Monthly Archives:May 2018

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Burnie Show success hailed

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

THE 93rd annual Burnie Show has been a huge success, show society vice-president John Radford says.
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The two-day event finished yesterday, with the rainclouds politely steering clear of the Wivenhoe Showgrounds.

Mr Radford said the numbers were up from last year’s gate takings.

“We also saw the most exhibitors in recent times, and the crowds have been happy and joyous,” Mr Radford said.

“Everyone has left happy, with showbags and full of food.”

Mr Radford said mainland duo Animal Wranglers were one of the biggest drawcards of the day.

“They’ve been a really popular comedic act, them and their animal sidekicks,” he said.

“It’s been a really successful show and we’re already looking to next year, seeing how we can make things bigger and better for crowds and exhibitors.”

Ian Hodgetts, of Highclere, with champion Clydesdale Stone of Destiny. Pictures: PHILLIP BIGGS

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Protests target animal exports

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

Federal Labor backbencher Kelvin Thomson, addressing thousands of protesters at a rain-drenched rally in Melbourne, has called on his government colleagues to ban live animal exports.
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On a day of protest around the country, thousands attended protest rallies in the state capitals and Canberra.

“No ban, no vote, get animals off the boat,” the crowd chanted outside Victoria’s Parliament House.

In a colourful Sydney protest, banners were emblazoned with messages including “Come on Julia, don’t be a chicken” and “Stop the animal holocaust”.

National GetUp director Sam McLean told the crowd in Sydney’s Martin Place that the animal welfare movement was the most powerful grassroots movement in Australia.

Closest to home for the federal government was Mr Thomson’s continuing urgent call for the banning of further livestock shipments to Bahrain or Pakistan until further notice.

The renewed calls for an end to the live animal export trade follow news that about half of 21,000 Australian sheep offloaded in Pakistan last month were clubbed, stabbed and buried alive.

Mr Thomson told the Melbourne rally it was “absolutely unacceptable that Bahrain and Pakistan can ignore the memorandums of understanding which they have entered into as a condition of entering the export trade”.

He said regulations must be implemented for the mandatory stunning of animals before slaughter, while the live animal export trade is phased out and replaced with domestic processing.

He called for the establishment of an independent animal welfare office.

Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White told the Melbourne protesters to send a message to their local candidates before the next federal election.

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30 years worth celebrating

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

THE Launceston Touch Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the launch of its 2012 season today.
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The season kicks off from 10am until 4pm, with 15 divisions playing round 1 matches at Prospect Park Sports Club.

The LTA has 102 teams in its competition.

They are incorporated into five divisions each of men’s, women’s, mixed and junior competition.

The LTA has a member base of about 1300 people with the numbers of junior players increasing.

Games are played from Monday to Thursday nights at 6, 6.55 and 7.50 at Prospect Park.

There are five Sunday rounds during the season, which concludes with the grand final on February 23.

The association welcomes new members, referees, volunteers and spectators.

Inquiries can be made by emailing general manager Kate Stokes at [email protected]

Information and rosters are available from the association’s web site, http://www.launcestontouch.asn.au/.

Set for the new season are Kell Gibbons, Luke Petterwood, Dylan Glock, Tish Hayes, Casey Wood, Kate Soteks and Jan Gibbons. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

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New ride gets adrenalin pumping

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

RIDE enthusiasts will be challenged by the Royal Launceston Show’s newest attraction, show manager Brian Bennett said.
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“I saw the Power Surge at the Burnie Show, and let me tell you, it’s not for the faint-hearted – I certainly won’t be going for a ride,” Mr Bennett said.

“It’s the first time the ride has been to Tasmania.

“We have 65 per cent of people in the gate going on sideshow rides, and this will be a challenge for them.”

The Power Surge will make an appearance at the Royal Launceston Show this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Launceston Showgrounds.

Mr Bennett said those who loved the show for its other merits would not be disappointed.

“We’re expecting a very good show,” he said.

“There are more than 1300 entries in the competitions, which is something that people of all ages can get into.

“We’ve got more than 200 heads of cattle entered, a good showing of sheep and alpacas, and 650 dogs entered – there is so much free entertainment for families.

“And, naturally, the fireworks will take place at Aurora Stadium on Friday at 9.30pm.

“Entertainment is something that’s important to us, so we have rebooked the Animal Wranglers – an act that garnered a great response last year.”

