"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

Tasmanian Federal Liberal’s Bitter Harvest: Parts 1 & 2

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Phil na Champassak* Pic: of Eric Abetz, from his website
29.07.16 6:00 am

In Senator Abetz’s email to Tasmanian Liberal Senate selectors, the ABC reports him as writing: “If instead of funding a destabilising below-the-line campaign, Mr Bovill invested his time and effort in the Liberals above-the-line campaign, empathically endorsed by Senators Parry, Duniam and Bushby along with Councillor Tucker, we would have won five seats.” Hogwash.

Progressive Conversation: EVER WONDERED WHY THE NATIONALS HAVE SEVEN TIMES AS MANY SEATS AS THE GREENS WITH LESS THAN HALF THE VOTES? IT’S ALL IN THE GERRYMANDER. Earlier this week I wrote about inaccuracies in our voting system which are impacting who wins government. I showed how the LNP have held government far more often than Australia’s voting preferences suggest they should – and how if we had used a more accurate model in the 2016 election, Bill Shorten might be PM now instead of Malcolm Turnbull. The reason for these inaccuracies is that the model of voting we use for our House of Representatives is focused primarily on ensuring that every location in Australia is represented in parliament at the expense of ensuring that the mix of political parties in parliament reflects the wishes of the Australian people. The model basically assumes that it’s more important to you that you have someone from your local area representing you than that your representative is from the political party that you support …

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Statement – Completion of Tasmanian Senate Count

Richard Colbeck Statement. Pic* First published July 27
29.07.16 5:30 am

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Ed: ... or Eric gets his way ... It has been said many times recently that politics is governed by the hard and fast rules of mathematics - either you have the numbers or you don’t. As has been demonstrated by the completion of the Tasmanian Senate count today, I unfortunately don’t have the numbers to continue the great privilege of representing Tasmania in the Senate

ABC: McKim and Singh take final Tasmanian Senate seats … After the distribution of preferences today, it has become clear Mr Colbeck has lost the battle for the 12th Senate spot to the Greens’ Nick McKim. Labor’s Lisa Singh has also won a seat. A massive below-the-line vote saw Senator Singh re-elected, despite her relegation to the sixth position on her party’s ticket in favour of a union boss. She took the 10th Senate spot ahead of her colleague Senator Catryna Bilyk, who has also been returned. …

• Ted Mead in Comments: As for Nick, it was a clearly a near miss, because had he failed in his Senate bid he would had been relegated to life outside a parliamentary office into a state of dire limbo to ponder on what to do and where it all went horribly wrong! My view is that Nick has performed quite well in Canberra representing Tasmanians. The same can’t be said for his history over the previous 4-year term in the state Labor/Green cabinet debacle where the best interests of Tasmanians were undermined and ignored in the illusion of progressive politics. Because I felt Nick has something to contribute in the senate I gave him my number 3 on the ticket. If it were a state election I wouldn’t have given him a number anywhere …

• John Hawkins in Comments: Well Erich got his way and in retribution Colbeck has been booted out of the Senate. The Tasmanian Liberals under the leadership of Abetz have now lost a Senate seat to add to the loss of the three amigo’s in the Federal Lower House. As Abetz is and always has been untouchable at Number one on the Tasmanian Liberal Senate ticket, will he now resign? He has been kneecapped by Turnbull and cast to the backbenches where he belongs, his influence within the Liberal Party is now in tatters. Even Mantach, arguably his appointee in Tasmania (and Victoria), is now in jail. Abetz has proved to be the kiss of death to many at this the fag end of his unattractive career. Will an embittered Abetz now cause trouble for Turnbull until he is finally thrown out of the Parliament by his own?

What Dr Kevin Bonham reckons ... Comment on Dr Bonham’s website HERE

• Mike Seabrook in Comments: If 73 more of Colbeck’s Lib prefs had gone to One Nation - the One Nation candidate would have been elected in place of the Greens’ McKim

• Garry Stannus in Comments: … Eric Abetz is now political poison.  And now he behaves as a wounded animal’ (mortally wounded?).  He lashes out at Bovill’s campaign for Colbeck as the reason for the Libs’ disaster in Tasmania, or as if trying to change the agenda, he’s now having a go at Kevin Rudd.  Bunker mentality? Does he think anyone is listening?  There is a point when despite what a bloke will shrilly say, such words will have no value to those on whose ears they fall.  Yep, that works both ways, some of us have done one or more walks outside the tent, in the snow.  It’s about time Eric went - for the good of his own party - but ... I bet he won’t.  He’ll have to be pushed.  Will it be explained as the usual ‘need-to-spend-more-time-with-family reason’, or will it be attributed to some aberrant medical condition?  Maybe they’ll characterise it as a natural process of ‘generational renewal’ ... but however it happens, Abetz’s day - in my opinion - has now come.  He is electoral ‘dead-meat’.

