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


Two walkouts in the name of transparency

Council chambers



Triabunna wharf

Wisby, Crawford

Former Mayor Bertrand Cadart

First published September 29

Two walkouts with perhaps one to go … a gob-smacked public gallery witnesses a volley of abuse hurled by some councillors at those fellow councillors who walked out. Such an abruption at an ordinary council meeting during questions without-notice suggests perhaps it is an extraordinary meeting … with far-reaching implications.

Nice little background tapestry for things to come. All in the shadow of the idyllic bayside setting of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council chambers at Triabunna.

And so what has happened to the unity of this friendly elected group looking after ratepayer interests from Buckland to Bicheno?

Well things really have come unstuck.

Residents are bemused by so much media coverage of the past few days and like that theme-song of the Disney Mickey Mouse Club nobody knows what’s gonna happen. All will be revealed, and hopefully resolved at the next meeting which must be called within two weeks … and that far-flung municipal outpost of Bicheno has much to do with it all.

I’ve written to the Tasmanian Times much before of the flamboyant, cycling former mayor Le Frog, Bicheno resident Bertrand Cadart, who mistook publicity for ratepayer duty. Some mayors down here seem to do that … and don’t come unstuck until they tread on a banana skin. Bertrand’s end came when he expected a journalist not to report his view of Triabunna as a repository of residential ‘bogans’.

It presented the perfect political opportunity for political opportunists as Mike Kent, himself a flamboyant city-slicker prince who beguiled all with his humility of mixing with locals at the locals of Orford and Triabunna … and describing his new twin home-towns as Paradise.

With LeFrog in disgrace from his careless observations of the Triabunna demographic, Kent slipped into the top job … amazingly coincidental with the tweaking of legislation that opened the mayoral contest to candidates without a councillor history. With preferences from fellow mayoral candidate Jennifer Crawford, Kent created history by becoming the first mayor of this municipality without any background as a councillor. And of course, and I don’t want to be unfair, the tragic loss of Mike Kent’s popular, gregarious and enterprising wife, Judy, to illness, would have leveraged his chances at the polls.

In the preamble to the election that got Kent the big hat, he was active in promoting select candidates as a powerful ‘team’ that always had the numbers to ‘get things done’ as a former local business and sea-venture entrepreneur, Keith Pybus, suggested of Mike Kent. Kent went to the polls vocal and loud on transparency, with the mantra that ‘everything goes on the table’ for public scrutiny. ( refer Tasmanian Times, HERE )

Debbie Wisby, partner of Glen, well respected fisherman was possibly first on the Kent ticket.

She too was questioning the hush-hush of council, particularly on plans to overhaul a run-down dysfunctional wharf area as the hub of Triabunna’s industry and commerce. It made simple sense that it accommodated larger vessels as her partner’s squid vessel and indeed the fishing industry to use as the preferred eastern seaboard port, with associated commercial benefits to the small town.

It provided the catalyst for Wisby to reflect on wide-ranging issues within the municipality that did not represent her expectations of transparency and good governance. And so, Debbie Wisby walked the plank and dropped into the maelstrom of local politics.

But being part of the Kent-for-mayor ticket also came with incumbencies that Debbie Wisby and some other councillors did not agree to … which amounted to the silence of the code within. This translated as keep your mouth shut, don’t talk to the media, we will do it all with glossy PR literature and there’s no place for loose cannon in this outfit.

This protracted spurious arrangement, where Wisby and some other fellow councillors with the feeling of being herded, bucked at the notion of having to concede to an inner sanctum. What seemed to be implied compliance fragmented this week with name-calling ferocity.

In April, councillors Wisby and Crawford in company with another female councillor, were present for the opening of ballot boxes in an opinion survey orchestrated by iconic recreational-fisher activist Don Paton, actually helping with the count, and re-checking data over a two-day period.

The poll showed an overwhelming opposition to fish-farming in Okehampton Bay in the State-wide poll.

The poll count, ignored by Mayor Kent, gave insight to the few councillors present of the wide-ranging consensus of dissatisfaction with lack of council transparency on industrialisation, such as huge projects as Tassal’s expansion into the East Coast and indeed the pollution of Okehampton Bay with 800,000 Atlantic salmon.

As former mayor Cadart’s bogan gaffe alienated him from the electorate, so too did Mayor Kent’s shackie description of opponents to Tassal, offend a large voting block at Orford.

