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Southern Charolais sale grows

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In its 15thyear, theSouthern Charolais Breeders Group Sale has grown to include more studs and offer more animals.
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The event’s chairmanKen Manton, Clarinda Charolais, Hansonville, said the eight studs would be an outstanding quality lineup of 51 bulls and eight females on Wednesday March 1.

Peter Godbolt, Landmark stud stock Albury, NSW, called last year’s sale, which attracted buyers from throughout Victoria and interstate.

He said the catalogue included a large range of modern genetics, including some from overseas, and plenty of outcross proven bloodlines, which meantbuyers would have a great opportunity to purchase quality cattle to add value to their herd.

This year’s sale includes lots from six Victorian studs:Allednaw, Chenu,Clarinda, Karingal, Lawaluk and Waterford; and two NSW studs: Airlie and Challambi.

This year, 45 of the 51 bulls are polled, and Mr Manton said that increasing percentage reflected more clients wanted polled animals.

Most of the bulls will be 18 months to two years old.

Mr Manton said the breed was growing in popularity as people realised the benefits of Charolais’ rapid growth, extra weight, quality of meat and temperament –including in cross-breeding operations.

“Lot feeders love Charolais because of their consistency – they know the quality of meat and the growth,” he said.

By usingmore modern genetics, including through artificial insemination and embryo transfers, Charolais stud breeders have also improved the breed’s birth weight and calving ease.

Vendor Bec Keeley, son Mitchell Pickering, 7, buyer Peter Fogden, agent Nigel Rollbusch and vendor Colin Pickering with last year’s equal top-priced bull.

The sale will be held at the Yea saleyards for the second time.

Mr Manton said buyers reported liking the venue last year, and appreciated the ability to view the bulls and cows easily becausethey wereingood size yards.

The group of passionate Charolais breedersis hopefully the sale will be at least as successful as last year, when from six studs 27 of 31 bulls sold to $10,000 twice and averaged$4426; and 11 of 15 females sold to $3750, av $2627.

Mr Manton said they’d had many Gippsland buyers in previous years and last year people from South Australia and NSW also joined the buying gallery.

Nigel Spink, Challambi Charolais, Tooma NSW, said he was excited to be a vendor for the first time this year.

Mr Spink wants to raise the profile of the stud he started in 2011, focused on more polled genetics, low birth weights and cattle that can finish off grass or at an early age.

He started withembryos from the Glenlea and Palgrove cows, followed by purchases of heifers from Glenlea and Rangan Park. He has used artificial insemination to build quality bloodlinesinto the herd.

“People are becoming more aware of the gain from hybrid vigour –particularly using Charolais over British breeds,” Mr Spink said.

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Council considering 40km/h limit for CBD

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Traffic in downtown Bendigo could be limited to no more than 40km/h under a proposal being considered by the City of Greater Bendigo.
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The suggestion is a response to the high number of accidents involving pedestrians in the central business district, with pedestrians involved in a total of 28 crashes in the CBDarea during the past five years.

The city’s engineering and public space manager Brett Martini said the idea was in its early stages and council staff had not yet formed a view on whether it should proceed or canvassed the support of residents.

“If it turnsout that we think there’s some merit in it we would certainly go through a community consultation process, but at this stage we’re still working through whether we think speed zones and other treatments are practical and viable solutions,” he said.

“Wehave had some pedestrianaccidents within the CBD and so that’s one of the options that are available.”

The proposal was revealed in response to a petition from community members in Eaglehawk calling for the speed limit there to be reduced as part of a call for improvements to safety in Victoria Street.

The petition will be considered at next week’s regular council meeting, with city staff recommending councillors endorse actions to address the residents’ concerns, includingreinstallation and relocation of current speed signage andtrimming of vegetation.

Also on the agenda is a recommendation to adopt theStrathfieldsaye Town Centre Urban Design Framework and award the $2.5 millionstage onecontract for the Strathfieldsaye Community Hub.

Meanwhile the date of this year’s Bendigo Cup public holiday will be finalised following the vote, with city staff recommending Wednesday, November 1 as the most appropriate date, being the last Wednesday before the Melbourne Cup is run on November 7.

