Graeme Wells University Associate School of Business and Economics University of Tasmania, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
21.07.14 3:10 am
The federal government’s A$5 billion asset recycling initiative, part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim to be the “infrastructure prime minister”, has passed the Senate
Catriona Nicholls, Whitemore. Pic*
21.07.14 3:00 am
“Attitude is everything” was the focus of a unique livestock handling school held in the Tasmanian Midlands recently for 27 young participants aged from 11 to 18 years of age.
21.07.14 2:30 am
With the demise of the so called Celtic Tiger in 2008 the Irish are deserting the Emerald Isle in droves. But I wonder if we Irish are sometimes too quick to go. Is an unemployed, well-educated Catriona from Cavan or Timmy from Tipperary any more deserving of hoped for greener pastures than the thousands fleeing from decimated war-torn countries?
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Martin Gilmour
21.07.14 2:30 am
The Editorial columns in today’s Sunday Examiner speaks volumes about the paper and its Tasmanian readership.
Mercury editor Matt Deighton. Lindsay Tuffin
21.07.14 2:15 am
NEW figures have confirmed the Mercury is Tasmania’s No.1 newspaper brand, reaching a total print and digital audience of 368,000 people each month.
Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
21.07.14 2:00 am
The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year 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. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here
21.07.14 1:29 am
Since the outset, the Tasmanian government’s effort to construct a high-grade walking track on the Tasman Peninsula has been fraught with ill-conceived blunders.
Rosemary Bolger, Examiner. Pic: of Helen Polley
21.07.14 1:15 am
DUMPED Labor federal politicians flooded their electorates with printed material paid for by taxpayers, spending more than $100,000 each in the weeks leading up to the September federal election.
Catherine Cashmore, https://catherinecashmore.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Catherine Cashmore
21.07.14 1:00 am
Five years on since the US recession ‘officially’ ended in June 2009, urban land prices are rising, the pattern of history is repeating, and this time, the players on the chessboard have changed.
Mark Poynter, Online Opinion. Bob Brown pic
21.07.14 12:45 am
Last month, the United Nation’s World Heritage Committee took less than 10 minutes to reject the Abbott Government’s bid to delist part of a 170,000 hectare, so-called ‘minor’ extension to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (the TWWHA) that had been engineered by the former Gillard Government.
• Josh Gordon, The Age: Axe VicForests or chop off the public money The age of entitlement is alive and well in Victoria. At least when it comes to the logging of native forests, a proposition that has become so financially fraught the government is considering getting into the business of firewood collection and chipboard production just to prop it up.
Friends of Paul 'Charlie' Fearnley
21.07.14 12:35 am
• To whom it may concern, On the 6/6/2014, I attended the McIntyre Sale Yards sale where 205 head of Charlie’s cattle were being sold by Landmark Goondiwindi. Charlie was also at the sale with the intention of purchasing the cow portion of his own cattle for their genetics, their temperament and all the other attributes which have a high dollar value especially to Charlie.
Mirabai Starr, Huffington Post
21.07.14 12:30 am
“All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)
University of East Anglia
21.07.14 12:15 am
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients.
Peter Jukes, New Statesman
21.07.14 12:10 am
Peter Jukes watched the former tabloid editor’s extraordinary composure in court on every day of the hacking trial. Her story tells you everything you need to know about the way power works.
Bob Burton. Photo: Anglican Parish of Gosford.
18.07.14 9:05 am
For all of Tasmania’s Senators, the bill to repeal the carbon tax was most likely one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the new Senate. Of the twelve Tasmanian Senators, who spoke, what did they say and how did the vote?
