Articles

Lost opportunity the real NAPLAN Story

Professor Eleanor Ramsay, Emeritus Professor Michael Rowan, educationambassadors.org.au Media Release
21.08.14 12:55 pm

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Tasmania’s poor school retention rates in years 11 and 12, and unacceptably low Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) completion rates are the real lesson from the latest NAPLAN results, according to a new education alliance.

“But every year the majority of our young Tasmanians leave school before completing year 12, so we are failing to develop and wasting the talents of more than 50 percent of our next generation” Professor Ramsay said.  “This makes it harder for our kids to find jobs, less likely that they will gain higher paying and more secure employment, and has negative impacts on their physical and mental health and overall well-being. It also makes it harder for our employers to find the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses and match their interstate competitors” she added. Professor Rowan added: “It is just not fair that young people in Tasmanian schools cannot simply go back to their school after completing year 10 to undertake years 11 and 12 like students in schools all over the rest of the country.”

TT Media here for every Polly Opinion including FSC, education, Bryan Green, West Coast roads, police boats, Protest bill, GE, National Parks, etc etc

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

Harriss Amendments Threaten FSC

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release. ABC pic of Paul Harriss and Will Hodgman
21.08.14 11:00 am

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The Forests Minister Paul Harriss, must confirm whether he has sought formal advice from Forestry Tasmania regarding the impact of his last-minute amendments to the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Bill upon its application for Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC), said Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP.

EARLIER ...

Come clean on Forestry Tasmania subsidies

Peg Putt, Jenny Weber: New Leaflets Raise Alarm Over 1.5 Million Hectare Logging Grab. Includes link to Flyer

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

News Corp cuts up rough ...

Lindsay Tuffin
21.08.14 10:35 am

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Media giant News Corp - which controls a majority of the nation’s print media - has cut up rough, threatening legal action over Crikey’s publication of apparently damaging internal financial analysis. It’s not the first time the media Big Boy which loves to dish it out, has shown its super-sensitive side ... • Here’s Crikey’s latest

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Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

Why a drover’s dog* will win the next federal election

Phil na Champassak Pub: Aug 20
21.08.14 6:30 am

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“The economy, stupid”. Remember that phrase that propelled Bill Clinton to a successful US presidential campaign against the incumbent George H W Bush in 1992?  Well this phrase will come to haunt Tony Abbott, who will have to beware of the drover’s dog. His government has unfortunately worsened the budget bottom line and endangered the economy after 11 months of inaction, and for introducing a harsh and failed budget that has alienated large sections of the community: the retirees, the sick and disabled, the school leavers thinking about a university education, the young about to enter into the workforce and those aged 50 plus looking for non-existent jobs, those from the public service and sunset manufacturing industries about to join the growing legion of unemployed, the parents of schoolkids, small business owners, multicultural Australians, ADF personnel losing danger pay in operational theatres overseas, and I probably forgot a few other groups – all who have to compulsorily vote.

Ross Gittins, SMH Economics Editor: Abbott and Hockey: Why poor people don’t matter

Tony Wright, Age National Affairs Editor: Clan Turnbull again at odds with Tony Abbott, this time over Scottish independence

Marti Zucco: Lambie is a disgrace

USE THE TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top Nav bar) for the latest on Clive/Jacquie’s comments ...

Scott Bacon: China comments condemned

Independent Australia: Ignorance is crippling Australia

TasCOSS: Federal welfare moves would hit thousands of Tasmanian jobseekers and their families ... INCLUDES two Fact Sheets

Will Hodgman: Tasmania’s Door is Open to China I believe they were entirely inappropriate and I repudiate them as offensive and very inflammatory. I will be communicating in very clear terms the views and policy objectives of the Government, which I believe reflect the views of the vast majority of Tasmanians. I will be doing that to senior Chinese Government officials and, most notably, the Chinese Ambassador and also the Federal Government.

