"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

First Day ... October

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Rob Walls, Rob Blakers, Keith Antonysen, Giles Hugo, Isla MacGregor
01.10.16 5:45 am

We celebrate the First Day of the Month with pics from Rob Walls, Rob Blakers, Keith Antonysen, Giles Hugo and Isla MacGregor …

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Likely cause of Basslink failure is the Geelong Star

Kelvin Jones*, Kingston. Pics* First published September 26
01.10.16 5:30 am

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The Basslink Saga: A technical perspective …

… It is known the Geelong Star left Geelong on the 16 Dec 2015 after net modifications to minimise well-publicised by-catch issues. This was the start of the pelagic fishing season and it soon turned off its compulsory AIS (Auto Identification System) which had apparently been allowed by Marine Authorities. Pelagic fish are found in the water depths and locations similar to where the Basslink fault was found. The Geelong Star’s next known position was fishing in NSW waters two days after the Basslink failure on the 19 Dec …

… Also of interest during the Carbon Tax period there was reported a serious dispute between a relatively newly-appointed Head of Treasury and Finance and political masters. Evidently the new head was previously the head of Aurora and resigned, citing personal issues, leaving before his five-year term finished.

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: … The photos of the fault released and the paucity of details did not look like a manufacturing fault to me. Thanks again, I believe that secrecy will prevail as it usually does in Tasmanian government matters, but we need to know who is paying and how much …

Bryan Green: Hydro document censored for political purposes

• Luigi in Comments: It would be simple enough for the Geelong Star to voluntarily make its whereabouts known to prove its alibi on the day of the Basslink outage. I would also be simple enough for our government to demand to know the whereabouts of the Geelong Star. Or is the six month outage just a $100 million giggle to our government? Or do they already know?

• Kelvin Jones in Comments: … Hydro engineers, if allowed to disclose the current state of water turbine technology, could answer this question very quickly. There is also a very pertinent comment that indicates the State Government is more interested in cash income than capital expenditure which is at the root of the Basslink saga which must have great weight. … At the moment I am as certain as I possibly can be that external mechanical trauma caused the demise of Basslink. There also is circumstantial evidence that there is activity of a vessel with the capability of inflicting such trauma at that time … There has been - for the last 70 years among the populous - a growing illusion, that if there is a problem, science and technology will find a solution. Economists have fallen for this trap in a big way. Most of this illusion is formed from the perceptions based on an ever-widening array of gadgets and goodies that have been incrementally introduced into our lives. They are all based on one fundamental technology ... usable energy …

• William Smith in Comments: … The only short term option would involve the reduction of the heavy industrial load with possibility of closure of one of the big three with the very regrettable loss of jobs.

• Kelvin Jones in Comments: … Brian Green’s office also commented on the large amount of censorship in a documentation that was tabled to State Parliament. Could it be that the document did contain details of the Basslink failure and the possible involvement of the Geelong Star. Disclosure on the floor of the Tasmanian State Parliament would have negated the legal protection from marine law then applying to Basslink. This could have then had a legal chain reaction back to a Commonwealth Desk? We can ask a lot more questions if that is the case …

• KAS in Comments: … The real issue with the bass link cable, is not that it was damaged – which is not that unusual for cables laid in shallow water like it is, but rather that it took so long to repair.  I have never heard of a repair taking that long, and I think the reason for the delay was that they had insufficient spare cable to carry out the repair … This theory was confirmed to me by a friend who works for one of Hydro’s major customers.  He told me that Hydro had told his company that the real cause of the long delay in repair was due to insufficient spare cable being available …

• John Hawkins in Comments: Kelvin thankyou for your efforts. The ABC has been emasculated by the Liberals so total silence on this important matter. The Mercury is in bed with the Liberals and will never do them a disservice ... result - total silence. The Examiner has nobody who can research or write an original story hence can only regurgitate a press release …

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Off the Back of a Truck ...

