Articles

Convicted insider trader John Gay cleared to run companies again

ABC. Pic: Matt Newton*. First pub: Apr 16
16.04.14 5:10 am

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Convicted insider trader and former Gunns boss, John Gay, has been given the go head to manage two family companies.

ABC: Convicted insider trader John Gay loses bid for court costs after successful application to run companies

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | History | Legal | Society

How about this TasWater!

Carol Rea Margate
16.04.14 5:05 am

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TasWater wants to give developers a waiver on headworks fees ( TT here ). Well how about this TasWater!

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The Eclipse ...

All pics by Bob Burton
16.04.14 5:03 am

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ABC: Blood Red Moon; Skygazers share their pics of the lunar eclipse on Tuesday night ...

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Environment | Society

Tasmania can capitalise on its renewable energy advantages

Paul Gilding, Professor Lesley Hughes, Tasmanian Climate Action Council, 15 April 2014. Pic: Gordon dam (Wikipedia)
16.04.14 5:00 am

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Decarbonising the economy and land use policy key to climate change response The Tasmanian Climate Action Council (the Council) has welcomed the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report.  Evaluating 900 mitigation scenarios, the report concludes that large-scale changes in energy systems are essential to restrain global warming to 2 degrees and avoid the harshest impacts of climate change.

• Chris Sharples, in Comments: Tasmania is ideally placed to be a global leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Not only are we incredibly fortunate - as an island in the Southern Ocean - to be one of the places likely to be least affected by the more drastic impacts of global climate change; but we also have the resources and techno capacity to create a sustainable economy based on renewable energy.  Best of all, we are so close already to having a workable, sustainable non-growth economy and population! All we have to do is recognise that unending growth is a self-defeating cancer the world cannot sustain, and figure out how to make a non-growth economy work here in Tasmania. And there’s no shortage of ideas on how make a non-growth economy work, its just that the dominant media and business interests ignore them.

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The Schilthorn cable car ...

Peter Brenner
16.04.14 4:45 am

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This is a picture of a gondola of the Schilthorn cable car in Switzerland holding 75 standing passengers. It is the 3rd section (Mürren-Birg) that comes closest to a Mount Wellington cable car in terms of height differential and steepness.

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Live export industry leaves Wilkie on the dock

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison MR.
15.04.14 5:12 am

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the live animal export industry which this morning effectively withdrew an invitation for him to travel on a live export ship to Indonesia.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Tough times for the Tasmanian Greens

David Obendorf. ABC Pic: of Kim Booth
15.04.14 4:32 am

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Last week was tough … the new Premier Hodgman struck hard and relegated the three Green MPs to the status of sole-trader parliamentarians by refusing to provide pro-rata funding to the Greens as a political party in opposition.

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Writers | David Obendorf | Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Brian Harradine Remembered

Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader MR
14.04.14 4:20 am

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The Tasmanian Greens today paid their respects to former Tasmanian Senator, Brian Harradine. Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said that Mr Harradine was a larger-than life Tasmanian whose long service representing the State would not be forgotten. “While we may not always have agreed with Mr Harradine over a range of issues, we do acknowledge his tireless commitment in standing up for his beliefs and his dogged determination to defend Tasmania’s rights in Canberra,” Mr Booth said.

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Vested interests are undermining our democracy

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania
14.04.14 4:15 am

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… I reflected on what Al Gore had said on The 7.30 Report about climate change and the Abbott government’s attempts to repeal the carbon package. He very clearly said that our democracy has been hijacked by vested interests, special interests. An incredulous Annabel Crabb said, ‘Surely you are not putting forward some sort of conspiracy theory here?’ He said, ‘No, this is how it works in politics.’ … Tasmania has been a beneficiary of a price on carbon, because we produce clean energy and we export that clean energy. The dividends range between $70 million and $200 million a year to Hydro Tasmania because of a price on carbon. We were never going to get that back if these repeal bills were passed. The dividends are very important to my state. They account for 12½ per cent of Tasmania’s non-Canberra revenues. I notice Senator Smith, who is certainly one of the champions in this chamber of taking GST money away from Tasmania. Have a think about how you are going to give us that money back, Senator Smith, not to mention the fact that the mining boom has put significant upward pressure on the exchange rate, which has been one of the negative impacts on my economy. It is called Dutch disease, and everybody knows about it. It is never discussed in here—the impact on manufacturing and the agricultural community of a high Australian dollar. So let us be fair and reasonable about how we share out the pie in this country and not claim that my state, which has had 70 years of sucking on the teat, suddenly wants to take money off other states.

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Road to Utopia ...

Tony Whish-Wilson
14.04.14 4:10 am

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Sir Thomas More depicted an imaginary Island – Utopia – as enjoying a perfect social, legal and political system. Most Tasmanians however would see our Island State as stuck at the other end of the scale - struggling in all those areas.

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What would be the effect on farmers if there was contamination of the water table ... ?

Thomas Connelly http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com.au/
14.04.14 4:00 am

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One of the last projects agreed by the now departed Giddings government was awarding a licence for unconventional oil and gas exploration. South Australian company Petratherm advised the Australian Stock Exchange in February, that its wholly-owned subsidiary, PetraGas Pty. Ltd., has been awarded a five-year petroleum Exploration Licence (EL3/2013) covering approximately 3,900 square kilometres, north of Hobart in central Tasmania to explore for conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (6)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/
14.04.14 3:45 am

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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.

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

What is Organics?