Public Forums: Future of Film in Jeopardy

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

Lenore Taylor, The Guardian: Crisis, what crisis, asks Coalition, spinning as the budget wheels come off ... Yes, the appropriations bills have passed, but the lack of urgency stands in stark contrast to the rhetoric up until now

ABC The Drum: It’s not you Mr Hockey, it’s the Budget ...

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Triabunna and Government: Victim of cognitive capture by self interested promoters and groups

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk. Paul Tapp picture Pub: Aug 19
21.08.14 5:00 am

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Submission to Inquiry into the Triabunna woodchip mill The committee is to be commended for delving into this period of public policy. If lessons can be learnt and processes, checks and balances established we may be able to avoid a repetition of the disastrous lost decade for Tasmania. More than any other event the hurried sale of the Triabunna mill suggests the insolvency of the previous owner at that time, yet public policy makers and their masters, the willing or unwilling victims of cognitive capture turned a blind eye to the obvious and further delayed the inevitable. The relentless pursuit of a policy objective come hell or high water has proved to be an extremely risky strategy not only for the beleaguered residents of Triabunna but for all Tasmanians.

Nick McKim: New Legal Advice on Radical Anti Protest Laws Legal advice from Mr Greg Melick SC has confirmed that the government’s anti-protest laws carry “...a high risk of capturing individuals who would not in any sense be characterised as extremist”. Mr Melick has also advised that the legislation’s sentencing regime “...diminishes the separation of powers and is likely to lead to unjust outcomes…”, and that “...it is very likely that it could be challenged as to its Constitutional validity…”.

Rene Hidding: Labor hypocrisy over Triabunna wharf

Peg Putt, Jenny Weber: New Leaflets Raise Alarm Over 1.5 Million Hectare Logging Grab
• Link to Flyer
http://www.bobbrown.org.au/protected_no_more

• Download Basil Fitch submission: SKMBT_C45214082015230.pdf

• Graeme Wells, in Comments: Well done John! The probity report on Gunns’ compensation, from Wise Lord and Ferguson, is coy about the advice received from Treasury as to options available to the government regarding implementing the IGA.  But to quote the probity report, “The Treasury advice concludes that there is no right answer with respect to what is required to extinguish the existing contractual arrangements. They have recommended to split the available money equally between the parties”. In the end, of course, Gunns got the whole $23m. As to whether the government did due diligence on the solvency of Gunns, I wrote to the Premier on 4 August 2011 asking whether the government had ever done a study of the commercial viability of the pulp mill, and whether the $23m was just propping up Gunns. I did not get a direct answer on the first issue so I concluded that no study of commercial viability had ever been conducted. Premier Giddings’ reply is reproduced below.

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

ABC: Vote on Tasmanian Government’s signature policy to scrap forest peace deal delayed

Kim Booth: Come Clean on Forestry Tasmania Subsidies

• PB, in Comments: In answer to one of John Lawrence’s questions the following information confirms that the $11.5 million payment to FT came from public funds via the IGA.  I raised my concerns with the Auditor-General over the potential misuse of taxpayer funds by email on 20 September 2011 as follows ...

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

I sat ... where my ancestor sat, transported for machine-breaking ...

Rodney Croome. Pic* Pub: Aug 18
21.08.14 4:30 am

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Address by Rodney Croome to Rally Against Anti-Protest Laws. City Hall, Hobart 16.8.14 Twenty six years ago in September 1988 the Hobart City Council banned a Salamanca Market stall belonging to the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group because it “didn’t want any homosexuals in its family market”.

Tasmania had come full circle. The wounds of the past were healed. None of this would have happened under the draconian laws being proposed today. Instead of being held in police cells for a few hours, as awful as that was, we would have faced mandatory gaol sentences and fines of between $10,000 and a quarter of a million dollars for disrupting a place of business.

• John Hawkins: Witch hunting in the 21st century requires more than a ducking stool and a hot fire ...

