Articles

Solar flare

NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory
22.10.14 5:50 am

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The sun emitted a significant solar flare on October 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the event in an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that can see the intense heat of a flare and that is typically colorized in teal. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however—when intense enough—they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

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Environment | Science

Death of a Giant

Lindsay Tuffin. Pic: of Gough Whitlam. Pub: Oct 21
22.10.14 5:30 am

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ABC Radio is reporting the death at 98 of Gough Whitlam,  who bestrode the political landscape of Australia like a giant, 1972-1975.

Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top navigation bar) for Breaking News on this story.

ABC: Gough Whitlam dies aged 98; Family says ‘loving and generous’ father was ‘source of inspiration’

Guardian: Gough Whitlam dies at age 98 Prime minister for just three years, he brought in sweeping changes that transformed Australia and inspired a generation of progressive politicians

Kim Booth: Vale Gough Whitlam

Bryan Green: Remembering Gough Whitlam

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Thankyou so much Gough for what you did. I once wrote to Mr Whitlam, I wanted to tell him how much he inspired people and how much I appreciated what he tried to do for our country. I did not want to wait until he died to say what I felt about him. The most surprising thing to me was that he rang me and left a message (unfortunately I could not take the call) and thanked me for my thoughts and said he agreed with me that the way the Howard government was behaving made him also feel ashamed to be an Australian. The gesture of ringing me and leaving a message meant and still means a lot to me.

Will Hodgman: Gough Whitlam

• What Crikey’s Guy Rundle says ...

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International Criminal Court asked to prosecute Abbott government

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Denison Media Release. ABC Pic of Andrew Wilkie
22.10.14 5:20 am

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, and eminent human rights advocate and lawyer, Greg Barns, have formally requested the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate crimes against asylum seekers by members of the Abbott Government. Download a copy of the letter below ...

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Tassie’s forestry wars echo UK’s motorway wars ...

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pub: Oct 21
22.10.14 5:15 am

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“Mum and dad’’ demonstrators, fiery activists, a government intent on silencing environmental protesters, the battle of Twyford Down in Britain two decades ago has an echo in the latest phase of the forestry wars in Tasmania. It was a battle the British Government under John Major would ultimately win, even though it can now be said the Conservative administration lost the war. The victory, though, in pushing through plans to build a motorway cutting across verdant downland where the poet Alexander Pope had often walked as a schoolboy would leave a scar on both the British countryside and the British psyche.

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

Keeping alive the British colonial tradition of tugging our forelocks ...

Nicola Goc* Pic* Pub: Oct 20
22.10.14 5:00 am

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The price Tasmanian taxpayers pay each year for the privilege of keeping alive the British colonial tradition of tugging our forelocks ...

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Multiple helpings of the ‘Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated yet accessible’

Will Hodgman, Premier, Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Media Release Pic* Pub: Oct 21
22.10.14 4:30 am

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Tasmania: World’s Must-See in 2015 … Who wouldn’t want to visit a region that’s described by the Lonely Planet as: “Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated yet accessible – the delivery of offerings from Tasmania’s plate may require multiple helpings.” …

Scott Bacon: Tasmania’s Lonely Planet listing welcomed

Kim Booth: Don’t Chip Lonely Planet Rating

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Where’s the acknowledgement that a crisis exists?

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Health spokesperson Media Release Pub: Oct 21
22.10.14 4:20 am

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Ice in Tasmania Last night’s Four Corners program ( ABC HERE ) revealed the devastation Chrystal methamphetamine, or Ice, is wreaking on individuals and families in North and North West Tasmania, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

Michael Ferguson: Drug Use in the North-West

Rebecca White: Drug problems a wake-up call for Government

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Politics | Local | State | Health | Opinion | Legal | Society

LOCAL: The UTAS city ... and Conflicts of Interest. Despard Gallery’s complaint ...

Eva Ruzicka, Eva Ruzicka's blog, http://evaruzicka.blogspot.com.au/ Pic* Pub: Oct 21
22.10.14 4:15 am

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Not for us any of Oxford’s gentle spires if Hobart is to become the UTAS city, HERE … Note that the Officer Recommendation is for Refusal. From what I’ve heard, the application is running into problems as it well exceeds the limits of the City’s Planning Scheme.  What UTAS is asking for will create a large mass of building with four linked towers at 15 levels, which exceed the existing heights in the area.  In effect, lifting something like the State Library building and putting it down on the site, as one person commented. For video run through of the site, go: HERE

Conflict of interest and bias in decision making, HERE And this is where the rubber hits the road in so many of those allegations of corrupt local government practice.  Who has a conflict of interest?  And how is it judged? Can I say to anyone who is elected to local government that this is one of the most crucial parts of your role that you must get right at all times? This is not a time for grey areas or angels polka-dotting on pinheads of needles.  Either you have a conflict or you don’t, and you’ll have to prove it within the confines of the rules if called on to do so.  …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times, Tony Hagar on Hobart and its architecture ...

