News & Events

Digest - Friday the 19th of October 2018

Welcome to the October NAS News Digest. In this edition we report on the very successful September Kingray Stacker training sessions, report on more wonderful industry fundraising efforts, report on recent product releases and October specials as well as providing links to numerous industry and technology news articles.

Thank you for taking the time to read the digest.

Best regards,

John Kimbell

Kingray Stacker Training Sessions held in September

The team at NAS would like to thank those customers who attended last month's Kingray Stacker Training Roadshow.  Nick and Faz from Kingray thoroughly enjoyed meeting our Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Newcastle customers and demonstrating why ‘Stacker’ SINGLE CABLE SOLUTION is the new buzz word in Foxtel distribution. The session covered what’s changed in Foxtel system specification, design and implementation since the introduction of the new ‘Stacker’ system. If you were unable to attend and would access to the presentation slides and or video, please email training@remove-this.nasaustralia.com.au

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Congratulations GME

The team at NAS Australia would like to recognise and congratulate GME on their outstanding support of various Drought Relief Campaigns.

"GME is extremely proud of being an Australian company with a long and enduring relationship with our rural and outback communities."
 
"In a show of support, GME has donated $300,000 to charities dedicated to helping these struggling farmers and rural communities."
 
"This donation included $200,000 to the Buy a Bale Drought Assistance Campaign and a further $100,000 to the Channel Nine Farm Aid Telethon. Both charities have guaranteed that 100% of all monies raised will go directly to those in need without any administration charges or deductions." GME Press Release 15 October 2018

NAS Australia has been a proud supply partner of GME's having purchased their Kingray range of Television Reception Products since 1992.

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Jim's Antenna Group Raise $3,700 For Ryder's Journey

The team at NAS Australia would like to recognise the Jim's Antenna Group for raising $3,700 for Ryder's Journey at their Conference Dinner last Saturday night by auctioning off a SignalMAX Satellite Travellers Kit including an Altech UEC integrated 22" VAST TV.

A few months after his 3rd birthday, Ryder had a limp and a low-grade fever and was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma, a rare and very aggressive childhood cancer.

Ryder has endured 7 rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant, surgery and radiation therapy since August 2017. Ryder is currently in remission and is on a 6 month treatment called immunotherapy. He is already at risk of relapsing – even while still within treatment.

His tumour biopsy report states that his tumour has chromosomal changes that indicate a ‘higher risk of relapse.’

Ryder’s best chance of not relapsing, and therefore surviving, is a trial running in the USA which is showing extraordinarily good results in keeping kids clear for years longer than before.

To support and share Ryder's story please go to Ryder's Go Fund Me page: Opens external link in new windowwww.gofundme.com/rydersjourneyustrial

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New Products

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Introducing WiFi Video Door Bell Intercoms

Our new WiFi Video Door Bell Intercoms are flying out the door!  For more information contact your NAS Branch or Sales Rep.

FVDB01MB2

  • Wi-Fi Low powered Battery Video Doorbell Camera
  • H.264+ Compression
  • Supports Push Notification XBell App – iOS & Android
  • Wake up by Button or Motion Detection
  • True Day/Night with ICR
  • Two Way Voice Intercom
  • Includes 2 x 18650 Rechargeable Batteries
  • Up to 6 months Life Per Charge
  • 16Gb Micro SD card Included
  • Battery or External Power supported
  • Includes Power Battery Charger and Cable

FVDB02M

 

  • Multi-Function Video Doorbell
  • Includes Separate Wireless Chime Unit
  • Supports iOS & Android App with Push Notification
  • Wake Up by Push Button or Motion Detection
  • True Day/Night with ICR
  • Two Way Voice Intercom
  • Wake Up within 0.6s for two Way talk
  • Supports Up to 32Gb SD (Not Included)
  • Provides Lock Relay for timed release from the App
  • Onboard keypad for local access
  • Includes 12vDC Plug Pack

 

 

 

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Altech UEC SATDSD4921RV and SATPVR4921RV500 VAST Certified Set Tops

NAS is proud to announce two new Altech UEC VAST Certified Models have been recently released.

