Jan Cameron* ABC pic of Jan Cameron. First published January 19
22.01.16 4:30 am
I have publicly stood up and put my money on the table to front a bid by Australian investors to buy back our nation’s largest and most productive dairy farm, Van Diemen’s Land dairy. I see VDL as a top- shelf acquisition with the potential for this dairy to be one of the most profitable boutique dairy enterprises globally. My bid was launched with the support of six independent crossbench federal parliamentarians including Sen. Nick Xenophon, Sen. John Madigan and independent member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie MP, who stood with me to launch savethefarm.com.au . Each understands the importance and value of having prime agricultural land in Australian hands, creating premium products true to Tasmania’s clean, green and clever brand. They also understand the benefits to the community that comes with having these assets here in Australia for jobs, building skills and building community. I have a deep love of Tasmania, and that is why I choose to live here. The opportunities in this state for investment with a vision to the long term market for prime products, and brands that guarantee worlds best practice farming and food quality cannot be overstated …
22.01.16 4:14 am
Taken this morning (January 22, 2016). From Kunanyi looking over smoke haze enveloping Hobart.
Kathryn Barnsley. BBC Pic of Alexander Litvinenko
22.01.16 4:00 am
The big news about Putin’s involvement in the death of Litvinenko ( Guardian HERE ) reminded me that cigarettes are also radioactive. For decades the tobacco industry has covered up the fact that Polonium-210 is in tobacco
Words and Pictures: Duncan Giblin, http://www.stormboyphotos.com/
21.01.16 4:15 am
Each year I head out to the Mofo summer festival invited along as a punter asked to put together an honest review for Tasmanian Times and to photograph the festival.
LAST YEAR on Tasmanian Times ...
Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Media Release
21.01.16 4:15 am
Dual names have been assigned to seven Tasmanian geographical icons in an important step in the ongoing recognition and preservation of our Aboriginal heritage and culture.
Michael Buky, via Anne First published January 16.
20.01.16 4:10 am
TUESDAY, January 19, 2016 ...
• Andrea Dawkins MP, Greens Member for Bass ...
• Bill Laurance, The Conversation: Five trends that will define the world’s forests in 2016 The past year has been a momentous time for the world’s forests, with both good and bad news. Fasten your seat belts, because 2016 promises to be another roller-coaster ride. Here I hightlight five factors that could have a big impact on forests this year. For further discussion, see this insightful analysis by environmental journalist Rhett Butler …
• Richard Browne in Comments: A freshwater crayfish poacher can be fined $10,000 or jail for taking these endangered animals from their habitat, yet this 3rd world Govt can allow FT to go in and destroy them and all the other endangered animals that live there. Bloody Hypocrites.
MONDAY, January 18, 2016 ...
• Dr Frank Nicklason … In his letter of rejection Mr Hodgman made at least two claims which require clarification. Firstly, Mr Hodgman states that the sawlogs and peeler logs “are required by NW mills”. Mr Hodgman is aware that the peeler logs are to be supplied to Ta Ann Tasmania (TAT). Ta Ann is owned by a parent company which has been described as “one of the most corrupt Asian timber families”. How TAT came to achieve a long-term supply contract for peeler logs with FT is another unedifying episode in the long-running Tasmanian forestry saga. Secondly, Mr Hodgman believes the advice of Minister Harriss that the clearfelling of the Lapoinya forest “will be profitable”. It seems unlikely in the extreme that the Tasmanian public will be provided with the accounts which would verify of refute this claim.
• John Hawkins in Comments: TGC #31, For a change let me ask you a Question: Which Minister in any Tasmanian Government past or present has been a standout out as being on top of his given portfolio. Then explain to us all how this is so and why? NB you are not allowed to site money in the freezer, a house at Broadmarsh or $50 million to a business from Sarawak.
• Robert Vincin, founding member of Kyoto Protocol, in Comments: The serious removal of stored carbon from the forest (en Toto) coupled with perpetual CO2 CH4 release from the disturbed soil UNFCCC 100 year offset accounting must be to State Government account. Add to this the inability to re-grow a full forest and with wash of remaining soil in UN CO2 accounting the wholesale income of timber will not cover total soon to be applied UNFCCC deficit! There seems no accounting for loss disturbance fauna and essential microbes that maintained balance. Robert Vincin, A founding member of Kyoto Protocol (Appointed by UN USG 96-99).
