Articles

Shark-attack Insight ...

Paul Tapp. All pictures: Paul Tapp
27.07.15 5:25 am

Image for Shark-attack Insight ...

Damn, this has never happened before. I do a virtual military-precise check on fishing gear, motor, battery before I head to sea. But Murphy’s law says if anything can go wrong, it will ... and it does. My fuel-tank clip has failed, the motor won’t draw fuel, the battery’s gone flat with start-attempts ... and I’m a man alone, adrift off a rocky shore. But I’m not alone.

• Paul Tapp in Comments: … Rob Steane raises interesting points that our legislators should consider. If its law to have expensive restraining seats in cars for kids, bike helmets for bikers, seat-belts for you and me, hard-hats underground and on construction-sites…then why not determine the price of fish-to-market (and let’s face it, there are more Chinese millionaires than there are Australians) and outfit our divers with SharkShields. …

Read more

3 comments

Writers | Paul Tapp | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

NATION: All you need is talk ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: July 27. Pic* Satire: Karl Stevens
27.07.15 5:14 am

Image for NATION: All you need is talk ...

Week in review ... ‘Sod off Tony! Bronwyn Bishop sends Tony Abbott packing, rebuking her pocket PM for his cheek, if not his hypocrisy in broaching the issue of her travel claims. The hypothetical scenario is surely the most likely outcome of the spat of the week based on what we know of each party and given the veil of secrecy our virtual-burqa-wearing government prefers. It likes to keep us guessing.

Read more

7 comments

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

The Troglodytic Liberals and the Epoch of Coal

Ted Mead
27.07.15 5:00 am

Image for The Troglodytic Liberals and the Epoch of Coal

Renewable Energy is far beyond just a modern term. In fact over the past decade it has become one of the most productive and financially prospective industries on earth. By 2050 much of Western society will be driven by the likes of solar and wind energy … leaving Australia’s short-sighted vision trailing in the rest of the developed world’s wake! Back in the mid 1970’s Australia was considered the world leader in alternative energy, particularly photovoltaic. This technological research and its associated advancements were part of the Whitlam government’s visionary ideology. Unfortunately soon after the Whitlam government was desposed, the federally-funded solar program was essentially abandoned, which resulted in the technology - and its promising impetus - shifting overseas.

Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper: The true cost of green energy The arguments against renewable energy are not just without scientific basis, they lack economic credibility.

• Russell Langfield in Comments: Australia schooled and funded the person who delivered cutting edge solar research (Sliver Technology I believe) in one of our major Universities then it was mothballed under patents (probably until the fossil fuels ran out). The scholar went back to China and now owns one of the largest solar panel manufacturing companies in the world. World leading wind turbine manufacturer Vesta packed its Tasmanian operations up and went elsewhere because the Tasmanian Government would prefer to burn what’s left of our forests for energy instead. Go figure. Our politicians are creating a mass genocide with their myopic 17th Century thinking.

Read more

5 comments

Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Science | Society

Liberals Must Rule Out Changes to Permits

Andrea Dawkin MP | Greens Member for Bass Media Release
27.07.15 4:50 am

Image for Liberals Must Rule Out Changes to Permits

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt must categorically rule out altering the Pulp Mill permit conditions that would allow the use of native forest feedstock.

• Robert Vincin in Comments: … What is not comprehended is, the trees have the major function to sustain life on the Planet! Trees are the transporter of rain from coast to upper catchment and protector of microbes, bees, birds they are co-workers in the survival of mankind. Fact is, trees depending upon soil as prime carbon elements the forest soil seldom host a second forest. The lost forest already cut has slowed rain to catchments. …

Read more

4 comments

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

Local Councils Vote for Transparency at TasWater

Tim Slade*
27.07.15 4:30 am

Image for Local Councils Vote for Transparency at TasWater

The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has agreed to lobby the State government for the mandatory, real-time publication of Tasmania’s drinking water data on a public website.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: … In other words. The Tasmanian Liberal Party’s approach to science and environment is the same as the Federal Liberal Party’s approach to science and the environment, and the answer to Barry’s question as far as I can tell is no announcement of more testing in the foreseeable future. I also notice in the section I just quoted an interesting contradiction between stating that all the data was “significantly below guidelines,” and that this data will be used to “identify higher risk areas.” Given that a slightly more environmentally conscious government rolled over a few years ago and axed proposed new pesticide restrictions on the orders of the TFGA, and with the roll-out of new irrigation schemes, I’d say it’s part of the familiar mantras. In this case; flush it down, shut em up.

Read more

3 comments

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

Aerial Hobart

Anthony Bacon. Pic*
27.07.15 4:13 am

Image for Aerial Hobart

Anthony Bacon has a long background in still photography and got into multirotors in October 2014 with the aim of using one as an aerial tripod to get a different perspective. After buying an off the self model that proved unreliable, Anthony built himself a DJI F550 hexacopter (six motors) which is much more versatile and reliable. With a 3 axis gimbal, camera and FPV (first person view) controller, this one cost around $2000 and has had over 100 flights with no issues.

