"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
Vica Bayley, Warrick Jordan, The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. http://www.wilderness.org.au Media Release
29.07.15 6:22 pm
• Tasmania Government ignores scientific advice on logging impacts, withdraws from recovery efforts. • Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt refuses to act. • ANU scientists say parrot’s endangered status should be increased to critically endangered
MEANWHILE ... other little creatures under threat ...
Martyn Goddard*. First published: 28 July
29.07.15 5:30 am
A production of a Handel opera, originally destined for Hobart’s Theatre Royal as part of the cancelled Hobart Baroque festival, has swept the board at the national Helpmann awards for performing arts. The Helpmanns are the Australian equivalent of America’s Tony (correction pointed out by Comment 3 below) awards. The opera, Faramondo, had its season transferred to Brisbane when the festival moved to Queensland, having failed to gain sufficient financial support from the Tasmanian Premier. The production won five of the six opera categories: best opera; best direction (Paul Curran); best female performer (Jennifer Rivera); best female supporting role (Anna Devin); and best male supporting role (Christopher Lowrey). John Kotzas, chief executive of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre which now hosts the festival, described founders and co-producers Leo Schofield and Jarrod Carland as ‘artistic visionaries’.
• Leo Schofield in Comments: Ian M, Let’s be quite clear on the sequence of events. Buoyed by the overwhelming success of Hobart Baroque Mark II, Jarrod Carland and I met with the Premier and Adam Sproule of Tourism. Martyn Goddard was also present. We presented a fully professional three year business plan, emphasising the long-term prospects for the event (since compellingly demonstrated!) and emphasised that if the Premier wanted to have a world-class event, he would need to make a decent initial investment. We pointed out that Ten Days on the Island received two million dollars annually and was able to afford a professional staff and posh city premises, whereas we worked pro-bono, initially from our homes and subsequently, in proper premises provided by philanthropists Penny Clive and Bruce Neill. We were kept dangling for six months waiting a response from the Premier, during which time we lobbied widely to ensure the festival continued in Hobart. Eventually we received a curt, inelegant note from Premier Hodgman advising that we would have ‘the same as last year’, which as we subsequently explained, represented a cut of 25 per cent, as Hodgman or his advisers had cunningly folded the Federal Government grant into the overall figure and reduced his government cash contribution from $400k to $300k …
• Martin Goddard in Comments: In answer to Comment 7: It’s interesting to see so much work going in to try to discredit me, taking assorted and unrelated quotes quite out of context. The issue of funding has been dealt with in detail by Leo Schofield … The quote of mine that you choose was from a radio interview given a few hours after the government made its counter-claim based on unbelievable figures. I finally found out that these were drawn from a simple and invalid comparison of budget estimates from various states, all of which are calculated differently and which are not comparable. I didn’t believe the government’s claims then and still don’t.
Rodney Croome, National Director, Australian Marriage Equality, 2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year. First pub: July 28
29.07.15 5:00 am
… I’ve seen this all before. Whenever the national media took a dislike to the conservative policies of Brian Harradine it emphasised his status as a Tasmanian independent. Ricky Ponting was always “a great Australian” when he scored centuries and “a Tasmanian” when he was out for a duck. Brant Webb and Todd Russell were “Aussie heroes” when they emerged from their subterranean captivity and “inarticulate Tasmanian miners” when they mumbled on Oprah. Whatever continental Australians don’t like about themselves they project on to Tasmania. By blaming Tasmania they think they exonerate themselves of all their sins.
