"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

BASSLINK: Energy Council damns Libs’ Energy Strategy

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Lindsay Tuffin*. Pic* First published June 24
25.06.16 6:00 am

The Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC), in their submission, questions the 33% rise in electricity prices since the Energy Strategy was released in May 2015; and has set out a comprehensive list of questions in regard to Hydro Tasmania’s and Tas Network’s cash flows, revenues, costs and debts, as well as energy security … The TMEC questions are astounding. In effect, they list the numerous gaps in Tasmania’s Energy Strategy and effectively demonstrate the poor capacity for strategic planning by the current Tasmanian Government.

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Wow! The TMEC submission pulls no punches. Four pages of very succinct text that rips the current State Government to shreds! And not a word from mainstream media ... Very entertaining and enlightening reading.

• Luigi in Comments: Hydro Chairman Grant Every-Burns:  “In my 45 years’ experience in the power industry as a power engineer, senior executive and board Director I have rarely seen a situation more difficult than that recently faced by Tasmania and I have never seen a response so effectively executed,” he said. What he neglects to mention is that the crisis was caused by the Hydro selling our water energy in the teeth of an exceptional dry period throughout 2015.  With water energy levels at 25% in December, they were still exporting when BassLink fried. And they’re exporting again now with water energy levels at 27%.  And running the Gordon Power Station to do it when its level is under 15%. Sack the lot of them.

• Lyndall Rowley in Comments: There seems to be a fairly uniform pattern of expert negative assessment flowing towards the government in its parliamentary inquiry. I was shocked enough to read the Tasmanian Energy and Minerals Council submission which clearly criticises the Tasmanian Government’s Energy Strategy and management. But the submission from the Launceston Flood Authority provides an equally eye-opening account of poor management from a slightly different perspective. It’s a passionate and convincing but damning plea for the return of full flows to the South Esk River and Cataract Gorge through the closure of the Trevallyn Power Station …

• Mark Temby in Comments: … I hope I’m misinterpreting the thrust of this article but it appears someone didn’t do their job properly in 2015 and the buck stops with the Minister just like Gutwein with councils or Hidding with road safety. …

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Tasmania’s Alternative Government: Who really runs Tasmania?

Graeme Wathen*, Secretary, Friends of the East Coast Inc. Pic: Andrew Ricketts
25.06.16 5:53 am

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Almost 300 submissions were made to the Tasmanian Planning Commission on the Draft State Planning Provisions. One of the most telling submissions was made by the Property Council of Australia (PCA), Tasmanian Division …

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World’s largest wind farm study finds sleep disturbances aren’t related to turbine noise

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney. Photo: Bob Burton. First published June 24
25.06.16 5:45 am

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During the Abbott government, the often recalcitrant Senate cross bench was thrown a big, juicy bone plainly intended to sweeten their disposition toward government bills which needed their support to pass. The anti- wind farm Senators were outraged with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) 2015 report on wind farms which found no strong evidence of health effects from turbine exposure. There have been 25 reviews with similar findings published since 2003. The government may have promised these Senators the gift of the office of the National Wind Farm Commissioner which by February 2015 had received just 42 complaints about 12 wind farms, seven of which have not even been built… State governments are increasingly removing wind farm planning barriers and the availability now of the Health Canada health report should drive another large stake through the forces determined to slow the growth of wind energy in Australia.

