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Tuesday, 20 September

21:10

A Sneak Peek at the Planning of a 1996 Massacre (Satire) "GroovUs Feed Anews"

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB How did Australia get to where she is today?  I’ll play-act three scenes here of some 1990s “planning meetings.” The setting for this is a foreign land. I’ll pretend I am the boss, giving out assignments for an event to take place in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996. […]

14:47

Proposed Anti-Discrimination Changes And "Don't Mess With Marriage" Dr Kevin Bonham


This is the second consecutive government to try to amend the fabric of free speech in the state.  The previous Labor/Green government introduced particularly extreme changes which were fortunately thrown out by the Legislative Council.  The latest proposals are nowhere near as concerning but they still raise some serious issues about the fair and clear application of the law to a range of differing beliefs.

There are two main backgrounds to the proposed changes.  The first is the complaint by Martine Delaney against the Catholic Church over the circulation of a booklet entitled Don't Mess With Marriage, a modestly worded but in places highly insulting defence of supposed church creed against same-sex marriage.  The complaint attracted high-profile attention and at times was frothed about in the opinion sections of the Australian on a more or less daily basis.  In fact, all that happened was the complaint was sent to conciliation as quite clearly required by the law, and we never found out whether the booklet actually breached the law because the complaint was dropped after the conciliation stage.

The second is a possible plebiscite on allowing same-sex marriage and concerns that the current Act would not allow the anti-same-sex marriage side to say their piece without breaking the current law by insulting people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In my view, most of the proposed changes are improvements.  The one that is not an improvement is the core change: the proposed addition of a "religious purpose" test, in which a person who is "in good faith" "conveying, teaching or proselytising a religious belief" becomes exempt from the Act.  It is not made explicitly clear that this also applies to someone discussing an anti-religious belief or a belief against a particular religion.  If this is the case, it may as well be called the Discrimination Act.


========================================================================

Comments on Draft Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2016

by Dr Kevin Bonham

Personal background

I am writing this submission as a public commentator and political analyst with strong views on a range of issues.  In the life of the previous State Parliament I lobbied against some of the extensions to section 17 that were proposed by the former Government, on the grounds that they went much too far.  The proposed...

12:12

What You Should Know Before Mike Patton Returns Down Under "GroovUs Feed Anews"

What You Should Know Before Mike Patton Returns Down Under

In case you hadn’t heard, the headliners for next year’s MONA FOMA were announced earlier this month. It was arguably the quirky Tasmanian festival’s most impressive lineup announcement to date, and we don’t even know who else is playing yet.

It almost doesn’t matter, since the reaction to the news that Faith No More frontman Mike Patton and Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer would soon be sharing a bill in Australia was enough to get fans excited and FOMO-ing all over social media.

But as Patton fans know, a tour announcement from the prolific vocalist, whose range rivals the likes of Mariah Carey, could mean just about anything. Recent Patton tours have involved everything from Faith No More to orchestral Italian pop music.

So what is tētēma?

As Patton recently explained to the Sydney Morning Herald, it’s the mind-bending collaboration between himself and Aussie composer Anthony Pateras and he’s not actually 100 percent sure the two of them can pull it off. “I can’t lie to you, I’m a little bit nervous,” he said.

“I don’t know how we’re going to pull this stuff off… To be honest – how should I say? – it’s a logistical nightmare.” Patton refers to the intricate and ambitious collaboration, which yielded the album Geocidal, as “world music from another world”.

The story behind the creation of the album is as much of a curveball as the music. It involved Pateras moving to a convent in rural France where he locked himself away for 10 days before emerging with a suite of left-of-field rhythmic soundscapes.

The album, in the making since 2009, was finalised in San Francisco over 48 hours. “The interesting thing about the record is that every element is recorded in a different country, and this gives the sound a displaced, almost vaporous intensity,” said Pateras in a statement.

“I moved country twice during its genesis as well… the whole Geocidal thing is about coming from no place, re-birthing, watching the place you are from be altered beyond recognition that you have nothing to do with it anymore.”

So those fans expecting to hear a rendition of ‘Epic’ are out of luck and should strap yourselves in for some seriously twisted and challenging sound art. But as Patton told the Sydney Morning Herald, more music from Faith No More is not out of the question.

“I don’t know whether or not we’re going to attack it,” Patton told the outlet, “but there is some stuff we wrote around the time of the last one and said, ‘Why don’t we save this for the next record?’ So we’ll see.”

11:33

Premiere: Sahara Beck Pays Homage To Quentin Tarantino With An Impressive New Clip "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Premiere: Sahara Beck Pays Homage To Quentin Tarantino With An Impressive New Clip

Sahara Beck admits that she has always loved the works of Quentin Tarantino, so when she got the chance to film her new music video for ‘Tapping On The Roof’, she lapped up the opportunity to pay homage to Tarantino’s first film – Reservoir Dogs.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino,” she says, “so when we were creating the idea for the ‘Tapping on the Roof’ music video Matt Jeston (Director) came up with the idea that we roughly base the video on the torture scene from Reservoir Dogs. It’s such a great movie and I’m so happy that I get to pay my respects to it through my own art.”

The clip was filmed at the Brisbane’s Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, which created the perfect backdrop to her uniquely gorgeous track, the click-clack of percussion echoing its title perfectly. The Tarantino influence definitely doesn’t end at the video either, as ‘Tapping On The Roof’ wouldn’t feel at all out of place on a Kill Bill soundtrack.

You’ll be able to catch Sahara live when she joins Brisbane’s Ball Park Music on their mammoth national tour with The Creases, as well on as her very own solo tour, which culminates with a show at Festival Of The Sun – dates below.

Ball Park Music National Tour Dates
w/ The Creases & Sahara Beck

Thursday 22 September

Studio 56 @ Miami Marketta, Gold Coast QLD

Friday 23 September

Solbar, Maroochydore QLD

Saturday 24 September 

The Triffid, Brisbane QLD (all ages)

Sunday 25 September 

The Triffid, Brisbane QLD (all ages)

Thursday 29 September 

ANU Bar, Canberra ACT

Friday 30 September 

Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW (all ages)

Tuesday 4 October

The Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC

Wednesday 5 October

Barwon Club, Geelong VIC

Thursday 6 October

Barwon Club, Geelong VIC 

Friday 7 October

170 Russell, Melbourne VIC 

Saturday 8 October 

The Uni Bar, Hobart TAS

Thursday 13 October 

The Gov, Adelaide SA

Friday 14 October

The Gov, Adelaide, SA (all ages)

Friday 21 October

...

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Monday, 19 September

15:14

Track By Track: Brisbane Reggae Champs Kingfisha Have Finally Returned With A Second LP "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Track By Track: Brisbane Reggae Champs Kingfisha Have Finally Returned With A Second LP

Brisbane reggae stalwarts Kingfisha are back with their second album Offered It Up, having kept us waiting a long time since their 2012 self-titled debut record put them squarely on the map.

After such a long interval that’s seen the band touring internationally, it’s good to have them back – and the band are glad to have the album out after a lengthy recording process.

“We tried some different approaches from our first album,” the band say of the new record. “We worked with some new people and the production feels a step up. It wasn’t the easiest of processes, but to hear it as one piece of work, we’re all really happy with how it’s come together.” For a few more tidbits, they’ve also given us their thoughts on each of the tracks, below.

You can listen to Offered It Up below, and catch it live as Kingfisha head out on tour at the end of the month, dates below. The album is available now on ABC Music.

Hold On

This is one of our few political tunes. It started out as a really slow one drop, then we changed the beat added horns and revamped it heaps in the rehearsal room

Dirty Man

The descending vocal melody had been an ear worm for a few months and wasn’t really going anywhere until I was on a flight to Hobart with an old acquaintance and the lyrics and theme became quite apparent. Upon returning to Brisbane we spent a few hours in the studio and ‘Dirty Man’ was complete.

Left It

Incorporating both our strong loves, electronic and roots music. Left it was originally conceived at a sunny afternoon bbq. Lyrically the song is about one of those rare relationships that ends amicably.

The Gold

The verse melody came from our sound guy yawning. From there their was no turning back.

Offered it up

This track is heavily inspired by one of our favourite and widely unknown reggae bands Midnite. It’s one of the slower jams in our repertoire.

Position Steppers

This song took along time to get right in the studio. Feels like we got there in the end. It’s our take on UK Steppers.

In a memory

The melodies and chords came to life the morning after an amazing night we all shared in Reunion Island drinking rum and watching Manu Chao. The lyrics and the rest of the song was finished in a farmhouse in southern France.

Too many words

Was built from the rhythm up. We spent a weekend in the northern rivers swimming, eating and playing music. This rhythm really seemed to stick. It was the last tune completed for the album.

Water Running

This is one of our favourite live tunes. It’s all revolved around the bass line.

Aftermath

The only song on the album that was completed start to finish in the studio. Was a blast having a completely different approach.

Kingfisha Tour Dates

30 Sept – The Jack , Cairns QLD
1 Oct – Wallaby Creek Festival QLD
7 Oct – Torquay Hotel, VIC
8 Oct – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
15 Oct – Newtown Social Club, NSW...

11:46

Bob Brown Foundation presents 5th Annual Environment Awards "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Media release 19 September 2016

LOGO-trim.jpg

The Bob Brown Foundation is presenting its 5th annual Environment Awards at a ceremony in Hobart today.

These awards recognise environmental activists who have been prepared to ‘step off the footpath’ to defend the natural world, often at great personal, physical and legal risk.

The 2016 Environmentalist of the Year, with $5000 prize money, is Peter Owen, Director of The Wilderness Society South Australia. Over the past decade, Peter has been instrumental in the protection of large areas of land and seascape including the Nullarbor Plain, South Australia’s Offshore Islands, the Arkaroola Mountains, the Mawson Plateau and the declaration of the State’s 19 marine parks – Australia’s first representative marine park network outside of the Great Barrier Reef.

In January 2016 Peter spearheaded the formation of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, a platform for people and organisations to stand together against fossil fuel mining in the Bight and prevent a Gulf of Mexico scale oil spill which would decimate the marine environment from Western Australia to Tasmania and beyond.

“Peter Owen is in the front rank of ecological achievers world-wide.”

“Thanks to Peter’s tireless campaigning over more than a decade, vast swathes of South Australia’s unique landscapes, islands and marine environments have been protected.”

“This South Australian environmental champion is now determined to see the Great Australian Bight rid of the threat of fossil fuel mining. Peter is leading the campaign to drive BP, and other would-be environmental despoilers, out of the Bight’s wild and pristine waters once and for all”, Bob Brown said.


The 2016 Young Environmentalist of the Year, with $2000 prize money, is Josh Creaser.

A 25 year-old born and bred Canberran, Josh is 350.org Australia's Frontline Projects Coordinator, working on national campaigns to stop the expansion of the coal and gas industry and support a rapid and fair transition to a fossil free energy system.

“The climate action movement is a powerhouse of young activists and Josh Creaser is one making a huge impact.”

“Josh has helped organise some of the most inspirational direct actions of the last few years, involving thousands of people in creative, peaceful protests against the coal and gas giants responsible for dangerous climate change”, Bob Brown said.

“Young, articulate and with a vision for a clean energy future backed by science and public opinion, campaigners like Josh must be a nightmare for the coal and gas industry”, Bob Brown said.


The 2016 Community Environment Prize, and $2000 prize money, goes to Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

GECO is a grass roots community group based in the small town of Goongerah in far East Gippsland, Victoria. GECO have been campaigning for protection of East Gippsland’s forests since 1993.

Using a variety of strategies including education, political lobbying, non-violent direct action, citizen science and forest monitoring, GECO have successfully protected a number of important forest habitats for a range of threatened species.

“Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) are local environmental heroes. Time after time, the authorities have failed to enforce their own laws designed to protect forests and their wildlife, and this brave band of activists have stepped in to ensure the law is upheld.”

“Thanks to GECO’s persistent and innovative campaigns, hundreds of hectares of habitat for threatened species like the Greater Glider and Long-footed potoroo have been saved from destruction.”

“Incredibly, GECO’s activists have....

Bob Brown Foundation presents 5th Annual Environment Awards Media Releases - Bob Brown Foundation

Media release 19 September 2016

LOGO-trim.jpg

The Bob Brown Foundation is presenting its 5th annual Environment Awards at a ceremony in Hobart today.

These awards recognise environmental activists who have been prepared to ‘step off the footpath’ to defend the natural world, often at great personal, physical and legal risk.

The 2016 Environmentalist of the Year, with $5000 prize money, is Peter Owen, Director of The Wilderness Society South Australia. Over the past decade, Peter has been instrumental in the protection of large areas of land and seascape including the Nullarbor Plain, South Australia’s Offshore Islands, the Arkaroola Mountains, the Mawson Plateau and the declaration of the State’s 19 marine parks – Australia’s first representative marine park network outside of the Great Barrier Reef.

In January 2016 Peter spearheaded the formation of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, a platform for people and organisations to stand together against fossil fuel mining in the Bight and prevent a Gulf of Mexico scale oil spill which would decimate the marine environment from Western Australia to Tasmania and beyond.

“Peter Owen is in the front rank of ecological achievers world-wide.”

“Thanks to Peter’s tireless campaigning over more than a decade, vast swathes of South Australia’s unique landscapes, islands and marine environments have been protected.”

“This South Australian environmental champion is now determined to see the Great Australian Bight rid of the threat of fossil fuel mining. Peter is leading the campaign to drive BP, and other would-be environmental despoilers, out of the Bight’s wild and pristine waters once and for all”, Bob Brown said.


The 2016 Young Environmentalist of the Year, with $2000 prize money, is Josh Creaser.

A 25 year-old born and bred Canberran, Josh is 350.org Australia's Frontline Projects Coordinator, working on national campaigns to stop the expansion of the coal and gas industry and support a rapid and fair transition to a fossil free energy system.

“The climate action movement is a powerhouse of young activists and Josh Creaser is one making a huge impact.”

“Josh has helped organise some of the most inspirational direct actions of the last few years, involving thousands of people in creative, peaceful protests against the coal and gas giants responsible for dangerous climate change”, Bob Brown said.

“Young, articulate and with a vision for a clean energy future backed by science and public opinion, campaigners like Josh must be a nightmare for the coal and gas industry”, Bob Brown said.


The 2016 Community Environment Prize, and $2000 prize money, goes to Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

GECO is a grass roots community group based in the small town of Goongerah in far East Gippsland, Victoria. GECO have been campaigning for protection of East Gippsland’s forests since 1993.

Using a variety of strategies including education, political lobbying, non-violent direct action, citizen science and forest monitoring, GECO have successfully protected a number of important forest habitats for a range of threatened species.

“Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) are local environmental heroes. Time after time, the authorities have failed to enforce their own laws designed to protect forests and their wildlife, and this brave band of activists have stepped in to ensure the law is upheld.”

“Thanks to GECO’s persistent and innovative campaigns, hundreds of hectares of habitat for threatened species like the Greater Glider and Long-footed potoroo have been saved from destruction.”

“Incredibly, GECO’s activists have been prosecuted for exposing illeg...

11:29

Brown's tourism appeal against Styx logging 'outrage' "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Media Release 18 September 2016

header-image.jpg
Photo: Bob Brown

After visiting the World Heritage Styx Valley of the Giants today, environmentalist Bob Brown says clearfall logging right to the side of the Styx Valley Road is an outrage against Tasmania's tourism industry.

"Forestry Tasmania has shown sheer bloody-mindedness since the World Heritage declaration. Rather than leave a screen of forest beside the road over the Maydena Range to the spectacular Styx Valley, recent logging is right to the roadside. And tomorrow, Forestry Tasmania is closing the Styx Road again, this time in the heart of the valley between the Styx Bridge and the Big Tree Reserve to log regrowth native forest right to the roadside. It is sickening. this is not what visitors are expecting," Bob Brown said.

"I call on the Hodgman government to have a win-win outcome by proceeding while leaving a 50 metres screen of forest next to this major tourism artery."

Attached Photographs Logging to Styx tourism road on Maydena Range today by Bob Brown.

P9180009-thumb.jpg P9180015-thumb.jpg


For more information
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

 

Brown's tourism appeal against Styx logging 'outrage' Media Releases - Bob Brown Foundation

Media Release 18 September 2016

header-image.jpg
Photo: Bob Brown

After visiting the World Heritage Styx Valley of the Giants today, environmentalist Bob Brown says clearfall logging right to the side of the Styx Valley Road is an outrage against Tasmania's tourism industry.

"Forestry Tasmania has shown sheer bloody-mindedness since the World Heritage declaration. Rather than leave a screen of forest beside the road over the Maydena Range to the spectacular Styx Valley, recent logging is right to the roadside. And tomorrow, Forestry Tasmania is closing the Styx Road again, this time in the heart of the valley between the Styx Bridge and the Big Tree Reserve to log regrowth native forest right to the roadside. It is sickening. this is not what visitors are expecting," Bob Brown said.

"I call on the Hodgman government to have a win-win outcome by proceeding while leaving a 50 metres screen of forest next to this major tourism artery."

Attached Photographs Logging to Styx tourism road on Maydena Range today by Bob Brown.

P9180009-thumb.jpg P9180015-thumb.jpg


For more information
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

 

11:00

Digital economy is our fifth pillar ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

“The internet is a telephone system that’s gotten uppity” Clifford Stoll. In that one phrase, US based author and tech commentator Clifford Stoll, nails the Tasmanian challenge … … Our digital economy is the fifth pillar of the Tasmanian economy - and we can grow our intellectual exports, consulting and professional services, data management and creative economy. At the heart of Tasmania’s ability to operate, trade, educate, heal and employ is a robust communications infrastructure.  It is precisely because we have had such a good system that on a day to day basis many of us don’t need to give much thought to whether we will be able to access our Facebook today, do some online shopping or upload data to sell on the mainland …

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Sunday, 18 September

19:12

Separate Prison, Port Arthur On The Convict Trail

The Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, USA, opened in 1829, was the first prison using the ’separate system’. The idea had originated with Englishman John Howard but it first appeared in bricks and mortar in America and then travelled to Van Diemen’s Land via England. In this new kind of prison, solitary confinement replaced physical punishment. In isolation from others, prisoners would be forced to look inwards and repent their crimes. Thick walls and doors ensured complete separation and silence between prisoners. English reformers adopted it as the ‘model’ for Pentonville in London.

Built 1840–42 Pentonville was designed as a machine to subdue the spirit of men. The regime was based on silence, isolation, work and religious instruction. The use of soundproof materials and ventilation systems ensured absolute separation and silence. Men spent 23 hours per day in their cell; they only emerged for exercise, school and chapel. Even in the Chapel, with its separate cubicles, each man was strictly isolated from his fellows. Each cell had gas lighting, and a toilet and water tap.

As time went on, however, Chaplains and Medical Officers expressed concern at the unusually high number of cases of ‘madness’ among the prisoners. These rates were many times higher than those found at prisons run along different lines. But John Hampton, the new...

17:19

Some excitement at the Fanny Farm….. "GroovUs Feed Anews"

It’s raining. Quite a bit actually, for this neck of the woods, 8mm so far today, and it’s only mid afternoon. What else is a blogger to do in this sort of weather but…. blog!  The green manure crop is doing well, and should be plainly visible by the time Glenda arrives here next weekend…..

On Friday, I drove my French wwoofer to Buckland, a whole 130km away. I did this because she agreed to pay me her bus fare towards my petrol costs, and I wanted to see the permaculture property she was moving to. It also meant she’d only have to spend an hour and a half in my ute as opposed to four hours in buses… Then on the way back, I could conveniently pick up two IBC’s (which stands for the enigmatic intermediate bulk container) and are basically 1000L plastic cubes inside a metal cage for holding, in my case, water. Then while driving back through Hobart, I was able to pick up a second dipole circuit breaker for the power station, and a new pump for filling above mentioned IBC’s from the dam….

Paul, who owns and runs the Tiger Hill property I took Laureen to, took the time to show me around…. What I found fascinating was the way some permies take on challenges, just because they can! Paul, it turns out, comes from a heavy machinery driving background, working in mines. Not the sort of bloke one would expect to turn into a permaculture greenie, but there you go…..

tigerhill

Over the past five years, Paul has concentrated on earthworks, which this place really needs, as it’s normally dry as a bone, with only 300mm of annual rainfall. Not that this was evident on my visit, Tiger Hill had just been blessed with 65mm of rain just the day before, and there was water everywhere, which clearly demonstrated the efficacy of his swales….