• Stewart Hoyt for FLAG … Please be advised there will be a community protest rally in Lapoinya tomorrow between 11 and 1:30 PM on the Lapoinya Road entrance to the Pine Plantation access to the disputed Lapoinya Forest. Today in Lapoinya …
SUNDAY, January 17, 2016 ...
• Stewart Hoyt, convenor for Forests of Lapoinya Action Group (FLAG) Premier declares his support for the destruction of the Lapoinya Forest. After 35 days and 35,000 signatures to a petition to stop the clear-felling of a 49 hectare local forest in Lapoinya, the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman , has declared his support for its destruction ... •Despite requests to buy or lease the Coupe. • Despite the lack of compliance with international forest product certification bodies (FSC). • Despite the erosion and destruction of habitat for threatened species such as the Tasmanian Devil, Spotted Quoll and the Giant Freshwater Crayfish. • Despite appeals to state and national government Environment Ministers. • Despite direct appeals to the Federal Threatened Species Minister. • Despite appeals by flora and fauna experts. • Despite appeals by local residents and businesses. • Despite appeals from economists detailing financial loss …
• Stewart Hoyt’s letters to Premier Will Hodgman ...
• Premier Will Hodgman’s reply ...
FRIDAY January 15 2016 ...
Dear Friends of Lapoinya, The bulldozers are arriving on Monday 18th January to start the roading that will enable the destruction of this unique habitat and wildlife corridor.
• Anne in Comments: The people of Lapoinya plan as a community to fight, directly if necessary, for as long as possible. They still need our help though. At the moment XXXX (is) running Peaceful Community Protest training. We have trained around 40 Lapoinya locals, and are planning more training days in Launceston, Hobart and at the Rainbow Gathering currently at Wilmot. If anyone has any experience at all in this training and would be willing to help, please let me know. As well as Direct Action, initially by locals and as things continue by anyone willing to support their stand, there will also be vigils on private land along Nelsons Rd. These vigils will be peaceful, non arrestible, colourful and continual. Any help manning these vigils, even a day visit, would be gratefully appreciated by FLAG …
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: #13 Will Hodgman, you may like to tell us something. You state that FT have gone to great lengths to engage with the community. I have a few questions ...
• Brenda Rosser in Comments: A message to all the individuals involved in the destruction of forests: If you really believe that profits are more important than our home (our living environment) then hold your breath while you count your money. We have a complete breakdown of governance in Tasmania. To promote this destruction in the context of our abrupt climate change, which now appears to be runaway in its nature…. I believe that those responsible for such decisions are the embodiment of pure evil. If there’s any hope left, here’s how we can have forestry and agriculture and a healthy environment: http://agendagotsch.com
• Anne Layton-Bennett in Comments: Dear Will, Thanks for your email in reply to mine expressing concerns about the decision to log the coupe known as Lapoinya. Given the number of concerned Tasmanians - and probably Australians - who have contacted you and your office about this issue, it cannot have escaped your notice that regardless of whether or not the area has been logged before, or that it was not necessarily identified as an area to be protected in the peace deal that your government so disappointingly chose to repeal, the Lapoinya coupe is invaluable due to its habitat for protected species. Successive governments have allocated millions of dollars of public money towards ensuring the Tasmanian devil is saved from the brink of extinction in the wild. Tasmania is also blessed to have stewardship of the unique giant freshwater crayfish, and the Tasmanian wedgetailed eagle - to name but three of the island’s fauna and flora that are under serious threat from the decision to log Lapoinya. It has been clearly identifed by wildlife experts that these species cannot live sustainably in habitat that has been disturbed through industrial logging …
Kalubriah Sage* First published January 18
20.01.16 4:05 am
My son got leukaemia just a few weeks after a round of multiple catch-up vaccinations ...
