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746. Hon KEN TRAVERS to the minister representing the Minister for Training and Workforce Development:

(1) Has Polytechnic West been provided with any indicative area of the amount of land at its Balga campus that will be required for the government’s proposed MAX light rail project?

(2) If yes to (1), how much land will be required?

(3) Has the board or executive of Polytechnic West been briefed on the MAX light rail proposal?

(4) If yes to (3), on what date did this occur?

(5) What impact will the proposed MAX light rail have on the operations at the Balga campus?

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732. Hon SALLY TALBOT to the minister representing the Minister for Planning:

Noting the government’s commitment to implement transit-oriented design in the Elizabeth Quay development and its no–car bay policy with respect to Burswood stadium—

(1) How many residential and non-residential car bays will be provided in the five planned office blocks fronting the Esplanade road between Barrack Street and William Street?

(2) Given the excellent public transport system servicing the Perth CBD, was consideration given to the construction of the office blocks without the provision of on-site parking?

(3) Did the government give consideration to the adverse impact of this extra parking on traffic flow in the area and the impact of five multi-storey podium car parks on the proposed opening up of the cove area to the rest of the city?

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Weapons of Mass Urban Destruction

Foreign Policy, September/October 2012

In the last five years, China has built 20,000 miles of expressways, finishing the construction of 12 national highways a whopping 13 years ahead of schedule and at a pace four times faster than the United States built its interstate highway system. Over the last decade, Shanghai alone has built some 1,500 miles of road, the equivalent of three Manhattans. China's urban population is projected to grow by 350 million people by 2020, effectively adding today's entire U.S. population to its cities in less than a decade. China has already passed the United States as the world's largest car market, and by 2025, the country will need to pave up to an estimated 5 billion square meters of road just to keep moving.

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It’s a myth that wind turbines don’t reduce carbon emissions

The Guardian, 26 September 2012

The assertion that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions is a myth, according to conclusive statistical data obtained from National Grid and analysed here in the Guardian for the first time. With a new wind generation record of 4,131 megawatts set on 14 September, the question of how far the UK's wind generation fleet can help in meeting our climate targets is increasingly controversial. Now it can be shown that the sceptics who lobby against wind simply have their facts wrong.

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How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth

Bloomberg, 24 September 2012

For most of the last century, cheap oil powered global economic growth. But in the last decade, the price of oil has quadrupled, and that shift will permanently shackle the growth potential of the world’s economies.

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Questions About Electric Cars as a Manufacturer Struggles

New York Times, 25 September 2012

As Tesla Motors, maker of electric cars, burns through cash and misses production targets, it is turning to investors and taxpayers for extra financial help. On Tuesday, Tesla announced plans to sell five million shares to raise cash. The federal government also agreed to waive some conditions of a $465 million loan, easing pressure on the company over the next couple of quarters.

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Urban areas poised for growth spurt; Yale researcher says planning needs to start now

New Haven Register, 23 September 2012

The world is on the cusp of a city-building boom that potentially will transform everything from public health and housing to climate change and biodiversity, a Yale University researcher says. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Yale’s Karen Seto and other researchers predict that by 2030, urban areas around the world will expand by more than 463,000 square miles.

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The Pricing of Crude Oil

Reserve Bank of Australia, September 2012

Arguably no commodity is more important for the modern economy than oil. This
is true in terms of both production and financial market activity. Yet its
pricing is relatively complex. In part this reflects the fact that there are
actually more than 300 types of crude oil, the characteristics of which can vary
quite markedly. This article describes some of the key features of the oil
market and then discusses the pricing of oil, highlighting the important role of
the futures market. It also notes some related issues for the oil market.

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Doubts on Saudi Capacity May Keep Oil Volatile

Wall St Journal, 24 September 2012

Oil prices are likely to remain volatile over the next year, analysts say,
amid worries that Saudi Arabia has become less able to pump the global market
out of any extraordinary disruptions to supply. Saudi Arabia and some smaller Gulf oil producers have stepped in to cover
recent shortfalls, but analysts are increasingly skeptical about whether these
countries have the capacity to shield Western consumers against a new oil shock.

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Nissanӳ electric vehicle feels the heat

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2012

Nissan has conceded that exposure to hot weather could cause the battery in its electric car, the Leaf, to lose capacity at an abnormally high rate. The Japanese manufacturer has followed up claims from some US owners that their cars have lost up to 25 per cent of battery capacity – with a similar reduction in driving range – in the 18 months since the Leaf was launched in the US.

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