There is rightfully a growing sense of national shame about Australia failing again and again to achieve marriage equality while New Zealand, Uruguay, Ireland and Alabama streak ahead of us. The reasons for this are complex. They have to do with the powerful religious caucuses in both major parties that are based almost entirely in Sydney and Melbourne, in the social conservatism of the outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne and in the homophobia at the heart of Australian national identity reaching back to the anti-transportation movement. But this is too difficult for some continentals to acknowledge. It’s also too close to home to the media elites of Sydney and Melbourne. It’s much easier and more convenient to find a scapegoat. As ever, that scapegoat is Tasmania. …
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
Martyn Goddard* ABC pic of Eric Abetz. First published July 27
29.07.15 4:55 am
When Eric Abetz went on AM to rail about the moral iniquities of same-sex marriage, it must have seemed like a good idea. At the time. He suggested that Australia should follow the example of various Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and China (but not Thailand) on the issue, rather than places like the United States, Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. His tone suggested he thought he was being terribly cunning.
• Leo Schofield in Comments: This comment appeared recently on Facebook, posted by Richard Cobden SC, an eminent lawyer and former president of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: “Were Tasmania represented in the Commonwealth Parliament by the same ratio of politicians to people as NSW, it would have 3.5 members of the House and about 0.8 of a senator. Instead it has 5 of the former and 12 (12!) of the latter. No wonder we are plagued with an antediluvian bozo like Eric Abetz, who, spurred on by that special sort of loathing that devout Christians reserve for other people’s happiness, seems to have been driven by the prospect of gay marriage either to be saying our society should be more like Asia’s, or that we should have an Anschluss with Austria. Eric has not said which of the Asian countries’ mores, as they apply to marriage and sex, we should adopt. The multiple wives of some parts of Malaysia? The polyandry of Tibet? The Japanese and their age of consent of 13? The concubines of China? The arranged marriages of India? Female subjugation in sympathy with Islam? I await his further guidance.”
• Mike Moore, Hervey Bay: It frightens me that if 74 Liberal members of Federal Parliament and a dozen or so Country Liberal people were to fall under a bus, or buses, Eric could potentially become Prime Minister. After all, John Gorton made the move from the Senate to the house to become PM.
Clive Palmer, Andrew Wilkie Joint Media Release. Image*
29.07.15 4:50 am
Clive Palmer, the federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, said he would lodge a motion of no confidence in the Speaker of the House of Representatives when parliament resumed unless the Member for Mackellar resigns from the position. “My hope is that Mrs Bishop will do the honourable thing and resign,’’ Mr Palmer said. The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, said he would join with Mr Palmer and second the no confidence motion. “Bronwyn Bishop is not a fit person to occupy the highest position in the House of Representatives,’’ Mr Wilkie said.
• Chris in Comments: Nice try, but the Speaker will just rule the motion to be out of order, and expel the miscreants ...
Senator Jacqui Lambie Media Release and Letter to the Editor. Pic: Jacqui Lambie's new letterhead ...
29.07.15 4:48 am
... and the Liberal’s greed and silence I was bitterly disappointed Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley had nothing to say about the potential loss of an event that is the beating heart of the North-West Coast economy.
Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie Media Release. First published July 28
29.07.15 4:45 am
Pollies caught in bed with Pokies barons ... The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has called for stricter political donation disclosure laws after more revelations of dirty pokies money flowing to the major parties. At a Tasmanian level, he will call on Premier Will Hodgman to commit to ending Federal Hotels’ exclusive right to operate pokies in Tasmania at the earliest possible date of 30 June 2018. Mr Wilkie said the revelation that the pokies industry gave at least $75,000 to support the re-election of Liberals’ Kevin Andrews - the chief architect of his party’s industry-approved pokies policy - highlighted the urgent need for political donation disclosure reform.
… Mr Wilkie said in light of this week’s revelation that the pokies industry gave $75,000 to a body to support the re-election of Liberals’ Kevin Andrews as he was drafting the party’s pokies policy, the Tasmanian Liberal Party must reveal any gambling donations it has accepted as it considers any new licence in Tasmania.
