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  • DCC seeking interest in running civic centre

    2018 - 07.03

    EXPRESSIONS of interest to manage the multi-purpose civic centre developed as part of stage one of Living City are being sought by the Devonport City Council.
    Nanjing Night Net

    It’s believed the Devonport Gateway Church has expressed some interest in the management of the centre and will submit a proposal.

    The Gateway Church runs a small facility on Don Road in Devonport called the Don Centre that frequently hosts functions and music acts.

    Comment was sought from the Gateway Church.

    Stage one of the $250 million Living City project includes the construction of the multi-purpose building that will house a civic centre with up to 800 seats.

    It will be run in conjunction and complimentary to the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre.

    In addition its understood the multi-purpose building will also house the Devonport City Council chambers, the Devonport LINC and Service Tasmania.

    Stage one also includes the construction of the food market space as well as two storeys of the multi-storey car park.

    Devonport general manager Paul West said the council had received some informal interest in the management of the civic centre and said expressions of interest would involve a two-part process.

    PUTTING OUT FEELERS: Expressions of interest for the management of the Living City multi-purpose civic centre (pictured) are being sought by the Devonport City Council.

    “We have had some informal interest that’s come about as part of the planning phase, ” Mr West said.

    Mr West said advertising for the expressions of interest were likely to be published in Saturday’s Advocate and said the process would run for about three to four weeks.

    Following that, any groups who had expressed interest would be invited to send in a more formal proposal.

    “We will be able to seek any interested parties and assess what they have to offer,” Mr West said.

    “We want to see how they could value add and compliment the existing DECC.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Man sold guns to buy drugs

    2018 - 07.03

    A SOMERSET ice addict trafficked unregistered guns to fuel his addiction, a court heard yesterday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Benjamin Shane Moran sold a 12-gauge and a .22 rifle to fund his habit, and used Facebook to try to arrange more gun sales.

    Moran pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully trafficking a firearm.

    In the Supreme Court, in Burnie, yesterday, crown prosecutor Jody Dennison told Justice Helen Wood police stopped a car at East Devonport on June 26 last year.

    They searched the car after seeing drug-related items.

    Mr Dennison said they found messages on Moran’s phone and his Facebook account about selling firearms and attempting to arrange more gun deals.

    On Facebook, Moran asked one man: “Wanna buy a 12-gauge shottie?”, meaning a shotgun.

    He offered it for $500 and accepted $450 cash.

    He also sold a .22, and messages were found about other potential sales.

    Defence counsel Steve Wright said Moran had only ever been in possession of two guns; the .22 and the 12-gauge.

    He said Moran was an introverted person who had used drugs, including ice, to try to overcome his shyness and make him more gregarious in social environments.

    Ice use caused significant issues, including the firearms charge, Mr Wright said.

    He said Moran had been seriously addicted to ice and all his money went towards buying the drug.

    Moran was in a haze from ice use, Mr Wright said.

    Moran’s uncle had left a .22 with him and he became aware other people would want it.

    He sold the .22, then took possession of the 12-gauge and sold that too.

    Moran was then approached by people wanting guns and he sent “random postings” to people he thought had them, Mr Wright said.

    Mr Wright said Moran could not now believe he acted the way he did.

    He said Moran had since weaned himself off ice and wanted to work and take care of his partner.

    Mr Wright said the incident “showed the insidious nature of what this particular drug can do to people”.

    Mr Wright said anecdotal evidence suggested ice was highly addictive.

    Moran accepted trafficking illegal firearms was a grave evil, Mr Wright said.

    “The risk of re-offending, on my instructions, is absolutely nil.”

    Justice Wood bailed Moran to next appear tomorrow.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Cats tipped to win flag

    2018 - 07.03

    IT’S official.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Wynyard will claim back-to-back premierships for the first time in their 130-year history, according to an annual poll of the NWFL club coaches.

