The Hobart

Hobart Happenings August 2023

by Hobart Magazine
Hobart Happenings August 2023

NEW NEW NEW

Eastern Shore locals have a new neigh­bourhood eatery with the opening of Marla Singer (34-36 Cambridge Rd, Bellerive). The menu focuses on seasonal, produce-driven food, good wine and qual­ity coffee. Esteem Cafe (286 Elizabeth St, Hobart) has recently opened, serving up hot coffee with a shot of community spirit. Along with serving hot and cold drinks, the cafe provides a space for migrants new to Hobart to settle in and share their culture with the community. A new Hamptons-inspired cafe has opened in Lutana. Marina Cafe (20 Bender Dr, Lutana) is on the water, so lap up the coastal atmosphere and a communal long table, perfect for a laid-back breakfast or brunch. The Bush Inn (49-51 Montagu St, New Norfolk) has had a face-lift. The oldest continually-licensed pub in Australia reopened its doors in July, with a rejuvenated menu offering classic pub eats including prime-cut steak, parmies and Guinness pot pies. Open 7 days from 11am. There’s even more choice for cof­fee lovers in North Hobart with the open­ing of Dune Espresso (431 Elizabeth St, North Hobart). The new, coastal-inspired cafe has made its home at the bottom of the FOUR31 apartment building and offers a range of simple eats and single origin coffee.

Serving up coastal vibes and quality coffee at Dune Espresso. Pic: IG

Brand new accommodation has opened a stone’s throw from Russell Falls. Mt Field Retreat Accommoda­tion and Conference Centre (17 Lake Dobson Road, National Park) has been a decade in the making with four self-con­tained units now open for guests, perfect for a quick weekend away just outside of Hobart. Hobart realtor, Ed McKay, has just launched his own real estate agency, New Haus Agency (www.newhaus.agency) in Hobart. Working alongside his wife, Kelly, and colleagues Jules Hamilton and Christian Bugden, the team want to redefine what it means to be a real estate agency in Tasmania. A new bricks-and-mortar music shop, MelRock Music (92 Channel Hwy, Kingston), has opened at Channel Court Shopping Centre. Going against the modern-day music grain, the store specialises in used CDs and records, tapes and DVDs, offering collectors a step back in time to the days before Spotify. Heading to the East Coast? Easy Tiger (7 Pendrigh Place, St Helens) is a 48-seat cinema, showing everything from new release blockbusters through to old classics. The cinema also has a snack bar for popcorn-loving movie-buffs and will be open seven days. There are plans to extend the venue into a bar, eatery and microbrewery, so watch this space. Lov­ers of hot and spicy are in for a treat with the launch of a fermented Wakame Hot Sauce, the second collaboration between Adam James of Rough Rice fame and Keep Tassie Wild. The spicy condiment is made with Tasmanian-grown and sourced ingredients and is bound to add a kick to your meal or snack. Head to www.keep­tassiewild.com/collections to bag your bottle of this limited-edition sauce.

TASSIE LAGS OUT DIGITALLY

In not-so-great news, a new report conducted by the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) has revealed that Tasmania – for the sixth time since 2016 – is the most digitally disadvantaged state in the country. The report showed Tasmania remains at the bottom of the pile for digital inclusion, with an estimated 54,000 Tasmanians highly excluded from the digital world and around one-in-four Tasmanians locked out from fully participating in economic, social and community life. “Tasmania also recorded the worst digital literacy and skills score in the country, which is having a profound effect in the broader community,” TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone said. “There are also concerning trends borne out of the data, with Tasmanians with low levels of income, education and employment, those living outside of Hobart and Launceston, older Tasmanians, Aboriginal Tasmanians and those living in public housing, all reporting higher rates of digital exclu­sion than the rest of the population.” The TasCOSS report highlights a need to close the digital divide by improving digital access, affordability and ability in Tasmania, along with boasting digital skills throughout the community. To find out more about digital inclusion, head to www.digitalinclusionindex.org.au.

