"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

The Budget ...

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Editor
28.05.15 4:00 pm

Use the TT NEWS dropdown menu (top nav bar) for a variety of post-Budget reports/comment/analysis on the State Budget. Finance analyst Tom Ellison’s report has been delayed ... stay tuned ... here for the interim is what the ABC says ...

Tasmanian Budget 2015: Surplus will come three years ahead of schedule, Treasurer Peter Gutwein says (includes At-A-Glance breakdown ...)

THE REACTION ...

Wayne Johnston: TFGA welcomes the turnaround and positive outlook of the 2015/16 State Budget

Andrew Wilkie: Ideology and parochialism ahead of the public interest

Tony Reidy, TasCOSS: A vital opportunity missed

Shelter Tas applauds the announcement of a Youth Accommodation facility in Devonport

AMA welcomes additional funding for Tasmania’s front line health services

Lara Giddings: Budget cuts compromise checks and balances on Liberals

Scott Bacon: Treasury pours cold water on dodgy promise of 8000 jobs

Rebecca White: Budget reveals Royal delay

Nick McKim: Preliminary State Budget Response

Bryan Green: Budget gets the balance wrong

Peter McGlone: State Budget continues the Liberal antipathy to protecting the environment

Scott Bacon: Tourism funding critical to continued growth

Scott Bacon: ‘Red Tape Reduction’ promise isn’t measuring up

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WATCH the wind: Live!

Chris Harries
28.05.15 6:07 am

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Here’s a fascinating live wind map of this side of the world ...

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2 comments

STATE: Torching the Tarkine - More Liberal Lunacy

Ted Mead. First pub: May 26
27.05.15 6:00 am

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Is it merely just an anthropocentric view? Then why is it that Tasmanians always want to burn the bush?  The answer to this may simply be – Because it is there!

• Ted Mead, in Comments: P.S - I failed to mention notably about the loss of all living things in these areas when they are torched - Billions of insects, invertebrates and vertebrates, and loss of breeding and browsing habitats. The Knole Plain area near Waratah scheduled for torching is quite unique in sub-alpine heathland and scrub. It has abundant mammalian fauna and is an important feeding ground for Wedge-tailed eagles so I discovered last week. Torching Knole Plain is complete and unwarranted madness. Even in our evolutionary neanderthal days we would have had a better understanding of it.

• Jon Sumby, in Comments: I agree, it does not make sense and is, frankly, stupid. Tasmanian animals, plants, and ecosystems have evolved with natural fires caused by lightning strikes. However, research done by the CSIRO Bushfire CRC shows that 90% of bushfires by lightning strikes burn less than 10 hectares. Over the last decade or so lightning strike bushfires have increased by around 140% in Tasmania, but we haven’t noticed because they aren’t that big. The overwhelming majority of bushfires that are big and damaging are caused by us; mainly agricultural causes, recreational fires, or deliberately set. The fires planned by the TFS are ecologically extreme and intense; like several large 1-in-a-100-year fires burning at the same time. This is not ‘fuel reduction’ it is environmental destruction.

MEANWHILE ... elsewhere (what is it about anything associated with forestry) ...

ABC: ForestrySA executive faces court over abuse of public office allegations

Vica Bayley: Good money after bad

Nick McKim: Harris Refuses to Rule Out Public Subsidies for Native Forest Furnaces

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33 comments

What’s next for tobacco control? A smoke-free generation

Haydn Walters, Julia Walters, Kathryn Barnsley UTAS
27.05.15 5:55 am

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Each year 60,000 Australians and millions throughout the world die from cigarette smoking. One billion people are projected to die of tobacco-related disease by 2050. This is a national and international scandal.

