Australia tackles throwaway food

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 19 June 2017: Australia’s first recycled supermarket is giving food destined for landfills a second chance, as the government embarks on a major push to cut down on waste costing the economy AUD20 billion (USD15 billion) a year.

The outlet run by food rescue organisation OzHarvest in Sydney takes surplus products normally thrown out by major supermarkets, airlines and other suppliers, and gives them away for free.

It is an attempt to tackle the mounting waste problem in Australia, home to 24 million people, where consumers toss out some 20% of food they buy with more than four million tonnes ending up as rubbish each year. Read more

PATA pledge on climate change

June 8, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

BANGKOK, 8 June 2017: The Pacific Asia Travel Association is reasserting its commitment to sustainable development across the entire spectrum of travel and tourism with a renewed pledge to support the Paris Accord within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Embedded within this PATA advocacy theme is an acknowledgement and recognition that tourism must play an influential role in preserving the planet’s natural resources by adopting effective, sustainable practices.

“Our members, both public and private sector, are leading by example. They recognise that responsible business practices must embrace practical measures to offset the potentially irreversible damage to our planet caused by climate change,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. Read more

Marriott merges loyalty programmes

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Hospitality, News, PACIFIC

SINGAPORE, 6 June 2017: Marriott International has launched a new Club Marriott, that merges Club Marriott, Eat Drink & More, and Star Privilege into a single paid membership programme in Asia Pacific.

The newly combined Club Marriott will provide members with more choices  whenever they dine out in their hometowns, or visit one of the 200 participating hotels across 15 brands in 13 countries across the region.

“With the new portfolio of brands under Marriott International, loyalty is the key driving force that will allow us to cut through the competition,” said Marriott International, Asia Pacific chief sales & marketing officer Peggy Fang Roe. Read more

Sri Lankan bomb hoaxer heads for jail

June 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

MELBOURNE, 2 June 2017: A Sri Lankan student who tried to enter an airline cockpit with what he said was a bomb before terrified passengers overpowered him, had been released from psychiatric care just before boarding the plane, Australian police said Thursday.

Passengers on Malaysian Airlines flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur said they feared for their lives when the 25-year-old rushed towards the cockpit shouting that he wanted to “blow the plane up”.

“He had been released from psychiatric care (on Wednesday), and from there we believe he has purchased a ticket on this plane,” Victoria state police chief Graham Ashton told reporters. Read more

Australian paedophiles lose passports

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 31 May 2017: Convicted paedophiles will have their passports cancelled to prevent them travelling overseas to offend again under tough new laws which Australia hailed, Tuesday, as a “world first”.

Legislation will be introduced to parliament this month making it illegal for registered offenders to leave or attempt to leave the country as part of a crackdown on child-sex tourism.

“The new laws will prohibit registered child sex offenders from leaving Australia or holding Australian passports,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. Read more

Qantas sells fares nonstop hop

April 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 28 April 2017: Australians can now book nonstop flights  from Australia to Europe for the first time, with tickets for Qantas’ Perth-London (Heathrow) route.

Sales opened on the new route Thursday.

Daily flights on the history-making route begin 24 March 2018 and form part of a new Melbourne-Perth-London return service.  The services will be operated by Qantas’ new Boeing 787-Dreamliner. Read more

Shaky stick gives Qantas flight a scare

April 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 18 April 2017: Fifteen passengers were hurt after a Qantas plane’s alert system warned of an imminent stall as it approached Hong Kong, Australian transport safety officials said, Thursday, as they launched an investigation.

Flight QF29 from Melbourne to Hong Kong was about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from its destination, last Friday, when a “stick shaker” alert occurred.

The warning causes the control stick to shake noisily, informing pilots that the plane is about to stall. Read more

Bleaching blights Great Barrier Reef

April 11, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 11 April 2017: Coral bleached for two consecutive years at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has “zero prospect” of recovery, scientists warned Monday, as they confirmed the site has again been hit by warming sea temperatures.

Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a severe event in 2016, and their fears were confirmed after aerial surveys of the entire 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) long bio-diverse reef.

Last year, the northern areas of the World Heritage-listed area were hardest hit, with the middle-third now experiencing the worst effects. Read more

Australia tightens security

April 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 3 April 2017: Australia said at the weekend it would increase security checks for flights from some Middle East airports, but stopped short of implementing the laptop ban introduced by the United States and Britain.

Britain and the US banned laptops and tablet computers in cabins on flights from some countries in the Middle East and North Africa earlier this month, citing fears of possible attacks.

“Explosive detection screening will be conducted for randomly selected passengers and their baggage. Checks may also include targeted screening of electronic devices,” Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement. Read more

Cyclone ravages north Australia

March 29, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

AYR, AUSTRALIA, 29 March 2017: Towns were cut off and without power in northern Australia Wednesday after being pummelled by a powerful cyclone that washed battered yachts ashore and ripped roofs off houses in scenes compared to “a war zone”.

The category four storm slammed into the coast of Queensland state between Bowen and Airlie Beach on Tuesday afternoon, packing destructive winds and devastating some of the region’s tourist hotspots.

It has since been downgraded to a tropical low but the Bureau of Meteorology still warned of damaging wind gusts with “intense” rain. Read more

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