"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

Please help me. I am in serious trouble ...

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Ivo Edwards* Pic*
24.09.17 6:11 am

Tasmanian Times readers might remember my pleading letter to the Derwent Valley Council (DVC) to not approve the proposed limestone quarry at Roberts Rd, Maydena, just across the road from our old ANM property near Maydena (article linked below) …

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Aboriginal Education and the 800 large ...

The Hag*
24.09.17 5:30 am

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In July this year four state government tenders were awarded to a media company called DCNSTRCT Pty Ltd. They totalled more than $800,000 …

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17 comments

The absurdity of a 25-seat Parliament ...

Dr Ian Broinowski* Pic*
24.09.17 5:15 am

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Letter to the Editor Matthew Groom’s admission that the pressure of several portfolios and the need to balance his family life was too much is an indictment on the absurdity of a 25-seat Parliament …

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17 comments

Father of Hare-Clark: Andrew Inglis Clark (1848-1907)

Reg A Watson*
24.09.17 5:00 am

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Father of Federation and of the Hare-Clark voting system ... Barrister, Parliamentarian, Attorney-General, electoral reformer and Constitutionalist The Hare-Clark electoral system, used for Tasmanian Lower House elections, is peculiar to the State and remains relatively unknown in most places of the world.  It has been in use continuously since 1907.  It is interesting to learn the history of the men behind the scenes who forced its adoption, primarily Thomas Hare, an English barrister, and Tasmanian-born Andrew Inglis Clark …

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CoalWire: The latest ...

Bob Burton, CoalWire, https://endcoal.org/category/coalwire/ Pic*
23.09.17 4:45 am

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CoalWire is a weekly news bulletin which summarises the most significant developments affecting the global coal industry and highlights the efforts of groups around the world working on coal-related issues. CoalWire is published by CoalSwarm.

Read here

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Wind on kunanyi/Mt Wellington and MWCC’s proposed cable car ...

Ben Jones, South Hobart. Pic*
21.09.17 4:45 am

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Letter to the Editor CERTU, the technical agency of the French ministry for energy, ecology and sustainable planning and development, published a report on “Aerial cableways as urban transport systems” in 2011. This report states that, “Poor weather, and in particular high winds, are the main causes for service interruptions …

Mercury: Electors’ poll likely on Hobart skyscrapers

Mercury: ‘We simply can’t trust the council with confidential information’: Cable car proponent slams council

• Tim Upston in Comments, HERE: The Liberals’ outrageous rigging of planning laws has already caused untold misery and loss of real estate values for many Tasmanians ... Gutwein and his cronies have no other driving ambition than to try to turn the tide for their developer mates who have been kept at bay in this state as it has been acclaimed internationally for its natural assets which have seen a massive increase in tourism. Our unique place, flora and fauna is something we should be celebrating ... but Gutwein would rather we just become another high rise metropolis with a top storey view of the mountains ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

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How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Renewable Energy ...

Low-Tech magazine via Chris Harries* Pic*
21.09.17 4:30 am

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For people who may be perplexed by the current energy debate (and who isn’t?) here is a nice educational article that goes back to basics and explains what is in store for us as we try to transform society to run on dilute energy forms …

The Conversation: How better data would improve the electricity market The Australian Electricity Regulator is investigating whether wholesale electricity generators in New South Wales are bidding “in good faith” in the electricity market. Good faith means price changes are the result of real problems, such as weather or machinery failure, rather than market manipulation. The reason the regulator doesn’t already know the answer to this question is that the market is opaque – the data are not easily workable for analysis. In our ongoing research into the electricity market we have run into the same problem. We’ve only been able to make headway by applying big data tools. Although not bidding in good faith isn’t illegal in the Australian electricity market, it is reminiscent of fradulent bidding in United States Treasury bond markets in the 1990s. We can learn from how this scandal was dealt with – brokerage firms were required to provide data that could be clearly monitored. This increased transparency and led to lower costs …

