Study of Controversial Dam Reveals Hidden Dependence on Rainforest

first_imgHydropower dams may be an unlikely new weapon for conservationists trying to save tropical trees. A new study reveals that vast forests are necessary to keep rivers flowing and turbines spinning. Without them, the dams produce significantly less power than they would otherwise. “The idea that protecting tropical forest is necessary for sustainable hydropower is a new argument,” says Kathryn Hochstetler of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the University of Waterloo in Canada. The findings could encourage forest conservation, she says, but they might also encourage construction of dams that are more damaging to the local environment. Brazil generates about 80% of its electricity from dams, and the government is planning a lot more. For example, when engineers complete the $14 billion Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in Para state, it will have the third greatest capacity for generating hydropower in the world. But opponents of the dam worry about its environmental impacts, including harm to fishes and flooding of land for its reservoir. The original design called for five reservoirs that would have destroyed 1225 km² of forest. Because of objections, the design was changed to a single reservoir of 441 square kilometers. The common wisdom among engineers, however, is that deforestation isn’t necessarily bad for hydropower. As long as erosion doesn’t silt up the reservoir, cutting trees should actually improve electricity generation. That’s because trees take up a lot of water from the soil and send it into the atmosphere through a process known as evapotranspiration. Remove the trees, the thinking goes, and the ground contains more water, which eventually trickles into streams and ends up swirling through the turbines in a dam downstream. 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Growing evidence suggests that rainforests help keep rivers flowing. The massive amount of moisture that they send into the air—much more than from crops or pasture—creates regional weather patterns that lead to rain storms over the forest. Claudia Stickler, a geographer with Brazil’s Amazon Environmental Research Institute (AERI), who is based in San Francisco, California, and her colleagues examined what deforestation would mean for the Xingu River and its potential for hydropower. It matters where the trees are cut, they found. Deforestation within the Xingu watershed did indeed boost river flow, by up to 12%. But according to their climate and hydrological models, this boost is undercut by the impact of continued deforestation throughout the Amazon watershed as a whole. By 2050, the continued loss of trees will inhibit storms and slacken the Xingu’s flow by up to 36%, the team reports online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That would mean 40% less power than the dam-builders are predicting. Things may not be quite that bad. The scenario for deforestation was based on data from 1995 to 2006. Since then, the rate of tree cutting has fallen 76% from the 10-year average and continues to decline. “This research would provide one more reason to redouble those efforts and try to prevent backtracking,” Hochstetler says. The authors say the results are widely applicable. “Clearly there’s potential that [the results are] relevant for other tributaries for which hydropower dams are being planned,” says co-author Daniel Nepstad of AERI. The worry is that the prospect of less reliable hydropower will mean that engineers will be more likely to design large reservoirs to guarantee water pressure for electricity generation. Wilson Cabral de Sousa Júnior, an environmental economics specialist at the Technological Institute of Aeronautics in São José dos Campos, Brazil, points out that it would be legally simple for the government to decide to add more reservoirs to the Xingu River.last_img read more

Jallikattu organisers meet Jaya

first_imgChennai, Jan 11 (PTI) Office-bearers of an association ofjallikattu organisers today called on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and thanked her for making continuous efforts in getting the Central governments nod for holding the bull taming sport in the state.President of Madurai-based Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Peravai Rajasekaran, Secretary Narayanan and other office-bearers met Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat and thanked her, a state government release said.They thanked her “for making continuous efforts to get the Central governments nod” to allow Jallikattu, it said.After months of persuasion and appeal by political parties and pro-Jallikattu groups, the Central government last week published a gazette notification allowing the traditional sport with some conditions. PTI VGN VS SHS TRKlast_img read more

Won’t be happy if Wayne Rooney scores, says USA boss

first_img Asked what he thought of the move to include Rooney and pay tribute to his career, the interim coach replied: “If he scores against us I won’t be happy about the decision! I have thought about it because I know it has caused controversy. I think a player like Rooney who had such a terrific international career, in the league but in terms of his national team, to have an opportunity to reward him for that as a federation, I kind of applaud that. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever Rooney’s wife Coleen ready for legal battle with Vardy’s wife Rebekah over leaked stories The decision to honour Wayne Rooney’s England career in tonight’s friendly against the United States has been backed by their head coach David Sarachan. Rooney will make a late substitute appearance in a match named in honour of his foundation, with the Football Association’s decision to toast the former captain’s achievements splitting opinion.Related News Wayne Rooney and wife Coleen have seen it all – sex scandals, affairs, one night stands Footballer Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah: My husband doesn’t define who I amlast_img read more

