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Greens announce Ward 1 Blue Mountains council candidate

Posted by admin on 20/11/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

Council candidate: Kerry BrownThe Blue Mountains Greens have announced Kerry Brown as their candidate for Ward 1 in the forthcoming council election on September 10.
Nanjing Night Net

Ms Brown is a horticulturist and former manager of Everglades gardens in Leura with many years experience in media and publishing. She has been the public relations manager for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, a brief that included the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah.

“I am committed to a sustainable Blue Mountains with thriving local businesses and career opportunities that allow people to live and work here. I speak as the owner of a local business who has done my time as a bleary-eyed commuter on the 5.45am train to Sydney.”

Ms Brown is also a volunteer with the Katoomba Chamber of Commerce and Community’s garden group that has been busy recently in Katoomba Street. “We are working very constructively with council, as are the Blackheath Streetscape Group. I would like to see all our town centres showcasing our cool climate garden heritage.”

Ms Brown said that council has a leadership role in the tourism economy. “We need a strategy protecting and advancing our three major assets -our unique natural heritage, romantic built heritage including gardens, and our super-creative arts community.

“Over three million tourists a year are a major source of jobs and prosperity for the Mountains. The stress on infrastructure and services from this influx puts far more pressure on our council finances with a relatively low rates base than most councils have to bear.

“But council must step up to this.It is the largest owner and manager of land in the area with assets that include prime commercial properties.

“Some of these assets are poorly maintained. Dilapidated and empty council-owned shops in the centre of tourism hubs are inexcusable. Rents are lost, repairs become prohibitive, historic buildings are threatened with demolition.”

Ms Brown said that the Blue Mountains should be a leader in sustainable tourism and living. “We need to get our skates on with energy efficiency, renewables, waste management, and footpaths and cycleways linking our villages.

“The Greens-led council of Byron Bay is working hard to be the first shire in Australia with zero net emissions. Let’s beat them to it!”

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

Time to ban live exports stereotyping

Posted by admin on 20/11/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

NT Livestock Exporters’ Association CEO Stuart Kemp is speaking up for his industry urging a more modern and responsible understanding of animal welfare standardsNORTHERN Territory Livestock Exporters’ Association CEO Stuart Kemp has attacked “one dimensional” city-centric media commentators for pouring political scorn on the live animal export trade while ignoring sophisticated, global animal welfare advances.
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In a strongly worded opinion article, Mr Kemp has urged a more accurate and contemporary understanding of the industry, beyond superficial and clichéd media depictions that exacerbate the cultural divide between rural and metropolitan Australia.

His call for a more mature view of the trade comes as the NSW government moved to ban greyhound racing last week alleging the industry had lost its “social licence” after failing to address animal cruelty issues like live baiting.

Animal welfare issues in the Vietnam cattle market were also highlighted during the recent federal election campaign, and other concerns with the trade from incidents several years old pushed into the media by groups campaigning to ban the industry.

Mr Kemp said there was no denying Australia’s livestock export industry had again been put under the microscope in recent weeks.

But he said “the men and women of our industry are absolutely appalled by any inhumane treatment of any livestock – Australian or otherwise”.

“Unfortunately, it seems too easy for some of our critics to feed off the myth that our industry is comprised of greedy, faceless cowboy operators who exploit producers and livestock with reckless abandon, all beyond the reach of any form of effective regulatory control,” he said.

“Far too rarely does mainstream Australia get an insight into the real men and women working in our industry because on the rare occasion that metropolitan media shows any interest in the trade, its brief portrayal is quite clichéd and plays on outdated stereotypes of northern Australia’s cattle industry.

“Evidence of animal welfare failures, the likes of which seen in the past month with the release of Vietnamese abattoir footage, affects the entire livestock export industry directly.

“Exporters, producers and other livestock sector stakeholders take supply chain break-downs very seriously because it not only affects our businesses, but it also impacts on us personally.”

Mr Kemp said the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011 provided the federal government with an “earth-shattering lesson” on the dangers of having a one-dimensional view of an industry, like live exports.

He said “scant regard” was given to the wellbeing of the station families, stockmen, truck drivers and other professionals involved in the live export supply chain when the then Labor government made its snap-decision to close the trade.

Mr Kemp said notwithstanding the “massive” economic and human cost of that suspension, “one hopes the federal government has learnt from the experience and is now more circumspect when it comes to our multi-faceted modern industry”.

“One-dimensional views fuelled by stereotypes are dangerous, which is why exporters and cattlemen have worked hard in recent years to listen to the concerns of animal welfare groups and better understand community expectations,” he said.

“Sadly, this spirit of empathy often seems to be too much of a one-way street.

