Greens’ spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Media Release. Pic*
19.02.15 5:20 am
The Greens’ spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says the Abbott Government’s radical free trade agenda risks impacting on day-to-day domestic policy issues including our ability to respond such crises as the frozen berry contamination scare of this week.
Rebecca Hubbard, Jon Bryan, Nobby Clark, John Edwards Media Release. Pic*
19.02.15 5:15 am
It’s astounding. The similarities are amazing.A huge freezer factory trawler is once again being encouraged to come all the way from Europe to fish in the Australian small pelagic fishery, despite ongoing public opposition to the industrialisation of our fisheries and the threats this poses to our protected marine life.
• Estelle Ross, in Comments: This is a statement from a concerned Fijian about the massive boats which are overfishing the Pacific: “Monster commercial fishing boats are trawling the Pacific, scooping up the last of our fish at rates far faster than nature can replace them. That’s why Greenpeace is making it our movement’s mission to change the way commercial fishing is done, starting here in the beautiful Pacific Island atolls of Kiribati. We have a plan. And with your help, we won’t stop until our oceans – and the people who depend on them – have a future again.
• Studler van Surck, in Comments: Yes “Geelong Star” sounds very patriotic, almost as good as “Abel Tasman” but a giant fishing factory ship smells bad under any name and both the real “Dirk Dirk” and “Margiris” are now unwelcome almost anywhere in the world. Anyone here remember the trawlers that came from the Middle East in the nineties and fished for our jack mackerel out of Triabunna? A small spotter plane would pinpoint the schools, the trawlers would appear over the horizon and haul in the lot and within two years there was not enough fish to catch and the trawlers were left to rot. In the twenty years since that shameful exercise the huge schools that were so common on the East Coast are still not ever seen again.
Guardian. Pic: Wikipedia of David Hicks
19.02.15 5:00 am
Australian former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Hicks said to be ‘thrilled’ after US review court strikes down conviction
Rebecca White MP, Member for Lyons, Shadow Health Minister, Media Release. Paul Tapp picture
18.02.15 12:55 pm
The State Liberal Government is in damage control following the release of the Parliamentary report into the sale of the Triabunna export woodchip mill site.“The report clearly demonstrates the inquiry was a politically-motivated waste of time and taxpayers’ money,” Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said. “It has achieved nothing and highlights the Liberals failure to support the Triabunna community. ”Guy Barnett has corrupted the political process and is working against the community he is supposed to represent.
• Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure Media Release ...
• Dr John R. Wilson, in Comments: Rebecca, this was a nasty little witch-hunt from the start. A disgraceful waste of public money. Nothing was gained by it. Nonetheless, I am grateful to you and Cassie for your dissenting reports.
Download, Read for Yourself Cassy O’Connor’s Dissenting Report ...
Dr Michael Powell* Pic: of Andrew Nikolic MP. Pub: Feb 16
18.02.15 6:00 am
Letter to The Examiner (unpublished) I was recently informed that the local member for Bass, Mr Andrew Nicolic lodged a complaint with my employer about criticism I had made of him in the Examiner.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• Luigi Brown, in Comments: The Federal LNP government needs strong men at the moment. Dissenters and outspoken troublemakers need to be whipped into line - both inside and outside government. The electorate of Bass is lucky to have such strength. This week alone in Launceston we have had a domestic violence siege, a kidnapping and a book launch. And now things have degenerated into a letter to the editor by an academic! Mr Nikolic is the right man for these troublesome times.
• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Unfortunately Mr Nikolic seems to be stuck in the mindset of the military. Duntroon is well known for training bullies. He seems to have forgotten that he is now in Civvy Street. He also seems to forget who his employers are, I am sure there will be a sharp reminder in a year or so when he asks his employers to extend his contract.
• Michael Powell, in Comments: I feel strongly about the principles of democracy and urge my students whatever their persuasion to stand up for those ideals. To speak. To debate. This is the most radical government this country has seen whose agenda is to rend the fabric of our nation and the values that have founded it (less some of the ones we would rather forget like White Australia). Mr Nikolic is glued with barnacle adhesion to Mr Abbott’s authoritarianism and has been rewarded as Whip with a role he is qualified to administer, that of official School Bully. Like all bullies he does not have the courage to dialogue with those with whom he does not agree. He wants to fight terrorism but is unable to muster the courage to debate a harmless, unarmed, civilian constituent. Man of the moment indeed!
• Bazzabee, in Comments: I’m not exactly shocked the Libs have quite a lot of form in this area. In early 90’s I got a job with a Commonwealth Dept in Hobart. I got the job fairly and it was a job I was well qualified for the process followed public service guidelines. So imagine my surprise when after a couple of months my boss called me in to her office and told me that Senator Jocelyn Newman (Campbell’s dear old mum) had written to the Minister saying I was not fit to hold a position of responsibility in the Public Service? It was also said that I had got the job because I was a well known ALP figure her letter alleged cronyism.
