Footfalls echo in the memory ...

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1
26.04.15 6:00 am

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These companion pieces reflect the horror of war and the effect of chance on our lives. The first, by Evan Whitton’s daughter Margaret, is a poem about her response to a 1918 photograph of wounded soldiers nursed by her grandmother, Bernice Margaret Collopy. Margaret is a clinical nurse consultant at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Her poem was first published in the April 2015 issue of The Lamp, the journal of the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (membership c. 59,000). The second is about the war experiences of Evan Whitton’s father, Thomas Evan Whitton. He was nursed by Bernice Margaret Collopy and they later married. The piece originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 April 1983.   

ABC: Anzac Day 2015: Private war collection much more than ‘snapshot’ of personal stories behind military records

Will Hodgman: Centenary of ANZAC: Tasmanians Remember

John Martinkus, Mercury’s Tasweekend: Hidden Horror of War ( this is a brilliant essay ... do yourself the immense favour of reading it ... ) … I can write this because I’ve seen it, lived it and felt it. I’ve lost hearing permanently from working in a helicopter in Afghanistan, I’ve lost a marriage and I’ve lost and left jobs, and I live with constant recurring nightmares of being kidnapped and blown up in Iraq. Sometimes the dreams are about Timor, hiding in the roof of a burning building with militia waving machetes outside. Sometimes it is the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Iraq when the blood was dripping off the awning of a building onto my notebook as I tried to write the number of the dead whose corpses I was trying to not step on. Sometimes it is just the sheer animal fear of being stuck in the last slow-moving Humvee in a convoy on a dirt road strewn with improvised explosive devices. But, unlike many other Australians who served in Vietnam, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, I have my legs, my arms, my feet, my life and (although I know some would debate this) my sanity. The wars to which Australia has committed itself in the past 50 years have taken a huge toll, emotionally and physically, on a very small proportion of our population. And it is that we should reflect upon on this 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. …

• Claire Gilmour, in Comments: What a harrowing story from John Martinkus. When will that sort of thing be taught as part of history in schools? Makes one think that instead of all the ‘glory’ attributed to war, and those young people considering such a military career, should also be given the ‘warning’ signs (in no uncertain terms)  prior to enlisting. Makes one really wonder about just who are behind the scenes of the so called Isis ‘war’ …. The creation of a so-called common enemy and all … to keep the ‘war’ efforts up. I watched the Gallipoli movie about the true story of some journalists in the war. I didn’t know Rupert Murdochs father had been one of the main characters to help get the truth out.  Makes one wonder why he (Rupert) doesn’t do the same ? Instead seems to want to pander to big government and the big end of town … yay what a hero he is, not! Also makes me wonder about Nikolic, and his seeming penchant for attacking some of those who want to get the truth out … Ultimately the government continues to create PTSD in sooo many ways, but they, especially at the moment, are saying YOU, the individual are not worthy … you do not deserve help and consideration … you are just a pawn to be sacrificed on the table of naughts and crosses. Check mate ! to the government of the day … !

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Writers | Evan Whitton | Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Peter Jones: It’s also brave to stand for peace

Peter Jones, Mercury Talking Point Feb 28. Pub: April 20
26.04.15 4:00 am

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As we approach the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and then the shift of focus to the Western Front, it is worth reflecting that there is another side to the story.

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TasWater concedes NE Tas water may have been contaminated for years. A Will ... but no way?

Michael Atkin, ABC. Pic: Michael Atkin ABC* Pub: Apr 24
25.04.15 4:45 am

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Tasmania’s water authority has conceded that communities across the north-east could have unknowingly been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in drinking water for years before they were warned.

Isla MacGregor has campaigned for years for the truth about water supply ... surely this is her breach of the stonewall of Tasmanian bureaucracy ...

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: An award for the best imitation of a startled rabbit caught in a spotlight goes to the guy from the water authority interviewed on Lateline. Or has he been drinking the water?

