The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2016-06-27T05:53:06Z Ahura Resorts Fiji Leads Rare Iguana Rescue & Research Program 2016-06-27T05:53:06Z 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. Timber Supplier in Brisbane Reminds Customers: “Always Buy Ethical, Sustainable Timber” 2016-06-27T04:17:32Z timber-supplier-in-brisbane-reminds-customers-always-buy-ethical-sustainable-timber Brisbane, QLD, 27 June 2016 - Recently, a group of 30 environmental organisations prepared a 50-page report about the impact of Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA’s) on Australian forests. These agreements between state and federal governments were signed during a four year period between 1997 and 2001. They gave loggers the right to log designated Australian native forests without having to submit an application to the Federal Government, as mandated under the Federal Government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.When these agreements were signed, they were touted as good for everyone. Supposedly, timber communities and the timber industry would both benefit from the absence of “red tape” and the “consistency” it would bring to the business. They were seen as a way to help guarantee sustainable harvesting and conservation of Australian forests. However, according to the report, the RFA’s have failed to accomplish any of their original purposes. For numerous reasons, there have been unintended consequences. These include the near extinction of many endangered species, contribution to climate change and loss of revenue to the state. In addition, trees haven’t always been replanted as they were supposed to.How Sustainable Forestry WorksOn plantations, trees are harvested at an age when they are ready for replacement and new trees are planted to take their place. This retains the integrity of the plantation’s negative carbon footprint and ensures that wildlife in forest areas won’t have their ecosystem disrupted by deforestation. Contribution to climate change is measured by the amount of carbon that is released into the environment. Carbon is an important element of greenhouse gases which affect the ozone layer, contributing to climate change. When humans and animals breathe, they use oxygen and exhale carbon. Trees do the opposite, which makes them symbiotic to other life on the planet; they consume carbon and “exhale” oxygen.Trees store carbon by turning it into timber cells. This is why they are seen as having a “negative” carbon footprint. When trees are harvested sustainably and ethically, they are harvested when they have already stored as much carbon as they need and their process has slowed down. When they are harvested and turned into timber, they are replaced by newly-planted trees, which starts the cycle of carbon storage all over again.Why These Timber Suppliers Object to RFA’sJack Kyle is the owner of Narangba Timbers: timber suppliers in Brisbane. According to Mr Kyle: “In theory, these agreements would work great for everybody. However, in real life, it hasn’t worked that way. While most people in the business are honest, hard-working people, some companies have taken shortcuts. This has resulted in the unethical harvesting of timber.”Mr Kyle concluded: “We demand ethically sourced and sustainable timber. We have a responsibility to our children and their children to make sure they have a liveable world in 50 years. That only happens with responsible and sustainable forestry.”Narangba Timbers are timber suppliers in Brisbane. They carry a full line of timber for construction and home projects, including timber flooring, timber fencing and timber decking. All of their timber is obtained from sustainable, ethical sources. To learn more, call their Brisbane facility on (07) 3888 1293 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Community Says YES! To Sustainability 2016-06-25T04:33:30Z community-says-yes-to-sustainability Energy Forever community renewable energy project had a successful launch party and fundraiser last Saturday 18 June at the Glasshouse and was able to attract community donations approaching $10,000 from those present. ‘We are well on our way to purchasing all of the solar panels we need for our first sustainable funding model’  said Energy Forever spokesperson Anne Wilson. Member for parliament Leslie Williams says ‘It’s all about opportunities for regional communities and Port Macquarie has taken up with that opportunity’ Guest speaker ‘Green Dean’ commended the project saying ‘Never doubt the power of a small group of people to get something done!’ Of the 68 people at the launch, 27 people sponsored a full solar panel for $333 each and many more smaller donations were generously made. 80 panels needed for this first 20kw community solar project. Paul Martin who sponsored a panel said ‘I sponsored a panel because I believe in solar power… it’s cleaner, it’s cheaper and it is an easy and economical way to reduce emissions.’ David Murray who also donated a panel said ‘doing renewable energy at a cheap price that generates profit and plowing that back into the community… I think that’s a really rewarding thing. Each panel is forecast to generate three times the original cost with all profits funding additional community sustainability projects over the next fifteen years. Anne Wilson says Energy Forever aims to have several 20 - 30kw host sites secured and fully funded by the end of the year. People seeking to volunteers to help spread the good word or sponsor a panel are encouraged to get in touch on the details below. For more information go to the Energy Forever website – www.pmhsn.org.au/energy-forever or call Anne Wilson on 0419 161 568 (email: energyforever@pmhsn.org.au). Redflow works with Redback technology to bring smarter solar to Australia 2016-06-22T05:35:10Z redflow-works-with-redback-technology-to-bring-smarter-solar-to-australia AUSTRALIA, Tuesday 21st June, 2016: After extensive testing, battery company Redflow Limited, and energy storage management provider Redback Technologies have announced the compatibility of their technologies to bring a new, efficient energy solution to Australian homes.   Redflow’s new ZCell home battery, launched in March, is a 10 kilowatt hour (kWh) flow battery and can ‘timeshift’ solar power from day to night, store off-peak power for peak demand periods and support off-grid systems. Redflow and Redback have been able to fully integrate the ZCell battery with Redback’s Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter System, which manages energy supplies from the grid, PV solar panels and a battery. ZCell, together with the Redback inverter, will enable household and commercial users to achieve greater savings by self-consuming more of their on-site generated power.   The retail price for installed energy systems is set by each retail system integrator. Redflow’s previously provided estimated pricing for such systems remains consistent with the Redback inverter.   Australia is transitioning to lower emission energy systems, with one in five homes around the country equipped with solar. Due to the popularity of home solar systems over recent years, the government plans to minimise the subsidies to solar bonus schemes, with the NSW scheme ending on 31st December 2016. Feed in tariffs will reduce by 38.8 cents per kWh to 5.2 cents per kWh from 44 cents per kWh, meaning home energy systems will need to be smarter and more productive to ensure peak performance.   Redback’s solution is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite cloud platform, ensuring easy updates and upgrades as their technology develops. It runs on a  cloud-enabled intelligent system for analytics and remote control, which monitors consumption patterns, moving the use of appliances such as pool pumps and hot water into the “solar window” so they can be optimised to maximise self-consumption of rooftop solar.   Both Redflow and Redback are Brisbane-based companies that are using innovative Australian developed technologies to secure this country’s role in the emerging energy storage revolution.   Redflow Executive Chairman Simon Hackett, who was closely involved with the certification process, said the Redback inverter was a smart piece of technology.   “We are very pleased that two Australian leaders in the emerging energy storage sector now have their devices working together. For customers to enjoy the benefits of Redflow's innovative flow battery technology, it's really important for us to work alongside likeminded businesses such as Redback,” he said.   Redback Technologies Founder and Managing Director Philip Livingston said he looked forward to working with Redflow as the energy storage sector develops.   “Australia is the perfect place from which to build a globally relevant energy storage sector based on local innovation, Redback Technologies is building the infrastructure for the next generation grid and partnering with Redflow provides choice to consumers and solar installers. We are going to put more money into homeowners’ pockets and create cleaner energy for our children’s future,” he said.   Redflow has undertaken extensive testing at its Adelaide-based battery lab to ensure ZCell was able to work quickly and easily with the Redback Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter System. Redflow expects to announce compatible inverters from other companies in coming weeks.      Redflow has already started installing exemplar ZCell energy storage systems and is currently training installers to enable them to install, maintain and monitor its flow batteries. The company expects customer installations of ZCell to commence in August.   