Tasmanian Times


Your Say (Archive 4)

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  1. editor

    March 27, 2005 at 4:13 am

    The Editor,

    The Govt. and the Minister and Nature Conservation spokespeople are alarmed at the rewards offered for proof of a Tasmanian Tiger calling it a “bounty”, not wanting people going afield in search of a Tiger.

    They have said this will endanger threatened species. This must be the all time height of hypocrisy; what do they think their 1080 laced meat baits set for “foxes” are doing to spotted Quolls and Eastern Quolls and other endangered wildlife?

    There is much scientific evidence which shows Quolls do excavate and consume foxbaits. At 1.85mg/kilogram bodyweight as the lethal dose 50 for spotted quolls, Tasmanian fox baits at 3mg 1080 dosage per bait are lethal to juveniles and females.

    Fox baiting in the Tallaganda state forest on the mainland was found to have killed 70% of the Spotted Quoll population. The good side of all this is that with experts afield searching for Tassie Tigers they may just stumble across the elusive Tasmanian “foxes”.

    Our self proclaimed “experts” certainly have not been able to capture one.

    Ian C.Rist

  2. phill Parsons

    March 27, 2005 at 2:32 am

    Looking for Thylaclinus, they seek him here, they seek him there, that elusive tassie tiger.
    [Apologies to Baroness D’Orcy]

    I remember way back when we first came to Tasmania and the local folklorist had the wilderness filled with tigers, there was so much, it just had to be there.

    Rumours of rumours, sightings on lonely roads on dark nights, in broad daylight, footprints in sand traps, expeditions large and small, offers of a museum devoted to the lore, everything and anything but this marsupial predator in the flesh.

    One story was how a tiger was trapped and held in a slab hut, it paced the walls of its prison for days until it was gone, out under the wall. The year was 1938, 2 years after the last captive died. True or false. Tick the box and then allow for the memory of the teller.

    My limited knowledge of animals leads me to understand that in the wild a certain continuous population has to exist. 500 for herbivores and 50 for carnivores. This avoids the problems of inbreeding and, in theory, provides sufficient recruitment to maintain a viable population.

    And where do these 50 animals reside or hide. Perhaps during the Second World War there would have been a chance to recover numbers from the low of zero seen in the wild in the early thirties.

    However with the post war soldier settlement, other land clearing and the industrial scale forestry of today following on we should either have rediscovered them or finalized their fate.

    But no, like dreams of el dorado, the search goes on, fruit is not needed, the quest itself is enough.

    Przewalski’s horse, bred in captivity in zoos is now being reintroduced into the wilds of central Asia. The Florida population of the whooping crane, with careful management and captive breeding is now recovering.

    Tigers [Panthera tigris] throughout the world are in decline due to greedy and poverty stricken hunters fulfilling the sexual gratification wishes of stupid old monkeys.

    In the book The Last Tasmanian Tiger, you can read all you need about the animal and the stupid monkeys that caused its fate.

    Whilst lessons can be drawn from events of the past, a real crisis faces Tasmanian wildlife, with the fox and the feral cat at large among the island’s viable population of small marsupials and Sarcophilus [the devil] population, under threat from a facial tumor disease.

    Retaining a healthy viable population of devils is essential in controlling the introduced predator. The devils eat everything approach to survival puts at risk young foxes and feral cats, a valuable control on a population explosion.

    Rewards, expedition monies and any other funds devoted to searching for an extinct animal, should, in memory of our collective stupidity, be directed to funding the programs that may take Sarcophilus [ the devil] through this disease and into the future.

    phill Parsons has a long standing interest in nature conservation, seeing the recognition of the importance of conservation obfusticated by the interests of greed and the natural world decline before the meaningless onslaught of the stupid monkey. He expects to die with this state continuing as the climate crisis gathers momentum and the practices of the wealthy world such as democracy and international agreements fail against the decline in water availability and the too little too late crisis measures the stupid monkey adopts.

  3. phill Parsons

    March 27, 2005 at 1:35 am

    What has happened to the verities of Howard, the 66 billion dollar man, are they deserting us with the surety of his victory over the balance of power that held in check the excesses of their ideas.

    In recent days the sun has risen in the west and Howard has abandoned states’ rights, opining that they should be replaced with regional governments, perhaps because they will not meekly bend to the Canberra comedian’s view and abolish certain taxes.

    And now he has backflipped on stem cell research and allowed the scientific use of excess IVF embryos, as an event similar to water flowing uphill.

    Strange days indeed when we see the lack of coal exporting infrastructure in Qld used as an example of a bottleneck on national development.

    Whose ideals led to the privatisation of public assets such as the coal loading terminal at Dalrymple Bay, taking it from public ownership where its increased capacity meant more income for Qld into the hands of those who will only invest if guaranteed an improved return to their shareholders.

