Treasurer Gutwein’s fantasies ...

Tim Thorne , TAP Into a Better Tasmania Media Release. First published: July 14
15.07.15 5:30 am

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Despite opinion polls, Treasurer Gutwein’s fantasies and KordaMentha’s sales attempts, the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill will never go ahead, the President of TAP Into a Better Tasmania, Mr Tim Thorne, said today. ( Examiner: Pulp mill proposal still divides voters ).

Andrea Dawkins: No FSC Means no Social Licence for Pulp Mill

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

The Myths Big Media Peddle to Demand Deregulation

Lisa Waller and Kristy Hess are Senior Lecturers in Journalism at Deakin University. Photo: Bob Burton.
14.07.15 6:00 am

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The federal government should encourage and promote potential for diversity, at least for the time being, rather than be quick to reinforce existing power structures. We need to know more about what we mean by “local” news in the digital world, question whether traditional legacy media providers are the saviours and, if so, ensure they inform and give strong voice to regional communities.

Fishbowl: Crikey Dishes It Back Col Allan’s Way

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Politics | National | Media

STATE: Tasmanian Government backs commercial loan for Nyrstar smelter revamp

ABC. Pic: of the Hobart complex
14.07.15 4:30 am

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Minor metals used to make smartphones, flat screens and solar panels will be processed in Australia for the first time after the Tasmanian Government agreed to back a commercial loan to global minerals giant Nyrstar.

Matthew Groom: Government secures Nyrstar jobs, supports further investment at Hobart smelter

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

Wasters ...

14.07.15 4:15 am

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My Local ALDI supermarket last week. I am sure other supermarkets do the same …

Read more, Comment if you wish HERE

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NATION:  the Bill Shorten Show Trial. Hewson on the rise of Isis

Urban Wronski* First pub: July 13
13.07.15 5:30 am

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Wronski’s Week in Review The Bill Shorten show trial, an ‘eagerly anticipated’ or hugely oversold piece of legal theatre played to packed houses in Sydney midweek thrilling sell-out audiences with its stunning production values and its convincing performances - especially from Shorten who stoically underplayed himself in the role of a man on trial for his political life.

… Commissioned by waving an open cheque in front of lawyers, in this case from George Brandis’ former employer Minter Ellison, the Coalition has helped legal eagles feather their nests to the tune of 17 million. The Bill killers will make a right royal killing of their own. The TURC could blow $80 million by 31 December when it reports. TURC’s season is certain to be continued. Funds flow freely in the Coalition’s class war. No fee is too high in the war on Labor and the vast underclass of poor needy and vulnerable the party still pretends to represent. No price is too high to buy eternal coalition rule. It is certain that the commission will run longer rather than shorter. Abbott, no doubt would relish a commission in perpetual session. Yet it damages the Inquisitor also.

Eric Abetz, does horror well. Snatching himself away from Pandora’s Box and the nightmare of polyamory rampaging through once respectable suburbs or Tassie’s Channel Highway life-style blocks should gay marriage be legalised, our Minister for unemployment and government Senate smear-leader, delighted loyal fans with his scariest Dalek-speak as he put the boot into Bill.

James McDonald, Southerly Currents: It’s up to the Parliament to stop the madness of the Abbott Junta

Guardian: John Hewson on Q&A: Australia’s role in Iraq war implicates us in rise of Isis Former Liberal leader tells ABC program that Australia’s decision to join invasion of Iraq was ‘an embarrassment to all of us’

Guardian: Tony Abbott’s Q&A ban is aimed at ministers, not ABC, says Malcolm Turnbull

Guardian: Clean energy bank ‘seeks legal advice’ after Coalition pulls plug on wind and solar projects

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Regulars | Urban Wronksi | Politics | National | Economy | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

STATE: Feasting off the kill ... ? The independent assessor ...

Kim Booth, Retired Greens Leader. Pic* First published: July 7
13.07.15 5:17 am

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Response to Comment 27 HERE Re #27 Andrew it really is a pity that instead of addressing your mind to the real threat to special species timbers, which is the native forest woodchip juggernaut, you have instead wasted endless hours poring over Greens’ forest policy trying to find a full stop in the wrong place! ( Thank you Gary #30 for roundly demolishing Andrew Denman’s absurd proposition) ...