Read more

0 comments

Personal

The end of capitalism has begun

Paul Mason, Guardian
27.07.15 4:00 am

Image for The end of capitalism has begun

The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: There is little mention in the full article of land and resources. The debate on information is already over, aside from new innovations, which can easily be hacked, or intellectual property ignored or loopholed, and most scientists are happy just to have the resources to continue working. All other information is already essentially free, although sifting for quality has become more of a task. The battles to be fought will be over land and resources, diminishing both due to non-renewability of some and increased population. The ruling classes, both the bourgeois upper class and the petite-bourgeois share and property owning middle class will have to decide how to balance their personal safety with their share of physical wealth. Look for the places with the widest gap between economic classes and you’ll also see the places with the highest rates of violence. Any role employment plays is either as a means to attaining physical wealth or the psychological benefits of a meaningful occupation. As the article reiterated, the second is becoming rare, but the first is also increasingly an empty promise as we move further into a feudal arrangement. The battle lines are already being drawn for the next world war, maybe the only hope we have is the collapse of the capitalist economy, which would hopefully drag the military machine down with it. Although this wouldn’t necessarily follow; soldiers were bribed with land in the ancient world, I’m sure it can be done again.

Read more

4 comments

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

Global Advocates to Amnesty International: Vote No on Policy to Legalize ...

Taina Bien-Aimé via Isla MacGregor
27.07.15 3:45 am

Image for Global Advocates to Amnesty International: Vote No on Policy to Legalize ...

... Pimps, Brothel Owners and ‘Johns’ Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, Meryl Streep Join Survivors of the Sex Trade on Campaign to Stand on Side of Human Rights and Women’s Equality New York, July 23, 2015 - More than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry. If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7-11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying - the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.

Read more

1 comments

Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | National | Opinion | Personal | Society

Diesel toxins

Clive M. Stott .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
27.07.15 3:27 am

Image for Diesel toxins

On an equal horsepower basis, diesel exhaust is 100 times more toxic than gasoline exhaust, even when carbon monoxide is considered, according to John R. Richards, MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Davis Medical Centre, Sacramento, CA

Read more

3 comments

Politics | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Science | Society

A Key Lesson for Space Advocates from the Netherlands

Kim Peart. Image*
27.07.15 3:00 am

Image for A Key Lesson for Space Advocates from the Netherlands

Marjan Minnesma from Holland is visiting Australia at present, telling all who will listen how ~ “900 citizens were involved in the class action lawsuit, arguing that the state had a duty of care to protect its people from the harmful consequences of global warming. The court agreed, ordering the government to increase its target for reducing emissions from up to 17 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, to 25 per cent.” [1]

Read more

0 comments

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

Here’s The Actual Impact All Those Buckets Of Ice Had On ALS Research

Huffington Post
27.07.15 2:45 am

Image for Here’s The Actual Impact All Those Buckets Of Ice Had On ALS Research

Remember this time last year when everyone’s congresswoman, favorite singer and probably a distant cousin or 10 was dumping ice water on their heads in the name of ALS* research and awareness? The global #IceBucketChallenge raised an estimated $220 million in donations and, a year after it began, we’re learning more about the effect all that money has had.

Read more

3 comments

Health | Opinion | History | Society

I fear this coming weekend may be my last as a member of the once-proud ALP ...

David Chadwick. ABC pic of Bill Shorten. First published: July 23
26.07.15 9:30 am

Image for I fear this coming weekend may be my last as a member of the once-proud ALP ...

I awoke to the news this morning ( ABC here ) that Bill Shorten has accepted Tony Abbott’s cruel Turn Back The Boats policy. A policy that Shorten now says is not only working but that he now believes is necessary for the Australian Labor Party to adopt if it is to win the next federal election.

• Dr Buck Emberg in Comments: David I was once a Labor voter ... also rusted on.  Then they seemed to lose their liberal roots and I joined the Greens.  However, I continued to give Labor my second vote.  NO LONGER.  I will vote straight Greens and perhaps a few Independents if the ballot allows me.  However, I have voted Labor for the last time too.

• Peter Bright in Comments: It’s disconcerting that Federal Labor is morphing into Liberal Lite. Supping with the devil provides him with opportunities to poison the food. Labor’s true Left should ponder some kind of amalgamation with the Australian Greens, the only political party that caringly formulates and then nearly always stands by its well considered humane principles, principles with which I intuitively agree. In contemplating the splendid work of the Australian Greens it still perennially astounds me that so few can do so much with so little - and for so many. As The Liberals raze anything that moves and half of that which doesn’t, and as Labor’s light dims through osmosis with the devil’s wine, the Australian Greens (bless them all) have become the newest Light on the Hill.

