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Splinter group splits deal

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 24 November 2012 | 19.55

A SPLIT emerged in the environment movement yesterday when fringe groups repeated threats to continue protesting against native forest logging, despite the agreement that was supposed to end decades of forestry conflict.

Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre said forests were still under threat.

And Miranda Gibson, the tree-sitter in the southern forests Styx Valley, said she would not come down.

A key outcome of the peace deal was recognition of some 504,000ha of reserves in exchange for an end to protests and market campaigns by environmentalists in overseas markets. The two groups last week closed Ta Ann plants with protests.

"I have made the commitment to stay in the Observer Tree until the forest is protected and as this is still uncertain, I will be remaining in the tree," Ms Gibson said.

Jenny Weber, of the Huon Valley Environment Centre, said the deal left little room for confidence that more than 395,000ha would be reserved.

But signatories to the deal -- Environment Tasmania, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Society -- said the Tasmanian Forests Agreement was the path to conflict resolution.

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Roll up, roll up and have a ball

THERE'S a saying in petanque: it takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.

But before you take it too seriously, a new petanque club is looking for people to come along to its Sandy Bay headquarters and enjoy its social side.

That means a quiet brew or a cheeky sauvignon blanc while a barbecue sizzles on the sidelines.

State coach Terry Dando wants to get as many people as he can out on the piste -- the gravel surface for the game that started in a French village in 1907.

A glass of wine in hand and a ball in the other is how they do it in thousands of villages around France.

And Dando and his clubmates at the Bayside Boules Petanque Club want Hobartians to taste this catchy sport.

"It's a lot of fun because it's easy to learn and anyone can play," Dando said.

"Strength is not a factor in petanque, so a large cross-section of people play it in 85 countries around the world."

Petanque is huge in France and Spain, while it has also taken hold in England, the USA and Canada.

The Bayside club will hold its grand opening at 1.30pm today at Long Point Rd, Sandy Bay -- right behind Prossers Restaurant. Among the guests will be Glamorgan Spring Bay Mayor and proud Frenchman Bertrand Cadart.

Dando, a 66-year-old retired teacher, has been playing for 10 years. As well as being state coach, he has represented Australia on the international stage.

"You can learn to play it in three or four minutes," he said. "In France they start playing it at the age of five or six."

To play petanque, each player starts with three metal balls.

Player one throws out the kitty and then puts his first ball as close to it as possible. Player two has three attempts to put one of his balls closer to the kitty.

If he fails, player one wins. If he succeeds, his opponent must use his remaining balls to do better. And so on.

At Sandy Bay, they hold social games from 4pm on Friday and Saturday. "We have a barbecue and a quiet tipple and play until dark," Dando said.

"If you just want to play socially, that's great, and if you want to become good at it you can play for the state and for Australia as well."

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Forest deal law closer

After a marathon sitting and an unusual recall of State Parliament this morning, the forestry legislation passed through the Lower House about 11am today.

TASMANIA'S historic legislation underpinning the forest peace deal has passed its first hurdle.

After a marathon sitting and an unusual recall of Parliament yesterday morning the forestry legislation passed through the Lower House about 11am.

The House of Assembly had been locked in debate from about 3pm on Thursday to 4am yesterday.

The legislation will now move to the Upper House for scrutiny in a special sitting next month.

Labor and the Greens who voted for the legislation yesterday repeated their calls that the deal would bring historic conservation outcomes at the same time as delivering security for the state's timber industry.

The Opposition continued its calls for the Labor-Green Government to call an election for the people of Tasmania to decide whether they wish to accept the agreement.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green said yesterday that additional funding was still being discussed but the Commonwealth and the state were yet to determine a figure.

About $100 million is left from the $276 million forest package but additional funds are expected to be on the table to maintain additional reserves and help forest workers get out of the industry.

"There has been high-level discussion about funding to ensure the agreement goes forward," Mr Green said. "When Tony Burke was last here and we had our meetings he said ... if the signatories come to an agreement then the Commonwealth will do its best to back it in. I have said to the signatories that we feel the same way."

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke will meet signatories in Canberra on Wednesday to discuss funding.

Amid a flurry of criticism of the agreement, Mr Green said he understood the deal would continue to spark debate. "I know that the deal will never satisfy everyone, politics is like that," he said.

