Reuters through SBS. Kudelka, used with permission: http://www.kudelka.com.au/
10.10.14 4:44 am
A survey has found that Australians’ trust in federal government has slumped and it is now the least-trusted tier of power.
• Chris Sharples, in Comments: The three-year campaign by News Corp and their puppet Tony Abbott to destroy the Labor government was certainly successful, but unfortunately they did more than just destroy Labor; they destroyed a workable political environment and replaced it with a toxic climate of mistrust. It’s no wonder so many people were so dis-enchanted that they voted for independents and nutty minority parties. It was Tony Abbott and News Corp that helped Clive Palmer and his PUPs to seats in parliament; they have no right to whinge now about the political mess they made.
Terry Polglase, AEU Tasmanian Branch President Opinion
09.10.14 4:00 am
Before Auditor General Mike Blake begins his review on appropriate enrolment numbers for our state’s public schools, there are several questions that need answering. Firstly, why are the 30% of schools which are in the non-government sector and are heavily taxpayer supported not included? 55% of these schools are more than 80% government funded. Herrick Presbyterian has an enrolment of 6 and it is 85% government funded. Whether schools are supported by state or federal funding, it is still taxpayer money.
This is not a public versus private topic, but it needs to be understood that the public school system as we know it, or knew it, is under threat. Since the middle of 2012 thirteen public schools have merged or closed, resulting in seven fewer public schools, and twenty-five others were closed or amalgamated in the preceding five years. Parents at Meander Primary are being asked to consider whether they support the closure of their school right now and they are not alone.
Australia is ranked third in government’s financing of non-government schools and only Chile and Israel subsidise private systems more. In high-achieving Finland there are no private schools and in New Zealand only 4% are private and these do not attract significant levels of government support.
Jane Perlez, New York Times. Pic: of Tony Abbott. Satire: Leunig, used with permission. Pub: Oct 6
08.10.14 4:00 am
SYDNEY, Australia — Like many Australians, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, 56, is crazy about sports. He is a passionate cyclist, an Ironman triathlete and a former boxer. The zeal that Mr. Abbott has shown on the track and in the ring is now on display as he directs Australia’s efforts against the militants of the Islamic State, abroad and at home.
• Ross Tapsell, Lecturer in Asian Studies at Australian National University: Q&A: Australia’s reaction to arrest of French journalists in West Papua: The Australian Senate passed a motion last week, with explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s restive province using tourist visas. Read the interview here
James Dryburgh (article originally published in Tasmania 40 South - with beautiful images) Pub: Oct 8
08.10.14 3:20 am
The process and the product of Gray’s work offer so many contemplations. The works remind us that these people, these stories of joy and pain, life and death, are all around us within our community – passing by us in the street. Through stories of horror, so difficult to imagine for those of us who have been written a more fortunate script, we see the fortune and misfortune that is dealt simply through a person’s birth place and time. Individually and collectively the paintings demonstrate the power of human resilience, to make a life with very little and against the odds.
They remind us of the countless stories we don’t hear, the mementos lost and forgotten, and the plight of today’s refugees – the stories being written as you read this. Mementos remind us that even though in recent times the sound of its beating has been muffled, within Australia there is a generous heart that has offered hope for thousands of diverse people fleeing despair.
via Isla MacGregor
07.10.14 5:17 am
The Conservative government’s prostitution bill - Bill C-36 - passed in the House of Commons Monday night by a 156-124 vote.
Alderman Jeff Briscoe, Chair Parks HCC. Pic: A model of the proposed walkway Pub: Oct 4
07.10.14 5:15 am
It’s 12 years since a Battery Point walkway plan was launched ... and generated has been a 2 metres high stack of heritage, environmental, design, planning and other reports. Now, it is D-Day for planning approval.
• Margaretta Pos, in Comments: Waterfront residents such as Guy Green, Ken Hosking, John White, the Cliffords, and others were having none of any of it. Indeed, Green sought $380,000 and Hosking $340,000 in compensation if a walkway was built - the only two waterfront landholders on Battery Point to own rare land titles to the rock shelf between high and low watermark. (All other titles allowed ownership of land only to the high-water line). There were exceptions, notably David Marriner, who built sandstone steps over his jetty to enable people to walk over it with ease and which suited the environment. And in May 2007, then Opposition Leader and now Premier, Will Hodgman, gave his support to a walkway from Salamanca to Sandy Bay.