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12 comments

Following Ireland down the path to equality

Rodney Croome* Satire* First pub: May 25
27.05.15 5:45 am

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The thumping Irish vote for marriage equality is bittersweet for Tasmanian marriage equality supporters. We watch the Irish celebrate with joy and pride, and we think “that could have been us”. In 2012 Tasmania had a chance to lead Australia towards a reform that has been called “the civil rights issue of our time”. But instead, a combination of fear and misinformation defeated marriage equality by just two votes in the Upper House. Now, the Upper House faces another test. This week it will debate a government bill watering down the Anti-Discrimination Act …

SUNDAY ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Australia: The only Anglosphere nation without marriage equality

Memex 1.1: A pivotal moment

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8 comments

We need you ... Thankyou!x

The Editors. Pub: May 18
27.05.15 5:30 am

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WEDNESDAY, May 27: Nine days after our appeal ... and immense thanks are due to John & Peter, Anon, Stephen, Andrew, June, Anon, Anon, Anon, Karl, Luuk, John, John, TGC, Bronwen, Leon, Anon, Estelle, Michael, Richard, Anon, Ian, Anon, Casey, Peter, Onya, Anon ... and the monthly contributors who include, Anon, Anon, Service, Onya, In The Loop. Thankyou!x

MONDAY, May 18: Tasmanian Times (TT) needs you. TT believes that the democratic purpose of the media is best served when information is freely available to citizens. While many other news websites opt to put their articles behind subscription screens or barrage readers with annoying pop-up banner ads, TT has swum against the tide.

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4 comments

They are too busy writing badly to read well ...

Charles Wooley. Pic: of Xavier Herbert
26.05.15 5:05 am

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…In classrooms and lecture theatres around the nation the book was, without affection, better known as ‘Poor Fellow My Reader’. In the early eighties, I met the writer in a shack in far north Queensland by which time I had only just recovered from his books and was reading again. I remember he offered me a consoling large can of beer, which I accepted. It was warm and took forever to drink. 

Reading has always been a big part of my life and these days, naturally, I am deploring that the kids don’t do enough of it. On the other hand some of my adult friends are not helping the situation by doing too much writing. I don’t want to name, or fall out with, anyone here and maybe its only because I’m a journalist, but it seems everyone I know is writing a novel. Worse, many are even publishing them. And still worse, most of the work, proverbially, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. It just devalues the literary coinage.

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5 comments

In the Huon Valley, a Clayton’s strategy

Bob Hawkins. Pic* First pub: May 26
26.05.15 5:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Just as Huon Valley Council’s management ignored or dismissed the 188 objections to Dennis Bewsher’s “vision” of a Waterloo Bay bulk-handling facility ( Waterloo Bay: The Great Deceit  and More Pie-in-the-Sky in the Huon ), it has done much the same with its ‘Proposed Strategic Plan’. (The Local Government Act 1993 requires council to “prepare a strategic plan”.) 

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8 comments

NATION: Abbott’s boatload of accountability

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: May 25. Pic: ABC of Julie Bishop in Parliament
25.05.15 5:48 am

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Accountability is the cornerstone of good government. It ensures answerability, a readiness to explain itself; to provide sufficient information and justification to the people for its actions. We, the people, feel secure in being listened to, understood and provided for by our elected representatives who may be relied upon to provide wise leadership at home and to justly uphold our rights and discharge our responsibilities as members of an international community of nations abroad. And so it was last week that Australians of all walks of life rejoiced in a wealth of edifying and illuminating explanations ranging from Australian dogs’ best friend, Barnaby Joyce, whose Yorkshire terrier turn-back was a triumph of diplomacy and statesmanship to our barking mad Prime Minister’s gnomic repudiation of all notion of social contract ‘Nope, nope, nope.’

Never to be outdone, Julie Bishop elbowed our recycled former health watchdog Peter Dutton out of the spotlight with her forensic rationalisation of our nation’s cruel indifference towards several hundred wretched men, women and children found starving, destitute and begging for help in a wooden fishing boat turned back by Malaysia to fend for itself in the Andaman sea. How do we know they are real refugees? Bishop asked.

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7 comments

Heritage: Matthew Groom might ... but many of us out in voterland don’t ...

Tom Bailey* Pub: May 25. Pic*
25.05.15 5:45 am

Image for Heritage: Matthew Groom might ... but many of us out in voterland don’t ...

“Reviewing the Integrity of the Tasmanian Heritage Register” by delisting selective sections of selective streetscapes starting with Launceston ... … The accumulative effect is the beginning of the destruction of Launceston streetscapes. 

