Bronwyn Williams. Pic: of John X
14.04.14 2:50 am
Pat Synge, boatstasmania.com.au
14.04.14 2:45 am
It’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to firewood and, finding myself with lots of limbwood to cut to length, I thought it was time I made a decent sawhorse ...
Maia McCann, Distractify
14.04.14 2:30 am
The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience
• Rob Walls, in Comments: As photo compilations go this rag-tag collection of images is a gratuitous pile of mostly uncredited, poorly captioned, often overly sentimental propaganda. Admittedly there are one or two standouts, such as James Nachtwey’s machete slashed Rwandan portrait (uncredited), but to call this poorly captioned accumulation “The 60 Most Powerful Photos Eever Taken…” is hyperbole of the worst kind. Collections such as this do neither photojournalism or photographers any favours. Totally unworthy of propagation by Tasmanian Times!
14.04.14 2:15 am
The World Heritage-listed Macquarie Island has been declared free of pests after a near seven-year campaign to eradicate it of rats, rabbits and mice.
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic • First pub: Apr 10
13.04.14 10:00 am
• Eye of the storm ... Resources Minister Paul Harriss with Premier Will Hodgman. Mr Harris is reported as saying the Liberal Government will continue to provide loss-making Forestry Tasmania with taxpayers’ money. Premier Hodgman is reported as saying: Oh No we won’t ...
It was only a matter of time before the incoming State government started backing down on its forest policy promises such as ripping up the forests agreement and ceasing funding Forestry Tasmania (FT). The emotive term ‘ripping up the TGA’ suggests the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Act will be repealed. This is, and always has been, unlikely. Even the latest announcement of changes to the classification of 400,000 hectares doesn’t imply the Act is being repealed or ripped up. Underpinning the Act are two agreements between the State and Federal governments, viz the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement (NPP) covering its implementation, both signed in May 2013.
• Dr Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Has it dawned on Terry Edwards (FIAT) and his associates yet that they are now just pawns in a very damaging political game? There will be no winners in this game, but guaranteed there will be plenty of losers and lots of collateral damage to Tasmania and Tasmanians. The reputation of the forest industry is already severely damaged, and can only get worse if this game continues. Tasmania itself is rapidly becoming the national laughing stock. Never mind the Irish jokes!
• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Having someone to blame doesn’t provide the forest industry with a future. And the laws of the land are only as good as the community and the politicians that support them. Gaining commercial access to forests at the point of a gun is no basis for peace, prosperity and happiness. Robin there is abundant evidence from many quarters that the public native forest industry is fatally flawed, not just in Tasmania but right around Australia. Reforms that should have happened 20 years ago but didn’t, have now left the industry gutted. This IS the end game. And many (most?) Tasmanians are thoroughly sick of the whole nonsense. Your faith in politicians is now part of the ongoing problem. Do you honestly think that Paul Harriss’ “elegant” solution will bring peace, prosperity and happiness to Tasmania? If so then please explain how this fairytale will come to pass.
• Henry Melville, in Comments: That ABC link on tourism is very revealing. It’s all about priorities isn’t it ... While the Libs stuff around trying to appease a mendicant industry which contributes little to Tassie, an industry which does - and is bottom up, ie MONA and tourism - contributes millions ... As the Subversive Voter noted in this yarn: “Which brings us to perhaps the most revealing aspect of the Liberals’ proposed style of government. Part of their first order of business is forestry – you know, the low numbers employer that contributes nothing to the state’s productivity – not something really important like education or health services. Apparently, the Liberals intend to keep forestry and its inevitable arguments at the centre of their efforts on behalf of those who elected them.
Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison
13.04.14 9:23 am
A statement regarding the RHH rebuild I share new Tasmanian Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s assessment that the situation with the rebuild of the Royal Hobart Hospital is “appalling.”
