Saturday, April 30, 2011

Police union 'no job cuts' campaign could be election decider.

Launceston Deputy Mayor and Upper House seat of Launceston  candidate, Rosemary Armitage needs to get on the "no job cuts for police" bandwagon quick smart or she risks being over run by Mcquestin.
Tasmania's unelected Premier, Lara Giddings Kennett-esque tantrum today over the Police Unions campaign to target upper house candidates made her look as callous and politically hard hearted as she is reported to be. The Tasmanian police union should be commended for their stance not berated by grumpy giddings.
The cause is a winner with the general public and any upper house candidate that does not hitch themselves to the "no job cuts for police" bandwagon could potentially miss out on an election win next weekend

Friends of Tamar Valley - Tony Burke operating outside the Law

Media Release
Minister Burke has failed to produce a document containing the reasons for his recent pulp mill decisions, contrary to his legal requirement to do so.
Almost two months ago community group Friends of the Tamar Valley wrote to Minister Burke to request written reasons for the decisions he made in early March 2011. The law requires Minister Burke to have produced the reasons within four weeks, yet they are still to be provided.
“The only excuse from the Minister’s Department is that it is too busy,” lawyer, and FTV spokesperson, Vanessa Bleyer said. “It is difficult to comprehend how the government can be too busy to comply with the law. It is also difficult to understand why the government thinks this is a sufficient excuse for not complying with the law.”
“This response comes off the back of a corrupt government approval process for the proposed pulp mill, an issue currently before Tasmania’s recently established Integrity Commission,” Ms Bleyer said. “The people of Tasmania have had enough of governments acting as if they are above the law in respect of this proposed pulp mill.”
“FTV calls on Minister Burke to explain:
• how and why his Department can be too busy to comply with the law; and
• when he will produce the reasons that the law required him to do weeks ago,” Ms Bleyer concluded.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating the Royal Wedding

Well i dont know about you but the wife and i are just settling in for another round of cucumber sandwiches, scones and devonshire tea. Lunch today was spatchcock and winter vegeatbles....of course....washed down with a  a few bottles of bolly. Few people realise that Gravelly Beach, as well as being the home of the Tasmanian Liberal Party of which my wife and i are proud card carrying members, is also Tasmania's home of the Monarchy. Indeed, former leader of the Liberal Party Rene Hidding was seen taking a high tea at the local gravelly beach cafe yesterday. Unfortunately for Rene he was not invited to our pre wedding lunch, but the local dutch community was well represented amongst the 100 or so monarchists at our digs today.
Being staunch monarchists we wouldnt miss Catherine and William's wedding for the world.
Today is a celebration of the the mother country, the Hodgman Family, old buildings, aloof chaps and chappettes, tradition, designer labels, expensive bubbly and awfully good manners. Everything that defines the Royals.
Anna and i are terrificly excited for the future Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and only wish we had time in our schedule to take up the wedding invitation offer. Thankfully our good friend Thorpey has promised to pass on our apologies to HM and the family.
God save the Queen.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Examiner exposed again on Gunns reporting.

``.........Major Banks Back Gunns’’ read the headline. (On TT: HERE) The story went on to claim shares in the company `soared’ 6 per cent after National Australia Bank and Macquarie Bank announced substantial shareholder notices. There was also the claim Unisuper increased its stake in the company to 7.99 per cent ``last week.’‘ Wrong, wrong and wrong.
There were so many errors in the story, I emailed the editor, suggesting they might like to scrap it and start again, which they dutifully did (surprisingly - the Examiner chaps don’t like Jarvis much).
First, the share price did nothing after the Macquarie announcement, as it was released to the ASX at 4.34pm, well after the market closed.
The National Australia Bank release hit the screen at 2.01pm, at which time Gunns were trading at 55.5 cents. As they closed at 55, it would have been more accurate for The Examiner to report ``Gunns shares softened after NAB announcement.’’
Greg wouldn’t have liked that.
Second, nothing in the Macquarie release gives me the impression the bank is looking at Gunns as anything other than a toy for short-selling......." Read More Here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


26 April 2011
Friends of the Tamar Valley has sent a personal letter to each of the legislative council candidates, giving them the opportunity to state their position on the proposed pulp mill.
“Upper House candidates must clarify for Tasmanians their views and intentions on Gunns’ proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill,” spokesperson for FTV Vanessa Bleyer said.
“The Tamar Valley Pulp Mill remains one of the biggest and most controversial issues in Tasmania. Before Tasmanians vote they should know candidates views and intentions on the issue”.
“The people deserve to know whether the candidate:
• believes a thorough risk assessment of the pulp mill proposal has been undertaken
• would vote for or against any changes to the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007
• would vote for or against any further state government funding to support the proposed pulp mill,”
Ms Bleyer said.

