Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources. Ministerial Statement: Forestry. Pic*
27.10.16 3:30 am
… In shaping our approach for the 21st Century, we are guided by the words of perhaps the greatest mind of the 20th Century – Albert Einstein – who said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them’. We are not turning back: We are looking forward …
• Cassy O’Connor: Liberals Shuffling Deck Chairs on Forestry’s Titanic … … The renaming of Forestry Tasmania to Sustainable Timber Tasmania would make George Orwell proud. Giving an entity a misleading name won’t change the reality. Ultimately, what we are seeing is the shuffling of the deckchairs on the Titanic …
• John Hayward in Comments: Einstein has sometimes been attributed the statement that the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result. On the most flattering interpretation, this is exactly what Guy and FT are doing by renewing the blitz on Tasmanian forests …
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: … Consider me naive but surely with such an acknowledged mess, any good government would have wisely instituted a proper public commission of enquiry, especially if indeed the Liberals considered this was a very important issue to Tasmania’s future. The Hundreds of millions, relentlessly pumped into this forestry farce have been a massive waste of precious public resources. Barnett should resign.
• Frank again in Comments: … M&PT; = Misleading & Pretending Tasmania is the reality here. In reality, when the estate is mined out, the show is over. Easter Island stuff! Tasmania late 2016 = the place where leaders pretend to get away with all sorts of cheap spin!
• Mark Temby in Comments: I can hardly wait for 2020 when the Wilson Tuckey vision reaches finality! I expect another debt to be forgiven and, of course, a substantial compensation package for contractors all paid by taxpayers.
• ABC: Forestry sector warns sawmills will close if Forestry Tasmania ups prices … Mr Edwards said it was unclear how much wood could be sourced from the reserved land set to be unlocked but industry would have to decide whether it would accept wood from those areas. “Is it worth having a return to the forest conflict of the past for the amount of wood that’s in there? We don’t know the answer to that,” he said. …
• Scott C in Comments: One of the constants over my working life has been that Tasmania’s forest industry has always cost the taxpayer money. We pay them to degrade our forests, damage our roads and bridges and we’re expected to be thankful for this. The name change is an exercise in “turd polishing”. I guess the Tas Gov’t think that if they change the name we’ll all forget the bad things that happened in the past. We won’t forget …
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: The Liberals said they were going to end the public subsidies to FT. Looking at their annual report this is what it shows. These are the subsidies so far for 2015/16 …
Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources. Pic* First published October 25
27.10.16 3:15 am
Australian Forest Growers National Conference Speech Thank you Kevin [Dr Kevin Harding, National President, AFG] for the invitation to join you here this evening. Events such as tonight’s are of great importance to this State in particular, and Australia more broadly. I say that as forestry has been the lifeblood of many Tasmanian communities since our earliest days. It has been and is a well-run and sustainable industry that has created jobs and provided opportunities for Tasmanians, particularly in our rural regions …
• Vica Bayley: Poll results show less than a quarter of Tasmanians support Premier’s plan to log reserves An exclusive opinion poll conducted on Monday night demonstrates that Tasmanians overwhelming reject Premier Will Hodgman’s plan to log 400,000 hectares of protected forests as a response to economic viability issues for Forestry Tasmania, The Wilderness Society said today …
• Russell Langfield in Comments: When was the last time FT made a profit (without subsidies and handouts)? If this was a private business it would be bankrupt and be charged with trading while being insolvent. There was sustainable employment and profitability in the timber industry before FT and Gunns as a duopoly ran it into the ground for loss-making woodchips and give-away whole trees to China. Dissolve FT and let the family sawmillers sustainably run the industry again …
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: Guy Barnett, Minister for Forests and former advisor to Erich Abetz, expands the scope and reality of the Liberal failure over forestry in Tasmania. He should resign - fall on his sword. His stupid proposition to log legislatively deferred, High Conservation Value native forests (in northern Tasmania) would become an irrefutable breach of the Regional Forest Agreement. It would include a destruction of an important part of the National Reserve System. Barnett’s proposition will not work. I forecast it would become a Controlled Action under the EPBC Act. If Tasmania’s forests have been so hopelessly mismanaged that the only thing left to do in Barnett’s miserable little mind is to log those areas formally set aside and of obvious high conservation value, then there should be a Royal Commission. Come to think of it the economic performance of Forestry Tasmania also demands a Royal Commission. There is not a skerrick of logic behind the Minister’s proposition. It is a crime.
