How Treasury Wine turned to gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg to solve its Crimes


“One of the key facts we know is that wine consumers as a whole find the category quite overwhelming and intimidating in terms of when they’re making purchases,” Lilley says.

“So 19 Crimes was launched with the intent to really demystify the category and make it easier and, more importantly, more enjoyable for consumers.”

Some of 19 Crimes’ differences are immediately evident in the brand’s use of a black, opaque bottle and sepia labels, each featuring a photo of a convict guilty of one of 19 different crimes. The labels are also equipped with augmented reality technology, coming to life when viewed through the lens of a smartphone camera.

Treasury Wine Estates’ chief marketing officer Angus Lilley.Credit:Chris Hopkins

“There are a bunch of firsts we did with this brand that I think really helped separate it from the pack,” Wardley says. “It wasn’t about provenance or winery, it was about this idea … just a really good story.”

In early 2020, Snoop Dogg came on board to launch the brand’s ‘Cali Red’ variety. Initially, the company forecast “robust” sales of 125,000 cases in the first 12 months, but smashed through that milestone within six weeks. To date, Treasury has sold over 800,000 cases of the Snoop-supported blend and is currently rolling out the latest line supported by the rapper: a Cali Rosé.

“Last year 19 Crimes was the number one contributor of growth in the whole wine category,” Lilley says. “I think you can see that it’s been a runaway success.”

This success has been so meteoric that at Treasury’s strategy day on Thursday, chief executive Tim Ford joked that he regularly asked his team what the business’ “next 19 Crimes” would be, saying the brand had become a “powerhouse” of the Treasury portfolio.

Treasury’s investors agree, with Macquarie analysts labelling the recent growth of the label as “exceptional” and Goldman Sachs picking out the company’s US division and 19 Crimes as one of the key areas investors could expect to see growth in the coming years.

It’s a powerhouse Treasury was in sore need of, given the shock 200 per cent tariffs placed on its exports into China late last year, which axed about 30 per cent of its earnings.

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On Thursday, Treasury revealed its US division last year reported proforma earnings of $130 million, reflecting a profit margin of 16 per cent. The company wants to hike this to between 20 and 25 per cent, largely through growth in its $10-plus premium and luxury categories, which 19 Crimes sits within.

The $10 to $30 range for wine is a “sweet spot” for Treasury, Ford says, especially for younger consumers which the winemaker has started to double down on following the loss of its older and higher-spending Chinese customers.

Lilley says brands like 19 Crimes will be the future for growth in the younger customer demographic, a cohort whose attitudes to wine are far removed from your everyday Grange drinker.

“For so many years I think the wine world, whether deliberately or otherwise, has perhaps fostered [an attitude] to some degree with some of the language, some of the serving rituals,” he says.

“Younger consumers are still willing to buy and spend money on a really enjoyable and great experience, but they want it to be just that: more enjoyable, and less stuffy and pretentious.”

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Queensland researchers are sampling your soil to solve deadly antibiotic resistance threat


Nine-year-old Josh Webb has started looking at the dirt in his backyard differently. 

“I thought dirt was just like nothing, it was just like a thing that someone just steps on,” Josh said.

That was until Josh, with his younger sister Charlie, 6, and their mum Sussanah Osborne, discovered the Soils for Science project at the World Science Festival held in Brisbane last month.

The project is an initiative of the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, which is calling on people across the country to collect samples of soil from their backyard.

Researchers are analysing the microbes in the soil, such as bacteria and fungi, in the hope of discovering the world’s next antibiotics and potentially save millions of people dying from infections. 

If researchers can uncover what chemicals microbes have developed to protect themselves against harmful bacteria, the same chemicals could be used to protect us as well. 

Taking home a soil kit with a spade and specially marked sample bags, Josh and Charlie got to work straight away.

“That night, once we got home, we went straight out to the garden and dug it up,” Sussanah said.

“So we were very keen … and there was a bit of fighting over who got to do the digging.”

The trio then took a photo of the bag’s barcode to geo-tag their sample using the Soil for Science app, before sending their soil off to be tested.

“I felt excited … we’re helping out and I like helping out,” Josh said.

Once their soil is tested, the family will receive a photo, showing them the microbes living in their backyard. 

Professor Ian Henderson is the director for the Institute for Molecular Bioscience  and said the contribution kids like Josh and Charlie would help researchers immensely. 

