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  1. Qantas coy on margin squeeze

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    August 10, 2019 by admin

    QANTAS has conceded that returns from domestic fares fell in July amid intense competition from Virgin Australia but has broken with normal practice by not putting a figure on the size of the decline.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The prospect of a fare war comes as the Emirates chief executive, Tim Clark, visits Sydney this week, further fuelling speculation the Middle Eastern airline will sign an alliance with Qantas covering routes between Australia and Europe.

    Critics say Qantas is acting from a position of weakness in pursuing a code-share deal, and risks handing passengers to Emirates without significant benefits.

    Releasing traffic statistics yesterday, Qantas said yields from domestic flights were lower in July than the same month last year due to increased capacity from airlines in the domestic market.

    But the notable absence of a figure on the movement in yields – or returns from fares – disappointed analysts, who said it would weaken investor confidence in the airline’s outlook.

    For the past decade Qantas has released yields for its domestic and international operations.

    ”It is disappointing because you can’t see the trends on a monthly basis. Most companies are trying to increase transparency but this decision takes them in the opposite direction,” an analyst said.

    Qantas said yields from its international operations had improved in July – without giving an exact figure – due to it ceasing to fly on loss-making routes. The airline ditched the Singapore-Mumbai and Auckland-Los Angeles routes in May, just months after it dropped Hong Kong-London and Bangkok-London.

    It has previously warned that a large increase in capacity in the domestic market – the core of the airline’s earnings – will put pressure on yields in the first half of the new financial year.

    Qantas and its budget offshoot Jetstar will increase capacity on domestic routes by as much as 11 per cent in the first half of 2012-13. Virgin plans to raise it as much as 9 per cent.

    ”It will not be good for profits if they can’t counteract that yield pressure with cost [reductions] or putting on profitable routes elsewhere,” said Will Seddon, a portfolio manager at White Funds Management.

    Tiger Airways is also increasing the number of flights to the number it was operating before its six-week grounding last year. It will begin two daily return services between Melbourne and Adelaide in November.

    A Qantas spokesman said the decision not to include figures on yields would bring it into line with domestic and international competitors.

    Qantas shares fell 3¢ to $1.14 yesterday. Virgin closed up 2.5¢ at 45¢.

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


  2. Winners announced in reborn literary awards

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    August 10, 2019 by admin

    Frank Moorhouse won the Fiction Book Award for Cold Light.When the Newman government announced in April it would no longer fund the Queensland Premier’s Literary awards, the community rallied and the Queensland Literary Awards were born.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Tonight, the who’s who of the state’s literary community gathered to celebrate the 15 winners of the inaugural awards.

    The mood was clear – tonight we celebrate, for the future is uncertain.

    “To be frank, it has been an exhausting effort by those people who are close to the centre of it, the committee and the key workers,” Queensland Literary Awards chairman Stuart Glover said.

    “That won’t happen again next year, certainly not in the same way, unless there is some sort of community, or institutional or even government support of some kind.

    “It has been spontaneous and sort of beautiful this year, but what happens next year, we don’t know yet.  We’re waiting to see.”

    The new awards were launched after state government announcement it would scrap the $200,000 award program.  It was the first of what would be many cuts to government programs and services.

    Judges received more than 600 entries for the 15 categories.

    Dr Glover said the awards were made possible through donations from hundreds of individuals, businesses, universities and cultural organisations.

    More than $30,000 was raised, which went towards prizes and associated costs.

    Dr Glover said the popularity of the awards, in both entries and support went to the importance of literature and writing within the community.

    “This isn’t about elite culture, it is about the very broad way that writing is part of our lives,” he said.

    “Most people are readers, most people are members of libraries.  To dismiss writing as elitism is to misunderstand how important it is.

    “Over the last 25 years, the Queensland literary scene has transformed itself.  The place is bubbling with writers.

    “About a fifth of the short list, of the 68 writers on the shortlist, were Queensland writers. There is a very healthy Queensland representation, even among the national categories that needs to be acknowledged and that needs to be acknowledged and supported and that is what we are trying to do.”

