Articles

NATION, STATE: Mantach ... Who is the Power behind the Throne?

John Hawkins*, Chudleigh. Senate Hansard. Pic: of Damien Mantach
31.08.15 6:00 am

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• John Hawkins: Who is the Power behind the Throne?

• Senate: Hansard. Thursday, 20 August 2015 Page: 109

ABC: Damien Mantach affair: Liberal Party members respond angrily to president’s letter about financial management Tasmania’s Liberal Party president Geoff Page has written to members about the Damien Mantach row, reassuring them “financial management” of the party has been modernised. Mr Mantach was forced to resign as the party’s state director in 2008 after using a party credit card for $48,000 worth of personal expenses. He repaid the money but it did not appear on the party’s annual return. He is now being investigated in a separate matter for allegedly stealing $1.5 million from the party’s Victorian branch between 2010 and 2014. In a letter sent to Tasmanian party members on Friday, Mr Page said the party president at the time, Dale Archer, the senior vice-president, Mike Dyson, and the treasurer, Sam McQuestin, took a “sensible decision” and negotiated to have the money refunded. Mr Page told members Opposition Leader Bryan Green, who referred the matter to police last week, was using Tasmania Police “as pawns in… political game playing”. The letter also said members should have confidence that the party would move on, with procedures in place to remain a strong and vibrant political organisation. But some party members replied to the letter in anger. One said, “Why weren’t we told the truth at the time”, while another said, “The damage this is doing us in the community is huge. Cover ups never work.” In a reference to Tasmania’s most senior Liberal, senator Eric Abetz, another response said: “[Dale] Archer did not contact all state exec. Me thinks that poor old Will [Hodgman is] not in Uncle Eric’s coterie and is now a rabbit in the headlights.”

• mr t in Comments: As a matter of interest I just completed a search on the Mercury website using “Mantach.” I then entered each article since 21 August to date. Not one article was open for comment.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: a conga line of clowns, contortionists and illusionists

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: August 31. Pic*
31.08.15 5:44 am

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‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened ... It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’  Harold Pinter

Mark Kenny, The Age: Bill Shorten’s hopes of more female MPs ignored as union numbers used to dump sitting senator

Jane Cadzow, SMH: Anthony Albanese’s waiting game

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

Tasmania ... explore the delusions ...

Leonard Colquhoun
31.08.15 5:40 am

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Trains, lanes and an AFL team are our latest delusional fantasies -  they are starting to challenge (a) trees (I’m agnostic -  fantasists both, the huggers and the chippers) and (b) tourists (“It’ll be a tourist attraction!!!!”).

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Martin Flanagan: The AFL’s Governor Arthur colony ... Tasmania

Martin Flanagan: Show Tassie some respect ...

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Writers | Leonard Colquhoun | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

This is our humble abode ...

A Tasmanian Citizen. First published: November 17 2014
31.08.15 5:30 am

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August 31, 2015: What has happened so far in relation to the fire threat since this article was published nearly a year ago. I contacted the Office of Security and Emergency Management (Department of Premier and Cabinet) after the local TFS district fire officer refused to respond.  The person liaised with the TFS and then got back to me and said the plantation would be cleared within the next 12 months and suggested that the company may be prepared to change the clearing buffer between our house and the plantation.  He said that if this doesn’t happen to get back to him and let him know. Spring is approaching.  It is therefore logical for the trees to come down now. In summer it would be too late. The fire threat this summer is extreme. The Forest Enterprise plantation absolutely dominates and also edges onto the rest of the West Calder community.  However the plantation is now owned by ‘Resource Management Services’ in Alabama in the US.  So far I’ve been unable to locate a contact name and address for this company.  A letter is being drafted to post to this corporation by registered mail. 

November 17, 2014: This is our humble abode.  A little cottage and garden surrounds slowly taking shape since 1984 in what once was an unmaintained cow paddock.  Since this photo was taken there’s been a lot of work done on landscaping etc.  It looks better but so what!  No matter what we do to beautify and improve our home, this place has now become unviable as an abode.  We can no longer live here in safety nor without a constant feeling of trepidation each summer. I don’t want my real name and my house to be linked together in the public sphere.  I don’t feel protected at all from the malevolence of people in government or the industry that supports this monstrous invasion of our human right to basic security.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

1080: Chemotherapy or Holocaust for the NZ Ecosystem

Fiona McQueen MD FRACP Pic*
31.08.15 5:15 am

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Few topics have caused such a furore within the ranks of government, the conservation lobby and the NZ public in general as the 1080 issue.  For many, 1080 is filed away in the memory banks as “old news” and indeed it has been in and out of the limelight since its first use in NZ in the 1950s. But one of the reasons that the 1080 issue does not go away is that it is continuing to be used in NZ forests.