• Tim Slade, Pioneer, in Comments: The ABC’s 730 Report last night was much appreciated national exposure for us here at Pioneer. However, my criticism of the story is that, in the last part of the report, new rainwater tanks were pictured everywhere, as if we all had one; that we were unhappy with this and were demanding treated water. This is not the case. The question that was not asked, and should have been, is: Where are our rainwater tanks?!  It is 2 years since the town signed a petition stating that that is what we want.  And yet, only 8 properties have their tanks - 8 tanks were installed 6-months ago. We are not demanding treated water: we are demanding rainwater tanks, coupled with a reticulated supply. This is the fundamentally incorrect slant to the story which I feared. Anyway, there is much to be pleased with in this ABC 730 Report.  And we are very grateful to the ABC for the report.  Hopefully the story works as a general source of pressure upon TasWater.

• Isla MacGregor, in Comments: At the centre of this Lead contamination of water issue across Tasmania is that Councils prior to 2009 were not monitoring water properly and especially for metals. TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster told 7.30. “It’s possible ... we don’t know because the [water] testing regime was only brought in in 2009, so I couldn’t answer that,” he said. The State’s former Director of Health Dr Roscoe Taylor, then responsible for ensuring safe drinking water for all Tasmanians, needs to be called in by the Commissioner of an Integrity Commission Inquiry and asked Please explain? ............and can the state’s Councils please explain to the ratepayers of Tasmania as well…......why did they allow some in the community to be poisoned by Pb etc in the water?

Kim Booth: Urgent Action Needed as Heavy Metal Contamination of Drinking Water Continues in North East Towns

Michael Brewster, TasWater: Major upgrades of North East water supplies underway

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: This is all easy to solve. If the board meetings of TasWater were served with only the lowest drinking quality water available for Tasmanians (as their only refreshment during a hot summer) all of a sudden fixing the problem would be essential and in the ‘public’ (i.e. ‘their’) interest. Perhaps Miles Hampton could bottle some up for his family as well? If this is not the standard that public organisations are upholding, it is pretty obvious to everyone that we have system that is not serving the most vulnerable Tasmanians. It is only serving the most powerful.

ABC: A Will ... but no way ... HERE ... but there is for lawyers ... HERE Tasmania’s Premier Will Hodgman is demanding answers as the national spotlight falls on more than two dozen Tasmanian towns where locals are unable to drink from the water supply. In 26 towns across the state the water is unsafe to drink and either needs to be boiled or cannot be consumed at all. … But Mr Hodgman did not commit any money to help speed up pipe upgrades, or install more rain water tanks. “The responsible owners are of course, local government, so we need to work with them as well, but as a State Government we cannot accept the current situation,” he said. TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster said the organisation was working to fix the problem but some residents could be waiting for years before they could safely drink from the tap. “We’re fixing it,” he said. “And that’s why we’re spending $110 million a year for the foreseeable future to ensure that Tasmania never finds itself in this position again,” he said. … 

• O’Brien, in Comments: Re: #11 “It has been clear to many citizens of this state that from the Governor down to the lowest management levels there is an attitude that doing nothing is OK.” From my experience within the State Service most managers did nothing as a means of self preservation. To actually ‘do’ something meant there was a potential for consequences. Most Tasmanians would be flabbergasted at the depth of sloth, waste, nepotism, ineptitude and plain meanness of those meant to serve us. It was not uncommon for managers to arrange endless meetings at other ends of the state so as to accrue allowances. Managers were openly referred to as ‘pigs’ by the staff.

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Tasmania introduces “religious freedom” legislation, just days after Indiana scraps it

Brian Greig OAM (Former Senator) Perth, WA. Pub: April 20
24.04.15 4:30 am

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In the last few weeks something extraordinary happened in the US state of Indiana. Governor Michael Pence presided over new legislation to strip the rights of gay and lesbian people under the guise of “religious freedom” ... but the whole thing blew up in his face after a huge backlash from the broader community and from big business right across America. Curiously, the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, is about to introduce very similar “religious freedom laws” into the Tasmanian parliament, oblivious to the potential backlash that awaits him. In Indiana, Governor Pence was convinced by religious conservatives to pass new laws that would allow all business people in Indiana to refuse service to any person who “contravened their religious beliefs.”

Rodney Croome: Religious exemption from anti-bias law likely violates constitution

Nick McKim: Government Has Nothing to Say on Bigot’s Charter; Download George Williams’ Opinion ...

