"Balance is Appeasement. Fairness is Truth."
Geraldine de Burgh-Day, Sheffield. First published Monday May 20
22.05.13 5:25 am
... who do we turn to now? Years ago, the Lemonthyme area of Tasmania became known for the protests to wholesale logging. Well right now, TODAY in fact, the loggers are clear felling and trashing the Lemonthyme. Yes, it was selectively logged with bullocks years ago, and so it qualifies for clear felling now, under the agreement you signed off on.
22.05.13 5:00 am
The deal designed to end years of protest in the forests of Tasmania hamstrings green groups, barring them from future protest. It is a dangerous precedent. Now, despite the ‘peace deal’, and freshly charged with ‘compensation’, the loggers want more. Beginning on Bruny Island. But while loggers have the incentive, environmentalists have the disincentive. If locals organise a ‘substantial protest’ (one which impedes logging) over these three coupes, it will license the Legislative Council to vote down national park status for other high conservation value forests across Tasmania — from the Tarkine in the island’s northwest to the Blue Tier in the northeast and Wellington Range behind Hobart’s Mt Wellington. As an extra penalty, the minimum amount of sawlogs to be cut from native forests under the agreement could be trebled. This is greenmail.
Kim Booth MP Greens Forestry Spokesperson MR Tuesday, 21 May 2013
22.05.13 4:44 am
During Question Time today, Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP called on the Forestry Minister Bryan Green MP to review the current log grading system, which had consigned countless hundreds-of-thousands of tonnes of high quality timber to the woodchipper or to whole log export. “The results so far show that reject blackwood and eucalypt logs have been yielding very high recovery rates of both select and furniture grade timber,” Mr Booth said. “One rejected blackwood log yielded a stunningly high 59% recovery rate, which is almost unheard of.” “This trial has proven, beyond doubt, that the alleged shortage of eucalypt sawlog and blackwood is nothing more than a myth driven by the woodchip industry for its own financial benefit.”
Karl Stevens, A Citizens Report. Pic: of Natalie Reynolds
22.05.13 4:00 am
Some members of Timber Workers for Forests had come up from Hobart and members of the Western Rivers Trust were present. FSC was also represented by ‘Jonno’ from Friends of the Earth who is on the FSC Australia grievance committee. I don’t believe in all this ‘behind closed doors’ rubbish that Tasmania is obsessed with so here goes:
22.05.13 2:15 am
Isla MacGregor, Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network. Pic*
21.05.13 6:00 am
Why is it that the DHHS/EPA 2008-2010 investigations were unable to conduct any tests on atmospheric deposition in Rosebery, including isotopic testing, or publicly release any of the data provided to them by MMG on their own dust monitoring data required under their licensing agreement? How simple would that be?
Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan
21.05.13 2:53 am
The injunction will remain in effect until a final decision is made later in the year on the Federal Court challenge to the mine approval.
21.05.13 2:15 am
Tasmanian politicians have thrown their support behind a nude swim event which was cancelled when police threatened to arrest participants. The ban has since been overturned ABC Radio says ...
Australin Marriage Equality National Convenor Rodney Croome
21.05.13 2:00 am
Marriage equality advocates have predicted other MPs will come out in support of marriage equality in the wake of former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd’s change of heart on the issue.
Martyn Goddard Health policy analysis and development. Pic*: Lara Giddings, Michelle O'Byrne. *Pic ...
20.05.13 10:00 am
We know from hospital data that in the southern region alone, which includes the Royal Hobart Hospital, the number of nurses by head-count went down by 115. ‘The number of clerks and administrators actually rose marginally over the period, by 15.
MORE HEALTH ...
Suzanne Cass Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty
20.05.13 9:45 am
Will Abbott and his sycophants also want to apologise to Egypt? Bahrain? Kuwait? Pakistan? Malaysia? And all the other countries to which Australia happily sends millions of innocent, gentle animals to be so heinously abused? Tony Abbott wants to make the all-but-meaningless ESCAS ‘more exporter friendly’, if that is indeed possible. … Jacob, the Australian bull filmed at an Egyptian slaughterhouse last month, spent his last horrific many minutes of life having his eyes stabbed and his leg tendons slashed. He had been forced into an appallingly cruel slaughter box, from which, in panic, he escaped, trying to run on three legs because one was already broken. His throat had been slashed and he ran with his head almost hanging off. Jacob was a gentle, Western Australian Brahman bull, who had done nothing wrong. He spent weeks on a Third World live export ship on his way to Egypt before facing this ultimate horror annd depravity.
Kay Seltitizas, Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania MR. Pic*
20.05.13 9:30 am
Rosebery residents Kay Seltitizas, Lindsay Phillips and Marsha Stejskal are calling on Premier Lara Giddings, Greens Minister Nick McKim and Mayor Darryl Gerrity to apologise to Rosebery residents who were previously attacked and vilified over the lead poisoning investigation from 2008-2010.