ABC: Loggers back environmentalists over Tasmanian forest industry advisory group

Nick McKim: New Legal Advice on Radical Anti Protest Laws Legal advice from Mr Greg Melick SC has confirmed that the government’s anti-protest laws carry “...a high risk of capturing individuals who would not in any sense be characterised as extremist”. Mr Melick has also advised that the legislation’s sentencing regime “...diminishes the separation of powers and is likely to lead to unjust outcomes…”, and that “...it is very likely that it could be challenged as to its Constitutional validity…”.

Australian Lawyer for Human Rights: UN Human Rights Office asked to investigate protest laws

Miranda Gibson: Anti-protest laws spark national protest vigils

ABC: Anti-protest laws: Nationwide rallies planned over Tasmanian Government’s legislation

Nick McKim: Stubborn Government Refuses to Listen to Legal Experts

Paul Harriss: Labor learns nothing - still joined to the Greens’ hip

Peg Putt, Jenny Weber: New Leaflets Raise Alarm Over 1.5 Million Hectare Logging Grab
• Link to Flyer
http://www.bobbrown.org.au/protected_no_more

• Download Basil Fitch submission: SKMBT_C45214082015230.pdf

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

ABC: Vote on Tasmanian Government’s signature policy to scrap forest peace deal delayed

Kim Booth: Come Clean on Forestry Tasmania Subsidies

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Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Global rock climbers alarmed at cable car proposal

Henry Barber (USA), Chris Bonington (UK). Photo: John Fisher on 'Daedelus', Mt Wellington by Dave James.
20.08.14 5:30 am

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Leading rock climbers from around Australia and the world - including Tim McCartney-Snape, Brigitte Muir, Chris Bonington and Doug Scott - have written an open letter to Premier Will Hodgman expressing alarm about the proposed cable car. “As rock climbers who have had the privilege of visiting your State and who deeply value the unique environment of Mt Wellington,  we are extremely concerned at reports of a proposed cable car being built directly over the Organ Pipes ... The projected line of the cable car, as shown on the proponent’s web site, is of particular concern as it goes directly over some of the most iconic climbs in Australia,  let alone Tasmania,  climbs that we and many others will travel half way round the world to enjoy.”

The Media Release, here

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

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

Tarkine: Another mine struggles ... and greenies blamed

ABC. Pic: Riley Creek ...
19.08.14 3:15 am

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Venture Minerals has suspended operations at the Riley Creek iron ore mine in Tasmania’s west.

Scott Jordan: Save the Tarkine welcomes back down by Venture Minerals

Kim Booth: Venture Minerals Scarpers Leaving Tarkine Scar

Paul Harriss: Venture

Paul Harriss: Bryan Green crying crocodile tears on Venture decision

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

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Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | International | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Hobart Baroque and the Tasmanian economy

Martyn Goddard. Pub: Aug 18
19.08.14 3:00 am

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When the Tasmanian Premier rejected a request for $800,000 to help stage next year’s Hobart Baroque music festival, the producers were instead offered $300,000 in state funding. Tasmania, the government said, could not afford more. The head of the Tourism Council, Luke Martin, supported the rejection, saying its ‘numbers just didn’t add up’. But an analysis of the economic impact of the festival shows not only that the next festival ‒ if it had been allowed to go ahead ‒ would have produced a stimulus of almost $9 million to the state’s economy but also that the government would have got its money back through taxes and charges. In other words, the government could have got a major festival of ongoing national and international significance for nothing, while permitting a significant economic boost to the state.

Nor do they include intangible assets created by the festival, such as a positive contribution to the image of the state as a destination for arts tourism or as a progressive and interesting place. They also do not include the negative intangibles involved with the event’s cancellation, or the effect on Tasmania’s image of personal and aggressive attacks on the well-regarded and well-known artistic director, Leo Schofield, such as those by the Liberal Member for Braddon, Brett Whiteley.

Christine Milne: Economy, Tarkine, Tasmanian Brand, Jacquie Lambie, RET

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | Local | National | State | Arts | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: The bewildering Tony ...

