Articles

Things that can’t last ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk: http://www.tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pub: Mar 6
06.03.15 2:21 pm

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Things that can’t last forever usually don’t.

… Nor, unfortunately, has Mr Harriss’ chutzpah in leading FT employees down a garden path.

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

STATE: Cadbury dips out of $16 million grant for Tasmanian factory upgrade. FT on the brink ...

ABC
06.03.15 5:14 am

Image for STATE: Cadbury dips out of $16 million grant for Tasmanian factory upgrade. FT on the brink ...

Chocolate maker Cadbury has withdrawn its application for a $16 million grant from the Federal Government to upgrade its Hobart factory because it had failed to meet certain requirements.

Bryan Green: Liberals must guarantee Cadbury money is spent in Tasmania

Will Hodgman: Cadbury

Cadbury: Andrew Wilkie’s bitter disappointment

Christine Milne: $16 million should still flow for Tasmanian jobs

Examiner: Forestry Tasmania fate in the balance FORESTRY Tasmania hangs in the balance, with its chairman telling staff the company’s immediate future is entirely in the government’s hand. In an email sent to Forestry Tasmania staff yesterday, chairman Bob Annells responded to mounting concerns that the cash-strapped company may be dissolved and folded into a government department.

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Hockey’s IGR: Meaningless forecasts based on magical thinking

DR RICHARD DENNISS Executive director of The Australia Institute
06.03.15 5:00 am

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Australia does face long-term problems and an ageing population is one of them, but ironically, we are using a fabricated fear campaign about the future to conceal the fact that the government isn’t investing heavily in new aged-care centres today. Similarly, if we want to worry about something big in 2050, climate change would seem to be a far more likely candidate. Imagine the outcry if climate scientists relied on assumptions as silly as those used by Treasury. Looking down the track is an important part of leadership, but using dodgy economic modelling to whip up fear will do little to help the government either plan for the future or to get the public to engage in a real conversation about where we are heading.

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Forestry’s FSC Application Decision Delayed

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release
05.03.15 5:00 am

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The Greens have forced the Resources minister, Paul Harriss, to confirm that the decision on Forestry Tasmania’s application for Forest Stewardship certification (FSC) has been delayed.

EARLIER ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Bryan Green: Liberals refuse to guarantee Forestry Tasmania’s future A dark cloud hangs over Forestry Tasmania’s future after senior Liberal Ministers today refused to rule out shutting it down. “Both the Treasurer and the Resources Minister today dodged questions over whether Forestry Tasmania will continue as a stand-alone Government business,” Labor Leader Bryan Green said today. “Peter Gutwein and Paul Harriss have added to uncertainty over Forestry Tasmania by refusing to speculate on its future while reviewing the operation of the business. “This is a massive shift from the Liberals pre-election promise to allow Forestry Tasmania to trade its way out of financial trouble. “Are the Liberals planning to wind up Forestry Tasmania or transfer the business into a government department? “The Liberals have done nothing to turn around the decline in the forest industry despite their promises, so how do they expect Forestry Tasmania to survive without a subsidy?

• Robin Charles Halton, in Comments: FT’s main problem is the premature destruction of high quality regrowth forests for peelers by sacrificing the future of high quality sawlogs to produce prized Tasmanian Oak for premium furniture, feature flooring and panelling, sliced veneer and fit outs for homes, offices and architect designed buildings open to the benefit of showcasing our timber heritage. It’s not FSC that FT should be concerned about its the actual presence of Ta Ann till 2026/27 that is the concern. FSC is nothing more than a fools game for ticking boxes and creates a false sense of belief that sustainable forest management regimes are in place. It just creates a trail for an international bureaucracy for alternative forest rubber stamping to tell the public on a global basis their timber products are sustainable.

