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Mike Baird changes tack on coal as NSW starts to prepare for industry's decline

Peter Hannam - Sydney Morning Herald

The government has met with a series of anti-mining activists amid slumping industry fortunes, apparently making good on a pledge to give more equal weight to environmental and social issues when considering mine approvals.

The conciliatory approach with activists comes at a crucial time for the coal mining industry, with Premier Mike Baird's government considering approvals to mine 1.2 billion tonnes, after approving 1.8 billion tonnes of new coal mining since he became premier.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/mike-baird-changes-tack-on-coal-as-nsw-starts-to-prepare-for-industrys-decline-20160119-gm9ll4.html#ixzz3xwwGrNS1 
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Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Santos advises of write-downs on assets, reserves as sales fall 20pc on year

Santos advises of write-downs on assets, reserves as sales fall 20pc on year

Angela Macdonald-Smith - Sydney Morning Herald

Santos's credit rating has been cut to the lowest investment grade as the oil and gas producer advised it will book asset write-downs expected to reach into several billion dollars due to the collapse in oil prices.

The company also advised of write-downs of its petroleum reserves at its full-year earnings report next month and flagged further reductions to spending and costs beyond hefty cutbacks made last year.

The downgrade in Santos's credit rating to BBB- from BBB was widely expected after Standard & Poor's slashed the oil price assumptions used to assess the sector's creditworthiness. The outlook on the reduced rating, one notch above "junk" status, is negative, which looks set to feed fears in the market that another equity raising will be required if prices don't recover soon.

"We now expect the company's credit metrics will not recover to a level in line with the previous  BBB rating," S&P analyst Craig Parker said.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/santos-advises-of-writedowns-on-assets-reserves-as-sales-fall-20pc-on-year-20160121-gmbicq.html#ixzz3xwS3KplV 
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Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Categories: NarrabriWee Waa
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Santos write-downs flagged amid oil price plunge - From ABC News

Santos write-downs flagged amid oil price plunge - From ABC News

Struggling oil and gas producer Santos has warned investors

Struggling oil and gas producer Santos has warned investors that it will take asset value write-downs, but has not put an estimate on how big they will be.

The Adelaide-based energy company has seen its share price fall 72 per cent from a recent peak of $9.10 in May, to yesterday's close of just $2.56, leaving the company hovering around its lowest share price since the early 1990s.

In its fourth-quarter production report Santos reiterated comments in a November 9 investor presentation that it expected to book reductions to asset carrying values and reserves in its full-year accounts, to be released on February 19.

Click heading for more information and full article

Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Calling all Young Grain Growers

Calling all Young Grain Growers

Want to drive change on farm and in the Grains industry? The 2016 Australian Farm Grain Leaders Program is about to kick off. Join 9 other young farmers to visit farms in Queensland and Western Australia and visit with industry leaders in Sydney . Grow your own knowledge and skills to apply to your own farm project. Meet industry leaders and attend the industry’s Innovation Generation conference in Western Australia. For more Information contact Facilitator – Jo Eady Phone 0419912879 or email jo.eady@bigpond.com. Applications close 29 January. This program is an initiative of and funded by Grain Growers Limited.
Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Defending the Pilliga in Court

Defending the Pilliga in Court

By EDO NSW CEO/Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson

You may have heard that our client People for the Plains, a community group from the Pilliga, is taking CSG company Santos to court over its Leewood CSG waste water development near the iconic Pilliga woodlands. The group argues that without a proper environmental assessment and public consultation, the development is illegal.

The Pilliga – a biodiversity hotspot
The Pilliga is the largest remaining unfragmented block of temperate dry forest and woodland in eastern Australia. It functions as a key refuge for native plants and animals in a landscape largely cleared for agriculture. It is part of a National Biodiversity Hotspot, home to rare species such as the Pilliga Mouse, and is recognised as a globally significant Important Bird Area.[1]

The Pilliga is an important, biodiverse ecosystem. It is also a significant recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest underground water reservoirs in the world and the most important ground water resource in arid and semi-arid eastern Australia.

Within this stunning environment, the Leewood Water Treatment Plant will process over 1 million litres of coal seam gas (CSG) waste water every day. Santos then plans to use the water to irrigate crops on farmland next to the Pilliga forest.

CSG in the Pilliga – spills, leaks and breaches

Click the heading to read more

Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Plant Breeding Institute racing ahead - From The courier Newspaper

Plant Breeding Institute racing ahead - From The courier Newspaper

The IA Watson Grains Research Centre near Narrabri is poised for major expansion.

