xenith: (Frigate)
By request! But as I've included the newspaper accounts before I'll link to them in the previous entry.

Not a direct link, need to look under P 102

Height: 5/31/4. Hair: Brown. Eyes: Hazel. Pock-pitted.
Aged: 30. Labourer. Native place: Co. Monaghan

Tried: Co. Armagh, Lent 1819 Sentence: 7 years
Transported: Castle Forbes (Departed Ireland 3 October 1819 with 140 males, arrived Hobart Town 4 March 1820 with 136 males (having lost 4 to NSW it seems)).
Choppy for length )
xenith: (Steps)
The other night I posted a link to a YouTube video of Let the Franklin Flow by Shane Howard/Goanna. The video has views of the wild river interspersed with footage of the protest. It's worth watching just for that. I don't really want to talk about that campaign now, but along with a news story that night, it made me realise something. So a bit of background for those who don't know the story.

In the late 1970s, the Hydro as they were then, wanted to dam the Gordon River to increase their power generating capacity. This would have flooded part of the Gordon River and the lower reaches of the Franklin River, and destroyed a significant part of the southwest wilderness.

Gordon River

A few people objected. OK it's often referred to as the biggest/more important environmental campaign in Australian history. By 1982/1983 got a bit heated things were rather heated. But I won't go into details about the 1981 state referendum to determine the referred dam location (with its 44% informal vote), the nomination of the region as part of a World Heritage listing, the state government's belief that this wasn't an obstacle to sending in bulldozers to start construction works, the ongoing political ramifications and everything else. If you're interested, head over to the Parks and Wildlife page or the Wilderness Society page. The latter has the better images.

This is the background I grew up against.

Before that, the drowning of Lake Pedder, which I was too young to aware of at the time, but it's always there in the background. And afterwards, the Wesley Vale pulp mill campaign of the late 1980s, which saw five Green Independents elected to state parliament, the most ever. The Styx Valley (also called the Valley of the Giants because "it's more evocative"), the Tarkine, the Tamar Valley pulp mill, the Blue Tier and so on.

You get the idea.

The battle for the forest has always been there, before I even remember. It's not all the trees, there are other issues there: air quality, quolls, tourism, fishing, economy, but that's the overarching theme. The default issue at every state election I've voted in. The big divide in the state. Forestry & old growth forests.

Yet, with the forestry peace talks, there is a chance--despite all the stops and starts and discouraging news stories--there is a chance that it might end. One day. Maybe. If all the players cooperate, and the various governments support it and hand over money and... and...

It's difficult to comprehend a world without battles over our forests, but apparently it hasn't always been like this.

(My photo is the lower reaches of the Gordon River, on an overcast, windy February day. It's one of places that everyone should possible, if at all possible.)

*Obscure joke, sorry.
xenith: (Coloured scales)
I finally got around to tracking down a copy of the "Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles to Lead to an Agreement"

The Wilderness Society has the Statement of Principles in an easy to read format.

There's a copy of full 4 page document (a list of the stakeholders, the above Principles and what is expected from the State/Federal governments) available as a Scribd document on the ABC site which I can apparently embed (but it's likely to upset Friends pages and stupid council Internet filters if I want to look at my LJ on other computers for some reason.)

So I'll put it after cut. )

But will anything come of it? So far it's been revealed that five pockets of high conservation value forest in Tasmania that environmentalists want protected have already been harvested and logging of native forests could take up to 30 years to accomplish.

Interesting times ahead.
xenith: (Default)
I suppose I should mention we've had a state government for a week now. It seems that state governments are actually important for going to interstate meetings, making statements to the media and jumping up and down when large companies threaten to close.

The way it happened is the Governor held discussions with the leaders of parties (they being the former premier, Bartlett, who had announced his party would step down if the Liberals got the greater percentage of the votes, and the former opposition leader, Hodgman, whose party got the greater percentage of votes) and after much deliberation announced that Bartlett would return as premier. So now boys and girls, we know what the role of a vice-regal governor is, right?

The week or two were taken up with negotiations to form the actual cabinet with insufficient Labor MPs to take on all the ministries, but it's done now, with the cabinet containing two one Green minister (the first in the country, we kept getting told) and a Treasurer who said he would not serve in a Government that included any Greens.

So, minority government for the next four years. If they can make it that far. It shall be... interesting.

Also, potentially interesting, the Gunns restructure with a subsidary company, headed by their former chairman, taking responsibility for their plantations and pulp mill development.
xenith: (Black Scales)
LJ isn't letting me select photos to post so to fill in the gap, some news stories! Exciting! Yes!

OK :) But one comes out of yesterday's post, one is an update on an ongoing topic and one is a ! news story.

I haven't been posting on the pulp mill lately because it's been the same-old, but this develops further it could be interesting.

Claims pulp mill under threat if boss resigns

A shareholder push for the resignation of Gunns chairman John Gay is being seen by analysts as a threat to the company's proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill.

When I wrote yesterday's post, I was wondering if there was anything like this about. Well, it worked last election!

Labor hangs up on anti-Green phone ads

Contradictions have emerged within the Tasmanian Labor Party about whether the Premier was aware of automated phone calls to voters warning them about the Greens.

The pre-recorded message, dubbed a robocall, says the Greens want to legalise heroin and give violent criminals the right to vote.


I wish I could find the original news story for this:

Pizza delivery attack ends in jail

A Tasmanian man who attacked a fast food delivery driver with a plastic cricket bat and took his pizzas has been sentenced to nine months in jail.


Mar. 16th, 2010 12:06 pm
xenith: (Coloured scales)
On Saturday there is a state election. This is of great concern to us and of little concern to the rest of the world :)

It is shaping up in an interesting way though. Labor are expected to lose. They've been out of favour for a while (this was reflected in the state's results from the last Federal election, when the rest of country showed a large swing towards the ALP). They're generally seen as corrupt, in the pocket of big business and quite removed from their traditional supporters (that is the workers). So a swing away from Labor is on the books, but to who?

At the last election, the Liberal party didn't seem to have its act together. They didn't seem to know how to target voters -- take up the neglected Labor role or stick with their traditional conservative views? This time around, they seem to have their act together. They had their election posts up early. Their general campaigning seems better. Even if the most of it goes like:

Party one: If elected, we are going to put money into this and focus more on this.
Party two: So are we, but moreso!

(I've seen hardly any Labor posters. I did get a leaflet in my letterbox about the "New Labor". Way to confuse voters, yeah.)

So Liberal victory expected, but...

Then we have the Green Party, who currently hold 3 seats I think. They have been been campaigning very well, with a focus on reducing the living costs, improving education and water quality (ha). They should pick up some disenchanted Labor voters. They should gain seats.

And that's where it gets interesting because the expectation at the moment is neither Liberal nor Labor will get enough seats to be able to govern in their own right and the Greens will have the balance of power. So to get a workable government, one of the parties will need to "join" with the Greens (can't think of the verb). The leaders of both parties claim they won't. There is a lot of scare-campaigning going on "Minority governments don't work! Vote for Liberals" alongside a lot of news reports of polls saying there will be a minority government.

Also some speculation on whether the premier will lose his seat.

So, interesting.
xenith: (Steps)
"Back in Sydney this would be booked out year round."

From the 7.30 Report: Video & Transcript

"International guide book Lonely Planet has named Tasmania's Bay of Fires as the hottest travel destination for 2009. The Bay of Fires covers almost 30 kilometres of Tasmania's north-east coast and there are calls for the area to be declared a National Park to ensure it remains untouched by development."

Rather dull introduction but it has pictures of the bay, which are always worth looking at. I have been there, once, for a biology excursion in Uni. We were collecting bugs. White tipped, blue sea with white sand and... it's a bit hard to describe without falling back on cliches.
xenith: (Default)
For [livejournal.com profile] buffysquirrel. The actual story is at the bottom. The rest is, well, how it would have appeared to readers of the newspaper.

Hobart Town Gazette, 18 January 1823

Wm. Davis and Ralph Churton, who made their escape in April last from a military guard, while being conveyed to town on a charge of sheep-stealing, were apprehended on Saturday last, in company with an absentee named Pearce, by a party of soldiers near Jericho, and were on Monday night, brought into town, and lodged in gaol. Davis was severely wounded.

Trial )

Hobart Town Gazette, July 23, 1824

EXECUTIONS - On Monday, Alexander Pearce for murder! and yesterday, John Butler, for sheep stealing, John Thompson, Patrick Connolly, James Tierney, and George Lacey, for burglary and highway robbery, were executed in this town pursuant to their sentence. Pearce's body was, after it had been suspended for the usual time, delivered at the Hospital for dissection.

We trust these awful and ignominious results of disobedience to law and humanity will act as a powerful caution; for blood must expiate blood! and the welfare of society imperatively requires, that all whose crimes are so confirmed, and systematic, as not to be redeemed by lenity, shall be pursued in vengeance and extirpated with death!

We have reason to expect that by next week, we shall, through the kindness of an esteemed Clergyman, be empowered to communicate some extensive information, of a very interesting kind, respecting the murdered Pearce.

Story )
xenith: (Default)
Results of the local government elections were in today's paper. Every two years, half of the alderman stand for election (4 years terms) and the mayor & deputy mayor are (re)elected each time. This time around, seems all the mayors across the state were re-elected except in Launceston. Dean lost, although he still got re-elected as an alderman.

The Examiner: Ivan Dean concedes anti-mill impact.
ABC: Alderman Dean does not think his support for the mill was the reason he lost.

On the subject of the pulp mill, I missed this when it was in the news. Work has started to remove three protesters from the top of the Batman Bridge in Northern Tasmania.

In today's news: Fund manager Perpetual has defended its investment in timber giant Gunns, the company planning to build a controversial pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar valley.

And more on Gunns: Tasmanian timber company Gunns has offered to drop its lawsuit against 14 anti-logging campaigners if they agree never again to interfere with the company's operations.

And totally unrelated to any of the above, it's 90 years since the Light Horse Brigade's charge on Beersheba.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Govt gives green light to pulp mill

Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced Gunns' pulp mill project for northern Tasmania will go ahead.

Announcing the decision in Sydney this morning, Mr Turnbull says an extra 24 conditions will be imposed on the mill to be built by Gunns Limited at a cost of $1.7 billion.

Gah )
xenith: (Coiled)
I forgot to post last Thursday when the reports on the pulp-mill were released.

Govt backs Gunns pulp mill despite guidelines not met

An environmental report into Gunns' proposed $1.5 billion pulp mill has found the development fails to meet all of Tasmania's environmental guidelines.

But the Government says the assessment of the mill will proceed.

That came as surprise to everyone, I'm sure.

Gunns welcome pulp mill reports

Gunns' chairman John Gay says they confirm the company's world's best practice approach to the development of the $1.5 billion pulp mill.

Near enough is obviously good enough.

Premier sells pulp mill safety

Greens Leader, Peg Putt has dismissed the environmental assessment.
"These reports have taken Gunns' claims as gospel," she said.

Tourism operator questions pulp mill reports

Vineyard operator Peter Whish-Wilson says [the report by] ITS points out the potential for negative regional tourism impacts, due to loss of amenity, negative visual perceptions and possible odour.

However, he says it also proposes there would be no tourism loss to the state overall, because the tourists would go elsewhere.

So it's OK because the number of tourist dollars will remain the same, even if it screws any tourist operators in the Tamar Valley? If that's the approach the state government considers acceptable...

Timber transport concerns for northern mayors

The George Town Mayor, Doug Burt, says he's pleased the State Government will continue to pressure the Commonwealth to help upgrade rail networks to take the pressure off roads.

It's not all bad then. Getting log trucks off the roads is a Good Thing.

Our ferries

Mar. 8th, 2007 05:54 pm
xenith: (Default)
Before I write trip report, I should do a short bit on the Bass Strait ferries.

Back in the 70s, the Empress of Australia carried passengers between Melbourne and Devonport, and many of us schoolkids had her picture on our schoolbags.

In the mid 80s, the State Government bought a replacement. A competition was held to choose a name. I can't remember what the prize was, probably a free trip for two, or what our suggestion was, although we did drop an entry in the box at the display at the Launceston Show. So came the Abel Tasman. Then, the ferry was the cheap alternative to flying to Melbourne, particularly if you were only going one way. This was also the time of the national pilot's strike. All the commericial airline pilots went on strike. If you didn't have your own plane, there was only one way in and out of Tasmania -- by water. By the ferry.

In the early 90s, our Abel Tasman was replaced by the Spirit of Tasmania, also known as the Cattleship. There is video footage of her in the rough waters of Bass Strait getting up quite a bit of sway. I travelled on this one, in 96. A one way way fare on the plane was the same, or more, than a return ticket, and the ferry was still the cheap alternative. The cheapest fare got you a bunk in the dorm room and as you could eat at the buffet.

There was a bit of grumbling because that meal added quite a bit to the ticket price, $35 if I recall correctly, and if you're travelling on a budget, that's a an expensive meal. There was also grumbling at the time the trip took -- leave Devonport about 6 pm, arrive Melbourne about 8 am. The advertising campaign promoted it as "a cruise to start your holiday with". When you want to get quickly from one point to another, you don't want a cruise.

The Devil Cats fit in here. Short version -- the wave piercing INCAT catamarans were faster than the Spirit and ran a shorter route (George Town, at the top of the Tamar, to Port Welshpool, IIRC) but they kept running into problems, especially with the rough sea, and couldn't meet their schedules.

This Spirit must have been in use when Ansett crashed in 2001. The major airlines both flew regularly in and out of the state. Then suddenly one was gone. Many, many people stranded in Melbourne with no way to get home. No train to catch, or bus, or car, or even hitchhike as a last resort. The ferry was running full. Qantas planes were full. Not a good situation. Ansett managed to resurrect themselves for a short while, but they pulled out Launceston airport soon after, because travellers weren't supporting them. Virgin Blue took over their space. And so begins the era of cut-price plane fares. When a one way fare on the boat is almost as much as a return on a plane, the slow and inconvenient ferry becomes less attractive.

Then came the twins. The Cattleship was replaced by two Greek ferries, Superfast III and Superfast IV.

There was a lot of publicity surrounding their arrival. They went down to Hobart, where they were opened to the public. TT-Line announced that as they had invested so much in the branding of their ferry's name, and possibly inspired by the new additions' original names, they named the pair Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II.

(Look at this twice.)

That's I.

To show that the government does listen to the people, the cheapest fare did not include the cost of the meal. Or a bed either, even on the night run, and it was about $5-10 less than the fare on the old Spirit that did include a bed and a meal. But it was cheaper and, between them, the red ships brought in many, many tourists and the economy boomed and life was good. So much, that the government bought a third one, Spirit of Tasmania III, that ran from Devonport to Sydney. Let's just say, it wasn't a good idea.

The advertising for the red twins is aimed at mainland holidaymakers. That's obvious even from the first page of the website with its "Tassie" all over the place. Lately though, there's been an advertising campaign aimed the other way, with Boonie pointing out how using the Spirit means dollars stay in the state. It might work. The advertised fare is attractive. I do think though, if TT-Line wants to appeal to the local market, they've missed the boat. 20 years ago, they ran a competition to name the new arrival and people still cared about our ferry. Now it's all flash and colour and does anyone really care about the overly red ferries? Maybe they do in Devonport.

News stuff

Oct. 29th, 2006 02:51 am
xenith: (Default)
Cold snap sees beach whiteout
"An icy Antarctic blast dumped snow on Tasmanian beaches yesterday, just two weeks after searing temperatures sparked a series of wildfires across the State.

The thermometer dipped below zero in many areas, with snowfalls reported across the State including at Bicheno, where residents witnessed the first snow flurries in 30 years.

Launceston experienced its coldest October night on record at -1deg"

Tas growers brace for more frost
"This morning parts of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria experienced snow and hail.

Just a fortnight ago Hobart experienced its hottest October day in 19 years, recording 33 degrees in the city and fires burning in some suburbs.

A few days later, fruit crops and vineyards in Southern Tasmania bore the brunt of severe frosts."

Non-weather news. No pictures though :\

Pulp mill opponents take protest to Tamar River
"In northern Tasmania, about 100 watercraft have taken to the Tamar River in protest at Gunns proposed billion dollar pulp mill.

Commercial fishing vessels, recreational boats and kayaks gathered off the proposed mill site at Long Reach.

Many were carrying banners with slogans such as 'Don't pulp our future' and 'Not worth the risk'."


xenith: (Default)

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