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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

    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

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    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.

    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.

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    Padthaway principal wins top Scouting role

    2020 - 04.24

    Padthaway s Harry Long has been made the chief commissioner of Scouts SA.

    PADTHAWAY’S own Harry Long has been named the new chief commissioner of Scouts SA.

    Mr Long received the honour last Thursday, as reward for all of his hard work and dedication to the organisation over the past five decades.

    Mr Long has spent around 50 years of his life with the Scouts as a youth member and adult leader, and has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the movement.

    “It’s my passion,” he said. “It just runs in my blood.”

    Originally from Kansas in the United States, Mr Long also spent time in Nebraska as a Scout master, before moving to Australia in 1974.

    Mr Long established a Scouting program in Salt Creek and also re-established Scouts in Padthaway, which is unfortunately currently in recess.

    He was a Scout leader in the town of Mannum for eight years.

    Invested by the Governor of SA last week at the Scouts SA headquarters in Adelaide, Mr Long was made the 18th chief commissioner in 116 years for SA – at an event attended by around 250 people.

    During his time with the Scouts, Mr Long has been fortunate to have travelled to many different places.

    “I’ve travelled all over the world,” he said. “I’ve been to every state and territory in Australia at least once a year.”

    Come late July to mid-August, Mr Long will be embarking on a trip to Japan for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree.

    The event, which will be attended by around 35,000 Scouts, is to be held in the Yamaguchi city and will run for four weeks.

    Mr Long will fly out to Japan on a plane full of other Scouts and leaders.

    “My role is to look after the welfare of Australian adult leaders at the World Jamboree,” he explained.

    As well as his heavy involvement with the Scouts, Mr Long has also been extremely busy with his other role within the local community – Padthaway Primary School’s principal.

    Although he meant to retire around five years ago, Mr Long started working at the local school in Padthaway since October last year and is thoroughly enjoying it.

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    Treasured cars take pride of place in Hawks Nest

    2020 - 04.24

    CLASSY: Some of the cars that will be on show at this year’s Motorfest.VETERAN, vintage and classic motor vehicles from a wide range of eras will soon file into Hawks Nest for the 13th annual Motorfest.

    Motorfest is held by the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Motor Club with the 2015 event scheduled for Saturday, March 7.

    ‘‘In past years over 300 vehicles and motorcycles have attended the Motorfest,’’ club secretary Phil Hoare said.

    ‘‘Committee organisers are already indicating that responses to Motorfest 2015 will see similar numbers of vehicles attending.’’

    Various motor clubs from Newcastle, across the Hunter, Sydney, Central Coast, Taree, Foster, Tuncurry, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Nelson Bay and Port Macquarie are expected to attend this year’s Motorfest.

    ‘‘This is a wonderful and interesting day where car enthusiasts display their treasured veteran, vintage, classic and unique vehicles and motorcycles, which are all in pristine condition,’’ Mr Hoare said. ‘‘[It] has become a popular event for the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest locality.’’

    Additionally, modern emergency services vehicles would be on display.

    Vehicles are expected to start arriving at the Myall Parks Sports Reserve in Hawks Nest from 8.30am on March 7.

    There will be refreshments available, as well as music.

    Money raised will go to Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club, the Tea Gardens and Pindimar NSW Rural Fire Service units and the community bus.

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    Recent jump in oil prices will be short-lived

    2020 - 04.24

    The price of oil has surged more than 20 per cent over the last four days, technically taking the commodity into a bull market, however analysts believe the run will be short-lived.

    West Texas Intermediate crude oil has jumped 20.1 per cent to $US52.25 per barrel over the last four sessions, while Brent crude has pushed 19 per cent higher to $US57.46 per barrel over the same period.

    While those kinds of price fluctuations are normally associated with a bull market, the feeling around oil remains far from positive.

    “I think a lot of people are trying to read too much into it. It looks like a purely technically based rally on the back of very little news,” ANZ senior commodity analyst Daniel Hynes said.

