Cape Town water crisis a stark reminder for drought-prone Australia

Cape Town’s water crisis is making news around the world, but nowhere should it be ringing alarm bells more than in our neck of the woods – South East Queensland. It’s not that long ago since the Millenium Drought (2001-2009) reached a dramatic point in late 2007. Brisbane became the first Australian capital to endure Level 6 water restrictions at a time when the region’s main reservoir, Lake Wivenhoe, dropped to 15% capacity. In Cape…

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Prickly Pear makes a comeback

You don’t have to travel far inland in Queensland to see that Prickly Pear, the invasive scourge of farmland in the early 1900s, is making a comeback. ‘The Pear’ as it is sometimes known by farmers, has started to re-appear, growing and spreading after the floods of 2011 and 2012. The Opuntia species (a member of the Cactaceae family) was introduced to Australia (by white settlers) in the late 1880s to form hedges and provide fodder for…

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If it doesn’t rain soon, mate

Conversations in the street of any Australian town often involve the weather, which over the past four months has been bereft of rain or “dry” (pronounced “droy.” Tim: “How’s things, Harold? Harold: “Droy, mate!” Tim: “Got 10 points last night – hardly worth measurin’.” Harold: “How’re dams holdin?” Tim: “Nothin’ but mud and mosquitos.” Mrs Harold: “If it doesn’t rain soon, mate, we’re gonna move back to the town.” The latter is the narrator’s refrain…

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