Andrea Dawkins: Heritage No Excuse for Logging the TWWHA

• Peter Adams in Comments: The media keeps repeating: “Speciality timber workers are pushing for access into World Heritage.” It would be more accurate to read: “A couple of speciality timber workers are pushing….” My guess is that the overwhelming majority of furniture designer/makers and boat builders in Tasmania have enough skill and design talent to use what materials are at hand, readily available and not in World Heritage areas.

• Pete Godfrey’s record of “World’s Best Practice” ...

• Harry Higgins in Comments: Twenty five years ago, when I was younger and much fitter, I made a living for a while by salvaging minor species timber for sale to craftsmen. Access to clearfelled coupes in the northeast of the state was granted by Forestry, which allowed me and my colleague to scrounge what remained of the giant myrtles, eucalypts, musk and sassafrass to produce blocks for woodturners and boards for picture frames etc. We did it the hard way, dragging and carrying the wood back to our old ute. One area in the Fingal Forestry district looked a good prospect, so I travelled to the spot with a forestry ‘inspector’ to obtain approval for salvage work. When we arrived, I was appalled to see the entire area had been obliterated, including the stream reserve that the loggers were meant to preserve. The inspector (a former logger himself) said that the stream reserve was “only a Grade 3 reserve so it wasn’t so bad”. I then adopted a new strategy which involved turning up at log landings while the coupes were being ravaged, offer the loggers a carton of beer, and quickly gather the wood I wanted before it was crushed or burned. Logging whole areas to gain access to specialty timbers is a cop out and the lazy way to do it!

• Jack Lumber in Comments: Do you note apart from the usual suspects no-one even bothers to join in. This is a typical TT W@#K fest and the pictures add no value to the discussion and the discussion is the usual circular backslapping and hand ringing . THE WHA is not under threat; it will not result in large scale Clearfall, ( so why the pics ). I’m sorry that the celerytop pine tree was burnt but really are you saying every tree is special. If so please advise when a sawmill in Meander is closing, as EVERY TREE must be special > or is imported lumber OK. What is the chain of custody for said lumber at Meander? Just give me a FSC cert # and we can put that one to rest once and for all.

JULY 3 on Tasmanian Times: STATE, WHA: No mining ... but logging still allowed ... ?

ABC: Tasmania named best island destination in Australia, NZ and South Pacific region by Travel and Leisure Magazine

Jenny Weber: Call to protect Tarkine in Festival of Voices

• Andrew Denman in Comments: I’ll wade back in and would like to offer some constructive debate to the issues being raised but before I do, a simple question for all who have replied to this thread.  All that is required is a yes or no answer - no additional qualifications just a plain old yes or no. Do you support sustainable, selective harvesting of specialty timbers? Simple question and again all I’m after is a yes or no answer. Look forward to all the replies to this post.

• Peter Henning in Comments: #13 The fact of the matter is that you, and people like you who want to use ‘special species’ timber resources, need to answer a few questions yourselves before you start asking questions of others. First, you need to put on the public record, clearly and unambiguously, where you stand in relation to overall forestry practices, such as clear-felling, trashing water catchments, wrecking soil profiles, napalming to prevent biodiversity, the establishment of exotic monocultural plantations and spraying regimes, just for starters. I can’t recall your name being at the forefront in arguing for sustainability in any of those areas.  If you want to be a player in sustainability, prove it. Until then, and you put some runs on the board, why should you be trusted with any claims at all in relation to sustainability? Where was your voice when the pulp mill debate was at its height?  On the side of sustainability? There are a few people I know and would trust as ‘sustainable’ users of special species timber.  They’re the ones who opposed the trashing of special species in clearfelling. Are you one of them?

• Andrew Denman in Comments: Thanks for the initial replies everyone. Alright, let’s talk about sustainability to see if I can elicit a few more yes or no answers. Let’s go for an internationally accepted definition of sustainable use from the Convention on Biological Diversity which states ...