Anna Reynolds: Controversial building vote needs to wait for fresh Council

• Steven Joyce, Despard Gallery ... We have had numerous assurances that all will be cleared and the bike path marked, the reticence of IMAS - UTAS management is pretty sad as I again look at the architects’ unresolved vision that was going to add street life to the area. I am also concerned as marking out parking spaces on the other side of the fence give the impression that the fence is a permanent fixture. The complacency in regard this aesthetic eyesore by the relevant bureaucrats is pathetic, particularly given the recent PR that labels Hobart as a funky cultural getaway. Given Salamanca is a key tourism destination, this type of oversight is very disappointing for businesses and residents that have invested in living and operating in the area. We were assured that it would be cleared by Dark Mofo in June, five months on that has still not happened. Things need to change ASAP.

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I met a lady nearly twice my age today ...

Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
21.10.14 4:15 am

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I met a lady nearly twice my age today. I use the word ‘lady’ because to me ‘woman’ seems not kind enough, cold as fish, and certainly too small a word. Like calling vintage Champagne “fizz”.

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Writers | Hilary Burden | Opinion | Personal | Society

Voting: How low can we go?

Bob Hawkins
21.10.14 4:00 am

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PONDERING who I felt was worthy of being an elected member of my local council, I was examining the bits of paper the Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) had sent me. I found the numbering instructions on the voting slip disturbing, as did I the TEC’s assurances about the security of my vote.

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

NATION: Tony and coal, ‘A contradiction to all available evidence ...’

Dr Kingsley Faulkner AM, Chair Doctors for the Environment Australia. Wikipedia pic of Tony Abbott
20.10.14 4:45 am

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In response to Prime Minister Abbott’s recent comment ( SMH here ) that “coal is good for humanity”, a group of health experts has sent him a damning open letter (below)  describing his statement “as a contradiction to all available evidence.”

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STATE: Fracking poses risks to agriculture, tourism, Tasmania’s reputation ...

Carly Rusden*. Pic*
20.10.14 4:41 am

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… The license covers some of Tasmania’s most productive farmland, as well as a vast network of water tables.  Fracking poses risks to agriculture, Tasmania’s tourism industry, Tasmania’s reputation as a clean and green place, as well as the health of all living organisms by contamination of water and air. Renewable technologies such as wind and solar should be exploited before we continue to extract non renewable resources, further damaging our planet and destroying our right to safe drinking water and clean air.  …

Gillian Blair, Letter to Editor: Gasfield’s hidden agenda ...

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The Flan-Man Triumphs

Lindsay Tuffin. Pub: Oct 15
20.10.14 4:31 am

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Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan has just been announced as the 2014 winner of the Man Booker Prize ...

• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top Nav Bar) for more on the Flanagan triumph, for The Narrow Road to the Deep North ...

ABC: Richard Flanagan, prominent Tasmanian author, wins Man Booker Prize ...

Guardian: Man Booker prize: Richard Flanagan wins with ‘timeless depiction of war’ Australian novelist picks up award for story of prisoners and captors on Burma railway in The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Christine Milne: Congratulations to Richard Flanagan

Pete Hay, Mercury: Liberating the spirit of our island: Richard Flanagan takes Tasmania out into the world…  By the time Flanagan came along, the negative shadow of the generation of the 1960s had all but expunged any sense that Tasmania’s unfolding story was one that could engage the creative imagination. Flanagan changed all that. The island, he insisted, is saturated with mythical portent. He made it legitimate to stay put; to take Tasmania for one’s creative canvas. And he, personally, took Tasmania to the world. His legacy is, I think, beyond calculation. Almost incredibly, this is the man for whom former premier Paul Lennon decreed there to be “no place” in the “new Tasmania”. The trouble with the ex-premier’s call is that it is not he but Flanagan who defines the “new Tasmania”. Nevertheless, this episode cut Flanagan to the bone — not Lennon’s attack as such, because Flanagan is as fierce as he is eloquent when it comes to the island’s muddling and spiteful politics, and he had already called out Lennon for worse than he received. If you dish it out, you have to take it when it is served back. No, what cut Flanagan was the perceived lack of outrage on the part of the Tasmanian arts community, and its literary practitioners in particular. There was no flood of indignant letters to the press, and Flanagan felt isolated, abandoned …

Will Hodgman: Richard Flanagan Wins Man Booker

Nick McKim: Congratulations Richard Flanagan

Tasmanian Writers’ Centre: Congratulations Richard, so well deserved!