Launch ID cards to ensure accountability for refugees, host countries: Hinduja S P Shanu

first_imgBy Yoshita Singh New York, Jul 8 (PTI) As nations continue to grapple with the migrant and refugee crises, Chair of the Hinduja Bank, Switzerland Hinduja S P Shanu has called for issuing unique identity cards to refugees that will help host nations address their safety concerns and ensure accountability from those seeking new homes in foreign lands.”Nations can come up with ID cards for refugees and migrants that uphold their original place of birth and nationality. The UN can play a role in this. This will give refugees and migrants a standing and a sense of accommodation,” Shanu told PTI.She said the ID system will help the host countries address questions of safety and security as they open their borders to refugees and migrants. “Since the refugees will have ID cards, they will become responsible towards the system and the host country will be notified that they in the country legally,” she said.Shanu further noted that the ID cards will not only protect the host country but also protect the persons who have been “dislodged” from their homeland. “There will be accountability for them. The ID card will help protect the host country and give a message to the migrant and refugee that they are welcome but they should also bring positivity to their new homes. This will require collective actions from all the nations,” she said.She added that the identity card should be recognised worldwide as a migrant card that establishes refugees identities and their declared places of origin. It will help preserve their right to return to their homelands voluntarily as the conditions become conducive, she said.advertisement”The refugee situation is not new, people have migrated across lands for decades but it is more profound now because of terrorism, poverty and climate change,” she said.Drawing a parallel with the FIFA World Cup, Shanu said the sporting event celebrates unity and diversity among the sport’s followers across nations. “In the same spirit of the unity that can be seen during the time of the FIFA word cup, it is time that countries should embrace the spirt of unity and of accommodation for people who for no fault of theirs are forced to leave their homes,” she said.”In football, the goal of one person is the defeat of another. In every step of the way, what we are learning from football is that one persons victory is another persons defeat,” she said, adding that it is wrong to think that refugees and migrants will be burden on the resources of a nation. Instead, they can contribute to the economic and cultural fabric of the host countries.Shanu also urged the rich and powerful nations of the world to be more accommodating and open their doors to provide refuge to those fighting persecution and corruption at home. She said the developed nations, which have huge land and natural resources, can set up small industries, manufacturing units and service industries that can help provide employment to the refugee and migrant communities.”This is about sharing the responsibilities collectively and growing the economies of the world. What is preventing countries like Russia China, Saudi Arabia and other rich nations as well as the private sector to join hands and set up small industries and manufacturing units that employ migrants and refugees,” she said.Shanu also stressed on the need for accountability of the host country towards each individual looking for a home base. “It is important to ensure that the host countries do not abuse the refugee in any way. The UN as well as the ID card can bring assurance to the refugees,” she said.She added that as the refugees and migrants add to the economic growth of the nations hosting them, the governments can ensure safety and security through the issuance of the ID cards that will bring accountability on the part of the refugees.”The young new leaders of the world across various sectors need to become more committed to resolving this world crisis situation than before. If politics needs a goal, it should be a home for all in the world. Basic sense of belonging to a country, a space, a city, a home is also the perfect goal for young business entrepreneurs to provide for all those who need it,” she said, urging citizens to build a commitment towards this cause. PTI YAS ZHZHlast_img read more

