"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

NATION: A dark new chapter ...

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Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Feb 26 Pic: of Gillian Triggs
27.02.15 5:29 am

The attack on AHRC President, Professor Gillian Triggs marks a dark new chapter in the descent of the Abbott government as it prosecutes every means available to get its own way.

Dennis Muller, The Conversation: Team Australian: government’s media ally has helped stitch up Triggs

Hugh de Kretser, The Age: Attacks on our Human Rights Commission are part of a broader disturbing trend The federal government is actively undermining a range of vital checks and balances and stifling criticism of its actions. This is corrosive for democracy and human rights.

Richard Flanagan, Guardian: Triggs was attacked for defending the powerless – and one day another PM will apologise for it: “Gillian Triggs’s real crime is that as human rights commissioner she spoke up for human rights with a government that has no respect for them.”

Hal Wootten, New Matilda: Why I Signed Up To The Open Letter In Defence Of Gillian Triggs.” “Once again Mr Abbott has proved a loose cannon, but this time his wild firing threatens grave pain and injustice to a courageous and honourable public servant, and the undermining of a much needed national institution, as well as obscuring the terrible effect of detention on innocent children.”

Tristan Edis, Climate Spectator: Brandis politicised the Human Rights Commission long ago

GUARDIAN Friday ...

MPs urge Malcolm Turnbull to challenge Abbott in new leadership spill

Coalition under pressure as cracks appear in accounts of Triggs ‘job offer’

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The deer poachers

A Farmer
27.02.15 5:15 am

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On Tuesday last week, a poacher was dropped off about 4.30pm. His drop-off vehicle was seen ...

WARNING: The images to follow are confronting ...

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UK man behind Isis beheadings identified as Mohammed Emwazi

27.02.15 5:00 am

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A British man has been identified as the knife-wielding militant who appears in Islamic State videos claiming responsibility for the beheadings of US, British and other hostages.

Isis fighters ‘destroy ancient artefacts at Mosul museum’. VIDEO

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TFGA applauds fracking decision

TFGA director Greg Bradfield Media Release
26.02.15 5:40 am

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The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) applauded today’s state government decision to impose a five-year moratorium on fracking following a government review of its implications.

Kim Booth: Fracking Moratorium Extension Welcome, But Only a Ban Can Provide Certainty

Andrew Wilkie: State Government should slam the door shut on fracking

Frack Free Tas: Only a permanent ban will protect Tasmania

Bryan Green: A political tactic

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Environmental Groups rally local, national & global support for Wilderness

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pub: Feb 23
26.02.15 4:20 am

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Warning of Groom’s Wilderness Construction Boom Tasmania’s leading environment organisations are campaigning for local, national and global support for Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area as the State Government pushes ahead with their plans to weaken protection of the globally significant area.

• VICA BAYLEY,  Wilderness Society Opinion ...

• Download submission writing guide ...

• W. Woodpecker, in Comments: Lumber (10). There’s no point flaming your own team. I’m on the record supporting tourism in the WHA on one condition only. That ALL the revenue is used to prop-up Forestry Tasmania. Let’s not split hairs and only allocate 80% of the revenue to FT? They need every last cent generated in the WHA to help Chinese paper launder the losses FT are making. How can Chinese paper make a profit if Forestry Tasmania is also making a profit? Something has to give and with my plan we use tourists that are mostly from China to subsidise the residue supply through ARTEC and out the back door to China. The Chinese think they are getting residue at 3rd World prices but really they are paying for it themselves. Apparently backloading the chip carries is on the table. I’m probably closer to the action at Forestry Tasmania than you are Jack and I understand China will be appointing a new CEO to run Forestry Tasmania. Get used to Yum Cha Jack because you will be seeing a lot more of it?

Nick McKim: Libs Assault on Wilderness Continues as Groom Slashes Parks Workforce

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan Project

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EOI Process Update

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage Media Release. Pic* Pub: Feb 24
26.02.15 3:15 am

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The Liberal Government has a goal to transform Tasmania into the environmental tourism capital of the world to create jobs for Tasmanians and help reach a target of 1.5 million visitors a year by 2020. We want to give more Tasmanians and visitors the opportunity to experience our unique, world class wilderness areas.

Nick McKim: Libs Assault on Wilderness Continues as Groom Slashes Parks Workforce

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan Project

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Apocalypse Now ... Lapoinya

John Powell, Myrtlebank
25.02.15 4:30 am

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The Minister for Resources, Paul Harris, and the Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, are the two Forestry Tasmania shareholders who hold their shares in trust for the Crown.

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Riding the Devil’s Highway

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Image: Tim Squires, http://www.timsquires.com.au/ Pub: Feb 24
25.02.15 4:15 am

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Sometimes I think the world has gone mad, and my research into roadkill for my soon to be launched book, Riding the Devil’s Highway, more or less confirms this view.

