Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: September 21. Pic: ABC of Malcolm Turnbull
30.11.15 4:45 am
The UN Climate Change Summit circus in Paris will have to start tomorrow without Tony Abbott - not that he was going anyway. Not that it needs another clown. He got one Captain’s call right. His successor would also stay at home if he could. He should.
• John Biggs in Comments: How did the crafty Turnbull let himself be manipulated into this position? He has lost all credibility and not only on climate change. In order to get some cred with his psychopathic right wing, he retained two of the worst ministers: this lying arrogant hypocritical and dangerous Hunt, and the sadistic boofhead Dutton who thinks like the dumbest cop on the beat. By the time Turnbull gets around to his real strategy—to win the next election and then start behaving sensibly as no doubt he would like to—it will be too late. He is too far along the road to self-destruction, either as a credible politician, or as a decent human being.
Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader Media Release. All pictures: Rob Walls, http://thisworkinglife.wordpress.com. First pub: Nov29
30.11.15 4:30 am
Thousands of Tasmanians who travelled from all corners of the State rallied in Hobart for climate action in the lead up to this week’s Climate Summit in Paris.
• Chris Harries in Comments: It was a lovely day and lots of great company but those speeches went on for too long. They guy from Bonorong Park is a gem. No airs and graces, just says what need to be said. Of late it’s become a tradition to not allow politicians to speak at these rallies. Not having high profile names makes it hard to promote the event well, but at least we hear from a wider sector of the community. Would have been good to have at least one speaker who has the ability to rouse up a lot of passionate energy, like Richard Flanagan or Bob Brown can. But thanks to the hard working organisers all over the world who have worked to organise this worldwide display of solidarity and hope.
Dr Lissa Johnson, New Matilda. Pic*
30.11.15 3:45 am
New Matilda columnist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the rationale behind why violence by the West is okay, and violence against the West is an assault on freedom-loving ‘ingroups’.
• Chris in Comments: Clear and concise congratulations on the clarity.
30.11.15 3:30 am
Veterans of the Tarkine Last week approximately 100 scientists and enthusiasts took part in the Tarkine’s festival of science Bio-Blitz organised by the Bob Brown Foundation. Their mission was to discover and document the natural biodiversity in the fields of ecology, taxonomy, botany and biology in one of the last wild enclaves in Tasmania.
30.11.15 3:30 am
Our two Heritage-listed highly significant sequoia trees are over 120 years old on our Heritage-listed property.
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: Yes absolutely. Must say I agree entirely with post #2, Hawkins, who in essence seems to be suggesting this is an irrationally tree hating place. However to consider it only curious would surely be an understating the immense pathos of the situation. I recall the mature heritage tree, an Abies cephalonica (Greek fir), at Westbury some years ago, the only mature specimen in Tasmania but was killed for a small subdivision. Council ordained that seed could be taken and new ones grown. Abies cephalonica is on the IUCN Red List. A Heritage expert wrote to the Council and did not even get a reply. Others and myself tried to stop its removal but failed. Tasmania is poorly educated and backward but this fact does not gain sufficient press or indeed remedial action. Regarding the current situation there may be a number of remedies but the article has little information about what could be a complex matter. We do not even know where the trees are, which Council approved the DA, whether the fence is on boundary, with which body are the trees listed, etc etc. The owner of the sequoias needs advice urgently.
• J. Davidson in Comments: The sequoias are located on our Heritage listed property within Scenic Protection Zone in Launceston very visible on the Launceston Easterly skyline, near St Georges Square.They are within Launceston City Council jurisdiction ( who accepted an incomplete DA.)The most northerly sequoia abuts our boundary fence and extends a few centimetres into the land where the proposed development is taking place.
ABC Pic: Garry Stannus
30.11.15 3:26 am
Former Gunns boss John Gay should not have to pay any money in his proceeds of crime case because he did not make a profit, his lawyers argue.
David Bradbury, SMH. ABC pic of David Bradbury
30.11.15 3:23 am
I drove my Mercedes to the Centrelink office recently to register for the dole.
