Hobart Baroque? No. Brisbane Baroque

Martyn Goddard. Pub: Jan 28. ABC pic of Leo Schofield
28.01.15 4:00 am

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Leo Schofield’s renowned baroque music festival ‒ which began in Hobart but was refused adequate funding by the Tasmanian Premier ‒ has moved to Brisbane. The dates, 10 to 18 April, and the main program for the nine-day festival will be the same as those planned for Hobart before the government pulled the plug. The festival will be launched by the federal Arts Minister, Senator George Brandis. ‘The Queensland government, and Senator Brandis, have a much better grasp of arts policy and cultural tourism and what those can do for a state,’ Schofield said. ‘But I felt no sense of allegiance to the Tasmanian Premier as he has shown us nothing but disdain. Put bluntly, he just didn’t get it. ‘And it’s nonsense to suggest that Tasmania is too small or too poor to afford such “luxuries” as a baroque music festival. As an extreme example Salzburg, a city smaller than Hobart, has one of the most renowned festivals in the world with a budget of $65 million. And even that investment has repeatedly been shown to contribute many times that to the Austrian economy.

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

Something in the Water ... An urgent need to re-evaluate

Dr Alison Bleaney. Pic* Pub: Jan 26
28.01.15 3:30 am

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… In light of these findings those Government Departments responsible for ensuring the safety of drinking water to Tasmanians urgently need to re-evaluate the risk assessment and management from human-induced changes to these water catchments substantially converted to Eucalypt monocultures to ensure the safety of water supplied to water users. …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... a long and tortuous history ...

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: I suspect there has been a systematic cover-up concerning clonal tree plantations. For example: How many people have seen a flowering e.nitens or e.blugum tree in a plantation? How many people have seen a young or sapling e.nitens or e.bluegum in a tree plantation? How many people have seen young trees after the harvesting of a tree plantation? Plantations have also trashed the landscape of Northern Tasmania. I traveled from Holwell to Exeter on Nettlfolds Road and Rookery Road yesterday and saw how an amazing landscape has been ruined by this mono crap.

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

More pie-in-the-sky in The Huon?

Bob Hawkins. Pub: Jan 27
28.01.15 3:15 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games Cargo-cultism — from time immemorial a chronic tribal condition found mostly in what are termed undeveloped or developing regions, and a misled faith still doggedly persistent in the Huon Valley — will almost certainly again bubble to the surface when council meets on Wednesday evening in Huonville.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: … With his magnificent concept in mind I have decided to put in a planning application for a very fast train from Deloraine to Chudleigh with an underground branch sub- line to service the proposed epicentre at Chudleigh North. I will require little or no local funding, I am willing to donate the station to the village in the interests of putting Chudleigh in the forefront of development here in Tasmania. The Federal Government, who need the votes of the 12 Tasmanian Senators, can buy them by funding this short length of Mag Lev track in the interests of tourism. The cost will be minimal when compared with the political benefits of being able to pass their dud legislation through the Senate. …

• Martin Hawes, in Comments: Interesting that you were unable to find any trace of your submission on the council website. I can’t see any sign of mine either, submitted by email on Nov 14. Perhaps some submissions have been mislaid? If so this would be a corruption of due process, particularly since submissions are also to be considered by the Planning Commission. Is anyone else having trouble spotting their submission? The link is:

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

Drug regulator must put patient safety ahead of Big Pharma profits

Michael Vagg, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University School of Medicine & Pain Specialist at Barwon Health, Victoria.
28.01.15 3:00 am

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One of the much-heralded platforms of the Abbott government is its promise to business to reduce red tape and burdensome regulatory obligations. Pharmaceuticals are a multi-billion dollar global industry, so it’s not surprising the national drug and device regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is a key target. A committee tasked with investigating the options for red tape reform has released its first discussion paper to canvass the options. The paper raises some important implementation problems and potential reforms. But we need to be wary of commercial interests derailing drug approval and advertising regulations that protect patient safety and ensure products are evidence-based.

