Articles

Liberal gift $250,000,000 to the Pokies Barons. Financial incompetence or apparent corruption ... ?

Pat Caplice* Pic*
26.02.18 4:28 am

Image for Liberal gift $250,000,000 to the Pokies Barons. Financial incompetence or apparent corruption ... ?

… Leaving aside the fact that their (Liberals’) support of the poker machine industry is repugnant, their management of the financial aspects are simply disgraceful. It smacks of financial incompetence and has a mighty whiff of corruption of governance …

ABC: Liberals and pro-pokies lobby adamant pub and clubs ban will cost thousands of jobs

The Australia Institute: Tasmanian casinos set for windfall under Liberal plan

• A poem by A Visitor ...

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
Cash cows, every gaming room
The little blog laughed
To see such fun
And the dish ran away with the spoon …

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Is there really anyone to vote for?

Ted Mead* Satire: Ted Mead. Toons: Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/ used with permission
26.02.18 4:23 am

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“If voting made any difference then they wouldn’t let us do it” – Mark Twain

If you believe that a possible change of government in Tasmania in the forthcoming election would dramatically improve politics in this state then you desperately need a reality check. Insofar as a functional democracy goes it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is now very little difference between the major parties regarding big business influence within state politics …

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

NATION: 100 years of mateship or a government in crisis, desperately posturing?

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
26.02.18 4:14 am

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… Turnbull tells an outright lie. There is no evidence of economic stimulus. Nor is it reasonable to expect any, experts reckon, until at least a year has passed. And not even then. Most of the benefit goes to shareholders who see the value of their shares increase as the extra cash is spent on more stock buybacks or dividends. US companies have not only overwhelmingly used the tax cut to buy back shares, wage increases turn out to be mainly one-off bonuses rather than an actual pay rise. $5.6bn has gone towards employee bonuses awarded on the basis of years served with the company while $171bn has gone into share buybacks. Turnbull, nevertheless, persists with the palpable lie that trickle down does not in fact trickle up. And stay there.  A few embedded journalists who travel with Turnbull repeat his fiction so that by Sunday’s ABC Insiders, the lie that 70% of US corporate tax cuts go to workers is reified, and will go on to become a canon of mainstream media (MSM) belief as our media sets the “national conversation” about tax. It’s wilful, fraudulent, disinformation …

… Sixteen year old Sarah, a survivor of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, tweets to the Tweeter in Chief in language he understands , reports Richard Ackland. “I don’t want your condolences you fucking piece of shit, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But gun control will prevent it from happening again … “

… Incoherent, indulgent, unfathomable, Barnaby publicly salutes himself as the rural underdog’s top dog, the poor man’s champion. His hypocrisy rivals anything by Tony Abbott, also a Riverview old-boy with a privileged upbringing, although unlike Abbott’s parents, Joyce’s mother and father, he freely concedes are millionaires …

Simon Longstaff, The Ethics Centre: Loopholes and Lies. The real scandal of Barnaby Joyce

Sky News: Only 28 per cent of Coalition voters back tax cuts for growth: poll

ABC: Lawyer confirms complaint against Barnaby Joyce also alleges possible ‘sexual misconduct’

ABC: Michael McCormack set to become Australia’s new deputy prime minister

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society

Brooksy, I suspect has consumed most of it ...

The Count* Pic: Scott Jordan, Greens candidate for Braddon in front of a Brooksy Corflute
26.02.18 4:10 am

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We must be running dangerously low on corflute up here in the north-west. Brooksy, I suspect, has consumed most of it. At least, that’s how it appeared when La Contessa et moi drove along Braddon’s coastal boundary recently …

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The multiple misrepresentations of Liberal pollies and industry lobbyists ...

Frank Nicklason* Cartoon: Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/ used with permission
26.02.18 4:00 am

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Yesterday (23/2/2018) I attended a protest in front of Parliament House against poker machine industry. There were 4 excellent speakers: Leanne Minshull, Pat Caplice, James Boyce and Greg James. I learnt a thing or two from each of them. I was already well aware of the depressing dishonesty and multiple misrepresentations of many Liberal politicians and industry lobbyists in attempting to justify their cowardly acquiescence to the greed and carelessness generated agenda of the poker machine gambling industry. I was not aware of the extent to which Premier Hodgman has failed to understand his own party’s policy and the implications thereof …

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Overheard on the Prosser River Mouth

Paul Tapp*
26.02.18 3:45 am

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Hard not to personalise this article when I’m dread-filled at the inevitable … and sharing my horror with a stranger too who’s looking on in wonder at the pre-teen girls before us, struggling against a swift incoming tide at the mouth of the Prosser River, Orford. Well let’s make that the new mouth … the sandbag mouth, It’s make-over complete, huge bags of sand stretch seaward and form the river banks, where once the river ran lapping at shallow banks on either side …

… “Hopefully they’re not for the coroner,” I reply as the lasses, perhaps 10 or 11 years, make their way out of the area. I call to one of them and give her my name. “I know your dad. Tell him that I was very worried at you swimming across the neck like that. The tide was sweeping you in. If you swim there on an outgoing tide, you will get swept out and maybe won’t make it back …”

… And there is concurrence that it is only a matter of time before tragedy visits the Orford River mouth …

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Writers | Paul Tapp | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Abolishing the carbon tax (to???) reduce power bills ...