With over 20 years experience, providing Set-Top Boxes to the Australian market, we’ve learned a thing or two. We know that you expect reliability, quality, durability as well as dependability; all of which you’ll find in the DSD 4921 RV and PVR RV VAST STB's.

Excellence, It's in our DNA.

SATDSD4921RV

The UEC DSD 4921 RV is a “Next Generation” VAST™ Certified, Twin Tuner, High Definition, Digital Satellite Set Top Box. This product is packed with new technology, features and accessories, making it ideal for both the traveller and standard in home installation.

The twin tuner configuration, plus suitable recording device, (not included) allows support for PVR functionality.

UEC’s market leading hardware and software ensure the receiver is ‘future proof’ through using latest technology and over the air software upgrade. The hardware is designed to withstand the harsh Australian environment that recreational vehicles are likely to experience including high temperatures, DC over voltage, reverse polarity and short circuit protection.

All of these class leading features are housed in the smallest VAST™ receiver on the market, making it the perfect solution for Caravan and RV enthusiasts wanting to watch and record their favorite programs whilst traveling.

Each DSD 4921 RV product is supplied with: 240V AC wall mount power supply, 12V DC power cord & Aux connector for easy RV installation, HDMI plus 3x RCA Audio/Video cables, high quality remote control and tv EYE™ extender for installation into units or cabinets.
The DSD 4921 RV is Hybrid Broadband TV (HbbTV) ready with all key software features to support Freeview Plus once available on the VAST™ platform.

A PDF Flyer/Specification sheet can be downloaded by clicking Initiates file downloadhere.

SATPVR4921RV500

The UEC DSD 4921 RV PVR is an extension to the recently launched “Next Generation” VAST™ Certified, Twin Tuner, High Definition, DSD 4921 RV Set Top Box. Like the 4921 RV, the PVR version is packed with new technology, features and accessories, making it ideal for both the traveller and standard in home installation but with the inclusion of an internal 500GB hard disk drive for recording your favorite programs.

The twin tuner configuration allows full PVR trick modes, watch one event whilst recording another and is fully integrated with the EPG for easy setup for recordings.

UEC’s market leading hardware and software ensure the receiver is ‘future proof’ through using latest technology and over the air software upgrade. The hardware is designed to withstand the harsh Australian environment that recreational vehicles are likely to experience including high temperatures, DC over voltage, reverse polarity and short circuit protection.

All of these class leading features are housed in the smallest VAST™ receiver on the market, making it the perfect solution for Caravan and RV enthusiasts wanting to watch and record their favorite programs whilst traveling.

Each DSD 4921 RV PVR product is supplied with: an internal 500GB hard disk drive, 240V AC wall mount power supply, 12V DC power cord & Aux connector for easy RV installation, HDMI plus 3x RCA Audio/Video cables, high quality remote control and tv EYE™ extender for installation into units or cabinets.

The DSD 4921 RV PVR is Hybrid Broadband TV (HbbTV) ready with all key software features to support Freeview Plus once available on the VAST™ platform.

A PDF Flyer/Specification sheet can be downloaded by clicking Initiates file downloadhere.

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Specials

Oktoberfeast antenna & connector specials

Two weeks to go.  Get in whilst stocks last!!

If you have not received a specials flyer, please contact your NAS Branch or Sales Rep and request a copy.  The specials are well worth a look!!!!

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Product Focus

NAS has been extremely happy with our 2 year association with Risco.  Intrusion sales in all NAS Branch locations continue to grow.  We believe the growth is a direct result of having a user friendly and progressive product range backed by industry leading after sales support (three experienced industry professionals Tim Prag, Aaron Obrist and Lyndon Pearson now on staff).  So if you are in the market for an alarm give NAS and Risco a try.

All NAS Branch Locations have active Risco Agility™3 and LightSys 2 displays.  If you can't make it in to any of our locations, I have posted a few introductory product video's for you below.

Agility™3

Agility™3 offers an award-winning wireless visual verification solution via integrated camera detectors, and is now performance-optimized with an extended range and 3G communication – perfect for homes and small to medium-sized businesses.

