"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

There’s certainly some good news in this year’s Tasmania Report ...

Image for There’s certainly some good news in this year’s Tasmania Report ...

Saul Eslake* Pic: of Saul Eslake
12.12.17 4:15 am

The TCCI Tasmania Report 2017: Executive Summary Tasmania’s economy is about $4¼bn (or 8¼%) larger than previously reckoned, because of revisions to the ABS estimates of gross state product which were included in their most recent State Accounts published last month. These revisions stem largely from the fact that the ABS now thinks the Tasmanian economy grew faster than previously reckoned between 2003-04 and 2012-13 …

Cassy O’Connor: Greens the only party with vision The social and economic challenges laid out in the Tasmania Report reinforce the need for courage and vision from all political parties contesting the 2018 State election …

Labor: Tasmania Report forces Government to confront reality on colleges

Will Hodgman: Response to the Tasmania Report

Examiner: Saul Eslake’s Tasmania Report critique sparks debate on future of colleges in Tasmania

Examiner: Saul Eslake says Tasmanian Government should sell off some of its companies

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Poker machine apocalypse ... ?

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk: http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
12.12.17 4:00 am

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There seems little doubt the fate of poker machines post 2023 will be an issue that will get plenty of coverage during the upcoming State election campaign. Depite the government assuring the Joint Select Committee into Future Gaming Markets it would be open to recommendations based on evidence, Premier Stansfield and Chief Strategist McQuestin had their minds made up well before the Committee reported.  The government arranged for a Dorothy Dixer on the 11th of September to allow the Treasurer to set out the government’s policy on gaming. If pokies are banned from communities it would have a “devastating effect on pubs and clubs” he told parliament …

… Currently on average, only 20% of player losses remain with pubs and clubs via net commissions from Federal Group’s Network Gaming. The rest flows out of town to Network Gaming. It is well beyond the wit of this writer to figure why the government is so willing to accept the dumb proposition that stopping the haemorrhaging of regional towns will have a devastating effect on those communities. It’s going to be very difficult to convince an electorate growing weary of political lies …

• Stephen Menadue, in Comments: Thanks John. As if we didn’t already know that the flow on benefits to community would be great from getting rid of the pokies, the Government would have us believe that the increased employment and sporting group t-shirt funding would be of more benefit. A child waiting outside a Gaming Lounge for their mum or dad to finish inside paints a picture of exactly how many ways these machines are tearing apart families and values …

• John Biggs in Comments: … The relevance to this thread is that the Liberals and their mates are interested only in making money. The effects of pollution and poker machines on community health and welfare simply doesn’t matter. We should be very angry indeed about that and ensure that we chuck the rotters out next election …

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‘The Palace, the Governor-General and the Dismissal of the Whitlam government ...’

John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations. Pic*
12.12.17 3:50 am

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Contrary to the accepted story that the Queen was not involved in the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975, it is now clear that the Palace had a significant role in the process. Those involved, in Australia and in Britain, kept this involvement hidden from the Australian people in a process of collusion, deception and artifice …

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Why ‘Love Makes a Way’ is not loving

Andrea Tokaji* Pic*
12.12.17 3:45 am

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On the eve of the closing of Nauru and Manus Island detention facilities, I think it is helpful to reflect on those that contribute positively to change, and those that, through their advocacy might institute further harms …

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A Tassie comic ...

Tim Logan, cartoonist. Illustrated by Jess Murray
12.12.17 3:40 am

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TT presents a brand-new Tasmanian cartoonist ...

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A former mayor says nay to an old warhorse

Bob Hawkins* Pic: Adriana Taylor
11.12.17 4:35 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games  It was respectful. It was diplomatic. But it certainly was a dressing down that Huon Valley Council commissioner Adriana Taylor handed former councillor and sometime deputy mayor Mike Wilson at HVC’s November 29 meeting.

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I don’t want smart meters

Don Maisch*
11.12.17 4:32 am

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Here is a sample ... I suggest you write your own detailing why you do NOT want smart meters ...

