Articles

WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. http://www.wilderness.org.au Media Release
03.07.15 6:30 am

Image for WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

… This decision confirms an international rejection of Mr Hodgman’s plans to allow logging and mining in the WHA and identifies very clear solutions to addressing these and other issues,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society, speaking from Bonn. “Logging and mining have no place in a World Heritage Area and Government must commit to explicitly prohibit both logging and mining by upgrading the conservation status of relevant areas to National Park. This relates to iconic forest areas such as the Styx, Weld and upper Florentine valleys and the Great Western Tiers. …

Matthew Groom: World Heritage Committee decision paves way for ongoing constructive engagement

Greens: Liberals must accept UN’s rejection of Tasmanian World Heritage Area plans

Nick McKim: United Nations Slaps Down Groom on WHA Logging and Mining Parks Minister Matthew Groom’s fixation with profiting from the TWWHA has blinded him to the true value of the area. It seems that if he can’t put a dollar sign in front of it, Mr Groom is just not interested. The United Nations did not protect the TWWHA just so Mr Groom’s corporate buddies could make money from it.

Luke Martin: UNESCO findings on draft TWWHA management plan

• John Powell in Comments: … Both Minister Groom and Harriss are in denial, and Premier Hodgman and Deputy Premier Rockliff are plainly sycophants to Senators Abetz and Colbeck. Waiting for Opposition Leader Green to put both feet in mouth but. Odds on that he will.(SportsBet info)

FRIDAY ...

Vica Bayley: Tas Government rules out World Heritage mining, but snubs UNESCO’s logging call In response to the UNESCO decision regarding Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA), the Tasmanian Government’s announcement to ‘rule out’ mining in the WHA represents just one part of a number of specific requests that make up the decision. The decision also asks for logging to be prohibited, for wilderness to be retained in the management plan and for a comprehensive Aboriginal heritage survey. ‘A commitment to prohibit mining is welcome but represents only one part of the requested action and it must be extended to include logging,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society. ‘A ban on logging across the entire World Heritage Area is specifically requested, but Government appear determined ignore this, seek to justify World Heritage logging and bulldoze ahead with changes that remove management plan protection for iconic forest areas.’ There appears confusion in the public debate as to exactly what the Hodgman Government proposes as possible regarding World Heritage logging. The facts are … HERE

Read more

10 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Science | Society

Abbott urged to play fair, not foul on marriage equality bill

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome Media Release
02.07.15 3:20 am

Image for Abbott urged to play fair, not foul on marriage equality bill

Marriage equality advocates have cried foul over Tony Abbott’s claim ( here ) that the cross-party marriage equality bill may not come to a vote any time soon because it is a private members’ bill.

Read more

3 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

The rabid attachment to the past

Dr Michael Powell*. Picture: Daniel Haley
02.07.15 3:15 am

Image for The rabid attachment to the past

The rabid attachment to the past by the Forestry Minister Paul Harriss is an heroic act in the twilight of the problem, but an utterly forlorn hope. The die is cast and has been for a long time.

Read more

4 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

The bid to crush the green movement

Samantha Trenoweth, The Saturday Paper
02.07.15 3:00 am

Image for The bid to crush the green movement

A new inquiry into environmental groups’ eligibility to receive tax-deductible donations appears to be the latest salvo in a sustained campaign to crush the green movement and starve it of funds.

Read more

10 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

The Yezidi: Hadi’s Cry from the Heart ...

Richard Butler
02.07.15 2:45 am

Image for The Yezidi: Hadi’s Cry from the Heart ...

“We’ve lost everything we ever owned. All we worked for has been taken. Our dreams…our lives..Now..apart from what we have in our hands..there is nothing..” “Best case we start again. Worst case - I think - is too frightening to think.”

Read more

0 comments

Politics | International | National | Opinion | Personal | Society

Tony Windsor: Stop the Brutes

Tony Windsor, The Saturday Paper. First published: July 1
02.07.15 2:30 am

Image for Tony Windsor: Stop the Brutes

The only thing I have real regrets about during my time in the 2010-13 hung parliament is that I was unable to help resolve the issue of asylum seekers from Australia’s perspective. It was the greatest failure of that parliament, and the blame lies with all of us. What we are left with is a national shame.