• Ted Mead, in Comments: #6 yes - Very true Robin - So tell me why all your other pro Forestry fanatical mates don’t see it like this. Cutting forests for the sake of cutting forests is never going to be the answer to the Industry’s woes. Sustainability of carefully managed forest is what we need - but nobody in the industry understands that or doesn’t want to think about it. We are still living in the decades of the past through unbridled pillage and plunder to the benefit of the very few, and the huge economic, environmental and social costs to the rest of us

Bryan Green: Harriss adds fuel to Forestry fire This morning’s hysterical rant from Resources Minister Paul Harriss has only strengthened the argument that he plans to shut down Forestry Tasmania. Labor Leader Byran Green said Mr Harriss went nowhere near the question asked and he is fuelling growing uncertainty over FT by refusing to guarantee its future. “For the second day in a row, Paul Harriss refused to rule out shutting down Forestry Tasmania,” Mr Green said. “And Mr Harriss failed to explain how Forestry Tasmania will remain solvent in the coming years. “There is no money in the budget papers to keep Forestry Tasmania solvent.

Kim Booth: Minister Must Intervene and Stop Lapoinya Logging Greens Leader and Forestry Kim Booth MP today tabled in the Parliament a formal call for Forestry Tasmania to abandon its plans to log contentious Coupe FD053 at Lapoinya in the state’s north-west. “There are serious and necessary studies which have not been conducted for this coupe, and without these then logging should not occur, it is as simple as that, ” Mr Booth said. “Lapoinya is recognised as home to the threatened Giant Freshwater Lobster, but no survey has been conducted to check whether this species is living within the planned logging area.” “Similarly despite the Tommingeer Nation going to the coupe and identifying artefact zones, Forestry Tasmania has not undertaken any Aboriginal Heritage study.” “This piece of land is not just beautiful, like all of Tasmanian’s wilderness, but importantly it is home to various vulnerable, threatened and endangered species.” “As usual, Forestry Tasmania have gone like a bull at a gate with the proposed logging of Lapoinya”

• FLOG, in Comments: Minister Harriss, Is it true that: “the plywood mill promised by Ta Ann after receiving yet more government funds has been built but the imported machinery has failed to meet Australian standards and is currently being modified. The main press is installed a few feet below factory floor level and keeps filling up with water apparently, which is not a complete surprise given the area was a swamp in a earlier life. Maybe the soil testing was outsourced to FT planners?”  Does this failure of governance by Ta Ann now allow you to void the peeler contract? Does this make Ta Ann in default of contract terms? Are you actively seeking a refund of the subsidy provided to Ta Ann? Have you informed SCS Global of this default? Is Lapoinya still to be logged? Lots more questions but this will do for the moment Paul ...

Examiner: Forestry Tasmania fate in the balance FORESTRY Tasmania hangs in the balance, with its chairman telling staff the company’s immediate future is entirely in the government’s hand. In an email sent to Forestry Tasmania staff yesterday, chairman Bob Annells responded to mounting concerns that the cash-strapped company may be dissolved and folded into a government department.

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

STATE: Lapoinya; Institutionalised duck-shoving. EMRS ...

FLOG (Friends of Lapoinya Observers Group) Pub March 2
05.03.15 4:30 am

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…Maybe in theory. But in practice the comprehensive system is a giant charade, a system more honoured in the breach than the observance which at best pays lip service to community consultation where FT stacks the deck, employs the croupier and administers the rules in tandem with the FPA, which if ever there was a classic example of regulatory capture, FPA is it. The house wins every time.  …

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Welcome to the treadmill. I once complained to the FPA about a forest practices plan that was a conversion coupe near Mole Creek. The coupe was above the Mole Creek town water supply. Even when Bob Loone showed maps to the FPA and proved that it was above the water supply the FPA said it was below the supply. The forest practices plan had many faults. The forest type was wrongly attributed as Tall Obliqua forest when in fact it was Wet Delegatensis. The slopes were under estimated. There were sinkholes in the coupe that were ignored. It was above a Karst area The Geology was marked as Basalt Talus when in fact it was Dolerite Talus. ( same minerals just a couple of hundred million years earlier and different characteristics) But in the end the plan had it right, they wanted to cut the trees down and replace them with a plantation and that was apparently all they had to get right. Even the Chair of the FPA board was gobsmacked when two of us took him on a tour. So folks welcome to the game. It does seem seriously odd to me that the RFA requires FT to produce a three year plan of what they are going to do, yet they change the plan every year and then if anyone complains the plans change at will. It is the old we lose they win scenario.

