Articles

Mike Baird set to replace Barry O’Farrell

ABC. Wikpedia pic of Barry O'Farrell. First pub: Apr 16
17.04.14 6:30 am

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New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell says he will resign owing to a “significant memory fail on my part” when giving evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday.

• Basil Fitch, in Comments: Its no wonder ICAC never saw the light of day in Tasmania. The tentacles of deception stretching so far and wide would leave so few politicians, advisers, public servants, councillors, etc, etc. unscarred it would re-write the history books.

Barry’s last Cabernet meeting ...

• John Hawkins, in Comments: He told a blatant lie under oath and was exposed by his thankyou letter and telephone calls; that is his problem. Abbott supported him and was immediately let down and made to look a fool. Pollies in general are low life and on the take; the NSW ICAC has the teeth to deal with such matters. Premier Hodgman, how about putting some teeth into the system derived by your mates Wilkinson, Hall and Harriss to protect your own; or do you also have a lot to hide?

• Penne, in Comments: I love these quotes from the article link (below); they could be directly applied to Tassie! ‘crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors’

THURSDAY: Guardian: Mike Baird poised to take over as premier of NSW

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Premier misrepresents the consequences of his own TFA actions

Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. Pic: Matt Newton
17.04.14 5:59 am

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The Wilderness Society today corrected the Premier’s assertions about the ‘non-contentious’ nature of Tasmanian timber produced from areas established under the terms of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA), given his actions to ‘tear up’ the TFA and enable logging in TFA legislated reserves ( ABC, here ). ‘The TFA was about removing conflict and contention over forestry in Tasmania, but Mr Hodgman’s own actions, takes Tasmania backwards and reintroduces controversy, contention and uncertainty into the industry, its markets and aspirations for genuine certification,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

Jan Davis: You have to draw a line in the sand somewhere

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Government department libraries being closed to public access

Tasmanians for Transparency
17.04.14 5:50 am

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Tasmanians for Transparency (TfT) has been alarmed to discover that several Government Departmental Libraries have been closed to public access.

• David Obendorf, in Comments: Is this correct – Tell me I am wrong? Knowledge and information is power, and with the closure of several important public libraries and repositories of archival collections we, the people, lose our ability to be informed about our society, to learn from decades of history and to access documents prepared by our Government and its bureaucracy. 

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Apartheid-style boycott to save the planet, says Tutu as Bolivia enshrines natural world rights

Desmond Tutu, The Guardian. The Guardian. The New Yorker. Wikipedia Pic of Desmond Tutu. First pub: April 14
16.04.14 6:00 am

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• We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet We must stop climate change. And we can, if we use the tactics that worked in South Africa against the worst carbon emitters

• Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

Fairfax: Up to their necks in it, farmers lead coal-seam gas protests by example ‘“We are seeing 75-year-old blokes standing locked on to machinery for nine hours after getting up at 3am to make a difference, to try to be heard by a system they believe is not listening,” she said.’

Capitalism simply isn’t working, and here are the reasons why Economist Thomas Piketty’s message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us ...

More on this story: Occupy was right: Capitalism has failed the world One of the slogans of the 2011 Occupy protests was ‘capitalism isn’t working’. Now, in an epic, groundbreaking new book, French economist Thomas Piketty explains why they’re right ... 

New Yorker: Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism?

• Milton Freeman, in Comments: Good post on inequality. There’s a bit now coming out on the topic. Adair Turner gave a paper 2 weeks ago titled Wealth, debt, inequality and low interest rates; Four big trends and some implications. It’s really worth a read ... The four trends are increasing inequality; rising wealth to income ratios (as detailed by Piketty) ; increasing private sector leverage; and much lower real interest rates.

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Why a cable car won’t work

Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car http://www.respectthemountain.org.au MR *Pic: Rob Walls*
16.04.14 5:30 am

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Respect The Mountain - No Cable Car has put together a website to explain why they don’t want a cable car on kunanyi / Mount Wellington. ( http://www.respectthemountain.org.au ). The group had originally tried to secure http://www.respectthemountain.com.au . However they found it was registered to Adrian Bold.

The Schilthorn cable car ...

Kim Booth: Respect the mountain – not exploit it

ABC: Mt Wellington cable car from Cascade Brewery to summit unveiled at Hobart business breakfast

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Health: Copping C cell: The permit extension ...

Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell. Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) MRs
16.04.14 5:20 am

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• Southern Waste Solutions CEO Christine Bell: Southern Waste Solutions requests permit extension Southern Waste Solutions (SWS) has submitted a request to Sorell Council (granted by council last night) for an extension to its current permit to construct a C cell at its landfill facility in Copping.

• Angela Marsh, President, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) The Deputy Mayor urged Councillors to determine the Southern Waste Solutions (SWS), application for the Copping C-cell permit extension purely as a planning application, disregarding community concerns.

