On the Pulse

On air support
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They say some great things can happen on radio, and STA FM is doing just that. The station launched ‘Radiothon’, a fundraising broadcast with the birds this morning. This 24-hour event is raising money through song requests, donations and a slam-bang auction all day tomorrow on the steps of Me and Mr Jones (M&MJ). All funds raised will be split 50/50 between the Inverell Operation Operating Room and the Inverell Prostate Support Group.

All items and gift vouchers for the auction have been donated from business houses across town, and can be seen in the window of the vacant shop beside Sapphire City Meats on Byron. Bidders can stop in to the STA FM table in front of M&MJ throughout the day for their chances.

Volunteers are also having a breakfast barbecue today and tomorrow from 8am with a tasty sausage sizzle. Tomorrow, local songbird Little Phoenix will perform requests to serenade breakfasters. This is a great chance to hear your favourite song, grab a bite to eat, and it all goes to two terrific causes to support our community.

Hang up on scams

Scammers trying to impersonate officers from the NSW Department of Finance have offered the unwary $7000, in attempts to gain personal information, including dates of birth.

Office of Finance and service chief executive officer Simon Smith has warned the public to hang up on scam calls and report incidents to Scamwatch on 1300 795 995.

“The NSW Office of State Revenue has received reports from concerned consumers about scammers who claim the fictitious finance department is a state and federal agency,” Mr Smith said.

“No government finance department will cold call offering money and asking for your personal details. The scammers offer to repay the money via cheque or payment into a bank account.”

“Scammers will try anything to take your money and identity, so if in doubt look up the contact number for any alleged government department and call them to see if you are in fact dealing with the real department. Don’t call any number a cold caller gives you, as that will be answered by another scammer.”

Mr Smith said scammers rely on you not checking out their legitimacy, and people should never give out their bank details or address over the phone to cold callers.

Not enough work

When On the Pulse gets bored, there’s nothing like a good dose of statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to clear out the cobwebs and sharpen the senses. So when their latest report on underemployment leapt out and startled the blazes out of On the Pulse it decided to learn all about it.

Apparently, underemployment is a key measure of spare capacity in the labour market; workers who would like a second job or more hours at their present job, in other words, and for anyone caught in this position it must be demoralising.

In the late-1970s and 1980s, the underemployment rate was a lot lower than the unemployment rate (about half as many underemployed people as unemployed people), today the number underemployed is significantly higher than the unemployed.

On the Pulse thought there could be no way it was underemployed, underappreciated and underpaid, yes, but definitely not underemployed.

However, On the Pulse then thought about how much some extra time each day to do the massive amount of work would help, and for a long while thought perhaps it was on the underemployed list after all.

Then it occurred to On the Pulse that it may even be ‘overemployed’. Was there even a category for that?

Crikey, things can get complicated when you think about them too much; might be time to get back to work. We get pretty busy around here, you know.

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

Head shave aims to raise $2000

AT 11am on March 14 at Envious Hair, 11-year-old Max McFarlane will lose his hair as part of this year’s World’s Greatest Shave, which raises money for the Leukemia Foundation and will hopefully see Max raise $2000.
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FUNDRAISING: Max McFarlane hopes to raise $2000 before having his head shaved.

He has already raised about $800. Max said he wanted to participate in this year’s shave because so many people died from leukaemia and cancer each day.

“And I’m going to have to get a haircut some time, so I thought this would be a very good idea,” Max said. “I think it will be a very good step in finding a cure for it. So far I’ve got 40 per cent of (the funds).”

Max’s mother Ashley agreed her son was ‘on the ball’ with his fundraising.

“I only had to register him, that’s all” Ashley said.

“He’s been wanting to do it since last year, but he missed it last year. So he’s been waiting and waiting, and growing his hair since Christmas.

“He makes us very proud.”

Anyone who would like to support Max by making a donation to The Leukaemia Foundation and the World’s Greatest Shave they can go online to: http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/maxmcfarlane.