    COACHES CALL: At yesterday’s NWFL 2015 season launch at the Wynyard Football Club were senior coaches Dale Perry (East Devonport), Ryland Coombe (Smithton assistant coach), Justin Rodman (Ulverstone), Andrew Bacon (Burnie), Errol Bourn (Wynyard), Mark Lowe (Devonport), Wade Anthony (Latrobe) and Peter Templeton (Penguin). Picture: Stuart Wilson.

    League officials and sponsors as well as representatives from the eight clubs gathered in Wynyard last night for the launch of the 2015 NWFL season and the consensus on who were flag favourites was clear-cut.

    All but one of the seven opposition coaches picked the Cats to hold aloft the silverware for a second consecutive year such was the landslide prediction.

    The only man not to do so was Latrobe’s Wade Anthony, who believes Ulverstone will go one step further than last year’s grand final appearance.

    NWFL president Andrew Richardson also thinks the premiership race is far from a one-horse show.

    “Don’t get me wrong I think Wynyard will still be strong but I think it’s wide open,” Richardson said.

    “I think Ulverstone and Penguin would have to be right up there.

    “Both of those clubs are sneaking under the radar a little bit.

    “Latrobe, with Anthony leading the charge, will be a test and then of course no one really knows what the two new clubs, Devonport and Burnie, are going to be like.

    “East [Devonport] won’t be world-beaters but they’ll see improvement as will Smithton.

    “I think it’s going to be an exciting season and one that creates plenty of interest.”

    Richardson said having Burnie and Devonport back in the Coast’s premier football competition made the league complete.

    “Having a city the size of Burnie without any representation at all just wasn’t right so I think with them and the Magpies back in, it just makes us truly Coastal,” he said.

    The poll also forecast Cats on-baller Zane Murphy to win his first Baldock Medal.

    Three club coaches said Murphy would take home the medal.

    Penguin’s Jack Templeton was selected by two coaches for the Baldock, while other players to be chosen were Ulverstone smooth mover Jeremy Soden, Wynyard co-skipper Zac Smith and Robins’ playing-coach Justin Rodman.

    Coaches were not allowed to nominate their own team or players.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Inside job: tavern worker guilty

    2018 - 07.06

    A NIGHT manager of a Moree tavern is now a convicted criminal after he was found guilty of an inside hit, stealing thousands of dollars from the hotel.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Yesterday morning, a court found Gregory Taylor was behind the break-in and theft of a large amount of cash after planning a fake robbery in October 2013.

    The week-long judge-only trial in Moree District Court wrapped up yesterday with the guilty verdict handed down by Judge Stephen Hanley.

    Immediately after the verdict, Judge Hanley refused Taylor’s bail and signalled the 52-year-old was looking at a lengthy jail sentence for hismasterminding.

    Taylor claimed he had closed the tavern and locked up for the night on October 23, 2013, but returned shortly after when an alarm activated.

    During his check on the hotel, the 52-year-old told police, he found the rear door had been forced in, then was held up with a knife and ordered to walk to a safe at the back of the hotel.

    A short time later, another employee found Taylor locked in the safe. The cash was gone and so was the supposed thief.

    That man, Trent Orchard, was arrested a week after the incident.

    He is now on parole after serving 12 months behind bars for his role in the heist. He had pleaded guilty to the aggravated break-and-enter and was jailed last year for up to two years.

    Despite Orchard’s arrest, Moree detectives unravelled the pair’s robbery plot after months of investigations, and closed in on Taylor.

    He was arrested and charged on May 9, and was released on bail by a court two days later.

    Taylor maintained his innocence throughout the trial, in which six witnesses were called to give evidence, including his co-accused and three police officers.

    About $25,000 in cash was taken from the hotel, but it has never been recovered.

    Taylor was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and accessory after the fact.

    He remains behind bars and will be sentenced next month.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    State trio sailing into games berths

    2018 - 07.06

    THREE Tasmanian sailors have positioned themselves perfectly for a tilt at Olympic or Paralympic selection.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Australian sailing team has named 13 Olympic and six Paralympic class athletes aiming to secure 2016 selection for Rio de Janeiro in the upcoming world sailing season.