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Huon Valley Council: I will fight on as mayor, says Peter Coad

Peter Coad, Mayor, Huon Valley Council, Statement. Pic* First published June 23
25.06.16 5:30 am

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Widespread and strong support from the Huon Valley community, and from supportive councillors, has convinced me that I must remain mayor of the Huon Valley Council until the council’s dysfunctional condition has been resolved. The decision of the Minister for Local Government, Mr Peter Gutwein, to reject his own Board of Inquiry main findings and recommendations, can only be considered a real disappointment to concerned valley residents. The Minister requested, last September that the board provide him with its findings and recommendations by 30 November. The board, discovering that such a deadline was impossible to meet, requested an extension. Now, seven months on, the Minister has made a decision — after a process that has cost ratepayers, and me personally, tens of thousands of dollars — that resolves nothing …

• Mark Temby in Comments: Mr Gutwein’s lack of strategic direction, decision making capability and, ultimately, action is symptomatic of many in politics today. Specifically, he is no different to Hodgman, Groom or Hidding. They will stand to take credit but cannot point to any specific decisions that lead to achievements in tourism, industry, state budgets or council amalgamation. As an outsider to the process I remain curious as to why Mr Gutwein has not acted. His decision can only be seen as a measure of support for the HotH team and placing pressure on Mayor Coad. Is it simply a matter of most Independents in local council being closet LP members? I doubt it given none in the HVC example are worth the support. Has there been lobbying within government or from the business community? The only local ones under this scenario would be Paul Harriss, Robert Armstrong and those in southern forestry.

• Funding & Disclosure (Inc) in Comments: Mayor Coad was one of the candidates who chose transparency and declared all donations on the F&D (Inc) website at the last LG elections. Under current Tasmanian laws candidates can spend as much as they want on election campaigning and can accept money from anyone (including developers) with no obligation to declare anything. A clear recipe for corruption; as we saw in NSW before new laws were introduced. It was noted that none of the “Heart of the Huon” candidates declared their donations.

• Peter Cleary in Comments: As a Sydneysider who saw the light & relocated to Tasmania, and in particular, the Huon Valley two years ago, I’ve sensibly kept my head down, and my mouth shut as I’ve adjusted to living in a new State, and a new Community, reading and absorbing as much as I can about how things are down down here. Having seen how local Politics has been played out in various councils in greater Sydney, I’ve followed the local stoush very closely, and i just want to put in my two bob’s worth and say, “Hang in there Peter Coad!” you’ve won my vote.

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What Happens When the Sky Starts to Fall?

Kim Peart*, Ross. Pic*
25.06.16 5:15 am

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A flake of paint blowing in the wind will do no harm on Earth, even if it hits the windscreen of a speeding car. In space, where there is no air, a flake of paint flying at 34,500 km/h is in a whole different ball park. When a window of the Capola observation deck on the International Space Station was cracked recently, it was believed to be the result of a flake of paint in space moving at high velocity. If a flake of paint could do that much damage, imagine what a lost nut would do?

There are over a trillion dollars worth of satellites whizzing around above Earth and a great many dead satellites, as well as a huge volume of space junk of all sizes, from discarded rockets to flakes of paint.
Satellites are in many ways the invisible face of modern society, providing weather information, environmental monitoring, communications, navigation with GPS, internet services and more. [1] Without satellites, we would have little or no warning about many severe weather events …

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The horror of Australia’s Live Export trade. Rally TODAY (Sat)

Lindsay Tuffin*. First published June 23. Pic*
25.06.16 5:00 am

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I watched in horror last night as Australia’s Live Export Trade was further revealed by the 7.30 Report as the awful, indefensible trade it is ...

• Suzanne Cass in Comments: Following damning revelations over the last two weeks from the scandal plagued live animal export industry, a FLASH RALLY is being held this Saturday at 12 noon at Franklin Square in Hobart. DATE: SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2016. TIME: 12 NOON. PLACE: Franklin Square, Hobart. CONFIRMED SPEAKERS: Suzanne Cass, Lead Senate Candidate for Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison and Karen Bevis, Lead Senate Candidate for the Animal Justice Party (apologies from Peter West, General Manager, RSPCA Tasmania) …

• Suzanne Cass in Comments: There were no surprises in the revelations on the ABC’s 7.30 program about Australian cattle beng sledgehammered to death in Vietnam last week, and the apparent corruption in the ranks of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and that is truly saddening. As outrageous as all of this this is, and always has been, we must all remember that the standards we walk past (ignore) are the standards we accept. Gandhi said that ‘the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated’. If we were to judge Australia by those words, it’s a horror story …

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The faceless men of the Tasmanian Liberals’ Senate team

Bob Burton, First published June 17
24.06.16 5:29 am

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An unspoken rule of political campaign posters is to portray candidates as warmly as possible with humanising high-quality portrait photos. The Tasmanian Liberal Party’s posters for its Senate candidates though are faceless. Why?

