"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

Tassietimes is back on February 5 (hopefully ...)

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Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: Santa on head by Steph, publican's daughter, Montgomerys Hotel, 2006
17.01.18 7:59 am

All things being well ... Tassietimes will be back on February 5 …

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Thankyou guyz ... The Chrissy shutdown ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: Santa on head by Steph, publican's daughter, Montgomerys Hotel, 2006
20.12.17 3:45 am

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First of all a huge thanks to the monthly supporters including JB, PJB, PJG, NJS, KR, ITL, AD, Anon, Anon, Anon, Anon, Anon, Monthly Subs, O’Dw, N&CG, WB, Alison among many others. And a special thanks to Tame Beak who has saved TT from numerous threats of writs. Thankyou guyz …

… So, midnight last night was the last time you were able to comment ... for six weeks. In those six weeks TT will be upgraded to the very latest technology. It’s been a decade since we’ve upgraded ...

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Pokies: Two rippers from John Lawrence ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk: http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: Pat Caplice
20.12.17 3:40 am

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• Pokie reflections ...

• Will the sky fall in if pokies are removed?

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Greetings from the Tarkine’s elusive waterfalls ...

Ted Mead* Pic*
20.12.17 3:34 am

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Hidden deep in the remote enclaves of the Tarkine await new discoveries. ‘Seek and ye shall find’ – Sometimes I go searching for them, and sometimes they appear through serendipity. Regardless to what eventuates, the cascade of water amidst rainforest is one of the most splendid sights to behold …

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A Poker Machine led boost for Tasmania’s economy and social health

Ivo Edwards*
19.12.17 5:45 am

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Summary: An opportunity exists to convert Tasmania’s problematic poker machine gambling social and financial costs to a world leading example whereby poker machine use incurs no overall losses to gamblers.  This is by making the machines revenue neutral, with no proportion of money gambled going to the pubs/clubs, the Government or the machine providers. Economic argument is presented to justify a conversion of Tasmania’s present unique position whereby it has thousands of the insidious money sucking leach-like machines, to make Tasmania the Cayman Island tax Mecca equivalent for gamblers worldwide, for revenue neutral poker machine gambling and a social problem free incredible boost to the State’s tourism industry.

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NATION: Turnbull’s Yellow Peril 2.0 is the panda in the room

Urban Wronski* Pic: of Sam Dastyari ...
19.12.17 4:40 am

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“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. George Orwell, 1984   Nothing in our politics excites such primitive passions than a public shaming of a traitor - and his expulsion from our virtuous midst. Especially if this involves a public lynching. And so it is with the extraordinary story of the casting out of diabolical Sam Dastyari which dominates the week in politics eclipsing even the Bennelong bunfight, a bit of a non-event save for a 6% swing to Labor so far which would win it the next federal election. But nothing will ever rescue Sam …

ABC: George Brandis is off to London, sparking pre-Christmas Cabinet reshuffle

• John Biggs in Comments: … Turnbull’s public performances are getting increasingly manic and unworthy. His performance on Q&A was particularly shocking in the condescending insulting down-putting way he treated those with a different view to his own, and his treatment of the aboriginal activist showed he didn’t even understand parliamentary representation as if Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney were in Parliament to represent aboriginals, and not their electorates. Is he that ignorant, or is it that he uses his power one way to make up anything that will make his questioner look foolish when they don’t have adequate right of reply. (Virginia Trioli’s chairperson-ship didn’t help very much).

New Matilda: Sam Slammed, But Not By A Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog, Notably

The Saturday Paper: Nuance needed with China

John Menadue: MUNGO MACCALLUM: Turnbull overhauls his hyperbole You may have missed it in all the excitement and jubilation of the passage of same sex marriage, but last week Malcolm Turnbull announced the most significant overhaul of Australia’s espionage laws in decades. Given that just about all our Prime Minister’s announcements proclaim the greatest reform since federation, or the most sweeping advance since the second world war, or at least the sexiest makeover since last week, you could be forgiven for getting over-excited. But the bills introduced in the dying hours of the parliamentary session do involve a considerable shake up, and, like so many of Turnbull’s ideas, at first glance they sound pretty good. The problem is that even a cursory analysis suggests that either there will be unexpected consequences, or that they simply won’t work …

