Nurturing South Australia’s lifestyle as an economic asset


It’s time to rethink the economic value of our enviable lifestyle and cultural aspects argues Jason Dunstone from Square Holes.

Back in March when COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in South Australia, Market Research company Square Holes doubled down on its Mind and Mood survey of what South Australians are thinking in order to chart the changes in confidence.

A major theme that has come from the research is how much South Australians value their lifestyles, being surrounded by beautiful beaches and with wonderful food and wine on every corner, and having an abundance of arts and culture and sport to watch.

This has become more evident as news of lockdowns and tough times in large cities flood media channels.

“There is a sense of psychological safety and happiness amongst South Australians,” Square Holes Managing Director Jason Dunstone says.

“Such a contrast to the horrible year generally across the world. In South Australia, many tourism operators are experiencing record booking levels, and restaurants have heightened demand for the limited places. With a positive local mood, the community is keen to get out and enjoy life.”

From the latest mind and mood research, most South Australians are succeeding in this pursuit of happiness, with 77 per cent indicating they are ‘happy’ living in SA.

“There is a strong sense of pride at how well we conquered a challenging year and much to be happy about,” Dunstone said.

“Why would anyone wish to live anywhere else?”

Yet life is more complex and economic fragility lingers in South Australia. As reported in previous mind and mood pieces, South Australians rate culture and lifestyle aspects strong, yet view our economy and jobs as consistently floundering, either in reality or perception.

“Ratings of culture and lifestyle – food and drink, natural environment, and arts – tend to perform well, yet employment and economy poorly, even if there is an indication of improvement since 2015,” Dunstone said.

“Much of the challenge for South Australia is bridging this lifestyle and economic divide.

“An opportunity exists in closing the gap between our economic cultural benefits of South Australia.”

Dunstone argues that rather than viewing South Australia’s cultural aspects as needing to drive economic value to justify their existence, perhaps the answer is that the economic value of our arts, national parks, beaches is the value they contribute to making SA a great place to live, work and visit.

From Square Holes’ most recent mind and mood research, South Australians respect the economic value of our lifestyle and cultural assets.

Our arts festivals and major events; parks, national parks and green spaces; beaches and coastal areas; and museums and art galleries were all viewed as both highly economically and culturally important to South Australia.

“Importantly, all ten cultural aspects of South Australia were also acknowledged as highly economically Important to the state by 75 per cent of South Australians,” Dunstone said.

Economic and cultural impact is the key measure used by government and other stakeholders to value the contribution of our arts, sport and other festivals and major events.

Typically, this is weighted towards additional economic value through spending to the festival and wider economy from interstate and overseas visitors, that would not have been otherwise generated.

From survey and other data, an overall economic impact figure is calculated and festivals then need to beat this figure the next year to continue being supported.

With travel restrictions in place, this growth will be less likely for the foreseeable future, which opens up an opportunity to rethink South Australia’s expectations on our cultural aspects.

“Perhaps a longer-term bipartisan strategy focused on doubling down on our cultural aspects as a path to building South Australia’s appeal as a place to live, work and visit is a better way of looking at it,” Dunstone said.

“As a place to attract the best and brightest to live and work. To continue to attract tourists to our cultural assets.”

Dunstone said South Australia’s relatively small and diffuse population and geographic isolation have historically been major impediments to cultural and economic growth, but 2020 is the year when everything changed globally.

“Work from home will likely never fully revert to work from office. More and more companies are allowing their teams to work from anywhere, and many are choosing to do so from Adelaide and wider South Australia based on our enviable lifestyle and unique cultural benefits,” Dunstone said.

“It is likely time to rethink the economic value of our enviable lifestyle and cultural aspects.

“Rather than viewing the positive cultural aspects of South Australia as needing to generate return and growth, a greater strategic commitment to growing our unique cultural assets is likely prudent as a medium to longer-term path to sustained economic impact.”

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All of South Australia’s power comes from solar panels in world first for major jurisdiction


South Australia’s renewable energy boom has achieved a global milestone.

The state once known for not having enough power has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy.

For just over an hour on Sunday, October 11, 100 per cent of energy demand was provided by solar panels alone.