About Redflow Redflow Limited is an energy storage specialist that has developed the world’s smallest flow batteries. Redflow’s unique flow batteries are designed for stationary energy storage applications ranging from its ZCell home solution to its ZBM batteries for commercial, telecommunications and grid-scale deployment. Redflow is a publicly-listed company (ASX: RFX) that operates R&D facilities in Australia, as well as offices in the US and Europe. Produced in North America by Flex, one of the world’s largest supply chain solution companies, Redflow’s high energy density batteries are sold, installed and maintained by a global network of system integrators. More information can be found at: www.redflow.com   About Redback Technologies Redback is a technology company focused on the development of advanced, low cost solar solutions for residential and commercial users. Redback's market leading integrated hardware and software technologies capture, store and manage solar energy, providing accelerated return on investment. More information can be found at: http://redbacktech.com/ Major political parties commit to extra funding of frontline services for women escaping domestic violence. 2016-06-20T02:08:38Z major-political-parties-commit-to-extra-funding-of-frontline-services-for-women-escaping-domestic-violence ~~WEL wrote to each of the party leaders asking them to commit $1billion over 5 years ($200m p.a.) to the Women and Children’s Safety Program (WCSP), to provide women’s refuges and other front line emergency support services for women and their children escaping violence. The Coalition, the ALP and the Greens responded to WEL by the deadline of Friday 17 June. The Nick Xenophon Team has yet to respond. WEL is disappointed that none of the parties has specifically endorsed WCSP. Only the Australian Greens have promised to spend an even greater amount than proposed by WCSP, but WEL does welcome the following commitments: ‘The Coalition will make further announcements about specific funding for domestic violence initiatives, including frontline services, before the election.’ Tony Nutt, National Campaign Director, The Turnbull Coalition Team. Labor’s new Safe Housing For Women Program ‘will increase the number of refuges specifically available to women and children fleeing domestic violence and will provide funding for support services that help women to stay safe in their own homes, as well as support specialist women’s services.’ ALP Information Services Unit, Labor. ‘…The Greens have committed to new 10 year $5billion National Partnership Agreement  on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women  to fund such services as  crisis  phone services, women’s shelters, training for service providers, counselling..’ Senator Larissa Walters, Australian Greens Senator for Queensland and spokesperson for Women. “WEL is pleased that the parties have made domestic violence a key issue in this federal election campaign as continuing funding for frontline services will save lives,” said Helen L’Orange AM, a spokesperson for WEL. “However we urge the two major parties to understand that adequate funds are needed to keep women and children safe.” The Commonwealth contribution to WCSP would be $200 million a year, or just 2 cents a day. To highlight this, WEL recently launched it’s #my2centsworth campaign, asking people in the community to urge political leaders to spend the 2 cents a day needed to fund refuges and other frontline services. ------ Available for comment: Helen L’Orange AM, Convenor, WEL Violence Against Women Action Group M: 0425 244 935  E: helen.lorange@bigpond.com   NSW Government Builds Resilience Through Preparedness 2016-06-16T22:00:00Z nsw-government-builds-resilience-through-preparedness Sydney, June 17, 2016 - NSW Public Works with assistance from emergency management consultancy, Tigertail Australia, has embarked upon an initiative to increase the State’s preparedness to deal with an emergency beyond the public sector’s own capability. The aim is to open up dialogue between contract engineering and consulting firms, industry associations and NSW State and Local governments to identify opportunities for coordinated assistance during catastrophic emergencies, and develop mechanisms to bring together engineering capability. To kick this off, NSW Public Works engaged Tigertail to assist them to conduct a unique emergency planning exercise, Exercise Scientia Vectis 2016, for the public and private sector engineering community. The senior group was tasked with managing a mock emergency scenario – a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in central and eastern Sydney, NSW. The exercise accessed the best brains and experience in the sector and identified the procedures and resources available to ensure resilience, citizen safety, and continuity of services to the community. It also gave the private sector insight into how State Emergency Management teams think, how to plan their resources and contracts, build skills, and design and practise vital procedures to support the NSW community should the need arise. Emergency service leaders in NSW, including the Police, Fire and Rescue and Engineering came together with industry leaders from Engineers Australia, Consult Australia, Master Builders