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The winds of changePOLL

The winds of change | POLL Bundle of Energy: Ed Mounsey works for a Newcastle company that is making big strides in the renewable energy sector. As coal-fired power stations close, more renewable energy is being established.
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Newcastle company CWP Renewables also built the Boco Rock Wind Farm, south of Cooma.

Liddell coal-fired power station will close in 2022.

TweetFacebook“It is a big milestone,” Mr Mounsey.

Mr Mounsey said the Sapphire project had been in construction since January 3.

“It’ll be fully operational by the middle of 2018.”

As for the Hunter’s future in renewable energy, Mr Mounsey said it was “not the most ideal location for wind farms, in terms of the available wind resource”.

“It’s reasonably populated as well, so it makes it harder to locate new projects, given the existing guidelines that are in place,” he said.

He said large-scale solar on the land was “potentially a better fit for the Hunter”.

He said the Port of Newcastle was playing a role in the development of the renewables sector.

His company had chosen the Port of Newcastle, ahead of Port Kembla and Port of Brisbane.

“It’s their proximity, capability and appetite to get into this space,” he said.

“Up until about 12 months ago, they hadn’t done a wind farm. They’re very keen to leverage their facilities.”

A Port of Newcastle spokeswoman said the first of eightshipments of wind turbines for the Sapphire project were due to arrive at the portaround mid-August.

“The project demonstrates the Port of Newcastle’s ability to handle large project cargoes– such as wind turbines, machinery, prefabricated structures and building materials–that contribute to wind farms and construction developments across NSW,” the spokeswoman said.

“As the port has the capacity to more than double its current ship numbers and trade volume, there is ample capacity to grow all cargoes including coal, wheat, fuel, alumina, fertiliser, mineral concentrates, steel and project cargosuch as wind turbines.”

Mr Mounsey said the Sapphire project was an example of investment returning tothe renewable energy sector.

When former prime minister Tony Abbott decided four years ago to axe the carbon tax, it led to uncertainty and a lack of investment in the energy sector.

However, Mr Mounsey said certainty did return two years ago when the Coalition and Opposition agreed on a revised renewable energy target.

This target is aimed at ensuring 23.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

The Clean Energy Regulator released a report in May, which found that unprecedented investment in wind and solar power had putAustralia on track to meet this target.

The report said 98 new large-scale renewable energy plants, mostly solar farms,were accredited last year. This investment momentum had continued this year.

Furthermore,the Finkel review was released last month, callingfor the introduction of a clean energy target.

Under this proposed target, 42 per cent of Australia’s electricity would come from renewables by 2030.

The Finkel schemewould require new renewable energy power plants to have baseload power back-up in the form of batteries, pumped hydro storage or a gas-fired power station.

In its submission to the Finkel review, the Clean Energy Council said“the technology exists to deliver a secure and zero-emission electricity system”.

“It should be expected that Australia will require a zero-emissions electricity system by the middle of the century, as part of the global response to climate change,” the council’s submission said.

After Australia’s 2030commitments are met, a new set of targets “will need to be established that will require the electricity market to transition to a zero-emissions system by 2050”, the council said.

“This should be planned for over the coming decade.

“This will require careful planning and reform of the energy market to ensure an energy system that can facilitate much higher levels of renewable energy and energy storage.”

Mr Mounsey saida well thought out transition was needed from a largely fossil-fuel based generation sector to one based on clean and renewable sources.

“We’re 100 per cent supportive of the Finkel review,” Mr Mounsey said.

“It sets a clear direction for the sector.”

Mr Mounsey said his company would like“both sides of politics to get behind it and provide certainty, so we can get on with the job”.

Labor is backing the Finkel review, but has also committed to 50 per cent of electricity coming from renewables by 2030.

The Coalition has not committed to the clean energy target, amid concerns about its affect on the coal sector.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the target is up for discussion, as is the prospect of using taxpayers’ money to help build new “high efficiency, low emissions (HELE)” coal-fired plants.

But there are doubts about whether the HELE plants will be able to compete with cleaner forms of energy production, as Australia seeks to reduce carbon emissions by enough to meet itsinternational commitments on climate change.

And the biggest power generators in Australia have said they don’t want to build these types of power plantsbecause of their prohibitive cost and risks associated with the price ofcarbon.

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Matildas on show at home

GOAL: Sports Minister Stuart Ayres, Matilda Emily van Egmond and Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. MATILDAS star Emily van Egmond has competed at an Olympic Games, won a Bundesliga titleand played footballin almost every continent on the globe.
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The 23-year-old midfielder has earned 61 caps for Australia since making her debut as a teenager in 2010.

