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Barnett to shore up his own position

But both senators deny there is any rift between them, despite insistence from party sources that there is a frantic scramble for the top position on the party’s Senate ticket at the next election.
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Senator Abetz is under siege from some party members who want to see him dumped from the safe no. 1 spot.

There is an organised push to have Senator Barnett preselected at the top of the ticket over Senator Abetz.

Both have to recontest their seats in the next half-Senate election, and the make-up of the party’s new 61-member preselection panel appears to be leaning against Senator Abetz.

Senator Barnett has publicly stated that Senator Abetz, Special Minister of State, deserves to go into the next election at the top of the ticket.

But party sources said yesterday that Senator Barnett had rethought his strategy out of concern for his own position.

Until recently it was assumed that Senators Abetz and Barnett would go into the election as nos. 1 and 2 respectively.

But a concerted move to have a female candidate preselected to the no. 2 position means that whichever senator does not win the top spot could find himself relegated to the less secure third spot.

Liberal sources said yesterday that Senator Barnett would no longer be talking up Senator Abetz but would instead focus on his own campaign.

“He is very conscious that there is a big push on within the party for a female candidate to take second spot,” one source said.

“He knows he has to forget Abetz and concentrate on himself, because he is worried about where he will end up on the ticket.”

A spokesman for Senator Barnett said there was no growing distance between the two senators, and that Senator Barnett was just getting on with his job.

Senator Abetz has said nothing on the matter since news of his crumbling support first broke.

Some within the party now see him as the underdog – a status that one source said Senator Abetz was counting on in order to win a sympathy vote.

A spokesman for Senator Abetz said yesterday that he and Senator Barnett continued to work well together and both expected to be returned to the Senate.

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13/07/2018 0

Police seek help over lost girl

She is of slim build, 165cm, with shoulder-length brown hair and fair complexion and was last seen carrying a blue backpack with M and M stickers on it.
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Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 005 555 with information.

Also, police have released an indentikit picture of a person wanted in connection with an armed robbery at the Eastlands Cinema car park, Rosny, at 1.45pm on Saturday.

Police said that a man had been walking at the Winkleigh St end of the car park when he was robbed by a man armed with a gun.

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13/07/2018 0

Naked rambler back in court

Stephen Gough, 44, was admonished after appearing at Dingwall Sheriff Court – where he wore only a blue blanket tied around his waist. Mr Gough, also known as the “Naked Rambler”, is due back before the same court tomorrow following his re-arrest.
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Mr Gough, who had been spotted walking naked in woods near Tore in Ross-shire in August, represented himself at the trial.

He said he was aiming to prove to society that the naked human form was acceptable.

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13/07/2018 0

State’s lifters on display with their body of work

Muscling in: Dominic Vrolijks, 24, and Anna Gleeson, 23, both of Launceston, will be competing at the titles after training together.The Earl Arts Centre will host the competition, which will see 18 entrants muscling in for a place at the national championships in Canberra later this month.
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“Hopefully someone from Tasmania will then qualify for Natural Olympia or the World Titles in the US or New Zealand respectively,” organiser Don Macdonald said.

The fifth annual competition will feature more than six divisions for both male and female body-builders, who will be assessed by a panel of seven judges.

Among those will be former US Navy power-lifting champion Ernest Ervin, who has moved to Tasmania.

Launceston body-builder Dominic Vrolijks, 24, who will this year compete at the State titles for a second time, has drawn flatmate Anna Gleeson, 23, into the competition.

“We train together and live together, have a similar diet and similiar training schedule, so we’re pretty supportive of each other in that way,” Vrolijks said yesterday.

“It’s only her first go but I’m sure she’ll do quite well.”

All profits from the titles will be donated to the Tasmanian Acquired Brain Injury Services support group. Tickets cost $19 for adults and $10 for concession.


WHAT: The Tasmanian Physique and Figure titles.

WHERE: The Earl Arts Centre, Launceston.

WHEN: Starts at 1.30pm, today.

COST: $19 for adults; $10 for concession.

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19/06/2018 0

Bacon pledges more York Park money

Another goal: Premier Jim Bacon has a shot at the uprights at York Park yesterday after he officially opened the latest batch of undercover terraced seating in time for the Rugby World Cup match. PictMr Bacon was at York Park yesterday to open undercover terraced seating that has been completed in time for the Namibia-Romania match on Thursday, October 30.
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The $2.5 million redevelopment has increased undercover capacity at the AFL-standard stadium to 10,000 seats.