AND, Dear Michael Ferguson: Air Quality Health Protocol Hon Michelle O’Byrne has had years of trial burn seasons and Hon Lara Giddings has had years of discussions, but we still have not progressed beyond air monitoring, an attitude which is reflected nationwide. Improved air quality standards are long overdue, particularly when Launceston had 14 exceedences of PM 2.5 in 2013. Meanwhile, Hon Premier Hodgman is adding $28.5 million to fuel reduction burns (3.14 Liberal Fuel Reduction Policy), burning 5% of public land/ year, and landowners are audaciously encouraged to protect their ‘properties’. Yet there is no ‘health’ protection or evacuation assistance, nor is the EMPCA ever given prosecution powers, and damaging pollution continues to cross boundaries every day.

• Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, in Comments: Household Hazardous Waste: Over the last 12 months the public debate over the proposed Copping hazardous waste disposal landfill (or C-cell) has been the catalyst for a renewed debate about a range of waste management issues. The proponent of the Copping C-cell, Southern Waste Solutions, has suggested a number of times that the community should refrain from criticizing the C-cell because most of us are probably sending household hazardous waste (HHW) to existing landfill sites, which are not designed to contain such wastes, and that this is probably causing significant environmental harm and risk to human health. The TCT will continue to criticise the proposal for a C-cell but we do agree that it is not acceptable to send HHW to landfill.

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Convicted insider trader John Gay cleared to run companies again

ABC. Pic: Matt Newton*. First pub: Apr 16
16.04.14 5:10 am

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Convicted insider trader and former Gunns boss, John Gay, has been given the go head to manage two family companies.

ABC: Convicted insider trader John Gay loses bid for court costs after successful application to run companies

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How about this TasWater!

Carol Rea Margate
16.04.14 5:05 am

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TasWater wants to give developers a waiver on headworks fees ( TT here ). Well how about this TasWater!

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The Eclipse ...

All pics by Bob Burton
16.04.14 5:03 am

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ABC: Blood Red Moon; Skygazers share their pics of the lunar eclipse on Tuesday night ...

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Environment | Society

Tasmania can capitalise on its renewable energy advantages

Paul Gilding, Professor Lesley Hughes, Tasmanian Climate Action Council, 15 April 2014. Pic: Gordon dam (Wikipedia)
16.04.14 5:00 am

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Decarbonising the economy and land use policy key to climate change response The Tasmanian Climate Action Council (the Council) has welcomed the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report.  Evaluating 900 mitigation scenarios, the report concludes that large-scale changes in energy systems are essential to restrain global warming to 2 degrees and avoid the harshest impacts of climate change.

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: Tasmania is ideally placed to be a global leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Not only are we incredibly fortunate - as an island in the Southern Ocean - to be one of the places likely to be least affected by the more drastic impacts of global climate change; but we also have the resources and techno capacity to create a sustainable economy based on renewable energy.  Best of all, we are so close already to having a workable, sustainable non-growth economy and population! All we have to do is recognise that unending growth is a self-defeating cancer the world cannot sustain, and figure out how to make a non-growth economy work here in Tasmania. And there’s no shortage of ideas on how make a non-growth economy work, its just that the dominant media and business interests ignore them.

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The Schilthorn cable car ...

Peter Brenner
16.04.14 4:45 am

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This is a picture of a gondola of the Schilthorn cable car in Switzerland holding 75 standing passengers. It is the 3rd section (Mürren-Birg) that comes closest to a Mount Wellington cable car in terms of height differential and steepness.

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Live export industry leaves Wilkie on the dock

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison MR.
15.04.14 5:12 am

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the live animal export industry which this morning effectively withdrew an invitation for him to travel on a live export ship to Indonesia.

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Tough times for the Tasmanian Greens

David Obendorf. ABC Pic: of Kim Booth
15.04.14 4:32 am

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Last week was tough … the new Premier Hodgman struck hard and relegated the three Green MPs to the status of sole-trader parliamentarians by refusing to provide pro-rata funding to the Greens as a political party in opposition.

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Writers | David Obendorf | Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Brian Harradine Remembered

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader MR
14.04.14 4:20 am

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The Tasmanian Greens today paid their respects to former Tasmanian Senator, Brian Harradine. Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said that Mr Harradine was a larger-than life Tasmanian whose long service representing the State would not be forgotten. “While we may not always have agreed with Mr Harradine over a range of issues, we do acknowledge his tireless commitment in standing up for his beliefs and his dogged determination to defend Tasmania’s rights in Canberra,” Mr Booth said.