But she has never had an opportunity to wear the green and goldin her home town–until now.

As reported in the Newcastle Herald on Tuesday, the Matildas will take on Brazil at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday, September 19.

Emily van Egmond will get to do what her football idols didn’t – play against Brazil in Newcastle. @[email protected]@FFApic.twitter南京夜网/XLXf304tsq

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) July 5, 2017TweetFacebook Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond Pictures: Marina Neil and Getty Images“Newcastle has been a strong breeding ground for female footballers and I am very muchlooking forward to September.”

Brazil, led by five-time women’s player of the year Marta, are ranked eighth in the world, one placebelow Australia.

The Matildassuffered a heart-breaking loss 7-6 on penalties to the host nation in the quarter-final at the Rio Olympics last August,which continued string of close results between the nations.

“I’m sure we will be buzzing to go out and play Brazil again,” said, van Egmond, who is home on a break in between German seasons.“It is usually only a goal that separates us.”

Football Federation Australia last week confirmed that Australia will bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Newcastle shapes as a potential games venue.

“It would be everyone’s dream to play at a World Cup in their home town,” Van Egmond said.

Australia and Brazil boastsimilar attacking styles and van Egmond expects first-time spectators to be surprised at the skill level and intensity on show in September.

“Women’s football is changing really quickly,” she said.“The bulk of our squad are based overseas.Brazil is in the same boat as us. It will definitely be a very good match.”

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic said the Brazil series, which falls within a FIFA international window,will be vital in the lead up to the Women’s Asian Cup whichwill be held in Jordan next April.

“It will be a tough challenge for us against some of the best players in the world,” Stajic said.“Brazil has definitely been one of the bench mark nations in world football and we are looking forward to meeting them.”

Tickets cost $20 adults, $15 concession, $10 child, $40 family andare available atwww.matildas.footballaustralia南京夜网.au/tickets.

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Meet Nelson Bay’s road heroes

Rhys and Scott Pateman. Picture: Rachel BaxterJust minutesafter Nelson Bay contractorScott Pateman and his son Rhys freed two victims of arollover on the Devils Pinch, they turned to see a car flying through the air towards them.
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“It was like a scene in a movie,” Mr Pateman said.

A split second later and the pair were diving for safety as a red sedan rolled off the New England Highway near Armidale.

It crash landed beside the first car, with five shaken men dangling upside down in their seats.

“It must have rolled six or eight times,” Mr Pateman toldFairfax Media shortly after the incident on Monday morning.

“We ran over, ripped the door open and got them out.”

Mr Pateman’s 21-year-old son, Rhys, was travelling to work with his father installing airconditioning atthe Armidale Hospital redevelopment.

Nelson Bay contractors save sevenIt’sa temporary job while they wait to commence a contract on the Williamtown RAAF base.

“I’ve never seen anything like it …I was pretty shaken up,” he said.

“Afterwards it felt like any other day when we got to work.

“We kept getting updates from family and friends of the media coverage.”

But heroism runs in the family.

“My other two children area police officer, a nurse and myson-in-law is a paramedic …maybe it’s in the blood,” Mr Pateman said.

“We’re just fishermen though.”

The female passenger of the first car was rushed to Armidale Hospital where she received 13 stitches in her head.

The driver, suffering from back pain, was reported to be in a stable condition.

Armidale Police Sergeant Laurie Cattell said it was likely both carsslipped on black ice on theDevils Pinch, a bend of road notorious for its tight corners and icy conditions.

“There’s a possibility there may have been black ice on the road given the fact that we had another heavy frost up here this morning,” hesaid.

Sergeant Cattell toldFairfax Mediathe incident was a bizarre coincidence that both vehicles were to land parallel, facing the same way on the side of the highway.

“Both cars came around the corner and lost control both ending up in the same place side by side,” he said.

Mr Pateman said he was surprised, but very grateful, no one was seriously injured.

“We’re glad noone was seriously hurt,” he said.

The pair hope to head back to Nelson Baysoonto catch up on some fishing.

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Our Knights suspend community ownership campaign

ON HOLD: Our Knights facilitators Mike Rabbitt, Rob Tew, Marty Adnum, Andrew Poole, John Duncan, Nick Dan and Michael Neilson announced their campaign in December. Picture: Simone De PeakTHE consortium seeking community ownership for the Newcastle Knights has put its campaign on hold, citing a “reached agreement” with the NRL for Wests to take control of the club.
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Former Knights chairman Rob Tew and Our Knights facilitator Rob Tew said the group had suspended as the negotiations progressed.