“The State Government has so far invested $3.8 million into capital works at York Park and last week I announced a further $1.1 million would be spent on a new media and corporate area,” Mr Bacon said.

“This will bring our total investment in upgrades to York Park to $4.9 million and we will continue to invest money at the venue as long as people keep supporting events there.

“More than 11,000 tickets have been sold (for the World Cup match) and I urge Tasmanians to get behind the game so that we get a sell-out crowd at York Park.”

Launceston Mayor Janie Dickenson thanked Mr Bacon and his Government for their commitment to York Park.

“It’s fantastic that the State Government has worked with the council to develop York Park into such an outstanding venue,” she said.

“The new terraces and roofs really add to the atmosphere. The sound is amplified and colours are intensified. (But) the best thing is that our new-and- improved stadium still retains the traditional feel of York Park.”

AFL roster matches at the Inveresk ground attracted more than 17,000 people on average this year – an increase of almost 2000 people on the previous year.

A survey showed that between 17-25 per cent of the crowd comes from interstate.

“The fact that so many people come across in the winter – a tourist down-time – is a great benefit to Launceston but a much wider benefit to the whole State,” Mr Bacon said.

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19/06/2018 0

Libs eye Lal Lal for Ballarat

BALLARAT would get Geelong’s share of water from the Lal Lal reservoir under Liberal policy, State Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said on a visit to Ballarat yesterday.Mr Baillieu said under Liberal plans all water from the Lal Lal reservoir would be allocated to Ballarat, providing an extra 8000 megalitres of water to the region a year. “Ballarat’s water supply is under extreme pressure,” Mr Baillieu said. “Immediate action is necessary to secure water to cater for the region’s long-term growth, and we propose to do this by transferring all of the Lal Lal Reservoir resource to Ballarat.”Mr Baillieu said Ballarat had few options for new supplies of water.Under the Liberals’ plan, Geelong would be supplied with water from Pyke’s Creek and Newlingrook. Mr Baillieu said the Labor Government’s proposal to divert water from the Cairn Curren Reservoir was too expensive, and would adversely affect the environment. He said water levels at Cairn Curren were down to 5 to 10 per cent and would not provide a solution to Ballarat’s water shortage.Mr Baillieu also said that under Liberal plans Lake Wendouree would receive the necessary flow to maintain its level with stormwater from Gnarr Creek and Paul’s Wetland, and with additional supply from the Ballarat North Treatment Plan.A spokesman for Deputy Premier and Environment and Water Minister John Thwaites said the State Government was working on a long-term strategy to secure Ballarat water supplies.”We have released a Draft Central Region Sustainable Water and we are finalising the best options to secure Ballarat’s supplies,” he said. “Unlike the Liberal Party the government solution will meet the challenges of population and economic growth and climate change.”Ballarat East MLA Geoff Howard said Mr Baillieu hadn’t taken into consideration the environmental flow of the already severely stressed Moorabool River. Geelong’s allocation was taken out at the SheOaks Weir and provided valuable water flow to the river, he said. Mr Howard said work was also already under way to transfer storm water from Paul’s Wetland into Lake Wendouree. Ballarat West MLA Karen Overington said the Liberal’s policy was only a short term solution. She said Ballarat needed 14.5 billion litres in the long term but Lal Lal could provide only between 5 and 7 billion litres and only if the flow into the Moorabool stopped.
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22/03/2019 0

Knock, knock, pizza delivery

Get it while it’s hot: Ian Roberts has seen men in drag, been invited in for raucous hen nights and even consoled a newly made bachelor. Picture: TIM HUGHESFORGET Pauly, Bobo and Davo. If you want your pizza big and cheesy then call Ian Roberts.
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He may not be the star of a cult SBS television show, but after a couple of hours spent on a Thursday night pizza run, The Sunday Examiner discovered Ian was just as entertaining.

For the past nine years Ian has doorstopped hundreds of Launceston homes to deliver pizzas to the starving masses.

After nine years Ian says not much fazes him any more.

He has seen men in drag, been invited in for raucous hen nights and has even consoled a newly made bachelor. You could say he has seen it all.

With low-slung King Gees, long hair and a tattoo on his forearm, Ian as is Aussie as they come. But he says he fits in well with his Italian colleagues at La Cantina – especially now he has learnt all the swear words.

He tucks his large frame into his tiny delivery van that is little bigger than a Mini Minor.

