"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

In Tasmania, even crooks like Gay can run a business

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*John Addis, Business director and commentator on Crikey today (April 17). Garry Stannus pic of John Gay leaving court
17.04.14 7:34 pm

What the hell do the judges smoke down in the Apple Isle?

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: Convicted insider-trader John Gay cleared to run companies again ...

• phill Parsons, in Comments: The prosecution of Gay did not come cost free. Taxpayers paid ASIC to investigate and prosecute and to run the trial. A (small) fine would not seem to cover that. Gay’s honour is questioned in that he admitted he should have known and now knows what he did was wrong. Has Gay made any attempt to share with those who lost out or a contribution to charity[ies] of the ill-gotten bit?. Not that we know. So there Mr Pearce goes the real evidence of Gay’s honour. He is just a greedy little man. If the original plea wasn’t a stratagem it certainly appears so. A legal cook-up for a rich man who should set an example. Instead the Court has managed to lower reputation further. The behaviour of the system is contemptuous.

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Mike Baird replaces Barry O’Farrell

ABC. Wikpedia pic of Barry O'Farrell. First pub: Apr 16
17.04.14 6:30 am

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New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign owing to a “significant memory fail on my part” when giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday.

• Basil Fitch, in Comments: Its no wonder ICAC never saw the light of day in Tasmania. The tentacles of deception stretching so far and wide would leave so few politicians, advisers, public servants, councillors, etc, etc. unscarred it would re-write the history books.

Barry’s last Cabernet meeting ...

• John Hawkins, in Comments: He told a blatant lie under oath and was exposed by his thankyou letter and telephone calls; that is his problem. Abbott supported him and was immediately let down and made to look a fool. Pollies in general are low life and on the take; the NSW ICAC has the teeth to deal with such matters. Premier Hodgman, how about putting some teeth into the system derived by your mates Wilkinson, Hall and Harriss to protect your own; or do you also have a lot to hide?

• Penne, in Comments: I love these quotes from the article link (below); they could be directly applied to Tassie! ‘crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors’

THURSDAY: Guardian: Mike Baird poised to take over as premier of NSW

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38 comments

Premier misrepresents the consequences of his own TFA actions

Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. Pic: Matt Newton
17.04.14 5:59 am

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The Wilderness Society today corrected the Premier’s assertions about the ‘non-contentious’ nature of Tasmanian timber produced from areas established under the terms of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA), given his actions to ‘tear up’ the TFA and enable logging in TFA legislated reserves ( ABC, here ). ‘The TFA was about removing conflict and contention over forestry in Tasmania, but Mr Hodgman’s own actions, takes Tasmania backwards and reintroduces controversy, contention and uncertainty into the industry, its markets and aspirations for genuine certification,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

Jan Davis: You have to draw a line in the sand somewhere

THREE COMMENTS ON JAN DAVIS:

• John Hawkins: Jan you never address the real issues: 1). The states Privately owned forests if they are to be logged for any form of return to the owners have to compete with the product from a heavily subsidised loss making clear fell and burn GBE Forestry Tasmania.They cannot. 2). The Forestry Tasmania product is sold at a loss only to keep people employed and receives a trucking subsidy to transport the produce of our native forests to the docks.Will your private owners receive the same taxpayer funded favour? 3). All timber sourced from Tasmania has to have FSC accreditation to be saleable on the international market.It currently is not and will never be if the TFA is torn up, ask Ta Ann. 4) ...

• Andrew Denman (commenting on Jan Davis column): Couldn’t of put it better myself - well said!

• David Shepherd: As a private forest owner I have to agree with much of John Hawkins’ comments. It is not possible to compete with a government subsidised competitor in the forest industry at the moment and still make money. I do think that it may become so again or that the Government ceases to subsidise unprofitable industries as Tony Abbot promised. I have invested 500,000 in the belief that it will.

ALL COMMENTS ON JAN DAVIS’ COLUMN: HERE

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Government department libraries being closed to public access

Tasmanians for Transparency
17.04.14 5:50 am

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Tasmanians for Transparency (TfT) has been alarmed to discover that several Government Departmental Libraries have been closed to public access.

• David Obendorf, in Comments: Is this correct – Tell me I am wrong? Knowledge and information is power, and with the closure of several important public libraries and repositories of archival collections we, the people, lose our ability to be informed about our society, to learn from decades of history and to access documents prepared by our Government and its bureaucracy. 

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Apartheid-style boycott to save the planet, says Tutu as Bolivia enshrines natural world rights

Desmond Tutu, The Guardian. The Guardian. The New Yorker. Wikipedia Pic of Desmond Tutu. First pub: April 14
16.04.14 6:00 am

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• We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet We must stop climate change. And we can, if we use the tactics that worked in South Africa against the worst carbon emitters

• Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

Fairfax: Up to their necks in it, farmers lead coal-seam gas protests by example ‘“We are seeing 75-year-old blokes standing locked on to machinery for nine hours after getting up at 3am to make a difference, to try to be heard by a system they believe is not listening,” she said.’

Capitalism simply isn’t working, and here are the reasons why Economist Thomas Piketty’s message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us ...

