July, 2018

Lambie defends Queensland crusade

TASMANIAN Senator Jacqui Lambie has defended her decision to travel to Townsville and campaign against the Queensland government.
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The independent senator travelled to Lavarack Barracks this week to again raise the issue of the government’s pay offer to defence force personnel.

During her speech, Senator Lambie urged Queenslanders to put Liberal National Party candidates last when they head to the polls tomorrow.

‘‘Your local LNP federal politicians may have let you down, but you can send a powerful signal to the LNP leaders, Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman this Saturday,’’ she said.

Tasmanian Liberal MHRs Andrew Nikolic and Eric Hutchinson both questioned the campaign.

‘‘At the end of the day it is Senator Lambie’s decision about where she spends her time and she will have to answer for that to the people of Tasmania,’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

‘‘But the question is whether going to Townsville to meet defence force personnel is more important for a well-paid, full-time Tasmanian senator than negotiating with the government about delivering good deals for her state.

‘‘Most Tasmanians would expect their politicians to be focused on all the things that are of concern to the Tasmanian community like jobs, the economy, fixing the budget and delivering good outcomes for this community.’’

Mr Nikolic commented via Twitter, ‘‘Why is Jacqui Lambie in Queensland involving herself in non-Tasmanian matters? How is this relevant to her taxpayer-funded duties?’’

But Senator Lambie defended her decision to visit Queensland, and to claim a travel expense, saying the defence pay issue affected around 10,000 Tasmanians.

‘‘If I’m successful it will also mean the veterans and ADF families nationwide and Diggers serving overseas will also be better off,’’ she said.

‘‘Every Liberal member of Parliament should have joined my protest outside of the Army barracks in Townsville – if they really cared for the national interest.’’

Jacqui Lambie

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Funding pulled

A LAUNCESTON service that helps families at risk of homelessness will close next month after Anglicare missed out on federal government funding.
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The organisation will also be forced to close a statewide service for families affected by alcohol and drugs, as well as a North-West mental health support service.

Other Tasmanian organisations including Mission Australia, UnitingCare and Colony 47 have missed out on new funds after the federal government cut grants programs due to ‘‘budget considerations’’.

Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy said the organisation had missed out on grants for a new child and family service for at-risk communities in Launceston, Smithton and Risdon Vale.

‘‘My understanding is most people got very, very little, if anything,’’ Mr Mundy said.

Colony 47 chief executive Therese Taylor said plans to expand to Northern Tasmania had been hindered after the organisation also missed out on funds.

Ms Taylor said the organisation had applied for nine grants and missed out on seven, with three of those aiming to support families and mental health in the North.

UnitingCare Tasmania chief executive Lindy O’Neill said the organisation had been informed by the department that it was a preferred provider for emergency relief, but the organisation hadn’t yet learned what funding would be offered.

Ms O’Neill said the organisation also applied for funding for services they hadn’t previously delivered, and was ‘‘understandably disappointed’’ that it was unsuccessful.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said it wasn’t yet clear if Anglicare’s defunded programs had been cut altogether or would be offered by another provider.

‘‘TasCoss at the moment is actually canvassing the community sector to try and get a handle on the depth and breadth of the defunding or the failure to fund a range of essential community programs,’’ Mr Reidy said.

‘‘It’s a period of enormous uncertainty.’’

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said the department received more than 5500 applications for grants worth more than $3.9 billion, with about $800 million in grants funding available when the grants round was announced.

‘‘Some 700 organisations will be funded to do this work in the community,’’ Mr Morrison said.

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Holiday camp for up-and-coming stars

Tornadoes player Lize Howe with participant Saskia Henderson, 8, of Launceston. Photo: Mark JesserLAUNCESTON’S SEABL basketball team hoped a few mini-Tornadoes swept through Elphin Sports Centre yesterday.
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More than 30 youngsters aged 6 to 12 attended a summer holiday fun and skills clinic, which the club hopes may help unearth future players.

Torns players Liz Howe, of Launceston, and Devonport’s Emma Russell gave the kids plenty of guidance and said the clinic helped boost the club’s profile.

“It’s all about community involvement and getting the kids to enjoy basketball in a fun way,” Howe said. “We’ve had a great response from kids, who all seem to be enjoying it and we’re looking forward to the season under new coach Reece Potter.”

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Russells Creek loses key player for finals

RUSSELLSCreek’s bid for Warrnambool and District Cricket Association success has suffered a major blow three rounds out from finals.
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Teenage tearaway Liam Brown will miss the rest of the home-and-away campaign due to school commitments with Melbourne Grammar.

Brown has taken 13 wickets at 24.77 for Creek in division one this season, the second-highest at the club behind Vincent Smith with 18.