• Michael Powell, in Comments: I am really shocked by #20 Bazzabee. The then Senator Newman was notorious and often said as Minister for Social Security that she was there to give a ‘hand up not a hand out’. When she left the Senate she took her own Ministerial pension AND her husband’s Ministerial pension (Kevin) AND his military pension. So much for a hand out - at that time >$200,000 a year. I would also point out Mr Nicolic also has a military pension along with his parliamentary salary fully indexed while approving the reduction in pension increments to CPI rather than AVE. In the 1980s Labor fought hard to bring pensions up to 25% of AVE (average weekly earnings) after years of Liberal neglect - now that standard has been trashed and in time will hurt pensioner’s purchasing power greatly.
• Michael Powell, in Comments: Stop Press: According to my sources in the corridors of power School Bully is mightily miffed. He has denied he ever intended to ‘intimidate’. He does not deny that he called my employer to complain - just that he did not intend to ‘intimidate’. Well why do you complain to an employer - to praise their courage or recommend a promotion??? I think not. He then tried to assert I was a Green candidate for Bass! This is after he has accused me of being a Labor candidate. What next Palmer United? What the deluded Andy cannot understand is that you don’t have to be a ‘candidate’ to speak out about the government’s polices and his grotesque behaviour. What these people do not understood is that there has been a groundswell of ordinary people who who have turned against policies and behaviour that are abhorrent. Simple as that.
• Dirk Flinthart, in Comments: I know Dr Powell. I’ve met Mr Nikolic on a few occasions (hey, it’s Tasmania. It’s hard not to meet people, you know?). Anyway, so much for disclosure. Folks, look at the written words. Nikolic has acted in an intimidating and offensive manner. As a public figure (an elected official) he has reacted to public criticism by moving privately to the employer of the critic. If that doesn’t make you nervous about Nickel-dick (jeez, where did that come from?) and the government that he flogs, what will it take? On one hand we have a person who has used proper public channels to raise an issue of public interest, and has suggested—without visible rancour or ad hominem nonsense—that the member for Bass needs to lift his game in representing his constituents. And on the other hand we have someone who will not engage in public debate, but attempts to move behind the scenes to censor genuine public debate. It’s a no-brainer. And the outcome? Pick somebody else to vote for next time. Andrew Nikolic, like so many other Abbott appointees, is an incompetent bully.
Eva Ruzicka, http://evaruzicka.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: of Eva Ruzicka
18.02.15 5:45 am
Leadership as a vocation in government and government reform agendas The current round of calls for local government amalgamations raises a number of questions about what leadership means in government today.
Lindsay Tuffin. Andrew Wilkie MP
17.02.15 4:20 am
It was 30 years ago and I was not long back from five years or so in Pomland. I was working part-time as “Southern Features Editor” of the now-defunct Tasmanian Mail with the illustrious Jan Haswell commanding the ship from Launi; and the ex-London Sun, now-long-dead Tony Adams as Chief-Sub.
• Andrew Wilkie: Integrity of greyhound industry gone to the dogs ...
John Lawrence, Tasfintalk: http://www.tasfintalk.blogspot.com.au/ Pub: Feb 16. Pic*
17.02.15 4:15 am
Forestry Tasmania’s (FT) controversial small native forest coupe in the Flowerdale river catchment area at Lapoinya in NW Tasmania is one of its better coupes. FT is adamant clearfelling will be a profitable exercise.
Matthew Groom, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage Media Release Pic: Port Davey. Pub: Feb 14
17.02.15 4:00 am
Today I have approved five projects to proceed to the second stage of the Liberal Government’s Expressions of Interest process for sensitive and appropriate tourism offerings in our National Parks and the World Heritage Area.
John Powell, Myrtlebank. Pub: Feb 16
17.02.15 3:44 am
I never imagined that a poem created in the 1920’s would be relevant today. Even less did I imagine that it might be relevant to an iconic Tasmanian GBE also created in the 1920’s.The poem aptly describes the innate culture of Forestry Tasmania during the entirety of the succeeding 90 years and is even more pertinent today.
• John Powell, in Comments: In the article I quote The Examiner viz:- “A Forestry Tasmania spokeswoman said 35.7 hectares of the forest would be ‘‘harvested’’, despite the meeting”. In today’s edition the Examiner indicates, inter alia, that “no decision has been made”. I understand this has occurred as a result of direct contact by a FT Senior Manager to the “Chief of Staff” of the paper. Note it is NOT a retraction of the statement published on Friday 13th. May I also note that the Forestry Practices Plan (which is available and was promised to be provided at the meeting) for the new coupe layout has NOT YET been received by the FLAG personnel. Interesting way to conduct consultation.