ABC: Tasmanian Liberal Party support stabilises after 12 months of falling polls Tasmania’s Liberal Government has stabilised its support after a steady drop in the polls since winning the election in March last year, according to the latest state opinion poll.Support for the Liberal Party has been steady at 42 per cent since the previous survey in November 2014. The Labor Party has seen a 3-point rise in support over the same period, with its support now sitting on 34 per cent. Labor’s gain appears to have come at the expense of the Greens, who lost 4 points over the same timeframe and now sit on 14 per cent. The EMRS poll of 1,000 Tasmanians was taken last weekend.

Jenny Weber: Poll Majority Backs Wilderness. Download Poll analysis HERE.All about today’s Town Hall Rally, HERE

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: #14 Yes Robin it does appear that our forests are again being plundered to supply one company’s needs. It certainly does appear that all good planning, such as the 90 year rotation we have been told is the plan have gone out the window. Politics seems to get in the way every time. I am guessing that Ta Ann give bigger political donations than the planners at FT do. Good to see that we are on the same page as far as the need to see the back of Ta Ann. Paul Lennon made a grave error of judgement inviting them here and paying them to set up. I too wonder where the subsidy to build the plywood mill has gone.

Luke Martin: ‘Enough’s enough’ of Conservationists’ Fear Campaign

Nick McKim: Groom Refuses to Rule Out Public Subsidies for Wilderness Development

Bryan Green: Liberals refuse to guarantee Forestry Tasmania’s future A dark cloud hangs over Forestry Tasmania’s future after senior Liberal Ministers today refused to rule out shutting it down. “Both the Treasurer and the Resources Minister today dodged questions over whether Forestry Tasmania will continue as a stand-alone Government business,” Labor Leader Bryan Green said today. “Peter Gutwein and Paul Harriss have added to uncertainty over Forestry Tasmania by refusing to speculate on its future while reviewing the operation of the business. “This is a massive shift from the Liberals pre-election promise to allow Forestry Tasmania to trade its way out of financial trouble. “Are the Liberals planning to wind up Forestry Tasmania or transfer the business into a government department? “The Liberals have done nothing to turn around the decline in the forest industry despite their promises, so how do they expect Forestry Tasmania to survive without a subsidy?

• FLOG, in Comments: Pete (#15)we understand the plywood mill has been built but the imported machinery has failed to meet Australian standards and is currently being modified. The main press is installed a few feet below factory floor level and keeps filling up with water apparently, which is not a complete surprise given the area was a swamp in a earlier life. Maybe the soil testing was outsourced to FT planners?

• Doug Nichols, Neil Smith in Comments HERE Enough is not enough, Mr Martin ...

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: Robin Charles Halton 14. Excellent comment. Ta Ann is really a ‘trojan horse’ for forestry in Tasmania. I predict Ta Ann will be unable to use plantation timber for veneers unless they source from private forests with very old trees that were not planted for pulp wood. Ta Ann can forget anything planted after 2000. I discovered a serious design fault with so called ‘clonal tree plantations’. This seems to have really frightened the plant science department at UTAS. It could be very expensive and embarrassing for all concerned ...

Kim Booth: Greens outline alternative vision in State of the State speech “We are also prepared to tackle certain areas which have been left in the too hard basket by successive governments for far too long, such as the ongoing viability of Forestry Tasmania.” “Despite the Liberal’s broken promise to end any further taxpayer subsidies to Forestry Tasmania, they have further entrenched the corporation’s reliance on the public purse, and voted down attempts to require it move to a full cost recovery business model.” “Forestry Tasmania is losing more money for every tree it cuts down, while other government businesses are bled dry to keep propping it up.” “This must stop, and there must be an objective and independent assessment of Forestry Tasmania’s current financial situation, its operational structure and its future within the context of a viable and modern timber products industry and good management of Tasmania’s forest estate.”

