Articles

Who is Nathan Carswell?

Bob Burton. Image: Nathan Carswell's Facebook page.Pub: Aug 13
18.08.14 3:20 am

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Nathan Carswell seems to be a man of strong opinions: he loves the idea of building a cable car up kunanyi/Mt Wellington, admires cable car developer Adrian Bold and derides critics of the proposed project. He has had comments published on Tasmanian Times as well as The Mercury website but – with one minor exception – only ever on the topic of the cable car. Back in late 2012 Carswell even made a detailed submission to the Wellington Park Management Trust, urging the agency to change the management plan to accommodate the cable car. In his submission he even went so far as to argue against the practice of the Hobart City Council clearing the road to the summit of Mount Wellington after heavy snowfall. Who exactly is Nathan Carswell?

• Susan Smith, in Comments: Wow well done - reassuring to see that investigative journalism still alive and well. Thank you.

• Nathan Carswell, in Comments: Wow, what a beat up. Is friendship an offence now? I contribute to these debates under another name (as I’m sure many opponents equally do). I’m still a ratepayer, and my opinions expressed still count. I just prefer not to use my own name for privacy reasons. While Adrian has passed on your number, I have no inclination to talk with the reporter for the same reason.

• Alderman Eva Ruzicka, in Comments: This article raises some very serious concerns for any planning process.  I have asked our Council’s General Manager what safeguards are in place to test the veracity of any representor submissions to a development application generally.  Likewise, can he verify what safeguards that the Trust has? That Aldermen will likely have to assess any development application on its land on kunanyi/Mt Wellington, this article raises a serious allegation of perversion of the planning process.  If people are salting the Trust process for assessing any changes to the Pinnacle Zone, how seriously can the Trust’s deliberations be taken?

• Nathan Carswell, in Comments: I’m Nathan Carswell and so is my wife.

Respect The Mountain Re: Nathan Carswell: Trust must clamp down

• Phil na Champassak, in Comments: This is a forensic examination at its best. Making a public submission under a nom de plume is seriously misleading and has probably consigned the cable car project to oblivion.

Ted Cutlan, ROCC: Mountain assessment process flawed “The current process means that anyone can put in an anonymous submission. We call on the minister Matthew Groom to review the process and restore the integrity of the management of the mountain” “ROCC will be writing to the WPMT today, insisting that the current changes to the management plan should be abandoned until the integrity of the process can be assured.”

• Alderman Eva Ruzicka, in Comments: So I asked the questions: What safeguards does Hobart City Council have for determining the authenticity of development application representations?  Is it possible for a person to fake an identity to lodge a representation and for Hobart City Council to not know?  Further, given the land on Mt Wellington belongs to Hobart City Council, and the issues raised by Mr Burton, what measures can the Council take to test the veracity of any management plan submissions for amendment, either for or against?  Especially now as there is a management plan amendment open for submissions and much is riding on the outcome? And the end result of my enquiries:

• Editors, in Comments: Pilko Steve & Ben: The “Who is Nathan Carswell?” story in the view of the editors does not disclose personal information and therefore the privacy issue does not arise.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Environment | Editor's Choice | Planning/Heritage | Mt Wellington Cable Car | Legal | Media

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (25)

Don Knowler. Pic: Wikipedia's picture of the Organ Pipes
18.08.14 3:15 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year 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. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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

Bacall and Bogart

Evan Whitton
18.08.14 3:00 am

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TO MAKE SOME kind of sense of the following, rather fraught, interview, we append some brief data on Ms. Lauren Bacall and Mr Humphrey Bogart.

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Writers | Evan Whitton | Arts | History | Personal | Society | Tribute

Abortion-on-Demand Revisited

Christopher Nagle, writing.com
18.08.14 2:45 am

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When I started in the early years of this century to apply a consistent analysis of the consumer revolution that had begun to assemble itself in the 1950s and some aspects of the sexual revolution that had come in its wake ( See Meditations on Post-Modernity at http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1576546-Meditations-on—Postmodern... )  it started to dawn on me that some of the rather blithe assumptions of my youth lacked sufficient substance to withstand rigorous critical inspection; particularly the ideology coming out from the now old New Left libertarian laissez-faire human rights crowd.  But change in my attitudes was slow in coming, for ‘progressivism’ had once been my ideological meat and drink.

