Basically a single individual does all the hard work finding other groups of camels that would normally be very difficult to locate
Murdoch University researchers are giving groups of feral camels the hump as they successfully track them with a basic technique.
Headed up by Associate Professor Peter Spencer from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch, the research trial involves placing special tracking collars on lone camels who then betrays the whereabouts of larger groups.
Prof. Spencer says the camels threaten biodiversity, agriculture and bio-security in these regions but controlling their numbers in remote areas is expensive and logistically challenging.
WHY IT WORKS
The technique relies on the social nature of the invasive species – in this case, the dromedary camel – which number around one million in remote areas of arid central Australia.
“The Judas technique relies upon the target species exhibiting sufficient flexibility in their social structure for monitored individuals to detect, and be accepted by multiple animal cohorts. Basically, a single tracked individual does all the hard work by finding other groups of camels that would normally be very difficult to locate.
Previous trials have proved successful in controlling gregarious, invasive species such as feral goats.
DNA profiling data was also collected from 1,050 camels and used to characterise the genetic diversity and relatedness within and between observed social groups.
Prof. Spencer and his team of researchers found the camel groups were not defined by relatedness meaning they had a social structure that would be conducive to applying the Judas technique.
This discovery runs contrary to the prevailing opinion that camel groups were dictated by familial relationships, such as with elephants where groups comprise principally of females and their genetically-related offspring.
Ten camels were collared and tracked for periods of time across two years. Judas camels were found with other animals on 96 per cent of occasions.
While an effective method for controlling the animals in areas of low population density, Dr Spencer admitted that it was still expensive and he recommended it be used in conjunction with other control methods.
The full details of Professor Spencer et al’s research were recently published in The Journal of Wildlife Management. Their paper is entitled Genetic relationships within social groups influence the application of the Judas technique: A case study with wild dromedary camels.
Irish Echo reports that Australia's 7 Network has made a decision not to look for the rights to screen Gaelic games because it was not making enough profit.
Ex pats and all GAA fans will have to find another way to get their fix of football and hurling after the Seven Network decided not to screen matches in 2015.
In a report in the Irish Echo Newspaper, the network states that the decision was made because the numbers were not adding up for them.
Last year over 40 matches were made available to audiences 'Down Under' after Seven decided to look for the rights to screen them. However, the Irish Echo report adds that this was just an experiment by way of a one-year rights deal and that it had not made plans to do the same in 2015.
Speaking on the matter to the Irish Echo, an insider said it was just an experiment and viewing figures and scheduling changes made it impossible to repeat for this year.
READ THE FULL STORY IN THE IRISH ECHO
State Government tries to soften blow of further disruptions with an app to remind you about it
Perth commuters are to get a new app to help them negotiate traffic snarls and city construction works.
Transport Minister, Troy Buswell was on hand to launch the new app (Right Move Perth) that is available for download on IOS and Android platforms. He said that the State Government was listening to the concerns of road and transport users.
“Perth is going through a significant period of transformation, with major infrastructure projects like the Perth City Link and Elizabeth Quay well under way, and necessary road works to support our growing State,” Mr Buswell said.
The smartphone app, available for download now, will give access to real-time information on incidents and road conditions around the metropolitan area, helping commuters avoid congested areas and better plan their journeys.
“This is an exciting time for Perth and these projects will deliver real benefits once completed. However with them comes some disruption, so I encourage commuters to download the Government’s new app," the Minister said
The app will give information on road works, crashes, traffic signal faults, train and bus service disruptions, major events, project information and weather warnings to help plan journeys.
Users can save favourite routes and then they will be notified of any incidents within a one kilometre radius of these routes, no matter where they are in the metropolitan area.
The Government say that they are committed to keeping Perth moving and this new technology is a timely reminder that from today a 300m section of Riverside Drive from the Bell Tower to the Convention Centre will be permanently diverted to alternative routes.
Information about the new Riverside Drive diversion route is available on the Main Roads website http://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au or via the 24-hour Customer Information Centre on 138 138.
For public transport users, Transperth has also launched a smartphone app, which is free to download and available on Apple and Android devices.
The Transperth app enables users to find next services from any stop, station or jetty, plan their journey, view fare information and access their SmartRider balance.
The State Government is hoping to discourage parents from providing alcohol to people under 18 with a new media campaign.
The campaign will start today (Sunday) and will feature Dr Fiona Wood.
