Make swimming pools safe: Leader campaign to improve safety around yard swimming pools

It’s the state of confusion that surrounds our pool fence laws and is a scenario pool inspector Brett Fitzmaurice states “have to alter”.

Mr Fitzmaurice, who runs Swimming pool Safe Inspections Victoria, this week backed Leader Neighbourhood News’ Make Pools Safe campaign, urging the State Federal government to establish a pool register in addition to need pool owners to have obligatory safety checks every three years.

He believes there should be a brand-new Australian Security Standard applied to all swimming pools throughout the country.

“For the past Thirty Years the legislation has actually needed the house occupier to preserve their barrier at all times. It’s not enough,” he stated.

The former City of Banyule staff member, a registered structure inspector who operated in city government for 11 years, said of the 2000 swimming pools and spas he had inspected throughout his profession, just one day spa abided by fencing policies.

Mr Fitzmaurice states Victoria still has the unsafe circumstance where thousands of backyard pools can still legally rely on your house being a reliable barrier, instead of a border fence locking off the pool from curious kids.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has actually not reacted to ask for comment, however Mr Fitzmaurice states retrospective swimming pool fencing laws have actually been left in the too-hard basket.

He said Victorian laws now lagged dangerously behind other more progressive states, such as NSW and Queensland.

Mr Fitzmaurice began Pool Safe Inspections Victoria 2 years earlier, preparing for the federal government would act to enhance laws after a summit in 2012 recognized a need for reform, however absolutely nothing has altered, he stated.

The majority of his work includes examining rental property pool landscaping for compliance on behalf of owners fretted about the ramifications of fencing not being up to requirement.

“One of the issues is that in the ’70s through to the ’90s it was frequently landscaping companies that put barriers in place and they were legally able to count on the door of a house being a safe barrier,” he said.

Pool inspector Brett Fitzmaurice in front of the unfenced pool in a yard, which is legal due to Victoria’s confusing pool fencing laws. Photo: Kylie Else

“However to alter that now and make the harder, newer swimming pool laws retrospective would indicate many house owners would discover it difficult to make their pool certified due to the layout of the residential or commercial property. If we cannot make the laws retrospective then we ought to at least make a set standard for everyone.”

Leader News released its Make Pools Safe project after we surveyed Melbourne councils and found the huge majority of backyard pool surrounds and day spas failed compliance checks.

Our campaign starts with a require a compulsory pool register to tape-record all backyard swimming pools and a requirement on owners to obtain a pool barrier compliance certificate when a home is offered or rented.

Twenty-one toddlers drowned in Australia in the past year– more than half in swimming pools– and drowning is the most typical cause of unintentional death for kids under five.


Leading winery proposes vineyard town in Central Otago

Leading Central Otago winery Wooing Tree Vineyard has today launched plans that will make it possible for the development of a boutique residential and industrial space created to complement its wine service in Cromwell.

A zone modification will have to be given by the Central Otago District Council (CODC) to facilitate the advancement of the proposed Wooing Tree Estate, which is pegged for the vineyard’s 26-hectare website in between SH6, SH8B and Faster way Roadway. While Wooing Tree Vineyard will stay at the site, the brand-new advancement might include different community amenities, tourist attractions, retail, wedding accommodation and prime housing lots

Charming Tree partners, Geoff and Jane Bews and Steve and Thea Farquharson, believe the modification would permit a more fitting development for the growing town than is currently offered under the existing zoning.

Developed to accommodate the regional population growth and further boost Cromwell’s appeal as a premium wine and tourist destination, Charming Tree Vineyard co-owner Geoff Bews says the strategy they have established is an action to growing Cromwell in a manner that will support its tourism, wine and domestic interests.

“Tourism development is crucial for Cromwell and this task offers the opportunity for store visitor accommodation and activities, along with neighborhood amenities for residents,” he says. “We want to support the growth of Cromwell by producing a preferable living and way of life space, featuring areas of various sizes and an exclusive organisation area, all the while maintaining the sensation of a vineyard village. Our plans provide for much more appealing and suitable growth than the large lot rural residential areas currently enabled.”

