"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

Tasmania’s Ailing Health System and Forestry Debt – It’s inextricably linked ...

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Ted Mead* Pics*
19.02.18 4:30 am

Let’s face it on all accounts the Tasmanian Health system is failing, and is not far from a real crisis scenario.  To those who are desperate for quality health care it probably comes as no surprise to hear that Tasmania has the worst public hospital system in the country. Everyone in the medical profession knows it is mostly due to the lack of funding, so why are our governments’ at the cost of public health, continuing to prop up the clinically-dead native forest industry to the sum of over $100 million per year … ?

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NATION: ‘One way or another, Barnaby’s cactus’ and Turnbull’s gov’t may be, too

Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
19.02.18 4:23 am

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… As Jack Waterford, former editor of The Canberra Times writes, “The government has never narrowed the gap. At present rates, Aboriginals will remain the poorest, sickest, least employed and least educated group in the community 80 years from now – and still without a plan, as opposed to a vague hope and intention, to make it different.” Happily for the PM, there is a distraction. Poor, rich, white, boy, Barnaby, a lad who enjoyed a privileged upbringing, a St Ignatius College Riverview private school boy, - one of Sydney’s most expensive schools - who at home could roam Rutherglen an 1821 hectare farm estate, a New England University accountancy graduate who loves to play the battler from the bush is now acting hard done by. It’s all about soliciting free accommodation; favours from a mate …

… In true Nationals’ fashion, a mob of rugged if not roughshod individuals, whose contempt for bureaucracy matches its war with science and the environment, Barnaby decided to relocate the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Tamworth. It’s a cheap pork-barrel at a mere $26 million when you compare it with $10 billion for Joyce’s Inland Rail boondoggle which will never turn a profit either but which is also a nifty source of pork …

… The APVMA invites an advisory committee of 20 odd to stay, reports ABC Saturday AM. Of course, as public servants, all are parched and on the tooth and primed for wining and dining. My, how they enjoy a welcome dinner of prawns with kimchi, truffle oil risotto, New England lamb and sticky date sponge; great value at $80 per head. Our shout …

… The Ayatollah, as he was mocked at Goldman Sachs, the PM succeeds in suppressing Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Alberici’s heretical analysis of how tax cuts to business don’t stimulate jobs or growth.  One in five don’t pay tax for the past three years at least. Those who do, moreover, pay a seventeen per cent tax rate, on average …

Richard Ackland, Guardian: Michelle Guthrie, the ABC and the turning of a once-shining jewel into mainstream sludge All public broadcasters are engaged in a constant process of chopping, slicing and reinventing, and every boss spreads his or her own brand of unhappiness

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Removing Tasmania’s pokies would help gamblers without hurting the economy

Charles Livingstone* Pic: Michael Coghlan, Flickr
19.02.18 4:15 am

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Debate over poker machines is at the centre of the lead-up to this year’s Tasmanian state election. Labor’s promise to remove pokies from Tasmania’s pubs and clubs by 2023 if it wins government has been met with both praise and fierce criticism from lobby groups. Announcing the Liberals’ gaming policy recently, Premier Will Hodgman said: “Unlike Labor, we believe that Tasmanians should be able to choose how to spend their money, not be dictated to by the government … “

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Fifteen years after Iraq war protests, peace is further away than ever

Emily Thornberry, Guardian via John Tully. Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission
19.02.18 4:00 am

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Jeremy Corbyn’s warnings on Iraq, Libya and Syria have proved terrifyingly right. And now Iran looks like the next battleground

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Cultural and Physical Genocide: The Kurdish Case in Turkey

Dr. Hussein Tahiri* via John Tully. Pic: Pic: of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's President
19.02.18 3:45 am

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Introduction Genocide is a systematic use of violence or oppression with the aim of physically eliminating or culturally destroying a social group. The savagery involved in physical genocide often attracts international attention whereas the use of cultural genocide over time often goes undetected …

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Taylor-made failing of local democracy