    The list includes Amelia Catt in the women’s two-person dinghy 470 and prospective Paralympians Matt Bugg and Neil Patterson in the one-person keelboat 2.4mR.

    Tasmanian Institute of Sport sports programs manager Carl Saunder said the Hobart trio would need to meet assorted criteria to secure spots.

    ‘‘We’re very well positioned with about 500 days to go,’’ he said.

    ‘‘Matt is seen as a potential podium athlete in the Paralympics while Amelia is well on the way to qualifying for a spot.’’

    The reigning national champ in his class and a London Paralympian, Bugg, 34, is in a prime position to compete in Rio, having already qualified the boat at last year’s world championships.

    The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member is about to head to Europe to compete in a series of sailing races plus the Olympic test event.

    ‘‘He is the No.1 Australian athlete in that class and barring injury or illness would be expected to win that spot for the Paralympics,’’ Saunder said.

    With Melbourne-based Patterson targeting the same spot, he is seen as a longer-term candidate although the future of Paralympic sailing from 2016 onwards remains unclear.

    Catt, 22, and her skipper, Sasha Ryan, of Queensland, will attempt to qualify their boat at the world championships in Haifa, Israel, in October, or the Oceania champs in Australia a couple of months later.

    ‘‘If they were to qualify the boat, they would then be in pole position to retain their spots for the Games,’’ Saunder added.

    Coached by 2008 Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot and based at the national training centre in Sydney, Catt and Ryan will be sailing in the 470 class at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Spain this weekend.

    ‘‘It’s been great working with the 470 women and our aim is to get them to the top of the fleet,’’ Wilmot said.

    ‘‘There is a lot of talent in the teams and it is an exciting time to be involved.’’

    Tasmania’s only previous Olympic representative in sailing was David Connor at Seoul in 1988.

    Australia is seeking to retain its status as the most successful sailing nation at the 2012 Olympics.

    Matt Bugg (right) sailing against Richard Fisher and Lisa Blackwood in the 2.4mR class at this year’s Bellerive Regatta. Picture: PETER CAMPBELL

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Lock up, keep watch: police

    2018 - 07.06

    BARWON police have confirmed a third of break-ins over the past week have been the result of residents not locking up.
    Nanjing Night Net

    According to investigators, homes in Boston, Gosport, Maude, Auburn, Boland and Tycannah streets in Moree have been hit by thieves, as well as rural properties on the outskirts of town.

    Barwon crime manager, Detective Inspector David Silversides, said while small items were usually stolen, gaming consoles, jewellery, notebook computers, wallets and handbags had been the latest targets taken by thieves.

    “Opportunistic thieves are quick to take advantage of unlocked homes and vehicles,” he said.

    “Residents need to be aware of their surroundings and be mindful of their personal security.”

    Detective Inspector Silversides said victims were often unaware thieves had snuck onto their premises until it was too late.

    “If somebody sees a vehicle that looks out of place, write the licence plate number down,” he said.

    “If somebody sees a person that looks out of place or is acting suspiciously, don’t hesitate to call us.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Signed, sealed, delivered

    2018 - 07.06

    SEVEN remote Western Queensland councils have reaped the rewards of their collaborative hard work with the upgrade of the Donahue Highway.
    Nanjing Night Net

    A section of the road ready for upgrade.

    The highway is a vital link for the town of Boulia and forms part of the Outback Highway, which runs 2800 kilometres across central Australia.

    The development of the highway comes after Barcaldine Regional Council, Barcoo Shire Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, Boulia Shire Council, Diamantina Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council joined forces to form the Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) are coming to fruition.

    The group lobbied intensely to state and federal governments with $23.5 million allocated across the seven councils along with a local government contribution of $500,000 per council in the hope of securing work for the council’s workforce into the future.

    In the true sense of putting important projects, which would benefit the region, ahead of individual councils wants – the group allocated Boulia Shire Council $8 million over a three-year period to upgrade the Donohue Highway.