Kim Booth: Minister Must Intervene and Stop Lapoinya Logging Greens Leader and Forestry Kim Booth MP today tabled in the Parliament a formal call for Forestry Tasmania to abandon its plans to log contentious Coupe FD053 at Lapoinya in the state’s north-west. “There are serious and necessary studies which have not been conducted for this coupe, and without these then logging should not occur, it is as simple as that, ” Mr Booth said. “Lapoinya is recognised as home to the threatened Giant Freshwater Lobster, but no survey has been conducted to check whether this species is living within the planned logging area.” “Similarly despite the Tommingeer Nation going to the coupe and identifying artefact zones, Forestry Tasmania has not undertaken any Aboriginal Heritage study.” “This piece of land is not just beautiful, like all of Tasmanian’s wilderness, but importantly it is home to various vulnerable, threatened and endangered species.” “As usual, Forestry Tasmania have gone like a bull at a gate with the proposed logging of Lapoinya”

Examiner: Forestry Tasmania fate in the balance FORESTRY Tasmania hangs in the balance, with its chairman telling staff the company’s immediate future is entirely in the government’s hand. In an email sent to Forestry Tasmania staff yesterday, chairman Bob Annells responded to mounting concerns that the cash-strapped company may be dissolved and folded into a government department.

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Writers | John Powell | Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Nationwide rallies protest cuts to workers’ rights and wages. School funding row ...

Mercury. All pics Rob Walls*
05.03.15 4:15 am

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HUNDREDS of Tasmanians have joined nationwide rallies to protest cuts to workers’ rights and wages.

Nick McKim: Rockliff Caught Out Secretly Increasing Funding to Non-Govt Schools While Slashing Funding for Public Schools Department of Education figures released to the Greens under Right to Information legislation show that Minister Jeremy Rockliff has secretly increased funding to non-government schools while slashing funding for public schools by over $18 million. “The Department’s figures show that even allowing for a small increase this year to School Resource Packages, public schools have lost over $18m compared to last year, while non-government schools have had their state government funding increased by over $1.4m,” said Greens Education spokesperson Nick McKim MP. “And that is not even factoring in the loss of pathway planners and the entire Guaranteeing Futures team or the massive reduction in IT support for public schools, both of which have shifted more costs out of the Department and onto schools.” “When asked about the figures in parliament this morning, Mr Rockliff initially said that funding for non-government schools had been decreased, but then later tried to claim that they had got ‘less than they expected’. Well Minister, which is it?”

Michelle O’Byrne: Pressure mounts on Education Minister

Jenny Eddington, TASSO President: Where is the equity? The concerns of parents are validated by the information shared in State Parliament today that public education funding is down by millions, whilst funding to the Catholic and Independent sectors has increased. Where is the equity? ‘Public schools are the cornerstone of our education system, it must be at the heart of any plan to invest in our future’ said Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations Inc.,TASSO President, Jenny Eddington

Nick McKim: Rockliff’s response beggars belief

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s son begs him to spare Chan and Sukumaran

Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia
05.03.15 4:00 am

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Rifts develop as former Australian resident Gibran Rakabuming Raka, son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, begs his father to spare the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who are now being readied for execution, writes contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.

SkyNews: MPs hold candlelight vigil for Bali Nine

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The Intergenerational Report and Triggs’ TFC: What it says about us. Thursday: Living to 100

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 4. Pic: of Joe Hockey
05.03.15 3:29 am

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… Expect sensational drama, a packed house and lashings of frenzied fear mongering. Expect to be hectored, lectured and shouted at. Like his leader, Hockey raises his voice when he can’t lift his argument. Flags go up, too. Expect the full Nuremburg of flags, flanking Joe Treasurer as he looks into the darkness of the worst of all possible futures glassily. Expect anti-Labor raving; how Labor drinks the blood of the young; sups with the devil and is out to wreck and destroy everything from here to Armageddon. Every revivalist loves his anti-Christ. …

SMH: Weapons companies use Australian War Memorial in Canberra for celebrations Concerns have been raised about the world’s biggest weapons companies hiring a shrine to thousands of Australia’s war dead for their parties. Senate Estimates heard on Wednesday night that American company Northrop Grumman used the Australian War Memorial’s Anzac Hall in December to “increase its profile” and celebrate its expansion in Australia. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, whose grandfather was commemorated at the memorial, said he had been approached by a member of the Canberra veterans’ association who was unhappy about it. Senator Whish-Wilson said profit-making private arms manufacturers should not be using such a sensitive location for their parties. “I’m raising this as an ethical issue given what the memorial symbolises to the Australian people,” Senator Whish-Wilson said. “Some of the biggest companies in the world are using our shrine to promote their business.” BuzzFeed: American Weapons Maker Used Australian War Memorial As Corporate Function Room Watch on YouTube: The Senate Estimates exchange ...

