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November, 2018

University of Newcastle puts ‘gloss and spin’ above staff in city move: union

NeW world: “Spin and slogans have become characteristic features of the university management’s response,” says Associate Professor Tom Griffiths, president of the union’s Newcastle branch. Picture: Marina NeilTWO months beforetheUniversity of Newcastle is due to openits city campus, theunion for academicstaffhas launched a blistering attack on what it calls“gloss”,“spin”, and“major failing”to plan for staff transport, parking and childcare.
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Thebrutal assessment is in theNational Tertiary Education Union submission on the university’shandling of moving hundreds of itsstaffto the NeW Space campus, in a climate of feared job cuts.

“University management attempts to sellprofessional staff the gloss and sheenof a brand new city office workspace, while at the same timesharpening the knifefor…cuts – including cuts to professional staff who within weeks of transitioning to this new building will find they are subject to restructuring and job-shedding,” the union’s Lance Dale said.

“A greatlook for this university amongstthe smoke and mirrorsof media spin and propaganda.”

The union’sscathing submission coincideswith a small protest outsidethe university’s “The World Needs New” brand campaign launch on Monday.

But the university saiditsstaff consultation paper, which prompted the union’s reply, is only one part of a three-year“extensive consultation program” for staff relocating to the city.

“Today we are meeting again with the NTEU and staff moving to the city to discuss and provide feedback on their submissions,” a university spokeswoman told theNewcastle Herald.

“We have welcomed additional feedback from colleagues and have worked hard to find reasonable solutions to their concerns. We will continue to consult with staff on issues related to the relocation into the CBD ahead of the planned opening of the precinct in mid-year.”

BRANDING: Professor Kevin Hall, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, at the launch of the university’s new branding campaign. Picture: Marina Neil

The union says it suspects the moveto NeW Space will bring job cuts, and that staff livingin the city should be given “special consideration”.

Amongthe demands of unionstaff areshuttle busesevery 15 minutesbetween the Callaghan campus andNeW Space, salary sacrificing options for parking in the city, and subsidised parking.

Associate Professor Tom Griffiths, president of the union’sNewcastle branch, saidstaff also wantassurances about city childcare.

Those matters, and anopen-plan work environment the union says the $95 millionNeW Space will force on staff, are among several the union accuses the university of spinning.

“We’ve got evidence that a lot of staff will end up working from home,” Dr Griffiths said.

“It’s the union’s position that spin and slogans havebecomecharacteristic features of the university management’s response.”

Many staff already dreadthe results of an“organisational review” announced last November, with some estimates puttinga tenth of the University’s1700 full-time and casual staff at risk of being made redundant.

NeW Space is scheduled toopenfor the universitysecond semester in late July.

Paralympians look to fast-tracked future

READY, SET, GO: Kurt Fearnley, Christie Dawes, MC Dave Robertson and Andrew Dawes celebrate cutting the ribbon to officially open the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre on Monday. Picture: Marina NeilKurt Fearnley and Christie and Andrew Dawes hope their new-look training base, officially opened and named in their honour on Monday, will pave the way for better facilities for wheelchair athletes everywhere.
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The trio were on hand to open theFearnley Dawes Athletic Centre, rebranded from the Newcastle Athletics Field in Newcastle West to coincide with the resurfaced track’s unveiling.

An $800,000 state government grant led to the much-needed renovation, which included the creationof an outside lane dedicated to wheelchair racers.It is believed to be only the second athletics track in the world with the feature.

Paralympians look to fast-tracked future TweetFacebook Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre openingMarina Neil images from the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre opening on Monday.Newcastle Paralympic and marathon wheelchair legend Fearnley said the dedicated track would not only help prolong careers of existing athletes but create new ones in the sport.

“It’s good for our longer life in the sport,” Fearnley said.“It’s a bit more gentler on our wrists and elbows to push around on the smoother surface.

“I can’t believe how it’s turned out.I came here for a school carnival this morning and it’s great to see.And when a kid in a wheelchair goes to that school, there’s no barrier for him to be able to jump into that sport and be able to be equal amongst his peers, or even quicker.”

Australian wheelchair team coach Andrew Dawes, whose wife Christie is a six-time Paralympian, believed the dedicated lane would encourageothers to take up the sport.

“Kurt and Christie have done amazing things over the last 10, 15, 20 years, but now we’re going to have a whole new range of athletes coming through as well,” Andrew said.

He hoped the example set in creating the wheelchair trackwould prompt other governments and councils to follow suit and“in a few years there’s not just two in the world”.

Christie said “we are really privileged to have a choice of surfaces to train on” –the relaid“spongy blue track” and smooth outside lane.

Rio Olympic marathon runnerScott Westcott said “it’s just a dream come true” to see the new surface unveiled but it was crucial for the community to invest in it to ensure its future.

‘Solar goldmine’: Sydney tapping just 1 per cent of a stellar resource

The scale of Australia’s untapped solar energy resources has been laid bare with a study of the City of Sydney finding as little as 1 per cent of the available rooftops equipped with photovoltaics.
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In a study commissioned by the NSW government, researchers found that installed capacity in the city amounted to about 6.7 megawatts compared with between 393 to 619 MW available.

Taking into account rooftop angle and shade, the work by the Australian PV Institute found as much as 25 per cent of roof surfaces could accommodate solar panels.

