Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
18.05.15 3:00 am
MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.
Neil Chenoweth, AFR
18.05.15 2:45 am
The Australian Taxation Office has only one company in its highest risk category for tax avoidance – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
MSN. Pic: of George Bush
18.05.15 2:35 am
18.05.15 2:30 am
Summer deaths raise concern among entomologists as more than two in five colonies are lost: a ‘loud signal that there’s some bad things happening’
The Old Bear
18.05.15 2:15 am
Wartime anniversaries are coming thick and fast, yet one that deserves mention because there is a Tasmanian tie seems to have been overlooked by other local news media.
18.05.15 2:00 am
These are two really important reviews which need comment ... The first is a plan by the Federal Government to withdraw tax-deductible facilities for environmental groups. The second is a Bill which would make it illegal for coal and gas companies to gain access to land when the owner has refused entry.
18.05.15 1:35 am
While ruling UMNO has appeared paralysed and transfixed by the unfolding 1MDB scandal in KL, which is now enmeshed with toxic raids on the pilgrim and old age funds, it appears that Sarawak has suddenly taken some action on corruption.
Kim Booth MP | Greens Leader, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release Pic* Pub: May 15
17.05.15 5:00 am
The Greens have called for a halt on further public money being provided to the forestry industry in light of confirmation there has been at least one identified case of fraud, and other instances of non-compliance, with the taxpayer funded Tasmanian Forestry Grants Programs.
• John Powell, in Comments: OMG “Minister Harris must also fully explain and justify why he is paying the diesel fuel bills of private contractors and paying sawmillers whom can’t stand on their own feet, public money that should be spent on health and education.” As shareholding Ministers in FT, Harriss and Gutwein should be stood down, and Bob Annells should have a cold hard look at the Corporations Act.
• Steve, in Comments: I loved Harris’s comment that Labor must still be wedded to the Greens because both parties have called for an inquiry. The logic is fascinating. If two people witness a crime and both report it; are they “wed”? Are they connected in any way, apart from witnessing the event to which they are objecting? I appreciate the point is essentially trivial, involving as it does a statement from a Government minister, but it shows just how pathetic they have become when the best argument they against the opposition is that the Greens said it first.
Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell Media Release Pub: May 14. Pic*
17.05.15 4:30 am
Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell, has called on the Tasmanian Greens to nominate an Aboriginal to replace retiring Senator Christine Milne.
• John Francis, in Comments: I was involved in the Green Independents campaign in Tasmania in the 1980s and was fundamentally opposed to these (at least nominal) independent politicians becoming a party. It seemed to me, and it happenend, that as a party, the local members would lose local accountability. That is what happened. Only Kim Booth read the mood of the electorate aright when he refused to jump into bed with Labor, as Nick and Cassie did. Twenty-five or so years down the track, I see that the Greens only marginally represent my interests as a non-major party voter for that entire period of time. I was once called a ‘rusted-on Green’ by a party apparatchik. I was shocked at the audacity of this person who simply took my vote for granted. She did not get how politics works, and has always worked, in this state; it is fundamentally about relationships and the way these relationships are negotiated. Who I vote for is never a foregone conclusion.
Doug Nichols* Pub: May 15
16.05.15 9:00 am
Doug Nichols’ memory was animated by Charles Wooley’s column - which published on Tasmanian Times on Monday with the heading Deceptions and such pranks are fun though .... Charles’ column told the story of the time in the early 70s when he and his uni mates rearranged the heritage-listed Keen’s Curry sign. It wasn’t the first ... or last time ...