    The funding enabled a scope of works to pave and seal to improve the road condition, decrease travel time and improve network accessibility.

    Works started in July last year and have been ongoing throughout this financial year.

    Stage 1 consists of sealing 10.5 kilometres from the end of the bitumen to the bitumen at the Telstra tower. When Stage 1 is complete, there will be 46 kilometres of continuous bitumen from the Boulia-Dajarra road, resulting in a continuous sealed road to the Badalia and Wirrilyerna station turnoffs.

    The Boulia Shire Council is undertaking these works and are on schedule to complete Stage 1 on time and on budget.

    The sections being completed are getting progressively sealed as the works advance, to mitigate any damage from storms or flooding.

    To date 80 per cent of stage 1 has been sealed with the final 2 kilometres scheduled to be sealed in April. Stage 2 and 3 will be constructed in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and the works will consist of extending the bitumen further to the west.

    Depending on how the works progress it is hoped that the bitumen can be extended to provide 80 kilometres of continuous bitumen from the Boulia – Dajarra road.

    The Donohue Highway along its entire length forms part of the Outback Highway, which runs 2800 kilometres through central Australia. Boulia is linked to Alice Springs via the Donohue Highway.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Councillors quiet: Murray alone in overt Nats pick

    2018 - 07.06

    TAMWORTH’S councillors have attempted to distance themselves from mayor Col Murray’s controversial decision to support Nationals MP Kevin Anderson ahead of the election.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Councillor Murray’s choice to enter the political fray and endorse the incumbent in a Nationals television commercial has sparked fierce criticism from many in the community.

    Independent candidate Peter Draper went as far as calling for Cr Murray’s resignation for clearly aligning himself – and by extension, the entire council – to Mr Draper’s rival.

    The Leader has been inundated with calls and letters in recent days from people furious that Cr Murray, speaking in his capacity as mayor in the ad, would pick a side in the campaign.

    “Since when does the mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, Col Murray, have the authority to endorse the National Party’s Tamworth seat candidate Kevin Anderson?” said letter writer Julie Bennett.

    “Does this have the approval of the other Tamworth regional councillors and their full support?”

    Despite Cr Murray telling The Leader on Tuesday he expected some backlash from his fellow councillors, his colleagues have not criticised him publicly.

    But the majority were at pains to stress that the mayor was expressing his individual view in the advertisement and not a formal position of the council.

    “I see one of the strengths of our council is being non-political and I’m happy to keep it that way,” Cr Juanita Wilson said.

    “This is to be seen as the endorsement of an individual and not an endorsement of the Tamworth Regional Council.”

    Cr Helen Tickle said simply that she believed “council should remain apolitical”, while Cr Mark Rodda said he had his “own thoughts” and the mayor “hasn’t spoken for me”.

    Veteran councillor Warren Woodley said he was “happy” with the mayor’s stance as to “start over again with an independent would be a shame”.

    “I want to be able to continue with the Coalition government on all the talks we’ve had in regards to lots of major issues that we’ve been working on for a year or two now,” he said.

    Deputy mayor Russell Webb said it was Cr Murray’s “own personal decision” and he had “done it for the right reasons”.

    “The council will never adopt a position to do that, but each individual councillor has a democratic right to put forward their feelings about something,” he said.

    Former mayor James Treloar said during his tenure he decided against endorsing candidates, but cast no judgment over Cr Murray’s stance.

    “Col’s quite entitled to make that decision and do that … and I’m certainly not going to enter into the debate about whether that’s right or wrong,” he said. “I can only say that I chose not to, but I can’t say whether I was right or wrong.”

    Cr Phil Betts said councillors were “individuals, and whatever individuals do is up to them”.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    ‘Stress less’ and thrive: Kath’s tip at 105

    2018 - 07.06

    SHE was once the prettiest girl on the Liverpool Plains, and at a remarkable 105, Kath Jones is still quite a looker.
    Nanjing Night Net

    TIMELY ADVICE: Birthday girl Kath Jones, who turned 105 yesterday, with her daughter Jan Cameron, who lives in Newcastle, and son Gordon Arnold, who lives at Tweed Heads. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 250315GOE01

    Dressed in a beautiful blue frock, Mrs Jones was ready to party yesterday at Alblas Hostel to celebrate her magic milestone with family and friends.

