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Force cops blue surge

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 27 April 2013 | 19.55

TASMANIA Police has been swamped by an unprecedented surge of people wanting to join the force, with 800 applications for about 20 positions announced just three weeks ago.

More than 1000 expressions of interest are expected in the coming weeks - more than Tasmania Police usually receives in a year.

Police Association president Pat Allen said the enormous interest was partly because of the soft jobs market in Tasmania and partly because there had been such along wait for a new recruit course.

"We've had no new blood for two years," he said.

"Normally we get in new recruits between one and three times a year."

Tasmania Police hopes to have 20-25 new recruits on the beat by Christmas.

Police Commissioner Darren Hine opened a new energy-efficient police station at Cygnet yesterday, with passive-solar design and double-glazed windows.

Cygnet is also the latest area to benefit from Tasmania Police's Housing Project, with a new four-bedroom police residence.

The Housing Project involves Tasmania Police selling surplus homes around the state to finance improved housing in remote areas.

The four-bedroom house at Cygnet is 6.3-star efficiency-rated, with double glazing and solar hot water.

Mr Allen welcomed the Housing Project, but he said the force still needed more police on the beat.

He said the force had shrunk from 1,248 officers about 18 months ago to its present size of 1100.

"Numbers are always a concern for us, but it's a balancing act because the police do need good accommodation."


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Help crack unsolved crimes

DARING robberies, a drive-by shooting, a jewellery heist ... help Tasmania Police crack our top 10 unsolved crimes.

IN ONE of the most audacious armed robberies in Tasmania in recent times, two masked bandits waited in a stolen vehicle in the car park of the Eastern Shore hotel until they spotted their target at 1pm.

The bandits had spray-painted dots on the car's windows to hide their balaclava-clad faces en route to the hotel an indication these two knew exactly what they were doing.

Another sign this was beyond an amateur armed robbery was the fact both people were dressed in blue coverall suits.

As an unarmed cash transit officer walked out of the hotel with close to $40,000 from the long weekend's pokies takings, the pair pulled up beside him in their car. One leapt out of the car brandishing a sawn-off shotgun and the terrified victim handed over the cash without a fight.

Despite the release of CCTV footage and a media event at the fishing spot where the car was dumped, no one has been charged.

THERE are striking similarities in the professional approach to the Elwick Hotel robbery just a few months after the Beltana Hotel was hit.

Police suspect the two crimes may be linked.

As with the Lindisfarne crime, both offenders, believed to be male, wore balaclavas and again the weapon of choice was a sawn-off shotgun. As with the previous case, police released good-quality CCTV footage, this time showing the pair entering the hotel bar area at 3.30am wearing dark clothing, gloves and hoodies pulled over their heads.

They are seen to wave their guns in the direction of two female staff members who immediately empty the till, then collect more money from another room and hand it over the bar.

Police did not reveal how much was taken, but it is believed to be in the tens of thousands.

This time the offenders are believed to have escaped on a stolen motorbike.

"Of course it's a concern when a firearm is used in any incident and obviously we want to catch these people as quickly as possible. Given the similarities with the earlier robbery ... there is a risk they could strike again," Detective Inspector David Plumpton said at the time.

THE OVERNIGHT raid on an Old Beach home did little to quell rumours the state's firearms database had been breached, leaving gun owners feeling increasingly vulnerable.

In the biggest residential gun heist in years, intruders broke into the house and stole a correctly installed gun safe containing 14 firearms. Police feared the guns might be used to commit crimes, but admitted it was also highly likely they would be shipped interstate and sold, with detectives holding little hope of recovering the weapons.

The heist prompted Gun Control Australia spokesman Roland Browne to condemn what he described as an increasingly firearm-friendly culture in Tasmania, where storage requirements were too lax and criminals could pick and choose who and where to target.

THE FIRST drive-by shooting to rock Hobart in a long time remains a mystery because, unlike those that followed, this shooting was not directly attributable to a known dispute between feuding sides.

A woman in her 60s, her adult son and daughter and the daughter's two young children were inside the Maxwell Drive home at the time. Police said it was lucky no one was killed, with one of the shotgun volleys fired from a vehicle smashing the kitchen window and hitting the microwave. The culprit was seen speeding away in a white sedan at 6.30pm.

