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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.

    Cricket World Cup 2015: Toss can go either way on home-ground advantage

    2018 - 11.21

    Live coverageSteve Smith’s golden run continuesFinch battles to shake slump with hard-fought 81
    Nanjing Night Net

    Australian cricketers playing in India used to have to contend with dysentery, hepatitis, dengue fever and rodent-infested hotels, not to mention crowd riots and questionable umpiring.

    Times have changed: for an away game against India this week, they can sleep in their own beds and travel no further than Moore Park.

    Such is the globalised (or cricket-globalised, meaning Indian) nature of the ICC World Cup, Thursday’s much anticipated semi-final will have India hosting Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. India have outdrawn Australia in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.

    Their Swami Army is but a division in the masses they bring to Sydney. The crowd is likely to be dominated by pale blue shirts, in numbers and also in decibels.

    Former Australian fast bowler Gordon Rorke once likened the noise at an Indian cricket match to “having a radio on at full blast in your ear all day”.

    “Even when you weren’t playing in the match, it was exhausting.”

    Australian venues have been getting an earful of India ever since a rejuvenated M. S. Dhoni’s World Cup juggernaut woke up and got rolling more than a month ago.

    World Cup cricket is different. Even the SCG wicket will withhold any home-ground familiarity from the Australians. Preparing pitches in the autumn, with winter coming, has seen curator Tom Parker lay out fresh, fizzy strips in the past fortnight that have also been soft enough to offer hope to spin bowlers. India are prepared for both, with two wily spinners, R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, to complement a wound-up pace attack led by Mohammed Shami. Australia, comparatively, have all their eggs in the fast-bowling basket.

    A final in Melbourne awaits on Sunday. The Black Caps will be there. Which of the black hats will meet them? New Zealand have played their cricket in a notably amiable spirit, as did their semi-final opponents, South Africa.

    For the relentlessly combative Australia and India, who have been quarrelling since November, there is no such pax. Each side has a kennel of attack dogs. Whose will be let out first – India’s Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma or Australia’s David Warner and Shane Watson – will depend on who first begins to feel desperate.

    With India undefeated in the World Cup and amnesiac about their troubles against Australia during the spring and summer, this could well be the last game of a season for the Australians that started in grief and will end, whatever the result on the field, in sorrow.

    It has been a long four months since Phillip Hughes lost his life after being knocked down on this turf, and for that reason alone his teammates will regard it as theirs to defend.

    Their truce with India only lasted days, but at the end of this match they will each be able to lay down their equipment and call it quits. For the veterans on the losing side, the coloured clothing will be put away for good and the quiet reflection will begin. For the winners, whoever they are, there will be home-ground advantage on Sunday.

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

    Bookshop displays the stuff people leave behind in books

    2018 - 11.21

    Who are they? For 12 years bookshop owner Ben Kemp has been collecting stuff that falls out of secondhand books, including photos of weddings, families and even a man pointing a gun. Photo: Simon SchluterA St Kilda bookshop has built a large collection of stuff found in old books.
    Nanjing Night Net

    If you look twice, says Ben Kemp, co-owner of Bookhouse, it’s more than a pile of photos, locks of hair, weird notes and letters. “Each one’s a story.”

    A circa 1940s bride, in full veil, white dress and bouquet, beams out from a black and white wedding photo – which has been torn. Was there a bitter divorce?


    In a colour photo, a bald man wearing bling and a leather coat points a real-looking gun at the camera (below). Is he rehearsing a drug deal? Or a gangsta music video?


    In a note Mr Kemp found, a woman called Nicole apologises to someone, for making a pass at them the day before. She awkwardly makes light of it, suggesting they go swimming today, as “friends”.

    In more than a decade, Mr Kemp and wife Margot McCartney have collated 400 items, posting some online on Instagram, https://instagram南京夜网/lostbetweenthecovers/ and on the wall of their shop, in Robe Street.

    Among them is a photo of what looks like former politicians Frank and Simon Crean and their family (below).