    The winners: 

    Fiction Book Award: Cold Light, by Frank Moorhouse (Sydney)

    Non-Fiction Book Award: The People Smuggler, by Robin De Crespigny (Melbourne)

    Young Adult Book Award: The Ink Bridge, by Neil Grant (Melbourne)

    Children’s Book Award: Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers, by Briony Stewart (Perth)

    Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award: Forecast Turbulence, by Janette Turner Hospital (Queensland resident based in South Carolina, USA)

    Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award: Crimson Crop, by Peter Rose (Melbourne)

    Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award: Island of the Unexpected writer Catherine Titasey (Thursday Island, Queensland)

    Unpublished Indigenous Writer  – David Unaipon Award: Story Siv Parker (Queensland born now living in Lismore)

    History Book Award: The Biggest Estate on Earth:How Aborigines Made Australia, by Bill Gammage (Canberra)

    Science Writer Award: Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has Shaped the Modern World, by Rob Brooks (Sydney)

    Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – Harry Williams Award: The Australian Moment: How We Were Made for These Times, by George Megalogenis (Melbourne)

    Drama Script Award: War Crimes, by Angela Betzien (Melbourne based previously from Queensland)

    Film Script Award: Dead Europe, by Louise Fox (Sydney)

    Television Script Award: Mabo, by Sue Smith (Sydney)

    People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year: Closer to Stone, by Simon Cleary (Brisbane-based, born in Toowoomba)

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  3. Newcastle remembers Battle for Australia

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    August 10, 2019 by admin

    YOUNG and old will gather in Civic Park today to mark the Battle for Australia and particularly the role played by Fort Scratchley in the defence of Newcastle during World War II.
    Nanjing Night Net

    A commemoration service will be held at the cenotaph at 11am and the special guest will be Carl Christie, the last army officer to command the fort. He left the position in the early 1970s.

    Battle for Australia Newcastle commemoration committee president Bob Kear said each year the service had a different theme. An earlier one was the role of women in war.

    Fort Scratchley was chosen to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle.

    “Newcastle was the only coal port the Brits [British] had in the Pacific in the days when most ships ran on coal and all the railways ran on coal,” Mr Kear said.

    “This year’s service will acknowledge the critical role and contribution made by Fort Scratchley in the direct defence of Newcastle on the night of June 7, 1942.”

    Mr Kear said on that night a Japanese submarine fired about 24 shells into Newcastle.

    “In response Fort Scratchley returned that fire, as a result becoming the only fort in Australia to have fired its guns in anger,” he said.

    The term “Battle for Australia” was coined in 1942 by Labor prime minister John Curtin .

    “It is now we work or fight as we have never worked or fought before,” Mr Curtin said at the time.

    Mr Kear said it was important that the events of those years were never forgotten, although each year fewer people had a direct connection to the battle.

    “Everyone was involved, whether they wanted to be or not,” Mr Kear said.

    Maud O’Brien and Grace Jones, former members of the Australian Women’s Army Service, will also be guests at today’s ceremony.

    Mrs Jones served at the fort, although not during the crisis.

    Mr Kear said Merewether High students would acknowledge, in speeches they had researched themselves, the service of Australia’s allies during the fighting, which threatened Australia from 1942 until the war ended in 1945.

    The Hunter School of Performing Arts senior brass ensemble will perform.

    ANNIVERSARY: Fort Scratchley has been chosen to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle.

    COMMEMORATION: A service will be held at the cenotaph at 11am.


  4. A hit in Venice, The Master ignites Oscar buzz

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    August 10, 2019 by admin

    Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master.Venice traditionally fires the starting gun in the long awards season, and as the world’s oldest film festival reaches the halfway point, three actors have set Hollywood tongues wagging with memorable performances.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Michael Shannon as a serial hitman, Philip Seymour Hoffman as the leader of a faith-based organisation loosely modelled on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Joaquin Phoenix playing the tortured, volatile protege are already in the frame about six months before the Oscars.

    The buzz surrounding their portrayals has helped lift spirits in Venice, celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, although incoming director Alberto Barbera may be concerned by the lack of A-list stars on the red carpet.

    Celebrity wattage is almost as important to a film festival as the quality of the movies, as it attracts the world’s media and reminds the showbusiness world why notoriously expensive Venice still matters in a calendar crammed with rival events.

