RALLY AUSTRALIA TO BE WORLD RALLY Final again IN 2018

Te final showdown – 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (Rd 13)

COFFS COAST (NSW) – Rally Australia will remain the closing round of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2018 after the world motorsport governing body approved the calendar overnight.

The 26th Australian WRC will be staged on the Coffs Coast on 15-18 November at the end of a season that starts in January with the historic Rallye Monte-Carlo, returns to Turkey after a seven-year absence and in total visits 13 countries for the most challenging series in international motorsport.

“It’s great news that fans will be able to watch the fastest and bravest rally drivers in action in a World Championship event here again next year. The WRC offers incomparable excitement and drama,” Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford said after the calendar was ratified by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile in Paris.
“But fans don’t have to wait until November 2018 to have this experience, as today we’re exactly eight weeks away from running the first competition stage of the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia. This event will be unmissable, with a likely showdown for the 2017 World Championship and certainly for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship.”

Mr Rainsford said that as well as the sporting attraction, several other strong factors justified Rally Australia’s retention on the 2018 WRC calendar.

“Our automotive market is important to manufacturers contesting the WRC with production-based cars – this year Australian new vehicle sales are forecast to exceed 1.1 million, hundreds of thousands more than the WRC’s other southern hemisphere destination, Argentina. Ours is one of the world’s most diverse and sophisticated car markets and at Rally Australia fans will see some of their most popular brands put to the test in real-world conditions,” he said.

“Additionally, Rally Australia is a significant direct and indirect contributor to the regional economy through such things such as expenditure on infrastructure, logistics and spectator visits, plus international tourism promotion. It’s the most popular event in the WRC on social media with more than 335,000 Followers around the world and individual posts on our pages peaking at more than two million views.

“And we are a global motorsport leader in environmental protection and sustainability.”

The 2018 WRC will feature a mix of gravel, asphalt, snow and ice action across four continents to find the world’s best all-round driver.

Innovations include:

Turkey returns to the WRC for the first time since 2010. The 10th round will be based in the popular international holiday resort of Marmaris, in the south-west of the country, on 13-16 September. The gravel event will feature fast to medium-speed special stages, including smooth open roads near Marmaris and more-demanding rocky mountain passes in Mugla State.

The season begins later than in 2017 as Monte-Carlo moves back a week to 25-28 January. The second round in Sweden also is seven days later on 15-18 February.

Following the seventh round in Italy on 7-10 June, there will be a six-week break before the second half of the season begins in Finland on 26-29 July. Great Britain will run three weeks earlier on 4-7 October.

Spain swaps with Great Britain to become the final European round and the penultimate event of the season. It reverts to its more traditional slot on 25-28 October.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the 2018 calendar offered heritage and originality.

“The 2018 season brings an enticing blend of WRC tradition and history, in the form of classic and long-standing rounds such as Sweden, Argentina and Finland, with a welcome return to Turkey,” he said.

“Turkey is a hugely important automotive market, in terms of sales and manufacturing. Record sales of almost a million vehicles were recorded in 2016 and the sporting reasons for its reintroduction are matched by a compelling business rationale.”

Tickets to the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia are on sale now from www.ticketek.com.

2018 FIA World Rally Championship calendar –

Rd 1: 25-28 January, Monte-Carlo
Rd 2: 15-18 February, Sweden
Rd 3: 8-11 March, Mexico
Rd 4: 5-8 April, France
Rd 5: 26-29 April, Argentina
Rd 6: 17-20 May, Portugal
Rd 7: 7-10 June, Italy
Rd 8: 26-29 July, Finland
Rd 9: 16-19 August, Germany
Rd 10: 13-16 September, Turkey
Rd 11: 4-7 October, Great Britain
Rd 12: 25-28 October, Spain
Rd 13: 15-18 November, Rally Australia

Further information & assistance:
Chris Nixon – Media Manager
M. +61 418 759 417
E. media@rallyaustralia.com.au

 

About Rally Australia

Rally Australia on 16-19 November 2017 will be the 26th Rally Australia and the country’s 25th WRC event (the first event in 1988 was a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship). With support from the New South Wales Government through its Destination NSW tourism and major events agency, the event moved to the Coffs Coast region in 2011 and immediately earned widespread community support. The rally features a compact format on gravel forestry and shire roads north, south and west of the Coffs Harbour headquarters, plus the spectacular Destination NSW Super Special Stage on the harbour waterfront, ensuring easy access for spectators and competitors. The stages provide a true challenge for the WRC drivers against a magnificent backdrop of subtropical coastal and hinterland scenery

