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

Economy

A bright new extension lead for Basslink, which is down (again)

*Pic: The undersea cable on dry land … looking just a tad tatty. Pic: Basslink.

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Pic: How News Ltd’s Sydney Daily Telegragh portrays the Indies, HERE …

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*Pic: Bill and mates … from Bill Shorten’s Facebook page HERE

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Pic: of Eric Abetz from his website …

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Pic: Police speak to Andrew Nikolic in the Launceston Mall after his disagreement with a Code Green protest. Pic: Code Green. More on this story, from 2012, TT HERE

Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten’s return to Hobart Friday (June 17), a record second lightning visit in as many weeks, puts the cat amongst the Tory pigeons.

Not only is Bill back in town again campaigning, (Friday June 17) when The Australian, Fairfax’s Mark Kenny and the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann have already given the election to the government, the Labor leader whose party “lags in all key marginals” is bearing further promises of jobs and money including a bright new extension lead for Basslink.

Campaign crews report that Labor is picking up votes but only in safe Labor or safe Liberal seats on issues like health and education which won’t win it the election.

What is going on?

The latest Fairfax-Ipsos polls which in Victoria and NSW state elections understate the Labor vote put the opposition ahead of the government 51-49 with Shorten maintaining his improved personal approval ratings while the latest NewsPoll, whose new methodology does not confine it just to landlines and is yet untested in an election, has the two main parties at 50-50.

Yet no-one important rates Labor’s chances, although the independents, especially the Xenophon Party in South Australia, get a massive talking up causing Malcolm Turnbull to warn that chaos will result from voting for minor parties – as opposed to the halcyon tranquillity and stability of his own party which has had two prime ministers and fifteen cabinet changes in three years together with an approach to economic policy and tax reform which involves keeping everyone guessing.

It’s the prospect of chaos, “an unstable, chaotic, minority Labor-Greens Independent government as we had before, he maintains, which prompts the PM to put the Greens after Labor on preferences, despite the Gillard minority government (which was more widely based than a Labor-Greens alliance) being highly successful in executing legislation and stable between 2010 and 2013.

The Australia Institute’s latest report shows that the Abbott Turnbull government has performed the worst since the Menzies government on a range of 12 economic indicators including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment.

Peter Reith, former Howard Minister for babies overboard, balaclava labour on the waterfront, compulsive union-buster and now tragic Liberal Party hack helpfully spells it out on Sky News. “…what we don’t want is a bunch of wackos out to the left or out to the right …” “Don’t give them an inch. Don’t give them any support.”

Undaunted by any fear of chaos, wackos or a conservative press that is not going to do him any favours, Shorten pledges $150 million to help the University of Tasmania to move its Newnham campus to the heart of Launceston and closer to its students, with a similar proposal for Burnie.

$15 million of new funds is ear-marked for Cradle Mountain – an amount which Labor will double if the Coalition will match it – and other plans for Tasmania including $5 million towards a feasibility study for a second Basslink cable and $500 million should one be required.

“peddling positive policies”

The Opposition Leader is “peddling positive policies” sneers News Corp. The put-down highlights an inversion in this campaign. The Opposition proposes policy for a small target government to tear down. Jacqui Lambie is also critical if cryptic. She says “there are other priorities” which she leaves unspecified while former employment minister, Eric Abetz is put in mind of a wedding.

Labor is “throwing money around like confetti,” Abetz, self-appointed leader of Federal Liberal conservatism, chides, on cue. It does not matter that his government has just promised, in April, a billion dollars of Clean Energy finance to reboot Basslink to “future proof” Tasmania’s energy needs.

The plan is to reinforce the myth of Labor as big spenders. No matter that the LNP is outspending Labor two to one on election advertising. Nor that it is spending more than Gillard or Rudd, despite warning of a “spending problem” and urging Australia to “live within its means.”

Government spending as a percentage of Australia’s economic activity is higher now than when Labor governments steered us through international economic turmoil. But confetti?