One hundred and eight thousand brushtail possums, nearly 30,000 pademelons, 15,000 wallabies, more than 3300 Tasmanian devils. At least 300,000 mammals and birds are killed on Tasmania’s roads every year. That’s an average of one animal killed every two minutes.

Riding the Devils’ Highway will be launched by Nick Mooney at the Hobart Bookshop, at 5.30pm on Thursday, February 26.

• Ros Barnett, in Comments: I would not miss this for the world. Oh bugger, I’ve got a committee meeting that night. Solution: delegate. If other half comes home without a signed copy I shall turn him into a fur frisbee on the side of the road.

• R. Middleton, USA, in Comments: I always thought the old days of Van Diemen’s Land, when helpless and hopeless prisoners were treated with brutality, depravity and inhumanity, were long gone. Not true! It’s the native animals that are the new generation of “convicts” that are being punished in the true spirit of old VDL. Their crime? Simply existing. Anybody care? No! Too many of them - doesn’t mean a thing if you kill one of the silly buggers. Their punishment? To be “skittled” by angry men in 4x4s who have just had a poor “customer service” experience and have nowhere to go but are running late to get there, and don’t have time to slow down so a bloody “brushie” can live a little while longer.

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NATION: National security ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Feb 25
25.02.15 3:45 am

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Six Australian flags arrayed behind him, a squadron of assorted spooks and security operatives before him, the Prime Minister summoned all the statesmanly gravitas he could stage-manage when he took the podium at AFP headquarters in Canberra on Monday to ‘deliver’ his hugely over-promoted ‘important ‘national security statement.

• Clive, in Comments, quoting the AFR: “People out there are scared of baddies,” said a senior strategist when attributing the rebound to the national security emphasis. … He’s a drowning man,” said one Liberal MP. “The best thing is to stand and watch. If you reach out, he’ll pull you under with him.”

Refugee Council of Australia: Attacks on Human Rights Commission distract attention from protecting children

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NATION: Unfunded empathy. The Gillian Triggs offer ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Feb 23. Pic: of Scott Morrison ...
25.02.15 3:30 am

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… you can’t go around with unfunded empathy here,” Scott Morrison told ABC radio beginning the coalition’s second week of ‘good government’ on a cautionary note during a whirlwind of media interviews.

Guardian: Senior ministers rally around Tony Abbott after more damaging leaks

Guardian: Tony Abbott on national security: plenty of flags and rhetoric, but not much detail


SMH: Seven ministers put Tony Abbott on notice

ABC:Leaked letters from Liberal Party federal treasurer Philip Higginson address ‘conflict of interest’ posed by Loughnane and Credlin marriage

Guardian:Coalition recovers ground in latest poll, but still trails Labor by wide margin


Guardian: Gillian Triggs says she was offered role if she quit human rights commission post The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, has raised serious allegations that the federal government offered her other work in return for her resignation from the key independent role. Triggs told a Senate estimates committee hearing on Tuesday the request to resign was conveyed to her by the secretary of the attorney general’s department, Chris Moraitis, who was acting on behalf of the attorney general, George Brandis, at a meeting in Sydney on 3 February. She said she was “certainly very shaken and very shocked” at the resignation request and immediately rejected it. Triggs said she was part way through her five-year term, noting that the position was protected by legislation from political interference, and she believed the move would undermine the independence of the Human Rights Commission. The Labor senator Penny Wong said it was a “very serious allegation” that the resignation “was sought and it was linked to the offer of some further unspecified work with the commonwealth”. Triggs replied: “There’s no doubt in my mind that the two were connected … I rejected it out of hand. I thought it was a disgraceful proposal.”


Tony ... according to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


Guardian: Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan were so busy interrupting and talking over the Human Rights Commission president, they seemed to overlook a grave point

Refugee Council of Australia: Attacks on Human Rights Commission distract attention from protecting children

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Brawl over ‘wannabe’ and ‘tick-a-box’ Aborigines

Matthew Denholm, The Australian. Editor
24.02.15 4:00 am

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TASMANIA’S Aboriginal Land Council wants to make it tougher for people to claim Aboriginality, warning that established indigenous groups may soon be overrun by “wannabe” and “tick-a-box” Aborigines

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Missing MH370 data ‘strongly suggests’ the Malaysia Airlines jet was deliberately flown off course

Daily Mail, via Field McConnell*
24.02.15 3:29 am

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Flight MH370 may have been deliberately flown off course by someone in the cockpit, a new documentary claims.

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Why I have resigned from the Telegraph ... ABC Print figures ...

