"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

Rewilding the Earth ... An Ethical Conviction

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Ted Mead
05.10.15 5:30 am

The whole concept of rewilding the earth makes sense, yet in a reserved view one deeply ponders on its possibility.  In a new, to be released publication, Half Earth – Our Planet’s Fight for Life renowned biologist, naturalist and author EO Wilson builds on his futuristic proposal to set aside 50 percent of the earth for the preservation of biodiversity.

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Booklet makes me feel my family is inferior

Martine Delaney*
05.10.15 4:30 am

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UNDER the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act it is illegal to make public statements that offend, insult or humiliate people on the basis of sexuality. I believe the Catholic Church’s booklet, Don’t Mess with Marriage, violates this law. Distributed through Catholic schools this year, the booklet pays lip service to “respect” for same-sex attracted people, but scratch the surface and the message is very different.

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The Tasmanian Politician ... and the powerful will of Mr Farrell ...

James Boyce. Pic* First published September 28
04.10.15 5:30 am

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… We were only saved from another couple of decades of subsidising the Farrell family by the fact that David Walsh pulled out (he was to get a high roller boutique casino out of it) and went public on his blog (Read for yourself, HERE). The Government then called the whole thing off. Walsh has given the people, for the first time in Tasmanian history, a chance to have a say on poker machine policy and what we think of the current model.

We need to take it.  …


• That Federal deal, by Rene Hidding …

• James Boyce replies to Rene Hidding …

• Pilko in Comments: In a town where the media industry regarded journalism as something more than an audition for a high paying job in a political media unit Boyce’s courageous investigation might’ve been done by a professional journo working for a reputable media organisation. In a town where ethics & good governance is held as a virtue & media networks weren’t cowed & desenstitized Boyce’s courageous investigation might’ve caused ripples. Head over to Tasmanian politics central on social media & punch the #politas hashtag into Twitter. Not a word on Boyce & Federal, not a ripple.

• Pat Caplice in Comments: Thank you James Boyce for this thorough recapitulation. I went along as a spectator to the PAC in 2003 when Greg Farrell appeared. I went to watch a bloke in a high stakes game and holding the winning hand. I understood Greg’s game, the bluff and the bluster, the East Coast hotel and the trouble with no ANZ funds without the pokies rivers of gold. The promises and threats and Don Challen dealing the cards behind closed doors with strict riding instructions. The game was already won by the time of that PAC session and Greg impressed with his casual dominance. It’s a different game this time. The rules are different. The players are different. Go the skilful punter ...

• Greg James in Comments: The public will soon enough find out that it is firing blanks. Logic, financial acumen and care will all fall by the wayside as politicians of the calibre of Rene Hidding take over decision making. It was Hidding as leader of the opposition in 2003 who gave Federal Hotels everything in return for nothing. Hidding agreed to support the ALP via committee hearings, he could not comprehend that the license had a value, was dismissive of those opposed to poker machines and incapable of independent assessment. When Tasmanians vote they vote for their own, insular, gullible and mislead, expect more. The threat that tourism will be affected is one such gullibility. Tourism growth was crap while Federal Hotels led the industry. Twenty years of nothing happening and then whacko…MONA. The Casino itself is tired and past its use by date, both as an attraction and an industry. It has very little to do with Tourism, as the attractor, it has no outstanding elements that cannot be repeated in any other mid size town with a casino. It is time to recognise that a monopoly is inefficient, uncompetitive and ultimately a drag on tourism. Get moral all you want but it is the economy stupid ...

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Triabunna Wharf: ‘Working with Mr Wood ...’

ABC. Pic: Paul Tapp
03.10.15 5:15 am

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State-owned port authority TasPorts is in negotiations to sell the Triabunna wharf on the east coast to a marina construction company, placing a $50 million tourism development proposed for the adjoining site in doubt.

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Resignation of Integrity Commission Chief Executive Officer

Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General Media Release. Pic: of Diane Merryfull
03.10.15 4:59 am

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The Government has received notification from the Chief Executive Officer of the Integrity Commission, Diane Merryfull, that she intends to retire from full-time work and will depart from her role on 16 October.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Why is it nobody can stay in this job? The poisoned chalice overflows as the pollies legislate to protect themselves from prosecution. The endemic corruption over logging, pulp mills, betting, largesse from the Federal government and the protection of the few must never be allowed to show its face in this your corrupt Tasmania. Thankyou Hall and Wilkinson et al for creating such a toothless beast to protect your endangered race. Thankyou Diane for resigning. Now spill the beans on this collection of shysters and carpet baggers.

