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Ducks face farm transfer

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 20 April 2013 | 19.55

Ducks at the Kingston Beach duck park face relocation to farms due to complaints and health concerns. Pictures: RICHARD JUPE

DUCK for cover -- an influx of feathered friends in the Kingborough area has caused the council to step in and begin a duck control program.

Kingborough Council will start a program to reduce the number of ducks in public places at Margate and Kingston Beach.

The program follows complaints from residents on the impacts of the increasing number of feral and domestic ducks in these areas.

Kingborough Mayor Graham Bury said the main complaints from residents included the duck droppings on lawns, footpaths and nature strips.

Cr Bury said the council's medical health officer had advised council that there were health risks to humans through being exposed directly to the ducks and duck faeces.

"Exposure to duck faeces can occur if children play on ground contaminated with faeces, pick up contaminated objects or transfer faecal material from their shoes to other objects in the home environment," Cr Bury said.

"This risk is particularly high at Balmoral Reserve (at Kingston Beach)."

Marina Wise lives in the same street as Balmoral Reserve, which is known by locals as the "duck park", and says children love feeding the ducks.

"My five-year-old son Jamie loves the ducks ... every day you see someone feeding the ducks, usually it's kids," she said.

"The park is very much a family place."

Cr Bury said the ducks could be infected with salmonella and campylobacter.

Either of these, if ingested by humans, causes a gastroenteritis illness that can last up to two weeks.

Direct contact with ducks can also expose people to other illnesses, including psittacosis (pneumonia), avian influenza (bird flu) as well as skin infections, skin mites and fungal infections.

"Council has engaged a contractor to humanely catch the ducks and relocate them to local farms. Any native ducks caught will be immediately released," Cr Bury said.

emma.hope@news.com.au


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Tassie losing big works battle

IT is the battleground on which the next state election may well be fought: Is Tasmania open for business?

Whether it is a difficult investment environment, red tape, green tape, NIMBYs or planning delays, the state is dotted with major projects taking years to get off the ground.

Hobart's Myer development, Parliament Square, Pumphouse Point ... the list goes on.

The $2 billion Gunns pulp mill project is testament to the state's sometimes uncanny knack for failing to get a major project from concept to reality.

Liberal Leader Will Hodgman pins the blame for the high number of stalled projects on the Government.

"Only the Liberals have a plan to create a simplified, single statewide planning system, a plan to cut the red and green tape that is holding these projects back," he said.

Premier Lara Giddings said the State Government was committed to maintaining an attractive investment environment.

She said Tasmania enjoyed the lowest land costs, the lowest business licensing costs and the lowest tax burden of any state.

"The vast majority of major projects awaiting construction already have all the necessary planning approvals in place," she said.

"Difficulty obtaining finance is the most significant hurdle that any project faces."

Ms Giddings's office provided a list with $1.4 billion of developments now under way – 72 per cent of which are funded by the government sector.

Tasmanian Industry Group executive director Daniel Leesong said developers needed a great deal of patience to see their projects through.

"There's no doubt the issue around potential for sovereign and government risk – political risk is very apparent within Tasmania," he said.

"You can see that in a number of developments that have been frustrated either through vexatious appeals or through political intervention, which hasn't been particularly helpful.

"Parliament Square is probably the best example.

It's gone through all the necessary approvals.

It's investment-ready, but then gets stalled through what can only be described as people trying to use the system to stop developments that are ready to go."

Property Council of Australia executive director Mary Massina said green and red tape, and duplication between levels of government, were big issues.

"The planning issue is a major one, and if you look at environmental or heritage assessments – that process is quite lengthy," she said.

"The planning malaise is really a large one."

Ms Massina said Tasmania had to work harder to get the results it needed to have a strong and vibrant economy.

"Even if you were to look at it in terms of attracting mainland investors – whether they want to buy a home or a shack, let alone pulling major developments – you have to look at your market and your tax and planning regimes and your infrastructure and at how competitive we are with other jurisdictions," she said.

"Our market is smaller than the likes of Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane so when we need to attract investment we have to be more flexible and nimble on our feet and go over and above in terms of providing economic development policies."

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist Phil Bayley said planning wasn't entirely to blame.

"Tasmania, in a lot of cases, can be one of the quicker jurisdictions.

One of the problems we've identified is that appeal rights are available to a much wider group of people than in other jurisdictions.