IT’S BACK TO WORK ON THE $3.5M SALAMANCA UPGRADE

Work on the final stage of the Salamanca Place Upgrade is underway again after a deliberate pause to allow local businesses time to recover after the pandemic. The upgrade to the busy hospitality and retail precinct is designed to create a more con­nected, pedestrian-friendly area between Hobart’s waterfront and Salamanca Place, prioritising people over vehicles. The $3.5 million upgrade to Salamanca Place is being delivered in multiple stages, with stages one and two already completed. Key improvements of the upgrade include removing kerbs and increasing accessibil­ity, improving the space for events such as the Salamanca Markets and Taste of Sum­mer, enhancing the look and feel with new plants and street furniture, and making the precinct safer by installing new CCTV and increasing lighting. Stage Three will focus on the area at the junction of Salamanca Place and Montpelier Retreat with the work schedule designed to minimise dis­ruption to visitors and businesses, partic­ularly The Whaler and Salamanca Fresh. The final stage of the upgrade is expected to be completed by November 2023.

Creating a pedestrian-friendly Salamanca. Pic: City of Hobart

CLOTH NAPPY AND REUSABLE SANITARY PRODUCTS REBATE

Every year 100 garbage trucks worth of disposable nappies end up in Hobart’s tip, increasing greenhouse gas produc­tion. In an effort to encourage parents to choose cloth nappies over their disposable counterparts, even part time, Hobart City Council is currently offering a 50 per cent rebate on cloth nappies. The move is part of Council’s plan to reach zero waste to landfill by 2030. The rebate is also avail­able for reusable sanitary products. For more information head to www.hobartcity.com.au and search for ‘rebate’. The offer is available until all funds are expended.

MO-PED TO NO-PED UNDER PROPOSED NEW LAWS

New laws have been proposed to ban unregistered petrol-powered bicycles from being used in any public area, including bush tracks, footpaths and bicycle paths. The bikes, which are excessively noisy and usually homemade (safe much?), are capable of high speeds, making them extremely dangerous considering most only have pushbike brakes fitted! Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson gave the bikes a spray recent­ly, “We’ve received feedback from the community that these dangerous bikes are annoying and spoil neighbourhood peace as they are excessively noisy. Further, be­cause riders aren’t licensed and the bikes aren’t registered, they are often the choice for idiotic hooning and other antisocial behaviour.” The new laws would mean petrol-powered bicycles will be treated the same as mo­torcycles, requiring them to be registered. Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Felix Ellis, said under the new proposed laws very few, if any, motor-powered bikes would meet the stan­dards to be registered and they will be out­lawed. “Riders would also need to comply with the same rules as riding a motorcycle, including holding a suitable licence, wear­ing a helmet and obeying all road rules,” Mr Ellis said. “It is proposed that the new laws will start after six months to allow time for community information and time for people to find alternative transport or remove the engine.” So look out, hoons! The days of slapping a lawnmower motor on your push bike might be numbered.

TASSIE LEADING THE WAY FOR EQUALITY

Tasmania is the first state to recognise asexual, aromantic and agender people by officially adding “A” to the acronym LGBTIQA+. The decision to officially include asexual, aromantic and agender people as part of the acronym has been hailed by advocates as a step forward for inclusion and equity. “The asexual, aromantic and agender communities remain some of the most highly misun­derstood, mistreated and misrepresented LGBTIQA+ communities due to the lack of awareness for asexual, aromantic and agender identifying peoples’ experiences,” said Samuel Watchman, who advocated for the reform and identifies as a-spec (a member of the asexual, aromantic and agender community). “However, with the government recognising our existence by expanding the acronym, our identities and experiences have been, and will forever be, validated, inspiring future change that will improve the acceptance, treatment and perception of asexual, aromantic and agen­der-identifying people in Tasmania, across Australia and around the world.”

NEW STADIUM PORTFOLIO

A recent cabinet reshuffle has resulted in the creation of a new portfolio called Stadia and Events under Nic Street that, according to the Liberals’ press release, will “assist in delivering the promised AFL stadium at Macquarie Point and the Tasmanian team into the national AFL competition.” With ‘stadia’ being a fancy way of saying stadiums, are we in the market for more than one new one?