    A jubilant teenager with a blonde perm and Jenny-Kee style jumper sits on the bonnet of her snazzy 1980s sedan. It must be her first car, or is the day she got her licence?


    A young couple gazes blissfully at each other (below). You wonder, was it their first date? Are they still together? Or did they have a terrible row and split up the next day?


    And who is Friederich Benjamin (below)? Presumably the elderly man behind the sign among a large group of people. Are they his family? His employees? Or is he a loved church elder?


    Mr Kemp also has photo negatives of a “very well known Australian pop-rock star” posing on a boat “with a whole lot of naked girls”, but he’s not naming names. “I thought we might send them back to him, anonymously.”

    Recently Mr Kemp’s own son, Bede, recognised a blonde woman photographed sitting on a bed eating from a plate, and it turned out to be his mate’s mother in younger days.

    A circa 1930s letter mentioned a mural on a wall of a backyard in South Yarra. Ms McCartney sent the letter to the current owners of the house, and they scraped back the paint on the same wall to find the mural, just as described.

    In other books Mr Kemp has found money, mainly old $1 and $2 notes – “I’m waiting for the big one” – and a white powder in a plastic pouch that may have been drugs.

    There are more than 20 locks of hair, “always in a little envelope”. Usually hair comes without a note, so we’ll never know if they’re keepsakes of an adoring grandma, or a fetishist who snipped them off train passengers.

    One of the most intriguing finds was a white DVD, labelled in green texta: ‘Mitch and Rob’s Massive Bangkok Adventure’. Mr Kemp hasn’t viewed it – he’s afraid of what he might find.

    Another strange one is a carefully hand-written letter from a boy named Lachlan informing someone called Ali that he fell off a friend’s motorbike. Lachlan’s letter contains one of the actual medical stitches he got on his knee, and a sketch of the wound.

    Mr Kemp can’t bring himself to discard any item in case they mean something to someone. To claim one, there is no fee or interrogation. “You just have to say, ‘that’s me’ or ‘I know who that is’ and I’ll give it to you.”

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

    How an Australian building’s unique design inspired a scientific breakthrough

    2018 - 11.21

    ANU researcher Andrey Miroshnichenko outside the Nishi building. Photo: Graham TidyLike hundreds of commuters  Andrey Miroshnichenko drives past the Nishi building in Canberra every day on his way to work.
    Nanjing Night Net

    But the ANU physicist now looks at the building in a whole new light after he and a team of researchers were able to re-create its unusual zigzagging exterior on a small scale to provide the breakthrough they needed on their quest to put a perfect bend in light.

    “One day… about September or October last year I looked at it and thought this is exactly what we need for our next step,” he said.

    Dr Miroshnichenko and his fellow researchers, led by Professor Yuri Kivshar, found that by arranging a single line of particles in a zigzag shape light was forced to the edges of material.

    The building inspired Dr Miroshnichenko to think of replicating the effect with multiple zigzags allowing light to travel unhindered by irregularities over a 3D surface.

    Creating a topological insulator could lead to an improved computer chip using light and may also be used in microscopes, antennas and quantum computers.

    The concept has already been applied to electronics, but the new approach could allow an optical version to be created.

    “We expect it should help to propagate light around sharp corners which is required in optical chips to make computers work by light not by electrons,” Dr Miroshnichenko said.

    “To make them [the chips] compact sharp corners have to be fabricated and usually with conventional materials such sharp corners are bad regions because light tends to escape around corners, it doesn’t want to bounce.

    “With this type of material… the full information can be transmitted from one end to another without the loss of any bit of information.”

    It took a year to build the first experiment with the single line of particles and now the researchers will build a prototype using multiple zigzags.

    “It’s expected the next Nobel prize will be awarded for the discovery of such materials [to transmit electrons] now a similar hunt exists to create similar structures for photons, for light,” Dr Miroshnichenko said.

    “In electronics now they use the process to make really good wires where electrons can propagate fast without a loss in communications.”

    The researchers have found the zigzag topology can be recreated with any material and still have the same effect on light.

    Dr Miroshnichenko admits the breakthrough has changed the way he looks at the Nishi building.