• Richard Kopf in Comments: Australians abhor asylum seekers. Labor seems to have two choices. Do the moral thing and watch Tony Abbott and his thugs win another election or adopt a policy that will steal Abbott’s sole claim to the throne. It is a hard call but it seems that Labor must adopt this cruel policy or be slaughtered at the polls and watch Abbott wreak more damage on all of us. Not an easy decision, but one Labor, unfortunately, must take.

• Chris Harries in Comments: This what happens when parties tart to respond to opinion polls rather than to take a lead. It’s where the media, who largely determine public opinion, take the reins from the politicians. Labor’s fear is that if it took a humanitarian position on asylum seeks they would be pilloried by Alan Jones and the like and it would spell deeper disaster for their next tilt at government. That’s all very true when you longer believe in taking strong leadership. When you have no self belief. When you’ve given up on parliamentary democracy and know that you are taking aback seat to whoever runs the media …

• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top nav bar) for breaking news/comment on the ALP conference ...

SUNDAY ...

Guardian: Bill Shorten wins freedom to use boat turnbacks, but leadership split on issue

Read more

59 comments

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

Door to door community-led campaign of Taroona finds 71 per cent support for marriage equality

Benedict Bartl, Andrew Badcock Media Release
26.07.15 9:00 am

Image for Door to door community-led campaign of Taroona finds 71 per cent support for marriage equality

A large colourful banner proclaiming ‘Taroona supports Marriage Equality’ was unveiled today at Hinsby Beach, Taroona by local residents following a canvassing of every household in Taroona by members of Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality.

Rodney Croome: Advocates say marriage equality achievable with cross-party free vote

Door-to-door canvassing finds 71 per cent support ...

Read more

5 comments

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

Letter to the Editor: Is Andrew Nikolic serious?

Andrea Dawkins, Greens Member for Bass, Spokesperson for Arts, Letter to Editor. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic
25.07.15 5:00 am

Image for Letter to the Editor: Is Andrew Nikolic serious?

… He recently defended the NPEA and changes to art funding stating that the “measures are not a cut in funding to the arts portfolio, but simply broadening the access to funding”. This statement, as well as his insinuation that regional communities would benefit, is completely misleading, if not false. …

• Carol Rea in Comments: Here is the list of Arts organisations who are losing their funding . In addition to this the 6 year grants have been withdrawn, even from successful applications, throwing planned projects into chaos. Included on this list is KickStart Arts of New Town who are currently developing a thriving arts precinct in the old Orphan School at St Johns Park. They have had numerous collaborative community projects with youth, refugees, rural communities, mental health clients, people living with disability. They are story tellers and arts coordinators. The new centre opens in August. Another on the list is our internationally renowned Terrapin Theatre ! The list makes interesting reading. It hits at the very substance of medium sized, community based, creative enterprise.
The people who bring so much to so many with so little funding are now being asked to do it even tougher:  Crikey HERE

Read more

7 comments

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

Barnaby Joyce hates sheep as well as dogs and cows!

Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie Media Release. Pic*
24.07.15 4:00 am

Image for Barnaby Joyce hates sheep as well as dogs and cows!

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the Federal Government for continuing to turn a blind eye to live export breaches as sheep are illegally sold in a banned market in Kuwait notorious for its cruelty.

• John Bignell, Thorpe Farm, in Comments: I’m with you on this one Andrew Wilkie and Animals Australia. Although Middle East live exports of sheep out of Tasmania have long since ceased, I made the choice about 30 years ago to opt-out of the trade for the very reasons you highlight. This was at a time when the price differential was significant. Like $10 or $20 locally, compared to about $100 live export. I think most of the live sheep exports are out of WA and I doubt that any such price premium exists now.

Read more

7 comments

Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Facebook goes mad for Bronny ...

Bronwyn Bishop Memes Community, FAcebook
23.07.15 12:30 pm

Image for Facebook goes mad for Bronny ...

Have a laugh, Facebook, here

In TT Satire: • Richard Colbeck and the Invisible Senators of Tasmania • Errors of judgement • Colours of the Rainbow • Ted’s Bumper Sticker •  Oh Yuck ... a Wind Turbine ... • Don Quixote Tony ... and Windpower • Guess what sign greets Eric Abetz when he leaves his office ... etc, etc, etc

Read more

0 comments

Politics | National | Satire

Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

Deena Stryker
23.07.15 12:05 pm

Image for Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

Tasmanian Times published this report way back in August 29, 2011. At the request of a reader it is republished today ... Perhaps there is a lesson for Greece here ... … Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution.  And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat. They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign …

• Kim Peart in Comments: How the World has changed since this article was first published in 2011. Reading over my comment made then ~ seen above ~ I see the direction suggested then as being more urgent now. I love the idea of discussing Tasmanian independence and when I return to the island to live in October, after eight years in Queensland, I’d love to see a moot in Ross to explore this, with some robust debate. The icelandic connection was raised in Ross in 2004, with a bicentenary event there on Jorgen Jorgenson, who is believed to be the carved king on the Ross Bridge. Jorgenson ruled Iceland for 2 months in 1809 and a bicentenary event at the University of Iceland featured my painting of Jorgenson on the Ross Bridge, with his nose restored ~  http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/jorgy/ With Jorgenson as a common thread drawn through time, as Iceland is an island about the size of Tasmania and with a population of 329,100, and as both Iceland and Tasmania are isolated in the ocean on opposite sides of the Earth, there is good ground for friendship to build on. Should Iceland get too cold, because of the Greenland ice sheet melting and cold fresh water locking down the Gulf Stream, Tasmania could keep the welcome mat out for Icelanders to move here …

• Chris Sharples in Comments: Its fascinating and telling to note how little attention the mainstream media (especially read: News Corp.) pay to the worlds real social and economic success stories. The reason for that is clear: if they told those good news stories, they would be undermining their own far right wing ideologies by letting us see that the most socially secure and happy societies are those based on principles of social equality very different from those espoused by Joe Hockey, Gina Rinehart, Rupert Murdoch and the like. Whilst our present federal government wants Australia to be more like the USA, with the neo-liberal policies and increasing inequality that implies, it is the social democracies of Scandinavia that repeatedly score best on all the socio-economic indicators of well-being and happiness that matter - because they take social equality and security seriously, and are willing to pay higher taxes because they understand that doing so actually benefits everybody more - even the rich. Australia (and especially Tasmania) should be spending more time strengthening our links with and understanding of countries like Denmark (with which after all we have an existing connection via Princess Mary) and less time trying to emulate the USA.

• Steve in Comments: There’s a simple difference between the Tasmanian situation and the Icelandic. Iceland has an identity. They have their own language and are an independent country, which is something they take some pride in. Tasmania also has an identity, but it’s based on cargo cult thinking. There’s a world of difference.

Read more

19 comments

Politics | International | Economy | Opinion | Media | Society

The Son With No Name ... Island and Julian Burnside

Hobart writer Alan Whykes. Pic* First published July 20
23.07.15 12:00 pm

Image for The Son With No Name ... Island and Julian Burnside

Alija was wearing a plain white t-shirt several sizes too large. His wife wore the same shirt with a different shape of misfit. We thought we’d had everything ready: apartment, threadbare but solid furniture, washing machine that appeared to work, pasta and tinned food in the cupboard and the power on. What we weren’t ready for was people who reportedly had only a suitcase of worldly possessions arriving without that suitcase.

SMH: You’ve been misled on boat people: Here are the facts • NB: The latest Island has a wonderful interview (as well as other great reads) with Julian Burnside by TT’s James Dryburgh.  Island is only hardcover these days ( there is a website where you can subscribe: http://islandmag.com/ ).

Read more

4 comments

Politics | International | National | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

STATE: Here we go again ... Big Tree ... ?

Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. ABC. First published: July 20. Pics*
23.07.15 5:00 am

Image for STATE: Here we go again ... Big Tree ... ?

• Forestry Tasmania Lockout Conservationists are calling for an immediate halt to planned logging as Forestry Tasmania conducts a lockout on a main tourism route Arve Rd near Geeveston in southern Tasmania for the next six weeks and log ancient forests surrounded by five registered giant Eucalyptus trees. Bob Brown Foundations Jenny Weber states, ‘Forestry Tasmania is closing Arve Rd tomorrow (July 21), locking out access to the Hartz Mountains National Park, Tahune Airwalk and Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Picton River, Farmhouse Creek and the upper Huon River, while foolishly logging a region of globally unique towering giant trees.’ ‘Premier Hodgman is putting logging ahead of tourism. We call for a halt to logging of this forest. Tasmania’s community would benefit from protecting this threatened forest as the five registered giant trees are located right alongside a main route used by tens of thousands of tourists.

• Former Gunns boss Greg L’Estrange warns new biomass industry needs a ‘social licence’ Editor: Greg L’Estrange is so right ... First Fleet Fossils appear to know no other way than dig-it-up-chop-down-if-it-doesn’t-move-root-it. And, so very sadly, it appears Forest Furnaces are the new Woodchipping ... here we go again ... The former head of Gunns believes Tasmanian politicians and the forest industry need to heed the lessons of the past if any new biomass industry is going to attract investment.

Andrea Dawkins: Biomass energy another tired Liberal policy

Paul Harriss: Tahune Airwalk closed for essential maintenance

Carol Rea in Comments HERE: So log trucks on a road would put “people’s safety at risk”.  Foot/ mouth Mr Harriss. Following this logic there should be no traffic on the new loop road in the Tarkine. Sealed and opened with great fanfare last month. I do believe the Minister is scrambling to justify this appalling decision to cable log in wet winter conditions and in this area. To clearfell 60 acres of forest near one of the top tourist attractions in the south is just madness. The coupe has common boundaries with two Giant Tree Reserves. All possible care will be taken when the hot burn happens before reseeding! And FT says there are no large trees in the coupe. Excuse my scepticism.  All those contracts signed off to 2026 with unsupportable volumes for sustainable practices. Oh how the FSC dream fades away ...