30.11.15 3:15 am
Politicians maybe are wrongfully blamed for perceived Machiavellian behaviour … The recent change of leader within the Liberal Party however, resulted in a marked gain in the polls for Malcolm Turnbull as preferred Prime Minister.
Des. Pic of Mal Brough: ABC
30.11.15 3:08 am
If your readers are wondering about the issues behind the AFP search warrants, served on several of the main players in the Ashbygate Affair, then a link from Margo Kingston’s web page The Tweeted Times to a blog run by Vince O’Grady will reveal what is at stake.
European Women's Lobby via Isla MacGregor
30.11.15 3:00 am
[Brussels, 24 November 2015] Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that the world faces, and affects us all. However, men and women affect and are affected by environmental and climate change in different ways; they also contribute to climate justice through diverse strategies. In all countries, women and women’s organisations play an important role, which has been recognised by the work programme on gender initiated at COP 20 in 2014 in Lima. Women are half of the world’s population: it is obvious that the planet won’t be saved without women’s leadership and full participation.
Rodney Croome, Australian Marriage Equality
30.11.15 2:45 am
Will Hodgman, Jeremy Rockliff, Cassy O’Connor ...
Bert Spinks, The Crafty Pint. Pic*
30.11.15 2:00 am
Having returned to his home in Tasmania after touring the outer reaches of Northern Europe, whence he experienced beer in the Scottish Isles, Iceland and Copenhagen, wandering storyteller Bert Spinks has been out bushwalking. Here, he ponders the whys and wherefores of doing it with beer …
30.11.15 1:45 am
This week in the final episode of the first season of Tassie Pine, Tassie struggles to make a decision on whether or not to sell Radio 7UC to Gem Magnet ...
John Vidal, The Guardian
30.11.15 12:38 am
The fate of 70 million people rests on what happens to the Mekong river. With world leaders meeting in Paris next week for crucial UN climate talks, John Vidal journeys down south-east Asia’s vast waterway - a place that encapsulates some of the dilemmas they must solve. He meets people struggling to deal with the impacts of climate change as well as the ecological havoc created by giant dams, deforestation, coastal erosion and fast-growing cities
Examiner. First published November 27
29.11.15 8:31 am
A MAN died in a crash between a car and a truck on Birralee Road in the state’s North on Thursday.
• John Hawkins in Comments: The Highway of Death: The Frankford Highway is littered with the crash sites of dead people. Some are remembered by crosses or flowers on the side of the road, all killed by these enormous Log Trucks as they head for the Batman Bridge at 110 kms plus an hour on a small narrow road that twists and turns from Westbury to Exeter. Heavy Log Trucks should be banned on this stretch for it has become the Tasmanian shortcut to the Pearly Gates. How many Tasmanians have Log Trucks killed or injured on this so-called Highway this year? I believe the number to be at least 5 with a month to go.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: #5 Barry no one is saying it is the fault of the truck driver. The problem is that the road matters. Birallee road is a narrow, winding road with lots of crests and gullies. Sight lines are often obscured by trees and rises. So if a person who is driving onto the road or entering from a side road is not very very careful it is easy to get into trouble when another vehicle is doing 100 klm along the road. Of course if it is a car they may be able to swerve or brake to avoid an accident but when it is a fully loaded truck (especially a B double) they have trouble stopping and definitely cannot swerve. There are far too many people who drive cars in Tasmania who are lazy and cut corners, where I live it is a constant danger on the Lake Highway. I always drive way over on the left on blind corners, too many times I have come face to face with a (mainly 4wd) vehicle straddling the centre lines. I think that some roads need much lower speed limits for large vehicles, that way people who may not be taking enough care or who cannot see what is coming may have more chance. The difference between driving at 100 klm and 80klm is not very much in time on a trip. Even on a dead straight highway a 100 kilometre journey will only be 15 minutes longer. On a windy road much the difference will be much less.
