"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

Something in the Water ... An urgent need to re-evaluate

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Dr Alison Bleaney. Pic*
26.01.15 6:00 am

… In light of these findings those Government Departments responsible for ensuring the safety of drinking water to Tasmanians urgently need to re-evaluate the risk assessment and management from human-induced changes to these water catchments substantially converted to Eucalypt monocultures to ensure the safety of water supplied to water users. …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... a long and tortuous history ...

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: I suspect there has been a systematic cover-up concerning clonal tree plantations. For example: How many people have seen a flowering e.nitens or e.blugum tree in a plantation? How many people have seen a young or sapling e.nitens or e.bluegum in a tree plantation? How many people have seen young trees after the harvesting of a tree plantation? Plantations have also trashed the landscape of Northern Tasmania. I traveled from Holwell to Exeter on Nettlfolds Road and Rookery Road yesterday and saw how an amazing landscape has been ruined by this mono crap.

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The revealing facts on bikie laws and crime in Queensland

Terry Goldsworthy, Assistant Professor, Criminology at Bond University.
26.01.15 5:00 am

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Queensland’s Liberal National government has made law and order – particularly its anti-bikie laws – a key part of its re-election pitch. The government recently claimed that “Criminal Gang laws (are) keeping Queenslanders safer” and that they have driven a general decrease in crime. Yet when you compare those claims against Queensland’s crime statistics, something soon becomes clear: the spin and the statistics tell two different stories.

9MSN: Bikies snatch focus in Qld election Debate over policy is being overshadowed in the final days of Queensland’s election campaign following Premier Campbell Newman’s repeated claims of a link between Labor, unions and bikie gangs. Mr Newman has defended his allegations that ALP rivals were backed by unions linked to criminal motorcycle gangs, saying it’s a hot topic with Queenslanders. The debate has taken centre stage over the final weekend of the election campaign ahead of Saturday’s poll. On Sunday, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk again called for Mr Newman to show some evidence to support his claims and stated she had “zero tolerance” when it came to criminal organisations.

Guardian: Bikies donate money to LNP to rubbish Newman claims

Guardian: LNP losing out in regional areas

Psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham’s latest analysis (Jan 15) here

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NATION: Manus; We must act ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Jan 19. Pic*
26.01.15 4:45 am

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No words could ever describe life in Manus Island Detention Centre, but imagine you are trapped in a makeshift, overcrowded, run-down camp of peeling weatherboard cabins, tents and shipping containers sweltering and festering in the jungle on a hot, humid, far-flung island amidst some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world.Your only company is that of other wretched unfortunates like yourself. Should you be ‘processed’ and found to be a genuine refugee, you may be freed but only to be settled locally. The local people, however, resent your presence. Your sense of entrapment is suffocating. Blend in the isolation, disease, and heat and you have Manus Island’s mission to deter.

Force is integral to Manus’ brutal regime. Whilst Immigration Minister Peter Dutton may deplore the demonstrations, he appears as oblivious as his predecessor, Morrison, to the institutionalised violence of the prison camp itself, to say nothing of the coercion involved in the parent policy of offshore detention itself.  When pressed on the issue, Dutton also follows Morrison’s lead in taking refuge in denial and hair-splitting semantics. …

The Age: Australia accused of ‘surreal hypocrisy’ over Bali 9 executions

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NATION: Australian of the Year; Rosie Batty. Abbott mocked over Prince Philip Knighthood ...

ABC. Pic: ABC, Peter Williams
26.01.15 4:28 am

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Rosie Batty has been named Australian of the Year for her campaign against family violence in an award ceremony that saw four women take the nation’s top Australia Day honours for the first time in history.

STATE: Australia Day honours; Ultra-marathoner and scientist among 15 Tasmanians recognised

Don’t celebrate January 26 petition launched

Kim Booth: Unfinished business; Time to Treaty … “Unfinished business with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community is holding back our reconciliation journey,” Mr Booth said. “Its time to Treaty.” “We need to negotiate a formal Treaty which acknowledges the sorry history that has occurred on this island, and which seeks to address the current pattern of exclusion and discrimination inherent in our current state legal and policy-setting framework.” …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

KIm Booth: Call for alternative Australia Day date

SBS: Tony Abbott mocked over Prince Philip knighthood Tony Abbott’s decision to honour the Duke of Edinburgh has sparked mockery on social media and condemnation from some fellow politicians. Prince Philip was announced as one of two men honoured as Australia’s next knights today, almost a year after Mr Abbott reintroduced the honours. The news sent “Philip” trending on social media, ahead of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s comments that the decision was outdated. Mr Shorten told Fairfax Radio that he originally thought the news was a hoax. He said he didn’t understand the government’s priorities in nominating Prince Philip, when they could have “picked someone who is Australian in character and activity”. “It’s a time warp where we’re giving knighthoods to English royalty,” Mr Shorten said.