Peter Oborne, (ex-Telegraph) OurKingdom. Lindsay Tuffin
23.02.15 4:00 am

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Ed: This is an extraordinarily important article. It is about the inexorable decline of Print in the Digital Age ... and the thrashing-about lengths to which Print goes to accommodate boosterism in all its forms, whether the Cargo-Cult bleatings of The Pulp-Mill Examiner to the rampant boosterism of all things Development, ‘Open for Business’ or Tourism (Mercury) ... The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.

Columbia Journalism Review: Anybody there? Why the UK’s phone-hacking scandal met media silence

• Download Print’s latest ABC circulation figures, including for Mercury, but not Examiner or Advocate ...

• don knowler, in Comments: yes, the telegraph was “a significant part of Britain’s civic architecture” as were the other great newspapers like the guardian, representing their own political views in editorials but keeping the news straight. there was a wonderful balance across fleet street. all gone now, of course, and i lament the demise of Britain’s “dead tree media”, if not empire.

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Pulp mill stink spelled the end of Gunns

Gideon Haigh, The Age. Quentin Beresford, The Saturday Paper
23.02.15 3:30 am

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Pulp mills stink. To convey how badly, in 2007, a former CSIRO scientist, Warwick Raverty, smuggled a sample of the odour, soaked into cotton wool and contained in a wine bottle, into Tasmania’s Legislative Council.

Quentin Beresford, The Saturday Paper: The Rise and Fall of Gunns Ltd

EARLIER ... on Tasmanian Times ...

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We need to think this big ...

Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
23.02.15 2:50 am

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Recently I spent an afternoon with my teenage niece.  Our plan was: high tea, high street shopping and then high-tailing it to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery. It would be good to balance our hedonistic consumer frenzy (gold sparkling high heels, you bet!) with a visit to some of my current, favourite things I like to share. Like, Philip Wolfhagen’s ‘Night Beacon III’; the Guan Di temple; Fred Williams’ Flinders Island paintings ‘Potboil Shoals’ and ‘Ti-tree Swamp’; and, to try on a Lola Greeno bracelet in the gallery shop.

We need to think this big. Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art got hot when a café was built on top, as did London’s Tate Modern, housed in a former power station.  Each location opened up the best city views and proved a great meeting spot for students of culture, tourists and city-workers alike. In these places it is possible to sit and be, even study or arrange a meeting, while absorbing the cultural life of a city. When used in this way, they need to be open. How good would it be to see the current director’s vision realized: view the city of Launceston – its river, Gorge, and splendid heritage streets – literally, from the QVA rooftop. Alongside its dungeons, where the once popular art of taxidermy is housed (there’s even a Tasmanian tiger), the roof top terrace is one of Launceston’s best-kept, under-used secrets.

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Costa Rica Introduces Law to Mandate Valuation of Natural Capital

Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services
23.02.15 2:45 am

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A law to incorporate the value of natural capital in development planning was introduced in the Costa Rica legislature by MP Alfonso Pérez Gómez in late November 2013. If passed, the Government and the private sector would need to incorporate relevant natural capital data and its economic importance into proposed project plans.

Ockham’s Razor: What’s the limit to the planet’s growth?

• Radio National’s Big Ideas detailed the latest thinking on this fascinating subject of valuing the environment ... Big Ideas, Radio National: Can Accountants Save the Planet (download audio here) Accountants are unlikely revolutionaries, but according to Jane Gleeson-White, they are leading the charge in reforming the global economy for the good of us all.  An international movement has begun within the finance world, and a few innovative global companies are starting to look at how nature and society can be included in their bottom line.

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Major decline in waterbird numbers across eastern Australia

Chris Simcox. Peter McGlone Media Release
23.02.15 2:15 am

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Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT) and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT) have condemned the new Liberal Government’s decision to hold a 2015 duck shooting season. Premier Hodgman has ignored the latest science that shows a major decline in waterbird numbers throughout eastern Australia.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (51)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic: of a Pink Robin
23.02.15 2:00 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Minister Colbeck should think again ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh
23.02.15 1:30 am

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This blog ( Super Trawler: Failing the Canberra Times test ... ) is now two years old ... It proves that Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Tasmanian Richard Colbeck,  has learnt nothing from the Margiris saga. Seafish is still a player behind the scenes; the only thing that has changed is the power of the cast. Any public resource that comes free and that can be plundered is fair game to Liberals ... be it our forests or our seas. All that is required is a compliant Minister. Colbeck should re-read this post ... then think again.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: A dark new chapter ... 



Rally to Ban Fracking Now 



Peacock Theatre, Saturday: Tarkine Tales with Bob Brown 



New adventure fiction book follows daughters outback search for ... 



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



EXPLORE Eastern Europe or Sri Lanka 

What's On

What's On

Peacock Theatre, Saturday: Tarkine Tales with Bob Brown 



The Great Tasmanian Civil War 



This is truly appalling. Firearms Legislation needs to be updated to include that one needs a lawful valid verifiable reason…

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