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


BASSLINK: Sunny Groom’s holiday as Basslink fried. Mr Brooks … resigns …

*Pic: Adam Brooks, from the Liberals’ website: See comments …

Watch Mr Brooks stumble, Mercury website HERE

*Pic: From Matthew Groom’s website: http://www.matthewgroom.com.au/

Well, that is not a good look … State Growth Minister Matthew Groom decided to go on holiday three days after Basslink broke …

Reminds me of the time his leader Will decided to go to the Launceston Cup, see Bruce Springsteen, and stay to watch Buddy Franklin in Adelaide rather than attend to boring state business ( TT HERE ).

Of course it appears Matthew did not wish anyone to know … because it took Right to Information documents obtained by the Greens to reveal the truth.

As Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor says …

“While nobody begrudges the Minister spending time with his family over the break, he was clearly missing in action for more than two weeks after the cable went down and did not have his first sit down meeting with a major industrial until more than a month after the cable failed.

“The Minister’s office made every effort to avoid having to provide details of the Minister’s movements after Basslink’s failure, taking 78 days to provide a response to the Greens’ RTI request and then providing a jumbled schedule with multiple redactions and no detail. A Minister’s diary should be a publicly accessible document.

“We lodged the Right to Information request because we wanted to understand why the Minister’s response to the crisis was so sluggish. He fronted the media, and therefore the people, two days after the cable failed and then disappeared from public view.

“It is staggering that Mr Groom waited for more than a month to meet a representative from one of the State’s major employers, given the significant impact of the crisis on the bottom line of companies like Bell Bay Aluminium and Norske Skog.

“Heavily redacted although it is, the schedule of the Minister’s diary tells a worrying story of a Minister who failed to understand the seriousness of the Basslink breakdown, left all the hard work and planning to Hydro Tasmania, left major industrial power users in the dark for weeks and let Tasmanians believe there was no crisis.

“In doing so, Matthew Groom let the whole State down.”


I cannot believe how self-interested and grasping are our ‘leaders’: ABC: Tasmanian MPs get 10.5pc pay rise after move to block it fails in Upper House

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

BASSLINK: Tasmania’s power crisis, includes links to all earlier TT Basslink stories …

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


  1. William Boeder

    June 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    #19 Claire Gilmour, well said, should Bryan (the giggler) Green become the State’s Labor party Premier this will confirm that the Justice Department and the role of the Attorney General in Tasmania have the same morals and scruples as this ex-union (chap).
    Furthermore if this appointment as Premier is agreed to by the State’s Governor Ms Kate Warner, that places her in the same league as that of the late State Governor Peter Underwood.

    Please recall that a statement given to the media in the former time of the late State Governor who went on to officially deny there was any corruption in this State of Tasmania.
    This matter is far more important than most will realize, as it confirms all the prior pretences of character and integrity that have graced the pages of this State’s major media news platforms.

    Soon will come the time that people of unworthy high standing will have to wear masks should they appear in the public domain, how else can these aloof persons feel protected from the error of their prior conducts and woefully poor judgements.

  2. Garry Stannus

    June 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Astonished at the news of another Basslink outage!

  3. Lyndall Rowley

    June 18, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I’m looking forward to this. Hopefully the full story will be revealed and subsequent changes made to future-proof the Tasmanian energy supply and maximise renewable energy. (Or am I just dreamin’?).

