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

Nikolic complaint to be referred to Anti-Discrimination Tribunal

A complaint by Andrew Nikolic, Liberal Member for Bass, to the University of Tasmania concerning a letter written by academic Dr Michael Powell, is to be referred to a full Tribunal hearing of the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Dr Powell wrote a letter to the Launceston Examiner in October 2014 objecting to radical Liberal Government changes to tertiary student funding.

In response Mr Nikolic wrote personally to the Vice Chancellor, Peter Rathjen, complaining of a “Very political piece by Dr Powell (a former Labor candidate)”. As a result the University took action to caution Dr Powell.

Dr Powell said he believed the action was politically-motivated discrimination and referred the matter to the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Despite two conciliation meetings, the last in April, there has been no resolution and the matter now goes to the Tribunal for determination. No formal date has yet been set.

Dr Powell said there had obviously been a delay in setting a Tribunal date because of the sensitivity of the election.

“Mr Nikolic is highly confrontational so I understand the caution,” Dr Powell said.

Dr Powell said the significance of the case was not how big it was but how small-minded.

“Why would a politician bother to complain about a critical letter?”

The case was a matter of principle, he said. “A politician who tries to shut down contrary opinion contradicts democracy and is not fit to be elected.”

After Mr Nikolic’s complaint, widespread national publicity and a strong stand by the Tertiary Education Union, led the university to back down and support academic freedom.

Because of the publicity, Mr Nikolic complained about the Fairfax Press to the Press Council, which refused to hear the matter.

As a result of Mr Nikolic’s complaint, the University of Tasmania had refused to renew Dr Powell’s teaching contract despite stating publicly they were expanding programs in northern Tasmania.

— Dr Michael Powell

• Cameron Hindrum in Comments: Here’s your laugh for the day … I’m told that at the Candidate’s Forum in Launceston the other night (which Nikolic only attended because the Greens Candidate pulled out … which is a whole other story …) that Nikolic repeatedly described himself as someone who “listens to his constituents”. Many of his constituents in the audience have been blocked by him on Facebook. He’s certainly not listening to them. Same old lies, Andrew. Hope your CV is dusted off ready to be sent around on July 3rd.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. john hayward

    June 20, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Is it true that Nikko is the lovechild of Bronny Bishop and Yosemite Sam? What other explanation is there?

    John Hayward

  2. Artemisia

    June 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    My greatest joy regarding the upcoming election (in the absence of anything really interesting happening) is the fact that I have moved into the Bass electorate and can now stridently NOT vote for the candidate of my choice……..hear that, Nikolic?

  3. Cameron Hindrum

    June 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

    It’s a bit hard to rake muck over the truth, #4. The important question is this–why wasn’t this resolved via conciliation? After two attempts to do so?

    What conclusions can we draw from that, dear readers?

  4. John Hawkins

    June 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    #4Andrew

    Are you Andrew Nikolic?

    The matter was initiated in Oct 2014 when Powell wrote to the Examiner.

    That is 18 months ago not even 2 YEARS ago.

    Andrew if you are going to troll at least be accurate.

    This is not the Examiner yet even the Examiner cannot believe that its public meeting was initially passed over by Nikolic they have now published two editorials to that effect.

    That is a campaign blue in a bluer than blue anti Green paper.

  5. Andrew

    June 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    This happened YEARS ago and amounted to nothing more than a smear campaign against Mr Nikolic.
    More greens muckracking!!!

  6. Pete Godfrey

    June 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    #2 Cameron, I think you will find that Mr Nicolic is referring to his Liberal party constituents. He listens to the others just long enough to find out that they don’t agree with the Abetz party line, then shuts them out.
    Why bother listening to those who don’t agree with you appears to be his motto.
    I too hope he is on the dole queue after July.

  7. Cameron Hindrum

    June 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Here’s your laugh for the day–I’m told that at the Candidate’s Forum in Launceston the other night (which Nikolic only attended because the Greens Candidate pulled out–which is a whole other story…) that Nikolic repeatedly described himself as someone who “listens to his constituents”.

    Many of his constituents in the audience have been blocked by him on Facebook. He’s certainly not listening to them. Same old lies, Andrew. Hope your CV is dusted off ready to be sent around on July 3rd.

  8. John Hawkins

    June 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Nikolic seems to think that he controls the purse strings regarding the fantasy that Australia/Tasmania is rich enough to move a university 4 miles down the road in order to increase business in the local coffee shops.

    Did this out-of-left-field-typically-Tasmanian scheme give Nikolic enough sway over Rathjen to cause him to sack Powell?

    Rathjen wants $150 million from the Feds, if he sees Nikolic as an ally in this mad scheme would the demise of Powell be a perfect prompter?

    It would seem more logical to increase the size of the University by building a new campus in Launceston?

    Moving a University is for the super, super, super rich.

    Nikolic try fixing the river?

    What next in the Land of Nod!

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