Who’s A Good Boy?

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Who's A Good Boy?
Everyone likes to have a moment in the limelight – even dogs and cats. Nairne based animal photographer Heather Reid captures pets’ best poses … sit, stay, shutter click …

Two years ago Heather established her business Furtastic Photography, which does exactly as you’d imagine – her business provides professional photos of people’s beloved four-legged friends.

“When I was younger, I always had a camera on me,” Heather said. “And I’ve always been one of those typical animal lovers.

“I wanted to combine the two, and two years ago I did it.”

Originally hailing from Newcastle in New South Wales, moving to Nairne four years ago as a result of her husband’s Army posting meant that Heather had the freedom and space to create a studio.

“It was a big leap to go into animal photography as I didn’t know how it would go,” she said.

“But we had a spare room in the house and I just thought I’d turn it into a studio.”

Now, she welcomes all kinds of animals through her doors for photography sessions.

“I mostly get dogs and cats, but I’ve also had lambs, rats and birds – I work with them all,” she said.

Heather supplies several different packages – with the costs being generally much lower than people expect.

“I don’t charge much because I love taking the photos and the end result,” she said.

While one can’t imagine getting animals to sit still for their photo would be easy, Heather said it’s all about allowing the animal to feel safe.

“The main thing is the environment – as soon as you walk in my house it’s a very calm and quiet environment. Dogs are allowed off the lead and can roam where they like. It’s all about the animal feeling comfortable, and in taking the photo, we move slowly.”

She has many tricks of the trade – including using sound.

“I’ve photographed a blind dog before and got some beautiful photos of him looking right into the camera!”

In pet photography, the best photos captured are the unplanned ones – a favourite one being of a border collie mid-yawn.

“It’s just what’s happening on the day. They’re yawning or they’re hyperactive but I take the photos anyway.

“They’re quite funny, and I always include those for the owners.”

A particular passion of Heather’s is photographing rescue dogs.

“I do a lot of rescue dogs. I always say to anyone who has a rescue that I’d do their pets for free.”
“A good photo of a rescue dog can increase the chance of it being adopted.

“I also volunteer at the RSPCA and I love to be able to do my part with helping animals in need,” she added.

Heather said establishing Furtastic Photography has allowed her to discover her love of the Adelaide Hills.

“I’ve found the Hills to be the most inviting, supportive place to live,” she said.

“I get to meet all kinds of animals and being in the community means everyone I’ve met has been amazing.

She has plenty of patience and doesn’t put a time limit on creating beautiful photos.

“I think once people see the photos that I do, they realise how special they are. Anyone can take a photo of their pets, but I make it just about the animal.

“For owners with dogs who are very old, to have a beautiful portrait on the wall, it becomes a memory.”

For Heather, she’s simply thrilled she has a career in something she loves.

“The other day I had someone ring up with an 8-week-old puppy, and I just told them to bring it. I didn’t even discuss payment,” she laughed.

And so who’s easier to photograph – cats or dogs?

“People think that cats would be hard but they’re good in the studio because it’s really quiet and dark and they respond well to that,” Heather said.

“But I’ve never had a dog that didn’t work with me!”


Source :  adelaidehillsweekender.com.au

200 new jobs as injectables give SA economy a shot in the arm


December 23, 2016

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Up to 200 new jobs and around $65 million a year for a decade is set to be injected into the state economy by the local establishment of a new ‘injectable medicines’ factory, in what the State Government is hailing as a “huge win for all South Australians”.

InDaily can reveal biopharmaceutical company GEN1 Biotechnology has agreed to build a first-of-its-kind ‘fill-and-finish’ factory in Adelaide – taking base compounds and formulating them into medicines to fill syringes, vials and cartridges as ready-to-use injectables to ship to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to treat chronic conditions including cancer, hypertension and diabetes.

It is a boon for the Government’s aspiration to bolster SA’s credentials in the health industries sector, given ready-to-use injectable medicines are all currently imported.

Pending the establishment of a suitable site and international investment, the plant will produce injectable medicines for both domestic and overseas use – markets worth $10 billion and $230 billion a year respectively, and growing at more than 15 per cent a year.