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Politics | National | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Mediocrity: The New Normal

Mandy Jackson-Beverly
18.08.14 2:30 am

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There’s a new disease spreading through the collective, and it makes me very sad. It doesn’t cause lumps or fevers, and it’s not fixable by a course of antibiotics, but make no mistake—it is frighteningly contagious. The symptoms are as follows: lethargy, indifference, laziness, a lack of excitement, occasional feelings of entitlement, depression and perhaps the saddest symptom of all—a decrease in one’s lack of purpose; it’s called mediocrity.

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Writers | Mandy Jackson-Beverly | Opinion | Personal | Society

Campbell Newman’s solar fee ...

John Thirgood, http://www.solarsquad.com.au
18.08.14 2:15 am

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Now Joscelyn ‘s son Campbell Newman has infiltrated Queensland and put up to $500 a day fee on any Business with solar ( Campbell Newman Shame Files, Facebook here ), Tasmania can create a major opportunity to shift business to the Broadband state.

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

Council Spray Policy

Ken White, Woodbridge
18.08.14 1:45 am

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... and its destructive result ...

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

Techniques of neutralisation – a framework of prejudice

Politics and Insights, kittysjones, http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/
18.08.14 1:30 am

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Societies may enable or hinder disabled people through policies and attitudes. We have moved such a long way from the Labour era of “celebrating diversity and equality” and from a time of simply celebrating the achievements of disabled people. Now we can’t walk with our head up for fear of attack, or someone telling us we are faking our disability in some way. We are labelled the undeserving, This government have lied and lied to try and justify their punitive policies. Our lives have become the moral property of the government, public and wilfully ignorant, egocentric celebrities. We are no longer free to just be.

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Writers | Philip Lynch | Politics | International | National | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

The De-industrialization of America

Paul Craig Roberts, Dave Kranzler, and John Titus
18.08.14 12:45 am

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On January 6, 2004, Paul Craig Roberts and US Senator Charles Schumer published a jointly written article on the op-ed page of the New York Times titled “Second Thoughts on Free Trade. [1]” The article pointed out that the US had entered a new economic era in which American workers face “direct global competition at almost every job level–from the machinist to the software engineer to the Wall Street analyst. Any worker whose job does not require daily face-to-face interaction is now in jeopardy of being replaced by a lower-paid equally skilled worker thousands of miles away. American jobs are being lost not to competition from foreign companies, but to multinational corporations that are cutting costs by shifting operations to low-wage countries.” Roberts and Schumer challenged the correctness of economists’ views that jobs off-shoring was merely the operation of mutually beneficial free trade, about which no concerns were warranted.

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Politics | International | National | Economy | Society

Hundreds rally to oppose Tasmania’s repressive anti-protest laws

Jenny Webber, Bob Brown Foundation Media Release. Pic*
16.08.14 7:26 pm

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“Will Hodgman may jail me to take away my freedom in order to settle an argument he cannot otherwise defend. Paul Harriss may take my property. Eric Abetz may confiscate my pension. But like so many others here, and so many more beyond this City Hall, I will not be bullied or cowered by their brutal strategy.”

“This Bill aims to regulate protest activity conducted on a ‘business premises’ or ‘business access area’.  For Tasmanian Aboriginal people, our place of business is our Country.  When the mining and forestry machinery come to destroy our ‘place of business’ where is the legislation to protect us from potentially ‘invasive and destructive activity’? 

Jan Davis: Tasmania’s private forest managers back inside the tent

Paul Harriss: Ministerial Advisory Council on Forestry

Paul Harriss: Supporting Free Speech in Tasmania

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

Guy Barnett and The Witch Hunters: Answer these questions, Mr Barnett ...

John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pub: Aug 14. Pic*
16.08.14 5:14 am

Image for Guy Barnett and The Witch Hunters: Answer these questions, Mr Barnett ...