He says the size of the car can be a hindrance. He once come back out of the shop to find his car in the parking spot but facing the wrong way.

“The cars aren’t very heavy so a group of lads had just picked it up and turned it around,” he says.

Thursday nights are quieter but on weekends Ian can be flat out with over 10 deliveries an hour.

“I’ve taken up to nine deliveries in the one hit in busy times,” Ian says.

As he drives Ian explains that many of his deliveries are to regular customers.

“There was one guy who was getting them about four nights a week before he got a girlfriend,” he says.

“A few of them get to know you by your first name.”

At the first house Ian pulls up and jumps out in what will become a repetitive motion throughout the night.

A face peeps around the curtain before answering the door to Ian’s knock.

On the way back out he has to sidestep a lazy cat that refuses to get out of the way.

He says that dogs can be a problem if they’re not tied up.

“The littler ones are worse than the big ones,” he says.

“I had this maltese run out once and take a bite at me.”

He says another problem is the “sleeper”.

“That’s the one who’s just come home from the pub and orders a pizza then falls asleep,” he says.

This can be remedied with heavy banging on the doors and windows.

“You’ve got to really bash hard sometimes,” he says.

The hoax caller is becoming rare with telephone caller identification but Ian has had his fair share.

“Once I got an address that didn’t exist,” he says.

“It was just an empty block.”

As Ian gets back into the car from another delivery he holds out his large hands cupped with a huge mound of spare change.

“That’s a customer who usually pays like that,” he says.

A customer once paid Ian $30 all in 10c coins lined up behind the door.

“It can get very heavy and you’re glad to get rid of it at the end of the night,” he says.

With so much driving Ian has often been the target of police attention.

It is not unusual for Ian to get pulled up several times in one night to be breath-tested. “They give you a razz because they get to know you,” he says.

And although Ian is driving quite sedately it is not always the case.

“I’ve had about four or five speeding tickets in the last nine years,” he says.

“It’s a hazard of the trade.”

As we pull up to the last house a man answers the door in nothing but a T-shirt and a pair of boxers.

As Ian waits at the door the man walks back and forth a number of times.

As Ian explains when he gets in the car: “He couldn’t find his wallet. No pocket in the boxers.”

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22/03/2019 0

Wrong time for a debate on states’ powers

TREASURER Peter Costello put the cat among the pigeons this week when he suggested the Federal Government needed to wrestle more power from the states.Mr Costello believes a Federal Government should control tax collection, schools, hospitals and ports.If he was expecting strong support from his Coalition colleagues, he would have been disappointed.Most of them said nothing. The Prime Minister went out of his way to water down the comments.”I’m not convinced that if the Federal Government ran public hospitals they’d necessarily be any more efficient,” he said by way of dilution.Not surprisingly, the state governments lambasted the notion that they should hand over some of their powers to the Commonwealth.Premier Steve Bracks described Mr Costello’s comments as “ill-thought out”.There is no doubt that, if we were to set up a system of government for Australia from scratch, as our forefathers did more than a century ago, it would be most likely be a vastly different one to what we have now.Times have changed since our federal, state and local government systems came into being. It would be easy to mount an argument that we need to restructure our three-tiered system of government.The debate about whether or not we need the states at all has been around for years. Simply abolishing the states, however, would not create a better system. Local government as it exists now is not equipped to handle becoming the second tier. There would also need to be a significant restructure of local councils across the country.That is not something Australia is ready for right now.Mr Costello may well believe calling back some of the powers of the states is a more viable alternative in the shorter term.And, whatever his motives, he obviously thought it worth putting on the table.The lukewarm response should see it disappear pretty quickly.Now is not the time for this debate. Perhaps, in the future, when Australia becomes a republic, it might be more timely to look at whether or not there’s a better system of government.
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22/03/2019 0

Goggin, Maskiell angry at decision on Elwick racing

TRACK RECORD: Leading trainer Charlie Goggin wants meetings moved rather than abandoned.Goggin said that the meeting was called off far too early and Maskiell described the decision, made after a track inspection late on Saturday afternoon, as “a huge error of judgement.”
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Both reserved their harshest criticism for the fact that no attempt will be made to run the meeting midweek.

Neither Maskiell nor the State’s leading jockey Brendon McCoull were present during the track inspection. They arrived at Elwick shortly after.

“We walked the track by ourselves and agreed it was raceable,” Maskiell said.