THE NORTH was rocked by the news a man had been shot in the back for no apparent reason on his way to work.

The 34-year-old noticed a group of males in Ferrall St, in the suburb of Invermay. One of the men yelled something at him, police said, but he kept walking.

He then heard loud gunshots and made it back to his nearby home where he discovered he had been shot.

Police say the victim now suffering a permanent disability denies any links to or knowledge of his assailants.

JEWELLERY has always been a favourite of snatch-and-grab burglars, but the theft of a 20kg safe from a Taroona residence suggested these thieves knew exactly what treasures were inside.

The Grange Ave house was robbed while the residents were out for a couple of hours that evening and an estimated $150,000 worth of jewellery that police described as "highly identifiable" was stolen.

Detectives called in to investigate issued a warning to anyone with valuable jewels to ensure their valuables were stored in safes that burglars would struggle to remove.

Most devastating for the victims was the fact their precious items were likely sold later for a pittance. "It's devastating for these people to learn their precious jewellery has been sold for $10 or $20," Insp Plumpton said.

"When we tell the owners what's happened they're shattered."

The jewellery has never been recovered.

AN ELDERLY widow was roused from her bedroom by the sound of glass smashing. When she went to investigate, she was confronted by two masked men in the living room and a third man in the backyard.

They told her they did not want to hurt her, then made their way into her bedroom where they ripped a freshly installed safe out of the floor.

It held tens of thousands of dollars' cash and irreplaceable jewellery.

The traumatised homeowner ran past the men and escaped to a neighbour's to alert police, before suffering a non-fatal cardiac arrest two days later.

"What kind of person does something like this?" her daughter asked.

That question is yet to be answered with police so far unable to bring anyone to justice over the chilling burglary though locals apparently have their suspicions.

A HOBART man was lucky to escape uninjured when his vehicle was targeted by a carjacker armed with a firearm as he waited in the Spirit of Tasmania car park.

The 27-year-old victim was sitting inside his black Toyota utility with a large boat on a trailer attached in the late afternoon in Devonport.

A masked man jumped in the ute's passenger side and demanded the driver follow a white utility in front of them.

The offender produced a sawn-off shotgun and threatened the driver, who escaped by throwing himself from the vehicle at low speed in Murray St. The gunman fired the weapon from inside the vehicle and was last seen running down Tarleton St.

The victim suffered minor injuries when he hit the road and was helped by shocked bystanders.

Police admitted they had no idea what the assailant was up to and were confident he was not known to the victim, who departed on the ferry a day later than planned.

THE CASE of a ginger-bearded man lurking near children on Hobart's streets 18 months ago continues to trouble police.

In both cases, two near-victims described a sandy-haired man with a red or ginger coloured goatee beard pulling up beside them in a ute.

The first target was a nine-year-old boy walking along Pottery Rd at Lenah Valley at 4.20pm on November 3

The predator offered the child lollies then grabbed him, but the boy screamed and got away after a brief struggle.

The second attempt happened in the grounds of Ogilvie High School at New Town when a male fitting the earlier description grabbed a 12-year-old boy by his backpack in the early morning. A struggle ensued and the boy also escaped.

The attacks caused significant fear in the community, with schools issuing widespread warnings to staff and parents, possibly causing the man to go to ground.

IT WASN'T cash these thieves were after but high-end street clothing. The offenders rammed a stolen car through the inner-city store's glass shopfront at 2am. The pay-off was a haul of new clothes worth more than $30,000.

The ram-raiders ripped entire racks from the wall, leaving little behind for the store owner when she arrived to survey the damage later in the morning.

Police say a silver Subaru Liberty sedan stolen from Alwyn Rd at Lenah Valley at 10.30pm the night before was used in the crime.

"Most of [what's gone] is men's clothing, but they've obviously grabbed a few things for their girlfriends too," owner Britt Hoskinson said.

zara.dawtrey@news.com.au

  • Anyone with any information about any of these crimes is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers can remain anonymous and rewards are offered.

