A new story for Mount Beauty Library

A new touch screen booking system for meetingrooms and steel bicycle stands are set to become some of the features of theMount Beauty Library.

Alpine Council has released its concept plans for the library.

The old building was damaged in January when strong winds during aviolent storm,which some described as a mini tornado,ripped away the roofandblew out a window.

Rain thendamaged a sixth of the readingcollection.

But readers were able to get back to their books in a temporary locationin the auditoriumadjacent to the Mount BeautyVisitor Information Centre.

Councilasset development managerWill Jeremy asked for public comment into the new library plans so they could be part of the design process.

“The Mount Beauty Library is a key hub for the local communityand it is important that we consult with the community during the design process to ensure that we deliver facilities which best support the community needs,” he said.

“The draft concept plan is now on public exhibition and I encourage residents to have a look at it, and if they want to make a submission to council they will need to do so byMarch 18.”

The new library willfeature an improved control desk for staff, a large areafor books and a children’s section.

The outside will also be redeveloped with a verandaand large balcony.

Library staff have reassured the community insurance willcover the long-term replacement of damaged books andstorytime reading sessions have already resumed.

Alpine Council will put itsdraft concept planon public exhibition for 14 days at the council offices in Brightandthe temporarylibrary.

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Local solutions to our national problem

THE latest national suicide statistics cannot be read with anything but deep concern.

Released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week, the figures reveal thatAustralia’s suicide rate rose to 12 per 100,000 people in 2014,the highest level since 2001.

Further, the numbers showthat in the 10years to 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44, and that while men in that age group are almost twice as likely to take their own lives aswomen, the rate of suicide in women aged 15 to24 jumped by 50 per cent inthe same period.

The statistics in the Hunter are similarly sobering.

In a summary paper, the Black Dog Institute, a mental health research not-for-profit organisation, identifies the Newcastle local government area as having the highest hospitaladmission rates for suicide attemptsin the state, as well as one of the highest suicide rates.

Given thatcontext, it might seem foolish to suggest that there is reason for hope.

But there is.

Practical strategies toaddressthesuicide rate alreadyexist, and at present, because of its high rate of suicide attempts, Newcastle is a candidate for the trial of a multi-pronged“systems-approach” which incorporates nine strategies, fromtraining GPs to continuity of care after a hospital discharge.

Manyof thesestrategies are simple, and couldeasily implementable.For example, as Dr HelenChristensen from the Black Dog Institute points out, whilea past suicide attempt is one ofthe best indicators of a future attempt,more than half of the people who are admitted to an emergency department after attempting suicidesee less than 15 minutes of medical care after they leave.

The institute estimates the new program wouldreduce suicide rates by 20 per cent, meaning saving 28 lives per year across the Hunter New England district, and preventing 450 self-harm related hospital admissions, based on data held by NSW Health.

Perversely, the statistics also show with stark clarity the truthat the heartof themessage that mental health professionals have been stressing for many years.

That is,you are not alone.

Issue: 48,179

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 224 636

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

MensLine Australia 1300 789 978

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How busy bees and ants could help save our cities

By studying the behaviour of bees, town planners may learn a thing of two. Photo: Ben Rushton Ants may provide some of the answers that elude our best minds. Photo: SMH contributor

Much can be learnt from bees at work. Photo: magic1278苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

Insect researcher Eliza Middleton of Sydney University. Photo: Rex Walton

Next time you’re stuck in a frustrating traffic jam, spare a thought for the humble ant. The behaviour of these tiny but tenacious creatures might hold the key to better traffic management systems.

Ants, along with bees and other social insects, could help town planners solve bottlenecks in city infrastructure and urban renewal, Australian scientists have revealed.

The business of foraging for food, building nests and trails and growing colonies were all skills from which city planners could learn.

“I think of insects as efficient, almost intelligent, in some ways,” Sydney University biologist Eliza Middleton said. “We could use the lessons from these creatures to inform and improve our town planning.”

An ant colony, for example, might be trading off between the costs of efficiency and redundancy, said Dr Middleton, who reviewed a range of insect studies for an upcoming publication.

In the ant known as Lasius niger, traffic congestion was prevented by actively redirecting traffic to additional trails, she explained.

“If humans could develop a similar strategy, perhaps as a part of our online navigation systems – think of Google Maps – we could achieve a more even spread of traffic across our road networks,” Dr Middleton said. “In this way, we could potentially lower or prevent congestion in some areas.”