• Artemesia in Comments: Linda (10) You have the wrong end of the stick here … the point is that these vehicular behemoths are being driven at a very fast pace on very inappropriate roads. Anyone who has ever used the Birralee Road will know that it should never have been approved to carry the kind of heavy transport vehicles that it does. Meet one of those on one the tight corners on that road and you have literally nowhere to go. It’s not really the truck drivers at fault - they simply can’t negotiate such a big vehicle on a road like that without encroaching onto the other lane. “Cowboy drivers” are to be found behind any wheel.
Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General Media Release. Pic*
29.11.15 8:00 am
The Honourable William Cox AC, RFD, ED has been appointed by the Governor to undertake the independent five-year review of the Integrity Commission Act 2009.
• Paul Smyth in Comments: Didn’t Vanessa Goodwin once work as Clerk Assisting for Chief Justice Cox when he worked in that role? How can he then be considered impartial in this review role?
• Kev Rothery in Comments: If Justice Cox’s appointment has been endorsed by the Joint Standing Committee on Integrity then there appears to be little hope that anything of substance will emerge from his review. This is likely to be a window dressing exercise, and thus a complete waste of public money.
Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release
28.11.15 8:01 am
Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the Australian Government to immediately condemn Japan for their decision to recommence whaling in the Southern Ocean this Summer. Senator Whish-Wilson said, “No Australian Government in a generation has been so silent and so passive in providing supposed opposition to whaling.
Jane Ryan, ABC. Pic: From VDL via ABC
27.11.15 4:02 am
The proposed buyer of Tasmanian dairy giant Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) is Moon Lake Investments, an Australian company set up specifically for the purchase by Chinese businessman Lu Xianfeng.
• Don Knowler in Comments: Interesting that originally VDL refused to name the bidder, or state which country they were from, because it was “commercial in confidence”. as if the Tasmanian people had no right to know.
Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie Media Release. ABC Pic: of Andrew Wilkie. First pub: Nov 25
27.11.15 3:15 am
The Registered Clubs Association of New South Wales is suing Andrew Wilkie for defamation in relation to his comments on the ABC about Peter Garrett being offered money by someone in the poker machine industry.
• James Boyce in Comments: First it was the Gunns 20. Now it is the Pokies 2. We must stand together. Hang in there Andrew. They are but thugs. • James Boyce on pokies ... on Tasmanian Times, HERE
• Karl Stevens in Comments: I’m sure the Registered Clubs Assoc of NSW are terrified of what was revealed in the ‘Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation’ doco. Who would have known pokies exploit vulnerabilities in the human brain concerning ‘anticipation of reward’? This was dynamite information because anybody can exploit these vulnerabilities at any time for their own benefit and let’s face it, the good are not running the Earth … yet?
JAMES BOYCE EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
FRIDAY, November 27 ...
• Wilkie in court today ...
• ... 10.30am: Clubs NSW folds ...
… Bad things happen when people are forced into silence. So I will continue to speak up when I see wrongdoing, and won’t be intimidated by anyone or any industry. I certainly won’t be silenced by the poker machine industry generally, which inflicts shocking harm in the community and which always seems to get its way as far as most politicians are concerned.
• John Hawkins in Comments: Andrew Wilkie is real live, thinking and proper representative for the people of Tasmania in the Federal Parliament. We are so lucky to have someone of this calibre untainted by Lib/Lab politics batting for us. Light years ahead of the likes of Number one on the Liberal ticket the appalling Abetz.
• John Biggs in Comments: It’s great feeling to have a politician who stands up for his principles. The politician who comes out of this as weak as piss is Peter Garrett. Who as a fierce leftie—so he sang—turned out as an obedient little puppy and did what his masters told him. Then when he did speak out—they tried to bribe me—he folded “But they didn’t. Just kidding. Sorry about that.” He screwed up on almost every environmental issue, including the pulp mill. Labor still at it: recruiting popular stars like Adam Goodes, Nova Peris when they have run out of party hacks. What they have in common is that they are all policy-free. Incidentally, read Laura Tingle’s latest Quarterly Essay which explains the above and a lot lot more, all about the collapse of government in Australia, starting with Hawke a bit, Keating a bit more, Howard really stuffed the checks and balances system and Abbott trampled on what is left. The key is an independent and expert pubic service, which is incompatible with neoliberalism. That and a two party system which isn’t a two party system.