Lara Giddings, Scott Bacon: Six week shut down of Tahune Airwalk not acceptable

• The Background Briefing Transcript on burning native forests ...

ALSO on Background Briefing ...

From axes to to iPads: new logging methods replace traditional ways

Peter Whish-Wilson: Liberals’ attack on opposing voices won’t end with environment groups

• Chris in Comments: Will the clearfelled areas visible from Tahune be expanded and enhanced so that tourists can view the Government-inspired ideology of subsidising and allowing an enterprise to operate when bankrupt (and a servant of a corrupt regime in Asia?) Will the logging of the unique forest giants be enhanced by a media photo or two of Harriss, Abetz, Hodgman (with lifting eyebrows) and all other destroyers be allowed;  will they cut a ribbon or start a chainsaw?

Peg Putt: Advocacy in Markets gets ‘On Ground’ Results for Forests, Committee Told

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: I had a look at Google earth as JDN in post 5 suggested. What I see is a very small patch of forest near the airwalk that is a propaganda screen for the tourists, and a massive area of forest that is being razed all around. There is no way that the level of clearfelling and level of logging that is going on in that area can possibly be called sustainable. At least by any definition I have ever read of what sustainable is. The forest is being wrecked, just like the men in the transcript have said is happening to NSW. The road is obviously used by a lot of log truck traffic ... I am wondering if FT are paying for the road repairs or is it coming out of the tourism budget.

• Shane Johnson in Comments: Just past the Hartz National Park turn off is the formerly signposted Big Tree. It is a shrinking giant but it is wonderful to see, is free and just a 30 metre walk from the road. It is no longer signposted as FT have not maintained the access and the elevated boardwalk is unsafe so they do not want tourists to find it. A government with its heart in tourism would be restoring this asset and making it accessible to all again.

MEANWHILE ... Europe is spun as the Forest-Furnace-Supporters’ benign solution to energy demand. But all is not as it seems ... or is spun ...

•  Financial Times: Protesters at Drax AGM say plant fuel may not be green and Protest Drax at their AGM. No to coal and No to biomass and •  Axe Drax protest at Drax AGM and Department of Energy & Climate Change

• Jenny Weber in Comments: The images in this article are photographed in the threatened coupe, inside the blue tags. I protested at the opening of the Tahune Airwalk and still stand by the criticism we had then. Tahune was a publicly accessible Huon River picnic spot with some of the best examples of Huon Pines close to Hobart. When Tahune Airwalk locked the gates and charged people to access this public land it was doing exactly what we opposed, locking up public land for commercial income to prop up their logging practices that are running at a loss. Forestry Tasmania’s tourism operations around the state have always been greenwash operations. The forest practices plans for coupes in the viewfield of the airwalk state that the loggers need to keep a screen in the clearfelled coupe so it could not be seen by visitors. Logging of this Picton Coupe that is adjacent to Arve Rd could not be logged while the road was open as it was deemed unsafe. Due to cable logging practice in close proximity to the road. When we saw the map and there were 5 giant trees so close to Arve Rd, and the priority is logging the adjacent forest with trees as old as the giants, just not as tall, by a short metre, that is when Tasmania is still getting it wrong. Taxpayer funded logging at expense of the economy and environment.

Read more

42 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

NATION: Poor, Poor Joe ...

Fairfax. Pic: of Joe Hockey
23.07.15 4:30 am

Image for NATION: Poor, Poor Joe ...

A defamation battle between one of the nation’s most senior political figures and one of its oldest newspaper publishers has exposed one of the central difficulties of defamation law. It protects the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

NATION: Poor, Poor Bronny

SkyNews: GST, Medicare levy hike still live options

Kim Peart in Comments: It’s a battle out there, on the field of entitlement, where a cigar generated smoke screen is all the rage. A smouldering cigar also helps to light the fuses of the bombs to be thrown at the press, if they offend entitled sensibilities by telling too much truth. Meanwhile the people turn blue, forced to hold their breath in the face of all that cigar smoke, waiting for the air to clear enough to vote.

Read more

9 comments

Politics | National | State | Legal | Media | Society

Rolley laments Gunns mill blunder

Sally Glaetzer, Mercury. ABC pic of Evan Rolley. First published: July 18
22.07.15 4:45 am

Image for Rolley laments Gunns mill blunder

FORMER Forestry Tasmania boss Evan Rolley believes Gunns would have had a better chance at building a pulp mill if it had sought a Japanese partner.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: I would have been very surprised if Mr Rolley had agreed with John Hawkins’ submission to parliament. It would be very interesting if he would write a TT article explaining where John got it wrong. The Mercury article says very little, a few refutations would go down well in the name of balance.