Is it a Freudian slip? Abetz may soon be back in cabinet if, as some suggest, the LNP is returned with a small majority. Turnbull’s authority over the right would further decline.

Always vigilant on fiscal prudence, due diligence and a close ally of Tony Abbott, Abetz is no stranger to dispute. He claims Turnbull’s coup cost the party hundreds of resignations in Tasmania, a view disputed by Party President Geoff Page. Page clearly wasn’t looking hard enough.

With Abetz on board, no wonder Reith cautions against supporting any further wackos. The phlegmatic Abetz once dismissed environmental concerns over acid rain, ozone depletion, pesticide use and climate change as “Chicken Little-type hysteria.”

A “toughen-up buttercup” kind of a bloke as employment minister, Eric deplores those who lack his own resolve, as in his address to the Sydney Institute when he shared his distaste for “weak-kneed employers caving in to unreasonable union demands” who then expected him to be a fixer.

More than 17,000 public servants jobs cut under Abetz’s regime. His bargaining framework banned back-pay and sign-on bonuses. Agency bosses could not use savings and cuts already imposed after years of “efficiency dividends” to justify pay rises.

With this CV and his professional skills, Abetz’s demotion was a loss to the nation, or so he told Fairfax’s Jane Cadzow in March. Today he gleefully peddles party-line hysteria over Labor’s fiscal profligacy. But it’s small beer when compared with a couple of years back when he thundered.

…one thousand million dollars per month…

“We are borrowing one thousand million dollars per month just to pay the interest bills on the existing borrowings.”

Shorten’s training programme will not cost a dollar. It will supersede the Coalition’s Youth Jobs PaTH programme, a plan to supply cheap interns whose conditions of work and tenure will be at employers’ discretion. Only their $4 per hour pay will be guaranteed to be below subsistence level.

Yet backbench Abetz is kept more than busy lately. He complains in The Spectator that he is being silenced by the left-wing commentariat as he tries to denounce Islam and Muslim radicalisation, despite his Prime Minister having no problem.

Turnbull does not hesitate to declare last Sunday’s anti-gay massacre at Orlando, Florida the work of a terrorist conspiracy which only his government can protect us all from.

Someone quickly gets on to the PM. After channelling Tony Abbott, Turnbull subsequently recognises the suffering of the gay community in what evidence suggests was the act of an unstable homophobic individual and not a planned attack by any international terrorist organisation despite the gunman’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS and that group’s subsequent claiming responsibility.

Ever-vigilant, protective and resourceful, our Federal government is working around the clock to protect us, Turnbull bangs on. He doesn’t mention metadata retention or the recent NBN raid on Labor offices in Victoria or your plight if you happen to be a professional whistle-blower in a detention centre and bound to remain silent or face imprisonment under the Border Force Act 2015.

Nor does he mention the deadly debacle of the Lindt café siege. Nor oddly, does he dwell on the failure of the AFP to protect the nation from another deranged gunman, Man Haron Monis, about whom it knew more than enough to take protective action.

For Peta Credlin, our intelligence systems are hopeless. Credlin, too uses this week to make common cause with Pauline Hanson and former Bob Katter-staffer turned Australian Liberty Alliance Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor and sundry other self-appointed Islamophobes across the nation.

“Fair enough, have a Ramadan Iftar dinner at Kirribilli House but if the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Federal Police, the ceremonial branch and the Prime Minister’s own office can’t recognise a hate preacher and exclude him, we have a massive problem.”

…continuing the politics of division…

Abetz is quick to pick up the dog whistle. “So, why this silence and denial on Muslim radicalism?” He persists, Trump-ishly and continuing the politics of division which underpin Turnbull’s initial ABC News 24 appearance.

What silence? Crikey uses data from Media monitoring and analysis company iSentia, to show that the words Muslim or Islam have appeared over twelve thousand times in media in the last fortnight.

A leader in the Abbott government’s failed Royal Commission into Union Corruption, Abetz is as big a fan of leftist conspiracies as he is of the work of discredited waterfront historian, failed state Liberal politician Dr Hal G.P. Colebatch and commends his partisan union-bashing account to others as fact.

