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  • Palaszczuk Government funds innovative ‘smart-aid’ kit which could save lives

    An ultra-compact first-aid kit that will help thousands of people make the right decisions in emergency situations is being backed by the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland fund.

    Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Original Rescue Swag is one of 119 innovative businesses across Queensland sharing in $16.5 million from the first two rounds of Ignite Ideas funding.

    “Many Queensland businesses have developed world-class products and services, but lack the financial capacity to successfully commercialise them,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s Ignite Ideas fund – another Advance Queensland innovation and jobs initiative – is about helping businesses get products to market faster, which boosts business growth and creates jobs for Queenslanders.”

    Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding targets startups and small-to-medium-sized enterprises to help them with rapid commercialisation of their market ready innovations.

    The Rescue Swag was founded in 2013 by Tracey Beikoff, who said it is the world’s first ‘smart-aid kit’ that connects to an app and shows people how to use their first aid gear. The swag also has extra functionality, including a sling, splint, immobilisation unit and even a birthing mat to assist women during labour.

    Mrs Beikoff said the product has the potential to save lives. “It allows people to apply first-aid correctly anywhere, anytime,” she said.

    The Mareeba-based startup has recently received $100,000 in Advance Queensland funding to progress the commercialisation of the product, including field testing and market research, to better understand markets in Australia and the United States.

    Having come up with the idea after a minor horse riding incident, Tracey recognised a need for a more mobile first-aid kit and launched the Original Rescue Swag as a way to raise funds for her local RSPCA.

    “I soon realised there was a broader demand for rescue swags and a much bigger market out there,” Mrs Beikoff said.

    “This is a significant breakthrough in the first-aid market, introducing functionality and engagement in a way that has not previously been possible before.

    “We provide our customers with an engaging way to connect with rescue swags, which in turn increases first-aid response skills and preparedness to guide people during emergencies.

    “With support from the Queensland Government, our product will better prepare many thousands of new first-aid responders with the equipment, knowledge and confidence to take the right action in emergency situations regardless of whether they have mobile phone coverage – which is an important feature when you’re in the outback.”

    In 2015, the Original Rescue Swag landed a $220,000 deal with prominent Australian investor and Shark Tank celebrity Steve Baxter to grow its manufacturing base and ramp up marketing activities.

    “I saw huge potential in The Original Rescue Swag. It really caught my eye and had international appeal – which was a sound bet for me,” Mr Baxter said.

    “Tracey has an Aussie product that is great for any sort of outdoors adventure like horse-riding, motor biking, kayaking – and it has potential to make a real difference.”

  • NSW POPULAR FOR WALKING HOLIDAYS

    NSW POPULAR FOR WALKING HOLIDAYS

    More than 4.3 million domestic and international overnight visitors last year choose to hike in NSW as part of a holiday experience, up 5.2 per cent on the previous year*.
    Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “NSW is the perfect place for a hiking holiday. The state is home to some of Australia’s most popular walking trails, as well as many hidden gems including superb multi-day hikes and fantastic short and long day hikes along stunning coastal and inland trails.”
    Here are some of NSW’s great walks, as well as some hidden gems just waiting to be explored:
    New tours
    · The Seven Peaks Walk is one of the newest walks to join the list of Great Walks of Australia. This challenging hike on Lord Howe Island is for experienced hikers, with a few sections of the walk off-track and requiring a steady head for heights.
    · For a coastal trek, try the three-day Light to Light walk which hugs the coastline between Boyds Tower and Green Cape Lightstation in Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast. If hiking in luxury is more your style, Light to Light Camps can carry your gear, set up camp each night and cook your dinner, all while you enjoy the walk at your leisure.
    Secluded and unspoilt
    · Explore the secluded beaches and spectacular cliffs while hiking the rugged coastline of the Kangarutha Walking Track in Bournda National Park near Tathra on the South Coast. Suitable for most ages, this moderately challenging hike is 9km each way.
    · The Murray Valley Regional and National Parks, near Mathoura on the Murray River, are home to part of the world’s largest stand of River Red Gums. The short walks in and around this park take you through stunning red gums and to an impressive Ramsar-listed wetlands, Reed Beds Wetland.
    · Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Washpool National Park, between Grafton and Glen Innes, offers wonderful undisturbed wilderness including the world’s largest stand of coachwood trees. With walks ranging from just a few hours to multiple days, the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk is the most challenging. This four-day walk takes you through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.
    · Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness runs a two-day tour that includes climbing Mount Gulaga, an extinct volcano rising 797 metres above sea level near Narooma on the South Coast. Mount Gulaga is culturally significant to the local Yuin people, particularly women.
    · Tri State Safaris offers guided tours of Mutawintji National Park and through the Mutawintji Historic Site. Boasting one of the best collections of Aboriginal art in NSW, a challenging two to four hour guided walk through rocky terrain visits Aboriginal rock engravings and ochre stencils, as well as the remains of fireplaces, stone flakes and grinding stones.
    Close to Sydney, but feels like a million miles away
    · Pack your bags for a challenging two-day hike in the Hawkesbury, along the Colo River. The Mountain Lagoon Loop via Colo Meroo and Tootie Creek is a challenging river walk along the lower reaches of the Colo River. The Hawkesbury hiking guide has details of 12 bushwalks in the area.
    · Explore the trails of the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Barrington Tops National Park. With more than 18 walking trails, from two hour hikes through sub-alpine forests and wetlands, to the challenging 38km Gloucester Tops to Careys Peak trail that offers scenic views from the tops.

