Santos targets net-zero emissions by 2040 as climate pressure grows


He said advances in CCS technology in the past three years have enabled the company to go “faster and further” on the emissions-reduction front.

“The world still relies on hydrocarbon fuels for 80 per cent of its primary energy, the same as 45 years ago, so to achieve global emissions-reduction goals it is vital that companies like Santos focus on making these fuels cleaner and eventually zero emissions,” Mr Gallagher said in a statement.

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“Our targets and road map are consistent with our disciplined, low-cost operating model and our
corporate strategy to build and grow around our five core natural gas assets across Australia, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.”

Santos and rival Woodside this year faced shareholder pressure to sign up to tougher emissions-reductions targets covering emissions from their own operations and those caused by customers’ use of their oil and gas, known as “Scope 3” emissions. More than 43 per cent of shareholders defied the board at Santos’ annual investor meeting in April and supported a push by ethical investment campaigners for the company to strengthen its carbon targets.

Mr Gallagher will tell investors on Tuesday the company Santos would actively work with customers of its oil and gas on ways to lower their emissions by 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.

The company’s strengthened targets come as it nears a final investment decision to give the go-ahead for one of the world’s cheapest CCS projects at its Moomba gas plant in South Australia. After completing the final field trial, successfully injecting 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide into a depleted gas reservoir in the Cooper Basin, Santos is now waiting for the Clean Energy Regulator to finalise the methodology for CCS to qualify for federal carbon credits, which would be needed for the project to stack up economically.

While CCS technology is in its infancy and just 20 projects are in commercial use, it is being increasingly funded by governments and energy companies as part of their decarbonisation initiatives, alongside electrification plans.

Mr Gallagher said customers in China, Japan and Korea were already demanding cargoes of carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas (LNG) after their governments set goals to achieve net-zero emissions around the middle of the century.

“This will require increased use of natural gas to replace coal, as well as new clean fuels such as hydrogen, already being used to reduce emissions from coal-fired power generation in Asia,” Mr Gallagher said.



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Peak hour at Marsden Park is getting worse as the population grows, and there’s no end in sight


If you hate peak hour — spare a thought for the residents of Marsden Park in north-west Sydney.

Not long ago, the suburb was rolling green fields, but now rows and rows of houses are quickly being built.

The local Blacktown City Council expects another 40,000 residents to move in over the next 15 years.

Affordable blocks of land, and houses, makes it an ideal place to buy — but the biggest problem with Marsden Park is getting out.

The rapidly expanding suburb currently only has one entry and exit, via a single set of traffic lights at Richmond Road.

“The government have released land, and they have been very slow at best to build the necessary infrastructure,” said Prue Car, the local Labor MP.

Cars queue up on Richmond Road at peak hour.(ABC News)

During peak hour, the choke point is leading to huge queues traffic trying to move only a few hundred metres.

Some residents have told the ABC about waiting for 30 minutes to reach the lights, and then having to go on the rest of their journey.

“It can take half-an-hour to get out of this road to the main road,” one resident told the ABC, while sitting in traffic.

“Awh mate it’s ridiculous this road, it’s unbelievable,” said a truck driver, also waiting and late for a delivery.

Adjacent streets also become congested as people try to get around Elara Boulevard, the main thoroughfare.

A man, a baby and a woman.
Christine and Macgyver Fuertes are worried about the impact of a new shopping centre.(ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

Christine and Macgyver Fuertes see and hear the traffic every day, and worry it will soon get worse when a local shopping centre is built across the road from their house.

“The traffic here is just ridiculous, the traffic lights at Richmond Road are so quick,” Ms Fuertes said.

“Very loud as well with all the trucks honking, and blowing their horns and stuff, so it can be quite busy.”

During the 2019/2020 bushfire season, father-of-two Matt Biermann discussed with his wife how they would escape in an emergency.

A man.
Marsden Park resident Matt Biermann is nervous about what might happen during an emergency.(ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

“If the entire estate needed to leave in a short period of time whether it was for a bushfire or a potential flood, it would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for every resident here to leave by one road, at the one time,” he said.

Some relief is on the horizon, with another road and set of lights expected to be opened early next year.

But some fear it won’t solve all the traffic problems, especially as more people move in.

“I think it is delaying the inevitable problem that with all these people,” Mr Biermann said.

“But we need the required roads and transport to meet those people,” he said.

“What the community fears is that we’ll be sitting longer and longer in our cars, clogging up roads that desperately need upgrades, but we’re not where to be seen when it comes to the budget,” Ms Car said.

In a statement, Transport for NSW said it ran a consultation with residents last year to better understand the community’s needs.