According to Colebatch, the chaps wearing balaclavas on the wharves in 1998 in one of the most scurrilous union-busting episodes in our history were workers fearing reprisals from the MUA and not scab labour brought in by Patrick Corrigan and Peter Reith after all. Their attack dogs were probably just family pets. What’s certain is that their headgear kept their handlers warm.

Shorten should take his chilly Hobart reception as a compliment. At least the Tories care enough to give him lip. Not so for Liberal Bass MP, Andrew Nikolic, who shuns a local Bass candidates’ country club debate with a Greens candidate on the grounds that the “Liberal Party is not interested in debating other candidates who have no chance of winning.”

Luckily, for Nikolic fans, the Green pulled out. His no-truck-with-losers’ approach, however, is certain to catch on in other electorates and would be a salutary reform for question time in parliament.

Despite a handy 10.8% swing last election, Nikolic does have a bit of a battle in Bass with some demanding constituents who refuse to see the benefit of tax cuts for companies in an electorate where two-thirds earn less than $37,000 a year, unemployment is high and healthcare is a big issue.

When a cut to the pathology rebate was proposed, Tasmania’s head of pathology could not get an appointment to raise his concerns with the retired Brigadier. Nor could local Baptist Church pastor Jeff McKinnon who reckons Nikolic doesn’t listen to people who hold opposing views. Perhaps he’s been mentored by Greg Hunt.

Renowned for his rapier-like riposte and always up for the cut and thrust of debate our Direct Actor himself, Environment Minister Greg Hunt slips out of witness protection to jeer at Shorten for being in Bass under false pretence. Why no mention, Hunt splutters, of the government’s earlier promise of a Basslink feasibility study? Why indeed?

…no mention of Australia.

Hunt is in hiding somewhere on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula since the “clean bill of health” he proclaimed on The Great Barrier Reef has become an electoral liability. He has, however, managed the timely excision of sections on the reef and sections dealing with Kakadu and Tasmanian forests from “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” a recent UNESCO climate change report which now has no mention of Australia.

Once an occasion for group hugs in the house, Hunt’s reef verdict now rings hollow given warnings from real scientists confirming that 93% of the reef’s coral is bleaching as rising sea temperatures, a product of global warming continue, helped along by our own greenhouse gas emissions which have increased steadily since the government scrapped Labor’s carbon pricing scheme.

Carbon consultancy firm RepuTex, says that Australia’s carbon pollution rose in the 2014-15 financial year for the first time in almost a decade when compared to the previous year. Australia’s national greenhouse gas emissions are set to keep rising well beyond 2020 on current trends, with the projected growth rate one of the worst in the developed world. No wonder Hunt is in hiding.

Now that climate change is settled, CSIRO’s Larry Marshall, who works closely with the Prime Minister and his government, is able to dismiss 350 scientists most of whom work in climate science, a move which is devastating to Tasmania’s scientific community.

Sagely, Shorten is not buying into that – or any other links, confining himself to the power switch.

“If anyone thinks that there’s a continuous, reliable supply of power between the mainland and Tasmania, I don’t think that is happening,” the Opposition Leader says.

Labor will stump up half the cost of a proposed $1 billion Bass Strait electricity cable, with leader Bill Shorten confident the project will go ahead. Yet for Erich Abetz, for whom government expenditure is always a cost and never an investment, Labor is making promises the nation cannot afford.

Everyone in government must avoid the elephant in the room of its climate change denial and how its support of coal-fired power generation contributes to changing weather patterns behind Tasmania’s recent crippling lack of rain and the running down of storage dams to record lows.

…the government’s latest milch-cow…

All Tassie needs is another power cord. Former Liberal MP from Bass, Warwick Smith has already been tapped to head up a feasibility study for an undisclosed fee to be paid out of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the government’s latest milch-cow since foreign aid has been cleaned out.