• Leonard Colquhoun in Comments: … Very strongly (but not absolutely - Beware of Greeks, or anyone else, bearing absolutes) disagree with this claim, “Freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to a public platform, or to share platforms with scientists, philosophers, politicians or theologians” - why not? If worthies like “scientists, philosophers, politicians or theologians” want to share “public platforms” with nutjobs, why can’t they? (Again, with public safety in mind.) Worse is the implication that We the People should have to be vetted by “scientists, philosophers, politicians or theologians” before we can open our gobs in public. Our governance is drifting towards ‘credentialocracy’, where people (generally) with academic credentials have become a sort of aristocracy + meritocracy + oligarchy ruling clique. No thanks. …
• The Age: Anti-vaxxers now keeping silent about kids’ immunisation status … “This is a huge problem if Australia-wide we’ve got a group of people choosing not to vaccinate their children and they’re not telling people. We need to stop vilifying these people so they are able to identify themselves so we don’t put people who do choose to vaccinate at risk.” The anti-vaccination parents were very mistrustful of the government and doctors, suspecting that they were in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies. “They [question] if they can believe everything they’re being told,” Dr Harman said. “They think the government in particular, and doctors, are trying to scare people into vaccinating their kids.” These parents consider the new “no jab, no pay” policy which will see taxpayer benefits withdrawn from families whose children aren’t up to date with their immunisations, as another example of this manipulation. They felt the media presented only one side of the issue, and anti-vaxxers were bullied on social media for being “bad parents”. …
CEPU Tasmania secretary Trevor Gauld Media Release
20.01.16 4:00 am
The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) has warned voters that the solution to Tasmania’s energy woes is not as simple as laying a second cable or waiting for the weather to change. CEPU Tasmania secretary Trevor Gauld has labelled as “naïve and disingenuous” the Hodgman government’s attempts to attribute the state’s looming energy supply crisis to drought conditions or Basslink faults instead of confronting the real issues of policy failure, market dysfunction and ideological hostility in the Coalition towards renewable energy …
Mark Temby* First published January 18
19.01.16 4:15 am
The role of a government in our society is not an easy task. Ministers have challenges where each must balance the business of today against the potential needs of the future. Some portfolios are much harder than others where challenges of community health or education are constrained by the realities of Treasury and a relatively small pool fed by a limited number of tax streams. In contrast, other portfolios like road maintenance and safety appear to suit a Minister with a glazed expression and an empty desk.
Lindsay Tuffin. First published January 11
19.01.16 3:37 am
MONDAY January 18 ...
• SMH: Match fixing in tennis: The various ways to fix a match The fix is in: Tennis is thought to be a popular target for match fixers because there are only two players involved and, given many matches are decided by a few crucial points, it is reasonably straightforward to “influence” the result. There are several ways to “fix” a whole match, the score or even particular points …
MONDAY January 11 ...
What an absolute ripper of a book. This is the best thing I’ve read since the Flanman’s Narrow Road ... There are similarities ... Narrow Road ... is about nationalist-ego-driven cruelty. The Program is about one man’s ego-driven domination of cycling and the Tour de France ... at a terrible cost to anyone who got in his way.
• Garry Stannus, in Comments: I hope readers won’t too much mind me stepping back into the Armstrong past, I’m recalling an ‘on-court TT encounter’ between Rick ‘Pilko’ Pilkington and myself. It went just about five sets and right to the end as Armstrong’s ‘defense attorney’ I was sure we’d prevail. Rick was just as sure that Armstrong was a cheat. When Armstrong admitted his guilt on Oprah Winfrey the matter was settled decisively once and for all in Rick’s favour …
Nic Tomlin in Comments: As a keen cyclist and having suffered the same cancer as Lance - I drew great inspiration from his remarkable achievements. The bombshell of this scandal still leaves me with deep seated suspicion knowing how much ‘people’ will cheat to ‘win’. How could someone deceive the whole world for so long, under such intense scrutiny? The fact that the anti-doping system / UCI / governing bodies failed to catch Lance earlier remains largely unaddressed. The situation in Tasmania is not dissimilar. We have governing bodies (Integrity Commission, Ombudsman etc.), who openly admit ‘powerful influences’ are at play seemingly largely unchecked. I mean, the Integ Commission’s ‘damning’ report into Public Service gifts/benefits is laughable. The fact is, in a small island community, the risks of exposing any unwelcome ‘truth’ is far higher than in larger communities - unless you are a self-sufficient and highly robust individual (like David Walsh I guess) … Yes Simon. My concern is about how such individuals can fly in the face of authorities for so long. In most cases, it’s because big money is involved and exposure will cause ‘losses’. The sport of cycling did very well with a headline grabbing Armstrong, as did the sponsors and media. Nobody stood to gain much from his exposure, so no-one really wanted to believe it (including myself).
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First published: January 18. Pic*
19.01.16 3:15 am
Widely dismissed or derided as some sort of wacky, tacky political wasteland, The Silly Season is a series of brilliantly improvised theatre events enacted during our pollies’ summer holidays - full of surprises and novel events but packed with all kinds of significance about the direction of politics when parliament resumes in February.