11 days ago​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s team

first_img​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img

OOCLs Volumes Drop Revenue Increases

first_imgzoom Hong Kong-based shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) saw its volumes decrease slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017, while revenues continued rising.Total volumes were at 1,612,733 TEUs, down by 3.3% from the same period last year when the company handled a total of 1,667,549 TEUs.The decrease was mainly due to the Intra-Asia / Australasia volumes, which plunged by 14.2% to 736,857 TEUs from 859,196 TEUs. The company’s other trades Trans-Pacific, Asia / Europe and Trans-Atlantic recorded a volume rise of  7.5%, 11% and  5.4%, respectively.OOCL’s total revenues for the quarter were up by 6% reaching USD 1.38 billion, against USD 1.3 billion reported in the same three-month period a year earlier, mostly driven by a 24.3% surge in revenue on the Asia / Europe trade.The company said that its loadable capacity increased by 1%, while the overall load factor was 3.7% lower than the same period in 2016. Overall average revenue per TEU increased by 9.6% compared to the fourth quarter of last year.For the full year of 2017, total volumes increased by 3.6% over 2016 and total revenues recorded a 15.4% growth. Total revenue stood at USD 5.42 billion, against USD 4.7 billion reported in 2016.last_img read more

Medal of Bravery Nominations Sought

first_img Marian Tyson, deputy minister of Justice Robert Cormier, Nova Scotia fire marshall Halifax Regional Police Deputy Chief Chris McNeil, president of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association Craig MacLaughlan, CEO, Emergency Management Office Brig.-Gen. David Neasmith, commander land forces, Maritime Forces Atlantic Wayne Adams, member-at-large John Cody, member-at-large For more information, contact Nadia Gardin at the Department of Justice at 902-424-5941, e-mail medalofbravery@gov.ns.ca or visit www.gov.ns.ca/bravery . Completed nomination forms should be sent to: Provincial Secretary, Medal of Bravery, Department of Justice, 4th floor, 5151 Terminal Rd., Halifax, N.S., B3J 2L6. The province is seeking nominations for Nova Scotia’s Medal of Bravery. This is the third year for the medal, which is awarded to people who put themselves at risk to protect the life or property of others. Any Nova Scotian can be nominated, not just individuals in law enforcement and public safety sectors. Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, offices of members of the legislative assembly, and on the Medal of Bravery website at www.gov.ns.ca/bravery. The deadline for nominations is May 1. An advisory panel, chaired by former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia Constance Glube, will select this year’s medal recipients. Other committee members are:last_img read more

Healthcare in shambles humungous indifference to encephalitis deaths by BJP Cong

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Friday said the country’s healthcare is in “shambles” and accused the BJP of showing “humungous indifference” in the face of deaths due to encephalitis. “‘Health Care’ is in shambles, ‘Human Lives’ have little value, ‘Humungous’ indifference by BJP! 160 die of Encephalitis in Bihar, 48 die of Encephalitis in Assam. Anyone listening?” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. Earlier this week, the Congress had claimed that India’s healthcare deficit is “glaring” and said it expects the government to double the healthcare expenditure in the budget. Citing a media report, Surjewala had said there is a shortfall of 82 per cent in specialists like surgeons, physicians etc., 40 per cent of lab technicians, and 12-16 per cent of nurses at primary health care level.last_img read more

Proprietor of Delhibased firm arrested for evading taxes

first_imgNew Delhi: GST officers have arrested the proprietor of Delhi-based Shree Balaji Enterprises for fraudulently availing input tax credit worth over Rs 5 crore by generating fake invoice, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.The Gurugram zonal unit of Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) on July 12, 2019, arrested Ajit Jindal, Proprietor of Shree Balaji Enterprises, in Saraswati Vihar, North-West, Delhi, the ministry said in a statement. The firm had taken ITC fraudulently to the tune of more than Rs 5.06 crore involving invoice value of Rs 28.11 crore on the strength of invoices issued by fake firms. “The said firm, thereafter, utilised fraudulently taken ITC to discharge their GST liability against the outward supply, with an ulterior motive to defraud the Government exchequer,” the statement added. The offences committed by Jindal are cognizable and non-bailable. Further investigations in the matter are in progress, the ministry added.last_img read more