• Ald Jeff Briscoe, in Comments: UPDATE: The HCC development service committee recommended tonight to approve stage 1 of the Battery Point walkway. The vote was 3:1 in favor. The recommendation of the committee will now go to full council on Monday.
Ross Tapsell, Lecturer in Asian Studies at Australian National University
07.10.14 4:50 am
The Australian Senate passed a motion last week, with explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s restive province using tourist visas.
Samuel Alexander Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at University of Melbourne, The Conversation
06.10.14 4:45 am
What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.
James Dryburgh on New Matilda. Pic: of Marina Silva
06.10.14 3:55 am
Peter Adams, http://www.windgrove.com/blog/
06.10.14 3:50 am
The artist’s chief role is to shift people to a deeper understanding and appreciation of their place in this world. And, if needed, work to change their perceptions of it if those perceptions become abusive to the greater good. In other words, the artist’s main role is political, not decorative.
06.10.14 3:45 am
Watch on YouTube here:
• Global Day of Action 2014: Reclaim Community Power for Zero Waste Solutions
Dr Buck Emberg*
06.10.14 3:35 am
The therapy sessions grew in intensity and numbers as the percentage of my aged patients swelled. In my professional years as a counsellor there was a thorny problem which seemingly had no solution to old age … except die as swiftly as possible. What do normal families do with old, worn out, tired, difficult, useless, crabby, expensive, flatulent…and boring parents?
Anna Reynolds* Main Pic: of Michael Kirby
06.10.14 3:30 am
Ask me for a Tasmanian political hero, and I’d say Andrew Inglis Clark
Don Knowler. Pic: of a Swift Parrot
06.10.14 3:15 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
Max Atkinson. Pic*
06.10.14 3:10 am
Perhaps the most striking feature of the budget debates is the government’s refusal to discuss the question of fairness. It is now conceded that, while early claims of a financial crisis were overblown, there remain serious problems in matching spending to revenue. But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, in one interview after another, ignores this issue; he insists the public must accept those cuts the government wants, regardless of the impact on lower income groups.
Bob Hawkins. Pic: Huon River at Franklin
06.10.14 3:00 am
Huon Valley Guessing Games Council is caught up in the jumble of facts and hearsay that is the knotty tale of the unapproved jetty on the Franklin foreshore near the Petty Sessions restaurant.
06.10.14 2:45 am
“The home, built in 1857, had been unoccupied for years”, said the report of a dilapidated Victorian-era mansion in Sydney’s Balmain East.
Evan Whitton @EvanWhitton1 Pic*
06.10.14 2:30 am
Background. In 1983, I happened to live two doors from Jim Boyce, a Rugby international well-known for scoring six tries against a New Zealand provincial team, Wairarapa-Bush, in 1962, and for his stance against apartheid, which he observed when he toured South Africa with the Australian team in 1963. Fingered by the CIA, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for life in 1964. Boyce agitated against apartheid when the South African Rugby team toured Australia in 1965. Sanctions (opposed by Opposition leader John [Jackie the Lackey] Howard) eventually led to Mandela’s release in 1990, and his election as President in 1994.
Meanwhile, Boyce had become an executive at Tooth’s Brewery, and he gave me the film of what may be the most remarkable boxing contest ever staged. I might mention that the referee, Charkey Ramon (born David Ballard), was described in the NSW Parliament as a notorious standover man.
Sally Whyte, Crikey. Pic Rob Walls, http://robertwalls.wordpress.com/
06.10.14 2:15 am
Two non-resident multimillionaires are behind a slick ad campaign against a wind farm on King Island, off the coast of Tasmania, Crikey has learned. According to the minutes of last month’s No TasWind Farm Group annual general meeting, which have been seen by Crikey, president Jim Benn told the assembled members that the group’s major donors were BRW rich listers Bill James and Michael ...