Friends of the Tamar Valley calls on the candidates to let their position be known without delay.

For further information contact:
- Vanessa Bleyer of FTV on 0412 58 68 48.
- Legislative council candidates. Contact details on page 4 of attached TEC document.Here

Monday, April 25, 2011


A fairly solid ride this morning. 43km around the Tamar. 92minutes in the saddle. Riding up blackwall hill still causes me to turn the color of a beetroot. When i get to the top at the West Tamar intersection i try to give the impression to observers in passing cars that it was a breeze as i choke back the vomit.
For fellow relic cyclists out there who like me suffer from bike related back pain, try flipping your handlebar stem (Here) so you are not leaning forward as far to reach the handlebars. In other words you sit slightly more upright thus decreasing the strain on stiff lower back. I find i get a lot more power when i'm comfortable even though i may be in a slightly less aero position.
Settling in this arvo for the big Anzac Day game from the MCG.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Getting Fitter.

Over the last few weeks i've tried to increase my mileage in the pool and on the bike. Running is still tricky with a chronic niggle in my knee which is proving hard to get rid of.
Today i swam 2.8km (112laps of 25m pool) for a weekly total of 8.4km. About 2km shy of what i really need as weekly total. A few years ago 3.5-4km was a standard swim for me in not much more than 1hr.
It will take a little while to return to those numbers consistently. Those distances can leave you feeling pretty shagged until you find the fitness again.
Yesterday i managed 45km bike (1hr 50min) in windy conditions. I'm really enjoying the cycling at present. Autumn is the best time of year for cycling with mild and still conditions.
Tomorrow i'll aim for another short run and maybe a short ride in the arvo to end the week.
Have a happy and safe Easter.

Racism. Alive and Well in Tasmania.

Racism alive and well in Tassy and Here
A big four wheel drive down the road from my house carries the 'Fuck of we're Full' bumper sticker. Among other bumper stickers on this same car is a "Pulp Mill, our future, our jobs" sticker.
It aint the only car or big truck with this combo that i've seen in this area. The 4WD in question doesnt live far from the log truck driver who after hurling abuse at me recently told me "all you cyclists are c--#*s!
And i'm meant to sit back and watch my community handed over to people like this?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A frightening portrait of the next American president? Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury

Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private: this is the pattern of Palin’s behavior toward the people who make her life possible. A onetime gubernatorial aide to Palin says, “The people who have worked for her—they’re broken, used, stepped on, down in the dust.” On the 2008 campaign trail, one close aide recalls, it was practically impossible to persuade Palin to take a moment to thank the kitchen workers at fund-raising dinners. During the campaign, Palin lashed out at the slightest provocation, sometimes screaming at staff members and throwing objects. Witnessing such behavior, one aide asked Todd Palin if it was typical of his wife. He answered, “You just got to let her go through it… Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth she doesn’t even mean.” When a campaign aide gingerly asked Todd whether Sarah should consider taking psychiatric medication to control her moods, Todd responded that she “just needed to run and work out more.” Her anger kept boiling over, however, and eventually the fits of rage came every day. Then, just as suddenly, her temper would be gone. Palin would apologize and promise to be nicer. Within hours, she would be screaming again. At the end of one long day, when Palin was mid-tirade, a campaign aide remembers thinking, “You were an angel all night. Now you’re a devil. Where did this come from?”

The intensity of Palin’s temper was first described to me in such extreme terms that I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be exaggerated, until I heard corroborating tales of outbursts dating back to her days as mayor of Wasilla and before. One friend of the Palins’ remembers an argument between Sarah and Todd: “They took all the canned goods out of the pantry, then proceeded to throw them at each other. By the time they got done, the stainless-steel fridge looked like it had got shot up with a shotgunRead more in Vanity Fair

Gunns Slapped! Big Woodchipper gets a bit of its own medicine

"MORE than 300 shareholders who have collectively lost tens of millions from their investment in timber group Gunns have joined a class action launched by law firm Maurice Blackburn.
The shareholder action was filed in the Federal Court of Sydney yesterday afternoon.
It alleges Gunns breached its disclosure obligations because it knew its financial position had deteriorated significantly ahead of the release of its first-half 2010 results yet failed to adequately warn the market of the situation. Maurice Blackburn senior associate Jason Geisker said the class included institutional and retail investors and the quantum of the claim represented "tens of millions of dollars". The shareholders have entered an agreement with Perth-based IMF to fund the litigation.
Mr Geisker said Gunns was aware by August 31, 2009, that its results would be significantly worse compared with the same period a year previously but it did not tell the market this, breaching its continuous disclosure obligations. "(There was) significant risk that Gunns' public statements as to the state of its business were materially inaccurate," the statement of claim says". Read More Here

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Will the real Rosemary Armitage stand up please?.......and.......Mcquestin gets desperate. Liberal smear campaign has started

The Two faces of the Launceston Deputy Mayor, Rosemary Armitage on the Gunns Pulp Mill issue.

February 18 2011 - A Clear, confident, concise No Tamar Valley pulp mill Deputy Mayor  Listen Here
"As far as I'm concerned a mill in the Tamar Valley really isnt a viable option"...well they put a lot into Launceston and we are very happy to have them here but as for their pulp mill well that another matter altogether"

April 20 2011  - In campaign mode and sounding an awful lot like our friends at the Wilderness Society. What the?? - Listen Here
Leon Compton - "Based on where its up to now, broadly, it should go ahead in your view"
Rosemary Armitage - "Based on where its up to now, i believe the ball is firmly back in Gunns court".
Leon Compton - "It will be interesting, i think broadly that can be said to be some sort of support".
Rosemary Armitage - "Oh well we wont go quite that far, I'm not saying i'm supporting or not supporting. I have concerns with the Tamar Valley, as i've always had concerns with the Tamar Valley, but i also see the need for forestry and industry to work together"
Liberal's smear campaign against Armitage has started. Read More Here

Racism alive and well at Tasmanian AFL Footy matches

Here   Here   Here    Here

Richie Porte the face of new cycling event in Launceston

"Saxo Bank-Sungard's Richie Porte has been announced as an ambassador for the Launceston Pro-Ex cycling week, a new and unique event offering amateur cyclists from across the globe a chance to immerse themselves in a professional cycling experience. Running from November 20 to 27, the Pro-Ex will be the first training camp of the Australian season. "I am thrilled with the opportunity to share my passion for cycling with participants at the Launceston Pro-Ex," Porte said. "Being part of the Launceston Pro-Ex allows me to give something back to my hometown, where the scenic terrain helped shape my interest in cycling and inspired my career." Read More Here

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Question mark over Forestry Chief's parliamentary evidence

...."However, if Mr Gordon is implying he is unable to name bad debtors due to their status of being ASX listed companies, then he is incorrect. Nowhere, in either ASX listing rules or Corporations Law, is there a restriction on publication of data relating to debtors, either sound or in breach of their commitments. If that means Mr Gordon has inadvertently misled Parliament, then he has the opportunity to put the record straight"....Read More Here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Windy riding in the Tamar.

Had a good 40km hitout around lunchtime today. Rode from home (gravelly beach) south to muddy creek hill near legana and then returned and rode just shy of the deviot hall then back home to gravelly.
Shade over 90 minutes in the saddle.
The return journey from muddy creek hill was a bitch at nearly 19km straight into a headwind. But hey thats the idea isnt it?
I cant wait to get fit enought to head out and race with the vets again (yep i'm old) or at least train with some fitter blokes again. Need to work on some core strength also to keep the back strong.
Anyway, enough about you lets talk more about me!
Cant wait for another late night on a wednesday with another of the spring classics - The 201km La Fleche Wallone bike race from Belgium. Sadly a knee injury will prevent last years winner Cadel Evans from defending his title. Live on Eurosports from 10pm

Forestry Tasmania a failed GBE?? Publicly listed Tasmanian 'Forest companies' (cough,cough) owe state $40M. What the??

Forestry Tasmania debt burden grows - From ABC online
Forestry Tasmania is trying to recoup $40 million in unpaid debts.
A parliamentary committee has heard the level of debt owed to Forestry Tasmania is growing and now exceeds $40 million.

Forestry Tasmania's chief executive Bob Gordon is giving evidence to a Legislative Council inquiry into Forestry Tasmania's financial position.
Mr Gordon says Forestry is trying to recoup $40 million in unpaid debts.
He refused to name the companies owing money, saying it would be inappropriate because some are publicly listed. Since the last financial report, the length of time taken to retrieve those debts has extended from 85 to 89 days. Mr Gordon says up to a third are current debts. He says the state-owned company has worked hard to cut costs, including reducing staff from 530 to 350 since January 2007. Many of the employees were in the company's Mersey District which was axed, but staff have also been cut from head office and other areas.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Hypocrisy of Will Hodgman on Planning. Canal Estate Ban and the Pulp Mill.