Progressive Conversation: EVER WONDERED WHY THE NATIONALS HAVE SEVEN TIMES AS MANY SEATS AS THE GREENS WITH LESS THAN HALF THE VOTES? IT’S ALL IN THE GERRYMANDER. Earlier this week I wrote about inaccuracies in our voting system which are impacting who wins government. I showed how the LNP have held government far more often than Australia’s voting preferences suggest they should – and how if we had used a more accurate model in the 2016 election, Bill Shorten might be PM now instead of Malcolm Turnbull. The reason for these inaccuracies is that the model of voting we use for our House of Representatives is focused primarily on ensuring that every location in Australia is represented in parliament at the expense of ensuring that the mix of political parties in parliament reflects the wishes of the Australian people. The model basically assumes that it’s more important to you that you have someone from your local area representing you than that your representative is from the political party that you support …

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George Pell subject of Victoria Police investigation into multiple allegations of sexual abuse

Louise Milligan, Andy Burns, ABC. Pic*: http://www.aww.com.au
28.07.16 6:04 am

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Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations levelled directly against Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric Cardinal George Pell, the ABC’s 7.30 program has revealed.

What the 7.30 Report revealed ...

TT: What Tim Minchin reckons ...

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Will ‘conservative white males’ ever be prepared to act on evidence on tobacco control?

Kathryn Barnsley* Pic: bought by Kathryn Barnsley from Alamy
28.07.16 5:00 am

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Tasmania still has the highest smoking rates of any state in Australia. Around 1400 Tasmanians have died from tobacco related diseases and illnesses since the government was elected over two years ago, however there has been no action beyond a “Discussion Paper”.

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Re-emergence of historic Lake Myer prompts Heritage listing by Council ...

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28.07.16 4:30 am

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The unexpected re-emergence of the historic Lake Myer in Hobart’s CBD has seen quick and decisive action by Hobart City Council Heritage Officers.

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Confessions of an amateur political campaigner

Jack Gilding* Pic: Garry Stannus
27.07.16 5:44 am

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In May and June this year I put aside my usual work and worked flat out unpaid organising a campaign for a political party I had only heard of a month earlier. In this article I attempt to explore why I took this on, what I learnt, whether it was worth doing, and whether I would ever contemplate doing it again …

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Hiding behind terrorism

Elizabeth Fleetwood* Pic: Thomas Cole, Course of Empire. First published July 26
27.07.16 5:36 am

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The news lately has been unremittingly bad – one attack after another.  Mass murder by truck, mass shootings with guns, killings with bombs, a stabbing here, an axe attack there, aeroplanes disappearing with all on board … the list goes on, the images get ever more lurid and are constantly repeated, the whole sorry saga drummed into us relentlessly.  One could speculate on what sinister motive may lie behind this endlessly reinforced view of a violent world spinning out of control, but for now I want to look at another orchestrated theme behind all this:  the constant search for a terrorism link.  We all know it – every time there’s another horror, the first response is to seek what jihadi-style group might be behind it …

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Baby Boomers hijack the debate ...

John Lawrence Tasfintalk, http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: Flickr, 401(K) 2012
27.07.16 5:32 am

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THE age of entitlement will not end if baby boomers, in or approaching retirement, keep hijacking public policy debate.

The whinges of the wealthy and the wannabes are a crass example of self interest at a time when fairness, more revenue and a system that integrates with the real economy are long overdue.

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NZ: Zero Invasive Predators ... and Scientists

John Veysey*,
 Coromandel, New Zealand
27.07.16 5:29 am

Image for NZ: Zero Invasive Predators ... and Scientists

A bunch of “scientists”, working under the acronym ZIP (Zero Invasive Predators), are not out to save any particular species, nor to assist in the balance of nature; their aim is to make NZ predator-free.

