August, 2018

Entrepreneurs get home to grow ideasVideo

At Macquarie House, which will be used to create an innovation hub, are, BACK: Foundry’s Matthew Duff, TasTAFE division manager Maree Gerke, Tasmanian Co-ordinator-General John Perry and Startup Tasmania president James Riggall. FRONT: Foundry executive director Chris Billing, Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten, Innovation and Technology Minister Michael Ferguson and UTAS research deputy vice-chancellor Brigid Heywood. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGSLAUNCESTON’S historic Macquarie House will be revamped as part of a plan to create an innovation hub for start-up companies in the city centre.
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Two leading-edge Entrepreneurship and Incubator Hubs are planned for Tasmania, to create space for fledgling companies, freelancers and students to work and receive hands-on mentoring and training.

The state government will invest $500,000 in the two projects – one slated for Macquarie House, and the other in Hobart’s iconic Mercury building.

Other stakeholders include the University of Tasmania, TasTAFE, the City of Launceston, Foundry, the office of the Co-ordinator-General and Startup Tasmania.

Information Technology and Innovation Minister Michael Ferguson said fostering Tasmanian entrepreneurs would provide an opportunity to create higher value jobs in Tasmania.

‘‘The goal here is economic growth, and helping to create an ecosystem that means Tasmanians with great ideas and great businesses don’t need to leave the island,’’ he said.

‘‘We want to take away a reason leave Tasmania, and I believe that that’s what the [Entrepreneurship and Incubator] hubs offer us the opportunity to deliver.’’

The federal government has previously allocated $3 million to refurbish the heritage-listed Macquarie House.

There are also plans to build a glazed atrium at the rear of the structure.

Startup Tasmania president James Riggall said he believed the development was essential for Launceston.

‘‘We talk a lot about the jobs of the future and where they’re going to come from, we talk about educating kids for jobs that don’t exist yet, it’s spaces like this and infrastructure like this that enable kids to have the best possible chance of success,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s inspiring young people in Launceston and anyone who might like to start a business to actually give it a go, but then give them the support they need to have the best possible chance of success.’’

The University of Tasmania plans to employ two entrepreneurship experts to operate out of the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics and mentor students interested in exploring business opportunities.

UTAS will also offer specific courses and programs in addition to existing degrees.

UTAS deputy research vice-chancellor Brigid Heywood said there was already a demand for innovation support at the university.

‘‘This is an opportunity to build on something that’s already germinating within our community,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s a lot of underground and casual activity already there, the question is are they getting the right kind of support to give them the momentum they both deserve and need?’’

The development application is expected to go to council within the next few months, for a planned opening time of early 2017.

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Michael Cheika grins as Brumbies and Waratahs belt each other in 32-15 win for ACT

The Brumbies and Waratahs renewed old rivalries on Friday night. Photo: Alex EllinghausenIt was the type of game that would have had Michael Cheika thumping desks while the Canberra Stadium coach’s box windows trembled with fear.
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The ACT Brumbies’ biggest crowd in almost a decade was treated to another ding-dong Australian rugby derby as the home side scrapped and desperately fought to beat the NSW Waratahs 32-15 on Friday night.

Cheika had a giant grin on his face as he settled into his seat in the stands when the game errupted in the second half.

There were jumper punches, blood being spilt and players running from all over the field for a chance to land a blow on their interstate rival and Wallabies teammates.

Both teams will be counting the cost and bruises of an exhausting contest. Brumbies lock Blake Enever suffered a serious shoulder injury, Matt Toomua had blood coming from his nose and Christian Lealiifano took a big hit in the second half.

The Wallabies’ golden run through the World Cup last year has done little to simmer tensions and dull the hatred between two teams who have gone through Super Rugby wanting each other’s blood.

And you can bet Cheika will still have the grin on his face when he gathers his Test players together on Saturday with the walking wounded to shake hands and focus on Test preparations.