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A request for the removal of an Eric Abetz ad

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Eric Abetz
26.01.15 4:15 am

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Tasmanian Times received the following letter from Walter Abetz, brother of Eric Abetz.  Senator Abetz is Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Employment. Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Liberal Senator for Tasmania.

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Dear Eric Hutchinson ...

Mike Bolan, Disaffected citizen
26.01.15 4:00 am

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Drop this discriminatory co-payment idea now. We are taxpayers and we are already paying for everything else!

Australia’s systems of government have become a rent-seeker’s paradise that cost us dearly, but instead of fixing it, you just want taxpayers to pay more while politicians enjoy the considerable fruits of office and bureaucrats continue to expand their empires. This is classical rent-seeker behaviour.

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Removal of Schulim Krimper commission from St Mary’s Cathedral, Harrington St, Hobart

Warwick Oakman B.Des. Architectural Historian, Battery Point
26.01.15 3:45 am

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Schulim Krimper (1893-1971), was a Rumanian modernist cabinet maker,  arriving as a Jewish migrant to Melbourne in 1939. He was to become in the words of Terence Lane, former head of Decorative Arts at The National Gallery of Victoria “the first cabinet-maker in Victoria to demand - and receive - for his craft the respect which had previously been accorded only to painters and sculptors” …Guildford Young commissioned for St Marys Cathedral, Harrington St Hobart an extensive, high modernist work of art: a vast screen, throne, cover, cupboards, seating from Krimper, completed in 1961.  It is one of only two public commissions ever made and of great importance to modernism in Australia. And particularly Tasmania. It is the Catholic Church in Tasmania’s intention to remove this pre-eminent work of Krimper’s art, separate the elements and take to Melbourne to be sold by Leonard Joel Auctions in April of this year.

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Building resilience in an era of limits to growth

Big Ideas, Radio National
26.01.15 3:30 am

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We are approaching many limits to growth over the next decades: Economic contraction, peak energy and geopolitical stress. Nicole Foss - Canadian system analyst and expert on sustainability, energy, and finance - explains how the deflationary dynamics that always follow finance and property bubbles will rapidly impact individuals and communities, while the longer acting forces of peak oil and climate change will limit the nature of any economic recovery. So how can we adapt?

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (47)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
26.01.15 3:16 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Saturday Soapbox: Council must ensure Huon plan meets its Waterloo

John Huckerby, businessman and Huon Valley resident, in Saturday's Mercury Pic: Huon River near Franklin
26.01.15 2:48 am

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DENNIS Bewsher’s plan to change Waterloo Bay from public open space to a permanent mooring area for huge barges for transshipping woodchips and quarry products to bulk carriers moored downriver comes before the Huon Valley Council on Wednesday.

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After the Bang

Photo: NASA
25.01.15 9:30 am

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An expanding shell of debris called SNR 0519-69.0 is left behind after a massive star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. Multimillion degree gas is seen in X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, in blue. The outer edge of the explosion (red) and stars in the field of view are seen in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Call for State and Uni to dump Taib Mahmud ... and Ta Ann

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pic* Pub: Jan 24
25.01.15 7:00 am

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Conservationists call for swift action by Australian university and politicians to dissociate with Sarawak’s Taib Mahmud Five years after Sarawak Report first exposed Taib Mahmud’s questionable links with Adelaide University, the university’s Vice-Chancellor has recognised that there are problems with association with Sarawak’s ruling elite.  Australian and International campaigners in solidarity with the indigenous people of Sarawak are calling for swift action from the University and Australian and Tasmanian Governments. In a letter received today by the campaign group Bruno Manser Fund, Adelaide University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington acknowledged that Adelaide University is reviewing the name of Sarawak’s Governor and former Chief Minister Taib Mahmud Court, bestowed in his honour in 2008. Switzerland-based advocacy group, Bruno Manser Fund had forwarded a copy of the book Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia by Lukas Straumann to Vice-Chancello Professor Bebbington and it was this that had prompted his response.

“Sarawak Report are hugely encouraged that Adelaide University is now recognising the problems with this major donor and are prepared to take appropriate action.  We have worked hard to bring a serious wrong-doing to public attention and sometimes it takes time to get a response, but we believe that wheels are beginning to turn and other institutions in Australia ought to follow this example.  A priority must be the Tasmanian government, which has been prepared to do business with Taib-connected companies for far too long, both in the Tasmanian logging industry and in the Sarawak energy industry. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to the corrupt and highly damaging environmental and human rights situation in Sarawak, before Tasmania is tarnished by association.”

