Australia’s biggest barramundi farm set to get bigger, after securing $24m NAIF loan

Australia’s biggest barramundi farm is set to get even bigger, after securing a $24.2 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

This is the second loan Humpty Doo Barramundi has received from the NAIF after the farm, 75 kilometres from Darwin, was granted a $7 million loan in May 2018.

The money — which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an ANZ bank loan — will be used to help expand the farm’s production from around 80 tonnes of fish a week to around 200 tonnes a week in 2024.

The farm’s Dan Richards said the money would be put towards a range of projects to help the business grow.

“We are putting in a new, modern hatchery to support our barramundi breeding program in partnership with the CSIRO,” he said.

“It will also be [used to build] new nursery facilities here on the farm, additional production facilities like more ponds, and factory upgrades to be able to handle the fish as they start marching out of the ponds later on.”

Minister for Northern Australia Keith Pitt, announcing the NAIF loan on National Barramundi Day, said the loan would help create jobs in the Northern Territory.

“There will be 110 jobs as part of [the construction] and increase in infrastructure, and another 160 jobs when the new hatchery is up and running,” he said.

Mr Richards said the farm already employed around 100 people across a diverse range of positions.

“We have a really diverse team here, everything from electricians and refrigeration people, to specialist fish farmers, people in hatcheries, the team in the factory who are taking the fish from the field and packaging them up for wholesalers around the country.”

Humpty Doo Barramundi is Australia’s largest barramundi farm.(ABC News)

‘We believe in what we are doing’

It’s been a tough year for the barra farm, with production falling by around 70 per cent as restaurants across Australia closed during the coronavirus shutdowns and Qantas — previously a big buyer of Humpty Doo barramundi — dramatically reducing its flights.

But despite the economic uncertainty facing the country, Mr Richards said he was confident in the future of the barramundi industry.

“The fish we are harvesting now we put in the water two years ago, so with a long crop cycle like we’ve got you’ve got to take a long-term view.

“We believe in our great team and we are not afraid to back ourselves … it’s not a low-risk business we’re in, but it is the nature of business we are used to.”

Mr Richards said the extra production created by the farm’s expansion would all go into the Australian market, but the company was working with AusTrade to assess the potential of export markets.

barramundi splashing about in a big blue box.
Humpty Doo Barramundi will spend its NAIF loan on construction of a hatchery.(ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)

Government to push for NAIF changes

Since it was established in 2016 the NAIF has received criticism for its lack of spending in some regions, and has also undergone a statutory review of its loan criteria.

Mr Pitt said, while the NAIF had committed $2.4 billion worth of loans out of the $5 billion fund, “we are always looking to do better”.

The Federal Government has flagged its desire to expand the scope of the facility to increase the number of businesses eligible for loans.

“I want to ensure that the remaining part can be delivered faster, I want to expand the eligibility criteria of what the NAIF can finance, we are looking to increase the risk appetite for the NAIF, and increase its governance as well,” Mr Pitt said.

“The NAIF is restricted to being a loan facility and restricted to particular types of construction, so I am looking to expand those opportunities.

“To do that I will need to get legislation through the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“That means we need support in the Senate and I like to think the Opposition will step up and support those changes.”

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Newcastle Waters Station in Northern Territory earmarked for world’s biggest solar farm

The iconic Newcastle Waters Station in the Northern Territory — once owned by Kerry Packer — has been revealed as the proposed location for the world’s largest solar farm.

Sun Cable has told ABC Rural that it requires 12,000 hectares of the station to build a 10-gigawatt solar farm that would supply energy to Singapore via a 4,500-kilometre undersea cable.

The $20 billion project has the backing of tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, as well as resources billionaire (and new RM Williams owner) Andrew Forrest, and earlier this year it received major project status from the Federal Government.

Sun Cable has started the process of getting its environmental approvals in place, making a referral to the Northern Territory’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and outlining further details about its plans for Newcastle Waters and its outstation, Powell Creek.