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Salamanca closed in high wind

Unhappy that Salamanca Market was cancelled, flower stallholder Lisa Kingston, of Woodbridge, decided to trade from the back of her van. Pictures: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

HIGH winds this morning forced the cancellation of Salamanca Market, disrupting the plans of stallholders and customers alike.

Hobart City Council general manager Nick Heath made the call after the Tasmanian Bureau of Meteorology warned of damaging winds, with gusts expected to exceed 100km/h.

"We have not taken this decision lightly and have cancelled the market because the current forecast weather conditions are seen to pose a threat to the safety of the public, stallholders and the market crew," Mr Heath said.

He said stallholders were informed by text message where possible, and also by the market crew.

The stallholders will have their market site fees for the day refunded.

Despite the council's caution, many vendors and customers were left perplexed by the decision.

"We live in Tasmania, and it is windy here. I think it's paranoia," said flower seller Lisa Kingston, of Woodbridge, who had set up her van outside the Knopwood's Retreat to try to salvage her day.

"The market's other flower people have gone home, and I've discounted everything. Other stallholders have come and supported me, which is fantastic."

Marie Van Degumster, of the Summer Kitchen Organic Bakery, said the council was treating stallholders like children.

"This is an absolute disaster. I have a bakery full of product that I can't sell," she said.

"There's no way I can recoup our money."

Market regular Susie Riddich said the market's cancellation had ruined her entertaining plans.

"I'm devastated," she said.

"I was here to get fruit and vegetables for my dinner party -- now I'm really stuck.

"I buy vegetables from the Hmongs every week. The opportunity is gone now.

"I'm going to the UK next week and was also here to buy presents."

But Salamanca Stallholders Association president Kerry O'Rourke said he was "100 per cent behind the council's decision".

"If the council knew about the wind forecast and someone got injured there'd be real trouble," he said.

Mr O'Rourke said he understood the frustration of some vendors who were reliant on the Saturday market for their income, but the decision to close the market was about protecting both people and property.

"It's cost a lot of people money but if you close it for one, you close it for all," he said.

"The council are just doing it to protect us. It could wreck a lot of the stores too.

"I've seen the wind twist stalls up before and absolutely demolish them"

Read more in tomorrow's Sunday Tasmanian


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Fire danger not over yet

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 26 April 2013 | 19.55

WE may have had a brief taste of winter, but the weather bureau is warning of high fire dangers tomorrow.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the weather pattern currently crossing the state will dramatically increase the fire danger in the upper Derwent Valley and the state's South-East because of strong winds and dry air.

The Tasmania Fire Service is asking property owners to avoid lighting fires tomorrow and to extinguish any fires already burning.

It says some areas remain dry and susceptible despite recent rainfalls.


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Girlfriend 'laid down the law'

A DRUG-ABUSING robber was cured of his wayward habits when his disgusted girlfriend placed him under "house arrest", a court has heard.

Andrew Richard Denny, 26, of Clarendon Vale, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Hobart today to robbery.

Crown Prosecutor Jackie Hartnett told the court Denny was spotted acting suspiciously in the Harris Scarfe store in Hobart on February 4 last year.

When confronted by a security guard over a bulge in his jacket, he pushed the woman over and fled.

The guard gave chase and as Denny ran he dropped a $189 Remington electric shaver.

When arrested he told police the bulge was actually colouring-in books he had stolen from Chickenfeed.

Defence lawyer Greg Meyer told the court his client was on a disability support pension because of problems with literacy.

He said that after becoming involved in drugs and petty crime, Denny's partner had "laid down the law" and locked him inside the house to prevent him spending time with his criminal associates.

Denny had been drug and crime-free since, was working in his first job and the couple were expecting a child, he said.

Justice Stephen Estcourt will sentence Denny on May 1.


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Stolen cash paid for groceries

A MAN who held up a KFC outlet by pretending he had a gun in his pocket used the money he stole to buy bread and milk on the way home, the Supreme Court in Hobart has heard.

Glenn Sturley Meyer, 39, of Claremont, today pleaded guilty to the incident at the Claremont store on November 3 last year.

Prosecutor Heather Mannering told the court Meyer confronted a 14-year-old shop assistant with his fingers in his jacket pocket.

"Come here, I have a gun in my pocket, give me all the money," he said.

