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


‘nipaluna debate exposes takayna tracks double standards on reconciliation’

*Pic: Vica Bayley

The intervention of Premier Will Hodgman in the debate over the dual naming of nipaluna/Hobart, demonstrates a breathtaking hypocrisy over reconciliation and the actions of his government to bulldoze ahead with plans to build 4WD tracks across Aboriginal heritage on the takayna coast, against the Aboriginal community’s wishes and in the face of two Federal Court losses.

Premier Hodman is quoted as saying “I am concerned that there are sections of the Aboriginal community who do not support such a thing so if we’re to talk about advancing reconciliation you would hope that would come from a starting point where the Aboriginal communities themselves are in agreement.”

“Premier Hodgman should be reminded that a broad cross section of the Aboriginal community expressly opposed his plans to build 4WD tracks across Aboriginal heritage on the takayna coast, including laying rubber mats over Aboriginal middens so vehicles can drive over them,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

“As a white Tasmanian who desperately seeks progress on reconciliation, I am dismayed and disgusted by this double standard and lack of leadership.

“What this demonstrates is that Mr Hodgman thinks it’s OK to destroy Aboriginal heritage on the takayna coast despite overwhelming Aboriginal opposition, including by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre who took him to the Federal Court, but dual naming nipaluna/Hobart can’t happen unless there’s consensus across the Aboriginal groups. This politically-motivated hypocrisy is breathtaking.

During the recent state election campaign, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre called-out Premier Hodgman’s betrayal of reconciliation with a TV ad in their own language that highlighted the takayna tracks and called for leadership. In response, Premier Hodgman offloaded the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio to insulate himself from criticism.

“As Reconciliation Week wraps up, Premier Hodgman could make a simple tangible step in the right direction and drop the politically-motivated plan to expand destructive 4WD tracks on the takayna coast.”



  1. john hayward

    May 31, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I’m certain Will would prefer to OK the clear-felling of some sacred grove in the dunes, if there was such a thing to flatten, but he was left to demonstrate the Libs’ contemptuous dominance of his foes however he could.

    John Hayward

  2. Wining Pom

    June 1, 2018 at 11:40 am

    It does amaze me that roads can be planned to go around old barns that were built by convicts a couple of hundred years ago, but a history tens of thousands of years old can be wiped out.

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    June 2, 2018 at 5:24 am

    The “would be” Mayor of Hobart, Ron Christie, has no right, without widespread municipal support from ratepayers, to going out on a tangent and suddenly engaging himself in a frenzy, deciding for his own self importance declaring the dual naming of Hobart.

    If the process was carried out in a more formal way , and not thrown at us as a knee jerk reaction from this high ranking public officer independently by doing his own thing in this case, then there may not be objections to the future role of dual naming important features in Tasmania.

    In the meantime, relax these urges as I want to see more from all councils with the nature of future building approvals. The 50-100 year floods in flattish areas around Greater Hobart that had been inundated with flood waters where built along natural drainage lines.

    The problem is widespread.

    Fix it first and foremost, and we can talk about these other lesser matters at another point in time.

    Conversation on dual naming places within the wider community with support by State government can take place gradually when there is a clearer path forward.

    On the whole, indigenous communities in Tasmania are already doing quite OK in their desire for cultural recognition.

  4. June Osborne

    June 2, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Reconciliation means deciding to reconcile between Aborigines and other Australians, not doing whatever Aborigines say because of past and present suffering of Aborigines.

    Do all Tasmanians want dual naming? Where does the TAC get these names from? Is any evidence given? It’s clear to everyone now that the TAC doesn’t represent all Aborigines in Tasmania.

    Why should the name Hobart be changed? Why Mt Wellington? Why The Tarkine be changed? 100 years ago or so the Hydro named many of the power stations in central Tas with Aboriginal names – eg Catagunyah, Tungatinah, etc. Did that have any effect on non-Aboriginal Tasmanians to do better for Aboriginal people?

    These initiatives of the TAC are symbolic, but not urgent and important to improve the conditions of all Aborigines in want in Tasmania.

    What do the Aboriginal people who live near the Tarkine, and can speak for it, want to do about the conflict between 4-wheel driving and preserving all the shell middens there? There are shell middens all along that coast, and they cover a big area. Can’t some track be made that allows people to go along the coast while preserving the middens? If the government gave proper resources to the National Parks Service then there would be enough people to monitor it.

  5. Robin Charles Halton

    June 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    #4 … I basically agree with the first part of your comments. There is no requirement to be a flurry on dual naming. It can be a gradual event over time as we are not quite up to speed in Australia with the more common use of dual naming as is the case in Eire (Republican Ireland) and Wales and Brittany for example, where dual language is being encouraged among the peoples of the same colour and similar daily cultural sharing attributes.

    Many descendants of former VDL Indigenous peoples, but fortunately not all, tend to want to be separate from us we Caucasians, almost for a totally different identity – ignoring our ways yet reaping the benefits available for all of us as Australians.

    They want everything from us but they blame us for their past. Governments have actually bent over backwards to accommodate their needs by way of land-backs, but there is never enough!

    The problem with locking up the midden areas on the West Coast is that off-road rebels will continue to break their way in while angry, with some intent on destroying anything in their path.

    With no intention of sharing the off-roading experience with an agreed measure of control between Tas aboriginal groups, who treat the land as their private property, we need to set up a joint management authority with PWS and responsible users.

    A permit system would be required to access the area – as we find in similar situations on the mainland with entry into aboriginal Reserves.

    Sharing the land is the answer, and not denying access – which will continue to lead to resentment.

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    June 4, 2018 at 4:28 am

    I would like to side with the indigenous VDL descendants, and on occasions I can!

    I note in the recent Dark Mofo event that by burying some artistic person under busy Macquarie St for three days was to meant to represent the sufferings during a dark past, the Black war and 20th century violence against VDL aborigines.

    From what I can gather most descendants are outraged by DM director Lee Carmichael’s comments as there had been no consultation beforehand – although council aldermen must have been aware of the intention!

    Also as a ratepayer I am very concerned about loose cannon Lee Carmichael, who seems every year to recklessly squander what I believe is government funding on his weird ventures as an attention seeker, but is allowed to continue on his own way to create poignant and profound statements of expression to justify his desire for creating more risk taking ventures.

    Although the Mayor Ron Christie denies any involvement, he blames other alderman voting to allow the “expressive and artistic piece” to happen. In my opinion it’s the height of stupidity for any civic leader such as the Mayor to allow the blocking of traffic flow in the name of artistic expression.for an excavation of a burial plot on the busiest main arterial road running through the city

    The State government needs to question the entire Dark Mofo program as it seems that Carmichael has the freedom to do whatever he wishes with government and ratepayer funding and council privilege in our city.

    I welcome a review of the Dark Mofo funding regime as compared to essential services and infrastructural development in the city area.

  7. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 5, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Comment #4’s two (perfectly reasonable) questions “Why should the name Hobart be changed? Why Mt Wellington?” are obviously similar but have a very important distinction. One name refers to a physical entity which was clearly in place before 1788, and the other to one which clearly was not.

    This in turns means that each question might have a very different answer, however I’m not fussed one way or t’other about dual naming (or duelling names, for that matter) like as if I’d head for the barricades over it.

    But I am more than annoyed (verging on anger maybe, but definitely not faddishly outraged) about this minor civil functionary in a minor (‘mendicant’) state’s very minor capital city.

  8. June Osborne

    June 6, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    #7 … You mean ‘civic’ functionary I think. I assume the Mayor.

    A question to all. We are talking about the Aborigines, but we are white people. Where are the Aborigines’ views on what we are saying?

  9. Wining Pom

    June 6, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    If I build a house on Smith Street, can I change the name of the street where my house is to Wining Pom Road, or does it remain Smith Street?

  10. Simon Warriner

    June 7, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Re #9 … A few of we locals refer to the road we live on as Banjo Alley, but the rest of the world uses the gazetted name. We know what we mean, and that is good enough for us.

    I reckon they could have chosen notalota, as in not a lota sense. It’s more descriptive of the place, and much of what emits from it. The rest of Tasmania would have got the joke.

    Re #8, and the views of the rest of the Aborigines regarding this matter, are those whose status is denied by Skulthorpe and Mansell’s mob?

  11. Robin Charles Halton

    June 8, 2018 at 7:07 am

    It seems as if Reconciliation week has been turned into a bun fight, with Mayor Ron Christie insisting he will refer to Mt Wellington as Nipaluna during council business.

    Hey, isn’t that taking it a bit too far? Even the aboriginal community is divided on the use of their name for our mountain by the city and beside the sea!

    Zucco, in his usual attack dog style, has given the Mayor a serving over his personal interpretation, and no wonder!

    To be honest, I don’t want to see Council business bogged down with the Mayor’s “stubborn” behaviour continuing, as its unreasonable! Council should resolve the matter immediately and maintain order to serve the best interests of ratepayers!

    If it comes about in a more conciliatory manner of approach, I would have no objection to the naming changes!

  12. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    “8.#7 … You mean ‘civic’ functionary, I think. I assume the Mayor”. Interesting point of language usage, and yes, ‘civic’ would have been a better choice.

    But as with any mature evolving language, pairs of words like this one tend to slip and slide in and out of each other’s domain^: nations have ‘civil’ wars which are often far less ‘civil’ than international ones, and some countries call their public service the ‘civil’ service to distinguish it from military service.

    I asked Google about the difference and found this useful site (others were just as good) .. http://grammarist.com/words/civic-vs-civil/ *.

    ^ ‘reticence / reluctance’ is one such pair: it used to very clearly express two quite distinct meanings, but now seems to be (mis)used inter-changeably, partly (I reckon) because of some language snobs looking for attention (including, sadly .. very sadly .. some journalists).

    * and this URL has one very unnecessary letter (perhaps partly because some writers reckon we are too dumb to know what its other letter means on its own).

    PS: BTW: a media story today reports that some academics in the soft sciences are marking down students who use non-PC language such as ‘boy’ or ‘mankind’ or ‘she’. My guess is that, long term, it will have an effect the reverse to what was so arrogantly intended.

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