The I.A. Watson Grains Research Centre at Sydney University’s Plant Breeding Institute Narrabri is internationally recognised as a leader in grains research.

The centre has grown significantly in recent years and is now poised for further major expansion.

“In a few weeks a very significant new appointment will be made taking us into a completely new research area,” said Associate Professor Richard Heath.

“This is yet another facet of the expansion of the work done here and the significance of the Narrabri site.

“The Narrabri PBI will continue to grow.”

Apart from its role as an agricultural research facility, the Plant Breeding Institute is also an important Narrabri Shire industry, employing 18 academic, farm and administration staff full and part time and hosting up to 30 visiting PhD students each year.

Last year the PBI took a major step forward with the acquisition of Ron and Gloria Campey’s 1800 ha property Llara adjacent to the research farm.


Click the heading for more information

Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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65 Wonderful years together - From The Courier Newspaper

65 Wonderful years together - From The Courier Newspaper

George and Betty Parish celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Tuesday night.

On January 19, 1951, Bakersfield, California couple George Parish and Betty Bowen eloped to Las Vegas to get married.

The brief ceremony, with a witness brought in off the street outside the chapel, was the start of a long and happy marriage.

Betty was just 17 years old and because she was under age had to obtain permission from her mother Mildred Joseph, which was granted.

George was 19.

The ceremony was performed at the Hitching Post Chapel in Las Vegas.

The following day Betty returned to school.

“A school friend asked ‘what did you do on the weekend, Betty’?” and I said “ I have been to Las Vegas to get married,” replied the new Mrs Betty Parish.

This was the beginning of a long and happy marriage for George and Betty.

On Tuesday night the couple celebrated a major milestone, their 65th wedding anniversary, with a dinner in Narrabri.

 

Click heading for more information

Friday, 22 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Wee Waa
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Don't Start a flicking fire

Don't Start a flicking fire

Barwon LAC - NSW Police Force

In the midst of an 'above normal' bush fire season Police remind motorists of the dangers involved in throwing a lit cigarette from a vehicle window.

Barwon Local Area Command’s Acting Superintendent Kylie Chinnery said “as well as the environmental cost associated with littering, there is also great potential for fires from discarded cigarette butts”.

“Now more than ever we expect residents andtravellers to be responsible citizens” she said.

“Since the start of the bushfire season there has been huge media attention regarding the devastating toll on communities affected by bushfires”.

“A careless act like this by one person travelling through the area could have fatal consequences for our communities”.

The offence of Deposit litter (lit cigarette) carries with it fines of $250 – in aggravated circumstances the fine could be as much as $900 or you could be charged and placed before the courts.

Residents are asked to continue to be vigilant this bushfire season and if you see an unattended fire call 000 - if you witness suspicious behaviour report it immediately.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1119)/Comments (0)/
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News from the Government

News from the Government

Inserts of things happening in the State Government

Right to Farm Policty Released

More access as resources for regions program expands

Have you say on the container deposit scheme

Three topics from the local member.

Click the heading to read more.

 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (974)/Comments (0)/
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Knitting Nannas charged in NSW coal-seam gas protest

Knitting Nannas charged in NSW coal-seam gas protest

The Guardian

Three women from the “Knitting Nannas” anti-coal seam gas group have been charged after chaining themselves by the neck to a wastewater plant gate in northern New South Wales.

The women locked themselves on to the gates of the Santos Leewood Water treatment plant south of Narrabri on Monday morning. The treatment plant will support 850 CSG wells above the Great Artesian Basin.

Up to 60 anti-CSG demonstrators joined the women onsite at 7am.

Monday, 18 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Water bombing tankers Southern Belle, Thor help battle Pilliga bushfires

Water bombing tankers Southern Belle, Thor help battle Pilliga bushfires

By Breanna Chillingworth Jan. 15, 2016, 11:30 a.m. The Northern Leader

UPDATE: The Newell Highway has reopened today after two massive water bombing tankers were called to battle a bushfire burning out of control in the Pilliga Forest.

According to the Rural Fire Service on Friday morning, the bushfire, burning between Narrabri and Coonabarabran, had swelled to almost 8,000 hectares in size after southerly and hot temperatures on Thursday night.

Friday, 15 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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The vile scourge of ice tortures everyday Aussie families

The vile scourge of ice tortures everyday Aussie families

January 15, 2016 12:00am Miles GodfreyThe Daily Telegraph

A MOTHER who disowned her addict son. The paramedics regularly attacked by drug-fuelled psychos.