Martyn Goddard, Analyst. First published November 25
26.11.15 5:45 am
The Tasmanian government is now sure that the Mt Lyell copper mine at Queenstown will not, as previously feared, be closed down and flooded. And the prospects for a re-opening within two to three years have substantially improved.
But if you look at the long-term picture for copper, with urbanisation, the use of electricity ‒ particularly renewable energy ‒ you still see the demand growing there. Renewable energy generation consumes much more copper than coal-fired power stations. Wind turbines contain two tonnes for every megawatt of output.
• Pilko in Comments: Marty Goddard talks up a Labor & Liberal pet industry & guess what? The character assassinations from the usual Lib/Lab lackeys aren’t forthcoming this week? Where is the Lukester? I’ve scoured social media & there is zip, nada, zilch, not a bad word to be said about Martyn.
Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release
26.11.15 5:30 am
(Last) evening the Senate failed to disallow regulations that had lifted a ban on night fishing by the factory-freezer vessel Geelong Star by a single vote. A tied vote, 31 for and 31 against, means the disallowance motion to reinstate the night-fishing ban was unsuccessful. The Geelong Star courted controversy earlier in the year when it caught and killed 9 dolphins.
• ABC Radio is reporting the death of two more dolphins/seals? overnight ... • ABC: Geelong Star factory trawler: Deaths of two more seals revealed in Senate
• Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania, Jon Bryan, Tasmanian Conservation Trust . Tooni Mahto, Australian Marine Conservation Society, Nobby Clark, Game Fish Tasmania Sports Fishing Club: 15,000 Emails in 24 hours - Rec Fishers Urge Senate to Ban Geelong Star Night Fishing
• Andrew Wilkie: A statement on the super-trawler … They’ve already gutted fisheries elsewhere in the world and it beggars belief that the Australian Government is delighted to have one of the awful things in our waters. The Geelong Star should be banned immediately and sent packing. If it’s to remain in Australia, perhaps it could be turned into a monument to bad politicians making bad decisions.
25.11.15 3:00 am
An independent scientific report using the Tasmanian Environment Department’s own data has suggested evidence of foxes may have been fabricated. The group behind the report wants the findings investigated but the Government is refusing to take any action.
• Transcripts of ABC Fox Reports ...
• David Obendorf in Comments: … With respect this is hardly just “a scientific disagreement” as Minister Rockliff would assert. The senior management of DPIPWE have chosen not to disagree with our analysis or to contest the basic findings of this report to Government. If they had done so, the independent scientists group would, of course, have taken any formal inputs from them into consideration … The greater concern in this unfortunate wastage are the Invasive Animal CRC and DPIPWE staff who claimed in 2013 that “foxes are now widespread in Tasmania” based on such bogus data set. Tasmania deserves a full inquiry into this sordid mess and should go back to falsification of dead fox material also used as empirical evidence from 2001 to 2006.
• Ian Rist in Comments: I remember going along to the State offices in Launceston with Jeremy Rockliff in early 2003 and speaking with Rene Hidding (then Liberal leader) on the veracity of evidence (particularly the fox cub import allegations). I remember suppying the FOI letters to Hidding and Rockliff. Very few Tamanian politicians could declare they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding Tasmanian fox matters. The Circus rolls on and it will never be put to bed until there is a thorough, independent and complete investigation. Whilst there are many politicians with varying interests in these matters…the number one I believe after much thought and deliberation is some don’t want exposure on a matter they think may jeopardise future biosecurity and wildlife funding. Nothing could be further from reality, whilst ever there is this cloud of doubt and mistrust the Feds. are going to be very cautious on such matters.
