Month: March 2019

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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.”

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

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.

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

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

22/03/2019 0
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