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Feasting off the kill ... ?

Kim Booth, Retired Greens Leader. Pic*
07.07.15 1:22 pm

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Response to Comment 27 HERE Re #27 Andrew it really is a pity that instead of addressing your mind to the real threat to special species timbers, which is the native forest woodchip juggernaut, you have instead wasted endless hours poring over Greens’ forest policy trying to find a full stop in the wrong place! ( Thank you Gary #30 for roundly demolishing Andrew Denman’s absurd proposition) ...

Andrea Dawkins: Heritage No Excuse for Logging the TWWHA

• Peter Adams in Comments: The media keeps repeating: “Speciality timber workers are pushing for access into World Heritage.” It would be more accurate to read: “A couple of speciality timber workers are pushing….” My guess is that the overwhelming majority of furniture designer/makers and boat builders in Tasmania have enough skill and design talent to use what materials are at hand, readily available and not in World Heritage areas.

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

Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival 2015: Don Watson, Helen Garner and Bob Brown

Kate Harrison, Festival Marketing
07.07.15 1:00 pm

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Read more, Comment if you wish, HERE

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Books | What's On

The hypocrisy ... the monumental hypocrisy ... ?

Sydney Swans Fan (name with-held for family reasons)* Pic: AFL of Harley Bennell
07.07.15 6:38 am

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… A hypothetical question: If a similar photo of a News Ltd executive, let’s say hypothetically one of the Murdochs, became available, would it be also be run on Page 1?  …

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STATE, WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. http://www.wilderness.org.au Media Release. Pub: July 3
07.07.15 6:00 am

Image for STATE, WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

… This decision confirms an international rejection of Mr Hodgman’s plans to allow logging and mining in the WHA and identifies very clear solutions to addressing these and other issues,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society, speaking from Bonn. “Logging and mining have no place in a World Heritage Area and Government must commit to explicitly prohibit both logging and mining by upgrading the conservation status of relevant areas to National Park. This relates to iconic forest areas such as the Styx, Weld and upper Florentine valleys and the Great Western Tiers. …

Matthew Groom: World Heritage Committee decision paves way for ongoing constructive engagement

Greens: Liberals must accept UN’s rejection of Tasmanian World Heritage Area plans

Nick McKim: United Nations Slaps Down Groom on WHA Logging and Mining Parks Minister Matthew Groom’s fixation with profiting from the TWWHA has blinded him to the true value of the area. It seems that if he can’t put a dollar sign in front of it, Mr Groom is just not interested. The United Nations did not protect the TWWHA just so Mr Groom’s corporate buddies could make money from it.

Luke Martin: UNESCO findings on draft TWWHA management plan

• John Powell in Comments: … Both Minister Groom and Harriss are in denial, and Premier Hodgman and Deputy Premier Rockliff are plainly sycophants to Senators Abetz and Colbeck. Waiting for Opposition Leader Green to put both feet in mouth but. Odds on that he will.(SportsBet info)

FRIDAY ...

Vica Bayley: Tas Government rules out World Heritage mining, but snubs UNESCO’s logging call In response to the UNESCO decision regarding Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA), the Tasmanian Government’s announcement to ‘rule out’ mining in the WHA represents just one part of a number of specific requests that make up the decision. The decision also asks for logging to be prohibited, for wilderness to be retained in the management plan and for a comprehensive Aboriginal heritage survey. ‘A commitment to prohibit mining is welcome but represents only one part of the requested action and it must be extended to include logging,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. ‘A ban on logging across the entire World Heritage Area is specifically requested, but Government appear determined ignore this, seek to justify World Heritage logging and bulldoze ahead with changes that remove management plan protection for iconic forest areas.’ There appears confusion in the public debate as to exactly what the Hodgman Government proposes as possible regarding World Heritage logging. The facts are … HERE

Nick McKim: Mining Ban needs to be in WHA Management Plan as Government Ignores United Nations on Logging and Tenure

SATURDAY ...

Paul Harriss: Green groups’ lock up plan exposed

Paul Harriss: Special Species and the TWWHA

Cassy O’Connor: Minister Harriss being deliberately deceitful over WHA logging

Paul Harriss:  O’Connor admission on specialty timbers in TWWHA torpedoes no case

SUNDAY ...

