"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

April Fool’s Day ...

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Clive Stott, http://www.cleanairtas.com
02.04.15 5:48 am

They said it would be foggy yesterday didn’t they? But it was April Fools Day - Burn-Baby-Burn Day. Thus the flames were unleashed ... either here, on the mainland, or both.

David Lindenmayer, The Conversation: Forestry agreements need a full overhaul, not just a tick and flick For almost two decades, the management of forests in parts of Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales has been underpinned by state and federal Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), defined as “20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests”. The broad aim of RFAs is to “provide certainty for forest-based industries, forest-dependent communities and conservation”. RFAs are now up for renewal, and it would certainly be in industry advocates’ interest for them to be simply “ticked off”, without the critical scrutiny that is clearly warranted. The RFAs need to be fully reviewed, not just renewed, because they have had highly perverse outcomes – rather than helping to ease environmental problems, the agreements have actually worsened them in some cases. The flawed Victorian Central Highlands RFA is a classic case that highlights why simply rolling over the existing RFAs would amount to mismanagement of publicly owned native forests.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: I have this week returned from Europe to find that the now banned smog conditions of Central London prevalent in the 1950’s have been visited on this so- called clean and green island. I had to drive to Sheffield from Mole Creek then on to Deloraine and Launceston. I noted that the plantations are being ripped out at the Union Bridge and the land returned to Dairy. The trip from Sheffield to Elizabeth Town was through a series of completely dead nitens plantations. From Elizabeth Town to Lonnie and back to Chudleigh through a smoke haze with many cars with their lights on so as to navigate the Bass Highway. As a final insult on Monday I was overtaken by a Log Truck on the other side of a double white Line at over 100 kms an hour ... his number plate was QT 6417 and it was labelled on the side Les Walkden; and the time was 2.35 on the Mole Creek Road near the Butter Factory. Is it worth reporting to the Police; will they do anything about it? - maybe they will now. All this could only occur in your corrupt Tasmania. Tourists ... to hell with tourists - you must always remember that Forestry Tasmania and its acolytes are the only Tasmanians who are born to rule over this public disaster.

• Chris B, in Comments: I prayed last night, not in a godly sense, but out loud for heavy rain to put out the carbon emitters that Harrassmania Limited had lit to enable the forestry destroyers to access the round logs to give at a financial loss to the peelers of logs which we can subsidise via our power accounts.

• Russell Langfield, in Comments: It was a total smog-out across the North-West too. If it was caused by FT they should be severely fined. Why do they insist on lighting green wood? In all reality, FT should be immediately dissolved because they have been a complete and utter failure for decades socially, financially and environmentally.

• Estelle Ross, in Comments: I looked out of my window in Riverside yesterday afternoon and could see a smoky haze across the river to Mowbray. Considering that the World Health Organisation has clearly stated that smoke particles are carcinogenic can sufferers from lung complaints sue those who are responsible for these burn-offs? If Forestry Tasmania is in financial trouble already just imagine what huge compensation bills could do!!!

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Super Trawler: This is not an April Fool’s Day Joke

Rebecca Hubbard, Jon Bryan, John Edwards, Nobby Clark Media Release
02.04.15 4:30 am

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A super trawler has sneaked into Australian waters and is tied up in Albany, Western Australia taking on supplies. This is no joke (although it is 1 April).

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NATION: How they talk down to us ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: April2. Pic: of Luke Foley, Mike Baird, ABC
02.04.15 4:00 am

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Just when NSW’s election result appears clear and you hope for a break from it all, your TV is hijacked by explainers. Explainers spell out what it means to us poor bunnies, the general public, with our short attention spans and briefer memories. Explainers make everything easy to understand because they know we are all ignorant and simple and never got much education. You can hear it in their voices as they talk down to us. God forbid we should ever make up our own minds, inform ourselves or cope with complexity. 

Bishop’s pitch is nonsense. Baird’s party is flogging an asset in a thinly disguised cash grab. He is set to repeat Victoria’s mistakes where consumers pay vastly more today after Kennett’s privatisation than when the state was the sole power supplier. Baird’s move is a not ‘reform’ but a regression, a mistake, ill-advised act of desperation by a mob who mistake a budget surplus, the cash float in the till, for evidence of sound economic management. Bugger the people. We must balance our books.

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First Day of the Month ... a celebration of 10 Murray ... and Entropy ...

