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Health hinders sex fiend

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

A NOTORIOUS sex fiend seeking release from an indefinite jail term was not physically capable of committing similar crimes if released, his lawyer says.

Ian Robert Smith, 42, was in the Supreme Court before Justice Shan Tennent to argue against the dangerous criminal declaration that has kept him in Risdon since 1995.

Yesterday Smith's lawyer, Greg Barns, claimed that although his client was keen to begin a sex-offenders treatment program in prison, a chronic heart condition prevented him from completing the 100m journey to the jail's treatment centre on foot.

Mr Barns also said that his client's bad health meant that he was a physically diminished version of the person jailed nearly 18 years ago, and therefore less able to commit similar crimes of violence upon release.

Opposing the application, Crown Prosecutor Patrick Dixon detailed Smith's shocking history of sex offences dating back to the 1980s, which resulted in three terms of imprisonment.

In 1995 Smith was found guilty of two counts of rape and one of aggravated sexual assault on a 24-year-old woman.

In prison he has committed offences against female staff members.

"The applicant's victims have included women, adolescents and children," Mr Dixon said.

"[He] has failed to convince the court the dangerous criminal declaration is no longer warranted and his application should be dismissed."

Justice Tennent reserved her decision.


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New wave of Daves

SAVED: Dave Noonan shows off his namesake and new arrival David Xander Moore - the son of Mel and Matt Moore, who were swayed for the name of their newborn by the "Save Dave" campaign. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

DAVID Xander Moore was born into this world making another Dave very happy.

So concerned was Heart 107.3 radio announcer Dave Noonan that the name Dave is disappearing, he started a campaign on the Kim and Dave Show called "Save Dave."

"Can you imagine a world where not one Dave turns up to a barbecue?" Dave said.

Heart 107.3 searched Hobart for a pregnant woman willing to name her baby boy Dave.

Melissa Moore gave birth to an 8lb (3.6kg) boy at 4.33am yesterday.

And Melissa and husband Matt named their second son Dave.

A friend rang the radio station and suggested a newly renovated kitchen might be a good reward for the Moores.

A builder offered his services, followed by a tiling company and then by 10am Crescon Joinery offered to build the kitchen.

With the deal signed, sealed and delivered, Melissa announced live on the Kim and Dave Show the name of her baby boy David Xander Moore.

A very tired Melissa was over the moon last night about her new son named Dave and her new kitchen

"We've sort of nicknaming him Davey trying to 'cuten' David up a bit," she said.

jennifer.crawley@news.com.au


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120km/h gales roar in

TASMANIA Police reported no damage from the strong wind that buffeted the south of the state yesterday.

The Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather warning and advice to residents to secure loose items around the home was downgraded at 4pm.

Senior forecaster Glen Perrin said there were "some pretty interesting gusts" during the day.

Mt Wellington had the strongest of 120km/h at 11.15am followed by Spring Bay with 111km/h at 12.53pm, Tasman Island 100km/h at 10.06am and Tunnack 96km/h at 12.45pm.

The highest amount of rainfall before 9am was 71mm at Liawenee followed by 41mm at Blessington and Western Creek.

The northeast continues to receive steady amounts of rain.

And a minor flood warning for the Meander was downgraded at 4pm.

Heavy showers are predicted for Hobart tomorrow, with a high of only 11 degrees and alpine snow developing.


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Brothers on murder charges

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

TWO brothers have had their assault charges upgraded to murder after their alleged victim died yesterday.

Tasmania Police officially charged brothers Mitchell Clay Dowling, 42, and Jay David Blazeley, 38, with murder this morning.

The upgraded charges follow the death of a 28-year-old man Tony Brown in the Royal Hobart Hospital yesterday.

The brothers were initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of assault.

The charges arose after a fight at the Mowbray Hotel on Wednesday night.

They will appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court at 2.15pm today.

Police allege the men kicked and hit Mr Brown and Derryn Thomas, 50. Mr Thomas, of Devonport, is in a stable condition.


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Man ignores 98-yr driving ban

A MAN disqualified from driving for 98 years has been caught drink-driving in western NSW.

The 62-year-old was pulled over for a random breath test in Clarinda St, Parkes, on Thursday night, police said.

A roadside test returned a positive result and the man was taken to Parkes Police Station where he allegedly blew 0.126, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Police charged the man with one count of drink-driving and another count of driving whilst disqualified.

He was refused bail and will face Parkes Local Court on Friday.