The cup has been held on the last Wednesday of October for the past seven years, but the recommendation states the later date of this year’s Melbourne Cupnecessitatesthe move.

Pending the endorsement of her peers at the meeting, councillor Andrea Metcalf will also join councillor James Williams as a second city representative to theEpsom Ascot Huntly Structural Flood Mitigation Advisory Group.

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Regal Stride streets his rivals yet again

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The start was always likely to decide the outcome of the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night and that’s the way it turned out.
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Short-priced favourite Tisu Toota, chasing his fifth win in a row,didn’t begin as quickly as usual and Regal Stride was able to zoom to the front.

From then on, the Ben Yole-trained gelding was always in control and he strolled home 12 metres clear of Cromac Jamie and Mighty Spark.

It was the second runaway win in the space of five days for the seven-year-old who also thrashed his rivals in the Claimer at Mowbray last Sunday.

“He’s flying–it wasjust how he won last week,” driver Mark Yole said.

“As soon asI got to the front I knew I was right.

“Tisu Toota has been lightning away lately but tonight my horse finally put it all together from a stand.

“Normally he begins safe but it can dependon how long they hold them.

“He likes to be on the move and, if hehas to stand for too long, he backs back a bit.”

Yole said he had been confident of winning even if Regal Stride didn’t lead.

“The way he went last weekI felt he probably could have nearly sat outside Tisu Toota and still won,” the driver said.

“Since Ben freshened him, he’s been a different horse. He’s fresh in the mind and loving racing again.”

Yole said that Regal Stride’s stablematePushkin, an all-the-way winnerfor driver Natalee Emery in the C1 Pace, was in much the same boat.

TOO GOOD: Regal Stride, driven by Mark Yole, scores a runaway win in the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

He was also followingup a big win at Mowbray five days earlier.

“Pushkin has found his right couple of races where he’s been able to lob on top,” Yole said.

“Before that, hehad a lot of bad draws and was off back marks in stands where hehad to do too much work.

“Being able to get on top, just changes their minds.”

Three claims were lodged for unplaced runner Jukebox Music and his new owner was to be decided by ballot.

Jukebox Music was well backed to win the race but got shuffled back in the run and had no luck.

THE THIRD HEATof the Allen Williams Memorial saw in-form Stowport trainer-driver Craig Hayes lead all the way on former King Islander Herbie Haze.

Another in-form trainer, Shelley Barnes, won the C4/C5 Pace with Moto Kenny who rated a smart 2:00.3 while John Castles trained a double courtesy of Dayraid and Spot Eight.

Dayraid was given a soft run behind the leader by Gareth Rattray and finished a shade too well for pacemakerDellas Command to score by a metre.

Spot Eight, also driven by Rattray, showed that he wasn’t just a front-runner when he came from the rear of the field to record his third win from his past four starts.

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Striding to easy win

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The start was always likely to decide the outcome of the Claiming Pace at Devonport on Friday night and that’s the way it turned out.
Nanjing Night Net

Short-priced favourite Tisu Toota, chasing his fifth win in a row,didn’t begin as quickly as usual and Regal Stride was able to zoom to the front.

From then on, the Ben Yole-trained gelding was always in control and he strolled home 12 metres clear of Cromac Jamie and Mighty Spark.

It was the second runaway win in the space of five days for the seven-year-old who also thrashed his rivals in the Claimer at Mowbray last Sunday.

“He’s flying –it was just how he won last week,” driver Mark Yole said.

“As soon as I got to the front I knew I was right.

ALL ALONE: Regal Stride, driven by Mark Yole, spaced his rivals in the Claimer at Devonport on Friday night to record his second runaway win in five days. Picture: Greg Mansfield

“Tisu Toota has been lightning away lately but tonight my horse finally put it all together from a stand.

“Normally he begins safe but it can dependon how long they hold them.

“He likes to be on the move and, if he has to stand for too long, he backs back a bit.”

Yole said he had been confident of winning even if Regal Stride didn’t lead.

“The way he went last week I felt he probably could have nearly sat outside Tisu Toota and still won,” the driver said.

“Since Ben freshened him, he’s been a different horse. He’s fresh in the mind and loving racing again.”

Yole said that Regal Stride’s stablemate Pushkin, an all-the-way winnerfor driver Natalee Emery in the C1 Pace, was in much the same boat.