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: I think John Hawkins (#22) highlights one of the many risks/limitations in this whole debate (and John conveniently leaves out the politicians and our complete lack of trust in them). This is not simply about land tenure and/or counting trees. In fact to begin the debate at the issue of sustainability I suspect is totally fallacious. There are other aspects far more important and significant than simply counting trees. If I think of this whole issue from a business point of view none of it makes any sense at all. It’s like the Mt Wellington cable car - a half baked idea masquerading as innovation. So to answer your simplistic question Andrew the simplistic answer is “No”. Until I see something resembling a proper business plan I will continue to oppose WHA logging as just more Tasmanian cronyism.

Paul Harriss: Workforce Invasion Laws Working

ABC: Sue Smith resigns from Tasmanian Ministerial Advisory Council on Forestry Tasmania’s top independent forestry advisor to the State Government has quit, three weeks after being gagged by the Resources Minister. Former Legislative Council member Sue Smith resigned as deputy chair of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Monday. Council members were banned from speaking to the media after Mrs Smith publicly called for Forestry Tasmania to be dismantled and its assets sold. Just two days later the Resources Minister Paul Harriss said Mrs Smith had reversed her position and supported retaining Forestry Tasmania. Mr Harriss announced Mrs Smith’s departure this morning and denied he had earlier misrepresented her views when he suggested she had changed her mind on Forestry Tasmania. …

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Special Timbers Cronyism. The more I think about this the worse it becomes. WHA logging is just more classic Tasmanian cronyism pure and simple. Sustainability is a complete furphy. Remember the Quentin Beresford book about Gunns? It barely mentions sustainability. The book is all about cronyism and ... In what way is the WHA logging proposal any different? A small handful of Tasmanians want multi-generational guaranteed access to a public resource at taxpayers’ expense. In what way is this not cronyism?

Bryan Green: Paul Harriss has lost control and must resign or be sacked

• Gwenda Sheridan in Comments: … We are living in a new world of uncertainty from whichever angle we view it.  Old patterns of how things used to be done have to be foregone and new patterns have to emerge.  For the special species persons (who obviously know how long it takes for the species to reach maturity), where in the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014, can we find exactly what “partial harvesting” means; is it just a slick expression for what is “aggregated retention”?  We can see many examples of this on Google Earth so let’s have an answer please?  How much of any coupe is to be saved with partial harvesting?  Then we have an issue of the age and specific species trees that are to be selected and culled.  Where is the register for the public to see of special species trees that are Old Growth?  Aged special species trees also on a register? …

Andrea Dawkins: Only ‘Yes Men’ Welcome on Harriss’ Council

Paul Harriss: Ministerial Advisory Council

Paul Harriss: Response to Mr Green’s Claims

Bryan Green: Paul Harriss digs himself a deeper hole

Andrea Dawkins: Harriss; No Plan, No Idea

• Dr Alison Bleaney in Comments: # 64 you missed a very salient point, which is our work/ data that has been so decried by forestry and political establishments, has been published in an international environmental journal, Here  And the problem with all the rebuttals of our work so far are they are formed from belief frameworks and bring no new data to the table, as demonstrated amply by your posting. So if we are to trade credibility, perhaps we can start with credible data, brought to the table with integrity and transparency. And since you brought the subject up, what has Forico had to say about our work? I’ll leave that for you to bring to this posting if you would like to further open this debate on this subject, but my tip for today is to ask them first as they may be a tad nervous about their position on this matter, Here.

• Andrew Denman in Comments: … I don’t have to respond to accusations by either the author of the article or posters here about my conduct re specialty timbers in this state but I will.  I have only been here since 2004 and started my business in 2005.  Since I have been here I have worked closely with forestry and whoever has been in government to drive special timbers policy away from past practices and into a new paradigm.  Those of you who have tried this before like TWFF etc will know how difficult a task this is. Over the past 10 years my business has employed many, trained apprentices and contributed more than $6M into the local economy.  Over that time I have also spent thousands of hours in the pursuit of putting specialty timbers onto a sustainable footing - not only to ensure the resource remains available and sustainable in perpetuity but to ensure the skills and culture associated with specialty timbers use are not lost to future generations.  This may not seem important to those of you with no skin in the game or complete opposition to our industry but to many, many Tasmanians, use of these timbers holds a special place within the rich fabric of Tasmanian society.  …

• John Lawrence in Comments: Mr Poynter (#101) decries TT group think. He‘s right. Group think however is, unfortunately, widespread. The two professions I’ve worked in, economics and accounting, are just as bad as anything on TT. But so too is the forestry profession. There hasn’t been a lot of recent mea culpas from foresters (Messrs Lumber and Halton are possible exceptions). There are lots of professionals other than foresters who have expertise in areas that encompass forestry. To dismiss their views out of hand requires group think of a scale that Mr Poynter condemns in others.

