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Schoolgirl hit by garbage truck in Langwarrin in Melbourne’s south-east

The girl was flown in the Air Ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Photo: Courtesy of Nine NewsA schoolgirl remains in a serious condition in hospital after being hit by a rubbish truck in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

The 17-year-old girl stepped off the kerb and was struck by the Frankston City Council rubbish truck at the intersection of Cranbourne-Frankston Road and Long Street in Langwarrin about 8.10am on Tuesday.

Paramedics treated the girl at the scene before she was flown by air ambulance to Royal Melbourne Hospital. She remained in a serious condition at 1pm.

A man, known only as Will, saw the collision and described the distressing scene.

“I just saw her rolling on the ground there, so unfortunately not a good scene,” he told radio station 3AW.

The truck belongs to the council’s waste disposal contractors, Solo Resource Recovery.  Detectives appealing for witnesses after 17-year-old struck by garbage truck in Langwarrin. #9Newspic.twitter老域名/7xwlg37imJ— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 16, 2016

The 54-year-old Frankston truck driver is assisting police with their inquiries.

The girl was the second pedestrian to be seriously injured on Melbourne roads on Tuesday.

A man was hit by a car on the corner of La Trobe and William streets in the CBD about 5.30am.

The man, aged in his 30s, suffered serious head and leg injuries and was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition.

A further five pedestrians have been killed in Victoria in the past week.

Last month, a cyclist was killed after colliding with a garbage truck in Ormond, also in Melbourne’s south-east.

The cyclist and the truck collided at the corner of North Road and Glen Orme Avenue about 7.30am on January 20.

The cyclist – a 25-year-old Ormond man – was taken to The Alfred hospital, but died a short time later.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via 老域名crimestoppersvic老域名备案老域名.*/]]>

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Whooping cough rates soar

AS THE debate about vaccinations continues to rage, NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord, has released figures showing NSW whooping cough has reached a five year high of 12,240 cases, compared with 3,135 cases in 2014.

Mr Secord said it was time the Baird Government stepped up its public health message on vaccinations.

“Vaccination is a 20th century public health achievement – it saves lives but sadly, large scale vaccinations have allowed a small fringe to become complacent about the welfare of our nation’s children – especially in regard to measles, whooping cough, mumps and other deadly diseases,” Mr Secord said.

“While the NSW and Federal governments have taken some steps in relation to this issue, there is still more work to be done.

“It is heartbreaking to see that immunisation rates in some parts of the state – such as the North Coast and Sydney’s east – have slipped to the levels of the developing world.”

Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is a serious respiratory infection that causes a long coughing illness. In babies, the infection can sometimes lead to pneumonia and occasionally, brain damage or death.

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Industry touted in town

Cootamundra Shire is forging ahead with a proposedindustrial sub-division onthe corner of Turners Lane and Gundagai Road.

At Monday night’s council meeting, councillors were told it would cost$1,564,650 to create the sub-division.

Councillor Paul Braybrooks advocated for council to move ahead with the project.

“It is not acceptable that we (Cootamundra Shire) are in the position of not having any industrial land available,” Cr Braybrooks said.

“That situation is in the foreseeable future,” he continued.

To get the land to a salable state, council would have to construct a road, kerb, install sewer pipes, stormwater, telecommunication lines, powerlines, water supply, gas and purchase the land.

However, Cr Braybrooks believes it would be worth it.

“”As a country town, if there is no industrial land, we are not going anywhere,” Cr Braybrooks said.

He said it is imperative council seek to move forward with the project.

“This is for job creation, this is for our future,” Cr Braybrooks said.

The prospect of completing the project in stages was discussed, however council general manager Ken Trethewey pointed out that the first stage would cost a million dollars and said it would end up more cost effective to undertake the project as a whole.

Cr Braybrooks indicated that potential buyers for the property may already exist.

“I’d suggest we would sell two sizable lots quite quickly,” Cr Braybrooks said.

To undertake such a large project in the current political climate where merger decisions are yet to be finalised is not an easy task, but one with roadblocks which are not insurmountable, according to Mr Trethewey.

Currently, council can not enter into a contract for work worth more than $250,000. This is until a decision on amalgamation is made, however Mr Trethewey indicated dispensation avenues are available.

With a majority of councillors in favour of moving forward with the project now a costing has been put before them, they instructed council staff to come back to the next council meeting with a plan to fund the project.

Cr Braybrooks suggested council may be able to borrow from themselves to get started on the project.

“This is a priority for Cootamundra,” Councillor Rosalind Wight said.

She suggested council look at starting the project before the end of the financial year, if possible.

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Keep crown rot at bay


THE fungal disease crown rot is one of Australia’s most costly diseases in wheat, and with it generally doing most damage in years with dry springs, under the scenario of climate change it could foreseeably become an even bigger problem.

Yield losses from the disease, first spotted in the 1950s, can be up to 90pc in susceptible varieties, such as some lines of durum wheat, or 50pc, in bread wheats.

Looking to stop these losses, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has invested in a series of projects to minimise damage.

These projects cover pre-breeding, epidemiology, farming systems and pathology.

The GRDC also launched an extension program – Stop The Rot – in 2011.