• Ted Mead in Comments: Fact Evan - Around 10 years ago the Japanese came to Australia and stated that the future world markets, and their clients, are demanding woodchips from sustainable or FSC sources. Forestry Tasmania ignored the Japanese requests and subsequently the Gunns export market dried up. The rest is history. Prior to that Gunns were gobbling up our native forests at an alarming rate, and the more they processed and exported, the greater financial loss was to FT because of the subsidised industry. A Pulp Mill would have made no difference, and the Japanese respectfully would have expressed little interest in such an investment unless there was a guarantee it was solely FSC plantation based. FT was already losing money, and their reliance on Gunns was very poor management of a finite resource. Nothing has changed since Ta Ann has arrived in the state!

• Editor: Mr Rolley is always welcome to write an article or comment at whatever length ... putting his side of this story ...

• Jack Lumber in Comments: Way before pulpwood, and during the expansion of the sector, FC and FT failed to seek fair value for its sawlogs and veneers. Yes .... It was encumbered by concessions and EFP licences for a time and yes they where hamstrung by govt as successive govt - both federal and state - meddled in policy etc etc ... BUT in 1994 it, the new FT had the chance to seek fair rent for products and, time and time again, instead it offered honeymoon periods for veneer mills and sawmill and anyone else which, time and time again then said “we can’t make it work “. Sound familiar. So what does FT do? Get into infrastructure and so ... The new wood saga starts and we have FT paying for power to sites, a merchandising yard which was used by engineers to practice and try theories on. We used to take people there for a example of what NOT to do. We can debate the silviculture, the segregation till the cows come home but let’s agree we should have fair rent or at least transparency in same. The chances of a Japanese JV partner was nil and someone should know better than to throw out that sort of “BS”, the Japanese didn’t like it in 89 or in 2005. After meeting in Australia and Japan they would ask why and how, not can we have some involvement? But the mill as a concept can work ... let’s be clear

• Russell Langfield in Comments: ”“I’m surprised [Mr Wilkie] would use the protection and privilege of Parliament to table documents that make personal criticisms that are factually incorrect about me,” Mr Rolley said.” Well Mr Rolley, you have the opportunity here to correct the facts ...

• John Hawkins in Comments: Rolley, I am far from a political aspirant. I do have an internationally acclaimed business created over 50 years in which time I have written five books and nearly 100 cutting edge articles. As an aside we do miss Sue Neales - you are lucky that Sally Glaetzer gave you such an easy ride, backed by the Editor with no comments allowed. I stood once as a protest against Greg Hall who was to be elected unopposed to the Upper House of the Tasmanian Parliament. You can rest safe, I have no intention of ever standing again. My investigations into your affairs as tabled ... http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/forestry-tasmania-andrew-wilkie-mp-and-the-tabled-document- ... are well referenced and fully documented. What have I said that is factually incorrect? I will debate you in any public forum of your choice in Tasmania. I have no agenda, nothing to hide and I am a member of no political party. Put pen to paper and tell us all how you have been defamed by my reply to your prior legal threats to Mr Tuffin, Tas Times and myself as tabled in Parliament by Mr Wilkie. I am willing to defend myself and my reputation through the courts should you continue ... The threat of defamation if executed will give me the opportunity over “discovery” to investigate you and your past in more detail. I am not afraid Sir. (reviewed, edited)

ABC: Native wood waste hoped to fire up Tasmanian energy industry as environmentalists oppose biomass as renewable energy An energy industry powered by native wood waste is hoped to finally fire up in Tasmania, now that it is considered a renewable energy source by the Federal Government. Last month the Senate passed a bill to include native forest biomass in the revised Renewable Energy Target (RET). Pavel Ruzicka, who sits on the Resources Minister’s Special Advisory Council, said it was fantastic news given Tasmania produced millions of tonnes of native wood residues every year. … Environmentalists are completely opposed to the idea of biomass and have firmly rejected the suggestion it was a renewable energy source.Peg Putt from the organisation Markets for Change said biomass not only destroyed precious eco-systems but harmed the climate at the same time. She said its inclusion in the RET was deeply concerning. “It could well turn out to be the new woodchipping — a high-volume, low-value industry that is subsidised by the taxpayer and that keeps logging going in contentious native forests that ought to be protected,” she said. … The then Labor state government and Forestry Tasmania, then led by Evan Rolley, planned to build a 30-megawatt biomass plant in the Huon Valley. Mr Rolley is now the executive director of Ta Ann, which has a veneer mill on the industrial site where the power station was proposed. He said the company was not considering a biomass power plant at this stage, but environmentalists are nervous. Bob Brown Foundation spokeswoman Jenny Weber said there was nothing stopping a wood-fired power station being built at Southwood. “There is the approvals for a very large power station there,” she said.

