Santos earnings hit by carbon tax

Santos earnings were squeezed by the cost of the carbon tax, which helped to push its tax bill higher during the half.
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The total tax bill rose to $192 million from $180 million a year earlier, it said, with the income tax component rising to $156 million from $136 million. Separately, Santos said it paid $36 million in to carbon-related costs.

Declines in output, offset by a rise in product prices saw Santos post a slightly higher June half net profit of $271 million, up from $262 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.53 billion from $1.49 billion.

Output for the half declined 4 per cent to 24.5 million barrels of oil equivalent, which is forecast to recover slightly during the second half to 52-55 million for the full year.

The underlying net profit for the half declined to $251 million from $283 million. A steady interim dividend of 15 cents a share has been declared.

The group’s Queensland gas export project is 60 per cent completed, it said, with the capital cost estimated at $US18,5 billion.

‘’Operating cashflow will more than double’’ over the next three years, the group’s chief financial officer, Andrew Seaton, told analysts when discussing the results.

The company will consider either higher dividends or buy-backs once the PNG gas export project is commissioned.

The first gas for this project is to begin flowing in a matter of weeks, with commissioning due to commence during the final quarter of 2013, with the first gas to flow to customers from 2014.

Santos has a 13.5 per cent equity in this project, along with a 30 per cent share of one of the three Queensland export gas projects.The Queensland project is to be commissioned in 2015.

Santos also said the  slowing in resource sector spending has led to a hefty reduction in costs, averaging 15 per cent, and ranging as high as 30 per cent for some big ticket items.

It said it was seeing increased ‘‘competitive tension’’ between bidders, and it was also increasingly willing to dump long term suppliers ‘‘if they are not coming across on costs’’, the chief executive, David Knox said.

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Hardware store burglary charges

TWO men have been charged with burglary and theft after the Dahlsen’s store in Albert Street, Sebastopol was robbed early this morning.
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They were arrested by Ballarat police about 1.30am as they left the premises.

Both Ballarat men, aged 39 and 35, have been bailed to appear at Ballarat Magistrates Court at a later date.

Two men have been charged over a Sebastopol hardware store robbery this morning.

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Flood watch for Mount Lofty Ranges and Lower South East

A flood watch for the weekendhas been issued on top of Fridays’s severe weather warning for South Australia.
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The Bureau of Meteorology predicted damaging winds up to 90 kilometres an hourto move across the State on Friday and by mid afternoon said the predicted rainfall will lead to stream rises in creeks and rivers of the Mount Lofty Ranges from Saturday.

The Flood Watch has beenissued for the Mount Lofty Ranges and Lower South East districts for Friday evening through to Monday night.

An SES spokesperson said there wasa risk of minor flooding in the Upper Torrens, Upper Onkaparinga and the Bremer catchments from Saturday through to Monday.

“There is also a risk of stream rises and localised flooding across the Lower South East district,” the spokesperson said.

“People living or working close to rivers or creeks should monitor the latest weather forecast and warnings and be prepared should flooding develop.”

On Friday the bureau advised ofa vigorous front expected tomove across the State during the day,reaching the eastern border area during the evening.

The warningadvised that people living in the Adelaide Metropolitan, Mount Lofty Ranges, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Flinders, Mid North, Riverland, Murraylands, Upper South East, Lower South East and parts of the West Coast, North West Pastoral and North East Pastoral districts may be affected.

Up-to-date warnings and further information on the expected weather can be found on thehttp://www.bom.gov.au/sa/warnings/.

This Flood Watch is a ‘heads up’ for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning.

During rising waters and wild weather the SES advises:

– Ensure loose items such as outdoor furniture, garden tools and children’s play equipment (such as trampolines and cubby houses) are put away or secured.

– Park vehicles undercover and away from trees.

– Stay indoors and away from windows and skylights when weather conditions are severe.

– Stay away from fallen powerlines (always assume fallen powerlines are live – they should be reported to SA Power Networks on 13 13 66).

– Never walk, ride or drive through floodwaters.

- Do not allow children to play near or in floodwater

– Shelter and secure pets and other animals, and check weather forecasts regularly and listen to local radio for updates.

A Flood Watch has been issued for parts of South Australia this weekend.

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Bulga battle far more complex

THE Warkworth Mine situation is far more complex then a group of villagers simply not wanting a mine next door.
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When the expansion was approved flaws in the environmental assessment were suspected, taken to court and proven to be flawed.

On these grounds the expansion was disapproved. The court determined it should never have been approved in the first place.

Now we have the virtually unheard of situation for a mining approval to be revoked.

Regardless of the outcome Rio Tinto Energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney has come out and said even if a successful outcome could be delivered through the legal system, it comes too late to save jobs.

What must be learned in this process is that assessment of every mining development must be meticulous.

