Tasmanian Times

Economy

Andrew Nikolic, The SMH … and the Press Council

During its brief and unremarkable existence, the New Examiner ( Facebook here ) parodied dozens of public figures. We paraded Lara Giddings as an incompetent nincompoop. Portrayed Eric Abetz as a power-hungry tyrant. We even had a gentle dig at a few of the landed gentry, campaigning for the Liberal Party under the banner of Give it Back.

Clive Palmer was a target, as was the Rinehart girl; both of whom could afford legal counsel with hourly rates exceeding the value of the New Examiner’s real estate holdings.

Kim Yong-un may have missiles set to launch against our Bothwell office, and Claire Van Ryn has possibly spoken to her Lord, and trouble awaits us in the afterlife.

Yet other than a glare from the Premier’s Chief of Staff one day in Hobart, none of our targets has taken us seriously.

Except retired Brigadier Andrew Nikolic.

Nikolic first drew the attention of the New Examiner when, accompanied by (supporter) Brett Lucas, he invaded the Launceston mall, disrupting a peaceful protest being held by a handful of environmentalists. Such was his belligerent attitude, police were called ( TT: Police called as Nikolic heckles ).

And as Nikolic, the endorsed Liberal candidate for the seat of Bass had been using any possible opportunity to link his military career with his candidacy (including parking his campaign vehicle endorsed with slogans across the road from the Anzac Day dawn service, then moving it twice to ensure media coverage during the Anzac Day march) we thought he was a fair target for some gentle satire.

So we published some.

In May last year, we stole some satire from The Onion, and wrote a story which was nothing more than a harmless dig at Nikolic using his army record to pick up votes. Initially, it was about as popular as a gay couple at a Liberal conference – fewer than 500 people read the story, and just 13 ‘liked’ it on Facebook. More fool them.

Within 48 hours, Andrew Nikolic fired some shots from the bunker, warning all 13 that he would be contacting their employers. Further, he wrote to the New Examiner, saying in the absence of a retraction he would be ‘contacting the employers and influencers of those involved.’

We stood fast. Over the next few days, the story went from being a piece of harmless satire, to a news article on Nikolic’s reaction (within 14 days, more than 500,000 people had read the New Examiner story). ( TT: Andrew Nikolic and The New Examiner. 48,000 visit New Examiner … )

Leading the exposure of Nikolic’s reaction was the Sydney Morning Herald, who rang the parliamentary hopeful, who initially denied threatening to contact the employers of those in question. The story was then syndicated and copied worldwide, with the notable exception of Launceston’s Examiner (the editor’s wife Facebook friend of Nikolic, and likes nearly every post he makes).

So in a first for the New Examiner, today we heard news that Nikolic had made a formal complaint to the Press Council in relation to the Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage of what is known around Launceston as Nikolgate. ( SMH: here ) ( Mercury report here )

The adjudication, which was released earlier today, can be read in full in the attached link:

http://www.presscouncil.org.au/document-search/adj-1564/

However it is worth quoting one important extract:

“Mr Nikolic also complained the article was unfair because it did not report or investigate his claim that the editor of the New Examiner was a political opponent, whom he named. He said he had told the SMH journalist about this person. He also said the SMH should have reported his claim that many of the Facebook users were political activists.’’

If the Press Council report is an accurate reflection of Nikolic’s original complaint, then it is demonstrably untrue. At the time the satirical piece was written, the New Examiner’s editor had no political ambitions beyond standing for local government, which he had done so unsuccessfully a number of times.

The claim that the Facebook users in question were political activists is also dubious. They include a teacher, a couple of shopkeepers, a stay at home mum, two or three students and some office workers. To the understanding of the New Examiner, none has ever broadened their political influence beyond voting at various elections.

What is true is that some weeks after Nikolic’s threats and associated publicity, the New Examiner’s editor formed a personal view than Nikolic’s behaviour and temperament made him unsuitable to represent the people of Bass. It was at that point; not before, that the decision to enter the contest for Bass was made. Hence it is not only implausible, but impossible that the editor could have been a political opponent.