20.05.13 4:30 am
Hydro Tasmania wants King Island to consider an industrial wind farm consisting of 200 x 3Mega Watt turbines. The proposed project, TasWind, would dwarf Australia’s largest wind farm by a further 50%; the biggest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere, costing $2Billion. The EPA’s disastrously low: “Substantially Commenced” bar at the vacant Gunns Pulp Mill site, has inspired confidence amongst our corrupt Tasmanian establishment that they can steamroll this major issue by avoiding due process.
Andrew Crook, Crikey senior journalist
20.05.13 4:25 am
Wells Haslem—the firm spun out of Jackson Wells last year by its principals, former Australian press gallery reporter Ben Haslem and ex-John Howard staffer John Wells—is supporting the No TasWind Farm Group in the sleepy Bass Strait community to scuttle a planned 200-turbine, 600-megawatt facility planned by Hydro Tasmania. Cashed-up pastoralists drafted in Haslem over concerns their multimillion-dollar properties would dive in value if the project proceeds.
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic: of Wayne Swan
20.05.13 4:15 am
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has just posted an informative overview of the austerity debate in a recent article How the Case for Austerity has Crumbled .
• The Age: Gillard’s Budget boost
Isla MacGregor, Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network MRs. ABC. Pic* First published*
20.05.13 4:10 am
Friday: Rosebery is now the seventh town in Tasmania with drinking water supplies contaminated with toxic heavy metals. Five of the seven towns have been impacted on by local mines, Whitemark’s and Ringarooma’s water was sourced from areas near where mining has occurred. The seven towns with drinking water supplies contaminated with lead are Whitemark, Pioneer, Ringarooma, Avoca, Royal George, Rosebery and Gormanston. Royal George’s water is also contaminated with arsenic and cadmium and Avoca with cadmium also. These poisoned water results from Rosebery cast serious doubts over the rigour and integrity of the EPA’s 2008-2009 investigation in Rosebery, an investigation which was highly criticised by the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania. The Department of Health has allowed public health to be put at risk, by failing to act upon high levels of toxic metals in seven towns’ drinking water supplies. Tasmania must now be viewed as a Third World state with over one third of Tasmanian towns failing to provide raw drinking water that meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Saturday: Last year the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania also sent the laboratory results to Cradle Mountain Water and requested that they provide all households in Rosebery with a Domestic Reverse Osmosis water filtration system as these are the only filtration systems that can remove both soluble and insoluble metals from the drinking water in Rosebery. Again no reply was received from Cradle Mountain Water. It is inexcusable that Cradle Mountain Water has taken so long to determine that lead is in the drinking water supplies in Rosebery. It is totally unacceptable that Dr Roscoe Taylor has failed to protect public health and ensure the provision of safe drinking water in Rosebery and the other 6 towns in Tasmania now known to be contaminated with lead, arsenic or cadmium. The Premier Lara Giddings should stand Dr Roscoe Taylor down from his position as Chief Public Health Officer of Tasmania, said Isla MacGregor
• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: Matthew Groom on Southern Cross News last night backed TPEHN’s call for a full inquiry into unsafe drinking water in Tasmania. Matthew Groom said “I think it is absolutely critical that this is properly looked into. It is incumbent on the Government to ensure that Tasmania communities have safe and reliable drinking water. They should have confidence in the quality of their drinking water and it is incumbent on the Government to ensure that this happens.” TPEHN congratulates the Liberal Party for making a statement so promptly about this critical issue about public health of current and former Rosebery residents.
Chris Johnson National Political Correspondent SMH
20.05.13 4:00 am
The accusations follow the resignation of a highly regarded senior employee and come after Senator Milne conceded last month that September’s poll would be an uphill battle for the party, which risked losing two Senate spots.
Evan Whitton. Pic: of Evan Whitton
20.05.13 3:02 am
This is the seventh extract from Our Corrupt Legal System by legal historian Evan Whitton. The story so far: English common law began in 1166 in a culture of total corruption in the public sector, and went downhill from there. Extorting judges and their lawyer-bagmen formed a cartel. Soon after 1215, European countries adopted a truth-seeking (inquisitorial) system. In 1219, a few corrupt English judges rejected truth as the basis of justice. Since about 1350, lawyers have been the “dominant interest” in English-speaking legislatures, thus making it impossible to change to a justice system.
Kim Booth MP Greens Gaming spokesperson Sunday, 19 May 2013
20.05.13 2:58 am
“Although the Greens voted in support of the Liberals amendment in 2009 we did not have the numbers to carry it through. However, if the Liberals were to vote this week consistent with their previous track record, the power-sharing Parliament means we are in a position to make a real difference for those Tasmanian families and local businesses suffering from pokie addiction.”