FREE SOCCER UMPIRE TRAINING FOR FEMALES IN HOBART

As part of their commitment to maximising the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Football Tasmania are conducting a free beginner referee course for females in Hobart. The course comes with the first year of registration, a whistle, two cards, a notebook, two AR flags and a ‘laws of the game’ book. The minimum age to participate is 13. The course will be held on the 9,11, 16 and 18 August from 6pm-9pm at Cornelian Bay. For more information or to register head to www.footballfedtas.com.au and find the ‘Referee’ tab.

WHITE GUM TREE SUPPORTS HOBART RIVULET’S FUTURE

Prep students from South Hobart Primary School have grabbed their shovels and rolled up their sleeves to plant a young white gum tree along the banks of the Hobart Rivulet. The students planted the gum as part of the school’s Bushcare program. The white gum, which can reach up to 40 metres tall, will help stabilise the rivulet banks via its root systems and provide shade in the summer. The shade will also help regulate water temperatures in that part of the Rivulet, aiding platypus and other aquatic wildlife. South Hobart Primary School hopes the gum will become a very special tree for the students and for the future of the Hobart Rivulet.

GLENORCHY POOL CLOSED FOR SUMMER…AND MAYBE FOREVER?

Sadly the outdoor pool at Glenorchy will remain closed for the coming summer season due to safety concerns. A condition report identified numerous serious issues, including faults in the pool shell (causing the pool to leak), structural issues with the concrete grandstand, an urgent requirement for the electrical switchboard to be upgraded and replaced, as well as major works for the chemical dosing area and complete refurbishment of toilets and change room areas.

Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas said the Council could not afford the estimated $30million repair bill on its own and that she was seeking consultation with the state and federal governments. Mayor Thomas also said the pool did not have a particularly strong business case to justify the cost of the repairs. “As an outdoor pool it has a limited season, with many people preferring to use Hobart’s Aquatic Centre which is a more modern facility just 10 minutes up the road,” she said. “Last season, fewer than 100 people used the pool every day on average, with an annual cost to Glenorchy ratepayers of about $400,000.” The Glenorchy War Memorial Pool is Hobart’s last outdoor pool, so if it closes permanently it’s the end of an era.

It’s not easy being green. Pic: Kelvin Ball

TOUCAN PLAY AT THIS GAME

What does a group of four friends do when waiting for their plane to take them home from the remote Tasmanian wilder­ness? Develop a brand new strategic card game based on Tassie birds, of course! A Game Called Birds, a card game that encompasses Tasmanian bird life and stra­tegic play, was created by the friends who become trapped when the weather closed in during a walking trip along Tasmania’s South West Circuit. The game, designed by Chris Bury, Corey Graham, Leigh Ellis and Thomas Friend, offers a blend of strategy and creativity. Players strategically choose birds from their hand to play against their opponent’s birds, contending with power birds and ultimately a spinning Wedge-tailed eagle that introduces an element of chance and chaos.

The game uses vibrant photogra­phy of Tasmanian birds by local photog­raphers to foster awareness and appreci­ation for all Tasmanian birds, specifically endemic and endangered species.

“We never set out to create a game. We were going troppo in a little wet cabin using a Trangia as a heater and then at one point we started making bird noises to pass the time,” said Corey Graham. “Cre­ating rules kept us entertained, we had a Wedge-tailed eagle card speared through my Leatherman and that was when we first started ‘spinning the Wedgie’. We hope players will experience the same sense of fun when they spin the Wedgie and work out their own winning strate­gies!” added Thomas Friend. After three years developing the impromptu game, A Game Called Birds finally took flight at a special launch event during July at Good Grief Studios. If you’re keen to get your hands on the cards, head to a www.gamecalledbirds.com.au.