The youth fetched a manager as Meyer continued to insist he had a gun and that he was "not mucking around".

Eventually the cash register was opened and Meyer took $150.

"Is that all you've got, there must be f...ing more?" he said before fleeing.

A young boy entered the store during the robbery, the court heard.

On his way home Meyer bought groceries with his ill-gotten gains.

Police put CCTV footage of the crime on their website and he was reported by staff at Anglicare who recognised him and by staff at Claremont RSL where he was a regular, the court heard.

When arrested, Meyer told police he stole the money to pay for school lunches for his step daughter, bus fares, medicine and cigarettes.

Defence lawyer Claire White said her client was unemployed and in debt and his decision to hold up the store was made on the spur of the moment.

She said he was extremely sorry for the fear he had caused to the KFC staff and had written a letter of apology to them.

Meyer was entering treatment on Monday for his alcohol abuse, she said.

Justice Stephen Estcourt said the "impetuous, unplanned and amateurish" robbery had caused Meyer great shame and remorse.

He handed down a seven-month jail sentence, but suspended it on the condition Meyer be of good behaviour for two years.

david.killick@news.com.au


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Boom time for suburbs

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 25 April 2013 | 19.55

Battery Point is the leading Tasmanian suburb for house price growth over the past five years.

UP-MARKET suburb Battery Point leads the state in average annual growth in house prices over the past five years, but it is some of the lesser known suburbs and towns leading the way outside of the capital city.

There are 13 areas in Tasmania that are on track to see house prices double from 2008-2018.

And tenants in eight suburbs are potentially set to have their weekly rent double in the same time, according to new research by RP Data.

The RP Data Autumn Investors Report looks at the performance of every suburb across the country over the past five years and determines which areas have seen strong home value growth and strong rental growth.

"What we're doing is pointing out those suburbs that have over the last five years recorded [annual] growth of more than 7.2 per cent, which would mean that the value would double in a 10-year period," report co-author Cameron Kusher said.

"It's certainly no guarantee. These are just the suburbs which are on track to do so."

"The only one in Hobart was Battery Point, with an average annual growth of 12.1 per cent."

More surprisingly, regional areas that recorded strong growth included Wivenhoe (7.6%), Relbia (8%), Adventure Bay (8.1%) and Nubeena (7.3%).

Rents for houses in East Launceston, South Arm and Lewisham, as well as units in Invermay, Mt Nelson, Kings Meadows, Burnie and Rokeby are on track for an increase of at least double.

Mr Kusher said not all of the suburbs mentioned in the report would continue on trend.

She said those hoping to buy or who are still renting could take heart that many others would not see such dramatic growth.

The report identified 263 suburbs across Australia where values are on track to double over the 10-year period and 792 where weekly rents are on track to double.

To view the full list, visit myrp.com.au/investorsguide.


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Diggers' sacrifice remembered

THOUSANDS of Tasmanians have attended Anzac Day Dawn Service commemorations this morning.

The chilly weather failed to deter the crowds as they gathered to remember the sacrifices of those who served in the country's armed forces.

Anzac Day 2013

Images from around the nation

Send your pictures of Anzac Day services to readerspix@dbl.newsltd.com.au for our special gallery

Anzac Day events statewide

MORE TO COME...


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Govt trials document service

FORMER premier David Bartlett is keeping his old department close with the State Government being used as guinea pigs for a new IT initiative by his company.

Asdeqlabs, the company Mr Bartlett joined as chairman in 2011 after stepping down as Premier, is trialling new software aimed at keeping government documents safe.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet have jumped on board the new initiative.

The AsdeqDocs software is aimed at helping government employees use tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices without compromising the security of sensitive documents.

Government spokesman Michael Stedman said the trial was agreed to prior to a COAG meeting in July 2012 with the official trial beginning during the middle of last year.

"Asdeqlabs has not been formally engaged by the Tasmanian Government," Mr Stedman said.

"However, DPAC is conducting a free trial of software that Asdeqlabs are developing which provides secure delivery of corporate data to mobile devices.

"This is an obligation-free trial and if it is determined that this kind of service is required in the future it will be subject to the standard competitive tender process."

