Articles

Scientology ...

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic: Tom Cruise
29.06.15 5:15 am

Image for Scientology ...

Evan Whitton notes that the Scientology “church” crops up now and again via people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and even Jamie Packer.

• John Davidson in Comments:: Your teeth magically become like that when you reach a certain level in Scientology.

Read more

6 comments

Writers | Evan Whitton | Opinion | History | Personal | Religion

NATION: The Joe Hockey Real Estate Primer Part 3

George Smiley, georgesmileyblog.BlogSpot.com Pic: of Joe Hockey
29.06.15 4:52 am

Image for NATION: The Joe Hockey Real Estate Primer Part 3

Lemmings have had really rotten press for a long time and it’s all Walt Disney’s fault.

Read more

1 comments

Writers | George Smiley | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Tasmania ... and Schizophrenia?*

Editor. Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release First pub: June 25
28.06.15 6:00 am

Image for Tasmania ... and Schizophrenia?*

Ed: On the one hand Premier Will Hodgman opens a you-beaut new tourist road ( HERE ) to encourage (record) visitors ( HERE ). At the same time the RET opens the way for forest furnaces ( HERE ), the tracks are thrown wide open ( HERE ) and logging gets the green light ... Subsidised logging of Australia’s largest temperate rainforest wilderness in the Tarkine and the threat of forest furnaces under pending federal legislation is spelling serial erosion for one of the world’s last wild places.

Australia’s Parliament condemns native forests to Hell: Bob Brown (includes a record of how Tasmania’s Senators voted ...

• Carol Rea in Comments: The logging of this area of the Tarkine is bizarre, deranged, idiotic, irrational, senseless, daft and unhinged. It is not schizophrenic. To use a serious medical diagnosis and link it with pictures of destruction and enviromental violence is insulting and potentially damaging to individuals with this diagnosis. During my 30 year working life as a clinician in mental health services I came to know hundreds of people with this diagnosis. So I speak from a position of experience and some authority. People with the lived experience of schizophrenia have to defend against the public misconception that they are more likely to commit an act of violence than anyone else. This is not so and it is time the community and writers woke up to the damage this causes. Please don’t perpetuate this stigmatisation TT.

• John Francis in Comments: Okay, so what about ‘Tasmania and madness’, or ‘Tasmania and stupidity’, or ‘Tasmania and vandalism’ or ‘Tasmania and a diseased State of Mind’?  I also work in mental health in Tasmania.  Some commentators here could give Tassie Times readers enough credit to distinguish between a diagnosable mental illness and the use of a metaphor in the context of a piece of journalism about forestry. Would we object to people describing the spread of some noxious practice or idea as ‘cancerous’? Frankly, I am much more disturbed by Tony Abbott and other right wing politicians and journalists talking about ‘death cults’ and thereby glamourising the appeal of groups like ISIS to vulnerable teenagers.

• Frank again in Comments: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein. This is Tasmania in mid 2015…

• bob hawkins in Comments: #8. I’m with you Artemisia. Let the language live. Editor, please don’t change that headline. It does no damage to anyone. (Gay once had another meaning. I don’t mind its new meaning — I think it is well chosen — but I sure do mourn the passing of its old meaning.) #5 & #6 are trying to do to TT what His Disgustingness Emperor Tony is trying to do to the ABC.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: As someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, I concur that the definition of schizophrenia within the DSM does somewhat correlate with successive Tasmanian governments, and indeed many governments the world over. The persistence in delusional thinking which has little connection with reality. The development of superstitions based on the idea that if it worked once, even if due to coincidence or under different conditions, it should work again. The delusions of grandeur that they actually belong in a position of responsibility. All common symptoms in schizophrenia, religion, pseudo-science, public commentators, economics, and only functional for entertainment executives. In short much of the world system has become mentally ill. The sooner it realises the fact the sooner it can get help …

• Pilko in Comments: A more mature editor would’ve forseen that the use of the term “schizophrenia” would likely offend & result in the topic being hijacked by a discussion about whether people have the right to be offended/or not by the use of the word schizophrenic in the article headline. This scenario is so often played out on Tasmanian Times. The reason? Because the TT club are righteous, seldom in error, have the world summed up & therefore have no need of boundaries …

• Peter Henning in Comments: I don’t believe it. So it’s no longer possible to use words metaphorically?  Have we become so stupid? A pox on such ridiculous nonsense. I shall now use that splendidly descriptive word schizophrenic at every possible occasion. I should have been using cancerous as a matter of course, but now kick myself for not doing so … 