    As the 11-day cinema showcase on the Lido waterfront reaches the midway point, the heaviest hitter on all levels has been The Master.

    Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since the acclaimed There Will Be Blood in 2007, it combines controversy – the movie was inspired by the early days of Scientology – and acting pedigree in the form of Hoffman and Phoenix.

    The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy called it “a bold, challenging, brilliantly acted drama that is a must for serious audiences”.

    Not every critic liked it, but most agreed the two central actors were at the peak of their powers, with Hoffman as the domineering Lancaster Dodd and Phoenix his hard-drinking, troubled acolyte.

    Few would be surprised to see them nominated for awards.

    The GoldDerby website, which previews showbusiness honours, has made The Master a favourite for the best picture Oscar, Anderson is frontrunner for best director and Hoffman and Phoenix are in the top five for best actor.

    Both actors were in Venice, where Phoenix’s behaviour was erratic and he was barely articulate at a press briefing.

    But another big title, Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, launched without its reclusive director and most prominent stars.

    The impressionistic, poetic portrayal of a couple in love told with virtually no dialogue was praised and panned in equal measure, but with Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams all absent, its world premiere was low-key.

    Turn the clock back 15 months, and Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain all graced the red carpet in Cannes for Malick’s The Tree of Life.

    Barbera has managed to attract rising stars like former Disney teen idol Zac Efron, who appeared in the farming saga At Any Price, and Selena Gomez who is expected in Venice to promote Spring Breakers on Wednesday.

    But without top names, and movies that jolted audiences in the way war dramas Redacted and The Hurt Locker or sex addiction story Shame did in recent years, Venice stumbled.

    “So far there have been a few peaks, like The Master which is brilliantly acted, and outside of competition Spike Lee’s documentary on Michael Jackson,” said Maria Giulia Minetti, a journalist for Italian daily La Stampa.

    “But overall it’s a subdued festival, there’s not much money around and maybe cinema right now lacks punch,” added the veteran of 32 Venice festivals.

    Both The Master and To the Wonder are in the 18-film competition in Venice, but outside the main line-up several movies caught the eyes of the critics.

    The Iceman is a re-telling of the true story of American hitman Richard Kuklinski, who killed more than 100 people before his capture and imprisonment.

    The towering actor Shannon won warm praise for a performance that evoked sympathy as much as revulsion, and Winona Ryder also impressed as his wife.

    Lee’s Bad 25, a two-hour film about the making of Jackson’s seminal 1987 album, may have bordered on hagiography and focused purely on the music, but it reinforced the belief of many that the late “King of Pop” fully deserved his moniker.

    There have been more than 20 female directors unveiling movies in Venice this year – an unusually high number – including Indian film maker Mira Nair with her out-of-competition 9/11 movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

    Israel’s Rama Burshtein brought her own ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to the big screen in Fill the Void. And Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, presented Wadjda, about a young girl seeking to break down barriers faced by females in Saudi society.

    The Arab Spring uprisings found expression in films Witness: Libya and Winter of Discontent, from Egypt, while the economic crisis made its way into movies like To the Wonder and At Any Price.

    REUTERS

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  5. Pies’ deal on jumpers a great fit

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    August 10, 2019 by admin

    COLLINGWOOD players will next year wear bespoke jumpers tailored by not only body size, but position, as the club unashamedly tries to grab a competitive advantage.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Hoping to achieve the sort of benefits in football that swimming achieved with speedsuits before they were outlawed, Collingwood has devised its own jumpers in collaboration with a boutique company.

    Players will wear a different sort of jumper according to position, with defenders and some midfielders wearing a tight-fitting jumper with little give in the fabric to make it harder for them to be grabbed and tackled.

    Other players, such as forwards, will wear jumpers with more stretch in them so that if grabbed in a marking contest the material will give and the player will not be restricted.

    More stretch in the jumper will also make it easier for an umpire to see a hold in a marking contest.

    The players will have different jumpers according to weather conditions, with a lighter-weight hot-weather jumper, a cold-weather jumper, and a different one for wet weather.

    The jumpers essentially look the same but will be made from different materials that have been decided on by the players after examining uniforms worn by players of different sporting codes around the world and the club’s sports science department.

    ”We are constantly looking at getting an advantage – high-altitude training, re-doing the Westpac Centre, more coaches, and this is part of that thinking,” club chief executive Gary Pert said yesterday.

    ”Four years ago we said if you look at elite sport like the Olympics, the apparel and equipment they wear – because they are dealing with hundredths of a second – has become really critical and can make the difference to them.

    ”When you have a sport like swimming, their apparel was banned because it was breaking all the records, so the apparel is extremely important. And then other sports – cycling, running, where the apparel now is a competitive edge. We thought apparel is one area we might be able to get a competitive edge.”

    Pert said players would have multiple fittings of jumpers to cater for changes to body shape that happen during the year, such as a player bulking up in the pre-season and then fining down.

    ”There are no sizes. Each jumper is tailored for each player. It’s a bit like a wedding dress, there are a few fittings during the year,” he said.

    ”The cuts will all be slightly different. Some players like a higher cut neck, others a lower neck, some tighter around the arms like a ‘Toovs’ [Alan Toovey], who is built like a greyhound, and ‘Trav’ [Travis Cloke], with big arms, likes a looser cut around the arm.”

    While the club hopes to get a competitive advantage on the field, the motivation is as much about the

    potential financial benefit they may be able to gain.

    Collingwood has worn jumpers made by adidas for the past 14 years but it has ended that contract. Adidas will now provide runners and boots only.

    The club has formed a partnership with a small label, Star Athletic, a spin-off created specifically for this purpose from umbrella group The Promotion Factory.

    The financial potential of getting a share of the wholesale and retail price of the product means the financial potential of the deal is significant.

    ”Without saying the exact dollars, there is great financial upside for Collingwood as a result of the different financial structure … even in a worst-case scenario we are financially better off,” Pert said.

    ”We can also ensure the cost of the jumper is kept at a minimum in the long term.”

    Four other AFL clubs are negotiating with Star Athletic about a similar arrangement.

    Clubs have often complained of the comparatively small return they get from each jumper sale at retail outlets outside the club. Large manufacturers typically make four or five times more out of selling a football jumper than the football club.

    From jumpers sold through Rebel Sport, for instance – where the purchasing power means the retailer demands a lower wholesale price from the manufacturer than other retailers, and even the clubs can command – clubs were getting a tenth of the return they got from other retailers or their own shop.

    With Collingwood sharing in a cut of wholesale and retail through the partnership with Star Athletic, it will get a share of every jumper sold, no matter when or where it is sold.

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


  6. Shock as All-Australian squad named

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Nanjing Night Net

    HAWTHORN defender Josh Gibson and Western Bulldogs skipper Matthew Boyd are among the unlucky players who missed out on All-Australian squad selection yesterday.

    The 40-man squad, to be trimmed to 22 by the selectors, also did not include Chris Judd, who has been in the team for the past four years. Judd’s four-match suspension in the second half of the season plainly cost him, and there is a slight changing of the guard in the midfield spots.

    Gibson has had a fine year across half-back for the Hawks, but was overlooked for the likes of Geelong’s Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor, Sydney’s Ted Richards, West Coast’s Darren Glass and Fremantle’s Luke McPharlin for a key defensive spot.

    Among the first-time nominations are West Coast’s Nic Naitanui, Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Jacobs, Brent Reilly and Taylor Walker, Collingwood’s Dayne Beams, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins and Lonergan, Richmond’s Ivan Maric, St Kilda’s Shaun Dempster and Sydney’s Lewis Jetta.

    For Maric, it is the climax of a wonderful resurgence as an AFL player, having crossed from Adelaide to Richmond in a trade at the end of last season.

    Geelong and Adelaide have the bulk of the squad with five players each.

    The Bulldogs, Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and the Brisbane Lions did not get a single player in the squad of 40.

    Boyd, a two-time all-Australian and twice Bulldogs’ best and fairest, has been his steady and reliable self for the Bulldogs this year.

    But his team’s malaise appears to have dragged him down in the selectors’ eyes.

    Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is nominated after a fine season up forward for the Dockers, and he will become the most decorated of current players if he is named in the team, as most observers expect.

