19.04.15 8:41 am
The destruction of a planet may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of astronomers has found evidence that this may have happened in an ancient cluster of stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. Using several telescopes researchers have found evidence that a white dwarf star – the dense core of a star like the Sun that has run out of nuclear fuel – may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close.
Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release. ABC pic
19.04.15 8:00 am
``The recently re-flagged and renamed Geelong Star has arrived in Australia apparently with the blessing of the Federal Government but undoubtedly against the will of the vast majority of the Australian community,’’ Mr Wilkie said. ``The Geelong Star is 95m long, can hold more than 1,000 tonnes of fish and is the largest freezer factory vessel to fish in the Australian small pelagic fishery. It represents a dramatic and alarming increase in the industrialisation of Australia’s commercial fishing.’’ Mr Wilkie said the Federal Government’s ban on super trawlers of more than 130m needed to be extended to include vessels like the Geelong Star with their huge on-board freezer factories that can decimate local fish stocks. ``It is capacity that matters, not length,’’ Mr Wilkie said.
• Peter Whish-Wilson: Federal Liberal Government has no credibility on super trawlers said “Senator Richard Colbeck has done everything possible to avoid scrutiny in his handling over super trawlers fishing in Australian waters. “His two major announcements in relation to super trawlers have been ‘dump and runs’ late on Christmas Eve and the day before Good Friday, in a clear attempt to limit debate and avoid scrutiny. “The hundreds of Tasmanian people turning out in protest this weekend are right to not to trust this government in making sensible fisheries decisions. “Has Senator Colbeck has picked an arbitrary size limit for the banning of vessels above 130 metres for shallow political reasons, or is this based on sound science? “Last week Senator Colbeck stated ‘This government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management, we will continue to make any decisions regarding access to all Australian fisheries based on sound science’. “If this is correct, he should immediately release the science on which this important decision was based.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
ABC, Senator Helen Polley, Labor Senator for Tasmania Media Release Pic* Pub: April 9
18.04.15 7:00 am
Tasmanians will rally against the arrival of the Geelong Star next week in the latest effort to have the Abbott Government hear their concerns about supertrawlers. “Tasmanians are opposed to the supertrawlers fishing in Tasmanian waters and have made their views known to Tasmanian Liberal Senators and Members, but still there has been no sign these concerns have been heard by the likes of Richard Colbeck and Eric Abetz,” Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley said. “I have been contacted extensively over the last week from those concerned including those that work in the local fishing industry and recreational fishers concerned about the impact of the supertrawlers on Tasmania’s fish stocks and fishing industries,” Senator Polley said.
• ABC: Australian Recreational Fishers Party planned in Tasmania to oppose to super trawlers Tasmania’s recreational fishers are launching a political party to lobby against the use of super trawlers in Australian waters. The proposed party, to be known as Australian Recreational Fishers Party, plans to register in the coming months and may field Senate candidates at the next election. It is another step in the campaign against factory trawlers after SeaFish Tasmania’s ship, Geelong Star, was permitted to fish 16,500 tonnes of pelagic fish in Australian waters. Opposition is building to the plan to use the 95-metre ship despite it being smaller than the 140-metre super trawler, Abel Tasman, which was banned by the Federal Government. Recreational fishers and conservationists are still concerned about the impact of Geelong Star’s fishing quota on local stocks. Spokesman for the proposed party Kevin Harkins said his group would be looking to garner support at anti-trawler protests in Tasmania this weekend. “It’s not a threat, we will be doing it,” he said.
• Geelong Star Focus of National Super Trawler Day of Action ... all the details on where to have your say ...
• Super Trawler Actions Spread Across Australia ... Factory freezer trawler, the Geelong Star, is currently fishing in Australian waters, despite persistent broad and deep opposition from across the country. Conservationists, recreational fishers, tourism organisations and communities across the country are outraged that the Australian Government has ignored their concerns and welcomed this factory trawler into our waters.
