Articles

Hobart Rail project gets the best bang for infrastructure buck

Ben Johnston President, Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group Media Release
24.04.16 4:35 am

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Rail Action Group writes to Prime Minister Hobart’s Rail Action Group has released its second Fact Sheet illustrating capital costs for various infrastructure projects around greater Hobart. The Action Group’s President Ben Johnston says, “without question, passenger rail gives the ‘best bang for infrastructure buck’ since we already have a rail corridor, which parallels corridors of traffic!”

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Transport

Tasmania Police to look further into Fox Taskforce allegations

Chris Clarke, Examiner
23.04.16 6:40 am

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TASMANIA Police will conduct “further inquiries” into allegations of corruption in the former state government’s Fox Taskforce.

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Disappointing start to Federal election campaigning

Kym Goodes, CEO TasCOSS Media Release. Pic: Brett Whiteley in parliament
23.04.16 6:35 am

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Following Brett Whiteley’s attack on Tasmanian youth, single mums and other battlers today ( Advocate HERE ), TasCOSS calls on all Tasmanian politicians and candidates to show leadership and take a respectful stance on social issues while campaigning during the long election race ahead.

… “I believe Tasmanians are heartily sick of politics that turns our communities and neighbours against each other as if their lack of opportunity, rather than a lack of strong leadership, is to blame,” Ms Goodes said. “If that sort of divisive politics is how this campaign starts, the next 10 weeks will do nothing to improve Federal leadership in our State.

Mercury: No pay, no rent for our youth as Centrelink allowance delays leave Tasmanian students floundering

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The Huon Valley war. Charge the fish farmers ...

Geoffrey Swan, Lonnavale. First published April 16
23.04.16 6:33 am

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Sue Clark, Principal/Director of TPR Property Group decided to say her piece in this week’s Huon News, page 8, Wednesday April 13th 2016.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Naive at best. Appalling at Worst

• Geoffrey Swan: It’s an exciting time to be a local council ... … Given this information, I have suggested to Council there is an immediate and urgent opportunity to investigate their legal and opportunistic options to increase the Huon Valley’s much-needed revenue stream. Based on the charge of $360 per megalitre, this equates to an annual fee to the Huon Aquaculture Company of $3,416,400 and a fee to the Snowy Range Hatchery of $2,759,400 per annum. And let us remember that HAC floated in November 2014 for around $430 million – which makes $3m+ little more than spare change in the bottom drawer. … Based on these two rivers alone, not counting the other rivers where aquaculture companies are taking huge amounts of fresh water, this is a staggering $6,175,800 per annum. It would certainly ease the pain of the $4m dollars lost by the Huon Valley Council during the global financial crisis and would greatly assist our local Community …

… Heard from GM of 101.7FM today ... apparently at the instigation of the GM following my letter of complaint Newell apologised on radio on Wednesday.. I have requested an audio file and/or transcript. Stay tuned.

• Sleepless in Franklin in Comments: #8 Been busy but (also having audio skills) finally had a chance to put the audio of “Huon Valley Residents chat with Mick” through a decent forensics tool (iZotope RX4). Yes, heavily edited, as it sounds. Of course it would have to be edited to a certain extent, but the question is how - and was there any intent to deceive or exaggerate using truncated or out-of-context responses. More thoughts on the edits later after a bit more work. Spectrograms show at least two (possibly more) different background signatures. IMO the first and last grabs have at least indoor (if not studio) ambience.

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UTAS students join national civil disobedience campaign #FloodtheCampus

Fossil Free UTAS Spokesperson: Maggie Edwards Media Release. Pic* First pub: April 21
23.04.16 6:30 am

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HOBART, 12.00pm, Thursday 21 April university students and members of Fossil Free UTAS join other university divestment groups to Flood the Campus.

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NZ Government Seizes Use of 1080 Poison

Tony Orman, NZ Journalist/Editor, Blenheim Pic*
23.04.16 6:29 am

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The New Zealand government has moved to take approval for the use of 1080 poison from local regional councils and control the toxin’s use totally by government. It is a move that has provoked strong reaction with accusations of “state control” and “removing the public’s right to voice opposition.”

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Politics | New Zealand | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Science | Society

What’s the Meaning of American Failure?

William Astore, Common Dreams
23.04.16 6:16 am

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A dictionary of euphemisms for imperial decline

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Politics | International | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Ways Jarryd Hayne can make second year in America a success

Trevor Marshallsea*. Pic: of Jarryd
23.04.16 5:06 am

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As Jarryd Hayne sets out on his second year in the NFL, here’s the whole nine yards on how he can make a bigger success of it this time around.

