Tasmanian Times


Giddings meeting a deflating experience

At Premier Giddings request, a delegation from TAP Into A Better Tasmania met with her in Launceston on Monday June 6th 2011.

“While the Premier may claim she has consulted with the community, what took place in that meeting revealed the enormous and apparently unbridgeable chasm that separates community aspirations and concerns from the limited and straight jacketed world view of the premier,” summed up TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon.

“Financial adviser Tom Ellison presented the premier with a devastating financial analysis of Gunns and the industry.

“John Day provided numerous examples, some extremely tragic, of how the residents of Rowella and surrounds were trapped because the pulp mill proposal has caused a property and housing market collapse in the area.

“Rod Hutchins gave compelling evidence that the pulp mill footprint is not confined to the Longreach site and surrounds, but extends across the whole of Tasmania. He argued that the iniquitous PAL policy (Protection of Agricultural Land) arose directly out of the pulp mill proposal. The aim was to restrict the rights of property owners to build on their own land so as not to fetter the expansion of monoculture tree plantation feedstock for the pulp mill. 30,000 titles are affected across the north – an example of social engineering in the Stalinist style.

“Frank Strie, forester, provided an analysis of the current parlous state of the timber industry and the shonky dealings and culture of FT.”

“Where is the inter-generational commitment?” he asked. “The horizon of discussion in Tasmania is so short-sighted.”

“Susie Clarke, a member of the Labor party, warned the premier that she was presiding over the collapse of the party because of the pulp mill obsession, the failure to honour Labor principles, and a complete disregard for community concerns.

“I spoke of the pulp mill proposal, and the whole of parliament obsession with it, as acting as a brake on investment and economic development in Tasmania.

“Her response to the presentations was a series of platitudes indicative of having failed the comprehension test set by the community.

“The meeting was a waste of time, as expected. The upshot will be that the community will continue to develop strategies to protect itself from government actions and policies out of touch with reality.

“The big loser is Tasmania. We are missing out on so much,” concluded Bob McMahon.

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  1. bazzabee

    June 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    #30 “How could Tasmanians elect a Premier so stubbornly resistant to progressive thinking?” My dear Lara how could you be so lacking in in intelligence and imagination not to mention guts? Clearly you should just give into whatever anybody, as long as they self style as progressive, wants surely you know it makes sense, don’t you?

  2. William Boeder

    June 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    #35. max, what you have stated in your comment in regard to the way the elected people’s representatives acted to allow the reviled legislation to pass through parliament in the record time that it did, is pivotal to the present business environment wholly within this State of ours to this very day!
    The magnitude of the subservience’s and unearned funding to Gunns Ltd that has been witnessed by the people of Tasmania over the past whatever number of years, in itself should be a matter for intense Judicial investigation.
    The present rabble of Lib/Lab ministers who were involved in the unconscionable conducts during that time of turmoil certainly do not have any valid claim to the ministerial positions that they currently do occupy.
    Thus in itself is essential and incumbent upon the people of Tasmania to specifically remind each of these individual conniving turncoat conspirators, “and especially those still in office to this very day,” whom committed themselves to grovel their way forward to wilfully participate in the slippery dishonest evil conceived Gunns Ltd pact?

    To think that these still serving ministers, (change this to read; free-loading flap-doodle nodding and scraping anti-the-people stinkers,) did from that moment in time, so set into motion the demise of each and every honest and proper business investment in this State, from that dark day of their criminal-like conspiracy.

  3. max

    June 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I unfortunately stood outside parliament house and watched our Government go through the motions of government on section 11 of the pulp mill act. Three people read out prewritten speeches and a vote was taken without listening and without debate. No wonder our state is in such bad shape when our elected representatives vote down party lines without thought, without debate and without listening. There are 500,000 people in Tasmania,being badly governed by to many party hacks. Sack the lot, including the 28 councils and elect one council to run this state.

  4. Justa Bloke

    June 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    #26, what exactly do you mean by ‘manipulating’?

  5. Ric Croft

    June 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Why dont we call the last ten years for what it really is. The State is bankrupt and is being run like a fifedom by a company which is also bankrupt both morally and probably financially as well.
    If it was good enough for john gay is is good enough for the tasmanian parliament as well.

    Every politician should fall upon their swords and disolve government, an administrator should step up and delve into the books and set us up for a new election without any of the pollies being alowed to run for election.

    The labs are a failed government and the libs and greens have failed at being an opposition.we have been sold a lemon of a government which has led us to the verge of bankruptcy.