Brian Mills. Pic: of Scott Morrison
19.01.16 3:00 am
I accuse the Treasurer Scott Morrison - or a Government minister or member representing him - of not understanding finance. To me 1970 was a watershed year when Australia and all of the developed countries chose to reduce tariffs leading to Universal Free Trade.
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk: http://www.tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ First published January 18
18.01.16 3:49 am
TT’s favourite economist John Lawrence has been hard at work over the Christmas/New Year. Catch up on his analyses ...
Peter H. Bauer*
18.01.16 3:30 am
… Global reminders have been everywhere … storms much more extreme than ever … extinction of many of our species … major losses of our coral reefs … acidification of our oceans … massive planet-wide disappearance of our glaciers and islands … massive melting of our snow and ice in the Arctic and in Antarctica … all accompanied by the immoral intentional uncaring unrepentant outrageous raping of our environment by many major companies, especially the huge fossil-fuel companies. All this has resulted in major obliteration of huge portions of rainforests, of crucial importance to our planet … and many other precious portions of our land and ocean environment. …
Robin Williams RN, Ockham's Razor
18.01.16 3:23 am
Our cities and suburbs are unsustainable. Their construction, maintenance, and operation consumes: cement, concrete, steel, aluminium, brick, tile, glass, marble, tarmac, coal, oil, gas, and just about every other non-renewable. Little is reused, and only a modest proportion is recycled. Infrastructure Consultant Nick Sharp is suggesting that we live in medium-sized towns which are sustainably constructed and where all buildings would have composting toilets, which would also take all kitchen scraps. Full hoppers would be swapped out and the material processed and sent to the food and fibre lands. This saves water and closes the phosphate cycle before we exhaust the phosphorus mineral sources, on which today’s agriculture deeply depends.
Bob Lubout*. Pic: of Edmund Burke
18.01.16 3:20 am
In Max Atkinson’s latest article in the Tasmanian Times ( HERE: Is a plebiscite more democratic? ) he questions democracy and its process in respect to the proposed plebiscite on the issue of same sex marriage, planned by the Turnbull government at the next federal election.
18.01.16 3:00 am
Dear Chilliwops, In my last letter I gave you some challenges, the principal of which was to think about what you want and can achieve in life. Don’t expect others to deliver your aims in life. It is entirely up to you and I know you are capable of succeeding.
Sharon Kelly, Earth Island Journal via Dr Alison Bleaney
18.01.16 2:45 am
For more than half a century DuPont hid information that a chemical it was using to make Teflon might be making people sick.
18.01.16 2:30 am
Revealed! NZ’s Vegetation Browsing Evolution … “Whether animals or birds, matters little. Browsing was commonplace for millions of years,” he said. “Much of New Zealand’s so-called conservation efforts of the last 80 or so years, have therefore been mistakenly directed at getting rid of ‘pests,’ a tag applied by departments and the vocal Forest and Bird Society, to mammals such as deer and possums. Even schoolchildren in the class-room have erroneously been taught such flawed doctrines.” …
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic: of Tamar Valley Power Station. First published: January 7, 2014
17.01.16 4:00 am
JANUARY 16, 2016
Ed: It’s time to revisit this ... Sacked staff have been hired and the plant taken out of mothballs in order to restart the Tamar Valley Power Station. I believe we have been and/or still are paying for Take or Pay contracts for the gas even when the power station is closed; the contracts being protected under commercial-in-confidence legislation. Will the Premier elucidate? At least with the reopening of the power station we will now use the gas we pay for. How did the Bass Link Cable get damaged? It has been suggested in jest to me that it was ripped up by the factory freezer trawler? Well, the depth of Bass Strait is just a very shallow 50m, so it is very possible. Now that would be an Act of God ... A God who exerts his vengeance on Tasmania for wreaking havoc over the land, sea and air in this most beautiful realm!
• Robert Mallett in Comments HERE: Tasmanian Small Business Council calls for commitment to Tamar Valley Power Station
• Richard Barton in Comments: The state of Tasmania can now be seen in the Examiner’s article on government salaries ( HERE: Sky-high incomes just don’t add up ). We are clearly being ripped off by third rate bureaucrats and politicians who don’t have the capability to assure security of basics like power, water, food, medical services, education and transport. We’re all working harder to sustain incompetent governors and managers and to pay even more to help recover from their hopeless efforts.
