10.11.16 2:15 am
Survivors, International and National Women’s Human Rights groups and individuals today sent a letter to ALP members calling on them to reject Young Labor’s policy on decriminalisation of the sex trade being debated at the ALP state conference in Queenstown this weekend …
Hilary Burden*, https://hilaryburden.com/ Pic* First published November 2
08.11.16 8:00 am
The Liberal Government’s plan to change the Statewide Planning Scheme … Which is what a Town Hall meeting in Hobart in ten day’s time is desperately hoping to achieve. November 8 is not only US election day. It’s also World Town Planning Day. Tasmanians are well acquainted with the spirit of public protest; it has stopped dams and mills. Now, 20 (and growing) community and environment groups (from the Beaumauris Action Network to the Tasmanian Planning Information Network) are joining forces, horrified by the proposed statewide planning scheme which seeks to scrap all local planning schemes and replace them with a single Statewide planning scheme. The draft Statewide Planning Provisions (SPPs) will make a number of significant changes to the way that use and development is assessed in Tasmania. For example, …
• John Biggs in Comments: Thank you for raising this issue and putting it so clearly. The Statewide Planning Provisions are an affront to democracy, with apparently no opportunity for public or local input. The whole notion of heritage and for planning is that it is contextual, what is suitable planning for one area may be a horrible mistake in another. Liberal governments in general and in Tasmania in particular have rarely if ever displayed a sense of aesthetic sensitivity and here they are at it again, making things easy for get-rich-quick developers and to hell with local sensibilities.
• Planning! Matters! public meeting: ALP, Greens confirm as speakers, Minister Gutwein offers apologies The ALP and Greens’ spokespeople on Planning have agreed to address Tuesday’s public meeting on the Government’s proposed statewide planning scheme, whilst Planning Minister Peter Gutwein, set to receive a report from the Tasmanian Planning commission in early December, has offered his apologies and declined to attend …
Bill Rowlings* Pic* First published November 6
08.11.16 5:00 am
‘High Risk Terrorism’ anti-rights law Parliament’s SIC body – the Security and Intelligence Committee – has waved through proposed legislation that directly dismisses traditional rights and all but kneecaps Australia’s rule of law, Civil Liberties Australia says …
Ted Mead* First published November 5
08.11.16 4:45 am
Is population growth the real cause of environmental destruction?
• John Hayward in Comments: While human population growth should be sufficient to incinerate the world by itself, the accelerants for the process are avarice, selfishness, stupidity and climate change. Tasmania produces bumper crops of all four. If Tas hadn’t burnt those 60m tonnes of specialty timbers on the forest floor, they would probably have been subsidised to be burnt to power chip mills. It has been recently reported that the world’s population of wild animals has collapsed by 58% from 1970 to 2012. To address this catastrophe, our species has thrown up leaders of the quality of Eric Abetz, Vlad Putin, who has just erected a giant monument to Ivan the Terrible as well as blocking a permanent marine reserve in the Ross Sea, and Trump, who would pull the US out of the Paris climate change agreement. While the human population should eventually reach its optimal population max of 200m, it will probably be by approximating the living conditions in Aleppo.
Greg Cure* First published November 7
07.11.16 3:30 am
Flat pack domestic airline travel FJJ is very learned and nationally well-regarded business consultant, whom my former organization often used. I remember some years ago we bumped into each other at Melbourne airport, both awaiting a delayed Tasmanian flight. He surprised me, when I complained about airline service, telling me that the major task of Australian domestic airline operators was to confront and downplay the unrealistic service standard expectations that had built up in the public’s mind over the years. This was not long after the Ansett collapse. He was well placed to know this as his brother had been a senior executive at Ansett Airlines …
Kelvin Jones* Pics* First published October 31
06.11.16 4:20 am
Basslink from a technical perspective This is the fourth article* on what started out as a single article trying to focus on the “paucity” of technical knowledge on the Basslink Saga. My aim was to indicate (with a degree of plausibility) what caused Basslink to fail … Something, I believe, that the public would very much like to know …
The State Government seems biased toward internal failure. Perhaps this stance is related to regulations for fishing vessels. These laws as far as currently determined, seem to indemnify fishing vessels striking the Basslink from any liability or wrongdoing. Hydro does not accept force majeure and by default it would seem to believe that the cable was damaged by a foreseeable event that possibly could have been prevented …
SUNDAY, November 6 ...