    Pavlich would be receiving his seventh All-Australian guernsey, overtaking Judd and Matthew Scarlett. He has not been in the team since 2008.

    The All-Australian selection panel is Andrew Demetriou (chairman), Adrian Anderson, Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Danny Frawley, Gerard Healy, Glen Jakovich and Mark Ricciuto.

    They will announce a final team on 17 September.

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


  7. It takes a real man to ask the tough ones

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    IT takes a real man to take another bloke aside and ask them the hardest question for males: ‘‘No, don’t give me that crap, are you really OK?’’
    Nanjing Night Net

    The theme of an upcoming campaign to encourage men to check on mates’ well-being is something some of us have already been doing.

    Last year, after the tragic suicide of a man whom others mourning his death had known all their lives, while I met him only a too-short year before, I saw it as my duty to not take ‘‘Yeah, I’m fine’’ for an answer.

    Half a dozen times during his wake I ‘‘poked’’ blokes I had also known for only a short time, but already good friends, and said: ‘‘No, are you really all right, and don’t bullshit me?’’

    And half a dozen times they unloaded the weight of their anger, sadness and frustration, which was rolled up in a big knot in their guts.

    Many were nurses, including intensive care legends, who deal with death every day but fight it, well, to the death.

    Yet even they, who watch families fall apart every day when their best efforts to save someone fails, could not deal properly with their mate’s decision without support.

    One little bloke, the life of any party, a little wild but a lovely guy, when asked if he was ‘‘really’’ OK, fell into my arms weeping, crying and cursing.

    Then there’s a fellow I know, who has made and lost a fortune in something at which he is a genius, seemingly unable to get himself off the booze after his marriage break-up.

    Many men, and women in this bloke’s case, tried to confront him – telling him we all loved him, that he is funny and should get back to rebuilding his life.

    None of us were doing any good, but the other day a bloke I know told me that despite the recent loss of his mum, he had taken this task on board with a vengeance.

    Rules have been put in place regarding all aspects of his life, particularly drinking, with this true mate helping him take tiny steps.

    Knowing this man and seeing the voluntary work he does, I had already thought, in the old Aussie vernacular, that he was ‘‘a decent sort of chap’’, who as a first-generation Australian from a strife-ridden part of the world knows a bit about suffering.

    Now I want to put this man on

    a pedestal. I didn’t kiss him, although I did place a hand on his shoulder to say: ‘‘You are a good man, mate.’’

    So if there’s a man in your life, fellas, who you think is a little off kilter, for heaven’s sake, back him into a corner over a quiet ale or squash and don’t take no for an answer.