John Hawkins* Satire: of Abbott ... DonkeyHotey Flickr
26.02.18 3:37 am

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ABC Fact Check has asked Mr Abbott where the figures came from. His office directed the query to Environment Minister Greg Hunt, whose office is yet to respond …

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Legal | Society

‘Thousands March for takayna / Tarkine in Hobart’

Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pics*
26.02.18 3:30 am

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… “On Monday next week, if Hodgman wins, the logging, mining and off-road vehicle invasion of the Tarkine will be racked up and the privatisation of all Tasmania’s National parks, from Cradle to Maria Island, will be truly ugly,” Bob Brown said today. “The Tarkine needs to be protected,” Australian Actor, Essie Davis said when she spoke at today’s event …

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Syria ... where ideology and identity politics makes life ‘poor, nasty, brutish and short’

Leonard Colquhoun*
26.02.18 3:23 am

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Assad proves all Corleones are bad, no matter what the spin “And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”  -  Thomas Hobbes, ‘Leviathan, or the matter, forme, and power of a commonwealth, ecclesiasticall and civill’, 1651.

“Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first”  -  Matthew xii 43-45 (KJV).

“First, do no [further] harm”  -  of uncertain / disputed origin; the Hippocratic Oath includes a promise “to abstain from doing harm” but does not include this precise phrase.

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive / But to be young was very heaven!”  -  William Wordsworth, ‘The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement’, 1809

“The least worst result would be an Assad win”  -  Jeremy Shapiro, director of research, European Council on Foreign Relations and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“The springtime of the peoples”  -  a ‘branding’ of the 1848-49 European revolutionary movements from sometimes being called in the German lands the Springtime of Peoples (‘Völkerfrühling’).

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Writers | Leonard Colquhoun | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

The Rocky History Of The Adani Carmichael Mine

Noelle Neff* Pic*
26.02.18 3:15 am

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There can be few projects in the world causing as many internal political problems as the Adani Carmichael Mine …

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Does Tasmania need a Climate Change Plan?

Kim Peart, Candidate for Lyons in the House of Assembly
26.02.18 3:03 am

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As our planet gets steadily hotter, climates are changing …

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

1080 Whistleblower Wins Case

Stephanie McKee* Pic*
26.02.18 1:59 am

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In the Thames District Court on 20th February,  Judge Greg Hollister-Jones dismissed a charge of common assault brought by the New Zealand Police against Graeme Sturgeon of Coromandel. The unprofessional and confrontational methods used by the DoC security guard Richard Lane, in opening Graeme Sturgeon’s car door forcibly, in a surprise move, without identifying himself, appeared to tip the balance in the judge’s mind to decide that Sturgeon’s actions from the moment the door was opened were made in self-defence …

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‘The Liberals’ grubby little secret’

Andrew Wilkie* Media Release. Pic: Licking the Libs. John Hawkins. Anglicare Media Release
24.02.18 5:00 am

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The shocking pokies losses for every pub and club in Tasmania … “When I revealed the most 20 harmful poker machine venues earlier this month, Tasmanians were quite rightly shocked,” Mr Wilkie said. “Now that this more detailed data is out there for all to see, it paints an even grimmer picture of just how much money is sucked out of communities and lost in these venues. And it confirms that big business is the big winner from gambling addiction because the same names pop up over and over again …

• Alliance for Gambling Reform ... … Mr Costello engaged in a 30 minute debate (listen to full 19 minutes conducted on air, https://www.tasmaniatalks.com.au/the-show/25720-tim-costello-compares-aus-pokies-debate-to-nra-in-us) with Tasmania’s most pro-pokies journalist, Grant Broadcasting’s Northern Tasmania presenter Brian Carlton, this morning and made the following points: # As the recent Australia Institute study revealed, Australia has 76% of the world’s pokies in pubs and clubs as most countries recognise the danger of mixing alcohol with addictive pokies at venues which are not exclusively focused on gambling services …

ABC: Pokies are big money in Tasmania — election campaign shows just how contentious they are

