"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

NATION: Turnbull declares war on Abbott ...

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Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published October 24
24.10.16 4:54 am

A muffled thumping disturbs the chamber this Thursday as our PM and his predecessor, in turn, throw each other under a bus, to use Omnibus Bill Shorten’s colourful phrase.  Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy, who continues to hold a torch for the PM, has never seen anything like it in twenty years of parliamentary reporting. The Coalition is openly at war with itself

New Matilda: Shotgun Politics: Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘Gun Week’ Was Worse Than You Think

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Well may we protest ...

John Hawkins*, Bentley, Chudleigh. Pic: of Bentley. First published October 23
24.10.16 4:45 am

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… Think long and hard if you as the Tasmanian Planning Commission can continue to preside over a debacle created by our political masters, all in the interests of their mates.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

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Dylan: The Simple Twist of Fate ...

Don Knowler*
24.10.16 4:35 am

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The decision of the Nobel awards committee to give Bob Dylan its prize for literature has met with a mixed response. Among those applauding the decision is Don Knowler, who remembers the momentous night he finally got to see his hero perform in Townsville and the simple twist of fate which nearly cost him his job.

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The long march ... Fear and loathing on the Camino trail, Days 11-13 ...

Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
24.10.16 4:14 am

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The best laid war plans do not survive first contact in battle. Sun Tzu c300 BC.

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Right to Information: Forestry Tasmania ...

John Powell* Pic*
23.10.16 8:59 am

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… I now learn after an intrusive reckoning on my only access road with “inclusive Stakeholder Managers” from Forestry Tasmania in late 2015 that they plan to log the remnant 25 Hectares with a modified logging area. The original FPP indicated “Clear Fell” but now they classify it as “Potential Sawlog Retention”. This area was part of the 1990 Helsham Thinnings and the experts suggest the sawlogs might be potential in circa 2067. So why go in to the coupe at all in 2017 except just to measure diameters and number of potential targets in 50 years? …

… FT, you just have to hide the fact that you are running a non-commercial operation and plan to continue to do so. These funds were almost totally supported by the taxpayers and Government subsidy we have a right to know about your economic incompetence. Minister Barnett, so much for open government and a renewed Forestry Tasmania, you are a dinosaur like your predecessor, and your Communications and Stakeholder Engagement personnel are mere clones!

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A concerned politician’s guide to donations reform

Max Atkinson* Pic* First published October 21
23.10.16 4:10 am

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‘I think what the Australian political system needs is a real shock to the system. It needs shaking up. And if Senator Dastyari’s problems lead to this shaking up, then that’s only got to be a good thing.’ (Emeritus Professor John Warhurst, ANU, interviewed by ABC journalist Sabra Lane, 8/9/2016)

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Giant Underwater Forests Almost Gone!

Ted Mead* First published October 21
22.10.16 4:00 am

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The spectacular kelp forests, the giants of the deep sea off Tasmania’s East Coast have almost disappeared. What has happened to this unique environment and why didn’t we save them? Like our terrestrial high conservation forests we failed to act until the 21st century. In the meantime our underwater forests were far less visible, and before we knew it the last giant kelp stand was gone!

• Bob Diver in Comments: I am thinking that the shocking decline of the commercial abalone fishery in Tasmania could somehow be linked to the seaweed problems. This decline is not spoken about very much, but it is rather scary (financially) and mentally hard work for those involved in trying to find abalone. You would be staggered to see the crappy catches from the east and west coasts today, compared to just five years ago, let alone ten years back. Last year saw the coldest seawater “ever” and this year is normal cold. I reckon it is something other than just water temperature causing the problems.

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Heart of darkness ... Fear and loathing on the Camino trail, Day 10

Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
22.10.16 3:59 am

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There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads onto fortune,
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries
Julius Caesar ... Shakespeare

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Around Australia by schooner (of beer): Killer cockroaches and the worst counter meal ever ...

Tom Ellison*
22.10.16 3:56 am

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The cockroach lurking in the urinal was the size of a small dog …

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PLANNING: The paradigm shift towards market-driven ad-hoc development ...

