Thursday, February 17, 2022

Super battery to boost NSW supply once coal-fired power station closes

What rubbish! You just have to have an extended period of high demand and the battery will go flat. What do you do then?

NSW Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean says NSW’s energy supply will be secured through a super battery to be installed by the private sector as Australia’s largest coal-burning power station prepares to close early.

Mr Kean made the announcement on the back of Origin Energy’s revealing that it intended to bring forward the closure of its Eraring power station in Lake Macquarie. Eraring supplies 20 per cent of the state’s energy.

The Treasurer said he was disappointed about Origin’s announcement but the government had been doing preparatory work after the company flagged several months ago its intentions to close the station.

Eraring was originally intended to close in 2032.

The 700 megawatt super battery will be operational by 2025 to release grid capacity to ensure Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong consumers can access more energy from existing electricity generation, Mr Kean said.

Mr Kean said the battery would be the “biggest in the southern hemisphere and would act as a shock absorber for incidents such as lightning strikes and bushfires.

“NSW has the strongest reliability standard in the country – the Energy Security Target – which aims to have sufficient firm capacity to keep the lights on even if the state’s two largest generating units are offline during a one-in-10 year peak demand event,” Mr Kean said.

The Eraring power station was originally intended to close in 2032, but will now shut in 2025.
The Eraring power station was originally intended to close in 2032, but will now shut in 2025.CREDIT:DEAN SEWELL

The government will also accelerate its NSW electricity infrastructure road map to keep energy prices affordable.

“The best way to put downward pressure on electricity prices is to increase supply and the road map provides us the tools to do just that,” he said.

Under its road map, the NSW government will drive the transition to renewable energy by attracting $32 billion of private investment in infrastructure.

As part of that plan, the government will support the private sector to build critical energy infrastructure by 2030 as NSW faces the end of the coal-fired power generation.

Mr Kean said the government would release a significant support package on Friday for workers affected by the closure of Eraring.


Children’s book pulled after complaints over Indigenous petrol sniffing, alcohol references

Must not depict Aborigines realistically

Publisher Pan Macmillan says it is “deeply sorry” for offending Indigenous people after temporarily pulling supply of the Macquarie Junior Indigenous Atlas due to concerns over its content, including references to petrol sniffing and alcohol use that were criticised for lacking context.

In a brief statement issued on Monday, Pan Macmillan said the book would undergo a further round of “sensitivity” reading.

“Several items in this title have caused concern with members of the public, and, as the publisher, we take their comments seriously,” the statement said.

“We are temporarily withholding further supply of the Junior Atlas of Indigenous Australia from today (15 February 2022) in order to ensure it undergoes a further sensitivity read.”

Bardi and Kija woman Sharon Davis criticised several sections of the book on social media last week alongside screenshots of pages explaining petrol sniffing and alcohol use.

"Hey @MacmillanAus... Just wondering the thought process behind including this kind of information in the Junior Atlas book for children, without referencing the cause(s) such as dispossession, genocide, colonisation etc etc?" she tweeted.

The page on petrol sniffing cited by Ms Davis discussed the issue without explaining causes for the problem.

“Since the 1970s the deliberate inhalation of petrol fumes has been a damaging form of drug use among younger people,” the page began, before explaining the health risks of the practice.

“In 2005, a low-aromatic lead-free fuel called Opal was made available. It lacked the ingredients which produced the ‘high’ sought by sniffers.”

“A large number of remote communities and nearby petrol stations replaced their standard fuel with Opal and the number of people sniffing petrol dropped dramatically.”

Another page on alcohol use was also criticised. “Although many Indigenous Australians do not drink alcohol at all, those who do are more likely to do so at dangerous levels,” it said.

In a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald, representatives of Pan Macmillan apologised to the Indigenous community.

However, the publisher defended specific sections regarding petrol sniffing and alcohol use, and said more information would be included in companion teaching notes to the atlas.


Now there’s political correctness for SHARKS: Push to call shark attacks ‘shark bites’ and ‘shark interventions’

Ben Fordham has hit out at a move by bureaucrats to rename shark attacks 'interactions' and 'negative encounters' after a swimmer was mauled to death by a great white.

The 2GB radio host mocked the changes after a swimmer was attacked by the 4.5m great white shark at Little Bay Beach in Sydney's east on Wednesday afternoon.

Nearby fishermen and beachgoers filmed his horrifying final moments from a nearby rock shelf.

In July, it emerged officials in Queensland and NSW would be rebranding shark attacks to change the animal's image as a 'man-eating monster'.

Fordham on Thursday morning said he didn't know how changing the language around the attack 'helps anyone'.

'There was a push from bureaucrats to stop using the word "attack" when talking about sharks,' he said.

'They prefer "shark bite", "shark interaction" or "shark encounter". I don't know how that helps anyone.'

The NSW Department of Primary Industries had started describing a shark encounter as 'incidents' or 'interactions' in their official reports, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in July.

Leonardo Guida, a shark researcher at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said that the word choice can be 'potent'.

He said public fears can be inflamed by language used by politicians and the media.


Nick Coatsworth claims Omicron is 'clearly not' more dangerous than the flu and boosters and masks are unnecessary for most Australians

Former deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth has claimed the omicron variant of Covid is 'clearly not' more dangerous than the flu.

Dr Coatsworth said people without pre-existing medical conditions had little to fear from the milder strain once vaccinated and most wouldn't need booster shots.

The Canberra infectious disease physician earlier told Daily Mail Australia the time had come to stop wearing masks and predicted the pandemic would end in 2022.

'No, it's not. It's clearly not,' he told Sky News when asked if Omicron was more dangerous than seasonal flu.

Dr Coatsworth claimed Covid booster shots were only necessary for vulnerable or elderly Australians and those with chronic illnesses.

'Young, fit, healthy adults and kids, their risk was so low anyway that if you take it from 0.007 to 0.001 per cent – I'm using those numbers to demonstrate the effect, I'd have to get the actual numbers for you,' he said.

'So, for the booster perspective, from the disease perspective, this is an illness that will very rarely cause harm to young, fit, healthy adults and kids,' he said.

This is despite the waning of Delta and Omicron waves in Europe and Israel being correlated with the rollout of booster shots.

Booster shots are mandated for workers in 'high risk' areas such as hospitals, aged care, schools and prisons, in most states across Australia.

The federal government updated its vaccine policy last week on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Australians will no longer be classed as 'up to date' on their Covid vaccinations if they have not had a booster six months after their second dose.

Dr Coatsworth has also called to end mask wearing as the nation enters its second year living with the virus.




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