Single rating structure to roll out across MidCoast

first_imgSingle rating structure to roll out across MidCoast MidCoast CouncilA single rates structure developed for the entire MidCoast region will come into effect from 1 July 2021.The rates harmonisation process is a requirement of the State Government for merged councils to standardise the rating approach across the three former council areas, and is required to be in place for the 2021-22 financial year.Under the new structure, which aims to distribute the rates burden more equitably across the region, over 80% of property-owners will either have no change, or experience less than a $50 a year increase, while some will experience a decrease to their annual rates.“We have worked hard over the past 12 months to devise a new rating structure that minimises the extent of any negative financial impact on as many of our ratepayers as possible”, explained Adrian Panuccio, MidCoast Council’s General Manager. “The process of harmonising rates has also been an opportunity to simplify and build efficiencies in the way we apply rates”.While property-owners will receive mailed notification of what’s changing and why over coming weeks, harmonising rates does not change the total amount of rating income Council can collect. This is controlled by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal through an annual rate peg. It is a more equitable redistribution of the total amount across all rateable properties.An online calculator has been developed to help property-owners understand how the new structure will impact their individual circumstances. Entering a property address will display the category or sub-category applied to the property in the new structure, and the change in annual rates.Visit to use the calculator, or call Council’s customer service team on 02 7955 7777 to access the information by phone.Individual phone appointments with members of Council’s rates team are also available, along with in-person appointments at Bulahdelah, Wingham, Gloucester, Taree and Forster (see following). To register for either service, call 02 9755 7777.“It is a priority for us that all rate-payers are aware of what’s changing and how it impacts them ahead of the new rating structure being implemented from 1 July.“While we are providing a range of information and resources by mail or email and online, we do encourage anyone who wants to learn more about their individual circumstances to arrange an appointment”. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Bulahdelah, council, Effect, email, Forster, Gloucester, Government, Impact, Internet, local council, MidCoast Council, online, property, rating, resources, Taree, visit, Winghamlast_img read more

Policies regarding IRB members’ industry contacts often lacking

first_imgAt a time of heightened concern about conflicts of interest posed by relationships between academic medical researchers and commercial firms, a new study finds that a significant number of academic institutions do not have clear policies covering the industrial relationships of members of institutional review boards (IRBs), committees charged with ensuring that clinical studies uphold patient rights and follow ethical guidelines.  In the April issue of Academic Medicine, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Health Policy report that many IRBs do not require members to disclose industrial relationships and that procedures for defining, reporting, and handling conflicts vary widely among institutions. “This study points to an obvious need for more consistent policies and accountability in regards to industry relationships within IRBs,” says lead author Christine Vogeli. “IRBs and medical schools can’t manage what they don’t know, so consistent reporting among IRB members is vital to ensuring the integrity and safety of medical research.” Every institution in the United States that conducts research involving human participants must have an IRB, which is responsible for reviewing proposed studies to make sure the rights and safety of participants are protected and that study protocols are scientifically valid and follow ethical and regulatory guidelines. IRBs also monitor the conduct of studies to make sure that appropriate practices are maintained.In 2006, MGH Institute of Health Policy researchers, including the authors of the current study, published a survey of IRB members regarding their personal industrial relationships, whether their IRBs had policies or processes regarding such relationships, and their own actions regarding protocols related to companies with which they had relationships. The current study surveyed the chairs of IRBs at 107 U.S. medical schools and research hospitals about how their committees managed members’ industrial relationships, whether members were required to disclose such relationships, how and to whom conflicts were disclosed, and where responsibility for overseeing such conflicts should reside. While nearly 75 percent of chairs reported their IRBs had a defined process for disclosure of industry relationships, of the 25 percent without such processes, only one had any requirement that voting members disclose relationships.Written policies defining conflicts of interest were reported by 68 percent of chairs, the others indicating they did not have or were not aware of such policies. Chairs of IRBs without written conflict definitions indicated that responsibility for determining whether a conflict existed was left to the chair, the whole IRB, another group or individual, or that members would assess their own relationships. Policies describing how conflicts should be handled were reported by 74 percent of chairs. Among chairs who reported dealing with a member conflict of interest in the past year, 68 percent indicated that conflicted members had never participated in discussions about the protocols in question or left the room when votes were taken. Although all of the chairs that had dealt with a recent conflict reported no conflicted members ever voted on protocols in which they had an interest, in the 2006 survey of IRB members, one third of respondents reported that they had voted on such a protocol at least once. “It is shocking that, after more than 20 years of talking about industry relationships and conflicts of interest, there are still IRBs out there that haven’t dealt with this issue,” says Eric G. Campbell of the MGH Institute for Health Policy, the study’s senior author.“It also is clear that many IRB chairs have no clue about the behavior of their members who have industry relationships. The IRB is the primary mechanism medical schools and hospitals have to ensure the appropriate conduct of clinical research, and IRBs without clear, well-defined and enforced policies about conflicts of interest cannot accomplish their fundamental mission.” Campbell is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), where Vogeli is an instructor of medicine. Greg Koski, an associate professor of anesthesia at HMS, member of the MGH Institute for Health Policy, and former director of the Office for Human Research Protections at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is also a co-author of the Academic Medicine report. The study was supported by the Research on Ethical Issues in Human Subjects Research program of the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

