Musical instrument retailers report that a surge in Asian migration to Australia is boosting piano purchases.
Ara Vartoukian, of Theme and Variations Piano Services in Sydney, told SBS News that piano imports to Australia fell from the 1980s, but have returned to their previous heights of about 8000 a year.
The increase comes at the same time as a spike in Asian migration.
Parsons Music manager Albert Yang said the demographic represents 70% of sales. He said he finds Asian families put more emphasis on owning musical instruments like pianos.
The Australian Music Association says people of Asian background have always been strong buyers of classical instruments.
VictoriaCalls For Silicosis Register
Victoria will push for the urgent establishment of a national registry and review of current standards to reduce the risk of stonemasons contracting silicosis.
Stonemasons across the country have contracted the potentially fatal disease after cutting kitchen benchtops. Accelerated silicosis, causing by inhaling fine particles, can have significant health implications, and can be fatal.
The Victorian Government will introduce a notification system to ensure data is captured at the point of diagnosis, to better track and take action on the issue.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy use the COAG Health Council meeting in Adelaide in October to call on her state and federal counterparts to make moves to set up a national registry.
Dementia Second Leading Cause Of Death
The number of deaths in Australia from dementia has increased by 68% over the past decade, while other leading causes of death have decreased over the same period.
Dementia is Australia’s second leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of death of women. More than 436,000 Australians live with dementia, and an estimated 1.45 million people are involved in the care of someone with dementia.
Maree McCabe, CEO Dementia Australia, said this updated data reinforces the need for major investment in dementia research, services and support, as well as the importance of continuing to educate the community and raise awareness about dementia.
“If this trend continues dementia, sadly, will become the leading cause of death of all Australians in just a few years,” Ms McCabe said.
For information about dementia, visit www.dementia.org.au or phone the National Dementia Helpline number 1800 100 500.
NBN Shift To Higher Speed Plans
Almost 4.5 million residents now have an NBN broadband connection at home, and nearly half are on fast plans with speeds of 50Mbps or more, according to the latest ACCC quarterly report.
The number of NBN residential broadband connections rose from about 4.1 million in the previous quarter, an increase of almost 8.6%. The number of consumers on high-speed plans increased by 20% in the same time.
There are now 1.8 million services on the 50Mbps speed tier, a more than a ten-fold increase compared to the 159,000 customers on those plans a year ago.
This reflects NBN Co’s pricing strategies to encourage Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and their customers to higher speed plans, as well as various other initiatives including the ACCC’s advertising speed guidance project.