The Waratahs rattled the Brumbies a week after the ACT side ran up 52 points against the Wellington Hurricanes.

The best part was they mixed aggression with some handy attacking play to keep the 20,142 fans on the edge of their seats.

Given it was only the second game of the season, the individual match ups will have almost no influence on Wallabies selection for the Tests against England in June.

But it was the type of match Australian rugby needed on the same weekend that the NRL season started.

Four penalties against NSW in the first four minutes would have had Cheika’s blood boiling in his past life as Waratahs mentor. Seeing two NSW players sent to the sin bin would have almost pushed him over the edge.

From there the match descended into a dog fight between two teams expected to fight for Australian conference supremacy.

The interstate rivalry has largely centred around Michael Hooper taking on David Pocock in recent years as Australia’s two premier openside flankers go toe to toe.

Hooper showed he’s becoming a crafty captain with some well-timed conversations with referee Marius van der Westhuizen leading to some good calls for NSW.

The NSW flanker constantly chirped in the referee’s ear with: “That has to be a yellow, I’m serious.” And he is growing into the captaincy role for the Wallabies that he’s destined to take in the future.

At one point Hooper and Pocock traded verbal barbs after a scrum before helping each other up at the next ruck.

However, the five-eighth picture looms as an interesting watch after the first two rounds of the Super Rugby season.

The Waratahs were dogged in a gritty first half that saw them claw their way to an 8-8 deadlock at the break despite losing Dean Mumm and Will Skelton to the sin bin at different times.

The biggest hole, however, was left by the injured Bernard Foley.

Foley has been Australia’s first-choice No. 10 for the past 12 months, but his absence after a stint in Japan has opened the door for Kurtley Beale and Christian Lealiifano to stake their claim.

Foley is edging closer to a return to could be back on the field in the next two weeks.

But Lealiifano is relishing his chance to take more control of the Brumbies’ back line after he was left out of Cheika’s World Cup squad while Beale hasn’t quite fired for the Waratahs.

Lealiifano was in everything, scoring the opening try, kicking goals and even forcing turnovers at the breakdown.

Beale was hammered in some big tackles and looked shaky against a Brumbies defence rushing to shut down his creative brilliance.

Beale had a game-changing try denied with eight minutes left after replacement lock Sam Laousi grabbed on to Jarrad Butler’s jersey to open up the gap for the Waratahs’ playmaker.

Israel Folau must really hate the Brumbies, with the Wallabies’ fullback scoring a try and setting up one in the second half to cut the gap to three points with time running out.

But it was the Brumbies who exploded with excitement with some last-minute razzle-dazzle leading to a Nigel Ah Wong try and the Brumbies securing a massive derby win.

ACT BRUMBIES 32 (Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane, penalty try, Nigel Ah Wong tries; Christian Lealiifano 3 pens; Christian Lealiifano 2, Matt Toomua cons) bt NSW WARATAHS 15 (Israel Folau, Nick Phipps try; Kurtley Beale pen, con) at Canberra Stadium on Friday night. Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen. Crowd: 20,142.

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Talking points: Advantage Brumbies, now can they keep the Waratahs at bay?

Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies celebrates. Photo: Mark MetcalfeThe ACT Brumbies have given themselves an early advantage over the NSW Waratahs in the battle for the Australian conference. They scored four tries to two to give themselves a four-point gap ahead of the Tahs in what’s expected to be a race between the two teams. Top spot gets an automatic spot in the expanded, eight-team Super Rugby finals, with second place having to rely on getting one of three wild card spots going to Aussie and New Zealand teams.
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If the different hats fit

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham may have raised a few eyebrows, especially Jordan Smiler’s, when he brought on utility back Nigel Ah Wong late in the second half when the Waratahs were pressing and threatening to pinch the game. Ah Wong started his career as a flanker, but the Brumbies are turning him into an outside back/centre. His first taste of action was a scrum as he returned to his former flanking self. With seconds remaining Ah Wong transformed back into a winger and scored the sealer, dashing away after fielding a speculative Joe Tomane, with the Wallabies winger throwing a no-look pass over his head.