Maggie Barry MP’s War on Weeds ...

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Politics | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

It is outrageous ...

James Dryburgh. Pic: of Julian Burnside
31.08.15 5:00 am

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Julian Burnside QC is a renowned barrister who has appeared in many high-profile legal cases, including representing the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute with Patrick Corporation, which became Australia’s most famous industrial relations controversy. But it wasn’t until acting against the Australian Government over the Tampa episode in 2001 that he became more widely known to the public. Today, Burnside is one of our most prominent human rights advocates and, increasingly, one of the most consistent voices arguing for truth and compassion to be embedded within Australia’s approach to asylum seekers. Here, James Dryburgh speaks with Burnside about language and law, art and asylum.

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Writers | James Dryburgh | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Fortescue Bay Beach 2050 ...

Ted Mead
31.08.15 4:45 am

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EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

If you got out in the woods today you’re in for a big surprise ...

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Cartoons | Satire

Another Forestry Tasmania lie ...

ABC
31.08.15 4:40 am

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The intense heat generated from Forestry Tasmania’s ‘regeneration burns’ (also called napalming) is necessary for new growth, says FT. But a recent study reveals something rather different ... and worrying ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

How to Save the Planet ... and Humankind

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Loss of Hobart’s Architectural Heritage

David Halse Rogers, South Hobart.
31.08.15 4:30 am

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I refer to the article “Call to save Hobart’s architectural ‘gems’ (Sunday Tasmanian, 23rd August, 2015, here) in which notable Tasmanian architects bemoaned the loss of important twentieth century architectural buildings: the so-called “gems of ‘unloved modernism’”.

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What a load of rubbish!

Shane Humpherys, Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc.
31.08.15 4:20 am

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In the ongoing debate over Southern Waste Solution’s (SWS) proposed hazardous materials landfill at Copping, SWS CEO, Christine Bell has marked her tenure in this role with what appears to me to be scant regard for accuracy.

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Pesticides linked to bee decline for first time in a countrywide field study

The Guardian via Dr Alison Bleaney
31.08.15 4:18 am

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Landscape-wide research by former UK government agency on oilseed rape fields in England and Wales shows link between neonicotinoids and honeybee colony losses

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Health | History | Personal | Science | Society

Making the National Sea Highway more effective ...

Peter Brohier
31.08.15 4:15 am

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Since the original National Sea Highway Committee NSHC ended its work some years ago there continue to be a number individuals and independent groups, some started by the writer, that are interested in Bass Strait equalisation.

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Writers | Peter Brohier | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Society

How the Murdoch press has waged a relentless campaign against the BBC (and why it’s worked)

Julian Petley, The Conversation Scroll.In
31.08.15 4:00 am

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The UK government’s recent Green Paper spells out a vision of far-smaller BBC. Coincidentally, this is just what Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers have campaigned for over decades.

Guardian: Rebekah Brooks about to be rehired by Rupert Murdoch for US operation Sources say deal imminent as Brooks returns to News Corp to head media mogul’s quest for online investments, eight months after acquittal from phone-hacking charges

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Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Media

Diabetes Tasmania celebrates 60 years ...

Diabetes Tasmania CEO Caroline Wells
31.08.15 3:45 am

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... providing vital health services to the Tasmanian community Diabetes Tasmania is celebrating a significant milestone, marking 60 years supporting the Tasmanian community.

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Health

Rejecting $US4.5m

Nic Offenbacher
31.08.15 3:24 am

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When it comes to email scammers bearing millions, it pays to have personal standards, and helpful advice.  

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Society

Truth Hurts: The Science Behind Why People Don’t Care About The Death Of Our Planet And Democracy

Lissa Johnson*, New Matilda. First published August 24
31.08.15 2:00 am

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This is a long read ... but immensely rewarding. Take the time. You won’t be disappointed ... Activists and environmentalists take note. In this special essay, Dr Lissa Johnson explains how to make people give a damn.