Association, Lendlease, John Holland, SMEC, Arup, Beca and many others. Emergency management is a complex series of activities that includes risk assessment, disaster mitigation, building preparedness and capability to withstand and manage disasters, emergency response, community recovery and renewal. Emergencies from natural disasters cost the NSW community an average of $484 million per year, which is 44% of the national total. On average, there are more than 20 natural disasters costing more than $10 million every year in NSW with the latest East Coast Low causing tens of millions of dollars damage to infrastructure and property across the eastern states and tragically taking a number of lives. “One of the reasons NSW responds well in the face of emergencies such as we have seen with the recent East Coast Low, is the time and effort spent in preparedness and practice such as with Exercise Scientia Vectis where NSW Public Works Engineering Emergency Management Team was assisted by Tigertail Australia,” explained Martin Dwyer, Chief Emergency Engineer at NSW Public Works. “Sometimes we need to contemplate an emergency so big that the old rule book no longer works and we must write a new one.” “Resilience and preparedness are the foundations for ensuring that communities and businesses operate as safely and smoothly as possible in the event of an emergency – and that requires coordination between the public and private sectors. We help organisations design governance strategies, frameworks and plans, then implement, practise, audit and update them when necessary,” said Rick Stone, Managing Director at Tigertail. “We cut through the spin and give capability and counsel as to what business and government need to safeguard their people, assets, the environment and their reputation.” Tigertail Australia is a leading provider of contingency planning, crisis leadership training, and incident management team training and exercises for public and private sector organisations. Please contact Tigertail Australia on 1300 987 772, email: answers@tigertail.com.au or visit http://www.tigertail.com.au for more information. Calling Environmentally Aware Community Investors 2016-06-16T03:39:58Z calling-environmentally-aware-community-investors The Energy Forever community renewable energy project is holding a launch party and fundraiser this Saturday 18 June at the Glasshouse from 6-8pm.  Everyone is invited.  It’s a ‘Solarbration’ and organisers are hoping to attract community donations to power the first project – installing solar panels on a local early childhood day care centre in Port Macquarie. Energy Forever spokesperson Anne Wilson said that to sponsor a solar panel costs just $333 and each panel is forecast to return three times the cost back to the community over the next fifteen years. “We have our first solar site and we are ready for our first round of investment from local businesses, families and individuals to allow us to buy the 80 solar panels needed to power the project”, Ms Wilson said. “‘The benefit to investors will be fifteen years of funds going back to the community in the form of grants to enable more sustainable projects”, she said. “Projects like community gardens, recycling projects, and environmental education programs require funding.  We believe Energy Forever will make a difference in our community”, Ms Wilson said. Staring at the launch party are guest speaker Jarra Hicks from the Community Power Agency, Green Dean as MC and Lauren Edwards sparking up some tunes in between. For more information go to the Energy Forever website – www.pmhsn.org.au/energy-forever Young change-makers putting poverty on the election agenda 2016-06-10T00:39:25Z young-change-makers-putting-poverty-on-the-election-agenda FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE YOUNG CHANGEMAKERS PUTTING POVERTY ON THE ELECTION AGENDA 28 May, 2016 From 24th-26th of June, Oaktree and Campaign for Australian Aid will be holding the Stakeout to campaign for the lifesaving work of Australian aid and climate finance in the lead up to the federal election. Over 500 passionate young people will be campaigning in some of the most marginal electorates in the country. These young changemakers will be having thousands of conversations with voters, organising creative actions and holding politicians to account. They will campaign for a stronger aid program that responses to the injustices of poverty and puts people before politics. CEO of Oaktree, Chris Wallace says the Stakeout will demonstrate that young people support a generous and just Australia that acts on the injustices of poverty. “We are at a history-making moment of the lowest ever Australian aid budget. This is not the history young people want to be making. Now is the time to stand up for Australian aid, and call on our political leaders to better reflect the values of this country,” Wallace said. Head of Campaigns, Tim Lo Surdo describes the Stakeout as a platform to empower young people a week