Articles

Stalin would be proud ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release Pic: of Josef Stalin
28.08.15 5:28 am

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A statement on Border Force random Visa checks ... Joseph Stalin would be proud of Tony Abbott. Just as East Germany’s Stasi would be delighted with the Australian Border Force. Why even General Pinochet would be impressed.

• phill Parsons in Comments: As I stood before the Clockwork Orange I pondered what runs through Australia’s veins. Where has a fair go gone, where is my miners licence, will the Eureka flag have to fly again? Shades of the Border States asking people looking like Latinos “Que es tu pueblo?” Trump may trump US all yet but I for one do not want to regret what has made Australia, its good and bad, to live in fear of my neighbours. Lest we forget, because the Tony government has.

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

EDO Tasmania ... Not a cracker ...

Adam Beeson Acting Principal Lawyer Media Release
28.08.15 5:25 am

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This week the Solicitors’ Guarantee Fund (SGF) was announced by Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin and EDO Tas was excluded ( Vanessa Goodwin’s Media Release, here ).

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Native forest policy full of loopholes and inadequate to protect species and climate

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc Media Release Pic*
28.08.15 4:35 am

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The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania have responded to a review of the Tasmanian Government Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate[1] with a submission highlighting the inadequacies of the policy to meet its stated objectives and properly protect native forests and the critical values they hold.

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

Child protection report fails to answer key questions

Rebecca White MP Shadow Human Services Minister Media Release
27.08.15 4:26 am

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Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma has failed to take responsibility for her own failings throughout the child protection crisis on the North West Coast.

Jacquie Petrusma: Child protection redesign to deliver better outcomes

Jacquie Petrusma: Ministerial Statement - Child Protection Services, North-West

Cassy O’Connor: Child Protection Review Exposes Lack of Resources

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

Gutwein Preparing to Roll Over to Federal

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Media Release First published: August 26
27.08.15 4:25 am

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In Parliament today, Treasurer Peter Gutwein made it clear he is prepared to do Federal Hotels’ bidding and extend the destructive gambling monopoly deal beyond 2018. The Treasurer is using MONA’s desire to establish a boutique, high-rollers casino as a Trojan horse to extend the Federal monopoly deal which was negotiated and signed in secret back in 2003. Mr Gutwein is talking about the five year rolling extension of the monopoly deal to 2023 as if it’s a given, when the Deed makes it clear any extension is at the discretion of the Minister …

• Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS: Tasmanians deserve transparency in all dealings of the Hodgman and any other government. There are procurement processes in place and these should be followed for large and small contracts and deeds alike. This is a perfect chance for the Hodgman Government to walk the walk it has been talking about and ensure all deals done are transparent and pass a fairness test. Tasmanians deserve to get the best possible deal from whoever eventually signs the Deed with Government. We are sure the Government and the Treasurer in particular would see a lot of value in working with Tasmanians to get the best deal out of this for all of us. The opportunity to talk about the content and consequences of this Deed only comes around once in a while: it’s a wonderful chance to ask Tasmanians what they want the money raised by it to be spent on. Let’s not miss this golden opportunity.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: The deal between Farrell family (owners of the Federal group) and the Lablibs is a prime example of bottom feeding, offshore funnelling, crony capitalism. The sooner it ends the better off the state will be. I assume the Farrells would be against any gambling at Mona because it might impact on their dole vacuuming business across the road at 666 Main road Berriedale.

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

Will the Abbott Government Approve the Geelong Star Slaughter of Dolphins?

Rebecca Hubbard, Jon Bryan, Nobby Clark, Tooni Mahto Media Release
27.08.15 4:23 am

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Nine dolphins have already died as a result of the Coalition Government allowing the operation of the European freezer factory trawler, the Geelong Star, in Australian waters. As dolphins are more likely to be killed at night, a ban on night trawling was imposed in an attempt to stop more deaths and allay public concerns. Unbelievably, the Abbot Government and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority are considering lifting the night-fishing ban, which will undoubtedly result in more dolphin deaths.

