28.09.15 4:15 am
THIS month police in Perth confiscated 320kg of methamphetamine, estimated to be worth $320 million, in what was Western Australia’s biggest seizure of ice.
James Dryburgh. Pic: Tsionawit Gebre-Yohannes
28.09.15 4:10 am
“I always had a sense of owing due to the good fortune of being able to move to Tasmania and receive a good education. As a young African woman, I have a privileged position. I have the power to do things – to justify my existence.”
• SBS: Which Arab country has room for three million refugees and has so far taken zero according to the UN? Oil rich Saudi Arabia is under fire over its failure to take a single refugee from Syria while an air conditioned tent city capable of housing three million people sits idle. The country has claimed it has taken 100,000 Syrian migrants but is not a signatory to UN Convention on Refugees making it very difficult for the UNHCR to verify its claims and establish if they are genuine refugees.
28.09.15 4:07 am
Dave Hansford has just popped out of the woodwork again. This time to make comment on Penelope Marshall’s article, “Green Death from Above”, 21/09/2015, in the Tasmanian Times ( TT HERE ). He has formerly been the “ecology” columnist on the New Zealand Listener and has written articles advocating the use of 1080 for the New Zealand Geographic and other publications. He has also been a writer for the magazine of the pro-toxin organisation, Forest and Bird. Currently he appears to be on various Facebook sites, which makes me wonder if he is on someone’s advocacy payroll. …
Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/
28.09.15 4:00 am
The onboard airline announcement went on forever. Instructions in Malay, followed by an English translation – the Australian Government’s requirements for entering the country. Two forms to complete including a lengthy Travel History Card “to help us protect you, your family and other members of the community” requiring a signature “to ensure you’ve made a truthful declaration”.
• Simon Warriner in Comments: Increasing the state’s population by 150,000 thru immigration and repatriation has risks for the lib/lab coalition. Those incoming are likely to be far less tolerant of business as usual than the inhabitants who have never experienced anything but the benign presence of a veiled hand that guides the administration of this state. Generally I am not inclined to support population growth but in this case it might just be a good thing.
Alternative Music Fan*
28.09.15 3:50 am
The internet had a snortle today (Friday) as news travelled that the Federal Government has printed and distributed a set of ‘educational’ booklets to schools around the country. The booklets aim to educate about radicalisation with snappy titles like, ‘I am Worried Somebody I Know is Radicalising, What can I do?’ In the booklet, ‘What is Violent Extremism’, is the tale (or case study) of Karen, who went to uni, started listening to alternative music, and ended up an environmental activist.
Andre Nobbs, Former Chief Minister NI Government Media Release
28.09.15 3:30 am
… It is worth keeping in mind that more than 1200 persons signed into “Hands up for Democracy”, the NI Electoral roll at last count was under one thousand…. do the maths, there is no majority support for the actions of former minister Jamie Briggs, or Administrator Gary Hardgraves’ actions. In fact there is just majority distress across all demographics resident on the island and equally so for persons not living on the island, but who understand the current farce and its destruction of a culture, economy, community and race of people. …
Phil Parsons, Public Officer, Andrew Ricketts Convenor The Environment Association (TEA) Inc. Pic* First published: July 27
27.09.15 7:15 am
RET with Regret, an Urgent Alert about one of the thousand cuts to wilderness
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: The MVC letter advising people of the decision is dated the 17th July thus the appeal deadline is 14 days hence, being the 31st July, not the 28th as advised in the article. The MVC approval in condition 2 of the Permit allows one of either two power line routes. That is it would seem they have approved both routes. How can one object when the final decisions over the project have not been made. Permit Condition 5 covers the finding of aboriginal relicts. Search for these artefacts, it seems, does not start until the actual works have already commenced. No advanced planning or surveying for the aboriginal heritage. Seems the Jordan River fiasco was not a good learning exercise. No one has actually learnt anything.
• Clinton Garratt in Comments: No one seems to have picked up that the weir, pipeline, maintenance road, access road and power station are all located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. I’ve just submitted a tastrekker blog post with more detail.