More on this story: Occupy was right: Capitalism has failed the world One of the slogans of the 2011 Occupy protests was ‘capitalism isn’t working’. Now, in an epic, groundbreaking new book, French economist Thomas Piketty explains why they’re right ... 

New Yorker: Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism?

• Milton Freeman, in Comments: Good post on inequality. There’s a bit now coming out on the topic. Adair Turner gave a paper 2 weeks ago titled Wealth, debt, inequality and low interest rates; Four big trends and some implications. It’s really worth a read ... The four trends are increasing inequality; rising wealth to income ratios (as detailed by Piketty) ; increasing private sector leverage; and much lower real interest rates.

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Why a cable car won’t work

Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car http://www.respectthemountain.org.au MR *Pic: Rob Walls*
16.04.14 5:30 am

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Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car has put together a website to explain why they don’t want a cable car on kunanyi / Mount Wellington. ( http://www.respectthemountain.org.au ). The group had originally tried to secure http://www.respectthemountain.com.au . However they found it was registered to Adrian Bold.

The Schilthorn cable car ...

Kim Booth: Respect the mountain – not exploit it

ABC: Mt Wellington cable car from Cascade Brewery to summit unveiled at Hobart business breakfast

• Mike Bolan, in Comments: How to make millions in Tasmania. 1) ...

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25 comments

Health: Copping C cell: The permit extension ...

Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell. Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) MRs
16.04.14 5:20 am

Image for Health: Copping C cell: The permit extension ...

• Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell: Southern Waste Solutions requests permit extension Southern Waste Solutions (SWS) has submitted a request to Sorell Council (granted by council last night) for an extension to its current permit to construct a C cell at its landfill facility in Copping.

• Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) The Deputy Mayor urged Councillors to determine the Southern Waste Solutions (SWS), application for the Copping C-cell permit extension purely as a planning application, disregarding community concerns.

AND, Dear Michael Ferguson: Air Quality Health Protocol Hon Michelle O’Byrne has had years of trial burn seasons and Hon Lara Giddings has had years of discussions, but we still have not progressed beyond air monitoring, an attitude which is reflected nationwide. Improved air quality standards are long overdue, particularly when Launceston had 14 exceedences of PM 2.5 in 2013. Meanwhile, Hon Premier Hodgman is adding $28.5 million to fuel reduction burns (3.14 Liberal Fuel Reduction Policy), burning 5% of public land/ year, and landowners are audaciously encouraged to protect their ‘properties’. Yet there is no ‘health’ protection or evacuation assistance, nor is the EMPCA ever given prosecution powers, and damaging pollution continues to cross boundaries every day.

• Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, in Comments: Household Hazardous Waste: Over the last 12 months the public debate over the proposed Copping hazardous waste disposal landfill (or C-cell) has been the catalyst for a renewed debate about a range of waste management issues. The proponent of the Copping C-cell, Southern Waste Solutions, has suggested a number of times that the community should refrain from criticizing the C-cell because most of us are probably sending household hazardous waste (HHW) to existing landfill sites, which are not designed to contain such wastes, and that this is probably causing significant environmental harm and risk to human health. The TCT will continue to criticise the proposal for a C-cell but we do agree that it is not acceptable to send HHW to landfill.

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Convicted insider trader John Gay cleared to run companies again

ABC. Pic: Matt Newton*. First pub: Apr 16
16.04.14 5:10 am

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Convicted insider trader and former Gunns boss, John Gay, has been given the go head to manage two family companies.

ABC: Convicted insider trader John Gay loses bid for court costs after successful application to run companies

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43 comments

How about this TasWater!

Carol Rea Margate
16.04.14 5:05 am

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TasWater wants to give developers a waiver on headworks fees ( TT here ). Well how about this TasWater!

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Tasmania can capitalise on its renewable energy advantages

Paul Gilding, Professor Lesley Hughes, Tasmanian Climate Action Council, 15 April 2014. Pic: Gordon dam (Wikipedia)
16.04.14 5:00 am

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Decarbonising the economy and land use policy key to climate change response The Tasmanian Climate Action Council (the Council) has welcomed the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report.  Evaluating 900 mitigation scenarios, the report concludes that large-scale changes in energy systems are essential to restrain global warming to 2 degrees and avoid the harshest impacts of climate change.

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: Tasmania is ideally placed to be a global leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Not only are we incredibly fortunate - as an island in the Southern Ocean - to be one of the places likely to be least affected by the more drastic impacts of global climate change; but we also have the resources and techno capacity to create a sustainable economy based on renewable energy.  Best of all, we are so close already to having a workable, sustainable non-growth economy and population! All we have to do is recognise that unending growth is a self-defeating cancer the world cannot sustain, and figure out how to make a non-growth economy work here in Tasmania. And there’s no shortage of ideas on how make a non-growth economy work, its just that the dominant media and business interests ignore them.

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The Schilthorn cable car ...

Peter Brenner
16.04.14 4:45 am

Image for The Schilthorn cable car ...

This is a picture of a gondola of the Schilthorn cable car in Switzerland holding 75 standing passengers. It is the 3rd section (Mürren-Birg) that comes closest to a Mount Wellington cable car in terms of height differential and steepness.

