Archive for May 2019

$100m for fishermen locked out of marine parks

Osprey Reef.
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Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

Osprey Reef.

The time-honoured tradition of throwing a line in the ocean is not threatened by sealing off up vast sections of Australian waters for environmental protection, the federal government says.

Environment Minister Tony Burke today announced the final boundaries for a massive new network of marine parks; the ocean equivalent of the iconic national park system. The protected areas cover 2.3 million square kilometres – about a third of the size of the Australian mainland – off the NSW, South Australian, Western Australian and Northern Territory coasts.

“We need to appreciate that in the years to come, we don’t want people to only know the magnificence of their oceans through aquariums or by watching Finding Nemo,” Mr Burke said this morning.

He again sought to ease concerns the changes would hurt recreational fishers. There are an estimated five million recreational fishers across the country. They would still be able to access about 96 per cent of all waters within 100km of the shore, Mr Burke said.

Have your say – How will the marine parks affect you? Email [email protected]上海夜网 or have your say in the comments section below.

Earlier this week, a concerned woman asked the minister at a public meeting north of Brisbane whether her sons would be stopped from casting a line.

“I was able to explain that from where we we’re standing, you had to go somewhere between three and four hundred kilometres offshore before you got to the first place where someone wouldn’t be allowed to throw out a line if they were out there were on a tinnie,” Mr Burke said.

“We’ve put (the protected zones) in areas where by and large we are not talking about a significant impact on recreational fishing, at all.”

However, the new network will impact commercial fishing operators. In response, the government today pledged a $100 million compensation package.

However, the Commonwealth Fisheries Association, which represents commercial fishers, is angry the package does not compensate businesses which lose less than $5000 as a result of the new zones.

“That’s appalling,” said the group’s chair, Martin Exel, in a statement.

“Everyone impacted negatively by these new reserves should be recompensed. That goes for the fishermen, their crews, regional communities, suppliers and truck drivers that deliver the fish.”

Mr Burke said the oceans faced a serious and growing environmental threat. The quality of a bucket of sea water drawn from an Australian ocean today is far poorer than one taken 100 years ago, he said.

“In that time, the bucket of water from the same ocean is (now) chemically different, biologically different and physically different,” he said.

“It contains more acid, it contains much more plastic and it contains less life. There are a range of actions that need to be taken to turn the corner on the health of our oceans. Establishing national parks in our oceans is a big part of that total picture.”

The boundaries will become law as of midnight tonight.


The Coral Sea Region

The ‘jewel in the crown’ of the network, this marine park covers an area of more than half the size of Queensland. It supports critical nesting sites for the green turtle and is renowned for its diversity of big predatory fish and sharks. The marine park network includes protection for all reefs in the Coral Sea, including iconic reefs such as Osprey Reef, Marion Reef, Bougainville Reef, Vema Reef, and Shark Reef.

The South-West Marine Region

Extending from South Australia to Shark Bay in Western Australia, this marine park is of global significance as a breeding and feeding ground for protected marine species such as southern right whales, blue whales and the Australian Sea Lion. Features include the Perth Canyon – an underwater area bigger than the Grand Canyon – and the Diamantina Fracture Zone – a large underwater mountain chain.

The Temperate East Marine Region

Running from the southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to Bermagui in southern New South Wales, this area includes the waters surrounding Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. It is home to the critically endangered grey nurse shark, the vulnerable white shark and has important offshore reef habitat at Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs and Lord Howe Island that support the threatened black cod.

The North Marine Region

This vast marine park includes Commonwealth waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea, extending as far west as the Northern Territory-Western Australian border. Globally important foraging and resting areas for threatened marine turtle species including flatback, hawksbill, green and olive ridley turtles will be protected. So too will foraging areas for breeding colonies of migratory seabirds and large aggregations of dugongs.

The North-West Marine Region

This area stretches from the Western Australian-Northern Territory border through to Kalbarri, south of Shark Bay in Western Australia, and is home to the whale shark, the world’s largest fish, and provides protection to the world’s largest population of humpback whales that migrate annually from Antarctica to give birth in the water off the Kimberley.

