Articles

Bill Bostock Benefit

Westhobart blog. Pic: of Bill Bostock
18.03.15 2:23 am

Image for Bill Bostock Benefit

Bill Bostock of BP West Hobart (formerly located on the corner of Arthur and Hill Sts) diligently served our community for 38 years until he was forced to close his doors in 2010 when his lease was not renewed. Through his kindness and generosity, Bill became a much loved and highly respected member of the community whose business became the lifeblood of West Hobart. Serving petrol was not just Bill’s livelihood – it was his life!

Read more

0 comments

History | Society | What's On

Call for permanent fracking ban

Jen Van-Achteren, Mike Gaffney (in Pic)
17.03.15 3:30 am

Image for Call for permanent fracking ban

Independent member of the Legislative Council, the Hon. Mike Gaffney, will table a petition in the Upper House on Tuesday, calling for a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing - fracking - in Tasmania. The petition, begun by community group Frack-Free Tas late last year and sponsored by Mr Gaffney, calls for Tasmanian Parliament to pass legislation removing any future possibility of fracking in the state. “The response that I have received from the community regarding fracking has been overwhelmingly in favour of the practice being banned in Tasmania.  I do not believe that hydraulic fracturing is a practice that would be beneficial for Tasmania.  Whilst I am not anti-development or anti-technology, the facts remain – the current process is largely automated and creates few long-term jobs.  The potential risk to our health, tourism, environment and agricultural sustainability is not worth the claimed employment and economic advantages.”

• Mark Ogge, The Australia Institute: The real economic impacts of coal and gas mining Tuesday March 17 at 7pm. Nell Pascoe Room, Criterion House. 108 Bathurst Street, Hobart

Read more

3 comments

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

Solar meter problems – let’s get it right this time ...

Jack Gilding, Rob Manson*, Todd Lambert Media Releases. Pic: *Bob Burton
16.03.15 5:00 am

Image for Solar meter problems – let’s get it right this time ...

TasNetworks have today revealed that up to 10,000 customers may not have not been correctly paid for the solar power they have exported to the grid. In some cases the problem goes back to 2011.

• State Organiser Todd Lambert, CEPU Tasmania: Tasnetworks Solar Meter Debacle

Solar Citizens: Have your say on a new rule that will benefit all Australian energy consumers

Read more

6 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | Society

Can Tassie devils control feral cats? The devil is in the detail

Bronwyn Fancourt and Elissa Cameron Professor of Wildlife Ecology at University of Tasmania. Photo: Ross Huggett/Flickr.
16.03.15 4:00 am

Image for Can Tassie devils control feral cats? The devil is in the detail

We have only just begun to understand how devils, cats and quolls interact in Tasmania. Extensive research is currently underway that will hopefully provide us with some much needed insights over coming years ... Proposals to reintroduce devils to the mainland are commendable and may potentially yield benefits for species conservation. However, our findings from Tasmania suggest that the predicted benefits of such reintroductions may not be so predictable.

• Jack Jolly, in Comments: Great to see another article from Bronwyn on TT. I can’t remember the exact quote, but the essence is that ‘correlation is the worst form of science’. We were once bombarded with little Excel graphs of the decline of the Tasmanian devil being correlated with an increase in foxes. Story tellers even captivated us with tales of Tasmanian devils once eating all those Tasmanian foxes, foxes that turned out to be false positives and hoaxes. The same people assured us that foxes had been released in Tasmania in a conspiracy. Even ernest academics from UTas assured us it was all true, apparently without the foggiest notion of what they were actually talking about. Then along came the quoll and cat connection. Now devils are the solution for mainland fox control. Dingoes are a virtual homeopathic cure all. But based on what evidence? Very little to none. At best, a lot of speculation and a dash of correlation. Bronwyn appears to have enough integrity to tell it as it is.

Read more

16 comments

Environment | Science

A very dark territory where our conduct as a nation betrays our vision of ourselves

Julian Burnside
16.03.15 3:45 am

Image for A very dark territory where our conduct as a nation betrays our vision of ourselves

Examiner - John West Lecture, Launceston, March 13, 2015  It is a great pleasure to give the 2015 Examiner – John West Lecture.

West seems to have anticipated, without articulating, the sentiments of Paul Keating who once commented that in any two-horse race you should put your money on self-interest for a win, at least you know it will be trying.  His 39 articles against transportation do appear to have a very substantial call on the self-interest of the colonists.However, on my being invited to give tonight’s lecture, I was told that the theme of the lecture was to be related to issues raised by West in his history of Tasmania, which was published in 1852 and that “this gives the lecture a wide scope”.  West commented on religion and spirituality, sectarianism, Protestant-Catholic relations, church-state relations, Tasmania’s aborigines, education, mechanics institutes, libraries and information, journalism, newspapers and communication, temperance, poverty, the status of women, servants and masters, immigration and immigrants, colonial self-government, the rule of law, law and society, violence in society, liberalism, the individual in society, self-help, progress and economic development, insurance and savings banks, and art.

