"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

Can Tasmania be turned into Australia’s peak load generator?

Image for Can Tasmania be turned into Australia’s peak load generator?

Chris Harries*
24.04.17 7:00 am

… The single existing Basslink interconnector is grossly insufficient to handle these projected loads, meaning that the entire enterprise hinges absolutely on the funding of a second and possibly third Basslink interconnector at about $1billion apiece.  This cost, together with the cost of altering Tasmanian Hydro infrastructure, should not be viewed lightly. Cost would most likely be the killer … It’s probably smart political rhetoric on the part of Will Hodgman, but his main problem is that it is simply fanciful …

Energy Minister falls silent on second Basslink

ABC: Second Bass Strait power cable might be viable with Hydro upgrades, expert says

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NATION: Daddy knows best, dear ...

Urban Wronski* Pic: Flickr Donkey Hotey
24.04.17 6:30 am

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… The irony for Malcolm Turnbull is that his trumpeting of Australian values, as Michelle Grattan points out, raises serious questions about his own. Is he tapping into community fears; reaching out to ordinary Australians, widely believed to be Hanson supporters - spurned in an age of identity politics? Or is he willing, once again, to forgo his own beliefs to save his career? …

“I’m surprised you’re challenging this on the ABC,” he says. “I don’t think your heart’s in it actually, Leigh. I think you agree with me.” Daddy knows best, dear. Of course, if Turnbull were really concerned to preserve our uniquely Australian freedoms, he’d not only be practising what he preached, he’d be pushing for a bill of rights. Instead, what’s clear is that his own heart is not in it. He’s toying with populist rhetoric. It’s also a dog-whistle to those who like Peter Dutton would have us believe, against all evidence, that migrants were taking our jobs. That all our problems are caused by people from other countries who don’t know Don Bradman’s batting average …

Courtesy of the Australian, here: the latest result from Newspoll records Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48, down from 53-47 in the last poll (which was three weeks ago rather than the usual two, owing to Easter). Labor and the Greens are both down a point on the primary vote, to 35% and 9%, with the Coalition and One Nation steady on 36% and 10%. Malcolm Turnbull is up two on approval to 32% and down two on disapproval to 57%, while Bill Shorten is up one to 33% and down one to 53%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister shifts from 41-32 to 42-33 …

The Age: Of course North Korea wants nukes. We should learn to live with it Deterrence and diplomacy carry risks, but attacking or further isolating North Korea could be worse

Age: ‘I have facts you don’t’: Immigration minister Peter Dutton stands by Manus claims in fiery interview

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A Death In Interview Room 1

Tim Slade*
24.04.17 6:15 am

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March 13, 2017 TASMANIA ~ The trout have been quiet, and there is no tale to tell, so Leon Compton casts out for his first radio interview of the day on Tasmania’s local political hour. Miles Hampton is the Chair of TasWater.  He joins us in the studio this morning.  Miles Hampton, good morning to you …

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The wondrous (bloody) Art of Hermann Nitsch ...

David Walsh* Pic*
24.04.17 5:45 am

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… Yvette Watt, Tasmanian local and, I later found out, a ‘noted vegan crusader’, expressed her opinion on Facebook that it was not good art. For my purposes, it is good art. I believe that it has already spiked a conversation (thank you, Yvette) about the appropriateness of slaughter and Dark Mofo hasn’t even happened yet. That isn’t what the artist intends, but Mona has a history of repurposing art to serve its own psychological or political purpose. And anyway, Yvette Watt would oppose it even if she thought it was good art. She is opposed to the ritualistic killing of animals per se—on another occasion she said, ‘On an ethical basis, I don’t think any animal should have to die or suffer in the name of art’. That’s a more than reasonable position, and there is not a trace of hypocrisy about her. She opposes the slaughter of animals both directly (as an art performance), and as a side effect (for the generation of meat) …

Tasmanian Animal Rights groups call for MOFO mercy ... 

