North Epping murders: Police unaware of letter naming Lin killers

Police say they have not received a letter from a Sydney lawyer naming the alleged killers of newsagent Min Lin and his family. A report in The Daily Telegraph today claimed the Lin family’s lawyer, Daniel Sheen, was sent an anonymous two-page letter naming the killers and outlining how Min Lin, his wife Lillie, their two sons Henry and Terry, and Mrs Lin’s sister Irene, were murdered. Mr Sheen reportedly handed on the letter to homicide detectives.At a press conference this morning the commander of the homicide squad, Superintendent Geoff Beresford, said police had spoken today to Mr Sheen, but were still not aware of the existence of the letter mentioned in today’s newspaper report.‘‘There is no such letter that the solicitors have provided to investigators at all,’’ Superintendent Beresford said.Asked to comment on the progress of the investigation Superintendent Beresford said police still had not identified a suspect nor had they recovered a murder weapon.‘‘This is still a very wide ranging inquiry. It is a very complex and very in depth inquiry.”We are beginning to receive some forensic results but you’d have to appreciate that the forensic analysis is ongoing and will be ongoing for weeks or months.”We are continuing to profile not only the family but any associates of the family and the business … in terms of forensic accounting. That is a very thorough and drawn out process and we’re continuing to do that.”All lines that have been established, and there have been quite a few, are being pursued quite vigorously and will be.’’Superintendent Beresford also criticised speculative reporting in the media.‘‘Speculation has the potential to undermine the investigation and certainly doesn’t assist the family at all.’’He also said he was satisfied with the progress of the murder probe, Strike Force Norburn.The Lins were found bludgeoned to death in their North Epping home last month.The couple’s other child, 15-year-old Jun “Brenda” Lin, was on a school trip to New Caledonia when the murders happened.Evidence from the month-long investigation has shown two people killed the Lin family, probably with separate weapons. The information, garnered from the crime scene and forensic testing, suggests it is more likely the murders were professional and organised, rather than personally motivated.The lack of usable forensic evidence from the crime scene, the fact that the power was cut before the murders and the apparently high degree of planning lend credence to the theory that the killers were at least semi-professional.It is understood that all the local relatives of the murdered family have been accounted for at the time of the killings, and that gross revenue in the past financial year of more than $1 million from the family’s newsagency might have made the family a target for organised crime groups.The weapons used in the murders have not been found and detectives on Strike Force Norburn, comprising Homicide Squad detectives and some assistance from the Asian Crime Squad, are struggling to find a motive.Brenda recently revealed that she believed at least two of the victims had been specifically targeted.”It seemed to be personally aimed at my parents,” she said in a paid television interview with Channel Nine’s program, 60 Minutes, on Sunday.The current affairs show went as far as to show, in a re-enactment, two men climbing a flight of stairs and carrying a baseball bat and torch.But it is understood a preliminary forensic review has been unable to establish what types of weapons were used, except that they were blunt.Brenda was also trying to move on with her life and might soon return to school. Mr Sheen said: “Maybe she will go back to school in two weeks – maybe.”Anyone with information about the murders can contact Strike Force Norburn detectives via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.Donations to Brenda can be made to Commonwealth Bank account number 11139323, BSB number 062006, under the names Yang Fei Lin and Feng Qin Zhu. smh南京夜网.au
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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Southcorp’s shares rocket SYDNEY – Wine company Southcorp Ltd could not explain why its share price had jumped more than 17 per cent in the past week. The company was responding to a letter from the Australian Stock Exchange asking if it was aware of any reason why its share price had risen to $4.49 yesterday from $3.70 on December 22.
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“We have also noted an increase in the volume of trading in the securities over this period,” a spokesman from the ASX said.

Southcorp said that it was in compliance with ASX listing rules.

“The company is not aware of any information concerning it that has not been announced which, if known, could be an explanation for the recent trading in the securities of the company,” company secretary Mathat there had been speculation that Southcorp could be a potential takeover target for the past three months.

“The stock has been drifting higher since before Christmas and was at $4.27 yesterday but its come off today,” a Sydney-based broker said.

“San Miguel has been mentioned but now we see them pursuing National Foods.”