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Politics | National | Health | Science

Sea Shepherd to spend $12m award on ‘dream ship’ to patrol Southern Ocean

28.01.15 2:00 am

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Money presented at Amsterdam gala is the largest donation the conservation group has received to date

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

Climate warning: PM Abbott leads Australia down a withering garden path

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne Media Release
27.01.15 3:15 am

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Greens leader Christine Milne says dire projections for Australia in the new CSIRO climate change report* must be a wake-up call for the Abbott government and big business, which are harming people and missing huge economic opportunities by refusing to minimise global warming. “If the natural world is in trouble, then so are we, and the Abbott government’s climate denial and policy destruction has got us in serious trouble indeed,” said Senator Milne. “Just getting on with it would unleash enormous amounts of innovation and creativity, but the Abbott government is stuck playing knights and dames, pretending global warming isn’t happening, and digging bigger and bigger holes as part of a growth agenda that undermines us even further.

Resilience: Wood pellets; Green energy or new source of CO2 emissions?

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

The revealing facts on bikie laws and crime in Queensland

Terry Goldsworthy, Assistant Professor, Criminology at Bond University.
26.01.15 5:00 am

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Queensland’s Liberal National government has made law and order – particularly its anti-bikie laws – a key part of its re-election pitch. The government recently claimed that “Criminal Gang laws (are) keeping Queenslanders safer” and that they have driven a general decrease in crime. Yet when you compare those claims against Queensland’s crime statistics, something soon becomes clear: the spin and the statistics tell two different stories.

9MSN: Bikies snatch focus in Qld election Debate over policy is being overshadowed in the final days of Queensland’s election campaign following Premier Campbell Newman’s repeated claims of a link between Labor, unions and bikie gangs. Mr Newman has defended his allegations that ALP rivals were backed by unions linked to criminal motorcycle gangs, saying it’s a hot topic with Queenslanders. The debate has taken centre stage over the final weekend of the election campaign ahead of Saturday’s poll. On Sunday, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk again called for Mr Newman to show some evidence to support his claims and stated she had “zero tolerance” when it came to criminal organisations.

Guardian: Bikies donate money to LNP to rubbish Newman claims

Guardian: LNP losing out in regional areas

Psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham’s latest analysis (Jan 15) here

MEANWHILE in elections elsewhere ...

Paul Mason, Guardian: Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

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Politics | National | State | The Psephologist | Kevin Bonham | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: Manus; We must act ...

Urban Wronski* Pub: Jan 19. Pic*
26.01.15 4:45 am

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No words could ever describe life in Manus Island Detention Centre, but imagine you are trapped in a makeshift, overcrowded, run-down camp of peeling weatherboard cabins, tents and shipping containers sweltering and festering in the jungle on a hot, humid, far-flung island amidst some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world.Your only company is that of other wretched unfortunates like yourself. Should you be ‘processed’ and found to be a genuine refugee, you may be freed but only to be settled locally. The local people, however, resent your presence. Your sense of entrapment is suffocating. Blend in the isolation, disease, and heat and you have Manus Island’s mission to deter.

Force is integral to Manus’ brutal regime. Whilst Immigration Minister Peter Dutton may deplore the demonstrations, he appears as oblivious as his predecessor, Morrison, to the institutionalised violence of the prison camp itself, to say nothing of the coercion involved in the parent policy of offshore detention itself.  When pressed on the issue, Dutton also follows Morrison’s lead in taking refuge in denial and hair-splitting semantics. …

The Age: Australia accused of ‘surreal hypocrisy’ over Bali 9 executions

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

NATION: Australian of the Year; Rosie Batty. Abbott mocked over Prince Philip ... Tom Uren ...

ABC. Pic: ABC, Peter Williams
26.01.15 4:28 am

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Rosie Batty has been named Australian of the Year for her campaign against family violence in an award ceremony that saw four women take the nation’s top Australia Day honours for the first time in history.

STATE: Australia Day honours; Ultra-marathoner and scientist among 15 Tasmanians recognised

Don’t celebrate January 26 petition launched

Kim Booth: Unfinished business; Time to Treaty … “Unfinished business with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community is holding back our reconciliation journey,” Mr Booth said. “Its time to Treaty.” “We need to negotiate a formal Treaty which acknowledges the sorry history that has occurred on this island, and which seeks to address the current pattern of exclusion and discrimination inherent in our current state legal and policy-setting framework.” …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

KIm Booth: Call for alternative Australia Day date

SBS: Tony Abbott mocked over Prince Philip knighthood Tony Abbott’s decision to honour the Duke of Edinburgh has sparked mockery on social media and condemnation from some fellow politicians. Prince Philip was announced as one of two men honoured as Australia’s next knights today, almost a year after Mr Abbott reintroduced the honours. The news sent “Philip” trending on social media, ahead of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s comments that the decision was outdated. Mr Shorten told Fairfax Radio that he originally thought the news was a hoax. He said he didn’t understand the government’s priorities in nominating Prince Philip, when they could have “picked someone who is Australian in character and activity”. “It’s a time warp where we’re giving knighthoods to English royalty,” Mr Shorten said.

