Richard Griggs* Media Release for 22 organisations*. Pic* Pub: Oct 26
31.10.14 4:00 am
Twenty two organisations have signed a joint statement urging the Upper House to vote against the anti-protest laws this week.
• Lawyers: Threat of violation of human rights of all Tasmanians The Bill’s proposed amendments released 22 October 2014 by Paul Harriss do nothing to alleviate the legitimate concerns raised by ALHR and other organisations. In fact, they provide Tasmania Police and the DPP with additional discretionary powers under the Bill; discretionary powers which are clearly inconsistent with International Human Rights Law.
THURSDAY, Oct 30 ...
• ABC Radio reports the bill passed through the LegCo, 9-5 ... and now enters the committee stages. Mersey MLC Greg Hall referred to protesters as “Pests”.
• Bryan Green: Forestry Tasmania loss highlights Liberals have no answers A reported loss of well over $40 million by Forestry Tasmania highlights the challenges facing the forest industry and that the Liberal Government’s hollow promises are not the answer. “The future for Forestry Tasmania is looking less certain by the day under the Liberals,” Mr Green said. “The Liberals have done absolutely nothing to secure the viability of Forestry Tasmania and are still in denial over the causes of the decade-long downturn in the sector. “For Paul Harris to suggest the land available for forestry is the problem is a bare-faced lie. “In fact, Paul Harris introduced and had passed new legislation which did not change the land area available to Forestry Tasmania.
• John Hawkins, in Comments: Between 2010 and 2013 Forestry Tasmania lost $122 million from harvesting a public resource that cost them nothing. This year an additional $40 million. A total of $162 million in 5 years. This is despite receiving $110 million under the TCFA and a further $100 million from the State. So the real loss is North of $372 million in 5 years. Mainly I suggest that this is a result of contracts written to supply timber to customers at a loss. Who wrote those contracts and why? Harriss as the minister it is your job to explain to us pests why we should not be told how all this has come about. You promote and defend the rorters and snouters. Why?
• mike seabrook, in Comments on this Media Release HERE and she wants the feds to rip off the other tax payers to do something and compensate. a big sook now belatedly. where misrepresentations were made and funding/loans compromised - let the courts work it out. jan what about the mis in stone fruits., walnuts, cherries, olives etc which the tfga were effectively working on behalf of the promotors in promoting those scams.
• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments, HERE: One has to applaud the “penny finally dropping”, even if it is 15 years too late. Some people are just slow/deaf/..... All of this disaster came from the Plantation 2020 Vision (http://www.plantations2020.com.au) which was policy made stupid. Beware the forest industry. Policy is still very questionable.
Rodney Croome. Pic: of Rodney Croome
31.10.14 3:45 am
Thank you for this honour. While my name is on the citation, it is not only for me. It is for my ever loving mother, Bev, who is here tonight, and my late father, Peter, for my friend Richard who is also here, and all those friends who have helped me through the tough times, for all the passionate people I work with, and for all those Australians who aspire to a more inclusive nation.
Former HCC Lord Mayor Damon Thomas. Pub: Oct 30 on Facebook
30.10.14 4:55 am
What a surreal feeling being removed as Lord Mayor of Hobart is a few hours on!
• Philip Cocker, in Comments on Marti Zucco’s Media Release, HERE I agree with Marti. In line with this should be the abolition of the General Manager’s role. Same rules and practices for all levels of Government.
Lissa Johnson* http://www.lissajohnson.com.au/ , New Matilda. Satire* Pub: Oct 29
30.10.14 4:45 am
If the Abbott Government was an individual, he would be a psychopath. And you wonder why they’re frightened of science! Clinicial psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains.
• Guardian: Coalition secures $2.5bn Direct Action plan amid fears over emissions target *Controversial policy will pass Senate after deal with PUP *Greg Hunt agrees to investigate emissions trading scheme *Labor says Australia has ‘no way to reduce carbon pollution’ *Modelling suggests it will not be sufficient to reach 5% target
• Brian, in Comments: Best interview i have seen with Palmer Jones tried to catch him out over Bell Bay it would appear Lambie has achieved an outcome for Bell Bay Aluminium. He also puts down Christine Milne and she has been wedged twice this week in Federal Parliament ...
Mercury, Tasmanian Electoral Commission. Pub: Oct 29
30.10.14 4:30 am
The Tasmanian Electoral Commission have provisionally declared that Sue Hickey has defeated incumbent Lord Mayor Damon Thomas 52.53% to 47.47. Glenorchy is set for a fresh face mayor in criminologist Kristie Johnston while flamboyant Glamorgan Spring Bay Mayor Bertrand Cadart has been knocked out of top spot in the Tasmanian local government elections.
