August 08, 2005

Jack jumper call to action


More than 12,000 Tasmanians suffer a serious allergy to jack jumper ant stings, and around 4000 are highly allergic, which can be life-threatening.

An internationally renowned clinical trial conducted at the Royal Hobart Hospital, has developed the only known effective vaccine, but research funding that provided this treatment to 60 trial participants for the last four years runs out in December 2005.

No-one has yet stepped up to the plate to ensure ongoing funding and pressure is now mounting among sufferers.

You can do your bit by visiting and adding your signature to their online e-petition.

August 04, 2005

The vulnerable little devil

imageTasmania’s Environment Minister Judy Jackson will approve plans to list the tasmanian devil as a vulnerable species.

The devil population has dropped by more than 20 per cent in the past decade because of the facial tumour disease.

The head of the devil disease program, Alistair Scott, says listing the devil under the Threatened Species Protection Act will give it formal protection.

He added: “We’re doing fairly extensive research in the laboratories and also in the field and have established the insurance populations, but as I said, this does provide further opportunities for funding.”

Further reading here

August 02, 2005

Bike Challenge


Your humble scribe has finally emerged from many long months, even years, of agony thanks to the skills of young Ravi, an Indian physiotherapist fairly new to Tasmania, who happens to work just round the corner from the new world headquarters of Leatherwood Online.

Within six short weeks he has prodded, taped, manipulated and massaged the right knee and transformed it from a swollen mass that had been unsuccessfully treated with cortisone, painkillers galore, and even courses of antibiotics to no avail, into a working joint.

A joint that can once again face the delights of the Inter-city Bike Track linking Hobart to its northern neighbours.

The challenge is now to get back into the routine of biking the length of the track and return (about 25km) at least four times a week as the weather gets colder. We will keep you informed.

Hugging the Derwent River and following the once-busy rail line it winds its way through Cornelian Bay, New Town, Moonah and on to Glenorchy, ending appropriately for thirsty bicyclists near Moorilla Vineyard.

Our photograph above shows one of the underpasses that has been creatively embellished through a work-for-the-dole scheme. Below is its counterpoint on the rail line side.


Oldest bridge being loved to death


Australia’s oldest bridge, built by convicts in 1823, is being loved to death.

More than a quarter of a million tourists tramp across the historic convict bridge at Richmond each year, according to Richmond Residents Association spokesman Graham Abbott.

It was designed for pedestrians, horses and carts, but today huge tourist buses, hire cars and heavy vehicles stream across the convict relic.

“The bridge is a historically sensitive structure,” says Dr Abbott, and added that parts of the bridge parapets had been knocked off by traffic into the Coal River.

He said a 1995 study by the state transport department recommended a 15-tonne limit for vehicles on the bridge.

Curiously, a sign near the bridge now allows vehicles of up to 25 tonnes to cross.


The Editor's Notebook is a platform for communicating with Leatherwood Online's readers wordwide, and for sharing items of interest from this delightful corner of the world.

Here's where you will find quirky tidbits about island life, extracts from the lively ongoing conversations about politics and poetry and, hopefully, lots of reader-contributed photographs to share.

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