Site principles have actually been drawn up by resource management and landscape preparation experts Vivian & Espie. 10 percent of the proposed advancement is allocated to commercial activity, while the staying 90 per cent is reserved for grape vines, residential lots and open spaces. The iconic Wooing Tree, which the vineyard is famously named after, will take pride of place in a public green location. The advancement would also supply access to Cromwell’s town centre and complement the brand-new cycle path which is proposed to link Cromwell to Clyde, Wanaka and Queenstown.

Wooing Tree Vineyard will seek to alter the zoning to a mix of low- to high-density domestic and light industrial. The partners invite informal public feedback on the proposed development before lodging the application with the CODC in the new year.

“Our vision is to produce a restaurant and winery neighborhood that locals will be proud of, along with a destination that visitors will delight in and wish to go back to,” Bews says. “It’s also of critical value for us to make sure that the very same care and attention which we impart in our wine is applied to the advancement of our land.”

Proposed infrastructure changes include a new roundabout at the intersection of SH8B and Barry Ave, which would work as the main entry and exit route to Charming Tree Estate. A secondary access point along Faster way Road is also detailed.

“Throughout the entire process of preparation and possible advancement, it will be company as usual for Charming Tree Vineyard,” Bews adds. “We will continue to run from our premises at 64 Shortcut Roadway and remain committed to making excellent Central Otago wine.”

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Offer yourself an early, earth-friendly vacation gift: Greener methods to warm your home in winter

Somewhere on the planet, there must be a place where it’s a steady 68 degrees at all times. The residents need to feel completely comfy in every season, never ever tension over all the oft-confusing alternatives for home heating and probably secure free ice cream every week too. Exactly what a charmed life that needs to be. For the other 99.99 percent of us, there’s at least some wrangling to be done over the cooling and heating of our homes (not to mention all the ice cream budgeting we need to do). Now that the winter is upon us, let’s untangle your choices and get you warm– without doing the exact same for the world.

Should you update your insulation instead of your heater? Ideal answer: Do both! It’s a very smart relocate to button up your house as tightly as you can previously making any significant heating system modifications. The less warm air that can get away from your house, the less energy any system will use. Buying a new system without sealing doors and windows or intensifying insulation is type of like having an automobile that runs on clean biodiesel however has a gas tank riddled with small holes. Not precisely what you want is it.

That said, an aging heating system can certainly be beat with today’s ever-improving heating innovations, so I’m glad you’re thinking of making an upgrade. If you have the scratch to spend in advance, you’ll ultimately conserve both cash and carbon emissions by breaking up with your less-than-efficient old furnace.

I’ll tell you from the beginning that there’s no conclusive winner in the greenhouse-gas faceoff in between high-efficiency gas furnaces and heat pump. Far excessive depends upon the effectiveness of the particular design you purchase, the local environment, your area’s power grid, and how well you preserve the system. So prior to you sink any money into this shake-up, seek advice from a certified heating/cooling pro for a much better concept about how either alternative would work for you.

With that in mind, however, it’s a smart idea to think about that heat pump Not that changing to a high-efficiency gas heating system is a misstep– it isn’t really. Today’s heating systems can be up to 98.5 percent efficient, a substantial improvement over yesteryear’s varieties of 56 to 70 percent. In fact, upgrading to a much better heating system can slash your fuel expenses and your carbon emissions in half, possibly offering you such a warm, fuzzy sensation that you can even dial your thermostat down a little.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, tap naturally existing heat in the air or ground– not non renewable fuel sources such as gas or oil– to cozy up your castle. Essentially, they use a little electrical energy to move warmth from the outdoors (yep, even in the winter season) inside; in summer, they work in reverse to cool the place. We like ’em due to the fact that they’re a lot more efficient than any heating system: An air-source heat pump utilizes HALF less energy than an electrical furnace or baseboard heat, and a ground-source model depends on 45 percent more efficient than its air-source cousins. In fact, for every single unit of energy they use, heat pumps produce 3 to 5 systems of “free” heat. You can even connect your system to the hot water heater and use that excess heat to power your shower. In theory, heat pump can be your ticket to 100-percent sustainable heat– offered your electrical energy originates from absolutely green sources.