The government must set clear rules.

If a mining development meets the rules it is approved. If it doesn’t it fails.

Before anyone gets too angry over the court result, think a little about the situation before starting to lay blame – those in Bulga village are far from the root cause of the situation.

Battle of Bulga

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Stawell Biarri Group appraisal day

STAWELL – Stawell Biarri Group for Genealogy will once againwelcome well known antique dealer and auctioneer Bruce Lowenthal to the StawellLibrary tomorrow to conduct an appraisal day.
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Bruce will be at the Stawell Library to conduct appraisalsbetween 10am and 4pm.

Members of the public are invited to attend the day and meetwith Bruce Lowenthal.

The public can take along any items they may believe to beof value, or that they have no idea if it is worth anything or not.

Obtain a written valuation and hear Bruce’s expertcommentary on all your treasured items.

Costs for valuation are $5 per item or three items for $10.Light refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Bruce Lowenthal, from Lowenthal Auctions in Port Fairy, hasbeen visiting Stawell to conduct appraisal days for many years.

A lot of people attend the day just to listen to Bruce’scommentary on items.

The antiques and collectables appraisal day is certain tocreate a great deal of interest.

Bruce Lowenthal will be back at the Stawell Library tomorrow providing appraisals on antiques and collectables.

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Recommend ‘nook in the wall’ cafe with a side of context

So firstly, be careful when you tell people, “I’m going to check out Little Willys for breakfast”. Secondly, I am not 100 per cent sure if it is Little Willys or Little Willy’s – just one little apostrophe makes all the difference! I am going to go with Little Willys, which is how they refer to themselves on their Facebook page.
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Easily identifiable by its bright orange and blue beach umbrellas along William Street, Little Willys is a small nook in the wall with a couple of cosy booths plus a few tables and chairs made from recycled materials….think milk crates with wooden boards and milking stools with well  worn tables. There is something nostalgically share-housey about it, without the bong water on carpet smell of course. It’s actually pretty cool.

Andy and I slid into a comfy booth and checked out what was on offer. Prices range from $3 for toast (including gluten free) up to $15 for the breakfast burrito with the lot (bacon, egg, mushroom, spinach and corn salsa). YES, you read right… the top price is $15! It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about a well-priced menu.

Little Willys use a fairly new local coffee roaster called Pound Coffee. Based in O’Connor, these guys already have some big names as clients including quite a few cafes in our South West. It was easy to see why they have become popular – this coffee was tops. A robust flavour with a touch of natural sweetness, this cuppa had a creamy texture right to the last mouthful.

Andy chose to have the famous breakfast burrito. I say “famous” because as soon as I mentioned to anyone about where we were going, the response was, “You HAVE to try their burrito”.  This tightly-bound, lightly-toasted cylinder of goodness was a tasty number. The flavours were fresh and discernible, it was also deceivingly filling. The only complaint being that there was a tad too much water left in the mushrooms, suggesting they were cooked on low heat. It made the tortilla a bit soggy towards the end.

WOAH… is exactly what I said when my dish was placed in front of me. This omelette was a huge eggy case bursting with goodies of gooey cheddar, crunchy corn salsa, spring onion and mushrooms. There were no boring bits either. You know how omelettes can get… all crowded in the middle with the fun stuff leaving sad edges void of any flavour? If this vegetarian version of the omelette doesn’t take your fancy, there is also a salmon, feta and corn salsa one on the menu.

The staff were exceptionally welcoming and friendly. Even the barista wanted to chat! I had forgotten it was a cash only café; when I got to the counter and realised, the guy said “it’s ok… just pay after or whenever you’re ready”. I was shocked as I was prepared to have to march off to the ATM before even being able to order. A range of patrons from suits to backpackers to people just enjoying a Friday breakfast on their day off streamed in and out of Little Willys the whole time we were there. What a great little nook in the wall  for enjoying a take away coffee, having an impromptu business meeting over breakfast or just to sit back and watch the Northbridge crowd pass by…. just be careful to provide context when telling people, “I like Little Willys”.

267 William St, NorthbridgeLittle Willys is on FacebookBreakfast served from 6am weekdays and from 8am weekendsFollow WAtoday on Twitter

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Sky Blues sign Richard Garcia

New Sky Blue … Richard Garcia Photo: Brendan EspositoSydney FC have bolstered their attacking stocks for next season with the signing of former West Ham and Hull City forward Richard Garcia.
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Garcia looked set to join Newcastle Jets but will instead be playing at Moore Park next season after signing a one-year deal with the Sky Blues. The 31 year-old had been on the look-out for a new club since leaving Melbourne Heart at the end of last season after failing to reach an agreement over a contract extension. He said that the ability to work with Sydney’s big-name players swayed him to join the club.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Sydney FC,” Garcia said. “Sydney FC is a big club with big expectations and that’s something I thrive on. To be playing alongside players like Alessandro Del Piero, Brett Emerton and Nick Carle will be a fantastic experience for me and something I’m very much looking forward to. I can’t wait to start pre season training with the team and I look forward to working hard with the rest of the boys to win a spot and then helping Sydney FC push for success this season.”