The New Examiner has spent much of today in discussion with the Press Council. That body was at pains to stress their determination was limited to suggesting the journalist at the SMH should have dug more deeply. They did not suggest Nikolic was in any way ‘innocent’ of the threats made against the New Examiner and its readers.

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In summary, the facts are these.

• The New Examiner wrote a satirical article about Andrew Nikolic.

• Andrew Nikolic then proceeded to threaten the employment of at least 13 of the New Examiner’s readers.

• When confronted by the media, Andrew Nikolic denied making the threats.

• The writer of the article was not, as claimed by Andrew Nikolic, a political opponent.

• The people threatened by Andrew Nikolic were not political activists.

The New Examiner, the editor and contributors remain steadfast in our view that our original posting was intended as satire. We are concerned that Andrew Nikolic has pursued this matter as far as the Press Council, making allegations which we believe are false. The editor will continue to maintain Mr Nikolic has made false representations to the Press Council, and looks forward to a robust engagement as voters decided who is, and who isn’t morally qualified to represent the people of Bass in the Federal Parliament.

Main pic: Andrew Nikolic, above, right, talks to a police officer during the heckling incident, February 14, last year.

*Martin Gaylord is known to the Editor.

• Dave, in Comments: Regrettably military training in Australia has been under an increasingly dark cloud for some years which brings me to the questions I have wanted to put to the Liberal candidate for Bass for some time. What did he know about the problems we are hearing so much about from senior officers who he once would have served with. When did he become aware of the problems and what did he do to make sure that the young men and women under his command were not bastardized, bullied, sexually discriminated against or assaulted? It is a sad reflection of today’s defense force and officers both past and present but I feel strongly that anyone seeking a career in public life who has come from the background the Candidate from Bass has come from really should be asked these questions and his or her answers placed on the public record before the election. I would liked to have seen my questions asked by an Examiner reporter or someone from the mainstream Tasmanian media but that hasn’t happened. And as far as I can see it won’t happen at least the questions won’t be posed by the Examiner. So yet again TT draws the short straw

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. A Tory

    August 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am inclined to vote liberal but just cannot see myself voting for this guy after the events of that incident were described. Threatening to contact people’s employers when the job market is the way it is? Really? And then lying about it?

    I will have to put him last – even if Lyons gets in, the libs should still make it overall

  2. Cleaver

    July 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Ed: Anonymous personal comment deleted

  3. Basil Fitch

    July 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    ‘Martin Gaylord’s’ original article referring, mainly to Andrew Nikolic’s actions in confronting the ‘Code Green’ statue members at a silent protest in the Launceston Mall. His ‘over the top’ reactions to that matter, and since, require genuine questions to be asked of Andrew Nikolic.

    Andrew Nikolic enlisted in the Aust. Army 1979, spending over 32 years going thru the ranks to Brigadier in 2007, leaving in 2011.
    (refer http://andrewnikolic.com/aboutandrew/).

    During his 32 yrs in the army a lot of sadistic behaviour occurred (and still is apparently), resulting in a number of inquiries into unsavoury behaviour by many members of all ranks (sexual assaults,rape, bullying, abuse,etc) Refer report of the Review of Allegations of Sexual Abuse and Other Abuse in Defence – download ADF Report Minister of Defence, Hon. Stephen Smith – also Report on Staage A Annex C – Analysis of Previous Relevant Inquiries. In March 2013 Minister Stephen Smith announced compensation to 2,000 victims ranging from $5.000 – $45,000. It was obvious this behaviour was rife.

    ABC 7.30 Report (7.3.13) Reporter Hayden Cooper interviewing Lieutenenant Colonel Paul Morgan – Leigh Sales, presenter- a must read – whistleblower accuses superiors of neglecting abuse victims, covering up abuse cases and ignoring his own complaints..(http:/www.abc.net.au/7.30/content2013/s3710615htm).

    32 yrs in the Army and everybody except Hurley knew what was going on?

    Did Andrew Nikolic give evidence to any inquiry, if so, what about, and the outcome?