THURSDAY ...

SMH: Australians to live longer and be poorer in 2055, Intergenerational Report shows Australia’s population will live longer and be poorer over the next 40 years, with slower economic growth and a massive spike in the number of people living to 100, the latest Intergenerational Report shows. The national population will reach nearly 39.7 million by 2054-55, even as the rate of growth slows, while net overseas migration is expected to remain around 215,000 people annually and the number of people aged over 65 will double. The average life expectancy of an Australian woman born in 2055 will reach 96.6 years, up from 93.6 in 2015, while a man born in 2055 will on average live until he is 95.1 years, up from 91.5 years. The federal government’s fourth intergenerational report predicts the Australian economy will settle on a slightly lower growth path, easing to 2.8 per cent from an average 3.1 per cent over the last 40 years. The Intergenerational Report, released on Thursday, outlines three long-run drivers of economic growth - participation, productivity and population growth. The report sets out a doomsday scenario of ballooning debt that would have reached 122 per cent of GDP under Labor’s policy settings, and warns that under current policy settings, net debt will instead reach 60 per cent of GDP - $2609 billion in today’s dollars.

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

NATION: Abbott’s Dark and Chilling Vision for Australia

Peter Henning. Pic: of Tony Abbott Pub: Mar 2
05.03.15 3:00 am

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The bipartisan approach in relation to refugee policy, Manus Island and Nauru, Cambodia and elsewhere, indicts us all, infects us all like a scabrous stain on our character.  If we can’t even have compassion for the most innocent, the most vulnerable of all – children – how should we describe ourselves? But it is not only children.  It is families, lone individuals, men and women, old and young.  All flotsam and rubbish in the brutopia of Australia under Abbott and his Antoinettes.

The Forgotten Children report is critical of federal governments, Labor and Liberal, and both parties need to heed the findings of the report and take immediate action. Having said that, Tony Abbott’s attack on Professor Gillian Triggs shames us all.  It could be described as appalling.  It is worse than that.  It has been described by some in the mainstream commentariat as reprehensible.  It is certainly that.  It is also cowardly in the extreme and cold-bloodedly chilling in its essential message.

Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia: Tim Wilson already promised Gillian Triggs’ job

John Pilger: Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue

Bob Ellis: The Twenty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday

ABC: Prime Minister Tony Abbott receives poll boost as he looks to shift focus to economy, national security

MEAA condemns Data Retention Bill’s hunt for journalists’ sources

Richard Flanagan, Guardian: But this is not a strong government. It is a deathmask of 1970s rightwing student bigotries and undergraduate bullying that has formed the most incompetent government in our history, the legacy of which conservatives will have to live down for decades.

THURSDAY ...

SMH: Australians to live longer and be poorer in 2055, Intergenerational Report shows Australia’s population will live longer and be poorer over the next 40 years, with slower economic growth and a massive spike in the number of people living to 100, the latest Intergenerational Report shows. The national population will reach nearly 39.7 million by 2054-55, even as the rate of growth slows, while net overseas migration is expected to remain around 215,000 people annually and the number of people aged over 65 will double. The average life expectancy of an Australian woman born in 2055 will reach 96.6 years, up from 93.6 in 2015, while a man born in 2055 will on average live until he is 95.1 years, up from 91.5 years. The federal government’s fourth intergenerational report predicts the Australian economy will settle on a slightly lower growth path, easing to 2.8 per cent from an average 3.1 per cent over the last 40 years. The Intergenerational Report, released on Thursday, outlines three long-run drivers of economic growth - participation, productivity and population growth. The report sets out a doomsday scenario of ballooning debt that would have reached 122 per cent of GDP under Labor’s policy settings, and warns that under current policy settings, net debt will instead reach 60 per cent of GDP - $2609 billion in today’s dollars.

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Writers | Peter Henning | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Why I have resigned from the Telegraph . ABC Print figures. Death, Drugs and HSBC ...