“There is this huge untapped potential,” said Mike Roberts, a PhD candidate at the University of NSW, and one of the report’s authors. “As a city, we should be looking at how this can be tapped.”

Taking the lower end of the available capacity, at 393 MW, would require an investment of about $475 million, he said. Savings, though, would amount to $70 million a year – an estimate that would be exceeded if grid prices continue to rise.

Amy Kean, the NSW Renewable Energy Advocate, said commercial entities in particular had an opportunity to cut their power bill while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“NSW residents have embraced the solar revolution on their own homes but, as this report identifies, there’s a solar goldmine right under our noses that hasn’t been tapped,” Ms Kean said.

Solar panels on 25 per cent of CBD roofspace could generate 507 gigawatts of electricity a year, or enough to power 75,000 homes, the report found. They would also save 403,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Among the best available roof spaces is the Central Station – where solar energy could save the equivalent emissions of 1100 cars. The Overseas Passenger Terminal and the Art Gallery of NSW were other high-potential sites.

Among the Sydney suburbs surveyed, Alexandria had the largest untapped potential, with almost 110 MW of capacity identified.

The high reading reflected the area’s large warehouse-type rooftops, Mr Roberts said.

Clover Moore, Sydney’s mayor, said obstacles remain in the way of commercial take-up of solar.

“In our industrial areas, where many of the buildings are warehouses that don’t use a lot of energy during the day, a high proportion of the energy they produce would typically be fed back into the grid,” Ms Moore said.

“However under the current National Electricity Rules, electricity retailers pay just a small amount for [that] solar power…, meaning businesses are unlikely to see a return in a reasonable time-frame,” she said.

The rules also block trading of power between buildings, another barrier to solar’s spread, she said.

Solar energy demand has picked up this year across Australia, reaching record levels as consumers look to shield themselves from rising energy bills. Costs of equipment also continue to tumble, with the advance of new batteries likely to encourage the trend.

The public can use an online tool created by the Australian PV Institute to identify the solar potential of their area in Sydney. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”//e.infogr.am/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

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

‘I couldn’t breathe’: Kellaway opens up on bizarre injury

On a Tuesday evening last month, Waratahs utility back Andrew Kellaway woke up in the middle of the night, gasping for breath.
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Kellaway thought a knock to the neck during a club rugby game for Randwick three days earlier explained why he had a sore throat but quickly realised when he couldn’t get enough oxygen into his lungs, he needed help.

He jumped in the car, and drove to seek immediate medical attention.

“I rushed in for a scan and they rushed me to the hospital so they opened the airway back up,” Kellaway said. “I live with [Waratahs halfback] Jake Gordon and he saw me in the morning and was pretty upset I didn’t come and wake him up for help. It was scary.

“I woke up on the Tuesday and couldn’t breathe in bed. I drove there, that was probably a little bit reckless. I didn’t know the extent of it. I didn’t even know there was a bone there. It was such a bizarre thing and it swelled up over my vocal chords so I didn’t really think it was serious until I got to the hospital and they stuck the camera up my nose and down the back of my throat. It looked pretty bad in there.”

As it turned out, Kellaway sustained a fracture of the hyoid bone an injury that ruled him out of the Kings, Reds and Blues fixtures.

The 21-year-old is in line to make his return this weekend against the Melbourne Rebels and is thankful to be back on the paddock.

“There’s not much you can do,” Kellaway said. “It’s a pretty tough area to rehab but [there was] no heavy breathing, so no exercise. It was pretty boring.”

Coach Daryl Gibson will have a couple of selection dilemmas this week with Kellaway, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Reece Robinson and Cam Clark all hoping to squeeze into one of two starting wing spots.

Naiyaravoro has been given the all-clear to come back from a hand injury.

There are also a handful of players under an injury cloud with back-rower Michael Wells (hamstring) and Harry Jones (shoulder) sitting out Monday’s training, but Gibson is confident both will be eligible for selection.

Jack Dempsey was seen at training doing some light running in a positive indication he may return before the season is out.

There was also the familiar faces of Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne and scrum coach Mario Ledesma on deck at Moore Park to offer advice.

The Waratahs have begun doing their homework on the Rebels, with the prime focus making sure they eradicate poor starts.

“The first half in Melbourne against the Rebels [in March] we dominated large parts of it with some excellent play and then pushed the ball and forced passes which created errors and put ourselves under pressure,” Gibson said. “We didn’t come away with points. That’s been the story of our season.”

Centre Rob Horne echoed Gibson’s feelings, saying an 80-minute performance was needed if NSW were to overcome the cellar-dwellers of the Australian conference on Sunday at Allianz Stadium.

“We have to start better and we can’t wait until we’re in a corner to start throwing punches,” Horne said. “Hopefully we can put together an 80-minute performance.”

Horne, who will depart NSW at the end of the season to join British Premiership side Northampton Saints, said he wasn’t getting too sentimental in his final year at the club.

He has put his hand up for Wallabies selection but said he was more focused on doing his job for the Waratahs.

“Within these four walls we’re pretty engulfed in what we’re doing and pretty focused on putting out a good performance that we all want,” Horne said. “At the moment, I’m pretty keen to play well for NSW and hopefully get a bit of momentum for us.”

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