• John Hawkins in Comments: Steve Davy has recycled the Hydro press release in his Mercury article referenced above. We are very badly served by the Examiner and the Mercury who employ nobody who will conduct investigative journalism. Well done Kelvin and TT for pursuing this … the most important Tasmanian story. This complex matter will end up in the courts as one of the parties involved is not bound by the Silence of the Lambs in Tasmania. Basslink will sue over nonpayment and the can of Hydro worms will be sprung wide open. Those who rule the roost in Singapore do not buy silence.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: #4 kelvin, I have never seen an armoured cable that did not have a layer of insulation under and over the armouring. Especially one designed to be underwater. The picture I have of the Basslink cable that I hope Linz can attach to the article shows that it has the cable, then insulation, then a lead sheathing, then insulation, then armour, more poly sheathing, then string. I cannot see how the oil from the paper insulation can possibly ooze out unless the lead sheath was damaged also. It would also mean that the poly sheathing over the lead sheathing was damaged too. Meaning the cable was punctured.”
Tom Ellison* First published November 6
06.11.16 4:00 am
Real travel in the real Australia … The sort of towns where men don’t use deodorant, and women think waxing is something menfolk do to cars … Queensland’s not like it was in the good old days …
Simone Watson, Director Nordic Model Australia Coalition
05.11.16 4:45 am
Young Labor’s recent announcement that their decriminalisation policy written with the Scarlet Alliance will be taken to the coming ALP State Conference has shocked Survivors and women’s human rights groups from across Australia.
Keith Antonysen* First published October 18 Pic*
05.11.16 3:35 am
The debate about coal verses renewables can go on for a long period; but, nature makes the decisions in the end …
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• Mike Bolan in Comments: It really looks too late to reverse the warming trend Keith. Given our penchant for believing that politics and perceptions to be more important than the external ‘real world’, it’s hard to see any of our government systems working to protect us. Arctic ice is apparently the main driver of undersea ocean currents that travel thousands of miles and carry nutrients and a range of species. These currents then create feeding grounds for fish and other species. The implications include - no ice/no currents/disrupted ocean ecologies. It would be great if we had some means to control climate change however our fantasy that the pseudo-science of ‘economics’ is our highest priority it seems that we’re screwed until we can change our thinking.
PeakProsperity: What Triggers Collapse EXTRACT: Though central states and banks appear to be in control of the political, social and economic order, history shows that the forces that disrupt or make obsolete the existing mode of production cannot be stopped or even slowed by governmental edict or financial controls. For example, the advent of the printing press enabled mass distribution of the Bible and other books, which boosted literacy and distributed heretical ideas that soon upended the social order and the medieval mode of production. Heavy-handed efforts to suppress this technology’s spread of new ideas (such as killing those caught distributing Bibles in vernacular languages) all failed. A variety of forces can disrupt or obsolete existing modes of production and the social order they support …
• Chris Harries in Comments: Amidst all the huffing and puffing on blog sites, there are hundreds of serious professionals who are working day n and day out on climate change information and education. Here is the CSIRO / BOM combined portal: HERE. They’ve just issued the 2016 Climate Update, summarising shifting weather trends around Australia: HERE.
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
05.11.16 3:30 am
Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is perfectly still,
But nobody wants to know him,
They can see that he is a fool.
