Archive Month: August 2019
Aug 29 , 2019 / By :

Herd mentality: Noonamah, about 50 kilometres south of Darwin.Tapping the carbon market of northern Australia could provide a valuable new revenue stream for the region – once key obstacles are removed, according to a government report.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from fire and livestock, sequestering carbon in soils and vegetation, and the production of renewable feedstock for aviation biofuel are three of the main opportunities identified in The Emerging Carbon Economy for Northern Australia report.

“These opportunities will provide northern farmers the potential to reap a billion-dollar return,” Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said.

“CSIRO found the benefits of the carbon economy will not be confined to climate change action, but could generate environmental and livelihood benefits,” he said.

The region covers some 300 million hectares north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Mr Crean said the federal government would work with state and local governments to help regions “embrace the carbon economy” by generating credits that they can sell to big emitters under its carbon market.

While the report identifies possible areas of income generation – such as a potential of $200 million dollars a year in abatement of carbon emissions through better savannah-burning management and $240 million from the livestock industry – it also specifies how much work still needs to be done.

For instance, the property rights to carbon would need clear ownership rules, while the scale of carbon stocks in the soil and its potential enhancement “warrant continued scientific enquiry”, the report said.

Similarly, while indigenous groups have been able to earn carbon credits for savannah-burning under the government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), the report found “practical barriers to wider implementation of this method remain”.

Likewise, the government is yet to approve a methodology allowing farmers to earn credits under the CFI for methane abatement efforts in the livestock industry. The northern beef herd counts some 13 million animals.

The biofuel potential could amount to 5 per cent of the jetfuel use in Australia, although that assessment also is based on “early stages of investigation”, the report said.

The Coalition has vowed to scrap the carbon tax and planned emissions trading market if it wins office, although it has signalled it may continue with some of the government’s carbon farming program.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aug 29 , 2019 / By :

Jason Yuu’s cover was one of the more popular ones so far. A grab from the “Cool Things to Find” parody.

The song has got young people talking – and singing – about train safety.

The original Dumb Ways to Die clip has amassed over 28 million views on YouTube since it was posted on November 14.

It even inspired a cover by a traditional Malaysian musical group.

Australia’s fastest-spreading viral video, “Dumb Ways to Die”, has taken on a life of its own, inspiring more than 65 cover versions, 85 parodies and 170 re-posts on YouTube.

The original clip, made to promote safety on Melbourne Metro Trains, has amassed more than 28 million views on YouTube since it was posted on November 14.

Its creator, ad agency McCann Worldgroup Australia, said its “conservative” estimate was that the campaign had generated $50 million in “global-earned media value” so far, in addition to more than 700 press hits.

A new parody clip by Seattle-based creative team Cinesaurus about the Curiosity Mars mission, dubbed “Cool Things to Find”, joins dozens of other parodies and covers including a classic rock version, a Russian cover, a take by YouTube band The DDL Boys and a cover by a traditional Malaysian musical group.

There’s also a karaoke version to join the iTunes track, and a music teacher has published a clip teaching people how to play the original song on guitar and ukulele.

“It’s entered popular culture,” said John Mescall, executive creative director of McCann Worldgroup Australia.

Mescall wrote the lyrics of the original song and brought in Ollie McGill, the keyboardist from Cat Empire, to write the music, as well as a freelancer to complete the animation. A friend of McGill’s did the singing.

Perhaps illustrating why commercial TV networks are in such a poor state, Mescall said he spent “a fraction of the cost of one TV ad”, but created something that will live on long after the campaign is over.

“A lot of paid advertising campaigns die the moment you stop spending money, whereas this is going to be in people’s playlists for quite a while now,” he said, adding TV networks had to re-think their controlled approach.

“The old model of broadcasting and creating fixed content that people will just sit and watch at your behest is dead … The things that we were promised from the internet 5 to 10 years ago [around democratising content] I think are now finally starting to come true.”

Mescall said ultimately the success of the campaign was getting young people talking – and evidently even singing – about rail safety.

“People, especially younger people, hate being told what to do, and what’s really interesting about this work is it never tells you not to do it … It almost introduces shame and peer pressure into the equation.”

His other ingredients for viral success include making it non-specific to Australia (for example, by deliberately including grizzly bears and piranha), coming up with a “ridiculously catchy tune”, not preaching, and utilising web tools such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Reddit to spread the word.

Cinesaurus, who have previously made viral clips such as “We’re NASA and We Know It” and “The iPhone 5 (Parody) Ad” to market their work, loved “Dumb Ways to Die” so much they used it as the basis for their own clip, “Cool Things to Find”.