This snapshot of some of his interests suggests that I have a broad canvas on which to work, so settle in …

MEANWHILE in Malaysia ... in Comments ...

Read more

4 comments

Politics | International | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Stage 4: The Final Step in the Colonisation and Possession of Australia

Jules McCue
16.03.15 3:30 am

Image for Stage 4: The Final Step in the Colonisation and Possession of Australia

From the late eighteenth century till 2015: the initial invasion of the great, southern continent will now enter its fourth and final stage of complete displacement of the Original Inhabitants by the English and now Australian Governments.

Concerned Australians: Remote Community Closures

Read more

3 comments

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

All about women ...

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 16. Pic: of Germaine Greer. Julie Bishop on Q&A
16.03.15 3:25 am

Image for All about women ...

‘All About Women,’ the ABC’s maiden International Women’s Day all-women panel episode on Q&A screened 9 March was a disappointing disservice to women even if it did provoke the chauvinist ire of Minister for Women, Tony Abbott into rebuking women of the panel for not taking the plight of the Bali Nine seriously. Abbott later attacked Greer’s levity in challenging Julie Bishop over whether she would flash for the Bali duo’s freedom. The rest of the show, however, was a fizzer.

Read more

4 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Philosophy | Personal | Society

Socially absurd ... and economically backward

Dr Ian Broinowski
16.03.15 3:24 am

Image for Socially absurd ... and economically backward

We touch history through the tips of our fingers. Today we can all run our fingers over the lives of people who lived, loved and died two centuries ago in the houses being so painstakingly unearthed in Salamanca.

• Greg James, in Comments: I have worked very close by to this site and can only endorse Dr Broinowski’s view. The foundations of Reverend Knopwood’s house are about to be demolished and replaced with a car park. The area will for the next couple of centuries be removed from the public’s attention and access. It will be a shadow, lost to all, paved over as a tribute to the car. If a tourist guru and we have so many, could see value in this history and take it on as a B&B, would that make you all happy and make it worth saving.

• Ian Broinowski, in Comments: Stephan, Central Paris was completely redesigned and rebuilt in the 1850’s but of course its older buildings are still in tack. In my letter I refer to European settlement, of course Aboriginal culture is vitally important and part of my motivation comes from the fact that the Aboriginal Community are so committed to preventing the destruction of their culture with modern development such as the highway and other sites which I find inspiring and made me think more about how I can preserve my culture as well, even it it was a slum for decades.

Read more

7 comments

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

Leading Tasmanians defend Safe Schools program

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome Media Release. Pic: of Rdoney Croome
16.03.15 3:22 am

Image for Leading Tasmanians defend Safe Schools program

Tasmanian leaders in education, anti-discrimination and child rights have defended a new school anti-bullying program.

ACL responds to criticism over ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ programme

Read more

1 comments

Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | National | State | Education | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Liberating Australia from an Addiction to Unemployment

Kim Peart*. Pic*
16.03.15 3:20 am

Image for Liberating Australia from an Addiction to Unemployment

Is PM Tony Abbott addicted to unemployment?

Read more

9 comments

Writers | Kim Peart | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Play ...

Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
16.03.15 3:13 am

Image for Play ...

When the world goes violent you would want the bzzz of all its children to be heard above the drones and bombs and planes. Not having children I can’t fathom why adults would want to spoil a little person’s: cuddles in bed in the morning; taking you by the hand on a walk to pick flowers; climbing on to your lap to hear a story being read from a book; grabbing you by the neck when you swim in a river; sitting on your crossed leg asking to be bounced…

Imagine a world where the urge to protect child’s play is more powerful than the urge to go to war.

Read more

0 comments

Writers | Hilary Burden | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Philosophy | Personal | Society

Great Speech (1)

Barack Obama
16.03.15 3:00 am

Image for Great Speech (1)

… It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.  …

Read more

0 comments

Politics | International | National | Opinion | History | Society

Great Speech (2)

Ricky Muir in the Senate. Pic*
16.03.15 2:45 am

Image for Great Speech (2)

TRANSCRIPT: Senator MUIR (Victoria) (16:00): This is not my first—hang on; it is, finally! It may have taken eight months and four days, but finally I am standing here in this great chamber presenting my first speech.