And he never gives an answer
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
Lennon McCartney, Fool on the hill
Lindsay Tuffin* Pic: Dan Broun of burnt cushion plants in the WHA. First published November 2
03.11.16 2:45 am
Protect irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage values over buildings. That is the message from The Wilderness Society’s appearance today before the Senate Inquiry into Tasmania’s wilderness bushfires in summer 2016 …
Dr Meagan Tyler*
02.11.16 4:25 am
As the recent post ‘Sex Work and Southern Theory’ ( HERE ) highlights, although there is a growing body of sociological research on the sex industry in Australia, there is still a lot missing. Few could argue with the example given, that there is still little to mirror existing international research ( HERE ) on men who purchase sexual access to women (although I should note a colleague of mine will present our paper looking at the attitudes of male sex buyers at the upcoming TASA conference) …
Lindsay Tuffin* First published November 1
02.11.16 4:20 am
Tassietimes departs from its normal practice on this, the first day of the month … to present Hobart’s future … ? For ... off the back of a truck came these wondrous torn-in-two documents (located in a dumpster) indicating the future of Hobart’s skyline ( Mercury HERE: $250m hotel developments to change Hobart skyline ). Of course we just have to be like everywhere else in the world. Don’t we … ?
• Steve Webber in Comments: Looking more and more like Darling harbour every day. How original!
• Christopher Eastman-Nagle in Comments: … the trouble with Hobart is that it is dwarfed by its landscape, as if one were plonking a city the size of Geelong into Sydney Harbour. It has so much space to spread itself around, high rise seems pointless; almost absurd. if you want high rise ‘views’, just build a bit further up Mount Wellington. One thing Hobartians could learn from Kiev is that you do not have to have a central CBD. The city works just as well if it is spread out. Hobart has potential prime and cheap commercial waterfront real estate to burn…. …
Tom Ellison* First published November 2
02.11.16 4:15 am
I got lost today …
Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published October 31
01.11.16 4:00 am
Attorney General and loose cannon George Brandis QC, a liability to the rule of law even in a Turnbull government, alienates the entire legal fraternity this week by relentlessly bullying Justin Gleeson, his solicitor-general, into resignation. It’s a turn of events unseen in a hundred years, a departure which robs the office of one of its finest legal minds and strikes a blow at the heart of the solicitor general’s office itself - but our PM’s on to it. “These things happen”, blathers Malcolm Turnbull before dashing offstage into witness protection …
… Minister for talking about women, Michaelia Cash is able to skip a planned meeting with states with the excuse that there’s “nothing requiring ministerial decision”, apart that is from a summit on curbing domestic violence and announcements that women are to be protected from idleness and double-dipping by cutting parental leave. …
… Cutting parental leave, we hear this week, will combine with an absence of affordable child-care, to help grateful mothers back into the workforce to resume bonding with colleagues; properly leaving baby to frantic grandparents. Although the government enjoys confusing what is a workplace entitlement with welfare, one thing is clear. Shameful double-dipping will cease forthwith - or in nine months’ time as an indulgent Prime Minister exercises his seigneurial discretion. Australian women will be overjoyed that the Coalition’s eagerness to get them back into the workforce is almost second to none. On OECD statistics, our government’s paid parental leave is now lowest in the developed world outside the USA …
… Bugger the people. Forget rights for women. Right wing bosses must be kept happy with buffoonery in energy, welfare and justice in a Melbourne Cup eve Turnbull Stakes that sees ignorance and folly racing neck and neck with crass stupidity.
• John Hayward in Comments: … Tonight’s 4 Corners ( TT HERE ) is on Tassie’s booming salmon industry. As with its hypertrophied woodchip industry and cloud-seeded BassLink power deluge, the LibLabs are again taking heedless avarice beyond the furthest horizons. …
Gillian Blair, Citizen, Panmure, Vic. 3265. Pic*
31.10.16 3:23 am
The Turnbull government is enacting legislation to prevent people who come by boat to this country from ever being able to settle in Australia. This is intended to lock out refugees imprisoned in physically and mentally unhealthy conditions on Nauru and Manus Island …
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
31.10.16 3:15 am
Baby, I’ve been watching you.
Watching every thing you do,
And I just can’t stop that feeling
Your slipping away from me ...
Max Merrit sometime in the 70s.
Antarctic Ocean Alliance Communications Director Elsa Evers. Pic* First pub: October 28
31.10.16 3:00 am
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance applauds the momentous agreement by Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to safeguard 1.55 million km2 of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean.