Missing murdered indigenous women inquiry in serious trouble advocates

first_imgOTTAWA – More than 30 advocates, indigenous leaders and family members issued an open letter Monday to the chief commissioner of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, suggesting the process is in “serious trouble.”The group writes that while it is aware the commission has a difficult challenge, immediate action must be taken to prevent damage and shift the current approach of the inquiry.The letter, posted on the website of Metis artist Christi Belcourt, says people are “deeply concerned” by a continued lack of communication that’s been fostering anxiety, frustration, confusion and disappointment.The inquiry, designed to cost $53.8 million and take two years, is led by Marion Buller, the first female First Nations judge in British Columbia, with four other commissioners.The team’s mandate requires an interim report on its work in November, but a growing number of family members and other stakeholders say it’s still not clear when they will get a chance to share their testimony.The commission is set to hold its first public hearing May 29 in Whitehorse, but other community meetings won’t take place until later this fall at the earliest.No other dates have been confirmed for additional hearings, an inquiry spokesperson said in a statement last week, and the commission has yet to develop a database comprising the names of the victims.“There are now about 294 families who have reached out to the national inquiry and identified as wishing to participate,” said communications director Bernee Bolton.“There is an extensive community engagement and communications plan to connect to families and survivors.”Signatories of the letter published Monday say the time frame for the inquiry is “clearly too short,” adding the commissioners should formally request an extension from the federal government.“This will enable you to use the time this summer to seriously consider how the inquiry can be reformatted to address the myriad of concerns being raised widely across the country.”A spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said the minister remains confident that the commission has the appropriate resources and time to conduct its work.For its part, the inquiry said late Monday that the chief commissioner has received the letter and needs some time to “carefully consider the content.”In May 2014, the RCMP documented 1,181 murdered and missing women between 1980 and 2012.A year later, the force said 32 additional aboriginal women had been murdered and 11 more had disappeared since it first reported on the issue. It also cited an “unmistakable connection” between homicide and family violence.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

Canada to rejoin NATO AWACS program defence minister confirms

first_imgOTTAWA – Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada will rejoin NATO’s airborne warning and control system, a program which the Harper government abandoned.Speaking in a conference call from Brussels after a series of meetings with NATO ministers, Sajjan says the so-called AWACS program is important and that the previous government pulled out needlessly.He says that in an alliance like NATO, each country needs to contribute its fair share.Rejoining the program means Canada will support its operations and support budget.Sajjan says doing so will cost between $17 million and $20 million a year.On Friday, Sajjan will take part in the annual, global Munich Security Conference, a major forum on international security.last_img

Moroccan Cinematographic Center to Renovate Four Movie Theaters

Rabat – Moroccan Cinematographic Center allocates 4.8 million Dirhams to Movie Theater Renovation.The Committee for the Support of the Digitization Modernization and the Establishment of Movie Theaters gathered on July 5 to discuss budgetary needs of movie theatres in Morocco. After deliberation, the committee decided to allocate 4.8 million dirhams for the restoration and renovation of four movie theatres across the country.The movie theaters that will receive these funds are: Le Colisée Cinéma in Marrakech, l’Eden Club A and B in Casablanca, and El Kifah Cinema in Rabat. The Committee allocated 1.8 million dirhams towards the renovation of Le Colisée Cinéma; l’Eden Club A and B received a total of 1.5 million dirhams, and the remaining 1.46 million was assigned to El Kifah Cinema.This budgetary allocation is a part of an initiative for renovation and restoration that the Moroccan Cinematographic Center’s Administrative Council (CCM) began in 2004. In addition to restoring theaters, the CCM has digitalized 70 documentaries, 20 feature films and 150 news reports.Although these grants only covers approximately 50 percent of the overall cost required to renovate these spaces, they are an important step towards to the revival of the outdated movie theaters. read more

SAITM students to be transferred to Kotelawala Defence University

Protests were staged even today in Colombo against SAITM medical campus.Students affiliated to Government university student unions have been protesting for several weeks demanding that SAITM be completely abolished. (Colombo Gazette) A decision has been taken to transfer the medical students of the Malabe SAITM medical campus to the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU).The decision was taken following a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena today, the President’s media division said.

