Tasmanian Times

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

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


The question of Pontville

“As a result this $15 million waste of money will be used for just one month,” Senator Abetz said.

“Labor must explain this maladministration, the delays and the 15 changes to the plan, the initial rush and now the further delay which has resulted in this gross waste of taxpayers’ money.”

“Labor has broken its promise to the people of Tasmania.”

“It’s patently clear that they deliberately intend using both the Pontville and Northern Territory facilities to avoid being embarrassed by the failure of their asylum seeker policy.”

“Obviously the flood of arrivals has been so great they will now need both facilities,” Senator Abetz said.

“Labor needs to come clean and be honest with the people of Tasmania.”

Questions that need to be answered are:

1. When will the first intake for Pontville arrive?

2. When will the Centre close?

3. Why were Tasmanians promised that the Centre would be closed by October?

4. Has the Government changed its mind about the closing date, if so, when was that decision taken and why?

Eric Abetz, HERE

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: Don’t go back to where you came from

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. William Boeder

    August 22, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Thank you Estelle Ross, you have used your mind in the most sensible manner, as ultimately the Pontville Centre will no longer be required.
    Yet it can become an asset none-the-less as Estelle has mentioned, to then become a positive asset for provision of alternate means.

    Such thought processes are generally considered the lone province of our esteemed leaders, alas no, processes that proceed to the use of apparent logic are not known or even heard in the halls of our Tasmanian parliament.

  2. Estelle Ross

    August 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Once the Pontville site is no longer used to house refugees maybe the government should offer the refurbished quarters to some of the 100’s of homeless people in Tasmania? That way the $millions spent on it would not be wasted. Maybe a community garden could also be established not only to provide skills to the residents but also give them access to fresh fruit, vegies, maybe a chook or two and a beehive and a source of income from any excess produce. Maybe a farmers’ market could be held there monthly. There are countless uses for this facility and we should focus on the positve ones.

  3. Lyle Allan

    August 20, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I have never met Eric Abetz but I do know his brother Walter, who is a gentleman. He is a credit to his Church and does a lot of good things for Northern Tasmania. I attended his Church in Bendigo when he was the Minister there at the Uniting Church in Arnold Street some years ago, and he preached a fine sermon on the Book of Revelation. I can still remember parts of it. My relations who attended his Church think highly of him.

    I think the arguments by Mr Hayward about dual citizenship are nonsense, as I have said before in TT. I have no argument with Mr Hayward, but I believe he should use the given name that Senator Abetz commonly uses, not his birth name. This is the common practice of people with many Anglo given names. William, for example, is frequently shortened to Bill. It is also the practice with some Greek given names that I am aware of. Where a different alphabet is used some changes exist between the spelling on the name used in Australia and the name used in the language of the country of birth.

    I support a humane asylum seeker policy, and I do not support mandatory detention. That would probably put me at odds with both major parties. At St Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne a prayer is said at each service on a Sunday morning for detention centre inmates, who are also personally named. A fine gesture.

  4. john hayward

    August 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I have nothing against Germans, such as my Grandmother, but I do have a problem with far right-wing types who trade on xenophobia.

    Eric(h)’s party has historically shown they sometimes have a soft spot for foreigners, particularly if they have affiliations with organisations like the Ustashi.

    John Hayward

  5. john hawkins

    August 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm


    If you had read the matter between Abetz and myself in The High Court you would have noticed that Abetz on his Nomination forms for Three straight elections filled out his name as Eric.

    He sat in the Senate while a dual national as Eric until he renounced his Citizenship as Erich in March of last year.

    Whatever Erich may say the German Government will not allow him to renounce a Citizenship he does not have,especially under a false name Eric.

    This is not his name Erich is his name. He would not get a driving licence under the abbreviated name Eric instead of Erich or – Fred instead of Frederic.

    He can however enter Parliament as Eric remains in Parliament as Eric but his real name is Erich.

    To his credit Erich is certainly no longer a Dual National but it could be suggested that Erich as a Barrister has used the documentation allowing him to arrive at his current position in a somewhat slapdash manner.

  6. Doug Nichols

    August 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    #5 Lots of people from a foreign-language background adopt a more English-friendly name when settling in this country. And lots of people use their middle name because they don’t like their first name. In all these cases the original name will find its way onto passports and other official documents throughout their lives, but so what? To insist on calling someone by a name they choose not to use themselves scores you no points at all.

  7. john hawkins

    August 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm


    He was Christened Erich, Naturalised as Erich and renounced his Geman citzenship some 18 months ago as Erich. Ipso facto he is ERICH.

  8. Doug Nichols

    August 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I’m no fan of Eric Abetz (far from it), but I don’t see the point of persisting in calling him Erich. Is it an attempt to knock him down because he is a German immigrant? What exactly is the point of that? To me it comes across as a childish form of racism.

    Pick fault with his ideas and opinions (yes please!), but not with his chosen name.

  9. Keith Antonysen

    August 18, 2011 at 12:03 am

    The Liberals made a poor fist of working with Refuges when they were in power. They continue with the myth that their policy worked in relation to Refugees. However, it had been a case of a decrease in hostilities in Countries where citizens felt they needed to leave as Refugees due to lulls in hostilities creating less need for people to leave their countries.
    As John Hayward stated both Parties are scrapping the bottom of the barrel in relation to Refugees.

  10. William Boeder

    August 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    This matter of who when and where regarding the Pontville facilities as a temporary asylum seeker centre, (quite a sensible idea in my own opinion, as it carries within this program, the positive by-product boost of revenues to Tasmania’s ailing financial beggary,) seems to sit uncomfortably upon arguably Tasmania’s most notoriously queried citizenship individual, in our Tasmania, if not the whole of Australia?

    So often in the history of this sniggering ex-forestry minister/Tasmania Senator in the name of Erich Abetz, do we have him thrust upon our humble selves, the extreme-right-winged Liberal Party views that are so often at odds with most all the people of Australia.

    I believe this Senator’s time could be better employed in formulating something useful to the Tasmanian economy, other than having his boringly babbling self, busily skirmishing among his betters to grasp at having his peculiar portrait emblazoned upon the States newspapers and television sets, with quite little of meritorious worth being expressed by this wayward Senator?

  11. john hayward

    August 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What’s your beef, Erich?

    Both you and the Labs aim to flout the Refugee Convention through exemplary punishment of people who have already proven their desperation through the dangers and costs of fleeing. Both of you have opted for the cruelest and most mendacious xenophobic populism, at huge public expense.

    Stop squabbling. There’s room on the bottom for both of you.

    John Hayward

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