Lindsay Tuffin*
01.10.16 5:09 am

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Tasmanian Times every now and again receives tip-offs and rumours and documents anonymously. The latest has come from ‘Public Interest’ … TT offers it to its readers … Editor, the attached documents (obtained under FOI request) are provided to you in the Public Interest. The following summary of the significance of these reports is also offered. Thank you …

• Mercury today: Fox fraud decision due next week ... Clipping below ...

• O’Brien in Comments: … Perhaps we could all simply telephone our elected representatives and cozy public servants in say National Parks & Wildlife (Southern & Northern District Rangers). Failing that pop into State Development and ask for the gang from DPIPWE. If your tastes run to the more upmarket hop on a first class flight to the UN in New York and chat to our Senators conveniently away for three months on urgent cafe/art research. Maybe the CPSU. Any sitting State Labor or Green member. Any Tassie Senator. Yep just walk right up and ask the following; “When and where were you first approached by serving DPIPWE officer(s) concerned about irregularities with the Fox programme and DPIPWE more broadly? Did you do your duty as a well paid elected representative/public service officer/public service executive/union official/Police Officer/Minister, or, did you do absolutely nothing, or worse? Why have you not submitted your immediate letter of resignation?  …

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Passion in the raw down Huon way

Bob Hawkins* Pic* First published September 28
30.09.16 4:14 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  Roll up, roll up! It may be your last chance to witness what normally is one of the most excruciatingly boring shows on earth. Venue: Huonville council chamber at 6pm Wednesday (September 28); starring: a dysfunctional, about-to-be-sacked, Huon Valley Council.

What it is that made Gutwein so reluctant to take the advice of his BoI remains a mystery. Words like forestry, Duggan, woodchips, fish, Armstrong, biomass, Harriss, barges, jetties, exports (plus a mix of other pie-in-the-sky speculation), have been flying around for yonks in the cargo-cult cocoon that occupies a substantial chunk of Huon society. Could any of these have anything to do with the quandary with which Gutwein wrestles? And where’s Premier Will Hodgman?  …


Mercury: Councillors heckled from public gallery in tense meeting

Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale: More confirmation of dysfunction at tonight’s HVC council meeting … Since posting my comment in Tasmania Times I have heard from others who manipulated the survey data. I can now confirm that in excess of 102 of the survey results, complete with one line comments were completed by only 7 people – and 2 live in Hobart. Therefore 27% of the survey is CORRUPT DATA – and that is only from people with whom I have personally been in contact. How is it possible that Cr’s Wilson, Paul, Lange, Ruzicka and Heron can agree to accept the data as being of any future use whatsoever? …


Probe into Glenorchy Council tape

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WAITING LISTS: A Cry from the Heart

David Kennedy, Gagebrook. First published September 29
30.09.16 4:00 am

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A reaction to the Mercury’s story HERE: Tasmanian surgery waiting times the worst in the country Premier Will Hodgman said on Southern Cross News that he supports any action against suicide …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: … As long as politicians and governments are featherbedded by their benefits and there remains a growing disparity between those who pay taxes and those who receive them, our social contract is grossly distorted and will continue to create disadvantage and resentment.

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Norske Skog set to close ...

The Hag. Pic: Flickr, Soma Kondo. First published September 29
30.09.16 3:30 am

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Norske Skog’s New Norfolk paper mill is set to close and be turned into a fuel pellet factory ...

• Jack Lumber in Comments: Interesting .....NS Boyer has despite the excellent efforts of local management struggled to be out side the ” bottom 25% ” in profitability as part of NS pantheon of mills. Declining newsprint and even LWC, would have seen the mill have to “do something ” or close. An elegant solution in the making for the softwood and the currently “stranded” southern hardwood plantation estates—and all using the existing containerisation supply chain that NS and Tasrail have set up. Noice. Now lets see the naysayers….who may actually identify some key points to consider. Keeping open-minded …