"Confidence in the Tasmanian economy is holding back projects.

"When you overlay challenges like planning, people look at it and think it's too hard."

STATE OF PLAY

MYER REDEVELOPMENT
$100 MILLION
DELAYED

Hobart's Myer department store was destroyed by fire in September 2007.

The proposed redevelopment is not expected to reopen for shoppers until Christmas 2014.

The Mercury this week reported the latest hold-up is due to wrangling over the cost of water and sewerage connection.

PARLIAMENT SQUARE
$100 MILLION
DELAYED

First announced in 2008 the redevelopment has been delayed by a series of planning appeals which aimed to save the state office block at 10 Murray St from demolition.

Construction on the project is tipped to start before Christmas and be completed over four years, providing 400 direct and indirect jobs.

PARANVILLE
$900 MILLION
DELAYED

Construction of a $900 million Eastern Shore housing development is hoped to begin by the end of this year.

About 2000 new residents are expected to eventually settle on the 158ha rural site near Clarendon Vale, slated for the suburb of Paranville.

The development is a key part of the state's push into Asia by attracting hundreds of mainly Korean language students and migrants.

MT WELLINGTON CABLE CAR AND VISITOR CENTRE
$40 MILLION
SLOWED

Investors and manufacturers are lined up, but project is awaiting approval from Wellington Park Trust and State Government.

Proponent Adrian Bold has been pursuing the project for two years.

Mr Bold says the project is ready to proceed as soon as approvals are gained and could be built in just 18 months, but he expects to spend another two or three years in the planning process.

SEVEN MILE BEACH GOLF DEVELOPMENT
$15 MILLION
SLOWED

Professional golfer Matt Goggin is seeking to develop two courses on 300ha of land on the eastern side of Seven Mile Beach.

The plan involves the construction of one or two public golf courses and a clubhouse, estimated to cost between $10 million and $15 million.

The project is bogged down in the planning process and is proceeding slowly.

SPRINGS VISITORS CENTRE
$3.5 MILLION
ON HOLD

Robert Morris-Nunn first came up with the plans for a visitors centre at the Springs response to a Hobart City Council request in 1999.

The project is ready to proceed but stalled awaiting funding for infrastructure works.

NORTHERN SUBURBS LIGHT RAIL
$100 MILLION
STALLED AND UNFUNDED

A high-level task force has been established to chase federal government funding.

Project faces critical deadline in upcoming round of Infrastructure Australia grants.

Coalition has indicated a reluctance to fund urban passenger rail projects.

BROOKE ST PIER REDEVELOPMENT
$10 MILLION
PROGRESSING

Delayed in the planning process, the Hobart development is back on tracks after a funding agreement between government and proponents.

AIRPORT SHOPPING CENTRE
$100 MILLION
ABANDONED

Planned $100 million retail outlet near Hobart Airport that was abandoned due to inability to secure investors.

The Hobart Capital + Home factory outlet and homemaker centre at Mornington would have created 700 jobs.

david.killick@news.com.au


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Left in casualty for days

THE Royal Hobart Hospital has ordered a review into why a patient spent two days waiting for treatment on a trolley in its emergency department.

Kingston man David Dawes said despite having private health cover and always paying his Medicare levy, he was forced to lie on the trolley and a chair in the public hospital while he waited for a bed.

"There were other people waiting to go upstairs to a ward too, it's disgraceful," he said.

The hospital said the length of time Mr Dawes, 56, had to wait for a bed was unacceptable and it would investigate the matter.

Mr Dawes first went to hospital after an accident left a drill bit in his foot.

The Hobart Private Hospital had no access to an orthopaedic surgeon that day so he had his operation in the Royal.

But a week later his GP said his sore, reddened leg was infected and sent him back to hospital – where he waited, and waited.

Mr Dawes said he went to the Royal at lunchtime on Monday, April 8 and was not sent to his own room until late on Wednesday, April 10.

Tasmanian Health Organisation South chief executive Jane Holden said Mr Dawes waited 46 hours.

"Mr Dawes spent an unacceptable amount of time in ED awaiting a ward bed," Ms Holden said.

"This length of stay in ED raises serious issues, which have been referred for clinical and operational review."

