Hospital program cut a `false economy’

A GROUP fighting to save Launceston’s Hospital in the Home program plans to target Labor Bass MHR Geoff Lyons and Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne.
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The Launceston General Hospital will suspend the program on January 6 as part of drastic measures to save $28 million this financial year.

Sophie Hill, of Save It Tasmania, said she had contacted Mr Lyons after it was announced that the service would be axed in mid-December and was disappointed by Mr Lyons’s response.

The former LGH spokeswoman and surgical business manager forwarded the concerns on to Ms O’Byrne.

Yesterday, Mr Lyons said he had been involved in securing a federal government grant to get the program started in the mid-1990s but understood why it had to go.

“If you have got plenty of money, Hospital in the Home is nice,” Mr Lyons said.

“It’s an expensive way of looking after people. You don’t see too many GPs running their practice by making home visits.”

He said people still had access to a community nursing service.

However, supporters of the service say it saves money in the long run by keeping people out of hospital and frees up beds for other people.

Professor Sarah Breier, who founded the program, said it was a false economy.

“It’s a quick fix to save money, but it’s only going to end up costing more,” she said.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon declined to comment on the axeing of the Hospital in the Home program, but her spokesman said:

“The Gillard government is providing record funding to Tasmania for its health and hospital system and we remain concerned about the government’s decision to reduce the funding to health services in the state, the impact it will have on Tasmanians’ access to hospital care, and the potential effect this may have on health outcomes.”

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

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Wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley prepares for Sydney to Hobart

EXCITED: Kurt FearnleyWHEELCHAIR racing supremo Kurt Fearnley yesterday had his first experience of racing on a 100-footer maxi yacht in preparation for this year’s Sydney to Hobart.
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He promptly dubbed the experience ‘‘wild’’, and that was without even passing the heads of Sydney Harbour.

But the triple Paralympic gold medallist, whose other feats include climbing the 1504 steps of Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower and conquering the Kokoda Track, realises that yesterday’s Big Boat Challenge was only the entree for what is to be served up en route to Hobart.

Maxis dominated line honours yesterday amid gusts of up to 23knots. First was Mark Richards’s Wild Oats XI, two minutes and 51 seconds ahead of Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal, on which Fearnley is a crewmate, and almost eight minutes clear of Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing.

For Fearnley, the adrenalin rush began from the start off Shark Island when Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI were side by side.

‘‘It was close enough for me to board you guys at the start line,’’ Fearnley said, looking at Richards.

‘‘I was thinking about it. It was just wild, mate.’’

That was about as close as the two yachts got.

By the finish of the 14-nautical mile race off Farm Cove, it had become just another one-boat race.

Richards made mention of the ‘‘little tussle off the line’’ that Wild Oats XI had at the start with Investec Loyal and conceded the race ‘‘was a real challenge getting the big boats around the race track’’.

But it was soon clear that there was no stopping the defending Sydney to Hobart champions, especially after Investec Loyal had problems with its furling system.

Not that it marred Fearnley’s day out.

‘‘That wasn’t my mistake, so I was pretty happy with that,’’ he said. ‘‘It was good just to get there and be on the boat while it was angry; while it’s racing. You get in there, do your job.

‘‘I did everything that was asked of me and can’t wait until Boxing Day now.

‘‘I’ve been part of some pretty good teams with my trips – three Paralympics and even the team that crossed Kokoda, we were a real tight unit. Now I have hung around with the boys for the past few months and it’s good to be a part of.

‘‘The intensity on the boat – I love that. That’s why I chose to become an athlete.

‘‘When you are in front of 100,000 people in a stadium you have to make the right choice, be really on the game and contest right to the finish. ‘‘I can’t wait to be out there on Boxing Day and out there with another thousand yachts on that harbour.

‘‘It will be a little different to wheelchair racing. But then I have that instinct of competition, and you take it out on to the stage … that doesn’t change no matter what sport you do.’’

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Father and son build momentum for drag racing

Steve Badcock, of Hagley, and son Andrew, of Brisbane, with the drag bike that they are building. Picture: SCOTT GELSTONTASMANIA’S only Australian pro-stock motorcycle drag racing champion, Andrew Badcock, will this year again be part of the action.
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But the 2009-10 champion and 2010-11 runner-up will be wielding spanners rather than twisting the throttle in the 2011-12 season.

The pilot will be his father Steve, who runs a garage at Hagley and last raced drags in 2008 in the comp-bike class.

Steve said that he had started upgrading his 2008 bike to compete in the top-bike class, but was sidetracked when he started competing in historic road racing.

Plans to reinvent the Hagley-built bike went on the back burner.

“When team owner Trevor Birrel sold the bike Andrew rode at the end of the 2010-11 season, we decided to finish my project,” said Steve, who will again also contest the Tasmanian Motorcycle Club historic road racing championships in which he finished second last year.

Andrew said that the idea was to get the bike running as fast as they could for the final two rounds of the 2011-12 season at the nitro champs in Sydney on May 4-6 and the Winter Nationals in Brisbane in June.

“Dad did 7.6 seconds for the quarter mile at 278km/h when he last rode the bike and our aim is to get into the low sevens by the end of the season,” he said.

“It only had a standard crankshaft in it and we damaged a connecting rod which then put a hole in the crankcases.

“We’ve gone to a big after-market crankshaft now and it will take a lot more horsepower – we’ve also fitted different pistons and a race-pack data-logging system to record everything the bike does.

“Dad will do the last couple of races and then we’ll reassess our effort after that.

“We’ll add lots of gas – our aim is have the first six-second run by a nitrous-oxide assisted bike in Australia. But we’ll keep this motor as a spare, all set up and ready to bolt in if needed.”

The Badcocks hope to give the bike its first run in February or March at a regional race in Brisbane.

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Converted warehouse has strong green credentials

THOUGHT: Upgrades have made the house even greener. – Picture by Natalie GronoMARYVILLE
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Address: 1/78 Lewis Street.

House: Weathertex and Colorbond on 366square metres.

Inspect: By appointment.

Agent: Andrew Walker, Street Real Estate, 0402009532.

A CONTEMPORARY residence within an original Maryville warehouse with some very deliberate ‘‘green’’ credentials, 1/78 Lewis Street is a tranquil hideaway overlooking Throsby Creek.

With the cycleway on the back boundary, it is a fantastic lifestyle property for a family, or professionals, looking for an elegant, upmarket home/office combination.

One of two unique residences in the converted warehouse, the hallmark of this three-level, 409-square-metre house is the fabulous light which spills through sympathetically-placed doors and windows.

The entrance next to the tandem garage leads down to the ground floor or up to the first floor, and is a private entry point.

The ground-floor level comprises the main bedroom with an ensuite and walk-in robe, a second bedroom with ensuite, a laundry, sunroom and a living area. The sunroom and living areas open onto a north-facing deck which wraps around the bedroom and leads to a covered breezeway and a tandem garage, which has stacker doors, allowing it to double as an entertaining area.

The second level has another bathroom, a kitchen, dining and living area, and a family room. Two decks give commanding water views.

The upper levels are made up of two open-plan zones which also have water views. The owners have the zones configured for a bedroom and an office, but they could be two bedrooms.

The levels are connected by a timber staircase which has been designed to show off the steel girders of the original warehouse.

A high sustainability rating was the deliberate focus of the owners. There is increased insulation thickness and double glazing, as well as ceiling fans throughout.

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Bowler’s dream run

James Pattinson dismisses Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar for 41 yesterday.JAMES Pattinson must think Test cricket is a walk in the park.
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It really isn’t supposed to yield such a rich harvest so quickly, certainly not for fast bowlers.

Speedsters are supposed to do all the heavy lifting.

They are meant to toil away to exhaustion under the midday sun, like Noel Coward’s mad dogs and Englishmen, drowning in their own sweat, their blistered feet swimming in blood in their size 16 boots, while classically educated Hooray Henries at the other end play graceful strokes and get the benefit of any doubts.

West Indian great Wes Hall once described his vocation as “99 per cent perspiration and 1 per cent inspiration”.

Try telling that to Pattinson.

His Test career is just 34 days old but already he has snared 24 wickets at a miserly average, bagged two five-wicket hauls, been named man of the match twice in three Tests and man of the series in his only completed series.

He must wonder what all the fuss is about.

He made his debut at the start of the summer, on December 1, and went on to take 14 wickets at 14 runs apiece in the two-Test series against New Zealand.

Boxing Day at the MCG didn’t faze him a bit; he took six wickets for 108 in the first Test against India.

He also scored 55 runs, giving every indication that he could prove to be a useful lower-order bat, if not an all-rounder.

He struck gold with just the third ball of the second Test at the SCG yesterday, having Gautam Gambhir caught at first slip for a duck.

He then tore through India’s top order, removing danger man Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman before capturing the biggest scalp of all, Sachin Tendulkar’s.

Pattinson, 21, had not even been born when Tendulkar played his first Test in 1989.

But he was not intimidated by the prospect of bowling to a god of the game, and one who was chasing a 100th international century at that.

He was inspired by it.

Tendulkar on 41 edged Pattinson on to his stumps while attempting a square drive and the Indians were in deep trouble at 6-124 after winning the toss and batting.

Pattinson finished with 4-43 off 14 overs, taking bowling honours yet again.

He admitted Tendulkar was unlucky to chop on a wide delivery, but said: “Getting Sachin out is something I will remember for my whole life.

“If you bowl enough balls in the right areas, you’re going to get batsmen out, no matter who they are.”

The 1.91 metre Victorian is yet to experience the empty feeling of going wicketless in a Test innings.

No doubt he is willing and capable of grinding out the back-breaking days of unrewarded slog that are supposed to be the fast bowler’s lot in life.

But they will remain alien to him if he keeps taking wickets at this rate.

That won’t happen, of course.

Those horrible days will come.

How he copes with them will determine how great he can aspire to be.

Cricket is like that.

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