    “Obviously, the announcements of cuts to capital expenditures have helped, we also saw falling US oil rig count on Friday. But, ultimately these things don’t change the fundamental picture in the shorter-term.”

    BP recently announced it was planning to cut capital expenditure by 13 per cent in 2015, following cuts from other producers. The company’s chief executive Robert Dudley said oil could remain at $US50 per barrel “for some time” overnight in the US.

    The current rally in oil prices could continue in the near-term as more short positions are washed out of the market, however, it is unlikely to last over the medium-term, Mr Hynes said.

    “For the moment, with a rally off the year low, it looks like we may be passed the worst. But, as I said, the fundamentals are still weakening. Whether the market chooses focus on those, we’re yet to see, if they do, this move would remain fragile,” Mr Hynes said.

    The rise of US shale and a refusal from OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations to cut output, because of fears of losing market share, have led to a 50 per cent plunge in the price of Brent crude since mid-June.

    The best scenario for oil bulls would be that future supply growth decelerates as exploration and production companies cut back on marginal properties, BlackRock chief investment strategist Russ Koesterich said.

    “The problem is that, given growing US energy independence, most producers are unwilling to cede market share,” Mr Koesterich said.

    Oil prices are likely to remain volatile in 2015, Mr Koesterich said.

    “Another complication is that many oil producers have become dependent on higher oil prices to balance their budgets. In some cases, budget constraints mean they are not only unwilling to accept lower revenue, they may be unable.”

    Oil prices will also remain vulnerable to any disappointments in global growth figures and while lower prices will lead to some adjustment in US production, there will be no immediate cutback, Mr Koesterich said.

    “Bottom line: Oil prices are likely to stabilise and rise over the long term, but this will not be immediate. Nor is the rise likely to take prices back to the upper end of the previous range.”

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    Michael Wright’s daughter says billionaire could be brutal

    2020 - 04.24

    Michael Wright died in 2012 with an estimated wealth of $1 billion. Photo: Erin JonassonTeenager’s outlandish claims

    The daughter of deceased Perth billionaire Michael Wright, who is being sued by her half-sister, has revealed the mining heir could be “brutal” and family meetings often required formal agendas and note taking.

    The inner workings of the Wright family were put on a rare public display in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Tuesday as part of sensational case involving a “secret” daughter fathered by Mr Wright who wants a ­bigger slice of his estate.

    Mr Wright’s father Peter was the business partner of the late Lang Hancock. The pair laid claim to swathes of Pilbara land in the 1950s and 1960s that would create billions for their respective families.

    Mr Hancock’s daughter Gina Rinehart is involved in separate legal disputes with some of her children.

    Up until this week most Perth residents assumed Mr Wright, who died aged 74 in 2012 with an estimated wealth of about $1 billion, fathered three children.

    That was before university student Olivia Mead, 19, took the stand to claim that a $3 million trust set up for her by her late father was unfair. Her long list of demands include a $2.5 million home, a $250,000 diamond-studded bass guitar, $10,000 a year to spend on accessories and shoes and an axolotl – or Mexican walking fish.

    Ms Mead is suing the executor of her father’s will, David Lemon, and Mr Wright’s two other daughters, Alexandra Burt and Leonie Baldock. The daughters are involved in the family’s business operations, which include Margaret River winery Voyager Estate.

    It appears Mr Wright’s son Myles Wright, a musician who studied jazz, was cut from his father’s estate.

    Responding to questions from Ms Mead’s barrister Lindsay Ellison, SC, Ms Burt said her father had once told her he would “remove” her from his estate because if you were “out of the family” you were “out of the business”.

    Asked if business was more important to her father than family, she said “sometimes, yes”.

    She agreed her father was a business-orientated individual and wanted his children to study “traditional” degrees that allowed them to become professionals such as accounting, law or commerce. An arts degree, she said would be seen as “non-proper”.