The Hobart Private Hospital said orthopaedic specialists who accepted referrals from its emergency department might sometimes be unavailable and in such cases they would advise and organise a transfer to the RHH.

Mr Dawes said he spent a day and a half on a trolley in the RHH then another day in the children's emergency section on a reclining chair that was so badly positioned he was having physio for back pain.

"I couldn't adjust it and I was sitting on timber," he said.

He was on a drip and having observations taken and said he was only given sandwiches until he demanded a meal.

His sister Judy Bishop said she felt sorry for nursing staff who often ended up working extra shifts, but that it must put patient care in jeopardy.

"This must happen to people all the time, we aren't an isolated case," she said.


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Handy guide for fire revival

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 19 April 2013 | 19.55

A REBUILDING expo will be held at Dunalley next month to help fire-hit residents plan their new homes.

Bushfire Recovery Taskforce chairman Damian Bugg today launched a new guide -- Building Back Better – aimed at reducing the many stresses associated with the massive rebuilding effort.

More than 200 homes and shacks were razed when a bushfire ripped through south-east Tasmania in early January.

Mr Bugg said building a home could be complex and confusing at the best of times.

"But when you've lost your home to bushfire, there's undoubtedly an extra layer of anxiety," he said in a statement.

"By understanding the steps required from the beginning, we hope it will save people time, money and potentially a lot of stress."

He said the guide would be supplemented by the expo at the Dunalley school hall from 4-8pm on Wednesday, May 8.

"This will provide residents with a chance to meet with the experts from industry associations and council representatives to get some solid, detailed advice on rebuilding their homes," Mr Bugg said.

Copies of the guide are being mailed out to those who lost their homes and are also available from the Sorell, Tasman, and Glamorgan-Spring Bay councils.

Click here to download the guide from the Bushfire Recovery Unit's website.


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Launceston man stabbed

A LAUNCESTON man is in hospital after being stabbed in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Police have today charged an 18-year-old man with causing grievous bodily harm as a result of the alleged altercation that is understood to have left the victim seriously injured.

The stabbing occurred on a public street - Pioneer Parade in the outer Launceston suburb of Ravenswood - where both the victim and the alleged offender live.


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Horror day on our roads

IT has been a horror day on the state's roads with a motorcyclist killed and police called to seven crashes in a matter of hours.

Police have confirmed a motorcycle rider has been killed on Durkins Rd at Quoiba in the North-West.

It is understood the bike and a trailer collided at 2.15pm.

As a result of the crash traffic remained banked up on Stony Rise Rd and motorists are asked to avoid the area for at least a couple of hours.

The crash brings the state's road toll to nine compared to six for the same period last year.

Elsewhere in the state a log truck caused significant delays this morning when it rolled over on the Arthur Highway at Forcett, just outside of Sorell in the south.

Police said no one was injured in the accident but traffic flow was reduced to just half a lane while the site was cleared.

Officers were at the scene to direct traffic, with motorists advised to avoid the area if possible.

Hazardous road conditions after heavy overnight rain caused havoc on the roads this morning.

Officers attended at least seven crashes, starting just before 7am today.

The most serious was at Broadmarsh, near Brighton, where a car rolled over on Black Brush Rd about 6.55am.

An ambulance was called but it is believed the female driver escaped without serious injury.

Police said other minor crashes occurred at Forcett, Cygnet and Glenorchy.

Officers also attended a four-car pile-up on the East Derwent Highway, at Otago Bay, later in the morning. No one was seriously injured.

"Motorists are reminded to drive according to the road conditions, allow sufficient time to safely reach their destination and to maintain a safe distance between other vehicles," a police spokeswoman said.


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Waco fertiliser plant explodes

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 18 April 2013 | 19.55

Dozens of people are feared dead and hundreds are injured after a fertiliser factory near Waco, Texas, exploded.

MEDICS fear up to 70 people are dead and many more injured after an explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas that levelled buildings and forced an entire town to be evacuated.

The grim death toll was given by a senior doctor at West hospital following the blast, and reported by local station KHTX, but has yet to be confirmed by other officials.

While West's Emergency Medical Services Director Dr George Smith was cited as saying as many as 60 or 70 people died, doctors at Hillcrest Medical Centre in Waco said none of the 66 injured taken there had died.

Babies and the elderly are among those injured in the blast, with homes within a four-block radius of the fertiliser plant flattened and several more on fire.