Police allege the man was disqualified from driving in 1983 and is not due to regain his licence until 2081.


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Concerns at bike, kart hoons

BURNIE police are being flooded with calls about trail bikes, mini bikes, four-wheel motorcycles, pocket rockets and go-karts hooning in residential and rural areas.

Tasmania Police said the unlawful use of off-road vehicles was a serious issue and offenders would be charged.

Police have reminded parents that they could be fined if they let minors use a vehicle unlawfully in public places or on public streets.

"Parents are also reminded that areas where off-road vehicles can be used lawfully are very restrictive -- even semi-rural areas attract complaints due to the noise and proximity of dwellings to boundaries," police said.

"Police are not trying to spoil fun for people, however when complaints are received, we are obliged to act."

People with information about the unlawful use of off-road vehicles should contact police on 131 444 or contact Burnie Police directly.


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Two charged after pub fight

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

A 28-YEAR-OLD Launceston man has undergone emergency surgery after sustaining critical head injuries in a fight at a northern Hotel last night.

Police say the fight broke out at the Mowbray Hotel at 8pm.

A 50-year-old man was also taken to hospital with head injuries but remains in the Launceston General Hospital in a stable condition.

The younger man was transferred to the Royal Hobart Hospital last night and his condition is listed as critical.

Two Ravenswood brothers, aged 38 and 42, have been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and assault and were remanded in custody overnight to appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court at 11.30am today.


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Cowan dropped, Bird misses

Ed Cowan watches as he is caught out by England's Jonathan Trott, right, during his second innings of the First Test. Picture: AFP

ED Cowan's Test career may be over after he was dropped for the second Test at Lord's beginning later today.

He has been replaced by fellow left hander Usman Khawaja, who has spent most of his first class and stop-start Test career at number three.

And the bowling attack has been freshened up, with Ryan Harris returning to replace Mitchell Starc.

It appears the selectors may have been spooked by the last Australian left armer to bowl at Lord's, Mitchell Johnson four years ago.

Johnson conceded 11 fours in his first eight overs as England raced to 0-126 at Lunch, setting up England's first win at Lord's against Australia since 1934.

Harris's control and his ability to bowl outswing at good pace has won him a place ahead of Jackson Bird in a tight call.

Cowan, 31, was always in trouble after a poor performance in the first Test at Trent Bridge, which Australia lost by just 14 runs.

Shuffled down to number three after Shane Watson and Chris Rogers were partnered at the top of the order, Cowan managed a first ball duck and 14, playing two loose drives to be dismissed.

Khawaja, 26, has played just six Tests, the last of them more than 18 months ago. He was dropped after Australia lost to New Zealand in Hobart, the first loss to New Zealand on home soil for 26 years.

A wonderfully talented left hander who was born in Pakistan but moved to Australia at the age of three, Khawaja has been criticised in the past for failing to rotate the strike.

In his last Test he took 51 balls scoring just seven and 48 balls scoring 23.

During 18 Tests Cowan's only century was a fine 136 against South Africa in Brisbane at the start of last summer.

However in his 10 Tests since Cowan has managed just three half centuries and his career average has fallen from 38 to 31.

It is still better than Khawaja's 29 from six Tests but he has never been given a decent run at Test cricket, playing mostly as an injury replacement.

There was a feeling the selectors may have waited until David Warner returned from the Australia A tour for the third Test before make a change, slotting him in at number six and pushing Phil Hughes to three.

Having selected Khawaja it is highly likely he will be given more than one Test to prove himself as Australia's next number three, making it even harder for Warner to return to the side following his four-week suspension for punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham bar last month.

Harris, 33, has not played Test cricket for more than a year. His last match was in the West Indies before he was sidelined by a shoulder injury which threatened his career.

He returned for the end of the Sheffield Shield season and performed strongly, earning a place in the Ashes squad ahead of Mitchell Johnson, who had toured India.

Harris has an outstanding record but a career marred by injuries has restricted him to just 12 Tests. He has 47 wickets at an average of under 24.

Second Test team: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin, Ashton Agar, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris.


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Finding criticises nursing home

AN aged care nursing home made a serious misjudgement when it allowed a graduate nurse to be in charge of 36 high-needs patients in 2010, a coroner has found.

Coroner Rod Chandler made the comments in his finding that the nurse Julie Lord had not contributed to the death of a 67-year-old patient Stanley Whiley despite administering a dose of morphine 10 times what she intended.