• Kim Booth: Say Yes to Local Fisheries & No to Factory Freezer Super Trawlers ... … “Last month the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, raised concerns with the Commonwealth about the proposed commercial fishing operations of the Geelong Star, and called for a precautionary approach to be adopted.” “The science is not in to justify the plundering of this fishery.” “Serious concerns remain about localised depletion of fish stock, and the consequences for other marine species further up the food chain, including Southern Bluefin tuna, seals and dolphins.” “Even Federal Braddon MP Brett Whiteley has recently had to admit concerns including that the catch limits did not go far enough to protect against local depletion, and over the lack of egg studies on all target fish species, should be taken seriously.” “Now Premier Hodgman and his team need to step up and also tell Canberra that the Geelong Star is not welcome, and that the small pelagic fishery is off limits to factory freezer supertrawlers.” “If Victoria has the guts to stand up for the fishery, for the health of our shared marine environment as well as for their local economies reliant upon recreational and local fishing businesses, so should Tasmania.” “I congratulate the organisers of today’s Perth 200 strong rally, which is only the start of the community campaign against the Geelong Star. The Greens will continue to stand alongside the community in support of local fisheries free of factory freezer supertrawlers,” Mr Booth said.
Shane Rickerby, Tasmania. Pic* Pub: April 16
17.04.15 7:00 am
Email sent to DVA.gov yesterday regarding Mr Nikolic and his ANZAC day newsletter Good morning, Could you please advise me if it is appropriate for my local member Andrew Nikolic, Federal Member for Bass, to be utilising the wording ANZAC and associated images in a commemorative newsletter that also has contact details and images of himself throughout (Download below) ...
• Shane, in Comments: Barry thank you for your comment. I’m not offended by the content. Rather I’m concerned about the intent of Mr Nikolic. The newsletter contains important information about ANZAC day. However was the appropriate permission gained in this instance? Is Mr Nikolic using ANZAC day to promote his position? I think these are reasonable questions to ask.
Martyn Goddard, Analyst. Pub: April 16. Pic*
17.04.15 6:30 am
How WA can fix its own GST problem Western Australia’s far-right Treasurer is demanding fundamental changes to the system which uses the distribution of the GST to iron out the differences between rich and poor states. The debate out of the West is immensely dangerous ‒ because Mr Mike Nahan, Premier Colin Barnett and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann might just get their way. At the last federal election, the West was Abbott heartland. They embraced him with fervour and delivered him the votes to make him Prime Minister. But now, polls show the opposite. According to the latest Newspoll analysis, the federal Liberal vote in Western Australia is at its lowest ebb in 14 years. And if an election was held now, Colin Barnett’s Liberal government would lose to Labor 52% to 48%. Barnett himself trails Labor’s Mark McGowan 38% to 44% as preferred premier. That seems to be largely what the current stoush is about …
• Phil B, in comments: There is nothing far right about the WA Government. They are actually mere populists, as shown by their refusal to let markets (which they already distort through a lack of competition) to set the price consumers pay for electricity. If there hadn’t been a huge subsidy running for years, WA’s State debt would be lower and the budget would look a lot better without the $500m pa subsidy.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne. Island Magazine essay. Pic* Pub: April 15
17.04.15 6:15 am
… Recently, I opened an art exhibition in Hobart called Giving Voice: The Art of Dissent. Pete Hay, academic and poet, had contributed an essay in which he argued that democracy is fleeing from us and the future of democratic institutions lies outside the system. Democracy, he said, will be refashioned from within the realms of dissent, if it is to be rescued at all. He is right. It is over to all of us. Change always comes from the periphery, not the centre, and the same is the case in politics. …
Martyn Goddard, Analyst. Pub: April 16. ABC Pic of Premier Will Hodgman
17.04.15 6:00 am
The recovery in Tasmania’s employment figures, after slowing in recent months, came to a halt in February.
Jenny Weber, Peg Pugg, Peter McGlone, Christine Milne Media Releases Pub: April 16. Pic: of a swift parrot
17.04.15 5:45 am
Forestry Tasmania is approaching environment groups individually and trying to get them to endorse an ‘acceptable’ percentage of logging of Swift Parrot habitat when it is unequivocal that all logging of Swift Parrot breeding habitat must cease immediately. We believe this is related to an attempt to persuade their FSC auditors that conservation concerns have been addressed and allayed, when this is simply not the case. Forestry Tasmania’s application for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is in trouble due to a significant number of major non-conformances with the FSC standard, especially in relation to failure to protect high conservation values.