The South-East Marine Region

Extends from the far south coast of New South Wales, around Tasmania and to South Australia. It includes the Commonwealth waters of Bass Strait and waters surrounding Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean. Significant variations in water depth and sea-floor features found throughout the South-east Marine Region contribute to the high level of species diversity in the region. The threatened southern right whale and other migratory species, such as southern bluefin tuna, great white sharks and the wandering albatross travel through this area on their long journeys across the ocean.

How to be brilliant

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”“Thanks for confirming my long-held hypotheses that you know nothing.”
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That comment, directed at me recently by a reader of this blog, might be correct. It is indeed possible that I know nothing. And if that’s accepted to be true, it’s worth exploring how this conundrum could be fixed. How does one, if one were so inclined, go about becoming brilliant?

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” So wrote Gladwell while advocating the famous 10,000-hour rule, which quantifies precisely how much effort should be exerted. Shenk concurs: “Talent is not the cause but the result of something,” he writes.

But let’s see what science has to say.

A major experiment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that brain neurons learn and process information more so from successes than from failures. In other words, it’s not the memory of our mistakes that propels us towards greatness, but the minor accomplishments we have along the way. (Granted, the study was conducted on monkeys.)

Focusing on real people was a meta-analysis at the University of California that scrutinised hundreds of studies which collectively revealed that happiness causes success. Many of us, though, wrongly assume that success causes happiness. Concentrate on being content right now, conclude the authors, and rewards such as work performance should show up in the future.

One of the most prolific researchers on personal development is Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University. Well-known for her work on mindsets, she groups people into two categories. You either have a ‘fixed’ mindset or a ‘growth’ mindset.

The distinction between the two is determined by how you view yourself. Those with a fixed mindset have trouble envisioning their potential for excellence. They believe the skills they have today are the skills they’ll have forever, and so they rarely bother trying to improve.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, have far stronger chances of success because they’re convinced that positive change is possible – even inevitable – and that makes them ask for feedback, seek out learning, and persevere when confronted by adversity.

So what do the motivational gurus think? I sought the wisdom of Dr Jason Fox, who completed his PhD research in motivation science and has developed a theory that associates video games with behavioural change.

“In video games you can only level-up and grow by getting experience points,” he explains. “And you can only get experience points by engaging in challenging work. It’s much the same in the real world.”

Presumably, once the challenging work stops, so too does the personal growth. In this insightful video, Dr Fox expands on his analogy to make the assertion that progress is the ultimate motivator for employees, as is the case with gamers.

Anthony Bonnici, from corporate motivation firm Move Mountains, has a somewhat different perspective. He told me that “the key to personal excellence is awareness. Brilliance is achieved when we do something at the height of our attitude and our ability. We cannot get to those lofty heights without first knowing two things: how high we can go and what is in our way.”

What’s in our way, he says, usually has less to do with external factors and more to do with mental blocks that limit our thinking.

Right, then. I better get cracking.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Markets Live: Stocks tipped to open flat

Australian shares are expected to open flat despite modest falls on Wall Street on fiscal cliff concerns and declines on European markets as the region slipped into its second recession since 2009.
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10.02am: Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has defended attempts by his company, Fortescue Metals Group, to defer more than $200 million in royalty payments to the Western Australian Government, saying the failed attempt was based on “sound logic”.

In comments that amount to the first time Fortescue has admitted seeking to avoid the payment, Mr Forrest said the deferral was designed to ensure the restart of expansion works at the Kings iron ore project went ahead.

Mr Forrest said the deferral had been designed to ensure the expansion could continue if iron ore prices stayed around $US90 a tonne but had become redundant when it recovered to $US120 a tonne, where it still rests today.

“We put that logic to the WA Government,” he told ABC Radio.

Read the full story here

9.58am: There’s bad news for the big banks this morning with research showing none of the four heavyweights rank in the top 10 when it comes to Australia’s preferred financial services provider.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ are all outranked by their smaller rivals, according to data compiled by consumer feedback website ProductReview上海夜网

ING Direct is number one, followed by Heritage Bank, a customer-owned business, and ME Bank, which was established by super funds and unions.Other top-10 banks include Bendigo Bank, Bank of Cyprus and Macquarie Bank.

All four of the big banks received an average rating of 2.6 out of 5.0 on the ProductReview website, leaving them well down the list.

9.53am: The 17-nation eurozone economy is back in recession – its second since 2009.

The figures – a shrinkage of 0.1 per cent compared with the three months to June when it contracted 0.2 per cent – made grim reading.

“The data confirmed that, despite continued growth in Germany and France, the eurozone as a whole is now officially in recession. We expect the recession to deepen markedly in the coming quarters,” Capital Economics analysts said.

The news sent Europe’s big markets backwards, with the DAX 30 in Frankfurt closing down 0.82 per cent to 7043.42 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.52 per cent to 3382.40 points.

In London, the FTSE 100 index of leading companies dropped 0.77 per cent to 5677.75 points, hit also by worse-than-expected British retail sales.

9.50am: Recent analyst rating changes:    QBE cut to ‘negative’ by A.M. Best    Cochlear cut to ‘underperform’ at Credit Suisse    Iluka cut to ‘underperform’ at Macquarie    Iress cut to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs    CSR upgraded to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs    Seven West Media raised to ‘buy at Duetsche Bank

9.47am: BP has agreed to pay a record $4.36 billion in fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and will plead guilty to obstruction and criminal negligence in the deaths of 11 workers.

The company’s reputation was ravaged after an April 20, 2010 explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and unleashed the biggest marine oil spill in the industry’s history.

The massive criminal fine – which will be paid over six years – will be relatively easy for BP to absorb. It has a market value of $US127 billion and last month hiked its shareholder dividend after posting a bumper third quarter profit of $US5.43 billion.

Group chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said the ‘‘resolution is in the best interest of BP and its shareholders.’’

Read more here

9.40am: On the ASX24, the SPI futures contract was 3 point higher to 4353. The slide in the Aussie dollar continued. The local unit was recently buying $US1.0324, about 1.25 US cents since late Wednesday, and down from yesterday’s close of $US1.0355. It was also buying 83.81 yen, 80.86 euro cents and 65.16 pence.

What you need to knowThe SPI was 3 points higher at 4353The $A was trading at $US1.0324In late trade, the S&P500 was down 0.12% to 1353.87In Europe, the FTSE100 lost 0.77% to 5677.75China iron ore added 40 US cents to $US122.80Gold lost 0.9% to $US1713.80 an ounceWTI crude oil lost $US1.33 to $US84.99 a barrelRJ/CRB commodities index added 0.61% to 293.92

9.33am: Hi everyone. Welcome to the Markets Live blog for Thursday.

Contributors: Thomas Hunter, Richard Hughes, Jens Meyer, Max Mason

This blog is not intended as investment advice

BusinessDay with agencies

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

LIVE: A blessed life

AT 56, Sharon Jones is living a fairytale.
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She is the powerhouse frontwoman of eight-piece New York soul/funk group the Dap-Kings who spent years doing the hard yards, working jobs ranging from a corrections officer to a dental assistant, until finally finding a break four decades into her life.

It was in 1996 during a stint as a security guard that Jones, who was told by record label executives two decades earlier she was ‘‘too black, too fat, too short, and too old’’ to be a star, that she met the Dap-Kings (then known as The Soul Providers). They brought her in for backing vocals on an album of instrumentals and vocal collaborations with soul great Lee Fields, but soon realised her big, brassy voice should be up front.

Since releasing the debut LP, Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, in 2001 the band has released a further four albums through indie label Daptone Records.

‘‘When I met the guys from Daptone Records they was just some young guys trying find people to put a voice on these records they were making,’’ Jones said.

‘‘They needed someone to sing behind Lee Fields, so I went into do some background for that and I just fit right in on what they were looking for.’’

Regarded as leaders of the funk/soul revival, the Dap-Kings are the house band at Daptone Records and recorded for the likes of Al Green, Robbie Williams and, perhaps most notably, Amy Winehouse’s album Back to Black.

In the decades it took Jones to find her place in the spotlight, she sang in a wedding band for almost 20 years and, as she admits in a whisper, still does the occasional wedding gig, now with the Dap-Kings.