Four friend’s spinning the wedgie

LEGAL DOUGH FIGHT

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has started legal action over allegations that more than 100 young staff at Bakers Delight outlets in Hobart were underpaid. It’s alleged 142 mostly young staff at the bakeries in Kingston, Lindisfarne and Eastlands were underpaid a total of $1.25 million between July 2017 and October 2020. The FWO is taking legal action in the Federal Court against Bakers Delight Holdings Pty Ltd, the franchisor of the Bakers Delight chain in Australia, in relation to a portion of the alleged under­payments. The FWO is also taking legal action against the couple who owned and managed the stores, and their company, Make Dough Enterprises, which was placed into liquidation earlier this year when the three stores were closed.

HAVE A GOOD OL’ NOSEY AT HCC MEMBERS’ ASSETS

Hobart City Council’s new Public Interests Register is now available to view on the Council’s website. The register was suggested and established by Councillor Ryan Posselt, who wanted councillors to be more transparent about their income and assets. At the time of print not all councillors had added some level of detail to the log. You can have a nosey for yourself by going to www.hobartcity.com.au/Council/Elected-Members and scrolling down to the Public Interests Register PDF.

NEW ANTARCTIC PORTFOLIO

As part of a recent cabinet shuffle, Pre­mier Jeremy Rockliff has established a Ministry for Antarctica. Bob Brown has welcomed the news, saying Tasmania could now play a pivotal role in protect­ing the Great White Continent, its ocean and wildlife. “We look forward to work­ing with the government to give Antarc­tica its rightful place as the pre-eminent World Heritage Area for the future of hu­manity,” Brown said. “Premier Rockliff is in the box seat to have the Albanese gov­ernment work with other Antarctic Treaty countries to have Antarctica get that listing.” Premier Rockliff said, “We’re not only the gateway to the Antarctic, we are leaders in science, research, logistics and services capabilities. It was clear when I visited Japan and the Republic of Korea this year that there is enormous potential to grow our Antarctic industry, and further strengthen our economy.”

HOBART BEST CITY…OBVS

We’ve gone and snatched Sydney’s crown as ‘Best City in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific’ at the recent Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2023. Travel + Leisure is a leading US travel media platform, known for its ‘discerning’ readership who rate cities based on various metrics including sights, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value. Hobart is now ranked within the top 25 favourite cities worldwide.

HEALTH WITH DIGNITY ASSISTS PEOPLE IN NEED TO THE GP

A new program, Health With Dignity, is offering free general practitioner consultations for any community member who can’t afford or access a GP. The new program will be run by the Sal­vation Army and jointly funded by the City of Hobart and Hobart Airport who have both contributed $15,000 to cover the program. Any community member in extreme need who can’t find or can’t afford a GP can contact Salvation Army Hobart to help organise a visit to a doctor in Hobart. After the visit, the GP bills the Salvation Army, so the patient doesn’t have to pay anything. The Health With Dignity program will cover the cost of three 30-minute GP consultations per person. Salvation Army Homelessness and Housing state manager Ben Moroney said, “It is a simple but effective way to support vulnerable people in the Hobart community to access essential medical care, which they would otherwise likely go without.” If you or someone you know is in need of assistance call the Salvation Army Hobart on 6278 2817.

Keith is a passionate advocate for Health with Dignity and Tyson Montgomery has been instrumental in the project’s development

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST JAILED

For the first time in 12 years, an envi­ronmental activist has received prison time in Tasmania. Dr Colette Joan Harmsen, a Hobart veterinarian and forest activist with the Bob Brown Foundation, appeared in the Hobart Magistrates Court last month in relation to four counts of trespass, one count of wilfully obstruct the use of any road, and failing to comply with a direction of a police officer. She was sentenced to three months’ impris­onment for breaching a suspended sentence by continuing to protest against mining in Tasmania’s west. Harmsen was involved in a protest with the Bob Brown Foundation at a MMG mine near Rosebery on the west coast of Tasmania in 2021.

FREE INTERNET FOR TASSIE STUDENTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING

Tasmanian students and their families, living in public housing, now have access to 12 months of free NBN. This is a first step towards removing the barriers to digital inclusion for the one-in-four Tasmanians locked out from fully partic­ipating in economic, social and commu­nity life. “This announcement is positive news off the back of the 2023 Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) released in July, which confirmed Tasmania’s poor standing as the most digitally disadvan­taged state in the country,” said TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone.