    “My wife actually hates the building, I know inside it’s beautiful… but from the outside it looks unfinished,” he laughed.

    “But now maybe there will be something good associated with it, at least in our minds.”

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

    All talk and no action on greater workplace flexibility, research finds

    2018 - 11.21

    Challenging times: Human resources director Shey Hooper. Photo: Edwina PicklesIt took Shey Hooper six months before she could find an employer willing to employ her  part-time  after she had children.
    Nanjing Night Net

    While there has been a lot of talk about making work more flexible for women returning from maternity leave, a new University of Sydney study has found the talk has not filtered through to the coal face.

    The research, to be published in the UK journal Employee Relations, has found that fewer than one in five employees had a detailed knowledge of flexible work policies.

    Ms Hooper, a human resources director for a commercial real estate firm with two young children, said she recently secured a challenging part-time role as a senior executive, but it was difficult finding a senior position that offered flexibility.

    “In the six months that I was searching for a new position, there were no part-time roles that were advertised or that I was able to apply for.

    “I presented myself as a candidate who could work for three or four days. Many were not open to the idea and just wanted a traditional full-time resource. But fortunately, this company was willing to consider a flexible working arrangement.”

    Rae Cooper, an associate professor in Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School, said the study, based on long interviews with 44 employees and 22 line managers, had identified a significant gap between what should happen in theory and day-to-day practice in workplaces.

    “In the last 10 years, we have had more policy development around flexible work, both at the national and the organisational level, to allow for a more meaningful combination of work and family life,” she said.

    “If you don’t allow women to do that in a meaningful way, you lack a capacity for women to build a career and have children.

    “Unless you make it possible for women to make their career trajectory work, you are going to have women working at a lower level or dropping out. Mothers will often choose to work at a lower level over longer hours.”

    Professor Cooper, who co-authored the study with university colleague Professor Marian Baird, said less than 20 per cent of employees had a good working knowledge of policies designed to improve workplace flexibility.

    Because many managers were not versed in policies to improve flexibility, they were not being implemented.

    “Line manager support is critical for making flexible arrangements acceptable, encouraged and manageable for working parents,” Professor Cooper said.

    “It is in the interest of senior managers to educate people about these policies.

    “We have formal policies – but informal negotiations about them because people often don’t read them.”

    Professor Cooper said women were more likely to go to family and friends and mothers groups for advice instead of approaching their human resources department, a union or a specialist advice line.

    When it came to negotiating more flexible working arrangements, they were more likely to say they wanted reduced hours, but rarely had a conversation about how their performance would be measured or how they would deal with work they could not complete within those shorter hours. This often led to women doing many hours of unpaid work.

    The new study, funded by the Australian Research Council, comes as national figures show the gender pay gap in Australia has increased from 17.8 per cent to 18.8 per cent since 1985.

    But Diversity Council Australia chief executive officer Lisa Annese said Australian data published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency said many employers are still failing to maximise their female talent.

    “There’s no quick fix here – employers need to do the hard yards. Strategies like actively sponsoring women and other diverse talent into leadership positions, addressing bias at every level, adopting broader definitions of what leadership looks like, and public accountability via reporting on measurable outcomes will actually deliver results,” Ms Annese said.

    “It is concerning that underemployment has increased from 5.3 per cent to 11.2 per cent in the last 30 years.

    “Once you have been sidelined off a full-time career path, it is hard to get the employment level you want.”

    Ms Annese said women often had to settle for lower wages because they were seen as aggressive when making a case for an increase.

    “Women are often told they should speak up more, but when they do, they are often punished for it,” she said.

    “Some of it is downright discrimination and some of it is not conscious.

    “The fact that the gender pay gap is increasing shows it is insidious.”