It said measures to ease congestion along the Richmond Road corridor are also being investigated and prioritised.

It said it could not confirm exactly when the new set of lights to get in and out of Marsden Park would be operating.



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English farm to cull 10,500 turkeys as concern grows over wave of bird flu from Europe — RT UK News


More than ten thousands turkeys will be slaughtered at a poultry farm in northern England, following the discovery there of H5N8 bird flu. The culling comes amid fears of an avian flu outbreak originating in Europe.

Medical authorities confirmed that avian flu had been found at a commercial turkey fattening farm near Northallerton, North Yorkshire. All 10,500 birds at the farm would be culled to limit the spread of the disease, which was identified as the highly contagious H5N8 strain. The British public were reassured that the outbreak does not pose a food safety risk. 

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The discovery of the disease comes amid reports of a string of swan deaths that have been linked to avian flu. Poultry farmers across England, Scotland and Wales were ordered earlier in November to implement strict lockdown-style measures at their facilities to help prevent the spread of the illness. Recent outbreaks of the H5N8 strain have been detected in Cheshire, Devon, Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire. 

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, expressed a “high level” of concern over the recent developments, noting that the “sheer volume of infections” was worrying. 

However, avian flu poses minimal risk to public health. Typically the virus doesn’t infect people, although animal to human transmission has been recorded in the past. However, contagious strains of the virus can spread quickly among bird species, sickening or killing the infected animal. 

Earlier this month, 190,000 chickens were slaughtered at two poultry farms in the Netherlands, after a strain of the H5 avian flu variant was detected. H5N8 has been found in wild bird populations in Europe, raising the possibility that it can spread rapidly with migrating flocks. 

The potential for animal to human transmission of bird flu has become more pronounced as health authorities continue to battle against Covid-19. 

Danish authorities recently ordered the culling of the country’s 17 million farmed minks, which are raised for their fur, after a mutated version of Covid-19 was found to have spread from the animals to humans. Denmark’s agriculture minister resigned over the order, which was ruled to be unlawful. However, the government moved ahead with the plans, arguing that it could obtain retroactive authority to carry out the animal slaughter. 

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South Australia coronavirus cluster grows again as pizza bar link confirmed


South Australia has recorded two new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and both are believed to be linked to the Parafield cluster.

A man in his 40s has returned a positive test, and authorities have said he is a close contact of someone who is linked to the cluster.

His case takes the total number of cases in the cluster to 31.

“This person was in quarantine and was quarantining with his family,” Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.

“So we feel quite confident that because of the circuit breaker in that period of time and because our contact tracing team had been able to get hold of the people involved with this part of that cluster, we don’t have a risk of that going any further forward.”

The other case was announced last night — a teenage girl who attends Woodville High School.

Dr Spurrier said the year 11 student had been linked from an “epidemiological point of view” through contact with the Woodville Pizza Bar.

Genomic testing had still not been completed, she said.

“It looks as though she has had an exposure at the Woodville Pizza Bar, having picked up a pizza on November 14, which indeed was an infectious period and we knew there were people that were there that were infected,” Dr Spurrier said.

The school has been closed today and anyone who attended on Monday, November 23, has been ordered to isolate immediately with their families.

Woodville High School is in Adelaide’s north-western suburbs.(ABC News: Ben Nielsen)

More pizza bar contacts missing

Dr Spurrier said everyone associated with the school on that date had been contacted, but there may be some people connected with the pizza bar who had still not come forward.

“The important thing is if you did get a pizza from that pizza bar and you haven’t been tested, now is the time to do so,” she said.

While Premier Steven Marshall last week blasted a pizza bar worker for allegedly lying about working at the shop, Dr Spurrier would not lay the blame on the girl for going to school when she had had some contact with the pizza bar.

“The fact that she did get tested, I am so pleased about,” she said.

A police car is parked in front of the Peppers Waymouth Hotel in Adelaide's CBD.
New coronavirus tests have now been conducted and returned on 95 per cent of staff at the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

There are now 31 cases linked to the cluster.

One woman remains in hospital but she is in a stable condition.

About 4,800 people linked with the cluster are now in quarantine.

Nearly 10,000 people were tested in South Australia yesterday, and a new air-conditioned Adelaide Showground testing site will open on Friday, when hot weather is predicted.

About 95 per cent of staff at the Peppers Waymouth Hotel, where two new cases were detected yesterday have been tested and cleared of coronavirus.

QR code app launched

The Premier also announced this afternoon an official app to be used by people to check in to businesses using QR codes.

The South Australian Government’s MySA GOV app will have a feature added to it for people to scan QR codes, which are similar to barcodes, to help with contact tracing.