• Frank Strie in Comments: Thanks Stan - #102 “Get an Independent Foreign Person” - that is a great suggestion Stan. Considering Tasmania’s decades long ‘forest war’ situation in Tasmania, I like to propose here and now someone as the ideal person “for a better Tasmania” in regard to responsible forest management: The World Renowned Prof. Dr. Jurij Diaci, University Ljubljana, Slovenia “Integrated forest management for resilience and sustainability across 25 countries” - Research Experience …

• John Lawrence in Comments: #112 Mark Poynter You misunderstand groupthink. It is not merely the preserve of rabbles like the TT crowd. Training (and on going professional development) aren’t antidotes as you suggest. In practice they act to reinforce groupthink. There’s lots been written about group think. Let me copy and paste a bit from Bill Mitchell’s book on Eurozone groupthink.

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

NATION: Through his words we know him ... Hewson on the rise of Isis

Dr Buck Emberg
13.07.15 5:15 am

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… So, what can we deduce about Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, from some of his recent utterances? …

Guardian: John Hewson on Q&A: Australia’s role in Iraq war implicates us in rise of Isis Former Liberal leader tells ABC program that Australia’s decision to join invasion of Iraq was ‘an embarrassment to all of us’

Guardian: Tony Abbott’s Q&A ban is aimed at ministers, not ABC, says Malcolm Turnbull

Guardian: Clean energy bank ‘seeks legal advice’ after Coalition pulls plug on wind and solar projects

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Writers | Buck Emberg | Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Eurozone Dystopia - Groupthink and denial on a grand scale

Billy Blog, via John Lawrence
13.07.15 5:10 am

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Chapter 1 of the book Eurozone Dystopia - Groupthink and denial on a grand scale is available online for free via Bill Mitchell’s website ( Here ).

SMH: Greece debt crisis: PM Alexis Tsipras faces Syriza mutiny after capitulating to demands

• Use the TT NEWS (top nav bar) for the range of news/commentary updates on the Greece ...

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Politics | International | Economy | Society

Gay Marriage Will Ruin Childhoods: Nikolic

Boohoo. Pic: of Andrew Nikolic
13.07.15 5:00 am

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Same-sex marriage could likely ruin the experience of childhood for most Australian youth, said Bass MP Andrew Nikolic in a blistering press conference today.

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Regulars | Boohoo | Politics | National | Satire

Community Engagement Policy Options: Battery Point Foreshore Access ...

Eva Ruzicka,
13.07.15 4:45 am

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You may remember in the heat of the 2014 October local government elections I was the lone Alderman that voted against the Hobart City Council’s development application for Stage One of the Battery Point Shared Accessway ( HERE ).

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Writers | Eva Ruzicka | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Legal | Society

Amnesty International ... the sex trade’s new best friend

Simone Watson Director, NorMAC, Bronwyn Williams Member, NorMAC
13.07.15 4:42 am

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Feminist Roundup Amnesty International’s recently released Draft Policy on Sex Work, to be considered at the organisation’s 32nd International Council Meeting (ICM) in Dublin on 7-11 August this year, is a human rights travesty.

Simone Watson’s Media Release

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Writers | Bronwyn Williams | Politics | International | National | Economy | Health | Opinion | Legal | Personal | Society

Amnesty International condemned over fast-tracking of sex laws policy

National Director Simone Watson, Nordic Model Australia Coalition
13.07.15 4:38 am

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Human Rights and Womens groups along with Survivors have been outraged over the continued attempt by Amnesty International to rail road through their policy on prostitution after being exposed for failing to properly consult with their international membership base and stakeholders.