A coronial inquest heard that Ms Lord was on her first shift at the Tamar Park nursing home at Legana.

"(Facility manager) Sandra Renshaw made a serious misjudgement in appointing Ms Lord as the sole nurse on duty for the afternoon shift of 6 March," he said.

"It was a decision which unfairly exposed Ms Lord and the residents to very real risk."

Mr Chandler said that Mr Whiley was critically ill with heart disease and had suffered two strokes when he received a dose of 25mg instead of the prescribed 2.5mg of morphine.

"I cannot be satisfied to the requisite degree that the morphine administered by Ms Lord on March 6 was a factor which caused or contributed to Mr Whiley's death," he said.


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Rolled truck blocks traffic

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

The rolled truck on the Bass Highway at Somerset.

A TRUCK has rolled on the Bass Highway near Somerset, blocking the east-bound lane.

The driver has been taken to hospital. There are no details on injuries.

Police are diverting traffic around the scene.


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Antarctic marine parks blocked

TWO Antarctic marine park proposals have been blocked by what supporters described as an ambush by Russia and Ukraine.

An agreement on an East Antarctica Marine Protected Area proposal had been the great hope at last year's Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting, in Hobart, which involved more than 30 countries.

When consensus could not be reached in Hobart, a special meeting was called in Bremerhaven, Germany, this week to consider the proposal, developed by Australia, France and the European Union, and a completing proposal backed by New Zealand and United States.

"Issues were raised regarding the legal mandate of CCAMLR to adopt the Marine Protected Areas," Australian Antarctic Division director Tony Fleming said.

"This issue blocked substantive discussion on the proposals. Australia and most CCAMLR nations are of the view that CCAMLR does have a mandate. Nonetheless consensus could not be reached on either plan."

Dr Fleming said he believed some progress had been made this week.

"Between now and the next CCAMLR meeting we will continue to work hard with all CCAMLR nations to progress the East Antarctic proposal," he said.

"Australia remains optimistic."

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio added a touch of star power to last year's Hobart negotiations by urging delegates to approve a sweeping sanctuary to protect thousands of polar species.

"The future of the Southern Ocean is in our hands," DiCaprio wrote in an email to supporters of activist group Avaaz.

"The whales and penguins can't speak for themselves, so it's up to us to defend them. Let's change negotiators' minds with a massive wave of public pressure."


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Dairy farmers' budget boost

THE softening Australian dollar and increasing international commodity prices are helping Tasmanian dairy farmers.

Fonterra Australia has announced a step-up for in the price it pays farmers for this season, which started on July 1.

The increase comes on top of farmer-owned dairy company Murray Goulburn Co-operative's latest step-up, which brought its final weighted-average price for last season to $4.97/kg milk solids.

DairyTas executive officer Mark Smith said overall it is a positive thing.

"Coming from three to four months ago it exceeds expectations going into the season," Mr Smith said.

"It will help farmers consolidate after a difficult season."

However, individual farmer milk prices vary around the average price, depending on the individual farm's milk profile, pricing options, regional production factors, milk quality, and farm management systems.

"It depends on their seasonality of supply, but farmers still have to budget for the season."

Fonterra Australia's managing director Judith Swales said the step-up was made possible with the dollar continuing to soften and global dairy commodity prices having stabilised.

"Our outlook for the season is strong and we hope this step-up allows suppliers to plan for, and invest in, their farm business with the same level of confidence," Ms Swales said.

Fonterra Australia's forecast, average full-year milk price for this season remains about $6/kg of milk solids.

Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou said its price step-up injects a further $15 million into dairy farm cash flows.


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Abbott scoffs at tax change

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

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's changes to the carbon tax were merely a name change.

"What Mr Rudd has announced today is not the abolition of the carbon tax -- all he's done is simply brought forward Julia Gillard's carbon tax changes by twelve months," he said.

"He's not the terminator he's the exaggerator.

"He's not the terminator, he's the fabricator."

Mr Abbott, on a visit to Launceston, said Mr Rudd had given Australians only one year of modest relief.

"He's turned a $64 billion tax into a $58 billion tax," he said.

Mr Abbott said the changes were essentially a concession that the Coalition's criticisms had been right all along.

"He admits the carbon tax is hurting families' cost of living, costing jobs, admits the carbon tax is damaging the economy but he hasn't actually got rid of it," he said.

Labor says the move will save families $380 to $420 a year.