“What people probably don’t understand, is that most medicines and cures for diseases aren’t actually made by scientists sitting in research labs with sort of molecular hammers and tongs, bashing chemicals together,” Professor Henderson said.

“What we’re trying to do is sample that bacterial life that lives in the soil, around Australia, and get as much diversity of that as we can to try and tease apart the chemicals [the bacteria are] making and hopefully use that to actually make new medicines.”

“If you think about the really common medicines you might take: penicillin and antibiotics, they actually come from bacteria that are living in the soil.” 

According to the institute about 1 million people die of bacterial infection each year and a further 2.5 million die from fungal infection. 

If the modelling by British economist Lord Jim O’Neill is correct, that figure is set to rise significantly within a few decades.

Existing bacteria that cause disease are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics used in hospitals and prescribed by doctors today. 

Professor Henderson said if we could not treat disease and infection, medicine would regresses to where it was 100 years ago.

“If you live in the western world, you have access to healthcare, whereas if you live in the third world, you may not have options, you won’t have access to other medical interventions that could save you life,” he said.

Professor Henderson said in the western world, antibiotic use can seem out of sight.

“I want you to imagine what the world without antibiotics would look like, ” he said.

“It means that you can’t have that cesarean section when you’re giving birth.

“It means that your mum and your dad can’t have those cancer treatments because they’re going to destroy their immune systems and they’re going to become susceptible to infection. 

“It means that you can’t have that transplant because when you have that surgery you become susceptible to infection. 

Professor Henderson said the responsibility to discover the next antibiotics has largely fallen to universities because there isn’t the financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies. 

“To be honest, we’ve become addicted to cheap antibiotics,” he said. 

“We don’t appear as a society to be willing to fork out more than $5.00 $6.00 for a course of antibiotics that will save your life.” 

Despite having a lot of it, Australia’s soil is uncharted territory when it comes to looking for potential antibiotics.

“People really haven’t analysed Australian nature in this way before or at this scale that we’re trying to achieve,” Professor Henderson said.

“You think just about Queensland. There are 1.7 million square kilometres in Queensland.”

“Even if we had one sample from each square kilometre … we wouldn’t be sampling the diversity of even just Queensland.”

Professor Henderson said that’s why the institute was harnessing “the power of people” to help collect soil.

Sussanah is an engineer and scientist herself and she and husband Alister Webb were eager to see their children build their interest in STEM subjects. 

Engaging young people in science is an area that Professor Henderson is personally passionate about with the next phrase of the protect aiming to up-skill school teaches in the field. 

“The potential then is for them to take that expertise back to the schools , run this through the whole curriculum from primary through to secondary,” Professor Henderson said.

“You can show kids, relatively quickly, simply by digging up soil and putting it in an agar plate that there is stuff growing in it. 

“But you can extend that further, you can get them to grow those bugs that are on the plate up and get the DNA out.”

“You can actually now give teachers DNA sequencers so they can actually sequence the DNA in the school.

“You can see biodiversity,  microbiology, you can see chemistry, you can see DNA and genetics.”

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How negative pressure rooms will solve Victoria’s quarantine woes




Melbourne’s quarantine system will be put to the test as inbound international flights resume. A new quarantine facility is set to overturn past failures. Negative pressure setups are just one of the new measures in place to prevent the spread of infections.

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Micro-scale depictions solve century-old puzzle of brain energy use and blood vessel clusters — ScienceDaily


Our brains are non-stop consumers. A labyrinth of blood vessels, stacked end-to-end comparable in length to the distance from San Diego to Berkeley, ensures a continuous flow of oxygen and sugar to keep our brains functioning at peak levels.

But how does this intricate system ensure that more active parts of the brain receive enough nourishment versus less demanding areas? That’s a century-old problem in neuroscience that scientists at the University of California San Diego have helped answer in a newly published study.

Studying the brains of mice, a team of researchers led by Xiang Ji, David Kleinfeld and their colleagues has deciphered the question of brain energy consumption and blood vessel density through newly developed maps that detail brain wiring to a resolution finer than a millionth of a meter, or one-hundredth of the thickness of a human hair.

A result of work at the crossroads of biology and physics, the new maps provide novel insights into these “microvessels” and their various functions in blood supply chains. The techniques and technologies underlying the results are described March 2 in the journal Neuron.