• uh-owe, in Comments: ... When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? …

• Pippa, in Comments: As a Christian this entire “debate” makes me incredibly sad. I do not support this legislation. Yet I do believe the Bible, and I believe in the moral teachings of the New Testement.

• uh-owe, in Comments: Thanks Pippa for being Christian.  It is your practice of your beliefs that is what I admire and respect. Jesus regularly criticied the scribes and pharisees, and those ‘orthodox’ individuals that crossed the road, leaving the non ‘orthodox’ Samaritan to express concern. Your active expression of your faith demonstrates that in Christian terms these laws are not required.

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Reviewed! Seminar ... and The Black Rose ...

Amber Wilson
24.04.15 3:55 am

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Read more, Comment if you wish, here

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Writers | Amber Wilson | Arts | Review | What's On

Venture Minerals’ 2 cents worth

Scott Jordan, Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator Media Release. Pic*
24.04.15 3:27 am

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… Venture have over the past two years received $3.71million in tax rebates despite never having payed a cent in tax or royalties. CEO Hamish Halliday has taken a salary package of $995,000 over that period, including $282,663 in bonuses. “Venture are mining the taxpayer, and the Minister for Resources is complicit in allowing it to happen. Where was the due diligence?”. Under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995, for a mine lease to be granted, the Minister must be satisfied that the holder has the technical and financial capacity to undertake the proposed mine. “Minister Harriss should have his two cents worth for the people of Tasmania, and show Venture the door”.  …

• Mike Adams, in Comments: Only one in five of TAP members was a born and bred Tasmanian. If that doesn’t tell you about submissiveness or apathy by the general public nothing else will. Our pollies are stuck with the desperation of finding a project that will employ workers/voters with low educational levels and are prepared to clutch at straws and throw our money at any charlatan who promises to do just that. Every pollie is convinced that beggars can’t be choosers and has that as an unofficial motto for Tasmania

• Carol Rea, in Comments If share price indicates a company’s worthiness of owning an exploration licence then Petragas a wholly owned subsidiary of Petratherm should not have a shale oil and gas exploration licence over 3700 square kilometres of Tasmania. According to the ASX and their own website their share price is $0.00

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State of imprisonment: Tasmania escapes ‘law and order’ infection

Rob White, Professor of Criminology at University of Tasmania. Pic*
24.04.15 3:20 am

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Imprisonment rates in Tasmania have steadily declined over the past decade – the only state or territory where this has happened. From a high of almost 150 prisoners per 100,000 adults in 2005, present rates are around 112 per 100,000. This translates to fewer than 500 people ... For most of the past decade there has been bipartisan support for progressive policy. Initiatives include better rehabilitative support for prisoners, an emphasis on diversion for offenders with drug and mental health issues and on greater opportunity for offenders to repair the harm. Whether a Green/Labor or Liberal justice minister, most of the rhetoric, most of the time, has been broadly supportive of decarceration and desistance strategies.

Nick McKim: Hodgman Government Cuts Compromise Community Safety

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STATE: Seal and dolphin death toll begins ... Pulp Mill ... Forestry ...

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader Media Release. Pub: April 22
24.04.15 3:10 am

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Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP has urged tripartite support for the Greens’ call – to be voted on today -  to send a formal objection to the Federal Minister over the new factory freezer supertrawler’s, the Geelong Star, operation in the small pelagic fishery in light of shocking revelations that on its first fishing expedition in Australian waters it killed four dolphins and two seals.

Stop The Trawler Alliance: Seal and dolphin death toll begins

Pegg Putt: Is this the end of Gunns Pulp Mill ... or a new assault? The possibility that the Gunns proposed pulp mill site on the Tamar River could be sold without the Pulp Mill Permit and used for other industrial purposes has been opened up in a new round of expressions of interest advertised by Gunns’ receivers ...