Goggin said that while he didn’t believe it was up to him to decide if a track was safe – “because I don’t have to ride on it” – he could see no problems.

“As far as I’m concerned it was safe for racing – no problems whatsoever,” he said.

“I’d walked the track three or four times in the previous four days and I was really surprised when the meeting was called off on Saturday afternoon.

“I spoke on the phone to (chief steward) Johan Petzer and told him that I believed those who had inspected the track had made an error.

“I said that if it rained on Saturday night, they would be proved right but, if it didn’t, the track would dry out and be safe for racing.

“I walked the track again about 9am yesterday (Sunday) and it was fine.

“Gary White was there at the same time and said that, although he had doubts about the meeting on Saturday, he had now changed his mind.”

Goggin said that such an early decision should only be made if a track was underwater and there was clearly no hope of the meeting going ahead.

“That wasn’t the case this time – the track was heavy but safe near the inside fence, where no-one was going to go, and out wide it was dead to slow.”

Goggin questioned why washed- out Tasmanian meetings were continually being abandoned rather than postponed.

“To say, at this early stage, that the track would not be safe for racing by Wednesday is ridiculous,” he said.

“I get very nervous about clubs not wanting to hold race meetings.

“I’ve been assured that Tote Tasmania has nothing against holding these meetings midweek. (Chief executive) Terry Clarke has told me that he couldn’t see a problem with it, so it’s obviously the clubs that don’t want them.”

Maskiell said that jockeys were desperate for midweek racing after losing almost four entire meetings in the past two months.

“We need replacements for these abandoned meetings – not a couple of extra races added to next week’s programme,” he said.

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22/03/2019 0

Piecing together a tragedy

TRACK CLEAR: Cranes were brought in yesterday to take the train wreck (below) from the damaged tracks. Picture: Ian WilsonPAINSTAKING clean-up began at the weekend as three agencies tried to find explanations for the fatal train crash at Trawalla on Friday.Transit Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Barry Hills said the police investigation would be lengthy and complex.”At this stage the truck driver has been interviewed by police but further inquiries still need to be carried out and witnesses need to be spoken to,” Det Sen Const Hills said.”There is a lot of damage done to the tracks, and it will take a long time for the tracks to be repaired.”The investigation will consider the speed of the train which would be registered in a black box recorder. Det Sen Const Hills said the device would help police determine the train’s speed at the moment of impact.He said Friday night’s operation had been “long and tedious”, but he commended the police and emergency services on their work.Forensic crews turned the site over to crane operators at 1.30pm on Saturday, when they began removing the wreckage.Quinlan Cranes’ Shane Avery said the rear carriage was lifted onto a truck about 2am yesterday after hours of careful separation.He said it was the first time any V/Locity train had been carried by road.The trains and the truck have been taken to a lock-up in Newport, Melbourne.Former VicRail track maintenance officer Robert Hare said the tracks were not getting enough maintenance.”The problem is that you can’t touch the native trees around the tracks due to conservationists,” Mr Hare said.”But you have got to have clearance, and you have to be able to see trains coming.”A V/Line spokesperson yesterday said the line between Ballarat and Ararat would stay closed until further notice, with more track repair work to be done.
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22/03/2019 0

2003 NTFA Grand Final

Champions: The NTFA Division 1 premier George Town team included Daniel Richardson, Adam Tuthill, Ben Tuthill, Anthony Axton, Michael Towns, Luke Crane, Mathew Batty, Mark Jones, Shaun Viney, Dion SauThe Saints withstood a third- quarter fightback from Scottsdale before streaking away in the final term to win the division 1 grand final by 64 points.
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Chugg, who was best afield in the 18.14 (122) to 9.4 (58) victory, said the club faced a player exodus next year, with several clubs interested in his squadron of young stars.

“I know there would have been a few eyes on our blokes out there today,” he said after the match.

“But the chance to win three premierships comes along very, very rarely.

“We’re undefeated for 25 games now so, if we can keep the side together, there’s a record there and a lot for the blokes to play for.”

The Magpies made a near- perfect start in front of the 2640-strong crowd yesterday with top forward Jerome Illingworth snaring two goals from his first two kicks.

In stark contrast, George Town’s first four scores were behinds, rekindling memories of the 2001 grand final that the Saints lost after booting five goals and 25 behinds.

“It was just like two years ago, I thought `here we go again’,” Chugg said.