Over 100,000 people have petitioned the Abbott Government to stop the Geelong Star fishing, and over 15,000 people have contacted their Federal Politicians to support the Small Pelagic Fishery Pledge to ban all freezer factory trawlers in this fishery. When is the Abbott Government going to start listening and protect our marine environment and important recreational fisheries?

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

Lapoinya: Missing In Action

John Powell. ABC pic of Paul Harriss
27.08.15 4:15 am

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Just where is this man? What is he doing? Should we send out the SES? The internet and parliament is full of valid community concerns about the proposed logging of coupe FD053A also known as Lapoinya. MIA Harriss failed to appear at the Public Forum held at Wynyard on 9 August ( John Lawrence: Carbon accounting & FT profitability ),  did not respond to email invitations, or indicate why he did not. RUDE! MIA Harriss has not responded to this series of questions sent to him on 14 August and seeking a response by 21 August.

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Writers | John Powell | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

The most talented collection of Creative Chattering Classes in Tassie’s recent history…

Lindsay Tuffin
26.08.15 4:45 am

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Good god … look at the talent: Cate Kennedy, Don Watson, Bob Brown, Jane Caro, Rodney Croome, Melanie Tate, Julian Burnside, Amanda Lohrey, Robert Dessaix, Matthew Evans, Kirsha Kaechele, Danielle Wood, James Dryburgh … and that, Punters, is just the start … The 2015 Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival surely shapes as the most incredibly talented collection of Creative Chattering Classes in Tasmania’s recent history. This, Punters, is one extraordinary festival not to be missed …

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Books | What's On

Christian leaders arrested in Hobart

Bronwen Hayes, Love Makes A Way Media Release
25.08.15 4:00 pm

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Six Christian leaders have been arrested while holding a peaceful protest today in the office of Tasmanian Senator David Bushby.

EARLIER today on Tasmanian Times ...

Local, state and national church leaders ask Senator David Bushby to publicly support the urgent release of 127 children and families from immigration detention.

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Good on those people for holding a vigil. It is confusing to me how they could be charged with trespass. Senator Bushby’s office would be funded by taxpayers, so in effect the office is public property. It is time that the public were allowed to be on public property without being charged with criminal offences. I find it offensive that the politician found it necessary to call the police in to arrest people praying.

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

Lambie spanks Shorten (Again)

Rob Messenger for Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator for Tasmania
25.08.15 8:42 am

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Letter to Bill Shorten Over recent months, I’ve really enjoyed our informal meetings and policy discussions. The Bill Shorten I met was very different to the untrustworthy, tricky Bill Shorten that the Liberal Party has constantly talked about. And until yesterday, I stuck up for you when people asked my opinion of you. I told those who asked, that ordinary Australians could make a hand-shake deal with Bill Shorten and trust you to deliver on your promises.

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Show Tassie some respect ...

Martin Flanagan, The Age. First published August 24
25.08.15 6:12 am

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Dear Gil, You strike me as a decent bloke. I take your expressions of concern to do with community football to be genuine. So, ahead of the AFL Commission’s meeting in Hobart on Friday, there’s a couple of things you should know. The first of these is that Tasmanians aren’t mugs. You said last week ( The Age here ) that Tasmania is “too poor” to have its own AFL team. Half the clubs in the AFL are “too poor” to be in the national competition.  These clubs are only in the AFL because the AFL subsidises them. So the question is not whether places are “too poor” to have a team – the question is whether the AFL chooses to subsidise them and why. And we all know why the AFL has not chosen to subsidise a Tasmanian team in the AFL – because, as a television market, from the AFL’s viewpoint, Tasmania is assured. Tasmanians will watch AFL football on TV whether they have a team or not.

The AFL treats Tasmania like a colony. There’s got to be an end to policies imposed from above by football bureaucrats. The AFL has to start talking to the people in Tasmania who are the blood and sinew of the game. It’s called showing some respect, Gil.