The treatment of our nearest neighbour in particular, Indonesia, has been appalling and insulting to a nation attempting to deal with its own terrorism and refugee transit issues. I can understand Tony Abbott not comprehending the implications, but for our foreign minister to inflame the situation with Indonesia is worrying.

(Abbott’s) entire life in politics has been based on encouraging and fanning division within society. Whether it be climate science, windmills, school and university education, the strategy is always the same – divide and, in his mind at least, rule.

Download Open Letter from doctors to The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, and Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten:

Open_Australian_Border_Force_Act_A4_version.pdf

Guardian: Detention centre staff speak out in defiance of new asylum secrecy laws

Read more

13 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

The War Against Nature Resumes

Tony Orman, George Monbiot via Pene
02.07.15 2:15 am

Image for The War Against Nature Resumes

In 2007, after nine years of research, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB sent its final report to the UK government. It discovered that “badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain”.(2) Rather than suppressing the disease, killing badgers appears to spread it. This has great relevance to the New Zealand situation that parallels the Badger case with its possum case.

Read more

2 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

First Day: A celebration of the West Coast ...

Isla MacGregor
01.07.15 4:30 am

Image for First Day: A celebration of the West Coast ...

Winter at Bluff Hill Point, north of Arthur River, West Coast about four weeks ago.

Read more

1 comments

Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Cable Car setback ...

Jason Turvey Spokesperson Respect The Mountain. Ted Cutlan ROCC Media Releases
01.07.15 4:00 am

Image for Cable Car setback ...

Respect The Mountain applauded the findings by the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) that the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) inadequately responded to the concerns of the community with regards to the Pinnacle Boundary Extension. Respect The Mountain is now calling for the amendment to be abandoned.

• ROCC: Statement on Tasmanian Planning Commission’s decision on the Wellington Trust’s process to consider extending the ‘Pinnacle Specific Zone’ on Mt Wellington After a long process that should never have taken place, the Tasmanian Planning Commission has severely criticised the process run by Wellington Trust to extend the development zone on Mt Wellington.

Read more

6 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Open letter, $4m lost, an illegal jetty . . .

Bob Hawkins. First published: June 30
30.06.15 5:00 am

Image for Open letter, $4m lost, an illegal jetty . . .

Huon Valley Guessing Games Cr Mike Wilson is trying to undermine the standing of Cr Peter Coad, who has been mayor at Huon Valley Council since November. In an ‘Open letter to residents of the Huon Valley’ (in an advertisement published on June 24 in the Huon Valley News), Wilson, leader of council’s Heart of the Huon team, accuses Coad of failing to “accurately report the policies and decisions of the council”.

YESTERDAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents ...

Read more

9 comments

Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

A typical kneejerk reponse ...

Isla MacGregor. Tim Slade's pic of a tap in Pioneer
30.06.15 4:45 am

Image for A typical kneejerk reponse ...

TasWater’s Review (of a scientific paper on identification of the sources of metal (lead) contamination in drinking waters in north-eastern Tasmania) has been exposed for being the typical kneejerk response from Tasmanian Government authorities that Tasmanian’s are so accustomed to.  TasWater’s review, like so many other flawed and deficient Government reports on issues concerning metal contamination of raw drinking water or reticulated drinking water supplies has been nothing less than a failed PR exercise. Could Mark Veitch from the DHHS, Michael Brewster from TasWater please explain to the public and Minister Michael Ferguson how such a flawed review could have been written?

Read more

3 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Nothing much has changed in almost half a century ...

Peter C. Sims Quoiba. Miriam Rose, Foil Vedanta
30.06.15 4:30 am

Image for Nothing much has changed in almost half a century ...

Seeing Ted’s latest pictures and article STATE: Poisoning our Western Rivers – When will it stop? ( TT here ) - reminded me of similar photos of West Coast mining areas that I took and published in the 1970s.

• Miriam Rose, Foil Vedanta Media Release: London; Protesters oppose Responsible Extractives Summit ...

