Articles

Undermining The Tarkine

Ted Mead. Pub: Dec 8
12.12.14 4:00 am

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… The grand extent of the Tarkine, being one of the finest representations of cool-temperate rainforest on earth, deserves a greater recognition than one of mere resource extraction. Amidst the scenic coastline, forest and wild rivers, tourism is gradually providing an economical boost to the northwest of the state, and potentially could be the saviour for the region as it was for other West Coast communities.

The economic and posterity benefits of the Tarkine becoming a World Heritage Area far outweigh the short-term view of our successive government’s besotted quest to find the island’s mythical El Dorado.

Nick McKim: Tarkine 4WD Track Reopening is Simply Vandalism

Christine Milne: Greens say Hunt should rule on Tarkine debacle

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

A breach of competition policy? FLAG ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pub: Dec 11
12.12.14 3:45 am

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The Forestry Tasmania scrutiny hearing left no doubt that its survival depends on selling more native forest woodchips at higher prices.

• Forestry Tasmania’s battle to survive coincides with a visit by FSC auditors to review its logging practices. It also comes at a time when Forestry Tasmania has encountered community opposition with plans to clearfell a 68 hectare coupe at Lapoinya in North West Tasmania ...

• John Powell, in Comments: Eastwards today to St Helens et al via Scottsdale and the Weld etc. devastation, clearfell. crappy Nitens plantations etc. A wonderful example to my wife’s 89 year old uncle from Brisbane on how not to log sustainably. Chinese tourists at Pyengana Cheese factory critical of what they saw! Paul Harriss = not a good look for President Xi.  Listen and hear the people Will Hodgman!

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

STATE: Royal Hobart Hospital Decision

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Media Release
12.12.14 3:30 am

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The Liberal Government has accepted and will implement the recommendations of the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment Rescue Taskforce for the project to proceed on the current site.

Andrew Wilkie: ‘I support the Government’s decision’

AMA: Response to Government’s decision on RHH redevelopment site

Rebecca White: Ferguson obliged to provide all the details

MEANWHILE ...

Lambie asks PM to release $110M of federal funds for Tas irrigation schemes

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

STATE: Education; Will’s Music Report. The RHH

Teresa O’Leary. Pub: Dec 8
12.12.14 3:30 am

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… Will Hodgman, Jeremy Rockcliff and Peter Gutwein are just repeating their mantra and playing the same tune “ Labor wrecked the budget,… it’s the unions fault,…we are spending a record amount on education”. Parents are no longer fooled by this spin, the truth about the 5% has been revealed. $15,000 a year per school as part of the state’s Gonski commitment, a token gift given in one hand while their other hand fleeces our schools an average of up to $160 000 a year by cutting two teachers.  …

School nurse checks Will’s hearing

Andrew Wilkie distributes hundreds of ‘no school cuts’ bumper stickers

TASSO President Jenny Eddington: Proposal to break school funding crisis

Terry Polglaze: TASSO pay freeze proposal

Lisa Schimanski Chair, Albuera Street Primary School Association: Albuera Street Primary Parents and children will protest against the Tasmanian Government’s Cuts to Education tomorrow and for the rest of this week from 8:15-8:45am on Sandy Bay Road near the school.

Teresa O’Leary, South Hobart Primary and Taroona High parent: Liberals offer icing on the cake for our kids but steal the cake!

• Jean Walker, in Comments: I wrote this letter to the paper but it hasn’t been published: “There has been a great deal of brouhaha over the recent visit of the President of China but another interesting story might have been of the student I taught at a Tasmanian country high school (Huonville) who was given the opportunity to learn to play the viola as part of that school’s excellent music program. I have followed his career with interest. He went on to the Tasmanian Conservatorium, played with the TSO, was the recipient of a number of large scholarships, and a prizewinner at various international competitions.  He studied under Jan Sedivka (Australia), Bruno Giuranna (Italy) and Garth Knox (France), as well as in Germany at the International Ensemble Modern Akademie. … I can’t help wondering if cuts had been made to the music program at that school, whether such an illustrious career would ever have eventuated” BTW - At the time, his mother was a low income single parent with no possibility of providing music lessons or instrument.