• Anthony John in Comments: Of all the injustices and indignities heaped on this State by inept, vision-less clowns masquerading as political and business leaders, denying us our own team in a so-called national competition, ranks with the worst in recent times - and there have been some stinkers! Dudded by snake-oil salesmen from the AFL, and other vested interests, those responsible continue to disrespect the people by advancing spurious reasons why the status quo is to remain. We need more people like Martin Flanagan going in to bat for a fair go for the Tasmanian people. There is no better time than now for us all, football fans or not, to make our voices heard on this iniquity.

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Victorian Liberals made no checks on alleged embezzler. Nothing to see here, say Page and Archer ...

Royce Millar, Mark Kenny, Benjamin Preiss The Age. Pic: of Damien Mantach First published August 22
25.08.15 6:10 am

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… Victorian Liberals have sought to blame the Mantach​ scandal on the failure of the Tasmanian Liberals to inform them of the extent of Mantach’s credit card problem.  One insider senior in the Victorian Liberal party from 2008 noted that Mr Mantach’s​ father had been party Tasmanian president, and that the island’s small and insular branch appeared to have kept the credit card problem under wraps to protect the family name. Current Tasmanian Liberal president Geoff Page said he could not comment about the circumstances of Mr Mantach’s departure in 2008 because he was not involved at the time. He referred Fairfax Media to former president, Dale Archer. Nor would Mr Archer comment to Fairfax Media, claiming he was no longer authorised to speak on behalf of the Liberal party …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Victorian Liberal Party probes missing $million-plus. Tassie Libs in damage control ...

Kellam’s warning as Will says: ‘Nothing to see here ... ‘

• PB in Comments: From the Australian dated August 22, 2009 by Matthew Denholm: Liberals admit role in hate ads THE Liberal Party has come clean about the extent of its involvement in hate advertisements placed by the Exclusive Brethren sect in the last Tasmanian election campaign. Despite having once denied any co-operation over the advertisements, the Liberal Party yesterday confirmed its staff had transferred the text to electronic format, vetted the ads for compliance with the electoral laws and forwarded them to its advertising agency. The advertisements, which ran in local newspapers in the 2006 state election campaign, targeted the Greens, claiming the party’s policies on transgender and intersex people would ``destroy families and society’‘. In March 2006, then Liberal state director Damien Mantach insisted there was ``no co-operation’’ between the party and the Brethren over the ads. But The Australian revealed documents in January 2007 showing the ads were billed by three separate newspapers to an advertising account held by the Liberal Party. Mr Mantach then admitted meeting Brethren members to discuss ``tactics, themes and messages’’ in the lead-up to the election campaign. But he continued to deny the party paid for or placed the advertisements … • And there are further reproductions from MSM by the wonderful PB …

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Goodwin Puts Environment at Risk

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson Media Release
25.08.15 6:05 am

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Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin has endangered Tasmania’s clean, green land, water and air by denying funding to the Environment Defenders Office of Tasmania.

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

Colin Russell’s Arctic arrest by Russia found to be illegal by The Hague

Tim Beshara for Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release Pic*
25.08.15 5:30 am

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… “The Member for Braddon, Brett Whiteley, should apologise for his rash attacks on Greenpeace when he accused them of flouting the laws of another country and said they should reimburse Australia for diplomatic costs. “Whiteley wanted Greenpeace to apologise for their actions. Whiteley was wrong and he is the one who should apologise to Greenpeace and to Russell. “This entire case raises questions about whether the Australian government used all the diplomatic and political tools it had available to support Russell, or whether the fact that Russell was an environmentalist influenced the amount of effort that was made. …

• Mike Moore in Comments: Good luck with obtaining an apology from Whiteley. No matter how wrong-headed comments made by members of this government are, apologies are never on the agenda. For example look at Peter Dutton and his vile criticisms of Hanson-Young. Wrong, wrong, wrong and no hint of an apology. The only utterances that our federal Liberals fall over themselves to make are those that will keep their dolt of a leader wearing his silly grin.