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer Ministerial Statement. Main pic: Peter Gutwein, Will Hodgman in Parliament. Pub: Oct 28
29.10.14 3:45 am
… We simply cannot allow the Budget position to get worse. If we don’t start to fix the problems now, the actions that will need to be taken in future years will be even more severe. …
• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top nav bar) for news, comment on the Gutwein Statement
29.10.14 3:40 am
Doomed Battalion is the story of the men of the 2/40 Battalion – mainly Tasmanians – and its associated army units, sent to garrison an airfield in Dutch Timor immediately after the Japanese entered the Second World War. Assigned a hopeless military task within a misguided strategy, they were captured a week after the fall of Singapore in February1942. They were then scattered in prison camps across east Asia, including Java, Sumatra, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Japan and other places. Their experiences are in general a microcosm of those of Australian prisoners of the Japanese between 1942 and 1945.
by IAN VINER AO QC
29.10.14 3:30 am
Just published in Northern Land Council (NLC), Land Rights News-Northern Edition (October 2014); written by The Hon. Ian Viner, AO QC former Aboriginal Affairs Minister in the Fraser Government. This article is extremely important and topical as there is a move to 99 year whole of township leases [over Aboriginal townships] in the NT. It is also relevant as we remember the passing of Gough Whitlam who led the path to inalienable land rights - now under threat like never before. Gough is highly respected amongst all Aboriginal peoples. The introductory note from the NLC reads, “IAN VINER AO QC was Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in Malcolm Fraser’s government, 1975-1978. He still practises as a barrister in Perth, and retains a keen interest in Indigenous issues. Here is his take on the Federal Government’s push to obtain 99-year township leases over Aboriginal owned land in the Northern territory ...”
European Space Agency Photo: Josh Barrington, ESA/Hubble & NASA
29.10.14 3:00 am
The brightly glowing plumes seen in this image are reminiscent of an underwater scene, with turquoise-tinted currents and nebulous strands reaching out into the surroundings. However, this is no ocean. This image actually shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small nearby galaxy that orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way, and appears as a blurred blob in our skies.
Suzanne Cass, Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty
28.10.14 4:45 am
… Nor is this awful trafficking in living, feeling beings contributing anything of much significance to the Australian economy. The trade in live animals is just 0.4% of Australia’s exports and the trade is frozen/chilled meat to every one of these countries is worth 16 times more. It destroys jobs in Australia, handing over meat processing and downstream sector employment to other countries, and these atrocities are the result. As well, after more than three decades, and with millions of taxpayer dollars thrown down this sewer, we still see these horrors with distressing regularity. And make no mistake, the trade begins and ends with the minority of farmers who supply it. …
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Eric Abetz
28.10.14 4:30 am
The outcome of a financial disaster that is the rotting entrails of the now-deceased MIS scams will be determined this week. MIS was supported and protected by Erich Abetz - then Minister for Forests in the Howard Liberal Government. It is my belief he was sitting illegally in the parliament as a dual national. Forty seven thousand people put $1.8 billion into MIS scams promoted by Great Southern. They will receive back 16 cents for every $1,000 invested should the Victorian Supreme Court approve today or tomorrow a settlement that declares the loans valid. … A disaster in many ways created and protected by the then Minister for Forests Erich Abetz, a Tasmanian who was then very very close to a now imploded forest industry in Tasmania. These Abetzian schemes changed the face of rural communities in Tasmania by alienating valuable agricultural land in the creation of the now dead and dying nitens plantations, a blight on our landscape.
Australian Greens Trade Spokesman, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release. Pic: of Trade Minister Andrew Robb. Pub: Oct 27
28.10.14 3:40 am
Australian Greens comment on the final day of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Ministers’ meeting. “Andrew Robb is treating the Australian Parliament, the press and the public like mushrooms. We are all being kept in the dark. “He says he can’t tell anyone or myself as a Parliamentarian what he is trading away. He says ‘trust me’.” “Yet, the US Trade Representative is on the record saying that all US congressmen can view their trade proposals, the draft text and even the negotiating documents. “The US government is giving their legislators information about what is in the TPP, whereas the Australian government is not.
This is a quick email to let you know that the documentary Skullbone Plains will air tonight - Tuesday October 28 - on ABC 1 at 10.00pm
Eva Ruzicka*. Pic: Bob Burton
28.10.14 3:20 am
As the close of local government polls looms closer to 10am on Tuesday morning, so does D-Day for local government in Tasmania. A bit dramatic? No. The Hon Peter Gutwein, Treasurer, Minister for Planning and Local Government intends to write to all Mayors once the polls are declared to start asking about reforms and how local government can take on more economic responsibilities.