"There will no doubt be people complaining, whinging, carping from the sidelines but in the end I think the great majority of Tasmanians want this issue fixed."


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Tassie has new tourism boss

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 23 November 2012 | 19.55

TOURISM Tasmania has announced another Northern Territory tourism guru will take on its top job.

Tourism NT chief executive John Fitzgerald has been appointed as chief executive of the state's peak tourism marketing body.

In a strange twist, outgoing chief executive Tony Mayell has returned to the Northern Territory to take on Mr Fitzgerald's job with Tourism NT.

Mr Fitzgerald will start in his role with Tourism Tasmania on January 7.

Tourism Minister Scott Bacon said Mr Fitzgerald had "a wealth of knowledge and experience".

"As well as his work with Tourism NT, John has worked as CEO of Tourism Sunshine Coast and chief operating officer for the nation's Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre," Mr Bacon said in a statement.

He said the appointment followed a nationwide recruitment process, headed by Tourism Tasmania chairman Grant Hunt.

"Grant and the selection panel have worked swiftly and effectively to fill this key role, following the resignation of Tony Mayell in August, and I commend them for their work," he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said Tasmania's tourism had undergone major changes in recent years and was building on its strong profile experiences such as its walks, food and wine, heritage, culture and the arts, golf and World-Heritage listed assets.

"The state is really well placed to take advantage of new air services and all the work done in the last couple of years," he said.

Mr Mayell finished up with Tourism Tasmania earlier this month, after just 15 months in the role.

He came to Tasmania from the Northern Territory and has returned to tackle Mr Fitzgerald's old job.

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Landmark Bill clears House

LANDMARK legislation underpinning Tasmania's forest peace deal has cleared its first hurdle.

After a marathon sitting and an unusual recall of State Parliament this morning, the forestry legislation passed through the Lower House about 11am.

The House of Assembly was locked in debate from about 3pm yesterday to 4am today.

Premier Lara Giddings and her Cabinet colleague Nick McKim today extolled the virtues of the Bill, while the Opposition repeated calls for the Government to call an election over the issue.

The legislation will now move to the Upper House for debate on December 11.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury.

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21 years for Stainforth murder

TWO violent drunks who bashed a man to death at Hobart's Stainforth Court last year have been sentenced to a maximum 21 years in prison.

Jamie Peter Smart, 32, of Glenorchy, and Rhys Louis Gardner, 20, of Bellerive, went to Shayne Anthony Waller's public housing unit at Cornelian Bay on February 18 last year after a night of drinking.

While they were there a fight broke out and Michael David Williams, 39, of Kingston was fatally injured and Mr Waller, 52, was severely hurt.

The pair were found guilty of murder and causing grievous bodily harm by a Supreme Court jury in September.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart today, Justice David Porter described the murder as a senseless and brutal attack on innocent man.

He said Smart had shown no remorse and had a long criminal record.

While Gardner had shown some remorse, he had been abusing alcohol since the age of six and shown little inclination to try to rehabilitate himself.

Justice Porter sentenced both men to a maximum of 21 years, with a non-parole period of 12 years.

Both men greeted the sentence without emotion.

In July, Smart was given a three-month suspended jail term for tearing the heads off two kittens with his bare hands.

Outside the court, Mr Williams' mother Therese greeted the sentence with relief.

"I'm very, very happy. You can't go any more can you?" she said.

"I think they should rot in there. If they had have hung them in front of me, I would have been satisfied.

"He was my baby son and we were good friends. I will never forget him, never ever forget him, because I loved him so much and I still do."

Read more in tomorrow's Saturday Mercury.


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Corruption penalty in pipeline

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 22 November 2012 | 19.55

A FORMER Southern Water engineer will be sentenced next month for corruptly seeking a payment for helping a company win a tender.

The charge against Anton Cristofer Colev, 35, of Kalgoorlie, was over the $3.2 million pipeline duplication project at Margate for which Colev was a project manager.

He was found guilty by a jury in October and has been in custody since.

Four companies submitted tenders for the Southern Water project in March last year, ranging from $800,000 to $1.7 million.

Colev met a representative from the lowest bidder, Spectran, after the tenders had closed, told them that they were the preferred tenderer and encouraged them to lift their price from $800,000 to $1.3 million.

