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Monday, 03 December


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Elphinstone Road, MOUNT STUART "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
SIZE: Not Available
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 07:18:51 +1100


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Swanston Road, Swanston "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
LOCATION: Swanston Road, Swanston
STATUS: Patrol
SIZE: 575 hectares
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 07:09:42 +1100

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Sunday, 02 December


2018 Victorian Postcount: Greens Vs Labor (Prahran, Brunswick, Melbourne) "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Link to main postcount thread including state summary

This thread covers late counting in seats being contested between the Greens and Labor.  The Greens went into the election holding Melbourne, Northcote (which they won from Labor in a mid-term by-election) and Prahran (which they won in a ridiculously close three-cornered contest in 2014) and hoped to pick up Brunswick (ALP vacancy) and Richmond (where there is perennial opposition to their candidate Kathleen Maltzahn from sections of the left on account of her support for the Nordic model of criminalising paying for sex).

The Liberals tried to stoke the pot in Richmond by not running a candidate at all, the strategic point of which remains elusive.  Former Prime Minister Paul Keating waded in by accusing the Liberals of piking on the contest to try to dislodge Planning Minister Richard Wynne in order to assist Liberal-linked property developers, while Maltzahn issues were another distraction for the Greens in a campaign full of them.  In the end Wynne has won Richmond with a commanding swing in his favour, and Labor has also comfortably recaptured Northcote.

Ellen Sandell (Melbourne) is currently on 51.2% and Greens tend to do well on absents so I am not expecting this to be a problem, and will only add a detailed section if it looks like being one.  The remaining two seats are in more doubt:

[Update on Melbourne (Tuesday): Sandell has moved to 51.5% after predictably winning absents, but what I didn't notice til now is that she is so far winning prepolls too.  Therefore the seat cannot be in any doubt.]

[Friday: Preference count for Melbourne has been completed as a computer data-entry trial.  Labor got 54.4% of Liberal preferences (open ticket) compared to 67.7% in 2014 when the Liberals preferenced Labor.]

Brunswick (ALP vs Green, 2.2%)

Currently Labor's Cindy O'Connor leads the Greens' Tim Read by 72 votes with only 67.6% counted.  The counted votes include 1747 of a possible maximum 2535 postals.  The seat of Brunswick has a history (especially in 2010) of large post-counting swings in the Greens' favour.  If that history holds, Read will win the seat.

Tuesday 7:00 It begins - Read jumps to a 218 vote lead (50.3%) after absents.  I'd like to see a bit more of this sort of action before calling it as still only 72% counted with a very large out-of-electorate prepoll.

Wednesday 7:11 Read now 353 votes ahead (50.4% ahead).  Still a lot to count but seems extremely unlikely Labor will get this back.

Thursday 6:10 Read now 414 votes ahead...


2018 Victorian Lower House Postcount: Benambra "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Benambra (Lib vs probably Hawkins (IND), 2014 Nat vs ALP (9.7%)
Current 2PP Lib vs ALP figure is irrelevant
Assessment: Probable Liberal retain

(Link to state tally and main postcount page)

The seat of Benambra has been held by conservatives for 141 years but is under siege from independents inspired by the Cathy McGowan victory in Indi.  Bill Tilley's primary has fallen well below 50% leaving him in the danger zone. Here are the current primaries:

Tilley (Lib) 40.29%
Tait (ALP) 17.61
Hawkins (IND) 16.77
O'Connor (IND) 12.91
Knight (Shooters) 8.97
Bardsley (Green) 3.44

Jacqui Hawkins is a McGowan staffer and Jenny O'Connor is a local mayor who was a Greens candidate for the federal seat of Indi.

The Green how-to-vote card preferences O'Connor then Hawkins.  The Shooters registered two cards, one of which preferences Tilley then Tait and the other preferences Tait then Tilley.  O'Connor registered an open preference card (as did Hawkins.) Labor's card preferenced O'Connor then Hawkins with Tilley last.

While the Greens votes are likely to flow somewhat to O'Connor over Hawkins, O'Connor will not pass Hawkins on anything like current numbers.   Despite the Shooters half-preferencing Labor, the preferences from O'Connor and Bardsley are almost certain to put Hawkins into second when preferences are thrown, assuming she does not move into second on late counting.

Then the question is what sort of preference flow Hawkins can manage.  Currently she needs 77.4% to defeat Tilley.  My first view on this is that this is rather difficult because the 9% vote for the Shooters is a problem (it might not flow that strongly to Tilley, but I don't see it breaking for Hawkins.  If the Shooters preferences split 50-50 between Tilley and Hawkins, then Hawkins needs 85% of the rest.  In a city seat, achievable (just), but in a rural seat where people knowing each other cuts across politics, unlikely.  I'm also think the Shooters preferences will probably help Tilley anyway.

Unless there is a significant late shift in the figures my view is that Tilley will narrowly retain but that the local doctors' call to make Benambra marginal will be heeded all the same.  The ABC agrees, currently estimating 51.4% to Tilley.  However I figured the complexity of the seat and the high degree of interest in it deserved a separate post.

I don't know when we might get a re-alignment of the seat to a Tilley vs Hawk...


2018 Victorian Lower House Postcount: Summary And Classic Seats "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Note: I will not be providing updates between about 3:00 and 6:00 Friday because of another commitment.


Labor 53, Coalition 24, Green 2, IND 2


Caulfield (Lib vs ALP - count in this seat is a mess so treating as unclear)
Ripon (Lib vs ALP - Liberal slightly favoured)
Hawthorn (Lib vs ALP - Labor ahead)
Prahran (Green vs ALP - too close to call)
Benambra (Liberal vs IND - Liberal slightly favoured)
Melton (Labor vs independents - no idea)
Mildura (IND vs NAT - IND favoured)

Seats apparently won includes at least the following seats that are still in minor doubt:
South West Coast (Lib vs IND - Lib expected to win)
Bayswater (Lib vs ALP - Labor expected to win)

INCLUDING LIKELY SEATS ALP 54, Coalition 26, Green 2, IND 3 + 3 unclear

Seats covered on this page:

Links to other postcount threads (links to be added as completed):

Green vs Labor (Brunswick, Prahran)
Other indie challenges (Pascoe Vale, Mildura, South-West Coast, Geelong, Ovens Valley, Werribee)

Link to Upper House coverage

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Victorian Upper House Live "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

IMPORTANT - Ignore all upper house figures showing on the VEC and ABC sites until counts reach at least 70% as they are partially rechecked versions based on unrepresentative samples of votes.  The more complete figures for most districts are the manually counted current figures are in the Word files on each district page.  I processed these on Thursday night, before the VEC changed them to a format broken down by polling place, making this impractical.  They are now available in a format that includes district totals, making this easier but still fiddly.

Current estimate (very rough):

Labor 17-18 Coalition 11-12 Greens 1 Transport Matters 1-2 Hinch Justice Party 2-4, Lib Dems 1-2, Shooters 1-2, Sustainable Aus 1, Animal Justice 1, Reason 0-1

At present the Greens with 9.22% of the vote may win only 1 seat while Transport Matters with 0.59% may win 2 seats.  

General Considerations: Put The Calculator Away!

Welcome to my Victorian upper house comments.  Apologies for the delay getting on to these but the Lower House count is fascinating.  The Upper House count should be equally so.

The initial results based on the ABC Calculator look like a depressing number of mostly unworthy micro-parties will win.  This may still be the case, but fortunately there has been a large increase in below-the-line voting which is running at around 10%.  This will generally count against micro-parties that are snowballing up from low primaries to beat parties that start on 14%.  Below the line voting is likely to destroy at least some apparent calculator wins, and analysing this will be very complicated.  My suggested rule for this analysis: the calculator is only a tool, use it as a guide but in some cases you may have to  put the calculator away. It's a model based on 100% assumed preference flows, but a lot of the flows will actually be only 80% or 90%, and that will greatly affect the results.  However, it's still likely that the micro-parties with really good preference flows will win seats - and humans trying to work out where the calculator might be wrong can easily make errors too (see Northern Metro Thursday update).

The other important thing is that as I start this article, most of the counts are at only 40-45% counted, which means the prepolls aren't yet in.  As we have seen in the Lower House these are likely to favour the Coalition.  So in seats where the Coalition is narrowly missing out, that may not stay the case.  We may also see that micro-parties generally do worse with more votes added (at present their vote is generally very high.)  Changes in the votes may bring scenarios into view that are not readily apparent at an early look.  These counts are also extremely co...


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Brinktop Road, ORIELTON "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

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SIZE: Not Available
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Sun, 2 Dec 2018 17:14:32 +1100


2018 Victorian Postcount: Other Indie Challenges (Pascoe Vale, South-West Coast etc) "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

On this page - Pascoe Vale, South-West Coast, Geelong, Ovens Valley, Werribee, Mildura

Link to state tally and main postcount thread

Link to upper house coverage

I've already posted threads on the interesting post-counts in Morwell, Benambra and Melton.  There are more seats I could post threads of their own on but I shouldn't put too many on the front page!  This seat covers all remaining seats I am aware of where there are interesting issues involving independent candidates creating problems for either major party.  Often in election leadups this is spoken about as a factor but then most of the indie challenges fizzle.  In this case the Coalition's performance has been so bad that it has opened many doors to independents to either beat the Coalition on Labor preferences or beat Labor on Coalition preferences.  Suzanna Sheed has easily retained, Ali Cupper appears to have won Mildura (see below),  Russell Northe is in a fairly good looking position in Morwell, and there are a bunch of others who either can't be written off, or who can be written off but have come close.  Here we go then.  All seats will be updated from time to time unless I have already called them.

Pascoe Vale (Labor wins easily)

This is a much-heralded contest between hard-campaigning independent local councillor Oscar Yildiz and Labor incumbent Lizzie Blandthorn.  Yildiz, who was the subject of a ferocious Labor campaign against him and who preferenced the Liberals on his card (apparently partly for ease-of-following reasons), has picked up in late counting.  The following are the current standings:

Blandthorn (ALP) 37.12
Yildiz (IND) 25.52
Jackson (Green) 11.9
Hamilton (Lib) 10.8
Kavanagh (IND) 8.34
Socialists 3.00
Animal Justice 1.76
Timpano (IND) 1.55

Kavanagh is a councilmate of Yildiz and the two have both been council mayors.  Kavanagh is, however, more agreeable to the Greens who preferenced him ahead of Labor and Labor ahead of Yildiz.  It is a simple contest between Blandthorn and Yildiz and the VEC will soon realign the count to the co...

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Saturday, 01 December


Australias climate action schoolkids more intelligent, better informed, than Australias government "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

I think whats striking in Matt Canavans comments is how demeaning he is about young people and what they actually know, and how he underestimates their understanding,

I heard students today at the rally talking about the IPCC report, talking about the 700 odd days until emissions can peak before we exceed 1.5 degrees.

These are kids that actually understand the science in a way that I think most of parliamentarians dont.

Organiser Deanna Athanosos, who is in year 10, said Mr Morrisons rhetoric towards the strike made her laugh.

If you were doing your job properly, we wouldnt be here, she said.

Students strike for climate change protests, defying calls to stay in school  ABC News Thousands of Australian students have defied calls by the Prime Minister to stay in school and instead marched on the nations capital cities, and some regional centres, demanding an end to political inertia on climate change.

Key points:

  • Students called for politicians to act on climate change warnings
  • Thousands of young people were inspired by 15-year-old Swedish pupil Greta Thunbergs protest in Stockholm
  • Resources Minister Matt Canavan criticised demonstrators for missing out on school

Protests were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Coffs Harbour, Bendigo and other cities, as students banded together to pressure the Morrison Government in the lead-up to a federal election.

The politicians arent listening to us when we try to ask nicely for what we want and for what we need, said Castlemaine student Harriet OShea Carre.

So now we have to go to extreme lengths and miss out on school.

It follows similar protests in Canberra and Hobart earlier this week, which have spurred on the junior activists.

You dont learn anything from protesting

But the protests have sparked their own reaction among key members of the Federal Government who have used commercial radio to dress down the students.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the only thing children would be learn from th...

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Friday, 30 November


Not-A-Poll: Best State Premiers Of The Last 40 Years: Round 2 Results And Runoffs "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

For the past few months the mostly hopelessly socialist heathen who come here to admire the colour scheme have been involved in the selection of best state premiers of the last 40 years.  This month saw the runoff stage for those states that were not resolved in round 1 by absolute majority, and also the start of the consolation prize round for Coalition premiers.

We are not yet ready to proceed to the grand final stage because some young chap called Andrews was involved in a real election and I feared this could contaminate the vote.  The Victorian runoff will be in February to get a little distance from this result and meanwhile we can continue eliminating Coalition premiers.

In the meantime the winners of four of the remaining states and territories have been decided:

NSW Neville Wran 152 defeated Bob Carr 50
Queensland Wayne Goss 122 defeated Peter Beattie 73
Tasmania Jim Bacon 105 defeated Lara Giddings 84
ACT Katy Gallagher 119 defeated Jon Stanhope 52

These join Don Dunstan and Clare Martin in the final runoff series, which is scheduled to begin in March.

For Western Australia, Geoff Gallop and Carmen Lawrence tied on 97 votes apiece.  Normally I declare a tiebreaking procedure (which in the past has been firstly the leader on primaries at the last stage at which there wasn't a tie, and failing that the leader who was least recently in office wins).  However in this case I did not do this, so there is a runoff for Western Australia, and if there is a tie again the above will be applied.  The WA runoff will run for two months for sample size reasons, this being a quiet time of year.

As for the Coalition premiers and Chief Ministers, the following was the Round1 result for their runoff:



2018 Victorian Lower House Postcount: Melton "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Melton (Labor vs probably Birchall (IND), 2014 ALP vs Lib (11.2))
2014-elected ALP member Don Nardella quit party, sat as independent and did not recontest
Assessment: It's complicated.

(Link to main postcount page and state summary)

Melton? What is this?

The Daniel Andrews Labor government has crushed the Coalition opposition in the state election, but it's had a bit of bother in a few seats from independents, and these create the only real threat to its 2014 seat collection apart from the fairly likely and widely expected loss of Brunswick to the Greens.

One that sticks out like a sore thumb on the 2PP swingometer is Melton, the former home of Deputy Speaker Don Nardella, who resigned from the party and declined to recontest his seat after being caught up in an expenses claim scandal.  In an election where the swings are a sea of red everywhere except a few safe rural Nationals seats, Melton has produced a 2PP swing to the Liberals of 7.2%.  Currently, the Liberals are getting 58% of all preferences in a safe Labor seat where last time they got 42.4%.  There is the in-theory prospect of a bizarre boilover in this seat, and while someone out there might have information to prove it won't happen, I don't.  Even if it doesn't happen, it is worth keeping an eye on in case such a contest happens again in the future.

Here's the current list of suspects:

McGhie (Labor) 34.25
Farrow (Lib) 18.42
Birchall (IND) 11.58
Turner (IND) 9.98
Bingham (IND) 7.01
Ramsey (IND) 5.70
Greens 4.26
Animal Justice 2.52
DLP 2.51
Lang (IND) 2.12
Stirling (IND) 1.03
Vic Socialists 0.63

Of the candidates below third place, all the how-to-vote cards except AJP and VS flow to Birchall ahead of both majors; AJP and VS flow to Labor.  These cards won't have that much impact, as indies tend to have poor hand-out rates and their voters tend to make up their own minds, but one would have to give Birchall a chance of overhauling 6.84% off a total of 35.75% in mostly independent votes (albeit splitting three ways, Labor - Lib - Birchall).  Even if it goes up to, say, 9%, that's still doable.

Assuming Birchall does make the final two, the asking rate is currently 70.9% of all preferences in a Birchall - Labor contest.  The Liberals having preferenced Birchall, this doesn't sound too difficult at all, and I thi...

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Thursday, 29 November


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Claremont Link Road, CLAREMONT "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
LOCATION: Claremont Link Road, CLAREMONT
STATUS: Contained
SIZE: Not Available
Number of Vehicles: 1
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Fri, 30 Nov 2018 01:15:06 +1100


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Telopea Crescent, GAGEBROOK "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:40:15 +1100


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Ferry Road, KETTERING "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
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RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Thu, 29 Nov 2018 19:12:29 +1100


Media Release: ADANI ELECTION CHALLENGE. "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Environmentalist Bob Brown says his foundation will take up the Adani gauntlet and organise a cavalcade of cars from Hobart to the Central Queensland mine site in time for the next federal election.

Todays announcement of a go-ahead for the mine, before final state and federal process is complete, is Adani responding to the Morrison government wanting an early go-ahead. This decision was made by billionaire Guatam Adani in India who has no idea of the Australian peoples loathing of his mine monster. Adani also has no concept of how negatively the Morrison stunt, of holding up a lump of coal in parliament, went down in the average Australian household, Brown said.


New Book Tomato- All Your Questions Answered and More "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Tomato Know, Sow, Grow, Feast, 2018

This new book by Penny Woodward, Janice Sutton and Karen Sutherland makes a major contribution to providing tomato-lovers with all you need to know to choose the right varieties of this wonderful fruit, to grow them and to use them.

A request by Margot White of the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens to Penny to write a book about tomatoes for the 200th anniversary of the gardens was the initiator of this book. Margot and Friends of the gardens collected and grew tomatoes from all over the world with assistance of tomato groups and breeders. The resulting collaboration between her and the three knowledgeable authors has yielded a book replete with information and hundreds of beautiful photographs of all types of tomato, with a special emphasis on heirloom varieties and the book covers 223 of them!  Photos also illustrate every section of the text from sowing, planting, the different varieties to pests and growing problems.  And the photos accompanying the many recipes will inspire you to try different ways of tempting your palate.

If you wish to choose heirloom tomatoes to grow, you could choose them on the basis of their benefits to health, their appearance, your local climate characteristics or what recipes they are best suited for. There are red, pink, yellow, orange, white, green, purple and brown, blue/black or striped, blushing or swirls.

For some, particular health benefits may dictate choice the higher dietary intakes of the chemical that gives tomatoes their red colour, lycopene, is associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer and cardioivascular health. The yellow colour of yellow tomatoes is partly a result of their lutein content and is known to help slow development of cataracts and macular degeneration and may be important in maintaining cognitive function as we age. Lutein is also present in orange and green tomatoes as well as some other yellow or green vegetables.

And then you might choose varieties because they are particularly suitable for certain culinary uses.

The different heirloom varieties are all described in terms of their appearance, flavor, history and sellers of seed (some shown in the image on the right) . There is also a handy guide to varieties suited to particular climates, withstanding disease or to the growing space you have available.

The section o...


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Collins Street, HOBART "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

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LOCATION: Collins Street, HOBART
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UPDATED: Thu, 29 Nov 2018 11:22:24 +1100

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Wednesday, 28 November


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Cades Drive, KINGSTON "hobart IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
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UPDATED: Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:22:51 +1100


2018 Victorian Lower House Postcount: Morwell "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Morwell (IND vs ALP, Ind Held, 2014 Nat vs ALP 1.8%)
Nat vs ALP two-party figure is irrelevant
Assessment: Northe (IND) wins subject to being 2nd after preferences which is overwhelmingly likely

(Link to main postcount thread and tally)

This is the first of my indie-seat postcounts.  The 2018 Victorian state election has thrown up a very large number of seats where independents have some sort of chance in the postcount and are likely to finish in the top two.  The count in Morwell may be more straightforward than in Melton and Benambra but it is nonetheless still messy.  Perhaps not as messy, however, as many thought it might be.

Russell Northe held the seat narrowly in 2014 despite a monster swing to Labor.  He has been a very much embattled incumbent (including in the final days of the campaign when there was more adverse media coverage of debt issues) but also one who has received plenty of sympathy for his struggles with the unusual pressures of political life in this seat.  He's polled a primary of around 20%, which normally wouldn't be enough, but he may have been saved by the collapse in the Coalition vote.  Here's how the primaries currently line up:

Richards (Labor) 34.22
Northe (IND) 19.97
Harriman (Lib) 12.19
Bond (Nat) 10.93
Muir (Shooters) 7.04
Burgess (IND) 6.15
Greens 3.34
Lund (IND) 2.10
Aussie Battler 2.04
Labour DLP 1.48
Sindt (IND) 0.54

The VEC was counting the 2PP as National vs Labor.  But while Labor will make the final two-candidate race, the Nationals are currently in fourth position.  If the Nationals make the 2PP they virtually certainly lose (the margin has come back with postals but is currently 51.89 to Labor).  If they don't make the final two they lose anyway.  The Liberals would also be expected to lose the final two if they make it.  The questions are:

* whether Northe wins if he makes the final two
* whether Northe makes the final two

I think that given the relative closeness of the Labor-National 2PP, the answer to the first question is yes.  The Nationals are currently getting 67.8% of all preferences in their non-contest with Labor.  Northe as an independent (albeit an ex-Nat) would seem likely to get more, but only needs 65.6% on current figures - though these will move about in post-counting.

Concerning the second, the only possible problem for Northe is that the Coalition parties currently have 23.12% combined.  However, whichever Coalition partner goes out in fourth (I think now at...

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Tuesday, 27 November


Friends of FM December 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Tas"


City Park Radio will feature three exciting cricket broadcasts this summer. The Greater Northern Raiders were established to encourage North and North West players to play in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League from 2018/19. The idea for the Greater Northern Raiders arose from the Mike Hussey review of high performance cricket in Tasmania, commissioned by Cricket Tasmania in 2017. One of Mikes recommendations was to establish a Greater Northern team in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League. The Cricket Tasmania Board approved the proposal in December 2017, and the Greater Northern Raiders Cricket Club was born!

The Raiders are managed by an independent committee overseen by Cricket North, and featuring representatives from the North and North West, with support coming from local Cricket Tasmania staff. They have already shown this season they are highly competitive in a tough league featuring many Tasmanian state players.

The Raiders will be playing three 20/20 games at UTAS Stadium on the 15th December against Kingborough, the 5th of January vs North Hobart and the 6th January against Lindisfarne. We have assembled a fine team of commentators to describe all the exciting action of the Premier League T20 including Richard Bennett, John Le Fevre and Andrew Fitz. Tune in from 1.00 pm match days and track the fortunes of the exciting young Raiders against their southern foes.