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Writers | Lissa Johnson | Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Science | Society

STATE: ‘True’ unemployment rate hits 18% – the nation’s worst

Martyn Goddard, Analyst First published August 24
31.08.15 1:45 am

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Tasmania has the nation’s highest rate of labour force under-utilisation ‒ the number of people either unemployed or underemployed ‒ according to official figures.

Taster ... Tasmania has a two-speed economy: Greater Hobart is doing reasonably well; the rest of the state is far behind. This shows up clearly in employment data. Launceston and the north-east has an unemployment rate of 6.8%, compared with 5.6% in greater Hobart. The west and north-west continue with the worst rate: 7.5% in June.

• Kim Peart in Comments: How could we step back to 1948 and rebuild the nation of the Fair Go? I explore this question in my recent TT article Creating a future that works ...

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Mantach questions swirl around Premier and Senator Eric Abetz. Police called in ...

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader Media Release Pic: of Damien Mantach First published August 25. ABC pic of Eric Abetz
30.08.15 7:30 am

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The Premier continued his empty ‘nothing to see here’ rhetoric in Question Time today when repeatedly asked about the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s dealings with its former State Director, Damien Mantach.

Bryan Green: Questions to answer over stolen funds “The Premier’s response to serious questions in Parliament today was pathetic and his defence that the stealing allegations were dealt with ‘appropriately’ is just not believable.”

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Nothing to see ...

HERE and ...

HERE and ...

HERE

PB in Comments HERE: From the Australian dated August 22, 2009 by Matthew Denholm: Liberals admit role in hate ads THE Liberal Party has come clean about the extent of its involvement in hate advertisements placed by the Exclusive Brethren sect in the last Tasmanian election campaign. Despite having once denied any co-operation over the advertisements, the Liberal Party yesterday confirmed its staff had transferred the text to electronic format, vetted the ads for compliance with the electoral laws and forwarded them to its advertising agency. The advertisements, which ran in local newspapers in the 2006 state election campaign, targeted the Greens, claiming the party’s policies on transgender and intersex people would ``destroy families and society’‘. In March 2006, then Liberal state director Damien Mantach insisted there was ``no co-operation’’ between the party and the Brethren over the ads. But The Australian revealed documents in January 2007 showing the ads were billed by three separate newspapers to an advertising account held by the Liberal Party. Mr Mantach then admitted meeting Brethren members to discuss ``tactics, themes and messages’’ in the lead-up to the election campaign. But he continued to deny the party paid for or placed the advertisements … • And there are further reproductions from MSM by the wonderful PB, HERE

• John Hawkins in Comments: … The missing link is that Stephen Hales of the Christian Lobby Group but in fact of the Exclusive Brethren was a sponsored and declared Lobbyist in the Federal Parliament sponsored by non other than one Senator the Hon Eric Abetz. Was it as a result of Abetz as the sponsor that, Mark Mackenzie, Stephen Hales and Bruce Hales met the Prime Minister in his parliamentary Office. This fact I suggest links between the Exclusive Brethren, Hales, Mantach, Abetz and the cover up in Tasmania that has now cost the Liberals some $1,500,000 in Victoria. What say you Senator Abetz?

• John Hawkins in Comments: The senior and key player in this saga that has now cost the Victorian Liberals one million five hundred thousand dollars is a man who was at the time sitting in the Senate illegally as a dual national, a Tasmanian, one Senator Erich Abetz. Abetz was willing to accept $50,000 on behalf of the Liberal Party from Gunns three weeks after being made Minister for Forests, Gunns was a company then pushing a pulp mill in his home state Tasmania run by John Gay ... now a convicted criminal. Not a good look Erich - will the “Mantach Gate” prosecution make the words of Lady Caroline Lamb ring true?