Read more

2 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Freedom of conscience and the Liberal Party

Max Atkinson* Pic*
16.03.15 2:30 am

Image for Freedom of conscience and the Liberal Party

In recent times Liberal Party supporters were shocked to see how many of their elected members wanted to replace the Prime Minister, and to learn that Abbott was himself taken by surprise. It spurred a move, by NSW Liberal politicians John Alexander and Angus Taylor, to change the rules - as Labor did under former PM Kevin Rudd - to raise the voting bar for a leadership spill to 60 or 70 per cent.

Read more

3 comments

Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Epitaph to Forestry Tasmania

William Boeder*. Pic: Daniel Haley of logging at Catamaran
16.03.15 2:15 am

Image for Epitaph to Forestry Tasmania

There is a reason for all of Forestry Tasmania’s huge debts; quite frankly it is due to directorship by a succession of Chairmen/Board Directors and former CEO’s who had initially been appointed to a position on the board of this now destitute and asset-depleted Government Business Enterprise.

Read more

6 comments

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

Four Cases ...

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp
16.03.15 2:00 am

Image for Four Cases ...

A little bit mad; only a little bit guilty.  This is Evan Whitton’s revised version of a piece on diminished responsibility which appeared in Justinian on February 7, 2005

Read more

0 comments

Writers | Evan Whitton | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Media | Society

Lambie calls for Pyne’s sacking over his latest Higher Education threat

Rob Messenger Media Release. Pic: ABC, of Christopher Pyne
15.03.15 2:18 pm

Image for Lambie calls for Pyne’s sacking over his latest Higher Education threat

Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie will ask that doctors release her early from Hospital so that she can be personally in the Parliament to vote down the Liberal’s Higher Education Bill. “Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s latest threat to hold to ransom 1700 research jobs - is the last straw. He should just resign or the PM should just sack him. This makes my blood boil. It is just another desperate, juvenile and bumbling attempt to blackmail the Senate Cross Benchers into voting for his so called “Higher Education Reforms””.

Surely as a developed nation we can afford to invest 1% of our GPD in Higher Education? I will move heaven and earth to be in the Chamber on Wednesday to vote against Pyne’s vile legislation, even if it means being hooked up to a drip. Mr Pyne will need more than just a Kleenex I offered him at the start of this debate for the political pain I’m about to cause him. He may need a dose of the intravenous anti-biotic I’ve been on.” said Senator Lambie.

Read more

13 comments

Politics | National | State | Economy | Education | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Moon rising over Saltwater River

Photo: Geoff Couser.
15.03.15 7:30 am

Image for Moon rising over Saltwater River

Moon rising over Saltwater River, Tasmania.

Read more

2 comments

Writers | Geoff Couser | Environment

Hobart health risked by cruise ships? Background Briefing’s shocking report

Editor. Guardian. Mercury. Main pic* Pub: Mar 11
15.03.15 7:00 am

Image for Hobart health risked by cruise ships? Background Briefing’s shocking report

Every Cargo Cult has a dark underbelly ... and Right-wing zealot Alan Jones has exposed the latest. Which immediately raises the question: What damage is being done to the health of Tasmanians living near visiting cruise ships? In summer the exhausts of cruise ships blows in and around Sullivans Cove - including Salamanca - and over existing hotels.

AND ...

• There is no greater Cargo Cult in Tasmania than Forestry ... the millions devoured by this Neanderthal is the stuff of nightmares. And it’s about this time of year ... the time of crisp, clear blue autumn skies when Forestry decides it’s time for a good “regeneration” burn ...

• Cassy O’Connor: The Autumn of Respiratory Distress Gets Underway ...

John Lawrence: Further comment on the article, Things that can’t last ... FT fails the test, says Examiner Peter, Frank, My position on the problems of the forest industry is well known and hasn’t changed. When I referred to the current FT GBE model I meant the specific legal structure, not its modus operandi. Up until the last few years FT has pretended that government assistance has been compensation for lost resources and/or funds for non commercial activities (research etc) and community service obligations. It was always obvious to close observers that FT’s problems ran far deeper. But the financial statements under the Kloeden-Gordon regime tried to gloss over the fact FT was selling timber below cost. Even the Auditor General has pointed this out …

• phill Parsons, in Comments: Following on #10. The NSW election has spurred all the major parties to promise action. In other places the cruise ships are required to burn low sulphur fuel and this is the Liberals solution flagged for June 2016. Tasmania should have at least the same requirement. Is the Tasmanian EPA as fast asleep as the NSW one was when they approved Wide Bay after they gave Barangaroo to Packer?. … The Guardian reports that only 24 hours after Alan Jones flagged making cruise ship pollution an election issue the Liberals announced their phase out by June 2016 policy. Does this speak pf the power of Alan Jones or the closeness of the election according to internal Liberal polling?