Guardian: Flags to fly at half-mast to mark passing of Labor Elder Tom Uren

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A request for the removal of an Eric Abetz ad

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Eric Abetz
26.01.15 4:15 am

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Tasmanian Times received the following letter from Walter Abetz, brother of Eric Abetz.  Senator Abetz is Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Employment. Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Liberal Senator for Tasmania.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Dear Eric Hutchinson ...

Mike Bolan, Disaffected citizen
26.01.15 4:00 am

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Drop this discriminatory co-payment idea now. We are taxpayers and we are already paying for everything else!

Australia’s systems of government have become a rent-seeker’s paradise that cost us dearly, but instead of fixing it, you just want taxpayers to pay more while politicians enjoy the considerable fruits of office and bureaucrats continue to expand their empires. This is classical rent-seeker behaviour.

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Writers | Mike Bolan | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Building resilience in an era of limits to growth. Greece ...

Big Ideas, Radio National
26.01.15 3:50 am

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We are approaching many limits to growth over the next decades: Economic contraction, peak energy and geopolitical stress. Nicole Foss - Canadian system analyst and expert on sustainability, energy, and finance - explains how the deflationary dynamics that always follow finance and property bubbles will rapidly impact individuals and communities, while the longer acting forces of peak oil and climate change will limit the nature of any economic recovery. So how can we adapt?

Guardian: Greek coalition talks under way after Syriza’s election victory ... live updates


Paul Mason, Guardian: Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

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Removal of Schulim Krimper commission from St Mary’s Cathedral, Harrington St, Hobart

Warwick Oakman B.Des. Architectural Historian, Battery Point
26.01.15 3:45 am

Image for Removal of Schulim Krimper  commission from St Mary’s Cathedral, Harrington St, Hobart

Schulim Krimper (1893-1971), was a Rumanian modernist cabinet maker,  arriving as a Jewish migrant to Melbourne in 1939. He was to become in the words of Terence Lane, former head of Decorative Arts at The National Gallery of Victoria “the first cabinet-maker in Victoria to demand - and receive - for his craft the respect which had previously been accorded only to painters and sculptors” …Guildford Young commissioned for St Marys Cathedral, Harrington St Hobart an extensive, high modernist work of art: a vast screen, throne, cover, cupboards, seating from Krimper, completed in 1961.  It is one of only two public commissions ever made and of great importance to modernism in Australia. And particularly Tasmania. It is the Catholic Church in Tasmania’s intention to remove this pre-eminent work of Krimper’s art, separate the elements and take to Melbourne to be sold by Leonard Joel Auctions in April of this year.

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Arts | Opinion | History | Religion | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (47)

Don Knowler, Pic*
26.01.15 3:16 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 | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Saturday Soapbox: Council must ensure Huon plan meets its Waterloo

John Huckerby, businessman and Huon Valley resident, in Saturday's Mercury Pic*
26.01.15 2:48 am

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DENNIS Bewsher’s plan to change Waterloo Bay from public open space to a permanent mooring area for huge barges for transshipping woodchips and quarry products to bulk carriers moored downriver comes before the Huon Valley Council on Wednesday.

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After the Bang

Photo: NASA
25.01.15 9:30 am

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An expanding shell of debris called SNR 0519-69.0 is left behind after a massive star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. Multimillion degree gas is seen in X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, in blue. The outer edge of the explosion (red) and stars in the field of view are seen in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Environment | Science | Society

Call for State and Uni to dump Taib Mahmud ... and Ta Ann

Jenny Weber Campaign Manager The Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pic* Pub: Jan 24
25.01.15 7:00 am

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Conservationists call for swift action by Australian university and politicians to dissociate with Sarawak’s Taib Mahmud Five years after Sarawak Report first exposed Taib Mahmud’s questionable links with Adelaide University, the university’s Vice-Chancellor has recognised that there are problems with association with Sarawak’s ruling elite.  Australian and International campaigners in solidarity with the indigenous people of Sarawak are calling for swift action from the University and Australian and Tasmanian Governments. In a letter received today by the campaign group Bruno Manser Fund, Adelaide University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington acknowledged that Adelaide University is reviewing the name of Sarawak’s Governor and former Chief Minister Taib Mahmud Court, bestowed in his honour in 2008. Switzerland-based advocacy group, Bruno Manser Fund had forwarded a copy of the book Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia by Lukas Straumann to Vice-Chancello Professor Bebbington and it was this that had prompted his response.