Brave punters get a unique view of the show from the Power Surge. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

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Stigma of housing taints sale

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

RUN-DOWN, bogan and crime-infested – it seems to be a common perception of public housing.
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Newstead real estate agent James Bird says the stigma is so strong, the mere mention of “Housing Tasmania” can lessen the value of nearby properties.

Mr Bird, of View Launceston Real Estate, said he was struggling to sell several blocks of land at Eastman’s Green after rumours spread of a public housing development in the area.

“A company has come in to build housing under the affordable housing scheme – and the company is not Housing Tasmania, it’s not public housing, but because everyone is saying it’s housing commission, people aren’t interested,” he said.

“We’re not going to drop prices, we’re going to hold firm and wait for people to see for themselves it’s not Housing Commission, because when they see that everything will be fine.”

Mr Bird confirmed a long-held assumption among buyers, saying an actual Housing Tasmania development would usually affect nearby property prices.

“It definitely does have an impact . . . I would say you’re probably looking at a minimum 10 per cent price impact on nearby properties,” he said.

“If you just take yourself and think about whether you would want to move next door to a public housing property, the answer would probably be no because there is that stigma.”

Launceston real estate agent Richard Sims said while it depended on the development, public housing could have a $20,000 to $30,000 impact on nearby property prices.

“It does have an unfair impact on prices . . . I think the media has a lot to do with it, in terms of influencing how we think about public housing,” he said.

University of Tasmania housing and communities unit director Keith Jacobs said while public housing may have an impact on nearby house prices, other factors – like the state of the economy – were more influential.

“So it’s difficult to know just how much of an impact it has, but there is some potential for housing buyers put off by social housing developments because they take the view that it will hurt house prices,” he said.

“It’s that whole `not in my backyard’ mentality where they like the idea of social housing, as long as it’s not in their neighbourhood.

“That makes it difficult for local councils to approve social housing developments because people protest against them.”

Mr Jacobs said the stigma surrounding public housing was short-sighted.

“Public housing is essential for vital societies and people judge it unfairly -when the real problem isn’t social housing, it’s the amount of money going into it,” he said.

James Bird, of View Launceston Real Estate, says the planned affordable housing scheme is affecting sales of land at Norwood’s Eastman’s Green subdivision. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

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Tamar Valley puzzled by omission

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

North Tasmanian tourism operators and business leaders had mixed feelings following the exclusion of key destinations from a new travel list last week.
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Almost all of Tasmania was included in Natural Landscapes, a list of best places in Australia to visit compiled by Tourism Australia.

Launceston, the Midlands region, the Tamar Valley, Penguin and Burnie were excluded.

Legana’s Velo Wines co-owner Mary Wilson said she was concerned and puzzled that the Tamar Valley had been left out.

”I definitely have concerns if it is advertising being done about tourism in Tasmania because the Tamar Valley is a major part of the state’s tourism and cannot be missed,” she said.

”And in terms of where food and wine sits in tourism, the food and wine experience is getting bigger and bigger – and seeing that the majority of the state’s wine routes are up here, you would think we’d be included.”

However, CityProm executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said it was fantastic that Tasmania had been included.

”I think the inclusion is a bonus for Tasmania – and Launceston is a gateway to many parts of Tasmania,” she said.

”And when it comes to Launceston, our strengths aren’t our natural landscapes.

”They’re our heritage, our food and our wine.”

Burnie Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Phil McCulloch agreed it was a good thing for the state.

”I think it’s a shame they didn’t include many areas in the North of the state but I think the benefits will still flow on,” he said.

Velo Wine owners Mary and Micheal Wilson were concerned and puzzled that the Tamar Valley had been left out of a list of best places to visit compiled by Tourism Australia. Picture: WILL SWAN

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Shearwater rethink plea to Woolies

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

A COMMUNITY group has called on supermarket giant Woolworths to reconsider its proposed development for Shearwater, saying it will divide the town in two.
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Save Our Seaside Village spokesman Guy Barnett said plans for a new shopping centre including a supermarket 700 metres from the existing town centre were “crazy planning”.

“We will be writing to Woolworths, saying the establishment of a new town centre will split the community and cause significant detrimental economic and social impact,” he said.

“It will fragment the town in this small community, hurting retailers, businesses, employees and their families, but also the tourism potential and amenity of Shearwater and the surrounding areas.”

Mr Barnett said the group conducted an audit of available retail space in the town centre, which showed there was plenty of room for expansion there.

More than 2600 people from the 4000-strong community had signed a petition in opposition to the development, Mr Barnett said.