Soon after they were informed of their success, Colev emailed Spectran seeking $10,000 as a first payment for what he called "consulting work".

Final submissions on sentencing were heard by Justice Helen Wood in the Supreme Court in Hobart this morning.

The court heard the father-of-three was formerly a captain in the Australian Army who served in East Timor and was of outstanding character and reputation.

His lawyer Bill Ayliffe said Colev had been under considerable pressure at work and made a single lapse in judgment.

Colev was remanded in custody to be sentenced on December 4.

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Late debate on peace pact

Forest industry chief Terry Edwards and wilderness campaigner Vica Bayley share a moment after the signing of Tasmania's historic forestry peace deal today. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE

THE historic deal designed to end 30 years of conflict in Tasmania's forests was today hailed as a triumph of compromise by the forest industry and environmentalists.

The agreement, which will result in the conservation of 560,000ha of native forest, was sealed this morning after more than two years of  on-and-off negotiations.

Tasmania's House of Assembly will begin debating legislation relating to the peace deal at 6pm today.

The debate will go ahead despite one of the signatories holding off signing until its grassroots members have considered the agreement at meetings on December 1 and 2 in Hobart and Launceston respectively.

Timber Communities Australia chief executive Jim Adams said the TCA executive would recommend that members accepted the agreement.

Other parties signed off on the deal this morning, with the timber industry claiming credit for getting the talks over the line.

Forest Industry Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards said the proposal put to the environmental groups on November 2 had seen a 22.5 per cent reduction in annual wood supply to 137,000 cubic metres.

"It was this move by the sector which secured the deal," he said.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, meanwhile, said the forest agreement was not a deal because there had been no give and take in the proposal.

"It is a sell out of every Tasmanian and a complete abrogation of the Tasmanian Government's responsibility for land-use decisions," TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said.

Environment Tasmania director Phill Pullinger said the agreement would protect native forests, support workers and restructure the industry towards a sustainable future.

"This agreement provides a comprehensive conservation outcome, with reserves that include iconic forests in the Styx, Upper Florentine and Weld Valleys, the temperate rainforests of the Tarkine and the unique forests of West Wellington and the Blue Tier," Dr Pullinger said in a statement.

Wilderness Society state campaign director Vica Bayley said all sides had made concessions to secure a final agreement.

"The final agreement has a reduced reserve area to meet agreed wood supply levels and support Tasmania's specialty timber sector, but still delivers for conservation in the iconic areas the Tasmanian community has worked for decades to protect," Mr Bayley said.

"Responsibility now rests with the Tasmanian Parliament to implement the agreement and give Tasmania the opportunity to move on from decades of conflict."

Premier Lara Giddings said it was a day that was significant for many.

"We look forward to bringing forward this legislation," she said.

"It is a difficult day for many but it is a significant day and an important day."

Read the full story in tomorrow's Mercury.

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Cray season cut short

Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing chief Mark Nikolai says tests have revealed an algal toxin is residing in the intestines of affected rock lobsters.

RECREATIONAL fishermen fear the algal toxin already afflicting abalone and mussels off Tasmania's East Coast could spread to fin fish.

The toxin has now been found in rock lobsters in the same waters, with the recreational fishery to shut down tonight for at least three weeks.

An alert against eating wild shellfish from the area between Eddystone Point and Marion Bay was extended today following test results which showed rock lobsters had now been contaminated.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment said it would close the recreational rock lobster and abalone fisheries in the area from midnight tonight.

The commercial rock lobster season did not open on November 15 on the East Coast as planned because testing had not yet been completed and authorities feared the toxin could be in crayfish meat consumed by humans.

Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing chief executive Mark Nikolai said the tests had now revealed the algal toxin was residing in the intestines of affected rock lobsters.

But Mr Nikolai said it was important for public health authorities to be over cautious and react quickly.

He said it was also important for the public to remember the algal problems were only afflicting rock lobsters off the East Coast.

Mr Nikolai said he expected recreational rock lobster fishers to be locked out of the lucrative area for at least three weeks.

The season for female rock lobsters winds up in April, while males can be caught by recreational fishers until August.

In 2010-2011, the total Tasmanian recreational catch was 85 tonne and 60 per cent of that catch came from the East Coast.

"This is not good news at all," Mr Nikolai said.