Read more

0 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Science | Society

STATE: Poisoning our Western Rivers – When will it stop?

Ted Mead. Pic* All Pics: Ted Mead Pub: First pub: June 29
30.06.15 4:15 am

Image for STATE: Poisoning our Western Rivers – When will it stop?

It is far from current news that Tasmania’s Western Rivers are in a desperate plight through insensitive mining activities ... but with the Lib/Labs’ desperate vision for more mining jobs in the state the process of environmental responsibility and accountability seems to be rapidly deteriorating.

• Joan Emberg in Comments: Being a ‘Queenie girl’, I am horrified ... it is even worse than I remember as a kid. it’s proof of the rapaciousness of the mining industry and the trash and dump mentality of so many.  My dad used to talk about the pristine wilderness before sulphur from Mt Lyell devastated the environs.  Heart breaking! 

• Nicole Anderson in Comments: Thank you again Ted. This serves to contrast starkly the talk up of mining in the Tarkine by the state government spin. These are pictures that they would prefer the public not see, much less the commentary. A sad reality and warning for the future if Venture and others continue to thwart the lax regulations over environmental management.

Read more

16 comments

Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Science | Society

Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents

Peter Coad, Councillor Deep Bay, Mayor HVC. Pic: of Peter Coad
29.06.15 6:40 am

Image for Peter Coad: To all Huon Valley residents

Since becoming Mayor, I have tried to create an environment in which each of us is free to air our ideas. With regret, I report that I believe council is fast becoming dysfunctional. My role as Mayor is continually obstructed, and my attempts to achieve the much needed reform that I campaigned for is continually blocked by Councillor Mike Wilson and other members of the Heart of the Huon team. Councillor Wilson frequently misrepresents my stated policies, and works to undermine my role as Mayor. For example, his advertisement in this newspaper last week (June 24, page 7) contained errors of fact and misrepresented my policies in several respects. This hurts all of us and denies council the opportunity to be a community leader. Councillor Wilson should respect the people’s expressed desire last October for change in council’s direction. Had they not wanted change, they surely would have elected a Heart of the Huon member as council’s leader. If we are to make progress, we must learn from our mistakes, be honest, open and transparent in our decision making, and throw off council’s reputation for secrecy. For instance, we must not allow a repeat of secret decisions that resulted in council’s loss of some $4 million of its reserves, and years of secrecy about that loss ever since …

I assure you, amalgamation is not my first preference. But if we are to avoid it, it is vital we liaise closely with neighbouring councils to rationalise our operations …

Read more

4 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: Captain Abbott flags full steam astern ...

Urban Wronski http://urbanwronski.com/ Pic*
29.06.15 6:35 am

Image for NATION: Captain Abbott flags full steam astern ...

The week that was ... ‘Full steam astern,’ Captain Hook-or-by-Crook Abbott, ducking volleys of brickbats, derision and sheer disbelief from home and abroad, cowers on the poop deck, manfully commanding the start of another week of good government and doing whatever craven acts it takes to follow the almighty IPA’s wish-list, amen, annihilate all opponents and preserve his arse, a commodity he must remind us, that is not for sale.

• phill Parsons in Comments: No Newspoll when it was due. What did it say for all the confused rush of Abbott’s meat pies full of fear and lies. Other polls have Shorten’s Labor in a winning position and yet the Lieberals are running both the idea of an early election and not having one, to further destabilize the economy. This process makes Rudd’s chaos look like a calm sea. Abbott may not be finished as he can push the buttons of the less focussed but the cost to the polity, the economy and to the values we all should hold dear because they made the country fairer may yet undo him at an election.

Read more

13 comments

Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

‘When all the time we want to move the stars to pity ...’

Richard Flanagan
29.06.15 6:14 am

Image for ‘When all the time we want to move the stars to pity ...’

‘Things I Once Knew’. An exhibition of the work of Patrick Hall. Text of a launch speech by Richard Flanagan, Tasmanian Musuem and Art Gallery, 20 March 2015… Walking through this exhibition with Pat earlier this week I realised that there arose in Tasmania in the 1980s a remarkable generation of artists, craftspeople, poets, architects, and writers. As successive governments sought to drag the island backwards into a nightmare of division and destruction, these artists were taking it forward, reinventing the island as an invitation to dream a new world.