    God help me if we had an effective military junta here in tassie i would have become a freedom fighter if for nothing else than to rid us of these feral politicians who have sold out my childrens future.

    Nothing can be worse than the place we find ourselves in today. No money, no morality and god forbid no hope.

    Maybe all we can hope for is to be invaded by the Americans…

  6. Valleywatcher

    June 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    As the crow flies, by boat, by road or bush-bashing, I suppose the actual klms would differ, depending on which way you measure it, #28. The point remains – Longreach is actually nowhere near the Bell Bay industrial zone, is sited in a still-gazetted wildlife refuge and people who should know better (such as our Premierette) show their ignorance when they think the two places are one and the same. Thanks Michael (#31)- I did know it was now Nyrstar – it’s a bit difficult to keep up with all the ownership changes!

  7. Michael Swanton

    June 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    #28. For the correct record it is Nyrstar not Pasminco. Was that based on adenoids or haemorrhoids? What is new? Michael Swanton.

  8. Bob Kendra

    June 11, 2011 at 1:37 am

    How could Tasmanians elect a Premier so stubbornly resistant to progressive thinking? How can a person choosing to be so ignorant stand for Parliament? Despite narrow media coverage all of the information enabling informed decisions is out there. Your grade 10 school leaver knows that process was abandoned to fast-track the pulp mill and plantation economy. She knows the statewide environmental impacts. She knows the crippling blow to Tamar Valley residents. She has seen the business case collapse. She has seen the wholesale sackings and community division.

    What standard of education did our Premier attain? Is she playing dumb or are those rote statements for real? Is she just a willing patsy espousing rehearsed lines? Whichever, talking to Lara Giddings is apparently like talking to a brick wall – or recalcitrant teenager. Is that smile one of total detachment from the collateral damage inflicted by her government?

    Lara will ever be one of the boys jumping in for the joyride to ruin. Any enlightened steps into the twenty-first century will be foist upon this State from outside. Damming the Franklin was stopped outside Tasmania. Environmental groups must therefore use the internet to tap into global pressure groups employing inexorable forces for change.

  9. Pathetic Fallacy

    June 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm


  10. mjf

    June 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    For the correct record and based on centroids, Bell Bay to Longreach proposed ground zero = 5.3 km and Salamance Place to Pasminco (not Zinifex) = 6.2 km, both as the White-bellied Sea Eagle and the Swift Parrot flies. It is incorrect to state one is the same distance as the other but what else is new ?

  11. Dave

    June 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    So TAP went to a meeting which it expected would fail to achieve anything and when it did fail to achieve anything TAP complained – clearly there’s no pleasing some people.

  12. Freddi Mazoudier

    June 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    # 15 No no, not a blowup doll or a noddy dog.. but I’m quite sure LaLa is a glove puppet.

    Wasn”t she a Lennon protege? the present support of the pulp mill has all the trademarks of Lennon himself, so no doubt he is pulling the strings, or should I say manipulating the puppet..
    Let’s face it LaLa is a vacancy waiting to be filled, how very convenient as an empty vessel for such propaganda ..
    Congratulatoins to Bob and the rest for trying so hard to bring sanity into this island.. Freddi Maz

  13. Michael Swanton

    June 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    #18. Come back toe mass, you forgot to pull the pin, when you rolled it in.
    Your fingerprints are all over it,just like osamabin.
    Now wheres the spin? In the……….meantime.
    Michael Swanton.

  14. Michael Swanton

    June 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    #13. Monika I think you have muddled your gubbleyouse with your wubbleyouse.
    “woodness of that project”. Michael Swanton.

  15. Valleywatcher

    June 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Tomas (#18)
    Good to see that you have crept out of the woodwork to comment, but with all respect, mate, you have absolutely NO idea!
    The meeting was respectful and professional…..the TAP contingent were hoping for at least an open-minded reception from our Premier – after all she is supposed to listen to us, her employers. Unfortunately, although her eyes widened at some of the revelations that she had absolutely no notion of, she came to the meeting with a pre-determined mind-set as ordained by her string-pullers and nothing anyone had to say was going to sway her from her set-piece (“But we need paper; we need paper. But we DO need paper”. And, “But Bell Bay* is already an industrial site; It won’t make any difference because Bell Bay* is an industrial site. It’s an industrial site at Bell Bay* – one more industry won’t make a difference” etc) That was the level of her very limited understanding.
    Fortunately, because of her limited understanding in this matter, events have overtaken her and those who follow her/Lennon’s mantra and there will be no pulp mill. Ever. So dream on Lara, baby!
    * For the record, the Gunns shit-heap is proposed for Longreach in a still extant (on Federal statutes, anyway) wildlife refuge and buffer zone, NOT at Bell Bay which is as far away from Longreach as Salamanca Place is from Zinifex.