• Christine Milne: Loggers put parrot on swift path to extinction ...
• Richard Colbeck, Paul Harriss: Comments invited on implementation of Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement Public comments must be received by the Tasmanian Department of State Growth by 5pm on Friday 29 May 2015. For more information on the Tasmanian RFA review, including the implementation report and how to make a submission, visit the Tasmanian Department of State Growth website stategrowth.tas.gov.au/forestry/rfa.
17.04.15 4:30 am
John Hawkins, Bentley, Chudleigh
16.04.15 4:18 am
From today’s Financial Review: Is this the end of a very bad dream?
Martin Buzacott, The Australian. Pic: of mezzaosoprano Elizabeth Lewis
16.04.15 4:15 am
Brisbane Baroque: Hardheads seen to weep Halfway through the nine-day Brisbane Baroque festival, it has become a blood sport as triumphant performances from unheralded artists have left half-hearted purveyors of the usual schtick licking their wounds and rescuing their dignity. Bruiser-in-chief on day four was Brisbane-trained, Melbourne-based mezzosoprano Elizabeth Lewis, who from the moment she glided onstage as Queen of Carthage in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas was every inch the regal presence, commanding all she surveyed. In this semi-staged production with Erin Helyard and the Orchestra of the Antipodes once again outstanding, not even the characteristic kleptomania of the Brisbane City Hall’s rotunda — stealing one note from every three intended for the audience — could distract from a cast that rose to the challenge of having a genuine newborn star such as Lewis among them.
Shannon Davey* http://discoverthespiritoftasmania.ic1m.com.au/
16.04.15 4:00 am
Book Launch by Peter Patmore (former Labor Attorney-General) ...
15.04.15 5:45 am
Defence minister Kevin Andrews fails to name Isis leader troops sent to fight The defence minister, Kevin Andrews, was unable to name the head of Islamic State, just hours after committing Australian troops to a two-year training mission to help Iraqi forces defeat the extremist group.
Isla MacGregor. Pub: April 13
15.04.15 5:30 am
Isla MacGregor has campaigned for years for clean and healthy drinking water in Tasmania. Her archive is HERE All I can say is, ‘I told you so’ to TasWater and the very recently retired Director of Public Health, Dr Roscoe Taylor, now that the first Reverse Osmosis Filtration System has been installed on the reticulated water supply tank at Winnaleah in the state’s north east.
• Dr John R Wilson, in Comments: Isla MacGregor deserves a medal. In a state that prides itself as “clean, green and clever”, you’d think we would have had safe drinking water in our regional communities long before this. The slowness of our Public Health authorities (and past Governments) to act on heavy metals contamination of Tasmania’s town water supplies (lead, cadmium and arsenic) points to a history of gross neglect and unacceptable incompetence. If less of the budget was spent of propping up an expensive disease-driven hospital system ‘secondary care’ and diverted towards improving basic services and infrastructure in all of our communities to help to ensure illness prevention instead (primary health care), we would all be much better served. In the meantime, put in your own tank ...
• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: Thanks John - but tanks are another matter for some old houses such as in Pioneer which might have Lead based paint on their rooves or in mining towns like Rosebery where toxic metal dust is washed from rooves into tanks. Former Director of Health Dr Roscoe Taylor and Deputy Director of Health Dr Chrissie Pickin also gave this extraordinary contradictory advice on drinking water from rainwater tanks in Rosebery ... There will be a meeting at Pioneer from 5.30-8 on 21st April with guests Paul Harvey and Prof Mark Taylor who will be releasing results of research soon to be published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research .
• Alison Bleaney, in Comments: Lead levels ‘worst in Australia’ By JAMES BRADY April 13, 2015. “Macquarie Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences PhD student Paul Harvey said he was ‘‘disgusted’’ by the lack of speed at which the state was dealing with its contamination issues. ‘‘It’s the worst I’ve seen in Australia for years,’’ Mr Harvey said, ‘‘in terms of years of exposure, the response to an incident, in regards to exposure thresholds and the concentrations of lead in water I detected.’’” Examiner here
Anthony Amis - Pesticides and Water Spokesperson Friends of the Earth Australia. Pub: April 13
15.04.15 5:15 am
In October 2014 the new Hodgman Liberal Government axed the unique decade long pesticide testing program conducted by the DPIPWE (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment). This means that Tasmania will now fall back to 2004 when no routine monitoring of pesticides in waterways was conducted in the State, except for irregular monitoring by drinking water authorities. Just who does this new scenario serve best?
