Articles

Lead! Who is going to take responsibility for this?

Isla MacGregor, Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network (TPEHN) and Jenny Bellinger, Safe Water in NE Tasmania
31.03.14 4:45 am

Image for Lead! Who is going to take responsibility for this?

Winnaleah has become the seventh Tasmanian town to have Lead found in Tas Water’s reticulated drinking water supply. Winnaleah now follows on from Rosebery, Pioneer, Ringarooma, Whitemark, Avoca and Royal George.

Mercury: Scare as lead found in North-East water source

Read more

11 comments

Writers | Isla MacGregor | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | History | Society

This government is governing for big business, not for the interest of most Australians

Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania
31.03.14 4:32 am

Image for This government is governing for big business, not for the interest of most Australians

Shortly before I started in the Senate, a friend of mine, Peter Lloyd, gave me a book to read which he told me was essential reading for any new MP. Standing here tonight I realise just how important it was and how right he was. The book, Don’t Think of an Elephant!, by cognitive linguist George Lakoff, is essential reading. For those Australians bewildered by how this Liberal-National government can be so ferocious and effective in undermining good public policy, such as pricing pollution or implementing a fairer tax system for all Australians, I recommend you read this book. Lakoff explains why the conservative side of politics have been devastatingly effective in promoting their own agendas by consistent, disciplined, simple and emotive messaging designed to attack and undermine progressive politics, and not just in this country. One focus for Lakoff is the subject of taxes, which are a good thing but are consistently painted by conservatives as an evil. Sound familiar? Lakoff goes on to explain that taxes are a critical part of any democracy. Taxes are roads, taxes are hospitals, taxes are law and order and taxes are safety nets for the poor. Taxes help build economies and create jobs. I would fall off my Senate bench if I ever heard this point publicly acknowledged across the chamber. It certainly has not rated a mention in any of the coalition’s debate speeches on this subject. It does not fit their simple and glib messaging and their fundamentally dishonest spin.

International Court of Justice decision will be a defining moment in efforts to end whaling

Read more

5 comments

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

Moral values and religious doctrines

Max Atkinson
31.03.14 4:15 am

Image for Moral values and religious doctrines

In most social and political disputes religion plays no role - we defend our views by appeal to values which transcend religious differences, such as community well-being, as well as values of honesty, fairness, freedom, justice, compassion and respect for human dignity which constrain this aim. There are exceptions - opinions on same-sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion reflect church doctrines but most of the time, on most matters, religion takes a back seat in our public debates.

Read more

9 comments

Writers | Max Atkinson | Politics | Opinion | History | Science | Religion | Society

Flight 370: Does Geraldton hold the key?

James Bond*
31.03.14 4:12 am

Image for Flight 370: Does Geraldton hold the key?

Note to the Air Chief Marshal Houston now overseeing the MH370 matter ...

Read more

16 comments

Politics | International | National | History | Legal | Society

Our daily grind

Philip Lynch
31.03.14 4:10 am

Image for Our daily grind

Australians’ love affair with coffee is showing no signs of flagging.

Read more

0 comments

Writers | Philip Lynch | Economy | Opinion | Personal | Society

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (4)

Don Knowler
31.03.14 4:05 am

Image for Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (4)

The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice.

Read more

3 comments

Writers | Don Knowler | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Tony Fitzgerald QC slams Qld LNP, Newman and Bleijie’s ‘old, bad habits’

Tony Fitzgerald, Independent Australia
31.03.14 3:15 am

Image for Tony Fitzgerald QC slams Qld LNP, Newman and Bleijie’s ‘old, bad habits’

In a submission to the Queensland Parliament, esteemed former anti-corruption commissioner Tony Fitzgerald QC takes the LNP – and in particular Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie – to task over their total disrespect and disregard for democracy, probity and justice.

Read more

7 comments

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

Struth!

David Ellis, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
31.03.14 12:49 am

Image for Struth!

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says authorities in Spain have been overwhelmed with enquiries to buy over 300 lighthouses the government’s put up for sale to help its ailing economy.

Read more

0 comments

Travel

Listen to the message of Orlando, Will ...

Lindsay Tuffin. All Pictures: Rosie Hastie
28.03.14 11:34 pm

Image for Listen to the message of Orlando, Will ...

Surely Will Hodgman, Premier-elect of Tasmania ... this is a better way ...