Georgie Burgess, writing in The Examiner of Wednesday August 13th, quotes Mr Terry Edwards:

... this is extremely damaging to Forestry Tasmania and the logging industry in this state. It implies, that Forestry Tasmania is selling the finest peeler billets out of our state forests on the basis that it only becomes economic to Ta Ann if trucked at public cost to their factory. It implies that the Forestry Tasmania peeler billets are of little or no value under the contract and without a subsidy Ta Ann will close.

So Mr Barnett, if you are on a witch hunt, try finding out how much we subsidise this loss-making Malaysian business that is Ta Ann and how much of the $11 million is spent to take the peeler billets to their factory. When the free gifts cease will your government pick up the tab to keep this loss-making business in Tasmania?

Yes or No?

• John Hawkins, The Witch Hunt Part Two: Barnett, Further to yesterday and evidence tendered by Gordon at your public witch-hunt.

Bryan Green: Hidding must face Triabunna inquiry

• Terry Edwards, in comments: In response to John Hawkins ... You assert that no evidence was produced to the Triabunna Inquiry in support of the subsidy payments made to the Tasmanian forest industry in respect of residues ...

• Ben, in Comments: Its concerning that the Tasmanian media seem not to understand that the “evidence” being presented to this inquiry is nothing more than hearsay being given in coward’s castle under parliamentary privilege. This is not evidence as we would understand it in a legal sense, and it would not be allowed in a court of law without actual proof to back it up. So where is the proof that any of the claims made before this inquiry are actually truthful? Where is the proof that Aprin would have had access to $16 million “just days” after the mill was sold elsewhere? Is there any paperwork to show that this claim is even remotely true? Where is the proof that anyone made a truly serious offer to reopen Triabunna? Paperwork tends to exist when deals worth millions of dollars are being negotiated, so where is it?  Where is the proof that any of Bob Gordon’s assertions have any merit whatsoever? Did Forestry Tasmania keep records? Why hasn’t Forestry Tasmania released a copy of the letter it sent Triabunna Investments, calling for the mill to be reopened but failing to provide a business case? While the lack of questioning about the glaring absence of concrete proof is understandable in the Liberal-dominated inquiry, why are the media playing along? Why aren’t they asking questions about proof, and whey aren’t they conveying the complete lack of proof to their audiences?

• mr t in Comments: Very well researched John Hawkins. The financial viability of Aprin and its associated companies and partners together with the real capital available at the time is directly relevant to the potential sale of the Triabunna mill to this consortium by Gunns. It would seem the offer by Ron O’Connor and his partners may have been devoid of sufficient finance to match the offer by Wood and Cameron. Secondary to this is the question of Ron O’Connor, his associated companies and assets post the TFA. Did he accept funds under the TFA? Did he liquidate his assets and, if so, to whom? Has he exited the industry? Of course, this inquiry appears as a proving ground for Mr Barnett and I suspect Paul Harriss and Eric Abetz are skulking in the orchestra pit. Alas we will never know because all good leaders in Australian politics ensure being arm’s length on all occasions unless there is an actual success.

Richard Griggs, Jenny Weber, Adam Gregory, Nick McKim MP, Charlie Sherwin, Phil Harrington: Coalition of Tasmanians oppose the Hodgman Government’s undemocratic anti-protest bill Tasmanians will rally tomorrow to oppose the State Government’s draconian anti-protest bill that is set to be debated in the Legislative Council in the coming weeks.  At the City Hall in Hobart, 20 organisations will rally Tasmania’s community together to urge the Legislative Councillors to reject the bill. WHAT: Rally WHEN: Saturday 16 August TIME: 12 NOON. WHERE: City Hall, Hobart

• What it’s all about, Briefing Note on Paul Harriss’ plans:
Briefing_Note_for_Conservation_Groups-1.docx

Jan Davis: Tasmania’s private forest managers back inside the tent “We welcome this initiative and we look forward to working with other stakeholders to move past the old-fashioned rhetoric and create a vibrant and sustainable forest industry that once again delivers valued outcomes for all Tasmanians.” Ms Davis said. Mr Harriss has announced he will chair the advisory council with former Legislative Council president, Sue Smith, a director of the TFGA, as deputy chair.