• The Old Bear in Comments: … But I also have a suggestion – to borrow from the famous bull events of Pamplona. Turn our bull loose with Messrs Nitsch and Walsh thrown in as running participants. It would be fascinating to see how they would fare (fear?) on the trot. Turn 150.Action into a different performance art.
(And why stop at just Nitsch and Walsh hoofing it – seemingly supportive pollies and associated pro commentators could join in as a spectacle for the populace) …

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Gutwein should foot the Huon council inquiry bill, says former mayor

Peter Coad Media Release. Pic*
23.04.17 5:35 am

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Peter Coad, mayor of Huon Valley Council until it was sacked last October, is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the council’s “debacle”. He also believes that the Tasmanian Government should foot the bill for the costs of the board of inquiry into HVC that Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein established in September 2015 …

• Duncan Mills in Comments: As a ratepayer and resident and a social ecologist, I am appalled that so many in the community think its ok to play the system to the the benefit of themselves and their own supporters …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Huon Council short-shrifts former mayor’s plea to pay his legal costs ...

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Tas Government Upstages Mona with 3 Capes Art

Ted Mead*
22.04.17 5:00 am

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If you are ever wondering why Mona receives little in government accolades or tourism industry awards then it’s because they want all that glory for themselves and their fellow cronies. Here’s how they are doing it, and I’ll let you be the judge of the art installations along the 3 Capes walk. I am all for art and creativity, but where do we draw the line on what’s tasteful or inappropriate, particularly when it comes to the natural environment … ?

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The Gates to Hell ...

John Hawkins* Chudleigh.
21.04.17 1:50 pm

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This was the view through the smoke from my house yesterday evening as the sun set …

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Why ... ?

John Hawkins* Chudleigh. Pic: of Senator Eric Abetz from his website
20.04.17 5:14 am

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On the 27 January 2006, the Tasmanian Senator, Erich Abetz, became the Federal Minister for Forests in the John Howard Liberal Government. On the 16th March 2006, some 6 weeks later, Abetz lunched with Ian Blanden,  CEO of Gunns Plantation Schemes, and discussed the Gunns Pulp mill, MIS plantations and the 12 month pre-payment rule with no sunset provision … matters vital to the future solvency of the Gunns’ business. This conversation was documented by the Chairman of Gunns Ltd John Gay in a letter to Abetz dated 29 March 2006 on Gunns Ltd company letterhead and sent to the Minister. (Document 1). Three weeks later on the 21 April 2006, Gunns gave the Liberal Party $50,000 … which was accepted …

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Health groups blame Government for hospital crisis

Martyn Goddard*. Pic: of Minister for Health Michael Ferguson from his Facebook page
18.04.17 5:40 am

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Tasmania’s top health organisations have issued an unprecedented and scathing joint statement highlighting the inadequacies of Tasmania’s the state’s public hospital system and condemning the State Government. “On almost all measures,” the statement says, “Tasmania has the least adequate and worst performing public hospital system in Australia …

Michael Ferguson: $6.4 billion record investment in Tasmania’s health system

Rebecca White: Premier can no longer ignore the extent of health crisis

Rosalie Woodruff: Joint Health Shows Need For An Emergency Winter Plan

Alisha Munney, Comment 6: is a young lawyer who doesn’t understand why Tasmanian politicians can’t see the wood for the twigs, or the gigabits for the bytes. “Maybe, with all those gigs running through the undersea cable, based on our history we should chop them up into mountains of bytes and see if we can export them to Malaysia on ships,” she says. “That would create jobs on the wharves, and rejuvenate our shipping industry…unless the Malaysians provide all the ships, of course.”

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World War ... ?

Kim Peart* of Ross.
18.04.17 5:00 am

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As the political heat rises over North Korea, a writer can be left wondering if any conflict may be done and dusted before an essay can be completed, let alone published

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You can be a successful writer, but only if you live in Melbourne or Sydney ...