• Don Maisch, in Comments: Now the Abbott government is acting on the ACCC advice by enacting what they call a “historic agreement” with state governments that encourages the states to sell off their public assets and then use the money to “create tens of billions of dollars of new infrastructure across the country”. ... Considering Tasmania’s financial problems, the new Liberal state government may now find this a very attractive proposal and try to flog off Tasmania’s energy assets, perhaps at slashed bargain-basement prices in order to attract international buyers, such as Singapore Power or the Cheung Kong group or perhaps even the State Grid Corporation of China? - I do not want to appear to be racist but it is a fact that these corporations now collectively own a huge part of Victoria’s formerly state-owned energy assets - and it is not for the benefit of Victorians. Will the Liberal state government go down this path, and if so, how will the people of Tasmania react to it?

• Shaun, in Comments: It would seem more rational to say that Hydro is an entity unto itself or, if you really must nominate an “owner” then there are a few to choose from. Nyrstar (the zinc works) would be perhaps the most logical conclusion - they started building it (Hydro) in the first place back in 1910 and took the lion’s share of its’ output until the mid-1950’s (and they still use 11% of the state’s power today). Yes, you read that correctly, Hydro was indeed started by the zinc works ...

ABC: Polls officially declared, clearing the way for Will Hodgman to announce his cabinet Mercury: Elise Archer to be Tasmania’s first female Speaker

Read more

23 comments

Politics | State | Arts | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

The Great Leap Backward

Guardian Australia. First pub: Mar 26
28.03.14 5:25 am

Image for The Great Leap Backward

Tony Abbott reveals the outgoing governor general, Quentin Bryce, and her successor, Peter Cosgrove, will be the first to receive the titles.

Dennis Atkins, Courier Mail: PARTY GAMES: Is it time to call it a knight? Will knighthoods be standard fayre in Tony Abbott’s brave new olde worlde?

Beam me up, Rupert

The Licence to Bigots ... ? Leunig’s view

• Gemma, in Comments: National and personal sovereignty are the quintessential elements for our expansion into a more egalitarian and compassionate society. Quentin Bryce should have declined this offer and taken the opportunity to state her preference for an Australian honour. Disappointing and boring but not surprising as the future Sir Anthony gets brownie points with queenie and other assorted elites around the world. Not really a great leap backwards, more like a slimy slink downwards.

• Bob Hawkins, in Comments: Quentin Bryce, how could you? After making a decent fist of being GG (a vice-regal anachronism this country could well do without), you have allowed yourself to become the first victim of a megalomaniacal, divide-and-rule, miserably grovelling monarchist of a PM by accepting a “damehood” from him.

And, there goes Medibank, Guardian Australia, here

Andrew Wilkie: Prime Minister when will this stop? ``According to the President of the Human Rights Commission, conditions are so bad these kids have stopped talking and refer to themselves by number, rather than by name. ``Prime Minister when will this stop? ``When will Australian governments stop being responsible for such abuse of children?’’

99 Labor ejections, 0 Lib ejections: Labor pushes for no-confidence vote against ‘biased’ Bronwyn Bishop; Guardian Australia here Mark Kenny, Fairfax: Tony Abbott’s pre-budget fortnight of blunders and stuff-ups

Jan Davis: Governments cannot continue to oppress the most vital, vibrant and innovative sector

Read more

39 comments

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

Brandis amendments to RDA an effective attack on free speech for Aborigines

Michael Mansell, Secretary, Aboriginal Provisional Government MR. Pic: of George Brandis
28.03.14 5:15 am

Image for Brandis amendments to RDA an effective attack on free speech for Aborigines

Aboriginal lawyer Michael Mansell has challenged the motives of Attorney-General George Brandis’s amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act … Then there is the criminalising of expressions of dissent against logging (environmentalists), exploitation of workers (union pickets) or protesting without permission. Aboriginal protestors trying to save a 40,000 year-old heritage site at Brighton in Tasmania were arrested, stripped searched and charged with, of all things, trespass. Well-known garden guru Peter Cundall was arrested for protesting outside the Tasmanian parliament. Why does Mr Brandis not tackle these restrictions on free speech?

Read more

8 comments

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

Tasmanian 2014 election count. Booth elected, Greens lose party status. Ogilvie MP

Editors. Pic: Rob Walls, http://robertwalls.wordpress.com/ First pub: Mar 25
28.03.14 5:00 am

Image for Tasmanian 2014 election count. Booth elected, Greens lose party status. Ogilvie MP

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has completed the 2014 election count. The final tally is: Liberals 15, Labor 7 and Greens: 3.