AXG plans merger for gold hunt SYDNEY – Precious metals explorer AXG Mining Ltd is planning to merge with two other West Australian prospectors in a bid to start mining while the gold price remains high.

The junior company said yesterday that it had entered into a heads of agreement to buy the issued capital of Maher Mining Contractors Pty Ltd and Mt Dimer Gold Mines Ltd.

Chairman Peter Jarman said that the purchase would give AXG two advanced gold projects that potentially could be brought into production while gold prices remain high.

“The fundamentals supporting the gold price have never been so strong,” Mr Jarman said.

“I think this is going to go for a considerable time, the supply demand equation is going to continue for a long time.”

Under the deals, which are subject to due diligence and approvals, AXG will get Maher Mining for $625,000 in cash and five million fully paid shares in AXG.

The company’s shares closed at 19c yesterday.

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Illawarra factory sold toxic meat to Virgin

The Australian Poultry and Food Wholesalers premises in Auburn St. Picture: ROBERT PEETA Wollongong-based food company has been linked to a Virgin Blue food poisoning outbreak that led to the airline removing chicken from all in-flight menus.Five Queenslanders contracted listeria from chicken wraps served on Virgin Blue flights between May and June, including two women who gave birth prematurely.NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said the outbreak had been traced by the NSW Food Authority and Queensland authorities to a “cooked, diced chicken product” supplied by GMI Food Wholesalers Pty Ltd.The company trades as Australian Poultry and Food Wholesalers and operates a factory in Auburn St, Wollongong.The factory was closed yesterday, but a company spokesman at the GMI Food Wholesaler’s Figtree address assured the public there was no need for concern and issues had been addressed.The spokesman said the product in question was made for one customer and only went to that customer.”There is no risk to anyone else … all existing product is getting destroyed,” he said.He said the problem occurred during the manufacturing process and investigations were continuing as to exactly how that happened.”We’ve done our own swabbings in the plant and we haven’t found any traces of it in the actual environment, but procedures have been significantly reassessed to avoid anything like this happening again.”The spokesman said the company had traded for four years without incident, although the factory was linked to a stench in Auburn St last December caused by water that had collected under the building being released into open drains.Mr Macdonald said the authority had acted swiftly to identify the supplier and as a public health precaution had placed a prohibition order on the company on August 4.”Laboratory analysis finalised this week confirmed the link,” Mr Macdonald said.The prohibition order means the company is forbidden from producing or selling the implicated chicken product and any other ready-to-eat meats manufactured at the premises.”This order will remain in place until further notice,” Mr Macdonald said.The company hopes to be back in operation at the end of the week.
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Green choice in our hands

The NSW Government’s support for the Wollongong community’s “green jobs” initiative is very welcome. This initiative is aimed at identifying and supporting employment opportunities in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry sectors.Worldwide, investment in renewable energy generating capacity increased by 400 per cent between 2004 and 2008 and now exceeds investment in fossil fuel power. Wind power and solar installations are growing at over 30 per cent annually, worldwide.China is planning for 15 per cent of its energy to be renewable by 2010 and the German renewables industry employs 214,000 people. The root cause of Wollongong’s chronic high unemployment and vulnerability to global financial crises is our narrow employment base. Wollongong participation in this worldwide clean industry growth would diversify our economy and cut carbon dioxide emissions.Wollongong is well placed to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs. We already have world-class expertise in solar power, wind power, wave power, sun and wind-powered ships, and energy efficient hydraulics. We have a wide range of scientific, technical and practical capabilities thanks to our industrial base and the university.Recent seminars have demonstrated goodwill and enthusiasm from community groups, business and the union movement to make it happen.But, for this type of initiative to succeed, governments need to create a favourable financial environment for clean industry. Federal and NSW Government policy to do this is unco-ordinated and too weak.The NSW Government has quietly allocated $205 million in the next budget to expand Eraring power station and has lodged concept plans for a new dirty coal power station at Mount Piper. These decisions divert taxpayer funds away from green jobs creation. The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in its present form is not strong enough to drive commercial and industrial energy efficiency projects.Governments should use taxpayer funds to subsidise employment, assist exports and provide income support for low-income earners rather than continuing to subsidise dirty fossil fuel electricity. But some good things are happening. Decisions such as the belated approval of the wind farm at Silverton, near Broken Hill to create demand and certainty.Kiama residents should note that this wind farm is expected to deliver a $700 million benefit to the Silverton community.The Federal Government’s $1.4 billion “solar flagships” funding for large solar energy plants will help the solar industry to develop economies of scale and will encourage investment.And the NSW feed-in tariff scheme, due to commence January 2010, will create green jobs.Advocates of “business as usual” fossil fuel use argue that we are faced with a choice between protecting jobs and protecting the environment.The choice we face is actually about how we choose to generate employment.We can choose to generate employment in industries that cause more environmental damage, or in industries that cause less environmental damage.Rowan Huxtable is a Wollongong climate change activist.
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Broncos always a danger: Jamie Soward

Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward, on the move during training at WIN Stadium yesterday, expects a spirited challenge from the Broncos. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERHaving made the finals for the past 17 years under Wayne Bennett, Brisbane will have a point to prove against their old mentor when playing for their season on Friday night.St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward believes the Broncos will be fired up to avoid becoming the first team to miss September action following Bennett’s phenomenal streak before he left the club for Wollongong this year.Written off as finals contenders after a horror run of form which included a 56-0 hiding at the hands of Canberra, the Broncos breathed new life into their title hopes with a second-half shellacking of Penrith on Sunday. HAVE YOUR SAY: Why should the home semi-final be played in Wollongong? Full coverage of The St George Illawarra DragonsIt leaves Brisbane clinging to eighth spot with three rounds remaining.Soward claimed it was a warning that the Broncos, under new coach Ivan Henjak, can still be as dangerous as ever.”Brisbane are always a dangerous team and obviously they’ll be up to prove something to Benny,” Soward said.”(But) for us it’s just about how we’re going to play.’They’re the Broncos, they’ve played finals football for the last 20-odd years so they’re never gone.”With everyone bagging them – and it was the same with Souths – everyone was writing up stuff and they came out and won three or four in a row.”And the Broncos can do the same thing if we’re off on Friday night.”Welcoming back the likes of Matt Prior and Beau Scott from suspension and Matt Cooper and Jason Nightingale from injury, Soward claimed the Dragons would not dwell on Saturday’s loss to Canberra. The Dragons named a 19-man team, with Prior named in the starting line-up and Dean Young returning to hooker ahead of mid-season recruit Nathan Fien.Soward claimed the Dragons have a perfect preparation for the finals by playing the Broncos, South Sydney and Parramatta, who are all among the frantic chase for a top-eight position.”I’m excited. I think it’s a great run for us – it’s going to be like a finals game every game,” Soward said.”Those teams are going to be throwing the ball around and throwing stuff at us that we’ve not really expected, so it’s going to be a good test for us over the next month.”Soward claimed the Eels and Bulldogs were the biggest threats to the Dragons.”(Parramatta fullback) Jarryd Hayne has been outstanding,” Soward said.”Every team is dangerous but I watched the Bulldogs (who beat North Queensland 24-12 on Friday night) and I was really impressed with them.”
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Ten reasons to love the Dragons of 2009