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3 comments

Live export industry leaves Wilkie on the dock

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison MR.
15.04.14 5:12 am

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the live animal export industry which this morning effectively withdrew an invitation for him to travel on a live export ship to Indonesia.

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6 comments

Tough times for the Tasmanian Greens

David Obendorf. ABC Pic: of Kim Booth
15.04.14 4:32 am

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Last week was tough … the new Premier Hodgman struck hard and relegated the three Green MPs to the status of sole-trader parliamentarians by refusing to provide pro-rata funding to the Greens as a political party in opposition.

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Brian Harradine Remembered

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader MR
14.04.14 4:20 am

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The Tasmanian Greens today paid their respects to former Tasmanian Senator, Brian Harradine. Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said that Mr Harradine was a larger-than life Tasmanian whose long service representing the State would not be forgotten. “While we may not always have agreed with Mr Harradine over a range of issues, we do acknowledge his tireless commitment in standing up for his beliefs and his dogged determination to defend Tasmania’s rights in Canberra,” Mr Booth said.

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Vested interests are undermining our democracy

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania
14.04.14 4:15 am

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… I reflected on what Al Gore had said on The 7.30 Report about climate change and the Abbott government’s attempts to repeal the carbon package. He very clearly said that our democracy has been hijacked by vested interests, special interests. An incredulous Annabel Crabb said, ‘Surely you are not putting forward some sort of conspiracy theory here?’ He said, ‘No, this is how it works in politics.’ … Tasmania has been a beneficiary of a price on carbon, because we produce clean energy and we export that clean energy. The dividends range between $70 million and $200 million a year to Hydro Tasmania because of a price on carbon. We were never going to get that back if these repeal bills were passed. The dividends are very important to my state. They account for 12½ per cent of Tasmania’s non-Canberra revenues. I notice Senator Smith, who is certainly one of the champions in this chamber of taking GST money away from Tasmania. Have a think about how you are going to give us that money back, Senator Smith, not to mention the fact that the mining boom has put significant upward pressure on the exchange rate, which has been one of the negative impacts on my economy. It is called Dutch disease, and everybody knows about it. It is never discussed in here—the impact on manufacturing and the agricultural community of a high Australian dollar. So let us be fair and reasonable about how we share out the pie in this country and not claim that my state, which has had 70 years of sucking on the teat, suddenly wants to take money off other states.

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Road to Utopia ...

Tony Whish-Wilson
14.04.14 4:10 am

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Sir Thomas More depicted an imaginary Island – Utopia – as enjoying a perfect social, legal and political system. Most Tasmanians however would see our Island State as stuck at the other end of the scale - struggling in all those areas.

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9 comments

What would be the effect on farmers if there was contamination of the water table ... ?

Thomas Connelly http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com.au/
14.04.14 4:00 am

Image for What would be the effect on farmers if there was contamination of the water table ... ?

One of the last projects agreed by the now departed Giddings government was awarding a licence for unconventional oil and gas exploration. South Australian company Petratherm advised the Australian Stock Exchange in February, that its wholly-owned subsidiary, PetraGas Pty. Ltd., has been awarded a five-year petroleum Exploration Licence (EL3/2013) covering approximately 3,900 square kilometres, north of Hobart in central Tasmania to explore for conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (6)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/
14.04.14 3:45 am

Image for Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (6)

The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month 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.

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What is Organics?

Peter Cundall, in Organic Gardener May 29, 2013
14.04.14 3:30 am

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Let’s look at the basics of organic growing. Why is it that so many home gardeners are growing their own vegetables and fruit organically? Even with ornamental gardening, organic is clearly the direction many people are going. And once organic methods are taken up, why is it that so few of us return to chemicals and poisons?

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World’s Number 1 Herbicide Discovered in US Mothers’ Breast Milk

Sustainable Pulse. Dr Alison Bleaney
14.04.14 3:15 am

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• Pilot study shows build-up of glyphosate herbicide in Mothers’ bodies • Urine testing shows glyphosate levels over 10 times higher than in Europe • Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns

• Dr Alison Bleaney: Tasmania of course elected several years ago to stop testing for glyphosate in any of its waterways including its drinking water. In Tasmania, RoundUp and glyphosate are used by agriculture, forestry, local councils (on streets and paths - anywhere really that there are weeds), DIER (along roadsides and railway lines), Mums and Dads in their gardens and backyards; shall I go on?

Vladimir Putin: Russia Must Protect Its Citizens from GMOs

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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

In Tasmania, even crooks like Gay can run a business 

Media

Media

Don Morris: Support for National Parks eco-tourism 

Arts

Arts

Moonah Arts Centre: Stagehands 

Books

Books

Cultural cures for communities’ cares? 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania ... pointing to food, wine reviews, and news below ... 

Travel

Travel

Keeping the memory ... two men of Anzac 

What's On

What's On

Hobart Bookshop: Keeping Time 

Satire

Cartoons

Barry’s last Cabernet Meeting 

Comments

Comments

Have you read Tim Jackson’s wonderful book, ‘Prosperity Without Growth’?

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