• John Dudley, in Comments: I am one of Dr John Wilson’s friends living in the Rubicon catchment and I am most certainly interested in the cessation of testing. My business was wiped out by off target 24D drift, I tried very hard to have the surface water that drained into the nearby Rubicon tested by the Ag dept to no avail. The ag officer who did the testing revealed to me that he thought that a boss in Hobart was fiddling the figures to make it appear that the problem was smaller than it was.
• Argentine independent scientists support WHO on glyphosate cancer link While the rest of the world takes on board the WHO’s verdict and moves forward, the UK Science Media Centre is in denial. Claire Robinson reports ...
Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release Pub: April 14
15.04.15 5:00 am
... Including 13 statements Greg Hunt said, while in Opposition, about stopping Japanese whaling With news overnight that Japan’s new plan for killing 4000 whales in the Southern Ocean has been rejected by an Expert Panel of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on the Australian Government to publicly rebuke Japan for rejecting the IWC advice and pushing ahead with its whaling plans.
• John Biggs, in Comments: Thank you Peter for unearthing these statements by Hunt. If he takes no action after saying that from the safety of the Opposition benches, he should be forced to resign.
• Tony Press, Adjunct Professor, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC at University of Tasmania, The Conversation: Killing whales for science: Japan is sent back to the drawing board Japan’s latest proposal to resume whaling in the Antarctic has been rejected by an expert panel set up by the International Whaling Commission, which regulates whaling and whale conservation. The panel found that “the present proposal contains insufficient information for the Panel to complete a full review”. Japan’s new program, NEWREP-A (New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean), proposed killing up to 333 minke whales each year until 2027. Unlike Japan’s previous whaling program, JARPA II, only Antarctic minke whales are targeted, and there is some increased effort in “non-lethal” research methods. But the core of the proposed program centres on the lethal sampling of minke whales. Among Japan’s justifications for the level of lethal sampling in its proposed program is the statement that:
Dr Peter Lozo. Pic*
15.04.15 4:49 am
Comment 213, HERE: Dear SN-F supporters and non-supporters, Given the extent of my recent involvement in the SN-F case and in particular the new scientific based areas of discussions & debates that arose out of my three areas of input, I would be more than delighted to take a trip to Hobart and present a seminar titled ...
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome Media Release. Pic*
14.04.15 5:00 am
Advocates applaud move that will boost inclusion Advocates have congratulated the Hobart City Council on its unanimous support for a motion calling for the federal government to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Charles Wooley. Main pic: Artist's impression of the planned walkway
13.04.15 4:45 am
I would never trouble you with a storm in a Tasmanian teacup unless it was an entertaining little tempest or that it was an instructive insight into the vanities of our small community, or hopefully both.
• Margaretta Pos, in Comments: Not sure, but I think I saw an orange bellied parrot in front of a White Tribe mansion - sorry, midden - on the foreshore ...
Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/
13.04.15 4:40 am
Hilary Burden’s columns have been absent for the past couple of Monday TT’s. So here’s four wondrous columns for your enjoyment/edification ... When an old friend asked me to go deer hunting with him it wasn’t something I said yes to immediately.
13.04.15 4:35 am
Read, Comment here, where Leonard Colquhoun says ... Inspiring in many ways. The RAF Bomber Command’s campaign over the Third Reich is sometimes seen as a ‘war crime’ - might that have been a reason for the absence of any official Australian representation? By ‘n’ large, the Luftwaffe (with perhaps many exceptions) is less tainted by the genocidal barbarity which was the essence of Nazism. FM Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korp was (perhaps) the only army formation to have not been so tainted. I’m not sure, but I think some former AK personnel have officially attended Anzac Day commemorations.
Carolyn McDowall, Founder, writer, editor, publisher thecultureconcept circle, http://www.thecultureconcept.com/circle/
13.04.15 4:30 am
London based 18th century composer Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) would no doubt be surprised his three act opera Faramondo, which he completed on Christmas Eve 1737, was both appreciated and applauded wildly in downtown Brisbane Australia, a city and country not on anyone’s radar at the time.
