The Bullroarer - Monday 23rd February 2009

Otago Daily Times: 'Food-miles' danger for NZ exports

Food purchasing decisions based on the flawed "food miles" concept could wipe 0.24% off New Zealand gross domestic product, a new study has revealed.

The report said New Zealand would be one of the hardest hit exporters to Europe should the food miles debate gain traction, and so, too, would some of the poorest African countries, which also depend on agricultural exports.

Courier Mail: Public peddles ideas on transport troubles

COMMUTERS want increased train frequency, regional transport bodies, lower speed limits in suburban streets and an innercity congestion charge. These were the key factors raised at the first of three community forums held by The Courier-Mail in Brisbane yesterday.

The Age: Renewable energy plan facing loss of support

AFTER being accused of flip-flopping on its carbon pollution reduction scheme, the Federal Government is at risk of also losing support for its renewable energy target. The target, which requires electricity retailers to source 20 per cent of their power from renewable energy by 2020, will only supply up to 15 per cent, according to leading renewable energy company Pacific Hydro. In its submission to the draft RET legislation, Pacific Hydro says investment will "fall off a cliff face" due to the phase-out mechanism between 2024 and 2030.

The Ausrtralian: Gas deal for Golar as Shell loses out

NORWEGIAN LNG shipper Golar has signed the first offtake agreement for liquefied natural gas produced from coal seam gas.

Golar agreed to take a 40 per cent stake in LNG Ltd's $US500million ($779million) Gladstone LNG plant and buy all its product.

As revealed in The Australian in December, Golar has edged out energy giant Shell, which had been widely expected to take LNG produced from the plant after last year buying into Arrow Energy's CSG reserves.

ABC: New line opens, over budget, 3 years late

The Chatswood to Epping rail link on Sydney's north shore has been officially opened by the Premier and state Transport Minister. It is more than $900 million over budget, three years late and it does not go all the way to Parramatta as originally intended, but the link was finally opened in a formal ceremony.

The Premier, Nathan Rees, and the Transport Minister, David Campbell, arrived on the train, three minutes late, to officially open the link. Mr Campbell says it is an engineering marvel.

SMH: Greens push solar tariff

THE Greens intend to step up their campaign for the state seat of Marrickville held by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate Change, Carmel Tebbutt, as the Government grapples with a decision that could increase use of solar power.

A State Government panel is considering the establishment of gross or net "feed-in" tariffs to be added to the electricity bills of all households to cover payments made to people who generate surplus solar energy on their rooftops and sell it to power companies. Slash your energy bills

THE Federal Government is offering free ceiling insulation to Australian householders -- it sounds attractive but how much will it actually save you? You might be surprised to know that installing insulation in your roof can slash $200 off the average household energy bill.

And if that's not enough to convince you to take advantage of Mr Rudd's free offer, consider this: the insulation scheme will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 49.4 million tonnes by 2020 -- the equivalent of taking more than one million cars off the road.

Business Spectator: Vietnam opens $US3bn oil refinery

DUNG QUAT, Vietnam - Vietnam has opened its maiden oil refinery, a project that has been dogged by delays, failed joint ventures and criticism of its location, but which ends the country's total reliance on imported fuel.

The 140,000-barrels per day (bpd) Dung Quat plant, flanked by rice paddies and situated on a sandy stretch of coast almost exactly halfway between the capital Hanoi and commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City, will eventually allow Asia's second-biggest autofuel buyer to cut imports by a third.

Here's a few more:

SMH - Blue the new green in cars, says Toyota. Marketeers trying not to make hybrid cars too "green". Apparently green isn't the new black any more...

SMH - Solar power system lights up desert town

SMH - What a waste ... recycling in the dumps. Materials prices are dropping so low its getting hard to make money recycling.

SMH - Permits spark meat prices alarm. Farmers reckon the ETS will cost them money. As much as a perpetual drought ?

SMH - Get real, Wong tells greens. Penny is turning into Johnny.

SMH - 22 million more trips on public transport. Congestion charges and the economic downturn have had a lot more impact than high oil prices did (or perhaps they reinforced the message high prices sent last year).