• phill Parsons in Comments: The pervasive idea that a ‘cargo’ will arrive in the hands of a white knight investor [Forestry, the hydro, a mining company, a sawmilling company, woodchip exports, world scale fish farms] to save the old guard of the State’s economy will return having festered in the other halls nearby and in Canberra. Until and only when the Tasmania transforms its own products and talents it will remain caught in the eddies of an economic backwater. A rehash of a previous comment but still applicable. As the dysfunctions of new tech and climate instability ripple through society a forward view needs to be taken by government that often checks the rear view mirror for ideas …

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NATION: Turnbull’s UN speech cannot disguise his government’s refugee crisis

David Tyler* (AKA Urban Wronski*) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First pub: September 26
30.09.16 3:00 am

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Thunderous applause, spontaneous outbursts of Hallelujah and impromptu gospel singing also break out at the United Nations Refugee Summit in New York this week as Malcolm Turnbull, and his minder, Peter Dutton reveal with similar modesty that Australia is there to help the world solve its refugee crisis. It is Australia’s duty as a world leader in humanitarian assistance, a nation prepared to invest over $40 million to re-settle one Rohingya man in Cambodia, but we must be cruel to be kind …

TUESDAY September 27 ...

SMH: Malcolm Turnbull takes another hit in latest poll Not for the first time may Malcolm Turnbull find himself ruing the day he cited Tony Abbott’s poor performance in Newspoll as a key reason for terminating his prime ministership. Tuesday’s Newspoll holds more grim news for the Member for Wentworth, who despite enjoying his best two weeks in the job strutting the world stage is back facing the reality of his domestic woes after presiding over another fall in the Coalition’s primary vote …

SMH: Poll shows public are turning against plebiscite plan in favour of parliamentary vote Treasurer Scott Morrison says the government won’t ditch its plans for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, despite a new poll showing more Australians support a vote in Parliament. Support for the plebiscite has fallen from 70 per cent earlier this year to 39 per cent, a Newspoll in The Australian on Wednesday shows, with 48 per cent of respondents saying they favour a vote by members of Parliament to resolve the issue …

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Bushranger Brady teaches that defeat is never the last word ...

Rodney Croome*
29.09.16 5:00 am

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… Now I’ve met another Matthew Brady. In his most recent book of poetry, Physick, Pete Hay includes a ballad about Brady. This Brady is a metaphor for survival against the odds. Thanks to his love of life and of freedom, his clear head and good looks, his decency and his kindness, Brady is able evade his pursuers, themselves allegories for failure, mediocrity, cruelty, vice and bondage.

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Will Tourism assist Vandalism?

Ted Mead* First published September 24
29.09.16 4:50 am

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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” - William Blake

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Nicole Anderson: The Secret Life of Trees ...


Guy Barnett: Support for Wood Pellet Plant Study … Today, I am pleased to announce funding of $250,000 to help complete a feasibility study into a $115-145 million plantation fibre-only wood pellet plant in Tasmania that would deliver 55 new jobs. New Forests Asset Management Pty Ltd is progressing a $5 million study and has already completed pre-feasibility work showing encouraging results. The feasibility study will fully investigate the viability for an advanced wood pellet plan to be established in Northern Tasmania …

• Robert Middleton, USA, in Comments: In #3 above, Mr. Martin provides a comment that appears to be taunting and even mean-spirited and directed at someone who clearly is a positive force for preserving what makes Tasmania such a special place. I’ve noticed this same attitude in other TT posts by Martin, shocking considering that they come from someone charged with representing Tasmanian hospitality. What is the reason for this resentment and hostility? …

• Ted Mead in Comments: #8 Thanks Robert - You seen to have a clear perspective of what’s happening in this state. Tourism here is more driven by the $ dollar for someone rather than the experience and preservation of our natural assets in mind. A lot of the tourism projects advocated by TICT and FT etc are based around the use of taxpayers’ money to get them up and running, and ultimately there is not accountability if they fail or lose copious amounts of money in the process …

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Teen Challenge ‘denial’ pays off

Brian Hillman*, Meander. First published September 28
29.09.16 4:45 am

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In what I believe is a clever piece of marketing, Teen Challenge Tasmania Inc. (TCT) gives the appearance of being independent of any church but their attachment to the Assemblies of God (Australian Christian Churches) is indisputable.

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Punishing offensive behaviour

Michael Stokes* Pic: Flickr First published September 24
27.09.16 4:30 am

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While amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act are being considered, it is worthwhile considering when we are entitled to use the law to prohibit conduct which offends, insults or ridicules another …

Mercury: Lobby groups critical of proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws

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Australia panders to a despot and a loyal citizen pays the price ...

John Tully* Pic* First published September 24
27.09.16 4:15 am

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On 24 October last year, a slight, youngish man with a luxuriant moustache and an engaging smile flew into Tullamarine airport from Dubai. Arriving home must have been a great relief for him, but after a warm welcome by local well-wishers, members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) hustled him away and grilled him over suspected links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Back in 2005, the PKK was added to the Federal Government’s list of proscribed terrorist organisations at the behest of Turkey, the sworn enemy of the Kurds …

Renas Lelikan’s ordeal highlights the idiocy and injustice of Australian government policy in the Middle East. The PKK and its sister organisations in northern Syria—the PYD, YPG and YPJ—are indisputably the most formidable foes of Islamic State and other Islamist terrorists. Although the facts were redacted from UN reports, no doubt upon the insistence of Turkey, it was the men and women fighters of the PKK who saved the Yazidis from genocide on Mt Sinjar in 2014. In many cases, the PKK fighters carried the old, children and the infirm on their backs to safety. Similarly, it was the PKK and its sister organisations who have saved Christian minorities in Syria from death and slavery at the Islamists’ hands …

Be that as it may, successive Australian governments have been complicit throughout this century in the injustices heaped on the Kurds. More than that, they have grievously insulted Australian Kurds, who are loyal Australian citizens, and equated the Kurdish freedom struggle with the vile dystopia of the so-called Islamic State. It is high time that the Australian public demanded that we stop appeasing the despot Erdogan. We should immediately drop the charges against Renas Lelikan and release him from horrible incarceration at Silverwater. We should also apologise to the Australian Kurdish community and recognise the right of the Kurds to self-determination.

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Will Malcolm Bendall launch a new religion?

Chris Sharples* Pic* First published September 24
25.09.16 5:30 am

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Tasmania’s own wannabe oil baron Malcolm Bendall1 has spent over 30 years convincing people to give him their money to pursue what I consider to be a grand delusion of finding vast quantities of oil in Tasmania on the basis of a supposed vision from God2 …

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Open Letter from Mayor Peter Coad to Huon Valley Ratepayers and Residents ...

Peter Coad, Mayor, Huon Valley Council. First published September 23
25.09.16 4:45 am

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The Minister for Local Government’s likely decision to recommend to the Governor to dismiss the Huon Valley Council councillors (pursuant to section 226(2) of the Local Government Act 1993) is a course of action that I fully support. I believe dismissal of council would, as the situation stands, be in the best interests of the people of the Huon Valley. I withdrew from the mediation process, ordered by Minister Peter Gutwein, because Heart of the Huon councillors and the general manager have demonstrated no genuine commitment to that process. A clear demonstration of that lack of commitment on the part of most councillors was the decision, at the August 31 ordinary meeting of council, to prevent me, as mayor, from being an ex officio member on council committees. …

Rosalie Woodruff: Huon Valley Ratepayers Shouldn’t Foot Gutwein’s Bill

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Was NZ’s OSPRI the successful business model for the Tasmanian false-fox program ... ?

