The National Competition Council’s (NCC’s) draft recommendation on Port of Newcastle, if exercised, would turn the port into an unregulated monopolist, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).Namely, the ACCC has raised concerns following NCC’s draft recommendation on the port, which includes the potential removal of regulation of the shipping channel service at the Port of Newcastle.The port, which provides the only commercially viable means of exporting coal from the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, was privatised in 2014 via a 98-year lease to Port of Newcastle Operations.The NCC’s preliminary view that the declaration should be revoked would mean the terms and conditions of access to the port would be unregulated.“Should the declaration be revoked, the Port of Newcastle will be an unregulated monopolist that is able to determine the terms and conditions of its access with little constraint,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.“It would be reasonable to expect that, without regulation, further price increases at the port would follow and this would be a bad outcome for users and the economy, particularly given the history here,” Sims added.The NCC’s recommendation follows an application from the port’s owner, Port of Newcastle Operations, that the declaration of the shipping channel be revoked.In October 2018, after an application by port user Glencore, the ACCC determined the port should reduce its charge for the shipping channel service by about 20 per cent.
Indianapolis, In. — The House of Representatives Monday supported State Rep. Cindy Ziemke’s (R-Batesville) legislation holding township governments accountable for large tax dollar reserves.Currently, townships provide funding for improvements and updates to parks, community centers, shelters and fire protection equipment. However, Ziemke said the funding for these projects does not always get used and is kept in a reserve account. Some townships could use their significantly large reserves to fund operations for more than a year, and not need to raise taxes or collect additional revenue.“Hoosier taxpayers deserve to know where their money is and how it is being used,” Ziemke said. “Many townships are sitting on large sums of money with no plan to use it. This legislation would spur townships to implement their ideas and provide the public a clear breakdown of their township’s finances and plans for future projects.”According to Ziemke, if a township’s capital improvement fund exceeds their annual budget by 150 percent or more, then they would be required to adopt a capital improvement plan for the next three years. Ziemke said this plan would lay out objectives to improve the community, and must be submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance.Ziemke said the legislation would call for an interim study committee to review the ability of volunteer fire departments to safely and effectively perform their duties for their townships.“A thorough review will give us important information on what changes need to be made to ensure our communities are protected by our volunteer fire stations, and that they are provided with the necessary equipment to perform their jobs,” Ziemke said.House Bill 1177 now moves to the Senate for consideration. For more information, click here.
Alexis Peterson’s 29 points led sixth-seeded Syracuse (21-9, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) to an 83-64 victory over North Carolina Thursday night at the HTC Center in Conway, South Carolina. With the ACC Tournament second round win, the Orange will advance to face third-seeded Duke on Friday at 8 p.m.Eleven 3-pointers, 32 points in the paint and 27 points off turnovers helped Syracuse spring out to a 30-23 lead. By the end of the third quarter, SU commanded a 25-point advantage. The Orange’s 32 second-chance points is its highest total since Dec. 4 against Central Connecticut State, a 21-game span.“We had to rebound the ball,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We really did a good job of crashing the boards and getting opportunities, second-chance opportunities and we were really aggressive.”Peterson, who was named this week the ACC Player of the Year, added six assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Brittney Sykes scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds while senior center Briana Day scored 11 points and had a game-high 15 boards. Senior forward Isabella Slim scored nine points on 3-of-7 from the floor, the most she has scored since Jan. 8.Tip between the Orange and Blue Devils is set for Friday at 8 p.m. On Feb. 10, then-No. 14 Blue Devils handed Syracuse a 72-55 loss in Durham. In that meeting, Peterson and Sykes were held to a combined 30 points. SU committed 15 turnovers, shot only 25.4 percent from the field and got out-rebounded by nine. Duke’s 44 paint points were the most SU has allowed since December 2015.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They attacked us in transition and when you don’t score, you can’t press, and that was big for us because we didn’t make enough shots,” Hillsman said. “We couldn’t get into our pressure. Hopefully we can get some shots to go in early and be able to press them.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 2, 2017 at 11:37 pm Contact Matthew: email@example.com | @MatthewGut21