"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Abrupt Climate Change ...

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Keith Antonysen* Pic*
02.12.16 5:00 am

On a New Zealand radio station Guy McPherson suggested that humans would be extinct within 10 years. He made these comments on 24 November 2016 …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: … Could we be extinct in 10 years? Yes given the right alignment of systemic failures. Can a Turnbull/Trump world save us? Staggeringly unlikely. What must we do to survive? Revert to smaller self-sustaining communities, seize control of our own lives and futures, and stop relying on the growing hordes of people who say that they know what’s best for us. If we haven’t worked out yet that handing our survival over to political parties is a mistake ... well ...

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First Day ... December ... a tribute to Leonard ...

Giles Hugo
01.12.16 4:00 am

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December 1 ... and Hobart photographer Giles Hugo celebrates the incomparable Leonard Cohen ... who performed at the Derwent Entertainment Centre in 2010 ...

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End discrimination against Tasmania ...

Peter Brohier* Pic* First published November 30
01.12.16 3:45 am

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Senators ... this is your chance to respond ... … Today Tasmanians continue to be unjustly separated from family and friends. Their major commercial activities also lack the necessary access to people. A move to integrate Bass Strait into the national highway system has failed leaving a massive interstate infrastructure gap on the highway between Melbourne and Hobart. At the same time, the rest of the nation enjoys equitable access to and from their state of origin crossing deserts, rivers and mountain ranges using a surface transport network costing taxpayers billions.  …

The purpose of federation was to link all the colonies into an integrated economy though the movement of both people and freight. The transport barrier of the Strait was described by the Coalition in 1996 as, “the single most serious impediment to the growth of jobs, investment and population for Tasmania”. Regrettably this impediment largely remains today.

Note: This letter was sent to all Australian Senators on Sunday. The question is ... will any of them move this petition into the Senate? The petition will be made available if published in Hansard.

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Great work Peter. The thought occurred to me the other day that Tasmania has neither a rail connection nor a National Highway connection to the rest of Australia, but the ATO does not consider Tasmania a remote area for taxation purposes! Talk about hypocrisy. We get taxed as though we are part of the Nation when in fact we are treated as second class Australians.

• Mick Kenny in Comments: Victorians are paying $18 billion over 27 years to the operators of a desalination plant, simply to remain on standby. Without dwelling upon the controversial issues surrounding construction of the plant itself, that alone is a lot of money. Reasonably priced vehicle access between Tasmania and the rest of the country and massive road network isn’t that big an ask. The big challenge seems to be overcoming the ideological mindset dominating major public infrastructure, fixated as it is on private corporate models.

• Steve C in Comments: So if Jackie Lambie is Federal, then she can use Section 52 of the Constitution which includes …

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Foxes ...

Lindsay Tuffin* First published November 30
01.12.16 3:30 am

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Tasmanian Times has been asked to allow comments on whether or not foxes are prevalent in Tasmania; whether or not hoaxing is the basis of a The Great Fox Hunt which has consumed the past decade and cost at least $50 million of your (taxpayers’) money. TT has its own interest in this issue ... hosting through forensic biologist Dr David Obendorf a $5000 Fox Reward for five years until 2010 ...Truth ever so slowly emerges … perhaps the ABC’s latest reports indicate that it was all a hoax … so, the columns of Tassietimes is open for comments (having been closed of late because of the viciousness of debate). I just ask that you be respectful of other people’s deeply-held views …

• John Hayward in Comments: Even when an inconvenient truth fully emerges, stark naked and bigger than life, Tasmanian officialdom will steadfastly ignore it until it goes away.