Kim Booth: Close Tasmanian Ports to Geelong Star

Kim Booth: Harriss Refuses to Rule Out Federal Money for Forestry Tasmania

Lucy Landon-Lane:Prospective buyers need to be aware that community opposition to the Tamar Valley pulp mill remains

Peter Whish-Wilson: Geelong Star dolphin deaths show regulator has failed

Kim Booth: Hodgman Liberals Backflip on Super Trawler Position “What a gobsmacking sight, to see Jeremy Rockliff virtually roll out the welcome mat for the Geelong Star,” Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today. “This Liberal backflip will not be forgiven by the thousands of Tasmanians, environmentalists, commercial and recreational fishers.” “The Liberals stand exposed for their slippery and deceitful treatment of the Tasmanian community’s concerns about protecting our fisheries from supertrawlers.” “This is a disgraceful display of saying one thing in Opposition to convince people they are worth voting for, then turning around and doing the opposite once they’ve secured power.” “Lets be clear, the 2012 motion for which the Liberals voted in support did not specify a supertrawler size, and did call for no supertrawler activity in state and Australian waters.” “Barely days after the Geelong star breaches its conditions and kills four dolphins and two seals on its first fishing trip in Australian waters, and the Hodgman Liberals backflip on their previous no supertrawler position.”

THURSDAY, Kim Booth: Premier Caught Out Misleading the Public Over Geelong Star Position

Kim Booth: Geelong Star-gate: Premier Must Apologise for Misleading the Public

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An ANZAC reflection ...

Urban Wronski* Pub: April 23
23.04.15 6:33 am

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The meaning of ANZAC is everywhere this autumn morning in a small, Western District soldier-settlement as a few old-timers rugged up against the cold, huddle outside their dark and draughty hall, its 1960s facade a wall of blank, red brick over the original, 1920’s wooden building, once the heart of town.

Ed: A most evocative account of his dad’s experience of war by Evan Whitton will be published on Anzac Day, as will a link to Peter Jones’ pacifist Stand for Peace ...

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Bread-and-circuses live on ...

Bob Hawkins. Pub: April 22
23.04.15 6:15 am

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So, our disastrously misguided national leader, Tony Abbott, thinks that Iranian asylum seekers whose pleas to be accepted as refugees have been officially turned down “deserve” to be sent back to Iran! “Deserve”? What does he mean? That’s as bad a choice of word as his “lifestyle” gaff a couple of weeks back about Indigenous people who choose to live in WA outback settlements that their whitefella premier tells them his state can’t afford to sustain.

Ed: A most evocative account of his dad’s experience of war by Evan Whitton will be published on Anzac Day, as will a link to Peter Jones’ pacifist Stand for Peace ...

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

WIN!x A double pass to The Republic, Royal Oak ...

Paula Xiberras
23.04.15 6:05 am

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How you can win, here, where you can also comment ...

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Arts | What's On

Failing to deliver ...

Peter Brohier
23.04.15 6:00 am

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A campaign for Bass Strait interstate transport equality, initiated by the people and supported by business in two states, has failed to deliver transport equity despite resulting in massive federal funding. The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme, BSPVES, is an ongoing federal uncapped highway equalisation scheme worth billions. It was a major part of a raft of measures to provide a fair sea highway transport link across the Victorian - Tasmanian border for both people and vehicles. The scheme has been progressively been turned over two decades into a funding stream mainly benefitting the Tasmanian leisure industry. Now, under the Abbott Government, there is no money available to equalise the movement of people across this vital and nationally significant corridor. The Federal Government recently said that, “The aim of the BSPVES does not extend to equalising the cost of inbound and outbound travel across Bass Strait.” The consequences of that position severely brings into question issues regarding accountability, effective democratic processes, economic responsibility and governance.

… A scheme, supporting leisure travellers with a car to stay 10 days in luxury accommodation across Tasmania, will not remove this barrier.  This issue goes to the very core of what equalisation means and the basic needs of the whole Tasmanian community for interstate transport equality – not just meeting the wants of some.  …

… Tasmania is close to the nation’s largest population corridor and its businesses could take full advantage of this geographical location. The scheme is however not delivering direct access to people wishing to cross Bass Strait at necessary all-year, consistently priced, highway based fares. With 80 % of the gross Tasmanian product coming from activities that need people, Tasmanians have every right and expectation to have Canberra deliver full transport equally - not just for freight, but for people.  …

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Public-interest journalism is under threat ...