David Johnston stepping down as CEO of rewards company Aimia

MONTREAL — Loyalty rewards company Aimia Inc. says CEO David Johnston is stepping down.The company said in a news release late Thursday that Johnston and the company’s board of directors “mutually agreed on his departure,” but did not elaborate.A replacement has not been named and Johnston will remain in his post until a new CEO is named.Aimia reaches deal with Mittleman Brothers ahead of annual meetingAeroplan members to start earning miles on Amazon.ca purchases next monthAimia investor may push for board, management changes or sale of company“I am proud of the results we have achieved over the past year despite significant challenges” said Johnston in a release.“As Aimia reshapes itself with a tighter business and geographic footprint, it is the right time for me to further my career elsewhere.”Meanwhile, the operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program says it earned $21.4 million in net earnings during the quarter ending March 31 and 25 cents per adjusted share from continuing operations.That was up from $9.6 million and a 13 cents per adjusted share in the same period a year ago.Total revenue during the period was up slightly at $406 million during the quarter, up from $402.4 million a year ago.The quarterly results and the departure of Johnston come as Aimia faces the prospect of a shareholder revolt after a U.S. investor vowed to vote against the existing board of director nominees at Friday’s annual meeting.22NW Fund LP of Seattle blames Aimia Inc.’s poor performance and plummeting share price directly on the board’s actions including the “botched” Air Canada renegotiation and the sale of the British program Nector to retailer Sainsbury.The airline served notice last year that it does not plan to renew its 30-plus year partnership when the current contract ends in 2020.Fund manager Aron English said earlier this month that board members “should be fired immediately.”22NW Fund said it will vote at Friday’s annual meeting against chairman Robert Brown and Johnston along with directors Roman Doroniuk, Thomas Gardner, Emma Griffin, Robert Kreidler and William McExan and instead support new director nominees Brian Edwards, Philip Mittleman and Jeremy Rabe. read more

VolunteerFEST promotes outreach in Niagara

As the Winter Term gets underway, all members of the Brock community are invited to learn about the many volunteer opportunities available in Niagara.VolunteerFEST will return to Market Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 with more than 30 local organizations raising awareness of their activities and actively recruiting new volunteers.Participants are asked to bring their Brock Card as they navigate the vendor-style setup, if they would like to receive credit for their attendance in the University’s Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum.Student Life and Community Experience and Career Education are hosting the biannual event, which kicks off a packed semester of outreach opportunities, both locally and around the world, including Alternative Reading Week trips, on-campus blood drives and more.To learn more about VolunteerFEST and view the entire list of participating organizations, visit the ExperienceBU website. read more

Mens hockey Late goals provided momentum in Game One against Michigan

Ohio State players celebrate after a goal by junior forward Kevin Miller. Credit: Nick Clarkson | Lantern reporterGoals within the final minute of periods have the ability to build momentum, and Ohio State took advantage by netting two of them.On Friday night, the Buckeyes (17-8-6, 8-6-1-1) defeated the Michigan Wolverines (9-17-3, 2-11-2-2) by a score of 4-2. While the Wolverines took the early lead, it was a breakthrough by OSU senior forward David Gust that swung the momentum of the game in favor of the Buckeyes.An interference penalty late in the first period on Michigan defenseman Joseph Cecconi provided the first of the influential power play goals.Sophomore forward Dakota Joshua attacked the net with a powerful wrist shot that deflected off of Michigan goalie Jack Lafontaine. Simultaneously, Gust set himself up in front of goal to put in the rebound with a backhand shot with less than a second left in the first period.In the second period, a late power-play goal by senior forward Nick Schilkey increased the Buckeyes’ lead to two goals. Schilkey set himself up for a rebound similar to Gust and put the puck in net with six seconds left. His 24th goal of the season turned out to be the final tally in the game.Coaches preach to their players that the final two minutes of every period are the most crucial times in a game, and OSU’s Steve Rohlik reaffirmed that message.“It was a difference in the game,” he said. “You score with 0.1 and six seconds left, it’s a heartbreaker for the other team.”The momentum these types of goals create were evident in the flow of the game. Following Gust’s tally, the Buckeyes picked up two quick second-period goals from junior forward Kevin Miller.“Getting (Gust’s late goal) gets us back in the hockey game and you want to build off of late goals like that one,” Joshua said. “We most certainly did coming out and getting those two goals in the second period.”Miller did not focus on his two quick goals, but rather the momentum Gust’s goal had heading into the first break.“You see it all the time in hockey. If there’s a late goal in a period, it really has some momentum heading into the intermission,” said Miller.For the team, OSU will look to carry the momentum gained from Friday’s game into Saturday’s rematch with Michigan. Puck drop is at 5 p.m. for their final regular season matchup with the Wolverines. read more