  8. New media battleground challenges convention

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Last Friday week Mitt Romney made a stupid mistake at 12.23pm before a home town crowd.”No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he said, inadvertently or otherwise associating himself with the dark and loony fringe of his party who still believe President Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate from Kenya or Indonesia. We know exactly when it happened because within 60 seconds of the words leaving his lips they were tweeted by a Washington Post reporter, and within four minutes of that tweet Politico had the comments online.(Politico also ran an excellent breakdown of the events that I am stealing this timing from.) By 12.41pm the segment of the speech had been loaded onto YouTube and Romney’s campaign had responded. Three minutes later, Obama issued a statement lamenting the comments.That is, at this election candidates and their staff – not to mention the journalists following them – are working to 21-minute news cycles. No wonder they look so tired.The implications of online campaigns are still becoming apparent to the parties and the reporters, not to mention the vast vulture industry that feeds on the whole circus. This year it is estimated that a billion dollars will be spent on TV ads, but it is not quite clear that they are having the impact they once would have.Either way, you can bet that the new media innovations warping the US 2012 campaign will be deployed during Australia’s next general election. Australian political consultants always closely watch American elections.At a forum held yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina – the town that has just been taken over by the Democratic National Convention – political reporter Major Garrett of the National Journal, which co-hosted the event with The Atlantic, noted that the oceans of money spent on TV ads might not have bought the attention the campaigns expected.According to a survey, people likely to vote in the upcoming election watched 20 hours of video in the past week, but half of that was either watched on DVR or direct streaming. Even more disconcerting – at least to campaign strategists and TV networks – of the 40 per cent of viewers in the key states of Florida and Ohio who watched coverage recorded on DVR or streamed, 90 per cent said they skipped the ads.Meanwhile, many of those who do watch major campaign events – such as Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech or Clint Eastwood’s debate with a stool – do so with one eye on a second screen, a laptop or handheld device.The result, says Garrett, is that we may learn by the end of this campaign that traditional advertising is not working. This could go some way to explaining some apparently contradictory polls that have come out. A Gallup poll found that only 38 per cent of respondents thought Mr Romney’s speech was good or excellent, a figure lower than the past eight acceptance speeches.Moreover, Gallop found the whole Republican Convention had very little impact on voting intentions. Nonetheless, the Huffington Post’sPollster南京夜网 found Romney had crept to within a tenth of one percentage point of Obama nationally.It is too soon to draw conclusions from new media and polling data regarding the Republican National Convention, says Twitter’s head of government, news and social innovation, Adam Sharp, but he notes spikes in approval in mentions in Twitter traffic appear to be presaging polls.It could be that parts of the electorate are bypassing advertising and making their decisions based on recommendations via social media. During the forum, Facebook’s head of policy said research showed that recommendations via social media on purchases carried far more weight with consumers than advertising, and it was likely this would be reflected in political decision-making.According to The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Rute, who addressed the forum, 40 per cent of the online traffic was now coming from social media recommendations. The campaigns are not waiting to find out and have thrown themselves into the new media.Joe Rospars, the Obama campaign’s chief digital strategist, said the Obama campaign was maintaining a presence across at least eight social media venues, including the recent Q and A the President conducted on Reddit南京夜网. He said a new smartphone app allowed supporters to become Obama organisers on the spot, looking up numbers for people to call and seek support or streets to door-knock.Sharp said analysis of Twitter traffic showed that the discussion viewers might once have had with one another as paid pundits began their “post-game” analysis of the major speeches had already spiked and ended before the speaker left the stage.Before Clint Eastwood had finished muttering at the empty stool during the Tampa convention, the President had responded via Twitter, with a picture of himself at his desk in the Oval Office with the caption “This seat is taken”.But Sharp said the scale of Twitter meant politicians who had lost immediate connections with voters as a result of growing population were now able to make direct contact with them again via Twitter.
    Nanjing Night Net

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


  9. CSIRO rejects coal seam gas claims

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    The CSIRO has rejected claims made by the coal seam gas industry in a new TV advertising campaign, and asked last week that the ads not be aired.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The commercial includes the statement: “CSIRO [and government studies] have shown that groundwater is safe with coal seam gas”.

    However, the national science body said this afternoon that this claim was not true.

    “At no time has CSIRO made such a statement, and nor do the results of CSIRO research support such a statement,” the organisation said.

    “CSIRO has stated on the public record that coal seam gas extraction is likely to pose a ‘low risk’ to groundwater quality through contamination,” it said.

    The TV commercials were produced for the coal seam gas industry body, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, which said it had “taken the CSIRO’s comments on board”.

    The ads were aired on Sunday night in Queensland where the gas industry is rapidly expanding, and are part of a campaign that reportedly cost $2.5 million to put together.

    “APPEA has created a number of ads for its latest CSG campaign that relate to economic benefit, environmental protection, energy security and technological know-how,” a spokesman for the industry body said.

    “All of our ads have been approved as factual by the independent advertising regulator. The ads we run, where we run them, and when we run them, will be determined over the months ahead. However, we have taken CSIRO’s comments on board.”

    The statement, released today by the national science body, said: “CSIRO has also indicated that groundwater levels will fall as a consequence of coal seam gas extraction. In some places this could see aquifer levels subside by tens of metres for tens of years; in others it is likely to reduce aquifer levels by several metres for several hundred years.”

    The CSIRO said it became aware of the ads last Friday and “requested for the commercial not to be aired”.

    The activist group Lock the Gate and the Greens also asked for the ads to be taken off air.

    The gas industry in Australia has maintained for years that gas drilling does not significantly affect the underground water aquifers that farmers rely on.

    More than 10,000 coal seam gas wells are planned for Queensland, to be drilled over the next decade.

    The industry is also expanding in NSW, with at least 4000 wells proposed over the coming decade.