    ABC news online outlines what’s expected in the inquiry which begins tomorrow:
    “Tasmania’s three state-owned energy businesses will front a parliamentary inquiry on Monday examining the causes and responses to the energy crisis.
    Hydro Tasmania, TasNetworks and Aurora Energy have been called to give evidence at the first hearing of the powerful Public Accounts Committee. …
    Hydro senior executives are expected to be grilled about their strategy to export heavily during the two years the carbon tax was in place to maximise profits, as well as the cost of the crisis.
    In its submission to the inquiry, Hydro insisted it was in a “sound financial position” with net debt of $826 million at the end of March, less than the figure for the previous five financial years.
    “While the reduction in generation to rebuild storages will, in isolation, have a downwards influence on the valuation of the assets, the business has a strong net asset position,” the submission stated. …
    The inquiry will also investigate the decision-making process that led to the major turbine of the Tamar Valley Power Station being put up for sale last year, rather than fired up during dry conditions last year.
    In its submission, Hydro Tasmania revealed it did extensive modelling that concluded that the state’s electricity demand could be met in extreme scenarios of a 12-month Basslink outage combined with a drought.
    Hydro estimated the closure and sale of the combined cycle generation turbine would reduce fixed costs by $7.5 million a year.
    The gas-fired power station was eventually fired up in January, after Basslink failed in December, and the Government has now withdrawn approval to sell the turbine.”


  4. TGC

    June 14, 2016 at 12:43 am

    The Bryan Green who is critical of the ‘ethical standards’ of Adam Brooks is not the same Bryan Green who faced court proceedings some years ago over ‘ethical standards’ is it? It is! Blimey

  5. Doug Nichols

    June 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I can imagine (but not draw) a cartoon. The Dibley Parish Council budget estimates committee. “So Jim, do you still have an email address for your business interests?”

    “No, no, no, no, no …. yes”.

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    June 13, 2016 at 5:27 am

    As a State Liberal voter I am not impressed by Mr Brooks manner at a time when the State Government needs to be looking much better then it actually appears.

    “Guilty but not guilty” Opposition leader Bryan Green should shut his trap as his legacy is misleading the Parliament over the far more serious issues surrounding his own personal involvement with the formation of the Tasmanian Building Compliance watchdog.

    State Labor must never regain power while Green who previously fell from grace yet remains as a member of Parliament!

  7. Will Hodgman MR posted by Editor

    June 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Will Hodgman, Premier
    Adam Brooks
    This afternoon, I have accepted Adam Brooks’ resignation from the cabinet.
    Mr Brooks advised me that after reflection over the weekend and in consultation with his family, he came to the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of the Government for him to do so.
    Mr Brooks has advised that he will remain a member of Parliament.
    We put in place strict protocols to manage Mr Brooks’ business situation, and there is no evidence to suggest they were not upheld. Nonetheless, the Crown Solicitor’s audit of Mr Brooks’ MSS email account will continue, in order to confirm it was not used in breach of the protocols.
    While Mr Brooks did correct the Parliamentary record on Thursday night, there is no doubt that his answers contributed to the perception of a conflict of interest.
    During his time in Cabinet Mr Brooks has been a positive contributor to the cabinet, and will continue to serve the Braddon electorate
    This evening, the Acting Ministerial arrangements I put in place last Friday will be formalised, with Jeremy Rockliff to be sworn in as Minister for Racing, Rene Hidding as Minister for Mining, and Peter Gutwein Minister for Building and Construction.

  8. Claire Gilmour

    June 12, 2016 at 3:07 am

    I met this bloke – Adam Brooks and his right hand media spinner man, who was a complete tosser, just prior to the 2010 election and spoke to him about local N/W issues. He stood as tall and wide as – not much more than 5ft 2, with an attitude albeit friendly, anyone with any nouse could eat for breakfast … And apparently so some did! In the same league as Kons and Bryan Green … lie and deny … apparently … !?
    Bryan Green is full o shit if he pretends he is any better than the usual lying pretender Tassie party politician!?

  9. Lyndall Rowley

    June 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    WeevilWatch update 11/06/2016: Mining Minister Brooks denies THREE TIMES in a parliamentary committee the inappropriate use of email account whilst still linked to his mining services consulting company…

    Sourced from ABC News:
    “Tasmania’s opposition parties believe the Premier has not gone far enough in temporarily suspending the Mining Minister from Cabinet.
    Adam Brooks revealed on Thursday that he was still using an email account with his company Maintenance Systems Solutions, despite agreeing to sever all ties with the mining services company when he was appointed Mining Minister in February.
    He has been stood down due to “the perception of conflict of interest” while an audit of emails received and sent from the account is carried out by the Crown Solicitor.
    Mr Brooks made the revelation about his email use during a budget estimates hearing, but only after he denied the existence of the account three times.
    Mr Brooks told the Premier yesterday he misunderstood the questions and only used the email for personal use.
    … The Premier will make a decision about the future of Mr Brooks’ political career when the audit is completed in about two weeks.”