Unfortunately, the pump isn’t perfect. As you well know, they’re more expensive than a brand-new heater. (Though federal government tax credits can assist offset the expense; you can still get this 30 percent federal credit through completion of 2016, and the state of Oregon has one too.) Lower energy costs will ultimately put you ahead, however it can take five to 15 years for the system to pay for itself (less if you’re changing your air conditioning system at the same time).

Another issue is that heat pump still utilize electricity, which, depending on where you live, might be supplied by unclean coal-fired plants or other non renewable fuels. This, plus your regional climate (pumps work best in milder areas), matters a lot in regards to which heating unit will be best for lowering your general carbon emissions. One analysis discovered that high-efficiency gas heating systems had lower carbon footprints than the very best ground-source heat pump in very cold regions and locations with carbon-heavy electric grids. However in green-power zones and more moderate environments– like yours in Oregon—the hot water heat pump systems are much better

One more wrinkle: those hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) you point out. These really potent greenhouse gases are utilized in heat pump and refrigerators, and there’s some concern that HFCs are released during manufacturing, usage, and disposal. One analysis determined that these emissions add 20 percent to a heat pump’s carbon footprint; others argue that a correctly set up system shouldn’t leakage, and appropriate disposal assists prevent too many HFCs flying off into the atmosphere. Another research study from the U.K. crunched the numbers and found heat pumps still decrease carbon, even considering HFCs. The last response remains dirty. Meanwhile, new non-HFC pumps (some using ammonia) are starting to acquire steam.

I hope I have actually offered you enough to begin your own customized analysis: I do believe a heatpump could be a wise, green option for you, but do look closely at the variables. Either way, upgrading from your dinosaur heater will be a big step up– consider it an early holiday present to yourself, and all the rest of us.


Melbourne City Construction Causes Traffic and Congestion

An approximated 128 cranes dot Melbourne’s horizon however down listed below their impact is being felt all too acutely.

While the situation has actually resulted in gridlock on the streets it is set to get far worse next year, when building and construction of the $11 billion Melbourne City starts and lanes on major roads like St Kilda Road, Franklin Street and Flinders Street partly or completely close. New figures launched by Melbourne City board show the building boom’s influence on the streets: in 2012, there were 1400 applications to close streets or parking lanes for building and landscape constructions This year, there were 3500.

Throughout the 5 years, a 3rd of short-lived street closures were for gas, water or facilities works. The rest was for structure. The building boom, states the RACV’s public law supervisor Brian Negus, “is excellent for our economy”.

Less fantastic are the long-term lane closures. “Merely undesirable,” Mr Negus labels them, since “they massively ramp up blockage and impact safe travel”.

The rate to close a lane– which in Melbourne City board’s figures consists of a single vehicle parking spot as well as a more disruptive momentary closure of traffic– is little: $148 a day or, for a tower crane that shuts down a whole road, $202 a week (after a preliminary $1364 application charge). Each new job that takes up road space must have a building management plan, demonstrating how it will reduce issues for drivers and pedestrians.

The issue with this, says the Australian Roadway Research Board’s Charles Karl, is that often no one is checking if building and construction teams are doing exactly what they said they would.

” In the documentation, there is usually a traffic management plan,” says Dr Karl. However inspecting compliance is too rarely done. “Every one people would have experienced it: the team possibly gets there a bit early, [or] they are supposed to clean up by specific times and they don’t.”.

He states the problems of lane closures on a grid like Melbourne’s are usually reasonably benign, in a way they can’t be on motorways: “A grid network like [Melbourne’s] city, it is a self-organising system that handles clogs in an arterial or grid network– offering the system understands a bit ahead of time,” he says.

A Melbourne City Council spokesperson says the building and construction boost in the past five years has resulted in a jump in momentary roadway closures. The council tries to flag these ahead of time on its site.

When closures happen, she states, contractors need to ensure road users are protected and impacts on public transportation, vehicles and bicyclists are minimised. “We likewise, where possible, limit roadway closures to off-peak times.”.