“We were sitting around the office with the song stuck in our heads when we decided we needed to make a version of our own,” said Cinesaurus executive producer Forest Gibson.

Cinesaurus came up with the idea last Wednesday evening and spent Thanksgiving making it. “All in all, it took us six days and 250 man hours to create,” said Gibson.

Ultimately, Mescall says the secret to viral success for brands is creating an ad that doesn’t look like an ad, because unless you’re a brand like Nike with millions to spend on a single ad, “no one shares advertising”.

“We took a serious safety message and we snuck up on people with it, we didn’t hit them over the head … it’s dark humour delivered with joy, which almost always works but there’s not enough of it in advertising,” Mescall said.

“I think people, when they see the Metro message at the end, they’re actually genuinely surprised – ‘Shit, you mean a company did this?’ – which kind of helps the spread of it too.

“Normally, we’re mostly reviled for the content we make [in advertising], but times change.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aug 29 , 2019 / By :

The corporate regulator has today released its first market assessment of Chi-X Australia, the only rival to the country’s main stock exchange, finding a raft of “agreed actions” for improvement or attention.

It is the first time Chi-X Australia has been assessed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission since it was granted a licence to operate in Australia.

The report finds nine agreed actions for improvement or attention, including conflicts arising from its independent non-executive director’s role as chairman of E.L & C Baillieu Stockbroking, a problem with its hidden order threshold controls, and problems with Chi-X’s “documentation and record-keeping”.

However, ASIC says that, while the agreed actions are important, they have not stopped Chi-X meeting its statutory obligations, and that Chi-X has agreed to fix any problems.

Since Chi-X Australia began operating in October last year it has been at the centre of the debate about “market fragmentation” and the growth of high-speed trading.

The ASX chief executive, Elmer Funke Kupper, has said authorities made a mistake by allowing Chi-X into Australia because it has contributed to market fragmentation.

Carole Comerton-Forde, of the Australian National University’s College of Business and Economics, has said that since the arrival of Chi-X, the use of high-frequency trading strategies has expanded dramatically.

But Chi-X says investors have benefited from its arrival in Australia through lower fees and “improved product offerings”, both a direct consequence of competition with the ASX.

It has been lobbying the federal government to break the ASX’s clearing monopoly.

The ASIC report notes that, up until March this year, Chi-X’s share of total market turnover remained less than 1 per cent (below $50 million).

But it also notes that daily turnover increased during the final four months of the financial year, reaching a high of $150 million in mid-May.

On Thursday, Chi-X reported that its share of daily trading volume was more than 9 per cent.

The ASIC report says some of the improvement in turnover on Chi-X can be attributed to the launch of its trade reporting facility for off-market trades.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aug 29 , 2019 / By :

Danny Rosenberg … the real chairman of Grid Australia. Nobody home … apart from the dog who barked a lot.

The offices of Clemantina in Elsternwick, Melbourne.

When the chairman of Grid Australia, Peter McIntyre, issued a public apology to cattle farmer and electricity activist Bruce Robertson two weeks ago there was one hitch.

It wasn’t the apology itself. McIntyre had done the right thing. Governments should not sue their citizens for exercising their right to an opinion and Grid Australia is a peak body after all; little more than a front for the state transmission giants.

The lobby group had sought to muzzle its critic Robertson with an intimidating letter from one of the world’s biggest law firms, Ashurst. But it soon recanted and dropped the bully tactic after a public outcry.

The small hitch in the letter of apology, though, was the ABN number which appeared beneath Grid Australia’s logo.

The number 46 144 749 413 may seem less than remarkable for the casual observer. Although for Bruce Robertson and his fellow consumer activist Peter Epov, this was the secret code which led to a whole new world of intrigue.

A search of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) database showed this same 11 digit number was registered to Grid Australia Pty Ltd, a company whose sole director was a Daniel Rosenberg of Caulfield South in Melbourne.

The plot had thickened. How could Peter McIntyre – who is also the managing director of NSW transmission juggernaut Transgrid – be the chairman of Grid Australia when this mysterious Daniel Rosenberg was the sole director?

Daniel Rosenberg, born Israel 1974. What was the connection? Was this Peter McIntyre’s doppelganger? It was time for a road trip. Accompanied by a photographer from The Age, we attended the Caulfield South address listed on the company search but there was nobody at home in the leafy Melbourne suburb … apart from the dog who barked a lot.

This lent a further touch of the exotic to the investigation. It is rare for finance journalists to get barked at by dogs. Was it a sign?

Not to be discouraged, we then made our way to the registered office – the only other clue of in the ASIC search.

It was here, at the offices of JM Partners in Horne Street Elsternwick that the first major breakthrough was struck.

