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Horror day on North’s roads

Lucky escape: The driver walked away uninjured from his badly damaged truck, after it jack-knifed on the West Tamar Highway yesterday. Picture: Neil RichardsonIn the fatal accident, a 67-year-old Riana woman died after a two- vehicle collision on the Old Bass Highway at Sulphur Creek.
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She was a passenger in a white Ford Econovan being driven by her 67-year-old husband when it was involved in a collision with a black Daewoo sedan shortly before 2pm.

The woman was taken to the North West Regional Hospital at Burnie but died soon afterwards.

Her husband was treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

A Penguin woman who was driving the Daewoo was admitted to hospital in a stable condition with fractures.

Police appealed for anyone who may have seen either vehicle before the collision to contact the Burnie police station.

In Launceston, a one- year-old boy was hit by a car in Tudor Ave, at Newstead, just after 5pm.

The child had crawled underneath a car in a private driveway and the car was reversed about 12m before the driver noticed the child.

The boy was taken to the Launceston General Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

At Wynyard, a man aged in his 20s was hit by a vehicle at 8.10pm on the Old Bass Highway.

He was taken to the North West Regional Hospital in a serious condition.

And a notorious stretch of the West Tamar Highway almost claimed another victim yesterday when a truck jack-knifed just outside Exeter, crushing the truck’s cabin under the tanker.

The driver of the Linfox double, travelling north, had alucky escape, walking from the scene uninjured.

Exeter resident Eileen Outram described hearing an “almighty bang” when the truck crashed.

“The truck’s cabin is a real mess,” she said.

Mrs Outram said she had seen several crashes on the right- hand bend going to Beaconsfield.

“We’ve had people come off the bend a few times,” she said.

Mrs Outram said it was fortunate no one has been killed on that part of the road.

She said the driver was clearly shaken by the incident and had a coffee on her verandah while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.

Firefighters were called to attend to the truck’s ruptured fuel tank.

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21/12/2018 0

Drive-off fuel thefts: Servos urged to take action

PETROL stations in Ballarat are being encouraged to introduce a pre-pay system to combat the increase in fuel theft drive-offs.Ballarat Police have joined a statewide call for more pre-pay stations in the wake of growing drive-off thefts, which have been linked to rising petrol prices.Figures released yesterday by Victoria Police show petrol thefts across the state had increased by more than 41 per cent in 2005-06.According to police, petrol drive-offs were the fastest-growing crime in Victoria, with almost 20 thefts a day – or 7135 in 2005-06 – reported across the state. Most theft was occurring in the evenings after 9pm.Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said petrol stations should adopt a pre-pay system at night to combat the surge in drive-off fuel thefts. “What we’re asking the proprietors to do is to have a payment scheme during the hours of about six at night until about four in the morning,” Ms Nixon said. “If they put that into play then we’ll prevent the crimes occurring in the first place.” While exact figures of drive-offs from petrol stations in the Ballarat region were unknown, local police admitted it was a growing problem.Ballarat police Senior Sergeant Peter McCormick said more incidents of petrol theft were reported in the region each week.And he has urged regional petrol stations to consider introducing a pay-before-you-buy system.”(Pre-pay) is not a new concept. It was raised here last year, but was not met with a lot of enthusiasm from distributors, who believed motorists would be less inclined to frequent a pre-pay petrol station” Sen Sgt McCormick said.”A pre-pay system needs to be seriously considered .th.th. but petrol distributors can’t be forced into it.”The incidence of number plate thefts in Ballarat had also increased, Sen Sgt McCormick said.Figures released by Victorian Police yesterday indicated there was a 32 per cent increase in number plate thefts across the state in the past 12 months.Sen Sgt McCormick said some thieves put false or stolen plates on their cars when stealing fuel. “The number of (plate) thefts (in Ballarat) is not alarming, but it is a growing trend,” Sen Sgt McCormick said.Victorian police will now be working with the service station industry to stem the flow of stolen fuel.The latest figures from Victoria Police have been met with scepticism by Victoria’s peak motoring organisation.The RACV’s David Cumming said while Victoria had experienced more than 7000 petrol theft drive-offs in the last financial year, the majority of the state’s motorists were honest.”Some of the new statistics are highly dubious. When you consider there are millions of cars on the state’s roads and only 7000 drive-offs, it proves that the bulk of motorists are doing the right thing.” Mr Cumming said.”The RACV does not support a pre-pay petrol system. In recent years service has been taken out of service stations. Why should motorists be inconvenienced by having to enter the shop twice.”I have also heard of some service stations demanding that motorists leave their credit cards and keys in the shop while they fill up their vehicles. You should never leave your credit card or car keys, which usually contain your house keys as well, with a total stranger.”The service station industry decided to turn themselves into convenient stores … now they’re inconvenience stores,” he said.Several service station operators contacted by The Courier yesterday declined to comment.
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21/12/2018 0