Sophie Underwood* Pic*
22.10.16 3:55 am

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Conclusion: There are strong connections between Victorian planning system changes and the national planning reform agenda being followed in most Australian states. Recent changes to state planning systems seek to reduce the strength of land use planning regulations, lessen the contributions of local communities, objectors and local councils to planning decisions and empower development companies. The Victorian system changes are also the result of decades of the politicisation of planning by locating responsibility for land use planning in the state planning agency under direct ministerial control, abolishing an independent state planning body, imposing deregulated standardised planning systems intended to facilitate development onto local government, and constant ministerial intervention in planning decisions. All these represent a paradigm shift in the Victorian land use planning system away from careful and considered strategy-led planning, towards market-driven ad hoc development facilitation.

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Less historic buildings & more carparks for Launceston!

Concerned Resident of Launceston* First published October 21
22.10.16 3:52 am

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In Launceston, Heritage Tasmania has about 3% of building listed - this means that over 95% of the buildings are not registered.  Many of these probably shouldn’t be registered - but in truth, the history of many of our old buildings is largely unknown …

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Where is the Public Planning Vision for Tasmania?

Madeleine Ogilvie MP*, Labor Member for Denison. First published October 21
22.10.16 3:50 am

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A complete lack of vision (and incompetence in strategic planning), coupled with death by a thousand financial cuts, is eroding confidence in Tasmania’s future.

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The fish (story) that the NY Times rejects …

Nic Offenbacher* Pic: of a grouper
21.10.16 3:48 am

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I mourn the absence of an apt moniker for the camel-haired candidate running for President of the United States.The male one.

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Coup d’etat: Day nine on the Camino trail ...

Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
21.10.16 3:45 am

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‘Of the twelve good Caesars, not one had a good son’. Suetonius, I think 125AD. Or it may have been John Julius Norwich, this century.

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Basslink: The very secretive State Government ...

Kelvin Jones* Pic*: of 'Geelong Star' from fleetMon.com First published October 16
21.10.16 3:30 am

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… People just want to know what actually did cause Basslink to fail. Something that for some inexplicable reason the State Government does not want to be fully revealed. 

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Kelvin the only reason for secrecy, (other than that it is normal here) is that they know full well what the fault was caused by. If they were to say outright that a ship damaged the cable the insurance company would say Not Paying. So they have to maintain secrecy until the payment comes through …

Rosalie Woodruff: Groom Silent as Basslink Finances Fail

ABC: Tasmanian energy crisis: Government ‘closely monitoring’ troubled Basslink

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A response to Eric Abetz’s comments about ‘coming out’ ...

Alison Cosker* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website First published October 13
21.10.16 3:12 am

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… I’m writing in response to the comments made by Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz this week. He said: “Ever thought why there is no celebration for those that decide to go from the homosexual to heterosexual lifestyle? Are they not honest? Are they not coming out as well?” …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Media bias means people who switch from homosexual to heterosexual aren’t celebrated: Eric Abetz

• John Hawkins in Comments: I have just watched the Clinton/Trump debate. Two appalling people the product of the current American obsession with celebrity both with no scruples, no morals and no standards and totally unfit for the job. Here no people, no media, no pollies of any quality and nobody capable of conducting any form of public debate. The only debate in Tasmania amongst those currently elected is: How do we keep keep our snouts in the trough and preferably our sticky fingers on the levers of power. Oh for principles, standards, integrity, honesty the ability to distinguish right from wrong and a straight back enabling ones head to be held high. The world we all inhabit is very very sick maybe mortally so. Nothing will be done.

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New Forests and its $5m feasibility study ...

Dr Alison Bleaney*, TPEHN* Pic: of wood pellets, Flickr. First published October 14
21.10.16 3:00 am

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It seems that New Forests is proposing to spend $5 million on a feasibility study to convert their newly acquired and now FSC certified E nitens plantations into black wood pellets to sell to Japan.