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Thinking outside the Icebox

Ben Cannon*
24.08.15 4:35 am

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Why are the ‘10s more drug-fuelled than the ‘60s and ‘70s?

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

Democracy is not broken, it is a tool that is being wrongly used

Simon Warriner*
24.08.15 4:30 am

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Why don’t we expect more of our elected representatives, such as independence honesty, egalitarianism, transparency and commitment to the common good? Simon Warriner responds to articles by Christine Milne, Tim Dunlop and others . . . 

ABC: Non-profit, non-partisan initiative offers to train federal politicians in how to do their jobs After the latest round of revelations about politicians abusing their travel entitlements, it’s hard to find anyone with a good word to say about our elected representatives. And there seems to be even less respect for the job they’re supposed to be doing — to make the right policy decisions, even when they’re hard decisions, for the benefit of the country. Indeed, there are plenty of critics of our so-called broken politics — but not too many offering solutions. One organisation, though, is stepping up to the challenge. The non-profit, non-partisan Australian Futures Project is offering to train our federal MPs in how to do their jobs better. It’s even offering an Executive Certificate in Parliamentary Leadership from La Trobe University for those who complete the course.

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Jacqui’s Burnie Devil Cat: It’s a great idea ...

Dr Gordon Bradbury, http://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/
24.08.15 4:15 am

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… Should it be subsidised? Yes it should ...

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

A disturbing understanding ...

Jayde Psysista in Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia
24.08.15 4:00 am

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The first week of my new job working in the Aboriginal community of the Fitzroy Valley of WA has proved to open my heart to a new, but
disturbing understanding of our beautiful country Australia ...

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Madness ...

Rob Messenger
24.08.15 3:45 am

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Politics | National | Economy | Satire | Society

Tassie AFL dream to be realised

NewExaminer
24.08.15 3:30 am

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Tasmanian football fans are celebrating tonight with the announcement that the State has been granted a licence to field an AFL team from 2016 onwards.

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Media | Satire

Banishing Glyphosate

Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) via Dr Alison Bleaney
24.08.15 3:15 am

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Glyphosate/Roundup, falsely claimed by Monsanto to be safe and harmless, has become the world’s most widely and pervasively used herbicide, especially with glyphosate tolerant GM crops; it has brought rising tides of birth defects, cancers, fatal kidney disease, sterility, and dozens of other illnesses. Read the devastating evidence & ban glyphosate herbicides from you home and local community
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji & Dr Mae-Wan Ho with Dr Medardo Ávila-Vázquez, Dr Don M. Huber, Dr Rosemary Mason, Ib Borup Pederson, Prof Peter Saunders, & Dr Nancy Swanson

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Does God or Anybody Else Really Want a Plebiscite?

George Smiley. Pic: William Blake: Job rebuked by his friends ...
24.08.15 3:10 am

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“Matin’s one thing the Lord and I see eye to eye on but durned if I can figger why He went and created them consarned green-gutted turnip worms!” from ‘Tobacco Road’ by Erskine Caldwell

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Writers | George Smiley | Politics | National | Opinion | Society

Will the Aussies claim expenses ...

Des. Pic*
24.08.15 3:00 am

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The wombats … don’t you love it … I have now come to understand how the pleasures of pollies can be enjoyed beyond those of their own shores by the linking of some spurious public activity.

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Reflections on a remarkable Ashes series

Sam Ferris, cricket.com.au
24.08.15 2:25 am

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From Sophia Gardens to The Oval, Australia and England fought out five incredible Tests

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Sport

Victorian Liberal Party probes missing $million-plus. Tassie Libs in damage control ...