Spinners, including the PM, support another Basslink connection on the grounds that Tasmania will thrive on the export of its renewable energy. But will it have any to spare? It’s OK now. Hydro dams are overflowing but what if the spring rains fail to come again? If only state and federal governments could stimulate investment in wind and solar energy. Defy the coal lobby.

In Tasmania, in microcosm, are writ the deficiencies of our national energy policy over successive governments. Solar and wind energy resources abound and yet we cannot break away from the fossil fuel capture of the energy market and build up our solar and wind capacity. Last budget, the Turnbull government, cut one billion from Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency.

Whilst Turnbull has distanced himself from Abbott’s war on renewables, in retaining the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, it is only a tiny step back.

Placating the right and its climate deniers at all costs to retain some sort of personal power, Turnbull is involved in a disastrously expensive and ultimately impossible operation. Who knows how long he will survive? Whatever the outcome on 2 July, however, one thing is certain.

We will still be playing politics on climate change; playing politics with our very survival.

*Urban Wronski was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

ABC: Tasmanian Government response to SECOND BASSLINK OUTAGE in nine days ‘really is scandalous’ … Energy Minister Matthew Groom, who talked to media on Tuesday about the energy system, said in a statement the outage was “another reminder of the importance of continuing to manage water supply systems carefully”. Labor Leader Bryan Green said he was worried that Mr Groom’s failure to hold another press conference would send the wrong message to energy customers. “It really is scandalous,” he said. “Most people look towards the Minister for confidence when it comes to these issues, but by not fronting that actually undermines confidence” …

• phill Parsons in Comments: So we find out Bass Link Cable owners and the Hydro were in dispute over capacity from the day the cable opened for transmission. We find that the Hydro has been used to prop up the budget through dividends to it’s owners managers, the Government. We find that it has broken down a second time yet they say it has not been fried through high use. There is no point in an age of climate change to a second, or any other cable, if they are not made to as pre-agreed carrying capacity, well managed to ensure their capacity is not abused and only carry renewable energy. …

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

26 Comments

  1. mike seabrook

    June 22, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    ref #10

    some wasted environmental flows

    needs further storage dams above lake rowallen, tungatinah and the king river dam

    lots of jobs for blue collar tasmanians and now

  2. mike seabrook

    June 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    first things first

    bring to account those who signed up the hydro/tassie taxpayer to est. 60% of tassie’s electricity output on long term contracts at est. 4c per kwh.

  3. Chris

    June 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Heres another picture http://www.hydro.com.au/system/files/water-storage/storage.pdf

    ps.#18 correct.

    I think you meant 5 Kilowatts.

  4. Brian Austen

    June 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    #22 Luigi. That is what it seems to come down to. And there is no politician who seems to be exempt from some blame. It is disappointing that no one from the Legislative Counci – the House of Review – who seems to have put their head or hand up.

  5. Luigi Brown

    June 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    #21, Yes, I sometimes grapple to understand it. But I do know that this time last year we had more water in storage than we currently do. So we are not out of the woods yet.

    I suspect that the Hydro is quite competent to manage electricity generation and water energy storage – but only in the absence of government interference.

  6. Brian Austen

    June 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    #20. It is this mandatory minimum holding plus a revenue raising priority given to Hydro that is the problem. Until we have an absolute security of domestic supply there should be no “dividend to government” (which is simply another form of regressive taxation) required or expected. Then, perhaps the water storages can be managed to a secure level, which rather than a percentage might better be expressed in terms of a supply period such as 6 months with no infall. If that required 50% holding, that should be the aim.

  7. Luigi

    June 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    #17, Our main water energy reservoirs are Gordon/Pedder and Great Lake/Augusta. Gordon/Pedder is at 21% capacity and Great Lake/Augusta is at 14.6%.

    Only the small coastal dams are full and overflowing. None of our gas and diesel generators are currently running.

    We were at 25% overall when Basslink failed in December. We are now at 27.6% and falling, after some extraordinarily heavy winter rains. The government has now decided that we must maintain a minimum of 30% overall, so holdings of 21% and and 14.6% – in mid winter – are still way too low.