ABC: Llewellyn and Harriss elected as votes exhausted in Lyons and Franklin Greens need four seats to be accorded Party status

Greens Lose in Lyons: Final Statement from Tim Morris “It is clear now that I was out-campaigned, particularly by the Liberals, on just about every aspect, and that even though I was not a part of the last government, I did support it, and I have paid a price for that support.” Mr Morris said.

• T.Slade, in Comments: Congratulations, Kim Booth.  And thank you, Tim Morris: you were the first politician who travelled to Pioneer in 2013 to talk with us locals about the lead-contaminated drinking water supply.  You even took the walk with us - as did Kim Booth and Amy Tyler later in the year - to the place where, several months and a Right To Information request later, three off-the-chart lead sample results were unearthed -  each carefully hidden by TasWater - one of which showed lead (Pb) at over 16oo ug/L, where the health standard is 10 ug/L.  Mr Booth and Amy Tyler continue to work on our behalf (thank you).

• Helen Hutchinson, in Comments: In all this thread no one is giving Cassy any credit for the best and most comprehensive climate change policy in Australia.  Produced by her department and showing where ,Tasmania’s future lies.  Solar power combined with our existing hydro schemes are the key.  That and the will of thoughtful people to keep our land cover.

Read more

62 comments

Richard Flanagan’s Road to Indie success

Stephen Romei, The Australian
28.03.14 4:28 am

Image for Richard Flanagan’s Road to Indie success

TASMANIAN writer Richard Flanagan has dashed from the blocks in this year’s race for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, with his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North last night named best fiction and book of the year in the Indie Awards.

Read more, TT Books, here

Read more

0 comments

Writers | Richard Flanagan | Books

Over to you, Mr Bond ... The Search for Truth ...

John Hawkins. Pic: The Southern Ocean debris. First pub: Mar 24
28.03.14 4:15 am

Image for Over to you, Mr Bond ... The Search for Truth ...

David Hawkins (brother of John Hawkins)  is a world-leading forensic economist who lives in Canada.  These are his musings on the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370, as Australia leads the seach off the WA Coast ( Latest: New satellite images from French, New Zealand Herald, here ... 

TUESDAY, ABC: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ‘went down in southern Indian Ocean’ )

Daily Express: Malaysian plane: 20 passengers worked for ELECTRONIC WARFARE and MILITARY RADAR firm A US technology company which had 20 senior staff on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had just launched a new electronic warfare gadget for military radar systems in the days before the Boeing 777 went missing.

• Mike Bolan, in Comments: In this case, TT is offering the ability to share ideas and evidentiary fragments in order to help create a better picture than is provided by the ‘authorities’ who lost the plane and its passengers. As with so many of these kinds of things, the protection for others is to avoid reading articles that don’t suit them. I argue that the editors are providing a service here given that no-one else has anything plausible to offer.

• Hugagogo, in Comments: While I agree with #14 beameup’s assessment of the article, I must take umbrage at his criticism of TT’s decision to publish it here. TT’s act of publishing this is no stylistic hiccup; it is more a glorious homecoming to the core proclivities of its constituency.

The Conversation: Flight MH370 confirmed lost: experts respond

Telegraph, UK: Malaysia Airlines crash: Suicide mission theory of MH370 investigators

• John Hawkins: The egg from Madagascar ...

• Field McConnell, in Comments: 1) Are Malaysian Airline pilots trained regarding the BUAP and protocols to follow in event it is triggered [ answer, no ] 2) Please show training records of requalification of both the captain and the co-pilot during their last SVT ( single visit training ) [ answer, we can’t ]

• John Hawkins: I have been looking into Freescale Semiconductor ... a particularly unusual American company ...

Read more

82 comments

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

Hobart Baroque ... ‘Never in my wildest dreams ...’

Governor Peter Underwood. Frances Underwood
28.03.14 4:05 am

Image for Hobart Baroque ... ‘Never in my wildest dreams ...’

Hobart Baroque reception Thursday, 27th March 2014

• Governor Peter Underwood Hobart Baroque is attracting people from all over Australia and overseas as well. We are honoured by the presence here at Government House of the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, who like many others has travelled south especially to attend Hobart Baroque. And a week today a Master Class for young Australian singers will be held here in this ballroom. As it says in the programme, “Throughout the Western world hundreds of musicians have turned to the baroque to satisfy an ever growing audience demand for this opulent and exotic form of artistic expression.”