If anyone would like to join Max in shaving or colouring their hair, they can contact Ashley on 0427 227 660.

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

Head of the Lake: Ballarat Clarendon College in profile

Head of the Lake: Ballarat Clarendon College in profile Breaking the drought: Cody Grant, Robert Corden-McKinley, Henry Woodward, Samuel Hayden and Benjamin Dowling.
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Good record: Georgie Jackson, Lucy Joyce, Julia Kittelty, Alice Coltman and Eliza Millen. PICTURES: ADAM TRAFFORD

TweetFacebookGirls’ squad:GEORGIE JACKSON

STROKE, YEAR 11

Stepping up to the firsts can be a daunting task, but for Jackson it comes with the familiarity of rowing with two other crew members from last year.

Jackson was victorious in the year 10 division one girls alongside Julia Kittetly and Alice Coltman last year.

LUCY JOYCE

CAPTAIN, THREE SEAT, YEAR 12

The only member of the crew that did not row together last year. Joyce took out the seconds last year and now it is her time to defend the title as firsts captain.

“I’ve fitted in well, the girls have all been welcoming,” she said.

JULIA KITTELTY

TWO SEAT, YEAR 11

Like her fellow crew members, tasted victory in the lower divisions last year. Now it is time to step up and make it count in the main race.

“It’s both nerves and excitement at this time but we just have to overcome it and row to our best,” she said.

ALICE COLTMAN

BOW, YEAR 11

Cotlman believes having three crew members sticking together from last year can only serve as an advantage for College.

“We all know each other really well which I think helps,” she said. “It’s really exciting, it’s the most exciting week of the year.”

ELIZA MILLEN

COX, YEAR 12

Millen describes herself as the bossiest and most chatty member of the crew – exactly what a cox should be.

“It’s all about trying to motivate the girls and making sure you are the loudest voice on the water,” she said.

Boys’ squad:CODY GRANT

STROKE, YEAR 12

In his first year rowing at Clarendon, Grant said he took up the sport after witnessing the atmosphere at Lake Wendouree last year.

Formerly a single sculler from Geelong, he is relishing the opportunity to row in a team with some of his closest friends.

ROBERT CORDEN-MCKINLEY

THREE SEAT, YEAR 11

Rowing is in Corden-McKinley’s blood. His father rowed in College’s firsts in 1968 and 1969 and went on to become national champion.

His mother rowed for Victoria. “I always wanted to follow in their footsteps,” he said.

HENRY WOODWARD

TWO SEAT, YEAR 11

Even though it is his first year in the firsts crew, Woodward still uses previous defeats in lower divisions as motivation.

“We’ve put in so much work this year,” he said. “I use other races that we haven’t won as motivation, definitely.”

SAMUEL HAYDEN

CAPTAIN, BOW,YEAR 12

The only returning member from last year’s crew, Hayden this year takes on the responsibility of captaining the boat.

“We don’t want it to be the case like last year where we just go down so we have worked that much harder,” he said.

BEN DOWLING

COX, YEAR 11

Dowling last year watched his sister, Ellie, take out the girls’ title as cox. Now he feels it is his time to claim some glory.

“I’m just ready to get out there on the day and do everything I can to help the boys over the line,” he said.

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

Bulls v Sharks

Highlanders v RedsForce v HurricanesCheetahs v BluesChiefs v CrusadersRebels v BrumbiesLions v Stormers
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Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, Sunday 2.05am (AEST) Last meeting: Round 6 2014 – Bulls 23-19, Loftus Versfeld StadiumHead-to-head:  Played 22 Bulls 12 Sharks 9 drawn 1In Pretoria:  Played 11 Bulls 6 Sharks 4 drawn 1Referee:  Jaco van Heerden (RSA)TV: Live, FoxSports 502Ladbrokes: Bulls $1.91, Sharks $1.91 BetEasy: Bulls $1.95, Sharks $1.85

AAP writes: The Sharks got their season rolling last week with a win over the Lions, while the Bulls should’ve done likewise, but inexplicably failed to properly ground a late match-winning try. They’ll be extremely keen to ensure they don’t start their season with three straight losses at Loftus Versfeld. The last time they lost two in a row at Loftus was in 2008, and you’d have to go as far back as 2002 to find a time when they lost three in a row. And the bad news for them is that there is few, if any, teams with a better record than the Sharks in Pretoria.

