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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


On the vulnerable list

A STATE Government decision to list the Tasmanian devil as vulnerable has received a mixed reaction from wildlife park owners.Ray Green, of Something Wild Wildlife Sanctuary at National Park, said the species needed to be listed as endangered but Androo Kelly, of Mole Creek's Trowunna Wildlife Park, said the "vulnerable" listing was appropriate.
Environment and Planning Minister Judy Jackson said she had formally accepted a recommendation from the Independent Threatened Species Scientific Advisory Committee to list the devil as vulnerable under Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act.
She said the Government recognised the threat that the facial tumour disease in devils posed to the iconic species and had provided considerable funding for establishment of a program to address this threat.
"Already we have a rigorous response in place, but this listing means a recovery plan will also be done for the species to identify other measures that may assist in the ongoing survival of the species," Ms Jackson said.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Libs canal plan shock

Libs canal plan shockBy SUE NEALES31aug05
IN a shock announcement, the state Liberals have declared their opposition to the controversial $200 million Ralphs Bay canal development.And while the decision was hailed by the project's opponents, it was met with a mixture of stunned silence and outrage by Tasmania's business community.
Liberal economic development spokesman Will Hodgman said yesterday the luxury home development of 400-500 units proposed by Walker Corporation was simply not appropriate for the mudflats of Ralphs Bay east of Hobart.
Franklin MHA Mr Hodgman said the decision did not mean the Liberals were anti-business or anti-development.
"By our nature, we are a pro-development party, but that does not mean development at any cost," he said.

Economic development

Economic development in Tasmania
Australia's island state of Tasmania provides many business advantages - good location, quality infrastructure and low costs.The Tasmanian Government promotes these advantages to business with the aim of developing Tasmanian-based industries in priority sectors and attracting business to the state.The Department of Economic Development helps Tasmanian businesses and targeted industry sectors to develop and thrive. The department is the first point of contact for companies wishing to establish, relocate, diversify or expand business in Tasmania. More about the department


Last night was the warmest August night ever recorded in Hobart.

The lowest temperature was 15 degrees, up from the previous record of 14.4 degrees.

The weather bureau's Ian Barnes-Keoghan says a windy and cloudy night in the south and east meant daytime temperatures did not drop away as they normally would.

He says the new Hobart minimum breaks a record that has stood for 120 years.

"That's above the previous record of 14.4. Now in Hobart we've got those sorts of records stretching back to 1882 and in fact that 14.4 occurred back in 1885, so it's a long time," he said.

"A very long established record that one," he said.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Study reveals falling farm numbers. - FAIR DINKUM

Study reveals falling farm numbers. 30 August 2005. Launceston News

A national survey has shown the number of farms in Australia has dropped by 10 per cent during the past five years.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the Australian Farming in Brief study for 2005.

It shows that since 1999, 14,700 farms have closed, bringing the total number in Australia to 130,500.

The biggest declines are in cotton, deer farming, dairy cattle, sheep and grain.

The study shows the number of farms valued at less than $100,000 has fallen by more than 20 per cent, while those valued at more than $1 million have almost doubled in number.

James Plunkett, from the bureau's agriculture sector, says there has been a change in the make-up of the farming sector in Australia.

"What we've seen is a shift from some of the smaller concerns into larger industries," he said.

"The majority of farms are now in mixed business type farming, so I think it's more a sign of diversification."

The study also shows some recovery after drought, with an increase in production of some broad acre crops.

A Hot August Night - in Hobart

Warm August night sets new Hobart temperature record. 30/08/2005. ABC News Online

Last night was the warmest August night ever recorded in Hobart.

The lowest temperature was 15 degrees, up from the previous record of 14.4 degrees.

The weather bureau's Ian Barnes-Keoghan says a windy and cloudy night in the south and east meant daytime temperatures did not drop away as they normally would.

He says the new Hobart minimum breaks a record that has stood for 120 years.

"That's above the previous record of 14.4. Now in Hobart we've got those sorts of records stretching back to 1882 and in fact that 14.4 occurred back in 1885, so it's a long time," he said.

"A very long established record that one," he said.

Coal-powered fuel cell aims for efficiency

New Scientist Breaking News - Coal-powered fuel cell aims for efficiency

new coal-powered fuel cell may lead to a more efficient way of extracting energy from the fossil fuel than simply burning it.

“The idea was to look at a way of converting the chemical energy in coal directly into electrical energy,” says Douglas Weibel, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Weibel led the team with colleague Roman Boulatov, now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US.

In conventional power plants, coal is burned to produce heat, which is then used to drive steam turbines and generate electricity. But during the conversion of one form of energy to another, about 65% of the coal's energy is lost, says Weibel.

Efforts have been made in the past to use coal in fuel cells but these have required electrolytes of molten carbonate, involving temperatures between 600°C and 900°C. Not only do such high temperatures reduce efficiency but they also make the fuel cells prone to corrosion.

Weibel's new design allows electricity to be generated at just 100°C, a temperature that is far easier to work with. But the efficiency of the current prototype device is "horrid”, he admits. At 7%, it is roughly one-fifth as efficient as conventional power stations in extracting energy from coal, he says.

Inevitable emissions
Weibel, working with colleague George Whitesides, created the new cell by adding iron ions to a slurry of coal powder, mixed into an electrolyte of sulphuric acid. The ferric iron ions are reduced by the coal, allowing a typical fuel cell reduction-oxidisation cycle to take place, generating electricity.

The cells still produce the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but with coal this is very difficult to avoid, says Weibel. But if the efficiency of the fuel cell can be improved above that of power stations, then more energy could be harvested from the world’s vast coal reserves, with no concomitant increase in CO2 emissions. The US and other countries have substantial "clean coal" research programmes.

Very simple and obvious improvements could make a huge difference to the efficiency of the cell, says Weibel – using a finer form of coal powder, for example, or enhancing the design of the electrodes and placing them closer together.

Large-scale units
Such improvements would be crucial if the fuel cells were to have any chance of competing with conventional coal generators, says Matthew Leach, at the Energy Policy Management Group at Imperial College London, UK.

Leach says we should not think of this technology as being analogous to hydrogen fuel cells, which might be used in cars, but as larger-scale power generation units. “There is research on using relatively large fuel cells in combination with gas turbines,” he says.

But Leach believes the portability of fuel cells is one of their real benefits. With coal fuel cells, he says, this seems limited given the difficulties of distributing a sulphuric acid-based coal slurry.

Journal reference: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (DOI: 10.1002/anie.200501192)



Living Artists Week

Last night saw the city of Hobart filled with a large number of people
stumbling from one gallery opening to another, with the help of a free bus service between the venues, for Living Artist Week. My normally trigger happy photo finger failed me and the only snap I took was up in North Hobart where Caz Rodwell had a large installation consisting of two projections which covered the front windows of the Warn hair and Gallery hairdresser. She calls the piece "Isolated Places", a narrative intervention in public spaces, alluding to the "...situations where intimate conversations happen in isolated places..." and exploring "...fleeting moments of exchange, memory and loss." (Arts at Work catalogue). It suited the night, with the street lit up by the projection.

An article on the Program website about Geoff Parr sent me off to the Criterion gallery site. This was a new site for me and good find too! Great simple layout with some interesting local artists.


MP urges Commonwealth control of Tas health system.

MP urges Commonwealth control of Tas health system. 29/08/2005. ABC News Online

There are calls for the Federal Government to take charge of Tasmania's health system after a similar call in Queensland.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie says public health should be run solely by the Federal or State Government to prevent billions of dollars being wasted.

The Federal Member for Braddon, Mark Baker, says the Tasmanian Government has shown itself to be incapable of running the state's health system and it should be managed by the Commonwealth.

"In Tasmania currently $922 million from the Federal Government over the next five years, which is a record amount of funding, yet our deliverance of the health system just seems to be continually going backwards and backwards and backwards, and it's time that we looked at different alternatives," Mr Baker said.

'D' for disturbing roads

The Advocate Newspaper - Online Edition

COUNTRY roads have been given a "D" in Tasmania's first infrastructure report card, with the authors describing the state of country roads as "disturbing."

The report card was produced by the Tasmanian division of Engineers Australia, and its president Dan O'Toole said the bad marks should be ringing alarm bells.

"(Local roads) are in a disturbing state, given the increasing demands we're seeing on them," he said.

Concerns included road width, edges, potholes, pavements, skid resistance and visibility.

Mr O'Toole said local governments, which were largely responsible for country roads, tended to lack long-term infrastructure planning and so allotted funding on an ad hoc, annual basis.