About the FIA World Rally Championship

The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is widely regarded as the world’s most challenging motorsport championship. It’s also highly consumer-relevant, as rounds based in 13 countries on five continents pit drivers in highly-modified versions of popular showroom models over closed mostly-public roads in real-world conditions varying from gravel and asphalt to snow, ice, heat and high altitude. Started in 1973, the WRC has been a battleground for makes including Toyota, Subaru, Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Audi, Mitsubishi, Mini, Peugeot and others. Teams representing Toyota, Citroen, Ford and Hyundai contest the outright category and Toyota will re-join from in 2017, meaning three of the world’s top-five car makes are committed to the WRC. The series attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators in some countries and a huge global television audience. The WRC is regulated and controlled by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for motorsport worldwide, and organised by WRC Promoter GmbH.

About Kennards Hire

Kennards Hire started back in 1948 when Walter Kennard hired a piece of machinery to someone who asked if they could borrow it from his garage. It has grown to be the largest family-owned hire company in Australia. Kennards has over 150 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand and, in a first for the equipment hire industry in Australia and New Zealand, the ability to hire on-line. Kennards Hire includes a number of specialist divisions including Concrete Care, Lift & Shift, Test & Measure, Pump & Power, Traffic and Rail. Its expert advice and hire equipment services the DIY customer at home and tradesman through to residential and commercial construction sites. Kennards Hire has a reputation for reliability, exceptional customer service and making the customer’s job easy. Kennards Hire’s family culture and continuous drive for improvement has been the driving force behind its success and has led it to be the leaders in the hire industry.

Rally Australia Pty Ltd, PO Box 1234, Coffs Harbour,
New South Wales 2450 Australia
Tel: +612 6648 4972,
Email: services@rallyaustralia.com.au

NEW ZOO FOR WESTERN SYDNEY

 

New zoo for Western Sydney
The new zoo will feature exotic and native animal exhibits that will be accessed through safari-like enclosures and elevated boardwalks.

Sydney Zoo has been approved to be built on a 16.5-hectare facility at Bungarribee Park in Western Sydney Parklands.

Sydney Zoo aquarium

The new zoo will feature 30 exotic and native animal exhibits that will be assessable through safari-like enclosures and elevated boardwalks.

It will also feature an integrated Aboriginal and natural heritage program that will focus on the local Darug people of Western Sydney.

Educational resources available at the zoo will include an amphitheater, a native fish aquarium, insectarium and nocturnal houses.

Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said Sydney Zoo is set to be Australia’s most technologically advanced and innovative zoo.

“Sydney Zoo will set a new standard in visitor experience and have people coming back time and time again,” Mr Ayres said.

Construction of Sydney Zoo will start later this year, creating 160 full-time jobs and a further 120 full-time jobs once it’s operational.

The facility is set to open before the 2018 summer school holidays.

Find out more about Sydney Zoo

LONDON TUBE BOMBING; PM SAYS TERROR THREAT LEVEL RAISED TO CRITICAL THERESA MAY MAKES TV STATEMENT AS P[OLICE SEARCH FOR BOMBER WHO LEFT DOZENS INJURED BY BLAST AT PARSONS GREEN STATION.

Theresa May makes TV statement as police search for bomber who left dozens injured by blast at Parsons Green station

 London tube explosion – live updates
 What we know so far

Play Video
1:31
 ‘A fireball singed my hair’: what Parsons Green witnesses saw – video report

Britain’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, indicating a further attack may be imminent following the Parsons Green tube bombing, Theresa May has said.

A hunt was under way on Friday for the bomber who attempted to bring carnage to a London rush-hour tube train packed with schoolchildren and commuters.

Twenty-nine people including a young boy were injured when the bomb partially detonated and sent a ball of fire along a carriage of a District line train at Parsons Green, west London.

Police are understood to have found CCTV images that captured the bomber as he boarded the train with the bomb packed in a white plastic bucket inside a Lidl supermarket bag. The train is believed to have had onboard CCTV, and there are a large number of cameras covering the network.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast, the militant group’s Amaq news agency said on Friday evening.

Nobody suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident, the fifth terrorist attack Britain has suffered in less than six months.

In a televised statement on Friday night, the prime minister said the UK terror threat level was being raised to its highest rating and that armed police and members of the military would be seen on the streets in the coming days.

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0:55
 Theresa May: terror threat level raised to critical after London tube blast – video

“For this period, military personnel will replace police officers on guard duties at certain protected sites that are not accessible to the public,” she said.