• John Hawkins, in Comments: MJF. I have been in business for nearly 50 years with a modicum of success. I like many others only remain in business because I make a profit. If : ” ....too much is going out in terms of wages, salaries, bonuses, redundancies, rent , leasing, debt servicing…..” I am forced to cut my cloth. I suggest that FT as it has been run in Tasmania is a bad business, run badly, by bad people. It survives as a result of political largesse only gifted to the industry in an effort to buy votes. I cannot make it much plainer.
John Biggs. Pub: Feb 16
17.02.15 3:30 am
… The TFA itself ceased to matter when the Hodgman Government came to power in 2013. They ripped up the TFA in a display of the very culture Beresford has brought to light: “the measures announced by the Hodgman government highlight the continuing absence of innovative thinking about the state’s future or the need to address its dysfunctional political culture.” (p. 376). This is the political culture that has steered the disastrous economics of the past 50 years.
In Beresford’s closing words: “The alternative to genuine reform is a grim prospect: new rounds of politically inspired environmental conflict, further resort to draconian curbs to civil liberties, and the perpetuation of failed economic strategies – all while the state falls back into its long-held record as a perennial economic basket case.” (p. 397). The Hodgman government has already started reversing its log truck down that corrugated road. …
Editor. Pub: Feb 16
17.02.15 3:25 am
A note from Dr Dale Kerwin School of Education MT Gravatt Campus Grifffith University Dear all: The email was just a chain mail sent to me and I sent it on to a couple of friends who have posted it out to others and it has gone viral. I forgot to delete my signature block from the bottom and this has given it some authority as being credible. However I have no idea about the research and its veracity. If you post it on please delete my name from it - Dale
Australian Bar Association, Philip Selth, Alicia Patterson, Duncan McConnel. Pic: of Piers Akerman
17.02.15 3:20 am
The attacks on Professor Gillian Triggs and the Australian Human Rights Commission following the release of the Report “The Forgotten Children”, are alarming, according to Fiona McLeod SC, President of the Australian Bar Association and Duncan McConnel, President of the Law Council of Australia
• What Piers Akerman said about Gillian Triggs ...
• Julian Burnside and others ... Letter to the Editor ...
Hilary Burden, https://hilaryburden.wordpress.com/ Pic: of Hilary Burden
17.02.15 3:00 am
My twin brother who works for a major engineering firm in London and helped design fashion designer Victoria Beckham’s new Dover Street store says his office is now into “agile working” ...
17.02.15 2:50 am
SWS CEO Christine Bell
17.02.15 2:45 am
Southern Waste Solutions (SWS) is calling on members of the community with an interest in sustainable waste management and solutions to join its Community Reference Group (CRG).
• Shane Humphreys, in Comments: It would be of interest to anyone reading this media release by SWS to note that a current member of the CRG and former President of local community group, Southern Beaches Conservation Society (SBCS) is currently facing a SLAPP suit in the Supreme Court brought on by SWS in response to that person raising community concerns. The statement contained within the above Media Release, ’ SWS CEO Christine Bell said the organisation was dedicated to maintaining regular communication with the community and values the ongoing support and feedback provided by all members of the public’, should be seen for what it is- a shameless PR stunt. Actions speak loader than words!
• Angela Marsh, in Comments: As a current member of the Community Reference (CRG) Group, who has not attended the last two meetings because there is currently a writ against me and my community group for daring to voice concerns to hazardous waste producers, regarding a proposed hazardous waste cell for the Copping refuse site,I whole-heartedly endorse the concept of the CRG. However, I believe there is some more work required to make this group truly representational of community without bias, to permit open discussion, particularly regarding current and future management of hazardous materials. My concern is that Southern Waste Solutions is a very small entity that is trying to grow exponentially. This Authority, owned by four Councils, is not equipped to handle the logistics of accepting all hazardous waste from Tasmania, and from Antarctica,neither should it be. The Tasmanian government must intervene and provide a waste management strategy that encourages minimisation of landfill, similar to that which is currently in use in other states and overseas. If landfill is to dominate all other methods of dealing with waste in Tasmania this state will once again be the backward state. Definitely sullying our clean, green image.
Brett Hall, Carly Rusden (secretary to Frack Free Tas) Media Release. Pub: Feb 15
17.02.15 2:25 am
The group “Frack Free Tas” is holding a public meeting on Wednesday the 18th of February, at the Sustainable Living Tasmania Centre at 6pm, to inform the public about possible exploration for shale oil and gas. The current moratorium in Tasmania for fracking will end on the 31st of March 2015.
Jules McCue* Satire: Kudelka, used with permission: http://www.kudelka.com.au/
16.02.15 3:15 am
The following statements regarding the death penalty would strike terror in the hearts of our present government ...
