Articles

Challenge to LCC’s gift to UTas: LCC DEFEATED

Ray Norman, Launceston Concerned Citizens. http://lcc63.blogspot.com.au/ First published June 6
22.06.16 5:00 am

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WEDNESDAY June 22 ...

• Basil Fitch, in Comments: DEFEATED: Result of Public Meeting over gift of land (i.e Willis Street and Old Velodrome site with M.O.U. with Council, State Government and University) defeated in a unanimous motion. A second motion was passed that the land be put on the open market and its valuation tested.

On Tuesday night in Launceston, a public meeting will take place to challenge Launceston Council’s decision to gift land valued something in the order of $5million to the University of Tasmania (UTas).

• Leonard Colquhoun in Comments, HERE: Whatever else happens after these ‘rain events’ in Launceston, one effect should be the washing away of that dodgy UTAS / Inveresk / LCC deal. What say the UTAS Big Wigs down in Hobart are forcibly made to wade through our flooded areas here, in their best bespoke suits and hand-tooled footwear, of course. But, to balance this brickbat, a bouquet: (as far as one can tell) the university’s takeover of the Australian Maritime College has -  so far -  not gutted that highly successful institute of learning, teaching, and training (and, yes, eggheads, that’s as in T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G).

• Ray Norman in Comments: CONTEXT: On Tuesday night a Public Meeting was held in Launceston’s Albert Hall to discuss Launceston Council’s decision to gift land to UTas to facilitate the university’s proposal to relocate nearer to Launceston’s CBD. The Public Meeting was an outcome of a citizens’ initiated petition that called upon Launceston’s Council to call a Public Meeting to discuss the issue. Here are a few ‘dot’ points to summarise Tuesday night’s Public Meeting …

• Ray Norman in Comments: Dear Prime Minister ...

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

A poisoned chalice ...

Chris Nobbs*, Norfolk Island. Pic*
22.06.16 4:45 am

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Australian Government’s legacy to the Norfolk Island Regional Council – A poisoned chalice?

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

Let’s hear it for the voiceless, and those left behind ...

Bill Rowlings, CEO Civil Liberties Australia: http://www.cla.asn.au/News/
21.06.16 5:30 am

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We’ve been inundated by escalating promises of the main players, steered by media-grabbing ploys by parties, lobbyists and chancers, and made fearful by dire poll spike predictions set fair to eviscerate a candidate or two. But there’s a whole range of important national issues and ill-considered people we haven’t heard about.

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4 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Society

Political Harlotry ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic*
20.06.16 5:57 am

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Tasmania is currently swathed in a mantle of blue. My television incites me to vote for a “Liberal Senate Team” - a group of faceless men ( Bob Burton, TT HERE ).

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | Forestry | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

This week on the campaign trail ...

Luigi* Pic*
20.06.16 5:53 am

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The current PM, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced the demise of his plans to privatise the collection of Medicare revenue. This scheme - under which the government would bear all costs but a private company would collect the money - was to be called MacquarieCare. It was believed to be modelled on the trendsetting funding arrangements of BassLink, which have proved so popular in Malcolm’s constituency … 

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

The Right Connections ...

John Hawkins*, Chudleigh
19.06.16 5:30 am

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Dear Editor of Tasmanian Times: Those voting on 2nd July should remember that they are being approached by many of the great unwashed in search of a very highly paid job in which standing for election requires no qualifications, no training, no expertise in any field and no brains - but all importantly, the right connections.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Nikolic complaint to be referred to Anti-Discrimination Tribunal

Dr Michael Powell, Springfield, Tasmania. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic First published June 18
19.06.16 5:15 am

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… Dr Powell said the significance of the case was not how big it was but how small-minded. “Why would a politician bother to complain about a critical letter?” The case was a matter of principle, he said. “A politician who tries to shut down contrary opinion contradicts democracy and is not fit to be elected.” After Mr Nikolic’s complaint, wide spread national publicity and a strong stand by the Tertiary Education Union, led the university to back down and support academic freedom …

• Cameron Hindrum in Comments: Here’s your laugh for the day … I’m told that at the Candidate’s Forum in Launceston the other night (which Nikolic only attended because the Greens Candidate pulled out … which is a whole other story ...) that Nikolic repeatedly described himself as someone who “listens to his constituents”. Many of his constituents in the audience have been blocked by him on Facebook. He’s certainly not listening to them. Same old lies, Andrew. Hope your CV is dusted off ready to be sent around on July 3rd.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Society

Letters to my grandchildren (16)

Anton Clever*
19.06.16 5:00 am

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Dear Chilliwops, Apathy.  A dreadful word that means lack of interest.  A word that you should never be associated with.