"This is the first time this particular toxin has been found in Tasmanian waters.

He said the algal toxin could not be seen by the naked eye in affected rock lobsters, either raw or cooked.

"From what I understand, the toxin has been found to reside in the intestines and 99.9 per cent of people just eat the legs and tail," he said.

But Mr Nikolai said the big question to be answered was whether the algal toxin was spreading right through the food chain.

It is understood samples of fin fish are now being tested to see if the toxin is spreading to other marine species.

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Christie keen to chat

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 21 November 2012 | 19.55

Live blog with Deputy Lord Mayor Ron Christie

HOBART Deputy Lord Mayor Ron Christie says the city has a big year ahead of it, with a bumper crop of festivals and visitors to the city.

"In 2013, we will have 2.4 million visitors arrive in Hobart by plane -- 4400 extra seats on planes coming in, that's a lot of people," he said.

"And next year will be the biggest year of festivals we have ever had.

" There's going to be something happening virtually every month, starting with the Taste Festival, then MONA FOMA, the Wooden Boat Festival, Festival of Voices, Dark MOFO and so on."

Ald Christie said Hobart's top ten placement in destination lists by Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor would also help place it on the map for international visitors.

He described Hobart as "recession-proof".

"There's a lot of building going on. It's nice to see cranes everywhere."

If you have any questions you would like to ask Ald Christie, join our live blog from 11am tomorrow.

He will field questions about a range of municipal issues -- the city's festivals, economy, tourism, even those contentious red awnings.

"Might I suggest, in the spirit of Christmas, that CBD traders deck their premises with 'Santa' red awnings and we promote it as 'Hobart an awnsome city to visit'?"

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Tears and cheers for Tobias

WITH three cheers and a few tears, Tasmanian sailor Tobias Fahey set off on his lone journey around the world today.

After a flurry of last-minute preparations, he jumped aboard his yacht Sea Quest and set off down the River Derwent, passing the official start line off the Iron Pot about 2.30pm.

The 25-year-old Tasmanian aims to be back within 180 days, having sailed around the world in an Australian record time for a solo, non-stop, unassisted voyage.

His sister Sara said he had to be back by May 4, when she was getting married at Byron Bay in New South Wales.

Speaking for the tight-knit Fahey family, she said they were confident her brother had what it took to succeed.

"He knows the boat inside out and he's got the skills and knowledge to help him through," she said.

The family would be able to keep in touch via satellite phone emails and texts but it would still be very tough.

It was an emotional farewell at times.

Fahey said he only got about two hours' sleep the night before with all the things he had to do, then he "had a good cry" in the morning at the enormity of what he was about to attempt.

"I am putting my life on the line -- there is the possibility of not seeing people again," he said.

He regained his composure soon enough and looked a picture of determination as he sailed into Storm Bay and beyond.

To watch Tobias's "Nearly Ready" video, click here.

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Sources say forest deal 'close'

A stack of logs on the wharf at Burnie. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

SPECULATION is rife that the long-awaited deal on Tasmanian forestry is "very close" to being done.

Sources say that under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on forestry deal there will be a total of 560,000ha of new reserves, to be set aside in stages from a start of about 380,000ha. The sawmilling industry will be restricted to about 137,000 cubic metres of sawlogs.

Sources say Ta Ann Tasmania has been left out of the agreement and will not get its wish that 265,000 cubic metres of peeler billets be written into the agreement and subsequent legislation.

It is understood that special species timbers may get an allocation from about 37,000ha.

The step up in reservation would follow if the forestry industry was satisfied that protests and anti-logging campaigns by environmentalists had stopped.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury.

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ABC shuts Tasmanian unit

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 20 November 2012 | 19.55

ABC managing director Mark Scott has today announced the closure of the public broadcaster's Tasmanian production unit.

UP to 17 jobs will go from the ABC's Hobart office after the public broadcaster today announced it was closing the local production unit.

ABC managing director Mark Scott informed staff of the move today.

As a result of the closure, Auction Room and Collectors will not be recommissioned.

Mr Scott justified the cut by saying Tasmania did not have the scale needed for its own internal production unit.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy today called on the ABC to reconsider its decision.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision by the ABC," Senator Conroy said.