“Recent weeks have produced more compelling evidence suggesting too many members of the animal welfare lobby and city commentators continue to view both the live export trade and the northern cattle industry in far too simplistic terms.

“The most disappointing aspect of this imbalance arises when the lines between animal welfarist and journalist seem to be blurred.”

Mr Kemp said geographical distance, naivety and seemingly entrenched policy views seriously compromised the integrity of arguments put forward by media commentators.

He said comparisons between live export cattle and asylum seekers seemed “rather desperate and in poor taste”.

Mr Kemp said “howls of misguided outrage” about the lack of regulatory oversight and suggestions the live export industry and be simply replaced by domestically processed meat for export, “hardly warrant further comment” and have been “categorically disproven and debunked a thousand times”.

“No matter how many times we explain the framework of ASEL (Australian standards for the export of livestock) and Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), or point out the lack of electricity and refrigeration in importer countries which underpins the demand for live animals, it seems the facts continue to fall on deaf ears,” he said.

“Another favourite argument, that Australia should follow New Zealand’s lead and ban live exports, overlooks the fact that NZ still exports thousands of breeding animals every year.

“Of course, NZ also lacks the advantages in supply, proximity to market and an in-country supply chain assurance system, which all combine to ensure the export of feeder and slaughter livestock from Australia makes economic and ethical sense.”

Mr Kemp said rather than helping to bridge the divide, media contributions that ignore the weight of evidence effectively drive a wedge between mostly metropolitan readers and rural Australia, especially in the north.

“It treats men and women working in the livestock export industry with contempt,” he said.

“Particularly appalling is the complete disregard for the thousands of professionally trained feedlot and abattoir workers in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam whose livelihoods depend on the humane treatment of Australian cattle in their care.

“The fact is that nothing excuses exporters from the full force of the law where there has been a deliberate contravention of the laws governing the trade.”

Mr Kemp said exporters understood any video footage showing animal cruelty called into question the industry “genuine efforts” to tighten supply chain controls.

He said critics often claimed animal welfare wasn’t a high cultural priority in Vietnam, but the regulatory and practical progress being made in-market, with Australian assistance and encouragement, was “compelling evidence to the contrary”.

Mr Kemp said exporters were also regularly self-reporting problems while investigating and resolving incidents which compromised supply chain integrity.

He said alongside the regulatory platform, the work of exporters, customers and their staff, including Australian and locally based animal welfare trainers, was having the biggest positive impact.

“Our people are our most valuable asset, which is why Australia has trained over 9000 people in handling and slaughter practices across 23 importer markets,” he said.

“Millions of dollars spent by exporters and our overseas customers in new infrastructure and equipment including stunners and restraining boxes is assisting in-market animal welfare officers and supply chain managers in overseeing the day-to-day wellbeing and welfare of exported livestock.

“We are playing a vital role in a sophisticated professional system which, while not perfect, exists in a class far above any of the other 100 livestock exporter nations’ supply chains.

“It should be at least acknowledged and respected by those speaking out against the trade; even if they don’t care about the world-leading role Australia is playing.”

Mr Kemp said his industry was not afraid of being part of the mainstream policy discussion and welcomed all-comers to participate in a well-informed ongoing conversation.

“We don’t shy away from scrutiny because we know a successful, sustainable livestock export industry goes hand-in-hand with providing leadership to improve animal welfare practices,” he said.

“Exporters are determined to openly address the concerns of all stakeholders, understand the in-market challenges and find common ground on solutions for continuing to support and ethical and economically viable animal welfare.

“While others in this debate employ other methods, we believe it is important to bridge the divide, rather than exacerbate it.”

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

Monarto Zoo set for the world stage

Posted by admin on 20/11/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

PANORAMIC: Richard Elwasfi and Veril Sjarif from Google Street View visited the Monarto Zoo on Wednesday, July 6 to capture 360 degree views of the location to be uploaded to Google Maps. Photo: Supplied.International wildlife fans will be able to explore Monarto Zoo from the other side of the globe, after Google paid the locationavisit this month.
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Vision of the1,500 hectare property, which is home to more than 500 animals and50 species, will become globally accessible later this year.

The project was initiated to circulate and increase internationalinterest in both Monarto and Adelaide Zooand give potential visitors a taste of what the experience is like.

Richard Elwasfi and Veril Sjarif from Google Street Viewvisited Monarto Zoo with a backpack equipped with 15 lenses on Wednesday, July 6.

The Google Street View Trekker captured360-degree panoramic views of the site to provide a visual experience for zoo fanatics worldwide.

The trekker travelled around the zoo mounted on top of a guide bus.

