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  • BP posts $US4b quarterly loss in oil slump

    2018 - 07.01

    BP had to mark down the value of its reserves because of the substantial drop in oil prices BP had to mark down the value of its reserves because of the substantial drop in oil prices
    Nanjing Night Net

    BP had to mark down the value of its reserves because of the substantial drop in oil prices

    BP had to mark down the value of its reserves because of the substantial drop in oil prices

    Energy giant BP has reported a net loss of $US4.4 billion ($5.6 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2014, attributed mainly to write-offs of about $US5.5 billion on the value of assets in the North Sea and Angola because of lower estimates of reserves and the falling oil price.

    The results from the company, based in London, were yet another demonstration of the damage that the sharp fall in crude oil prices is having on the industry. BP reported a profit of $US1 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

    At the same time BG, another large British oil and gas producer, said it had write-downs of $US8.9 billion in the fourth quarter, largely because of lower-than-expected prices for its oil and gas. The company reported a net loss of $US5 billion for the quarter and a shortfall of about $US1.1 billion for the year.

    BP said that its write-offs came as a result of a review of the amount of untapped resources in its oil and gas fields. A BP spokesman said the company found that its reserves in the North Sea and Angola were smaller than it had estimated. The company also needed to mark down the value of its remaining reserves because of the substantial recent drop in oil prices, the spokesman said.

    In BG’s case, the largest write-downs were on its liquefied natural gas operations in Australia. Because liquefied natural gas prices are indexed to oil prices, the company calculated that the probable lower oil prices in the future meant it needed to write off $US4.1 billion from the value of those facilities.

    BP also said it would sharply reduce capital spending, to roughly $US20 billion from about $US23 billion in 2013. The company plans to cut exploration spending and postpone what it called marginal projects.

    “Our focus must now be on resetting BP: managing and rebalancing our capital program and cost base for the new reality of lower oil prices,” Robert W. Dudley, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

    In announcing their quarterly results, other major oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron said they planned to reduce capital spending by billions of dollars. And Exxon Mobil indicated Monday that it was in the “early innings” of trying to cut costs.

    Oil prices were rising for a third straight day on Tuesday. Prices, which had been around $US110 a barrel in the summer, had fallen below $US50 per barrel earlier this year.

    Dudley said he expected weak prices to continue for some time because supply continues to substantially outpace weak demand.

    “I think we are probably in for a minimum of a year, and probably several years, of low oil prices,” he told reporters.

    BP’s earnings excluding inventories and one-time items, which are closely watched by investors, came in at $US2.2 billion, down 20 per cent from a year earlier but above the expectations of analysts surveyed by Reuters.

    “BP today is signaling strong flexibility to manage the current trough oil prices,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Bernstein Research in London, said in a note to clients.

    BP reported a profit of $US470 million from its 20 per cent holding in Rosneft, instead of the loss analysts had expected, because of “hedge accounting” that the state-controlled Russian giant said on Tuesday it was using to offset the impact of the decline of the ruble.

    Profit for the year fell to about $US3.8 billion compared with $US23.5 billion in 2013.

    BP said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 10 US cents a share, due in March, which is 5 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier, but flat compared with its third quarter.

    “Throughout the work to reset BP, the dividend remains the first priority,” Dudley said.

    BP also said it was taking a $US477 million charge for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, bringing the total charge to $US43.5 billion. The company continues to face legal challenges related to the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers and soiled beaches across the Gulf of Mexico.

    BP is in the third phase of a civil case in US District Court in New Orleans that will decide the penalties to be paid for the spill – costs that could hobble the company for a decade or more.

    The US Justice Department is seeking the maximum penalty of $US13.7 billion under the Clean Water Act, while BP is fighting to reduce the fines. The Clean Water Act penalties would come in addition to the $US43.5 billion BP has set aside for cleanup and compensation. More than 810,000 barrels of crude were recovered during cleanup efforts.