He called for the establishment of a State infrastructure council made up of local and State government, industry and the community.

The council would encourage better co-ordination and could draft 20-year plans for roads.

RACT chief engineer Doug Ling said he was not surprised country roads failed in the report card, and welcomed the suggestion of a State infrastructure council.

However, Local Government Association of Tasmania CEO Alan Garcia said councils were already being encouraged to devise long-term plans for roads.

He said about half the State's councils were developing 10 and 20-year plans under LGAT's Tasmanian Asset Management Program.

Infrastructure Minister Bryan Green said there was already a State Infrastructure Planning Scheme in place.

Uncertainty souring Taste of Tasmania

The Mercury: Uncertainty souring Taste of Tasmania [30aug05]

A HOBART alderman who headed Taste of Tasmania for about 10 years fears for its future.

Alderman John Freeman said the food fair would collapse unless the State Government ensured it continued to be held at the Princes Wharf No.1 site.

Ald Freeman said this should be a condition of any development on the waterfront.

A location for Taste beyond 2005-06 has not been finalised and continues to fuel speculation about its future.

Alderman Marti Zucco last week said the event would fold unless a long term site was guaranteed.

Government to boost funds for buying works

The Mercury: Government to boost funds for buying works [30aug05]

THE State Government will double the amount it provides to buy art for public buildings over the next two years.

Arts Minister Lara Giddings yesterday said the allocation for this financial year would be raised from $40,000 to $50,000, and then lifted to $80,000 in 2006-07.

The commitment marks the 25th anniversary of the Art for Public Buildings Scheme.

"The scheme has commissioned more than 800 artworks across the state since it was introduced in 1979, making it the biggest source of Government support for visual arts in Tasmania," Ms Giddings said.

Ms Giddings made the funding announcement when launching a book titled Claiming Ground.

Tassie cracks walnut deal

The Mercury: Tassie cracks walnut deal [30aug05]

TASMANIAN companies Webster Ltd and Gunns Ltd have joined forces in a $100 million walnut investment.

Webster and timber giant Gunns' subsidiary Gunns Plantations Ltd plan to plant 3000ha of walnuts in the Griffith region of New South Wales over the next four years.

The news came as shares in Gunns Ltd continued to drop substantially for the fourth day in a row on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The stock opened at $3.27 and dropped as low as $3.06 before closing at $3.15 -- a 3.67 per cent drop.

Gunns shares traded at $4.80 late last year.

New brews honour Cascade founder

The Mercury: New brews honour Cascade founder [30aug05]

HOBART'S Cascade Brewery has returned to its historic past to look to the future.

At a special function at Hobart's Theatre Royal last night, Cascade unveiled a range of beers dedicated to brewery founder Peter Degraves.

Named the Degraves Collection, it contains two old favourites, Cascade Pale Ale and Cascade Stout, and two newcomers, Amber Ale and Blonde Lager.

The Cascade Blonde is malted from wheat instead of barley, while the Cascade Amber is a stronger beer and darker in colour.

"The history of Cascade is something we are immensely proud of and we are happy to be honouring Peter Degraves for his vision of more than 180 years ago," Cascade general manager Dominic Baker said. "Degraves fostered a legacy, built from his commitment to consistency, purity and quality, and Cascade continues his passion today."

Roads, water below par [

The Mercury: Roads, water below par [30aug05]

THE standard of Tasmania's water and local roads are among the worst in the nation and need immediate attention, an industry report card says.

The report, prepared by Engineers Australia, gave Tasmania the lowest D ratings for the poor quality of local roads and water in non-metropolitan areas and found significant problems with overall water management.

Tasmania received an overall rating of C-, lower than all the other states that have been reported on and equal only to New South Wales.

The highest overall rating was the Northern Territory which received a B.

The study was the result of six months' collation of information on the state's assets, their management and their sustainability for the future.

Story ends but literary legend lives

The Mercury: Story ends but literary legend lives [30aug05]

GIFTED, resilient, witty and loved.

Tasmanian poet, novelist, story-teller and activist Margaret Scott died yesterday, aged 71.

Dr Scott, who died peacefully overnight, drew tributes from artists, politicians and dear friends yesterday.

A former head of English at the University of Tasmania, Bristol-born Margaret Scott moved to the state in her 20s.

When she died Dr Scott was at home on the Tasman Peninsula after a recent stay in hospital.

School shock: Aborigine suspensions triple other kids'

The Mercury: School shock: Aborigine suspensions triple other kids' [30aug05]

ABORIGINAL children in Tasmania are three times more likely to be suspended from school than other children.

On any one school day, 22 Aboriginal children around the state are home under school suspension orders, according to figures from the Education Department.

A total 103 schoolchildren are suspended daily in Tasmania.

Education Minister Paula Wriedt said Aboriginal children were suspended more often, and for longer periods, because they were more violent in the playground.

Other reasons for suspension are swearing and rudeness to teachers.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

National Pollutant Inventory Emission Report for Tasmania

National Pollutant Inventory Emission Report for Tasmania

California files french fry lawsuit -

CNN.com - California files french fry lawsuit - Aug 27, 2005: "SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a lawsuit to force top makers of potato chips and french fries to warn consumers about a potential cancer-causing chemical found in the popular snacks.
In a complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lockyer sought an injunction to stop restaurant chains such as McDonald's Corp. and Wendy's International Inc. from selling french fries without some form of warning.
Also named were producers of potato chips and other packaged potato products like PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., makers of Pringles chips.
The suit asks manufacturers of these products to identify the dangers of high levels of acrylamide, a chemical that studies have found is created when starchy foods are cooked at high heat.
'I know from personal experience that, while these snacks may not be a necessary part of a healthy diet, they sure taste good,' Lockyer said in a statement. 'But I, and all consumers, should have the information we need to make informed decisions about the food we eat.'
The lawsuit alleges that companies have violated a state law passed in 1986 requiring companies to provide warnings before exposing people to known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
In 2002, scientists found potatoes and other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures contained low levels of acrylamide. Other studies have discounted the potential toxicity of acrylamide to humans.
Acrylamide study
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is studying the impact of acrylamide levels in food. In a March press release, the FDA said 'acrylamide can cause cancer in laboratory animals at high doses, although it is not clear whether it causes cancer in humans a"

Mandy Renard - Printmaker

Mandy had no problem as her work was hanging in the main corridor where the powers that be had recently upgraded the surfaces to super smooth and freshly painted them for the display. Her work stands out with a strong sense of the feminine, capturing soft, graceful movement and moments in time. Combining her painting skills with printmaking she was able to develop images that complimented the mediums

from http://www.blog.lindenlangdon.com/november04.php

Dr Margaret Scott Profile:

Dr Margaret Scott Profile:

Well, when it comes to the Tasmanian environment, it's not all issues, debates and hot spots, as we've just talked about. There is also the sheer natural beauty and rare wilderness of the place.

One of my personal favourite Tasmanians would have to be that perspicacious author and poet, Margaret Scott. So we sent Alex Tarney down to find out why Margaret loves the place so much and where her favourite spots are. Margaret's a bit off-colour with emphysema at the moment, but Alex assures us her passion for her island home remains undimmed.


"Travel the whale road out to the far horizon
Where dolphins plunge and the albatross swings high..."

ALEX TARNEY, REPORTER: Author and poet Dr Margaret Scott has lived in Tasmania for the best part of 50 years, but it's the wilderness that drew her 12 years ago to the Tasman Peninsula near Port Arthur, both for its beauty and its powerful history.

MARGARET SCOTT, POET: Despite decades of exploitation, parts of it remain fairly pristine and pretty much unspoiled. So, you know, we do have some of the real pieces of wilderness that remain in the world. On one level, nothing is as it once was. On another level, more is relatively untouched here than in many places, and we have to try and keep it that way, I think. It brings a strange peace, and it's also thrilling, I think perhaps because much of it is soaked in a very strange history. There is a very, very long Aboriginal history and a very short, fairly violent and bizarre white history.

"Wading shallows stiff as a waterbird I watch where under the sway of the clear wave
Dark velvet stones
Pearl through crisp white beds of crocheted shell..."

The one thing I like writing about it, I like trying to capture it and capture my reactions to it.

"The water accepts my hand as a white star
My arm is caught in the sunlight's sliding net..."

ALEX TARNEY: And how does living in such a beautiful environment affect your writing?

MARGARET SCOTT: I hesitate to use the word 'inspirational', but it does provide a very good context in which to write, a very good environment in which to write. It's peaceful, it's beautiful, and what more could one ask?