"I call on the ABC board to ensure that the broadcaster upholds its clear obligations in relation to cultural diversity and local programming.

"Cutting its production facilities in Tasmania could result in a dramatic reduction in the telling of Tasmanian stories, something that diminishes the ABC and short-changes the people of Tasmania."

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War of words over mining rally

THE fallout from Saturday's heated pro-mining rally continued today with the State Opposition claiming Premier Lara Giddings had been rattled by the hostile reception she received in Burnie.

Ms Giddings fired back saying Opposition Leader Will Hodgman's failure to attend the rally had been noted.

Mr Hodgman was at the Huon Show.

Mr Hodgman had asked to speak at the Australian Workers Union-organised rally but his offer had been refused, his office said today.

Braddon Liberal MHA Adam Brooks attended the rally but was not given a spot on the podium.

Before the rally, Mr Brooks said Lara Giddings was too weak to stand up to Greens colleagues and the public was now venting its frustration.

In Parliament today, Speaker Michael Polley ejected Mr Brooks from the Chamber for 24 hours during heated debate about mining in the Tarkine.

Ms Giddings said she was proud to attend the rally to demonstrate the government's commitment to the mining industry.

"We have sent a clear message to the Commonwealth that we do not support blanket National Heritage listing of the Tarkine," Ms Giddings said.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury.

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Baby seat safety alert

UP to 1200 Tasmanians are believed to be affected by a recall of faulty baby seats and capsules announced today by Australia's consumer watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission estimates more than 60,000 seats and capsules with faulty anchor kits and brackets have been sold nationally since April.

Tests have shown the parts used to secure baby seats could fail during a car crash, increasing the chance of a child being injured.

Four major brands -- IGC Dorel, Chicco, Tomy and Hemco -- have recalled the brackets and anchor kits. Most of the affected car seats and capsules were imported by Hemco Industries.

The kits have batch numbers 022 or 023 stamped on the product. All other batch numbers are not included in the recall.

RACT communications manager Vince Taskunas said the state's peak motoring body was contacting customers whose seats had been installed by RACT staff.

"The only brand RACT sells and recommends is Britax Safe n Sound, and Steel Craft by Britax," Mr Taskunas said.

The faulty parts are used in older vehicles, station wagons, four-wheel drives, hatchbacks and some newer cars.

The ACCC has urged consumers to check their vehicles, regardless of the brand of car seat or capsule that they use.

Anyone with the specified anchor kit or bracket who does not know where it was bought from should contact Hemco Industries on 1300 065 057 or email servicehemco.com.au to arrange a replacement.

More information about the recall, including how to tell if you have one of the affected anchor kits or brackets, is available on the Recalls Australia website.

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Team to assess freight options

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 19 November 2012 | 19.55

A NEW $1.5 million cross-industry taskforce has been set up to tackle Tasmania's freight woes.

The Freight Logistics Co-ordination Team, funded from a $20 million federal assistance package for local exporters, will investigate avenues for Tasmanian business to export to interstate and international markets.

The team of 20 was announced by Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne this morning.

He said the team had been put together from a list of 40 people who had applied via an expression of interest process.

"We've assembled a well-qualified team that represents rail, port and infrastructure providers, as well as shippers and producers," Mr O'Byrne.

"The team will provide expert logistics and supply chain advice, and help us complete a long-term Tasmanian freight strategy."

One of the team's key duties will be finding strategies to help attract an international carrier back to Bell Bay.

"We've been working with industry and lobbying the Federal Government on these challenges for 18 months," Mr O'Byrne said.

Team member and Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said local producers were spending millions of dollars investing in the State Government's irrigation schemes making clear routes to their markets integral.

Freight Logistics Co-ordination Team:
Phil Clark (Chair) -- DIER
Gary Swain (Deputy Secretary) -- DIER
Robin Philips -- Tasmanian Transport Association
Jan Davis -- Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
Damien White -- TasRail
Tony Stewart -- Toll Group
Neil Armstrong -- Harvest Moon
Ian Newman -- Australian Maritime College
Chas Kelly -- SeaRoad
Neil McKinnon -- TCCI
Leigh Titmus -- Webster
Phil Cooke -- Tas Ports
Tim Hess -- Petuna
Gary McCarthy -- Port of Melbourne Corporation
Ray Mostogl -- Bell Bay Aluminium
Steve Henty -- Net Sea Freight
Arnold Willems -- Norske Skog
Craig Fraser -- Veolia
Satyajit Warty -- Cadbury/Kraft

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Burke extends trawler ban

The Abel Tasman berthed behind razor wire at Port Lincoln, South Australia, in September. Picture: IVON PERRIN

A BAN on commercial fishing in Australian waters by the super trawler Abel Tasman will be extended for two years while the environmental impacts are assessed, the Federal Government says.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the extension would take effect from midnight today.

