Ram raid on ATM ‘brazen and risky’

WOULD-BE thieves were unsuccessful in a ram raid on an ATM at Upper Burnie yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Michael Foster, of Burnie CIB, said about 3.25am an older-style white single cab ute was reversed into the empty Bloomin Beautiful Florist at 238 Mount Street, Upper Burnie.

Burnie uniform police were called to the scene in the early hours of the morning and Burnie CIB continued the investigation at the scene.

Detective Sergeant Foster said the vehicle reversed into the building several times and smashed the wall apart where the ATM was housed.

“There were witnesses at the scene but we are continuing our investigation and are looking for anyone who was in the area at the time to contact Burnie CIB,” he said.

Detective Sergeant Foster said security guards remained at the scene yesterday until the machine was removed.

Jonathan Cahill, owner of the Upper Burnie Newsagency which is opposite where the incident occurred, said the first time he knew of the incident was when he drove past the scene yesterday and saw the damaged building.

“Over the years we have thought about putting in an ATM, but incidents like this were why I never did,” he said.

“Not only do they try and get your ATM but they can do structural damage to your shop, which is evident in this case.”

Mr Cahill said to attempt something like this when there were people nearby at the Top of the Town hotel and the newspaper delivery at his shop was not far away was both brazen and risky.

Anyone with any information can contact Burnie CIB on 6434 5291.

The damage to the former Bloomin Beautiful Florist at 238 Mount Street, Upper Burnie, after an unsuccessful ram raid yesterday.

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LETTER: Developers eating our green space

THE proposed sale of land on the eastern bypass corridor at Whitebridge (“State to auction off land”, Herald, 27/3) is just part of an ongoing attack on the community’s lifestyle through loss of open space, transport options and essential services.

This is not just an opinion, there have been several state and federal reports that have documented this decline.

One of these, by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council, concluded that Melbourne’s open space will halve by 2026 and commuting times will increase.

Even the Prime Minister is aware of the impact, having received a brief from her department warning the quality of city life is declining.

Her trip to the western suburbs was largely a gesture of sympathy to those who have to put up with the awful mess governments have made.

What makes this process far worse, however, is the complete failure of our planning processes which have virtually been handed over to developers.

Australia has the highest rate of animal and plant extinctions, and its cities are experiencing growing traffic congestion yet decisions like this one only benefit developers instead of catering for the future needs of residents and the environment.

LETTER: Call off Wickham in favour of art

LORD mayor Jeff McCloy tells us that Newcastle City Council is broke and can’t afford to extend the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, can’t afford to run the inland swimming pools and can’t afford a myriad of other council services.

Perhaps if the state government abandoned the destruction of the heavy-rail line into Newcastle and construction of a so-called transport interchange west of Wickham there could be abundant funds for the art gallery and other council functions.

I understand there is an initial $5 million provided for preliminary planning with a total of $120 million committed for final planning of the interchange.

This is only the start of an extravagant waste of taxpayer funds on a flawed strategy to fix a non-problem.

Final costs could be in the order of $500 million, or more, given the way that all of these projects go.

As a community we must ask if this is the best way to spend taxpayers’ money, when Barry O’Farrell is cutting into health services, public education and other services?

Wouldn’t a new art gallery, a refurbished Newcastle post office and a restored City Hall be a better use of public funds to benefit Newcastle?

There are other projects around NSW also worthy of funding before the Wickham interchange.

Bendigo and veterans deserve to be appreciated

I just read the Bendigo Advertiser and it disgusts me that there are people all over the world who have no respect for our veterans.

These people should be thrown in jail, then sent to one of the battlelines somewhere in war torn countries and be made to fight as our great veterans have been doing for many years.

I am a Bendigonian, however, I live in Florida USA. I devote many hours to honouring and saluting veterans not only here in the USA but in Australia and England.

Each Easter at my age of 86 (in May) I sit and remember all the wonderful, beautiful things we did in Bendigo – the Easter parade, the vendors around Hargreaves Street and the mall, and especially going to church on Sunday all dressed up in our new Easter outfits of which we were so proud.