DOUBLE COLES, DOUBLE WOOLLIES

Not content with two Woollies shops in the one place, Kingston is set to get a second Coles supermarket in a new centre. Pending council approval, construction of the new $40m shopping centre on the Channel Highway, opposite Bunnings, is expected to commence early next year.

SPIRIT OF TASMANIA II IN TOWN

The Spirit of Tasmania II has been back in town for the first time in almost 21 years. The ship usually dry docks at Sydney’s Garden Island, but couldn’t get a spot there for this round of maintenance. More than 70 local contractors have been un­dertaking maintenance work on the vessel for the past few weeks, painting, chipping rust, maintaining the engine and tank, cleaning and testing lifeboats. It’s partly routine maintenance and partly prepping the big ship for potential sale – the Spirit of Tasmania I and II will be replaced next year with two new ships, with prospective buyers set to check out the older vessels at a shipping conference in November in Devonport. The new vessels will be 18 metres longer, six metres wider and have a 40 per cent increase in capacity than the current two.

The Spirit of Hobart. Pic: Spirit of Tasmania FB

GLOBAL OUTCRY AS ENDANGERED MAUGEAN SKATE POPULATION HALVES

In late July, more than 80 global organ­isations publicly demanded immediate action toward saving the Maugean skate, a member of the shark and ray family, after scientists from the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) reported a dramatic collapse in their numbers. Found only in Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s West Coast, the endangered Maugean skate population has almost halved in less than seven years. The IMAS scientists attribute the decline to the degraded environmental conditions in Macquarie Harbour, particularly dissolved oxygen levels, and cited fish farms as one of the main causes of low dissolved oxygen levels. The demand comes as federal and state government workshops were held in Hobart late July to decide on urgent action to prevent the extinction of the Maugean skate – a rare animal dating back to the time of dinosaurs.

Even though there is scientific evidence that industrial fish farms in Macquarie Harbour are having impact on the water­way’s health and skate numbers, all three fish farming companies operating in the harbour are certified as environmentally responsible by Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or GlobalG.A.P. Signatories from 17 countries have sent open letters to BAP and GlobalG.A.P requesting the withdrawal of sustainability certifications from farmed salmon and trout raised in waters adjacent to Macquarie Harbour.

Kelly Roebuck from SeaChoice, one of the signatories, said, “Major supermarkets rely on these certifications to sell farmed salmon and ocean trout with their “responsibly sourced” logos as part of their sustainable seafood policies. But there is nothing responsible about driving one of the rarest skate species in the world to extinction.” The signato­ries include marine, shark conservation, animal welfare, and community groups, as well as independent scientists, a public policy think tank, and award-winning authors.

Endangered Maugean skate. Pic: Jane Ruckert, IMAS

IT’S TIME TO SHINE HOBART RETAILERS! THE NATIONAL RETAIL AWARDS ARE OPEN

If you run a retail shop or online store, it’s time to glam up and get ready for the ball. The 2023 National Retail Awards are now open for all Tasmanian retailers who want to showcase their entrepreneurial­ism, innovation and diversity. Nominees can range from online stores to bricks-and-mortar shops, and individual retail owners to national chains can also enter. The awards have expanded this year to encompass seventeen categories which recognise the growing online retail sector. Last year’s ‘Small Retailer of the Year Award’ was won by Zea, a Tasmanian family company producing topical pain relief products from the oil of the native Kunzea plant. “I’d certainly encourage others across the retail industry to enter. The recognition puts your brand out there plus it boosts the whole team,’’ Zea’s Managing Director, Hayden Brass said. Entries for the award nominations close on 31 August 2023 with finalists announced in October at the annual National Retail Awards gala dinner held in Brisbane. For more information about the categories and eligibility criteria visit www.nationalretailawards.com.au.