Bronwyn Williams, Isla MacGregor
01.04.15 4:30 am

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• Isla MacGregor: Entropy ...

• Bronwyn Williams: a record of something that will soon be no longer ... 10 Murray Street.

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: Whew! I’ve just looked at the ‘Easter Apocalypse, End of the World, Three Blood Moons’ extravaganza on the Hobart Mercury website HERE. The end of number 10 Murray Street seems almost comforting by comparison. At least Tas Times won’t have to make an embarrassing back-down come Tuesday morning….

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A chat with Omar bin Musa

Amber Wilson and James Dryburgh. Pic*
01.04.15 4:20 am

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“I think because poetry is as essential to human experience as breath or blood. I think because we’re taught oftentimes to express ourselves in a really limited number of ways, particularly as young men I think, you know, expressing ourselves through sport or violence or material things, and I think it just provides another facet – a productive and positive way of expressing yourself and telling a story.

And the world’s just better with it – isn’t it?”

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New Zealand is stockpiling pure Compound 1080 ...

Prepared from research by Dr David Obendorf and Penelope Marshall. Pub: Mar 31
01.04.15 4:15 am

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In March 2014 New Zealand Herald reporter Andrew Stone revealed that a NZ Government-owned business called Animal Control Products Ltd/Pestoff had stockpiled 7.67 tonnes (7,670 kg) of pure sodium fluoroacetate [Compound 1080].

[ Since the Tasmanian Government decided to ban the use of 1080 in State forests (later 2005) and restricted its use for crop protection purposes, the quantity of pure 1080 used and controlled by DPIPWE annually is now less than 5 kgm. The new Liberal state government decided to rescind the phasing out of 1080 use in Tasmania after the long-running Alternatives to 1080 program failed to convince commercial farmers to accept cost-effective alternatives to 1080 poison. ]

ABC: Pesticide banned worldwide still used to grow 70pc of Australian strawberries About 70 per cent of Australian strawberries are being grown on runners that have been fumigated with an environmentally damaging pesticide that has been banned around the world. Methyl bromide is an odourless and colourless gas which was banned under the United Nations Montreal Protocol in 1989 because it depletes the ozone layer. Australia agreed to phase it out by 2005 but a decade later, nine strawberry runner growers at Toolangi, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, are still using nearly 30 tonnes a year. And, in Tasmania ... ?

Guardian: Pesticide residue on food could affect sperm quality, says Harvard study

• Ian Rist, in Comments: I hope the local supporters and purveyors of 1080 are watching this and all the ramifications very closely. On today’s ABC Country Hour it stated China has stopped importing all milk powder with Fonterra NZ particularly hardest hit. I will add link as soon as it becomes available online.

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STATE: The Dubious Liberal Handback ...

Ted Mead. Pic* Pub: Mar 31
01.04.15 4:00 am

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Despite the fact that the Tas Liberals knowingly allow, and have intentionally permitted, the ongoing degradation of cultural heritage along the Tarkine coast, it all seems a wee mysterious that they look to develop some form of goodwill with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community.

Sarawak Report: Gangster State! Gangster tactics – “Either you take our money or we take your land for free”! Reporters for Sarawak Report have been interviewing the inhabitants of Melikin over the past days to learn of their problems with one of the major companies that has been operating in their area, United Teamtrade.  United Teamtrade has been granted a provisional licence for 7,300 hectares. However, as so often is the case, it has treated this provisional licence from the Land & Survey Department as a right to take Native Customary Rights Land, instead of a right to negotiate with the real landowners …

ABC: Commonwealth’s bid to recoup illegal proceeds from insider trader John Gay stalls

• Basil Fitch, in Comments: Stop Press…Another ‘jobs for the boys’, Peter Gutwein has hired Tony Benneworth as his right hand man - another $280,000 to fork out by taxpayers while Libs are sacking so many public servants around the State!    Please explain…. Hot tip also is that Lawyer Ross Hart to be Labor rep in Bass at next election!  And Aust. to go to federal polls in August! Happy Easter, Basil

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NATION: Lambie seeks to form Independent Network. Eric Abetz’s ‘lurid fantasies’

Rob Messenger Media Release. Satire: Leunig, leunig.com.au , used with permission
31.03.15 4:40 am

Image for NATION: Lambie seeks to form Independent Network. Eric Abetz’s ‘lurid fantasies’