Read more

24 comments

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

Child and adolescent health workers reach crisis point ...

HACSU Lead Organiser Joanne McEvoy Media Release Pic*
22.07.15 4:40 am

Image for Child and adolescent health workers reach crisis point ...

Despite a State Government promise to increase resources for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), programs, outreach and community-based services continue to be severely understaffed and inadequately resourced.

Read more

4 comments

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

NATION: A hole in the heart ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First Pub: July 20. Satire: Leunig, leunig.com.au , used with permission.
22.07.15 4:30 am

Image for NATION: A hole in the heart ...

… So begins another surreal week of coal-powered politics in the Land Down Under in which Barnaby Joyce publicly attacks a major coalition decision but remains in cabinet; Bronwyn Bishop gets away with not only claiming expenses on a fund-raiser but blowing $5227 on an 80 km chopper ride, opting for the most expensive copter on offer to patronise her adviser’s mate’s aviation firm. Unrepentant, she has a swipe at Joe Hockey for saying poor people don’t drive. Fairfax publishes details of her overseas travel which portray the speaker as profligate with public money. Cracks are appearing all over the coalition’s crazy pavement. Yawning gaps appear which have the PM on the hop. Labor says his leadership has failed the test of reining Mrs Bishop in. Or the consistency test. Unlike Peter Slipper, Bishop is simply permitted to pay back the money.  The former speaker’s $900 Cabcharge conviction, later overturned, looks even flimsier and falsely trumped-up in contrast.Worse, Abbott’s attack on Slipper in 2012 deeply compromises his protection of Bishop. Back then the then Opposition Leader was full of lofty principle in a judgement now expunged from Liberal Party official websites …

news.com.au: Taxpayers cop $800,000 bill for Bronwyn Bishop’s 2014 expenses

news.com.au: Alan Jones: Gravy train that’s out of control

• John Hayward in Comments: The clownish rascality of Team Tony is heading for the realm of fable, so cartoonish does it seem. That’s probably why Bronny’s $5200, even her $300k slurp for the year,  has already eclipsed in the public mind the billions that Tony’s black ban on renewable energy will cost us.

SMH: Bill Shorten to unveil 50% renewable energy target at Labor conference

SMH: The death of Don Randall

SMH: Bronwyn Bishop’s expensive love affair with charter flights began nearly two decades ago

The Age: Leading Tory MP calls Tony Abbott’s climate change policies ‘incomprehensible’

Read more

12 comments

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

Felicity Wishart, Australian conservationist who campaigned for reef and rainforests, dies aged 49

ABC. Pic*
22.07.15 4:15 am

Image for Felicity Wishart, Australian conservationist who campaigned for reef and rainforests, dies aged 49

Felicity Wishart, the high-profile Australian conservationist who played a leading role in campaigns to protect the Great Barrier Reef and Australian rainforests and to stop land clearing in Queensland, has died aged 49.

Read more

3 comments

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

INTERNATIONAL: What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war ...

SMH. Satire: Martyn Turner, Irish Times, http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner
22.07.15 4:00 am

Image for INTERNATIONAL: What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war ...

Washington: It was the spring of 1968 and Donald Trump had it good. He was 21 years old and handsome with a full head of hair. He avoided the Vietnam War draft on his way to earning an Ivy League degree. He was fond of fancy dinners, beautiful women and outrageous clubs. Most important, he had a job in his father’s real estate company and a brain bursting with money-making ideas that would make him a billionaire.

Read more

1 comments

Politics | International | Economy | History | Personal | Society

STATE: The case for a tunnel under Davey Street, Hobart

Hans Willink* First published: July 20
21.07.15 4:30 am

Image for STATE: The case for a tunnel under Davey Street, Hobart

… Who can forget that only 5 years ago the Federal Government was prepared to spend a billion dollars on a new Royal Hobart Hospital, twice what might be needed for a tunnel. Current polls indicate that next year’s Federal election may again be close with the prospect of another hung parliament and with the seat of Denison again in a position to negotiate additional funding. Clearly, we need fully costed and shovel ready projects, if we are to take advantage of opportunity funding and the Ringini tunnel might just be the sort of project the Federal Government are looking for. When the funds are approved,  just one more thing … let’s get the Hydro to build it.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: Not realistic solutions? Look at a graph of public transport usage by state. You’ll notice that every other state has gone up since the 70’s, while Tasmania has gone down. Why? Because of that same mantra about how everyone should just get a car that lead to rails being ripped up. Public transport in Tasmania has received little more than lip service via a few buses which are often crowded beyond even standing capacity at peak hours. If most people have a choice they will pick an hour by car over 2 hours by bus. If most people have a choice they will pick 1/2 an hour by rail over 1 hour by car. How many people will pick a modest fare on reliable public transport over expensive inner city parking fees? That’s why rail elsewhere is struggling to fit enough trains on the tracks without building new lines …