A police chief devastated by the impact of drug lords killing his community.

The pregnant addict who turned to prostitution.

A terrified wife who fled the violent husband who cut off her horses’ ears and handed them to her.
Friday, 15 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Mega merger a fix for Santos and Origin Energy

Mega merger a fix for Santos and Origin Energy

Angela Macdonald-Smith Energy Reporter SMH

A mega-merger between Santos and Origin Energy could drive $3 billion of cost synergies and help both weather rock-bottom oil prices, according to Credit Suisse.

The deal as envisaged by the bank's energy equities team would involve spinning off Origin's utilities business, while the oil and gas operations would be combined to create "Soritos E&P".

"We are struck by the beauty of both the industrial and political logic to the deal at a time when the companies are on their knees and the east coast market is staring down the barrel of an uncomfortable date with destiny," the analysts said in a note to clients.

A zero-premium merger would be the most logical structure for combining the two companies, which are both suffering from the impact of funding large liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland just as cash flows are being hit by plunging crude oil prices, they said.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/soritos-santos-and-origin-energy-merger-makes-sense-credit-suisse-says-20160112-gm4mbx.html#ixzz3xefSF7Qo 
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Off-target spray drift costs the cotton industry millions

Off-target spray drift costs the cotton industry millions

By Amelia WilliamsJan. 13, 2016, 5:01 a.m. The Land

A WHOPPING 20 per cent of Australia’s cotton crop has been damaged from off target spray drift this season, costing the cotton industry $20 million to date.

Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said all cotton growing regions in Australia have been affected by off target spray drift this season, with about 60,000 hectares reporting damage.

“I've been in the cotton industry for 30 years, and this is the worst year in memory for spray drift damage to cotton crops, so we are taking this issue extremely seriously,” he said.

Heavy rainfall spurred rapid weed growth across the country, prompting cropping farmers to spray their fallow country.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Santos hits 20 year low

Santos hits 20 year low

Cameron England The Advertiser Adelaide

Santos shares have hit levels not seen since 1995 as the oil price continues to slide

 

SANTOS shares have plunged to a two-decade low despite vague takeover rumours floating around the market.

Santos stock was hammered on Tuesday, closing 26c, or 8.1 per cent lower at $2.95 — levels it has not touched since late 1995.

The Adelaide company’s shares have basically halved in each of the past two years to January, trading at $12.51 in January 2014 and $6.35 in January last year.

At the current share price, the company is worth about $5.2 billion, well below the value of its investment in its $US18.5 billion Gladstone liquefied natural gas plant, let alone its other assets such as its Cooper Basin oil and gas fields and the Moomba gas plant in South Australia, and its overseas and offshore Australian assets.

There was a rumour that the company was being considered as a takeover target by French oil giant Total — also a partner in GLNG — but those rumours were played down by analysts.

 

For the full story click the heading

Tuesday, 12 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Local Lee Parish joined the Burrumbuttock Hay Run

Local Lee Parish joined the Burrumbuttock Hay Run

To help out with the drought in Queensland.

From the words of Lee Parish it was a 4 day trip of a lifetime.


Just had the biggest 4 days of my life and didn't make one cent from it but I loved every second and I'd do it all again in a heart beat. 


They say money doesn't buy happiness but I say that's xxxx. It cost everyone on the hay run there time and money but there wasn't a person there that wouldn't do it again for the farmers up north. 


I met some amazing people along the way and there were plenty more around here that helped Myself and Wayne get there. 


Lockes mini mart fueled used with energy drinks. Samand all the guys at Kenways serviced the truck. 


Paul and Ren donated the last 30 bails we needed. 


My parents for the fuel that set us off on our way. 


Jeff and Monday, 11 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1264)/Comments (0)/

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Friendly Face Helping Hands foundation CEO Nominated for Award

Friendly Face Helping Hands foundation CEO Nominated for Award

Kelly Foran nominated for Regional Woman of the Year.

Congratulations on being nominated for the REX Airlines' Regional Woman of the Year Award. 

You were nominated by Claire Coulton (on behalf of NSW Nationals Women's Council).

We wish Kelly a lot of luck with this award.

Sunday, 10 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1315)/Comments (0)/
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Tribute to Narrabri Tim Bell

Tribute to Narrabri Tim Bell

at the Magic Millions

"I was struggling at the 50m mark and needed something. I'm not sure if it was Rex's training or help from Tim above but we got there" - Jockey Damian Browne pays tribute to Tim Bell after the emotional win of Tinto in the Magic Millions Trophy
Saturday, 9 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1387)/Comments (0)/
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Agriculture confidence rings in the New Year

Agriculture confidence rings in the New Year

By Jamie BrownJan. 9, 2016, 5 a.m. The Land

WITH rain falling from Collarenebri to the coast this new year has arrived with confidence, despite a consolidation of commodity prices during the latter half of 2015.  