When Gunns, enabled by the Tasmanian Government, withdrew its Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal from Tasmania's planning commission, conservation groups and the planning system itself were blamed by Will Hodgman's Liberals. Gunns CEO John Gay had disendorsed Tasmanias statutory planning scheme and Will Hodgmans Liberals quickly fell into line behind the Premier and Gunns. Singing from the same song sheet Will Hodgman, Paul Lennon and John Gay were adamant that Gunns were blameless. John Gay and Gunns were framed by Will Hodgman's Liberal Parliamentarians as the victim of a fatally flawed planning system. The entire Tasmanian Liberal party turned on the planning scheme it had previously helped create, in favour of Gunns.
For most Tasmanians this was hard to stomach. They turned off Gunns and they turned off Will Hodgman's Liberals. Infact they turned off all Tasmanian politicians.
Now powerful people in the Liberal party have got young Will by the ear again over proposed government legislation to ban canal estate developments in Tasmania. Suddenly, according to Will Hodgman the planning commission is the good guy again.
The planning commission is once again the independent umpire which Will Hodgman and Paul Lennon once told us would 'sift the good projects from the bad". The Ralphs Bay development, an unpopular development to be sited in Will Hodgman's own electorate of Franklin, not surprisingly, was not supported by his party. Yesterday Will Hodgman tells The Mock, the Ralphs Bay canal estate proposal was "properly decided by the commission". "The independent planning is the authority that should decide," Mr Hodgman said..
Yet the Gunns pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley, a project that was set to be rejected by the planning commission maintains the blind support of Will Hodgman's Liberal's, a party that has close and long term ties with Gunns. 4 years ago.
When Gunns decided the planning commission assessing its pulp mill project no longer had its support, that was good enough for Hodgman and he quickly fell into line, laying the boots into the RPDC in and outside of the parliament.
Will Hodgman's hypocrisy on planning, canal estates and the pulp mill is yet another example of big powerful political parties playing politics with the futures of your communities.
Will, you are weak, inconsistent and if you ever become premier, it will only be because you do a "Bradbury" and the current mob hand it to you through their own ineptitude.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Greens call on Government to ban Tasmanian politicians from working in two levels of Government

"THE Greens have launched a push against state politicians being allowed to hold paid positions as councillors and mayors. Greens MP Kim Booth told Parliament yesterday he would introduce legislation next week outlawing what he called double trough syndrome.
Mr Booth said it was not just an issue of salary double-dipping but also about better government transparency and giving taxpayers and ratepayers fair value for their money.
A successful move would force Lower House Liberal MP Mark Shelton to forfeit his position as Meander Valley council mayor, and Upper House independent MLCs Adriana Taylor and Mike Gaffney to resign as mayors of Glenorchy and Latrobe.
Launceston councillor and former mayor Ivan Dean, who sits in the Legislative Council, would also be forced to resign from the council.
Members of the Legislative Council are paid more than $115,000, as well as receiving free cars, mobile phones, offices, staff and computers, to work full time in their local electorates.
Mayors get stipends above $35,000 a year for what is considered a full-time elected position in local government"....Read More in The Mercury
 Earlier on TPOS - Ban the double dip.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gunns threatens to pull out of South Aus. if it doesnt get what it wants. Sound Familiar?

..."Timber giant Gunns will exit the region and move interstate if the State Government proceeds with the forward sale of state-owned timber assets, the company has warned. In a submission made to Wednesday’s senate inquiry in Mount Gambier, scathing criticism was directed at the government for its “little consultation, arrogant and unprofessional behaviour” and the uncertainty it had created within the industry across the South East.".... Read More Here

Oh Colin.

WA Premier lays the boots into Tasmania

Friday, April 1, 2011

Giddnings, Thorp and O'Connor with egg on their faces

Lara Giddings will cost her party government. The culture of crony capitalism, mean and dishonest government is back with a vengeance under Giddings. Twice in the space of two weeks has Giddings been forced to admit she either lied or attempted to cover up ministerial misconduct.

First Giddings was forced to apologise in the parliament for attempting to mislead the public over the pulp mill on ABC radio. Now after a week of making the most insulting and insincere excuses for Thorp, the Premier is in damage control again. And hasnt Cassy O'Connor got egg on her face after she once again went into bat for a Labor cabinet colleague isntead of calling the Thorp situation in an honest and open fashion, in a way that honored the tradition of courageous green parliamentarians like Peg Putt and Christine Milne. Indeed, a day after O'Connor glossed over Thorps sins, partner and Greens leader contradicted O'Connor by calling for Thorp to apologise.

There remains a serious ethical vaccuum in the Tasmanian Parliament. Who will stand up and turn this current rabble into something the average Tasmanian can have some pride in?

ABC mornings curiously short interview with Professor Quentin Beresford

Interview kicks in with about 10 minutes to go Here