• Peg Putt: Out of touch government oblivious to reputational damage and investment risk of their controversial logging plans. Thinks ‘Sustainable Timber Tasmania’ is not a joke renaming of Forestry Tasmania.
John Powell* Pic* First published October 24
27.10.16 3:00 am
… I now learn after an intrusive reckoning on my only access road with “inclusive Stakeholder Managers” from Forestry Tasmania in late 2015 that they plan to log the remnant 25 Hectares with a modified logging area. The original FPP indicated “Clear Fell” but now they classify it as “Potential Sawlog Retention”. This area was part of the 1990 Helsham Thinnings and the experts suggest the sawlogs might be potential in circa 2067. So why go in to the coupe at all in 2017 except just to measure diameters and number of potential targets in 50 years? …
… FT, you just have to hide the fact that you are running a non-commercial operation and plan to continue to do so. These funds were almost totally supported by the taxpayers and Government subsidy we have a right to know about your economic incompetence. Minister Barnett, so much for open government and a renewed Forestry Tasmania, you are a dinosaur like your predecessor, and your Communications and Stakeholder Engagement personnel are mere clones!
4 Corners, ABC. Pic*
27.10.16 2:50 am
This Monday, #4Corners investigates the big business of #salmon farming.
Integrity20, Griffith University. Radio National's Life Matters. Pic: of Sarah Chayes
27.10.16 2:45 am
“Why did nearly half of Iraq open itself to Islamic State, a militant group seen as one of the most psychotic on record? Why have Boko Haram militants gained a solid foothold in northern Nigeria? Why aren’t the ranks of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula thinning, despite regular drone strikes in Yemen? Do these disparate countries have some trait in common? They do: the rampant corruption of their ruling elites.”
Paige Gleeson* WOLF* Pic*
27.10.16 2:32 am
On the 20th October, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that student politician and Liberal MP staffer Alex Fitton had identified himself as a woman in order to win an executive position in a student election worth $12,000.
Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published October 24
26.10.16 5:00 am
A muffled thumping disturbs the chamber this Thursday as our PM and his predecessor, in turn, throw each other under a bus, to use Omnibus Bill Shorten’s colourful phrase. Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy, who continues to hold a torch for the PM, has never seen anything like it in twenty years of parliamentary reporting. The Coalition is openly at war with itself
John Hawkins*, Bentley, Chudleigh. Pic: of Bentley. First published October 23
26.10.16 4:45 am
… Think long and hard if you as the Tasmanian Planning Commission can continue to preside over a debacle created by our political masters, all in the interests of their mates.
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Don Knowler* First published October 24
26.10.16 4:35 am
The decision of the Nobel awards committee to give Bob Dylan its prize for literature has met with a mixed response. Among those applauding the decision is Don Knowler, who remembers the momentous night he finally got to see his hero perform in Townsville and the simple twist of fate which nearly cost him his job.
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
26.10.16 4:30 am
Alcohol giveth the desire but takes away the performance. Macbeth, Shakespeare
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
24.10.16 4:14 am
The best laid war plans do not survive first contact in battle. Sun Tzu c300 BC.
Keith Antonysen* First published October 18 Pic*
23.10.16 4:15 am
The debate about coal verses renewables can go on for a long period; but, nature makes the decisions in the end …
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• Mike Bolan in Comments: It really looks too late to reverse the warming trend Keith. Given our penchant for believing that politics and perceptions to be more important than the external ‘real world’, it’s hard to see any of our government systems working to protect us. Arctic ice is apparently the main driver of undersea ocean currents that travel thousands of miles and carry nutrients and a range of species. These currents then create feeding grounds for fish and other species. The implications include - no ice/no currents/disrupted ocean ecologies. It would be great if we had some means to control climate change however our fantasy that the pseudo-science of ‘economics’ is our highest priority it seems that we’re screwed until we can change our thinking.
