"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The coming property Armageddon ...

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Jarvis Cocker*
26.03.17 4:55 am

In a few days, you might read a newspaper column about the coming property Armageddon with somebody else’s name in the byline. They get paid for the column, and I get paid for the content. That’s the way my world works. Here’s the guts of it …

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The massive public subsidy of a private family-owned firm ...

James Boyce*
26.03.17 4:45 am

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Launch Speech for Losing Streak, Republic Bar, Tuesday 14 March 2017 … The lies told, the cover ups, the secrecy, the massive public subsidy of a private family owned firm that created an unlevel playing field across the hospitality sector; the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the most disadvantaged Tasmanians to what became on the back of their Tasmanian poker machine monopoly, one of the richest families in the nation; the ethically indefensible role played by the key industry bodies, especially the Tourism Council and Australian Hotels Association, both heavily funded by Federal Hotels, in upholding a status quo that was against the interests of almost all their members. But all that this is better left to the book …

… Suffice to say that despite my many years of involvement, researching Losing Streak was an eye opener for me. It was especially disturbing to find how early the political power of the company became entrenched in Tasmania. I am as far as I know the first historian or writer to see the never released police report into the bribery scandal that saw the downfall of the Bethune Government in 1972 - a government that happened to be committed to ending the casino monopoly enjoyed by Federal Hotels. . I hope that Losing Streak encourages some scrutiny of this episode – even 45 years after the event Tasmanians have the right to know about the reasons for the downfall of a democratically elected government …

… I also hope that Losing Streak serves as a reminder that poor governance and crony capitalism, special deals for favoured mates, is not only bad for the economy and the environment, it causes serious suffering to real human beings …

… We know that people across the western world are losing hope in their democratically elected politicians. MPs are seen, sadly too often with reason, as beholden to vested interests. A good case can be made that this loss of confidence in democracy, is now the single biggest threat to the planet …

… I think the ALP is critical here if there is to be serious change and not just tinkering. The Greens have a proud record on this issue and can presumably be relied on to stay resolute but need one of the major parties to join them. The Liberals have already caved in. But the ALP is yet to announce its policy and there are good reasons why the party that has been most fastidiously representing Federal Hotels’ interests for 50 years, and sacrificed the people the Labor movement is meant to represent in doing so, might be open to changing sides. I know there are many decent Labor MPs, members and supporters who long for the party to make a permanent break with its old corporate mates

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Frances Bender ‘Environmental Warrior’: I beg to differ ...

Geoffrey Swan* Pic: of Frances Bender from HAC's website
26.03.17 4:30 am

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Living next door to the Huon Aquaculture Company’s Lonnavale salmon hatchery I would love to be able to report that Frances Bender’s recent expressions of concern for the environment were matched by the reality on the ground. Sadly I cannot …

Mercury, Talking Point: River discharge raises suspicion of environmental harm

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Old farts ...

Charles Wooley* Pic*
26.03.17 4:15 am

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What a rotten time to be young. The place is full of old farts. The biggest cohort in the Australian demographic is now mid to late sixties. When I was young everyone was young and that was comforting. Now everyone is old and there’s nothing comforting about that. It’s alarming. Old farts are everywhere. There’s even one peering at me while I shave …

Betoota Advocate: Baby Boomers Happy For Nothing To Be Done About Climate Change Until After They Die

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We’re back ... !x

25.03.17 4:27 am

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Hosting issues ( Explanation here ) meant TT was not accessible yesterday. But we’re backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk … more annoying than ever!x

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Dissent in White Ribbon Starts to Bite

Matthew Holloway* Pic: of Bob Pease
24.03.17 4:15 am

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Thursday in Hobart, White Ribbon Research Advisor and University of Tasmania Professor of Social Work Bob Pease launched his White Ribbon Research Series Paper: Men as allies in preventing violence against women; principles and practises for promoting accountability …

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NATION: Jay Weatherill speaks truth to power ...

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic: of Jay Weatherill (official)
21.03.17 4:30 am

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Our parents toiled to make a home hard grubbing t’was and clearing

They wasn’t troubled much by lords when they was pioneering

But now that we have made the land a garden full of promise

Old Greed must crook his dirty hand and come and take it from us

So we must fly a rebel flag as others did before us?