Peter Oborne, (ex-Telegraph) OurKingdom. Lindsay Tuffin. First Pub: Feb 23
03.03.15 5:26 am

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Ed: This is an extraordinarily important article. It is about the inexorable decline of Print in the Digital Age ... and the thrashing-about lengths to which Print goes to accommodate boosterism in all its forms, whether the Cargo-Cult bleatings of The Pulp-Mill Examiner to the rampant boosterism of all things Development, ‘Open for Business’ or Tourism (Mercury) ... The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.

Columbia Journalism Review: Anybody there? Why the UK’s phone-hacking scandal met media silence

• Download Print’s latest ABC circulation figures, including for Mercury, but not Examiner or Advocate ...

• don knowler, in Comments: yes, the telegraph was “a significant part of Britain’s civic architecture” as were the other great newspapers like the guardian, representing their own political views in editorials but keeping the news straight. there was a wonderful balance across fleet street. all gone now, of course, and i lament the demise of Britain’s “dead tree media”, if not empire.

Death, Drugs and HSBC Nafeez Ahmed: How fraudulent blood money makes the world go round

Crikey:ACMA armed to the teeth: prepare for a media-regulation brawl

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

State of the State ...

Will Hodgman, Premier. ABC pic of Will Hodgman
03.03.15 5:24 am

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Today I want to talk to Tasmanians about the future; and it’s a future they can look forward to with optimism and confidence.

Bryan Green: Will Hodgman in self-preservation mode

Kim Booth: Can the Liberal leopard change its spots?

Luke Martin: ‘Enough’s enough’ of Conservationists’ Fear Campaign

Nick McKim: Groom Refuses to Rule Out Public Subsidies for Wilderness Development

Bryan Green: Labor’s State of the State reply

Kim Booth: Greens outline alternative vision in State of the State speech “We are also prepared to tackle certain areas which have been left in the too hard basket by successive governments for far too long, such as the ongoing viability of Forestry Tasmania.” “Despite the Liberal’s broken promise to end any further taxpayer subsidies to Forestry Tasmania, they have further entrenched the corporation’s reliance on the public purse, and voted down attempts to require it move to a full cost recovery business model.” “Forestry Tasmania is losing more money for every tree it cuts down, while other government businesses are bled dry to keep propping it up.” “This must stop, and there must be an objective and independent assessment of Forestry Tasmania’s current financial situation, its operational structure and its future within the context of a viable and modern timber products industry and good management of Tasmania’s forest estate.”

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

Answers Needed Over Macquarie Harbour Health Concerns

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release
03.03.15 5:20 am

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The Greens have today exposed serious concerns raised within the salmon farm industry about the health of Macquarie Harbour, tabling in the House of Assembly leaked correspondence from industry representatives to the State government.

EARLIER ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Abalone industry fears over salmon farms

Kim Booth: Salmon farming taking toll on marine wildlife

Rebecca Hubbard: Tasmanian Aquaculture Regulator Failing – Leaked Salmon Company Emails Expose Problems

Jeremy Rockliff: Greens Scaremongering on Macquarie Harbour

Kim Booth: EPA must investigate Macquarie Harbour health concerns

• David Obendorf, in Comments: The acknowledged overstocking of the Macquarie Harbour aquaculture leases needs to be investigated and made public, as soon as possible.  Sadly the Tasmanian Integrity Commission lacks the resources, the statutory powers and most important the public confidence to undertake an inquiry into the arrangements within the Tasmanian aquaculture industry at Macquarie Harbour and the business growth forged on the back of WWF’s green-washing accreditation of Tassal’s operations. The latest troubled water for Tasmanian politicians and its bureaucracy to deal with.

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Mission Creep ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release
03.03.15 5:15 am

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More Australian troops will not solve the crisis in Iraq. …The dreadful situation in Iraq is a mess of our own making. Australia helped start this war 12 years ago, for entirely fraudulent reasons, and we are now all left to pay the price. 

• What Jacqui Lambie told the Senate ... Senator LAMBIE:  Like I said, that is after you rip 1.5 per cent of their pay rise off them, off their families. How is their morale going? That is how you are going to send them back into war. You should be bloody proud of yourselves! As a matter of fact, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. It is an absolute disgrace. Why don’t you start looking after them and leading by example? …

• Jacqui Lambie: High crimes of freedom and sedition ...

• Jacqui Lambie: Questions without notice ...