Jamie Soward celebrates a try. Picture: STEVE CHRISTOGlen Humphries nominates 10 reasons why the Dragons are on fire this year. Join the debate and post your own comments below. Read more Try Hard blogs SLIDESHOW: Darius Boyd named Goose of the Week at training1) Wayne Bennett: It’s obvious that this guy would be top of the list. After all, he’s the No 1 reason for the Dragons’ change in fortune this year. But no-one, if they’re being honest with themselves, would have expected him to turn the club around so quickly.Like most fans, I’d pencilled in 2009 as a rebuilding year, one in which we’d see some signs of improvement but also know there was still plenty of work to be done.But in less than a year he’s transformed a side with a soft underbelly who no-one feared to a team that is stinging in defence, relentless in attack and able to intimidate anyone in the league. The man truly is a supercoach.2) No scandals or distractions: Previous seasons have seen numerous Dragons scandals of one sort or another. Firstly there were all Mark Gasnier’s transgressions – the obscene text message, being out late at night when someone shot at some NRL players and of course, the yearly drawn-out distraction of him suggesting he was going to leave the club. There was also Nathan Blacklock, Anthony Mundine and Trent Barrett leaving, Lance Thompson turning up drunk to training and Wayne Bartrim punching on with anyone who looked at him funny. This year, the NRL has been beset by huge scandals and not one, not a single one, has involved the Dragons. This year we’re so squeaky clean that some journalists have to resort to petty jibes to whip up controversy.3) We have a mean streak: In years gone by, we’d do enough to win and then ease up and let the other team come back at us. Not any more. Now, we’ll score a few tries which will put the game out of reach. But then we’ll keep on scoring more tries – it’s a ruthless, merciless attitude we’ve lacked for a long time and I absolutely love it.4) Jamie Soward: I liked him last year but figured he lacked a little self-belief. Now (perhaps thanks to Wayne and Wendell) he has that in spades. He’s got to be one of the best five-eighths this year and it’s no surprise he’s one of the names you hear when they’re talking Dally M Player of the Year. He also leads three of the four scoring categories – overall points, conversions and field goals. And all that stuff about him being a defensive liability is ridiculous. He’s only little but Soward shows no fear when he has huge forwards running at him. And, more often that not, he brings them down too.5) Beau Scott: He didn’t seem to set the world on fire before but this season, you can help but notice him. Out there in the centres, he’s been Soward’s protector in defence – smashing anyone who’s after cheap metres by running at the little guy. We missed his tackling last week at Canberra – I reckon we would have won if he’d been on the field. And he’s sorted out those clumsy hands of his – hardly ever drops the ball any more.6) Defence: Like most average fans I always paid more attention to attack than defence. There’s always something more eyecatching and exciting about a great break and sprint to the line or a fancy no-look pass than the dour duty of tackling. But these 2009 Dragons have changed all that for me. Now I love watching the Dragons without the ball almost as much as I do when they have it.7) Peter Doust: He signed up St Benny. Nuff said?8) No Mark Gasnier: Plenty of people thought the Dragons had rocks in their head to let Gasnier go. But have we missed him? Nope. In fact, I couldn’t see who in the current line-up we’d drop to find a space for him. Plus, we’re finally rid of his annual “maybe I’ll go play rugby this year” crap. 9) No stress: In seasons gone by, I could never rest easy when watching the Dragons. They had an awful habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by going to sleep for 10 minutes and letting the other side score a few quick tries. I needed us to be at least 25 points ahead and the clock showing just five minutes to go before I could relax a bit. But this year, I can watch with confidence, secure in the belief that if we’re behind we’ll still come out in front. And, if we’re in front, that we’ll stay there. 10) Pride: There were games in the past where I didn’t feel as though the players were giving their all. They were trying, just not trying hard enough. They’d lose focus and throw a stupid pass (hello Jason Ryles) or something else. But this year I’m proud of the players’ efforts. Even when we lose it feels like they’ve busted a gut for the entire 80 minutes.
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Former James Hardie executives fined and banned