out from the election. “The three days of campaigning is a powerful opportunity for young people to have impact just before the election by putting poverty on the political agenda. They will have access to workshops, panels and plenaries run by some of the best changemakers in Australia,” Lo Surdo said. As the nation’s largest youth organisation and dedicated to eradicating poverty, Oaktree is deeply concerned about the future of Australian aid and climate finance. Oaktree was founded in 2003 by Hugh Evans and Nic Mackay and since inception has led four Roadtrip campaigns that have mobilised thousands of young people across Australia to support action on poverty eradication. - Ends - For media enquiries and to book an interview with a spokesperson from Oaktree, contact: Natalie Liang, Media Manager, Oaktree +61 403 185 933, n.liang@oaktree.org NEW POWER SAVING CARD STORMS THE MARKET 2016-06-01T04:41:15Z new-power-saving-card-storms-the-market Nanotechtronics has released for sale three new power savings cards for the Australian and New Zealand markets, set to save people thousands of dollars on their electricity bills. They feature cards for the everyday user right though to big industry. With electricity in Australia increasing at nearly four times the rate of inflation over the last five years (Australian Institute of Public Affairs) these cards will come as a relief to many. With the average household bill being over $1000 it’s no wonder consumers are starting to look for more than just conventional ways to decrease living or operating costs.  The Nanotechtronics Truepwer Savings Card has had some fantastic initial feedback with customers saving up to 30%. The cards are intelligently designed by combining US and German technologies of quantum physics, they reduce electricity wastage by using a proprietary environmentally friendly energy system. They create a vibration powerful enough to reduce excess electricity spikes within the wiring system. The wave generating chip inside the card helps regulate the shape of voltage and electric waves. Excess electricity feeding is the major problem of every commercial or non-commercial enterprise, this excess electricity use is preventable using the Nanotechtronics Truepower Savings Card. With prices starting at $110.00 AUD who can afford not to. www.nanotechtronics.com (cards available for prize give-aways). 2016 Infinite Value Award Nominations Now Open to the Construction Global Community 2016-05-31T23:32:40Z 2016-infinite-value-award-nominations-now-open-to-the-construction-global-community 01/06/2016 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Australia Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) has announced that nominations are now being accepted until 15 July 2016 for the fifth annual Infinite Value Awards. With the support of its partners, the annual awards program discovers, rewards and promotes a variety of National and International professionals and projects. Award winners will receive public recognition at the annual Infinite Value Awards Gala Dinner. The awards highlight how a collaborative approach can drive a successful project, build industry confidence and develop industry professionals. This is demonstrated by this years’ theme Partnerships in Construction. AIQS chief executive officer Grant Warner said “Success in the built environment is achieved through collaboration between a number of construction partners, and this years’ Infinite Value Awards provides an ideal opportunity, not only for member firms, but other nominating companies and organisations to celebrate outstanding achievements across the broader construction industry.” “This years’ awards recognises the contribution the broader construction industry and funding partners have made to the built environment. Nominating firms are encouraged to bring their clients/nominees to the awards evening to celebrate all those successes. These awards recognise the people, the skills in design, engineering, sustainability, innovation, and community development, which have resulted in a built environment we can all be proud of.” Said Mr. Warner Additionally, project-based winners will be awarded two trophies: the principal award to the project client and the secondary award to the nominating firm. The Infinite Value Awards winners are announced and celebrated at the Infinite Value Awards Gala Dinner which will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour on Thursday 27 October 2016. Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, has recently undergone a $200 million re-development and provides an ideal location to showcase these awards with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the Darling Harbour precinct. Some of last year’s winners include Lucy Eng, nominated by Beca Limited, winner of the Women in Construction & Professional of the Year awards; and the Port Arthur Penitentiary, nominated by Exsto Management (TAS), winner of the Project of the Year & Engineering Excellence Awards. To be eligible for the Infinite Value Awards, projects need to have been completed within the last two years. For a list of award categories, entry criteria and to download a nomination form, visit the Infinite Value Awards website www.infinitevalueawards.