    BP won something of a legal victory last month when Judge Carl J. Barbier of the New Orleans court ruled that the size of the spill was 3.19 million barrels, well below the 4.1 million barrels the government had estimated. Had the government persuaded Barbier of its estimate, the company could have faced an additional $US4 billion in fines.

    BP could be fined $US4,300 for each barrel of oil spilled, though Barbier has the authority to set lower penalties. Under the Clean Water Act, the judge assigning penalties should look at the oil company’s ability to pay, its cleanup efforts and its history of violations.

    The New York Times

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

    Harper Lee to release second novel 50 years after To Kill a Mockingbirdvideo

    2018 - 07.01

    Harper Lee to release second novel 50 years after To Kill a Mockingbird | video Harper Lee receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. Photo: Getty Images.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Mary Badham and Gregory Peck as Scout and Atticus Finch in the 1962 movie of To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo: Supplied.

    The original cover of the classic book.

    TweetFacebookTo Kill A Mockingbirdwas published, the iconic novel is to get a sequel.

    Go Set A Watchman, which was written beforehand by author Harper Lee, was, until now, thought to have been lost.

    The 304-page book will be published by Harper Collins. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

    The Pulitzer-winningTo Kill a Mockingbirdwas published in 1960 and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

    Set in Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression, it is the story of a young girl whose father, a lawyer, is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman.

    In 1962, it was adapted into a film starring Gregory Peck as attorney Atticus Finch. The role won an Oscar for Peck.

    Harper Collins is planning a first printing of 2 million copies ofGo Set A Watchman.

    Lee said she had originally writtenGo Set A Watchmanbut, after advice from her editors, who were more interested in the flashbacks to the character Scout’s youth, was persuaded to write another book, which becameTo Kill A Mockingbird.

    Scout, also known as Jean Louise Finch, is the book’s narrator, looking back on the events of her youth as an older woman.

    “I hadn’t realised it had survived,” Lee said in a statement issued by Harper Collins. “So was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it.

    “After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

    Go Set A Watchmanis also set in Maycomb, roughly 20 years after the events ofTo Kill A Mockingbird.

    A summary from the publisher says: “Scout has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”

    Publisher Jonathan Burnham said: “This is a remarkable literary event. The existence ofGo Set a Watchmanwas unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans ofTo Kill a Mockingbird.

    “Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel, it is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s.”

    The book will be released in July.

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

    Rural show powers on

    2019 - 06.16

    Rocket engine: A hatchback with a jet pack will be a feature of the Luddenham Show.The111th Luddenham Show will be launching, quite literally, on February 21-22.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The annual country show will be returning again to give people a feel of the “old world atmosphere”.

    “It’s like a time capsule,” president of the Luddenham Show Show Society Wayne Wilmington said.

    “It’s like the country shows from days gone by.”

    The Luddenham Show began in 1891, when locals formed a committee to open up their grounds for all to see.

    The country show has come a long way since then, and new headline attractions will feature alongside the usual favourites.

    The most exciting addition to the country show line-up is a Daihatsu Mira, said Darren Adams, a member of the Luddenham Show society.

    “Now a little old hatchback may not seem all that exciting, but this is no ordinary car,” Mr Adams said.

    “It is actually powered by a jet engine.”

    The Daihatsu Jet Car has been featured on Top Gear Australia and featured at various air shows.

    For those who don’t think attaching a military jet engine on a kei car is hardcore enough, the show will also feature lawn mower racing.

    In between the burning rubber, the weekend will feature horse classes, cattle, sheepdog trials, wood chopping, home brews, and art classes.

    The Luddenham Show will also be holding a special ceremony for the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

    The Luddenham show is one of few showgrounds in the state still owned by the community, Mr Adams said.

    “As a result the annual show is the … main fundraiser for the upkeep of the grounds.”

    The Luddenham Show will run February 21-22, on the corner of Park Road and Campbell Street, just off the Northern Road.

    Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for children under 16 and pensioners.