    Was Nikolic subjected to any initiation ceremony in 1979?

    Why did Nikolic leave a cushy army position just before the inquiry report was to be released in 2011, when aged only 51?

    Andrew Nikolic has never answered my previous questions relating to Danny Nikolic (leading jockey) whether he is his brother, newphew or indeed, no relation at all. As Danny has also a very short fuse temper – getting 2yrs disqualification for abusing stewards.
    Basil.

  4. Garry Stannus

    July 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Ardelle’s #38 is fairly clear. Could I clarify one point contained in her #30:

    I am not an old friend of Tom Ellison’s – I don’t think I’ve actually met him, though I nearly did last week or so. I think I might have agreed to a Facebook Friend request from him a couple of years ago.

    That incorrect ‘old friend of mine’ suggestion was made by another contributor on this thread – it was perhaps an easy enough mistake to make.

    My reasons for pointing out Martin Gaylord’s identity were:

    1 Just because some of us are disgusted with Nikolic, does this mean that we are willing to turn a blind eye to one of his political opponents bagging him out using a fake identity? No, of course it doesn’t and Gaylord should ‘come out’ and ‘fess up. This anonymous stuff is not how we should have a political campaign.

    2 Impatience with fellow TT’rs – and the TT Eds – who should be mortified about dirty tricks or for that matter, breaches of the TT Code. I do believe that we should be upfront about who we are, and that if circumstances (employment, personal/family security etc) prevent us from using our real names, then we should exercise greater restraint/responsibility in what we say. I was never a fan of the Code in the first place, but we have it and so I try and stick to it. ‘Gaylord’ should have made his anti Nikolic attacks under his real name and fellow Tas Timers from whatever sides of the environmental/political fences should agree with this. It’s called being open and transparent.

    Postscript: The code requirement rejecting the use of more than one persona is something that is observed here on TT in the breach and also in the observance.

  5. Ardelle

    July 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    #39 You may note that my comment was edited and some points may have been lost in translation. The points that I was trying to make were a) The true identity of Martin Gaylord as Tom Ellison seems to have been revealed by an old friend of ‘Gaylords’. b) that Martin Gaylord is a regular writer for TT and that comments in this thread on his identity have not been corrected by TT and, c) the hypocracy of Tom Ellison …

  6. One of the 13

    July 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Ardelle, it would be handy if you could check your missives before posting them. What you’ve written makes very little sense and I’m at a loss to see what point you are trying to make.

  7. Ardelle

    July 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I am normally a voyeur on social media networks, but the hypocracy of “Martin Gaylord” is unbelievable to me. Thankyou Garry Stannus for unvieling the identity of “Martin” as the so called Idependent candidate for Bass, Tom Ellison. I also note that as a regular writer for the TT, the editor has allowed Garry’s comments …
    Nikolic was granted much condemnation from the New Examiner and Martin Gaylord for his threat to name and shame – yet … (has) Tom Ellison done exactly the same thing on his official facebook campaign page?

    Ed: Comment edited for anonymous personal observations and claims the adjudicators do not have time or inclination to check.

  8. William Boeder

    July 7, 2013 at 4:32 am

    A of 13, you have laid open a lot of the thoughts held by people across Tasmania.
    Malcolm Turnbull is not the radical ‘Dr No’ type of person as that current Federal Liberalite, (you can’t believe what I say to be true just because you saw my lips moving) radical Abbott.

    Oh no, Turnbull is a bird of an entirely different feather than Abbott, (say the difference between an Owls feather as compared to that of a noisy scavenging Crow.)
    Abbott seems only able to score a few mass-media award points when again he sinks the boot into any and all Federal Labor ministers, (especially so if someone in the Federal Labor camp announce a new agreeably sounding policy that could be defined as to be in the interests of all Australians.
    Then in a flash of madness, Abbott and his attack dogs go off in another of their mindless attacking rampages.