The massive explosion happened about 10.50am (AEST) at West Fertilizer, in the town of West, 30km north of Waco.

The town of 2800 residents has been ordered to evacuate as toxic smoke from the explosion spreads.

Several people are believed to be trapped under collapsed buildings including residents at the Rest Haven nursing home.

Follow live updates at news.com.au.

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Car gets startled reception

A bystander looks shocked at the damage to Opteon in Castray Esplanade. Picture: LEIGH WINBURN

WORKERS at a Hobart office are recovering from the shock of seeing a Toyota Camry reversing into their reception area.

The vehicle's driver, who had been working on a building site nearby, is believed to have suffered a medical condition while moving his vehicle on Castray Esplanade, near Salamanca Place, about 12.30pm today.

Witnesses say the sedan suddenly reversed at high speed, smashing through Opteon Property Group's glass frontage and stopping just centimetres from the reception desk.

Opteon director Charles Brothers said it was a big relief none of the 30 staff members had been injured.

"Luckily our receptionist was out on her lunch break at the time," he said.

"It sounded like a bomb going off.

"It's just a good thing no one was in the boardroom or reception."

The driver was taken to hospital for treatment as his builder colleagues quickly went to the business's aid.

They removed the broken glass and twisted metal and boarded up the frontage so staff could get back to work.


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Near-misses on Targa day two

SLIPPERY conditions have caused several near-misses on day two of Targa Tasmania.

At least four cars crashed out of the 200-strong field as the tarmac rally wound its way through eight stages in the state's North-East. All crews escaped without injury.

Two cars rolled over, including Peter Avery's Mitsubishi Evo 8.

Avery lost control on the Elephants Pass stage, rolling off the road and into the bush.

The car came to rest upright, with the driver and his navigator, Trent Avery, emerging with barely a scratch.

The Targa recovery crew had to use a chainsaw to free the badly damaged vehicle.

Today's racing, which began in Rossarden, was due to wind up with the traditional Longford street stage this afternoon.

The accident-prone day follows an event opening marred by tragedy.

Newcastle driver John Mansell, 71, died yesterday when the Porsche Cayman he was driving hit a tree near Deloraine.

Tristan Catford, Mr Mansell's 26-year-old navigator, was seriously injured in the crash.

Read the full coverage in tomorrow's Mercury


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Fed cash to keep Abt on track

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 17 April 2013 | 19.55

The short-term future of the Abt Railway has been secured with the state and federal governments signing a funding deal.

THE Federal Government has put up the $6 million needed to upgrade infrastructure to keep the West Coast Wilderness Railway on track.

Now West Coast locals want the State Government to guarantee the money will not go towards other projects.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, Braddon MP Sid Sidebottom and Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne today formally endorsed an agreement which will make Commonwealth funds available to bring the line back to a safe standard while the railway is closed over winter.

The State Government has also promised to put up $4 million over four years.

But West Coast Mayor Darryl Gerrity said the region had been dudded in the past and he wanted the federal funds put in some kind of trust.

"The money needs to be secured so the State Government cannot launder it as they have down over many years," Cr Gerrity said.

About $7 million of Commonwealth funds for the Mt Lyell Remediation Project which was to clean up historic mine pollution was diverted to the Fox Taskforce and $4.5 million in Federal funds earmarked to upgrade the rail line at Melba Flats was given to fund an upgrade of the Midland Highway instead.

Mr O'Byrne said the West Coast could count on the Commonwealth money and the $1m-1.5m a year for four years the state had committed.

The railway -- originally called the Abt -- was built in the 1890s to transport copper from the mines near Queenstown to market.

Since reopening in 2002 as a tourist venture, it has carried more than 400,000 passengers, created 33 direct jobs and injected about $410 million into the West Coast's economy each year.

Mr O'Byrne said the State Government was committed to see the railway back up and running by next summer's tourist season.

He said the Government had been very encouraged by the informal interest shown by potential private sector operators in running the railway.

The last operator, the Federal Group, opted out of 20-year contract with the State Government earlier this year.

The move sparked outrage in the West Coast community, which views the railway as its prime tourism asset.

The Commonwealth first committed funds to enable the track to be upgraded in February.

"Today's signing guarantees the upgrades needed to give the operation a safe and sustainable rail line for years to come," Mr Albanese said during a visit to Tasmania today.