Glenys Stradijot, Friends of the ABC MR
13.04.14 7:45 am
“If Mr Abbott does not promptly deny reports that the Government plans to cut ABC funds he risks being branded a liar,” said Glenys Stradijot, ABC Friends national spokesperson.
Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania MR. Sea Shepherd
12.04.14 12:55 pm
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson responds to the news that Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research has used court proceedings in the United States against Sea Shepherd to signal that it plans to return to whaling in the Southern Ocean in 2015/2016.
• Sea Shepherd ... Upon learning of ICR’s plans, Sea Shepherd USA’s Director of Intelligence and Investigations stated: “The Japanese clearly intend to violate the intent, if not the letter, of the World Court’s judgment. They are making a mockery of the International Court of Justice and come before the US Courts with very unclean hands. They are the first to cry foul when someone dares to challenge their lies, yet they expect the world to respect the court’s decisions that are in their favor. They are poachers and operate without integrity,”
Rebecca Fitzgibbon, Events Media Manager | Museum of Old and New Art
11.04.14 5:45 am
Guardian Australia. ABC pic: Bob Carr with Julia Gillard looking on
10.04.14 6:00 am
Ex-foreign minister casts light on support for Israel – and his obsession with diet and the indignities of businesss class travel Former foreign minister Bob Carr has suggested Julia Gillard’s dogged insistence on supporting Israel in a controversial United Nations vote was because Australian foreign policy had been “subcontracted” to Jewish donors.
University of New England and University of NSW MR
10.04.14 5:00 am
The grainy black and white images linger in the memory, a strange long jawed creature confined to a cramped concrete cage. That old news reel footage is the final visual record we have of the last Tasmanian tiger, who died in captivity at Hobart Zoo in 1936.
Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt, http://www.marketsforchange.org Pic: Matt Newton* First pub: April 8
09.04.14 5:00 am
Quarantining Forestry Tasmania from managing the logging in the short term is a tricky attempt to secure FSC certification regardless
• Terry Edwards: FIAT surprised by Government haste There are a range of key issues that are necessary to underpin the continued vibrancy of the Tasmanian forest industry … Those issues include market security, FSC certification, enhanced contractor capacity, special species timber supply, residues solutions, plantation research and development etc. Any forward-looking forest policy must identify acceptable solutions to these and other vexed issues if it is to be successful … The haste of the current approach by Government makes detailed responses to most of these key and fundamental issues extremely difficult.
• phill Parsons, in Comments: The issue is not FSC per se. This is only the figurehead for a larger forestry industry. Logging in the deferred forest is supposedly delayed for 6 years. the full quota from the current forestry estate has not been taken up by sawmillers. Hodgman’s fondest political wish now us to be re-elected as Premier 4 years hence. Part of achieving that is for the voters to believe things are better. In the forestry industry there will not be a leap into a sawmilling led recovery unless the 6 year deferral is a lie. Therefore we can expect little employment growth in forestry and a return to community division with no holds barred over the next 4 years. Either something else will have to work for Will or they have just made a strategic error. Terry Edwards comments outline the underpinnings of such an error.
• Kim Booth: Forestry Tasmania FSC certification threatened by deferred logging bid “Clearly Forests Minister, Paul Hariss cannot see the wood for the trees and we will once again see government meddling in the industry and ultimately destroy it.” “The Liberals divisive decision to log recognised conservation areas, whilst pretending that they will be ring fenced from FSC consideration, will make the Tasmanian timber Industry the laughing stock of the planet.” “The auditor for Forestry Tasmania’s bid for Forest Stewardship Council Certification, has publicly stated that Forestry Tasmania’s certification bid could be jeopardised should it log these forests.”
• ABC: Liberals reject suggestions end to forest peace deal will jeopardise accreditation The chief auditor from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Robert Hrubes says that could affect the status of any certified forests. Forestry Tasmania is working towards securing environmental certification for a total of 900,000 hectares. Mr Hrubes says the organisation’s bid for certification could be jeopardised if it logs an area of forest that was tied with deal. … Resources Minister Paul Harriss says the government is working closely with FT and has guarantees that the certification will not be jeopardised.