What a thrill it was to watch the Chinese dragons swirling in and out down the parade route. Also the bands, the floats and many other people just there. Happy Easter to my cousins in the area and friends.

Joan Askwith Jones,

Florida, USA

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LETTER: Fibre a cheaper, better bet for NBN

UNDER the Labor government’s plan, blackspot or National Broadband Network (NBN) subscribers will not be monetarily penalised, unlike under the Coalition’s plan.

Malcolm Turnbull wants to charge people $1000 to be connected to the NBN.

The fact is, wireless will drop out.

As more users log on to wireless the less speed users will get, that is if they are able to connect. This is caused by congestion.

Fibre does not suffer from limitations and is infinitely more reliable and cheaper than wireless.

The most recent costings for the NBN have been revised down, not up.

The government, that is the taxpayer, will get a return on investment for fibre to the home.

Tony Abbott’s plan is to continue using the existing copper network. We know that copper is affected when it rains. Fibre is not.

The costs of maintaining the copper are currently estimated at $1 billion per year.

Malcolm Turnbull admits that fibre maintenance is significantly lower, by some estimates, 80 per cent to 90 per cent lower.

France is currently spending $25 billion to rip out its copper network and run fibre to the home.

NBN chairman Harrison Young, in an address to Committee for Economic Development, said the Coalition policy would not necessarily save money and would not meet the objective of structurally separating Telstra.

In a reply Malcolm Turnbull ignored this statement.

It’s time to come clean, Malcolm.

Regardless of how people vote in the next election, it is imperative that people lobby the Coalition to change their policy on the NBN.

Wollongong man charged for drink driving 

A Wollongong P-plater was allegedly caught driving nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit on Saturday night, flouting police advice to take it easy on the roads over the Easter long weekend.

Police claim the 41-year-old West Wollongong man blew a whopping 0.223 reading after he was stopped for a roadside breath test in Wollongong just before midnight.

He then allegedly refused to undergo another breath test at Wollongong police station and was subsequently charged.

The 41-year-old’s alleged antics were just one example of what police described as “mindless acts of stupidity” on the state’s roads over the weekend.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Superintendent Dave Evans said there was still a large number of motorists caught taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel.

“[They are] endangering not only themselves but other road users,” he said.

In the region’s far south, a 37-year-old man was allegedly nabbed driving almost five times over the legal limit at Falls Creek on Saturday night.

The Sydney man immediately had his licence suspended and was charged to appear in Nowra Local Court.

Last night, the state’s holiday road toll remained at two, including the death of a man, 74, at Coledale last Thursday. In a tragic start to the long weekend, emergency crews rushed to Lawrence Hargrave Drive after the man was struck while crossing the road.

He was taken to Wollongong Hospital but died several hours later.

Despite the incidents, police praised drivers for their generally good behaviour on the road.

This year, during Operation Tortoise, the force’s annual Easter traffic blitz, the number of motorists caught speeding and drink-driving was already down on last year.

Police have also issued fewer infringement notices for other traffic offences.

However, Superintendent Evans still urged motorists to remain vigilant on the roads.

“Marked and unmarked police cars will maintain a highly visible presence on the [roads],” he said.

“There will be nowhere to hide. If you break the law, you will be caught.”

Extra police would continue to patrol the region’s streets until midnight tonight.

Meantime, police performed the two millionth random breath test yesterday since the launch of the force’s Operation Paciullo in November last year.

The operation formed part of the 30th anniversary of random breath tests in NSW and resulted in more than 8000 people being charged with drink-driving.


Still one day to go

150,547 roadside breath tests completed.

93 people charged with drink-driving offences.

3487 people caught speeding.

4998 other infringement notices issued.

39 people injured in 108 crashes.

Two people killed on the state’s roads.