Easy to install, cloud-based Agility™3 seamlessly integrates RISCO’s Smart Home and VUpoint’s live video verification solutions to offer a comprehensive, user-connected home management solution – while also presenting a tremendous growth potential for installation professionals.

More information on the Risco Agility™3 can be accessed via this introductory video: Opens external link in new windowhttps://youtu.be/-mU2LYm8lfc

LightSYS™2

LightSYS™2 is a professional hybrid security system for the residential and commercial sectors that is flexible, reliable and easy to install.

LightSYS™2 supports RISCO Group’s revolutionary live video verification solution, VUpoint P2P, a cloud-based platform that utilizes IP Cameras to provide real-time video streaming in response to alarm triggers or on demand, and RISCO Smart Home – offering comprehensive user-connected solutions for homes and businesses, with an exciting growth potential for installation professionals!

LightSYS™ 2 supports 3G with multi-socket IP communication and cloud connectivity backup. Offering full flexibility, the system includes a range of communication options – including IP, GSM/GPRS, PSTN and long range radio – all installed within the main housing. LightSYS™ 2 also offers a wide range of accessories, including wired, 2-way wireless, and RISCO Bus detectors.

More information on the LightSYS™2 can be accessed via this introductory video: Opens external link in new windowhttps://youtu.be/tcsPTqPwqgQ

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News Articles

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FTA/PAY TV

Rohde & Schwarz facilitates Australian DVB-T2 trial

"German technology company Rohde & Schwarz provided the infrastructure for the recent DVB-T2 trial in Australia."

"The trial conducted in cooperation with Free TV, ABC and SBS in the Sydney area assessed the performance of next-generation DVB-T2 technologies in Australia."

"Rohde & Schwarz supplied transmitters, retransmitters and test equipment for the testing phase including an R&S TLU9 50 W transmitter, an R&S ETL TV analyser and an R&S BTC broadcast test centre."

"Every effort was made to ensure that the trial did not impact existing television services, according to the company."

"DVB-T2 is being considered as a technology to replace the current DVB-T standard for television delivery in the medium term. When combined with new compression technologies, DVB-T2 will have the potential to allow 4K TV reception."

“Terrestrial free-to-air television delivers its service to 99% of the population, and over 20 million Australians tune in every week,” said Peter Lambourne, CEO of Broadcast Australia. “This trial has been an important part of ensuring that when the time is right, the terrestrial television platform will be ready for the next stage of its evolution and can deliver the best possible viewing experience.” Reference: Opens external link in new windowhttps://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2018/08/09/rohde-schwarz-facilitates-australian-dvb-t2-trials/

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Grand final weekend sees surge in mobile phone streaming, social media use

"The weekend's sport didn't just see millions of Australians head to their television, many jumped onto their phone to stream video and chat on social media, with Telstra's network data usage surging 25 per cent in some states thanks to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals."

"In Western Australia, a quarter of Telstra’s network data used during the game across the entire state related to the AFL Grand Final, while in Victoria the traffic jumped 18 per cent on the back of Saturday's final between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood."

"A similar data-usage pattern was recorded at Sydney's ANZ Stadium for the NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm on Sunday, with a 19 per cent increase compared with 2017’s final. Most of the data was used ahead of kick-off in the early afternoon. Texts were up 7 per cent from 5pm to 10pm." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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UFC: Channel 10 to air every episode of The Ultimate Fighter: 28 starring Robert Whittaker, live UFC events

"ROBERT Whittaker is ready to become the fresh, new face of Australian sport after the UFC this week signed off on a historic free-to-air TV deal with Channel 10."

"The Daily Telegraph can reveal Whittaker, the reigning UFC middleweight champ, is set to receive a massive boost to his profile after Channel 10 agreed to air every episode of reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter: 28 — on which Whittaker stars as guest coach."

"As part of the deal, Network Ten will also show a pair of UFC events live on consecutive days in December."

"Apart from broadcasting the famed reality series, the station has agreed to air the TUF Finale live from Las Vegas on December 1, plus Australia’s next UFC event which takes place in Adelaide the following day."