ABC. Pic of Tony Abbott. Pub: Aug 18
19.08.14 2:50 am

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared supporters of Scottish independence are not “friends of freedom” or “friends of justice” in an interview with a British newspaper.

Age: Compromise on Budget, says Julie

MEANWHILE, in America ... is this Christopher Pyne’s vision?

Rolling Stone: Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal The federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education - saddling a generation with crushing debts and inflating a bubble that could bring down the economy

Kim Booth: Abbott Ideological Threat to RET is a Threat to Local Jobs

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Politics | International | National | Economy | History | Society

Forestry Tas: Devoid of commercial purpose

Dr. Gordon Bradbury, http://www.blackwoodgrowers.com.au Pub: Aug 18
19.08.14 2:30 am

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Having recently spent time in the library doing research I came across this little piece of forest history that might interest some readers. It clearly demonstrates the abyss that exists between forest industry and political rhetoric in Tasmania, and the painful and costly reality we continue to endure.

ABC: Loggers back environmentalists over Tasmanian forest industry advisory group

Kim Booth: Come Clean on Forestry Tasmania Subsidies

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

The Mitchell Judgment

Suzanne Cass Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty Live Export Shame http://www.stoptac.org http://www.liveexportshame.com
19.08.14 2:00 am

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What Stop Tasmanian Animal Curelty says ...  click here to find out

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

Sue Neill-Fraser – fundamental failure of the rule of law

Andrew L. Urban Editor & Publisher http://www.pursuedemocracy.com
18.08.14 3:50 am

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Several serious legal errors were made at the 2010 trial of Sue Neill-Fraser, any one of which warrants the murder conviction being set aside, according to a legal expert in miscarriages of justice.

Andrew Wilkie: Too much doubt surrounding Sue Neill-Fraser trial

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Politics | State | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Well sinners ... welcome to the launch ...

Jo Flanagan
18.08.14 3:45 am

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Well sinners, welcome to the launch of Born Bad: Original sin and the making of the western world, James Boyce’s new history. We’ve all come here to give this wonderful man a big cheer for writing this book and to enjoy that unique institution - the Tasmanian book launch. It’s the launch where everyone in the room is a relative or friend of the author, or they’re asupporter of our precious Tasmanian writers. There’s a lot of love in the room, but speeches have to be kept short because everyone wants to have a drink and catch up with their friends.

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Politics | National | Books | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Philosophy | Society

Crude Awakening

Chris Harries
18.08.14 3:30 am

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Travel energy may wreck Tasmania’s renewables advantage – but only if complacency allows it, says Chris Harries ...

Kim Booth: Abbott Ideological Threat to RET is a Threat to Local Jobs

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Writers | Chris Harries | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Who is Nathan Carswell?

Bob Burton. Image: Nathan Carswell's Facebook page.Pub: Aug 13
18.08.14 3:20 am

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Nathan Carswell seems to be a man of strong opinions: he loves the idea of building a cable car up kunanyi/Mt Wellington, admires cable car developer Adrian Bold and derides critics of the proposed project. He has had comments published on Tasmanian Times as well as The Mercury website but – with one minor exception – only ever on the topic of the cable car. Back in late 2012 Carswell even made a detailed submission to the Wellington Park Management Trust, urging the agency to change the management plan to accommodate the cable car. In his submission he even went so far as to argue against the practice of the Hobart City Council clearing the road to the summit of Mount Wellington after heavy snowfall. Who exactly is Nathan Carswell?

• Susan Smith, in Comments: Wow well done - reassuring to see that investigative journalism still alive and well. Thank you.

• Nathan Carswell, in Comments: Wow, what a beat up. Is friendship an offence now? I contribute to these debates under another name (as I’m sure many opponents equally do). I’m still a ratepayer, and my opinions expressed still count. I just prefer not to use my own name for privacy reasons. While Adrian has passed on your number, I have no inclination to talk with the reporter for the same reason.