Clive Stott http://www.cleanairtas.com
20.05.13 2:32 am
Patients on life-support equipment at home cannot afford to use it as prescribed by their specialists. The only solution left for these severely disadvantaged people is to turn their equipment off, or reduce its use. Neither is an acceptable option. Life support patients are already suffering greatly in other ways because of their special needs. How un-Australian is this treatment of someone spending the last of their life on life-support?
ABC. First published Monday May 20
20.05.13 2:10 am
The poll found 30 per cent could not say how they would vote if the state election was held the next day, up 10 points from the last poll in February. Support for the Liberal Party fell six points to 40 per cent, while support for the Greens fell six points to a new low of nine per cent.
• Dr Kevin Bonham: Greens hit new low, here The poll again shows the Liberals with a very high vote, but shows Labor with (marginally) its least worst result since November 2010 and the Greens with their worst result in this term of office. The very bad news for the Greens is that the 14% is likely to be an overestimate because the EMRS headline rate historically overestimates their vote. The undecided rate on the EMRS baseline measure (30%) is astonishingly high and I will check to see if it is a record. However the undecided rate comparable to the way other pollsters measure indecision is 19%.
• Lara Giddings: The EMRS Poll The Premier, Lara Giddings, today acknowleged the release of the latest EMRS poll.
• Nick McKim, Greens Leader: EMRS Poll Response “Our decisions are not driven by polls, but by strong core values that put people and the environment first,” Mr McKim said. “We don’t place a great deal of emphasis on the result of this or any other political opinion poll.”
THE FORESTS PEACE DEAL
• Rob Blakers, Mercury: Forests deal quiets chainsaws
The Old Bear
20.05.13 12:22 am
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations suggests that if more people incorporate insects into their diet we could reduce world hunger, food shortages and food insecurity. I would therefore be interested to see if any of the multitude of food presenters on Australian television or in newspaper/magazine columns latch on to the above and offer recipes that might find favour with our palates. I wonder what they could come up with?
Lyndon Schneiders. Pic: of Lyndon Schneiders
18.05.13 4:30 am
Well-known author and anti-pulp mill activist Richard Flanagan was the first to condemn. Writing in the blog, the Tasmanian Times ( here ), Flanagan rejects outright the decision by four of the five Tasmanian Green MPs and environment groups to support legislation which reconciles the protection of 500,000 hectares of old-growth and high-conservation-value forest with the provision of long-term security for a new Tasmanian timber industry based on the logging of regrowth forests and plantations and certified through Forest Stewardship Council accreditation through ongoing negotiation - not protest. For Flanagan, this is an attack on his right to dissent. His perspective is understandable given the past attempts to shut down dissent and litigate against opponents to forestry operations. … But much like France, with its ill-fated Maginot Line in 1940, Flanagan is fighting the wrong war and not dealing with the present reality. The provisions that Flanagan claims silence his voice do not do anything of the sort.
But at least Flanagan has lived the experience of the forest wars the hard way and has been deep in the trenches. The same can’t be said of The Australia Institute’s Denniss. Airing his views in the Australian Financial Review and The Canberra Times, Denniss has piled up a soap box so high that perhaps the lack of oxygen has affected his mental faculties. Denniss accuses the environment groups involved in the Tasmanian forest agreement process of selling out for no real outcomes. He claims we are complicit in an attack on dissent and free speech. Surely he knows he is talking rubbish. The naysayers may well be right. The agreement may fail. But there is no Plan B and misrepresenting and distorting what is on the table and what has been achieved is wrong and knowingly running misinformation campaigns to destroy the prospects for peace is culpable.
Richard Denniss on Facebook: Help, I’m under attack from some big environment groups:) Apparently I’m ‘foolhardy’ and my ‘mental faculties’ are in doubt, according to Lyndon Schnieders the head honcho at the Wilderness Society…it seems that he and Don Henry From the ACF don’t like it when people like me explain how their ‘historic forrest peace deal’ seeks to silence dissent. While they say they are proud of their deal they aren’t that proud of the bit that says that if ‘significant active protests’ are held against logging then trees that are in reserves will be stripped of their protections. They call it the ‘durability clause’, I call it blackmail…sad really. If you are members or donors of these groups please ask them to explain the need for, and operation of, these ‘durability’ clauses…you might also want to ask to see their legal advice • Richard Denniss on Tasmanian Times, here
• Peter Adams, in Comments: Beautifully written Barbara, #10. (Maybe you’re a ghost writer for Richard Flanagan?). I’ve been pondering on this debate for as long as everyone on TT and elsewhere. A year ago I even wrote in support of the draft TGA 2011 because I, too, wanted peace to occur in our forests and was willing to give the negotiations a fair go. However, what the Upper House did to the legislation was to destroy the legitimacy of the TGA 2011 and the negotiated agreements between the forest industry and the eNGO’s. For the eNGO’s and the four Greens in the Lower House to then accept this egregious act of political bullying and deliberate sabotage, is beyond comprehension. I just do not get it. Nothing I have read by the Wilderness Society or the Tasmanian Greens has given me any assurance that our forests will be protected. Quite the opposite.