• Steve in Comments … The basic reality is that the hydro ran the dams low to cash in prior to the abolition of the carbon tax. The moment the tax structure changed, they should have been firing up the gas turbines. The gas bill should have been covered by the windfall profits just made and the dams allowed to refill. Instead, like any surplus money in Tasmania, the profits were siphoned off and all of a sudden we have a crisis of empty dams? …
JANUARY 7, 2014 ...
• Gilmour ... have you heard about a Tamar Valley power station?
In Sunday’s Examiner Martin Gilmour, aka the Whistle Blower, continued his anti-Green rants — this time over electricity prices.
• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Just a short list of bad decisions: Selling - Royal Derwent Hospital for $350 thousand when it was valued at $65 million. - Using Retirement benefit funds to buy a grossly overpriced Hobart Airport. - Flogging off Brighton Army base for $180 thousand when it was valued at $6.5 million. - Selling the Old LGH because it was a derelict building (now it is a 5 star hotel and conference centre). - Basslink. - Tamar power station. - Gunns special deals, compensation and gifting them our native forests and paying them to take it. Bringing Ta Ann to Tasmania to finish off the pillaging of our forests. When do they have to take responsibility.
• Steve, in Comments: Since the supply of witches dried up, they write editorials about the Greens instead.
• Robert Mallett in Comments HERE: Tasmanian Small Business Council calls for commitment to Tamar Valley Power Station
Mark Temby* First published January 11
16.01.16 3:30 am
Welcome to 2016. Unfortunately, some of our fellow travellers from 2015 will not be with us this year. No death is easy for those left behind and many are taken too early. In a series of articles for Tasmanian Times I will endeavour to highlight what I perceive to be preventable trauma on our roads through excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, irresponsible behaviours or sheer negligence. I will further detail the inaction by our local and state politicians and relevant authorities to achieve simple legislative and administrative changes to improve road safety.
• Andrew in Comments: Thanks for a very topical article Mark. I spend a lot of my time on Tasmanian roads and would like to offer the following observations and suggestions for improving road safety ...
Nobby Clark, Rebecca Hubbard, Josh Coates Media Release
16.01.16 3:15 am
Conservation and recreational fishing groups are outraged by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s latest ploy to shield the Small Pelagic Fishery, in which the super trawler Geelong Star operates, from genuine community consultation, by holding a three-week public consultation period over the Christmas holidays.
Kim Peart. Pic* First published January 11
16.01.16 3:15 am
… At a time when the Tasmanian Government are ripping heritage-listed buildings out of the State Heritage list, it is a particularly tough environment in which to raise the need for a heritage vision for Ross. It is much easier to step back and let the town be murdered, cut by vicious cut and demolition hammer blows. What if the town store closes and petrol can no longer be bought there? …
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. Pic* First published January 11
15.01.16 5:00 am
In an effort to determine the date of Gunns’ insolvency the Gunns’ liquidator PPB Advisory has summonsed the Gunns’ auditors at KPMG Hobart to a public examination under the Corporations Act - in the Supreme Court of Victoria. In a bad tactical error John Gay, then both CEO and Chairman of Gunns, took the so-called Gunns 20 through the Victorian courts. The courts threw out Gunns now famous Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation case. Victoria was chosen by Gunns and Gay, not to enhance the cause of justice, but to make it more expensive and difficult for those they wished to silence over the construction of a proposed Tasmanian Pulp Mill …
• Trevor Burdon in Comments: John, thank you for your investigation and elaboration on the phone today. Throughout the course of the MIS proceedings I have questioned the discrepancy between the paired Gunns (GNS) and Gunns Plantations (GPL) 2011 Annual Reports (both KPMG audited), and the S439A Administrators Report (PPB Advisory). The replacement of a GNS liability of $84m owed to GPL with one of $88M in the reverse direction remains unexplained. 19 Nov 2014 I spoke with KPMG partner, Leigh Franklin. He agreed that further investigation was required, and confirmed that he had not been approached to offer any opinion since GPL entered administration. I entered a statutory declaration as an exhibit to an early hearing. My call to him early August 2015 was put through to KPMG Legal Sydney, whose representative told me KPMG had no official role in the Gunns proceedings, and no interest or moral obligation to help correct or resolve the discrepancy. (Now that’s NOT what I expect of a Big 4 Auditor.) It is good that PPB are finally pursuing KPMG, and very unfortunate it is after the disclaiming growers interests. It seems that the top end of town is only called to account at the end of the matter when proceeds have been distributed, and funds to pursue legally almost exhausted. True to form PPB do not like us common folk involved before they have an outcome - even though we grower investors are paying them! My request yesterday for details of the hearing was met with …
• Anne in Comments: A lengthy and very detailed read, and thanks indeed to John Hawkins for setting the timeline of events out so brilliantly. The enormity of the truly appalling way Gunns, and both Liberal and Labor parties in Tasmania have so thoroughly and criminally duped and conned the Tasmanian public is mind boggling. Not sure Risdon is big enough to hold ‘em all, but as sure as all that’s holy they all deserve to be incarcerated there. And if this doesn’t deserve a Royal Commission - finally - then I don’t know what does. You might want to pour yourself a stiff drink first too!