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The Truth about Ta Ann. ‘The biggest environmental crime of our times’

Sarawak Report: Taib made persona-non-grata by Adelaide University

• Tim Thorne, in Comments: Re #4: Imagine if $42 million of Tasmanian dollars went into the pockets of a New York based investment company which contributed nothing to our economy and employed not a single Tasmanian. Imagine if hundreds of millions of dollars of our money was handed to a company which then went belly-up and we got not a cent back. Imagine if all three of our political parties and the independent Upper House all let this happen. OK we’re not quite Sarawak, but we’re getting there.


Emma Lee, Mercury Saturday Soapbox: Green glitter hides cultural truth The “wilderness brand” is mainly from non-Aboriginal interests, and Aboriginal rights, cultural access, economic development, heritage protection, tourism and the joint management narrative of the three Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Area will not be denied for the sake of environmental business or campaign models. Don’t be dazzled by the green glitter on a bare ethical tree.

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Call for Alternative Australia Day Date

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release ABC pic
25.01.15 6:30 am

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Political leaders need to be serious about moving Australia Day to a date other than the 26th of January if they are serious about working towards genuine reconciliation with the Aboriginal community, Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

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Nyrstar and State Government in talks over ‘hand-up financing’

Matt Smith, Mercury. Pic: Nyrstar's Lutana plant. Pub: Jan 24
25.01.15 6:00 am

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A $500 million deal between the South Australian Government and minerals giant Nyrstar appears to be a catalyst for the company’s approach to the Tasmanian Government.

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The fall and fall of The Mercury

Bob Burton. Pub: Dec 18, 2014
25.01.15 5:15 am

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The Mercury – Tasmania’s largest circulation newspaper – is in deep, deep trouble. A leaked News Corporation Australia’s financial report from July 2013 provides a stark insight into the rapidly deteriorating finances of the Murdoch empire’s three Tasmanian newspapers:  The Mercury, the Sunday Tasmanian and Tasmanian Country.

• Mark, in Comments: As was written in one of the sidebar sites: Out in the boonies the media is a rough deal. The reporters have an average age of 12. The editors are crusty and conflicted. And the money is running out. They report what they want to happen. Potential mines. Potential pulp mills. Potential farms. Potential developments. Potential money drops from Canberra. Potential Chinese buy-ups. News is all about crossing fingers. At best, 5% of the potential comes true. If you dig through old newspapers you’ll find stories about the same mines and the same “100’s of jobs” they were going to create. Five years ago. Ten years ago. Fifteen years ago. Convince people something’s around the corner and you might convince someone to advertise. You might keep your newspaper alive. Sadly, you don’t inform anyone of anything. http://www.idiottax.net/2014/11/my-abc.html

• Bob Burton, in Comments: … It is also worth pointing out that in the last five years, according to ABS population data, Hobart’s population increased by over 8,800 (2008 to 2012). In spite of this underlying population growth, readership of hard copies of The Mercury continues to fall. The trends affecting The Mercury aren’t unique to Tasmania. However, as the smallest state, Tasmania’s media may well be hollowed out so quickly that it becomes the exemplar of a failed media state.  Sure, we will still have media which cover sport, car crashes, major court cases, major events and some political debates initiated by existing parties but more probing journalism already largely seems to be a quaint thing of the past. Which is why the question on who will cover hard local news in Tasmania remains a critical issue. Ironically, this topic is one which the existing outlets are wary of covering, perhaps because to do so would require an acknowledgement that there is a significant problem. Self-reflection tends not to be a strong point of most media outlets.

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Tasmanian achievement a matter of national pride

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne Media Release
24.01.15 3:50 am

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Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne is congratulating fellow Tasmanian Rodney Croome on his courageous and persistent activism for gay rights and his long overdue recognition this Australia Day as Tasmania’s Australian of the Year.

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NATION: Caught like a bunny in a spotlight

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Jan 19. Satire*
24.01.15 3:48 am

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A speculative analysis ... Caught like a bunny in a spotlight, Australia’s own Darwin Award contender, Prime Minister Tony Abbott froze in the cold unblinking stares of a posse of hostile men and three women who told him they’d had enough and were not taking any more. Abbott was shirt-fronted by rebels in his own backbench, a backbench fit to kill or hang the PM out to dry.

Queensland election: Alan Jones accuses Campbell Newman of lying


Lenore Taylor, Guardian: Tony Abbott’s Trust Deficit disaster is paralyzing his government

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DPP Ellis sacked, with no payout, over road death

David Killick, Mercury. Pic: of Tim Ellis
24.01.15 3:45 am

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis SC has been sacked for misbehaviour, Premier Will Hodgman said yesterday.