Scott Jordan, Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator Media Release. Pic* Pub: May 15
16.05.15 8:15 am
… “Venture Minerals false promises have been exposed. It is the worst kept secret in mining that Venture’s projects can’t proceed”. “It’s time for Government to accept that it was sold a pup, and turn off the subsidy tap.” Venture have received $5.8million since 2009 in Commonwealth cash rebates for it’s exploration activity, and has paid CEO Hamish Halliday $3.4 million in salary, including $1.3 million in bonuses. Venture has never paid company tax, or paid royalties. …
• Ted Mead, in Comments: Hi Scott - How apt is this article for me. I was just thinking of writing something similar but am awaiting the outcome of the current trespass charge against me by Venture Minerals. It seems that do want to prosecute people that wander on public land after all. - Somehow I don’t think that will help there current paltry share price skyrocket on the ASX. To be continued!!!!!!!!
ABC. Guardian. Satire: Leunig, leunig.com.au , used with permission. Pub: May 13
16.05.15 7:59 am
TUESDAY, 6am: • Emma Griffiths, ABC: Budget 2015: What we know so far
• Use the TT NEWS (top nav bar) for all the different comment/analysis from different news sources ...
• Pete Godfrey: Well I had a quick look at the commentary, all in all I would say that the budget was designed like a wind sock, a vote catcher. I would say the best term for it is AdHoc.
• Karl Stevens in Comments HERE Senator Colbeck talks of a strong Australian forestry sector yet most of the major players are from overseas. The plantation industry is completely foreign owned and controlled. Australians are left with only the most basic haulage and chipping operations. I read Colbeck’s statement as just another pork barrelling announcement. Forestry R & D in Australia is a joke in my view. Aren’t these the same ‘scientists’ who created the worlds most expensive but useless trees? If their research is credible then why have so many people lost their wealth on MIS schemes? At the end of the day Senator Colbeck in only working for a foreign-born PM who knighted his own monarch’s husband in my view. This is very shoddy policy from very shoddy and dubious operators in my view.
• Pat Synge, in Comments: We are the second wealthiest country (per capita) in the world and the government has just cut international aid to the lowest level ever. Shame on the Abbott government.
• John Lawrence Mercury: Failing to find path to credibility PRIME Minister Robert Menzies was never pilloried for running 17 successive deficits and risking burdening my generation with onerous amounts of debt. Times, however, changed and deficits became taboo. The latest Federal Budget shows deficits are here to stay — even the uncertain projections of later years reveal deficits. The talk is now of having a creditable path to a surplus. Arguably, the more pressing need is to find a credible path to credibility. Never has there been such a radical shift from one budget to the next, from fixing a debt and deficit disaster to living with a wing and a prayer 12 months later. The Budget is predominantly a political reaction not an economic plan. The centrepiece appeal was to the hearts, minds and pockets …
READ JOHN LAWRENCE’S FULL ANALYSIS on his blog here:
• John Hawkins, in Comments: I am going to sell my Mercedes in the company books at $55,000 to the wife for $35,000 and then take the written down tax deduction of $20,000. I will then buy it back from the wife for $19,900 and write of the $19,900 against the business. Thank you Mr. Hockey.
BILL SHORTEN’S Budget reply ...
WINSTON CHURCHILL ...
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic* Pub: May 12
16.05.15 7:00 am
In response to an invitation by the Senate Economics Committee chaired by Sam Dastyari (with members including Nick Xenophon Bill Heffernan and Peter Whish-Wilson) to make a submission to their inquiry looking at forestry MISs the following brief overview of what happened during the MIS debacle was submitted.Problems with MIS have been written about for a few years but with the dust almost settled following insolvency of the three MIS companies which operated in Tasmania (Gunns FEA and Great Southern) which represented about 50% of the total national MIS scene, it was important to explain that the aftermath is of Hiroshima proportions and needs remedial action lest travesties reoccur in the future ...
• Gordon Bradbury, in Comments: Jack (#4) there may well have been “huge discussions” behind closed doors, but as far as the poor unsuspecting (well some anyway) public was concerned the forestry profession and the forest industry were absolutely in lock-step with the plantation 2020 vision and its monster-child the MIS disaster. Yes there were plenty of other villains as John Lawrence rightly shows. Most of them were handsomely rewarded and continue to remain at large. But tens of thousands of people and families suffered financial ruin. It was clearly a swindle right from the beginning, but because so many powerful people were involved nothing was done. There will never be an MIS royal commission. And the forest industry continues to play politics rather than get on with the business of business. It’s just pathetic!