Mr Burke made an interim declaration on September 20 prohibiting this type of fishing activity for 60 days.

"During this time I invited and considered written submissions from fishing businesses," the minister said in a statement.

"After considering the matters raised in the submissions, I am of the view that there is uncertainty about the environmental impacts of this type of fishing operation and it is appropriate to prohibit it while it is assessed by an expert panel."

The decision could lead to legal action being brought against the Government by the trawler's operator, Seafish Tasmania.

"The company have made clear, public and personally, that if they thought they needed to they would pursue all legal options available to them," Mr Burke told reporters in Canberra.

But he said the Government was on "completely strong legal ground" to counter any compensation claims or legal challenges.

It was not uncommon for commercial projects to be held up by environmental regulations while checks were carried out, Mr Burke added.

In its submission, Seafish Tasmania attempted to appease the Government by offering to use less than half the factory ship's freezing capacity and to move on from fishing areas once a certain tonnage was caught.

But Mr Burke said his department had gone through each of the arguments put forward by the company and still remained dissatisfied with "genuine uncertainty" around the vessel.

The Abel Tasman's ability to remain in one location for an extended period, storing its large catch in on-board refrigerators, was highlighted as a key area of concern for the Environment Minister.

Mr Burke and Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig will now establish an expert committee to study the environmental impact of super trawlers over the next two years.

Once the panel has assessed the science, the Abel Tasman could in theory recommence fishing if given the green light.

For now, however, the 142m-long, Dutch-owned ship, remains stuck in Port Lincoln, in South Australia.

Mr Burke denied the Government's decision created sovereign risk issues for Australia.

"The nature of environment legislation is that you have tough thresholds that companies need to be able to meet," he said.

"There are occasions where companies fall short."

Australia's fisheries management, which is to undergo a root and branch review, "stacks up well" when compared with the rest of the world but wasn't able to deal with everything, he said.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury

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Arrest over Hobart assaults

TASMANIAN detectives have arrested a man in Melbourne over alleged assaults on two men on Hobart's waterfront in early September.

Detective Sergeant Phil Curtis said the man, formerly of Launceston, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today and was granted bail to appear before the Hobart Magistrates Court on December 17.

"Hobart CIB wish to thank the members of the public who provided information in relation to the matter after images were released of two men of interest in the investigation," Det Sgt Curtis said in a statement.

University student Saul Lopa, 22, was allegedly punched and kicked repeatedly in the head by two young men who approached him and his two friends as they walked down Murray St towards the Salamanca taxi rank about 5.30am on Sunday, September 2.

He suffered two fractured eye orbits, a broken nose and a suspected cheek fracture.

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Arrest over home invasion

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 18 November 2012 | 19.55

POLICE have arrested a man who allegedly punched a woman in the face during a violent home burglary in Bellerive earlier this month.

The 30-year-old man was apprehended in a public park at Rosetta, in Hobart's northern suburbs, about noon yesterday.

Police say a media campaign was instrumental in the man's arrest.

The man was captured on CCTV when he allegedly tried to use stolen credit cards from the November 10 burglary to buy goods from Hobart shops last week.

Police received 10 phone calls with relevant information about the accused.

The man was being held in custody overnight to appear in court again this morning.

He has been charged with aggravated robbery, unlawfully possessing a dangerous article in a public place, aggravated burglary, stealing, trespass, using a controlled drug, and attempting to obtain goods by false pretences.

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Tarkine row at boiling point

Circular Head deputy Mayor John Oldaker speaks at the Our Tarkine Rally at Burnie. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

TEMPERS in the Tarkine are set to reach boiling point this summer if yesterday's pro-mining rally is anything to go by.

The anger was palpable as 3500 people in Burnie chanted and screamed for Canberra to let new mineral projects go ahead in Tasmania's Tarkine.