SUNDAY ...

Anne Connolly, Background Briefing: Cruising’s Dirty Secret Residents of the Sydney suburb of Balmain say they’ve been suffering health problems ever since a new cruise ship terminal opened at nearby White Bay in 2013. ‘We realized over a number of months that a lot of the neighbours were becoming sick and we started talking to each other about the fact that we had unusual headaches that we’d never experienced before,’ says Kate Horrobin, a Balmain resident. ‘Little kids were getting sick with asthma that they hadn’t had before or those with asthma are having worsening symptoms. All of these things were unusual symptoms. People were experiencing respiratory problems, even nausea. ‘We started to put two and two together and think about the cruise ships as being the new entrant to the local area, and we started to do some research. We were pretty horrified by what we found.’

Read more

45 comments

Writers | Lindsay Tuffin | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Vanuatu: The Cyclone Pam disaster ... with link to where you can give ...

ABC
15.03.15 6:30 am

Image for Vanuatu: The Cyclone Pam disaster ... with link to where you can give ...

Disaster management teams are preparing to make their way to many of Vanuatu’s remote communities which took a direct hit from Tropical Cyclone Pam.

Where you can give to the Red Cross Appeal ...

Christine Milne: Aid for Vanuatu welcome and essential but not enough

Read more

0 comments

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

Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Craig Moritz, Australian National University (ANU), Emilie-Jane Ens, Macquarie University and Jon Altman, ANU.
14.03.15 4:05 pm

Image for Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Amid the questioning of government support for remote Aboriginal communities and what Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the “lifestyle choices” of those who live there, the growing role of Aboriginal management of large areas of remote Australia has been overlooked.

Read more

8 comments

Politics | National | Environment | Science

NATION, STATE: National conversation called by those who are deaf to all form of entreaty

Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 13
14.03.15 5:00 am

Image for NATION, STATE: National conversation called by those who are deaf to all form of entreaty

Canberra is notorious for its gas-baggers, blatherskites, hum-buggers, codswallopers, and hog-washers but lately it has been in the grip of an obsession with national conversation. The phrase is on everyone’s lips. It monopolises the media. Every pollie, panjandrum, business busybody, wannabe and has-been it seems, is suddenly up for a chinwag.

Bob Ellis, Independent Australia: Abbott’s Tipping Point

ABC: Bass Strait subsidy extension announcement expected during PM Tony Abbott’s visit to Tasmania

ABC: Anger as Tasmanian gas company TasGas doubles fixed fees for small consumers

SMH: Palmer United Party official claims Glenn Lazarus quit after wife Tess was sacked

Lambie delivers an extra $203M for Tasmanian’s Freight Equalization Scheme, includes comment on the resignation of GLENN LAZARUS

TT Media here for reactions to the freight equalisation story ... and everything else!

AND ... the Green Army graduates ...

ABC: Derby Green Army graduates celebrate their results

Read more

15 comments

Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Media | Personal | Society

Assange says Swedish about-face a victory

SkyNews. Pic*
14.03.15 4:45 am

Image for Assange says Swedish about-face a victory

Julian Assange has told his lawyer it’s a ‘victory’ that Swedish prosecutors have performed an about-face and finally agreed to interview him in London regarding allegations he sexually assaulted two women in 2010.

SMH: Julian Assange’s security bill costs the UK nearly $20 million a year

Read more

0 comments

Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

MH370 flew to Kazakhstan: Jeff Wise outlines new theory

The Age
14.03.15 4:30 am

Image for MH370 flew to Kazakhstan: Jeff Wise outlines new theory

A science journalist and author who researched the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has published a controversial theory - that the plane was hijacked on Vladimir Putin’s instruction and flown to an airport in Kazakhstan.

Age: Russian President Vladimir Putin has gone missing from public view without any explanation and Russians are wondering why.

euronews: Satirists run riot online ...

Read more

10 comments

Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Science | Society

Huon Valley Guessing Games: The Waterloo Bay fiasco

Bob Hawkins. Pics: of Surges Point Pub: Mar 10
14.03.15 3:00 am

Image for Huon Valley Guessing Games: The Waterloo Bay fiasco

The Huon Valley Council-Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) impasse over the pie-in-the-sky Waterloo Bay barge proposal ( More Pie in the Sky for the Huon ) looks to be entirely a consequence of management failure to properly advise the chair during the course of council’s January 25 ordinary meeting.