GEN1’s Adelaide-based chief financial officer Greg Sheridan said in a statement the company “quickly honed in on Adelaide for our new factory after looking at several locations across Australia”, noting that Health Industries SA was “very responsive and provided invaluable support”.

The Government says the project would create 40 new jobs in construction, with another 110 ongoing and around 50 more expected through the supply chain.

Health Industries Minister Jack Snelling said the project was a “huge win for all South Australians”.

“Labor is committed to transforming our economy and delivering hi-tech, high value jobs… GEN1’s establishment in Adelaide is expected to inject more than $650 million into SA’s economy over the next 10 years,” he said.

An Australian company backed by Asian and European investors, GEN1 specialises in the global development of manufacturing plants for biopharmaceuticals.

They were lobbied by Health Industries SA, which will stump up “early-stage establishment costs”, after last week’s Mid-Year Budget Review included for the first time a $6 million Health Industries Fund to deliver grants and other incentives to help entice operators to set up shop locally.

Health Industries SA chief Marco Baccanti said: “We identified GEN1 as a great addition to Adelaide’s fast-growing life sciences community.”

“Our team of business professionals understood what the company needed from government and got that delivered quickly,” he said.


Source : In Daily

“Merry Christmas, happy surplus”: Hospital windfall puts smile on Treasurer’s dial

December 16, 2016
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The ongoing stoush over the dormant new Royal Adelaide Hospital has almost single-handedly helped deliver Tom Koutsantonis a budget windfall $46 million higher than anticipated in July, with today’s Mid-Year Budget Review revising the 2016-17 surplus up to $300 million.

The Treasurer was full of festive ebullience at a morning media conference today to reveal his budget update, greeting gathered reporters with a refrain of “Merry Christmas, happy surplus!”

He also almost managed to channel Paul Keating’s (in)famous budget riposte when he observed that “across the forward estimates there are some very healthy numbers”.

But those numbers are predicated on some of the Government’s most troublesome selling points, with $43 million – and counting – returned from the ongoing standoff over the new hospital, which is saving Treasury a million dollars a day in repayments.

And a “better than expected” profit from the Motor Accident Commission in 2015-16 and cash from the commission’s insurance sell-off saw an additional $327 million dividend paid into government coffers this financial year.

“This is the first operating surplus the budget had recorded since 2009-10… it won’t be the last,” Koutsantonis enthused.

But the numbers did not have the Opposition convinced, with Liberal leader Steven Marshall pointing out that despite expected GST grants being revised up “due to an expected increase in SA’s share of the national pool”, the budget bottom line actually loses $84 million over the remaining three years of the forward estimates.

“The surplus that they’re providing this year can only be provided because they haven’t opened the new hospital, and there’s a further deterioration of $84 million despite an upgrade of GST revenue from the Commonwealth,” he told InDaily.

But after a week in which the Liberal Party kick-started preparations for its 2018 election campaign, opening preselection nominations across a raft of seats statewide, Koutsantonis was swift to paint the budget forecast as a platform for re-election, answering questions about whether he has some pre-poll surprises in store with a resolute “yes”.

He then launched into an impassioned election pitch, which could be read (and was, by some in the room) as a leadership pitch – were it not for the Treasurer’s resolute insistence that, in a phrase to could well become Labor’s campaign mantra: “I’ll stay with Jay.”

We’re not here to make up the time till the 2018 election so you can all coronate Mr Marshall, or whoever replaces him

“We plan to win,” Koutsantonis insisted.

“We’re not here to make up the time till the 2018 election so you can all coronate Mr Marshall, or whoever replaces him – we’re going to win, because Labor governments make a difference.”

A difference, he went on, “between good hospitals and bad hospitals, between infrastructure or no infrastructure” and a voice for those who “haven’t got a voice of their own”.

It was an unusually broad monologue for a mid-year budget statement, but underlines the fact that the coming year will see both parties escalate their claims to govern.

For Labor, though, ongoing spot fires will need to be extinguished first, with the government in mediation with the consortium responsible for the new hospital.

“It’s costing them a considerable penny,” Koutsantonis noted of the ongoing stalemate.

“But that’s to the benefit of the SA taxpayer… the state has not borrowed one cent for the building of this hospital.