    Although her sight has gone and her hearing impaired, Mrs Jones is bright as a button in every other aspect, only having moved into Alblas in August last year.

    Up until then, she had lived independently at her Kitchener St home, in later years having Meals on Wheels and some assistance from McLean Care.

    Most days, she said, she goes down to the dining room to enjoy meals with the other residents of Alblas.

    Born at Spring Grove, Spring Ridge, on March 25, 1910, Mrs Jones came about the middle order of her eight siblings, all of whom have now passed away.

    “I’m the last one. My brothers and sisters all lived well into their 80s and 90s,” Mrs Jones said.

    Married and widowed twice, her first husband, William Arnold, died when he was just 38, leaving his young wife to raise four small children – Ruth, Gordon, Jan and Doug – on her own.

    “You just learn to manage in a situation like that,” Mrs Jones said.

    Ten years after her first husband’s death, she remarried Darcy Jones and moved to Tamworth from Werris Creek, about 1953. Mr Jones passed away 45 years ago.

    After all those years on her own, when The Leader asked if she had a boyfriend, Mrs Jones smiled and said: “I’ve got several, but don’t tell the children.”

    Throughout her life she’s never been afraid of hard yakka, working on sheep and cattle stations as a housemaid and cook, and looking after small children and older people at various times.

    Mrs Jones puts down her longevity to a life of acceptance and worrying as little as possible.

    “If I worried about every little thing, I’d get sick, and I don’t want to be. I enjoy quite good health,” she said.

    “I think accepting everything as it comes and not worrying too much has helped me live this long – that and clean living.”

    Her eldest daughter, Ruth, predeceased her. Eldest son Gordon and his wife came to Tamworth from Tweed Heads to share their mum’s special day, along with daughter Jan and her husband.

    Doug, her youngest son, who lives at Manilla, couldn’t be there, but his son was coming in to spend some time with nan yesterday afternoon.

    In fact, Mrs Jones has a special relationship with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who all come to visit their much-loved nan.

    Nephew Rex Squires was one of the well-wishers at the luncheon yesterday, bringing along a quince pie he’d made especially for the birthday girl.

    “I promised her I’d make her a quince pie, which is her favourite, if she lived till 100,” Mr Squires said.

    “I’ve made six so far and I’m looking forward to the next one, as she is.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    EditorialCity should set naming goal higher

    2018 - 07.06

    THERE must be a good reason our leaders have moved to have Mount Isa officially renowned as the capital of the North West.
    Nanjing Night Net

    It has a good ring to it, and is a nice way to describe the city – but for most, it should be blatantly obvious Mount Isa is the capital of the North West.

    If you go by population size, the city has its nearest rival covered by about 15,000 people (about four times as many residents).

    And when you ask someone to name a city from the North West, it’s likely the first city that will pop into their head will be Mount Isa.

    Perhaps it’s a sad indictment on the irrelevance of regional cities to state and federal governments that we need to promote our existence.

    Mount Isa needs more than signs, slogans and self-promotion to prosper into the future.

    Without sounding too cynical, the name change will likely be a costly exercise if it is to be promoted properly, and will take the gloss off the city’s standing as the ‘‘Rodeo capital of Australia’’.

    It would be interesting to hear what the Mount Isa Rodeo organisers think about the event being knocked from its perch when it comes to a slogan for the city.

    Perhaps there would be more merit in Mount Isa tackling a more audacious name for the city.

    Why not the capital of the Outback?

    There’s really no contesting Mount Isa is the capital of the North West, but the capital of the Outback poses a winnable challenge.​

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Cloncurry heeds residents, doesn’t increase councillors

    2018 - 07.06

    CLONCURRY will not increase the number of councillors in the shire but will implement a bank holiday on the Friday of the Curry Merry Muster Festival.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The decisions were made at last Thursday’s Cloncurry council meeting and chief executive officer David Neeves said they reflected community sentiment.