Mr O'Byrne said his department was doing the hard yards behind the scenes to provide a strong and secure future for the railway, its workers and West Coast tourism.


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Mum's a legend, says Laura

RAISING four children, looking after a sick husband and travelling around the Midlands caring for others as a child health nurse ... it's all in a day's work for Tasmanian Mother of the Year Michele King.

The Campbell Town mother-of-four was nominated for the Barnardos Australia award by her teenage daughter Laura King-Grey.

Laura, a boarder at Newstead College in Launceston, said it was not until she left home this year to attend Year 11 in the city that she realised how much she depended on her mother.

"My mother is a legend," she said. "She has raised a large family in very difficult circumstances, with a sick husband."

Laura said her father was dealing with a neurological disorder and her younger brother Alexander was born with a heart condition and was not expected to survive infancy but, after multiple surgical operations and with the love and support of his family, had grown up to be a thriving Year 7 student.

Her mother had coped with all that as well as travelling far and wide caring for other mums and children as a child health nurse.

Ms King said her nomination was a total surprise.

"I feel quite humbled," she said. "Generally the work of mothers is not acknowledged. It was very nice of Laura to nominate me. I'm very fortunate to have fabulous teenagers."

The other nominee at today's ceremony, Annette Bennett, had her name put forward by 11-year-old daughter Selamawit, who was adopted from Ethiopia at the age of three.

In a tearful tribute, Selamawit said her mother had "saved my life" and given her the opportunity to love life and the courage to live her dreams.

"Family is not whose blood you carry but who you love and who loves you," she said.

Both mothers were presented with flowers and prizes by Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas at the ceremony at MONA.

Ms King and Laura head to Sydney next month, where the Australian Mother of the Year is to be announced on May 10 -- just before Mother's Day.


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Chopper exercise over Hobart

The Westpac Police Rescue helicopter in action.

HOBART residents should not be alarmed by helicopters flying overhead tonight, police say, with a training exercise planned between 8pm and 10pm.

A similar exercise last year caused significant concern in the community, with low-flying helicopters angering some Hobart residents.

A police spokeswoman said this time around disruption to the general public was intended to be minimal and there should be no cause for alarm.


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Thieves steal guns from shop

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 16 April 2013 | 19.55

THREE rifles have been stolen from a Launceston gun shop in an early morning heist.

Police found one of the rifles outside the shop but are still on the hunt for a Howa 223 with Olivon Scope and a Remington 257 with a Leopold VX3 scope.

The thieves are believed to have entered the store on Invermay Rd, Invermay, through the roof at 5am. Witnesses said the men were already armed when they entered.

Sergeant Dean McMahon said a forensic examination was conducted and detectives from crime and drug investigations were seeking information from the public.

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or has any information regarding the incident is asked to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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DPP still recovering from crash

DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis, SC, will not return to work for several months until a police investigation into a fatal road crash is finalised, says Attorney-General Brian Wightman.

Mr Ellis was seriously injured in a road accident on the Midland Highway near Oatlands on March 24 in which a Launceston woman was killed.

He was released from hospital last week.

Mr Wightman said Victorian Coroner Judge Ian Gray had been appointed to conduct the inquest into the death of 27-year-old Natalia Pearn in the crash.

"I have recommended the Governor make this appointment on the advice of the Chief Coroner of Tasmania," Mr Wightman said in a statement.

He said Mr Ellis would not be back at work until he had recovered from his injuries and the police investigation was complete.

"The Director of Public Prosecutions ... has advised that he will not be fit to return to work for several months due to injuries sustained in a recent motor vehicle accident.

"I am advised that while he is hopeful that the police investigation into this accident will be completed within that time, he has indicated that it is his intention not to return to his office until such time as the investigation has been finalised and the outcome is known."

A police spokeswoman said investigations into the crash were continuing.


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Meat pie off menu, says Rudd

Former PM Kevin Rudd had plenty of advice for Tasmanian tourism chiefs today on the burgeoning Chinese market. Picture: LEIGH WINBURN

LEARN Chinese and take the meat pies off the menu -- that's the message from Sinophile Labor MP Kevin Rudd to Tasmania's tourism chiefs.

Addressing the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania meeting in Hobart today, Mr Rudd gave his perspective on ways the industry might cash in as the burgeoning Chinese middle class catches the travel bug.

