01.20. The drought has been blamed for a plague of grasshoppers sweeping through farms in Tasmania’s northern midlands. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says farmers around Ross say grasshoppers are attacking anything green, including pastures, crops and even garden hoses.
01.16. Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority is taking samples from the Pieman River at Rosebery, after reports that thousands of eels have died. The EPA’s Acting Director John Mollison says water and fish samples are being collected for testing.
01.11. A teenage girl is being flown to hospital in Tasmania after being attacked by what is believed to be a five-metre white pointer shark on the state’s east coast. The attack happened at Baileys Rocks at Binalong Bay [NE Tasmania] earlier this afternoon. The girl was surfing when the shark attacked her, biting through her surfboard and injuring her leg.
01.10. A Tasmanian-based IT company has signed a lucrative deal with internet giant Google. E Tech creates online learning systems which are used by schools all over the world. It’s also the first recipient of a $2 million Tasmanian Government support loan to help it through the global financial crisis.
01.07. Conservationists say the timber company Gunns is suing 13 forest activists over a protest at the Triabunna woodchip mill last month. The activists climbed machinery and stopped work at the mill to highlight the impact of old growth logging on climate change.
Hobart residents awoke to a wintry surprise on Friday morning [January 2] — a dusting of snow on top of Mount Wellington. The Bureau of Meteorology says a south westerly change on New Year’s Day brought cold air through Hobart, causing the falls
The federal government will approve or reject Gunns’ proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill in a few days. Peter Garrett, the Environment Minister, needs to approve 16 environmental modules for the mill to proceed by January 5. He’s already granted one previous extension, and has ruled out giving another.
Rowing Australia has named Brendan Long and Kerry Hore in the final Olympic squad, taking Tasmania’s Beijing contingent to 12, including three coaches and a paralympic athlete. Tasmanian Institute of Sport rowing coach, Ron Batt, says Tasmanians make up a considerable portion of the Australian team of 44 rowers.
Tasmania’s Education Minister, David Bartlett, says high school students who left class to attend a protest in Hobart today were within their rights. About 100 students marched to the ANZ bank in Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall to protest against the ANZ’s potential backing of Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Tasmanian drivers caught smoking in cars carrying children will cop an on-the-spot $120 fine from April 1. A three-month amnesty, which bans drivers and passengers smoking in vehicles while children under the age of 18 are present, ended at midnight.