"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

A Bitter Pill to swallow ...

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Ben Peelman. Pic: of a marijuana leaf
19.09.14 5:30 am

People-Power pushes conservative Prime Minister into progress? “I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates…  If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality. And if a drug that is proven to be safe abroad is needed here it should be available. I agree that the regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self interest. My basic contention is that something that has been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn’t need to be tested again here.” … So reads part of a letter from Prime Minister Tony Abbott to 2GB presenter Alan Jones dated August 23. It has been confirmed by a staff member of the PM’s office.

TT MEDIA HERE ... for Premier Hodgman’s latest statement on medicinal marijuana … and Kim Booth says Premier has broken No Gag Promise on Pay Freeze Bill … and Bunnings, TasTAFE, Emergency Services, ‘Conflict Forests’, Day of Peace, Climate: Sunday Sept 21 MONA, Spring Barn Market, SARRAH, whaling, failing small business, Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC, seadogs, West Papua, Deb Hurley, Le Tour De Norfy Challenge 2014 etc, etc, etc ...

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Scotland ... NO!

19.09.14 5:00 am

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Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top Nav bar) for breaking news on the referendum result ... or ...




Guardian HERE

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The Jeremy Ball tragedy

Christine Milne, Kim Booth, Peter Whish-Wilson, Cassy O’Connor, Nick McKim, Bob Brown, Peg Putt, Austra Maddox Pub: Sep 16
19.09.14 4:15 am

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It’s with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of a valued colleague, friend and long-term Green: Jeremy Ball.

TT MEDIA HERE ... For tributes to Jeremy Ball, from Premier Will Hodgman to Helen Burnet ....

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Hydro Tasmania’s rivers dry up?

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic* Pub: Sept 18
18.09.14 5:00 am

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After the unprecedented financial success of the past two financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14, Hydro’s earnings are projected to plummet. Returns to government lag profits by a year and hence payments from Hydro for the current year 2014/15 will be based on the record profits expected to be announced next month when Hydro releases its 2014 Annual Report. But thereafter the future is bleaker.

However it was not only the carbon price which assisted Hydro achieve a cost advantage over competitors. So too did the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme which mandated a minimum amount of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and which is now being reviewed following a report by Tony Abbott’s handpicked climate sceptic, Dick Warburton.

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NATION: The Terror ...

The Guardian. Pic* Pub: Sept 13
18.09.14 4:45 am

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Terrorism alert level raised to high, but Tony Abbott says no attack is imminent Prime minister says the change should make no difference to normal activity, but people might notice more security

Paul McGeough, SMH Chief Foreign Correspondent: Fools rush in. Tony Abbott joins a war without definition

Andrew Wilkie: The withdrawal of the Australian Federal Police from Hobart Airport “The consequences of the withdrawal of the Australian Federal Police from Hobart Airport are even worse than we first feared,” Mr Wilkie said. “I have learned that the two AFP detection dogs have already gone. One detected drugs and cash, and the other detected explosives. “And I have also learned that the Hobart-based AFP officers who are being removed were in the practise of inspecting Launceston Airport on a weekly basis, visits that will obviously no longer be possible. “In other words, Hobart Airport will be the only capital city airport without a permanent AFP presence and Hobart, and Tasmania more broadly, will be left without a range of law enforcement capabilities and advice.


Fairfax: Public beheading fears: Tony Abbott confirms police believed terrorists planned ‘demonstration killings’ Prime Minister Tony Abbott says intelligence indicates people in Australia were allegedly planning a public beheading to be carried out in the name of militant group Islamic State. Mr Abbott’s comments come as police say they have thwarted a “serious act of violence” after arresting 15 people and charging one in the wake of counter-terrorism raids across Sydney and Brisbane on Thursday.

ABC LIVE: Senior Australian in Islamic State ‘ordered kidnappings and beheadings in Sydney and Brisbane’

Guardian: Scott Morrison says 12 asylum-seeker boats stopped under turnback policy Immigration minister breaks his silence weeks after the government rejected a freedom of information request for the same details

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Harriss Must Apologise or Resign

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release. Pic*
18.09.14 4:40 am

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Mercury Background: Tasmanian Greens Facebook poster hits out at Liberal forest policy Resources Minister Paul Harriss is under pressure to formally apologise for deliberately trying to smear Greens MPs, and members of the public who may also disagree with the Liberals’ forestry policy, for using the word ‘conflict’ in context of the Tasmanian forestry debate. “The disgraceful new low the Liberals dragged the Chamber to today continues the pattern of arrogant abuse of the Parliament we have seen on more than one occasion this week, and is a disturbing taste of what is to come under a regressive majority government.” “To seek to trivialise the outrages of rape and mass murder, slavery and extortion to politically intimidate non-government members of parliament and other members of the Tasmanian community who may agree that the Liberals forestry policy will entrench divisions and conflict, is a breach of ministerial responsibility on behalf of Mr Harriss.”