Phillip Coorey, AFR: The Nationals rupture as Malcolm Turnbull reshuffles cabinet The Nationals are on the brink of an internal revolt after leader Barnaby Joyce dumped two of his ministers as part of a Coalition cabinet reshuffle announced by Malcolm Turnbull, which places a heavy emphasis on wooing votes in Queensland. Mr Turnbull has added several new faces to his ministry - including five new Cabinet appointments - in what he plans to be the final reshuffle of his front bench before the next federal election. In Mr Turnbull’s fifth ministerial shake-up in just over two years as leader, two Nationals - new deputy leader Bridget Mckenzie and first-term Queensland MP David Littleproud - jumped straight from the back bench to cabinet. They replace Nationals MP and Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester, who was controversially dumped, and former Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash who was disqualified for being a dual citizen when elected …

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Fox program investigation findings

Integrity Commission
19.12.17 4:30 am

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… The investigation identified that while there were administrative and management issues, they were not indicative of misconduct. …

ABC: Fox finding: Inquiry clears Tasmanian eradication team of fabricating evidence

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Letter to the Editor on POKIES

Dr Frank Nicklason
18.12.17 4:30 am

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Dear editor, In the lead up to the State election Tasmanian people will decide whether or not to vote for a party which, if returned to government, would entrench poker machines in clubs and pubs around Tasmania. There is a rare opportunity to remove poker machines from these venues. It seems likely that poker machine policy may be a vote changing issue for this election. As a great deal rides on the decision of the electorate there will be furious claim and heated counter claim. It is likely that there will be more heat than light. It could be helpful to consider the tactics used by any industry that wishes to justify its business model and protect profits …

Peter Gutwein, Treasurer: What will White cut to pay for job-destroying pokies policy?

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

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A Submission to the Senate Enquiry into Forestry Managed Investment Schemes

John Hawkins* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website
18.12.17 4:15 am

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The Greens submitted a dissenting report to the Senate Enquiry based on the fact that the Chairs’s Report seriously underplayed the role that taxation incentives provided in fuelling the forestry MIS bubble. They noted that the ATO sought to address this issue. The part played by Minister’s Eric Abetz and Peter Dutton in legislating a specific workaround allowing for 70% of the investment to be deducted upfront without having to prove that they were carrying on a business, stumped the ATO …

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Saving seed in Tasmania ... and a multinational company ...

Steven French* Pic*
17.12.17 5:30 am

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The thin edge of the wedge has arrived in Whitemore, Tasmania …

• Michael Anderson in Comments: In the US, where I live, it has taken the form of expensive lawsuits aimed at private citizens (farmers or just regular Joes) who grow heirloom crops and/or save seeds.  The culprits are Dow, Monsanto, and Archer-Daniels-Midland. You can fully expect your politicians to take their side as these multinationals are bribing them hand over fist.  Money talks and b———t walks. Their GMO plants can’t grow without petroleum-derived chemicals to keep them alive, but they can make your plants sterile.  They - Don’t - Care.

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Chinese Political Donations to the Libs in Tasmania? Naaaaaaah ...

John Hawkins* Pic*
16.12.17 3:45 am

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All this fuss over Dastyari and Huang Xiangmo merely exemplifies the power of the Murdoch Press which never mentions this Chinese businessman’s connections with Tasmania …

• Cameron in Comments: … Secondly, this article allowed me to bask yet again in the golden moment of Nikolic’s defeat at the 2016 election. What a divine moment of natural justice it was, for the man who believed that the way forward was to threaten constituents who didn’t agree with him, who treated many of them with nothing more than blatant contempt, and who was nothing more, at the end of the day, than a pathetic schoolyard bully. Having said all that, I would mind hearing his answers to the questions posed by Mr Hawkins. It’ll never happen, but it would be verrrry interesting.

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Barnett defends the indefensible GBE with more spin, deception and blame

Ted Mead* Pic*
16.12.17 3:30 am

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At the recent Government Business Enterprise hearings Guy Barnett’s spruiked the prosperity of the Tasmanian Forest industry for 2017. This was yet another falsehood by the minister himself. In fact it was a tumultuous year for FT/ STT, and the firesale of flogging–off their hardwood plantations for a song proved how diabolical their present scenario is. So what is the government really doing to address the native forestry industry’s afflictions … ?

… The Hodgman government’s robotic thinking continues to see the well-greased wheels of insatiable native forest logging in Tasmania grinding away at decimating High Conservation Areas. To put it simply, they know no other way to utilise a finite resource beyond recklessly mismanaging it at a high cost to the taxpayer and the environment …

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Poker machine apocalypse? LABOR’S POLICY ...