TasICT executive officer Dean Winter said any time the State Government could use the ICT sector to increase productivity would benefit taxpayers.

"Asdeqlabs is just one of many Tasmanian ICT firms creating and implementing innovative software solutions on a worldwide scale," he said.

"Tablets have been hugely successful since the first iPad was released, but haven't been fully embraced by business or government. Asdeqlabs is trying to change that.

"With the full NBN rollout not far away, we're going to see even more technology solutions being trialled in Tasmania.

"It makes a lot of sense for Tasmanian Government departments to be involved in that.

"I hope the trial is successful and leads to ongoing engagement between the Government and the sector."

matthew.smith@news.com.au


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Footballer dodges jail term

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 24 April 2013 | 19.55

A FORMER Tassie Devils footballer has avoided a jail term for breaching a suspended sentence.

Sean Patrick Salter, 30, appeared in the Supreme Court in Hobart today.

Crown Prosecutor Heather Mannering said Salter had been sentenced to a nine-month jail term in July last year for assault.

The sentence was suspended on the condition he be of good behaviour for three years.

But she said Salter was caught drink driving on October 4 last year, recording a reading of 0.122.

Defence lawyer Craig Rainbird said that on the night of the offence, his client had just found out his partner had been unfaithful to him and had had a few drinks with friend who were consoling him.

He said that Salter was now in a new relationship, was in full time employment and was working to pay off some debts incurred when he was self-employed.

Sending him to jail would cost him his job and bankrupt him, Mr Rainbird told the court.

Justice Helen Wood said the drink driving offence was an error of judgement on Salter's part and it would be both unjust and not in the community's interests to send him to prison.

She said she would not make an order to activate the suspended sentence.

Salter pleaded guilty to a "vicious and cowardly" assault on a man being restrained by bouncers on the Hobart waterfront in November 2011.

His sentencing hearing was told he kicked the man with considerable force, causing him to suffer a fractured skull, eye socket and nose in the attack.

Salter, who plays full forward for Claremont in the SFL, played a single game for the Devils against North Ballarat in 2007.

david.killick@news.com.au


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Man killed in work accident

A MAN has died as a result of an industrial accident at Bell Bay, in the state's north.

Police said Workplace Standards was investigating and police would prepare a report for the Tasmanian Coroner.

It is understood the man was trapped under steel plating at an industrial site.

Tasmania Fire Service alerted police about the incident at 2.30pm.

It is the fifth workplace death since August.

A 20-year-old apprentice fell to his death from the roof of the Devonport Homemaker Centre in August.

In November, a roofer was killed when he fell at a building site at Spreyton in the North-West.

In January, a 32-year-old South Arm man was killed at the Hobart City Council's McRobies Rd site when a steel beam he was positioning in the ground swung around and hit him.

On February 5, a 62-year-old Ravenswood man, who was holding a stop-go traffic sign, was killed when he was hit by a car and thrown about 15m.


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Owner in 80s fights house fire

This Woodbridge home suffered extensive damage in a fire earlier today. Pictures: LUKE BOWDEN

THE elderly owner of Woodbridge home gutted by fire this morning tried to fight the blaze before emergency crews arrived.

Gerard Moon, aged in his 80s, was at his home in Llantwit Rd when the fire broke out just before 10.30am.

Seven fire crews were dispatched to the address but it was too late to save the property from substantial damage.

The family, well-known in the local area, had rallied around Mr Moon, his son Michael said.

"Everyone's fine and it's a close knit family and area, so we'll be OK," he said.

Fire investigators remained onsite tonight, working to determine the cause of the fire.

The Tasmania Fire Service says the blaze destroyed at least a third of the large weatherboard home, with damage estimated at about $400,000.

Michael Moon said his father had been fighting the fire when TFS crews arrived.

He was examined at the scene for smoke inhalation before being given the all-clear.

"We don't know what caused the fire at this stage and we'll have to wait and see," he said.

It was the second major house fire in the state's south this week.

On Monday night, a Sandy Bay rental property occupied by Triple J Unearthed favourite Ben Wells burned down with his band gear inside.

The blaze happened just five days before Wells and his band, the Middle Names, were due to record their debut album.

