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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.
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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.
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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.
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“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.
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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.
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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.