Examiner: Media leak to be investigated by Tasmanian Parliament’s Privileges Committee

Mercury: MLC Ivan Dean delays motion to refer leaks to Parliamentary Privileges Committee

Malcolm Farr, news.com.au: THE nation’s top competition guardian today cleared clean energy schemes of the major blame for soaring electricity costs. … More than 60 per cent of price jumps which are angering households and businesses came from rises in network prices and retail margins rather than subsidies for environmental schemes such as solar energy. But Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Simms had no reprieve for governments which he said had to intervene more in the power industry market. And he told gas producers they had a “social responsibility” to better serve the domestic market, warning they might otherwise look like banks which unfairly evicted farmers. Mr Simms told the National Press Club in Canberra that of electricity price increases, over 40 per cent was due to rises in network charges, 24 per cent in higher retail margins, and 19 per cent in bigger generation costs …

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Richard Flanagan In Conversation with Phillip Adams

State Cinema
19.09.17 1:30 pm

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In his first public Tasmanian event since winning the 2014 Booker Prize, Richard will be speaking about his highly anticipated new novel First Person.

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6 comments

NATION: Turnbull government marks two years of inertia, paralysis and failure

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
19.09.17 6:00 am

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… In like Flynn, Hadgkiss was immediately appointed, in 2013, by then Employment Minister, Eric Abetz, to head the Fair Work Building Inspectorate. Shortly after his appointment he told inspectorate staff not to correct misinformation to employers that they could direct unions where they could hold their on-site meetings, advice which was left uncorrected for two years, despite warnings from CFMEU and Commission staff …

… Deaths in construction soared to 19 in the first six months of 2017, equivalent to 38 per year, the worst rate on record. Under Abbott, deaths became more frequent but under Turnbull, the rate at which workers are killed has accelerated. The fatality rate is even more worrying given the industry’s unprecedented three consecutive years of investment decline under the Abbott-Turnbull government with a corresponding slump in output. The ABCC was supposed to revitalise the industry. Construction would boom once government relaxed the red tape in a new era of deregulation …

… Worse. It was the savage god, the economy, that ravenous beast that made him do it. He had to knife his PM, he said, in his languid, lofty, hollow, vowels primarily, because Abbott was hopeless with budgets and spending. Simply no idea of how to act like an economic leader, or what tie to wear, let alone how to keep a Cayman Island company or trust afloat …

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DPIPWE quietly abandons Fox probe. What’s going on here?

Brian Carlton, Tasmania Talks.
19.09.17 5:50 am

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Brian Carlton:  Excellent. Now the DPIPWE investigation into the Fox Eradication Program appears to have been quietly abandoned by DPIPWE, what’s going on there?

HAG ...

RELATED ...

• Media Watch on the thylacine sighting. And the odds that Tasmanian Tigers are still alive ...

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64 comments

‘Renowned Wilderness man, Les Southwell, dies aged 88’

Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Campaign Manager, The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc Media Release Pic*
19.09.17 5:45 am

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Les Southwell, a towering figure of last century wilderness travel and photography in Tasmania and Victoria, has been found dead in the Victorian Alps. He had been separated from companions and was sitting outside his tent near snowy Mt Bogong when he died, aged 88 …

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‘Gutwein’s Major Projects Legislation will deliver Fragrance Skyscrapers for Hobart and Launceston’

Peter McGlone Director Tasmanian Conservation Trust Media Release Pic*
19.09.17 5:30 am

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The TCT said today that Peter Gutwein’s Draft Major Projects Legislation, if enacted, will deliver the Fragrance Skyscrapers in Hobart and Launceston, against the interests of local communities. ‘It seems that the purpose of the legislation is to fast track the approval of any development that is vehemently opposed by the community including the two massive Fragrance skyscrapers proposed for Hobart and the recently announced 70 metre high Fragrance hotel proposed for next to Launceston’s City Park,’ said TCT Director Peter McGlone …

… The Major Projects Legislation Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (major projects) Bill 2017 and Consultation Paper were released for public comment on 28 August 2017 with comments due on 2 October 2017. To date there has been no attempt by the government to inform the Tasmanian people of what these changes involve and no attempt to encourage or assist people to make submissions. The TCT encourages all concerned people to make submissions by the 2 October deadline, including via the TCT’s website.