• Kim Booth in Comments: Great news that the World Heritage Committee has rejected the obscene push for mining and logging in the Tasmanian World Heritage area. There is no sympathy for those so called boatbuilders and craftsmen that Harris now sheds crocodile tears about not having access to specialty timbers. They stood back and watched and offered themselves as Trojan horses to facilitate the greatest resource of fine and rare specialty timbers on the planet to be bulldozed and burnt, sacrificed on the altar of woodchipping, Like modern day elephant hunters they now seek the last tusks of Ivory. Plenty of specialty timbers still being woodchipped if Harriss et al really care.  As far as the TFA goes it legislated for logging in the WHA and punished the community by removing forests identified and agreed for conservation,  if the community dared to protest against logging in other areas. It was also obvious that by the time the reserves could be proclaimed under the act, the Liberals would have well and truly repealed it. For those whom seek to rewrite history, the passing of the TFA had nothing to do with the 177 thousand hectares nominated for the WHA. Minister Tony Bourke had made it crystal clear that the nomination would proceed whether the TFA passed or not. That is why I finally voted against the bill.

• Karl Stevens in Comments: Good to see Kim Booth back defending forests. I think the speciality timber industry is more like the trade in rhino horns. Rhinos are critically endangered and the horns are bought by mostly Chinese who use them to enhance virility. So the most overpopulated country on Earth buys rhino horn to promote reproduction? I’ve noted that countries that cut down all their trees (like Greece) end-up bankrupt. Will this happen to Tasmania? I’ve also noted that heavy frosts in my area are only on cleared land. I saw no frost in bushland adjacent to grassland. How do trees generate heat?

MONDAY ...

Richard Colbeck: Tasmania’s specialty timber industry should be valued and supported

TUESDAY (July 7) ...

Jenny Weber: No World Heritage Logging Will Take Place … “The global reaction to taking bulldozers and chainsaws into World Heritage rainforests in Tasmania would damage the domestic and international image for wild and scenic beauty which has become pivotal to our economic and employment well being. Sacrificing tourism promotion to logging would be a public interest disaster,” Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager, said. “The rainforest timber industry has been grossly mismanaged for years with millions of tonnes logged and burned in regeneration burns while those now advocating logging in the World Heritage Area clapped it along. There has been no stronger advocate for the historic waste and destruction of industrial logging in Tasmania than Senator Colbeck,’ Jenny Weber said. “The only thing special about ‘specialty timbers’ is the protected rainforests that they come from, World Heritage listed rainforests that need to remain intact. The shameful disregard of millions of tonnes of rainforest species burnt over the years was met by silence from today’s rainforest logging advocates, and ancient rainforest tracts protected as World Heritage are off limits as it should be,” Jenny Weber said.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Science | Society

The Age of Post-Democracy

Tim Thorne*
06.07.15 5:00 am

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There are increasing signs that what we know as the Western democratic world is entering an era which I think can best be described as post-democratic.

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Magna Carta, Waterloo ... not so important after all ... ?

Charles Wooley
06.07.15 4:45 am

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Two important anniversaries happened this month but if historical significance is to be judged by contemporary headlines, television news and tweets then maybe they weren’t so important after all.

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Writers | Charles Wooley | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Education | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

NATION: The dreadful, dreadful Abyss

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: July 6. Pic*
06.07.15 4:30 am

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Parliament rose for a six week winter break last Thursday amidst whispers of an early election and a delegation on the wing to Singapore, led by a PM in search of Asian investors, clutching his northern Australia white paper that is his government’s vision for an economic powerhouse and ever keen to boost free trade and other links with Australia’s fifth largest trading partner.

• phill Parsons in Comments: … The new policy was thus drowned out as the ABC ban and the failure of the liar in chief to address gay marriage in the Parliament hang like an albatross. Fear seems to have failed as voters perceive domestic violence as a bigger threat than terrorism. It is as though Mad as Hell has become real life whilst people await patiently for the emperor’s new cloth to be tested in the pit of a global economic crisis or a chance to vote on the performance of the adults.

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

STATE: Promoting tourism in the Tarkine ... a way ahead

Ted Mead. Pic: by Ted Mead of Lake Chisholm
06.07.15 4:15 am

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Isn’t it fascinating that the Liberal government is not promoting tourism in the Tarkine whilst their driven agenda is to open up remote areas in the WHA to their development cronies.