What I’m thrilled to bits about is the taxpayer is protected

“[SA Health Partnership] are the ones with the holding costs, not the taxpayers [and] until they can certify this hospital as being safe and fit for purpose, and honour the contractual obligations they’ve signed, we’ll not accept it… we will make sure the taxpayer gets what we paid for.”

Asked if he was “thrilled to bits” about the controversy propping up his budget surplus, Koutsantonis said: “What I’m thrilled to bits about is we’ve got a contract that’s airtight.”

“What I’m thrilled to bits about is the taxpayer is protected,” he said.

Asked about ongoing litigation, he replied: “Bring it on.”

“We’ve engaged the best QCs in SA… the advice we’ve received is we’re on very, very solid ground [and] the Government will protect the taxpayers at all costs.”

He said he had “contingencies in place” for ongoing legal costs, but insisted: “I don’t think for a moment the proponents building the hospital are doing well financially.”

Asked if such rhetoric could hurt the state’s reputation for future public/private partnerships, he said the Government simply wants “what we ordered”.

After the MAC windfall, Koutsantonis was again forced to defend opening compulsory insurance provisions to private insurers, insisting that “no-one can tell me or convince me that a monopoly government institution can do it cheaper or better than the private sector”.

“I expect there would be dramatic savings for consumers once we have a competitive market,” he said, insisting the sell-off would prove to be “the opposite of the ETSA privatisation”.

But Marshall said the MYBR was “a typical Labor financial document, flogging off assets to prop up the bottom line while simultaneously punishing households and businesses”.

He lamented that after successive budgets with a “jobs” pitch there was “not one single jobs stimulus measure in the MYBR, despite 24 consecutive months of the highest trend unemployment in the nation”.

The concerted job creation plan that SA desperately needs is nowhere to be seen

“This is a massive missed opportunity to kickstart jobs creation in this state,” he said.

“The fact that the Weatherill Government is incapable of developing a successful job creation strategy whilst reaping a massive financial windfall from the privatisation of the Motor Accident Commission is testimony to its incompetence… the government has delivered SA the highest unemployment in the nation and the bleak prospect of the jobs market deteriorating even further next year.

“The concerted job creation plan that SA desperately needs is nowhere to be seen in today’s MYBR.”

But Koutsantonis insists the measures in his July budget are veering fruit, with demand for grants to small businesses to hire new workers exceeding expectations.

“We were laughed at, people said it won’t work – but we’re exceeding our estimates… 4000 jobs have received accelerator grants,” he said.

“That puts a lie to claims the Opposition are making that our economy is stagnating.”

Nonetheless, jobs forecasts remain flat, with the Treasurer reasoning: “I’m glad that the Treasury are always very conservative.”

“You all know me – I’m a conservative guy, I like there to be conservative numbers in place,” he said.

The Treasurer said “the real story of the budget is we’ve actually been able to control expenditure”, but that balancing act is predicated on in-built wage restraint, and it’s arguable last week’s pay deal with rail workers that will see them handed an extra 2.5 per cent a year – effectively over seven years – doesn’t bode well for keeping spending in check.

“First and foremost I’m a unionist,” said Koutsantonis.

“I believe in collective bargaining [and] those negotiations began before the last budget… I’m not going to change a negotiation halfway through.”

Asked if he expected other unions to now settle for less, he replied: “I’m sure they will.”

The budget windfalls are offset by new spending, most notably on implementing the Nyland Royal Commission recommendations, and the writing down of conveyance receipts and flat payroll tax collections.

But Koutsantonis argues he dudded himself out of revenues by providing power concessions and business tax cuts, arguing: “This creates jobs; this is about real investment in real jobs in the economy, and we’re seeing that in the results.”

“Our economy has grown,” he said, noting gross state product had the second highest growth rate in the nation.

“There’s talk of the commonwealth on Monday [in the Commonwealth’s budget update] being downgraded by the ratings agencies, so now is the time to make sure we have the ability to live within our own means – and we’re doing so.”

The Treasurer noted there was a need to invest in prisons and police, but the courts bottleneck appears set to remain, at least until next year’s budget.

He also revealed budgeted funds from the sale of the government’s State Administration complex remained in the forward estimates, despite the sale to Commercial and General falling through this week.

“There’s been strong interest in this building,” the Treasurer insisted.

“We’re good tenants… I think we’re going to get a good price for this building.”


