I swear Tassie deserves its spot on the map
Tasmania. Yes, it’s real. It’s “rat shit” and it should be merged into a super-state comprising of the island state, Victoria and South Australia.
That’s what former VIC premier Jeff Kennett told an audience of Tassie locals at a debate last night. Read about it on news.com.au. The ABC’s AM program reported that his rat droppings rhetoric and state-abolishing proposal were well-received by the audience.
Probably because Kennett delivered some hardarse common sense about what Van Diemen’s land needs to do to get booming. And also because there are a number of things for Tassie residents to be glum about, on the face of it at least. Like the tumours on the faces of the Tassie devil which are exterminating the island’s mascot.
The forestry industry’s being wound down slowly, affecting many families who’ve worked the chainsaws for generations. And plus it’s really cold.
But it’s a state with much that it should be proud of.
It’s the home of conviction politician Bob Brown and swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn.
It’s a place of beautiful things: Wineglass Bay, Cradle Mountain and the brewery of Boags.
It has bred sporting legends like Ricky Ponting and 185-time woodchopping world title holder David Foster. It has catalysed a cottage industry of jokes about incest, sheep-shagging and maps of Tasmania. And it has recently acquired the Museum of Old and New Art, which cultured types say is a big deal.
There are some things that need to change though.
Kennett has wisely pointed out that the state has 29 councils and a 510,000 strong population. That’s a little over the top.
It also can’t survive off the back of a burgeoning tourist industry alone. Advancing technologies might mean it’ll be possible to work from Tasmania and tele-commute to the mainland’s big smokes.
And it’s a part of Australia that should have its own AFL team. Not having one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and might bolster the island’s confidence in another arena.
The island state might be in some rat shit. But really, who says you can’t polish a turd?
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