    Details: luddenhamshow 南京夜网.au.

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

    Second man charged over cold case deaths of Michael Chye and Rita Caleo

    2019 - 06.16

    Arrest: Rita Caleo and Michael Chye. Photo: NSW Police Media Breakthrough: Gerard Caleo is arrested on his arrival at Sydney International Airport from Kuala Lumpur on August 15 last year. Photo: NSW Police Media
    Nanjing Night Net

    Police have arrested and charged a second man in connection with the deaths of a wealthy doctor and his sister in Sydney’s eastern suburbs more than two decades ago.

    The 52-year-old man was arrested at his home in Ramsgate in Sydney’s south early on Wednesday.

    He was taken to Kogarah police station where he was charged with two counts each of murder and solicit to murder.

    The man, who was known to the two victims, was refused bail and is to appear at Sutherland Local Court  on Wednesday.

    The arrest comes more than two decades after Michael Chye was shot dead in the garage of his Woollahra mansion in 1989.

    The following year, his sister Rita Caleo was stabbed to death in the en suite of her bedroom in her Double Bay flat.

    Mrs Caleo’s brother-in-law, Gerard Caleo, 42, was arrested in relation to the case at Sydney International Airport last August in what police described as a “major breakthrough”.

    Detectives from the Unsolved Homicide Team charged Mr Caleo with solicit to commit murder, accessory before the fact to murder and accessory after the fact to murder. He remains in custody, AAP reports.

    Wednesday’s arrest is a long time coming for Strike Force Nichola, formed after the deaths of the siblings, whose father was a senior-ranking police officer in Malaysia.

    Dr Chye, 36, was shot three times in a gangland-style execution as he drove his Mercedes into the garage of his house in Attunga Street, Woollahra, on the night of October 16, 1989.

    An inquest into his death in 1991 found that Dr Chye, his sister and her husband had been been involved in a dispute over a $3.6 million waterfront property in Blakehurst, in Sydney’s south.

    Mrs Caleo, 39, was so worried about her brother’s death she handed her solicitor a sealed envelope which read: “To be opened only if my death is unnatural”.

    The envelope contained the names of two people she accused of organising her brother’s execution.

    She was stabbed in the stomach during the night of August 10, 1990, while her children slept in an adjoining bedroom.

    A live-in nanny heard sounds coming from the main bedroom of the unit in Bay Street, Double Bay before finding Mrs Caleo’s body at 1.30am.

    Mrs Caleo’s husband, Mark Caleo, was working at one of his two Sydney Italian restaurants at the time of the killing, police said at the time.

    Detectives anticipate making further arrests.

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

    Peter Greste flying home to Brisbane

    2019 - 06.16

    Peter Greste’s first tweet since being freed from prison. Photo: Peter Greste on Twitter: @PeterGrestePeter Greste is on his way home to Brisbane.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The freed Australian journalist, whose Brisbane-based family spearheaded a year-long campaign for his release from an Egyptian prison, is scheduled to touch down in the River City shortly after midnight on Thursday.

    Mr Greste was on temporary assignment in Egypt for Middle Eastern news service Al Jazeera in December 2013, when he and two colleagues, Egypt bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and producer Baher Mohammed, were arrested and charged with aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

    Following a trial widely regarded as farcical, Mr Greste was last year sentenced to seven years in jail.

    He was suddenly released this week after a concerted campaign by journalists worldwide and protracted negotiations between Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

    The award-winning correspondent was freed and deported on Sunday and he immediately flew with his brother to Cyprus.

    For the first time on Tuesday since spending 400 days in a tiny cell in Cairo’s Tora Prison, Mr Greste posted a widely shared picture of himself standing in the ocean with the words, “Free in Cyprus! Feels sweet.”

    Mr Greste and his brother Mike departed Larnaca airport early Wednesday, Brisbane time, where Mr Greste told the ABC he was “elated” to be going home.

    But he again expressed concern for the colleagues he left behind.

    The pair remain in prison.

