Monk turned filmmaker Clarke Scott shoots his first feature film

Buddhist monk turned filmmaker Clarke Scott on the set of his debut movie. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer Clarke Scott, in 2008, when he was a Buddhist monk named Loden Jimpa. Photo: Justin McManus
Shanghai night field

Movie session timesFull movies coverage

The last time Clarke Scott appeared in this newspaper, he was bald, and he went by the name of Loden Jinpa.

Then a Buddhist monk, Scott had been admitted into a PhD in philosophy at the University of Tasmania after writing and submitting an honours thesis in the space of eight weeks.

But his career in academia was derailed when a chance encounter with an Australian filmmaker in the Indian Himalayas set him on a different path.

Scott had already been struggling with his PhD. “My intuition was telling me, this is not going to work out, you’re burnt out … all your colleagues who have already finished their PhDs who are better, brighter, smarter, more academic than you, they can’t get a job, how can you get a job?” says Scott.

His chat with the filmmaker while on his morning walk reignited Scott’s creative spark (he had been studying jazz at the VCA before finding Buddhism and quitting the course) and he decided to return to Australia and pursue a career in film.

For the next four years, Scott took what he calls the “P.T. Anderson approach to filmmaking.”

Paul Thomas Anderson, celebrated director of films such as Magnolia and Boogie Nights and the recent Inherent Vice, went to film school for two days before dropping out because he knew he could teach himself better than his teachers could. Scott spent at least 60 hours a week studying film, “watching movies and deconstructing them, watching directors’ commentaries”.

His background in computers (his lama encouraged him to get a job in IT so he could support himself while studying to become a monk) meant Scott picked up the technical skills quickly. He got a job at a video production company and then started his own boutique digital agency, where he’s done “everything from really bad corporate video to shooting commercials” while making his own short films on the side.

Now he’s shooting his first feature film, a love story shot in the style of Derek Cianfrance’s​ ​ Blue Valentine using natural light, documentary-style shooting and just two characters.

Shot on a shoestring in Essendon, Barwon Heads and on the Great Ocean Road the film, A Thousand Moments Later, follows a young couple attempting to reconnect after some time apart.

At this stage, Scott can’t afford to pay his actors, or himself. “Everyone’s working on the back end,” he says. “Once we see profit we’ll start divvying it up.”

As a first-time, unknown feature film director, Scott knew the chance of securing a distribution deal was unlikely. So he plans to take the finished film on the festival circuit. “They’re set up for distributors to find films,” he says. “I see this as my first feature film, and certainly not my last feature film.”

athousandmomentslaterm

Ten posts $264 million loss and says it may need emergency funding

“I’m a celebrity.. get me out of here!” has helped Ten lift its ratings, but the audience improvement has yet to lift its advertising revenues. Photo: Network Ten High hopes: Can Masterchef with its judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris extend recent ratings gains and boost Ten’s share of the TV advertising market? Photo: Supplied
Shanghai night field

Pressure is tightening on Ten Network Holdings to raise cash and conclude its tortuous strategic review after the embattled broadcaster warned investors it could run out of money if it misses revenue forecasts amid a volatile advertising market.

Ten plunged $264 million into the red at its half-year after writing down the value of its television licences by $251 million, following larger rival Seven West Media, which impaired the carrying value of its own licences in February.

Ten’s earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation fell from $10.1 million a year earlier to $7.5 million on revenues down 2.2 per cent to $324 million as the network’s improved ratings failed to translate into a materially higher share of the advertising market.

Ten’s board has run a six-month auction process aimed at securing its long-term future.

The company told investors on Thursday it was operating within the limits of its $200 million loan, which three of its billionaire shareholders – WIN Corp owner Bruce Gordon, News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch and Crown chairman James Packer – guaranteed in October 2013.

But it warned of “material uncertainty” that the company will be able to continue as a going concern if its revenues miss forecasts. Nevertheless, the company was confident it will hit forecasts and, if not, could raise the debt or equity finance necessary.

“There a range of things you can do in the business and raising money is just one of them,” executive chairman Hamish McLennan told Fairfax Media. “But the simple fact is we are within our $200 million working fund.”

Local pay-TV monopoly Foxtel is close to agreeing to a deal through which it would take a 14.9 per cent stake in Ten. It is believed Foxtel is prepared to inject about $75 million at 18¢ a share into the broadcaster, with Ten prepared to raise a similar amount from existing shareholders.

