The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2016-12-08T14:49:45Z Timber Suppliers Say: “Keep Australian Timber Sustainable.” 2016-12-08T14:49:45Z timber-suppliers-say-keep-australian-timber-sustainable Brisbane, QLD, December 08, 2016 - Of all the timber suppliers in the Brisbane area, Narangba Timbers and owner Jack Kyle have done the most to educate consumers about issues facing the timber and forestry industries. In particular, they have gone out of their way to educate consumers about sustainable forestry and timber harvesting.Recently, on their company blog, Mr Kyle offered an educational piece called “Keep Australian Timber Sustainable.” The piece covered the current state of Australian plantation forestry and offered a solution. According to Mr Kyle:“Approximately 80% of Australian timber that is used for timber products is grown on plantations under a sustainable model. To make a long story short, every tree that is harvested is replaced by planting a new tree in its place. However, as demand for Australian timber is growing, plantations are shrinking. This could create a larger trade deficit for Australian timber than the one that already exists.”Even though Australia currently has 2 million hectares of plantation timber, it has been estimated that much more, from 14.6 million hectares to 23.6 million hectares, need to be turned into what is termed “woody tree cover” to help Australia meet long term climate policy objectives, including “deep decarbonisation.”A combination of economic factors has caused some of the investor money for plantation timber to “dry up.” The main reason for this is because it takes new trees between 10-25 years to reach harvesting age. Plantation timber is a long-term investment that a lot of companies can’t afford to make unless they already have plantations “in queue,” producing timber and therefore revenue.Most of the sawn timber that is used for housing in Australia is produced somewhat locally, but exports of Australian timber are decreasing in value, even under the threat of scarcity at home. This has created an imbalance in global trade for the Australian timber industry. Australia exports a high volume of unprocessed timber for wood chips but imports much more for paper and processed board products.The Easy Solution for More Plantation TimberThe solution that makes the most sense to Mr Kyle is one that has been discussed for a few years: turning unused portions of farms into small timber plantations. According to Mr Kyle:“Of all the proposed solutions to creating more plantation timber even as investment in plantations is decreasing, the one that makes the most sense is to offer farmers the opportunity to turn some of their unused land into small timber plantations. It is estimated that trees could be planted on 10-20% of existing farms without affecting their current crops. The trees could actually have a positive effect on livestock and crop production.”Mr Kyle concluded: It might not be the entire solution but it’s a great start, It would benefit the farmers, the timber industry and the environment. We can live with that.”Narangba Timbers are timber suppliers in Brisbane. They have been a family business for three generations and they have a strong commitment to ethical and sustainable sourcing of timber. They offer a full range of timber species for construction, timber fencing, timber decking, timber flooring and other projects. To learn more or to speak to their world class customer service, call (07) 3888 1293 or visit their website: Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) Recommendations Have Timber Suppliers Excited 2016-12-07T07:08:35Z forest-industry-advisory-council-fiac-recommendations-have-timber-suppliers-excited Perth, WA, December 07, 2016 - In 2014, the Australian Government established a group of forestry and timber industry insiders called the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC). The purpose was to assemble a talented cross-section of people from within the industry with different points of view to advise the Government on how to enhance the forestry and timber industries in Australia.In June 2016, the FIAC concluded two years of study by releasing a report called “Transforming Australia’s Forestry Industry.” The report offers a comprehensive plan on how to triple the products and revenue generated by the Australian forestry industry by 2050.Jack Kyle is the owner of Narangba Timbers, prolific timber suppliers in Brisbane. Recently, on his company blog, Mr Kyle provided his readers and customers with a concise summary of the report. According to Mr Kyle:“As long-standing, trusted timber suppliers in Brisbane, we try to keep our public informed about developments in the timber and forestry industries. We feel it is our duty and our responsibility to help the industry grow, provide great products for our customers, provide more jobs in the communities and do so in a way that protects the environment.”Mr Kyle continued: “When the timber industry grows, everyone in Australia wins. Communities get more jobs. Our customers get more timber products from Australia. The Government receives revenue from taxes. The environment