Defib program a boon for rural communities

RURAL communities would be one of the significant benefactors from Ambulance Tasmania’s new program which links community-based defibrillators registered with Ambulance Tasmania to the triple zero emergency network.
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REMOTE CONTROL: Ambulance Tasmania CEO Dominic Morgan says the new defibrillator program would be particularly valuable in remote areas. Picture: Meg Windram.

In the event of a cardiac arrest, Ambulance Tasmania’s communications centre will be able to detect the closest registered machine and will send a text message to its owner.

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive officer Dominic Morgan said the program would be particularly valuable in remote areas due to the long distances that volunteers and paramedics needed to travel.

“The idea of linking AEDs to the triple 0 network has actually been around for many years but it’s only in recent time that the tech available through satellite trackings has allowed us to link the incident, our ambulance and the public defibrillators,” he said.

Mr Morgan said as far as they were aware the only other ambulance service offering a similar program is in London.

“We are fairly confident that in five years everyone will be doing it,” he said.

“Many states have some public access defibrillators recorded with the ambulance service but what is different is in most places they will advise a person to go and get it while the ambulance is responding, in our program we intend to advise the registered keeper that a cardiac arrest is within their area and then the person is free to respond.”

Mr Morgan said Ambulance Tasmania had stickers made up with red AED symbols that could be put in the windows of businesses that had a registered machine.

“I think it’s going to be quite organic. Corporations I think will be a big part of the program,” he said.

“Until 12 months ago we were officially aware of 15 defibrillators and we have 180 in the system today.”

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Sea of fun for kids’ holidays

ALL you need for a great school holiday is some paper – and a bit of imagination.
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Sea creatures of all shapes and sizes came to life at the Bass Strait Maritime Centre while pirates battled it out on the floors of the centre and across the decks of the SS Woniora.

School holiday activities at the centre saw origami seals, whales and penguins come to life from coloured paper and centre manager Margaret Griggs said the activities had been a hit with kids of all ages.

Lachlan McCall,9, (left) and ZacharyLangley, 9, both ofSpreyton, show off theirorigami whales duringschool holiday activitiesat the Bass StraitMaritime Centre.

“We asked for bookings originally because we wanted to be sure of numbers but we’ve found today that some of the walk- ins have been wanting to have a go,” she said.

Paper pirate hats and swords fashioned from old copies of The Advocate also proved a hit with the kids while other children played pirate on the decks of the Julie Burgess.

A “learn the ropes” session with the crew of the Julie Burgess took children out for a short river cruise yesterday morning and Ms Griggs said the kids had all reported a great day, helped along by fine winter weather and flat sea.

“The crew had a great time and showed the kids all the parts of the boat and showed them where some of Devonport’s oldest buildings used to be on the shore.”

The kids were also treated to the appearance of a seal.

: Brothers, from left,Samuel, 10, and Noah, 9,Tatnell put theirnewspaper pirate hatsand swords to the test atthe Bass Strait MaritimeCentre. Pictures: KatrinaDocking.

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A fighter needing restraint

DUBBING Prime Minister Tony Abbott a “political psychopath, despite having never previously met the man, does nothing for the political credibility of debutant Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie.
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Neither does accusing the PM of endangering his daughters by having them play such a prominent role in the last federal election campaign.

Coalition Senate Leader Eric Abetz was right this week when he advised the new Tasmanian senator on the block against gratuitous character assessments. Not that Senator Abetz is adverse to the odd personal jibe.

Chris Pippos

Senator Lambie has made herself a human headline- of-sorts since entering the political stage.

Every indication is she will fight for Tasmania, especially the North-West Coast.

And, judging by her bang and crash style, will leave no-one guessing where she stands on various issues.

Both of these are good attributes.

But Senator Lambie should perhaps take a couple of deep breaths during what are very early days in her political career.

Already she has declared she wants to one day be prime minister.

(For anyone interested, Sportsbet is taking $501 on a bet for Senator Lambie to become PM. I’d suggest the better value is $16 for the local senator to be suspended four or more times from the Senate in 2014.)

Senator Lambie will increasingly get thrown loaded and prickly questions from the Canberra press pack because they have quickly realised she is colourful, outspoken and prone to bold statements.

This can be like a trip wire so Senator Lambie had better watch out.