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Relevant Links Infinite Value Awards categories Infinite Value Awards Frequently Asked Questions and nomination process Infinite Value Awards past winners For further information or images please contact Stephanie Ifill (AIQS Marketing & Communications Officer) on (02) 8234 4009 or sifill@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 Plan for the transformation of the Australian Forest Products Industry 2016-05-31T22:48:23Z plan-for-the-transformation-of-the-australian-forest-products-industry Forest Industry Advisory Council Media Release Plan for the transformation of the Australian Forest Products Industry Canberra – 1 June 2016.  Co-Chair of FIAC, Mr Rob de Fégely said, ‘On behalf of the Forest Industry Advisory Council I have great pleasure in presenting our recommendations which include a vision and three objectives for the forest industry and government to consider. ‘The goal of our plan is to triple the economic value of the forest industry by 2050 and we will achieve this by implementing three major objectives. ‘Firstly we will have the right trees in the right place at the right scale. The forest industry has not always developed its forest resources as sympathetically as we should have, and we are keen to ensure that new development is wisely integrated with agriculture and rural communities. ‘Secondly we will produce bio-products using all parts of the tree to a cellular level. It is critical that we maximise the use of all the wood that is harvested to not only optimise returns but limit waste. Almost any product that is made from fossil fuels can be made from wood and we see an exciting future for new bio based products such as fuels, solvents, plastics and pharmaceuticals as well as innovations in more traditional wood products such as engineered wood. ‘Thirdly we will distinguish ourselves by being environmentally friendly, socially responsible and valued by the community. Our production forests are very public and we are keen to continue improving our environmental management and communication so that our rural neighbours and the Australian community at large understand and appreciate what we can do for our economy and the environment. ‘FIAC has developed eight strategies and nineteen targeted recommendations that will transform the industry, leading to a new bio-economy that will assist Australia’s current and future challenges to 2050. ‘The Forest Industry Advisory Council was set up by former Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Sen the Hon Richard Colbeck and later capably taken on by Sen the Hon Anne Ruston. FIAC was designed to bring together a group of forest industry participants with a wide range of experience to provide a blend of thought and insight on where the industry can provide economic, environmental and social value to the community. ‘We are deeply indebted to the time and effort that the Council Members have freely given to develop these recommendations which call on both industry and the government to act. ‘FIAC has valued its role in advising the Australian Government and we look forward to both their response and the response from the forest industry at large,’ said Rob. The full paper – Transforming Australia’s forest products industry can be downloaded from https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4187545/Transforming%20Australia's%20forest%20products%20industry%20-%20Recommendations%20from%20the%20Forest%20Industry%20Advisory%20Council%20May%202016%20(2).pdf LG Chem launches LG ESS Partner Portal 2016-05-31T00:19:03Z lg-chem-launches-lg-ess-partner-portal  LG Chem, a leader in energy storage solutions, today announced the launch of the LG ESS Partner Portal, an online site dedicated to providing installers and distributers with helpful information about LG Chem products. This is the first time LG Chem has launched a portal for its business partners and is driven by industry requests for further support.   The partner portal will provide partners with detailed information about energy storage solutions including product information; warranties, manuals, product images, specifications, brochures, flyers and other materials to help support all activities across residential, commercial and industrial grid and UPS applications.     “At LG Chem partners are an important part of our ecosystem hence it is crucial that we make investments to help them be successful in the storage business,” said Changhwan Choi, Manager of Australian Business Development, LG Chem. “The launch of this new portal enables installers and distributers to effectively explain and install LG Chem battery systems to the markets they operate in.”   