  10. Robert LePage

    June 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    The Dunning-Kruger effect, named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyse their performance, leading to a significant overestimate of themselves. In simple words it’s “people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are”.
    I wonder where our pollies and top managers come in this?

  11. Will Hodgman MR posted by editor

    June 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Will Hodgman, Premier
    Adam Brooks

    I have today spoken to Adam Brooks about answers he gave in Estimates yesterday evening, and the circumstances surrounding his use of his MSS email account. Mr Brooks has also written to me in relation to these matters, and I am releasing that correspondence.

    Mr Brooks has explained that he misunderstood the question, thinking it related to business dealings only, and that he subsequently corrected the parliamentary record.

    He has assured me that the email account is used only for personal, non-business related correspondence.

    Nonetheless, Mr Brooks accepts that a perception of a conflict of interest has now arisen, and has agreed that an independent audit be undertaken of his MSS email account to confirm that it has only been used for non-business purposes.

    He also agreed that I temporarily reassign his ministerial responsibilities while the audit is conducted.

    I have asked the Crown Solicitor Mr Alan Morgan to conduct a thorough audit of Mr Brooks’ MSS email account.

    In the meantime, in accordance with Section 25 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1931, other Ministers will assume responsibility for Mr Brooks’ portfolios as follows:

    • Mining; Rene Hidding
    • Racing; Jeremy Rockliff
    • Building and Construction; Peter Gutwein
    • Red Tape Reduction; Matthew Groom.

    During this period, Mr Brooks will not receive his Ministerial loading. His staff will report to the Minister who is handling the relevant portfolio.

    I have asked the Crown Solicitor to provide his report as soon as possible, however my advice is it could take several weeks.

  12. Clive Stott

    June 9, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Well the interconnector cable we are told is almost fixed.
    There are so many questions and so few answers.

    Basslink must have known where and what type of cable fault they were dealing with within milliseconds of it tripping.

    Only the supply cable was faulty….why didn’t they cut the spaced strings that make the three cables a ‘bundle’ and only cut this supply cable? There was no need to cut the data cable or the return.

    The cable maker needs to tell us why their cable failed, why did it fail to earth?

    Why did it take Basslink so long to find the fault when it was meant to have state of the art protection equipment looking after it and highly detailed maps of it’s physical location?

    Why didn’t their tracking methods take the Ile De Re straight to the fault?

    The list goes on…

    Tasmanian’s deserve answers, lets mot have people go on leave until we get answers.

  13. Robert LePage

    June 9, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    *3# It makes me question if our system sometimes allows the wrong type of person to rise to the top of their particular area whilst less assertive but perhaps far more suitable types are side-lined due to them not being ‘players’. *

    I think you jest. If we had one “good type of person” at the top we would be in clover.
    This is the trouble with the party system. You have to have backing from the power brokers and no decent, thinking person with brains and integrity is willing to sell them selves for gain.

    Maybe one day we will have a system of referendums al la Swiss that will help.

  14. Chris

    June 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Up the chain@10
    Its called the Peter Principle where one is promoted beyond their level of competence, cast ya mind over our parliament, some resign and others are forced to do so, just imagine if we had a workable 35 seat chamber and it was combined as a result with the Dinosaur clan upstairs we would not have to tolerate the dementia clad uppers and lowers.

  15. Chris

    June 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

  16. TGC

    June 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    So, has #10 ever been “up -the -chain”?

  17. Clive Stott

    June 9, 2016 at 2:18 am

    #7 Pete which devil are you talking about?

    Many people up-the-chain just seem to ‘walk out’, or are put on leave, when something serious is on the go. This is how I found it by experience.
    They really are better off out of it in my opinion.