    Mr Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, is thought to be close to release, after his family said on Tuesday he had renounced his Egyptian citizenship in a bid to pave the way for his deportation.

    At a media conference in Brisbane on Monday, Mr Greste’s elated parents Juris and Lois and brother Andrew, confirmed the long-awaited news of his release.

    “I’m ecstatic. I just can’t say how happy I am about it,” Mrs Greste said.

    “It’s also difficult to realise that this day has actually come. Even though I sort of dreamed about it quietly not daring to think about it too much, it’s arrived now.” Brother Mike and I due to head home to Australia shortly. Can’t wait for the family reunion. Keep shouting #FreeAJStaff — Peter Greste (@PeterGreste) February 3, 2015 Special thanks to all who’ve supported us over the past year. MUST NOT FORGET THOSE STILL IN PRISON @Bahrooz#[email protected] — Peter Greste (@PeterGreste) February 3, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Tea leaf readings at Immersion

    2019 - 06.16

    IMMERSION Vintage Style Wares & Teahouse is looking to the future.
    Nanjing Night Net

    For Valentine’s Day on Saturday February 14, Immersion is offering a special mini High Tea and tealeaf reading for $19.

    Bookings are essential so call 6586 0542.

    Choose your tea from the generous selection of black, green and herb teas.

    If tealeaf reading is not your cup of tea, come and enjoy a great coffee and a sweet treat from the homemade cakes, cookies and scones, as well as gluten free options.

    Stay for a light and healthy lunch, made in house using fresh local and organic produce where possible.

    Immersion also makes a variety of fresh juices and smoothies.

    While visiting, immerse yourself in their collection of antique and vintage furniture, china, glassware and interesting curios.

    Immersion is located at 36 Cameron St Wauchope, and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday mornings from 9am to 12pm.

    Saturday lunches and functions, including hens’ parties and kitchen teas are available by reservation.

    Come and join us, have a cuppa and enjoy a look in to the future!

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

    LONG BLOWS: Elvis, knighthood and the Latin language

    2019 - 06.16

    We have watched with interest the progress and subsequent success of the now famous ‘Elvis Festival’ at Parkes. Possibly some Boorowa fans of ‘The King’ may have visited Parkes during the recent festivities. While not an Elvis aficionado, your columnist has always admired the initiative and determination of the people who conceived, and then organised, the unlikely pairing of a prominent American ‘rock and roll’ singer with an Australian country town.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The growth of this phenomenon is highly intriguing. And we wonder, when it was first mooted, how many people at Parkes said: ‘It will never succeed,’ or ‘It will be a waste of money,’ or yet again ‘Why don’t we do what other towns are doing?’

    Whatever anyone suggests there are always the ‘knockers’, people who’ve never achieved anything themselves and don’t want anyone else to. In country towns there are those who view with suspicion anyone or anything which is different from their own narrow perception. Thank God there are people who are prepared to think outside the square and be creative. The people of Parkes enjoy the spending power of some 20,000 visitors each year because somebody was prepared, as they say, to ‘have a go.’

    *****

    We think that our embattled Prime Minister should now ‘go all the way,’ as they say and confer an Australian knighthood on the Pope. This could have some positive results for someone who is ‘on the nose,’ with voters. For instance, it would be popular in the Catholic community, and would certainly be applauded by those fond of wearing funny clothes. And no doubt His Holiness, who has a well developed sense of humour, would see the funny side. After all, in the wake of Tony’s knighting of the husband of a foreign monarch people are still laughing.

    *****

    Both the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and our Prime Minister are no doubt familiar with the Latin language, even though it has been long dead. They might then appreciate the old Latin phrase: Vox populi, vox dei, which means: ‘The voice of the people is the voice of god.’

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

    ‘Dancing man’ at local TAFE campus

    2019 - 05.17

    Let yoursef go: ‘Dancing Man’ Tommy Franklin will be at Wauchope TAFE on Tuesday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    NORTH Coast TAFE has invited students and the community to meet “North Coast dancing sensation” and Australia’s Got Talent finalist Tommy Franklin at its Wauchope Campus next Tuesday, February 10.