• Heavenly Handel – Angel Voices Resonate at Brisbane Baroque ... A beautifully imagined layering of stunning musical textures were the hallmark of an excellent program of works by German born London based composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). They were powerfully presented in a performance dedicated to the former Governor of Tasmania, His Excellency Peter Underwood AC. How pleased he would have been with the second night’s program of superlative sounds. He had championed the idea and founding of a Baroque music festival in his state and while Hobart Baroque maybe history, Brisbane Baroque seems set to stay.
• John Biggs, in Comments: If Hodgman had not been playing politics (Labor and especially Lara Giddings were very supportive of Hobart Baroque, you see) Hobart could be the annual home of this internationally famed festival. It would have added to our other artistic and culinary glories to make Tasmania the cultural hot spot of the Southern Hemisphere. Instead the V8s and footy get an extra boost and the doomed and incompetent Forestry Tasmania an extra $30 million. Truly we are governed by bogans and those dynastic politicians who display perfectly the statistical phenomenon of regression to the mean. Third generation morons is another term for it.
Dr Michael Powell. Pub: April 12. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic
13.04.15 3:15 am
The interest in Mr Andrew Nikolic MP’s cosseted past ( Who is Andrew Nikolic, Member of Parliament for Bass? ) is not as relevant as his performance in the present ... and a pattern is emerging. Mr Nikolic has launched an attack on tax deductibility for donations to environmental groups and intends taking this to a parliamentary vote.
• Jack Jolly, in Comments: Has anyone asked Nikolic if he intends to extend the review to church NGOs as well? I have long been concerned by the illegal protests against abortion businesses. I’m sure that as a fair minded person that he will be prepared to come out supporting abortion clinics as well as reproductive rights for women. Tax dollars should not be used to support them either, if ENGO protest against businesses are illegal. I’m also sure that sex workers would like their local ‘member’ to support their business enterprises against church discrimination. Perhaps a letter needs to be written to ask and then be posted on TT?
• Chris Harries, in Comments: If Andrew Nikolic only knew it, environmental advocates these days spend the vast majority of time and effort engaging in government processes. Writing submissions to inquiries. Engaging in stakeholder meetings. Remediation programs. Part of me knows that it may be healthy for environmental groups to be disabled by starving them of essential funds, because this will throw environmentally concerned people out onto the streets and this, in turn, will encourage a more strident type of direct activism. This is an irony that I think Nikolic will not see, except maybe in hindsight. Or maybe this is what he wants to see happen, divisiveness being politically opportune?
• Carol Rea, in Comments: HERE ... is the link to the 7.30 Report Garry. Nikolic started the process.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Apr 13. Pic: of Sam Dastyari, from ALP
13.04.15 3:00 am
Fancy a ‘double Irish sandwich with Dutch associations?’ Or is it all double-Dutch to you? You’d be in good company if it is. Apparently some of the biggest corporate heads in Australia are mystified too.
Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic*
13.04.15 2:55 am
Dot-joiner Evan Whitton looks at ways of diminishing the number of: 1) Lies told by people in public life, including politicians and judges. 2) People who defraud Australia.
David Jolly, New York Times
13.04.15 2:45 am
PARIS — An influential European scientific body said on Wednesday that a group of pesticides believed to contribute to mass deaths of honeybees is probably more damaging to ecosystems than previously thought and questioned whether the substances had a place in sustainable agriculture.
Tim Maughan, BBC
13.04.15 2:30 am
Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.
13.04.15 2:00 am
This is too good a story not to share-and its completely true, which is all the better of course!
13.04.15 1:18 am
Here’s the next Tassie Pine ...
Matt Smith, Sunday Tasmanian. Pic: HCC alderpersons ... from HCC
12.04.15 7:00 am
OVERSEAS trips, upmarket restaurant meals, fine wine, iPad accessories and even an antique hat stand have all been claimed as work expenses by Hobart City Council aldermen — and ratepayers foot the bill.
• N D Heath, General Manager, City of Hobart: Dear Editor, For the Record ...