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk: http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
16.12.17 3:14 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 …

CWA: It’s time to get pokies out of Tassie’s suburbs The CWA in Tasmania has added its voice to the statewide campaign to get pokies out of Tasmania’s suburbs. Lindy Cleeland, state President CWA in Tas, said: “The CWA stands for strong communities and our members know just how much stronger those communities can be with pokies gone from our local pubs and clubs. “We urge everyone with a view on this issue to speak up and get that message to their local political representatives and the candidates for the 2018 election …

Andrea Dawkins, Greens’ gambling spokesperson: … Will Hodgman and Rebecca White need to think long and hard about whether they intend to prioritise the lives and wellbeing of Tasmanians, or the coffers of Federal Group.

Rebecca White, Labor Leader: Poker machines out of pubs and clubs in five years under Majority Labor Government A re-elected Majority Labor Government will act to remove poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs over the next five years. Last financial year Tasmanians lost $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs - money that could be better spent in our communities supporting small business and families. A report by economics professor John Mangan shows that if just half of those losses from poker machines were diverted to other parts of the economy, more than 180 full time jobs would be created. The harmful impacts of poker machine gambling are widespread. They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected …

Rebecca White, Labor Leader: Poker machines out of pubs and clubs in five years under Majority Labor Government A re-elected Majority Labor Government will act to remove poker machines from Tasmanian pubs and clubs over the next five years. Last financial year Tasmanians lost $110 million on poker machines in pubs and clubs - money that could be better spent in our communities supporting small business and families. A report by economics professor John Mangan shows that if just half of those losses from poker machines were diverted to other parts of the economy, more than 180 full time jobs would be created. The harmful impacts of poker machine gambling are widespread. They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected …

Rebecca White on Labor’s policy HERE

Meg Webb, Anglicare: Listening to the people Anglicare has welcomed the Labor Party’s decision to support the removal of poker machines from hotels and clubs. “We are pleased to see politicians catching up with community sentiment,” said Anglicare’s Meg Webb. Manager of the Social Action and Research Centre. “Labor has responded to the clear vision of Tasmanians who want thriving local neighborhoods free of poker machines.” “Labor took the time to consult and has developed a policy that’s in the public interest,” said Ms Webb. “They examined the evidence, listened to local communities and have made the right choice on this issue …”

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes: At Long Last ... The Change Tasmanians Want With Labor’s announcement of its policy on poker machines today, Tasmania sits at a moment where profound change is possible. “This is one of those moments, much like the announcement of how Tasmanians voted on marriage equality a couple of weeks ago—a moment when we can feel meaningful change in the air,” CEO of TasCOSS Kym Goodes said. “The overwhelming majority of Tasmanians will feel represented by this policy announcement and it bodes well for a future where the power and strength of the Tasmanian people sits at the core of our vision for the future of this state. “This is not simply about a change to long term policy on pokies in our state. “This announcement and the clear and genuine consultation that preceded it is an acknowledgement that our political representatives recognise that they are meant to do just that: represent the views of the people of Tasmania …

ABC: Poker machines out of Tasmanian pubs, clubs by 2023 under Labor promise

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison: ALP pokies policy a win for the community and common sense … “We know that poker machines cause or at least add to many social ills including crime, domestic violence, suicide and childhood poverty. That’s why I recently launched the Pokies are the Problem campaign to encourage the Opposition to come up with a decent policy on poker machines, and I’m glad that this has finally happened. “I now call on the Liberals to step up and match Labor’s commitment because completely removing poker machines from hotels and clubs is the only sensible policy and the only policy that will seriously reduce harm …

Unions Tasmania: Unions Tasmania reaction to poker machine removal

Andrea Dawkins, Greens gambling spokesperson: Community Pokies Campaign Yields Fruit

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster: End of pokies scourge a good move

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party: SFFP does not support an attack on Rural and Regional employment in Hospitality and Tourism

Labor: Does Hodgman actually have a poker machine policy?

Andrea Dawkins: THA Must Reconsider Approach to Pokies

Labor: Liberals increasingly isolated as Lambie speaks out strongly on poker machines

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The tear of reminiscence ...

Donald Knowler* Pic*
16.12.17 3:00 am

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A tear hung on Don Bentley’s cheek, refusing to budge, refusing to run down his face and splash on the floor of the No 34 tram to St. Kilda. Bentley could see a young Asian woman, a student maybe, looking at him, looking up from her scrolling on a smart-phone. He didn’t care, he willed her to come over to his seat from the far side of the isle, to ask him why a man in his early seventies, was riding the No 34 tram with a tear on his cheek, and more welling in his eyes …

• Robert Middleton in Comments: Words as good as gold, Mr Knowler. Writing at its finest. Powerful enough to be felt and savored here, on the other side of the world from you. Good as gold.

