ResearchOnline@JCU

    Does casual employment provide a "stepping stone" to better work prospects?

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    Australia has experienced strong economic growth since 1992 and the concomitant employment growth has resulted in generational low rates of unemployment. However, the strong job growth has been accompanied by two major trends which have raised questions about the quality of the expansion. First, full-time work has declined in relative terms. At the start of the last growth cycle (January 1992), full-time work constituted 77 per cent of all jobs (January 1992). By October 2008, this proportion had dropped to 72 per cent. Of the 3106 thousand jobs that have been created between January 1992 and October 2008, 42.3 per cent have been part-time (ABS, 2008a). Second, a rising proportion of the part-time jobs created are of a casual nature, the latter constituted 26 per cent of total employment in 2006 having risen from 20 per cent in 1992 (ABS, 2006)

    Dynamic range improvements of a beacon receiver using DSP techniques

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    This paper describes how DSP techniques can be used to improve the dynamic range of a satellite receiver for monitoring the beacons on communications satellites in order to gather statistics on the effects of rain on satellite communication. In many situations Radiometers have been used prior to the availability of satellite beacons. The use of DSP techniques allows both the beacon signal and the received noise to be measured at the same time in the one receiver, thus allowing the radiometer and beacon measurements to be correlated for developing improved radiometer models and enhance the accuracy of previous radiometer measurements

    27 May 1967: the 1967 referendum: an uncertain consensus

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    On 27 May 1967, campaigners for the rights and status of Indigenous Australians won the most decisive referendum victory in Australian history. Led by the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), these campaigners sought the deletion of two references in the Australian Constitution which\ud they claimed discriminated against Indigenous Australians. Over 90 per cent of Australian voters endorsed the constitutional amendments. In no electorate was the affirmative vote less than 70 per cent; in some it exceeded 95 per cent. This was as close to consensus as can be\ud expected in a democratic contest. The extraordinarily high affirmative vote, however, has promoted exaggerated assessments of the referendum's consequences

    Nature and origins of unique high diversity reef faunas in the Bay of Tomini, Central Sulawesi: the ultimate 'centre of diversity’?

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    The staghorn corals (Acropora spp.) of the Bay of Tomini in eastern Central Sulawesi may typify the maximal marine biodiversity associated with the idea of a "centre of diversity" in the central Indo-Pacific: other faunal groups have variable diversity, but unexpected species composition. Faunal assemblages from several phyla in this bay were assessed against phylogenetic and biogeographic data and biotic and environmental parameters in order to compare several hypotheses about the origins of the unusual species composition. It was found that the Togian Islands within the bay support a fauna with strong affinities to sites in the western equatorial Pacific, in all the studied groups except Stomatopoda. Both species composition and distribution of ecological functional groups is influenced by unusually calm and oligotrophic conditions in the islands and populations within the islands have various levels of genetic connectively to populations in other parts of Sulawesi, including complete isolation of some populations. It is proposed that these islands represent lagoonal refugia from Pleistocene lowstands, with affinities to similar refugia in the western Pacific. Additionally, the bay is possibly influenced by larval distributions from the Pacific through-flow current and there is little or no influence from the Indian Ocean

    Doctoral dissertations by publication: building scholarly capacity whilst advancing new knowledge in the discipline of nursing

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    Internationally universities are increasingly challenged by government and industry to boost their research profile. Undertaking successful research studies is a means of generating income while enhancing the credibility of both institutions and individual academic staff. Research training therefore is an important strategy to support this endeavour. Traditionally, the process of research training culminates in the completion of a doctoral qualification. Undertaking doctoral studies requires candidates to commit to an extensive period of indenture during which they develop their knowledge about a particular methodology, refine skills in using research methods, and produce research findings in the form of a dissertation. A key part of this process is developing skills in writing for publication and the dissemination of their doctoral research findings. We argue that using a traditional approach to the production of a doctoral dissertation develops student’s knowledge and skills in conducting an independent piece of research. However, the production of a traditional thesis does not focus strongly enough on developing the important skills of writing for publication and knowing how to effectively and strategically disseminate research findings. Choosing to submit a doctoral dissertation by publication or partial publication provides candidates with the opportunity to complete research training and produce an authoritative research report, while at the same time developing skills in publishing journal articles and other manifests. Producing a dissertation by partial or full publication also opens the work up to independent scrutiny at various points during the candidate’s research training which strengthens the final results.\u