• John Hawkins, in Comments: These Senators are charged with the job of representing the best interests of Tasmania. They are elected to represent our State and hence our future in the parliament. This bill will cost our virtually bankrupt state electricity producer(debts exceed a billion dollars) a minimum of $70 million and a possible $200 million. This is money that would have been gifted under carbon credits to our clean and green Hydro Tasmania for generating electricity from our water storage. Electricity prices will therefore go up or Hydro will have to run at a subsidised loss. A situation our state cannot afford without cuts to other services. The renewable industries related to wind and solar will implode costing many Tasmanians their jobs. The polluters have won and bought off the pollies. • phill Parsons, in Comments: #2. Abetz cannot explain the $ figure as a hit regardless of it’s size. As Hawkins hints, all the money went back into the economy, it’s just that the bads had to pay. Now the Tasmanian pensioners Lambie claims she is defending will find power less accessible because the supplier [Hydro] has a ‘shortfall’ in it’s financial plan to address. Perhaps Will will accept the hit on the State budget but I bet Lambie gets further ammo as the poorer Tasmanians pay more in State taxes, fees and charges to address this loss. There is nothing good in the abolition of a price on Carbon. Only a fool or a liar claim the Australian system had no impact on the climate. No court will find these fossil fools guilty but all Australians should remember the costs of each climate event, each crop affected by either heat or a lack of cold and each unusual and unpleasant day as a gift of the greedy and ignorant.
18.07.14 6:58 am
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• TT Media
Photo: Bob Burton
17.07.14 5:00 pm
Darlington, Maria Island.
Tom Ellison. Pic*
17.07.14 12:28 am
We were in the front bar of the Empire Hotel – an imposing late Victorian edifice built, with no expense spared, in the early years of Queenstown’s mining boom. My drinking partner was excited, and not just because he was being paid $50,000 to prepare a report identifying tourism opportunities for the region.
That’s been the contemporary response; ignore what mining activity has done to Queenstown. Assume the locals need jobs in the mine. Don’t conduct any due diligence. Just throw money at the owner of the operation. Robin Gray used that approach in 1985. Faced with falling copper grades, Renison Goldfields (who owned the mine at the time) put their begging hat on and tried their luck with the Liberal Government of the day. Possibly as payback to the town which cheered him when he donned boxing gloves in the main street during the Franklin campaign, Gray wrote a cheque for $5 million. Neither of those bailouts worked, and the mine failed again …
• Imogen Ebsworth, in Comments: I actually worked on the environmental impact assessment of the Abt Railway. What most stands out is how what was originally (and correctly) designed as a heritage railway experience on one of only 3 ratchet railways in the world, accompanied by a celebration & sober-eyed view of the pioneering & mining history of the area, got turned into a bastardised ‘wilderness’ railway experience centred on Strahan. It was originally designed to very much centre on Queenstown, which has enormous cultural memory and resonance with the railway and mining history. It was a flat-out tragedy it was turned into an ersatz wilderness experience which robbed both Queenstown and the west coast generally of a proper enduring tourist attraction.
Triabunna Investments Media Release ABC pic
16.07.14 12:05 pm
Statement – Triabunna Investments Re: Proposed Parliamentary Inquiry Triabunna Investments notes the media reports that the Tasmanian Government is considering holding a Parliamentary Inquiry into the transformation of the Triabunna site. We also note there is continued media interest in this story. We wish to put on the record some key facts that provide context for the story. Gunns had closed Triabunna months before we acquired the mill. The mill was maintained in working condition for two years and was made available to be reopened through a tender process. No economically viable tender was received mainly because it was not possible to find timber supply outside the agreed reserved areas - so Gunns’ decision to shut the mill was based on sound market analysis.
• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Can we please move on? This is prehistoric news. Why must we keep regurgitating the past? Let’s stop chewing old bones and start inventing a bright new future. Please!
• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: So there you have it, no need for a parliamentary enquiry is there. Bloke Barnet just has to ask the EPA and they can show him the requirements and paper work. Hey presto lot of money saved, lots of seat wear saved and the government can get on with what it does best. Procrastinating.
• John Hayward, in Comments: The Libs are already spending an extra $4.5b p.a. to project their tough-guy image by imprisoning asylum seekers overseas, not counting the additional $4,3m for Tony’s new spin dept. Whatever Guy and the Libs spend of our money hunting woodchip snarks will be a modest increase to their uncapped budget for their political survival. These are but a few of the virtues of selfishness.
• AMA responds to government’s wage freeze consideration The Australian Medical Association (AMA) Tasmania has come out against a move by the Tasmanian Government to consider a wage freeze for all public servants, saying it threatens the future of the public hospital medical workforce in Tasmania.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
Professor Mike Sandiford, University of Melbourne. First pub: July 15
16.07.14 9:00 am
The figures show that Tasmanian hydro generators have been selling electricity into the mainland market at unprecedented rates, drawing down storage levels dramatically since the carbon price was implemented in July 2012 ... the worry is that the draw down of storage to capitalise on the demise of carbon pricing has risked future supply in the event of a return to below average rainfall conditions.