“But we straightened up once we settled down. We’re a different side than two years ago. We can take a bit of pressure now.”

After restricting Scottsdale to just three points in the second term, the Saints went to half-time with a 22-point buffer.

The Magpies slashed the lead to just seven points midway through the third term, however, after a spirited fightback led by coach Troy Milne and Adam Rice.

George Town responded with three swift goals from its best three players – Chugg, Luke Crane and Chris Jones – and the Scottsdale challenge was culled.

“They’ve had a few hard games and we were hoping they would run out of legs and I think that did happen in the end and we ran over the top of them,” Chugg said.

Veteran forward Geoff Bannon was chaired off the ground after snaring three goals in the final quarter of his final match to seal the victory for George Town.


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21/02/2019 0

Northern Bombers job earns Keogh top coach

UNDEFEATED: Rod KeoghKeogh, 32, is in his second year as coach of the Northern Bombers and has the team in this Saturday’s grand final against the Burnie Dockers.
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It will be the first time Keogh has been involved in a grand final since he played in St Kilda’s losing team in 1997.

Keogh played 60 games with the Saints and before that was at Melbourne for two years and played in a reserves premiership in 1993.

Keogh’s announcement as coach of the NTFL “dream team” for 2003 was announced at the Darrel Baldock Medal count on Sunday.

The criteria for the dream team was that coaches couldn’t select players from their own clubs and they were on the money when they nominated Burnie’s Nick Probert as captain and Launceston’s Adam Sanders as vice-captain.

Later in the afternoon Probert and Sanders were joint winners of the Darrel Baldock Medal in the first tie for the award in 17 years.

“I feel privileged to be named coach of this outstanding side,” Keogh said.

The 2003 NTFL Dream Team

B: Brian Finch (S L’ton), Wade Nation (N Bomb), Nick Probert (Burn)

HB: Kim Curtis (N Bomb), Adam Sanders (L’ton), Matthew Wooldridge (Burn)

C: T MacMichael (Burn), Anthony Taylor (L’ton), Scott Stephens (S L’ton)

HF: Grant Guard (Peng), Andrew Hill (N Bomb), Adrian Partridge (E Dev)

F: Nick Barnes (Burn), Matthew Langmaid (Dev), Mark Lowe (Dev)

FOLL: Matthew Stephenson (Lat), Paul McKendrick (N Bomb), Scott Harris (S L’ton)

INTER: Justin Cotton (N Bomb), Warwick Fenner (S L’ton), Alex Gilmour (Wyn)

Coach: Rod Keogh; Captain: Nick Probert; Vice-captain: Adam Sanders.

¤¤¤ Newly crowned Darrel Baldock Medal winner Nick Probert is hoping his best and fairest award can provide the Burnie Dockers with some extra momentum as they strive for a third straight flag.

The last player to win the medal and the premiership in the same year was Nathan Howard at Ulverstone in 1996.

“It may well give us all a boost,” Probert said.

For the first time in two years the Dockers are going into the grand final as underdogs and Probert said his players appreciated having the pressure off them.

He said the Dockers had no major injury worries with midfielder Matthew Smith expected to return from a leg injury after missing the preliminary final against Launceston.

Burnie will run several supporters’ buses from West Park to Latrobe at a cost of $10 and a sausage sizzle will be held on Thursday night during the team’s final training session.

¤¤¤ The NTFL is offering a $30 family ticket for Saturday’s grand final. The family ticket for two adults and two children will include a souvenir programme valued at $3.

The adult admission is $10, an increase of $2 from last year and people will have the chance to win a $500 travel voucher courtesy of the Devonport Flight Centre and Qantas.

There will also be a $150 prize for the best banner, $100 for the best decorated section of the grandstand and $50 for the most appropriately dressed supporter courtesy of CUB.

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21/02/2019 0

Four ram raids in one night

PORT Stephens detectives are investigating four ram raids which happened across the district last night.
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Two men allegedly stole a 2006 silver Toyota Prado during a break-in at an Anna Bay house which police allege was used in a string of raids targeting local businesses.

Police say theToyota wasdriven through the front entrance of a wildlife park onNelson Bay Road, Salt Ash, about 11pm.

The four-wheel-drive then crashed into fitness centre on Shearwater Close,Taylors Beach, shortly before midnight. The two offenders made off with a laptopcomputer during the break in.

Just minutes later, the same vehicle was used in a ram raid on a canteen ata public school on Gan Gan Road, Anna Bay; however it’s not known if anything was taken.

