南京夜网梧桐

Why it took this Victorian village 50 years to come to fruition

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:05 am
Nanjing Night Net

The ideas behind a 25-27 house ecological village development close to Castlemaine that has just been given the green light by Mount Alexander council have probably been fermenting in the mind of Neil Barrett for half a century.
Nanjing Night Net

Active and effective on myriad environmental issues since he was involved with Friends of the Earth and anti-nuclear issues in the 1970s, Barrett, 72, and wife Heather have evolved a grand scheme for the transformation of a 1.4-hectare slice of land they have occupied since the 1980s into an eco village. It is projected to have an environmental footprint one-fifth of a conventional housing estate development.

It will generate its own electricity and fresh, organic food, as well as emphasising the health and happiness of future residents. It also puts “the beauty and spirit” of the site high on the agenda.

At present, The Paddock Eco Village, 1.4 kilometres from Castlemaine, is, Barrett says “just an area of light bush with a dam in the middle of it”.

Sometime next year, when the first stage of seven houses and the community centre begin to take shape, Barrett anticipates the project will sell itself.

What the council last week unanimously endorsed as “an exciting project” for the district is aiming to achieve an 8.5-star energy rating for each dwelling in the horseshoe arrangement of one to four bedroom homes surrounding a large orchard and vegetable garden (35 per cent of the site). It is also hoped that the 16 solar panels on each roof will generate more power (105 per cent) than any of the freehold houses will consume.

The dark green ambitions of this nascent village is appropriate both to Castlemaine ??? a town Barrett says was a committed environmentalist centre before he and Heather arrived ??? and to the chief driving personalities of what is now the impressive team of professionals who contrived the blueprint that follows the principles of the Living Building Challenge.

A US-based green building certification program, Barrett says the challenge sets out “the most rigorous environmental building standards in the world”. Based on the metaphor of a flower with seven petals, fulfilment of its essential performance benchmarks will only be confirmed 12 months after the project’s completion. Related: Neighbourhoods going greenRelated: What happened to the great Australian backyard?Related: Why prefabricated housing is back in vogue

And, as the developer explains, it is a big program to meet. It involves urban agriculture (the food gardens), energy, waste management (on-site grey-water reuse), materials (buildings of timber and recycled brick), offset habitat exchange, and the more esoteric qualities of the beauty and spirit of place, and the health and happiness of the owners.

“It will be of a human scale,” Barrett says, “and everyone will have equal access to the nearby bushland”.

While back and front yards will be private places for the one- and two-level dwellings, The Paddock will otherwise involve a lot of sensible resource sharing, including a community centre with spare bedrooms, laundry and kitchenette, capacious water tanks, sheds and tools and an electric charging station for bikes.

Unlike most developments ??? no matter how environmentally-idealised ??? The Paddock strongly emphasises “the primacy of landscape”, with a landscape architect involved from the get-go, not as an afterthought.

Though Barrett has thought about the project for a long time, it only developed real momentum two years ago when, at a party, he bumped into Remi Rauline, a powerhouse project manager, to whom he outlined his dream. The Frenchman came on board and quickly pulled together a team of seven consultants.

Last May, when it was officially launched, 90 people attended the event, and 85 have continued to indicate real interest in the project. Six people, the prospective pioneers of The Paddock, have recently been attending workshops that explain what they are committing to under the Living Building Challenge guidelines, and to enable them to work with The Paddock’s architect on their house designs.

Barrett says this foundation group will attend the fourth and final workshop next February, when he expects contracts will be signed.

Once The Paddock buildings manifest, he believes the hard work of philosophical groundbreaking will be complete “and we think it will then develop a life of its own”.

thepaddock南京夜网419论坛

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

One in six owners withdraw homes from auctions across Sydney

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:04 am
Nanjing Night Net

Sydney homeowners are losing confidence in the auction market, with the proportion of sellers withdrawing their properties from auction surging in November.
Nanjing Night Net

Last month one in six sellers got cold feet and called off their auction – almost twice the rate of apprehensive homeowners during the same time last year.

It’s the most deflated homeowners have been in at least three years.

Clearance rates have also been in decline over the year, with just over half of homes selling at auction in November – the lowest in two years, excluding January, which normally has a low volume of sales.

It was 73 per cent during the same period last year, according to Domain Group data.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said buyers no longer had a “fear of missing out”, which had been a big driver of the auction market.

“I think the sentiment around the property market is a lot weaker than it was two years ago,” AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said.

“Buyers can afford to take their time, they can be more considered about what they’re buying.”