“We developed an experimental and computational pipeline to label, image and reconstruct the microvascular system in whole mouse brains with unprecedented completeness and precision,” said Kleinfeld, a professor in the UC San Diego Department of Physics (Division of Physical Sciences) and Section of Neurobiology (Division of Biological Sciences). Kleinfeld says the effort was akin to reverse engineering nature. “This allowed Xiang to carry out sophisticated calculations that not just related brain energy use to vessel density, but also predicted a tipping point between the loss of brain capillaries and a sudden drop in brain health.”

Questions surrounding how blood vessels carry nourishment to active and less active regions were posed as a general issue in physiology as far back as 1920. By the 1980s, a technology known as autoradiography, the predecessor of modern-day positron emission tomography (PET), allowed scientists to measure the distribution of sugar metabolism across the mouse brain.

To fully grasp and solve the problem, Ji, Kleinfeld and their colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus and UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering filled 99.9 percent of the vessels in the mouse brain — a count of nearly 6.5 million — with a dye-labeled gel. They then imaged the full extent of the brain with sub-micrometer precision. This resulted in fifteen trillion voxels, or individual volumetric elements, per brain, that were transformed into a digital vascular network that could be analyzed with the tools of data science.

With their new maps in hand, the researchers determined that the concentration of oxygen is roughly the same in every region of the brain. But they found that small blood vessels are the key components that compensate for varying energy requirements. For example, white matter tracts, which transfer nerve impulses across the two brain hemispheres and to the spinal cord, are regions of low energy needs. The researchers identified lower levels of blood vessels there. By contrast, brain regions that coordinate the perception of sound use three times more energy and, they discovered, were found with a much greater level of blood vessel density.

“In the era of increasing complexities being unraveled in biological systems, it is fascinating to observe the emergence of shared simple and quantitative design rules underlaying the seemingly complicated networks across mammalian brains,” said Ji, a graduate student in physics.

Up next, the researchers hope to drill down into the finer aspects of their new maps to determine the detailed patterns of blood flow into and out from the entire brain. They will also pursue the largely uncharted relationship between the brain and the immune system.

Authors on the paper include Xiang Ji, Tiago Ferreira, Beth Friedman, Rui Liu, Hannah Liechty, Erhan Bas, Jayaram Chandrashekar and David Kleinfeld.

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Materials provided by University of California – San Diego. Original written by Mario Aguilera. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Experts say this is what Australia needs to do to solve the housing crisis


What can we do with Australia’s property market, with soaring prices and rental shortages in many regional areas of Australia, from WA’s Pilbara to Hobart in Tasmania?

While more than 60 per cent of Australians own their own home, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows home-ownership rates for people aged under 40 are declining, part of a trend of intergenerational inequality and a growing gap between the haves and have nots.

Building more houses is often given as the answer to easing housing stress in areas of high demand but it’s not that simple, argue the four housing policy and economic experts the ABC spoke to.

Here are three policy areas they suggest Australia needs to address if we want to solve the housing crisis.

One housing policy expert said Australia had not had a national strategy since World War II, and the federal government needed to act quickly to form one and not leave it up to the states.

Professor Pawson, at the City Futures Research Centre UNSW, went on to say: “We don’t necessarily need to spend more money on housing as a country, we need to spend more smartly”.

“We have to measure the problem and commit to a strategy which addresses what we find.”

We also need to have “brave conversations” according to Swinburne University Professor of Housing Policy, Wendy Stone, who said just building more housing did not help to address inequality.

She pointed to Australians generating their wealth from housing, and said we should explore “setting boundaries” around that investment.

“How can we retain existing housing stock in regional areas for housing and home, rather than so much of it being held as vacant investment or being used as tourism investments?” she said.

“We need some urgency to establishing some parameters to reduce spiralling inequality.”

She argued a limit of how many properties any one person could own could help keep house prices lower and could take the pressure off rental shortages — especially as the federal government’s COVID support measures come to an end.

Professors Stone and Pawson argue that in the short term, the federal government needs to keep COVID emergency interventions such as JobKeeper. and rental eviction moratoria to prevent thousands of people becoming homeless.

“What we can see in our data and our analytics, is that a very large number of households are still heavily dependent on these crisis COVID response mechanisms and it is absolutely premature to withdraw these mechanisms,” Professor Stone said.