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The Prosser dinosaurs ...

Paul Tapp*
16.12.17 2:55 am

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For years now where the Prosser River meets the sea in the once-sleepy hamlet of Orford, modern dinosaurs have been disturbing the tranquility … in the name of the inevitable triplets of such a beautiful spot, Progress, More Progress and Even More Progress …

Libs: Swansea Boat Ramp launches boatloads of benefits

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FREE books. First in, Best dressed ... !x

16.12.17 2:50 am

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Tasmanian Times has books to give away ... including four Pet Cookbooks (by Kim McCosker), Operation Playboy by Kathryn Bonella, At Hell’s Gate, 4 true tales as told to Mark Abernethy, and The Burden of Lies by Richard Beasley, a Peter Tanner thriller …

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Big year for centenaries, this 2017 ...

Leonard Colquhoun* Pic*
16.12.17 2:45 am

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… what with 1517’s Martin Luther (not ‘King’) and 1917’s Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (né ‘Ulyanov’) … And although less widely known, 717 Arab at Constantinople, another 1517 in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, 1717 re Belgrade from the Ottomans, leading to our very own Light Horsemen at Beersheba, leading via very important evens and decisions in the next few years to . . .

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Housing is a human right ...

Josh Eiszele* Pic: Flickr
14.12.17 4:05 am

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Housing is a human right. This undeniable principle should be universally adhered to; however, governments the world over continue to undermine it. Take, for example the case of Ni Yulan. This 57-year-old Chinese activist has been imprisoned three times, endured torture so severe that she has been left wheelchair-bound and, along with her family, continues to be harassed by her government. Although you may suspect Ni of committing an offence of the most egregious nature, she is actually being punished for defending housing rights …

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A former mayor says nay to an old warhorse

Bob Hawkins* Pic: of Adriana Taylor
14.12.17 4:00 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 …

… A NAGGING THOUGHT. Why is Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein so determined that HVC will not get involved in local government-reform talks with its Kingborough Council neighbour? For some mysterious reason, Gutwein — despite his enthusiastic appeal a couple of years back to councils to get talking about local-government reform among themselves — has segregated HVC from all other councils and virtually barred it from participating in inter-council discussions, especially on the possibility of amalgamations …

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Letter to the Editor ... on Flinders Island ...

Cameron Hindrum, Launceston, Tas. Pic: ABC, Rhiannon Shine
13.12.17 9:45 am

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Sir, I hope that the news from Flinders Island today is embraced by all Tasmanians. The island is now being run almost entirely by renewable energy, specifically wind and solar power, and I hope that this provides a feasible blueprint for the development of a feasible renewable energy policy by the next state government …

ABC: Flinders Island going for green with renewable energy hub, farewells dirty diesel

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

Saul Eslake* Pic: of Saul Eslake
13.12.17 9:30 am

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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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Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

The Guardian Logo

Michael West Logo

ABC News Logo

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Pokies: Two rippers from John Lawrence ...

Media Releases
And Media


Eric Abetz asks public service for its Christmas, Easter and Ramadan messages

Letter to the Editor on ‘pet projects doomed to fail’

Newspoll: Xenophon’s SA Best gains stunning lead over Labor and Liberals in South Australia

This Is How to Invest Locally

Tasmanian woman told ro repay benefit for marriage that wasn’t recognised ...

Tasmania Health Crisis

Eaten Fish, Manus Island’s refugee cartoonist, given sanctuary in northern Europe

Government forgets to come up with poker machine policy

Volunteering Tasmania: A message from our CEO ...

Regional pubs thriving without pokies

Premier must step in and end health farce

Australian architects to design the nation’s first dementia village

Clean Energy Taroona Community Choir

Hobart City Council divests from fossil fuels

The Briefing ... underpayment of workers ...

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Tasmania on Gaming

University funding frozen and students facing lifetime caps on amount they can borrow

Revamp of Tasmanian health system should be immediate, says analyst

AIHW report: More Australians using pharmaceuticals ...

NUS Condemns the Liberals’ Cuts

Our ABC - your chance to have a say: Launceston, Friday 9th Feb 2018



Despard Gallery: Still looking for that perfect Christmas gift? 



Poet Invites Readers into Her Beautifully Messy Mixed-Up World 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



New Zealand 2018, The O.G. Travel Vlogger back on the road! 

What's On

What's On

Wrest Point, L’ton, Burnie: Lee Kernaghan 



Mayor of Hobart City is a contact for the Wizarding World ... 



Thank you, Mr Mead! I need to return to the Tarkine with my camera and do my bit to make pics that will strangle the viewer…

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