7.30 Report: Watch the Flan-Man interviewed by Leigh Sales ... as his mates party at the Hope and Anchor

Bob Ellis: ‘The World Just Is’: Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North

• Gerard Henderson executive director of The Sydney Institute: Sorry, Mike, Nazism was a secular movement — unlike today’s Islamic State

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Richard Flanagan | Books | Economy | Editor's Choice | Society

STATE: The possibility of Eden

Astrid Miller, Earth as Teacher, http://www.ecoevolutionaries.com
20.10.14 4:30 am

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I want to live in a State of possibility, awe and wonder, and that could be Tasmania. Graeme Wood is offering us a most powerful symbol of regeneration with his $50 million dollar plan for an Eden style project at Triabunna, a re-generation of our generation.

EARLIER ON TASMANIAN TIMES ...

How great cities deal with woodchips ...

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Fishery Consultation Another Tick-Box In The Super Trawler Story

Rebecca Hubbard, Nobby Clark Media Release
20.10.14 4:15 am

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The AFMA organised stakeholder consultation on the Small Pelagic Fishery last Friday was clearly designed as a media platform for the Australian Government to say that they had undertaken consultation with stakeholders. Conservation and recreational fishing groups remain concerned that these box-ticking exercises could be a signal that super trawlers are being considered for introduction into our waters. The groups remain united in the campaign to stop super trawlers being introduced into Australian waters and concerned with the low level of data available on the fishery’s movements and how to avoid localised depletion.

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A Statement from the Maslin Family ...

via DFAT
20.10.14 3:50 am

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The Maslin family, who lost loved ones on MH17, have asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to issue the following statement on their behalf ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times, MH370 ...

Emirates Head Critical of MH 370 Investigation

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Andrew Nikolic’s Middle Eastern vision provides something for everyone

BERNARD KEANE Crikey politics editor
20.10.14 3:47 am

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Tasmanian Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic certainly has a distinguished career: an impressive senior military service record in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as stints as a military academic and as a senior bureaucrat in Defence. All that helps explain why he was appointed to the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

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More on the nesting Peregrine Falcons ... (2)

Nick Mooney Wildlife Biologist.
20.10.14 3:45 am

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Female leaves to accept food from male off for food

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Environment | History | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (34)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
20.10.14 3:30 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 | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Antarctica: Opportunity for global leadership and lasting legacy

Dae Levine, AOA Communications Director. Pic: John Weller
20.10.14 3:15 am

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AOA calls on CCAMLR to agree on marine protection of the Ross Sea and East Antarctica “Opportunity for global leadership and lasting legacy”

• Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, His Excellency The Honourable Chief Justice Alan Blow OAM, will today open the thirty-third meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) ...

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Is the taxpayer entitled to any level of basic health protection ... ?

Richard Barton, Tasmania
20.10.14 3:00 am

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In the Mercury of 19/10/14 it stated that there were “fears for rural nursing” then proceeded to discuss the loss of rural facilities, doctors, nurses and management positions.

Mercury: Hunt for new Tasman Peninsula GP allays fears

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The Probe is closed

Lindsay Tuffin
20.10.14 2:45 am

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The Probe thread has been closed. Tasmanian Times exists to seek truth and be fair to all. Readers are reminded of Our Code of Conduct ( Here ).

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Blogging | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Media | Society

Newcombe on winning

Evan Whitton @EvanWhitton1 Pic*
20.10.14 2:30 am

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Background: John Newcombe, now 70, was 31 when he stood still for an interview by a person he didn’t know. I am amazed now, as I was in 1975, at how generous he was with his time and his insights. I don’t remember exactly Cliff Richey’s joke about the one-armed tennis player, but it was ribald. 

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Writers | Evan Whitton | Opinion | History | Society | Sport

A memory of John Arlott ...

H
20.10.14 2:16 am

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A memory of English cricket commentator John Arlott, who always had a glass of red wine beside him as he worked ...

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History | Personal | Sport

Robert Armstrong’s adieu

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong's election poster. First pub: Oct 17
17.10.14 3:50 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Knock, knock, who’s there? It’s Knocker Hawkins, the man who helped put Robert Armstrong into parliament. I had no idea I had that much clout. But that’s the way it is, according to the man himself, Huon Valley Council’s about-to-depart Mayor Armstrong. 

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

How Great Cities Deal With Woodchips

Karl Stevens
17.10.14 3:15 am

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The ABC wrap here

TT Media here, for the polly opinion ...