“This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape,” Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Audrey Zibelman said.

Large-scale solar farms, like the ones operating at Tailem Bend and Port Augusta, provided the other 23 per cent.

Any excess power generated by gas and wind farms on that day was stored in batteries or exported to Victoria via the interconnector.

The two yellow shades mark the time on October 11 when all of SA’s power came from solar panels.(Supplied: OpenNEM)

Too much of a good thing?

Analysts say it is a significant milestone that will happen more regularly as the pace of solar growth continues.

Energy regulators say without careful management, grid stability could be at risk if there is more electricity going in than coming out.

If the interconnector is down, like it was for more than two weeks in February, that is when problems can occur.

AEMO is forecasting an additional 36,000 new solar rooftop systems will be installed in South Australia in the next 14 months.

That is on top of the 288,000 homes — about a third — already generating their own electricity.

Bungala solar power plant near Port Augusta in South Australia
The Bungala solar power plant near Port Augusta.(ABC News: Carl Saville)

Household uptake continues

Jackie Thomson has just had 20 panels fitted to the roof of her Adelaide home.

“I’d been thinking about it for a long time and my electricity bills were going through the roof,” she said.

A man with a beard and a woman with long hair look at mobile phones in front of a house
Adam Karroum from Adam Solar with Adelaide woman Jackie Thomson, who is having solar panels put on her roof.(ABC News)

She was not put off by new powers introduced last month allowing the electricity distributor SA Power Networks to switch off all new solar installations if too much solar was putting the system under pressure.

“I understood that it was actually about managing the grid more effectively and I wasn’t concerned about it, so it didn’t impact my timeline for making a decision,” she said.

Solar retailers say most people have not been put off by the changes.

“It didn’t stop the flow of enquiries, it was just more interesting conversations we had to have to educate people on those new regulations,” Adam Karroum from Adam Solar said.

The changes were introduced because AEMO was worried all that extra rooftop solar could play havoc with voltage levels and end up causing blackouts.

New inverters must have software that allows them to be controlled remotely.

A man holding a solar panel on a ladder next to a roof
Solar panels being installed on Jackie Thomson’s roof in Adelaide.(ABC News)

Switch-off power needed

AEMO suggests similar action is “required urgently in Victoria, and promptly in Queensland”.

SA Power Networks says any switch-off would only happen as a last resort and if grid stability was at risk.

“The system needs management,” company spokesman Paul Roberts said.

A man wearing a suit jacket speaks in front of an LED panel
Paul Roberts from SA Power Networks.(ABC News)

He says solar is still a great investment and the network is working hard to double solar capacity within five years.

“It’s an exciting future for South Australia and we have a whole number of things that we are putting in place to manage that,” he said.

That includes making it cheaper for people to use power during the day and encouraging people to switch on dishwashers, pool pumps and hot water systems in the middle of the day.

The next step is convincing more people to connect batteries to store cheap energy during the day.

“The grid needs to become increasingly like a set of lungs,” AEMO chief external affairs officer Tony Chappel said.

“During the day, the lungs would breathe in and excess energy can be stored and then in the evening when the sun’s gone down, that energy can be fed back.”

A white car
Electric cars are growing in popularity and require a large amount of power to recharge.(ABC News)

Plans to build a new interconnector with New South Wales will also help manage the growth of solar.

“South Australia could become a net exporter of energy,” Mr Roberts said.

“People are going to be looking at the opportunities that a new interconnector may create for solar farms to export to the NSW market as well as the Victorian market.”



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Coronavirus Australia live news: South Australians allowed to return home as state opens for New Zealanders


Melbourne businesses are nervously waiting to find out whether they can re-open in the coming week

  

ABC News

 

 

Last Tuesday, Mr. Andrews flagged that retail and hospitality venues may be able to open sooner than planned. 

 

But the coronavirus outbreak in the northern suburbs has threatened to delay it, with the Premier saying yesterday, Victorians shouldn’t bank on changes being made today, as he waited for the results of thousands of tests. 

 

Lorraine Puller owns Bayside Shoes in Seaford in Melbourne’s south-east. 

 

She says her business cannot survive much longer. 

 

“We need cash flow now, we need it now, we can’t wait any longer, we’ll miss our summer, we missed our winter (season).” 