• Alderman Eva Ruzicka, in Comments: This article raises some very serious concerns for any planning process.  I have asked our Council’s General Manager what safeguards are in place to test the veracity of any representor submissions to a development application generally.  Likewise, can he verify what safeguards that the Trust has? That Aldermen will likely have to assess any development application on its land on kunanyi/Mt Wellington, this article raises a serious allegation of perversion of the planning process.  If people are salting the Trust process for assessing any changes to the Pinnacle Zone, how seriously can the Trust’s deliberations be taken?

• Nathan Carswell, in Comments: I’m Nathan Carswell and so is my wife.

Respect The Mountain Re: Nathan Carswell: Trust must clamp down

• Phil na Champassak, in Comments: This is a forensic examination at its best. Making a public submission under a nom de plume is seriously misleading and has probably consigned the cable car project to oblivion.

Ted Cutlan, ROCC: Mountain assessment process flawed “The current process means that anyone can put in an anonymous submission. We call on the minister Matthew Groom to review the process and restore the integrity of the management of the mountain” “ROCC will be writing to the WPMT today, insisting that the current changes to the management plan should be abandoned until the integrity of the process can be assured.”

• Alderman Eva Ruzicka, in Comments: So I asked the questions: What safeguards does Hobart City Council have for determining the authenticity of development application representations?  Is it possible for a person to fake an identity to lodge a representation and for Hobart City Council to not know?  Further, given the land on Mt Wellington belongs to Hobart City Council, and the issues raised by Mr Burton, what measures can the Council take to test the veracity of any management plan submissions for amendment, either for or against?  Especially now as there is a management plan amendment open for submissions and much is riding on the outcome? And the end result of my enquiries:

• Editors, in Comments: Pilko Steve & Ben: The “Who is Nathan Carswell?” story in the view of the editors does not disclose personal information and therefore the privacy issue does not arise.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Environment | Editor's Choice | Planning/Heritage | Mt Wellington Cable Car | Legal | Media

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (25)

Don Knowler. Pic: Wikipedia's picture of the Organ Pipes
18.08.14 3:15 am

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

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Bacall and Bogart

Evan Whitton
18.08.14 3:00 am

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TO MAKE SOME kind of sense of the following, rather fraught, interview, we append some brief data on Ms. Lauren Bacall and Mr Humphrey Bogart.

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Writers | Evan Whitton | Arts | History | Personal | Society | Tribute

Abortion-on-Demand Revisited

Christopher Nagle, writing.com
18.08.14 2:45 am

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When I started in the early years of this century to apply a consistent analysis of the consumer revolution that had begun to assemble itself in the 1950s and some aspects of the sexual revolution that had come in its wake ( See Meditations on Post-Modernity at http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1576546-Meditations-on—Postmodern... )  it started to dawn on me that some of the rather blithe assumptions of my youth lacked sufficient substance to withstand rigorous critical inspection; particularly the ideology coming out from the now old New Left libertarian laissez-faire human rights crowd.  But change in my attitudes was slow in coming, for ‘progressivism’ had once been my ideological meat and drink.

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Politics | National | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Mediocrity: The New Normal

Mandy Jackson-Beverly
18.08.14 2:30 am

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There’s a new disease spreading through the collective, and it makes me very sad. It doesn’t cause lumps or fevers, and it’s not fixable by a course of antibiotics, but make no mistake—it is frighteningly contagious. The symptoms are as follows: lethargy, indifference, laziness, a lack of excitement, occasional feelings of entitlement, depression and perhaps the saddest symptom of all—a decrease in one’s lack of purpose; it’s called mediocrity.

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Writers | Mandy Jackson-Beverly | Opinion | Personal | Society

Campbell Newman’s solar fee ...

John Thirgood, http://www.solarsquad.com.au
18.08.14 2:15 am

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Now Joscelyn ‘s son Campbell Newman has infiltrated Queensland and put up to $500 a day fee on any Business with solar ( Campbell Newman Shame Files, Facebook here ), Tasmania can create a major opportunity to shift business to the Broadband state.