The prime minister condemned Friday’s bombing as cowardly and the home secretary, Amber Rudd, denounced it as “callous and indiscriminate”. The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, described the attack as hideous and added: “We will never be defeated.”

The Met assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the UK’s most senior anti-terror police officer, said police were “chasing down suspects”. He said support from the military would free up about 1,000 extra armed police officers, largely from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Ministry of Defence police.

Initially, police considered the possibility that the bomber had been among those taken to hospital, where many were treated for flash burns.

However investigators believe the device was remotely detonated, which suggested it may not have been intended as a suicide attack, and that the bomber may have left the train before the explosion.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s first response to the attack – a tweet in which he claimed the “loser terrorist” had been on Scotland Yard’s radar, and that more proactive policing was required – was dismissed by a police spokesman as “unhelpful”. May also criticised the US president, saying: “I never think it is helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”

Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!

 The explosion happened at about 8.20am on Friday while the train was stationary and the doors open.

“The doors were still open, so I jumped out and tried to get as far away as possible, got on the ground and covered myself. I wasn’t hanging around to get a better look at it.”

Chris Wildish, who was also on the train, said “a massive flash of flames” reached up to the ceiling of the train, and then the air was filled with the smell of chemicals. Many of the passengers were schoolchildren, who were knocked around by people trying to get away from the fire, he said.

Emma Stevie said people tumbled over each other as they tried to escape. “There were people on top of people. There was a pregnant lady under me shouting: ‘I’m pregnant’. There was a little boy in his red and black uniform, he must have been about eight years old, a tiny thing, with his face smashed into the steps.”

Before long, a number of people returned to the train to retrieve bags and telephones. A few took photographs of the smouldering remains of the device, which had been packed into a bucket that eyewitnesses said appeared to have held mayonnaise. A number of wires, which appeared to be attached to small lights, were also visible.

Tube staff then ordered people to leave the station. Armed police were on the scene within minutes, as were firefighters and paramedics, who began treating people with burns.

Police threw a cordon around the area and asked some residents to leave their homes. Armed police evacuated a nursery and a junior school, and a girls’ secondary school was placed in lockdown.

NHS England said 29 patients had been treated, with 21 still in hospital on Friday evening.

Responsibility for the investigation was quickly handed to Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.

I’m safe – just had to run for my life at  station – huge stamped, lots injured. Not sure why – fire/explosion mentioned.

 

 

Rowley said hundreds of detectives had been drafted in to the investigation, and he appealed to the public for information.

So far, 77 images and videos have been sent to investigators via the UK Police Image Appeal website.

On Friday night detectives were examining a mass of CCTV footage from the underground rail network, and from businesses around some District line stations.

The device was being examined by forensics experts, and may offer clues from its construction and from the chemicals used to make the explosive charge.

Counter-terrorism investigators will want to establish where the device was put together, and where the materials to make it were acquired. They will also be attempting to establish whether the bomb-making knowledge was acquired from the plethora of DIY guides on the internet, or from another person.

A Twitter photo of the suspected device in the Parsons Green explosion
Pinterest
 A picture posted on Twitter of a burning plastic bag holding what is believed to be an improvised explosive device on a District line train. Photograph: @RRigs

Rita Katz, the director of the private intelligence company Site, said Isis claimed the bombing was the work of a “detachment” rather than simply a “soldier”, which she said implied it was a co-ordinated attack.

The terror group has frequently declared that it was behind terrorist incidents in recent years but experts have warned that its claims should be treated with caution.

The explosion at Parsons Green is the first terrorist attack in the UK this year to not result in loss of life. Two vehicle and knife attacks in London and a bombing in Manchester were blamed on Islamist-motivated terrorism. A van attack in June was blamed on an extreme rightwing motivation.

Hans Michels, a professor of safety engineering at the chemical engineering department at Imperial College London, said there appeared to be similarities with the failed attempts on 21 July 2005 to bomb the tube network.

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 ‘People were falling on top of each other’: Parsons Green witness explains the panic

“In appearance and arrangement the remnants of the device seem highly similar to those of the hydrogen peroxide-based devices of 2005. The size of the device and its containment in a plastic bucket is also the same.”

The trial of the 21 July bombers heard that their devices had failed because they had made mistakes when mixing the chemicals.

Additional reporting: Sarah Marsh, Kevin Rawlinson and Patrick Greenfield

DAY TO DAY POLITICS: RELAX, THE NATIONALS ARA IN CONTROL.

