Briefs

Arson charges
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for neo-Nazi

[BB] PERTH – White supremacist leader Jack van Tongeren was yesterday charged in a Perth court with plotting four arson attacks, and 19 counts of criminal damage. The leader of the neo- Nazi Australian Nationalist Movement was arrested on Friday after a week-long, statewide manhunt, which ended when a member of the public spotted him entering the RSL club in Perth’s CBD.

Curfews for

teens mooted

SYDNEY – The NSW Government will consider night curfews for teen drivers in a move welcomed by the NRMA, parents and safety experts.

And while teenage drivers would be disappointed about the prospect of a curfew, it may well save their life, NSW Roads Minister Carl Scully said.

People aged 16 to 20 represent 7 per cent of all drivers but account for 18 per cent of all fatalities.

Pay system

flawed: Swan

MELBOURNE – As many as 170,000 Victorian families could be burdened with debt as a result of a flawed family payments system, Opposition family and community services spokesman Wayne Swan has warned.

Mr Swan said that each year just under 144,000 Victorian families had their tax returns stripped or they received a debt notice for almost $1000.

“Parents deserve better than this,” he said.

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Stayer hot on Don’s trail

Metropolitan Handicap placegetter Get Up Jude will continue to follow the same path as Kembla Grange’s last Melbourne Cup runner Don Raphael by running in the Geelong Cup on October 22.The form reads the same for Diane Poidevin-Laine’s five-year-old as Don Raphael’s in 2004 when he headed south. “We are trying to book a place at Mornington and we are going to look at the Caulfield Cup or Geelong Cup as his next run,” Poidevin-Laine said.”We would like to have one run down there and then go straight into the (Melbourne) Cup. At least that’s the plan now, he has proven himself at the top level.”Get Up Jude, who was backing up from his win in the Colin Stephen Quality (2400m), charged home late to run third to Newport in the Metropolitan.It was same spot Don Raphael finished in the 2004 Metrop after winning the Colin Stephen Quality (2400m), and similarities are set to continue.Don Raphael’s trainer, Kerry Parker, went to the Geelong Cup and watched his charge go to the line hard held when finishing fourth. It forced Parker to go to the Saab Quality (2500m) on Derby day, which Don Raphael won.”Ideally, you want to run in the Geelong Cup then into the (Melbourne) Cup,” Parker said. “(Get Up Jude) seems the right sort of horse for the Melbourne Cup and it would be great to see them get there.”Poidevin-Laine has booked Brisbane lightweight rider Jason Taylor for the rest of Get Up Jude’s campaign.”He is a natural lightweight, which is an advantage because he (Get Up Jude) only has 51kg in the (Melbourne) Cup and it’s good to have someone to stick with him,” she said. The trainer hopes the trip to Melbourne is smoother than the one to Warwick Farm yesterday with Feral Errol. The seven-year-old “went off in the float” after being caught in holiday traffic.”Once he had played up on the freeway there was no use to keep going to races, so we just turned round and came home,” Poidevin-Laine said.Meanwhile, Predatory Pricer will be spelled after his second to Sousa in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.”He didn’t really handle the wet conditions but was still able to slog it out and beat the rest,” trainer Paul Murray said. “He’ll be a much better horse in six months’ time and he’ll go straight to the paddock.”
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AUCTION WATCH:

Cast metal buffalo: $100.
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Wicker chair by Haywood Bros and Wakefield Co.: $160.

Washstand with granite top: $380.

Victorian carved-back chair: $190.

Buyers pay an 11 per cent buyer’s premium on top of purchase price.

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Truckie snaps a stunner

Budding photographer Rick Russell, who took out this week’s Editor’s Prize. Picture: GREG TOTMAN Mr Russell’s stunning shot of the Port Kembla steelworks at dusk.
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A truckie with a penchant for photography has taken out the first weekly Editor’s Prize in the Mercury-IMB Reader Photo Competition.Amateur snapper Rick Russell’s stunning photograph of the Port Kembla steelworks at dusk stood out among hundreds of wonderful snapshots received in the past week. The Kiama Downs resident was loading coal when the steelworks’ reflection in a nearby lagoon caught his eye.”I always carry a camera with me, so I just jumped out of the truck and took a photo.”The Mercury will publish a selection of reader images every Tuesday until December 9, with the weekly Editor’s Prize winner scoring a family pass to the Illawarra Fly. Shutterbugs of all ages can enter, with an open and a junior section in each of the four categories – people, play, places and pets.All entries will be considered for the category awards, with the major prize winners to be featured in the Weekender in December. A selection of entries will also appear on a DVD distributed free with the Mercury.Individuals can enter five images per category. Entries close 5pm on Friday, November 28.

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George Town girl, 17, dies as car rolls

Clean-up: Firemen on duty at the scene of the road accident at Quoiba yesterday.The girl was killed when the yellow 2003 Holden Monaro coupe, in which she was a back- seat passenger, swerved out of control on a downhill sweeping right- hand bend then flipped and rolled four times.
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A 21-year-old George Town man was driving the car towards George Town at the time of the accident, which occurred about 3.10am on the East Tamar Highway, 6km east of George Town, near the thermal power station.

The driver, the front seat passenger, a 20-year-old man and the other back-seat passenger, a 17-year-old girl, who were both also from George Town, were taken to the Launceston General Hospital and later released.

An inquest into the fatality will open in Launceston tomorrow.

Anyone who may have observed the two- door Monaro with chrome wheels travelling on the East Tamar Highway before the accident is asked to contact Sgt Mike Davis at the Launceston Accident Investigation Section on 63363936 or 63363701.

¤In a separate incident a woman was taken to Latrobe’s Mersey Hospital yesterday afternoon after being involved in a head- on car crash at Quoiba.

The woman was not seriously injured and was reported to be in a stable condition last night.

The two-vehicle collision, which occurred about 4pm near the bridge over Horse Head Creek, involved a white Nissan ute and a silver Mitsubishi sedan.

Although the bridge was closed and traffic was held up no one was seriously injured in the accident.

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Failed Seasprites destined for foreign shores

A low loader takes one of the Seasprite helicopters across the Shoalhaven River on the way to Port Kembla. Picture: ADAM WRIGHTThe unusual sight of shrink-wrapped helicopters being trucked to Port Kembla last week was the final ignominious chapter for the failed Seasprite helicopter project estimated to have cost Australian taxpayers $1 billion.Eleven Seasprites were supposed to be delivered in 2001 at a cost of $600 million.In March this year, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon ended the Nowra-based program after more than $1 billion had been spent on the helicopters without any becoming fully operational.The Seasprites will be shipped to the United States, but neither manufacturer Kaman Aerospace nor Defence would confirm if the failed helicopters had been on-sold.Industry publication Aviation Week recently reported that Kaman was to display its test aircraft in Romania and was eyeing new Eastern European NATO members as potential customers.Kaman needs to sell the helicopters to meet its commitment to pay the Australian Government $40 million.Kaman president Sal Bordonaro told Aviation Week that his company was “just months away” from delivering full capability to Australia when the program was scrapped.But Mr Fitzgibbon said that even if the Seasprites had entered service, their technology would have been dated.Mr Bordonaro said the Seasprites could be delivered to a new customer within six months at “a great cost advantage” over competing small-ship naval helicopters.The complex task of shrink-wrapping 10 Seasprites went to Bomaderry company Integra Packaging.Sales manager Matt Hill said the task was the biggest the company had undertaken.”The material we use is called Intercept Technology, a specialised anti-corrosive wrap which uses copper polymer,” he said.”In fact, it’s one of the very few anticorrosive products that’s been approved by NASA.” Mr Hill said a specialist from UnderRaps in Western Australia measured up the helicopters to create a pattern from which shrink-wrap kits were made.”Then we sealed them up and heat shrunk them to get a snug fit,” he said.
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Howard warns of `new dark ages’

But Opposition workplace relations spokesman Craig Emerson said Labor was proposing a federal system similar to that now operating in NSW and Queensland, two of the strongest- performing states.
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Mr Howard said Labor’s industrial relations policy would be a disaster for Australia.

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Banned driver caught behind the wheel: court

A Port Kembla man disqualified from driving for 48 years was allegedly caught driving a stolen car while under the influence of alcohol.Jose Luis Ferreira, 39, appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday, where he was refused bail and referred to the court’s mental health liaison nurse for assessment.He was charged with stealing a car, negligent driving, driving while disqualified, damaging property, not giving particulars at the scene of a crash and driving under the influence.Documents tendered to the court said Ferreira had twice been named a habitual traffic offender and is on parole for driving offences.He had been disqualified from driving in 1989 and is banned from holding a licence until 2037.He allegedly stole a friend’s Mitsubishi Pajero while visiting her at Lilyfield in Sydney’s inner-west.The woman chased the car for a short distance in an attempt to get him to pull over but Ferreira allegedly drove off.At 9pm that night, the driver of a blue Nissan Maxima sedan reported that a Pajero was following him as he overtook another car on the F6 near Bulli Tops.The Pajero then allegedly “accelerated harshly” as it overtook the Nissan Maxima, clipping the sedan with the Pajero’s bullbar as it went.Both drivers pulled over and Ferreira allegedly got out of the car, smelling strongly of alcohol, before giving the driver a false name.The driver of the Maxima reported the incident to police who later arrested Ferreira.He allegedly admitted stealing the Pajero and colliding with the Maxima.However he allegedly became aggressive in the custody room at the police station and began spitting on the floor.Ferreira is due back in court today.
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CBA staff strike tomorrow

All of the CBA’s call centres, located in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, will be affected by the strike, which will run from 8am to 12.15pm.
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Call centre workers are negotiating a new enterprise bargaining agreement with the bank and are arguing for a 5.5 per cent pay rise and increased staffing levels.

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