• Ed: There are no winners ... only losers in this tragic story ... Comments are not enabled ...

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Fact-Checking Julia Jabour and Indi Hodgson-Johnston

Narelle Bonarski* Pic*
23.01.15 5:00 am

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Over the past few months, Dr Julia Jabour and Ms Indi Hodgson-Johnston have published media opinion pieces that are critical of the conservation group Sea Shepherd. Are all of their claims valid?

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STATE: Fixing hospitals? Here’s how. Nyrstar’s hand out ...

Martyn Goddard, Health policy analyst. Pub: Jan 22
23.01.15 3:38 am

Image for STATE: Fixing hospitals? Here’s how. Nyrstar’s hand out ...

The deplorable state of Tasmania’s public hospital system is a story too often told. For over a decade there have been inquiries, reports and promises of action. Finally, writes Martyn Goddard,  revealing data from new research shows the way forward to real reform.

• Jon Sumby, in Comments: In the UK, with privatisation of elderly care, people are not being sent home from hospital as no home care company will take them as the elderly person is not profit making for them. Under the Liberal dream of a US style system, not Medicare, this is what we look forward to; profit over people.

• Dr Alison Bleaney, in Comments: #1 when they do go home - hopefully - there needs to be a one-stop-shop/ group that liases with the patient and family/ carer and co- ordinates the care package. At present multiple agencies advance upon the patient causing great confusion exhaustion and poor care co-ordination- and sometimes refusal of all services. Payment for individual services becomes another confused burden. Streamlining home care would have to save funding at source, and cause all involved with services less angst.

ELSEWHERE ... in Tasmania ...

Bob Brown welcomes Dick Smith’s input on World Heritage but a broadside on Puppet Hunt’s visit to see developers only ... Former Greens Leader Bob Brown has welcomed Dick Smith’s comments on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area saying, “the difference between Dick and Simon Currant is in their record: Dick publicly supported the Franklin blockade, Currant didn’t; Dick spoke out and gave $2M to save Recherché Bay; Currant didn’t lift a finger; Dick gave $1M for track upgrades to Frenchmans Cap; Currant didn’t put in a dollar”. “Dick and I don’t agree on private developers in World Heritage Areas but I respect him: he has no trouble raising a flag for the environment when it is critically endangered.” “Yesterday’s visit by the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, to support developers wanting to degrade the TWWHA, but avoiding the environmentalists he represents, was pathetic. He is a puppet of the anti-environment sentiment in the Abbott government as demonstrated on his failures on the Great Barrier Reef, saving whales or forests.”

Andrew Ross: Port Arthur Penitentiary’s future assured


Mercury: Nyrstar seeks state cash

AS ...

The Advertiser: Nyrstar completes funding package for Port Pirie smelter ...

• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: So the Tasmanian taxpayers are being asked to provide more subsidies to this successful Swiss based multi million dollar corporate miner with their attempted grab at $50million out of the Tasmanian taxpayers pockets. This is an outrageous move on a Government that is so hard strapped for cash its Public Service and public good services are on the critically endangered list. This especially so as Nyrstar managed to fund their own $514 million upgrade on the Port Pirie smelter through forward sale of silver, capital rasing and securities issued to third parties.  And unlike in South Australia no Lead Abatement program has been funded for Rosebery or Zeehan by successive Tasmanian Governments. Let’s hear a loud and clear no from the Unions on this highly questionable subsidy to this big Swiss Belgian company. Are Tasmanains really being asked to support a Government that is considering what amounts to an indirect subsidy for the Port Pirie rebuild?

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Ongoing Salmon Expansion Threatens Endangered Whales and Puts Locals Offside

Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania, Mike Stevens, Tasmanian Fishing & Boating News Media Release
23.01.15 2:54 am

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Recreational fishers, yachties, conservationists and locals are alarmed that Tassal is persisting with an expansion of their salmon farms in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in south-eastern Tasmania when endangered species, native fish, water quality and public access may all be sacrificed in the process.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: Manus; We must act ... 



Unfinished Business: Time to Treaty 



The Rundown ... This Weekend 



Hobart Bookshop: Days of Fear 



Tasting Tasmania: Pointing to food, wine reviews, with latest news, MRs below ... 



Beat the post Australia Day blues by researching your next holiday 

What's On

What's On

The LTVTA Twilight Market 



Bathurst Harbour 



I’m still not sure what the controversy is? 1. If Sarre withheld the sequences of ‘positive’ foxes in Tasmania…

Funding and Disclosure

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka


Martyn Turner



The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper


Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me


Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check


Bluestone Magazine


No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax



Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

David Horton

Failed Estate


Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

Tim Squires


Gazette of Law & Journalism

The Culture Concept Circle