And we must sing a rebel song and join in rebel chorus

We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting of those that they would throttle

They needn’t say the fault is ours if blood should stain the wattle

From Freedom on the Wallaby, Henry Lawson 1891

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‘Slouching towards Kingston to be Born’... or ‘Flustercluck Highway’

jj earthschild* Toon: Mike Baldwin, Cartoonstock
21.03.17 4:15 am

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Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that from Sandy Bay to Kingston the coastal highway has been largely unnavigable for the past six months? …

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Education, productivity and economic performance: Tasmania, then, now and tomorrow

Saul Eslake*
19.03.17 4:30 am

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The 29th John West Memorial Lecture. Hosted by the Launceston Historical Society I want to thank the members of the Committee of the Launceston Historical Society for inviting me to give this, the 29th John West Memorial Lecture. When I look over the list of distinguished historians, scientists, writers and public figures who have stood in this place before me, it is an honour to be numbered among them, and I can but hope that I will do justice to them, as well as to the memory of John West …

Examiner: Saul Eslake presents 2017 Launceston Historical Society John West Memorial Lecture

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Deconstructing the Disability Trump Card

Simone Watson* Pic: of Simone Watson
18.03.17 6:01 am

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Disabled people need access to “sex workers” is the cry I keep hearing. Poor, lonely men with disabilites lack “intimacy” and “skin to skin contact” is another.  It seems to me that arguments for disabled people’s “rights” to sexual access in the form of prostitution come mainly from non-disabled people to assuage their own conscience because they feel sad that disabled people don’t have sex, or are attempting to mitigate their own prejudices and personal distaste for the idea that disabled people are sexual beings at all. So either disabled people are infantilised by these people with the assumption that they can’t have sex, or they are considered not fully human and sexually pitiable. Both positions are ableist and and discriminatory …

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That 1000-pound Gorilla on Mount Wellington: An Occupational Health and Safety issue

Don Maisch* Pics*
17.03.17 2:15 am

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I was somewhat amused at the artist’s pretty rendition of the proposed mountain-top combined cable car terminal, visitor’s centre and cafe (the Pinnacle Centre) on page 5 of The Mercury newspaper, Sunday (26/2/17) …

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A book to give away ... GONE, in 60 seconds ...

17.03.17 2:10 am

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Tassie Times has a book to give away. It’s Beautiful Old Dogs, A Loving Tribute to Our Senior Best Friends. All you have to do is write an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) , including the snail-mail addy to send the book. As always, first in, best dressed!x

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Grid Battery Storage - Like it or Not Liberals? - Here it Comes!

Ted Mead*
17.03.17 2:00 am

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Here it comes, and the last thing the Coal Industry and Liberal Party troglodytes want to hear is that power electricity storage for the grid is on its way. South Australia is presently looking at integrating large megawatt battery storages into their system as they trend towards renewable dominance leaving the coal magnates floundering in panic mode …


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This is the man ...

Lindsay Tuffin* Pics*
16.03.17 5:00 am

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This is the man who holds the key to Tasmanian pokies ...

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NATION: WA Labor Landslide buries Turnbull and Hanson ...

Urban Wronksi (aka David Tyler*) Pic*
14.03.17 4:00 am

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… HRH, one hopes, will overlook Eric’s slight on her inherited privilege, status and wealth - just as women whose hard work and commitment has not yet made them members of the Royal Family may now safely overlook anything the Senator says as the blathering of a manifest idiot who has no clue about gender inequality and less about gender politics …

Bernard Keane, Crikey: Liberals in crisis—from ascendancy to chaos in four years

Bazzabee Satire here ...

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An open letter to politicians ....