The lessons to be learnt from the social insect realm did not end there.

Several species have inactive workers with the potential to replace lost workers, for instance.

In honeybees, when working members are lost, the remaining individuals can switch tasks to fill the labour gaps.

“In honeybees, individuals can mature faster to help with foraging tasks earlier in life if workers are lost,” Dr Middleton said. “This could be useful in human infrastructure if our systems had a level of flexibility that allowed units to be temporarily reassigned to other tasks in the event of a disturbance.”

Honeybees resist the degradation of their communication networks using anything from a waggle dance to auditory, vibrational, tactile and olfactory cues.

“In a human system, the presence of inactive servers or power grids would allow us to better respond to disturbances, such as a natural disaster, as the inactive units become activated,” Dr Middleton said.

This comes at a price. The high cost of building and maintaining such technologies needed to be weighed against the potential benefit of such systems, she cautioned.

“With the rise of ‘smart’ electronics and appliances that can collect and exchange data, our infrastructure systems are becoming more self-organised and less centralised,” she said. This is also observed in social insect systems.

“These smart systems have the potential to revolutionise sustainable energy, but they pose unique problems that, perhaps, insect systems can answer,” Dr Middleton said.

So how do we build self-healing systems that respond quickly to damage? The answer, she believes, might lie in the self-healing nature of ant trails of pheromones, chemical substances used in communicating.

“Argentine ants constantly lay new pheromone trails as they walk, allowing them to repair broken trails,” Dr Middleton said.

Please send bright ideas for new topics to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛  

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Nauru police reject claims of alleged ‘machete’ attack against refugee

A digitally altered photo of two gay Iranian refugees, Nima and Ashkan, who say they are being persecuted at Nauru, where homosexuality is illegal. Photo: suppliedAn Iranian refugee at Nauru claims he was slashed in the head with a large knife normally used to cut down coconuts, in an alleged attack that raises further doubt over of the safety of refugees on the island.

Nauruan police say there is no physical evidence of an attack and the refugee refused to provide a statement to police. This is despite the emergence of photos purportedly showing the man’s injuries, and an unverified police statement sighted by Fairfax Media.

The man, who lives in the Nauruan community, told Fairfax Media he did not wish to be identified for fear of worrying his family in Iran.

He alleged that he was leaving his home on Saturday evening when he was attacked by two Nauruan men riding a motorbike.

The refugee claimed the men approached him from behind, and one hit him with a large “knife to cut a coconut”, similar to a machete.

He says one alleged perpetrator said “f— refugees” and both men laughed before riding off.

The refugee said the alleged attack was unprovoked, and he believed it was carried out “for fun”.

He claims to have lost about one litre of blood and attended hospital, where he received multiple stitches. Photos purportedly of the alleged victim show a long gash along the back of his head.

The refugee said he called police later that night and was told to attend the police station another day.

The man said the alleged attackers returned to his home the following night, and he escaped by locking himself inside. He claims to have later made a statement to police reporting both incidents. An unverified copy of this statement, dated March 7, has been sighted by Fairfax Media.

In a statement, a Nauru Police Force spokeswoman said it received a complaint by a man who said he was hit with a steel object, adding police “responded immediately”.

The spokeswoman said the man “refused to allow police to conduct a medical examination, provided no other details and refused to provide a statement to police or co-operate with any investigation. There was no obvious physical evidence of any attack.”

“Police conclude that this complaint was made for media exposure only and has no basis,” she said.

The alleged victim rejected the claims, saying he showed police his injureies and provided them with photos.

A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesman said the allegation was “a matter for the Nauruan Police Force”.

There have been growing fears about the safety of refugees living at Nauru who have been subject to a string of alleged attacks.

They include two gay refugees who say they are virtually prisoners in their home after repeated bashings due to their sexual orientation. Homosexuality is illegal in Nauru.

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Barnaby Joyce faces pincer-movement threat from Tony Windsor and state Green Jeremy Buckingham in New England

Deputy Prime MInister Barnaby Joyce. Tony Windsor is aiming for a comeback less than three years after he retired. Photo: Wolter Peeters

UPDATE: Windsor to run against Barnaby Joyce, Jeremy Buckingham says he won’t be contesting

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is facing a potentially dangerous, multi-pronged attack in his seat of New England, with the challenge of Tony Windsor to be augmented by a high-profile candidate representing the Greens.