• Frances Underwood As an opera-loving teenager, growing up in Hobart in the 60’s I spent many hours on what my father called the hard-bum benches in the Gods at the Theatre Royal because in those days Opera Australia periodically came to Hobart. When Opera Australia stopped coming here I set my sights on the cheap seats at Covent Garden on rare trips home to visit family in England. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would attend a Royal Opera House, Covent Garden production at the Theatre Royal; a first for Australia and for me the world had truly come to Hobart; as it has again this year; from Russia, from Spain and from New York’s Glimmerglass. It is difficult to adequately thank Leo Schofield and Jarrad Carland and all those involved for bringing us this unique festival.

Read more

0 comments

Politics | State | Arts | Economy | History | Society | What's On

Hobart Baroque’s week-long Festival ... as Orlando poised to captivate and thrill ...

Steven Godbee MR. First pub: Mar 26
28.03.14 4:00 am

Image for Hobart Baroque’s week-long Festival ... as Orlando poised to captivate and thrill ...

Artists assemble in Tasmania ahead of second Hobart Baroque Festival opening on Friday Artistic Director Leo Schofield is Australia’s most experienced festival director. With four Melbourne Festivals, four Sydney Festivals and the Olympic and Paralympics Arts Festivals behind him, he now pours his heart and soul into a new festival that brings the exquisite music of the 17th and 18th centuries to the city of Hobart. “As with each festival I’ve worked on, there is a tremendous sense of excitement right now as the artists gather ahead of the opening night,” says Leo. “In the past weeks I’ve watched the rehearsals of Orlando and I feel confident that it will captivate and thrill audiences.’

Published also in TT Arts, hereListed in TT’s What’s On, here

Read more

0 comments

Arts | Travel | What's On

Will Hodgman’s declaration of war

Dr Gordon Bradbury, Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative http://www.blackwoodgrowers.com.au
27.03.14 5:00 am

Image for Will Hodgman’s declaration of war

Last Friday March 21st 2014 Will Hodgman Premier-Elect of Tasmania on behalf of the forest industry, and particularly on behalf of the special timbers industry, officially declared war on the Tasmanian community.

TT earlier, Miriam Moriarty: Premier Hodgman Starts A War He Will Not Win

Read more

12 comments

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

Bled dry by Macquarie Bank ...

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk.
25.03.14 2:00 pm

Image for Bled dry by Macquarie Bank ...

Entitlements and ransoms Entitlements are still alive and well.  Another chapter in the Hobart airport story is unveiled as the Feds sign up to grant $38 million to a business bled dry by Macquarie Bank. Does privatising public assets achieve its lofty aims? And what of RBF’s continuing involvement with the airport?

MEANWHILE, The Tasmanian Electorial Commission Preference Count

Read more

5 comments

Writers | John Lawrence | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Premier Hodgman Starts A War He Will Not Win

Miriam Moriarty. Pic: of Premier Hodgman
25.03.14 6:00 am

Image for Premier Hodgman Starts A War He Will Not Win

Newly-elect Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman wants two opposite and irreconcilable things at once. In his election night victory speech, he made a point of saying that he intends to govern ‘for all Tasmanians’. And yet in almost every press conference and media opportunity since, he has repeatedly and confidently asserted that because of the Liberals’ election win he now ‘has a mandate’ to rip up the Tasmanian Forests Agreement that the forestry industry and environmentalists had painstakingly negotiated to end decades of conflict in Tasmania’s forests.

Mercury: Six bidders involved in pulp mill permit process, says Gunns Ltd receiver KordaMentha, as March 31 deadline looms

Richard Colbeck: World Heritage mockery Richard Colbeck on The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area scam

MEANWHILE, The Tasmanian Electorial Commission Preference Count

Read more

29 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Andrew Wilkie: Parliament turns its back on problem gamblers

Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison
25.03.14 5:04 am

Image for Andrew Wilkie: Parliament turns its back on problem gamblers

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has today (Tues) expressed his disgust that the Australian Parliament overturned the hard-won poker machine reforms.

Read more

0 comments

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

Sick of the useless fighting ...

*Frank Nicklason, North Hobart. Pictures: Matt Newton*
24.03.14 3:30 am

Image for Sick of the useless fighting ...

I agree with Dr Bruce Felmingham (Sunday Tasmanian 23/3, Hodgman risks getting lost in forests, here). It seems clear that the incoming Liberal government is about to make costly mistakes with their approach to the forestry industry. Dr Felmingham points to the risks associated with inflaming the polarisation of argument relating to the complex issues around forestry practice in Tasmania. A large majority of Tasmanian people are sick of useless fighting.