The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

The TFS has renewed a plea for all Tasmanians to ensure they have working smoke alarms fitted as the state heads into peak house fire season.


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Units to ease outside transition

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 23 April 2013 | 19.55

The new O'Hara Cottages at Risdon Prison aim to ease prisoner's transition back into life on the outside. Pictures: RICHARD JUPE

NEW open security units the Risdon Prison Complex are designed to help inmates transition to life on the outside.

Corrections Minister Nick McKim, at the official opening of the O'Hara Cottages this morning, said the new independent living precinct was located in the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison.

The units, named after a former Port Arthur corrections officer with a reputation for rehabilitating inmates, are home to two inmates but have room for another 10.

Mr McKim said prisoners would remain in a supervised environment and the O'Hara Cottages would provide an incentive for good behaviour within the prison system.

"The cottages have been set up to reflect, as closely as possible, a traditional living environment. The absence of bars and high-security fences, along with a greater emphasis on empowering prisoners to make decisions, will help reduce the risk of re-offending post-release," Mr McKim said.

"In the future, it is envisaged that an additional multi-purpose area for education programs and visits will be developed using existing infrastructure.

"This will not only provide for the needs of the prisoners housed in the cottages, but will also offer greater opportunity for prisoners in Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison and their families."

The refurbishment of the cottages was undertaken by prisoners at Ron Barwick working alongside external contractors and Tasmania Prison Service staff.

The cottages have individual rooms equipped with a bed, writing desk and chair, storage for clothing and a small, wall-mounted television. Prisoners will be expected to share bathroom facilities and common areas, such as the lounge, kitchen and laundry.

matthew.smith@news.com.au


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Turbines spinning at wind farm

The turbines have started turning at the Musselroe Wind Farm. Pictures: ROSS MARSDEN

THE Musselroe Wind Farm has been officially switched on and is now generating power for the state's electricity grid.

The $395 million project consists of 56 turbines, which will be progressively turned on. It will be fully operational by July.

Premier Lara Giddings said it was a "great milestone".

"This has been a huge development which has delivered jobs for Tasmanians, opportunities for local businesses and a significant boost for the North-West economy," she said.

"It builds on Hydro Tasmania's partnership with leading Chinese energy company Shenhua which is securing investment and jobs in our renewable energy sector."

Ms Giddings said more than 200 people had been directly employed on the project during the peak of construction.

Read more in tomorrow's Mercury.


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Zinc works get heritage nod

HOBART'S Nyrstar zinc works has been recognised as an Engineering Heritage National Landmark.

Nyrstar Hobart general manager Jeremy Kouw said the award was testament to the hard work, innovation and contribution of the site's employees over its almost 100-year lifespan.

"From its inception in 1916 when Tasmanian industry entrepreneurs identified an opportunity to attract big business to the state with affordable energy through hydro-electric power, to continuous advancements today, we remain Tasmania's largest exporter," Mr Kouw said.

"The plant has produced a number of highly advanced technical metallurgical methods, cementing it as one of the most advanced and reputable in the world, supporting its continued growth from 100 to 800 tonnes per day of high purity zinc metal over the past 96 years of production."

Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Brian Wightman said Nyrstar has embraced its role as an innovator in engineering.

"Alongside Hydro, the zinc works is one of Tasmania's great industrial heritage stories," Mr Wightman said.

"The electrolytic zinc works, established in 1916, changed the face of industrial zinc processing in the southern hemisphere.

"Today, it remains one of the largest and most efficient zinc smelters in the world.

"Tasmania has great natural beauty and a fantastic lifestyle. But we also have an exceptional man-made history to be proud of.


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Abuser's Strait appeal fails

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 22 April 2013 | 19.55

A MAN who sexually abused a child on the Spirit of Tasmania has lost an appeal against his conviction, despite claiming the vessel was in Tasmanian rather than Victorian waters.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted in the County Court of Victoria of one count of the sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.

He was jailed for three years.

But he appealed his conviction on the basis the ferry was not in Victorian waters at the time of the offences and the court did not have jurisdiction.

Victorian Court of Appeal Justice Geoffrey Nettle said the man claimed to have boarded the ferry after dark on April 8, 2003, and spent 40 minutes in his cabin before spending another 40 minutes wandering the ship.