Peter Cundall, in Organic Gardener May 29, 2013
14.04.14 3:30 am

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Let’s look at the basics of organic growing. Why is it that so many home gardeners are growing their own vegetables and fruit organically? Even with ornamental gardening, organic is clearly the direction many people are going. And once organic methods are taken up, why is it that so few of us return to chemicals and poisons?

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

World’s Number 1 Herbicide Discovered in US Mothers’ Breast Milk

Sustainable Pulse. Dr Alison Bleaney
14.04.14 3:15 am

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• Pilot study shows build-up of glyphosate herbicide in Mothers’ bodies • Urine testing shows glyphosate levels over 10 times higher than in Europe • Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns

• Dr Alison Bleaney: Tasmania of course elected several years ago to stop testing for glyphosate in any of its waterways including its drinking water. In Tasmania, RoundUp and glyphosate are used by agriculture, forestry, local councils (on streets and paths - anywhere really that there are weeds), DIER (along roadsides and railway lines), Mums and Dads in their gardens and backyards; shall I go on?

Vladimir Putin: Russia Must Protect Its Citizens from GMOs

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Three Nights Out

Bronwyn Williams. Pic: of John X
14.04.14 2:50 am

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TT Arts here

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Arts | Review

A decent sawhorse ...

Pat Synge, boatstasmania.com.au
14.04.14 2:45 am

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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 ...

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Health | Opinion | Personal | Society

The Human Experience

Maia McCann, Distractify
14.04.14 2:30 am

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The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience

See here

• 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!

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Society

Macquarie Island declared pest free after 7-year eradication program

ABC
14.04.14 2:15 am

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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.

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Forests: Reality bites for Paul and Will ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic • First pub: Apr 10
13.04.14 10:00 am

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• 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.

Andrew Denman: Special Timbers Sector supports access to TFA reserves for selective harvesting

• 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!

Russell Warman, The Conversation: Tasmania defers logging plans as timber industry resists free-for-all

RELATED:

ABC: Spike in tourism numbers in Tasmania injects $1.5b into economy

ABC: Education Minister details $45m plan to extend schools to Year 12

• 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.

Michael Atkin, 7.30 Tasmania: Tough Times for Tasmanian Greens

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Science | Society

Andrew Wilkie: The rebuild is a mess and the previous State Government misled the community

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Denison
13.04.14 9:23 am

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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.”

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

ABC: PM Abbott risks being branded a liar

Glenys Stradijot, Friends of the ABC MR
13.04.14 7:45 am

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“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.

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Japanese whalers plan return to hunt. Abbott turns a blind eye.

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator for Tasmania MR. Sea Shepherd
12.04.14 12:55 pm

Image for Japanese whalers plan return to hunt. Abbott turns a blind eye.

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,”

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Dark MOFO!

Rebecca Fitzgibbon, Events Media Manager | Museum of Old and New Art
11.04.14 5:45 am

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All the details, TT Arts here

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Arts | What's On

Bob Carr diaries: foreign policy was subcontracted to Jewish donors

Guardian Australia. ABC pic: Bob Carr with Julia Gillard looking on
10.04.14 6:00 am

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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.

Fairfax: Bob Carr’s Diary takes aim at Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

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Tasmanian tiger’s ancient relative a fearsome killer

University of New England and University of NSW MR
10.04.14 5:00 am

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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.

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Politics | State | Environment | History | Society

400,000 hectares of Tasmanian forests to be logged, not reserved

Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt, http://www.marketsforchange.org Pic: Matt Newton* First pub: April 8
09.04.14 5:00 am

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Quarantining Forestry Tasmania from managing the logging in the short term is a tricky attempt to secure FSC certification regardless

Scott Jordan: Tarkine forests campaigns to recommence

Richard Colbeck: Tasmanian Government implements a common-sense approach

Richard Colbeck: World Heritage mockeryAnd, here And, hereAnd here

Vica Bayley: Tasmanian Government forest plan guarantees six years of uncertainty and no solution

Kim Booth: Hodgman guarantees uncertainty for timber markets

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.

Richard Colbeck: Greens should respect mandate of the people

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.

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Shree Minerals admits acid-producing waste to be twenty times higher than approvals for Tarkine mine

Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save the Tarkine MR. Mine-site Pic: Rob Blakers http://www.robblakers.com/
09.04.14 4:20 am

Image for Shree Minerals admits acid-producing waste to be twenty times higher than approvals for Tarkine mine

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 ...

Nick McKim MP| Greens Environment spokesperson: Groom must intervene in Tarkine

• 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?

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Kim Booth takes command ...

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne MR. Pics: ABC. First pub: April 7
08.04.14 9:00 am

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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 ...

Kim Booth: Greens elect new State Party Leader

Nick McKim: Focus now on holding anti-environment Liberals to account

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.

Mansell welcomes Kim Booth as Greens Leader

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More Tasmanian jobs threatened by PM Abbott’s environmental assault

Australian Greens Leader and Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne MR Pic: John Weller
08.04.14 8:30 am

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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.

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Tony Abbott: free trade deal reflects shared values of Japan and Australia

Guardian Australia
08.04.14 3:10 am

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Prime minister says agreement’s economic benefits cement shared commitment to ‘democracy, freedom and the rule of law’

TFGA says Japanese FTA not all beer and skittles

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 ...

Peter Whish-Wilson: Abbott should fix Australia’s FIRB rules first before any China deal

Jan Davis: Level playing field? You must be joking

• 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)?

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