Articles

Tony Abbott, an envelope with $5000 in cash and a Liberal campaign donation

Bob Burton
05.05.16 10:02 pm

Image for Tony Abbott, an envelope with $5000 in cash and a Liberal campaign donation

In what he thought were passing comments at the tail-end of parliament, Tony Abbott has inadvertently reignited debate over the need for a federal anti-corruption agency.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | National | State | News

Tasmanian Liberals land private training company as a major donor

Bob Burton. Photo: screenshot of Careers Australia webpage
05.05.16 4:15 am

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The Tasmanian Liberal Party has revealed that one of its major political donors is the controversial Careers Australia Group, Australia’s largest privately-owned registered training organisation.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | National | State | Legal

TT: It’s time for an upgrade … with a little help from our friends ...

Editors. First published May 2
04.05.16 6:30 am

Image for TT: It’s time for an upgrade … with a little help from our friends ...

It’s time for an upgrade … with a little help from our friends. With the rise and rise of online readership via mobile devices, Google is making some big changes to how its search engine ranks different websites. Those which rank as having a mobile-friendly design will be upgraded in its search-engine rankings. Those which aren’t considered mobile-friendly will end up becoming far, far less visible to those searching the Internet. So Tasmanian Times needs to upgrade the software the site runs on as soon as possible to make the site mobile-friendly. We will also be making some changes so that articles unique to Tasmanian Times are eligible to be included in the Google News Index, which will help project contributors’ articles out to a much wider audience. Of course, it would be great if the changes cost nothing, but they don’t. All up the changes might cost in the order of $3000 …

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Writers | Bob Burton | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | Editor's Choice | Media | Society

BASSLINK: Tasmania’s power crisis

John Martinkus, The Saturday Paper. Pic* First published May 1
04.05.16 6:15 am

Image for BASSLINK: Tasmania’s power crisis

Mismanagement of Tasmania’s once-abundant hydro-electric resources combined with the driest year on record see the state on the brink of wintertime power cuts.

Examiner: Renewables a focus of second Basslink study: Warwick Smith

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

BASSLINK highlights State’s budget woes (includes links to earlier TT BASSLINK stories

The SATURDAY PAPER gives one free read a week. Take your pick ...

James Wheeldon (a former ASIC lawyer): Heads must roll at corporate regulator ASIC

Manus, Nauru detention: this is not our Australia

The Strange Politics of Negative Gearing

French subs builder’s record of corruption

Paul Bongiorno: Coalition attempts to win win votes with submarine politics

AND, from REUTERS ...

How France sank Japan’s $40 billion Australian submarine dream

WEDNESDAY May 4 ...

ABC: ‘Grave concerns’ Tasmanians will face high power prices due to energy crisis A Senate inquiry report has raised “grave concerns” that Tasmanians will be slugged with higher power costs as a result of the ongoing energy crisis. The state remains in an unprecedented crisis brought on by record low hydro dam levels and a broken Basslink cable. The committee heard from a range of stakeholders, including Energy Minister Matthew Groom, the head of Bell Bay Aluminium, Ray Mostogul and economist John Lawrence. It made five recommendations, including that the State Government commission an independent inquiry into the circumstances leading up the energy crisis …

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

What is wrong with our Environmental Science?

Murray Dench* First published May 4. Main Pic*
04.05.16 6:10 am

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Recent headlines on Tasmanian Times ( HERE ) state that Hobart’s reputation as a global centre for excellence for science and research is at risk. We have seen the loss of almost 200 CSIRO jobs in Tasmania in recent years. Why has science suddenly lost integrity and its importance? Is it funding-related Bias that is the problem; what exactly is wrong with our environmental science! This is a widespread issue noticed not only in Tasmania. Science has a problem. Murray Dench discusses the issue at length from his side of the ditch.

• Jack in Comments: Rarely has an article on this topic taken us back far enough from the trees so that the forest may be seen. This article does that task very well. This one is going straight to the Pool Room. Yes, yes and yes. The prime issue is not whether you believe one side of a scientific argument or the other. All hinges upon the embrace of skepticism and the resourcing of public science as an enterprise capable of ‘self-correction’. That can’t be done where self-interest is the driving force and independence has been abandoned. As was brilliantly pointed out, science is not the truth but the search for truth. It is a way of dealing with uncertainty, not a way to promote a monoculture of certainty. Our policy makers don’t seem to have the first clue about what science is. Perhaps a parliament of lawyers and bankers can’t really be expected to? …

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The Budget ...