He returned to the cabin and offered to buy the victim a PlayStation game in exchange for performing a sexual act.

The ship's captain, who was called to give evidence, said the ship -- according to the deck log books -- crossed into Tasmanian waters at 1.40am.

At the man's trial, the Crown said the boat had left Melbourne at 9.01pm and had taken four hours and 40 minutes to reach Tasmanian waters and the offences happened within that time.

The Court of Appeal found that the jury was entitled to find the offences happened in Victorian waters and dismissed the appeal.

david.killick@news.com.au


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Aussie rock goddess dies at 53

Chrissy Amphlett's hits with the The Divinyls included I Touch Myself and All the Boys in Town.

AUSTRALIAN rock singer Chrissy Amphlett has lost her battle with breast cancer.

Amphlett, aged 53, passed away in her adopted home of New York with husband Charley Drayton.

The singer, who fronted rock band Divinyls, had fought breast cancer as well as suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Her cousin, Patricia "Little Pattie" Thompson and family have released the following statement.

"Our beloved Chrissy peacefully made her transition this morning. Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. She passed gently, in her sleep, surrounded by close friends and family, including husband of 14 years, musician Charley Drayton, her sister Leigh, nephew Matt, and cousin Patricia Thompson ("Little Pattie").

"Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength, she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women. Best remembered as the lead singer of the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Divinyls, last month she was named one of Australia's top ten singers of all time. Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit I Touch Myself would remind women to perform annual breast examinations. Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched."

Countdown host Ian "Molly" Meldrum was a friend of Amphlett and husband Drayton.

"It's devastating news," Meldrum said today.

"I absolutely adored her. Right at the start of her career with the Divinyls she also terrified me. I remember going to see them play at the Prince of Wales in Melbourne early on and she looked me straight in the eye and lifted her school dress. We became good friends after that. I was friends with her mother as well. Chrissy was just such a wonderful person and so, so talented. It's incredibly sad news."

Amphlett had declared herself cancer-free two years ago, telling fans "I was given a chance to reflect on my own mortality; given a chance to choose life over the fear of death. Thank you to those who have given their support and love. Now let's celebrate Life!!!!!!"

The singer was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and would appear on stage with a cane. She revealed her battle with MS in 2007, and in 2011 announced she was also fighting breast cancer.

Amphlett was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006 with Divinyls band mate Mark McEntee

Amphlett's battle was documented by Channel 7's Sunday Night program in which she revealed she would be a "warrior" and not a victim.

The Divinyls hits include I Touch Myself, Pleasure and Pain, and Boys in Town.

Tributes have already begun flooding social media networks.


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Metro lets war vets travel free

VETERANS, war widows and other service personnel will again ride for free on Metro buses on Anzac Day.

Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim said Metro Tasmania had supported April 25 commemorations for many years by providing free bus services.

"Members of the Australian Defence Forces -- the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force -- are entitled to free travel on Anzac Day, provided they are in uniform," he said.

"For veterans and war widows to be eligible for free travel on Metro services, they should: wear their uniform; wear their service medals; wear an ex-service association, returned from active service or war widow's badge; or present their DVA card."


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Happy is place to hang, chat

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 21 April 2013 | 19.55

A SENSE of community is growing at the Campbell St site of the Common Ground housing project.

Two Hobart sites with 97 units in total are home to 80 tenants, including 32 formerly homeless.

A Goulburn St site opened last June and Campbell St in December. They provide permanent accommodation to long-term homeless and people on low incomes.

Campbell St tenant Justine Renshaw, 23, who works as a hotel housekeeper, moved to Common Ground in December.

She had been house-sharing and was keen to move out on her own but found the private rental market too expensive.

Ms Renshaw was one of several Campbell St tenants taking part in a Master Cook program in which polytechnic teacher Sally Dabner gives residents cooking classes.

It's one of several opportunities provided to tenants to help them feel included in the Common Ground community.

"It's great there are programs like this to get us together," she said.

Carlee Williams, 39, said she had been spending nearly all her income on private rent before moving to Common Ground.