Bryan Green: Abbott Government slaps down Hodgman and Groom

Nick McKim: Hunt Leaves State Government Isolated on World Heritage Area Logging and Mining Commonwealth Environment Minister Greg Hunt has left the Tasmanian government completely isolated in its plan to allow logging and mining in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The United Nations has come down on the state government like a ton of bricks, and now Mr Hunt has failed to support plans for logging and mining. What more will it take for the Tasmanian government to see reason? The state government’s representative in Bonn will now be alone in arguing for logging and mining in the TWWHA. Minister Matthew Groom now has no option but to withdraw his plan and redraft it to ensure proper protection of natural and cultural heritage values. If the state government fails to see reason, there is a real risk that the United Nations will declare the WHA as ‘in danger’, which would be an extreme international embarrassment for Tasmania and Australia. Logging and mining in an area that has been protected for all of humanity for its outstanding universal values is like bulldozing the pyramids of Egypt and using the rubble as road gravel. It simply beggars belief.

• Peter Henning in Comments: … It is true that many of the people who comment on TT have been doing so for years, but that applies to a whole range of people across the spectrum, including some real stalwarts of the ‘far right’, some of the most conspicuous of whom refuse to use their own names. It is equally true that the same old issues and arguments get recycled again and again, like a never-ending carousel. But why is that? The answer is clear enough. Throughout all those years the political issues in Tasmania have remained the same.  Tasmanian politicians have learned nothing, have changed not one bit in all the years since they sold their souls to Gunns. They stay focused on repeating past failures.  They stay focused on forestry as an essential service. They stay focused on pulp and an obsession with destruction of the landscape, even though the costs have been demonstrated time after time to far outweigh the benefits.

Read more

49 comments

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

Further expansion of elective surgery centre at Mersey (features) in White Paper

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Media Release. Pic: ABC of Michael Ferguson
28.06.15 5:30 am

Image for Further expansion of elective surgery centre at Mersey (features) in White Paper

The Mersey Hospital will take on even more elective surgeries than previously anticipated as the Hodgman Liberal Government looks to slash elective surgery waiting lists through the One Health System reforms. Adding more elective surgeries to the Mersey is a key part of the Government’s plan to avoid the 4,000 elective procedure cancellations which occur each year, including over 1,000 which are cancelled after the patient has been admitted to hospital.

Tim Greenaway: AMA Tasmania welcomes White Paper release

Michael Ferguson: One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes The release today of the final health White Paper marks a significant turning point for health in Tasmania. The White Paper is the culmination of the most open and transparent conversation a Government has ever had with the Tasmanian people about the extent to which our health system is broken. The Hodgman Liberal Government will not sit by and allow Tasmanians to continue to suffer some of the worst health outcomes in Australia. Through the six-month consultation process, we have heard from thousands of Tasmanians from all parts of our state. Their message is clear: we must reject the idea of keeping the status quo – a health system which is regionally divided, inefficient and, despite the best efforts of our skilled medical professionals, cannot deliver better treatment for Tasmanians.

Cassy O’Connor: Health Reform Direction Sound but Where are the Dollars?

Read more

6 comments

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

US Supreme Court delivers marriage equality ... bittersweet for Australia

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome Media Release
27.06.15 5:30 am

Image for US Supreme Court delivers marriage equality ... bittersweet for Australia

“The United States has fulfilled its promise of equality for all, and now it’s time for Australia to do the same.” - Rodney Croome

• All eyes now on Australia ...

Dr David Phillips: US Supreme Court marriage decision is judicial tyranny

Read more

9 comments

Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | International | National | State | Education | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Tasmanian Wilderness profiled at World Heritage Conference

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. Media Release Pic*
27.06.15 5:15 am

Image for Tasmanian Wilderness profiled at World Heritage Conference

A conference exploring the role of civil society in World Heritage has heard a presentation on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the critical role the Tasmanian community has played in seeing the area listed, extended and defended.

• Download Geoff Law’s paper and powerpoint presentation to the conference ...

Bryan Green: Abbott Government slaps down Hodgman and Groom

Nick McKim: Hunt Leaves State Government Isolated on World Heritage Area Logging and Mining Commonwealth Environment Minister Greg Hunt has left the Tasmanian government completely isolated in its plan to allow logging and mining in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The United Nations has come down on the state government like a ton of bricks, and now Mr Hunt has failed to support plans for logging and mining. What more will it take for the Tasmanian government to see reason? The state government’s representative in Bonn will now be alone in arguing for logging and mining in the TWWHA. Minister Matthew Groom now has no option but to withdraw his plan and redraft it to ensure proper protection of natural and cultural heritage values. If the state government fails to see reason, there is a real risk that the United Nations will declare the WHA as ‘in danger’, which would be an extreme international embarrassment for Tasmania and Australia. Logging and mining in an area that has been protected for all of humanity for its outstanding universal values is like bulldozing the pyramids of Egypt and using the rubble as road gravel. It simply beggars belief.