ABC: Concerns about federal fox funding raised two years ago, Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says

• Dr David Obendorf in Comments: The search for proof or evidence is, in my opinion, over. This issue has dragged on long enough with considerable expenditure in time and effort to firstly discover the buried truth and then have the responsible bureaucracy acknowledge and confront that reality. There appears to be an entrenched stupidity which borders on a form of psychological illness which has allowed this folly to tranform from an ill-conceived and sensational narrative into a full-blown travesty. The longer it goes on as an unaccountable issue it will only weigh down on the standing of that department, its employees and more worryingly on the State. There are likely to be implications if this type of corporate malfeasance is not addressed. For everyone’s interests, open communication and a shared clarity are needed to work out exactly what is at stake here. It seems pointless for the hierarchy of DPIPWE or the current government to delay, obfuscate and remain aloof from the inevitable need to confront a systemic failure in proper oversight and governance …

• O’Brien in Comments: … Minister(s) responsible, Messrs Groom & Rockliff have publicly said and done nothing, true to form. The Minister responsible denies responsibility, arguing he relies on departmental advice, which is true. What we have here is a textbook example of the devolution of Westminster parliamentary democracy. A system in decay …

• Jack J in Comments: The risk of someone introducing a genuine live fox has never been greater. A lack of any genuine attempt to resolve the issue by DPIPWE has permitted those responsible for this egregious scam to simmer. The latest hoax fox on the Frankford Rd has put to bed the fantasy of “upgraded biosecurity” forever. There are dangerous idiots out there with the capacity to introduce a live fox. It’s not hard to do. And what are the laws to prevent this happening? What do they offer as a penalty and means of prevention? A slap on the wrist. Never has the motivation of the fox scammer to prove a point been greater. The people with that motivation are still here and have not been exposed. DPIPWE has provided them the cover through inaction. This has enabled a bigger problem and bigger risk. But the greatest idiots by far are those attempting to make this all go away with silence. Silence is golden, but so is the colour of pissing on the public with contempt. For they are more concerned with saving their own skins than they are with saving Tasmanian biodiversity. It makes me almost physically sick to see those basking in the hero glow of conservation rhetoric walk away from the disaster they have overseen. Get real DPIPWE Minister and do your bloody job. The longer this goes on the greater the risk becomes.

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Why? BAFTA-Award winning doco on Mr Flanagan has received no ABC promo ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic* First pub: Nov 29
01.12.16 3:25 am

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Why? Why? Why has this documentary been hidden? Why is there no ABC link? Why? This is a BAFTA award-winning documentary ffs ... and yet there has been no promotion in Australia. And it’s on tonight - Richard Flanagan: Life After Death - ABC1 at 9.30pm.

• Poppy Lopatniuk in Comments: We are indeed fortunate to have such a great storyteller as Richard Flanagan in our midst. As an ancient relic of Tasmania I can relate to all the infamous times that he brings to light and to me especially the great poignancy of the Burma Railway episode which will forever have scars for many …

• Margaretta Pos in Comments: Further to my comment #6, Today’s Choices in the Mercury’s television guide for the said night were: First Dates UK (SCTV) and First Contact (SBS). It was only when I glanced down the guide that I saw the Flanagan program. Shame on the Merc … for which I worked for 21 years and which I still have delivered.

• Editor in Comments: Amanda Meade in the Guardian has detailed this tale of gross under-promotion ... HERE ... Says Amanda: “It might surprise you then to hear that the documentary was broadcast on the ABC on Tuesday and you probably missed it. For reasons unknown even to people inside Aunty, the doco was completely sidelined: not given the courtesy of a press release, a publicity campaign or an-air promo. “It is more than strange when a documentary on an Australian writer can succeed on the BBC and be set up for resounding failure a year and a half later on the ABC,” one insider said. So why did they bury something that would be popular, given the right handling? Politics? Resentment that the BBC made a successful blue-chip, Bafta-winning documentary about an Australian writer? We have no clue.

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NATION: Into the gutter with Dutton ...

