The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-03-22T22:59:02Z Advances in Digital Agriculture to Take Centre Stage at International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney 2017-03-22T22:59:02Z advances-in-digital-agriculture-to-take-centre-stage-at-international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17-in-sydney Sydney, Australia – 23 March 2017 – Advances in spatial technology that enable digital agriculture, including a next-generation national positioning system and real-time monitoring of soil moisture levels from space, will take centre stage at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney in April. A new national positioning system accurate to between 2cm and 10cm – as opposed to 5 metres with today’s satellite-based GPS – will boost Australia’s economy by $73 billion or more over the next 20 years, much of it in agriculture, says Dr Peter Woodgate, CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI). “To adopt techniques like precision agriculture and controlled traffic farming, farmers need to be able to position equipment and sensors with about 5cm accuracy. The conference will showcase space-based augmentation systems – including Australia and New Zealand’s joint initiative – which, subject to testing, are well on the way to achieving that,” said Woodgate. “Leveraging other regional efforts, such as a Japanese satellite-based system recently trialled in Queensland, it will even be possible to remotely control unmanned autonomous vehicles like driverless tractors from space.” Australia’s investments in positioning systems will not only pay off in higher agricultural exports but will create export business opportunities and new jobs in digital agriculture to aid the transition from sectors of the economy impacted by digital disruption. Woodgate and fellow Working Group Co-Chair, Glenn Cockerton, Managing Director of Spatial Vision, will make the first public presentation of the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda at Digital Earth & Locate17, outlining 30 transformative initiatives for Australia. In another highlight of the event, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will hold a special session to promote capacity building and use of data from its Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Observatory. SMAP products, which provide frequent global measurements of soil moisture from space at high spatial resolution, are freely available (http://nsidc.org/data/smap), with one of the first validation experiments carried out in Yanco, NSW. According to Phil Tickle, Program and Business Development Manager (Ag, NRM & Climate Change) at CRCSI, NASA’s SMAP data will complement data from a range of sensors used in digital agriculture, including soil moisture probes, weather stations, and animal tracking devices. Tickle is presenting the benefits of an online farm monitoring solution for the grazing industry at Digital Earth & Locate17. Called the NRM Spatial Hub, this provides access to 30 years of 30 metre resolution satellite data and tools for mapping, assessing and monitoring property infrastructure, land resources and ground cover. It is currently being commercialised by the CRCSI in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia. Tickle said the conference was an opportunity for farmers and land managers to learn about the spatial technologies transforming their industry, as well as to discuss potential issues, such as the ownership of agricultural big data. “We are seeing enormous development in digital agriculture capabilities and often farmers don’t have control of their own data,” said Tickle. “When you have sensors on farms feeding into data warehouses and generating broader benefits, why shouldn’t the farmer get a cut? And what does a farmer do if they want to change providers and their data is locked up in a proprietary system?” With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, Digital Earth & Locate17 provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. The joint conference will be held 03-06 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference’s Market Day on Tuesday 4th April opens the exhibition to everyone and is an opportunity for private, government and start-up organisations to come together and explore collaborative and business opportunities. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). Spatial Startup Companies to Share the Latest Innovations at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 2017-03-14T00:00:19Z spatial-startup-companies-to-share-the-latest-innovations-at-the-international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17 Sydney, Australia – 14 March 2017 – Virtual reality, drones and multi-Global Navigation Satellite Systems are among the innovations to be showcased in the Startup Hub at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17, taking place from 3-6 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Startup Hub is designed to bring innovators and providers of the latest spatial technologies to the attention of scientists, surveyors, businesses and government. It will be located in the exhibition hall throughout the conference, including the free Market Day on Tuesday 4th April. All exhibition visitors are invited to try out the new technologies and the new opportunities they provide. Virtual reality to reimagine the world