• John Powell in Comments: Yes Hodgman and Groom are complicit in all that is wrong about their TWWHA legislation. However the real traitor is Minister Harriss of Aboriginal descent who is betraying his nation without shame it appears. May he visit the rock shelters adjacent to my property that TWS and others visited last Friday week, including an indigenous representative,and reflect on his ancestors and their magnificent ancient journeys in the Great Western Tiers. I know he will not because unlike Ta Ann I am unable to provide “funding” and **** accommodation, but I will serve a Liffey Pinot Noir.

Read more

5 comments

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

Is the Abbott Government fascist?

John Biggs. First pub: June 9, 2014
26.06.15 5:00 am

Image for Is the Abbott Government fascist?

Since the last Federal election, people have been shocked at where Australia seems to be heading. So where is Australia heading? Towards fascism?  There are straws in the wind.

Attack on Australia’s universal healthcare system must be blocked, says TasCOSS

Guardian: Climate unity dealt blow as Australia and Canada put business first

John Green: Freedom of Speech? HERE I have now discovered another nasty little trick in Abbott’s budget. All community legal centres have been forbidden from taking part in any law reform activities or any kind of policy activities upon threat of their funding being cut. They have been explicitly banned from criticism on the Commonwealth government or any of its agencies. One of the major purposes of community legal centres is to develop a policy to improve the law and make proposals for law reform. It is clear the Abbott government opposes freedom of speech and is determined to stop all voluntary bodies from criticising it if at all possible.

THURSDAY June 25, 2015 ...

• phill Parsons in Comments: On the criteria put forward in June last year we have to look at the Abbott government’s performance. They struggled right up to May this year and it was only when they rediscovered Nationalism and Militarism in the form of the terror scare that they have returned to appearing like a government. Of course this masks a series of allures in addressing threats to the nation such as a stalling economy; a trade deal the productivity Commission criticizes; global heating and climate instability and their imposts on the economy; failure to foster the growth industries in a transition to a sustainable energy economy; social division with cuts to health,to education and to vilifying certain groups of Australians. Everyone should be able to make up their own mind on the views of Zac Mallah but instead the control over the media is feeding everyone with the idea that he is a terrorist when he was not convicted of same and now works against ISIS promoting the Free Syria movement, a movement the British and the US support. It is strange that Ciobo knew Mallah and was ready for him. You can readily conclude Fascist ... as they meet the criteria.

• Mike Bolan in Comments: Nicely researched and well put together John. Interesting that some seem to imagine that lack of gross violations (such as may have occurred in mature fascist governments) indicates that the LNP feds aren’t fascist. It takes them a while to get everything organised so that they can exercise unbridled power (e.g. get rid of Triggs, change laws, empower security agencies, weaken the majority with cuts and austerity programs). It certainly appears that psychopaths tend to create fascist/totalitarian type regimes - it seems that their lack of empathy leads them to such structures. …

Read more

147 comments

Writers | John Biggs | Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

ABC ‘on the side of Australia’, managing director Mark Scott says, amid firestorm over Q&A

ABC. ABC pic of Mark Scott
26.06.15 4:45 am

Image for ABC ‘on the side of Australia’, managing director Mark Scott says, amid firestorm over Q&A

ABC managing director Mark Scott has defended the national broadcaster as being “on the side of Australia”, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “heads should roll” over Monday night’s Q&A program.

“But even for the ABC, things seemed to have been taken to a new level when on Wednesday we scored four covers in one day in the News Limited tabloids, complete with photoshopped ABC flags being waved by jihadi protestors,” he said. “Not all parties to the conversation have seemed vested in pursuing rational discourse.” He also pointed out that some of these media outlets had themselves spoken to Mr Mallah in recent years. “If giving him space or time to express his views is an act of sedition, then the round up of the seditious will take some time and include, I should add, The Australian newspaper which ran an extensive article on him in 2012, charting his journey from when terrorism charges were first laid against him,” he said. …

• peter adams in Comments: ... Ciobo said Julia Gillard, when she was PM of Australia, should have her throat slit; his little mate Graham Morris said she should be kicked to death and Alan Jones said she should be tied in a chaff bag, taken to sea and dumped. All should have been charged with treason and making threats against the Prime Minister. Does the media report this no, no, no, no . . .

Read more

18 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Media | Society

Integrity Committee report a missed opportunity

Nick McKim MP | Greens Justice spokesperson Media Release. Pic* First pub: June 24
26.06.15 4:15 am

Image for Integrity Committee report a missed opportunity

The Joint Select Committee on Integrity has missed an important opportunity to adequately strengthen the investigative powers of the Integrity Commission. The Report should have recommended that the Criminal Code Act 1924 be amended to create the crime of Misconduct in Public Office. Its failure to do this will leave Tasmania as the only jurisdiction in Australia without this offense, and means that actions which involve misconduct rather than corruption may be unable to be prosecuted.