  16. William Boeder

    June 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    #18, Well tomas perhaps you might be able to tell us here on Tasmanian Times just which one of the present or past Labor ministers has shown some degree of accountability toward actions they have engaged in?
    Whom does a person speak to when each or either of today’s ministers, (and of course in the recent times of those ministers who have tumbled by the wayside,) to lodge a complaint against, along the lines of this or that minister has failed to uphold this or that, or completely changed their views on some contentious matter?

    A classic example of this would be that of your mate Michael Aird former Treasurer: we need to provide an entire fleet of vehicles that reflect better values and don’t forget the that these vehicles will hold their value and thus provide a higher resale value.
    EG: when the time is upon us to renew these cars for our people who are required and or or obliged to spend a fair amount of time travelling within their electorates, bearing in mind the renewal thereof, we expect then to enjoy considerable savings as a result?

    Then on to another favourite of Mikey’s for his racing addicted mates, business loans or temporary advances to aid their untimely spot of need, a promising but unfairly struggling business?
    Of course the amount of loot he happily signed off, mostly to these or those various failing floppo businesses and companies who were running out of Moolah, (operating capital,) generally the real reason was they were living a lifestyle their business could not support.
    The clap-trap reason for a bit of government loot for say, a temporary government assistance package to fund an exciting new re-launch or some-other B–ls–t reason, was enough to get ‘Mikey Old Mate’ to arrange a fat cheque so to tide them over.
    None of these monies were secured in anyway except for a nod wink and a promise to square the ledger at some future date.
    How are we going here tomas, can you recall this sort of flim-flammery from Mikey Aird?

    Who was it that signed off to a deal to guarantee an old Labor minister mate if his business was affected by legislative changes to nullify his rivers of money for nothing in return corporation?
    tomas, may I suggest the flying of kites may be a good way of easing one’s mind when the reality of events is not to your liking?

  17. Simon Warriner

    June 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I see the passage of the PMAA. those who arraged it, those who support it and those who support the mill that is suppossed to arise from it as insulting the memory of all who have sacrificed their lives to defend democracy and the freedom from tyranny. For someone who hides behind a pseudonym to call critics of a Premier up to her neck in the PMAA process and supporting the actual mill constrction windabgs who are worse than politicians is hypocracy of the first water. Tomas, reveal your real identity and be prepared to suffer any costs associated with your support for this stinking mill and its supporters. Absent that revelation your words are those of a coward.

    Simon Warriner

  18. Barnaby Drake

    June 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    #18. Otherwise, you are just windbags and actually worse than the politicians – at least they put their public lives where there mouths are…. tomas

    You mean – in the trough?

  19. Flash

    June 10, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I just don’t get it?!!

    So why did she call for a meeting, if she really wasn’t prepared to listen???

    Stupid, stupid Liblabs!

  20. tomas

    June 10, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Given the tone of the report, and the personal, nasty and brainless comments that followed, I wouldn’t listen to this pack of whining ratbags either. Is there any possible way that such debates can be brought back to civil discourse, if this is what passes for commentary? The usual TT crowd set upon Lennon, then Bartlett and now Giddings. Is there any political leader that you ‘like’? If not, then for goodness sake, run for parliament and set up an alternative approach. Otherwise, you are just windbags and actually worse than the politicians – at least they put their public lives where there mouths are.

  21. Barnaby Drake

    June 10, 2011 at 2:08 am

    There was a time when I was angry, very angry, but after six years I am more amused by the belated observations of Rod Hutchins over the PAL Act and its amendments.

    Even the fact that Gunns lawyers, who had largely designed this Act, were also the lawyers and advisors of Meander Valley Council seemed not to register, and when the suggection was put forward that there might be a conflict of interests and that we should petition for a change, this was immediately suppressed by the Mayor without the slightest protest. Since then, of course, the Mayor, Mark Shelton, the staunch advocate of the PAL Act has not only retained his job, retained the services of Gunns lawyers, but has also been elevated to the position of Shadow Minister for Forestry in the Liberal Party.

    Rod is now singing from a very different song sheet, the very one I prescribed to him at the time. Then he was playing the softly-softly approach against a pretty ruthless company backed politically by Thuggo and disbelieved the evidence of any collusion, and I was branded as being ‘too radical’. How the times have changed!