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

    Public servants stripped of compo rights in Comcare crackdown

    2018 - 11.21

    “The flaws in the system were highlighted in lurid terms by the infamous ‘hotel room sex case’,” said Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Andrew Meares “The flaws in the system were highlighted in lurid terms by the infamous ‘hotel room sex case’,” said Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Andrew Meares
    Nanjing Night Net

    “The flaws in the system were highlighted in lurid terms by the infamous ‘hotel room sex case’,” said Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Andrew Meares

    More public service news

    The Commonwealth’s 160,000 public servants are to be stripped of some of their generous workers’ compensation benefits as the government moves to end the “rorting and malingering” that has dogged the bureaucracy for years.

    The government says the Comcare scheme is seen by the community as a “soft touch”, “that invites rorting”.

    There will be a crackdown on mental injury claims, taxpayer-funded alternative therapies, public servants spending years or even decades away from their jobs and compensation paid over the “reasonable actions” of departmental bosses.

    Under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill 2015 workers seeking a payout will have to prove their injury is work-related, in a change designed to prevent any repeat of the infamous “sex-in-a-motel” legal saga that cost taxpayers $600,000.

    But lawyers are furious with one of the profession’s peak groups, the Australian Lawyers Alliance, describing the proposed changes as harsh, unfair and an attack on the rights of injured workers.

    Reform of the scheme has been on the cards since 2012 when a review urged sweeping reform to try to contain the cost of Comcare which at the time was running at a half-a-billion dollar loss.

    Comcare has clawed its way back into the black, largely through a sharp rise in insurance premiums charged to government agencies, to $411 million in 2014, causing bitter resentment at the top of the cash-strapped public service.

    One big premium payer, the ACT Government, lost patience with the pace of reform and announced in February it was taking its 20,000 employees out of Comcare after being slapped with a $95 million bill in 2014-2015.

    Launching his legislation on Wednesday, Employment Minister Eric Abetz said Comcare was a “good scheme” but claims like the motel sex case had been undermining the system and ruining things for the vast majority of public servants who did the right thing.

    “There are too many cases like this,” he said.

    “They simply encourage rorting and malingering, waste taxpayers’ money and undermine the thousands of hard-working public servants who do not try to take advantage of the loopholes in the system.”

    If the government can get its bill through the Parliament, future claimants will face tougher requirements to take part in rehab programs and “injury management” as well as rules that any therapies will have to be “evidence-based” if taxpayers are to foot the bill.

    Compo-funded expatriate lifestyles will be curtailed with payments cut off if the claimant is absent from Australia for more than six weeks.

    There will be higher lump sum payments for employees with severe or multiple injuries, and lower payments for those with minor injuries, taking into account pre-existing conditions, according to a fact sheet distributed with the legislative changes.

    There will be caps on medical and legal costs and taxpayer-funded carers will have to be qualified. The legislation will also introduce a “three-stage sanctions regime” enabling a claimant to be kicked off benefits if they refuse to comply with the insurer’s directions.

    But ALA National President Andrew Stone blasted the changes on Wednesday, saying Senator Abetz was using isolated example of extreme cases to justify an attack on the care and rehab of injured workers.

    “The reality is that the changes proposed will make it more difficult for employees to get the care and rehabilitation they need, compounded by injured workers also facing greater pressure to re-enter the workforce prematurely,” Mr Stone said.

    “This includes through proposed harsher rehabilitation requirements, a reduction in the current weekly wage-loss payments, and the introduction of a harsher test workers will have to go through in proving work was a significant contributing factor to their injury.”

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

    No response from minister over query about charges

    2018 - 10.21

    Laurie Pengelly from Tamworth writes about Peel Valley bulk water charges.
    Nanjing Night Net

    THE Peel Valley’s irrigation industry employs many people.

    Tamworth residents pay State Water a lot more for their water than the residents of Dubbo, Wagga and Albury.

    Following the Nats’ media release in early July 2014 titled “Driving down water prices in the Peel Valley”, and with no sign of prices decreasing, let alone being driven down, on October 1, 2014, I wrote the following letter to Nationals Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson:

    Dear Kevin,

    Confidence in the Peel’s irrigation industry and associated businesses is at an all-time low. Irrigators have no available water determination (AWD) from Chaffey Dam, coupled with by far and away the highest bulk water charges levied by State Water.

