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Melbourne secondary school students learned about the fine points of the 2015-2016 Federal Budget from one of Australia’s leading finance gurus and Victoria University College of Business Adjunct Professor Alan Kohler.
Kohler is founder and Editor in Chief of the Eureka Report and co-founder of the Business Spectator. He illustrated his hour-long presentation at City Flinders Campus with bar and line graphs – as he does when presenting his ABC TV news segment, That’s Business.
“Looking at this graph you can see there are a lot more deficits than surpluses; as a result the Government debt has increased,” said Kohler. “Eleven years of debt in a row – that’s not good.”
The 160 students from both private and public schools, including St Kevin’s, McKinnon and St Peters, listened intently as the financial journalist of more than four decades explained his take on the budget.
“Consumer confidence crashed leading up to last year’s budget because the Government were talking about a ‘budget emergency’, and consumer and business confidence hasn’t really recovered since. They had to calm people down with this budget to restore confidence.”
Kohler explained why budgets have become political documents; that the Reserve Bank doesn’t actually set interest rates; that because of retiring baby boomers it is going to be very difficult to get the budget back into surplus; why the value of the Australian dollar is the main thing affecting employment; and why shares in JB HiFi and Harvey Norman went up immediately after the budget was released.
One student asked Kohler if the Government’s promise of forcing multinationals to pay their fair share of tax would help future budgets move towards a surplus.
“The Government says they are going to crack down on the multinationals,” laughed Kohler. “But in the budget papers there is no money coming from it because they know it’s not going to work.”
The lecture was organised by Victoria University and the Victoria Commercial Teachers Association.
VU is running a science roadshow program for Year 12 students in regional Victoria.
In this program participants perform hands-on experiments in instrumental chemical analysis. The school classroom is converted into an instrumental laboratory for the day where students perform both spectroscopic and chromatographic analyses.
Experiments include analysis of:
This program supports the VCE Chemistry Curriculum and provides students with the opportunity to put theory into practice with hands-on access to analytical instruments. Students get to see and use the instruments and perform chemical analyses and teachers use the experimental results for subsequent class discussions.
The reduction (or elimination entirely) of travelling to a Melbourne (or other regional) location for similar programs is a major advantage of this activity.
When: 1 – 19 June 2015Time: morning and afternoon sessionsLocation: Regional VictoriaCost: FreeCapacity: 20 students/session
To express your interest in this program, email Dr Raymond Horsley (email@example.com) and copy Dr Domenico Caridi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former president of the Republic of Indonesia, has accepted roles as a visiting Professor at The University of Western Australia and as a Senior Fellow with the Perth USAsia Centre, expanding opportunities for deeper regional understanding and cooperation.
Dr Kiki Dethmers with an endemic Flatback turtle
A Charles Darwin University researcher is edging closer to helping provide vital information to protect threatened turtle species living in Top End waters and throughout the Arafura Sea.
CDU marine biodiversity Research Fellow with the North Australia Marine Research Alliance Dr Kiki Dethmers said World Turtle Day on May 23 was an opportunity to shine a spotlight on threats to turtles in the Northern Territory.
Dr Dethmers is working to provide valuable data for conservation and management efforts aimed at reducing detrimental impacts on Australasian sea turtle populations.
Focusing on the Arafura and Timor Seas, she is working with a network of collaborators to assess the impact of ghost nets on turtle populations in the region.
“A major threat to north Australian turtle populations is discarded fishing nets, commonly known as ghost nets,” Dr Dethmers said.
“We have been mapping the movement of ghost nets throughout the region for several years and have developed a model that gives us a good understanding of where ghost nets are most likely to occur in the different seasons.”
By tracking several Olive Ridley and Flatback turtles over the past two years using satellite telemetry, Dr Dethmers is also identifying their migratory pathways and areas where individual turtles like to spend most of their life-time looking for food.
“We are particularly interested in identifying the foraging areas for individual Olive Ridley turtles because they are among the most common species that we find in the ghost nets,” she said. “In Australia, this is the smallest of all sea turtle species, only nests in the north and we know relatively little about their biology.”
She said the outcomes of the research would provide authorities with information to aid with more targeted management of the ghost net issue.
“Using the information of the migratory patterns together with information about where nets drift could help predict potential hotspot areas for ghost net-turtle interaction.”
Dr Dethmers has also conducted genetics work to establish where the turtles found tangled in ghost nets originate from.
“We have estimated that 50 per cent are from Australian populations and 50 per cent are from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and possibly from other, as yet unsampled areas such as Timor Leste, so it is something the whole region should be concerned about,” she said.
“Olive Ridleys are listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and Flatback turtles are endemic to Australia so it is our responsibility to look after them.”
Together with the Crocodile Island Rangers, Dr Dethmers is tracking several species of turtles that nested on the Crocodile Islands, including three Olive Ridley turtles. Members of the public can follow the turtle’s progress by visiting the link: http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?project_id=1016