ABC: Surging plantation timber industry used to build case for logging Tasmanian reserves

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Homosexual Marriage: a plebiscite for late modern times

Christopher Nagle* First published October 19
21.10.16 2:43 am

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“As an axiomatic, non negotiable and unshakable article of faith, I believe that whether it actually delivers on it or not, marriage is overwhelmingly a reproductive engagement between life creation partners whose primary business is mentoring and modeling that relationship to their offspring, by defining to them daily, over a reproductive cycle, what it means to be men and women, and mothers and fathers, so that in their turn, those offspring can pass on those qualities to their own successors.” …

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Tenderness and treachery: Day eight on the Camino ...

Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
20.10.16 6:15 am

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A Journey to Santiago de Compostela Little Mikel is eight years old. He is on the Camino with his Dad, Alexander. Mikel speaks four languages. Spanish, German, English and Chinese. His mother lives in Bilbao, his father in Germany, he goes to a Chinese school and he learns English from TV …

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Around Australia by Schooner (of beer): Skyrockets in flight

Tom Ellison*
20.10.16 6:00 am

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Any travel writer needs to give practical, sensible advice from time to time.  Living on the road isn’t all smashed avo on organic sourdough toast, you know.  Sometimes, we need to get our hands dirty with diesel …

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How Far Off Is Abrupt Climate Change?

Keith Antonysen* First published October 18 Pic*
19.10.16 5:39 am

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The debate about coal verses renewables can go on for a long period; but, nature makes the decisions in the end …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

A Timeline of Earth’s average temperature

• Mike Bolan in Comments: It really looks too late to reverse the warming trend Keith. Given our penchant for believing that politics and perceptions to be more important than the external ‘real world’, it’s hard to see any of our government systems working to protect us. Arctic ice is apparently the main driver of undersea ocean currents that travel thousands of miles and carry nutrients and a range of species. These currents then create feeding grounds for fish and other species. The implications include - no ice/no currents/disrupted ocean ecologies. It would be great if we had some means to control climate change however our fantasy that the pseudo-science of ‘economics’ is our highest priority it seems that we’re screwed until we can change our thinking.

PeakProsperity: What Triggers Collapse EXTRACT: Though central states and banks appear to be in control of the political, social and economic order, history shows that the forces that disrupt or make obsolete the existing mode of production cannot be stopped or even slowed by governmental edict or financial controls. For example, the advent of the printing press enabled mass distribution of the Bible and other books, which boosted literacy and distributed heretical ideas that soon upended the social order and the medieval mode of production. Heavy-handed efforts to suppress this technology’s spread of new ideas (such as killing those caught distributing Bibles in vernacular languages) all failed. A variety of forces can disrupt or obsolete existing modes of production and the social order they support …

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: Turnbull declares war on Abbott ...

Media Releases
And Media


Hydro ups ante in Basslink dispute

CommSec State of the States - Strength of our economy beginning to show

Atrazine and Simazine represent 20% of pesticides entering waterways ...

European study trip on the cards for Hobart aldermen

Tasmanian Premier speaks to Governor Kate Warner after Hanson

NET LOSS: The Storm Over Salmon Farming

Is Sue Neill-Fraser innocent?

Willie wrong - again

Child Protection positions remain vacant despite Minister’s assurance

The ubiquity of sexual harassment

Letter to the Editor on Malcolm Turnbull

Tas extends recognition of overseas same-sex marriages

Lambie puts more Senate heat on Dairy Australia over conflict of interest claims

Appco: Workers launch $85m class action against marketing giant over alleged underpayment, bullying

Kingborough Council considers Australia Day awards shift

Bellerive Boardwalk: Seafarers’ Festival this Sunday

From health to law, Tasmanian women recognised in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards

COAG Council on Law and Justice

French Benedictine monks to establish community in Hobart

Howrah Community Bowls Centre Opens

Do we eat too much meat?



Devonport Regional Gallery: Explore the world of 3D printing 



Fullers, Tuesday, Oct 25: Anne Kellas in conversation with Ben Walter 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Street Life Photography, Yogyakarta Java 

What's On

What's On

Cygnet, Republic: Joe Camilleri and the Black Sorrows 



Guy’s Vision for Macquarie Point 



Well, John, do some proper looking.  Start with Bill and then look at Hillary, then count the bodies

Vote Compass

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka


Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands