Who is who in the new Tasmanian Lower House of Parliament?



It has taken a while, but the count is over and the winners have been declared.,The 10-day wait for postal ballots and the complex counting of votes and the distribution of preferences under Tasmania's Hare-Clark electoral system has meant the results of the state election on May 1 have taken until this week to finalise.,The 25 House of Assembly seats have been won — so, who are the people who will make up the new Tasmanian Lower House?,In his first election as leader, Peter Gutwein was roundly endorsed by the voters of Bass, receiving a massive 32,482 first preference votes, up from his 2018 total of 15,213 and beating former premier Will Hodgman's tally of 27,184 in 2018.,Mr Gutwein's handling of Tasmania's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely praised.,He has vowed to focus on Tasmania's health and housing crises. He's the longest-serving member of the current Parliament along with Jeremy Rockliff.,Labor leader Rebecca White topped the poll in Lyons with 16,338 first preference votes — the same number she received at the 2018 state election. But she has announced she would be stepping down as Labor leader, after leading the party to two election losses.,David O'Byrne is the likely contender.,An MHA since 2008 and Tasmanian Greens leader, Cassy O'Connor received the most first preference votes in Clark — 9,469 — and was the first to reach a quota when preferences were distributed.,In 2010 under Labor premier David Bartlett Ms O'Connor and then-Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim were the first, and so far only, Greens MPs to be appointed ministers.,Ms O'Connor's vote was up from 8,095 first preferences at the 2018 election, but still below the more than 10,000 she received in 2010.,Kingborough Mayor and former Labor staffer Dean Winter dominated the headlines in the early days of the election campaign when he was not pre-selected as a Labor candidate.,Labor leader Rebecca White intervened and Mr Winter secured a seat, but at the expense of sitting Labor member Alison Standen.,Mr Winter is aligned with the party's right and the stoush over his pre-selection pushed factional tensions into the public arena.,Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston is the only independent in the current parliament and the first to be elected at a general election for 25 years.,Ms Johnston stood with the support of federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie and was a beneficiary of collapsing support for Labor in the southern seat of Clark.,Ms Johnston is a passionate advocate for a light rail service linking Hobart and the northern suburbs and is anti-pokies.,Ms Johnston is the only new member in Clark, replacing Liberal-turned-independent Sue Hickey.,Belonging to the Christian right of the Liberal party, Mr Ferguson is a former Meander Valley councillor.,In 2004 he was elected as the federal member for Bass, defeating Labor's Michelle O'Byrne, who is also now a state MP. He was removed from the difficult Health portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle in mid-2019.,He announced his intention to contest the leadership after Will Hodgman resigned but pulled out of the race before the ballot.,Before politics, Mr Ferguson was a maths, science and IT high school teacher. ,The great-niece of a former Labor premier, and granddaughter of a former Labor attorney-general, Madeleine Ogilvie first entered the Tasmanian parliament in 2014, also as a Labor MP.,She lost her seat in 2018 but returned following Scott Bacon's resignation.,Although she ran in 2018 as a Labor candidate, Ms Ogilvie sat as an independent when she returned to the parliament and was broadly supportive of the Liberal government.,When the 2021 election was announced, she signed up as a Liberal candidate.,After a narrow loss in last year's Rosevears upper house election, Ms Finlay is a new face for Labor in the House of Assembly, replacing Jennifer Houston who lost her seat.,Ms Finlay was elected to the Launceston City Council in 2000 and, in 2002, at age 27, was the youngest woman to hold a mayoral position.,She was mayor until 2005 and resigned from the council in 2007. In 2014 she was re-elected as an alderman.,Roger Jaensch was first elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 2014 as Member for Braddon. He was close to losing his seat in the 2021 state election and only made it across the line in later counting.,Mr Jaensch had been dealt difficult portfolios, including Human Services and Housing and has faced criticism over Tasmanian at-risk children being sent to the Northern Territory.,First elected in 2014, Sarah Courtney was appointed to cabinet after the 2018 election.,She is a moderate Liberal and took on the Health portfolio in mid-2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.,Ms Courtney lost her position as primary industries minister when it emerged that she was in a relationship with the department's head.,Michelle O'Byrne was a federal Bass MHA from 1998 until 2004 when she lost her seat. In 2006 she was elected to the state parliament.,A senior member of the Labor team, Ms O'Byrne has held ministerial portfolios, including Health, and has been deputy Labor leader since 2014.,She is passionate about increasing the number of women MPs. Ms O'Byrne's brother, David O'Byrne, is also a member of the House of Assembly.,The second-most popular MP elected at this election, with 19,186 first preference votes. Mr Rockliff was first elected in 2002, making him the longest-serving current MHA along with Mr Gutwein.,He became deputy opposition leader in 2006, and deputy premier in 2014.,Mr Rockliff has also been passionate about improving education in Tasmania. He has consistently polled well in Braddon and is a moderate