He was also followingup a big win at Mowbray five days earlier.

“Pushkin has found his right couple of races where he’s been able to lob on top,” Yole said.

“Before that, hehad a lot of bad draws and was off back marks in stands where hehad to do too much work.

“Being able to get on top, just changes their minds.”

The third heat of the Allen Williams Memorial saw in-form Stowport trainer-driver Craig Hayes lead all the way on former King Islander Herbie Haze.

Another in-form trainer, Shelley Barnes, won the C4/C5 Pace with Moto Kenny who rated a smart 2:00.3 while John Castles trained a double courtesy of Dayraid and Spot Eight.

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Resarch finds healthy vision lies in the great outdoors

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Outside benefits: Researchers have found that play time outside is beneficial for children’s health – including their eyesight.How often do your children play outside?
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I would not be surprised if you said it was not very often given the heat wave we are having and the well-known effects of too much sun.

However it is important that children have time outside each day.

There are lots of benefits of all kinds to be gained from spending time outside regularly.

Research shows that children who engage in outdoor play are healthier, and the opportunities for large body movements offered outside (running, jumping, playing on the trampoline etc) contribute to better body shape and body image, and help improve children’s sleep.

Outdoor play also offers opportunities for children to connect with nature and there is a lot of evidence now to show that connection with nature helps improve children’s health and wellbeing.

A recent study from the Queensland University of Technology introduced me to a new (to me) idea about the importance of outdoor play.

The studyshowed that twohours a day spent outside helps protect children’s eyes and helps prevent short-sightedness (myopia).

Myopia is the name for the condition where the lens in the eye does not focus the image onto the retina, rather it focuses the image in front of the retina. That means when looking at something in the distance, the image is blurry.

Children with myopia struggle to read what is written on the blackboard at school, and may not be able to read signs or recognise people when they are far enough away from them (I’ve spent my whole life worrying that people might think I am rude because I fail to recognise them when passing in the street!)

It has been predicted that within the next 30 years, nearly half of all the world’s population will have myopia.

Those of us who live in relatively affluent nations like Australia manage our myopia with glasses and/or contact lenses, although many parents struggle to cover the costs of providing these for their children, particularly when the glasses are lost or broken regularly.

However, there are many peoplein the world who do not have the financial resources to provide visual aids for their condition, and this can make a huge difference to children in school and in their lives outside of school.

The researchers from the Queensland University of Technology said their results showed that even for children who already have myopia, spending time outside every day can help slow the deterioration of their sight.

These QUT researchers are not alone in their conclusion – a large study from China has also indicated that increased myopia was associated with longer times spent indoors.

Clearly, we need to carefully create opportunities for children to play outside, juggling sun safe requirements with the need to expose children’s eyes not only to outdoor light but to the wide vistas the outdoor environment provides to stimulate our vision.

As long as our summer continues as it is, that juggle is going to be difficult but it is very important that we keep up our juggling act.

Margaret Sims is a Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England in Armidale.

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Tomato potato psyllid detected in WA

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ON THE GROW: Tomato potato psyllid nymph and adults on a leaf. Nymph cases can also be seen.
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THE dreadedtomato potato psyllid has been found in Western Australia.

Earlier today the Department of Agriculture and FoodWestern Australia reported that it is conducting surveillance in commercial crops and backyard gardens following the detection of the vegetable pest in the Perth area.

Department acting chief plant protection officer, Sonya Broughton, said officers were working with the horticulture industry to respond to the exotic plant pest, tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli).

“A pest has been detected in a capsicum crop in a commercial property north of Perth, backyard tomatoes and eggplants in Belmont and backyard tomatoes at two properties in Mount Hawthorn and in chillies at a property in Palmyra,” Dr Broughton said.

“The department has quarantined the impacted properties to restrict the movement of vegetable and plant material off these properties.

“DNA barcoding results today have confirmed the presence of the pest. This is the first time the psyllid has been detected in Australia.”

This insect pest is a significant production pest in other countries where it is present, including the USA, Central America and New Zealand.

Tomato potato psyllid attacks a range of plants in the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo, along with sweet potato.