Tom Allen* Pics: Crowds at the candidates' forum
18.02.18 5:00 am

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Adriana Taylor, Huon Valley Council ‘Commissioner’ – ie, one-person Huon Valley Council – sat mostly in silence at the Huon Valley Rate Payers’ and Residents’ Association candidates’ forum at Huon Town Hall on Tuesday evening. But then she stood up and said something incredible: that local councillors were unnecessary …

… The second point was the issue of local democracy: a single person deciding the fate of the controversial project instead of nine councillors. Again, this was blithely dismissed. Taylor’s jaunty logic, such that it was, was that she would simply abide by the advice of the council planning department. As this, in her view, was simply what responsible councillors should do, she saw no difference in one person making this decision instead of nine democratically-elected councillors. Trouble is, she was wrong again. Good councillors will interrogate a proposal, ask for more information, reject some assertions, seek clarification – in short, do everything they can to assess, analyse and consider a proposal to ensure that it’s in the best interests of the local area …

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Huon mayoral wannabe picks at an old scab

Bob Hawkins* Pics*
18.02.18 4:45 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Some weeks ago, Mike Wilson — eternal valley mayoral aspirant — gave me a call, and, as is his wont, invited me to have a coffee. Having had a mug or two over the past decade, I agreed: although we might be at odds over many things about Huon Valley Council, I have always found him an affable, if not always credible, bloke with whom to chew the cud …


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‘84% of Tasmanians want donations disclosed before the election’

Leanne Minshull* Media Release
18.02.18 4:30 am

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New polling ( HERE ) released yesterday by The Australia Institute Tasmania shows that voters want all parties to disclose the donations they have received before people go to the polls on March 3rd …

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‘Liberals bent on destroying college system ... ’

Peta-Maree Revell-Cook* Media Release. Pic: Flickr
18.02.18 4:17 am

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The Tasmanian Liberal Party’s education policy reveals a Government set on destroying the college sector, the AEU’s Secondary Colleges Committee of Management (SCCOM) …

Rebecca White: Labor will remove fees for students at all Tasmanian public schools

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Liberal health pledge cooks the books

Martyn Goddard* Pic: Flickr
15.02.18 3:35 am

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The Liberal Party has artificially inflated its election health package by over $200 million by including Commonwealth funding in its totals – but without saying so. The Labor package, nominally $560 million, does not include federal funding. But when the Liberals’ nominal $753 million spend is put onto equal terms, it is likely that the Labor policy is worth more …

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NATION: Turnbull’s Joyce will cost him dearly ...

Urban Wronsk*i (aka David Tyler) Pic: Barnaby Joyce at an Adani protest ...
15.02.18 3:32 am

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… A salary of $191,000 for Vikki is now in the news. So, too is The Daily Telegraph‘s Miranda Devine writing about Barnaby telling his estranged wife, Natalie that Vikki is expecting a boy. “A dagger to Natalie’s heart.” Even Murdoch’s purple press has turned. 26 dud Newspolls plus one Barnaby fiasco may be too much for Rupert Murdoch. The Coalition’s major backer may be turning sour over Turnbull’s bungling ineptitude …

… In his own way, too, Turnbull’s Aussie icon Barnaby Joyce is a self-styled Cultural Warrior on his own crusade for moral decency. Why, he even fought against girls being inoculated with anti-HPV vaccine Gardasil lest it promote promiscuity. He opposed gay marriage claiming it went against traditional family values. Now look at him …

Fairfax: Barnaby Joyce’s career hangs in the balance

news.com.au: Is Prime Minister Turnbull responsible for the Barnaby Joyce scandal?