"All three programs will be shown on the station’s digital channel, One." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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$10: The do-or-die number for Foxtel's 'Netflix of sport' play

"Patrick Delany's desire to create a 'Netflix of sport' in Australia will live or die on a few critical decisions.  At the top of the list is how it's priced."

"The Foxtel chief executive on Thursday for the first time likened the heavily anticipated, sport-based streaming product he has been working on to Netflix, the streaming juggernaut which has disrupted legacy pay TV providers around the world, including in Australia."

"Netflix (which does not stream live sport, and insists it has no plans to do so) has been on a meteoric rise in recent years, in part due to its cheap and simple pricing."

"The service costs as little as $10 a month in Australia. And, if analysts are to be believed, Delany may need to match that price point for his bold experiment to truly realise its potential."

"Of course, most existing subscribers pay much, much more than that each month for Foxtel. Industry chatter suggests Delany's new sport based online product will cost upwards of $20 a month - and there is no suggestion from company sources it will be cheaper than that." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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GfK/MTI: Almost 3/4 of US consumers plan to keep the cord

"While cord cutting and shaving may be challenges for pay-TV providers, the vast majority of US consumers still say they are not ready to give up on these proven and deeply established sources of entertainment."

"New Cord Evolution research from GfK MRI shows that almost three-quarters (71%) of all US consumers say they have cable, satellite, or telco TV service and have no plans to drop it. This includes the majority of the crucial 18-to-34 age group (58%), as well as 69% of people ages 35 to 49, and 80% of those 50 and over."

"Reliability and comfort are top reasons that these viewers cite for sticking with their cords. Among adults ages 18 to 64, the #1 reason for keeping pay-TV is simply being “used to it,” followed by “convenient to have everything in one place” and “I need it to watch the shows I want to watch.”

"Young adults (ages 18 to 34), however, are more likely to cite channel surfing and access to live content as reasons why they are sticking with their cords." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Pay TV under threat from Optus, Telstra push into sports rights

"Telecommunications companies' push into sports content and 'telcotainment' poses a threat to traditional pay TV players, like News Corp's Foxtel, with one in five of those intending to cancel their subscriptions switching to sports apps."

"Young men are the most likely to stop spending on pay TV due to telcos' apps, particularly for sport, according to a survey of 2000 people by Deloitte for the Media Consumer Survey 2018 released on Monday. More than 40 per cent of that group said they use mobile phone apps to watch sports." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Security

Demand for Smart Home Security Products Rises in UK

"The majority of the UK population is familiar with the smart home concept, and the smart technology’s utility is clear to them, especially when it comes to securing the home and offering peace of mind."

"Smart home awareness is growing in the UK. Up to 75% of consumers in the UK own a smart home device or are considering a purchase, according to a research conducted by DIY security company Swann."

"In addition, people are starting to appreciate the utility of smart home devices. The Swann Smart Index, which maps consumers’ changing opinions on smart homes and security, revealed that 72% believe smart home technology can improve their life."

"According to the survey, the biggest benefit of smart home technology is security and peace of mind (37%), followed by making life easier. However, just 17% of the surveyed own home security equipment, showing that there is still room for growth."  The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.
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Cyber Attacks on CCTV Systems: What Are the Risks?

"WITH cyberattacks on CCTV systems making news headlines on a weekly basis of late, there is a good deal of concern and uncertainty about how at risk these systems are, as well as why they are being attacked. In this article, Simon Pollak takes a closer look at some of these attacks; how they are carried out, the likely motivations behind them."

"IN May, 2018, over 60 Canon cameras in Japan were hacked with “I’m Hacked. bye2” appearing in the camera display text. How did the attack take place? Simple. IP cameras were connected to the internet and were left on default credentials. It appears that the hackers logged into the cameras and changed the on-screen display. What was the impact? Other the defacement of the camera displays and some reputational damage, there doesn’t seem to have been much impact from these attacks."

"What was the attacker’s motivation? The most likely explanation was they did it for the LOLZ, a hacker term implying the attack was done for laughs, however there’s no guarantee that this wasn’t cover for a more sinister attack." Like to know more?  The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Leave no dark corner

"China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges — for others, punishment." A fascinating presentation - well worth the time spent to watch - can be viewed Opens external link in new windowOpens external link in new windowhere.

