"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

Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

Image for Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

James Boyce* Pic*
17.08.17 11:15 am

Next month the parliamentary select committee on gaming will make its recommendations. The ALP will then decide the poker machine policy it will take to the next election. Because the Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, has reiterated the Government’s commitment that all existing venues can keep their pokies whatever the Committee recommends, it is the Labor Party that will decide the future of poker machines in Tasmania …

… It is not surprising given the current state of play that the pokies industry is focussing its lobbying efforts on the ALP. It is perhaps a sign of how out of touch they are with the genuine changes that have occurred in Tasmania over the last decade, that the two men they have chosen to represent them, Paul Lennon and Steve Old, embody Labor’s discredited past …

… Lennon and Old are pushing for Labor to return to its past and continue to provide special deals for corporate mates without regard to the public good. After two Productivity Commission Inquiries, three Social and Economic Studies, and countless research reports, the evidence is in – pokies do more social and economic harm than good …

• Stephen Menadue in Comments: … As an ex addict of nearly 3 and a half decades of addiction to the pokies, I can with all authority state that these machines eroded all the bedrocks in my life and helped me do many terms in jail because I stole to feed the machines placed there by someone who knew that there was someone like me who would do whatever I could to keep feeding the machines.The Licencees will say that they definitely don’t want to encourage criminal activities by the placement of their machines but will look the other way as a shitload of money is laundered via their gaming ‘lounges’ …

• Cataraqui in Comments: … Stephen has the courage to anecdote his failures and his remedies and his regrets. Well done Stephen, give this man a medal for his public courage … and take the medals off the monsters who get them for their community servitude all wrapped up in crackling PR. Multiply the Stephens and the subject of this anecdote by the thousands. See them in the night-lights and bright hours of the day emerging from the mouth of the monster, in wheel-chairs and walking frames, young mums in momentary escape from domestic drudgery, the suddenly-single from partner-loss and on and on we can anecdote the victims of Hells’ singing angels …

Mercury: State Government pooh-poohs pre-poll pokies deal with Federal and Tasmanian Hospitality Association … “Can you confirm that Federal Hotels and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association have struck a deal to try to subvert proper parliamentary process?” Ms Dawkins said. “Will you now rule out locking in an arrangement with Federal Hotels and the THA before the next state election?” Mr Hodgman rejected suggestions of a deal. “I do understand a submission will be made with respect to the future of gaming activity, and it’s part of the process,” Mr Hodgman said. “It is a matter for the THA and Federal Hotels as to what they do but I reject any suggestion…that implies a motive or anything inappropriate by this government” …

Read more


Eric Abetz MUST resign

John Hawkins*. Pic*
16.08.17 5:45 am

Image for Eric Abetz MUST resign

… I contend that Abetz sat knowingly and fraudulently in the Senate from 1994 until 2010 when I forced him to legally renounce his citizenship to the High Court. He then sat on illegally until the end of his term in 2011 - and those in power colluded and did nothing. As a lawyer Abetz knew that the 1992 document would not meet the foreshadowed test case in the High Court, and so he was forced to legally renounce his citizenship in 2010. His big mistake was to state to Sue Neales that he had the evidence and would provide the 1992 document to the Mercury - but he never did …

Read more


Is the pot calling the kettle black ... ?

Isla MacGregor* Pic: of Bob Brown from Bob Brown Foundation
16.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Is the pot calling the kettle black ... ?

The dispute within the Greens does indeed go back a long way with the typical machinations of takeovers and power mongering we expect from all (mostly) aspiring candidates and political parties …

Read more


Under threat: The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species ...

Claire Gilmour*
15.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Under threat: The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species ...

The cradle of vulnerable, rare and endangered species, the Far Northwest Tasmania, is under threat …

Vica Bayley: Wilderness Society congratulates Environment Ministers on plan to save world’s largest freshwater lobster

Read more


NATION: Macho Mal ...

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
14.08.17 5:47 am

Image for NATION: Macho Mal ...

… Back in Canberra, a macho Mal endorses The Donald’s latest madness in provoking North Korea; threatening “fire and fury”. Turnbull invokes ANZUS, for the second time in our history. It’s a distortion of a treaty which is just an agreement to consult but he’s playing hard the only card left him, the loyal US sycophant. Turnbull pledges Australia’s unqualified support in an unknown conflict between a con-man, a fake president and a crazy dictator. Oddly, there seems to be a reluctance from any other US ally to rush headlong into another bloodbath. By Sunday, he’s looking typically over-eager - just as he did when he fawned and gushed all over Trump in his meeting last May on the USS Intrepid, in New York …

Fairfax: Tim Minchin’s homophobe video goes viral ...

Paul Bongiorno, The Saturday Paper: Why Tony Abbott can’t be ignored

Fairfax: Tony Abbott’s ‘No’ vote can win the same-sex marriage debate

Read more


A pleading letter to the Derwent Valley Council

Ivo Edwards* Pic*
14.08.17 5:44 am

Image for A pleading letter to the Derwent Valley Council

Dear Derwent Valley Council members and staff, Please allow me to present some pertinent facts regarding the proposed Maydena limestone quarry, scheduled to be voted on for approval or not at the 17th August 2017 DVC meeting …

Read more


Contrarian Views On Temperature Have Melted Away ...