Mr Oliver said low clearance rates also showed that APRA measures to slow the investor market were “starting to bite”.

The poorest performer of all the Sydney regions was the city’s west where just 48 per cent of homes sold at auction across November. The strongest market was across town on the lower north shore with a clearance rate of just 62 per cent. The northern beaches reported clearance rates at 60 per cent.

Auctioneer Damien Cooley said the boom conditions the Sydney market has experienced for the past five years have led to buyer fatigue.

“The market is really taking a breather on the boom we’ve been through, a lot more properties have been on market throughout spring, and we’re seeing genuine supply and demand factors.”

Mr Cooley said the high number of properties withdrawn before auction was due to an expectation in the market that conditions would improve in 2018.

“Some vendors are prepared to take the risk that the market will be better in the new year, and they’re happy to take their property off the market.”

But not all Sydney homeowners are feeling deflated.

Raphael Reponty, who is selling in one of the regions still seeing the strongest demand in Sydney, is confident ahead of the auction of her North Manly home next Saturday.

She is selling her four-bedroom house to move to Byron Bay, and believes that the lifestyle of the northern beaches will attract plenty of bidders to the auction.

“When I came to the house I fell in love with the open space, the privacy and the entertaining areas,” said Ms Reponty. “We just need to find the right family who will enjoy the house as much as we do.”

Casey Faets, of Clarke & Humel Property, who is selling Ms Reponty’s home, said buyers were being pickier as more homes were coming on the market. But he said homes at the higher end of the market, as well as completely unrenovated projects, were still achieving good results.

“Particularly at the lower end of the northern beaches, buyers have more to choose from, which is one of the main reason auction clearance rate dropped a little bit,” he said.

“But conditions are still strong in this area because of the lifestyle it offers,” he said, citing the proximity to beaches and the CBD as the main selling factors.

“We’ve got in total six contracts out, so it’s proven to be one of the more sought-after properties.”

Mr Oliver predicted sustained low clearance rates would spark a drop in property prices by around 5 per cent over the next year.

And Mr Cooley agreed: “It depends on how much property comes on the market, if we see a lot, there’s a genuine chance we’ll see a price correction of a minimal amount.

“The first quarter will tell us a lot. People will be watching the market to see how it performs.

“The one factor that will continue to hold up our market is the fact that we have incredibly low interest rates.”

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

Climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:04 am
Nanjing Night Net

Sailosi Ramatu looks over the sea at his old village Vunidogoloa in Fiji. Each time the ocean surged through their coastal Fijian village, residents would use rafts to move from house to house. Photo: APWhen Cyclone Evan slammed into Samoa five years ago next week, it triggered the near-complete loss of power and water supplies in the capital, Apia, and forced villagers to relocate to schools and the university for months.
Nanjing Night Net

The category-4 tempest was the strongest to hit the Pacific nation in a couple of decades. For Samoan Brianna Fruean, one of the Pacific Climate Warriors, it was another sign – along with rising sea levels, and more intense floods and droughts – that action needed to be taken.

“Climate change is happening right in front of our eyes,” Fruean said this week on the sidelines of a meeting in Fiji of Civicus, a global civil society group.

Helen Clark – the former New Zealand prime minister and an ex-senior United Nations official – was also at the Suva gathering. Clark says she is not surprised by its central topic.

“You can’t come to a meeting in the Pacific and not have climate change as the focus,” Clark tells Fairfax Media. “Everybody talks about it because it’s an existential threat to the Pacific.”

Samoa at least has high ground where people can seek refuge. Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands are nations barely three metrestoper centhonouring,per centdecarbonisecloserageingper centMrper centper centper centageing,realisingstrategisegovernmentup on,DefenceandcentrecharacterisationThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Law allowing bosses to sack pregnant women to be abolished

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:04 am
Nanjing Night Net

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman at the announcement of the NSW Government’s response to the Lindt Cafe Siege Inquest. 8th June, 2017. Photo: Kate GeraghtyA legal exemption allowing employers to sack or refuse to hire a woman who knew she was pregnant when she applied for a job will be abolished.
Nanjing Night Net

Two subsections in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 allow employers to fire women who knew, or ought to have known, they were pregnant when they applied for a job.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for Women Tanya Davies will on Sunday announce the exemptions will be abolished. They said fair access to employment was good for the NSW economy and vital to the financial and social independence of women.

“It’s unacceptable and out of step with modern standards for a woman to be overlooked for a role because she’s pregnant, or dismissed from a new position once it becomes apparent she’s carrying a child,” Mr Speakman said.