• Ben, Melbourne, in Comments: Tony Abbott rejecting sustainable solutions such as rail is no surprise. The self proclaimed infrastructure pm has done little for such other than fund a few roads. Melbourne has a population of 4 million. It has 25 tram lines at an average distance of 10km and 16 train lines at an average of over 20km each and 9 arterial bus routes at an average of 40km each. There are also a lot of feeder bus services. Just based on the two forms of rail and arterial bus, this equates to roughly 1km of rail or arterial bus for every 4000 people Most train and tram routes are so packed at peak hour that even finding standing space can be difficult. Using this formula for Hobart we arrive at 50km of rail for 200,000 people. A Bridgewater to Kingston line would total about 30, Bridgewater to Lauderdale would be similar. Add on a little for rail across Tasman bridge. You’re left with a similar ratio to Melbourne. Current bus services along these routes suffer similar overcrowding.

Read more

20 comments

Writers | Hans Willink | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Science | Society | Transport

What prostitution really means for women

Bronwyn Williams
21.07.15 4:15 am

Image for What prostitution really means for women

Feminist Roundup This fortnight’s feminist roundup features three items that address the reality of prostitution in supposedly progressive first world states – jurisdictions where we often mistakenly assume human rights are universally available.

Read more

2 comments

Writers | Bronwyn Williams | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Bob Ellis says he may have weeks to live after liver tests deliver ‘very bad’ news

Guardian
21.07.15 3:30 am

Image for Bob Ellis says he may have weeks to live after liver tests deliver ‘very bad’ news

The writer Bob Ellis has been diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer and says he may have just weeks to live.

Read more

2 comments

Politics | National | Health | History | Media | Personal | Society

The burning question ...

Gregg Borschmann ABC Radio National Background Briefing. Pic* First published: July 16
20.07.15 5:20 am

Image for The burning question ...

ED: This is the most absorbing listening ... not least because it reveals Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, as a First Fleet Fossil ( an observation drawn from an observation by former Gunns CEO Greg L’Estrange ... ) Burning native timber for renewable energy could prop up an ailing native forest industry, but the forests could earn millions in carbon credits if they’re not logged. Both options are hotly disputed and the argument opens a new front in the long running and politically charged ‘forest wars’. Gregg Borschmann investigates.

ABC: Native wood waste hoped to fire up Tasmanian energy industry as environmentalists oppose biomass as renewable energy An energy industry powered by native wood waste is hoped to finally fire up in Tasmania, now that it is considered a renewable energy source by the Federal Government. Last month the Senate passed a bill to include native forest biomass in the revised Renewable Energy Target (RET). Pavel Ruzicka, who sits on the Resources Minister’s Special Advisory Council, said it was fantastic news given Tasmania produced millions of tonnes of native wood residues every year. … Environmentalists are completely opposed to the idea of biomass and have firmly rejected the suggestion it was a renewable energy source.Peg Putt from the organisation Markets for Change said biomass not only destroyed precious eco-systems but harmed the climate at the same time. She said its inclusion in the RET was deeply concerning. “It could well turn out to be the new woodchipping — a high-volume, low-value industry that is subsidised by the taxpayer and that keeps logging going in contentious native forests that ought to be protected,” she said. … The then Labor state government and Forestry Tasmania, then led by Evan Rolley, planned to build a 30-megawatt biomass plant in the Huon Valley. Mr Rolley is now the executive director of Ta Ann, which has a veneer mill on the industrial site where the power station was proposed. He said the company was not considering a biomass power plant at this stage, but environmentalists are nervous. Bob Brown Foundation spokeswoman Jenny Weber said there was nothing stopping a wood-fired power station being built at Southwood. “There is the approvals for a very large power station there,” she said.

Read more

28 comments

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

Wise old Mother Nature is absolutely indifferent to the human condition ...

Charles Wooley. Pic*
20.07.15 5:00 am

Image for Wise old Mother Nature is absolutely indifferent to the human condition ...

… I’ve been to death camps and killing fields, almost always after the event, and have mostly come away with little or no idea of how humanity can plumb such awful depths. I remain convinced that for most of us, the unthinkable can often only be explained through the re-imagining of a writer or a filmmaker. Only art can truly reveal the worst in us …

• Ted Mead in Comments: Nature will prevail. Human beings are merely a flicker in the evolution of this planet. History shows we cannot live in harmony within ourselves or with mother-nature as we recklessly destroy the very life-thread that supports us.  Time will attest, as we are the only species on earth that is capable of eradicating itself. Hardly a claim of a superior being. Nature in its purest evolving form will inevitably reclaim its dominance on earth after we cease to exist. Essentially the Homo erectus has been spiritually retrograding even since we stood upright and crawled out of the caves. Many would believe that it would have been better if we had never come down from the trees in the first place.

Read more

6 comments

Writers | Charles Wooley | Opinion | History | Society