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.
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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.
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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

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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).


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.
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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.
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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.