Forum8 is demonstrating its custom 3D visualisation and virtual reality (VR) software. Complete with an Oculus VR headset, the demonstration will showcase the future of 3D experiences. Forum8’s VR-Design Studio is specifically focused on 3D VR/visualisation of urban spaces, roads and traffic, and rail. It provides a full environment for visualising a concept, including Australian terrain (DEM) and road design-type tools, vehicles and traffic settings. It is also possible to import data from a range of sources, including point cloud, road design tools and traffic simulations. The software is also used with driving simulators in engineering studies and human factors research. Rapid-fire spatial data capture Spatial Technologies Pty Ltd will showcase ground breaking technologies that are the results of research and development completed in 2016. This includes new and existing technologies like 3D laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) point clouds and light sensors. A number of projects utilising a combination of these will be showcased, including rapid tree inspections, street light management and asset management. Multi-satellite solutions SURVEY SOLUTIONS will use the Startup Hub for its Australian launch following successful sales of its SOUTH GNSS multi-Global Navigation Satellite Systems receiver in New Zealand. The receiver uses the latest GNSS boards to receive the full constellation of satellites available, weighs less than 1kg and is affordably priced compared with competing products. Giving meaning to spatial data Professional spatial problem solvers, Anditi, will also be on hand to show how spatial analytics can solve everything from energy sources to safety. The company is showcasing its next generation platform for high-precision spatial analytics and its application in a range of industries such as solar, property, roads and infrastructure, mining, and environment. It has been designed and built in Australia to revolutionise the management, processing and visualisation of spatial big data such as high-resolution LiDAR. Anditi will also be highlighting use cases across natural and built environments where its application is benefiting clients with lower costs and higher quality outcomes. The Startup Hub will be held in the exhibition halls of the Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference from 3-6 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, the event provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 to Boost Collaboration in Intelligent Transport and Smart Cities 2017-03-07T01:29:34Z international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17-to-boost-collaboration-in-intelligent-transport-and-smart-cities Sydney, Australia – 7 March 2017 – With driverless vehicles and drones poised for mass adoption, the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney in April provides a forum for government, industry and start-ups to collaborate and become players in the emerging global Smart Cities industry. “Mobility as a Service is transforming our cities and the spatial industry and technology start-ups are key parts of that,” says Susan Harris, CEO of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Australia. Harris – the keynote speaker for the Digital Earth & Locate17 conference’s Intelligent Transport stream – will outline the latest global developments and the pathways for Australia to leverage connected and automated vehicles, big data and positioning technologies. “We need to be ready in Australia. We are well placed to be part of the global Smart Cities technology industry, creating business opportunities and ensuring that our cities remain as liveable as they can be,” says Harris. “But technology is moving very quickly and early collaboration is vital.” The capture and exchange of rich 2D and 3D spatial information will increasingly underpin transport networks and cities. Driverless vehicles, for example, will constantly survey road conditions – sharing information about potholes, ice and other hazards – so other driverless vehicles, and human drivers, can avoid them. Even minor road damage like cracks will be captured and shared so authorities can schedule repairs and prevent further deterioration. Drones will also play an increasing role in the capture of 3D data, and later as a new layer of autonomous transport. “How does that spatial information get captured, managed and shared back out in ways that are reliable, safe, and commercially viable?” says Harris. “Australia is strong in both positioning technologies and big data, but we need to develop further skills and industry collaboration, including information sharing arrangements.” With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, Digital Earth & Locate17 provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. The joint conference will be held 03-06 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference’s Market Day on Tuesday 4th April opens the exhibition to everyone and is an opportunity for private, government and start-up organisations to come together and explore collaborative and business opportunities. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 Showcases Geospatial’s Enabling Role in Digital Transformation 2017-02-01T04:50:00Z international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17-showcases-geospatial-s-enabling-role-in-digital-transformation Sydney, Australia – 1 February 2017 – Geospatial data’s enabling role in digital transformation will be on show at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney in April, combining one of the world’s most prestigious symposiums with Australia’s premier geospatial conference.   Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse, chair & convenor of the Locate17 and Digital Earth Symposium Organising Committee, says attendees will come away with the knowledge to transform business practices in industries as diverse as agriculture, transport, construction and medicine.   “Both government and the private sector will be able to identify opportunities based on what is happening around the world,” he says. “Geospatial data underpins many disruptive and innovative organisations. Without it, companies like Uber would not be in business.”   According to Dr Mohamed-Ghouse, who is also director for NSW & International Relations of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI), the event comes as governments around Australia open up access to geospatial data to promote innovation.   Australia’s now freely available Geo-coded National Address File is used online to validate people’s addresses. The biggest Australian subscriber group for the Global Navigation Satellite System is not transport or surveyors, but the agricultural industry.   With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, Digital Earth & Locate17 provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data.   The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy.   Some of the symposium’s highlights include: Susan Moran from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive Science Team presents a special session on remote sensing and applications of global soil moisture monitoring Trisha Moriarty, Geological Survey of NSW delivers a keynote on the application of open data policy in the Earth Sciences across government, scientific and industry Singapore Land Authority & AAM presents, ‘Singapore Smart Nation: Measuring from the ground up’ David Wortley, Gamification and Enabling Technologies Strategic Solutions, delivers, ‘The role of Digital Earth technologies in digital medicine’.  The joint conference will be held 03-06 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney.  About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth.   ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards.  About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). Branching Out This Christmas With A Real Tree 2016-12-11T23:46:23Z branching-out-this-christmas-with-a-real-tree Here’s the big question as we roll into the Christmas season … what type of tree should you put up? A multi coloured plastic tree or a real tree? The Christmas tree market is booming but when it comes to choosing between real or fake, the Real Christmas Tree Company says there is no competition. Stefan Aleksiev, owner of the Real Christmas Tree company, said: “There are clear differences between real and fake trees. I like to look at it from a sustainable angle in terms of the carbon footprint created from both and the proof is clearly in the pudding that real wins’ hands down over fakes any day.” A study in America found people keep fake (plastic) tree up to 10 years to offset the carbon footprint of real trees and, although plastic trees can be recycled year on year in the home, they always end up in landfill, unlike real trees. Stefan said plastic trees are made from non-biodegradable plastic, and once thrown away end up in landfill. “They also release dioxins over time, potentially causing health implications and are a fire hazard. They have no smell and no authenticity,” he said. “Whereas real trees offer just that and the Monterey pines used by the Real Christmas Company are more durable shedding fewer needles – making less mess on your floor.” Monterey pines also smell great. “There is a fragrance you can only get from a real tree. Plastic trees after a few years start to smell musty and dusty,” Stefan said. “Handled with love and care, a real tree up it will last the Christmas season.” While Monterey pines are native to California, they do grow well in Australia. “The cooler climate gives the tree a lush foliage so all our trees are brought in from Victoria. They have that wonderful, traditional Christmas tree shape,” Stefan said. “So many people comment on the fresh pine smell and how it takes them back to their childhood. Christmas is a time for connecting with family and friends and celebrating life. It can be a time to relive treasured childhood memories when life was a little simpler.” “When it comes to the “real” versus “fake”, I’ve always been a huge fan of real trees and this is how the Real Christmas Tree company was formed. I think the environmental advantages to buying real trees far outweigh the yearly cost of the tree. Plus, real trees look amazing.” http://www.realchristmastrees.com.au/ Ivan Mateo named Society of Food Hygiene and Technology’s Auditor of the Year honouring food safety and sustainability 2016-11-25T02:54:15Z ivan-mateo-named-society-of-food-hygiene-and-technology-s-auditor-of-the-year-honouring-food-safety-and-sustainability-professionals Ivan plays an integral role at SAI Global assessing the sustainability of fishery stocks against global standards such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) sustainable fishing standard and the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program. “I’m honoured to receive this award for the work I do on behalf of SAI Global and on behalf of the specialist group of fishery assessors working to assist fisheries around the world demonstrate their sustainability credentials against globally recognised standards” said Dr Mateo.  “Not only does certification help protect global marine ecosystem biodiversity, it provides consumers with confidence selecting seafood that has been sustainably managed and responsibly fished.” SAI Global’s Senior Seafood Consultant, Dave Garforth said “To have such a reputable organisation as SoFHT recognise Ivan’s work is fantastic.  It also serves to highlight the enormous contribution standards and certification make to ensure responsibly managed and sustainable fisheries. With good marine science, sound fisheries management and careful stewardship of the world’s marine resources, seafood has the potential to feed the world’s population now and in the future. Standards such as MSC and RFM are pioneering the attainment of these values and we’re proud to be part of this marine sustainability agenda.” Dr Mateo has a strong academic and professional background in fishery science, fish bioenergetics, fish stock assessment modelling and marine conservation.  Familiar with fisheries of all sizes across a diverse range of marine ecosystems including tropical, temperate and artic environs, Ivan’s knowledge of fish species and fishing methods is exceptional.   Ivan leads a number of MSC and RFM fishery certifications and pre-assessments including: Pacific Albacore Tuna, Scotia Fundy Haddock, Gulf of Saint Lawrence Snow Crab, Alaska Salmon and Pacific Halibut.  Of note, on behalf of WWF-Canada and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor), Ivan lead a pre-assessment of Newfoundland’s Northern Cod Stock. This was part of a collaborative project to improve fishery sustainability through attaining MSC certification.  This project seeks to reverse the current state of this fishery stock; largely regarded as one of the world’s most iconic, fishery stock decimations resulting from decades of unsustainable over-fishing. SAI Global delivers audits and certification to the world’s leading seafood standards; MSC, Alaska RFM, Iceland RFM, G.U.L.F RFM, GAA BAP, ASC, Global GAP, IFFO RS, Organic as well as the full suite of GFSI benchmarked and relevant supply chain standards such as BRC, IFS and ISO, CoC and internal retail/customer specific standards.  SAI Global seafood personnel are sector and program specific specialists in seafood.  Academically accomplished and professionally adept, the team are courteously objective and passionate about the business of seafood sustainability.  Established in 1979, international membership organisation SoFHT supports the work of food industry professionals involved in all aspects of food hygiene.  The SoFHT Awards, as judged by a panel of experienced industry professionals celebrate outstanding achievements by businesses and individuals to food safety and sustainability. BREMONT IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2016 2016-11-09T23:23:43Z bremont-is-thrilled-to-announce-the-winner-of-the-australian-geographic-adventurer-of-the-year-award-2016 Bremont Watch Company is proud to present Michael Smith with a Bremont Supermarine S500 as the recipient of the Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award for 2016. Read about Michael's story here. We would also like to congratulate all the winners from the AG Society Gala Awards. Bremont is also offering the chance to win a trip for two to Bermuda for the America's Cup Qualifiers in 2017, click here to enter.  AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURER OF THE YEAR 2016-11-09T23:22:28Z australian-geographic-adventurer-of-the-year On Thursday 27 October at the Sofitel Wentworth, the who’s who of Australian adventuring and conservation assembled to celebrate the accomplishments of those who have triumphed in areas of preservation and adventure.  Bremont was proud to be returning as a partner of the Australian Geographic Society Awards in 2016 for the third consecutive year. The AG Society, established in 1987 by Dick Smith, is a not-for-profit organisation that is committed to supporting Australian environmental endeavours and honouring those that have achieved in the fields of adventure and conservation. To read the complete press release please click here Discover a different nature park in each book! 2016-11-08T03:11:48Z discover-a-different-nature-park-in-each-book Dr Richard Whitlow (Dr R) is the author of the Walkabout series, a fun and informative children’s picture book series. Readers of the series explore different botanical gardens and nature parks with the characters in the book. Along the way, the characters discuss the flora and fauna that the reader would discover in this garden. Full of not only pictures but scintillating scientific and botanical conversation, the vibrant books of the Walkabout series will entertain young readers. Each book contains a puzzle to engage inquisitive minds, using the new information they have learnt. For readers wishing to continue the journey of learning, a list of handy online resources is included at the end of each book. Dr Whitlow is a retired geographer and was inspired to write about gardens when he met a young ‘gardener girl’ who attended a talk he gave at his local library on native plant gardening. Following this, Dr Whitlow combined his love of geography, and the English language, to write the Walkabout series. Dr Whitlow delivers talks about gardening for young children at libraries. The Nerang, Helensvale, and Upper Coomera libraries are currently on his library visit list. He also delivers talks in places that are similar to those seen in the Walkabout series, such as botanic gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and nature parks. ISBN: 9780994599650 (Blue Mountains) 9780994599674 (Mt Coot-tha) 9780994599698 (Bunya Mountains) Price: $10 Format: Paperback Dimensions: 210mm x 210mm Contact author: dr.r@live.com.au Contact publisher: publishing@inhouseprint.com.au        Website: www.talesaboutgardens.com www.inhousebookstore.com.au Konica Minolta sets the gold standard for environmental leadership 2016-11-07T01:14:54Z konica-minolta-sets-the-gold-standard-for-environmental-leadership Konica Minolta has been recognised for its commitment to producing products that meet exacting environmental standards throughout their lifecycle, becoming the only company of its kind to achieve the highest possible certification from the world’s foremost environmental accreditation body for electrical products. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) system rates electronic products against a range of environmental performance criteria. Products must meet all required criteria to be registered in EPEAT at the Bronze level. They may then be registered as Silver or Gold based on the percentage of optional criteria they meet above that baseline. Konica Minolta has been awarded Gold Status for meeting strict environmental criteria that address the full product lifecycle, from energy conservation and toxic materials reduction to product longevity and end-of-life management. EPEAT is a free source of environmental product ratings that makes it easy to select high-performance electronics that support organisations’ IT and sustainability goals. Managed by the Green Electronics Council, EPEAT currently tracks more than 4,400 products from more than 60 manufacturers across 43 countries, and is the definitive global environmental rating system for electronics. Bill Christoforou, Product Marketing Manager, Konica Minolta, said, “This level of accreditation is rare, particularly in the Australian market. We have received Gold Status on the majority of our range, including our A3 multifunction devices. The fact that we are the only printer manufacturer in the country to attain Gold Status is something we are very proud of, as being environmentally conscious underpins everything we do.”About Konica Minolta  Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia Pty Ltd is a market leading provider of integrated solutions and managed services with the power to transform business environments. Konica Minolta works with organisations large and small to provide integrated print and content management solutions and services to improve productivity, reduce costs, increase security and achieve sustainability outcomes. Optimised Print Services (OPS) combine consultancy with hardware and software implementation and operation. Headquartered in Sydney, Konica Minolta Australia delivers expert professional services with experienced and responsive client support, in addition to the world-class service provided through its extensive network of direct sales offices and authorised dealers. For more information: www.konicaminolta.com.au Timber Suppliers in Brisbane Push for Sustainable Lifestyle 2016-09-14T04:34:08Z timber-suppliers-in-brisbane-push-for-sustainable-lifestyle Brisbane, QLD, 14 September 2016 - There are plenty of timber suppliers in Brisbane, but none seem to be as aware of environmental issues as the management of Narangba Timbers. They have produced numerous informative articles on their company blog about sustainable forestry and its positive effects on the environment, while decrying the deleterious effects of non-sustainable harvesting of timber.They have made it a point of pride to only carry ethically-sourced timber of high quality and selling it for low prices. Recently, they published a piece on their company blog reacting to a study that was recently revealed to the public. The study was conducted by QLD Government and is called the Statewide Landcover and Tree Study (SLATS). According to the study, nearly 296,000 hectares of trees were cleared in QLD during 2014-15. This is only a small rise from the numbers for the previous year, but they are nearly double the amount of trees cleared in 2011-12.Both the Queensland Conservation Council and the Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, issued statements saying that the level is too high and is not sustainable for Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef lost 108,000 of those hectares via catchment areas, a figure that Ms Trad found “alarming.”Dr Tim Seelig of the Queensland Conservation Council was the most aggressive towards the need to decrease this number. He sees the clearing as a threat to many native species, citing “devastating effects.” He also sees the Great Barrier Reef as being put in jeopardy by indiscriminate clearing of trees. Dr Seelig wants to see regulations tightened on tree clearing, reversing a decision by