Archives:

Call to rallyfor NDISsupport in Devonport

SUPPORTER: Douglas Howard will be at the NDIS rally in Devonport. Picture: Kelly Slater.RAISING awareness for greater assistance for the disabled is close to Douglas Howard’s heart.
HangZhou Night Net

Since winning a battle with cancer in 1995, Mr Howard has experienced complications with his lungs, as well as being unable to walk without assistance.

Mr Howard had been forced to use a walking frame, until he recently received a gopher (electronic scooter), after a four- year campaign.

“The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” he said with a laugh.

Today, he will join with others in the push to implement the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

While the main rallies are being held in each state capital city, Mr Howard would love to see events staged in all regional areas.

“I can’t make the rally in Hobart, so I’ll be attending here (in Devonport),” he said.

“Though I’d like to see a rally in each town and city, not just in Devonport.”

Mr Howard said it was important for people to speak up, make themselves heard and send a message to Canberra.

“I would urge people to get along and show their support,” he said.

“I’m very much supportive of the move to the NDIS.

“Had it been in years ago, we wouldn’t have suffered this shortfall in assistance.” The rally will be from noon in the Devonport Mall today and is part of National Every Australian Counts Day.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Make a friend for life

PUPPY DOG EYES: Burnie Dogs’ Home volunteer Angus Jamieson, 11, with Smithfield cross, Smithie, who is looking for a home. Picture: Kate Prestt.HE’S just 12 weeks old and Smithie the lovable puppy needs someone to notice him and take him home.
HangZhou Night Net

The Smithfield cross is one of 51 homeless dogs at the Burnie Dogs’ Home, with another 53 at the Devonport home.

To mark the 17th International Day of the Dog, the Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania held a public open day in Devonport on Saturday and in Burnie yesterday.

It was a chance for people to come and meet and celebrate the canine residents.

Angus Jamieson, from Penguin, is one of the dogs’ home volunteers.

Once a week he walks the dogs and bathes them to ensure they are in tip-top condition when their new owner arrives.

He encouraged anyone who was thinking about getting a dog to come and have a look there first.

The dogs’ home has animals available that range from eight weeks to 10 years old, with avariety of breeds.

All the dogs are vaccinated, desexed, microchipped, wormed, treated for fleas, bathed and fully vet checked.

“There are a variety of dogs, some big and some small, but they all need a home,” Angus said.

Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania North-West regional manager Caroline Dare said purchasing a dog from the homes was about giving the animals a second – or sometimes third – chance to become a life-long friend.

“When someone comes in, we have a talk to them about what kind of dog they are looking for, what their situation is, if they have a secure yard and if they do have another dog, they are required to bring them in,” she said.

If you would like more information on how to adopt a dog,

“>click here

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


West Park site mooted for uni campus

UTAS should move its regional campus to seaside land near West Park, Burnie Mayor Steve Kons believes.
HangZhou Night Net

“I want it to happen,” Ald Kons said yesterday.

He said it would lead to a big economic turnaround in Burnie, fill the shops and also bring many construction jobs.

Most importantly, he said, an expanded university site would make it easier for students to stay on the Coast and study.

The uni is on track to outgrow its current site in the suburbs.

Ald Kons believes the council-owned land – long mooted for a big hotel project that never arrived – would be perfect.

He intends to raise it with the other aldermen soon and has had some discussion with UTAS.

Ald Kons also envisages the campus taking an involvement in the council’s cash whirlpool Makers’ Workshop, with potential to lower losses to ratepayers.

UTAS deputy chancellor and finance committee chair Rod Roberts said the work had not yet been done to look at the economics of the West Park idea.

“What might be contemplated is having a presence there, not necessarily the whole lot (of the campus).”

Ald Kons said the site was easily big enough.

He also suggested it could involve more than one floor, with the land sloping down towards the sea, meaning households would not be affected by a higher building.

“Here, within a 50-minute drive, there would be 100,000 people, with a fantastic educational facility,” he said.

“It would be a great use of a council block of land, value add to the city and to the intellectual capacity of the North-West.”

His idea leaves car parking for the sports oval, but would take in much of the under-utilised land in the area, some of which now provides car parking.

“It has linkages to the city and community…the community would be able to walk to their university.”

Ald Kons said such a development would also provide impetus to improve bus services on the Coast.

UTAS has given some thought to the old paper mill site as a potential campus location.

Enrolments topped 1000 last year and may hit 4000-6000 within a decade, campus director Janelle Allison suggested in November.