His biggest issue, as far as I was concerned, is the prolific wildlife. The grass looked like it had been mown to within an inch of its life, and there were wallaby scats everywhere….. and I mean, everywhere! This means his extensive garden – he sometimes has as many as 12 wwoofers working there – has to be entirely covered with poly pipe hoops and netting… and because he still has no animals of his own yet because he apparently flies in and out of Tasmania frequently, most of his efforts go to feeding the wildlife, except for the netted bits. He compensates for the lack of animal manures by having more composting toilets 20160917_153649than I cared to count, he is indeed big in humanure!

The reason I bought another dipole circuit breaker for the power station is that I have moved the freezer into the container. Everything is now switched on and operational, but the freezer alone is not enough to load up the batteries, so I have put a breaker on each string of panels so I can switch one off when there’s an overabundance of sun…. this not being the case today, both strings generated barely enough to cover the 1.3kWh that the freezer consumed in the past 24 hours.

Mind you, the freezer probably worked extra hard after being moved, and later filled with (almost) a whole lamb purchased from next door.

Soon, I will also have my new pump hooked up to fill one of those ICB’s so that I can water the crops that will be planted in the new poly tunnel. Which leads me to the excitement…….

I recently found a two inch poly pipe going under the road, from the apple orchard to the base of the dam wall. The dam has a 100mm sewer plastic pipe g...

02:22

2016 House Of Reps Figures Finalised "GroovUs Feed Anews"

I'm not sure exactly when this happened, but sometime in the last two weeks while I have been away overseas, the AEC has released the final detailed set of federal election results.  Although all House of Representatives seat results were already known, the release of final information on two-party preference flows and preference distributions is very useful for many things, including assessing the performance of polls.  Final results are here.  This article is a general roundup of various details, and soon I will be using the figures to conduct an in-depth review of polling accuracy at the election, and after that to start a new polling aggregate model.  There is quite a backlog of other articles that I want to write, so I hope I can get through as many of these as possible in the next three weeks before another round of fieldwork.


The final two-party preferred result is 50.36% to the Coalition to 49.64% to the ALP.  This represented a clear success for the last-election method of preference prediction, which would have predicted a 2PP of 50.53% for the Coalition based on the primaries actually cast.  The respondent-preferences method (on average across polls using it) expected a shift in preferencing large enough to shift the 2PP result by at least 0.6 points (ie Labor would have won the 2PP).  This continues the superior track record of last-election preferences, and I will continue to treat respondent preferences with caution. 

The major source of what error there was in preference prediction was the appearance of the Nick Xenophon Team as a lower house party.  Although NXT polled only 1.85% nationally, these split 60.2% to Labor, increasing Labor's 2PP by 0.26 points compared to treating NXT as like "others" from the previous election.  This was partly counterbalanced by Green preferences being all of 1% (oooh!) better for the Coalition than in 2013.  Overall both Greens and the generic Others preferenced very similarly to in 2013.

These are the preference flow figures I'll probably be referring to a lot in the next few years:

* Greens to Coalition: 18.1%
* Others including NXT and PHON to Coalition: 50.8
* NXT to Coalition: 39.8
* PHON to Coalition: 50.5
* Others excluding NXT and PHON to Coalition: 52.9
* Coalition loss from three-cornered contests: 0.13 points

This was the weakest ever flow of One Nation preferences to the Coalition.  At previous elections they have generally flowed in the 54-56% range.

 As for the remaining 0.27 points of error in my polling aggregate's prediction of the national 2PP (I had it at 50.8%), this is a modest error well inside what could easily occur just by sample noise in the final polls.  But I suspect the major cause of it was that I continued to apply a 0.3-point global house effect correction based on apparent (but far from clearcut) evidence that the polls overall had been leaning slightly to Labor.  However in the final week, the difference between Newspoll and Essential on the one hand, and the remaining polls on the other, suddenly more or less disappeared.  

The net 2PP swing was 3.13%.  As a uniform swing this would have resulted in fifteen Labor gains.  Labor actually gained sixteen seats, more than cancelling out the impact of personal vote effects with unusually large swings in target marginals in Tasmania, NSW and Queensland. &nbsp...

02:21

EMRS: Liberals Rebound, But Still Shaky "GroovUs Feed Anews"

EMRS August 2016: Liberal 41 Labor 31 Green 15 "Independent" 11 Others 2
Intepretation: Liberal 42.5 Labor 33.5 Green 12 Others 12
Seat projection on this poll: Liberals would be slightly favoured to just retain majority (approx 13-10-2, with 12-10-3 next most likely)
No seats are projected to fourth parties/independents as no prominent fourth parties/independents are yet known to be running

Aggregate of all recent polling 12-10-3 (no majority)


Another EMRS poll of state voting intentions is out.  Also see the useful trend tracker.  After dipping to its lowest level for many years in the July poll, the Hodgman Liberal government has rebounded to a position similar to that in the May poll.  This is consistent with the July poll result having been contaminated by the Liberals' woeful performance in Tasmania at the federal election, and not too much should be read into the four-point shift in this poll for that reason.


While I previously commented that based on the May poll, the government would have lost its majority, in the present poll they have a helping hand from a crash in the Green vote.  EMRS, a pollster with a very long history of having the Greens a few points high at election time, has a reading of 15% for them, the equal lowest reading in this term.  The pollster last had them below this level in May 2013.  

Adjusting the Green vote for EMRS' history of having it on the high side means that this sample is pointing to the Greens probably being cut back to just two seats in Denison and Franklin, allowing the government to probably just save its crucial third seat in Lyons.  Based on preferences in Lyons tending to favour the major parties, and based on the Greens' lack of a sitting member in the electorate, my reading of the most likely result based on this sample in an election "held now" is the Liberals just clinging to a majority with 13 seats to 10 for Labor and 2 for the Greens.

That said, I am sceptical that the Greens would actually do quite as badly as my "interpretation" figure for this sample of 12%,...

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Friday, 16 September

09:31

Foreign investment curtailments add to our self-harm "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Chinese investment risks remain prominent, their profile having been boosted by the treasonable behaviour of Senator Dastyari.  I have a piece in the Herald Sun today that addresses the issue and our very own Foreign Minister is pictured here with Boris and Ambassador Downer advising the Brits on the issue.

The Famous Five

Foreign investment is both as a means of facilitating tech and know-how transfer and for supplementing domestic savings.  In my own piece I point out that Australia’s chronic undersaving makes foreign investment far more important than in other countries – at least 20 per cent of our investment is courtesy of capital inflows.

The reasons for Australian undersaving go to the policy disincentives to avoid it – highlighted by the present superannuation debate.  Most Australians have long taken the view that, assurances notwithstanding, governments desperate for money to continue fuelling impecunious voting coalitions, would eventually pillage personal savings.  Whether you take James Kirby’s view that today’s “compromise” is to be welcomed or Judith’s more robust criticism, we have the retrospectivity of a tax on savings that were not previously to be taxed with a stated annual $800 million boost to the budget bottom line.  Nobody seriously thinks that is the end of the matter – indeed, the lack of proper indexation will see the plundering steadily increase (with the public servants offering advice to gullible ministers that leaves their own nest eggs untouched).

All this means we are not about to see an increase in savings to allow a greater self-reliance in investment.  And as half the world’s funds that are investable outside of home economies are from China, our own reliance on this source of capital can only increase.

Yet even before revelations of Dastyari’s cash-fed behaviour, we have been discriminating against Chinese investment.  The Government has conjured up grounds to oppose Chinese stakes in Rio and agricultural land and housing investments.

In respect of agricultural land, the bottom line is that 90 per cent land is fully Australian owned; agricultural output is stagnating as a result of government measures to buy water for the environment, use of planning powers to prevent clearing of scrub and impositions of restraints on new technology like GM plants.  At least until we decide to reverse course on the harmful impositions we place on farming, foreign investment might offer a partial offset.

This applies equally to mining – today the new NT government  joined its supine counterparts in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania in banning fracking for gas, buckling to...

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Thursday, 15 September

07:46

Never Say Never Tour feat. PEZ & Mallrat "GroovUs Feed Anews"

thun-028-never-say-never-tour-facebook-cover

THUNDAMENTALS

‘Never Say Never’ Tour
 Featuring PEZ & Mallrat

Oct 29th @ UC Refectory Canberra ACT # - GET TIX

Nov 4th @ HQ Complex Adelaide SA (LIC/ALL AGES) - GET TIX

Nov 5th @ Originals Music Festival Coolum QLD #* - GET TIX

Nov 17th @ Republic Bar Hobart TAS - GET TIX

Nov 18th @ The Croxton Melbourne VIC - GET TIX

Nov 25th @ Miami Tavern Gold Coast QLD - GET TIX

Nov 26th @ The Tivoli Brisbane QLD - GET TIX

Dec 2nd @ Wollongong Uni Bar Wollongong NSW - GET TIX

Dec 3rd @ Long Jetty Hotel Central...

04:30

How political donations distort democracy "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Recent revelations that a Labor frontbencher accepted funds from a company linked to the Chinese Government, and that Chinese companies have donated over $5 million to the major parties, raise concerns about the influence of foreign interests, political as well as commercial … BOB BURTON has written extensively on Tasmanian Times about donations to political parties and the need for reform ... • Careers Australia digs deep to donate to the Tasmanian Liberals … His extensive archive is HERE • funding & disclosure (inc) in Comments: … This committee has produced 5 reports since the beginning of 2014. The Government response? None. There is a simple but important change that could and should be introduced right now. Real time declarations of all donations of more than, say, $500 pa from any individual or entity. … • Guardian: Leaked documents reveal secretive influence of corporate cash on politics Sealed Wisconsin court documents from Scott Walker investigation expose extent of corporate influence on democratic process rarely seen by the public • In TT Media: Old Parties Refuse to Support Real Time Donations Disclosure

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Wednesday, 14 September

20:43

St Thomas Church, Sorell "GroovUs Feed Anews"

400th Post

The Catholic community began to establish itself in Sorell from the late 1840’s and first requested the government for an allotment on which to build a church in 1850. The Hobart Bishop Wilson also requested four lots for a minister’s house, a school and other church purposes as well as a burial ground.

An initial four acre grant was subsequently reduced to three, although a contemporary newspaper account also notes that Andrew Counsel had donated land for the church as well. The church, which is a typical medium sized country church building of coursed rubble stone with gabled ends, a small side entry porch and a vestry wing was designed by the noted architect, Henry Hunter, and constructed by Messrs Molloy & Rigby.

The construction was overseen by the priest for Richmond, Father William Dunne. The stone was quarried free of charge from land belonging to Mrs Lord of Richmond. Andrew Counsel not only donated land for the church but also made a donation of 200 pounds towards the construction costs.

...

Tuesday, 13 September

15:49

Call on Tasmanian Government to protect Swift Parrot habitat in secure reserves "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Media Release 13 September 2016

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Swift Parrot. Photo: Henry Cook

SWIFT PARROT DEMO – 1PM TODAY ON PARLIAMENT LAWNS HOBART

The Bob Brown Foundation has called on the Tasmanian Government to declare secure reserves for all Swift Parrot habitat on public lands in Tasmania as one step to saving the critically endangered parrot from extinction. Conservationists will conduct their monthly Swift Parrot demonstration on Hobart’s parliament lawns today to coincide with the Tasmanian Parliament sitting.

“As the critically endangered Swift Parrots return to Tasmania’s native forests the Tasmanian Government could welcome them by declaring secure protection for all their habitat. Declaration of securely protected reserves on Bruny Island, in the southern forests and Wielangta would help save these critically endangered species. On Bruny Island for example, expanding South Bruny Island National Park to include all the unprotected forests surrounding the Park, can protect critical habitat for the Swift Parrot and remove the temporary stay of execution,” Jenny Weber said.

“Premier Hodgman and Minister Groom have a choice; keep Swift Parrot habitat open for logging and send Swift Parrots to extinction or make a historic move and declare secure reserves for Swift Parrots,” Jenny Weber said.

“We are holding monthly demonstrations on Parliament Lawns with placards of the Swift Parrot to remind the Government that a critically endangered species needs a strong effort to protect it from extinction, including permanently end logging in Swift Parrot habitat,” Jenny Weber said.

Contact
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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