Download snail mail Newsletter HERE

Download December Program Schedule HERE



Tony Scott from the Bridport Scallop Fiesta signs a $400 donation cheque to City Park Radio for our volunteer services with their recent fiesta.

City park Radio volunteered at this community event assisting with mixing the sound for the ente...


Media Release: New orchid species at Tarkine BioBlitz "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

The endangered Swift Parrot was observed in a proposed logging area in takayna / Tarkine during the first of nearly 50 wildlife and vegetation surveys to be undertaken in the Tarkine BioBlitz. 

Bob Brown Foundations annual event has attracted 150 experts and enthusiasts to north-western Tasmania for three days of intensive field work to document the native species which live in the region.

On the first day of the fourth annual BioBlitz, we were thrilled to find a newly discovered orchid species, known from a single location, at a second site on the Tarkine coast. Unlike related Caladenia orchids, the yet to be named pink-flowered species grows in swampy locations, says Craig Broadfield, a survey leader at the BioBlitz.


Media Release: Tasmanian tourism industry push in Canberra for Trans Tarkine Track "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

A group of Tasmanian tourism businesses are pushing the Federal Government to provide $20 million to build the Trans Tarkine Track, a internationally-significant ecotourism trail in the North West of the state.

A group of 15 tourism operators, concentrated in the North West of the state, have signed a statement calling for the Federal Government to fund the Trans Tarkine Track and the Tasmanian Government to lead its development. Greg Irons, Director of Tasmanias Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, is in Canberra lobbying the Federal Government, the Labor Opposition and the cross bench to support $20 million in federal funding for the project.


Media Alert: Tasmanian tourism industry push in Canberra for Trans Tarkine Track "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

A group of 15 Tasmanian tourism businesses are pushing the Federal Government to provide $20 million to build the Trans Tarkine Track, an internationally-significant ecotourism trail in the North West of the state.

PRESS CONFERENCE - Senate Courtyard

  • Greg Irons, Director, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Tarkine Trails, Brighton, Tasmania
  • 10.15am, Tuesday 27 November
  • Senate Courtyard, Parliament House









More information: Dan Cass (for the Bob Brown Foundation) 0408 468 488


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Monday, 26 November


With notably rare exceptions[1] "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

One of the arguments being pushed by those on the political right seeking to downplay the Victorian election outcome is that Australian state governments generally get a second term. A look over the period since 1990, however, brings up  several exceptions to that rule. Heres my list:

Borbidge (Queensland), Baillieu-Napthine (Victoria), Newman (Queensland),Mills-Giles (NT)

For the second-term argument to work in downplaying the result, more is needed. It has to be the case that, having won a second term, governments mostly fail to get a third.  Heres a list [1] of instances where two-term governments have been defeated.

Groom-Rundle (Tasmania), Greiner-Fahey (NSW), Kennett (Victoria), Carnell-Humphries (ACT), Court, Gallop-Carpenter, Barnett (WA), Martin-Henderson (NT)

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that all of the exceptions in the first list were conservatives, while only two of the confirming instances in the second list were Labor.

With a limited data set, its easy to support a wide range of conclusions. Still if conservative commentators want to use historical patterns to argue that, having easily won a second term, Daniel Andrews is on track to lose next time, I think theyre dreaming.


fn1.  This is a moderately famous Internet meme, coined by Alan Greenspan

fn2. One might arguably add the Goss government in Queensland, which won the 1995 election, but lost office after a by-election required by the Court of Disputed Returns.




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Sunday, 25 November


A Token Post About Modelling The 2018 Victorian Lower House "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Seat modelling on assumed 2PP of 53.4 to Labor currently gives estimate around ALP 47 Green 3-4 LNP 36 IND 1-2 
On current numbers Labor are very likely to win, but at some risk of doing so in minority
Contest badly lacks sufficient recent polling data so any modelling is unreliable

State opinion polling aint quite what it used to be.  At this stage of the 2014 Victorian state election, there had been twelve statewide voting intention polls by six different pollsters released in the previous two months.  This time it's four by either two or three (depending on how you treat Newspoll/Galaxy) and the most recent one was commissioned.  Over a million voters have voted already (including those whose votes are in the mail) and yet so far this month the only statewide poll we've had is a ReachTEL for the Victorian National Parks Association.  There may well be a flood of polling in the final days, but at this stage, those of us trying to predict what might occur have not a lot to work with.

That statewide commissioned ReachTEL was a puzzle because it had Labor at a massive 56-44 lead, the party's biggest for over two years.  An outlier or a continuing trend from the 54-46 Newspoll in late October?  The flow of respondent preferences in that poll might be suspected of being the cause, but in fact it is about the same as the flow of preferences from the 2014 election (which was almost 70% to Labor).  Those inclined to discount the result might also look at basic sample error, or at the question of how uComms "powered by ReachTEL" polls are different, if at all, from standard ReachTELs.  Another possible cause of error would be the following suite of issues questions, which combine priming, pony-polling and skewing to create an impression that got quite a hostile response from some respondents.  Questions after the voting intention question can influence the voting intention result if the respondent hangs up (thereby discarding their data).  A long time ago the company told me the rate of this was negligible but it would be interesting to know if this is still (always) the case.

So there's the hint in one poll of a lopsided contest.  If you want to ignore that one (and commissioned polls always require extra caution) then the Poll Bludger poll tracker had things at 53.3% to Labor a few weeks ago; my aggregate of the recent public polls is similar at 53.4.  I'm also aware of one unpublished recent result that had Labor comfortably in front, which all s...


Victoria 2018 Live "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The starting line: Labor 46 Coalition 37 Green 3 Ind 2 (Melton treated as Labor)
Polls have closed
Seats apparently won (some at low levels of doubt) ALP 51 Coalition 24 Green 1 Ind 2
10 seats currently in significant doubt (that I know of)

Apparent Labor gains from Coalition (some still in some doubt): Bass, Mt Waverley, Ringwood, South Barwon, Burwood, Nepean, Box Hill

Coalition seats in doubt: Bayswater, Ripon, Hawthorn

Apparent ALP gain from Greens: Northcote

Apparent IND gain from Nat: Mildura

In doubt Coalition held vs Ind: Benambra, South-West Coast (likely hold but exclusion order issue)
In doubt IND held vs ALP: Morwell (Ind favoured)
In doubt ALP vs Ind: Melton
In some doubt ALP held vs Ind: Pascoe Vale (probable ALP hold)
In doubt Green held vs ALP: Prahran (ALP ahead)
In doubt ALP held vs Green: Brunswick 


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4:10 I need to sleep sometime so this is the end of the on-the-night coverage of the Lower House, and postcount threads will be rolled out on Sunday afternoon, once I've finished the Upper House thread and had some sleep.

1:51 I will now be halting Lower House coverage for the next few hours while I look at the Upper House on a separate thread

1:46 While I have Nepean and Mt Waverley as expected Labor wins, I should note that William Bowe is currently projecting the Coalition to possibly hold both.  However I expect postal flows to soften where postals have been counted on the night.  Still, the scale of Labor's win keeps getting pared back ...

1:40 A weird one there's been a bit of talk about is Werribee.  Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas is facing a challenge from indie Joe Galla, who is clearly second.  At the moment Galla needs 85% of preferences.  He is preferenced by the Greens.  Still a big ask.

1:33 Taking Caulfield off deathwatch too, something unusual happened there, as it often...


2018 Victorian Final Polls "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Galaxy 53-47 to Labor, ReachTEL 54-46 to Labor
Current primary vote aggregate ALP 40.7 L-NP 39.4 Green 11.0 Other 8.9
Polls could be underestimating Labor 2PP vote slightly and may be overstating Greens primary
Seat projection estimate ALP 48 L-NP 36 Green 3 IND 1

This post will update all polling news in the final 24 hours of the Victorian campaign.

If the latest polls are right, yesterday's token post about Lower House modelling might not be quite so token after all. What we've seen in the Herald Sun's YouGov-Galaxy (53-47 to Labor) and Fairfax's ReachTEL (54-46 to Labor) suggests that the net effect of the last few weeks of campaigning has been more or less zero.  The polling would not have to be wildly wrong for an unlucky distribution of seats to leave Labor short of a majority, but it would have to be very wrong indeed for the Coalition to win the election in any way.

In response to this, Liberal sources have been citing precedents including South Australia and Tasmania for the polls being wrong.  (They say polls pointed to a Labor win in Tasmania and either a Labor or a Xenophon win in SA).  But the only polls pointing to a Labor win in Tasmania were months old by election day and in the final week all polls pointed to a Liberal majority.  In SA the Xenephon bubble had well and truly burst by the final weeks and the final polls (ordinary as they were) did not point clearly to a Labor win but rather had it too close to call.

Indeed, if there's a risk side in predicting the election from these polls, I feel it's that the Labor result could well be stronger than the mid-53s that is the average of the recent 2PPs.  Looking at the primaries, the Galaxy has both majors on 40, the Greens on 11 and others on 9.  The fragmented detail of the ReachTELs hasn't yet included full figures for the primaries without rounding, but I'm currently estimating that after redistributing "undecided", Labor is on about 40.9, Coalition 37.7, Greens 10.9 and others 10.5.  With a small weighting for polls from three weeks or more ago that are old rope now, and weighting the Galaxy slightly higher than the ReachTEL, I get a primary vote estimate of:

ALP 40.5 (+2.4 since 2014)
L-NP 39.1 (-2.9)
Greens 11.0 (-0.5)
Others 9.5 (+1.0)

The thing about this e...

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Saturday, 24 November


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Safety Cove, Port Arthur "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
LOCATION: Safety Cove, Port Arthur
STATUS: Patrol
SIZE: 63 Hectares
Number of Vehicles:
More Info:
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Sat, 24 Nov 2018 15:56:47 +1100

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Monday, 01 January


PERTH Man extradited to WA over connection to suspected drug syndicate "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Man extradited to WA over connection to suspected drug syndicate .

January 01, 2018 at 04:33PM .

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in Victoria and extradited back to WA over the weekend to face charges in relation to a 32 kilogram methamphetamine stash and suspected drug syndicate uncovered by WA Police last year. Back in November, WA Police launched a series of raids in City Beach, .



Federal Group: What will the New Year bring? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

As the clock ticks over to start what is bound to be a watershed year for the Federal Group, few will take as much interest as the Groups bankers. Rebecca Whites undertaking to remove pokies from community pubs and clubs after 2023 should she be successful at the March 2018 election will precipitate a major overhaul.

Back in 2016 Federal Group was treading water. The most recent financials reveal there was no improvement in the 2017 year. Specifically:

       Turnover was the same at $512 million.

       Expenses increased slightly causing net operating cash to continue its downward slide from $51 million to $46 million. Thats the lowest figure since 2001, sixteen years ago.

       Net profit before tax fell from $28 million to $20 million.

       Net profit after tax fell to $14 million.

       As per usual shareholders drew out most of the after tax profits. Dividends of $11 million were paid in 2017. Since pokies in pubs started in 1997 shareholders have withdrawn $250 million in dividends.


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Saturday, 30 December


Will the sky fall in if pokies are removed? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The sky will fall in if pokies are removed from regional Tasmania???

The impending devastation will be obvious from the figures. A close look at say the Braddon electorate, will reveal all, surely? Its the most regional of the Tasmanian electorate, the most distant from the States two casinos and currently home to 730 or 30% of EGMs outside casinos.

Alas the figures fail to give any support for Federal Groups doomsday predictions.

Treasury modelled the effects of EGM removal for the recent parliamentary inquiry. Unbundling the model and introducing the latest figures for player losses from the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission for venues gives a detailed look at Braddon.

No. Pubs  
No. EGMs   
Existing $m

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Friday, 29 December


What is Libs' pokie policy? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The Xmas break couldnt have come quick enough for the Liberals in Tasmania. Barely three months from an election finds it completely stranded without a  poker machine policy post 2023.

Rebecca White hasnt just shifted the goalposts. Shes moved grounds.

The Libs no doubt expected a policy from Labor that fell roughly within their policy position determined by five guiding principles announced in 2016 as a precursor to the parliamentary inquiry. Any policy differences would be minor and easily addressed by hanging on in the clinches and scaring the daylights out of the electorate with predictions of impending havoc caused by job destroying latte sipping greenies and other lefties.

But Ms White has decided she wasnt going to be defined by the rules set by the government.

So how are the Libs going to rejoin the public discussion without being seen to be doing the bidding of the Federal Group?

The governments stated policy position was to allocate future licenses to conduct gaming operations via a market mechanism such as a tender. However the Federal Group/THA jointly rejected the notion of a market based solution as one which would be very costly and generate uncertainty and massive disruption for all stakeholders. So much for the genius of capitalism in finding efficient market based solutions . If those guys dont believe in it then who does?

The joint proponents suggested the government gift perpetual licenses to existing EGM operators rather than having them bid and pay for them via a tender or other market process.

Ms White has instead proposed removing pokies from the community. The biggest impact on the Federal Group is not the loss of jobs in gaming venues but the loss of Network Gamings 20 year bonanza which has mostly flowed out of the State via dividends to shareholders plus the loss of $100 million in value of the twelve pubs in Federals Vantage Group. These pubs will lose an estimated 60% of their value if pokies are removed compared to a situation where existing operators are gifted licenses in perpetuity. Federal Groups CEO referred to this recently when he said:


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Sunday, 17 December


Pokie reflections "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

By all accounts Labors policy to remove pokies from communities after 2023 was unexpected.

However the risks involved when the gaming monopoly expires has previously been discussed by both parties to the arrangement, the government and Federal Group.

Treasury head Don Challen  told a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee on 16th July 2003 which was looking at a premature extension of the original deal due to expire in 2009:

I did say to Mr Farrell across the negotiating table a number of times that 'Come 1 January 2009 you don't have a business'.  I put a reasonableness test on the outcomes we get from the negotiations and if I didn't think they were reasonable in the interests of the Tasmanian community I would have kept pushing Mr Farrell until I got him to the point where I thought we had a reasonable outcome.  In the back of his head he knows that legal possibility of the licence coming to an end is there and that is a discipline on him to come to the negotiations with a realistic attitude.

Quite clearly both parties negotiated the 2003 deed extension with a sunset clause in full knowledge the punch bowl may be removed in 2023. If Federal Group have a risk management strategy theres little doubt what should be number one on the list.

The last bit of Mr Challens comment is significant:

:..... he (Mr Farrell) knows that legal possibility of the licence coming to an end is there and that is a discipline on him to come to the negotiations with a realistic attitude.

Thats exactly what he failed to do this time.

It was crystal clear the government was looking for a market based solution to allocate future rights to operate gaming machines and provide network monitoring services. The aim was for the government to get a greater return from a government protected activity.

In addition there was widespread community concern about the adverse impacts of pokies in the community.


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Wednesday, 13 December


Federal Group's pokie haul "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Back in 1996 the Federal Groups leisure business comprised the two casinos. Its revenue in that year was $134 million, well over half coming from gaming activities including tables, pokies and Keno. Net profit after tax for the leisure business was $4.4 million. The Groups freight business provided another $2.2 million in profit. Borrowings were $50 million. In 1996 there was no spare cash to pay dividends to shareholders.

All was soon to change. On the first of January 1997 poker machines were rolled out into the community. Over the next 20 year the Group bought 12 pubs, the 9/11 bottleshop chain, built the Saffire resort, bought the leasehold business known as the Henry Jones Art Hotel, and acquired the lease on the new Maq01 hotel on Hobarts waterfront.  The cash tsunami was such there was enough left over to pay $238 million as dividends to shareholders over the period. At the end on the 2016 year borrowings were $123 million, an increase of only $73 million over the 20 year period. Cash from pokies funded the show.

The pubs bought by the Group, all top performing pokie pubs were:

... ...
 Hotel Federal - Wynyard

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Sunday, 10 December


Poker machine apocalypse? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

There seems little doubt the fate of poker machines post 2023 will be an issue that will get plenty of coverage during the upcoming State election campaign.

Depite the government assuring the Joint Select Committee into Future Gaming Markets it would be open to recommendations based on evidence, Premier Stansfield and Chief Strategist McQuestin had their minds made up well before the Committee reported.  The government arranged for a Dorothy Dixer on the 11th of September to allow the Treasurer to set out the governments policy on gaming. If pokies are banned from communities it would have a devastating effect on pubs and clubs he told parliament.

Rather than blithely following the dictates of his political overlords the Treasurer should have read a paper prepared by his own department for the Committee.

A close analysis of Treasurys modelling reveals in the case of regional areas beyond the 50 km reach of casinos where 40% ($42.9 million) of player losses occur, player losses will reduce by 75% ($31.4 million). There will be some migration to casinos and substitution with Keno, in total about 25%. Pubs and clubs will be worse off by $6.4 million, but the $25 million that previously flowed out of towns to Federal Hotels Network Gaming will be free to circulate within regional towns.

Currently on average, only 20% of player losses remain with pubs and clubs via net commissions from Network Gaming. The rest flows out of town to Network Gaming. It is well beyond the wit of this writer to figure why the government is so willing to accept the dumb proposition that stopping the haemorrhaging of regional towns will have a devastating effect on those communities. Its going to be very difficult to convince an electorate growing weary of political lies. 

Regional pubs and clubs will be worse off by only $6.4 million. This is before any changes to their business models to attract some of the extra $25 million circulating in the community rather than being hijacked by Network Gaming.

In order to predict the effects on State taxation receipts, Treasury used different assumptions about player responses within 50 kms of the two casinos and in areas further away. It is a simple exercise to reconfigure the models to calculate  changes in player los...

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Monday, 04 December


Gardening notes - December "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

December planting notes

Sorry these are a little late, but then again we've lost a few days to incessant rain!

... ...
DECEMBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Silverbeet - punnet, pot to ground, or direct seeding x x x x
Brussel Sprouts - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding x x x
Kale - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Cabbage - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x

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Friday, 01 December


MACKAY Trafficker flags guilty plea for drugs stashed up backside "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY December 01, 2017 at 05:52AM ,

Trafficker flags guilty plea for drugs stashed up backside

December 01, 2017 at 05:52AM ,

On Thursday, solicitor Mark Williams, of Potts Lawyers, appeared before Mackay Magistrates Court on Panagakos behalf. He said his client, whos at Maryborough Correctional Centre, wanted the matter finalised and will be entering a plea of guilty, negating the need for a drug analysis certificate.

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

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Thursday, 30 November

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Wednesday, 29 November


Removing pokies "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Alls quiet on the western front as Labor ponders its position on poker machines ahead of the March election.

What if and when pokies are reduced or removed from communities, players gamble at casinos instead? Will the community be better off? The consensus view seems to be confining pokies to a couple of enclaves will solve all problems. Will it?

The parliamentary select committee into Future Gaming Markets reported at the end of September. The written submissions were already on the public record, as were the transcripts of the public hearings. The minutes of the Committees meetings published at the time of the Reports release revealed additional written evidence mainly from correspondence with interested parties.

One additional piece of evidence not mentioned in the Report was an eight page note from Treasury on the estimated economic impact to State tax receipts if EGMs were removed from hotels and clubs and a $1 bet limit was imposed on casino EGMs. It was a study worthy of more attention than it received.

Modelling was done by Treasury. It was a spreadsheet exercise where changes in player expenditure and hence taxation receipts were estimated using three scenarios, each containing two stages.

The first stage was the removal of EGMs from pubs and clubs. Stage two was the imposition of a $1 bet limit on casino EGMs.

The closing down of EGMs in pubs and clubs will result in a migration effect as some players travel to casinos to continue their addiction. Three scenarios termed low, medium and high impact were modelled with different levels of migration.  The lowest level of migration was termed the high impact model where overall EGM player expenditures were most affected.

Furthermore, of the player spending that didnt migrate to casinos, each of the three scenarios assumed different levels of substituting the previous EGM spending with additional Keno spending. The high impact model had the least substitution. In other words players ended up spending less on gaming.

Overall t...

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Friday, 23 November

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Wednesday, 15 November


Love Our Streets West Hobart "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Great news - from November 2017 to April 2018 the City of Hobart is working with the community in West Hobart, designing creative activities to enhance walkability and bring the streetscape to life with colour and fun.  All community members are invited to join in to design and implement this project.

The project is designed to show people driving through our suburb to realise that - hey!  there are people living here!

We can share our ideas online about what we and our friends could do to activate the street, or look for other people to join in a project, or suggest something that the Council could coordinate.  Just go to  the Council's Your Say Hobart webpage.   Log in (or register if you haven't been in there before) and then go to the LoveOurStreetsWestHobart page.

Community-based activity is important to increase walking in local areas. When residents feel socially connected to their neighbours and part of a strong community they are more likely to walk and spend time in their street.
With the community activating West Hobart, through events, activity and art, the traffic travelling along the streets should slow down.
Even the everyday way that front yards are used can contribute to street activation. Simple ideas could include planting a vegetable plot in your front yard, or having dinner on your front verandah (and perhaps inviting the neighbours!).

Rossmoyne Street in Thornbury (Victoria) is a great example. The community hosted a scarecrow competition in their street which helped to slow down traffic - and the residents got to know each better!

The first idea to hit the streets is a Sea of Sunflowers.  Packets of sunflower seeds are being distributed to residents - just sow them in your front yard!  Soon we will see splashes of colour all along our streets.

The first community gathering is a Fence Weaving party.  On 30 November, at West Hobart's Train Park between 3:30-5.30pm, be there and join in the fun!

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Thursday, 09 November


Free family film day "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

While the sites been quite for a while I hope youve been keeping in touch with whats going on at HBK via fbook.

But if you havent seen it there heres a cool event you might want to ride along to. But dont worry if cycling the family to Mt. Nelson is a bit too hard youll be able to spin the legs when you get there and help power the entertainment.


Happy cycling, HBK

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Wednesday, 08 November


Forestry Tasmania's final report "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

A survey of the wreckage left behind by Forestry Tasmania (FT) reveals since its peak in 2004 it has lost over $1 billion from forestry activities.

 During that time cash outlays were $440 million more than trading revenue and the value of the forest estate fell by over $600 million. Add the two figures together give the aggregate loss over the past 13 years of $1 billion. Equal to $40 for each tonne harvested.

Spending on plantations ($106 million), property and plant ($33 million) and roads ($105 million) added nothing to FTs asset base. Together with the continual losses from forest harvesting meant FTs cash losses totalled $440 million over the last 13 years.

Then there are non-cash losses, often called book losses, principally the fall in the value of the forest estate. This has occurred because a lot of trees have been chopped down and sold and because as maintenance and harvest costs rise faster than prices for forest products then the value of remaining forests consequently falls. Over the past 13 years the value of FTs forests has fallen by over $600 million. Trees entrusted to FT are now worth a fraction of their former value.

So how did FT cover its cash losses?

Governments have provided cash of $331 million since 2004. Assets sales totalled a further $165 million, notably $78 million for the remaining 50 per cent interest in the States softwood plantations and $60 million from the recent plantation hardwood sale.

Total cash received, other than from ordinary trading, has therefore been $496 million. Thats a lot of money.

The State contributed a further $113 million by taking over the unfunded superannuation liabilities of past employees. FT was unable to set aside super for existing employees let alone the growing number of ex employees drawing pensions.

Without government backing FT was hopelessly insolvent. But being government backed meant we missed the golden opportunity of Schumpeters creative destruction whereby companies go broke and from the ashes a more viable industry may emerge.


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Tuesday, 31 October


November in the garden "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Planting notes for November, from West Hobart gardener Greg S.

NOVEMBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Beetroot - large direct sowing for winter  x

Carrot - large direct sowing cropping Feb to Oct. x x


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Saturday, 28 October


Oatlands Town Hall "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

It was at a meeting of the council on the 1stSeptember 1877 that a decision was taken to apply for the site on which the gaol yards and cells at Oatlands were standing for the purpose of erecting a new Oatlands Town Hall. It was decided that should the application be successful, a special meeting of council would be called. However, the first choice site was not available and at the following October meeting of council, Coucillor R.D.Lord and the Council Warden J.R.Roe were empowered to find a suitable site on which to build the new Town Hall. It was these two gentlemen that ultimately chose the site on which the building stands today.

The issue of the Town Hall does not appear in the council minutes again until February 1878 when it was decided that the amount to be raised for the purchase of the land and the construction of the building would 1800 pounds. At the following meeting in April, the Warden was empowered to communicate with William Henry Lord, Architect, with a view to drawing up plans for the proposed building.

By the 1st May 1880, things were starting to take shape on paper as the council were officially shown the plans by the architect. The council were evidently impressed and no major alterations were requested. The final plans were then readied and presented again to council on 5thJune 1880, with fi...

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Tuesday, 24 October


Ancestral Memories and a Gothic gully "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

A chilly Saturday morning, with snow on the mountain, frost on the garden and the Bridgewater Jerry winding its way down the river. I tossed a bucket of water over my car to clear ice from the windscreen and went to meet the rest of the group for a walk on private land on the approaches to Spring Hill. We parked beside the Colebrook Rd and headed off into the paddocks.

frost on the ferns

shadows on the frost

The first part of the walk followed the appropriately-named Serpentine Valley Creek.


Council supports safety improvements on Hill Street "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

It is very gratifying to be able to report that, on 2 October, our City Council approved unanimously the recommendations of the City Infrastructure Committee to build some safety improvements along Hill Street.  The agreed resolution, taken from the Minutes, is included below.

These changes will make Hill Street more friendly to people walking and riding, by adding more generous pedestrian crossing points, more clearly defining the traffic lanes, and marking some on-road bikelanes.  There will be a bigger safer bus stop near Lawrenny Court, and a wombat crossing will be trialled at the chemist/Smolt Kitchen corner.  There will be more kerb ramps to make it easier for prams and wheelchairs to navigate our streets.  A lowered speed limit will be requested from State Growth once these works are complete.

As you know the community has been agitating for some years now to make our neighbourhood streets safer.  A collaborative effort by the schools (Lansdowne Crescent leading the way), local businesses, and residents groups (such as West Hobart Environment Network) has finally been effective in swaying our Council Aldermen and civil engineering staff to move forward along the path to safer, more inclusive streets. 

While the community wants to go further and faster, with immediate assistance for children walking to school, a more positive attitude to wombat crossings, and more connections to bikepaths to help people to ride to work and school in safety, this current project is a significant step forward for our neighbourhood.  It should have a desirable effect on average traffic speeds along Hill Street, reducing them noticeably.  This will greatly improve the comfort of the immediate residents and the safety of all pedestrians and bike riders using or crossing Hill Street. 

We look forward to seeing the works start, and finish (!), and to trying out the wombat crossing.


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Sunday, 22 October


Fake news or lousy reporting "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

A few weeks ago, there was another mass murder in the USA. This time the shooter, a 64-year-old male, holed himself up on the 32rd floor of a casino hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada and massacred 60, including himself, and injured more than 500 (at the time of writing). All the victims did wrong was attend a country music concert along with 22,000 or so other people on the Las Vegas casino strip.

While some may consider country music a crime, most Australians consider the apparent ease of gun ownership in the USA pure insanity. Both of these subjects have been done to death in the past and the reality is that even if the entire 24 million or so of us on this side of the Pacific told the USAs lawmakers they were crazy to allow the current lax gun laws to continue, it wouldnt make a scrap of difference. All we can really do to avoid a perceived safety risk is to choose to holiday in an area that you would feel safe in such as North Queensland or Tasmania, New Zealand or Canada the land of unarmed Americans with universal health care. (No, its not original, you can get the coffee mug or t-shirt here). As for country music well it aint gunna kill you!

What we should be concerned about is the reporting of the Las Vegas massacre as it does affect us and how we live. As you would expect, Facebook and Google reported the Las Vegas massacres on their newsfeed, as obviously, people were reporting the incident live on their social media accounts. Media outlets would also be looking at this traffic along with the reports from the police in the Las Vegas area. In this world of instant communication, there is an imperative to be first with the news in this case who was the person that committed this heinous crime and why did they do it?

Both Google and Facebook promoted incorrect information including the incorrect identification of the murderer.

Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the suspect who opened fire from a high-rise hotel room, killing scores and injuring hundreds more. But before authorities named the 64-year-old Nevada man, some on the far right falsely identified the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history as Geary Danley. Its unclear where exactly the hoax originated, but right-wing users aggressively pro...

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Thursday, 19 October


MACKAY Man tasered as alleged burglar arrested "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY October 19, 2017 at 02:18AM ,

Man tasered as alleged burglar arrested

October 19, 2017 at 02:18AM ,

POLICE called to a disturbance in Mackay got more than they bargained for on Tuesday. When officers arrived at a Sophia St home, they found a

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Tuesday, 10 October


MACKAY Driver caught with ice in system "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY October 10, 2017 at 05:07AM ,

Driver caught with ice in system

October 10, 2017 at 05:07AM ,

On Monday the Mackay Magistrates Court was told that Graham John Bragg had been driving along Danastas Avenue on August 6, 2017 when police

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Monday, 09 October


Pokies: A time to be brave "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Everyone is trying to pressure Opposition Leader Rebecca White to make up her mind what to do about poker machines post 2023, the government even bringing on a motion in Parliament a few weeks ago to try to embarrass her. A few weeks even a month or two isnt going to make an ounce of difference.

All too often the overwhelming social arguments against poker machines are trumped by the gambling industrys mantra of jobs jobs jobs. Its important the bogus economic arguments are fully understood by Ms White.

Dear Ms White

You were right to delay framing a new position on EGMs until the Joint Committee presented its findings based on the latest evidence. That was the aim of the inquiry.

From a policy viewpoint an inquiry becomes pointless if trying to confirm predetermined policies drives the process.  Fortunately the Chair managed to keep focussed.

Confirmation bias however dominated the approach of both the Liberals and the Greens, culminating in Ms Courtneys dissenting report arguing  that the significant reduction in EGMs in pubs and clubs recommended by four of the other five committee members would have devastating economic and employment impacts on many businesses and communities...

Recommendations are supposed to be based on evidence presented. No evidence was offered by non EGM businesses stating withdrawal of some or all EGMs from communities would have adverse effects let alone devastating ones. Communities clamouring to retain EGMs to prevent devastation were also conspicuously absent.

The only evidence presented about the adverse effects of EGM reduction was from and on behalf of EGM venues. THAs figure of 1,000 job losses if EGMs are removed from the community was a figure derived from the exaggeration bias of affected THA members rounded up to the nearest thousand. For other businesses and the community to be affected would require EGM spending to remain unspent. No evidence was advanced to support this hypothesis. In fact the contrary was the case with Professor Mangans modelling showing increases in employment under three credible scenarios where EGMs were removed from the community.

It is...

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Thursday, 22 November


Fear And Loathing With Victorian Upper House Preference Flows "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Following the launch of Antony Green's Legislative Council calculator I've been playing around with some possible scenarios for the Victorian upper house group ticket flows.  Quite a few people are doing this and so there are a number of different estimates about what might happen out there.  What we know from the past is to expect the unexpected - we can say that it looks like preference harvesters will win several undeserved seats, but it's hard to say which ones they will be and who.  The whole exercise is incredibly sensitive to starting assumptions - one micro-party you've never heard of might get 1% instead of 0.5% and suddenly something completely different happens.  Snowballs from very low vote shares have a higher chance of crashing because of below-the-line votes, especially as voters for micro-parties, with the exception of the Liberal Democrats, are more likely to vote below the line.  In 2014 the BTL rate for most micros was in the range 8-22%.

At the last Victorian election, five candidates won seats as a result of preference-harvesting:

* In Eastern Victoria, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (2.44%) beat ALP-2 (8.68% over quota) and Green (8.23%)
* In Northern Metro, the Sex Party (2.87%) beat Labor-3 (7.06% over quota)
* In Northern Victoria, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (3.5%) beat L-NP-3 (7.84% over quota) and Greens (7.68%)
* In Western Metro, Democratic Labour Party (2.57%) beat ALP-3 (10.65% over quota) and L-NP-2 (6.90% over quota)
* In Western Victoria, Vote 1 Local Jobs (1.28%) beat Greens (9.19%)

There weren't any cases of candidates winning from well below 1%, but based on our experience of the new Senate system since, none of the above would have won had voters made their own preferencing decisions.  These parties only won because the Group Ticket Voting system created completely fake near-100% preference flows.  Perhaps, had the Senate system been implemented in Victoria before that election, some of the minor parties would have merged into larger groups and polled higher primaries, but that doesn't seem all that likely.

With the release of the new round of Group Tickets it seems that almost all parties have been involved in backroom preference-trading.  There are again tight flows between the micro-parties, largely believed to be networked by Glenn Druery, that seem designed to elect a particular winner or choice of winners in each seat.  Labor has preferenced a range of, for progressives, dubious parties above the Greens in what looks like an attempt to replace the Greens with Druery parties:

* The Aussie Battler Party, an anti-immigration populist outfit that wants to place juries of randomly selected citizens in control of many aspects...


Tasmania Police: Update re Suspicious Fire 8 Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Launceston CIB is continuing to investigate a suspicious fire that has destroyed a home at 8 Pioneer Parade Ravenswood, that occurred about 11.30pm on Wednesday 21 November.


Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed, or who has knowledge of the identity of a man walking away from the residence at 8 Pioneer Parade at 8.30pm on Wednesday evening.  That person was seen walking towards Rosny Street and is described as being tall and skinny and wearing a khaki hoodie and matching pants.


Police are also seeking information to identify the occupants of a small black sedan, possibly a Hyundai, that was seen travelling along Rosny Street towards Warring Street at approximately 11.30pm, shortly before the fire was reported to police.


The cause of the fire has not been determined at this stage.


Anyone with information should contact Launceston CIB on 131444 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


The post Update re Suspicious Fire 8 Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood appeared first on Tasmania Police.

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Wednesday, 04 October


MACKAY Mirani man accused of dealing ecstasy, GBH in region "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY October 04, 2017 at 10:56AM ,

Mirani man accused of dealing ecstasy, GBH in region

October 04, 2017 at 10:56AM ,

Prout fronted Mackay Magistrates Court on Tuesday and sought an adjournment to obtain legal representation, after his Legal Aid Queensland

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Tuesday, 03 October


St Andrews Uniting Church, Evandale "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Built 1839 40, largely through the efforts of the Rev Robert Russell, this church is one of the most important colonial buildings in Tasmaniain that it has retained its quality without significant change to its external appearance or its outstanding interior. The Rev Russell was the first Presbyterian minister in Evandale having arrived in the district in 1838. 

The congregation raised 400 pounds towards the cost of the construction and the government of the day contributed 600 pounds. The final cost of construction was approx 1500 pounds and no one knows where the extra money came from. Russell is said to have supervised the construction himself, having sought a design from within the colony. No architect has ever been identified and the finished structure no other building in the Australian colonies. The form of the building echoes that of a Roman temple but with a steeper roof and the addition of a bell turret. The style of the building is classified as a Greek Revival.

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Tuesday, 19 September


Save money on energy efficient product buy "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE ...

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Friday, 15 September


MACKAY Bucasia man faces police assault charges "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY September 15, 2017 at 03:15AM ,

Bucasia man faces police assault charges

September 15, 2017 at 03:15AM ,

Boyd Elliot Tass, 41, did not face Mackay Magistrates Court for his scheduled mention yesterday, though barrister Phillip Moore appeared his behalf.

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Saturday, 02 September


Dunalley Hotel "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The story of the Dunalley Hotel is forever linked to two pioneer families who basically owned the establishment for over 80 years over several generations.

John Clark appears to have arrived in Van Diemens Land around 1831 after being convicted for a minor affray charge in Suffolk, England, He received a pardon shortly after his arrival in the colony and took up farming in the Bream Creek area.

George Scrimger, a native of Inverness, arrived in the area around 1855 and gained employment with John Clark as a farm labourer. George would go on to marry John Clarks daughter, Jane. John Clark appears to have been a shrewd businessman and in 1857, he purchased 30 acres of land through which the future Denison Canal would eventually be constructed. 


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Friday, 25 August

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Friday, 18 August


TAS Serious Assault at Talina Place New Norfolk "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 11:37 am.

At approximately 12.10am on 15 December 2015, Police and Ambulance services were called to Talina Place, New Norfolk to a report that a man had been seriously assaulted in the street outside his house.

The 48 year old man has been conveyed to the Royal Hobart Hospital where he is in a critical condition.

As a result of police investigations, a 20 year old man from New Norfolk is assisting police with their investigation.

Police have spoken with a number of witnesses to the incident.

Anyone who feels they have information relative to this investigation is asked to contact Bridgewater CIB on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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TAS 12 year old child detected driving at 122kmh "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Monday, 14 December 2015 9:42 am.

A 12 year old girl has been detected driving at 122kmh on Illawarra Main Road in the States north.

On Saturday night at 10.37pm, police detected a speeding vehicle travelling at 122km/h on Illawarra Road.
The vehicle was intercepted on Youl Road, Perth, and police were shocked to discover the driver was a 12 year old girl.

A 21 year old man and a 16 year old girl were passengers in the vehicle.

The girl was charged and bailed for false name and driving offences.

Sgt Phil Summers, of Deloraine Police, said that more than half of all fatalities occur on country roads.

This is a terrible example of a flagrant disregard for safety not only of the driver, but all other road users. This incident could very well have ended in tragedy, Sgt Summers said.

This is a timely reminder to the public on the dangers of speed over the Christmas period and the manner in which instances such as this will be treated by Tasmania Police who will be out in force over the festive period.

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TAS Ravenswood man charged with multiple burglaries "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Thursday, 10 December 2015 9:38 am.

A 28-year-old Ravenswood man has been charged with multiple burglaries following his arrest by Northern detectives last night.

Northern CIB detectives arrested the man in a Ravenswood unit, where stolen property and cash was recovered from overnight burglaries in the Launceston area.

The man has been charged with 24 counts of burglary (business), 12 counts of stealing, one count of attempted burglary, two counts of evading police, breach of bail and receiving stolen property.

He was remanded in custody to appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court later today.

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TAS Police Vehicle rammed by stolen car "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Monday, 7 December 2015 11:28 am.

About 2.35am on Sunday 6 December 2015 a Toyota Hilux was reported stolen from an address in Ravenswood. Within 25 minutes of the vehicle being reported stolen, responding police located the vehicle travelling east on the Tasman Highway at Waverley.

Police attempted to intercept the vehicle but it failed to stop for them and continued travelling away from Launceston. Police followed the vehicle, out past Myrtle Park and onto a narrow track.

As the track narrowed, the Hilux suddenly reversed at speed towards the police vehicle, ramming it twice, and allowing the offender the opportunity to escape into the bush.

The police vehicle was extensively damaged and will be off the road while repairs are undertaken.

It has been the second ramming of a police vehicle in less than two weeks.

Importantly no police officers were injured during the incident.

Policing is by its very nature, a high risk occupation, but actions like this increase that risk level substantially, said Inspector Michael Johnston.

Anyone with any information as to the identity and location of the offender should call Tasmania Police on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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House fire at Grices Road, Tea Tree Tasmania Police @TAZZTMP19843 @19843 @DROP "IndyWatch Feed Hobart" report error

House fire at Grices Road, Tea Tree Tasmania Police

Thursday, 3 December 2015 1:34 pm.

On Thursday 3 December shortly after 6:30am Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police were called to a report of a house fire at Grices Road, Tea Tree.

On arrival, a two storey sandstone structure was found to be completely destroyed. The house is heritage listed and believed to have been constructed in the 1860s.

Damage to the residence is estimated at over $400,000.

Forensic investigators and members of Bridgewater CIB are continuing their investigations. At this stage the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Police are appealing for witnesses if you saw any people or vehicles in the vicinity of Grices Road during the early hours of 3 December, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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Wednesday, 21 November


Tasmania Police: Suspicious Fire Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Members of Tasmania Police are investigating a fire which occurred at 11:38pm on Wednesday 21 November 2018 at 8 Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood.

Substantial damage has been caused to the building and interior. The residence was occupied at the time however the occupant/s were not home.

Police are treating the cause of the fire as suspicious and anyone with information relating to the incident can provide it anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

The post Suspicious Fire Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood appeared first on Tasmania Police.



Site colour change "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

From time to time I change the colour of this site, often partly or entirely for some reason connected with its content.  Examples of past colours adopted have been:

a random pale blue when the site was originally started
a shade of dark blue which was the subject of a ludicrous cease-and-desist letter from the Tasmanian Liberal director asking that an "independent liberal" candidate cease using the colour "Liberal Blue"
Liberal Blue with spots.  
Orange, partly in amazement at Cathy McGowan's team finding 1000 votes under the proverbial table during the 2013 Indi count.
Purple, signifying neutrality between the major parties
The colour of Senate ballot papers, moving to a purely psephological colour as an expression of disgust with the federal parliament over anti-free speech provisions in the rushed-through same-sex marriage plebiscite safeguards bill.
Burnt orange, flying SA-BEST colours in protest against SA Labor and Liberal parties preferencing the Australian Conservatives.

The new colours (though I'm fiddling with the combination to try not to make it too hard on the eyes) are another protest, concerning the behaviour of nearly every party in or leading up to the current Victorian Legislative Council election.

Virtually every party in this election has supported, deceptively misused, enabled or failed to adequately fight Group Ticket Voting and its rampant abuse by preference-harvesters.  None of the parties in the current parliament introduced legislation to abolish GVTs at any stage.  Beyond the initial Electoral Matters report, I cannot even find any evidence that anyone even spoke in parliament against it.  Virtually all the ticket orders submitted, whether from parties inside or outside the parliament, either engage in preference harvesting or else preference parties that are obvious preference harvesters above at least some of the mainstream parties.

The only party t...

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Monday, 19 November


Rental vacancies to tighten "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Au revoir to the cranes

The most timely JLL report showed that the residential construction pipeline is now shrinking fast on tighter lending criteria for developers and investors.  

In time this will inevitably lead to tighter rental vacancies, especially as we head into and beyond the traditionally busy Christmas and New Year period, with more Airbnb offerings also set to eat into the rental market through this cycle. 

With the greatest volume of apartment construction through this cycle Sydney and Melbourne will be the last markets to know about the tightening (although when D-Day does come the presently record high population growth in these cities means that the tightening of rentals market may also be felt most acutely).

We're already hearing more and more stories of failed or delayed settlements, so the slowing in supply could come about sooner than expected. 

The initial impacts will be felt in Hobart, Canberra, Adelaide, and an array of rental markets around regional Australia.

Indeed, SQM's latest figures showed that rental vacancies had already fallen to the lowest level since 2014 by the end of last month, so the tightening process is well underway in some markets.

The HIA forecast today in its National Outlook that housing starts will fall by more than 50,000 from the peak, noting (or lamenting) that:

'APRAs restrictions were designed to curb high risk lending practices but we are now seeing ordinary home buyers experience delays and constraints in accessing finance.'

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Sunday, 18 November


Wentworthless: Another Epic Seat Poll Fail "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The failures of seat polling have been a common subject on this site this year.  See Is Seat Polling Utterly Useless?, Why Is Seat Polling So Inaccurate and How Did The Super Saturday Seat Polls Go?

The recent Wentworth by-election was difficult to poll because of a late strategic-voting swing of probably a few to several points from Labor to the winner Kerryn Phelps.  All seven polls that polled a Liberal vs Phelps two-candidate preferred vote did actually get the right winner.  But that is all the good news that there is.  In so many other respects, the seat polls for the historic Wentworth by-election, perhaps the most polled seat in Australian history, were way wrong. And like other recent seat poll failures in such seats as Bass, Macarthur, Dobell, Lindsay and Longman, the failures were characterised not just by the polls being very wrong, but also by them tending to be wrong in the same direction.  The problems go beyond small sample size, and beyond even the tendency of seat polls to be less accurate than their sample sizes say they should be.  They point to systematic errors not random ones, and in this case, I suspect, to the oversampling of the politically engaged.

Eleven poll results were published for the Wentworth by-election, though these included three internal Liberal polls for which only a 2CP was released, and also some early polling taken before the lineup of the field was settled.  Unfortunately no Newspoll/Galaxy polling was seen. Among the eight polls for which more details than just the 2CP were seen, there were various issues with incomplete figures and unredistributed "don't know" or "undecided" responses, but I've done the best that I can with those in the table that follows.  Where the ReachTEL polls provided a breakdown of "undecided" I've redistributed those accordingly, in other cases I've done it in proportion.  I've given the 2CP from one of the Liberal internals as 49.7 based on claims the party was a "fraction of a point" behind (I'm not sure the exact figure was published.)

In the initial TAI ReachTEL the IND option refers to Alex Greenwich, at the time considered a possible candidate.   For the six polls that gave 2PP/2CP figures I've found the proportion of all preferences that would flow to the Liberals vs Labor and vs Phelps to get the numbers published in the poll. 

Here's the table (click for larger clearer version):



Current Alerts List Southern Region: Quorn Street, SANDY BAY "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
SIZE: Not Available
Number of Vehicles: 1
More Info:
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 15:31:51 +1100

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Saturday, 17 November


Current Alerts List Southern Region: Sandy Bay Road, SANDY BAY "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

ALERT LEVEL: No Alert Level
Region: S
SIZE: Not Available
Number of Vehicles: 1
More Info:
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Tasmania Fire Service
UPDATED: Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:17:20 +1100

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Thursday, 15 November


2018 Hobart City Council Count (With Some Coverage Of Other Councils) "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The number above appears at the top of my coverage to highlight the final informal vote rate for the Hobart City Council councillor count, as a result of absurdly strict formality requirements. Launceston (7.94%) and Clarence (7.24%) are not far behind.  

This level of informal vote as a result of absurd legislation is a farce, an insult to democracy, and a threat to the legitimacy of seats being decided by a handful of votes.  The informal rate was 100 times the final seat margin in Hobart.

I call on the state government and other parties in the Lower House to immediately and publicly commit to fixing this problem.  The current government did not create this problem, but the problem should have been fixed after the last election four years ago.

Coverage follows below.

Note added Saturday night: I will be mostly offline for the coming week (Nov 4-10) so comment clearance will be slow.

Introduction (from Tuesday)

Welcome to my live coverage thread for the Hobart City Council count, which will also have some comments on other councils when I find time to look at them.  My Hobart candidate guide and preview was here and has probably been viewed by about 20% of Hobart voters.  Updates will be added below the dotted lines; check back regularly through the week for comments.  These introductory comments will stay at the top, there are also some more detailed introductory comments at the bottom.

If you have a question about another Council after there are figures av...


Poll Roundup: Well That Wasn't Much Of A Honeymoon "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

2PP Aggregate: 54.8 to Labor (+0.8 since last week) by 2016 preferences
54.2 to Labor with One Nation adjustment
Labor would win election "held now" with a very large majority 

It's been a while since my last federal poll roundup.  At that time the Coalition's polling was recovering from the shock caused by the messy and (to the public) inexplicable coup that deposed Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, and it was too soon to read anything into what we were seeing.  Because the Coalition's polling was in recovery mode but the new Prime Minister was still in a polling honeymoon period it was a matter of waiting for things to settle down to get a feeling for how competitive the Coalition really was.

On my aggregate, the recovery from a post-coup low of 43.9% peaked at 46.7% after seven weeks, and since then things have been getting worse rather than better.  Furthermore, since the defeat in Wentworth, they have been getting worse faster, at least if this week's shocker Newspoll is anything to go by.  The Coalition's current position is worse than at any time with Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, and also worse than all but the worst few weeks under Tony Abbott.

We haven't had much national polling data since the last roundup article.  The government's last three Newspolls had 2PP votes of 47, 46 and 45.  By last-election preferences after considering the primary votes I aggregated these as 46, 45.4 and 44.3 (Newspoll adjusts for a shift in the preferencing behaviour of One Nation voters since the 2016 election).  Essential has returned 47, 47 and 46, which I converted to 47.2, 47.1 and 45.6, and there was a lone Ipsos at 45, which I entered as 45.1.

Since the change at the top, the average Newspoll 2PP for the government has been 45.3 while the average from Essential has been 46.3.  This is even though Newspoll's preferencing method should on average make Newspoll about 0.9 points better for the Coalition than Essential is.  It is pretty common for dramatic events to produce shifts in how the house effects of different polls relate to each other (for instance, when Turnbull first became Prime Minister, Morgan polls shifted from being Labor-friendly to Coalition-friendly compa...


Not-A-Poll: Best State Premiers Of The Past 40 Years: Round 2 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Two months ago I started a round of Best State Premier Not-A-Polls.  Winners from each state will eventually go through to an elimination-style final similar to my Best Prime Minister series.  Also the skew in this site's reader base (and that's probably not the only cause) led to Labor Premiers winning round 1 in every state, so I am starting a Best Non-Labor Premier/Chief Minister runoff as well.

As it has turned out six states have finished up with two-candidate runoffs.  The first named was the round 1 winner in every case except Queensland which was a tie.

NSW Neville Wran vs Bob Carr
Victoria Steve Bracks vs Daniel Andrews (postponed to January to reduce Vic election contamination)
Queensland Peter Beattie vs Wayne Goss
Western Australia Geoff Gallop vs Carmen Lawrence
Tasmania Jim Bacon vs Lara Giddings
ACT Katy Gallagher vs Jon Stanhope

All these runoffs will go for one month.  (Voting in the sidebar, closes 6 pm Nov 30.)

Two candidates win their states/territories and advance directly to the final by outright majority:

SA Don Dunstan
NT Clare Martin

Daniel Andrews is the only current Premier still in the contest.

It was possible for a candidate to win their state in the first round without winning an absolute majority (based on the threshhold rules).  For a while it looked like Gallagher would do this in the ACT, and Bacon was close in Tasmania but neither got there.

Qualifiers for Best Non-Labor Premier have been decided by first-past-the-post (I think this is actually better than having open-primary style runoffs in this case, though the final can only be an open runoff).  They are:

NSW Nick Greiner
Victoria Jeff Kennett
Queensland Joh Bjelke-Petersen
Western Australia Colin Barnett
South Australia Steven Marshall
Tasmania Will Hodgman
ACT Kate Carnell
NT Paul Everingham

Two current Premiers made this list.

Best Non-Labor Premier will be determined by multi-candidate runoff.  To progress to the next round a candidate must:

* Obtain at least 8% of the vote
* Be capable of winning from that position if it was a preferential election (this automatically excludes the candidate in last place).

Given the open-primary nature of the vote I think I know who's going to win, but we will see!

The first round of this will go for one month. ...

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Tuesday, 13 November


Musings on a wedding, a funeral, and another road trip. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

About a month ago, I was woken up at the crack of dawn by my mobile phone ringing. this cant be good news I figured. It was my darling wife who informed me I had to be at Hobart airport by mid-day, shed booked me on a flight to Brisbane that was scheduled to leave at 1PM. her mother, she informed me, was probably going to die that day, or some time very soon, and I was needed for moral support, among other things.

Obviously, I staggered out of bed, packed my bags, forced breakfast down, and cleaned up my mess at the building site.

I had originally been booked a week or more later to attend a wedding, and everything was now up in the air literally as I sat in one of those amazing aluminium tubes that can fly you thousands of kilometres in the blink of an eye lid, thanks to those irreplaceable fossil fuels..

It was warm and sunny when I left Tassie, and pouring rain and cold when I arived in Brisbane. I had planned for this, carrying a raincoat on board. My son picked me up in Brisbane and drove me through peak hour traffic to Caloundra where my mother in law Bettywas going to spend her last three days before calmly passing away, unconscious, I think. It was a lot like turning the ignition off a very old and tired motorcar that had simply reached the end of the road..

At 94, darling old Betty, who has been the kindest and most generous mother in law one could have wished...

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Monday, 12 November


Media Release: Experienced greens warn on forest greenwash. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Environmentalists and former Greens leaders Christine Milne and Bob Brown warn that labelling timber products from logging Australias dwindling native forests as environmentally friendly is greenwash and will not fool the modern Australian buyer, especially now when the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated emphatically that protecting and restoring the worlds forests is essential to constraining global warming.

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Saturday, 03 November


Podcast #12 Tasmanian council elections "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Kevin Bonham and I have just put together a bonus episode to discuss the Tasmanian council elections, focusing on the results of the Hobart City Council race and the features of the Tasmanian council voting system.

Read Kevins live blog from the Tasmanian council elections count

You can subscribe using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for the Tally Room. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.


Wentworth Live: Majority On The Line Again (Plus Post-Count) "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

WENTWORTH (Lib vs ALP 17.8%)
Dave Sharma (Lib) vs Kerryn Phelps (IND) (16 candidates total)

GAIN by Phelps (IND) - margin will exceed 51:49

Government to lose majority and seat held almost continuously since Federation.

The swings involved, while among the largest, are not an all-time record of any kind. (Not even if you discount Wills 1992)


Live Comments

Saturday Ah Wentworth, is this still a thing?  The final trickle of postals boosted Phelps' lead to 1851 (51.22%) - this may change trivially during further processing. The result will be declared on Monday.   It will still be subject to any Section 44 challenge that might occur.

Monday Remaining postals not exactly flooding in with the AEC reporting there are still not enough to undertake a count today.  As far as possible the AEC avoids counting very small batches at a time because of the risks to the secret ballot (voters might be identifiable from their votes).

Thursday 5:30 Phelps wins another batch of postals and leads by 1783.  The share of postals to Sharma was over 20 points weaker than in the opening postal counting.  I have never seen a turnaround on this scale and it is not even the final week yet.

Thursday 3:15 Phelps wins declaration prepolls 189-112 and leads by 1720.

Wednesday 5:30 Provisionals broke 58.4% to Phelps (246-175) so her lead expands slightly again.  I don't expect the margin (currently at 1643) to change by more than a few hundred from here.

Wednesday 2:00 Another batch of just over 500 postals has been counted and Phelps (narrowly) won them, though I don't have the exact figures.  I have mentioned before that late postals tend to split more weakly for conservatives but here we are seeing a rate of change from early to late postals that I've never seen before.  It is unclear whether Sharma will make further gains from here at all.

Tuesday 2:00 A very weak split on those postals which I have at 434-360 with 40 informal, around 54.7% to Sharma.  Phelps now leads by 1552.  At the current rate of informality, even if every remaining postal arrived, Sharma would need a 66% split, compared to the 62.6% rate so far. If 1000 don't arrive he needs 70-30, if 2000 don't arrive he needs 77-23.

Tuesday 1:00 Antony Green tweets...

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Friday, 02 November


2018 Victorian State Election Intro "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

It's very close to the 2018 Victorian state election for me not to have written a thing yet about it!  Largely this has been because my analysis model needs polling to work, and (in common with other recent state elections) there's hardly been any of it.  Anyway, this is an opening offering on some general issues in trying to forecast this election

Let's start with the important bit.  If voting in the Legislative Council (upper house) in Victoria, vote below the line for candidates, not above the line for parties.  You only have to choose five candidates for a valid vote, though you will make your vote a lot more powerful if you number a lot more.  If you vote above the line, your vote will be at the mercy of your party's decisions about where to send your preferences, and they may well choose to send it to a party who you'd be totally opposed to.  Unfortunately, Victoria is one of the two remaining states that has not got rid of the Group Ticket voting system.  Keep control of your own vote and say no to preference-harvesting which can lead to unknown parties electing unaccountable candidates off tiny percentages of the vote.

I hope to have time to analyse the potential impacts of Group Ticket Voting at this election, but I will be offline for a week a few weeks out from the election, so by the time I get onto it, people may already be voting.

The Weight Of History

As for the lower house, which will be the focus of my usual predictive efforts, the past history of state elections does not bode well for the Liberal opposition.  As I noted in my hopefully vaguely seminal post What Kills State Governments: Age Or Canberra the two biggest danger factors for state governments are long incumbency and being the same party as the federal government. The defeat of the Weatherill government in South Australia earlier this year marked just the seventh time in the last 35 such cases in which a government has lost while the same party was out of power federally.  So only 20% of governments not subject to what I call "federal drag" lose, while those governments that are the same party as the federal government are kicked out about half the time.

Moreover, of those opposite-party governments that have lost, most of the cases have involved leadership instability and/or loss of majority on the floor of the Parliament.  None involved a first-term government, let alone a majority first-term government.

If we want to find the last time a state government lost after its first term while also in opposition federally, we will be going back a long, long time!  The last twelve such state governments nationwide in a...

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Thursday, 01 November


Bob Brown leads protest outside Ta Ann in Hobart "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

In recent days, Bob Brown Foundation has received news from the Malaysian state of Sarawak that eleven indigenous community members were detained for six days after their villages water source was destroyed by companies owned by logging giant Ta Ann and police brutally dismantled their peaceful blockade. The eleven were released on bail yesterday.


Media Release: ADANIS GLOBAL THREAT THE SAME - BROWN. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

I will join the peaceful campaign to take on the profit-before-planet Adani empire. - Bob Brown

The latest Adani coal mine plan presents the same global environmental threat as the original plan to extract the same amount of coal, burn it and pollute the planets biosphere, environmentalist Bob Brown said today.


Media Alert: Bob Brown to lead protest outside Ta Ann in Hobart today "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

In recent days the Bob Brown Foundation has received news from the Malaysian state of Sarawak that eleven indigenous community members were detained for six days after their villages water source was destroyed by companies owned by logging giant Ta Ann and police brutally dismantled their peaceful blockade. The 11 were released on bail yesterday.

Our protest today outside Ta Anns Hobart offices is in support of the Iban people of Sarawak and a reminder to Ta Ann that they will not be allowed to get away with this cruel suppression of indigenous forest campaigners, Bob Brown said.

Where: Ta Ann. 150 Davey Street, Hobart.
What: Peaceful demonstration with banners.
Time: Thursday 1 Nov, 2:45pm 3.15pm.


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Wednesday, 31 October


Ways To Improve Tasmanian Council Elections "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

On Tuesday I voted in the Hobart City Council elections.  (By the way, if you haven't voted yet, you might want to take your vote direct to your local council centre.) After following this election for months, including researching the candidates and writing a guide to the election it still took me 70 minutes to fill out my ballot papers, albeit with a little live tweeting of my thought processes on the way.  I'm not even convinced I did all that good a job of it, and suspect it would have taken me 3-4 hours to come up with a vote that was the best I could possibly do.  If it wasn't for the fact that there are always people who need putting near the bottom, I would have been wondering why I even bothered.

Ahead of a radio appearance in the morning, I thought I'd put up a list of some things that I think need fixing in Tasmania's local council elections system.    In general, they need fixing through legislation - it is the laws put in place by the State Government that dictate most aspects of how the Tasmanian Electoral Commission runs elections.  After voting, I put out a call for a joint parliamentary inquiry into local council election rules to get these issues fixed.  However I later found out that the state government does have a full-scale review process for the Local Government Act underway - slowly - the draft terms of reference of which include:

Local government electoral provisions, including options for enhancing both voter and candidate participation in local government elections;

That sounds promising, but it badly needs to be an in-depth nuts-and-bolts review of the electoral legislation, and not just a superficial argument about whether or not to introduce compulsory voting (which I oppose).  Many of the problems with the current rules are not the current government's fault, having been caused by its predecessor (which, for instance, ignored warnings about increased informal voting), but it is past high time that they were fixed.

Inflexible formality rules

The formality rules for voting on the councillor ballot paper are ridiculous.  A voter should not have their vote disallowed because they can only find 11 candidates they can bear to put a number next to, or (for a council with 12 candidates) because they mistakenly write 12 a second time when they go to write 13.



Bob Brown to lead protest outside Ta Ann in Hobart tomorrow "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

In breaking news out of Malaysia, eleven indigenous (Iban) community members have been jailed by police in Sarawak since last Thursday, October 25th.

Three companies, all subsidiaries of Ta Ann, have been working in the area of the Ulu Kelawit-Tatau since 2012 and their operations have destroyed the Sungai Besangin, the river that the Iban depend on for farming and fishing. With the villagers no longer able to grow crops or fish the river, they set up a blockade against the companies that destroyed their river.


News from ABC Radio Hobart: Nathan Campbell didn't intend to 'hit anyone' when he fired gun at car full of people, jury hears "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Nathan Richard Campbell outside Launceston Supreme Court during trial over shooting of Phoenix Newitt

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Tuesday, 30 October


New Sarawak Outrage "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Bob Brown calls for Ta Ann in Australia to confirm or deny Malaysian reports of cruel suppression of indigenous forest campaigners.

I believe it to be true because I have met Peter Kallang and totally respect his joint statement with the respected Iban native rights group SADIA - see below.

Clare Rewcastle Brown was in Hobart last night, in Melbourne tonight and Canberra tomorrow night talking about just this style of injustice and ongoing corruption in Malaysia, specifically Sarawak.

A protest will be held outside Ta Ann's Hobart office in Tasmania on Thursday afternoon.


Media Release: Environmentalist of the Year Tours Capitals "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Clare Rewcastle Brown, awarded Environmentalist of the Year by Bob Brown Foundation, will set off on a speaking tour across Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Perth after speaking to a full house in Hobart last night.

Environmentalist Bob Brown will join Clare in conversation in Melbourne and Canberra.

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Monday, 29 October


2018 Environment Awards "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The Bob Brown Foundation presented its 7th annual Environment Awards in Hobart today, honouring environmentalists from across the world and around Australia.

The awards were established in 2012 to acknowledge environmentalists campaigning to protect the natural world, with a particular focus on activism and a preparedness to confront environmental destruction head on.

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Saturday, 27 October


Friends of FM November 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


Reg A Watson, Frank Madill, Chris Sayer.

A new book Historic Snippets of Tasmanias Past was launched recently at the City Park Radio. Written by Tasmanian historian and author, Reg. A. Watson, it was launched by Dr Frank Madill AM.
It is a collection of 64 short stories of the States heritage. Reg has a regular history spot on Hobart FM Radio which is aired three times a week. He has now recorded 80 stories which go State-wide. He has put a collection of these in book form.There is a never ending source of stories, said Reg. I intend to have a Volume Two later in 2019

Among the 64 stories are historical events, characters such as Errol Flynn and Bruce Goodluck, artists, convicts, bushrangers, buildings, Governors, churches and synagogues. There are stories highlighting our military past from The Anglo-Boer War to Vietnam and in between. A number of colonial artist are included such as Thomas Bock, Henry Mundy and Henry Gritten plus others.

Frank Madill is of course well known for his love of Tasmania and spoke highly of Regs contribution to our States heritage.
This is Regs 18th book, having his first book called Historic Tasmanian churches in Van Diemens Land published in 1975. His first article was published in October 1969 in the old Saturday Evening Mercury.
In his address Reg said, In this industry one can write until ones pen drops.

Tales from Tassies history is heard three times a week on City Park Radio  Sunday Breakfast 7.20, Wednesday Long Lunch 12.30 and Friday Drivetime 6.20pm.

Download snail mail newsletter HERE

Download November program schedule HERE




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Friday, 26 October


Oh Yes We Do Have Strategic Voting In Australia (Sometimes) "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

On Wednesday Alex Turnbull, who has been campaigning for voters to evict the Liberal Party from his father's former seat of Wentworth, switched his support from Labor to independent Kerryn Phelps on strategic grounds.  Amusingly, Turnbull jnr justified his support by reference to a popular American text called "Gaming the Vote" by William Poundstone, and posted a colourful excerpt explaining how the squeezing out of a centrist candidate who finishes in third places can lead to "unpalatable, Wizard-or-Lizard dilemmas".  After Clinton-vs-Trump, or even the utter farce that has been the present term of Australian parliament, wizards and lizards are both sounding pretty good at the moment.

The idea here is very simple: if Kerryn Phelps makes the final two she is more likely to beat Dave Sharma (Lib) on preferences from Labor (which will include some votes originally for the Greens and minor candidates), than Tim Murray (Labor) is to beat Sharma on Phelps' preferences should he make the final two.  Phelps is (mostly) seen as the more centrist candidate in an electorate that has never elected a Labor MP.  There will be voters who want to send a protest vote against the Liberals for disposing of that other Turnbull or whatever other reason, but who cannot bring themselves to vote Labor.

And yet, I have seen a few politically active people on Twitter claim (and persist in claiming after being refuted) that strategic voting is a non-issue in a preferential system, that we don't ever have it in this country and never need to, and that all a voter need ever do is put the candidates in order of preference and the system will process that as best for that voter as it can.

Now, normally it doesn't bother me if people who seem to be smart enough to know better insist on damaging their own voting power.  Also I have no interest in promoting a Phelps vote myself and I'm not sure I'd put her above either major party's candidate if I had the fortune to be a Wentworth voter.  But above all else, this goes to the question of our electoral system, what it is good for, what are its strengths and weaknesses, is it prone to gaming, and does it sometimes leave voters with difficult strategic choices that they do not have the information needed to make.  These questions need answers and the fact is that an incentive for strategic voting is a real, if rare, thing in our House of Reps system.

Here are some examples of strategic voting scenarios in Australian single-seat elections with preferencing (either compulsory or optional, the same points apply in each case).  The extent to which strategic voting actually occurred in each case is not that relevant; the point is that there was clear room for using it if voters were concerned with a specific outc...


Council Voting - Please Be Careful! "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

I've already made this point in my Hobart guide but I thought I should make it prominently in a separate post to cover all councils.  Please feel very free to share and spread widely.

A scourge of Tasmanian council elections is the high rate of informal voting.  Informal votes are votes that are returned but cannot be counted as they are not valid votes.  The main reason the informal voting rate is high is that voters make mistakes and the rules concerning this are stupid.  The reason the rules are stupid is that governments have failed to fix them.  The previous Labor/Greens government ignored warnings that bringing in all-in all-out elections would cause a high informal voting rate under the current system. The current Liberal government has so far done nothing to fix it.  The Local Government Act needs to be reformed to provide savings provisions for voters who make honest mistakes.

When you get your ballot papers in the mail, the ballot paper for Councillors will have an instruction at the top saying "Number the boxes from 1 to [some number] in order of your choice".  At the bottom it says "Number at least [some other number] boxes to make your vote count".  The first number is the number of candidates, the second is the number to be elected.

What the instructions don't tell you is that if you make a mistake before you get to that second (minimum) number, your vote won't be counted - at all!

So for instance, Hobart is electing 12 councillors.  You can number up to 36 boxes but for your vote to count you need to at least number the boxes 1 to 12 once and once only.  If you include any of those numbers more than once, your vote is invalid and will not count at all.  If you skip any of those numbers, your vote is invalid and will not count at all.  So for instance, if you put two number 8s but no number 9 on a Hobart councillor paper, that's it, your vote will not be valid.  Even had you made just one of these two mistakes, your vote would not count.  I personally saw huge piles of ballot papers rejected for these sorts of reasons in 2014.  Especially, do not think "oh I really can't find 12 candidates, I'll just pick 11, surely that's good enough?"  It isn't. It's the same as posting in a blank ballot.

If you make a mistake involving doubling or omitting numbers after the minimum number, that's not such a big deal.  Don't let that put you off numbering as many boxes as you want to.  A mistake after the minimum number just...


2018 FIDE (World Chess Federations) Elections Updates "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

8:15 am Georgian time

Greetings from Batumi!  This is a post to cover the goings on regarding the FIDE election, which I first posted about nearly three months ago (2018 World Chess Federation elections).  I hope to post updates through the election today but they may or may not be delayed a little by duties in connection with it, or issues with running my computer off its wayward battery.

Since my previous article, the attempt to impose greater strictness surrounding the tempting of delegates has fallen by the wayside (because it lacked statutory authority), but still the election has been austere compared to the cash-splash of 2014, especially on the Makropoulos side.  Unlike in 2014, a delegate is not bombarded with pamphlets at meetings for days before the election and there are few posters to be seen.  The Makropoulos and Dvorkovich camps have stalls at the Olympiad venue (and the Makropoulos camp accuses a member of the Dvorkovich camp of some scruffy behaviour related to this) while the Short camp has no physical presence beyond its various members.

The election is still a three-candidate race, but it has been obvious all along that Nigel Short has no chance of winning unless one of the other candidates withdraws, is disqualified or is abandoned by supporters en masse for some reason I could not possibly foresee.  The second boat sailed three days ago when an attempt by the Makropoulos camp to have the Dvorkovich ticket disqualified was knocked back by the Ethics Commission, but the judgement did disqualify one federation that supported Dvorkovich, namely Serbia. A few weeks ago Short announced a degree of alliance with Dvorkovich that was widely misinterpreted as a withdrawal.

The Dvorkovich camp has predictably had a bad rub of the green concerning various issues with delegates and recognition of federations - some of these come because they were late starters in the race but have been building support to at least some degree through it.  One Federation that (at this stage) failed to make the cut of those allowed to vote was Haiti - I have not followed this saga closely but understand that after its President died the federation somehow came to submit a form to be considered a new federation rather than to change its delegate, in circumstances that are in dispute.  Another is Bulgaria, a currently banned federation that was the subject of a split Electoral Commission ruling on how to deal with it, with the possibility that the existing federation could be expelled so a new one can be recognised.

Although there is widespread support for the abolition o...


Poll Roundup: The Current Polls Aren't All That Meaningful "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

2PP Aggregate: 54.2 to Labor (-0.6 since last week) by 2016 election preferences
53.6 to Labor with One Nation preference adjustment 
Labor would win election "held now" with a large majority
(scores and text, but not graph, updated for Essential)

This week Newspoll, which has so far produced the worst readings for the Coalition since Malcolm Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison, came down two points on the two-party preferred vote from 56-44 to Labor to 54-46.  Taking into account the primary votes, the Coalition's gain was probably slightly greater.  Indeed this Newspoll had a slightly smaller gap (0.7 points) between the expected last-election preferences off the primaries and the published 2PP with Newspoll's adjustments of One Nation preferences than has usually been the case lately.

The limited evidence offered by a one-point 2PP improvement in last fortnight's Essential (edit: and another one this week), and also a mere 53-47 to Labor from the volatile Ipsos series last week, are also consistent with a degree of recovery from the worst of the post-spill polling.  My aggregate shows this recovery as being worth 1.9 points so far.  (Other aggregates generally do not show the worst of the blowout as being as bad as mine or the recovery as being so much - the main difference being that mine discards all previous data whenever there is a change of Prime Minister.)  Here's what it looks like on the smoothed tracking graph:

We are also seeing some personal ratings for Scott Morrison.  In the last two Newspolls his net satisfaction scores have come in at +2 and +5.  That might not sound like much, but these are the first positive netsats for a leader of either party since Turnbull's last positive rating in March 2016.  Bill Shorten has now been in minusland for over four and a half years, and slipped back into the -20s again this week, dropping from -14 (a score he last saw just after the 2016 election) to -22.

Scott Morrison is also getting handy leads as Better PM.  After trailing Shorten in his first poll as PM (33-39) he has since led 42-36 and now 45-32.  These leads are modest given that Better PM typically skews to incumbent PMs by around 16 points, but they are also large in the context of the terrible 2PP polling.  Indeed, no PM has eve...

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Thursday, 25 October


PERTH Magistrates court tasmania "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Magistrates court tasmania .

October 26, 2018 at 04:28AM .

Perth magistrates court listings . On that date the matter can finish as a plea of guilty or be adjourned. Business contact details for Magistrates Court of .



Tourism Industry Council Tasmania opposes due legal process "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

25 October 2018

The Tourism Industry Council Tasmanias (TICT) boil-over at the Wilderness Societys perfect right to test in court whether the law was upheld in the government's go-ahead for the Lake Malbena commercial proposal shows an arrogant contempt for due public process, Bob Brown said today.

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Wednesday, 24 October


Kerryn Phelps and council countbacks "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

A story in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning discussed how Kerryn Phelps would keep up doing both her jobs as a City of Sydney councillor and federal MP if (as expected) she comes out the winner in last weekends by-election.

The article explores some interesting perspectives about the workload (hard to do if youre diligent) and the potential constitutional issues (unlikely to be a problem, assuming the High Court judges NSW councillors as similar to Tasmanian councillors) but missed another angle: the impact on local electors in the City of Sydney of a by-election if Phelps were to resign.

If Kerryn Phelps were to resign from the City of Sydney, it would trigger a by-election across the entire City. At the 2016 election, almost 85,000 people cast ballots, and over 140,000 were enrolled. This is more than have voted in the Wentworth by-election. It would presumably be costly and have a big impact.

There is a general problem with using by-elections for filling council vacancies. Almost every council in New South Wales is elected using a method of proportional representation. We mostly avoid using by-elections in this country to fill vacancies in proportional systems.

The two solutions usually used are appointment by the party of the vacating member (eg. NSW upper house, Senate) or a countback (eg. Tasmanian lower house). Under a countback, you re-examine the ballots cast at the last election and effectively recount the votes to see where the votes of the vacating member would have gone, and that person fills the vacancy without the casting of fresh votes.

Its even more of a problem for some NSW councils without wards. Its a hassle to hold a ward by-election when a few tens of thousands of voters would need to come out and vote, but in the case of the City of Sydney it would be a huge number.

The best example I can find is the 2017 City of Campbelltown by-election. Campbelltown (a large Western Sydney council) has no wards it elects fifteen members to represent the entire council area. This produces the lowest quota for any council in the country you need just over 6.25% to win. This produces a very proportional council, and usually prevents one party from winning a majority.

At the 2016 election, Labor won seven out of fifteen seats on council, which allowed them to put together a working majority with some sympathetic crossbenchers. Long-serving independent Fred Borg died three months after the election, triggering a by-election.

Like the potential City of Sydney by-election, the ensuing by-election was large, with over 77,000 votes being cast, just to elect a single...

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Monday, 22 October


Hobart City Council Elections Candidate Guide And Preview 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

All candidates are directed to the note for candidates at the bottom of this page.

Introductory Waffle

With some rather expensive looking corflutes already cropping up in parts of the city, it's time to start my resource page for the 2018 Hobart City Council elections.  This guide (like my 2014 guide) includes a list of candidates who are running for the Council for the 2018-22 term.    The guide includes brief bio details and links, descriptions of candidates' past electoral form (where any) and an attempted assessment of prospects.  All sections will be updated regularly, but there will be lags of a few days at times between Sep 25 and Oct 7.

Donations to cover even some of my time in writing this guide are very welcome - but not from candidates or their direct connections.  There's a PayPal button on the sidebar or you can email me for bank account details. Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to.

Note to all voters: please make sure your vote is valid.  Your vote for Councillor (Aldermen) must include the numbers 1 to 12 each once and once only.  If you skip or double any of these numbers, your vote won't count at all.  If you stop at 11, your vote won't count at all.  You can give further preferences beyond 12 if you wish and I strongly encourage doing this (a mistake beyond 12 will not make your vote informal).  If there are candidates you dislike then number all the boxes and put them at the bottom.  You will never help them beat candidates you have ranked higher by so doing.

A reader has prepared this simple voting order shuffler which also allows you to write notes about the candidates, in order to put them in your preferred order!

For some complex background to the voting patterns of existing councillors, see Hobart City Council Voting Patterns 2014-8. By way of a quick summary, while most councillors are technically independent, and even the party-endorsed candidates don't vote the same way as each other all the time, I've historically found that most councillors belong to two l...


Italy and energy: a case study "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Since discovering Jean Marc Jancovici a couple of months ago, I have been following his work, which is mostly in French; but now and again he publishes something in English, so you guys can benefit from reading this while I prepare to drive my wifes Suzuki Alto with a full load to Tasmania  yes I am going to get my life back and get to enjoy sharing the fruits of my labour after a three year wait..


Italy is in trouble. Or more precisely, the country has been abandonned by growth. It is one of the few OECD countries that is unable to recover from the 2008 crisis: its GDP is still lagging below 2007 levels. Would it be the simple result of the unability of the successive governments to make the appropriate reforms? It might well be that the explanation lies in something much more different, but much more unpleasant: physics.

First, statistics are unequivocal on the fact that growth has vanished, so far.

Year on year change of the GDP in Italy (or annual growth rate) since 1961 (blue curve), average per decade (red curve), and trend on the growth rate (green dotted line). It is easy to see that each decade has been less successful than the previous one since the beginning of this series, and that the decade that started in 2010 has an average growth rate which is negative. Italy has therefore been in recession, on average, for the last 7 years.

Primary data from World Bank.

As the two are generally linked in Western countries, the debt on GDP ratio has risen to heights, botbh for public and private debt.

Debt on GDP ratio in Italy since 1995. Primary data from Eurostat.
Households debt on GDP ratio since 1960. Data from Bank for International Settlements.

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Friday, 19 October


Wentworth is Adani coal mine test poll - Bob Brown "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

19th October 2018

The Wentworth by-election has become a litmus test on whether politicians heed the strong public sentiment against the Adani coal mine, former Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

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Thursday, 11 October


What do banks do? An accounting perspective "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

This paper was given to a U3A Group. It's a look at settlement services and borrowing/lending practices. It is not intended to be a blueprint, rather an accounting explanation of what banks do and to question whether there's another way.

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is appropriately named. Theres been plenty of misconduct revealed. The aim of this seminar is not to trawl through all the misconduct, but to have a closer look at what banks do. Do we need them? If we were designing a new banking system would we come up with the current model?


The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is Australias central bank. It provides banking services to the Federal government, issues notes and currency, conducts monetary policy and oversees the banking system (together with APRA)

Money creation and settlement services are outsourced to private banks. The RBA supervises the settlement system. If the government needs to, it borrows money created by private banks. It does not borrow from its own bank.

Private banks are engaged in three principal activities.

       Settlement services




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Tuesday, 09 October


Bob Brown Foundation joins calls for limit on Cradle Mountain tourism avalanche "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Environmentalist Bob Brown has backed calls for a limit on the avalanche of tourists descending on the Dove Lake lookout at Cradle Mountain.

With plans for up to 550 people an hour spewing off the proposed cable car at Dove Lake, the area is facing serious loss of its natural values.  The proposed Dove Lake Viewing Shelter is a recipe for degradation of one of the most beautiful precincts on Earth, Bob Brown said.


Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff by Bob Brown


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Monday, 08 October


Bob Brown says IPCC report mealy mouthed and dangerous. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Todays IPCC report is mealy mouthed and dangerous because it fails to tackle the worlds political delinquents like Australia, Bob Brown said today.

Governments like Australias Morrison government will feel relieved that this stodgy panel of scientific conservatives has flagged that there may be more time than previously thought to take the drastic action required to turn around global heating. It is a mistake to give politicians subservient to the fossil fuel industry the message that things arent as bad as was thought, especially as the real impacts of global heating - coral death, cyclonic storms, bushfires, droughts, glacial melting, super-heated cities - is so obviously getting worse.


Tasmanian World Heritage Area after bushfires in 2016


Media Release: Tasmania should heed global science call on forests - Brown. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The Tasmanian government should heed the call of 40 international scientists to end the logging of natural forests if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, environmentalist Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

Scientists from around the world have stepped up efforts to protect forests to keep global warming to the lowest limit agreed by governments in Paris in 2015. The call is one outcome of a global meeting on the climate emergency in South Korea this week.

Our planets future is inextricably tied to the future of its forests the scientists said.


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Thursday, 04 October


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Tuesday, 02 October


Margaret's Gardening Notes - October "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Hello gardeners

October sneaked up on me!

Potatoes are in and some scarlet runner beans and tomatoes - both grown from seed saved from last year. I am going to try some purple sweetcorn this year - a heritage variety that is supposed to be a bit tolerant of cool weather. My seeds have come from Seed Freaks who are local seed folk - Google them.

The winter brassicas are extravagantly in flower, which I'm feeding to the chooks, who are all laying again, what little heroines! 

So here are Greg's WeHo planting notes for October.  Have fun!
OCTOBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

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Monday, 01 October


Iconic walk should be in Tarkine - Brown. "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The Bob Brown Foundation is calling on Premier Hodgman to spend the $20 million earmarked for Tasmanias next iconic track in takayna / Tarkine rather than in a protected wilderness area.

Due to the generosity of the public, our foundation has developed the Trans Tarkine Track proposal to the business study stage - way ahead of other possible contenders. The 100 kilometres long TTT does not compromise protected wild country but would, in fact, help protect the Tarkine from competing other resource extraction such as logging or, unlikely as it might be, new mining.

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Monday, 24 September


Logging threatens Tasmanian Devil habitat in takayna / Tarkine "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Healthy Devils photographed in Tasmanian old growth forests threatened by logging this summer has prompted renewed calls for secure protection of takayna / Tarkine.



Photographs of two healthy Tasmanian Devils have been captured by conservation group Bob Brown Foundation, who have remote sensor wildlife cameras positioned along a proposed road that the Tasmanian Government wants to build for logging in an area of old growth forest.  Bob Brown Foundation is currently hosting a peaceful vigil camp in these forests, south west of the popular and iconic Sumac lookout over Arthur River.  Conservationists have been camped in these threatened forests for two weeks.


Friends of FM October 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


November 11 this year is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 with many events planned worldwide to remember and reflect upon the occasion.

City Park Radio is heavily involved locally with the Centenary of Armistice in November in partnership with the Northern Midlands RSLA sub branch.  They have organised BBQs, Concerts, a dinner and a remembrance service to mark the occasion.

Our community station will host a free BBQ on 28th October to welcome the first of the American guests (Vietnam Veterans) and members of the California cadet corps. Joining them will be members of the local Army cadets and local SES volunteers. The local Vietnam Veterans Assn & Ross Hart MP have sponsored the event with a generous donation to the station to hold the event. (Station members please note the car park will be closed from 8am to set up this event)

Then on the 3rd of November, City Park Radio will be recording a special concert in the Albert Hall for replay the following weekend on City Park Radio and the Community Radio Network across Australia. The concert is a locally produced event full of great local talent with some of our volunteers volunteering to stage manage and produce the shows. CPR will edit the show for distribution and will be broadcast on City Park Radio  Saturday 10th November at  2pm  and the  Community Radio Network on Sunday 11th at 1pm  (Eastern Summer Time)

Sunday 11th November, City Park Radio will broadcast the service from the Longford Cenotaph live locally and and provide the audio live nationwide for Community Radio Network stations to take as well. The service is timed to begin at 10.45am with the Governor of Tasmania, United States Marines and other dignatories attending.

It has been a long time in planning and City Park Radio is proud to part of the community. Special thanks to our member Brian Watson whose idea it was the get these RSLA events off the ground and to include City Park Radio in the mix as well. Great work Brian.

DOWNLOAD snail mail Newsletter HERE
DOWNLOAD October Program Schedule HERE


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Saturday, 15 September



The humane world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when Japan was trounced in the International Whaling Commission vote on its motion for open-slather whaling, Australian environmentalist Bob Brown said today.

Japan, with a team including 9 politicians, and with its representative chairing the meeting, was whalloped 41-27 in its effort to drop the 32 years old moratorium on commercial whaling. The success of a Brazilian motion, for the IWC to become a whale conservation organisation, removed any lingering hopes of Japan ever having its whaling fleet endorsed.

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Thursday, 13 September


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Saturday, 08 September


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Thursday, 06 September


'Jatz' - Vulnerable Southern Myotis "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Jatz is a juvenile Australian fishing bat, otherwise known as the vulnerable Southern Myotis.

Myotis fishing bat-JatzShes a fluffy, salt-and-pepper coloured 10 gram microbat who skims waterways, using her extra-long toes to catch small fish and insects for food.

Jatz came into the care of WIRES in late March after crash-landing on a boat in the remote America Bay at Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Were not sure what Jatzs story is, but we do know she was found lying in a tangle of ropes on the boat, very underweight and in poor condition.

The couple who found her put her into an empty Jatz biscuit box (hence her name) to keep her contained, then rang WIRES.

Because the America Bay area is inaccessible to cars, Marine Rescue sent a boat to pick Jatz up and take her to Cottage Point, where she was handed over to a WIRES rescuer.

After being assessed for injuries, Jatz was sent down to the microbat aviary in Goulburn for rehabilitation and eventually, flight time.

Myotis are a difficult species to care for as they are vulnerable to stress and have highly specialised dietary needs.

Fortunately, Jatz adapted to the aviary surroundings reasonably quickly.

She put on weight, regained condition and after a couple weeks, began to fly well enough to consider release.

The carers set a target date in late April and began phoning anyone they could think of who might have a boat who may be willing to help get Jatz home.

Thankfully, the local Cottage Point publican offered his services.

Two days before release she was driven to Sydney, but poor weather and transport difficulties caused the plan to be postponed.

Worse, because of the stress of a changed environment, Jatz refused to eat.

There was no way they could release a bat that hadnt eaten for a couple of days, so a vaccinated carer drove up to Sydney and took her to Windellama where she returned to her previous routine of eating, flying and sleeping.

Weather charts were studied her release was rescheduled for four days later.

And then, the night before she was due to go home, the temperatures unexpectedly dipped again.

Given that the warm spell is over, her carers have given up on any thoughts of a pre-winter release as the odds of her surviving in the wild when temperatures and insect loads are falling are not good.

So, all fingers crossed that Jatz, the adventurous little bat on a boat, will make it safely through the colder months until spring! 

Today is Th...

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Monday, 03 September


What the Tassie Tiger taught us "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Did you know that both female AND MALE Tasmanian tigers had pouches? They were the only marsupial in Australia in which both mum and dad had a pouch. 

Their scientific name Thylacine is Greek for dog-headed pouched one and they were the worlds largest marsupial carnivore in modern times.

The Tasmanian tiger was not the only unique species to call Australia home. 90% of Australian animals are endemic to this continent; they are not found anywhere else in the world. 

But sadly, many of our unique native fauna are listed on the threatened species list and are at risk of becoming extinct.
The 7th of September is Threatened Species Day. This date was chosen for its significance; as the anniversary of when the last Tasmanian tiger died in a Hobart Zoo on September 7th 1936.

Will you help us protect our native species so that no more share the Thylacines fate?

Swift Parrot rescued by WIRESThe Red-tailed black cockatoo is currently listed as critically endangered, Swift parrots are endangered and the Bush-stoned curlew who has an unforgettable eerie cry and an incredible ability to camouflage is also listed as endangered. 

There are 17 species of microbats in NSW that are on the threatened species list. Microbats echolocation is so sophisticated, we still dont understand it completely, they are also vital to our ecosystem as they control insect populations. 

Even our most iconic and recognisable species, the Koala, is listed as vulnerable to extinction. This beautiful animal can only exist in Australia as it exclusively eats native eucalyptus leaves. Over 20% of the 523 Koalas which WIRES assisted last year had been affected by habitat loss.

In fact all of the species mentioned are threatened by habitat loss. 

If we can stop mass land clearing in NSW we will not only save the koala but many other species on the threatened species list which would truly be cause for celebration on September 7th. 

Help us change their fate and conserve the environment for the generations to come by supporting WIRES today.


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Saturday, 01 September


MACKAY State-wide fraudster bought fake credit card details online "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY September 01, 2018 at 06:48AM ,

State-wide fraudster bought fake credit card details online

September 01, 2018 at 06:48AM ,

Guot, listed in court documents as coming from Tasmania, faced Mackay Magistrates Court via videolink on Thursday, after pleading guilty to 12

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

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Tuesday, 28 August


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Monday, 27 August


Friends of FM September 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


One of the real stalwarts of City Park Radio over the past 20 years has been Mr Nostalgia, Ken Brooks. Unfortunately owing to health reasons, Ken has had to finally hang up his headphones.

Ken was born in 1931 in Kogarah NSW. He entered the Air Force in 1951 where he served for 12 years. After working for the Gold Coast and North Sydney Councils, Ken retired to Launceston. He was originally going to settle in Ballarat which he enjoyed very much while stationed there for a while during his time with the Air Force. But it had changed so much from his original time there, Ken decided to head further south and eventually landed up in Launceston in the early 1990s.

Ken got involved with City Park Radio purely by chance. He had previously listened to CPR, and out of curiosity, visited the studios one Sunday morning to see how it operated. He then used to call in regularly on a Sunday morning to observe and chat to the presenters. In those early days, City Park Radio was not that well known, and was in fact quite short of presenters.