ALEX TARNEY: Nearby Pirates Bay illustrates one of the reasons Margaret loves this part of Tasmania.

MARGARET SCOTT: The waves come in here big and strong, and over the years, together with rain and wind, have carved some extraordinary features along the coastline from the cliffs. Very strange and Gothic. I love its diversity. It has the most amazing landscape.

"Here, hem of the bay
At the hem of the world
Illusions flower in light
From the hard rinsed root of bare exchange."

ALEX TARNEY: How important is the native wilderness?

MARGARET SCOTT: Well, I think it's immensely important. It's important, this place in which the spirit can grow and create. It's important as something we can hand on to our children and our grandchildren.

GEORGE NEGUS: "The hem of the world" – what a wonderful way of putting it. A very Margaret Scott way of putting it, actually. And thanks to Alex Tarney there.

Writer, poet Margaret Scott dies.

Writer, poet Margaret Scott dies. 29/08/2005. ABC News Online

Tasmanian poet and author, Margaret Scott, has died at the age of 71.

For several years she suffered from emphysema, and she passed away early this morning.

Dr Scott was born in Bristol, England, in 1934.

She emigrated to Tasmania in 1959 with her husband and a son.

She went on to have another son, two daughters and her family was later extended to include three stepchildren.

She retired as head of the University of Tasmania's English Department in 1987 to pursue writing.

Her publications include the novels The Baby Farmer and Family Album, a book on Port Arthur (Port Arthur : a story of strength and courage) and numerous anthologies of poetry.

Through her work, she shared her love for family and life.

She also expressed her affection for her Tasman Peninsula home, which she moved into after the death of her partner.

The home was destroyed by fire in 2003.

The peninsula's Mayor, Peter Wilson, says he is shocked and saddened by the news of her death.

"Margaret was a real character," he said.

"Very down-to-earth person and a real character and she absolutely loved our peninsula.

"I mean, she chose to settle here and make a home here.

"A few years ago her house burnt down. The amount of support she got in the community was just phenomenal because she was just that sort of person."

Community service

Dr Scott became an audience favourite on the ABC's Good News Week in the 1990s, and also appeared on World Series Debates.

Dr Scott was dedicated to human rights and was one of the first people to sign a book protesting against the treatment of asylum-seekers in Australia.

She was known for her support of the Port Arthur community and the arts community - particularly the writing community - and won many awards for both her writing and her service.

One of her highest accolades was winning the Australia Council Writers Emeritus Award in 2005.


Sympathy for the Devil

Government attacked over research secrecy [29aug05]

The Mercury: Government attacked over research secrecy [29aug05]

WILDLIFE park operators must be included in the battle against the disease killing Tasmanian devils, the Liberals and Greens said yesterday.

Tasmanian wildlife park operators spoke angrily against the State Government's handling of the disease project in the Sunday Tasmanian yesterday.

Among their concerns, parks were not notified of diseased devils living nearby.

Liberal primary industries and environment spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said he was concerned about a lack of communication between the Government and tourist park operators.

"Tasmanian wildlife parks should be key planks of the overall Tasmanian devil captive population strategy, yet they're not informed about key developments in research and management of the disease," Mr Rockliff said.

Tassie according to Saul

the legendary big spud

Saul-searching barb for Tassie

The Mercury: Saul-searching barb for Tassie [29aug05]

TASMANIA'S economic potential is hampered by a lingering resistance to change, economist Saul Eslake says.

He said studies showed that diversity helped competition and that having many creative residents was a better predictor of jobs growth than even education levels.

He said Tasmania had lots of "creative-class magnets", such as historic buildings, established neighbourhoods and opportunities for recreation.

"Yet to my mind, Tasmanians are still more suspicious of and resistant to social and economic change, less conscious of ... the value of education and overseas experience ... and less tolerant of divergent viewpoints, than many of their mainland counterparts," he said.

He said this would "prevent this island and its people from achieving their full potential".

He praised Tasmania's economic improvements but said further education must continue.

Mr Eslake said Tasmania spent more on educating youngsters than the national average, yet the good student results fell away after Grade 4.

Big spud revamp urged

The Mercury: Big spud revamp urged [29aug05]

POTATO growers and other big-volume producers should seize the opportunity to overhaul their industries while the Tasmanian economy was strong, leading economist Saul Eslake said.

Mr Eslake said commodity producers, whether of "potato chips, woodchips or silicon chips", had little hope in world markets unless they could persuade the consumer of a reason to pay more.

His comments came as vegetable producers complete food labelling submissions and lobby hard ahead of a ministerial council meeting in two months.

And a campaign leader said Tasmanian potatoes that tasted the best were not as popular as fresh produce because they were not as pretty.

Growers are facing huge losses as Tasmanian contracts are slashed, especially for the russet burbank potatoes grown for chips.

Mr Eslake, the North-West Coast-born chief economist for ANZ, told a human resources conference in Hobart that relying on a single customer and on emotional appeals would not substitute for objective analysis.

"For some years I've been saying that Tasmania's future cannot possibly lie predominantly in the volume production of essentially unprocessed commodities at lower prices than competitors with cheap ... labour and capital."

He said the state had to depend on special goods with a "high intellectual content for which customers are willing to pay premium prices".

He was sympathetic to growers but said they had "little prospect of survival" unless they could persuade people to pay more for something special.

That should not be impossible, Mr Eslake said, giving the example of Costa Rica banana growers who faced the same disaster.

They researched new varieties, found a disease cure and developed a brand name.

Fair Dinkum Food campaign co-ordinator Richard Bovill said there had been work on recognising differential values but that Tasmania did best in producing potatoes for processing.

"The fresh market requires something that looks nice and white, from very light soils," Mr Bovil said.

"We have heavy soils, we can grow potatoes with incredible flavour but that don't wash and turn out like a pearl."

He agreed that growers had ended up in a tight spot after years of growing for a handful of processors.

And he said many growers were aware they would have to move to new crops.

"While there is a need for change, people tend to over-simplify complex situations.

"Creating new varieties is incredibly complex. There are dozens of new varieties being examined all the time."

He said point-of-origin labelling change for products was vital and needed to be simple.

Submissions for food labelling close next Monday.

Where there is a hat, there is a Princess

Royals ready for spin on wool gift

examiner.com.au : Royals ready for spin on wool gift

COPENHAGEN'S Royal Palace is in a spin.

What kind of woollen garments are fit to be worn by a royal couple and their pending bundle of joy?

The Danish royal court announced the couple's pregnancy in April this year - a month after Prince Frederik and his Tasmanian-born bride visited Mary's home State in March.

When they were in Tasmania, the State Government presented Princess Mary and Prince Frederik with a 160kg bale of home-grown wool.

And it is almost ready to be made into right royal garments.

Some of the world's top designers are in discussions with the royal palace to come up with the right garments for both Mary and Fred - and perhaps the little prince or princess due to be born in late October.

The royal bale - made up of wool from 29 Tasmanian pastoral properties - will yield about 120kg of wool when processed.

And that is happening right now at Wagga Wagga.

The bale of wool was sent interstate earlier this year and was scoured by Goulburn Wool Scourers before being combed by Chargeurs Wool, at Wagga Wagga.

When the combing process is complete the wool will be ready for manufacture, dyed, woven and then finally knitted into little woollen numbers for Tasmania's favourite daughter, her dashing Danish husband and their much-anticipated arrival.

Tasmania will also present Princess Mary with a baby shower gift when that happy event is officially recorded.

But the question is how will the latest gift compete with a humungous bale of wool.

Crown Princess Mary will visit an Australian university campus in Denmark on September 27 as one of her last official public appearances before the expected birth of her baby.

The couple's baby will be the second in line to the Danish throne - after Prince Frederik, Queen Margrethe's eldest son.

Princess power - see Magazine

Thursday, August 25, 2005

slimming time down in Tassie

get supersized ---->

- but first remove your eyes and skins from the potato

Boycott will hurt Tas farmers: McDonald's.

Boycott will hurt Tas farmers: McDonald's. 25/08/2005. ABC News Online
McDonald's is defending its loyalty to Australian food producers.

The Family First Party has called for a boycott of McDonald's hash browns and french fries after the company decided to cut its Australian potato contracts for next year.

But McDonald's spokeswoman Kristene Mullen says the company spends more than $500 million a year on Australian grown food.

She says it will not start getting any potatoes from New Zealand for another six months.

"Having a boycott I think really is only going to damage the Tasmanian farmers, because at this stage we're still using potatoes from Tasmania," she said.

Welcome to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

Welcome to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

tasmania's botanical gardens

Tasmania part of international seed bank plan

The Mercury: Tasmania part of international seed bank plan [26aug05]

THE Director of the British Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew seemed like the right man for the job in Hobart's Botanical Gardens yesterday.

Professor Sir Peter Crane was in Hobart to officially open Tasmania's Millennium Seed Bank.

The facility at the gardens is part of the global Millennium Seed Bank network co-ordinated by the UK's prestigious Kew gardens.

Professor Crane said the idea first developed in the 1990s in the UK as one of many millennium projects.

He said there had always been strong links between Kew and other global organisations and it gave him great pleasure to formalise the agreement with Tasmania.

tastey tassie

Taste future fears over location woe

The Mercury: Taste future fears over location woe [26aug05]: "Ald Zucco accused Ald Valentine 'of trying to find a place to hide on the issue', saying the council was waiting for outcomes from the new Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority.
At the same time, he called on Premier Paul Lennon to make a commitment to the council on a future venue for the Taste because the existing site had been proposed as a development site by the State Government.
Ald Zucco said the Taste was an extremely important event for Hobart and Tasmania as it had been showcasing state produce and products at the shed for the past 16 years.
The uncertainty over continued availability of the State Government-owned shed was making it difficult to continue to secure long-term Taste sponsors.
Waterfront authority chief executive Jeff Gilmour said an assurance had been given for the Taste to be held at Princes Wharf for this year.
'We have begun discussions with Hobart council officers about future events on the waterfront, about how this would be managed,' Mr Gilmour said.
For the past two years, he said, the council had received year-to-year approval for the Taste to be held on its site.
The State Government and the waterfront authority were keen to look at long term options for the site in detail and part of this consideration was the Taste.
Ald Valentine said it was an obvious concern if the site was unavailable after this year's event.
Despite Ald Zucco's personality bashing, he said, the council had allocated funds for an analysis of possible alternative sites and events.
He said Mr Lennon was unwilling to give a cast-iron guarantee the Taste would continue at its existing site.
The direction of the new authority seemed to indicate redevelopment of the site would occur after other sites across Sull"

The Southern Lights -- Something to Howl About

Spotlight on Tassie's spectacular sky

The Mercury: Spotlight on Tassie's spectacular sky [26aug05]

TASMANIANS have been treated to a spectacular light show with the Aurora Australis putting on one of its most spectacular performances.

Shevill Mathers, of the Southern Cross Observatory at Cambridge, said the display on Wednesday night was one of the best in memory.

He said astronomers at the Mt Canopus observatory site were interrupted by "giant searchlights". "Somebody made the comment, 'who has their car headlights on?'.

"It's a sight not often seen.

"It was difficult to watch all parts of the sky, with beams, rippling curtains and coronal swirls overhead and down near the horizon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tassie Squirrel to put bite on sharks in SA

Eurocopter AS 350 BA Squirrell - Aircraft Fleet - ROTOR-LIFT HELICOPTERS Hobart Tasmania Australia

Eurocopter AS 350 BA Squirrell - Aircraft Fleet - ROTOR-LIFT HELICOPTERS Hobart Tasmania Australia

Tassie shark-patrol helicopter set for Adelaide.

Tassie shark-patrol helicopter set for Adelaide. 25/08/2005. ABC News Online

Sea rescue authorities in Adelaide are set to take delivery of a custom-built Tasmanian helicopter for shark patrols.

A Tasmanian company has built the Squirrel helicopter in a million-dollar project, initiated by the Adelaide business community and surf lifesaving groups, after a shark attack earlier this year.

The helicopter is equipped with an aerial platform and rescue pod, and is capable of winching three people to safety at a time.

Rotor Lift Helicopters managing director Roger Corbin says two Adelaide pilots have been conducting trial flights in Tasmania this week.

"It's very successful for a very fast extrication of people from the surf or water onto the beach, where they can then be dealt with by surf-lifesaving or medics on the beach," Mr Corbin said.

The helicopter is due to fly to South Australia on Saturday

The sufis up in hobart

Almiraj Sufi and Islamic Study Centre Inc

Almiraj Sufi and Islamic Study Centre Inc

(An Arabic word for Sincere Advice)

Do not blame your parents, or your personality, or your society, or your geographical location in this world, or your so called 'karma', or anybody else for what you are.

The Merciful Allah (God) gave every man and woman the chance to undo what has been done through genuine exercise of determination; to have access to the ultimate realisation of the Truth within yourself.

Determined will is Allah's gift to you - when you tune your will to the will of Allah.

In a nutshell - when you learn the art of surrendering your will to Allah.

So, now is the time to decide, my dear brothers and sisters, about your purpose in this life. Are you going to be part of the problem? Or part of the solution to the crisis of this beautiful earth that the Beloved Allah has entrusted us with?

Hobart Islamic study centre fire not suspicious: police.

Hobart Islamic study centre fire not suspicious: police. 25/08/2005. ABC News Online
There is no reason to believe a Hobart Islamic study centre was the target of a religious hate crime, according to police and fire investigators.

The Sufi and Islamic Study Centre in Liverpool Street has been gutted by a fire that broke out around 7:30am AEST today.

Part of the 99-year-old building's roof has collapsed and the area is still closed to traffic due to fears of further instability.

Police Inspector David Plumpton says while the cause is yet to be determined, there is no sign of forced entry and the occupiers have not received any threats.

"There's nothing from any of the occupiers of those premises to indicate that they have any concerns regarding any person and at this stage, they do not believe that the fire is anything other than of an accidental nature," he said.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

don't get your budgies in a twist

Hoist the Arts in your own backyard :

Hoist the Arts in your own backyard : ABC Hobart

Here's a secret - Art is all around us. Forget the galleries, there's vibrant stuff in your street, but we want you to be our eyes and tell us what you like and where it is.

Living Artists Week 2005 is looming so we want to ask the question: 'Art - what is it, really?'

Do you have 'art' in your community? No, not art galleries, but often stuff on the edges of everyday life, like park furniture, or mall sculpture, or a building feature. Sheffield, in the North West, whipped up lots of enthusiasm with its permanently-displayed murals. We've got a few samples of those, including Cheyne Purdue's and John Lendis' works. Meanwhile, on the misty banks of the Meander River, there's a whole bunch of colourful sculptures, usually covered with real-life children.

Things we've found and liked run the gamut from sand castles to painted pirate budgies, with life-sized wooden pigs and giant aluminium fish along the way. North Hobart's got some great murals and street signs, courtesy of creative thinking by the Hobart Council.

Cressy: Cressy's entry is looking spectacularly good. Bruno Barcodi, a self-described "object maker", writes that over the last two years, residents and others, encouraged by the local council, have given this Northern-Midlands town an "arts-led economic and cultural" makeover. As a consequence, says Bruno, Cressy's now become a desirable place for travellers to stop; in fact, tour buses head towards Cressy.

Here are a few of the objets d'art that Bruno and the town's cultural warriors have put in place:

a 6m high coloured aluminium trout "of various hues"
a 3m high fishing rod sculpture with its killer fly snagged on the nearby toilet block
fish-themed street signs
"Blue Poles" - 70 of Aurora's power poles now carry works of art
a poppy wall to commemorate a Cressy war hero
trout-themed billboards for local businesses
Just take a look at seven of the photos we've selected from the ever-expanding Cressy collection.

Bruno also says they haven't stopped yet. More artwork is promised, and they've organised Tasmania's first Trout Fishing Expo for 26-27 August 2005. Be alert, be very alert!

St Marys: Lyn Piscitelli tells us how her community devised a 21-square metre mural which "...beautifully brightens an otherwise dismal town wall". She calls it a Cultural Map of St Marys. Residents including school children contributed individual paintings and mosaics, which Lyn then collaged together with river stones. Collaged should be a word, if it isn't already. "This" says Lyn, "then frames the central scene of the area's peaks and wonderful views to the East coast".

Note that one of the works shows an intricately detailed Todds Hall, which burnt down last year and is still sorely missed.

We want you to spot things that you like, in your town or suburb, and tell us something about it. Oh, and send pictures. How did it come about, why is it important, does it attract attention (other than bird droppings) and has it changed the character of your town?

So, tell us what, why and where, send us a few pics. We'll put your art on our website, to share with the rest of Tasmania (or the rest of the world, these days). Use your mobile phone camera, or whatever you like. Even a pinhole camera.

You've got until August 19th to send in your entry, then on August 22nd we'll choose the most interesting 'art'. Chris Wisbey will present his Sunday program from (or near) your piece of 'art' on August 28th to celebrate 'Living Artists Week'.

Contributions, please, to ABC Radio, Box 9994 in Hobart, or Box 201 in Launceston.

We've got a winner - Cressy!
Nice work, townspeople of Cressy. ABC judges agreed you're a deserving winner so Chris Wisbey and his broadcast caravan will be pulling into town next Sunday 28th August. His show's on air from 10am till noon. See it live or hear it across Tasmania on the radio.

Last Update: Monday, August 22, 2005. 4:48pm (AEST)

TT-Line may gain

The Advocate Newspaper - Online Edition

PASSENGER ferry operator TT-Line could be a big winner from Toll's $4.6 billion takeover bid for transport logistics rival Patrick.

Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council chief executive Jim McCormack said yesterday the takeover might give TT-Line's Spirit of Tasmania fleet the chance to increase freight revenue.

Freight already plays an important part in the Spirits' balance sheet.

The proposed merger, revealed yesterday, would create one of the world's largest transport groups worth $8.6 billion.

Should Toll takeover Patrick, a review of shipping operations seems likely in both Devonport, where Patrick's two Bass Strait ships are based, and at Burnie, used by Toll for its two-ship Melbourne service.

Mr McCormack said Bass Strait had an over-capacity for freight even before TT-Line "added more capacity to an oversupplied market" with its Spirits.

Maritime Union State secretary Mike Wickham said there were more questions than answers.

"It opens a lot of questions, like would (Toll) retain four vessels?" he asked.

"Would they stay in Burnie or go to the centre of the freight market in Devonport?"

The Devonport and Burnie city councils' general managers said their councils had yet to discuss the situation were the takeover to proceed.

"If it did come to pass, I wonder if it mightn't be to Devonport's benefit," Devonport general manager David Sales said.

"I think there are better facilities and if they were ever going to roll into one, I'd think it would be here.

"But the (State) Government stepped in and did all sorts of deals when Brambles were going to pull out of Burnie."

His Burnie counterpart, Paul Arnold, said regional productivity stood Burnie's port in good stead, as did its relative proximity to Melbourne.

The King Is. Council and the Cradle Coast Authority yesterday said they would approach Toll if there was any threat to the island's weekly shipping service provided by Patrick.

That's the Spirit

$37m gas upgrade a boost to power

examiner.com.au : $37m gas upgrade a boost to power

Hydro Tasmania will spend $37 million on gas- fired generators to avert possible power shortages as the State approaches summer with water storages at less than one- third of capacity.

The three second-hand Pratt and Whitney gas turbines will be installed at the Bell Bay power station and add up to 105MW of power to the State electricity grid.

The power station, recently converted from oil to natural gas, already produces up to 240MW.

The contingency plan will provide enough generating capacity until next autumn, by which time the Basslink undersea power link with the mainland should be operational.

Hydro chairman David Crean said yesterday that inflow to Tasmania's Hydro lakes had dropped to 75 per cent of average.

"This is the eighth straight year of below- average inflow," he said.

"Below-average rainfall has also been recorded in the Hydro catchments for each of the past 12 months," Dr Crean said.

Total storages are now at 30 per cent of capacity, compared with 45 per cent at the same time last year. Demand for power in the State has also continued to rise in the past few years.

Hydro Tasmania will seek parliamentary approval for the purchase this week.

The gas turbines, to be bought from a US power company, will be installed at Bell Bay by January.

The units can be easily disassembled and sold when no longer needed.

Hydro Tasmania had planned to counter low water levels and the potential threat to power supplies with the privately owned $700 million Basslink cable.

The cable allows 600MW of power to be sold into the mainland grid and 300MW from mainland coal-fired power stations to be brought to Tasmania.

But that project was set back by about six months when its giant transformers were damaged in transit from Germany.

The gas turbines, using natural gas piped from Victoria, can generate power for about $50 a megawatt/hour.

That is dearer than coal or hydro-generated power but considerably less than wind power or the $500 a MW-hour for large diesel units that were considered during a dry spell in 2002.

The Opposition yesterday supported the move but criticised the Government for leaving continency plans until now.


Pratt & Whitney Gas Turbines to Generate Electricity in Tasmania

Power Technology - Pratt & Whitney Power Systems - Advanced Aeroderivative Gas Turbines

Power Technology - Pratt & Whitney Power Systems - Advanced Aeroderivative Gas Turbines

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (PWPS), the industrial gas turbine division of Pratt & Whitney, has taken the advanced technology of P&W proven aircraft engines and applied it to an extensive product line of land based gas turbines. Whether it is for electric power generation or for applications requiring variable speed mechanical drive such as marine propulsion, gas compression or liquid pumping, the 450kW to 60MW gas turbine product portfolio offers competitive, efficient, flexible products.

Since the sale of its first gas turbine for pumping natural gas in October 1960, PWPS has sold gas turbines for a variety of applications. These include electrical power generation, offshore platform power, oil and gas transmission, industrial drives, locomotives and marine propulsion. Combined, these turbines have accumulated hundreds of millions of heavy-duty industrial service hours.

In 1986, PWPS began a program to design, develop, and manufacture a technologically advanced, highly efficient industrial gas turbine, the FT8. This gas turbine incorporated many technological features of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D series aircraft engine. The JT8D is one of the most successful jet engines in commercial aviation history, with over 14,000 sold and a total of more than 400 million hours of reliable operation. Today, approximately 200 FT8 gas turbines are currently installed or on order with units in operation on five continents.

The FT8 is compact, easy to install and is capable of using a variety of fuels. The gas generator can be changed in less than eight hours due to the modular design of the engine. Similarly, it can be disassembled into its main modules and reassembled in less than four days.

The latest improvement to the FT8 offering is the streamlined SWIFTPAC™ configuration of 25MW and 50MW. The SWIFTPAC units are configured as multi-trailer modular systems with a majority of the units pre-assembled at the factory. Each unit is designed for rapid installation allowing initial power generation to be achieved within one month upon arriving on site.

Blackout threat averted: State spends $37m on gas-powered generators from US

The Mercury: Blackout threat averted: State spends $37m on gas-powered generators from US [24aug05]

THE threat of power blackouts this summer and autumn has faded with the decision by the State Government to buy four extra gas-powered electricity generators from the United States.

The second-hand generators, costing $37 million, will be bought by Hydro Tasmania and installed in an extension of the Bell Bay power station north of Launceston.

Together they will add an extra 105 megawatts of power to the Tasmanian electricity system, alleviating the risk posed by record low water storage levels across the state to reliable supplies of hydro-electricity.

Premier Paul Lennon told Parliament yesterday that buying the gas generators was a cost-effective and environmentally-sound solution to a power-shortage problem which was putting at risk the reliable and sustained production of some of the state's biggest industries.

With water storages now at just 30 per cent of capacity -- this time last year they held 45 per cent -- the state had already asked big business to investigate ways of cutting back their power demands

is understood the request had not met with great enthusiasm or positive responses from Tasmania's biggest power users, such as Comalco and Zinifex.

The Government was also concerned about power blackouts for domestic consumers in late summer and early autumn, when dams and lakes are at their lowest levels.

"This is a prudent step to protect Tasmania's energy supplies during a time of abnormally low rainfall," Mr Lennon said.

"The alternative was diesel generators based on the West Coast and I was not prepared to have highly-polluting diesel generators on the edge of our West Coast wilderness with an endless convoy of fuel trucks to service them."

As long as the decision to buy the new generators is approved by Parliament this week, the new gas turbines should be operational by January.

The three generators -- and one spare one -- will complement the two large generators already in power production at Bell Bay.

HCA's Little Mermaid in Copehagen

Our princess in pink as the big day nears

The Mercury: Our princess in pink as the big day nears [24aug05]

LOOKING a picture of health, Princess Mary stepped out in a flowing floral dress yesterday, proudly displaying her growing bump.

The glowing princess was attending a Copenhagen exhibition on the difficulties of learning to read and write that beset Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen.

The exhibition will kickstart a new foundation in Andersen's name to counter illiteracy all over the world.

Looking pretty in pink, the princess stepped into the sunshine appearing more and more at ease with her pregnancy.

She and her husband Crown Prince Frederik have just over two months until the arrival of their baby.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bonlac's award spreads good news

The Advocate Newspaper - Online Edition

THERE's no better butter than Duck River Pure Creamery at the moment, confirmed by the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania.

The Spreyton-made spread won best butter at the Royal Hobart Fine Food awards on Sunday night.

"We are proud to have won an award among such a high standard of local entrants," Bonlac Spreyton site manager Ian Tucker said yesterday.