Oliver Brown, Daily Telegraph London in the Canberra Times. Pic: of Kurtley Beale
28.10.14 3:14 am
The message from Di Patston was desperate. “I am sitting here in the team room doing my job and I can’t stop crying. What did I do to you? You have barely known me a day. I am so humiliated by this.”
28.10.14 3:04 am
The Federal Government’s response to the Ebola crisis has been chaotic, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says.
27.10.14 5:00 am
Comment on Cassy O’Connor’s Media Release, Where’s the acknowledgement that a crisis exists? HERE October last year, ‘guests’ of my tenant took over and destroyed her life. A pop-up party of 200 was arranged on a Friday and illegal drugs and alcohol were sold and consumed. … The late Councillor Jeremy Ball had visited the property and was enormously concerned at the extent of the problem in Launceston. He would’ve helped coordinate some preventative action. I remain prepared to.
27.10.14 4:35 am
Dear Mr Hodgman, I am writing to you in relation to two issues raised by you this week in regards to the Medical Cannabis situation in Tasmania. The first is to ask you to clarify your statements made this week on Hansard and a media release that you have assurances from the police that no one involved in the current Upper House Medical Cannabis inquiry will be actively pursued or prosecuted for using or possessing Medical Cannabis. But could still have their cannabis taken from them if the police find it. “We are very keen to ensure that Tasmanians who are accessing cannabis for medicinal use are not going to be prosecuted.’’
Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
27.10.14 4:30 am
… Sometimes it’s not necessary to chase around the world to find the thing that fills your heart. This is especially true in Tasmania. You must, however, know how to drag yourself away from the sticky habits of home. …
Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release
27.10.14 4:25 am
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, brought the documentary Mary Meets Mohammad to the people who decide Australia’s asylum seeker policies. The documentary was a 2013 Walkley Awards finalist and won the 2014 UN Media Award.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne. Pic: Rob Walls
27.10.14 4:25 am
Mercury: Hydro cans King Island wind power project Christine Milne: “While Hydro Tasmania has said moves to water down the RET wasn’t the deciding factor in pursuing the King Island wind farm, Tasmanians should be under no illusion that the Abbott government’s ruthless attack on the RET has undermined investment certainty. “A cut to the RET will impact future investment in the state. “In its recent profit statement Hydro pointed out that uncertainty around the RET was one of the “challenging conditions” which would affect future profits, and it will. “This is a Liberal state and federal combination determined to destroy Tasmanian jobs and investment.
• Chris Harries, in Comments: I think Hydro Tas position is correct, the King Island project was non viable with or without the RET. It’s main problem was declining power demand on the mainland, meaning Hydro Tas couldn’t cover its cost selling into a buyer’s market. The link from King Island to Victoria, including rectiformers, would have been prohibitively costly. This is on top of the community relations on King Island being not well managed. That said, the project would have been non viable under any circumstances without the national Renewable Energy Target being in place.
Groundswell Tasmania Media Release
27.10.14 4:20 am
Two French journalists have today been released from gaol after being sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for reporting on West Papua.
27.10.14 4:15 am
It is often said that without the rule of law humanity would descend into chaos. This is perhaps true, but it is not laws themselves that keep people from such chaos. More fundamental to cohesive humanity are hope and empathy. Hope for our future and empathy for others are the main reasons we obey the law – they are the real glue that holds societies together. Hope and empathy are both born of imagination. Alfred Adler, who founded the school of individual psychology, said: “We cannot think, feel, will or act without the perception of a goal.” Before one can hope, one must imagine something worth hoping for. Before one can empathise, one must imagine what another feels. Before we can create a better world, we must first imagine one.
Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
27.10.14 4:00 am
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
27.10.14 3:45 am
James Williamson interviews Diane Caney, Dewayne Everettsmith, Graham Gourlay and Alison Smith about their second book, More Shocking Truths About Workplace Bullying.
27.10.14 3:30 am
• Watch on YouTube here:
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
John Naughton's Online Diary. Pic*
27.10.14 3:00 am
David Remnick has a lovely memoir of Ben Bradlee in the New Yorker which captures the essence of the man (and mentions the one black spot on his record, namely the way his friendship with JFK blurred his journalistic judgement). Remnick is a delightful writer with a good ear for anecdote. Take this, for example ...