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

Council Spray Policy

Ken White, Woodbridge
18.08.14 1:45 am

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... and its destructive result ...

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

Techniques of neutralisation – a framework of prejudice

Politics and Insights, kittysjones, http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/
18.08.14 1:30 am

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Societies may enable or hinder disabled people through policies and attitudes. We have moved such a long way from the Labour era of “celebrating diversity and equality” and from a time of simply celebrating the achievements of disabled people. Now we can’t walk with our head up for fear of attack, or someone telling us we are faking our disability in some way. We are labelled the undeserving, This government have lied and lied to try and justify their punitive policies. Our lives have become the moral property of the government, public and wilfully ignorant, egocentric celebrities. We are no longer free to just be.

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Writers | Philip Lynch | Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

The De-industrialization of America

Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler, and John Titus
18.08.14 12:45 am

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On January 6, 2004, Paul Craig Roberts and US Senator Charles Schumer published a jointly written article on the op-ed page of the New York Times titled “Second Thoughts on Free Trade. [1]” The article pointed out that the US had entered a new economic era in which American workers face “direct global competition at almost every job level–from the machinist to the software engineer to the Wall Street analyst. Any worker whose job does not require daily face-to-face interaction is now in jeopardy of being replaced by a lower-paid equally skilled worker thousands of miles away. American jobs are being lost not to competition from foreign companies, but to multinational corporations that are cutting costs by shifting operations to low-wage countries.” Roberts and Schumer challenged the correctness of economists’ views that jobs off-shoring was merely the operation of mutually beneficial free trade, about which no concerns were warranted.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Society

Hundreds rally to oppose Tasmania’s repressive anti-protest laws

Jenny Webber, Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pic*
16.08.14 7:26 pm

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“Will Hodgman may jail me to take away my freedom in order to settle an argument he cannot otherwise defend. Paul Harriss may take my property. Eric Abetz may confiscate my pension. But like so many others here, and so many more beyond this City Hall, I will not be bullied or cowered by their brutal strategy.”

“This Bill aims to regulate protest activity conducted on a ‘business premises’ or ‘business access area’.  For Tasmanian Aboriginal people, our place of business is our Country.  When the mining and forestry machinery come to destroy our ‘place of business’ where is the legislation to protect us from potentially ‘invasive and destructive activity’? 

Jan Davis: Tasmania’s private forest managers back inside the tent

Paul Harriss: Ministerial Advisory Council on Forestry

Paul Harriss: Supporting Free Speech in Tasmania

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

Guy Barnett and The Witch Hunters: Answer these questions, Mr Barnett ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pub: Aug 14. Pic*
16.08.14 5:14 am

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Georgie Burgess, writing in The Examiner of Wednesday August 13th, quotes Mr Terry Edwards:

... this is extremely damaging to Forestry Tasmania and the logging industry in this state. It implies, that Forestry Tasmania is selling the finest peeler billets out of our state forests on the basis that it only becomes economic to Ta Ann if trucked at public cost to their factory. It implies that the Forestry Tasmania peeler billets are of little or no value under the contract and without a subsidy Ta Ann will close.

So Mr Barnett, if you are on a witch hunt, try finding out how much we subsidise this loss-making Malaysian business that is Ta Ann and how much of the $11 million is spent to take the peeler billets to their factory. When the free gifts cease will your government pick up the tab to keep this loss-making business in Tasmania?

Yes or No?

• John Hawkins, The Witch Hunt Part Two: Barnett, Further to yesterday and evidence tendered by Gordon at your public witch-hunt.

Bryan Green: Hidding must face Triabunna inquiry

• Terry Edwards, in comments: In response to John Hawkins ... You assert that no evidence was produced to the Triabunna Inquiry in support of the subsidy payments made to the Tasmanian forest industry in respect of residues ...

