abbott follow the fine example of Tassie’s Michael Ferguson ( Red-faced Ferguson pays back $776 luxury taxi fare AND More luxury taxi revelations of Ministers’ abusing the system ) and repay the cost ...

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Is this how you feel?

Joe Duggan Media Release Pic*
27.08.14 5:00 am

Image for Is this how you feel?

Fear, anxiety and exasperation are some of the worrying feelings being expressed by Australia’s leading climate researchers in a new science communication project by Australian National University (ANU), Masters Student Joe Duggan.

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: Yep too!  That’s how I feel. Appalled at the inane simple-mindedness of most climate change denier arguments:  their instinctive use of cherry-picking (seeing only the evidence that they think supports their denial); repeating refuted arguments so often that most people forget they have been refuted (“no warming for 17 years” etc); imagining that with no background in climate science at all they can easily spot fallacies in the painstakingly studied evidence of thousands of scientists who have spent their professional lives studying the climate; resorting to absurd theories of a global conspiracy amongst climate scientists (to explain the fact that an overwhelming majority of those scientists agree anthropogenic climate change is real), etc, etc. Frustrated by the huge irony that the “success” of climate change denial campaigns and the resulting political and public complacency only means that things are going to get much worse than they would have if we had acted smart enough soon enough. Saddened ...

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More on nesting Peregrine Falcons in Tasmania ... prepare to be amazed ...

Nick Mooney Wildlife Biologist Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 4:00 am

Image for More on nesting Peregrine Falcons in Tasmania ... prepare to be amazed ...

In 2013 the editor/moderator of Tas Times kindly posted several hundred still photos of the development of a brood of Peregrine falcons in Tasmania.  The photos were taken by myself with equipment supplied by Simon Plowright of Natureworld.  Despite my more than 30 years experience with this species in the wild the camera revealed many things I had not seen before – original observations such as the adult female feeding the adult male while he brooded hatching chicks.

• Watch 12 amazing videos ...

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Sue Neill-Fraser: Two views of her guilt

Andrew L. Urban, Ben Lohberger. Pic: Four Winds, yacht at the centre of the case
25.08.14 3:49 am

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Andrew L. Urban: In what acclaimed legal expert Dr Bob Moles describes (60 Minutes, 9 Network, Sunday, August 24, 2014) as the worst miscarriage of justice in 40 years, the 2010 murder conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser has now been fatally and forensically undermined with the latest report from the Victorian Police Forensic Services Department.

Ben Lohberger: The evidence at Susan Neill-Fraser’s trial speaks for itself.

• Eve Ash, in Comments: Anyone who missed 60 Minutes 24 August and the new evidence, new leads, and problems with the forensic science in the case ...

• Ben Lohberger, in Comments: Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters appear to have access to the transcript of Ms Neill-Fraser’s trial, a transcript that is not available publicly. If they are going to cherrypick ...

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Hobart Baroque: Be realistic, demand the impossible!

Thomas Connelly, http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com/ Pic: of Leo Schofield. Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 3:45 am

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Recently there has been much discussion about the funding issues of the Baroque Festival in Hobart. I have followed this discussion over the past few weeks. As I am no expert in these issues, and I find accounting issues to be beyond dry, I am writing this to clarify things in my mind, and not as an attempt to persuade ...

• Jane Rankin-Reid, in Comments: Hobart Baroque was most certainly a critical success, as the many positive reviews and nominations for high level awards testifies. Critical success is something all Tasmania’s cultural events and arts facilities should always be striving for, whether in exhibitions, festivals, concerts and so on. Sadly, this essential element of artistic excellence has been dumbed into submission by political appointments, ministerial duplicity and under qualified executive mismanagement at TMAG for instance. Usually, all the public hears is how local institutions have met their “targets”, not how well a particular show was received by professional critics. No wonder the public is sceptical. As page space is so scarce for cultural reviews, coverage of lesser artistic standards rarely make it into print. No government should ever put itself in a position of claiming critical success in the absence of professional reviews of artistic performances. Leo Schofield is a seasoned arts impresario who recognises critical excellence as a fundamental requirement at least in regards to what is required of an international classical music festival. Hobart Baroque was widely covered in positive reviews and features in national media, as well as specialist classical music publications. I agree with the need for increased financial transparency and a higher level of independent assessment of the true impact of cultural spending. But it is the government’s oversight that it can’t demonstrate the economics of cultural spending sufficiently convincingly to the public, not Hobart Baroque’s.