Liberal.,Shane Broad is an agricultural scientist and former Central Coast councillor who first entered parliament on a re-count when former deputy premier Bryan Green resigned in 2017.,He has said he will consider his options if Rebecca White does not recontest the leadership.,Dr Broad is aligned with Labor's right faction, so if it ends up being a contest between him and David O'Byrne, it will be a battle between the party's left and right.,Labor's lone member in Clark, Ella Haddad's first preference vote increased from the 5,288 she received in 2018 to 7,998, but the Labor vote collapsed in Clark.,In 2018, the party's five candidates combined received 27,284 while this year it was 14,066.,Ms Haddad had the role of shadow attorney-general in the previous parliament. She is struggling to re-build the support the party had in Clark before the 2018 election when the popular Scott Bacon was part of the Labor ticket.,A Liberal MHA since 2010, Elise Archer worked as a lawyer in Hobart before entering parliament. She was elected Speaker — the first woman to hold that role in Tasmania.,Ms Archer has held the position of attorney-general since 2018. Before entering parliament, Ms Archer was a Hobart City Council alderman from 2007-2010.,She is a hardworking local member with conservative values.,Moderate Liberal Nic Street has been elected to the House of Assembly twice on recounts, first when Paul Harriss resigned in 2016, and again when Will Hodgman resigned in 2020.,This is the first time he's won a seat at a general election. A former small business operator, Mr Street has previously served as a Kingborough councillor.,He has a long association with the Kingborough District Cricket Club as a former player and board member.,Former union identity and brother of Bass MHA Michelle O'Byrne, David O'Byrne has been touted as a potential Labor leadership challenger for several years, and not just against Rebecca White.,In 2011 he hosed down rumours he was planning to challenge former Labor premier Lara Giddings for the top job.,Mr O'Byrne has the backing of powerful left-aligned unions, the same forces that tried to stop Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter from being pre-selected.,Ms White has endorsed him as her successor.,A former federal senator, Guy Barnett is part of the Christian right of the Liberal party.,Mr Barnett has a farming background, and has held the Primary Industries portfolio in the ministry.,Mr Barnett helped lead the years-long campaign for Tasmanian World War II hero Teddy Sheean to be posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross.,A former TAFE teacher and Meander Valley Mayor, Mark Shelton is a grass-roots politican.,Mr Shelton was Speaker of the House of Assembly from 2017-2018 and was subsequently appointed to the ministry.,In 2017, he walked the 200km from Longford to Hobart raising more than $23,000 for disability support service St Giles.,Labor's second member for Lyons who just scraped back in after a tight battle with fellow Labor candidate Janet Lambert in a replay of the 2018 result.,Ms Butler's mother, Heather Butler, was a Lyons Labor MHA from 2005-2010. Ms Butler's sister-in-law, Jo Palmer is a Liberal MLC.,Ms Butler describes herself as a political and community activist.,She has run campaigns against family violence and launched the White Ribbon group in Tasmania.,A former nurse and Burnie mayor, Anita Dow was the second candidate in Braddon to receive a quota and be declared elected. She was first elected to parliament at the 2018 election.,The number of first preference votes she received in 2018 and 2021 was almost the same — about 3,640.,The overall Labor vote in Braddon was also very similar to the 2018 figure, with 26 per cent of first preference votes.,A former nurse and businesswoman, Jacquie Petrusma is a conservative Liberal who was first elected in 2010.,She has held a number of ministerial portfolios, but more recently sat on the back bench.,Her time as Human Services minister came to an end in 2018 when she was dumped in a reshuffle after a series of shocking revelations around Tasmania's child protection system came to light.,Ms Petrusma has managed to significantly increase her vote, from the 3,467 first preferences she received in 2018 to 14,550 this year, no doubt in part due to popular former Liberal MP Will Hodgman no longer competing for votes.,A former Huon Valley councillor, Rosalie Woodruff, was first elected in 2015 on a recount when former Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim resigned.,Dr Woodruff received 1,110 first preference votes in 2018 and significantly increased her first-preference vote to 10,161 this time around.,An epidemiologist, public health has been one of Dr Woodruff's focus areas alongside fish farming and other traditional Green policy areas.,First elected on a re-count after long-serving Liberal Rene Hidding resigned in 2019, Liberal John Tucker had two years to build a profile.,From the state's east coast, Mr Tucker has a farming background and is also a former Break O'Day councillor.,On first preferences, Mr Tucker's vote increased to 4,619 from his 2018 tally of 3,404.,Helped by preferences, he was the fifth to get over the line in Lyons at this election.,*To be confirmed,Felix Ellis is expected to be elected on a re-count to replace Adam Brooks, who was elected but resigned on the day of the declaration of the polls.,Mr Ellis came into parliament on a recount in July 2020 following the resignation of Joan Rylah. At 31, Mr Ellis, a conservative Liberal, is the youngest member of the Tasmanian parliament.,It was an uncertain wait for Mr Ellis after polls closed. Initially expected to get elected, he was bumped by Mr Brooks and Roger Jaensch.,He is the front runner for the re-count following Mr Brooks' resignation.