This is money: The great smart meter rip-off: Energy giants will use devices to DOUBLE the cost of power when you need it most • Digital smart meters rolled out as an energy-saving measure. • Meters send instant information back to energy suppliers on usage. • Energy giant British Gas is trialling charging more at peak times. • Watchdog Ofgem warned in report suppliers would develop new tariffs

• Dr Pri Bandara in Comments: Introduction of these wireless “smart” meters is not a smart move at all considering the further increase of public exposure to microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR), an environmental pollutant with serious biological/health effects that can damage mental and physical health of exposed people. 236 scientists from 41 countries who have researched on RF-EMR and published in peer-reviewed literature have urged the UN and the WHO to protect public health from this exposure …

Canberra Times: Smart meters new default, unregulated installation costs ‘encourage competition’

Advocate: Inching towards smart meters

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NATION: A double agent in the house ... ?

Urban Wronski* Pic: Flickr, Donkey Hotey
11.12.17 4:30 am

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Loud hosannas resound in Canberra. Hallelujah. Could it be the joyous news that Harry and Meghan Markle will grace us with their royal presence at a charity polo match in Marvellous Melbourne early next year? Or is it Dotard Trump’s Middle East diplomatic masterstroke? Swayed by Zionist lobbyists and fat-cat Republican donors’ demands he moves the US embassy to Jerusalem? Images of rioting, protesting Palestinians appear immediately. Any moment, son-in-law, slumlord Jared Kushner, will “deliver peace” in the Middle East on cue …

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Southern-fried half-baked woodchips

Tom Allen, campaigner, The Wilderness Society. Pic: Jam-packed crowds at the Dover meeting
11.12.17 4:25 am

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Here’s some gratuitous advice for the proponents of the proposed Southwoodfibre1 woodchip export facility at Dover: When you hold a ‘community consultation’, have a map of the site for people to see, ensure your laptop works and that you can answer questions with more detail than just platitudes. Especially if about 200 people fill a school hall, thirsty for information. Which they did and they were …

Chris Harries in Medium: Land use policy may end up being much more important than renewables Growing trees absorb more carbon than we can poke a stick at! Given all the remedies for stalling climate change, my home state of Tasmania has illustrated, almost by accident, the huge role that changes in land use can play. Tasmania has the luck of having hydro-electric resources — lofty mountains and rainfall. But being a remote economy it has also relied heavily on exploiting and exporting its natural commodities, especially via its dominant native forest logging industry. A massive turnaround in the state’s carbon emissions occurred around 2012- 2015, whereupon the state Minister for Climate Change, Matt Groom, announced that the state had quite suddenly and unexpectedly achieved its 2050 emissions abatement target several decades ahead of time. This remarkable success came about despite the state government having a very weak mitigation strategy, having almost no deliberate policies in place to reduce emissions. How did this magical, phenomenal result come about then? It was all to do with a downturn in log exports …

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The Robot Journo ...

Charles Wooley*
11.12.17 4:20 am

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Ideally a column needs a good opening line to grab the reader. How about this one from my wife Donna when I arrived home from a fishing trip: “Charlie I want you to meet my new lover …

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The Decline and Fall of RMPAT: Tribunal loses its teeth

David Halse-Rogers* Pic*
11.12.17 3:30 am

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Have you had an inappropriate development approved in your street?  Do you realise that the loss of your view, light or airflow is now considered irrelevant to planning authorities? Developments, which maximise profit at the expense of neighbours’ amenities, are now festering like un-lanced boils across many suburbs and town in Tasmania As many Tasmanians will now be aware, the State Government is in the process of implementing new, contentious, standardised planning legislation designed, supposedly, to make development applications …“fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler”.  The Government mantra does not state for whom the new State-wide planning scheme will be ...“fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler”, but it is not hard to work out that the developer will be in the driver’s seat from now on …

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Whose victory was it that the MPs were celebrating ... ?

David Chadwick* Pic: Nic McBride on Flickr
10.12.17 8:00 am

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With a truly wonderful outpouring of emotion at 5.58pm Friday evening at that moment the parliament erupted in what I’m sure was the most a heartfelt joy ever expressed in the chamber of the new parliament house.  It was so good to watch.  It would have been nice to have been there, but would it?  Whose victory was it that the MPs were celebrating … ?

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Just how removed is the Integrity Commission from government influence ... ?

Lyndall Rowley* Pic: Nelson Pavlosky, Flickr
09.12.17 4:00 am

Image for Just how removed is the Integrity Commission from government influence ... ?