Bill Benfield*
25.09.16 4:30 am

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Was the Tasmanian ‘false fox’ program based on an already successful business model? There is a case to be made that what became a A$50 million enterprise based on non–existent foxes could have been based on New Zealand practice. In what looks like a parallel situation, we now have the evidence that New Zealand has - for around 45 years - been running a similar program based on little more than a hunch that possum caused TB in cattle. The only real differences seems to be that where the Tasmanian exercise cost $50 million and was stopped, New Zealand has probably spent well over a $billion, and is still going …

• Ian Rist in Comments: What a sad indictment on Tasmania this fox saga is…politicians of all colors are turning a blind eye to all of this. Too many in too deep and we don’t want any egg on our faces.When I was working ‘at the coal face’ all those years ago I raised issues of evidence fabrication and evidence tampering with Liberals, Labor and The Greens, no-one wanted to know. I was aware in 2008 fox scats were coming into the State by the Eski full but when I raised the issue at the 2009 PAC Foxes Inquiry I was ridiculed, laughed at and it was suggested I was smokin’ something to suggest such a thing could be happening. In the few months leading up to the PAC fox Inquiry in 2009 Dr Tony Peacock from The Canberra based Invasive Animals CRC wrote many letters to the Tasmanian papers, especially my hometown paper   ‘The Advocate’ and tried to destroy my fox knowledge credibility before the upcoming Inquiry. I am pleased I kept the letters because now in the light of recent events this person has put themselves in a difficult situation. Peacock also had supporters down this end of the Island …

• David Obendorf in Comments: The former CEO of the Invasive Animals CRC had a conflict of interest in my opinion. He became a critical influencer and lobbyist for a unsubstantiated claim that foxes were in Tasmania and simultaneously the organisation he headed became a substantial beneficiary of the government funds that followed. If nothing else is achieved, a thorough scientific and administrative review of this single program should recognise the need for reform in the governance the provision of vast amounts of public funds spent over long periods of time. Increasing the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and scientific credibility of such undertakings must be learnt out of this fiasco …

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HVC’s ‘dysfunctionality’ in full media flood ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: HVC GM Simone Watson, Peter Gutwein, Peter Coad
22.09.16 6:30 am

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The saga of the Huon Valley’s ‘dysfunctional’ council flowed on this past few days in a torrent of media releases. The rush started soon after Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein, offering no evidence, dumped on Mayor Peter Coad as the cause of all the trouble. One wonders if the Minister has ever got around to reading for himself the report of his Board of Inquiry, which, in June, found HVC dysfunctional and made 55 recommendations — most of which Gutwein seems to have decided can be ignored …


ABC: Huon Valley Council to be sacked after infighting, Minister to appoint commissioner Huon Valley Council will be sacked after mediation failed to overcome bitter divisions between councillors and the general manager. Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein told the Tasmanian Parliament he had hoped the council would resolve its issues through mediation, but it had failed. “As this council is unable to work together for the benefit of the Huon community, they’ve left me no other option but for me to take the course of action I have outlined,” Mr Gutwein said. “They deserve to have strong leadership, goodwill and and good governance.” The council has been plagued with infighting. Last week, Mr Gutwein criticised Mayor Peter Coad for pulling out of mediation and told him to resign. But Cr Coad refused to go and called on Mr Gutwein to sack the entire council, in line with the recommendation of an independent investigation. Two other councillors have since pulled out of the mediation process …

Madeleine Ogilvie: Half a million dollars wasted in Huon debacle  Minister sat on his hands while dysfunction continued  Gutwein completely hands-off during critical mediation period  Ratepayers should not have been saddled with sorry state of affairs …

Peter Gutwein: Huon Valley Council It has been clear for quite some time that the Huon Valley Council has not been operating as well as it should. The Government believes that as a democratically elected council, in the first instance it is up to the councillors themselves to resolve their issues. We have assisted the council by appointing a Board of Inquiry to independently investigate a number of concerns and complaints that had been raised. The Board recommended that either the Council be dismissed or a mediation process initiated …

Rosalie Woodruff: Huon Valley Residents Suffer Gutwein’s Delay After three months, the Minister for Local Government has finally taken his Board of Inquiry’s advice on fixing Huon Valley Council’s toxic culture. Minister Gutwein’s decision to dismiss all the Huon Valley councillors, appoint a commissioner for at least 12 months, and then call elections at some point afterwards is a welcome relief. It took the withdrawal of three councillors and an online petition organised by Huon Valley residents to force the Minister to get his head out of the sand. We’re pleased he’s finally going to listen to his Board of Inquiry and address the dysfunction, but it shouldn’t have taken three months. It’s Huon Valley residents who have been left in limbo and who are suffering from Peter Gutwein’s poor process …

Watch Peter Gutwein make his statement HERE ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

How low can Huon’s council go?