“Sarawak Report are hugely encouraged that Adelaide University is now recognising the problems with this major donor and are prepared to take appropriate action.  We have worked hard to bring a serious wrong-doing to public attention and sometimes it takes time to get a response, but we believe that wheels are beginning to turn and other institutions in Australia ought to follow this example.  A priority must be the Tasmanian government, which has been prepared to do business with Taib-connected companies for far too long, both in the Tasmanian logging industry and in the Sarawak energy industry. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to the corrupt and highly damaging environmental and human rights situation in Sarawak, before Tasmania is tarnished by association.”

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The Truth about Ta Ann. ‘The biggest environmental crime of our times’

Sarawak Report: Taib made persona-non-grata by Adelaide University

• Tim Thorne, in Comments: Re #4: Imagine if $42 million of Tasmanian dollars went into the pockets of a New York based investment company which contributed nothing to our economy and employed not a single Tasmanian. Imagine if hundreds of millions of dollars of our money was handed to a company which then went belly-up and we got not a cent back. Imagine if all three of our political parties and the independent Upper House all let this happen. OK we’re not quite Sarawak, but we’re getting there.


Emma Lee, Mercury Saturday Soapbox: Green glitter hides cultural truth The “wilderness brand” is mainly from non-Aboriginal interests, and Aboriginal rights, cultural access, economic development, heritage protection, tourism and the joint management narrative of the three Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Area will not be denied for the sake of environmental business or campaign models. Don’t be dazzled by the green glitter on a bare ethical tree.

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

Call for Alternative Australia Day Date

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release ABC pic
25.01.15 6:30 am

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Political leaders need to be serious about moving Australia Day to a date other than the 26th of January if they are serious about working towards genuine reconciliation with the Aboriginal community, Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

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Nyrstar and State Government in talks over ‘hand-up financing’

Matt Smith, Mercury. Pic: Nyrstar's Lutana plant. Pub: Jan 24
25.01.15 6:00 am

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A $500 million deal between the South Australian Government and minerals giant Nyrstar appears to be a catalyst for the company’s approach to the Tasmanian Government.

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

The fall and fall of The Mercury

Bob Burton. Pub: Dec 18, 2014
25.01.15 5:15 am

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The Mercury – Tasmania’s largest circulation newspaper – is in deep, deep trouble. A leaked News Corporation Australia’s financial report from July 2013 provides a stark insight into the rapidly deteriorating finances of the Murdoch empire’s three Tasmanian newspapers:  The Mercury, the Sunday Tasmanian and Tasmanian Country.

• Mark, in Comments: As was written in one of the sidebar sites: Out in the boonies the media is a rough deal. The reporters have an average age of 12. The editors are crusty and conflicted. And the money is running out. They report what they want to happen. Potential mines. Potential pulp mills. Potential farms. Potential developments. Potential money drops from Canberra. Potential Chinese buy-ups. News is all about crossing fingers. At best, 5% of the potential comes true. If you dig through old newspapers you’ll find stories about the same mines and the same “100’s of jobs” they were going to create. Five years ago. Ten years ago. Fifteen years ago. Convince people something’s around the corner and you might convince someone to advertise. You might keep your newspaper alive. Sadly, you don’t inform anyone of anything.

• Bob Burton, in Comments: … It is also worth pointing out that in the last five years, according to ABS population data, Hobart’s population increased by over 8,800 (2008 to 2012). In spite of this underlying population growth, readership of hard copies of The Mercury continues to fall. The trends affecting The Mercury aren’t unique to Tasmania. However, as the smallest state, Tasmania’s media may well be hollowed out so quickly that it becomes the exemplar of a failed media state.  Sure, we will still have media which cover sport, car crashes, major court cases, major events and some political debates initiated by existing parties but more probing journalism already largely seems to be a quaint thing of the past. Which is why the question on who will cover hard local news in Tasmania remains a critical issue. Ironically, this topic is one which the existing outlets are wary of covering, perhaps because to do so would require an acknowledgement that there is a significant problem. Self-reflection tends not to be a strong point of most media outlets.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Media

Tasmanian achievement a matter of national pride

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne Media Release
24.01.15 3:50 am

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Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne is congratulating fellow Tasmanian Rodney Croome on his courageous and persistent activism for gay rights and his long overdue recognition this Australia Day as Tasmania’s Australian of the Year.