• Michelle Hoult in Comments: Thank you Bob for this article! I am working on a similar piece outlining the lack of women the Liberal Party have chosen for candidates, 1 out of 11. In 2016. What kind of a message is that sending to women? To women like myself who are aspiring politicians? Or to my daughter?

• Greg James in Comments: Without doubt, the local Liberal leadership is stupid. They expect Abetz as No 1. to do what? Be a vote catcher, when in fact he has an atrocious record, losing 25,000 votes over the previous Colbeck, lead ticket. Yet, did you expect an intelligent result, given their local leadership of the party of free enterprise promotes a monopoly. Arriving completely unprepared for government, the Hodgman Liberals declared it was their turn ... that was all they had to offer, ‘it was their turn’. So it goes with these faceless candidates and as it is with the ALP faceless women ...

• Keith Antonysen in Comments: … Morally it is quite reprehensible what has been happeninig in Detention Centres. Prior to the last election for a long time I was considering not casting a valid vote on the basis of how asylum seekers were being treated, information then was quite tame compared to what is being disclosed now. What is happening now is even more shameful. That is, unless you believe it is fine for young people to try committing suicide, or to be sexually assaulted. That is what you are supporting if you choose to ignore the situation.

• Dr Kevin Bonham in Comments: … A 1-6 above the line vote may be equivalent to a below the line vote for 12 candidates, or it may be equivalent to a below the line vote for a few more.  It doesn’t matter because the voter, whether above or below the line, has the freedom to vote for more parties/candidates if they want to do so.  Nobody is required to stop at 6 (above) or 12 (below).  So the answer to the questions in #36 is no - at least not for the reason stated.  Indeed the High Court has already looked at a lot of the theoretical arguments against the new system and gave them all very short shrift indeed. I don’t usually post here so I’ll just take the opportunity to plug my article on how to best use your vote in the new Senate system while I’m here: HERE. This article explains whether given voters should vote above or below the line and some handy tips for those who want to get the maximum value out of their vote. …

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The questions around Biosecurity Tasmania’s review ...

Lindsay Tuffin*.
24.06.16 5:00 am

Image for The questions around Biosecurity Tasmania’s review ...

A Media Release from ‘Friends of Biosecurity Tasmania’ raises a series of questions about a Review into Biosecurity Tasmania. These are serious questions ... which demand answers. Will they be forthcoming? Will this review be released? Read the questions in the MR HERE

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A bright new extension lead for Basslink, which is down (again)

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published June 21
23.06.16 5:30 am

Image for A bright new extension lead for Basslink, which is down (again)

Yet no-one important rates Labor’s chances, although the independents, especially the Xenophon Party in South Australia, get a massive talking up causing Malcolm Turnbull to warn that chaos will result from voting for minor parties - as opposed to the halcyon tranquillity and stability of his own party which has had two prime ministers and fifteen cabinet changes in three years together with an approach to economic policy and tax reform which involves keeping everyone guessing.

When a cut to the pathology rebate was proposed, Tasmania’s head of pathology could not get an appointment to raise his concerns with the retired Brigadier. Nor could local Baptist Church pastor Jeff McKinnon who reckons Nikolic doesn’t listen to people who hold opposing views.