FRIDAY ...

ABC: Tasmanian Government opts for redevelopment of Royal Hobart Hospital over $2.4 billion greenfield plan

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

EPA accused of overstepping its authority after amending Nelson Bay River Mine permit

ABC. Pic*
12.12.14 3:16 am

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Tasmania’s environment watchdog has been accused of acting outside of its jurisdiction when it changed conditions imposed on a mining permit for a development in Tasmania’s west.

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Did Mr Schaap also have similar dinners with Gunns Ltd while he was deciding whether the never-started pulp mill was substantially commenced?

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The Flan Man and Bob Graham give it all away ...

ABC. Pic: of Richard Flanagan. Pub: Dec 9
10.12.14 4:45 am

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Writing is often a penniless business, but two winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have given away their prize money to ensure Australia’s vulnerable are better treated.

Guardian: Read Flanagan’s acceptance speech; Why I’m donating my $40,000 prize to an Indigenous literacy charity

Read the Prime Minister’s Speech

All the winners ... who include Sarah Day, Stephen Edgar and Julie Hunt ...

Vanessa Goodwin, in TT Books, here: Another Award for Richard Flanagan

Chris Gallagher, TT Books, here: Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan inspires home state with award-winning streak and passion for indigenous literacy Tasmanian Writers’ Centre director Chris Gallagher said Flanagan was not only a trailblazer and a role-model for all Tasmanian writers and authors, he was also an inspiration and an example for how to use personal success to build a better Australia. “When he won the Man Booker Prize, Richard showed great integrity in standing by his beliefs in protecting Australia’s old-growth native forests,” she said. “Richard has again demonstrated that firm resolve and integrity by choosing to channel his prize money into something else he believes in – helping First Nation Australians. “We are not only hugely proud of Richard’s achievements and wins, we’re also proud of the way he shows leadership in Australia, and we’re also deeply inspired.”

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Writers | Richard Flanagan | Politics | National | Books | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Personal | Society

NATION: What are we afraid of in this country? The Climate Terrorist. Prahran. GP co-payment ...

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania. Pub: Dec 8
10.12.14 4:15 am

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… What are we afraid of in this country? What are we actually protecting our borders from? That is the question at the heart of this debate. Why does the coalition, going all the way back to John Howard and Tampa, see it as good politics to be cruel, dehumanise and marginalise other human beings? I am still struggling with why there are people in my country who are so fearful of desperate people arriving by boat. The only conclusion I can come to is that that fear is deeply seated for a number of reasons.

I sometimes wonder whether it is just the fact that we fear for our quality of life, because we have such a good one in this country. We are so lucky. Of course there are people doing it tougher than others. There are people doing it tough here but, compared to the poor souls risking their lives for a better life, I actually think we do pretty well here, and we would do pretty well to remember how fortunate we are. …

Community vigil for asylum seekers

• John Biggs, in Comments: What a splendid condemnation of the Abbott Government’s policy on immigration—so logical, clear, legal and humane. The very opposite of govt policy (and let’s face it Labor’s too when the heat is on), which is illogical, shrouded in secrecy, illegal, and inhumane. But Senate went even worse than Labor ever did by granting the Immigration Minister, whom Sarah Hanson-Young rightly called a “sociopath” more power than any individual in Australia, in that he can make life changing and life threatening decisions about individuals as it pleases his sick mind and those decisions are nonaccountable and may not be challenged. How could Senate have been so blind as not to see this? When Parliament resumes next year there must be a recission motion put and passed to resolve this outragous outcome that puts Australia in the same league—as far as immigration is concerned—as a third world dictatorship.

ELSEWHERE, NATIONALLY ...