Savings to households will be those which would have occurred anyway under the scheme of Julia Gillard, but a year earlier.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised a reward for households of around $380 a year from lower power costs and said Treasury modelling had produced the following savings calculations:

• Around $210 for a non-working single parent with two children aged three and eight receiving Parenting Payment Single;

• Around $380 for a single income couple with two children aged three and eight where the breadwinner earns around $75,000;

• Around $420 for a dual income couple with two children aged three and eight, on a family income of around $100,000 a year (split 75:25 between the parents);

• $140 for a maximum rate single Age Pensioner with no other income;

• $180 for a maximum rate Age Pensioner couple with no other income.

Mr Abbott also made an election promise of $1.25 million for an upgrade the Invermay Park football ground.


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Gunns' former HQ torn down

Demolition crews work on dismantling the former Gunns headquarters building. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

CONCERNS have been raised over the demolition of the former corporate headquarters of Gunns Limited in Launceston.

Melbourne firm City Circle Demolition is pulling down the offices on behalf of Bunnings which is planning the construction of a $14 million hardware warehouse.

Sources say the offices, which were built for about $4 million, contain parquetry floors and other special timbers which are being disposed of.

Windows cannot be salvaged and roofing iron is also being disposed of.

Timber doors had been salvaged, sources said.

Wesfarmers shareholder Scott Bell said he had been told that no salvage could occur for occupational health and safety reasons.

Mr Bell said he had communicated with Bunnings parent company Wesfarmers about the perceived waste.

"I am a Wesfarmer shareholder, and also have a trade account with Bunnings, so I feel that I have some legitimacy in requesting a response from Wesfarmers Ltd," he said.

Mr Bell also said he had other members of the community express their concern.

He said people were also concerned that an interstate company had been hired for the job.

"This is a deplorable situation, considering the state's economic woes, our unemployment rate of over 8 per cent and the amount of idle heavy equipment in the north of the state. There needs to be some accountability - I hope Wesfarmers can explain," Mr Bell said.

Wesfarmers has been contacted for comment.

nicholas.clark@news.com.au


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Holiday to follow big Lotto win

A LAUNCESTON pensioner is planning an interstate holiday after winning more than $500,000 in TattsLotto.

The Prospect man, who is $516,449.07 richer after his division one win in Saturday's draw, said he was not quite sure what to do with his new-found wealth.

"I've played TattsLotto for years but I didn't think I'd win so I never planned how I would spend so much money," the winner said.

"I'd like to go away on holiday in Australia but I'm not sure what else I'll do yet.

"I have lots of thinking to do now!"

Prospect Lotto manager Michael Di Guglielmo, who sold the man his winning ticket at the Olde Tudor Shopping Centre, had a few words of advice.

"If I could offer one piece of advice to this winner it would be to enjoy the prize money and make it last," he said.


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Crisis point in NBN roll out

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

CONTRACTORS and the company overseeing the roll out of the NBN in Tasmania will have a crisis meeting in Hobart today amid concerns contractors are set to walk off the job.

Tensions have been brewing in recent weeks with contractors unhappy about outstanding invoices and erratic work programs.

Rumney MLC Tony Mulder raised the alarm this morning after he was contacted by a number of concerned contractors.

The meeting, between Visionstream and contractors, has been confirmed by the Civil Contractors Federation Tasmania chief executive officer Tony Cook.

Mr Cook said the Federation is hopeful a positive meeting between NBN contractors and Visionstream will allow an amicable way forward that provides commercial certainty for or both parties and the continued roll out of the NBN.

Mr Mulder said he has been told a "walk-out" would bring the roll out of the NBN in Tasmania to an end.

"The core issue seems to be a massive underestimation by the NBN of the actual cost of connecting homes," Mr Mulder said.

"Industry sources claim that NBN accepted a tender at the cost of $1200 per home, just under half what other tenders had more realistically priced at twice that amount."

Visionstream has been contacted for comment.


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Missing kayakers found safe

TWO kayakers who failed to return after an outing on Rapid River yesterday have been found safe and well.

The pair were reported missing after failing to return from the trip at 4pm yesterday.

Search crews found the men about 10.30am today.

"The kayakers were well prepared and experienced. Having assessed the river conditions as too dangerous to continue their journey by kayak, they took to land and sought shelter for the night," said Inspector Kim Steven.

"Come daylight, when it was safe for them to continue their journey on foot, they walked the side of the river until they were met by police at about 10.30am this morning," he said.

It is understood the river, in the state's North-West, has peaked after torrential rain in the area yesterday.