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

A boomer’s take on the housing crisis: a personal response

Garry Stannus
06.07.15 3:45 am

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Recently, Tas Times on-published an article by Matt Ellis (via John Lawrence) which carried the title “The housing crash we had to have: A Gen Y perspective on the bubble”. You can read the article again [Here] and Ellis’s full article in [Rational Radical: Here]. I share Ellis’s view that we have a broken economic model. Ellis says that this…

utterly broken economic model is wholly reliant on housing speculation … and unacceptable financial risk.

Furthermore Ellis points to private debt (‘we borrow too much’) and certain financial policy settings which apparently enable Gen Ys to do so much borrowing.

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Sexuality, Feminism and the Coming Crunch

Christopher Nagle. Pic*
06.07.15 3:40 am

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For those who watch these things, there seems to be emerging in feminist circles an increasingly intense conflict between sexual libertarians and those with a much broader gender based sexual-political agenda.  The latter are insisting that narrowly sexistentialist (I am my sexuality) laissez-faireism (deregulated individual agency) has not been benign for women and the time is long overdue to not only put some boundaries around it, but properly address the political side of sexual politics.

• Annie in Comments: I think it is rather gorgeous that the American Indian Iroquois have a creation story about the Sky woman who floats to earth on the back of snow geese to land on turtle island. Who needs credit cards or to participate in consumer capitalism or to be exploited if the alternative is lovely story about Skywoman nourishing the soul for ever and a day? I did appreciate reading Christopher’s article several times as well. We don’t need Christmas every day to indulge the bonfire of our vanities - just a simple Christmas sharing once a year will be enough

• Christopher Nagle in Comments: … There has been the most passionate debate going on for months in this magazine about whether the Abbott government is fascist or not. The wearisome correspondence could nearly fill a book! But what I am saying has far more dramatic consequences than fascism. The secular fundamentalism that I am arguing for claims that all the virtues of our age have been turned to mush and that we must now resort to an ‘authoritarian’ and not terribly tolerant clean up to restore the commons’, whether they are biological, social or existential. …

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Politics | Opinion | Society

Hockey’s defamation win is dark news for democracy and free speech

Michael Douglas, Lecturer in Law at Curtin University, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
06.07.15 3:30 am

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We should all be careful before saying anything that will hurt our politicians’ feelings: they might sue us for defamation. On Tuesday, Treasurer Joe Hockey was awarded A$200,000 damages against Fairfax Media in relation to a series of publications that focused on his political fundraising activities.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Abetz started his spat with me with a threat to sue for defamation. The subject of the defamation was payments by Gunns Ltd of large sums of money to the Liberal Party. I took great exception to this threat and pushed back discovering that a major payment was made when he held office as Minister of Forests. He sent two men from his office to suggest that it would be in my interest to lay off the Senator. I took even greater exception to this appalling behaviour. I took him to the High Court. He has yet to be audited by the ATO over his land deals on the Channel Highway as detailed on TT: HERE . He sat illegally in the parliament as a dual national from 1994 until 2010 when he renounced his German Citizenship - you cannot renounce a citizenship you do not have. How and why is Abetz that powerful? His behaviour as a representative of the people in almost every field leaves a lot to be desired yet he remains a defining icon of the so called Liberal Party.

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Lincoln Siliakus ...

Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation
06.07.15 3:19 am

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Lincoln Siliakus - a man of true history and very influential action in the Franklin campaign - passed away today (Sunday).

Christine Milne: Vale Lincoln Siliakis: World Heritage legend

• Alec Marr in Comments: Lincoln Siliakis - He was always there ! I was privileged to work to work with Lincoln over the last 30 years. His efforts on behalf of wild places in Australia was absolutely extraordinary. Almost every major battle to protect Australia’s World Heritage for the last 30 years has relied on Lincoln at some stage of the fight. His often lonely lobbying efforts during the 1990’s (with me on the end of the phone back in Australia) eventually made it possible to have the forests of the eastern boundary of the World Heritage area finally inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2013. It was again Lincoln we relied on in the lead up to the DOHA meeting to stop the attempt by the Australian Government to remove 74,000 hectares of forest from the World Heritage area. In the end, the Australian Government was humiliated and the proposal was rejected in 7 minutes with a kick in the backside for Australia on the way through. Lincoln also helped kick start the campaign the Barrier Reef by delivering Petitions to UNESCO in 2012. Lincoln lived a happy and interesting life, he did many fine fine things for the planet and still managed to have plenty of fun along the way, we could all do worse than follow his fine example. Our Wild places have lost one of their truest friends ! Alec Marr - Bonn World Heritage Committee session 2015