In TT Media: Minister seriously misleading public over 1080

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

New Zealand’s impossible dream: a predator-free country

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Huon Valley Guessing Games: The Plot Thickens

Bob Hawkins* Pic: of Peter Gutwein from his website. First published July 26
27.07.16 5:27 am

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… Talking tough at last week’s (July 27) Local Government Association of Tasmania conflab, Gutwein delivered a stern rebuke to councillors that he described as at war among themselves. As usual, Gutwein didn’t allude to problems involving management. Pointedly, he said councillors should not resort to publicly airing their arguments in the media. (When I vote in an election, it is in the hope that, should my candidates be successful, they would be only too happy to exercise their right to free speech and let the world know their opinions on every issue. Surely the minister isn’t advocating restrictions on free speech? Or trying to gag our democratically elected representatives?)

Gutwein’s observations amount to fresh evidence of how out of touch he and his Local Government Division are with reality; and how out of touch with the concept of democracy are the big parties generally. Specifically, Gutwein is ignoring the need for him and the Local Government Division to keep in the loop the people that his Local Government Division is charged with serving. …

• Mark Temby in Comments: It might just be the big goldfish in a small pond syndrome through Tasmania but I will note Jim Wilkinson, “Independent” MLC for Nelson, is listed as a consultant to Wallace, Wilkinson and Webster. I still reckon there are closet meetings in Parliament House between the likes of Armstrong, Harriss, Gutwein and, maybe, Wilkinson (all pro forestry good ol’ boys)

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Good news from last night’s (July 27) meeting of the Huon Valley Council: Cr Smith’s motion squeaked through to get talks going with Kingborough Council on LG reform, boundary adjustments, amalgamations, resource sharing etc. This is something HVC has refused to do ever since Minister Gutwein asked councils, many moons ago, to start co-operating on reform ideas. Good job Cr Mike Wilson wasn’t there (I’m told he was somewhere in Ireland as part of the cheer squad for the intrepid French Connexion St Ayles skiff rowers from Castle Forbes Bay). Almost certainly he would have tied the vote, thus defeating the Smith motion …

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New Zealand’s ‘Impossible Dream’: a Predator Free Country

Tony Orman
27.07.16 5:25 am

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Kiwi conservationist, author, trout fisherman and deerstalker Tony Orman analyses the New Zealand government’s latest diversion - a predator free country

… If I was a complete cynic, I would say that the New Zealand’s government sees the adoption of “the impossible dream” as a smart political ploy. It will appeal to New Zealanders who don’t know the outdoors and wilderness, who don’t understand predator-prey relationships and food chains and ecological evolution,  but will see it as “visionary” move by government. But there’s a stronger more realistic suspicion that the move by government is motivated mostly by a desperate government’s desire by the government to divert attention from mushrooming issues. Afflicting government is growing public unease over unchecked immigration, a housing crisis and a sagging economy with the country’s books showing a debt said to be $115 billion - a massive one for a country of just 4.7 million, not even the size of greater Sydney or Greater Melbourne

That other pest - i.e. rats - have been in New Zealand for “just 200 years,” Maggie Barry declared. She was hopelessly misinformed and wrong. The Maori migrants coming from Polynesia to New Zealand about AD 1200-1300 introduced the kiore rat - some 800 years ago. Norwegian ship rats were introduced by European sealers and whalers some 200 years ago …

• Paul O’Donoghue in Comments: Yeah well good luck with that Pest Free NZ ....these crazy politicians are out of their tiny bloody minds, if they think they can pull that one off! Maybe in LaLa land, but they have about a snowball’s chance of hell in achieving this anywhere on Planet Earth in this lifetime, that’s for sure! God save us from these bloody “do-gooder” politicians, is all I can say …

• Rob McMillan in Comments: Campaigns like “Save The Birds” in which the government Department of Conservation dumps tons of 1080 poison indiscriminately on native bush and alpine areas are all about making a profit from the government-owned 1080 poison bait facility and keeping some otherwise useless officials in a job and have no effect of saving birdlife. As Tony Orman says rats “bounce back” in hugely increased numbers; but sadly the birds do not. Back in the 1950’s when I began hunting the dawn chorus of native birds in the forests was almost deafening. Evidence of this was recorded by the NZBS/NZBC (forerunners of Radio NZ). Go to any native bush area today and all you will hear is a deafening silence. Most of our native birds eat (used to eat) insects and their numbers have been reduced not by possums, mustelids or rats but by DoC and lavish use of 1080 poison in broadcast aerial drops rather than in safe bait stations.

