End of the Ponting era


1 - RICKY PONTING: Australia's most prolific run-scorer and most successful captain retired from international cricket at the end of the third Test against South Africa in December with 13,378 runs from 168 Test matches at an average of 51.85.

2 - JAN CAMERON: Once listed as Australia's fourth-richest woman, the Kathmandu founder and environmental benefactor had to put her company Retail Adventures, which operated almost 300 stores under the Chickenfeed, Go-Lo, Crazy Clark's and Sam's Warehouse brands, into voluntary administration with creditors owed $270 million.

3 - DANIEL GEALE: The dual world champion boxer was honoured with the key to the City of Launceston for his achievements in a year in which he twice defended his IBF Middleweight title and added the WBA Super Middleweight crown. He was later stripped of the WBA title because he chose to fight fellow Australian Anthony Mundine in his next bout in January.

4 - LARA GIDDINGS: It seemed to be a year of defending her position and her performance as the Tasmanian Premier. And despite a valiant effort to talk up the Tasmanian economy, the bad news kept coming with a mid-year budget update in December showing a growing deficit.

5 - GERRY GEEN: Few people had heard of Seafish Tasmania or its director Gerry Geen before his plans to base the 142-metre super fishing trawler FV Margiris in Devonport. When the public outcry became deafening, federal Environment Minister Tony Burke moved to ban the 9500-tonne fishing factory ship.

6 - BOB BROWN: The tributes flowed when the Greens leader announced his retirement from the Senate in June. He had seen the party he helped form grow from less than 350,000 votes when he entered the Senate in 1996 to about 1.7 million votes at the last election.

7 - MILES HAMPTON: The Tasmanian water and sewerage corporations chairman was under the pump with steadily rising water costs as he struggled to explain failing infrastructure and money wasted on empty offices. His short reign as chairman of Forestry Tasmania ended in tears, and in December he said Tasmanian water could become the most expensive in the country.

8 - ERROL STEWART: Declaring Launceston needed an iconic focal point, Launceston businessman Errol Stewart unveiled his plans for a 20-storey unit tower and revamped North Bank at an economic forum. The $70 million proposal included $40 million for the tower which would have spectacular views of the Cataract Gorge from a sky deck.

9 - JAN DAVIS: The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive was outspoken on a range of issues affecting the rural sector in 2012. She was particularly critical of the signing of the forestry peace deal which she said sold out every Tasmanian and was "an outrage".

10 - ANDREW WILKIE: The Denison independent MHR continued to get involved in a wide range of issues during the year and was outspoken on offshore processing of asylum seekers, the licensing of the super trawler FV Margiris and the protection of whistleblowers. He continued his anti-pokies campaign as the Liberals and Greens named their challengers for his Hobart-based seat at the next election.


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