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Sport | Trevor Marshallsea

Letters to my grandchildren (13)

Anton Clever*
23.04.16 4:45 am

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Dear Chilliwops, There is a sign on some of the buses in our Australian cities that reads, “Choose Respect.”  To me that is a pretty obvious thing to do so why is it advertised?  The reason is simple – so many people today simply don’t get it.

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Writers | Anton Clever | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

The festival that got away ...

Martyn Goddard, Reviewer. Pic* First published April 21
22.04.16 6:00 am

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… But even under Campbell Newman’s odd government, Leo Schofield and Jarrod Carland got a much better deal than any Tasmanian politicians were prepared to give. Here, they couldn’t get enough funding to make even the most basic festival viable. In Brisbane, they signed a three-year contract with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and got a level of support that has confirmed Brisbane Baroque as a major national event. Negotiations have started with the new government, which is much more supportive of the arts than Newman’s lot, for even more certainty and for a grant big enough to put the festival onto the global music scene.

That could have happened here. The major interstate festivals have state grants of around $8 million; Hodgman wasn’t prepared to stump up even $450,000 to keep our festival here, let alone the million or so that would have had people coming in their thousands from China, India and the United States …

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Arts | Economy | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Personal | Society

Unions say Eric Abetz a hypocrite over concerns a federal Icac would harm reputations

Guardian. Pic: of Eric Abetz
22.04.16 5:30 am

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Australian Workers Union head, Scott McDine, criticises Abetz for damaging Julia Gillard’s reputation at union royal commission

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Report highlights crisis facing Tasmania’s low income renters

Pattie Chugg, Shelter Tas EO Media Release
21.04.16 6:05 am

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Shelter Tas, Tasmania’s peak body for affordable housing and homelessness services welcomes the release of Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, but is troubled by the picture that it paints.“The Snapshot, released today, backs up what we hear from services - that over 50% of those people accessing homelessness services cite housing affordability as their reason for seeking support …

Read for yourself ... 2016 Rental Affordability Snapshot HERE

Kym Goodes (TasCOSS) in Comments: Access to safe, affordable and secure housing is a fundamental human right. The 2016 Rental Affordability snapshot shows us, yet again, that this right is beyond the reach – and in most cases does not even exist – for Tasmanians on a low income …

Anglicare HERE: Rental shortage pushes Tasmanians into hardship

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My campaign for medicinal cannabis

Estelle Ross, Citizen, Launceston
21.04.16 4:15 am

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… Just a few days ago Barnaby Joyce opened a proposed medicinal cannabis farm near Tamworth so why on earth are the State Liberals delaying trials here? A company wanted to establish a farm here a few years ago and was knocked back by them; what a wasted opportunity for a new industry and the many jobs it would have provided.

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Stephen Colbert mocks Johnny Depp and Amber Heard apology video

SMH
21.04.16 4:00 am

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… ‘This woman is not my wife, and I am truly sorry for smuggling her into your country’  …

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STATE: Tasmanian Greens Call for an Inquiry into TasWater

Tim Slade* First published April 19
20.04.16 6:00 am

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THE Tasmanian Greens have called for a parliamentary inquiry into TasWater, after leaked e-mail evidence last week ( Michael Atkin, ABC, TT HERE ) suggests that TasWater may have sought to avoid the scientific findings of MacQuarie University’s study into lead-contamination in Pioneer’s drinking water.

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NATION: Probe needed into $4b meltdown of failed forestry schemes

Peter Whish-Wilson*
20.04.16 5:30 am

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I FIRST called for a Royal Commission into misconduct in the financial sector in June, 2014, when I sat on the Senate Inquiry into the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that uncovered the scandals in the financial advice arm of the Commonwealth Bank.

• John Hawkins in Comments: I supplied this submission to the MIS Senate enquiry: HERE In my submission I mentioned that a key to protection of MIS scams was the then Minister for Forests Senator Erich Abetz. The $60,000 paid by Gunns to the Liberal party 3 weeks after Abetz was made the Minister was I suggest a strong reason why Abetz protected the nitens scam from predation by the ATO. Abetz is still the Liberals Number One Gun in Tasmania. How and Why?

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Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Legal | Society

STATE, Mutual Valley: Logging is scheduled to commence today ...

Blue Derby Wild Media Release. Pic*
20.04.16 5:15 am

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Logging is scheduled to commence today, Monday, April 18, at Mutual Valley forest area CC104B. This high conservation value forest is adjacent to the iconic Blue Derby Mountain Bike trail known as Krushka’s …

Tin Dragon Trail Cottages operator, Christine Booth said, “From Derby, Branxholm, Weldborough and over to the Blue Tiers, people are flocking to the region to experience our world class mountain bike trails. “The Blue Derby trails are being celebrated as some of the best in the world for their outstanding flow and natural setting. We fear logging around these trails is seriously undermining this beautiful brand we are building, and want to protect.” Federal member for Bass, and patron of cycling in Tasmania, Andrew Nikolic, has repeatedly stated he put $2.45 million of taxpayers monies into funding the Blue Derby trails, yet has repeatedly and very publicly said he is happy for these areas to be logged.