PeakProsperity: What Triggers Collapse EXTRACT: Though central states and banks appear to be in control of the political, social and economic order, history shows that the forces that disrupt or make obsolete the existing mode of production cannot be stopped or even slowed by governmental edict or financial controls. For example, the advent of the printing press enabled mass distribution of the Bible and other books, which boosted literacy and distributed heretical ideas that soon upended the social order and the medieval mode of production. Heavy-handed efforts to suppress this technology’s spread of new ideas (such as killing those caught distributing Bibles in vernacular languages) all failed. A variety of forces can disrupt or obsolete existing modes of production and the social order they support …
• Chris Harries in Comments: Amidst all the huffing and puffing on blog sites, there are hundreds of serious professionals who are working day n and day out on climate change information and education. Here is the CSIRO / BOM combined portal: HERE. They’ve just issued the 2016 Climate Update, summarising shifting weather trends around Australia: HERE.
Max Atkinson* Pic* First published October 21
23.10.16 4:10 am
‘I think what the Australian political system needs is a real shock to the system. It needs shaking up. And if Senator Dastyari’s problems lead to this shaking up, then that’s only got to be a good thing.’ (Emeritus Professor John Warhurst, ANU, interviewed by ABC journalist Sabra Lane, 8/9/2016)
Ted Mead* First published October 21
22.10.16 4:00 am
The spectacular kelp forests, the giants of the deep sea off Tasmania’s East Coast have almost disappeared. What has happened to this unique environment and why didn’t we save them? Like our terrestrial high conservation forests we failed to act until the 21st century. In the meantime our underwater forests were far less visible, and before we knew it the last giant kelp stand was gone!
• Bob Diver in Comments: I am thinking that the shocking decline of the commercial abalone fishery in Tasmania could somehow be linked to the seaweed problems. This decline is not spoken about very much, but it is rather scary (financially) and mentally hard work for those involved in trying to find abalone. You would be staggered to see the crappy catches from the east and west coasts today, compared to just five years ago, let alone ten years back. Last year saw the coldest seawater “ever” and this year is normal cold. I reckon it is something other than just water temperature causing the problems.
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
22.10.16 3:59 am
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads onto fortune,
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries
Julius Caesar ... Shakespeare
22.10.16 3:56 am
The cockroach lurking in the urinal was the size of a small dog …
Sophie Underwood* Pic*
22.10.16 3:55 am
Conclusion: There are strong connections between Victorian planning system changes and the national planning reform agenda being followed in most Australian states. Recent changes to state planning systems seek to reduce the strength of land use planning regulations, lessen the contributions of local communities, objectors and local councils to planning decisions and empower development companies. The Victorian system changes are also the result of decades of the politicisation of planning by locating responsibility for land use planning in the state planning agency under direct ministerial control, abolishing an independent state planning body, imposing deregulated standardised planning systems intended to facilitate development onto local government, and constant ministerial intervention in planning decisions. All these represent a paradigm shift in the Victorian land use planning system away from careful and considered strategy-led planning, towards market-driven ad hoc development facilitation.
Concerned Resident of Launceston* First published October 21
22.10.16 3:52 am
In Launceston, Heritage Tasmania has about 3% of building listed - this means that over 95% of the buildings are not registered. Many of these probably shouldn’t be registered - but in truth, the history of many of our old buildings is largely unknown …
Madeleine Ogilvie MP*, Labor Member for Denison. First published October 21
22.10.16 3:50 am
A complete lack of vision (and incompetence in strategic planning), coupled with death by a thousand financial cuts, is eroding confidence in Tasmania’s future.
