Shedding light to save energy

TWEED'S biggest turn-off is on.

The Tweed Daily News is asking Tweed district residents to turn to their dark side this Wednesday by switching off for 30 minutes at 8pm.

It is all part of our Turn Off Your Lights campaign, in the ongoing struggle to reduce power consumption and help the environment.

Tweed residents who switch off for 30 minutes will not be alone in the dark. They will be part of a huge powerless exercise across Queensland and New South Wales as 13 major centres hit the switches at 8pm. Mackay, Gladstone, Sunshine Coast, Maryborough, Gympie, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Lismore, Rockhampton, Coffs Harbour and Grafton are all taking part in this project via APN's daily newspaper network.

The campaign started last year for several papers including Rockhampton, which reported a five per cent (three megawatts) drop in power consumption when lights went out last year.

Tweed Daily News editor Brad Ricks said it was a terrific bonding opportunity to link all of these communities for one common purpose.

"Imagine the emissions we could save if hundreds of thousands of homes turn to candle power for just 30 minutes," Mr Ricks said.

"We hate keeping our readers in the dark, but on this occasion we'll have to make an exception."

Turning off the lights and tuning into the darkness for just half-an-hour will save a huge amount of energy and Country Energy will be watching.

Caldera Environment Centre co-ordinator Hop.E. Hopkins said that while the centre supports the initiative, he would like to see people take it one step further.

"It is more of a gesture than a solution to the problem," Mr Hopkins said.

"" am happy to hear about it though. It is a step in the right direction but people should not think just because their lights are off for a bit they are solving the problem.

"The good thing about it is that it gets people thinking. We need to be more radical in our approach to it."

Mr Hopkins said people need to be vigilant in their energy-saving methods all year round, including himself.

"In our house you can go around at night and turn off half the lights because no one is using them," he said.

Mr Hopkins said the Caldera Environment Centre fully supported the Tweed Daily News campaign.

"We support it, but people should see it as a first step," he said. "Half the population have energy saving light bulbs. There is still half a shire who are not using them yet."

UPDATE: Health NSW addresses hospital site safety concerns

UPDATE: Health NSW addresses hospital site safety concerns

The CFMEU put a stop to the works earlier this morning.

Smelly water safe to drink as council works to fix problem

Smelly water safe to drink as council works to fix problem

Tweed's water supply has been affected by blue-green algae