    Asked if he could overlook “basic” family obligations, she replied “yes”.

    Asked if he wanted people to be ­lifters not leaners, she replied “yes”.

    Ms Mead gave evidence which included her plans to have four children (all two years apart in age) and desires to buy a “cosy” two-storey home in South Fremantle, south of Perth.

    Ms Burt, Ms Baldock and Mr Lemon’s barrister Jane Neeham, SC, painted a picture of a teenager who, like others her age, frequently changed her mind about what she wanted for her future. It was revealed Ms Mead wanted to study journalism in 2012 and aspired to own a magazine.

    She changed her mind and instead studied for a commerce degree last year and had plans to open a family-friendly restaurant that would also be a bar in the evening. This year she will study marketing and public relations.

    Mr Lemon revealed he had transferred two sums of $100,000 into Ms Mead’s trust account, which includes a property worth about $740,000. He stopped contributing to the trust as its structure had since come in to dispute.

    Mr Lemon said the $100,000 instalments reflected the benefits Ms Mead received in child support benefits and other expenses she received from Mr Wright prior to his death.

    He said there was $3.4 million in cash sitting in Mr Wright’s estate along with about $45 million in inter-company loans.

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    Projects set to benefit school

    2020 - 04.24

    VISION: Leeton artist Louise Cooper has been granted funding for various projects, including at Wamoon Public School.

    LEETON shire artist Louise Cooper hopes to bring a wealth of knowledge to various projects thanks to thousands of dollars in funding being made available from the state government.

    Miss Cooper will utilise more than $4400 to assist with initiatives to help put Wamoon back on the map, as well as to celebrate Wamoon Public School’s centenary.

    There will be a series of creative community development workshops and activities run by Miss Cooper for primary school students and the community.

    Activities will include painting a mural wall, making heritage costumes, an exhibitionand recording memoirs for publication in the Wamoon Centenary Book.

    “We’ll also be doing a mail art project through the post, releasing helium balloons with letters in them and all kinds of things,” Miss Cooper said.

    “I’m really looking forward to it.

    “It gets the children out there to explore the identity of Wamoonand its history.

    “It’s fantastic the school has its centenary coming up, so it will all link in together.”

    Miss Cooper has also been granted funding to the tune of $5000 through Western Riverina Arts towards a series of workshops in conjunction with the Riverina Community College (RCC).

    Through this initiative, Miss Cooper will teach young people simple crafts, marketing and event management skills to produce small craft goods.

    The project will culminate in the development of a showcasing market to launch products and services to both local and worldwide audiences during National Youth Week in April.

    “We’re looking for 10 participants for that …it’s going to be very creative and lots of fun,” she said.

    Miss Cooper has also called on more senior residents in the shire to take part in her “For Prosperity’s Sake” project that is recording the memories and history of Leeton through community members.

    For more information about these projects contact Miss Cooper via email [email protected]老域名出售.au.

    To discuss the RCC initiative contact 6953 6957.

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    2014 Wimmera Wheat Crop Championship: Rainbow, Goroke families victorious

    2020 - 04.24

    Families from Rainbow and Goroke are the winners of the 2014 Wimmera Wheat Crop Championship. Picture: FILE PIC/ PAUL CARRACHER


    RAINBOW’S John and Julie Fuller and Goroke’s Rich family have been crowned winners of the 2014 Wimmera Wheat Crop Championship.

    Results from both the northern and southern sections of the annual competition were announced last month.

    Judge Graeme Warner said there were three entrants in the northern section and six in the southern section.

    All entries are given a score out of 100, which is made up of a maximum of 40 points for estimated yield, 15 points for purity and type, 15 points for freedom from disease, 15 points for freedom from pests and 15 points for workmanship.

    Mr Warner said overall the competition was fairly even.

    ‘‘Considering the year we had, with such a dry finish, the crops were lovely,’’ he said.