Bob Lubout* First published October 29
31.10.16 2:45 am
… I think we may have found an explanation for his bachelor status, given his description of marriage not being romantic, but a social construct important for progeny – if I was to counsel the member for Moore in his quest for love, I would say, maybe don’t roll that one out on the first date …
Tom Ellison* First published October 30
31.10.16 2:30 am
Do you remember the Gold Coast of the 1960s? No, I don’t either, but the place has a reputation. A time when you could throw the boards on the Kombi, and head off to a paradise of waves, weed and wenches …
Kim Peart* of Ross. Pic*
30.10.16 2:45 am
If I were to tell you that a Russian citizen, who was until 2011 the chief designer of some of Russia’s most powerful weapons, is now leading the charge to create a space nation, what would you wonder?  …
Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources. Ministerial Statement: Forestry. Pic*
29.10.16 4:30 am
… In shaping our approach for the 21st Century, we are guided by the words of perhaps the greatest mind of the 20th Century – Albert Einstein – who said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them’. We are not turning back: We are looking forward …
• Cassy O’Connor: Liberals Shuffling Deck Chairs on Forestry’s Titanic … … The renaming of Forestry Tasmania to Sustainable Timber Tasmania would make George Orwell proud. Giving an entity a misleading name won’t change the reality. Ultimately, what we are seeing is the shuffling of the deckchairs on the Titanic …
• John Hayward in Comments: Einstein has sometimes been attributed the statement that the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result. On the most flattering interpretation, this is exactly what Guy and FT are doing by renewing the blitz on Tasmanian forests …
• ABC: Forestry sector warns sawmills will close if Forestry Tasmania ups prices … Mr Edwards said it was unclear how much wood could be sourced from the reserved land set to be unlocked but industry would have to decide whether it would accept wood from those areas. “Is it worth having a return to the forest conflict of the past for the amount of wood that’s in there? We don’t know the answer to that,” he said. …
• Scott C in Comments: One of the constants over my working life has been that Tasmania’s forest industry has always cost the taxpayer money. We pay them to degrade our forests, damage our roads and bridges and we’re expected to be thankful for this. The name change is an exercise in “turd polishing”. I guess the Tas Gov’t think that if they change the name we’ll all forget the bad things that happened in the past. We won’t forget …
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: The Liberals said they were going to end the public subsidies to FT. Looking at their annual report this is what it shows. These are the subsidies so far for 2015/16 …
• Steve in Comments: Might one counter Einstein with Confucius? “To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.”
• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: “the business was not operating profitably and would be unable to do so for the foreseeable future”. For those that don’t know, that is a formal declaration of bankruptcy by FT. They are no longer a going concern. What is more they are now formally trading whilst insolvent, which is a serious breach of corporate law …
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: Regarding #19 Mark, that is simply not correct. In 2010 I represented the first ENGO group that withdrew from the forest peace process, long before Kelty, the TFIA, the IVG process and subsequent TFA and we remained throughout, critical of a number of aspects of the arrangements. Those aspects are on the record. Not withstanding our historical concerns over the TFA, it is clear that the TFA proposal had an amount of support. However, that is not the real issue now …
Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources. Pic* First published October 25
28.10.16 4:15 am
Australian Forest Growers National Conference Speech Thank you Kevin [Dr Kevin Harding, National President, AFG] for the invitation to join you here this evening. Events such as tonight’s are of great importance to this State in particular, and Australia more broadly. I say that as forestry has been the lifeblood of many Tasmanian communities since our earliest days. It has been and is a well-run and sustainable industry that has created jobs and provided opportunities for Tasmanians, particularly in our rural regions …
• Vica Bayley: Poll results show less than a quarter of Tasmanians support Premier’s plan to log reserves An exclusive opinion poll conducted on Monday night demonstrates that Tasmanians overwhelming reject Premier Will Hodgman’s plan to log 400,000 hectares of protected forests as a response to economic viability issues for Forestry Tasmania, The Wilderness Society said today …
• Russell Langfield in Comments: When was the last time FT made a profit (without subsidies and handouts)? If this was a private business it would be bankrupt and be charged with trading while being insolvent. There was sustainable employment and profitability in the timber industry before FT and Gunns as a duopoly ran it into the ground for loss-making woodchips and give-away whole trees to China. Dissolve FT and let the family sawmillers sustainably run the industry again …
• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: Guy Barnett, Minister for Forests and former advisor to Erich Abetz, expands the scope and reality of the Liberal failure over forestry in Tasmania. He should resign - fall on his sword. His stupid proposition to log legislatively deferred, High Conservation Value native forests (in northern Tasmania) would become an irrefutable breach of the Regional Forest Agreement. It would include a destruction of an important part of the National Reserve System. Barnett’s proposition will not work. I forecast it would become a Controlled Action under the EPBC Act. If Tasmania’s forests have been so hopelessly mismanaged that the only thing left to do in Barnett’s miserable little mind is to log those areas formally set aside and of obvious high conservation value, then there should be a Royal Commission. Come to think of it the economic performance of Forestry Tasmania also demands a Royal Commission. There is not a skerrick of logic behind the Minister’s proposition. It is a crime.