• Tim Upston in Comments: The Liberals’ outrageous rigging of planning laws has already caused untold misery and loss of real estate values for many Tasmanians ... Gutwein and his cronies have no other driving ambition than to try to turn the tide for their developer mates who have been kept at bay in this state as it has been acclaimed internationally for its natural assets which have seen a massive increase in tourism. Our unique place, flora and fauna is something we should be celebrating ... but Gutwein would rather we just become another high rise metropolis with a top storey view of the mountains ...

Greens: No Reassurance for Launceston Over Fragrance Skyscraper

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Federal Group’s 20 year haul

John Lawrence*, Tasfintalk, http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic*
18.09.17 5:30 am

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Back in 1996 the Federal Group’s leisure business comprised the two casinos. Its revenue in that year was $134 million, well over half coming from gaming activities including tables, pokies and Keno. Net profit after tax for the leisure business was $4.4 million. The Group’s freight business provided another $2.2 million in profit. Borrowings were $50 million. In 1996 there was no spare cash to pay dividends to shareholders.

All was soon to change. On the first of January 1997 poker machines were rolled out into the community. Over the next 20 year the Group bought 12 pubs, the 9/11 bottleshop chain, built the Saffire resort, bought the leasehold business known as the Henry Jones Art Hotel, and acquired the lease on the new Maq01 hotel on Hobart’s waterfront.

The cash tsunami was such there was enough left to pay $238 million as dividends to shareholders over the period. At the end on the 2016 year borrowings were $123 million, an increase of only $73 million over the 20 year period …

news.com.au: The problem we just want to ignore

Greens: THA is Wrong on Liquor and Gaming Commission

MEANWHILE ... the cosy relationship between big business and the Libs/Labs ...

Greens: Tassal, Liberals and Labor Need to Start Listening

Jeremy Rockliff: Okehampton Bay protest

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5 comments

The Sacred Trust of Ross Heritage

Kim Peart* Pic*
18.09.17 5:00 am

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The town of Ross has a really special place in the heart of anyone who visits this historic heritage village, so when the Council in charge decides to build a new toilet block, approves the use of sandstone in its construction (FIG 1), and then attempts a conjurer’s trick of replacing real sandstone with imitation sandstone concrete blocks (FIG 3), is the sacred trust to care for the precious heritage of Ross being breached … ?

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5 comments

Clean Coal is Just Dirty Coal – Here’s the Facts!

Ted Mead* Pic*
17.09.17 6:45 am

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Burning coal is archaic, unhealthy, and uneconomical, yet the Turnbull government is fixated on continuing down the same old fossil-fuelled generation path. The Liberals solution to reigning in atmospheric emissions is to construct new electric generation plants using clean coal. But there is no logical justification to do so beyond supporting their donating coal magnate cronies …

… The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2009) estimated coal’s health impacts cost taxpayers $2.6 billion every year …

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31 comments

The latest on coal ...

Bob Burton, CoalWire, https://endcoal.org/category/coalwire/ Pic*
17.09.17 6:42 am

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CoalWire is a weekly news bulletin which summarises the most significant developments affecting the global coal industry and highlights the efforts of groups around the world working on coal-related issues. CoalWire is published by CoalSwarm.

Read the latest HERE

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FT’s coming of age?