    Yes, we have excess power right now and we were actually exporting yesterday when BassLink failed. But we certainly do not have excess water energy reserves, especially if summer follows the same rainfall pattern as the last two years.

  8. phill Parsons

    June 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

    So we find out Bass Link Cable owners and the Hydro were in dispute over capacity from the day the cable opened for transmission.

    We find that the Hydro has been used to prop up the budget through dividends to it’s owners managers, the Government.

    We find that it has broken down a second time yet they say it has not been fried through high use.

    There is no point in an age of climate change to a second, or any other cable, if they are not made to as pre-agreed carrying capacity, well managed to ensure their capacity is not abused and only carry renewable energy.

    Nobody is going to admit the cable was fried. A lawyers picnic to determine responsibility would follow and then a large payment by one party or the other. Neither want that unless they are the winners and who could guarantee a win on technicalities under the sea.

  9. Pete Godfrey

    June 21, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    #16 Chris you seem to have your figures a bit mixed up, if you were to put a 5 megawatt solar system on a house the house would collapse.

    I think you meant 5 Kilowatts.

    Still the idea is sound, much cheaper to make the energy here than to have another unreliable cable going to Victoria.

  10. Brian Austen

    June 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    #14, 15

    Does this mean that more turbines can be turned off. Probably not.
    But it surely means that we have excess power and excess water.

    What are the options or obstacles for connecting the two together?

    #16

    Sounds a potentially sensible idea. Especially if the unused power can be used to fill storages.

    But the problem seems to be that the overall priority is to be a commercial player in a national grid instead of self-sufficiency in Tasmania.

  11. Chris

    June 21, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    A week or so ago there were 16 dams “spilling, now only 5, which means that those below spilling are storing water less that used for generation.
    If you look at this chart (bookmark it) you can see how far below full each of these storages daily.
    http://www.hydro.com.au/water/lake-levels

    Lets spend the $500 million on solar panels and fit 125,000 homes with a 5 mega watt unit each, about twice the requirements of a modest home.
    The extra power then fed to the grid would increase the HEC storages to the equivalent of water used to generate 2.5 mega watts daily times 12500.
    Who needs a cable?

  12. Karl Stevens

    June 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Basslink has gone down again from 6.30am Wednesday.
    Problem at the Victorian end apparently.

  13. Luigi

    June 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I hope this is the right place to mention that BassLink is broken again: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-22/basslink-confirms-fresh-outage-undersea-cable/7532546

  14. john hayward

    June 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    You have only to look at the historical record of right-wing governments in selflessly looking after the common weal of its citizens. This record has been established despite their own chronic and acute struggles with cupidity.

    Don’t think twice. Ignore those stupid scientists and economists Vote ScoMo and Rimmer Mark II.

    John Hayward

  15. Keith Antonysen

    June 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    “We will still be playing politics on climate change; playing politics with our very survival.”

    Presently we have Venezuela in huge difficulty with inadequate food resources creating a very edgy population. It has been a combination of poor administration, drop in oil prices, drought, and inability to resource finances to buy food from International sources. Venezuela had a strong reliance on the fossil fuel reserves they controlled, the market collapsed leaving a stricken country

    New methane blow holes have been discovered in Siberia in 2016. A quote from Business Insider (12 June 2016):

    “R]espected scientist Dr Vladimir Epifanov, the sole leading expert to so far visit the site, said: ‘There is verbal information that residents of nearby villages – at a distance of 70-100 km [43-62 mi] – heard a sound like an explosion, and one of them watched a clear glow in the sky.'”

    The IPCC based reduction in CO2 on technology not yet developed in creating their more optimistic goals. Technology is yet in its infancy and scientists are saying that the amount to be cleared is beyond the realms of what can logically occur.
    Nick Breeze has put out a video clip of scientists making comments about the IPCC projections; the clip is titled “Survivable IPCC projections based on science fiction – reality is far worse”

    A map showing how various countries are progressing with emissions control, it shows a laggard Australia.

    https://i1.wp.com/cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/map-1.png?zoom=2

    A vote for the LNP is a dangerous vote, 3 further years of inaction on climate change will be the result. Something we can ill afford.