“We understand the need for employers to plan and be prepared for staff who need to take maternity leave, but an agile workplace that accommodates family commitments is likely to attract and retain the brightest talent.”

The change to NSW discrimination law will bring it in line with other states, territories and the Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

New NSW attorney general Mark Speakman with the AG ring and key. Monday 6th February 2017 AFR photo Louie Douvis .

Mrs Davies said the state government wanted to encourage equal opportunity in the workplace.

“That’s why we are removing this archaic legal exemption that has discriminated against pregnant women who are seeking employment,” she said.

The state government acknowledged the advocacy of NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi who has campaigned for the abolition of the legal exemptions for employers wanting to sack pregnant women.

“This is a huge win for our campaign to remove pregnancy discrimination from the law books and for women in NSW who were falling through the cracks because of these absurd exemptions in our anti-discrimination law,” she said.

“This shows that with determined activism, and by working together, we can make changes that have far-reaching impacts on people all over the state. I acknowledge and thank the NSW government for agreeing to make this very important change in our law.”

A recent Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination had revealed that even after decades of anti-discrimination laws, pregnancy and maternity discrimination is still “remarkably pervasive”.

Belinda Smith, associate professor of law at the University of Sydney and an expert on sex discrimination laws, has said NSW was lagging behind federal and other state legislation in addressing pregnancy.

“Some women would be able to pursue protection under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984, but this does not apply to state public servants (who only have the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act available), and entails much greater litigation risks (because for hearings of federal discrimination matters in court, the default costs rule applies, which means the loser pays all),” she said.

“In any event, that some women have some protections under federal law is not a good reason for NSW to have such backward and limited state protections.”

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

Gombau takes responsibility for Wanderers’ distressing loss

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:04 am
Nanjing Night Net

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Josep Gombau has taken full responsibility for the club suffering their worst A-League defeat in history after being thrashed 5-0 by Sydney FC in the derby on Saturday night.
Nanjing Night Net

A major selection gamble failed in the club’s biggest home game of the season after Gombau opted to hand two teenagers their first starts of the season against the reigning champions, and played others out of position.

Lachlan Scott is yet to play a minute this season but started ahead of experienced striker Brendon Santalab at the arrow point of their attack, while Keanu Baccus was deployed as the Wanderers’ holding midfield in his first start of the season and just the second of his career. Right back Josh Risdon was played as a winger, and Kearyn Baccus, brother of Keanu, was moved from his holding midfield role to a more attacking position.

The changes were said to be in line with Gombau’s evolution of the club’s playing style. He says it will take a lot of time but the blame for their performance in the derby falls on his shoulders.

“For me, the players are trying to do what the coach is asking them to do. I assume all the responsibility of this big loss,” he said. “I want to said my apologies to the fans who come to support the team. For me, the team I am coaching, things are improving.”

The Spanish coach is embarking on changing the club’s playing style and mentality but is yet to experience any joy from his project. The Wanderers are yet to win under Gombau, losing three of their four games and having scored just once.

“Today is a starting point and it’s not good but for sure the finish point will be good,” Gombau said.

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

South coast seabirds have stomachs full of plastic

Posted by on 14/09/2018 at 1:59 pm
Nanjing Night Net

Montague island scenes. Interiors.Photo Nick Moir 13 September 2015Seabirds at Montague Island off Narooma have stomachs full of plastic, one of Australia’s leading wildlife biologists has warned.
Nanjing Night Net

Macquarie University professor of marine ecology Rob Harcourt has worked with the seabirds of Montague Island for many years. He is very familiar with the growing of problem of loose, floating plastic in the world’s oceans and how that pollution is impacting on marine animals.

“There is a large colony of seabirds breeding on Montague Island and plastics look a lot like their food items,” Professor Harcourt said.

“They [the birds] pick up the plastics instead, because they look like fish. They take it back to feed their chicks, and the chicks starve because their stomachs are full of plastic. It’s a serious, serious problem.”

He said it particularly affected the migratory seabirds, such as shearwaters, also called mutton birds, and terns.

The short-tailed shearwater birds migrate 10,000 kilometres from the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Japan, to Australian shores in late September to nest.

They have eaten little on their journey and are exhausted by the flight and so have been known to die in mass numbers.

But the plastic in their stomachs is a ticking timebomb for each bird, building up, eventually taking its toll and killing the bird.

“There is no doubt that trash is a problem, and plastic is a major problem for oceans,” Professor Harcourt said.

Professor Harcourt is expected to release 25-year modelling about the effects of climate change on the strength of the East Australian Current early in 2018. His research shows how that will impact the whole ecosystem.