Professor Nicola Spurrier says two returned travellers now linked to Parafield cluster
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier.(ABC News)

Mr Marshall said it would help open the economy and support jobs from its start date of next Tuesday, December 1.

Paper forms will be available as a back-up and for people without smartphones.

Dr Spurrier said she visited Rundle Mall earlier today and noticed “some people” wearing face masks.

She urged more people to don them, especially as crowds grew in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We really do want to encourage people to wear masks because it’s going to be crowded and you will potentially be in close contact with a large number of people from all over South Australia,” she said.



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Anxiety infects Victoria-SA border as Adelaide’s COVID-19 cluster grows


But by Tuesday the mood had altered among the 3000 members of the Cross Border Call Out Facebook site, with some expressing anxiety that Victoria could find itself exposed because it had no police checks on South Australians driving into Victoria. Some wanted Victoria to close its border.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday there would be additional screening of travellers arriving from South Australia by air, though it had yet to be determined if there would be screening at land borders.

South Australian police still operate the South Australia-Victoria border post near Nelson.

South Australian police still operate the South Australia-Victoria border post near Nelson. Credit:Tony Wright

However, he said the borders would remain open.

Mr Singleton and his partner Andrea Winfield had every reason to hope the new COVID-19 outbreak in Adelaide did not lead to Victoria tightening border controls.

They run the post office and general store at Nelson, on the Glenelg River, and have already suffered through South Australia’s restrictions.

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“We’re the meat in the COVID sandwich,” Mr Singleton said.

In late August, as the South Australian administration slammed shut its border, the couple hastily packed their belongings and moved from their home in the tiny South Australian riverside settlement of Donovans to Nelson, a few kilometres away in Victoria, so they could continue running their business.

Six days later, South Australian authorities relaxed restrictions, allowing a 40-kilometre travel buffer zone for border communities.

Mr Singleton and Ms Winfield moved back to their home in Donovans. The South Australian buffer zone later increased to 70 kilometres, but still required permits and regular COVID-19 tests.

With the summer tourist season approaching, Mr Singleton and Ms Winfield need to attract staff, principally from Mt Gambier, 37 kilometres away in South Australia.

But their hopes could be dashed if Victoria closed its border, forcing them to move house again, back to Nelson, and preventing prospective staff from travelling from Mt Gambier.

“It shouldn’t be like this,” Mr Singleton said. “Australians shouldn’t have to worry about living with one foot in each state camp.”

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Adelaide Peppers hotel guests moved as COVID-19 cluster grows


“We understand that there are guests whose quarantine period is due to end [on Tuesday] however to ensure your safety and to minimise the Public Health risk, this time will be extended, which may be up to 14 days,” the letter said.

“We sincerely apologise for any distress or inconvenience this may cause.”

Those in quarantine are charged $3000 for the first adult and $1000 for each additional adult but SA Health has confirmed travellers will not pay extra for the second quarantine period.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said it was pleasing that the number of new cases had not spiralled. Seventeen of the 20 cases are from the same family.

“It’s still early days and there’s still an anxious 24 or 48 hours in front of us, but the good news is it’s a very different situation we’ve woken up to today compared to yesterday morning,” he told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

“The problem in this instance is the two security officers and the person working back of house had no symptoms. It’s a very difficult situation.

“I expected yesterday that many [states and territories] would impose the border controls and restrictions back in place. If we get on top of this I think we might see those lifted fairly quickly as well.”

Returned travellers face uncertainty

Adelaide resident Luke Newcombe returned from Britain two weeks ago and was due for release from the Peppers hotel early on Tuesday, but now faces up to 14 days in another hotel.

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“It’s pretty horrid at the moment,” he said. “No one knows where they’re going.”

Mr Newcombe said he had a job interview and doctor’s appointment lined up on Tuesday. He is unhappy that travellers are paying the price for other people’s failures.

“Why am I being punished for the lack of organisation on their behalf?” he said. “I’m happy to put up my hand and do another test.”

He was also baffled as to how two security guards and a cleaner contracted the virus in the first place.

“You’re locked in your room, you’re brought meals three times a day. They knock on your door, you wait a few seconds. You can’t open your door while they’re there … It just seems a little bit off to me,” he said.

Margaret Crowe is another traveller who was due for release on Tuesday after returning with her family to South Australia from Italy where she lived for 25 years. She said hotel staff had been amazing.

Margaret Crowe with husband Maurizio Cigognetti and sons Thomas Cigognetti and Elliott Cigognetti, who face another two weeks in quarantine. Credit:Maurizio Cigognetti

“It’s just an unfortunate human error … I can’t fault the hotel or say it was shabby or dirty,” Ms Crowe said.