Carolyn Dunbar, Media, Entertainment, Arts Alliance (MEAA)
22.04.15 4:45 am

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Welcome Speech at the Tasmanian Media Awards Tonight is all about celebrating the very best in journalism in Tasmania over the past year. Journalism that keeps our communities informed and entertained. Journalism that is in the public interest. But right now, public interest journalism is under threat. The government’s three tranches of national security laws aim to control information. In the process, the laws seek to criminalise journalism by persecuting and prosecuting whistleblowers who seek to expose illegality, fraud, corruption and threats to public health and safety.

EARLIER ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Media Awards: Tassie Times gets a gong!x

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Writers | Bob Burton | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Media | Society

NATION: Surplus to requirements ...

Urban Wronski* Pub: Apr 22. Pic*
22.04.15 4:30 am

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JOE HOCKEY: We never put a date on returning to surplus. We just need to show we have a quality trajectory, a quality trajectory back to surplus and that we are getting the budget under control. Now, you will see that in the budget …

- ABC Insiders 19 April 2015

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Rosebery - 7 years on and still waiting for safe water?

Isla MacGregor. Pub: April 20
22.04.15 3:40 am

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While residents living in the north east town of Winnaleah have recently been provided with a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for their reticulated drinking water, 7 years on, residents of the mining town of Rosebery are still waiting for a similar filtration system to be installed and their drinking water to be free from MMG mine’s toxic emissions.


More than 50 people attended a meeting in Pioneer last night where researchers from Macquarie University, Mark Taylor and Paul Harvey, presented a report linking elevated lead levels to ageing pipes:

and also

• Isla MacGregor:  Pb contamination is also coming from people’s own water pipes and end-of-life polyvinyl chloride pipes.  This is effectively a Public Alert ...

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

99 problems, and solutions ain’t one!

Cameron Brown* Pic: of Bryan Green
22.04.15 3:15 am

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Gee! Tasmania’s current opposition must be hard up for things to say!

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The lessons of history are critically important ...

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson - Adjournment Speech - Centenary of ANZAC commemorations. Pic*
21.04.15 7:05 am

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There have been many speeches in this place and around the world that reflect upon the centenary of ANZAC commemorations. Politicians on all sides will talk of the sacrifice and bravery of the ANZAC diggers, nurses and other military personnel. It is right we do so. But it is also the right opportunity to seek the meaning of this sacrifice, and question what was achieved by the Great War, and how we should best honour and learn from the deaths of so many ANZAC’s. The lessons of history are critically important to us today, if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past.

• ANZAC: 100 YEARS ON ... Q&A with Peter Cundall & Senator Peter Whish-Wilson: A century ago thousands of Australians were sent to fight a war on foreign soil, many never to return. One hundred years on we still feel their loss, but how should it be commemorated? WHEN: Wednesday 22 April, 7-8.30pm. Pilgrim Uniting Church, 36 Paterson St, Launceston. RSVP: Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone 03 6331 0033.

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Inspiration or isolation?

Bob Hawkins. Pic: of Mayor Coad
21.04.15 7:00 am

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Huon Valley Guessing Games A clash of philosophies, of the Ancients and Moderns of Huon Valley Council, seems inevitable tomorrow evening (April 22).

• Bob Hawkins, in Comments: For the record: At Wednesday evening’s meeting of council, six of the voters’ elected representatives decided that — on the subject of the best way for Huon Valley Council to make its way in an era of profound economic and social change — it was in the best interests of the municipality’s ratepayers and residents to drop the portcullis, raise the drawbridge and resist the approaches and inducements of anyone from the outside world. I suppose it was about all that the municipality deserves: such is the apathy towards the importance of local government, only about a dozen were in the public gallery to listen to a long and sometimes constructive debate on one of the most important valley issues since the merging of its three councils in 1993. Mayor Peter Coad and Cr Liz Smith (independents) and Cr Rosalie Woodruff (Greens) valiantly — but in vain — tried to explain that all they were asking for was for HVC to join Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein and other councils in a conversation about the pros and cons of inter-council co-operation and resource-sharing, and whether there might just be merit in some sort of mergers or boundary changes. …