And other meedja catches up ... SUNDAY, September 27 ...
• ABC report: ABC_Fish_River_26-9-2015.pdf
• Examiner report: Examiner_26-9-2015.pdf
• ... And other pollies: Senator Nick McKim to write to Environment Minister Greg Hunt over World Heritage Area power station
• Neil Smith in Comments: Bryan Green is displaying both the traditional Tasmanian LibLab contempt for environmental treasures and a lack of knowledge of what World Heritage is supposed to be about.
27.09.15 7:00 am
When Tourism Tasmania asked Paul Fleming if he wanted to be part of social media history his response was “Sure, can I go crazy?”
Bob Hawkins. First published September 23 Pic*
26.09.15 6:30 am
Huon Valley Guessing Games: Huon Valley Council inquiry move is enough to gag on: In my military days (UK and Singapore-Malaya 1959-61), I learnt that, despite England’s claim to be the birthplace of modern democracy, no such animal existed in the ranks of the RASC (Royal Army Service Corps, better known to most of us conscripts as the Royal Army Shit-kickers). In fact, so scarce was democracy in the British army, the mantra thrown at us sprogs as we slogged our way through basic training was “Keep your mouths shut and never disobey or question an order from an officer”. I can’t imagine that Australian brass has been acting much differently down the years since.
Studley’s motion, I feel, is a load of dangerous, anti-democratic poppycock that, in the short-term, if passed will do council’s reputation more harm than good. It should be rejected by all councillors.
• Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale: The motion put forward by Ken Studley at this evening’s council meeting is absolutely scandalous and is an absolute insult to our Community and our democracy. I am reminded of a motion that was voted against when Mayor Coad first took office – along the lines of a suggestion by Cr Smith if I recall correctly, to meet the local community over a sausage sizzle or similar at the various community halls and discuss matters and concerns in our local area. It was struck down by Councillors who did not want to engage with the electorate – an absolutely outrageous neglect of councillors’ responsibilities. This motion by Cr Studley smacks of the same insult – as residents and ratepayers of the Huon Valley it is our absolute right to engage with members of our council and councillors over matters affecting our Community and our Council. Cr Studley has no mandate whatsoever to place such a gag on anyone. The shenanigans and obstructions by the “core group of out of touch councillors” is totally out of order and I will not have my freedom of speech and my right to inquire about council matters controlled by such an inane motion … More below ...
• Shane Johnson in Comments: … To speak on this matter in any way would, in the words of the motion, be ‘against the formal position of Council and ‘not in the interests of the residents and ratepayers of the Huon Valley’. There is conjecture on whether this motion is enforceable or legal but even discussing this will be used to wedge the Mayor. And that is the whole point of this exercise…to stop the Mayor from speaking knowing that if he does his comments will be used against him. The cry will go out ‘there he is acting against the motion and horror of horrors damaging the brand of the Huon Valley’. I note that there was no end date to the ‘gag’ motion. Will that mean that even after the Board of Enquiry report is released, Councillors will be forever forbidden to comment on its findings? This is nothing more than another schoolyard powerplay by those frustrated at the result of the last election. …
• Trish Kyne in Comments: I attended the council meeting last night (23rd). It was the first time I have ever seen the GM smile (for the cameras) and introduce the staff and their positions at council. It was also the first time I have ever seen Cr Studley leave the chambers during a planning application vote during the 2015 meetings. I believe the ‘gag’ motion was as much of a threat to residents not to speak to anyone as it was to shut down the councilor’s communications with the public. As Bob has said the motion was passed by the HotH team. What he did not say was that Liz Smith and Lydia Eastley both spoke eloquently against the motion, reflecting the values of the community. Mayor Coad equally reflected the residents concerns as he read a prepared statement - also against the motion. One of the interesting items in the statement was that one of the Councillors had retained a lawyer to proffer legal advice to the Councillors - at the expense of the ratepayers! Mayor Coad is paying for his own legal advice. At the end of Coad’s statement there was a rousing burst of sustained applause. Cr Studley had his back to the gallery and visibly flinched …
• Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale: This is what Huon Aquaculture’s Fish Shit is doing to our Community River (see below).