Highly influential on that generation were Pat Hall’s two great mentors who turned the Tasmanian Art School’s Design in Wood course into a mecca for so many. One was Kevin Perkins—whose work includes the prime ministers office in the new parliament house—the other, John Smith. John, like Kev, was a leading furniture maker designer.  …

Read more

1 comments

Writers | Richard Flanagan | Politics | National | State | Arts | Economy | Society

Version 02 ... keeping the best in a modern stylistic way …

Alderman Damon Thomas, Alderman Peter Sexton, Alderman Marti Zucco. Image*
29.06.15 6:10 am

Image for Version 02 ... keeping the best in a modern stylistic way …

…  City brands are fundamentally different to product brands, and are essentially about determining a strong single message that defines a community. However, keeping it simple in accordance with ‘best branding practice’ does not always result in success, as it is often difficult to encapsulate the essence of a city into a simple design.  …

• Don Knowler in Comments: This is closer to the Meander Valley Council one, which is a magnificent design. The Meander one, in fact, puts the latest Hobart design to shame. A logo must give a sense of location, highlight what makes a city unique. If Hobart was medical centre of note, then perhaps the Band-Aids in the new logo would be appropriate.

Read more

8 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

A Divided Society - Tasmania during World War One

A review by Gordon Bradbury
29.06.15 6:05 am

Image for A Divided Society - Tasmania during World War One

This has to be one of the most important and extraordinary books on Tasmanian history that I’ve read.It is a shame it has not been reprinted with the centenary of ANZAC. After reading this book no one can ever march in an ANZAC Day parade again and feel much in the way of pride, because on the home front during WW1, Tasmania was anything but a unified, loyal community.

… The stresses of the war brought out the worst of human behaviour, aided and abetted by our political, religious and community leaders. No opportunity was missed for dissent, hatred and persecution. Does that sound familiar? There are disturbing parallels in this book with the current political focus on terror …

Read more

2 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Opinion | History | Society

INTERNATIONAL: As it happened – Yanis Varoufakis’ intervention ...

Yanis Varoufakis, Finance Minister, Greece. June 28. Pic: of Yanis Varoufakis
29.06.15 5:45 am

Image for INTERNATIONAL: As it happened – Yanis Varoufakis’ intervention ...

The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history.

Byline: Where is my European Union As Greece prepares for a monumental decision, there is only one certainty: the European Ideal has been irrevocably damaged

Read more

3 comments

Politics | International | Economy | Opinion | Society

Tasmania’s World Heritage Heroes recognised at Bonn World Heritage meeting

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. http://www.wilderness.org.au Media Release Pics*
29.06.15 5:40 am

Image for Tasmania’s World Heritage Heroes recognised at Bonn World Heritage meeting

At the opening ceremony of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn, the German Government has recognised Tasmanian campaigners as ‘World Heritage Heroes’ in an official photographic exhibition.

Read more

2 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

China’s Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse

Richard Smith, Truthout | News Analysis
29.06.15 5:30 am

Image for China’s Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse

This article seeks to explain why China’s environmental crisis is so horrific, so much worse than “normal” capitalism most everywhere else, and why the government is incapable of suppressing pollution even from its own industries. I begin with an overview of the current state of China’s environment: its polluted air, waters, farmland and the proximate causes, including overproduction, overdevelopment, profligate resource consumption, uncontrolled dumping and venting of pollutants. I then discuss the political-economic drivers and enablers of this destruction, the dynamics and contradictions of China’s hybrid economy, noting how market reforms have compounded the irrationalities of the old bureaucratic collectivist system with the irrationalities of capitalism resulting in a diabolically ruinous “miracle” economy. I conclude with a précis of the emergency steps the country will have to take to take to brake the drive to socio-ecological collapse, with dire implications for us all.

Read more

3 comments

Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Scientology ...

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic: Tom Cruise
29.06.15 5:15 am

Image for Scientology ...

Evan Whitton notes that the Scientology “church” crops up now and again via people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and even Jamie Packer.