EurekAlert!: Clear-cutting destabilizes carbon in forest soils, Dartmouth study finds HANOVER, N.H. - Clear-cutting loosens up carbon stored in forest soils, increasing the chances it will return to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and contribute to climate change, a Dartmouth College study shows. The findings ( HERE ) appear in the journal Soil Science.

WEDNESDAY, April 20 ...

• Rosalie Woodruff MR in Comments: … The divide and conquer mentality of this Government has sadly cast a dark shadow over the successful rejuvenation of the Derby community. …

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Senate Inquiry report calls on state and federal government(s) to act on scourge of marine plastics

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release
20.04.16 5:12 am

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Today the Senate Environment and Communications Committee has released a landmark report into the causes and impacts of marine plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who initiated the Inquiry, said, “Today, we have seen Senators from Labor, the Liberals and the Greens standing together calling for urgent and immediate action on marine plastic pollution …

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

NATION: It’s on, July 2 Poll

Guardian Live. Pic: of Malcolm Turnbull. First published April 18
20.04.16 5:09 am

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ABCC legislation rejected giving Coalition double dissolution trigger Senate rejects Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation for a second time, giving government trigger to request governor general dissolve both houses of parliament – all the developments from Canberra

ABC: Election campaign unofficially begins as Senate votes down corruption watchdog bill

• Luigi in Comments: Great! An election has been called. I guess we’ll start hearing something from our current MPs now.  It seems that even Nikolic has departed Canberra and is prowling the streets of Launceston looking for a hand to shake. It’s a pity that nobody recognises him.

ABC: Malcolm Turnbull confirms ABCC will trigger double dissolution election Australians will likely go to the polls in a double dissolution election on July 2, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.

Guardian: Reza Barati: men convicted of asylum seeker’s murder to be free in less than four years

ABC: Arthur Sinodinos to be called before inquiry into political donations Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos will be required to appear before a new federal parliamentary inquiry into political donations. The inquiry into donations and associated entities will be established following a successful Labor motion in the Senate, passed by the Upper House this evening. … It follows a report issued by the NSW Electoral Commission last month, in which it announced it was withholding more than $4 million in public funding from the NSW division of the Liberal Party, unless it disclosed the identity of donors pushing funds through the party’s fundraising body.

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Prostitution – the global humanitarian disaster of the 21C

Isla MacGregor
20.04.16 5:00 am

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Talk by Isla MacGregor, 1 April 2016, Parliament House, Hobart, Tasmania Thank you, Simone, for speaking of the harms of the global sex trade with such clarity.

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Legal | Personal | Society

Tasmanian Aborigines were cut off by the rising waters of the Bass Strait ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh
19.04.16 4:00 am

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A fascinating byway of history …  Tasmanian Aborigines were cut off by the rising waters of Bass Strait before the boomerang was invented …

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Writers | John Hawkins | Arts | History

Planning law changes will change Tassie forever

Anne Harrison & Robert Vincent (for the Planning Information Network) First published April 14
18.04.16 5:56 am

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Planning laws are being significantly changed this year. The new Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS) is out now on the Tas Planning Commission website and up for public comment till 18th May.  Many people are feeling left behind by what will be galloping change in our communities.  Once this new TPS is implemented there will be no going back.

• Gwenda Sheridan in Comments: #17 John, the magnitude of the anticipated planning change is enormous.  It is the most profound since the 1940s and seriously out-of-whack (my opinion) with what is happening elsewhere (nationally, internationally).  There is no state policy for climate change, none for infrastructure, none for population/settlement (no density guidelines). There is one major R zone (Residential) for the entire state; the General Residential Zone with standards/regulations formerly from Attachment 1, Ministerial Planning Directive 4.1. Multi units are included in PD 4.1.  Is my drift becoming clearer? …

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

Minister Gutwein is right on the money

Ray Norman. Pic: Geoff Smedley. First published April 15
18.04.16 5:55 am

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Minister Gutwein is right on the money here! Launceston, since colonisation, has imagined the Tamar as a sewer in much the same way London did for the Thames. London learnt the error of its ways some time ago but Launceston has been going on much as it always has and surprise, surprise our river i9s now understood for what it is “a dirty ditch”. Yes Minister you and Barry Blenkhorn are so right!

