Could you go without your phone if it meant getting a good night’s sleep?

File image.It turns out,more than half of surveyed people who were glued to their screens late into the evening – late night workers, web surfers, movie watchers or online gamers – reported more than two sleep problems.
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The short-wavelength blue light from screens blocks the natural sleep hormone melatonin, which is produced by our brains to help us go to sleep and sleep well through the night.

“We believe that this association between before-bed screen time and having sleep problems is no co-incidence”,Australasian Sleep Association President Dr Maree Barnes said.

It’s why sleep specialistsare challenging Australians to enjoy one good night’s sleep to markWorld SleepDay on Friday, March 17.

Research shows adults should have 7-8 hours of sleep each night but studies indicate that a third of the population routinely fail to get enough.

Recent Sleep Health Foundation research found that 44 per cent of Australian adults are on the internet just before bed almost every night.

“That’s a concerning number of people delaying bedtime with devices that actually make good sleep harder to attain.”Sleep Health Foundation Chair and Sleep Psychologist, Professor Dorothy Bruck said.

“Night time screen use has also been shown to shift the body clock, making you more likely to rise in the morning feeling groggy and unrefreshed,” she said.

“That’s bad news for those wanting to wake up bright and alert for a busy day.”

The twospecialists say it is best to count back from when you need to get up, to work out when they need to go to bed to get the 7-8 hours of sleep that they need.

“Make sure you’re leaving yourself enough time to have that golden 7-8 hours of shut-eye,” Professor Bruck said.

“If it doesn’t add up, bring your bedtime forward. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.”

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School plans to help get food on the table

GOOD CAUSE: St Liborius students Evan McClellan and Ella Hetherton with deputy principal Alistair Stewart. Picture: NONI HYETTST LIBORIUS Catholic Primary School is one of many Bendigo community groups helping to raise money for Bendigo Food Share.
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The Million Meals in March campaign is hoping to raise$63,000 in one month to helpprovide one million meals to people and families in need.

To help raise part of the funds, St Liborius is selling My Local Biz voucher books for $25. Each book contains vouchers for more than 60 businesses and offers more than $1300 in savings.

For each booklet sold $5 goes to Bendigo Foodshare and $5 goes to St Liborius.

If the school can sell 2000 books before the end of March it will mean $10,000 for Bendigo Foodshare.

St Liborius deputy principal Alistair Stewart said the school got involved with Bendigo Foodshare to help families in the Eaglehawk area.

“Foodshare told us there is a big need for this type of support in the Eaglehawk area and we wanted to help fill that need,” he said.

“A lot of our staff are involved in social justice projects in the local community as are the student leadership group.”

Mr Stewart said Bendigo Foodshare provided packages to the school that helped them support families.

“We’re able to get food packages from them on regular basis that help support our families at St Liborius and support our wider school community,” he said.

“Some families need that support but with that they come back to us and talk and we are able to give them more assistance.

“If we can connect with families on deeper level, they trust us and we have better relationship when working with their children.”

Mr Stewart said seeing children and families appreciate regular food on their table was like Christmas.

“Some families and students know they are doing it tough,” he said.

“In the first week, one family said it was like Christmas and wereable to plan their meals for a few days. It is good to be able to provide that service.”

To order a My Local Biz voucher booklet from St Liborius, get in touch with the school.

“We have beenputting the word out with the school newsletter and details will be on our social media soon,” Mr Stewart.

In Bendigo, onein 11 people have trouble getting regular food on the table while in poorer areas it is onein ninepeople who need help.

At the end of the first week of the Million Meals in March campaign, Bendigo Foodshare had raised $6256.

Visit梧桐夜网bendigofoodshare.org419论坛for more details on Bendigo Foodshare or the Million Meals in March campaign.

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Swans’ training wings clipped by light rail

Construction of Sydney’s new light rail has impacted the Swans’ pre-season for a second straight year, forcing the 2016 grand finalists to narrow their Moore Park training base.
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The Swans have been using a field just 101 metres wide at times this summer with the development of the $2.1 billion CBD and South East Light Rail encroaching on the western side of the multi-use Tramway Oval, which usually measures 114 metres across.

Works in the area began in 2014 and initially reduced the width of the oval to 108 metres, but the Swans have shrunk those boundaries further on occasion to allow players to run laps of the field while training is in progress.

SCG and Allianz Stadium patrons will be serviced by a Moore Park stop upon completion of the light rail project, which will transport passengers from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kensington.

Sydney will have access to their in-season training base, the Sydney Cricket Ground, late next week with the Sheffield Shield clash between NSW and South Australia being played this week, the venue’s last cricketing commitment this summer.