Perhaps the Tassal venture, manifesting in media-saturated demonstrations in Hobart and at Okehampton Bay, has contributed to the implosion of the 2014 municipal pre-election block-vote, the fragmentation of consensus and the recent unprecedented walkout by Crs Wisby, Crawford and Richard Parker. The walkout has its roots in expectations of council transparency.

Ratepayers and indeed polemicists would agree with them. Matters as the protracted absence of Bertrand Cadart from council deliberations should not be hidden from the public by slipping into confidential-mode.

Just what happens next, with the announcement of the resignation of Bertrand Cadart may well have averted a continuum of conflict within council that have already resulting in a paradigm shift in the hitherto smooth relationship between this council and its State Parliamentary masters.

A third walkout would have heralded the arrival of the Minister for Local Government into the affairs of the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council … and all this started with the aforementioned flamboyant motor-cycling mayor Bertrand Cadart who now lives interstate … and like-minded councillors as Wisby have been demanding answers to obvious and expected questions of proprietary, given that he was still on the ratepayer-payroll.

Why was he still being paid? If ill, as is suggested, why did he not resign as councillor and allow a failed candidate to automatically step up? Was it because Cadart was part of a block vote favouring all council decisions. It would have upset a nice arrangement, should a replacement councillor not tow the Cadart line of compliance.

Could this matter still bring about Parliamentary intervention in what Wisby keeps referring to as ratepayer interest? If so, a full public insight into this matter and indeed others pertinent to ratepayer interest will be welcomed by most.

Such derision within council down this neck of the woods, and concomitant publicity, coincides with yet another paradigm shift in local government matters – the imminent question of merging councils. Do we really need to inherit shit-fights as this that might be embedded in neighbouring councils?

Now is the time for all good men and women councillors across the broad local government landscape to speak out. The best time to do that is now. The best way to do that is through the Fourth Estate, the media, regardless of what the inner sanctums think … or dictate about talking freely to the media.

After all this is a democracy.

Poison Pens In Eden’s Pond Part Two. Father and Son, Tasmanian icons of fishing and policing, make a stand against fish-farms proposed for Okehampton Bay on the State’s pristine East Coast.Who cares? Only those who love the region. Politicians don’t.

Paul Tapp, YouTube HERE …

OceanFuturesSociety, YouTube: Farmed Salmon: Unhealthy and Unsustainable

All about *Paul Tapp From humble beginnings in a Fingal Valley mining town, Paul Tapp’s ambition to become a journalist was denied him before being conscripted into national service and serving as an infantry rifleman in South Vietnam in 1967. His photographs and captions to The Examiner Newspaper during his service were intercepted by the Defence Force and stamped as official PR until Paul produced negatives of ownership. And thus his career began. He was the only journalist to receive the State’s major award for broadcast and print journalism, eventually pursuing a career in Government press secretariats in the NT and in Tasmania. In retirement he investigated the police killing of Joe Gilewicz in 1991, where his work was taken to Parliament by Peg Putt MHA, eventuating in a Commission of Inquiry. Latterly his probing into the disappearance of Lucille Butterworth was the catalyst for a coronial inquest into that matter. Paul continues to ‘keep watch’ and contribute material to the Tasmanian Times.

Rosalie Woodruff: Tassal’s environmental credibility sinks again

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


  1. Andrew Wyminga

    March 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    G’Day Paul, Look if you thought that this was lamentable behaviour by the GSBC you might be interested in the next developing scandal that Council seems intent to “bury alive” and keep hidden from the ratepayer. Happy to discuss just ask Lindsay for my email address and email me your phone number.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. MjF

    October 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Recommend you wheel the nanna van up the East Coast for a few days R&R.

    Go up to the Thumbs lookout, gaze seaward and note the first thing you see – large dark floating rings grouped together in a small bay east of the old chip mill which draws the eye away from Maria Island’s peaks and the usual coastal vistas.

    You’ll also notice the multitude of closed shops and small offices in Triabunna.

    Not sure where these re-opening businesses are, Robin.

    Seems to be a bit going on in Orford, though.

  3. Tony Stone

    October 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    #29, “Fish farming is now an integral part of the Tasmanian farming scene, you can be sure of that!”

    Just another destructive industry which we could well do without, unless they move onto land and stop using wild fish catches to feed their salmon.

    Believe it takes 18kg of wild fish fed to the salmon to produce 1kg of salmon. Not very cost effective, unless you want to wipe out the wild fish populations, which is already well on the way to being achieved.

    “There may be some studies that indicate the possibility of specialised fish farming on land!”

    Most countries farming fish already have them land based.