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Writers | Anton Clever | Opinion | Society

Future for Norfolk’s Tourist Accommodation Houses looks Bleak

Chris Nobbs, Norfolk Island. Pic*
19.06.16 4:45 am

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Tourism is key to Norfolk Island’s economic well-being and its ability to pay its way in the world. So it is important to try to understand the effects on the tourism sector of the Australian Government’s proposed changes to taxation and employment conditions on the island.

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

Why Such a Bloody Long Election?

Kim Peart*, Ross. Pic*
18.06.16 5:45 am

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Peter Lewis writing in ABC’s the Drum declared ~ “This election campaign is over. It’s just got a long way to go.”

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

‘Labor will build the NBN Australians need for the jobs of the future’

Senator Catryna Bilyk* Pic of Catryna Bilyk from her Facebook page ...
18.06.16 4:08 am

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Malcolm Turnbull had one job to do as Communications Minister and that was to build the National Broadband Network—and he made a mess of it.

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

Perfect storm facing digital news. Latest circulation figs?

Paul Barry, Media Watch, ABC:
17.06.16 4:40 am

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From ad blockers, to Facebook and consumers who refuse to pay. It’s the challenge facing digital news and no one’s sure what the solution is.

• JDDN in Comments: It has nothing to do with the platform of revenue, rather the quality of content that is being produced. I think you’ll find a correlation between loss of revenue and terrible click bait, biased ‘SJW’ themed journalism …

• Mike in Comments: I know it might sound like an absurd idea, but perhaps they could try telling the truth for a change? …

Mumbrella: What appears to be the latest circulation figures …  Merc (M-F) down 4.6 per cent; Merc Sat down 6.5 per cent; Suntas down 5.7 per cent ...

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Media | Society

Sledgehammered to death ...

Lindsay Tuffin. First published June 17
17.06.16 4:35 am

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Sledgehammered to death. Butchered alive. It’s happened again. This time Vietnam ( ABC: Australian cattle’ being bludgeoned to death in Vietnam sparks Government investigation ).

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Joburg: The Lost City

Don Knowler. Pic*
17.06.16 4:30 am

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Don Knowler returned to Africa recently, more than 40 years after leaving his British homeland to seek adventure working for The Star in Johannesburg. As a reporter in the 1970s, Knowler covered the Soweto riots in 1976 and other events in the anti-apartheid struggle for a newspaper which opposed the South African Government’s policy of racial segregation. He was also chief of the Star’s bureau in Rhodesia during the last two years of the bush war which led to the black-ruled, independent Zimbabwe.

• John Martinkus in Comments: Excellent article Don. Shows the vagaries of history and the consequences. Particularly touched by the image of the poor white Boers begging at the crossroads. Reveals a post colonial legacy not many people understand on a personal level. Also your description of Johannesburg now shows how the black population has suffered both under the former regime and now. Thank you. Best

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | International | State | Opinion | Media | Society

Huon Valley Council: Read for Yourself ...

Bob Hawkins. Pic*
16.06.16 5:01 am

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Download ...

Ministerial Response: HERE

Ministerial Directions: HERE

• Download the Huon Valley Board of Inquiry Report to the Minister: HERE

ABC: What Mayor Peter Coad says ... … But Councillor Coad said mediation had been tried already. “I find this quite demeaning in lots of respects about mediation, training and education,” he said. …

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: The decision taken by Minister Gutwein after all the good work of the BOI and Mayor Coad in bringing this to the fore is an absolute travesty. If Mayor Coad continues to stand up for honesty and transparency as our popularly elected leader he will have to contend with more of the same. The others will now be further emboldened by this “soft” decision and in my view will have no intention of changing their behaviours. If Mayor Coad chooses to resign, if for no other reason than his personal health and the wellbeing of his family, then we have all failed him and I seriously fear for the future of governance in the Huon Valley.

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Legal | Society

Huon Valley Guessing Games: It’s time to act, Mr Gutwein

Bob Hawkins* Pic* First published June 14
16.06.16 4:45 am

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The Supreme Court’s decision on the Glenorchy Council wrangle offers nothing to suggest there are grounds to disqualify the board of inquiry that Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein ordered into that council. Down in the Huon Valley, where Gutwein last September also felt moved to inquire into its council’s “dysfunction”, the board’s final report is believed to be with the minister and, at time of writing, no application has been made to a court to object to the process of that inquiry. So, it should be reasonable to think that a decision on the future of Huon Valley Council is due any day soon.

