THE demise of YMCA Launceston will be a big loss for participants and the public alike, who stroll past to the shopping centre Meadow Mews, Kings Meadows, to the ambient sound of contentment and excitement emanating from within the YMCA building.
FOR years successive governments have sought to hide the true unemployment figures by tinkering with what being employed means. At present they now have the ridiculous figure of one hour per week.
Many people prefer to work limited hours due to other factors but the earnings thresh-hold is $254 per week.
To give an accurate figure on employment this should be divided by the basic wage which gives you approximately 12 hours of work and this then should be the baseline.
Anyone working above this number of hours is employed.
The bugbear comes with the number of people actually working numerous part-time limited hours jobs to survive but they are gainfully employed. We need to know the real state of the country, not some fairy tale and the government policy should be structured so that companies get benefits (tax breaks) for full-time employment not employing three or four people working minimum hours to do what one can do.
This would free a huge number of people up for further training in fields where staff are lacking.
ONCE again, the United States is pondering the aftermath of the appalling massacre of innocent children by a young gunman who had ready access to an AR-15 semi-automatic which he acquired early this month when he turned 18.
Yet again, I found myself thankful for Prime Minister John Howard who had galvanised the states and territories after the Port Arthur Massacre to pass the National Firearms Agreement.
The horror and repulsion that resulted after the murder of 35 people turned to anger and a resolve to tighten the gun laws.
The gun lobby was shouted down by the public and media commentators who supported the then government's position.
There have been attempts to water down these laws, but massacres such as the one at Sandy Hook and now this one, provide a vivid reminder of what can happen here if attempts are made to weaken the firearms' agreement.
In the meantime, our hearts go out to the families who are mourning their much-loved youngsters who are the victims of a society where the right to gun ownership overrides the right to live in a safe environment.
THE final push for a Tasmanian team in the AFL has gained tremendous public interest.
At the moment we have a Tasmanian team on top of the ladder in a national event.
The Tasmanian Tridents are playing in the Bowls Premier League.
While the Tasmanian team is made up of local players other teams have Australian representatives and international bowlers.
Our own Australian representative, Rebecca Van Asch, has had a great influence in the formation of the team. Taelyn Male and Mark Nitz are the other team members and former Australian player Mark Strochnetter is the coach. After the first day of competition the Tasmania Tridents were on top of the ladder.
As the competition continues Tasmania continues to be ultra-competitive.
It would be great to see these players who are representing Tasmania get the recognition they so richly deserve.
As well as competing on the national stage the Tridents have undertaken to conduct clinics for all those young people interested in the game of lawn bowls.
The first of these was conducted in Launceston and will be repeated in Hobart and Devonport later in the year.
Lawn Bowls is a wonderful sport that can be played by everyone. There are few sports that can ensure people from diverse backgrounds, gender, age and ability can play together in a safe and supportive environment.
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