    I cannot imagine Malcolm Turnbull is in any way near that of a low-level guts-ripping-out sort of truth-fiddling bloke.
    Though he is enormously hampered by such poisonous asps as Nikolic, Pyne, Abetz and Abbott which will of course severely limit his prospects to again become the Federal Liberal leader, even to become our new Prime Minister.

  9. John Wade

    July 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    “I have never seen a Liberal leader attack senior colleagues in the way Turnbull did on the weekend. Turnbull’s attacks have been sharper and inflicted more damage on his colleagues than Kevin Rudd ever did.” – Peter Costello, SMH

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/malcolm-the-belittler-a-ruthless-climber

    Turnbull’s eyes are firmly on he and Lucy being embedded in Kirribilli House and have been for a long time.

  10. Another of the 13

    July 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    As someone who generally votes for Labor, I wouldn’t be half as aghast at a Coalition election victory if Turnbull was at the helm – unlike Abbott, he is not owned by the likes of Murdoch and Ms Rinehart and, as much as any politician can be, seems to be his own man.

  11. Basil Fitch

    July 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    It is more believable and trustworthy if true names are used, then they cannot be ridiculed by any ‘Anons’who may wish to’ have a go’. There is, however, genuine reasons for using them, as in whistleblower incidents etc.

    I was actually thinking about the vitriolic, vicious and personal attacks upon Julia Gillard.
    Mostly from the Liberal Leader Tony Abbott and the Liberal front bench, but so many appearing anonymously by devout supporters, as well,of course, the Media. All over the last 3 years to no avail as it has rebounded badly.

    The demise of Julia Gillard by the Labor Party itself, was the only option.

    Once the Roy Morgan Poll, released on Mond. 1st July showed Labor was boosted ahead by 3 pts over Libs (51.5% to 48.5%) on 2 party preferred basis
    the point was proved. Immediately
    Labor up 8.5% pts, Lib down 8.5%, Greens 8.5%, Independents and Others 11.5 (Katter and Palmer 1.5%). 3.438 voters polled.

    By Labor changing the leadership 2 days before Parliament rose (until after next election)it has completely polarised Mr. Abbott and the Liberal Party.

    Mr. Abbott must now release his policies (which he has been so devoid of so far) to regain any composure.

    I predicted 12 months ago that there would be a Rudd – Turnball election which may still ring true! Basil

  12. Brett Lucas

    July 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I agree and welcome Garry Stannus’ comments. It is pleasing that you have seen the bigger picture …

  13. One of the 13

    July 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Garry Stannus. I have now reconsidered my views on supporting anonymity, but given the level of ‘heavying’ I received from Andrew Nikolic when he knew my true identity (and it wasn’t only threatening to contact my boss,then lying about it), I think I will stick with my pseudonym for now.
    Or at least until this fly-in candidate leaves the state when he comes second in Bass.

  14. Garry Stannus

    July 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Let me remind readers that there was a giant Nikolic comment thread a year ago

    [ http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/andrew-nikolic-and-the-new-examiner/ ]

    on which the pseudonymic Martin Gaylord, who happens to be Nikolic’s political opponent in the coming federal election, ‘stuck the boot’ (quite deservedly), into the political guts of Andrew Nikolic. Nikolic had been publicly aggressive towards the CODE Green Statues and to Fairley Ferguson (a bystander), and had also subsequently lied publicly (according to Cameron) about it. Martin Gaylord is standing against Nikolic in the coming Federal election, whenever it is called. How did ‘Gaylord’ stick the boot in? By writing “a harmless piece of satire” which mocked Nikolic’s army service. Whether it was harmless or not is one question. The bigger question is whether Nikolic subsequently lied about what followed.

    The other big question is whether Tom Ellison, a candidate for the Federal seat of Bass made anonymous posts (using the name Martin Gaylord) and that he used the pseudonym for political advantage against Nikolic, his political opponent. (Geoff Lyons is the Labor incumbent) Quite a few on that thread a year ago said words to the effect that ‘Martin Gaylord wasn’t the issue, it was Nikolic’. It’s time for Tas Times to get real on its ‘Code of Conduct’ or scrap it completely. and It’s time for those supporters of anonymity to reconsider their views.