Lineout off line

The Brumbies lineout is normally a dangerous weapon, leading to their deadly rolling maul and certain points. But co-captain Stephen Moore’s radar was off on Friday night and they struggled to find a jumper on numerous occasions. But where one part of their set piece wasn’t its usual clinical self, another stepped up. The Brumbies’ scrum was brilliant and led to numerous penalties. It even brought up a penalty try in the second half as they barged over from close range.

Penalty try surely sir

When is a try not a try? When the Waratahs pull down a Brumbies rolling maul five metres out from their line. With 30 minutes gone, the Brumbies had a rolling maul with the momentum of a runaway freight train until it was pulled down. Obviously the ref hasn’t seen many Brumbies games over the last year as he said, “They still had five to go.” That’s nothing when the Brumbies get a roll on like that. The ref might have realised he’d made a mistake as he awarded a penalty try in the second half when a dominant Brumbies scrum pushed over from close range.

Charitable Canberrans come out for a worthy cause

Could the Brumbies have unlocked the key to Canberra’s heart and solved their crowd problems in the process? In the lead-up to their blockbuster against the Waratahs, the Brumbies announced they’d donate $20,000 if they got more than 20,000 people to Canberra Stadium. The crowd figure of 20,142 means the Domestic Violence Crisis Service will be 20 large richer. Playmaker Christian Lealiifano will be stoked as he is an ambassador for the DVCS.

Banish the box kick

The Brumbies came into the season with the mantra of running rugby, which they used with devastating effect against the Wellington Hurricanes last week. But against the Waratahs scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli opted for the box kick – a tactic much loved by former Brumbies coach Jake White – when near halfway on several occasions in the first half. Former Wallaby and Brumby Rod Kafer wasn’t a fan saying the Argentine international should have put it away after the first two. All it did was give away possession and put the ball in the hands of the dangerous Israel Folau. It wasn’t seen in the second half.

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Cardinal George Pell says resigning would be an admission of guilt

Cardinal George Pell reads a statement after meeting with abuse survivors in Rome this week. Photo: Marco Di Lauro Cardinal George Pell giving evidence via video link from Rome.
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Andrew Bolt is in Rome as a ‘Sky News contributor’.

Unheard survivors reach out en masse’We met as people from Ballarat’Comment: Pell must resign, or Pope should actBackflip on Cardinal a Bolt from the blueCardinal Pell in his own words

Cardinal George Pell has welled up in a live interview from Rome when talking about a victim of sexual abuse by a paedophile priest, but said he would not resign over the issue.

In the first display of raw emotion from Australia’s most powerful Catholic, Pell choked up and stopped talking momentarily when speaking about a meeting with victims that followed his testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pell responded during the TV interview with News Corp Australia columnist Andrew Bolt to claims that he appears unmoved or unsympathetic to victims.

“The fact that somebody seems a bit wooden doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling anything inside,” he said. “I found the meeting emotional, but I am a bit buttoned up. That was how I was trained.”

Pell spoke about his “deeply moving” reconciliation with David Ridsdale, the nephew of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, who has accused Pell of bribing him not to go to police.

“I’m a friend of David Ridsdale and I have always been,” Pell said. “I regret … the misunderstanding with him and the way it’s been fought out publicly.”

“There is a grief when you are in public controversy with someone you obviously like.”

He admitted to feeling scared before the meeting with victims that it would become an ugly confrontation.

“I didn’t want a punch-up that made things worse for the church and for them,” he said.

Pell said paedophilia was a broader societal issue, but admitted there had been a “disproportionate amount” within the Catholic church in the past. “We have to plead guilty to that,” he said.

He said failure to protect children from paedophiles within the church in both Melbourne and Ballarat was “colossal failure of leadership” by those above him but excused himself as having no “real power” or knowledge at the time to act.