Keith Antonysen* Pic*
14.08.17 5:40 am

Image for Contrarian Views On Temperature Have Melted Away ...

It should not have been necessary to write about increasing global temperature; but, with Donald Trump as leader of the US there appears to have been a resurgence of contrarian opinion. Trump and his cabinet are climate change deniers; evidence does not support their views. When considering the time span climate science has been developed over, the sophistication of equipment used to ascertain that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, the observations made, and objective factors displaying change; it is difficult to understand that contrarians exist …

Read more


Forestry economics is a form of brain damage!

Ted Mead* Pic*
14.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Forestry economics is a form of brain damage!

Commercial forestry and land clearance is raping the earth all across the globe, denuding landscapes, destroying biodiversity and pushing more living creatures and plants towards extinction every day. Yet who is to benefit? Certainly not the people that live around or near the forests, not even the extended communities. So why is it allowed in this 21st century? Visually there is no better display of this global madness than within the insular shores of Tasmania …

Read more


Adding insult to injury ....

Simon Warriner* Pic: All Blacks perform the Haka ...
14.08.17 5:15 am

Image for Adding insult to injury ....

My 16 year old son played rugby on Saturday. Burnie Emus against University, from Hobart, at the Burnie ground. During his first touch of the ball, in the second half, on the wing, he got tackled and injured his knee. He was in considerable pain, and was not able to get into our vehicle. St Johns on site called the ambos, and that service, while slightly delayed due to a more urgent case, was professional and competent. They warned us the Burnie A & E department was full up and we would be waiting a while …

Read more


Terminal Decline ...

Michael Buky* Pic*
14.08.17 5:07 am

Image for Terminal Decline ...

The Victorian Government has taken the lead on Dying With Dignity demonstrating yet again that Tasmania does not have the cojones to be the first to do anything, but hang on … End of Life Choices does not have to apply only to shuffling off mortal coils …

Read more


‘Bill of Rights introduced into Parliament’

Andrew Wilkie, Independent MP for Denison Media Release. Pic: of Andrew Wilkie (from his website)
14.08.17 5:04 am

Image for ‘Bill of Rights introduced into Parliament’

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has introduced legislation today in the Federal Parliament that will enshrine a Bill of Rights in Australian law …

Read more


Toughness and unwillingness to back down ...

Buck and Joan Emberg. Pic: of Buck and Joan ...
14.08.17 5:00 am

Image for Toughness and unwillingness to back down ...

2017 Letter to friends and family … I am reminded of the shuddering that took place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis … We are not there yet but could be soon.  Joan and I lived in Korea twice for a total of a bit over two years and we were in N. Korea a number of times and taught on the DMZ at the university there (U. of Maryland). We came to understand the Korean (North and South) mental set was toughness and unwillingness to back down. They were good people, strong people and UNBENDING.  It is that same unbendingness we worry about.  Now, however, there is the element of a sociopath being in charge of the OTHER side … namely Trump and, I am afraid, many of our Australian leaders …

Read more


Her reverie is broken by a rough hand on her arm ...

Christopher Nagle* Pic*
14.08.17 4:30 am

Image for Her reverie is broken by a rough hand on her arm ...

Written for a writing competition ... City of Septimius Severus, my Emperor The street, the Cardo Maximus, is broad and straight, but the paths amongst the fallen gods leading from it are are now crooked, narrowed and choked by the bones of sentinels that long ago held them up. The once crowded temples are mute remains of holy reverence, grand design and overwhelming imperium. The desert sun keeps past magnificence mummified in light, shimmering reflectively in the late afternoon, as an offshore breeze moans memorial chants through the remaining upright pediments and gables. This ruined city is not forgotten, for careers in resurrecting memory are big. ’Tis foundation rootstock for the urban forests that have grown and multiplied since this Roman showpiece was endowed by imperial favour at the end of the second century. Yet, others would destroy and desecrate its ancient vanity to cut that root, for iconoclasts do not forget their enemy’s ancestors …

Read more


How long did Senator Eric Abetz hold dual citizenship: 16 years ...?

John Hawkins* Chudleigh, and Hansard. Pic: of Eric Abetz in the Senate from his website
13.08.17 6:10 am

Image for How long did Senator Eric Abetz hold dual citizenship: 16 years ...?

… I have been open with my documentation. I also know that Senator Di Natale has been open about his, but it has been brought to my attention that one person in this chamber has not been willing to clear up public speculation and doubts about their efforts to rid themselves of dual citizenship when they were duly first elected: Senator Eric Abetz. We know that Eric Abetz was once a German citizen. We know that he is now no longer a German citizen. What we don’t know is whether — or how long — he sat in this chamber before he rid himself of his dual citizenship. It could’ve been anything up to 16 years. We don’t know whether he took all reasonable steps to renounce his German citizenship before he took his place in the Senate. He has previously said he would publicly release documentation, but I understand he has not done so …

Read more


‘Removing poker machines good for economy’

Bronwen Hayes, Media Liaison and Communications Manager Media Release. Cartoon*
12.08.17 6:15 am

Image for ‘Removing poker machines good for economy’

Removing poker machines from hotels and clubs would be a boon for the Tasmanian economy, a new independent economic report has found. John Mangan, Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland, investigated the likely impact of Anglicare’s recommendation that poker machines be removed from hotels and clubs. He has provided the report to the Joint Select Committee on Future Gaming Markets. Professor Mangan’s ground-breaking report made clear there would be significant economic advantages to the state in removing poker machines from suburban venues …

Read more


The likelihood of a Hung Parliament ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: of Rebecca White from her website
11.08.17 5:30 am

Image for The likelihood of a Hung Parliament ...