Lara Giddings: Integrity Commission must retain investigative powers

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Wilkie urges Forestry probe (includes links to earlier TT articles calling for a Royal Commission into Forestry Tasmania)

• John Hawkins in Comments: When Hall and Wilkinson drew up the guidelines for a Tasmanian Integrity Commission it was as a small Sop to the public Cerberus. A sop created to assuage discontent over perceived endemic corruption involving the abuse of due process by the then Lennon government in its promotion and facilitation of a proposed Pulp Mill. With considered political intent the Integrity Commission was given absolutely no teeth. Its role was one of political window dressing. It was created by our Pollies to give comfort to an easily appeased public, who believed in them thinking, incorrectly, that they had their interests at heart. Yet a small but influential group of Tasmanians were and have been baying loudly from outside the political door. Faced with a truculent collusive and abusive body politic the first CEO promptly resigned when she realised that the toothless tiger known as the Tasmanian Integrity Commission had been from the outset both hog tied and powerless, as was the intent of our political masters. It was and is the creation of a corrupt Tasmanian body politic set only on protecting its arse. All that is required of its Commissioner is to maintain the status quo and protect those within the Tasmanian political system from an increasingly restive public. That the status quo must be preserved at all costs is now becoming evident to all Tasmanians. Those who have been concerned in the creation, execution and preservation of this peculiarly Tasmanian fiasco should be ashamed. Yet shame is a little understood word in Tasmania for it is seemingly outside the lexicon of the Tasmanian body politic.

• O’Brien in Comments: … Every further day the corruption commission fails to utter a response to the member for Denison’s call for an inquiry into Forestry Tasmania the more compromised they appear. Apart from the ongoing looting of our taxes by rogues, frauds, liars, cheats and career bastards who seem to excel in Tasmania’s publicly funded arenas we have very little to show for such tremendous expenditure. Tasmania’s corruption commission is a failed exercise in futility and waste and should be dissolved asap. It only serves to remind us how utterly bedrock corrupt Tasmania has been and shall remain, it’s in the DNA, Britain transported it’s most detested criminals and screws to the other side of the world for good reason. Not to mention the implications of iodine deficient soils. The good guys don’t always win. How can any of us be proud of such a legacy?

Read more

5 comments

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

Government Silent on Factory Trawler Geelong Star Killing Another Dolphin

Rebecca Hubbard Environment Tasmania, Tooni Mahto, Australian Marine Conservation Society Media Release. First pub: June 22
26.06.15 4:00 am

Image for Government Silent on Factory Trawler Geelong Star Killing Another Dolphin

On Thursday last week as the Stop the Trawler Alliance were launching their Small Pelagic Fishery Pledge to help prevent the destruction of factory freezer trawlers, another dolphin death was being reported in this very fishery by the factory freezer trawler Geelong Star, yet the responsible Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Senator Colbeck, didn’t tell anyone about it. The Abbott Government is failing to protect our threatened species or respond to public concerns, while the factory trawler Geelong Star is gouging a deeper wound into Australia’s oceans each week.

Peter Whish-Wilson: Another Geelong Star dolphin death. Time to end this deadly farce “Three times AFMA has signed off on the Geelong Star’s fishing techniques, and three times dolphins have died. “This is an absolute failure by the regulator and by the Government. Every time the Geelong Star has gone fishing it is has killed dolphins. “These three high-profile regulatory failures combined with the resignation of the independent scientist who was head of the Small-Pelagic Fisheries Resource Advisory Group shows that the whole system is in disarray. “The Government’s so-called ‘ban on super-trawlers’ has failed. It’s time to revisit the legislation to see what can be done permanently. The Greens will be working with Labor and the cross-bench to develop legislation that will provide a permanent solution to this debacle.

Andrew Wilkie: Three strikes and you should be out ... ``The Geelong Star will just pack up and move to another zone and continue fishing and killing dolphins and seals,’’ Mr Wilkie said.  ``The only way to guarantee no more dolphin and seal deaths is to ban the Geelong Star once and for all.’’ Mr Wilkie said questions surrounding conflicts of interest in the setting of the quota for the Geelong Star remained unanswered – adding to the need for an immediate fishing ban on the factory freezer ship. Mr Wilkie has a complaint currently before the Commonwealth Ombudsman regarding the setting of the quota.

Andrea Dawkins: Liberal Government must turn back this boat ...

SETFIA: What did the skipper do ... ?