    ‘‘The screening and test weight of the grain was really good and the colour was excellent.’’

    John and Julie Fuller won the northern section, scoring 99 points with phantom wheat.

    The Rich family decided to grow Wallup wheat, which scored them 99 points in the southern section.

    ‘‘I judged the northern section and Keith Mackley judged the southern section – it was a pleasure to judge such good crops,’’ Mr Warner said.

    ‘‘Although, with this type of competition – all the crops are going to be good.’’

    Entrants in the championship had all won crop competitions at their towns’ agricultural shows.

    ‘‘They were representatives from different societies, so they were the best crops that won at local levels, competing at a Wimmera level,’’ Mr Warner said.

    The winners will be presented with a perpetual shield at the Wimmera Agricultural Societies Association awards night at Jeparit on February 28.

    Last year the championship only had a southern Wimmera section because of lack of numbers.

    ‘‘It was good to have a northern competition again,’’ Mr Warner said.

    He said the competition had been running for more than 70 years

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    Reflecting on the Past

    2020 - 04.24


    Next book set in 1950s Ceduna

    Actor turned author, Judy Nunn, was in Ceduna researching a new novel to be set in Ceduna in the 1950s. Nunn, who is probably best known as housewife Ailsa from Home and Away, stayed at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel Motel with her husband actor Bruce Venables, who is also an author. The couple visited the Ceduna Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre and spent some time in the Ceduna library. While declining to elaborate on the storyline for her latest book, Nunn said it would be based in Ceduna in the 1950s.

    – February 7, 2008

    15 YEARS AGO

    Farmer off to World Congress

    Young Wudinna farmer Ryan DuBois was selected to attend the World Congress of young farmers in Orlando, Florida. The team of eight to attend the week-long congress was announced by Deputy Premier Rob Kerin. Selections were made from more than 100 applicants. Young farmers from all over the world would meet to learn about overseas market developments and Ryan was looking forward to meeting other young farmers and exchanging ideas.

    – February 10, 2000

    40 YEARS AGO

    TV for Ceduna

    The television translator complex at Kongwirra, near Ceduna, was designed to service Ceduna and Thevenard only, a spokesman for the Postmaster General’s Department had said. He said the transmission beaming to those centres had been a result of policy set by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board and as far as was known, there were no plans for a television service to cover West Coast towns including Streaky Bay, Minnipa, Wudinna, Port Kenny and Elliston.

    – February 5, 1975

    58 YEARS AGO

    Bright novelty ball at Colton

    One of the brightest and most successful evenings held at Colton for a long time was the novelty ball. Proceeds were in aid of the Colton candidate in the Elliston hall ugly man competition, Mr Felix Kenny. The hall was brightly decorated with coloured paper curtains and festoons of green and yellow balloons. Mesdames F. Kenny and F. Elliott were responsible for the spectacular interior arrangement. The evening incorporated a farewell to Mr and Mrs P. J Ford of Tungatta, who are leaving the district.

    – February 6, 1957

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    Murray Bridge couple celebrates 50 years together

    2020 - 04.24

    Then and now: Lance and Jean Phillips look back at their wedding photos as they celebrate 50 years of marriage.Valentine’s Day gives lovers the chance to celebrate their romance and relationships but, this year, the celebration began early for a Murray Bridge couple.

    On Friday, January 30, Lance and Jean Phillips clocked up 50 years of marriage after they wedded at the Anglican Church of Saint Thomas, Port Lincoln, in 1965.

    The two first met at a North Shields charity football match, on the Eyre Peninsula, and have been inseparable ever since.

    “The first time I set my eyes on him was on the football field,” Mrs Phillips said.

    “He was dressed as a girl and I was in boys clothes.”

    Things snowballed from there and over time the two got to know each other by attending weekly dances.

    Since then, the Phillips’ have gone on to travel, camp and work on projects together and, to this day, continue to dance together.