The Age. First published August 20
23.08.15 6:30 am

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The Victorian Liberal Party is being investigated after a forensic audit uncovered the loss of $2 million worth of party funds. At the centre is a former Director of The Tasmanian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia; who became State Director of the Liberal Party in Victoria. ABC 7.30 reported that Mantach had been required to pay back more than $30,000 when he left as director of the Tasmanian Libs …

ABC: Victorian Liberal Party accuses former state director of stealing more than $1m in campaign funds The Victorian Liberal Party has accused its former state director Damien Mantach of embezzling more than $1 million of election campaign funds. Discrepancies were uncovered during a forensic audit of the party’s finances after its November 2014 state election loss. The party alleged Mr Mantach took about $1.5 million over four years and used the money on “lifestyle” spending. Liberal leader Matthew Guy said the party would ask Victoria Police to investigate. “The party is furious, we want our money back,” he said. “We will be doing everything we can to ensure that justice is done.” Mr Guy said MPs felt betrayed and branch members were gutted the money they had raised, which might have made a difference to the party’s election campaign, was gone. “A lot of people do a lot of work to get us on a war footing in an election, that involves raising a lot of money,” Mr Guy said. “When someone allegedly thieves a lot of money from you, it leaves you pretty cold.” Former premier Denis Napthine, who was the party’s leader during last year’s campaign, said he was surprised and bitterly disappointed by the allegations. Party president Michael Kroger said those in the party monitoring spending had failed.

SourceWatch: All About Damien Mantach

• The Australian ...

• Download The Herald-Sun report ...

A LITTLE HISTORY ...

SMH 2013: Abbott backs Vic campaigner despite tape scandal … However, Mr Abbott said Mr Mantach had his support. ‘‘I know Damien Mantach well. He is a person of integrity, so let’s see where this investigation goes. He has my confidence.’’ …

MEANWHILE elsewhere ...

brisbanetimes: LNP ‘secret’ donations may be seized by state The Electoral Commission of Queensland is seeking crown law advice over the $100,000 in “secret” donations the LNP (Liberal National Party) can not give names for, with the possibility the state may seize the funds. On Wednesday, LNP President Bruce McIver said the issue was a “distraction technique” and said the ECQ had “accepted that it has not been possible to provide some names”, but the party had made “every effort” to comply with the changes in the declaration laws.

• Peter in Comments: ‘As Liberal people sometimes remind us, if a political party can’t get its own house in order, how can it be trusted to manage the nation’s money?’

Cassy O’Connor: Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill Tabled Both the old parties will be given the opportunity in Parliament to bring Tasmania into line with the rest of the country and ensure the highest possible standards of ethical, lawful conduct in public office. Tabled today, the Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill 2015 addresses serious concerns raised repeatedly by the Integrity Commission. Tasmania is the only jurisdiction not to have this offence in its criminal code or common law. This is unacceptable and can’t be justified. The Greens’ Bill would give the Integrity Commission the teeth it needs to do its job. Tasmanians deserve to know that those who hold public office are held to the highest standard and are not immune from the law. We hope the Government and the Opposition act in the public interest and support our Amendment Bill when we bring it on for debate next month.

FRIDAY, August 21 ...

ABC: Tasmanian Liberals assure members former state director repaid all money owed to party

• John Hawkins in Comments: Did the Tasmanian Liberals not prosecute ... because Mantach knew enough about Abetz, the Greens and the Exclusive Brethren to cause them all a great deal of grief? Mantach had to fess up in court over the connection between Libs and EB but Abetz - whose philosophy on life is also extreme right, in fact right of even Gungadin - never got a mention. I think this has legs especially as Abbott thinks Mantach is as pure and white and clean as driven snow. Did Abetz as the senior Tasmanian Liberal write Mantach a reference? I do hope so.

Rupert’s Courier-Mail says that despite Mr Page’s assertions ... things were far from settled: … On a bad day for Mr Mantach, his Liberal Party email address was found in the leaked database from cheaters website Ashley Madison, though there is no evidence he specifically signed up to the site. It can be revealed: MR Mantach had to repay $48,000 to the Tasmanian Liberal Party after a dispute over his use of his corporate credit card on private expenditure while state director. NO Victorian MP knew of the Tasmanian repayment, and senior officials who appointed him in Victoria say they had been told only that there was a minor credit card discrepancy. OPEN warfare erupted within the Victorian Liberal Party, as MPs sheeting home the blame for Mr Mantach’s appointment to Brian Loughnane, the federal director and husband of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin.  …

Waleed Aly, The Age: Abbott is losing the plot in his war on environmentalists (where there is a great vid ...)

