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March 30, 2015 – 11:30PM
Just 48 per cent of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory tourists said they would consider heading to Thredbo, Perisher and Smiggin Holes in the next two years.
The number of Canberrans who plan to holiday at Snowy Mountains skifields has dropped to below 50 per cent despite an increasing number of keen skiers in the country.
The results, in a new Roy Morgan Research survey taken in 2014, show how cheaper flights and a high Australian dollar lured tourists overseas.
Roy Morgan chairman Gary Morgan predicts falling iron ore prices and a lower dollar would bring Aussies back to the mountains.
The survey found more Australians are skiing and snowboarding than ever, with 933,000 adults and teenagers saying they go regularly or occasionally, up from 773,000 in 2012.
But interest in local skifields deteriorated in 2014.
Just 48 per cent of NSW and ACT tourists said they would consider heading to Thredbo, Perisher and Smiggin Holes in the next two years – down from 53 per cent in 2012.
National interest also waned with just 27 per cent of all Australian skiers and snowboarders saying they would be interested in the same Snowy Mountains fields, down from 33 per cent in 2012.
Mr Morgan said Australians’ ability to afford overseas trips explain the results.
“It reflects two things – there is a change in the value of the Australian dollar so it would have been less expensive when this survey was done to go overseas, and we had the bad publicity over the drought and global warming,” he said.
While it was a good season overall for the Snowys last year, the snowfields of Thredbo and Perisher were close to bald just one day before the official opening of the ski season.
A keen skier himself, Mr Morgan was upbeat about the future.
“I think it will pick up. The dollar has been so high, but now that has changed, with the dollar falling and our commodity prices and iron ore prices falling, things will change.
“People will think more about having a holiday in Australia rather than going overseas. This year [the local ski industry] will have a much better year,” he said.
But he warned renewed interest in the Snowys was dependent on economic conditions.
“The other problem we have is consumer confidence is lower and people are very concerned about unemployment, particularly since more young people are unemployed. So that won’t help,” Mr Morgan said.
Angela Smith, group account director of tourism and travel at Roy Morgan, said Australian skiers and snowboarders were flocking to different parts of Europe, the US and New Zealand.
“Although The Alps – bordering Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany – are still the world’s biggest ski destination, Eastern European resorts are also becoming more popular,” she said.
The Canberra Times
March 31, 2015 – 12:00AM
More details have been revealed about the biggest Brisbane development in a generation.
Brisbane will have a new underground shopping plaza running under the Queensland Treasury Building in Queen Street, according to one of two firms bidding for a new entertainment centre for Queen Wharf.
It will run underneath Elizabeth Street and Queens Park.
Shoppers would walk into the Treasury Building at the top of Queen Street and the first two floors will be a department store, leading down to the new plaza.
The top two floors of the heritage-listed Treasury Building will become a new Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Geoff Hogg, Echo Entertainment’s Queensland managing director, released the plans as he outlined further details of their Destination Brisbane Consortium bid.
The company has leases until 2070 to “adaptively reuse” the heritage-listed Treasury Building, the Lands Administration Building and the old State Library in William Street.
Destination Brisbane would remove the security and support services from the first floor under Queens Park, above the car park.
“In our proposal that all gets removed and that will allow the department store to go underneath Elizabeth Street and underneath Queens Park,” Mr Hogg said.
“So when you step into the front steps of the Treasury Building, you walk into a department store, when you get over towards Elizabeth Street, you will go under Elizabeth Street and you flow right underneath Queens Park,” he said.
Historic Queen Park – which runs between the William and George streets, behind the Queensland Treasury Building and in front of the Lands Administration Building – will be made level and a glass dome will cover escalators down to the underground shopping plaza.
The escalators would run down in front of the statue of Queen Victoria in Queens Park.
“In front of the statue, people would go down the escalators and you would actually be inside the mall,” Mr Hogg said.
“You could go right under the Treasury Building and pop up in the Queen Street Mall.”
Preliminary talks about tenants have been held with commercial real estate brokers, Jones Lang Lasalle, he said.
Echo plans to make better use of the space under the existing Treasury Casino, which it will close as a casino and re-style as a department store, if it wins the bid.
Mr Hogg said few people realised there was large underground space under the Treasury Building.
“A lot of people don’t know, but the old Treasury Building already has an underground walkway under William Street, that comes up in Queen Wharf Road,” he said.
“So the Treasury Building allows you to access that to go underneath Queens Wharf Road,” he said.
“But also now if we win the bid you will be able to come up into Queens Park or in the Land Administration Building.”
The hotel in the Lands Administration Building will also be upgraded as a Ritz Carlton Hotel.
“Obviously in our proposal, we are the only ones who can make any changes to the Treasury Building, the Land Administration Building and to the State Library, because they are part of our lease,” Mr Hogg said.
“We have the lease for those until 2070 and we have spent a lot of time on how we activate the full precinct and how we activate them.”
The old State Library in William Street will become a tourist centre with information about the history of Brisbane, right next to the museum in Brisbane’s oldest building, the Old Commissiariat Building.