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

More Australian families have both parents in the workforce

Posted by on 14/09/2018 at 1:59 pm
Nanjing Night Net

With both parents in the households working, Tanya Losanno admits the family schedule can be a bit hectic.
Nanjing Night Net

“Sometimes you’re rushing home with the kids from their activities to get dinner on the table, and it can be hectic at times, but it’s worth the challenges when you can be there for [your children] at school assemblies,” she said.

Brent Fuller and Tanya Losanno with their children Max, 8, and Frankie, 6. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The Narrabundah resident is employed in several jobs, working as a marriage celebrant, front of house staff at the Canberra Theatre Centre and occasionally doing work as a comedian, while her husband Brent Fuller is employed as a contractor.

While Mr Fuller’s job is a typical nine-to-five role, work for Ms Losanno is usually at nights or on weekends, meaning both can share in parenting responsibilities for their two children Max, 8, and Frankie, 6.

There’s been an increase in the number of ACT families with both parents in the workforce. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

“It’s fitting our working lives around our family, and that means that our family can get the best of everything,” Ms Losanno said.

“It also means the added benefit of not having to pay for before- and after-school care, which is expensive.”

Over the years, Ms Losanno said there’s been a shift in the number of families who have both parents in the workforce.

“I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone where both parents are not working,” she said.

Tanya admits sometimes the family schedule can be challenging, but is worth it. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

“There’s definitely been a shift since I’ve grown up. Back then it was very different. The mums were at home and the dads were at work, and now that’s all changed.”

New figures released this week from the Australian Bureau of Statistics back up Ms Losanno’s view, showing an increase in the number of Australian families where both parents are working.

Statistics show 64 per cent of families nationally that have two parents have both parents in the workforce, compared to 59 per cent a decade ago.

The bureau’s chief economist Bruce Hockman said women returning to the workforce after having children was a key reason for the increase.

“The increasing proportion of couple families with children where both parents work is an ongoing trend we have been observing for a decade, as female participation rates in the labour market have increased to the current record high of around 60 per cent,” he said.

“In June 2017, 25 per cent of couple families with children had both parents working full time, which increased from 21 per cent a decade ago.”

Out of the 111,600 families in the ACT, 28,500 of them have both parents working, an increase of more than 2 per cent from than 27,900 families in 2016.

The number of families where both parents work has increased every year since 2014, after a slight drop in 2013.

Nationally, there are more than 3.9 million families with both parents working, rising by 58,200 – or 1.9 per cent – from 2016 figures.

The bureau also reported the number of jobless families, either with couples or lone parents, remained steady over the decade at 12 per cent.

The figures from the bureau coincides with research released by the Australian National University this week showing six out 10 working couples had struggled to manage family commitments, with children at greatest risk where both parents experienced conflict between family time and their job.

Ms Losanno said the rise in the number of families where both parents are working could be due to many people choosing not to start a family until later in life.

“I didn’t get married until I was 35, so I always worked and looked after myself, so it was hard to suddenly stop work,” she said.

“People already spend a majority of their life in work, and it’s hard to stop.”

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

Couple who planned to divorce if same-sex marriage passes renege on promise

Posted by on 14/09/2018 at 1:59 pm
Nanjing Night Net

Overview of the final vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, December 7, 2017. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVINGThey were the Canberra couple who created a national stir in 2015 with their stance against same-sex marriage.
Nanjing Night Net

Nick and Sarah Jensen caused controversy following a first-person piece written by Mr Jensen promising to divorce if same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.

“My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same-sex couples,” he wrote at the time.

While their promise may have seemed outlandish at the time, two years later, same-sex marriage in Australia has become a reality, after it passed a vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

So will the Jensens follow through with their public promise to split? The short answer is no.

In a statement to The Canberra Times, Mr Jensen said he doesn’t intend to file for divorce in the wake of the historic vote.

“My previous public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state,” he said.

“The legislation currently makes it untenable for us to do this under the law. The point we were highlighting, and that still stands however, is the fact that a redefinition of marriage changes the agreement under which we were originally married.

“We will be making no further comment.”

The original article penned by Mr Jensen triggered a wave of online responses at the time, which included a mock party set up with a Facebook page called “Celebrating Nick and Sarah Jensen’s Divorce” attracting more than 140,000 people.

The first same-sex weddings in Australia will be carried out on January 9, after the same-sex marriage bill was given royal assent by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Friday.

Same-sex weddings that were carried out overseas will now be officially recognised in Australia as part of the historic legislation.