• John Davidson in Comments:: Your teeth magically become like that when you reach a certain level in Scientology.

Read more

6 comments

Writers | Evan Whitton | Opinion | History | Personal | Religion

NATION: The Joe Hockey Real Estate Primer Part 3

George Smiley, georgesmileyblog.BlogSpot.com Pic: of Joe Hockey
29.06.15 4:52 am

Image for NATION: The Joe Hockey Real Estate Primer Part 3

Lemmings have had really rotten press for a long time and it’s all Walt Disney’s fault.

Read more

1 comments

Writers | George Smiley | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Tasmania ... and Schizophrenia?*

Editor. Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release First pub: June 25
28.06.15 6:00 am

Image for Tasmania ... and Schizophrenia?*

Ed: On the one hand Premier Will Hodgman opens a you-beaut new tourist road ( HERE ) to encourage (record) visitors ( HERE ). At the same time the RET opens the way for forest furnaces ( HERE ), the tracks are thrown wide open ( HERE ) and logging gets the green light ... Subsidised logging of Australia’s largest temperate rainforest wilderness in the Tarkine and the threat of forest furnaces under pending federal legislation is spelling serial erosion for one of the world’s last wild places.

Australia’s Parliament condemns native forests to Hell: Bob Brown (includes a record of how Tasmania’s Senators voted ...

• Carol Rea in Comments: The logging of this area of the Tarkine is bizarre, deranged, idiotic, irrational, senseless, daft and unhinged. It is not schizophrenic. To use a serious medical diagnosis and link it with pictures of destruction and enviromental violence is insulting and potentially damaging to individuals with this diagnosis. During my 30 year working life as a clinician in mental health services I came to know hundreds of people with this diagnosis. So I speak from a position of experience and some authority. People with the lived experience of schizophrenia have to defend against the public misconception that they are more likely to commit an act of violence than anyone else. This is not so and it is time the community and writers woke up to the damage this causes. Please don’t perpetuate this stigmatisation TT.

• John Francis in Comments: Okay, so what about ‘Tasmania and madness’, or ‘Tasmania and stupidity’, or ‘Tasmania and vandalism’ or ‘Tasmania and a diseased State of Mind’?  I also work in mental health in Tasmania.  Some commentators here could give Tassie Times readers enough credit to distinguish between a diagnosable mental illness and the use of a metaphor in the context of a piece of journalism about forestry. Would we object to people describing the spread of some noxious practice or idea as ‘cancerous’? Frankly, I am much more disturbed by Tony Abbott and other right wing politicians and journalists talking about ‘death cults’ and thereby glamourising the appeal of groups like ISIS to vulnerable teenagers.

• Frank again in Comments: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein. This is Tasmania in mid 2015…

• bob hawkins in Comments: #8. I’m with you Artemisia. Let the language live. Editor, please don’t change that headline. It does no damage to anyone. (Gay once had another meaning. I don’t mind its new meaning — I think it is well chosen — but I sure do mourn the passing of its old meaning.) #5 & #6 are trying to do to TT what His Disgustingness Emperor Tony is trying to do to the ABC.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: As someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, I concur that the definition of schizophrenia within the DSM does somewhat correlate with successive Tasmanian governments, and indeed many governments the world over. The persistence in delusional thinking which has little connection with reality. The development of superstitions based on the idea that if it worked once, even if due to coincidence or under different conditions, it should work again. The delusions of grandeur that they actually belong in a position of responsibility. All common symptoms in schizophrenia, religion, pseudo-science, public commentators, economics, and only functional for entertainment executives. In short much of the world system has become mentally ill. The sooner it realises the fact the sooner it can get help …

• Pilko in Comments: A more mature editor would’ve forseen that the use of the term “schizophrenia” would likely offend & result in the topic being hijacked by a discussion about whether people have the right to be offended/or not by the use of the word schizophrenic in the article headline. This scenario is so often played out on Tasmanian Times. The reason? Because the TT club are righteous, seldom in error, have the world summed up & therefore have no need of boundaries …