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Allie and Val’s friendship spans decades-wide age gap in program tackling loneliness


Their age gap runs into the decades but Allie Carr and Valerie Widdowson’s friendship is as close as they come.

“We phone a lot, we discuss things on the phone and then she comes and she brings me avocados and all sorts of things,” Ms Widdowson said. 

They met through the Red Cross community visitors scheme, which pairs a volunteer with a participant who is either elderly, living with a disability or recovering from mental illness.

The two women initially bonded over a shared enjoyment of reality television. 

“I immediately felt like Val is the 90-year-old version of me,” Ms Carr said. 

“I don’t have my mum so for me it makes me feel like I’ve got that, so that’s a really special thing.

Ms Carr takes her friend shopping, buys her necessities and includes her in family celebrations.

Ms Carr said that participating in the program benefited her as much as it did Ms Widdowson. 

“Val’s a 90-year-old woman who’s lived this incredible life, but she’s still a woman,” Ms Carr said.

“We talk about men and sex and I feel like that’s really important, that when I’m older I don’t want to be treated like I’m a child, I want to be treated like someone who’s valued and had this incredible life and experiences.” 

Ms Widdowson said loneliness was a “terrible thing”. 

“It’s hidden a lot, you feel you can’t connect with people,” Ms Widdowson said. 

“But this type of thing is so good for us all.”

Research shows loneliness can contribute to poor health outcomes, such as sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression and even premature death. 

Evidence suggests people who are lonelier show poorer cardiovascular health indicators, such as elevated blood pressure, elevated levels of cholesterol and impaired cardiac function.

The Red Cross buddy program aims to combat the impacts of loneliness.

“We really see that loneliness in the older population,” Red Cross Hobart coordinator Nadia Reynolds said.

In 2017, then-aged care minister Ken Wyatt told the National Press Club that up to 40 per cent of people in aged care homes never get visitors.

Ms Reynolds said the program had seen wonderful connections built between volunteers and older participants.

“They’ve gone from having little to no interaction with people who have common interests to having a lot of interaction with people who are happy to talk about the things that they love and enjoy,” Ms Reynolds said.

A national initiative called Ending Loneliness Together is aimed at reducing loneliness in Australia. 

The initiative released a white paper in November 2020 to get industry, government and academia to work together to gather more evidence about loneliness in Australia and increase community awareness and support. 

The white paper revealed that in surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, one in four Australians reported experiencing “problematic levels of loneliness”.