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Supermarket Monsters

Malcolm Knox, The Monthly. Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 3:30 am

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The Nikitaras brothers’ corner store has a hallucinatory shine, like a set from a period movie. Staff in navy blue uniforms and white net caps smile from behind jars of preserved clementines and glacé peaches, pineapples and cherries. Glass cases present dioramas of stuffed olives, mushrooms and peppers; above them hang fragrant salami; the shelves are packed with Tasmanian wine and crusty loaves. In the fresh vegetables section, greens glisten and truss tomatoes blush. Yet Hill Street Grocer is not some niche big-city organic haven; the shoppers in the aisles are also filling their baskets with canned tuna, washing powder and packets of nappies. This is a West Hobart neighbourhood supermarket, a family grocer the way they used to be.

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More Follies on the Capes

Ted Mead. Pic: of Cape Huay. Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 3:20 am

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It seems that almost every month the 3 Capes project exposes another event of illogical blundering, bumbling bureaucracy and visionless political agendas.

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The Governor’s Legacy

Max Atkinson. ABC pic of Peter Underwood. Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 3:15 am

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The life of Peter Underwood was recently honoured by a State funeral, with tributes to a distinguished lawyer, Chief Justice and Tasmania’s Head of State.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (26)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic: Wikipedia*
25.08.14 3:00 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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An Open Letter to Joe Hockey

Victoria Rollison, The Australian Independent Media Network via Jon Sumby. Pub: Aug 25
25.08.14 2:45 am

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Dear Joe Hockey,

Back in 2012, when you said the age of entitlement was over, I was so relieved. I was relieved that highly-paid politicians like Tony Abbott would no longer think it acceptable to charge tax-payers for personal book tours. I was relieved that filthy rich politicians like Malcolm Turnbull, and like yourself, would put an end to ethically-suspect rental schemes, where your tax-payer funded Canberra housing allowance is paid to your spouses for investment properties they have cleverly put in their names.

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Sue Hickey stands for Lord Mayor of Hobart

Sue Hickey Media Release
25.08.14 2:40 am

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Ms Bacall is not amused

Evan Whitton. Pic: Lauren Bacall ... in the 50s
25.08.14 2:30 am

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The brief [March 1986] said: photographic session in the Presidential Suite, followed by lunch with Miss Bacall. The omens were not good: there was a delay while a barber got Miss Bacall’s hair right; bald, bearded Warren Mitchell, dashing in red T-shirt, denim shorts and sandshoes, inquired plaintively at large: ‘Do they serve dinner while we wait for the lifts?’ and Miss Bacall winced when we shook hands.

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Kim Williams calls News Corp leaks a festival of vengeance

Kim Williams, The Age. Pic: of Kim Williams
25.08.14 2:20 am

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During my time at News Corporation there were frequent frustrating leaks, much like the one this week, a comprehensive set of numbers on the company’s Australian enterprises.

WATCH: Kim Williams speaks to David Speers

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Sue Neill-Fraser – fundamental failure of the rule of law

Andrew L. Urban Editor & Publisher http://www.pursuedemocracy.com Pub: Aug 18
25.08.14 2:05 am

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Several serious legal errors were made at the 2010 trial of Sue Neill-Fraser, any one of which warrants the murder conviction being set aside, according to a legal expert in miscarriages of justice.

Andrew Wilkie: Too much doubt surrounding Sue Neill-Fraser trial

Andrew Wilkie ... Sue Neill-Fraser: ``Closer to home, there is a desperate need for Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction to be reviewed. “The revelation on 60 Minutes last night that Victoria Police forensic services has debunked the DNA evidence underpinning the guilty verdict surely must prompt Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin to refer this matter back to the Court of Criminal Appeal. “Unless certainty is brought to this matter the community will remain anxious about the effectiveness of our justice system.’’

Barbara Etter: An Analysis of the Supreme Court Trial, the Court of Criminal Appeal Submissions and Decision and the High Court Application in relation to the Meaghan Vass DNA Sample

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Tasmania’s economy - out for lunch. Back Soon 



RET Must Continue to Support Tasmania’s Energy Assets 



Those of us born in Australia don’t understand what it is to be an 8-year-old with an AK-47 running 



Hobart Bookshop: A Compulsion to Kill 



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




What's On

What's On

Hobart Bookshop: A Compulsion to Kill 



The Age of Entitlement ... 



Abbott won’t be happy until the WHOLE country is on ‘life support’. Jobs being lost left, right and…

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