• David Obendorf in Comments: … When Cassy O’Connor MP took over as Environment spokesperson for the Tasmania Greens she gave her opinion on the fox evidence. She went public in 2010 [Togatus UTAS magazine Feb 2010] claiming that ‘there’s enough evidence to prove that there are foxes in Tasmania.’ Ms O’Connor went on to say: ‘Unfortunately, there is a small group of sceptics who have really managed to muddy the water.’ Ms O’Connor was not for turning! To this day I do really wonder whether she ever considered the possibility that maybe there was another ‘small group’ who might had ‘managed to muddy the water’ ... for the Tasmanian Greens! In my opinion, the Tasmanian Greens after the 2010 State election were far more uncritical of the fox program; Ms O’Connor and Mr McKim were then both Ministers of the Crown …
Ted Mead*. First published November 16. Pics*
25.11.15 2:30 am
Forestry Tasmania has long professed a catch-cry of ‘World’s Best Logging Practice’, but outside the insular walls of its offices there is a different reality. Images of logging practises in Tasmania have been imprinted deeply into our minds. Scenes of utter destruction like the Hiroshima-blackened landscapes, the smoke-filled mushroom clouds that billow and waft into our urban environment, and the once endless procession of log trucks parading our highways en-route to the insatiable jaws of the woodchip mills.
Essentially Tasmania’s forest industry over the past several decades created an Armageddon upon our natural environment, yet in this 21st century Forestry Tas shows no sign that it wishes to repent. Its quest for FSC is not aimed at redemption. It is merely pursuance for a licence to blindly continue in its myopic ideology.
• Paul Tapp in Comments: Within my dream/There lives a scream/Which fills me so with fear/I feel its breath upon me/The beast is drawing near/It’s breath is hot and fetid/And it vomits in the seas/The beast has dogs/Which carry logs/The monster feeds on trees … I visited the Tarkine and also took photographs of soaring, silent trees and wondered how anybody could cut them down, disturb the peace of ancient forests and the mysteries within. But they do, without conscience, for at the end of the day, it is merely a tree and it is a practical way to put bread on the table, when jobs are scarce and global economics can put them on unemployment lines at any time.
• Pete Godrey in Comments: Well put Ted, thanks for maintaining the rage. The picture of Triabunna woodchip mill is pertinent, after Gunns closed the mill there were 30,000 tonnes of woodchips left unsold. The new owners had to move them to rehabilitate the site to meet EPA requirements. So 30 thousand tonnes of our forests were destroyed and left to rot, that is around 3000 truck loads of logs cut, carted, chipped and left to rot. And the best bit is we paid massive subsidies to the companies to do it. Rage is the only response. This ongoing conversion of rainforest to eucalypt forest must never be sanctioned by FSC or any other organisation that claims to be environmentally responsible.
• Paul Harriss: Hardship program to assist forest contractors devastated by Labor-Green policies … The Government has reallocated $1 million in Commonwealth funds, which remain unspent from previous compensation schemes for a limited hardship relief program. Today, I am pleased to announce details of the hardship program are now available and applications open …
MONDAY, November 23 ...
• Matthew Groom: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area … The technical advisers will spend the week in Tasmania assessing the state of conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and will provide advice on the finalisation of the draft Management Plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area …
TUESDAY, November 24 ...
• Jenny Weber, Peg Putt: World Heritage Reps urged to rebuff Tasmanian Government on rainforest logging ... … “The rainforest ‘special species’ logging trial in the southern forests coupe EP048C had demonstrated the range and scale of disturbance associated with such logging. Any attempt to log in the World Heritage property will be significantly detrimental to the maintenance of Outstanding Universal Values,” Ms Weber said …
• Nick McKim: Time for Hodgman and Turnbull to Accept Umpire’s Call on World Heritage Logging … “The Liberals’ bloody mindedness over logging the TWWHA is already damaging the tourism industry, with Lonely Planet ( TT HERE ) issuing warnings to see these precious areas before they are compromised.” …
• Claire Gilmour in Comments: A gumtree ad on 4 Nov 2015. “I am a 23 year old male currently seeking work. I currently work in forestry planting, pruning and fertilizing trees but the warm weather caused the dirt to dry out to much and we have been laid off untill further notice… I live in wynyard and have my motorcycle license.” Until further notice eh!? What say ye FT and Government? So Forestry and their business partners are laying off more people … so the Tas government fly on in with more Fed money to gift …
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. First published November 23
24.11.15 4:30 am
The Examiner, the organ of the Right Wing of the Liberal Party in Tasmania has spent the past month - for some completely unknown reason - promoting our Erich Abetz as the Number 1 candidate on the Tasmanian Liberal Party Senate ticket.
• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top nav bar) for news/comment on this news ...
• Jack Lumber in Comments: … It is with regret that I admit that Mr Abetz has achieved what we all thought was an impossibility ... a consensus. Throughout the state a “WTF” was heard in every room ( with the exception of the dazed and confused state Liberal Party room )
• John Hawkins in Comments: … We must ensure that the Liberals do not get 2 quotas, in the next election. With this in mind Scruffy will be standing against Abetz for a seat in the Senate. “If you are going to vote for a dog ... vote for a real one”. Vote Scruffy …
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: October 23. Pic: ABC of Malcolm Turnbull
23.11.15 4:45 am
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No but look out below! It’s Super Mal, the man of tomorrow. Faster than a speeding spill ballot, the supersonic ‘small l Liberal’ super hero and man of Chinese steel rockets into the stratosphere, unlike the plummeting spot price for iron ore and other commodities we, poor sods, have yoked our futures to, courtesy of the myopia of his post-modern political class and its minders.
23.11.15 4:30 am
“Maria Island is one of Tasmania’s great untapped tourism opportunities. We want to unleash its full potential.” Thus spake Matthew Groom in an article in the Mercury on Saturday November 21. ( Read Matthew Groom’s Media Release here )
• Leo Schofield in Comments: … it’s words like ‘unleash’ that scare the living daylights out of me. Keep Maria as it is. No need to see it as another Port Arthur. The resort and marina suggestions were for the Triabunna mill site. How long is it since Graeme Wood bought this site and revealed his terrific plans. Then came Gormless Guy and his expensive and pointless inquiry into what was a done deal. Read the transcript of some of the sessions of said inquiry. Feydeau could not have done better …
Pattie Chugg, Shelter Tas EO Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter EO Media Release
23.11.15 4:25 am
The release of Australia’s first Rental Affordability Index (RAI) has been welcomed by Tasmania’s peak body for affordable housing and homelessness, Shelter Tas.
23.11.15 4:20 am
Found this curious mushroom among some I bought at the supermarket this week. It looks remarkably like a map of Australia but once again they’ve overlooked Tassie …
23.11.15 4:15 am
A response to Lissa Johnson: Spot the Extremist It is undoubtedly true that the US-led invasion of Iraq under George W Bush, Blair & Howard et al. was a duplicitous piece of foreign policy that has had far reaching consequences which are still reverberating today.
John Martinkus, The Saturday Paper. Pic*
23.11.15 4:00 am
John Martinkus: ‘What my captors wanted to know’ When armed insurgents kidnapped John Martinkus in Iraq, they interrogated him on building a propaganda machine. A decade later, they became Daesh.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: To have been in your position in a war zone and to know that what you were hearing in the media and from the government was total bullshit would be very hard. Thankyou for writing your story and giving those who can think a chance to understand what was happening and what is still happening with our sanitised reports of what is going on in the world. Sorry that you and many others have had such horrid experiences, we live on a planet surrounded by angry, violent madmen ... and some very beautiful people too.
• Peter Bright in Comments: Pete Godfrey at #4 perceptively refers to media and government bullshit and indeed I’ve become increasingly suspicious about everything these distorting, deceiving, misleading and lying institutions tell us. One of their greater sins is to conceal the truth by omission. Our citizens are not thinking, and far worse than this, they don’t want to. Worst of all is that many just can’t.