ECO BUSES ON THE WAY

You might see some slightly differ­ent buses around town soon as Metro Tasmania trial three hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in Hobart for the next three years. They’ll also trial three battery electric buses in Launceston. Foton Mobility, Custom Bus Group and H2H Energy have been appointed as suppliers for the trials. Hopefully they’ll have some drivers to service these new buses!

WALK THE THREE CAPES TRACK FOR CHEAP(ISH)

For the month of August, you can walk the Three Capes Track for the discounted rate of $360 (usually $595 since July’s price increase). The discount applies for bookings until 31 August, so get in quick.

Walk for cheap on the Three Capes Track. Pic: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

FANCY A LION? OR A CAMEL?

Got a spare $3.75m? Want some new pets? Want to live out the classic 2011 film, We Bought A Zoo? The iconic Zoodoo Zoo is up for sale after 15 years under the current owners, who say they’ll keep operating the zoo whilst looking for new owners.

Are you my new owner? Pic: Zoodoo Zoo FB

NO TARGA TASMANIA THIS YEAR

This year’s Targa Tasmania car rally has been cancelled following months of uncertainty around recommendations from a safety review. Three competitors died in the 2021 event and then another died last year. Motorsport Australia responded by suspending permits for Targa-style tarmac rallies and commis­sioning a review panel which found the risk to competitors and the risk of further serious incidents to be unacceptably high. Targa Tasmania has postponed this year’s event from April to October as the report continued to be reviewed, but now Targa Australia has canned the local event and the Targa Great Barrier Reef. A Targa Australia statement read, “Despite assur­ances that the sport would be back up and running by 1 July, the safety review panel process is now into its fifteenth month, leaving the sport of tarmac rallying without a clear future direction at this point in time. With the large-scale events just seven weeks and three months away respectively, organisers TARGA Australia have been left with no choice but to cancel its iconic motorsport events to the disappointment of competitors, sponsors, officials and all the TARGA fans across Australia and around the world.” At this stage the organisers are working towards a 2024 rally held from 8-13 April, 2024.

BRISBANE STREET DISRUPTION

A section of Brisbane Street in the CBD will be closed off for four months while the University of Tasmania carries out sewerage and stormwater upgrades for its Forestry building. The section between Elizabeth and Murray streets will be closed to vehicles for 16 weeks from the middle of July.

IT’S TIME TO DIG DEEP FOR VINNIES 2023 WINTER APPEAL

St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) is currently running its Winter Appeal with a goal to raise $250,000 to help Tasmanians in need this winter. Vinnies CEO Heather Kent said it was only through donations from kind supporters that Vinnies could provide critical assistance to Tasmanians who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. “Vinnies frontline vol­unteer members witness the impact of these crises first-hand. They are seeing more and more people in need of support due to financial or social distress,” she said. There’s an increase in the need for services as the combined crises of escalating cost of living, rising rents, soaring energy prices and the shortage of affordable housing hits Tasmanians hardest during winter. Vinnies member, Ms Louise Wilson shared, “When I first started, we might see five or six people a day, now it is 10 to a dozen people per day coming in, many of those are struggling with the increased costs of living during the winter.” To donate to the Winter Appeal, head to www.donate.vinnies.org.au/winter-appeal.

BRIGHTON OPPORTUNITY FOR HEALTH/WELLNESS BUSINESSES

Brighton Council are seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified health and/or allied health professionals who would be interested in leasing a space at 1 Bedford Street, Brighton to provide health and wellbeing services to the surrounding areas. The facility is currently occupied by two tenants, a GP and Dentist, so com­plementary service/s for the local commu­nity would be ideal. If you’re interested in applying for the tenancy, contact Megan Braslin on 6268 7000 or email admin@brighton.tas.gov.au.

TASSIE’S MOST DELICIOUS

Tasmania has finally been included in foodie mag Delicious’ top 100 classic restaurants and cafes countdown, so let’s get our local favs in there above the mainlanders. From pho to fish and chips, doughnuts to dumplings and steak to sushi, they’re calling for nominations across 20 categories and you can vote now at www.delicious.com.au.

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May 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
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Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!