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Author Archives: admin

At-risk Tassie teens ‘targets’

At-risk Tasmanian teenagers are engaging in concerning behaviours and being “targeted”by predatory older people, a Launceston service says.
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Launceston Young Women’s Service Karinya wrote young teenagers were falling through the cracks and enteringrisky situations in the Shelter Tasmania Annual Report 2016.

The service provides crisis accommodation to young women aged between 13 and 20.

A Karinya spokesperson said young women who did not have access to ongoing support orincome, particularly those aged under 16, frequently felt forced to couch surfin inappropriate environments andparticipated in low level criminal activity to attain money.

“[They] become beholden to inappropriate people who offer to ‘help’ them,” the Karinya spokesperson said.

“They also can become the targets for organised petty crime groups who recruit them to become involved in return for somewhere to stay, and food,” they said.

Theysaid younger females seeking stability also entered into relationships with older males.

“None of these situations are okay and all put them at risk, from others and from themselves via the inappropriate and misinformed choices they sometimes make,” they said.

Karinya in the annual report wroteteenagers aged between 13 and 15 were “not seen as a priority for Child Protection but are also not eligible for support from other support services”.

Launceston non-for-profitYouth Futures, which provides services including crisis accommodation for young men,wrote in Shelter Tasmania’s report that the service’s clients dealt with low levels of literacy.

“This year we have experienced greater levels of unpredictable behaviours, paranoia and depression,” Youth Futures reported.

Shelter Tasmania executive officer Pattie Chugg said there was “not enough emergency accommodation” for vulnerable Tasmanian teenagers.

“This is a crucial issue …children in this age group are not adequately protected as the system is currently designed,” Ms Chugg said.

Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said the state government was developing a strategy for at-risk youths which would be completed in 2017. She said the strategy wouldlook at youth struggling with issues including homelessness, mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

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Ambos’ missed breaks increase

Overtime payments to Tasmanian paramedics for missed meal breaks grew to 12,750 worth$255,000 in the 2015-16 financial year.
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The cost increased from 11,414 missed break payments worth a total of$228,280 the year before.

Paramedics who were not able to take meal breaks within a certain time becausethey hadbeen called to an emergency were paid an allowance. Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the allowance was “in accordance with award provisions and Ambulance Tasmania’s Meal Break Policy”.

The 2015-16 meal break overtime data was detailed in Right to Information documents released on Thursday.

The most recent data in the document showed there were 1077 overtime payments worth $21,540 made statewide in June 2016.

Despite an increase demonstrated in the documents, Mr Ferguson said the data showed the rate of missed meal breaks for paramedics continued to “trend down”.

“[The 2015-16 data] is an improvement compared to 2012-13 …when paramedics missed 13,739 meal breaks at a cost of $137,384,” he said.

“The reason that costs have increased is because the missed meal break allowance was increased as part of the 2013 Enterprise Bargaining Agreement,” he said.

Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson said the situation would improve due to new provisions, which meantif paramedics didn’t have a break within a certain time-frame theywouldonly be dispatched to highest-prioritycases,in the Ambulance Tasmania agreementfinalised in August 2016.

“We’re unable, at this point, to determine exactly what impact the new arrangement hashad, but [it’s] safe to say it does appear many paramedics are getting their breaks now, and they weren’t before,” Mr Jacobsonsaid.

He said the figures in the RTIdocuments were “not surprising”. Mr Jacobson said anecdotal evidence indicatedintense caseloadscontributed to missed breaks.

Mr Ferguson said the state government would continue to work to get the best outcomes for paramedics.

“Since coming to government we have funded 20 additional paramedics, begun a review into increasing paramedics’ scope of practice under our Patients First Action Plan, provided additional anti-violence training and introduced a Bill for mandatory minimum sentences for serious assaults,” Mr Ferguson said.

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Students share their wishlists

ADVERTISING FEATURE
Nanjing Night Net

Students from KimbaArea School shared their Christmas wishes in a range of letters addressed to Santa.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following businesses. Click on the links to learn more:

Cowell Home Timber and HardwareCleve Hotel MotelBrumfield ElectronicsCleve 4WD and CampingCowell Pumbing and GasCleve NewsagencyDistrict Council of KimbaCleve Auto RepairsCL and ME MiltonDistrict Council of CleveEastern Eyre MachineryGifted at CleveDear Santa,I have been extremely good this year. For Christmas, can I please have a mini iPad, a Notebook and a packet of sight words? Please. From Kat Jericho

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year. For Christmas, can I please have a tonka truck? From Jamie Milton

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year. For Christmas, canI please have a bike. From Agambir Atwal

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year. For Christmas, can I please have a DS, A fast costume and an interactive whiteboard. From Riley Hunt

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a motocross car, pencil case, some paint and a motorbike. FromJesse Hannah

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a blow up pool. From James Zibell

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have motorbike stuff please, hot wheels car, big motorbike stickers, swimming pool. From Bailey Venning

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have hot wheels. From Emerson Vandeleur

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a swimming pool. From Summer McGilvray

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a big bad of Shopkins. From Stacey Major

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a walking dog and kitty cat with a fish and a baby that does real poos and wees. From Mahli Harris

Dear Santa, I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a motorbike? From Kobe Macklin

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a motorbike and a bogey board. From Jayden Koch

Dear Santa,I have been extremely good this year.For Christmas, canI please have a swimming pool and 3D DS. From Samuel Fitzgerald

Dear Santa,I live on Steven Street. I have one big sister, Charlie, and a little sister, Mia. Mum is having another baby, I think it is a girl but want a boy. We are going to the beach for Christmas. Can I please have a trumpet, DS, go cart, electric toothbrush, and an iPod. From Jayla Arcus

Dear Santa, for Christmas this year can I please have a Lego fire station aleap pad. From Zack Murdock

Dear Santa, I love to watch televisionbut when there are no shows on I play with my Lego. For Christmas, can I please have enough Lego to build a city of Lego. From Ella Hunt

Dear Santa, I have two brothers, their names are Saxon and he is eightand Henry is four. He has Cerebral Palsy. CanI please get a horse? I live in Buckleboo.I will be at my house for Christmas. If you don’t get me a horse, it’s okay. Then can you please get me what ever you want to get me. FromMercedes Larwood

Dear Santa, for Christmas this year please may I have a skate board, a Furbie, 3DS, a selfie mic and a leap pad? From Millie Dickenson

Dear Santa, my favourite sport is football. Can I please have a surfboard, Fitbit, $100,000, an electric scooter and a basketball? From Saige Vandeleur

Dear Santa,I have a brother and a sister. I love football. I would like a motorbike, a toy spider, a moving toy snake or a trampoline. Have I been good? From Occy Scott.

Dear Santa,I have a sister and two brothers and mum and dad. Has Rudolph been good this year? Can I please have a yo-yo, Lego, a Furbie and DS. From Jayde Matthews

Dear Santa,my favourite sport is Tennis. I am going to the beach. I have a brother and sister. This year can I please have a puppy, a furbie, a DS, a flute and a keyboard? I hope you have a great Christmas. From Asha Mayfield

Dear Santa, please can I have a DS, an iPad, and an iPod for Christmas? I hope you have a lovely Christmas. From Jett Kenchington

Dear Santa,my favourite colours arepink and purple. For Christmas this year I would like a toy cat and a real dog. Are you awake at night doing presents and sleep at day time? From Alex Redden

Dear Santa, my house is in the bush. I have two sisters, a mum and dad. I love animals. My mum and dad are ecologist. For Christmas I am going to stay in Adelaide, where my family live. For Christmas this year, I would really like a book, a Fitbit and some chocolate. What are you going to do after you deliver the presents? From Jarrah Moseby Read

Dear Santa,I live in Kimba. I have two brothers, one sister, one mum and one dad. For Christmas this year I would like some $50 notes, some $5and some $10,some more textas, some Port Power stuff, a motorbike, a bookshelf, clock and a whiteboard. I would also like some $100 notes, some cents and some making stuff. From Airlee Jade Seal

Dear Santa,I have one brother and twosisters. ForChristmas, can I please have Shopkins and a ukulele and some Lego? From Felicity Harradine

Related stories:

Cleve Area School’s letters to SantaCowellArea School’s letters to SantaLockArea School’s letters to SantaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net. Continue reading »

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A collection of letters sent to the North Pole

ADVERTISING FEATURE
Nanjing Night Net

Students from Cowell Area School shared their Christmas wishes in a range of letters addressed to Santa.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following businesses. Click on the links to learn more:

Cowell Home Timber and HardwareCleve Hotel MotelBrumfield ElectronicsCleve 4WD and CampingCowell Pumbing and GasCleve NewsagencyDistrict Council of KimbaCleve Auto RepairsCL and ME MiltonDistrict Council of CleveEastern Eyre MachineryGifted at CleveDear Santa, can I please have Crows everything that you wear and can I please have Bulldogs everything and a remote control car and scooter. From Taj Crettenden

Dear Santa, I want a scooter and I want a skateboard.From Zoe Flavel

Dear Santa, I would like some cars from Santa. Merry Christmas.From Chase Piggott

Dear Santa, I would like a robot kitten please. From Ava Walsh

Dear Santa, I would like some Lego for Christmas. I would like a transformer. From Will Schultz

Dear Santa, I want please a remote control car and please can I have a toy car that has wheels. Merry Christmas.From Kalan Russell

Dear Santa, can I please have a toy cat. From Scarlett Martin

Dear Santa, can you give me some pictures of you? From Caleb Churchett

Dear Santa, can I please have a remote control aeroplane and can I please have some gel pens. From Nevaeh Bates

Dear Santa, can you please give me a puppy and a cat. From Ky Ramsey

Dear Santa, I want a big farmSanta because I want to have a crocodile farm. From Seth James

Dear Santa, I have been a good girl this year and I really would like some blue earrings and a life jacket. From Darci Klingberg

Dear Santa, I would like a motorbike. From Riley Roberts

Dear Santa, it was a Christmas night. I was sleeping. I couldn’t wait. Our Christmas tree was glowing because it was Christmas. From Quintin Fisher

Dear Santa, I will want a gun and an iPad and a tool set and a fishing rod. From Casey Beach

Dear Santa, I would like some Lego. From Tyler Kilingberg

Dear Santa, I love you.I wish I could come to your house. From Jan Posthumus

Dear Santa, can I please have a train track. From Liam Iversen

Dear Santa, can I have a lot of earrings and a computer. From Ella Fiegert

Dear Santa, I want a spell that helps me do karate and a spell that goes into my heart that I can’t see. From Harrie Kuhn

Related stories:

Cleve Area School’s letters to SantaKimbaArea School’s letters to SantaLockArea School’s letters to SantaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net. Continue reading »

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Property’s bumper year

Corporate investors injected excitement into the market in 2016. In July “Deltroit” at Gundagai, pictured, sold to one of Australia’s biggest landholders, MH Premium Farms, for close to $20 million.AS IT says on many a packet label at the chemist, “just add water”, and the same could be said of the rural property market in 2016. Thanks to the best winter and early spring rains in years across nearly all of eastern Australia, the rural sector has enjoyed a bumper season, providing a timely boost to industry confidence.
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Coupled with strong rises in most farm commodity prices (with the notable exception of cereal grains), and the replenishment of key water storages, this confidence boost has fed into rural land demand.

At the same time, the much-improved conditions have encouraged many farmers to sit tight and enjoy a much-needed lift in fortunes. The net result has been a year-long shortage of quality farm listings, and an upward pressure on prices for all classes of rural property.

Underpinning the positive outlook is the strength of commodity markets. The upward trend began in 2015, and by the beginning of this year the young cattle market indicator was up by a massive 30pc on year-earlier levels, and maintained that lead for much of 2016. At the same time, wool prices started the year some 20pc higher than 12 months earlier (and closed about 11pc higher), while markets for sheep and lambs have remained strong all year.

Against this backdrop, rural land prices have undergone a dramatic catch-up, rising generally by 15 to 20pc across the board (and more in places), following nearly a decade of stagnation.

LAND VALUES SOARThe trends are evident from Landmark Harcourt’s latest “Benchmark” property review. This shows sales of agricultural properties in the 40-100ha, 100-1000ha and above-1000ha categories all declined in volume by about 5pc, while average values rose by 10.4pc, 12.3pc and 36pc respectively (to $400,000, $600,000 and $1.38m).

And these figures apply only to the 12 months ended August 2016, which means they exclude the bumper spring selling season just past, when values took a further lift.

All property agents contacted by The Land reported a shortage of listings, particularly listings of well-located, well-managed farms with good infrastructure.

And while demand from offshore and institutional or corporate investors remains strong, agents say the driving force in the market in 2016 has been established farmers seeking expansion.

A major reason for this, according to Webster Nolan Real Estate principal David Nolan, has been a widespread move “back home” by farmers’ sons and daughters who followed the mining boom while farm returns were depressed.

Chris Meares of Meares and Associates says another factor has been the more accommodating attitude of the banks, thanks mainly to the upturn in farm earnings and the consequent lift in yield on loans.

Also influencing the supply/demand balance has been the virtual drying-up of the forced receiver sales which have accounted for many listings in recent years. Landmark Harcourt’s Sydney-based corporate sales manager, Phil Rourke, typically handled at least six such sales in past years under receivers’ instructions, but this year only one.

At the same time, he said local and offshore institutions were looking more favourably on agribusiness investment as a result of our historically low interest rates, and a more favourable exchange rate.

Agents are generally upbeat about 2017 and confident of the present improved values being maintained, if not exceeded. Mr Rourke said given the fact that rural land values tended to post annual capital growth of 7-8pc over the long term, there was still potential upside in the market.

He said until this year, capital growth had been minimal since 2007, so even though values for grazing land might have risen by 15-20pc in 2016, and cropland by around 15pc, the market was still playing catch-up.

Chris Meares said rural commodity prices would underpinfuture land price moves, as these would determine bank lending policies, and in turn land values.

TOP END DEALSWhile property sales in 2016 have provided many highlights, there were relatively few– in NSW at least – “signature” properties sold. Most of the big ticket activity was in the Top End, where onshore investors have driven most of the action.

Apart from the much-publicised sale of the Kidman empire to the Gina Rinehart-controlled Australian Outback Beef syndicate, there was the Queensland Investment Corporation’s purchase of an 80pc stake in Northern Australian Cattle Company, and Kimberley acquisitions by Kerry Stokes.

The biggest rural land sales in NSW mostly occurred “under the radar”, led by the Chinese-owned Rifa Salutary’s $80 million-plus purchases of“Cooplacurripa”in the Manning Valley and multiple-property aggregations at Warialda and Nundle.

Paraway Pastoral went on a buying spree in northern NSW with the purchases of“Aberbaldie”at Walcha, and in the Inverell district three properties at Graman now badgedBurmah Station, and the former Sundown Pastoral properties“Newstead”and“Paradise”.

Other significant corporate sales were the 10,000ha slice of Greentree Farming’s“Milton Downs”at Bellata to US-owned Westchester group, reportedly for $50m, and the $20m sale of “Deltroit”at Gundagai, to MH Premium Farms.

The 11,000haGlenrowan Aggregationof 16 properties at Gunnedah has also sold. Marketed by Elders for the Reid family’s down-sizing Minnamurra Pastoral Company, it was expected to attract offers in a range of $30-$40m.

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Doltone House to welcome 2017 with a fanfare

New Year’s Eve is drawing nearand shire residentsare starting to seek out the best venues to bring in the New Year.
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Eat, drink and dance your way into 2017 at the Doltone House NYE Carnivale Party with a four-course award winning set menu.

Building on the success of the event in previous years, Doltone House is planning an incredible experience for guests with an exciting Brazilian dancer and drumbeats floorshow, DJ entertainment, live coverage of the fireworks and a generous food and beverage package.

Adult tickets include pre-dinner drinks and canapés, premium wine, beers and soft drink, house spirits and four-course set menu plus seafood sharing platter.

Menu highlights are the fresh King prawns and smoked salmon roses, deluxe seafood sharing platter, roasted supreme of chicken with butternut pumpkin puree, and to finish Pavlova with fresh fruit cream, meringue and passionfruit sauce.

And if Carnivale is not quite your scene, you could enjoy another New Year’s Eve function at Doltone House which will feature a combined performance from Macedonian singer Tuse, and Sydney’s Macedonian Despina band.

An exciting night of dancing and entertainment will be topped off with a generous food and beverage package.

Adult tickets include pre-dinner drinks and canapés, a complimentary bottle of Chivas Regal per table, premium wine, beers and soft drinks and an award winning 4 course set menu plus two seafood sharing platters and chevapiper table.

Details: 8571 0622 or visit doltonehouse南京夜网419论坛.

OtherNYE entertainment options include:

Cassettes Duo: Tradies Gymea, 9pmDemage Duo + Ripper ’76: Cronulla RSL, 8pmNever Ending 80’s: Brass Monkey, 8pmHard Rockin Amigos: Club on East, 8pmABBASBACK: Club Menai, 8pmSwinging Sixties: Club Cronulla, 8pmMr James Band: Ramsgate RSL, 8pmHot Hot Hot: St George Leagues, 9pmThe Smooth Groove: Revesby Workers, 8.30pmBlues Bros Rebooted: Georges River SC, 8pmThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net. Continue reading »

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Fast route to ruin

FINANCIAL LOAD: Bellingen Shire Council is talking to the RMS about the costs of taking over the old Pacific Highway.In a bidto head off what could be a one-way ride downhill financially for local councils, last week Bellingen Council’s general manager Liz Jeremy and Nambucca’s Mayor Rhonda Hobanheld discussions with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)regarding the transfer of assets to thecouncils, namely the old Pacific Highway, following the opening of the new road.
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Ms Jeremy said the discussions gave both councils an opportunity to explain their concerns regarding the handover of these assets and the RMS an insight intothe financial implications that came along with it.

“Agreement was reached to explore intergovernmental policy positions and the need to further investigate the full cost of the asset transfers over the long term, especially for the bridges,” Ms Jeremy said.

“In this context, the council has already written to the RMS following a resolution by the elected council indicating that it does not wish to accept the Kalang River Bridge asset which is valued at approximately $12 million.”

She said the council appreciated the opportunity for the meeting and the commitment given to both the discussions and future processes leading to outcomes as yet unformulated nor discussed in detail.

For its part RMS responded it was committed to working closely with Bellingen and Nambucca Shire Councils “to find an agreeable solution on the transfer of Pacific Highway assets and particularly the Kalang River Bridge”.

A spokeswoman said the meeting was productive and RMS wouldcontinue to work with the councils during the coming months.

Nambucca Mayor Rhonda Hoban said she was grateful for the meeting and the chance to discuss the reality of the financial situation, which sees councils on the one hand forced to prove their financial sustainability to the State Government, yet being handed the maintenance and replacement responsibility for over $254 million worth of assets (in the case of Nambucca Shire).

“As a low socio-economic community, it would certainly be a burden inperpetuity to ratepayers.I believe the RMS is committed to considering possible solutions we proposed,” Ms Hoban said.

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Golf club land open soon

LOTS in a newestate formerly part of the Warrnambool Golf Club will be available for purchase from January.
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Land owned by the club and R and R Coffey is being developed in conjunction with Ample Investments Group.

The new development will be called the Mervue Estate.

Ludeman Real Estate agent Mark Dwyer said there would be a total of 47 allotments forsale.

“The lot sizes will range from 762 square metresto 1830 square metres,” he said.

“Most of the block sizes will be around 1000 square metres, which are larger lifestyle allotments.”

Mr Dwyer said stage one would include 21 lots.

The first stage will be for sale early in the new year.

“We think the blocks will be well sought after,” Mr Dwyersaid.

“I don’t think there is a development that close to town near the golf course on the market at the moment.”

The golf club originally put the land up for sale via expressions of interest, however it did not sell.

The club was approached by the Ample Investments Group about eightmonths ago with a proposal to undertake the development of the land on the club’s behalf in return for a fee/share of the development proceeds.

Ludeman Real Estate is selling the land in conjunction with Warrnambool’s Falk and Co. Real Estate.

Warrnambool Golf Club president Paul Blain said it planned to reinvest money from the sale of the club’s allotments.

The money will go towards capital works and the clubhouse.

“It is good economically for the club and the community,” Mr Blainsaid. “It will be a huge benefit for all members.”

Mr Blain said the cash injection would help the club become more sustainable and to grow its membership numbers.

He said there were healthy numbers among thejunior ranks, and having professional golfer Marc Leishman home for the summer was creating a buzz around the club.

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State’s year in health

LOOKING FORWARD: Health Minister Michael Ferguson has reflected on the year in health and set out priorities for 2017. Health reporter Tamara McDonald sat down with Health Minister Michael Ferguson.
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TM:Reflecting on 2016, what do you think we’ve done best in the health system and what do you think we’ve learnt from?

MF:I would like to reflect that 2016 has been a pivotal year in many respects in the government’sprogram to fix the broken health system and we’ve seen some key outcomes …We have a long way to go …but the plan is working. We’re seeing the record low waiting list for elective surgery …We’ve got some really exciting capital developments occurring right now at the LGH …One of the most significant policy outcomes has also been the rapid response service, which we’ve done in partnerships with local GPs… that together with our new extended care paramedic service, I think, is showing the signs of the directions that we set in 2015 starting to be delivered, helping people have a better life and a better experience in the health system.

TM: What about challenges faced in 2016?

MF:Challenges faced in 2016 certainly revolve around increasing demand. That’s growing at a rate which is very challenging for us, hence… the important need to provide stability and support to our emergency department, which we’re doing, with significant extra resources but also for the LGH, new leadership, which we’ve established this year. That was a very challenging episode but …we worked very closely with our hospital managers to stabilise that situation and to recruit to the vacant positions.

TM:How many of those positions have been filled?

MF: Well I would need to come back to you on the actual numbers.But there was clearly amisunderstanding in the community as to the level of people leaving the ED. If you look at the full time equivalents it was approximately three of approximately seven …there were people who for whatever different reasons have left their positions. We’re just so determined to work closely with the hospital management.

TM:How long is [Ward] 4D planned to be open?

MF:I’ve given a commitment that 4D, those beds that we reopened that were closed under the previous government, we’ve reopened them and they will be there for as long as required.

TM:Is there any possibility of them just being opened permanently?

MF:Effectively, that is what I’m doing. They are open, but we’re not going to staff a bed that’s empty. The issue here is that the beds will remain open. I’ve got advice that at times it’s been very useful to support the hospital with its patient flow, particularly through the winter we’ve just experienced, which was a busy winter, and the staff tell me it was greatly valued.

TM:In terms of replacing specialists that leave the LGH, what kinds of resources are being put into recruiting?

MF:Well if I can point to the ED as an example, we’ve actually put special energy into that. We’ve got a new permanent director of the emergency department …new leadership and fresh vigour in building the team. There is a specialist recruitment firm that we’ve engaged together with specialist Tasmanian based marketing materials so that potential candidates can see what kindof quality of life they can enjoy here.

TM:Big year for elective surgery. You often refer to the backlog that’s developed over a number of years. How close are we to clearing that?

MF:We will always retain a category-based system …but the great success has been with ourtargeting of the long-wait patients. The longest wait patient was 10 years, it’s now down to three … The good news is we’ve only done half of our program with more to come.

TM:Ongoing, in terms of outsourcing elective surgeries interstate, how much longer is that program?

MF:Well, that’s effectively come to a standstill, because the resources are being very heavily focused into our public hospitals. We’re talking about 2 per cent or less … choosing to use that interstate opportunity.

TM:Obviously the Mersey has been very topical recently, can I grab an update on those negotiations?

MF: It’s a Commonwealth owned and funded hospital, the Tasmanian Government’s very strong position is that should remain the case. We are indeed calling on the Commonwealth to support a continuation ofthe current arrangements with a 10-year time frame.

TM:Is there any sign of an outcome in the near future?

MF:So the negotiation period is formally set-down to still continue for another three months. We want a result as soon as possible, giving the longest possible certainty.

TM:Is there any plan to add acute mental health beds in public hospitals?

MF:I know that we recently had an unexpected increase in demand for acute mental health presentations. And that, of course, needs to be properly managed. If we can learn from some of those demand periods, then we certainly will. The answer to our mental health demand issue is to do exactly what theRethink Mental Health [plan] sets out and that is to provide increasing care in the community where people are provided with the support and it doesn’t get to the point thatthey require a hospital admission.

TM:Going into 2017, what are your top priorities?

MF:My top priorities are to continue to listen, both to our health professionals and to the Tasmanian community, about how we can continue the very positive path that we’ve already achieved …I want 2017 to be a year of continuing to listen, but essentially, continuing to implement our White Paper. A new focus on the outpatient waiting list, for example endocrinology, which is still under served in the North, and I want to see the THS … clinical management structure coming into place in the new year.

TM:Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MF:I’m just so grateful for the community providing me and the government the opportunity to fix the broken health system. The health systemI want is the health system that I’d be happy for my mother or my father or my wife or my children [to use].

This interview was edited for length

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Monsoon season developingVideo

WEATHER WATCH: The monsoon season appears is developing with very active shower and thunderstorm activity over Indonesia. VERY activeshower and thunderstorm activity associated with the monsoon are now occurringover Indonesia.
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Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Adam Morgan said heading into Christmas it’s that time of year when we start to look at the development of the monsoon to the north of Australia.

“At the moment, we can see some very active shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the monsoon over Indonesia,” Mr Morgan said.

“In satellite imagery, the yellow colours are the coldest cloud tops, the highest thunderstorms, or the most active.”

BOM: Monsoon season developing.Mr Morgansaid the shower and thunderstorm activity about the Top End was normal for this time of year and not associated with the monsoon.

“At the moment, the monsoon trough is still to the northwest of Australia, through the Indian Ocean,” Mr Morgansaid.

“The region of strongest winds to the north of the trough indicates the monsoon bursts. The monsoon bursts come from the north west. These are these north westerly winds that come from across the equator into the southern hemisphere.”

Mr Morgansaid it was the it was the north westerly winds that marked the monsson.

“Theybring showers and thunderstorms; as opposed to south easterly winds, which we see across northern Australia for most of the year,” Mr Morgansaid.

“As we move into the weekend we’ll start to see the strongest winds move further east and the monsoon trough develop in the Arafura Sea.

“We can see the convergence of these winds to the north of the trough—that’s really going to help strengthen the trough and develop it over the weekend. In terms of rainfall, we start to see rainfall accumulate in the coming days, most heavily to the north of the trough, still through Indonesia.

“We might expect well over 100mm to the north of the trough about many parts; but it’s as we move into next week that we’ll be watching the movement of the trough quite closely, as it moves further south.

“As it does move further south … Well, it’s a little too early to tell exactly what will happen in terms of rainfall or how much we might get, but we can always be confident with an active monsoon burst over northern Australia of seeing some reasonably good totals.

“So in this active monsoon period weather patterns can change quickly, so it’s important to stay aware of all the latest forecasts and warnings. With a monsoon trough in the region, tropical lows may form at any time, and these bring with them an increased risk of tropical cyclone formation.

“Heavy rain and flash flooding can occur with any active monsoon burst, so it’s important to be prepared for severe weather of any type and follow guidance from emergency services.”

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