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TAS Country : September 2nd 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010 Tasmanian Country 5 News SEARCH: Stuart Templeton and Lynden Russell are looking for more inner tubes from tractors to keep the Derby River Derby afloat. Picture; ROSS MARSDEN. It's important that we get together and socialise, especially with all the negatives around regarding the future of the area.' Inner circle needs raft of supplies JENNIFER CRAWLEY INTREPID: Templeton and Russell. THERE is nothing Lynden Russell likes more than bouncing up and down in the freezing waters of the Derby River on an innertube. Trouble is, innertubes are getting harder to find for the director of the Derby River Derby. The DRD is held during the ten day North East Rivers Festival in the Dorset region during October. ''It's a hoot, it's absolutely awesome fun,'' said Mr Russell, 32, who has raced down the river for 20 years. Home made rafts of innertubes tied together with tarpaulin over the top are a popular choice for the derby racers who brave the rapids each year. But the advent of tubeless tyres is making life difficult for organisers who have called on farmers, forestry workers and mine operators to donate big tubes, the bigger the better. ''It's getting harder and harder to source innertubes,'' Mr Russell said. ''Big trac- tors, forest skidders and forwarders and mining vehicles are the best. ''They have thicker walls and are a bit sturdy. You want to be out of the water, you don't want to be bouncing on your bottom only two or three inches out.'' Festival organiser Megan Barker said inner tubes were becoming as rare as hens teeth. ''We're worried that it might signal the end of the DRD,'' Ms Barker said. ''We might have to make it a bought raft race instead of home made which wouldn't be nearly as much fun.'' NERF chair Stuart Templeton said it was vital for rural communities to hold events like the derby. ''It's important that we get together and socialise, especially with all the negatives around regarding the future of the area,'' Mr Templeton said. Mr Russell is school chaplain at Brid- port and Ringarooma schools and has organised the Derby River Derby for the last three years. ''It's a time when everyone gets together and celebrates the beautiful country we live in,'' Innertubes can be left at Roberts Real Estate offices, not at their Rural Supplies stores. Contact Lynden on 0418 178 729 or Stuart on 0438 848 482 for innertube donations. See also www.neriversfestival.com.au Loggers in cash plea to Wilkie JENNIFER CRAWLEY WORRIED: Ed Vincent TASMANIAN timber contractors say they are desperate for money to be released from a promised assistance package to save members from being turfed out of their homes. Contractors have asked the newly elected Tasmanian federal MP Andrew Wilkie to speed up the release of the $20 million package promised by the Lib- erals and matched by the ALP during the federal election campaign. The money is in limbo because the Government is in caretaker mode. ''Our industry cannot wait for the caretaker conventions to be lifted,'' Tasmanian Forest Contractors Associ- ation boss Ed Vincent said, adding some contractors had had their homes seized by the banks. ''Families have lost their homes,'' he said. ''There are others who are at extreme risk at the moment who have had to avoid action being taken by the banks.'' Mr Vincent said he could not say how many homes had been lost be- cause the information was commercial in confidence and contravened the Privacy Act. There were 142 forest contractors in Tasmania, and 80 per cent were mem- bers of the association, Mr Vincent said. Forest contractors held talks with federal Primary Industry Minister Tony Burke and Opposition spokes- man Senator Richard Colbeck this week to discuss the package. ''It's not our decision how the money would be spent but we would hope to have some input into that,'' Mr Vincent said. The $20 million will be divided into assistance for those in the industry and for those who want to leave, Mr Vincent said. He did not know how many contrac- tors would use the money to exit the industry. ''Until we see the details of the package we really can't say how many will be putting their hands to leave but I can say it is a significant percentage that would take up a package, provided it was something close to what they expected,'' he said. Forest contractors hope to have a meeting with Mr Wilkie at the end of the week. ''Whatever happens, there is a need for restructuring of the forest contract- ing sector,'' Mr Vincent said. ''Contractors do not have the financi- al capacity to do it unaided.''
August 26th 2010
September 9th 2010