Urban Wronski* (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic: of Peter Dutton, Flickr, Dingram_Kiwi First Pub: Nov 28
01.12.16 3:20 am

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… “The reality,” he says, “is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we’re seeing that today.” Fraser should have been able to eyeball refugees then and pick which ones would bear terrorist-related offending grandchildren. In a payback to a dead man who dared criticise his punitive detention and off-shore torture policy, the classy Dutton argues in effect that Australia should be admitting only the right kind of refugee, the immigrant who fits in and eagerly assimilates. It’s a preposterous rationing of human compassion and a wilful denial of the government’s own non-selective policy and the UN Refugee Convention. It explains the delay in Syrian refugee arrivals. Posturing as a moderate against a “tricky Bill Shorten”, Dutton ends up wedging Turnbull who is daily revealed to be a weak leader, our weakest Prime Minister ever, who must appease his right wing captors at all costs even if it means indulging overt racist hate-speak in parliament. Each time Dutton gets into the gutter he drags his captive Prime Minister down with him. Worse. For WA Labor MP Anne Aly, Dutton’s dog-whistling evokes several immediate threats of bodily harm. A Facebook post next day reads ” I would love to kill you and poison your family. ” Another reads “Peter Dutton was right,” referring to “Leb thugs”. “Pack your bags and piss off back to where you came from and take all of your terrorist faith with you.”  …

Fairfax: Crashing to zero: Malcolm Turnbull’s support evaporates in Fairfax-Ipsos poll

Lambie welcomes Liberals’ Backpacker Tax Back-down

• Simon Warriner in Comments: … If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start. Politicians from other parties need not think they have dodged the bullet. Their role was to scrutinise govt and hold it to account. YOU missed this! Our kids are entering a job market in a shambles, with double digit youth unemployment, and you let this shit happen? Shame! …

• Wining Pom in Comments: #7; ‘If party politicians are looking for the reasons they rank well below prostitutes on the public trust scale this is a bloody good place to start.’
That is a gross insult to prostitutes, using them to compare.  I mean, with prostitutes, you pays your money and you get satisfaction.  With politicians you’re expected to be the limp receiver of the missionary shaft and then be expected to thank them for the attention.

• John Hawkins in Comments: This contract is for nearly three billion dollars. How much more has been spent since December 2014 Mr Dutton? This must be the most profitable contract ever let in terms of percentage. This is only for the refugee programs.

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Light rail ... It beggars belief ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison. Speech to Parliament. Pic* First pub: Nov 30
01.12.16 3:15 am

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Deputy Speaker … building light rail in Hobart would link communities, reduce road traffic congestion, ease the cost of living and help clean up the environment. And it could be easily achieved because the land corridor is there, the community wants it and the media is on board …

So Deputy Speaker, the fact that Hobart still doesn’t have light rail really does beggar belief. It is, I regret to say, yet another symbol of the long-running failure of governance in Tasmania, and of too many lazy and incompetent politicians …

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Arnold Bloch Leibler, acting for the Receivers v Abetz Curtis, acting for Forestry Tasmania

John Hawkins* Chudleigh. Pic* First published November 29
29.11.16 7:25 am

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A most interesting case is currently before the Supreme Court of Victoria, S ECI 2013 2095 between …

• John Hawkins in Comments: Henry Melville comment #7 is correct ... the matter is now subject to a Deed of Settlement over the Restitution Claim conditional upon the Court giving or making the directions and orders sought by the Application. The important fact that Melville omits is that the Deed of Settlement between Forestry Tasmania and Korda Mentha is Confidential. The figure will therefore remain unknown ... perhaps John Lawrence could elucidate how it can be tracked down with the costs in this gravy train and how they fell? …

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The USA elections and our broken system ...

John Biggs* Pic* First published November 26
28.11.16 4:14 am

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Thank you Donald Trump! That subheading does not reflect my views as a citizen, but acknowledges that the Trump tsunami helped me crystallise what I think has gone wrong with our own political system …

That outcome is surely beyond belief when seen through the lens of conventional politics. Donald Trump, a racist, misogynistic liar, arguably psychopathic, who had no political experience, nominally representing the Republican party when the leaders of that party were strongly opposed to him, promoting few if any sensible policies, had won the presidency of the most powerful and influential country in the world. What unreason is that! …