Shaun Thurstans, President Frack Free Tas Media Release
15.01.16 4:45 am
Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) is offering the Petroleum (Category 4) Exploration Release Area 981 to mining companies between Jan 18 and 22. The ERA981 covers a large proportion of the Central Plateau, upper Derwent and Styx Valleys, as well as ranges to the west of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington. This area includes catchments for Hobart’s water supply and various irrigation schemes (see map).
“There is a cascade of examples of fracking operations leading to sick communities, earthquakes and permanent contamination of places. The fact that exploration for unconventional gas can expand confirms that the Tasmanian five year moratorium on fracking is a farce. “The government is not serious about giving landowners, producers or tourism operators a guarantee that this will not occur in this state.” said Shaun Thurstans.
14.01.16 5:00 am
Businesswoman Jan Cameron plans to underwrite a rival bid for Tasmanian dairy giant Van Diemen’s Land Company, in an attempt to put the business into Australian hands.
Peter McGlone, Catharine Errey, Letter to the Editor. First published January 11
13.01.16 4:15 am
Letter to the Editor, Tasmanian Times Supporters of the Tasmanian National Parks Association have recently received letters from Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Matthew Groom stating that walkers may walk the entire Three Capes Track without paying the $495 fee as long as they have a current parks pass, they walk the track from west to east (to reduce the risk of spreading pathogens) and they camp rather than stay in the huts. This is contrary to what the Tasmanian Conservation Trust had previously understood from public statements made by the Minister and the Parks and Wildlife Service and as stated in the TCT’s Talking Point article in the Mercury on 30 December 2015. This is good news for those who do want to, or cannot, pay the $495 fee and the TCT is pleased to be able to correct the record.
This needs to be publicised. There is no information for independent walkers on the Parks and Wildlife Service or Three Capes Track websites. These need to confirm that independent walkers can walk the Three Capes Track or the old Cape Pillar Track subject to the conditions described above without paying the $495 fee. They also need to …
• Peter McGlone in Media Comments ( here ): Parks and Wildlife Service General Manager contradicts Minister Groom over walkers right to do Three Capes Track without paying the $500 fee.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ .Pic: Mal spruiks on Q&A. First published January 12
13.01.16 4:00 am
‘May you live in interesting times,’ is an ironic malediction which Malcolm Turnbull has now had ample opportunity to ‘unpack’ as his Prime Ministership is rocked by local scandals which daily expose his weakness as a leader and by more bad news abroad which he appears eager to deny. The world economy is tanking. War displaces so many people that millions are dispossessed, homeless refugees. Climate change conspires to bring disaster. Yet Malcolm Turnbull’s take on all of this is to declare that there has ‘never been a more exciting time to be alive.’ Is he serious? Or has his sense of irony gone - as they say - viral?
Lindsay Tuffin. First published January 12
13.01.16 3:45 am
It was some time in the early 70s (can’t remember precisely as things were rather vague back then ...) Our dealer in best bush-bud marijuana was ascending the stairs to our first-floor, wonderfully ramshackle apartment in Wellington St, Launceston, beneath which was - if I recall correctly, and there is some doubt about this - a printing works. Pete always carried his stash in his underdaks for reasons known only to him. Perhaps it was his attempt at humour (‘Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?’).
Isla MacGregor. First published January 12
13.01.16 3:15 am
On 23 December we read in the Mercury that Darren John Fenton, 48, received a suspended sentence after being found guilty of the indecent assault of two 13-year old girls on the East Coast last year. The manifestly inadequate sentence, delivered by Justice Helen Wood, is a sorry indictment of the Tasmanian judicial system - at a time when violence against girls and women is being recognised as the shameful global epidemic it is.
• Sentencing remarks ...