‘‘They’re not yo’ average wedding because we do what we do, mmm hmmm,’’ Jones said with a laugh.

Georgia-born, New York-raised Jones always sang, starting out in the gospel church and singing along to stars of the golden era of soul music – Mary Wells, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and James Brown.

Looking back, Jones can’t think of a better time for music.

‘‘Oh, man! Comin’ up I listened to a lot because I was at the era when soul music was changing over and becoming more funk,’’ she said.

‘‘In ’66, I was 10 years old! James Brown comin’ up from Georgia – that’s my hometown!

‘‘But also I had a big influence from Motown and Stax Records.

Music offered an escape for Jones whose parents split early on (her father died when she was 12) and who can remember growing up in the era of racial segregation.

‘‘My life was hard, you know, we were really poor,’’ Jones said.

‘‘I was around when they had black and white [segregation]. You couldn’t drink outta this fountain, I couldn’t go in the restaurant, we had to go in the back door. You know, mmmm hmmm, it’s not that long ago and people don’t realise that.’’

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings return to Australia next month to perform at Peats Ridge Festival, followed by a run of headline shows including the Sydney Opera House.

Anyone who has seen Jones live can attest that, at 56, she pours her heart and soul into a performance.

‘‘That’s what God give me because to have that energy at 56, you know, that’s my blessing.

‘‘Sometimes I be so hurtin’, I be so tired and feel like I just can’t go on but when I’m standing backstage at that crowd starts screaming, everything goes away.’’

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings perform at Peats Ridge Festival, Glenworth Valley on December 31. For full line-up details and tickets, visit peatsridgefestival上海夜网


The normality of a nation on the brink

TEL AVIV: We were in a hotel meeting room high above the beachfront at Tel Aviv when the siren sounded.
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“Come on, let’s move,” our tour guide said with quiet urgency. “Move into the corridor, this is real.”

Three minutes later, as we grouped together in the corridor, there came a crump. It was later confirmed as an explosion in south Tel Aviv, near the Department of Defence. Over the next hour, although the siren didn’t sound again and there were no more explosions, there was a light show over the skies to the south of the city, as incoming rockets were countered in mid-air by the Israeli rocket defence system.

Through it all, the traffic kept moving, planes kept taking off and the volleyball players on the beach kept on with their game.

Their calmness was reflected throughout the city. The television and radio reports are all about the escalating attacks from and into Gaza, and the rising death toll on both sides. Every resident of Tel Aviv we speak to is aware of the crisis and of what its implications might be. The know 30,000 army reservists have been called in, and there is talk of Israel launching a land attack on Gaza. This could be not just a crisis, some commentators are saying, but the beginning of all-out war.

Look at the streets of Tel Aviv and you wouldn’t know it. The people here seem used to these situations – they have lived under the threat of rockets, of suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks for too many years. They know when to worry, and they are not too worried yet.

Earlier in the day, as rockets were flying into towns in the south, we’d flown to Metula, Israel’s northernmost town, on the border with Lebanon. The two nations are divided there by wire link fences through which the residents can watch each other’s trucks going back and forth on the roads.

“When I open my window in the morning, I say, ‘Good morning, Hezbollah!’ Because we are just 600 metres away,” Rivka Jacobs, a retired teacher, told us cheerfully as she showed us around.

Jacobs came to Israel from upstate New York in the early 70s. Even though there was violence even then, she and her husband wanted “to live in a community, we wanted to farm, and here is where we stayed”.

The town has been affected by the related violence of Israeli-Lebanese conflict ever since. Its houses have bomb shelters in their gardens. Jacobs recalled sleeping with her children in the one secure room of the house, an Uzi on the mattress beside her, in the late 1970s. And then there were years of Katyusha rocket bombardments.

“I have absolute identification with them,” she said of the Israelis in the south coming under rocket fire from Gaza, “because that’s what we lived under for years”.

Back in Tel Aviv, after the sirens had sounded and the explosion was heard, our guide advised how long we should wait – “10 minutes, then it is all clear” – and then it was back to life as usual.

Judith Whelan travelled to Israel this week on a study tour hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.