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Chinese video surveillance network used by the Australian Government

"They've been used to identify ethnic minorities and political dissidents in China, and were last month banned by the US due to concerns they were creating a "surveillance network" among federal agencies. Now it appears a pair of Chinese video surveillance companies have become entrenched in Australia's government as well."

"One camera was used to monitor security threats at a sensitive Australian military base."

"Another hangs outside the front entrance of the Canberra office complex that houses the Australian government's top lawyers, two federal departments focussed on national security and an Australian intelligence agency."

"And then there are the hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras in houses, on street corners, in local council offices, at schools and universities, on buses, in shopping centres and thousands of other public spaces across Australia."

"Almost all of the cameras are made by two Chinese owned companies, Hikvision and Dahua. Both face long-standing accusations of spying on behalf of the Chinese Government." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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From Our IT Manager

E.ON and Azure Sphere: building smart home experiences on a foundation of security

"IoT is reshaping the way we interact with the world around us.  For example, we live in a culture where responsibilities and competing priorities consistently battle for our time—the beauty of the smart home is that it allows people to tip the balance in favor of personal pursuits—relaxation, creativity, achievement, friends, family. Consumer smart devices help us maximize our time by accomplishing basic tasks with remote control capabilities and voice commands. This is just the start. As more connected devices enter the picture, we’ll see the evolution of a rich fabric of experiences, where layers of intelligent systems work together to predict needs and automate actions before they ever hit the to-do list. Household appliances will be serviced before they break down, supplies and groceries will be delivered in anticipation of our needs. The intuitive capabilities of these smart experiences will remove friction and give people a fluid control of their environment, optimizing almost every aspect of day-to-day life. This intelligent edge will save people money, time, and help lower their environmental footprint—ultimately empowering people to achieve more."  The blog can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Mark's comment: Microsoft is really getting into the IoT game with dedicated embedded hardware with security chain of trust features that roll back into their azure cloud services. I imagine a lot of OEMs will build on this going forward.

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Technology

Queensland investigates potential rocket launch sites

"Queensland could rocket to the forefront of the world's space race with a study investigating the potential for a launch site in the state."

"The federal government is leading the charge with the Australian Space Agency, with a mandate to triple the size of the country's space industry to generate up to $12 billion by 2030 - and Queensland is keen to cash in too."

"The state government has launched a feasibility study to identify available sites and suitable regions in Queensland for a satellite park and launch facility."

"The study will investigate environmental, economic and infrastructure requirements."

"It comes as a Queensland parliamentary inquiry investigates job creation opportunities in the state arising from the establishment of an Australian space industry." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Next-gen mobile tech forecast to be the transition worth $2000 per Aussie

"EMERGING mobile technology is slated to be a $50 billion opportunity to the Australian economy by 2030 and we’re all set to enjoy to rewards."

"TELCOS are racing to develop and build the next generation of mobile technology known as 5G and a new report claims it represents a $50 billion opportunity to the Australian economy by 2030."

"In addition to bringing improved mobile experiences and more data for consumers, 5G is expected to have a wide range of commercial applications."

"Greater connectivity, more reliable telecommunications services, faster speeds and more data capacity promise the chance for businesses to increase productivity and unlock new innovations through things like automation and real time data."

"The research, commissioned by Telstra and carried out by market research and accounting firm Deloitte, surveyed over 550 business leaders from across Australia. More than three-quarters of those surveyed (78 per cent) said they expect their business to benefit from enhanced connectivity." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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OPTUS NAMED 2018 SATELLITE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Satellite Small Cell in a Container solution recognised for excellence by Australian Communications Industry Awards

"Optus has won the Satellite Provider of the Year award at Communications Alliance’s 2018 ACOMM Awards dinner."