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Super Trawler ban must ban Super Trawlers. Don Knowler: The forgotten stakeholders ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release. ABC pic. Pub: April 19
21.04.15 3:00 am

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``The recently re-flagged and renamed Geelong Star has arrived in Australia apparently with the blessing of the Federal Government but undoubtedly against the will of the vast majority of the Australian community,’’ Mr Wilkie said. ``The Geelong Star is 95m long, can hold more than 1,000 tonnes of fish and is the largest freezer factory vessel to fish in the Australian small pelagic fishery.  It represents a dramatic and alarming increase in the industrialisation of Australia’s commercial fishing.’’ Mr Wilkie said the Federal Government’s ban on super trawlers of more than 130m needed to be extended to include vessels like the Geelong Star with their huge on-board freezer factories that can decimate local fish stocks. ``It is capacity that matters, not length,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

Richard Colbeck: ‘Government enforces ban on Super Trawlers’

Peter Whish-Wilson: Federal Liberal Government has no credibility on super trawlers said “Senator Richard Colbeck has done everything possible to avoid scrutiny in his handling over super trawlers fishing in Australian waters. “His two major announcements in relation to super trawlers have been ‘dump and runs’ late on Christmas Eve and the day before Good Friday, in a clear attempt to limit debate and avoid scrutiny. “The hundreds of Tasmanian people turning out in protest this weekend are right to not to trust this government in making sensible fisheries decisions. “Has Senator Colbeck has picked an arbitrary size limit for the banning of vessels above 130 metres for shallow political reasons, or is this based on sound science? “Last week Senator Colbeck stated ‘This government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management, we will continue to make any decisions regarding access to all Australian fisheries based on sound science’. “If this is correct, he should immediately release the science on which this important decision was based.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Tasmanians rally against Super Trawlers

TUESDAY,April 21 ... Don Knowler in Mercury ...

Talking Point: Health of the planet in the balance … A war is being waged over who has the right to take small fish species that ordinarily most of us, those who are not commercial or recreational fishers, would never have heard of. Blue and jack mackerel and redbait are hardly the stuff of piscine dreams, like blue-eye trevalla, blue grenadier or flathead, so why should we care? The commercial fishers – some of whom operate super and near-super trawlers – see value in those small fish, if enough can be caught in industrial-scale operations. The smaller-scale fishing boat operators and recreational fishers see a different sort of value. The redbait and mackerel might not make a meal for the table but they are a vital food source for the bigger fish that do. Without “bait” fish the bigger fish providing small-scale operators with a profit would die out, or leave Tasmanian waters. The debate over super trawlers, however, largely ignores another “stakeholder”. The super trawler war is so anthropocentric, pitting one group of humans against another, that it ignores the fact the target fish are also a vital food resource for seabirds, to say nothing of mammals who also make the sea their home, like seals and dolphins. In the great fishing debate you will not hear the black-browed or shy albatross mentioned, or the cape petrel or the fairy prion, unless by a minority – those termed “greenies” who are portrayed as being out of step with the reality of human domination of the planet. In truth, the ocean belongs to all who make their home there and rely on it for resources, mankind or members of the animal kingdom. …

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Hilary Burden* Pub: April 20
21.04.15 2:15 am

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A couple of weeks ago an elderly man knocked on the front door and handed me a leaflet with the title “Millions will attend – Will You? Inside, an invitation to the Memorial of Christ’s death at a Good Friday service and a meeting of the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

• Bob Hawkins, in Comments: My serious hope now is that, as I near the crisis I know will end in my life’s finale, I’ll go towards it as if it is — as my old New Guinean friends would say — “samting nating” (a trifle); and be secure in the knowledge that I’ll come out the other side of it contentedly dead, with not a care on my mind/soul should it survive my physical demise! So my advice to all is, “Don’t worry, ever, because, in the end, nothing matters.”

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Writers | Hilary Burden | Opinion | Personal | Society

Media Awards: Tassie Times gets a gong!x

Anna Magnus, National Manager, State Media Awards; Pic*: Mark Horstman.
20.04.15 3:45 am

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On Friday night the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, announced the Tasmanian Media Awards. The ABC’s Edith Bevin was named Tasmanian Journalist of the Year . Tasmanian Times contributor Bob Burton was the winner in the “Comment and Analysis” category and one of three finalists in the Science, Environment and Health category.