• Download Statement to Amnesty by Survivors ...

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Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | International | National | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Hadi loses his family ...

Richard Butler Hadi Aldakhi
13.07.15 4:30 am

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For over a week and almost every evening for an hour or so, Yezidi refugee Hadi Aldakhi sends texts to me using Facebook Messenger.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: The Yezidi: Hadi’s Cry from the Heart

Professor Andre M.N. Renzaho: Call for research funding priorities to recognise the needs of migrant populations

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Politics | International | National | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Chinatown ...

Bill Benfield. Martinborough NZ
13.07.15 4:15 am

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It was a movie I’d seen long ago. Chinatown starred Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. They were probably then at their best. It was directed by Roman Polanski, beautifully scripted and beautifully shot. A few weeks ago we had the chance to see it again. Once more, I was almost spell bound by how a detective thriller can be, in the hands of a master, a work of sheer artistry. Where years ago, the story line seemed far fetched, at this viewing, it became more sharply focused as an essay in deception and malfeasance.

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Politics | New Zealand | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

The majority of people are totally fed up with the democratic system

John Day
13.07.15 4:00 am

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A response to, The Age of Post-Democracy, HERE Thank you Tim for expressing your insight. I agree with your analysis, examples, concerns and conclusions ...

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

Diabetes is a serious disease that all Tasmanians need to understand better

Caroline Wells CEO Diabetes Tasmania
13.07.15 3:30 am

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With National Diabetes Week upon us, Diabetes Tasmania CEO Caroline Wells discusses some of the common misconceptions around diabetes and why all Tasmanians need to care about the disease.

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Politics | National | Economy | Health | Opinion | Society

The hemp industry frustration ...

Estelle Ross
13.07.15 2:50 am

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An article in Sunday’s Examiner (12th July) has highlighted the frustration of those wishing to expand the hemp industry in Tasmania.

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Politics | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | Legal | Society

Clive: Check out some of our achievements over the last 18 months

13.07.15 2:45 am

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Clive Palmer MP has sent a glossy leaflet to homes in Northern Tasmania ... His website has the same list of claims ...

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Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Turn back the Spirit ...

P. Johnston, O'Connor Letter in Canberra Times, July 10
13.07.15 2:30 am

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I concur with Roger Dace (Letters, July 7) and applaud him for demonstrating the intestinal courage that so few of the rest of us lack. While the concerns of Senator Eric Abetz with respect to marriage equality might well be restricted only to those moral degenerates in his own constituency, it is incumbent upon the government to protect us from these undesirable elements.

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Politics | National | State | Satire

Ta Ann Tasmania: Just like Google ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic* First published: July 10
12.07.15 6:00 am

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Ta Ann’s exceptional year ... … It’s not only Google and Apple who resort to accounting tricks. TAT too managed to shift almost all the taxable income resulting from recent government handouts of $33.3 million back to Malaysia, the home jurisdiction of the Group. … There’s no evidence TAT has ever operated with a view to making profits and paying tax in Australia. …

• John Hawkins in Comments: … Forestry Tasmania has no credibility. Minister Harriss, you have absolutely no credibility. The Taib family are very, very rich. Tasmania and its taxpayers can ill afford the largesse to a Sarawak billionaire. …

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Another stupid decision by politicians at the behest of one of their mates to prop up a loss-making exercise of questionable ethics. I wonder about the wine ... Whatever way it goes, Ta Ann is a liability to Tasmania, always was always will be. Time for them to be cut adrift.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: Andrew Wilkie: Tasmanian Integrity Commission should act on Forestry Tasmania; includes links to earlier calls for a Royal Commission into Forestry Tasmania

Bryan Green: Paul Harriss digs himself a deeper hole

Andrea Dawkins: Harriss; No Plan, No Idea

• mr t in Comments: Evan Rolley’s alleged sale of his own wine to Ta Ann should raise questions from its Board. A CEO selling an amount of personally-produced wine to a corporate entity of which he is CEO and where the Financial Officer would directly report to him is astounding. Was it sold at a fair market rate as there could be a fringe benefit? I would be so uncomfortable as Chairman of the Board or as one of only two stakeholders that Mr Rolley would (have to be) given a brief opportunity to explain ...