During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, one in two Australians reported feeling lonelier since the onset of the pandemic.

The chair of Ending Loneliness Together, Michelle Lim, says a national strategy to combat loneliness is essential. 

Dr Lim said there continued to be a stigma around admitting to being lonely, and that needed to change. 

 “We need to actually make loneliness a word that is no longer stigmatised and that’s commonly spoken about,” Dr Lim said.

Dr Lim said many countries were identifying loneliness as the next public health priority, with some such as Japan and the UK appointing ministers for loneliness. 

“What we’re trying to focus on is increasing our understanding of what this issue is within Australia, so we do have to build the evidence base of loneliness research within Australia, but also community awareness,” she said.

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Queensland strategy for ‘normal birth’ aims to reduce number of unnecessary caesarean sections


The Queensland government is developing a new “normal birth” strategy in response to high caesarean rates that are double the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

Recently, Queensland Health held a Normal Birth Symposium to develop its strategy to reduce unnecessary caesarean sections for public hospitals.

It follows a national recommendation for each state and territory to develop such a strategy from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

The World Health Organisation’s recommended rate of caesarean sections is about 10 to 15 per cent of all births.

Of births in Queensland public hospitals, 30 per cent involved caesarean sections in 2020 — a slight increase from 29 per cent in 2019 and 2018, and 27 per cent in 2017.

In comparison, in Queensland’s private hospitals last year, 49 per cent of births occurred via caesarean sections, compared to 47 per cent in 2019 and 2018, and 46 per cent in 2017.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said the strategy was still under consultation and would be worked on over the coming months.

“We are doing this to ensure we are getting the best outcome for all Queensland mothers and babies,” the spokesperson said.

“We are extremely proud that Queensland remains one of the safest places in the world to give birth.”

It’s understood collaborative meetings will continue over the coming months, with the strategy expected to be finalised by mid to late 2021.

A recent report from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care showed that there was no medical or obstetric reason for between 43 per cent and 56 per cent of planned caesarean section births performed before the 39-week mark in 2017.

Maternity Consumer Network director Alecia Staines said efforts should be made to reduce unnecessary interventions during labour.

“We hear from women that they often don’t get fully informed about the risks of induction of labour and epidurals, which increase rates of caesarean, instrumental birth and third and fourth degree tears,” she said.

Recently, research conducted by James Cook University’s (JCU) PhD candidate Haylee Cox found induction of labour and administering an epidural were factors leading to the top two reasons for caesarean sections in Queensland — abnormal fetal heart rate and primary inadequate contractions.

The research called for efforts by health practitioners to maximise the use of preventative measures, thereby minimising the need for medical interventions.

Associate Professor Thangeswaran Rudra, of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said recent Australian data had generally shown an increasing trend of intervention in the birthing process.

“All women should expect to receive the best possible care during pregnancy and childbirth, and generally speaking, Australia has had a high standard of safety for mothers and babies,” she said.

“Women must be central to decision making. A collaborative discussion with shared decision making should take place with the pregnant woman.”

Professor Rudra said women should be able to choose the type of pregnancy care and birth they wanted based on individual circumstances, and discuss this and any other questions with their obstetrician or midwife.

Mother-of-three Rhianna Weekes had a caesarean section for her first child in 2011, but later felt she would have preferred a vaginal birth.

At a private hospital, Ms Weekes said she agreed to have a caesarean after several hours of experiencing no change or progression in labour.

“I don’t think there was true midwifery care in the private hospital and I don’t think there was true support for physiological birth.

“I feel like in my subsequent birth, I had time to do a lot of learning and preparation because I came really focused on trying to have a vaginal birth.”

Making use of midwifery services at a public hospital, Ms Weekes was able to birth her baby vaginally for her second and third child but was considered high-risk because she had previously had a caesarean section, and had other complications.

“I found my midwife advocated for me, helped me advocate for myself to have a vaginal birth,” she said.

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Tasmania Election 2021 – ABC News



This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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Dead fish found washed up at Lake Tyers Beach in East Gippsland


The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) is investigating what caused the deaths of more than 100 fish that washed up on Lake Tyers Beach in East Gippsland this week.