RAMPING UP: The port made a big investment in accomodating the new twin ferries.(1/2)The ship, which will be used for TT-Line’s Sydney- Devonport service, is due to begin trial runs up and down the river in early January before the first operational sailing on January 14.
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And although catering for three ships has called for $10 million in spending and very detailed planning, corporation chief executive officer Richard Barnard is watching the significant growth with a satisfied smile.

“It has been a huge job and a huge investment by the port,” he said.

“Who would have dreamed three years ago that the port would be catering for two ships, let alone three?

“Who knows what other things are around the corner to bolster the financial contribution the port makes to this city and Tasmania?”

The upper-deck loading ramp which was built at the ferry terminal to make loading all three ships faster is now in operation.

Now another $5 million will be spent on new infrastructure specifically for Spirit of Tasmania 3.

Berth no. 3 will be extended and a floating mooring fender built.

Piles of rock sit ready to build a causeway with a floating bow ramp to the south of the berth.

Another $2 million will be spent converting an East Devonport paddock into a passenger vehicle marshalling area to ease traffic problems and to allow TT-Line to keep its Melbourne-Devonport and Sydney-Devonport freight and vehicles separate.

The Driscolls Paddock marshalling area will be finished by January 1.

Mr Barnard said the Mersey could accommodate all three ships and its container services, but things would become a little complicated when a Bass Strait ferry and the new Sydney-Devonport ship were in port at the same time.

During daylight Bass Strait sailing seasons, Spirit 1 and 2 will be gone by time the Sydney service arrives in Devonport.

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21/12/2018 0


Travel figures recovering
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[BB] SYDNEY – The number of Australians visiting Bali was gradually recovering after last year’s terrorist attack, a Roy Morgan research survey released yesterday shows. Numbers fell by 57 per cent directly after the October 12 bombings, in which 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians.

About 162,000 people were planning to holiday in Bali in the six months before the bombings but this dropped to 69,000 following the tragedy.

However the latest figures showed an estimated 118,000 people intended to travel to the island between July and September this year.

Service to be held in London

LONDON – More than 500 people are expected at a private service in London today to commemorate the first anniversary of the Bali bombings that killed 26 Britons.

The families and friends of each of the British victims will attend the closed service at St Martin’s In The Field church in Trafalgar Square, along with some family members of the 88 Australians killed.

US pays tribute to the victims

WASHINGTON – The US paid tribute to the victims of last year’s Bali terrorist attacks yesterday and welcomed counter-terror steps taken by both Indonesia and Australia in the 12 months since the deadly bombing.

“We express our support and our solidarity with the peoples of Indonesia and Australia and with the families from all the countries who lost loved ones in this terrible act,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said ahead of today’s anniversary.

Militants plan more attacks

BALI – Militants were planning more attacks in Indonesia and had already built two bombs, a top police officer said yesterday.

Security is extremely tight in Bali for the anniversary with thousands of police and security personnel deployed.

Bali police chief I Made Mangku Pastika, who has led the investigation into the October 12, 2002, bombings, said the devices were similar to those used last year.

“The two bombs are not in Bali. In Indonesia, but not in Bali,” he said.