Queensland’s National Trust, currently in the old Immigration Building, would shift to the State Library allowing the old Immigration Building in William Street to become restaurants, bars and eateries looking over the river.
“I know everybody gets very excited about the new buildings, but this is also about telling the story of our history,” Mr Hogg said.
“So if we open up the Treasury Building by making it ‘not a casino’ it means everybody of all ages can enjoy it,” he said.
“And if we take the administration out of 159 William Street – the old State Library – then everybody can access it.”
Geoff Hogg said adapting Brisbane’s heritage buildings were an important part of their bid – in addition to the Skydeck and Arc Building – and modern hotels, bars and restaurants and cross-river bridge link to South Bank in their proposed new buildings between George and William streets.
“Queens Wharf is the birthplace of Brisbane,” he said.
“Where do you go when you arrive in the precinct to understand a little bit more about that?”
Both Echo and Greenland launched their bids for Brisbane‘s Queens Wharf precinct before Christmas.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the new Labor Government supported the Queens Wharf proposal and a decision on the two bids would be made in the middle of the year.
“A decision is expected mid-2015,” Dr Lynham said.
“This is being undertaken through a competitive procurement process which is ongoing.”
Dr Lynham said the technical, commercial and probity viability of both proponents’ proposals were now being thoroughly assessed.
March 31, 2015 – 7:49AM
Australian pilots for major airlines have loss-of-licence insurance that can pay out up to nearly $1 million in the event they are deemed medically unfit to fly, but pilots say past disputes over payouts in the case of psychiatric conditions such as depression could make them less likely to be honest about their condition.
Germanwings First Officer Andreas Lubitz, who is alleged to have purposely crashed an A320 in the French Alps last week killing all 150 on board, had reportedly been treated for depression. The crash has led to a renewed focus on the issue of pilot mental health in a profession where reporting depression can lead to a temporary grounding at best and at worst the loss of a pilot’s licence.
Australian and International Pilots Association president Nathan Safe, whose union represents Qantas and Jetstar pilots, said there was not usually any consternation about eligibility for payouts if the cause was a physical illness, but mental health issues were sometimes treated differently under the Qantas-provided policy.
“We have had issues in the past of having arguments about whether people are eligible,” he said. “It is an example of something we need to talk about. If people are worried they are not going to be paid out if they come forward with mental health issues they are perhaps more likely to stay at work, which is not what we want with people with mental health issues.”
The size of the payout depends on the age of the pilot and the insurance plan but for young pilots the Qantas insurance plan would provide nearly $1 million.
“The main point of it is to recognise if you can no longer fly you need to set yourself in a new career path,” Mr Safe said. “You might have to go back to uni and do something else.”
Qantas’s loss of licence insurance policy excludes payouts in the case of “psychosis or psychoneurosis”, in what is considered dated terminology from the 1960s and compares with more modern terms used in other policies on the market.
In 2012, Qantas pushed to replace it with “psychosis, generalised anxiety, dissociation, unintentional conversion of psychological factors to physical symptoms, phobias, obsessions and compulsions and depression” as described in the latest American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
In a 2013 ruling, the Fair Work Commission denied Qantas’s request to change the terminology, saying it could result in the airline excluding payouts in the case of depression, even though the airline provided evidence it had made payouts for some depression cases in the past. Sources said despite the ruling, there was at least one dispute over an insurance payout related to depression that was ongoing.
Pilots can also take out income protection insurance, although that is not paid for by their employers.
Virgin Australia Holdings reimburses pilots for the cost of licence insurance cover, either through the company or two unions that represent Virgin pilots. The Australian Federation of Air Pilots policy excludes payouts in the case of intentional self-injury, attempted suicide or drug and alcohol dependency but does not mention depression. The Virgin Independent Pilots Association, which has a fixed $810,000 payout for pilots up to age 65, also excludes intentional self-injury.
Separately, Jetstar pilots on Monday approved a new enterprise bargaining agreement including an 18-month pay freeze, with 73.6 per cent in favour and 26.4 per cent against. In December, 95 per cent of Jetstar pilots had voted against a first proposal, but changes were made that satisfied the majority of pilots.
The Sydney Moning Herald
Ceará agora fixa atenção na Copa do Brasil. Já na quarta, 1º de abril, enfrenta o Confiança em Aracaju. É uma maratona, antes de voltar às disputas do Campeonato Cearense. Enquanto isso, o Guarani/J cuida de ajustar as suas linhas, contemplando o desgaste do adversário. Pode, sim, tirar proveito da situação.
Duas Copas II
Da mesma forma o Fortaleza. Mal terminou o jogo em Recife, já fixou olhar no Albertão em Teresina, onde também na quarta, dia 1º de abril, enfrenta o River pelo Copa do Brasil. “Enquanto isso, o Icasa/J cuida de ajustar as suas linhas, contemplando o desgaste do adversário. Pode, sim, tirar proveito da situação”.
Tom Barros – Jogada – Diário do Nordeste – 30/03/2015
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