The SCG boasts a width of 136 metres, some 35 metres more than the light rail-impeded Moore Park, while the MCG is 141 metres wide.

Across town, the GWS Giants train on Tom Wills Oval, which is about 120 metres wide. That facility is solely used by the Giants, while the Tramway Oval in the Moore Park precinct is also used by Super Rugby’s NSW Waratahs and up to 450 members of the Swans Academy.

“It’s never been wide but they’ve brought it in because of the trams, and we don’t have anywhere else to train,” Swans coach John Longmire told Fairfax Media.

“Would we rather have a wider ground with not as much traffic on it? In an ideal world you would have a bigger, wider ground, an AFL standard ground with facilities.

“There’s nothing we can do about it so we don’t think it hinders us too much, we don’t think we miss out on anything.

“In the end, we’ve got some grass out there, we’re going to train. Chasing and tackling out there is as important as chasing and tackling at the MCG.

“There’s a gym down there that we’ll do our weights in, it’s not going to stop us from being competitive.”

A Transport for NSW spokesman said construction of the light rail was expected to be completed in 2019, while works in the Tramway Oval area were on track to be finished this year.

The Swans have long been searching for a patch of land in Sydney’s eastern suburbs where they could build a secondary training base, and host reserve-grade matches.

Swans home games in the NEAFL are usually played at the SCG, but matches are occasionally moved to Blacktown International Sportspark, about 40 kilometres away, if the weather is bad and there is a risk of churning up the ground before an AFL fixture.

A lack of training facilities also deterred the Swans from submitting an application for a women’s team in the new AFLW competition.

Most other clubs in the AFL boast sole-purpose training facilities, or will do so in the near future.

Essendon opened a state-of-the-art training base in 2013 near Melbourne Airport, Hawthorn is planning to build a world-class training centre, while Fremantle is committed to a $109 million facility in Cockburn, which will be big enough to replicate every AFL venue.

“If you look at Lakeside [Tramway Oval] versus the MCG, you’ve got the tram coming down there, it gets a high level of traffic, the Waratahs train out here,” Longmire said.

“That’s a challenge for us and it’s a challenge for the game.

“In schools they’re really excited about AFL football, but they’re still looking to get more grounds, more facilities. People are wanting their kids to play AFL footy and getting facilities and grounds is a real challenge.

“We’ve been here for 32 years. There’s so much interest in the game, it’s just a matter of capturing that now and putting it together and supporting it with the infrastructure.”

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Super Rugby mess costing the Australian game dearly

If you thought all this Super Rugby hand-wringing was about a couple of small, broke clubs and their whinging fans, you were wrong.
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Sorting out the format and make-up of the competition is about the future of the Wallabies as much as it is about the Orange Emus. It’s about that mythical trophy, the Bledisloe Cup, and whether Australian fans ever again see a Test captain thrust it aloft.

It’s about your local rugby clubhouse, whose door you probably haven’t darkened in a while but boy, weren’t you dismayed when you woke up and read its volunteer board was trying to sell the joint to finance a future. The longer the Australian Rugby Union accepts a competition that makes less and less money for its Super Rugby clubs, the less money it has to grow the game anywhere else.

Just how much money is the ARU ploughing into clubs with falling attendances and members? Try an extra $8 million last year. Its forthcoming annual report is expected to reveal a total spend of $33 million in direct cash funding across the five clubs in 2016, up $8million on 2015 figures and $13million since 2014 – the year the Waratahs won Super Rugby.

Not all of that is good money after bad. But head office spent at least $3 million bailing out the Western Force last year, and that is on top of the $3 million it spent on the Melbourne Rebels the year before while the club was between private equity deals. In 2010 the ARU threw a few million dollars at the failing QRU, which followed the $5 million it gave the NSWRU a decade earlier. Imagine what $3million could do in other parts of the game right now.

Try the Australian Under-20s, who will play in the world championships in Georgia in May. In the nine years the tournament has existed, Australia’s juniors have never won. They have played in a final once – the same year then-QRU chief Jim Carmichael went cap in hand to the ARU – and in the bronze medal match just twice. Since 2011 they have not finished better than fifth. Over the past two years, ARU strategists have quietly overhauled the national U20s program, setting up provincial squads attached to the five Super Rugby clubs and launching a Super U20s Championship to give the 60-odd squad members regular game time.

But this is a program that operates on a budget of less than $1million a year, paying its coach somewhere in the vicinity of $30,000, in an area that every other major rugby-playing nation recognises as an area of crucial strategic import.