Resident David Cunningham spotted large salmon all the way along the beach about 11:00am yesterday.

He is calling for them to be removed as soon as possible.

“It could be a bit of a hazard for swimmers because they smell a bit and it could attract sharks,” Mr Cunningham said.

“Really the best thing to do is to go down and pick them up and get rid of them somehow.

“If you put them back in the water they will probably get washed back again.

“They’re Australian salmon, they seem to be a fair way along the beach, I didn’t count them but I reckon I saw 100 for a starter and from reports they are all the way along the beach.”

A VFA spokesperson confirmed an investigation was underway.

“Fisheries officers at Lakes Entrance received reports this morning of fish deaths near Lake Tyers in East Gippsland,” the spokesperson said.

“The VFA is continuing to investigate the cause of the fish deaths.

“Anyone who comes across a similar fish death event is encouraged to call 13 FISH (13 3474).”

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Artists employed in Victorian schools under COVID-19 recovery program


A new artist-in-residence program designed to employ artists who have lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic is being rolled out in government schools across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The Creative Workers in Schools program has been developed by a partnership between Regional Arts Victoria, the Victorian government through Creative Victoria, Working for Victoria and the Department of Education and Training.

Artists who apply through Regional Arts Victoria are matched with schools and posted for a six-month paid residency in schools that have no dedicated art teacher or creative-arts program.

“During COVID there was a huge amount of money released to support the arts industry and this is one of the streams of money that has come down,” said Sarah Atkinson, Creative Workers in Schools eastern area regional manager.

“We’ve often had in-residence programs in Victoria before, but never on this scale.”

The program will eventually see about 150 artists such as visual artists, performers, musicians, landscape gardeners, jewellery makers and set designers deployed to government schools including specialist schools.

Custom-designed school programs to date have included everything from hip-hop recordings to the creation of books, from teaching mathematics and anatomy through to colour.

Artists Lucy Parkinson and her Argentine-born partner Gonzalo Varela made the tree change from Fitzroy to Fish Creek two years ago with their young family.

Under the name Magic Lantern Studios, the couple facilitated workshops and puppet shows, as well as visual-art and public-art programs before COVID-19.

Ms Parkinson has been working at the Fish Creek and District Primary School as an artist in residence, while Mr Varela has been working at the Meeniyan Primary School in the neighbouring South Gippsland town.

“As adults, we need to understand that we are living in a crisis moment where everything is becoming very fast, electronic, cheap and cold,” Mr Varela said.

“These kind of activities give the kids an understanding of discipline, of what it’s like to work with time to enjoy something and enjoy the process. 

Witnessing a correlation between the stress of rushing to finish everything and anxiety, Mr Valera said he believed that investing time to develop a child’s interests and abilities was crucial to their confidence, happiness and mental health later in life.

“The kids are living in this beautiful moment before the stresses of the rational world come,” Mr Valera said.

“This is the moment when they need to work the imagination.

“After that there will be crises, looking for a job, paying the mortgage, and the crazy stresses of life.

“That’s why I’m very happy with this program to give the kids the possibilities to develop their imagination.”

Many artists that responded to the Regional Arts Victoria call-out last year and found placements in the first and second stream of the program have found the interaction with the children and teachers alike to be a mutually energising experience.

“You come in as artists and you have a different perspective to educators, but you work with educators,” Ms Parkinson said.

“The program is really to get children accustomed to the artistic process.”

After a year of disrupted routines and social isolation, Ms Parkinson said she had enjoyed engaging in philosophical conversations about relative perspective and cause and effect with the children, as well as answering any questions they had about our increasingly complicated world.

Ms Atkinson said children needed to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“That marriage between the arts and science, the arts and business, has never been more important.”  

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Greenpeace accuses AGL of ‘greenwashing’ its image with 2050 carbon neutrality pledge


Greenpeace has accused AGL of attempting to “greenwash” its image, saying the energy giant has failed to take meaningful steps to address climate change.

AGL has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050, but an analysis by the environmental group has found the company remains Australia’s largest greenhouse emitter.

AGL owns three coal plants – Loy Yang A in Victoria and Liddell and Bayswater in New South Wales – that it plans to operate until the end of their technical lives.