    Please Note: Garry supports anonymity in cases where the publication of a writer’s name would result in harm to the person and/or their families etc. However, Anonymity should not be used as a vehicle to ‘bad mouth’ someone from behind a rock.

  15. Bazabee

    July 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Yes by all means lets all talk about a troll … and not about a Liberal candidate who has steadfastly refused to answer any questions about, well, almost everything and in particular his former career in the military.

    Are TT corespondents really saying they would rather spend their time fiddling about attacking a troll than hold a hard right wing candidate to account? If you have not noticed this man is an endorsed Liberal candidate who is utterly antipathetical to the transparent government, openness,environment, trade unions, social justice etc?

    Amazingly it would seem that TT respondents many of whom live in Bass do not care, WAKE UP BASS! Or one morning the Brigadier will be your MP, don’t say you weren’t warned.

  16. Justa Bloke

    July 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Who is this person who signs herself/himself “Brett Lucas”? Is there a chance that I might be voting for/against her/him any time soon?

    And, given that we are all Martin Gaylords now, it appears also that we are all “treasonous enviros”. Otherwise why the “other” in comment #27? I’m always up for a bit of treason myself.

  17. Another of the 13

    July 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Mr Lucas appears to have swallowed a dictionary…..

  18. Brett Lucas

    July 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    #24 Little falsehoods, you give as good as you get … Mahatma was never subject to such terrible deeds? And on a final note, I do not consider myself to be destroying Tasmania’s economy as other treasonous enviros are apt to spend their time.

  19. Another of the 13

    July 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I’m sure the esteemed Ms Emily Bryan will be thrilled to know that she is an acquaintance of Brett Lucas…..

  20. Brett Lucas

    July 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    #21 That is correct, if you wish to gain the truth about my peaceful protest that day perhaps you should contact an acquaintance of mine who was there reporting, Emily Bryan, ABC News Tasmania. I also single handed won the Boer War, the Legend that I am.

  21. Simon D

    July 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Brett Lucas’ whingeing about being a mere ‘civilian’ is pretty disingenuous and quite frankly, pretty gutless. For years he has publicly attacked people with whom he disagrees across many online forums. He has consistently put himself out there denigrating people in the environmental movement … writing up ‘exposés’ of personal details …

    When I got a serve of this treatment I laughed it off as being a pretty immature and desperate waste of time. What does shit me though, is when he comes out playing the innocent ‘civilian’ victim. That’s just pathetic and dishonest.

  22. Another of the 13

    July 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Yes, Leslie – you are correct re Brett Lucas and Code Red – too right wing even for Andrew Nikolic … wow, there’s something I thought I’d never see in print!

  23. bazzabee

    July 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I can’t help thinking that this string is in severe danger of being hijacked by absurdity it is too important for the to be allowed to continue.

    Dave at #5 raises a number of questions that as he rightly says are unlikely to be raised in the Examiner; these questions need answers. In view of the fact that Brigadier Nikolic was the Director General Public Affairs it would seem highly unlikely that he was unaware of the turmoil that was consuming the ADF and Duntroon? It could even be argued that if he didn’t know considering his seniority and role as the public face of the Army he should have known about the problems the Defence forces had been experiencing which in turn begs even more questions.

    After reading the questions Dave raised I did an internet search but could not find any comments from the former Director of Public Affairs on the matters raised. When the silence from someone in the position Mr Nicolic held is so deafening on a matter of such great importance, there are indeed questions that need answers.

    I can’t help but compare the silence of the Liberal candidate for Bass with Andrew Wilkie (Independent MP for Denison).

    Andrew Wilkie was open and honest regarding his involvement in what was clearly institutionalized bastardization of junior officers when he was at at Duntroon.

  24. leslie

    July 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I had the idea that Mr Lucas was the Code Red guy who was with Mr Nikolic in the Mall … Is that correct?