Independent Senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie has called for people who would like to be part of her political Network to make contact through her Facebook Page:

Noel Towell, Canberra Times: Eric Abetz ‘indulged in lurid fantasies’ about injured public servant, barrister says Employment Minister Eric Abetz indulged in “lurid fantasies” about a public servant who claimed workers’ compensation for injuries sustained while having sex in a motel room, the woman’s barrister says. Sydney barrister Leo Grey says the minister has grossly misrepresented the facts of the case and indulged in lurid fantasies by calling the injured bureaucrat a “libidinous claimant”. Senator Abetz made his comments last week while launching changes to the Comcare workers’ compensation system for federal public servants, saying the case highlighted the problems with the scheme. The six-year legal saga came to an end in 2014 when the High Court decided that the public servant was not entitled to compensation for physical and psychological injuries she sustained when a light fitting was pulled from a wall while she had sex in a Nowra motel room in 2007. Senator Abetz revealed last week that the case, known as PVYW to protect the woman’s identity, had cost taxpayers more than $600,000 in legal fees and highlighted the flaws in the system. But Mr Grey has returned fire, in an opinion piece for this newspaper he has accused the minister of grossly misrepresenting the case in an effort to win support for his changes to Comcare.

Christine Milne: Super concessions policy ready now: $10 billion from Greens

Jacqui Lambie: Lambie refers Palmer United Party legal threat to Clerk of Senate and Legal advisors

Peter Whish-Wilson: Government needs to heed Harper’s warnings on trade deal approach

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Discover the Spirit of Tasmania ... and Western Civilisation

Shannon Davey* http://discoverthespiritoftasmania.ic1m.com.au/
30.03.15 5:00 am

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When Tolpuddle Martyr’s leader and Methodist preacher George Loveless was exiled to Tasmania it sparked popular unionism in Britain which led to a better life for millions and helped create greater social justice and broad-based democracy in Britain and Tasmania. The sentences, along with using the ’terror of Tasmania,’ were designed to destroy the union movement in Britain. However by turning six ordinary men into martyrs the government started a ‘whirlwind of outrage’ throughout Britain. In sycophantic Tasmania the Tolpuddle Martyr leader, George Loveless, was seen as a notorious rebel, initially hobbled in a chain gang. But in England the six became a national cause. Governor Arthur in time became impressed with Loveless’ ‘Jesus-like’ moral and pacifist qualities as well as the depth of his Christian convictions, and later placed him as a convict stockman on the Domain farm in Hobart. Meanwhile in England ...

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Fixing the Broken Health System

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health Media Release
30.03.15 4:50 am

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Tasmania’s health system is broken and needs to change.

Andrew Wilkie: A statement on the State Government’s health announcement This is another terrible case of parochialism, and of protecting the electoral prospects of northern politicians, being put well above good health policy yet again. I give some credit to the Government for taking some small steps today, but the reality is that much more is needed to fix our ailing health system.

• Ben, in Comments: The Liberals’ plan for the Mersey Hospital is virtually identical to Lara Giddings’ plan for the hospital prior to the 2007 federal election, which John Howard torpedoed via a Youtube announcement during the election campaign. Eight years and countless wasted millions later the Liberal Party are effectively acknowledging that Giddings was right to try to reduce duplication in the north while also trying to do something about elective surgery waiting lists. It will be interesting to see if any local reports delve into the strident opposition to Giddings’ plan from non-other than the same Liberal Party that is now in power, and also whether they give credit for the idea where credit is due - former Health Minister Lara Giddings.

ABC: Concerns raised over patient travel costs under Tasmanian health system revamp

Michael Ferguson: White Paper proposes big boost to NW health services

Cassy O’Connor: Real Health Reform Requires Real Dollars

Michael Ferguson: Labor leader at odds with his party over health reform

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The terrible consequences of fundamentalism ...

Julian S Punch* AM
30.03.15 4:45 am

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Letter to The Editor, Changing the TADA 1999 I am writing to you regarding the legislation being introduced into Parliament by the Liberal State Government in collaboration with fundamentalist religious sects to alter the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1999.  I write as someone who three years ago supported my Brother and sister-in-law who lost their gay son to suicide following a severe period of bullying in a Sydney Catholic School.  I also write in concern as a Catholic Priest supporting several groups of Catholic parents who suffered the same terrible loss as my brother and my sister-in-law.  These parents tried desperately to change the Catholic persecution of LGBTI people ... to no effect.