Day to Day Politics: Relax, the Nationals are in control.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

The National Party of Australia (also known as the Nationals or simply the Nats) is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and rural voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party in 1920 at a federal level.

It would later briefly adopt the name National Country Party in 1975, before adopting its current name in 1982.

It is the junior partner in a coalition with the Liberal Party. In the 2016 election it attracted 4.29% of the vote. 554,268 people voted for them. This compared with 1,116,980 people who voted for the Greens (at 8.64%) of the vote. In the last three elections the National Party vote has hovered between 3 and 4%.

So have you ever wondered why the Nationals have seven times as many seats as the Greens with less than half the votes? It’s all in the Gerrymander. Well, it’s all explained here.

However, on the surface you would agree that it seems wrong that one party, the National Party, can receive half the votes of the Greens yet end up with so many seats.

Yes, it seems unfair that a party that only gets 4% of the vote can be gifted with so much influence and power. Obviously if the principle of parties coming together to form coalitions were not allowed then the Liberal party could not govern in their own rite.

But there we have it, and we have to accept and campaign in spite of it. To say the least the Nationals seem to attract the odd balls of Australian politics and the ones with questionable intellect like their leader, Barnaby Joyce who seems unfit as Deputy Prime Minister to lead the nation. Then there are the religious nutters who cling to the past as though they want to be concreted into a certain date and time.

This weekend past this conservative party voted to repudiate the central finding of the Finkel Review for a clean energy target and eliminate subsidies for renewables.

Here we have a party whose members have adopted to technology to enhance the volume of the crops they produce. In fact they are among the best adopters of technology in the world and farming practice proves it.

Unfortunately, the dunderheads who represent them are amongst the worst feral politicians who are yet to take their heads out of the sand and recognise that farming needs best practice technology if it is to compete with the demands of the future.

Take the internet for example. Farmers of the future will depend on a world-class broadband network if they are to overcome the effects of climate change in the future.

However, their leaders in an act of gross negligence sold out their members to join with like-minded people in the Coalition who thought it was just a plaything for grownups. If the reader can point to any monumental gains, other than stealing water, or living in Joyce’s electorate, it has won for its members I would like to know them.

At the conference — the first in three years —Joyce said the motion “reflected the deep angst in regional ­communities about the affordability of electricity and took aim at the “heroic sort of fantasia” position of the Labor Party on renewable ­energy”.

Well, he would say that of course. He is but one of many climate deniers in both parties who cannot see that the energy future of the country will be provided by renewable energy. It is high time he started representing the country and acknowledged that as Bill Shorten says; “ts adoption would help avert a forecast 1000 megawatt shortfall in baseload power by 2022”

But no, with the Prime Minister under enormous pressure to come up with a Renewable Energy Target (Finkel proposed a clean energy ­target of 42 per cent of renewable energy by 2030) these old buffoons decided to reject it altogether and throw out any subsidies.

Whilst we aren’t privy to what happens in the party rooms its impossible to avoid the fact that there is enormous conflict within both parties. That those who support coal have enormous influence and more importantly the National Party has some sort of ownership of Turnbull. This has resulted in a four-year waste of our future.

All the issues being spoken of are issues that have been known for years but this government of tertiary educated men and women have sat on their behinds and done nothing.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, together with the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg met with AGL boss Andy Vesey to discuss the future of the company’s coal-fired Liddell power station in NSW, due for closure in 2022.

The government wants to extend its life by another five years which may or not be the right thing to do.

Mark Butler, Labor’s shadow Energy Minister said; “The challenge for the Prime Minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to get a clean energy target through the Coalition partyroom becomes more difficult every day.”

Ron Boswell, a Christian man of my vintage proposed the motion saying that “If the Liberal National party get this electricity issue right and “Blackout” Bill Shorten keeps pushing his high subsidies renewables line, we will win the next election.”

Former resources minister Matt Canavan told The Australian it was “ironic” the Nationals were the party now railing against ­subsidies. Dare I mention the subsidies given to the mining industries?

“We have to, at some point, wean ourselves off the billions of dollars that are provided to the renewable energy industry every year.”

Josh Frydenberg then jumped in to remind Senator Canavan who was in charge, after the former cabinet minister described renewables as a “short-term sugar hit”:

“Renewables are coming down in price significantly,” Frydenberg said.

Talk about your left hand not knowing what your right is doing. But then again the National Party has always had more than its share of half-wits.

I guess the remaining question now  is just who is running the show?

My thought for the day.