Geoff Lemon, The Guardian
16.02.15 2:45 am
Something weird happened during India’s recent Test tour of Australia. On television sets across a nation, not just once but over and over. Michael Clarke talked about the cricket.
Lynn Giddings. Pic: Yacht at the centre ... The Four Winds
16.02.15 2:30 am
Much has been written in Tasmanian Times on the Susan Neill-Fraser case; both articles and comments on the articles: is she guilty or innocent? There has been persuasive and angry argument going backwards and forwards, some of it quoting from the Transcript of the Trial.
16.02.15 2:15 am
Glenorchy City Council is on track to record a unique Tasmanian achievement by gaining a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. A spokesman for GBWR, Hype Much, said that a nomination had been received for World’s Shittest Political Drama for goings-on at the Council.
Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic*
16.02.15 2:00 am
The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year 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. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here
16.02.15 1:44 am
The young lad driving the hearse had worked on construction sites in London but he’d missed his girlfriend, so he’d returned to Ireland and then this job had come up. It was busy, he said, most of the time and he was happy just to be earning a quid.
David Walsh, The Monthly, ABC pic of David Walsh
16.02.15 1:20 am
Harley Dennett. Pic: of Rodney Croome
16.02.15 1:15 am
Tasmania has become a global case-study on building specific capability across government. From a total ban on discussing LGBTI issues, it’s become the national leader through reference group advisory.
Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp Pic:: of Dr Bob Moles
16.02.15 12:45 am
Evan Whitton says the rule against similar facts has betrayed victims of repeat offenders – organised criminals, serial rapists etc – since a corrupt English judge invented it 120 years ago, and that it is 30 years since Australian police first asked politicians to legislate for an exception to the rule similar to US RICO law. This account is from his book, Our Corrupt Legal System.
Caroline Norma, RMIT
16.02.15 12:30 am
The generation of men who have come of age in Japan’s twenty-first century society have grown up enveloped in a world of pornography.
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ Pub: Feb 15. Pic*
15.02.15 4:55 pm
Like a fart in a pickle barrel the Federal Coalition reverberated from crisis to catastrophe in a woeful week in which everything went wrong again, perhaps its worst week yet, a week which began with the PM’s rude April Fool’s-Valentine card Monday’s ballot on his leadership where he made history by narrowly beating off a challenge from an empty chair to his Friday last minute sacking of Father of the House Ruddock while proclaiming profusely his undying friendship and esteem for his mate.
Vincent Plush, Australian Financial Review. Pic*
14.02.15 5:30 pm
In so many respects, it was the perfect formula: a week of Baroque music in the colonial splendour of Hobart. For two successive years, thousands flocked to feast on its ambience, cuisine and music.
• John Hawkins, in Comments: Saturday afternoon. I am currently in Hobart with important clients from Singapore staying in two apartments at the Somerset. In a busy schedule we left enough time to visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery - arriving at three forty five to be ordered out due to to early closing to save on wages at four o’clock. The Rhapsody of the Seas - a cruise liner nearly a thousand feet long with a crew of seven hundred and fifty, docked earlier in the day and a large number of tourists wanted access all to the museum ... all to no avail. They were directed by me to the Mona Boat across the road which duly left at four thirty. I was informed by the museum staff that fifteen casual staff had been sacked and morale was at an all time low. I suggested they applied to be badged under Forestry Tasmania as then the Liberals would throw money at them just for wearing the logo. Who cares about cruse ships and tourists; certainly not the log-it and flog-it brigade at Liberal HQ.
• Jane Rankin-Reid, in Comments: The previous government and the Board of Trustees’ shocking mismanagement of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery merits a public inquiry. The chaos left in the wake of the Giddings government’s deliberate denial of their obligations to support the the integrity and sustainability of this important institution is only now surfacing.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne Media Release. Pic*
14.02.15 11:14 am
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says the UK cross party agreement to phase out coal and rapidly address global warming should be a wake up call for political parties in Australia; parties who have protected the big polluters’ profits at the expense of everyday Australians for too long.
• Jon Sumby, in Comments: This announcement is about a ‘promise’ and a ‘pledge’ that has no action date, i.e. sometime in the future. Furthermore it applies only to coal-fired power stations that do not use ‘Carbon Capture and Storage’ (CCS). Ten years ago, CCS was a technology on the cusp of reality ‘in a decade’. It still is on the cusp of reality ‘in a decade’. The best CCS technology tests only gets around 1/4 of the carbon out of the emissions… and then that has to be stored somewhere; anyone remember the idea pumping it underground? To me this announcement, resoundlingly cheered by all and sundry, is very similar to the promise, made by Bob Hawke in 1987; ‘By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty.’