    Anyway, it was my own initiative that prevailed, as sfter the huge demonstrations were ignored by the government, I suggested to all environmental groups, the Greens and Geoff Cousins a ‘bottom line’ attack and suggested picketing the ANZ Bank to prevent them sponsoring Gunns mill. This was adopted and really, was the only action that worked, and when the ANZ suddenly discovered that they had signed the ‘Equator Principle’ and withdrew sponsorship, the rest of the financial world followed, and since then, Gunns has failed dismally to attract any banking finance, and later, a JVP. Now the company is in its death-throws and foundering at 0.305 per share, all as result of that action and the actions of John Lawrence with his acute financial analysis.

    In the final issue, it IS the bottom line that is all important!

    Once the mill has gone, the repressive PAL Act becomes meaningless and without MIS companies and Gunns to lobby for it, it stands a very good chance of being amended or repealed. What the TAP group and others should be concentrating on is having the new pending planning laws put on ice for a couple of months to see which way the wind blows.

  22. Mike

    June 10, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Next time just talk really sloooowly and use lots of football analogies.

  23. Karl Stevens

    June 10, 2011 at 1:19 am

    john hayward 6. ‘The Lara inflatable doll’? You are a marketing genius. I can see these disappearing like hot cakes from the TAP Merchandise Tent. So many uses. A life saving device for those unexpected fishing accidents. An interesting companion on long car trips….

  24. Trita Lucas

    June 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    well written Bob when you said “The upshot will be that the community will continue to develop strategies to protect itself from government actions and policies out of touch with reality.”
    This call has never rang with more truth. Communities and citizens must organise and cooperate not only to survive and resist disgraceful goverance, but because it is the most efficent and effective form of organisation.
    Such grass roots or people to people living, elminates bureacrates and government waste and empowers people to take responsibiltiy for their own lives.

  25. Monika Szigeti

    June 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    What if….the labour government has committed itself to pay compensation to Gunns if this mill does not go ahead….
    I fail to understand the dogged insistence with which they continue to argue the ‘goodness’ of that project. So the only thing that I can think of is that there must be more than meets the eye…

  26. Michael Swanton

    June 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    #10. Yes I know! I know dear,yes I know! Yes I know! Oh it is dreadful,yes, I know! I know!
    Michael Swanton.

  27. Mike

    June 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I was not present at the meeting.

    However based on my experience of Lara Giddings and the pulp mill i’m guessing she would have told the people from TAP at least once or twice, “Oh no you’re scaremongering”.

    One of Lara’s favourite pulp mill platitudes.

    Am i right?

  28. Gary

    June 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Remember those daft plastic “noddy” dogs people used to put on the rear parcel shelf of their car? I bet Bob and the TAP crew were reminded of them during the premier’s response. Her care factor about the Tamar Valley is obviously….er, miniscule.

  29. salamander

    June 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    But did you expect any other outcome? From someone who probably utters empty platitudes and meaningless promises in her sleep?

    Giddings has absolutely failed the comprehension test but all LibLabs are shielded from the real world, not because they don’t know about it but because they don’t want to care. Their self-image is far more important than being a good representative of the people.

  30. Justa Bloke

    June 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    My parole officer mentioned the other day, and I can see what he’s getting at, that under Giddings as Premier things seem to be sliding back to the days of Paul Lennon.

    In fact, he thinks it is almost as if she is channeling Lennon, or at least taking advice from him.

    Could this be true? Does anyone know just how close these two are?

  31. Keith Antonysen

    June 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Without going into all the environmental issues; and as we know there are several; the financial situation in relation to Gunns is of huge concern.

    The demographics intertwined with financial considerations are futher matters, no doubt there are several East Coast and North East forest contractors who rue the day they had become involved with Gunns. That is, as well as those people living in the Rowella area, there are numerous other people who have had negative life changing circumstances thrust on them when Gunns have moved out of areas causing financial hardship to locals.

    Premier Giddings doesn’t seem to get it; but a cargo cult view only works for a short time.

  32. john hayward

    June 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    If anyone would be prone to deflation, one would expect it to be someone often likened to an inflatable doll.

    Lara doesn’t just rely very heavily on platitude and cliche, she often abandons even them for the mere sounds of communication. Just read some of her transcribed utterances.

    It’s been discovered that some species of parrot are so bright that they can combine different words into quite coherent ideas of their own devision. This, and attractive plumage, is what distinguishes them from the Premier.