Pell also addressed the most controversial moment of the four day hearing where he said the “sad story” of abuse by Ridsdale “wasn’t of much interest” to him when he first heard it.

In a convoluted explanation of the “bad slip”, Pell said that in the 1990s, after he had left Ballarat, he “never liked reading in detail about these matters”.

“Things that were professionally necessary to know, I was completely ready to study them,” he said. “To suggest from that bad slip that I was somehow uninterested in the issue is completely contradicted by the whole of my life.”

Pell said he was viewed as an “evil, insensitive stereotype” and a “hate figure” but would not resign because it would be taken as an admission of guilt. Although, he said he would have to tender his resignation anyway when he turns 75 in June because of church protocol. His resignation may not be accepted.

In other revelations during Bolt’s one-hour interview, broadcast live from Rome on Sky News, Pell said he hopes to return to Australia again but not on a long haul flight because he has collapsed twice after such trips.

“I’ve had a pace maker fitted and angioplasty, both provoked by travel to Australia,” he said.

He also denied Victorian Premier at the time, Jeff Kennett, pushed him to set up an inquiry process into child sexual abuse, saying he already had the idea of a commission.

It was the Cardinal’s first interview since he completed four days of testimony to the commission.

Bolt has been a long-time defender of Pell and last month argued Pell was the victim of “one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country”.

But Bolt this week penned a piece in which he wrote that Australia’s most powerful Catholic was either a liar or “just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities.”

It followed Pell’s testimony on Tuesday about when he learnt of the offending of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale. “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,” Pell said, prompting audible gasps.

Those words “will stain his reputation forever”, Bolt wrote in an apparent backflip. However, Bolt followed up with a piece in which he retreated from his criticism.

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Rick Worthington eyes the future with Honesty Prevails but Slipper still may fit

Horse trainer Rick Worthington with Honesty Prevails at Warwick Farm stables. Photo: Wolter PeetersWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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Rick Worthington has been a successful horse trader for years, but there is a difference from buying a horse to trade to finding a Golden Slipper chance.

When he was asked to buy what would later be named Honesty Prevails, Worthington’s simple rules applied. They’re the rules he has used in his business of selling horses to Asia.

“You have to buy an athlete, whatever horse you buy. Because at the end of the day you can’t train a pedigree page,” Worthington said.

“This order was for a filly that could compete at the highest level with a pedigree that would frank her racetrack performances. They wanted both and there aren’t many of them.

“The owner wanted a filly that could perform on the track and into the future [in a] breeding barn, so it had to be an athlete.”

Worthington went to the Magic Millions last year but the strict guidelines meant there was a list of three he would consider. He ended up paying $720,000 for a Redoute’s Choice filly.

In a way that was the easy part because Worthington’s judgment was on trial after that.

It appears he might have got his selection right after Honesty Prevails won a group 3 on debut and now lines-up as favourite for the Reisling Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

She has proven to be what Worthington hoped when he saw her at the yearling sale. His eye told him she would be “an autumn two-year-old”.

“When we bought her at Magic Millions, I said to them I don’t think she is going to be a Magic Millions type,” Worthington said.

“I said to them that we will put her through the process and if she can get there as a baby she will get herself there.

“Once we broke her in and started the process, straight way she reminded me of an ideal Slipper horse because she is only going to get better over 1400 metres and a mile later on.

“We won’t see the best of her now, but she is good enough to do it now.”

Honesty Prevails careered to victory in the Widden Stakes, which has her up among  the better juvenile fillies around.

However Worthington reminds mindful she will only get better and Saturday is just another step on the path.

“I haven’t screwed her down because we need to let her improve from this run, but the way she is eating and working points to her being hard to beat on Saturday,” Worthington said.

He had race-day jockey Jason Collett ride her work on the course proper at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.

“She’s going well. I wouldn’t say she’s gone backwards from her debut win,” he said. “It is another test on Saturday but she feels like a filly that is doing everything right.”

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