Nic Offenbacher* Pic: of a grouper
21.10.16 3:48 am
I mourn the absence of an apt moniker for the camel-haired candidate running for President of the United States.The male one.
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
21.10.16 3:45 am
‘Of the twelve good Caesars, not one had a good son’. Suetonius, I think 125AD. Or it may have been John Julius Norwich, this century.
Kelvin Jones* Pic*: of 'Geelong Star' from fleetMon.com First published October 16
21.10.16 3:30 am
… People just want to know what actually did cause Basslink to fail. Something that for some inexplicable reason the State Government does not want to be fully revealed.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Kelvin the only reason for secrecy, (other than that it is normal here) is that they know full well what the fault was caused by. If they were to say outright that a ship damaged the cable the insurance company would say Not Paying. So they have to maintain secrecy until the payment comes through …
Alison Cosker* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website First published October 13
21.10.16 3:12 am
… I’m writing in response to the comments made by Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz this week. He said: “Ever thought why there is no celebration for those that decide to go from the homosexual to heterosexual lifestyle? Are they not honest? Are they not coming out as well?” …
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• John Hawkins in Comments: I have just watched the Clinton/Trump debate. Two appalling people the product of the current American obsession with celebrity both with no scruples, no morals and no standards and totally unfit for the job. Here no people, no media, no pollies of any quality and nobody capable of conducting any form of public debate. The only debate in Tasmania amongst those currently elected is: How do we keep keep our snouts in the trough and preferably our sticky fingers on the levers of power. Oh for principles, standards, integrity, honesty the ability to distinguish right from wrong and a straight back enabling ones head to be held high. The world we all inhabit is very very sick maybe mortally so. Nothing will be done.
Dr Alison Bleaney*, TPEHN* Pic: of wood pellets, Flickr. First published October 14
21.10.16 3:00 am
It seems that New Forests is proposing to spend $5 million on a feasibility study to convert their newly acquired and now FSC certified E nitens plantations into black wood pellets to sell to Japan.
Christopher Nagle* First published October 19
21.10.16 2:43 am
“As an axiomatic, non negotiable and unshakable article of faith, I believe that whether it actually delivers on it or not, marriage is overwhelmingly a reproductive engagement between life creation partners whose primary business is mentoring and modeling that relationship to their offspring, by defining to them daily, over a reproductive cycle, what it means to be men and women, and mothers and fathers, so that in their turn, those offspring can pass on those qualities to their own successors.” …
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
20.10.16 6:15 am
A Journey to Santiago de Compostela Little Mikel is eight years old. He is on the Camino with his Dad, Alexander. Mikel speaks four languages. Spanish, German, English and Chinese. His mother lives in Bilbao, his father in Germany, he goes to a Chinese school and he learns English from TV …
20.10.16 6:00 am
Any travel writer needs to give practical, sensible advice from time to time. Living on the road isn’t all smashed avo on organic sourdough toast, you know. Sometimes, we need to get our hands dirty with diesel …
Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published October 17
19.10.16 5:15 am
Creepy Clown hysteria sweeps the nation, this week. Almost trumping The Donald, CC’s upstage AFL trades and eclipse politics. Is it a cult? Is it a craze? No-one thinks it will end well. Police beg copy-cats to end “this dangerous and stupid trend.” While reported sightings may distract us from assessing clown-prince Turnbull’s government’s performance, however, the Creepy Clowns illuminate far more than they obscure …
• Guardian: ‘Welfare mentality’ must end: Coalition responds to report on rising poverty Research shows nearly 3 million Australians are living below poverty line – government says answer is to get people off welfare, not increase payments …
Leonard Colquhoun* Pic: of Bayeux Tapestry, Flickr, barclakj First published October 18
19.10.16 5:10 am
… But, who knew? Did you? Anyway, who cares? Just a few thousand Dark Age Pommies and Froggies about to become Dead White Males … so what? …
Edwina Dick* Pic*
19.10.16 5:07 am
“When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them” said Annie Liebowitz, American portrait photographer extraordinaire …