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina pursued Garcia to add some extra experience to their forward line after releasing Joel Griffiths during the pre-season.

“Richie is a leader and a winner on and off the pitch and they are important ingredients when looking at who we bring to Sydney FC. He can play as a striker or a midfielder and I think he will suit our style of game just perfectly,” Farina said.

Garcia played 114 games for Hull City, including two seasons in the Premier League as well as stints at West Ham and Colchester and was part of the Socceroos squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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Darts: Cri smashers leading pointscore 

RESULTS from Monday nights games in the Greg Hedges Smash Repairs sponsored Singleton Darts Association Major Comp were:
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A Grade: Criterion Smashers d Agi Hops 8-3; High Score Men: Neil Burley x3 & Glen Lantry – 140; High Score Ladies: Terrie-Ann Swan – 123; High Peg Men: Rob Upward – 47; High Peg Ladies: Terrie-Ann Swan – 60.

Golf Club Hookers d Golf Club Eagles 10-1; High Score: Hans Erdmann – 180, congratulations Hans; High Peg: Matt Jones – 78.

Agi Icemen d Agi Alpha Males 10-1; High Score: Nick Burley & Steve Loughrey – 180, well done.

High Peg: Steve Loughrey – 101.

Criterion Cannons d Agi Izitinz 6-5; High Score: Orrie Rooks – 140; High Peg: Phil Algie – 64.

B Grade: Agi Wacka’s d Cali Panthers 6-5; High Score Men: Trent Tetley – 136; High Score Ladies: Gloria O’Brien – 117; High Peg Men: Ross Bailey – 100; High Peg Ladies: Gloria O’Brien – 20

Percy Devils d Golf Club Hotshots 6-5; High Score Men: Russell Jones – 120; High Score Ladies: Marianne Flanagan x2, Beth McCreadie – 100; High Peg Men: Bob Gotzy – 82; High Peg Ladies: Marianne Flanagan – 69.

Golf Club Caddies d Club Singleton Allsorts – 8-3; High Score Men: Brian Lane – 134; High Score Ladies: Leanne Loughrey – 133; High Peg Men: Brian Lane – 60; High Peg Ladies: Leanne Loughrey – 16.

Royal Crowd d Percy Phantoms 8-3: High Score Men: Stephen Thrift – 125; High Score Ladies: Anne Lantry x2 & Kira Herbert – 100; High Peg Men: Brad Schultz – 40; High Peg Ladies: Anne Lantry – 22.

Pointscore – A Grade: Cri Smashers 69/24, Agi Icemen 59/22, Golf Club Hookers 51/20, Agi Izitinz 48/16, Cri Cannons 38/16, Agi Alpha Males 31/12, Agi Hops 29/10, Golf Club Eagles 25/8.

B Grade: Royal Crowd 46/19, Golf Club Hotshots 46/19, Golf Club Caddies 44/19, Percy Devils 41/19, Agi Do’ers 42/17, Agi Wacka’s 47/16, Percy Phantoms 40/15, Cali Panthers 18/11, Club Singleton Allsorts 18/9.

Draw Monday August 19: Golf Club Eagles v Agi Icemen, Agi Alpha Males v Golf Club Hookers, Criterion Smashers v Criterion Cannons, Agi Hops v Agi Izitinz, Percy Devils v Cali Panthers, Percy Phantoms v Agi Do’ers, Club Singleton Allsorts v Golf Club Hotshots, Golf Club Caddies v Royal Crowd, Bye – Agi Wacka’s.

darts

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MCDFL Rd 16 Snapshot

AVOCA v ROYAL PARK
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Avoca (8-6) – the Bulldogs have the opportunity to sew up a finals berth with their ninth win tomorrow. Bounced back from consecutive defeats last week to down Dunolly by 62 points

Royal Park (3-11) – have lost their past 10 against Avoca by an average of 113 points. Hamish Blake and Brendan Birch had outstanding seasons, but going to take a full team effort tomorrow to challenge the Bulldogs.

CAMPBELLS CREEK v NAVARRE

Campbells Creek (4-10) – became the first team this year to lose to Rovers last round when beaten by 13 points. Would taken an extraordinary form reversal on that result to give the Grasshoppers a scare.

Navarre (11-3) – suffered their third loss of the season last week when beaten by Carisbrook after leading at half-time. Should bounce back in convincing style tomorrow against a team they have monstered since joining the MCDFL in 2011.