Then there is St Georges Square – a picturesque green block at the top of High Street – on this Removal List.  Alarm bells start to go off here.  Why remove a park?  Am I too cynical if I wonder if this little piece of park is earmarked for development? A galling aspect of all this is that these beautiful intact streetscapes bring tourism to Launceston.  What we have is unique.  We have one government department, Tourism Tasmania, supposedly promoting tourism for our island state, and then we have another government department, Heritage Tasmania, deliberately dismantling it.The fate of this island depends as ever on the whims and personal agendas of our politicians whose catchcry is ‘Development at any cost’.  We should be building on the unique asset we already have, not destroying it piecemeal. Napier in New Zealand got it right, so should we.

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3 comments

Bob Brown Foundation showcases Tales from the Tarkine at Hobart event

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pub: April 7
25.05.15 5:42 am

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The Bob Brown Foundation is hosting a series of events at The Peacock Theatre in Hobart about the Tarkine. Integral to our campaign to protect the Tarkine is to host public talks so people can hear tales from the advocates past and present working for protection of this wild place, see images of the wild and scenic beauty and help raise funds for the Foundation’s Tarkine campaign.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

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Push polling on native forest biomass as RET decision moves to the Senate

Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt Media Release
25.05.15 5:40 am

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… The proposal to burn native forest biomass is being pushed by the Coalition and the forest industry in Canberra. Whilst opposed by Labor nationally, in Tasmania the State Labor leader has broken ranks in support of the bid. “It’s clear that some entity wants to claim public support for native forest biomass to go into the Renewable Energy Target to put pressure on the Senate in what is expected to be a tight vote,” said Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt. “It’s likely that the move is also designed to drive the Labor split in Tasmania on the issue further.” 

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19 comments

Fish deaths leave questions about Macqaurie Harbour oxygen levels unanswered

Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release. David Obendorf. ABC Rural. Pic* First pub: May 22
25.05.15 5:35 am

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… The Greens and environmentalists have warned for years that the rapid growth of the salmon industry in Macquarie Harbour was potentially a ticking time bomb due to deteriorating oxygen levels. “This is not about the stocking rates of any one company; this is about the cumulative load of farmed salmon in the Macquarie Harbour system. Concerns have been raised that there is only so much excess nutrient load a semi-closed system like Macquarie Harbour can tolerate. —

ABC Rural: Petuna says up to 85,000 fish killed in Tasmanian West Coast storm event a ‘one-off’ Tasmanian company Petuna rejects claims that the loss of hundreds of tonnes of salmon in a West Coast storm event calls into question fish farming expansion plans in the region. …

EARLIER ...

via Veterinary Pathologist Dr David Obendorf ...

• DC Reid, in Comments: In BC Canada, we are trying to move the government to get fish farms out of our pristine ocean. I suggest you do the same. There is an election in six months and the federal Conservatives that do not support wild BC salmon are going to be voted out. I have summarized 15,000 pages of science on fish farm issues. By all means, take a look: http://www.fishfarmnews.blogspot.com Don’t call for more science or more boards. Fish farm companies loves the call for science, etc. as it gives them another decade in the ocean before, well, calling for more science. Etc. Tell you government you want them out and on land, or they can go back to Norway.

• Dr David Obendorf, in Comments: … The pre-existing and well-known dissolved oxygen levels in Marquarie Harbour are acknowledged by Petuna as the basis of this, ‘the biggest single aquaculture fish kill in Tasmania’s history’. Both the EPA and DPIPWE had been warned that declines in dissolved oxygen levels could trigger sub-lethal and lethal incidents that could be triggered by weather events or higher water temperatures at these fish farms. The relationship between the fish loads DPIPWE is allowing in the harbour and the commensurate drop in dissolved oxygen levels after the expansion of fish farm leases from 2009 onwards must be investigated as an ecological and an industry sustainability issue.

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13 comments

Dear Brett Whiteley ...

George Smiley, 'The Picker's Tax Hike' at georgesmileyblog.BlogSpot.com . Pic: of Brett Whiteley
25.05.15 5:30 am

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Dear Brett Whiteley, After your last community tea at Stowport you said I had been uncharacteristically quiet.  As you might have noticed that day, having anything worthwhile to contribute takes a lot of thought and research and there was simply no point in adding my voice to the outcry against selling secretly compliant halal foods at the major supermarkets, and the potholes on Greta Road.  So there is no hope and I felt some sympathy for you.

