10.03.14 5:29 am
And so what’s this then? Best be avoided, these little stands and tables at shopping centres. Make the slightest inquiry and get ready for the spiel closure. Money for water wells in Outback Africa? A subscription to a global doomsday mag? Third-world child sponsorship program?
Philip Hoare, Guardian Australia
10.03.14 5:20 am
My own ancestor was deported to Tasmania for stealing manure – an extraordinary notion which made me reflect on the dilemmas facing Australians today, writes Philip Hoare
Noel Baker, Senior Reporter, Irish Examiner
10.03.14 5:15 am
Fishing authorities have moved to ease fears over the presence of the world’s second largest trawler in Irish waters — the same vessel (rebadged ‘Abel Tasman’ for its brief foray into Australian waters) which has been banned by Australia from fishing in its waters.
Don Knowler. Pic*
10.03.14 5:00 am
The merry, descending song of a grey fantail, the two-note whistle of the spotted pardalote ... the symphony of birdsong on Mount Wellington one afternoon recently seemed a world apart from the human dialogue a little earlier at the Respect The Mountain forum at the Hobart Town Hall. Although I was moved by the passion and emotion expressed at that meeting in support of the mountain’s natural values, I needed to hear it from the mountain herself, in the call of the birds, and the murmur of the wind in rock crevice and eucalypt canopy. The mountain’s “voice” had previously been recorded in a diary I compiled over a calendar year and in what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi the Tasmanian Times is giving me the opportunity to publish it week by week.
• Watch The Tommy Cooper of Birdwatching (Video by Oliver Ward) ...
10.03.14 4:30 am
I read with some misgivings Kerry Johnstone’s January 31st Letter to the (Mercury) Editor, in which he lobbied for a “magnificent building, something to rival the Sydney Opera House” on the Hobart railyards site.
Richard Flanagan in The Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia
10.03.14 4:00 am
• On love stories and Reza Barati Humankind prospers through a terrible paradox, says Richard Flanagan in his closing address to the Perth writers’ festival. As groups we sanction the most terrible crimes. It is love stories that remind us of a better idea of us, a larger idea of our humanity.
• Australia’s boat people crisis The state of emergency that is facing Australia.
• The Australian Editorial: An anti-Australian animus ...
Barbara Etter, PUP lead candidate for Denison
10.03.14 3:30 am
• Barbara Etter: Six Weeks On – My Commitment to the Palmer United Party I refer to my earlier article on Tasmanian Times “Why I’m Standing for Denison” which was posted on 23 January 2014 ( here ). I note that people are still questioning the fact that I chose to run for the Palmer United Party. With only days to go to the election, I thought it would be useful to answer a few of the queries that have been put to me personally in recent weeks or raised in the media. I must say that I am puzzled about the strength of the attack that has been made by the various parties, particularly Liberals, against Palmer United. I can only think that we must be looming as a real threat to the other mainstream parties.
• PUP Concept Paper on an anti-corruption authority in Tasmania The objective of this concept paper is to stimulate discussion about the current Palmer United Party position in relation to the establishment of a fiercely independent and properly structured, resourced and empowered Anti-Corruption Authority (ACA) in Tasmania to deal with public sector misconduct and corruption.
John Hawkins, Chudleigh
10.03.14 3:00 am
On Thursday the 6th of March the above undated letter arrived at the Chudleigh store from the Tasmanian Liberal Senator Erich Abetz. A Liberal pre-election bribe it rephrases previous pledges in favour of the employer rather than the worker and, being undated, Abetz could claim that it was sent after the election. Abetz has a track record regarding dates and documents; that is how he entered parliament.
• Should you be forced to vote if you can neither read nor write?
Renai LeMay, Delimiter
10.03.14 2:45 am
The ongoing stoush over how the Coalition’s Broadband Network should be deployed in Tasmania shows Australia’s broadband tangle at its worst: Construction contractors who don’t deliver, overly optimistic promises and estimates, and politicians playing petty power games with a highly important national infrastructure project. No matter which way you look at it, it’s a shocking mess.
Glenn Greenwald, Intercept. Pic: of Edward Snowden
10.03.14 2:30 am
The Dutch revolution in journalism: all newspapers behind one paydike. Blendle is a small journalism startup from The Netherlands. Recently, we (two 27-year old founders) got all major newspapers and magazines in the country to start a revolutionary experiment. The Netherlands will be the first country in the world where all articles of all newspapers and all important magazines will be available in one web app, with one pay wall, where users will only have to pay for the articles they read. We think that unbundling of journalism is the Holy Grail in getting young people to pay for journalism again.
10.03.14 12:12 am
IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that when a tennis-loving young Brit named Charles Bench came here from England to play the game in the 1960s, he sensed on the potential to get adventure-seeking Aussies to visit South Africa – something he’d done with quite some success with equally-adventurous fellow young countrymen while working in London with South African Airways.
