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Mandurah woman continues to fight for justice after murderer’s appeal

Crime victim demands justice Debbie Tippett outside court in 2015.

TweetFacebookLindsay’s not here anymore.But I am.And I want answers.

Debbie Tippett

Following Collard’s guilty plea – after appeal – to the lesser charge of manslaughter, Ms Tippett said she felt forgotten by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and planned to agitate for the original charge of kidnapping to be upgraded to attempted murder.

“If it can go one way for him, why can’t it go that way for me?” she said.

“He tried to kill me.If he can appeal, I should be able to, too.

“This is just a kick in the guts.”

Disgust: Ms Tippett says she still struggles to sleep since the day Collard threatened to kill her. Photo: Kate Hedley.

Ms Tippett, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her ordeal at the hands of Collard, said she still struggled to sleep since the day he threatened to kill her.

She has never received criminal compensation, and claims she has been offered no help in dealing with the mountain of paperwork stemming from the court case.

“Why isn’t this over?” she said.“Why aren’t I able now to just get on with my life?

“More effort goes into protecting the criminal.When I ask for help I can’t get it.”

Ms Tippett said she had requested a meeting with the Attorney General to discuss her concerns.

“I am just hoping for victims to be treated with far more respect than criminals,” she said.

“I don’t know why that’s not happening now.I feel like screaming.

“I want answers.”

This article first appeared on Mandurah Mail

Claire DunnLively lesson with Principal Marsden

NEW SCHOOL: Writer John Marsden is now a full-time teacher.A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing John Marsden – one of Australia’s national treasures and a quiet campaigner for the rights of education, imagination and nature.

For most of us, Marsden is best known as the author of Tomorrow, When The War Began and the Ellie Chronicles, his provocative and often dark novels gathering a cult following here and overseas.

In what is almost the ultimate sacrifice for a prolific writer, in recent years Marsden has put down his pen and taken upfull-time teaching at Candlebark, one of two independent schools he founded on properties outside Melbourne.

While Marsden once said that he dreamt of fame and fortune before his writing career took off, the time constraints put on our interview make it clear how priorities have shifted.

“Before becoming a principal I wrote about three books every two years. Since then, it’s been three booksin 11 years. My days are filled with school management issues. I work on school stuff 10 to 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week,” he says.

As a kid, John read voraciously, one of his favourites The Children of Cherry Tree Farmby Enid Blyton. Some have likened John to Tammylan, the main character in Blyton’s fiction, who lived rough and had a great affinity with nature.

“Certainly, like Tammylan, I pick up other people’s rubbish wherever I go – in the bush, at school, along the street, at the kids’ soccer matches. And I hate to see wild animals killed, or wild places desecrated,” John says.

Time spent in the bush is still one of the things that he relies on to nourish his soul.

“I’ve always loved the bush and bushwalking. I bought this property, the Tye Estate, near Romsey, supposedly the biggest privately owned block of native vegetation in Victoria, to preserve it from developers. Spending time in the bush, watching kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, cockatoos and wedge-tailed eagles, is the most profound spiritual experience I know.”

Described by some as a cross between Steiner and The Simpsons, Candlebark is based on a philosophy of creative ‘lively’ learning, including how to use log splitters and chainsaws, microwaves and blenders; lighting fires and playing ‘rambunctious roughhousing games’ like British Bulldog.The school quickly filled to capacity, and in 2016 Marsden opened Alice Miller, the arts-focused secondary school, also in the Macedon Ranges. He considers the schools viable alternatives to the “inherently unworkable” model of mainstream education.

“The basic idea, that you take the biggest possible number of kids, squash them into the smallest possible space, and provide the fewest possible number of adults to look after them, is not viable. We should have brilliant, knowledgeable adults working with small groups of kids – and we should provide heaps of room for the children to run, play and explore.”

When asked how he maintains hope while remaining aware of the dangers of climate change and ecological crisis, Marsden is characteristically both philosophical and practical.

“When I was a kid, I read a quotable quote in, of all things, Readers Digest, which said: ‘Loving the world is easy; it’s loving the guy next door that’s difficult.’ I think this applies to many situations. We can all talk glibly and beautifully about the need for global action, but do we stoop to pick up the plastic bag in the gutter that otherwise may end up in the ocean? I think we should campaign globally, but at the same time make sure we do all we can on a micro level.”

Thinking globally but acting locally is exactly what Marsden has achieved, although the ripples of his actions have extended far beyond the pond in which they began.

Pauline Hanson pledges to pursue Bender inquiry

Helen Bender with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson on her tour of Chinchilla last week to hear concerns about unconventional gas mining on landholders. Picture from Ms Hanson’s Facebook page.ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson has told Chinchilla locals she will follow-up “personally” with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the whereabouts of a Senate inquiry into unconventional gas mining.

The inquiry was instigated in the previous parliament by former Queensland Palmer United Party member, turned independent Senator, Glenn Lazarus.

That inquiry was due to hand down its report on June 30 this year but the process was interrupted by the calling of the July 2 double-dissolution election where Senator Lazarus failed to be re-elected.

It was subsequently called the “Bender inquiry” after Chinchilla cotton farmer George Bender who took his own life late last year, after a decade-long battle against Coal Seam Gas mining in his home area, in seeking to give farmers the right to prevent mining companies entering their land.