    The only reason we have an unemployment problem is because we have idiots running Tas who don’t have a clue about anything outside their deluded egos and ideological insanity.

    The opportunity to develop 21st century industry and approaches to life would put everyone in work and we could chuck out those that don’t want to contribute to the future.

    We need to get rid of the primitive minded fools running Tas, before it’s to late, if it’s not already.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    October 13, 2017 at 5:29 am

    #27,Richard, As you would realise Tasmania has an unemployment crisis in the Glamorgan area.
    There was a myth that tourism would take off via the Cadart/ Wood/ and Cameron connections post closure of Gunns woodchip Mill!

    I am not aware of any grand openings for those ventures being spruiked by the Greens, natural environmental tourism being the savior for the region!

    Where are we today with Woods grand plans for the Chip mill, and Camerons reopening of Silver Sands Motel at Bicheno and revamping other properties she owns for habitation.

    Tourism is on the move, the Marina expansion, Maria Is trip is getting more visitation numbers. Mayor Kent has provided an area for free caravan /sc campers to stay at Orford.

    There could be moves afoot to improve the road access through Wielangta, making it a part of the Great Eastern Drive for which in my opinion still has not evolved!

    Ask the local farmers, drought has hit the region, drought on the East Coast is a cyclic certainty, the new fish farming development alternatives would provide some seasonal employment for these locals too!
    There may be some studies that indicate the possibility of specialised fish farming on land!

    Triabunna is well on the way to transition from a lost place returning hopefully to a more prosperous place than it was under its dependence on forestry.

    I believe a number of small business have reopened, the bakery and local garage!

    Minister Eliose Archer is currently placing tough new measures for Tassal to clean up its Macqurie Harbour act, you can bet Tassal will be closely monitored to ensure its Oakhampton Bay operations are up to scratch.

    Fish farming is now an integral part of the Tasmanian farming scene, you can be sure of that!

  5. Tony Stone

    October 9, 2017 at 8:39 am

    This would be easily solved if we have the people in control and not morons. We give Tassal and all fish farm producers 6 months, to put their farms on land, with proper environmental controls and shut them down if they don’t.

    Unless the people take control, this will go on and on. They are destroying the west coast, have destroyed the southeast coast and now want to destroy the east coast. Online people governance both local and state, is the only way forward for sane, logical and workable solutions.

  6. Richard Kopf

    October 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    #26 Show me a survey that supports the view that the Okehampton development is supported by those living in Triabunna! The Recfish survey indicated that neither the Orford or Triabunna communities supported Okehampton. The public meeting at Triabunna was 250+ against, 4 supporters.
    Triabunna is commuting distance from employment in Greater Hobart.
    Destroying the assets that will support employment, such as the once pristine East Coast environment, is no way forward.

  7. Robin Charles Halton

    October 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    What has not been mentioned is that the greater majority of Triabunnarians outside the Rec fish lobbyists would see a renewal in employment in the district would be linked to fish farming taking off in the region!

    Yes there are issues probably # one is the provision of fresh water to the processing plant via further damming this time of the upper Prosser near Buckland as a reliable water supply.

    The ongoing effects of drought is always going to be an unconvenient truth to be associated with take it for granted users on the roll.

    For the government it appeared to be a case of damned if they do and damned if they dont!

    I hope that the salmon farming enterprise is successful in both terms of environment and scale of economics which includes worthwhile local employment opportunities!

  8. Mike Bolan

    October 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    The British were very good at defeating community resentment and unrest by setting its members against one another. The entire structure and methods of Local Government give all the indications of being just such a method. Bring this 18/19 century model into the 21st century and it’s even more effective at neutering community disquiet while giving the appearance of engagement and responsible governance.