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Vested interests are undermining our democracy

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania
14.04.14 4:15 am

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… I reflected on what Al Gore had said on The 7.30 Report about climate change and the Abbott government’s attempts to repeal the carbon package. He very clearly said that our democracy has been hijacked by vested interests, special interests. An incredulous Annabel Crabb said, ‘Surely you are not putting forward some sort of conspiracy theory here?’ He said, ‘No, this is how it works in politics.’ … Tasmania has been a beneficiary of a price on carbon, because we produce clean energy and we export that clean energy. The dividends range between $70 million and $200 million a year to Hydro Tasmania because of a price on carbon. We were never going to get that back if these repeal bills were passed. The dividends are very important to my state. They account for 12½ per cent of Tasmania’s non-Canberra revenues. I notice Senator Smith, who is certainly one of the champions in this chamber of taking GST money away from Tasmania. Have a think about how you are going to give us that money back, Senator Smith, not to mention the fact that the mining boom has put significant upward pressure on the exchange rate, which has been one of the negative impacts on my economy. It is called Dutch disease, and everybody knows about it. It is never discussed in here—the impact on manufacturing and the agricultural community of a high Australian dollar. So let us be fair and reasonable about how we share out the pie in this country and not claim that my state, which has had 70 years of sucking on the teat, suddenly wants to take money off other states.

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Road to Utopia ...

Tony Whish-Wilson
14.04.14 4:10 am

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Sir Thomas More depicted an imaginary Island – Utopia – as enjoying a perfect social, legal and political system. Most Tasmanians however would see our Island State as stuck at the other end of the scale - struggling in all those areas.

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What would be the effect on farmers if there was contamination of the water table ... ?

Thomas Connelly http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com.au/
14.04.14 4:00 am

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One of the last projects agreed by the now departed Giddings government was awarding a licence for unconventional oil and gas exploration. South Australian company Petratherm advised the Australian Stock Exchange in February, that its wholly-owned subsidiary, PetraGas Pty. Ltd., has been awarded a five-year petroleum Exploration Licence (EL3/2013) covering approximately 3,900 square kilometres, north of Hobart in central Tasmania to explore for conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (6)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/
14.04.14 3:45 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month 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.

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

What is Organics?

Peter Cundall, in Organic Gardener May 29, 2013
14.04.14 3:30 am

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Let’s look at the basics of organic growing. Why is it that so many home gardeners are growing their own vegetables and fruit organically? Even with ornamental gardening, organic is clearly the direction many people are going. And once organic methods are taken up, why is it that so few of us return to chemicals and poisons?

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World’s Number 1 Herbicide Discovered in US Mothers’ Breast Milk

Sustainable Pulse. Dr Alison Bleaney
14.04.14 3:15 am

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• Pilot study shows build-up of glyphosate herbicide in Mothers’ bodies • Urine testing shows glyphosate levels over 10 times higher than in Europe • Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns

• Dr Alison Bleaney: Tasmania of course elected several years ago to stop testing for glyphosate in any of its waterways including its drinking water. In Tasmania, RoundUp and glyphosate are used by agriculture, forestry, local councils (on streets and paths - anywhere really that there are weeds), DIER (along roadsides and railway lines), Mums and Dads in their gardens and backyards; shall I go on?

Vladimir Putin: Russia Must Protect Its Citizens from GMOs

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Three Nights Out

Bronwyn Williams. Pic: of John X
14.04.14 2:50 am

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TT Arts here

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Arts | Review

A decent sawhorse ...

Pat Synge, boatstasmania.com.au
14.04.14 2:45 am

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It’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to firewood and, finding myself with lots of limbwood to cut to length, I thought it was time I made a decent sawhorse ...

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Health | Opinion | Personal | Society

The Human Experience

Maia McCann, Distractify
14.04.14 2:30 am

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The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience

See here

• Rob Walls, in Comments: As photo compilations go this rag-tag collection of images is a gratuitous pile of mostly uncredited, poorly captioned, often overly sentimental propaganda.  Admittedly there are one or two standouts, such as James Nachtwey’s machete slashed Rwandan portrait (uncredited), but to call this poorly captioned accumulation “The 60 Most Powerful Photos Eever Taken…” is hyperbole of the worst kind. Collections such as this do neither photojournalism or photographers any favours. Totally unworthy of propagation by Tasmanian Times!

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Society

Macquarie Island declared pest free after 7-year eradication program

ABC
14.04.14 2:15 am

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The World Heritage-listed Macquarie Island has been declared free of pests after a near seven-year campaign to eradicate it of rats, rabbits and mice.

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Forests: Reality bites for Paul and Will ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic • First pub: Apr 10
13.04.14 10:00 am

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• Eye of the storm ... Resources Minister Paul Harriss with Premier Will Hodgman. Mr Harris is reported as saying the Liberal Government will continue to provide loss-making Forestry Tasmania with taxpayers’ money. Premier Hodgman is reported as saying: Oh No we won’t ...

