Tag Archives: Australian

Australian bee’s head-banging pollination technique captured on video

Posted December 15, 2015 01:23:13

External Link: The super slow motion video shows less than a single second in actual time
Map: Australia

Honeybees may get all the rock star focus, but the humble Australian native blue-banded bee is a accurate head banger.

Scientists have captured the distinctive pollination techniques of the bee (Amegilla murrayensis) in slow motion video as it pollinates a cherry tomato flower.

“Tomatoes (and numerous Australian native plants) are ‘buzz pollinated’: the flower is like a salt and pepper shaker and bees shake the pollen out by way of pores in the anthers,” stated native bee expert Dr Katja Hogendoorn from the University of Adelaide.

Dr Hogendoorn and her colleagues identified the blue-banded bee gets the pollen by banging its head on the flower’s anthers at a staggering 350 times a second.

This suggests that Australian blue-banded bees may possibly be far more effective tomato pollinators than bumblebees.

Dr Katja Hogendoorn

“When you translate that to acceleration, it is nearly insane levels, amongst the highest we’ve noted in the animal kingdom,” stated Dr Hogendoorn’s colleague, Dr Sridhar Ravi from RMIT University.

The bee holds the flower with its legs while vibrating its thorax muscle tissues. It then somehow transfers these vibrations to its head.

These vibrations typically drive the bee’s wings, but in this case the wings are disengaged and the energy is utilised to vibrate the anther.

Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) in North America also buzz pollinate, but they do it straight with their chest muscle tissues, vibrating at 240 times per second.

Dr Hogendoorn said that not only do blue-banded bees vibrate the flower at a larger frequency than bumblebees, but commit less time per flower.

“With each other, this suggests that Australian blue-banded bees may possibly be a lot more efficient tomato pollinators than bumblebees,” she said.

The research will be published in an upcoming concern of the journal Arthropod Plant Interactions.

Want a lot more science from across the ABC?

Subjects: animal-behaviour, science-and-technology, invertebrates—insects-and-arachnids, australia

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Former South Australian premier John Bannon dies aged 72

Posted December 13, 2015 18:08:17

Former South Australian premier John Bannon has died, aged 72, following fighting a extreme illness for many years.

The former Labor leader passed away surrounded by family members nowadays.

Mr Bannon led the Labor Party to Government at the 1982 election, where he became premier and treasurer.

He held the positions for nearly a decade, before resigning in 1992.

Current South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill paid tribute to Mr Bannon, saying he was a excellent friend and mentor.

Subjects: death, states-and-territories, government-and-politics, sa

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Can Australian producers endure oil at $40 a barrel?

Updated December 09, 2015 21:28:44

Australian investors in oil and gas companies who have been watching in dismay the collapse in value of their holdings are unlikely to be comforted to know the organizations are nevertheless way overvalued compared to present spot prices.

This might be hard to fathom given the outsized hit Australian drillers have taken since the news that unity in the OPEC cartel had fractured and there would be no action to rein in production.

In a globe already awash with oil and facing the prospect of a sanctions-free Iran re-entering the market place with another 700,000 barrels a day, OPEC’s failure to take action final week saw costs crash to levels not observed since late 2008.

As Brent crude tumbled 7 per cent to just around $ US40 a barrel, the likes of Santos and Oil Search fell a lot more than 20 per cent in just two days, whilst Woodside was down 8 per cent.

Oil Search’s fall was exacerbated by Woodside’s choice to abandon take over plans.

On the other side of the failed deal, there was relief that Woodside was not about to do anything stupid by over paying for the PNG focussed producer, which almost certainly protected it from far far more acute pain.

Current share rates justify oil at $ US60 a barrel: UBS

Nevertheless the industry is nevertheless valuing the companies on oil costs of around $ US60 a barrel, 50 per cent above existing spot costs.

On UBS figures, Oil Search trading at its current worth of about $ six.34 implies an oil cost of $ US63 a barrel.

Woodside’s current price tag implies oil at $ US58 a barrel and Santos $ US56 a barrel.

Alternatively, UBS finds at the existing spot value, the Santos share cost of $ three.31 crashes 89 per cent to 37 cents per share with a protracted period at $ US40 a barrel.

Oil Search does not fare much far better with its value tumbling 83 per cent from present levels of about $ six.29 per share to a fair worth of $ 1.04.