    What else will emerge from this change in the power structure now that Howard can have almost anything the parliament can assent to. What twists and turns will we see as he tries to define an agenda for his re-elections in an attempt to outdo the record of Ming or will this period of aberration pass.

    phill Parsons waits breathlessly for the next turn in the adventures of the man of steel.

  4. phill Parsons

    March 26, 2005 at 5:03 am

    How Much Care can Amanda bare, a story continued …

    And now, due to some failures of the system and special pleadings from government members and prominent Australians, Howard and Vanstone are to change the lives of up to 115 long term detainees. If they sign up to agree to go home then out of detention they will come. After years of imprisonment they can get a bridging visa that allows them to stay in the community until Vanstone decides they can go home, no appeal, immediate deportation from the cruel limboland of uncertainty.

    Hey, isn’t this very like a policy advocated years ago as an alternative to an enforced tropical holiday on an island far from any home. Process and release into the community until the system decides status.

    Here we are, holding people who have committed no crime year after year, with no end in sight, because they cannot be returned to their country of origin and cannot establish refugee claims.

    People have a right to apply for asylum under international law, which also prohibits arbitrary and unjust detention without trial. Detaining individuals for the purpose of deterring others, the Government’s shamelessly unprincipled justification for its policy, is a violation of that law.

    The facts expose deterrence as a falsity: in recent years, as the numbers of asylum seekers around the world have plunged, the decreases for Australia have been little different from those of countries that house such people in the community while their cases are considered.

    Exploiting fears is the only reason the Howard government sticks to an inhumane and unjust policy. The modest practical problem of a few thousand asylum seekers was blown out into a crisis by demonising them as a threat to the nation during the 2001 election campaign cleverly destroying Beazely’s credibiltiy as an alternative.

    Most have proved to be genuine refugees – since 1999, more than 9000 have been granted protection visas. Has any harm come to Australian society as a result of their release.

    Because the Government needs to protect its huge political investment in the credibility of its “Pacific solution” of offshore processing, there is no prospect of relief for 92 detainees on Nauru and Christmas Island. They never arrived and therefore are not legally blah blah blah. A perversion of the intent of the agreements covering refugees.

    Peter Qasim, held for nearly seven years because India will not accept him even after he signed deportation papers, appears not to qualify for release at this stage.

    Vanstone cites his lack of co-operation, reminiscent of the excuses used when it was found Australian resident Cornelia Rau had been wrongfully detained, giving a name and face to the suffering of detainees; the public was able to recognise the injustice and inhumanity of imprisonment without a crime.

    The political fallout has forced the Government to come up with an expedient solution to the suffering of others, without admitting that the whole system mandatory detention is wrong.

    Human rights are universal, there is no special division for some people not to qualify for those rights. Something apparently impossible for an ideologue of the 1950’s to understand

    Once the assylum seekers were turned into a potent political weapon, Australia tragically lost sight of the a relatively manageable, practical problem.

    As a result, it confronts a legal, ethical and moral problem of such monstrous dimensions that it threatens centuries-old understandings of human rights, of what is fair, of what is humane and just.

    phill Parsons almost fell overboard when Howard appeared to react to a drop in poll popularity by lessening the hold on the ‘queue jumper’ issue. Now stuck on an island that has lost much international respect for its behaviours he awaits that visa to a land that shows it has humanity at heart in its s tratment of assylum seekers.

  5. phill Parsons

    March 26, 2005 at 2:35 am

    In a talk with Steve Kons, almost the Minister for the Environment, Geraldine de Burgh-Day, (http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/weblog/comments/a-talk-with-steve-kons/), claims Kons declared Dr Leaman to be totally wrong.

    As I understand it one of his claims is a lessening of rainfall over areas in Tasmania. Some attribution is given to increased rates of mature forest clearance.

    Dr Michael Connarty, Hydro Tasmania Manager of Dispatch and Analysis is reported in the Mercury [26MAR05]:

    “The rainfall has been disappointing in many parts of the state and has had a significant impact on our key storages,” he said.

    Hydro Tasmania’s storage levels are at 29.6 per cent – the lowest since May 2003 – with Great Lake at 19 per cent and Lake Gordon 32.8 per cent.

    Perhaps in 1912 the scale of electricity use was not forseen, with gas, oil, coal, wood and kerosene still meeting Tasmania’s energy needs.

    However the Hydro Electric Corporation spent a lot of time studying rainfall patterns to design and build a huge hydroelectric scheme so that some it would have sufficient capacity.

    Now,like Sydney’s water storage [Warragamba at about 40% and not full for many years] the rainfall that pointed the engineers to the sites for these mega-impoundments appears to be faltering.

    And so whilst some of Rome faces thirst a greater darkness portends for another part.

    In Sydney they are considering addressing this by taking water from further away [$600 million], a silly solution made even sillier by the drying continent.