High degrees of racism were the inevitable result. Workers’ wages had not changed significantly for 30 odd years while the wealth of the urban, already rich, had multiplied many times over. Sixty years ago, the top 1 percent of the wealthy own 9 per cent of the total wealth of the USA, today the top 1 percent own 35 per cent of the nation’s wealth. This imbalance of wealth is certainly worse in the US than in Australia, but the pattern is the same as in the US …

Dr Michael Powell in Comments: The Last Trump ... There is something apocalyptic about the election of Donald Trump. No one can quite define it but there has been an utter alteration. In a tilt at our obsessive commercialism, one commentator described it as ‘product improved fascism’ and certainly this feels like an election for all those that missed the 1930s …

The Archdruid Report: The End of the American Century

ABC: Trump and Brexit success could herald Australian regional, rural revolt

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Tasmania at the crossroads: The Planning Scheme Future

Graeme Wathen* Pic of Professor Buxton by Rob Blakers, https://www.robblakers.com/ First pub: Nov 26
28.11.16 4:00 am

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An Interview with Professor Michael Buxton 15 November 2016. Michael Buxton is a professor of Environment and Planning at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.
… Now if Tasmania doesn’t wake up to this, it’s going to do two things: destroy its most scenic landscapes excluding all but the privileged few, and secondly it’s going to leave towns languishing. So the people of Tasmania are going to be the losers in both ways …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The Peter Gutwein no-show. Video. National Trust warning ...

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Should public opinion determine policy?

Max Atkinson* Pic* First published November 25
28.11.16 3:53 am

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Political philosophy, like other realms of moral philosophy, deals with issues which cannot be settled by a formal test or procedure - such as a rule of law or the judgment of a political official; either because there is no rule or the rules are unclear, so that someone must first decide what the rule should be …

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Thursday to Thursday ...

Leo Schofield* Foxtel Pic: of Leo Schofield. First published November 26
28.11.16 3:45 am

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Notes on a week on the island … How did I feel returning to Tasmania? Waves of nostalgia constantly broke over me. Not quite a tsunami but enough to constitute a warm immersion. Despite the best energies of the developers this remains a place of great beauty and I had the sense that awareness and appreciation of its unique attractions was growing. How lucky we were to be here to hear some of the most sublime music ever written performed by such outstanding musicians. And it was all happening in Hobart. Incredible. With the bonus of a road trip. …

• Bronwyn Williams in Comments: Leo’s right … the TSO was in perfect form, the three vocal artistes sang their tits off - in German - and the audience was a revelation.  Like the most conscientious of library users while the music played, and crazed, whooping, foot stomping Black Sabbath fans when it stopped. The ladies wore fabulous glittery dresses, and the singing gent looked like he’d just finished a day’s work on a horse drawn carriage, or been to a VERY fancy wedding.  There was a disembodied voice coming from the rafters, and a mesmerising oboe solo emanating from the same unseen location, and a chorus singing somewhere else entirely. …

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C H Smith Development Proposal on Council Agenda today (Nov 28)

Ray Norman*
28.11.16 3:30 am

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At Launceston City Council’s second last scheduled meeting for 2016 Council will consider a proposal for the development one of the city’s iconic heritage sites, the C H Smith Buildings on the lower end Charles Street …

Examiner: Launceston Alderman Janie Finlay’s conduct charge dropped

Peter Gutwein: Northern Economic Stimulus package supporting CH Smith investment


Launceston Concerned Citizens: How to find 9 million smackerooz in a hurry ...

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Talking of failures ...

Andrew Ricketts, Convenor The Environment Association (TEA) Inc Pic: Ted Mead of myrtle in the Tarkine First pub: Nov 24
27.11.16 3:30 am

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… Talking of failures: The State Forestry Minister, Guy Barnett’s recent foolish proposal to trash a significant amount of National Reserve System informal public reserves in Tasmania is an international disgrace. The current Tasmanian Government under Rebuilding the Forest Industry Act 2014 (RFIA) set aside the 400,000 Ha of the TFA forests (originally to be reserved) at least until 2020. Now the Liberals are reneging - cannot be trusted to even honour their own legislation …

• Jack Lumber in Comments: … No matter what view people have on Tasmania, we must all work together to ensure popularists and snake oil merchants never achieve such influence in any part of Australia.