"Optus received the distinguished award for its Satellite Small Cell in a Container. Optus designed the standalone, autonomously-powered solution to extend the Optus mobile network, using Optus' satellite backhaul service, into remote regional and rural sites where other telecommunications facilities, infrastructure and power are unavailable." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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A new antenna using single atoms could usher in the age of atomic radio

"In the 1950s, atomic clocks revolutionized precision time-keeping. Now we may be on the verge of so-called "atomic radio," thanks to the development of a new type of antenna capable of receiving signals across a much wider range of frequencies (more than four octaves) that is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference."

"An antenna is typically a collection of metal rods that pick up passing radio waves and convert their energy into an electrical current, which is then amplified. One might argue that the good old-fashioned radio antenna has served us well since the dawn of the 20th century, so why do we need anything to replace it?"

"According to David Anderson of Rydberg Technologies, those antennae are wavelength-dependent, so their size depends on whatever wavelength of signal they are trying to measure (they need to be about half the size of whatever wavelength they are designed to receive). That means you need antennae of several different sizes to measure different radio frequencies."

"Anderson is a co-author of a new paper posted to the arXiv describing a novel alternative to conventional antennae, based on vapor cells filled with a gas of so-called "Rydberg atoms." That just means the atoms are in an especially excited state, well above their ground (lowest-energy) state. This makes them especially sensitive to passing electric fields, like the alternating fields of radio waves. All you need is a means of detecting those interactions to turn them into quantum sensors." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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‘There will be massive job disruption’: What the future of work looks like

"A MAJOR inquiry into the future of work in Australia has revealed the type of job that won’t be around much longer and what skills you will need."

"AT THE start of the twentieth century, almost a quarter of the Australian population worked in the agricultural sector. Today, that fraction is under 3 per cent."

"Australia’s economy is now heavily reliant on the services sector, which represents more than 70 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs four out of five Australians."

"With a changing global economy and massive technology disruption, the future of the Australian workforce and the type of jobs that are available will continue to change."

“The pace of change is increasing and the countries that manage this change and get out ahead of it will be the real winners,” Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt told news.com.au.

"Senator Watt is the chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Future of Work and Workers which spent the past 12 months hearing from a raft of different industries, experts and academics about the future of employment."

"Among many other things, it looked at how advances in automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing will continue to disrupt the workforce and reshape the jobs Australians do."

“Rather than seeing the wholesale replacement of jobs, we think it’s more likely to see changes to tasks within jobs,” Senator Watt said.

"But there’s no doubt some industries will be hit harder than others by emerging technologies."  Do you want to know what jobs are destined to disappear and what skills will be required in the future - click https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/there-will-be-massive-job-disruption-what-the-future-of-work-looks-like/news-story/43d2c69a83d101d3b60deb5d11f50e8fOpens external link in new windowhere?

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Economy

Resources sector has a 'massive' economic opportunity - report

"Governments should investigate using tax incentives to encourage Australians to live and work in mining regions, and to encourage businesses to locate and operate in these regions as well, according to a major report prepared on the resources industry for the Federal Government."

"The call for consideration of tax incentives is one of 29 recommendations made to strengthen the resources industry, contained in the “Resources 2030 Taskforce” report."

"The report also calls for strategies to be developed to grow competitive downstream industries to create further value from the nation’s resource wealth."

"This should include examining the prospects of developing a manufacturing base for lithium battery components in Australia, given the nation’s vast hard rock lithium deposits in Western Australia, the report said." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Lithium Valley Perth: Battery Metals Set to Spark New Mining Boom

Welcome to Lithium Valley, Perth, Western Australia… the world’s centre of battery metal mining and manufacturing excellence…. Well, that’s the dream, at least.

"A coming surge in demand for battery metals and products could spark a new mining and manufacturing boom for Western Australia."

"It’s a prospect that could be worth $56 billion a year to the local economy and tens of thousands of new jobs."

"Just as northern California – home to the tech giants of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple – is known as Silicon Valley; Western Australia could become, according to some experts, the hub for the world’s new giants in battery materials and technology." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Sun shines on CSIRO's cheap hydrogen industry

"Curtin University researchers have developed a cheaper and safer way to bottle and store Australian sunshine as hydrogen fuel."

"Researchers from Curtin University’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences have created a lower-cost and less toxic method of developing hydrogen fuel from solar energy, paving the way for the growth of a hydrogen industry in Australia."