  9. Paul Tapp

    October 2, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Well done Andrew @#23.You’ve got your frustrating interaction with this dysfunctional council well documented.I think you should forward it to the minister responsible for local government and cc it also to the shadow minister…perhaps to the State ombudsperson and to the Integrity Commissioner, presuming we still have one. Council has certain statutory obligations to ratepayers and at least one recipient of your well-detailed comment to Tas Times should respectfully acknowledge your material with a response based on obligations and actions. Let the Tas Times know, should you proceed, as respondents to this topic would most certainly get behind you. Don’t know what’s been happening behind the scenes since the famous – three walkout, but my experiences in that murky milieu of advisers-dependent elected is that the common advice would be to ignore it and it might go away. I’m hoping to get insight into Tassal’s sudden appearance on the scene down here, how long ago it was, and put the acid on State and Local administrators to ‘please explain’. I understand that this topic and ‘blog’ have been widely distributed and discussed since the walkout and many are incredulous at the secrecy. Let’s hope somebody in the know is incensed enough and is conscience-ridden enough to make a contribution to prove to the ministerial advisers that it ain’t gonna go away. In my early career with The Examiner I once traveled to Scottsdale to report a council meeting and there was a faction-based disagreement about going into committee for a decision. It was determined that such a decision should be in the public eye and perhaps too insignificant to be reported by the media (only me in attendance). The question? Could council upgrade the quality of its tea-break from ordinary to chocolate-coated Teddy Bear Biscuits? Much to council disdain, it got a nice page three headline with a page-one promotional-pointer. Thanks again AW, keep digging. If the GSBC introduces chocolate-coated LeFrogs for its tea-breaks, then I’m heading off to the next concert in Las Vegas.

  10. Andrew Wyminga

    October 2, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Thank you Paul for going public with the antics of GSBC and Bertrand ‘Le Frog’ Cadart or BLFC. Since last year that acronym locally and jokingly stood for Bicheno’s Lost F…ing Councillor. This was rather unkind as BLFC was not really lost, he was easy to find in the Queensland white pages for example where his Mapleton landline was clearly displayed and the man did make the odd short appearance in Tasmania where he no longer had a landline although Council continued to advertise his long disconnected Bicheno numbers even as late as this week.
    So how did this saga unfold and lead to the well publicised walkouts by Councillors who finally had enough of the locally manufactured opaque screen of secrecy (who said Triabunna is no longer a manufacturing town?) and who wanted some transparency and accountability.
    A bit of a timeline – as I understand it- may help those TT readers who are still bemused about the recent going-ons at GSBC.

    June 2016 BLFC buys a property in Mapleton Queensland.
    October 2016 BLFC moves to his new home in QLD
    December 2016 absent at Council Meeting
    JAN FEB MAR 2017 Bicheno ratepayers start talking about lack of sightings of usually hard to miss flamboyant ex-mayor, small town rumours have him variously moving back to France, trying to become a Mayor in Noumea or making a comeback as an actor in the horror movies.
    BLFC is sporadically spotted however in Triabunna during these months, usually on the day of the Council Meeting. At one of these Meetings he raised eyebrows by first moving and then supporting a motion to sell a very special Bicheno Foreshore Property that had been accepted by the old Glamorgan Council (before amalgamation) and was “Reserved for Public Recreation”. A sort of French “Farewell” gesture to Bicheno perhaps?
    Before the June 2017 GSBC Meeting and at the urging of several Bicheno ratepayers I wrote to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors (including BLFC) expressing severe concern about his continuing tenure as a Councillor as ratepayers would undoubtedly be better represented by a “Local” in Local Government than by a fly-in fly-out representative from 2,400kms away. I also included a case reference to a George Town Councillor who was forced to resign from that Council when he moved to Launceston.
    BLFC did not attend that June Council Meeting but replies were hilarious. One Councillor for example wrote to suggest that BLFC’s case was comparable to that of highly paid Board Members of large Companies who fly-in and fly-out to make decisions in far-flung boardrooms without ever seeing the factory floor, so to say.
    When the July 2017 Meeting was imminent I again reminded Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors and Management that this issue appeared to have been ignored and asked what progress had been made.
    This also had no noticeable result and apparently did not even warrant a reply.
    It was not till just before the August Meeting that I received a mysterious letter from the
    “Office of the Mayor” in which Mayor Kent officially “denied my request to have the Councillor Cadart matter put on the Agenda”. Strange indeed because I had never requested this. I can only presume that it was an attempt to prevent the matter being raised in Open Council. Despite the fact that I immediately pointed this out to the Mayor and Councillors I have never received any reply and my actual request that the Council provide me with a copy of the legal opinion they would undoubtedly have sought has also gone unanswered. A little pressure never goes astray however
    because the balloon finally and spectacularly burst not once but twice, first at a “Special Meeting”, well named and “Special” indeed… and then at the (hardly) “Ordinary” Meeting last Week.
    Hallelujah, we thank the three Councillors who showed guts and working together as a sort of Holy Trinity performed a miracle of sorts: all of a sudden ratepayers who were habitually kept in the dark can see a ray of light.
    As an afterthought the timing of those attempted but failed September 2017 Closed Council Meetings perhaps tells a tale, too.
    If it is right that, as has been speculated in the press, the idea was to grant BLFC leave of absence for 6 months that would have meant Oct Nov Dec 2017 and Jan Feb March 2018. He could have then have made one final trip to Tassie in April to resign. With then only six months to go before fresh Council elections due in OCT 2018 he would not have been replaced. His chair could have remained empty.
    Luckily we can now (albeit nearly a year too late) look forward to welcoming a new local Councillor and trust that he or she will be fully committed to the transparency and public consultation processes that ratepayers have every right to expect.