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

NATION: Caught like a bunny in a spotlight

Urban Wronski* Pub: Jan 19. Satire*
24.01.15 3:48 am

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A speculative analysis ... Caught like a bunny in a spotlight, Australia’s own Darwin Award contender, Prime Minister Tony Abbott froze in the cold unblinking stares of a posse of hostile men and three women who told him they’d had enough and were not taking any more. Abbott was shirt-fronted by rebels in his own backbench, a backbench fit to kill or hang the PM out to dry.

Queensland election: Alan Jones accuses Campbell Newman of lying


Lenore Taylor, Guardian: Tony Abbott’s Trust Deficit disaster is paralyzing his government

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

DPP Ellis sacked, with no payout, over road death

David Killick, Mercury. Pic: of Tim Ellis
24.01.15 3:45 am

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis SC has been sacked for misbehaviour, Premier Will Hodgman said yesterday.

• Ed: There are no winners ... only losers in this tragic story ... Comments are not enabled ...

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Fact-Checking Julia Jabour and Indi Hodgson-Johnston

Narelle Bonarski* Pic*
23.01.15 5:00 am

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Over the past few months, Dr Julia Jabour and Ms Indi Hodgson-Johnston have published media opinion pieces that are critical of the conservation group Sea Shepherd. Are all of their claims valid?

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

STATE: Fixing hospitals? Here’s how. Nyrstar’s hand out ...

Martyn Goddard, Health policy analyst. Pub: Jan 22
23.01.15 3:38 am

Image for STATE: Fixing hospitals? Here’s how. Nyrstar’s hand out ...

The deplorable state of Tasmania’s public hospital system is a story too often told. For over a decade there have been inquiries, reports and promises of action. Finally, writes Martyn Goddard,  revealing data from new research shows the way forward to real reform.

• Jon Sumby, in Comments: In the UK, with privatisation of elderly care, people are not being sent home from hospital as no home care company will take them as the elderly person is not profit making for them. Under the Liberal dream of a US style system, not Medicare, this is what we look forward to; profit over people.

• Dr Alison Bleaney, in Comments: #1 when they do go home - hopefully - there needs to be a one-stop-shop/ group that liases with the patient and family/ carer and co- ordinates the care package. At present multiple agencies advance upon the patient causing great confusion exhaustion and poor care co-ordination- and sometimes refusal of all services. Payment for individual services becomes another confused burden. Streamlining home care would have to save funding at source, and cause all involved with services less angst.

ELSEWHERE ... in Tasmania ...

Bob Brown welcomes Dick Smith’s input on World Heritage but a broadside on Puppet Hunt’s visit to see developers only ... Former Greens Leader Bob Brown has welcomed Dick Smith’s comments on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area saying, “the difference between Dick and Simon Currant is in their record: Dick publicly supported the Franklin blockade, Currant didn’t; Dick spoke out and gave $2M to save Recherché Bay; Currant didn’t lift a finger; Dick gave $1M for track upgrades to Frenchmans Cap; Currant didn’t put in a dollar”. “Dick and I don’t agree on private developers in World Heritage Areas but I respect him: he has no trouble raising a flag for the environment when it is critically endangered.” “Yesterday’s visit by the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, to support developers wanting to degrade the TWWHA, but avoiding the environmentalists he represents, was pathetic. He is a puppet of the anti-environment sentiment in the Abbott government as demonstrated on his failures on the Great Barrier Reef, saving whales or forests.”

Andrew Ross: Port Arthur Penitentiary’s future assured


Mercury: Nyrstar seeks state cash

AS ...

The Advertiser: Nyrstar completes funding package for Port Pirie smelter ...

• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: So the Tasmanian taxpayers are being asked to provide more subsidies to this successful Swiss based multi million dollar corporate miner with their attempted grab at $50million out of the Tasmanian taxpayers pockets. This is an outrageous move on a Government that is so hard strapped for cash its Public Service and public good services are on the critically endangered list. This especially so as Nyrstar managed to fund their own $514 million upgrade on the Port Pirie smelter through forward sale of silver, capital rasing and securities issued to third parties.  And unlike in South Australia no Lead Abatement program has been funded for Rosebery or Zeehan by successive Tasmanian Governments. Let’s hear a loud and clear no from the Unions on this highly questionable subsidy to this big Swiss Belgian company. Are Tasmanains really being asked to support a Government that is considering what amounts to an indirect subsidy for the Port Pirie rebuild?

