Articles

When the mayor’s away, a relaxed council plays

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong. First pub: July 22
22.07.14 6:45 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  Robert Armstrong — Huon Valley Council’s sometimes mayor and the Huon Division’s sometimes member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council (parliament’s upper house) — was, I believe, still playing council clown and toying with the municipality voters when Wednesday’s council meeting (July 16) began. And he wasn’t even there.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times. Bob Burton: Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

Will voters find out who is funding Tasmanian local government election campaigns?

Bob Burton. Photo: Hobart Town Hall. Photo Bob Burton. First pub: July 21
22.07.14 6:30 am

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When Tasmanians vote in the October local government elections they will have no way of knowing who is funding the election campaigns of the candidates due to the state’s outdated local government regulations. Nor will voters ever find out, as Tasmania is the only state in Australia that has no requirement for local government candidates to disclose who funded their campaign.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Society

Damon painting his last canvas

Andy Woodworker. First pub: July 22
22.07.14 6:15 am

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The residents of Hobart directly elect the Lord Mayor in October this year. The role is important being the Mayor of the capital city. This election is an important one as, for the first time the Mayor will be elected for a four-year term rather than a two-year term.

Alderman calls for candidates to commit to donations disclosure

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

Aussie UN resolution passes ...

ABC
22.07.14 6:00 am

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ABC: MH17: UN Security Council backs Australian resolution condemning Malaysia Airlines plane’s downing, includes video

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Politics | International | National

And Nothing Changes (2)

© Martyn Turner, Irish Times. Used with permission. First pub: July 21
22.07.14 5:45 am

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ABC, 5am, July 21, 2014: Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says world supports military operation as day of fighting takes Gaza death toll beyond 400

• Earlier: And Nothing Changes ...

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Politics | International | Satire

Catastrophic failure of justice system in Sue Neill-Fraser case

Eve Ash. Graphic: Miguel Robertson
21.07.14 5:30 am

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‘Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction is a wrongful conviction’, says Dr Bob Moles one of Australia’s foremost experts on miscarriages of justice. Chester Porter QC, Robert Richter QC, Stuart Tipple and other top Australian legal minds are alarmed by this case. It is a catastrophic failure of our justice system in Tasmania and Australia.

Barbara Etter: In Baden-Clay Scratch Marks on His Face - In Sue Neill-Fraser a 1-2 cm cut on her Thumb?

Court of Criminal Appeals decision. Read for yourself, here

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Writers | Barbara Etter | Politics | State | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Public opinion and democracy

Max Atkinson. Pic: of Edmund Burke
21.07.14 4:30 am

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Richard Cooke, writing in the June edition of The Monthly ( The People v the Political Class, here ), condemns politicians for ignoring public opinion. His thoughtful and informative essay on the causes of the present discontent looks to the demise of two-party politics to restore substance to democratic ideals; but is there any basis for this optimism other than that it might restore integrity to political debate by challenging doctrines of party unity? His account of the problem, persuasive as it is, arguably ends just where serious debate begins.

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Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society

Nothing more than a one-sided comparison of various chunky gifts to the porcelain gods

Barbara Mitchell, in TT comments. Pic: ABC
21.07.14 4:00 am

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Comment first made on this article here: All our staff acted in a lawful and professional manner, July 16, 2014 The Monthly magazine article that has Paul Harriss and Guy Barnett livid with rage at the ‘sickening’ activities of radical greenies and the unconscionable apparent complicity of the previous Labor/Greens government was published this month (July 2014).  The activities at the Triabunna Mill to which it refers took place in late September 2013, almost nine months ago.

• Tim Thorne, in Comments: Meanwhile, I, too, await with fascination the answer to Barbara Mitchell’s question about which category of the committee’s scope justifies the inquiry.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

No ʻBravoʼ  ... Australia!