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk. Pic* First pub: Mar 7
09.03.14 5:29 am
Tripartite consensus at last? The most compelling thing about the Liberals’ fiscal strategy just released is that it may signify the dawn of a new era of consensus. The fiscal strategy is barely distinguishable from the government’s current strategy.
• Matt Smith, Mercury: Liberals head for election whitewash as Labor faces being relegated to the state’s third party ...
• Bob Brown in Guardian Australia: Tasmania: a death warrant against pristine forests Abbott has never seen: Although 1% of Tasmanian jobs are in logging forests and 15% in tourism, the Liberals are pushing for a move infused with a destructive materialist ideology which will decimate the region, HERE
08.03.14 6:00 am
SOMETHING very exciting is happening to Franklin, prettily strung along the western shore of the Huon, a few kilometres south of Huonville, administrative HQ of the stunning Huon Valley.
Greens Energy Spokesperson Kim Booth
08.03.14 5:12 am
Second Basslink is an Alice in Wonderland election promise, that will drive power prices up
08.03.14 2:39 am
• And ... the cookbooks have all gone; now that was quick!
Spring Bay Innovations MR. first pub: Mar 6
07.03.14 5:30 am
AUSTRALIA – 6 March 2014: Following the re-zoning of the former wood chip site by the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, entrepreneur and founder of Wotif.com, Graeme Wood, will today unveil the next step in transforming the Triabunna site, Spring Bay Mill, with new innovative business opportunities. … First up on the slate is a novel and sophisticated technology that offers clean solid-wood bending without the use of steam, allowing plantation timber to be transformed into a range of products from high-value designer furniture to structural beams for architecture. “By taking cheap, abundant plantation timber we can apply a new technology to form and shape high end furniture for an international market,” said Graeme Wood. “This technology achieves what many thought was impossible. We can take abundant Eucalyptus nitens plantation timber and turn it into a high-end hardwood product.
• Kim Booth, in Comments: #22 Spot on Steve. Change the sawing technology to radial sawing and get much better recovery rates of quality boards. But even so, as you say, bury the defects in CLT and use the best for high class innovative furniture as proposed at Triabunna. Good on Graeme Wood for taking up the challenge and creating real work funded privately! Now thats an industry we could all support!
Steph Harmon, Junkee
07.03.14 5:15 am
We’re a few weeks out from the Western Australian Senate election on April 5, a do-over after 1370 votes were lost from the September 7 poll. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was one of the likely losers of the initial botched attempt, narrowly missing out on a seat – and yesterday he stood in front of Parliament under the guise of inviting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit his state, and gave the Coalition one of the roundest shellackings you’re likely to be treated to.
Dr Gordon Bradbury, Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative. First pub: Mar 5
07.03.14 5:00 am
The Tasmanian Special Timbers Alliance just doesn’t get it do they! This recent article by Andrew Denham in The Sunday Tasmanian ( Special timbers need to be cut a break, here ) is a volatile mix of anger, resentment, conflict, hubris and unbridled entitlement. Sure the special timbers industry is facing extinction. Yes they got a bad deal from the TFA. But when the entire public native forest industry itself is on indefinite life support courtesy of the Tasmanian taxpayer to the tune of $1 million per fortnight, the special timbers industry is of little consequence. And as a forester and blackwood expert I say that with the deepest regret and sadness.
• Robin Davey, Saveyourleatherwoodhoney Association: Tasmanian beekeepers rely on the forest Beekeepers are alarmed that one half of the state forest which contains mature and near mature leatherwood on which all commercial beekeepers rely for viable honey production and the delivery of all pollination services, will again be under threat of destruction if the forest agreement is largely set aside and the new World Heritage status is reversed. … That threat was the timber harvesting methods of clearfell and burn. This method of harvesting is still favoured by Forestry Tasmania as it is claimed to produce the best seed bed and growing conditions for a monoculture of eucalypts. Such a monoculture produces an environment where there is little or no competing understorey, and this includes the leatherwood tree. … To allow the leatherwood resource to not only be threatened but suffer destruction as a result of timber harvesting methods, invites a situation where Forestry Tasmania either compromises its application for FSC accreditation or if it is accredited, loses that status.
• ABC: Tony Abbott says too much Tasmanian forest ‘locked up’, forms new council to support timber industry Speaking at a timber industry dinner in Canberra overnight, Mr Abbott said too much forest is currently locked up in Tasmania. He also recommitted to repealing part of the state’s Wilderness World Heritage Area made under the forest peace deal. Under the deal, 170,000 hectares of forest was added to the area, and the Government has formally asked the World Heritage Committee to delist 74,000 hectatares. “We don’t support as a Government and Coalition further lock-ups of our forests,” Mr Abbott told the dinner. “We have quite enough national parks, we have quite enough locked-up forests already. In an important respect we have too much locked-up forest.”
• Christine Milne: Too much forest? Get real Mr Abbott “Who in the 21st century would say the environment is meant for man and not just the other way around? Get real Mr Abbott. We have no future without environmental protection. “The Abbott government needs to keep its hands off the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and abandon its backward attempt to remove 74,000 hectares from UN protection.