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Heavy rain closes roads

ROADS have been closed after heavy rainfalls across Tasmania's Western Tiers and North-West Coast.

Police have closed the Old Coast Rd between Penguin and Ulverstone after it was partially inundated.

Bridal Track Rd between Railton and Sheffield and Pitts Lane at Bracknell, near the Meander River Bridge, are also closed.

Erriba received 100mm, more than half its normal monthly rainfall, in the 24 hours to 9am this morning. Yolla recorded 111mm, Mole Creek 87mm, and many other areas received more than 50mm, causing rivers and creeks to swell.

The Bureau of Meteorology expects the rain, which has since eased off, to return by tomorrow afternoon and to be more moderate.

The Mersey, Meander and North Esk have been among the most affected river catchments. The Bureau has issued a flood watch for all northern river basins and a minor flood warning for the Mersey.


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Police suspect arson

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

POLICE are treating a fire that destroyed a Gagebrook house in the early hours of yesterday morning as suspicious.

The unoccupied house in Laurence St was fully ablaze when the Tasmania Fire Service arrived at 4.20am.

Damage to the house is estimated to be in excess of $150,000.

The house has suffered fire damage on a previous occasion.


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Driver killed in rollover

A DRIVER has been killed after his car became airborne on the West Tamar Highway at Rosevears yesterday morning.

Police said the car was on its roof when emergency services arrived at the scene just before 8am.

The highway was closed between Rosevears Drive and Craythorn Rd for four hours.

The 36-year-old Scottsdale man's death brings Tasmania's road toll to 14, the same as for this time last year.


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Cold-blooded killer on run

CORDONED OFF: Tasmania Police forensics officers were on the scene at the Marrawah Tavern after yesterday's execution-style shooting of a local man, believed to have been aged in his 40s, with two children. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

A KILLER is on the loose and a peaceful Tasmanian hamlet in shock after a Circular Head father of two was shot at close range while leaving the Marrawah Tavern.

Police have appealed for public help in hunting down the gunman, who struck at closing time early yesterday morning in what authorities described as a targeted attack.

The murder has shocked the tight-knit, North-West coastal town -- population 400 -- better known for its lush dairy pastures, fresh air and world-class surf break.

Yesterday, the Marrawah Tavern remained closed, with the village cordoned off by police tape from daybreak and forensic officers establishing a forward command post outside the pub.

Roadblocks were set up at Boat Harbour and Corrina, with police searching all cars leaving the area.

In the afternoon, a body covered in a blue tarpaulin was carried out on a stretcher. The identity of the victim, aged in his 40s, is yet to be released, but he is understood to be a local worker and father, who had separated from his partner.

No arrests had been made last night.

Police would not reveal what type of firearm was used.

Residents the Sunday Tasmanian spoke to feared the cold-blooded killing was linked to a criminal turf war, after reports two bikie gangs had established bases in the far North-West recently.

Locals too afraid to give their names said drugs were the most likely catalyst for the execution-style hit.

Acting Police Commissioner Matthew Richman urged anyone with information about people acting suspiciously in the area to come forward, saying unusual vehicles sighted in the area or people hitch-hiking could lead to a breakthrough in the case.

Police said they had deployed significant resources to Marrawah and asked residents to remain alert, but not alarmed.

Circular Head mayor Daryl Quilliam said the violent incident would devastate the Marrawah community, and the whole region, for some time to come.

He said the deceased, who for several years had performed contract work for the council, was reliable and a hard worker.

"He always did a good job for us," Mr Quilliam said.

"Something like this affects the community badly. You hear of these things happening in other parts of Australia, but when it happens in your municipality it's terrible.

"This is a small community where everybody knows everybody and usually that is a damn good thing. But when something like this happens, it's devastating."

Mr Quilliam said community members would support each other through the tragedy, which was certain to have a long-term impact.

He described the Marrawah Tavern as an important part of community life in the region.

"People will eventually recover, but something like this will devastate us for some time," he said.

A spokeswoman for Police Minister David O'Byrne said the Government was confident police would catch the killer, and, after a string of armed robberies across the state, denied Tasmania was experiencing a gun violence epidemic.

"Tasmania maintains low crime rates and remains one of the safest states in Australia," the spokeswoman said.

"Police clearance rates remain extremely high, and the fact remains that if you commit these crimes in Tasmania you will get caught."

People with information about yesterday's shooting are asked to call police on 131 444 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

duncan.abey@news.com.au


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