Guardian: Tony Abbott confirms Coalition will alter paid parental leave scheme

Guardian: Labor in election-winning position with 10-point lead in Galaxy poll

ABC: Superannuation changes could boost retirement incomes by 40pc, Financial System Inquiry finds

Guardian: Australia named worst-performing industrial country on climate change Performance index released at Lima climate talks puts Denmark in the best-performing slot, followed by Sweden and Britain … Australia has been named the worst-performing industrial country in the world on climate change in a report released at international negotiations in Peru. The climate change performance index ranked Denmark as the best-performing country in the world, followed by Sweden and Britain. Among the world’s top 10 emitters, Germany was ranked the highest at 22. Australia was second bottom overall, above Saudi Arabia – which was not classified as industrial. The report states: “The new conservative Australian government has apparently made good on last year’s announcement and reversed the climate policies previously in effect. As a result, the country lost a further 21 positions in the policy evaluation compared to last year, thus replacing Canada as the worst-performing industrial country.” China, the world’s biggest emitter, was in 45th spot – one below the US, which is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

ABC: Hamid Kehazaei case: Seriously ill asylum seeker forced to wait more than 24 hours for medical transfer

George Monbiot, Guardian: Taming corporate power: the key political issue of our age Big business and its lobbyists have taken control of our politics. But there is an alternative. In the first of a new series, here’s how we can take on the fat cats

WEDNESDAY ...

Guardian: Victorian Greens claim Prahran, winning historic second seat in parliament

Lenore Taylor, Guardian: GP co-payment change brings a Hobson’s choice that still undermines bulk-billing

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Hopefully we can start to deal with this matter ...

An Observer
09.12.14 4:25 am

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There may be a flaw in the criteria set out in the commission which I think should be stated publicly. Grooming is a known trait of sexual predators. Thus grooming does fit the criteria of sexual abuse, I challenge the commission ( Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse now taking evidence in Hobart ) to publicly state this, on the proviso I have not misunderstood the confines of course.

• Peter, in Comments: Found: the alleged pedophile the royal commission said was dead ...

• An Observer, in Comments: This is part of a letter I recently received from the Royal Commission ... Also, I wanted to confirm that the Royal Commission considers grooming to be a form of sexual abuse. Therefore if someone was groomed by a paedophile and wanted to share their account with the Royal Commission, they will certainly be heard.

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Politics | Local | National | State | Education | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Retro-love!

Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
09.12.14 4:10 am

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It was still early enough for coats at Evandale market and a haunting mist made it seem as timeless as the market itself. Stalls were loaded with anticipation of a good Sunday crowd trickling its way into the country carpark. Twenty-cent entry fees dropped into teenage hands at the front gate.

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Writers | Hilary Burden | Opinion | Personal | Society

West Papua: 5 civilians shot dead, up to 22 people injured

Jo Collins, Anne Noonan, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
09.12.14 3:45 am

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Five civilians were shot dead by a joint force of Indonesian Police and Military in Paniai, on Monday 8th December.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | History | Personal | Society

World’s largest cave in Vietnam threatened by cable car

Guardian
08.12.14 4:00 am

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Vietnamese are protesting plans to build a cable car through remote Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park that could carry 1,000 visitors an hour to Son Doong cave

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Reviewed! Hamlet ...

Amber Wilson. Pic*
08.12.14 3:30 am

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Hamlet. PLOT Theatre Company, Peacock Theatre: Bonkers. Around the twist. Loopy. Mad as a hatter. Tipping over the edge. Unstable. Crazy. Mentally ill. Batshit crazy. Few (or perhaps none) of these descriptors are particularly politically correct terms for the affliction suffered by Hamlet in the ubiquitous Shakespearean play.

Read the review, Comment there, or below ...

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Writers | Amber Wilson | Arts | What's On

Power Less

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic* Pub: Dec 5
08.12.14 3:13 am

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The Tasmanian public is totally and utterly powerless to deal with the unqualified mates of the Lib/Labs - mates appointed to the boards of our loss-making Government Business Enterprises (GBE’s) who are completely out of their depth.