A recent survey conducted by Professor Pawson’s team estimated 75,000 tenants across Australia had accrued rent debt and he argued the Australian economy was yet to feel the full impact of COVID shutdowns.

“By the middle of this year, we may see some of that sort of stored up trouble … we know that at least a quarter of renters did lose income,” he said.

Rachel Ong ViforJ, Professor of Economics at Curtin University, said she would like to see rental reform for longer-term change, including increasing the Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and making sure it was better targeted to those who need it.

“Another major issue has to do with tenure security within the private rental sector,” Professor Ong ViforJ said.

“More Australians are renting, including older Australians. However, Australia’s private rental sector is lightly regulated and landlords are allowed ‘without-grounds’ lease termination.

“If the government can implement policy reforms that would make home ownership more affordable, that would also free up some rental properties as some renters became homebuyers.”

Economist Cameron Murray said there was little political will to act to decrease housing prices, particularly among households that use property as investment.

“The political reality is that we want higher and rising house prices, it’s a political winner and doing something to stop that is political suicide,” he said.

“Australian housing is worth about $7 trillion and a policy that effectively reduced the price of housing, even 20 per cent would wipe off $1.5 trillion of value from those 70 per cent of households who own their own home.”

Dr Murray said in the next 20 or so years as the Baby Boomer generation died, more houses would be moved through the market as inheritances were divided and sold, but that would not be leaving everyone with a house.

Increasing stock in social housing should be part of a national housing policy, said Professor Pawson, who pointed out that Australia’s social housing numbers had remained stagnant over the years despite a growing population, meaning its capacity to house those in need had reduced over the years.

Professors Stone and ViforJ agreed that increasing social housing stock was needed to help those most in need of secure housing, but Dr Murray said perhaps Australia should rethink its whole approach to subsidising housing.

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Experts say this is what Australia needs to do to solve the housing crisis


What can we do with Australia’s property market, with soaring prices and rental shortages in many regional areas of Australia, from WA’s Pilbara to Hobart in Tasmania?

While more than 60 per cent of Australians own their own home, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows home-ownership rates for people aged under 40 are declining, part of a trend of intergenerational inequality and a growing gap between the haves and have nots.

Building more houses is often given as the answer to easing housing stress in areas of high demand but it’s not that simple, argue the four housing policy and economic experts the ABC spoke to.

Here are three policy areas they suggest Australia needs to address if we want to solve the housing crisis.

A national housing policy

One housing policy expert said Australia had not had a national strategy since World War II, and the federal government needed to act quickly to form one and not leave it up to the states.

Professor Pawson, at the City Futures Research Centre UNSW, went on to say: “We don’t necessarily need to spend more money on housing as a country, we need to spend more smartly”.

“We have to measure the problem and commit to a strategy which addresses what we find.”

We also need to have “brave conversations” according to Swinburne University Professor of Housing Policy, Wendy Stone, who said just building more housing did not help to address inequality.

She pointed to Australians generating their wealth from housing, and said we should explore “setting boundaries” around that investment.

“How can we retain existing housing stock in regional areas for housing and home, rather than so much of it being held as vacant investment or being used as tourism investments?” she said.

“We need some urgency to establishing some parameters to reduce spiralling inequality.”

She argued a limit of how many properties any one person could own could help keep house prices lower and could take the pressure off rental shortages — especially as the federal government’s COVID support measures come to an end.

What about rental relief?

COVID has seen a shift in rental pressure with vacancy rates increasing in inner city Melbourne and Sydney but drastically dropping in regional areas as people are moving out of the major cities.(ABC News: Loretta Lohberger)

Professors Stone and Pawson argue that in the short term, the federal government needs to keep COVID emergency interventions such as JobKeeper. and rental eviction moratoria to prevent thousands of people becoming homeless.

“What we can see in our data and our analytics, is that a very large number of households are still heavily dependent on these crisis COVID response mechanisms and it is absolutely premature to withdraw these mechanisms,” Professor Stone said.

A recent survey conducted by Professor Pawson’s team estimated 75,000 tenants across Australia had accrued rent debt and he argued the Australian economy was yet to feel the full impact of COVID shutdowns.

“By the middle of this year, we may see some of that sort of stored up trouble … we know that at least a quarter of renters did lose income,” he said.

