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  • admin 12:49 on 01/18/2019  

    An energy company that wants to conduct seismic testing off the NSW coast has begun marketing the site to attract“major international oil and gas companies and investors” to fund future drilling.
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    A satellite image of PEP11, off the coast of Newcastle, where seismic testing is proposed as part of gas exploration.

    The federal regulator is expectedtomake a decision on Thursday as to whether Asset Energy will be allowed to explore for gas deposits 30km off the coast of Newcastle, by shooting acoustic pulses into the ocean floor.

    In a company update released this week Goh Hock, chairman of Asset Energy’s parent company MEC Resources, said the area in question, known as PEP11,“is believed to comprise large structural traps that provide an opportunity to potentially discover significant volumes of natural gas to supply the challenged east coast gas market and contribute to national energy security”.

    “Furthermore, an international marketing agency has been engaged to undertake marketing of PEP11 to suitable major international oil and gas companies and investors to fund the future exploration drilling of PEP11,” he wrote.

    The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority asked Asset Energy to resubmit its environmental plan in August, as part of its application to explore the area, because NOPSEMA was “not reasonably satisfied” the plan met the criteria of regulations. NOPSEMA then asked Asset Energyto submit more information late last yearafter the companylodged its amended environmental plan in October.

    The NSW Greens andProfessional Fishermen’s Association have expressed concern that seismic testing could have a detrimentalimpact on aquatic life in and aroundthe 12.25 square-kilometre patch.

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    Concern over seismic testMore details sought over seismic testing plan off Newcastle coastStudy raises seismic test questionsBid to block seismic testing

    Continue reading Asset Energy starts marketing to international oil and gas companies ahead ahead of exploration approval for site off coast of Newcastle
  • admin 12:49 on 01/18/2019  

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    Airbus A330-200, which has 273 seats (249 in economy, 24 in business). Fiji Airways has four newish A330s (one A330-300; three A330-200s) in its fleet. From 2018, all of the airline’s narrow body fleet will be upgraded to Boeing 737 Max 8s. THE ROUTE

    Sydney to Nadi THE LOYALTY SCHEME

    Fiji Airways partners with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Qantas frequent flyer programs. CLASS

    Economy, window seat 35K. I’m seated next to my daughter, who is in an aisle seat. DURATION

    Scheduled to last three hours and 55 minutes, we depart Sydney late so land after 7pm (roughly 25 minutes late). THE SEAT

    It’s a 2-4-2 configuration and I’m seated by the window. The fabric seat has a pitch of 32 inches (81 centimetres) and a 7.5-inch recline. There’s a cup holder, USB charger, 23-centimetre Panasonic touchscreen and in-seat AC power. Cleverly, the fold-down tray table tells passengers where the AC power socket is located. BAGGAGE

    The checked baggage allowance is 23 kilograms (40 kilograms for business) plus one piece of carry-on up to seven kilograms. Be wary if flying domestically with Fiji Airways to the outer islands. The baggage allowance domestically is 15 kilograms and they will charge you for excess luggage. COMFORT

    When we arrive at our seat there’s no pillow or blanket. However, the cabin attendant quickly rustles some up (a small pillow and soft blanket). The cabin is spotlessly clean (including the toilet to the rear of economy) and the aircraft, now three to four years old, still feels fresh. It’s a daytime flight so we settle in to watch a couple of movies. ENTERTAINMENT

    Aside from the in-flight magazine FijiTime, the entertainment system offers a fair selection of new release movies, as well as classics and comedies, a TV program, an audio channel and a dedicated kids’ channel. I watch TheLight Between Oceans, which I’ve been wanting to see. The audio made the dialogue difficult to hear, however. Passengers should be aware that there’s no seat-back entertainment on Fiji Airways’ current 737s which we flew on the return leg (only an overhead screen showing the kids’ movie Rio, which was nigh on impossible to see or hear). This made it seem like a long flight. SERVICE