• Mike Adams, in Comments: I note in today’s Examiner story (Page 8) that the mates’ circus persists. Kim Booth repeatedly asked Hydro Chairman Grant Every-Burns to explain an unexplained payout of $425,000. Mr Every- Burns refused to answer. Kim asked if it were a payout to departed chief executive Roy Adair who left with a year to go on his contract? ‘Was it a termination payment for Mr Adair? Why did Mr Adair leave? What were the circumstances around that?  Mr Every- Burns said ‘You’ve drawn an assumption there that I won’t even comment on and I’m not in a position to make any further comments on.’ It’d be rewarding to have these public employees on oath when fronting Parliamentary Hearings and not under ministerial orders.

Paul Harriss: Assistance to Forestry Contractors The Government is also considering what other assistance may be made available to assist former industry participants who are continuing to suffer hardship as a result of the restructure of the native forest industry.

Kim Booth: Harriss Grows Forestry Debts With No Plan B “Today’s Forestry Tasmania GBE examination reveals that the industry will receive public subsidies of at least $37 million this financial year,” Mr Booth said. “The only part of the forest industry that the Minister, Paul Harriss, will ‘grow’ is ongoing public subsidies to both the GBE and the broader industry, and ongoing losses by Forestry Tasmania. It is deeply alarming that the Minister could not rule out further public subsidies or equity injections into Forestry Tasmania beyond the Tas Networks injection.” … “It is now absolutely clear that both the Premier and the Forests Minister lied to the public about withdrawing public subsidies from Forestry Tasmania. It is beyond the pale to cry poverty to justify sacking teachers and nurses, while at the same time throwing millions of public money to subsidise an industry indefinitely.  Further it is utterly irresponsible to continue to bleed the public purse to prop up a GBE which it is clear neither the Minister nor the Board have any idea of how to make viable or profitable.”

• Ted Mead, in Comments: Talk about retrograding to the dark ages. The first 3 articles in the online Mercury was - * More Parks development protocol. * Even more Forestry prop-ups. * Even, even more Woodchips on the Wharf. This is pure Liberal lunacy, and fiscal madness. There must be another agenda?

Bob Brown: Hodgman Enslaves Parks & Wildlife Service The Joint Strategic Action Plan (JSAP) signed by the Hodgman government’s minister for the environment Matthew Groom and Tourism Industry Council Tasmania’s supremo Simon Currant is selling into slavery the once-proud Tasmanian Parks And Wildlife Service environmentalist Bob Brown said today. The public, media and environment groups were excluded from the JSAP’s secret formulation. The role of Minister Groom in the arrangement with Mr Currant will be referred to Tasmania’s Integrity Commission by Brown’s environmental foundation. “The real question here is whether the Hodgman government can remove the Integrity Commission’s investigative role before this deal gets the scrutiny it deserves,” Brown said.

Nick McKim: Dangerous Shift in Reserve Management Priorities

• Chris B, in Comments: When Will wills his wankers to wite off their kaweers after he shows them the way out will any of them whistle and show us where the core wuption lies. SHOW US THE CONTRACTS: Publish or pewish. Will I have to pay my electricity account before Ta Ann’s is settled or like the enquiry on the pulp mill be shut down before the truth comes out. Gut Whiner, his mate 40% overweight, Eric the Hunn and Wee Willy Winker are in power till 2018. AND Will they make the most of it ? Bring on another era of Cut it, Saw it, Dig it and Chip it and enhance the beauty of Macquarie Point for the all the world to admire. Change the background, insert Davey Street and imagine the right turn required to access the chip site, who needs traffic control !http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-03/log-trucks-lined-up-at-gunns-triabunna-woodchip/5569206 Rename Evans Street to Harris Boulevard. Where will the Macquarie Development guys locate the chip mill? Do not forget if protests are envisaged then you become a criminal, but we have a new democracy….Will’s Totalitarian Republic.

• David Mohr, in Comments: Two articles on forestry and woodchips in the Mercury today but no facility for online comments! Why?