    Tommy Franklin became an overnight YouTube sensation when tourists filmed him dancing in the rain on the streets of Byron Bay in 2010.

    He has since danced at Australia’s biggest music festivals, appeared in numerous video clips and films and was a finalist in the prime-time television competition,

    Australia’s Got Talent, in 2013.

    Tommy is known for his unique free spirit and infectious joy of life, having overcome some challenging life hurdles.

    “At 16 years of age I fell into the trap of drugs and alcohol and had a serious accident that left me in a wheelchair and out of action for nearly 12 months. I have struggled with mental health issues, including suicide and depression,” says Tommy.

    When Tommy realised that just by dancing he could make other people happy, he felt he had found his purpose. He now lives to inspire others and has touched countless lives through his performances, youth workshops and art projects.

    “The key is to find something you enjoy doing and make it your work and you’ll never work a day in your life. Nothing worth having comes easy or free,” says Tommy.

    “I’m very passionate about helping people and I feel honoured to visit North Coast TAFE to share my story and inspire people to further their education and better themselves.”

    North Coast TAFE’s event coordinator, Meredith Gibson, is inviting the whole community to come along and express themselves with Tommy.

    “There will be prizes for the best dressed, the best dancer and the most popular ‘selfie’ with Tommy. He’s very friendly and down to earth, so he’d be happy to have a chat and take a selfie. It’s going to be a blast,” says Ms Gibson.

    “A video will be filmed on the day so we’re asking people to wear yellow clothing to Wauchope campus – or you can just come as you are.”

    “It’s going to be colourful and fun and a good atmosphere,” says Tommy.

    “I’m really looking forward to it. It will be something that people have never experienced.

    “I want people to let themselves go and just dance. I don’t want them to stand on the sidelines with their mobile phone. It’s great to feel free and like a child.”

    North Coast TAFE’s community and business engagement leader for the Hastings Valley, Caleb Rose, says that Tommy is both an ambassador and an advocate for North Coast TAFE.

    “He embodies the values that we practise – we are passionate about learning and innovation, and want everyone to be able to access education. Our teachers support students to be bold and start something new, believe in themselves and find what makes them happy,” says Mr Rose.

    Tommy Franklin will be at the Wauchope TAFE Campus, Young Street, Wauchope on Tuesday, February 10, from 2pm to 4pm.

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

    Funding on offer for GP training

    2019 - 05.17

    Angus Taylor and Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash discuss training for GP training facilities.Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor says funding applications are being invited for regional GP training facilities.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Mr Taylor has urged eligible local general practices to apply for new Federal grants of up to $300,000 to build facilities to take on more trainee doctors and GP registrars.

    “There’s been a lot of interest from local communities in this programme and I am delighted to announce the details.

    “Guidelines for the Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants programme and an ‘Invitation to Apply’ are now available on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.gov.au/tenders. Applications close on 23 February 2015.”

    Mr Taylor said the Government was committing $52.5 million over the next three years to help regional general practices expand their facilities.

    “From before entering parliament, I have been working hard on options to attract and retain GPs into our towns. Under this programme, existing practices can apply for funding to build additional consultation rooms to support and teach medical students and to supervise GP registrars. Successful applicants will be required to match the Commonwealth funding.

    “Evidence shows that people often choose to stay and work in areas where they have trained. This investment in infrastructure will not only strengthen the general practice workforce, it will mean more GP registrars and medical students are trained locally.

    “The Government’s aim is to establish funding and support programs so that trainee doctors can experience general practice in a rural or regional location, develop an interest in regional medical care and ultimately join the rural health workforce,” Mr Taylor said.

    He said the infrastructure programme would be complemented by an increase in Practice Incentives Programme (PIP) payments from $100 to $200 per session from 1 January 2015.