    Population structure in the spectacled flying fox, Pteropus conspicillatus : a study of genetic and demographic factors

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    The spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) is a difficult species to manage due to its dual status as an agricultural pest and a native species under threat. Like other flying fox species, the spectacled flying fox is very mobile, roosts in colonies during the day in largely inaccessible places, and is active at night. These factors make the spectacled flying fox a difficult species to study and are in part responsible for the lack of knowledge on the biology and ecology of this species. The population structure of the spectacled flying fox was examined using two genetic markers (highly polymorphic microsatellites, and a portion of the mtDNA D-loop) and cementum layers around the root of canine teeth to determine age structure. Incorporating both genetic and demographic factors, as well as examining population structure across several temporal and spatial scales, provided a more comprehensive understanding of this species.\ud \ud A new hypothesis for the origin and evolution of flying foxes in Australia is presented: that flying foxes are an old lineage in Australia and that they colonised PNG from Australia rather than the other way around. The spectacled flying fox has experienced a tumultuous history, including population expansion and contraction as a result of climatic and geographic events. These events have aided in shaping the contemporary structure of highly connected colonies within a single panmictic population in the Wet Tropics region, along with an isolated population at Iron Range and populations of unknown status in Papua New Guinea. High allelic and haplotypic diversity suggest an old lineage within Australia, and the patterns of diversity suggest colonisation from Australia to PNG. Introgression between black flying foxes and spectacled flying foxes suggests a close association of these two species. The possibility of incomplete lineage sorting also suggests that Pteropus alecto and Pteropus conspicillatus might still be in the process of diverging. Pteropus poliocephalus might also belong to such a species complex, although no relevant data are yet available. Although high levels of gene flow occur among colonies within the Wet Tropics region, some sub-structuring in the form of kin groups within colonies is indicated, with several cohorts of young remaining with their mothers before the young reach sexual maturity. High rates of mortality and low reproductive output may be putting this species at risk of decline, especially as their average longevity is considerably less than expected.\ud \ud This study highlights the need for spectacled flying foxes to be managed on a regional scale. In addition, mortality rates need to be investigated throughout the Wet Tropics to determine the applicability of mortality rates estimated in this study, across the range of the species

    Increasing the capacity of Australian raw sugar factory milling units

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    This thesis reports on an investigation to identify methods to increase the capacity or throughput of the six-roll roller mills used in Australia to extract sugar from sugarcane.The approach taken was to gain an understanding of the factors affecting mill throughput through the application of the computational milling model, developed in recent years at James Cook University. The computational milling model is based on general equations of force equilibrium and continuity and a general description of sugarcane material behaviour.\ud \ud The development of the throughput model was conducted in stages. Firstly, an experiment was conducted on a laboratory two-roll mill to gain an understanding of the factors affecting throughput on this simple milling geometry. A two-roll computational model was constructed to predict the observed behaviour, accounting for all mechanisms identified from the experimental results. Secondly, a three-roll computational model was constructed which was sufficient to describe the throughput behaviour of the factory six-roll mill. An experiment was conducted on a factory six-roll mill to provide data to validate the model. The three-roll computational model was tested across the range of geometries and operating conditions known to exist in Australian factories and its throughput predictions were tested against throughput measurements.\ud \ud The three-roll computational model was used to identify the main factors affecting mill throughput and was used to construct a data set across a wide range of parameter values. The data set was used in a multiple regression analysis to develop an empirical model that could readily be used to identify conditions for maximum throughput.\ud \ud The computational and empirical models developed during this investigation were shown to predict throughput better than existing models. Conditions for maximum throughput were identified and involved the openings between rolls, the speed of the rolls and the amount of water in the sugarcane material being processed.\ud \ud As part of the investigation, further development of the computational milling model was undertaken in order to advance the model to a sufficient standard for this investigation. A material parameter was introduced to define the hardening rule for the plastic material model following established soil mechanics methodology. Darcy’s law, describing fluid flow through porous media, was shown to adequately describe the flow of water through bagasse for a wide range of fluid velocities. Greater confidence in the measured magnitude of the permeability factor in Darcy’s law was gained through improved experimental and parameter estimation procedures. One of the experimental and parameter estimation procedures was found to significantly reduce the time involved in measuring both the hardening rule for the plastic material model and the permeability for Darcy’s law