Examples of irresponsible driving behaviour include:

■ A 30-year-old Central Coast man allegedly caught towing a trailer full of firewood with his two young children, aged three and six, sitting on top of the load. His heavily pregnant wife was allegedly sitting on the trailer’s wheel arch when police stopped them.

■ A 41-year-old Sydney P-plater allegedly nabbed driving in Ultimo with her four children, aged between two and 14, all unrestrained in the car.

■ A 14-year-old girl allegedly detected driving a car in Queanbeyan. She then allegedly blew a 0.085 blood-alcohol reading.

■ A 27-year-old Queensland man allegedly caught taking a forklift on a drunken joyride at the Sydney Showground. Police claim the man took the forklift for a spin near Sydney Olympic Park, currently home to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The man later allegedly blew a 0.170 reading – more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

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Time ripe to re-think ‘relationships’

At this time of year it’s worth pondering: many business people and economists think of themselves as Christians, but what implications does this carry for the way they view the world and conduct their affairs?

According to Michael Schluter, founder of Relationships Global and, these days, a business consultant, Christianity is a ”relational” religion. If so, it doesn’t sit easily with market capitalism as it is conceptualised by economists and practised by business people.

The primary emphasis of economics and business is on satisfying the wants of the individual. In this they give little priority to individuals’ human relationships.

Is Christianity much different? Certainly, in the Evangelical version I grew up with, it too focuses on the individual. And you could be forgiven for wondering whether it pays much attention to relationships.

But here Schluter begs to differ. He says all of Christianity is a relational story. It starts with humankind created in God’s image, but then the relationship is ruptured in the Garden of Eden. Finally, God comes to earth as a baby and ends up dying on a cross with the expressed purpose of restoring the broken relationship with humankind.

What does God require of us? Jesus summarised it: all the law and the prophets depend on two commandments – love God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as you love yourself. What could be more relational than that?

Schluter says life can be viewed from many perspectives: financial, environmental, individual, material. But ”as Christians, we need to see all of reality through a relational lens if we are to look at the world as God sees it”.

All of life is ultimately about relationships. For example, he says, ”every financial transaction is an expression of an underlying relationship between nations, organisations or individuals”.

The development of a society can be measured not in terms of economic growth but by the quality of relationships between individuals and between ethnic and other social groupings.

Education’s goal can be defined as acquisition of wisdom for children to be able to serve their family and community, rather than acquisition of technical skills merely for personal career advantage.

”At a personal level, our happiness and wellbeing are determined primarily by the quality of our relationships. Arguably, financial issues – for example, debt and savings – matter to us primarily due to their relational implications,” he says.

Above a certain income, wellbeing indices point to the central importance of relationships. Even for those below this income threshold it’s not clear if the priority of income is for personal benefit or for group benefit, such as the care of children.

Debt is closely associated with depression and also with divorce, child abuse and social isolation, he says. Survival rates after serious illness are more closely associated with levels of relational support than with levels of income.

”It is easier to find someone financially rich and miserable than someone relationally rich and miserable,” he says. ”It is hard to find someone on their death bed who says, ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office’.”

The individualism of our culture leads us to miscalculate the significance of events because it takes little or no account of ”externalities” – that is, the effects on third parties.

For example, companies and public service agencies move staff to new locations to maximise economic productivity, and economic analysis applauds their decision to do so. But no attempt is made to measure the social or relational costs of such dislocation, especially to spouses or partners, children, friends and parents and grandparents whose relationships have been disrupted.

Schluter says business, finance and public sector organisations are increasingly coming to recognise that financial evaluation of performance is insufficient.

”The purpose of companies is increasingly defined inclusively to recognise the significance of company decisions for many stakeholders, rather than instrumentally, where customers, suppliers and so on are regarded simply as means to increase shareholder profits.”

Low levels of national debt – a measure of inter-generational loyalty – decrease economic instability and aid economic growth. Political stability is a foundation for economic prosperity, but depends on peaceful relations between ethnic and religious groups and between rich and poor.

”To see the world in relational terms requires a re-education process as the media, corporate advertising and our own inclinations constantly point us towards seeing things from an individualistic or materialistic point of view,” Schluter concludes.

Twitter: @1RossGittins

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Pies show touch of class

Steele Sidebottom.COLLINGWOOD 3.5 8.6 12.10 15.13 (103) NORTH MELBOURNE 5.2 8.4 9.7 13.9 (87)Goals: Collingwood: T Cloke 4 S Sidebottom 3 Q Lynch 2 T Goldsack 2 B Macaffer D Swan J Blair S Pendlebury. North Melbourne Kangaroos: L Thomas 4 L Hansen 2 A Mullett B Cunnington D Petrie R Bastinac R Tarrant S Gibson T Goldstein.Best: Collingwood: S Pendlebury S Sidebottom N Brown T Cloke D Swan H O’Brien. North Melbourne Kangaroos: A Swallow D Wells T Goldstein B Cunnington L Thomas A Mullett.Umpires: Stephen McBurney, Jordan Bannister, Nicholas Foot.Official Crowd: 41,040 at Etihad Stadium.

In the battle of the midfield brigades reputed to be among the league’s elite, Collingwood suffered a significant early blow when 2012 revelation Dayne Beams was a late withdrawal through injury.

When added to the absences of Luke Ball and Dale Thomas it seemed North Melbourne, boasting a fully fit list, would have had an edge. The reason it did not was primarily down to a Scott Pendlebury masterclass, as well as a general sense of composure late as the Kangaroos made an unlikely bid to snatch victory.

They ultimately failed as the Magpies began their season with a 16-point win at Etihad Stadium.

The fact neither team was able to kick more than two unanswered goals in the first half reflected the frenetic competition, which was evident immediately.

Since Collingwood’s 2010 premiership it has faced  accusations it was unable to lock the ball in its attacking half as it had done so proficiently during that breakthrough season. Its first-quarter performance was evidence to the contrary.

Any frustration at the side’s wastefulness in kicking for goal was eased by its ability to consistently stymie the Kangaroos’ attempts to clear from defence, most notably when consecutive kick-outs from Shaun Atley were marked by Harry O’Brien at the same half-back position.

The Kangaroos defenders were performing well despite those clearance jitters, particularly Scott Thompson. The improving full-back matched, and often beat,  direct opponent Travis Cloke for strength and positioning, although by the second half Cloke had clearly won a duel he was initially losing.

North went to the first break with a nine-point lead, based mainly on its superior use of the ball, especially up forward where it converted five of seven scoring opportunities. Collingwood, nevertheless, seemed at least its equal.

Kangaroos forward Lindsay Thomas showed no hint of his former yips, kicking four goals by the main break. His haul was not merely completing teammates’ good work either, with his fourth goal coming after a pass at half-forward to Daniel Wells that ended up back with him following a dogged sprint forward.

For the Magpies Alan Toovey often showed great composure in defense and used the ball well, the area of his game considered to be his weakness.

North captain Andrew Swallow started well and maintained that influence even when Collingwood’s midfield brigade fought back. He rivalled Pendlebury for possessions but could not rival his impact. That the Kangaroos were able to lead for much of the first half without spearhead Drew Petrie having any influence  would have been a bonus to them, in as much as  they still had his improvement to come.

But it became a liability late in that half and early in the second when his Magpies counterpart,  Cloke, bettered Thompson. While his influence  increased a little, Petrie’s remained negligible, with fellow key-forward Lachie Hansen and Robbie Tarrant offering little more.

The trend of neither side scoring more than two goals in a row ended emphatically in the second half when the Magpies booted the first four of the third quarter. When combined with their two late in the first half it meant they had transformed an 11-point deficit to a 27-point lead.

Collingwood’s usual suspects in the midfield – Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Dane Swan – were influential but credit was also due to its unheralded youngsters.

Any encouragement North might have derived from scoring the last goal of the third quarter, through Hansen, was countered by Cloke taking a characteristically strong pack mark and resulting goal – his fourth – to start the last. When that was followed by Sidebottom’s third goal the margin was six goals, seemingly snuffing out any realistic chance of a Kangaroos comeback.

Four consecutive goals from North provided a glimmer of hope, until Brent Macaffer’s late goal snuffed it out for good.


Collingwood selected three debutants in its 25-man squad. While it intended to play only one – Sam Dwyer – it ended up selecting all three. Josh Thomas and Jack Frost got late call-ups due to injuries to Dayne Beams and Heath Shaw, the latter not enacted until the warm-up. Thomas made some telling contributions in clearances, Frost showed composure in defence and Dwyer was influential after his half-time introduction.


Lindsay Thomas may as well have painted a target on his back when his attempt to shepherd away Ben Reid in the third quarter – by way of a bump – ended in his opponent leaving the ground with a bloodied face. The boos that followed Thomas thereafter were unfair given the wound was caused not by a high bump but by a head clash. What North should worry about though is that because Thomas initiated the contact the match review panel could find him liable for the consequences.


Drew Petrie ranks among the league’s elite spearheads, but his impact in the season-opener was uncharacteristically poor. He was blanketed by full-back Nathan Brown so decisively that by the last quarter coach Brad Scott elected to swap him with ruckman Todd Goldstein. It summed up Petrie’s day that when he won a free-kick in the last quarter, with his team surging, he hooked it out of bounds on the full.

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Bad from the word go

PORT ADELAIDE 5.3 11.7 16.13 19.19 (133)MELBOURNE 3.1 7.2 7.3 8.6 (54)GOALS: Port Adelaide: Schulz 4, Monfries 3, P Stewart 3, Hartlett 2, Moore, Heath, Wingard, Pittard, Westhoff, Cornes, Wines. Melbourne: Howe 2, Clark 2, Pedersen, McKenzie, Viney, Byrnes. BEST: Port Adelaide: Hartlett, Boak, Wines, Brad Ebert, Schulz, Wingard, Cornes. Melbourne: N Jones, Viney, M Jones, Grimes. INJURIES: Melbourne: Clark (ankle). UMPIRES: Pannell, Ryan, Farmer. CROWD: 22,924 at MCG.

If ever there was a portent for the toe-curling torture that was to come, it lay in the first alarming statistic of the day: Melbourne did not register its first kick until almost six minutes into the game. At that point the Demons were only a goal behind; arguably, they looked better when they weren’t getting the ball.

The reason for this was the answer to the question no one in the Demons rooms could find. Why were they so bad? Because Port Adelaide brought a relentless pressure from first siren to last, and the Demons simply couldn’t cope.

Port coach Ken Hinkley admitted he was conscious ”there will be days where it won’t go as good as it went today for us”. And how. As bad as this was for Melbourne, this had the sense of a landmark afternoon for Port and its new coach.

”Constant pressure builds and it keeps building and … at some stage, there’s going to be a little break somewhere,” Hinkley said.

He was speaking specifically of a third quarter in which no goals came until 14 minutes in, whereupon the Power kicked five to kill the contest. But really, his assessment applied to every chunk of a game that was not so much forgettable for Melbourne, as all-too sickeningly familiar.

Port had six players wearing its colours for the first time, and three on debut. Melbourne had seven new Demons, and similarly three total newbies. That Jack Viney and Matt Jones acquitted themselves so well wasn’t lost on coach Mark Neeld, who couldn’t understand why more seasoned teammates could not sustain their efforts.

”We talk about who’s a competitor and who’s not, and the general feeling in the room was that everyone’s a competitor – at times,” Neeld said. ”There weren’t too many who were able to get up in front of everybody and say, ‘I thought you competed all day’.”

For all its layers, football remains a game of basics, and Neeld was equally mystified as to why his players got so many of them so horribly wrong. The second quarter was emblematic, as two of Port’s six goals were Easter Sunday gifts, wrapped and delivered by foot errors coming out of defence from Tom Gillies and Lynden Dunn. In a third, Paul Stewart had time to fumble, recover and stroll in to goal.

At times the home team applied so little pressure it looked like it was saving itself for next week.

Mitch Clark was underdone and fortunate not to be hobbled by another leg injury, escaping a third-quarter scare with a rolled ankle. Viney had a tremendous first half before tiring, and still finished with a game-high 16 contested possessions. Both Joneses, Matt and Nathan, gave their all, and captain Jack Grimes stood up in the third-quarter heat.

But there the glimmers went dark. Not so for Port, which had upside everywhere, not least in the manly figure of Oliver Wines, who saw Viney’s impressive debut from close quarters and raised him.

”They don’t rely on too much of the other stuff in football, they just rely on their work and their hardness at the footy,” Hinkley said of Wines and Viney.

Lewis Stevenson and Jake Neade also showed good signs, but it was the three- and four-year players who hold the key to hopes of a Power surge back to the competition’s upper reaches.

Hamish Hartlett is maturing into an elite on-baller, Jasper Pittard a top-notch defensive launchpad. Travis Boak revelled in his first game as captain, Chad Wingard offered spring-heeled surprise.

High flying provided the only facet of the game where Melbourne almost competed, Jay Schulz’s second-quarter hanger immediately followed by Cam Pederson’s at the other end. Both happened on the goal line, were reviewed, and allowed to stand, although Schulz seemed so out of play he was lucky he didn’t land in the cheer squad.

Geelong’s Steve Johnson had tweeted pre-match congratulations to Hinkley, declaring his arrival as a coach long overdue and describing the former Cat as the greatest influence on his career. On this evidence his imprint on Port will be just as spectacular.


■Port’s winning margin of 79 points was its biggest interstate win since the 2005 elimination final against North Melbourne, when the Power won by 87 points.

■Oliver Wines and Jack Viney were best mates growing up and they both had outstanding debuts. Wines finished with 24 disposals, 16 contested possessions, five frees for, six inside 50s, three clearances and three score assists. Viney finished with 22 disposals, 16 contested possessions, six clearances, one goal and one score assist.

■The Power ran away with the game in the third quarter, winning the inside 50 count 16-7 across the term. It finished with 35 disposals inside the forward 50, while Melbourne had just two – only one of which was effective.

■Port Adelaide grabbed twice as many marks inside 50 than the Demons, winning the count 18-9. It finished with 18 scores from set shots and Melbourne recorded just seven.

■Travis Boak dominated around the stoppages, winning 11 clearances, including nine out of the centre. He also finished with a game-high nine inside 50s.


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Premier, let Fortuna Villa remain in public hands

Hi Denis, congratulations on your appointment as Premier of Victoria.

It is great to see a good person such as yourself take up this role.

Even prior to taking up this role you were being very decisive and made some good changes for the racing industry.

I am writing to you as a Bendigonian to ask for the support of your government to ensure Fortuna remains in public ownership for all Victorians and Bendigonians.

Too much of Bendigo’s history has been lost in the past such as the trams, buildings such as the Princess and Lyric theatres, historic verandahs demolished and I am sure our local historians could name others. Enough is enough.

Surely your government can do the right thing by all Bendigonians and ensure that Fortuna remains in local public ownership.

For certain community assets public ownership is very important.

You would recall the time at Port Fairy when the licence for the nursing home beds at Port Fairy Hospital was to be granted to private ownership.

It was thanks to Barney Cooney, John McGrath and yourself that the federal minister of the day Peter Staples reversed a ministerial decision and granted the licence to Port Fairy Hospital.

The hospital today survives as a vibrant health service thanks to the efforts of those who had the political will to assist and stand up and be counted.

Denis you are now in a position to help Bendigo by ensuring Fortuna remains in public ownership.

This public ownership of Fortuna is not just some whim by a few, the majority of Bendigonians would want to see Fortuna retained for the benefit of all.

Gavin Butler,


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