coal mine

Adani pressures Qld govt on mine approval

QUEENSLAND’s government says it is not going to rush key environmental approvals Adani needs to start digging its massive, controversial coal mine.

The company’s plan to manage groundwater at its thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin has been ticked off by federal Environment Minister Melissa Price after science agencies said it stacked up.

It’s now up to Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government to approve the groundwater plan, and another plan to manage the tiny and endangered black-throated finch so that construction can begin.

Ms Palaszczuk is travelling overseas on a trade mission and won’t return until April 15.

But her Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch, told reporters on Wednesday there will be no rushing this step.

Her department will take the time it needs to properly consider the plans, which she says must be in tune with the state’s environmental laws.

She didn’t give a timeframe.

Adani has frequently complained the state government keeps moving the goal posts when it comes to approvals for the mine.

Ms Enoch says the project is treated no differently to others, and that politics will play no part in the department’s decision.

“I will not be bullied and I will not allow the regulator to be bullied,” she told reporters.

“The way that we are able to ensure a thriving balance in Queensland is that we uphold the environmental laws of this state and that is my intention at every step.”

Ms Price reportedly faced pressure from colleagues to sign off on the plan before the federal election.

Ms Enoch urged Ms Price to call out any colleagues who pressured her, suggesting it amounts to political interference.

Once construction starts, a number of other state and federal approvals are needed before mining can begin.

Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow welcomed the Morrison government approval on Tuesday, but environmentalists and the Greens were appalled.

Adani plans to lobby central Queensland households with a letter drop saying it wants the state government to get the project up and going so it can deliver thousands of jobs.

“We’ve provided all of this information previously, we’ve worked with the government and departmental officers every step of the way,” Mr Dow told 2GB on Wednesday.

“If there is a requirement for us to change anything now, to be honest it can only be on the back of political intervention or interference.”

The project is an issue for both federal Labor and the LNP coalition because Queensland is one of the key states needed to win federal government.

Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine is popular in the state’s central and northern regions, but could cost support among voters in inner-city seats who want more action on global warming.

The mine is expected to begin on a small scale and “ramp up” to a first stage capacity of 27.5 million tonnes a year.

© AAP 2019

Fish’n’chips additive may hinder flu shot

A common food additive used in cooking oils, frozen meats and fast foods such as fish and chips could lower the benefits of a flu vaccine, an international research study suggests.

Michigan State University scientists made the link after finding the preservative Tert-butylhydroquinone or tBHQ altered the immune response to the virus in mice.

“If you get a vaccine, but part of the immune system doesn’t learn to recognize and fight off virus-infected cells, then this can cause the vaccine to be less effective,” Robert Freeborn, a fourth-year doctoral student who led the study with Cheryl Rockwell, an associate professor in pharmacology and toxicology, said.

Professor Robert Booy, Head of the Clinical Research team at Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, described it as “tantalising research”.

“It’s not yet been tested on humans but in further research, I would be very keen to see if our favourite fish and chips is actually helping to make us sick,” he told News Corp on Wednesday.

© AAP 2019

Supermarket Food Label Packaging

Our food has been lying to us

For the last two months, I’ve been on something of a health kick. I’ve managed to misplace 8kg since the beginning of the year, largely by going back to the good ol’ fashioned basics: exercise and diet.

I go to the gym five days a week, and I count calories.

Simple. Boring. Effective.

But, perhaps not effective enough.

Because I’ve just discovered that all of my fastidious calorie counting is potentially built on lies. LIES, I tell you!

Susan Roberts, a nutritionist at Tufts University in Boston, has found that labels on packaged foods miss their true calorie counts by an average of 18% – while the information on some processed frozen foods misstated their calories by as much as 70%! In other words…

The tub of yoghurt that claims to be 150 calories? It could be around 180 calories.

The sushi roll that is labelled as 300 calories? It could be over 350.

And let’s not even get started on the calorie content of wine

Apparently, American government regulations allow food labels to understate calories by up to 20%. I did some digging locally, and although I couldn’t find the legal requirements in Australia around nutritional labelling, I did discover that Australian labelling laws are fairly strict, so that’s something to derive comfort from…

Incorrect calorie counts aren’t the only problem, Roberts adds; it’s their very calculation that leaves a little to be desired.