    “This will help compensate general practices for increasing the amount of time invested in teaching.”

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

    Bushfire relief concert was top event

    2019 - 05.17

    TOP EVENT…Event coordinator Anton Lunstedt with Di Pech (centre) from the Wirrabara Progress Associaiton collecting the award for Community Event of the Year from District Council of Mount Remarkable mayor Sandra Wauchope.The Bangor Bushfire Relief Concert was named the Community Event of the Year by the Mount Remarkable District Council on Australia Day.
    Nanjing Night Net

    One of the organisers, Anton Lunstedt, said the event held in March 2014 was a collaboration between the Wirrabara Progress Association, the Wirrabara Sports Reserve Committee as well as himself and other volunteers to raise money for victims of the devastating bushfire.

    In total, around $50,000 was raised for the bushfire victims, with funds raised divided between people who lost their homes in the Bangor bushfire, and bushfire charity Blazeaid.

    Mr Lunstedt said the idea to plan the concert came about because many people in the community wanted to give back.

    During the concert, money was raised through gate takings, stalls, donations from organisations, personal donations, auctions and raffles. On the night, a crowd of up to 2000 packed out the Wirrabara Sports Reserve, with musicians from Port Pirie, local areas and Adelaide entertaining the crowd.

    Mr Lunstedt said the concert was just what the community needed, following the devastating bushfires.

    “The whole community wanted to contribute to the recovery.

    “As well as a fundraiser, the concert was a way to say thankyou to those who helped fight the fires and those who helped behind the scenes.”

    He said the concert was a display of the community spirit and moral following the bushfires.

    “Everyone who got the concert together had their own lives, maybe they’d even fought the fire too, but they still found time to put the concert on. It was an extraordinary effort.”

    A documentary was also produced of the Bangor bushfire experience, called “After the Fire”.

    It is screening this weekend at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday.

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

    Floods: Downpour floods Ivanhoe cellar door, delays harvest

    2019 - 05.17

    PART OF THE JOB: Ivanhoe Wines owner Stephen Drayton says the heavy rainfall during harvest was an inconvenience but will be dealt with accordingly.Last week’s rainfall may have been needed for some but came at an inopportune time for others – such as the local wine industry.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Last Tuesday morning (January 27), Ivanhoe Wines at Pokolbin received around 70mm of rain in the space of 45 minutes, right at the time of their summer harvest.

    The rain was so rapid that water ran down from Marrowbone Road into the cellar door.

    Owner-operator Stephen Drayton said the vineyards became inundated with water quite quickly.

    “It was running right through our vineyard, it looked quite spectacular at the time,” he said.

    Luckily the water left no damage inside, but it did put a spanner in the works for their grape picking.

    Not only does rain stop the grape harvesting machines from operating as they get bogged down in the mud, the rain also affects the quality of the grapes.

    During this time of year, the sunlight usually helps make the fruit nice and ripe.

    However rain drops the fruit’s sugar levels and water dilutes the fruit.

    Mr. Drayton said this makes the weather a very decisive factor in regards to picking.

    “The weather tells us when to pick rather than we tell ourselves,” he said.

    Mr. Drayton has owned and operated Ivanhoe Wines for the last 15 years with his wife Tracy.

    He said he experienced similar weather problems in 2008 and 2012, but had a good year of weather in 2013 and an exceptional year in 2014.

    Mr. Drayton said they had already picked the Traminer and Verdelho before the bad weather struck and were unable to pick from Australia Day to January 30 due to wet grounds.

    He said they managed to pick the remaining whites, Semillon and Chardonnay, on the weekend of January 31 before moving on to the reds.

    “We’re taking the opportunity while the sun shines,” he said.

    Although the rain has been an inconvenience, Mr. Drayton said it is uncontrollable and will have to be dealt with accordingly.

    “Obviously this is an important time of year for us; it’s what we work for all year,” he said.

    “You can’t control the weather; you’ve just got to work around what happens.”