• Fairfax: Clive Palmer deal saves Tony Abbott reforms The Abbott government has rescued its financial advice laws through an 11th hour deal with the Palmer United Party but the changes have drawn harsh criticism for increasing red tape and diminishing the rights of investors. The regulations will allow financial planners associated with banks to continue to receive payments for directing customers towards the banks’ own products.
TFGA chief executive Jan Davis
16.07.14 8:30 am
Julian Cribb is up there in the running to claim the title of ‘Conscience of the Nation’. For decades, he has been raising the profile of science in the national psyche through his articles in The Australian; and he has asked the hard questions about how we do what we do and where it is all leading.
• John Hayward, in Comments: Jan doesn’t mention a recent Cribb book, Poisoned Planet, which is about the rapid proliferation of toxic man-made chemicals that have permeated every corner of the biosphere, particularly in the past few decades Agri-chemicals and forestry sprays are a big part of that, but Jan’s not big on regulating or monitoring them.
• Chris Sharples, in Comments: ”...the central issue for human destiny in the next 50 years is not climate change or another global financial crisis; it is whether the world can feed itself.” Jan Davis is a bit confused I think. She is exactly right to say that food security is the central issue for human destiny in the next 50 years. But she is exactly wrong to say that climate change is not the big issue. They are one and the same issue. The biggest impact of climate change on humans will not be rising seas threatening millionaires sea-side mansions; it will be unstable and changing weather patterns causing increasingly widespread crop failures - which can only result in much much more famine, leading to social chaos, refugees, wars, etc etc.
Robin McKie, science editor, in Miami The Observer. Image*. First pub: July 14
16.07.14 8:15 am
Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers
• The Telegraph: The Fossil Industry Danger The cumulative blitz on energy exploration and production over the past six years has been $5.4 trillion, yet little has come of it
Steven Godbee Media Release. Pic*
16.07.14 8:00 am
After just two years, Hobart Baroque has moved into the big league of national festivals with no fewer than three nominations in the 2014 Helpmann Awards, announced last night.
The Hag. First pub: July 14
16.07.14 7:30 am
What the hell is going on with the event formerly known as Ten Days on the Island, Hag wishes to know.
• Margaretta Pos, in Comments: Far worse than the state of Ten Days, is the Government’s decision to call for applications for the post of Director of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery - from within the public service. It appears that the acting director has been given the nod. Surely she should have to compete for the job, along with the best of an outside field? Arts Minister Vanessa Goodwin should be held to account over this appalling decision.
ABC, inc. pic. First pub: July 13
16.07.14 7:15 am
The Tasmanian Government wants a parliamentary inquiry into the destruction of a woodchip mill on the state’s east coast.
• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: What a bloody waste of money. The government expect a private owner to keep a rusting useless piece of junk standing, waiting for some mythical customer to come and want to reignite the wasteful woodchip industry in Tasmania. I thought the Liberals stood for private land rights, for allowing markets to decide which industries stand or fall. But of course not when one of their biggest political donors needs them. To expect the owners of the woodchip mill to abide by some agreement that they didn’t sign, and that the government wants to destroy is pretty rich. The Libs have to make up their minds, do they support free market, do they support the destruction of the forest agreement. Or do they support keeping the agreement in full and therefore the reservation of the other 400 thousand ha of land that was promised for reserves. Sorry young Will but you can’t have it both ways. I should have said sorry Eric as he obviously really runs the state Libs.
• Margaretta Pos, in Comments: I found it strange that media coverage of The Monthly’s article focussed on Mayor Cadart’s comment about bogans -http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/liberal-cadart-stands-firm-on-his-grand-vision/ - and ignored the serious revelations by Alec Marr that he organised a five-day wrecking spree within the Triabunna wood chip mill. It’s only now, when Guy Barnett appears to have read the whole article, and has called for an enquiry, that there is any media coverage of this incident. Shame on the media!