Concerned about the numerous stories on TT surrounding mismanagement, maladministration, misconduct and many other negative accounts of poor government and poor conduct by public servants in Tasmania, I went browsing over the internet …

Mercury: Tasmanian Integrity Commission warns on public servant exits TASMANIA’S Integrity Commission has recommended changes to allow disciplinary findings against public servants who have quit their post. A commission report has found changes should be made to the State Services Act to prevent investigations ceasing once an employee subject to allegations of misconduct leaves. The recommendation is one of three made by the Commission following an investigation into the management of misconduct in the state’s public service. The report also recommends a written record of proceedings and action taken be kept for seven years …

ABC: Integrity watchdog calls for significant changes to handling of misconduct by Tasmania’s public service

Examiner: Tasmanian Integrity Commission delivers report on state service misconduct

The Integrity Commission: Investigation report recommends legislative changes for misconduct accountability

• David Obendorf in Comments: … In the case of Pandora’s box, unbridled curiosity when acted upon opened up and released consequences. As the myth tells it, when the box was open: Pandora could still hear a voice calling to her from the box, pleading with her to be let out. Her husband Epimetheus agreed that nothing inside the box could be worse than the horrors that had already been released, so they opened the lid once more. All that remained in the box was Hope. For me, the lesson from Pandora’s box is – be careful what I release because sometimes all that remains is Hope …

• Bob in Comments: Hodgman’s Chief of Staff Stansfield comes from the Abetz office. It shows and says it all really! ‘I didn’t say that’ and ‘not available for comment’ appears to be the Liberal Party mantra these days. Roll on March!

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For Eleanor ...

Dr Michael Rowan*
08.12.17 5:00 am

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Editor: I asked Michael Rowan for a copy of this wonderful eulogy at the celebration of Eleanor’s life a couple of months ago. Here it is …

• Isla MacGregor in Comments: Thank you for posting.  I very much enjoyed reading Michael Rowan’s eulogy for Eleanor. She truly was a great contributor to girls’ and women’s equality and for the principles of universal and high standards of education.

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TWO Martyn Turners on Trump ... and Jerusalem ...

Cartoons*: Martyn Turner, used with permission
08.12.17 4:45 am

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Cartoons*: Martyn Turner, used with permission

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‘Jacqui Lambie looming large over 2018 Tasmanian election, as Liberals, Labor neck and neck’

ABC. Pic: of Will Hodgman from his website
07.12.17 4:45 am

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The Hodgman Liberal Government is facing a disaster at next year’s Tasmanian election and Jacqui Lambie is partly to blame, according to political analysts …

Mercury: Poll shows Labor level with Libs TASMANIA is hurtling towards minority government as Labor draws level with Will Hodgman’s Liberals in a key poll for the first time in more than seven years …

The definitive Dr Bonham: Dr Kevin Bonham: EMRS Says The Wheels Are Falling Off, HERE If the December EMRS poll is to be believed (see also the helpful trend tracker), the Hodgman Government is currently headed for a Campbell Newman-like reversal of fortune at the 2018 Tasmanian state election.  Having won a massive victory from Opposition at the 2014 state election, the current poll suggests Hodgman’s government, much like Newman’s, could be going straight back where it came from and that election night could be carnage with incumbents losing all over the place - to Labor, the Greens, the Lambie Network and their own party.  On a like for like basis (which is rather difficult to follow through old EMRS poll reports) this seems to be the Liberals’ lowest primary in an EMRS poll since August 2006 …

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Policies for a Sheltered Workshop

Gordon Bradbury*, Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative
06.12.17 6:30 am

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Before we delve into the crocodile infested waters of Tasmanian forest politics I recommend reading this review of public native forest administration by economist John Lawrence first …

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NATION: A shameful betrayal of trust and responsibility

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
04.12.17 5:03 am

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“Yes we have no bananas. We have no bananas today.” (Frank Silver, Irving Cohn from, Make it Snappy 1922.)