Livin’ It Up on Top! Hadestown Celebrates 14 Tony Nominations

first_img View Comments André De Shields earned a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Amber Gray Related Shows Director Rachel Chavkin earned her second Tony nomination. The cast of Hadestown performs for the audience down below after their evening show. Eva Noblezada André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Rachel Chavkin, Patrick Page (Photos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for They’re definitely livin’ it up! Hadestown is the most-nominated show of the season with 14 Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The hit show’s cast and creative team celebrated by getting a cake for every nomination and treated the audience to an outdoor performance post-show. Check out the pics of newly-minted nominees Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, André De Shields and director Rachel Chavkin, and be sure to go see the way the world could be for yourself. The cast of Hadestown celebrates their 14 Tony nominations with 14 cakes.center_img Patrick Page View All (5) Reeve Carney Star Files from $69.00 Hadestown Amber Gray earned her first Tony nomination for her work as Persephone. André De Shieldslast_img read more

Peel gets consent for Trafford Centre hotel

first_imgThe Manchester based company, which developed the Trafford Centre retail complex in the 1990s, is planning a 210-bedroom hotel at the site. It will be 15 storeys high which, at 200 ft, will make it the tallest building at the Trafford Centre. It is expected that the hotel will be 4–star or higher and will include a 500-seat conference facility, a 200-seat restaurant and bar, and a spa, gym and swimming pool facility for guests. Peel said it is now in detailed discussions with contractors with a view to taking the development forward.last_img read more

With 20% Cost Overrun, Offshore Wind Performs Well in Germany

first_imgWith an average cost overrun of 20 per cent, offshore wind parks perform well in comparison to other large-infrastructure projects. The average large-infrastructure project in Germany is 73 per cent more expensive than planned. This was one of the key findings of a study by the Hertie School of Governance, under the leadership of Genia Kostka, Professor of Governance of Energy and Infrastructure.Although the coordinators of offshore wind parks face a range of risks related to pioneering new technology, a case study focusing on eight of these projects identified a clear ability to learn and adapt the planning of construction and installation.However, planned expansion was delayed an average of 13 months per park by problems with the regulated grid connection. For consumers this meant a price hike of over 1 billion Euros by the end of 2014. A central weak point has been the lack of coordination between transmission providers and wind park developers, a problem compounded by unclear political frameworks.Niklas Anzinger, author of the case study, said, “Better coordination, also with the neighbouring North Sea states, would ensure additional learning effects and allow offshore wind energy to make the desired contributions to the energy transition.”With a share of 0,3 per cent of the total electricity generation capacity in Fall 2014, this goal is, however, still a way off. By the end of 2015 an increase to 1,5 to 2 per cent is predicted.Within the energy sector, the data reviewed by the researchers has allowed a comparison of nuclear power plant construction from the 1960s to the 1980s: the six reviewed nuclear power plants were on average 187 per cent more expensive, in other words three times more expensive than planned. Learning effects over time were not identified. “With by now comparatively standardised technology as well as shorter construction and installation periods, windparks can definitely be planned better,” said Anzinger.Image: hertie-schoollast_img read more