Mr Windsor is set to announce his intention to again contest New England at a press conference in Canberra on Thursday, less than three years after his retirement from politics.

Fairfax Media can reveal the race for New England will get more crowded, with NSW upper-house MP Jeremy Buckingham close to announcing a dramatic switch to the federal sphere to contest the seat.

A senior Greens source confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Buckingham, who has established a profile in New England through years of campaigning against coal and coal seam gas mining around the Liverpool Plains, is being urged to run and is “seriously considering” putting his hand up.

Greens strategists believe his “attack dog” reputation, particularly against Mr Joyce’s complicated stance on mining, can significantly boost the Greens’ vote and “take more bark off Barnaby”.

The Greens attracted just 4.6 per cent of the primary vote in New England in 2013 and the party believes that would be boosted significantly if Mr Buckingham stands.

“We want to make New England a referendum on coal mining,” said a source.

Like Mr Buckingham, the former New England MP, Mr Windsor, has been a vociferous opponent of the Coalition’s support for the giant Chinese-owned Shenhua Watermark coal mine near Gunnedah.

During his time as agriculture minister, Mr Joyce broke ranks with his cabinet colleagues, saying the “world had gone mad” when the open-cut mine received approval but his elevation to the second-highest office in the Turnbull Government will make it much more difficult for him to distance himself from the controversial project.

In response, Mr Joyce has already sharpened his lines about Mr Windsor being a hypocrite on the coal mine issue. The independent sold his farm to Whitehaven Coal.

The obvious danger is that Mr Windsor and Mr Buckingham split the anti-Joyce vote and ensure his re-election but a Greens source said Mr Windsor’s “country gentleman appeal” is different to Mr Buckingham’s and the Green would take votes directly from the Deputy Prime Minister.

A preference deal between Mr Windsor, the Greens and the ALP is a near-certainty.

A senior National Party colleague of Mr Joyce said a co-ordinated attack would make the race tight but the sitting MP would win through.

National Party federal director Scott Mitchell said Mr Windsor appeared to be suffering “relevance deprivation” and New England would judge him on his past record if he stands.

He said there would be no fear of a Buckingham candidacy. “You often get eight or 10 candidates on the ticket in rural and regional seats but we are confident of running a strong local campaign in New England,” he said.

Mr Windsor declined to confirm he will stand, saying any announcement will be made on Thursday, but Fairfax Media understands his decision has been made.

He has scheduled a press conference in Canberra for 10am Thursday.

Mr Joyce declined to comment but has said in the past that “wonderful thing about democracy” is that anyone can run and he would welcome the challenge posed by Mr Windsor.

On Monday, local farmer Rod Taber announced he would again contest New England as an independent.

If Mr Buckingham is to run, Greens’ candidate Mercurius Goldstein would be asked to stand aside for the good of the party.

When he stepped down in 2013, Mr Windsor gave Mr Joyce a clear run in his switch from the Senate to the House of Representatives. Mr Joyce holds the seat with a margin of more than 19 per cent.

In September, Fairfax Media revealed Mr Windsor was contemplating a tilt for his old seat, encouraged by seat-specific polling conducted by the CFMEU that found Mr Joyce would be under extreme pressure if he entered the race.

The polling suggested Mr Windsor would have pulled close to 38 per cent of the primary vote if an election had been called in August last year and favourable preferences could make New England a knife-edge contest.

His camp is braced for a big-spending campaign by the Deputy Prime Minister, who counts business titans like Gina Rinehart and Harold Mitchell as friends.

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Gold holds firm as US dollar, deflation worry investors

The price of gold has continued to increase even as global equity and commodity markets recover from their early-year rout, which sent bullion soaring as investors scrambled for a safe-haven asset.

Now, however, it appears a cooling US dollar and negative interest rates in Europe and Japan are the drivers giving gold some firm support. Indeed, in Australian dollar terms, gold may be headed for all-time record highs, say analysts.

Gold, which was trading at $US1061 an ounce at the start of the year, has increased more than 19 per cent to $US1263.60 – back to early-2015 levels but still far below 2011 highs above $US1900.

ANZ commodity analyst Daniel Hynes said the winding back of the cycle of rising interest rate  in the US, coupled with negative bond yields and the risk of deflation in Europe and Japan, had underpinned the strength of bullion.