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Reviewed! Citizen Shrapnel & the Lords of Little Egypt, Festival Of Voices ...

Roo Friend, (c) 2016
27.07.16 5:23 am

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… This was a performance that meant something different to everybody, and after the gig I found myself comparing my emotional reaction with others. Most of us realized we had seen something special and rare. Perhaps it is the beauty of Hobart, this city sandwiched between the harbour and its implications of Antarctic wilderness, the mountain looming above, frequently forgotten about in the grand schemes divined by mainland gods, that creates these small masterworks of art that Tasmania so frequently delivers. Is it possible that by ceasing to look ahead and looking deeper inside, or perhaps combining them, we can once again connect with beauty, recognize it, shed our skins and put our faith in something we can’t comprehend? Michael Shrapnel’s music makes me believe in this.

Read the review HERE

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Four Corners: Dylan Voller releases letter apologising for crimes, thanking community for support

ABC. Image: Supplied to ABC
27.07.16 5:20 am

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Dylan Voller, one of the teenage boys whose mistreatment in juvenile detention was exposed by Four Corners, has written a letter thanking the Australian public for their support.

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How Pauline Hanson changes politics through fear

Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper. Pic: from Pauline's website. First published July 23
27.07.16 5:00 am

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Pauline Hanson is back exhorting the same old message: fear and racial intolerance. And once again she’s set to change the political landscape.

• Ted Mead in Comments: … And yes - your conservative hero John (blood on his hands) Howard was at the helm with complete control over the senate and the house of representatives when we entered into the mire of war in Iraq. So stable conservative governments are therefore the problem when it comes to creating the unstable security problems of the modern day. Military retraction from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria would reduce the security issues in the country dramatically, if not totally! New Zealand don’t have many issues since they abandoned their ANZUS alliance decades ago. But we can’t seem to relinquish our so-called loyalty to US politics, so nothing will ever change until we do!

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STATE: The Emperor’s New Clothes?

Ben Lohberger* Pic: A model of the proposed UTAS Inveresk campus. First published July 25
26.07.16 6:00 am

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A Launceston City Councillor says UTAS did not reveal the basis of its estimates about the benefits of relocating the Newnham campus, before councillors voted unanimously to donate property worth $4.5 million to the project. The councillor, who requested anonymity, said [amongst many other things] councillors were happy to take UTAS at its word. But the revelation raises questions about the commitment of $300 million by the state and federal governments. The LCC gave property worth at least $4.5 million based only on heroic estimates and glossy pamphlets from the ultimate recipient of all the money …

ABC: Tasmania still worst state for economic growth despite retail and tourism upturns … South Australia jumped from being equal last with Tasmania in May’s report to being the fifth best performer, leaving Tasmania last. The report stated there was little separating the bottom three - Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland - and that the Tasmanian economy had seen a “modest” lift in momentum, with a cheaper Australian dollar boosting sectors such as tourism … “The Government has been sitting on its hands for two and a half years, relying on meaningless, hollow slogans.”

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NATION: Out of Touch. Out of Time

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic: Malcolm Turnbull, Sussan Ley spruik a future voter ... (Malcolm's website).
26.07.16 5:45 am

Image for NATION: Out of Touch. Out of Time

“We must hit the ground doing,” the PM declares, talking up a storm of “good government” although parliament will not sit for a month and no-one’s got any real plans. Even if it had an agenda, the 45th government only needs to get two independent senators offside and any proposed legislation is all over.  MPs look uneasy. Eric Abetz is spitting chips

Eric Abetz did say, Monday, his campaign was crap; the electioneering failed to connect. In a flash of old Malcolm, the PM snaps back. How many members has the Tasmanian branch? 1200? The senator claims Turnbull is 800 shy but the point is made. The party ran dead not only because its leader ran dead but also because its support base is dying. Like his predecessor, Turnbull must blame someone else, even if Abetz has a lot to answer for in a local campaign that was out of touch; out of time …

Fairfax: Liberal Richard Colbeck back on track to defy the factional fix and get re-elected in Tasmania Another Lazarus-like return from the political dead is under way in Tasmania. Days after it became clear Labor’s Lisa Singh had defied her relegation by factional bosses to survive as a senator, powered by below-the-line votes of supporters, Liberal Richard Colbeck appears to be on track to do the same …