Rodney Croome: Defending Australia’s best Anti-Discrimination Act

• Steve, in Comments: There’s a distinctly Orwellian feel to this proposed change. It’s against the law to discriminate on grounds of religion because we are all equal. However some schools are more equal than others so it’s OK for them?

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: #2 Fine. Let’s start by removing tax breaks on religion and make a level playing field. Then, remove any government funding for religious schools as they have norms and standards that are not shared by the Australian community. Next, make it legal for me not to employ the likes of you because you believe in the existence of a man in the sky and are clearly deluded. That way, you can discriminate against me and I can discriminate against you on an equal basis based upon our different ideologies. So, all good then?

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In defence of Andreas Lubitz

Field McConnell retired pilot of 39 years. Pic*
30.03.15 4:33 am

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My name is Field McConnell and I am the retired Delta pilot who first reported the BUAP to world aviation authorities.  I am convinced that Mr Andreas Lubitz was a victim and not a perpetrator for many reasons.  I was the guest on a radio show yesterday that was heard by over 100,000 worldwide ...

sanguine, in Comments: Hhhmmmhhh…. The area that really is unbelievable in the media version of events, or should that be the orchestrated version of events, is the pilot’s regular slow unchanged breathing pattern until the plane actually crashed. No way could that be if he actually drove the plane into the ground in the 8 minutes or so it apparently took to do so. I can’t buy that bit of the storyline; so what is the real story? Is fact going to be more fascinating than fiction?

• Nigel Crisp, in Comments: Geez, Field McConnell surely sleeps with a loaded weapon under his pillow. I recall being very unsettled by the various newspapers reporting on the voice recorder transcripts straight after the crash. It felt way too early for me, almost like this was a prepared narrative. Watching/hearing the youtube clip did take 92 minutes, but learning about BUAP and ATI truly was horrifying stuff.

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Australia ... be outraged by the real terror

Josie Young*.
30.03.15 4:30 am

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When inflicted by an unseen perpetrator, we have been conditioned by the media and the political agenda of a few to fear violence no matter how abstract the threat may be. We lose sleep over the impending attacks that unknown Muslims might make; we fear Sharia law without understanding anything about it ... Yet, when an actual threat presents itself to us, a violent yet silent killer which has taken 22 women from Australia in the past 11 weeks alone, we remain quiet.

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Stop flip-flopping Abbott and help all women

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 30. Pic: Tony Abbott's wink ...
30.03.15 3:15 am

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The Week that was ... In another fabulous action-packed week of fantastical spinning, bewildering back-flipping, delusion, parliamentary hullabaloo and other manifestations of ‘good,’ ‘adults-in-charge,’ open for business, government, its multi-million dollar turd-polishing media unit was in overdrive. Abbott’s avid fascination with Goebbels lingered on like a fart in a sleeping bag, a noxious emanation impossible to disown or disavow.

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The Pioneer Cup – Horse-trading for safe drinking water in Tasmania

Tim Slade*
30.03.15 3:00 am

Image for The Pioneer Cup – Horse-trading for safe drinking water in Tasmania

What an unlikely trifecta of letter writers in last week’s North-Eastern Advertiser!  Mike Brewster, CEO of TasWater; Michael Ferguson, Tasmania’s Minister for Health; and Barry Jarvis, Mayor of Dorset. But the punters lost out.  Reading these letters, it is hard not to feel devastated for the residents of Pioneer.  And personally, it was disappointing to be targeted by one of the letter writers – Tasmania’s Minister for Health, Mr Ferguson. Minister Ferguson’s letter was, in my view, a deliberate spilling of ink, designed to confuse readers and to save his own skin in relation to the Pioneer water issue ... 

• Dr Alison Bleaney, in Comments: DHHS - Public Health- has direct responsibility for Tasmanian reticulated drinking water quality. It appears the Local Council environmental health officer needs to inform DHHS that ‘Houston, we have a problem’, and then DHHS has responsibility for instigating further investigations and taking action to correct any problems and can direct TasWater to do so. To say it is the Local Council problem is perhaps technically correct but so disingenuous. DHHS do not wait for this line of command to be taken with contagious outbreaks, so why take this line of action other than to perhaps save their own skins/ jobs? Can you imagine the outrage that would have occurred when the lead poisoning story first leaked into the media if Pioneer had a population of 1 million? And yet our laws are the same. This unfolding long long story of poisoning of the reticulated water supply with no appropriate remedial action let alone honest information sharing is shameful. How many other similar stories are there? I shake my head in wonder and despair ... it is 2015 isn’t it?