Senator Nick McKim on Liberal’s Mantach Scandal Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Eric Abetz, has serious questions to answer given revelations yesterday by Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman that Senator Abetz was briefed on Damian Mantach’s Tasmanian credit card scandal in 2008. Questions that Senator Abetz must now answer include: • Exactly when was he briefed and by whom? • Exactly what was he told? • Why did he allow himself to become complicit in a cover-up of the real reason behind Mr Mantach’s resignation? • Why did he not inform his Liberal colleagues in Victoria of the real reason behind Mr Mantach’s resignation? • Why did he not insist that the matter be referred to Tasmania Police? • When did he become aware that entitlements of Victorian state and federal Liberal MPs were channelled to a printing company which allegedly paid kickbacks to Mr Mantach? • Were his or any other Tasmanian Liberal MP’s allowances used in this way? • Was he the Senator who was a member of the Tasmanian Liberal State Executive Committee under Part VII 1. (h) of the Liberal’s Tasmanian Division Constitution at the time that he was briefed? …

Bryan Green: Premier accused of misleading Parliament

• John Hawkins in Comments: Now Senator McKim. Stand up in the Senate under PP and ask Abetz all those questions as detailed above. It is called conviction politics …

• John Day in Comments: Where are the Auditors, Company Secretary’s, Public Officers, CEO s and Managers of these organisations? Are they deliberately being kept in the dark, and excluded from the truth? How come Liberal Party Office bearers, senior and official Liberal Party spokespersons can allow this alleged fraud to be kept in-house and not reported to the Police? Can a complicit spokesperson or official representative overrule a senior spokesperson or elected representative or official office bearer? Can they continue to cover this up, and let only “those in the know” – wink wink, have some secret explanation of a fanciful version of the actual events, let alone the truth? Where is our media / fourth estate? Who claim to “ask the hard questions and report without fear or favor”? Without the benefit of an investigation how can our Prime Minister claim to have faith in the key player of this alleged fraud? I have worked for a wide range of companies from blue chip companies, international companies, large divisional companies to small owner operators, and if any – any employee had be found to have filed a fraudulent claim say over $50.00 (let alone $A48K and $A1.3M)– they would be dismissed and the matter handed to the Police, the same day.

FRIDAY, August 28 ...

Mercury: Senator Eric Abetz denies knowing details of Damien Mantach’s departure from Tasmanian Liberals SENATOR Eric Abetz has broken his silence on the Damien Mantach affair, issuing a statement denying he knew the details of Mr Mantach’s debt to the Liberal Party … Last week Premier Will Hodgman said he and Mr Abetz had been briefed on Mr Mantach’s repaid debt in 2008.

Mercury: Damien Mantach fraud claims: Top Abbott Government Senator, Eric Abetz was briefed on credit card abuse: claim Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman told Parliament that he and Senator Abetz were briefed by the then state president, state treasurer and senior vice-president of the Tasmanian Liberal Party about Mr Mantach’s departure and his $48,000 debt to the party. “The facts are that I was spoken to and briefed … and appropriately so, as was Senator Abetz as the Leader in the Federal Parliament,” he said …

The Australian: Damien Mantach returns downloaded emails to Liberals The Victorian Liberal Party — reeling from the alleged $1.5 million Mantach fraud — has ­secured a hard drive full of emails from the former state director that could have exposed the organisation in the run-up to the federal election campaign … The hard drive — packed with emails downloaded by Damien Mantach and deleted from the party’s system — is in the possession of investigators from forensic ­accountants PPB Advisory … The scandal is also causing strife for the Tasmanian Liberals, including the state government led by Will Hodgman, and senior federal minister and Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz. Labor is demanding both men explain why, despite being briefed about Mr Mantach’s alleged wrongful spending of $47,981 of party funds on a credit card in March 2008 when he was Tasmanian party director, they did not refer the matter to police. Labor has also asked the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to advise whether the failure to ­declare Mr Mantach’s repayment of the funds constituted a breach of electoral funding laws …

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: #18 Yes Mr T, I too read Mr Abetz strange ramblings in the Mercury. It struck me that he was practicing more sophistry than he usually does. His usual level of sophism is pretty high, I guess being trained in the art it is hard to let go of. The way the law works is that if you are poor, the long arm wraps around you and you are persecuted to the max. If you come from the right section of society or you have a good family name, the blinkers go on fast.

Bryan Green: Labor refers Mantach affair to Tasmania Police for investigation This week the Premier Will Hodgman has refused to answer serious questions in relation to the Damien Mantach credit card scandal. Outstanding questions still remain: How was the misappropriation of $48,000 uncovered? What was the money spent on? Over what period was the money spent? Why wasn’t the matter referred to police? “Labor has concerns that illegal activity has occurred, and that’s why we have taken the very serious step of referring the matter to police for investigation. “I have written to Police Commissioner Darren Hine seeking a full and thorough investigation. “It is clear that a police investigation is now the only way to get the bottom of this matter.”