• Leonard Colquhoun, in Comments: I’m with Barbara Mitchell’s Comment 10, and it would have got a very high grading in HSC English “Response to Issues”-type exercises (most of which focused on language and how it was used in making a case, rather than on the actual issues themselves [which, I’m sure all TT-ers would agree, is how it should be]). So, therefore I’m also (generally) with Comments 11, 12 and 13.
• Andrew Ricketts, in Comments: The regional conservation organisation I represent has “long called for reform” of forestry in Tasmania. We have been working on conservation and logging issues since our inception over two decades ago and have witnessed the inexorable decline of Tasmania’s wonderful natural forests since Tasmanian export woodchipping began four decades ago. Some of our members have been campaigning against export woodchipping for all this time. Schneiders has the temerity to describe the reaction against the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA) as “over the top” when long-term conservationists were actively excluded from a private deal which guarantees more of the same - clearfelling, export woodchipping, habitat destruction, scarring of the landscape and cable logging in catchment headwaters. Alliance of The Australian Greens to the Liberal position? Where? What simplistic rubbish! From the outset of the ‘peace deal’ in 2010, Senator Milne supported and encouraged an inclusive process but the ENGO signatories ignored her sage advice. The Tasmanian Greens however, chose to listen to only a sector of the conservation movement and remained deaf to all other stakeholders. Why?
• Download: 1. Environmental Defenders Office Guide to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Law. 2. EDO Guide to Creating Reserves under the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Law
Eyal Halamish Chief Executive Officer, OurSay. Pic: of Andrew Wilkie
18.05.13 12:32 am
17.05.13 2:39 pm
AUSTRALIA’S richest woman Gina Rinehart has been criticised by Prime Minister Julia Gillard for saying the nation’s economy is heading for a collapse like those seen in Europe.
John Rozentals. *Pic: My late father, Arnold Rozentals ...
17.05.13 5:30 am
My how things have changed from the days when refugees were welcomed and treated like human beings, and what a horrible, mean, stingy country we have become under a succession of short-sighted, we’re-tougher-than-you-can-ever-be governments. Anyway, does that mean we’re back to terra nullius?
• Dr Frank Nicklason: I request that the process by which our Government commits the Nation to war be made an prominent election isssue. How young lives were committed to serve in the Iraq war is scandalous. There needs to be full accountabilty for those few involved in making such disastrous decisions. Those politicians responsible, John Howard in particular, must be brought to justice. We were lied to. There must also be legal changes to ensure that this type of tragedy can never happen again. Other countries have made the appropriate legislative changes. Julia Gillard, you desparately need votes, a commitment to tackling this critical National issue would surely give you some. And you would be right to do it, just as you are right to promote the NDIS.
• Simon Warriner, in Comments: On Thursday I rang a mate who just happened to be driving to Cowra, his home town. He was going to the funeral of his best mates son, 22, who had been killed in a workplace accident, and who left behind his young wife and their 10 week old child. Our usual jovial catch up was sombre and reflective. I wonder how we would feel if that young woman and child were forced to travel to a far away land in search of safety and a future, and the people of that land treated her like dog shit on their shoes. Leonard, your argument is so full of ...
17.05.13 4:54 am
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has delivered a campaign-style budget reply speech, outlining some of the cuts a Coalition government would make while pledging to keep existing compensation measures associated with the carbon tax.
Use the TT NEWS Dropdown (top nav bar) for breaking news/comment on tonight’s Budget. And, if the urge takes you, unleash in Comments ...
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Tarkine National Coalition MR. First published Thurs May 16
17.05.13 2:31 am
So far only the Riley Creek documentation has been submitted for assessment, making the proper assessment of cumulative impacts impossible. “This is laughable and the EPA has lost all credibility as a body to assess the impacts of major projects.
Jan Davis' Tasmanian Country column today. ABC pic of Jan Davis
17.05.13 1:28 am
Bryan Green Deputy Premier
16.05.13 7:00 am
Energy Minister Bryan Green today released an Issues Paper for public consultation detailing new and transitional feed in tariff arrangements the Government is considering for when Tasmania’s electricity market opens to competition next year.
Mikey (#13), the copy paper may have come from China but it is very unlikely the FSC forest management certified wood…