However, Latrobe Mayor Michael Gaffney said the council had approved the land’s rezoning six years ago through a rigorous process with the then Resource, Planning and Development Commission, and the land had been sold to Fairbrothers for it to develop as it wished.

“We understand where (the opponents) are coming from – economically times are tough,” he said.

“But it’s not going to be the end of these (existing) shops.

“We have to bear the brunt of (the feedback), but we’re mindful of the fact that we’re there to support the future growth of the area.”

At a Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry dinner on Friday night, Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien confirmed that a Shearwater development was in the planning stages.

Michael Gaffney

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Meet Mr Festival

May 29th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

Melbourne Festival director Brett Sheehy at the Regent Theatre which will host the festival’s opening this Thursday.BRETT Sheehy is a man in perpetual motion, by his own admission hyperactive, possessed of a mind that rarely rests and a body that similarly resists the urge to relax. Why would he? For Sheehy, there is simply too much to do, too much to see, so much to absorb and so much to share – a whole world to be parcelled up and presented to anyone willing to go along for the ride.
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The ride is the Melbourne Festival, which begins this Thursday and of which Sheehy is artistic director for the fourth time. But ”artistic director” is a mere title. Spend some time in his company, and it’s easier to think of him like this: as the compact commander of our cultural ship of state, in charge of a nerve-racking annual expedition that seeks to take the adventurous on a journey of his own daredevil creation.

He’s done it for Melbourne three times before, and has directed the festivals of Adelaide and Sydney six times before that, but as he approaches his 10th – and, he reckons, his last – city festival, neither his energy nor his enthusiasm is flagging. If anything, at 53, he seems infused with the irresistible electricity of a tyro on the tear, a young man on a mission to make his mark, not an esteemed veteran of Australian cultural life who could, if he wanted, rest on the laurels he’s gathered to his name across his long career.

Come opening night at the Regent Theatre this Thursday, Sheehy will be forced to sit still for a while, but after decades of such experiences, he says the nerves never leave you.

”They are there, always,” he tells The Sunday Age. ”They’re there every single night. I’d love to have had the opportunity once in my life to present a festival – and I say this as a joke – where I’m put into an induced coma and I come out of it at the end and just say, ‘Did it go well?’ and people say, ‘Yes.’

”It’s just nail-biting. Every performance, there’s an artist on the line in terms of an audience, and worrying and praying that the vision on the stage is going to connect with the audience … it is incredibly tough and stressful, I find. But also from that I hope comes good work, because it’s the adrenalin of all that drives us.”

It’s clear that adrenalin, aided and abetted by an infectious passion for seemingly everything and everyone that crosses his path, is his driving force, the twin engines that power him through days that at festival time can seem endless – from 6am starts to the end of a workday that might not come until two or three the next morning. There are shows to be seen, artists to be met, parties to attend, politicians and punters to meet and greet. (It is, after all, the punters, we the taxpayers, who pay the bills for the festival, and the politicians whom Sheehy needs to sign the cheques.)

Having spent one hectic day shadowing Sheehy, The Sunday Age can report that the man is not being careless with our pennies. Unassuming and down-to-earth, this is not a life of long lunches and lounging in limousines. He’s in jeans, a polo shirt, sneakers. Lunch is a bread roll in a paper bag, scoffed when he gets a spare moment in between meetings, site inspections and visits to show rehearsals.

At festival headquarters at Federation Square, he has ceded the big corner office to one of his senior staff – his desk is side-by-side with the rest of the team on the open-plan floor. He is conscious, he says, that he doesn’t own the Melbourne Festival – the people do – and he is careful how he spends our money. ”I’m incredibly conscious of it,” he says.

”It’s a weird thing, because to be overly deferential to it can make you too risk-averse, and the work then doesn’t push boundaries at all and you could fall into the trap of presenting work that a commercial producer would present and, finally, I think that’s what should distinguish festivals, by and large – that what we present should be work that no commercial producer in Australia would touch, and that’s what the subsidies should be enabling us to do.

”On the other side of the coin, one ought to be mindful that it’s not our money, and these festivals aren’t playpens that we’re dropped into to indulge our whims for a few years and then get out.

”I think the responsibility is not only financial but to the community to which we present the work, the artists of that community and so on. I think that’s really important and it’s something we should be really mindful of, and I think, by and large, most of us are.”

OUR day with Sheehy starts in a Russell Street cafe at 8.30am, where he is joining a dozen or so of the festival team for an operations meeting. Some of them have just come on board for the business end of the festival, the mad run to the finishing line of opening night, so Sheehy takes a back seat – a few quick words, then hands over to his operations manager, Donna Aston, a woman of whom he later says: ”She’s as good as it gets. And she’s just up for anything. You can say to her, ‘Donna, we want to build a three-storey building on the banks of the Yarra in the middle of council turf in the middle of a bike way, can you make it happen?’ And she does it.”

The building he’s talking about is the Festival Hub, a Sheehy creation on the south bank of the Yarra opposite Federation Square that he hopes will serve as the city’s social meeting point during the festival – a temporary playground for a bite, a beer and a boogie.

We’ll be visiting that later, but first it’s back to festival HQ for some housework – checking emails, catching up on phone calls, followed by a ”crisis management meeting” – what happens if, God forbid, something goes terribly wrong from a safety or security point of view. Then Sheehy is ushered into a quiet office for an interview with an Italian travel magazine that is preparing a special feature on Melbourne, with a focus on its cultural life.

What, the Italian journalist wants to know, sets Melbourne audiences apart? Sheehy has had three years to think about this answer; he knows by now what makes us tick.

”In a festival context audiences here tend to be up for anything, incredibly courageous,” he says.

”In the festival context, these 2½ weeks of each year, the audiences in Melbourne really will try anything. That’s a really cheering and privileged position to be in as a festival director.

”Melbourne is considered by many the cultural capital of Australia and my personal view is that’s true. To the extent that I’ve worked in the artistic milieu in the four biggest cities – in Brisbane, in Sydney, in Adelaide, in Melbourne – this is the first city in which I’ve presented culture in which pretty well every woman and man in the street, whether they partake themselves or not, will say culture is a critical part of the fabric of their city.

”I found that in no other city in Australia, but in Melbourne every taxi driver, every shopkeeper, every anyone – whether they involve themselves or not – will say this is a critical part of my town.

”That’s a hugely privileged position to be in, in presenting work to them, because you know 4 million people pretty well think what you do is important.”

That interview over, it’s time for the key meet-and-greet of the day: at the Regent Theatre, which will host the opening night performance of the Dutch work After Life, a contemporary opera Sheehy was determined to bring here for his final festival. Today he is meeting the production manager, fresh in from Europe, Frank van der Weij, but equally as thrilling for Sheehy is simply to stand on the Regent stage, to gaze at its glorious ceiling, and then to take a seat in the empty stalls and imagine the wonders to come when the theatre is filled and the stage alive with performers and musicians.

From the Regent it’s on to a dance studio in West Melbourne to take in a rehearsal of a new work by choreographer Lucy Guerin. As Guerin puts it, the relationship between an artist and a festival director needs a rare foundation to work. ”When they commission a work, they don’t get to see it until it’s basically too late to pull it, so there has to be absolute trust.”

Sheehy pronounces himself thrilled. ”Thank you so much guys,” he tells the dancers. ”After waiting for it for 1½ years, it’s gonna be amazing.”

Our next stop is the Festival Hub – still under construction but already obviously a highlight for Sheehy. Donning safety jackets and scrambling up and down ladders of the three-level structure, he can already see it packed with revellers on (hopefully) warm spring days and nights.

The creative team behind the venue runs through the details – from live performances to bars on every level and lighting that will make it a new, if temporary, CBD landmark.

As the afternoon gets on, there is at last time to sit down, and this time Sheehy gets to mix business with pleasure. At Walter’s Wine Bar at Southbank, he is catching up with Jonathan Mills, himself a former artistic director of the Melbourne Festival who now directs the Edinburgh International Festival. They are friends and they are peers, and Mills is eloquent in his description of both the importance of the festival to Melbourne and the importance of Brett Sheehy to its ongoing relevance.

The Sydney-born Mills says: ”We all gravitate to Melbourne. Melbourne can’t take it for granted, but it has been a place that has been more nurturing and more open in the arts … Melbourne’s primacy in the cultural space in Australia needs to be argued for constantly. I think anywhere is in danger of taking it for granted. You are at your most vulnerable when you’re at your most successful.”

And of Sheehy, he is particular in his praise: ”Brett is a great colleague. He is respectful of other people’s work and rejoices in other people’s success. That’s rare in the arts.”

The day is drawing late, and we leave Sheehy and Mills to their private conversation. Afterwards, Sheehy will return to the office to tie up loose ends, and then he escapes for what may be the most crucial part of his hyperactive day: a gym session. Exercise is what keeps him sane, he says. ”If I’m physically exhausted and sleeping, I’m much stronger than if it’s all kind of nerve-endings and mental stuff going on.”

At night, the pace doesn’t necessarily slow down, even before the festival starts. There may be a Melbourne Fringe Festival show to take in – a chance to meet up-and- coming talent, share a beer with arts colleagues – and at home he doesn’t switch off: last week, for instance, he spent his down-time polishing some of the speeches he has to deliver.

Home is the Toorak apartment he shares with his partner of 18 years, Steven Nicholls. Both are originally Queenslanders, though they met in Sydney in 1994.

”I’ve just been so lucky,” Sheehy says of his relationship. ”He’s a chef and a very good one so he’s completely transportable and he’s just generously been good enough to say, ‘Yes, Brett, I’m happy to start again just like you’re starting again’, in each city we’ve been into, and we’ve just up and moved.

”The only kind of agreement that we had was that if we bought a place we’d hold on to it, which we did in Darlinghurst. But then when we realised we were going to be in Melbourne for a while we thought we’d stretch ourselves and have a little investment property. So we’ve now got a place in both cities and the potential to live in either.

”But it’s funny, it’s probably because we’re starting to turn into old men now we’re starting to talk about, you know, where do we want to die, and we think maybe back in Queensland.”

But any thoughts of retirement are a long way off, as are any thoughts of leaving Melbourne, which Sheehy says he now considers home. He finishes with the festival on October 31. A mere five days later he embarks on his latest challenge: as artistic director and CEO of the Melbourne Theatre Company.

He is looking forward to that, but first he has 17 days of nerves and exhilaration to get through. ”There’s a weekend in between there,” he says, with a laugh, of the short time between one job and the next. ”Frankly, if I took two weeks off I just wouldn’t know what to do, unless I went away. It’ll be a couple of good sleeps and I’ll be fine.”

■The Melbourne Festival runs from Thursday until October 27, melbournefestival南京夜网.au.

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Over-35s make history with win

May 25th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

The Tasmanian over-35s men’s hockey team yesterday created history when it defeated Victoria to claim the state’s first national division 1 master’s hockey title.
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In a fast-paced final, Tasmania downed Victoria 4-2 in front of a vocal home crowd at the national titles in Hobart.

Fired up after losing to Victoria in the round robin phase, Tasmania was slick, direct and full of run in the opening half that produced three classy goals.

Jonathon Stebbings celebrated his 36th birthday by claiming two goals, with Phil Sargent snaring the third to give the home side a comfortable 3-0 half-time lead.

Victoria hit back with a quick goal, but Tasmania restored its buffer with Sargent grabbing his second goal of the game.

A converted Victorian corner 14 minutes from the end kept the contest alive at 4-2, but Tasmania controlled play as the clock ran down.

For Tasmania, none was better than Sean Carey at left half, who controlled and marshalled the defence all game.

Up front, Tasmania had several strong contributors in Glenn Lucas, Josh Corney and brothers Jonathon and Jeremy Stebbings, who relished playing together again.

After the game, co-captain and coach Stephen McMullen vowed Tasmania would be back next year in Sydney to defend its title.

”The team has bonded fantastically well this week and we’re keen to make sure were not a one-hit wonder, he said, accepting the trophy from national masters co-ordinator Peter Sweeney.

In other action yesterday, the Tasmanian over-40s division 2 side continued its winning run with a 4-2 win against Victoria.

The over-50s division 2 side went down to Queensland 4-0, with the over-55s division 1 side also falling to Queensland 3-1.

In the curtain-raiser to the over-35s final, the over-65s side fought out a nil-all draw against Western Australia.

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Lights out for Sydney’s inner west

May 25th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

A picture via Twitter of Parramatta Road during the blackout.Emergency crews are working to restore power to about 25,000 homes in Sydney’s inner west.
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Homes in Newtown, Petersham, Marrickville, Stanmore, Leichhardt and Dulwich Hill are reporting a blackout after a power outage struck about 7pm tonight.

Ausgrid took to social media to tweet it expected power to be back on by 9pm tonight.

Petersham resident and Greens MP Cate Faehrmann told the Herald in a tweet “all calm in our street in Petersham.

“Candles and gas lights have been brought out. And the silence is lovely!”

Earlier today, 2500 Ausgrid customers near Edgecliff, Bondi Junction and Bellevue Hill suffered a blackout after a cable fault.

Sunanda Creagh tweeted: “Traffic orderly in Marrickville, families calmly coming onto streets to find out what’s happening. The royal exchange hotel on Marrickville rd still lit. Must have a generator. TAB sign the brightest thing!”

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