the previous government to allow farmers to clear all the trees they want for “high value agricultural projects.” Jack Kyle is the owner of Narangba Timbers. According to Mr Kyle: “From an early age, I have been taught to respect the forest and respect the environment. I was taught to conduct business in a way that makes the world a better place afterwards. For us, that means only doing business with firms that harvest timber in a sustainable manner.”Mr Kyle continued: “This path has forced me to stay on top of environmental issues. I know most of the trees we are losing are not being sold as timber, but losing 300,000 hectares of forest a year is a big environmental problem and needs to be addressed.”Mr Kyle added further: “The entire idea behind sustainable forestry is that trees which are cut down need to be replaced by newly-planted trees. That continues the cycle of carbon storage and ensures that our trees can still benefit the environment. When this principle is violated, it contributes to global warming. Losing 300,000 hectares of trees a year definitely violates that principle.”Mr Kyle concluded: “We want to leave Australia better for our kids than it was for our generation. Losing 300,000 hectares of trees a year isn’t going to cut it.” Narangba Timbers are the most ethical timber suppliers in Brisbane. They pride themselves on unparalleled customer service, great selection and low prices. They obtain their timber from ethical, sustainable sources. To learn more or to enquire about timber for your next project, call (07) 3888 1293 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Ahura Resorts Fiji Leads Rare Iguana Rescue & Research Program 2016-06-27T04:53:06Z ahura-resorts-fiji-leads-rare-iguana-rescue-amp-research-program Ahura Resorts are delighted to announce the arrival of a research specialist to Malolo Island to undertake an analytical survey of the island's rare and endangered iguana population.   Adam Clause from The University of Georgia (USA) is undertaking this exciting three month research project based at Likuliku Lagoon Resort that will include surveying, DNA testing and the electronic tagging and releasing of iguanas. His work will also include a detailed analysis of the tropical dry forest areas that are classified as one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet.   This incredible journey of discovery would not be where it is today without the support and enthusiasm of Steve Anstey, Group General Manager, Ahura Resorts.     “As a resort company operating in a pristine, sensitive environment such as ours, with ocean and coral reefs on one side and land flora and fauna on the other, we fully recognize the importance of sustainable tourism and believe that development in such areas carries both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure our environment is not degraded through irresponsible activities and practices” comments Steve.   “Our aim is to not only minimize our impact on the extraordinary nature that surrounds us but also, through a range of activities, programs and initiatives, to improve and enhance the environment for challenged species and future generations. The significant work we have done to date with the iguanas and now the launch of Adam's research project demonstrates our serious commitment”   Adam's scope of work will include training of Ahura staff as their support, understanding and engagement is vital to the future of this program. He will also develop a tropical dry forest restoration plan for Ahura Resorts, as well as undertake Fijian crested iguana surveys to estimate their population size and distribution across the Ahura resort leases and surrounds. “This project is a fantastic example of integrative conservation and I’m thrilled to be a contributor. The warm and productive collaboration between the US Geological Survey, San Diego Zoo Global, Mamanuca Environment Society, Taronga Zoo and of course Ahura Resorts has brought a stimulating diversity of expertise and a new focus on Fijian crested iguana conservation on Malolo Levu. This is exactly the sort of work I’ve wanted to do all my life!” comments researcher Adam Clause.   The Journey – A Disappearing Species – The Discovery – The Sanctuary The Malolo Island Iguanas are of the crested variety Brachylophus vitiensis and were considered extinct until 2010 when an injured one was discovered at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. It was sent to Kula Park on the main island for care but unfortunately died shortly after arrival. The curator of Kula Park advised visiting researchers Robert Fisher of the US Geological Survey and Peter Harlow of Taronga Zoo of the find and they took the iguana to Suva where it is now a part of the University of South Pacific vertebrate collection. A tissue sample was taken and sent to San Diego Zoo for DNA analysis. There was bittersweet excitement when six weeks later the results indicated it was a species thought to be extinct. Fortunately, three months later another junior iguana was found at Malolo Island Resort and then a second at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Others have since been found and seven are now held in captivity at Likuliku Lagoon Resort for research and breeding purposes. Despite these rare, ad-hoc finds that clearly indicate a small iguana presence in the area, the early surveys undertaken to find more failed to produce sightings in their natural habitat. Working closely with researchers from the US Geological Survey, Taronga Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global, immediate steps were taken by Ahura Resorts to identify the major threats that may be affecting the iguana population.  