"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tasmanian Media Awards 2016

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Lindsay Tuffin. First published April 24
26.04.16 3:15 am

ABC journalist Michael Atkin was named Journalist of the Year at the Tasmanian Media Awards 2016. Tasmanian Times Bob Burton was a finalist in the Best News Story category with three of his articles on political donations to the Tasmanian Liberal Party and the lack of enforcement of political donations law for political donors.

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Disappointing start to Federal election campaigning

Kym Goodes, CEO TasCOSS Media Release. Pic: Brett Whiteley in parliament
23.04.16 6:35 am

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Following Brett Whiteley’s attack on Tasmanian youth, single mums and other battlers today ( Advocate HERE ), TasCOSS calls on all Tasmanian politicians and candidates to show leadership and take a respectful stance on social issues while campaigning during the long election race ahead.

… “I believe Tasmanians are heartily sick of politics that turns our communities and neighbours against each other as if their lack of opportunity, rather than a lack of strong leadership, is to blame,” Ms Goodes said. “If that sort of divisive politics is how this campaign starts, the next 10 weeks will do nothing to improve Federal leadership in our State.

Mercury: No pay, no rent for our youth as Centrelink allowance delays leave Tasmanian students floundering

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The role of white privilege in the 60 Minutes kidnapping saga

Brisbane Times
18.04.16 2:47 am

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A major news organisation has shown an extraordinary lapse in judgment by exploiting a mother’s pain and taking part in a serious crime, writes Ruby Hamad.

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Inbred, fat: Liberal MP attacks political advisers

16.04.16 5:30 am

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Inbred, fat, abnormal: that’s the extraordinary connection made by a South Australian Liberal MP in his latest spray at the political class in South Australia.

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In Lebanon, 60 Minutes was creating a racist fiction for senior xenophobes

Helen Razer, Crikey. Pic: of Tara Brown
15.04.16 5:51 am

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In the very unlikely case you’ve not yet heard of the possibly illegal and almost certainly irrational actions of an Australian TV news crew in Beirut, know that the rest of the world now has.

Full yarn ...

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Van Badham’s freedom of speech for some?

Isla MacGregor, First published April 8
08.04.16 4:30 am

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Recent twitter comments on 6th April from Guardian Australia columnist Van Badham in support of the sextrade’s campaign to derail the World’s Oldest Oppression conference being held at RMIT this weekend, have many people questioning if Van Badham has any genuine commitment to freedom of speech or not.

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The Saturday Paper: Speaking Up ...

02.04.16 3:00 am

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• Inside our state propaganda fix

• Love Makes a Way members sit down and speak up

• Paul Bongiorno: Turnbull’s cunning double dissolution election ploy

• Paul Bongiorno: Malcolm Turnbull’s tax reform plan a work in progress

All in The Saturday Paper, HERE

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How the media does terror’s work

Steve Biddulph* First published March 26
28.03.16 4:00 am

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Amid the cleanup of the Belgian terror attacks, some questions are being asked that were softly spoken after Paris, and even whispered after New York’s 9/11.  In essence - with our media’s focus on the dramatic, the visual, and the violent, are we abetting terror.  Are we ourselves the means which small groups use to make big impacts - to frighten millions and more importantly, influence the direction of world events to damage all our lives.

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: The Australian public should acknowledge that the flow of boat people to Australia was never more than a trickle, especially if compared with what’s been going on in the Mediterranean and across the borders of southern Europe. The media, especially Murdoch’s, must take a lot of blame for this. Voters should be reminded that, whichever big party they choose to run their country, it will be led by a state-sanctioned child abuser; and he will appoint an immigration minister, who, by taking the job, will be indicating his willingness also to be a child abuser. We, as a nation, should be a lot better than that.

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And the winner is ...

Editor. Pic*
26.03.16 3:30 am

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And the winner is: On Albatross Island, 2015 by Matthew Newton

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BASSLINK wrap: Libs secretly migrated own Internet services off Basslink. Will, Entura, Board ...

Ben Lohberger* First published March 15
21.03.16 2:30 am

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FRIDAY March 18 ...

Mercury: Hydro water assets badly managed and heads need to roll. TT MARCH 13: What can you expect from from a Hydro Board with five business/finance backgrounds and a single, solitary engineer ... ?