• Bob Hawkins, in Comments: … #1 and #2. Ben and Linda, you reflect something that is all too common in our society: you don’t feel free to identify yourselves. And are you sure you don’t have axes of your own to grind? I think grinding axes is a respectable trade. Why don’t you come out of hiding and hang up your shingles?

• Karl Stevens, in Comments: Now that Huon Council has voted to support the wood chip barges proposal, Tasmania could soon be seeing 1 million tonnes of native forest chips exported per year. Artec in the North has a 600,000 tonnes PA capacity. I don’t think there is that much native forest left. Hodgman and Abbott are playing a high-risk game with the worlds climate by decimating these forests. I would say the Tasmanian Greens are not able to counter the Liberal onslaught on the ecology of this island. I hope we see a committed new leader in Tasmania that can take-on the alleged ‘psychopaths’ of the Liberal Party. That leader does not appear to be part of the present political milieu.

Read more

23 comments

Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Planning/Heritage | Society

WIN!X ... Won!x

Editor
14.03.15 2:30 am

Image for WIN!X ... Won!x

TWO free tickets to Fair Food: The Documentary ...  and TWO books. FIRST to write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) gets ‘em! Winners’ names will be on the door list ...  and you can collect the books on the night.

All the details HERE

AND ...

... John has snapped ‘em up!x

Read more

0 comments

What's On

Stage 1 EOI assessments complete

Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage Media Release. Pic* Pub: Mar 12
13.03.15 4:45 am

Image for Stage 1 EOI assessments complete

A total of 25 eco-tourism projects will proceed to Stage 2 of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s EOI process.

ABC Wrap: Helipad on Tasman Island among latest tourism pitches for national parks projects

Read more

9 comments

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

Regional newsrooms sliced in half in Fairfax scythe. Tassie next ...

Myriam Robin, Crikey
13.03.15 4:30 am

Image for Regional newsrooms sliced in half in Fairfax scythe. Tassie next ...

Staff at three of Fairfax’s largest Victorian regional papers are bracing for cuts that will slice their newsrooms in half, as the company seeks 62 editorial redundancies in Victoria, which will also affect another 10 publications. And Tasmania - The Examiner and The Advocate - appears to be next in line for the scalpel ...

YEARS AGO ... on Tasmanian Times ...

Read more

5 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | History | Media | Society

NATION: Resist the Fear and Loathing. First Dog ...

Ben Quin*. Pic: of Jamal Rifi. Pub: Mar 10
13.03.15 4:15 am

Image for NATION: Resist the Fear and Loathing. First Dog ...

In the news yesterday was an article written by Dr Jamal Rifi, who is known as a campaigner against Islamic extremism and the radicalisation of young Australians.  I have included the full text of the article at the end of my submission and recommend it to you.

• Bazzabee, in Comments HERE: I have taken the time and the trouble to read The Atlantic article in full twice and I feel that I have not yet fully absorbed the enormity of it. I would strongly urge anyone who has any interest in the future of political, social relations with the middle East and with the Islamic countries to our North to read this article in full. This article should be compulsory reading for each and every federal politician especially those in cabinet in particular the Prime Minister should read it before committing one more defence member to Iraq.

Guardian: Labor extends lead in latest opinion poll as Abbott improves personal rating Opposition extends lead to 10 points while prime minister and Bill Shorten both improve their personal approval ratings

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept: New Zealand Prime Minister retracts vow to resign if mass surveillance is shown

ABC: United Nations special rapporteur Juan Mendez denies Australia being lectured on human rights

WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY ... Tony does it again ... And Joe takes his eyes off the Budget to sue Fairfax ...

Fairfax: Rolf de Heer slams Tony Abbott over ‘lifestyle choice’ comments on remote Aboriginal communities

ABC: Treasurer Joe Hockey tells defamation hearing he was ‘too busy’ preparing budget to respond to Fairfax journalist

Fairfax: Tony Abbott’s 10 biggest gaffes, clangers and cringeworthy moments

The West Australian: Aboriginal leaders take aim at Abbott

FRIDAY ... and First Dog has a lash ...

First Dog on The Moon, Guardian: Lifestyle Choices of the Rich and Racist

Read more

12 comments

Politics | International | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Endangered Species Makes Last Stand At Bellerive

Boohoo
12.03.15 4:30 am

Image for Endangered Species Makes Last Stand At Bellerive

Conservation groups have launched a desperate rearguard action to save a critically endangered species once found at Bellerive Oval. Announcing the campaign, Greens MP Nick McKim said only urgent steps could prevent the impending tragic loss of the all-run four.

Read more

2 comments

Regulars | Boohoo | Satire | Society