The RACV’s Mr Negus states he accepts lane closures are often necessary. But he states for building and paving tasks, they must be restricted only to very short-term shutdowns.

And if a lane merely has to be shut? “A lane rental [charge] at a high price must apply to encourage short time use,” he says.

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Make Swimming Pools Safe: Leader Project to Improve Safety around Backyard Pool

Two swimming pools, two guidelines. Neither of these backyard pools has a dedicated pool fence. However in Victoria one is perfectly legal while the other fails the security test.

It’s the state of confusion that surrounds our pool fence laws and is a circumstance swimming pool inspector Brett Fitzmaurice states “need to change”. Mr Fitzmaurice, who runs Pool Safe Inspections Victoria, this week backed Leader Community News’ Make Pools Safe project, advising the State Federal government to establish a pool register along with need pool owners to have mandatory security checks every 3 years. He thinks there must be a new Australian Security Requirement applied to all swimming pools across the country. “For the past 30 years the legislation has needed the home occupier to keep their barrier at all times. It’s insufficient,” he stated.

The previous City of Banyule staff member, a signed up structure inspector who operated in local government for 11 years, said of the 2000 swimming pools, pool pavers and spas he had examined throughout his profession, simply one medical spa abided by fencing policies. And Mr Fitzmaurice says Victoria still has the harmful scenario where thousands of backyard pools can still legally rely on your home being an effective barrier, instead of a border fence locking off the swimming pool from curious toddlers. Planning Minister Richard Wynne has not reacted to requests for comment, however Mr Fitzmaurice states retrospective swimming pool fencing laws have actually been left in the too-hard basket. He stated Victorian laws now lagged precariously behind other more progressive states, such as NSW and QLD.

Mr Fitzmaurice started Pool Safe Inspections Victoria 2 years ago, preparing for the federal government would act to enhance laws after a summit in 2012 recognized a need for reform, but nothing has actually changed, he said. The majority of his work includes checking rental residential or commercial property pools for compliance on behalf of owners stressed over the implications of fencing not being up to requirement.

“One of the issues is that in the ’70s through to the ’90s it was frequently landscaping companies that put barriers in place and they were lawfully able to depend on the door of a home being a safe barrier,” he said. However to alter that now and make the tougher, more recent pool laws retrospective would indicate lots of property owners would discover it challenging to make their swimming pool and pool landscaping compliant due to the design of the property. If we can’t make the laws retrospective then we ought to at least make a set requirement for everybody.”

Leader News released its Make Pools Safe project after we surveyed Melbourne councils and found the large bulk of yard swimming pools and medspas stopped working compliance checks. Our campaign starts with a require a mandatory swimming pool register to record all yard swimming pools and a requirement on owners to get a swimming pool barrier compliance certificate when a residential or commercial property is offered or leased.

Twenty-one young children drowned in Australia in the past year– majority in swimming pools– and drowning is the most common cause of unintended death for children under 5.


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Research study shows German companies concentrating on climate protection

The current pattern research study from E. ON reveals that a bulk of German companies takes the issue of energy conservation seriously.

German businesses are making efforts to safeguard the climate according to the research study. Around 75 percent of the CEOs surveyed showed that they had made investments in climate defence over the past three years.

The most important actions taken by each company involved the remodelling of a heat pump system and setup of energy-efficient lighting. An excellent third of the business had structured their production procedures. The very same number had actually insulated their structures.

“Energy and environment protection have ended up being securely developed in the German business neighbourhood’s agenda” stated Heinz Rosenbaum, CEO at E.ON Energie Deutschland. “There’s still substantial space for improvement, however, in particular in the areas of power generation and storage.”

The study also discovered that increasing numbers of services are making use of their own little scale power plants in order to even more lower their electricity and heating expenses. The primary focus is on co-generation plants, often in combination with photovoltaic’s, solar hot water systems and little wind generators. Half of the CEOs at business with incomes of over 50 million Euros have an interest in this kind of decentralised power generation. The larger the business, the higher the interest in having a power plant of its own.