• Simon Warriner in Comments: re 33, about bloody time someone in parliament started talking about the board of hydro tas and resignations in the same conversation. As for Bryan Green, he is just as culpable as Matthew Groom. And they are as culpable as the slew of other members of both parties who have pimped the Friedmanite nonsense about monetising, corporatising, and ultimately, privitaising public assets and the goods that they provide over the last few decades. We need a new approach to managing our public affairs that puts the common good first and the wants of a greedy bunch of neo-liberal oligarchic greed merchants a very distant last. An approach that does not include the failed model of party politics that has brought us this unmitigated cluster fuck.

• Luigi in Comments: I mention this not in criticism of the Hydro.  I think they have to conserve the water in Trevallyn Dam.  I mention it because the story is the first peep we’ve heard from Nikolic about The Crisis.  “Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said he had put a proposal to the State Government for regular water releases from the Trevallyn Dam to assist silt raking when water storages permit.” Put a proposal to the State Government? For water releases? When water storages permit?  That’s it?  No mention of doing a bloody thing in Canberra to express our plight and seek support for additional generation capacity or for wind farms.  Zip.  Nothing.  What planet is he on? And it’s not just him.  Here’s an old story about the “Three Amigos”.  “Three Amigos are Tassie’s united force.”  Remember them? HERE Where are they now?  Have Nikolic, Whiteley and Hutchinson ridden off into the sunset?  Are they holed up in some deserted hideaway somewwhere? Or are they lost?  Keep calling, Sirs.  We’ll find you. When The Crisis is over.

THURSDAY March 17 ...

Basslink’s website woes ...

WEDNESDAY March 16 ...

Examiner: Premier in hot water over ‘slit wrists’ slur PREMIER Will Hodgman has been forced to apologise to Opposition Leader Bryan Green after telling him to ‘‘slit his wrists’‘. … The comment comes just four days after the government launched a suicide prevention strategy.

• Luke Crowley in Comments, Entura staff prove critical in protecting Tasmania’s Electricity Industry: Hydro staff critical to protecting Tasmania’s electricity security are still slated to be transferred to a company controlled by the Chinese government, compromising the State’s electricity supply and finances. Entura is currently Hydro Tasmania’s only profitable arm and are on target for a profit of $1.5 to 2 million dollars back to Tasmania for the 2015-16 financial year, In addition Hydro’s Entura staff are playing a key role in solving the State’s electricity crisis. Luke Crowley, State Director of Professionals Australia said “Hydro and the government are looking to sell off the one profitable arm of Hydro, just like they wanted to sell off the gas fire power station despite it now being a saviour of the state during our energy crisis”. “It’s just pure ideology blinding longer term financial wisdom”. Mr Crowley identified a number of project Entura staff were actively involved in, which were key to securing Tasmania’s electrical supply …

• Peter in Comments: Matthew Groom, our Man with a Plan ... Energy Minister Matthew Groom unmoved on dam levels’ predicted low point …

• Pilko in Comments: Have a listen to Dr Ronlyn Duncan who 10yrs ago completed a PHD at UTAS studying Hyrdo’s Impact Assessment of Basslink. Dr Duncan immersed herself in Basslink’s assessment. Her experience of Basslink’s “planning & assessment” sounds eerily familiar. Think Pulp Mill. Think Pokies. Think Meander Dam etc etc etc HERE

TUESDAY March 15 ...

Minister Michael Ferguson has revealed the Liberal Government secretly migrated its own Internet services off the Basslink cable shortly before it was cut.

Nick Clark, Mercury: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on state internet case

• Richard Kopf in Comments: Ref #2. I rang Internode one day before the cut and asked what they had in place once the cable was cut. I was told by the technician that there was no advisory issued about that matter. Either Internode Management had their collective heads in the sand or they genuinely did not know themselves.

THE BASSLINK SAGA on Tasmanian Times ...

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Tourism ...

Charles Wooley. Pic*
18.03.16 3:20 am

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Some people just can’t wait to retire so they can go travelling. Perversely I plan never to retire so that I never have to travel, at least not under my own steam! Why pay for it? For me travel is travail. It’s hard work, often lonely, always grueling and frustrating, sometimes dangerous and in other time zones cruelly disorienting.