Temple cleansed for service

KUTA BEACH – The spectacular mountainside temple where today’s Bali bombing first anniversary will be commemorated has been ritually cleansed in a Hindu ceremony.

Under a full moon in the velvet tropic sky, the 21/2-hour ceremony ended at midnight.

Keeper of the temple’s holy water Ibu Seni explained that the ritual was needed before the Christian service, which will be held at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Centre, the biggest temple in predominantly Hindu Bali.

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21/12/2018 0

Family left with nothing

TAMRA Kay turns eight years old tomorrow, but she and her family don’t feel like celebrating after their home at Ballan was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning.The four members of the Kay family were left with only the clothes they were wearing after they fled the blaze, which started about 7am in their Edols St Housing Commission home.Fortunately, Tamra’s birthday present, a new bike, was stored in a shed on the property and was not damaged in the fire.The Ballan community is now rallying behind single mother Rebecca Kay and her three children, Tamra, Dylan, aged five and Brodie, 2, after the young family lost everything in the fire.Neighbours and strangers alike have donated clothes, toys, food and essential household items to the Kays, who were lucky to escape the fire unharmed.The family was last night staying with friends until emergency accommodation could be found.Two fire units from Ballan attended the blaze, which caused about $150,000 worth of damage. The three-bedroom brick veneer house and its contents were fully insured.Senior Constable Andrew McSwain from Bacchus Marsh police said the cause of the fire was not suspicious. It is believed an electrical fault started the blaze.Ms Kay’s boyfriend, Simon Thomson, returned to the gutted house late yesterday morning to assess the damage.”Rebecca and the kids were lucky to get out unhurt … the house was well ablaze by the time the fire brigade turned up,” Mr Thomson said.”She got the kids out safely and then went back to try to put the fire out herself. Rebecca was left with just the jeans and t-shirt she was wearing … she didn’t even have a pair of shoes.”Within hours of the blaze, the Ballan community started rallying around to help one of its own.”Donations of clothes and toys have been coming in from everywhere. This is a close knit community that thinks nothing of helping one of its own,” Mr Thomson said.
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21/12/2018 0

Koala study to help save species

HOW MUCH CAN A KOALA BEAR?: Researcher from the Heidleberg University in Germany, Katharina Kadi?nig is pictured with Milton, a 4 1/2 year old male koala from the Ballarat Wildlife and Reptile Park. A team is here to undertake research to help with the koalas’ management and preservation.THE cuddly and often sleepy koala will become the subject of new research to help with the species’ management and preservation.
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Announced this week by Ballarat City Council and the Australian Koala Foundation, the study will find out where and why koalas are dying in the municipality.

Australian Koala Foundation liaison officer Rolf Schlagloth said anecdotal evidence showed the species was under greater threat than ever before.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of records of koalas being injured and killed but it hasn’t been compiled, analysed, and published,” he said.

Mr Schlagloth said the biggest threats to koalas today were wild dogs and car accidents.

“We are worried we have a huge drain of koalas that are already under threat from loss of habitat,” he said.

“You can’t sustain a healthy koala population if you just have a continuing bleeding of stock.”

German researcher Katharina Kadiönig will assist with the collation and mapping of the data onto a geographical information system.

Using this system, data will show where koalas are most threatened and help council implement strategies to assist with sustaining and protecting the population.

City of Ballarat Environment Officer Melanie Robertson said it was important that people realised koalas were here first, and should not be seen as a pest.

Data about where koalas are being killed and injured will be collected from local wildlife carers, vets and the Australian Koala Foundation.

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21/11/2018 0

Bravely facing any challenge

ALOPECIA sufferer Ryan Pompe is a quietly spoken, courageous young teenager.The Ballarat Football League under 14 representative is devoted to his Golden Point junior club.And it his positive attitude, despite the loss of hair from his illness, which attracts people to Ryan as much as his football ability.His father, Michael, is also in awe of his son’s “enormous amount of courage”.Despite some teasing Ryan has stood out as a top young footballer who leads by example.The Year Eight Ballarat Secondary College East campus student has learnt a lot from his condition.”It has taught me to deal with something that at first was hard to take but now I think I am a better person for it,” Ryan told The Courier.”I have had great support from teammates and family, the club and my school – it’s not a problem particularly when you understand how many other people have the condition,” Ryan said.Michael said his son’s condition doesn’t affect Ryan’s physical health but there is an emotional toll.”Some people come good with the hair growing back but Ryan’s condition deteriorated – he’s actually got a bad case.”We were at the breakfast table one morning when I asked Ryan about a patch on his head about the size of a five cent or 10c piece.”We didn’t panic then much, just went and saw our doctor.”Sometimes it can grow back straight away but we realised as the weeks went by he was getting more and more hair loss and a specialist put him on cortisone-based ointment and then painful injections into his scalp.”He also saw a naturopath which helped a little bit.”There are three types of alopecia.Alopecia Totalis, like Ryan’s condition, is where you lose all the hair on your head and Universalis is where you lose all the hair on your body.”It is believed to be an auto immune deficiency – there are some thoughts that it stress-related or heredity.”It started to develop on Ryan’s scalp in June, 2004.But Michaeal said there was a lot of support and help for the condition.”If anyone out there experiences this there is a lot that can be done. The trouble with alopecia is it is more of a mental problem; sufferers can relate to it like losing a limb.”It is a sensitive age as a teenager to get alopecia as Ryan had just started secondary school.”He could have it forever but sometimes but it can grow back anytime.”Sometimes for parents like Michael it can be difficult to watch a child go through the condition.”But kids that get it don’t have to stop playing football, netball, ball room dancing or whatever – they can go out and carry on.”Ryan did think about stopping playing football and he became a little bit reclusive at first but Neil Robe as president of the Goldent Point junior body was very supportive.”Ryan has copped a bit of flak from a few kids but a lot other kids have been very supportive,” Michael said.He said the BFL had really shown interest in Ryan as a person and as a player.”Ryan has never once complained about it either.”This year Ryan played in the BFL under 14s representative side in the inaugural Bobby Davis Cup – Ballarat versus Geelong.
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21/11/2018 0


Cyclist imprisoned[BB] SYDNEY – A Sydney father who knocked over and killed an elderly woman as he cycled home was yesterday sentenced to three years’ jail over the tragic accident. Darren Cargill was rushing anxiously home on a borrowed bicycle when, looking at his feet rather than the footpath, he struck Joan Russell, 78.
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Mrs Russell, who was walking through a park in Redfern, fell backwards on to the pavement, hitting her head and becoming unconscious.

The NSW District Court heard that Cargill made no attempt to brake and did not stop to help Mrs Russell, who suffered lacerations to the back of her head, a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.

She was taken to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where she underwent surgery but died six days after the November 11, 2001, accident.

Jail for stalking MELBOURNE – An obsessed shoe-shop owner who waged a campaign of terror against the family of a woman employee who spurned his advances was yesterday jailed for eight years.

The court was told that before resorting to violence and threats, Benito Maccia, 63, gave Elizabeth Gligorieva, 35, a cheque for $100,000, promoted her to shop manager and raised her pay in an attempt to induce her to sleep with him.

But Maccia became aggressive and angry when Ms Gligorieva told him to stay away.

In the Supreme Court, Maccia, of Highlands Rd, Thomastown, pleaded guilty to charges of stalking and incitement to kill between November 2000 and June last year.

During that time, shots were fired at family members’ homes and cars were burnt.

Disease hits olives ADELAIDE – A bacterial disease has struck Australian olives.

Olive knot (Pseudomonas savastanoi) has been confirmed on five properties in South Australia and one in Victoria.

It is the first time that the olive disease, which weakens tree development, has been found in Australia.

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21/11/2018 0


ABC slated
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[BB] CANBERRA – Richard Alston may have quit the communications portfolio but that did not stop him launching another blistering attack against the ABC yesterday. An independent complaints review panel upheld 17 of the former Communication Minister’s 68 complaints of bias in the national broadcaster’s coverage of the Iraq War.

Senator Alston was crowing at the findings released yesterday, which showed 12 cases of serious bias by a reporter or presenter, four breaches of an ABC directive to refrain from emotional language or editorialisation, and one case where sources were inadequately identified.

But the panel, set up by the ABC board, found no overall bias against the US or the Coalition of the Willing.

Senator Alston said the findings were a devastating indictment on the ABC’s self- indulgent, self-assessment complaints handling procedure.

Airspace protest

CANBERRA – Australia’s air traffic controllers concerned about the safety implications of airspace reforms say they have the backing of international colleagues.

Under new rules to be introduced in six weeks, light aircraft will be allowed to operate below 3000m without radio or radar contact or notifying air traffic controllers.

Civil Air president Ted Lang said a meeting of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers in Montreal had condemned the plan as unsafe.

Civil Air state representatives and safety experts met in Melbourne this week and pleaded for the Transport Minister John Anderson to reconsider the reforms.

GM demo arrests SYDNEY – Eleven people were arrested yesterday after environmental campaigners dressed in chicken suits barricaded two poultry feed factories that used genetically modified ingredients.

About 60 Greenpeace activists carrying anti-GM food banners launched a coordinated blockade at Ingham Enterprises chicken feed silos at Cardiff in the NSW southern highlands, and the firm’s corporate headquarters in Liverpool.

Greenpeace wants an end to the company’s practice of feeding GM soya to chickens.

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21/11/2018 0


Beer upmarket[BB] ADELAIDE – Beer drinkers have become as selective as wine connoisseurs, favouring premium beers over aged-old lagers, according to a leading Australian brewer. South Australian-based Coopers Brewery managing director Tim Cooper said beer drinkers had become increasingly sophisticated.
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“Beer drinkers are now more sophisticated and selective about what they drink than they were 10 years ago,” Mr Cooper said yesterday. “Breweries are aware of this, and the focus has turned to satisfying the growing demand for premium beer in the market.”

The emergence of the so-called beer connoisseur had changed the beer market, he said.

Custody plan slated CANBERRA – The head of the Family Court yesterday lambasted Prime Minister John Howard’s proposal for shared custody of children from broken homes, saying it would never work.

Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson was scornful of any suggestion that the Family Law Act be changed to presume divorced parents received equal access to their children.

He said the plan did not reflect the reality of Australian life and was unworkable.

Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee on child custody, Justice Nicholson said the court had to assess each case individually and rule in the best interest of the child.

Fare hike fears MELBOURNE – Taxi fares could increase by as much as 8 per cent when the Federal Government introduces an LPG tax.

Victorian Taxi Industry Association chief executive officer Neil Sache predicted that the decision by the Federal Government to impose an excise on LPG from 2008 would impact heavily on taxi running costs.

“Potentially this could increase LPG prices by as much as 33c a litre,” Mr Sache said. The Federal Government outlined the LPG tax plan in May’s budget papers.

Accused abused ADELAIDE – The father of a schoolgirl found dead on a dirt driveway verbally abused her accused killer during a brief court appearance in Adelaide yesterday.

Kevin John Hender, 48, of north suburban Blakeview, appeared briefly in the Adelaide Magistrates Court charged with the murder of 15-year-old Samantha O’Reilly.

“Just hang the bastard,” Samantha’s father, Noel, muttered during yesterday’s legal argument.

The schoolgirl’s partially clad body was found on the dirt driveway of an Adelaide Hills property in January, three hours after she was last seen alive.

Whaling rival WELLINGTON – Japan is considering setting up a rival organisation to the International Whaling Commission, which was set up in 1947 to conserve and manage stocks of the giant marine mammals, a newspaper reported yesterday.

A Japanese Fisheries Ministry representative revealed the plans while attending a conference on the southern bluefin tuna this week in Christchurch, The Press said. It said that the move could spell the end of the IWC, which angered Japan and some other whaling members when it introduced a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1985.

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21/11/2018 0
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