Age (Australia)

  • Green reaper's brave new world

    Relatives and friends will require a satellite navigation device to find graves of loved ones in NSW's first eco-burial site. The deceased will be buried in biodegradable coffins between gum trees in a protected koala sanctuary. Reflecting a worldwide trend towards environmentally friendly burials, the site, on bushland attached to Lismore Memorial Park Cemetery in the Northern Rivers region, is due to open on July 1.

  • Go for greener pastures

    Agricultural commodities - from wheat to sugar and beef - are being hailed as the new investment hot spot but it's an area that can be tricky for retail investors to tap into. Proponents of investment in agribusiness generally, or "soft" commodities specifically, say big-picture trends show there is a new commodity boom - this time in rural products rather than in metals and other resources.

  • States may adopt ACT plan to fight obesity in schools

    A NATIONAL campaign to combat obesity by using sports equipment to reward children who exercise for at least an hour a day will be discussed this week when state and federal education ministers meet in Melbourne. Under the plan, which is being introduced in the ACT this year, all schools would be invited to participate in a 10-week competition, with equipment given to children who successfully meet the challenge.

  • World's new crisis: soaring food prices

    THE World Bank has issued an urgent call to rich nations to help stem rising food prices, warning that social unrest in poor countries is spreading and that 100 million people are at risk of being plunged deeper into poverty. "We have to put our money where our mouth is now, so that we can put food into hungry mouths. It is as stark as that," said World Bank president Robert Zoellick, as he called for more contributions to the $500 million World Food Program.

  • Vulcan to proceed with mine in Finland

    Junior miner Vulcan Resources Ltd has approved the initial development of its 800,000 tonnes per annum Kylylahti copper-cobalt-nickel mine and concentrator in eastern Finland. The Perth-headquartered company's definitive feasibility study (DFS) has confirmed the economic and technical viability of the $US170 million ($A184.5 million) project, which is estimated to have a life of mine pre-tax cash flow of $US618 million ($A670.84 million). Chairman Barry Eldridge said he was delighted with the outcome of the DFS, given the global escalation in costs.

  • Haiti's PM forced out by food price riots

    HAITI'S prime minister has been ousted in a no-confidence vote after more than a week of violent protests at rocketing food and fuel prices. Just as President Rene Preval unveiled a plan to cut the price of rice by 15%, 16 senators in the upper house of Parliament voted unanimously on Saturday to censure prime minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis over the crisis, costing him his job. With the 10 senators in Mr Alexis' own party absent, the legislators reproached the prime minister for failing to respond to the needs of Haiti's 8.5 million people, 80% of whom live on less than $2 a day.

  • Exxon airs doubts on Bass Strait carbon plan

    EXXON Mobil has raised fresh concerns over Federal Government plans to establish a world-first regulated carbon capture and storage system in Australia. The oil giant operates the Bass Strait oil and gas fields, which have been targeted as eventual homes for the storage of greenhouse gases from the planned $5 billion Monash Energy coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley, a joint venture between Shell and Anglo American.

  • Green push gets down to business

    BUSINESS will be expected to massively boost investment in Victoria's stressed environment under a State Government plan to save species threatened by climate change. Launching a draft blueprint for rebuilding devastated ecosystems over the next 20 to 50 years, Environment Minister Gavin Jennings yesterday called on the community to start viewing the restoration of the environment as an economic opportunity rather than a cost.

  • Zoo fears for animals in plans to expand

    VICTORIA'S zoo operator has lashed out at a $220 million plan to expand the Werribee Open Range Zoo, claiming it would put the animals' wellbeing at risk. Zoos Victoria's chairman, Andrew Fairley, said the proposal, which he feared would turn control of the wildlife over to entertainment giant Village Roadshow, "could seriously compromise" the welfare of the animals.

  • Climate fund could be radical inflation brake

    THE pain of rising interest rates on home owners could be curtailed and Australia's carbon emissions reduced while fighting inflation under a new economic policy now before the Federal Government. The policy by Harold Lubansky, a former managing director of the Stafford Group, has been viewed by members of the Government and the Opposition and has garnered interest from economists. Mr Lubansky proposes the creation of a National Climate Change Savings Scheme into which Australians earning a net income of $38,000 a year or more would contribute.

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