BULLS: TBA

SHARKS: SP Marais, Odwa Ndungane, Waylon Murray, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie. Cobus Reinaach, Ryan Kankowski, Renaldo Bothma, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Dale Chadwick. Reserves: Kyle Cooper, Thomas du Toit, Lourens Adriaanse, Marco Wentzel, Jean Deysek, Conrad Hoffmann, Fred Zeilinga/Lionel Cronje, Jack Wilson

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NSW state election 2015: Greens environment policy would halt Whitehaven mine, shooting in national parks

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell
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Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Mine in the Leard State Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

Leard forest is a ‘key hot spot for national biodiversity’ says NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi. Photo: Ben Rushton

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

More election coverage

The Greens would immediately halt clearing of the Leard State Forest – a key battleground for open-cut coal mines – and restore Environment as a standalone department.

The party’s environment policies also include restoring the ban on shooting by amateurs in national parks and re-allocating $19 million funds to combating invasive species. Also on the Greens’ election is restoring full protection to the state’s marine sanctuaries.

“The Leard State Forest is a key hot spot for national biodiversity with old-growth forests, dozens of threatened species and critically endangered ecological communities,” said Mehreen Faruqi, the Greens spokeswoman for the environment, and a candidate for the Legislative Council. “It is not too late to protect them for future generations but we must act now.”

Whitehaven Coal resumed clearing land at its Maules Creek mine in the Leard State Forest this month despite regular efforts by protesters to halt operations.

Andy Paine, a spokesman for the Leard Forest Alliance, welcomed the Greens’ position, noting that Whitehaven had cleared about one-quarter of the 8000 hectares of woodlands it planned to remove. “There’s potential to stop a lot clearing now,” he said.

Dr Faruqi said it was the Greens’ position to phase out coal mines, to be replaced with 100 per cent renewable energy, but the Maules Creek mine was a high priority: “There needs to be an independent process of reviewing and investigating how a mine with such huge ecological impacts was approved in the first place.”

Fairfax Media sought comment from Whitehaven, whose mine has the backing of the Coalition and Labor.

The Greens would legislate to ensure there was no compensation payable to the fossil fuel exploration and mining industry. “Investors have been aware of the huge environmental risks of mining coal and coal seam gas and the potential impact of addressing climate change on their industry for many decades,” Dr Faruqi said.

The party would also halt Santos’s plans for coal seam gas exploration in the Pilliga state forest.

Out of the top 100 achievements recently listed by the Baird government, only three environmental issues made the rankings, she said, adding “the number of environmental failures of the government, however, would fill a whole book”.

Environment in the Baird government is a junior ministry to Planning, a subordinate role that the Greens would reverse to put environmental protection, climate change and ecologically sustainable development “front and centre” in government decision-making, Dr Faruqi said.

“If the Baird-O’Farrell government can establish a standalone [Environment Protection Authority] due to unacceptable pollution incidents, then why not a stronger standalone national parks defender, given the growing pressures from hunters, loggers and graziers to access these precious areas?” said Keith Muir of the Colong Foundation.

The Greens would also make transparent the process of identifying high-conservation areas for priority protection in the national park estates.

One priority would be to ensure protection of the Gardens of Stone Stage 2 region of the Blue Mountains near Lithgow. The area is known for its hidden canyons and spectacular stone formations, and has been threatened by coal-mine development.

Kate Smolski, chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council, said that while the Greens had set the benchmark for nature conservation, the election platform “does not respond fully to all the threats nature faces in NSW”.

“What we need is a comprehensive environmental program that includes reform of the planning and mining approvals system, and strong policies to protect water and wildlife,” Ms Smolski said.

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