Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - STORY & PHO­TOS: EVAN MOR­GAN

QUEENS­LAND’S rapidly ex­pand­ing gas ex­por­ta­tion mar­ket is blamed for push­ing up elec­tric­ity prices across Aus­tralia with ex­perts fearful a gas short­age could lead to wide­spread black­outs in NSW.

Ris­ing gas prices means Aus­tralians now pay a higher whole­sale price for the gas we pro­duce than what it is sold for in Ja­pan.

The sit­u­a­tion has been slammed as “em­bar­rass­ing” by lead­ing en­ergy econ­o­mist Bruce Robert­son, who said the “gas car­tel” that con­trols the mar­ket were rip­ping off Aus­tralians.

The Aus­tralian En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor’s State of the Mar­ket re­port iden­ti­fies gas prices as one of the ma­jor fac­tors push­ing up elec­tric­ity prices.

The re­port notes that the ex­por­ta­tion of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas ( LNG) has caused “sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tion” to the do­mes­tic mar­ket and caused record high prices.

Queens­land sup­plies 70 per cent of gas in eastern Aus­tralia, but a whop­ping 58 per cent is now be­ing ex­ported from Queens­land as LNG.

The re­port says “high gas prices” is hurt­ing gas- pow­ered gen­er­a­tion, which has be­come “vi­tal” to the “se­cu­rity” of the elec­tric­ity sup­ply as coal- fired gen­er­a­tors exit the mar­ket. WOMEN who have ba­bies in their 30s can live longer, a new study says.

Re­searchers com­pared the life ex­pectan­cies of older women with the age they were when they gave birth and found that women who had chil­dren later were more likely to live for longer than those who gave birth in their teens and 20s.

Fer­til­ity ex­perts warn that women should start try­ing for a child be­fore they are in their 30s, oth­er­wise they risk be­ing un­able to con­ceive be­cause of the de­cline in the qual­ity and quan­tity of their eggs.

But the new study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal Of Pub­lic Health, has thrown fresh light on the is­sue and says women who con­ceive later in life are more likely to die later, too.

Its re­port said “as the age of preg­nancy in­creases, so does the life ex­pectancy of the women at 65”.

In other words, the older women are when giv­ing birth, the longer they live.

The study, by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Coim­bra in Por­tu­gal, ex­am­ined data from all Euro­pean Union na­tions. THE Quamby Rodeo is fast be­com­ing a quin­tes­sen­tial North Queens­land out­back event with ea­ger pun­ters com­ing in the hun­dreds and hun­dreds to see the red dust fly at the site 44km north of Clon­curry.

Among the 2000 campers were fam­i­lies from nearby sta­tions and towns mix­ing with rub­ber­neck­ing back­pack­ers and grey no­mads, all with one aim of hav­ing a good time and watch­ing ringers com­pete for the prize and brag­ging rights.

There was the bull ride, bar­rel races, the bronc ride, a wild don­key ride with the most pop­u­lar be­ing the sta­tion hand buck­jump where com­peti­tors had to crack a whip as they tried to stay on their buck­ing horse.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Al­lan Abby was blown away by the num­ber of peo­ple camp­ing.

“Every year we cater for a lit­tle bit more and every year we seem to run a lit­tle short,” he said. “They come out of Mount Isa, they come out of Townsville, they seem to come from ev­ery­where to come out and camp and spend a week­end in the out­back and en­joy an old tra­di­tional out­back rodeo where what you see is what you get.

“They see lo­cal lads have a go on stock from nearby prop­er­ties where any­thing can and will hap­pen.

“We have al­ways tried to make it a fam­ily day where mum and dad can come along with free en­ter­tain­ment for the kids in­clud­ing a jump­ing cas­tle and me­chan­i­cal bull and mum and dad can sit back and watch the rodeo,” Mr Abby said.

Ringer Dan Turn­bull from Cann­odie Sta­tion, north east of Clon­curry, came to Quamby to com­pete in the bronc ride and the sta­tion hand buck­jump.

Orig­i­nally from Dor­rigo in NSW the friendly 22- year- old was busy ad­just­ing his sad­dle be­hind the chutes and had come back to de­fend his sta­tion hand buck­jump ti­tle he won last year.

“I reckon it’s a good lit­tle show, plenty of peo­ple come and it’s a good rodeo,” he said.

He was look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up with his mates at the bush bar af­ter the rodeo.

“We will go around and have a few beers,” he said with a grin.

SHARP END: Gary Rogers finds the go­ing tough in the Bull Ride.

Jor­dan Bradley gets a lift af­ter rid­ing eight sec­onds in the Sta­tion Buck­jump.

Dan Turn­bull in the Sta­tion Buck­jump fi­nal.

Ben­net For­rester pre­pares to hit the dirt.

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