Mr McLennan said the network had managed to lift its audience ratings this year through the Big Bash cricket and reality TV shows including I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!

“Since the start of the 2015 ratings year on February 8, Network Ten is the only commercial network to increase its 25-to-54s and total people audiences, with growth of 25 per cent in 25-to-54s and 22 per cent in total people,” he said.

“They are obviously doing a very good job with ratings. The question is whether they can continue that momentum and convert it into revenue share,” said Alice Bennett, media analyst at CBA, who has a 14¢ target price on the shares.

Ten’s shares closed unchanged at 20.5¢, having fallen 9 per cent this year.  ‘Reform media ownership laws’

Mr McLennan urged the government to scrap all restrictions on media ownership, saying they  applied only to terrestrial TV, radio and newspapers and not global technology giants such as Netflix and Google. This was hurting Australia’s traditional media companies, he argued.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has suggested abolishing the “reach rule”, which limits coverage of any TV network to 75 per cent of Australians, stopping metropolitan broadcasters – Seven, Nine and Ten – from merging with their regional affiliates.

Mr Turnbull said the so called “two-out-of-three rule”, which bans a company from owning a radio station, television network and newspaper in the same market, could also be scrapped.

However, hopes of reform have been dampened because the Abbott government is unwilling to propose a package unless it gets broad support from media moguls that  it currently lacks, and a smooth passage through the Senate.

Mr McLennan said the government needed to present a broader media reform package. “The two-out-of-three rule and the audience ‘reach’ rule are hurting Australian media companies by inhibiting our ability to grow and compete,” Mr McLennan said.

“However, piecemeal reform, such only removing the ‘reach’ rule, will make the situation worse. Allowing some companies to pursue consolidation while continuing to restrain others will exacerbate the damaging impact of the remaining rules.”

Mr McLennan and his counterparts at Seven and Nine and pay-TV monopoly Foxtel met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier this month and called for broadcast licence fees to be scrapped. Mr Abbott agreed to review the fees.

Mr McLennan said paying the licence fee, which is 4.5 per cent of a broadcaster’s revenue, on top of corporate tax was “unreasonable”.

“Australia’s licence fee regime is the most punitive in the world,” Mr McLennan said. “Every dollar we pay in licence fees is a dollar we cannot spend on local content.” Ten goes after AFL, NRL

Mr McLennan said Ten was determined to participate in the broadcast right bidding for the AFL and NRL, both of which are running simultaneously after the NRL brought forward negotiations with networks.

Mr McLennan said Ten had a record of thinking “creatively” to seal sports rights. He said the network had secured a “fair chunk of cricket” with the Big Bash, “recut” its Formula One deal with Foxtel and acquired V8 Supercars, which had been held by Seven for much of the past decade.

“The negotiations with the NRL and AFL don’t have to be absolute. We don’t have to trade for everything,” Mr McLennan said.

“We are flexible and creative with how we deal with these rights. I’m not going to tip my hand on how we are going to approach these negotiations. But we have suffered by not having a winter sport.”

When asked which code he favoured, the NRL of AFL, Mr McLennan said “we like all sports”.

“But we could end up with nothing. It might get too expensive. We have a plan for a winter sport and one without. We are not going to blow our brains out.”

Celebrities who were desperate to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao do battle

Rap singer Vanilla Ice called for the superbout in 2013.Manny Pacquiao ‘100 percent relaxed and confident’ for bout
Shanghai night field

Not only is the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight on Saturday (Sunday afternoon AEST) one of the most anticipated in the sport’s history – it was arguably the most difficult to organise.

Organising such a fight while pleasing all parties involved is a logistical nightmare, however, there were other factors which delayed the fight.

For years, Mayweather said he would only fight Pacquiao if he took an Olympic-style drug test before they stepped into the ring.

The American was sued for defamation by Pacquiao who alleged that Mayweather kept attributing his success to performance-enhancing drugs. The case was settled out of court in 2012.

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach has always defended his fighter, saying the Filipino world champion did not like having blood taken from his body within a month of a fight.

Through all this turmoil, there were numerous celebrities doing their bit on social media to kick the fight along.

From basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, to teenage heart-throb Justin Bieber, celebrities from far and wide used every bit of their credibility and pushing power to coerce organisers and promoters to get the show on the road.