I also hope she goes easy on the populism, especially when it’s mixed with parochialism.

Too much of both can, at times, be toxic.

During her debut question in Parliament, Senator Lambie asked Senator Abetz whether the $5 billion earmarked for foreign aid should instead be diverted to Tasmania given the states high unemployment rate.

This sort of request just reinforces the view of Tasmania being the mendicant state, reliant on massive and ongoing federal handouts, a commonly held belief in other states.

It also compares us to the Third World.

Senator Lambie wanted to know “why the poor, sick, needy and unemployed of other countries are more important to him (Senator Abetz) than those in his home state.

Yes, senator, fight for Tasmania, but not at the expense of the world’s poorest, impoverished people.

Tasmania will dust itself off and get back on its feet again through innovation, enterprise, economic transition and hard work, not diverting huge chunks of foreign aid targeted at starving kids and families without a roof over their head.

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$1m drug bust in Launceston

POLICE have seized more than $1 million in ice, ecstasy and LSD in what’s been hailed as one of Launceston’s biggest drug busts.
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In four raids over the past 10 days detectives intercepted more than $700,000 worth of ice, 7600 ecstasy pills along with two stolen firearms and a small amount of acid, from homes in Launceston.

The seizures were the culmination of the three-month long Operation Crimson.

The drugs were thought to have been trafficked from Victoria. However, police would not detail how they arrived for operational reasons.

The weapons and drugs confiscated by police. Picture: Mark Jesser, THE EXAMINER.

Operation Crimson, targeting ice importation from interstate, follows a series of Northern police operations that have seized some $4.5 million in drugs in recent years.

Yesterday Launceston CIB Detective Inspector Scott Flude said four people had been charged with trafficking and more arrests were expected.

The large quantity of ecstasy comes after a relative “drought” in Tasmania.

“We’ve haven’t seen ecstasy in any quantity here in Tasmania for a long time now,” Detective Inspector Flude said.

“So to seize this many tablets is pleasing for us.”

The scale of the bust is expected to put a large dent in drug trafficking and major crime in the North.

“This is pretty significant – there’s upward of 7600 ecstasy tablets there, 719 grams (of ice),” he said.

“I strongly believe targeted operations have a significant effect on organised crime such as this.

“People involved in (ice), using and distributing methamphetamine, are generally involved in other crimes.”

Operation Crimson follows targeted drug crackdowns such as Operation Dorothy and Dizzy.

Northern Commander Richard Cowling said the Launceston CIB’s approach was working well.

It is understood that within the CIB a dedicated group of detectives create a “targeting cell” of suspected offenders and from that focus on an individual or group.

“By targeting the crooks, working on them for a period of time and then getting it when it’s right, works very well,” Commander Cowling said.

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LETTER:Trains can link city to beaches

HOW this city can stand by and watch a transport resource such as we have to be cut without a genuine committed replacement is beyond belief (‘‘Rail line closure an act of fraud’’ Letters 9/7).
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The spin trail that has been woven round this grab at a so-called rebirth activity for the city is thin and dishonest.

First we had the vision with Honeysuckle of opening up the city to the harbour only to get harbour side multi-storey development.

Now we will have high rise on the rail corridor that has been revealed despite the spin lead-up to be the only non-undermined section of the city area. Fraud is possibly too soft a word.

What this city needs is a revamped transport solution that retains an upgraded rail network and a non motor vehicle reliance. We can still have the darling light rail in that solution.

The shabby outdated Vset trains are a torture and near an insult to travel in and should be upgraded to international standard. The city deserves better, after all we make them here in Newcastle.

A rail-linked city with its unrivalled beaches serviced with modern facilities will bring more visitors and cause less of an imprint on our future than that proposed via the spin machine.

Paul McCormack,

Rankin Park

LETTER: Rail defenders remain on track

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OVER 20 years ago a small group met to discuss an incredible announcement from the Coalition state government – to cut the railway line into Newcastle Station.

We formed Save Our Rail and over the next two decades, SOR , with other groups and the people of Newcastle and the valley, campaigned endlessly against this absurd proposal.

In the past decades, many reports by expert independent transport engineers and urban planners have carefully analysed and rejected the few insultingly desultory plans and reports from state government.

Petitions signed by tens of thousands, submissions, letters to ministers and editors in their thousands, talkback radio, state and local TV programs, have all advanced the case for keeping the rail running into Newcastle.

All were disregarded with the same arrogance and contempt by Coalition ministers and local members.

Ministers Goward, Berejiklian, Newcastle MP Tim Owen and other valley Coalition MPs have no idea of the anger and outrage they have unleashed and the determination in the community at all costs to save our rail.

Margaret Henry,

Newcastle

LETTER: Hard to insure against fine print

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I’M beginning to understand why people hold such animosity towards insurance companies.

My cover for an aborted overseas trip has been totally rejected because ‘‘after activation’’ but several months before departure, my wife was diagnosed with accelerated Alzheimer’s disease.

We had purchased and paid for almost everything and my insurance company has rejected the entire claim because of the onset of this (at the time) unknown illness.

Prior to lodging the claim I spent three months claiming everything I could from the sellers and succeeded in getting back some 75per cent or more of our outlay, which would have saved my insurance company from any large payout. Not a word from my company regarding that.

I am told that ‘‘even if I had purchased the items 10 years before, with no knowledge of the impending illness until 2014, the same ruling applies’’.

So, in a nutshell, you are far from covered even when you think you are.

I advised my company as to what I think of this and that I want to go public. My impression was that they didn’t give a damn.

Don Matthews,

Fennell Bay

State needs to “talk up”vibrant cultural scene

PEOPLE outside Tasmania should know the state is a “cultural hot bed”, according to Gourmet Farmer chef and author Matthew Evans.
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The state needed to “talk up” its vibrant cultural scene, he said.

SINGING STATE’S PRAISES: Gourmet Farmer chef and author Matthew Evans believes Tasmania should bepromoted as the whole package. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Mr Evans, who moved to Tasmania after a career as a chef and restaurant reviewer, started SBS show Gourmet Farmer in which he grows and cooks his own produce.

It has been popular with mainland audiences.

Yesterday he spoke at the Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Forum at Latrobe’s Memorial Hall.

While people outside the state knew about its wilderness, they did not know of its artists, musicians and food producers, he said.

“Is there a whole other perception of Tasmania we haven’t capitalised on?” Mr Evans said.

“As an industry, can we portray Tasmania as the whole package? Comfortable and wild, artistic and delicious. It actually has all these.”

Tasmania was not capitalising enough on its cultural scene, and needed to make its galleries and festivals better known to mainlanders, he said.

The state could cater to different tourists’ tastes, Mr Evans said.

“You can eat well three times a day. You can stay somewhere historic, and somewhere cutting edge.”

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art already helped to change mainlanders’ view of Tasmania.

“Most of the [arts] experience and expertise was already here,” he said.

Mr Evans also urged tourism operators not to expect a normal work-life balance.

“Tourism operators often feel trapped by their business.

“We live and work in the most amazing places that people pay to come and visit.

“If [operators] don’t like it, get out because hospitality and tourism needs people who can sell the experience.”

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‘Growth plan failing state’

LABOR has delivered a withering critique of the Abbott government’s efforts to grow Tasmania’s economy.
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The government’s Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania had done little if anything to create jobs across the state, Shadow Regional Development Minister Julie Collins said.Employment Minister Eric Abetz tabled the document in the Senate on Tuesday, with the government under fire from new Palmer United Senator Jacqui Lambie.

NOT HELPING: The government’s Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania has done little to create jobs across the stateaccording to Shadow Regional Development Minister Julie Collins. Picture: Grant Wells.

“What Senator Abetz failed to say while he was tabling this document was his government’s economic growth plan was failing the state and its people,” Ms Collins said.

“This document is all words and no action.

“None of the measures included in the Abbott government’s plan have, to date, added up to any significant job creation or economic development opportunities for Tasmania.”

Ms Collins said the government should be embarrassed many measures in the Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania were clearly not working, including its Tasmanian Jobs Program.

“The government’s signature jobs program was described in this document as a way to turbo-charge a lacklustre jobs market,” Ms Collins said.

“After six months, the jobs program has only created 60 positions.

“This is not turbo- charging anything; it’s an abysmal failure.”

“It’s clear this policy is not working.

“The program needs to be completely overhauled.”

She said the government should drive economic development opportunities and talk to business about how best to fund and roll- out projects which would create jobs.

“One way the Abbott government could get jobs flowing across the state is to approve and roll out all of the projects under the [Labor] $100 million Jobs and Growth Plan”.

“This would make a huge difference by creating around 2500 jobs in the very areas where there are many long-term unemployed Tasmanians.”

OPPOSITION regional development spokeswoman Julie Collins’s report card on the Abbott government’s Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania

Project: Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency.

Status: Announced. Only began meeting with stakeholders last month.

Project: Tasmanian Jobs Programme.

Status: 60 positions created since January 1, 2014. Abbott government’s target was 2000 positions over two years.

Project: Hobart International Airport $38million runway extension; promise of 200 jobs.

Status: No start date. No international carrier. No details around design of the runway.

Project: Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research.

Status: 18 CSIRO job losses in Hobart.

Project: Fruit and Vegetable Industry Taskforce.

Status: Announced in March. Was to have its first meeting in April. Similar organisation already exists in Tasmania.

Project: Productivity Commission report into Tasmania’s shipping costs.

Status: Abbott government yet to formally respond. Has had the report since March 7, 2014.

Project: Support for forestry sector.

Status: Only eight projects have been announced from Labor’s $100 million Jobs and Growth Plan.

Project: Midland Highway $400 million upgrade.

Status: $100 million cut (from Labor’s plan). Construction work yet to start.

Project: Sense-T.

Status: Announced June 12, 2014.

Project: Revitalise Work for the Dole.

Status: Started July 1, 2014, without any co-ordinator in place for Tasmania.

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Clive Palmer about-turn sends carbon tax repeal back to the House

Clive Palmer walks out on 7.30 interview
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Clive Palmer’s insistence on harsh penalties for companies caught withholding price cuts after the abolition of the carbon tax, has fuelled the impression that the Abbott government is being dictated to by the cross-benches.

It has also created uncertainty over the scope of the proposed penalties – which would be set at 250 per cent of any savings withheld by a company – amid confusion as to whether all ”entities” would be liable for the fines or just electricity or gas companies.

Legislation to repeal the tax was defeated in the Senate on Thursday after the Palmer United Party abandoned the government at the last minute and after the package of bills had been ”guillotined”, meaning they proceeded to a vote even though the majority needed to pass them had evaporated.

The bills, replete with the Palmer amendment, will now be re-committed to the Parliament via the House of Representatives on Monday, with the government confident its majority for the package in the Senate will now hold.

It will constitute a fourth attempt to repeal the carbon tax.

Animation: Rocco Fazzari

Thursday’s set-back coincided with another for the government when the opposition teamed up with the Greens and cross-benchers to also force the tabling of regulations for its watered down financial planning and advice laws.

The early tabling, which had been planned for next week, has paved the way for the new rules to be struck out next week via a disallowance motion.

Mr Palmer’s PUP pulled the pin on an agreement to pass the repeal bill package at 11.50am on Thursday claiming it had been double crossed by the government.

PUP senators and Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir sided with Labor and the Greens to defeat the government move, with a final vote just after 12.30pm rejecting the repeal, 37 votes to 35.

Explaining his decision to renege on the deal, Mr Palmer claimed his amendment – which itself had been changed since it was first agreed with the government on Monday – had not been properly circulated.

Animation: Rocco Fazzari

”We asked that it be distributed and we had a violent action from government, a violent reaction I would say,” Mr Palmer said.

”We had ministers calling us and visiting our senators and complaining.”

The problem arose because the Palmer amendment inserting the penalties had been expressed as a percentage and as such constituted a money bill.

Under the constitution, money bills can only originate in the House of Representatives.

However, the wording of the amendment has also raised questions over the application of the fines if enacted.

The opposition’s Senate leader Penny Wong said carbon tax repeal had become an exercise in ad hoc law making raising big questions over the soundness of the legislation and creating damaging uncertainty for business.

”Australians are entitled to know, does the price pass-through apply to all businesses or only to electricity and gas companies,” she said.

”Maybe if the government had paid attention to proper process rather than just try to ram these through to get a political win, it may not have been in such a chaotic and shambolic mess.”

The government’s leader in the Senate, Eric Abetz said the legislation would pass next week.

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