    Council conducted community consultation on the two issues in February via electronic survey and paper surveys.

    Council said out of 232 responses, 59% of people voted against increasing the number of councillors.

    Council resolved not to increase the number of councillors by one for the next local government elections to be held in March 2016. Council will remain with four elected members plus a mayor.

    Out of 251 responses, 68% of people voted in favour of a bank holiday on July 31, the Friday of the Curry Merry Muster Festival, council said.

    Council resolved to support the bank holiday and will confirm the move with the state government.

    “Information about the public consultation was promoted via the council Facebook page, as well as more traditional methods like public notices, the newspaper and a mail out to the business community,” Mr Neeves said.

    Mayor Andrew Daniels said the results of the survey were considered by councillors, as well as the additional comments, before making a decision.

    “The numbers really spoke for themselves, but the anonymous comments also provided some insight as to why people were for or against the two issues,” he said.

    “Tools like anonymous surveys give council more information as to the reasons behind people’s views; it all helps to inform the decision-making process.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Seniors back on fairways to resume golfing epic

    2018 - 07.06

    THE 160 or so golfers driving, chipping and putting their way through the Plan Plus Seniors Week of Golf will be rested up for the final two days of the week-long tournament.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Gosford’s Warwick Gorringe lines up this put during Tuesday’s individual stableford at the Longyard. Gorringe was runner-up overall in the 36-hole NSW Vets Shield. Photo: 240315GOB01

    Following rounds at Tamworth and the Longyard over Monday and Tuesday, yesterday was an official rest day.

    The tournament will pick up today with another individual stableford at the Longyard, which will finalise the 54-hole Country Challenge.

    The 36-hole NSW Vets Shield was decided following Tuesday’s individual stableford at the Longyard.

    Tamworth’s Brian Cox was the overall winner with 79pts.

    Gosford’s Warwick Gorringe finished second with 77pts and Hervey Bay’s Bob Visentin another three points back in third.

    The Longyard’s Joan McGhie won the ladies NSW Vets Shield with 75pts from Nolene Chaffey (Tamworth) on 66pts and Kew’s Yvonne Burnett on 65.

    Chaffey’s cause was helped by a 38 (pts) to win the Longyard round.

    The Grange’s Richard Searle was the men’s winner – on countback – with 42pts.

    Arthur Rutley, one of the tournament organisers, said it had been a good couple of days golfing.

    “We’ve been very lucky with the weather,” he said.

    “Not like last year.”

    Last year rain washed out the first day.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Hughenden ready to dial

    2018 - 07.06

    HUGHENDEN will have access to one of the world’s fastest mobile networks.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Upgrades to the 4GX network by Telstra in the North West town will allow users to have access to improved and more consistent data speeds.

    Telstra Country Wide Area general manager for Far North Queensland Amanda Albon said there may be disruptions to mobile services in the area between March 23 and March 29 to safely complete upgrades to the network.

    “As this work needs to be carried out during daylight hours for health and safety reasons, our technicians will need to switch off some sectors which support mobile services in the area,” she said.

    “Every effort will be made to reduce the impact to our customers and we apologise for any inconvenience.

    Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter said the new 4GX network will help graziers in the area but there are still other communities in need of upgraded services.

    “It’s a constant battle to try and get reliable telecommunications out in the bush and in country towns and it’s good to count some wins in this area,” he said.

    “Graziers are trying to run large businesses from remote locations and it’s become very difficult for them when there are problems with the internet.

    “Hopefully now the people of Hughenden will experience excellent coverage and high speed connectivity.”

    Ms Albon said Telstra is trying to stay in front of demands.

    “We’re staying ahead of this demand by introducing 4GX to increase network capacity,” she said.

    “This will allow us to continue to offer our local customers Australia’s fastest most reliable mobile service.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.