Ten former executives and directors of James Hardie have been fined and banned from company directorship for at least five years by the NSW Supreme Court.The penalties follow the April ruling by Justice Ian Gzell that the ten breached their duties to the company in 2001 over a misleading media release about asbestos compensation.The release said a new compensation trust would be ‘‘fully funded’’ and offered ‘‘certainty’’ to claimants suffering from asbestos diseases.This morning Justice Gzell imposed the heaviest penalty on the former chief executive and managing director Peter Macdonald, 56, fining him $350,000 and disqualifying him from managing companies for 15 years.The former general counsel Peter Shafron, 48, and the former chief financial officer Phillip Morley, 61, were fined $75,000 and $35,000 respectively and banned for seven and five years.Seven former non-executive directors, Michael Brown, 63, Michael Gillfillan, 61, Meredith Hellicar, 55, Martin Koffel, 70, Dan O’Brien, 53, Greg Terry, 64, and Peter Willcox, 64, were fined $30,000 each and banned from boardrooms for five years.The company itself was fined $80,000.Some defendants have already cut short their corporate careers, with Ms Hellicar and Mr Willcox resigning high-profile positions after the April judgement.Ms Hellicar resigned from the boards of AMP and Amalgamated Holdings, among others, while Mr Willcox, who had been tipped as the next chairman of Telstra, announced he would retire from its board at the annual meeting in November.Lawyers for some of the defendants foreshadowed appeals against the April decision in their July submissions on penalty. They argued that the judge should not take into account that their clients had expressed no contrition because such admissions could not be expected if they were preparing appeals.The bans are likely to have less impact on Mr Gillfillan and Mr Koffel, who have long business careers in the United States, where the ban will not apply.Mr Macdonald and Mr Shafron both moved to California when James Hardie set up its operational headquarters there in the late 1990s, but both resigned from the company in 2004 after the trust was found to be grossly underfunded. They have not returned to corporate roles in Australia since. smh南京夜网.au
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Sally McLellan plagued by back problems

Australia’s best chance for gold at the World Championships finished out of the medals last night as Sally McLellan revealed that back spasms had disrupted her preparation so badly a week ago that she had been unable to get out if bed without assistance.The Australian produced her fastest time of these championships — 12.70 seconds — but it was only enough to grab fifth place as Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton powered home to win in 12.51.Canada’s Priscilla Lopes-Schliep claimed second while her compatriot, Delloreen Ennis-London won Bronze. Afterwards, the two Jamaicans embraced in ecstatic relief, draped themselves in the flag that has been so prominent at this stadium all week and set off on a victory lap.McLellan bent double, in exhaustion but also looking for a private moment — in the midst of a crowded stadium — to digest her disappointment. ”I don’t really have a reaction yet,” she said soon afterwards. ”I’m still in shock. I didn’t have the best week leading up to this championships.”While Australian officials had admitted in recent days that their top medal chance had suffered back problems a fortnight ago, the truth of the situation had been a closely guarded secret. Team McLellan had tried to downplay the injury, saying the problem was minor and that the Beijing silver medallist was back to her best and ready to compete.It wasn’t quite true.For the defeated sportswoman there is often a conundrum, the reasons for failure can only sound like excuses when delivered after the event. But no competitor wants to show her rivals a weakness. McLellan did not want the world to know that she was struggling in the lead-up to these championships, last night, though, she dropped the pretence. ”I pretty much cried myself here,” she said. ”I had a pretty bad back injury. I couldn’t even get up without assistance, so it wasn’t the best week before the worlds.”While the pain had gone by the time she lined up to compete in the heats here on Tuesday, the injury had caused nine days of lost training and stripped the racing edge the Australian needed to grab a medal.”It was pretty hard to deal with,” she said of the injury. ”But I got here, I got to the final and that was my goal. I ran the best I could with the little amount of training that I’d done. I knew it was going to be hard to get a medal here but fifth place with not a hundred per cent body is ok.”She entered the final the fifth fastest qualifier and in the end that form held true. At the gun, she started well from lane seven and was level with the leaders at around half way. But as first Foster Hylton and then Lopes-Schliep opened a gap on her in the final third, the Australian went for too much, clipped two hurdles and stumbled.That allowed Ennis-London, already slightly ahead, to go well past her and Irish woman Derval O’Rourke to duck in front on the finish line for fourth. Foster Hylton — already a silver and bronze medallist at World Championship level — now has the full set. Pre-race favourite and fastest qualifier Dawn Harper ran poorly, the defending Olympic champion fading to finish seventh.Today McLellan will be thinking about what could have been. In the Australian summer, Foster-Hylton — who is in the same stable as sprinter Asafa Powell — had travelled to Melbourne to race McLellan at Olympic Park. McLellan had beaten her comfortably.The Australian had been in career-best form shortly before suffering the back injury at training in Cologne. Only three weeks ago she had set a personal best of 12.50 seconds in Monaco. It would have been enough to claim gold at these World Championships. During July she had ridden a streak of victories over all of the women who beat her last night. Then, at training on August third the back just gave out. After rest and treatment it was tested and gave out again, costing nine days of lost training and more than that in lost fitness..Her timing, expertly planned and finetuned throughout a lengthy campaign to have her peaking last night, was off by two weeks. She described it as frustrating. That was some understatement. ”You try an not make them (injuries) come at this time of the year,” she said. ”But you cant really control what your body does.” smh南京夜网.au
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Dragons deal with UOW paves way for life after footy