“Those two issues have sustained the rally in gold and kept prices relatively elevated,” he said.

“In the last few weeks we’ve seen concerns around negative yields in Japan and Europe.”

In Europe and Japan, gold – a non-yielding asset – is more attractive than any assets, such as bonds, that happen to be negatively yielding. Furthermore, deflation increases the value of gold in real terms.

“That’s where the negative-yield play is coming in in those markets,” Mr Hynes said.

“That’s been the biggest driver. Gold is a non-yielding asset, so in a sense it stands up pretty well against those bonds in Japan, for example.”

Furthermore, in the US, inflationary expectations were starting to rise as economic growth maintained a steady clip. That gave further support to gold, a traditional hedge against inflation.

“Inflation-adjusted yields in the US are quite well correlated with the gold price,” Mr Hynes said.

But despite these bullish factors, bullion had probably peaked, he said. ANZ is tipping gold to be at $US1250 at the end of 2016 and $US1350 at the end of 2017.

ABC Bullion chief economist Jordan Eliseo agreed negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, coupled with a cooling US dollar, had underpinned gold.

“In the US there is a clear belief in the market that the Fed won’t be able to follow through on the hiking program that was originally forecast at the start of the year,” Mr Eliseo said.

“That, coupled with negative interest rates in Japan and what’s happening in Europe, has led investors to believe that this era of easy money is clearly not over.

“Therefore it makes sense to own gold as part of an overall portfolio. More and more are saying, well, it makes sense for me to hold 5 to 10 per cent of my portfolio as gold.”

Mr Eliseo said gold, in US dollars at least, would probably consolidate after the gains it had enjoyed.

But in Australian dollar terms, bullion could well reach a record, he said.

Now at $1701 an ounce, Australian dollar gold is within shooting distance of all-time highs of $1800 achieved in 2011.

Mr Eliseo said that, based on US dollar gold reaching $US1350 an ounce, the Australian dollar gold record would be broken.

“In Australian dollar terms, I wouldn’t be surprised to see gold hit $2000 this year,” he said.

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Argentina’s Tomas Cubelli learns the Brumbies language ahead of Western Force clash

Tomas Cubelli will play his third game for the Brumbies when they play the Western Force. Photo: Graham TidyArgentina scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli says he won’t force himself to bark orders at the ACT Brumbies unless it feels like a natural progression in his first Super Rugby season.

Cubelli has impressed in his first two games with the Brumbies, allaying fears the club would struggle after the departure of Wallabies’ No. 9 Nic White at the end of last year.

However, the one minor glitch Cubelli is working on is teaching his teammates Spanish so there’s no comprende problems.

“I’m getting more comfortable with it game by game. The guys really are making it easy for me,” Cubelli said.

“I’m putting in hard work to try to get good combinations with my teammates [on] the field. Sometimes it goes out as a Spanish word. But at the same time they’re getting used to some Spanish words.

“Speaking into the team has to be natural, not forcing it. I just have to play my part and do what I need to do when it’s important.

“Yes [they can understand me], the halfback is always trying to say things that are obvious so the forwards or other guys know. When you’re tired on the field, someone has to do it. Sometimes it’s easier to understand when you’re playing rugby rather than speaking.”

The Brumbies flew to Perth on Wednesday night in preparation for their clash against the Western Force on Friday.

Cubelli has enjoyed a winning start to his Super Rugby career after moving to Canberra to take a chance with the Brumbies.

He scored a try in his debut match and has looked threatening every time he touches the ball, but is still fine-tuning his kicking game.

The Force have opted for a scrumhalf switch, with former Brumby Ian Prior coming into the starting side to replace Alby Mathewson.

Cubelli has formed a tag-team combination with Michael Dowsett, while Joe Powell is also pushing for game time.

“We’ve played two different types of games, I have to focus on other aspects and keep working the running game if the coach likes it,” Cubelli said.

“So if the game demands another thing, I can do it. Sometimes there’s more opportunities to run, it depends on the defences. I need to my insert myself into games when needed.”


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at nib Stadium, Perth, 10.05pm (AEDT). TV: Live on Fox Sports 2.

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Cleve awash after stormGALLERY, VIDEO

STREETSaround Cleve have beenflooded and thedistrict has been battered by storms.

One farmer reported 105 mm of rain had fallen. Creeks flooded and stopped traffic on Birdseye Highway west of Cleve.

