CONFIDENCE is blooming at Bolwarra’s Treloar Roses. The company snared a rare gold medal at the 2012 National Rose Trial Garden Awards held recently in Adelaide with new Perfume Passion rose. The rose stems from a rose-breeding program by Kordes in Germany and then sent to Treloar Roses as the Australian agent for the roses. Treloar director Gary Matuschka was exuberant about the success. The Perfume Passion rose was also awarded Australian Rose of the Year, Most Fragrant Rose and Best Hybrid Tea at the awards. Mr Matuschka said it was the first gold medal Treloar Roses had received at the trials that rarely award gold medals. Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.
A MAJOR trade union has called an urgent public meeting in Portland tomorrow night to discuss the wind tower import crisis affecting local jobs. The meeting will be held at the Portland Angling Club at 7pm. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has organised the meeting in an attempt to save local wind energy manufacturing jobs at Keppel Prince Engineering. Wind farm operators have been sourcing their towers and turbines in recent times from China and South Korea, putting wind energy jobs at Keppel Prince at risk. AMWU organiser Mark Solly said it was hoped the meeting would find a course of action aimed at getting parliamentarians to find a way to secure local jobs. “A wind energy manufacturing company inAdelaide, RPC, recently went into liquidation,” he said. “Our fears are that Keppel Prince may face the same fate as RPC, unless parliamentarians start to act.” Mr Solly said Keppel Prince had recently lost out on a bid it had made to build towers for the Mount Mercer wind farm near Ballarat. Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.
CUTS to rebates on solar panels systems will come into affect six months earlier than previously outlined by the Federal Government, prompting local solar company Keppel Prince Engineering to delay its push into the commercial market. Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet announced late last week the solar credits scheme, which subsidises the cost of installation for smaller solar photovoltaic units would be halved from January 1. “Bringing forward the phase-out… will help place the industry on a sustainable path and ease pressure on electricity prices,” Mr Combet said. The Federal Government cut to system rebates comes just after the State Government cut the feed-in tariff in September from 25 cents per kilowatt to eight cents. The tariff had previously been 60 cents. Keppel Prince Engineering solar projects co-ordinator Peter Reefman said the State and Federal Government changes had forced the company to refocus on residential customers to ensure the company could install their units before the December 31 cut-off. Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.
SP AUSNET is continuing its upgrade of the high voltage powerlines in the Portland area, but the project’s budget has blown out considerably because of delays. The project involves the replacement of 16 kilometres of powerlines, which involves insulators, fittings and line hardware. It had been expected to cost $33 million and be completed by February 2011. However, an SP Ausnet spokesman confirmed yesterday that issues relating to replacing new high voltage conductors had delayed the project considerably. “The previous standard conductor consisted of aluminium strands wrapped around a steel core,” he said. “These conductors are used around the Victorian transmission network. In high corrosion areas such as around Portland, corrosion would occur in these conductors between the two types of metal. “The new conductors are a special anti-corrosive design that had never been used by SP Ausnet before.” Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.
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