Ben Walter* Image*
16.04.17 7:28 am

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In Wendell Berry’s recent collection of essays, The World-Ending Fire, he writes of his decision to leave New York and return home to Kentucky …

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A lot more richness is revealed ... (1)

Rachel Edwards*
16.04.17 6:17 am

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Conversation with Miranda Morris, Dave Arnold and Lochsley Wilson RE – One thing that is extremely apparent to anyone with an awareness of Tasmania’s recent gay history is that we have ricocheted from extreme to extreme – from a state where male homosexuality was illegal until the early 1990s to setting an international standard in human rights, following the United Nations decision in 1994. As we delve even further back into history, a lot more richness is revealed.

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Wood smoke: Suck it up ...

Clive Stott* Pic*
15.04.17 5:45 am

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Every year without fail we are smoked out across Tasmania by deliberate burning … Autumn is hell for the young, the elderly and those with lung or cardiac disease and their families. Little mention is made re their smoke-induced sickness lasting until lives are shortened. It doesn’t matter if the specialized cancer agency (IRAC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) says outdoor air pollution is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths …

Dr Scott McKeown, Specialist Medical Advisor Public Health Service: Elevated levels of smoke in the North

• Lola Moth in Comments: On Tuesday my friends arrived on the ferry with their motorcycle loaded up for a two week holiday in clean, green Tasmania. By Thursday afternoon they had retreated to the coast because they had trouble breathing at my place near Deloraine. Today one of them is flying home to Sydney to get away from the pure air she was promised on the ads. Her partner can’t get back on the ferry for another week. He has had surgery for throat cancer and the hole in his throat he breathes through is running out of filters and the machine he needs to unclog his airways is working overtime. If I can keep him out of hospital he should be able to ride home otherwise he will have to fly home and send the bike by freight. Their well planned holiday has turned into a nightmare.

Emma Anglesey: Impacts of more “regeneration burns” is unacceptable If the Tasmanian Legislative Council supports the Liberal Government’s plan to open up 356,000ha of reserved forest for clear-felling and burning this week, then we will have to put up with even more “regeneration burns” and cop the unacceptable impacts they have on the climate, our environment, people’s health and our industries for many years to come …

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Top 5 Firewood Tips

Tony Skinner* Pic: Flickr, S Faric
14.04.17 5:00 am

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There’s nothing like a bright burning fireplace to warm the cockles of your heart and make winter the cosy inviting season we love to enjoy! Here are a few facts and tips you may find useful to get the best from your family hearth …

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Fighting for a Fair Go

Kim Peart* of Ross. Image*
13.04.17 6:40 am

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Late last year the Federal Government found the Green Army to be wanting, and put the scheme to the axe. Now Canberra has Work for the Dole under the executioner’s gaze, and may be about to send this scheme to the chopping block as well. Is there another way that would serve to create work? For anyone who would like to see all Australian citizens who are able to work, employed on the minimum wage, the Centre for Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle has a proposal that can be considered, with an Employment Guarantee. On their website we can read …

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Can human greed and denial ever end? The climate crisis as a transformational opportunity (1)

Chris Sharples* Pic*
12.04.17 5:00 am

Image for Can human greed and denial ever end? The climate crisis as a transformational opportunity (1)

… it was the rigors and challenges of survival through the last Ice Age that drove the evolution of those new cognitive abilities such as foresight and the ability to plan, innovation, enhanced communication skills and enhanced co-operation, which transformed our distant ancestors into fully modern humans…These qualities, and the evolution of self-aware consciousness that underpins them, are the very things that make humanity distinctive from all other living things. In this light, the historically-recent rise of right-wing ideologies which attempt to justify neoliberalism and consumerism (read: selfishness and greed) as a preferred basis for society – and which are so strongly characterised by the use of denial as a means to ignore their self-evident contradictions - are truly regressive ideologies since they represent a resurgence of our most primitive selfish evolutionary traits, and undermine the more recent tendencies towards co-operation and altruism that are actually what made humanity so successful …

New York Times: A message from the End of the World SANTIAGO, Chile — Here in Chile, in the far south of the Southern Hemisphere, it has been the summer of our discontent. Never have so many natural catastrophes in a row hit this country at the end of the world. For once, it is not the earthquakes that have assailed us since time immemorial or the tsunamis that often follow, devastating land and coast, mountainscapes and ocean. This time, our unprecedented woes have all been man-made …

Guardian: Climate change impacting ‘most’ species on Earth, even down to their genome Three recent studies point to just how broad, bizarre, and potentially devastating climate change is to life on Earth. And we’ve only seen one degree Celsius of warming so far.