• John Hawkins in Comments: … I suggest that this payment and others made by the Australian taxpayer totalling nearly $50 million dollars to a loss-making privately-owned company - Ta Ann - controlled by a billionaire from Sarawak need to be properly examined. To this end I have tabled my investigations through the good offices of Andrew Wilkie in the Australian Federal Parliament all to complete silence from the dead wood in the Tasmanian media. …

Nick Clark’s Sunday Tasmanian report on the wine: Struggling Ta Ann Tasmania splashed out on $136,000 of wine from executive director Evan Rolley ... Bacchus ... on Evan’s wine ...

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Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Trans-Pacific Partnership would be disastrous for Australia ...

Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie Media Release. Pic: Trade Minister Andrew Robb
10.07.15 5:00 am

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has urged Australia’s political leaders to not sign Australia up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership amid growing community concern the agreement will be disastrous for the country. Mr Wilkie has written to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Opposition Leader on behalf of the overwhelming majority of constituents who have contacted his office alarmed about the agreement - which Australia could sign in weeks - and the secrecy of its negotiations.

``Leaked documents have shown the agreement would result in higher costs for medicine and watered-down environmental standards. ``But perhaps the most alarming of all are the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which would give foreign commercial interests undue power over Australian governments.’’

PETER HENNING ... more than a year ago on Tasmanian Times: Tell me a story ... about Free Trade

TIM THORNE ... more than three years ago on Tasmanian Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership: The dangers ...

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Writers | Peter Henning | Politics | International | National | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

Geelong Star now completely off the leash ...

Jon Bryan, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Launceston, Graham Pike, Kiama NSW Media Release
09.07.15 7:57 am

Image for Geelong Star now completely off the leash ...

… The Australian stocks of small pelagic fish are among the last healthy stocks left anywhere in the world. Once huge populations of these species in other parts of world have been drastically overfished. These fish are vitally important to the marine environment and for recreational fisheries around the southern Australian coastline. “Much of the overfishing in small pelagic fisheries around the world has been caused by super trawlers such as the Geelong Star”, Jon Bryan said. “Another super trawler, the Margiris, a sister ship of the Geelong Star, was banned from fishing in Australia by the Labor Government in 2012. The Federal Court of Australia found that the Environment Minister at the time was justified in imposing the ban on environmental grounds”. The Geelong Star is currently operating secretly in Australian waters. Basic information about where it is operating and what it is catching is hidden from public scrutiny”, Graham Pike said. “How can the public have confidence in the management of this fishery or the Geelong Star if basic information is not available? We don’t even know exactly where or when the seals and dolphins were killed”, Jon Bryan said …

• Karl Stevens in Comments: Meanwhile starving sharks are attacking surfers in Winter along the East Coast of Australia. Its time to boycott all Dutch products. The ‘Moccona’ coffee I’m having right now will have to go. I will switch brands today. I urge all Tasmanians especially fishermen and surfers to join a boycott of Dutch consumer products.

Andrew Wilkie: Super trawler now completely off the leash … ``The situation has reached a point so bizarrely at odds with the public interest that the community is questioning the probity of some politicians and bureaucrats, and indeed fisheries management in Australia,’’ Mr Wilkie said. ``This is an absolute outrage. The Federal Government has axed the only group providing scientific advice on this fishery and allowed the Geelong Star to turn off its tracking device to plunder in secret.  And all the while it ignores public opinion and other commercial fishing interests, just to line the pockets of a foreign company that employs a couple of dozen Australians. ``AFMA would only have taken this step with political top-cover.’’ In April Mr Wilkie asked the Commonwealth Ombudsman to investigate concerns – shared by members of the now axed SPFRAG – that Seafish Tasmania, the operator of the Geelong Star, helped advise its catch quota. …

Richard Colbeck: Stakeholder advice remains important for Small Pelagic Fishery science

Andrea Dawkins: AFMA stacking the trawler deck

• Carol Rea in Comments: … So it seems Senator Colbeck has been stretching the facts to fit the story. This is not fish protein bound for Aussie shops. It’s about export dollars, a few jobs on the vessel and flow on effects for Geelong to the tune of $20 million - well that’s what he said back in March 2015. Now I don’t begrudge feeding West Africans whose fish stocks have been smashed - but not at the risk of the same thing happening here in Tasmania. The science is in question, the Advisory Body is disbanded - yet the vessel continues to work - in secrecy from the public. …

Stop The Trawler Alliance: Government Shoots Super Trawler Messenger

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

INTERNATIONAL: Austerity Has Failed ...

Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, The Nation. Satire*
09.07.15 5:59 am

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Five leading economists warn the German chancellor, “History will remember you for your actions this week.” Thomas Piketty attacks hypocritical Germans for insisting on Greek austerity: They’re “a huge joke” In an interview with the German publication Die Zeit, economist Thomas Piketty lashed out at conservatives in Germany and France for their “shocking ignorance of history” on the matter of debt repayment. “Look at the history of national debt,” he began. “Great Britain, Germany, and France were all once in the situation of today’s Greece, and in fact had been far more indebted. The first lesson that we can take from the history of government debt is that we are not facing a brand new problem. There have been many ways to repay debts, and not just one, which is what Berlin and Paris would have the Greeks believe.” Germany is particularly worthy of shame in this regard, Piketty argued, because it never paid its debt after the First or Second World War, but “it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt.” “The history of public debt,” he added, “is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order or justice.” Piketty referred to Germany’s current insistence on Greek repayment as “a huge joke,” because Germany “is the country that has never repaid its debt,” and therefore “has no standing to lecture other nations.” …

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

Watermark prompts Windsor parly rethink

09.07.15 5:55 am

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Former independent MP Tony Windsor is considering making a political comeback, especially after the government approved a coalmine in his old electorate.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: Tony Windsor: Stop the Brutes!

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Politics | National | Economy | Environment | Health | History | Society

Tariff changes a further blow to the solar industry in Tasmania

Jack Gilding, Executive Officer, Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance Media Release. Pic: Bob Burton Pub: July 8
09.07.15 5:40 am

Image for Tariff changes a further blow to the solar industry in Tasmania

“The latest electricity tariff changes announced by the economic regulator add insult to injury for solar owners and installers” said Jack Gilding, Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance. “Electricity prices have risen by nearly 2% but the amount that solar owners are paid for electricity they put back into the grid has gone down!”

At a time when Tasmania ought to be actively promoting local renewable energy production the solar industry is actually contracting. Tasmania has moved from being a net exporter of renewable energy to an importer of energy. In the last financial year, Tasmania spent $34m more buying dirty brown-coal fired electricity from Victorian than it earned exporting renewable energy to the mainland.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Electricity prices were set to fall 10% with the removal of the Carbon Tax. How come Harriss has been allowed to sting us out of our electricity accounts to pay the bills at Forestry Tasmania - a handout of a million a week in order to keep Ta Ann and his Sarawak billionaire operating in Tasmania. Remember to vote this living embodiment of the cultured thinking Tasmanian back into Parliament at the next election. He is the outstanding people’s choice to roll back World Heritage Listing of our forests, legislate to jail protesters and keep the insolvent solvent. A Tasmanian superstar to be proud of.

• Carol Rea in Comments: Checking on the wiki posting for Basslink and Hydro in Tasmania there were some ‘facts’ that surprised me. Principally the ownership structure. I love the tagline that suggests it benefits Tasmanians because in drought we can’t produce enough power. Spin master class.

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STATE: Seamen ignore Abetz plea to return to work ...

ABC. Pic*
09.07.15 5:23 am

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An appeal lodged by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) against a Fair Work Commission decision involving an oil tanker in Tasmania will be heard on Friday.

• Tim Thorne in Comments: If the law says that a worker can be forced to hand his or her job over to someone who I’ll be paid less and treated worse, then that law must be changed.  In the interim it must be disregarded. All power to the picket line!

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NATION: As Abbott over-hypes ... Turnbull’s call to under-hype ...