Rachel Ong ViforJ, Professor of Economics at Curtain University, said she would like to see rental reform for longer-term change, including increasing the Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and making sure it was better targeted to those who need it.

“Another major issue has to do with tenure security within the private rental sector,” Professor Ong ViforJ said.

“More Australians are renting, including older Australians. However, Australia’s private rental sector is lightly regulated and landlords are allowed ‘without-grounds’ lease termination.

“If the government can implement policy reforms that would make home ownership more affordable, that would also free up some rental properties as some renters became homebuyers.”

Subsidise home buying, like Singapore?

Economist Cameron Murray said there was little political will to act to decrease housing prices, particularly among households that use property as investment.

“The political reality is that we want higher and rising house prices, it’s a political winner and doing something to stop that is political suicide,” he said.

“Australian housing is worth about $7 trillion and a policy that effectively reduced the price of housing, even 20 per cent would wipe off $1.5 trillion of value from those 70 per cent of households who own their own home.”

Dr Murray said in the next 20 or so years as the Baby Boomer generation died, more houses would be moved through the market as inheritances were divided and sold, but that would not be leaving everyone with a house.

Increasing stock in social housing should be part of a national housing policy, said Professor Pawson, who pointed out that Australia’s social housing numbers had remained stagnant over the years despite a growing population, meaning its capacity to house those in need had reduced over the years.

Professors Stone and ViforJ agreed that increasing social housing stock was needed to help those most in need of secure housing, but Dr Murray said perhaps Australia should rethink its whole approach to subsidising housing.

He pointed to Singapore where about 80 per cent of the population was able to buy a subsidised home through the government.

“To me, Singapore’s public housing model is probably one of the best interventions,” Dr Murray said.

“It’s essentially a public, subsidised doorway to get into the market.”

Without change, inequality will grow

House prices and rising rents are a major problem if you are a renter who can’t afford to buy a house, but are probably not your concern if you own property.

However, all four experts warn that if we let housing inequality continue to grow unabated, it will affect everyone.

“A continual upward trend in house prices that outstrip wage growth should be a concern for homeowners, especially those carrying a mortgage,” Professor ViforJ said.

“Highly indebted homeowners are more likely to fall behind on mortgage payments if they were, to say, become unemployed or go through a period of financial difficulty.”

Professor Stone said if the federal government did not do more to balance the housing market, Australia would have an “increasing pool of losers and a smaller, wealthier group of property winners”.

“Without intervention we will see an increase in homelessness.

“We know that an unequal society with a high degree of economic polarisation is going to undermine our economy in the longer term.”

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Nick Kyrgios’ next move a mystery he’s yet to solve


“I was going through a lot during the year, and I was pretty proud with the way I prepared. I was really, really, really happy with the way I played.

“I mean, my perspective – look, I lost that match. As soon as I lost, I wasn’t upset. I was smiling, I was happy for him.

“He’s put in a lot of work, the body of work, the foundation he’s put in. He’s rewarded for it. I’m happy for it. I’m not a jealous or envious person.

“So I lose, I’ll live on tomorrow. That’s just how I look at it. I don’t look at this week as an achievement or anything. I had a lot of good memories. It is what is.”

Part of that perspective may be fuelled by the level of tennis Kyrgios played in the seven days.

Nick Kyrgios said he was proud of himself after his performance at this year’s Australian Open.Credit:AP

After spending a year away from the tour, he was a few points away from beating the player many believe will eventually succeed Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the world’s best.

“ I mean, he’s the third-best player in the world for a reason,” Kyrgios said.

“And I’m right there and I believe in myself. I knew that today I had an absolute fighting chance.

“I walked in that match expecting to win. That’s how I always go into a match. But he steadied the ship well and that’s why he’s great.”

Kyrgios’ year away from the court showed he will not rush to his next tournament.

But not even the 25-year-old is sure when he will play next.

“I don’t know, man. I can change like the wind,” he said.

“For me personally, man, I’m used to playing in front of packed stadiums. I’m not gonna force myself around the world when the time is not right where I have to quarantine for a week and then play. I don’t know.

“I’m not too sure what lies head.”

Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Nick Kyrgios in five sets.

Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Nick Kyrgios in five sets.Credit:AP

Kyrgios’ best surface has always been grass but, when asked whether he would target Wimbledon as his next big tournament, the Canberran said he had given no thought to that possibility.