• Jenny Weber: Will Tasmania’s Forest Industry signatory rebuff Abbott over World Heritage delisting “Is FIAT going to rebuff Abbott on World Heritage delisting and proposed logging? What is its reaction to the Prime Minister’s commitment, and what action are they taking to rebuff Tony Abbott, if any, and if not why not?” Jenny Weber said. “Tasmania’s newly listed World Heritage forests and the abundant wildlife that depend on these forests for habitat have world class recognition now and their protection needs to be secured forever,” Jenny Weber said.
07.03.14 4:45 am
LIBERAL Senator Eric Abetz yesterday refused to clarify whether banning super trawlers in Australian waters would be legislated.
• Peter Whish-Wilson: Three times denied. Government refuses to answer how Super Trawler “stays banned” Three times Senator Whish-Wilson asked how the government will ensure that Super Trawlers will “stay banned.” And three times the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Eric Abetz refused to go beyond the Prime Minister’s original comments. Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Without legislation to permanently ban Super Trawlers, the Margiris could be back and fishing off Tasmania’s coast by October. “Talk is cheap. Tony Abbott has already left a trail of broken environmental promises. “This is clearly another one.
Greens Member Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran
07.03.14 4:40 am
The Greens today committed $5.416 million to develop a multi-stage shared scenic pathway connecting Devonport and Smithton.
07.03.14 4:30 am
Hag has been told of mass redundancies at Sorell Counil My informant says at least 25 people were told by email that their services were no longer required.
06.03.14 4:25 am
Tasmania, summer, 2014: Wilderness is still being lost ... Just take a look!
• Peter McGlone, Director, Tasmanian Conservation Trust Inc: Government research shows that a Two Capes Track would be a better business investment ... ‘Clearly the Liberals are supporting the Three Capes Track because they think a bigger track will win more votes but in doing so they are abandoning sound business principles because research shows that a shorter less costly Two Tracks will generate at least as much income. ‘The most recent economic analysis of the likely income generated by the Three Capes Track (by Syneca Consulting in 2012 and released following the 2013 state budget estimates hearings) shows that it is likely that the half track, or Two Capes, will generate as much income as the full track but it will cost much less to construct and maintain.
• Luke Martin, in Comments: What complete and utter rubbish. The huts on Three Capes will look nothing like this, as anyone who has been briefed on the plans by Parks & Wildlife will attest. The perimeter areas around the huts are absolutely not being cleared as this picture fabricates. The bushfire protection zone around the huts requires understory and overhanging limbs up to 2 metres in height to be removed. Everything else stays including all the large trees, and therefore the canopy around the huts.
06.03.14 3:30 am
Is it possible to understand the Russian bear, without looking into history and in the past we can find the claws of present actions by the Russian state.
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson (Pic)
06.03.14 3:00 am
The old parties have voted down the Greens’ bill to give landholders the right to say no to coal and gas, in the Senate today, confirming the Greens are the only party standing up for farmers against the big mining companies.
A Rational Fear
05.03.14 7:28 am
Tony Abbott gave a speech to the Australian Forest Products Association that was a little light on facts. Understandable since the coalition have shut down many of their independent science and fact finding bodies. So here at A Rational Fear we made some phone calls and found some facts and decided to pump up his speech with them.
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
05.03.14 5:20 am
The Tasmanian Greens today launched their election campaign with three major policy initiatives. Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim spoke at the launch about the tremendous momentum enjoyed by the campaign. The Greens are remain upbeat about the possibility of winning a second seat in Denison. Mr McKim spoke about how Tasmanian is on the cusp of something remarkable and how the Greens are the only party offering Tasmanians leadership and a positive, future-focussed vision for the future of their great State.
Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. Pic: Peter Whish-Wilson
05.03.14 5:17 am
... in Trade Agreements Today Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson introduced the Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Act 2014 into the Senate. The purpose of the Bill is to protect Australian laws by banning Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.
Garry Stannus, Dr David Strong and Dr James Markos
05.03.14 5:15 am
Last week (Thursday 27 Feb) we went to another Launceston Tailrace Centre meeting. (Sigh! And grin! And gee, there have been many such meetings, there and at other venues!) We heard GEOFF COUSINS (Businessman, environmentalist and author) and PEG PUTT, (Former leader of the Tasmanian Greens, CEO Markets for Change) address the meeting about the Pulp Mill and the past and recent business and legislative endeavors to take one corpse, stand it on its feet and make it walk, as if alive. The Zombie pulp mill.
• Dr David Strong and Dr James Markos, Doctors for the Environment Australia: New evidence of the risks of air pollution puts an expiry date on the previous health assessment of a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. Download the supporting evidence ...
Climate Control News. Joint report with the Bureau of Meteorology
05.03.14 4:45 am
A definitive report on observed changes in long term trends in Australia’s climate has been released today (Tues) by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
05.03.14 4:35 am
Labor and the Greens will team up to establish a Senate inquiry into recent deadly violence at the Manus Island immigration detention centre.