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Writers | John Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Tasmania faces a budget emergency

Phil na Champassak. Pic* Pub: Aug 14
15.08.14 5:30 am

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Tasmania is experiencing a further $44 million blowout, bringing the 2013/14 FY deficit to $398.7 million: Mercury here

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Chip Mill Inquiry: ‘A political witch-hunt and waste of public money’. Graeme Wood responds ...

Alec Marr, Submission to inquiry into Triabunna Woodchip Mill. Pic* Pub: Aug 13
15.08.14 5:00 am

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Dear Committee Members, I have decided to respond to the invitation from the Committee to make comment on a number of issues. I do this in a voluntary capacity because I no longer work for Triabunna Investments. I finalized my role as the General Manager of Triabunna Investments in October, 2013. First of all let me say that the political witch-hunt being conducted by the Liberal Party of Tasmania at the State and Federal level is an unconscionable waste of public money, will inevitably discourage new investors to the State and is designed to distract Tasmanians from the real task of Government to foster a prosperous and healthy future for all Tasmanians. This latest attack by the Liberal Government on Triabunna Investments, its owners and staff has been a consistent pattern ever since Triabunna Investments acquired the closed and mothballed Triabunna Woodchip mill.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times:

STATE: Triabunna Inquiry Witness List Released. Protest laws to catch pensioners ...

APRIN: The Final Question. What Greg and Lara said. Marr to be mill boss!

Kim Booth: Budget update ‘dropped’ late in attempt to hide from scrutiny “It is no coincidence that the Treasurer releases his so-called ‘preliminary estimates’ update at 3:30 in the afternoon on the same day that the first public hearings of the bread and circuses Triabunna Mill Inquiry are underway,” Mr Booth said. “Clearly the Liberals are trying to hide from scrutiny and the fact that it doesn’t matter how often they redo the state’s financial figures, it always comes back as an indictment on their push to strip Tasmania of at least $70 million each year in lost carbon tax dividends.”

ABC, Triabunna inquiry: Mill owner Graeme Wood considers legal action over sale probe Millionaire environmentalist Graeme Wood is considering legal action against the chairman of a Tasmanian parliamentary inquiry into the sale of the Triabunna woodchip mill. Parliament’s cross-party community development committee is investigating the sale of the former Gunns mill in 2011 to Mr Wood, the Wotif founder, and Tasmanian businesswoman Jan Cameron. Allegations of personal grudges, political interference and hidden business agendas were made during Tuesday’s hearing. Mr Wood said the committee had exceeded the authority of parliament. In a statement, he said the terms of reference fell outside the committee’s scope and, as such, he believed parliamentary privilege no longer stood. He said the committee’s chairman, Liberal MP Guy Barnett, had used privilege to make “groundless criticisms” which were unjustified and inaccurate.

Rebecca White: Damning revelations over Triabunna port

Charlie Sherwin: Federal environmental approvals powers must not be handed to the Tasmanian government

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

NATION, Joe Hockey: Poor don’t have cars ...

ABC. Pic* Pub: Aug 14
15.08.14 4:44 am

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has accused Treasurer Joe Hockey of being an “arrogant”, “cigar-chomping” politician over his remarks that poor people will not be affected by the increase to the fuel excise because they “don’t have cars”.

Daily Mail: He doesn’t believe poor people drive - but they’re still paying for him to: Joe Hockey’s road travel expenses cost taxpayers more than $200,000 over past the four years • Treasurer Joe Hockey claimed more than $200K in the past four years • Expenses come from his Commonwealth car, private car and Cabcharge • These have come to light following comment ‘poor people don’t drive cars’ • Mr Hockey’s personal wealth has also been revealed • His property portfolio is worth an estimated $10 million • His comments came as the government looks to reintroduce a twice-yearly indexation increases on petrol • Welfare groups have hit back at him saying he is out of touch with people

Arena: Abbottville by Boris Frankel Visions of society and democracy in the Abbott/Hockey budget