• don knowler, in Comments: … was very depressed last week when the outgoing editor of the guardian in britain said on abc lateline the demise of the printed edition during the life of the incoming editor was inevitable. but on bob burton’s showing, what follows won’t be so bad ...

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Writers | Bob Burton | James Dryburgh | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Media | News | Society

Not the corporate miner we want ...

Isla MacGregor
20.04.15 3:35 am

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From Ta Ann to Vedanta and Copper Mines of Tasmania (or Vedanta) ... During the forestry debate in Tasmania, environmental organisations and the Greens have exposed appalling corruption allegations and human rights abuses in Sarawak by Malaysian timber company Ta Ann Holdings.

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

‘Wooley, you are selfish ... you just want to keep the place to yourself ...’

Charles Wooley
20.04.15 3:30 am

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… “Wooley,” Simon says, “You are like so many Tasmanians. You are selfish and you just want to keep the place to yourself.” Simon is right. I am a fully subscribed member of the Tasmanian Regress Association. I like my patch the way it is. More particularly I like it the way it was. I like yesterday. I like my roads winding and un-crowded. I like my bridges un-passably narrow and quaint and my gardens deep, lush and slightly neglected. I like my Capital City sleepy and serene, quite unlike everyone else’s capitals.

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Writers | Charles Wooley | Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

What comes after sorry?

Sienna Merope*
20.04.15 3:23 am

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‘For the indignity and degradation … inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry … this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again’
– Kevin Rudd, February 2008

‘It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise lifestyle choices’
– Tony Abbott, March 2015

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Lost wolves in sheep’s clothing ...

Urban Wronski Pub: April 20. Pic: of Tony Abbott
20.04.15 3:20 am

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“It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.”
- Tony Abbott 2011

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Reviewed! Germaine at MONA ... it began well ...

Bronwyn Williams. Pic: of Germaine Greer
20.04.15 3:20 am

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‘The only star you need to follow is your own’
- Germaine Greer, 16 April 2015, MONA, Hobart.

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Writers | Bronwyn Williams | Books | Personal | Review | Society

Family learns fate of WWI Belgian boy smuggled out of country and adopted by Tasmanian soldier

ABC. Pic: Albert Dussart and George Leahy
20.04.15 3:15 am

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A Tasmanian family has finally discovered the fate of a Belgian boy Australian soldiers smuggled out of the horror of WWI-ravaged Belgium, to a new life on a farm near Hobart.

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Black War: The incompetent in pursuit of the intangible ...

Tim Thorne
20.04.15 3:10 am

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Launch Speech, John Tully, Robbed of Every Blessing  I would like to introduce this book to you by sharing some ideas that grew out of a couple of its most striking phrases.

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The State Government’s under-funding of health ...

Martyn Goddard, Health policy analyst. Pub: April 20
20.04.15 3:00 am

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Tasmanian government health funding would have to increase by at least $500 million to bring this state’s services up to the standard of other states.
This amount includes extra money to be given to Tasmania in 2014-15 in this year’s GST distribution in recognition of the higher health needs of our older, sicker, poorer population.

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

A Blast from the Past in the Tarkine Karst

Ted Mead. Pic*
20.04.15 3:00 am

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… It was once probably magnificent natural country with many unexplored sinkhole glades of giant tree-ferns and secluded pools. It would seem that most likely in the past the entire forest-harvesting region was only surveyed from the seat of a bulldozer, and what karst formations were lost is unknown. This is yet another example of Tasmania’s archaic and inexorable Forestry practices through the entrenched clearfell and burn ideology. …

Nowhere else in the world does such ignorance prevail. Even within Abetz/Harris crony land of Sarawak, the magnificent limestone country there is fully protected within the Mulu World Heritage Area.
This says a lot about the myopic mentality behind the well-greased wheels of Forestry Tas. A notable mention should go to our enlightened politicians in this state who continue to condone the senseless trashing our forest heritage at a below cost price.

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Writers | Ted Mead | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Science | Society