Bryan Green: Liberal Party forced to disclose Mantach payments

• John Hawkins in Comments: … The remaining payment of $5606.36 has not been disclosed as it is under the required legal threshold for disclosure. Why be so secretive over the smaller amount? Who are they trying to protect? Why are we not allowed to know what these sums represent? …

• Nigel Crisp in Comments: Good work John Hawkins, and as you and others say, we await the local media to do their job.

Bryan Green: Liberal credit card scandal deepens … “Labor is now seeking legal advice as to the fiduciary responsibilities of Mr Hodgman and Senator Eric Abetz as members of the State Executive of the Liberal Party.”  “Who was responsible for the so-called administrative oversight? “If the failure to disclose those payments was an administrative oversight, why wasn’t it picked up by the Liberal Party’s auditors?’ “It raises ethical as well as legal questions over whether the repayments made by Mr Mantach were deliberately withheld from the auditors given the strict guidelines for chartered accountants in relation to the failure to report criminal offences.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: Theatre of the Absurd. ‘Sleepwalking’. The Christian Right. Greste. Bart ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First published: August 24. Pic: Tony Abbott ...
30.08.15 7:00 am

Image for NATION: Theatre of the Absurd. ‘Sleepwalking’. The Christian Right. Greste. Bart ...

‘Man overboard! Cabin boy Hunt squeals from the crow’s nest where he’s been sent to practise spotting endangered species. A waterlogged periwig bobs uselessly, oddly, among the sodden crusts, fag ends, and potato peelings of cook’s galley slop in a dirty scum off the stern. Losing Dyson Heydon is a cruel but not unfamiliar blow. Abbott’s captain’s picks seldom stick. The ship of state, now utterly rudderless, idle, all projects stalled or shelved, drifts helplessly in foul seas listing further to starboard by the minute and leaking like a lobster pot. Now even a show trial seems beyond it.

Andrew Welder Blogspot: politically homeless ...

A Disconnect between Policy and Practice: Defence Transparency in Australia

BuzzFeed: Australia’s Politicians Appear To Be Wasting Millions Booking Crazy Expensive Airfares

George Smiley Blogspot: The Entirely Unexpected Crumbling of the Ponzi Empire ...

SMH: Union old boys rule Labor’s club leaving Liberals with quality candidates

Peter Martin, The Age: National Reform Summit: We are ‘sleepwalking into a real mess’, says ex-Treasury boss Martin Parkinson Australia is facing the equivalent of a recession in the next decade as incomes grow at only a fraction of the officially forecast pace, the National Reform Summit has been told. The past head of the Treasury, Martin Parkinson, told the Sydney summit that unless Australia acted quickly, it would sacrifice as much as 5 per cent of the economy in the next ten years, the equivalent of a recession.

ABC: Federal Cabinet members say Joe Hockey’s republic issue shows ‘lack of judgement’

The Drum ABC: Battlers and plutocrats: How political connections reward Australia’s super-rich Research reveals a huge proportion of Australia’s richest people amass their wealth via political connections rather than via innovative businesses - which is helping them at the expense of everyone else, write Paul Frijters and Gigi Foster.

Jacqui Lambie: I have come to the decision I can conditionally support the legislation ... I have since changed my position. In recent months I have undergone intensive consultation with key stakeholders and community members affected by this legislation and I have come to the decision I can conditionally support the legislation. I have also written letters to the Royal Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, John Heydon. In response, Commissioner Heydon todate has refused to share with the Senators all the reports and information on criminal activities and corruption in Australian politics that he has received and/or drafted. I believe these secret reports hold information vital for making an informed decision on the aforementioned legislation. The Premiers of Australia do not have the privilege to vote in the Senate, yet they have been provided the opportunity to access these secret reports. My three conditions are …

• Brian P. Khan in Comments: The Federal Executive should intervene in the Tasmanian Branch as since the passing of Jim Bacon they are inept .Tasmania deserves better and the loss of Lisa Singh will only compound the problem. State parliamentarians of the quality Rebecca White and Scott Bacon are being let down by the selection process. Can you imagine the Liberal advertising Bill Shorten the assassin from “The One Dagger Club ” wants your vote after initiating the demise of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard .We took action and cost Bronwyn Bishop the Speakership for rorting travel expenses

news.com.au: Dyson Heydon to reveal if he will step down from Trade Union Royal Commission next week

SATURDAY, August 29 ...