• Peter Henning in Comments: I don’t believe it. So it’s no longer possible to use words metaphorically?  Have we become so stupid? A pox on such ridiculous nonsense. I shall now use that splendidly descriptive word schizophrenic at every possible occasion. I should have been using cancerous as a matter of course, but now kick myself for not doing so … 

Bryan Green: Abbott Government slaps down Hodgman and Groom

Nick McKim: Hunt Leaves State Government Isolated on World Heritage Area Logging and Mining Commonwealth Environment Minister Greg Hunt has left the Tasmanian government completely isolated in its plan to allow logging and mining in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The United Nations has come down on the state government like a ton of bricks, and now Mr Hunt has failed to support plans for logging and mining. What more will it take for the Tasmanian government to see reason? The state government’s representative in Bonn will now be alone in arguing for logging and mining in the TWWHA. Minister Matthew Groom now has no option but to withdraw his plan and redraft it to ensure proper protection of natural and cultural heritage values. If the state government fails to see reason, there is a real risk that the United Nations will declare the WHA as ‘in danger’, which would be an extreme international embarrassment for Tasmania and Australia. Logging and mining in an area that has been protected for all of humanity for its outstanding universal values is like bulldozing the pyramids of Egypt and using the rubble as road gravel. It simply beggars belief.

• Peter Henning in Comments: … It is true that many of the people who comment on TT have been doing so for years, but that applies to a whole range of people across the spectrum, including some real stalwarts of the ‘far right’, some of the most conspicuous of whom refuse to use their own names. It is equally true that the same old issues and arguments get recycled again and again, like a never-ending carousel. But why is that? The answer is clear enough. Throughout all those years the political issues in Tasmania have remained the same.  Tasmanian politicians have learned nothing, have changed not one bit in all the years since they sold their souls to Gunns. They stay focused on repeating past failures.  They stay focused on forestry as an essential service. They stay focused on pulp and an obsession with destruction of the landscape, even though the costs have been demonstrated time after time to far outweigh the benefits.

Read more

49 comments

Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Further expansion of elective surgery centre at Mersey (features) in White Paper

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Media Release. Pic: ABC of Michael Ferguson
28.06.15 5:30 am

Image for Further expansion of elective surgery centre at Mersey (features) in White Paper

The Mersey Hospital will take on even more elective surgeries than previously anticipated as the Hodgman Liberal Government looks to slash elective surgery waiting lists through the One Health System reforms. Adding more elective surgeries to the Mersey is a key part of the Government’s plan to avoid the 4,000 elective procedure cancellations which occur each year, including over 1,000 which are cancelled after the patient has been admitted to hospital.

Tim Greenaway: AMA Tasmania welcomes White Paper release

Michael Ferguson: One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes The release today of the final health White Paper marks a significant turning point for health in Tasmania. The White Paper is the culmination of the most open and transparent conversation a Government has ever had with the Tasmanian people about the extent to which our health system is broken. The Hodgman Liberal Government will not sit by and allow Tasmanians to continue to suffer some of the worst health outcomes in Australia. Through the six-month consultation process, we have heard from thousands of Tasmanians from all parts of our state. Their message is clear: we must reject the idea of keeping the status quo – a health system which is regionally divided, inefficient and, despite the best efforts of our skilled medical professionals, cannot deliver better treatment for Tasmanians.

Cassy O’Connor: Health Reform Direction Sound but Where are the Dollars?

Read more

6 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

US Supreme Court delivers marriage equality ... bittersweet for Australia

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome Media Release
27.06.15 5:30 am

Image for US Supreme Court delivers marriage equality ... bittersweet for Australia

“The United States has fulfilled its promise of equality for all, and now it’s time for Australia to do the same.” - Rodney Croome

• All eyes now on Australia ...

Dr David Phillips: US Supreme Court marriage decision is judicial tyranny

Read more

9 comments

Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | International | National | State | Education | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Tasmanian Wilderness profiled at World Heritage Conference

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. Media Release Pic*
27.06.15 5:15 am

Image for Tasmanian Wilderness profiled at World Heritage Conference

A conference exploring the role of civil society in World Heritage has heard a presentation on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the critical role the Tasmanian community has played in seeing the area listed, extended and defended.