Georgi Marshall*, Witness to Australiaʼs Offshore Processing Regime
21.07.14 3:45 am

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ʻThey told us to go to the front gates; they told us that we will be safe thereʼ. It is a year since Australiaʼs Regional Processing Centre burnt to the ground, yet the haunting nightmare of that evening has far from faded from the minds of asylum seekers left there, stranded in Nauru.  Breezing past us in the morning tabloids a year ago were the Nauru riots, where on the small Pacific Island nation over a hundred men were rounded up and imprisoned, later to be released on bail to the torture of indefinite detention and unjust legal proceedings.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Shake-Up on Opium Island (Tasmania)

Keith Bradsher, New York Times. ABC pic
21.07.14 3:30 am

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Tasmania, Big Supplier to Drug Companies, Faces Changes Now is the sowing season for opium poppies in the Australian state of Tasmania. Tractors chug up and down paddocks, pulling elaborate machinery that drills pairs of adjacent, miniature holes in the dirt, and then drops a dozen tiny kernels of fertilizer in one of the holes and a tiny poppy seed in the other.

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | History | Legal | Society

Growing up Queer: Caleb Nichols-Mansell

Caleb Nichols-Mansell, The Anthymn Blog
21.07.14 3:15 am

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My name is Caleb Nichols-Mansell and I am eighteen years old and a proud young Aboriginal man from Tommengene land on the North West of Tasmania. I live with my boyfriend Brodie on the North-West Coast of Tasmania and attend TasTafe. I am currently studying for my Certificate III in Business Management under a scholarship through The Pinnacle Foundation.

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Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Asset recycling no dream for Hockey, but efficiency boost likely

Graeme Wells University Associate School of Business and Economics University of Tasmania, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
21.07.14 3:10 am

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The federal government’s A$5 billion asset recycling initiative, part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim to be the “infrastructure prime minister”, has passed the Senate

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Writers | Graeme Wells | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Society

Livestock school highlights positive attitude of next generation

Catriona Nicholls, Whitemore. Pic*
21.07.14 3:00 am

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“Attitude is everything” was the focus of a unique livestock handling school held in the Tasmanian Midlands recently for 27 young participants aged from 11 to 18 years of age.

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Economy | Personal | Society

Beyond the Craic Down Under

Philip Lynch
21.07.14 2:30 am

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With the demise of the so called Celtic Tiger in 2008 the Irish are deserting the Emerald Isle in droves. But I wonder if we Irish are sometimes too quick to go. Is an unemployed, well-educated Catriona from Cavan or Timmy from Tipperary any more deserving of hoped for greener pastures than the thousands fleeing from decimated war-torn countries?

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Writers | Philip Lynch | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Examiner: The rage over the comics ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Martin Gilmour
21.07.14 2:30 am

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The Editorial columns in today’s Sunday Examiner speaks volumes about the paper and its Tasmanian readership.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Media | Society

Mercury: ‘Still the top newspaper brand in the state’ ...

Mercury editor Matt Deighton. Lindsay Tuffin
21.07.14 2:15 am

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NEW figures have confirmed the Mercury is Tasmania’s No.1 newspaper brand, reaching a total print and digital audience of 368,000 people each month.

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | Local | State | Media | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (21)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
21.07.14 2:00 am

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

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

1.9 Capes -  Another Bungle in the Jungle

Ted Mead
21.07.14 1:29 am

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Since the outset, the Tasmanian government’s effort to construct a high-grade walking track on the Tasman Peninsula has been fraught with ill-conceived blunders.

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Big spenders ...dumped pollies final fling ...

Rosemary Bolger, Examiner. Pic: of Helen Polley
21.07.14 1:15 am

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DUMPED Labor federal politicians flooded their electorates with printed material paid for by taxpayers, spending more than $100,000 each in the weeks leading up to the September federal election.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | History | Society

Five years on since the US recession ‘officially’ ended in June 2009….