Most Tasmanians locked out of Regional Forest Agreement process

BirdLife Tasmania: Forestry Tasmania’s careless insect spraying threatens to bring forest silence

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Purple Ribbon takes message to White Ribbon Australia

Simone Watson, National Director Nordic Model Australia Coalition
27.11.16 3:06 am

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Last Friday 25th November the White Ribbon Walk in Hobart had some input from people wanting to raise awareness about the broader issues concerning violence to women.

ABC: White Ribbon Day: Top cop praises youth for joining Hobart’s march against domestic violence

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Farewell Super Trawler ... and the questions remain ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: of Geelong Star ... First published November 23
25.11.16 5:02 am

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Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has put out a Media Release detailing the apparent exit of Super Trawler, Geelong Star ...

Stop The Trawler Alliance Alliance says good riddance to Geelong Star ... but for how long?

Peter Whish-Wilson: Australian dolphins safe from Super Trawler. Loch Ness monster now at risk

Andrea Dawkins: Duplicitous Liberals Wave Off Super Trawler

Mark Shelton: Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish


Councillor’s attack on Environment Tasmania supporters unacceptable

• Andrew Wyminga in Comments: The Geelong Star (perhaps soon to be renamed once again and as it nears South Africa the “Faf du Plessis” might be considered) can no longer roam at sea without its transponder being turned on. In Australia it was the only sizable commercial vessel that had an exemption and therefore could not be tracked. We welcome its departure and feel safer knowing where it is …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: John Hawkins: The Great Plunder ...


Stop the Trawler Alliance: Now it’s time to ban them forever ...

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Latest ‘fox carcass found in the north’

Garry Stannus* First published November 1
25.11.16 4:30 am

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Tally ho!  Well, well, well!  A fox is found, and what is the reaction?  Looking at the comment thread on the Mercury (before even DPIPWE’s Invasive Species Branch can investigate Sunday’s find), our fox intelligentsia has said it all.


ABC: Tasmania’s multi-million dollar fox hunt based on likely hoax

ABC: Fox hunt: Tasmania’s multi-million-dollar program likely based on hoax, leaked report finds


ABC: Origins of dead fox found in Tasmania traced to Victoria


ABC: Dead fox discovery reignites great debate over predator’s presence in Tasmania

FRIDAY, Nov 4 ...

Mercury: Question marks over origin of fox carcass found by Frankford Rd

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Letter to the Editor on Mercury paywall ...

Kim Peart* of Ross. Pic* First published November 24
25.11.16 4:15 am

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Re: TALKING POINT: Stirred but not shaken by a bitter online backlash to the new paywall. by Phil Young ~ deputy editor, The Mercury, 24 November 2016 Dear Editor, Did you know that I cannot read this story in the on-line edition of the Mercury?

EARLIER, Bob Burton on Tasmanian Times ...

Can Spiderman save the Mercury from oblivion

MEANWHILE, Anthony Bacon ...

While I am flattered that The Mercury chose to publish and credit one of my aerial images on page 18, Wednesday November 23, 2016, I would like to state that I was not contacted or notified of it’s publication nor asked permission for it’s use in this instance. All my images are subject to copywrite, including any stills taken from video. I have never granted The Mercury perpetual usage rights to any of my images …

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Honouring Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks

Rodney Croome. Pic: of Robin Banks
25.11.16 4:00 am

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An address by Rodney Croome to the TasCOSS Conference, Bellerive Oval, 24.11.16 The term “epic” inspires thoughts of great literature, of Homer or Dante. But there is an epic which we are all part of and which some of us are privileged to have a role in writing. It is a story of ideals and tragedy and of heroes and villains, as dramatic as anything found in the Odyssey. That epic is the law …

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Peter Gutwein, do your duty for the Huon ...