Daily Telegraph: Taxpayers footing bill on Treasurer Joe Hockey’s $1.5 million Canberra house

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | History | Personal | Society

Tasmania has Important Role to Play to Progress Medicinal Cannabis Trials

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Health spokesperson
15.08.14 4:30 am

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The sudden intervention by the Commonwealth to overturn Norfolk Island’s approval for medicinal cannabis trials is a predictable display of narrow-minded and petty politics, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

Lara Giddings: Ferguson out of touch on medicinal cannabis

Michael Ferguson: Norfolk Island Decision Proves Caution is Needed

MEANWHILE, another form of hemp ..

Andrew Wilkie: Farms hungry for industrial hemp for human consumption

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Shree and The Tarkine: The Black Knight Always Triumphs ... The Pictures tell the story ...

Tom Ellison, Facebook Page Tarkine Action, https://www.facebook.com/TarkineAction Pub: Aug 12
15.08.14 4:00 am

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Long after the ASX finished trading last Friday, at 7.15pm (a time when most self-respecting analysts are into their third glass of pinot noir), Shree Minerals released details of what they call a ‘pro-rata, non renounceable rights issue.’

There’s a good chance Shree’s auditors will take a dim view of this, along with ASIC and the ASX.  But the big loser is Tasmania. Shree was trumpeted by politicians on both sides as one of North West Tasmania’s economic saviours.  Instead, it now has the credibility of the aforementioned Monty Python sketch.

• Shree Minerals, Nelson Bay River mine site. Pictures taken Aug 2014 ...

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Tasmania’s newest attraction - a barren pit in the Tarkine, includes links to previous stories ...

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Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | History | Society

Answering some questions on Solis

Mayor Bertrand Cadart, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council Media Release Pub: Aug 13. All Pictures: Paul Tapp
13.08.14 5:00 am

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The Mayor and Councillors of Glamorgan Spring Bay have quite understandably been receiving many questions from residents and ratepayers in recent weeks regarding the Solis development at Louisville Point, Orford.  What is the plan moving forward and what is Council’s involvement?

Mike Kent, Mayoral candidate, wants inquiry into bullying claims

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

‘Mike Kent For Mayor’

Paul Tapp. Pub: Aug 11
13.08.14 4:40 am

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It started with the ‘bogan’ slur ( TT here ) and has ended with Gutwein’s cello-sized fiddling with the Local Government Act that now fast-tracks all rate-payers to run for mayor without the need to be a councilor first.

Mayor Bertrand Cadart: Mayor Promotes Tasmania Overseas

ABC: Triabunna inquiry: Witness claims grudge by Gunns boss played role in 2011 mill sale

ERDO: Information Forum for prospective councillors

Mike Kent, Mayoral candidate, wants inquiry into bullying claims

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7 comments

Writers | Paul Tapp | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion

NATION: Abbott’s flight of fancy

Phil na Champassak. Pic: of Tony Abbott. Pub: Aug 12
12.08.14 6:14 am

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Our Prime Minister Tony Abbott is trying to have his own ‘Port Arthur’ moment. The trouble is, unlike Howard, he doesn’t control events overseas, particularly in the Ukraine.

But the time has come for Australians to call for a more important operation, “Bring Him Home”. Abbott, that is. To govern the country, and to sort out the budget mess that is paralysing Australia.

news.com.au: Tony Abbott acknowledges disappointment of voters and starts to tighten up government management

ABC: Local governments cutting road maintenance to deal with funding freeze in federal budget

Guardian: Tony Abbott improves in Newspoll, but Labor keeps election-winning lead

Michael Mansell: Aboriginal farming sector looking to sell meat and dairy to Russia to avoid sanctions ... we have no beef with Russia The Russian ban on Australian meat and dairy products, worth an estimated $310m, could be filled by Aboriginal cattle and dairy farmers, Michael Mansell said today. Former ATSIC Head, Geoff Clark, came up with the idea and has made contact with the Russian Consulate in Australia. The Consulate is interested in holding talks.

BusinessSpectator: Will a Liberal MP resist cuts to renewable energy jobs and investment?