    Book review of "Sydney’s Aboriginal past: investigating the archaeological and historical records" by Val Attenbrow, UNSW Press, Sydney.

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    This publication does not have an abstract. The first paragraph of the article is displayed as the abstract.\ud \ud I was very pleased to be given the opportunity by the AACAI to review this book as I have already had many occasions to refer to it for contextual material in my day-to-day work as a consultant in Sydney. In this volume Attenbrow has successfully produced a book that has the capacity to engage the public as well as provide an excellent regional overview for students and professionals engaged in archaeological and heritage work in the Sydney area. Interstate visitors to our household have been quick to borrow it to take advantage of the places to visit in the back of the book. These places consist of easily accessible Aboriginal sites around the Sydney area that are open to the public and which for the most part have at least some on-site interpretation

    Physical dispersion of radioactive wastes into regolith at the Radium Hill uranium mine site, South Australia

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    The Radium Hill uranium deposit was mined for radium\ud between 1906 and 1931 and uranium between 1954 and 1961.\ud Rehabilitation was limited to removal of mine facilities, sealing of underground workings and capping of selected waste repositories. Radium Hill has a semi-arid climate and the area is subject to wind and water erosion. In 2002, gamma-ray data, plus tailings, uncrushed and crushed waste rock, stream sediment, soil and vegetation samples were collected to determine the dispersal of mine wastes by wind and water into the local regolith.\ud \ud The mine and former processing site covers an area of approximately 100 ha. Numerous stable waste dumps of uncrushed rock occur for 800 ill along the line of lode. These consist of broken rock material from underground workings and represent the various rock types (feldspar-quartz-biotite gneiss, amphibolite, pegmatite, retrograde rock types, lode material) encountered during mining. Ore grade material (0.1-0.2% U) has significant davidite, high radiation levels (max. 5000 cps; max. 4.2 mSv/hr) and LREE, Nb, Sc, Th, Ti U, V and Y enrichments. Crushed rock material from the mine is found in several dumps in the mine and mill areas, and has been used widely for road and building construction. It is more radioactive than the uncrushed waste rock. Several former mill tailings dams are covered by soil and rock, with the largest containing approximately 0.5 Mt of tailings averaging 200 ppm U. Tailings have elevated radiation levels (1400-5500 cps; max. 3.5 mSv/hr) and prior to covering in the early 1980s, wind deflation and water erosion had caused widespread dispersal into surrounding regolith, with some soils having >90 % of tailings material. Despite partial coverings, mine wastes at the site remain susceptible to water and wind erosion. Regional airborne radiometric data outline the former town and mine sites and roads as pronounced U-Th anomalies. \ud \ud Capping of tailings storage facilities did not ensure long-term containment of low-level radioactive wastes due to erosion of sides of the impoundments. Continued wind and water erosion of physically unstable waste repositories causes radiochemical and geochemical impacts on local soils and sediments. Additional capping of mine wastes is required in order to minimise impacts on surrounding soils and sediments. However, measured radiation levels are generally below Australian Radiation Protection Standards (20 mSv/year averaged over five consecutive years), except for exposed railings
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