Today, there is talk in the valley that Harriss is a player in moves afoot down Dover and Southport way. Words bouncing around include “woodchips”, “pulp mill”, “exports” . . . It all sounds unlikely to me, but just imagine that there is substance to them. That could present the Hodgman Government with an interesting dilemma: would a Deep South project be easier to achieve (or stymie) if Huon Valley Council were still run by a general manager and an elected council, or by an administrator? …

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: Being a “nerd” I have managed to enhance the poor HVC audio recording and I can advise Cr Paul’s almost indecipherable comments are as follows, approx 38 minutes in ...

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: So the Huon Valley Council is not going to be dismissed. I didn’t think the minister had the bottle to give our valley a brand new start, and it looks like it’s proving to be so. Haven’t heard the details of Gutwein’s statement yet, but I’m hoping it deals with all the more controversial issues, among them: the Cygnet Caravan Park; the long-ignored broken asbestos in Cygnet Town Hall; a close analysis of all factors involved in the appearance of an unapproved and illegal jetty at Franklin; allegedly buried asbestos on the Franklin waterfront; a forensic assessment (matched with invoices) of all HVC credit card statements (not just the mayors’ and the GMs’) these past 15 years . . . I’m hoping the minister’s decision also includes a squeaky clean independent actuary, or similar, to do the investigating.

Peter Gutwein in TT Media: Huon Valley Council gets final chance to improve governance. And read the Report ...

• John Powell in Comments: The decision by Minister Gutwein says everything that needs to be said about the Hodgman Govt, an inept fibber in Harriss, ditto Brooks, and now a gutless obfuscating Whiner. A bit more to come on Ferguson I suspect. Almost makes Bryan Green look clean ..... oh but then again!

• Robin Charles Halton in Comments: Local government minister Gutwein blew it badly for not sacking the Huon valley Council as Mayor Coad correctly suggested. I know a few of these individuals from the past and the hatred and stirring among them will continue, mediation wont help, differences are ingrained and permanent reminders of their individual personality traits with much entrenched indifference between camps within the council.  Fresh elections are the only way to go, keep driving that objective Mayor Coad.

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Forestry | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

‘We Will Be Heard’: Bass electorate public meeting. Andrew’s boycott?

Jeff McKinnon. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic, from his website. Pic of meeting ... First published June 10
16.06.16 4:35 am

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A good crowd attended the We Will Be Heard public meeting last Thursday night in Launceston. Many people voiced their concern that not all Bass candidates are willing to engage with constituents who hold views contrary to their own.

Nine people were upset that their questions or perspectives had been blocked on Mr Nikolic’s facebook page. Lindy said, “The way we treat refugees takes away their hopes. We can act with humanity. There are ways.” Matthew, from Launceston, added that “Mr Nikolic has a military background and those who ask questions are put into the ‘enemy’ camp.

• Richard Kopf in Comments: Yes little Johnny brought the budget into the black and despite having sold almost every asset belonging to the Government, including our gold reserves, having presided through the height of the mining boom, put nothing away for a rainy day. He was giving it away as tax breaks to win elections.

• Terrill Riley-Gibson in Comments: HERE Greens candidate for the seat of Bass, Terrill Riley-Gibson makes the following statement on Andrew Nikolic’s boycott of the community debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the Examiner newspaper. Ms Riley-Gibson said, “Andrew Nikolic is apparently boycotting the major community debate because I as Greens candidate was also invited to participate. “I have come to the decision that I will be withdrawing from this debate so that Andrew Nikolic has no excuses anymore for dodging scrutiny. “I am an award-winning businesswoman and member of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce but somehow Andrew Nikolic thinks I have no right to be there …

Examiner: Andrew Nikolic boycotts Bass debate

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Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

No Stimulus for Small Business in the Arts

Adrian Newstead*, Pic* First published June 15
16.06.16 4:30 am

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Commercial galleries are the most essential element in the entire enterprise that is the Australian Visual Arts, Here, artists first exhibit their works, and institutions, and collectors purchase them, thereby providing artists with the lion’s share of their income. Classic small businesses, they employ less than 10 people and turnover less than $3 million. According to the ABS there were 514 of them in Australia in 2000. Today no more than 50% of these survive.