  16. Brian austen

    June 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    #10

    Thanks. This is good information. It would be good if it was accessible somewhere and regularly updated. I had not found it on the Hydro’s sites.

  17. Shaun

    June 21, 2016 at 12:47 am

    #5 Asks about water storage levels.

    As of Monday 20th June 2016:

    Total of Great Lake and Arthurs Lake is 26% full. 65.8% in Arthurs Lake and 21.2% in Great Lake. Poatina power station is not presently running.

    Lakes Pedder and Gordon (combined) are 14.6% full. Gordon power station is running at low output to maintain the required environmental flow in the river downstream.

    Lake Echo is 21.6% full. Lake Echo power station isn’t operating presently.

    Lakes St Clair and King William (combined) are 69.8% full. Butlers Gorge and Tarraleah power stations are operating but not at full capacity although they’re pretty close.

    Tungatinah storages are 84.8% full with those closest to the power station spilling. Tungatinah power station is running at full available capacity 24/7.

    Lake Burbury is 97.9% full. John Butters power station is running constantly at full capacity.

    Lake Mackintosh is 88.6% full with Mackintosh power station running at full output most of the time, occasionally reduced in output overnight.

    Lake Plimsoll is 53.3% full with Tribute power station running intermittently for peak loads.

    Lake Rowallan is 98.4% full with Rowallan power station running constantly at full capacity.

    Lake Mackenzie is 90.4% full with Fisher power station running constantly at full capacity.

    Lake Gairdner is 42% full with Wilmot power station running constantly but not at full capacity. This is a minor storage and will fill and possibly spill very quickly once it rains again such that a low level is desirable at this time of year.

    Lake Margaret is 97.4% full with Lake Margaret power station running constantly.

    For the other hydro stations, they are downstream of these headwater storages and have limited storage capacity of their own, thus operating according to discharge from upstream + whatever additional water enters lower down in the catchment. Most are operating normally at below full capacity (running at full capacity when demand is high, lower output at other times) although spill and constant full operation are occurring at Lemonthyme, Devils Gate, Paloona and Bastyan.

    Gas generation – the open cycle units are being run when prices in Vic are such that it’s profitable to do so. The combined cycle unit is not being used at present.

    Diesel – not being used at present.

    Wind – if it blows then whatever power that produces is used. It’s a highly variable source however.

  18. Simon Warriner

    June 21, 2016 at 12:18 am

    re 8, Pete, its still there, you just have to go through the “opinions” tab on the top of the page.

    37 comment now.

  19. Pete Godfrey

    June 20, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    #7, I saw that article too Simon, Erich seemed to be blaming the Labor party for the GFC and every other woe that has ever befallen the world.

    He also does not seem to understand what “negotiation” is. The old story he runs is that the sky will fall if the Libs do not win government and a majority in the Senate. He seems to conveniently forget that Julia Gillard got a massive amount of bills through the senate just by talking to them and being reasonable.

    Some other poster there accused me of being homophobic for spelling his name as he was given it at birth. I am still trying to figure out how using a person’s real name is homophobic. Oh well, life is full of mysteries.

    The article seems to have disappeared now, I could not find it a while back.

  20. Simon Warriner

    June 20, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I note Erich had an editorial in the Mercury today. It was on the articles list and the opinion list at the side in the morning, but by 5:00pm had been moved off the front page of the website and back to the opinion page.

    Funny, considering there were 33 comments, almost all negative towards Poor Erich, and while I was reading them there were over 25 viewing the page at all times.

    Still, we cannot have our paper of record allowing a vigorous response to a political outburst to run regardless of direction, now can we? That would be against Rupperts predilection for a “managed” news environment.

    And isn’t it odd that Urban has missed the revelations about those close mates and enthusiastic supporters of the libs, the very bent and dubious Exclusive Bretheren cult.

    While Erich raves about the electorate pandering to Greens and Labour and those nasty, evil smelling independents, we are left asking why his mob are pandering to a cult that hides pedophilia and child rape, and makes clandestine donations to a political party they will never vote for.