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Fairfax Media management says strike is ‘unlawful’ and will dock striking journalists

18.03.16 3:17 am

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Journalists across Fairfax Media newspapers, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, WA Today and Brisbane Times, walked off the job at around 2.30pm today, and are planning to strike until Monday.

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Basslink’s website woes

17.03.16 4:00 am

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NOW BASSLINK HAS WEBSITE PROBLEMS ‘509 - Bandwidth exceeded’ (see image above). “Not a good look for an infrastructure/telecomms company”, said one Whirlpool post today. Fault spotted just after midnight 17 Mar - still offline 11am 17 Mar

TODAY on Tasmanian Times ...

Basslink wrap: Libs secretly migrated own Internet services off Basslink. Will, Entura ...  includes LINKS to earlier Basslink stories ...

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Sally Glaetzer, Mercury TasWeekend. Pic*
12.03.16 2:53 am

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No pain, no gain in Cheek’s world … It is unlikely the State Government will be giving Cheek a medal any time soon. The Liberals have not forgiven Cheek for the party’s devastating defeat at the 2002 election, nor for the tell-all expose he wrote a few years later about his time in politics. Read all about it on TT HERE

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Notes on the Syrian exodus: ‘Epic in scale, inconceivable until you witness it’

Richard Flanagan, The Guardian. Pic* First published March 5
08.03.16 7:00 am

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Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan visits Lebanon, Greece and Serbia to report on the plight of the 5 million Syrians fleeing their country. ‘Forced to choose between life and death,’ he writes, ‘they choose life’

Richard Flanagan travelled with artist Ben Quilty ... HERE are his haunting images ...

Mercury: Tassie arms wide open ... but no refugees ...

• John Martinkus in Comments: Well done Richard, This is probably the most important story in the world right now and it is not being covered to the extent that it should be.

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Turn it Off

Cameron Hindrum*. Pic* First published March 5
06.03.16 4:29 am

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I watch very little television these days; I have sold my soul to Netflix (for which shows like Orange is the New Black and all the movies are worth it) and I catch up with one or two other shows on iView, but that’s it. I can’t tell you what’s happening on Home and Away or why the Habibs are coming, or even who they are. Really, I don’t care.

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Gaming the system

Max Atkinson* First published March 4
05.03.16 3:45 am

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… By contrast, the Liberal Party informed the Commission it opposed any disclosure of political gifts. Robin Gray, when referred by the Commission to a $100,000 secret gift to his party in 1989 “by a company registered in another state with business interests in this state”, professed ignorance of the donor’s identity but agreed that without this secrecy his party would have little public financial support. But the official reasons remain a matter of conjecture because the Liberal submission was never made public …

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STATE: Bad News Trainwreck for Good News Matthew

Tasmania Talks with Brian Carlton, 17 February 2016, http://www.7ad.com.au/tasmania-talks TRANSCRIPT. Pic*
26.02.16 3:40 am

Image for STATE: Bad News Trainwreck for Good News Matthew

THURSDAY February 25 ...

Mercury: Basslink back-up fast-tracked

Tasmania Talks with Brian Carlton, 17 February 2016, http://www.7ad.com.au/tasmania-talks COMPERE BRIAN CARLTON: ...we did contact the Premier’s office to see whether there was any formal response to the calls from the opposition leader, the Labor leader in this state Bryan Green, for the Energy Minister Matthew Groom to either resign or be sacked. During that commercial break we received a call from the Minister Matthew Groom, whom I have on the line now. Minister Groom are you calling to announce your resignation? ENERGY MINISTER MATT GROOM: Uh, certainly not Brian, certainly not. And again, unfortunately, what we’re seeing from Bryan Green is a, um, willingness to spend all his time throwing rocks and engaging in frankly political distraction for his own political purposes while the state is dealing with a very difficult circumstance, and I… CARLTON: Yes indeed it is. Why is he wrong though Matthew? Why is he wrong? …