NSW Farmers’ president Derek Schoen, speaking from a tractor on his Corowa property, predicted 2016 would be a “solid year for agriculture”.

“Pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place,” he said.

Our grains remain in vogue – especially chickpeas and mung beans - which should help offset the current global glut in wheat.

The China free trade agreement alone will see the removal of a 2 per cent sorghum tariff which will provide an immediate $7 to $8 per tonne advantage, said GrainGrowers chief executive Alicia Garden.

Saturday, 9 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Thousands of Wild Dog Baits to be laid

Thousands of Wild Dog Baits to be laid

This year’s offensive will see 16,000 ground baits laid across 160 properties, covering an area of around 260,000 hectares across the Northern Tablelands and North West region.

Landholders are now able to use canid pest ejectors, a new technology designed to specifically target dogs and foxes.

Wild dogs cause an estimated $11 million worth of damage to the state’s primary industries sector every year.

Saturday, 9 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Women locks on to truck for five hours at Santos Site

Women locks on to truck for five hours at Santos Site

A 54 year old Tweed Heads woman locked herself onto a truck for more than five hours today, protesting Santos’ Leewood water treatment facility near Narrabri.


Mina Hunt and a number of other protesters arrived at the site just before 7 o’clock, claiming ground water was being poisoned by the gas company.

“I’m just an ordinary Aussie mum standing with another Aussie mum from Narrabri, you know, people just really need to wake up and realise how serious this is.”

Police attended the site mid morning and Ms Hunt unlocked herself from the vehicle around midday.


Friday, 8 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Tamworth firefighters see drop in fire-related callouts

Tamworth firefighters see drop in fire-related callouts

By Jamieson Murphy Jan. 8, 2016, 9:30 p.m. Northern Daily Leader

LOCAL firefighters believe their safety messages might finally be getting through to residents, with a drop in the number of fire call-outs last year.

It’s in contrast to state figures for 2015, released this week, which show an increase in the number of accidental fire deaths (17) and house fires (4070), compared to the year before with 12 deaths and 3946 residential fires.

Tamworth FRNSW senior firefighter Rob Gander said locally the overall number of callouts for 2014 and 2015 were about the same, but there had been a slight drop in the number of fire-related incidents they attended. 

“Last year, 18 per cent of our callouts were fire incidents, which is a slight drop from 2014, when 25 per cent of our callouts were fire-related,” he said.

“What that says to me is people are listening to our fire safety message and doing the right thing.”

Friday, 8 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (514)/Comments (0)/
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Nominate a mobile black spot

Nominate a mobile black spot

By FAIRFAX MEDIA Jan. 7, Extended to the 15th January to nominate

SUBMIT A BLACK SPOT: scroll to the bottom

THE deadline for government funding to fix mobile black spots is approaching fast, and residents across the country are encouraged to make sure they have nominated the worst spots in their area. 

Round two of the Mobile Black Spots Program closes on January 15, with the federal government committing $60 million to improve coverage in areas reported to have poor or no mobile coverage.

The areas to be funded will be selected from the database of mobile black spot areas, nominated by members of the public. The areas are those with poor or no mobile coverage. 

In round one, announced in June 2015, there were 499 mobile base stations to be affected by $100 million in funding. The stations were to either be built or upgraded. 

Click the heading to go to the full story.

Friday, 8 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Australian Cotton Conference

Australian Cotton Conference

Date confirmed 2 - 4 August

Thursday, 7 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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EPA assessing reports of water run-off from Santos' Leewood site

EPA assessing reports of water run-off from Santos' Leewood site

BY TAWAR RAZAGHI ABC News

The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority is investigating a report of run-off being discharged from a Santos-run site near Narrabri, in northern New South Wales, following recent rainfall.

The environmental regulator received reports of a minor discharge of water from the Leewood site yesterday and contacted the company to discuss how to control it.

The Leewood facility has been the subject of a number of recent protests by anti-coal seam gas activists and the approval of the site's waste water treatment facility is being appealed by the NSW EDO.

The Authority's Northern Branch Director, Gary Davies, said there's little information available about the run-off at the moment, aside from the preliminary reports received from complainants.


Click heading for full story

Tuesday, 5 January 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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