Red Caps defeated in state decider

Game over: Heath Pyke of Wendouree leaves the field at the end of the match.HOPES for a fairytale state final finish in the Wendouree camp quickly unravelled.
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Bentleigh Uniting was better prepared for this Cricket Victoria Statewide Twenty20 Cup decider at Eastern Oval on Sunday afternoon.

A more disciplined side, Bentleigh Uniting kept Wendouree to 123 runs and then hunted down the Red Caps inside 15 overs, losing three wickets on the way.

Wendouree captain Matt Smith said it was a disappointing way to end the tournament after such a strong state finals series this summer.

“To get to here is an achievement. We’ve played about 20 players through the tournament and that’s a credit to the development that’s going on behind the scenes at the club,” Smith said.

“It just wasn’t enough – we couldn’t get away from them when we were batting and we couldn’t contain them with the ball.

“They looked like they came up here with a plan and they really just blew us out of the water.”

Bentleigh Uniting’s Michael De Iacovo was named man of the match.

De Iacovo headlined the chase with an unbeaten 75 runs off 51 balls, and fittingly belting out the winning boundary before embracing his skipper in a celebratory hug mid-way down the wicket.

Experienced batsman Heath Pyke was the only Red Cap to make a statement at the crease.

Pyke made 49 runs off 44 deliveries before he was run out.

Key bat Cole Roscholler anchored the innings with a handy 28 runs but a dangerous and even Bentleigh Uniting bowling attack gave following Red Caps no room to move.

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Regatta wraps up in heat

ROWING Tasmania’s state championships regatta wrapped up on a very hot day for racing at Lake Barrington yesterday.
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Tamar Rowing Club’s Oliver Marsden in the mens under 23 single scullon Saturday.

The first race of day two saw Scotch Oakburn College win the championship men’s under-19 eight.

Scotch rowed to a convincing victory over the Hutchins School in a time of 6:23.56, in a good precursor to the Head of the River regatta.

The men’s senior single championship saw a hard-fought race between Buckingham’s Sam Volker and Mersey’s Taylor Wilczynski with the North-West rower taking out the title over 2000 metres in a good comeback this year from a back injury.

The Tamar crew of Oliver Marsden, Oliver Cook, Mitchell Digney and Henry Youl took out the under-23 men’s coxless four while the women’s under-21 single scull saw Tamar’s Caitlyn Bloomfield take the victory.

Bloomfield stamped her authority on the race from the start in a great performance to win the championship.

The men’s under-17 double scull saw North Esk’s Matthew Dikkenberg and Jack Barrett continue their successful weekend’s racing with another good win.

Visually-impaired Mersey rower Emma Jago performed well to take out the the championship legs-trunk and arms para-single race while the Tamar crew of Brendan Longman, Alister Foot, Digney and Youl won the championship men’s senior coxless four.

In the under-23 championship girls’ eight, the Launceston Church Grammar crew backed up to win and make a strong statement for the upcoming Head of the River.

The championship men’s under-21 double scull saw victory go to Tamar’s Cook and Youl while the senior double scull was won by Volker and Wilczynski, who joined forces following their single scull battle.

The final event of the day saw the championship men’s senior eight taken out by the Tamar Rowing Club, making it back-to-back titles.

In a solid race, Tamar was pushed all the way by the University crew but pulled away over the final 500 metres to record a convincing win in a quick time of 5:49.69.

Hutchins School finished third.

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Tallent eyes second Beijing medal haul after title win

Jared Tallent file picture.
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JARED Tallent enjoyed a chance to get up at his leisure then power to a seventh Australian 20-kilometre Race Walking Championships crown.

The Ballarat Olympian claimed the title in Adelaide, about five kilometres from his home and training base on Sunday morning – with his men’s crown doubling as the Oceania Championship prize and round one of the IAAF World Race Walking Challenge.

Victory reinforces Tallent’s status as one of Australia’s leading athletes and top race walker.

The win strengthens his bid for the 20km race walk at the IAAF world track and field championships in Beijing later this year. Tallent has already been selected to compete in the 50km walk – an event in which the race walker has captured two Olympic silver medals.

“I definitely want to double in Beijing,” Tallent said.

“I had a lot of success there in 2008 and it would be amazing to replicate that. I believe that I always walk better in the 50km event if I’ve had the chance to race the 20km earlier in the program.

“There’s a bit of work to do before then. I’ve got a couple of races on the cards in Mexico and Japan, and some time at the altitude house at the AIS as well. I’m looking forward to it all.”

Tallent was in dominant form to claim his Australian title.