Woodside seems to be much less leveraged to movements in oil rates, but would still decline 42 per cent from around $ 27 a share to $ 15.50.

‘$ US40 a barrel generates tiny earnings for Oil Search’

Morgan Stanley’s Stuart Baker approached the very same query from a distinct angle, looking at the effect of a $ US40 a barrel cost on balance sheets and money flows and the news was not considerably far better.

For Santos, the news would be bleak — no earnings or dividends.

Woodside — which does not face important debt repayments till 2019 — would also nonetheless be in a tight spot.

Mr Baker said under his modelling Woodside would be loss making and pay no dividends.

Nevertheless, Woodside could turn out to be money flow good in 2017 after its existing spending on the Wheatstone project is comprehensive.

Mr Baker identified Oil Search would be slightly cash-flow damaging, but does have spare liquidity of $ US1.six billion to aid battle through a prolonged downturn.

“At $ US40 a barrel (Oil Search) generates little earnings — $ US95m in 2016 and $ US51m in 2017 — [even though] dividends would be negligible,” he mentioned.

Mr Baker also threw Origin Power into the mix and discovered that it is defensive earnings stream from power and energy retailing would assist service dividends although production in the $ 25 billion APLNG system was nevertheless two years away from reaching its money flow possible.

Nonetheless, right after paying APLNG’s debt and interest, the project’s breakeven position for positive cash flows is between $ US38 and $ US42 a barrel.

UBS, Morgan Stanley count on oil value to recover

Neither UBS nor Morgan Stanley have $ US40 as a base case and each anticipate the price to recover.

UBS analyst Nik Burns stated with OPEC not offering any assistance, the industry is most likely to stay physically oversupplied with oil until late 2016.

It is a view shared by the International Power Agency which recently cut its forecast for worldwide demand by 150,000 barrels a day.

Mr Burns stated if OPEC returned to getting a cohesive cartel, prices could rebound to about $ 70 a barrel, but this was unlikely.

There are nonetheless significant headwinds that could push the price tag lower.

Storage in each the US and China is practically at capacity as super-tankers park for days off refineries to unload the increasingly less precious cargoes.

A 1 per cent stumble in Global GDP would reduce worldwide demand by about 500,000 barrels a day and probably add an additional year to rebalancing the out-of-whack supply and demand equation.

Iran returning to the marketplace faster than anticipated could also push the oil glut nicely into 2017.

Mr Burns stated primarily based on UBS figures, if Chinese GDP development came in at four to five per cent rather than 6 per cent and above, the reduce in demand would be adequate to push down prices by $ US5 to $ US10 a barrel.

“This signifies there could be a lot more oil price pain in the brief term, but the incentive value for new oil investment is above $ US60 per barrel in our view,” Mr Burns stated.

“So there is light at the finish of the tunnel.”

‘Oil could drop yet another 50 per cent’

However all this is positively rosy compared to the view across the road from rival investment bank Goldman Sachs which not too long ago forecast oil could drop by yet another 50 per cent to $ US20 a barrel.

Goldman Sachs’ reasoning argues a mild northern winter, slowing emerging industry development and Iran maybe enough for the surplus to breach storage capacity.

An further issue is that with technological advances continuing to cut oil producers’ reduce cash enabling, there is significantly less of an incentive to throttle back on production.

With capacity breached and oil splashing about everywhere the price would seriously crash.

That could break balance sheets, undermine financing bargains and destroy investors’ faith, then the entire question of weathering the storm grow to be a complete lot tougher.

Subjects: organization-economics-and-finance, markets, oil-and-gas, industry, australia

Initial posted December 09, 2015 20:48:56

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‘Slow’ Australian greyhounds languish at Macau racetrack

Updated December 09, 2015 17:44:51

Hundreds of Australian greyhounds deemed as well slow for Australian racing by their trainers and owners have been exported to Asia, in breach of racing rules, where they are languishing in shocking circumstances.

The greyhound regulator is so concerned about the welfare of the dogs that it has lobbied the Federal Government for practically a decade to finish the trade, but the calls have fallen on deaf ears.

An exclusive six month investigation by 7.30, combined with evidence gathered by Animals Australia in Macau, China and Vietnam, has identified dozens of Australian trainers and owners who have exported their dogs to Asia.

While not illegal, the export of greyhounds with no the required passport is against the guidelines of racing.

Penalties consist of fines and disqualification from the sport.

Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White said that conditions for greyhounds in Macau are abhorrent.