    No one who did their homework would invest in an irrigation business in the Peel Valley under these circumstances.

    Whilst the AWD depends on rainfall, which is in the hands of God in all valleys, the excessive prices that water users in the Peel, including Tamworth Regional Council, pay for the water is in the hands of the NSW Coalition government.

    The irrigation industry of the Peel Valley would be grateful if you could confirm your recent media release and associated correspondence by issuing a public statement without caveat to the people of the Peel Valley that, as a result of your initiative, State Water will charge no more than $37 million for water commencing in the 2016-17 water year.

    Mr Anderson’s response:

    Thank you for your correspondence. I have made representation on your behalf to the Minister for Land and Water the Hon Kevin Humphries.

    I will be in touch with you as soon as I receive a reply.

    Copies of this correspondence should be available in Mr Anderson’s electoral office.

    Humphries’ response after five months: none. Anderson’s follow-up: none. Have the Nationals earned your vote? I don’t think so.

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

    Knives are out and gleaming

    2018 - 10.21

    IF WE’VE seen gritty and aggressive campaigns before, then you’d have to think Tamworth would be inured and used to another election battle.
    Nanjing Night Net

    But, while we never believed the third-round bout between Kevin Anderson and Peter Draper would be anything but feisty and hard fought, perhaps we hoped the personal pillorying of political opponents might have been lost in the history of the Windsor wars and the previous state bouts. Not to be. The knives are not just out but shining bright. The extraordinary attacks that go to the heart of personality and character have been loosed just lately.

    The last two days will surely see an increase in the fight. And we’re just not talking about the political personalities themselves.

    Some extraordinary slights have been slung by others about this 2015 state election.

    Not least by those on the sidelines, those wearing the mantle of management of business and community leadership.

    The gloves are off, it seems, when it comes to certain mining issues and the long-fought battle by environmentalists and anti-mining advocates and protesters.

    Coal seam gas might elicit plenty of hot air over its place in our world, but the no-holds-barred retaliation by people like Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn in our pages today against ecologist Phil Spark is just one. Like a Russian tank running over a peasant, Mr Flynn has taken no prisoners in his literary attack.

    Character assassination? Maybe. Tempered? Not at all. Inconsiderate and hasty? Maybe.

    And it will harden some opinion. It might not win him winnable friends. It can be construed as bullying and belligerent.

    And that might well be how many see the political stance taken by Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray.

    Cr Murray has angered many by what is seen to be his public backing – as the figurehead of the council and the council community – in campaigning for the incumbent Nationals MP, and with little disguise of it being personal and individual.

    Cr Murray was elected as a self-confessed independent candidate when he first stood for TRC. While the council’s conservative Nationals-heavy political weight is no secret to anyone, it is the branding of his stand, so openly, so wrapped in the mayoral robes, that grates with many. Readers and website comments have been overwhelmingly negative.

    The tenor of other letters and opinion pieces is in tune with this. There’s a take-no-prisoners attitude by many. The battle will be decided on Saturday night, but old friendships and collegial relationships might be the big losers.

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

    Cr Murray’s TV ad is deeply offensive

    2018 - 10.21

    AFTER viewing a recent local television advertisement which portrays the mayor of Tamworth, with council building in the background, coming out in public support of a particular candidate in the upcoming election, I am deeply offended that even our local representatives are willing to try to exert influence over our voting decisions.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Is this ad telling us that we, as the good taxpayers of Tamworth, should follow the council’s public endorsement of a certain candidate, as this is in the best interests of the Tamworth community? Is this ad telling us that this is the preferred person/party with whom the Tamworth council wishes to work after Saturday’s election?

    Does this therefore imply that if said candidate doesn’t win this Saturday, therefore having to step down as the local member, that our local council, which publicly supports said candidate, should also then step down, allowing a new council that is willing to work with whomever is elected to come into being to represent the people of Tamworth? Hmm, questions, questions. What a joke our democratic system has become in this country, when at every opportunity and from every angle we are told what to believe by those who hold the power.