Science: Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being


Dr Clive Marks: Democratic hemlock: saving earth from our animal selves


Jon Sumby: Global warming versus economy: Economy wins

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POWER ... and a road to glory ...

George Smiley* Pic*
09.04.17 5:30 am

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Australian Energy Solutions Part 1 … Tony is a true believer in contradictions.  Human initiated climate change is crap, yet he imagines a triumphalist future when ‘nature shall be brought to its knees’. There is the virgin birth.  And now ‘Ownership of means of production by the proletariat.’  …

If their middle-class affluent dreams were realized and they had it already, they and we wouldn’t because all that arctic post ice-age methane would have been released and our teeming masses and small modicum of relative affluence would all be in the past; the now like in the Cormac McCarthy novel ‘The Road.’  Would/will a few survivors band together to make a wise new society that would conserve what was left and rebuild a new society?  Darwinian theory suggests otherwise; only the most cunning and vicious psychopaths – in uniforms, suits or the robes of holy orders would call the shots and the dumb, subservient or merely wise would fall into line on track to the new promised land.  Kind of like right now …

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The Hypocrisy of Eric Abetz

John Green* Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website
06.04.17 4:19 am

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I am annoyed at the hypocrisy of Eric Abetz and other right wing creatures who claim to believe in free speech when they want to defend the right of racists to use abusive and insulting language to create division in Australian society …

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Who Profits from Privatisation ... ?

Bob Lubout*
06.04.17 4:10 am

Image for Who Profits from Privatisation ... ?

… Since the privatisation of the Victorian Electricity Commission, the consumer price per KWh has increased by 133%.  In 1991 the Victorian consumer paid 12 cent per kilowatt hour, now in 2017 they pay 28 cents with the prospect of it increasing to 30 cents /KWh in 2017/18. This will be reflected in future Tasmanian energy prices also … Once infrastructure is privatised without regulation it is out of government control …

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Canadian trade ministry bows to Malaysian tycoon over OECD standards

John Hawkins*, Chudleigh. Pic: Palm Oil planations replace rainforest
06.04.17 3:45 am

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OECD’s National Contact Point in Ottawa dismisses NGO complaint against real estate business of Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud’s daughter – Sakto Group accused of breaching OECD’s disclosure standards for multinational enterprises

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Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: Daddy knows best, dear ...

Media Releases
And Media


JOHN LAWRENCE, Mercury: Power game played in the dark

Media Release: World climbers condemn proposed cable car

Marti Zucco: Tasman Bridge must be made safer

Spend the night with Julian Burnside AO QC

Papuan Voices Hobart Screening - Introduced by Bob Brown

Public meeting on smart meters

Community and The Australian Greens will not be “silenced” Prime Minister

Nelson MLC’s abortion law claim: alarmist and extreme moral panic

Peter McGlone: Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill 2013 must be amended

Vote for anyone but ‘BEEP!’

New ‘LGBTI Friendly’ standards for Tasmanian Tourism



Greens and Nick McKim all talk on light rail


Legislative Council Seat of Nelson candidate debate





TNC lodges Federal Court challenge over Tarkine mine



Those of us born in Australia don’t understand what it is to be an 8-year-old with an AK-47 running 



Help promote ... Turning Points to Compassion 





What's On

What's On



I will never be silenced Prime Minister 



#14; Without buying into the detail of the argument, don’t you think you are proving the “quality candidate”…

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