Fairfax: Turnbull’s plans for university reform in trouble as vice chancellors unite against ‘flagship courses’

ABC: Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners

• Lynne Newington in Comments on the 4-Corners story: Credit where credit is due ... never before has a prime minister run with a royal commission so speedily on such a controversial issue ... If Tony Abbott was still sitting in the captain’s chair with his history of protecting the status quo and cover-ups …

Bob Brown: Don Dale Juvenile Centre’s horrific history Darwin’s Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre was where a 15-years-old boy committed suicide in the middle of a federal parliamentary controversy over mandatory sentencing of Aboriginal children in 2000, former Greens leader Bob Brown said today. The boy was found hanged at the centre on day 23 of his 28 day sentence for stealing biscuits, apparently not knowing he was due for release within 5 days …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Pots and Kettles Department: It’s a cruel irony that a royal commission is to be called into child abuse in the Northern Territory by a PM who, along with all PMs and Immigration Ministers for the better part of two decades, has been indulging in child abuse and human-rights violations, including stealing the childhoods of asylum-seeker kids. I hope this time we are not listening to more MT rhetoric …

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Royal Commission into banking, financial services: Why ASIC cannot do the job

Max Atkinson* Pic: Bob Burton. First published July 20
24.07.16 7:00 am

Image for Royal Commission into banking, financial services: Why ASIC cannot do the job

In a previous article ( HERE ) I noted that Labor, the Greens and two-thirds of the public were calling for a royal commission to fix long-standing problems with banking and other financial services. The government agrees the problems are serious but insists that ASIC can do the job at less cost. But ASIC is a poor choice because its primary role is to enforce existing law - not preside over a public inquiry to see how well this law works.

• Ron-william Wijnhoven in Comments: … They move quite freely within the colour of law and then some, pushing legal boundaries against the little man while turning a blind eye to the fraudulent activities of the big end of town. But in my case, and I’m sure many others, they operate quite blatantly outside the laws of Natural Justice for their own chest beating and financial gains. They are a criminal corporation assigned by the Public system corporation to keep an eye on the criminal activities of the Bankster Corporations. What a travesty of justice for the Natural man who just wants to get ahead Lawfully, provide for his family and help his friends to do likewise without any unLawful interference by the big end of town, both sides of the Law.

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Letters to my grandchildren (18)

Anton Clever*
23.07.16 5:53 am

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Dear Chilliwops, Life sometimes seems really tough.  Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of John F. Kennedy, former President of the United States, once said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

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Solar-powered ‘Tesla town’ coming to inner Melbourne

Madeleine Wedesweiler, Domain. Pic: of a Tesla Powerwall
23.07.16 5:45 am

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A new suburb being planned in Melbourne may take out the much coveted title of Australia’s most environmentally friendly.

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3 comments

UTAS: If we build it twice, we ‘estimate’ they will come ...

Ben Lohberger* Pic* First published July 20
22.07.16 7:30 am

Image for UTAS: If we build it twice, we ‘estimate’ they will come ...

The University of Tasmania’s northern campus relocation is supported by all levels of government and both major political parties. But why is everyone so happy for taxpayers to give UTAS more than $300 million to abandon two existing campuses worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

Instead, they are blowing more than $300 million shuffling perfectly adequate university campuses from one site to another. With no real justification, other than the flow-on benefit of unnecessary construction work. All based on heroic, secretive estimates from the institution that will receive the money …

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Tasmanian Federal Liberal’s Bitter Harvest: Parts 1 & 2 

Media

Media

MINISTER SERIOUSLY MISLEADING PUBLIC OVER 1080 

Arts

Arts

Cradle Mountain Film Fest dates announced: March 31 - April 2 2017 ... 

Books

Books

Something ‘Fishy’ about Nick’s fabulous footy cards 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania ... 

Travel

Travel

Around Australia Motorcycle Adventure production completed 

What's On

What's On

Cradle Mountain Film Fest dates announced: March 31 - April 2 2017 ... 

Satire

Cartoons

The Real World ... 

Comments

Comments

When the Super Trawler issue was at its height; Mr Colbeck, was supportive of the Margiris fishing Australian waters. Recreational…

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Tasmanian Arts Guide

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TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

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