Dr Jason Able makes a durum cross with an elite breeding line and a potential source of reduced crown rot susceptibility which has been provided through Dr Hugh Wallwork’s crown rot pre-breeding program at SARDI.

The campaign was designed to lift awareness of the need for a three-step program based on crop rotation, monitoring for basal browning as well as whiteheads in harvested grain and soil and stubble testing.

Crop rotation is a key method of stopping crown rot.

GRDC-supported research demonstrated that crop rotation reduces the incidence and severity of crown rot, resulting in average yield gains of between 17-23 per cent over continuous wheat rotations.

Precision planting techniques can also help.

NSW Department of Primary Industries research funded by the GRDC has also shown that inter-row sowing reduces the impact of crown rot and increases yield by up to 9pc in a wheat-on-wheat sequence.

Recent collaborative research between the Northern Grower Alliance and NSW Department of Primary Industries has also established that the presence of root lesion nematode (RLN) feeding within root systems increases the severity of crown rot.

This research highlights that cereal varieties differ in their tolerance to crown rot and RLN. This can have a significant impact on the relative yield of varieties in the presence of these various disease constraints.

In the heartland of crown rot, northern NSW, Garah grower Bill Yates emphasises the importance of rotations in controlling crown rot.

He says the cereal-legume rotations he and son Andrew have implemented have greatly reduced the incidence of crown rot in their wheat crops.

“The GRDC research results and the rotational changes we made as a result of them mean we are battling to find whiteheads (a key indicator of crown rot) now,” he said.

Mr Yates said it was quite rare now to plant wheat on wheat and only when crown rot levels had been measured and were a low risk.

But it is not just agronomics the GRDC has invested in.

It has committed funds to long-term genetics R&D to complement gains made through the adoption of recommended farm practices.

A range of new material is coming through breeding programs based on current commercial cultivars and recent additions to the set of crown rot resistance sources.

A new cereal research project began in 2013, aimed at boosting the resistance of durum wheat to crown rot.

This project aims to improve resistance in durum wheats by crossing them with hexaploid (bread wheat) and wild tetraploid wheats which carry good levels of crown rot resistance.

The national crown rot program is also focused on refining the PreDicta B ® pre-sowing test for this disease to enable growers to make more informed rotation and management choices before embarking on their cropping programs.

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Global temperatures leap higher in January, smashing records

Global temperatures spiked higher in January, setting records, international agencies say. Photo: Leigh HenninghamThis year has got off to a scorching start, with global temperatures marching to new highs as a giant El Nino rode on the back of creeping climate change, data from Japan and the US show.

Just a month after the world notched its hottest year on record, January’s  global land and sea-surface temperatures were 0.52 degrees above the average for 1981-2010, Japan’s Meteorological Agency reported.

The departure from the norm easily eclipsed the previous record of 0.29 degrees shared equally by 2002, 2007 and 2015, the agency said.

Temperatures in January are rising at the rate of about 0.75 degrees per century, the agency said.

While more data will be released in coming days by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a chart from fellow US agency NASA (see below) also shows January’s temperature spiking higher.

The data indicates last month had the biggest increase over the previous record for any month in more than a century of records.

January also had the largest anomaly – or departure from the long-term norm – for any month on record, Stefan Rahmstorf, a researcher from Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research and a visiting professorial fellow at the University of New South Wales, says.

“The record is helped along a bit by El Nino, but most of it – more than 80 per cent – is due to human-caused global warming,” Dr Rahmstorf said.

“A strong El Nino event can elevate the monthly global temperature by up to 0.2 degrees, but this January is a whopping 1.1 degrees warmer than the average January during the baseline period of 1951-1980.”

During El Nino years, the usual westward-blowing trade winds stall or reverse, lowering the rate the ocean absorbs the excess heat being trapped in the atmosphere by rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Global annual temperature records were broken in 2014 and then again in 2015, with the UK Met Office forecasting 2016 may lift the temperature bar again.

“This sequence of new records every few years – and now even two in a row – reflects the on-going rapid global warming trend,” Dr Rahmstorf said.

“As the El Nino event winds down over the coming months we can expect somewhat lower global temperatures again for a while, but the global warming trend will continue until we phase out fossil fuels,” he said.

Research cut

The latest record-hot month comes as Australia’s premier scientific organisation, the CSIRO, has announced plans to axe 110 of its climate monitoring and modelling staff.

The cuts are part of a wider reorganisation that will slice 350 jobs before later recruitment in other areas restores the losses.

The move against climate research has been denounced by about 3000 scientists from almost 60 nations, who have signed a petition sent to the Turnbull government. They warn that Australia risks losing world-leading talent and will undermine the ability to observe the changes of the world’s climate, particularly in the southern hemisphere.

CSIRO’s chief executive Larry Marshall has said the two climate units targeted for deep cuts will eventually increase staff but numbers will be half current levels. The freed-up resources will be used for other research priorities including studying Australia’s adaptation needs for the inevitable climate impacts to come as the country warms.

For Australia, mean temperatures were 0.52 degrees above the 1961-90 level used by the Bureau of Meteorology as its yardstick.

All states and the Northern Territory recorded warmer than average mean temperatures, with Tasmania recording its second-warmest January on record, the bureau said.

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