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Fragmented Review of Climate Change

Keith Antonysen* Pic: Mark Temby
15.02.18 3:31 am

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Munich Re 1 which underwrites Insurance Companies has indicated that 2017’s high costs for climate change are the “new normal” 2. It could be regarded as merely an argument to increase premiums; except, a number of climate parameters suggest otherwise. Carbon Brief provides a summation of situations which have progressed over time: 3 …

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Caring for humans ... as wildlife

Brandt Teale*
15.02.18 3:30 am

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Socially induced stress can be fatal for some people and an emerging branch of medicine explains why. But the revelation has come almost too late for a woman campaigning to give sufferers a suitable place in which to heal. Support worker and former Tasmanian journalist BRANDT TEALE tells her story . . .

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Sea of Blue

John Hawkins* Pic*
15.02.18 3:30 am

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Mercurius, the Roman god of financial gain, commerce, trickery and thieves, bids welcome to the election guru Windi Ding who is visiting V. D. Land as the Tasmanian government’s senior advisor on how to lose the election …

… Readers, perhaps you have noticed the Sea of Blue surrounding every city, town and village as the visible evidence of the power of the gambling lobby to subvert the system while the Tasmanian born-to-rule strive to lower the bar using their clever new advertising slogan: Taking Tasmania to the next Level …

… Cynics say that this burning is designed to force those who cannot breathe, and the tourists, the undeserving poor and those addicted into those magnificent entertainment centres that are our Tasmanian pubs and clubs. If Hodgie and his team are to be believed our social fabric will completely implode without the $110 million a year so kindly donated by the players to the bandits when and if they are rounded up and shown the door …

Ted Mead Satire ...

ABC: Tasmanian poker machine licence holder Federal Group joins pro-pokies campaign

Ted Mead Satire: The new Lib-rals

Nick O’Malley, SMH: Sydney family takes 54 times more revenue than Tasmanian clubs from their pokies With the Tasmanian election becoming a battle over pokie machines, new research shows Tasmanian clubs keep just 0.9 per cent of their pokie revenue, while the Sydney-based family that owns a monopoly license over the machines in the state, keeps 49 per cent …

READ for yourself ...

The Australia Institute: Tasmanian club and pub pokies revenue: 0.9% to clubs, 48% to Farrell Group A report released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania written by Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University has found that The Farrell Group’s share of EGM revenue (47.8%) far exceeds that of the clubs that house many of the poker machines, with the Farrell family reaping fifty-four times more than that derived by clubs which took just 0.9%. “The big winners from pokies in Tasmania are the Farrells, taking nearly half the net revenue,” Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Dr Charles Livingstone said. “Clubs end up with less than 1% of the money that goes into the pokies. The Farrells take nearly half,” Livingstone said. Leanne Minshull, the Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania commented on the report: “The clubs and hotels are not getting much, and neither is the taxpayer. The Farrells a reaping $19.4 million more than the Tasmanian government … ”

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How much are they paying ... ?

Mal Graham* Pic: Hobart buildings ...
15.02.18 3:15 am

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A lot of the following properties are full of State and Commonwealth Government offices. I’m currently trying to find out just how much the Commonwealth and State Governments pay to lease office space in these buildings

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And this is a leading light in the battle to save pokies ...

Philip Ritchie*
14.02.18 4:55 am

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And this is a leading light in the battle to save pokies …

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‘Cable Car scandal a case in point – Tasmania needs robust planning laws’

Sophie Underwood* Media Release Pic*
14.02.18 4:50 am

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The revelations that the Hodgman Government secretly approved an ‘Authority’ for the Mt Wellington Cable Car Company to enter protected land on the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington to begin drilling as part of the controversial Cable Car project, just days before the State Election was called, highlights the lack of proper process and need for robust planning laws …

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Bugger off Barnaby ...

Bob Hawkins* Pic: Barnaby Joyce slopes off at an Adani protest ...
14.02.18 4:40 am

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Who does this political thug Barnaby Joyce think he is? Fresh from 13 years of defrauding the public purse by masquerading as an MP, he waltzes through the by-election he was responsible for, hops back into parliament (his visage glowing with all the rosy complexion of a bible-belt red-neck) and — oops! — it comes out that he’s pregnant, a delicate condition that I am certain he was fully aware of in December when he was on the hustings wooing the gormless voters of New England …

ABC: Barnaby Joyce corrects Army Reserve record after claiming he served for longer than he did

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Mental health services are in crisis ...