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Kellam’s warning as Will says: ‘There’s nothing to see here ...’

Lauren Day, ABC. Pic: of Murray Kellam. First published: August 7
23.08.15 6:00 am

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Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog. … Tasmanian corruption watchdog chief Murray Kellam attacked the Government’s budget cuts to the watchdog and what he described as a “manifestly inadequate” legislative framework. I fear that such complacency and naivety will in the future prove to have given the ‘green light’ to corruption in this State. “There appears to be complacency in Government and in the bureaucracy that allegations of corruption of the nature that have recently resulted in prosecutions being commenced in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, after investigations by their integrity bodies, will not occur in Tasmania,” the statement said. “It is simply naive to assume that Bass Strait forms some sort of a barrier to corruption and it is naive of the Government to, as it has, assert that other bodies such as Tasmanian Police have the capacity to detect and investigate such public sector corruption.

Cassy O’Connor: Outgoing Integrity Commission Chief Slams Cuts and Complacency Retiring Integrity Commission Chief Commissioner, the Honourable Murray Kellam AO, has exposed in raw detail the Hodgman Liberal Government’s attempts to undermine and weaken Tasmania’s Integrity Commission, potentially giving the ‘green light’ to corruption in the State. Mr Kellam, a former Supreme Court Justice in Victoria, is scathing of the Liberals’ decision to slash the Integrity Commission’s funding by 20%, accusing the Government of ignoring advice, clearly in a bid to justify the budget cuts publicly.

Lara Giddings: Integrity Commission’s blast for the Liberal Government

• John Francis in Comments: My experience of working in multiple departments of the Tasmanian Public Service since the beginning of the 80s is that corruption is often rewarded with promotion and incompetence is simply ignored. That is, of course, if you are part of the incestuous ‘in-group’. If you are not, then heaven help you.

ABC: Hobart barrister Greg Melick set to be named Tasmanian Integrity Commissioner Hobart barrister Greg Melick is expected to be named as Tasmania’s new Chief Integrity Commissioner, replacing Murray Kellam, who finishes his five-year term this month. Mr Kellam wished his successor well, but warned that he faced “major obstacles”, including budget cuts and government complacency over corruption. Tasmanian Law Society President Matthew Verney said Mr Melick, who was expected to be announced as Mr Kellam’s replacement next week, was a well-regarded legal practitioner. “He will bring to it a sharp mind and great ethics, which are obviously very important attributes to the job,” he said. “The role of the Integrity Commissioner demands someone who’s fairly robust, and strong in their approach to issues of corruption, which obviously are at the heart of what the Integrity Commission is there to deal with.” Mr Melick, who declined to be interviewed, served in the Australian Defence Force for more than 40 years and worked for Cricket Australia as a special investigator into corruption in the sport.

• John Forsyth in Comments: Mr Kellam blames the current State Government for the Commission’s failure to perform. Keep in mind the background to the creation of this white elephant during the time Lara Giddings was Attorney General.  Does anyone remember the Magisterial appointment which cost Steven Kons his job? The irrefutable reality is that the Integrity Commission was set up to sell the myth that the Labor government was anxious to clean up its act. The reality was that it was never intended that it would be a proactive force in exposing corrupt behaviour. To that extent it has been a roaring success

• John Hayward in Comments: The fact that Murray spoke out about the glaring deficiencies in the TIC only when departing says something about both the organisation and himself. While it’s too early to say anything about Greg Melick in the job, he hasn’t distinguished himself from the Tassie legal culture, which is a worry.