Does our entitled leadership actually know anything at all about the macro and microscopic facts of life?  Have any of them ever gone beyond fitting straight lines to crooked charts or actually got their hands dirty, even in their youth - beyond enjoying free higher education, schmoozing at Young Liberal fundraisers or risking the accidental begetting of bastards in the manner of weak but deeply - committed (oops; deleted for reasons of decency) everywhere?  Someone once said ‘the future is another country’.  Or maybe that was the past.  I used to think it was this one.

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A simple yes or no will suffice

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: John Hawkins' Ad
25.05.15 5:20 am

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Senator Eric Abetz has been granted Leave of Absence from Parliament by the Prime Minister - this poses the question as to why?

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12 comments

How I Didn’t Become A Victim To Bullying: Caroline Dean, TEDxQueenstown

Caroline Dean, TEDx Pic: of Caroline Dean
25.05.15 5:19 am

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Published on 15 May 2015 Caroline’s story is quite a shock. Her experience is deep and traumatic from time working inside the closed community of the Australian prison system. She talks of the systematic failures to understand the issues, the people that pit one person against another and the denial, denial, denial. How can such behaviour on this level be ignored? In fact this type of ‘victim’ versus ‘perpetrator’ model is the fundamental problem. Caroline finds clarity and systemises a way to build a culture and systems around this with alarming results.

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Keep Our Rail lines Tasmania (KORT): The North-East multi-use trail

Clinton Brown, KORT
25.05.15 5:18 am

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KORT has announced an alternative plan for the North-East line which combines the better of two forms of tourism. Their suggestion leaves the rails in place for small railcars but also includes the infilling of the gap between the rails to allow the rail trail to proceed. 

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4 comments

There was so much smoke it was hard to pinpoint where the burns were ...

Clive Stott, http://www.cleanairtas.com Pub: May 25
25.05.15 5:15 am

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Back in 2008/09 Tasmania was blanketed with shocking planned burn smoke. It was happening before this but let’s start here. In fact there was so much smoke it was hard to pinpoint where the burns were.

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10 comments

Australian Possums in Kiwi Blunderland

Tony Orman Journalist/Editor BLENHEIM, 7240 New Zealand
25.05.15 5:00 am

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Possums in Australia are protected in mainland states but in New Zealand just a few hours flight away and in total contrast, the possum is classed by authorities as a destructive pest, sentenced to death by extermination and hounded by mass poisoning efforts. The sharp contradiction seems bizarre and the more you delve into the New Zealand attitude and policy, it is ...

• Morton Bartlett, in Comments: Nailed it in one, this stuff is slowly killing this country, species by species

• John Hayward, in Comments: I have yet to see a Tasmanian official admit 1080 causes residual tissue damage at sub-lethal dosages, nor is there any acknowledgement that baits scattered on the ground might be taken by birds. What passes for tough-minded pragmatism in Tas looks a lot like the condition known elsewhere as stupidity.

• Mary Molloy, in Comments: I am a farmer who farmed for over 40 years without TB but with an abundance of possums some years before the massive poisoning from squads of helicopter, firstly from fixed wing planes but now helicopters.  We had a vibrant birdlife and over abundance of possums and no TB.  Now we find possums very rarely, poor bird numbers except the opportunist sparrows, magpies, starlings etc.  On our second farm we had a case of Tb which is now proven to have been bought in, a risk we knew we took.  We however checked every group of new cattle ourselves, with local vets and with AHB which is now TB Free - we still got one with TB as our systems in NZ are not open enough nor good enough at identifying risk areas, its a bloody big secret and we are noted proactive people. Tb is a farmer problem, it is not a bush problem, possum problem, goats problem or anything else problem ...

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22 comments

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

Johann Hari, Huffington Post
25.05.15 4:45 am

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It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned—and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

The Budget ... 

Media

Media

Tourism funding critical to continued growth 

Arts

Arts

Despard: Fish, New works by Sebastian Galloway; LAST WEEK 

Books

Books

Young Writers to Take Over Hobart City 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

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

Travel

Travel

Walk off the winter blues with EXPLORE 

What's On

What's On

“Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” Premieres in Hobart 

Satire

Cartoons

The NZ Flag ... 

Comments

Comments

“Putting money ahead of people” That should be the LNP slogan for the next election.

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