It was only a matter of time before the incoming State government started backing down on its forest policy promises such as ripping up the forests agreement and ceasing funding Forestry Tasmania (FT). The emotive term ‘ripping up the TGA’ suggests the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Act will be repealed. This is, and always has been, unlikely. Even the latest announcement of changes to the classification of 400,000 hectares doesn’t imply the Act is being repealed or ripped up. Underpinning the Act are two agreements between the State and Federal governments, viz the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement (NPP) covering its implementation, both signed in May 2013.

Andrew Denman: Special Timbers Sector supports access to TFA reserves for selective harvesting

• Dr Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Has it dawned on Terry Edwards (FIAT) and his associates yet that they are now just pawns in a very damaging political game? There will be no winners in this game, but guaranteed there will be plenty of losers and lots of collateral damage to Tasmania and Tasmanians. The reputation of the forest industry is already severely damaged, and can only get worse if this game continues. Tasmania itself is rapidly becoming the national laughing stock. Never mind the Irish jokes!

Russell Warman, The Conversation: Tasmania defers logging plans as timber industry resists free-for-all

RELATED:

ABC: Spike in tourism numbers in Tasmania injects $1.5b into economy

ABC: Education Minister details $45m plan to extend schools to Year 12

• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Having someone to blame doesn’t provide the forest industry with a future. And the laws of the land are only as good as the community and the politicians that support them. Gaining commercial access to forests at the point of a gun is no basis for peace, prosperity and happiness. Robin there is abundant evidence from many quarters that the public native forest industry is fatally flawed, not just in Tasmania but right around Australia. Reforms that should have happened 20 years ago but didn’t, have now left the industry gutted. This IS the end game. And many (most?) Tasmanians are thoroughly sick of the whole nonsense.  Your faith in politicians is now part of the ongoing problem. Do you honestly think that Paul Harriss’ “elegant” solution will bring peace, prosperity and happiness to Tasmania? If so then please explain how this fairytale will come to pass.

• Henry Melville, in Comments: That ABC link on tourism is very revealing. It’s all about priorities isn’t it ... While the Libs stuff around trying to appease a mendicant industry which contributes little to Tassie, an industry which does - and is bottom up, ie MONA and tourism - contributes millions ... As the Subversive Voter noted in this yarn: “Which brings us to perhaps the most revealing aspect of the Liberals’ proposed style of government.  Part of their first order of business is forestry – you know, the low numbers employer that contributes nothing to the state’s productivity – not something really important like education or health services.  Apparently, the Liberals intend to keep forestry and its inevitable arguments at the centre of their efforts on behalf of those who elected them.

Michael Atkin, 7.30 Tasmania: Tough Times for Tasmanian Greens

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Science | Society

Andrew Wilkie: The rebuild is a mess and the previous State Government misled the community

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison
13.04.14 9:23 am

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A statement regarding the RHH rebuild I share new Tasmanian Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s assessment that the situation with the rebuild of the Royal Hobart Hospital is “appalling.”

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

ABC: PM Abbott risks being branded a liar

Glenys Stradijot, Friends of the ABC MR
13.04.14 7:45 am

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“If Mr Abbott does not promptly deny reports that the Government plans to cut ABC funds he risks being branded a liar,” said Glenys Stradijot, ABC Friends national spokesperson.

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Japanese whalers plan return to hunt. Abbott turns a blind eye.

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania MR. Sea Shepherd
12.04.14 12:55 pm

Image for Japanese whalers plan return to hunt. Abbott turns a blind eye.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson responds to the news that Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research has used court proceedings in the United States against Sea Shepherd to signal that it plans to return to whaling in the Southern Ocean in 2015/2016.

• Sea Shepherd ... Upon learning of ICR’s plans, Sea Shepherd USA’s Director of Intelligence and Investigations stated: “The Japanese clearly intend to violate the intent, if not the letter, of the World Court’s judgment. They are making a mockery of the International Court of Justice and come before the US Courts with very unclean hands. They are the first to cry foul when someone dares to challenge their lies, yet they expect the world to respect the court’s decisions that are in their favor. They are poachers and operate without integrity,”

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Dark MOFO!

Rebecca Fitzgibbon, Events Media Manager | Museum of Old and New Art
11.04.14 5:45 am

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All the details, TT Arts here

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Arts | What's On

Bob Carr diaries: foreign policy was subcontracted to Jewish donors

Guardian Australia. ABC pic: Bob Carr with Julia Gillard looking on
10.04.14 6:00 am

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Ex-foreign minister casts light on support for Israel – and his obsession with diet and the indignities of businesss class travel Former foreign minister Bob Carr has suggested Julia Gillard’s dogged insistence on supporting Israel in a controversial United Nations vote was because Australian foreign policy had been “subcontracted” to Jewish donors.

Fairfax: Bob Carr’s Diary takes aim at Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

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