The launch of the portal comes in conjunction with the introduction of a membership points program, LG ESS Partner Care Program. By registering with the portal distributors and installers can accumulate points in exchange for additional benefits such as price reductions and presentation materials.   “We don’t just want our customers to be successful, we want to thank them for joining the portal through a rewards program,” said Choi. “All LG Chem products are equipped with a serial code that can be entered into the portal to register the points, installers will receive points for selling LG Chem products and distributors will receive points when an installer buys our products off them. By creating the points system, we are allowing our customers to reap the benefits of all their hard work and thank them for their loyalty to LG Chem.”   For further information please visit http://www.lgesspartner.com.  About LG Chem    LG Chem, Ltd. is Korea’s largest diversified chemical company which operates three main business units: Petrochemicals, IT & Electronic Materials and Energy Solution. The chemical business manufactures a wide range of products, from petrochemical goods to high-value added plastics. It also extends its chemical expertise into high-tech areas such as electronic materials and rechargeable batteries field. Based on the many years of experience in the development and production of batteries, LG Chem is one of the world's leaders in energy storage systems. As such, the company is a primary supplier for the mobile and automotive industry around the world. Entering the business of ESS in 2010, LG Chem has constantly developed and supplied innovative solutions for the ESS market segments such as Grid, Residential and UPS. Throughout multiple production facilities and an extensive distribution network globally, LG Chem has become a global leading company.  Crowd funding project launched to accelerate ocean solutions 2016-05-30T06:44:58Z crowd-funding-project-launched-to-accelerate-ocean-solutions An Australian company is using crowd funding to raise $70,000 todesign an innovative nutrient dispersion system and accelerate itsefforts to combat climate change. Ocean Nourishment Corporation(ONC), based in Sydney, has pioneered ocean-based techniques that canhelp to remove carbon from the atmosphere without causing otherimpacts on the environment. Stretching 300m either side of a research vessel, the nutrient dispersionsystem forms an integral component of their carbon dioxide removaltechnology. ONC will build a one-fifth prototype and test this at sea offthe coast of NSW. The company aims to complete the prototype testingbefore the end of 2016. Dr. Martin Lawrence of ONC said, “This proprietary technology can beutilised in ecosystem restoration programs aimed at carbonsequestration, the mitigation of ocean acidification impacts on coralreefs and efforts to support or enhance wild fisheries”. Mr. John Ridley ONC Managing Director said, “The time is upon us towisely use carefully selected areas of the ocean to help mitigate theglobal problem of rising temperatures and ocean acidification.” To support the campaign and view the introductory video go to:https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-platypus-an-ocean-blue-climate-solution#/ For more information contact John Ridley at john.ridley@oceannourishment.comwww.oceannourishment.com     Recent Studies Prove Health Benefits of Timber 2016-05-30T05:05:50Z recent-studies-prove-health-benefits-of-timber Brisbane, QLD, 30 May 2016 - The environmental benefits of timber are well known, but a recent report by a group called Planet Ark indicates that timber brings numerous health benefits to the table, too. The report is called “Wood – Health, Housing, Humanity.” It is part of a campaign called “Make it Wood.” The campaign is to raise awareness for World Wood Day, which happened in March. Planet Ark is a world environmental action and education group located in Australia. They run under this motto: “Positive Environmental Actions for Everyone.”Their report cited numerous benefits of timber for physical health, the environment, housing, education and mental health. Below are a few of the benefits.Health Benefits of TimberOne of the immediate benefits of timber is that it increases the amount of oxygen in our air. That helps us breathe better and makes us healthier. The other main benefit, which will be explored in greater detail, is that being around timber decreases stress, both mentally and physically. When stress is decreased, it creates a number of benefits for the body. Blood pressure goes down, heart rate goes down, respiration rate goes down and even cholesterol goes down. When all of these numbers go down, it actually increases cognitive awareness and ability.In Japan, 14 test subjects sat in a room with a steel panel and a timber panel. Both were covered by a curtain. When the curtain was lifted away from the timber after 20 seconds of baseline measurements, blood pressure and heart rate