“For a Ministry with diploma’s from the greatest learning institutions in the world its difficult to imagine how so many brainless buffoons could gather around the same table at the same time and cause so much havoc.”

PS VOTE YES.

COFFS HARBOUR ELECTORATE URGED TO ASK R U OK? FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Ahead of R U OK Day?, Andrew Fraser is urging people in the Coffs Harbour electorate to be bold and ask their friends, families, colleagues, and even strangers, if they are OK.

“Starting a conversation and letting someone know you are there for them could change a life,” Mr Fraser said.

Now in its eighth year, the highly successful R U OK? Day founded by the late Gavin Larkin, aims to prevent suicide by breaking down barriers to conversations about mental health, and empower people to create connections with those around them.

“If you have a feeling someone you know or care about isn’t being themselves, start a conversation, ask if they are OK, listen, encourage them to seek help and don’t forget to check-in,” Mr Fraser said.

“Suicide prevention is not something that charities like R U OK? should have to tackle on their own – it is a responsibility that all of us in the Coffs Harbour electorate should share.”

Mental Health Minister, Tanya Davies, said in 2017-18 the NSW Government will spend a record $1.9 billion on mental health care, including significant support for a pioneering model for suicide prevention called LifeSpan, which has been developed with the Black Dog Institute.

“We will continue to do everything we can to make sure our mental health professionals and community organisations get the direction, funding and support they need,” Mrs Davies said.

“And most importantly, make sure that nobody in NSW has to suffer alone.”

For further information on R U OK? Day go to www.ruok.org/howtoask .

For mental health assistance or referral to services in the Coffs Harbour electorate call the NSW Mental Health Line 24/7 on 1800 011 511.

If you or someone you know needs urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

12 September 2017
Ends
For media comment contact Andrew Fraser on 6652 6500 or 0427 241 522

COFFS HARBOUR ELECTORATE URGED TO ASK R U OK? FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Ahead of R U OK Day?, Andrew Fraser is urging people in the Coffs Harbour electorate to be bold and ask their friends, families, colleagues, and even strangers, if they are OK.

“Starting a conversation and letting someone know you are there for them could change a life,” Mr Fraser said.

Now in its eighth year, the highly successful R U OK? Day founded by the late Gavin Larkin, aims to prevent suicide by breaking down barriers to conversations about mental health, and empower people to create connections with those around them.

“If you have a feeling someone you know or care about isn’t being themselves, start a conversation, ask if they are OK, listen, encourage them to seek help and don’t forget to check-in,” Mr Fraser said.

“Suicide prevention is not something that charities like R U OK? should have to tackle on their own – it is a responsibility that all of us in the Coffs Harbour electorate should share.”

Mental Health Minister, Tanya Davies, said in 2017-18 the NSW Government will spend a record $1.9 billion on mental health care, including significant support for a pioneering model for suicide prevention called LifeSpan, which has been developed with the Black Dog Institute.

“We will continue to do everything we can to make sure our mental health professionals and community organisations get the direction, funding and support they need,” Mrs Davies said.

“And most importantly, make sure that nobody in NSW has to suffer alone.”

For further information on R U OK? Day go to www.ruok.org/howtoask .

For mental health assistance or referral to services in the Coffs Harbour electorate call the NSW Mental Health Line 24/7 on 1800 011 511.

If you or someone you know needs urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

12 September 2017

For media comment contact Andrew Fraser on 6652 6500 or 0427 241 522

NEW FUNDING FOR ANZAC COMMUNITY PROJECTS

New funding of $175,000 is now available to help communities protect and repair local war memorials and to support projects which commemorate the service of current and former NSW service men and women.

The Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has called for applications in the latest round of the Community War Memorials Fund (CWMF) and the Anzac Community Grants Program (ACGP).

The CWMF provides grants of up to $10,000 for local war memorial projects, including conservation works and protection. There are two rounds a year each offering $125,000, closing on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

In the latest round, funding supported work at the Bodangora War Memorial in central western NSW, the Scone Pool Memorial in the Hunter, and the Cooma Cenotaph in southern NSW.

Meanwhile, the $50,000 ACGP provides grants of up to $2,000 to schools, community and veterans groups to educate the community on the service and sacrifice of military personnel, support activities benefiting veterans, and engage with the community.

The majority of projects proposed for the latest ACGP round were applications to support Anzac Day commemorative activities.

Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott said he was proud of the NSW Government’s investment in local and state war memorials, which help ensures that the service and sacrifice they represent can be understood.

