Monday, 20 February 2012

Sydney Olympic Park. Athletics return

The Australian athletics championships will return to Sydney next year for the first time since 2007. These included next year's national titles, three of the next four Australian junior championships and the next three Sydney Track Classics, at Sydney Olympic Park. NSW Sports Minister, Graham Annesley, described securing the events as "an outstanding major events victory for Sydney and New South Wales". Sydney hosted nationals from 2004 to 2007 before they were held in Brisbane in 2008 and 2009 and Melbourne last year.


Blue Mountains. Local technology

Paul Curtis, of Medlow Bath, has secured the financial backing of American investors to develop energy-saving inventions. A local factory and one in the USA will produce Mil-Max super-insulation bricks. “Part of the company will be US-owned which is a bit disappointing, but we will still have majority ownership and we had tried for years and were completely unsuccessful in finding any local investors,“ he told a local newspaper.

Mil-Max super-insulation bricks are made of a light but strong and non-combustible core material Mr Curtis developed to minimise installation labour costs, maximise insulation and energy efficiency while doing away with the need to use consecutive layers and roof trusses to insulate the home.

Mr Curtis will also produce solar thermal collector panels which he developed with technical support from the Australian National University and a federal government grant. “All the technology was developed here in the Blue Mountains,” he said.


Hawkesbury. Agric. course suspended

The University of Western Sydney will consult with industry experts and other stakeholders to investigate ways to teach agriculture in the 21st century, following the suspension of new agriculture students for 2012.

Only 10 applied for the Bachelor of Natural Science (Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security), at the Hawkesbury campus. Dean of the School of Science and Health, Professor Gregory Kolt, said the demand for the agriculture programs at UWS has been decreasing over a number of years in line with national trends.


Parramatta. New uni in town

The University of New England, in Armidale, has leased two buildings in the heart of the Parramatta CBD. The university has leased the 400-square-metre, two-storey, heritage-listed, formerly Parramatta’s first post office, completed in 1880 – and latterly used as a restaurant – at 211-213 Church Street, and premises of 430 square metres, opposite, formerly a St George Bank branch.

UNE proposes to use the heritage building as an information office and café, and the other as offices for staff and students. The lease period for each building is seven years with a seven-year option. A DA is being prepared for consideration by Parramatta City Council.