The job seeker said she had found living in a semi-communal environment to be a confidence booster and she had enjoyed getting to know people.

Marc Beeton, who has lived at Common Ground for two weeks, said securing a unit had been a 14-month process.

Mr Beeton, who was referred to Common Ground by a Centrelink worker, said it was frustrating that securing affordable accommodation took such a long time for people living on the streets.

Mr Beeton said he had been homeless for years, living in men's shelters, sleeping on friends' couches and in his car.

"[Housing authorities] can kick someone out in four days but they can't house someone in four days," he said.

He said he hoped having a permanent home would allow him to take part in programs helping homeless people.

This week Common Ground and the Salvation Army will release the results of a year-long survey of Hobart's homeless.


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Bowls gender uproar

REGIONAL bowls organisations are likely to defy a Bowls Tasmania directive that gender-specific pennant competitions be abolished next season.

The changes will allow men and women to play in any team at any level without being bound by present rules that require them to play bowls on separate days in separate competitions.

Men and women can play together in barefoot and lower-tier competitions, but pennant is men only and women only.

The break from the tradition of men-only and women-only competition has angered many bowlers who want to keep Thursday as ladies' pennant day and Saturday for the men.

Bowls Tasmania South this week told Bowls Tasmania it would not introduce non-gender specific pennants next season.

A Bowls Tasmania South survey found most emembers were against abandoning separate pennants.

Secretary Rob McGuire said almost half the group's 970 players responded to the voluntary survey, indicating great interest in the issue.

Mr McGuire said while he could not rule out members accepting mixed gender pennants in future, the change for next season had been received as a Bowls Tasmania directive and was issued without due consultation.

He said older players were those most against it.

"Generally, older people don't like change and it would be fair to say that there were more older people playing bowls than younger people," he said.

"I believe we cater for all comers in Southern Tasmania by having the women's and men's during the week, the men on Saturday and the mixed competition on Saturday."

North Western Tasmanian Bowls Association secretary Glen Stephens said while the branch was yet to vote on the issue, a members' survey indicated most favoured continuation of gender-specific bowls.

Bowls Tasmania chief executive Maxine Viney said the national push to remove the gender split in pennant competitions was driven by young players.

In Victoria and South Australia, mixed gender pennants are now played after anti-discrimination court cases.

"The younger generation coming into bowls, they don't see the gap between men and women," Ms Viney said.

"As they take a more active role in bowls, they see the advantage of the changes, and ask why do we need to have a separate pennant for men and women?

"Why can't we all play together because it's not a game of physical strength? They are the ones who are pushing it."


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A struggle for shelter

Common Ground in Campbell St, Hobart.

TASMANIA'S homelessness services say they are still struggling to meet demand, despite more affordable accommodation being provided and extra effort being made to tackle the problem.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that between the 2006 census and 2011 census, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Tasmania increased from 1145 to 1579.

The majority of homeless Tasmanians live in supported accommodation (480) or are staying temporarily with other households (499).

The remaining are in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out (156), staying in boarding houses (236) or are living in severely crowded dwellings (183).

Shelter Tasmania executive officer Pattie Chugg said the arrival of winter would bring home how many people needed somewhere warm and safe to sleep.

"Homelessness services report there is higher demand for their services than can meet need. There is a real concern for people without a safe and secure home all year round but winter highlights this even more," she said.

While housing stress is still a significant issue, the public housing waiting list in Tasmania is following a downward trend.

The Department of Health and Human Services quarterly performance report for March 2013 shows in the six months to December 31 the number of people housed increased by 6.7 per cent.

It showed that the waiting list at December 31 had decreased 22.8 per cent from the same time last year, to 2163 (2801 at the end of 2011), the decline partly attributed to the addition of 1400 new affordable housing properties.

Category 1 housing applicants, those in greatest need, faced an average wait time of 17 weeks, down from 19 weeks at the end of 2011.

Ms Chugg said a government reform combining public and community housing had helped get people housed.

She said with such strong demand for housing it was surprising that Common Ground mixed housing properties in Hobart were still not fully tenanted.

There are 80 people housed across Common Ground sites in Goulburn and Campbell streets, which provide 97 units between them.

blair.richards@news.com.au


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