  25. john hayward

    July 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    #18, Annette C. You might find some insights into the Nikolic from reading Dr Strangelove, or Remains of the Day. Otherwise, you may have to tap Eric’s phone, before he does the same to you.

    John Hayward

  26. One of the 13

    July 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    In response to Brett Lucas, I would posit that Martin Gaylord has twice the journalistic chops of the similarly named Examiner editor Martin Gilmour, who can’t write for toffee (except for when he goes into bat for his pal Nikolic – he’s VERY good then) Actually, most of the writers on the Examiner are piss poor, with the exception of Rob Shaw – he’s always a flippin’ good read!

  27. Annette Cadwallader

    July 4, 2013 at 9:57 am

    There are more important questions about Mr Nikolic. He is relatively young and healthy – the taxpayer via the army has spent probably millions on his training, including very advanced training in the US etc.. Why has he left the military? At the time it was with only the prospect of being elected. And what is the connection with his astonishingly angry outbursts at very minor provocation. The Brisbane Street Mall incident when he had to be cautioned by police after abusing some harmless living statue people! And facebookgate. Anger management is critical to even basic soldiering, let alone senior rank. The public deserve to know the story behind these folks who pop up and seek to represent us.

    Ed: Comment reviewed and edited.

  28. Brett Lucas

    July 4, 2013 at 1:16 am

    #16, There is no second prize, if you wish to concoct a conspiracy theory in relation to the APC go for your life. Mr Gaylord is not a journalist, no formal qualifications, no cadetship, hence he does not understand the “ten commandments” of unbiased reporting. I was certainly pleased to read Mr Stannus’s comment, as an old friend of “Martins” he too has understood the little known fact about truth.

  29. One of the 13

    July 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    What on Earth are you talking about, Mr Lucas? You seem to have missed the point. Again.

  30. Brett Lucas

    July 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    #8 Who is James Boags? Well, if “James” was a green agitator he may be likened to Mahatma, or Mandela? As “James” is a truth-seeker from the other side of the divide he may seem unpalatable?
    Quote from Corporal Jones from the TV series “Dad’s Army”, “they don’t like it up ’em Captain Mainwaring!

  31. Another of the 13

    July 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    No, I’m Martin Gaylord!

  32. One of the 13

    July 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I’m Martin Gaylord!

  33. Garry Stannus

    July 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    The Editor,
    Tasmanian Times

    Dear Lindsay,
    Tom Ellison has been trying for years to get elected. Good on him for that, and good on him for his stand against Gunns, the pulp mill, against mining the Tarkine etc. That’s fine.

    But…

    Tom is a candidate for the seat of Bass, and is competing against Andrew Nikolic. The public have a right to know who they are voting for. They have a right to know that a vote for Tom is a vote for Martin Gaylord.

    Anonymity is appeasement, knowledge is truth.

    Yours faithfully,
    Garry Stannus.

    PS: Re Nikolic complaint – I think many of our TT siblings should read the Press Council report and think long and hard about its findings. Should disgust with a political opponent such as Nikolic, blind us into unqualified support for the Martin Gaylords of this world?

  34. One of the 13

    July 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    If anyone can explain Brett Lucas’s poorly written English and unusual choice of punctuation, I would be most grateful, guv’nor.

  35. Gary

    July 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    #3 agreed, and surely political life in Bass won’t anywhere near as tough as the battle of Omdurman?

  36. Dave

    July 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    It is not often that I quote from Wikipedia but on this occasion I will. “As a captain, Nikolic taught tactics at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and as a Lieutenant Colonel, served as the Commanding Officer / Chief Instructor of the Parachute Training School… As a Colonel, in 2003 Nikolic became the first Commandant appointed to lead the Army Recruit Training Centre…. In 2007 {Nikolic} was promoted to Brigadier and appointed Director General Public Affairs”.

    Assuming the accuracy of the information it would seem that the former Brigadier had a long and one distinguished career in the army that included several stints in and around the training of young soldiers.