• Ian Rist in Comments: My faith in the Tasmanian system was destroyed during the twelve odd years of the fox saga. Especially during the time of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Efficiency of the Fox program. What an absolute farce … I gave names and addresses of person involved in hoaxing, fabrication and fraud [...], nothing, absolutely nothing happened, well not openly anyway. Plain commonsense dictated it was a sideshow from day one, but some politicians went along with it for all sorts of reasons -  keep the “conservationists” happy, keep the farmers happy, ensure the continuing use of 1080, prop up some badly lacking departments with taxpayer-supplied largesse. The greatest tragedy was the very animals they claimed to be saving from the ravages of the non-existent fox were the very animals they were actually poisoning en masse.

• O’Brien in Comments: “Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.” (Henry Kissinger). How can any person maintain even a shred of faith in government, public institution or the law after this unapologetic exit by another ‘learned’ and ‘esteemed’ pillar of the community? We knew there was something rotten in Denmark when Ms Etter split the scene. Let’s face it folks we’ve been fleeced and fooled for a long time now, and it’s not going away any time soon. From the first day the Union Jack ran up up a sapling on these windswept antipodean shores the people have been ruled over by a gang of thugs with god, the law, and the guard on their side, and there ain’t no arguing with that logic folks regardless of the rights and wrongs. Any back of the envelope assessment of Tassie’s recent history includes managed investment scams/schemes, Forestry Tasmania, pulp mills, builders insurance scams/schemes, wood chips, train loads of tax free hardwood logs as ‘presents’ for foreign friends, Ta Ann, salmon farms, WHA profiteering proposals, free housing renovations, invisible foxes, hundreds of thousands of poisoned native animals, grants for magic beans etc. etc. The list is long and ugly and doesn’t end there, many people have become far richer from their ‘sacrifice’ ‘working’ in politics or public service with very little evidence of achieving anything of consequence. Forget wide ranging inquiries and royal commissions, we all know they would be compromised before they began and achieve nothing. A lot of money could be saved and directed to proper end by simply examining the statistical probability of so many members of the same families, close friends, ex-cops and ‘old boys’ from a leading private school being consistently selected ‘on merit’ for particular public service positions. This could be done in a couple of days by one or two people, cost effective, quick, concise and irrefutable evidence of nepotism, at the very least. While we’re at it why not ask what response was forthcoming, aside from complicit silence from politicians of all stripes and union wind bags when approached for help reporting corrupt conduct within the public service? We who cling to notions of integrity, justice and public service are getting what we deserve by our dogged insistence that there must be justice and fairness in the end. Never forget folks some of these operators are without scruple they will lie, cheat, threaten, assault, set up, verbal and fit up to keep the gravy train rolling. Jesus wept. The good guys don’t always win.

TUESDAY, August 18 ...

Cassy O’Connor: Premier squibs on Public Misconduct The Premier today offered no proper justification for Tasmania being the only jurisdiction in the country not to have a crime of public misconduct on the State’s statute books. In Question Time today he made no commitment to accept the Integrity Commission’s persistent call for the Criminal Code Act 1924 to be amended to include the public misconduct provision. The Premier seems to believe Bass Strait is an effective barrier to the kinds of serious misconduct in public office that integrity bodies have exposed in mainland states.

WEDNESDAY, August 19 ...

Mercury: Tasmania’s corruption laws are sufficient, says Premier Will Hodgman TASMANIAN laws are adequate to crackdown on alleged corruption among state politicians and other public sector office holders, Premier Will Hodgman says. The Tasmanian Greens want to institute the crime of “misconduct in public office” — in line with an Integrity Commission recommendation — arguing the island state is the only jurisdiction in the country not to have such a law …

THURSDAY, August 20 ...