"Hydrogen is currently being touted by the CSIRO and the government as Australia’s next major energy export industry, valued at up to $1.6 billion by 2025, and as a potential replacement for natural gas and petrol."

"Current methods for creating hydrogen from solar power involve running an electric current generated by solar panels through water and requires either highly toxic cadmium or very expensive platinum as a catalyst to kick off the process."

"Curtin University’s Dr Guohua Jia said the new process uses an extremely common, and much safer material, zinc selenium, which is sold in many pharmacies around Australia as a vitamin supplement." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Made in Australia: Why the weaker dollar and Donald Trump's trade war are good for local manufacturers

"Prepare to start seeing more of the 'Made in Australia' logo in the next few years. That is because the Australian dollar's fall is leading to the resurgence of the local manufacturing industry."

"People like Ty Hermans are cashing in."

"Mr Hermans designed a lightweight, environmentally friendly replacement for a concrete slab in his parents' shed in 2006."

"The Polyslab, which is used as a base for products such as air conditioning units, was a big hit."

"We started out as a product developer with one little plastic product that we took all over the world," he said.

The Australian dollar's rollercoaster ride

"When he first started in 2006, the Australian dollar ranged between about 75 and 80 US cents."

"It rose above parity after the global financial crisis, but now Mr Hermans is enjoying the benefits of an exchange rate 40 cents below that."

"It's definitely less of an impact on us, less of a negative impact on us than it is for someone who's importing whole finished goods.

The weakening Aussie dollar definitely makes us more competitive."


"The AI Group's latest performance snapshot shows Australian manufacturing has been growing solidly for two consecutive years."

"That's largely a result of growth recovery and particularly export recovery in sectors," Ms Toth said.

"The lower exchange rate is also welcome relief for Australian manufacturers selling within the nation's borders."

The other side of the coin

"While exporters are applauding the current exchange rate, it is a bleaker picture for those importing goods."

"About $20 billion worth of raw materials and goods are imported to Australia every month."

"A lower Australian dollar means it costs more to do that."

"The Australian dollar has probably dropped by close to 10 per cent across a whole range of currencies, including the renminbi with China, with the euro and with the pound sterling," David Chuter, who heads the government-funded Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre, observed.

Growth industry

"Considering recent history, the potential for expansion is good news."

"When Ford and Holden shut down their local assembly lines, there were cries Australian manufacturing would struggle."

"However, with 93,000 jobs added in the last two years, the industry is getting bigger."  The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Australia Interest Rate - RBA Holds Cash Rate at 1.5%

"The Reserve Bank of Australia kept the cash rate at a record low of 1.5 percent at its October meeting, as widely expected, extending its record period of policy inaction beyond two years, amid sluggishness in inflation and wages and the risk to global growth from trade policy in the US. Interest Rate in Australia averaged 4.51 percent from 1990 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 17.50 percent in January of 1990 and a record low of 1.50 percent in August of 2016."

Excerpt from the statement by the governor, Philip Lowe:

"Globally, inflation remains low, although it has increased due to both higher oil prices and some lift in wages growth. A further pick-up in inflation is expected given the tight labour markets, and in the United States, the sizeable fiscal stimulus. One ongoing uncertainty regarding the global outlook stems from the direction of international trade policy in the United States."

"Financial conditions in the advanced economies remain expansionary, although they are gradually becoming less so in some countries. Yields on government bonds have moved a little higher, but credit spreads generally remain low. There has been a broad-based appreciation of the US dollar this year. In Australia, money-market interest rates are higher than they were at the start of the year, although they have declined since the end of June. In response, some lenders have increased their standard variable mortgage rates by small amounts, while at the same time reducing mortgage rates for some new loans."

"The latest national accounts confirmed that the Australian economy grew strongly over the past year, with GDP increasing by 3.4 per cent. The Bank's central forecast remains for growth to average a bit above 3 percent in 2018 and 2019. Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is expected to increase. Higher levels of public infrastructure investment are also supporting the economy, as is growth in resource exports. One continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Growth in household income remains low and debt levels are high. The drought has led to difficult conditions in parts of the farm sector."