He has secured a sports scholarship for the prestigious school, one of 11 which make up the group of Associated Public Schools (APS). Creek captain Nathan Divall said he hoped Brown would be available to play in finals, should the club finish in the Merri conference top two.

“School goes back this week. He’s got a sports scholarship to one of the fairly high-profile schools in Melbourne. He will be playing for them,” Divall said.

“If we make finals, he will hopefully be back for them. We’ve got three winnable games coming up. If we can win those we’re confident of making finals.

“We lack a bit of bowling. Losing Boydy (Ben Boyd) didn’t help. The guys who have taken up the slack have done really well.

“Liam and Vinnie have had pretty good years. They’ve got 15 to 20 wickets each. But we’re still a bit skinny on the bowling.”

Divall said losing Brown would be a blow. However, he was pleased the paceman would continue to test himself in a decent competition.

“As a club we do aim to get people to play higher-level cricket. We want them to play at the highest level they can,” he said.

“If that means moving away from the region, we’re all for that. We want them to achieve the best they can. All we hope is if it doesn’t work out, they come back.” He said selectors would turn to the seconds to find a replacement.

“Our division two team has been travelling pretty well,” he said.

“I think they got rolled last game but they were sitting on top. There are a couple of young fellas in that team who have bowled well at times,” he said. “Brad Hunt has played a game in the ones this year. I’m obviously not a selector but he’d be one putting his hand up.

“Jack Ansell has bowled pretty well the last month too.

“He had some work-related commitments before Christmas but his last month has been pretty good.

“As a group, they’ve shared their wickets around which is what we’ve had to do in the ones.”

Creek sits third on a heavily congested Merri conference ladder with 18 points.

Its next assignment is Port Fairy in a two-day match which starts tomorrow.

Woodford (36) and Port Fairy (22) occupy the finals spots.

West Warrnambool, Wesley-CBC and East Warrnambool-YCW also have 18 points.

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Council seeks state government help on Telstra tower

IN A first for the city, the Ballarat City Council has been forced to seek government intervention on an application that has left councillors conflicted.
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Late last year, an initial application for a controversial Telstra telecommunications phone tower in Eureka Street was quashed after three coun-

cillors walked out of the chamber due to conflicts of interest. The conflicts arise due to the real estate agency Cr Sam McIntosh works for selling a property in the area. Also, councillors Glen Crompton and John Philips own Telstra shares exceeding a certain threshold.

Cr Vicki Coltman, who was on sick leave at the end of last year, also informed the council she has a “conflict of interest of a similar nature”.

Former councillor Joshua Morris was also a leave of absence due to his decision to enter into state politics.

The extraordinary predicament meant the item could not be voted on due to the lack of a quorum.

At the council meeting on Wednesday night, councillors all voted in favour of requesting Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins provide three councillors with conflict of interests exemptions.

According to council’s chief information officer Annie De Jong, as it stands, state government intervention is the only solution.

“At this point in time we are unable to consider the matter whether the council want to or not,” she said.

It is my understanding that ministerial exemption of the three councillors who have a conflict due to their Telstra shares would be the only way a resolution could be met.”

She said if Ballarat’s newest councillor, set to be elected on Monday, did not have a conflict of interest, they could provide the deciding vote.

“If the new councillor doesn’t have a conflict of interest and is happy to vote on the matter, we would bring the matter back to council chamber at the next council meeting. One of the resolutions would be to revoke the ministerial exception request, and if the newly elected councillor was happy to vote on the matter they could step in.”

To date, 30 submissions have been received opposing the construction of the 36-metre tower at 328 Eureka Street.

A Victorian Electoral Commission countback will be held at the Town Hall on Monday at 11am. Jim Rinaldi is considered the favourite to fill the vacant position.

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PM has “kicked himself in the nuts”: Grong Grong pub patron

PM has “kicked himself in the nuts”: Grong Grong pub patron Member for Riverina Michael McCormack (front) enjoys some refreshments with Grong Grong residents (back, from left) Kay Obudzinski, Ian Richardson, Ted Obudzinski and Butch Conway. Picture: Declan Rurenga
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Owners of Grong Grong’s Royal Hotel, Kay and Ted Obudinski. Picture: Declan Rurenga

Michael McCormack ducks in for what he calls, the “best bangers and mash in the Riverina”. Picture: Declan Rurenga

TweetFacebookThe Daily Advertiser asked patrons of the Royal Hotel about the decision, there was a common answer: “It’s bulls—.”

“He (Abbott)was in enough trouble as it was and he’s gone and kicked himself in the nuts,” said patron Matt Murph.

“I put a uniform on for this country when I was 17, I know 100 different people who deserve the accolade,” he said.