• Lisa Rime, in Comments: Like so many others, I’ve been following Pioneer’s water crisis from afar for quite some time. It’s frightening seeing such a shirking of responsibility from each of the powers involved, and even more, the blatant lack of care shown for the welfare of the residents affected. This is not the way a first world society should operate. It is weird and shameful.

MONA: HEAVY METAL PROJECT & IMAS TOUR Presenter - Catriona MacLeod, Project Leader - MONA Heavy Metal Project

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HERETIC: Why Islam needs a Reformation NOW

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wall St Journal
30.03.15 2:45 am

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“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.”

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an incredibly brave person - somebody who states the bleeding obvious about religion, but without the luxury of being able to feel reasonably safe doing so (like I do). Although some have tried sincerely and earnestly to promote peace and real justice through religious belief, this has never resulted in anything more than small, occasional pockets of tolerance and genuine caring. After thousands of years of religion dominating human society’s values and practices, the most peaceful and tolerant societies to be found today - places like Denmark - are also the least religious societies, not the most religious.

• Danny Carney, in Comments: … There is something to be said of her ignorance of the rest of the Muslim world, and her . My experience with Islam is based on my experience with Indonesia.There are more Muslims here, nominally at least, than anywhere else. I’m literally surrounded by them every day. I live next to a mosque, my neighbor is an Imam, the family I live with send their kids to pesantren for education. I get my motorbike fixed by a guy who has been to Mecca. I’m also an atheist, have introduced them to all numbers of ex-Muslims, have drunk beer in front of them and with them, and know all about their extra-marital affairs. It’s impossible for me to reconcile this version of Islam, which is as real as any other, with that which is written about by Ali. …

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FEA’s Receivers Deloitte has at last found a buyer for FEA’s land and trees

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk: http://www.tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pub: Mar 30. Pic*
30.03.15 2:30 am

Image for FEA’s Receivers Deloitte has at last found a buyer for FEA’s land and trees

Resources Management Services LLC (RMS) a forestry investment manager from Alabama paid $125.5 million for land belonging to FEA and trees belonging to FEA’s MIS growers. The sale price confirms that forest assets have continued to plummet in value. The sale price is a disaster for everyone waiting for a distribution, the secured and unsecured creditors and the growers. The insolvency practitioners stand the best chance of getting paid in full ...

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: Interestingly, RMS appears to operate on an identical basis to New Forests. They are a forest asset manager for pension funds. As usual Tasmanians will never meet the new owners of large tracts of their island. Congratulations must go to Eric Abetz for formulating a system that transfers ownership of his own electorate to foreigners. Incredibly, the taxpayer actually pays Eric to achieve this outcome.

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Legal persons at risk for cartel conduct

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic: of Garfield Barwick
30.03.15 2:15 am

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Rodney Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said on 25 March: “… there are civil and criminal penalties for both cartel conduct and attempts to engage in cartel conduct.” Evan Whitton suggests that the ACCC take a look at certain legal persons.

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Tassie Pine - Episode 4 - Horse’s Greyhound Scandal

Hon Terry Aulich Chair Aulich & Co PO Box 3122 WEST HOBART TAS 7000 Australia E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Website: http://www.aulich.c
30.03.15 2:00 am

Image for Tassie Pine - Episode 4 - Horse’s Greyhound Scandal

Watch HERE, YouTube

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If only he was leading our country ...

30.03.15 1:45 am

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Great speech. Shame the senate is always empty when he speaks. If only he was leading this country!

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

First Day of the Month ... a celebration of 10 Murray ... and Entropy ... 



No ‘Super Dump’ for Tasmania 



April School Holidays @ the MAC 



Hobart Bookshop: Robbed. Paul Keating 



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




What's On

What's On

Easter Hunt by the Seaside 



Michael Tuffin ... 



Stop Press…Another ‘jobs for the boys’, Peter Gutwein has hired Tony Benneworth as his right hand man -…

Funding and Disclosure

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka


Martyn Turner



The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper


Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me


Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check


Bluestone Magazine


No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax



Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

David Horton

Failed Estate


Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

Tim Squires


Gazette of Law & Journalism

The Culture Concept Circle