Lindsay Tuffin. Damien McIntyre, ABC
25.09.15 6:01 am
And so it’s come to this. Well it’s not as if they weren’t warned. Six years ago I wrote this at this wondrous, We’ll-be-alright-backslapping-Walkley-event ...
• Damien McIntyre, ABC: Launceston Examiner and Burnie Advocate could lose editorial and admin staff in Fairfax restructure
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• mark in Comments: Who cares. If either of these newspapers died tomorrow we wouldn’t lose a thing. They don’t hold anyone to account. They don’t shine a light on Erich, Gunns, FT, Ta-An, Shree, Federal, Thuggo etc etc. If you’re an average bogan up before the courts you’ll get your front page though. They exist for their own ends. They don’t attempt to educate. They pull the wool over the eyes of their readers. They shake their pom poms and cheerlead uneconomic dud projects in ecologically sensitive areas. When those projects inevitably fall over they never explain the reason. They’re happy to let the myths of Nikolic, Whiteley, Abetz & their faceless goons control the narrative.
• Rose Grant, ABC: Tasmanian regional newspaper bucks the trend of falling circulation … “And in terms of a local newspaper and the whole media cycle, I am very buoyant and optimistic about local newspapers because things that happen in [Tasmania’s] north east, for example, you can’t hop online and find out about the bad state of the pot holes in the road to Bridport. “You won’t get the Friday netball scores. “You won’t find out about Mr Beattie topping the sales with the sheep. “You won’t find out about that online. “You won’t find out about that in a nationally owned newspaper. “But you will find out about it in a local newspaper. “And our circulation has increased, our advertising revenue has increased, because we made the strategic decision that we will focus on local issues and local people.”
Mayor Michael Kent, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council Media Release. Pic: Paul Tapp
25.09.15 5:30 am
The township of Triabunna was today awarded the Tasmanian Tidy Town for 2015/16 by the Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KABC). This is the first time that Triabunna has won the award since the program was introduced in 1980.
The judges were incredibly impressed with the optimism of the town, as evidenced by the many current and future projects happening in and around Triabunna. During their visit to Triabunna, the judges were able to observe and experience a number of projects and community initiatives that they believe all add up to a bright future for Triabunna. This included the newly developed Triabunna Marina, plans for Spring Bay Mill, the Triabunna Tomorrow project, Spring Bay Studio & Gallery, the Maritime Discovery Centre and the annual Seafest event.
24.09.15 4:52 am
• The Southern Design Centre in Geeveston will close after 11 years of operation on the 31st of October.
• TASPORTS needs to dredge the River Derwent alongside the new cruise ship terminal at Macquarie Wharf 2, but is racing against time to complete the upgrade before this year’s bumper cruise ship season.
24.09.15 4:39 am
A WORKSHOP on the benefits of medicinal cannabis could help people “come out” about their use of products like hemp oil, organiser Natalie Daley said.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: September 21. Pic: ABC of Malcolm Turnbull
23.09.15 5:00 am
Another week, another Prime Minister struts and frets the poop deck of Federal Politics as the Liberals throw mad Captain Abbott overboard and bring back Malcolm Turnstile from the brig in a desperate attempt to calm rising seas, distract circling sharks and other monsters of the deep and to keep their leaky vessel off the rocks. Captain Ayatollah, as Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is known to former crews, appears delighted to be at the centre of the political universe and in his rightful appointed place at last. He can’t get seem to get that thin grin off his face. Turnover flashes his barracuda bottom teeth as he contemplates his new cabinet demotions and the settling of old scores. Ever gracious in victory, he congratulates Fortune on finally coming to her senses, even if it did take five long years for her to get it right.