  11. John Biggs

    October 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    #19 “To a local level, I know many Councillors in southern councils have similar climate denying views, yet they still get elected. Their myopia & close mindedness then gets reflected in every vote and decision made by council.”

    Trouble is climate deniers don’t make this part of their platform so we don’t know how irrational they are until it’s too late. This suggests more amalgamations and a tightening up of electoral procedures.

  12. Tony Stone

    September 30, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    #18 Simon, “On Tony’s idea on online participation, what is to stop the online environment being dominated by the usual few voices, or alternatively turning out to be a slightly safer version of a town hall meeting without anyone in the chair? And what happens when the power goes off or the server farm burns down?”

    A properly run online forum with rate payer chosen moderators and rules, along with stringent registering requirements, would solve most problems.

    Online, bullies and psychopaths don’t get the opportunity to browbeat any one, nor control voting. Online these types are useless, there is no one to stand over or threaten and these creeps rely upon being able to get to people when others can’t intervene, or even see what is happening. Online,their deluded elitism disappears, as does their influence and equality becomes the norm.

    If we want change, we have to start somewhere and have a policy program that would cover every aspect of governance and society, or positive directional and operations change won’t occur.

    There would be no good changing just one part of our system, we have to change it all and that means ensuring people don’t suffer blackouts by giving them solar and energy storage.

  13. Richard Kopf

    September 30, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Paul, the greatest deceit as far as I am concerned, is the false news perpetrated by the Salmon farm advocates, Mayor Kent and the major news outlets in this State, that there is overwhelming support in the Glamorgan Spring Bay Area for Tassal’s salmon farm. The Recfish survey overwhelmingly (87% against) proved that this community (both Triabunna and Orford and beyond), shackies, residents, and commercial fisherpeople rejected the establishment of the fish farm. They rejected the expenditure by the Council of a dam and the associated infrastructure to provide precious water to bathe Tassal’s salmon to remove some of the lice infestations from the fish prior to processing.
    You mentioned the Public meeting attended by Mayor Kent (at least he had the guts to front. The Liberals and Labor are less forthcoming) There were 250 residents packed into the hall and many outside. Of the 250 inside, only four showed support for the fish farm.
    We are only seeing the tip of a very murky iceberg.

  14. Frank Brennan

    September 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    RR #15, dunno about spending money on effective governance though, as my question might be: How much do we have to spend before we get it ?
    In a general sense, money spent on education doesn’t appear to work as Andrew Hastie was still elected, despite the electorate knowing of his climate denying views, and it seems 36% of Queensland think One Nation could actually be worth voting for.
    To a local level, I know many Councillors in southern councils have similar climate denying views, yet they still get elected. Their myopia & close mindedness then gets reflected in every vote and decision made by council.
    If you mean by cross-check mechanisms, complete transparency on Councillor’s voting patterns, frequent and timely public exposure of all expenditure, the ability to sack/discipline non-elected council employees, then I’m all for it.
    I’m however pessimistic about any positive changes, especially in the Tassie old boys’ club.

  15. Simon Warriner

    September 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Paul, commiserations on your loss of peace and tranquility. Rural residents suffer the same fate every time a former farm gets it’s nitens crop harvested. For an added bonus we get to play log truck lotto for the duration and our local councils do little to protect us.

    Just this week I won what has in retrospect been a nearly 20 year battle to get signage installed at the entry to our road to warn of oncoming log trucks while they are operating. Perhaps the time span says something about my ability to learn, but it also speaks volumes about that particular council’s salaried staff’s contempt for the safety and well being of the ratepayers who employ them to supply a service.

    I thought it odd that M Kent would run for Mayor at the time, but only in passing as it did not impact any of my areas of interest, but the Tas Inc perspective certainly puts some light on it.

    On Tony’s idea on online participation, what is to stop the online environment being dominated by the usual few voices, or alternatively turning out to be a slightly safer version of a town hall meeting without anyone in the chair? And what happens when the power goes off or the server farm burns down?

    Local government serves a purpose and that purpose is not to provide a career path to a self centred careerist cabal who have, with the assistance of an almost entirely conniving or alternatively clueless series of ministers, engineered a situation where they are immune from effective direction by their elected overseers. The Mercury yesterday detailed the expense claims of some of Southern Tasmania’s Council GMs. Notable is the expense of traveling to get-togethers with their peers, presumably so they can share tactics for wresting further power unto themselves. This is what lies behind local govt dysfunction as currently on show. As Carlin would say, Its a rort and we ain’t in on it.

    On the matter of log truck lotto, I have had several conversations with our local Mayor, whom I regard as a decent, feet on the ground sort of bloke, and his parting comment to me last Thursday evening was, “keep at them Simon, they won’t give in willingly”. He is as frustrated as the rest of us with the bureaucratic obstruction to common sense that accompanies everything to do with local government.

    Elsewhere this divide between those on secure salaries and the rest of us has been described as the latest form of class warfare. That resonates with me. I see it in the attitudes expressed by all manner of government and corporate officials when something needs doing and it is at odds with whatever agenda happens to be running at the time. The petty rules and regulations are a direct parallel to the race regulations that existed in less enlightened time, and to the rituals certain religions use to keep their flocks in line. They exist with the aim of applying punishment to those that break them, and the longer the game progresses the more arcane and the greater the odds they will be broken.

    I agree, we should be opting for smaller and more accountable units of governance. Merging councils will not deliver better governance, only greedier bureaucrats with more control and power.

    The real problem is, imho, not the means of representation, it is the level of engagement by the individual citizens. That, I am afraid, is a matter for another time. I have already said far more than I intended to.

  16. Tony Stone

    September 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    #15, my idea is an actual heading for a business plan, referencing it to the obscene ideal of a cable car, is what we already get from the incumbents and their apologists. All it does is add to the confusion and growing chaos.

    It’s only dumb ideologues who make claims which are fanciful, logical thinking people put forward ideas they have already analysed, proved as viable and cost effective.

    Your last paragraph is a true reflection of that approach, more of the same. Where and how are you hoping to get effective governance with the current system.

    “Better the money is spent on effective governance and cross-check mechanisms.”

    What check mechanisms can be instigated when we have the incumbents refusing to release information, pandering to vested interests, wasting huge amounts of money and overseeing a completely fractured and useless bureaucracy.

    That is clearly lacking on all government fronts and it’s those in power who will choose those that are going to oversee the supposed checks and balances to keep the government honest. We already have some of those supposed checks and balances, how’s that working so far for the people.

    Continuation of the current political approach is not an option, except for those in total denial of our sociological and governance situation.

  17. Paul Tapp

    September 30, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Yeah, thanks for that RR @#15. I knew there was a well in it. Like the idea though of more online info on councils. They have the infrastructure, but no room for comment. Wouldn’t be a bad start.Sorta like a council community TT. I started up a little online thing called “Orford Occasional” … occasionally we need something to say’. So far we’ve had flying foxes and flying pigs. In the movie “Contact” the president’s COS says ‘let’s not limit any ideas’. As Mike Kent promised, put them all on the table. Just saw another flying pig.

  18. Robert Rands

    September 30, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Paul, War of the worlds was written by HG Welles, not George Orwell.

    As for the idea of moving Council Business online, put by some of the commenters, these ideas have the charm and lack of business plan exemplified by Adrian Bold’s wet dream about a Flying-Fox-and-Restaurant on Mt Wellington. Better the money is spent on effective governance and cross-check mechanisms.

  19. Paul Tapp

    September 30, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Nice bit of cyber-thinking there Tony. Online forums as this for a start would send a good message of community interaction to council. Can’t blog for a while now as am expecting friends to arrive from interstate. They purchased a small property here, adore the beauty of the region, spend, spend,spend, unlike Winnebagoers and caravanners who mostly bring their tucker and grog with them, congest our narrow roads and try and camp anywhere but in caravan parks. My mates dine out, love local grog, local bar-banter, take back cartons of local wine, catching a flattie, visiting our pristine beaches…and detest the very concept of Tassal’s ‘greedy eyes’ on this part of the planet .We have discussed the possibility of getting out of here, should Tassal get its way. They concur and would prob pull up stakes and not return to their paradise lost.

  20. Tony Stone

    September 29, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    #12, Paul, couldn’t agree more with your observations and idea’s, they are spot on.

    Doesn’t matter how big or small a council area is, we will still get the same results, vested interests and self centered creeps end up running the show. Those that want to actually represent their rates payers, get little say and normally have senior staff against them as well.

    Wouldn’t it be better to move council business and operations online, and allow the rate payers to actually discuss and decide what and what not happens with their rates.

    Really easy to set us reasonably securely, using safe secure operating systems, means you can design and build your OS to suit your purpose and include as strict access as needed. All virtually for free and with full control over it.

    This would save councils millions, concentrate on rate payer priorities and not vested and business enterprise demands.

  21. Paul Tapp

    September 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    #11. Glamorgan Spring Bay perfect example not to amalgamate into larger areas. Who at Bicheno gives a rat’s about what happens in Buckland? Who at Orford would be privy to any angst at council plans for Bicheno? All amalgamation does is disenfranchise ratepayers by degrees. Who cares in Orford/Triabunna for the campaigning blurb of a Bicheno candidate? Well we got LeFrog did we not? He got so much main-media publicity, not based on anything substantial he had in mind for the diverse region, but on the so-called flamboyance of dare I say it…an exotic-minded ‘outsider’. The smaller the municipality the better we ratepayers can keep an eye on their extravagances and waste. There is a mood in Orford at the moment, after the treachery and secrets and banter involving the arrival of Tassal, that indeed Orford, with it’s “shackie” population form it’s own municipality. Interesting concept. There has always been division in banter between Orford and Triabunna, which was highlighted and exacerbated by the incumbent mayor when describing “shackie” opposition to Tassal expanding into pristine and beautiful Okehampton Bay. Shackies contribute to both economies and I daresay the Triabunna business community would have shuddered at the mayor’s stupid observations that had the potential of Orford shackies and indeed permanent residents boycotting Triabunna. I’ve been privy to some conversations and as I am a frequenter of good little businesses there, have had some input into people taking Kent’s observations with a grain of salt.
    Back to amalgamation. If anything de-amalgamate. Get smaller.Reduce the potential of administrative bureaucratic expansion, as you so aptly put it JB. In many respects the walkout by the famous-three has precipitated a much-needed debate at a time when the good and bad of amalgamation can precede the expects glossy PR hype that is sure to come out of Hobart. I would vote NO to amalgamation, vote YES to de-amalgamation.Is there such a word? This topic affects us all. Let there be more discourse…hate that ugly word blog!

  22. John Biggs

    September 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    It seems that smaller councils are being used and abused by those with quite a different agenda: the Huon, Glenorchy, now Break o’ Day. The suspicion arises that small councils encourage shonky goings on with good people with less power being marginalised. The question is then would broad scale amalgamations help mitigate this parochial corruption? On the other hand, larger councils get horribly bureaucratic with expensive non-elected members chucking their weight around to the detriment of ratepayers’ interests.

    Quo vadis, local government?

  23. Paul Tapp

    September 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    #8 and others. Looks like this piece may have woken a sleeping giant. I have frequently mused on legislation to allow non-councillors to run for mayor. Is it still in place? Dunno. I was sleeping myself until in my own back yard, a conscience-driven revolt from 3 councillors occurred. Couldn’t ignore that. I think enough has happened already to warrant a formal look at the incident, particularly council administration ignoring the protracted absence of Cadart. That to me seems a justifiable singular reason to sack council,appoint a commissioner independent of politics to investigate and report to both the Government and Opposition leaders.Hmm just saw a pig flying overhead.

  24. Chris

    September 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Further bedtime reading…


    Mr Archer says the Liberals did not collude with the Exclusive Brethren.
    “I think Ms Putt’s call for Damien’s dismissal is an absolute nonsense,” he said.
    “I have complete and absolute confidence in Mr Mantach’s role as state director of the Liberal Party and I look forward to him continuing in that role for the upcoming federal election campaign.”

    Well that was good, eh?

    Another anti-Green campaign came from the Exclusive Brethren members, Scottsdale farmer Roger Unwin and another Scottsdale man Trevor Christian who made claims about the Tasmanian Greens’ policies on same-sex marriage and transgender rights.[2]

    Did Micheal Kent come out?

  25. Kev Rothery

    September 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Almost 3 years ago now I wrote my article “Triabunna Intrigue” after Michael Kent nominated to stand for Mayor (link here:- http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/article/triabunna-intrigue).

    I believed something very undemocratic was afoot with the “Mayoral Candidate Eligibility Bill” seemingly being written for Michael Kent to be the benefactor, and legislated by Peter Gutwein as the Minister for both Planning and Local Government.

    Tassal’s aims were not on the public radar at that time, but I agree what you say above that they likely had their “greedy eyes” on the region from long before Michael Kent was elected.

    Tassal’s achievements in Okehampton Bay appear to me to be the latest chapter in Tasmania’s sordid history of backroom dealing.

    The notion of “Tas Inc” still looks to be very much alive and kicking in this state!

  26. Chris

    September 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm


    Mantach, Kent and those wretched Brethren all under the carpet?

    D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay*?
    D’ye ken John Peel at the break o’ day or Oakhampton?
    D’ye ken John Peel when he’s far, far a-way on the East Coast
    With his hounds and his horn in the morning?
    For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed,
    And the cry of his hounds which he oftime led,
    Peel’s “View, Halloo!” could awaken the dead,
    Or the fox from his lair in the morning.

  27. Frank Brennan

    September 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Kent has always been a media whore, and as an AFL Commissioner he had The Mercury on a very short leash. At the end of every meeting he had them camped on the door-step to bear witness to his magnificence.
    Spikey has perhaps expressed it better though.

  28. Tony Stone

    September 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Seems at every turn, we come across more and more fractioning of our society, orchestrated by those desperate to continue down the road to disaster.

    We may find every council is under the control of the most useless in our society, whose lies deceptions and manipulation of truth and fact, outweigh the rights, preferences and desires of the people.

    At this rate, every part of our society will very soon be in turmoil, confusion and conflict. Voting in elections only brings the same results, no accountability for the deception in what they say and what they do. No accountability to our future and they only interest they have is to grow their vested interests profits and control at any cost.

    There are no current alternatives or real choice for local or state governments. It seems no matter who gets elected, they are all the same in the end and we lose every time a decision is made.

    On line governance by the people is looking more like the only option left to us and if we don’t take it, the next election may be the last chance we have of rescuing our island from the ravages of the ideological fools determined to go against reality and the already defined future.

  29. paul tapp

    September 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Good responses to such an important issue. Hard to lay down the pen when you’re surrounded by hush-hush.This council has much to explain to its ratepayers on issues as the water-pipeline and Solis Penny at #1. I’ve written long ago about Solis and took photos of big signs saying “Something exciting is happening here.” Just recently I took more pics of the empty frames…all the signs have been removed. I wonder what will replace them? Well said Spikey @#2. I was there, took video of the disgust of the people, whom the mayor insultingly dismissed as “shackies”. I’ve done two videos, one called “Poison Pens In Eden’s Pond” and “Like Father, Like Son”, the latter of fisherman Chris Massie, who did a sit-in on his boat in Okehampton Bay, protesting at his view of salmon pens in shallow bays. I’ll post the links for those who might like to have a look.Penny I campaigned for Michael Kent and posted pro-Kent stuff on the Tasmanian Times. Mike readily capitulated to populism and pressed for local jobs instead, saying publicly of Tassal’s Okehampton Bay venture “bring it on”. One local had a thriving business already, but shut it down to work at Tassal, demonstrating the ‘lie’ about jobs creation. It’s more than that. I believe Tassall, as Orwell says in the War of the Worlds, had ‘greedy eyes’ on this region long before Kent was elected on the promise of ending the council hush-hush and ‘putting everything on the table”. Sadly it’s only been a ‘local’ issue and politicians both Federal and State have blithely ignored the catastrophic consequences, not just for Okehampton Bay, but for the entire Tasmanian coastline. I’ll probably cop a fine from the Electoral Commission at the next State elections. Why should I stand in a line to vote for an individual or Party that won’t publicly condemn the spread of fish-farming into our pristine Eastern seaboard?

  30. phill Parsons

    September 29, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Council elections are coming next year. Be ready for intervention by the Minister for Tassal either before or after, even if it is a White government.

  31. spikey

    September 29, 2017 at 4:07 am

    the contempt of the people
    is nothing on the contempt
    i saw on kents face
    when faced
    with the people in triabunna

    ZERO public licence
    COMPLETE contempt
    fuck you taxpayers
    obviously you don’t pay market rate

  32. Penny Davidson

    September 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Paul
    About time this council is called out. While you are on a roll; What about the health debacle; how much money was spent on the “leak” at Swansea, and what was the outcome; why are council getting involved in a water supply for Ta$$el. Forget the Solis excuse, if that ever gets off the ground it will be a miracle!
    Did you know that Michael Kent was vehemently against fish farming whilst running for Council and probably got in on the strength of that.[See Mercury 23/08/2014]
    Please maintain the rage!!

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