Greens: Liberals Plundering Protected Areas, Underfunding Parks

Andrew Wilkie: Yet another grubby Liberal Party pokies secret ... The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will join Monash University’s Dr Charles Livingstone ( http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/Removing-Tasmanias-pokies-would-help-gamblers-witho/ ) and author and historian Dr James Boyce ( http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/will-the-alp-dance-to-lennon-and-/ ) to condemn the Liberal Party’s poker machine policy, which will see the industry benefit to the tune of $250 million. “Make no mistake – the Liberal Party’s poker machine policy isn’t to keep the status quo,” Mr Wilkie said. “Not only will it entrench poker machines in hotels and clubs for decades, but it will in effect hand the poker machine industry an enormous $250 million windfall … ”

UTG: Call for more ethical principles in politics - UTG releases A New Ethic … “It is very clear in today’s politics that the political parties do not adhere to any sets of principles – they act according to expediency or what they think will appeal to the media for that day. It is not even clear, for example, what the philosophical issues are concerning the poker machines. If ‘pokies’ are a social problem then, given that 2,300 problem gamblers* in Tasmanian indulge in four or more types of gambling then why isn’t all gambling the focus for reform?” “If the issue is the dominant control of pokies by one organisation or family, then that is another issue,” Dr. Holloway said …

Alliance for Gambling Reform: Broken promise: Crown and Packer fail to lift transparency game

The Conversation: FactCheck: are ‘around 5,000 jobs’ at risk if pokies are removed from pubs and clubs in Tasmania? … The Conversation contacted Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman’s office to request sources and comment to support the claim, but did not receive a response. Nonetheless, we can test the statement against publicly available data. The claim promoted by the Tasmanian Liberal Party that “around 5,000 jobs are at risk if electronic gaming machines are removed from pubs and clubs” is an exaggeration – and a significant one. Finding precise employment figures for the gambling industry is difficult. But data recently released by the Tasmanian Government Department of Treasury and Finance estimated that in 2017, there were 370 full time equivalent jobs related to poker machines and keno in hotels and clubs in Tasmania. Even when we consider that the number of people employed would be higher than an estimated 370, because some people work part time, the claim that a change in legislation would place “around 5,000 jobs” at risk is a significant overstatement …

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‘Tassie’s ‘whitefella’ community says ‘not in my name Will Hodgman’’

Vica Bayley*, Heather Sculthorpe* Media Release. Pic: of Greg Irons
23.02.18 4:15 am

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In a follow-up to the Australian-first election ad in Aboriginal language, white Tasmanians have come together to expose Premier Will Hodgman’s betrayal of them and their aspirations for reconciliation with Aboriginal people, though his destructive plan to build 4WD tracks across Aboriginal heritage on the takayna/Tarkine coast …

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Current American mores ...

Martyn Turner* used with permission
23.02.18 4:01 am

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*Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission: https://www.facebook.com/martynturnercartoons/ . http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner

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‘Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania Planning Policy Election Scorecard’

Sophie Underwood, Co-ordinator of the Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania Media Release
22.02.18 5:22 am

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Today the Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania released its Planning Policy Election Scorecard. The scorecard launch comes as PMAT commences its second election television advertisement. The advertisement links the duel issue of private commercial development in reserves and the high rise hotel proposals and the simple fact that the public could have absolutely no role in the assessment of these proposals, or rights of appeal …

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NATION: ‘One way or another, Barnaby’s cactus’ and Turnbull’s gov’t may be ...

Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
22.02.18 5:15 am

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… As Jack Waterford, former editor of The Canberra Times writes, “The government has never narrowed the gap. At present rates, Aboriginals will remain the poorest, sickest, least employed and least educated group in the community 80 years from now – and still without a plan, as opposed to a vague hope and intention, to make it different.” Happily for the PM, there is a distraction. Poor, rich, white, boy, Barnaby, a lad who enjoyed a privileged upbringing, a St Ignatius College Riverview private school boy, - one of Sydney’s most expensive schools - who at home could roam Rutherglen an 1821 hectare farm estate, a New England University accountancy graduate who loves to play the battler from the bush is now acting hard done by. It’s all about soliciting free accommodation; favours from a mate …

… In true Nationals’ fashion, a mob of rugged if not roughshod individuals, whose contempt for bureaucracy matches its war with science and the environment, Barnaby decided to relocate the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Tamworth. It’s a cheap pork-barrel at a mere $26 million when you compare it with $10 billion for Joyce’s Inland Rail boondoggle which will never turn a profit either but which is also a nifty source of pork …

… The APVMA invites an advisory committee of 20 odd to stay, reports ABC Saturday AM. Of course, as public servants, all are parched and on the tooth and primed for wining and dining. My, how they enjoy a welcome dinner of prawns with kimchi, truffle oil risotto, New England lamb and sticky date sponge; great value at $80 per head. Our shout …

… The Ayatollah, as he was mocked at Goldman Sachs, the PM succeeds in suppressing Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Alberici’s heretical analysis of how tax cuts to business don’t stimulate jobs or growth.  One in five don’t pay tax for the past three years at least. Those who do, moreover, pay a seventeen per cent tax rate, on average …

Richard Ackland, Guardian: Michelle Guthrie, the ABC and the turning of a once-shining jewel into mainstream sludge All public broadcasters are engaged in a constant process of chopping, slicing and reinventing, and every boss spreads his or her own brand of unhappiness

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society | Transport

The Blue Sea ...