• Lenore Taylor, Guardian: Seven things the cabinet reshuffle tells us about Malcolm Turnbull He won’t die wondering – this reshuffle is big. Joe Hockey, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews, Ian Macfarlane and Michael Ronaldson are all out. Although most were on the Daily Telegraph’s list of ministers Abbott was thinking of demoting anyway, Turnbull has not responded to threats of retribution or destabilisation by proceeding with hesitation or caution. Twenty-first century government requires changes, he says, which seems to imply something about the modernity of his predecessor. The conservative far right is threatening to split from the Liberal party, there is talk of resignations from some branches and an unnamed but diligent conservative is putting together stopturnbull.com – a website dedicated to proving Turnbull is a kind of Labor/Green sleeper agent who has infiltrated the Liberal party in order to destroy it. Turnbull has ignored all that and chosen to seize the day. Tough calls, he says, are “what leaders have to do.” This ministry is more moderate than the one it replaces, and Malcolm Turnbull’s backers got the biggest promotions. • HERE, for the other six points ...
• Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia: Having the hots for Cory Bernardi, Andrew Bolt and Jeff Kennett IA Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence wanted to be the first to sign up to Dr Bernardi Anti Panty Bestiality Party, but was beaten to it by his many groupies.
• Guardian: Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to power delivers Coalition a five-point bounce Newspoll puts the government at 51% to Labor’s 49% on two-party preferred measure, a change from 46% to 54% in the last survey under Tony Abbott
• Phil Coorey, AFR: Tony Abbott’s backers target Scott Morrison Liberals still seething over last week’s leadership spill are vowing to target Treasurer Scott Morrison, who has found himself the ongoing focus of Tony Abbott’s ire. Mr Abbott accused Mr Morrison of “badly misleading” the Australian people after Mr Morrison said last week that he had tried to warn Mr Abbott ‘s office three days before he was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull that the brewing coup was a real threat. “Not true, not true; Scott never warned anyone,” Mr Abbott told The Daily Telegraph. “He certainly never warned me. I spoke to him on Friday [before the coup]: not a hint of a warning. “So I’m afraid Scott badly misled people. I was doing what I could do to save the government, that’s what I was doing.” Mr Morrison voted for Mr Abbott in the spill but was elevated to Treasurer, replacing Joe Hockey. His former friends accuse him of running dead by knowing all along he would benefit from a change to Mr Turnbull, and not using his numbers to protect Mr Abbott. One Liberal still angry at events said Mr Abbott’s outburst was “not the end of it” and the new Treasurer would be the target of ongoing ire from the right.
Pattie Chugg Executive Officer, Shelter Tasmania Media Release
23.09.15 4:57 am
Shelter Tasmania, the State’s peak body for housing and homelessness welcomes today’s release of the Tasmanian Affordable Housing Strategy and the Action Plan 2015-2019. “Affordable housing is fundamental to a healthy and productive community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute”, Shelter Tas Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg said.
• The following may be used as direct quotes from TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes regarding the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy ...
Kristen Desmond, The Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby Media Release. Pic: TDERL logo
23.09.15 4:55 am
The Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby is extremely disappointed to hear that Tasmanian eSchool staffing levels will be substantially cut in 2016. The Tasmanian eSchool is the school of last resort for many students with disability who cannot be supported in a mainstream environment. Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff yesterday confirmed in question time that the Tasmanian eSchool staffing levels will be significantly reduced next year and he pointed to the decline in enrolments as the reason for this. We believe this is disingenuous at best, the Tasmanian eSchool enrolment policy for all students with the exception of distance students changed in 2015. All students except those who are distance students must now be enrolled in their local Government school, then registered with the Tasmanian eSchool.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader Media Release
23.09.15 4:55 am
Tasmania remains the only Australian state or territory without a crime of misconduct in public office, after neither the Liberals nor Labor supported the Greens Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill 2015.
23.09.15 4:50 am
Ted Mead. First published September 21
23.09.15 4:45 am
Ted Mead reacts to Matthew Groom’s enthusiastic spruik: ‘Build it and they will come - bookings surge for Three Capes track’ On December 23rd the 3 Capes Project will finally open, so if you can spare a paltry $495 for the track fees then go check it out – Remember this is a wilderness experience! PWS has informed that there is Telstra network virtually right across the region, so to assist the neo-wilderness adventurer they have installed charging stations for all your portable devices.