Liddell is set to close in 2022, but Bayswater is due to run until 2035 and Loy Yang A until 2048.

A 2020 Greenpeace report found coal made up 85 per cent of AGL’s output, while renewables accounted for 10 per cent.

[Liddell protest]

Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of research and investigations Nikola Casule said AGL’s track record told the story.

“They produce eight per cent of all emissions from all sources in Australia, which is more than double that of the next largest emitter and as much as some of our major companies combined,” he said.

Dr Casule said AGL needed to shut its coal plants by 2030 to help keep climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“It will result in 746 million tonnes of more emissions if they continue on their current plans, which is the same as produced by about 160 million cars a year,” he said.

AGL’s pledge to decarbonise has featured heavily in the company’s advertising since it was announced in 2015, when renewables made up nine per cent of its portfolio.

A company spokeswoman said AGL understood “its responsibility as Australia’s largest energy generator and retailer to drive the transition to a cleaner energy future” while providing reliable and affordable energy.

“Coal-fired power from all providers in Australia contributes 80 per cent of power to the National Electricity Market (NEM),” she said.

“AGL’s three coal generators are the lowest cost generators of their type and contribute approximately 21 per cent of the NEM operational demand.”

Earlier this year AGL announced it would split its business into two companies — New AGL, which would operate its electricity, gas and telecommunications retail operation, and PrimeCo, which would house its coal and wind assets.

In February, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Green Energy Markets found the rapid growth of renewables would lead to several coal plants becoming unviable by 2025.

By 2025 an extra 70,000 gigawatt hours worth of renewables are expected to be connected to the grid.

Since then Energy Australia has announced it will close the Yallourn plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley four years early, in 2018.

But Greenpeace said the uptake of renewables was likely to render Bayswater and Loy Yang A unprofitable by 2025.

“What that means is companies like AGL, like Energy Australia, like Origin that run these plants, they have to look after their workers,” Dr Casule said.

“There needs to be a planned transition that looks after coal-fired power plant workers and make sure that they have good jobs to go into when these coal plants inevitably close.”

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Memorial service planned for Noreen Waud, double amputee who lost her legs in freak accident in 1943


It was the day after Boxing Day in the summer of 1943, and Noreen Waud (nee Cullen) was standing in the water with her friends when she noticed a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft was flying low over Seaspray Beach. 

Ms Waud was one of the hundreds of people on the beach when the RAAF happened to be performing air gunnery training offshore.

The pilot was attempting to impress the crowds on the beach below, as it trailed a drogue  — funnel-shaped target — on a long cable.

However, when the drogue target was finally released, the metal towing cable was not properly wound back into the plane.

Terrified crowds ran for their lives as the cable moved along the beach whipping through the sand at high speed.

The cable struck Ms Waud and sliced through both her legs, instantly severing the limbs below the knee.

She was just 17.

But despite the tragedy, the spirited teenager, who loved to dance, never gave up.

This week the much-loved lifelong Sale resident died at 94 years of age. She has been remembered for her courage and grace.

On that fateful day, both Ms Waud and 59-year-old Hector Luxford lost their lower limbs in what was a RAAF  training exercise gone horribly wrong.

An injured Ms Waud was dragged from the water by her friends, who whisked her to a neighbouring house, where her legs were bandaged with torn sheets.

A RAAF ambulance arrived several hours later to rush her to the Sale hospital along the bumpy gravel track from Seaspray.

Ms Waud underwent several operations and spent the next four months in hospital under the supervision of Dr Fitzpatrick, who encouraged her to walk again using prosthetics.

A double-amputee, Ms Waud had to pay for her own limbs because she was not a returned soldier, so was considered ineligible for government help.

She did not receive counselling or an apology from the pilot or drogue operator.

Although both Ms Waud and Mr Luxford eventually received a compensation payout of 3,000 pounds, the funds were not adequate to pay for a lifetime of medical care.

Despite not wanting the incident to define her life, Ms Waud’s story has become part of Gippsland folklore and has since been recorded in several local history publications.