Richard Colbeck: Showing support for sustainable fisheries at international forum

Read more

8 comments

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

TPC KO for Waterloo Bay barge plan

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of Surges Point
24.06.15 4:55 pm

Image for TPC KO for Waterloo Bay barge plan

Huon Valley Guessing Games After months of wrangling over engineer Dennis Bewsher’s application to establish a bulk-handling facility to service barges at Surges Point, Waterloo Bay, the Tasmanian Planning Commission has declared it has “no jurisdiction” to consider the matter.

• Karl Stevens in Comments: Looks like Paul Harriss is being towelled-down in his corner ready to go in for another round, albeit a bit more punch-drunk than before. What will he resort to now? The Magna Carta, the Mabo Decision or the Huonville stormwater and drainage plan?

Paul Harriss: Southern residues EOI launches tomorrow

Read more

5 comments

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

Eight nominations for Brisbane Baroque (all that Tassie lost ...)

Cindy Ullrich Publicity Manager QPAC Media Release. Pic: From Faramondo
24.06.15 6:00 am

Image for Eight nominations for Brisbane Baroque (all that Tassie lost ...)

Further evidence of all that was lost when Premier Will Hodgman rejected Leo Schofield’s plea for an increase in funding to Hobart Baroque ... all the while offering Comfort to Forestry (well it’s only a few million of taxpayers’ money) Premier Hodgman was delivered Hobart Baroque on a plate ... and sent it back to the kitchen ... The inaugural Brisbane Baroque has moved into the big league of national festivals with an impressive eight nominations in the 2015 Helpmann Awards, announced last night. The festival’s production of Faramondo received massive national critical acclaim, and has now been recognised by the arts industry with the most award nominations for an opera at this year’s event.

QPAC celebrates wealth of live performance talent

EARLER on Tasmanian Times ...

• phill Parsons in Comments: Now Hodgman wants to spread Dark MoFo across the State. It only works with investment Will so why would anyone believe you are serious when you killed a working festival because of a supposed lack of money that you appear to be ready to splash about now? Do you actually know what a plan is and how you implement one successfully?. Having succeeded in sending Baroque to Brisbane your government continues to prop up the failed GBE Forestry Tasmania when even members of the Advisory Board can see it won’t work.

Read more

5 comments

Politics | State | Arts | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Groom must address Heritage Tasmania criticism

Craig Farrell MLC Shadow Heritage Minister Media Release. Pic: Of Matthew Groom
24.06.15 5:48 am

Image for Groom must address Heritage Tasmania criticism

Heritage Minister Matthew Groom must break his silence and address concerns raised by outgoing Heritage Tasmania employee David Scott.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Tom Bailey: Cracks appear and concerns arise ...

Tom Bailey: The deplorable and sickening rape of Heritage ...

Read more

1 comments

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

RET vote means Tasmania loses three times over

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release
24.06.15 5:47 am

Image for RET vote means Tasmania loses three times over

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says that Tasmania will now lose three times over because of the passage of the Liberal’s legislation to gut the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Richard Colbeck: Biomass included in RET - a win for sensible policy making

Bryan Green: Tasmanian Labor welcomes RET Legislation

Vica Bayley: World Heritage delegation departs to raise voice for natural and cultural values

Nick McKim: RET Decision Appalling for Tasmania and Our Native Forests

Matthew Groom: Renewable Energy Target a positive outcome for Tasmania

Peg Putt: Clean energy sullied by inclusion of native forest biomass into the RET

Eric Hutchinson: Thank goodness for commonsense on biomass

Australia’s Parliament condemns native forests to Hell: Bob Brown (includes a record of how Tasmania’s Senators voted ...

Read more

17 comments

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

NATION: Abbott trashes the Rule of Law. Housing bubble. Q&A ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First Pub: June 22. Pic: of Tony Abbott
24.06.15 5:46 am

Image for NATION: Abbott trashes the Rule of Law. Housing bubble. Q&A ...

The Week That Was ... Whilst they professed their undying loyalty, fealty and overwhelming devotion to the great charter in public, our MPs trampled Magna Carta in the mire of the tribal blood-sport that now displaces national politics. Turning his back on the national interest and the common good, Tony Abbott went after Bill Shorten in a bid to paint Labor as soft on terror by proposing a bad new law as a wedge in a gambit that involved appearing to sacrifice the rule of law to look tough on terror.