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save the Tarkine MR. Mine-site Pic: Rob Blakers http://www.robblakers.com/
09.04.14 4:20 am
A Shree Minerals document obtained from the EPA by Save the Tarkine under a Right to Information request has disclosed that Shree Minerals notified the EPA in October that it’s data submitted for Nelson Bay River permit assessments was underestimated by a factor of twenty times. The predicted quantity of acid producing waste rock was 11,700 BCM (bank cubic metres) while the company disclosed in October after approvals that the correct figure was 230,000 BCM. The disclosure was made prior to commencement of mining, and was never disclosed to the public by the EPA or the company. “This is scandalous ...
• Phreatophyte, in Comments: Was their environmental bond covering waste rock management and rehabilitation increased by a factor of 20 when this information was received by the EPA? Interesting to compare TAS with NT, often considered to be the Wild West. They have a 15 % contingency on top of the estimated clean-up costs plus they charge an annual fee of 1% of the bond to go towards a fund to clean up legacy mines. Here in TAS we seem to go the other way, giving mines a royalty holiday! Who are the real cowboys?
Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne MR. Pics: ABC. First pub: April 7
08.04.14 9:00 am
Statement on Tasmanian Greens Leadership Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne today congratulated Kim Booth on becoming Leader of the Tasmanian Greens and paid tribute to outgoing leader Nick McKim who has announced that he will step down today. “I wish Kim every success as he takes it up to the harsh and anti-environment agenda of Will Hodgman,” Senator Milne said.
• ABC: New Tasmanian Greens leader: Kim Booth replaces Nick McKim ...
EARLIER ON TASMANIAN TIMES: • Voters punish major parties in WA ... Meanwhile, in Tasmania ...
• Peter Fagan, in Comments: The parliamentary Greens have handled the leadership transfer to Kim Booth with maturity. At the end of the day, if the Greens grow and prosper, they will have to participate in governments. The transition from party of protest to party of responsible government is very difficult. Nick McKim and Cassy O’Connor were pioneers of this transition. Their successes were limited, but they did their best. That needs to be recognised. A way to acknowledge Nick and Cassy’s contribution would be to give them ample opportunity to share what they have learnt since 2010 with fellow Greens, particularly younger members who may consider standing for parliament.
Australian Greens Leader and Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne MR Pic: John Weller
08.04.14 8:30 am
Tony Abbott’s so-called “government of no surprises” has been turned on its head again by revelations that savage cuts will be made to the Hobart-based Australian Antarctic Division, as part of an Environment Department budget contraction worth $100 million and 480 jobs.
• Andrew Wilkie: The Blowtorch from Canberra Equally alarming is what all this means for Tasmania remaining a centre of excellence for Antarctic exploration and research, and also Tasmania’s prospects for becoming the global gateway to the Frozen South. The bottom line is that AAD should be expanding, not shrinking. … This was a big early test for the new Liberal State Government and it failed. The new Premier should have used all the leverage at his disposal with the Liberal Federal Government to save these jobs and he didn’t. For the next four years we can only hope the Tasmanian government tries a whole lot harder next time the State’s workers, intellectual capital, economic prospects and very reputation is put to the blowtorch in Canberra.”
• phill Parsons, in Comments: Will was elected to return to the good old days by growing the Tasmanian economy. The best that can be said in the first 100 days is that the return is currently in stasis with the giveaways to developers offset by the federal cuts to AAD, the canary of Federal intent. Good luck with the Federal budget in May Will. You suspect it will be bad for Tasmania and Tasmanians. It is why you delayed the State budget. Abetz wants to depress wages and conditions to grow employment and make the Liberals friends wealthy. Remember Turnbull’s reaction to Will’s pre-election pleading over the NBN. The voters in the average-income towns and suburbs will soon be wondering why Will.