    If Shorten was serious about competing he would play that hand for all it is worth…….

  21. Robert LePage

    June 20, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Urban Wronksi has it exactly right. well done.

    Could we make him premier or even replace herr Erich Abetz?

    As for another Bass link money grabber, well I and many others no doubt are getting ready to install batteries on my solar system but of course I am only doing this to reduce the load on hydro and give them more to sell.

  22. Brian Austen

    June 20, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Tasmania’s overriding energy goal should be self -sufficiency. We used to be but this stopped with Basslink.

    We should now draw a line in the sand and reject the push for a second cable.

    Instead we should be looking for ways to restore the water levels in all our storages. Currently we are told that it has improved to 27%. But figures on individual storages are not provided. For example what is the level of Great Lake? Is this storage being used to operate the Poatina generators. If so why?

    These are critical questions but are being ignored by the political process in favour of convicted outrages such as Adam Brooke’s.

    We should be aiming to restore our storage levels to such that would give us 6 months electricity generation. This is the back-up strategy that wold allow us to be self – sufficient with supplementation from solar and wind.

  23. Karl Stevens

    June 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I would say the real battle in this and elections generally is between ignorance and intelligence.
    Example. ‘Preferences’ are only relevant when the voter does not allocate them because they couldn’t not be bothered. Lethargy wins.
    Number 1 on the ticket is only an advantage when there are ‘donkey votes’. Donkeys win.
    Minor parties in the Senate is only an issue when people excersize their democatic right to choose who they want. Totalitarians win.
    I say wake-up Austrlians. They dumb you down systematically so they can live off you term by term. Its got nothing to do with ‘democracy’ and everything to do with manipulation, social engineering and the stupid leading the stupid.
    Written and authorised by Karl Stevens Beaconsfield Tasmania.

  24. Chris

    June 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Yeah lets hav anuver cable and pay people like the millionaires factory to advise us, (for a fee) to put one across Bass Strait, then we can pay another odd $100 million per year to rent it and the taxpayer can subsidise it by paying higher power charges.

    Another cable requires more water in our dams or more wind or solar contributing to the HEC’s “battery” of water.
    The average solar contributor to the grid now sells its power to the HEC for a illegal 6 cents per unit and then that same power is sold back to the user.

    On the other hand $500 million would go a long way to putting in many many wind generators for that amount and thus guarantee supply for Tasmania.

    I have booked in for a counsellor to make me understand why I would pay to get my solar power back at three times or more per unit.

    Of course we understand that Climate change will require the closure of dirty coal fired power stations which will be phased out willingly within the next hundred years on present indications and the cable will come into its own.

    Will the HEC be given the title to the new cable and thus save a few dollars in rent and if the new cable has double the capacity then it can let the present fault prone cable to be phased out after its lease runs out.

  25. TGC

    June 20, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Should Bill Shorten win government- as is highly possible- you can bet that, in his victory speech he “will be governing for all Australians”
    -except of course the tiny minority- around 49.9%
    who didn’t vote Labor. He really will be referring to the Unionised Australians who he has clearly pledged to serve first and foremost.
    Urban Wronski will be ecstatic…temporarily

  26. phill Parsons

    June 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    A second power cable only makes sense if it is combined with an expansion of generating capacity. Either solar on the mainland or wind on an island. It makes no sense to move coal fired power around when all that follows from this course is disaster on disaster.

    Further, as we have seen the cable’s use is in dispute around its capacity to carry load. As I and others said, it was cooked by trying to make money from power exports.

    As the 2 old party’s with their respective bulls roam about the paddocks of Australia offering moos in different tones polling shows Australians are looking elsewhere.

    If your vote goes to a non-major party do the 2 olds end up last and second last in the voters list of choices.

    Methinks those who say it’s one old or the other are not allowing for the chaos at the polling place with the new Senate voting system and the number of lower hose candidates.

    I hope that after the result is declared the paradigms of the past find themselves challenged.

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