… A surreal political week reaches peak bullshit, the communications strategy of our era and one of the greatest dangers we face as a people and as a nation, Saturday. It’s the talking up of Barnaby Joyce’s victory in the New England by election Saturday. Professional political con-artist, Malcolm Turnbull gives four cheers for his side-kick Joyce. Two stooges in concert in Tamworth, he and his deputy are dressed like stock agents on a Saturday night out. Costume is vital to any Nationals’ occasion …

… Tingle calls the targeting of industry super an “ideological fatwa”. It is clearly an extension of the government’s war on workers and their attempts to organise their labour to protect their rights and conditions through unions …

Guardian: Labor MPs in Turnbull’s sights as Coalition aims to revive citizenship saga Staff in PM’s office say Justine Keay and Susan Lamb could be referred to high court after same-sex marriage legalised …

Guardian: Polls give Labor clear lead over Coalition, keeping pressure on Turnbull Newspoll and Fairfax-Ipsos poll both have Labor leading 53-47 and show Julie Bishop is most popular preferred prime minister …

Guardian: Shades of Sir Humphrey in banking royal commission terms of reference Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison could hardly have done more to express hope that the inquiry will not actually find any wrongdoing

Laura Tingle, AFR: Peril in a banking royal commission framed in political desperation Royal commissions are notoriously dangerous politics in the best of circumstances. The perils of such an inquiry framed in an atmosphere of political desperation are likely to only be greater. The arguments for a really powerful inquiry into the banks have long been made. But it is not at all clear that this compromised, begrudging body will deliver what frustrated bank customers would like to see established, nor even what its actual purpose will be … Most notably, and outrageously, the terms of reference make it clear that the royal commission will be targeted as much at the superannuation industry, and particularly industry super, as the banks, as the Coalition continues its ideological fatwa against one of the few sectors of the financial industry that has actually been delivering for its customers …

Huffington Post: Parties That Are Meant To Protect Farmers Are Failing Us When It Comes To Adani

Guardian Live: Labor asks Turnbull to explain photo with Chinese political donor – question time live

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The commercialisation of the Tasmanian wilderness ...

Donald Knowler* Pic*
03.12.17 4:30 am

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Author Don Knowler voiced his concern about the commercialisation of the Tasmanian wilderness when he was invited to address the annual general meeting of the Tasmanian National Parks Association on November 26. Here is his speech

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My terrible experience of flying Jetstar ...

Fiona Leslie, Scotland UK
03.12.17 4:15 am

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… Our experience was very different and not one we ever would want to repeat …

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Who wins the Dodo award this week?

Ted Mead* Pic*
02.12.17 3:15 am

Image for Who wins the Dodo award this week?

When it come to senseless and wanton forest destruction then it would be difficult to choose between Queensland and Tasmania as to which state is presently more archaic …

Blow the lid off deforestation “The majority of koalas will never receive treatment. Their bodies will be broken and churned up with chopped vegetation, get piled up into big rows and then burnt or chipped.” Dr Jon Hanger.

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Editor's Choice

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There’s certainly some good news in this year’s Tasmania Report ...

Media Releases
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The Briefing ... Peter Dutton ...

Beyond Dastyari: Donations reveal links between Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo and politicians

Would you believe this ... ?

Response to the Tasmania Report

Fish feed facility nutritious for North West economy

Greens the only party with vision

Tasmania Report forces Government to confront reality on colleges

$56 million boost for Wesley Vale

$56 million boost for Wesley Vale

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions highest on record

A smoking ban in UK prisons could lead to months or even years of rioting

Nuclear annihilation ‘one tantrum away’, Nobel peace prize winner warns

Magpie edges out white ibis and kookaburra as Australian bird of the year

$56 million aqua feed production facility proposed for north west Tasmania

Fears of Christmas delays at the LGH emergency department

Tasmanian teachers ‘stressed’ by staff cuts says union, but Premier calls ‘fake news’

East Launceston Oval: Time to get serious ...

The Briefing ... Sam Dastyari ...

Stop the dumbing down of the ABC

Bass Strait ferry boost ‘biggest game changer since Mona’, says tourism boss Luke Martin




Devonport Regional Gallery: December 2017 Newsletter 



Hobart Bookshop: Launch of Wish You Were Here. TONIGHT: Sold 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Meet a Local Travel Series – The Original Australian Series available on DVD! 

What's On

What's On

Wrest Point, L’ton, Burnie: Lee Kernaghan 



Martyn Turner on Brexit ... 



As the saying goes:  evil prospers when good people do nothing. In 2014 Peter Bright and I made contact with Barry Greenberry.…

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