What Paul Harriss says: Conflict Slur a Green Disgrace, here The Greens are once again trying to demonise Tasmania’s forest industry with disgraceful slurs linking it to mass murder, rape, slavery and extortion. A poster on the party’s Facebook page, authorised by Kim Booth, says: “Tas forest products are conflict forest products”. The deliberate use of the words “conflict forest products” is an attempt to link Tasmania’s forest industry and forest workers with “conflict minerals” and “conflict diamonds” in Africa.

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: I think ‘blood diamonds’ is used more frequently than the term ‘conflict diamonds’. Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor is doing a 50 year stretch for crimes against humanity in return for ‘blood diamonds’: HERE Incredibly, a company thrown out of Liberia for illegal logging ( HERE ) is operated by the same cartel that runs a factory (Ta Ann,) in Harriss’s own electorate. Mr Harriss has even accepted gifts from a company (Ta Ann) involved: HERE 

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Selective Harvesting or Selective Memory

Andrew Denman* Pic*: Denman Marine Huon Pine dinghy ... Pub: Sept 17
18.09.14 4:30 am

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THERE has been much comment by the environment movement in the wake of the State Government’s new forestry legislation. This commentary has been alarmist, inflammatory and most decidedly incorrect when it comes to the issue of specialty timbers and, disappointingly, is a far cry from the exalted position previously advocated for the sector by its new-found detractors over the past decade.

ABC: Greens consider major reforms amid member discontent in Tasmania

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Over to you Mr Nikolic ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic. Pub: Sept 15
18.09.14 4:15 am

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In the small town of Scottsdale the loss of more than 300 jobs in a community of 7000 is virtually the kiss of death.

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MOU-MOUing the future eaters *

Eva Ruzicka, Eva Ruzicka's blog. Pic: of Eva Ruzicka
18.09.14 4:00 am

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*with apologies to Tom Wolfe and Tim Flannery MOU – Memorandum of Understanding: n. (1) a carefully worded ‘all care and no political/legal responsibility’ document used to paper over the cracks of difference in public relationships, or demonstrates to the voting public support for outcomes that are important to them but can be dropped once the popularity fades or gets too politically hot (negative definition); (2) a document of aspirations for a relationship that has opportunities for social, cultural, environmental and economic development worded so at the end of the time period specified, all participants can see the real value of getting together in the first place despite the naysayers, and why it is important to build on the relationship into the future (positive definition).

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Norfolk Island takes lead on Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome Media Release. Pic*
17.09.14 6:00 am

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Australia’s smallest territory is taking on one of the nation’s biggest issues with Norfolk Island set to allow same-sex couples to marry.


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Another climate expert retreats to Tasmania

Chris Harries. Pub: Sept 15
16.09.14 6:00 am

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Some years ago, founder of the Gaia theory, James Lovelock, predicted that Tasmania and south New Zealand will, in time, become overrun with hoards of refugees as climate change shifts from chronic to calamitous around the world.

AND, as more climate refugees arrive ...

Antarctic sea ice cover hits new recorded maximum Sea ice researcher at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) Dr Jan Lieser said new satellite data today showed the extent was continuing to increase, with a peak expected within the next fortnight. Dr Lieser said about 150 days this year have been new daily records. “It might seem surprising that the extent of sea ice around Antarctica is growing, even as the globe warms and as the massive ice sheet that covers the continent itself is shrinking,” Dr Lieser said. “This phenomenon does not in any way negate the reality of the global warming.  Rather, it is one of the many surprising and paradoxical effects of changes in the Earth’s climate over recent decades.” “To understand why this is happening, we need to keep in mind that temperature is not the only factor in the formation and distribution of sea ice.”

TT MEDIA HERE ... ... as Tas farmers welcome new forest body – and the prospect of change,  says Jan Davis, as Nick McKim says Parks are unsafe in Liberal hands, and Andrew Wilkie fears the implications of The withdrawal of the Australian Federal Police from Hobart Airport etc etc etc

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Operation Icefish: Sea Shepherd launches new Southern Ocean campaign

Adam Burling, Sea Shepherd Australia Media Release
16.09.14 5:50 am

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Tuesday September 16th, 2014 –  Hobart, Australia. Following Sea Shepherd’s victory of saving 784 threatened, endangered and protected whales during the 2013/14 whaling season, the International Court of Justice delivered a landmark ruling declaring that the Japanese whaling program in the Antarctic is illegal.