John Maddock*, Timber Workers For Forests. Satire: Ted Mead Pub: Oct 23
25.10.14 6:00 am
Not long after a diverse group of like-minded individuals came together to form Timber Workers For Forests at a meeting at the Longley International Hotel in 2001, convenor & founding President Graham Green told us of a coupe he’d heard of which was the epitome of clearfelled destruction. And thus began the TWFF story of EPO74D, (west of Geeveston, about 20kms by road via Arve & Bennetts Rds), which comes to a partial close next Saturday with the auction of timber salvaged from the coupe after it was burned. Hopefully, some of that timber will continue as timber for many years, having been made into furniture or boats. … The figures which emerged were astonishing: only 26% of the timber volume of the forest was removed during clearfelling and just 1% of the combined special species timbers was removed by the harvesting contractors (calculated from information gleaned from Forestry Tasmania). An estimated 97,800 tonnes of timber at an average of 998 tonnes /hectare remained on the ground in the coupe following logging and salvage. Myrtle was the most commonly documented timber remaining, followed by eucalypt, celery-top pine and sassafras.
Over the next few months, we milled and racked the timber and this Saturday (25 October 2014) on Franklin waterfront the public will have a chance to buy some of it. TWFF has donated a little over 7 cubic metres to the Franklin Working Waterfront Association Inc. to sell to raise funds.
• Download, read for yourself, the report on EPO74D, where there is a picture of the incredible waste ...
• Trevor Gauld State Secretary CEPU – Tasmania: Silencing Dissent: Forests no longer mentioned in laws “These laws are an ideological attack from this Government against anyone who has an opinion different to theirs. The Liberals are simply trying to silence dissent against their bad policies and poorly planned budget cuts.”
• Vica Bayley, Warrick Jordan: FSC undermined by backing logging of 600-year-old trees: The standards of the world’s leading timber certifying body, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), are being questioned after one of its British auditors gave an environmental tick of approval to log forests containing 600-year-old trees in Western Australia. The WA Government’s logging agency, the Forest Products Commission (FPC), has secured FSC certification from Soil Association Woodmark for FPC’s logging operations in the tall eucalypt Karri forests in the state’s south-west. These forests are also home to at least 15 threatened species including Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos, Mainland Quokkas and Western Quolls.
• FSC Australia CEO Natalie Reynolds: Independent auditor approves the Forest Products Commission for Controlled Wood FSC Australia CEO Natalie Reynolds said it was important to understand that Controlled Wood is not full FSC Certification and is not an endorsement of responsible forest management. “Controlled Wood evaluations allow companies to avoid unacceptable wood being mixed with full FSC Certified and/or FSC recycled wood in products carrying the FSC Mix label,” Reynolds said. “For many forest managers it is the first step towards achieving full Forest Management Certification and provides assessment against only the FSC’s most fundamental prerequisites, such as ensuring wood is not illegally harvested and harvesting does not threaten High Conservation Values.”
• Anne, in Comments: For those of you still debating about whether or not to send in a submission to SCS Global re Forestry Tasmania’s bid to gain FSC accreditation, then this article from last Saturday’s Mercury might help make up your mind. HERE. Joining the dots from all the media stories over the last few months strongly suggest that the Liberals’ long-term devious and nefarious plan – under chief cheer-leader Paul Harriss – is to both intimidate a reluctant electorate into submission through draconian anti-protest laws, and remove all other obstacles to the building of the Tamar Valley pulp mill through facilitating FT’s bid for FSC, dismantling the TFA, and (possibly) attempting to prevent the mill site being sold to a bidder that has other ideas for its development. To that end be particularly cautious about voting in Liberal candidates in the council elections - even those who claim they are are independent – since I’m reliably informed that a Liberal majority on local government is their goal - especially with all having chance of election. I’m also informed that the passage of a local government majority vote in support of fracking, mining, ‘forestry traditional practices’, and a Pulp Mill in the Tamar Valley, are definite items of priority for Abbott’s push to have Tasmania back on its feet, through his request for as many Liberal members as possible to stand for local government election. The campaign to stop the pulp mill is far from over ...
25.10.14 5:45 am
As Australia leaps backwards to the 50s under “Climate Change is absolute crap”, and, “Coal is good for humanity” Prime Minister Tony Abbott, EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 ...
25.10.14 5:30 am
Everyone says my grandmother had a dry wit. I would say her wit was drier than a dead dingo’s donger, but being a New Yorker, it wouldn’t really fit. It was always strange visiting this ultra-savvy intellectual at the nursing home – she stuck out from the knitting and cookie-baking brigade. I always felt slightly moronic – young and severely Australian – in her presence. She had a knack of taking people aback when, as an octogenarian, she wanted to discuss Queer as Folk and The West Wing, or Jeff Buckley, or when folks were subject to her observant and sometimes sharp-edged quips. But those who “got it” thought she was terrific. At her funeral this week, I spent a lot of time trying to process her story and how a woman so ahead of her time ended up in 1960s Hobart. So you can imagine my surprise when I walked into the Peacock Theatre, not really having done much pre-reading on the show, and was catapulted into my grandmother’s world. Peanuts ... ! How could I forget how much she’d loved ...