Bob Brown: Lincoln Siliakus, environment legal expert, has died

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This week’s Feminist Roundup

Bronwyn Williams
06.07.15 3:15 am

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Feminist Roundup This looks cute, doesn’t it – but look closely and think about what it is.  It’s a baby girl dressed up like a woman advertising lingerie.  She can’t walk or talk or feed herself, but that’s okay, because she looks fabulous in high heels and pearls! Source: http://www.peeweepumps.com

International Business Times, via Isla MacGregor: Greek crisis: Thriving sex industry shows austerity has violated women’s rights

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Could wood be bad for the environment? That depends on policy

Andrew Macintosh, David Lindenmayer, ABC
06.07.15 3:00 am

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When considering the greenhouse gas emissions from the full lifecycle of anything, the relevant government policies should be factored in. Otherwise the results may surprise.

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Deep thinking, Brian!

Billy MacTold
06.07.15 2:30 am

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Tired of all that blathering (apt word that) by our less than exalted leaders on television – pollie-speak, aided and abetted by an army of spin doctors? Switch off and go for the alternative: the silver screen, with excellent viewing fare offered by our North Hobart establishment, the State Cinema.

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The rabid attachment to the past

Dr Michael Powell*. Picture: Daniel Haley. First pub: July 2
05.07.15 7:30 am

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The rabid attachment to the past by the Forestry Minister Paul Harriss is an heroic act in the twilight of the problem, but an utterly forlorn hope. The die is cast and has been for a long time.

SUNDAY July 5 ...

• Peter Henning in Comments: It was just a couple of weeks ago that Rick Pilkington raised the issue of the repetitive nature of the debate taking place on TT, over and over, not moving on, but stuck, with the same old stuff, arguing strongly that it was actually wrecking the site, turning people away, turning them off. It’s a good point, but my response then was that Tasmania hasn’t changed since the Tasmanian parliament licked Gunns’ boots and did their bidding, hasn’t learned, doesn’t want to and won’t.  Gunns has been replaced by others, that’s all. The politicians want to pursue the same policies they always have in relation to forestry.  We shouldn’t forget that after the collapse of Gunns there was still great hope within the Giddings government and then the Hodgman government that the pulp mill would rise from the dead and pollute the Tamar Valley for decades into the future, sucking public funds into its maw like a huge vacuum. It is beyond strange that this stuff keeps going round and round. It’s like a recurrent disease.  Maybe we should identify the obsession with clear-felling water catchments of their vegetation for woodchips which have to be subsidised to sell, then napalming the clear-felled site in order to eliminate competition for monocultural exotic p[lantations which will never earn a buck, as Easter Island syndrome. …

• Simon Warriner in Comments: re 8, so what to do about this dismal, atrocious and sad situation, Peter? That is what we are all searching for isn’t it? We could agitate for a corruption inquiry, but the mainstream media here quite obviously cannot be bothered getting off its collective arse to give it the push it needs even when the math as presented by independent rep Wilkie in the federal parliament is beyond question. no go there. We could wait for the greens to use their collective political clout with the media to get the issue up. no go there either as the greens in their infinite wisdom have supported the plantation industry. We could babble endlessly on Tasmanian Times but that is quite clearly not getting us anywhere …

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Abbott urged to play fair, not foul on marriage equality bill

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome Media Release. First pub: July 2
04.07.15 10:00 am

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Marriage equality advocates have cried foul over Tony Abbott’s claim ( here ) that the cross-party marriage equality bill may not come to a vote any time soon because it is a private members’ bill.

SATURDAY…

Rodney Croome: NRL backs marriage equality

The Age: Eric Abetz letter blasts Hobart Council over same-sex marriage: ‘Children deserve the best start in life’

Rodney Croome: Abetz should respect strong support for marriage equality among Hobart residents

The Age: Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster challenges him to allow conscience vote

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The bid to crush the green movement

Samantha Trenoweth, The Saturday Paper
02.07.15 3:00 am

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A new inquiry into environmental groups’ eligibility to receive tax-deductible donations appears to be the latest salvo in a sustained campaign to crush the green movement and starve it of funds.