• Mick Mcintyre, Director, Whales Alive, http://www.whalesalive.org.au Please find below Mick Macintyre’s day one (Monday Sept 15) report in note form from the International Whaling Commission meeting in Slovenia. Mick of Australian Whales Aline group has attended every IWC meeting since 1993 ...

• DAY 2
REPORT by Mick McIntyre
Director, Whales Alive ...

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Now there’s a surprise ...

Lindsay Tuffin
16.09.14 5:45 am

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In the great tradition of Tasmanian journalism (?), Examiner Editor Martin Gilmour has moved seamlessly from editorship into advisership ( Voice of North takes Hodgman role ) ... following a long line of disinterested, objective predecessors ( think Rod Scott et al ).

What Will says ...

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Abetz still in the woods, fighting a lost war

Martin McKenzie-Murray, The Saturday Paper. Pic: ABC, of Eric Abetz
16.09.14 3:15 am

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As Tasmania lags behind Australia, Eric Abetz is reigniting old battles.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: Erich, Facts. You renounced your German citizenship on the 9th March 2010. You cannot renounce a German citizenship you do not have. You must therefore have been a dual national sitting in the Senate illegally for more than 15 years prior to 2010. Erich please sue me if I am wrong.

• mr t, in Comments: HERE  is the link to the original ABC Fact Check article that apparently caused Mr Abetz such distress. I remember after the Fact Check was posted Senator Colbeck issued a supplementary Media Release that was then attached to the article. Further, a comment that challenged the indendence of the TFA scientific assessment was deleted. I remember this as I subsequently posted a response questioning the independence of the “Independent” Paul Harriss Legislative Council review. Of course, the independent Paul Harriss has since come out of the closet (so to speak). I still wonder who was the original poster as the ABC monitor stated he/she “has been blocked by our staff.” Obviously the offices of the honourable senators were monitoring the article at the time.

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Are bloggers ‘journalists’? New Zealand’s High Court says yes

Jane Johnston
16.09.14 2:30 am

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A New Zealand High Court judgment handed down on Friday will have far-reaching implications for journalists and bloggers, as courts around the world consider the rapidly changing definitions of journalism. At the centre of the judgment was the question: how do New Zealand laws define who is a journalist and what is the news media? In this case, the judge found that under Section 68 of the Evidence Act a blogger can be classed as a journalist, and a website or blog as a news medium.

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Another broken promise: NBN backflip confirmed

Andrew Connor Spokesperson, Digital Tasmania Media Release
15.09.14 3:45 am

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Launceston, TAS, 15 September 2014– Digital Tasmania today condemned the Federal Government announcement, by proxy, that the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout in Tasmania would not continue with Fibre-to-the-Premises as promised prior to the last election. Instead, NBNCo CEO Bill Morrow has overnight advised Tasmanians of the decision in lieu of any government member being willing to put their name or face to the announcement. Spokesperson Andrew Connor said: “The fact that the government needs their $3-million dollar man to break the bad news to Tasmanians demonstrates that they lack the fortitude to make this announcement which amounts to a backflip. The Communications Minister has not even visited Tasmania since the election 12 months ago”. Mr Connor continued, “Before the last election Tasmanians were promised, as clear as day, that the NBN rollout would continue as planned, with fibre to the premises for most households and businesses.  Since then every element of the government’s NBN promises have been systematically eroded and broken”.

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Venture Minerals takes aim at Rainforest Wonderland

Ted Mead
15.09.14 2:45 am

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Conservationists have been contesting the Venture Minerals/Mt Lindsay mine proposal for some time now, but one essential aspect lacking in the campaign has been a befitting description of the area they are attempting to protect.

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An Aurora from space

Alexander Gerst & NASA/Euorpean Space Agency.
15.09.14 2:40 am

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European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst took this photo of an aurora from the International Space Station, approximately 320 kilometres above the surface.

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I was sexually assaulted ...

ABC Conversations, Sept 11
15.09.14 2:30 am

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Meg Minkley has used her daily art practice to recover from the trauma of sexual assault.

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Hans Willink: Why I favour council amalgamations

Hans Willink, Acton
15.09.14 2:20 am

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On 12 September I put out a press release announcing my intention to be an Independent candidate for Clarence Council and to run for the positions of Alderman and Deputy Mayor.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (29)

Don Knowler. Pic*
15.09.14 2:15 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Abetz still in the woods, fighting a lost war 



Award Modernisation Finalised for Local Government in Tasmania 



2014 RACT Insurance Portraiture Prize winner announced ... 



Hobart Bookshop: Lynette Finch’s Fixing Antarctica: Mapping the Frozen South 



Tasting Tasmania: Pointing to food, wine reviews, with latest news, MRs below ... 




What's On

What's On

Pop-UP Climate Gathering at MONA 



Eric Abetz: From A Leaner To A Lifter 



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