The Saturday Paper: Abbott and the Christian Right. As Australia becomes less religious, churches have insinuated themselves into politics and gained particular control over Tony Abbott. troducing himself to the Liberal Party’s West Australian state council meeting a week ago, the newly endorsed candidate for the Canning byelection, Andrew Hastie, recalled one particularly happy memory of his childhood. “I was born in regional Victoria in a town called Wangaratta,” he said. “My father started a church there from scratch and I travelled with him in the early years around the vast parish… I have sweet memories of those times.” A little later in his speech, he identified himself as a regular churchgoer and spoke about the work he and his wife do with their church group. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course. But ask yourself this: how many job applicants in Australia would feel the need to stress their piety in the interview?

The Saturday Paper: Nauru’s systemic dysfunction With a new tender imminent for Nauru’s detention centre operations, and a senate inquiry report still due, stories continue to emerge of mismanagement, dysfunction and extra-judicial governance.

SUNDAY, August 30 ...

SMH: Peter Greste and Al-Jazeera colleagues sentenced to three years jail by Egyptian court

SMH: Bart Cummings dead at 87: The King of the Melbourne Cup

The Age: Syria strikes: Top expert questions Tony Abbott’s motivation for air strikes in Syria

The Age: Green scare: Labor and Liberals forced to rethink strategies in Victoria

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

The AFL’s Governor Arthur Colony ... Tasmania

Martin Flanagan, The Age. First published August 28
29.08.15 6:00 am

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The AFL Commission meets today in Hobart … The question is: Will it continue to treat Tasmania as an early 19th century Governor Arthur-style Colony? It’s regrettable that the AFL Commission, when it meets in Hobart on Friday, won’t get to hear the authentic and significant Tasmanian football voice of Thane Brady. In part, this is because Brady, the president of the North Launceston Football Club, is prepared to state his views on Tasmanian football publicly. Others I contacted from Tasmanian Statewide League clubs asked not to be named because they feared recriminations for their clubs from AFL Tasmania …

Mercury: Academy at top of Tasmania footy agenda

Mercury Editorial: We, literally, want a level playing field THE stark contrast between the facilities available for Gold Coast teenagers who want to play footy at the highest level and young Tasmanians who want to do the same says it all. Gold Coast Suns academy teens train on the silky, green turf amid the first-class facilities of the multi-million dollar Metricon Stadium, supported by highly skilled and well paid AFL coaches and the very best available resources. Their Tasmanian equivalents train on a primary school field with no goalposts. It is a straightforward, and all too common, example of Tasmanians being treated like poor, distant cousins. Young Tasmanians who dream of playing in the AFL at the highest level have to compete against NSW and Queensland boys who have benefited from a far better deal …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

• Ben Cannon in Comments: The Tasmanian government sadly seems to get all its football advice from former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett. It’s probably the same reason they inexplicably decided to kill the A-League bid despite everything pointing in it’s favour. When it comes to market expansion, just looking at participation rates, all FFA needs to do is bide its time.

Bryan Green: Lack of commitment to ALF academy a missed opportunity

Will Hodgman, AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, Joint Statement: Future of Tasmanian Football

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STATE: If You Go Out in the Woods Today You’re in for a Big Surprise ...

Ted Mead. Pictures: By Anonymous. First published August 24
29.08.15 5:00 am

Image for STATE: If You Go Out in the Woods Today You’re in for a Big Surprise ...

More lies and deception revealed on the 3 Capes project …

• George Smiley in Comments: Of course the construction materials arrive by helicopter.  And these are not opulent.  Speaking as a a tradesman outside of material transport costs I could build one of these units for around $100 thou. each with my own little hands. Or using a chainsaw mill and helper, a nice bush hut from trees felled on the spot for the cost of petrol, roofing iron, nails and a summer’s wages.  No spas though.  But these monkeys have friends in industry, and this is an oversight and integrity-free state. So the previous comment was tongue in cheek.  In fact the whole forest renaissance/tourism bonanza is BS.  There isn’t enough quality forest left anywhere and you are about to see Chinese and other tourism dry up.  Even if I am wrong, any accommodation income won’t even cover staff and catering costs, like the Dismal Swamp fiasco.