    Regrettably military training in Australia has been under an increasingly dark cloud for some years which brings me to the questions I have wanted to put to the Liberal candidate for Bass for some time. What did he know about the problems we are hearing so much about from senior officers who he once would have served with. When did he become aware of the problems and what did he do to make sure that the young men and women under his command were not bastardized, bullied, sexually discriminated against or assaulted?

    It is a sad reflection of today’s defense force and officers both past and present but I feel strongly that anyone seeking a career in public life who has come from the background the Candidate from Bass has come from really should be asked these questions and his or her answers placed on the public record before the election.

    I would liked to have seen my questions asked by an Examiner reporter or someone from the mainstream Tasmanian media but that hasn’t happened. And as far as I can see it won’t happen at least the questions won’t be posed by the Examiner

    So yet again TT draws the short straw – sorry Linz but the questions do need to be asked. And far more importantly they need to be answered because in todays world they are relevant as the latest comments from the Chief of Army so clearly demonstrates.

  37. mark

    July 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Who is this Brett Lucas guy? Is it the same bloke who has been unwittingly damaging the Pro Tarkine Development movement’s facebook page by continually clogging it up with primary school memes and personal disputes?

    They look to have lost 600 odd members over the past month thanks to that laughable behaviour.

    Give ’em enough rope.

  38. Brett Lucas

    July 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    “Martin Gaylord”, a mysterious man indeed, strange that I being mentioned in this tripe as a civilian? I have messages from that time from another gentleman claiming not to be “Martin Gaylord” I may have to meet Mr Nikolic for the second time in my life. Today’s report in the Launceston Examiner re Andrew Nikolic had a very poignant ending. The word reporter was used as “Martin” is not a Journalist, which I may add seems to get him into all kinds of Strife.
    N.B. The word “stormtrooper” was used in the original piece in the New Examiner when refering to myself, why the edit and why I am being harassed continually by “Martin” I ask myself?

  39. pilko

    July 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Great work Martin. Love your work. Stand Strong

  40. john hayward

    July 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Nicco seems to have a problem with both legal and democratic principles.

    Though lacking a bill of rights, Australian defamation law actually accords special latitude to political free speech. It also frowns on ad hoc laws to assist political friends, as in Nicco’s demand for laws that would punish people for damaging Tasmanian industries, such as Gunns or Ta Ann, by criticising them, regardless, apparently, of the veracity of the criticism.

    That said, Nicco could be a worthy addition to Tassie’s gallery of cartoon character politicians.

    John Hayward

  41. Karl Stevens

    July 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    It’s worth remembering that Facebook was originally a uni dating site extended to include the whole universe of personal down time. It doesn’t work well with anonymity which is the only reason somebody whose interests extend beyond funny cat photos would use it. The concept that Brigadier Nikolic could go from a combat zone to a recipe sharing forum I find hilarious. Facebook’s curved mirror design ensures all angry shots get ricocheted back to the originator. On this point I agree with Nikolic. Where are the ‘roadside bombs’ in Facebook? Its a pink and fluffy war zone that real men should never inhabit.

  42. One of the 13

    July 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    It would almost be worth seeing Corporal Nikolic (“He don’t like it up him!”) get elected for the comedy value alone.

  43. phill Parsons

    July 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I knew a Duntroon graduate, a gentleman of the old school. He served, won a Military Cross and then was surrendered into captivity after the commander of the 8th Division handed over command and retired to Australia.

    He claimed Bennet was a bully at Duntroon and that all bullies are cowards.

    Bennet came to Australia claiming he had valuable lessons about how to defeat the Imperial Japanese Army. The MC winner remained in Changi Prisoner of War camp as their guest.

    Bennet was listened to and sidelined.

    If you can’t stand the heat of public debate how will you go in the hothouse of parliament, let alone in filling ambition and rising to Cabinet level?.

  44. Pete Godfrey

    July 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

    It is unfortunate that any publicity is deemed good to these aspiring political types.
    The job certainly does attract fruitcakes.
    Hopefully Mr Nicolic will never get the job, the difference between ordering young men to go over the top and charge machine gun bunkers and representing the people of an electorate may be too long a bridge to cross.

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