Laura Tingle, AFR
24.07.14 3:19 am
Tony Abbott gave media proprietor Rupert Murdoch a detailed briefing on his controversial $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme before he announced it without consulting his shadow cabinet or MPs.
Bob Hawkins. Pic: of HVC Mayor - and MLC - Robert Armstrong. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 6:00 am
Huon Valley Guessing Games Robert Armstrong — Huon Valley Council’s sometimes mayor and the Huon Division’s sometimes member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council (parliament’s upper house) — was, I believe, still playing council clown and toying with the municipality voters when Wednesday’s council meeting (July 16) began. And he wasn’t even there.
Andy Woodworker. First pub: July 22
23.07.14 5:15 am
The residents of Hobart directly elect the Lord Mayor in October this year. The role is important being the Mayor of the capital city. This election is an important one as, for the first time the Mayor will be elected for a four-year term rather than a two-year term.
•Alderman Jeff Briscoe, in Comments:In this era, more that ever, the times are a changing, transparency and honesty are required and conflicts of interests should be declared and/or managed openly and that includes the overdue reform of declaring donations to Lord Mayoral campaigns. Those paid guests to Damon Thomas’s last canvas launch at the C3 on Wednesday should be reminded of that before they open up their cheque books.
© Martyn Turner, Irish Times. Used with permission. First pub: July 21
23.07.14 5:10 am
• Earlier: And Nothing Changes ...
• Christopher Nagle: Shylock in the 21st century, who says ... The subject of the enduring unpopularity of Jews since ancient times maybe these days a risky exercise, but it is nonetheless an extremely rewarding seam of exploration. Nobody, despite their best efforts, can truly remain neutral about this extraordinary and fraught little tribe, despite a welter of hypocrisy, cant and denial, that pretends we are all extremely cool on this very dangerous subject. All the prejudices about Jews, regardless of where they are coming from, are likely to be juicy, subterranean and barely explored beyond the boundaries of safety and ideological self-consciousness. The roots of this conundrum are absolutely fascinating, both personally and intellectually. And when you get to the point in the narrative when you feel you have got a bit too close to the tiger’s cage for comfort, that is when you just have to read on…...
• Leonard Colquhoun, in Comments: ‘Fascist / fascism’ became an “equally awful cliche” and just as “unusable” after, say, the 1980s. To adapt a well-known saying, ‘We’re (or maybe ‘You’re’) all fascists now’. Mostly, it now deserves no more than an ‘If you say so’ put-down, especially when used by people who seem to have no clue about what the real fascists did. Let’s add ‘outrage/d’ and ‘devastated’ to the list - a story in today’s Mercury reported how some people were “outraged” by a Commonwealth Games swimming uniform having a Tasmania-less diagram of Australia, FFS!! “Outraged”? - We’re all fucking ‘outraged’ now!! All the fucking time. At fucking anything.
23.07.14 5:00 am
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued an apology for a radio interview in which she described her perfect man as being well-off and “well-hung”.
• Mark, in Comments: Yes, as expected every lightweight media dribbler and self-righteous pollie is desperate to weigh in. On the media side, well it’s just a reflection of their operating levels. They’d rather sink their teeth into this one and wail about Lambie being fit for office than go out and dig up any real stories. On the political side, spare me. We’ve got the likes of Bryan Green weighing in with their opinion. I’m still more concerned with Bryan’s two well hung juries than Lambie’s well hung comments.
• Simon Warriner, in Comments: Being lectured by Bryan Green about embarrassing Tasmania is hypocrisy exemplified. The sanctimonious nonsense being spouted by her political opponents is no surprise. She is unafraid of calling a spade a spade and using one. Having her digging in the dirt that is Tasmanian politics must scare them shitless.
22.07.14 6:00 am
Eve Ash. Graphic: Miguel Robertson
21.07.14 5:30 am
‘Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction is a wrongful conviction’, says Dr Bob Moles one of Australia’s foremost experts on miscarriages of justice. Chester Porter QC, Robert Richter QC, Stuart Tipple and other top Australian legal minds are alarmed by this case. It is a catastrophic failure of our justice system in Tasmania and Australia.
Max Atkinson. Pic: of Edmund Burke
21.07.14 4:30 am
Richard Cooke, writing in the June edition of The Monthly ( The People v the Political Class, here ), condemns politicians for ignoring public opinion. His thoughtful and informative essay on the causes of the present discontent looks to the demise of two-party politics to restore substance to democratic ideals; but is there any basis for this optimism other than that it might restore integrity to political debate by challenging doctrines of party unity? His account of the problem, persuasive as it is, arguably ends just where serious debate begins.
Barbara Mitchell, in TT comments. Pic: ABC
21.07.14 4:00 am
Comment first made on this article here: All our staff acted in a lawful and professional manner, July 16, 2014 The Monthly magazine article that has Paul Harriss and Guy Barnett livid with rage at the ‘sickening’ activities of radical greenies and the unconscionable apparent complicity of the previous Labor/Greens government was published this month (July 2014). The activities at the Triabunna Mill to which it refers took place in late September 2013, almost nine months ago.
• Tim Thorne, in Comments: Meanwhile, I, too, await with fascination the answer to Barbara Mitchell’s question about which category of the committee’s scope justifies the inquiry.
Georgi Marshall*, Witness to Australiaʼs Offshore Processing Regime
21.07.14 3:45 am
ʻThey told us to go to the front gates; they told us that we will be safe thereʼ. It is a year since Australiaʼs Regional Processing Centre burnt to the ground, yet the haunting nightmare of that evening has far from faded from the minds of asylum seekers left there, stranded in Nauru. Breezing past us in the morning tabloids a year ago were the Nauru riots, where on the small Pacific Island nation over a hundred men were rounded up and imprisoned, later to be released on bail to the torture of indefinite detention and unjust legal proceedings.
Keith Bradsher, New York Times. ABC pic
21.07.14 3:30 am
Tasmania, Big Supplier to Drug Companies, Faces Changes Now is the sowing season for opium poppies in the Australian state of Tasmania. Tractors chug up and down paddocks, pulling elaborate machinery that drills pairs of adjacent, miniature holes in the dirt, and then drops a dozen tiny kernels of fertilizer in one of the holes and a tiny poppy seed in the other.
Caleb Nichols-Mansell, The Anthymn Blog
21.07.14 3:15 am
My name is Caleb Nichols-Mansell and I am eighteen years old and a proud young Aboriginal man from Tommengene land on the North West of Tasmania. I live with my boyfriend Brodie on the North-West Coast of Tasmania and attend TasTafe. I am currently studying for my Certificate III in Business Management under a scholarship through The Pinnacle Foundation.
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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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.