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

Ongoing Salmon Expansion Threatens Endangered Whales and Puts Locals Offside

Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania, Mike Stevens, Tasmanian Fishing & Boating News Media Release
23.01.15 2:54 am

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Recreational fishers, yachties, conservationists and locals are alarmed that Tassal is persisting with an expansion of their salmon farms in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in south-eastern Tasmania when endangered species, native fish, water quality and public access may all be sacrificed in the process.

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Why is there no one interested in coming to this place ... ?

Greg James, Kingston. Rob Walls' pic. Pub: Jan 19
22.01.15 7:34 am

Image for Why is there no one interested in coming to this place ... ?

I recently took three tours of Chinese business people around some parts of the state that are for sale. I was told there were a smattering of billionaires, millionaires and others who exist off these people. Indeed one had a bodyguard, an interpreter and a food taster. When introduced one was called Jack, another Bill and the boss was only referred to as Mr Wu. An educated chap, Mr Wu unlike his followers lay on the ground to take pictures of lupins and other flora and he revelled in being outside, he constantly remarked how clean everything is.

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Hi Greg good question. I came here to live 13 years ago, I loved the land and beauty of Tasmania. I actually liked the fact that the population was small and falling. It was a bonus for me. A couple of things I see that seem to say don’t come back are. We do not cater for tourists well, sure we have accomodation and cafes but when you drive along our roads and get to a wonderful vantage point there is usually nowhere to stop and take in the view. I use the examples near me of the top of the Poatina road heading over the Great Western Tiers, there is a magnificent view available of the land to the north from the top but is there picnic table, shelter or place to stop and see it. No. Same with the Lake highway you go up and there is a wonderful spot with views along the Liffey valley, and of Liffey Bluff plus vast vistas of the North of Tasmania, what you have is a bid dirt area that looks like it was once a gravel dump to take it in from. Right up the top near Projection bluff there is a small viewing platform, no shelters, no toilets etc. So it has a small track to the platform covered in toilet paper as people think it is a great place to take a piss and relieve themselves. Does this make people feel like they want to come back. No is my answer. Does the corruption and pandering to a few large political donors make people want to come back, No ...

• lola moth, in Comments: Not all places on this earth have to expand and grow continuously until we all live on the fringes of soulless never-ending suburbs. By adjusting our expectations of what we consider to be “a good life” we can live fuller lives with less and leave more for others. As for the “solution” to the “problem” of our state’s future? I don’t see that much of a problem, considering it has been this way for many generations and we haven’t imploded yet. No growth does not equal no future. The world will always need places like Tasmania if only to look upon what it has lost elsewhere.

• Ben Cameron, in Comments: The future of Tasmania is not in corporations, it’s in differentiation, niches, promotion of entrepreneurship, in shared goods and services, open minded policy, fostering more social networks to get things done. It’s about building on people’s strengths to the benefit of those people who muck in. This is the way the developed world is going and so Tasmania is really well set for a bright and happy future with the right thinking. Tasmania is friendly and welcoming, wild and beautiful. It’s an awesome place to live and breath and that’s a lofty start to build on. Hopefully in a roundabout way i’ve put across my 2 cents on why more people don’t come here, why they would if they could and how bright the future for Tasmania is if it latches onto a global movement that suits its positives and helps with it’s negatives very well.

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STATE: The Irony; France, Tasmania ... and Freedom of Speech

John Green LLB. Letter to the Editor. Pic: of Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin. Pub: Jan 19
21.01.15 5:30 am

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It is ironic that at the same time there are mass demonstrations in France and elsewhere in Europe in favour of freedom of speech, Tasmania’s conservative government is determined to destroy the right to freedom of speech in Tasmania.

Hilary Burden: Love is stronger than hate

• Anonymous (but known to TT), in Comments: Amazing! An article gets published in Mercury ... Mercury: Tasmania is the crime dropper state ... and absolutely no-one comments on the elephant in the room, that here we have a core Government agency whose key performance indicators unequivocally show a substantial, long term decline in workload yet whose political masters have campaigned on increasing taxpayer funded resources (108 new police) and mandatory sentencing to solve a problem that simply does not exist.