• Clive Stott in Comments: Thank you Ted Mead for the article. What a disgusting waste of resources when we are being led to believe there is no money for essentials and we have to tighten our belts. Doesn’t seem the way to bring a budget into surplus, when the cream is being scraped off the top with stunts like this. It seems to me someone’s mates must be benefiting from this project, and who is going to benefit afterwards? Who benefited from the wilderness timber removed from the site? Look at all the people that have been put out of work to build this blot on our landscape. Michael Ferguson, as Health Minister how can you be a party to this when our broken health system is crying out for money that would be spent more wisely by dedicated staff and benefit more people … and where there is some accountability.

• Max Edelweiss in Comments: I happened to be reading a Department of Education report for 2012-2013 last night and noted $129,000 was paid to relocate a demountable classroom from Brighton to Cygnet. So the typical ‘government quote’ cost of this is unsurprising as one imagines the same kind of cronyism and incompetence in project management and oversight pervades all departments, especially ones such as Parks or Tourism which would bear little public scrutiny.

• Clive Stott in Comments: #1:  There is more money in that steel thing than there is in the shacks. Is it the base for another structure; a bus depot, train station, or something? Bronwyn Bishop will have no trouble coptering in for the official opening. Well there you go, aren’t they still procrastinating over a helipad at the RHH? Dr Marcus Skinner how can you be refused after this squandering? As I was saying in #9 it just shows you someone has got their priorities all wrong!

• Ted Mead in Comments: #13 Clive – I have qualifications in structural steel engineering so I can assure you that this hot-dipped galvanised, completely over the top monstrosity of a walkway is ridiculously designed to the max. This 4 metre wide extensive platform will most likely be where all the pollies, bumbling bureaucrats and hanger-on’s celebrate their fanfare opening replete with copious crates of Grange Hermitage and gluttonous luncheon. It pretty well looks like the correct dimensions for outdoor carpet bowling. Maybe spa baths after all? Who knows what the intent is, but nothing is beyond the imagination or budget here! A treated pine structure would have sufficed at a fraction of the cost. The only consolation is that the frame will survive the next inevitable bushfire. What really needs to happen is for an inquiry to be undertaken on this taxpayers flouted project. But considering that all 3 political parties in Tasmania support this loopy lemon then that will never happen!

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Stalin would be proud ...

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison Media Release Pic: of Josef Stalin
28.08.15 5:28 am

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A statement on Border Force random Visa checks ... Joseph Stalin would be proud of Tony Abbott. Just as East Germany’s Stasi would be delighted with the Australian Border Force. Why even General Pinochet would be impressed.

• phill Parsons in Comments: As I stood before the Clockwork Orange I pondered what runs through Australia’s veins. Where has a fair go gone, where is my miners licence, will the Eureka flag have to fly again? Shades of the Border States asking people looking like Latinos “Que es tu pueblo?” Trump may trump US all yet but I for one do not want to regret what has made Australia, its good and bad, to live in fear of my neighbours. Lest we forget, because the Tony government has.

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EDO Tasmania ... Not a cracker ...

Adam Beeson Acting Principal Lawyer Media Release
28.08.15 5:25 am

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This week the Solicitors’ Guarantee Fund (SGF) was announced by Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin and EDO Tas was excluded ( Vanessa Goodwin’s Media Release, here ).

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Native forest policy full of loopholes and inadequate to protect species and climate

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc Media Release Pic*
28.08.15 4:35 am

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The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania have responded to a review of the Tasmanian Government Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate[1] with a submission highlighting the inadequacies of the policy to meet its stated objectives and properly protect native forests and the critical values they hold.

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Child protection report fails to answer key questions

Rebecca White MP Shadow Human Services Minister Media Release
27.08.15 4:26 am

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Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma has failed to take responsibility for her own failings throughout the child protection crisis on the North West Coast.