    John Hayward

  33. Mark Scott

    June 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Clearly the political process in Tasmania has left tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousand feeling disenfranchised.
    Many voters continue to vote for parties they believe do not represent their interests because they see little in the way of alternatives.
    The parties themselves have plummeting memberships and closed branches.
    The Greens who had appeared to offer and alternative, apart from Kim Booth, are now totally compromised by their pursuit of seats in Government.
    Perhaps its time, before the next election, that a grass rootes campaign to get the thousands of disenfranchised voters to join Lib, Labor and the Greens to bring about change from within these leaderless vaccums called political parties.
    Many of our current dismal crop of politicians have been selected from within a party with only a few hundred members.
    Would make for interesting branch meetings me thinks.

  34. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    “The meeting was a waste of time, as expected.”

    Of course, Bob, old cock – that’s what ‘media advisers’ are for.

    Some nasty people having been claiming that Ms Giddings had not had any worthwhile ‘work’ experience to bring to the job as Premier.

    Wrong – remember, she ‘worked’ for a few months as an adviser to a Scottish Parliament MP. So there, suck on that.

    You have only got to listen – and good gulp of Wild Turkey is as good a preparation as any (at least it’s legal) – to any Gillard government minister responding to the mildest of questions: what you get are non-answers (‘nonswers’?) which follow a repetitious template of clichés, formulas & ideological BS straight out of the Правда^ School of Public Enlightenment & Discourse*.

    You just have to look at the Federal ALP’s reaction to the Indonesian meat-trade matter.

    Such a kneejerk “Ban the lot” reaction from this mob is totally understandable, given that their usual response to dealing with any difficulty or problem (I am assuming that that is the meaning of ‘addressing the issue’) is to do one or more of : ban it / censor it / pass new laws / enact new rules / set up a task force, committee or enquiry / get some pet academic to ruminate or pontificate / quote the UN [As if!!!] / sledge any disagreement as ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’.

    On a smaller scale, remember alcopops?

    It is what you get when policy develops in a 99% real-world knowledge & experience vacuum. Even some ALP legends, like that old fave of mine, Nifty Nev from NSW, are starting to realise what useless & ignorant drongos today’s Labor MPs are –


    ^ gives TT readers & posters a chance to brush up their Cyrillic.

    * does this formulation ring any bells?

  35. Bob McMahon

    June 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    There is a buzz emanating from the big island to the north that Federal Labor is moving closer towards stepping in and locking up sections of Tasmanian forest, as per the Kelty SoP.

    Naturally, one fears the quid pro quo – the trade off.

    Will there be a compensatory raiding of the public purse to provide funds to kick-start pulp mill construction? In other words will the whole Kelty (Simon Crean) deal be realized?

    If this happens I expect Fed Labor will march into oblivion. They will be joined on that march by The Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation and Environment Tasmania.

  36. Dave Groves

    June 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Bob the community is quite blinkered in their view and fails to understand Gidding’s perspective.

    You may have noticed her vacant glaze, her eyes wandering toward the sky or perhaps alternating with a seemingly locked on focus to your eyes, but with a depth of field that actually was miles from your presentation.

    So what was going through her head the whole while this plethora of pertinent knowledge was surrounding her?

    Do de do…la de dah…$$$$ big fat wage….do de do…gold card, chauffeur…la la la….ripsnorta pension…he he he….coupla directorships….dee dee doo…public speaking circuit….CA-CHING CA-CHING….awwright bring it home baby……yes Bob, I take on board what you are saying and endorse without question your take home message…I wish he’d stop interrupting my day dream….of course Bob, market forces will dictate this pulp mill and we won’t help Gunns in any way…..do dee doo….a new Beemer sounds fine…a red one I think….will have to se what’s a give away in the fleet…sure Bob we are looking into all aspects and rest assured this mill we are building is the most environmentally friendly mill using the worlds best practice otherwise it wouldn’t have passed all the stringent guidelines……la de dah…la de dah….oooh perhaps some time on a Greek island would be good…Yes Bob, thanks for coming….I really appreciate your input, but must close now as I have very important meetings to attend..……about time….I’m hanging for a latte…..where my chauffeur???

  37. Karl Stevens

    June 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    For those who enjoy the delights of Chinese astrology I am happy to inform you that Ms Giddings is born in the year of the rat. I think Bob McMahon
    should not expect too much from Lara. After all Lara was still watching the Wiggles while Bob was mapping and conquering the dolerite walls of the Ben Lomond plateau.

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