• John Hawkins in Comments: Andrew. Please add to your list of political donations the $50,000 given to the Liberal Party by Gunns Ltd three weeks after the Tasmanian Senator Erich Abetz was made Minister of Forests in the then Howard government. This munificent gesture was presumably made with the aim of protecting the Gunns nitens and bluegum MIS scam. The result - investors lost millions of dollars as Abetz led the charge on behalf of the industry to protect and promote their industry, an industry totally reliant on what has proved to be a scam …
• mr t in Comments: A good explanation of the (mainly) Liberal Party’s use of loopholes in yesterday’s Fairfax media. There is a $13k indexed limit. A donor can make a $12,999 donation to each state on 30 June and 1 July without any disclosure. Monies can also be paid to a myriad of LP fronts like Hockey’s North Sydney Club or Andrew’s AHA donation. Let the judiciary or AFP draft the legislation for this and travel allowances. I reckon we might just get compliance or a few more beads of perspiration at least.
• Chris in Comments: … Let’s look at the donation books!
Bob Hawkins. Pics* First published July 27
29.07.15 4:44 am
Huon Valley Guessing Games All’s quiet on the Waterloo Bay battlefront. The Surges Point shoreline remains untouched. Little sign of industrial activity other than the to-ing and fro-ing from Port Huon of Huon Aquaculture’s 75-metre Ronja Huon well-boat. Upriver at Huonville, barely a squeak out of Huon Valley Council (HVC), where one might imagine management is still smarting over its failure to persuade the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) that council — “acting as a planning authority” — nor the commission has jurisdiction to hear marine engineer Dennis Bewsher’s applications to develop a bulk-loading and barge facility at Surges Point.
• Ben Lohberger in Comments: … It’s quite gobsmacking that the peak planning body in Tasmania could remove a current jurisdictional arrangement, and then fail to arrange (or order) any alternative, effectively leaving the entire planning process in limbo for on-water structures in the Huon. The TPC’s decision to waste everyone’s time and effort by continuing the ultimately unnecessary hearings process, instead of first sorting out jurisdiction, also deserves scrutiny. The Protect Waterloo Bay group in particular has every right to be annoyed. Their fundraising campaign (to pay for legal advice for the TPC hearings) started in late February, two weeks after the TPC announced that it would not prioritise the jurisdiction issue.
• Treeger in Comments: Those determined to liquidate nature in Tasmania may have been given an early heads up by the negotiators in Canberra, rendering the TPC’s decision unimportant, because an alternative solution had been found to the southern forest wood excess IE- Burn it all.
• Trish Kyne in Comments: … As part of the PWB group, I would like to know the exact costings related to this fiasco, and what services the residents of the Valley have missed out on to pay these bills. As part of the PWB fundraisers, I know we have paid our bills. I also know that this was not all about environmental issues though that was a large consideration. We had 5 councillors voting for an application in the face of unprecedented community backlash, on an application that had no business plan, no contracts, no cargo and no markets. Why?
Craig Quarmby* and Greg Peterson*
29.07.15 4:42 am
A program bringing together leaders to transform the healthcare system has just commenced, explain Craig Quarmby* and Greg Peterson*
Bryan Green MP Labor Leader Media Release First published July 28
29.07.15 4:40 am
One of the Government’s own energy senior energy advisers is warning power bills could go up by as much as a $1000 annually if Tariff 41 is scrapped.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: … By getting rid of Tarriff 41 ( hot water and heating) it will force people to use the more expensive Tarriff 31 (light and power) rate which is generally about twice the price. People who are aged or infirm who need heaters on to stay warm in the day will be most affected. The elephant in the room is the need to make more money to continue to prop up Forestry Tasmania, otherwise where will Tas Networks find $40 million a year to give them.
• Estelle Ross in Comments: Householders with recently installed solar panels have already received a drop in the price for the power they produce; now Matthew Groom is considering abolishing Tariff 41 which will cause considerable hardship to those on low incomes. It begs the question why $30 million of Hydro’s profit was transferred to the mismanaged and totally incompetent Forestry Tasmania which has been a drain on the public purse for years. If they want to lower the burden of peak usage why not do as they did in New Zealand; power companies there had the capacity to switch off water heaters until the peak had passed.