A plucky Tanya Plibersek picked up the slippery pill late in the week. But she may call all she likes for a full explanation. Tony Abbott will continue to refuse as long as he knows he holds the trump card of cheap, xenophobic, populism. As long as we let him. Paul Sheehan reminds us, most of us closed our hearts and minds to refugees long ago. Now the PM wants us to close our eyes and stop our ears. We will do whatever it takes, he soothes, to keep you safe.  Transparency? You really don’t need to know. And you can keep your criticism to yourself. …

Heath Aston, The Age: Australian housing market facing ‘bloodbath’ collapse: economists The Australian real estate market is in the grip of the biggest housing bubble in the nation’s history and Melbourne will be at the epicentre of an historic “bloodbath” when it bursts, according to two housing economists. Lindsay David and Philip Soos, who have written books on the overheated housing market, have berated the housing industry and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the existence of a bubble due to a perceived shortage of housing in the major capitals. In a blunt submission to the upcoming parliamentary inquiry into home ownership, the pair claim there is actually an oversupply of housing, just as there was in the US before the market collapse that precipitated the global financial crisis. And the largest oversupply is in Melbourne where there has been a frenzy of inner-city apartment building. They forecast the total available homes in Victoria outstrip demand by 123,000. NSW has a surplus of more than 40,000, according to their analysis, which was based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “Contrary to the analyses of the vested interests, the data clearly establishes Australia is in the midst of the largest housing bubble on record. Policymakers are caught between a rock and a hard place, as implementing needed reforms will likely burst the bubble,” Mr David and Mr Soos state in a submission on behalf of real estate and financial services research house LF Economics. They believe the current bubble is worse than those in the 1880s, 1920s, mid-1970s and late 1980s. More here

The Age: Tony Jones apologises after claim Australian Muslims are ‘justified’ to join IS on Q&A The first Australian to be charged under the nation’s counter-terrorism laws claimed Muslim Australians who disagree with Liberal Party politicians are “justified” in joining the Islamic State on Monday night’s Q&A. Zaky Mallah, who was charged with planning a terrorist act in Sydney in 2003, drew on his own experience when questioning the panel on whether the power to strip dual national terrorists of their citizenship should rest with a government minister or the courts. … In a strident attack, Foreign Affairs and Trade parliamentary secretary Steve Ciobo said he believed the only reason Mr Mallah was acquitted of terrorism was that the terrorist offences “weren’t retrospective in application”, and that he would be glad to see Mr Mallah sent out of the country. A worked-up Mr Mallah responded …

WEDNESDAY ...

ABC: Terror citizenship laws: Lawyers divided on merits of bill to strip dual nationals of citizenship

Richard Ackland, Guardian: The hysteria over Zaky Mallah on Q&A would make Joseph McCarthy proud

Guardian: Citizenship could be stripped for damaging commonwealth property

Read more

9 comments

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

US Senate paves the way for TPP Fast Track as ...

Dr Patricia Ranald Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) Media Release. First pub: June 25
24.06.15 5:45 am

Image for US Senate paves the way for TPP Fast Track as ...

... UN Human Rights experts demand release of TPP text and human rights impact study A procedural vote in the US Senate has paved the way for the TPP Fast Track Bill to be passed through the Congress this week. This means the US Congress will not be able to amend the text of the TPP. A date is then likely be set for the long delayed meeting of TPP Trade Ministers to resume their secret negotiations to try to finalise the negotiations,” Dr Patricia Ranald Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.

Read more

1 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Huon Valley Guessing Games: Light is in the air

Bob Hawkins. Pics* First Pub: June 24
24.06.15 5:45 am

Image for Huon Valley Guessing Games: Light is in the air

ALMOST since the day I came to live in the Huon, just before GFC (global financial crisis) shockwaves rolled out from their Wall Street epicentre and washed away a substantial chunk of Huon Valley Council’s public cash reserves, I sensed something — quite intangible — was askew about the way the municipality was being run. Though I still can’t put my finger on the reason, nothing has happened in the years since to convince me that I have been kidding myself.

• h. manning, in Comemnts: Any one out there interested in the answers to Treegers comments or issues raised by Bob could contact their councillors direct on http://www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au My recent experience asking questions this way has been an eyeopener as to which councillors want to engage with their community and those that do not. Two male councillors, i shall not name them, either have not replied at all or sent a cursory sentence and ignored my questions completely.I am sooooooo unimpressed!

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: #6. Have I ever denied I am an active participant in an amorphous, many-tentacled campaign to make Huon Valley Council a more efficient and transparent organisation? Read my TT portfolio. Everyone in a community (local or national) should be welcomed as an active participant in its affairs, and to exercise their freedom of speech — unless, of course, they choose to be cowed by the despotic behaviour of control freaks like Tony Abbott and his henchmen, who rule by inspiring fear in the minds of those who might reach for a whistle. We’ve got lots of Abbott types here in Tasmania, and fear of political reprisal is ingrained in the minds of those who, down the years, have been “persuaded” to be obedient and to keep their mouths shut. Is it fear that drives Anon to keep her/his identity concealed?