It will include State-wide television, radio and press advertising. The latest campaign is a joint initiative between the Drug and Alcohol Office; The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. Funding will be provided through the State Government from Healthway.
Mental Health Minister, Helen Morton said that there was overwhelming evidence that alcohol can damage young people’s developing brains and their bodies.
“There are many misconceptions regarding alcohol and young people and we’re here to present the fact that for under 18s no alcohol is the safest choice,” Mrs Morton said.
Dr Wood is the well-respected director of the Burns Unit at Royal Perth Hospital. Minister Morton said that Wood has volunteered her time to tell people about some of the alcohol-related harm being experienced by young people that she has seen.
“I think her radio ad is compelling, and I hope parents and friends pick up the message that for the healthy development of our young people it is essential they do not drink alcohol until they are at least 18.
“We want this campaign to spark some informed discussion among families, and give parents some tools for talking about this issue with their children.”
Families and parents who want to discuss this issue with their children can find more information and help tools at the following web address: http://www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au
Dr Wood is a previous recipient of Australian of the Year in 2005.
World championship, silver medalist javelin thrower, Kim Mickle, has been named the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Athlete of the Year.
Sport and Recreation Minister, Terry Waldron presented the award at the WAIS Annual Dinner last night.
The award caps off a stellar year for the WA athlete who won a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow and took home her eighth national title in April.
During the function, the minister also elevated Ric Charlesworth - former captain of both the Australian and state hockey teams as well as the state cricket team - to legend status in the WA Hall of Champions.
Minister Waldron congratulated both Kim and Ric and all the other winners on the night.
“The State Government is proud to be a major supporter of WAIS and we’re thrilled that these athletes have been awarded for excellence in their sport. These winners set the bar high and I know will offer inspiration to all the other athletes working their way towards Glasgow and Rio,” the Minister said.
AWARDS PRESENTED ON THE NIGHT
Water polo player Danielle Woodhouse was also inducted into the WA Hall of Champions after playing 154 games for Australia between 1993 and 2000.
Western Australia’s worst fine defaulters are to be named and shamed on a new website from today onwards.
The website was set up under new measures, in an effort to recover millions of dollars owed to taxpayers.
The new site will publish the names of the top 100 defaulters, along with the suburb or town they live in and the amount of money owed in outstanding fines and infringements.
Attorney General (AG), Michael Mischin said the move formed part of a package of reforms targeting a small group of serial offenders who were cheating taxpayers out of millions of dollars.
Mr Mischin said the most serious fine defaulters owed $67m out of a total of $259m in unpaid infringements and court fines.
“The top 100 fine defaulters list is frankly staggering. Every person on the list each owes tens of thousands of dollars, with a handful of individuals and companies owing between $100,000 and $250,000 each,” he said.
“It not only indicates a pattern of law breaking, but a complete disregard for our laws and for their fellow West Australians. The money from these unpaid fines and infringements should rightly be available for schools, hospitals and infrastructure.”
According to the AG there has been a sharp increase in the payment of overdue fines and infringements in advance of new laws targeting repeat offenders. The laws come into effect today (August 21).
Under the laws, the Sheriff’s Office will have the power to wheel clamp vehicles or seize licence plates belonging to serious defaulters with more than $2,000 in unpaid infringements, or unpaid court fines.
Mr Mischin said that the laws have already had an impact - even before they took effect. Since the launch of these measures on August 4, 10,257 people have paid 12,478 outstanding matters in full. During this same period 2,986 people have entered into some form of payment arrangement.
The total amount of money paid in part or in full since August 4 is more than $3.9million. These figures include 639 defaulters who have paid almost $900,000 and would have been targeted for enhanced enforcement measures.
The AG suggested that any individuals and companies who don’t want their names and details published for all to see on the web should immediately pay their fines and infringements or enter into a 'time to pay' arrangement with the Fines Enforcement Registry.
The top 100 list will be available on: http://www.paymyfines.wa.gov.au. Individuals and companies can also visit the site to pay outstanding fines or infringements or they can phone the Fines Enforcement Registry on 1300 650 235 or 9235 0235 from mobile phones.
Police Minister: Liza Harvey
Police services in WA are to receive $285m funding towards extra officers and police infrastructure upgrades.
State Treasurer, Troy Buswell said that the investment will see a total of $285m injected into the states police department, $215 of that is expected to fund the recruitment of 550 new officers.