COME ON DOWN: Burnie Mayor Steve Kons is inviting the university to consider a larger space at West Park for expansion. Picture: Stuart Wilson.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Blood donations give Janice ‘five-year party’

THERE’S NO TIE STRONGER THAN BLOOD: Janice Johnstone at home with two of her grandchildren, Campbell, 1, and Alexandra Dow, 3. Blood transfusions helped save the Burnie grandmother five years ago and she has never taken a day for granted since. Picture: Emma Graham. GIGGLES fill the cosy family lounge room.
HangZhou Night Net

Janice Johnstone admires her grandchildren, Alexandra, 3, and Campbell Dow, 1, as they cuddle up on the couch together.

The 56-year-old reveals without blood donors, she may not have been alive to meet her two youngest grandchildren.

The Burnie resident was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 50, shortly after her eldest grandchild, Madeleine Dow, was born in 2007.

Mrs Johnstone was admitted to the Launceston General Hospital with acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive form of blood cancer.

She spent about six weeks in the Launceston hospital while receiving treatment.

“All the blood cells are virtually killed to get rid of the leukaemia cells so I had to have a lot of blood and platelet transfusions,” she said.

“Blood transfusions are a bit scary because you don’t know how it’s going to affect you, but I didn’t even have a reaction to those.”

The transfusions continued over the course of three months.

She often thinks of those who take the time to donate blood.

“There wouldn’t be a day goes by that I don’t think of the people that have helped me, especially blood donors.”

Five years later, Mrs Johnstone is in remission and has been able to do the things she’s always dreamt of, like travelling overseas with husband, Rex, and daughter, Kirsty.

“I’ve had five years I would not have had … so I had a five-year party,” she smiled.

“I raised $1000 at the door for the Leukaemia Foundation and coloured my hair for the World’s Greatest Shave.”

She’s also back working at Romaine Park Primary as a teacher’s aide.

Mrs Johnstone said she often tells people the most important thing in life is to “take time out to smell the roses”.

“You get up each day and people growl, but really, every day is a good day.”

How your region rated as blood donors in tomorrow’s paper.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Kelly papers stay here

A SOUGHT-AFTER piece of Ned Kelly memorabilia, which was recently discovered among the estate of a Devonport man, was sold for a whopping $25,000 at a collectables auction in Hobart yesterday.
HangZhou Night Net

Owner of the Masterpiece Gallery in Hobart, Nevin Hurst, went home happy, albeit with a much lighter wallet, after snaring the prime piece of memorabilia following a bidding battle with three other keen potential buyers.

The original ledger of proceedings against Ned Kelly in Victoria’s Beechworth Court of General Sessions from August 3, 1871 (when Kelly was just 15 years old), was expected to create much interest from keen collectors.

In the lead-up to yesterday’s auction, auctioneers and a University of Melbourne professor said an item of this calibre was rare and was likely to be hotly contested.

Before the auction, the item was expected to fetch between $10,000 and $15,000.

So the eventual sale price took Tasmanian Valuers and Auctioneers managing director Russell Thomson very much by surprise.

“I thought the most it would go for was around $15,000,” he said.

But fierce competition during the auction for the sought-after item pushed the price up.

“We had four spirited bidders throughout the auction, from the mainland and here,” Mr Thomson said, referring to a potential buyer bidding over the phone.

Winning bidder Mr Hurst was unable to be contacted yesterday.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Elsie ticksoff another year past the century with family

GO MUM: Elsie Morling (seated) celebrates her 102nd birthday with her five children (from left) Joan Crawford, Max, Gordon and Lindsay Morling and Kathleen Garner. Picture: Kelly Slater. ELSIE Morling can say she has survived a lot in her lifetime.
HangZhou Night Net

When she was born in 1910, Australia had just four million people and Sir Neil Lewis was the Premier of Tasmania.

She has seen first-hand both the world wars, the Vietnam War, the bombing of Darwin, Cyclone Tracy and Hurricane Katrina, to name a few.

Yesterday she celebrated her 102nd birthday at Meercroft with family and friends.

The sprightly 102-year-old never thought she would make 100, let alone another two years, and was surprised anyone had turned out for her birthday.

When asked if she felt 102, Mrs Morling quickly replied with a laugh “sometimes I do”.

Her five children, Kathleen, Joan, Max, Gordon and Lindsay, all turned out to wish their mother a happy birthday along with some of her 13 grandchildren and 15 great- grandchildren.

Her daughter, Kathleen, said she believed her mother had lived so long because she was extremely active.

