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Taste of UN for students

Taste of UN for students

United Nations Youth Association of Tasmania is hosting 57 students at its four-day State Conference that wraps up on Sunday.
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The conference is based on UN sessions, with students assuming the role of UN member states and debating world issues.

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

ICAC fallout: Tabak pays for Beth denial

ICAC fallout: Tabak pays for Beth denial

Developer Glen Tabak (centre), solicitor Graeme Morrison (right) and barrister William Wilcher outside Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney yesterday. Tabak may yet face further charges.Lying about an affair with a council planner that lasted only six weeks has already cost Wollongong developer Glen Tabak his reputation, and yesterday a $2500 fine and a two-year good behaviour bond were added to his penalty.Tabak, 46, of Harbour St, pleaded guilty in Downing Centre Local Court yesterday to wilfully making a false statement to an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigator on June 7, 2007.A second charge that Tabak wilfully attempted to mislead an ICAC officer on December 10, 2007 was also taken into account by the court.Tabak declined to comment and ran from the court to a waiting taxi after Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson delivered his sentence.Facts tendered to the court said that on both occasions Tabak had denied having a relationship with Ms Morgan - a former Wollongong City Council planner who approved development applications for his Victoria Square project and a modification for his Wave residential building in North Wollongong.He initially denied giving Ms Morgan any gifts or benefits.The tendered facts said that in the second impromptu interview, Tabak denied he had offered Ms Morgan an apartment in Victoria Square, paid her money or undertaken renovations for her.Then at an ICAC examination in January 2008 and a public hearing the following month, Tabak had admitted to having a sexual relationship with Ms Morgan. He also admitted to buying her perfume when he travelled overseas in 2004.Tabak's defence barrister William Wilcher said the sexual relationship with Ms Morgan began in April 2004 and lasted only six weeks. It had ended more than three years prior to ICAC questioning Tabak about Ms Morgan.Tabak had concealed the relationship to protect his wife and two young children, Mr Wilcher said."It is different to someone telling a lie to ICAC officers to hide a criminal offence." He added it was not an offence to have an affair, although it "might be morally reprehensible".Mr Wilcher told the court Tabak had emigrated to Australia from Turkey in 1971 and had "led a blameless life". But his reputation had been damaged since the ICAC investigations became public."My client has been subject to wide reporting in the media since the ICAC inquiry came to light. It has even hit Turkey," he said.Mr Henson said that should have no bearing on the penalty imposed. "There is no evidence before me that your business has suffered as a consequence. It may be that your reputation will suffer, as it should," he said.He dismissed Tabak's motive for lying and said the defence seemed to suggest "your behaviour was conducted in a parallel universe where all that took place was your denial of a sexual relationship."ICAC officers do not turn up at the door to investigate sexual impropriety," Mr Henson said."When they did turn up in 2007 to your door, you knew exactly what they were there for. Part of your purpose in trying to mislead ICAC was a concern about events that may have taken place in the city of greater Wollongong."ICAC is awaiting advice from the DPP on whether to pursue further charges against Tabak.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tariff could go in Budget

Tariff could go in Budget

Trade Minister Mark Vaile yesterday signalled the tariff, which hits goods used by Australian business, may go when Treasurer Peter Costello hands down the Budget on May 10.
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But the Trade Minister also revealed the tariff had been an important bargaining chip used by Australia in its talks with countries for free trade agreements.

The Australian Industry Group, in a report into the slump in the nation's manufactured exports during the past five years, demanded the abolition of the tariff.

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

Beached baby sperm whale loses fight

Beached baby sperm whale loses fight

Volunteers try to hydrate the baby sperm whale, beached on the shore at Currarong Beach, near Jervis Bay. Pictures: ANDY Yesterday volunteers and residents were visibly saddened at the loss of the stranded baby whale they hoped to save.
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Volunteers were unable to save a baby whale stranded in the shallows at Currarong yesterday.Currarong residents notified ORRCA volunteers that a baby sperm whale had become stranded in the shallows of Peels Reef.The female whale was believed to be only two or three weeks old, was not yet weaned from its mother and was unlikely to survive alone in the wild.ORRCA member Wendy McFarlane from Old Erowal Bay said without its mother for food and protection, the whale would not survive.She said residents who were first on the scene had done the right thing by rolling the whale over so its blowhole was clear of the water."It was very much a baby. It needs its mum to teach it how to be a whale," Ms McFarlane said.As the tide receded yesterday the decision was made to euthanase it."A vet who attended the site had consulted Taronga Zoo and the Pet Porpoise Pool at Coffs Harbour."It's the humane decision," she said."If we were to refloat a baby whale of this age it would be a sitting duck for sharks and killer whales. There has been talk of a large whale in the next bay around on Monday but we don't know if that was its mother or not - there are a lot of whales about."Ms McFarlane said the whale was initially calm "but her breathing and heart rate was getting faster as she became more distressed."None of us are enjoying this. You don't get used to it, you just learn to live with it," she said."We're basically doing palliative care until she is euthanased."Then she'll be taken back to the National Parks and Wildlife works depot at West Nowra for an autopsy before being buried," Ms McFarlane said.Currarong resident Mary Apperley said in her family's history in the coastal village, which dates back to the late 1800s, she had never heard of a whale becoming stranded so close to Currarong.She said a group of about 50 onlookers quickly grew to about 100 as word spread."I heard there was a pod of whales near Bosom Beach on Monday, I guess it was separated from its mother."The seas have been pretty rough lately," she said.Ms Apperley said an excavator would help remove the whale.

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

Student hurt in highlands trek

The group of students from St Virgil's College, at Austins Ferry, were walking at Lake Silver when the male student was injured on Wednesday.
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The group waited until yesterday to see if the student could walk out but called for help at 8am when he could not.

He was flown to the Hobart Private Hospital by helicopter.

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

Patch escapes jail sentence

THUMBS UP: Launceston businessman Paul "Patch" Fruin left court a happy man yesterday after an appeal against his prison sentence was upheld. Picture: GEOFF ROBSONThe three-month sentence that Fruin, 45, received was replaced in the Launceston Supreme Court yesterday with a 28-day suspended sentence and a $400 fine.
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Fruin, known as "Patch" in his advertisements, will not spend any time in jail provided he is of good behaviour for a year.

Outside the court, Fruin said the whole process had been traumatic as he believed he would be made an example of and sent to jail.

"It's been hell. I suffered a major heart attack at Christmas ... it's been dragging on for a long time," he said.

"It's been very emotional and has affected my health and my business."

A long-running feud led to Fruin ramming the victim with his four-wheel drive and pinning him against another vehicle in 2003.

Fruin was found guilty of assault and injuring property in the Launceston Magistrates Court in September last year and sentenced to jail.

He appealed on the grounds that the guilty finding was unsafe and unsatisfactory and that the sentence was manifestly excessive.

Justice Alan Blow handed down his decision yesterday and upheld the guilty verdict but replaced an actual jail term with a suspended one.

"Having regard to the mitigating factors, this was not a case that warranted an immediate custodial sentence," Justice Blow said.

"I think the assault was sufficiently serious to warrant a suspended sentence but not one as long as three months."

Fruin said he was looking forward to moving on with his life and getting back into community and charity work.

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

Development rate rise may be final straw

The State Government can not afford to ignore calls from local government to review its cap on developer levies.Wollongong City Council is one of many NSW councils who have warned the Government the $20,000 cap on Section 94 developer levies could cripple future development.The $20,000 cap is less than half the $41, 000 per lot that council was expected to receive for each property developed in the proposed West Dapto expansion.That income was to be used for essential infrastructure for the massive development.While the move may be popular with developers, it is a huge blow to councils who are keen to promote growth and development.It seems the State Government has failed to learn from past mistakes in developing residential estates without providing adequate and vital infrastructure.Unfortunately the money has to come from somewhere and councils are warning that residents may have to bear the brunt in the form of increased rates. The State Government is facing electoral disaster if it forces councils to lumber residents with increased rates when they are already struggling to cope with massive hikes in electricity, gas and water prices.
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Rioters throw axe at police patrol car

No one was believed to have been injured in the attack at the community of Yuendumu, 270km north-west of Alice Springs.
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The disturbance follows a similar incident four days ago. Police have said the violence follows an ongoing feud between opposing families.

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

Illawarra reservists keep the peace in the Solomons

Staff Sergeant Steve Burgess of Albion Park Rail and Sergeant Ian Pye of Nowra enjoy a rare moment of relaxation during their work with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. Lance Corporal Alan Akurst of Dapto keeps watch during an operation. The reservists routinely come under attack from the local villagers.
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Reservists mingle with local children at the shooting range. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER

When Private Owen O'Shea found himself decked out in riot gear and being pelted with rocks by Solomon Islands villagers two weeks ago, he was a world away from his day job as an IT consultant.The 30-year-old is one of 11 Illawarra and South Coast-based Defence Reservists who have embarked on a four-month stint in the island nation.They form part of a new wave of reservists being deployed on peacekeeping operations in place of defence regulars stationed at hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.This week the Illawarra Mercury travelled to the Solomons at the invitation of the Department of Defence to inspect the work of reservists in the ethnically troubled nation.As is often the way, we travelled 2000km overseas only to stumble upon a group of individuals who lived just around the corner.Eight Illawarra people working in the Solomons belong to Bravo Company, an outfit based in Gipps St, Keiraville, which has about 80 members.On the Solomons island of Guadalcanal, they are with One Platoon, a 30-member outfit engaged in a range of roles from medics and drivers to riflemen and signallers.Unanderra's Corporal Michael Hirsch (storeman), Wollongong's Private Christopher Tobin (electrical engineer), Kiama's Private O'Shea and Lance Corporal Brendan Harris (labourer) of Jaspers Brush are part of the Quick Response Force (QRF).The QRF operates 24-7, responding to outbreaks of violence among villagers living in and around the capital Honiara, in much the same way as the NSW Police riot squad controls skirmishes back home."We provide support for anyone who gets into trouble, including the police," Corp Hirsch said of their role.On June 6, the day the island suffered an earthquake that registered 6.9 on the Richter scale, the men had their earth further shaken by a late-night call out to a trouble spot known as White River."There was fighting between two gangs. The police got called out, then us," Pte O'Shea said."When we first advanced in there we didn't know what to expect. We just marched over this bridge in a line and they started pelting us with rocks and coconuts."Corp Hirsch, a reservist for the past 22 years who is on his first overseas mission, said the Australian force was finally coming into its own."The government has worked out we are here and capable of doing the job, so it's about time we were sent on these missions - it's definitely something the reserves needed."

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

Swanwick beach contest

The announcement will be made as part of the association's annual meeting at 4pm at the Swanwick jetty and boat ramp.
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The contest was held to name the beach between the Swan River mouth and Hepburn Point.

Association president Ian Melrose said that residents and shack owners had entered.

The winner will receive a dinner for two at Freycinet Lodge with a watercolour by Peter Robinson and five dozen Melshell oysters to be give to the two runners-up.

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