• Ben, in Comments: Its concerning that the Tasmanian media seem not to understand that the “evidence” being presented to this inquiry is nothing more than hearsay being given in coward’s castle under parliamentary privilege. This is not evidence as we would understand it in a legal sense, and it would not be allowed in a court of law without actual proof to back it up. So where is the proof that any of the claims made before this inquiry are actually truthful? Where is the proof that Aprin would have had access to $16 million “just days” after the mill was sold elsewhere? Is there any paperwork to show that this claim is even remotely true? Where is the proof that anyone made a truly serious offer to reopen Triabunna? Paperwork tends to exist when deals worth millions of dollars are being negotiated, so where is it?  Where is the proof that any of Bob Gordon’s assertions have any merit whatsoever? Did Forestry Tasmania keep records? Why hasn’t Forestry Tasmania released a copy of the letter it sent Triabunna Investments, calling for the mill to be reopened but failing to provide a business case? While the lack of questioning about the glaring absence of concrete proof is understandable in the Liberal-dominated inquiry, why are the media playing along? Why aren’t they asking questions about proof, and whey aren’t they conveying the complete lack of proof to their audiences?

• mr t in Comments: Very well researched John Hawkins. The financial viability of Aprin and its associated companies and partners together with the real capital available at the time is directly relevant to the potential sale of the Triabunna mill to this consortium by Gunns. It would seem the offer by Ron O’Connor and his partners may have been devoid of sufficient finance to match the offer by Wood and Cameron. Secondary to this is the question of Ron O’Connor, his associated companies and assets post the TFA. Did he accept funds under the TFA? Did he liquidate his assets and, if so, to whom? Has he exited the industry? Of course, this inquiry appears as a proving ground for Mr Barnett and I suspect Paul Harriss and Eric Abetz are skulking in the orchestra pit. Alas we will never know because all good leaders in Australian politics ensure being arm’s length on all occasions unless there is an actual success.

Richard Griggs, Jenny Weber, Adam Gregory, Nick McKim MP, Charlie Sherwin, Phil Harrington: Coalition of Tasmanians oppose the Hodgman Government’s undemocratic anti-protest bill Tasmanians will rally tomorrow to oppose the State Government’s draconian anti-protest bill that is set to be debated in the Legislative Council in the coming weeks.  At the City Hall in Hobart, 20 organisations will rally Tasmania’s community together to urge the Legislative Councillors to reject the bill. WHAT: Rally WHEN: Saturday 16 August TIME: 12 NOON. WHERE: City Hall, Hobart

• What it’s all about, Briefing Note on Paul Harriss’ plans:
Briefing_Note_for_Conservation_Groups-1.docx

Jan Davis: Tasmania’s private forest managers back inside the tent “We welcome this initiative and we look forward to working with other stakeholders to move past the old-fashioned rhetoric and create a vibrant and sustainable forest industry that once again delivers valued outcomes for all Tasmanians.” Ms Davis said. Mr Harriss has announced he will chair the advisory council with former Legislative Council president, Sue Smith, a director of the TFGA, as deputy chair.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Tasmania faces a budget emergency

Phil na Champassak. Pic* Pub: Aug 14
15.08.14 5:30 am

Image for Tasmania faces a budget emergency

Tasmania is experiencing a further $44 million blowout, bringing the 2013/14 FY deficit to $398.7 million: Mercury here

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Chip Mill Inquiry: ‘A political witch-hunt and waste of public money’. Graeme Wood responds ...

Alec Marr, Submission to inquiry into Triabunna Woodchip Mill. Pic* Pub: Aug 13
15.08.14 5:00 am

Image for Chip Mill Inquiry: ‘A political witch-hunt and waste of public money’. Graeme Wood responds ...