• K. Stevens, in comments: … Think News Corp, think Saudi Royal Family and it all makes sense …

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

The Withdrawal of Grand Theft Auto V

Matthew Holloway, Nordic Model Australia Coalition
08.12.14 3:00 am

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Last week survivors of prostitution had a victory with the decision by Target and Kmart to withdraw Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) from sale within their stores. The game includes options for players to have sex with prostitutes, then kill and rob them or urinate on them after death.

Nicole, Daily Life: Why I petitioned to have Grand Theft Auto V removed from Target

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Writers | Matthew Holloway | Politics | International | National | State | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (41)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic: of a fantail
08.12.14 2:45 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Launching the Giving Tree

Rodney Croome. Pic: of Rodney Croome
08.12.14 2:30 am

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Launch of the ABC Giving Tree by Rodney Croome, 28.11.14 I was a bit non-plussed when I was asked to launch this year’s Giving Tree. “How do I launch a tree?”, I asked my friends.

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

United Nations Calls for an End to Industrialized Farming

Maryam Henein, Truthout
08.12.14 2:15 am

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In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world’s agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. That’s right, we do not need giant monocultures that pour, spray and coat our produce with massive amounts of poisons, only to create mutant pests and weeds while decimating pollinators and harming human health. Don’t believe the hype: We do not need genetically modified foods “to feed the world.”

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | Society

Civil Liberties in Peril Down Under

Raymond Bonner, New York Times
08.12.14 2:00 am

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Australia and New Zealand are not among the usual suspects when it comes to state suppression of civil liberties. But both countries, stung by Edward J. Snowden’s revelations last year about their intelligence-gathering efforts, have been cracking down on the press: Australia has passed sweeping secrecy laws, while police officers in New Zealand recently raided the home of a reporter who had published information regarding a government scandal.

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

When the Forces of Media Disruption Hit Home

David Carr, New York Times
08.12.14 1:45 am

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I’ve been around long enough to have once marveled at the improbability of the fax machine — that can’t be real! — but I like to think of myself as modern. Which should mean that I’m a big fan of disruption, but that depends on who is being disrupted, doesn’t it?

• The Wayne Crawford award ...

AND,

Wikipedia: Metropolitan Police role in the news media phone hacking scandal

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Economy | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

Another B.S Woodchip Myth Busted!

Ted Mead
08.12.14 1:30 am

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The latest catchcry by the Tasmanian Forestry industry diehards is that Tourism and woodchips can co-exist. This is particular to a proposed storage and export terminal concept in Hobart’s Macquarie wharf precinct.

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

FT and FSC: Accreditation is simply Not Possible. Your $30 million to subsidise FT ...

John Powell, Myrtlebank. Graphic* Pub: Dec 3
05.12.14 4:40 am

Image for FT and FSC: Accreditation is simply Not Possible. Your $30 million to subsidise FT ...

Pterodactyles, Triceratops and Steak! Less than a month before SCS Global visits Tasmania to review the credentials of Forestry Tasmania for Forestry Stewardship Certification credentials, FT displays the entirety of their Jurassic character in one fell swoop!  They have managed to upset the quiet community of Lapoinya in NW Tasmania with a draconian approach to the potential to clear fell a 68 Hectare 60 year old regrowth forest with lack of consultation, limited environmental review of the area, and time frames designed to intimidate.

• John Lawrence does the sums ...

Ted Mead: Forestry Tas Disingenuous About FSC Considering that Forestry Tas cannot rely on the Liberal Party being in governance in the future, then the question beckons why is this dysfunctional GBE proposing the same misguided practices of logging high conservation areas if they wish to obtain Forest Stewardship Certification?

Bryan Green: Liberal lies on forestry subsidies exposed The Liberal Government has been caught red handed lying about public subsidies to Forestry Tasmania. It has been revealed the Government is deceitfully planning to transfer $30 million in equity from energy company TasNetworks to prop up Forestry Tasmania. The revelation in Government Business Enterprise hearings makes a lie of the Government’s much publicised promise to withdraw public funding to Forestry Tasmania. Labor Leader Bryan Green said the Liberal Government had acted deceitfully. “This is a blatant broken election promise,” Mr Green said.

• Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, The Bob Brown Foundation: Tomorrow a significant field trip to Tasmania’s southern forests will occur when Markets For Change, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and The Bob Brown Foundation accompany the auditors assessing Forestry Tasmania’s application for Forest Stewardship Certification to see the reality of forest management. Spokespeople of the above groups will conduct a Press Conference at 11am in Hobart before departure on the field trip. Who: Peter McGlone, Director of Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Peg Putt, CEO Markets For Change, Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation, Ed Hill Field Assessment Consultant to the three eNGOs.

Kim Booth: TasNetworks Props up Forestry Tasmania with $30 million … “This government has deliberately kept Tasmanians in the darkover plans to keep pouring public subsidies into failing businesses such as Forestry Tasmania,” Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said today. “We have asked numerous questions over months in Parliament asking where the money to keep propping up Forestry Tasmania was going to come from which the Liberals refused to answer. Now we find that, as predicted, money is going to be dragged out of one GBE into propping up another.”  …

Peter Gutwein: Forestry Tasmania Letter of Understanding To support the company through this process, the Government has provided Forestry Tasmania with a letter of understanding outlining an equity transfer from Tasmanian Networks to Forestry Tasmania in 2015-16 which will be used to restructure the company’s debt to ensure the business is in a position to action recommendations from the review that the Government may agree to implement if required.

WRAP ...

ABC: Tasmania’s power users to supply $30m to Forestry Tasmania Tasmanian power users will next year be subsidising the cash-strapped Forestry Tasmania to the tune of $30 million. TasNetworks’ chief executive Dan Norton told a parliamentary estimates hearing the company would provide up to $30 million to Forestry Tasmania in the next financial year. The news came as a last-minute bombshell at the hearing.

Examiner: Government ‘lying’ on forestry subsidies

• AEU Tasmanian Branch President Terry Polglase: This money would employ 300 teachers fulltime for a year and makes farcical the Government’s claims that it has no choice but to sack teachers and cut education programs.

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

STATE HEALTH: ‘Devastating’ cuts to RHH staffing ...

HACSU State Secretary Tim Jacobson Media Release
05.12.14 4:35 am

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HACSU State Secretary Tim Jacobson has revealed that devastating cuts to staff in Royal Hobart Hospital Allied Health departments have been decided, with no consultation and no communication with affected staff.

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

STATE EDUCATION, Will Hodgman: You are failing Tassie’s children. Letter from a 12-y-o ...

Teresa O’Leary, South Hobart Primary and Taroona High parent. Pic: ABC, of Will Hodgman. Pub: Dec 4
05.12.14 4:30 am

Image for STATE EDUCATION, Will Hodgman: You are failing Tassie’s children. Letter from a 12-y-o ...

Premier fails maths test On average, every school in Tasmania will lose 2 teachers but we are told that to offset this loss the Government has increased school resource packages by 5 per cent.

Stefan Stimson Taroona Primary School Association: Important Update Re NAPLAN 2015 at Taroona Primary School At last night’s Taroona Primary School Association meeting, the following motion was proposed and carried: “The TPSA encourage parents with children at Taroona Primary School to remove them from the 2015 NAPLAN testing in response to the Government’s unwillingness to negotiate in relation to the budget cuts” Why This Motion? This motion was proposed in direct response to the State Government’s public declarations that it will no longer negotiate with the state teachers/AEU, will not consider alternatives to axing 266 frontline staff and insists “the caravan has moved on”. We firmly believe that this is not the case and that the teachers/AEU want to continue negotiations and reach a settlement. Furthermore, this is what the parents of our school want as this is in the best interest of all state schools and all state school children.

• Chris B, in Comments: I will decide who I pay my power bill to. I will not pay it for Will to will it to Forestry, I would rather it be willed to Education. I will further reduce my power account by more efficiencies. I will decide which Liberal Lied the Most Mr Abbott or Mr Will Hodgman.