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“I don’t even know what tournaments there are after this. I have paid no attention to what I’m playing afterwards, really,” he said.

“I’ll look at it when it comes around. I’m not going to even think about anything at the moment, especially just coming off the court. The last thing I’m gonna do is think about where I’m gonna play next.

“I’m going to enjoy the next week just living. Just enjoying time. We’re in lockdown after tonight, so I’m not thinking about it.

“As I said, I don’t particularly care, either. When I play, I’ll play. When I’m ready to play, I’ll play.”

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41 YEARS: Miracle as police solve North Coast missing sailor mystery


On September 24, 1979, Maria Moran and her husband took off on their second honeymoon – a boat trip from Byron Bay with her sister Phillipa (Pippi) and her husband Billy.

However, a sudden storm knocked out their engine, and with their boat “Nocturn” sinking, they were thrown into the water.

The last time she saw Pip and Billy was huddled in a small dinghy, unreachable due to the huge waves as she and her husband Ray were washed into the water.

Six hours later, they were rescued by helicopter and taken to hospital, still hoping her sister and her beloved husband would be found.

The next day, Maria’s sister’s body was washed up on a Kingscliff beach, but Billy was never found, his gravestone marked “lost at sea.”, with the family given no closure as to his final resting place.

It all changed with a phone call, 42 years after the horrific incident, with police notifying Maria and her family they had linked a jawbone found on the Salt beach near Kingscliff in 2011 to DNA which showed it was Billy.

>>> RELATED: Human remains wash up on Kingscliff Beach

“I was so excited, just to know, to kind of know what happened,” Maria said. “That he was found on the same beach, and obviously they were together nearly right to the end which is comforting.

“It’s a bit of closure.”

A picture of Bill and Pippi Moran, who died when their boat sank in 1979 off Evans Head. Remains of Bill’s jaw that washed up on a beach in 2011 have finally been identified using new DNA technology.

For nine years, the unidentified jawbone was one of dozens of unidentified remains cases on the NSW Police Missing Persons Registry, and continuous searches on DNA databases failed to find a direct match.

In August 2020, following a ‘familial DNA’ search, NSW Health Pathology alerted NSW Police to a possible link to a biological relative.

A NSW police spokeswoman said familial DNA searching used complex technology to identify potential relatives who have provided their DNA to an existing database; the closer the biological relationship, the greater the chance a relative will be identified.

“The familial DNA link in the jawbone case led investigators to a 34-year-old man imprisoned in Goulburn Jail in 2020 and whose DNA profile had been added to a database for convicted offenders in NSW,” the spokeswoman said.

An investigation by the Marine Area Command and State Crime Command’s Missing Persons Registry confirmed the inmate was the nephew of a mariner lost at sea 40 years ago.

In another remarkable coincidence, the jawbone washed up on the Kingscliff beach also on September 24, exactly 32 years after the boat went down.

Maria described Billy as a champion swimmer, a very outdoorsy kind of guy, and the love of her sister Pippi’s life.

She remembered their excitement as they began the journey on a beautiful day at Byron Bay.

“It was a new beginning for (them), they’d only been married a year, and they’d bought this boat to go down to Salamander Bay and run it as a cruiser.”

As the day progressed, the storm clouds grew on the horizon, with the waves getting bigger and bigger.

“Maria, Pippi and Bill were getting a bit of sea sickness, and it got worse and worse,” Ray said.

“And we ran into the biggest southerly you’ve ever come across.”

The dingy that Pip and Bill were last seen in after their boat

The dingy that Pip and Bill were last seen in after their boat “Nocturn” went down off Evans Head in 1979.

With the motor cruiser designed for the harbour, and not the open ocean, Ray said the skipper was having trouble keeping it in a straight line.

“When we got hit by the first wave, we lost and engine, and with only one, it was a matter of time.”

Maria remembers the fear they felt, but watched as Ray and Billy kept busy, organising things for when they might have to go into the water.

“We were just frightened,” she said.

With the radio torn from the wall from the waves impact, Ray performed a makeshift repair, and the five on board took turns sending Mayday signals, unsure as to whether they could be heard, or whether the radio was working at all.

“At one point I wrote a letter on one of the maps, and put it in a bottle letting people where we were, that we were in the Nocturn and we were in trouble,” Maria said.

“And someone found that bottle, which is crazy.”