It is no secret that England’s recent dominance at the U20s level – they have won three of the last four titles – is translating now into a golden era at Test level. That’s not all down to Eddie Jones. The last Test nation to beat the All Blacks? Ireland, whose U20s played in the final last year. The IRFU, like the RFU, employ full-time coaches, strength and conditioners.

In fact, the strides made by both those countries ruffled serious feathers across the ditch. New Zealand won the first four titles on offer when the world championships started in 2008 but didn’t win again until 2015 and finished fifth last year. It is no surprise then that almost 50 of New Zealand’s best young players are about to assemble for their second five-day camp in the lead-up to the tournament in Georgia. In contrast, the new Australian U20s coach Simon Cron, who coaches the team part-time in addition to his Shute Shield duties, will not have all his players in one room until the beginning of April. They will have three days together and then meet again at the end of the month for an eight-day Oceania tournament alongside New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji. Necessity will dictate Cron use the tournament for some serious trial-and-error, in the hope that by the end of May he will be able to take a competitive side to Europe.

Imagine what a small slice of that semi-regular bailout money could do for the next generation of Wallabies. As outspoken club rugby identity Brett Papworth is fond of saying, there are too many good causes in Australian rugby and nowhere near enough money to fund them all. Club rugby, sevens, the U20s. They should all be in the minds of the administrators at the SANZAAR meeting on Friday.

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Up to $440m needed for sewerage fix

Labor’s$250 million commitmentto replacing Launceston’s combined stormwater and sewerage pipework could fall short of the work neededto be done, according to a 2016independent report.
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A report, by consultants Beca on behalf of TasWater to investigate solutions for the system, found that full separation was likely to cost $440 million, though could beas low as $300 million or as high as $560 million.

The system is a sore point for Launceston businesses and residents as, during times of heavy flow, it depositsraw sewage into the Tamar estuary.

The report found that overflows occur frequently with 10 spills occurring on averageweek, and thatfull separation would not completely fix the problem but cut the spill volume by 65 per cent.

Other options to reduce spills include spending $121 million to build three retention tanks to hold up to 88 per cent of the spill volume, or direction ofoverflows for storage at the Ti Tree Bend sewerage treatment plant at a cost of $167 million.

The state government has slammed Labor’s plan to have this project and two others in the South –$160 million for Macquarie Point sewerage works and $50 million of works at Camerons Bay –funded by privatesuperannuation funds.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the interest and expected returns from investors could see bills rise up to 18 per cent.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green denied the figure, saying it would match the interest rate applied to the $1 billion the government would need to borrow from TasCorp to complete its accelerated five-year capital works plan from mid-next year.

“Institutional investors look for a rate of return of around the same figure as interest rates,” he said.

Mr Gutwein said the government would consider funding for the three projectsbut the five-year plan would be prioritised.

He said the plan included $270 million for sewerage upgrades in Launceston which were expected to take pressure off the combined system.

Launceston independent MLC Rosemary Armitage said she would move to form a select committee in the upper house next week to probe the government’s plan to takeover TasWater with eight members expressing interest in participating.

She said the committee would prevent delays in the legislation passing through the upper house in spring.

Meanwhile, local government head Doug Chipman has lashed out at the government for using slow movement on resolving boil-water alerts in Tasmanian towns as justification for launching a takeover of TasWater.

The government has announced that it would this year legislate to make TasWater a Government Business Enterprise, seizing the corporation from council ownership.

Councils will retain an estimated $30 million in dividends until 2024-25 and half thereafter.

Local Government Association of Tasmania president Doug Chipman on Thursdayaccused the government of being “fast and loose” with facts, politically opportunistic, and misleading in their approach to the takeover this week.

“This continued rhetoric downplaying the accomplishments and plans for TasWaterultimately hurts all Tasmanians – impacting on our reputation nationally and internationally,” he said.

Mr Gutwein said the councils had almost nine years to act on boil-water alerts and had waited too long.“Over the period that we’ve been in government, I’ve been raising the issue of water and sewerage will local government as the owners, pushing them to do more using both the strong balance sheet of the company and the strong sector balance sheet,” he said.

Mr Green said the government’s argument for seizing control of TasWater in July 2018 to fix boil-water alerts was false with TasWater’s current project program ensuring all remaining towns on alerts would have them removed bythat year.

Avoca, Lady Barron, Mole Creek, Pioneer and Mountain River are expected tobe removed from the alerts by July 1.Derby, Branxholm, Legerwood and Winnaleah will be removed in by the end of August

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