Only one in four services was not able to identify or take advantage of any prospective energy savings The CEOs surveyed suggested the substantial financial investments included as the main factor for those who were unable to include themselves in energy conserving techniques.

In accordance with Bernd Schuhmacher, CEO at E.ON Connecting Energies, no performance job has to founder on the basis of funding. As an example, Schuhmacher indicated the task that E.ON just recently carried out for glass maker Pilkington, which has gotten an Energy Performance Award from the German Energy Company.


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South Australia Soon To Be Home To Third Most Expensive Building In The World

South Australia is set to welcome a New Royal Adelaide Hospital that has been labeled the third most expensive building in the world, is costing a staggering $2.7 billion to build. Put behind The World Trade Centre in New York City and the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, the hospital was set to open in 2016 but construction has been going very slow, like a bubble crane some would say, and now it is now scheduled to open in 2017 due to the delays.

With it currently $600 million over budget, the building is now part of a legal dispute. The Labor Government of South Australia has put a default notice on the hospitals builders, SA Health Partnership, after they failed to meet a technical deadline to hand over the building. The default notice puts the onus to the builder to pay the government’s $1m-a-day service fee until the hospital is completed.

Health Minister Jack Snelling said that it was safety, not speed, was paramount after the death of a death of a construction worker in February, which is the second death on site at the New Royal Adelaide Hospital

Aaron Cartledge, who is the CFMEU state secretary, stated that the crane accidents and the two unfortunate deaths on site in the past four years, its industrial action that has caused minimal delays in the project.

He then went on to state that “realistically, the hospital is not late, it was the schedule which was early. It was unrealistic for the builders to achieve what they wanted to achieve in the time frame.”

Developers in the industry declined to comment on the hospital, but they did say that hospitals were typically very expensive to build and are very prone to delays. The builders would have had to find a lot of cranes for hire in South Australia to assist with the construction, and the amount of workers needed and long hours would cost a lot, let alone all of the materials needed.

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Hoverboards Are Not As Cool As They Look

Seen as the coolest thing since Marty McFly’s hoverboard in Back to the Future II, 2015 was the year of the hoverboards, although the new craze was quick to come and go because they caused a lot of problems. Lately there has been heaps of incidents in peoples custom homes around the globe where they have been catching fire and have caused a number of house fires due to electrical faults

Everyone seemed to have one. They were so popular with celebrities and were seen as a ‘must have’ to many people around the world due to its growing popularity. Even though they can’t actually hover and have two wheels, you feel like you’re gliding.

They are used for a range of things: from making walking down the street look cooler and be easier, to even using it to dance to your favourite songs. Well, actually, now that I mention it, they aren’t used for all that much, you just feel cool when you’re on it.

The idea of having a one of these hoverboards seemed like a good idea at the time, but there was no real benefit of having one other than just enjoying it until the batteries ran out and then having to sit around and wait for it to charge again. But that now is a big risk to homeowners around the world.

Just recently, three home builders apartments sustained water damage in Orlando due to sprinklers having to go off because a hoverboard set fire when charging, which screamed the obvious that these toys have not been properly tested by the companies personal injury and IT consulting services. There was also $15,000 worth of damage at a house in Anne Arundel County due to overheating when charging as well, and a family in Louisiana lost their entire home all because the board was on charge and then started shooting out flames from both ends like bright car park lighting and caused a giant house fire, destroying everything.

Now ask yourself, is all of this worth spending money on this toy that provides some enjoyment when there’s a good chance you will end up having parts of your house destroyed if not all of it? Just think of all of that extra money you’d then have to spend on the damage, the electrical contractor, replacing whatever got destroyed, or even the possibility of it doing some harm to a person you love? Make sure you ask yourself these questions if you are considering buying one of these boards.

Rewriting The Plus-Sized Rule Book

Rule #1: Show Some Skin

If the clothing trends are going to be any similar to last Spring’s, we are going to be seeing even more crop tops rocking the streets of your town. But keep in mind that donning this trend of the classy crop tops don’t always need to be too overexposing and revealing. A nice dress with floral printed pant and hem top combination with a barring slit along the midriff gives a very nice look for any special occasion or for just going down to town to do the shopping. Whether it is plus size evening wear, you can wear your strappy sandals and oversized sunnies and rock your style anytime you want to.