Here are some of the best tweets going back as far as 2010 when rumours began circulating that Mayweather would agree to fight Pacquiao – a boxing fan’s ultimate dream. 

I watched allota fights but that decision was some bs. Now I wanna see pacqiou verses may weather I spelled PAC mans name wrong so what lol— SHAQ (@SHAQ) June 10, 2012

MOST LIKELY @FloydMayweather for the win? I would like to see @FloydMayweather vs. @MannyPacquiao— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) September 14, 2013

I wish @FloydMayweather and @MannyPacquiao could agree to terms and fight already.— Keegan Allen (@KeeganAllen) December 4, 2014

We’d like to welcome @floydmayweather & @MannyPacquiao to tonight’s game! pic.twitterm/APMMeSCwat— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 28, 2015

heard Manny did work tonight. I think it’s time we got the Money Mayweather fight we have all been waiting for. #EPICBATTLE— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 14, 2010

If Charlie Scheen can take a test I know Manny Pacquiao punk ass could take a blood test— 50cent (@50cent) March 5, 2011

Yo Pacquiao is getting his ass whooped right now……..there is no way that he can beat @FloydMayweather …….— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) November 13, 2011

I refuse to accept that @floydmayweather is going to retire w/out fighting @MannyPacquiao.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 9, 2012

When the fight was officially announced in February this year, many celebrities could not contain their excitement on Twitter.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao Mega-Fight is Official. WHAT’S YOUR CALL? @MikeTysonhttp://t/CYwJC5569zpic.twitterm/R4Kd0ZDjUH— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) February 21, 2015Game on > RT @TMZ: Mayweather & Pacquiao — COURTSIDE STAREDOWN … At Miami Heat Game http://t/vZ8g77QDZ8— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 28, 2015

Looking forward to @FloydMayweather vs. @MannyPacquiao & wishing both the best of luck. Rumble, young men, rumble! #AliTweet— Muhammad Ali (@MuhammadAli) March 31, 2015

Damn – I wish I could fight Mayweather! @MikeTysonhttp://t/mQe8USbJkMpic.twitterm/CjexePGhnz— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) February 23, 2015

[email protected] and @MannyPacquiao are finally gonna “walk that aisle”!!!!!!!!!!#RickFlairWooooo— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 20, 2015

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquio are finally going to fight?!?! Better late than never. The only fight that can save the sweet science!— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) February 20, 2015

Twitter: @tomdecent

Property returns mixed results

Housing prices vary across nation, reflecting the impact of local economies and supply and demand drivers, says Domain Group.House and unit prices continue to vary across regional and capital cities, with the national median house and unit prices recording modest growth in the March quarter.
Shanghai night field

Domain Group’s latest House Price Report shows the national median house price increased by 1.8 per cent across the quarter, contributing to an annual increase of 8.0 per cent. The national median unit price increased by 0.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent in the year to end of March.

At a Victorian regional level, the REIV reports Ballarat rentals and Geelong sales and rentals, remain strong, with the market buoyed by low interest rates, CEO Enzo Raimondo said, which was good for investors.

“Despite some economic uncertainty around employment levels, consumer confidence has picked up since the March interest rate cut,” Mr Raimondo said. “This is flowing through to the property market.”

Dr Andrew Wilson, Domain Group senior economist, said that despite lower interest rates, varying economic activity in different states meant there were mixed results for house and unit price growth in capital cities.

Sydney continued to soar with a strong quarterly increase of 3.6 per cent, taking the median house price to a new record of $914,056. In the March quarter, the median unit price also increased by 1.2 per cent to $609,800.

Adelaide and Darwin were the only two other capital cities to record increases in both house and unit prices; while Melbourne and Canberra recorded an increase in the median house price of 2.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively; and falls in unit prices at 0.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent.

House and unit prices fell in Brisbane, with the median house price falling marginally by 0.7 per cent while units fell sharply by 2.3 per cent.

“Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane saw falls in the median price of units as the impact of recent construction and new supply filters through to the market,” Dr Wilson said.

The REIV’s House Price Index (HPI) reported price growth continued to strengthen with regional Victoria rising by 0.9 per cent in March to 133.5. The HPI also rose in Melbourne, increasing 0.8 per cent to 171.6.

A key contributor to the regional increase was Geelong, Mr Raimondo said, with the index for the region up 0.4 per cent. He said the auction market, which was a key determinant of activity in regions close to Melbourne, continued to grow. In the year to date, 7600 auctions took place statewide, with most (4200 auctions) in March.