DUNOLLY v NATTE BEALIBA

Dunolly (3-11) – were good for the first half against Avoca last week, but have a massive task tomorrow against one of the in-form teams.

Natte Bealiba (9-5) – still a sniff of finishing in the top four after last week’s 26-point win over Lexton. Four wins in a row now for the Swans, during which they’ve conceded just 14 goals.

LEXTON v MALDON

Lexton (9-5) – have surrendered their position in the top four following last week’s defeat to Natte Bealiba. Need to regain some momentum in their season, having now lost three of their past four games after earlier being 8-2.

Maldon (7-7) – with four defeats in a row following a 7-3 start, the Bombers are on their worst losing streak since 2005. A month ago they were contending for a top-four position. Now they’re clinging onto their spot in the top eight on percentage.

NEWSTEAD v TRENTHAM

Newstead (10-4) – belted Trentham by 116 points in round two and should put the Saints to the sword again to win game No.11.

Trentham (2-12) – only kicked three goals last round against Royal Park, but that was enough to notch their second win of the season. Tough day looms tomorrow, though.

TALBOT v ROVERS

Talbot (7-7) – still in the mix to play finals for the first time since 2008 after last week’s win over Maldon. Will climb into the eight tomorrow if they win and Lexton beats Maldon.

Rovers (1-13) – been a tough year for the club, but at least they will avoid a winless season after last round’s 13-point win over Campbells Creek finally broke their duck.

CARISBROOK v HARCOURT (Sunday)

Carisbrook (14-0) – still undefeated after withstanding a spirited challenge from Navarre last week. Will now set themselves to see off another of the top sides in Harcourt in what could be a qualifying final preview.

Harcourt (10-4) – only Carisbrook has a better formline over the past six weeks. They’ve won six in a row and are now into the top four, but can they bridge a 56-point gap against Carisbrook from round two?

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Two points separate Stawell Racquetball’s top two

STAWELL – Just two points separated the Stawell RacquetballAssociation’s undefeated teams after they went head to head on Monday night.
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All four rubbers were hotly contested with Steph Walker andKathy McClintock setting the scene for a close night.

McClintock won the first game 22-20 for Everlast, but Walkerwas able to close out the dual in the remaining two games.

Sub Judy McNeight defeated Rachel Troeth while Greg Gorter,subbing for Spalding, was pushed all the way by Ben Wallace.

Gorter claimed the first game with the barest of margins22-21 and the second was almost as close, Gorter prevailing.

In the closest rubber of the match up the competition’s topplayers hit the court.

Jo Orr continued her top form in her debut season in thesport with an upset win over David Kaczynski.

Kaczynski pinched the first game by just two points, but Orrresponded winning the second the same way.

Nothing separated the two going in to the deciding game, butOrr’s ability to salvage almost any shot held out, she won the third 21-14.

Everlast secured top spot on the ladder with the two point,2-5-193 to 2-5-191 win.

In other results Puma suffered its second straightnil-rubber loss, this week at the hands of Sfida who, led by Gavin Orr,produced the goods.

North Face returned from the bye to comfortably defeat Filawhile Nike got their first win of the season with victory over Asics.

Results (August 12):

SFIDA 4-8-168 def PUMA 0-0-120

G Orr 1-2-42 def J Hosemans 0-0-25; G Gorter 1-2-42 def LFarrell 0-0-29; J McNeight 1-2-42 def T Smith 0-0-33; N Dixon 1-2-42 def SHateley 0-0-33.

FILA 1-2-102 lost to NORTH FACE 3-6-145

B Bassett 1-2-42 def D Dowling 0-0-19; B Kimber 0-0-27 lostto D Coe (sub) 1-2-42; M Cahill 0-0-24 lost to M Hancock 1-2-42; J Bassett0-0-9 lost to S Trimble 1-2-42.

SPALDING 2-5-190 lost to EVERLAST 2-5-193

D Kaczynski 0-1-55 lost to J Orr 1-2-62; G Gorter (sub)1-2-43 def B Wallace 0-0-39; R Troeth 0-0-31 lost to J McNeight (sub) 1-2-42; SWalker 1-2-62 def K McClintock 0-1-50.

ASICS 1-2-134 lost to NIKE 3-6-149

D Molony 0-0-31 lost to C Monaghan 1-2-42; D Coe (sub)1-2-42 def D Monaghan 0-0-22; S Monaghan 0-0-39 lost to T Ranton 1-2-43; R Moos0-0-22 lost to W Grant 1-2-42.

Ladder (After round four): Everlast 18 (points), 104.95 (%);Spalding 16, 114.7; North Face 13, 121.67; Adidas 13, 109.56; Asics 12, 103.94;Sfida 11, 96.5; Nike 9, 91.02; Puma 7, 84.91; Fila 5, 79.01.

Tiny Smith in action in the Stawell Racquetball Association spring competition.

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