The remaining $67m is to be used to upgrade police station buildings that will house the new recruits.
The funding, to be delivered over four years, was announced today in a joint statement by Mr Buswell and Police Minister, Liza Harvey.
Mrs Harvey said the funding would mean more officers on the beat than ever before
"Fifty police officers would be recruited this year and in 2014 for a new rapid response unit in Perth's southern suburbs and 33 auxiliary officers will be signed up for general duties.The infrastructure upgrades will take place where they are most needed, in particular in Perth's outer suburbs," Mrs Harvey said.
She said the new recruitment program would be in addition to the 100 police officers to be recruited by June 2014 as part of the government's previous growth program.
"We will continue to invest in our local and regional communities to ensure we are building stronger and safer societies," Mrs Harvey said.
Bearcat emergency response vehicle pic: perthnow.com.au
WA's Police Force has taken delivery of a second state-of-the-art armoured rescue vehicle for use in emergency situations.
The Bearcat (Ballistic Engineered Armoured Response Counter Attack Truck) is a multi-purpose rescue vehicle that will be used by the force's Tactical Response Group (TRG).
Police Minister Liza Harvey said the armoured rescue vehicle would increase the force's capacity to respond to hostile and armed offender incidents.
Mrs Harvey said the delivery of the second Bearcat was in line with the State Government’s drive to ensure WA Police were provided with the most modern equipment possible.
“This is the second armoured rescue vehicle, and It will assist with the recovery and protection of civilians during terrorist threats, hostage incidents or encounters with armed offenders.
“It’s an important and significant police asset and is another step towards making WA Police one of the most modern policing jurisdictions in Australia," she said.
The minister added that by making WA Police one of the most modern forces, she hoped that in turn it would help to attract the best possible people to join the force.
She said the Bearcat would complement other hi-tech equipment provided to the police by the State Government.
The list of supplied equipment includes 48 advanced traffic management vehicles costing nearly $4m and a hi-tech helicopter costing $20m.
“In addition, we provided $1.3m for two high-capacity police transport vehicles designed to assist in the management of out-of-control parties," the Minister said.
Mrs Harvey said the TRG had been using the first Bearcat in a variety of situations since 2007 when it was purchased by the State Government.
This second vehicle was purchased by the Federal Government through the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee.
Anzac Day services were held across Australia today to mark the 98th anniversary of the first landings by Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915.
Thousands attended dawn services around the country to commemorate and pay tribute to soldiers who fought and died during the wars.
ABC News reports that Victoria Cross winner Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith addressed a special dawn service at the war memorial in the capital, Canberra.
The corporal read out letters from serving soldiers, including one who is currently deployed in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.
"At this moment I am proud. Proud of my wife and her efforts back home. Proud of my country. Proud of my mates' service, and the sacrifices we all make in order to serve," he read.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard attended a special service in the city of Townsville in North Queensland where she laid a wreath as a mark of respect for the seven soldiers who lost their lives since Anzac Day last year.
The city is home to one of Australia's biggest Defence communities.
Prime Minister Gillard also attend the city's Anzac Day parade later in the day.
The City of Perth is to play host to the largest resouce event in its history, the Liquified Natural Gas (LGN) Conference in 2016.
This week the Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Marmion is in Texas in the US, where he will address 10,000 delegates at the closing stages of this this year's LNG Conference.
After the Minister delivers his address the organisers, Houston, will pass on the hosting duties for the next conference in 2016 to Western Australia.
Seen as the largest resources event in its history, it is anticipated to inject more than $50million into the State’s economy.
He will use the closing ceremony address to invite thousands of international
delegates, exhibitors and petroleum industry representatives from more than 80
countries to attend the eighteenth LGN conference in Perth 2016.
“LNG18 is expected to attract 5,000 delegates and exhibitors and inject more than
$50million into the State’s economy, the largest such event in WA’s history,”
Mr Marmion said.
“It will be an unparalleled opportunity to promote Western Australia’s petroleum
resources and role as a global energy supplier, and Perth as a major centre for
expertise and services to the petroleum industry in Australia and Asia.”
While in Houston Mr Marmion will also meet with senior executives from exploration,
production and services companies from the USA, Europe and Asia.
“This interaction is crucial, as Western Australia is becoming a world leader in
“By 2016, WA is expected to have an annual LNG production capacity of more than 50
million tonnes - up from the current level of 20 million tonnes.”
The LNG17 conference runs from the 16-19 April.