• Andrei Nikulinsky, in Comments: Why would the Prime Minister arrange for a Freedom of Information request about his citizenship to be rejected? What would the Prime Minister have to hide?  Why wouldn’t he just produce the valid documents indicating that he has renounced his British citizenship and is legitimately a member of parliament?

Age: New election mooted to bust budget impasse

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

Sunken treasure or desperate forest policy?

Dr. Gordon Bradbury, http://www.blackwoodgrowers.com.au
12.08.14 6:00 am

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Mercury: Sunken treasure: Bold plan to rescue precious forests  SMF: Federal funding to unlock underwater timber Like so many I was originally supportive of the superficial appeal of this story. But the more I thought about it the worse it became.

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Writers | Peter Bent | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | History | Society

STATE: Triabunna Inquiry Witness List Released. Protest laws to catch pensioners ...

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Media Release. Pic: Paul Tapp. Pub: Aug 11
12.08.14 5:50 am

Image for STATE: Triabunna Inquiry Witness List Released. Protest laws to catch pensioners ...

The House of Assembly Community Development Committee has today released the witness list and schedule for the first two days of hearings into the closure, sale and ultimate dismantling of the Triabunna woodchip mill.

• John Hayward, in Comments: If you weren’t from Tas, you might have expected the witness list to include the mill owners, Alec Marr, and some expertise on the legal issues. Guy has probably been swotting up on Inquisition procedures.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: Schaap, Edwards and Gordon are three key figures who have contributed to the demise and bankruptcy of the Forestry industry in this State. Schaap saw a substantially-commenced pulp mill at Longreach; a decision that must eventually come back to haunt him. Edwards helped to bring the Forest industry to its knees by his blinkered approach to FSC, Quotas and Gunns; the log truck drivers with their hire purchase contracts will not bless him. Gordon as CEO ran a bankrupt GBE further into the ground by using up the government’s $120 million-plus letter of comfort to Forestry Tasmania. He should never have been allowed to resign; he should have been fired. Barnett ask some real questions of these three people and find out under oath the reasons for their actions, actions that have caused the demise of a perfectly good selective logging industry in this state and the closure of 100 plus sawmills in less than 10 years. Witch hunts and jackboots are not a good look; be warned we the people are watching.

• Glennis, in Comments: Much as it would be wonderful to see Graeme Wood’s vision come to fruition I hope that he walks away and tells the government what to do with the mill. It’s disgraceful that someone wants to spend millions on a scrapheap of rubbish and make something world class when our government trumpets ‘open for business’ then has an enquiry because the ‘right’ person didn’t buy it! Take your money Mr Wood and do something where people appreciate you!

The Australian: Parents, pensioners would fall foul of Tasmania anti-protest laws THE Tasmanian government’s controversial anti-protest laws targeting “dreadlocked” forestry industry disrupters are so broad they would capture parents, pensioners and anyone else who “hinders” business, a labour law firm has warned unions.

Mercury: Empty nest: Eagle-eyed opportunity awaits THE closure of a $6.5 million tourism development is robbing Tasmanians and visitors of the chance to access what has been described as one of the most memorable wilderness experi­ences in the country. The Eagles Eyrie lookout and mountaintop restaurant has been idle since last November ...

ABC: Triabunna inquiry: Witness claims grudge by Gunns boss played role in 2011 mill sale

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

At Franklin, desecration before deconsecration

Bob Hawkins
12.08.14 5:45 am

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It was sad enough to be sitting in Franklin’s St John’s Church on Sunday afternoon and knowing that the service in progress would culminate in the deconsecration of this 19th-century house of God. Worse was to come ...