The first item on the agenda was to control the feral cat and rat populations and secondly to introduce an ongoing tropical dry forest reforestation program on the resort leases. In June 2015, three years after these programs were implemented, a survey of the tropical dry forest areas revealed six new iguanas. Much to everyone's excitement, it appears that the programs have made a positive impact. Two of the six iguanas were captured, DNA samples taken and then tagged and released back into their natural habitat. It is hoped that the next survey will show continued success of the programs and a further increase in the iguana population. The preservation of the iguanas and the tropical dry forest vegetation on Likuliku Lagoon Resort and Malolo Resort leases is an ongoing environmental initiative of Ahura Resorts in partnership with US Geological Survey, Taronga Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global and the Mamanuca Environmental Society. ENDS Ahura was an ancient god of creations who symbolised life, kindness, equality, care of the environment, charity, loyalty and faithfulness to settlement, tribe and county. The omnipresent sun was an enduring symbol of radiance, purity and life sustenance.  Today, Ahura Resorts embodies these same values.  As a 100% Fijian-owned company, with over 30 years experience in tourism and hospitality throughout the Pacific, Ahura is dedicated to providing quality holiday and lifestyle experiences while preserving cultural values and the surrounding environment.  Ahura is the management company operating one of Fiji’s most popular and well-known resorts - Malolo Island Fiji, and the luxury escape for couples which features Fiji’s first and only over-water bures - Likuliku Lagoon Resort.  Experience the Warm Heart of Fiji with Ahura Resorts.  www.ahuraresorts.comFor further information – Please contact Tracey Leitch – Impressions PR – 0415 290023 tracey@impressionsmc.com.au More shots are available upon request. AUSTRALIA’S LEADING AUTHORS GATHER TO CONDEMN GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO CREATE A CULTURE OF BOOK THIEVES 2016-05-18T22:21:03Z australia-s-leading-authors-gather-to-condemn-government-s-plan-to-create-a-culture-of-book-thieves Who: Richard Flanagan, Nikki Gemmell, Andy Griffiths, Tom Keneally to lead Alist roll call of Australian and international authors When: Thursday 19 May at 6.45pm – 6.55pm Where: Art Gallery NSW, just before the 16th annual Australian Book Industry Awards begin What: Photo opp with limited vox pops available on request. Don’t close the book on Australian stories. The Australian government is about to make significant changes to copyright, threatening the future of our Australian story. But at what cost to writers, culture and jobs? Guest ABIA presenter and Man Booker Prize winner, Richard Flanagan will deliver a speech in response to the Productivity Commission's Intellectual Property draft report around 10pm during the gala ceremony. ‘Australians deserve that their lives, experiences, country and culture be reflected in the literature that they read.’ - Thomas Keneally For more information, please contact: Emma Rusher T 0423 214 626 | emma@houseofrusher.com The most ambitious school building project in Victorian history 2016-05-06T02:47:40Z the-most-ambitious-school-building-project-in-victorian-history 06/05/2016 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) congratulates the Victorian Government for its investment in the future growth and development of education infrastructure in Victoria which will underpin future innovation across the State. To safe guard the $1.1b investment and ensure both the Victorian Government and the people of Victoria are getting value for money in this initiative, the AIQS recommends the government engage AIQS professionally qualified quantity surveyors from the outset of these projects to ensure costs are controlled and managed. AIQS quantity surveyors, by working side by side with the Victorian Government, will control costs, minimise risks, and provide certainty to ensure potential cost overruns experienced on some school projects undertaken during the BER are not repeated. Part of this cost control process is ensuring the procurement of contractors to deliver these projects is done in a manner to provide ‘value for money’ and not simply flood the market with projects. With rates for education projects ranging from $1,500/m2 to $4,500/m2 dependent on the scale of the work required, it is important that the 23 new schools and upgrades to 147 schools have this professional quantity surveyor advice from the initiation of each project. This will ensure that each project has a skilled professional as part of the team to assist in identifying and minimising risks associated with time, cost, quality, environment and safety. For more information, contact Peter Clack (AIQS President) on 02 8234 4000 or president@aiqs.com.au. The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) is the peak professional body for Quantity Surveying in Australia and Internationally, with over 4,000 