The legal year ahead in construction

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

SDT refuses Leigh Day access to Shiner’s medical records

first_imgHuman rights firm Leigh Day has failed in a bid to see the medical records of banned solicitor Phil Shiner.The firm and two of its partners, Martyn Day and Sapna Malik, face a total of 19 allegations at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in relation to claims brought by Iraqi civilians against the British government.In a separate case, former Public Interest Lawyers director Phil Shiner was struck off last month after being found to be dishonest and lacking in integrity. Shiner had tried to have tribunals proceedings adjourned on the basis of a medical condition that was not disclosed to the public.At a case management hearing today it was confirmed that the Solicitors Regulation Authority holds Shiner’s medical records but has refused to release them to Leigh Day.The firm argued that the records should be disclosed as Shiner had not contested matters that may have a bearing on its case.The SRA and tribunal said that some allegations do overlap with the Shiner case but that the SDT should treat Leigh Day’s case entirely on its own merits, leaving the medical condition of the Birmingham lawyer irrelevant.The tribunal agreed, stating that the decision to find allegations against Shiner proven was made irrespective of his medical condition, as was the decision to proceed with the hearing in the first place.Even where allegations overlapped between the two prosecutions, the SDT said Shiner’s medical records were ‘not relevant’ to the Leigh Day case and could not be disclosed, even if they were to be kept out of the public domain.The SRA said there will be elements of its case that refer to events featuring in the Shiner prosecution, notably a press conference in February 2008 in which Day and Shiner appeared to raise allegations the British Army had unlawfully killed, tortured and mistreated Iraqi civilians. The prosecution will also examine alleged payments between Leigh Day and PIL.Leigh Day denies all wrongdoing.The substantive hearing is due to begin on 24 April and is set to last for seven weeks – one of the longest sittings of the tribunal since it was formed.Although Leigh Day has not secured disclosure of Shiner’s medical records, it has forced the SRA to disclose all relevant correspondence with the Ministry of Defence, MoJ, Iraq Historical Allegations Team and House of Commons defence sub committee.last_img read more

Borough Authorizes $4.4m CES Bonds

first_imgThe Borough Finance Department estimates the true interest rate of the bonds will be between 2.5-4.5%. Chief Browning says the funding is needed in the near future and could not be delayed… Chief Browning: “We’re not able to save enough money, a ladder truck costs $1 million. Based on our mill rate, we’re not able to generate enough revenue and operate at the same time to make those large purchases. Because there’s no ability to get state funding, a lot of times those capital projects, the state would help fund, but those are not always guaranteed and we haven’t received any.” CES Chief Roy Browning says the voters decided in favor of the bond issue last October. The first interest payment on the bonds is tentatively scheduled for April 2016. At that time, the ordinance appropriating the bond funds will also include an appropriation for the April interest payment.center_img Chief Browning: “Our ladder truck is only 75 foot in length and with the hospital expansion and future expansion possibly at the Sports Center and more commercial businesses along K-Beach, our ladder truck’s not long enough and it’s also nearing 20 years. With our current revenue, we aren’t able to put enough money into our capital projects to replace equipment in a timely manner.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly last night authorized the sale of $4.4 million in general obligation bonds to enable Central Emergency Services to purchase new equipment.last_img read more