“For those dogs it really is a death sentence, it is a straight out death sentence,” Ms White told 7.30.

“The conditions are awful, it really is prison-like, barren cells, and in fact it really is like becoming exported to an additional country and put on death row.”

Australian dogs are racing around the clock at the former Portuguese colony’s dilapidated track recognized as the Canidrome, and are routinely sustaining injuries, with a disturbing one hundred per cent euthanasia rate.

The Australian greyhounds are flown to Hong Kong and then ferried to Macau, exactly where they are locked inside the Canidrome facility.

The facility is positioned in the middle of 1 of the most densely populated cities in the planet.

As a lot of as 800 dogs are housed at the Canidrome, with racing held five nights a week on a track that is too tough.

The Government’s reluctance to act on business and neighborhood concerns risks adverse welfare outcomes for exported greyhounds and threatens Australia’s standing as a robust advocate for animal welfare

Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Scott Parker

Month-to-month shipments of up to 30 Australian greyhounds assist to replace the underperforming dogs that are regularly euthanased at the facility.

7.30 has found other greyhounds are auctioned off weekly at over-inflated prices to unknown Asian investors.

The Canidrome track began an adoption program for unwanted dogs in 2012, but according to animal activists in Macau the program has only saved 4 greyhounds.

Albano Martins, who runs Macau’s major animal welfare groups, Anima, stated the adoption plan is a sham and that the Australian dogs that end up at the Canidrome are not protected by any animal welfare laws.

“How can Australia export animals to Macau being aware of that Macau has no animal welfare laws for protecting them?” Mr Martens stated.

“They know that the animals are killed on typical one per day, only because the animals are not competitive, and there is no adoption program for them.”

“Even soon after 4 years of fighting against the ban they had been not in a position to place much more than 4 animals for adoption.”

Australian ‘reluctant to act on industry’

Mr Martins stated he has written to the Australian consulate in Hong Kong and urged them to finish the export of Australian animals to Macau.

“What I want the folks in Australia to know is that young animals go to Macau and they are killed with no option to be adopted,” Mr Martins stated.

In Australia [if your dogs] don’t run rapid sufficient and you cannot maintain feed[ing] them, so you sell those dogs by means of those brokers.

Dr Wu Sung Hu

“I also want the Australian folks to tell the Government that that is a shame. I am a Western guy and I really feel ashamed with such a predicament.”

Greyhounds Australasia (GA) and Animals Australia have both repeatedly lobbied the Federal Government and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to legislate against the trade, but the Minister has not acted.

Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Scott Parker declined to be interviewed by 7.30 but in statement named on the Federal Government to finish the live export of Australian greyhounds.

“The Government’s reluctance to act on market and neighborhood concerns risks adverse welfare outcomes for exported greyhounds and threatens Australia’s standing as a powerful advocate for animal welfare,” Mr Parker stated.

“GA remains committed to in search of a Federal Government regulatory resolution that improves greyhound welfare outcomes and acknowledges the assistance of RSPCA Australia and other animal welfare groups in attaining that outcome.”

Numerous Australian suppliers involved in export

In June final year the industry’s peak body, Greyhounds Australasia, was so concerned about the welfare of dogs exported to Macau that it stopped issuing what are identified as “greyhound passports” for dogs destined for the Asian city.

Canidrome’s chief vet, Dr Wu Sung Hu on ABC's 730 Photo: Animals Australia covertly recorded this interview with Canidrome’s chief vet, Dr Wu Sung Hu. (Supplied: Animals Australia)

Below national racing guidelines, greyhound owners and trainers should get a passport for their dogs ahead of they are shipped overseas.

Trainers and owners caught breaching the export rule face fines and disqualification from the sport.

But 7.30 has found that the flow of dogs to Macau has continued unabated.

In a covertly recorded interview with Animals Australia investigators, the Canidrome’s chief vet Dr Wu Sung Hu detailed how the dogs are sourced from Australian brokers.

“We have 4 suppliers from Australia and we get the dogs from them monthly,” Dr Wu told the investigators, who were posing as prospective suppliers to the track.

“In Australia [if your dogs] don’t run swift enough and you cannot keep feed[ing] them, so you sell those dogs through these brokers.

“They get these dogs and sell [them] to Macau.”

In a disturbing twist, Dr Wu also told investigators he had recently visited Australia and had witnessed the illegal practice of live baiting occurring in Perth.