Lenore Taylor, Political Editor Guardian. ABC pic of Scott Morrison. First published May 3
04.05.16 6:05 am

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Budget 2016: ‘jobs and growth’ pitch costs wealthy retirees, smokers and multinationals Scott Morrison’s first budget offers company and personal tax cuts – for those earning over $80,000 – but nothing for families on $37,000 to $80,0000

• Use the TT NEWS dropdown menu for other sources of breaking news/comment on The Budget ...

Guardian: Essential poll shows Labor maintains a 52-48, two-party preferred lead The poll shows 57% support for Labor’s carbon emissions policy and 43% of voters in favour of negative gearing

• Andrew Wilkie in Comments: A bad Budget for Tasmania

• Sinead Colee, NUS, in Comments: Dates for Budget protest

Mark Shea: One small step that could make Australia the Innovation Nation!  ... TT Travel HERE

• Jarvis Cocker in Comments: ScoMo had that look about him tonight. You know the one: the lost, defeated, tortured look of a bloke stuck in the wrong job, with no way of escaping it. Actually, in light of his recent D-Grade media appearances, he put on a half-decent show. The Murdoch papers will say it was a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ performance, and a responsible Liberal Budget. Whatever news outlets lefties read these days will scream about the lack of funding for Gonski/asylum seekers/doctors/furries (delete fave self interest group where relevant). And for anybody actually looking at the Budget forecasts, well, they’ll probably wonder where it all went so horribly wrong for this government …

• In Comments: What TasCOSS, AEU, Will Hodgman, the Three Amigos etc, reckon ...

WEDNESDAY May 4 ...

Guardian Politics Live: Turnbull government unleashes the Big Sell

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Regulars | Jarvis Cocker | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

It’s nothing personal, Eric ...

Hans Willink. Pic of Eric Abetz, ABC. First published May 3
04.05.16 6:00 am

Image for It’s nothing personal, Eric ...

… If Eric’s Senate team perform poorly, his influence within the Liberal Party and the Government would drastically decline. Who knows? He might even retire, having recently acknowledged that he would be paid more from his parliamentary pension than if he kept working as a backbencher.  …

TT Satire: Bullshit Ahead: Next Eight Weeks ...

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

A serve for Third World Internet ...

Mark Shea, overlander.tv
04.05.16 5:40 am

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Mark Shea from overlander.tv gives tight-arsed Third World Internet Aussies a serve: Watch HERE

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Media | Society

Ain’t no sunshine ...

Peter. First published May 4
04.05.16 5:35 am

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Last Saturday was sunny, and as I needed some bamboo sticks, off I went to Salamanca market.

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

With the fall of the Green Zone, ‘our’ Iraq comes undone

John Martinkus, Crikey. Pic: by Stephen Dupont. First published May 4
04.05.16 5:32 am

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There used to be a fiction of safety in Iraq, but with Australian and American troops gone, that fiction has crumbled too, writes foreign correspondent John Martinkus.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

NATION: No roadmap on Manus for Turnbull

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic: of Malc ... First published May 2
04.05.16 5:30 am

Image for NATION: No roadmap on Manus for Turnbull

… At least the new boats will save a couple of marginal seats in the rust-belt of South Australia. Brian Toohey in the AFR estimates that it will cost $20 billion extra to build the subs in Australia. Factor in the $35 billion already committed for nine new frigates and it is clear that the coalition is committing to spend over a hundred billion on war toys without once deigning to explain where the money is coming from. All up it is calculated that the government has committed to spending an astronomical $1 trillion dollars on defence over the next twenty years. You would have to spend 10 million dollars every day for 273 years to spend $1 trillion. In this context, splashing $50 billion submarines is a bargain buy. $50 billion is a lot to pay for a couple of seats, even if one is Christopher Pyne’s. With bipartisan support, Turnbull is committing bulk public funding to defence at the cost of investment in real infrastructure such as schools or hospitals, or renewable energy, each of more enduring benefit.  Why subsidise submarines and not cars? All it would have taken is for GMH to stay in Australia would have been a paltry $150 million a year, according to Mike Devereux, former GM Australia MD. …

Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age: Federal budget 2016: Tax cuts. $80,000 is anything but average If Scott Morrison thinks that by offering tax cuts to Australians earning more than $80,000 he is helping average workers, he doesn’t know what average workers earn. Mercury: No tax relief for the 80 per cent of Tasmanian workers earning less than $80,000

Guardian: Corporate wrongdoing now endemic in Australia, report shows

BOTTOM of the pile ...