Jacquie Petrusma: Child protection redesign to deliver better outcomes

Jacquie Petrusma: Ministerial Statement - Child Protection Services, North-West

Cassy O’Connor: Child Protection Review Exposes Lack of Resources

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Gutwein Preparing to Roll Over to Federal

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Media Release First published: August 26
27.08.15 4:25 am

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In Parliament today, Treasurer Peter Gutwein made it clear he is prepared to do Federal Hotels’ bidding and extend the destructive gambling monopoly deal beyond 2018. The Treasurer is using MONA’s desire to establish a boutique, high-rollers casino as a Trojan horse to extend the Federal monopoly deal which was negotiated and signed in secret back in 2003. Mr Gutwein is talking about the five year rolling extension of the monopoly deal to 2023 as if it’s a given, when the Deed makes it clear any extension is at the discretion of the Minister …

• Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS: Tasmanians deserve transparency in all dealings of the Hodgman and any other government. There are procurement processes in place and these should be followed for large and small contracts and deeds alike. This is a perfect chance for the Hodgman Government to walk the walk it has been talking about and ensure all deals done are transparent and pass a fairness test. Tasmanians deserve to get the best possible deal from whoever eventually signs the Deed with Government. We are sure the Government and the Treasurer in particular would see a lot of value in working with Tasmanians to get the best deal out of this for all of us. The opportunity to talk about the content and consequences of this Deed only comes around once in a while: it’s a wonderful chance to ask Tasmanians what they want the money raised by it to be spent on. Let’s not miss this golden opportunity.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: The deal between Farrell family (owners of the Federal group) and the Lablibs is a prime example of bottom feeding, offshore funnelling, crony capitalism. The sooner it ends the better off the state will be. I assume the Farrells would be against any gambling at Mona because it might impact on their dole vacuuming business across the road at 666 Main road Berriedale.

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Will the Abbott Government Approve the Geelong Star Slaughter of Dolphins?

Rebecca Hubbard, Jon Bryan, Nobby Clark, Tooni Mahto Media Release
27.08.15 4:23 am

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Nine dolphins have already died as a result of the Coalition Government allowing the operation of the European freezer factory trawler, the Geelong Star, in Australian waters. As dolphins are more likely to be killed at night, a ban on night trawling was imposed in an attempt to stop more deaths and allay public concerns. Unbelievably, the Abbot Government and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority are considering lifting the night-fishing ban, which will undoubtedly result in more dolphin deaths.

Over 100,000 people have petitioned the Abbott Government to stop the Geelong Star fishing, and over 15,000 people have contacted their Federal Politicians to support the Small Pelagic Fishery Pledge to ban all freezer factory trawlers in this fishery. When is the Abbott Government going to start listening and protect our marine environment and important recreational fisheries?

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Lapoinya: Missing In Action

John Powell. ABC pic of Paul Harriss
27.08.15 4:15 am

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Just where is this man? What is he doing? Should we send out the SES? The internet and parliament is full of valid community concerns about the proposed logging of coupe FD053A also known as Lapoinya. MIA Harriss failed to appear at the Public Forum held at Wynyard on 9 August ( John Lawrence: Carbon accounting & FT profitability ),  did not respond to email invitations, or indicate why he did not. RUDE! MIA Harriss has not responded to this series of questions sent to him on 14 August and seeking a response by 21 August.

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The most talented collection of Creative Chattering Classes in Tassie’s recent history…

Lindsay Tuffin
26.08.15 4:45 am

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Good god … look at the talent: Cate Kennedy, Don Watson, Bob Brown, Jane Caro, Rodney Croome, Melanie Tate, Julian Burnside, Amanda Lohrey, Robert Dessaix, Matthew Evans, Kirsha Kaechele, Danielle Wood, James Dryburgh … and that, Punters, is just the start … The 2015 Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival surely shapes as the most incredibly talented collection of Creative Chattering Classes in Tasmania’s recent history. This, Punters, is one extraordinary festival not to be missed …

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Books | What's On

Christian leaders arrested in Hobart

Bronwen Hayes, Love Makes A Way Media Release
25.08.15 4:00 pm

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Six Christian leaders have been arrested while holding a peaceful protest today in the office of Tasmanian Senator David Bushby.

EARLIER today on Tasmanian Times ...

Local, state and national church leaders ask Senator David Bushby to publicly support the urgent release of 127 children and families from immigration detention.

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Good on those people for holding a vigil. It is confusing to me how they could be charged with trespass. Senator Bushby’s office would be funded by taxpayers, so in effect the office is public property. It is time that the public were allowed to be on public property without being charged with criminal offences. I find it offensive that the politician found it necessary to call the police in to arrest people praying.

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