Queensland town will be first to harness geothermal energy and more Zedlines...

The outback township of Winton is the on the cusp of opening Australia’s largest geothermal energy plant.

Winton Council Chief executive Alan Rayment says the power plant is a way to help with Winton’s long-term sustainability and to help bring down power costs.

The energy plant will power the town’s main council buildings and in the future potentially the entire Winton community, saving up to $15 million in energy consumption.

The Winton geothermal plant is expected to receive a warm welcome from the rural community, with the funds saved from the power plant being directed towards other local priorities.

Raising awareness of poverty in Queensland

This week, ‘Anti-Poverty week’ seeks to raise awareness of the struggles and possible solutions for all people living in poverty, including the 430 000 Queenslanders currently living below the poverty line.

47% of Queensland’s low-income households are spending 30% of their income on housing costs alone, and 46% of parents claim to have experienced financial stress in the last year.

Queensland Council of Social Service CEO, Mark Henley, claims that in a wealthy country such as Australia we should not have anyone living in poverty, but it persists to be a major problem.

Australian jobs could potentially head offshore

Soaring energy prices are to blame for the fears that thousands of jobs could be at risk in the food and grocery sector.

The new chief of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Tanya Barden, says that businesses at the moment are facing a profit squeeze and there is the potential for thousands of job losses in food and grocery manufacturing.

Ms Barden says she wants energy retailers to sign up to a code of conduct that would be similar to the supermarket code which could help improve the behaviour of energy retailers.

Last year the industry employed an extra 7,000 people, however it is feared that this celebration could be short-lived.

Ancient Tasmanian Aboriginal firefighting techniques to be used for future catastrophes.

Traditional Aboriginal firefighting techniques are being used alongside the Tasmanian Fire Service to help regenerate and protect the land on Truwana Island, also known as Cape Barren Island.

In the past decade, Truwana has been ravaged by bushfires which have destroyed large ecosystems on the island.

Members of the Tasmanian fire service are training the local Truwana rangers to be the first responders in case of a bushfire, while the rangers are teaching the firefighters about the Aboriginal process of ‘cool burning’.

Cool burning has been used for 40 000 years to regenerate the land and prevent massive bushfires, and there are hopes that the collaboration between firefighters and locals will lead to a safer future for the island.

Many buildings destroyed in Mexico City earthquake found to be the subject of previous complaints

An investigation has revealed that many of the buildings that collapsed during the earthquake in Mexico City last month had previously had complaints lodged regarding their safety.

The investigation, conducted by the Guardian, found that over 1200 complaints about construction project violations were lodged in 2016 alone, but residents and advocacy groups said the majority were not acknowledged by the government.

The earthquake on September 19th killed 225 people and destroyed 44 buildings.

Among the collapsed buildings was one which had been inspected after an earthquake in 2014 and declared in need of urgent repairs, which were not made.

Anti-tourism sentiment grows in overcrowded Venice

Over 20 million tourists visit the city of Venice each year, and its 54 000 citizens are steadily leaving, complaining tourists have overrun the once peaceful city.

It’s been recorded that approximately 1000 residents of Venice are leaving each year due to increasing house prices and overcrowding in the city streets.

Venice residents complain that the visiting cruise ships are damaging the environment, with UNESCO threatening to blacklist the world heritage site unless action is taken.

The campaign ‘Enjoy Respect Venice’ is underway, with plans not to reduce tourist numbers but to re-route them instead.