 

“Lock down certain areas if they had to, but not the whole area. You can’t… it’s mental health too, you know your grandchildren everything like that, even footwear, people have, they’ve got no shoes and buying online is ridiculous because they don’t fit.” 

 

Owner and chef at Melbourne Reverie cafes, Pierrick Boyer says hospitality should have re-opened in Melbourne a few weeks ago. 

 

He says his business has survived because of the Job Keeper payment but a lot of others won’t re-open. 

 

“It wasn’t a hard lockdown don’t get me wrong, but for most businesses when you’re operate at minus 80 per cent, minus 90 per cent, our store in the city is closed, it’s zero, so it’s minus 100 per cent. 

 

He says it’s going to be hard to ramp up quickly. 

 

“If we go from barely no business to back to normal, it takes time, effort, logistics, buying products.” 

 

By Justine Longmore
 



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More heavy rain is coming to South Florida and the Keys. Why, when and how much?


South Florida woke to bright skies and a comfy 79 degrees.

Open your front door, step out and enjoy the fresh air. Chances are you’ll be inside for much of the weekend — because a lot of wet is coming, courtesy of a tropical disturbance that is currently in the Caribbean.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. Saturday report, satellite, radar and surface data indicates that that broad area of low pressure just southwest of Grand Cayman Island is gradually getting better organized. Wind circulation has become better defined with increased thunderstorm activity and falling surface pressures since Friday evening.

“Environmental conditions are conducive for further development, and a tropical depression is expected to form within the next day or so while the low drifts toward the north and northwest,” the center said, putting the chances for development in two and five days at 90%.

South Florida rain chance, flood watch

Speaking of 90%, that’s the rain chance for South Florida and the Florida Keys Sunday, too, because of this system in the Caribbean, the National Weather Service in Miami forecasts in its hazardous weather outlook issued Saturday morning. The mass of wet weather should start arriving through Saturday afternoon and evening.

A flood watch for South Florida from South Miami-Dade to Metro Palm Beach is in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday. A flood watch is also in effect until 11 a.m. Saturday in the Keys.

All of this rain — possibly up to six inches in spots — coincides with a time of high tides.

Where the Caribbean system is going

The National Hurricane Center said the Caribbean system could move near western Cuba on Monday and move slowly across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday.

Western Cuba, the Florida Keys, and the Yucatan Peninsula should pay attention to updates, the center said. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft is to investigate the disturbance Saturday afternoon.

A Caribbean disturbance could mean a wet weekend for South Florida

Hurricane Epsilon update

Hurricane Epsilon continued to hurl forward Saturday morning about 355 miles north-northeast of Bermuda as it as it headed north-northeast at 12 mph with 75 mph winds, according to the hurricane center’s 5 a.m. update. The movement declined a bit and winds fell from 80 mph reported in Friday’s 11 p.m. report.

Still, the hurricane center said Epsilon is expected to “quickly increase forward speed” by Saturday evening with some slow weakening over the weekend before turning into a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone early next week.”





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Two serious assaults in Adelaide’s south as more assaults reported statewide in new statistics



A man is in a critical condition and another is also in hospital after separate assaults in Adelaide’s south last night.

A 33-year-old Hackham man suffered serious head injuries and lacerations to his arms at about 6:30pm.

Police have since visited a Park Holme address where the assault allegedly happened.

They were alerted to the crime after the man was admitted to the Flinders Medical Centre.

Half an hour earlier, a 25-year-old Seaford Rise man received non-life-threatening head and leg injuries after an incident at Clearwater Crescent.

Detectives are investigating the incidents and whether they are connected.

Serious assaults resulting in injury were up 20 per cent in South Australia in the year to August, compared with the same period last year, according to new SA Police statistics.

However, common assaults and assaults against police were well down.

Overall, there were 17,522 non-sexual assaults reported in the state from September 2019–August 2020, compared with 16,728 in September 2018–August 2019.

Continuing the trend from the start of the coronavirus pandemic in South Australia, property crime is down in almost all categories, led by home break-ins.

Experts have warned that more domestic violence may be reported as people are able to leave their homes and relationships more easily.