• phill Parsons in Comments: … Amalgamation with Kingborough may have broken the hold of local special interests but more likely is the pervasive idea that a ‘cargo’ will arrive in the hands of a white knight investor [Forestry, the hydro, a mining company, a sawmilling company, woodchip exports, world scale fish farms] will arrive to save the old guard will return to the halls of local government having festered in the other halls nearby and in Canberra. Until and only when the Huon transforms its own products and talents it will remain caught in the eddies of an economic backwater.

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Between now and the arrival of the commissioner next month, Gutwein needs to appoint an acting commissioner to oversee day-to-day running of council. And, when the permanent commissioner takes over, a forensics squad should get to work delving into every nook and cranny of HVC files (well, those that still exist), going back if necessary to council’s formation in 1993. We don’t want to have to put up with more classic Lib/Lab crap such as, “Forget it. That’s all in the past. Let’s make a fresh start. Let’s move on!” I’m not alone in believing this council, one way or another, has never not had rot in it.

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A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature ...

xkcd, via Jon Sumby, Chris. Pic* First published Sept 18
22.09.16 6:15 am

Image for A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature ...

Since the last Ice Age glaciation When people say ‘the climate has changed before’, these are the kinds of changes they are talking about ...

• Kim Peart in Comments: … The sun of denial is setting now, as evidence melds into experience with fierce wildfires and the melting of the Arctic ice. In time, denial will vanish completely, but by then, our plight will be dark. I have been concerned for years now about a deeper level of denial, where the science is accepted, but the action needed is minimised for personal and political consumption. This is a far more dangerous form of denial, because it looks like a willingness to act, but allows the problem to grow and ultimately, contributes to the pending death of the Earth …

Low winter sea ice coverage around Antarctica There has been a noticeable reduction in winter sea-ice coverage around Antarctica in recent weeks, with sea ice extent starting its annual retreat early and setting new daily record lows for much of the past week. The result comes two years after winter sea ice extent around Antarctica reached a new record high in September 2014, when it exceeded 20 million square kilometres for the first time since satellite measurements began in 1979 …

Daily Mail: Earth is warmer that it has been in 120,000 years - and is ‘locked in’ to hit its hottest mark in more than 2 million years, study claims

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Closing of the Guard ... ?

Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale
22.09.16 6:13 am

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I am not inclined toward conspiracy theories but a letter received in the post today (dated 24 August 2016, a month to cross the Tasman?) from Grant Broadcasters’ legal counsel now has me wondering — and my question is, Why?

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: … Or maybe it is now back in the hands of the Director of Local Government given that Minister Gutwein has now finally made his, sort of, determination. We all know the council is not yet sacked. Will he, or won’t he make a final, that’s it, decision in mid-October? Gutwein is starting to look like a man who really doesn’t want to sack HVC but has been steadily forced into a corner. None of us must forget that it is stuff like this that brings governments down.

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Just bad manners or something more sinister?

Simon Warriner*, Yolla, Pic: driveway Martin Howard, Flickr. First pub: Sept 18
21.09.16 4:15 am

Image for Just bad manners or something more sinister?

Today (last week) a random hire car drove up our 1km long driveway, pulled up, and its driver proceeded to take photographs of our house. The first my partner, busy inside, knew about it was our dog barking incessantly. My partner stepped outside to see what had upset the dog and was confronted by a male stranger taking photographs of the dwelling and surrounds …

• Simon Warriner in Comments: … Good luck with that, Jackie. Hope you insured that rental car. It is up to Roger Jaensch as my elected representative to do his job and find out for us. He has stated in a return email that he is seeking answers. What he comes up with will be revealing, on several levels.