“It’s a great demonstration of how a pandemic moves. You get one person, then all of a sudden you’ve got this big cluster.”

NSW, Victoria record zero cases

NSW recorded its 10th consecutive day without community transmission of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Four cases were detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Victoria has reached 18 days in a row without a single case.

South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade said on Tuesday that, although public health authorities were “confident” the Peppers hotel was the source, the first case had still not conclusively been identified.

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Bulgaria avg gross monthly wage grows in Q3 | The Budapest Business Journal on the web


 Regional Today

 Monday, November 16, 2020, 16:30

The average gross monthly wage in Bulgaria rose by an annual 9.9% to BGN 1,373 (EUR 702) in the third quarter of 2020, the Sofia-based National Statistical Institute (NSI) said last week. 

Graphic by Myvector / Shutterstock.com

On a quarterly comparison basis, the average gross monthly wage grew by 2.7% in the review period, NSI said in a statement.

The highest average wage of BGN 3,208 (EUR 1,640) was registered in the information and communication sector, followed by financial and insurance business with BGN 2,106.

The lowest gross wage, of BGN 890 (EUR 455), was recorded in the sector of accommodation and food services.

On an annual comparison basis, the average monthly wages in the public sector and the private sector increased by 12.7% and 9%, respectively. 

 

 





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States and territories issue quarantine orders as South Australia’s coronavirus outbreak grows


States and territories are issuing quarantine and self-isolation orders for travellers from South Australia today, as an outbreak of coronavirus cases Adelaide’s northern suburbs grows.

Seventeen cases have now been linked to a cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

It’s forced the closure of a supermarket, two schools and a fast food restaurant, as the states health authorities scramble to contact trace and contain the outbreak.

Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have announced specific measures for people arriving from SA, while New South Wales is sticking with no new border restrictions.

Return to this page for updates through the day.

Queensland

Queensland will declare Adelaide a COVID-19 hotspot, taking effect from 11:59pm tonight.

Anyone who arrives in Queensland after that time will have to go into hotel quarantine.

Anyone currently in Queensland who has been in Adelaide since Monday last week, or who arrives in the Sunshine State before 11:59pm tonight, is being asked to self-isolate.

Those people will need to get tested for COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.

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Queensland declares Adelaide a coronavirus hotspot

Victoria

Victoria has declared Adelaide a COVID-19 hotspot.

Premier Daniel Andrews said anyone arriving from South Australia at Melbourne airport will be interviewed, and may be required to undergo a rapid test.

He said state health authorities will have more details later in the day.

He also said Victoria will be ready to offer any assistance to SA.

Victoria today recorded its 17th straight day with no new coronavirus cases or deaths.

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Victoria declares Adelaide a covid hotspot

Tasmania

Tasmania has declared South Australia a medium risk destination for travel.

It means anyone who arrives in Tasmania from SA, from tonight, will be required to quarantine.

If they don’t have a suitable residence they will go into government hotels.

The Tasmanian Government will initially cover the cost of hotel quarantine.

Anyone currently in Tasmania, who has been in South Australia since last Monday, has been asked to self-isolate.

Tasmania’s Public Health Service also said those who have recently been in South Australia should be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

People with symptoms, including mild symptoms, should seek testing through the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said there would be a further update tomorrow, potentially distinguishing metropolitan Adelaide from regional SA.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Chief Minister announced all arrivals from South Australia will have to undergo supervised quarantine.

The declaration of South Australia as a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the NT will take effect immediately.

People who arrive in the NT will have the choice to return to South Australia immediately instead of undergoing quarantine.

Anyone who arrives today or tomorrow will not have to pay the $2,500 fee to undertake quarantine.

Two planes are due to arrive in Darwin from Adelaide today.

Western Australia

From 6:00pm tonight, South Australians will be restricted from entering WA unless they meet a “strict exemption” category.

Travel will only be allowed for senior government officials, military and Commonwealth personnel, transport freight or logistics, or an authorised officer.

Exceptions on compassionate grounds will be considered.

Travellers on two flights due into Perth from Adelaide tonight will also need to adhere to these rules.

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Travellers arriving in Perth from Adelaide talk about their experience.(ABC News)

Anyone who has arrived at Perth Airport from South Australia from yesterday is being been tested for COVID-19, either on arrival or within 24 hours of arrival and told to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Those arrivals will also be required to be tested on day 11 of their self-quarantine.

New South Wales

New South Wales is so far keeping its border open, with no required quarantine, for travellers coming from South Australia.

“Our health authorities are confident the South Australian Government is on top of it,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“I’m not suggesting it’s not concerning — it is.”

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NSW confirms it won’t close border to South Australia



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