Royal Hotel owner Ted Obudzinski also agreed that his local member was on target with his comments, adding that he shared his disagreement over a knighthood for the Queen’s husband.

Owner of the Royal Hotel in Grong Grong, Ted Obudzinski. Picture: Declan Rurenga

“Surely there’s an Australian that’s deserving of an award,” Mr Obudzinski said.

“They call it the great divide for a reason – it’s gone down like a lead balloon. We’ve got a 90-year-old customer and a knighthood for him would be well received,” he said.

Mr Obudzinski said the gentleman in question, Charlie Ross, was a local legend around Grong Grong, having worked as a fencer for most of the farmers around the district.

“He (McCormack) always finds the time to come to Grong Grong,” MrObudzinski said.

“He’s got a family like everyone else, we understand he needs to go home to them but he often stops here at 7pm and has a bit of chat on a Tuesday.”

Not all of the patrons at the Grong Grong Royal Hotel were convinced over the fuss.

“It may be a silly decision but does anyone really care?” asked farmer Ian Richardson.

“There’s more important things to worry about than a royal getting a knighthood.”

Kane Gawne said the announcement was low on people’s agenda but saw the silver lining.

“If his job is running the country and running a business, there’s less strategic decisions he could have made,” Mr Gawne said.

“I’m sure Tony Abbott giving Prince Philip a knighthood made their news and it might have encouraged some English people to come over and visit.”

Earlier yesterday, Mr McCormack said the decision went against the grain of “most ordinary everyday Australians” and had exposed the government to “ridicule”.

The parliamentary secretary to the Finance Minister went on to urge the Prime Minister to stop responding to the “tea leaf reading groups” who set the hashtags on social media.

Mr McCormack said he regularly visited the Royal Hotel for “the best bangers and mash in the Riverina” and “real perspective”.

“A lot of the things we do pass the pub test and some of it doesn’t,” he said.

“Prince Philip’s knighthood didn’t pass the pub test.”- With Latika Bourke

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Allansford welcomes three handy recruits onto netball court

ALLANSFORD will welcome three handy recruits into the fold when it kicks off its Warrnambool and District league A grade season in April.
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Former Port Fairy and South Rovers goaler Mandy Knee headlines the arrivals at the Cats, who missed finals last season by half a game.

Bridget Foster, who co-coached Nirranda last season, has also joined the club while Rebecca Hunt returns after a year off. Both are midcourters.

But the summer hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Renae Meade has stepped down as co-coach and is undecided whether she will stay on as a player.

Sarah Robertson, who was to share the role with Meade after enjoying a successful first season with the club, will remain at the helm in her own right.

“Renae has chosen to step away from the coaching role.

“She’s looking at moving away to further her career and do some further travel,” Robertson said.

Robertson said she was rapt to have Knee, Foster and Hunt at her disposal. She said the additions had raised hopes of a return to finals.

“We’re definitely aiming for finals. That’s our main goal,” she said.

“That’s what we’ve been working hard during pre-season for, to get the fitness levels up so we can hit the ground running come round one.”

She said the deep player pool meant competition for spots would be hot but welcomed the selection headaches.

“It’s a good position to be in. It puts more pressure on the girls to come to pre-season and put in the hard work if they’re wanting a game,” she said.

“They’re having to get their fitness levels up and prove themselves.

“It will be a bit tricky at some stage but we’ll be fine. We’ll work through that.”

Robertson crossed to Allansford from Mininera and District league club Penshurst and enjoyed an eye-catching debut season at goal keeper.

She said she had enjoyed her first summer as coach. “I’m definitely enjoying it so far. It is extremely busy at times,” she said.

“But it’s already been rewarding seeing the amount of numbers and the support I’ve got from the community and the Allansford committee.”

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City traders back changes to CBD alfresco eating laws

A BID to transform Ballarat’s CBD streets to encourage eateries and foster a cosmopolitan boulevard culture has been backed by city traders.
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A campaign to review the City of Ballarat’s current footpath trading is being spearheaded by Ballarat councillor Amy Johnson, with steps already under way for an overhaul of the council’s current footpath trading strategy.

Among the ideas flagged so far is removing annual permit fees for alfresco dining areas and establishing a community consultation campaign encouraging traders to install footpath dining and trading.

There are also calls to review the stringent restrictions on construction of temporary or permanent outdoor dining structures in Ballarat.

As the city’s reputation as a premier foodie city continues to grow, Cr Johnson said there was a need to keep pace with the evolving cosmopolitan vibe of the city.

“As a council we should be encouraging a vibrant atmosphere around our cafes and restaurants, and strongly supporting the social and economic benefits that an increased uptake offootpath-dining options will bring to our streets,” Cr Johnson.

The concept already has the backing of Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett.