“The 76 per cent statewide clearance rate for the year to March 31 was the highest for five years. We expect that in the short term the low interest rate environment will continue to drive demand,” Mr Raimondo said.

“More broadly across the state, private sales continue to be common, and statewide in March there were 10,780 sales in total – an increase on March last year when there were 10,600 private sales.”

For investors in regional Victoria rental vacancy rates remained stable at 2.1 per cent in March and 50 basis points lower than a year ago.

“While the rate actually eased to 2.8 per cent in both Ballarat and Bendigo, both of which have been experiencing severe accommodation shortages, in Geelong it has been tightening for the past six months,” Mr Raimondo said. “The rate of 3.1 per cent there is at its lowest since April 2013.”

Median house rents across regional Victoria were stable at $300 a week, while median unit and apartment rentals were up $5 to $245. Median unit rents in Geelong were up $10 to $290 and Ballarat were up $30 to $240. Both vacancy rates and house rents in Melbourne’s outer suburbs remained stable, while unit rents there increased from $316 to $320.

According to Domain Group, in Perth the median house price fell steeply by 2.1 per cent while units were flat across the quarter.

Hobart saw house price growth weaken with the median falling by 0.6 per cent while unit prices increased strongly by 5.0 per cent.

“Capital city prices growth is likely to track local economic performance with the prospect of lower interest rates now diminishing as early signs continue to emerge of an improvement in national economic activity,” Dr Wilson said.

“Sydney will continue to lead the pack in house price growth – clearly ahead of Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane and Hobart, which are set to continue to record modest to moderate prices growth on the back of improving economies.“Flattening economic activity and falling confidence in Perth, and to a lesser degree Darwin, will continue to put downward pressure on house price growth as those capital cities transition rapidly from their previous resource and population boom environments.”

EARLIER:Buying property for investmnent

Buying property for investment

Australians love affair with bricks and mortar continues to grow. With a plethora of lifestyle shows promoting the benefits of owning and renovating your own home no wonder people feel the desire to enter the property market.
Shanghai night field

Real estate bodies nationally are discovering that while home ownership remains a great Australian dream, many people stay with property when there is spare cash or equity to invest.

“While the term ‘property investor’ conjures visions of an individual with a broad property portfolio, it actually applies to many of us,” Real Estate Institute of Victoria CEO Enzo Raimondo says. “According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia, the latest taxation statistics show 14.9 per cent of taxpayers are investors in the residential property market.

“The majority of those are ordinary ‘mums and dads’ with only one investment property.”

Latest statistics from 2010-11 show 73 per cent of investors had only one property, but there has been substantial growth in the past five years.

“For most of us negative gearing, which enables investors to claim a tax deduction for expenses on an investment property, provides an opportunity, and incentive, to invest. “However, it’s important to remember that the same principles apply when buying an investment property as when buying your own home.”

Mr Raimondo says some principles when buying property to live in also apply for investment purchases, but rental properties can come with comprises.

“After deciding on preferred locations and whether to buy a house or apartment, start by checking out median prices in those areas. Consult your bank, draw up your budget and be clear about your maximum price. There are many great properties out there, do not be tempted to exceed your maximum if you find ‘the right’ one,” he says.

During research, make a list of features you must have and those on which you would compromise.

“Remember: this is a rental; those criteria may be very different from those for your home. For example, you may be willing to spend time on a high maintenance, hard-to-clean home, but a rental property should be hard wearing and easy to maintain,” Mr Raimondo says. “Think about what would make your property attractive to tenants. For example, you may enjoy driving to work, but rental property proximity to public transport is essential. If buying a family home to rent out, is it near schools? If buying a trendy apartment, tenants will want cafes nearby.”

When on the investment property trail, it’s important to put aside emotion.

“When buying your home you are looking for ‘the one’. But you don’t have to love your investment property – it needs to meet a particular purpose, and do that job well.”

Hunter household power bills set to fall

HUNTER household power bills look set to fall by about $165 from July, or eight per cent, after the Australian Energy Regulator knocked back Ausgrid’s proposals for higher network charges.
Shanghai night field

But the savings will come at the cost of at least 2500 jobs and would mean a longer wait for electricity to be restored to homes during the next storm or emergency to hit the region, Networks NSW has warned.