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Society

Anthropogenic Climate Change Denier’s Nightmare

Keith Antonysen*
03.03.15 4:30 am

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A very recently-released study would indicate that all people or groups who have sought to create confusion through denying anthropogenic climate change should provide us with an apology.

It’s Climate Change ...

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Fair go ...

Bazzabee*
03.03.15 4:00 am

Image for Fair go ...

The UK Independent newspaper recently carried two stories that when read individually should give Australian and British readers serious cause for concern.  But when read together should give readers even greater cause for concern.  Both stories describe the behaviour of Muslims in our modern world.

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

Lambie refuses to be intimidated by a beheading threat

Rob Messenger Media Release. Pub: Mar 1
03.03.15 3:55 am

Image for Lambie refuses to be intimidated by a beheading threat

Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has vowed not to be intimated by a letter claiming to be from a supporter of Islamic State and the Sydney siege perpetrator, which sentences her to death (see above). “My office received this death threat letter last Friday. It was accompanied by 3 glossy photographs, one of which showed a close up shot of a man’s head being cut off. Obviously someone is trying to intimidate and scare me. I will not be intimidated or scared.

Lambie Press Conference, YouTube here

Mercury: Police find fingerprint on death threat note sent to Senator Jacqui Lambie

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Seeds of life ...

Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
03.03.15 3:50 am

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Ever since I bought a $2 packet of seeds from an elderly couple at the Longford Flower Show a decade ago I’ve been fascinated by seeds.

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Writers | Hilary Burden | Politics | Local | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Beyond belief Down Under

Philip Lynch. Pic: of Maynooth
03.03.15 3:45 am

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One September day back in 1980, twenty of us arrived in Cork to begin our noviciate year. I was eighteen years old and like me most had just sat the Leaving but a few had given up careers as teachers and sales reps. For the majority of us, the eventual reality would pan out to be a little more ordinary.

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Writers | Philip Lynch | Opinion | Personal | Religion | Society

She moved us to Melbourne to avoid the possibility ... that I would kill my father ...

John Ward, Gordon
02.03.15 4:59 am

Image for She moved us to Melbourne to avoid the possibility ... that I would kill my father ...

He would come out of the darkness, lost somewhere in a fog of morphine and over-proof rum. He would rave, scream, shouting and crying ... reliving things he experienced in the siege of Tobruk during the war.

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5 comments

Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Terrified of terrorists?

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp
02.03.15 4:50 am

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Police Commissioner Bill Keelty told the Howard Government how to put terrorists off the streets, but was ignored. Evan Whitton explains why all English-speaking legislatures put lawyers’ profits before citizens’ safety. Part of the following derives from Justinian 19 April 2005.

H. L. Mencken observed in 1920: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” Lawyer-politician John (Jackie the Lackey) Howard, PM 1996-2007, had a useful array of hobgoblins. One of his best, in 2003, was that Saddam Hussein could blow us all up with his (mythical) weapons of mass destruction.

Lawyers are 0.2% of the population, but lawyer-politicians are 53% (10 of 19) of the current Australian Cabinet: Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, Eric Abetz, George Brandis, Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Andrews, Greg Hunt, Mathias Cormann. Labor also has lawyer-politicians, including leader Bill Shorten, but not as many.

• Peter Bright, in Comments: Most disturbing is Evan Whitton’s revelation that “Lawyers are 0.2% of the population, but lawyer-politicians are 53% (10 of 19) of the current Australian Cabinet: Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, Eric Abetz, George Brandis, Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Andrews, Greg Hunt, Mathias Cormann.” These figures confirm my suspicion that Liberal politicians are “in it” for themselves, and their mates, and those whom they permit (for gain of some kind, no doubt) to manipulate them. That’s all really, really sick. It constitutes national betrayal.

The Intercept: Petraeus plea deal reveals two-tier justice system for leaks

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Writers | Evan Whitton | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Breaking the Silence ...

Rodney Croome. Pic: Rosie Batty gets her award from PM Abbott
02.03.15 4:45 am

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Launch of “Hidden”, an exhibition organised by the Bridgewater-based Breaking the Silence Group, Mawson’s Pavilion, Monday Feb 23rd, 2015 This exhibition is about breaking the silence that shrouds family violence.

