Pittwater Life

Driverless cars....

Driverless cars....
Simone Pettigrew | Curtain University

Driverless cars promise many benefits, including an improvement in safety, but new research shows many people are still not aware of this.

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Sydney artists are being priced out of the city

Sydney artists are being priced out of the city
Western Sydney University

Sydney artists and cultural practitioners face growing barriers to working in or close to the city, according to our new research. This is because of a shortage of creative spaces, due to the disappearance of industrial buildings, and rising rents and property prices.

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Plastic-free campaigns don’t have to shock or shame.

Plastic-free campaigns don’t have to shock or shame.
Louise Moana Kolff | UNSW

Research shows that fear or shock tactics, or strategies based on are generally not effective, and can even be counterproductive. High-threat fear appeals can be effective provided that the target audience is already taking positive steps toward the desired behaviour change, or feel that they can easily do so. Crucially, this means that campaigns not only need to tell people about an issue, but also provide straightforward advice on what do to about it.

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Are solar panels a middle-class purchase? This survey says yes

Are solar panels a middle-class purchase? This survey says yes
Adam McHugh | Murdoch Uni

The rate of growth in residential rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) in Australia since 2008 has been nothing short of breathtaking. Our new research suggests that the households most likely to join in the solar spree are those that are affluent enough to afford the upfront investment, but not so wealthy that they don’t worry about their future power bills.

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Bunya pines are ancient, delicious and possibly deadly

Bunya pines are ancient, delicious and possibly deadly
Ian Wright | Western Sydney Uni

Bunya pines (botanical name: Aracauria bidwilli) are living fossils. They come from a fascinating family of flora, the Araucariaceae, which grew across the world in the Jurassic period. Many of its “cousins” are extinct.

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The future is fenced for Australian animals

The future is fenced for Australian animals
Michael Bode | University Of Qld

The captives within our conservation fences are adorable – floppy-eared bilbies, tiny hare-wallabies, long-tongued numbats – and they all share an extreme susceptibility to introduced predators. At least 68 native mammal species cannot exist in the wild if either foxes or cats are present.

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Five best hiking trails on Sydney’s northern beaches

Five best hiking trails on Sydney’s northern beaches
Erina Starkey, Manly Daily

WHETHER you’re an expert trekker or weekend wanderer, there are plenty of beautiful pockets to explore on Sydney’s northern beaches.

So lace up your boots and slap on the sunscreen, here’s our list of five best nature trails.

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Some forests get more fire-resistant with age

Some forests get more fire-resistant with age
Philip Zylstra | University of Wollongong

As the fire season extends and heatwaves become more frequent, it’s vital to preserve our natural protections. My research, recently released in the journal Austral Ecology, contradict one of the central assumptions in Australian fire management - that forest accumulate fuel over time and become increasingly flammable.

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You’re paying too much for electricity...

You’re paying too much for electricity...
Kate Griffiths | Gattan Institute

State-owned power networks have spent up to A$20 billion more than was needed on the electricity grid, and households and businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are paying for it in sky-high power bills.

A new Grattan Institute report, Down to the Wire, shows that electricity customers in these states would be paying A$100-A$400 less each year if the overspend had not happened.

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