• Ian M in Comments: @Simon #11, “The car was a rental, E 16 QM, white, late model, but make not recorded.” If interested, see: HERE Renault H45 Koleos Phase III.

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World’s Wilderness Gone By 2100 ...

Ted Mead* First published September 19
21.09.16 3:45 am

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Unthinkable? But a recent study compiled by Australian and United States co-authors have identified that through human growth and the insatiable demand for natural resource extraction, the wild expanses of nature across the globe will be diminished to isolated pockets of primitive country in only a few nations by the end of this century …

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NATION: Turnbull’s backflip marks a year of stunning under-achievement ...

David Tyler* (AKA Urban Wronski*) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First pub: September 19
21.09.16 3:30 am

Image for NATION: Turnbull’s backflip marks a year of stunning under-achievement ...

Urban Wronski ... a reincarnated Bob Ellis … Our cruelty is not only wrong it is expensive. This week sees both a Save the Children and a UNICEF report reveal off-shore detention has cost us $9.6 billion since 2013 – more than the UNHCR’s total global budget for programs this year. The reports coincide with an Audit Office report that puts the cost per detainee at $1570 per day or enough to put each asylum-seeker up in a Hyatt hotel and pay them the pension fifteen times over, calculates Fairfax’s Peter Martin.

The Audit Office report shows that not only did the Coalition government breach public service tender guidelines, it created a false sense of emergency to allow it to dispense with proper procedures permitting the successful contractor to add an extra $1.1 billion to its bid without facing any counter-bid. The department of Immigration kept this additional premium secret from then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison who was also not told of the price per head.

Also kept secret is Malcolm Turnbull’s own donation to his party campaign war chest made in the second half of the eight week election campaign although he has volunteered that he chipped in $2 million rather than the $1 million originally reported. It is still a good investment should he last three years. Turnbull is the only PM in Australian political history to have bought his own mandate but, oddly, no-one brings this up as his greatest achievement.

The Saturday Paper: Malcolm Turnbull’s biographer turns on the PM

The Age: We are living in the age of unreason and that’s a fact ...

• Luigi in Comments: Yes, Malcolm’s Prime Ministership looks pretty bad from the outside.  But we should have some sympathy.  Imagine how bad it is for him from the inside.

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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

Likely cause of Basslink failure is the Geelong Star

Media Releases
And Media


More RHH Redevelopment tenders open today

Boil Water Alerts ...

US bases a significant cost to communities

Syrian city of Aleppo under siege

GLTA-sanctioned tennis doubles tournament for Hobart ...

25th anniversary of ban on mining in Antarctica - October 4

Flooding in Huon Valley

Funding for campaign to encourage backpacker pickers

Premier misses golden opportunity to stand up for Tasmania

Liberals are no friend of renewables

Wyatt’s excursion could fall foul of counter-terrorism laws

Dog’s Day Out this Sunday

John Howard should be in court, not picking up an award at a university

Official opening of Safe Haven Hub

Historic goal in sight for iconic Tasmanian track

Quebec ice storm: Why it’s impossible to storm-proof the power grid

Parents of LGBTIQ Aussies send Senators clear Plebiscite message ...

Significant reduction in power prices on the way

Letter to the Editor on Brian Mitchell ...

Loan scheme boost welcomed

Turnbull needs to stop dragging his feet on Tamar River



Jimmy Barnes: New “Stories & Songs” shows in Hobart,  Launceston and Canberra 



Goldsmiths prize shortlists novels ‘that break the mould’ 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Australian Motorcycle Roadtrip, Ep 27 – Hutt River Principality 

What's On

What's On

Jimmy Barnes: New “Stories & Songs” shows in Hobart,  Launceston and Canberra 



Guy’s Vision for Macquarie Point 



Good lawd these are wonderful! I love the first of the month photo day! Thanks TT.

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Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka


Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

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