• Laura Harper in Comments: Arts and Cultural Policy Forum. When: Tuesday 28 June 2016, 6-7:30 PM. Where: Hobart Town Hall. Panelists: Senator Nick McKim (Australian Greens), Senator Catryna Bilyk (Australian Labor Party) Mr Andrew Wilkie MP (Independent Member for Denison) and a Liberal Party representative (to be confirmed).

Guardian: National day of action: art and theatre join forces to make culture an election issue

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Politics | National | Arts | Economy | Opinion | Society

Australian Sex Party puts family first ...

Dr Francesca Collins. Pic: of Francesca Collins. First published June 15. Peter Madden tweet ... First published June 15
16.06.16 4:15 am

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Family First senate candidate, Peter Madden, launched his campaign Friday just gone. I always understood Family First to be a group of homophobic, misogynistic, right-to-lifers. But the equation on Peter’s billboard reads …

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

Rupert Murdoch: Our Part in His Evil Upfall* ...

Evan Whitton* Pic* First published June 13
15.06.16 5:45 am

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... how Rupie began to use politicians to make money 56 years ago

Lindsay Tuffin: This is the most wonderful account of history. What is even more compelling is that it is true ...

• J Haswell in Comments: Bloody ripper, Evan. More please.

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8 comments

Writers | Evan Whitton | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: Malcolm and Andrew tread water ... Andrew’s boycott?

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published June 13
15.06.16 5:13 am

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Wading around deep water in Launceston last Thursday, were Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and federal Liberal MPs Andrew Nikolic, Brett Whiteley and Eric Hutchinson, who turned up to ensure that the PM did not spoil his visit to the Onion Isle by getting out his depth on climate change and rashly linking global warming with the devastating floods.

Encouraged by his PM’s form of words, but picking up on only some of them, embattled member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, a highly vocal climate sceptic in parliament who enjoyed a key role in the slashing of our Renewable Energy Target (RET) went further. No-one would be “silly enough to try and link a single event to climate change.” … …

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: I would suggest that the title of the article is not correct Urban. Politicians do not tread water, they have special life jackets on that are stuffed with taxpayer money to keep them afloat at all times. Even if they happen to be in a barbed wire canoe up a creek they will float. The robbing of the clean energy council to pay for people to stop polluting the Great Barrier Reef is akin to paying polluters for the carbon emissions they create. Neither will help. Surely there is some way the politicians can be charged with fraud for taking money from one program and putting it into another while pretending it is new money.

Tassie Pine: Tassie Advises Turnbull, HERE

• Terrill Riley-Gibson in Comments: Greens candidate for the seat of Bass, Terrill Riley-Gibson makes the following statement on Andrew Nikolic’s boycott of the community debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the Examiner newspaper. Ms Riley-Gibson said, “Andrew Nikolic is apparently boycotting the major community debate because I as Greens candidate was also invited to participate. “I have come to the decision that I will be withdrawing from this debate so that Andrew Nikolic has no excuses anymore for dodging scrutiny. “I am an award-winning businesswoman and member of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce but somehow Andrew Nikolic thinks I have no right to be there …

Examiner: Andrew Nikolic boycotts Bass debate

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

Deluge: The shocking aftermatth. Will’s Ministerial Statement

Bob Lubout. Both pics: Bob Lubout
13.06.16 6:00 am

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Part of a bridge which was crossing a river ...  somewhere ... demolished, washed out to sea and returned on Ulverstone Beach.

• Will Hodgman, Premier, Ministerial Statement on Floods ... Madam Speaker,

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The Deluge ...

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Society

Macquarie Point ... and Tasmania’s clumsy history

Kim Peart
13.06.16 5:45 am

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Macquarie Point is certainly large enough for a dream of amazement, but what should that be? In a Talking Point article in The Mercury, Ron Banks raises a few interesting points about the fate and future of Hobart’s most significant undeveloped site. [1] Where is the main sporting and events venue in or near Tasmania’s capital city?

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In Memoriam ...

Lindsay Tuffin. Pic*
13.06.16 5:35 am

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*Pic: In Memoriam ... Please feel free to use, with respect. Image © Giles Hugo 2016. Teach kids to shoot with cameras, rather than guns.

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Politics | International | Media | Society | Tribute

BASSLINK: Sunny Groom’s holiday as Basslink fried. Mr Brooks ... resigns ...

Lindsay Tuffin. Pics* First published June 9
13.06.16 5:10 am

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Well, that is not a good look ... State Growth Minister Matthew Groom decided to go on holiday three days after Basslink broke ...