• John Hayward, in Comments: Has everyone forgotten the LibLab rumblings about a compulsory acquisition of the mill by the state gummint? About reopening it as another woodchip industry charity? And Margaretta Pos, what are the chances of the mainstream Tas media being shamed by anything? And what about the lack of coverage of the threats to revive an economic and environmental cancer in remission? You don’t see a story in that?
• Peter Fagan, in Comments: Tasmania has been at war over forestry for over thirty years. People are reluctant to face up to this fact, but it literally was a war. Alec Marr believed he had won that war and did what a victor does, Victori spolia - to the victor go the spoils. But beyond what may strike some as triumphalism, keep in mind the positive plans of Alec and others for a re-purposing of the Triabunna woodchip mill site and consider Isaiah 2:4: “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
• Nick McKim: George Williams on anti-protest laws “These laws go far beyond what most people would regard as reasonable. There is a strong argument that they would catch farmers protesting on their own land against fracking, or a boat blockade against a supertrawler.” “They are unreasonable in the extreme. Mr Hodgman is trying to crack a walnut with a sledgehammer, and is looking more and more like a Tasmanian version of Joh Bjelke Peterson” “Professor Williams has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons today, and Mr Hodgman must now come clean on whether or not his government sought legal advice from the Solicitor General before these laws were tabled in the parliament.”
• Cassy O’Connor, in Comments: Hi Pete, #15 ... Not everyone who’ll be involved in this ridiculous reference to the Community Development Committee is a fool ... I’m the lone Green. The Libs have got the numbers and Sir Guy is the Chair. We haven’t convened yet but expect to this week. I agree it’s intended as a witch hunt. Tories, we’re learning, are a vindictive lot. It’s also such an abuse of the Committee system of inquiry, in my view. Like Queenstown, Triabunna is bleeding. These communities actually need the best of us to come up with meaningful solutions. Not prance around pointing fingers .... If the Committee focused on the long term, and set out the foundations for robust, sustainable regional economies, we’d really be doing what we were elected to do.
Editor. Pic: Mt Lyell Mine
15.07.14 12:30 pm
Download, Read for Yourself, Third Audit of the Mine Safety Unit, and Office of Chief Inspector of Mines, Worksafe Tasmania:
• Too-few Inspectors are over-taxed and underpaid, says an ABC Radio report ...
Martyn Turner's Greatest Hits via Mike Adams
15.07.14 10:00 am
First published 18 years ago in The Irish Times
Australian Marriage Equality National Convenor Rodney Croome Media Release
15.07.14 9:15 am
• Crosby|Textor research shows strong support for marriage equality across all key demographics. • Free vote has over three-quarters support, including majority of those few opposed to reform
Lenore Taylor, The Guardian. First pub: July 14
14.07.14 8:15 am
Carbon tax repeal almost certain as PUP seals amendments deal Abbott government on track to be third time lucky, with repeal bills set to pass lower house on Monday and Senate on Tuesday
Luke Crowley, Trevor Gauld Media Release. First pub: July 13
14.07.14 5:00 am
TasWater engaged a multinational HR firm at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to do basic functions such as job interviews for its recent restructure – despite having a 23-person HR department of its own in-house.
• Davanjac, in Comments: This a disgrace, it has been a complete shambles since it was taken from the relevant councils. All they are doing is lining their own pockets and the one talks belong them. Talk about a waste of money, and yet they are trying to cut back on their staff. Would somebody please explain. It is obscene the amount of money they are paying themselves to do very little and not make a decision, unless they have a study on a study, as Tasmania is not a very big state and we cannot afford it nor can we have money just going the drain so to speak.
• Mercury: Tassie no place to be a whistleblower “Whistleblowers and witnesses should not have to lose everything ... for speaking out for the public benefit.” The group says there have been too many high-profile cases of Tasmanians who had been negatively affected or even lost their jobs after becoming whistleblowers. The list included “shreddergate” source Nigel Burch, former RPDC panellist and scientist assessing the Gunns pulp mill Warwick Raverty, former RPDC chair Julian Green and former Children’s Commissioner Paul Mason. Ms MacGregor said the Public Interest Disclosure Act needed to include compensation provisions for whistleblowers, and WorkSafe Tasmania should offer whistleblower protection.