About half an average household energy bill is made up of transmission and distribution network costs – the ‘‘poles and wires’’.

The determination, handed down on Thursday morning, reined in the amount Hunter distributor Ausgrid can recover from customers over the next four years to $6.5 billion, or 33 per cent less than the nearly $10 billion Ausgrid had argued for.

Energy minister Anthony Roberts welcomed lower power prices for households but said the government had concerns that the regulator had refused requests to phase in the cuts.

Networks NSW chief executive Vince Graham said at least 2500 jobs would have to be swiftly cut across Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy, reducing capabilities to respond to emergencies, such as the storms that recently hit the Hunter and Sydney.

‘‘This morning we’re down to several hundred customers who are off as a consequence of last Monday/Tuesday’s storms,’’ Mr Graham said.

‘‘It is perfectly logical that our ability to reconnect customers after such a significant event will be proportional to the number of skilled workers we can deploy after those events.’’

The decision also provided for less money for bushfire hazard reduction, Mr Graham said, but he would not be reducing that spending.

He said an appeal would be considered, and he would be holding the regulator’s ‘‘feet to the fire’’ over the decision.

Australian Energy Regulator chairwoman Paula Conboy said it had considered emergency capabilities and other issues before setting the amount networks could charge customers. It was up the businesses to decide how to spend that money.

‘‘It’s important that consumers pay no more than necessary for a safe and reliable service,’’ she said.

The regulator’s final decision has been keenly awaited, amid the Baird government’s plans to lease the state’s poles and wires.

The government has argued prices won’t rise under private operators because the regulator would continue to set them.

Find them: East Albury rape victim, 17, was followed by men

Related:
Shanghai night field

-Be aware of safety, Mack urges walkers

– Victim should never be seen as at fault| editorial

A MAN with bad breath is one of three attackers police are hunting over an alleged sexual assault on a teenage girl in Albury on Tuesday evening.

Police yesterday described the gang attackas “callous” and “random”.

The 17-year-old was walking to her East Albury home across the Dean Street footbridge when three men began following her about 6.20pm.

When she got to the eastern side, two of the men grabbed the girl and dragged her into a nearby bush on the bike path between Centenary and Kenilworth streets.

One of the men allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened the teenager before she was sexually assaulted.

Albury police Inspector Scott Russell said investigators were unsure at this stage as to the role each of the men played in the attack.

The girl called police after the men fled along Dean Street.

Police scoured the area on Tuesday night and set up a crime scene.

The girl was taken to Albury hospital and later went home with her parents.

Inspector Russell said yesterday the girl was reportedly “doing fine”.

“She has not received any ongoing physical injuries,” he said.

“Her mental state is being addressed by counsellors and she will receive ongoing counselling.”

Nearby residents and those walking in the area yesterday morning were shocked by the attack, and the time it occurred.

“It is well lit and that’s a busy time of night,” resident Julie Kaee said.

Inspector Russell app-ealed for public help to catch the alleged offenders.

“It is a concern and we are calling on any witnesses to come forward,” he said.

“We have had a couple of phone calls, but we are seeking more people to come forward.”

Police have visited businesses in the area to obtain CCTV footage.

Inspector Russell was yesterday encouraging people to go about their lives as normal, but be mindful of their surroundings and personal safety.

“We are treating this as an isolated attack, which doesn’t appear to be linked to any crimes we are investigating,” he said.

“It would appear it’s a random, callous attack on a vulnerable person being a 17-year-old girl.

“It’s not a type of crime we investigate every day, but it is concerning and we wish to find these people of interest and put them before the court.”

The men have all been described as Caucasian in appearance.

One offender is about 180-185 centimetres tall, 20-25 years old, with a slim but muscular build and dark mid-length hair.

He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, tan jeans and maroon shoes.

Another of the men was about 180-185cm tall, with a solid build and light short hair.

He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, grey track pants and black lace-up shoes.

The third man was described as 180-185cm tall, about 25-30 years old, with a slim build, gaunt facial features and bad breath.

He was wearing a pale blue hooded jacket with white print, black jeans and camouflage patterned shoes.

Those with information can phone police at Albury on (02) 6023 9299.