Dear Committee Members, I have decided to respond to the invitation from the Committee to make comment on a number of issues. I do this in a voluntary capacity because I no longer work for Triabunna Investments. I finalized my role as the General Manager of Triabunna Investments in October, 2013. First of all let me say that the political witch-hunt being conducted by the Liberal Party of Tasmania at the State and Federal level is an unconscionable waste of public money, will inevitably discourage new investors to the State and is designed to distract Tasmanians from the real task of Government to foster a prosperous and healthy future for all Tasmanians. This latest attack by the Liberal Government on Triabunna Investments, its owners and staff has been a consistent pattern ever since Triabunna Investments acquired the closed and mothballed Triabunna Woodchip mill.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times:

STATE: Triabunna Inquiry Witness List Released. Protest laws to catch pensioners ...

APRIN: The Final Question. What Greg and Lara said. Marr to be mill boss!

Kim Booth: Budget update ‘dropped’ late in attempt to hide from scrutiny “It is no coincidence that the Treasurer releases his so-called ‘preliminary estimates’ update at 3:30 in the afternoon on the same day that the first public hearings of the bread and circuses Triabunna Mill Inquiry are underway,” Mr Booth said. “Clearly the Liberals are trying to hide from scrutiny and the fact that it doesn’t matter how often they redo the state’s financial figures, it always comes back as an indictment on their push to strip Tasmania of at least $70 million each year in lost carbon tax dividends.”

ABC, Triabunna inquiry: Mill owner Graeme Wood considers legal action over sale probe Millionaire environmentalist Graeme Wood is considering legal action against the chairman of a Tasmanian parliamentary inquiry into the sale of the Triabunna woodchip mill. Parliament’s cross-party community development committee is investigating the sale of the former Gunns mill in 2011 to Mr Wood, the Wotif founder, and Tasmanian businesswoman Jan Cameron. Allegations of personal grudges, political interference and hidden business agendas were made during Tuesday’s hearing. Mr Wood said the committee had exceeded the authority of parliament. In a statement, he said the terms of reference fell outside the committee’s scope and, as such, he believed parliamentary privilege no longer stood. He said the committee’s chairman, Liberal MP Guy Barnett, had used privilege to make “groundless criticisms” which were unjustified and inaccurate.

Rebecca White: Damning revelations over Triabunna port

Charlie Sherwin: Federal environmental approvals powers must not be handed to the Tasmanian government

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

NATION, Joe Hockey: Poor don’t have cars ...

ABC. Pic* Pub: Aug 14
15.08.14 4:44 am

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has accused Treasurer Joe Hockey of being an “arrogant”, “cigar-chomping” politician over his remarks that poor people will not be affected by the increase to the fuel excise because they “don’t have cars”.

Daily Mail: He doesn’t believe poor people drive - but they’re still paying for him to: Joe Hockey’s road travel expenses cost taxpayers more than $200,000 over past the four years • Treasurer Joe Hockey claimed more than $200K in the past four years • Expenses come from his Commonwealth car, private car and Cabcharge • These have come to light following comment ‘poor people don’t drive cars’ • Mr Hockey’s personal wealth has also been revealed • His property portfolio is worth an estimated $10 million • His comments came as the government looks to reintroduce a twice-yearly indexation increases on petrol • Welfare groups have hit back at him saying he is out of touch with people

Arena: Abbottville by Boris Frankel Visions of society and democracy in the Abbott/Hockey budget

Daily Telegraph: Taxpayers footing bill on Treasurer Joe Hockey’s $1.5 million Canberra house

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

Tasmania has Important Role to Play to Progress Medicinal Cannabis Trials

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Health spokesperson
15.08.14 4:30 am

Image for Tasmania has Important Role to Play to Progress Medicinal Cannabis Trials

The sudden intervention by the Commonwealth to overturn Norfolk Island’s approval for medicinal cannabis trials is a predictable display of narrow-minded and petty politics, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

Lara Giddings: Ferguson out of touch on medicinal cannabis

Michael Ferguson: Norfolk Island Decision Proves Caution is Needed

MEANWHILE, another form of hemp ..

Andrew Wilkie: Farms hungry for industrial hemp for human consumption

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