Dr Eric Woehler, Vica Bayley, Jenny Weber, Peter McGlone, Nick Sawyer: Public urged to act to save Tasmania’s World Heritage Area from ruin for private profit Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area provides secure habitat for some of the world’s most unique animals and protects one of the last true wilderness regions on Earth, it encompasses a greater range of World Heritage listed natural and cultural values than any other region on Earth. Environmental groups are committed to ensuring the current agenda by Tasmania’s Government to weaken the protections of this unique wild landscape are met with opposition. Dr Eric Woehler ...

Matthew Groom: Greens Hypocrisy

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: By its own account, right wing ideology is supposed to be about protecting freedom above all.  However it is at times like this that we see the ugly truth revealed: the only freedom that genuinely matters to right wing ideologues is the freedom of the rich and powerful to profit at the expense of society and the natural environment, with hindrance or botheration.  Any other more trivial freedoms - like freedom of expression - that might interfere with this must be suppressed, it seems. Correct Vanessa? And Vanessa, please don’t give us that tripe about how nobody need be worried by the proposed new defamation laws as long as they are telling the truth.  That is naive nonsense. It is obvious that the proposed laws will encourage powerful companies to threaten defamation proceedings against anybody who criticizes them - irrespective of who is telling truth or porkies - just to intimidate their critics into remaining silent.  That’s precisely why the proposed defamation laws are wrong, and why people with legitimate and truthful criticisms to make have every reason to be worried about them. Or could it be that you honestly don’t believe a large company would ever distort the truth, and that the job of company spin doctors is only ever to present straight-forward unvarnished facts? Hmm.

• Mike Buky, Rocky Cape: Protests regarding the proposed 68 hectare Lapoinya coupe are increasing as the sheer illogicality of the clear-fell is exposed.

Christine Milne: The Tasmanian Government is desperate Here in Tasmania we have a government intent on looking after the interests of corporations with their defamation law proposing to give companies the right to sue people in the community for defamation - that has to stop. Tim Wilson is out today saying that it is a bad move and when you get Tim Wilson out saying it is a bad move it just gives you a real indication of just how far Tasmania has been brought into disrepute by this government trying to prop up the logging industry by now saying people cannot criticise it. If it cannot stand on its merits then it cannot stand. JJust trying to jail people, accuse people of defamation, for coming out talking about the ills of the forest industry shows how desperate the government has become.

Bryan Green: Time for Hodgman to dump defamation changes

• Dr Alison Bleaney, OBE, Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network (TPEHN): Download submission to Forico which details TPEHN paper newly published in the IJES re the E.nt toxin in the water ....and Preliminary investigations of toxicity in the Georges Bay catchment ...

ABC: Decision on ‘super merger’ of Tasmanian superannuation funds expected soon

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Reviewed! MOFO a few years down the track

Duncan Giblin, All pics: Duncan Giblin
21.01.15 5:15 am

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A photographer’s review Around the time when MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) first opened I started photo documenting the MOFO festival for the Curator Brian Ritchie. I hadn’t seen the previous festivals so it was my first look into MOFO world. The first things that struck me about the festival were the obvious things, like the variety, the quirkiness and the sheer volume of acts.

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Razer: Je ne suis pas Charlie ... Urban Wronski ...

Helen Razer, Crikey. Urban Wronski. Pub: Jan 19
20.01.15 5:15 am

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When Peter Cook opened comedy club The Establishment, he was asked by press to describe the entertainment Londoners could expect. He said he would take inspiration from the satirical Berlin cabarets of the 1930s that had done “so much to stop the rise of Adolf Hitler and prevent the Second World War”.

• Urban Wronski: None of it persuades me that Je suis Charlie ... … Whilst we rise as one to protest our outrage at the hideous atrocity carried out in the name of Islam in Paris by two French citizens with an Algerian background who chose murder with AK47s as their own barbaric form of remonstration and redress we are less united when it comes to our defence of basic freedoms at home. And just how far are we prepared to take our vicarious indulgence? Let us consider one hypothetical parallel. Imagine the fuss if a cartoon were published which depicted our Prime Minister and George Pell in a French kiss, perhaps with the caption, Je suis Georgie’s boy. Or the former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s image is drawn above one of his previous portfolio’s slogans: where the bloody hell are you? Cambodia, Nauru, Manus, as long it’s not Australia, we don’t care. …

Hilary Burden: Love is stronger than hate

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia condemns attack on Charlie Hebdo

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