“We’ll be using thousands of hectares of land, and we need to closely examine the impact on the ground at the solar farm end,” Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said.

“There’s a lot of black soil in that country, but that’s a bit problematic for us, so we’re [planning to build] on a substantial area of soil that’s a bit different and a bit friendlier for us to construct on.”

Sun Cable’s proposed site for its 12,000-hectare solar farm on Newcastle Waters Station.(Supplied: Sun Cable)

Mr Griffin said Newcastle Waters, which is currently owned by the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), would receive some form of payment, but he would not go into more details because it was commercial-in-confidence.

In a statement, CPC’s chief executive Troy Setter said “CPC fully supports Sun Cable and its exciting project to develop renewable energy capture on Newcastle Waters Station in the NT”.

“Solar energy being captured in centre of the Northern Territory and transferred to Darwin and on to South-East Asia is a great project for the NT and Australia,” he said.

Mr Griffin believed the project would deliver benefits to the cattle station.

“There will be new infrastructure that could be of mutual benefit, [such as] an access road,” he said.

“We will also be building a rail siding, and conceivably that’s something that could be of use to [CPC’s] operations as well.”

Lake Woods aerial
Sun Cable’s solar farm will be built near Lake Woods, which during times of flood can cover up to 1,000 square kilometres.(Supplied)

Some environmental hurdles for solar

Because of its scale, and despite it being a renewable energy project, the Sun Cable proposal will need to address a number of environmental concerns according to Paul Purden, the NT Government’s executive director of environmental assessment and policy.

“The NT EPA hasn’t assessed many large land clearing proposals [like this one],” he said.

“The reason why the proponent Sun Cable has decided to initiate this referral themselves is because they can see this is a large proposal that includes a large amount of clearing and other components.

“So they’re getting onto the front foot to say ‘We think these need to be assessed’, and allow the environmental impact assessment process to demonstrate they can manage any impacts to an acceptable level.”

Sun Cable’s referral to the EPA stated the project had “potential for significant impacts on the environment”.

Mr Purden said the project would need to address a number of environmental concerns such as the impact of large-scale land clearing, impacts on the marine environment when connecting power to Singapore, and to also address “some potentially big changes to the hydrology of that land [at Newcastle Waters]”.

However, Mr Purden said there were also “possibly some very positive environmental benefits from a greenhouse gas emissions point of view more broadly”.

Mr Griffin said, when it came to greenhouse gas emissions and the implications of land clearing, the net greenhouse benefit would be “overwhelming for this project”.

He said once construction was completed it would be “an ongoing supply of emission-free renewable electricity”.


Construction set to begin in 2023

Sun Cable said it considered four areas in the Barkly for its solar farm and chose Newcastle Waters due to a range of factors including:

  • High solar irradiance and low annual cloud cover metrics
  • A long history of ecological disturbance from pastoral activities
  • Low potential for disturbance to surrounding land uses and receptors
  • Proximity to the Adelaide to Darwin railway, which is proposed to be used for component delivery
  • Proximity to the Stuart Highway for vehicle access and fibre optic cable connection

Sun Cable said it was possible that “additional or alternate solar farm sites” would be identified during the development process.

A final investment decision is yet to be made, but if all goes to plan for Sun Cable construction is expected to start in late 2023 with solar energy to reach Darwin in 2026 and Singapore the following year.

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AFL trade news, rumours, whispers 2020: Trades state of play, verdict, biggest trade targets, Adam Treloar, Zach Merrett, Jeremy Cameron

Even in Grand Final week, a massive trade bombshell can steal the back page.

So with 16 clubs out of the running, and even one of the sides still in the flag race talking trades, it’s fair to say things are heating up.

Here’s the state of play on some of the AFL’s biggest trade targets before free agency begins on October 30, with the trade period to start on November 4.