• Download Geoff Law’s paper and powerpoint presentation to the conference ...

Bryan Green: Abbott Government slaps down Hodgman and Groom

Nick McKim: Hunt Leaves State Government Isolated on World Heritage Area Logging and Mining Commonwealth Environment Minister Greg Hunt has left the Tasmanian government completely isolated in its plan to allow logging and mining in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The United Nations has come down on the state government like a ton of bricks, and now Mr Hunt has failed to support plans for logging and mining. What more will it take for the Tasmanian government to see reason? The state government’s representative in Bonn will now be alone in arguing for logging and mining in the TWWHA. Minister Matthew Groom now has no option but to withdraw his plan and redraft it to ensure proper protection of natural and cultural heritage values. If the state government fails to see reason, there is a real risk that the United Nations will declare the WHA as ‘in danger’, which would be an extreme international embarrassment for Tasmania and Australia. Logging and mining in an area that has been protected for all of humanity for its outstanding universal values is like bulldozing the pyramids of Egypt and using the rubble as road gravel. It simply beggars belief.

• John Powell in Comments: Yes Hodgman and Groom are complicit in all that is wrong about their TWWHA legislation. However the real traitor is Minister Harriss of Aboriginal descent who is betraying his nation without shame it appears. May he visit the rock shelters adjacent to my property that TWS and others visited last Friday week, including an indigenous representative,and reflect on his ancestors and their magnificent ancient journeys in the Great Western Tiers. I know he will not because unlike Ta Ann I am unable to provide “funding” and **** accommodation, but I will serve a Liffey Pinot Noir.

Read more

5 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Is the Abbott Government fascist?

John Biggs. First pub: June 9, 2014
26.06.15 5:00 am

Image for Is the Abbott Government fascist?

Since the last Federal election, people have been shocked at where Australia seems to be heading. So where is Australia heading? Towards fascism?  There are straws in the wind.

Attack on Australia’s universal healthcare system must be blocked, says TasCOSS

Guardian: Climate unity dealt blow as Australia and Canada put business first

John Green: Freedom of Speech? HERE I have now discovered another nasty little trick in Abbott’s budget. All community legal centres have been forbidden from taking part in any law reform activities or any kind of policy activities upon threat of their funding being cut. They have been explicitly banned from criticism on the Commonwealth government or any of its agencies. One of the major purposes of community legal centres is to develop a policy to improve the law and make proposals for law reform. It is clear the Abbott government opposes freedom of speech and is determined to stop all voluntary bodies from criticising it if at all possible.

THURSDAY June 25, 2015 ...

• phill Parsons in Comments: On the criteria put forward in June last year we have to look at the Abbott government’s performance. They struggled right up to May this year and it was only when they rediscovered Nationalism and Militarism in the form of the terror scare that they have returned to appearing like a government. Of course this masks a series of allures in addressing threats to the nation such as a stalling economy; a trade deal the productivity Commission criticizes; global heating and climate instability and their imposts on the economy; failure to foster the growth industries in a transition to a sustainable energy economy; social division with cuts to health,to education and to vilifying certain groups of Australians. Everyone should be able to make up their own mind on the views of Zac Mallah but instead the control over the media is feeding everyone with the idea that he is a terrorist when he was not convicted of same and now works against ISIS promoting the Free Syria movement, a movement the British and the US support. It is strange that Ciobo knew Mallah and was ready for him. You can readily conclude Fascist ... as they meet the criteria.

• Mike Bolan in Comments: Nicely researched and well put together John. Interesting that some seem to imagine that lack of gross violations (such as may have occurred in mature fascist governments) indicates that the LNP feds aren’t fascist. It takes them a while to get everything organised so that they can exercise unbridled power (e.g. get rid of Triggs, change laws, empower security agencies, weaken the majority with cuts and austerity programs). It certainly appears that psychopaths tend to create fascist/totalitarian type regimes - it seems that their lack of empathy leads them to such structures. …

Read more

147 comments

Writers | John Biggs | Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

ABC ‘on the side of Australia’, managing director Mark Scott says, amid firestorm over Q&A

ABC. ABC pic of Mark Scott
26.06.15 4:45 am

Image for ABC ‘on the side of Australia’, managing director Mark Scott says, amid firestorm over Q&A

ABC managing director Mark Scott has defended the national broadcaster as being “on the side of Australia”, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “heads should roll” over Monday night’s Q&A program.