• John Hawkins, in Comments: The Liberals received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the MIS scammers to protect the Ponzi scheme they had created. Now they must be hoist on this petard.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments HERE So there is $15 million to trial removing trees to mitigate against bushfires. How bloody stupid are these folk, it must have been shown a million times over that if there are no trees next to an area that a crown fire will stop. This has to be another rort. It does not need a trial, study, report or anything other than a pair of eyes to show what will work. Colbeck is a disgrace. He supports the cutting down and burning of our native forests for fuel for furnaces. Why? There is a bloody great big furnace in the sky that provides heat and power free without the pollution. The Lib Lab support of the forest industry reeks of the industry having some deep secrets that the pollies don’t want found out, or the industry gives bloody large donations to them. Either way the way the pillage of our forest has been supported for little profit reeks of corruption.
HACSU Assistant State Secretary Robbie Moore Media Release. Pic: of LGH
15.05.15 4:30 am
The Launceston General Hospital (LGH) is the 300-bed public hospital that provides acute care facilities for residents of Launceston and the northern region of Tasmania. Every year the hospital treats over 24,000 inpatients and over 225,000 outpatients. Information received by HACSU reveals that the waiting lists for people wanting to access specialist clinics are at dangerous levels.
Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Rlease
14.05.15 5:50 am
Today the Senate passed a resolution put forward by Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson calling on the Federal Government to better protect marine mammals in light of the eight dolphin deaths that resulted from the operations of the super trawler Geelong Star.
ABC. Paul Tapp. Pub: May 12
12.05.15 5:45 am
Several people identified as being of interest in one of Tasmania’s most baffling and long-running missing person cases, the 1969 disappearance of Lucille Butterworth, will be issued with summonses, a coroner has told an inquest.
PAUL TAPP’S extensive archive on Tasmanian Times ...
Selena Bryan, ABC. Pic*
12.05.15 5:30 am
A new study has found sea level rise accelerated faster in the past two decades than it did for the majority of the 20th century.
•ABC: El Nino outlook a daunting prospect for farmers already in the grip of drought Farmers already experiencing a series of failed seasons are reeling from the Bureau of Meteorology’s official El Nino declaration. The Bureau says all models are pointing to a classic El Nino, which usually causes drought and warmer conditions in eastern Australia, particularly inland. It is also likely to result in an early and more extreme fire season and more frosts.
Ted Mead. Pic* All Pics: Ted Mead. Pub: May 11
12.05.15 5:30 am
Stretching for around 100 kilometres between West Point and Ahrberg Bay, the windswept coastline of the Tarkine holds some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Tasmania (perhaps the world ...)
• Paul Tapp, in Comments Naturalists as Ted and camera bring us graphic depictions of otherwise hidden flora and fauna of the Tarkine through the pages of the TT. I am sending this article to our French friends, now living in WA. They not only will return, but could be persuaded to relocate to Tassie, as its natural beauty, notwithstanding their encounter with unthinking dog-owners, has been embedded in their memorable experiences, as a unique part of a diminishing world.
JJ Earthschild. Pub: May 11
12.05.15 5:15 am
A poetic tribute to Don Knowler’s Riding the Devil’s Highway, here Little tiny smudge of fur/How I wonder what you were/Possum, quoll or wallaby?/How could you ever possibly/know to stop and look both ways …
• Robert Middleton, USA, in Comments: Good as gold! I have enormous respect and admiration for the author, who clearly possesses wisdom, empathy, compassion, respect for life, and courage.
Bill Benfield. Martinborough NZ
11.05.15 5:20 am
predator free new zealand (pfnz) Since the mid 1950’s, when New Zealand started aerial poisoning to rid the land of invasive mammals, there has been a steady decline in its native wildlife which the poisoning was supposed to advantage.