DETECTED: Tomato potato psyllid nymphs on the under side of a tomato leaf.

It’s another blow to the WA vegetable industry after cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was discovered in a commercial cucumber crop in near Geraldton in July.

It has since been found in Carnarvon.

Dr Broughton said department officers were surveying properties within the wider metropolitan area to determine the location of the pest.

Commercial vegetable producers and backyard growers are urged to check for signs of the psyllid and report any unusual detections to the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app.

Reporting options are also available from mypestguide.agric.wa.gov419论坛 or by contacting the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service [email protected]论坛 or 1800 084 881.

“Tomato potato psyllid is a tiny sap-sucking insect. Adult psyllids resemble small winged aphids in appearance and are about 3mm long,” Dr Broughton said.

“The body is brownish and has white or yellowish markings on the thorax and a broad white band on the abdomen. Its wings are transparent and held vertically over the body.

“Symptoms of damage on plants can include stunting, yellowing and purpling of leaves, distorted leaf growth and stem death.

“Growers who suspect the pest is on their property are advised not to spray for the pest or disturb plants until their crops have been surveyed and an appropriate treatment has been identified.”

TINY BADDIE: The size of a tomato potato psyllid shown next to a five cent piece.

The tomato potato psyllid can carry the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum”, causing the ‘zebra chip’ disease in potato. The bacterium has not been found in any samples taken to date.

VegetablesWA CEO John Shannon said WA’s horticulture industry was critically important to the State’s economy.

“We have access to international expertise which will help us to best respond to this new pest and we will be work closely with the department to share this expertise with growers,” Mr Shannon said.

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Nowra Show 2017Photos

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Nowra Show 2017 | Photos Emma and Airlie Stevens.
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Noel, Natasha and Logan Easton.

Mackenzie Kinross, Billie Smith and Hannah Koglin.

Claudia Irons and Jordyn Spresser.

Elijah Perry, Alira Perry and Mia Pope.

Brody and Natasha Higson.

Bryah Ingram and Brooke Cassell.

Champion Illawarra was Tom and Kyleigh Cochrane’s Kangawarra Buttercup shown by Olivia Handebo taking out the KJ Henry Memorial award which was presented by John Henry and judge Jason Maloney.

Georgina Jones, BJ Hawkins and Eden Roszkiewicz from Vincentia High School, ready to show their alpacas at the Nowra Show.

Elizabeth Haupt from Nowra.

Ringmaster John Bennett.

Kate Schreiber.

Sarah Davies.

Champion youth stock horse handler Claire Hellessey.

Kate and Grace Schreiber.

Junior Champion Holstein line-up.

Elzabeth Haupt from Nowra visits the 2017 Nowra Show.

Anabella Da Pozzo, Mackenzie Allan and Elouise Hindman from Shoalhaven High School.

Chris, Lucas, Laura and Nicole Beauchamp from Orient Point and Sue and Mike Huxtable from Callala Bay.

Karen Spalding with her winning entry (sheep) in the needlecraft section.

Claire Hellessey and Angel, winner of the Junior Handler Stock Horse section.

Michelle and Jack Duffy from Sanctuary Point and Dale and Jeff Burley from St Georges Basin.

Zoe Peel from Oakdale on Ortfordvalley Eclipse and Amelia Nelson from Bawley Point on Glenesk Red River.

Niamh Lennon on Solar and Tobie Payne.

Hayden, Catherine, and Jim Watts from Pyree and Brodie Solway-Jones from Bomaderry.

Ashlee Stevens with dog Junior and Elysse Stevens.

Sienna Zwar from Berry on Krista Park Camelot, winner of Reserve Champion Ridden Riding Pony.

Wendy Brown and Joe Harvey from Greenwell Point.

Grace and Kate Schreiber from Cambewarra.

Keona and Taliha Cornish from Nowra.

Leith Stockley with Top Gun.

Hunter and Dakota Spence and Braydon Rae, all from Bomaderry.

Tyne and Sophie Weller from Shoalhaven Heads.

Eileen and Gordon Webber from Callala Bay.

Volunteers Jenny Pepper, pam Arthur, Winsome Watts, Bev Carter and Vivienne Henry.

Hannah Wallace and Grace Hughes from Shoalhaven High School.