    Floods: Downpour floods Ivanhoe cellar door, delays harvest RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway into the cellar door last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

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    Not backing down from fight

    2019 - 05.17

    VOLUNTEERS…Gathered at the Jamestown CFS station on Friday night to discuss the changes were volunteers (back, from left) Steve Leesong of Jamestown, Nick Taylor of Jamestown, Shaun Irrgang of Jamestown, Black Rock Group Officer Ken Campbell, and Peter Lehmann of Caltowie CFS.Front from left Sean Kerslake of Jamestown, Damien Carpenter of Jamestown, Lee Iles of Jamestown, Derek Carkle of Jamestown and Tim Cooper.Country Fire Service volunteers are not showing any signs of stopping the fight to stop changes to the organisation they say would be harmful.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Around 40 CFS volunteers from the Mid North attended a rally in Adelaide last Wednesday, sending a firm message to the South Australian Government.

    The rally, organised by the CFS Volunteers Association, questioned the government’s motives in choosing to “dismantle a proven emergency structure”.

    Northern Region CFS Volunteers Association President Tim Cooper, speaking on Friday night, was one of the Mid North CFS volunteers at the rally.

    He has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 35 years, and said he thinks the CFS has never faced a challenge like it faces today, with a proposed restructure that would see the parts of CFS, Metropolitan Fire Service and SES operations merged, with one commissioner controlling all three organisations.

    “(Emergency Services Minister) Tony Piccolo has said the reforms are about reducing duplication and saving money which would then be reinvested in the sector.

    “On the face of it, no arguments about that.” But Mr Cooper said the volunteers are upset that their voices haven’t been heard, despite Minister Piccolo frequently stating that he conducted widespread consultation. They say no real detail about the reforms has been released.

    “We were at the rally to tell the government we’re unhappy with the level of detail we’ve had, and the lack of guarantee about where we’re headed.

    “It’s like jumping out of a plane with no parachute.”

    He said the documents the volunteer association has been provided offer “scant” detail, and that the government had failed to do its due diligence by not providing cost-benefits analyses to CFS stakeholders.

    Mr Cooper said Mr Piccolo was “pushing the replay button” when he talked about his widespread consultation.

    “Has he been listening to what he’s been told?”

    He said his CFS colleagues attended the consultation sessions to share ideas and hear from the Minister about the proposed changes, but were given little information.

    Mr Cooper said volunteers are concerned the changes will be pushed through anyway, and that he thinks the government is “hoping the problems will just go away.”

    According to Mr Cooper, the majority of volunteers would not be against changes for the benefit of the organisation, but fear it could lead to a lack of support and resources.

    He said in a worst-case scenario, it could leave the CFS unable to protect the country communities of South Australia.

    “But emergency services volunteers don’t give up easily – we wouldn’t be in this game if we did.”

    Mr Cooper’s concerns were echoed by his fellow volunteers, including Black Rock Group Officer Ken Campbell, who said that “no-one is objecting to reform.

    “But there has been no evidence gathered to show the need.

    “We are against reform for the sake of reform.

    “The Minister has not been asking the right questions.

    “He should be asking ‘what things need to be improved, and what are the solutions?’”

    Mr Campbell said the volunteers wanted to see “evidence gathered and shortcomings documented” and said the government needed to be much more transparent in its dealings with the CFS.

    In response to questions, Minister Piccolo said “I have consulted with nearly 2000 emergency service personnel and will continue to consult throughout the journey.”

    “I have also met and consulted with the appropriate volunteer organisations, like the CFSVA and SESVA, on many occasions.”

    “If anyone wants to discuss the reform, I am happy to meet with them and discuss it face-to-face.”

    “It is important to remember that the reform process is just commencing, so there will be ample opportunity for all workers in the emergency services sector – both paid and volunteers – to have an input in the design and implementation of the new organisation.”

    “The intricate details of the new sector are now being developed in consultation with a reference group made up of emergency service stakeholders including representatives from volunteers in the sector.”

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