Source : In Daily

State in the dark: South Australia’s major power outage

SEPTEMBER 28 2016 – 6:35PM

Emily Woods and Georgina Mitchell

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The entire state of South Australia was without power for several hours on Wednesday afternoon, with the region gripped by what could be one of the most extreme weather systems to hit in 50 years.

A mass blackout began about 3.30pm Wednesday afternoon, plunging the city into darkness, grounding flights and causing havoc on the state’s roads.

Traffic lights were rendered inoperational, choking roads in the CBD. Building fire alarms blared across the city, according to local media reports, and residents rushed to supermarkets to stock up on candles and matches.

By 7.30pm local time, power had been restored to some Adelaide suburbs including Gilberton, Hallett Cove and Kensington. It had been reported earlier that much of the state could be without power until 4.15am on Thursday.

More than 18,000 State Emergency Services volunteers were on the ground across the state responding to hundreds of calls for help, with reinforcements on their way from Western Australia.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the storm took down three transmission lines and nine towers in the Port Augusta region, forcing the electricity connection between South Australia and Victoria – known as an “interconnector” – to be shut down.

Wind turbines, which make up an estimated 40 per cent of the state’s power generation, were unable to operate as winds were too high.

Mr Weatherill told media it was the “usual protocol” to isolate South Australia from the National Electricity Market in a situation where there is a “large frequency drop”.

Police direct traffic around the CBD in Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon.
Police direct traffic around the CBD in Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: AAP

He said the state’s “backup baseload generation” was beginning to restore power, however that was a gradual process.

The operators of SA’s high-voltage power network, ElectraNet, were in an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to determine a solution.

The storm passes through Woomera in SA's north on Wednesday morning.
The storm passes through Woomera in SA’s north on Wednesday morning. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

National energy and resources minister Josh Frydenberg said high-voltage transmission towers were blown over in the state’s north as lightning struck a power station, creating a “perfect storm”.

“The combination of these events, and indeed other events, have led to a frequency surge, an electricity surge, across the interconnector,” he said.

Police direct traffic in Adelaide.
Police direct traffic in Adelaide. Photo: Twitter/@brittaaahhny

He proposed bringing together the nation’s energy ministers as soon as possible in a Council of Australian Governments meeting to determine what happened and ensure it was not repeated.

The SES advised people to “stay at home if you can”, saying electric trains and trams had come to a halt across Adelaide.

Adelaide Airport was able to run on back-up power after a brief blackout, but travellers were told to expect delays.

About 5.30pm, residents were told to conserve power to their mobile phone battery and prepare for extended outages. Residents were also told to switch off all heating, cooking and other appliances that were in use when the power went out.

Two severe storm fronts swept across SA on Wednesday, the first hitting Adelaide around lunchtime and the second about 3.30pm. The power went out across the state about 3.45pm, when there was heavy rain, lightning and thunder over the capital.

The town of Cleve, on the central Eyre Peninsula, was among the hardest hit. Other towns including Gawler, Kapunda, Clare and Balaklava were also hammered by the storm, which dumped large hail over the region.

Kim Westcott, a Meteorologist with Fairfax Media’s Weatherzone, said 130,000 lightning strikes hit the state from midnight to 5pm.

The strikes, part of a cold front, mainly hit in the state’s south-east, within 300 kilometres of Port Augusta.

“In behind this lightning-intensive system we have a really quite intense low-pressure system, so we are looking at damaging wind gusts,” Ms Westcott said.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned wind gusts up to 140km/h could be experienced, with isolated rainfall up to 100 millimetres.

By Wednesday evening, the highest gust had been recorded at Snowtown, which experienced 104km/h winds in the mid-afternoon and 26 millimetres of rain in an hour.

High winds and rain are expected to continue on Thursday, as another low pressure system moves over the state. However, conditions are expected to “rapidly improve” on Friday.

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon said the situation was a “disgrace” and he was worried for those who relied on power for medical equipment in their homes.

“How did this happen?” Mr Xenophon asked. “This is unprecedented in this nation. We need answers. There needs to be an independent inquiry.

“I can’t believe that my state is in darkness at the moment. This should not have happened, and if heads should roll, so be it.”