In a statement to 7.30, a spokesman for Mr Joyce stated the Government did not believe that adopting the regulators program of imposing greyhound passports would have any effect on animal welfare.

Subjects: federal-government, animal-welfare, animals, sport, china, australia, hong-kong, vietnam

First posted December 09, 2015 17:43:48

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Australian tax method ‘resembles 1950s’: Australian Public Service head

Posted December 08, 2015 21:13:58

Australian living standards are slipping, the tax technique resembles the 1950s and an “adult” debate over tax reform is needed, Australia’s subsequent prime public servant has stated.

Martin Parkinson, the incoming secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, told a organization lunch in Sydney the tax program was nevertheless heavily reliant on revenue and corporate taxes.

“Our tax system these days looks remarkably like it did in 1950/51,” Dr Parkinson mentioned.

Tax reform will be high on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agenda on Friday, such as a proposal to raise the GST to 15 per cent to cover a shortfall in Federal overall health and education funding to the states.

Dr Parkinson told the McKell Institute function in Sydney that tax reform was necessary to keep living requirements.

“Living requirements have currently began to fall, you can see that in the national accounts,” he stated.

“The falls are modest, so most people haven’t really recognised it however.”

The former federal treasury secretary mentioned in order to gain support for tax reform, politicians would need to have to treat the public “as adults” and explain the case for alter.

“All of us have to be far better at explaining the ‘why’ which genuinely comes down to what kind of Australia do we want to have?” Dr Parkinson mentioned.

“Do we want to have higher growth, higher-top quality jobs … solutions that our citizenry anticipate … and the capacity for safety nets to make certain we’re safeguarding the actually needy in our economy?”

Dr Parkinson said his comments should not be interpreted as an “insight into Government pondering” because he accepted the invitation to speak just before being appointed to his new part.

Subjects: government-and-politics, intergovernmental-organisations, public-sector, organization-economics-and-finance, australia

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Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala among Australian Grammy nominees

Posted December 08, 2015 01:38:52

Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala are amongst the couple of Australian artists who scored nominations for this year’s Grammy awards, with US pop royalty Taylor Swift and rapper Kendrick Lamar dominating the list.

Barnett, who was crowned Australia’s ideal female artist and best breakthrough artist at this year’s ARIA awards, was nominated for very best new artist.

Tame Impala, who also bagged 5 awards at the ARIAS for their second album Currents, are up against Alabama Shakes, Bjork and other individuals for the Grammy for greatest option album.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar received the most nominations for the Grammy Awards, released on Monday, with pop superstar Swift major nods in the most prestigious categories.

Lamar, who has won wide essential acclaim for his politically charged latest album To Pimp a Butterfly, earned 11 nominations for the music industry’s largest awards, which will be announced at a February 15 gala in Los Angeles.

Tame Impala at the Arias Photo: ARIA winners Tame Impala are up against Alabama Shakes, Bjork and other individuals for the Grammy for very best alternative album. (AAP: Paul Miller)

Swift and The Weeknd, the increasing Canadian R&B star, followed Lamar, with each scoring seven nominations every single.

But Swift was ahead in the four most-watched categories, with nominations in all of them except best new artist.

She enjoyed nods for Album of the Year for her blockbuster 1989 as effectively as record of the year and the category song of the year, which recognises songwriting, for her hit Blank Space.

Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was nominated for album of the year, alongside The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness.

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s viral ballad Thinking Out Loud was nominated for both record of the year and song of the year.

Melbourne future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote had been nominated for ideal R&B efficiency for their song Breathing Underwater.

Australian nation artist Keith Urban was nominated for best country solo efficiency for his song John Cougar, John Deere, John three:16.

Subjects: arts-and-entertainment, music, music-awards, united-states, australia

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Holman wins Australian PGA Championship in playoff

Posted December 06, 2015 17:30:17

Victorian Nathan Holman has taken out the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines in a playoff against Harold Varner III and Dylan Frittelli.

Holman shot a final-round 73 to finish even par all round right after four difficult days alongside Varner and Frittelli, with bogeys on 17 and 18 pulling him pack to even-par and denying him an outright win.

A par on the first playoff hole was sufficient for Holman to safe the win, with his opponents each recording bogeys.

In circumstances that produced a tricky course nearly not possible to negotiate at occasions, Holman recovered from an opening round five-more than 77 to claim the trophy.

Far more to come.