With the boat sinking rapidly, the five people tried to use the craft’s small dinghy, but it instantly capsize under the combined weight, and they ended up in the water.

Unable to hold onto the ribs of the upturned dinghy, Maria was washed away into the ocean, with Ray immediately going after her, finding pieces of the boat to act as a makeshift raft.

“We went one way, the captain went another … but I could see Pip and Bill were in the dinghy,” Maria said.

“They had righted it, but the water was moving so fast there wasn’t any hope of getting to them.

“But we thought oh great, they’ll be able to get help. There was a sense of hope.”

Thankfully, someone had heard their distress signal, with a Hercules pilot on his second last search run spotting the pair in the water.

“I’ll never forget, he flew down so low over the top of us, and I’ll never forget, I saw him lift up his thumb (and I thought) they’ve seen us,” Ray said.

A helicopter came, first finding the captain of the ship, and then Maria and Ray, all winched aboard the helicopter.

“We wondered what had happened to Pippi and Billy, we just assumed they were still in the dinghy, because you would think that was the best place to be,” Maria said.

“I assumed they would be all right, we did ask them and they said they hadn’t found them.

“They were both young, both athletic and we though they’ve got every chance and they’ll eventually get to land.”

After spending the night in hospital, Maria and Ray went back up in a plane to help search for the others, and later that day Pippi was found washed up on the beach near Kingscliff, and all hope they had of seeing Bill alive all but vanished.

Maria and Ray Moran speak of their experience when their boat went down off Evans Head in 1979. Maria's sister and brother in law died in the incident, and police have just identified a piece of Billy's jaw, which washed up in 2011 at Kingscliff.

Maria and Ray Moran speak of their experience when their boat went down off Evans Head in 1979. Maria’s sister and brother in law died in the incident, and police have just identified a piece of Billy’s jaw, which washed up in 2011 at Kingscliff.

“We were talking to the rescue people, and they said the sharks were just notorious out there,” Ray said.

“We can only assumed what happened to him, they went close to land and he decided to swim, but that’s just our opinion.”

Fast forward 40 years, and Maria said she was amazed when she received the phone call telling her they’d discovered something.

“They said they’d found this jawbone, they did the DNA and they’d matched it – and it’s Billy,” she said.

“The gravestone was always Billy was lost at sea, and now they can be together.

“It’s good, it’s a lovely feeling.”

Taken on a tour of the new Marine Rescue and forensic facilities by NSW Police, Maria said it was amazing to see how hard the forensics and police had worked to get to a conclusion.

“We’re so grateful to be here and meet these wonderful people and the job they do,” she said.

“It’s just a tragedy that two wonderful people like that, and who knows what they would’ve done … were taken so young.”

“We miss them every day.”

Listen to more details of the case

NSW Police have created their podcast which gives extensive details of the incident, and the investigation that led to the discovery. Titled “Lost At Sea”, the four part series is available on Apple or Spotify, or through this link: https://www.podcastoneaustralia.com.au/podcasts/nsw-police-state-crime-command-investigations



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Police offer $250k reward to solve cold case disappearance of arborist Steven Goldsmith


Queensland police have offered a $250,000 reward for information on the suspected cold case killing of Toowoomba arborist Steven James Goldsmith more than two decades ago.

Mr Goldsmith, 28, was last seen withdrawing money from a bank ATM in New Farm in inner-city Brisbane on July 10, 2000.

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Damien Hansen said there was “no evidence of Mr Goldsmith” living beyond that date.

“The proof of life checks that we conduct with missing persons, with homicide investigations, there has been no movement — bank accounts, contact with family, contact with friends,” he said.

Detective Inspector Hansen said police especially wanted to speak to an anonymous repeat caller who had last spoken to police in 2006.

He said this person had direct knowledge of the crime and could be a candidate for the reward.

“I won’t go into the specifics but the information would lead us to believe [Mr Goldsmith] has been murdered,” he said.

Detective Inspector Hansen said police would consider offering immunity from prosecution to anyone not directly involved in the murder.

“I think from the information that has been provided to date, I wouldn’t suspect that [anonymous caller] to be the offender,” he said.

‘Experimenting with drugs’

UK-born Mr Goldsmith lived in a unit in Sydney Street in New Farm.

Detective Inspector Hansen said Mr Goldsmith commuted to work during the week in Toowoomba, where he was contracted by the local council as an arborist.

