Archive for: ‘April 2019’

Hotter, dryer and more fires: climate change report

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

MORE hot days, fewer cold nights and a greater fire danger.
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That is the prediction for the state’s west according to new data developed following a research partnership between the NSW and ACT governments and the University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre.

The extra heat would mean by 2070, areas around Bourke were likely to see another 40 hot days each year, on top of the 70 they already had, so temperatures above 35 degrees were in order for nearly a third of the year.

Dubbo would most likely see a 50 per cent increase in the number of hot days by 2030, and hot days would double by 2070.

While changes in annual rainfall would be small, seasonal rainfall was likely to change with much of western NSW seeing more rain in autumn and less in spring and winter, according to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

It said overall, western NSW was expected to experience an increase in average, maximum and minimum temperatures of about 0.7 degrees by 2030 and more than 2.1 degrees in 2070. The biggest changes would be in spring and summer, with maximums jumping by 3.1 degrees by 2070.

The north west plains area from Moree west to Bourke would see an extra 40 hot days a year by 2070.

Along the central tablelands and slopes there would be fewer cold nights, with 20 to 40 fewer nights below two degrees each year by 2070.

The greatest increase in fire weather would also occur in the far west. Increases in severe weather days during spring might also increase bushfire risk and reduce opportunities for hazard reduction burning.

The new data was aimed at providing climate projections to 2070 to guide local decisions that would help minimise potential risks of climate change, Environment Minister Rob Stokes said.

The projections covered changes in temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity, evaporation and 100 other climate variables to 2070, and would be accurate to the nearest 10km.

“We’ve spoken to farmers and councils across the state who have said the portal will provide valuable information for long-term planning of their business and development,” Mr Stokes said.

“This portal will be part of a continuing release of information about how climate will impact soils, biodiversity, bushfires, coastal impacts and flooding.”

The information was freely available to members of the public at www.climatechange.environment.nsw.gov.au .

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

Newcastle CBD tower plans run into strong criticism

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

THE architectural brains trust Newcastle council uses for professional advice has delivered a scathing review of the proposed three high-rise CBD towers.
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The Urban Design Consultative Group, made up of independent architects and planners, delivered an unfavourable assessment of the towers proposed by GPT and the state government’s development arm UrbanGrowth NSW.

Speaking to councillors last week, Dr Philip Pollard described the towers as “highly intrusive”, “bulky” and “unacceptable”.

“The only architects I’m aware of who like the final proposal are those who prepared it,” he said.

Dr Pollard said community consultation on the scale of the buildings had been inadequate.

Councillor Tim Crakanthorp asked Newcastle council general manager Ken Gouldthorp to release the Urban Design Consultative Group’s draft report on the towers in July, but was refused.

“Under what authority does the power to do that arise from?” Cr Crakanthorp asked.

Mr Gouldthorp said the developers wanted to keep the report confidential, and took Cr Crakanthorp’s question on notice to “clarify the facts”.

The majority of the elected council – former lord mayor Jeff McCloy along with councillors David Compton, Brad Luke, Allan Robinson, Andrea Rufo, Lisa Tierney and Sharon Waterhouse – voted in favour of making a submission effectively supporting the high-rise plans in March.

Councillors Nuatali Nelmes, Therese Doyle, Tim Crakanthorp, Jason Dunn, Michael Osborne, and Stephanie Posniak voted against it, instead asking for a longer public exhibition period and community briefings.

At the recent planning inquiry led by NSW politician Reverend Fred Nile, newly-elected lord mayor Cr Nelmes and Cr Doyle raised concerns about a lack of transparency around the state government’s decision to raise building height levels across the city.

Mr Nile is due to release his findings later this month.

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

Fresh ray of hope for victims

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

Shellharbour councillors Helen Stewart and Kellie Marsh called on council to write to the state government to keep funding the Lake Illawarra Family Violence Support Service.A LOCAL domestic violence support service that was under threat of being shut down will receive funding for another year.
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Lake Illawarra Family Violence Support Service (LIFVSS) has been granted a funding extension by the state government after announcements earlier in the year that the service would cease under the $9.8 million “It Stops Here” reforms.

Currently two officers run the service out of the Lake Illawarra Police Station at Oak Flats, providing support, referrals and information for women experiencing domestic violence.

The reforms meant the facility would have closed from July 2015 and victims referred to Wollongong Women’s Information Service (WWIS), which manages the service.

However, the member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, and Liberal candidate for Shellharbour, Mark Jones, announced on Monday that they had secured new funding to keep the service operating until June 2016.

Mr Ward said the extension of funding was an example of the state government’s commitment to the safety of women and children.

“The LIFVSS does outstanding work helping women and children escape domestic violence and access essential services,” he said.

Mr Ward said that under It Stops Here, victims of domestic and family violence in the Illawarra would receive victim-centred case management from agencies.

Mr Jones said he was “thrilled” that the service’s role had been recognised.

“This funding will allow victims to access vital support at a time when they are most vulnerable,” Mr Jones said.

Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh had been rallying to keep the service afloat in the region.

She said she was “elated” to hear the news.