    · Stretching 426kms, The Hume and Hovell Track is an epic trail in the south east of NSW that traverses rugged and beautiful countryside following a mix of public roads, fire trails, purpose built single tracks and over 100 footbridges. For trip planning, check out the interactive map and photos showing 360 degree views of the campsites along the way on the Hume and Hovell Track website.
    · Snow shoe Australia’s highest peak with K7 Adventures on the Mount Kosciuszko Majestic Tour. Kosciuszko National Park is as compelling in the winter months as it is during the summer wildflower season and although the weather can be challenging, the experience is truly remarkable.
    Share your favourite walk in NSW with us on social media by using the hashtag #NewSouthWales and #ILoveNSW. For more information visit www.visitnsw.com

  • CYCLING IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOR APRIL

    CYCLING IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOR APRIL

    Brisbane cyclist April Lea, the youngest competitor in Velothon Sunshine Coast (13-16 July) at age 23, is living proof that anything is possible and there are a million and one ways to get involved in cycling.

  • Cairns on course to lure more ships and industry to FNQ

    Cairns on course to lure more ships and industry to FNQ

    Cairns is on course for two major Queensland Government projects to boost tourism and turn the city into an economic growth hotspot while protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said developing the Port of Cairns and a potential Cairns South State Development Area (SDA) would create jobs, strengthen the far north Queensland economy and boost the region’s shipping and industrial credentials.

    “Ports North’s $120 million Cairns Shipping Development Project could create up to 800 new and indirect construction jobs over the five year period and 2,700 jobs after the construction phase,” the Premier said.

    “This will make Cairns more attractive for new and existing businesses and industries looking to expand and invest and open opportunities to diversify economy-boosting industrial development.

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the project would bring around $112 million a year into the economy by positioning Cairns to take advantage of the growing cruise ship industry and enhancing defence capabilities.”

    “This is why the Queensland Government announced in the recent budget that Ports North would receive a $30 million a year contribution to the project over the next two financial years,” he said.

    Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the expansion would be done with the absolute minimum disruption to the Great Barrier Reef as Ports North has reduced the volume of dredging needed from more than four million to just one million cubic metres, or less than a quarter.

    “The proponent will also ensure that all dredged material is disposed on land to comply with the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan,” he said.

    “Ports North last year revised the project to cap proposed expanded capacity at ships up to 300 metres in length that now anchor offshore as they cannot berth in the port.

    “Ports North has investigated land-based dredge material placement sites, channel design and other environmental assessments prior to submitting the revised draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the State’s independent Coordinator-General.

    “The revised draft EIS for the proposed Cairns Shipping Development Project is open for public comment on the Department of State Development’s website until 25 August 2017.”

    Dr Lynham said public consultation on a potential Cairns South SDA on an approximately 840ha site east of the Bruce Highway and north of Gordonvale was open until 11 August 2017.

    “The potential SDA would support the regions growing tourism sector by providing land for supporting enterprises like catering companies, consumable suppliers and leisure enterprises to locate and expand their businesses,” he said.

    “We want to attract regionally significant industrial development to the area and ensure that we have the right land available and streamlined approvals processes

    “Of the many priority sectors in the Queensland Government’s 10-year Road Maps and Action Plans, advanced manufacturing, biofutures, biomedical and life sciences, and defence related industries are also likely to be attracted to establish in the potential Cairns South SDA.

    “Within a SDA, the state’s independent Coordinator-General can provide business and industry with a one-stop shop to speed up government approvals and really drive industrial development in the area.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had committed $100 million over five years in extra funding for Reef water quality projects to improve the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

    “The project will create business opportunities in channel maintenance and monitoring and freight logistics as it will widen and deepen the existing Trinity Inlet shipping channel, upgrade wharf facilities, enhance naval capabilities and improve port efficiencies,” she said.  

    “Should a decision eventually be made to declare the Cairns South SDA, there would be no impact on existing uses of the land.”

    For more information on the revised draft EIS for the proposed Cairns Shipping Development Project and the potential Cairns South SDA visit:

    http://statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/cairns-south-sda

    http://statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/resources/project/cairns-south-sda/potential-cairns-south-sda-overview.pdf

  • Dirty Girls Adventure Film Tour Hits The Road

    Film festival director Jemima Robinson describes it as “adventure therapy” and is encouraging women of all ages to get along to be inspired. Ms Robinson is taking the Dirty Girls Adventure Film Tour around Australia for the first time and will tour for screening around the country from 17-27th July. .

    She said viewers can expect 90 minutes of the best female outdoor and adventure sports films in the world.

    <iframe width=”855″ height=”480″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/dFv3_bn2OQ4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

    READ MORE OR BOOK TICKETS: CLICK HERE

  • On Your Bike, Watch Out for the Air

    On weekdays, Darby Jack bicycles the 15 miles from his home in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, to his office at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in Washington Heights. Unlike most people who bike to work, the 42-year-old assistant professor of environmental health wears sensors that monitor how much air he breathes in during the trip along with air pollution levels along his route.

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