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

‘He seems to belong on Route 66 instead of the Devil’s Highway ...’

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
02.03.15 4:15 am

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Donald Knower’s speech at the launch of his book Riding the Devil’s Highway, at the Hobart Bookshop on Thursday, 26 February … But I want to mention James Harris again. The journalism cliché goes that if a person didn’t exist you would have to invent them, but I don’t think anyone could invent James Harris. He looks like Bob Dylan’s roadie, wearing denim, red braces and a baseball cap. He seems to belong on Route 66 instead of the Devil’s Highway. In his late sixties or early seventies, he ran a successful veterinary practice in California …

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Writers | Don Knowler | Rob Walls | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Books | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

The Final Mother Mountain ...Symphony of Birdsong (52)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
02.03.15 4:00 am

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After appearing on the Tasmanian Times for a year, this is the last extract from the diary Don Knowler compiled after daily rambles on Mount Welling during 2012 and 2013. The publication of the diary was prompted by the Respect the Mountain Forum at the Hobart Town Hall last year.  In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi,  Knowler hopes the diary has given 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 | Personal | Society

Santiago

James Dryburgh
02.03.15 3:30 am

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I look at Santo’s face, then up to an old photograph on the wall of a young Scottish man about to head off to war. He’s my father’s father, a grandfather I never met. I wonder if there’s not something in his face that’s also in the face of my baby son, peacefully sleeping before me. Could there be some physical memory of his great grandfather in Santiago, the shape of his nose, cheek structure or eyes? Then I wonder, if it’s so common to inherit appearance and susceptibility to illness, then it follows that mental characteristics are passed on too. Santo might have some of the same secret anxieties, dreams, hopes or senses of humour that an ancestor had – a familiar voice in his head

James Dryburgh’s experience of pregnancy, birth and the early days of fatherhood.

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Writers | James Dryburgh

Is media objectivity an outdated model?

Tim Dunlop, ABC Drum
02.03.15 3:20 am

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When reporting on political matters like Tony Abbott’s national security speech, what’s the value of the “straight” news report anymore? In the new-media world perhaps subjective reporting can offer more, writes Tim Dunlop.

Columbia Journalism Review: To keep or ditch the comments? While some sites maintain a discussion on the page, others outsource it to social media

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Opinion | History | Media | Society

Toxic TasWater, Part 2 ~ From the Operating Room to a Public Meeting with the Health Minister

Tim Slade* Pics: of Pioneer
02.03.15 3:15 am

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Today I visited the Scottsdale Hospital to attend a public meeting with the Hon. Mr Michael Ferguson, Tasmanian Minister for Health.

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Tarkine Rainforest and the Mining Industry Spin

Ted Mead
02.03.15 3:00 am

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Consistent with Tasmania’s Tourism Industry Council’s claim that woodchips and tourism can maybe co exist – the Tas Minerals and Energy Council has recently jumped on the same spin bandwagon to claim that mining and tourism in the Tarkine can also be compatible.

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society | Travel

How Jho Low Used PetroSaudi As “A Front” To Siphon Billions Out Of 1MDB!

Sarawak Report
02.03.15 2:00 am

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Together with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, Sarawak Report has completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of Malaysia’s 1MDB (One Malaysia Development Berhad) financial scandal.

Managing the Media and Then Foreign Policy – How Jho Low Took Over!

From From 1MDB To The UBG Bank Buy Out – How The USD$700 Million Was Managed

Jynwel Capital: Rooted in the Past, Invested in the Future

Sarawak Report: Why Was A UBG Bank Executive Employed As 1MDB’s Investment Manager During PetroSaudi’s Loan And Buy Out Negotiations?

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Submissions to the Medicinal Cannabis Bill

The Senate
02.03.15 1:15 am

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On 12 February 2015, the Senate referred the Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2014 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.
The closing date for submissions is 13 March 2015. The reporting date is 21 April 2015.

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Politics | National | Economy | Health | Society

Why Fifty Shades of Grey sends a troubling message to young women

Geelong Advertiser
02.03.15 1:00 am

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THE film adaptation of EL James’ controversial book spells trouble for young women — clinical psychologist CHARLOTTE KERR and concerned mum JODIE WHITTAKER share why.

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Arts | Opinion | Personal | Review | Society