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Showing posts from January 18, 2016

LABOUR SHORTAGE IN AUSTRALIA : Backpacker tax backlash prompts Federal Assistant Agriculture minister to 're-think' impact on seasonal workforce

ABC Rural By Charlie McKillop

Updated January 19, 2016 15:20:56

PHOTO: Growers Frank Bosnic and John Nucifora (far left and right) meet with Anne Ruston and industry chief Robert Gray (Charlie McKillop)

RELATED STORY: Backpacker worker shortage putting strain on fruit harvesting

MAP: Cairns 4870

The Federal Government has given its first indication it might be prepared to 're think' an increase to the amount of tax paid by backpacker workers.

Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston told mango growers in far north Queensland yesterday she recognised their concern about looming labour shortages amid a downturn in working holiday makers to Australia.

But she's yet to see evidence the scrapping of the tax-free threshold for 417 visa holders will hurt farms that rely on backpacker labour.

AUDIO: Federal Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston opens the door for 're-think' on government's controversial backpacker tax hike (ABC Rural)

"Certainly if it is going to h…

Is It Over Yet? Two Weeks In, 2016 Feels Like Year of the Bear

Lu Wang
Alexandra Scaggs

January 15, 2016 — 3:39 PM PST

Oil Under $28: Counting the Cost

About $21 billion have been pulled out of equity funds

`I'm not panicked. I don't think this is a financial crisis.'

Not even the pessimists on Wall Street thought things would go so wrong so fast in 2016.

For the first time in 12 years, oil is below $30 a barrel. China is struggling to prop up its slowing economy and calm its volatile stock market. For the moment, the bears have the upper hand -- and January is only half over.

 As the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 391 points on Friday, investors the world over seemed to be groping for any good news. 

While most money managers kept their cool, few offered assurances the U.S. market would bounce back soon, as it did after a similar bout of turmoil last August.

The selling has been intense, and European stocks officially entered bear marketterritory on Friday when the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed down 20 percent from its recor…


Big week for Aussie #mangoes as 4 major export varieties hit US market at same time:

#Kensington Pride 

Peterhansel gana su 12° Dakar en autos; Price se corona en motos

Posted: 16 Jan 2016 05:42 PM PST

El francés Stéphane Peterhansel ganó este sábado su 12° Dakar al cruzar la línea de meta de la especial de la 13a y última etapa del Dakar-2016 en Río Cuarto, Argentina, y le dio a Peugeot su primer éxito en el rally desde 1990.


Es la sexta victoria del “señor del Dakar”, de 50 años, al volante de un auto, tras las obtenidas en 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012 y 2013. Antes había ganado otros tantos sobre una moto (1991-1993, 1995, 1997, 1998).

Peugeot, que en 2015 regresó a la competencia tras 25 años de ausencia, no había ganado el Dakar desde sus cuatro éxitos consecutivos entre 1987 y 1990.

Tras dos semanas de competencia, Peterhansel se impuso sobre el Mini del catarí Nasser Al-Attiyah, ganador de la versión 2015, con una diferencia de 34 minutos y 38 segundos y al Toyota del sudafricano Giniel de Villiers, a 1 hora 2 minutos y 47 segundos.

“Es una gran satisfacción. Antes del inicio de la competencia tenía la sensación de que el equipo (Peugeot) era un poco …