• Luke Martin: Valuing our World Class Nature Experiences Tasmania’s peak tourism body said the Three Capes Track experience offered tremendous value as one of Australia’s best multi-day nature experience. Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) CEO Luke Martin, said criticism about the cost of the new experience undervalued Tasmania’s potential to be a world leader in nature tourism. “The Three Capes experience is the equal to any coastal walking experience in the World, and needs to be looked at as an all-inclusive multi-day nature experience,’ Mr Martin said.
• Cassy O’Connor: Three Capes Access Still Clear as Mud In Question Time today, Minister Groom confirmed the suspicions of many - talking up the luxury aspects of the Three Capes ‘experience’ this morning, but ignoring the burning question from ordinary Tasmanians, “Can I do the walk without forking out $500?” What Minister Groom proves every time he speaks is that the development in the Tasman National Park is not for Tasmanians and regular tourists, it’s really there for wealthy visitors. Just under $2000 for a family of four to walk the Three Capes track is unaffordable for most Tasmanians and budget travellers. The Liberals’ Parks’ agenda is shutting low to medium income Tasmanians out of enjoying what was once a public asset.
• ABC: Three Capes Track: Public vents anger over six-tent capacity for popular national park’s only campsite … PWS responded that there would be no camping, except for one designated site that can house about six tents. … The post was met with a flurry of angry comments “That is outrageous what you’re doing here,” one Facebook user said. “A national park is supposed to be for the enjoyment of the people, not specifically for rich tourists who can afford it. This is shameful.” Another said: “So effectively Parks and Wildlife have locked up the Cape Pillar Walk as a private enterprise, no walking it unless you pay $500, how can this happen it’s a national park?” “Looks amazing but $495 is absolutely disgusting, we shouldn’t be pricing people out of seeing our beautiful state,” another reader posted.
Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson Media Release. Pic: ABC Dianne Merryfull, IC CEO. First published September 22
23.09.15 4:30 am
… It’s no secret the government doesn’t want a watchdog looking into misconduct and corruption in this state. It’s vital that Tasmania has a misconduct and anti-corruption commission with the power to check how our tax dollars are spent. If the government got its way, we’d be the only state in the country that wasn’t investigating misconduct and corruption. Infallibility in public office is crucial, which is why the Greens tabled the Criminal Code (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill and will be debating it this week.
• Will Hodgman: Integrity Commission Own Motion Report … While the Government takes any accusations of impropriety by State Servants very seriously, I note that there is no evidence to suggest that the receipt of any gift by any public servant has led to an actual or perceived bias in decision-making by those employees. In the majority of cases the gifts and hospitality reported by the Commission amount to cups of coffee and seasonal tokens. Where more substantial undeclared gifts have been identified, it is the Government’s view that this is appropriately a matter for the relevant head of agency to deal with. …
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. First published September 21
23.09.15 4:15 am
When Erich Abetz was Minister for Forests in the Howard Liberal Government he sent two of his Goons to my front door to warn me that it was not in my interests to continue my campaign against him ... and the $50,000 given to the Liberal Party three weeks after he was made the Minister.
• Jack Jolly in Comments: … I am thankful to John Hawkins for setting a fine example of what participating in the democratic process can actually require sometimes. He had the balls to stand up to this form of social toxin when it was at its most potent. Tasmania needs to rid itself of the representatives of bygone eras and maybe consider that people like John deserve our great respect. Res, non verba. Well done John.
Richard Ackland, The Saturday Paper. First published September 21
23.09.15 4:00 am
Andrew Nikolic, one of Tony Abbott’s favourite whips, is a person who deserves more time in the national spotlight. He’s done a terrific job whipping party members into voting for things they were going to vote for anyway.