• Garry Stannus in Comments: I heard the Minister being interviewed by Leon Compton yesterday. Matthew Groom twice dodged the question that Compton put to him ... which was that taking $30m from Hydro and giving it to Forestry must mean that consumers are paying more for their electricity than they should be. Surely the inescapable conclusion to be drawn is that we electricity consumers are being used as cash cows for FT.
Phil Parsons, Public Officer, Andrew Ricketts Convenor The Environment Association (TEA) Inc. Pic* First published: July 27
29.07.15 4:15 am
RET with Regret, an Urgent Alert about one of the thousand cuts to wilderness
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: The MVC letter advising people of the decision is dated the 17th July thus the appeal deadline is 14 days hence, being the 31st July, not the 28th as advised in the article. The MVC approval in condition 2 of the Permit allows one of either two power line routes. That is it would seem they have approved both routes. How can one object when the final decisions over the project have not been made. Permit Condition 5 covers the finding of aboriginal relicts. Search for these artefacts, it seems, does not start until the actual works have already commenced. No advanced planning or surveying for the aboriginal heritage. Seems the Jordan River fiasco was not a good learning exercise. No one has actually learnt anything.
• Clinton Garratt in Comments: No one seems to have picked up that the weir, pipeline, maintenance road, access road and power station are all located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. I’ve just submitted a tastrekker blog post with more detail.
28.07.15 4:30 am
H.G.Wells was famous for his War of the Worlds but in later years he became notorious for his flamboyant sexual liaisons.
Paul Tapp. All pictures: Paul Tapp
27.07.15 5:25 am
Damn, this has never happened before. I do a virtual military-precise check on fishing gear, motor, battery before I head to sea. But Murphy’s law says if anything can go wrong, it will ... and it does. My fuel-tank clip has failed, the motor won’t draw fuel, the battery’s gone flat with start-attempts ... and I’m a man alone, adrift off a rocky shore. But I’m not alone.
• Paul Tapp in Comments: … Rob Steane raises interesting points that our legislators should consider. If its law to have expensive restraining seats in cars for kids, bike helmets for bikers, seat-belts for you and me, hard-hats underground and on construction-sites…then why not determine the price of fish-to-market (and let’s face it, there are more Chinese millionaires than there are Australians) and outfit our divers with SharkShields. …
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: July 27. Pic* Satire: Karl Stevens
27.07.15 5:14 am
Week in review ... ‘Sod off Tony! Bronwyn Bishop sends Tony Abbott packing, rebuking her pocket PM for his cheek, if not his hypocrisy in broaching the issue of her travel claims. The hypothetical scenario is surely the most likely outcome of the spat of the week based on what we know of each party and given the veil of secrecy our virtual-burqa-wearing government prefers. It likes to keep us guessing.
27.07.15 5:00 am
Renewable Energy is far beyond just a modern term. In fact over the past decade it has become one of the most productive and financially prospective industries on earth. By 2050 much of Western society will be driven by the likes of solar and wind energy … leaving Australia’s short-sighted vision trailing in the rest of the developed world’s wake! Back in the mid 1970’s Australia was considered the world leader in alternative energy, particularly photovoltaic. This technological research and its associated advancements were part of the Whitlam government’s visionary ideology. Unfortunately soon after the Whitlam government was desposed, the federally-funded solar program was essentially abandoned, which resulted in the technology - and its promising impetus - shifting overseas.
• Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper: The true cost of green energy The arguments against renewable energy are not just without scientific basis, they lack economic credibility.
• Russell Langfield in Comments: Australia schooled and funded the person who delivered cutting edge solar research (Sliver Technology I believe) in one of our major Universities then it was mothballed under patents (probably until the fossil fuels ran out). The scholar went back to China and now owns one of the largest solar panel manufacturing companies in the world. World leading wind turbine manufacturer Vesta packed its Tasmanian operations up and went elsewhere because the Tasmanian Government would prefer to burn what’s left of our forests for energy instead. Go figure. Our politicians are creating a mass genocide with their myopic 17th Century thinking.