Catch Fox Footy’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until first bounce plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox Footy commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Grand Final

Giants set to match Cats


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AFL Finals 2020 | Gary Ablett delivers the biggest blows when it matters most

It was the sublime intervention of Ablett – two goals in several minutes in the third quarter – that propelled the Cats on the path to their first grand final since 2011 and a date with the AFL’s benchmark club, Richmond, at this same venue in seven days.

The Cats led by 10 points, early in the third quarter when Sam Simpson booted the ball untidily forward to a contest within 15 metres of goal, where Patrick Dangerfield was stationed.

The footy went to ground. Dangerfield burrowed in and grabbed it, but was wrapped up in a tackle.
Ablett lurked in front of him. Dangerfield shovelled the ball out to him, in what the replay showed – much to the outrage of the Gabba throng – to be a disposal more befitting Cameron Smith than an AFL player.

It happened so rapidly that the umpire wouldn’t have seen Dangerfield’s throw. But it was overshadowed by the genius that followed: Ablett, sizing up the goal from an angle, dribbled a low trajectory right foot snap, in which he never lost his balance.

You could feel the deflation in the Brisbane crowd, and the elation among the Cats.

The Lions replied with a long bomb to Cameron Rayner. They were still threatening.

Then, at the next bounce, a clean clearance saw Mitch Duncan hand ball deftly to Ablett in space inside the centre square.

Ablett might have slowed, but his spatial awareness and nous have not dimmed. As soon as he had this ball, one could sense what was coming, since he’s done it before so many times.


He sprinted clear, past the centre square and to about 52 metres, unloading with a long drop punt. It sailed towards goal, where Tom Hawkins shepherded and then his celebration confirmed the goal.
Ablett had struck, twice.

He wasn’t Geelong’s best, or most influential. Others, such as Duncan, Sam Menegola and Dangerfield had more disposals, others performed crucial defensive roles – Tom Stewart and Jake Kolodjashnij for instance (the latter subduing Charlie Cameron after conceding two electric goals).

Hawkins was structurally crucial, as ever, even though his opponent Harris Andrews was very effective, too and among the better Lions. Rhys Stanley was excellent in the ruck.

Ablett’s main match-up was Daniel Rich, in what was, in retrospect, a risque move – Rich is an offensive defender, rather than a close-checking type small backman. He gave Gaz too much latitude.

Collectively, the Cats were superior defensively, offensively and in the contest, where they doubled the Lions (36-18) in the first quarter. They were stronger and more composed with the ball.

But, in a final that was tight and up for grabs until late in the third quarter or early in the last, a preliminary final in which the Cats took a long time to turn ownership of general play into scoreboard advantage, Ablett took his chances.

He wasn’t the best or biggest player in Geelong’s triumph. Undoubtedly, he was the best story.

He’s not done with yet.

And, in a season like no other, his first and last AFL club, the Cats, will give him and their coach Chris Scott, an opportunity to create history.

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India Covid-19: Bollywood faces biggest box office test as cinemas open

As of now, two big Bollywood extravaganzas have held out – Sooryavanshi, an action-packed police spectacle steered by superstar Akshay Kumar, is set to release in early 2021, while ’83, a tribute to India’s cricket World Cup victory in 1983, is due to have a Christmas showing. There are rumours that a sequel to a 2005 hit, Bunty Aur Babli, will release in mid-November, just in time for the Hindu festival of Diwali, often celebrated by both fireworks and a blockbuster.

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Renault, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, biggest flaw, embarrassing

Despite some “moments of promise”, the dramatic resurgence of Daniel Ricciardo has exposed Renault teammate Esteban Ocon, according to former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer.

After a disappointing 2019 season, Ricciardo has made a triumphant return from the coronavirus lockdown. The Australian finished in the top five at races in Britain, Belgium, France and Russia, before snaring a highly-anticipated podium at the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was Renault’s first podium finish in the F1 since 2011.

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On the F1 drivers’ standings, Ricciardo sits ahead of all Ferrari and Racing Point drivers in fourth position, one spot behind former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas leading the way.

However, Ocon hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success — the French driver has cracked the top five just once this year, and he currently sits in 12th position with 36 points.

In his maiden season with Renault, Ocon has out-qualified Ricciardo just once, during a wet session at the Styrian Grand Prix back in July.

Although Ocon has by no means struggled in the F1 this year, Palmer believes the 24-year-old isn’t “stacking up well” against his Australian counterpart.

“As for Ricciardo, he has been brilliant in 2020 and is making Ocon look quite average right now on his return to a full-time drive,” Palmer said on BBC Sport.

“Ocon is a young driver of good potential — and showed it alongside Sergio Perez at Force India in 2017 and 2018 — but he simply isn’t stacking up well against Ricciardo, which is a mark of how consistently well the Australian is performing this season.

“Although he was only a fraction behind Ricciardo in qualifying at the Nurburgring, Ocon carries close to a 0.2 second deficit on average over the season so far.

“But it’s actually the races where the difference is bigger.

“In that Styrian Grand Prix where Ocon qualified ahead, it wasn’t long before Ricciardo was crawling over the back of the Frenchman and eventually came through. And in Sochi, the race before Nurburgring, Ricciardo passed Ocon after a poor start, and eventually pulled ahead by a full 26 seconds.

“It’s not to say Ocon’s been particularly poor. He has had moments of promise, and more reliability issues than Ricciardo, and he’s new to the team after a season on the sidelines.

“But I’m sure even Renault will be surprised at how Ricciardo is outperforming their new signing. He’s in the best form he’s been in for a while, and this year he can actually finish in a higher championship position than he managed in his final two seasons at Red Bull.”

READ MORE: Red Bull’s cheeky advice to Ricciardo

READ MORE: Ricciardo is crushing his new team

Renault hasn’t finished in the top three of an F1 season since 2007 — the French team is currently six points behind third-placed Racing Point on the constructors’ standings.

“Overall this year, Renault are bang on their usual batting average, in fifth place out of the 10 teams in the standings with six races to go,” Palmer said.

“But actually there are now signs of real progress, and they have more than just a trophy and some champagne to celebrate after Ricciardo’s result on Sunday.

“They finally look to be making strides towards the front, and this result has been on the cards for some time. Since bringing upgrades to the car at Silverstone, Ricciardo has been a second-row qualifier, and a fastest lap setter in addition to those three fourth places.

“These are just rewards for the effort and progress Renault have made from a disappointing 2019, and it was great to see the smiles on the faces of my former colleagues under the podium on Sunday.

“This feels like an opportunity for the team to move forward, rather than rest on the laurels of a breakthrough podium.

“Esteban Ocon, Ricciardo’s young teammate, has had a few reliability woes so far, but Renault will be hoping he can find a bit more form as well to match Ricciardo and add more points to Renault’s championship aspirations.”

Palmer represented Renault in the F1 for two seasons in 2016 and 2017, where he racked up nine career points.

The Portuguese Grand Prix will commence on Monday morning AEDT, with lights out scheduled for 12:10am.

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Reclaim Disk Space – How to Find the Biggest Files in your Google Drive

Learn how to free up storage space in your Google Drive by deleting large files. You can also delete apps that are storing data in your Google Drive

Published in: Google Drive

Your Google account storage is shared between Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. What do you do when your Google account is running out of storage space? You either buy more storage from Google or the inexpensive option is that you spend some time spring-cleaning your account and delete the emails and files that could be hogging up the storage space.

Recover Spaces in Google Drive

First things first. Go to and click on the “View Details” link to know the total available disk space and see exactly how much storage space is used by the email and drive service.

Gmail offers the size search operator so you can easily find emails that have large attachments and delete them to reclaim space. For instance, a query like size:5MB older_than:1y will show all emails older than a year and that take up more than 5 MB of space in your Google account. See more Gmail search operators

Unlike Gmail, there’s no easy way to find large files by size in Google Drive but there’re some easy workarounds to find the big files in your Google account.