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk. via John Hawkins
15.09.17 6:15 am

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Extract from an article by John Lawrence published in the Mercury Tuesday, 16 June 2015 …

• John Lawrence in Comments HERE: Claire (#6) it’s not a lease. It’s worse than that. It’s a forestry right pursuant to the Forestry Rights Registration Act 1990. The Cayman Islanders get the right to use 29,000 hectares of land for 99 years. They don’t pay rent. The upfront fee gives them the rights to the existing timber plus use of the land rent free for 99 years. Gordon at #2 is wrong, I think, they will pay rates.  When you’re paying $2k per hectare for a right to use land for 99 years rent free you are, in effect, paying about $1,500 per hectare for the land. Think of it as prepaying rent for 99 years.  In $ terms a 99 year right is not much different to a freehold interest. That leaves $500 per hectare for the trees, average age over 10 years, which would have had an establishment cost of $3k per hectare plus the holding and maintenance costs since then. Guy Barnett argues it’s a good deal. Actually FT or STT or whatever it’s now called doesn’t own the land so only $15 million (or 25%) of the sale price belongs to it. That’s $15 million for a crop that probably cost $100 million to establish. Guy won’t tell you exactly. The original cost has been lost in the system.The remaining 75% is for the disposal of an interest in crown land. If it ends up being left in STT it’s a defacto subsidy. The government has disposed of a non STT asset, in this case a 99 year interest in Crown land, and will put the proceeds , or most of it back into STT. That’s a subsidy. And a 99 year forestry right is for all intents and purpose the disposal of freehold crown land. Only the sanctimonious would argue otherwise.

Guy Barnett: Plantations sale a huge winner for health, jobs and the economy

Mercury: Big blue as Tasmania’s pulpwood forestry plantations sell for $60m A DEAL to sell Tasmania’s 29,000ha of pulpwood plantations for $60.7 million has been described as a strong outcome by the State Government — and a “fire sale” and “rip-off” by opponents. Questions have also been raised about the company, which Parliament heard had been registered only two months ago and had a parent company listed in the Cayman Islands. The long-awaited deal was announced via a Facebook post by Resources Minister Guy Barnett, who was criticised by the ALP and Greens for not fronting the media to answer questions …

Labor: Government spinning hard on dud timber deal

Guy Barnett: Government invests in health while Labor wants more forest subsidies

YESTERDAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Vica Bayley Media Release: Plantation fire sale a short-sighted subsidy for Hodgman’s native forest logging

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‘Businesses call on political leaders to act to protect Tasmanian communities and economy ...’

James Boyce* Media Release
15.09.17 5:00 am

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At 1.30pm today an historic open letter is being delivered to Will Hodgman and Rebecca White by James Boyce …

Anglicare: Community Voice on Pokies Reform

Greens: Labor and Liberals Must Listen to Business and Community on Pokies

• Download the Open Letter ...

Open_Letter.pdf

Examiner: James Boyce delivers open letter calling for poker machine ban in pubs and clubs

• Stephen Menadue in Comments: … I understand little about politics but to hear an aspiring Premier say the plan would be to buy the machines back and then keep Tassie pokies free made me feel really good. I’ve been told that, technically, the statement really didn’t count or didn’t mean what the words implied, or should I say, stated. Can a maker-of-a-promise be sued if they do not live up to it … ?

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The Viability Report has yet to be formally released ...

Stuart Bryce, Chair, NE Residents and Farmers Inc. Board Member: Launceston and North East Railway Member: Rail Future Inst.
15.09.17 4:45 am

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… The $50,000 state government funded viability study has been completed, as has the Launceston and North East Railway business case, which will easily stand scrutiny.  After nearly a month in the government’s hands, the Viability Report has yet to be formally released. Perhaps its findings are inconsistent with what the government wanted … ?