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

‘The court is not King Solomon,’ judge tells parents feuding over son’s body

Posted by on 14/09/2018 at 1:58 pm
Nanjing Night Net

For almost two months the body of a disabled teenager has remained with the State coroner in Newcastle while his family has waged a bitter war over what to do with his remains.
Nanjing Night Net

Pono Aperahama died in tragic circumstances at Lambton swimming pool in Newcastle on October 17.

The 17-year-old had sustained severe head injuries in 2013 when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He spent nine months in hospital and suffered ongoing health issues as a result of his injuries.

On his release from hospital Pono, who had been living with his grandmother, was placed into care with Challenge Community Services.

He was at the pool with his carer when he became erratic, striking out at the pool staff and repeatedly hitting his head against a brick wall.

He died in the ambulance on the way to John Hunter Hospital.

Almost immediately his family began fighting over whether he would be buried in New Zealand or cremated in Australia.

Pono’s mother Te Rina Abraham, who lives in New Zealand, wanted to bury her son there.

However, his father Steven Henry and sister Piki Aperahama wanted the body to be cremated in Sydney and the ashes to be divided equally between both parents.

Members of the family took to social media to air their grievances.

Two days after her brother’s death, 19-year-old Piki attacked her mother on Facebook. “You haven’t seen your son let alone any of your children in years and now you think you have a say? My brother is dead and still somehow my mother seems to make it about her, YOU WERE NOT THERE, my nana, papa and aunties raised me and the boys, they made sure we had a roof over our heads and were always fed.”

Her mother replied by text saying, “You f—ing lying little c— say you did everything for your brother and how much you love him while he lays here in Newcastle alone on ice.”

The feuding family took the matter to NSW Supreme Court.

“I have found this decision most difficult,” said Justice Stephen Rothman.

“The circumstances are tragic. The Court is not King Solomon. Whatever happens, one or other party will be disadvantaged,” he said in his judgment handed down earlier this week.

He noted both parents are New Zealanders whose son Pono was born in Sydney in January 2000.

His parents separated when he was three-months old and he lived with his mother.

However, at 8, Pono was removed from his mother and placed with her parents.

One of the major issues between the parents was a dispute over Maori culture.

His mother argued that Maori culture forbade cremation and that “a deceased must be buried so as to return the body to the earth from whence it came”.

Ms Abraham’s older sister, Maata Takiari, a liaison officer and secretary with the Maori Performing Arts Group in Brisbane, gave evidence on behalf of Pono’s father that although Maori tradition was to bury rather than cremate “it is not uncommon for Maori families to decide to cremate a body because it is cheaper than a burial,” she said in her affidavit.

Pono’s sister Piki testified that her brother did not have a strong connection with Maori culture or New Zealand, having been there only three times in his life.

Ms Aperahama told the court the family wanted a traditional Maori service in Penrith, lasting from three to five days, during which family and friends could come to pay their respects in accordance with traditional Maori practices.

Justice Rothman agreed with Ms Aperahama and her father and ordered that the body be released to them.

The judge also ordered that after the funeral service and the cremation, both parents were to receive half of the ashes.

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

Gombau takes responsibility for Wanderers’ distressing loss

Posted by on 14/09/2018 at 1:58 pm
Nanjing Night Net

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Josep Gombau has taken full responsibility for the club suffering their worst A-League defeat in history after being thrashed 5-0 by Sydney FC in the derby on Saturday night.
Nanjing Night Net

A major selection gamble failed in the club’s biggest home game of the season after Gombau opted to hand two teenagers their first starts of the season against the reigning champions, and played others out of position.

Lachlan Scott is yet to play a minute this season but started ahead of experienced striker Brendon Santalab at the arrow point of their attack, while Keanu Baccus was deployed as the Wanderers’ holding midfield in his first start of the season and just the second of his career. Right back Josh Risdon was played as a winger, and Kearyn Baccus, brother of Keanu, was moved from his holding midfield role to a more attacking position.

The changes were said to be in line with Gombau’s evolution of the club’s playing style. He says it will take a lot of time but the blame for their performance in the derby falls on his shoulders.

“For me, the players are trying to do what the coach is asking them to do. I assume all the responsibility of this big loss,” he said. “I want to said my apologies to the fans who come to support the team. For me, the team I am coaching, things are improving.”

The Spanish coach is embarking on changing the club’s playing style and mentality but is yet to experience any joy from his project. The Wanderers are yet to win under Gombau, losing three of their four games and having scored just once.

“Today is a starting point and it’s not good but for sure the finish point will be good,” Gombau said.

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