Max Atkins, winner of the Best Rose Exhibit, Helen Sargent-Clark and Alan Clark.

St Michaels school children enjoy everything on offer in the pavilion.

Karen Spalding with her friend Janet’s winning knitting and crochet entrant.

Kate, Barry and Anne Clancy in the pavilion.

Steven Robinson and Benny Newlands from Shoalhaven High School.

Luke Blake, Garry Nelson, Elkie Price and Todd Blake.

Nowra Show’s ‘guess the weight of the chook’ competition in action.

Rahni McGill and Marla McGill ad Sienna Zwar.

Lily-Rose Baxter and Miley and Luca Winchester from Shoalhaven Pony Club.

Hector, Henry, Mulligan, Wilbur and Caroline Goodall from Meroo Meadow.

Karen Spalding, Annette McCarthy and Kerry Sutherland.

Maria Firkin, Lynn French and Denise Wood from the Nowra Makers Market.

Four-year-old Hayden Cochrane keeps an eye on the judge during the Nowra Show dairy cattle judging.

Janelle and Mal Pritchett watch the dairy cattle judging.

Cody and Cathie Cochrane at the cattle judging.

Henry and Sonny Simms at the cattle judging.

Sue Jeffery and Stuart Crofts.

Len King, Lyn and Geoff King-Gee at the cattle judging.

Maryan Hewitt, Susie Cameron and John Hewitt enjoy the cattle judging.

Sisters Beverley Bloomfield and Lola Hollister at the cattle section.

Cheryl and David Grant at the Nowra Show cattle judging.

Lesley McKinnon and John Ferguson at the cattle ring.

Nowra High School agriculture teacher Peter Ryan and student Kieren Brown watch the cattle judging.

Jack and Fay Garratty were keen spectators at the cattle judging.

Jack Warnes had fun in the cattle ring with his calf Claire.

Jack Warnes had fun in the cattle ring with his calf Claire.

Jack Warnes had fun in the cattle ring with his calf Claire.

Jack Warnes had fun in the cattle ring with his calf Claire.

Jack Warnes had fun in the cattle ring with his calf Claire.

Junior champion any other breed was the Menzies family entry Rivendell Tequila Tammy shown by Bella Simms. Judge Ash Wright presents the ribbon.

Illawarra Junior champion for the Jim Henry Memorial Award was clean sweep for the Cochrane Family and the Eagle Park stud. Dusty leading Eagle Park Heather took champion from his older brother Riley with another Eagle Park Heather while dad Tim was honourable mention with Eagle Park Pringerly Duchess.

Col and Sue Walsh and their grandson Sammy Green at the cattle judging.

Nothing like keeping it in the family. Junior champion Holstein for the Furn Garratty Memorial was won by Tom and Kyleigh Cochrane’s Glenalbas Sid Alakazam shown by Olivia Handebo. Kylie is Mr Garratty’s granddaughter. She received reserve junior champion with Glenalbas Alexander Posch. They receive their ribbons from judge Lindsay Moxey and chief cattle steward and Furn’s son Alan Garratty.

Intermediate Holstein champion was Eagle Park Goldchip Hezitall shown by Liam Skinner for Tim and Natalie Cochrane. Mal Nikora from the NAB and Malcolm McPhee present the ribbon.

Champion any other breed was John and Andrea Henry’s entry Barmaroth Denver Jemima. Reserve champion was Alexz Crawford’s Miss Goldwyn Honeycombe. They are with judge Ash Wright.

Iszi Crawford with Miss Goldwyn Honeycombe.

Two highly credentialed cow men, chief steward Alan Garratty and David Mayo enjoy a chat.

Beau and Mel Chittick enjoy the cattle judging.

Brian Burgess, Malcolm McPhee and Pat Muller were interested spectators.

Chris Coulthart, John Miller and Will Miller.

Geoff Herne and Geoff O’Dwyer watch the judging.

Greg, Chase and Morgan Soper. Morgan won the ringside judging competition.

Nowra High students Gemma Thompson, Alice Lauder and Cara Haupt.

Champion Holstein was Tom and Kyleigh Cochrane’s Glenalbas Amazing Posch. Judge Lindsay Moxey and Phil Monaghan, of Manildra Stockfeeds present Kyleigh with the ribbon.