• h. manning in Comments: re rates HVC /Kingborough. Due to Leon’s post i decided to check this for myself, both by going onto each councils web site and speaking directly with staff. Kingborough council has a strategic plan that states a 4% rate level as their ‘long term financial strategy’ its ‘average ratepayer’ in current budget will experience ‘increase of 3.8%’. HVC’s new stategic plan, only passed this wed, has approved a 3.95% rate level.They were unable to confirm yet the % for the average ratepayer. The kingborough figure for the ‘minimum general rate’ is $298 while i have been told by HVC staff member that ours is $456. It would appear that HVC rate % is currently only 0.05% less than kingborough while the minimum rate is considerably higher.

Read more

14 comments

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

STATE: An Italian job?

Billy MacTold
24.06.15 5:30 am

Image for STATE: An Italian job?

Observations on the latest grand architectural vision for Hobart’s future, the Macquarie Point Masterplan concept ( HERE ), dubbed “Old ground, New Territory”. Boldness be thy buildings in design would be the theme for the massive conglomeration of buildings envisaged – and my veteran (but still roving) eye spotted something that appeared to be a business plug.

MEANWHILE ...

ABC: Hobart City Council decides against Supreme Court appeal for foreshore boardwalk

ABC: Heritage Tasmania expert David Scott resigns blaming political interference

Vica Bayley: World Heritage delegation departs to raise voice for natural and cultural values

Read more

6 comments

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

Hospitals hit workload crisis

Martyn Goddard, Health Analyist. First pub: 21 June 2015. Pic: Inside an RHH operating theatre
24.06.15 5:15 am

Image for Hospitals hit workload crisis

Efficiency gains in Tasmania’s public hospitals will be dwarfed by an ever-increasing flood of new patients unless the state government employs more doctors and nurses in significant numbers.

• Clinical workload in Tasmanian public hospitals ...

Read more

5 comments

Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | Society

Sofie Laguna wins Miles Franklin prize for her novel The Eye of the Sheep

Guardian. ABC pic
24.06.15 4:45 am

Image for Sofie Laguna wins Miles Franklin prize for her novel The Eye of the Sheep

Read more, comment if you wish, TT Books here

• Ed: Incredibly the Tasmanian writer ( Richard Flanagan ) adjudged world’s best in English - for the first time this year the Man Booker Prize was opened to all writers in English - has never won the Miles Franklin ... despite years of entering novels; perhaps the most surprising his lack of ‘success’ with Gould’s Book of Fish for which he won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (2002) ...

Read more

0 comments

Tasmanian Conservation Trust facing extinction

Kyia Clayton; Fundraising co-ordinator, The Tasmanian Conservation Trust Media Release First pub: June 23
23.06.15 1:05 pm

Image for Tasmanian Conservation Trust facing extinction

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust is facing extinction unless $80,000 is raised to save it. The TCT, founded in 1968, was a key player in the formation of Wellington Park, faced off with Gunns to revoke the permit to build a pulp mill and ran the highly successful fairy penguin sweater campaign after the 1999 Lady Barron spill, among many achievements. Last year, the Australian Government axed The TCT’s Grants to Voluntary Environmental Sustainability and Heritage Organisations (GVESHO).

EDO Tasmania: We’ll yell and we’ll shout, for the fine things on earth that are on their way out (with apologies to Dr Seuss) ...

Read more

4 comments

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

Human rights and all that’s wrong with the Magna Carta

Richard Ackland, http://www.justinian.com.au/ The Saturday Paper
23.06.15 7:30 am

Image for Human rights and all that’s wrong with the Magna Carta

After a tireless round of celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta we should now ask, in the spirit of sobriety, why all the fuss?

Read more

10 comments

Politics | International | National | Economy | Education | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Sue Neill-Fraser and Dr Bob Moles ...

Tim Ellis SC. Pic: Yacht at the centre ...
23.06.15 7:15 am

Image for Sue Neill-Fraser and Dr Bob Moles ...

A response to Dr Bob Moles, Comment 25, HERE As Dr Moles knows, I am no longer a prosecutor; my misfortunes in that respect having been the subject of gloating celebration for more than two years of hate-filled commentary on social and other media by certain Neill–Fraser supporters.

Read more

39 comments

Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Tasmania ... 350 snouts in one small electoral trough ...

Charles Wooley. Pics* First pub: June 22
23.06.15 7:01 am

Image for Tasmania ... 350 snouts in one small electoral trough ...

… Three hundred and fifty snouts in one small electoral trough! The slurping and shoving should be heard as far away as Baghdad, hopefully even over the gunfire. The benefits of democracy, for the governing rather than for the governed, should be made abundantly clear. The point to promote is that democracy is a far better rort than tyranny and a safer one. The dictator Saddam and his family might have enjoyed some of the usual democratic benefits; free meals in restaurants, no parking fines and free overseas holidays, but look how badly it all ended for the Husseins.

