Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DSO East Arnhem journey great success

Darwin Symphony Orchestra General Manager, Guy Ross reports that the Symphony’s recent trip to Nhulunbuy was a great success.

“Over 1200 members of the Nhulunbuy community packed out the Nhulunbuy High School oval on Saturday 11th August for Darwin Symphony Orchestra’s Sunset Symphony.

Armed with picnic blankets, chairs, tables and in one case a candelabra, audiences were excited to see the DSO onstage alongside a large number of local performers,” he said.

Hosted by country star James Blundell, the concert included the premiere of a work for didgeridoo and orchestra called Birrka! Mirri. Featuring local artist Dj Marika on didgeridoo, the improvisational piece was a favourite of the audience.

Students of all ages from Arafura Dance Association joined the DSO on stage, performing pieces such as Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies and the Toreadors March from Carmen. Their skill and amazingly detailed costumes won the crowd over. Another highlight of the evening was a rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight with Nhulunbuy Christian School’s Ukulele Group, who had the crowd swaying and singing along.

The Sunset Symphony was proudly supported by Gove Operations Pacific Aluminium and Airnorth to mark the 40th anniversary of the town and Gove Operations.

A Gove Operations spokesperson said they were “thrilled to be able continue their commitment to the community through bringing such a significant live event to celebrate 40 years of Gove Operations and the town.”

“The concert topped off a busy visit to Gove for Concertmaster Tara Murphy,” Mr Ross said. “Tara spent two days prior to the concert visiting schools in the area (Nhulunbuy Primary School, Nhulunbuy Christian School, Nhulunbuy High School and Yirrkala School) and performing with a string quartet for students.

By the time DSO left on Saturday night, there’s a good chance that every kid in the region had seen at least some of its members perform!

The orchestra members travelled to Gove at 4:30am and returned to Darwin at midnight the same day. A huge day demonstrating the wonderful commitment of the volunteers who make up the orchestra and their continual effort to make every concert a success.”

Sherwin Iron granted NTG Major Project Status

Sherwin Iron Limited’s Roper River Iron Ore project has taken another step forward after being granted Major Project Status by the Northern Territory Government.

The decision is a major milestone for the company, which has a current resource of 488 million tonnes within its Roper River Iron Ore Project 500km south east of Darwin.

Sherwin Iron Executive Chairman Barry Coulter said the company has been continuing to build the case for the project including ongoing discussions with representatives of traditional owners and working through the environmental approvals process.

“This is another important milestone and gives us the confidence to move forward with our project,” Mr Coulter said.

The granting of Major Project Status ensures a Government team is established to help facilitate the appropriate environmental, heritage, mining and safety approvals the project will require as well as ensure maximum benefits to the local community and industry.

“We’re proud to be a local company and are committed to Territorians gaining the maximum benefit from this project,” Mr Coulter said.

“We’re delighted with the progress to date and the level of confidence shown by the Northern Territory Government.”

Sherwin Iron is working to lodge a Notice of Intent, the first step in the approvals process for the project, with the Northern Territory Government later this year.

Meat processing facility offers economic benefits in the north

An independent report commissioned by the Australian Agricultural Company Limited (AAco) signals enormous benefits to local industry from the Livingstone Valley food processing facility.

The report, by respected economic consulting firm ACIL Tasman, shows the average cattle producer could double their profitability by selectively sending older cull culls from their herds to the abattoir.

The selective removal of cull cows allows pastoralists to improve their herd profile in terms of age profile and fertility.

The facility also has broader economic benefits, with the impact on the northern economy calculated to be $126 million a year once fully operational.

The facility will create more than 800 direct and indirect full time equivalent jobs, including 270 at the plant itself.

Report author Mark Barber said northern beef producers presently have no regional market for cows surplus to requirements, or which are no longer productive (cull cows).

The 350kg live weight cap on live export cattle to Indonesia also means that there is no regional market for heavy steers and bulls.

“By providing a regional market for cull cows, the impact of the AAco abattoir on the profitability of northern beef producers is substantial,” Mr Barber said.

“This is because older cows can be sold and younger more robust and fertile cows retained in the herd. This reduces the mortality rate of the herd and increases the number of calves produced.”

AAco is moving ahead with its plans for the facility, with the first tenders in market now for civil works at the Livingstone Valley site.

AAco General Manager Northern Australian Beef Stewart Cruden said the purchase of the land had been completed and the company is finalising the conditions precedent in the Government’s development and environmental approval documentation.

The company plans to process 179,000 cattle a year at full production, with box beef exported by refrigerated containers to the US, Asia and Europe.