• Letter from Zhana Stojcevski (age 12): Dear Mr Hodgman ... My name is Zhana Stojcevski and I’m in grade six at Blackmans Bay Primary School. When my dad explained to me the cuts that were being made to my school I was appalled. The cuts are likely to lead to the cancellation of the woodwind program, literacy support and extra curriculum activities. My school community will also lose 1.4 teachers … Click Read more below to read the rest …

• Lisa Schimanski, Chair, Albuera Street Primary School Association: Dear Parents, At last night’s Albuera Street Primary School Association meeting, the following motion was proposed and carried: “The Albuera Street Primary School Association encourage parents with children at Albuera Street Primary School to withdraw them from the 2015 NAPLAN testing in response to the Government’s unwillingness to negotiate in relation to the budget cuts.” Click Read more below to read the rest …

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

The Erica Bell Foundation winners ...

Editor. Pic: of Adam Ousten ...
05.12.14 4:15 am

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Excellence in Tasmania’s creative and academic endeavours honoured in memory of Dr Erica Bell

Judges wowed by Tassie writing talent in inaugural Erica Bell Foundation Literature Award

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Books | Education | Society

STATE: Pushing a destructive dig it up – chop it down economic vision for Tasmania

Eric Smith*, Burnie. Pic*
03.12.14 4:45 am

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There is a reason Doctors scrub up, dress up and glove on before performing surgery. It’s to prevent the spread of germs that may cause infection. You can’t be too careful even in an environment as clean as a hospital would be considered to be.

Stefan Stimson Taroona Primary School Association: Important Update Re NAPLAN 2015 at Taroona Primary School At last night’s Taroona Primary School Association meeting, the following motion was proposed and carried: “The TPSA encourage parents with children at Taroona Primary School to remove them from the 2015 NAPLAN testing in response to the Government’s unwillingness to negotiate in relation to the budget cuts” Why This Motion? This motion was proposed in direct response to the State Government’s public declarations that it will no longer negotiate with the state teachers/AEU, will not consider alternatives to axing 266 frontline staff and insists “the caravan has moved on”. We firmly believe that this is not the case and that the teachers/AEU want to continue negotiations and reach a settlement. Furthermore, this is what the parents of our school want as this is in the best interest of all state schools and all state school children.

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

NATION: Trauma of seeing asylum seekers die at sea. TPVs back ...

ABC
03.12.14 4:30 am

Image for NATION: Trauma of seeing asylum seekers die at sea. TPVs back ...

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) personnel who have served on border protection operations have been exposed to significant trauma and are not being properly cared for, according to former and serving sailors and officers.

‘Stop Texting Me’: Lazarus reacts to Pyne harassment Senator Lazarus, who was hospitalised on Monday with kidney stones, accused Mr Pyne of “embarrassing himself” by inundating the senator with text messages asking him to support the government’s proposals. He also predicted Mr Pyne would not be Education Minister next year.

ABC: Senate backs reintroduction of temporary protection visas Senator Jacqui Lambie and her fellow independent John Madigan joined Labor and the Greens in voting against the bill. “This Government has now been in for 15 months. These kids have been sitting there for 15 months and you want a pat on the back?” she said. “You’ve got to be kidding yourselves. These kids could have been out 15 months ago.” …

• mr t, in Comments: Crikey, give it a rest! Do we have asylum seeker boats rowing up the Huon? Is Geeveston or Judbury being overrun with aliens? The only people I see picking fruit or trimming trees are migrants. Try saying “G’day” and “Thanks for your hard work and help.”

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The last of Leo ...

Martyn Goddard. Pub: Dec 1
03.12.14 4:22 am

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Leo Schofield has left Tasmania for good, returning to his home and family in Sydney, after the collapse of his innovative Hobart Baroque festival. Before he left, he spoke to Martyn Goddard about Tasmania, music, friends and enemies, and the biggest disappointment of his long career.