John Hawkins* Pic*: John Hawkins
22.02.18 5:00 am

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After her recent axing by Mercurius, the Roman god of financial gain, commerce, trickery and thieves, we offer a big welcome to our erection guru Windi who is visiting Van Diemen’s Land as the Tasmanian Liberal government’s senior advisor on tourism, bovine effluent and methane …

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | International | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Legal | Society

Liberals new anti-protest laws doomed to failure!

Ted Mead* Pic: Bob Brown Foundation
22.02.18 4:45 am

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Desperate times call for desperate measures!  This is the egregious Hodgman government’s mantra at the moment as they just recently announced their intention to draft another legal bill to prohibit workplace forestry protests.  History shows us that with politicians consistent desire to suppress dissent, then this is destined to be another protracted and draconian process, which will probably be challenged all the way through the courts again … !

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

Outrage over Oxfam investigations into paedophiles, sexual misconduct ...

Isla MacGregor* Pic*
22.02.18 4:29 am

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… use of prostitutes leading to staff dismissals, resignations and cover ups Yesterday’s news about NGO Oxfam’s 2011 internal investigation into allegations against some staff over sexual abuse, harassment and illegal use of prostitutes revealed a totally abhorrent culture within some elements of the world-renowned aid organisation …

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Save the Waratah Reservoir Dam ...

Bill Smith*
22.02.18 4:16 am

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What seems clear from last Tuesday’s (13.2.2018) ‘consultative’ meeting in Waratah is that TasWater, as an authority, have very little-to-no concept of community and social licence …

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The rise and fall of Hobart property values ...

Mal Graham*
21.02.18 3:15 am

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I would like to share with you the extraordinary rise and fall of real estate values in Hobart in just seven years …

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Plastic ...

Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission
20.02.18 5:20 am

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Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission

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‘TCT’s Fish Farm Election Policy Scorecard’

Peter McGlone* Media Release. Pic: Flickr
20.02.18 4:15 am

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The Tasmanian Conservation Trust has released a scorecard of the fish farm policies of the political parties and this week a copy of the scorecard will be delivered to 30,000 households in the electorate of Lyons …

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

‘Review of Party Planning Policies’

Friends of the East Coast Media Release Pic: Flickr
20.02.18 4:00 am

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Friends of the East Coast Inc has reviewed the planning policies of the major parties for the forthcoming State Election …

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

‘Community Energy to power the future’

Jack Gilding*, Anton Visktrom* Media Release. Pic*
20.02.18 3:45 am

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A gathering of community groups is today calling on all parties to support community renewable energy, the missing third sector between large scale wind and hydro and individual homes and businesses going solar …

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

Tasmania’s Ailing Health System and Forestry Debt – It’s inextricably linked ...

Ted Mead* Pics*
19.02.18 4:30 am

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Let’s face it on all accounts the Tasmanian Health system is failing, and is not far from a real crisis scenario.  To those who are desperate for quality health care it probably comes as no surprise to hear that Tasmania has the worst public hospital system in the country. Everyone in the medical profession knows it is mostly due to the lack of funding, so why are our governments’ at the cost of public health, continuing to prop up the clinically-dead native forest industry to the sum of over $100 million per year … ?

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

Removing Tasmania’s pokies would help gamblers without hurting the economy

Charles Livingstone* Pic: Michael Coghlan, Flickr
19.02.18 4:15 am

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Debate over poker machines is at the centre of the lead-up to this year’s Tasmanian state election. Labor’s promise to remove pokies from Tasmania’s pubs and clubs by 2023 if it wins government has been met with both praise and fierce criticism from lobby groups. Announcing the Liberals’ gaming policy recently, Premier Will Hodgman said: “Unlike Labor, we believe that Tasmanians should be able to choose how to spend their money, not be dictated to by the government … “

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Fifteen years after Iraq war protests, peace is further away than ever

Emily Thornberry, Guardian via John Tully. Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission
19.02.18 4:00 am

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Jeremy Corbyn’s warnings on Iraq, Libya and Syria have proved terrifyingly right. And now Iran looks like the next battleground

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Politics | International | National | State | Opinion | Society

Cultural and Physical Genocide: The Kurdish Case in Turkey

Dr. Hussein Tahiri* via John Tully. Pic: Pic: of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's President
19.02.18 3:45 am

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Introduction Genocide is a systematic use of violence or oppression with the aim of physically eliminating or culturally destroying a social group. The savagery involved in physical genocide often attracts international attention whereas the use of cultural genocide over time often goes undetected …

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