• Ted Mead in Comments: … Have you ever heard of Tas GBE’s (the greatest charities in the universe) renowned businesses perpetually propped up mendicants who can’t run a profit, or return virtually anything back to the community. These GBE’s are constantly milked by copious amounts of bloated snouts in the trough, whilst their debts are forever underwritten by the taxpayers. In comparison, the environmental organisations receive a pittance in government funding, which is under the guise of at least trying to improve the well-being of the broader community. Removing funding is not about fiscal rationale, it’s about the forces of darkness quashing any dissent!

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The Yezidi: Hadi’s Cry from the Heart ...

Richard Butler
02.07.15 2:45 am

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“We’ve lost everything we ever owned. All we worked for has been taken. Our dreams…our lives..Now..apart from what we have in our hands..there is nothing..” “Best case we start again. Worst case - I think - is too frightening to think.”

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Tony Windsor: Stop the Brutes

Tony Windsor, The Saturday Paper. First published: July 1
02.07.15 2:30 am

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The only thing I have real regrets about during my time in the 2010-13 hung parliament is that I was unable to help resolve the issue of asylum seekers from Australia’s perspective. It was the greatest failure of that parliament, and the blame lies with all of us. What we are left with is a national shame.

The treatment of our nearest neighbour in particular, Indonesia, has been appalling and insulting to a nation attempting to deal with its own terrorism and refugee transit issues. I can understand Tony Abbott not comprehending the implications, but for our foreign minister to inflame the situation with Indonesia is worrying.

(Abbott’s) entire life in politics has been based on encouraging and fanning division within society. Whether it be climate science, windmills, school and university education, the strategy is always the same – divide and, in his mind at least, rule.

Download Open Letter from doctors to The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, and Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten:

Open_Australian_Border_Force_Act_A4_version.pdf

Guardian: Detention centre staff speak out in defiance of new asylum secrecy laws

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The War Against Nature Resumes

Tony Orman, George Monbiot via Pene
02.07.15 2:15 am

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In 2007, after nine years of research, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB sent its final report to the UK government. It discovered that “badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain”.(2) Rather than suppressing the disease, killing badgers appears to spread it. This has great relevance to the New Zealand situation that parallels the Badger case with its possum case.

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First Day: A celebration of the West Coast ...

Isla MacGregor
01.07.15 4:30 am

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Winter at Bluff Hill Point, north of Arthur River, West Coast about four weeks ago.

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Cable Car setback ...

Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain. Ted Cutlan ROCC Media Releases
01.07.15 4:00 am

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Respect The Mountain applauded the findings by the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) that the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) inadequately responded to the concerns of the community with regards to the Pinnacle Boundary Extension. Respect The Mountain is now calling for the amendment to be abandoned.

• ROCC: Statement on Tasmanian Planning Commission’s decision on the Wellington Trust’s process to consider extending the ‘Pinnacle Specific Zone’ on Mt Wellington After a long process that should never have taken place, the Tasmanian Planning Commission has severely criticised the process run by Wellington Trust to extend the development zone on Mt Wellington.

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Open letter, $4m lost, an illegal jetty . . .

Bob Hawkins. First published: June 30
30.06.15 5:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Cr Mike Wilson is trying to undermine the standing of Cr Peter Coad, who has been mayor at Huon Valley Council since November. In an ‘Open letter to residents of the Huon Valley’ (in an advertisement published on June 24 in the Huon Valley News), Wilson, leader of council’s Heart of the Huon team, accuses Coad of failing to “accurately report the policies and decisions of the council”.

YESTERDAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents ...

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

A typical kneejerk reponse ...

Isla MacGregor. Tim Slade's pic of a tap in Pioneer
30.06.15 4:45 am

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TasWater’s Review (of a scientific paper on identification of the sources of metal (lead) contamination in drinking waters in north-eastern Tasmania) has been exposed for being the typical kneejerk response from Tasmanian Government authorities that Tasmanian’s are so accustomed to.  TasWater’s review, like so many other flawed and deficient Government reports on issues concerning metal contamination of raw drinking water or reticulated drinking water supplies has been nothing less than a failed PR exercise. Could Mark Veitch from the DHHS, Michael Brewster from TasWater please explain to the public and Minister Michael Ferguson how such a flawed review could have been written?

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Nothing much has changed in almost half a century ...

Peter C. Sims Quoiba. Miriam Rose, Foil Vedanta
30.06.15 4:30 am

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Seeing Ted’s latest pictures and article STATE: Poisoning our Western Rivers – When will it stop? ( TT here ) - reminded me of similar photos of West Coast mining areas that I took and published in the 1970s.