• Pilko in Comments: Sepp Blatter is looking for a new job. However my sources inside the Tas Libs tell me Blatter is regarded as a cleanskin & John Gay is still the Libs preferred man to head up the new TIC.

Rosalie Woodruff: Departure of Diane Merryfull

• John Biggs in Comments: The Mercury gave a strong impression this morning that the govt intends to restrict the investigative powers of the TIC and instead focus on “preventative” measure against corruption, not just review them. That would indeed by shameful and indeed indicative of a secretive govt that doesn’t to be caught out in acts of naughtiness. The track record of how both Labor and Liberal govts deal with Commissioners who report honestly—harrass them and make their lives difficult generally so they resign—indicates that they don’t want their naughtiness on record but we the public deserve that in the interests of transparency and good govt. The TIC to be effective at all needs to be both proactive and retroactive.

Rosalie Woodruff: Government Neuters Public Sector Watchdog The government is actively undermining the Integrity Commission. They’ve cut their funding and failed to act on any of the recommendations from the three year review, and now they’re only appointing an Acting CEO. A person acting as CEO would have no mandate to continue the Commission’s strong and probing work.

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First Day of The Month ...

Isla MacGregor
01.10.15 5:30 am

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… and we celebrate (as always) the natural wondrous world of Tasmania. Isla’s brilliant shot is of Tomahawk Island ... in winter ...

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NATION: New wine in old bottles. The Summit ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: September 28. Pic*
01.10.15 4:10 am

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The Week … A small figure struggles up the steps of the Vice Regal mansion in Canberra as a new week in politics begins. Senator Scott Ryan, a king-maker in Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to power is about to become Cabinet assistant secretary. Ryan carries a Bible bigger than Kelly O’Dwyer’s baby.

ABC: Braddon MP Brett Whiteley elevated to Government Whip

Phil Coorey, AFR: Andrew Nikolic joins Coalition calls to rein in penalty rates Tasmanian federal Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic has added to the growing calls from within government for a review of weekend penalty rates, arguing the current regime is curbing job creation and business growth, especially in tourism and hospitality.Mr Nikolic, who holds the seat of Bass, said many tourism and hospitality businesses in his seat “are constantly telling me they won’t open during periods where high penalty rates apply, because they can’t make a quid”.

AFR: Vic government in last minute change to port sale rules

Michael Mansell: National Reform Summit in Canberra misses out small business operators. Tasmanian Aboriginal mutton birders completely ignored. Summit is elitist, says Michael Mansell Michael Mansell says the National Reform Summit in Canberra has not been inclusive and smaller industries most in need of support have been sidelined. Mr Mansell said, “Every year for the last 150 years, Aboriginal people in Tasmania have eked out a living from mutton birding. Up until the end of the 1940’s, around 500 Aboriginal people went mutton birding. Today the industry employs 90 people across the Bass Strait islands for a 6 week period. To survive, it needs help. Prime Minister Turnbull would not even be aware of our existence, which is probably also the case with Tasmania’s Federal politicians. We never hear from them. They never visit us during the season to see what we do.

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STATE: Mass resignations, says Eric Abetz. Not so, says PM. Cadbury. DPIWE dramas ...

Mercury. ABC Pic: of Eric Abetz
01.10.15 3:50 am

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DUMPED senior government minister Eric Abetz has called for unity among Liberal Party members after news of mass resignations in response to the change in Federal leadership.

AAP: Malcolm Turnbull disputes Eric Abetz claim hundreds are leaving Liberal Party MALCOLM Turnbull has disputed claims hundreds of members are leaving the Liberal Party after his elevation to prime minister. Eric Abetz, dumped from the frontbench in a ministry reshuffle following the toppling of Tony Abbott, has warned of a mass exodus in a newsletter to supporters. But Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Thursday his feedback was that people were “very happy with the transition”, adding that members come and go in political parties.