“But even for the ABC, things seemed to have been taken to a new level when on Wednesday we scored four covers in one day in the News Limited tabloids, complete with photoshopped ABC flags being waved by jihadi protestors,” he said. “Not all parties to the conversation have seemed vested in pursuing rational discourse.” He also pointed out that some of these media outlets had themselves spoken to Mr Mallah in recent years. “If giving him space or time to express his views is an act of sedition, then the round up of the seditious will take some time and include, I should add, The Australian newspaper which ran an extensive article on him in 2012, charting his journey from when terrorism charges were first laid against him,” he said. …

• peter adams in Comments: ... Ciobo said Julia Gillard, when she was PM of Australia, should have her throat slit; his little mate Graham Morris said she should be kicked to death and Alan Jones said she should be tied in a chaff bag, taken to sea and dumped. All should have been charged with treason and making threats against the Prime Minister. Does the media report this no, no, no, no . . .

Read more

18 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Media | Society

Integrity Committee report a missed opportunity

Nick McKim MP | Greens Justice spokesperson Media Release. Pic* First pub: June 24
26.06.15 4:15 am

Image for Integrity Committee report a missed opportunity

The Joint Select Committee on Integrity has missed an important opportunity to adequately strengthen the investigative powers of the Integrity Commission. The Report should have recommended that the Criminal Code Act 1924 be amended to create the crime of Misconduct in Public Office. Its failure to do this will leave Tasmania as the only jurisdiction in Australia without this offense, and means that actions which involve misconduct rather than corruption may be unable to be prosecuted.

Lara Giddings: Integrity Commission must retain investigative powers

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Wilkie urges Forestry probe (includes links to earlier TT articles calling for a Royal Commission into Forestry Tasmania)

• John Hawkins in Comments: When Hall and Wilkinson drew up the guidelines for a Tasmanian Integrity Commission it was as a small Sop to the public Cerberus. A sop created to assuage discontent over perceived endemic corruption involving the abuse of due process by the then Lennon government in its promotion and facilitation of a proposed Pulp Mill. With considered political intent the Integrity Commission was given absolutely no teeth. Its role was one of political window dressing. It was created by our Pollies to give comfort to an easily appeased public, who believed in them thinking, incorrectly, that they had their interests at heart. Yet a small but influential group of Tasmanians were and have been baying loudly from outside the political door. Faced with a truculent collusive and abusive body politic the first CEO promptly resigned when she realised that the toothless tiger known as the Tasmanian Integrity Commission had been from the outset both hog tied and powerless, as was the intent of our political masters. It was and is the creation of a corrupt Tasmanian body politic set only on protecting its arse. All that is required of its Commissioner is to maintain the status quo and protect those within the Tasmanian political system from an increasingly restive public. That the status quo must be preserved at all costs is now becoming evident to all Tasmanians. Those who have been concerned in the creation, execution and preservation of this peculiarly Tasmanian fiasco should be ashamed. Yet shame is a little understood word in Tasmania for it is seemingly outside the lexicon of the Tasmanian body politic.

• O’Brien in Comments: … Every further day the corruption commission fails to utter a response to the member for Denison’s call for an inquiry into Forestry Tasmania the more compromised they appear. Apart from the ongoing looting of our taxes by rogues, frauds, liars, cheats and career bastards who seem to excel in Tasmania’s publicly funded arenas we have very little to show for such tremendous expenditure. Tasmania’s corruption commission is a failed exercise in futility and waste and should be dissolved asap. It only serves to remind us how utterly bedrock corrupt Tasmania has been and shall remain, it’s in the DNA, Britain transported it’s most detested criminals and screws to the other side of the world for good reason. Not to mention the implications of iodine deficient soils. The good guys don’t always win. How can any of us be proud of such a legacy?

Read more

5 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society