    Lords of the Forest

    We may end up using the gas fired power station. At least it is less polluting than the previous fuel coal. [Bell Bay was built as a back up some 30 years ago when it was realised that rainfall could not be relied upon in such a complex scheme.]

    As an aside one hopes the Lords of the Forests have factored in the power cost and availability in their pulpmill siting deliberations.

    Anyway back to the main.

    How is that Greenhouse Strategy going Judy, which ‘real’ scientists are we to see used to justify measures that for all the fiddling of past Ministers will see Tasmania paying more to address the climate crisis.

    The economic cost of fixing it grows by the minute.

    For example, reduced surety of the hydro electric supply could influence decisions about locating in Tasmania, let alone the waste in building such a costly scheme to see it fall well below potential because of choices about energy made elsewhere.

    Perhaps the wind will blow and the sun will certainly shine for Bass Link.

    So let us see in the Strategy to be that Tasmania will press for the support of renewble energy through mechanism such as the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target forcing the sector to grow to a point where it can be self sustaining, there’s a job for the Treasurer when he next meets that Canberra comedian.

    That we will join Carr in NSW and go into a carbon trading regime to assist the world to address climate change, regardless of Canberra’s wishes.

    That Tasmania physically supports clean development mechanisms for developing countries through its experience with wind farms.

    That our greenhouse gas reduction targets are among the leading ones for our per capita wealth, you know buy a fleet of Toyota Prius or similar and cut the government’s energy bill.

    Yes, it is past time for the money to be in front of the mouth, now we will all have to scrabble to keep the costs as low as possible.

    Alternatively be clever enough to adopt and build industries to exploit the necessary conversion to low energy economies.

    Lets see the Strategy as it grows, not have it hidden away for no input or comment, the usual deal making ensuring that it will be too little and too late is not enough.

    For a successful strategy Tasmanians need to grapple with it as it develops and the climate changes.

    phill Parsons takes an interest in governance and dealing with the climate crisis. He has an interest in his fears being proved somewhat overstated.

  6. editor

    March 23, 2005 at 3:55 pm

    Dear Editor,

    Save our Sisters members call on Forestry Tasmania to remove the exclusion zone on South Sister, near St Marys.

    As harvesting operations have now been deferred until the results of the Final Hearing in June are made public, there is no reason why the general public should not have access to the South Sister forest. There are no safety issues which would restrict them from revoking this notice.

    Failure to do so will mean Experts assisting SOS members will be unfairly disadvantaged as they will not be able to conduct appropriate site visits prior to the Final Hearing and the general public will be excluded from areas which have been public for many years.

    Yours sincerely,
    Dr Frances Daily
    German Town
    St Marys, Tasmania

  7. editor

    March 23, 2005 at 4:12 am

    Tuesday March 22, 2005

    Attention Chris Eden, DPIWE
    John Gledhill, Tasmanian Fire Service
    Forest Practices Board, Tasmania

    CC: others

    Dear Sirs,

    I have asthma and auto-immune disease. I have contacted the Tasmanian Fire Service on several occasions today and earlier this week with no response so far, although Mr John Streets has been made aware of the fact that I have asthma and have been forced out of my home to the hospital last week by Gunns Ltd burnoffs at Surrey Hills (under a permit issued to them by the Fire Service). As mentioned to all before, the burnoff plume continues.

    Can I point you to the following:

    “8. Disabled persons are entitled to have their special needs taken into consideration at all stages of economic and social planning.”

    “10. Disabled persons shall be protected against all exploitation, all regulations and all treatment of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.”

    Please refer to : Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act – Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons
    Section 3

    Brenda Rosser
    West Calder Road
    Wynyard Tasmania
    Email: shelter@tassie.net.au

    Mrs Rosser,

    I have just established from the Division’s Policy Section what the State Government’s present official line is on forestry burn-offs.

    I have also just been advised by Tasmania Fire Service that the Fire Permits issued at the end of last year for this summer season are STILL IN FORCE and it is not immediately known when they will be revoked.

    The instruction given to the Environment Division of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment for public notification is as follows, quote:

    “When a fire permit period has been declared by the Tasmania Fire Service, the holder of a fire permit (and I confirm that both Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd are holders of current fire permits) is exempt from the provisions of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 ………………..
    This means that the Director of Environmental Management/the Environment Division have no powers to act during a fire permit period. Complainants during the fire permit period should be advised of this and referred to the Tasmania Fire Service”

    Accordingly you should refer your current complaint to the Tasmania Fire Service North-Western Regional Office at 48 Alexander Street, Burnie 7320, Telephone No. 64 346700, or if you wish to speak to the Regional Officer, the number is 64 346720. Other contact details are given on Page 139 of the 2004 – 2005 0364 region White Pages of the Telephone Directory.

    I trust this will assist you in resolving your current complaint.

    Christopher Eden
    Executive Officer
    Environment Division
    Dept of Primary Industries, Water and Environment
    7th Floor, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tas, 7000

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