Subjects: golf, sport, southport-4215, qld, australia

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Former Australian bikie’s suspected killer ‘fled to Cambodia’

Updated December 03, 2015 01:58:05

An Australian man suspected of major the abduction and murder of a former member of the Hells Angels group in Thailand has fled to Cambodia, Thai police say.

Antonio Bagnato has been named by Thai police as the leader of a 5-man team that beat Wayne Rodney Schneider unconscious and kidnapped him from his house in Pattaya, south of Bangkok, in the early hours of Monday morning.

Mr Schneider’s physique was identified in a roadside grave about 30 kilometres away, right after police tracked the rented getaway vehicle’s GPS.

Pattaya police have told the ABC they now believe their principal suspect has fled the nation.

“We got data that he crossed the border to Cambodia,” Pattaya superintendent Sukthat Pumpanmuang mentioned.

An additional man, a 21-year-old American, has been detained on the Thai-Cambodian border and brought to Pattaya for further questioning.

“The arrest warrant will be issued for the American man tonight,” Superintendent Pumpanmuang stated.

“We believe that he was involved with the abduction and the murder,” he said.

Mr Schneider was a senior member of the Hells Angels in Sydney and was reportedly on a watch-list for drugs and money laundering.

Subjects: law-crime-and-justice, crime, thailand, australia, cambodia

Very first posted December 03, 2015 01:54:44

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Generating ‘magic’ for Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art

Posted December 01, 2015 11:33:13

A massive inflatable glass sculpture of a flaming auto inside a bottle will serve as a magical entree to lure unsuspecting passersby to explore subsequent year’s Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.

The precise dimensions of the operate by Adelaide glass sculptor Tom Moore have but to be given his final approval, but the double-walled inflatable is expected to be at least five-metres higher and tethered outside the North Terrace entrance to the Art Gallery of South Australia in February.

The plan to use a giant inflatable version of Moore’s automobile in a bottle sculpture, which involves a massive flower increasing out of the car’s roof, was detailed by gallery director Nick Mitzevich and Biennial’s curator, assistant director Lisa Slade, at the launch of the Gallery’s 2016 exhibition program.

Mr Mitzevich stated the Biennial would “survey the very best and brightest and revolutionary artists across the country”.

Almost 30 Australian artists will take portion in the exhibition that Mr Mitzevich described as taking “the pulse of what modern art is all about”.

Ms Slade has chosen artists to extend her obsession with the thought of the ‘Wunderkammer’, a room of wonders, a really like reflected in the ‘Magic Object’ title for the Biennial.

The exhibition involves a camera obscura being set up by artist Robyn Stacey at Carrick Hill.

A camera obscura is a pre-cursor to early photography where an outdoors image is reflected onto a wall inside a area by means of a small hole.

There will be wearable art inspired by May possibly Gibbs’ banksia males developed by Heather B Swann.

Queensland-primarily based artist Hiromi Tango’s work, that utilizes lizard tails as a metaphor for human trauma and loss, will also be component of the eclectic mix.

There will be some magic on show for young art lovers as well.

Ms Slade stated the Biennial will turn up the neon with a neo-baroque black-light den for children made by Kate Rohde.

Encouraging people to open up to the ‘magic’ of art

Mr Mitzevich stated he wanted audiences to be open to new tips.

People want to be involved they want to really feel that they’re connected and contributing to the fabric of culture.

Gallery director Nick Mitzevich

“I consider the magic is just letting your mind be opened to the unexpected and this exhibition is about tantalising your curiosity,” he stated.

He also desires to use the Biennial to create on the gallery’s reputation as the most visited cultural institution in South Australia.

About 800,000 folks walked by way of Gallery SA’s doors this year, such as 90,000 children, and there are grand plans for the Biennial driven by increasing philanthropic help.

“Philanthropy has been the great achievement story of this institution, more than the final five years we’ve far more than doubled private providing,” he stated

Mr Mitzevich mentioned encouraging donations from outside South Australia had been the crucial to winning much more private monetary help for the gallery.

“To be in a position to succeed and develop partnerships with private individuals are essential. People want to be involved they want to really feel that they’re connected and contributing to the fabric of culture.”

The 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object will run from February 27 until May possibly 15 at the Art Gallery of South Australia and numerous other venues around Adelaide.

Subjects: arts-and-entertainment, modern-art, adelaide-5000, sa

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Who was your leading Australian athlete of 2015?

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