Catherine Cashmore, https://catherinecashmore.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Catherine Cashmore
21.07.14 1:00 am

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Five years on since the US recession ‘officially’ ended in June 2009, urban land prices are rising, the pattern of history is repeating, and this time, the players on the chessboard have changed.

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

‘Science the biggest loser from Tasmanian World Heritage decision’

Mark Poynter, Online Opinion. Bob Brown pic
21.07.14 12:45 am

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Last month, the United Nation’s World Heritage Committee took less than 10 minutes to reject the Abbott Government’s bid to delist part of a 170,000 hectare, so-called ‘minor’ extension to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (the TWWHA) that had been engineered by the former Gillard Government.

Josh Gordon, The Age: Axe VicForests or chop off the public money The age of entitlement is alive and well in Victoria. At least when it comes to the logging of native forests, a proposition that has become so financially fraught the government is considering getting into the business of firewood collection and chipboard production just to prop it up.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Charlie’s cows: To whom it may concern ...

Friends of Paul 'Charlie' Fearnley
21.07.14 12:35 am

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• To whom it may concern, On the 6/6/2014, I attended the McIntyre Sale Yards sale where 205 head of Charlie’s cattle were being sold by Landmark Goondiwindi. Charlie was also at the sale with the intention of purchasing the cow portion of his own cattle for their genetics, their temperament and all the other attributes which have a high dollar value especially to Charlie.

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Politics | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

All Will Be Well: The Radical Optimism of Julian of Norwich

Mirabai Starr, Huffington Post
21.07.14 12:30 am

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“All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)

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Opinion | History | Philosophy | Religion | Society

How cannabis compound could slow tumor growth

University of East Anglia
21.07.14 12:15 am

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Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients.

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Rupert’s red top: the rise and fall of Rebekah Brooks

Peter Jukes, New Statesman
21.07.14 12:10 am

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Peter Jukes watched the former tabloid editor’s extraordinary composure in court on every day of the hacking trial. Her story tells you everything you need to know about the way power works.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Legal | Media | Society

Tasmania’s Senators on the repeal of the carbon tax: what they said and how they voted

Bob Burton. Photo: Anglican Parish of Gosford.
18.07.14 9:05 am

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For all of Tasmania’s Senators, the bill to repeal the carbon tax was most likely one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the new Senate. Of the twelve Tasmanian Senators, who spoke, what did they say and how did the vote?

What the pollies say, TT Media here

• John Hawkins, in Comments: These Senators are charged with the job of representing the best interests of Tasmania. They are elected to represent our State and hence our future in the parliament. This bill will cost our virtually bankrupt state electricity producer(debts exceed a billion dollars) a minimum of $70 million and a possible $200 million. This is money that would have been gifted under carbon credits to our clean and green Hydro Tasmania for generating electricity from our water storage. Electricity prices will therefore go up or Hydro will have to run at a subsidised loss. A situation our state cannot afford without cuts to other services. The renewable industries related to wind and solar will implode costing many Tasmanians their jobs. The polluters have won and bought off the pollies. • phill Parsons, in Comments: #2. Abetz cannot explain the $ figure as a hit regardless of it’s size. As Hawkins hints, all the money went back into the economy, it’s just that the bads had to pay. Now the Tasmanian pensioners Lambie claims she is defending will find power less accessible because the supplier [Hydro] has a ‘shortfall’ in it’s financial plan to address. Perhaps Will will accept the hit on the State budget but I bet Lambie gets further ammo as the poorer Tasmanians pay more in State taxes, fees and charges to address this loss. There is nothing good in the abolition of a price on Carbon. Only a fool or a liar claim the Australian system had no impact on the climate. No court will find these fossil fools guilty but all Australians should remember the costs of each climate event, each crop affected by either heat or a lack of cold and each unusual and unpleasant day as a gift of the greedy and ignorant.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | National | Environment | Editor's Choice

Another Malaysian airline disaster ... what will it mean ...?

Editor
18.07.14 6:58 am

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Use the TT NEWS Dropdown menu (top nav bar) for breaking news on this disaster ...

