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Simon HackettAs part of the Government’s continuing National Broadband Network reforms, Internode founder Simon Hackett was one of three directors with extensive relevant industry experience who were this week appointed to the NBN Co Board.

The other two new non-executive directors are Patrick Flannigan and Justin Milne.  A statement issued by Federal Communicatioins Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the appointments further enhanced the Board’s capabilities and expertise to provide appropriate oversight and guidance to this vitally important national project.

NBN Co Executive Chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said: “This is a period of transition for the company and it will be a great asset to have a new board that brings decades of combined experience in the industry.”

The appointees are well-established industry figures with lengthy careers in telecommunications, broadband and the deployment of linear infrastructure. They join current NBN Co board members Dr Ziggy Switkowski, Ms Alison Lansley and Dr Kerry Schott.

Steve Ashley (right) with WFM Chair Steve ScownWillunga Farmers Market is introducing the Young Farmers Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship open to 18 to 35 year olds interested in farming but discouraged by the obstacles of entering the industry, like access to land, equipment and start up capital. 

The scholarship will provide $3,000 worth of small business and agricultural training together with a cash component of $7,000 which will be made available for items such as seeds, tools, land rental and insurance. 

"The passion for farm direct produce and the growing number of farmers markets in South Australia is encouraging, but the number of active farmers is steadily declining,’ said WFM Market Manager Steve Ashley. 

"Farmers only represent 1.7% of all employed people in 2010-2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Not only has this figure fallen by 2.9% since 1996-1997, but currently 23 per cent of farmers are over the average retirement age of 65.  

eChallenge winnersA business plan to convert grease-trap waste into commercial-grade biodiesel won the 2013 University of Adelaide Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) Australian eChallenge. 

Energy from Waste Pty Ltd., with members Lisa Chao, Philip Curran, Dr David Rutley, Brian O’Neil and Ted McMurchie, not only won first prize at an awards’ dinner on Friday night, but also received the $10,000 Adelaide Airport Clean Tech Award and a trip to Austin Texas to compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition – prizes totalling $52,218. 

Energy from Waste’s winning business plan outlines how it will design, construct, commission and operate biodiesel production plants at major waste processing companies that currently collect and dispose of grease-trap waste, eliminating their disposal costs and creating a new revenue stream.  

Professor Noel Lindsay, ECIC Director, says Energy from Waste was awarded first prize because the team delivered a proficient business plan that could result in positive outcomes for both local businesses and the environment.