The Clean Energy Council, the peak body for renewable energy, said no connection had been established between clean energy and the blackout.

“The resulting power outage is obviously frustrating for everyone in the state, but it is important to note that this could have happened in any state given today’s weather conditions,” Clean Energy Council policy manager Tom Butler said .

“Despite the extensive effort put into planning for emergency events by the electricity grid operator, not every event can be predicted.”

There were no implications for other states from the extensive blackout.

with Fergus Hunter


Source : WA Today

Adelaide City Council’s carbon offset bill revealed


September 23, 2016

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The Adelaide City Council spent more than $25,000 in recent years conserving trees in Tasmania to offset its carbon emissions, InDaily can reveal.

The council spent $25,809 removing almost 4000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through old-growth Tasmanian forest protection in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

It also spent $264 offsetting the carbon dioxide emitted when Lord Mayor Martin Haese travelled to the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris late last year.

The council aims to make its own operations carbon neutral by 2020 and to make the entire city carbon neutral by 2025.

Haese told InDaily that because council operations would never emit zero carbon dioxide, emissions had to be reduced to a “credible” level, and then offsets purchased for the remaining annual emissions, in order for the council to be considered “carbon neutral”. The same process was underway for Adelaide’s CBD, he said.

“These offsets are good for the Australian economy and for the environment,” Haese said, adding that the council purchased Australian carbon offsets rather than international offsets – though the latter is cheaper.

“I can’t see any downside – I can only see upside[s] to this program.”

A spokesperson said that while the council had spent money on carbon offsets, it had also saved ratepayers about $800,000 each year by the improving their energy efficiency of council-owned buildings between 2009-10 and 2014-15.

Those efficiencies reduced carbon emissions from the council’s business operations by 31 per cent – from 23,932 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year to 16,601 tonnes – over that period.

Haese said the council was actively reducing its emissions.

“We’re looking at our own energy consumption – we’re looking at installing battery storage technology into some of our buildings [and] additional solar panels on our buildings,” he said.

“There’s a direct benefit to ratepayers of council leading by example because it saves costs.”

Haese said accredited carbon offsets were not available in South Australia, but he hoped a carbon offset industry would grow, across Australia, in the coming years.

The State Government and the council are yet to release their detailed plan to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city.


Source : In Daily

Children’s commissioner bill flies through Lower House


September 20, 2016

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Legislation to establish a children’s commissioner for South Australia flew through the House of Assembly this morning in less than half an hour – 13 years after the establishment of the role was first recommended to the State Government.

Attorney-General John Rau introduced a package of legislative reforms today to begin enacting the recommendations of the Nyland Royal Commission into the state’s troubled child protection regime.

The first bill, to establish the post of Commissioner for Children and Young People, passed rapidly with the support of the Liberal Opposition.

A sticking point in a previous Government attempt to introduce the post – first recommended in a report on South Australia’s child protection regime by Robyn Layton in 2003 – has been overcome.

The Government has been opposed to Opposition demands that the commissioner be able to undertake individual investigations, but the Bill passed today will allow such inquiries in certain circumstances, in line with the recommendations of the Nyland commission. Disagreement over this point sunk a previous government bill in 2014.

The bill will allow the commissioner to investigate individual cases where he or she believes there are systemic issues involved.

However, Rau insists the post won’t become a “clearing house” for individual complaints.

The legislation was passed swiftly, with Opposition Leader Steven Marshall declaring that the Liberals were prepared to sit as long as possible to pass all of the Government’s child protection bills. The bill will progress to the Upper House where it is likely to receive similar swift treatment.

Rau confirmed this morning that the government had accepted – so far – 38 of the royal commission’s 260 recommendations.

He said the second bill introduced today – the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Bill 2016 – was designed to strengthen the state’s system of working with children checks.

Amendments to a third bill – the Public Sector (Data Sharing) Bill 2016 – extend the reach of the legislation which was introduced in August.

“In line with recommendations by Commissioner Nyland, the amendments will allow the Government to make data-sharing agreements with the Commonwealth, other states and territories, local government and non-government organisations,” Rau said.

He said the legislative reforms represented a “fresh start” for the child protection system.

“These Bills create the framework to establish key elements of the new child protection system,” Rau said.