“When Mum was younger, she had the five kids to look after as well as a farm.

“She was a keen gardener and in her later years she was East Coast bowls champion six times.”

A big spread was put on for Mrs Morling as well as a beautiful cake.

Relative Brett Budgeon dropped in to perform a song for Mrs Morling’s birthday.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Hawks in a flap as Sydney romps home

A stellar performance from games record-breaker Adam Goodes has helped Sydney cause an upset by easily beating Hawthorn by 37 points at Aurora Stadium this afternoon.
HangZhou Night Net

Goodes, who broke former team-mate Michael O’Loughlin’s games record for Sydney by reaching 304 senior matches today, booted three goals and finished with 21 possessions.

Josh Kennedy was the pick of the Swans players, kicking three goals straight on top of 28 possessions, while Craig Bird kicked two for the Swans, as did Jude Bolton and Ryan O’Keefe.

The final scores were Sydney 16.10 (106) to Hawthorn 10.9 (69) in front of a bumper crowd of 19,217 – the biggest crowd at the stadium in more than two years.

For Hawthorn, Jarryd Roughead kicked five goals – all in the first half – while Matt Suckling finished with 27 possessions, Shaun Burgoyne 26, Brad Sewell 22 and Shane Savage and Brendan Whitecross 21 each.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Dockers thrash hapless Launceston

UPDATED:
HangZhou Night Net

Burnie has exacted revenge on reigning premier Launceston, thrashing the Blues by a mammoth 126 points at West Park this afternoon.

Burnie, which lost to Launceston in last year’s State League grand final, booted 22.17 (149) to Launceston 3.5 (23).

EARLIER

An emotional Russell Robertson has confirmed he won’t be taking part in today’s TSL match in Burnie.

Robertson said he was bitterly disappointed a niggling hamstring strain has kept him on the sidelines.

After playing for St Joseph in the Geelong Football League last Saturday and a special match on ANZAC Day he couldn’t get up for today.

“I was looking forward to playing a senior game at Burnie but this is something that has been around for a while and at 34 years old I just couldn’t pull up as well as I used too.’’

Robertson trained with Burnie on Friday night but found the soreness too much and said he is now managing the injury and hoping to line up soon for the Dockers.

He is currently sitting in the coach’s box watching his team line up.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Gillard acts on Thomson, Slipper

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asked embattled Labor backbencher Craig Thomson to quit the party and move to the cross-bench.
HangZhou Night Net

She has also asked Peter Slipper to step aside as Speaker for a further period of time. Previously she said he should only stand aside while criminal allegations of Cabcharge misuse are investigated. He is also facing a civil court action over allegations of sexual harassment of a staffer, which is likely to drag on for a longer period.

Ms Gillard made the announcement in Canberra this morning in an effort to assert her leadership and clear the air over the twin scandals plaguing the government.

She spoke ahead of a press conference planned by Mr Thomson outside his Dobell electorate office in Tuggerah on the NSW Central Coast at 1pm AEST.

“I understand the matters concerning Mr Thomson and Mr Slipper have caused Australians to become concerned about standards in public life today,” Ms Gillard told reporters.

She said Australians were looking at Parliament and “seeing a dark cloud”.

Ms Gillard said she spoke to Mr Thomson last night after returning from overseas.

“I indicated to Mr Thomson I have decided it’s appropriate for him to no longer participate in the Labor caucus,” she said.

Ms Gillard said it had been her call to ask Mr Thomson to quit the party, and she had not consulted cabinet about the issue. She said Mr Thomson had told her he’d been reflecting deeply on his position and felt moving to the cross-bench was the best course of action.

Mr Thomson has been the focus of claims of misuse of Health Services Union funds during his time as its national secretary.

He allegedly used a union credit card to pay for prostitutes, lavish meals and cash withdrawals during his time as head of the union.

He is among several former and current HSU officials who are the subject of two Fair Work Australia investigations, police probes in NSW and Victoria, and an internal inquiry by former corruption buster Ian Temby QC.

Mr Thomson denies any wrongdoing during his time with the union from 2002 to 2007, before being elected to Parliament.

‘A line has been crossed’

The move changes the make-up of the Federal Parliament, reducing Labor to 70 MPs after Deputy Speaker Anna Burke takes over the Speaker’s chair from Mr Slipper.

Ms Gillard said, “I do believe a line has been crossed here and because a line has been crossed, I have acted.