“The Our Knights facilitators are excited that it appears the Knights will continue to have a future in this region,” he told the group’s supporters on social media.

How Newcastle could own its team“This was the reason we commenced our campaign back in November, when there was a risk that the licence may shift from the region in the absence of a local buyer at that time.”

Mr Tew wrote that “it appears the Wests Group has reached agreement with the NRL” but Fairfax Media reported this week that Wests Group president Owen Kilpatrick hosed down suggestions his company was on the verge of stepping in.

“It’s still a work in progress,’’ Kilpatrick said. “We’re certainly not close to getting any deal done, no.

BOWING OUT: Rob Tew’s full post.

Mr Tew said the group understood the NRL had long preferred Wests to a community ownership model “as a consequence of Wests’ history of success, operational scale and asset backing”.

“We have respected the NRL’s decision in undertaking those negotiations,” he said.

“At this point we don’t know what ownership structure is being proposed by Wests. It is Wests’ prerogative should they wish to offer a community shareholding in the Knights.”

The Our Knights group had proposed a model that would raise $20 million through selling $500 shares in the Knights in a model inspired by overseas community-owned teams including the Green Bay Packers.

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‘Someone knows what happened to my girl’

Sandra McSavaney, with her only surviving daughter Sharon Robards (centre) in 2015. She has lost her other daughters Lisa Sara (left) and Tracey Valesini (right). Main photo: Marina Neil A PORT Stephens mother has joined police in pleading for information to help find her daughter on what would have been her 45thbirthday.
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The state government announced on Wednesday a $100,000 reward was on offer to help find Tracey Valesini.

The occasion led Ms Valesini’smother and Anna Bay resident Sandra McSavaney to join Homicide Squad detectives in Sydney to appeal to the conscience of anyone with knowledge of her daughter’s fate.

Tracey Valesini. Picture: NSW Police

“Someone knows what happened to my girl, and enough is enough – please tell the police what you know and help put my mind at ease,” Ms McSavaney said.

“No one should ever have to bury a child, but I haven’t even been given that opportunity.

“If anything, I want to be able to bring her home and say proper goodbyes – the least Tracey deserves is to rest in peace.

“We’ve had too many birthdays and too many Christmases without Tracey, and I am pleading for someone to come forward so that today – her 45th birthday – is our last without answers,” Ms McSavaney said.

Fairfax Media reported in 2015 that Ms McSavaney, who suffers from terminal lung cancer, had also lost another daughter after she was strangled to death in 2002.

The last confirmed sighting of Ms Valesini was a custody hearing at Campbelltown Courthouse in January 1993. She was 20 years old, and failed to appear for a further hearing on February 12.

Unsolved Homicide team co-ordinatorDetective Inspector Stewart Leggatsaid Tracey was a resilient, independent young woman.

“Unfortunately, these strengths have made investigating her disappearance difficult for police,” he said.

“By all accounts, Tracey was very much in charge of her own life, even at a young age, and by her late teens, she would often go for long periods without visiting her family.

“That said, it was out of character for her to no-show at court for the custody hearing as her daughters were her world.”

Her family have made numerous fruitless attempts to contact Ms Valesini in the intervening 24years but her housemates had left their Sadleir home without a forwarding address.

Detective Inspector Leggat said police had gleaned that Ms Valesini moved to Wentworth Falls with a new boyfriend, his sister and her partner until 1993.

Police have since been told Ms Valesini moved out of that property before the other three left in May that year when the relationship deteriorated.

But that is where the trail ends.

“She hadn’t accessed her bank accounts or government benefits since December 1992, with the exception of a single deposit and withdrawal more than 12 months later,”Detective Inspector Leggat said.

Strike Force Sonning was established in 2001 to reinvestigate the disappearance.

Police searched Tracy’s former home in Wentworth Falls that year, finding blood believed to be hers.

A coronial inquest was held in 2006, with a finding that she died some time in 1992 or 1993 “of injuries inflicted upon her by another person.”

NSW police ministerTroy Grant said the government’s $100,000 reward offer would assist investigators.

“No family should endure not knowing what happened to their loved one, and the NSW Government is committed to providing police with what they need to find answers for families like Tracey’s,” Mr Grant said.

Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Sonning investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

The Herald, Newcastle

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