“While further work is needed on the full response to Margaret Nyland’s analysis of this complex area of public policy, the initiatives proposed in these Bills begin the task of giving a fresh start to the system.”

Marshall echoed these sentiments and promised strong bipartisan support for reforming the system.

“The symbolism of passing this legislation at the very first opportunity cannot be underestimated,” he said.

“It was 13 years ago that the Layton Review recommended the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner.

“The procrastination on the establishment of Children’s Commissioner for 13 years left vulnerable children at increased risk.

“Today marks the beginning of new era in child protection in South Australia.”


Source : In Daily

Power play: Kangaroo Island faces a stark choice


September 16, 2016

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Kangaroo Island, the site of Australia’s first free settled colony, could pioneer a new age of renewable energy, according to research by the Institute for Sustainable Futures.

The first hardy settlers on Kangaroo Island in 1836 had to decide whether to go it alone with a settlement on the island or revert to the mainland. Today, the 4400 or so people who call the island home face a similarly stark choice: energy independence, or continued reliance on the mainland.

On one hand, the ageing existing cable could simply be replaced, at a cost of between $22 million and $50 million. This is the “preferred network option” proposed by the local electricity distribution network, SA Power Networks (SAPN).

On the other hand, SAPN is also currently considering an alternative mix of local wind, solar and biomass generation, complemented by diesel generation, battery storage and demand management.

Simple vs smart?

The new cable option is straightforward and well understood, if a little uninspiring.

The local renewable power supply option means energy independence, more local investment and economic activity, and a boost for the tourist mecca’s clean, green brand. But it also requires solutions to a series of tricky technical and regulatory issues, at a scale never before attempted in Australia.

To help inform this crucial decision by SAPN and the Kangaroo Island community, I and my colleagues at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney yesterday published a study of the feasibility of renewable energy for the island.

We conclude that Kangaroo Island could be powered by 86-100 per cent renewable energy for about the same cost as replacing the cable to the mainland.

We examined 10 different electricity supply scenarios for Kangaroo Island. The direct costs of the three most interesting scenarios are shown below.


The most cost-effective alternative to a new cable is local supply of wind, solar photovoltaics and diesel generation, complemented by battery storage and “demand management”. This hybrid solution could supply the island with 86 per cent renewable energy for only $10 million more than a new cable option. This option would also meet SAPN’s tight deadline of being able to meet the island’s entire electricity demand by December 2018.

For a further $13 million, 100 per cent renewable power could be provided by displacing the diesel with biomass generation technology fuelled by local, currently unharvested plantation wood. We estimate this system could be established within five years.

Both the hybrid and 100 per cent renewable options could actually cost Kangaroo Islanders less than the new cable over a 25-year period, if we factor in indirect impacts such as savings in local network charges.

So with the cost of the different options roughly comparable, the choice of power supply will probably depend on other factors. These include the preferences of the local community; how the costs, benefits and risks are shared; and the level of support from key stakeholders including SAPN, government and regulators.

For local generation to be cost-competitive, SAPN’s funds earmarked for the new cable would need to be redirected to support local generation and demand management. However, the current regulatory system creates barriers to SAPN providing this support.

For example, SAPN can earn a net financial return on investment in network assets such as a new undersea cable over their 30 to 40-year life. But if, instead of investing in a new network asset, SAPN spends money on supporting local supply options, then at best it can retain only a few years’ savings by deferring capital investment.

Another challenge for local electricity supply is ensuring that local electricity suppliers do not abuse their monopoly by price-gouging customers if and when the existing cable eventually fails. Two possible ways to guard against this are by sharing community ownership of generation assets, and by periodic tendering of retail services.

For a local electricity supply solution to proceed it requires strong support, from both the Kangaroo Island community and SAPN. It would also require a major third party, such as the SA Government or the Australian Energy Regulator, to help reduce the barriers to SAPN adopting a more innovative non-network solution.

Renewable future

A balanced local electricity supply solution and a transition to 100 per cent renewable power could deliver a range of economic development and other benefits to the local community. But it will require market testing to confirm the costs, and stakeholder and community consultation to develop a suitable regulatory and business model.

It is unclear who would provide the time and resources for such leadership, but the SA Government and the Kangaroo Island Council are two possible candidates.