decreased. When the curtain was removed from the steel panel after the same 20 seconds of baseline, blood pressure and heart rate increased.In Austria, test subjects slept on a Stone Pine bed for 21 days. Then, they slept on an imitation timber bed for the same period of time. Their heart rates decreased 3600 beats per day when they slept on the timber bed.44 residents of a nursing home in Japan were provided with timber tables, timber chairs and timber tableware. Other residents used similar products made of plastic. The elderly residents at the timber tables were more talkative, interacted more, communicated with more positive words and were generally more positive and optimistic about everything.Jack Kyle is the owner of Narangba Timbers, timber suppliers in Brisbane. According to Mr Kyle:“We were happy to see the results of the report right there on paper with indisputable references. Really, though, they didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know or at least suspect. Timber products just make people feel good. There is nothing like the smell of fresh timber in the morning while working on a project.”Mr Kyle concluded: “Sit on a timber deck for a few hours. Then sit on a concrete porch with no trees in sight. You will learn for yourself how much timber grounds us and relaxes us. That has to be healthier than being stressed out.”Narangba Timbers are the most trusted timber suppliers in Brisbane. They carry a complete line of timber for all projects, from the smallest shelving to the largest building. They are known for their world class customer service, high quality and low prices. To learn more, call (07) 3888 1293 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Ingenious Water Pump and Filter Combination Cleans Oceans 2016-05-27T02:45:16Z ingenious-water-pump-and-filter-combination-cleans-oceans Perth, WA, 27 May 2016 - Two Australian surfers have developed a system called Seabin which helps remove debris from the world’s oceans. They grew up together as surfers in WA and have become more disgusted over the years with the amount of trash being dumped into the ocean. They would eventually become so committed to the cause that they would quit their jobs and try to develop a way to decrease the amount of garbage in the ocean.A Growing ProblemIt is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of debris or garbage in oceans across the world. The North Pacific Ocean between Japan and US is so polluted that it is called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Estimated to be as large as 15 million square kilometres, the Garbage Patch has as many as 335,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre. On the island of Midway, between Japan and the US, it is estimated that nearly all 1.5 million of their Laysan albatross population has plastic in their digestive systems. It is also estimated that as many as 267 marine species are adversely affected by plastic waste in the oceans.A Growing Solution?The two aforementioned WA surfers, Andrew Turton and Peter Ceglinski, have come up with a solution. They have invented a pump and filter combination called the Seabin. The Seabin works like a swimming pool filter, but on a much larger scale. Water is sucked by a pump into a large bin that is like a filter. It traps the debris and the water is transported back into the ocean.After inventing the Seabin, they took it to Mallorca, Spain to test market it and to develop it. They are backed by WA firm Shark Mitigation Systems. After starting an Indiegogo account to try and get it into production, they have now raised $267,000. They have also found a manufacturing facility in France. The first production models are projected to be on the market by the end of 2016. Pump Solutions Australasia, a leading importer of pumps in Western Australia, wrote about the Seabin on their company blog. They feel it is a great example of creative use of pumps for the greater good. They import pumps from many major manufacturers in Europe, including Speck, Becker, Lowara and Grundfos. According to Mike Hurlbatt, Owner of Pump Solutions Australasia:“We are happy to see someone use pumps so creatively and for such a great cause. While the pumps are large, the operation is much like that of a swimming pool pump and filter. We hope to see even more creative uses for pumps as millennials come of age and invent more ways to make our lives better.”Mr Hurlbatt concluded: “We think this is the most creative use of a pump we have seen in a long time. We’re glad it will help humanity and wildlife.”Pump Solutions Australasia imports pumps into Australia from around the world. Their main focus is finding high quality solutions for applications such as hospitals, hotels, mining operations, wastewater treatment and medical systems. They import from the world’s best pump manufacturers because they know downtime can cost thousands of dollars. To learn more, call 1300 793 418 or visit their website: http://www.pumpsolutions.com.au/.