Poll Will you be switching to a Verizon iPhone

first_imgWith the Verizon iPhone confirmed at an event this morning and available on February 10 for $199.99, we wondered how many of our readers would be making the switch? Let us know in the poll below:[poll id=”9″]last_img

ExSYRIZA leader launches prodrachma party

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Former SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos officially launched his new “Plan B” party, advocating Greece leave the euro and return to the drachma.Alavanos led SYRIZA between 2004 and 2008 but has been mostly on the political sidelines over the last few years. Over recent months, he has criticized the party he used to lead, arguing that its goal of rejecting the terms of the EU-IMF bailout but remaining in the single currency was not credible.This criticism culminated in the 63-year-old announcing the creation of a new party that would give “a large part of Greek society, possibly as much as 50 per cent who are in favor of leaving the euro, a chance to have their say.”Alavanos said that in contrast to SYRIZA, the positions held by the Communist Party (KKE) and anti-capitalist ANTARSYA, which advocated a euro exit, had been “justified to a large degree.”However, the leftist stressed that a return to the drachma would not in itself be a solution to Greece’s problems. “Leaving the euro is a precondition for salvation and recovery but is not enough on its own,” he said. “It is a link in the chain of transformations that have to happen, which includes economic planning, stopping payments to foreign lenders and nationalizing banks.”The treatment of Cyprus by the eurozone, including threats that the liquidity supply to its banks would be cut off, only strengthened the need for Greece to look at alternatives, said Alavanos. “Events in Cyprus give the image of a nightmarish future, which we must never experience in Greece.”Alavanos, who led SYRIZA to a 5.04 percent share of the vote in 2007, said that his new party would eschew the usual bureaucracy associated with political movements and instead harness the power of the Internet and direct democracy by operating through a “national network of assemblies, which will have decision-making powers.”Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

We want justice

first_imgTraffic on one of Melbourne’s central arteries was brought to a standstill yesterday as cabbies opposed to the state government’s taxi industry reforms vented their anger at the unlimited release of new taxi licences.Organised by Victorian Taxi Families (VTF), the blockade took place in Exhibition Street directly outside the offices of the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) – the body charged with implementing the state’s controversial new taxi laws.With police allowing scores of cabs to stop bumper to bumper in Exhibition Street from 11am, more were circling nearby in the VTF’s highest profile action to date. Between 100 and 200 cars are estimated to have taken part.The protestors – taxi licence holders who have worked in the industry for decades – have seen the value of their licences destroyed by the Napthine government’s new legislation.Many of those who took part were elderly owner-operators of Greek heritage.Bill Spanos – who has held a licence for 22 years – said he was tired of being ignored.“The government play games with us, they say they want better customer service but how will they do this by putting more taxis on the roads when already most taxis are under-used.“The government is ignoring us. If they gave us compensation we’d be happy.”Taxi licence values that were once estimated around $500,000 each a few years ago are now worth much less than half that figure.Speaking from the back seat of her dad’s cab, Maria Papakyriakopoulos said she was protesting in support of her 73-year-old father Nick – who has held a taxi licence for 33 years.“My dad began working when there was no superannuation, he’s worked very hard and has never asked the government for anything. We’re here to say it’s not on,” Maria told Neos Kosmos.“If the government is going to devalue our licences people should have either compensation or they should change the law.” Last month the TSC made up to 60 new metro taxi licences available. Hundreds more are planned to be released in July, despite current taxi occupancy rates at 28 per cent – meaning cabs are empty 72 per cent of the time.Parallels have been drawn between the government’s compensation offer for property holders affected by the proposed East-West link and the plight of taxi licence owners, whose capital asset has been slashed in value due to government policy.While Labor voted against the initial taxi reform legislation and has moved amendments, the state Opposition – as yet – has been reluctant to set out its stall as to what promises it makes to the industry in the run up to state elections.A Labor spokesperson told Neos Kosmos: “Labor remains seriously concerned about the impact Napthine government changes are having on the taxi industry. We have raised these concerns in parliament and in forums with Victorian Taxi Families.”Labor has vowed to continue meeting with the industry ahead of the elections and said it will “have more to say about these changes before the November poll.” This week the government accepted recommendations from the Essential Services Commission to increase taxi fares by up to 30 per cent by the end of May, but the move is cold comfort to taxi licence owners whose prime asset has been decimated. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Ecotaxe poids lourds un décret critiqué par les transporteurs