Premier Lara Giddings and Resources Minister Bryan Green struggled to be heard as the crowd booed their arrival on the podium at the Australian Workers Union-organised event. Ms Giddings was hit with a barrage of verbal abuse by an angry placard-bearer as she approached the stage.

The retired miner was forcibly held back as he yelled at the pair.

A lone conservationist who hid his face with a mask was told to leave the rally by police as the mood turned ugly.

The protester said he was not representing any group but had come to the rally in the name of free speech.

A loud cheer erupted as the protester left.

Circular Head Deputy Mayor John Oldaker dared conservationists, who have threatened to mount a campaign to rival the bitter Franklin protest, to "bring it on".

"Let them come. But let them be warned we are bloody angry," Cr Oldaker said.

"Why can't Tasmania share in the national mining boom.

"We need (federal) Environment Minister Tony Burke to pay attention to what is being said today."

AWU national secretary Paul Howes told the crowd that Tasmanians, and Tasmanians alone, should have the right to determine their own future.

"This isn't a state of rednecks but decent hard-working Australians who want a fair go," he said to applause.

He said the local community did not want a blanket World Heritage listing imposed over 450,000ha of land in one of the most heavily mineralised parts of Australia.

"There must be protection of high-value conservation areas but there must also be opportunities for much-needed jobs and investment.

"The existing mines in the area must be allowed to continue operating and new projects must be given a fair chance to get up and running."

Mr Howes said the proposed Venture Minerals mine near Tullah would generate about half-a-billion dollars in revenue, with much of this pumped in to the local economy.

A delegation will travel to Canberra on November 28 to deliver a petition to Mr Burke, who is yet to make a decision on whether the Tarkine will receive a national heritage listing which would complicate plans for any new mines in the region.

Mr Burke also has on his desk the final approval for Shree Minerals' proposed mine at Nelson Bay River near Temma, in the Tarkine.

West Coast Mayor Darryl Gerrity labelled the attitude of environmental groups such as the Tarkine National Coalition, which is driving the heritage-listing campaign, as selfish and Neanderthal.

Burnie Mayor Steve Kons said the rally represented a turning point in negotiations in Tasmania. "We no longer want to negotiate with fringe groups," he said.

"We are digging in our heels and telling them they can no longer dictate what happens."

Speaking in Launceston after the rally, Tasmanian Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson disputed that the listing would have an impact on existing mines or mining communities.

"The message for Minister Burke today from Paul Howes was that Labor as a party should be putting short-term corporate profits and short-term jobs ahead of both the environment and long-term prosperity for Tasmanian communities," he said.

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Tourism ripe for funds

TripAdvisor has listed Hobart in its top 10 "destinations on the rise".

LOCAL tourism officials say now is the time for the State Government to spend up big on marketing the state to travellers following some heavy duty accolades.

Internet travel mega-site TripAdvisor has listed Hobart in its top 10 "destinations on the rise" hot on the heels of similar praise from travel guide Lonely Planet.

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said the Government needed to be convinced that dipping into a tough budget to pay for marketing would pay for itself and more.

"Research conducted last year showed spending as little as $4 million on marketing could result in up to $60 million coming back to the state through increased tourism," Mr Martin said.

"The attention we are now receiving is being driven by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). It is now up to the rest of the tourism industry and the State Government to turn that attention into a reality of more interstate and international tourists.

"We have the product and the air and sea access. We now need to get the message out."

Mr Martin said private investors such as MONA's David Walsh would continue to spend if the Government did its bit.

"The renaissance which MONA has started has provided incredible exposure and now opportunities but that opportunity cannot be missed because of budget constraints."

TripAdvisor said destinations which made the cut had recorded the biggest increase in positive traveller feedback and interest over the past year.

Hobart shared the spotlight with Argentinian beach resort Mar del Platam, the Ukrainian city of Kiev, Sao Paulo and Western Australia's capital Perth as places emerging out of the tourism shadows. Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Moscow, Turin in Italy and Guadalajara, the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, also made it.

TripAdvisor's accolade comes on top of another from travel guide company Lonely Planet, which said the "beacon experience" of MONA had changed Hobart's image. It was now one of the world's top 10 must-see cities in its Best in Travel 2013 guide book.

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