Mr Rudd said he had never worked in the tourism industry and his advice was in the form of friendly observations to boost the industry in Tasmania.

Unspoiled nature, seafood and high-standard accommodation were key strengths Tasmania must use to its advantage he said.

"Tasmania is potentially a very good and great brand in China," he said.

"When they think of a place like this, what are its three essential assets? It's clean, it's green and it's blue -- there's a blue ocean out there and the skies are also blue.

"If you're living in downtown Beijing, you might have seen the news in the last 12 months that it hasn't been the cleanest of environmental experiences.

"In fact, that can be said of most if not all of China's major cities.

"Therefore the intrinsic appeal of being able to get out and experience a clean environment with decent first-class accommodation and being able to experience something of the natural environment is frankly up there at the top of the pops."

But some of the attractions that appealed to domestic tourists would not be a Chinese tourist's cup of tea.

"I wouldn't seek to advertise Tasmania's colonial architectural heritage. People like us would enjoy that (but) I don't think the Chinese would give a bugger about it to be honest," the former prime minister said.

"If you think mum's home-baked meat pie is the way through, think again. It does not translate, it does not compute."

He said lashings of Tasmania's famous seafood, access to fast broadband and improving language skills among hospitality workers were further keys to success in the Chinese market.

david.killick@news.com.au


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Rathjen warns of Gonski pain

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 15 April 2013 | 19.55

UNIVERSITY funding cuts to pay for Gonski reforms will hurt Tasmania more than other states, says University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Peter Rathjen.

Professor Rathjen said the move, combined with budget cuts late last year, added up to more than $10 million in lost funding for the uni.

That would equate to more than 100 jobs, although the university would try to retain staff.

"We have to represent all of the state, so if we cut something then it's no longer on this island," Prof Rathjen said today.

"I've had a very sad and sorry meeting with senior executives … about what are our high priorities and what are our lesser priorities."

Prof Rathjen said it did not bode well for staff members who were in pay negotiations.

The Federal Government plans to cut more than $2 billion from Australian universities to contribute to the $14.5 billion needed to implement school improvement plans based on recommendations in a review chaired by businessman David Gonski.

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne today said the school funding reforms should be passed through parliament before the September election.

The overhaul would otherwise be dumped an Abbott-led government.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces a tough legislative timeframe to get her Gonski funding changes through parliament, with only five sitting weeks left before the September 14 poll and more than 200 bills waiting determination.

Senator Milne, a former high school teacher, said the Greens would do "whatever it takes" to get the reforms through parliament, either by sitting later or through extra sitting weeks.

"Because I'm not prepared to have the school children of Australia held to ransom by an at-risk proposition," she told reporters in Hobart.

She warned against taking the school funding changes to the September 14 poll.

"If the Prime Minister said, 'Well if you vote for one side of politics, you'll get Gonski. If you vote for the other, you won't'."

The Tasmanian senator noted the opinion polls were showing the country was moving to the conservatives.

"That is a prescription for saying that school children around Australia are going to miss out for another generation."

-- with AAP


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Who's carrying the can?

A young Audrey Williams with her bike and her trusty Bucky can. Picture: LIFE MAGAZINE

HAVE you seen this bucket?

Otherwise known as a "Buckby can", these brightly painted pails were used as water buckets, wash basins and for a variety of other uses on board British canal boats.

Now the hunt is on to find the Buckby can once owned by Hobart resident Audrey Williams.

Mrs Williams used to be a river boat steerer during World War II, ferrying supplies to and from British factories at a time when most able-bodied men were away fighting.

She now lives in Hobart but prior to moving in to the Vaucluse Gardens retirement village in 2000 she held a garage sale and one of the items sold was her Buckby can.

The 91-year-old is the subject of an upcoming book by British writer Tim Coghlan and he hopes to find and buy the can so it can be placed in a museum.

The can and dipper (similar to a ladle) were sold at a garage sale in Lachlan Drive, Mt Nelson, in 2000 to an unknown woman.



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Plastic bags to get the boot

Legislation will be tabled in State Parliament today to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags by November this year.

THE State Government is forging ahead with plans to ban non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags in Tasmania.

Legislation will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow morning in a bid to have a ban in place by November this year.