first_imgEcotaxe poids lourds : un décret critiqué par les transporteursLe gouvernement a cherché à faire passer discrètement le décret organisant l’application de la future écotaxe poids lourds. Mais la publication parue dans le Journal officiel du 6 mai n’a pas échappé aux transporteurs qui dénoncent un “dévoiement de la loi” et exigent que le texte soit revu et corrigé.Le délégué général de la Fédération nationale des transports routiers (FNTR), Jean-Paul Deneuville, ne décolère pas. En effet, certainement contrairement à ce qu’aurait souhaité le gouvernement, le décret organisant l’application de la future écotaxe poids lourds ne lui a pas échappé. “Nous avons prévenu les deux gouvernances, la sortante et l’entrante, qu’il s’agit d’une bombe à retardement”, a-t-il déclaré hier à l’AFP.En effet, les transporteurs routiers contestent le dispositif de répercussion de cette écotaxe qui doit s’appliquer à partir de juillet 2013 aux poids-lourds à partir de 3,5 tonnes circulant sur le réseau national non-payant (essentiellement les routes nationales, départementales et communales). Calculée sur une base kilométrique, cette redevance servira entre autres à financer les projets d’infrastructures de transport. Elle sera par ailleurs répercutée par les transporteurs sur les bénéficiaires de la circulation des marchandises.Parmi les points litigieux soulignés par les professionnels, figure notamment la complexité du dispositif de répercussion de la taxe par les transporteurs sur les donneurs d’ordre, prévu par la loi. “Chaque camion qui part de nos entrepôts livre entre 20 et 25 clients par tournée dans un rayon de 200 kilomètres”, a expliqué à l’AFP Hugues Pouzin, directeur général de la Confédération française du commerce interentreprises (CGI). “La difficulté, c’est que la position des clients peut changer d’une tournée à l’autre ce qui va compliquer la gestion de l’écotaxe car le prix va changer tous les jours pour le client”.Une concertation avec les professionnelsÀ lire aussiVeolia s’équipe de camions de ramassage d’ordures à moteur hybridePour la Fédération des entreprises de transport et logistique de France (TLF), cette imprécision prête “le flanc à des interprétations tronquées et subjectives, préjudiciables au bon équilibre des discussions et négociations commerciales menées par nos entreprises de transport”. TLF craint en effet, que les clients des transporteurs ne demandent “des explications et des justifications sur le taux retenu par le prestataire de transport”.Mais ce n’est pas tout puisque la FNTR souligne que “la complexité de la répercussion [de la taxe] est renvoyée au niveau de l’entreprise, les délais de paiement, les kilomètres à vide [ … ] ne sont pas pris en compte”. M. Deneuville s’inquiète également, s’ils laissent faire de devoir “payer la taxe avant d’avoir été payé par les clients”. La fédération recommande donc “aux futurs responsables politiques du Transport d’organiser très rapidement sur le sujet une concertation avec les représentants des professionnels”. Ceux-ci menacent même de remettre totalement en question l’écotaxe si l’Etat décide de laisser le texte tel quel.Côté chiffres, la FNTR indique que la mise en place et la gestion du dispositif coûte près de 250 millions d’euros. Mais à raison d’environ 12 centimes d’euros, elle devrait rapporter 1,24 milliard d’euros par an à l’Etat dont 760 millions de recettes pour l’Agence de financement des infrastructures de transport de France (AFITF) et 160 millions pour les collectivités territoriales.Le 11 mai 2012 à 16:36 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more