benefits greatly from sustainable forestry. And we get the privilege of bringing great Australian timber to our customers at low prices.”The FIAC recommends three main objectives for growing the forestry industry. The first is to have “the right trees in the right places in the right scale.” Strategies for accomplishing this include preserving what they call the “productive forest estate” by rolling over all of the 20-year Regional Forestry Agreements or RFA’s. Another strategy is for the Government to use the same regional approach that the forestry professionals have been using to create policy and to expand regional hubs.The second main objective is to use every possible part of every single tree, down to what they call a “cellular level,” to produce forestry products. They feel this can be accomplished by having the Government spend $40 million to establish a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation. They also recommend using government funds to help develop technologies and help bring new products to market. The third main objective is to become even more environmentally friendly, publicise it and become more valued by “the community.” This would include establishing standards, “report cards,” certification and making sure Australia gains a worldwide reputation for ethically-sourced, high quality timber products. Mr Kyle concludes: “While we don’t agree with every recommendation, word for word, we agree wholeheartedly with the spirit of the report. We look forward to watching our industry grow and helping in any way we can.”Narangba Timbers are timber suppliers in the Brisbane area. They offer timber for such uses as general construction, timber fences, timber flooring and timber decking. They are a family business that has served the Brisbane area for three generations. They have built a reputation for low prices and world class customer service. To learn more, call (07) 3888 1293 or visit their website: SLR Announces Executive Appointment in Asia Pacific 2016-12-05T03:13:24Z slr-announces-executive-appointment-in-asia-pacific Leading environmental and advisory firm SLR Consulting has announced the appointment of Paul Gardiner to lead the company’s Asia Pacific operations. Former Cardno Asia Pacific General Manager Paul Gardiner will commence in the role from January 2017 after 19 years in a variety of roles in Australia, the Middle East, United States and Latin America.  During his time with the company he led several acquisitions and was instrumental in the growth of the firm with several local and international milestone projects secured under his leadership. After a number of successful years leading the SLR team in the region, the current Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Peter Georgiou, is taking on a new role in the company encompassing both local client and global leadership responsibilities.  Group CEO Neil Penhall also commented: “‘I’d like to welcome Paul to SLR as APAC Regional Manager but also thank Peter for his contribution in the role over recent years. Paul’s appointment adds significantly to our leadership team in the region.  We have an exciting growth strategy in all our regions over the coming years and attracting someone of Paul’s calibre to the SLR team will further enhance our ability to bring this strategy to life in APAC.” Commenting on his move to SLR Paul remarked: “I am excited by SLR’s position as a leading global provider of specialist environmental and advisory services.  I was particularly drawn by the highly collaborative and supportive “one team” culture which has underpinned their recent successful growth achieved during difficult market conditions”. This announcement follows the recent appointment of Dianne Buchanan as Chief Financial Officer in September and Rick Smith as the North America Chief Operating Officer. Adventures of the Bird Clan 2016-11-30T23:17:34Z adventures-of-the-bird-clan On Saturday 12th November, Sathya Sai School families with students in class 1 and 2 went on a kayak adventure in Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff. These students attended two environmental programs at our school: Journey with Dolphins - Dolphin Research Australia’s after school program, and Bird Clan - Sathya Sai’s after school program for Year 1 boys.  The aim of this field trip was to bring the families together to enjoy time in nature and appreciate the wildlife, particular the species they learned about in these programs.  Watersports Guru, Kingscliff local eco-adventure agency, prepared a series of games and activities that added a lot more fun to the whole experience. The kayak trip and games were followed by a picnic at the riverbank to bring the families together and chill out. One of the high notes was to hear the students refer to Uncle Franc, Fingal Head Indigenous Educator who had taught Classes 1 and 2 about Fingal Head bush tucker and wildlife in our excursion a couple of weeks earlier. The students were able to identify and eat some of the local bush tucker such as cottonwood hibiscus flowers and salt leaves from the mangroves.     