In 2018, the Seaspray community held a memorial service acknowledging the 75-year anniversary of the accident and paying tribute to the resilience and bravery of Ms Waud and Mr Luxford who lost their legs in the accident.

The community installed a plaque on the beach where the accident occurred.

Historian Mark Hill, who was proactive in organising a permanent memorial at Seaspray, said Ms Waud was a remarkable woman.

“She has completed her last journey and it has been a most remarkable one,” he said.

The plaque includes lines from a poem Mr Hill wrote: “Soldiers in the trenches, may expect to lose a limb but I was only 17 and going for a swim.”

Speaking to ABC Gippsland in 2018, Ms Waud said she found it difficult to understand why people were so interested in her story.

Despite feeling some animosity towards the pilot who caused her injuries, she chose not to feel bitter about her accident.

She made it her mission to make the most of her life and was appreciative of all the love and support people showed her over the years.

Her advice for others was simple: “Just go ahead, make the most of it”.

Ms Waud went on to marry and have a family and was able to move about and retain a life of independence on her prosthetic limbs.

In later year’s Ms Waud’s gracious personality and optimistic outlook on life attracted a constant stream of visitors to her Sale home.

“She was a fantastic mother,” Ms Waud’s daughter Ann Joiner said.

Ms Waud’s daughter is preparing for a funeral in Sale to celebrate her mother’s life.

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Victorian coal plants likely to close early with new emissions target, analysts say


Energy market analysts say Victoria’s new emissions target is likely to force an early end to the state’s coal-fired power industry.

The Victorian Government has set a target of cutting emissions by 50 per cent by the end of the decade before achieving net zero by 2050.

The Government also plans to exclusively use renewable energy in schools, hospitals and public transport.

The Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne is home to three high-emitting brown coal power stations. 

The Yallourn plant is scheduled to close four years early in 2028, but Loy Yang A and B are not due to close until 2047.

Victoria Energy Policy Centre director professor Bruce Mountain said he expected the plants to come under pressure to close early.

“That’s what [the plants’ owners] are signaling. There have been media statements, and what have you, where they’ve started to indicate they’re looking for an exit deal,” Professor Mountain said.

“The pressure is economic as much as it is policy-driven about carbon emissions. It’s increasingly less profitable and possible to run those power stations, when the load they have to meet, … on most days of the year, increasingly falls away.”

Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said he did not think the Loy Yang plants would reach their scheduled closure date.

He said the conversation today is about what would happen in coming decades and much of that would change.

“We’ve only had to look at how dramatically the cost of wind and solar, particularly solar has fallen, in the last 10 years. No one, that I know of, predicted those numbers,” Mr Wood said.

But he said Victoria had to make sure large-scale renewables were connected to the grid efficiently and how to deal with excess electricity produced by rooftop solar during the day.

“It’s not something that is the fault of renewable energy, and certainly should not be a barrier to the uptake of rooftop solar,” Mr Wood said.

“But it is an issue that we’ve got to get on top of otherwise, we could have a problem.”

He said the low cost of producing renewables meant the focus needed to be on addressing issues that arise from their uptake. 

AGL, which owns Loy Yang A, said it was reviewing the Victorian policy but supports policies “that align with our objectives to provide sustainable, secure, reliable and affordable energy”.

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CCTV captures moment thief sledgehammers glass door of Leongatha jewellery store


Victoria Police have released detailed CCTV footage as they try to track down a pair of burglars who smashed their way into a Gippsland jewellery store.

Police said the two thieves arrived at the Leongatha jewellery store in a stolen black Lexus SUV about 2:45am on February 15.

One of them, dressed in a disposable orange jumpsuit and armed with a sledgehammer, repeatedly smashed through the glass front door of the shop.

They both then entered and, using a crowbar to smash up the store, stole watches, pearls and other jewellery.

The pair then fled the Bair Street jewellery store and were last seen driving off in the SUV.

The second offender was dressed in a grey beanie and navy tracksuit pants.

The SUV was found, burnt out, near Rices Road in Rosedale nearly two weeks later on February 27.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.

Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and checking this article regarding “News & What’s On in The Gippsland Region called “CCTV captures moment thief sledgehammers glass door of Leongatha jewellery store”. This post was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our VIC current news services.

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