Hubble Space Telescope. Pub: Oct 3
05.10.14 4:30 am
“This celestial object looks like a delicate butterfly. But it is far from serene. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour—fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so-named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope,” states the website of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Danny Carney, Indonesia. Leunig. Pub: Oct 2
04.10.14 6:59 am
Something ugly is happening in Australia. I was too young to give a damn when this last happened, when thugs of all creeds attacked each other in Cronulla. Watching the footage now, I can hardly believe that it was filmed here: a group of inebriated Australians storming onto a train and beating and kicking innocent people until the attackers are beaten back by police. Ugly, ugly stuff. And I am scared it is staging a comeback.
• Andrew Wilkie: A statement on burqas in Parliament House The decision by the Government to isolate, in their own rooms, burqa-wearers observing the Parliament has no security merit at all. The segregation of one group of people like this is nothing more than religious apartheid and deeply wrong.
Stuart Loone General Manager, Spring Bay Mill. Letter to Supporters. Pub: Oct 2
04.10.14 6:45 am
… We’ve already made substantial progress and investments. We’ve almost finished the enormous job of decommissioning and we directly employ 7 full-time equivalents and have generated work for many Tasmanian businesses including Hazell Bros Group, Timber World, Playstreet Urban Design and Geo-Environmental Solutions. We’ve also contributed to the Triabunna/Orford community through contracting local businesses, promoting the region, shopping locally and donating to local organisations and events. The polling that we commissioned last week revealed that a two-thirds majority of Tasmanians want us to succeed. …
• ABC Radio reports ... Spring Bay Mill co-owner Graeme Wood is in Hobart today ... but no meetings are scheduled with Will Hodgman’s government ...
• mr t, in Comments: #6 Carol, I wrote to the Mercy quoting their article, “The government subsidizes wood chip transport from the southern forests to Bell Bay.” I continued with, “No, I do along with my family, neighbors and everyone else in Tasmania. If wood chips require a transport subsidy then the sales are uneconomic. Abetz, Harriss, Hodgman, Barnett and others need to use their own money if they think this is a good business opportunity - just like Graeme Wood. It wasn’t published. My local member is Paul Harriss (enough said). In the meantime, the Libs save money by sacking workers and immediately spend the savings on our loss making forestry and their supporters. Can the Tasmanian public see the reality of this one policy Abetz-Harriss government? I doubt it.
• Kim Booth: Harriss wasting more public money as he flogs another dead horse Greens Leader Kim Booth MP today criticised Resources Minister, Paul Harriss, for flogging a dead horse with his woodchip enquiry; wasting public money and causing further anxiety for Triabunna residents who welcome the Spring Bay Mill tourism proposal. “Everybody knows the native forest woodchip industry is dead and gone,” said Mr Booth. “It’s yesterday’s story, its financially unviable and the only result of establishing a port will be sacking more nurses, police officers and teachers.” “Clearly this weightless enquiry is just another fraud on the Tasmanian people, and if an answer can be delivered in just 2 days then an enquiry is not needed in the first place.”
Rebecca Hubbard, Marine Coordinator with Environment Tasmania. Pics*. Pub: Oct 1
04.10.14 6:15 am
Community and Conservation Concerns Over Salmon Farms Rising Environment Tasmania have today called for a thorough upgrade of the monitoring, planning and management systems regulating salmon farms in Tasmania after a new report shows that scientific monitoring of the salmon farms is inadequate and a regional planning review is in need. “Right now, salmon farming is the ocean equivalent of overcrowded caged chicken farms. They are polluting Tasmania’s clean waters, damaging the health of the marine environment.”
• Guardian: Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats
• Gavin Collier, in Comments: A travesty shielded by communities in dire financial trouble aided by Corporate thugs, Salmon farming. The nets are toxic to organisms, the food is derived from Our native fish stocks at a unsustainable ratio 4kg native fish produces 1kg private fish, Salmon have one of the most sensitive navigation systems in the fish world and do not naturally exist in the Southern hemisphere. I have lived in Scotland and caught wild Atlantic Salmon, have seen the pollution from farms destroying fragile natural ecosystems, then watched in abject horror when it arrived in Tassie. Having discovered, exploited and collapsed native commercial fish stocks it would appear we are hell bent on destroying what remains of a very fragile environment. Explain this to your kids and how you did nothing but continue to consume to the death of all that was natural around you. Finally I would like to remind people of the take over by Korda-Mentha (who were the receivers) many years ago and how locals working at Tassal held shares which were wiped, altered and re-floated without compensation, during this turmoil the factories never missed a beat.