Read for yourself CommSec’s State of the States Report where Tassie rates bottom of the pile ...

• John Hawkins in Comments: The Shortfin Barracuda Submarine is still only a concept, there are no detailed design drawings, no detailed contracts and no reason to hold the French to a bill of $50 billion. This is a political gamble to win seats in South Australia. The Pyne SA Liberals must be booted out on their arse. Why was a fraction of this enormous sum of money now to be spent on unproductive killing machines not spent saving the car industry in South Australia? If you are going to vote for a dog vote for a real one. Vote Scruffy: HERE

• Luigi in Comments: I was one of the apparent big majority of Australians who saw Malcolm’s ascension as a blessed salvation from Abbottonian Stupidity.  But where are Malcolm’s policies?  Where is the vision?  Where are we headed?  I’m tired of being told to be excited about nothing. So far I have heard nothing but echoes of the old Stupidity due - we’re told - to Malcolm’s loyalty to undertakings he gave to Abbott’s sidekicks that he would hold faith with the Stupidity. For me, the Budget Tuesday night will be the decider. I don’t want middle-class handouts.  I’d better see some vision; I’d better hear a plan for the future; I’d better hear something other than just the squawking of an albatross around Malcolm’s neck. For me, it’s crunch time now.

New Matilda: Agile Government: Turnbull Has Notched 17 Backflips In Seven Months

news.com.au: Another Nauru refugee sets herself on fire

SCAPEGOATING Minister Dutton says it’s all the refugee advocates fault ...

Guardian: Peter Dutton accuses refugee advocates of encouraging suicide on Nauru

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

Letters to my grandchildren (15)

Anton Clever*
04.05.16 5:00 am

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Dear Chilliwops, Life is too short to hold on to unpleasant events of the past; to hold on to grudges; to be bitter about relationships or past friendships, friendships that for whatever reason have failed.

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Writers | Anton Clever | Politics | Opinion | Personal | Society

Only for us – public health laws and regulations

Dr Baljit Singh
04.05.16 4:30 am

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It is good to have a good policeman around. Dr. Baljit Singh

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Politics | National | Economy | Society

Precious Freshwater diverted to Aquaculture

Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale First published April 29
03.05.16 5:45 am

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Tasmania is in a period of historic drought. The Huon Aquaculture Company has a freshwater “flow-through” hatchery hidden away behind a stand of trees alongside the Russell River in Lonnavale, Southern Tasmania. There are a total of 14 of these “no-longer-considered-best-practice” flow-through Aquaculture hatcheries currently operating throughout Tasmania – and another is in development with the blessing of Inland Fisheries, the Environmental Protection Agency and Water Resources within DPIPWE.

Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania: Government Approves Fish Disease And Dead Zones For Macquarie Harbour Fish Farms  Environment Tasmania is calling for immediate independent review of the Tasmanian Government’s unexpected decision to increase the density of farmed fish in Macquarie Harbour, citing evidence that the harbour is already in a state of chronic environmental stress. “Macquarie Harbour is already experiencing ongoing problems with dissolved oxygen levels, bacteria mats and disease outbreaks,” said Laura Kelly of Environment Tasmania.”

• Dead Scientist in Comments: The flow-through methodology, unfortunately, would appear to be the standard in this State. If the readers would like a reminder themselves of just how bad things can get with flow-through systems, just check out the Bicheno abalone disease outbreak back in 2011. Not freshwater but same methodology! We take perfectly good water, stick it through a system and throw away whatever comes out the other end, with the exception of profit of coarse. If this State is achieve profitable and sustainable primary industries this sort of behaviour must stop. Trashing our resources at a time when they are scarcest is simply stupid. It is sad indeed that any meaningful water governance has ceased in this State, with the public service meekly rubber-stamping development approvals and turning a blind eye to breaches.