“It is part of an impressive program of work happening right through the Centenary of the Anzac, including refurbishing the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, rolling out the Veterans Employment Program, and also supporting the Invictus Games in 2018,” Mr Elliott said.

Applications for both grant programs are open until Remembrance Day, Saturday 11 November 2017. For more information, please visit:

ww.veteransnsw.smartygrants.com.au

www.centenaryofanzac.nsw.gov.au

CORAL SEA RESEARCH BREAK THROUGH COULD LEAD TO REPAIR OF DAMAGED REEFS

A wresearch breakthrough could mean the restoration and repair of reefs around the world, including our own Great Barrier Reef–and it all relies on hot, steamy, coral sex.

The project, led by Southern Cross University’s Professor Peter Harrison, has been working in the Philippines, in an area of reef highly degraded by blast fishing.

“Degradation and loss of coral reefs around the world is among the most obvious examples of the damage humans have done to our planet. Our research shows that some reefs can be repaired,” Professor Harrison said.

Professor Harrison’s team grows millions of coral larvae in tanks, and then delivers them onto the reefs in large underwater mesh tents. The research partnership backed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the results have been incredible.

“This research is globally significant. It’s important for the reef areas we’re working on in the Philippines, but also important to the future of other damaged coral reefs including the Great Barrier Reef,” Prof Harrison said.

“What we have proven is that microscopic coral larvae can settle and grow as colonies to the size of dinner plates within three years, and be able to sexually reproduce at this early age. This is the first study anywhere in the world that has successfully re-established a breeding coral population from coral larvae settling directly on the reef, and proves that we can start to restore damaged and degraded reefs,” he said.

Professor Harrison stressed that protection of our reefs should be our highest priority.

“Being able to start to repair and restore reefs at small scales is good, but the best possible way to protect and preserve our reef environments is not to harm them in the first place,” he said.

ACIAR’s General Manager of Country Programs, Dr Peter Horne, said that ACIAR’s support for scientific research like the coral seeding project was vital.

“ACIAR does a lot of excellent work in a lot of places around the world. In my view, it’s important that we keep taking on these sorts of research projects; challenging scientific ideas that, if they’re able to be successfully applied, can yield gigantic benefits.

“The way that Australian scientists have been able to partner with the University of the Philippines and their expert marine scientists is typical of so much of the work ACIAR is involved in.

“We’re really excited to be able to support and fund this project, and we’re very proud of the work Peter and his team have been doing.”

Media release written in conjunction with ACIAR.

Media contact: Jessica Huxley, Southern Cross University media officer, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.

High-resolution images available on request.

For further information, please contact:
Communications and Publications
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157 • Lismore NSW 2480 • Australia
T +61 2 6620 3508e scumedia@scu.edu.auw www.scu.edu.au/scunews • Follow us @ www.twitter.com/scuonline
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SCU respects our environment. Please be green… and read from the screen.

FORMER LIBERAL MINISTER PHILIP RUDDOCK RETURNS TO POLITICS AS MAYOR OF SYDNEYS NORTH

Former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock returns to politics as mayor in Sydney’s north

Counting is continuing after Saturday’s vote to elect 46 New South Wales councils

Former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock has been elected mayor of the Sydney suburb of Hornsby.
 Former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock has been elected mayor of the Sydney suburb of Hornsby. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Former federal government minister Philip Ruddock will return to politics as mayor of a northern Sydney council after NSW’s local government elections.

Millions went to the polls on Saturday to elect 46 councils and, while final results are almost a week away, many mayors have already taken to social media to claim victory.

Ruddock, Australia’s second-longest serving federal politician, came out of retirement on a Liberal ticket to snatch the mayorship of Hornsby by a convincing margin.

He secured 48.44% of the vote with all the formal votes counted on Saturday evening, eclipsing the second-placed candidate by almost three times as many votes.

“I’ve come back into [politics] with a very clear focus,” Ruddock said.

“Hornsby Shire is not known as bushland shire for no reason. We’re between major national parks. We have a particular heritage which is important for Sydney. I often make the point we are the city’s lungs. You need to maintain them. There are a whole range of development issues which people will be looking to voice concerns on.”

In Newcastle, Labor candidate Nuatali Nelmes was re-elected with 43.86% by the time all formal votes were counted.

The race tightened in Wollongong, however, with Gordon Bradbery leading David Brown by only a few thousand votes. It was still too close to call on Saturday night.

About 2.8 million people were enrolled to vote in the 46 council areas which went to the polls, the first council elections since the state government walked away from its controversial amalgamations plan.