Articles

Fifty years of Astral Weeks ...

Greg Cure
26.05.18 6:30 am

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This year marks fifty years since the release of Van Morrison’s seminal work Astral Weeks. Works by Vanilla Fudge and Supertramp have perhaps not travelled so well through time and are long forgotten, but not so Astral Weeks. It is as refreshing today as it was when I first heard it around fifty years ago. When I poll myself and try and ascertain what is my all-time favourite album, on five days out of seven, it will be Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. It is as equally hard to allocate a genre now as it was on its release

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A quick fix to your 15 Minutes of Fame?

Ted Mead* Pic*
25.05.18 6:57 am

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Our modern narcissistic world is all about personal exposure and fame. Images on selfy-sticks and instagram are endlessly dominating our social media platforms. Whilst it is great to share photos to our friends, it seems the whole outdoors scene in Tasmania may soon providing you with these opportunities, and unfortunately the tourism industry here thinks this is appropriate infrastructure in our National Parks now …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

‘Frenchmans Cap Rec Zone Plan highlights Hodgman’s EOI sham’

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. Media Release Pic*
25.05.18 6:45 am

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A Draft Recreation Zone Plan for Frenchmans Cap, out for public comment and supposed to guide visitor management for this iconic wilderness areas for the coming decade, fails to even mention a controversial new private, commercial tourist accommodation venture proposed for the area, despite its ‘approval’ over three years ago via the secret Expressions of Interest process …

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Stop Hodgman Liberal Government subsidies to Vedanta’s Mt Lyell mine ...

Isla MacGregor*
24.05.18 6:00 am

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Recent police shootings of demonstrators in Tamil Nadu in India protesting against Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper Smelter raises serious questions over the Hodgman Government’s $35 million subsidies to Vedanta Resources Mt Lyell mine in Queenstown …

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

‘Hobart nosedives to Australia’s least affordable capital to rent ...’

Media Releases.
23.05.18 6:15 am

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’... with income growth failing to meet soaring prices’ … “This study shows the depths of the housing crisis facing Australian renters on low incomes,” Lenneberg said. “People are facing deep challenges securing affordable housing in the private rental market, pushed further and further away from the areas from where the jobs are located … “

• Roger Jaensch ...

Examiner: Singles on benefits priced out of regional Tasmanian rentals

ABC: Hobart now Australia’s most unaffordable city for tenants, new report finds

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

NATION: Does the Coalition have a woman problem or just a problem with humanity?

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*). Pic*
23.05.18 6:00 am

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Does the Coalition have a woman problem? Or a “female” problem as Education Minister and Gonski-con-artist, simple Simon Birmingham puts it? Or just your everyday, run of the mill, neoliberal lack of humanity problem … ?

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

‘Bob Brown backs Malaysian inquiry into Abetz-backed Sarawak logging’

Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager Bob Brown Foundation Media Release Pic*
22.05.18 6:53 am

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Tasmania’s Bob Brown Foundation is supporting the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund’s call for Sarawak’s former premier and political ‘godfather’ Abdul Taib Mahmud to be a focus of the anti-corruption inquiry after Malaysia’s stunning change of government …

… Taib’s cousin, Hamed Sepawi, heads up Ta Ann. Australian and Tasmanian government grants to Ta Ann total at least $44 million, including a Tasmanian Forest Industry Development Grant of $7 million for Ta Ann to set up in Smithton in 2006 …

… Senator Abetz, formerly a Minister for Forests in the Howard government, visited Malaysian forests in 2012 to tout Ta Ann’s logging and, in a consequent adjournment speech to the Senate (Thursday 16 August 2012) lambasted the ‘extreme, manic campaigning’ of the Australian Greens against Ta Ann whose timber products were refused by the London Olympics. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had close relations and political dependency on Taib who is blamed with looting Sarawak’s forests from its Indigenous peoples …

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How Australia’s education debacle is still creating victims

Farrah Tomazin, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 2018 — 8:35pm Pic: Flickr
22.05.18 6:45 am

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Rachel Murphy had barely begun the tertiary course that was supposed to kick-start her career when it abruptly ended …

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The Twelfth Commandment …

Ted Mead* Satire: Leunig*
21.05.18 7:27 am

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Without question the world’s affairs, its social structures, and our natural environment are in serious chaos …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | National | State | Forestry | Cartoons | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

That wedding ...

Satire: Leunig*. Guardian
21.05.18 6:18 am

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Guardian: Is Meghan Markle the American the royals have needed all along? Thanks to the new Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry may well turn out to be good for Britain …

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10 comments

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‘Logging burns conceal industrial pollution in the name of ‘community safety’

Clive Stott*, http://www.cleanairtas.com. Pic: Clive Stott
21.05.18 6:00 am

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“Logging burns would not be needed (and a substantial amount of associated smoke not generated) if the forest had not been logged in the first place. It is imperative that government departments inform the public about the smoke pollution coming from logging operations, whose purpose is for private commercial gain.”