A revival of the council’s footpath policy, she said, had the potential to breathe new life into businesses and create more vibrancy in Ballarat.

“It would be fabulous for Ballarat,” Ms Gillett said.

She said there has been a gradual progression and emergence of new eateries across the city.

Forge Pizzeria director Tim Matthews said there was a need for more clarity and clearer guidelines for traders seeking to implement this type of dining.

“There needs to be extensive consultation held with traders on the issue to ensure there are clearer regulations in place like there are in Melbourne,” he said.

Mr Matthews recently secured a liquor licence permit for the alfresco dining area and he pays a permit fee of $165 annually, for each table setting he has set up outside the Armstrong Street restaurant.

Forge Pizzeria director Tim Matthews believes there should be clear guidelines for traders setting up alfresco dining areas. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Mr Matthews said as well as this cost, he also paidextra floor staff to service the area.

The outdoor settings were custom-made using recycled timber, to reflect the contemporary vibe inside of the eatery.

Cr Johnson said she hoped to collaborate on the issue with Commerce Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Tourism.

Once a briefing is held on the issue by the council, a proposal to review the footpath policy would be put forward by Cr Johnson for councillors to vote on.

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Lewis, Dwyer to share WDFNL interleague role

WARRNAMBOOL and District league selectors have turned to two well-regarded figures to lead their interleague football side this season.
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New WDFNL interleague joint-coach Darcy Lewis (right) with Steve Levett, sales manager with the league’s major sponsor, Callaghan Motors. Pictures: LEANNE PICKETT, AARON SAWALL

Dennington coach Darcy Lewis and his Merrivale counterpart Karl Dwyer will coach the outfit in its country championships clash against Mid Gippsland in May.

League officials announced the appointment yesterday and revealed a new three-year sponsorship agreement with Callaghan Motors.

The interleague footballers will also wear a new jumper, a predominantly red strip with two horizontal strips — yellow and navy blue — across the centre.

Lewis, among the most respected players at the Dogs, said he was proud to take on the top job alongside Dwyer, who led the Tigers to a premiership in 2014.

Both have had roles with the interleague side in recent years. They replace Simon O’Keefe, who has returned to Hampden league club Koroit.

“They came to me and asked me if I would be interested in doing it at all, taking over from Tocka,” Lewis said.

“I didn’t have to put too much thought into it. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed helping out with.

“I thought Tocka was a great advocate, the best one that we’ve had, because he’s so passionate about interleague football.

“It had to be someone who was also equally as passionate about interleague football to take over and keep it as strong.”

Lewis, 31, said he wanted to see the best players in the competition to put their hands up for representative duty.

Warrnambool and District is aiming for back-to-back wins, having come from 27 points down to beat Colac and District in a thriller last season.

“Everyone has to put their hand up and I’d really encourage everyone to take the opportunity they’ve got,” Lewis said.

“No one will ever regret playing. If someone is unfortunate enough to get an injury, it’s like the old cliche, it could happen walking out the front door.

“But if you have the opportunity to play in these things and you turn them down, that’s something you will regret when your time is up in footy.”

Meanwhile, WDFNL president Ken McSween said he was pleased Callaghan Motors had extended its partnership with the league for the next three seasons.

The new deal is the biggest yet. The figure remains under wraps but there is cash for the interleague side and the league’s infrastructure grants fund.

Allansford Recreation Reserve, Reid Oval and Mortlake’s D. C. Farran Oval have already benefited from the fund.

Separately, McSween encouraged clubs to apply for grants up to $100,000 through the $5 million Holden Home Ground Advantage Program.

Supporters can improve the chances of their club receiving cash by clicking “like” on Callaghan Motors’ Facebook page.

League officials and Callaghan Motors dealer principal Stephen Callaghan will then back what they determine to be the most worthy applicants.

“As a good corporate citizen, we see our role as not only being a solid business but also supporting the local sporting community,” Callaghan said.

“The fit with the WDFNL is perfect for us and we’re very excited about the possible funding opportunities through the Holden Home Ground Advantage program.”

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Fire at Kempsey school treated as suspicious

File picPolice are investigating after a suspicious fire at a school in South Kempsey.
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Emergency services were called tothe Nicholson Street high school about 9pm on Thursday.

Crews arrived to find the school’s Learning Support Unit – consisting of two large classrooms and a staff room – was well alight.

The fire was also threatening adjoining buildings.

Fire & Rescue NSW crews extinguished the blaze; however, the Learning Support Unit was completely destroyed.

The damage caused by the fire is valued at more than $500,000.

Police from Mid North Coast Local Area Command have established a crime scene at the school.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established, but at this stage police are treating it as suspicious.

The investigation is continuing, and police urge anyone with information about the fire to come forward.

A brief will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

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