In Tasmania, in microcosm, are writ the deficiencies of our national energy policy over successive governments. Solar and wind energy resources abound and yet we cannot break away from the fossil fuel capture of the energy market and build up our solar and wind capacity. Last budget, the Turnbull government, cut one billion from Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency. …

ABC: Tasmanian Government response to SECOND BASSLINK OUTAGE in nine days ‘really is scandalous’ … Energy Minister Matthew Groom, who talked to media on Tuesday about the energy system, said in a statement the outage was “another reminder of the importance of continuing to manage water supply systems carefully”. Labor Leader Bryan Green said he was worried that Mr Groom’s failure to hold another press conference would send the wrong message to energy customers. “It really is scandalous,” he said. “Most people look towards the Minister for confidence when it comes to these issues, but by not fronting that actually undermines confidence” …

• phill Parsons in Comments: So we find out Bass Link Cable owners and the Hydro were in dispute over capacity from the day the cable opened for transmission. We find that the Hydro has been used to prop up the budget through dividends to it’s owners managers, the Government. We find that it has broken down a second time yet they say it has not been fried through high use. There is no point in an age of climate change to a second, or any other cable, if they are not made to as pre-agreed carrying capacity, well managed to ensure their capacity is not abused and only carry renewable energy.  …

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The ‘attack on the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1999’ ...

Lindsay Tuffin*. First published June 23. Pic*
23.06.16 5:18 am

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He’s approached the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous ... but has yet to receive a reply.

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Making the Arts An Election Issue

Scott O’Hara, Senate Candidate for Tasmania, The Arts Party. Pic: of Scott. First published June 22
23.06.16 5:14 am

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The Abbott/Turnbull Government is without doubt the most harmful one to the Arts sector since Federal Governments started taking an interest in the Arts in the late ‘60s.

• John Biggs in Comments: Excellent Scott. The Libs state and federal are utter barbarians—and not only with regard to the Arts. “Blue-tied bogans” as I described them in the Mercury and which it published …

• Hans Willink in Comments: Well said Scott, the Arts have always punched well above their weight in Tasmania and emerging artists in particular deserve support. When arguably the world’s best writer, Richard Flanagan, had to seriously consider moving to WA during the mining boom to earn a living, you know we have a problem. I also have a particular concern with Liberal changes to tax law that have severely impacted on indigenous art communities …

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Challenge to LCC’s gift to UTas: LCC DEFEATED

Ray Norman, Launceston Concerned Citizens. http://lcc63.blogspot.com.au/ First published June 6
22.06.16 5:00 am

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WEDNESDAY June 22 ...

• Basil Fitch, in Comments: DEFEATED: Result of Public Meeting over gift of land (i.e Willis Street and Old Velodrome site with M.O.U. with Council, State Government and University) defeated in a unanimous motion. A second motion was passed that the land be put on the open market and its valuation tested.

On Tuesday night in Launceston, a public meeting will take place to challenge Launceston Council’s decision to gift land valued something in the order of $5million to the University of Tasmania (UTas).

• Leonard Colquhoun in Comments, HERE: Whatever else happens after these ‘rain events’ in Launceston, one effect should be the washing away of that dodgy UTAS / Inveresk / LCC deal. What say the UTAS Big Wigs down in Hobart are forcibly made to wade through our flooded areas here, in their best bespoke suits and hand-tooled footwear, of course. But, to balance this brickbat, a bouquet: (as far as one can tell) the university’s takeover of the Australian Maritime College has -  so far -  not gutted that highly successful institute of learning, teaching, and training (and, yes, eggheads, that’s as in T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G).

• Ray Norman in Comments: CONTEXT: On Tuesday night a Public Meeting was held in Launceston’s Albert Hall to discuss Launceston Council’s decision to gift land to UTas to facilitate the university’s proposal to relocate nearer to Launceston’s CBD. The Public Meeting was an outcome of a citizens’ initiated petition that called upon Launceston’s Council to call a Public Meeting to discuss the issue. Here are a few ‘dot’ points to summarise Tuesday night’s Public Meeting …

• Ray Norman in Comments: Dear Prime Minister ...

