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Airbnb and empty houses: who’s responsible for managing the impacts on our cities?

The Conversation, 19 September 2017
The Airbnb and empty house phenomena and their presumed links to housing and rental prices have attracted considerable media and political attention. The ABC points to the “dark side” of Airbnb and its effect on long-term rental prices. Empty houses are being linked to higher housing prices and to foreign investment, most often Chinese investment. The Australian headlines that “China buyers raise ghost town fears”. The Commonwealth and state governments are seeking to regulate the phenomena. It is questionable whether they should and even whether they understand the data and trends.

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Queensland Cycling Strategy

The Queensland Cycling Strategy sets the direction for encouraging more cycling, more often throughout Queensland. It is accompanied by an action plan and Queensland State of Cycling Report, which will be updated every two years to help us prioritise our efforts and respond to changes that impact cycling in Queensland.

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ESB chair says demand response could kill need for new power plants

ReNew Economy, 14 September 2017
The chair of Australia’s newly formed Energy Security Board, Dr Kerry Schott, has stressed the importance of demand response in meeting the nation’s energy security and affordability needs, telling ABC Radio that if we could harness the technology effectively, we could “all stop worrying about building new plants of any description.”
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Rooftop solar pushes South Australia to record low grid demand – in spring!

ReNew Economy, 13 September 2017
Spring is barely two weeks old and the sun had yet to pass the spring equinox (September 23), but already South Australia has set a new record low for electricity demand from the grid, thanks to its increasing supply of rooftop solar PV. The record low demand – 786MW – was reached around 2pm on Sunday and was cited by Australian Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman as an example of how the grid is transforming.

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Jetstar to start regional WA flights in bid to cut fares

The West Australian, 11 September 2017
Jetstar may start operations within WA to cut airfares, but Australia’s largest airline group has warned that regional airports need to cut fees. Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David told the Economics and Industry Standing Committee inquiry into airfares within WA that the group was looking at deploying the Jetstar operation within WA to “address some of the challenges that currently exist”.

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Google architecture and what do you see? And what’s a building without people?

The Conversation, 13 September 2017
Think about where you spend most of your day – home, your office, or university. How does this space make you feel? What do you love (or hate) about it? Our buildings can help or hinder our health and productivity. For example, we can be affected by daylight access, air quality, connection to nature and acoustics. Most complaints about a space – about temperature, noise, odd smells or even how exposed we feel – relate to these factors.

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Volkswagen’s Entire Car Range Is Going Electric By 2030

Huffington Post, 12 September 2017
The world’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen, has pledged to electrify its entire range of cars by 2030.
Announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company said it would be doubling its investment in zero-emissions vehicles. The Volkswagen Group actually contains some 12 car manufacturers including Audi, Bentley, Seat and Lamborghini.
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