  18. O'brien

    June 9, 2016 at 2:09 am

    “The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down.”

    (H.L. Mencken 1880 – 1956)

  19. Geoff

    June 8, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Imagine 500mm of rain into this valley in about 8 days from now. Lake Gordon is currently nearly empty. So the sides will be washed into the dam wall along with a few thousand trees. Won’t do much good for electricity production.



  20. Pete Godfrey

    June 8, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    The devil in that photo looks stuffed. It also has some strange lumps around the throat.
    Not sure if that is part of the look but I suggest that it may not be too well if in fact it is alive at all.
    Sometimes it is better to leave the running of the state to those who actually have an understanding of how things work. In that case it would be better if most of the pollies were on permanent holiday.

  21. Lyndall Rowley

    June 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks Richard #5. I’m not a well-read person, so I know practically nothing about Norman Mailer (other than a not-so-flattering doco about him on TV).

    So I took to my computer and found a few quotes attributed to him which I think are still relevant nowadays, and in particular during this election campaign and TT talk of weevils:

    “ To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.”

    “Conservatives are people who look at a tree and feel instinctively that it is more beautiful than anything they can name. But when it comes to defending that tree against a highway, they will go for the highway.”

    “The desire for success lubricates secret prostitution in the soul.”
    (Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/author/9302-Norman_Mailer)

  22. Richard Kopf

    June 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Lyndall, You said that people expect our leaders to be at their posts and doing their job, especially during times of crises.

    In the Naked and the Dead, the 1948 novel by Norman Mailer puts it well, that is how a leader is judged by where he is when the fan is hit.

    It is now a known management strategy. When the fan is about to be covered in excreta, be in another room. Groom and his mates are well versed in this strategy.

  23. Roger Cameron

    June 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    The fact that he was missing could be a bonus in that competent people would be able to make decisions with out interference!!

  24. Lyndall Rowley

    June 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Not a good look at all.

    At the same time as this article, I learn this morning on ABC news that it seems the two top NSW police in charge may have left their command posts after 11 pm on the night of the ongoing Lindt cafe siege – so the end to that tragedy occurred nearly 3 hours later with them both absent.

    There are other examples of those with peak responsibility MIA when they’re facing a critical situation. During the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires, the top dog Christine Nixon seems to have been mostly MIA as well. In the royal commission that followed, “Counsel assisting the Commission, Rachel Doyle SC, questioned Nixon on issues such as a morning hairdressing appointment, a lunchtime meeting with her biographer and an evening dinner at a restaurant, all during the worst day of the bushfires. Nixon defended her actions, stating “It was not my job to swoop in and take control. When you have good people who are more skilled in emergency management than I am, you let those people do the job.”” (from Rintoul, The Australian, 17/04/2010).

    People expect our leaders to be at their posts and doing their job, especially during times of crises. That’s when they’re needed most as ‘commander-in-chief’ for their supposed strategic, tactical and people management skills, as well as their wisdom and calm intelligence (?) during stressful times. We, and all those who work under them, regard the leader as a role model and look to them for moral support as well as for their leadership.

    Matthew Groom was not facing a crisis that involved people being in immediate potential danger; but he nevertheless was facing a slow-moving statewide crisis that needed his full attention and coordination for action. It is his responsibility. But from my reading of this TT article and The Greens Leaders’ statement, the minister has gone MIA.

    This gets me back to the general subject of weavils and the quality of our leadership including within politics. It makes me question if our system sometimes allows the wrong type of person to rise to the top of their particular area whilst less assertive but perhaps far more suitable types are side-lined due to them not being ‘players’.

  25. Jack Lumber

    June 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Beat up , was contactable and can return . Its called a Chain of command .

    Irrespective of if Mr Green or Ms O’connor raised this ,this is tabloid stuff

    seriously we have an election

  26. Luigi

    June 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    We have short memories. Doesn’t everyone remember that we were in Paul Harriss’s capable hands in the early days of the crisis? “Burn the forests to make electricity” was the catch-cry.

    Matthew only had to come back off hols after Paul “retired”.

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