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

Tim Slade responds to Mr Brewster, CEO of TasWater

Tim Slade*, Pioneer. First published May 2. Pic*
03.05.16 5:30 am

Image for Tim Slade responds to Mr Brewster, CEO of TasWater

… Dear Sir, I thank the CEO of TasWater, Mr Brewster, for his letter.  …

Examiner: Push for real time water quality data

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Tasmanians say: ‘Show Us Our Drinking Water Data’

STATE: TasWater emails show company planned to hit back at scientists (includes earlier links to Tim Slade and Isla MacGregor articles) ...

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Writers | Tim Slade | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

Leicester ... !

Guardian
03.05.16 4:00 am

Image for Leicester ... !

Guardian: Leicester City win the Premier League title: latest updates – live!

Read more (live) HERE

Guardian UK: The Leicester Supremacy – a triumph that was never supposed to happen Champions have vaulted an impassable gulf of finance and privilege in modern‑day Big Football to re‑energise the most inspiring sporting principle of open competition

• Philip Lowe in Comments: At the beginning of the season when Leicester were quoted at 5,000 to 1 to win the Premiership, bookmakers were offering 4000 to 1 on the Pope playing for Glasgow Rangers. THAT is how incredible this story is.

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Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Personal | Society | Sport

THE BUDGET: Crying for a tax break

Paul Carter, Pic*
02.05.16 3:55 am

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AUSTRALIANS may have to go overseas to buy the country’s best spirits as craft distillers crying for a Budget tax break find an upside in exporting to low-excise countries.

Guardian: Tax cuts for workers on more than $80,000 floated on budget eve – politics live

Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age: Federal budget 2016: Tax cuts. $80,000 is anything but average If Scott Morrison thinks that by offering tax cuts to Australians earning more than $80,000 he is helping average workers, he doesn’t know what average workers earn. Mercury: No tax relief for the 80 per cent of Tasmanian workers earning less than $80,000

Guardian: Corporate wrongdoing now endemic in Australia, report shows

AND ... Tassie Pine ...

Tassie Pine: Turnbull Makes One Year Old a Millionaire     This week on Tassie Pine, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells us a fairytale about a little girl and negative gearing

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Writers | Paul Carter | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

Let’s dare to talk about it … a message of hope

Elizabeth Fleetwood* First published April 30
02.05.16 3:50 am

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The response to the “What nobody dares to say to you about climate change” article ( HERE ) has been nothing short of astonishing.

Surviving the Carbon Apocalypse

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Personal | Society | Transport | Travel

Firefighting review confirms TWWHA values protection bungle

Vica Bayley Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc. Media Release Pic* First pub: May 1
02.05.16 3:45 am

Image for Firefighting review confirms TWWHA values protection bungle

A review of the firefighting efforts ( HERE ) into the unprecedented bushfires that ravaged Tasmania in 2016 has confirmed conservationist’s concerns that built infrastructure with zero heritage value was prioritised for protection over ancient, fire sensitive vegetation that forms part of the outstanding values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

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Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

May Day ... First Day of the Month ...

Isla MacGregor. First published May 1
02.05.16 3:30 am

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It’s May Day ...

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | State | Society

Surviving the Carbon Apocalypse

Kim Peart*, Ross.
02.05.16 3:15 am

Image for Surviving the Carbon Apocalypse

… The Great Dying that happened 252 million years ago began with an increase of atmospheric CO2, leading to global warming.

Much of the heat in the air is absorbed by the sea and that slowly warms up the oceans.

CO2 in the air is also absorbed by the oceans and this makes the sea more acidic.

The hot acidic oceans were a bad place for life, but great for sulphur bugs, which bloomed in the Sun and released toxic hydrogen sulphide gas, which killed much life on the land and damaged the ozone layer, letting in lethal doses of radiation, killing more life on land. …

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | International | Local | National | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Science | Society

The Horror of 1080 Poison ...

Carol Sawyer* via Penelope Marshall, southern Tasmania. Pics*
02.05.16 2:59 am

Image for The Horror of 1080 Poison ...

Penelope Marshall who lives in southern Tasmania is deeply concerned about 1080 poison, used in Tasmania to kill foxes ( TT HERE ) and to guard forestry [‘There’s too many of them (‘pests’): John Gay]. But in New Zealand its use is massive ... blanket-coverage of NZ’s wild areas in much greater strength and quantity. Carol Sawyer lives in Wanaka NZ (bio below). Here is her story ...

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Politics | New Zealand | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

Sad Postscript to the Clearfelling of Lapoinya Forest. Meanwhile in Mutual Valley ...