    Do they honestly believe we are all that dumb that we can’t see what they are really up to? As individuals, we need to stop accepting blindly the propaganda that those in positions of power want us to believe and to see what they are spouting for what it really is.

    Jayne O’Hara


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

    Volatile, controversial lead-up to election

    2018 - 10.21

    MY FINAL thoughts on the 2015 state election.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Perhaps we could say this has been the most volatile and controversial election in our history.

    I see mining, poles and wires, the future of TAFE, education in general and health issues as occupying centre stage.

    All extractive industries are under very intensive scrutiny, none more so than on the Liverpool Plains. This is a no-no of monumental proportions.

    No matter what it costs, it must be stopped, and the plains established as a no-go mining area.

    The Chinese owners would surely know that an extraction of 30 million tonnes of coal on the Yangtze or Si Kiang would not be countenanced by the Chinese government. Why then should locals be happy?

    Our four candidates of all persuasions have agreed in principle that it is highly undesirable, but vary in their intensity.

    While Kevin is against the proposal, he’s jammed between a rock and a hard place, as his Sydney colleagues have approved it.

    Both Labor and Greens are vocal in their opposition.

    We are thankful that Tony Windsor had sufficient acuity to shift final decisions to the federal sphere, allowing Barnaby to get more time.

    However, as Nationals, both of these gentlemen will need to roar like lions and not squeak like mice, to ensure this abomination is put to rest forever.

    I rather agree with Peter Draper travelling a more middle-of-the-road path when he says “mining and agriculture can co-exist”.

    I was born, educated and grew up pre-war on the Tingha tin fields. Tingha is in a granite belt, and the effect of mining did not intrude on the black soils of Inverell.

    Extraction industries are short-term and can bring huge benefits, but seldom for more than 50 years.

    Employment opportunities are short also. Extraction is required to advance economies, but it can only co-exist in the right place at the right time and be strictly controlled in Australia’s interest.

    It would be helpful to voters if candidates could indicate how long it would take for the current income from the poles and wires to equate to the sale price.

    Finally, I suggest it is time for all candidates to express their contributions to education, and particularly TAFE, in terms of people, rather than bricks and mortar,and place increased moneyaccordingly.

    Gordon Clive Barnes


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

    Business burglaries increasing

    2018 - 10.21

    BUSINESS burglaries in Launceston remain on the rise, causing a major headache for the city’s commerce.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Since July there have been 291 business burglaries in the North compared with 169 in the same time last year – a 71 per cent spike.

    The increase has prompted Northern CIB Detective Inspector John King to write to the Launceston Chamber of Commerce to address the problem.

    Inspector King told The Examiner that the increase could be related to a number of factors, including socio-economic and health issues.

    The rise in business burglaries, as well as house and car break-ins, comes after years of sustained reductions.

    As part of the Northern district’s crime management plan, offenders are asked to fill out questionnaires about the burglaries.

    Unsurprisingly, a desire for cash followed by electrical items – that can be quickly sold for money to buy drugs – appear to be the main motivations.

    “So we’re urging businesses to question whether they need to keep cash on the premises and, if so, making sure there’s appropriate security,” Inspector King said.

    Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said the burglaries were a drain for her members.

    “It’s quite distressing for businesses,” she said.

    Ms Tetlow said shoplifting was also a major concern for stores.

    “Unfortunately when you have got high unemployment it can cause these types of outcomes and I think, as a community, we all need to participate to improve the situation,” she said.

    Antisocial behaviour in the CBD has also raised its head again.

    Store owners along Brisbane Street say the problem is getting worse and children as young as eight are involved.

    Several of the traders blamed the bus stop outside Target for its role in attracting many people to a small space.

    One operator proposed splitting the bus stop into several locations.

    “When the average person can’t go about their daily routine without feeling intimidated, there’s something very wrong,” she said.

    “Something’s got to give, and it can’t be letting them get away with everything they want to do.”

    Tasmania Police will meet with businesses to discuss the issue at a forum next week.

    Metro said it had not received any reports of antisocial behaviour at the bus stop but urged people to report it.

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