"Congratulations go to the staff for the hard work and skill they put into making the butter, and the Tasmanian farmers who supply the quality milk."

Mr Tucker said Tasmanian-made butter had found good support from consumers.

It was a good weekend for Bonlac on the Coast.

Its Wynyard site was crowned champion cheddar cheese at the Royal Adelaide Show for its Export Cheddar.

"It's great to receive recognition from such a prestigious event as the Royal Adelaide Show. I would like to thank the staff at Wynyard for the hard work they put into making the cheeses and the dairy farmers who supply Bonlac with the milk required to make this champion cheddar cheese," Bonlac Foods general manager Bruce Donnison said.

Tetsuya Wakuda

Tassie food simply the best for master chef

The Mercury: Tassie food simply the best for master chef [23aug05]

WHEN famous chef and restaurateur Tetsuya Wakuda gives the seal of approval to Tasmanian produce you can believe the hype.

The owner and chef at Tetsuya's in Sydney gave a master class at Wrest Point yesterday for about 30 of the best chefs in Tasmania.

His restaurant was voted the fourth best in the world recently by a panel of 600 chefs, food critics and restaurateurs in the UK.

But that reputation would not be possible without his signature dishes such as confit of ocean trout.

He said the ocean trout he uses come from Macquarie Harbour and the best of Tasmania's scallops, abalone and crayfish also make their way to the plates of the exclusive restaurant, patronised by royalty, movie stars and assorted billionaires.

Tetsuya said he became involved as an official ambassador for Tasmanian excellence in food and beverage simply because the state has the best.

"The Tasmanian reputation for clean environment, including its waters, is why people want those products," he said.

"You must have the highest quality produce to make the best dishes."

The chef to the superstars was giving away no secrets about the rich and famous who patronise his restaurant.

"People come to my restaurant knowing they will not be bothered by autograph hunters or anyone else -- we treat everyone the same and they know they won't be hassled," he said.

He declined to name some of the more famous people who have dined at his restaurant but said they included many of the world's most famous.

He has been a chef for 23 years and has owned the restaurant for the past 18 years.

It is closed on Sundays and Mondays, which enabled him to come to Hobart for the master class.

Today he will speak to students at Drysdale Institute and interview six young chefs hopeful of receiving a one-month scholarship at Tetsuya's.

Fears for state shipping service

The Mercury: Fears for state shipping service [23aug05]

A PLANNED $4.6 billion takeover of Patrick Corp by Toll has raised fears for shipping services to Tasmania.

The pair are the two major shippers to the state, and Premier Paul Lennon says he is prepared to call in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if he has any concerns about the merger.

Toll announced its hostile bid yesterday.

Mr Lennon said his Government would fight to ensure a competitive position was maintained between Bass Strait shipping lines.

He agreed there would be greater opportunities for freight to be carried on the TT-Line ferries after the merger.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Neptunes Knob excites Devonport

from http://www.abc.net.au/northtas/stories/s1419226.htm

Aden McLeod has immortalised everyone from the Queen Mother and Nelson Mandela to Australian jazz musician James Morrison and television personality Ernie Dingo in sculpture.

But his dream is for perhaps his greatest work – a five metre colossus called “The Spirit of the Sea” - to stand sentry forever at the mouth of Devonport’s Mersey River.

The native Texan who now calls Tasmania home, created the imposing statue, based loosely on Poseidon: the Greek god of the sea, two years ago.

He told ABC Northern Tasmania’s Breakfast Presenter David Iliffe the inspiration came from a lifetime of being in awe of the sea’s sheer power.

Dangly clanger

The Advocate Newspaper - Online Edition

THE dangly bit hanging from a giant naked sculpture planned for the Mersey River would be like a red rag to a bull for vandals, a Coastal art lecturer claims.

Wayne Edwards, a lecturer at Devonport TAFE School of Art and Craft, said public art had to take into account the likelihood of it being vandalised.

King Neptune's exposed genitalia would be irresistible, he said.

Mr Edwards cited a case in North Queensland last year when a large bull sculpture was dismembered with a chainsaw.

The Devonport Lions Club is trying to raise $150,000 to install the controversial 5.5 metre bronze Spirit of the Sea, created by Devonport artist Aden McLeod, at the mouth of the Mersey.

Mr Edwards questioned whether the sculpture was appropriate on a site officially promoted as the Gateway To Tasmania.

He said a sculpture awarded such high eminence had to be the best on offer and should be put to public tender.

He said well-credentialled Coastal sculptors, including Helmut Schwabe and Athol Chaffey, should be invited to submit work.

"A lot of people would give their right arm to have their work featured in that position."

Lions club spokesman Leon Wootton dismissed the vandalism argument.

"It will stand five metres off the ground on sandstone and is 5.5 metres tall there will be water gushing over it," he said.


"Anyway it's a puerile argument."

Mr Wootton said public feedback on the McLeod sculpture had been overwhelmingly positive.

He said 100 people viewed the work after the last Devonport Farmers' Market and 95p.c. had loved it.

Living Artists

art will be seen everywhere in Hobart this week -- from your local Post Office lobby, through to a real estate agent's office -- amazing but true

arts@work - tasmanian living artists week 2005

arts@work - tasmanian living artists week 2005

About Tasmanian Living Artists' Week

Tasmania’s annual Living Artists’ Week will be the island’s biggest visual arts event ever, as hundreds of artists showcase their creativity in studios, schools, shop-fronts and galleries across the state. From Friday 26 August – Sunday 4 September 2005 over 750 artists will participate in more than 350 events, attracting thousands of people to a huge variety of venues statewide.

Living Artists’ Week is a wonderful opportunity to display Tasmania’s unique creativity within an awe-inspiring artistic landscape. It is a perfect opportunity to combine fantastic Tasmanian art with our remarkable cool climate wines and fresh island produce

The program includes workshops, exhibitions, culinary events, artists’ talks, art trails and open studios around the state. In Hobart and Launceston a free bus circuit will visit more than 20 art spaces as part of opening night festivities.

In a first for Tasmania, Hobart will play host to Claiming Ground - Public Art Conference on August 29 & 30. International and interstate speakers will share their visions for dynamic public art that captivates and inspires both artists and communities. The conference coincides with the launch of a book that celebrates 25 years of Tasmania’s Art for Public Buildings Scheme, the oldest such scheme in Australia.

The Inaugural Peppermint Bay Sculpture Prize is another highlight of Living Artists’ Week. Twenty of Tasmania’s most exciting sculptors will be exhibiting and selling their work at Peppermint Bay, 35 minutes down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from Hobart. The scenery is breathtaking and provides the perfect backdrop for outstanding and innovative artworks.

Tasmania’s top food and wine ventures are also featured in the program including award winning Stillwater, Moorilla Museum, Strathlynn, Peppermint Bay, Henry Jones Art Hotel and Domaine A - Stoney Vineyard.

Living Artists’ Week is when artists open their studio doors to the public, allowing the public to savour the wealth of talent that underpins Tasmania’s reputation as an exciting arts destination.

Maatsuyker Island

Named by early Dutch Explorers who thought it looked like a lump of sugar

Volunteers sought for remote Tas island.

Volunteers sought for remote Tas island. 21/08/2005. ABC News Online

Tasmanian's with a lust for adventure are being sought to caretake a remote island off Tasmania's south-west

The Parks and Wildlife Service has advertised for volunteers to man Maatsuyker Island for four months at a time.

Successful appliciants will undertake maintenance and land management work, as well as weather observations for the Bureau of Meteorology.

Expressions of Interest close mid-September.

Schools play it by numbers in race where maths counts

The Mercury: Schools play it by numbers in race where maths counts [22aug05]

IT was a relay race with a difference yesterday as Rose Bay High School hosted part of the Mathematics Association of Tasmania's annual Maths Relay.

Nearly 100 teams of four competed at Rose Bay, with other relays being held simultaneously in Launceston and Burnie, involving almost 1000 students around the state.

Students were given lists of 20 maths problems to solve and as each team settled on an answer to one, a member had to sprint across the gymnasium to have the answer marked.

If right they could move on to the next question and if wrong they had to try again.

Mathematical Association of Tasmania executive member Denise Neal said the competition had been running for 15 years and the questions covered the entire range of the mathematical curriculum.

Residents fear sand mine bid

The Mercury: Residents fear sand mine bid [22aug05]

SEVEN Mile Beach residents have called for more information to be made available about a proposed sand mine near the popular beach.

More then 50 residents packed into the Seven Mile Beach Community Hall yesterday to voice their concerns over the proposal by Sanbar Pty Ltd.

The overwhelming majority were opposed to the sand mine but Seven Mile Beach Coast Care convener Stephanie Murfet said it was important to keep communications open between all parties.

"They have actively sought to have the community involved in the process and that is unprecedented," she said.

"They are obliged to undertake a public input process and we're initiating our side of that process."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Growing opposition to Tasmanian pulp mill

The World Today - Growing opposition to Tasmanian pulp mill

The World Today - Thursday, 18 August , 2005 12:49:02
Reporter: Tim Jeanes
ELEANOR HALL: And on the subject of development, in Tasmania there's growing opposition to a proposed pulp mill in the State's north, with environmentalists and the fishing industry today expressing concern about the damage the mill could do to the environment.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says the latest plan, announced this week by the company Gunns, is for an old-style polluting mill and she's called on the Federal Government to withdraw the money that it's put aside for the project.

And local fishermen say the mill is a threat to valuable fishing grounds in Bass Strait.

In Hobart, Tim Jeanes reports.

TIM JEANES: Tasmania's new Senator, Christine Milne, led the 1980s campaign against the Wesley Vale Mill. Sparking heated protests around Tasmania and on the mainland, that development was eventually shelved after Commonwealth environmental concerns.

The new billion dollar pulp mill is planned for Bell Bay, near Launceston, with forest giant Gunns Limited behind the proposal.

Senator Milne says the latest details released in a revised plan from Gunns are a worrying case of d�j� vu.

CHRISTINE MILNE: When push comes to shove, what we've got is exactly the same pulp mill that they tried to build at Wesley Vale 17 years ago. And the only difference is they've gone from elemental chlorine to chlorine dioxide, which is a marginal step, but it still means that $30 billion litres of effluent containing organochlorines will go into Bass Strait.

TIM JEANES: Senator Milne plans to raise the issue in the Senate this afternoon, focussing on a Federal Government pledge of $5 million for the project.

CHRISTINE MILNE: Now it's very clear that they don't intend to pursue clean technology, and therefore, why should the taxpayers give Gunns what is effectively corporate welfare?

Why should the taxpayers give Gunns $5 million to pollute the Tamar Valley and to destroy Tasmania's clean and green marketing image and the amenity of life for people who live there?

TIM JEANES: A spokeswoman for Gunns Limited says the mill will be based on international best practice and experts who've built pulp mills around the world are currently in Tasmania helping with the design. This includes using best available technology.

The spokeswoman says that Gunns has to meet rigorous State Government environmental guidelines or it won't be allowed to build the mill.

Meanwhile, fishermen are the latest group to express concern over the proposal.

Andrew Febey is the Chief Executive of the Tasmanian Fishing Industry Council.

He's told the ABC's Country Hour there are serious question marks over the scientific assessment process, in terms of the effect any pollution will have on Bass Strait.

ANDREW FEBEY: When you read things where the language that's being used is that, �It is unlikely to be� or, �It may not�, or �It's not thought that it will happen�, then immediately the question you ask is, well, �Can't we be a little more certain?�

TIM JEANES: Mr Febey says the pulp mill outfall has the potential to affect valuable fishing grounds, that include species such as rock lobster, scallops and abalone.

He says Bass Strait is particularly vulnerable to pollution.

ANDREW FEBEY: Bass Strait isn't a river, it's essentially a lake without a couple of ends and so the water in there doesn't move around very much. In fact, it's been described to me a bit like a washing machine, it just goes round and round and then you have to have certain conditions for it to empty one way or another.

We're not opposed to the mill.

We believe that it's quite an exciting development for Tasmania, but I think we always have to balance what might be a positive effect in one area if somewhere else it has a negative effect.

ELEANOR HALL: Andrew Febey from the Tasmanian Fishing Industry Council speaking to Ti

Tas to host APEC small business ministerial forum.

Tas to host APEC small business ministerial forum. 20/08/2005. ABC News Online

Small business ministers from across the Asia-Pacific region will meet in Tasmania in 2007.

Australia is hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings that year, with parts of the forum to be held in different states.

The APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Forum will be held in Tasmania, with small business ministers from the 21-member countries expected to attend.

Tasmanian Small Business Minister Lara Giddings says the forum is an opportunity to showcase Tasmania's businesses.

"I think this is a real pat on the back for Tasmania that we do have such a significant and important international meetings actually occurring here in our state," she said.

"Here we have a international meeting with countries like the USA, Japan and China, Russia - you name it, those Asia-Pacific countries will be here in Tasmania and we can use that as an opportunity to further our trade."
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Artist sought for elm tree stump sculpture.

Artist sought for elm tree stump sculpture. 20/08/2005. ABC News Online
The remains of a 100-year-old elm tree that was vandalised in Hobart's Franklin Square will be transformed into art.

Police are yet to find the man who used a chainsaw to hack at the tree in July.

It is costing the Hobart City Council $10,000 to remove and replace the tree.

The chairman of Hobart Council's Parks and Services Committee, Peter Sexton, says the tree stump will removed next week.

"A decision has been taken that the stump will be made available for a sculpture," he said.

"What that sculpture form will take and where it will be is a decision to be taken by council at a later date.

"Our first priority however is to ensure we don't damage it in anyway so it can't be used for that sort of thing."

Mr Sexton says the trunk will be cut into planks.

"We also have some interest from wood craft groups, from furniture makers, sculptors, and also we may be having discussions with the fine arts school at the University of Tasmania and we are hoping this very tragic loss of this tree won't be in vain."

New potato cut fear for NW growers

The Mercury: New potato cut fear for NW growers [20aug05]

A CUT to potato prices for Tasmanian growers by Canadian giant McCain would be devastating, says a growers group.

Ballarat growers rejected a 7 per cent price cut proposed by McCain on Thursday.

A similar price cut is expected to be offered to Tasmanian growers supplying the french fry plant at Smithton.

McCain potato growers group chairman Phillip Beswick, from Sisters Creek, said the growers would meet the company next Tuesday to begin price negotiations.

"If the offer from McCain is the same as Ballarat, we will have to reject it," he said.

The Mercury: Milne on attack over pulp mill plan

The Mercury: Milne on attack over pulp mill plan [20aug05]

TASMANIA'S Economic Development Minister was being forced to "defend the indefensible" following the submission of a new proposal for the state's $1.5 billion pulp mill, Greens senator Christine Milne said yesterday.

Senator Milne said Lara Giddings had last year backed a chlorine-free, plantation-based pulp mill but was now forced to "sell Tasmanians something they don't want" after a planning backflip by logging company Gunns Ltd.

Gunns submitted a new project scope to the Department of Environment and Heritage this week, which confirms the pulp mill will not be totally chlorine-free as originally promised.

It also reveals plans to source wood from native forests, instead of its pledged plantation forest focus.

Senator Milne said the Government would not allow public comment on the mill's feedstock, which meant there could be no criticism of its technology.

New bid to re-boot IT money

The Mercury: New bid to re-boot IT money [20aug05]

ANOTHER battle is looming over the unspent $20 million-plus of Tasmania's Intelligent Island funding.

After five years and two failed bids to set up a special project with the Information Technology bonus cash, the Tasmanian and Australian governments remain at odds over where the money should go.

Next week Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings will meet Federal Information Technology Minister Helen Coonan at a ministerial meeting in Perth.

The Federal Government still wants a centrepiece project using half the original $40 million.

That would still leave $8 million for IT companies.

Map program helps farmers see future

The Mercury: Map program helps farmers see future [21aug05]

TASMANIAN farmers looking at a smarter approach to working on the land have made the most of a pilot project in the North-West.

The Cradle Coast whole-farm planning initiative gave 30 farmers from Devonport to King Island access to expert advice to develop plans.

The project received $204,600 in funding under the Government's Natural Heritage Trust, and the first stage finished last month.

It included mapping each property using aerial photography and global positioning satellite technology.

Project manager Rachel Walker said the initiative had received a big response from the farmers involved

The Green House -- Bruny Island on Book Cover

here is the AMAZON review

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: The Green House

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: The Green House

The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture, by Alanna Stang and Christopher Hawthorne (2005, Princeton Architectural Press; $45), is one of those coffee-table books that could easily make one feel rather ashamed of one's current dwelling. Not only are the buildings presented in the book often achingly beautiful, they're built to meet current concepts of sustainability, integrating high-efficiency designs, recycled materials, low-water and low-energy requirements and so forth. Not only are the green homes better looking than where you live, the book implicitly taunts, they're better for the environment.

One is not likely to come away from The Green House filled with ideas for how to make one's own digs greener and more stylish, but that's not the point of a book like this. The Green House fits the Viridian model of making environmental sustainability something to be envied, and then emulated. The book focuses on about 30 different locations around the world, divided up by context -- city, suburb, mountain, waterside, desert. This undercuts any argument that such buildings are only possible in limited circumstances, even as the the photos make clear that each is a unique offering.

But paired with the photos is descriptive text that focuses rather explicitly on how each featured structure achieves its desired sustainability goals. The authors do seem to take the matter of sustainable dwelling seriously, and recognize that, while these homes may have a desirable appearance, their real value comes from how they function -- and that this function comes from new appreciation of the role of technology:

Bruny home on world's best list

The Mercury: Bruny home on world's best list [21aug05]

A HOUSE designed by a Tasmanian firm has been included in a book featuring some of the world's best architects.

And the Tasmanian home is on the cover.

Hobart firm 1+2 Architecture has been included among a roll call of the globe's best-known architects, including Sydney's acclaimed Glen Murcutt and European designer Santiago Calatrava.

The book, The Green House, is not yet released in Australia.

It was the brainchild of American critics Alanna Stang and Christopher Hawthorne, who travelled the globe looking for "green" designs featuring all that is new in sustainability.


Epoch Musical Instruments - Products

Epoch Musical Instruments - Products

It's instrumental in change, basically

The Mercury: It's instrumental in change, basically [21aug05]

A TRULY unique Tasmanian double bass is set to revolutionise music.

It is a prototype made from lightweight carbon fibre.

Gone is the traditional polished timber which has graced the stage for many centuries with orchestras worldwide.

In its place is a sleek, modern instrument made from the same stuff as lightweight Ferrari sports cars like the legendary F40.

Musical instrument maker Neil Laughlin has spent the past five weeks making the hi-tech prototype, which was designed by Hobart engineer David Sugden.

must be a she devil because it's so cute

Devil Disease study advances

The Mercury: Disease study advances [21aug05]

DEVIL researchers are making progress in the fight against devil facial tumour disease, says a Tasmanian expert.

University of Tasmania medical researcher Greg Woods said the Devil Disease Project had made advances in laboratory and captive management work.

"They've progressed really well on the genetic abnormalities and are going well in their work isolating certain populations," Dr Woods said.

"Their work on the pathology has been slow."

Dr Woods is due to visit researchers at the Mt Pleasant laboratory outside Launceston tomorro

1plus2Architecture Tasmania. Winner 2003 James Blackburn Triennial Award for Residential Architecture. Winner 2002 RAIA Residential Architecture Award

1plus2Architecture Tasmania. Winner 2003 James Blackburn Triennial Award for Residential Architecture. Winner 2002 RAIA Residential Architecture Award.

Our designers world beaters

The Mercury: Our designers world beaters [21aug05]

TASMANIAN designers are making their mark on the world.

Their success is driven by smaller budgets and the ability to think laterally, says a leading Tasmanian architect.

Elvio Brianese, a director of DesignInc, said Tasmania's talent was across a wide range, "furniture design and a whole lot of things".

"I think what makes us unique is Tasmania is so far removed from the rest of the world," he said. "We as designers have to think a lot more laterally because we don't get the budgets and the opportunities of other places.

"We think laterally and have a sense of the relationship with the environment and the landscape -- that's what makes us good at what we do."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Touring Tassie in Style

open your eyes and get the full picture


Tasmanian Tours hosted in Luxury 4WD, day and overnight

Tasmanian Tours hosted in Luxury 4WD, day and overnight

Brief description of Day tours Full and Half;

Mt Field National park tour / Russell falls ( Full day )
Includes a visit to the Historic Salmon ponds for a walk and morning tea, then onto the top of Mt Tim Shea stopping for a short walk through the forest on the way. The view is spectacular. From there it is onto the oldest National park in Tasmania to visit Russell falls and enjoy lunch. On our return journey, we will stop at 'Something Wild' wildlife sanctuary to see the Tasmanian Devils and try our luck at spotting a platypus.

Russell falls / Richmond ( Full day )
Includes a visit to the Historic Salmon ponds for a walk and morning tea. From there it is onto the oldest National park in Tasmania to visit Russell falls and enjoy lunch. On our return journey, we will stop at 'Something Wild' wildlife sanctuary to see the Tasmanian Devils and try our luck at spotting a Platypus, then onto Richmond for the afternoon to look through the beautiful historic town at your leisure.

Port Arthur / Richmond tour ( Full day )
Includes visits to the Tasman lookout, the Tessellated pavement, Devils Kitchen, The Blow hole and the Tasman Arch on the way down to the Port Arthur Historic site. Once at the site, join a tour, or wander at your own leisure around the site. This also includes a boat tour around the aisle of the dead. After lunch travel home via the historic Richmond village where you can take your time exploring the shops of Richmond. Take a walk down to look at the Oldest working bridge in Australia and the oldest Catholic Church before returning to Hobart.

Tahune Air Walk tour ( Full day )
Includes 2 short walks, one at the Arve River and the second at the Keogh walk before continuing down to the Air walk to do the walk through the trees some 40mtrs up and the Huon pine river walk. We will also have lunch at the restaurant, and then travel back to Huonville where we will have afternoon tea at Doran's Jams.

Coles Bay ( Freycinet National Park ) tour ( Full day )
Includes a leisurely drive to Coles bay stopping at Kate's Berry farm for morning tea, and then onto Coles Bay. Explore the area by walking up to the Wine glass bay lookout, and taking a trip out to the Cape Tourville lighthouse and walk along the cliff tops. Then 4wd down into Bluestone bay.

Bruny Island tour ( Full day )
Travel down to Bruny island along the coast, stopping at the shot tower at Taroona, then on down to Kettering to stroll around the Wharf while waiting for the ferry across the Channel. Once there we will drive between the 2 islands and take in all the beautiful scenery. We will travel into adventure bay and visit the Bligh museum, and take our time looking round. This tour shows some spectacular sights around the island.

Richmond / Mt Wellington ( Half day or Full )
Travel to the top of Mt Wellington taking in all the views at the top. Then travel back down the mountain and travel to Richmond taking in a couple of wineries or more if you like. On arriving in Richmond, a quick tour around the down by car, then it’s onto the street to walk the town at your leisure.

Wine tours ( Half day or Full )
Travel to a number of wineries, depending on the full or half day. This can be from 4 to 6 depending on the time you want to spend. This also includes a stop over at the historic Richmond town.

Mt Wellington 1 to 2 hrs
Drive to the top of the mountain taking in all the sights on the way to the top. Arrive at the pinnacle to take in the views then return to accommodation.

Cadbury’s Tour 2 to 3 hrs
Pick up from accommodation and drive to Cadburys in Claremont, take part in tour and visit to the Cadbury shop and then return to pick up.

Richmond Ghost Tour approx 4 hrs. $80 per person
Pick up from accommodation, and then taken to Richmond where we enjoy a wine and some cheese in front of on open fire at the Richmond Tasting house. Then onto a 2 hr ghost tour of the town and cemeteries. Richmond is the most haunted town in Tasmania. After the ghost tour return to the tasting house to sit around the open fire for some more wine and cheese. Then returned to accommodation.

All tours can have add on’s at additional charges, eg. Jet boating, Flying like an Eagle, or boat cruises.

Airport Transfers in Luxury Vehicle set price $50.

Any destination or ideas can be catered for!

Tour ideas

These could be half days if available, or full days:

Golf tours
Fishing tours
General sightseeing around Hobart including to the top of Mt Wellington
Antique shopping
Half day Richmond / Mt Wellington
Sunday Markets around Hobart and surrounds

You name it, we can organise it!

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Tasmanian Freedom Tours
Phone 0438 015 067
3a Percy Street, Richmond, Tasmania 7025
Ph 03 6260 1079 Fax 03 6260 1078 email

'Providing access to the whole state with a customised
itinerary in a luxury vehicle equipped to go anywhere'


A great spot for lunch -- in fact i'm going there in 10 minutes -- they have a great wine list -- but ask for the good glasses - you know the ones with the cut edges -- not the rolled edges which are normally put on the table

Time for Lunch ?? Maldini Licenced Italian Cafe/Restaurant Salamanca Place Hobart

Maldini Licenced Italian Cafe/Restaurant Salamanca Place Hobart

In the Midst of Hobart's historic Salamanca Place, Maldini has become a favourite place to meet casually and on special occasions. The food, wine and service provided by proprietors Bruno, Luciano and Dante and their staff are of a very high standard and you can see from the choices in the menu and winelist that this is a restaurant where you will get something special!