Man dies after running across roofs

Also overnight, SA Police are investigating the death of a man at Salisbury North, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Police were called to a house in Shaxton Street just after midnight after reports a man was climbing and running across roofs.

Officers later located the man in the yard of a Trinity Crescent property.

Police say he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an ambulance was called, but the 21-year-old Salisbury North man died at the scene.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.



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Coronavirus: South Yorkshire enters Tier 3 restrictions | UK News



Around 1.4 million people in South Yorkshire are now under England’s toughest coronavirus restrictions.

From 12.01am on Saturday, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield were covered by Tier 3 restrictions, aimed at cutting the spread of the virus.

Households will be banned from mixing, except in parks and other open spaces, while pubs and bars must close unless they serve “substantial meals”.

It comes after nearly a fortnight of negotiation between local leaders and the UK government, which agreed a £41m support package for the region.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said in a letter to residents just hours before the new rules came into force, that he had “moved heaven and earth to secure the maximum amount of resource that we could”.

He added: “After the progress we made over the summer, the return to stricter restrictions is deeply frustrating.

“Many of you will be fearing for your families, your livelihoods, your future.

“Some of you will be wondering if these measures are worth it.

“Those feelings are understandable.

“But we should be under no illusions: these measures are needed.

“The scientific advice is that they can help.

“We still have a difficult path ahead, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“These restrictions will help us reach it sooner, and at a lower cost.”

Coventry, Stoke and Slough have also entered Tier 2 on Saturday.

Warrington will enter Tier 3 next week and discussions are continuing for Nottinghamshire.

On Friday morning, Greater Manchester moved into Tier 3, joining Lancashire and Liverpool City Region. Also, on Friday evening, Wales began a two-week lockdown.

On Friday, 20,530 positive coronavirus cases were reported in the UK – a drop of 712 cases from the 21,242 recorded on Thursday, and a further drop from the record set on Wednesday.

Some 224 people died within 28 days of testing positive – a rise on Thursday’s count which was 189.

The Office for National Statistics has estimated there was an average of 35,200 new COVID-19 cases per day in the community in England between 10 and 16 October.

This was up 26% from an estimated 27,900 new cases per day for 2-8 October.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said on Friday that the reproduction number (R value) for the UK had fallen slightly to between 1.2 and 1.4. Last week it was between 1.3 and 1.5.



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Wild weather lashes South Australia, cuts power to Eyre Peninsula properties


Wild weather and fierce lightning storms have moved across parts of South Australia including Eyre Peninsula, cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses.

SA Power Networks spokesperson Paul Roberts said more than 10,000 properties were without electricity at the peak of the outages, with Whyalla among the worst-affected spots.

“There’s been about 20,000 ground lightning strikes on the Eyre Peninsula since early yesterday,” he said.

“We have several crews patrolling lines at the moment.”

The Whyalla steelworks was among businesses impacted, after “a lightning strike on the incoming feeder”.

“We were able to return to our regular power supply within minutes. There were no injuries,” a spokesperson for operator GFG said.

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SA Power Networks said power has since been restored to many of the affected homes, but hundreds are still without supply.

Ceduna on the state’s west coast this morning recorded more than 30 millimetres of rain in less than three hours.

Further north, outback publican Trevor Wright was called in to help outback tourists stranded in the wild weather.

Mr Wright yesterday drove nearly two hours to rescue a family, including two children under the age of two, who were stuck in a broken-down van south of his home town of William Creek.

“The wheel was shredded, it needed mechanical repair and was unserviceable,” he said.

Thousands of lightning strikes have caused mass power outages.(Supplied: Tam Schwedt)

He said he was concerned that the combined impact of COVID-19 border restrictions easing, a wet summer, and fewer hospitality workers in remote areas could result in less support for travellers who may get stuck.

“People want to be extremely cautious, take the right precautions, because I don’t think there’s going to be the backup in the timespan we’ve seen in the past,” he said.

“Over the summer this year I think there’s going to be less people working in the outback, purely because there were less tourists coming through.

“If roads become impassable for long periods of time, people need to be aware they could be stuck out there for hours to days.”

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Mr Wright said remote phones were often unreliable.