Launceston Conservative Speakers Club: Lifting the Lid on Corruption in Tasmania, Speaker - Dr Andrew Roberts

Cassy O’Connor: Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill Tabled Both the old parties will be given the opportunity in Parliament to bring Tasmania into line with the rest of the country and ensure the highest possible standards of ethical, lawful conduct in public office. Tabled today, the Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill 2015 addresses serious concerns raised repeatedly by the Integrity Commission. Tasmania is the only jurisdiction not to have this offence in its criminal code or common law. This is unacceptable and can’t be justified. The Greens’ Bill would give the Integrity Commission the teeth it needs to do its job. Tasmanians deserve to know that those who hold public office are held to the highest standard and are not immune from the law. We hope the Government and the Opposition act in the public interest and support our Amendment Bill when we bring it on for debate next month.

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Nauru rapes: ‘There is a war on women’

Martin McKenzie-Murray, The Saturday Paper
22.08.15 6:35 am

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One woman lies catatonic in hospital after being raped and beaten. Another was raped and immolated. This is the world awaiting refugees released from detention on Nauru.

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Salmon Senate Inquiry part of ongoing of scrutiny, not the end

Greens Senator for Tasmania, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release
21.08.15 5:30 am

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The Greens Senator for Tasmania, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said, “Today’s release of the Senate report into salmon farming in Tasmania is part of ongoing scrutiny by the Greens and other stakeholders. This scrutiny will continue until the Tasmanian Government properly regulates the salmon industry, the environmental monitoring is transparent and the science, especially in relation to Macquarie Harbour, is better understood.

“While the Tasmanian Liberal Government wanted to hide their mismanagement through vacuous green-bashing it was clear to all that there were serious issues in the sector that needed investigating.”

Bryan Green: Labor welcomes findings of salmon inquiry

Jeremy Rockliff: Salmon Inquiry

The Mercury Editorial: Facing up to reality

Rosalie Woodruff: Senate Committee on Fish Missed the Boat

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Rupert’s back in town

Bob Burton
21.08.15 5:15 am

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On August 10 Rupert Murdoch, the Executive Chairman of News Corporation – the parent company of The Mercury – jetted back into Australia. Murdoch is also semi-active on Twitter. So what did Rupert Tweet while he was Down Under?

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Mercury: The Fall ... and why it matters

Lindsay Tuffin*. Pic: Bob Burton First published August 17
21.08.15 5:00 am

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Graeme Wood, make Rupe an offer he can’t refuse … And so Mercury - my home for 23 interesting years - is suffering a further decline in its circulation. Who cares? We all should, I reckon.

• John Hawkins in Comments: … I tabled my expose of Ta Ann through Andrew Wilkie in the Federal Parliament ... HERE ... not a squeak or a phone call from a Tasmanian newspaper but a front page attack story on Andrew in the Australian as the dogs came out to hound him. What actual service to the community do these three so-called newspapers provide? I suggest that it is not news ... but they are printed on paper.

• Mike Bolan in Comments: I distinctly recall a public meeting several years ago (HERE) about the problems being experienced by the Merc. I attended with a few others. We came as dissatisfied customers of news yet we were pretty much dismissed as not knowing enough about journalism or the media business. It really seemed that the Merc believed that the public needs journalists to explain what’s going on around them. As customers, we were pretty fed up with the media telling us what we needed to know, but for the Merc people there the public really didn’t have anything to tell them. News went the other way - media to public. We were the ones who needed their services, not the other way around.

• Karl Stevens in Comments: In my mind media like the Merc starts with some basic assumptions and then diligently filter the news to maintain those assumptions. Assumption 1 …

• Austin Sypkes in Comments: What a load of clap-trap, article and comments included. “The Merc is suffering declining print circulation because it doesn’t ‘get’ (how conveniently imprecise by the way) its audience.” Or maybe, given EVERY single rag in that list is losing print circulation, the cause might not be something peculiar to the Merc. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the disruption of business models and consumerism caused by the digital revolution. But that wouldn’t lay out the ground work for a good merc bashing exercise would it? “Oh but the Merc of yesteryear was so much more hard hitting, if I do say so myself.” Really? So why is it that Hobart council’s long running expenses scandal is only coming to light now? To top it off the suggestion is made to offload the merc to a guy who got rich with websites and has never run a paper before. Brilliant.

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