How much better in the exemplary Tasmanian model, where fallen rulers go directly to paradise in this world? They are forever on clover in a land flowing with milk and honey. They serve only themselves on cushy government boards, cop a few lucrative consultancies and enquiries, and call in a few favours from mates in business. Otherwise they just knock around their well-deserved country estates, beach houses and lake houses, on such generously pensioned public largesse you might want to spit. But that’s not my point here. …

Read more

8 comments

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

Tas Uni academic less than “abundantly clear” about Generation IV nuclear reactors

Jim Green*
23.06.15 7:00 am

Image for Tas Uni academic less than “abundantly clear” about Generation IV nuclear reactors

Academic Barry Brook began working at the University of Tasmania last year. He is a strident nuclear power supporter and is particularly enthusiastic about non-existent ‘Generation IV’ reactor types.

Read more

23 comments

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

‘Spin’ – It’s no substitute for a positive response!

Greg Ray – Principal, Timmins Ray Public Relations
23.06.15 6:45 am

Image for ‘Spin’ – It’s no substitute for a positive response!

“Spin” has long since become an accepted currency of politics and, where once it might have fooled some of the people some of the time, today it is increasingly seen as shifty and boring.Unfortunately, most politicians and their ‘spin doctors’ have so far failed to recognise this reality,  even though it is clear the public is crying out for straight-talking political leadership. 

Read more

2 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

A British Genocide in Tasmania

Tom Lawson, http://theibtaurisblog.com/
22.06.15 5:30 am

Image for A British Genocide in Tasmania

On Holocaust Memorial Day ( Wikipedia here ), is it time Britain confronted its own genocidal past?

Read more

6 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Books | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Come on Sue ... spill the beans ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: Sue Smith when Legislative Council President ...
22.06.15 4:15 am

Image for Come on Sue ... spill the beans ...

John Hawkins in Comments here, Underbelly: Paul Harriss; A Step Too Far?, Thursday, Feb 21, 2013 When I re-read this article - which the Editor may care to rerun - the words to describe Harriss and Smith at that time was:  “as thick as thieves”. Maybe - just maybe - Smith has seen the light. Harriss the standover man of Tasmanian politics has kicked her back into line. Come on Sue spill the beans. We are all agog.

Simon Warriner in Comments here, Underbelly: Paul Harriss; A Step Too Far?, Thursday, Feb 21, 2013 The recent public announcement strikes me as the moment when the whole crowd caught a very clear view of the emperor’s bollocks on full public display as he paraded in public wearing the frock provided by the dodgy tailors. From this point onwards every utterance about the exclusive and unique nature of the robes and vestments will be seen for what it is, the deluded, self serving ravings of ... What the media does from this point onwards will place it firmly on one side of this fight. There is no more sitting on the fence. Reputations will be made and lost, and rightly so.

John Hawkins in Comments on Paul Harriss’ Media Release here: Government Crystal Clear on Forestry Tasmania The Tasmanian ABC has been purposely emasculated by Liberal budget resulting in the Tasmanian story being told and produced without local knowledge in Melbourne. All the ex Examiner staff who could actually read or write are in the employment of our State Pollies. Sue Neales the standard bearer against corruption in this state and the principal reporter at the Mercury left in disgust after being bullied and harassed by the industry and the likes of Lennon. Those who now fail to report yet could report our news are now the deadwood reporting on the dying. It is costing $50 million a year in subsidy to FT to cut down our native forests to supply the likes of Ta Ann a foreign company with close links to the State’s current Minister for Forests one Paul Harriss. Now that is a story! When I have to publish under PP, thanks to Andrew Wilkie, as no media outlet other than TT will run a Forestry story over corruption of due process I suggest that Tasmanians have a serious unaddressed problem.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Read more

0 comments

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

How it feels to be caught in the headlights ...

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic* First pub: June 22
22.06.15 4:08 am

Image for How it feels to be caught in the headlights ...

I looked again at the program: “Mange management in wombats”; “Pasture management for growing kangaroos”; “Reptiles and euthanasia”; “Filling in the cracks, turtle shell repair”.  What would the delegates from all over Australia, and Britain and the United States, to say nothing about one from Pakistan, make of my contribution: “Stop the presses! I want to get on?”

Read more

0 comments

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

Thanks to Paul Lennon ...

Joy Elizabeth
22.06.15 3:50 am

Image for Thanks to Paul Lennon ...

Paul Lennon will no doubt be delighted to hear that a bottle of wine bearing his signature was sold for $450 at an auction to raise funds for Tasmanian Greens.

• Kristin Love in Comments: I donated that bottle over 9 years ago to a Greens auction that Christine won!  How funny it’s reared it’s ugly head.  Keep passing it around!

• Karen Cassidy in Comments: I thought I recognised that bottle of wine. It’s been doing the rounds for a while! The gift that keeps on giving ...

Read more

6 comments

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