The Age: Tony Abbott pleads the Fifth Amendment when asked if he’s forgiven Malcolm Turnbull

Andrew Wilkie: A statement on more Cadbury job losses

Scott Bacon: Liberals need to make amends for Cadbury mess

Matthew Groom: Cadbury’s announcement

Richard Colbeck: Cadbury visitor centre

ABC: Brain drain: science cutbacks driving highly skilled Tasmanians out of state

ABC: Tasmanian devils killed on road days after being released

Mercury: Government department kept Tasmanian devil and wedge-tailed eagle deaths quiet: documents
TASMANIA’S government department responsible for native animal welfare kept the deaths of Tasmanian devils and wedge-tailed eagles quiet for 12 days, despite calls from an investigator for the incident to be made public. New Right to Information documents published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment show the presumed poisoning of two wedge-tailed eagles, five Tasmanian devils including a female with two pouch young, a brown falcon and a collared sparrowhawk in Cygnet in May was kept ­secret by middle management. The decision was made ­despite a call from the staff member responsible for investigating the deaths recommending a media release be issued, “to shed light on the event [to] try and generate some information and hopefully stop any further poisoning event from occurring”. The documents show the request was refused by “middle management” about 30 minutes later, before a media statement calling for information was created and released — 12 days later.

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Former Gunns boss John Gay faces new court action to strip his assets

Mercury. Pic*
01.10.15 3:41 am

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FORMER Gunns boss John Gay will return to court next month as authorities renew a bid to strip him of his assets.

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The world’s first minister for peace

Tess Lawrence Independent Australia
01.10.15 3:19 am

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Australia has had ministers for war, defence and everything else — so isn’t it time we had our very first minister for peace? Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence comments.

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Australian Marine Science has become truly parasitic, ‘killing its host’ ...

Bob McDonald* First published Sept 30
01.10.15 3:00 am

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This article on Australian Commercial Fisheries was written in response to questions from Menakhem Ben Yami, former head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Fisheries, based in Israel.

‘...What is Aussie fishermen and your own personal impression on the state of fish resources fished by Australian fleet in comparison with the past? Do you see any major downward trend in catches considering the fishing effort exerted, and if so of what fish? Any improvements?  How is the tuna doing, if any?..’

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You get what you pay for: Aussies unwilling to cough up for good journalism online

Myriam Robin, Crikey Media Reporter Pic*
01.10.15 2:45 am

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Mastheads will either go broke or be forced to turn to things like content marketing or “native advertising” to fund their journalism.

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FSC: Express your concerns ...

30.09.15 5:30 am

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A response to: Greenpeace: endorsement/concerns with FSC HERE is the opportunity link for all stakeholders (YOU) to participate in expressing your concerns, and your possible support for the proposed activities etc. Yes, - it is “that ball landing in your court” kind of situation. The alternative scenario looks like ... ... - WHAT? HERE: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/INVITATION-TO-PARTICIPATE-IN-THE-NATIONAL-FSC-P

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Which heating is the most efficient for Tasmania?

Todd Houstein Executive Officer Sustainable Living Tasmania Media Release
30.09.15 5:00 am

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With one of the coldest winters on record, which heating is the most efficient for Tasmania?

• Leo Schofield in Comments: Anything but electricity. Aurora’s usage meter system is at best flawed, at worst dishonest. When I lived in Kempton my electrician assured me that my bills were three times as high as TWO HOTELS he serviced in Claremont. The correspondence with the Ombudsman, which I have kept, is beyond Kafkaesque with one functionary telling me the system was clearly faulty and another assuring his masters that all was hunky dory. If Tasmania is to lure its ‘expats’ back home, they need to be assured that they will not freeze to death in winter or be sent broke by outrageous heating bills …

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Complaint against Catholic anti-equality booklet, “Don’t Mess with Marriage”, to be lodged today

Martine Delaney Media Release. Pic: ABC, of Archbishop Porteous
29.09.15 6:08 am

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Advocate says booklet offends and humiliates same-sex couples & their children Hobart rights activist, Martine Delaney, is today lodging a complaint with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, against Archbishop Julian Porteous and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Mrs Roslyn Phillips: Archbishop attacked for Christian teaching: the new ‘tolerance’?