“Christmas has come early,” Cr Marsh said.

“I am so happy for the victims of domestic violence and their children – that we will retain a fantastic service in Shellharbour and those victims don’t have to go to Wollongong.

“Now we can start the journey of getting back to the main focus and that is with the victim of domestic violence.

“And for the ladies of LIFVSS I give my eternal gratitude for all the work they’re doing and I am so happy to be able to say ‘keep going, girls’.”

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

Abetz says jobless need to ‘try even harder’

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

MEET: Senator Eric Abetz meets Heidi Montfroyr and Sarah Becker at Sureway Bendigo. Picture: PETER WEAVINGRelated: Sureway CEO sees positives in plan
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FEDERAL Employment Minister Eric Abetz says unemployed people just need to “try even harder” to find work as Bendigo faces one of regional Victoria’s highest youth unemployment rates.

The Senator visited Bendigo on Monday, meeting with three local manufacturing businesses and the offices of Sureway Employment and Training.

Senator Abetz said his philosophy on job creation was “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

“Dedication is required for young people,” he said.

“There’s no doubt it is tough, but I would simply encourage them to try even harder when times are tougher, and they will ultimately succeed.”

From July 1 next year, the Federal Government plans to introduce measures that would require the unemployed to apply for 20 jobs per month, attend a minimum of one meeting at an employment agency per month and participate in the Work for the Dole program.

Another initiative is the jobs commitment bonus, which rewards people for staying in employment for 12 and 24 months.

Senator Abetz said now that Parliament had ended for the year, he wanted to “get out into the real world and find out what’s happening on the ground”.

“We want to continue to learn what else we can do to make the system even better,” he said.

Unemployment in Bendigo sat at just below7 per cent, with youth unemployment averaging 22.8 per cent in the three months to September.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also found there were 4700 unemployed people in Bendigo. On Monday, an online jobs website had 305 jobs listed in the Bendigo, Macedon Ranges and Goldfields regions.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan was announced as Victoria’s new Employment Minister last Thursday. Senator Abetz said he “looked forward” to meeting with the new Victorian minister, “regardless of political colours”.

Following the visit, Senator Abetz travelled on to Ballarat for the remainder of his visit to central Victoria.

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said Mr Abetz should have met with schools, skills providers and others involved in the employment process during his visit to Bendigo.

“Senator Abetz needs to work harder to help create jobs, rather than telling young people they need to try harder to get work,” she said.

“The next time Senator Abetz visits Bendigo he should come with a plan on how his government is going to create jobs local people can count on.”

The plan requiring the jobless to apply for 20 jobs had been scaled back from 40 earlier this year. Employment agencies would distribute resumes to relevant employers, aiding the unemployed in the process.

Ms Chesters said the plan would do little to support jobs.

“The fact is that there are far more job seekers than jobs in central Victoria,” she said.

“I fail to see how sending 20 applications every month is also not meaningless – it will create more work and red tape for local small businesses who will have to process these applications each and every month.”

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

Squash fans feel squeezed out

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

Shellharbour Squash Club members Joanne Stone, Adam Bolton and Tina Mason are not happy Shellharbour Club closed its squash courts more than five months earlier than expected. Picture: ELIZA WINKLERFRUSTRATED and disappointed was the feeling among members of the Shellharbour Squash Club after the doors closed on the courts at the Shellharbour Club last week.
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Members and social players were told the courts would close as part of the preparation for the $64 million club upgrade launched in September this year.

The Shellharbour Club proposal includes a community leisure hub with a fitness centre, swimming amenities, long day care, medical precinct and a fast food outlet.

The Club’s chief executive officer Debbie Cosmos said there were no plans to add a squash court to the proposal due to a lack of demand.

The squash club has been operating in Shellharbour for more than 20 years and it currently has 55 members and social players. It was the only squash court in the region.

Club member Joanne Stone said members were advised the club would close at the start of May 2015 and were shocked when the courts closed five months earlier.

“Whatever happened to the ‘club built for the community, by the community?’ With no consultation with its members the club has made the decision to shut down the courts as of Friday [November 28],” she said.

“I turned up to play and there was a sign saying it would close at the end of November.

“It’s like we’re being forced out and it’s definitely left a sour note with club members. We feel like we have been let down by the club.

“We would have liked the court opened until it had to be demolished, or at least look at including one court in the new plans.”

A representative of the Shellharbour Club said they were hoping to start construction in May 2015 and didn’t want the club to have to close in the middle of the next season.

“We have been in constant consultation with the organisers and allowed them to finish their last competition,” the representative said.

“We ensured adequate notice of the closure was communicated, and at the request of the squash club we kindly donated the umpire chairs to Lakeside Squash Club.”

Squash club member Tina Mason said, “it’s like we’re being shunned”.

“We wrote to the board to ask for an extension until the end of May so we could finish our 2015 comp. We have had no response to that and they wouldn’t let us speak on it, they just shut the club,” she said.

“They’re taking a squash court out of the club and getting a McDonalds, it’s disgraceful.”

It is understood the courts will be used as storage until the development application is approved by the council.

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