"Australia's terms of trade have increased over the past couple of years due to rises in some commodity prices. While the terms of trade are expected to decline over time, they are likely to stay at a relatively high level. The Australian dollar remains within the range that it has been in over the past two years on a trade-weighted basis, but it has depreciated against the US dollar along with most other currencies."

"The outlook for the labour market remains positive. The unemployment rate is trending lower and, at 5.3 percent, is the lowest in almost six years. The vacancy rate is high and there are reports of skills shortages in some areas. A further gradual decline in the unemployment rate is expected over the next couple of years to around 5 percent. Wages growth remains low, although it has picked up a little. The improvement in the economy should see some further lift in wages growth over time, although this is likely to be a gradual process."

"Inflation is around 2 percent. The central forecast is for inflation to be higher in 2019 and 2020 than it is currently. In the interim, once-off declines in some administered prices in the September quarter are expected to result in inflation in 2018 being a little lower than otherwise."

"The low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Further progress in reducing unemployment and having inflation return to target is expected, although this progress is likely to be gradual. Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.
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The Australian dollar is set to keep falling - and that's good news for the economy

"Australia's currency is set to head even lower as local interest rates fall further behind US levels, delivering a dose of stimulus the central bank has long sought but been reluctant to provide itself."

"The RBA's cash rate is now 75 basis points below the Federal Reserve target, the widest gap since 35 years ago when the Aussie dollar was first floated. The differential is only set to grow as the US keeps tightening and Australia stays on hold at a record low 1.5 per cent -- which markets and economists think will be the case for at least another year."

"For Governor Philip Lowe, it's manna from heaven. Already down 11 per cent from its January peak, the declining Aussie helps ratchet up economic growth, hiring and wages without him needing to cut interest rates - finally realising a scenario the Reserve Bank first envisaged several years ago." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

AND CONVERSELY - an interesting article (albeit dated) on the negative impact on the price of imports

The Falling Australian Dollar – How does it affect your import?

"Back in 2011 the Australian dollar soared above parity with the US dollar for the first time since 1982.  The Australian dollar sat at record high levels up until May 2013, with so many businesses all around Australia benefitting from the decreased cost of imported goods into Australia."

"The fall of the value of the Australian dollar in the past 2 years has significantly increased the costs of imported goods all around Australia.  The dollar began it’s gradual decline in May 2013 and steadily dropped all the way down to a six year low of $0.69 in September 2015.  There are so many external world market factors that influence the rise and fall of the Australia dollar.  We won’t go into why the Australian dollar has fallen, but more importantly we will give you an insight on just how the falling Australian dollar affects the cost of imported goods."

"Factories throughout Asia sell their goods to the world in US dollars.  They will agree to manufacture or provide their goods at a set USD price.  When dealing with these factories, they must be transmitted the exact USD amount – you have to buy that amount of US dollars.  When the Australian dollar was at parity $1 USD equalled $1 AUD, so the cost of the exchange was the same."

What does that mean for importers?  How does that affect your business?  Is that bad for everyone?

"While importers enjoyed the record high AUD levels, Australian exporters were feeling the squeeze as the high dollar essentially increased the cost of their products to their International buyers, making them less competitive on the International market.  Now that the dollar is back down to $0.70, exporters around Australia are more competitive, but the landed price of imported goods has increased.  But it’s not all bad for importers, it just means that the cost of all imported goods into Australia has increased – the key here is ALL IMPORTED GOODS.  That means that if the competitors in your market are also importing their goods from overseas, then their landed price has increased by exactly the same amount.  Therefore the pricing in the market will increase as businesses maintain their profit margins.  If your competitors are selling a product that is actually made here in Australia, then they will gain a slight advantage as their costs have not increased.  As most people are aware, in today’s Australian market most of the products we use in our day to day lives are imported from factories overseas."

"That means the landed price of all imported goods increases across the board, we are all in the same boat." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

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Interesting graphical depiction of the AUD slide since 2011

Reference: Opens external link in new windowhttps://aud.exchangeconversions.com/usd/charts#chart_10years_rate

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