• Download, read for yourself: Same Sex Parented Families in Australia ...


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NATION: The monumental Health waste ...

Dr Norman Swan, Four Corners. ABC pic
29.09.15 6:07 am

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When we head to the GP most of us assume “the doctor knows best”. But the truth is, many of the scans, tests and procedures ordered by medical practitioners are wasteful, unnecessary and potentially harmful.


Rebecca White: Thousands of surgeries continue to be cancelled A Right To Information request by the Labor Opposition has revealed an alarming number of elective surgeries continue to be cancelled. Tasmanian hospitals were forced to cancel 3061 surgeries in the year ending June 2015. In the North West, 645 surgeries were cancelled at the Mersey and North West Regional hospitals. 1087 surgeries were cancelled over 12 months at the Launceston General Hospital. While at the Royal Hobart Hospital, 1329 surgeries were cancelled.

Michael Ferguson: Fixing the Health system

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‘Child Protection Crisis’

HACSU Assistant Secretary Robbie Moore, STATE SECRETARY TIM JACOBSON Media Release
29.09.15 6:06 am

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Jacquie Petrusma: The real opposition at it again

Cassy O’Connor: Northern Child Protection Workers Clearly Fed Up

Rebekah White: Minister contradicts herself on child protection staffing

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Rape victims and whistleblower speak out about Nauru violence

Hayden Cooper, ABC 7.30
29.09.15 6:05 am

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The recent cycle of violence in Australia’s offshore detention regime is continuing as another two refugees report being raped and their cases have prompted another former centre worker to reveal what she witnessed on Nauru.

SBS: Which Arab country has room for three million refugees and has so far taken zero according to the UN? Oil rich Saudi Arabia is under fire over its failure to take a single refugee from Syria while an air conditioned tent city capable of housing three million people sits idle. The country has claimed it has taken 100,000 Syrian migrants but is not a signatory to UN Convention on Refugees making it very difficult for the UNHCR to verify its claims and establish if they are genuine refugees.

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Don’t Miss ... Three upcoming Economic Society of Tasmania events ...

Graeme Wells
29.09.15 6:00 am

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Three flyers for our program of upcoming events – the next is this Wednesday (30 September) and features Nils Axel Braathen, Principal Administrator OECD’s Environment Directorate, discussing the use of economic instruments for environmental policy in OECD countries.

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‘We view this place as home now’

Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic*
28.09.15 5:00 am

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Bruny Island Murrayfield handover ceremony It’s been a long journey for the weetapona Aboriginal Corporation who, on September 18th, took ownership of the historic Bruny Island property of Murrayfield, formerly home to the Nuenone people, the place where Truganini was born.

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The Queen and I go a long way back ...

Charles Wooley. Pic: Her Maj
28.09.15 4:45 am

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THE QUEEN AND I go a long way back. I first heard of her, when I was a preschooler in a tough, timber-built mining town perched under the bare and rugged Ben Lomond in the centre of the state. The place was called Rossarden, and apart from fights, drunken affrays, car crashes and a good deal of wife bashing, not much ever happened there.

• Graeme Wells in Comments: Hi Charles, I spent a bit of time in Rossarden, too. Dad was the headmaster, and we lived in one of the only three houses in the town not painted with black sump oil. I must be a year or two older than you, and I got to go to the parade. So I can tell you what you missed. We got the train at Conara – one in which each carriage had an outside door (complete with brass handles) for each little compartment. I guess it had picked up kids from St Marys and Fingal along the way. Ate Mum’s sandwiches along the way. At York Park we sat on the grass while she drove around, giving us the regal wave from an open green Landrover.  All very exciting. The athletics display was along the style made popular in East Germany; pyramids of athletes in white shorts and so on. No doubt she gave a speech, shielding her eyes from the sun. But it was a long time ago. I probably slept on the way home.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

The Tasmanian Politician ... and the powerful will of Mr Farrell ... 



Devonport: Business Crime Forum 






Draw-ing on Memories 



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



Our little known Mary Watson 

What's On

What's On

Devonport: Business Crime Forum 



Mr Groom and the devils 



A learned old Boozer known to many fine people dwelling over on the mid-West Coast of Tasmania has offered his opinion whereby…

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

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