Stewart Hoyt, Convenor for Forests of Lapoinya Action Group (FLAG) Pic* First published April 26
01.05.16 4:30 am

Image for Sad Postscript to the Clearfelling of Lapoinya Forest. Meanwhile in Mutual Valley ...

After 20 months of research, negotiations, protests and pleas by the Lapoinya Community to reserve or buy or remove from harvest a local 49 hectare high conservation value forest from its production zone, Forestry Tasmania, supported by its Tasmanian Government shareholders Paul Harriss and Peter Gutwein, insisted it be clearfelled.  Three months of protests by mums and dads in and around the coupe resulted in 5 arrests, 6 fines and over 100 move-on notice issues by Police who were daily required to shepherd Forestry Tasmania in the disputed Forest. The protests were heard round the world and echoed all the way to the High Court of Australia where a challenge to the constitutionality of the Liberal Governments’ Anti-Protester laws will be heard. The only echo that was heard in Lapoinya was the sound of chainsaws. Forestry Tasmania has completed its mission to clearfell the Forest, undisputed home to rare, endangered and threatened plant and animal species …

• Lynn Jensen-Schnapper in Comments: It is with great sadness that we read today of your report Stewart of the destruction of Lapoinya. Upon returning to Germany this week, a Tasmanian Fan from Tübingen who visited our precious NW Tassie last year, could not understand the criminal acts of environmental destruction that these politicians have condoned.  I explained to her that it’s basically a dictatorship of money and greed and the tourists just shake their heads at this ignorance …

• Peter Coxhead MR in Comments: The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is found wanting while at the same time Forestry Tasmania (FT) push on with logging CC104B in Derby despite a clear breach of regulations, local residents said today. At a meeting with Mutual Valley residents last week Forestry Tasmania was presented with a case in coupe CC104B that showed unequivocally that the harvesting happening was in breach of the Forest Practices Code due to inadequate emergency access. FT has started harvesting in this coupe knowing full well that the emergency access route has not been built and maintained to the standards required in the code code, said local resident of 30 years Peter Coxhead … • Picture below ...

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Science | Society

The people’s case for transport equity

Peter Brohier*, Retired Australian Lawyer Activist and Lobbyist. First published April 30
01.05.16 4:15 am

Image for The people’s case for transport equity

On the 28th of April 2016, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed that the Federal Government is not considering further changes to the operation of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES). Also, it was meeting that day with the Tasmanian Government to discuss a joint approach to Tasmania’s economic future and that the Tasmanian Government have not raised the BSPVES as an issue or priority. The Federal Government is currently running a media campaign demonstrating the importance of the billions spent on national infrastructure. Road and rail are covered. Ferries are not. This year is the 20th anniversary of a major federal scheme that was aimed at delivering a national highway connection to and from Tasmania, using ferries. The attached opinion piece demonstrates the failure of this scheme and its social, economic and national implications. This issue is timely, of national importance and involves four Prime Ministers. The matter has currently reached the Prime Minister’s office … 

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Writers | Peter Brohier | Politics | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Transport

BASSLINK highlights State’s budget woes

John Lawrence, http://tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pic* First published April 28
30.04.16 5:00 am

Image for BASSLINK highlights State’s budget woes

The big danger in the aftermath of the Basslink debacle is the search for someone to blame will divert attention from finding the best solution.

The pattern has been replicated with Tas Networks. Between them they have enough debt to choke a hippopotamus and are not ideally placed for the future. We will no doubt be reminded at Budget time how the general government is free of debt. That unfortunately masks the reality of the broader government sector. The model of regulated competition is designed for private rent seekers to own and operate infrastructure. When government mimic their private colleagues the result is the mess that confronts us …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: Excellent work from J.L. again that opens the curtains on our fiscal situation. Why we need such a byzantine system of accounts is anyone’s guess but deception has got to be a high probability …

• Luigi in Comments: … This government has learnt nothing from this crisis.  It’s therefore arguably incapable of learning anything ever …

Mercury: Aurora Energy flags price hikes if fees are cut STATE-owned power ­retailer Aurora Energy has flagged price rises if its allowances to cover bad debts and ­retail market competition – despite being non-existent for residential customers – are cut. And the company has questioned its ability to remain sustainable should competition eventuate and its customer-paid allow­ances be reduced to about $26 million, as proposed by the economic regulator …

• Luigi in Comments: … Aurora will have been told it has to step up to the mark to replace the Hydro as a dividend payer to our pathetic, wasteful government.