He clocked a winning time of one hour, 24 minutes and five seconds to finish clear ahead of runner-up New Zealander Quentin Rew (1:25:22) and Victorian Chris Erickson (1:25:42).

Tallent built a lead from the first of 10 two-kilometre loops.

By four kilometres in, Tallent had a 30-second gap on his chasers Erickson, Rew and Victorian Rhydian Cowley.

Tallent kept pushing and was near his personal best pace by the half-way mark.

“My intention was to walk alongside Dane (Bird-Smith) but unfortunately due to sickness he wasn’t able to race today and that changed my plans from the outset,” Tallent said.

“I thought I would start a bit quicker and see if I was strong enough to hold off the other guys and I was able to do that, so it’s a good result.”

Rachel Tallent, Jared’s younger sister, claimed bronze in the Australian women’s 20km title race.

Tallent (1:35:03) was third to South Australian Tanya Holliday (1:34:05) in a tight, hard-fought battle with New South Wales’ Beki Smith second in 1:34:35.

Meanwhile, Ballarat’s Kathryn Mitchell renewed her summer duel with emerging javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Roberts in the Adelaide Track Classic on Saturday night.

Mitchell (59.71m) got the better of Roberts by one centimetre but was forced to settle for second in the women’s javelin event to China’s Li Lingwei.

Eureka distance runner Stewart McSweyn continued a solid debut season on the Australian Athletics Tour.

McSweyn was third in the men’s 3000m, clocking 8:16.67, behind South Australian victor Reilly Shaw (8:15.79).

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‘Honour cold case pledge’

Paul Barker, the brother of murdered Campbell Town man Shane Barker, is demanding funding for a cold case police unit to help get justice for his family after six years of grief since the murder. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSONTHE brother of murdered Campbell Town man Shane Barker, whose 2009 execution remains unsolved, is urging the Liberals to hurry up and establish the cold case unit pledged at the election.
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In opposition the Liberals highlighted the case of Mr Barker, shot dead in cold blood in his East Street home, to embarrass the then Labor government which had axed the cold case unit.

While a serious crime squad has been established, no cold cases are yet being examined, almost a year after the Liberals were swept to power on a strong law and order platform.

‘‘It’s bringing heartache to our family, I mean it’s been five and years. Jesus Christ give it three months with the cold case and come and talk to us, the family,‘‘’ said Shane’s brother Paul who’s never wavered from a determination to find the killer.

‘‘We always get a little bit peeved because the government always say there’s no money, but you know … next week there’s $15 million for the Bellerive upgrade or something.

‘‘It’s not fair on the families that have got loved ones gone. I’ll fight for other people’s cold cases, if we’re not the first off the rank I don’t care as long as they are helping families because the cold case unit solves [murders].’’

Police Minister Rene Hidding has urged patience, expressing sympathy for the Barkers, but said a cold case capability cannot be rebuilt overnight.

‘‘We are making progress, with additional recruits currently undergoing training,’’ he said.

‘‘This sad case is one of a number of unsolved crimes in Tasmania, and we sympathise with all those impacted.’’

When asked if he could guarantee Shane Barker’s case would be looked at this year Mr Hidding said it was ‘‘completely inappropriate’’ to comment on individual cases.

After speaking to police Paul’s not convinced that a cold case unit would be difficult to get up and running quickly.

He said he wasn’t ungrateful for the efforts police have made, but was almost unbearable not knowing who killed his brother or why.

The serious crime squad has been boosted to seven officers in recent months with a full squad of 12 police due in the government’s first term.

It’s headed by Inspector Glenn Lathey, a determined investigator who did a stint with the National Crime Authority in the 90s.

Inspector Lathey also headed the cold case unit when it helped bring down double murderer Stephen Roy Standage.

Police working the Shane Barker case are currently going through ‘‘vehicles of interest’’, particularly a white Toyota Hilux captured on CCTV, which could hold the key to the murder.

They are contacting vehicle owners to determine their whereabouts around the time of Mr Barker’s murder.

An inquest is expected sometime this year.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800333000, where callers can remain anonymous, or Tasmania Police on 131444.

A $50,000 reward is in place for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or people responsible for Shane’s murder.

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Katter to discuss city’s water woes

STATE member for Mount Isa Rob Katter will meet with Queensland’s new water minister Mark Bailey on Monday to work out a solution for the city’s water woes.
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‘‘Last week, I met with the co-ordinator general and four or five of his staff, and I have a meeting planned on Monday with the new minister to discuss this issue,’’ Mr Katter said.

‘‘It has been really difficult to get real traction up to now with the change of government.

‘‘I think the state government has a key role to play here and this all falls into the argument of how much investment we get for what we deliver.

Mr Katter said he was conscious of issues with the Mount Isa water board.

‘‘I’ve discussed with the water board that I think there are some legitimate questions there, and I think one thing that is not addressed is the pricing mechanism that has been set up to replace cost placed on the asset value,’’ he said.

‘‘It was an asset depreciated down to zero and we pay a price reflected by this asset, and I think we should highly question the pricing model that is there and, for that matter, electricity as well.’’

Mr Katter said the issue of the water dividend was the most pressing issue.

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Sydney Lindt Cafe siege: the failure to stop killer Man Monis

Slipped through the cracks: The national security hotline received 18 complaints about Man Haron Monis in the week before he took 18 people hostage at Martin Place. Photo: Kate GeraghtyTimeline of Man Haron Monis in Australia’The system let us down’: Tony AbbottAnalysis: Review leaves biggest question unanswered 
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It took just seven days before Martin Place gunman Man Monis came to the attention of Australia’s intelligence agencies after he lied his way into the country in 1996.

Three years later ASIO deemed the Iranian-born asylum seeker a risk to Australia’s national security. And in the week before he took 18 people hostage in the middle of Sydney’s CBD last December, the national security hotline received 18 complaints about postings the 50-year-old self-described cleric had made online.

However, a joint report by the federal and NSW governments, released on Sunday, found there were no major failings of intelligence or process in the lead-up to the Martin Place siege, in which Monis and two of his hostages, barrister Katrina Dawson and cafe manager Tori Johnson, died.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said instead the report gave the “inescapable conclusion” that the system as a whole let the community down.

Mr Abbott said that each time Monis came to the attention of authorities during his 18 years in Australia he was given the benefit of the doubt but that each individual decision was reasonable.

“The cumulative effect of the benefit of the doubt being given to him time and time again is that he was able to wreak havoc on our community,” he said. “Plainly, this monster should not have been in our community.”

Mr Abbott will on Monday deliver the Commonwealth’s response to the report as part of his national security address. He indicated on Sunday it would address issues around immigration and national security and examine if the system leans too much towards favouring the rights of individuals opposed to the broader interests of society as a whole.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said his government would crack down on illegal guns, with the sawn-off pump action shotgun used by Monis in the siege believed to have entered Australia legally but then fallen onto the “grey market” when not returned in the 1996 gun “buy back”.

Mr Baird said he would also further strengthen bail laws, compelling judges and magistrates to refuse bail if an accused person is an identified terrorist risk or linked to violent extremism.

This is despite the joint-government reporting finding that there was no indication Monis had a “desire or intent to commit politically motivated violence” prior to the siege.

Instead, the 80-page report gives an insight into a man whose erratic and at times criminal behaviour saw him consistently on the radar of police and national security agencies.

He was assessed as recently as December 2014, the month of the siege, but was found to have fallen “outside the threshold to be included in the 400 highest priority counter-terrorism investigations”.

The report found that Monis may not have even been allowed into Australia in October 1996 if proper checks had been carried out.

Known then as Mohammad Hassan Manteghi,  he claimed in his visa application to be a lawyer with an Iranian engineering company here to meet  BHP Billiton.

That was a lie, and the joint government report found that if Immigration staff had checked the claims his visa might have been refused.

On his arrival at Sydney Airport on October 28, Monis stated his occupation as “doing business” and when questioned about what that involved he replied “carpets”.

The report said Customs did not have access to visa applications at that time and, even now that they do, the discrepancy still might not have been picked up if he entered Australia today.

On November 4, seven days after arriving in Australia, ASIO received “potentially adverse intelligence” about Monis. It did not relate to a terrorist threat, but Monis was placed on a movement alert list.

In January 1999, a security assessment by ASIO determined that Monis’s continued presence in Australia posed an indirect, and possibly a direct, risk to national security and that he should not be issued a protection visa.

But when investigated again in July 2000 Monis was found not to be a threat and was granted a protection visa.

Monis then changed his name to Michael Hayson Mavros, put away his “religious garb” and applied to become an Australian citizen – a process that took four years but was eventually approved after lengthy security assessments.

The report found that Monis would likely be granted a visa and citizenship today if he presented in the same way he did at that time.

After having not left Australia since his arrival he then made 21 overseas trips between 2003 and 2007, including 10 to Bangkok and some journeys lasting only a day. Why he undertook these trips no one knows.

At the end of 2006 Michael Hayson Mavros becomes Man Haron Monis, claiming he wanted to become more readily identifiable as a Muslim and to educate youth away from terrorism.

Monis offered to become a source for ASIO – but the spy agency was concerned about his unusual behaviour.

Monis then began a letter-writing campaign sending letters, faxes and media releases to high profile politicians, the Queen, the Pope and a DVD to a US news network with a purported fatwa against President Barack Obama.

He came to the attention of the NSW Joint Counter-Terrorism Team and at the end of 2009 he was charged for sending offensive letters to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

During this time Monis also worked as a “spiritual healer” and was alleged to have sexually assaulted several clients.

He was convicted of stalking his ex-partner and in December 2013 was charged with being an accessory to her murder. He was granted bail. Four months later he was charged with  sexual assault offences committed as a spiritual healer and was again released on bail.

The joint government report said consideration was given by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and police to challenge that decision, but given the circumstances of both cases and the bail laws in place at the time it was deemed any appeal would be unsuccessful.

Monis was again placed on law agencies’ radar in December 2014 when the National Security Hotline received 18 calls and emails about his Facebook page.

The NSW Police and AFP found the Facebook posts contained no indications of harm of an imminent threat on December 12 and closed their investigations – three days before the Martin Place siege.

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Australian Public Service performance management ‘unfair, inconsistent, useless’

Public servants told a researcher studying performance management that the reward for good work was often more work. Photo: Jeffrey ChanMore public service news
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Performance management in Australian Public Service workplaces is unfair, inconsistent and lets dud bureaucrats off the hook, rank-and-file staff says.

An academic study of attitudes to performance management in the public service has found workers believe the systems are so badly managed they have become a waste of time.

Public servants told the University of Western Australia that performance management efforts allowed underperformers to be “put in a corner” and left alone after achieving soft benchmarks, while discouraging high performers to work hard.

Some officials said the system’s failings meant the reward for doing good work was more work.

Associate Professor Jeannette Taylor, of the University of Western Australia, questioned 116 public servants in four unnamed agencies about their attitudes to their bosses’ efforts to improve workplace performance.

Her findings, to be published in the forthcoming issue of The Australian Journal of Public Administration, will make sober reading in the upper echelons of the public service, which has been trying for more than a century to get its poorer performers to lift their game.

In one of his last contributions before leaving office in late 2014, former public service commissioner Stephen Sedgwick described underperformance as one of the “seemingly intractable” problems facing the service.

Professor Taylor’s key findings were that respondents did not believe their work behaviour had significantly changed much as a result of performance management.

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Public servants were unimpressed with the system used to measure their efforts in the workplace, said it was applied inconsistently and it was not worthwhile being a high performer.

Most respondents said they strongly supported the existence of a performance management regime, but they wanted it to work properly.

One public servant said a boss – at director level – openly told her staff no one would get a higher performance rating than she did, regardless of the quality of their work.

“She openly advised everybody that if she only gets a satisfactory rating from her supervisor, then nobody she supervises will get a rating any higher than satisfactory,” the respondent said.

Other bureaucrats said “easy” benchmarking allowed duds in their departments to achieve “satisfactory” ratings and even get performance-linked pay rises.

“In many ways, the organisation’s performance management system rewards people who are barely making it over the line,” one middle manager told the university.

“People who do not perform well are put into a corner and rated satisfactory, regardless of their ineptitude, which renders the whole system useless,” said another.

Public servants who considered themselves high performers said the system did not reward extra effort and, in some cases, actively discouraged it.

“We operate on the increment system,” an executive level 1 respondent said.

“You can only receive incremental pay for satisfactory performance. Once you hit the cap, there is no benefit.

“In addition, the reward for doing good work is more work.”

“The findings of this study suggest a disconnect between the rhetoric of performance management as a means to improve employee performance and the reality among a group of APS employees,” Professor Taylor said.

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Planes, no trains, many automobiles

WITH 128 veteran and vintage cars, 56 motorbikes and 29 aircraft on display, there was something for everyone at the Wings & Things car and aircraft show yesterday.
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From old classics to hot rods and everything in between, more than 1000 people came out to the George Town Aerodrome.

Trevor West travelled from Hobart to show his 1956 Volkswagen Beetle and 1947 Luscombe aircraft at the event.

‘‘It was a really good day … I think that everyone who visited had a good time,’’ Mr West said.

‘‘It was a real vintage display, I’ve enjoyed talking to other aircraft owners.’’

Wings & Things stall coordinator David Herring said there was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere throughout the entire day.

‘‘It was about 20 per cent bigger than it was last year,’’ Mr Herring said.

‘‘There were planes flying in and out all of the time so people could watch the planes and go and have a look once they had been for a flight.

‘‘There were a lot of people catching up with old friends that they hadn’t seen for a long time which was good.’’

Mr Herring confirmed yesterday that Wings & Things will return for another year in 2016.

Trevor West, of Tranmere, with his 1956 VW Beetle and 1947 Luscombe light plane. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

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Cure’s silver lining at world track titles

Amy Cure
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TASMANIA’S Amy Cure has secured a complete set of medals from the 2015 World Championships in Paris with a hard-earned silver medal in the women’s scratch race.

It was Cure’s eighth medal from the last eight races she has contested at the past three world championships, a tally that now stands at two gold, three silver and three bronze.

In Saturday’s 10km scratch race final, Cure showed no signs of the heavy workload after being part of Australia’s world-beating team pursuit quartet that claimed gold in a world record time and taking bronze in the individual pursuit.

“Went in pressure free, went in with a clear mindset wanting to have fun and I am really happy to bring home the silver medal,” Cure said.

Cure was one of the main aggressors in the latter stages of the scratch race, and in a nail-biting final lap, she went toe to toe with the Netherland’s Kirsten Wild before being edged in the dying metres before the line.

“I was in good position coming into the final position, but Kirsten is a great bike rider, probably went a bit early and got ahead of myself, but I don’t think it mattered how late I left it I would have struggled to come over her,” she said.

“We (women’s endurance program) have worked so hard over the past year, on and off the bike, we have come together like more of a family now rather than a team.

“We are always there to support each other, and I think that has helped all of us along the way.”

With snow falling outside the National Velodrome in Paris, there was a silver lining for Australia inside with three silver medals from four finals won on the penultimate evening of the UCI Track World Championships.

It was a nail-biting finish, Jack Bobridge (SA) was pipped in the finals metres of the men’s 4000m individual pursuit, while it went down to the dying stages of the sixth and final event for South Australia’s Glenn O’Shea in the omnium.

In other events, reigning Commonwealth sprint champion Stephanie Morton (SA) secured her best ever world championship sprint result, finishing fourth while Annette Edmondson’s (SA) search for the elusive omnium world title continued in Paris, with the Adelaide cyclist lying in second position at the halfway mark of the competition.

Matthew Glaetzer also progressed in the men’s sprint quarter-finals.

Meanwhile in professional road racing, Tasmanian Richie Porte continued his good form for British Team Sky working tirelessly to help position teammate Geraint Thomas to retain the yellow jersey at the Volta ao Algrave in Portugal, as he set about defending a 30-second overnight lead.

The stage culminated in a summit finish on the famed Alto do Malhão, and it was Porte who put in a titanic effort to help Thomas, before attacking to claim the stage win by three seconds.

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Pitt to share gutsy story

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STRONG: Turia, with partner, Michael Hoskin. Photo: Turia Pitt Facebook

WOMEN of Mount Isa are set to be inspired by Turia Pitt at next month’s International Women’s Day dinner.

Tickets are selling fast to hear the motivational speaker at the annual event hosted by the Zonta Club of Mount Isa.

The event is known for its increasingly impressive line-up of guest speakers, and 2015 will be no exception with mining engineer, burns survivor and author Turia Pitt taking the stage to share her story.

Zonta founding member Cherry Brosnan said she was excited to have Turia Pitt as guest speaker.

‘‘The Zonta International Women’s Day dinner is our annual flagship event,’’ Mrs Brosnan said.

‘‘How wonderful to have a speaker who can inspire our local women with her courage and strength.’’

Pitt’s life was turned upside-down in September 2011 when she was trapped by a grassfire in a 100-kilometre ultra-marathon and suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body.

Since that day Pitt has become a well-recognised humanitarian dedicating her time to causes that she is passionate about.

Interplast is one such cause – a charity that provides free reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries. In 2014, Pitt and her team raised about $200,000 for the cause.

She hope to raise even more in 2015 when a group tackles the Inca Trek.

For now, Pitt and her partner Michael live in the coastal community of Ulladulla, surrounded by friends and family.

She spends her time training for an ironman, practicing yoga, studying for an MBA and travelling the world giving motivational speeches.

Pitt recently graced the cover of the Australian Women’s Weekly and was named the New South Wales Premier’s Woman of the Year, as well as being a finalist for Young Australian of the Year.

Pitt’s memoir Everything to Live For with Libby Harkness will be available for buy on the night.

Balcony seating is still available for the March 7 event with tickets costing $35, available at Mount Isa Trophies, 125 Camooweal Street.

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