He also had a noticeable limp from an injury in his line of work.

Police said he was “experimenting with drugs” and spent time in bars, clubs and boarding houses around New Farm and Fortitude Valley.

Investigators found his unit and vehicle locked and his personal belongings intact after he went missing.

UK-born Mr Goldsmith lived in a unit in Sydney Street in New Farm.(612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

Detective Inspector Hansen said Mr Goldsmith’s withdrawal of $3,000 from a Commonwealth Bank ATM “could well be” linked to the events leading to his death.

Police Minister Mark Ryan, who approved the reward offer, said the announcement was to “draw attention to a matter which needs justice delivered”.

“Whenever there is a crime against the community, particularly heinous crimes like homicide, the Queensland Police Service never give up,” he said.

“They’re relentless in their pursuit of justice, because justice never sleeps.”

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BMW turns to quantum computing to solve supply chain challenges


  • BMW’s collaboration with Honeywell will see quantum computing tools used to optimize the car manufacturer’s supply chains
  • Honeywell’s machine will figure out which choices to make to simplify BMW’s production process and maximize its efficiency

German car manufacturer BMW is pairing up with Honeywell to figure out how to maximize manufacturing efficiencies with the aid of quantum computing.

The car giant plans to use Honeywell’s machines to find better ways to buy the various parts that make up its cars without disrupting production. Honeywell announced on Wednesday that the German car giant would be testing out its different machines, such as the System Model H1

As tracking the availability and pricing of components from a variety of suppliers can be a complex task, especially for traditional computers, BMW is hoping that the quantum approach can help it to improve its manufacturing processes. 

It is reported that BMW is also working with a Singapore-based startup, Entropica Labs, which designs software that can be run on quantum computing platforms such as the one offered by Honeywell. 

BMW Group head of IT Julius Marcea said, “We are excited to investigate the transformative potential of quantum computing on the automotive industry and are committed to extending the limits of engineering performance.” She added that the BMW Group is always exploring new technologies to further enhance its operations.

Quantum computers for BMW

According to Cnet, BMW has begun using Honeywell machines, first the H0, and then the newer H1, to determine which components should be purchased from which supplier at what time to ensure the lowest cost while maintaining production schedules. 

BMW actually started evaluating quantum computing in 2018 and has a lot of ideas for where it could help, Marcea said. Among these, quantum computers could improve battery chemistry in electric vehicles and figure out the best places to install charging stations. It could also help tackle the constellation of requirements in design and manufacturing — everything from cost and safety to aerodynamics and durability.

According to Honeywell’s quantum computing business president Tony Uttley, at the nascent stage, BMW will test quantum computing speed and ensure small-scale computations match results from classical machines. Then in about 18 to 24 months, quantum computers could tackle optimization problems no classical computer can handle.

Then Honeywell’s System Model H1 quantum computer that will be used by BMW is still in its early days as it was first launched in late October 2020. It relies on 10 connected qubits with a coherence period of seconds, due to the company’s trapped-ion technology. 

That differs from approaches by Google, IBM, Intel, IonQ, and others, who all use competing methods to run and cool their systems.

How quantum computing helps businesses

It’s well established that quantum computers have the potential to resolve problems of this complexity and magnitude across many different industries and applications.

According to a report by McKinsey, quantum computers have four fundamental capabilities that differentiate them from today’s classical computers: quantum simulation, in which quantum computers model complex molecules; optimization (that is, solving multivariable problems with unprecedented speed); quantum artificial intelligence (AI), utilizes better algorithms that could transform machine learning across industries as diverse as pharma and automotive; and prime factorization, which could revolutionize encryption.

Across every industry, complex business problems involve a host of variables. Solving those issues with classical computing can be an arduous, hit-and-miss process. But since quantum computers work with multiple variables simultaneously, they can be used first to dramatically narrow the range of possible answers in a very short time. 

“Classical computing can then be called into zero in on one precise answer, and its work will still seem slow compared with that of quantum. But, since quantum has eliminated so many possibilities, this hybrid approach will drastically cut the time it takes to find the best solution,” McKinsey said in its report.

Simply put, among the myriad benefits, as quantum computing presents a business with the ability to perform faster and more accurate data analytics, it could potentially open up more opportunities in terms of growth and even help reduce a company’s overhead in many different ways.



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