Andrea Dawkin MP | Greens Member for Bass Media Release
27.07.15 4:50 am
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt must categorically rule out altering the Pulp Mill permit conditions that would allow the use of native forest feedstock.
• Robert Vincin in Comments: … What is not comprehended is, the trees have the major function to sustain life on the Planet! Trees are the transporter of rain from coast to upper catchment and protector of microbes, bees, birds they are co-workers in the survival of mankind. Fact is, trees depending upon soil as prime carbon elements the forest soil seldom host a second forest. The lost forest already cut has slowed rain to catchments. …
27.07.15 4:30 am
The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has agreed to lobby the State government for the mandatory, real-time publication of Tasmania’s drinking water data on a public website.
• Ben Cannon in Comments: … In other words. The Tasmanian Liberal Party’s approach to science and environment is the same as the Federal Liberal Party’s approach to science and the environment, and the answer to Barry’s question as far as I can tell is no announcement of more testing in the foreseeable future. I also notice in the section I just quoted an interesting contradiction between stating that all the data was “significantly below guidelines,” and that this data will be used to “identify higher risk areas.” Given that a slightly more environmentally conscious government rolled over a few years ago and axed proposed new pesticide restrictions on the orders of the TFGA, and with the roll-out of new irrigation schemes, I’d say it’s part of the familiar mantras. In this case; flush it down, shut em up.
Anthony Bacon. Pic*
27.07.15 4:13 am
Anthony Bacon has a long background in still photography and got into multirotors in October 2014 with the aim of using one as an aerial tripod to get a different perspective. After buying an off the self model that proved unreliable, Anthony built himself a DJI F550 hexacopter (six motors) which is much more versatile and reliable. With a 3 axis gimbal, camera and FPV (first person view) controller, this one cost around $2000 and has had over 100 flights with no issues.
Paul Mason, Guardian
27.07.15 4:00 am
The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism.
• Ben Cannon in Comments: There is little mention in the full article of land and resources. The debate on information is already over, aside from new innovations, which can easily be hacked, or intellectual property ignored or loopholed, and most scientists are happy just to have the resources to continue working. All other information is already essentially free, although sifting for quality has become more of a task. The battles to be fought will be over land and resources, diminishing both due to non-renewability of some and increased population. The ruling classes, both the bourgeois upper class and the petite-bourgeois share and property owning middle class will have to decide how to balance their personal safety with their share of physical wealth. Look for the places with the widest gap between economic classes and you’ll also see the places with the highest rates of violence. Any role employment plays is either as a means to attaining physical wealth or the psychological benefits of a meaningful occupation. As the article reiterated, the second is becoming rare, but the first is also increasingly an empty promise as we move further into a feudal arrangement. The battle lines are already being drawn for the next world war, maybe the only hope we have is the collapse of the capitalist economy, which would hopefully drag the military machine down with it. Although this wouldn’t necessarily follow; soldiers were bribed with land in the ancient world, I’m sure it can be done again.
Taina Bien-Aimé via Isla MacGregor
27.07.15 3:45 am
... Pimps, Brothel Owners and ‘Johns’ Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, Meryl Streep Join Survivors of the Sex Trade on Campaign to Stand on Side of Human Rights and Women’s Equality New York, July 23, 2015 - More than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry. If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7-11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying - the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.
27.07.15 3:27 am
On an equal horsepower basis, diesel exhaust is 100 times more toxic than gasoline exhaust, even when carbon monoxide is considered, according to John R. Richards, MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Davis Medical Centre, Sacramento, CA
I don’t know what’s worse: Greg Hunt’s abdication of his ministerial responsibilities to protect our endangered…