Guardian. Satire: Leunig, , used with permission. First pub: July 8
09.07.15 5:00 am

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Malcolm Turnbull has warned against over-hyping the threat posed by Islamic State, arguing it is important not to lend any credibility or currency to the grandiose “delusions” of the jihadists

• Keith Antonysen in Comments: What a brilliant Leunig cartoon. More people have been killed through domestic violence in Australia in a year than by terrorists in Australia’s history.

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INTERNATIONAL: Martyn Turner ... Greece. China and Oz ...

Martyn Turner, Irish Times, Guardian, New Daily
08.07.15 5:09 am

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Guardian: Greece clings to eurozone hope as Alexis Tsipras battles banking collapse

New Daily: News from Greece and China means Australian shares are in for a rough day.

Greek Reporter: Varoufakis Exit Stage Left. Lew Enter Stage Right This year’s 4th of July holiday coincided with Greece’s referendum.  As an American by birth and Greek by blood, I honor America’s victory over taxation without representation and Greece’s OXI victory – the first decisive challenge to neoliberal economics since European integration. The United States shares a unique history and special debt to Europe.  The imperial powers of the 18th century took clear sides in the American Revolution. The Anglo-Franco rivalry dating back to the Roman Empire was intensified by the humiliating French defeat in the Seven Years War (1756-1763). France’s colonial interests in Louisiana and the Caribbean cemented its role as the first foreign power to support the fledging American nation. Without the French navy, General Lord Cornwallis would not have surrendered at Yorktown, thus ending the war of independence. Spain fought for the colonialists for much the same reasons. While Germany did not become a united nation until 1871, German Hessians, known for their commanding military skill, fought on the side of the British as hired mercenaries. The revolutionary war would not have been won without European assistance. It is time for the United States to once again return the favor. The International Monetary Fund is a tool of U.S. global financial power.  Shortly after meetings with President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Washington last Thursday,  the IMF announced that it knew Greek debt was unsustainable.  The well-calculated, well-funded, and well-developed message machine that has allowed neoliberalism to flourish while eviscerating the Greek economy and people has exposed the fault lines of European coexistence and hopes of maintaining a united Europe of equals.

Billy Blog: Greece should not accept any further austerity – full stop!

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Advocates call for Tas Gov to enforce gay-hate decision

Tasmanian gay rights advocate, Rodney Croome Media Release Pic: of Rodney Croome
08.07.15 4:00 am

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Tasmanian advocates have called on the Tasmanian Government to hold accountable a man who was found to have breached the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act but is refusing to respect the decision.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: … If this pamphlet contained even one ounce of truth, perhaps it might have something to build a defence from, but as it stands, it defames a whole group of people, and while not perhaps the worst thing that’s ever written on face value, it obviously reinforces existing fears amongst those prejudiced against homosexuals. - See more at:

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Lincoln Siliakus ...

Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation
07.07.15 1:30 pm

Image for Lincoln Siliakus ...

Lincoln Siliakus - a man of true history and very influential action in the Franklin campaign - passed away today (Sunday).

Christine Milne: Vale Lincoln Siliakis: World Heritage legend

• Alec Marr in Comments: Lincoln Siliakis - He was always there ! I was privileged to work to work with Lincoln over the last 30 years. His efforts on behalf of wild places in Australia was absolutely extraordinary. Almost every major battle to protect Australia’s World Heritage for the last 30 years has relied on Lincoln at some stage of the fight. His often lonely lobbying efforts during the 1990’s (with me on the end of the phone back in Australia) eventually made it possible to have the forests of the eastern boundary of the World Heritage area finally inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2013. It was again Lincoln we relied on in the lead up to the DOHA meeting to stop the attempt by the Australian Government to remove 74,000 hectares of forest from the World Heritage area. In the end, the Australian Government was humiliated and the proposal was rejected in 7 minutes with a kick in the backside for Australia on the way through. Lincoln also helped kick start the campaign the Barrier Reef by delivering Petitions to UNESCO in 2012. Lincoln lived a happy and interesting life, he did many fine fine things for the planet and still managed to have plenty of fun along the way, we could all do worse than follow his fine example. Our Wild places have lost one of their truest friends ! Alec Marr - Bonn World Heritage Committee session 2015

Bob Brown: Lincoln Siliakus, environment legal expert, has died

• Pictures of Lincoln in Europe ...

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