Will Hodgman has a problem. It’s Rebecca White. The latest EMRS poll ( HERE ) reveals a 9-point lead over Will in Preferred Premier.

The definitive analysis of psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham HERE … Let’s put that in the historic context drawn from other states.  It’s very simple: preferred premier is an indicator that usually strongly favours incumbents.  When established state premiers trail as preferred leader in Newspoll (never mind by eleven points), they either lose the next election or are removed by their own party.  EMRS is not Newspoll, and it’s possible its continued devotion to landline polling (which I strongly believe to be not fully randomised) has meant its results have become total rubbish.  But if that’s not the case, the government should be rather worried.  The suggestion is that so far negative attacks on the new Opposition Leader have either not worked at all or even backfired. Opposition Leaders don’t lead by eleven points just because people like them.  Historically this sort of imbalance happens when governments are in deep trouble or their leaders are unpopular, or both …

Read more


The Therapeutic Conversation

Dr Anonymous* Pic: Jasleen Kaur, Flickr
11.08.17 5:15 am

Image for The Therapeutic Conversation

Changes to modern medicine mean less time devoted to therapeutic discussion …

Read more


Reconciling takayna

Pete Hay*, Rachel Edwards* Pic: of Tarkine by Ted Mead
10.08.17 5:45 am

Image for Reconciling takayna

… Premier, the takayna/Tarkine is Aboriginal land. It displays some of the most powerful and precious sites of Aboriginal heritage significance and is an Aboriginal cultural landscape, a direct link to Palawa ancestors. This tangible link to one of the planet’s most ancient cultures merits a formalised level of official recognition and Aboriginal involvement, far beyond that which currently applies. Land justice is central to reconciliation. Your intention to expand 4WD access across the takayna Aboriginal cultural landscape is entirely inconsistent with a good faith attempt to progress reconciliation …

ABC: Tasmanian 4WD tracks: Premier’s stance on Arthur-Pieman area ‘undermines reconciliation’ More than two dozen prominent Tasmanian writers, academics and conservationists have warned reopening controversial four-wheel-drive tracks on the state’s north-west coast could undermine attempts at reconciliation with Aboriginal Tasmanians. They have signed an open letter to Premier Will Hodgman, asking him to keep the tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area closed and to take steps to protect Aboriginal heritage sites there. The State Government has been trying to reopen the tracks but has been stalled by court action taken by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) …

Will Hodgman: Reconciliation Council of Tasmania

Cassy O’Connor: Reconciliation Council of Tasmania Launch

Rebecca White: Strong support for Reconciliation Council of Tasmania

Read more


Liberal senator urged to prove eligibility

10.08.17 5:30 am

Image for Liberal senator urged to prove eligibility

Liberal senator Eric Abetz is being urged to provide proof he renounced his German citizenship before being elected to federal parliament …

• Editor’s comment: My guess is that Eric Abetz reads TT and decided that a non-appearance would save him from answering the question on the floor of the Senate. He was present the day before for the Monday postal vote in Canberra …

Read more


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

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

Media Releases
And Media


Labor use their numbers to block free speech

Bill further strengthens salmon farming regulations

Labor helps close the door on hate speech

Tas anti-hate speech laws to stay

Basil Fitch Open Letter ...

WS congratulates Environment Ministers on plan to save world’s largest freshwater lobster

Federal Government letting Cadbury workers down

Community group calls for certainty on skyscrapers

High tides predicted for south eastern Tasmania, snow level to drop

Greens secure Senate Inquiry into the future of Australia’s recycling industry

Jim Chatto Takes The Top Job For Two of Australia’s Iconic Wineries

Launceston Marathon announces naming rights sponsor

Wilkie questions PM on sacked Cadbury workers

Postal vote High Court directions hearing today

Court ruling a victory for refugees and justice

Finalists announced in competition for a new History and Interpretation Centre at Female Factory

The Briefing ...

Anglican abuse: Paedophile victim’s suicide amplifies call for action against Philip Newell

Nick McKim’s bid for justice ...

Health Minister remains in denial over ambulance ramping

Salmon symposium idea welcomed



State Government funding cut jeopardises future of TTC 



Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes 2017: congratulations to Forty South authors 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Australian Motorcycle Adventure Film now available for download 

What's On

What's On

Bett Gallery: Philip Wolfhagen 



Our personal protection against the coming nuclear war ... 



Ted Can you confirm if they are ” shoes” in those stumps in the foreground Thanks Jack

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