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The Greens’ Kathleen Maltzahn – Conviction, But No Courage ... ?

Isla MacGregor* and Bronwyn Williams* from Turn the Red Light Off Australia. Pic*
21.05.18 5:46 am

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Tasmanians concerned about sexploitation and justice for women should be looking at responses to the Victorian Liberal Party’s recent state conference motion in support of introduction of Nordic Model laws on prostitution.  In particular, the response by Greens long time pro-Nordic Model candidate, Kathleen Maltzhan*, has come as a shock to abolitionists across the country …

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Writers | Bronwyn Williams | Isla MacGregor | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Society

The Economist appraises latest progressivista stupidity from the Left’s useless idiots ...

Leonard Colquhoun* Pic*
21.05.18 5:40 am

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Publius Terentius Afer (c. 195/185 – c. 159? BCE, better known in English as Terence):  “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”. Every year the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a gala. A single ticket costs $US30,000 ($39,700). New York’s A-listers and wannabes deck themselves in overwrought garments designed for the party’s theme. Three years ago, China: Through the Looking Glass inspired dresses with dragons, hair held in place with chopsticks and, from a few sartorially confused celebrities, kimonos

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Writers | Leonard Colquhoun | Politics | International | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

The Neo Doctrine ...

Satire: by Ted Mead
21.05.18 5:30 am

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The next wave of billboards to flood our state! …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | National | State | Cartoons | Economy | Opinion | Satire | Society

‘Majority Oppose Cable Car in Denison ...’

Peter Gutwein, Minister for State Growth, Ted Cutlan spokesperson for Residents Opposed to the Cable Car, Media Releases
20.05.18 4:00 pm

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New polling shows momentum is building behind the campaign to protect kunanyi/Mt Wellington from a cable car, with a majority of Denison residents now opposed to the project. The poll demonstrates that as more information about the cable car is released and special legislation to facilitate it is passed, more people are openly opposed to it …

Sign a Petition here: Tell Carlton & United Breweries - Don’t let Mt Wellington be defaced with a cable car

EARLER on Tasmanian Times ...

Cable Car: Richard Flanagan’s speech in full ...

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Electric vehicles will soon rule the neo-chariot world

Ted Mead* Pic*
19.05.18 6:30 am

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It didn’t seem all that long ago when Tesla released its first fully electric vehicle (EV), and due to its high retail price it wasn’t an instant success, but fast forward to the end of this decade and Tesla EVs will be burning off the production conveyor belt at a rapid rate, and there seems no end to this neo-tech revolution …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Launched! Tom McHugo’s Gallery ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic* All Pics: Rob Walls
19.05.18 5:30 am

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They say old photographers never die, they just keep on/stop developing …

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Dear Senator Abetz ...

John Hawkins* Pic: of Eric Abetz, from his website
18.05.18 6:15 am

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Dear Senator Abetz, On Friday 8th August 2014 you flew from Launceston to Hobart using a chartered aircraft at a cost of $1850 …

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

Abetz now has the impudence to chastise Justine Keay ...

John Hawkins*
18.05.18 6:00 am

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The appalling Senator Eric Abetz had been paid millions from the public purse while sitting illegally as a dual national in the Senate from 1994 to 2010, this being the year he renounced his German citizenship in order to head off my challenge in the High Court of Australia. He now has the impudence to chastise Justine Keay through the columns of the Mercury, and I suggest he is guilty of precisely the same offence …

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

‘State loses $188 million GST ...

Martyn Goddard* Media Release. Pic*
17.05.18 9:46 am

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... because Public Sector wages are too low’ The state budget will be docked by $188 million in GST funding in 2018-19 because government employees in Tasmania are paid less than in any other state or territory. The Commonwealth Grants Commission, which administers the GST, will redistribute this money to states which pay more, particularly to Western Australia. The Commission does this to even out the cost between the states of providing services …

• Download ....

gst_and_public_wages.pdf

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17 comments

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Oh god! Too Many Trucks ...

Andrew Kellett and Bert Lawatsch* Pic*
17.05.18 5:30 am

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Do you enjoy a drive to Mt Field or the South West or perhaps you enjoy fly fishing in the Tyenna River? If so, I’m sure you are aware of the condition of the underfunded section of road from Maydena to Westerway …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Ivo Edwards: Please help me. I am in serious trouble ...

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Rich white trash ...

Josephine Zananiri* Cartoon: Martyn Turner* used with permission
17.05.18 5:23 am

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Donald Trump might be the first name popping up as rich white trash.  His inept, self-centred manner, plus lack of conscience and no sense of ethics and community cohesion, make him the poster character for all those in the category …

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Regulars | Josephine Zananiri | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Legal | Society

‘A bad outcome for Dover ...’

Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Campaign Manager, The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc Press Release
17.05.18 5:15 am

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Landowner consent for Dover woodchip port The Wilderness Society believes the proposal for a woodchip port at Dover is a bad outcome for the the town itself, the local and broader environment and industry. ‘At a time when Tasmania needs new solutions for the challenges it faces, sacrificing swift parrot habitat and the emerging identity of Dover by locking-in long-term woodchipping of plantations and native forests is simply the lowest common denominator … ’

Greens: Courtney Gives Tick for Controversial Woodchip Port

Letter to Sarah Courtney on Southwood Fibres Export Facility, Strathblane … Our area has been going from strength to strength with tourism & aquaculture working together to provide new future for people in the area. This development threatens both! …

Annie Venables, Producer, Viking Films:  To Sarah Courtney ... on the DA for Southwood Fibres Export Facility Strathblane I am deeply saddened by the news that the Liberal Govt has given consent for Crown Land i.e. public land to be used by a private developer for a wood chip port at Dover. What right does the Govt have to do this without consultation of the community that will bear the brunt of this development? A development that will cost local jobs, degrade the environment and turn what could be Tasmania’s most beautiful coastal town into an industrial wood chip port. The beautiful bay will be trashed, log trucks will clog our roads - one every 5 minutes, and the peaceful nature of the town will be ruined with bulldozers operating 24/7 …

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Politics | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Personal | Society

‘McCarthy review a dud ... live export ban the only option’

Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie Media Release
17.05.18 5:00 am

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… “This is all the proof we need that the Government has no intentions of reining in the cruel live export trade,” Mr Wilkie said. “Turns out that the public was right to be sceptical when this review was announced. The small changes that are recommended by the McCarthy review will not stop the horrific animal welfare abuses in the live sheep export industry because the fact is the industry is systemically cruel. There’ll still be tens of thousands of animals sweltering in the heat on these hell ships and making minor changes won’t stop this …

ABC: Government admits live export industry hasn’t been held to account — until now

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‘Fish Farm Partnership Ignores Environmental Reality’

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Environment spokesperson Media Release Pic*
17.05.18 4:30 am

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Petuna and Tassal’s restructured operations in Macquarie Harbour may temporarily quell nervous shareholders, but will do nothing to fix the fundamentals of a severely degraded ecosystem resulting from intensive fish farming …

Sarah Courtney: Joint venture agreement welcomed

ABC: Tassal, Petuna announce joint venture for Macquarie Harbour

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NATION: No ScoMo. It’s not Bill. Your own pants are on fire

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*). Pic*
15.05.18 6:00 am

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“Liar”, screeches Scott Morrison, the pot calling the kettle black, opting fittingly for a personal insult rather than a reply to Bill Shorten’s Budget reply, Thursday. ScoMo snatches a moment from commissioning a culturally sensitive, brilliantly timed erection of a statue of James Cook, to signal he’s on the Right white side of history in his electorate of Cook. It’s inspirational; an emblem of so much the member for Cook stands for. It will cost a lazy $50 million that might otherwise have been wasted on The ABC or squandered on ASIC, both of which have been crippled in his budget cuts …

Fairfax: The women the budget forgot

Fairfax: Shorten vows to put Hanson at ‘back of the queue’ on preferences

Guardian: Coalition’s budget fails to turn around Turnbull’s government’s fortunes

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

(TONIGHT) Friday, May 18: Tom McHugo’s launches Ordinary Heroes ...

Editor
15.05.18 5:50 am

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The long-time watering hole of Mercury journalists, now in its finest reincarnation as Tom McHugo’s Hobart Hotel, is launching a photo gallery, with an inaugural exhibition by photographer, Rob Walls …

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Rob Walls | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society | What's On

Tarkine ... The big one that got away!

Ted Mead*
15.05.18 5:45 am

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… Almost half a century ago two track cutters working in a remote section of the Tarkine stumbled upon a giant eucalypt of unbelievable proportions. The exact location of this magnificent discovery was never accurately recorded, and so to date its whereabouts has remained a puzzling mystery stirring wonder to whether this extraordinary tree is still alive today? …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society

‘Top secret surveillance shows fisherman Joe Pirrello was the common link in drug syndicate’

Emma Partridge, Exclusive, The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2018> Pic*
15.05.18 5:30 am

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AN Ulladulla fisherman could be facing life behind bars after pleading guilty to masterminding one of Australia’s largest cocaine smuggling syndicates. Joseph “Joe” Pirrello, 64, was the kingpin behind a gang caught smuggling 500kg of cocaine wrapped in Emporio Armani packaging to shore at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River on Christmas Day 2016 …

• This story links to John Hawkins’ story: Seafish Tasmania, Cocaine, Trawlers and a fine Stink ...

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Mr Trump and Gaza ...

Cartoon: Martyn Turner* used with permission
15.05.18 5:15 am

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*Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission: https://www.facebook.com/martynturnercartoons/ . http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner

Guardian: Israel: Trump’s new embassy opens – and dozens are killed Gaza counts its dead as tens of thousands protest in bloodiest day since 2014 war

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