• Factfinder in Comments: The article in The Examiner earlier today (Sat): Council needs to play its part on care of the Tamar River. By PETER GUTWEIN. April 16, 2016, 8:50 a.m. It’s disappointing that the Launceston City Council appears to be taking an all-care but no responsibility approach to management of the Tamar River. As distasteful as it sounds in 2016, there is no escaping that the Tamar River, under the direction of the council, has long been used as a key part of Launceston’s sewer network. It now beggars belief that after 150 years of oversight by the council, it appears it is not willing to play a part in achieving a solution for their ratepayers and appear to be now openly distancing themselves from any responsibility …

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Society

NATION: Goodbye Bronny. Malcolm’s Poll slump ...

Guardian. First published April 17
18.04.16 5:45 am

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Liberal members choose Jason Falinski as candidate in safe federal seat, dumping former speaker who resigned over $5,500 helicopter ride

In THE SATURDAY PAPER ...

No royal commission as Turnbull’s Liberals in deep with the banks Conservatives against a banks royal commission argue it would damage the economy – because of the criminality it would reveal.

Bill McKibben: The links between big polluters and politicians

Paul Bongiorno: Turnbull picks a move on truck drivers, not banks

Manus Island’s appalling health care record

MONDAY, April 18 ...

SkyNews: Poll shows government losing support As politicians prepare for a special sitting of Parliament that will likely trigger a double-dissolution election, the latest polling shows the government losing further ground to the opposition. The latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll shows support for Labor creeping up another two points to 33 percent, with the coalition slipping to 42 percent. When compared on a two-party basis the Opposition are now neck-and-neck with the government, with support after preferences at 50-50. Despite a 7 percent drop in personal support, the Prime Minister maintains a healthy lead over Opposition leader Bill Shorten, 54 percent to 27 percent. The poll also shows overwhelming support for Labor’s planned Royal Commission into the financial sector, with 65 per cent of voters in favour of the idea while 26 per cent are opposed. Treasurer Scott Morrison has told Sky News there is no need for the probe. Meanwhile a showdown over plans to restore the building and construction industry watchdog will resume in the Senate this week and it could potentially pave the way for an early election. Federal MPs and senators are heading back to Canberra for this week’s special sitting …

George Monbiot, Guardian: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems … So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power. …

Paul Oosting, GetUp! Let’s Take The Power Back ...

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Politics | National | Economy | Society

NorMAC Nastiness in Hobart: A response

Simone Watson*, prostitution survivor and director Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NORMAC). First pub: April 18
18.04.16 5:00 am

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A response to: ‘NorMAC nastiness in Hobart’, HERE Crikey! The pro-sex trade lobby have been misrepresenting Nordic Model supporters with a renewed vigour.

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Rebuilding lives after the Nepal earthquake

The Age. Pic*
18.04.16 3:56 am

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At a dawn service near Everest, a group of Australians narrowly escaped with their lives when last year’s earthquake struck. They’re now invoking the Anzac spirit to help the Nepalese rebuild schools and homes.

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Port Arthur: Tasman Peninsula’s communications issues still not fixed 20 years on

Angela Ross, ABC
18.04.16 3:00 am

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Communications issues continue to plague the Tasman Peninsula 20 years after the Port Arthur massacre.

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The role of white privilege in the 60 Minutes kidnapping saga

Brisbane Times
18.04.16 2:47 am

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A major news organisation has shown an extraordinary lapse in judgment by exploiting a mother’s pain and taking part in a serious crime, writes Ruby Hamad.

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Politics | International | National | Opinion | Media | Society

‘Embracing the Climate Challenge’ ...

Cassy O’Connor MP Greens Leader Climate Change spokesperson. Pic*
17.04.16 4:45 am

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... Tasmania’s Draft Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2021 Tasmanian Greens’ Response March 2016 The events of the past Summer in Tasmania have brought the reality of climate change home to Tasmanians.  Prolonged drought, a massive El Niño, unprecedented and destructive bushfires, regional floods and parched Hydro storages are evidence of global climatic shifts at the local level.

Solar Star Projects:  … When complete, the Solar Star Projects will deliver enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 255,000 homes, according to MidAmerican Solar. In addition, the projects will create approximately 650 construction jobs over a three-year construction period, while helping California achieve its renewable energy goals …

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East Timor is mad as hell, and it’s our fault

John Martinkus. Pic* First published April 16
17.04.16 4:30 am

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The East Timorese may be poor, but they are not stupid. And we need to stop exploiting them, writes freelance journalist John Martinkus.

• Dr Vacy Vlazna in Comments: Every word of Martinkus is loaded with fact and truth. He was often the only journalist in East Timor and literally risked his life to inform the Australian public about how our government put trade pragmatism over the lives of the people of East Timor ( it goes a long way to explain the blithe cruelty of government asylum seeker policies). Today, that greed persists as our government, the representatives that we vote for, our political servants, unconscionably rip off our poorest neighbour. Just as we pressured Howard to send Interfet to Timor, we have the power to demand that the government does the right thing by international law and by our next door neighbours, the impoverished Timorese.

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