Andrew Wilkie*, Speech in the Federation Chamber
13.02.18 6:00 pm

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Speech on mental health services in Tasmania ... … But in fact it’s being overlooked once again. Yes, both the Liberal Government and the Labor Opposition have promised they’ll boost mental health funding and open more beds. But while these are steps in the right direction, they simply don’t go far enough because it’s an undeniable fact that mental health services in Tasmania are in crisis and the Royal Hobart Hospital is bearing the brunt …

Andrew Wilkie: State Government misleading the community on cable car

ABC: Tasmanian election: Cable car works get green light before March poll called, documents show

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It’s all John Howard’s fault ...

Lindsay Tuffin*, Mike Seccombe*, The Saturday Paper, Virginia Trioli*, SMH
13.02.18 6:59 am

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It’s all John Howard’s fault. And Kim Beazley’s for going along with the Tampa incident of 2001 ...

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So you want my vote ...

Elizabeth Fleetwood* Pic*
12.02.18 5:45 am

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An open letter to all politicians, state and federal. Another election and more cause for total despair. Never have I been so sad and feel so betrayed by those who are supposed to lead this country for the benefit of all ...

… The same goes for our essential infrastructure, such as our Basslink cable – if we still owned that, we could have fixed it immediately and saved all the expense and pollution of bringing in diesel generators.  You know what?  Those Hong Kong guys must the laughing all the way to their bank at our stupidity.  And why did you give all those millions to that foreign-owned car industry – which now has gone – when the intelligent thing would have been to start our own electric-car-building factories, using all that now-wasted money for a long-term investment and jobs right here, where we can regulate it …

… Our past history proves that – why are you ignoring this lesson?  You make me ashamed to be Australian with the way you are locking up desperate people.  We need these people to revitalise our dying rural towns – so, employ some more people to make that happen.  It would be a far better use of the billions you are currently and shamefully spending on detention centres.  It is a great lesson of Life that those who are generous and sharing are the ones who will gain the greatest benefit.  Where’s the politician who puts that as his priority?  That’s the one who would get my vote …

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Tasmania’s Ailing Health System and Forestry Debt – It’s inextricably linked ...

Media Releases
And Media


Crikey Worm: Barnaby Joyce ...

Macquarie Harbour salmon deaths called into question after fish farmer Petuna cuts 22 jobs

AFP considers whether to investigate George Christensen over ‘greenie punks’ photo

The Briefing ... Turnbull: ‘No issues with Barnaby’

Journal of world’s first Green Party ...

New York Review of Books: The Heart of Conrad

HobartNotHighrise: Town Hall, Macquarie St, Hobart Tue. 27th Feb @ 5:45pm for 6:00pm start

Time to hold the government to account

Guardian Brit: UK’s brutal prisons

Plea for no woodchip port in Dover ...

Turnbull’s attack on Emma Alberici’s tax-cut analysis doesn’t add up

How to make the March 3 poll anything but boring ...

New York Review of Books: Fifty of the greatest literary quotes of all time

Tasmania Labor pitches 120% renewables target, rooftop solar boost

Labor will remove fees for students at all Tasmanian public schools

Shorten must come clean on support for workers

Guardian Oz today: Russian meddling ...

Crikey, Daily Review: Tom Gleeson ...

One person’s trash is another’s DIY 3D printer at this volunteer-run innovation hub

20,000 more salmon suffocate in Macquarie Harbour.

Where is the Public Car Park in Ross?



Golden Gilbert 



Hobart Bookshop: Running out of Entropy, Tim Thorne 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Christchurch, Top 5 Things to do for Tourists and Locals 



The March 3 election so far ... 



#1 - Tony – “You can throw a billion dollars into the health system in Tas and it will make no difference whatsoever…

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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

Tasmanian Bands