Environment Minister Brian Wightman today said the timing was right for a ban on the non-biodegradable bags mostly commonly used in supermarkets.

"We need a ban that keeps our communities and waterways clean, and our wildlife protected," he said.

"We've worked very closely with environmental campaigners, and with businesses, to develop a ban that's effective, fair on business, and safe for consumers.

Tasmanian shoppers will still be able to use biodegradable plastic bags, heavier "boutique-style" plastic bags that can be re-used, and re-usable "green" bags.

The Tasmanian Greens, who first called for the ban in 2010 with tripartisan support, have welcomed the legislation.

Information on the proposed ban can be found at www.plasticbags.tas.gov.au


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The point of no U-Turn

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 14 April 2013 | 19.55

MISSION Australia is pursuing several avenues in its quest to keep the U-Turn youth justice diversion program alive.

The program, with an annual budget of $860,000, has been a victim of Tasmania Police budget cuts.

The next round of the 10-week course will be the last, unless alternative funds are found.

U-Turn is a diversionary program for young people who have been involved in, or are at risk of becoming involved in, motor vehicle theft. Participants learn such skills as mechanical works, spray-painting and panel beating.

Cars restored by U-Turn participants are donated to victims of crime.

For the past 10 years it has been provided by Mission Australia, under contract to Tasmania Police, and has put many troubled young people on the path to a better life.

Since the funding cut was announced, Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy has been meeting with State Government ministers in an effort to source funds.

However, he has been unable to obtain any funding commitments.

"The feedback is they don't want it to close, but nobody is writing out a cheque," he said.

"What I've been saying is, it's a whole-of-government issue. There's just nowhere else for these young people.

"We're starting to look at alternatives because we have national corporate partners."

Mr Mundy said cutting the funding for U-Turn was false economy because the program diverted young people from crime, reducing significant costs to the community

"It's quite an expensive program, but it's much better than Ashley (Youth Detention Centre). It's $130 per day to do U-Turn, and $900 (per day) to be at Ashley," he said.

"I wouldn't be fighting for this funding if it wasn't a great program."

U-Turn runs four courses a year with about 12 participants in each course, catering for about 80 students per year.

There have been 267 young graduates from the course over 10 years and 48 vehicles have been donated to victims of crime.

Graduates also receive ongoing support from U-Turn after their course has finished, to help keep them on track.

"Just attending doesn't get you to graduation. We want these young people to go back into education, work experience or paid employment," Mr Mundy said.

Aaron trades up to a life

A ONCE troubled young Hobart man who is following his dreams says the end of U-Turn would close the last door of hope for many young Tasmanians.

Before he joined U-Turn, Aaron (not his real name) was on what he describes as a path to self destruction.

He had a string of criminal offences on his record, including breaking and entering, car theft and reckless driving.

"I was quite an angry kid, but one half was about image, fitting in with the group and not wanting to look soft," he said.

"No one had the time for a scummy little bogan who steals stuff and smokes drugs.

"U-Turn was different because they didn't look at me like that, they just saw a kid who was having a hard time."

Aaron, 24, said not only did U-Turn provide him with practical skills, but with confidence and a desire to get a job.

Aaron graduated from U-Turn in 2006 and landed an apprenticeship soon after.

Now a qualified tradesman, Aaron spends lunch breaks and days off back at U-Turn mentoring participants.

blair.richards@news.com.au


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Rev up for life in fast lane

Jason and John White will be aiming to defend their Targa Tasmania crown this year.

IT is one of motorsport's great challenges.

Each year professionals, weekend racers and car enthusiasts come from far and wide to test themselves and their machines on Tasmania's roads, and they leave saying Targa Tasmania, the state's beauty and our road system are a remarkable combination.

Held every year since 1992, Targa Tasmania took up where the European tours of yesteryear left off Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, Coup des Alpes and Tour de Course.

Targa Tasmania is now the world's premier touring tarmac rally, and this year about 210 cars, each with a driver and navigator, will tackle the 42 stages from one end of the state to the other.

This year's event is the 22nd instalment of the five-day, 600km rally that starts in Launceston on Wednesday and finishes in Hobart on Sunday.

The field will gather at Symmons Plains tomorrow for final scrutineering, then converge on George Town on Tuesday for the traditional Prologue, a 5km blast through the streets to seed the field from slowest to fastest.