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Writers | Bob Hawkins | Politics | Local | State | Opinion | History | Religion | Society

Burnoff policies could be damaging habitats for 100 years

Dale Nimmo, Deakin University, Andrew Bennett, Deakin University and Michale Clarke, La Trobe University. Photo: CFA
11.08.14 5:00 am

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The smell of smoke in the autumn and spring air is an increasingly familiar one to many Australians. It signifies that time of year when land management agencies in southern Australia feverishly try to meet their burning targets. But what are the consequences for biodiversity of setting such targets in Australia’s ecosystems? In recent research conducted in south-eastern Australia’s Murray Mallee region, the Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Team found that such policies can set in motion changes that persist for over 100 years

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

Explainer: back burning and fuel reduction

David Bowman, University of Tasmania
11.08.14 4:45 am

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There is growing evidence that the best benefits of fuel-reduction burning are close to the bushland suburbs (also known as the wildland-urban interface). It must be acknowledged that such targeted burning is expensive to carry out safely given the need for engagement with numerous stakeholders (private land owners, councils, various branches of government). It is also dangerous work, which carries a risk of destroying houses and infrastructure if the fires escape control. Finally, a serious side effect is smoke pollution, which can briefly fumigate nearby communities. Because of these constraints, attention is increasingly being focused on managing fuel without burning.

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10 comments

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

Forestry industry out on a limb

Tom Arup - SMH. Pic: Daniel Haley
11.08.14 4:30 am

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Forestry is one of the most disrupted industries in the country. On top of the challenges facing all heavy industry - the high dollar, international competition, falling commodity prices and relatively high cost base - the $7.5 billion timber industry faces specific difficulties at the heart of its business model.

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

Down Memory Lane

Garry Stannus. Pub: Aug 11 Pic*
11.08.14 4:15 am

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Walking down memory lane is not all nostalgia. It’s not all fuzzy photos, the memory of dear times and so forth. Sometimes it’s a can of worms. One such case, ‘Tasmanian logger escapes conviction for punching forestry protester’ [Here] which tells of a man remembering a face and punching it, is just such a thing.

Contrast this with the case of a Kye Langdon who in Hobart, after a fight with his girl friend, punched a man who was waiting for a taxi. Sentence? Three months jail. Conviction? Too bloody right. So the difference? Well, there’s a few. But the salient point must surely be that the Hobart man was an innocent stranger, and that Ali Alishah is a forest defender. If you belong to the group known as loggers, and if you in in financially straitened circumstances, then the law will excuse you if you punch a forest defender in the face. The law will tell you that you shouldn’t have done it, but the law will let you walk free, and will not record a conviction. Victims of Crime? Don’t hold your breath, Ali.

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

Poor Jan really cops it ...

The Hag
11.08.14 3:53 am

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Philanthropic Jan Cameron really cops it from them-thar good ‘ol Tassie boys ‘n girls. The latest is a Facebook feeding frenzy not unlike seals attacking fish farms (see below) ... The latest posts include Frances Bender, co-owner of Huon Aquaculture, who, incidentally, has been nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal in the environment category. It’s probably worth noting that when Jan Cameron donated $20 million worth of Gunns’ forest estate to the Tasmanian Land Conservancy it was the largest purchase for conservation in Australia’s history. No Pride of Australia Medal for Jan????

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Sick of this market-driven world? You should be

George Monbiot http://www.monbiot.com. Image* Pub: Aug 11
11.08.14 3:50 am

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The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. It can be achieved only through a disavowal of what surrounds you. To be at peace with yourself within a troubled world: that, by contrast, is an honourable aspiration. This column is for those who feel at odds with life. It calls on you not to be ashamed.

First published by Guardian Australia here, where there are full hyperlinks

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Tin Dragon Trail Cottages is Powered by a Dream

Christine Booth, Tin Dragon Trail Cottages, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
11.08.14 3:40 am

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Christine Booth tells the incredible story of a mini-Hydro dream which confronted every form of bureaucratic challenge ... … Great. So now Aurora could change the meter connection, and re-issue the bill with a substantial credit. Wrong. They refused. We went to the Ombudsman, who inexplicably agreed with Aurora. Aurora then threatened to cut us off from the grid. We ended up paying the $1,500 plus interest and fines. We didn’t have any fight left. The unfortunate electrician was left holding the can when we subsequently issued him an invoice. Just because we weren’t out of pocket, doesn’t mean that I don’t think Aurora acted in an unconscionable manner. …

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (24)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
11.08.14 3:00 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year 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. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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