“I actually think it is a judgment call on what is right to do in a complicated set of cirumstances … about what best marks respect for the Parliament in the circumstances.”

She said her actions since returning from overseas were not a pre-judgment on either man, who were entitled to the presumption of innocence.

”I am making no judgement on the merits of the allegations against these two men,” Ms Gillard said.

“Each of them are entitled to a presumption of innocence. I am not prejudging the issues they face.

Mr Thomson will formally announce his decision in an address to the media at 1pm AEST outside his electorate office.

Numbers in Parliament shift

With Mr Slipper currently stood aside, Mr Thomson’s move will reduce Labor’s numbers on the floor of the House of Representatives from 71 to 70, while the Coalition has 71.

Also, Labor has the casting vote of Ms Burke in her role as acting Speaker.

Mr Thomson’s move means there are now seven crossbenchers, but it is likely he will keep voting with the government.

Asked if she had Mr Thomson’s vote guaranteed on the floor of the lower house, Ms Gillard said: “I believe he will support Labor proposals in this parliament.”

She dismissed suggestions the government might have difficulty passing its budget on May 8.

It is understood Mr Thomson may rejoin Labor, but only if he is cleared of any wrongdoing. But it is unlikely he will be back in Labor ranks before the election, which is due next year.

A report into the Health Services Union by Fair Work Australia during Mr Thomson’s time as national secretary is due out any day now. So, too, is an internal audit into the HSU conducted by Ian Temby, QC.

Both will have findings potentially damaging for Mr Thomson and the government.

Mr Thomon’s move has been mooted inside government for some time and follows the suspension of the HSU from the ACTU – the nation’s peak union body – and the government’s decision last week to place the HSU into administration.

Independent MP Tony Windsor said Mr Thomson’s move was not entirely unexpected.

”I’m not surprised actually, given the circumstances within the Labor Party,” he told ABC Television.

But Mr Windsor dismissed fresh talk of a motion of no confidence against the government.”We’ve been hearing about them for 18 months. There hasn’t been one,” he said.

”The government hasn’t breached its agreement with me, so there’s no grounds for me to initiate a no-confidence motion.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan said it would be wise to let Mr Thomson speak first before commenting on the development.

He said Prime Minister Julia Gillard would make a statement on Mr Thomson later today. ”I’m focused on my budget and little else at the moment,” he told Network Ten.

– with AAP

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Tarkine mine activity support

THE Tasmanian Mineral Council would not support any restrictions on mining activities in the Tarkine, executive director Terry Long said yesterday.
HangZhou Night Net

He was responding to an article in the Weekend Australian in which federal Environment Minister Tony Burke supported a ”balanced approach” to development of the area for which he is considering heritage listing.

Mr Long said minerals found in the Tarkine should be able to be extracted, describing the potential restriction of mining in areas that did not impinge on the Tarkine’s conservation values as ”a fairly woolly concept”.

”We reject any further restrictions on access to land in Tasmania,” Mr Long said.

”We have a more-than-adequate reserve base, far in excess of any other state and, in fact, any other similar-sized area in the world.

”It’s been a mining field since the 1800s and there have always been exploration activities in that area – it’s not a new thing.

”The Mount Bischoff tin ore body mined there until the middle of the 20th century, generating the cash flow that allowed Launceston to rise from a country town to a city.”

Resources Minister Bryan Green said mining was a key industry for Tasmania’s economic prosperity and the government was proactively seeking investment to promote wealth-generating opportunities for the state.

”The government is absolutely committed to supporting investment and jobs in our mining sector,” Mr Green said.

”There is no way the government would compromise Tasmania’s mining potential, including heavily mineralised areas in the North-West and West Coast . . . and it is opposed to a blanket National Heritage listing of the Tarkine area.

”It is well known that I have made representations to the federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, regarding the proposed listing because of its importance to mineral exploration and the potential negative social and economic impacts on the Tasmanian economy.”

Opposition industry spokesman Peter Gutwein said the Greens would never be satisfied.

”As long as activity (including open-cut mining) is lawful and meets current environmental requirements we support investment and the jobs it would create,” Mr Gutwein said.

”This area, which is rich in minerals, is not a national park nor is it world heritage listed and therefore it is available for mining exploration and extraction and this should be encouraged to occur.

”Mr Burke should stop pandering to the Greens in his inner-city electorate and the Premier should stop pandering to the Greens in her cabinet.

”They should tell the country that more than 40 per cent of the state is already locked up and allow Tasmania to generate much-needed investment and jobs from the natural resources we have.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.