08.04.14 3:10 am
Prime minister says agreement’s economic benefits cement shared commitment to ‘democracy, freedom and the rule of law’
• Jan Davis: There’s a good chance we’ll regret this complacency in the future On the face of it, Australia appears to have secured the first two wins of a trifecta on free trade agreements (FTAs) in Asia, with South Korea and now Japan signed up. Now there is only China to go and then, in theory, we can all enjoy the fruits of the Asian Century. I believe in a free and open market in a real world; and I am not suggesting we should return to imposing tariffs However, too often we are the only ones who operate with these halos around our heads, virtuous to the core, with our farmers barely operating profitably beyond the cost of production. Let me explain ...
• Andrew Ricketts, in Comments HERE: Well said. How many of those 600 in Abbott’s entourage represented Tasmanian agricultural industries in general (not just their own business)?
The Guardian. Pic: of Scott Ludlum. First pub: April 6
07.04.14 4:00 am
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and Palmer United party’s Dio Wang both set to secure spots, along with two Liberals and one Labor candidate, and final Senate seat still to be determined
• Andrew Inglish Clarke, in Comments: Interesting debate here ... The question must be asked: Why nationally are the Greens on a roll; while in Tasmania the Greens are in the doldrums? Why in WA did the Greens vote go up more than six per cent; yet in Tasmania, the March 15 poll saw a massive slump ( 8 per cent ) which saw the Greens lose party status and MPs Basil O’Halloran and Tim Morris. So what did Nick’s much-vaunted bike ride in 2010 with Barty - which established the Labor Green nexus (that is conspicuously apart from Kim Booth) - achieve? What did two Green ministers in Cabinet achieve? They said they were governing for experience ... But the only outcome seems to have been a trashing of the Green “brand”.
• Colette Harmsen, in Comments: My name is Colette Harmsen and I am a public servant. I would like to openly communicate my disapproval of the Tony Abbott government. I feel that there have been far too many decisions made since Abbott came into office in September 2013 that anger, alarm, disgust and sadden me; and that in the current political climate I feel appalled and embarrassed to be an Australian. I would like to provide a list of reasons why Tony Abbott does not speak for me. My original list was 2 pages long but I didn’t want to lose your attention ...
07.04.14 3:50 am
First it’s our Free Speech ... then it’s our Forests …Must have the precious
07.04.14 3:45 am
Government’s strategic review into the future of RBF It is with interest that the members of RBF await Stage 2 of the State Government’s soon to be released Strategic Review into the future of the state superannuation fund, the RBF. Stage 1 of the report outlined significant justifications for the review including seeking to protect the interests of members, minimising financial risks to the government and ensuring sustainability of RBF into the future. Any credible business analysis would consider these criteria to be sufficient justification for undertaking such an important critical analysis. As an existing member of RBF (and at one time, an employee), I am interested in the outcome of the continuing public discourse surrounding the fund’s future. This interest is no doubt enhanced by my status as a self-confessed lover of all things Tasmanian and as someone who enjoys seeing anything and anyone Tasmanian, mix it with the world’s best. Upon reading the report, there appears nothing surprising nor particularly unexpected from a member’s standpoint. However, one is drawn to a poignant discovery within the report that is interesting in a context of considering the appropriateness of public sector bodies actively competing in marketplaces where there are established, commercially savvy industry heavyweights that dominate market share and drive increasing commoditisation of product offerings
Isla MacGregor and David Obendorf Tasmanian Public and Environmental Heath Network
07.04.14 3:30 am
The following insight focuses on the failings of the NSW EPA, as exposed by the Labor opposition environment spokesperson. Here in Tasmania we have an EPA, that in our view, is politicized and routinely abrogates its responsibility for environmental matters.
07.04.14 3:15 am
The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice.
• Rob Walls, in Comments: If this government must hand out Imperial honours, I believe Don Knowler deserves a peerage: Baron Knowler of Kunanyi.