That cause has since been taken up by his daughter Helen Bender who spoke at a community meeting held last week in the Queensland farming district and was one of the landholders that Senator Hanson spent time with during her tour of the region.

Ms Bender told the forum – that was also broadcast on social media – the situation with her father was, “much harder to talk about now than ever before”.

“I’m pretty proud of my father, he said ‘no’,” she said.

“Basically games are played by the industry and basically through those games, it led to the death, of George, taking his life, that’s just over a year now.”

Ms Bender said Senator Lazarus had established the Senate inquiry in honour of her father but Mr Turnbull’s decision to call a double dissolution election had provided a “very convenient” method for him to “just basically push it out the back door, and under the carpet and let’s not deal with the real issue”.

“Hopefully Pauline, and for all the voices in the gas fields, we can have our voice back again, because we do need that,” she said.

Senator Hanson said she only learned about the Bender inquiry on the day of her tour of the area but pledged to follow through and see where it was now at and “speak to the Prime Minister himself personally”.

Senator Pauline HansonThis article first appeared on FarmOnline

Holiday fun with prawn run

FISH OF THE WEEK: Five-year-old Hamish Dunne wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for the monster 87cm flathead caught on poddy mullet in Swan Bay.

HOLIDAY fun with the prawn run, and everything that chases the Aussie Christmas treat, will be on the wishlist ofmany anglers over the festive break.

With the sun expected to break through the clouds over the weekend, Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse Marks Point, said there was no better time to scoop up your own Christmas lunch.

“The highlight has got to be the prawn run,” Jason said.“That will be the thing on everyone’s mind when they see how much prawns are, they’ll want to catch their own.”

He said the prawn run started on Wednesday night but will be in full swing over the weekend on Lake Macquarie.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get out there with their family and experience it, whether they are walking around in the shallows or getting out in the channel and anchoring up with a light,” he said. “I always like to get out in the boat but the key is you’ve got to get out on the beginning of the run-out tide.”

Brent “Hammer” Hancock, from Tackleworld Port Stephens, said the Myall River “up around Tamboy” has been a hot spot for prawns in his region.

PRAWN CHASERSThe prawns on offer should make for great fishing for whiting, bream, jew and flatheadover the Christmas weekend.

Whiting and bream have been mainstay catches in recent weeks, while flathead have also been in solid supply, as can be seen by our fish of the week winner, Hamish Dunne.

Proud grandmother Lorraine Davies took the photo of five-year-old Hamish and his grandfather Warren Davies with the whoppingflathead caught on December 10.

“He came over to our place for a fish off the jetty in Swan Bay, Marks Point,” Lorraine wrote.

“First throw out I thought he had snagged the bottom and I watched from a distance as he was fighting to reel the fish in. He was excited with his efforts on catching this beauty flathead measuring 87cm. Now he said he is going to teach Pop how to fish.”

Jason said the catch was a sign of things to come.

“That’s a big fish,and what you will start to see is these fish gather up, because they are not far off going in for that spawning period,” he said.“These big females will now be carrying lots of eggs and we’ll see through January and February them coming in to mate.

“There’s been some really good catches of flatties in the channel and I’ve had some really encouraging reports of bream. Salts Bay has been fishing quite well but also in the Marks Point, Belmont Bay area.”

He said the mix of prawns, spawns and warmer weather should make for plenty of bites.

“Whether it’s the seaward side of Salts Bay or up towards the dropover, and of course on the fringe of the lake, fish will cometo take advantage of the situation,” he added.

He said lake jew around the 90cm mark were getting caught on high tide usingsoft plastics, while there had beengreat reports of bream around the Wangi area, some around 45cm.

It’s been a similar story at Port Stephens.Brent said bream were biting at the back of the Nelson Bay, around the racks at Soldiers Points.

“One of our customers got one that was about 1.6 kilos on a surface lure during the week,” he said.

There were also solid reports of flathead up Tilligerry Creek, near Lemon Tree Passage, whilejew had been on the chew in the bay.

”Adam Hodges got one over 20 kilos there early in the weekup around Soldiers Point,” he said.

Matt, from Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle, said “crazy Steve the painterwas down into the bream the other day off Marsh Road.He got four bream and two weighed over a kilo and a half.”

LIVELY OFFSHORETruckloads of trag and some striped marlin are the talk of offshore fishing, which has improved with warmerwaters.

“Everyone is catching trag, from Broughton Island toNorah Head,” Jason said. “They are everywhere and I heard of a five kilo fish getting caught the other day. There has been snapper and nice catches of jew, but the guys who are catching the jew offshore are going out of an evening and live-baiting.”

Brent said “there’s a few striped marlin starting to turn up on the shelf, a few boats have been out there getting one or two a day.”

Dolphin fish up to 10kg have also been caught on the FADs. Matt said one customer brought in four.

DARTING INWhiting continue to dominate beach fishing but dart have also made an appearance.

“Usually the larger dart are around the Coffs Harbour area, but there’s a lot around mixed in with the whiting, and some flatties,” Jason said.

Brent saidheaps of whiting had come in off Shoal Bay beach with live tube worms the No.1 bait.

Mattsaid Dave “Schoey” Schofield was into the whiting again on Wednesday morning.

“He had 15 whiting, two bream and a very large skipjack, which looked like a queen fish, all on live worms, down on Stockton Beach at about three and a half ks,” he said.