Addressing such barriers in the context of Kangaroo Island would provide not just an inspiring local solution, but a powerful precedent for supporting local renewable energy initiatives throughout Australia.

Within months of their arrival in 1836, most of the original Kangaroo Island settlers had left to set up the new mainland colony of South Australia. But a few enterprising souls stayed on. We will soon see if that pioneering Kangaroo Island spirit prevails when it comes carving out Australia’s clean energy future.

A community forum will be held on September 22 in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, to share the study’s findings and canvass community views about future power supply options. The full Towards 100% Renewable Energy for Kangaroo Island report can be read here.

 Chris Dunstan is a research director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. The “Towards 100% Renewable Energy for Kangaroo Island” study was funded by ARENA and RenewablesSA with assistance from the Kangaroo Island Council. This article was first published on The Conversation.


Source : In Daily

“We want to be like Superman”: Global plans for My Budget empire


September 16, 2016

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There was a moment when Tammy Barton, the high-profile founder of financial services juggernaut My Budget, realised her creation had become too big to micromanage.

“I remember once walking into the reception area at my office in Richmond, and I noticed someone had changed the flowers in the reception area,” Barton – previously well-known as Tammy May – told Adelaide podcast Rooster Radio, which appears regularly on InDaily.

“And I was like, ‘You can’t go and change the flowers without talking to me first!’

“And then it was like this lightbulb: ‘Hang on a second: you’ve got people who can sort this stuff out…’”

She realised ‘okay, this is starting to get serious’ when the business reached around $10 million in revenue.

In which case, it is now well beyond serious.

According to its founder, Adelaide-based My Budget now has around 200 staff and a turnover of around $34 million a year.

“We’ve helped around 50,000 clients, and have around 20,000 active clients at the moment,” she said.

And the company manages, on behalf of those clients, “close to $1 billion in salaries every year”.

It is a canny endeavour, pitching its credible public face to its philanthropic bent, while appealing broadly to almost anybody in financial stress – which in the current climate is an almost endless prospective client list.

After 17 years, “we’ve gotten to a size where we needed a whole other layer of management”, says Barton.

“So we needed more strategic thinking… maturing the business to get to that point was difficult and [finding] the right people to sit at that executive management level has been challenging.

“And I learnt a few things along that way because we made some appointments without doing the proper amount of homework… finding the most ideal candidates, that’s been a challenge because you’re entrusting people to make decision that you would want made.

“You’re not just handing over who’s going to pick the flowers in the reception area any more; you’re talking about wholesale changes that might be happening within the business or decisions around finances, entrusting the day to day running of it to someone else.”

And meanwhile, Barton has raised her own sights.

“[There’s] always big aspirations,” she said.

“An obvious one is to take the brand global – and our goal is to open to other overseas markets in the next five years.

“Where we are evolving the business to is not just cash-flow management… we have a lot of data that we could leverage to the benefit of our clients, and that could help them save money.

“That’s currently one of the strategic priorities we’re working on today.”

And that’s a sensitive topic in a climate very different from that in which My Budget was forged, when the business grew by word of mouth and referrals, and Barton would “literally drive to Marion with one cheque, with all the Telstra and ETSA stubs” and walk into Australia Post to pay all her client’s bills before “walking around into all the different banks to deposit their living money”.

In an age of internet banking and electronic data, though, “we get to see 360 degrees of the client’s wallet, which means the client’s life”.

“We know… are they expecting a baby? We know are they going to be getting married, do they need to plan to get married? We know how many kilowatts of power all our clients buy every year, and we go directly to the wholesaler,” Barton said.

But she insists “every decision we make is about ‘is this better for our client, does this play into our value proposition for our client?”

“It’s never about ‘can we make some money off of this’, it’s about ‘how can we take this and make our clients’ life better?’

“Because at the end of the day we don’t [just] manage people’s money, we help people’s lives to work out.”

Barton says “with all that data, we want to be like Superman”.

“We want to be the good and not the evil,” she said.

“We don’t want to take that to leverage for our own gain… all of our clients who have mortgages, we know better than anyone else what sort of credit risk they are, because we’ve been managing their money for a number of years.”

Two years ago, when she was elevated onto the influential BRW Rich List with an estimated personal fortune of $26 million, Barton disputed the figure, calling it “subjective and inflated”.