Source: The Border Mail

Pastor Paul Downie and wife Anne offer support inside Bali prison

Pastor Paul Downie and his wife Anne have been giving spiritual guidance to the Bali Nine.AS inmates at Bali’s Kerobokan prison came to grips with the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran yesterday morning, Paul and Anne Downie were there bringing comfort.
Shanghai night field

The former Warrnambool Gateway Church leaders were among a select group of “outsiders” at a church service inside the prison where the Australian pair had spent the past decade awaiting their sentence of death by firing squad for their role in the Bali Nine drug smuggling group.

The Downies, who are relieving leaders at the Kuta International Christian Church, have experienced first-hand the tensions and emotions of prisoners with visits twice a week to assist Bali Nine member Matthew Norman.

“Today will be indelibly impressed in our memories,” Pastor Downie said.

“There were about 70 people at the service including about 50 prisoners, three of whom got up and sang.

“It was all very moving and many were openly shedding tears.

“There was certainly an atmosphere of grief, but oh boy, did it turn into a victory praise time.

“A couple of them shared testimonies of how Andrew and Myuran had affected their lives for good.

“The local pastor encouraged everyone to see the bigger picture that God has for us and to see the legacy that both have left.

“Anne and I had the privilege of praying for people at the end of the service.”

Pastor Downie said eyewitness reports described how Chan and the eight prisoners sang Christian songs as they faced the firing squad and he hugged the guards.

“Andrew had certainly become a spiritual leader,” Pastor Downie said.

“We may never know the full impact these two guys have had.”

Pastor Downie said Norman had agreed to step up as spiritual leader inside the prison.

“He was doing it really hard today, dealing with anger towards the Indonesian government,” he said.

“That’s understandable because he’s lost two very great friends.

“I prayed with him and his girlfriend Anita today.

“Anita was responsible for leading four of the Bali Nine to the Lord.”

Meanwhile, out in the Balinese community there is little of the media frenzy seen back in Australia, but there is open opposition in some local newspapers, Pastor Downie said.

“I hope for the sake of the local community there is not a tourism boycott because that would have major ramifications,” he said. “It’s not the fault of the Balinese.”

The Downies will leave Bali mid-May to return to their home in Teesdale, near Geelong.

Source: The Standard

Floating solar farm opened at JamestownPHOTOS

Floating solar farm opened at Jamestown | PHOTOS Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.
Shanghai night field

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Raj Nellore, Infratech Industries, at the opening.

Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter opened the floating solar farm.

Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter with Felicia Whiting from Infratech Industries

Northern Area Council Mayor Denis Clark, Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter, CEO Infratech Industries Raj Nellore , CEO Northern Area Council Colin Byles and Felicia Whiting from Infratech Industries.

TweetFacebookAustralia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown, in South Australia’s Mid North.

Northern Areas Council Mayor, Denis Clark, said he was excited about what this would mean for the region.

“This is an Australian first for floating solar power, and it’s a great way to put the Northern Areas Council on the map,” he said

“This is brand new technology and it will raise the profile of the town.”

Climate ChangeMinister Ian Hunter attended the launch, and officially opened the facility.

“I am impressed with the ‘go getter’ attitude of the Northern Areas Council, and their willingness to embrace innovation and providing a future for your communities,” he said during his speech.

Infratech Industries was behind the construction, and chief executive Dr Rajesh Nellor says the facility has multiple benefits.

“This is a floating solar concept; it avoids taking land that could be used for other purposes, such as agriculture.

“This is not a facility that just supplies power, it helps in water conservation, it helps prevent water evaporation, and it helps reduce blue-green algae which is a major issue with a lot of water utilities,” he said.

“It’s got a concentrating system, a cooling systems and a tracking system, so it tracks the brightest spot in the sky.”

The basin opened today will provide power toNorthern Areas Council Waste Water Treatment Plant in Jamestown, and construction is still not over.

“There are other basins at this location, and we do intend to fill those basins with other kinds of solar technology,” said Dr Nellor.

The additional basins will assist powering council operations and the local community.

“Ninety per cent of the materials used have been sourced locally, and when I say locally I mean here in South Australia,” said Dr Nellor.

During his address, Mayor Denis Clark said today’s launch was a proud moment in the history for the Northern Areas Council.

“Northern Areas is our part of South Australia, we pride ourselves on agriculture, forestry, livestock, wind energy, and for being the gateway to Flinders Ranges.”

“Partnering with Infratech Industries we are using Australian labour and Australian materials,” he said.

“Sixty-nine people were involved with this project, and although those jobs weren’t local when you’ve been around town seeing the different vehicles and the guys that have been here putting this together, there’s still a benefit to our town because they’ve got to eat and stay in our facilities.”