• Download, Risks to the Tasmanian Abalone fishery from expansion of the Salmonid industry, from Dean Lisson, CEO, Tasmanian Abalone Council:
03.10.14 7:36 am
This Banksy artwork on a wall in Clacton-on-Sea has been removed after a complaint to the local Council. “This is the best Banksy I have never seen: a clever and succinct satire on some currents of feeling in contemporary Britain, terrified of “migrants”, menaced by otherness. Far from being by any stretch of the imagination “racist”, it is – was – a witty putdown of the drab, dour vision of Britain touted by those who would push down diversity and hold back the tide of modern human movement,” writes the Guardian’s art reviewer.
Philip Cocker Alderman Hobart City Council Media Release, Pic: Model of new Myer ...
03.10.14 5:35 am
Lord Mayoral candidate Alderman Philip Cocker today proposed the Hobart City Council proactively seek development investment through an open tender process for all Council development funds. “Council provides significant funds to developers. This has always been done in secret behind closed doors.We can create better development outcomes for our city by proactively creating an open tender process for all development funds. An open tender process will generate significant interest and competition. In the past there has been zero competition. You never good outcomes from deals down in secret without competition”
03.10.14 5:33 am
A man is only as good as his word!
03.10.14 5:30 am
As part of an upcoming Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) certification evaluation, SCS Global Services is seeking stakeholder input regarding the forest management program and practices of Forestry Tasmania. Please comment via email or contact our offices. In pursuit of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed forest management certification, Forestry Tasmania will be undergoing an audit in early December 2014. The audit will be conducted by SCS Global Services, a FSC-accredited certification body. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organisation devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
HCC Lord Mayoral candidate Alderman Helen Burnet Media Release. Pics: Models of Myer.
01.10.14 6:16 am
… the Council has, in my opinion, far too much riding on it as the great hope for the city. The development has taken 7 years to begin, and the significant delays have reduced business confidence … The release of the Council’s Annual Report is a step in the right direction, allowing some transparency in the financial support for the commercial development. It reveals some but not all of the costs set aside for this project at various milestones – $7m for Myer and more to Kallis - a cap on rates and waiving of some fees. These may seem to ratepayers and the public an outrageous price to pay. There is the argument that major development is required in our city and there is no denying that. But there has to come a time when developments stand on their own merits. My concern is that there may seem to be an unfair advantage to one developer over another. Indeed, I have had developers make this very comment to me. There is also the disadvantage to the smaller business who are expected to be grateful for major players who receive grants, but do not receive anywhere near the direct benefit from Council themselves.
• The Hag ... And what is going on here?
HCC Lord Mayor Damon Thomas, Media Release. Pub: Sept 30
01.10.14 5:00 am
When faced with business closures, empty stores and slashed rates the City of Hobart acted decisively to secure the long term economic future of Hobart’s Central Business District.
Patrick Synge, Funding & Disclosure. Julian Type, Andrew Hawkey, ELECTORAL COMMISSION http://www.tec.tas.gov.au Pub: Sept 30
01.10.14 4:45 am
• Patrick Synge, Public officer – Funding & Disclosure (Inc) Nominations have now closed for the Tasmanian Local Government Elections and for the first time in Australia candidates are now disclosing in ‘real time’ donations and gifts on the dedicated website http://www.FundingandDisclosure.org.au
• All the candidates for all the LG elections Candidates have been announced for elections being held for all 29 local government councils, with 476 individual candidates (338 men and 138 women) standing for councillor.
• And as the clocked ticked to 9pm (Tues) there were just two disclosures on the website for Hobart City Council… and a total of six for other councils ...
• There is a permanent dinkus at the top of favoured blogs (left col) on Tasmanian Times