• Pilko, in Comments: I had to pick myself up off the floor after reading this little gem by Damon Thomas. Veterans of the Pulp Mill campaign will remember Damon Thomas in his role as TCCI chief - one of the loudest voices & most enthusiastic lobbyists for John Gay’s Tamar Valley Pulp Mill.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Satire | Society

Pesticide monitoring in Tasmanian waterways cancelled

Dr Alison Bleaney, Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network (TPEHN). Pic* Pub: Oct 15
17.10.14 3:00 am

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Confirmation of the cessation of any routine pesticide monitoring in any waterways in Tasmania ( including all drinking and ground waters) was given by DPIPWE this week (Stuart Bowman). The announcement coincided with substantial funding cuts in the recent State budget. With regard to pesticide monitoring in waterways, Tasmania now reverts to where it was in 2004 prior to the helicopter crash in the upper catchment of the George River where the highly hazardous insecticide alpha-cypermethrin was being aerial-sprayed onto eucalypt plantations. Shortly after and following a very heavy rainfall, 90% of intertidal oyster along with other insects and aquatic life died in Georges Bay. At that time Tasmania undertook no pesticide monitoring of any waters. Forestry Tasmania is about to increase its plantation workings and has just applied to the Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) body for permission (a derogation) to aerially spray alpha-cypermethrin in eucalypt plantations. FSC does not ‘normally’ allow alpha-cypermethrin to be used as it is a highly hazardous pesticide. 

• Andrei Nikulinsky, in Comments: Are we honestly being told that while there is money to sponsor a different state’s football team, to subsidise one of Australia’s richest retail company’s buildings, to puff up the gambling industry and even continue to throw good money after bad by paying to send woodchips overseas like it was waste… ...that there is no money to test our water supply?

• Download Clive Stott ( http:www.cleanairtas.com ) Submission ...

ABC Rural: Forestry downturn reduces routine pesticide and chemical testing of Tasmanian waterways

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STATE: Planning ... what the Libs plan for you ...

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer. Address to Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Pic: Andrew Ricketts. Pub: Oct 14
17.10.14 2:45 am

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Thank you for taking the time to be here this morning.

Peter Gutwein, Ministerial Statement: Update on Budget Savings

• Andrew Ricketts, in Comments: Very soon the Government will introduce a new LAND USE PLANNING AND APPROVALS AMENDMENT (STREAMLINING OF PROCESS) BILL 2014 into Parliament. Sitting days are: 28th, 29th, 30th October. It is a surprise that The Bill will come on in October with no proper exposure of a draft. It does not seem to be on any official website or otherwise available for the public. The Liberal approach - To only consult with the privileged few.

• Andrew Ricketts: The Government is amending a second piece of legislation at the same time ... Download docs ...

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Lake Pedder project wins big at national awards

Nolan Giles, Account Manager @ Lindy Johnson
17.10.14 2:40 am

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A unique animation produced to showcase a potential fix for the restoration of Tasmania’s Lake Pedder has been awarded a major prize at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) National Awards.

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Science | Society

HAWTHORN: It’s a con. A fraud

Tom Ellison* Pub: Oct 13
17.10.14 2:30 am

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It’s a con.  A fraud, which if it involved a private company would see shareholders revolt and Directors thrown out.  There’s no accountability from those involved.  Contradictions, spurious financial projections and grandiose claims, which when combined, would make anybody concerned about basic standards of governance shudder. But this is Tasmania, and football appears untouchable. For years, politicians at local, state and federal level have enthused about the value of Tasmania’s sponsorship of the Hawthorn Football Club, and whether due to political cowardice, ignorance or a combination, have refused to face up to the facts.

But the most damning number in the RepuCom report is 2.6.  That’s the percentage of those surveyed indicating they were likely to come to Tasmania to attend an AFL match.  Even Tasmania’s weather was seen as a bigger attraction by respondents. Those trends are consistent with Tourism Tasmania’s annual visitor survey, a comprehensive analysis of demographics which provides useful insights into visitors, their motivations and spending patterns.

What’s missing is the truth, and the answers to some basic questions.  Like what are the actual demographics of those attending AFL games in Tasmania?  Why does Launceston City Council underwrite Aurora Stadium losses of nearly $2 million each year if the sponsorship deal is such a winner?  Is political support for football now so entrenched that to release the real numbers would be too damaging?

• AJWW, in Comments: Not just a con and a fraud Tom - its also manifestly unjust that a traditional football State should be denied its own team in the AFL for any reason, let alone the spurious argument that it is unaffordable. Having a team in the national competition would have a unifying affect, bolster State pride and contribute significant social, as well as economic benefits. For example, it would provide our young talent with a pathway that avoids always having to move interstate if they are to realize their sporting dreams. Strong legislators would cast aside the “cringe factor” and the agendas of vested interests, and push hard for a stand-alone team knowing we would be playing to one of our great strengths in a sustainable, growth industry. Saul Eslake has challenged the received wisdom (from Kennet, Demetriou, Bacon et al) that a State team would not be financially viable.In the meantime, we continue to prop-up a previously unviable Melbourne-based club. What a travesty!Tony.

Peter Gutwein, Ministerial Statement: Update on Budget Savings

TT, Sept 2006, James Boyce: Hawthorn: what Lennon signs away

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