Rule #2: Get Frilly

For years and years, plus size people have been warned and told to stay away from prints, colours, and embellishments that people see as either unflattering or just plain too simple. We have heard it all, avoid frills, stick with smaller prints on clothing, and bold colours, forget about it. The concern has always been too focussed on what makes you look slimmer. In recent years, big brands like Gucci have encouraged models to parade this down the catwalk and have thrown away the rule book and defied the odds to change the face of fashion in the public’s eyes.


Rule #3: Go All White

As summer roles in, so do the colourless white clothing that has been forgotten from last summer, which tends to bring a ray of sunshine and happiness in people’s lives when they feel sexy and confident in what they are wearing. The age old rule in the book is that black makes a person look more slim and white adds to making a person look wider than usual.  Emmicia Bracey says that having both tanned sandals and gold earrings strongly compliment the right balance of whites and blacks in your outfit.


Rule #4: Rock Horizontal Stripes

Contrary to the age-old belief, stripes do not make you like wide. This myth has been busted a million times now, and proved wrong by famous plus-sized models like Bree Warren, who wears these styles all the time now. These stripy designs are treated as neutral and can match so many different clothing styles, from everyday dress to formal attire. Donning a style that includes sleeves the length of your elbows and a slightly tailored waist and you are looking a million dollars. To add some flair, you can add a necklace to add some glamour.


Rule #5: Wear Clean Lines and Structured Separates

Ladies who wear plus size clothing have been constantly told that they need to purchase clothing that is stretchy to accommodate for the extra size. Well guess what, more and more people are now disagreeing with that rule these days! Today, a very nice piece of clothing is something that is held together in all the right places that really shows your curves off in the right way. So, when making your next purchase, don’t be shy to try on those extra bits of clothing that you would usually put back on the rack. You are all beautiful in your own little way!

The next Generation Tech Headquarters

Major renovations are underway in the worlds tech hub, Silicon Valley, with both Apple and Google set to undergo complete makeover of both of their headquarters. The Google headquarters is looking like it is taking the environment into consideration when looking at their plans of the redevelopment which includes a new dome like structure and state-of-the-art street lighting around the facility

Last year in 2015 Google revealed that its four sites will be having renovations in the Mountain View area of San Francisco, which is around nine miles north of Apple’s new circular structure that is set to open as their new headquarters in 2017. These two major projects are a strong reflection of the nature of both of these international companies and where they are heading.

The elegant ring structure of Apple’s world class facility embraces the lush green appearance around walls that are as tall as those of Alcatraz. This definitely suits a company like Apple who has been renowned for its control and secrecy of its business strategy and marketing activities. A company who would ensure that the crating and packing of all of its information is secure and locked with dogs watching it every second of the day. However, since the Tim Cook days began, the company has been seen to be more transparent than when Steve Jobs was running the show.

Both of these facilities are believed to reflect philosophies that embrace privacy for both itself and its customers and also value openness and sharing. Whilst the transformation occurs, there will be a heavy security presence at both of Google’s facilities to deter anyone trying to land a piece of history. Apple hopes to build some public access areas in its new facility it is building, to encourage positive public interaction with the company.

Where Apple’s design aspires to create “an integrated, unified and secure 21st Century campus surrounded by green space,” Google’s stated goal is “to create a highly flexible workplace that can adapt not only to Google’s evolving business needs but can also become a destination for the local community.”

The only catch with Google’s HQ is that it needs to provide public access to some areas to the community, with houses nearby and around the campus needing access. Google needs to be positive about this and be careful not to cause any friction with locals so that they can be happy neighbors, and not add fuel to sparking discontent in the community.

Google however plans on turning this into an advantage by working with the local community, by providing services to locals. Google plans on providing dedicated public space with display furniture, food trucks and retail spaces for local stores to open up. It plans to provide economic diversity, and may even go as far as providing better quality car park lighting for locals as well in the near future.