Ian Herne proudly shows off his calf.

Dale Bryce, Shane Oslear, Tim Chittick and Marty Downes at the cattle ring.

Supreme junior champion interbreed was won by Tim and Natalie Cochrane’s Eagle Park Maxima Heather. Andrea Henry representing John and Andrew Henry Rural Contractors and judges Jason Maloney, Lindsay Moxey and Ash Wright present the ribbon.

Brian Wallace and Ron McKinnon.

Barbara and Alf Lawrence.

Ella Simms took out the junior paraders.

Jimmy Watts with his calf Nemo.

Ian Herne in the paraders’ comnpetition.

Supreme champion cow Tom and Kyleigh Cochrane’s Glenalbas Amazing Posch. Judges Lindsay Moxey, Ash Wright and Jason Maloney present the champion’s ribbon to Kyleigh.

Nick Crawford cools off Miss Goldwyn Honeycombe after a hot day in the show ring.

Brent Pepper cools off one of the entrants in the dairy section after Friday’s Judging.

Photo: Daniel Colebrook.

Photo: Daniel Colebrook.

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Music breaks stigma

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TALENT: Paul Corfiatis in his home studio at Montello where he composes original music.
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Paul Corfiatis is a gifted music composer on a mission to break the stereotype of people with autism.

The 35-year-old Montello resident composes music on a computer at his home studio.

His work has been played at stage shows and his goal is to spread his sound across the nation and then the world.

“I want people to hear my music because I think it’s unique,” he said.

“It’s about creating a unique sound and making something original for people to enjoy.”

While Paul is on the spectrum he does not like to be seen as an autistic person.

“Ijust want to be seen as a normal person,” he said.

“I think a lot of people just see me as a talented composer.

“Some people might think he’s got autism, he’s amazing –maybe they think autistic people are dumb but actually a lot of autistic people are very smart.”

Paul will perform at Prism in Rosny Farm on April 2.

Prism will be a celebration of the diverse talents of autism.

The aim is toshowcase what is possible, inspire and motivate young people on the autism spectrum and build a new awareness of autism in the community.

Paul has been composing music since about 1998 after taking an interest in the expanding digital horizons.

“I knew as Igrew up the technology would get better and computers would get faster,” he added.

He started out only wantingtowrite files for computer games.

“I thought Icould expand this further and in 2001 Iwent into a recording studio and started to learn how to do mixing and sampling and all that stuff,” he said.

For 17years he has composed a variety of music from techno, trance, psychedelic and ambient genres.

With the North-West Coast’s arts and social change company,Big hART, Paul’s music has been played across the region.

His composing skills have been refined and now Paul is aiming high.

“My goal is to start playing my original music live and hopefully I can expand that maybe around Australia and then the world,” he said.

“We need more original artists, especially electronic artists, here in Tasmania.”

It is Paul’s goal to find the right forum to play his music on the North-West Coast andthrough his skills, Paul will continue to challenge the autism stereotype.

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Liberals support solar thermal power

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ENERGY: State Shadow Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan says the SA Liberal energy policy will not kill off a solar thermal power plant in Port Augusta..The South Australian Liberal Party’s plan to scrap South Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET)will not scare away solar thermal power investors from a development in Port Augusta, according to state Shadow Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
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It follows state Opposition Leader Steven Marshall’s calls on Monday February 13 which promised to, “abolish Labor’s dangerous plan to rapidly increase the volume of unreliable and intermittent renewable energy in South Australia.”

“Until there are viable storage options for intermittent renewable energy, South Australia must reject the Weatherill Labor Government’s dangerous target of 50 per cent,” he said.

Repower Port Augusta Campaigner Dan Spencer said this move will create ‘more uncertaintyfor investors’.

“This fresh policy uncertainty risks turning away investment in solutions like solar thermal in Port Augusta which the South Australian Liberals have advocated for and other renewable storage” Mr Spencer said.

“We want to see the South Australian Liberals announce their plans to support the next generation of clean power with storage like solar thermal in Port Augusta. Disappointingly today’s attack was more politics than solutions.”