‘My feeling was total fury,’ Leo recalls. ‘To find out via a reporter was just absurd. We’d been asking for six months and had the meeting with Hodgman three months before. Finally we got a letter telling us to talk to Events and Tourism. Well, we’d been talking to them for months. They hadn’t returned calls, hadn’t responded to e-mails. ‘The public servants here are unbelievable. Unbelievable. They’re so scared that they never make a call. The won’t put anything on paper. They never want to leave any sort of a trail of their conversations.’ It was a contrast, and a shock, to the way he had previously been treated interstate as director of the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane festivals. ‘I had direct dealings with the Premiers, with Neville Wran, Bob Carr ‒ and the best of them all was Jeff Kennett. He was fantastic. They listened and they understood. ‘But in Tasmania they just don’t get it. There are wonderful, intelligent, informed people here but unfortunately they do not sit in Parliament House.’

By then the results of a survey by the EMRS company, commissioned by Events Tasmania, had been released. They were ‒ particularly for a shoestring event in only its second year ‒ remarkable. There was a total spend in Tasmania of around $2.2 million by the 49% of Hobart Baroque audiences who came from interstate. They stayed, on average, 4.8 nights. Ninety-six per cent said they would come again, 82% within the next year —

• Leo Schofield, in Comments: A response to Luke Martin, Comment 3: ‘The amount we asked for over three years was exactly what the wretched Ten Days on the Island receives to run its miserable event that is about as attractive to a cultural tourist as a cup of cold sick. The funding for one single Ten Days event is two million dollars. But the local arts Pooh Bahs love that paradigm of parochiality as it ensures jobs for their mates. Lord knows what it costs to pay the wages of the self-serving rusted-on arts bureaucrats, to service countless boards and thoroughly unrepresentative pissant advisory boards. As one observer noted, ‘Who are these people?’

• mr t, in Comments: #30 Luke Martin, please read #31. Without going into all the pros and cons, #31 details the knowledge, skills, passion, time and money invested by Leo Schofield. In return, following his last bid, he learnt of its failure through the media. The Premier and his staff did not even pick up the phone to give him the courtesy of any notice. You admit never meeting him in person. It would seem no-one has shown him any courtesy of a face to face discussion since. In my career I have had to meet with many people. Some didn’t want to meet me. Some I had to persuade towards a common outcome. Some I had to communicate very bad news. The worse the news, the more it had to be face to face. Can you walk in Leo’s shoes for 5 seconds and see why he is bitter and turning a new chapter? PS Leo, best wishes with your next chapter. Do not look back. Always act now and look to the future.

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Conversations under an acacia tree and at a coal mine blockade

David Pocock. Photo: David Pocock. First pub: Dec 1
03.12.14 4:20 am

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Farmers like Rick Laird are fighting for the future of their farmlands. If I ask myself the question – what would I want people to do to help me if I was in Rick Laird’s position? Then I know I made the right decision.

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Now I can understand that role models in sport would be seen in a dark light if they go out binge drinking,fighting or abusing people. But to have principles and to put one’s body on the line to stand up for the democratic right to protest against a mine that should never have been approved. Well that is going too far. He should have been applauded by the Rubgy Union.

• Pilko, in Comments: Correct me if I’m wrong but this would’ve earned Mr Pocock a mandatory 10k fine in Tassie (20% of John Gay’s fine for insider trading) with subsequent offences warranting up to 4 years in the slammer.

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Don’t miss Defendant 5, Mon Dec 8, ABC2 9.30pm. FREE tickets to preview ...

ABC. Pub: Dec 2
03.12.14 4:17 am

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Watch The Trailer Here:

http://youtu.be/sKVEokzpy9M

Download:

DEF5.pdf

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• We have a limited number of free tickets available for our private preview screening of Defendant 5 and Director’s Q & A. WHEN: Tonight, 6 - 8 pm WHERE: State Cinema, North Hobart. If you would like to join us, please contact me. Heidi Lee Douglas Writer/Director, HERE

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Jeremy Ball wins prestigious Award

Garry Stannus
03.12.14 4:15 am

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Tasmanians are heartened by today’s news: Jeremy Ball, who recently was lost to us all, has been individually acknowledged by the Human Rights Week Tasmania Organising Committee which this afternoon announced the 2014 Tasmanian Human Rights Awards.

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