• via Peter ... ABC: Australian Defence Force chief called on to supply suicide figures to Senate inquiry
Boohoo. First published September 21
22.09.15 5:52 am
New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised that his leadership will pay greater attention to Tasmania. “I’ll certainly be eating more than an onion when I visit,” he pledged. “These are important policy matters, hence we don’t want to rush them, but it’ll probably be a bowl of organic blueberries with King Island double cream topped with a leatherwood honey quinoa wafer and whisky-infused saffron stamens. “Possibly a Freycinet late harvest riesling on the side, although I’m reluctant to make a captain’s pick on that one.
Shane Humpherys, President Southern Beaches Conservation Society Inc. (SBCS) Media Release. Pic*
21.09.15 5:10 am
No Guarantees for Toxic Waste Dumps … SBCS also notes the recent publicity around the lack of private investor funding for the construction of the C Cell and the complete absence of any committed customers. The former indicates the unacceptable financial risk the project represents with potential environmental liabilities for many centuries to come, the latter represents the fallacy that some have tried to create around vast swathes of unmanaged hazardous waste sitting stockpiled all around the state. The SBCS maintains that what limited hazardous waste that does exist within the state can, on a case by case basis, be diverted from landfill for treatment, reprocessing and reuse. In the case of contaminated soil, in situ remediation represents a vastly superior approach to landfill. ‘Furthermore, we oppose the model whereby corporate entities can transfer their ongoing hazardous waste liabilities to the ratepayers of the owner councils of a municipal landfill,’ added Shane Humpherys. …
21.09.15 5:00 am
“Today we were up the Kauaeranga valley in the middle of a 25500 hectare 1080 helicopter drop, the public access road was open with mountain bikers, hikers, fishermen and tourists streaming in and out. The thing that blew me away was up this same valley in the middle of a aerial 1080 drop there is also a school camp and a army cadet exercise / camp taking place. There’s hundreds of adults and teens up there now as I write this all exposed to toxic 1080 dust and poison baits.” Mark Nyhoff (Sep13) off-duty logging contractor.
21.09.15 4:45 am
Should the Dorney house on the fort in the summit of Porter Hill be sold?
Giles Parkinson, The Guardian
21.09.15 4:28 am
Tesla’s Powerwall will give its first taste of disruption to Australia’s energy market With plenty of sunshine for solar panels and unprepared network operators, fast-tracking Powerwall into Australia’s energy market is a savvy move
• Guardian UK: Solar industry is being slashed and burned by the Tories In UK it is reminiscent of the Tony Abbott era in Australia … The government’s claim to be leading a solar revolution is a bad joke when it is instead pursuing ideological warfare against ‘green crap’
Don Quijones, Raging Bull-Shit. Pic*
21.09.15 4:14 am
The China Free Trade deal and the Trans Pacific Partnership are being strenuously pushed by Trade Minister Andrew Robb. There is another way ... A strong coalition of trade unions, environmentalists and farmers working together on an effective public campaign were able to take on the interests of the world’s biggest companies and win.
Peter Jukes, Politico
21.09.15 4:00 am
LONDON — “The sun is shining.” So wrote Rebekah Brooks to staff on September 7 as she returned as CEO of News U.K. (formerly News International), a post she was forced to resign four years ago under threat of imminent arrest, leaving the corporate HQ in the company of security guards.
Guardian. Pic*. First published September 19
20.09.15 5:04 pm
• Nick Clark, Mercury: Malcolm Turnbull’s ascension marks a seismic shift in the Tasmanian power base … Tasmanian MPs have been staunchly behind former Prime Minister Tony Abbott since the 2013 election. Not only did four senators and the so-called “three amigos” — Mr Nikolic, Brett Whiteley and Eric Hutchinson — unanimously vote against a spill motion in February, Mr Abbott’s “near death experience”, but they spoke strongly against it. … The Turnbull win threw a scare into the Tasmanian division, which realised that, apart from Senator Richard Colbeck, it had backed the wrong horse.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: • Classy Tasmanian MPs’ acts ...
• Politically Homeless: The right balance The Liberal right are convinced they can trash the Turnbull government in the same way that they trashed the Rudd and Gillard governments. They might just be able to do it, but if they do the Libral Party forfeits its position as a party of government.