• Peg Putt: Out of touch government oblivious to reputational damage and investment risk of their controversial logging plans. Thinks ‘Sustainable Timber Tasmania’ is not a joke renaming of Forestry Tasmania.
John Powell* Pic* First published October 24
28.10.16 4:00 am
… I now learn after an intrusive reckoning on my only access road with “inclusive Stakeholder Managers” from Forestry Tasmania in late 2015 that they plan to log the remnant 25 Hectares with a modified logging area. The original FPP indicated “Clear Fell” but now they classify it as “Potential Sawlog Retention”. This area was part of the 1990 Helsham Thinnings and the experts suggest the sawlogs might be potential in circa 2067. So why go in to the coupe at all in 2017 except just to measure diameters and number of potential targets in 50 years? …
… FT, you just have to hide the fact that you are running a non-commercial operation and plan to continue to do so. These funds were almost totally supported by the taxpayers and Government subsidy we have a right to know about your economic incompetence. Minister Barnett, so much for open government and a renewed Forestry Tasmania, you are a dinosaur like your predecessor, and your Communications and Stakeholder Engagement personnel are mere clones!
Greg James* Pic* by Greg James
28.10.16 3:45 am
Multi gracias a Tom Elliot … As we head south towards the river of pilgrims knowing that any destination leads on to further roads and decisions … It becomes necessary to control events and manipulate outcomes. Gonzo our donkey is a faithless double spy, who will take off at any opportunity, hill or ditch. He serves us only because we push him and forcefully drag him through our nightmare. Others warn us he is not a good look, yet we cannot do without him carrying our emotional baggage.
Integrity20, Griffith University. Radio National's Life Matters. Pic: of Sarah Chayes
27.10.16 2:45 am
“Why did nearly half of Iraq open itself to Islamic State, a militant group seen as one of the most psychotic on record? Why have Boko Haram militants gained a solid foothold in northern Nigeria? Why aren’t the ranks of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula thinning, despite regular drone strikes in Yemen? Do these disparate countries have some trait in common? They do: the rampant corruption of their ruling elites.”
Paige Gleeson* WOLF* Pic*
27.10.16 2:32 am
On the 20th October, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that student politician and Liberal MP staffer Alex Fitton had identified himself as a woman in order to win an executive position in a student election worth $12,000.
Urban Wronski (aka David Tyler) http://urbanwronski.com/ . Pic* First published October 24
26.10.16 5:00 am
A muffled thumping disturbs the chamber this Thursday as our PM and his predecessor, in turn, throw each other under a bus, to use Omnibus Bill Shorten’s colourful phrase. Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy, who continues to hold a torch for the PM, has never seen anything like it in twenty years of parliamentary reporting. The Coalition is openly at war with itself
John Hawkins*, Bentley, Chudleigh. Pic: of Bentley. First published October 23
26.10.16 4:45 am
… Think long and hard if you as the Tasmanian Planning Commission can continue to preside over a debacle created by our political masters, all in the interests of their mates.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
Don Knowler* First published October 24
26.10.16 4:35 am
The decision of the Nobel awards committee to give Bob Dylan its prize for literature has met with a mixed response. Among those applauding the decision is Don Knowler, who remembers the momentous night he finally got to see his hero perform in Townsville and the simple twist of fate which nearly cost him his job.