Now, however, she concedes while the number was “unsubstantiated”, it may have been near the mark – or even below it.

“I [rejected it] because if it was true and I had that money sitting in my bank, I’d say ‘well fair enough, and come and talk to me while I’m on my yacht!’” she said.

“But the truth is, they’re valuing my portion of the business and until it sold one day we don’t really know what it’s worth… we can hazard a guess and sometimes I might say it’s worth more than what they said and other days I might say it’s not.

“I don’t really know and I just didn’t think it was validated – I mean, I’m worth more than Miranda Kerr, did you know that?” she laughed.

“They had a formula as to how and why they thought the business was worth that, and to be honest – fine, they’re probably not too far off the mark…

“But it didn’t sit comfortably. Because I’d go across [the road] to Sean’s [Kitchen at SkyCity] for lunch and everybody’s thinking: ‘Oh, it’s that girl who’s got millions of dollars’, when in actual fact the majority of it sits within my business and the value of my business.”

Rooster Radio is featured regularly on InDaily.


Source : In Daily

South Australia jobless rate increases – but at least we’re no longer the worst

Thursday September 15, 2016
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South Australia’s jobless rate has increased but the state has lost its unwanted mantle as the worst-performing state for employment.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics employment data for August, released this morning, shows South Australia’s unemployment rate increased from 6.3% in July to 6.8% in August (seasonally adjusted).

However, a big jump in Tasmanian unemployment  has seen the island state’s jobless rate top the nation, overtaking South Australia for the first time in over a year.

On the mainland South Australia remains the worst-performing state. South Australia became the worst-performing state for employment in May 2015 after Tasmania improved its position.

The more stable trend rate also shows Tasmania registering the worst unemployment rate in August, followed by SA. In trend terms, SA’s jobless rate dropped slightly.

Both South Australia and Tasmania registered increases in the participation rate (0.2% and 0.9% respectively) – the percentage of people in the job market.

Nationally, unemployment dropped from 5.7% in July to 5.6% in August.


The mixed figures come a week after Premier Jay Weatherill came under fire for telling a business lunch that South Australia’s unemployment rate was “trending well”.

Last Tuesday, Weatherill addressed a lunchtime gathering hosted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with attendees telling InDaily he put a positive spin on SA’s unemployment rate which, until today’s figures, had remained the highest in the nation for well over a year.

One said the Premier suggested if the jobless rate remained around 7 per cent by the end of next year it would be “cause for celebration”.

“There was literally a collective shaking of the head across the room in disbelief that we had a Premier celebrating the fact that we’re dwelling bottom of the ladder,” said another who was there.

State Employment Minister Kyam Maher today pointed out the statistics showed that around 9200 more people were employed in South Australia compared to the same time last year, while there were 10,300 fewer unemployed.

Source : In Daily

“Nanna, grandad, I did it”: Golden moment for SA paralympic debutant


September 13, 2016

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Moments before South Australian Paralympic debutant Brayden Davidson won his first gold medal in Rio, he looked to the sky.

Preparing for his sixth and final jump in the men’s T36 long jump final, the 18-year-old closed his eyes, deep in thought, then gazed to the heavens.

It was to acknowledge the two people who helped him get there, but are now gone.

“Nanna, grandad, I did it,” he said.

Davidson’s late grandparents first encouraged him to take up para-sport.

“They were massive supporters of me,” Davidson said.

“My nanna was the one that gave me the dream of even going to the Paralympics.”

The South Australian, who has cerebral palsy, leapt a Paralympic record of 5.62m to score the first gold for Australia’s athletics team in Rio.

It was 11cm further than his previous personal best.

“That first jump, I absolutely jumped out of my skin. Our group just erupted. It is a breakthrough for us,” he said.

Davidson won on countback after Brazilian Rodrigo Parreira da Silva posted the same distance.

“I was jumping after the Brazilian, hearing the roar every time he jumped. Even though it was for him you could use that energy a bit,” he said.

“Me and Rodrigo (were) just pushing each other to the absolute limit.”

Davidson dedicated his victory to his grandparents.

“Later on tonight when all the excitement dies down, I shall just sit by myself and take some time. I will just look up and have a think,” he said.


Source : In Daily