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


  10. Get back to budget basics

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    July 10, 2019 by admin

    Chop and change … divvy up your pay to achieve savings goals. Illlustration: Karl HilzingerSix months ago, a couple went to financial planning group ipac for some advice. Professional people with jobs in upper management, they had a combined income in excess of $250,000. But it wasn’t self-managed super or how their investments were going that was on their minds.
    Nanjing Night Net

    ”They had built up $200,000 of debt on several credit cards,” the national manager for advice strategy at ipac, John Dani, says.

    It was time to go back to basics – which, in some ways, is the message of the inaugural MoneySmart Week, which began on Sunday.

    ”We see a lot of people earning a lot of money and spending more than they earn,” Dani says.

    People on much more modest incomes can, in fact, be richer, he says, because it’s not how much you earn that determines your wealth but how much you save.

    The trouble is that these days maintaining a comfortable lifestyle – at least temporarily – no longer requires good money management, Dani says. ”Easy access to debt basically means people can live it up,” he says.

    ”But it will eventually come back to bite them. And that’s what happened to this particular couple.”

    Dani recalls how, as a young man, his wages came in the form of cash and he would set aside money in separate envelopes for expenses such as rent and for spending.

    ”It was with the actual transfer of cash into these envelopes that I first started budgeting,” he says.

    That physical connection with cash also meant that he thought twice before spending.

    ”But those days are gone,” he says. ”Budgeting is under direct threat now due to easy access to debt, eftpos, online shopping and our ever-increasing expectations about lifestyle.”

    Financial planner and university lecturer Barry Lizmore, author of Take Control of Your Money, also sees rising expectations as an issue, particularly for younger Australians who have known only a growing economy.

    ”In our parents’ day, people didn’t take out high mortgages and they made do with a second-hand car,” he says. ”We used to holiday [down the coast] or in Queensland. Now we holiday overseas.”

    And people are taking on debt to fund this lifestyle, he says.

    What’s more, they take on debt under the assumption that they’ll always get a better job and that house prices, for instance, will always go up.

    How to get out of this rut? Dani says the first step is to know where your money is going now. For at least a fortnight (or your pay cycle), run everything through a single account or card so you can look at one statement to see what’s happening.

    Next, you need to decide on a purpose for your budgeting.

    Both Dani and Lizmore suggest visualising your goals. Now you can start divvying up your money.

    ”I still have those envelopes,” Dani says, ”but they’re ‘virtual’ envelopes in the form of separate accounts.”

    Automating the process is the key, he says. The money should move directly from your pay or a central account to the accounts you set up for specific purposes.

    The chief executive of Teachers Mutual Bank, Steve James, says most financial institutions will have some form of bonus saver – such as TMB’s Reward Saver – where there’s the carrot of high interest if you deposit a minimum and make no withdrawals each month (in TMB’s case, 4.75 per cent), and a stick of low interest (0.10 per cent) if you fail to maintain your discipline.

    These accounts are sometimes criticised for their low base rates, but James says you should only ever deposit what you won’t need.

    Finally, Dani says people should stop the constant use of credit cards. If you can’t cut them up, lower the limit so you’re less reliant on them and use a debit card for most of your spending.

    If you have a home-equity loan, refinance with a traditional, must-pay-every-month mortgage, he says.

    ”A home-equity loan is just an overdraft on your home,” Dani says. ”The banks talk about how a home-equity loan will help you pay your loan off quicker, but human nature works against that.”

    Tools for the task

    As part of MoneySmart Week, ASIC is offering a financial “health check” via an online questionnaire or mobile phone app. You’ll be asked about your goals, budgeting, debt, savings, investments, insurance and retirement planning, with the dial swinging to green, orange or red depending on the extent to which you have things under control.

    The online version of the tool then generates an individual report setting out an action plan for the steps you still need to take (the app saves the top five actions).

    Then there’s the MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app – for iPhone, with Android on the way – that allows you to monitor spending by category and against limits you set. Its mobile calculator app helps you do your sums on savings, investments, superannuation, loans, mortgages and the true cost of interest-free deals.

    Go to moneysmart.gov.au or your phone’s app store.

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