    So what’s their secret to a successful marriage?

    “You’ve got to work on it; you have to give and take,” Mr Phillips said.

    “Never go to bed angry and always be prepared to say you’re sorry.” At the couple’s silver wedding celebration, 25 years ago, Mrs Phillips slipped back into her wedding dress, as she also did for the recent 50-year celebration.

    Today, the pair will enjoy another flashback as they travel to Robe where they spent their honeymoon five decades ago.

    “It (50 years) sounds like a long time, but when you look at the things we’ve done it is not that long,” Mrs Phillips said.

    “We can’t ask for another 50 years, that’s ridiculous, but another 20 would be nice.”

    Then and now: Lance and Jean Phillips look back at their wedding photos as they celebrate 50 years of marriage.

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    Streaky council boss to retire

    2020 - 04.24

    RETIRING CEO: John Tillack will retire as Streaky Bay District Council chief executive officer.

    STREAKY Bay District Council chief executive John Tillack will retire from his position after 13 months in the job.

    Mr Tillack said after crunching financial numbers in early January, he made the hard decision to retire from his five-year contract position.

    “It was a very hard decision to make, I’m 64 now and I would be in my late 60s at the end of the contract so it was time to look at retiring,” Mr Tillack said.

    “The Streaky Bay community has been wonderful and it’s a pity I don’t have more time here, I have truly made some life-long friends,” he said.

    After 47 years of employment across Australia, Mr Tillack calls the whole of Australia home however he will settle in Aldinga Beach south of Adelaide.

    There, with his two daughters and four grandchildren he will revisit old passions and take up the president role at Wood Group SA.

    Before Mr Tillack leaves his post, he will ensure budget preparation is in order to allow a smooth transition for the new chief executive.

    “My two principal obligations are the budget and governance compliance, I want to finish up with everything in order,” Mr Tillack said.

    Mr Tillack thanked Streaky Bay and surrounding communities for their support and friendship throughout his time on the West Coast.

    He will continue to serve the community until April 17.

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    NSW Treasurer: ‘Policies geared to jobs’.

    2020 - 04.24


    Jobs focus: Londonderry Liberal candidate Bernard Bratusa and NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance talk economic policy.

    NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance visited the Londonderry electorate and said his party was focused on enabling western Sydney people to live, work and travel within their region.

    He said the government’s jobs plan had already led to more jobs in the Nepean region.

    “Even within this local area over 400 jobs have been created on the back of a jobs action plan that’s giving payroll tax relief to businesses,” Mr Constance said.

    “Businesses have taken up the rebate, that’s how we know those jobs have been created.”

    He said that job growth included 170 in St Marys alone.

    When asked about commute times taking up more and more of people’s lives, he said the government would try to create more job opportunities in western Sydney.

    “We have started to shift jobs out of the city in terms of public sector jobs,” Mr Constance said.

    “We are reducing the NSW government from 400,000 to 300,000 square metres and with that comes a shift of jobs into western Sydney.

    “Particularly for young people that means an opportunity to work in the NSW public service.

    Mr Constance and Liberal candidate for Londonderry Bernard Bratusa said the new housing developments and codes in place around them would see local economic growth.

    “We are working on ensuring that we get our land release policy and land release right,” Mr Constance said.

    “The generation of employment through release of land for employment purposes is something that we’ve focused on.”

    Mr Bratusa said Jordan Springs and developments at Marden Park would reap benefits.

    “Jordan Springs is the number one growing residential project in Australia and as the Treasurer indicated the dollars and the employment does come [after that kind of investment],” he said.

    Mr Constance said the focus of planning decisions was to ensure employment growth comes out of building new housing estates.

    “The housing uplift that has happened around here hasn’t happened by accident. We’ve geared incentives towards new housing construction and the economy has responded to that,” he said.

    “Look at the interest we’ve seen from the Masters and Bunnings of this world in terms of their determination to build more premises in the west.”

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