Bob Hawkins* Pic* First published November 22
23.11.16 4:15 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games So far, so good: Huon Valley Council’s nine elected members have been sacked by Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein; and General Manager Simone Watson has been disposed of by Commissioner Adriana Taylor.

… None of this augurs well for anything but more of what Tasmania has been known for since it was settled more than a couple of centuries ago: turning its back on the past and “moving on”. …

• Reg Maxwell in Comments: I agree with most of what Bob says and I definitely agree that someone must act on the BoI recommendations which cost we ratepayers a lot of our scarce money; if it is not to be done by the Commissioner then Minister Gutwein please tell us whom you intend to get on to it and how soon it will be done. This is an important matter that will continue to fester for years unless it is cleaned up in a transparent manner, so don’t leave it to be dealt with by our next elected Council members. Next, the selection of a replacement for Watson. This must be a completely transparent process so it ought to be done by one of the several Executive Recruitment firms with broad experience in the selection of Local Authority executives …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: #9 John, none of us out here in ratepayer land have any idea of the quality of the PS report because it’s still “secret”. It’s been seen only by those few who, by law, must see it — and, of course, conveniently leaked to those whose knowledge of it (7HOFM and The Mercury) was likely to help the cause of those who wanted the dysfunction blamed entirely on the People’s Mayor. The PS report might be, for all I know, a brilliant piece of legal sleight of hand that made council management and the Heart of the Huon only too happy to hand over $54,000 of taxpayers’ money to promote their cause rather than that of what I regard as the few who make up the forces for good governance.

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TT: The Future ...

Lindsay Tuffin*
23.11.16 4:08 am

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Firstly to the regular contributors to Tassietimes ... Alison, PJG, Kev, Anon, Claire, Geoff, gerrya, Andrea, Bob, Intheloop, Service One, Sir Andrew Bolt, Ben Bradlee. Guyzzzz ... your regular support is utterly priceless. Thankyou ... Now to the future: TT is planning to switch platforms to a rather cute Wordpress site which will be mobile friendly and ultimately include classies ... Hopefully the first version of this will be happening around February/March. There will be hotlinks to Ice Age TT (the current site), and Jurassic TT (the original) ... so all archives will be accessible over the 14 years of TT’s existence. The future beckons with enormous joy.

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Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Abrupt Climate Change ...

Media Releases
And Media


Uber arrives in Tasmania

SEFR meets the EPA and Forestry Corporation in Tantawangalo State Forest

Glenorchy Carols by Candlelight

Fact Check: Justin Trudeau’s claim that Castro made ‘significant improvements’ to

Safe Pathways update

Why is Jacquie Petrusma still in charge of Tasmania’s most vulnerable children?

Tender opens for drug and alcohol services

Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Department under increasing pressure

Backpacker tax resolution welcomed

Angels for Animals offer message of peace

Which Queensland state seats could One Nation win?

USA: Ruins of Viking settlement discovered near Hudson River

George Brandis went on anti-Abbott book buying binge, expenses show

Tasmanian tiger sightings: ‘I represent 3,000 people who have been told they’re nuts’

ABC bosses ‘morally and spiritually bankrupt’ for axing Catalyst, RN presenter says

Aussie artists are up in arms ...

Greens announce end to backpacker tax deadlock and $100mil for Landcare

Greens backpacker outcome provides security for Tasmania

Lambie welcomes Liberal’s Backpacker Tax deal with the Greens

Turnbull breaks promises on mobile blackspots in Bass

Tandem Freefall:  Parachute Fails For Macquarie Harbour and Fish Farm Industry



TSO China tour program announced ... 



New Twitch Co-ordinator and Devonport Young Writers in the City Announced! 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Free Preview of ‘In search of la dolce vita’ – 3 days only 

What's On

What's On

Glenorchy Carols by Candlelight 



Peas in a Pod ... 



Re 9 Scratchrat 45 You should not justify a reply seeing are hiding behind a non de plume , but however I will justify one.…

Vote Compass

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka


Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands