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

Want to get filthy rich: Exploiting the Earth’s resources is the surest way …

Satire: Leunig, http://www.leunig.com.au/ used with permission …

image
The great gaping hole of Ranger Uranium mine – Pic: greentumble.com

First published June 16

Are you on Australia’s top 100 rich list? Why not? Well unless you are willing to exploit something or someone on a grand scale then it is unlikely you ever will be. So let’s take a closer look and see who’s making a killing out of our country’s natural resources.

Beyond being amoral, there is nothing illegal about exploiting nature for profit, in fact it is exactly what has been encouraged by every world nation and their political leaders ever since we began tilling the soil.

The entire ethic of reap-what-you-can-when-you-can, appears to be deeply imprinted in our DNA, and it is this imprint that will most likely see the demise of homo sapiens in the foreseeable future.

The natural resource asset, come commodity, has been steaming ahead since the industrial revolution, and there seems no end to the world’s economy based on it.

Resource extraction is the easiest to capitalise on because the resource itself comes cheap if not next to nothing. All that is required is capital investment to begin, political backing, and a reliable market for the raw materials.

Australia currently has 1.16 millionares, so that’s about 1 in every 20 that have made it, so the odds are reasonable if you want to achieve that milestone. There are around 75 billionaires down under, and only a handful with assets over the $5 billion mark.

Most of these people in the top end of town 100 rich list have reaped their wealth from manufacturing, property and resource extraction.

Here is the guesstimated wealth of some who have done exceptionally well out of our raw earth minerals. The actual estimations vary between sources.

Gina Rheinhart – $12.68 Billion
Ivan Glasenburg – $8.23 Billion
Andrew Forest – $6.1 Billion
Bianca Rienhart – $3.28 Billion
Clive Palmer – $2.84 Billion

Mining is well suited to a flawed economic system, which is focused on exploiting our natural environment, turning that resource into a commodity that can be sold back to someone else who believes they need it.

For the capitalistic exploiters, the cheaper the access to the world’s natural resource, the greater the profit margin.

The Tasmanian anomaly

Tasmania has a long history of plundering its natural resources, yet no billionaires have emerged from this process.

There is a plethora of deforested landscapes and gaping mining wounds spread across the entire island, but how many local exploiters have become noted on Australia’s 100 rich list as a result? Seemingly none!

In Tasmania, forestry mining of eucalypts for woodchips didn’t fill too any pockets of the wealthy high end.

Sure some people did all right out of the almost royalty free, relentless subsidy rorts of trashing one of the state’s greatest assets, yet very few of Tasmania’s wealthy derived their fortunes from exploiting these forest resources. So where did all of the benefits from the state’s plundering end up?

Essentially Tasmania has been operating like a third world country by allowing foreign investment into the state to extract the resources, and along with any form of profit it invariably leaves the island’s shore. Even through the rampant Gunns era, very few Tasmanians acquired significant riches.

Today most of, if not all of the large mining and forest industries operating in Tasmania are internationally owned companies.

What exists in Tasmania is a true banana republic ruled through kleptoplutocracy.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Kleptoplutocracy

*Ted Mead has no desire to be on Tasmania’s top rich list. However if he had similar resources to that of the state’s nature exploiters, which was granted from our backward governments, then much more of Tasmania’s natural heritage would be protected for posterity. Ted often ponders how Tasmania can cleanse itself from the hopelessly insular attitudes against protecting the environment. Education seems the only prospect because with a highly illiterate society the political catchcry of jobs and economic growth will always appeal to a collective who can’t think for themselves.

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45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Keith Antonysen

    June 19, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    When the US cut taxes, there was no trickling down, many of the benefits went to share holders. People working for one of the USA’s largest retail outlet Walmart employs people who need welfare benefits to survive.
    Corporations in Australia have been making huge profits over the last few years; yet, trickle down did not happen.
    Despite making huge profits, NAB made an announcement in February 2018 that 6,000 workers would be retrenched.

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    About ‘trickle down’ economics … here is a link which surveys the matter in great (but not unmanageable) detail: https://money.howstuffworks.com/trickle-down-economics.htm

    It seems to me that part of the difficulty about economics is that it involves tens of millions of people making hundreds of millions of decisions within ‘the economy’ every hour / week / month / year .. which is far too much activity for even the cleverest and most credentialed of us to easily grasp. Hence, in efforts to come to grips with this, the descent into duelling doctrinaire, dogmatic and dumb ideologies – anything but chaos and uncertainty.

  3. MjF

    June 18, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Just as the oft very well understood State champion confirms the mining boom is long bust, some minor activity emerges:

    [i]”Gina Rinehart ups ante with $390m Atlas Iron bid.

    Atlas Iron has received a $390 million off-market takeover bid from Redstone Corporation, a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

    The 4.2 cent a share all-cash offer values the Western Australian iron ore junior at $390 million, a substantial improvement on the $280 million all-scrip bid made by Mineral Resources (MinRes) in April.

    Redstone’s directors consider that the all-cash offer, with its premium and low conditionality, represents a “significantly superior proposition” to the MinRes offer and should be viewed as a compelling opportunity.

    Also circling is neighbour and shareholder Fortescue Metals.”[/i]

  4. Keith Antonysen

    June 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Leonard … I gather you are interested in history.

    It is well worth studying the machinations of the Koch Bros et al in the USA.

    Another matter is a timely essay by Richard Denniss, Economist, published in the latest Quarterly Essay.

    Richard Denniss writes in relation to trickling down: “Sponsorship is a cunning sleight of hand, but trickle down economics is the greatest of all neoliberal tricks.”

  5. William Boeder

    June 18, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    #38 … Thank you, Leonard, for your well-expressed words of praise you so keenly deliver in your comment regarding the prophetic statements of Ted Mead. I like the manner in which you so respectfully served your words to Tasmania’s very well understood State champion Mr Ted, also that you are well in accord with a great many learned persons in this State.

    We all in Tasmania know Ted Mead is one damned realist, nothing of the froth and bubble of Liberal Premier Will Hodgman and his ilk.

    Thank you.

    William.

  6. William Boeder

    June 18, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    #36 … Andrew, every chance you would have agreed with the front page blurb in the Sunday Tasmanian 17th June 2018 headlined with GREATEST SHOWMAN … “Premier Will Hodgman has delivered a passionate report on the State’s future, telling Liberal power-brokers there’s never been a more exciting time in Tasmania.” He went on to say “Tassie is a little quirky, it is inimitable, it is now very cool.”

    This scion of Tasmania’s nobility with his leading edge political savvy went on further to embellish his excitement. His costume for this grand occasion was depicted in the photograph attached to this chronicled event. It was not unlike the gaudy type favoured by circus ringmasters during the era of the late 19th century.

    ‘scion’ according to the offer by Oxford Dictionary’s on-line interpretation:

    1A young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting. ‘In roses, their spread is chiefly caused by grafting infected scions, buds and/or rootstocks.’ ‘It is especially important to protect the bud union (where the top scion meets the rootstock).’

    This extract below is from the online Farley Free Dictionary …
    1. A descendant or heir, especially of a wealthy or prominent family: scion of the ruling dynasty.
    2. Botany: A detached shoot or bud from a plant that is joined to a rootstock in grafting.

    “Mr.Hodgman “told” the Liberal Party Federal Council in Sydney, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, he was “bursting with pride” at the State’s surge in the national pecking order of its robust economic outlook.”
    Mr Hodgman talked up the state’s economy, eager to shine a light on nation-leading growth in exports tourism and business investment.”

    I will end this excerpt from the Sunday Tasmanian as it has left me both shocked and confused. Is this our Will and does he truly mean Tasmania? Apparently, the person who reported on this Sydney meeting of the Liberals was a Nick Clark.
    Page 12 of this weekend kitchen-stove-starter, our Will continues in this same supernatural empowered speak-manner. “Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgson has promised to “fight any government anywhere” that threatens this State’s GST share.” (Does he mean shirt front?)

    It was at this stage that my mind went somewhat flaky and awry, could this be the same (hide behind a tree or quick duck into a doorway) Will Hodgman. So Andrew, according to Will Hodgman and his media laureate Nick Clark, they both failed to mention Tasmania’s many important (electricity concessioned) industries, nor the economic benefits to Tasmania. Should you dispute this matter don’t become annoyed with Tasmanian statesman, Mr Ted Mead, but rather visit Will and Nick Clark and take up your dissatisfactions with these 2 worthies.

    By the way, both of these 2 champions of Tasmania failed to mention any of your vast list of local industries and their contribution to Tasmania. (Which must include their hugely valued electricity cost concession, sold by our highly intelligent government to the external to Tasmania owned mighty expectant corporate overlords .. cheaper than its cost to import this stuff from mainland Australia.)

    Just don’t mention the gifted to Tasmania $2.4 Billion chunk cut of the GST, or you won’t be able to shut Will Hodgman up for hours about this State’s greatest economic earner.

    By the way, Andrew, “Premier Will” must have completely forgotten to mention your side of this discussion I recommend that it is best for you to go and wise-up this scion of Tasmania.

  7. Keith Antonysen

    June 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Andrew, when taking a wider point of view than Tasmania, the fossil fuel mining industry is causing death, destroying health and doing huge damage to environments world wide. Millions of people die from the emissions of fossil fuels, mainly in Asia. More water is being pulled out of aquifers than is being taken up. Coral reefs world wide are breaking down.

    Those are just a few of the costs we all incur while the oil and coal barons continue to become filthy rich – at our expense.

    Severe water problems of India:

    http://news.trust.org/item/20180615164639-pibbe

    Anthology of articles from Yale University:

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/?popupally_stop=subscriber

    Above, at #15, I provided a reference to several research letters being currently considered by the IPCC.

    Eric Holthaus describes the very latest research just published in relation to the melting of Antarctica as being “utterly terrifying”. Holthaus bases this opinion on … “Scientists are expressing alarm over “utterly terrifying” new findings from NASA and the European Space Agency that Antarctica has lost about 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992, and in the past five years—as the atmospheric and ocean temperatures have continued to climb amid ongoing reliance on fossil fuels—ice losses have tripled …”

  8. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 18, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Congrats to Comment # 37 for presenting a far more balanced and realistic view of mining and similar extractive industries and, above all, one free of the immature ranting and venting associated with undergrads in those now dumbed-down university faculties we once admired (and some of us even loved) as The Arts or The Humanities.

    Two points:

    (i) for example, do such venters actually know the source of the lithium essential to most IT equipment, including the most up-to-date mobile phones?

    (ii) about that oft-used expression ‘greedy capitalists’ – does it mean ‘those particular greedy individuals or groups of individuals who happen to be capitalists? Or do they mean it like ‘two-legged bipeds’ where being ‘two-legged’ is an inherent feature of the identity group?

    One is a realistic description of some of us, but the other is just a stupidly unfounded generalisation, which acts as an ‘own goal’ to an argument’s credibility.

    What next, ‘power-hungry socialists’?

  9. Ted Mead

    June 18, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Andrew – Somehow in your desperate attempt to support the resource extraction industry you failed to mention the two biggest and most well established players, Mt Lyell and Savage River.

    If you did you would have to justify the mega $$$ of taxpayers’ subsidies that have gone down those cavities at the same time as the ore came out.

    In the case of Mt Lyell, Tas governments have, and will continue to, prop up this offshore company until they finally hit magma.

    Why? – To keep Queenstown alive, and hence retain one of the most marginal electorates in the nation.

    You may want to disclose how much, if any, royalties we are getting there, along with the payroll tax revenue.

    The same applies for Grange Resources. And in both cases the ore from these mines is going offshore! – no local processing of the materials here!

    As far as processing goes, what ore smelting that goes on here is done because they get their electricity energy at cost or below cost price, even to the point where raw materials are exported all the way from northern Queensland and shipped back again. How can that be possible if it isn’t heavily subsidised?

    Regarding wodchip mining, you can’t dismiss my premise that easily.

    If ever there was a justification for labelling Tasmania as a Banana Republic then this is it.

    In fact we should be calling ourselves the Woodchip Republic because we actually paid for these woodchip bananas to be exported as raw materials at the taxpayers’ cost of billions over the last several decades!

    Economic dunderheads!

  10. Andrew

    June 18, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Ted, it’s just ridiculous to compare Tasmania to a banana republic. Firstly, we’re not a republic and secondly, despite global warming, it’s still too cold to grow bananas!

    But seriously, your comment that “Essentially Tasmania has been operating like a third world country by allowing foreign investment into the state to extract the resources, and along with any form of profit it invariably leaves the island’s shore” doesn’t really bear scrutiny if you are inferring that this is the case with our extractive industries. I can’t comment on the timber industry, however.

    As far as I am aware, the majority of the crushed rock that is extracted from our quarries is actually used in Tasmania. All the coal that is produced from our coal mines is used within Tasmania, mainly to produce cement and paper. Zinc concentrate is sent to Hobart to be processed, lead concentrate to Port Pirie, and gold ore from our mines is refined in Perth. Iron ore and tin ores are sent overseas, as was copper concentrate when the copper mine was operating. Having lived near a copper smelter, I would not want one in Tasmania in any case.

    So it is incorrect to paint a picture of nasty foreign companies digging up our resources and escaping with the loot under the lazy eye of a corrupt government. Whoever owns the mines and quarries, the mining and processing of this material generates a large number of well paid jobs and careers for Tasmanians, along with significant taxes and royalties for the state and federal governments.

    You also allege that the profits from these mines are disappearing off shore. Well, again this is not true. The major mining and quarrying companies are listed either on the ASX or on overseas exchanges like the LSE, and any Tasmanian is free to buy shares in these companies to enjoy their profits, either as dividends or as increases in the share price.

    Finally, in relation to your comment about foreign investment, this has always been the case with Australian mining companies. Mines require massive amounts of capital to develop and operate, and this capital was often not available in Australia (particularly after the GFC). In the early days of the industry the capital came from Britain, but now it comes from Asia. In fact, without foreign investment, we would not even have a mining industry in Australia.

    Tasmanians have benefited enormously from the Tasmanian mining industry since its inception in the late 1800s. The revenue from the industry has built roads, railways and other infrastructure, including many of the state’s fine old buildings. It has sustained entire communities for generations and allowed families to thrive and for children to be educated and to better themselves in life. It has created numerous small businesses and allowed these businesses to diversify into other industries. It has contributed large amounts of taxes and royalties to the state and federal government, which have then been available to fund the social programs and infrastructure that we enjoy.

    It is easy to trash the industry on social media such as TT by showing pictures of “great gaping holes” or by quoting notable incidences of environmental damage, but these should be balanced in any rational and meaningful debate by a consideration of the significant benefits of the industry to the state and the country.

    As you say, education and, I would say, the genuine desire to move away from entrenched positions and to consider both sides of an argument, are the key to moving forward on some of these tricky issues.

  11. MjF

    June 18, 2018 at 6:18 am

    #34 … Yes Geoffrey, I think being too judgemental is a fair call.

  12. Geoffrey Swan

    June 18, 2018 at 1:21 am

    #32 … Martin, Martin, Martin … please do not try and twist my words, or be too clever about my observations.

    Drive around this part of the Valley and there is very little evidence of wealth, or comfort or pride. Maybe I am being too judgemental .. but I have been around, Martin. I am no snob, and I cannot throw stones ’cause our 100 year old timber shack ain’t no castle .. but I am at a time of life that I don’t give a toss.

    Pride is perhaps what is missing in what I am observing, but then it is really tough when wages and income are so low, as they are here in Tasmania. The point Ted is making is about the few rich folk who have done well from squandering our precious resources of timber, and water ways, and soon I am sure, minerals and coal seams.

    The workers are, in my view, not getting their fare share of the spoils. Not exactly a revelation. Meanwhile, we have our Chinese friends enjoying what we are so freely giving away … until it is all too late.

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 18, 2018 at 12:48 am

    But will those who “share [#27’s] concerns of many that we need to put a brake on the ability of overseas corporations to purchase arable land, urban land and islands” also campaign ‘to put a brake on the ability of Australian corporations, investors and citizens to purchase overseas arable land, urban land and islands’?

    Y’know: Good. Goose. Gander.

  14. MjF

    June 17, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    #31 … I see. No worries. It’s the positioning of the letterboxes, as opposed to ‘certainly the quality of the letter boxes, is very mediocre’. Maybe we should spare a thought for the long suffering postie then.

    Maybe the ‘workers’ are not into outwardly promoting their fiscal situation, whatever they might be and however you reckon you can visually determine it. They may think they’ve got better things to do.

    Your’re a self proclaimed reader Geoffrey. You would be familiar with the old English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Does this not apply in the Valley ?

  15. Geoffrey Swan

    June 17, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    #29 … Incorrect. I did not say “shabby”, Martin.

    What I should have explained (but then I do sometimes say too much) is that the letter box problem is this: some are too high, some face the wrong direction and some are impossible to post into unless the Postie gets out of his/her car. With some, you cannot drive alongside else you end up in a ditch, or butt your car into their fence or gate, and many I simply gave up on. It just takes a little intelligent thinking to carefully place a letterbox where it can be readily accessed by the Postie. That is my point.

    Martin, the “Captains”, I am sure, reside in beautiful edifices in many other parts of this world. What I am trying to say is that the workers are obviously not getting any great share of this wealth, wealth that comes from the few who make their megabucks from ravaging our people’s natural resources.

  16. Lynne Newington

    June 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    #27 … Agree. Careful walking ahead: https://idsa.in/system/files/strategicanalysis_Jlooy_0906.

    Poor Africa … if you can find the time to read it.

  17. MjF

    June 17, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    #18 .. I should correct your incorrect assumptions, Mr T.

    1) It hasn’t been ages, and I’ll stay with ‘Understatement Master’

    2) You do like to embellish anything vaguely supportive of your rusted-on green myopic mantra gobbledygook, so hyperbole remains very much applicable from time to time.

    2) No blood diamond plays yet.

    3) Lucky with Gunns, I got in and out profitably before they lost it. And they paid franked dividends. I lost a little bit on FEA though.

    4) I’m good with Mr Dionaea. Feel free to use.

    4) Amoral activities ? I’m not sure I understand your ‘reasoning’ there, but very subjective none-the-less.

    Keep the money circulating, Ted. That’s the best thing you can do for the country.

    #20 … Oh dear, shabby letterboxes now Geoffrey.

    Perhaps the captains of industry and administration (or as close as Tasmania has) just prefer to reside in the capital city.

  18. Lynne Newington

    June 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    “I am trying to be non-racist ..” — Posted by Geoffrey Swan.

    I’m not racist either, but far from it believing we’re our brothers keepers, but we shouldn’t ignore the writing on the wall – especially when our politicians do.

    When looking at the map of your beautiful Tasmania …

  19. Annie

    June 17, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I agree, careful walking ahead.

    Signing the new Nuclear Disarmament Convention and withdrawing from the nuclear cycle and refusing to accept imported waste is vital.

    I share the concerns of many that we need to put a brake on the ability of overseas corporations to purchase arable land, urban land and islands; as well as tear up agreements on 100 year old strategic leases to ports ( Darwin) etc

    We cannot meet world “demand” for “high end” products so it would be best we adapt a sustainability agenda.

    Very sad that QANTAS has been pressured over Taiwan.

    Promoting second language study in primary and high schools, and promoting quality public health and education will help us to walk ahead carefully.

  20. Lynne Newington

    June 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    #22, Re #21… Interesting that our Jewish community is a tad uncomfortable about the new laws our Liberal clowns want to impose to prevent foreign influence.

    To be honest, I never knew they were uncomfortable, and I doubt if they are.

  21. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    About the personal memories and understandable fears expressed in Comment #21: surely there is a very clear and valid distinction between ‘racism’ (targeting groups of people because of their DNA / ethnicity) on one hand, and on the other focusing on groups because of nationality and / or religion.

    For example, anti-fascism and anti-Americanism, or anti-Catholicism and Islamophobia^, at base and by definition, are not examples of ‘racism’ (whatever else they may be). (Not all Arabs are Muslim, and there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are not Arab.)

    However, in some cases, the distinctions are less clear: for example, regarding a mono-ethnic nation like Japan, or in a complex overlapping of identities as in Israel.

    ^ in practice, this term is used as a (mainly PC) discussion / debate stopper, a kempetai* bludgeon and a no-platforming censorship tactic.

    (* Wikipedia uses ‘kenpetai’, with neither acknowledgment nor explanation of the almost universal spelling with the ‘m’ – ???)

  22. Simon Warriner

    June 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Geoff, basing anything you feel on 60 Minutes reporting is hardly sound, especially one’s emotional sense of well-being. They represent the epitome of the lame-stream media whose task it is to make everyone feel afraid, inadequate and powerless.

    I agree that our wide open spaces and the overly populous nations to the north are a combination that should make any sensible person a tad nervous, but the way to address that issue is to make the cost of invading and holding extremely high. That is done by having a small but very competent military with very good stealth capability, submarines, mobile missile launchers etc, and a well armed, well trained general population whose well developed ability to frustrate any invader is discretely but clearly advertised to any potential candidates for the role.

    Relying on alliances with broke global bullies who do little but start endless wars all over the place that suck up military resources which should be focused on defence, and who are starting trading wars with our biggest customer seems, to me at least, to be a touch retarded. But, again, that may just be my twisted view of things.

  23. Geoffrey Swan

    June 17, 2018 at 2:56 am

    #21 … The ’60 Minutes’ report this evening on the Chinese “invasion” did not make me feel any more comfortable.

    My father, who passed away at 90 a few years back, was paranoid about the Japanese and also the Chinese … following his time in WWII and Changi. Not exactly “PC” in his comments, but he used to say he could “smell them”.

    My father in law at the time, also now deceased and from the same era, reckoned the biggest threat to our Australian way of life is the millions of Indonesians who are just a boat trip away.

    I am trying to be non-racist .. but phew, it is tough.

  24. Simon Warriner

    June 17, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Re #21… Interesting that our Jewish community is a tad uncomfortable about the new laws our Liberal clowns want to impose to prevent foreign influence. Perhaps it will limit their ability to shout free trips to Israel for our elected representatives. Now why do they do that? Not because they are generous souls, that is for sure.

    [i]”Ironically, it was the Americans and the Israelis who have expressed concern about the government’s anti-interference laws, as it would inhibit their own activities. There is a steady procession of Australian legislators to Tel Aviv, yet no one in the media is willing to discuss the relationship between that fact and the support given to Israel by Australia in the UN and elsewhere.”[/i]

    from here: https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/13/47642/

  25. Lynne Newington

    June 16, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    [i]”I am guessing that anyone who is doing well, or who has done well in their ravaging of our natural resources, simply does not live in this part of Tasmania.”[/i] … posted by Geoffrey Swan on 17/06/18 at 05:26 PM

    And of grave concern I would think, especially with countries outside Australia, with their open cheque books and politicians prepared to sell our souls …

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-24/wade-the-darwin-port-is-another-link-in-chinas-expansion/6967640

    And I was going to add .. I can recall the time when we feared a Japanese take over …

  26. Geoffrey Swan

    June 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    My wife and I have just come in from an afternoon of letter-boxing 300 homes in the Huonville area, as a friend did similarly yesterday, informing our local communities about our next Town Hall meeting about the Dover Woodchip proposal this coming Tuesday, June 19th.

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/neville-smith-treating-residents-like-mushrooms/

    We echo a comment from our friends yesterday that it is very evident, despite all the economic activity of Forestry and Aquaculture, and the jobs, jobs, jobs mantra in this part of Southern Tasmania, that there are no obvious signs of any wealth being splashed around. The quality of the houses, and certainly the quality of the letter boxes, is very mediocre.

    I am guessing that anyone who is doing well, or who has done well in their ravaging of our natural resources, simply does not live in this part of Tasmania.

  27. Lynne Newington

    June 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    #15, Lynne #11 … the point was that Pope Francis was making a moral point. I don’t give a damn about his making of moral points, and neither in fact do others who know his past..

    If it wasn’t for his media mogul Greg Burke he’d be in the same predicament as his predecessor who took “early retirement”. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2511151/Pope-Francis-PR-genius-Greg-Burke-ex-journalist-belongs-Opus-Dei.html

  28. Ted Mead

    June 16, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    #14 … What a laugh! For ages you have been calling me the master of hyperbole, now it’s the master of understatement.

    I have no doubt that you relish the thought of plundering natural resource, and that’s why you should be labeled Mr Dionaea. Dionaea of course, being the genus for carnivorous plants, because like you the mere sniff of a $ and your claws would be out in a flash regardless of what amoral activities that would encompass.

    Woodchips, I’m sure you’ve cashed in there somewhere, and blood-diamonds too? What’s next?

    No doubt you were a Gunns shareholder and you got badly burnt.

    What comes around goes around comes around!

  29. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Following on from Comment #13, I reckon ‘we’ – and I include myself in this collective (and often inaccurate) ‘we’ – have all been more than a bit blasé about China during the Deng era during 1979-2009:

    (i) yes, China’s achievements have been huge, lifting hundreds of millions of its and the world’s people out of grinding, debilitating ‘state-sponsored’ and ideology-induced poverty*; its having been done in so short a time is surely unique^; it truly is astounding, astonishing and wonderful – but …

    (ii) alongside this, it is clear beyond any doubt that early hopes (both inside and outside the Middle Kingdom) of this new personal and economic freedom leading to social and political liberty were naive, over-optimistic and just plain wrong, as has been clearly and absolutely unequivocally stated by Xi Jinping, currently both the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and state president of the nation (a doubly authoritarian role not seen since 1979) .. and so . . .

    (iii) the tine for Pollyanna-ish naivety is over, which, however …

    (iv) need not entail overt (or even covet) hostility – this is not a ‘mouse that roared’ scenario.

    But, it “craves wary walking”.

    * the sort of poverty still all too obvious in Russia two decades after the implosion of the USSR.

    ^ in the mid-1970s I joined one of those Tours for Gullibles to China, and one clear memory is crossing back into Hong Kong with the overwhelming impression that this British colony might as well have been on another planet. A return trip to China would now put 1970s China itself on that ‘other planet’.

  30. William Boeder

    June 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    #13. Lynne Newington, thank you for your opinion, there is a worse fate for Australia than Chinese influence.

    Not enough study and interest is being considered toward the softly-softly American program to expand their military and business control presence in Australia.

    One must realise and then determine the US Military quest and or desire toward their strategic aim to present their greater dominance via our proportionate realm of the great Pacific Ocean. A great many American corporations are engaged in business in Australia, quite fair say the many, yet there is held on the public record, their plentiful corporate revenues – yet not the payment of taxes due (as calculated to the percentage proportional to their revenues. This matter of revenues minus “grossly over-stated or concocted expenses” is the realm of the greatest consternating suspicion.

    One can capably suggest the revenues generated as well as the Federal government taxpayer revenues spent and or gifted to America, all monies referenced, to be on the wrong side of an estimated 100 Billion dollars.
    This link also incorporates multi-nationals: https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/which-of-australias-biggest-companies-are-not-paying-tax-20151217-glpl3a.htmlt

    (So much for the Liberals Robocop clawback.)

    Either way, if Australia were to approve a Chinese and a Russian military base on the East Coast of Australia, then this same on the West Coast of Australia, then leaving America its military bases in the North-South centre of Australia, no more fears of external country imposition or the prospect of any discreet or stealthy invasion.

    This was a proposal I had directed to the pro-American everything headquarters chief of ASIO, also pro-American everything Australia’s Military Intelligence headquarters chiefs. Having received nil response within 14 days I sent off a reminder to both. A week later I received a phone call from a ‘non-identifying gentleman’ that my correspondences had been directed to the wrong authorities. Full stop. End of mystery phone conversation. No thank you or goodbye or “we’re coming to get’ya” was considered appropriate by this unknown unidentified government spook, nothing further having been spoken or implied.

  31. Keith Antonysen

    June 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Lynne #11 … The point was that Pope Francis was making a moral point. Pope Francis has taken a real interest in climate change and signed off on a major paper on the matter, Laudato Si, three years ago.

    Many Christians, as shown by Peter at #12, believe we have been conferred stewardship of Earth by God.

    Quite a number of contrarians do not accept the rational science of climate change because of their distorted political ideological views – neo-liberalism. It is harder to argue from a moral or economic view against the science of climate change.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/how-neoliberalism-ate-itself/9842012

    Incidentally, there is talk of the ABC being privatised. Should that happen it would mean the death of interviews such as those presented by Phillip Adams. Privately owned media will not publish or comment on anything that seems to go against their advertisers.

    The IPCC is in the process of putting out a Report later this year. Leaked documents do not bode well for meeting the 1.5 C safety rail above pre-Industrial times … though a number of scientists were making such a point during the Paris deliberations.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-9326/page/IPCC-SR1.5

  32. MjF

    June 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    #8 … “Maybe some mining royalties may have been handed out”. The master of the understatement at work.

    I certainly prospered a little from Australia’s resource plundering (without being greedy) and I continue to do so.

    Where were you ? Where are you ?

    If your research returns to federal and state coffers from mining taxes and royalties for any period, it’s pretty obvious you directly have benefited by living in a developed country. Of course you don’t have to live here and begrudge a few individuals their mega wealth.

    Peaceful retirement in Cameroon could be just the tonic for you, Mr T.

  33. Lynne Newington

    June 16, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    #6 … Although it doesn’t affect me personally, I hope serious thought is given in relation China .. considering the visible collective takeover.

    All I did was Google China’s plans in Tasmania … backed by the Federal Government, so it seems whether it takes off or not: http://adf.farmonline.com.au/news/magazine/industry-news/general/vdl-sale-raises-questions-on-chinese-investment/2755650.aspx
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-13/chinese-development-sparks-tasmania-foreign-ownership-fears/9845018

  34. Peter Bright

    June 16, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Hmmmn. Resource extraction for personal gain. Was it Creator approved?

    [i]”The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”[/i]

  35. Lynne Newington

    June 16, 2018 at 1:05 am

    #4 … I wouldn’t take to much for granted what Pope Francis has to say. He still has to change church law for Catholics for many and varied reasons including mandatory reporting of crimes against their own children .. sometimes committed within the Confessional itself.

    At the moment he’s taken up with all the political divisions within Africa, getting a foothold opening an embassy in Sudan: https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/04/06/vatican-statistics-confirm-catholic-future-africa/

  36. john hayward

    June 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    I suspect the real Tas rich list will never be known because it would demand some very awkward explanations.

    All we know is that the LibLabs are forever engaged in murky and inexplicably ill-considered deals in which tens of millions disappear with neither Lib nor Lab seemingly much intrigued as to where it went.

    John Hayward

  37. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 15, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Two clarifications needed about Comment #8’s (implied) claim that “natural resources [are] owned by all Australians”:

    ~ (i) in what sense are they ‘owned’ by all Australians?

    ~ (ii) are there any exceptions to the ‘all’ in “all Australians”?

    Wiktionary describes very clearly the two most used senses of ‘own’.

  38. Ted Mead

    June 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    # 6 … Read this article in the context it was aimed at!

    I did state that many billionaires cashed up through “property and manufacturing” before I mentioned resource extraction. The premise here is that a lot of wealth that found its way to a few individuals came from natural resources that is, or was, owned by all Australians.

    Maybe there were some royalties paid out, but an appropriate mining tax should have been implemented decades ago before the mining boom collapsed. Instead of all Australia prospering from this plundering, only a handful did well.

    Meanwhile back in dumbo Tasmania we actually subsidise corporations to plunder our resources. In most cases there are no royalties and no payroll taxes, infrastructure cost is constructed at taxpayers’ expense, and electric power provided at a below cost price.

    That’s my reference to a banana republic!

    Simply just third world economics!

  39. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    “[R]eap-what-you-can-when-you-can, appears to be deeply imprinted in our DNA” – yeah, bloody DNA, friggin’ remote ancestors from 100,000+ years ago wanting to survive to the next full moon.

    And they do that, and then want to come down from their trees or out of their caves! The bloody cheek of it all! Mooning Gaia, that’s all it is.

    Message from Eliza Doolittle for doom-venting catastrophistas: “Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! Is that all you blighters can do?”

    What about inspiring we exploiters by having a mass topping of yourselves – for Gaia’s sake, you just know she’d want it! (Think of how viral that would be on social media!) Especially if the modus operandi was just so-o-o-o-o-o earth-friendly! And good for the carnivorous fauna, and for returning biological detritus to Mother Earth! And you know the logic is exactly spot on! (You do ‘do’ logic, don’t you?)

    BTW, rid yourselves of your motor vehicles yet? Of stoves and fridges and heaters and aircon? Disconnected from utilities which are products of the exploitation which you so piously denounce? Gotten rid of everything plastic, for instance?

    (Some posters may take offence / feel offended / even outraged – by the use of gender-specific lingo. Suck it up – I don’t care!)

  40. MjF

    June 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Out of Australia’s richest top 50, 5 have got there on the back of (mostly) resources development.

    So how about the riches seemingly provided at will by retail, software, real estate, gaming, agriculture, food distribution, food processing, aviation, travel, telecommunications, tourism, fast food, investments and media ? They all must be OK avenues of exploitation within a banana republic.

    The Farrells will get there as a family. Just give them time and a little more support.

    They’re halfway there to a bill.

  41. TGC

    June 15, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    And take into account all of those ‘working’ for a resource company at the coal face who have made a great deal of money over the years and built large houses, purchased excessively large motor vehicles and boats and travelled the world.

    They are mostly are Labor voters – despisers of the ‘top end of town’!

  42. Keith Antonysen

    June 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The Pope very recently had words with fossil fuel executives …

    First sentence from article … “VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis warned that climate change risked destroying humanity on Saturday and called on energy leaders to help the world to convert to clean fuels to avert catastrophe.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-vatican-conference-pope/pope-warns-energy-bosses-of-global-destruction-without-fuel-shift-idUSKCN1J50BD

    The executives have the power to do damage to their own families, as well as people in general.

  43. Ted Mead

    June 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    #1 … Well John, you have to ponder what is the point of having an alternative party in Tasmania .. because when the Greens finally secure a position of power balance in the House of Assembly there is nothing but compromise, and invariably capitulation once in cabinet.

  44. mike seabrook

    June 15, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    yes, those few non-tasmanian owned bludgers on long term contracts to buy est. 60% of tassies hydro electricity output at est. 4c per kwh.

    and those non-tasmanian owned wind electricity generators selling at est. 8 c to the hydro which is selling est. 60% of this output at est 4c per kwh delivered.

    don’t take my word for it – ask the hydro directors and the former hydro directors and the pollies.

  45. John Hawkins

    June 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Ted, the problem is with the Greens. They have the potential to control the balance of power between the Liberals and Labour.

    The Greens control the ethical high ground and appeal to a minority, namely the intelligent and the considered.

    To prevent control by their casting vote, the Greens are relentlessly smeared, harassed and denigrated by the conservative media, and the pollies who fear loss of power. Read any issue of a Mydick paper.

    Tasmania is trashed for no financial gain, as those with the money buy power their through patronage.

    Poker machines.

    Woodchips.

    Hotel licences.

    Mining licences.

    Salmon Licences.

    Peeler Billets.

    Road and Bridge contracts.

    Tasmania and its natural resources allow for wedge politics which prevents a hung parliament controlled by the Greens. A hung parliament controlled by honourable intelligent people would see Tasmania leap forward and cast off the chains.

    All we get is a Tasmania governed by the corrupt and the brain dead who survive because the Feds need to buy our vote.

    The Gutwein budget is predicated on Federal money.

    He is not that clever, and he knows it.

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