Mel Fitzpatrick* On behalf of board members, Climate Tasmania. Pic*
12.03.17 5:30 am

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... Need for a nonpartisan approach to climate change in Tasmania ... In the wake of the Paris Agreement and in light of current and potential damage caused by climate change to Tasmania’s communities and economy, we appeal to you to take a fresh, cooperative approach to a long-term climate change strategy for Tasmania …

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Taking a Monumental Stand on Renewable Energy

Ted Mead*
12.03.17 4:15 am

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Saudi Arabia has seen the light regarding renewable energy, and with crude oil prices predicted to slump to $30 a barrel, the world’s top crude exporter is looking at other means to stimulate their economy through a $50 billion solar and wind initiative. Ironically, back in Australia we seem to be retrograding into the fossil fuel entrenched ethos, and as a result we disregard the economic impetus that this country deserves …

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The death announced today ...

J. Haswell Philippines
12.03.17 4:05 am

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Dear Editor, The death announced today of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel in his village in Papua New Guinea should be acknowledged very loudly throughout Australia. His name was Faole Bokoi. His village was Manari. He’ll be briefly mentioned in the news.

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Braddon voters back real-time political donations disclosure

Bob Burton*
12.03.17 4:00 am

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Polling of more than 700 voters in the conservative Braddon electorate in Tasmania’s north-west has revealed strong support for real-time disclosure of political donations over $1000. The issue is particularly problematic for the Tasmanian Liberal Party. Since the Howard Government eased disclosure thresholds in 2006 Australian Electoral Commission data reveals the Tasmanian Liberal Party has received over $15 million in donations from secret sources.

Fairfax: Deal to block foreign political donations breaks down

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Crescent Bay ‘substantially commenced’. No it isn’t ... !

Peter McGlone, Director, Tasmanian Conservation Trust Inc
12.03.17 3:35 am

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The Crescent Bay development, long abandoned by Dick Smith has come back. It was sold last year to Dick Smith’s son in law …

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Launch of ‘Losing Streak’ today (March 14) ...

James Boyce* Pic*
12.03.17 3:32 am

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Preface to Losing Streak On almost every index, Tasmania is the most disadvantaged state in Australia. The economist Saul Eslake has recently established that Tasmanians are ‘older, sicker, affected more by disability, less likely to have a job, earning less (if employed) and having less by way of real or financial assets than other Australians’. His Tasmania Report found that the island state has ‘greater concentrations of social and economic disadvantage than any other State or Territory’, with gross household incomes about a third less than the national average …

The Conversation: Tasmania’s pokie problem: stress and disadvantage exploited more than anywhere else in Australia

Pat Caplice, Rein in the Pokies: Parliamentary Committee told to Rein in The Pokies

Examiner: Tasmanian gaming inquiry hears of impact of pokies on communities

• Launch of Losing Streak (details below …)

Amanda Lohrey, The Monthly: Tasmania got gamed James Boyce’s ‘Losing Streak’ investigates how one family came to rule the state’s poker-machine industry

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Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

The coming property Armageddon ...

Media Releases
And Media


What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?

Hundreds rally in Newcastle as part of March Australia

Urgent appeal to fight famine and hunger

Statement regarding the Hon Vanessa Goodwin

Milestone achievement for Nyrstar

Dr Vanessa Goodwin

Statement regarding Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin

Dr Vanessa Goodwin

Draft changes to the Local Government Act 1993 released for comment


Premier misleading Tasmanians on Tamar Valley Power Station sale documents

Premier Misleads Tasmanians over Crown Land Giveaways

The Saturday Paper: The Saturday Briefing ...

Beware the Ides of March! The ideas, also

Australian Maritime College should play lead role in submarine training contracts

Teen Challenge Tasmania ...

Teen Challenge compromised: Home of Hope accepts money from big alcohol and gambling

Consumer voice must be at centre of water

Giving every Tasmanian the right to die in a place of ...

Border Force drive asylum seeker to Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre

Making transportation cleaner: Three cities with drive ...



Devonport Regional Gallery: National Youth Week in Devonport (31 March - 9 April) 



Fullers Bookshop Awarded Australian Independent Bookstore of the Year 2017 



Tasting Tasmania ... 



Guatemalan Medicine Women - Medicinal Plants Part 1 

What's On

What's On

Moonah Arts Centre: Double exhibition opening ... 



Uber Drain ... 



#25 that was before the pollies offered electricity (heavied the hydro directors - supine?) to the aluminium smelter and…

Vote Compass

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

Daily Kudelka


Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

TROVE at National Library

Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands