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Criminals the lot of them: that is what people who stand against government plans ‘to rebuild Tasmania’s forestry industry’ could become under the new anti-protest law.

Criminalising dissent: anti-protest law is an ominous sign of the times

The Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Bill – locally known as the “anti-protest” bill – was passed by Tasmanian parliament late on Tuesday night. The law was introduced as part of the government’s…
Australia won’t be building anything as big as the Gordon Dam any time soon. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Dam hard: water storage is a historic headache for Australia

The agricultural green paper released last week proposes 27 new water and irrigation projects, which the government claims will be necessary for Australia’s agricultural expansion. The emphasis is firmly…
Apollo Bay in Victoria. Australia’s coastal towns are vulnerable to changes in the surrounding seas. ccdoh1/Flickr

Your coastal town’s climate score? There’s a website for that

Australia’s coastal towns, many built around fisheries and tourism, are particularly vulnerable to climate change. South east and south west Australia are marine hotspots — they are warming much faster…
Tasmanian forests will be opened for logging for “special timbers”. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

End of Tasmania’s forest peace deal heralds more uncertainty

Tasmania’s parliament yesterday passed new forestry laws to undo the state’s forest “peace” deal. The laws are the most significant step so far in delivering the Liberal government’s pledge to “tear up…
Parts of Tasmania’s World Heritage area will not be delisted – but the forests will still need management and protection. ngaur/Flickr

Tasmania’s forests to remain under World Heritage

The 74,000 hectares of Tasmania’s controversial World Heritage extension will not be delisted as requested by the Tasmanian and federal governments. At the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee…
Much of Tasmania’s World Heritage has been sculpted by ice. The extension to the area (currently under debate) adds to all these values. Simon Lieschke/Flickr

Tasmania’s World Heritage debate needs to look beyond the trees

The debate around Tasmania’s controversial World Heritage extension, under review this week at international talks in Doha, has centred on forests. But the area includes far more than “just” trees — including…
Clear-felling and burning is not the future for Tasmania’s forests, no matter what happens with a looming World Heritage wilderness decision. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Tasmanian forestry plans a revival beyond World Heritage

The Tasmanian forestry industry is already thinking beyond the federal and state governments' plans to abolish the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement, which include trying to remove 74,000 hectares of forest…
Caught: a female swift parrot emerging from her tree-hollow nest. Dejan Stojanovic

Sugar gliders are eating swift parrots – but what’s to blame?

Swift parrots are one of Australia’s most endangered birds, but until very recently we didn’t know why. New research shows that they’re being eaten by sugar gliders at their breeding grounds in Tasmania…
Nowhere was resistance to white colonisers greater than from Tasmanian Aborigines, but within a generation only a few had survived the Black War. Robert Dowling/National Gallery of Victoria

Tasmania’s Black War: a tragic case of lest we remember?

Tasmania’s Black War (1824-31) was the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history. It was a clash between the most culturally and technologically dissimilar humans to have ever come into contact…
While the forest industry might hope that business is open, shifts in the wood market suggest otherwise. Ta Ann Truths/Flickr

Ripping up the forestry deal won’t guarantee Tasmanian timber boom

There are many jubilant Tasmanians this week celebrating the death of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement now that the forest industry has endorsed the government’s mandate to tear up the deal. I am not one…
Victory by the Liberals in Saturday’s Tasmania state election was widely anticipated, but what are the challenges now for Will Hodgman’s new government? AAP/Rob Blakers

Tasmania election aftermath: what now for the Apple Isle?

On Saturday, the winds of change took on the proportions of a Bass Strait gale to deliver the Liberal Party an emphatic victory in the Tasmanian state election. The Liberals, under long-serving leader…
The “intangible benefits” of arts are absent from the policy documents of the three main parties. (Mural by Hobart artist Robert O'Connor). petahopkins

The curious business-speak of Tasmanian arts policy

This Saturday’s Tasmanian election is the first since Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened on January 21 2011, and it’s no surprise that the creative arts and industries have featured heavily…
The WA Environmental Defenders Office was involved in the legal challenge to planned gas processing at James Price Point. Cortlan Bennett/AAP Image

Environmental legal aid slashed when Australia needs it most

When residents from the tiny town of Bulga won a three-year court battle to stop Rio Tinto expanding an open-cut coalmine beside them, it was hailed as a victory for David over Goliath. Yet the type of…
Liberal leader Will Hodgman casts his vote in the 2010 Tasmanian election. But just how is Tasmania’s lower house elected? AAP/Julian Smith

Tasmania election: what is the Hare-Clark system?

After trading blows around predictable topics, the only issue of consensus in a recent televised debate between the leaders of the Tasmanian Liberal and Labor parties, Will Hodgman and Lara Giddings, was…
Lake Judd, in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Abbott’s half right: our national parks are good but not perfect

Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week told a timber industry dinner that he doesn’t think national parks should be a growth industry: “We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up…
There has been an uninspiring and vacuous lead-up to the Tasmanian election, likely to be won by the Will Hodgman-led Liberal opposition. Why? AAP/Rob Blakers

Tasmania election: a spiritless campaign may be a good thing

A YouTube video appeared earlier this month with a suspiciously familiar Tasmanian candidate named “Fast Freddy”. The video perfectly encapsulates Poe’s law, which states that it is impossible to distinguish…

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