In a letter to state Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis on Friday February 10, Mr van Holst Pellekaan said any major and innovative plan to address South Australia’s ‘extremely serious energy problems’ must include a solar thermal power station at Port Augusta.

“Renewable energy with dispatchable storage must be part of the solution,” the lettersaid.

“ …The tender to supply the state government’s own electricity demand (484GWH/yr) is an extremely good fit with a new solar thermal generator (110 Megawatt capacity) as it would be both a new generator and a renewable generator as requested by the government.”

The tender applications closed on January 6, 2017, with the winner expected to be announced by mid-year 2017.

In the letter Mr van Holst Pellekaan asked Mr Koutsantonis to consider extendingthe tender’s time frame from 10 yearsto 20 years to allow a proponent to attract finance.

Mr Koutsantonis said, “the Department advised that a 10 year contract was sufficient to incentivise investment in new electricity generation.”

He said the assessment panel is independent of government and will make recommendations to cabinet before the results of the tender are announced, and criticised Mr van Holst Pellekaan.

“The tender is technology agnostic and aims to bring additional generation into the market that is despatchable around the clock. This will put downward pressure on power prices in South Australia,” he said.

“Mr Pellekaan’s policy to scrap the RETand allow a federal government that hates renewables to dictate South Australian policy would kill any prospect of solar thermal development in Port Augusta.”

South Australia’s RETis 50 per cent by 2025 and renewbale energy currently accounts formore than 40 per cent of the state’senergy mix.

Mr Koutsantonis said SA’sRETis aspirational, “which means there is nomechanism or incentive in place to drive the uptake of renewables.”

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said scrapping that state RETgives‘greater certainty’ to potential investors of renewable energy storage projects and said Mr Koutsantonis is‘100 per-cent wrong’ on this issue.

“The reality is our policy does not include the federal government dictating what the Renewable Energy Target would be,” he said.

“Our policy is that the federal government and states jointly would determine a national target.”

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Research finds healthy vision lies in great outdoors

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Outside benefits: Researchers have found that play time outside is beneficial for children’s health – including their eyesight.How often do your children play outside?
Nanjing Night Net

I would not be surprised if you said it was not very often given the heat wave we are having and the well-known effects of too much sun.

However it is important that children have time outside each day.

There are lots of benefits of all kinds to be gained from spending time outside regularly.

Research shows that children who engage in outdoor play are healthier, and the opportunities for large body movements offered outside (running, jumping, playing on the trampoline etc) contribute to better body shape and body image, and help improve children’s sleep.

Outdoor play also offers opportunities for children to connect with nature and there is a lot of evidence now to show that connection with nature helps improve children’s health and wellbeing.

A recent study from the Queensland University of Technology introduced me to a new (to me) idea about the importance of outdoor play.

The studyshowed that twohours a day spent outside helps protect children’s eyes and helps prevent short-sightedness (myopia).

Myopia is the name for the condition where the lens in the eye does not focus the image onto the retina, rather it focuses the image in front of the retina. That means when looking at something in the distance, the image is blurry.

Children with myopia struggle to read what is written on the blackboard at school, and may not be able to read signs or recognise people when they are far enough away from them (I’ve spent my whole life worrying that people might think I am rude because I fail to recognise them when passing in the street!)

It has been predicted that within the next 30 years, nearly half of all the world’s population will have myopia.

Those of us who live in relatively affluent nations like Australia manage our myopia with glasses and/or contact lenses, although many parents struggle to cover the costs of providing these for their children, particularly when the glasses are lost or broken regularly.

However, there are many peoplein the world who do not have the financial resources to provide visual aids for their condition, and this can make a huge difference to children in school and in their lives outside of school.

The researchers from the Queensland University of Technology said their results showed that even for children who already have myopia, spending time outside every day can help slow the deterioration of their sight.

These QUT researchers are not alone in their conclusion – a large study from China has also indicated that increased myopia was associated with longer times spent indoors.

Clearly, we need to carefully create opportunities for children to play outside, juggling sun safe requirements with the need to expose children’s eyes not only to outdoor light but to the wide vistas the outdoor environment provides to stimulate our vision.

As long as our summer continues as it is, that juggle is going to be difficult but it is very important that we keep up our juggling act.

Margaret Sims is a Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England in Armidale.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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