For Gmail accounts

If you have a @gmail Google account, go to and click the “review” link under Large Files.

You’ll get a sorted list view of all files in your Google Drive, sort by size. Select the ones you no longer need and hit the delete button to instantly recover space.

Please note that files deleted from the Storage manage inside Google One are permanently deleted and can no longer be recovered.

For GSuite (Google Workspace) accounts

GSuite is now Google Workspace and, apart from rebranding, Google no longer offers unlimited Drive storage that was earlier available with the GSuite Business plan. The Enterprise plans do not impose any storage limits.

To reclaim space in Google Drive for GSuite accounts, open this link and you’ll get a list of all files in your Google Drive arranged from largest to smallest size

You can remove the files that you no longer need but there’s one extra step. Google Drive will move the files to the trash bin so you’ll have to empty the bin as well to reclaim space.

The Google Drive files list only includes non-native file formats since the native Google files – like Google Documents or Google Sheets – do not take any storage space on your Google Drive.

Tip: Use the Drive Auditor to get a detailed report of all Google Drive files that can be sorted by size in Google Sheets.

Delete App Backups

In addition to binary files, certain apps may be using your Drive Storage for storing files and app settings. You cannot explore the individual files that are stored by apps in your Google Drive but you do have an option to delete the data stored by them in your Drive.

Inside Google Drive, go to settings, and choose Manage Apps. Click the options button against the app name and choose “Delete hidden data”.

Google Drive - Hidden App Data

You may also want to check the Backups section in your Google Drive ( that stores backup of your Android phone, app settings and WhatsApp messages. They take up space as well but Google Drive doesn’t specify the exact size of backups.

Also see: Save Gmail to Google Drive

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China, Russia, terrorism are UK’s biggest long-term threats, says new MI5 boss

Prime Ministers Theresa May and Boris Johnson wanted to include the Chinese firm but were eventually forced to introduce a plan to phase out Huawei equipment after a rebellion by Conservative MPs and intense lobbying by the Trump Administration as well as privately from Australia.

McCallum welcomed plans by the British government to tighten its foreign investment and foreign agent rules – changes which Australia has already implemented to counter Chinese interference.

The UK has been the site of a major battle over Huawei’s participation in the country’s 5G network. Credit:AP

“Current legislation leaves gaps; some of the most damaging activity we have to confront cannot currently be pursued through the criminal courts. That cannot be right,” he said.

“The case for legislating – bringing UK defences up to the levels enjoyed by many of our friends – is compelling.”

MI5 boss Ken McCallum.

MI5 boss Ken McCallum.

McCallum said that Russia currently caused the “most aggravation to the UK” but it was China that posed the greater long-term threat.

“You might think of the Russian intelligence services providing bursts of bad weather, while China is changing the climate,” he said when asked by a reporter with Britain’s Sky News.

He Russian and Chinese spies no longer contained their behaviour to stealing state secrets but were also involved in assassinations, undermining democracy, penetrating infrastructure and academia.

“It really does cover a broad range,” he said.

McCallum’s speech was welcomed by the former Conservative Leader Iain Duncan Smith who has led the charge against Chinese investment in the UK.

“At last the message is getting through,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“China now poses a significant threat to the UK and the new head of MI5 acknowledges it.

“He is right, now I hope the government recognises the extent of the threat and reviews the mistakes of previous administrations and restricts our dependency on this authoritarian communist regime which is guilty of gross human rights violations,” he said.


But McCallum said the spy agency’s largest mission remained three kinds of terrorism; “rejectionist” groups in Northern Ireland who had failed to move on since the Good Friday Agreement was brokered 22 years ago, Islamist extremism and right-wing terrorism.

McCallum said that while the threat of right-wing terrorism was not as great as Islamist terrorism, the problem was growing.

He said the growth in young people attracted to right-wing extremism suggested that “this threat will be with us for some years to come.”

