Monthly Archives: May 2019


A FORMER Mount Isa BMX star is making a name for himself as one of the strongest young riders in the country.
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Colton Blyth, who now rides for the Maryborough BMX Club, travelled to New Zealand at the weekend to represent Australia in the under 7s class.

After two solid days on the track, Colton finished fifth in the semi-finals, meaning he didn’t make the final but still achieved a strong overall rank of 17th out of 36 riders.

His grandfather and Mount Isa resident Jim Polkinghorne couldn’t be prouder of the achievements six-year-old Colton has already recorded.

“I’m proud as punch of the young fella, and despite him being young, the family has high hopes for him,” Polkinghorne said.

“For a kid that young, he is very determined to succeed and knows what he has to do achieve his goals.”

Colton’s family moved to the coast in recent years to allow the sprocket rider a greater chance to improve his skills, by consistently riding against stronger competition.

The move allowed Colton to compete at September’s state titles in Brisbane, where he claimed a fourth, second and first after crashing on his first two runs, as well as competing in events at Gympie, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

It is because of these strong results that Colton is now ranked in the top sprocket riders in south-east Queensland.

“Colton has come a long way since he first started the sport with Tory Midgley, who was the president of the Mount Isa BMX Club back then,” Polkinghorne said. “None of this would have been possible without his encouragement and coaching.”

Colton has been so dominant in his own age group, that he has been competing in the under-8s division.

“Colton’s current coaches have very high hopes for him and think this New Zealand trip is only the start of something special,” Polkinghorne said.

“If he continues to work hard, there is no reason why he can’t go all the way to the top.”

SPEEDSTER: Colton Blyth is turning heads in the BMX world.

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The best pitch wins at Innovation Campus

Social Status CEO Tim Hill and CTO Robert O’Farrell at the iAccelerate Pitch and Demo Day at the Innovation Campus. Picture: ROBERT PEETTwenty-somethingCEOs took the floor at the Innovation Campus on Wednesday as potential investors came to seek out the next big thing in start-up land.
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Among the new ideas being pitched were an F1 motorsport game for mobile phones and Social Status, an app that compares the extent to which audiences engage with social media posts.

The app takes publicly available data from Facebook and other sources and aggregates it, so subscribers can easily compare how posts in social media are performing in terms of clicks, comments and shares.

The brainchild of 29-year-old ad agency alumni Tim Hill, it was intended for the marketing world.

“[Market researcher] Neilsen recently released statistics showing some markets are spending more on digital than TV advertising,” said Mr Hill, Social Status’ CEO.

“With all those ad dollars moving to social media, this kind of analytics tool can help businesses to really see the value.

Mr Hill’s pitch, at UOW’s iAccelerate Pitch and Demo Day, was aimed more at attracting skilled staff than dollars. Chief technical officer Robert O’Farrell is to date Social Status’ only other employee.

“[The pitch] is to help us move faster,” Mr Hill said. “In this space of social media there’s so much competition, there’s change all the time. If we could double our workforce . . . it would help us gain traction.”

The pitch event is the third run by iAccelerate, UOW’s business incubator and accelerator.

It drew potential investors from Artesian Capital Management, Tank Stream Ventures, M H Carnegie, OneVentures, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, KPMG, plus angel investors.

Seven entrepreneurs were chosen to present after a long process of whittling down the best ideas to come out of the incubator.

UOW Innovation Development senior manager Melissa Ryan said speaking spots were valued by new entrepreneurs.

“More than anything it’s about connections,” she said.

“Connections they would be unable to make on their own, or take months or years, are formed very quickly in this room.”

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Tiny potoroo bounces back in Booderee

Forestry Corporations senior field ecologist Peter Kambouris with a long-nosed potoroo.After a lengthy absence, the tiny long-nosed potoroo returned to Jervis Bay’s Booderee National Park this week.
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Fifteen potoroos were reintroduced into the park on Tuesday night, and a further eight were to be released on Wednesday night.

Parks Australia has been planning the reintroduction of potoroos to the area for 10 years, and worked with the Forestry Corporation of NSW on the project.

The potoroos were captured from state forests near Eden and were checked and released into Booderee on the same day to minimise any stress on the animals.

“After all the gloomy stories about the extinction of small mammals, we’re proud to be reversing the trend for this species.”

Parks Australia senior project officer Dr Nick Dexter said the release of the native species was made possible by Booderee’s extensive fox control program.

“After all the gloomy stories about the extinction of small mammals, we’re proud to be reversing the trend for this species,” Dr Dexter said.

“Small mammals are vulnerable to predators like the introduced red fox. Our intensive fox control program over the past 10 years has paid off ,” he said.

Over the next three years, up to 36 long-nosed potoroos will be reintroduced into Booderee National Park.

It is unclear when the long-nosed potoroo disappeared from the Jervis Bay region, although it is known they were present in the area for thousands of years before the introduction of foxes because of their abundant presence in Aboriginal middens dating back to historic times.

The potoroo is a member of the kangaroo family.

Adult long-nosed potoroos weigh up to 1.6kg.

Their fur is greyish brown on their backs and light brown on the belly.

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Moyne councillor Jim Doukas critical of Macarthur wind farm report

A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the Moyne Shire Council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm.A DEFIANT Moyne Shire councillor angered his fellow councillors but delighted the wind farm critics during a heated exchange in the council chambers this week.
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A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm.

Cr Doukas was the only councillor to oppose the passing of a report approving the council’s handling of the complaints.

Cr Doukas claimed the report was biased and weak and brought into question the council’s relationship with wind farm owner AGL.

“The report is so light on information and facts it seems like it is bias. Is AGL doing something for us we don’t know about, because it looks that way.”

This comment brought an indignant response from mayor James Purcell.

“I may have misheard your representation, it appeared you were insinuating that this council, the integrity of councillors, was at risk here,” Cr Purcell said.

“This council has the highest integrity of any council any where in the world,” the mayor said.

Cr Doukas denied he had questioned the integrity of his fellow councillors but remained strong in his attack of the report.

He said council should do the right thing by the community and revisit this issue by conducting another investigation to come up with an “unbiased” outcome.

“It is not treating the people being affected fairly and not treating the other residents of the Moyne Shire fairly, because it’s the rate money we are going to have to spend when it goes to court.

“It’s all very well for us to sit here and act tough because we have ratepayers’ money, but if we had to defend ourselves with our own money maybe we’d have a different outlook.”

Earlier in the meeting Macarthur resident Jan Hetherington addressed the councillors, warning them of dire consequences should they approve the report.

“It is the opinion of the residents you may put yourselves in a position where you may be held accountable under the Australian Criminal Act,” Ms Hetherington said.

“Of which you have been made fully aware and in which case you most probably will not be covered by Moyne Shire’s insurance policies.”

She labelled information from the council’s solicitors that noise from the wind farm is not substantial and unreasonable as “utter rubbish” and said council should be ashamed of itself if it accepts such a poorly presented report.

“Should you approve of this report and its totally wrong conclusion you, through your continual ignorance and seeming willingness to hide and ignore all the evidence of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, will be knowingly allowing ongoing torture in the form of sleep deprivation.”

Cr Ralph Leutton caused a stir in his address supporting the report when he put forward his own scenario to Cr Doukas’ suggestion that wind farms should be turned off at night time.

He asked Moyne CEO David Madden if he could turn off the waves crashing on the beach in Port Fairy at night if that noise was causing a lack of sleep for residents.

A member of the gallery injected loudly that she had not chosen to live next to wind farms and that councillors had no idea of what residents are going through.

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