Daniel Rosenberg was nowhere to be seen. His accountant however, Guy Biran, was there. Studying the ABN number quizzically, Biran said he had not heard of the electricity peak body.

“We have heard nothing from them; didn’t know they existed,” said Biran. Had he heard from Ashurst? “Are they lawyers? What are they?”

Biran explained how he had set up the company for Rosenberg, who was his brother-in-law, two years ago. Danny Rosenberg was a designer over in the nearby suburb of St Kilda.

It was doubtful, said Guy Biran, that Danny would know much about the electricity transmission people either. He was right.

Danny Rosenberg was out that day but we spoke with him over the phone. He operates a graphic design company, Clemantina, and claimed very convincingly to have never heard of Transgrid, nor Grid Australia’s other five members: SP-Ausnet, South Australia’s ElectraNet, Powerlink Queensland, Transend Networks in Tasmania or WA’s Western Power for that matter.

“I’m Grid Australia. That’s my company,” Rosenberg told us. “You say that someone is using my actual ABN number?

“Why did I call myself Grid Australia? I’m a designer and manufacturer. I wanted to register (the name) Grid. We did the search. Grid was already taken but the next best thing was Grid Australia.”

Had he had any dealings with the other Grid Australia – the interloper? No, nor their lawyers either. What did Danny Rosenberg think of this confusing situation?

“I think this whole story is crazy!”

And there the mystery stands for now. Questions were put to Grid Australia and Ashurst early this week. There has been no response.

It would seem Grid Australia – the peak body that is, as distinct from the legally-registered though lesser-known Grid Australia Pty Ltd – has no right to be threatening legal action, let alone taking it, as it is not a registered entity.

The networks lobby group was formerly known as ETNOF – Electricity Transmission Network Owners Forum – but changed its name to Grid Australia in 2008.

According to the website, there is little evidence of a board or a formalised structure, minutes of meetings, membership fees. It just lists Transgrid employees as contacts. Transgrid is owned by the state.

So we have a situation, effectively, where the NSW government has threatened a citizen with legal action to curtail his right to speak out about the electricity industry. This has come at a time when it is preparing to privatise its transmission and distribution assets.

According to A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999, Section 23:

Identification offences             (1)  * You must not purport to identify yourself by using:                     (a)  a number that is not an * ABN as if it were an ABN; or                     (b)  an ABN that is not your own.Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.             (2)  * You must not purport to identify an * entity that is an * associate of yours by using:                     (a)  a number that is not an * ABN as if it were an ABN; or                     (b)  an ABN that is not the entity’s own ABN.Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.             (3)  * You commit an offence if:

(a)  you purport to identify yourself as being registered under this Act as the representative of                            an * entity; and                     (b)  you are not the registered representative of the entity.Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aug 29 , 2019 / By :

Dylan Roberton gets a kick away from Fremantle in July.ST KILDA has made former Fremantle defender Dylan Roberton the latest delisted free agent signing, with the recruit boarding a plane to join the Saints at their altitude camp in Colorado. The Saints will lodge the paperwork today.

Roberton, 21, has been recruited to help up St Kilda’s stocks of taller defenders, an area the Saints were unable to redress during the trade period when they sought to acquire Mitch Brown from West Coast.

He was signed at the expense of third-year player Nick Winmar, who was sacked with a year to run on his contract, much to the disappointment the AFL Players Association and his management. Winmar’s only chance of continuing his career, having missed last week’s national draft, is via the preseason or rookie draft.

Roberton, who is 191 centimetres, managed 10 games for the Dockers this year, for a career tally of 37 over three years. Roberton’s move to the Saints will be a homecoming of sorts, given he played junior footy at a local club in Frankston, near St Kilda’s Seaford base. Roberton has been training with the Saints.

Another former Docker, Nick Lower, is training with the Western Bulldogs, who could also snare him as a delisted free agent.

The Dockers had indicated they would redraft Lower, but as a delisted player he can cross to the club of his choice without having to go through the draft (the pre-season or rookie draft in this case). Lower, 25, would become a three club player if he joins the Dogs, having started at Port Adelaide.

St Kilda’s signing of Roberton follows the signing as delisted free agents of former Geelong players Tom Gillies and Jonathan Simpkin, who signed with Melbourne and Hawthorn respectively.

While delisted players can join the club of their choice without passing through a draft, Collingwood will have to use the rookie draft to pick up its ruck recruit – and ruck coach – Ben Hudson, whom the club has recruited in a similar role to Greater Western Sydney’s Dean Brogan, who doubled as a part-time coach and player for the Giants this year after returning from retirement.

The Pies delisted Peter Yagmoor yesterday but could redraft him as a rookie as well.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.