Between 1am and 2am today the four wheel drive was reportedly driven into a surf club at Birubi Point.

While nothing was stolen the surf club was significantly damaged.

Police from Port Stephens Local Area Command responded to the incidents andeach crime scene was examined by specialist forensics officers.

The four-wheel-drive was later discovered burnt out in sand dunes at BirubiBeach off Gan Gan Road, Anna Bay.

Local detectives are now appealing for public help as they try to identifyand locate the offenders.

Anyone with information should contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information should contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information should contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Can you help police? Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information should contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information should contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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21/02/2019 0

Friends remember a great football talent

FRIENDS of one of Ballarat’s finest football talents, Neil Trezise, yesterday paid tribute to him as a humble man who never sought publicity for his deeds.Mr Trezise died on Sunday aged 75 after suffering a heart attack last week.Recruited from Redan, the man they called Nipper was best known for his 185 VFL games for Geelong between 1949 and 1959.He captained the club for 19 games and played in back-to-back premierships in 1951-52.Mr Trezise was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1964. He represented the people of Geelong for 28 years and served in a number of opposition frontbench positions before holding the position of youth, sport and recreation minister from 1982 to 1992. Less known was his dedication to the Burrumbeet Park and Windermere Racing Club, where he would have attended a committee meeting tonight.President Melville Charles said Mr Trezise was a “great supporter” of the club, despite remaining in Geelong after his playing days.”He used to attend all the working bees up until the last one . . . he’d always turn up with a rake and a fork,” he said.Mr Trezise became a life member of the racing club earlier this year, and owned 1986 Burrumbeet Cup winner Dream Ruler.VFL/AFL historian Col Hutchinson, who worked with Mr Trezise in the Geelong Football Club history and tradition committee described him as one of the club’s “greatest contributors”.Mr Hutchinson said Mr Trezise was a lively footballer.”He was a very smart rover who had a little touch of mongrel, but was also very skilful and courageous,” he said.Mr Trezise had been known as “Titchy” during his Ballarat days.Former Geelong teammate Bill McMaster still remembers when legendary coach Reg Hickey changed it to Nipper during Mr Trezise’s first practise match.”Reg Hickey looked at the bench and didn’t know his name and he said `Nipper, you can go on in the forward pocket’,” he said.Former Ballarat West MLA Paul Jenkins, who entered politics after Mr Trezise’s retirement, said he was a “genuine politician”.”It didn’t matter what party you were in, he was a friend of everyone,” he said.Mr Trezise is survived by wife Joan, daughter Helen and son Ian, who is the current Geelong MLA.
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21/02/2019 0

Protection systemfaulty according to opposition

THE train protection and warning system monitoring Victoria’s regional fast train project is faulty just two weeks before trains reach speeds of up to 160km/h on the Ballarat line, the Opposition has claimed.The TPWS system is designed to stop trains running through red signals, thus reducing the risk of collision and derailment.But Shadow Minister for Transport Terry Mulder said the new warning system is not yet compatible with the electrics of the old V/Line locomotives, which will run alongside the new V’Locity fast trains.Mr Mulder said the new warning system was triggering false emergency alarms on the old V/Line locomotives. State Government spokesman Matt Nurse yesterday confirmed that testing has identified a “teething problem”, which has since been rectified. After speaking to “sources close to the project”, Mr Mulder claimed there was no train protection warning system operating on V/Line locomotives or any of the four fast train corridors, including Ballarat. “Rail authorities are scrambling to find a solution to the failure, and if this major safety problem can’t be sorted out, then those close to the project have stated that a decision will have to be made to either scrap the time-frame for the introduction of fast train services or allow the V/Line locomotives to operate on the same lines as the fast trains, but without the safety equipment operating,” Mr Mulder said. “Sources close to the project have described the pressure to get the trains running on time before the State Election as oppressive. “Any such glitch in safety equipment that was installed to protect the lives of train travellers must be subjected to the most rigorous testing, and the introduction of a handful of fast trains cannot be allowed to proceed without a personal guarantee from the Premier Steve Bracks that the system is safe.” But Mr Nurse said the new system will mean a second level of safety protection for commuters on top of the existing system. “The new train warning system has been installed in all V’Locity trains and is working well,” Mr Nurse said. “All other trains will be fitted with the new system well in time for the commencement of our improved timetable in two weeks.”
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21/02/2019 0
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