So given his interest, he was quickly drafted  to present the Sunday breakfast program as it was difficult to get volunteer presenters to get up so early for the breakfast programs (especially in winter !!). Ken ended up presenting this program for some 20 years. In addition, over the years, Ken presented a Thursday morning and Friday afternoon music program.

Ken had a strong liking for, and interest in, nostalgia music viz. pre 1960s music. He particularly enjoyed big swing band music including Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. His particular brand of nostalgic music was a hallmark of Kens programs and he had a loyal following of listeners who enjoyed this genre of music.

Ken remembers his early days at the station where the listening audience was quite small and usually quite elderly. But he notes with pride how the station has become a much more professional and organised operation with a much larger and more diverse listening audience. Ken has also at various times served on the Management & Programming Committees. His fondest memories of City Park Radio are the volunteers. He also believes that the presenters obvious love of music, and the way they put their heart and soul into it, make City Park Radio the success that it is today.

Kens service to the station was recognised with Life Membership at the 2017 AGM.

More from our roving reporter Chris Sayer


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Saturday, 25 August


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Thursday, 23 August



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Wednesday, 22 August


PERTH Truck driver charged over catastrophic Corrigin crash granted strict bail "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Truck driver charged over catastrophic Corrigin crash granted strict bail .

August 21, 2018 at 02:38PM .

He was granted bail for $10,000 at Perth Magistrates Court under the condition that he cannot leave Western Australia or go within one kilometre of a .


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Tuesday, 21 August


MACKAY Search warrant leads to location of taser device, Glenella "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY August 20, 2018 at 11:30AM ,

Search warrant leads to location of taser device, Glenella

August 20, 2018 at 11:30AM ,

He will appear at the Mackay Magistrates Court on September 4 to have the charge heard. If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,


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Monday, 20 August


Road safety and community consultation in WeHo "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Here are some notes from the latest West Hobart Residents' Traffic Committee meeting, this last Wednesday.  It was a small meeting, but we heard from Angela Moore, the Council's Manager, Traffic Engineering, and also from Louisa Gordon, our newly appointed Community Engagement Advisor - Strategic. 

Hill Street Pedestrian Improvement Project
This is about halfway through.  The roadworks to make safer pedestrian crossing points at Cavell Street and Alison Street are complete, bar the painting of traffic and bike lane markings.  The crossing point at Petty Street is half built, and works have started on the new wider bus stand at Hamilton Street.  After those, the raised pedestrian crossing (the wombat crossing) at the pharmacy will be built, in conjunction with some maintenance roadworks to improve the whole roundabout roadspace.

Cate Sumner reiterated the urgency of creating safer walking conditions for kids getting to and from Lansdowne Crescent school.  Angela advised that there is a single work crew which is steadily working through the list of improvements.  The current completion date is expected to be about October (2018!).

Di Elliffe asked for confirmation that the green painted bikelanes will be extended through the kerb bulb/median island crossing points, so that drivers are reminded that riders are entitled to ride safely through those pinchpoints.  As this diagram below shows, there is ample room for a 1.5m painted bikelane (sadly, in the dooring zone) along Hill Street, and for a 1m painted bikelane through the pedestrian crossing points (sadly, even more exposed to fast moving vehicles).

Paul Turvey asked for clarification about the new style of bus stop which will be built at Hamilton Street.  Angela confirmed that it will be a deep stand, extending to the edge of the traffic lane.  Buses will stop in the traffic lane to set down and pick up passengers.  It will be interesting to see this in action.

Several other street surfaces and footpaths were mentioned as needing improvement. These included Arthur Street and Newdegate Street.

Retail Precinct Upgrades
Lenah Valley is almost complete.  Next on the list is NewTown - these works are scheduled for the second quarte...

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Wednesday, 15 August


Holy Mountain "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Respect the Mountain is holding an exhibition from 9 to 12 August 2018 at the Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. To quote the exhibition organisers:

Dear kunanyi is an exhibition of contemporary artistic responses to kunanyi / Mount Wellington. The exhibition looks at our relationship with the mountain, its importance to our city and its presence in our lives. We are creating a patchwork quilt of experiences, thrown around us just when the winter is at its darkest, and we need it most.

This is the painting I did for the show:

Holy Mountain    oil on canvas     90 cm x 212 cm

I don't know how Tasmania's original inhabitants regarded it, but over the past two centuries kunanyi has been explored by bushrangers, scientists, athletes and holiday makers. On its slopes you can find many traces of past activity.

This painting is a playful meditation on...

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Wednesday, 01 August


MACKAY Huge $45000 marijuana stash found in South Mackay "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY July 31, 2018 at 03:54PM ,

Huge $45000 marijuana stash found in South Mackay

July 31, 2018 at 03:54PM ,

A SOUTH Mackay man is expected to face Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday after police found $45,000 worth of marijuana in his car.

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,


In the Garden - August 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Here's Margaret's gardening update for the month, as insightful and encouraging as ever (thankyou!).

Dear gardening friends

The oxalis, sticky weed and forget-me-nots are making their annual comeback, the asparagus is up (late July is a record earliness for my garden) and the tomato seeds are hopefully quietly germinating in my sun-space.  The currawongs have visited to clean out the last apples on the trees. I'm eating my way through the many bottles of plums from the bumper summer '18 crop with the expectation that the coming summer will be a a much more sparse one. The chooks are one by one coming back into laying. The days are visibly lengthening. And there have been 3 planets in the night sky easy to see.

I love the seasons. But my email today had a stark reminder of how out of kilter we are on a global scale:

I reckon our gardens are one of the simplest and best ways of restoring the balance.
Here are Greg's Planting Notes for August. Lots of potential here!
... ...
AUGUST Week 1 Week 2

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Saturday, 28 July


Friends of FM August 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


We welcome Paul Dubois, a veteran of radio broadcasting, especially in Launceston, to our team of volunteer presenters. If you think you have heard his voice before on radio, you are absolutely correct (see below).

Paul was born and brought up in Sydney. After finishing school and working in a bank for a few years, Paul, who was always interested in radio, attended a radio school in Sydney. What followed were various stints at 2VM in Moree NSW, 6VA in Albany WA, 4BK in Brisbane and 2WL in Wollongong. He then left the radio industry for a few years, but then rediscovered his hunger for radio, working at 4GR in Toowoomba and 4SB in Kingaroy.

In 1976 he moved to Launceston to join 7LA followed by a period at 2GB in Sydney, before finally returning to 7LA in Launceston in 1978. After a brief flirtation with TV news reading with TNT9, he re-joined 7LA once again, this time for some 32 years !!  After leaving 7LA in 2011, he had a variety of jobs before finally retiring in 2017.

So yes, you would have heard him over a long period of time on radio in Launceston.

Paul joined City Park Radio a few months ago and has already started presenting on the Long Lunch, Afternoons With, Mornings With and Breakfast. Paul is thoroughly enjoying his time on the station and finds his fellow volunteers friendly and easy going. He really enjoys not being subject to the pressures of commercial radio as well as the freedom to play the music that he enjoys which is wide-ranging and varied.

Paul is married to Elizabeth, and enjoys regularly catching up with his friends from the radio scene in Launceston.

DOWNLOAD Snail Mail Newsletter HERE

DOWNLOAD August Program Schedule HERE


The Committee would like to remi...

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Tuesday, 24 July


HAUNTED LANDSCAPE "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Haunted Landscape is a carefully selected collection of paintings about landscape, memory, and the passage of time. These paintings were exhibited at Nolan Art Gallery in Salamanca Place, Hobart, between 21 July and 14 August 2018. You do not have to agree with my commentary; bring your own experiences and interpretations, but above all, don't take them too seriously. Relax and enjoy!

Following the Van - 66 cm x 112 cm oil on canvas


Is that an actual mountain? Somebody asked. I had to say no I made it up.
I spend a lot of time walking in landscape, looking at landscape, and occasionally recording a piece of its history, often illustrated with photographs I have taken.
The infinite variety of shapes, texture and colour in the Tasmanian bush provides me with endless inspiration, but when it comes to painting I am not interested in recording an accurate image of a specific feature. My paintings are about ideas. Landscapes provide the stage and help set the mood of the picture and I adjust and modify them freely to fit my needs, working from memory but occasionally referring to a photograph for an odd detail.
The people I walk with are never as strange as these, and so far the landscape has never been so desolate. The caravan has moved on, and the stragglers are left behind.


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Monday, 23 July


Progressives are their own worst enemies "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Misunderstanding our current problems is reaching epidemic proportions if one is to judge by Dr Michael Powells comments ( see here )on the new GST arrangements and the wider more crucial issue of Federal budgetary difficulties.

Just to quickly address the GST issues before moving to the broader matters of budgetary policy.

Theres nothing new about Scott Morrisons Magic Pudding solution to add more to the GST pie to ensure States arent adversely affected in $ terms by the new rules. Its the way the current system works. Not the current GST system per se but the current system of horizontal fiscal equalisation (HFE), of which GST is a part.

Grants flow from the Feds for specific purposes and for general purposes. The latter are sourced from the GST pool. States can decide how to spend general purpose grants whereas specific purpose grants need to be spent as stipulated.

But all grants are considered when squaring up under the HFE system. For instance, Western Australia, as it was forever reminding everyone, only received 30 per cent of what it would have received had its GST entitlement been calculated on a per capita basis. However, its overall entitlement to Fed grants was 60 per cent, due to its mining riches, which most people east of Kalgoorlie reckon belongs to all Australians, but which ends up in WA coffers.

When WA receives specific purpose grants it receives roughly 100 per cent of what it would have received were the grants distributed on a per capita basis. Thats the way specific purpose grants have worked in the past. Most have been distributed on a roughly equal per capita basis. These are mainly for health and education, to a lesser extent housing and the environment. Only NT tends to get more than equal per capita assistance via specific purpose grants.

When it comes to dividing up the GST pool, because WA has received 100 per cent from specific purpose grants when its assessed share under HFE principles is only 60 per cent, it receives less GST, in one year as low as 30 per cent of its per capita entitlement, so that overall its share of Fed grants, both specific and general purpose, equals 60 per cent of its per capital entitlement.


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Tuesday, 17 July


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Monday, 09 July


Next meeting of WeHo Residents' Traffic Committee "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

All interested residents are invited to come to these regular (but infrequent) Residents' Traffic Committee meetings.  Organised by the Council, they are opportunities to hear what is planned for the neighbourhood by way of improvements for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers. And you can raise any issues of concern with the Council's traffic engineers or with the Aldermen who attend.

Here are the details of the next meeting:

Meeting to be held on Wednesday 15 August 2018 from 5.30pm at the Lansdowne Crescent Primary School Library - Gourlay Street, West Hobart
Aldermanic Representatives:
Alderman Thomas

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Friday, 06 July


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Wednesday, 27 June


A lot happening in West Hobart atm "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

ICYMI, in the excitement of Dark MOFO, our next big event is the Love Our Streets street party. With help from the Community Development folk at the City of Hobart, a very varied and enthusiastic local group has been meeting at Smolt Kitchen Wednesday evenings to organise a winter street party, this Saturday 30 June. Do come along and be part of it!

Greg Summers (of the monthly garden notes) will be there promoting veggie gardening.  E-bike enthusiasts from WHEN will  answer all your questions about how e-bikes and how useful they are for flattening the hills. We'll be giving away the last of our Walking West Hobart maps. 
Elizabeth Lelong of Eve's Garden will have some plants for sale. 
There will be a children's play space, music, food, book and clothing exchanges and general neighbourliness.

This Saturday, 1 - 4 pm, corner of Hill and Pine Streets, between the pharmacy and the cafe. Bring some surplus seeds or produce to share, or just come! 

You may be concerned about the proposal to build a multi-storey hotel at 234-250 Elizabeth St in North Hobart. It will dramatically change the skyline and ambience of that precinct. If you want to make a submission opposing the development application go to this site Click here to have your say!

At its proposed 50 metres, it is more than five times the height of surrounding buildings.
The permitted height in this part of the Central Business Zone (Hobart Interim Scheme 2015) is 11.5 metres (which equates to about 5 stories)!
The planning scheme requires that building...


Friends of FM July 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


While most listeners are still fast asleep around 5:00 a.m., every day one of a band of dedicated breakfast presenters is arriving at the studios to prepare for the breakfast program.The breakfast presenter will spend the next hour before broadcasting commences at 6:00 am to set up the sponsorship segments, get all the weather information, review the days Examiner newspaper to select which headline stories will be broadcast, and to select which Community Diary items to announce during the program. Then from 6:00 a.m., it is all go!! The breakfast team comprises Alan Andersen (Saturdays & alternate Mondays), Graeme Harris (alternate Mondays), Ben Wetselaar (Tuesdays) Mike Conlon (Wednesdays and Fridays), Howard Kaplan (Thursdays) and Steven Weeks (Sundays).
Each of the presenters has their own unique style of presentation, and their own favourite genres of music, but all of them try to present a broad mix of upbeat music. It is this great variety which makes the CPR Breakfast Programs so attractive to listeners when compared to the sameness of commercial radio breakfast programs.

Now thats something to crow about !!!!

The breakfast presenters love hearing from their listeners, so if you would like to give them some live feedback on their program, you can do so by sending a text message to the CPR Text Line on 0438 187 686 or calling them at the studio on 6334 3344.

You should not start your day without listening to the City Park Radio Breakfast Programs.

DOWNLOAD July Program Schedule HERE

DOWNLOAD July Newsletter HERE




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Tuesday, 26 June


Its time for a party "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Well its an immersive cultural experience.  A warm and friendly place to connect with people, great music, performance, art being created LIVE! plus bike recycling/repair, organic veggies.

The wonderful people at Kick Start Arts are developing Musiq Garden where youll have the opportunity to be part of your community and enjoy live music, art , food, drinks, and Hobart Bike Kitchen will be there to do some bike recycling/repair (as well as enjoy the music, art, food, drinks, ).

So if you didnt get enough Dark Mofo, or you want more, or you just a great evening for all the family your Friday nights are

Click Musiq Garden to get the details.

Heres the July/Aug program.

Launch Party Friday July 6th 5-8pm


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Tuesday, 19 June


Budget buffer? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The Treasurer is winning the post budget arguments because those who question his mastery arent acquainting themselves with the true situation.

The Treasurer is setting the agenda. We have fixed the budget mess he claims. There are surpluses as far as the eye can see.  Are there surpluses? Yes. Does this mean the budget is fixed? No.

The corporate world is littered with the corpses of companies which showed profits one day and went belly up shortly thereafter. Profits or net operating surpluses in this case, often coexist with cash deficits. Yet most people, innocently accept the Treasurers claim about future surpluses thinking he means cash surpluses, and respond by saying why not spend them now?  The Treasurers answer is essentially to say, no, they are needed to provide a buffer for the future.

This is the point where the Treasurer crosses the line from an arguable position, namely the existence of surpluses, to a baseless assertion that he is creating a future buffer.

A buffer requires a build-up of cash reserves and/or increased ability to borrow and service borrowings. The opposite will occur. Cash reserves will decrease, and borrowings will increase.  This is not necessarily bad but is contrary to what the Treasurer is trying to get us to believe.  Past Estimates hearings show he doesnt fully understand his own figures, not grasping the difference between profits and cash flow.

The only buffer currently being created by the Treasurer is one between fiction and reality.

The net operating surplus of the general government includes infrastructure grants from the Australian government as income when received but excludes the amounts as expenses when spent because theyre capital expenses. Only operating expenses are included.

To be fair the government is only following government accounting standards. The government however is taking advantage of the opportunity to mislead. Even more misleading is dragging $40 million per year out of TTLine as special dividends which becomes income to the government. These comes from cash which TTLine has been accum...

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Monday, 18 June


Love our streets West Hobart - Street Party! - Sat 30 June "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Come along to a celebration of living in West Hobart.  Meet old and new friends and neighbours!  See who's doing what, and join in!

Fun activities for all to enjoy include:  a kids' area (designed by local kids), gardening stalls, book & music exchange, yummy food, clothing swap, e-bike show and tell, plus a busking & performing stage. 

There will be stalls and activities presented by us (WHEN), Lansdowne Crescent School, the Council's Love Our Streets West Hobart team, and others.  

We'll be hosting a Gardening stall - bring any surplus plants or seed to share.  

We'll also be hosting an E-bikes Show and Tell  - have you been thinking about getting an e-bike to conquer West Hobart's hills?  Talk to people who do it and love it, to find out how.  If you already ride an e- bike, do bring it along and swap tales.

For updates follow the Facebook group 'Love our Streets West Hobart' or check out


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Friday, 15 June


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Thursday, 07 June


PERTH Knife-wielding man tased by Police in Rockingham "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Knife-wielding man tased by Police in Rockingham .

June 07, 2018 at 08:07AM .

failing to comply with a request to give police personal details and being armed in a way to cause fear. Hell appear in Perth Magistrates Court today .


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Wednesday, 06 June


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Sunday, 27 May


Friends of FM June 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


Have you seen City Park Radios very own Radio Museum lately? If not, you should.

There is an amazing collection of nearly 80 pieces on display. The earliest examples are from around 1920, including an incredible Edison model C-250 that dates from 1916. This fascinating phonogram played the latest in recording technology a flat phonographic shellac disc. Only the very wealthy couldve afforded one of these. There are several other old record players as well as radios of every type, size and description. There are radios that received short wave, medium wave and long wave, and even amateur broadcasts. It really is a lesson in the history of the Golden Age of Radio.

Our volunteer museum curators do such a great job in looking after the exhibits and welcoming visitors from all over the world the visitors book has pages of comments from Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Brazilians, South Africans people from every corner of the earth. Young people are amazed at the antiquated nature of the pieces, some even term them as retro. Conversely, elderly folk warmly remember listening to these radios in their youth, as it wouldve been the only form of entertainment in the home. Oh I used to have one of those is a common response.

The museum always welcomes donations, so if you have found an interesting old radio in your garage, or your parents garage, get in touch with the CPR Radio Museum. You will find it in the City Park cottage near the park entrance in Tamar Street, and opening hours are 10am til 2pm, Monday to Friday.

DOWNLOAD the snail mail newsletter

DOWNLOAD the June Program Schedule


The Committee would like to remind you of our Annual General Meeting on 25th August, 2018. Members are encouraged to consider contributing to the running of our station and nominate for the new Committee. Notices will go out in July and nominations must be received a week prior to the AGM.


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Thursday, 17 May


Rekindling the spirit within "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

It is only weeks until I hand over my little wholefoods business to new blood. Tiny though it is, its creation and success has been in no small part due to my intensive commitment to sourcing organic, Australian ingredients from individual farmers and makers as well as the individual needs of my customers. The time involved in doing so has meant my head has had little room for the finer workings of my food garden and its seasonal systems.

Last night I began reading some of the food gardening blogs in the side bar here and it has sparked a firecracker reaction in my heart and head to sow and plant all manner of interesting edible plants again. Maybe it will happen that I reconnect with old food gardening bloggers as well as find new ones, from far corners of our planet. Facebook has not taken them all away and turned them into clickers and likers; they are still there, writing and sharing their experiences to any who choose to come by. Below are the food gardening bloggers who gathered at the Oxford Botanic Gardens in 2008. None of us had ever met before but we had all read each others blogs.

DSC_0014  Bloggers gathering at Oxford Botanic Gardens, 2008

As winter creeps in and my head loosens its ties to being a wholefoods sole-trader the spaces will be filled with the inner warmth that comes with sorting and sourcing seeds, reading and writing about food gardening and planning for more nooks in my garden, to grow unusual vegetables. I look forward to working in the cold, misty, winter garden, rugged up and conscious of the life there; in the soil, in the trees, in the pond and in the sky.

My house is full of books about growing and cooking. During these past 8 years I have not stopped buying and reading them. Now the future will be about the doing and the eating and the sharing and the pure joy of it all.

Life is good and I am almost there..

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Thursday, 03 May


PERTH News in 5: Police hunt man in Sydney womans death; Macrons slip of the tongue; Royal wedding "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

News in 5: Police hunt man in Sydney womans death; Macrons slip of the tongue; Royal wedding .

May 03, 2018 at 06:10AM .

The Beckenham man, who cannot be named, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with nine counts of indecent dealing with a child and two counts of sexual penetration of a child. He was not required to enter pleas and is due back in court on May 11. Detectives running Taskforce .


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Wednesday, 02 May


PERTH Fourth man charged over sexual abuse of child at swinging sex party "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Fourth man charged over sexual abuse of child at swinging sex party .

May 02, 2018 at 03:35PM .

The Beckenham man will face Perth Magistrates Court later on Wednesday charged with nine counts of indecent dealing with a child and two counts of sexual penetration of a child. Detectives running Taskforce Mirzam previously charged two men, aged 45 and 56, and a 39-year-old woman with a total .



PERTH Perth: fourth person charged over alleged Perth paedophile swingers ring "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Perth: fourth person charged over alleged Perth paedophile swingers ring .

May 02, 2018 at 08:30AM .

He is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court today. The Taskforce was launched in February 2018 following the discovery of a recording device by a member of the public which contained videos showing adults, both male and a female, engaging in sexual acts with a young girl. Taskforce .


PERTH Swingers child sex abuse club: fourth person charged "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Swingers child sex abuse club: fourth person charged .

May 02, 2018 at 10:22AM .

The man has been charged with nine counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13 years and two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 13 years. He is expected to appear at Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Taskforce Mirzam was launched in February 2018 after a member of the public .


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Friday, 27 April


Banks: Do we need them? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

People who believe the good times will soon return are harder to find these days. Its not just the loss of trust in our institutions and the political class but a more deep-seated scepticism as to whether the suggested remedies will work.

The laws of economics are not immutable. Many are mere transient beliefs that may provide a reasonable explanation of current machinations, but when a black swan event occurs, like the Global Financial Crisis, something outside previous experiences, the old ways of thinking are of little help.

Likewise, our treasured institutions have failed us. As part of the reported proceedings of the Royal Commission into Banking, investment banker UBS estimated $500 billion out of $1.7 trillion in mortgages across Australia, thats one third of the total mortgage debt, could be liar loans, based on dodgy documentation.

With residential mortgages growing faster than the rest of the economy, our economy is out of balance. Everyone knows it. We shuffle existing assets amongst ourselves at ever increasing prices using borrowed funds under the mistaken belief we are growing the economy when the reality is we are involved in a giant Ponzi scheme. Now we discover that up to one third of the mortgage loans may be based on suspect if not fraudulent documentation.

Banks may have created $500 billion in money out of thin air using dodgy documentation to buy existing assets, putting houses beyond the reach of many including all those workers who must service the cities where the increasingly expensive houses are located. Its an utterly crazy system. Everyone knows it.

The real economy where actual production and distribution of goods and services occurs operates alongside the financial economy. It provides services to the real economy, but...


Friends of FM May 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

After a fantastic job for 18+ years as editor of the monthly CPR newsletter Friends of FM , Chris Ball has handed over the reins from April to a new editorial team comprising Jim Jacob, Chris Sayer and Howard Kaplan.

Over the next three months, a short profile of each of the new editorial team will be published in the monthly newsletter. The first profile is that of Jim Jacob.

Jim is a born and bred Launcestonian. He was schooled at St Thomas Mores  and St Patricks. Apart from a brief period of 2 years in Hobart, Jim has spent his entire life in Launceston. For most of his working life, Jim was involved in various business enterprises including managerial roles.

Jim is married to Sheila and has two daughters, a son, one dog and cat and is a proud grandfather to Winifred.

He has been involved with CPR for about 5 years and for much of that time has been on the management committee. He is currently the Vice-President, but has recently taken on the role of Acting President following the resignation of Craig Ellis. He presents programs for Saturday Afternoon Mix, Offbeat and The ROCK Show. He enjoys all sorts of music but his particular favourite genres comprise mainly Old Blues and Americana, and tries to keep his music as current as possible.

His primary passion (after CPR of course) is photography mainly stage photography, things and people. Other interests include a good wine and cooking. He finds the most rewarding aspect of CPR for him is being part of a team.

DOWNLOAD snail mail Newsletter HERE

DOWNLOAD May Program Schedule HERE


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Friday, 20 April


MACKAY Ice addict caught chilling out in peoples homes "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY April 20, 2018 at 05:07AM ,

Ice addict caught chilling out in peoples homes

April 20, 2018 at 05:07AM ,

When a surprised resident asked if he was alright, Brown responded yeah and made his exit, according to a prosecutor tasked to Browns sentencing hearing in Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Brown faced Magistrate Mark Nolan for sentencing, pleading guilty to entering a dwelling and

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

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Thursday, 19 April


The case for Basslink? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

(Published in The Mercury on 20th April 2018. This blog includes additional endnotes.)
With all the talk about a second Basslink one would have expected to have a clear picture of the costs and benefits of the first interconnector. Surely if youre buying another of the same, one of the determining factors would be how the first has performed? Has it worked as planned?

The short answer is no. Its been a costly voyage into the unknown.

It cost Basslink P/L $874 million to build the cable in 2006. Since then Hydro has paid $1.2 billion in fees and associated charges to use it.

Another $1.6 billion is expected to be paid before the contract expires in 2031 although Hydro does have an option to extend the deal for a further 15 years.

Thats an average of $110 million per year just for the use of the cable. Apart from major repair events, the cable is cheap for Basslink P/L to operate, roughly $15 million per year.

When Basslink P/L was selected as the preferred cable builder and a preliminary agreement signed in February 2000, the cost was estimated to be $500 million and the annual usage fee $40 million.

The final agreed cost almost three years later was $874 million, and the annual fee $57 million.

In addition, there were fees payable to Macquarie Bank for hedging costs.

While the final agreed cost for Basslink was being determined, Hydro could have walked away. But it had decided to proceed come hell or high water even though the final cost was a giant unknown.

In the interim it hedged interest rates and foreign exchange rates which both affected the construction cost of the cable, and interest rates which affected the facility fee once the cable started operating.

Hedging during the pre-construction stage was like credit betting. No money changed hands. By November 2002 when the cable cost and the facility...

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Wednesday, 18 April


PERTH Father accused of sexually abusing young daughters and stepchildren "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Father accused of sexually abusing young daughters and stepchildren .

April 17, 2018 at 10:45PM .

Both men are scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Taskforce Mirzam was launched to investigate an alleged child sex ring in WA. Source: File/AAP. A woman, who is in a relationship with the 45-year-old man, is accused of abusing her son, eight-year-old daughter and a .


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Tuesday, 17 April


PERTH Father at centre of alleged child sex ring charged with 79 offences relating to daughters and "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Father at centre of alleged child sex ring charged with 79 offences relating to daughters and .

April 17, 2018 at 01:22PM .

Both men are due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court tomorrow. Their arrests are part of the ongoing Taskforce Mirzam investigation in WA into child sex offences that saw the arrest of a Perth mum accused of raping her daughter. Detectives are still investigating allegations the woman took .



PERTH More sex charges stem from swinging case "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

More sex charges stem from swinging case .

April 17, 2018 at 01:22PM .

Both men are scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday. A woman, who is in a relationship with the 45-year-old man, is accused of abusing her son, eight-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old girl. The 39-year-old mother was previously charged with a total of 93 offences. Taskforce .



PERTH Father & other man face over 100 charges of child sex abuse "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Father & other man face over 100 charges of child sex abuse .

April 17, 2018 at 12:26PM .

Both men are due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court tomorrow. Taskforce Mirzam detectives urge anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make report online at Callers may remain anonymous if they .


PERTH Further charges laid by Taskforce Mirzam detectives, WA "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Further charges laid by Taskforce Mirzam detectives, WA .

April 17, 2018 at 12:26PM .

Taskforce Mirzam detectives have further charged two men aged 45 and 56 years, with a total of 101 additional offences as a result of their ongoing and extensive investigation into child sexual abuse. The 45 year old man has been charged with a total of 79 offences and the 56 year old man has been .


PERTH Further charges laid over alleged Perth paedophile swingers ring "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Further charges laid over alleged Perth paedophile swingers ring .

April 17, 2018 at 12:31PM .

Both men are due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court tomorrow, Wednesday, 18 April 2018. Taskforce Mirzam detectives urge anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make report online at .


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Friday, 06 April


PERTH Further charges laid in relation to Perth swingers alleged paedophile ring "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Further charges laid in relation to Perth swingers alleged paedophile ring .

April 06, 2018 at 02:52PM .

The woman has been refused bail and is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court tomorrow, (April 7). Taskforce MIRZAM is an ongoing investigation and further arrests and charges are anticipated. Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at .



PERTH Perths alleged porn ring mum faces fresh charges over child sex "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Perths alleged porn ring mum faces fresh charges over child sex .

April 06, 2018 at 02:51PM .

The Perth woman at the centre of an alleged child porn ring is facing further charges relating to the sexual abuse of her children. Detectives from Taskforce Mirzam charged the 39-year-old following the discovery of a recording device which contained videos showing adults, both male and a female, .


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Thursday, 05 April


Former Bowling Green Hotel, Sandy Bay "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

This lovely building was constructed by one William Turner in 1845. Turner was an enterprising man who spared no expense in having his hotel furnished and decorated with a style of opulence and elegance, providing all the requirements of accommodation for both man and horse.

The Colonial Times newspaper of the time stated that the property was without exception, the most elegantly fitted out house of any we have yet seen in the Colony Turner went on to apply for a license to sell wine, spirits and beer at his establishment and his application was fully supported by many of the most influential and respected citizens in town. Advertisements from the time noted that the hotel had all the comforts of a private residence including spacious sitting rooms and large, airy bedrooms.


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Saturday, 31 March


PERTH Man tasered, arrested after car chase in Perths northern suburbs "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Man tasered, arrested after car chase in Perths northern suburbs .

March 31, 2018 at 10:36AM .

Loading. The Koondoola man faces a string of charges including possession of methylamphetamine, failing to stop, stealing a motor vehicle and obstructing police officers. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on Saturday. License this article. Comments disabled .



PERTH Man tasered in Warwick after police chase through northern suburbs "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Man tasered in Warwick after police chase through northern suburbs .

March 31, 2018 at 11:45AM .

Koondoola with reckless driving, fail to stop, steal motor vehicle and drive recklessly, no authority to drive, obstructing police officers, possession of both methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, as well as steak motor vehicle. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court .


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Friday, 30 March


PERTH Mum, stepdad accused of raping girl, 8, in suspected Perth child porn ring "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

snip .

Mum, stepdad accused of raping girl, 8, in suspected Perth child porn ring .

March 30, 2018 at 03:33PM .

All are due back in the Perth Magistrates Court on April 18. The taskforce is calling for public assistance to identify all the other people suspected ofoffending against these children. Specifically, detectives believe there are people who engage in organised swinging or groupsex who may have heard .


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Thursday, 29 March


Forestry Tasmania and the RFA "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The following was a background paper prepared as part of a series of articles on Regional Forest Agreements  by Gregg Borschmann published by The Guardian. An overview can be found  HERE.
The Guardian asked the Tasmanian minister responsible for forestry a series of questions about the RFA. The questions and the Minister's responses are included at the end of this blog.

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) signed in 1997, was supposed to provide a framework for the sustainable management of Tasmanias forests.

If financial sustainability was the aim, the outcome has been a complete failure. Since 1997 the state-owned Forestry Tasmania (FT) has suffered cash operating losses of $94 million. In simple terms it was selling timber far too cheaply.

But the overall picture is even worse. Capital spending of $368 million on plant and equipment, roads and plantations, most sourced from government funds, failed to add anything to FTs asset base.  FTs total operating cash loss over 20 years was therefore $454 million.

Thats just the cash losses.

Not only did new capital spending fail to increase FTs asset base, there were huge non-cash losses as forests under its trusteeship lost $750 million or 90 per cent of their value.

Impact on native forests

In 1997 almost all FTs income was from native forests. from 1998 to 2000 it received a total of $72 million from the RFA as compensation at market value for native forests transferred into reserves.

 Native forest production mainly woodchips kept growing grow from around 1.8 million m3 in 1997 to 3.3 million m3 in 2004 before steadily falling below one million m3 in 2012 where it has since remained. The pattern closely followed the fortunes of FTs major customer Gunns which went into administration in October 2012.The following chart paints the picture.



Matts efforts recognised "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

You all know Matt as one of the wonderful and ever reliable Bike Kitchen chefs.

As President of HBK he also does a power of work in making sure we continue to connect with many other areas of the bike community and youll find him at at Derby smashing some trails or out on the mountain leading a Bicycle Network ride.

The post is a bit late but the Bicycle Network Tasmanias social rides program was recognised last year at the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards.

To read more click on Matt.

RecognitionMatt and some bloke at the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards


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Tuesday, 27 March


Is it Time to Boycott Woolworths? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

I have spent more than a decade working in social justice advocacy. I dont like boycotts.  They are a blunt instrument. I  wonder however if we have not reached the time that a boycott is the only thing that will speak loudly enough  to shame Woolworths into action on its despicable poker machine practices.

Fact 1.   Woolworths is the majority owner (75%) of Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH), which  in turn owns around 400 pubs  across Australia, making it the largest poker machine licence holder in Australia.

Fact 2.  ALH whistleblowers have been revealing the most predatory and exploitative practices imaginable to fleece people of their money.  The latest example is a  woman whose parents had died and was in a state of grief. Staff were encouraged to  make almost any accommodation towards her in order to get her to  stay at the machines gambling away her inheritance.

Fact 3.  The clubs and hotels industry is proving to be an extraordinarily powerful lobby group, that Tim Costello has likened to the National Rifle Association in the United States.   A report in todays Sydney Morning Herald stated

Obedient politicians enjoy donations, opponents are savaged, as the Tasmanian Labor Party was during the recent state election. The huge campaign run against Labor which planned to remove pokies from the states pubs served not only to assist the Liberal Party over the line, but to warn any other politician around the country of what they might face should they dare challenge the industry.

It seems that neither the board of Woolworths nor our state parliaments are willing to tackle this issue. Woolworths spend millions of dollars every year trying to convince us to shop at their grocery stores rather than Coles or Aldi. Perhaps its time for us consumers to take this issue  into our hands and let the board of Woolworths know that until they clean up their poker machine  practices they have lost us as customers.

(March 28, 12.00pm update to original article from this point on)

The difficulty with this is that none of the major grocery chains in Australia is perfectly ethical across all its business.  Coles also owns poker machines, as does Metcash, which is the parent body for IGA, although the Metcash holding is small.

ALDI dont hold poker machines and compared to the...


Friends of FM April 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


The Community Engagement Survey is an online, affordable audience research program for community radio stations.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and you are asked about your preferences and comments. and you do not need to leave your name.

The results can help City Park Radio with programming and planning at the station, including:

  • Identifying who our listeners are (demographics), when, how and why they listen to us, what they like to listen to, how well were meeting their needs and what they value most about the station.
  • Understanding groups and segments that may be willing to become a member or volunteer at your station.
  • Training presenters and program makers.
  • Providing basic data to support your pitch to a potential sponsor.
  • Compiling important data to include in your ACMA licence renewal.
  • And comparisons and trends between surveys.

City Park Radio emailed everyone on our emailing list with the link to the survey. If you havent already done so, just head to our home page and or just click on this SURVEY LINK ..

And a huge thank you if you do take the time to fill out the survey by April 10.


DOWNLOAD April Program Schedule

ON APRIL 1 Daylight Saving Ends



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Sunday, 18 March


Residents' Traffic Committee - next mtg Tuesday 20 March "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

If you are interested in what is happening with transport and traffic in our community, you might like to pop along to a meeting of the local Residents' Traffic Committee.  These are convened every few months by the City Council.  A couple of staff come along to provide info on what is happening on the roads, and a couple of Aldermen usually attend as well.  There is always room for more residents!

Here are the minutes of the last meeting.

Here is the agenda for the next meeting:



Tuesday 20 March 2018
5.30pm at the Library, Lansdowne Primary School, Gourlay Street, West Hobart

Aldermanic Representatives:
Alderman Thomas
Alderman Briscoe
Alderman Reynolds

Agenda Items:

1. Welcome
2. Apologies
3. Confirmation of Previous Meeting Notes
4. Business Arising
    4.1 West Hobart Local Area Traffic Plan
    4.2 Hill Street and Arthur Street Intersection
    4.3 Transport Strategy
    4.4 Local Retail Precinct Plan
    4.5 Parking at Lawrenny Court
5. Permanent Items
    5.1 Illumination of footpaths
    5.2 Potholes please report any potholes to 6238 2836
6. New Business
7. Date of Next Meeting: TBA

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Thursday, 08 March


Hill Street improvements are on their way! "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Some of us were starting to wonder what was happening with the Hill Street Improvements project. 

[If you came in late, you can see the history of this issue if you click on the red Transport Choices link at the top of this page - you will then see all the posts on this page that have to do with our Transport campaigns].

In the latest City News, the paper newsletter that goes to all residences in the City of Hobart, I spotted this welcome little item:

Yay!!!   It seems that the works will begin in April.  Of course, if the working teams required for this job are tied up on the Mellifont St improvements at the moment, there might be a delay...

Speaking of which, isn't it lovely not having all that rat run traffic streaming along Hill Street for a while?!  It's a lot more comfortable walking and riding around West Hobart at the moment (like it should be).


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Thursday, 01 March


A surplus of lies "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Treasurer Gutwein reckons even after factoring in all the promises made during the election campaign there will still be surplus totalling $104 million over the next four years.

"The key thing here is that we have arrived at a modest surplus to provide for a buffer moving forward," he was reported as saying.

Mr Gutwein forgot to mention the skinny surplus each year is solely because of the $40 million special dividend received annually from TTLine.

As explained in the last blog profits dont imply cash surpluses. Now we have Mr Gutwein trying to tell us there is still a buffer when the tiny profits which he calls surpluses  are due entirely to transfers that are locked away and can only be used to fund vessel replacements.

Take away the TTLine transfers and even the paper profits disappear.

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Monday, 26 February


February 2018 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Today, 800 million people around the globe are engaged in urban agriculture, which can produce up to 15 times more food than a rural plot of the same size, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In addition, the FAO notes, urban farming generates employment, recycles urban wastes, creates greenbelts, and strengthens cities resilience to climate change.

Not only that, but doing something productive like growing some of your own food is satisfying and getting your hands into the soil can bring a glow to your cheeks, microbes to your gut and consequently a smile to your whole body!

Did you know that Australia has the longest history of food growing in the world? I recently read an eye-opening book called Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, about how the Aboriginal peoples of Australia were not just hunters and gatherers but also successful, innovative farmers; saving and sowing seeds, dividing roots and making extraordinarily complex fish traps way before any other civilization on earth. You may have seen Bruce Pascoe on Gardening Australias first show for the year, last week.

Pear and cherry slug

If you see tiny little black worms on the leaves of your pears, cherries, quinces and even plums and the leaves are turning brown and crisp, you have this slug. A simple control is to spray the entire tree with a mist of water then throw ash or lime all over it. Do this a couple of times and they will be desiccated. Try to stand up-wind!

Watering tips

Yes it is lovely to stand about and day dream while spraying water with a hose, over the leaves of hot, dry plants. I do it often but it benefits mostly me, not the plants, as water needs to soak all the way down (and out) to the root tips, which may be 20cms below the surface and at least the same out from the stem.



December 2017 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Hot, very hot and dry. Suddenly cold. Then windy and VERY wet for days and days. Now warm again! What a couple of weeks we have had and if your body is out of kilter, think for a moment about your garden. At least you could go inside and avoid the worst of it!


Garlic:Garlic does not like to be wet once its bulbs are maturing! Now it is saturated at the worst possible time. I pulled my early garlic last week when I heard the forecast. Now I am going to check my mid season and late season garlics by digging up a couple. If you see any signs of the stem going floppy or if your soil is clay (and therefore waterlogged and devoid of oxygen) dig them immediately and lay out in a tin shed to thoroughly dry off. For good storage, garlic needs to be firm and dry. 

Once you have harvested your garlic, plant out with other lime-lovers such as broccoli and be sure to plant amongst some camouflage like marigolds and leeks and add an aphid repellant too, like nasturtiums. There is more on this, below.

Tomatoes: There may be outbreaks of diseases so check regularly, over the next couple of weeks, for yellowing leaves, general wilt, spotty or curled leaves or purple leaf veins. Pick off any affected leaves and dispose of. Some of these symptoms may mean the plants should be relaced. A dose of liquid seaweed solution could help them fight off diseases. Listen to Peter Cundalls radio show as I bet he will be inundated with questions about too much rain in the vegie garden.

Beans: If, like me, you sowed beans only a day or 2 before the big rain, the bean seeds may rot before they germinate. If the seedlings have not emerged soon, dig in with your finger and have a look so you can re-sow quickly, while the soil is deliciously damp, if needs be. Now is the perfect time to sow beans, after rain. Do not water until they emerge.

Mildew and other fungal attacks



November Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Everyone is out in the garden, planting and sowing; dreaming of all the summer meals ahead, picked straight from the garden. My tip is to keep your tomatoes in pots until after the Huon Show (November 18th) if you live in a frosty area. I remember the year that many people woke to find a hard frost had burnt their entire tomato patch overnight in mid-November! I find that potting tomatoes up into slightly bigger pots works really well as advanced plants suffer little when planted out, unlike the little ones planted out early.


Just looking out the window is enough to give me high blood pressure this time of the year as I can see the grass growing while I have coffee! There is grass that needs mowing, grass that needs slashing and grass that needs pulling; pretty much grass everywhere and mostly where I do not want it. Grrrrr.

1. When I first came here, from dry old Adelaide, I loved cool, grassy paths wandering serenely through flower and vegetables beds but now I am over it because grass does not keep to the paths at all and can leap tall buildings with a single bound! By covering some of the paths with wet newspaper or cardboard then sawdust or fine bark mulch, headway is being made at last. When it all breaks down I scoop it up and toss it on the beds then remake the paths.

2. I try not to let grass grow within the drip line of fruit trees. As the trees grow, so the dripline expands and more grass is mulched over. Amongst the mulch I plant all manner of flowers and herbs and native groundcovers too. This is fabulous for fire zones as it keeps dry mulch to a minimum, using plants as living mulch. At the same time it benefits soil microbes, little native birds and beneficial insects as well as looking pretty.

3. I like a patch of lawn as a space to sit and chat, have a BBQ or read but I dont need space for a backyard cricket match so I keep the lawn just big enough to put up my marquee. after all, this is Tasmania and it does rain, without notice! Beyond that small lawn it is ideal to have dense plantings that shade out any errant grass and keep maintenance to a minimum. My father used a small, sharp spade to cut a narrow trench aroun...


October 2017 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

It seems that all our winter rain has come at once and many gardens are too wet, after a record dry June and July. If your soil is full of organic matter you will notice that the rain has penetrated deep, the big native worms have moved up into the top 20 centimetres and the soil is damp and beautiful indicating the perfect conditions for weeds and grass to germinate!

If you cannot keep on top of the weeds and grass, but the bed has not reverted totally to turf, simply cover it with plenty of hay, layering it with a thorough but thin covering of compost (and bio-char, if you have some) as you go. Then, when you are ready to plant into it, make a hole in the hay, add a good handful of compost and slip each seedling into its home. From then on pull the weeds and grass as they appear. This will be easy! Keep topping up with compost and hay all summer long.

Other amendments may be helpful, but we are trying to provide the right conditions for the soil microbes, who will do much of the work for you. Overfeeding your plants will kill the microbes in the soil and require you to add more and more amendments, forever!

Tasmanian plants for the kitchen garden

Along with herbs and vegetables that originate from other countries, plant some Tasmanian edibles. Not only can you eat them but they will bring beneficial insects and native birds to your garden.  And when you walk in the forests you will see them growing wild.

Did you see Tino, on Gardening Australia this week, planting native, edible plants in The Patch at the Tasmanian Botanic Gardens? Catch it on iview. Below are some of the plants he used plus some I have in my garden..

Gaultheria hispida - Snowberry a very pretty and quite tough plant with berries that look like balls of snow. This plant is recolonizing much of the previously bare hills surroundin...


September 2017 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Rain, cold and sun. and roots

After one of the driest winters for decades, south eastern Tasmanian is now well and truly wet. But dig down beyond a spades depth and, here and there, the soil is still dry so lets hope it keeps raining for a while yet. While the garden is coping with very dry then wet conditions, it is also having to cope with regularly very cold nights plus frost and snow. On top of that, warm spring air is arriving in fits and starts and the notorious, spring winds are picking up. Despite all this, fruit trees are blossoming and we are all hoping for good fruit set. How does nature cope with all this and how can we help?

Latest research is showing that the brain of plants may well be in the roots. Below our feet is more life than above and, as well as roots of plants, this life primarily consists of the first inhabitants of the earth, microbes. The roots of plants, in particular the root tips, are the interface that can sense roots of other plants (and even know if they are related!) as well as work with the rest of the soil life to extract minerals to feed to the plant parts that are above the ground. I went to a fabulous talk about this last weekend at the Botanic Gardens. So extensive and complex is soil life that one theory is that, as with mushrooms, the above ground plant parts are simply the fruiting body for the real plant below the surface and all this is controlled by millions of tiny root tips!

What does this mean for our food gardens? It means that keeping the microbes in the soil happy is the primary thing to do in order to develop delicious, nutritious, healthy fruit and vegetables, able to ward off disease. During this burst of every-weather-in-a-day, the soil needs deep mulch to regulate temperature and stop heavy rain pounding the surface (microbes are fussy about getting hot and cold, dry and wet). Have a look at a forest floor; mulch covers everything and no-one fertilises it.

Onto vegetable beds, sprinkle a thin layer of compost, then 10cms of fluffed up, soaked hay, then another thin layer of compost then another 10cms of soaked hay. Check every week and keep this rhythm going right through summer. Keep some large tubs scattered through the garden to make it easy to throw half or more of a bale of hay in and fill with water, to soak for at...


August 2017 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The light is slowly coming but the cold continues; such is winter at the bottom of Australia. Our European fruit trees are awakening and we all look forward to their abundant crops gracing our tables in the summer ahead.

Curly Leaf

It is time to see that the early fungus that causes leaf curl on peaches, nectarines and related fruit trees does not get a hold, by spraying every nook and cranny of every branch, stem and bud with a copper spray. Peter Cundall recommends Burgundy mix, which you can make yourself.

Burgundy Mixture:

1 Dissolve 100 gram of washing soda  in 5 litres of warm water.
2 Dissolve 100 grams copper sulphate in a separate half bucket (5 litres) of water.
3 Slowly pour the dissolved washing soda into the dissolved copper sulphate and add more water if necessary to make up 10 litres.
4 This is Burgundy mixture. It is at its most effective strength when freshly mixed so must be used immediately or within a couple of days.
5 Spray thoroughly over the bare branches of peachnectarine and other stone fruit trees to help control leaf curl and brown rot disease. It is also useful when sprayed over raspberry canes in late July for control of raspberryrust and on apple trees that had scab last year.

The mixture colours the sprayed plants blue. The spray can withstand light rain but should be re-applied after persistent rain and done at least twice before any buds open. Do not spray once the leaves and flowers open.

Surely it is not tomato sowing time!

If, like me, picking tomatoes from the garden is a favourite sport of yours then now is the time to get your seeds started. Last summer a lot of people grew...


July 2017 Kitchen Garden Guide "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

At last some cold winter weather has arrived. Hopefully there will be enough of it to ensure a good and even flowering of our chill-dependant fruit trees and berries and thus good crops for us to enjoy. We also need this cold to kill off the last of the European wasps that have still been hovering about until now.

After one of the driest Junes on record in southern Tasmania, we desperately need a good soaking to come soon. Luckily my deep hay method has held moisture in the soil but, digging down, areas low in organic matter are bone dry. Have you noticed that soil rich in compost and hummus is much damper? The best way to maintain soil structure and dampness whilst allowing drainage of excess water is to build up the organic matter in your soil.


By also digging in inoculated biochar at a rate of litre / square metre the soil will hold its nutrients even when the rains do finally come, allowing your plants to power away in spring. I recommend everyone attend a biochar workshop asap. They are being regularly held locally. You will learn what biochar is all about, learn to make your own, learn to judge biochar you see for sale and understand why Peter Cundall is going mad about encouraging us to use it!

Winter Harvest

Many vegetables also improve with frost and snow on them. These include chicories, which sweeten and deepen in colour, indicating maximum nutrition and flavour has arrived. Chards and kales bounce up when released from the weight of frost and snow, and say Pick me, pick me when I go out to cut some veg for dinner. Frilly mustard and miners lettuce seem oblivious to the cold and remain pretty and delicious even in the deep, icy shade. Carrots and parsnips sweeten with the cold and will hold over well in the ground during winter.

Winter is the perfect time to make sauerkraut and pickled root vegetables, fresh from the garden. Pickled root vegetables are an integral part of a ploughmans lunch, with a tasty Tasmanian cheese, fresh, home made sourdough bread and a plate of sal...

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Saturday, 24 February


Love our Streets West Hobart - community meeting "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Many of us have heard about the Love our Streets West Hobart community project. This is a Council project aimed at fostering creative activities in our community in order to to enhance walkability and bring the streetscape to life with colour and fun.

Community members have suggested ideas via or have sent the coordinator, Amanda Midgeley an email.

Some of the ideas have included: a street party, more decoration of fences, urban art walls, seating, history conversations, intergenerational art project, project with the school, street market and more!

Amanda is now inviting us to a community meeting so we can hear more about these ideas and look at how as a community we can make them happen!   There are two sessions available, so that as many people as possible can fit it into their schedules.

Activities will be provided for children, and they are also welcome to join the conversation.
Please invite your neighbours!

Thursday 1st March

4pm 5pm  and   6pm - 7pm 

Lawrenny Court meeting room, 131 Hill St, West Hobart.

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Friday, 23 February


Friends of FM March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"


Stephen McCarthy likes an early cuppa and listening to Good Morning Country on City Park Radio between 5-6am weekdays.

Imagine his surprise when he won the competition for a guitar signed by the 2017 Golden Guitars winners.

Kevin Walshy Walsh from GMC  personally presented the guitar.

Stephen has since put it on eBay to raise funds for St Giles.


City Park Radio has a new sponsor. Bruce from Cocoon Living 109 George Street wanted to hear his spot before going to air.

He was so rapt with it he sent all around the world to all the tea manufacturers, including Unilever in England and New Zealand.

They all said they had never heard anything more professional on commercial radio or tv ever.

They loved the voice and music bed. They said the voice and music worked so well together and suits the product just perfectly. Hats off to our Shirley Lee and David Lay.

Another sponsorship deal well executed. Congratulations

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DOWNLOAD March program schedule


The Hon Michael Ferguson gathered together three community radio groups to announce that should the government be re-elected   $45,000 would be sought in their first budget to assist the great work of community radio in the north of the sta...


Back in black? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

One of the Hodgman governments claim that always seems to pass without challenge is the proposition that the budget, being back in black is now able to withstand more spending.

The almost universal view is that we now have the necessary cash buffer to be able to loosen the purse strings a little and give ourselves a treat after a few years of austerity.

However, reality has a different perspective.

The governments surplus measure is a profit figure. It excludes spending on infrastructure buildings and other capital amounts so it can be misleading.

On the other hand, the Australian governments deficit/surplus is a cash figure. Cash in less cash out equals the deficit (or surplus). If the State government reported like this its deficits for this year and the next will total $500 million. Even though the governments profit figure shows it to be in surplus it will be spending $500 million more than it will be receiving.

This is contrary to what 99 per cent of electors believe, that the governments surpluses have built up a cash buffer which now allows all parties to promise the world.

There is no cash buffer. Certainly, in two years time there will be almost as much hay missing from the barn as there was when the Libs took over in 2014.

Just a refresher on hay in the barn. The government at any time has funds in various accounts intended for specific purposes. For instance, grants received from the Australian Government. At one stage in 2013 there was $500 million in this category. Another large account is the Risk Management Account. The government is a self-insurer so instead of paying premiums to insurance companies it pays into its own account to meet future contingenci...

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Wednesday, 21 February


RSL pokie porkies "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The release of player loss figures for each individual pokie venue casts a huge pall of doubt over the claims by the Glenorchy RSL that removal of pokies will be the swan song for the Club and the end of life as we know it.

The Clubs haul for the 2015/16 year, the total of player losses, was $590,000. This is only a fraction of the $4.5 million lost at the Mecca of misery, the Elwick Hotel just up the road with the same number of machines.

But with losses of about $20,000 per pokie theres no money being made by the Club. Anyone familiar with the industry knows that when player losses slip below $20,000 per pokie its time to summon the pokie machine undertaker.
Covering fixed costs, mainly machine hire, is the key. The Club is struggling to do so. The Elwick El Dorado on the other hand, covers the same level of machine hire costs by 11 o'clock every Monday morning.  By late afternoon the week's wages have been covered. The rest of the week is largely clear profit.

With player losses at $590,000, the net amount of commission retained by the RSL Club, after machine hire fees, is estimated to be only $43,000 . This is before any venue expenses such as wages. The rest goes to Federal Group's Network Gaming.

Wages are or should be about 7.2 per cent of losses which coincidentally amounts to $43,000.

Hence after staff wages, roughly one FTE covering pokie operations, theres nothing left. Zilch. And thats without any other overheads like electricity to drive the little darlings and cleaning up afterwards.

The industry usually exaggerates the number of pokie employees. Cognitive bias is widespread. If there are more then losses will be even greater.

Yet despite the figures we were treated to the appalling public spectacle choreographed by the Love Your Local group that without pokies the Clubs days are numbered, when in fact Rebecca White might be doing the Clubs bottom line a favour by removing them.

Using straw men is standard when promoting messages. David Foster was quite happy to assert his aging mothers m...

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Tuesday, 20 February


Election odds "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The absence of any reliable polling during the current election campaign has left most observers scratching their heads as to what is exactly happening in the minds of voters.

What are the betting markets saying?

Sportsbet is currently taking bets on seventeen races. How many seats each of the three major parties will win in each of the five seats accounts for fifteen races. Then theres the two big races who will be next Premier, and will it be a hung Parliament or not?

Take the market covering a hung parliament. Its a two-horse race. Hung or not hung. The odds of hung are $1.65 and not hung $2.10. Unless one is a horse player, most people have trouble interpreting exactly what the odds mean. A bookie always includes his percentage in any quoted odds so that has to be eliminated in order to work out the chances of a particular event occurring as perceived by the markets. In this case, after the necessary adjustments, it means hung has a 56% chance of occurring whilst not hung has a 44% chance.

In the case of not hung either the Libs or Labor will have a majority.

Now in order to win a majority a party needs 13 seats which almost certainly means three seats in at least three electorates. The battle for the fifth seat in each electorate is crucial as everyone knows.

Its often said if a party wants to achieve a majority then three seats in Lyons is almost mandatory.

What are the Sportbet markets saying? The following are the odds for each party winning zero, one, two, three seats etc in the seat of Lyons.

Its the fifth seat thats crucial. Highlighted is the Libs and Labor odds of pick...


MACKAY Mans jewellery draws attention of anti-bikie taskforce "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY February 20, 2018 at 05:52AM ,

Mans jewellery draws attention of anti-bikie taskforce

February 20, 2018 at 05:52AM ,

A MACKAY man has drawn the attention of Queenslands anti-bikie taskforce by wearing cool rings linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs. Alec Vincent Coulahan avoided the maximum penalty for wearing the prohibited jewellery adorned with the 1% insignia when he faced Mackay Magistrates Court.

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

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Saturday, 17 February


URGENT: Support the Wombat crossing in Hill Street, please! "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Residents may recall that our City Council undertook to implement improvements on Hill Street in this current financial year.  These improvements were listed on this previous blog post.

As part of this implementation, Council has now advertised the trial Wombat crossing, on the north side of the Pine Street roundabout (from the pharmacy towards the school), for any public comment.  This is the advert (and apologies for the very late notice on this):

As you can see, responses are due in by Monday 19 February.  My understanding is that this means by close of business on that date, but this may be wrong (can anyone confirm this?).  Anyhow, best to get your response in ASAP.

Responses can be emailed to, marked to the attention of the Manager Traffic Engineering.  You could provide a copy to the General Manager, Nick Heath, to make certain of your message getting through:

Here are some thoughts you could use in your response:

I fully support the installation of a Wombat crossing (i.e. a pedestrian zebra crossing with a road hump) in the vicinity of 111 Hill Street, West Hobart.

This Wombat crossing, in association with the other changes being made at the same time which will moderate traffic flow along Hill Street, will assist in the slowing down of traffic on this busy street and will support the eventual introduction of a 40 km per hr speed limit in this residential area.  It will give legal priority to pedestrians c...

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Tuesday, 13 February


City Deal Transport Forum - this Thursday - 6pm, Town Hall "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

There are more details of the forum here.  The focus of this forum, with lots of expert advice from professionals in the areas of urban development and transport planning, will be on the northern suburbs transit corridor project and the housing development opportunities it will present
But of course if this takes off, there will be benefits for all, including West Hobart - we can expect some of the northern suburbs "through traffic" to switch to an efficient rapid transit option.

Do come along to the forum and hear the latest on the proposal.  Just ring up and book your seat/s:

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Saturday, 10 February


Liberal pokie gifts "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Andrew Wilkie in his latest media release reckons the Federal Group is set to pocket an enormous $18 million windfall if the Liberals win government.


The figure is $75 million.

Theres obviously a bit of misunderstanding about how the Libs pokie industry welfare policy works. The value of pubs and clubs with pokies will receive a boost with increased pokie commission. If the venues are given licenses for a set period, then the amount of those future commissions will reflect in enhanced capital values of venues. If the licenses are in perpetuity, then the value of pubs and clubs with pokies will increase by $250 million.

The Federal Group told the parliamentary inquiry into Future Gaming Markets that increasing the commission to pubs and clubs from 30 per cent to around 50 per cent as proposed by Federal/THA and subsequently adopted by the Liberals as the way to take the State to the next level, would result in a windfall capital gain of $150 million. This was independently verified, so the joint committee was told.

The Labor party is proposing to remove pokies from pubs and clubs in which case the capital value of the pokie component of pubs will be zero. The Libs policy of gifting licenses which will earn a 50 per cent commission from player losses in perpetuity means the venues with those licenses will increase in value by $250 million.

Thats the booty the Love Your Local boys are trying to grab. Thats what the Vote Liberal campaign is all about. There is no doubt some jobs are at risk. But if there were 5,000 jobs then there wouldnt be any profits in pokies and the licenses would be worthless.

However Federal Group/THA have categorically stated increasing the pokie commission from 30 per cent to 50 per cent will increase the value of venues with pokie licenses by $150 million. Applying the same methodology gives venues with pokies a value $250 million greater than if those same venues didnt have pokies as Ms White is proposing.

Thats the value of the gift which...

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Thursday, 08 February


Love your local "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Just tuned into the latest Love Your Local promo on the LYL facebook page featuring the Beach Hotel Burnie. It was surprisingly frank. Whilst it only gave half the story that half was reasonably truthful. But telling only half the story can be misleading.

Five employees out of the of the pubs staff of 26 are involved in the gaming side of the business which also includes meals and bars and a little hotel style accommodation. The recently released pokie loss figures reveals the pub in the top 20 of pokie pubs in the State. Beach Hotel punters lost $2 million in the pokies in 2015/16 according to recently released figures.  Thats about 2% of state-wide losses. Extrapolating gives about 250 jobs losses across the States pokie venues, roughly the figure suggested by the governments recently released Fourth Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania, and a far cry from the 5,100 job loss figure in the Liberals policy manifesto.

Industry benchmarks suggest the wages figure for pokies with $2 million of player losses is around $150,000. Or about 3.5 FTEs. It was not clear the 26 employees were all FTEs. This is unlikely. So, five employees may well imply about 3.5 FTEs. The claim about five employees being under threat sounds about right.

One bit that was left out of the story was that with player losses of $2 million, $1.54 million leaves town immediately courtesy of Network Gaming. Only $460,000 remains. Local sporting clubs may get a few dollars of whats left but most of it has already left town. After pokie wages of say $150,000 and say other direct expenses such as cleaning and electricity, the pokies are estimated to contribute $260,000 to the bottom line of the pub, which is likely to be the largest contributor by a long shot given the product mix.

The other bit that was omitted from the narrative was Liberals policy might ensure a few pokies jobs remain but the overwhelming winner will be the pubs owners, by virtue of increased revenue in the future which in turn implies a massive windfall gain for them. The estimated gain is $5 million.  In accounting terms that is the present value of future revenue increases.

The Liberals originally undertook that any pokies licenses post 2023 would be allocated via a market based tender. After the Libs were blindsided by the AL...

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Friday, 02 February


Forestry Tasmania's demise in detail "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Forestry Tasmanias slide from its peak in 2004 has seen it lose $1 billion. Almost half have been cash losses. The rest have resulted from the loss in value of the trees entrusted to it. FT entered commercial arrangements with customers, particularly major customer Gunns, which effectively forfeited its commercial advantages as a monopoly supplier. As a consequence it fortunes closely tracked those of the industry particularly Gunns, and since the latters demise has only survived courtesy of government patronage.

After numerous inquiries, reports and years of procrastination, the government appointed Treasury Secretary to the Board in May 2015 to act as de facto Voluntary Administrator to see if FT could be resuscitated. An interim report was presented to government on 29th September 2016.His tenure lasted until February 2017, FT was restructured as much as its political masters would allow before being handed back for directors to run under the new name of Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT).

The following is a more detailed report on FTs demise following the period of administration. It covers the events leading to insolvency, the actions taken and the prospects for the future.


The 2016/17 year

The plantation sale

The superannuation transfer

Overview since 2004

Other assistance to the forest industry

The Ta Ann deception

Insolvency signs

Problems with the current model

The future


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Tuesday, 30 January


MACKAY Tradie unhappy with service smashed motor inns door "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

MACKAY January 30, 2018 at 06:26AM ,

Tradie unhappy with service smashed motor inns door

January 30, 2018 at 06:26AM ,

Lenehan, 29, faced Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to wilful damage on December 30, 2017. Prosecutor Bernhard Berger told the court Lenehan smashed the front door of Blue Ribbon Motor Inn before fleeing on foot with three other people. Police were tasked to attend the

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

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Monday, 22 January


Pokie backflip? "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

The extension of pokie machine into community pubs and clubs was initially bitterly opposed by the Federal Group. Until it got a better deal. 

In the interim it submitted an alternative  to a LegCo inquiry in 1993 proposing increased numbers of pokies at the two casinos.

What Ms White is now proposing and what Federal Group now ferociously opposes, is virtually the same as the policy it fully supported in 1993. 

The following are snapshots from the 1993 submission:


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Friday, 12 January


Blog Update "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Thank you to everyone who has followed the blog over the past 5 years or so. Also thank you to those who have commented, provided additional information or corrected posted information.
As you have probably noticed, the frequency of posts over the past year has diminished quite markedly. This is due to changed circumstances for me including increased work commitments.
As such, I am unable to keep up regular posts to the blog for now. I do have a heap more photos of interesting places to go on the blog and will try and get some of those up if and when time allows.
In the meantime, you can continue to check out those places, buildings & historic sites already posted on the blog.
Thank you to everyone for your support of the blog.


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Tuesday, 09 January


Liberals' pokie policy "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

Its easy to summarise the Libs pokie policy. They have simply adopted THA and Federal Groups position. Without amendment.

When Rebecca White moved the goalposts the Libs were left flatfooted with a urgent need to find a plausible alternative.

Yet despite the mountain of evidence presented to the parliamentary inquiry plus its 72 findings and 23 recommendations, despite its own post 2023 framework  that specified allocation of venue licenses by a market based mechanism, the Libs opted instead to adopt the THA/ Federal proposal in its entirety, a proposal lodged so late in the life of the parliamentary committee it didnt have enough time to consider it in detail.

Pubs and clubs with existing pokies will be gifted a 20 year license to continue after 2023 with a significantly higher share of the pool. This effectively means the 96 existing pubs have just been given a windfall capital gain of $150 million. Thats how much the value of the pubs will increase with implementation of the Libs policy. One quarter of this or $37.5 million will accrue to the Federal Group as owners of twelve of the better performing pubs. The better performing the pubs the higher the capital gain. About $75 million will fall into the laps of five other groups who own multiple pokie venues. The rest will be distributed amongst single venue operators.

There wont be any market based mechanism to allocate licenses to venues. They will simply be gifted to those who currently have pokies.

But granting a licence for 20 years means that if any government makes any changes in the next 20 years which adversely affect license holders then governments will have to pay compensation. They will have to pay compensation to licence holders who paid nothing for the licences in the first place. That is reckless public policy.

THA and the Federal Group argued a tender to allocate licences for venues would be too traumatic and cause too much uncertainty. Why not just give the licenses to existing operators. Much easier. The Libs agreed.

The Libs have effectively said 50% of player losses will go to venues, 9% to GST, 39% to the State government and 2% to the network operator. Now 2% of player losses is $...


Cat Tracker "IndyWatch Feed Hobart"

This information was received via Iona Mitchell, whose contact details are below.

The University of South Australia is running an innovative Cat Tracker project Australia-wide.  The project tracks the movement of pet cats and interviews their owners.  The aim is to learn about the roaming behaviours of pet cats and to help cat owners make decisions about their cats care and welfare.  Even if you are not a cat owner, you can still fill out the survey to provide your views on cat ownership, part of this project's objectives are to find out more about social attitudes to cat ownership and cat management.

A light-weight GPS tracker (like the one in the attached photo) is placed on a cats collar or harness, and its movement over a 24 hour period is recorded.  The information is downloaded and displayed on a map - to show you exactly where your cat roams!  This enables you to check on your cats safety e.g. is it spending time near roads; identify its favourite sleeping, hiding and roaming places; and find out if it is entering other peoples homes to be fed!  Kids also love to learn where their furry-friends like to spend time.

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