Members. Through its leadership, Standards, and Code of Professional Conduct, AIQS ensures that practising Quantity Surveyors are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of professional excellence. The Institute promotes AIQS Quantity Surveyor members in providing impartial, independent, expert advice which benefit construction and infrastructure projects, by ensuring that design and construction costs are managed as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) Level 3, 70 Pitt St Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia (02) 8234 4000 www.aiqs.com.au New Heatstrip outdoor heater a world first 2016-04-05T00:01:51Z new-heatstrip-outdoor-heater-a-world-first After three years of product development, Thermofilm is set to launch Heatstrip® Elegance, the world’s first true outdoor-rated strip heater that is off-white rather than the traditional black. Available from May 2016, Heatstrip Elegance radiant heaters blend in seamlessly with most white ceilings in any al fresco, verandah and patio areas for both residential and commercial premises. Thermofilm, a world leader in electric heaters, worked with coating technology experts to develop a unique composition that has driven a new generation of outdoor heater. The Heatstrip makeover has extended to its effectiveness with a new heating element design that produces a more even temperature distribution and allows the energy efficient heater to operate at higher temperatures thereby providing greater comfort. The new heaters are also approximately 12 per cent shorter than the traditional black Heatstrip heaters and therefore take up less space. This shorter, more compact design has less surface area than others on the market and can help transform an al fresco area into a stylish, vibrant and sophisticated space with more effective heating comfort. New coating Greg Trezise, Thermofilm’s national sales manager, said it has taken years to get the right formula for the new coating of the Heatstrip heaters, which have to withstand constantly high surface temperatures. “There’s no other off-white outdoor heater in the world that does not discolour through the constant heat it produces. By virtue of the material composition, white is the hardest colour to operate at a high temperature and ensure it doesn’t lose its colour,” he said. Thermofilm’s R&D has extended to making the new off-white coating flexible so that it doesn’t crack. Other strip heaters on the market use traditional paint coating technology, which cracks at normal operating temperatures. Other highlights of the Heatstrip enhancements are equally innovative and market-leading, namely: With several several mounting options available, the Elegance series can be tailored to any space. The new bracket will allow both ceiling and wall mounting at various angles as well as suspension by chains, wires and metal rods for use with higher ceilings. All accessories and brackets are colour coordinated with the Heatstrip Elegance range. All three new models are IP55 rated, which means they are protected from water ingress from all directions. The 1800W and 2400W models come with convenient DIY installation while the 3600W model needs to be hard wired. Heatstrip Elegance strip heaters suit most white ceilings in any al fresco areas with ideal ceiling heights of 2.1 to 2.7 metres. They are corrosion protected so even suitable for seaside locations. In addition to trade outlets, Heatstrip heaters are available nationally from Bunnings as well as specialty outdoor living, electrical and heating stores. The RRPs are: 1800W-$699 (974mm length); 2400W-$799 (1204mm length) and 3600W-$899 (1804mm length). They come with a two year residential warranty and a one year commercial warranty. The 3600 watt model is the first true 3600W heater offered in the world in the electric radiant strip heater category. Details about the earlier models of Heatstrip can be seen here: www.heatstrip.com.au/ and more information about Thermofilm is available at www.thermofilm.com.au ends About Thermofilm: With more than 25 years manufacturing innovative, stylish and energy efficient products, Thermofilm Australia has supplied to residential, commercial and institutional markets both in Australia and around the world. The Thermofilm range includes the award-winning Heatstrip heaters, Bliss indoor and outdoor series, Envirotouch energy saving timer switches, and timer and thermostat controllers. In 2014, Thermofilm won the 2014 Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Victorian Government’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame awards and in 2013, the Heatstrip range was awarded the Australian Business Award for Product Value. Thermofilm will continue to maintain its position as a market leader in heating products by listening to its customers and focusing on continuous improvement and innovative product development. General enquiries to Tel: 03 9562 3455 Fax: 03 9548 3979 and info@thermofilm.com.au www.thermofilm.com.au Media enquiries: Issued on behalf of Thermofilm Australia, 17 Johnston Court, Dandenong South VIC 3175 by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Wendy McWilliams on 03 9803 2588 or Greg Trezise, National Sales Manager, Thermofilm Australia. Tel: 03 9562 3455. http://wmcpr.com.au/new-heatstrip-outdoor-heater-a-world-first/ Please contact Wendy to request the high res images you require.