“Our goal is to create a digital mirror of the realworld so that you can virtually explore Australia’s most beautiful and iconic locations online andthen plan your trip to visit them in person,” Mr Elwasfi said.

“We hope that this new Street View imagery encourages more tourists from Australia and aroundthe world to travel to Adelaide to visit these famous zoos.”

The imagery will be uploaded to Google Maps later this year and become incorporated into the Google Street View catalogue of the world.

Zoos South Australia Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said the imagery would enable anyone tovirtually explore Monarto Zoo, giving visitors a way to learn, discover andplan their trip before visiting.

“The digital maps will make our sites even more accessible to the public, connecting people withnature, and hopefully inspire the community to visit us and learn how they can make a differenceto saving species from extinction,” she said.

“The maps will be a fantastic tool for tourism as well, allowing us to give potential visitors from allover the world a taste of what our two fantastic zoos have to offer.”

Monarto Zoo’s African Safari planadvanced this month with in-principle backing from a private investor, an expansion that would alsoputthe location on the global map.

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

No hiding my passion: Cr Schmitz

Posted by admin on 20/11/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

PASSION: Councillor Robert Schmitz may be the youngest of the elected members, but said age won’t be an issue in his campaign for mayor.
Nanjing Night Net

Despite being just 23 years old, Councillor Robert Schmitz is adamant the age gap between him andsix other mayoral candidates is a great strength.

“There’s no hiding the fact that I am 23,on the same token there’s also nohiding my passion for the community of Whyalla,” Mr Schmitz said.

“The community have the opportunity to vote and I have to give them this opportunity to be represented as a community that is ambitious for Whyalla’s future.”

Cr Schmitz said it is important thatWhyalla be recognised as a city ‘striving for changeand innovation’.

“We want the state and the regions to view Whyalla as a City ready for industry diversification, we realise that we need to change the standard business model of local government in order to do achieve this,” he said.

“We really need to step out and be ambitious in what we want to do within the city.”

Cr Schmitz, who is involved with the Whyalla City Council’s Youth Advisory Committee, said opportunities for the younger generation would ‘ most certainly’ be a focus for him as Mayor.

“I can have a larger influence among the younger people in Whyalla who will be up and coming in the next two or three years as strong leaders of this city,” he said.

“We need to be portrayed as a city that is open to investment, open to new opportunities,I want the council to be known for their ambitious goals and business propositions for our future.”

Cr Schmitz said he hopes to lead a council which is open to suggestions from the public, and willing to test new business ideas.

“It’s necessary to remove the level of control that the council has in the private sector, we really need to inspire people, make sure they know the traditional roadblocks of starting a new business won’t come from the council.”

Arrium’s struggles have had a massive impact on Whyalla’s economy, and continue to be a persistent issue for the council to deal with, but Cr Schmitz said he is‘very confident’ he can lead the city through this trying time.

“I don’t believe the Mayor is a one man show, with complete trust in the staff in managing the council and the strength of an elected body which is working in unity, we can achieve anything,” he said.

“I have no doubt that the state and federal governments fully understand the issues surrounding the steelworks, to many degrees we have to step aside and let them get on with the job.”

“As a council we can’t put up $300 million to save the steelworks, everyone knows that, we have to show faith and support for the Arrium administratorsour members of parliament that we’ve voted in, and support the newly formed government to carry out their role.”

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

Sending young sport stars to Europe

Posted by admin on 20/11/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

Motorcross rider Cody Dyce with some of the raffle prizes on offer
Nanjing Night Net

Sale’s Sporting Legends Friday night raffle proceeds were donated to young sportspeople preparing to represent Australia overseas Riverslea’s beach volleyballer Rebecca Ingram, and Tinamba’s motorcross rider Cody Dyce.

Rebecca was unable to attend because of beach volleyball training at the South Australian Institute of Sport prior to leaving for more training in France, and then on to the World Games in Cyprus.

Cody is training hard before heading off to the World Junior Motorcross Championships in Russia.

The proceeds of the raffle were divided and presented to the Australian representatives to assist with their travelling and accommodation.

Sporting Legends had previously presented both Rebecca and Cody with a cheque for $2000 each.

The Ingram and Dyce families were overwhelmed and grateful to receive this generous assistance.

Colin Dyce, Cody’s father, said he was humbled by the Sporting Legends’ generosity, while Rebecca’s mother Jeanette Ingram said she was surprised when Sporting Legends manager Ken Bailey told her that Sporting Legends was donating $2000 to Rebecca, but when Ken further informed her that the Sporting Legends was also sharing the Friday night raffle proceeds between the two, she felt the tears start to flow.

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