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A poisoned chalice ...

Chris Nobbs*, Norfolk Island. Pic*
22.06.16 4:45 am

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Australian Government’s legacy to the Norfolk Island Regional Council – A poisoned chalice?

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Let’s hear it for the voiceless, and those left behind ...

Bill Rowlings, CEO Civil Liberties Australia: http://www.cla.asn.au/News/
21.06.16 5:30 am

Image for Let’s hear it for the voiceless, and those left behind ...

We’ve been inundated by escalating promises of the main players, steered by media-grabbing ploys by parties, lobbyists and chancers, and made fearful by dire poll spike predictions set fair to eviscerate a candidate or two. But there’s a whole range of important national issues and ill-considered people we haven’t heard about.

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Political Harlotry ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic*
20.06.16 5:57 am

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Tasmania is currently swathed in a mantle of blue. My television incites me to vote for a “Liberal Senate Team” - a group of faceless men ( Bob Burton, TT HERE ).

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This week on the campaign trail ...

Luigi* Pic*
20.06.16 5:53 am

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The current PM, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced the demise of his plans to privatise the collection of Medicare revenue. This scheme - under which the government would bear all costs but a private company would collect the money - was to be called MacquarieCare. It was believed to be modelled on the trendsetting funding arrangements of BassLink, which have proved so popular in Malcolm’s constituency … 

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The Right Connections ...

John Hawkins*, Chudleigh
19.06.16 5:30 am

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Dear Editor of Tasmanian Times: Those voting on 2nd July should remember that they are being approached by many of the great unwashed in search of a very highly paid job in which standing for election requires no qualifications, no training, no expertise in any field and no brains - but all importantly, the right connections.

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Nikolic complaint to be referred to Anti-Discrimination Tribunal

Dr Michael Powell, Springfield, Tasmania. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic First published June 18
19.06.16 5:15 am

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… Dr Powell said the significance of the case was not how big it was but how small-minded. “Why would a politician bother to complain about a critical letter?” The case was a matter of principle, he said. “A politician who tries to shut down contrary opinion contradicts democracy and is not fit to be elected.” After Mr Nikolic’s complaint, wide spread national publicity and a strong stand by the Tertiary Education Union, led the university to back down and support academic freedom …

• Cameron Hindrum in Comments: Here’s your laugh for the day … I’m told that at the Candidate’s Forum in Launceston the other night (which Nikolic only attended because the Greens Candidate pulled out … which is a whole other story ...) that Nikolic repeatedly described himself as someone who “listens to his constituents”. Many of his constituents in the audience have been blocked by him on Facebook. He’s certainly not listening to them. Same old lies, Andrew. Hope your CV is dusted off ready to be sent around on July 3rd.

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Letters to my grandchildren (16)

Anton Clever*
19.06.16 5:00 am

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Dear Chilliwops, Apathy.  A dreadful word that means lack of interest.  A word that you should never be associated with.

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Future for Norfolk’s Tourist Accommodation Houses looks Bleak

Chris Nobbs, Norfolk Island. Pic*
19.06.16 4:45 am

Image for Future for Norfolk’s Tourist Accommodation Houses looks Bleak

Tourism is key to Norfolk Island’s economic well-being and its ability to pay its way in the world. So it is important to try to understand the effects on the tourism sector of the Australian Government’s proposed changes to taxation and employment conditions on the island.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

A bright new extension lead for Basslink, which is down (again) 



Animal Justice Party calls for End to Live Animal Exports at the Ban Live Export Rally 



Smokie’s Utterly in our eyes and ears! 



Black Inc and Nero July new releases ... 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



The journey continues ... 

What's On

What's On

DEC, 8pm Nov 11: Smokie! 



Imagined size of electorate. Actual size of electorate ... 



Nikolic says not to link one issue to climate change, so currently:   700,000 told to leave homes in Japan at Kyushu…

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TROVE at National Library

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