• Miriam Rose, Foil Vedanta Media Release: London; Protesters oppose Responsible Extractives Summit ...

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STATE: Poisoning our Western Rivers – When will it stop?

Ted Mead. Pic* All Pics: Ted Mead Pub: First pub: June 29
30.06.15 4:15 am

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It is far from current news that Tasmania’s Western Rivers are in a desperate plight through insensitive mining activities ... but with the Lib/Labs’ desperate vision for more mining jobs in the state the process of environmental responsibility and accountability seems to be rapidly deteriorating.

• Joan Emberg in Comments: Being a ‘Queenie girl’, I am horrified ... it is even worse than I remember as a kid. it’s proof of the rapaciousness of the mining industry and the trash and dump mentality of so many.  My dad used to talk about the pristine wilderness before sulphur from Mt Lyell devastated the environs.  Heart breaking! 

• Nicole Anderson in Comments: Thank you again Ted. This serves to contrast starkly the talk up of mining in the Tarkine by the state government spin. These are pictures that they would prefer the public not see, much less the commentary. A sad reality and warning for the future if Venture and others continue to thwart the lax regulations over environmental management.

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Science | Society

Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents

Peter Coad, Councillor Deep Bay, Mayor HVC. Pic: of Peter Coad
29.06.15 6:40 am

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Since becoming Mayor, I have tried to create an environment in which each of us is free to air our ideas. With regret, I report that I believe council is fast becoming dysfunctional. My role as Mayor is continually obstructed, and my attempts to achieve the much needed reform that I campaigned for is continually blocked by Councillor Mike Wilson and other members of the Heart of the Huon team. Councillor Wilson frequently misrepresents my stated policies, and works to undermine my role as Mayor. For example, his advertisement in this newspaper last week (June 24, page 7) contained errors of fact and misrepresented my policies in several respects. This hurts all of us and denies council the opportunity to be a community leader. Councillor Wilson should respect the people’s expressed desire last October for change in council’s direction. Had they not wanted change, they surely would have elected a Heart of the Huon member as council’s leader. If we are to make progress, we must learn from our mistakes, be honest, open and transparent in our decision making, and throw off council’s reputation for secrecy. For instance, we must not allow a repeat of secret decisions that resulted in council’s loss of some $4 million of its reserves, and years of secrecy about that loss ever since …

I assure you, amalgamation is not my first preference. But if we are to avoid it, it is vital we liaise closely with neighbouring councils to rationalise our operations …

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NATION: Captain Abbott flags full steam astern ...

Urban Wronski http://urbanwronski.com/ Pic*
29.06.15 6:35 am

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The week that was ... ‘Full steam astern,’ Captain Hook-or-by-Crook Abbott, ducking volleys of brickbats, derision and sheer disbelief from home and abroad, cowers on the poop deck, manfully commanding the start of another week of good government and doing whatever craven acts it takes to follow the almighty IPA’s wish-list, amen, annihilate all opponents and preserve his arse, a commodity he must remind us, that is not for sale.

• phill Parsons in Comments: No Newspoll when it was due. What did it say for all the confused rush of Abbott’s meat pies full of fear and lies. Other polls have Shorten’s Labor in a winning position and yet the Lieberals are running both the idea of an early election and not having one, to further destabilize the economy. This process makes Rudd’s chaos look like a calm sea. Abbott may not be finished as he can push the buttons of the less focussed but the cost to the polity, the economy and to the values we all should hold dear because they made the country fairer may yet undo him at an election.

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

‘When all the time we want to move the stars to pity ...’

Richard Flanagan
29.06.15 6:14 am

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‘Things I Once Knew’. An exhibition of the work of Patrick Hall. Text of a launch speech by Richard Flanagan, Tasmanian Musuem and Art Gallery, 20 March 2015… Walking through this exhibition with Pat earlier this week I realised that there arose in Tasmania in the 1980s a remarkable generation of artists, craftspeople, poets, architects, and writers. As successive governments sought to drag the island backwards into a nightmare of division and destruction, these artists were taking it forward, reinventing the island as an invitation to dream a new world.

Highly influential on that generation were Pat Hall’s two great mentors who turned the Tasmanian Art School’s Design in Wood course into a mecca for so many. One was Kevin Perkins—whose work includes the prime ministers office in the new parliament house—the other, John Smith. John, like Kev, was a leading furniture maker designer.  …

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