The facility will generate an estimated 57 per cent more power than fixed land based solar systems, with The Northern Areas Council expected to save approximately 15 percent on their current energy expenditure.

“This facility can be hosted on any body of water, including moving water such as lakes,” said Mayor Clark.

“We’re asking other Australians to invest in their own communities.”

MrHunter believed the facility was a great way of looking at a problem and coming up with a solution that addressed two or three problems at the same time.

“What we are striving for as a government in South Australia is emulating what this council has been able to achieve.

“Climate change is a challenge that faces all of us, and we can’t afford as a country to do absolutely nothing about it, South Australia has decided to, in many respects, go it alone and lead the way nationally in terms of climate change,” he said.

Other council members from throughout the region also attended the event.

John Hadley, manager for works and technical services for the District Council of Mount Remarkable and Deputy Mayor Colin Nottle were very interested in possibly implementing the technology for their council.

“We have basins at Melrose, Wilmington and Booleroo, with a new one opening soon in Wirrabara,” said Mr Hadley.

“We think a facility like this would do really well at the new location in Wirrabarra,” he said.

Principalof the Jamestown Community School, Mat Evans, said the event was a significant moment for the region.

“The deputy principal, Jessica Hounsell and myself are here to investigate how we can get the kids involved and learning about solar power,” he said.

People from the region and interstate attended the opening, curious and impressed by the technology.

Dave Clarke, from Crystal Brook, said “it’s a very innovative idea, combining solar panels with evaporation reduction.”

Rod and Miriam Jamieson, from Queensland, were in the region for a holiday and decided to attend the opening.

“We’re so interested in the technology and the potential for its use, plus it’s a great excuse to spend the night in the Clare Valley.”

Source: The Flinders News

Bali 9 executions: What you said

From left: Michael Strutt, Robyn Starkey, Emma Dyce, Will Ridgeway. Pictures: Max Mason-HubersMICHAEL STRUTT, Mayfield
Shanghai night field

I’m against capital punishment in general, but I’m also against the prison system too.

Prison doesn’t work for what it is supposed to do, it just creates more criminals. But more than anything else I’m against unnacountable killing by authorities, whether you get a judge to sign off on it or not.

ROBYN STARKEY, Fennell Bay

I think it is disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

Obviously they did the wrong thing when they were very young and they have been rehabilitated and it is absolutely disgusting to kill anybody like that.

I was horrified, it makes me feel sick.

EMMA DYCE, Maitland

On the one hand, they knew the risk, they knew what they were doing, they committed a crime and it is their own fault.

But I see the other side, that they have been rehabilitated.

I guess I’m against the death penalty, but I think it’s a completely different country and I don’t know if it is Australia’s place to go in and get involved.

WILL RIDGEWAY, Merewether

They knew the price they would have to pay and they wrecked a lot of families’ lives. But it wasn’t a violent crime.

I don’t think they should have even gotten life, they shouldn’t have even got 10 years’ jail.

From left: Danielle Lewis, Ashleigh De Bono, Graeme Holland, Geoff Clapham. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

DANNIELLE LEWIS, Newcastle

If you go into a country and on the way in there is a sign that says there is a death penalty for drug offences and you still do it then it might be hard to be sympathetic.

But the fact that the Australian Federal Police knew and didn’t act on it until it was too late doesn’t sit right.

No one deserves to die like that.

I’m against the death penalty in general, especially for non-violent crimes.

ASHLEIGH DE BONO, Kahibah

I’m against the death penalty, it’s against human rights. I would have preferred to see them stay in prison, they have reformed.

People say they ruined people’s lives with drugs, but that is still those people’s choices. [Chan and Sukumaran] didn’t have a choice in their consequences.

GRAEME HOLLAND, Fern Bay

Firstly, I’m totally opposed to capital punishment anyway.

I think a number of elements of this case were disgusting.

I think it’s cruel and unusual punishment to sentence someone to death and keep them on death row for 10 years. I think [Indonesian President Joko] Widodo is weak.

GEOFF CLAPHAM, Wallsend

To be honest I think it’s wrong, but I also think they knew the consequences.

To be honest, I don’t really care, it doesn’t affect me.

I think it’s harsh, but they knew the risks.

I agree that drugs ruin people’s lives, but the other aspect is the federal police tipped them off, they could have waited until they got to Australia.