Some people are seeking shelter in Cleve for the night as they can’t get home.

Cleve is experiencing just a little bit of rain this week! @eptribune#EyrePeninsulapic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/qFvKJG9lyS

— FairfaxSA (@FairfaxSA) March 10, 2016Birdseye Highway was closed due to flooding tonight.

Annie Burton, Lyn Kwaterski, Mignon Dunn, Sjaana Cook and Julie Burton were held up by flooding creeks on their way to netball training. Pic Mignon Dunn

Josiah Quinn enjoying a large bath

Rudall Road

Flooding near Quinn’s overnight freight

Rolling in. Picture John Turnbull

Rudall Road

Heading into Cleve

Run off by the recycling station.

Rudall Road

Zane Crettenden, Josiah Quinn, Sorayah Quinn and Torren Quinn enjoying an impromptu swim at the Field Day site.

Deep water crossing.

Not the Loch Ness Monster…. Josiah Quin having a swim.

Flooded creek

Vicki Forrest making all the right moves.

Getting through

East of Cleve

Cleve came out for a look.

No netball tonight girls. Pic Bec Jones

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Albany Police under fire for dressing police cars with ribbons for wedding

The look-out near the National ANZAC Centre. Photo: Instagram / interpretationaustraliaAlbany Police officers face an internal review after decorating two marked police cars with ribbons and using them in a private wedding procession on Saturday afternoon.

Perth man Peter, who did not want to have his surname published, told Radio 6PR on Wednesday the vehicles were being driven by two police officers in uniform.

The wedding party is understood to have had photos taken at a popular look-out near the National ANZAC Centre.

WA Police has since confirmed the incident is being reviewed.

“It was quite surprising and a little bit concerning to think public sector resources are being tied up, particularly police, when they should be out policing,” Peter said.

“On the back of the horrific weekend we had with road tragedy, to think that those resources were tied up for a private function.

“I, like many, was travelling to the Albany region over the long weekend and I never saw a police vehicle on the road between Perth and Albany and back – I only saw one multi-nova.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed two police cars were used during a male police officer’s wedding.

“The cars were used to escort a horse-drawn carriage for a short period,” she said.

“The use was given prior approval by a supervisor, subject to the vehicles not being required for tasking at the time.”

WAtoday understands the cars also tried to drive up to a look-out point to be in wedding photos but were denied access as vehicles are not permitted at the point.

The police spokeswoman said other police cars were patrolling the area on Saturday afternoon.

“Two other police vehicles were patrolling the Albany area at the time and available to attend jobs,” she said.

“The matter is under review at the moment to establish if decision-making was appropriate and whether any policy was breached.”

In a horror 72-hours on WA roads, 11 people were killed in car accidents over the Labour Day long weekend.  Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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The Beach House Kids Fun Centre owner claims sexual assault allegation a scam

The play centre where the alleged assault took place Photo: Beach House Kid’s Fun Centre. The owner of the centre has denied a boy was sexually assaulted there in February. Photo: Beach House Kid’s Fun Centre

The owner of a Perth indoor play centre where a boy was reportedly sexually assaulted claims the incident never took place and the family involved made up the allegations to avoid paying their party function fee.

In February, WA Police appealed for witnesses to the reported assault, which was alleged to have taken place at The Beach House Kids Fun Centre in Balcatta on February 13.

Centre owner Vivienne, who did not want her surname published, told WAtoday on Wednesday that she had been informed by police a lengthy investigation had failed to uncover any foul play.

She claimed CCTV footage showed the group had been in the centre for less than 30 minutes, and had not yet left their private function room, when they reported the assault.

She said after making the report, the group then demanded a full refund for their party, refused to leave the centre and allowed their children to play on the equipment until closing time.

“From the start we knew nothing happened, they only just walked through the gate and they raised the alarm,” Vivienne said.

“We believe it was a tactic used by this group in order to get a free party for their children. The party food was consumed by their 12 children, yet they still demanded a refund.”

Vivienne did not say whether the incident had led to drops in visitor numbers but did thank the centre’s loyal customers on its Facebook page.

“We would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have stuck by us over the last few weeks,” she said.

“As a gesture of appreciation, we would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday 22nd March from 5pm-8pm to allow your children to enjoy playing at The Beach House.

“There will be light refreshments provided and entry is free.”

Police have been contacted for comment.

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