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. Good Business Consulting rebrands as Pure Public Relations 2016-11-15T22:30:38Z good-business-consulting-rebrands-as-pure-public-relations PR firm Good Business Consulting is changing its name to Pure Public Relations. The change more accurately reflects the company’s move away from marketing and business consulting to a refined service offering and commitment to providing best practice across the spectrum of communication for small and medium-sized businesses, charities and not-for-profits. “There aren’t many PR firms that only offer their services to small and medium-sized businesses, charities and not-for-profits. It requires a customised approach, agility, and an understanding of the unique constraints that these organisations face. “We believe that the size of a business or not-for-profit organisation should not determine the quality of advice, service, and results it receives. However, we continually see these organisations not being able to access the expertise that big budgets could. So we focus on outcomes, not outputs – it’s pure and simple,” said Phoebe Netto, founder and Managing Director, Pure Public Relations. PR must tie in with marketing and business goals to be truly beneficial. Pure Public Relations’ success is in its ability to choose a program that makes business sense to each client, without distraction. While the business will draw on the services of contractors in marketing, design and technology when required, its focus moving forward will be purely on public relations. Additionally, Pure Public Relations doesn’t have interns or junior staff working on campaigns and relies on the expertise and support of experienced senior consultants and contractors. “Consequently, if a PR opportunity is not of any benefit to clients, we have the experience and confidence to say no. We reserve our time and our clients’ budget for the public relations that achieve tangible outcomes,” added Ms Netto. Clients include tradespeople, charities, health professionals, consulting firms, retailers and education providers. “We understand small business, because we are one. And we understand charities and not-for-profits thanks to our experience as volunteers and our regular pro bono work for charities,” explained Ms Netto, who is also a member of the Red Cross NSW Divisional Advisory Board. - ENDS - News: NCI welcomes 40% boost in computational capacity from January 2017 2016-11-10T04:07:13Z news-nci-welcomes-40-boost-in-computational-capacity-from-january-2017 Thursday November 10 2016 - The National Computational Infrastructure, NCI, has today announced that XENON Systems has been awarded the contract to supply a Lenovo NeXtScale system as an extension of Raijin, NCI’s current peak facility, which was commissioned in 2013. In a competitive procurement, NCI selected XENON for multiple reasons. As well as offering the best value for money, NCI had confidence in Lenovo’s space-efficient platform and in XENON’s capacity to commission the system in readiness for 2017. As researchers’ requirements for access to high-performance compute (HPC) capability continue to grow unabated, the new Lenovo system will help NCI to meet this demand by providing a 40% increase in capacity. These upgrades to NCI’s HPC capability, together with the planned 2017 replacement of the oldest of the global parallel filesystems, have been made possible with the generous support of the Australian Government through the 2015-16 Agility Fund of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), together with matching co-investment from the NCI Collaboration of research organisations. The new facility will enter production in January 2017, and will extend vital advanced computational services for national research and innovation through NCI. Both existing and new researchers and research organisations will benefit, with the additional resources providing better access and improved job waiting times. Just as importantly, the injection of contemporary technology, in the form of Intel Broadwell series processors and the last generation interconnect, will ensure Australian researchers enjoy continued access to an international standard research HPC environment. The Lenovo system will complement the wide range of computational resources available through NCI and will provide a major boost in capability for users with high memory requirements. Key specifications for the Lenovo NeXtScale system, which will be integrated with Raijin’s fast filesystems, are: 22,792 Intel Xeon Broadwell 2690v4 processors 144 terabytes of memory, including 10 one-terabyte nodes Mellanox EDR 100Gbit/s Infiniband interconnect, configured as a “fat tree” About NCI NCI is a national provider of high-performance research computing and data services. NCI’s computational and data systems are tailored to meet the research objectives of the communities and organisations we serve, and comprise a highly integrated environment which includes Australia’s first petaflop supercomputer, a high-performance OpenStack cloud, and Australia’s highest performance filesystems, the capacity of which is 44 petabytes. NCI currently supports around 4,000 researchers undertaking over 500 projects. These researchers come from over 34 Australian Universities (including from more than 200 ARC- or NH&MRC-funded projects and 6 Centres of Excellence), science agencies including CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia which are undertaking R&D in areas of national priority, two medical research institutes, the Garvan Institute and Victor Chang, and an increasing industry user base. About XENON Systems XENON Systems is an Australian leader in High Performance Computing solutions. It focuses on providing tailored and innovative IT solutions to our clients that will enhance their business activities by delivering superior: high performance computing, server, storage and visual workstation technology. Its product portfolio is embraced by scientific, technical and creative communities to solve challenging data intensive computing and visualisation problems. About Lenovo Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$45 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode Yoga brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including Motorola), tablets and apps. 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: Contact publisher:        Website: BHP BILLITON AND HUNTER LIFE EDUCATION RENEW PARTNERSHIP 2016-11-08T01:16:11Z bhp-billiton-and-hunter-life-education-renew-partnership More than 3000 students in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires will continue to benefit from interactive health education programs supported by another three year investment by BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal. The $120,000 partnership will also ensure Healthy Harold, the loveable giraffe who is the face of the Life Education program, maintains a regular presence in the Upper Hunter. The funding enables Hunter Life Education to continue to encourage healthy lifestyles through a positive and fun learning experience for students at 13 local primary schools and five local preschools. The most recent investment builds on the success of the existing partnership between BHP Billiton and Hunter Life Education, to which more than $550,000 has been contributed by the company since 2005. Dawid Boshoff, BHP Billiton NSW Energy Coal General Manager, said the company recognises the value of providing young people with the opportunity to learn how to stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. “Since the start of our partnership with Hunter Life Education, thousands of local students between the ages of four and 16 have taken part in programs in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires,” he said. “The programs emphasise the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices and Mt Arthur Coal is proud to partner with an organisation that provides young people with such positive life lessons that will stick with them throughout their lives,” Mr Boshoff said. Sarah Gray, Hunter Life Education Executive Officer, welcomed the renewed partnership with Mt Arthur Coal and the program’s expansion into preschools. “With the help of BHP Billiton, Healthy Harold and our Life Education educators, will build resilience in young people by challenging their values and attitudes, expanding their knowledge and developing their skills,” she said. “Mt Arthur Coal’s three-year investment means that every child in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires has the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices. This program is especially important to the children of the Upper Hunter, as they are at higher risk of health issue such as, obesity and other health disorders when compared with national average. Our annual age appreciate programs will ensure students receive the best available prevention health education in Australia. “This is an opportunity that few communities are offered and the effectiveness of the education can be enhanced when the message is reinforced over time, across curriculum and within the home and broader community,” Ms Gray said. Further information on Mt Arthur Coal can be found at Further information about Hunter Life Education’s programs can be found at   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: John Evans appointed Managing Director BOC South Pacific 2016-11-01T23:50:42Z john-evans-appointed-managing-director-boc-south-pacific Sydney, 2 November 2016: Leading gases and engineering company BOC today announced the appointment of John Evans as Managing Director, BOC South Pacific.   The 30-year industry veteran has a deep understanding of the BOC business after leading its subsidiary Elgas, Australia’s largest LPG marketer and importer.   John’s key priorities will be safety, customer experience and driving the diverse BOC business across its key markets in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.   “BOC has a huge range of products and services, an extensive supply network and some of the best technical experts and engineers in the world,” said John. “We need to refine our organisation to support constantly changing markets. We are also innovating service models – from digital and online solutions, to a more agile retail network.   “I look forward to working with our customers, industry and governments to ensure critical energy supplies and to foster a more research and scientific based economy.”   