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The Liberal National [Coalition] Power Crisis

phill Parsons*
14.09.17 5:44 am

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met again with the head of AGL (having met with the heads of all major energy companies). We are faced with a coal and gas promotional show lubricated with a study of an old idea, pumped hydro. Australia can only be saved from increasing power prices by - wait for it - the corporations using the fuels under the Coalition’s preferred system that made the power expensive …

Guardian: Australia’s energy policy is a world-class failure and Abbott wears the gold medal of blame If you’ve watched the inglorious spectacle of the failure of Australian politics on climate and energy policy over the last 10 years, it’s a bit hard to look out on the wreckage without feeling sick to the stomach …

Fairfax: Stand-off between Turnbull government and AGL deepens over conflicting statements

Guardian: For energy security, the failing Liddell coal plant is the last thing we need

Crikey: Think Scott Morrison is a good treasurer? Here are 40 reasons you are wrong Suddenly everyone seems to have forgot to hate Scott Morrison, with his polling numbers surprisingly good. Here are 40 reasons his treasurership has been a shambles.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

The latest on coal ...

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‘Plantation fire sale a short-sighted subsidy for Hodgman’s native forest logging’

Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Campaign Manager, The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. Media Release. Pic*
14.09.17 5:38 am

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The sale of publicly-owned plantations to ‘pay down debt and fund the transition’ of the state logging agency amounts to a desperate and short-sighted fire sale of an important future resource of the industry, simply to prop up loss-making native forest logging, the Wilderness Society said today … ‘Flogging-off publicly-owned plantations at a massive loss, to subsidise unviable native forest logging operations is a desperate last-ditch effort to hide the ongoing failures of Premier Hodgman’s chaotic approach to forestry,’ said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. ‘Premier Hodgman has just privatised a publicly-owned asset in a fire sale, making a massive loss on taxpayer investment and divesting an important future resource for the timber industry to an unknown multi-national company.’

Guy Barnett: Plantation sale outcome a sign of confidence in the Tasmanian forest industry

Labor: Government embarrassed by dud timber deal

Greens: Liberals Rip Off Tasmanians Over Public Plantation Sale

Health Minister Michael Ferguson: Plantation sale to benefit health

Examiner: Liberals’ forestry asset transaction ‘a fire sale’: Labor, Greens

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Editor's Choice

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Please help me. I am in serious trouble ...

Media Releases
And Media

Media

Poll verdict on the future King Charles: “unpopular and untrusted – even at home”

Catalans are not alone. Across the world, people yearn to govern themselves

Unveiled: Australia’s richest union

Trump misreads North Korea’s sacred dynasty at his peril

Homosexual Marriage: a plebiscite for late modern times

State Government ‘backtracking’ on water reform 

Pressure of impending Bank Royal Commission continues to reap dividends for public

Tasmanian Greens state election candidates revealed at conference

Productivity Commission Report highly critical of State Governmen

Matthew Groom’s resignation ‘bad news for Liberals’

Shock departure creates enormous challenges for the Premier

Salmon farming restrictions an election hook for Tasmanian Greens

NZ First’s Winston Peters kingmaker in New Zealand hung parliament – as it happened

Personal statement - Matthew Groom

Matthew Groom

Resignation of Matthew Groom

Tasmanian Liberal minister Matthew Groom is quitting politics

The country is paying for the Coalition’s ‘adhockery’ on energy policy

Farmer wants a revolution: ‘How is this not genocide?’

The Saturday Briefing

SOCIAL MEDIA: When the press fails and puts up barriers we always have Social Media

Arts

Arts

Droogs create new mural in Rooke Lane THIS WEEKEND 

Books

Books

Hobart Bookshop: TONIGHT, Bruny Island Bounty. OCT 7: Lian Tanner, The Rogues 

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Tasting Tasmania ... 

Travel

Travel

Book a screening of my Motorcycle Film – East Coast Oz Tour 

What's On

What's On

Bett Gallery: Philip Wolfhagen 

Satire

Cartoons

Our personal protection against the coming nuclear war ... 

Comments

Comments

Who will watch the watchers?Does Peter Bright No56 have a valid point?Is Tasmania so incestuously introverted so as not to…

Vote Compass

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka

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Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

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