… What I find amazing about all this is that supposedly sane, allegedly clever people can buy into such a lunatic scheme. Not only will it cost around $27 billion and generate a groundswell of public opposition, but on the basis of the many failures of island eradications on simple uninhabited islands like Birnie in the Kiribatis, Henderson south of Pitcairn and Desechio (Puerto Rica), the prospects for the success of pfnz look hopeless. …
• Tony Orman, in Comments: Bill Benfield has brilliantly exposed the lunacy and waste of public money with NZ’s obsession with poisons. The government and its agencies will create a sterile, silent environment. I’ve seen 1080-ed areas which were like a morgue, deathly and devoid of bird life or any life for that matter, whereas neighbouring valleys not poisoned, were fine.
Urban Wronski http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: April 20. Pic*
11.05.15 5:15 am
Tension is high across Australia in anticipation of the Abbott government’s budget extravaganza, B2, a vaudeville-cum-variety show which opens in Canberra next Tuesday as the existential angst of aid workers attests ...
… Our prosperity is ultimately shaped by forces beyond control of governments, or nations. B2 will be a strategic diversion whilst real power over the nation’s fortunes lies in the hands of international capitalists in a global financial system. And our current local neo-con politicians are happy to surrender even their limited authority to the TPP, for example, such is their deference to international capital, free trade and ‘market forces.’ …
Hilary Burden* https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic(s)*
11.05.15 4:59 am
Inside Spring Bay Mill, dirty jackets hang on hooks as if their owners had just finished a shift and clocked off. It’s four years since arms got shoved into sleeves, buttons tugged, and collars pulled up hard against the cutting southerly on Freestone Point, Triabunna.
Dr Alison Bleaney
11.05.15 4:45 am
Dear Friends, I just signed the campaign: Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
Charles Wooley. Pic*
11.05.15 4:45 am
… Deceptions and such pranks are fun though, especially when you are young and not on the receiving end. Remembering the Tasmanian poet and academic James McAuley, took me back down the time tunnel to the early seventies and my University days, here in River City. The Vietnam War was raging and so were we students. That was in large part because we were likely to be conscripted to stop the advance of Chinese communism in Indochina, lest we would have to fight them on Nutgrove Beach …
11.05.15 4:40 am
For any organisation or person stating that working in the sex trade or brothels is about choice ... think again ... women fleeing Nepal after the earthquake disaster are the tip of the iceberg globally with many women seeking refuge in other countries from fear of gender/race/religion or economic persecution.
Eva Ruzicka, http://evaruzicka.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: of Eva Ruzicka
11.05.15 4:15 am
• Knowledge is power
• Politics, as does Nature, abhors a vacuum
Sam de Brito, The Age. Pic*
11.05.15 3:59 am
If people could rate your reputation in business and personal dealings, how do you think you’d fare? You might be about to find out.
… The rapid shift of humanity from small, rural communities to cities, as well as the demise of organised religion, has ruptured many people’s sense of accountability and this is nowhere more evident than online, where anonymity emboldens individuals to write things they wouldn’t dream of saying in a social situation. With more people now able to make their living online and others happy to use the anonymity of a big city to cloak questionable business or personal behaviour, a reputation rating system for individuals strikes me as an inevitable innovation, though no doubt this is a terrifying thought for some. …
The Failed Estate ... Journalism from the Outside
11.05.15 3:55 am
It’s now four years since the US journalism academic Jay Rosen decried at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival about the “cult of savvy” in political journalism and the treatment of politics as a game for insiders. What’s changed since?
Jason Wilson, The Guardian
11.05.15 3:45 am
Bill Shorten’s response to Christine Milne’s resignation was pretty shabby, but it was also revelatory. After all this time, the ALP – and particularly its right wing – is still unable to process the reality of Australia’s political fragmentation.
Peter. ABC pic of Nicholas Moore
11.05.15 3:35 am
Meanwhile ... a little history ...