John Evans is the Vice Chairman of the Gas Energy Association and Head of the BOC Regional Executive Board. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.   -ENDS-  About BOC:  BOC is a member of The Linde Group which supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment around the globe. The company develops safe, sustainable and innovative solutions for customers in many specialty sectors, heavy industry and medical environments. For more than a century the company's gases and expertise have contributed to advances in industry and everyday life, including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and health care. For further information, see  About Linde: In the 2015 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of EUR 17.944 bn, making it one of the leading gases and engineering companies in the world, with approximately 65,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group online at Forestry committee awards National Tree Farmer of the Year for 2016 2016-10-25T22:52:10Z forestry-committee-awards-national-tree-farmer-of-the-year-for-2016 Roger and Outhay Poltock have been named as the 2016 National Tree Farmers of the Year at the Australian Forest Growers National Conference in Launceston. The award including a $5000 cash prize is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and is widely contested. Dr Kevin Harding, President of Australian Forest Growers said, ‘The independent panel which assessed entries this year was very impressed with the quality of applicants.  'In the end, the result was very close - but we are excited by the great work done on Roger and Outhay's property and they are worthy winners. Mr Poltock runs a mixed farming enterprise of livestock/grazing and forestry at Wilmot in Tasmania. The property comprises 170ha of which 50ha is plantation / forest and 120ha for grazing about 200 beef cattle. Kevin Harding said, ‘The property is a wonderful example of how returns can be maximised by sustainably using different qualities of the land, in a single holding, for different purposes - in this case cattle grazing and forestry’. The award was presented at the AFG Conference Dinner by Mr Ian Ruscoe, Director of the RFA Review team in the Forestry Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in front of an audience of well over 200 delegates. This included the most recent 2014 winners Connie and Marty Winch-Buist from Western Australia who participated in the independent panel to select this year’s winner. The National Tree Farmer of the Year Award is awarded every two years and honours landowners or private forest managers who have established or maintained areas of forest on their property for the purposes of commerce, protection of water catchments and/or crops, or for reasons of preservation of biodiversity or a particular forest ecosystem. The national competition is based on State nominations that are submitted and judged each year. States are then asked to nominate their selected candidate to compete in the biennial National Competition with the winner announced at the AFG conference. -Ends- Media Contact: Dr Kevin Harding, President Australian Forest Growers Tel: 0410 471 957 Picture available on request. Great Ocean Road Tours | Small Business News 2016-10-19T09:23:08Z the-changing-tourism-dynamic-of-the-great-ocean-road-1 A Great Ocean Road tour is an iconic staple for many international travellers coming to Australia and for many years the dominant country of origin of these independent travellers visiting the region came from Europe, most notably Germany and Great Britain. Over the years as the tourism market has shifted to cater to the needs of a rising middle class in China, the landmark strip has seen a steady rise in Chinese tourists YOY, who traditionally prefer to avoid the backpacker styled accommodation and tourism providers, however  making an exception for one operator, Ride Tours. Todd Baker who owns Ride Tours has for many years prided himself in providing a truly unique experience, with one of the hallmarks of his trip being that they do the tour in the opposite direction to all the other major tour companies. Being a small independent provider as well has meant he can focus on providing an experience that is more client centric and this is evident in the way people communicate with each other on the tour, choose their own music, stop off for picnics along the way and see a side of the Great Ocean Road that is both memorable and authentic. Ride Tours is also one of the few independent providers largely favoured by both Chinese and Europeans alike, and with no marketing presence in China markets Todd believes the Chinese tourists are a result of a solid reputation earning him credit in that market. A sentiment which echo'd in Courier mail article which highlight Ride Tours achievements in maintaining a steady flow of backpacker clientele over the years. Weekend tours have just started again for November and if you're interested in knowing more about Ride Tour's plans to further enrich their backpacker centric experience for international travellers coming to Australia please head over to for more.