ABC: Tasmania’s energy crisis: Hydro hires extra media help to answer questions Tasmania’s state-owned power company has spent thousands of dollars on temporary media and communications staff during the state’s ongoing energy crisis. Right to Information documents obtained by the ABC show Hydro Tasmania spent almost $3,500 in March on extra staff to help answer questions as it grappled with low dam levels and the continuing Bass Strait power cable outage.

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Moreton Bay to Port Arthur

Kim Peart. Graphic* First published April 30
30.04.16 4:00 am

Image for Moreton Bay to Port Arthur

As Australia grinds into the longest election campaign in history, we may feel like convicts at sea on an endless voyage to Van Diemen’s Land.

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Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society | Transport

Donald Trump and the critique of liberalism ...

Christopher Nagle, writing.com . Pic* First published April 30
30.04.16 3:45 am

Image for Donald Trump and the critique of liberalism ...

In my last article ( HERE ) on the phenomenon of Donald Trump, I introduced the idea that his rather crude attacks on liberals and liberalism reflect a very widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo, of which liberal ‘Establishments’ are very much an integral part.

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Politics | International | National | Opinion | Philosophy | Society

Letters to my grandchildren (14)

Anton Clever* First published April 30
30.04.16 3:34 am

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Dear Chilliwops, About two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

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Writers | Anton Clever | Opinion | Personal | Society

The mother of all coincidences

Martin Hawes*
30.04.16 3:00 am

Image for The mother of all coincidences

Warning: This article may contain traces of satire. Only one skyscraper in history has ever collapsed completely due to fire. Fires are fairly common in skyscrapers but even the worst fires usually leave the building’s supporting structure intact. The four recent skyscraper fires in Dubai were spectacular but the buildings have all been repaired and reopened. Several floors of Moscow’s half-completed Federation Tower East blazed in 2012, but construction resumed in 2014.

The Independent: Saudi Arabia, 9/11, and the secret papers that could ignite a diplomatic war Twenty-eight secret pages of a report locked away in a room in the Capitol in Washington lie in the centre of a crisis between America and Saudi Arabia which threatens to have severe and widespread repercussions. The US Congress is considering legislation which would enable the families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, presented by the West as its most valuable ally in the Middle East, over alleged links with al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out the attacks on New York and Washington. The issue had cast a long shadow over the recent visit of President Barack Obama to Riyadh, with the Saudis threatening to sell off $750bn of American assets they hold if the bill is passed by Congress …

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Politics | International | Economy | Opinion | Society

What nobody dares say to you about climate change ...

Elizabeth Fleetwood* Pic* First published April 25
29.04.16 4:29 am

Image for What nobody dares say to you about climate change ...

I recently attended, along with several hundred others, the Bill McKibben lecture on climate change at the University, thinking that I would learn something useful from such a distinguished scholar, world-renowned author and journalist on global warming, tireless activist, founder of 350.org, and winner of the Gandhi Peace Prize ( TT HERE ).

• Mike Bolan in Comments: Excellent material ... but what to do? Here are a few thoughts ... There is a lot that we can do, the first of which is to try to protect ourselves so that we are in a better position to help others …

• John Coombes in Comments: One of the best articles ever on TT. That a bunch of serious-minded, intelligent people can devote their time to reading and discussing such a gloomy topic is cause for celebration, if not for optimism. There may be some cause for optimism in recalling the way that nations of the free world, in response to the outbreak of WW2, completely and rapidly reorganised their economies and societies to deal with the very real threat to their existence. It wasn’t pretty (“blood, toil, tears and sweat”) but it worked.

ABC: CSIRO to set up climate research centre in Hobart The CSIRO has announced it will establish a national climate research centre based in Hobart, which will employ 40 full-time scientists. The research centre aims to guarantee Hobart as a climate research hub for the next decade …

ABC: Leading scientists urge UK newspaper The Times to improve ‘sub-standard’ climate reporting Some of the world’s most eminent scientists have written to the editor of UK newspaper The Times to complain about its coverage of climate science. They suggest the newspaper may be unduly influenced by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which, despite its name, denies humans are causing climate change. Baron John Krebs, a highly decorated biologist is behind the push, writing that the newspaper has become a “laughing stock” for publishing poor quality science …

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