UOW’s Gerard Sutton (left) with Ben Creagh, Warren Lockwood and Jeremy Hickmans from the Dragons yesterday. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERProfessional rugby league players will be encouraged to enrol in university courses to plan for life after football in a landmark agreement between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the University of Wollongong.While the Dragons’ focus now is on making the grand final, the memorandum of understanding signed yesterday will open up more academic opportunities for players.University Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton said the partnership was a perfect fit.”It is important that two five-star institutions, one in the education area and one in sport, have come together,” Prof Sutton said.”We are community conscious and we can do more together than we can do apart.”The deal will also involve co-operation on university research projects which could benefit players in training, performance and rehabilitation.”Our exercise science and rehabilitation students will benefit hugely from being able to work on research programs with one of the top professional sporting clubs in the country,” Prof Sutton said.University students will have opportunities to complete internships with the Dragons in media and marketing roles. The team will continue to use the university facilities for preseason training and help promote the Innovation Campus to attract new tenants. Health and medical research initiatives could become recognised as a Dragons charity and both organisations will work to create a scholarship program to study at the university, targeting indigenous rugby league players.Dragons star Ben Creagh, who is 21/2 years into a commerce degree at the university, has become the poster boy for the partnership. The 24-year-old also played rugby league for the university.”Ben Creagh epitomises exactly what we are on about … he is studying at the university and winning games,” Prof Sutton said.Creagh was optimistic about the benefits of the alliance.”Even if it just makes more players aware you can study and play football at the same time,” he said. “By studying part-time, more players will give themselves opportunities to have better career opportunities after footy. On the research side, whether it’s looking at nutrition or player performance, it could be beneficial to our performance on the field.”St George Illawarra chairman Warren Lockwood said it was a “thrill and an honour” to be at the signing of the agreement.”We always look at ourselves as being an icon in the world of sport and your university shares that reputation,” he said.
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Drinking causes illness, death

The paper from the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, Western Australia, also shows that 78 Tasmanians aged 14 to 17 were hospitalised for alcohol-attributed reasons in 1999-2000.
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Almost half of the 501 nationally alcohol-attributed fatalities in the same age bracket were car drivers or passengers. Other alcohol-related fatalities were suicides, assaults and drownings.

In the 14 to 17 age group, Tasmania’s rate of 0.6 deaths in each 10,000 is the third highest in the nation, after the Northern Territory’s rate of 1.78 and WA’s 0.65, well above the national average of 0.48.

While the national figure dropped over the past decade, most states recorded more hospitalisations as a result of alcohol.

Tasmania Police Northern District Commander Scott Tilyard said he was not aware of any under-age people dying in the State’s North in recent times as a result of alcohol. But police were regularly faced with the problems associated with intoxicated young people, usually aged 15, 16 or 17 but sometimes as young as 11 and 12, Cdr Tilyard said.

“We do from time to time certainly have to deal with situations where young people have consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, often at private parties, and it is a matter of concern,” he said.

“As a policing service, we get called to a lot of incidents where young people put themselves and others at significant risk.”

Cdr Tilyard said that police were expecting a busy night tomorrow for New Year’s Eve, but many of the calls were complaints about noisy parties rather than under-age drinkers.

“We want people to have a happy New Year and a safe New Year’s period,” he said. “It would be great if people didn’t put themselves at risk and if they didn’t spoil it for other people.”

Police and Public Safety Minister David Llewellyn yesterday urged people not to get in the car with drink-drivers, and to keep the State’s holiday road toll at zero.

Mr Llewellyn said that of the 58 people killed on the State’s roads this year, 19 were passengers, and many fatal accidents had involved speed and alcohol.

“Getting into a car with a drink-driver could be the worst and last decision of your life,” he said.

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