… CARLTON:  Okay…alright…here’s… [Groom continues speaking]...here’s a…sir? Sir? Mr Groom. A media release from your office dated 22 December 2015, two days after Basslink. Okay? GROOM:  Yeah, but that’s… CARLTON:  Hydro, Hydro [both speaking] no, please let me read: “Hydro continues to be in a position to meet Tasmania’s energy needs and that continues to be the case even without the Tamar Valley combined cycle unit.” Your words, your office, 22 December. …

• Chris in Comments: Looks like this advice should have applied to government itself. http://www.business.tas.gov.au/preparing_for_disasters

• Estelle Ross in Comments: The current feed-in-tariff for new installations of solar panels is 5.5c kWh plus GST which is a pittance and has had a deleterious effect on solar companies with an accompanying loss of jobs. In view of the power crisis,  the original feed-in tariff for solar power of 28.283c kWh should be immediately re-instated .This would boost uptake,  aid the power emergency, plus create more jobs.

• Richard Kopf in Comments: I think I told you so Mathew Groom. Basslink techs must know what is wrong with the cable and so do you Mr Groom. Basslink missed the promised weekly media report. Why. The news is too bad? A Billion dollar cable fault not worth reporting on?

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

STATE: Bad News Trainwreck for Good News Will

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Andrew Nikolic Chucks a Wobbly

Dr Michael Powell* Pic* First published February 19
20.02.16 4:33 am

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In local journalism, Nikolic asserts the Power of One ... You have to admit when it comes to the politically outrageous Andrew Nikolic has few equals.

On TASMANIAN TIMES, Mr NIKOLIC’s colourful history ...

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What an absolute ripper of a book!x Tennis ...

Lindsay Tuffin. First published January 11
19.01.16 3:37 am

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MONDAY January 18 ...

SMH: Match fixing in tennis: The various ways to fix a match The fix is in: Tennis is thought to be a popular target for match fixers because there are only two players involved and, given many matches are decided by a few crucial points, it is reasonably straightforward to “influence” the result. There are several ways to “fix” a whole match, the score or even particular points …

MONDAY January 11 ...

What an absolute ripper of a book. This is the best thing I’ve read since the Flanman’s Narrow Road ... There are similarities ... Narrow Road ... is about nationalist-ego-driven cruelty. The Program is about one man’s ego-driven domination of cycling and the Tour de France ... at a terrible cost to anyone who got in his way.

• Garry Stannus, in Comments: I hope readers won’t too much mind me stepping back into the Armstrong past, I’m recalling an ‘on-court TT encounter’ between Rick ‘Pilko’ Pilkington and myself.  It went just about five sets and right to the end as Armstrong’s ‘defense attorney’ I was sure we’d prevail.  Rick was just as sure that Armstrong was a cheat.  When Armstrong admitted his guilt on Oprah Winfrey the matter was settled decisively once and for all in Rick’s favour … 

Nic Tomlin in Comments: As a keen cyclist and having suffered the same cancer as Lance - I drew great inspiration from his remarkable achievements.  The bombshell of this scandal still leaves me with deep seated suspicion knowing how much ‘people’ will cheat to ‘win’.  How could someone deceive the whole world for so long, under such intense scrutiny? The fact that the anti-doping system / UCI / governing bodies failed to catch Lance earlier remains largely unaddressed. The situation in Tasmania is not dissimilar. We have governing bodies (Integrity Commission, Ombudsman etc.), who openly admit ‘powerful influences’ are at play seemingly largely unchecked. I mean, the Integ Commission’s ‘damning’ report into Public Service gifts/benefits is laughable. The fact is, in a small island community, the risks of exposing any unwelcome ‘truth’ is far higher than in larger communities - unless you are a self-sufficient and highly robust individual (like David Walsh I guess) … Yes Simon. My concern is about how such individuals can fly in the face of authorities for so long. In most cases, it’s because big money is involved and exposure will cause ‘losses’. The sport of cycling did very well with a headline grabbing Armstrong, as did the sponsors and media. Nobody stood to gain much from his exposure, so no-one really wanted to believe it (including myself).

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

BASSLINK highlights State’s budget woes 



ABC: Fresh commitment to regional Australians 



Integral Ita 







What's On

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At 65, references were provided in relation to India and Vietnam in relation to water resources being impacted on and food…

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

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The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

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