TT Media

US Naval Institute: Vincennes: A Case Study

The Atlantic: Don’t blame Malaysian Airlines

How Open Source Investigation Found The Buk Missile Launcher That Downed Flight MH17

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Politics | International | National | Economy | History | Society

Maria Island

Photo: Bob Burton
17.07.14 5:00 pm

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Darlington, Maria Island.

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Writers | Bob Burton

Don’t conduct any due diligence ... Just throw money ...

Tom Ellison. Pic*
17.07.14 12:28 am

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We were in the front bar of the Empire Hotel – an imposing late Victorian edifice built, with no expense spared, in the early years of Queenstown’s mining boom. My drinking partner was excited, and not just because he was being paid $50,000 to prepare a report identifying tourism opportunities for the region.

That’s been the contemporary response; ignore what mining activity has done to Queenstown.  Assume the locals need jobs in the mine.  Don’t conduct any due diligence.  Just throw money at the owner of the operation. Robin Gray used that approach in 1985.  Faced with falling copper grades, Renison Goldfields (who owned the mine at the time) put their begging hat on and tried their luck with the Liberal Government of the day.  Possibly as payback to the town which cheered him when he donned boxing gloves in the main street during the Franklin campaign, Gray wrote a cheque for $5 million. Neither of those bailouts worked, and the mine failed again …

• Imogen Ebsworth, in Comments: I actually worked on the environmental impact assessment of the Abt Railway. What most stands out is how what was originally (and correctly) designed as a heritage railway experience on one of only 3 ratchet railways in the world, accompanied by a celebration & sober-eyed view of the pioneering & mining history of the area, got turned into a bastardised ‘wilderness’ railway experience centred on Strahan. It was originally designed to very much centre on Queenstown, which has enormous cultural memory and resonance with the railway and mining history. It was a flat-out tragedy it was turned into an ersatz wilderness experience which robbed both Queenstown and the west coast generally of a proper enduring tourist attraction.

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Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

All our staff acted in a lawful and professional manner

Triabunna Investments Media Release ABC pic
16.07.14 12:05 pm

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Statement – Triabunna Investments Re: Proposed Parliamentary Inquiry Triabunna Investments notes the media reports that the Tasmanian Government is considering holding a Parliamentary Inquiry into the transformation of the Triabunna site. We also note there is continued media interest in this story. We wish to put on the record some key facts that provide context for the story. Gunns had closed Triabunna months before we acquired the mill. The mill was maintained in working condition for two years and was made available to be reopened through a tender process. No economically viable tender was received mainly because it was not possible to find timber supply outside the agreed reserved areas - so Gunns’ decision to shut the mill was based on sound market analysis.

Rebecca White: Guy Barnett’s true motivations revealed

Cassy O’Connor: Liberals intent on witch hunt over solutions to Triabunna

• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Can we please move on? This is prehistoric news. Why must we keep regurgitating the past? Let’s stop chewing old bones and start inventing a bright new future. Please!

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: So there you have it, no need for a parliamentary enquiry is there. Bloke Barnet just has to ask the EPA and they can show him the requirements and paper work. Hey presto lot of money saved, lots of seat wear saved and the government can get on with what it does best. Procrastinating. 

• John Hayward, in Comments: The Libs are already spending an extra $4.5b p.a. to project their tough-guy image by imprisoning asylum seekers overseas, not counting the additional $4,3m for Tony’s new spin dept. Whatever Guy and the Libs spend of our money hunting woodchip snarks will be a modest increase to their uncapped budget for their political survival. These are but a few of the virtues of selfishness.

MEANWHILE,

AMA responds to government’s wage freeze consideration The Australian Medical Association (AMA) Tasmania has come out against a move by the Tasmanian Government to consider a wage freeze for all public servants, saying it threatens the future of the public hospital medical workforce in Tasmania.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | History | Legal | Society