Watch Mr Brooks stumble, Mercury website HERE

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

• Will Hodgman MR in Comments: … Nonetheless, Mr Brooks accepts that a perception of a conflict of interest has now arisen, and has agreed that an independent audit be undertaken of his MSS email account to confirm that it has only been used for non-business purposes. He also agreed that I temporarily reassign his ministerial responsibilities while the audit is conducted. …

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

Donor reveals Tasmanian Liberals host secret ‘policy forum’ for corporate contributors

Bob Burton. First published June 6
12.06.16 1:30 pm

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AMP, one of Australia’s largest wealth management companies, has revealed it became one of the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s major donors because the party “began a public policy forum” which it considered “relevant to our business.”  However, AMP, Premier Will Hodgman, Senator Eric Abetz and the Tasmanian Liberal Party all remain tight-lipped about what the “policy forum” does, how often it meets and who attends.

• Kathryn Barnsley in Comments: Well researched Bob Burton. My preferred title for this behaviour is crony capitalism. Just as Quentin Beresford wrote about forestry and crony capitalism in his wonderful book the Rise and Fall of Gunns, I published a paper last month in an international journal (Evidence and Policy) about the tobacco industry and crony capitalism in Tasmania. Crony capitalism is endemic in this state. Until Tasmanians become aware and concerned about it,, and prepared to do something about it,  cronyism will roll on forever. Unfortunately the slash and burn to investigative journalism in all media means there is no public exposure of this behaviour. Thank heavens for the Tasmanian Times and Bob Burton.

• Jacqui Lambie media statement in comments: Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has demanded that all political parties adopt the JLN’s system of open and transparent real-time disclosure for political donations – and show the people of Australia exactly who has given them money, and how much - before election day. “ Everyone in Australia knows that our political funding system is broken. It’s not right, decent or fair that Australian voters will only find out in approximately 18 months who donated - and how much was donated to our political parties or candidates - for this historic and critical double dissolution election.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | National | State | Editor's Choice

An Open Letter to all Candidates ...

Kim Peart of Ross. Pic* First published June 11
12.06.16 6:30 am

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Dear Candidate, Will this be a carbon copy election ~ or a ballot for a future with a future? With CO2 passing 400 parts per million (ppm) at Cape Grim recently and leaping toward 410 ppm in other places, carbon is on the minds of many voters.

It’s terrifying that politicians can find plenty of treasure for war, but when it comes to some of the basics of survival and a quality of life, the pollies are off with the crackers. Is it time for the voters to slam the electoral brakes on and demand some action on life’s qualities, not just the government’s ability to kill people, lock up refugees and create poverty in a wealthy nation?

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Science | Society

Will Will awaken from a Premier slumber?

phill Parsons Pic*
12.06.16 6:15 am

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… Are they learning nothing from their reviews when the Hydro can cloud-seed over the Central Plateau on the basis of flooding that was not forecast? They had managed to empty the Great Lake impoundment and were trying to refill it and feed the power generators down the Derwent …

• Greg James in Comments: Phil Parsons is of course very right: why wouldn’t you have an electric fleet of cars and buses owned by the owner of the producer of electricity. Why would you send the hard taxed dollars overseas, when all that money can stay in the state and payoff the Hydro debt? Why would you in this age of innovation according to our Liberal PM, innovate and save your money while stimulating the local economy? Why would the party of ‘free enterprise’ buy from overseas our energy, when it can be sourced from home? The debt is obviously also purchased from outside the state and to pay it off, sooner rather than later is economic common sense. Do we have such a thing in Tasmania as economic common sense?

ALSO by phill Parsons ...

Only the Greens ...

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Writers | phill Parsons | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society | Transport

The beermat of laughter, and loss ...

Don Knowler
12.06.16 6:00 am

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… I was talking of working journalists at the time.  What had escaped my recollection of press pubs I had known on four continents was the role they played in the lives of journalists who had retired. Together with being a bridge between work and play, these pubs also served as a meeting place, a point of contact between the working journalist and those who had left the industry. That connection has gone, and this becomes apparent when you retire yourself and lose that link with a profession which has sustained you in income, camaraderie and laughs for a working life, in my case more than 50 years. …

TT Books: Ode to the Ancient Sub-Editor

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Writers | Don Knowler | Media | Personal | Society

Only the Greens ...

phill Parsons* Pic*
12.06.16 5:02 am

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Tony Abbott had hardly been elected when the Blue Mountains had an unseasonal October bushfire. He opined that bushfires were just everyday experience in Oz.

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Writers | phill Parsons | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society