“There’s going to be a few more people who’ve never done travel in the remote areas, going out there and doing it without actually looking at what’s required with the planning side of it.

“You could have a catastrophic situation occur.”

That family was not the only the group to run into trouble during the storms — the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) at Marree was called out to rescue travellers who got stranded on the Birdsville Track after puncturing a tyre.

RFDS spokeswoman Natalie Szabo said travellers needed to be properly prepared for outback travel.

“Always check your vehicle, take adequate food and water and tell someone your travel plans,” she said.

“When travelling in very remote areas, always carry a satellite phone as regular mobile phones will not work.”

The Bureau of Meteorology said the rain was set to continue across northern districts this afternoon, with localised falls expected to peak at up to 100 millimetres.

It has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and localised flooding for large swathes of the state.



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Travis Head saved South Australia with one of the most important hundreds he’s scored


Travis Head would have heard the hype as Cameron Green sounded a warning to Test selectors that he was ready for a step in to the big time.

But while the batting prodigy plundered 197 on a road in Adelaide, Head, the incumbent Test number six dug in and produced arguably an innings of way more substance on the oval next door to save his team with one of the best hundreds of his career.

Test skipper Tim Paine watched on from behind the stumps as Head batted all day, for the first time, to score an unbeaten 171 and draw the clash with Tasmania in “good signs” for the upcoming series against India.

Having nearly been out after a huge appeal for caught behind when he was on 99, Head batted with the sort of stoicism the Test middle-order needs.

“Trav played a pretty exceptional innings and it was the difference between us getting through them and not,” Paine said.

“We just coudn’t get rid of Heady, if we had of a bit earlier it might have changed the game. he played a brilliant innings.

“It was good signs from an Australian point of view.

“He’s one of those guys, he always seems to be batting well, but it was pleasing, now we have finished the game, to see him go on and bat big and even in the nmanner he did. I thought he controlled the game and batted with discipline.

“Sometimes Heady can give you a chance, that’s what we were hanging on to as a group, but today he batted us out of winning the game.”

“He’s still very young and he’s getting better and better and he will continue to.”

Head said he knew he had to “bat all day” and was happy to have put his team in the position they ended up in.

“All you can control is playing well for South Australia and today I was able to contribute,” Head said.

“I knew I had to bat all day and it was nice to be able to do that.

“I was able to get a start and go on and get a good score for the team and most importantly put us in the position we were at the end of the day, that’s the most pleasing part.

“I feel like if I am able to bat the way I did today, and do it for long periods of time, runs will come.”

Paine, who made his own century, said he had changed a few things in his batting and was planning on having a “big Test summer”.

“No matter your age I think it’s important you try and get better, and that’s something I am trying to do,” he said.

“For me to battle away and score a hundred like that was pleasing.”



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South Korean antitrust chief says Google has undermined competition


October 22, 2020

By Heekyong Yang and Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s antitrust chief said on Thursday the agency believes U.S. search engine giant Google has undermined competition, adding that the agency plans to present a case to its review committee this year.

The U.S. government lodged an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, and the company is facing growing criticism from some lawmakers in South Korea who accuse it of abusing its dominant market position.

Joh Sung-wook, head of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), said that it was investigating allegations that Google restricts competition in the mobile application market and operating system market. The KFTC plans to send one of those cases to the deliberation committee by the end of this year, she said, without specifying which.

“When the KFTC looks at Google, there is an act that hampered competition,” Joh told lawmakers in an annual parliamentary audit.

The committee will make a final decision as to whether any laws have been violated, and could fine the company, order corrective measures or bring a prosecution.

Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

Google is under investigation for allegedly blocking local smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics from using other operating systems, as well as forcing developers to publish their games only to Google’s Play Store, according to an official at the agency and a lawmakers’ document.

South Korea is ranked near the top in terms of app revenue and the average number of apps installed per year, thanks to the world’s most advanced mobile infrastructure, according to a blog post by a Google official.

In the home market of Android phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, Google Play Store revenue in South Korea stood at nearly 6 trillion won ($5.29 billion) in 2019.

Jo also said the agency would investigate Google’s plan to charge 30% commissions for in-app purchases made through its application store.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Alex Richardson)





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