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ENERGY MINISTER ON POWER TRIP

Electricity workers say a visit by the Energy Minister to Munmorah power station on the Central Coast today was a stunt designed to co-incide with the release of the Garnaut report. Ian Macdonald was there to open a new carbon capture plant, and his presence sparked a mass walk out. The experimental plant is designed to capture carbon dioxide from the power station’s exhaust before it escapes into the atmosphere. The actual plant won’t be operational for another six weeks. But the much needed positive photo opportunity was nicely timed with the release of the garnaut report. Mr Macdonald had earlier slipped in the back door dodging a group of angry workers out the front, who walked off the job to protest against the planned privatisation of the power industry. When it is switched on for real, the plant should ... Read More »

NORTH WEST IRRIGATORS HAPPY WITH AGREEMENT

North west irrigators are happy with the new Murray Darling Basin agreement. They’re pleased South Australian water users will finally be subject to the same reforms as themselves. Irrigators in the Namoi say they’ve been working towards sustainable water use for more than a decade. Now South Australian irrigators will have to do the same. The agreement means the Murray Darling system to be run by one federal authority. It also means money for urgent works. $247-million will be spent just in the Northern Basin which includes the Namoi. That funding will help meet a new water use target yet to be set. Namoi Water believes it can make savings without reducing allocations, through better management and engineering practices in water storages and on the farm. Not surprisingly the bulk of the billions will be spent in the lower lakes, ... Read More »

HORRIFIC SMASH AT TWEED HEADS

A 31-year-old woman is fighting for her life in a Brisbane hospital, after a horrific smash at Tweed Heads yesterday afternoon. She lay trapped after her crushed car was thrown into the air. Rescuers first on scene couldn’t believe anyone had survived the crash… Read More »

GREENPEACE STORMS POWER STATION

27 Greenpeace activists were arrested today, when they stormed the Eraring power station at Lake Macquarie in a protest over the contribution burning coal makes to climate change. Read More »

COMMODITIES BOOM OR BUST

The commodities boom is having a mixed impact on business throughout the Hunter. While some are looking at entering joint ventures just to complete contracts, others are raking in multi-million-dollar deals. The rising cost of coal, oil and steel is spelling disaster for much of the Hunter’s manufacturing industry. With the price of steel alone jumping 60 per-cent over the past 12 months, some businesses are now struggling to fulfil fixed contracts. “We just have to be smarter, I think work together, rather than go it alone, go in with another half a dozen companies to see if we can offset some of the costs.” The incredibly strong Australian dollar is also taking a toll, making our export products less competitive on a global scale. “The only way we can compete anymore in that particular area is our quality and ... Read More »

NEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR NOBBYS

A new development plan for Nobbys Headland could be completed as early as next month. Developer Neil Slater met with federal government representatives today to sort out what could be built on the controversial site. Read More »

EMERGENCY ROOM FOCUS

If you’ve ever spent time in a busy hospital emergency department you’ll know just how challenging a place it can be. Immersed in the drama of broken bones, blood and illness, health workers can sometimes lose sight of how a patient is coping. A new project is bringing that focus back. Read More »

HOW ROCK DAVIS HELPED SHAPE THE REGION

It was 175 years ago to the day that one of the Central Coast’s most prolific shipbuilders was born. Rock Davis is not a familiar name on the coast these days, but it was his experience and skills that helped shape the region. He went on to base his entire life in and around the water – Brisbane Water to be precise. In its heyday, the Central Coast was seen as second only to Sydney in terms of tonnage built when it came to the ship building industry. Rock at the time was described as man who was before his time – a businessman that shaped the region. The last vessel to be built at what was known as the Big Shed at Blackwall, was the Woollahra, that was built by Rock’s son, Rock Davis Junior in 1913. And while ... Read More »

PACIFIC HIGHWAY COULD FACE DECADE DELAY

It could be a decade before the Pacific Highway is fully upgraded to dual carriageways. A new report has found state and federal funding needs to be increased, if there’s any chance the project will be completed by 2016. It’s a road with a deadly track record. More than 360 people have died on the Pacific Highway in the past decade, another 4,000 injured. Just yesterday two people were killed on a single-lane stretch south of Kew. The Northern Rivers community has long campaigned for the highway to be upgraded to dual carriageway from Hexham near Newcastle, to the Queensland border. The project was first promised to be completed by 2006, but now even the 2016 deadline is in doubt. A State Government report has found unless funding is increased, the project will be further delayed. The New South Wales ... Read More »

SCHOOLBOY LURES FOOTBALL BIG GUNS

A New South Wales school boy is the toast of his soccer playing class mates, after helping win a visit from the most famous football club in the world. Coaching staff from Manchester United have shared some of their premiership winning tips with the kids at Floraville Public School. Read More »

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