They’re based on how much heat a food product gives off when it burns in an oven, however, the human body is much more complex than an oven.

“When food is burned in a laboratory, it surrenders its calories within seconds. By contrast, the real-life journey from dinner plate to toilet bowl takes on average about a day, but can range from eight to 80 hours depending on the person,” reports The Economist.

“A calorie of carbohydrate and a calorie of protein both have the same amount of stored energy, so they perform identically in an oven. But put those calories into real bodies and they behave quite differently.”

Moral of the story? Much like when your browsing your mates’ highly filtered photos on social media, your best bet is to factor in a decent sized “fluff factor” when reading food labels. Consider the calories listed as the best possible scenario and add 20% for good measure.

Adam Scott PGA of Australia

Adam Scott confirmed for the 2019 Australian PGA Championship

Adam Scott has confirmed he’ll tee it up in the 2019 Australian PGA Championship.

Australia’s first Masters Champion will headline the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament.

The tournament will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, between December 19-22.

The Gold Coast local says he’s looking forward to the tournament in his own backyard.

“I am really looking forward to playing in the Australian PGA Championship and ending my year at such a fun tournament.

“I love coming home and playing in front of Aussie crowds and they don’t get much better than at the Australian PGA Championship.

“The fans really embrace all of the players and help us celebrate the end of the season.”

“To be able to win another Joe Kirkwood Cup would be the perfect end to 2019,” added Scott who won the 2013 Australian PGA Championship,” Scott said.

Adam Scott has played the Australia PGA Championship 13 times in his career, and has recorded seven top 10 results, including his 2013 victory and 2014 runner-up finish in an epic seven-hole playoff.

He’s also been one of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia’s strongest supporters, having played on home soil every year from 2000 to 2007 and again from 2009 to 2017.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones says crowds will be delighted to welcome Adam Scott home this year.

“Adam Scott is one of Queensland’s most well-liked sporting stars so we’re delighted he’s chosen to come play in front of his adoring home fans on the Gold Coast.

“Even in a state like Queensland which is renowned for producing world-class golfing talent, Adam Scott stands tall among the very best and I’m sure his decision to play will inspire golf fans of all ages to get out to Royal Pines and take in the action first-hand.

“The Australian PGA Championship is one of the highlights on Tourism and Events Queensland’s It’s Live!

“In Queensland events calendar for 2019 – a platform that highlights Australia’s best events in Australia’s best destination,” Ms Jones said.

Angie Bell chosen as LNP Candidate for Moncrieff

UPDATE at 3:30 PM | ANGIE Bell will carry the baton for the LNP at the Federal Election on the Gold Coast, after being chosen as the Party’s candidate for the safe Liberal seat of Moncrieff following Seven Ciobo’s decision to retire.

LNP President David Hutchinson said the marketing professional and former President of LNP Women would be a fantastic voice for Gold Coasters.

“She’s dynamic, professional and will follow in Steve Ciobo’s footsteps of standing up for the Coast,” he said.

Ms Bell, 51, says she is looking forward to sharing her passion for the Coast with local residents.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Morrison Government’s infrastructure plan completed,” Ms Bell said.

“We’re committed to the fixing the M1 and building the next stage of light rail to help locals get home sooner and safer.

“This week’s Budget was very good for the Coast and we saw in response Bill Shorten’s great big new tax on everything.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to stop Bill Shorten becoming Prime Minister. The first task is to win the support of voters in Moncrieff.”

Mr Ciobo served as the local MP representing the tourism heart of the Gold Coast from 2001.

FIRST at 9:50 AM | NINE CANDIDATES are being whittled down to one in the battle for preselection of the safe Liberal seat of Moncrieff.

Hundreds of LNP members have gathered at Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast to cast their vote on who they think should take over from Steven Ciobo.

The long-standing MP, who has held the seat since 2001, announced his retirement from politics in March.

Nine candidates put up their hand to carry the baton at the Federal election, which will be held in May.

Career political staffer, Karly Abbott, is considered a front-runner for the position, but is expected to get some fierce competition from campaigner Bibe Roadley, businesswoman Fran Ward and Gold Coast City councillor Cameron Caldwell.

An announcement on the successful candidate who’ll represent Moncrieff, which encompasses central Gold Coast suburbs, is expected late on Saturday afternoon.