Dr Buck Thor Emberg
07.04.14 3:00 am
Climate change? Maybe! Asylum Seekers? Move them away! Support the millions in refugee camps? They are not ours! Let them rot! Crimea? Too difficult! Threat of wars? Make more and better weapons to defend our borders!
07.04.14 2:50 am
Two of Australia’s top political cartoonists have wrapped up a whisky tasting tour of Tasmania on electric bicycles.
The Subversive Voter* Pic: of Eric Abetz
07.04.14 2:45 am
One day last week - I think it was Thursday - I settled in front of the box with my lunchtime cuppa and toastie, ready for a few minutes of mindless, brain-numbing schlock. I was channel surfing absentmindedly, looking for some over-botoxed ladies or women in labour (I love those warts and all childbirth shows) when my gaze alighted on the po-faced countenance of Tassie senator extraordinaire, Eric Abetz.
The Idiot Tax blog*
07.04.14 2:15 am
Unlike many people I’ve only been truly annoyed with Andrew Bolt once. It was a Thursday in the late 90’s. Flicking through the Herald Sun to the opinion pages, I’d expected to find Peter Ruehl’s walrus mustache and suspenders. On that particularly gloomy Thursday, looking back at me, was some nondescript looking bugger calling himself Andrew Bolt.
Rob Walls, http://robertwalls.wordpress.com/
07.04.14 2:09 am
Bell boys, Wrest Point Casino opening, February 1973 ... And, Dancer ...
Bill Rowlings OAM CEO, Civil Liberties Australia http://www.cla.asn.au/
07.04.14 2:00 am
NSW politicians have narrowly escaped a ban on consuming alcohol when parliament is sitting. A parliamentary committee was asked to consider regulating how much politicians can drink after former Finance Minister Greg Pearce admitted to being affected by alcohol during a late-night session.
07.04.14 12:26 am
IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says European cruise ship company MSC Cruises has ordered not one, but two 5,700 passenger cruise liners that will each need 1,500 crew to look after all those passengers – and its put in an option for a further two more of similar gargantuan size it thinks it will need to keep up with continually-growing cruise-holiday demand.
Phil na Champassak*. ABC Pic of Will Hodgman. First pub: April 3
04.04.14 6:28 am
As DFAT State Director in April 2008 I met CEO Gunns, John Gay, over lunch to discuss the branch-office nature of Tasmania’s economy. The performance of some of Tasmania’s leading mandarins responsible for running the state government machinery was raised. Norm McIlfatrick’s name came up, and John told me: “While he is intelligent, talented and a faithful servant to the government of the day, the problem lies with middle management who will suffocate and obstruct every ministerial direction that might upset the status quo and threaten their comfort zone. Therefore every effort will be made to stymie the Secretary’s efforts to implement them.” I didn’t appreciate the import of his comment until much later ...
Peter Cundall. First pub: April 3
04.04.14 6:00 am
Just to clarify things. I’ve no idea who ‘Ben’ ( Ben’s comment on: Jim Bacon: The Emperor has no clothes, here ) is but I’m a bit astonished that he’s allowed to keep his own identity a secret while publically naming me and calling me a liar. Most decent people instinctively despise those cowards who seem so ashamed of the views they express they have to conceal their names so no-one knows who they are. That’s why they lack credibility. This is how my conversation with Jim Bacon went ...
• Peter Cundall, in Comments: Re 6. Clearly I misunderstood you Ben when you commented (quote) ‘There was no deathbed confession to Peter Cundall, reportedly or allegedly. It didn’t happen and it was never reported that way’.... As for those ‘powerful forces’ he tried to warn us about, it never occurred to me at the time that Jim Bacon may have been referring to members of his own cabinet. However this is still the most powerful group in Tasmania – provided they remain united and willing to exercise this power on behalf of the majority. The problems arise when too many individual cabinet members become willing creatures of those greed-driven corporations, developers and others who donate heavily towards their election campaigns.