    We checked in online, which saved time at the airport (there was no one in the bag-only queue). It felt like we started our holiday the moment we stepped onboard. Huge smiles, and greetings of ”Bula” greeted us from male and female cabin attendants dressed in smart rich chocolate brown and aqua uniforms with distinct masi motifs. Some female attendants wear a frangipani (albeit a plastic one) tucked behind one ear. The service is super friendly, and delivered with lashings of Fijian hospitality. If they can’t help you with something straightaway, they’re back in a jiffy with a solution. I felt like we’d stepped into Fiji time, minus the delays or hold-ups sometimes associated with it. And if you’re travelling with children, expect five-star treatment. FOOD

    It’s a 1pm departure so we’re offered a choice of vegetarian ravioli or chicken strips in a cream sauce for lunch. There’s no vegetarian left so they offer to get me one from business class. Nice touch. It’s a huge portion and delicious. There’s a choice of red or white wine, soft drink, beer or fruit juice from the drink cart. The meal also includes chocolate mousse, water, cheese and crackers. My daughter’s kids’ meal is a thick fettucine pasta with bolognese sauce, bread roll with butter, a very rich dessert and some sort of chocolate drink. Ella opts for water instead of the sugary drink (only because she’s well trained). ONE MORE THING

    Depending on availability, upgrading to business may be an option at check-in with fees starting from $400. Go on, live a little. See fijiairways苏州夜总会招聘THE VERDICT

    Fiji Airways is my preferred way to fly to Fiji. It’s a full-service airline for a start. However, the warmth and charm of the flight crew puts you in holiday mode from the get-go. The A330, which flies six times a week from Sydney to Nadi daily (except Wednesdays), is preferable over the existing 737s.

    Tested by Sheriden Rhodes, who flew courtesy of Fiji Airways

    Our rating out of five: 4.5

    Continue reading Flight test: Fiji Airways has you in holiday mode from the get-go
  • admin 12:49 on 01/18/2019  

    Well and good: Shivani Gupta, centre, with Endota Spa managers Meghann Squire, left, and Kate Hoey, right. Picture: Simone de Peak. WELLNESS entrepreneur and women’s advocate Shivani Gupta will open her third Endota Spa franchise at Stockland Green Hills in early March.
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    MRS Gupta, who owns Endota Spas in King Street, Newcastle and Westfield Kotara, says she had no plans to open a third but when the opportunity arose she seized it.

    “The location is one of the fastest growing regions in and there is a big gap in the area for what we offer,” she said.

    “We see all the changes around the Maitland area, including the mall redevelopment and more housing,as being positive –I know people who have moved out of Newcastle to that area and they are really excited we are coming.”

    Ms Gupta is a recent appointee of the board of Barefoot College, the global voluntary organisation working to provide and encourage education, skill development, health, drinking water andwomen empowerment, the founder of the Passionate People Institute and a business and leadership mentor.

    Asked what gives her the drive to get out of bed each day, her answer is frank.

    “When Istarted running spas I thought what am I doing, I don’t use these spaces much but then I realised it was about all the issues I face,” she says.

    “I am passionate about women reducing their stress and finding more balance so they can be their best self.

    “I fit into that category as a working mum with young kids. I know I need space from work, husband and kids and doing something for my wellness like a massage or facial has been my ‘go to’.

    Mrs Guptaopened herfirst Endota spa in 2014 in King Street then opened a second at Westfield Kotara the following year.

    Almost all of their clients are women that she says have never worked harder at their careers, nor at seeking the often elusive work life balance and greater wellbeing.

    Mrs Gupta says her business faces far more competitors than a few years ago with more laser clinics and specialist beauty clinics opening.

    Endota’s point of difference, she says, includes it’s all-natural philosophy, relaxing and experiential ambience and customer service.

    “We don’t do anything that pierces the skin, no Botox or laser, and our philosophy is wherever we can keep it natural we will, it’s about enhancing natural beauty,” Mrs Gupta says.

    “With Endota it is also about the experience: you walk out having had what you needed but you are completely rested.”

    The new Green Hills Endota will include a large relaxation lounge and a reception where people are encouraged to pop in and ask questions and try products.

    Continue reading Newcastle businesswoman Shivani Gupta set to open third Endota Spa at Green Hills
  • admin 12:49 on 01/18/2019  

    Leading rugby referee Nigel Owens has revealed he suffered a bulimia replase over Christmas.
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    The Welshman – one of the world’s top referees – made the admission during a programme about awareness of eating disorders broadcast on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio Two.

    Wales Online reported the 46-year-old had battled bulimia for almost 29 years and he featured in a Panorama television documentary on the subject in 2017.

    Asked by BBC Radio Two host Amol Rajan if he felt he had conquered bulimia, Owens said: “If you’d have asked me this two weeks ago, I’d have said yes. But, unfortunately in the last two weeks and the Christmas period, the pressures of Christmas and the drinking and eating too much, I have made myself ill unfortunately once or twice in the last couple of weeks when I see myself putting a bit of weight on, knowing I was too eating too much.”

    “It’s an ongoing battle. When I did the Panorama doc, I learnt a lot by speaking to people who had experienced far worse than I did,” Owens said.

    “I have been very lucky compared to how much people have suffered with it. I managed to keep it at bay for the best part of seven or eight months but unfortunately it has come back a bit now.

    “Not as frequently as the past, but once is still too many. It’s an ongoing battle that I need to think about how am I going to deal with it and get some expert help.”

    Owen said, in a transcript published on Wales Online, that he had not “sought any professional help at all”.

    “The only pro help I have had was an unofficial one by speaking to the experts during the Panorama programme and having a conversation about my experiences and other people’s experiences.”

    Owens revealed in the Panorama documentary that he had made himself sick three or four times while refereeing the England test series in Argentina last June.

    The openly gay ref told Panorama his bulimia began at the age of 18 when he was struggling with his sexuality and battling chronic depression.


    Continue reading Highest capped rugby ref Owens reveals Christmas bulimia relapse
  • admin 12:49 on 01/18/2019  

    Jimmy Shine and Billy Gibbons in Pyrmont shortly after Gibbons arrived in for his ‘Up Close & Personal’ tour in January. Picture: Rodney BrewerZZ Top fans havebranded frontman Billy Gibbons’ “Up Close and Personal” tour a waste of money and demanded refunds after the legend failed to impress at shows in Thirroul.
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    “Disaster”,“shamozzle”, “bizarre” and“worst show I’ve ever seen” were a common theme amongdozens of comments on the Facebook pages of Gibbons and the venue,Anita’s Theatre.

    Anita’s managing director Nick Josifovski said he had been contacted by a number of people wanting their money back following both Friday and Saturday nights shows.

    David BairdLaGrangetwice).

    ZZ Top fans outraged, demand refund after Thirroul show Some of the comments from disgruntled fans on Facebook.

    Some of the comments from disgruntled fans on Facebook.

    Some of the comments from disgruntled fans on Facebook.

    Some of the comments from disgruntled fans on Facebook.

    Some of the comments from disgruntled fans on Facebook.

    TweetFacebookOne of four songs Billy Gibbons plays in Thirroul on SaturdayPost by One of four songs Billy Gibbons plays in Thirroul on Saturday.

    Illawarra Mercurycontacted the promoter Mr Brewer on Tuesday who said he would return with a statement from Gibbons in 10 minutes but failed to respond.

    Billy Gibbons and his entourage are scheduled to perform at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle on Wednesday, January 10, and at the Eatons Hill Hotel in Brisbane on Friday January 12.

    Songs and stories tours by musicians are not new to the Illawarra with veteran rocker Jimmy Barnes set to bring his second tour of that style to Anita’s Theatre this year.The Angels have also had recent success with a national tour in the same vein that stopped by Wollongong.

    Continue reading ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons didn’t impress at two Illawarra shows
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