“Of the 27 late-stage terrorist attack plots in Great Britain disrupted by MI5 and counter-terror policing since 2017, eight have been right-wing extremist,” McCallum said.

He said in Germany, right-wing terrorism was now a bigger threat than that posed by Islamists.


In 2016, Labour MP Jo Cox was assassinated by a far-right terrorist during the referendum campaign, who repeatedly said his murder was “for Britain” for “Britain first” and to “to keep Britain independent”.

The Australian Labor party has been pushing for Australia to join its Five Eyes intelligence allies which include Britain, the United States, New Zealand and Canada in proscribing white supremacist groups as terrorist organisations to stop them funding each other.

ASIO says it has increased its work in monitoring right-wing terrorism in the wake of the Christchurch massacre which was carried out by Australian man Brenton Tarrant.

Tarrant is on New Zealand’s proscribed terror list and his manifesto has been seized during raids on neo-Nazi groups across Europe, including in Ukraine.

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AFL trade whispers 2020, news, rumours, out of contract players, free agents, biggest trade names, Adrian Dodoro Essendon, Adam Saad Carlton, Brad Crouch

Essendon have set an audacious asking price for Carlton to secure Adam Saad.

Plus a star Crow’s recent run-in with police doesn’t seem to have deterred suitors.

Get all the latest player movement news in AFL Trade Whispers!

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Preliminary Final

Treloar debunks Suns rumours


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Biggest spike in used-vehicle prices in 51 years nudges U.S. inflation higher in September

Consumer prices rose sharply after the economy reopened, but the coronavirus pandemic has kept a lid on inflation more broadly.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The numbers: Consumer inflation rose in September at the slowest pace in four months, suggesting the shock from the coronavirus pandemic on the price of goods and services is starting to fade. Most of the increase last month was tied to the biggest jump in the cost of used cars and trucks in 51 years.

The consumer price index rose 0.2% last month, the Labor Department said Tuesday, matching the MarketWatch forecast. It was the smallest increase since since May.

Consumer inflation sank early in the coronavirus pandemic, then snapped back after the economy reopened, but it might be settling into a more stable pattern.

The cost of living has risen just 1.4% in the past year, up a tick from the prior month. The broad rate of inflation is still quite low with the coronavirus continuing to depress economies around the world.

By contrast, inflation was running at a much higher 2.5% rate at the start of 2020.

What happened: The cost of used cars and trucks jumped 6.7% in September, posting the biggest increase since 1969.

Used-vehicles prices surged over the summer, probably because so few people were using public transportation while the coronavirus was spreading.

The cost of natural gas also shot up 4.2%, pushing overall energy prices higher.

Yet the rise in the cost of most other goods and services were muted.

Gasoline prices, for example, edged up just 0.1%, the smallest increase since the economy reopened in May. Rents also rose just 0.1% and the cost of medical care was unchanged.

Grocery prices, meanwhile, declined for the third straight month after a big runup in the first several months of the pandemic.

The cost of airline tickets, clothing, home furnishings and auto insurance also fell.

Another closely watched measure of inflation that strips out food and energy, known as the core rate, also rose 0.2% last month. The yearly increase in core CPI was unchanged at 1.7%.

Big picture: Inflation rebounded more rapidly than expected during the summer after slumping when the pandemic struck in March. Yet prices are unlikely to rise much faster until the economy gets stronger and demand picks up. Many companies have had to cut prices to entice customers to spend in a time of such high economic uncertainty.

What they are saying? “Inflation plunged, then partially rebounded, with the collapse of demand in the first half of this year and the rapid, partial rebound in the third quarter,” wrote chief economist Chris Low of FHN Financial in a note to clients. “From here … the ongoing elevated unemployment rate, reflecting elevated excess productive capacity globally, will keep inflation down in the next few years.”

Market reaction: The Dow Jones industrial average DJIA and S&P 500 SPX fell slightly in Tuesday trades.

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