GUNNS – The life and death of a rogue corporation

Hans on for the Libs ... ?

Richard Colbeck: World Heritage mockery

Read more

16 comments

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

Greed, pure and simple ...

Michael Franco, CNet
24.03.14 2:57 am

Image for Greed, pure and simple ...

We’ve all seen movies depicting a dystopian future. Usually they envision a small group of elites living in sleekly designed homes wearing clean gray clothes, sipping pure water, and enjoying generally dust-free living while the rest of us schlubs reside in cardboard boxes beneath bridges. Now, a NASA-funded study is saying the collapse of civilization as we know it might not be all that different from what happens in movies like “Blade Runner,” “Elysium,” and “The Hunger Games.”

Guardian: Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20%; Oxfam report reveals scale of inequality in UK as charity appeals to chancellor over taxWho are the five richest families ... ?

The New Daily: Tax Secrets of the Rich and Famous

The Saturday Paper: Abbott government’s attack on the environment

Guardian: Greg Hunt confident of ‘helping’ China, US, India and EU cut carbon emissions

Read more

3 comments

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

Falling for a Pod of Dolphins. Story Competition ...

© Copyright, Les Harris and Diane Caney, 2013
24.03.14 1:47 am

Image for Falling for a Pod of Dolphins. Story Competition ...

When living in Melbourne in 1990, I saw a wonderful performance of some poems written by Heathcote Williams. Knowing that my father loved dolphins, I sent him a hardback copy of Falling for a Dolphin, a poem which describes an incredible encounter between a man and a dolphin ...

• Les’ family has decided to set up a Story Competition in memory of Les. They will seek stories about the beautiful waters in and around Tasmania. Les asked that stories be sought from Tasmanian residents. For more information, please follow this link ...

Published also in TT Books, here

Read more

2 comments

Books | History | Personal | Society

A Festival Called PANAMA

Gavin Boyd (aka G-Train)
24.03.14 1:35 am

Image for A Festival Called PANAMA

Trail blazers such as these have led a complete image change for Tasmania, which has gone from a location known best for its mostly unemployed, obese, car obsessed population to a thriving state economy which is now based around tourism and the arts. Ancient industries like forestry and manufacturing are distant memories in an economy where former loggers turned trendy café baristas make the morning coffee of research employees at the world renowned Menzies centre in the Hobart CBD… Or at least this is the impression that I got from the many ‘want to be hippies’ and clapped out old beatniks I spoke to at Tassie’s newest music and arts festival ‘Panama’. Seriously though, I tend to agree with their vision for the future, however I am much less optimistic after the recent state election result. Better go buy a chainsaw, curse some asylum seekers for taking my job and Mrs and drive my commodore full noise down Murray Street and scare some pedestrians… but anyways, on with the review.

Read more

1 comments

Arts | Blogging | Review

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (3)

Don Knowler
24.03.14 1:26 am

Image for Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (3)

The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice.

Read more

0 comments

Writers | Don Knowler | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Too Big, Too Fast, Tooooo Close!

Paul Tapp
24.03.14 1:17 am

Image for Too Big, Too Fast, Tooooo Close!

I saw him coming and wondered how soon it would be before he gave me a wide berth … but he didn’t ...

Read more

3 comments

Writers | Paul Tapp | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Hans on for the Libs ... ?

The Hag
24.03.14 1:15 am

Image for Hans on for the Libs ... ?

And who is offering advice to the Libs as they dismantle the TFA ... ?

Read more

7 comments

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

Tasmanian Theatre Company 2014

Charles Parkinson
24.03.14 1:02 am

Image for Tasmanian Theatre Company 2014

I am very excited to be able to offer you six very different theatre works in the Tasmanian Theatre Company’s 2014 season.

Check out the 2014 season HERE:

Published also in TT Arts, here

Read more

0 comments

Arts | What's On

GUNNS – The life and death of a rogue corporation

Matt Newton, http://matthewnewton.com.au/Commercial/People/1/
24.03.14 12:15 am

Image for GUNNS – The life and death of a rogue corporation

Feature-Length Documentary This story is part David and Goliath and part Enron. It discovers what happens when the system fails and a corporation grows to become so powerful that leading national politicians of all persuasions acknowledge that the real power in Tasmania is not the government but Gunns itself.

Read more

28 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Arts | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Personal | Society | What's On

Double Struth!

David Ellis, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
24.03.14 12:03 am

Image for Double Struth!

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says …

Read more

1 comments

Travel