Westhobart blog. Pic: of Bill Bostock
18.03.15 2:23 am
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!
Jen Van-Achteren, Mike Gaffney (in Pic)
17.03.15 3:30 am
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
Jack Gilding, Rob Manson*, Todd Lambert Media Releases. Pic: *Bob Burton
16.03.15 5:00 am
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
Bronwyn Fancourt and Elissa Cameron Professor of Wildlife Ecology at University of Tasmania. Photo: Ross Huggett/Flickr.
16.03.15 4:00 am
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.
16.03.15 3:45 am
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 ...
16.03.15 3:30 am
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.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 16. Pic: of Germaine Greer. Julie Bishop on Q&A
16.03.15 3:25 am
‘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.
Dr Ian Broinowski
16.03.15 3:24 am
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.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome Media Release. Pic: of Rdoney Croome
16.03.15 3:22 am
Tasmanian leaders in education, anti-discrimination and child rights have defended a new school anti-bullying program.
Kim Peart*. Pic*
16.03.15 3:20 am
Is PM Tony Abbott addicted to unemployment?
Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
16.03.15 3:13 am
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.
16.03.15 3:00 am
… It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes. …
Ricky Muir in the Senate. Pic*
16.03.15 2:45 am
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.
Max Atkinson* Pic*
16.03.15 2:30 am
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.
William Boeder*. Pic: Daniel Haley of logging at Catamaran
16.03.15 2:15 am
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.
Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp
16.03.15 2:00 am
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
Rob Messenger Media Release. Pic: ABC, of Christopher Pyne
15.03.15 2:18 pm
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.
Photo: Geoff Couser.
15.03.15 7:30 am
Moon rising over Saltwater River, Tasmania.
Editor. Guardian. Mercury. Main pic* Pub: Mar 11
15.03.15 7:00 am
• 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.
• 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?
• 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.’
15.03.15 6:30 am
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.
Craig Moritz, Australian National University (ANU), Emilie-Jane Ens, Macquarie University and Jon Altman, ANU.
14.03.15 4:05 pm
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.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Mar 13
14.03.15 5:00 am
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.
AND ... the Green Army graduates ...
14.03.15 4:45 am
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.
14.03.15 4:30 am
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.
Bob Hawkins. Pics: of Surges Point Pub: Mar 10
14.03.15 3:00 am
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.
14.03.15 2:30 am
... John has snapped ‘em up!x
Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage Media Release. Pic* Pub: Mar 12
13.03.15 4:45 am
A total of 25 eco-tourism projects will proceed to Stage 2 of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s EOI process.
Myriam Robin, Crikey
13.03.15 4:30 am
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 ...
Ben Quin*. Pic: of Jamal Rifi. Pub: Mar 10
13.03.15 4:15 am
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
WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY ... Tony does it again ... And Joe takes his eyes off the Budget to sue Fairfax ...
FRIDAY ... and First Dog has a lash ...
12.03.15 4:30 am
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.