After the Prologue, the first-day action on Wednesday will be in the North, with stages at Sheffield, Mt Roland, Nook, Paloona, Moriarty and Merseylea.

Day two takes the field to the East Coast and North-East, starting at Rossarden and heading through stages at Elephant Pass, Pyengana, Weldborough Pass, Moorina, Legerwood and The Sideling, before finishing with the traditional Longford street stage.

The field on day three heads for Strahan on the West Coast via stages at Mole Creek, Cethana, a new stage south of Penguin named Isandula, Castra, Oldina, Hellyer Gorge, Plimsoll and Rinadeena.

The day four course is a loop that includes Burnie and the testing Reece Dam, Pieman and Murchison (Hellyer Gorge in reverse), Mt Black and Rosebery stages.

Day five is the charge from Queenstown to Hobart, and includes the Mt Arrowsmith stage, winding Tarraleah stage, with a lunch-stop at Bothwell where the public can view the cars, before stages at Woodsdale and Grasstree Hill, and the gala finish at Wrest Point Casino from 3pm.

Where to see Targa

ROAD closures for Targa Tasmania (first car expected one hour after road closure time)

PROLOGUE

Tuesday: Kayena 10.29am; Prologue 11am.

LEG ONE

Wednesday: Deloraine 7.40; High Plains 8.02; Sheffield 8.51; Nook 9.13; Moriarty 9.34; Merseylea 9.52; Railton lunch; Paloona 11.04; Mt Roland 11.42.

LEG TWO

Thursday: Rossarden 7.18; Elephant Pass 8.17; St Helens lunch; Pyengana 10.19; Weldborough 10.30; Moorina 10.45; Ledgerwood 11.16; The Sideling 11.58; Longford 1.06pm.

LEG THREE

Friday: Mole Creek 7.30am; Cethana 7.57; Castra 8.32; Ulverstone lunch; Isandula 10.01; Oldina 11.01; Hellyer Gorge 11.26; Plimsoll 12.24pm; Rinnadeena 1.06.

LEG FOUR

Saturday: Reece Dam 7.40am; Pieman 8.10; Murchison 8.55; Burnie lunch; Natone 10.35; Gunns Plains 11.27; Riana 12.11pm; Mt Black 12.46; Rosebery 1.13.

LEG FIVE

Sunday: Strahan 6.43am; Queenstown 7.17; Mt Arrowsmith 7.39; Tarraleah 8.54; Bothwell lunch; Woodsdale noon; Grasstree Hill 12.59pm.


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Rail property price boost

A LIGHT rail link for Hobart's northern suburbs could increase local property values between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, research suggests.

Research led by Curtin University's James McIntosh analyses the effect of passenger rail on other cities, using Perth and Melbourne as case studies.

A survey of academic work on property values in rail catchment areas indicates that proximity to rail services generally increases property values across residential and commercial sales.

It also increases leases between 5 and 25 per cent.

Hobart-based Mr McIntosh found the case study of Perth provided compelling evidence of the well-established link between rail access and increased land value.

A link between Hobart and Glenorchy using the existing railway line has support from all sides of politics, however, funding for the $100 million project has not been committed.

Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Adrian Kelly said the northern suburbs were one of Hobart's biggest growth areas.

Mr Kelly said public transport was a big consideration for the increasing number of city professionals buying homes in the northern suburbs.

"I have no doubt that light rail would improve property values. It certainly would make those suburbs more attractive for people to buy in, it would make them far more desirable places to live," Mr Kelly said.

While Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim is advocating a Hobart-Glenorchy link, a light rail lobby group wants it to go all the way to Brighton.

A report on Hobart's urban growth corridor through the northern suburbs by Hobart architects Paul Johnston and Wesley Hindmarch also predicts the benefits that come with light rail.

The researchers from transFORM urban design say the light rail project would increase the number of potential sites for affordable housing development and create a string of high-value communities and economic activity along the length of the rail corridor.

Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group president Ben Johnston said the new research added to the mounting body of expert opinion in support of light rail.

Independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie said the research showing the potential benefits of light rail was exciting and further strengthened the case for light rail link to be funded.

"Around the world vibrant commercial and urban hubs have sprung up in rail catchment areas with all the jobs and economic opportunities that increased commercial and social activity brings," Mr Wilkie said.

"Hobart could experience real urban renewal as a result of the light rail project."


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