The budget that forgot climate change

‘The budget that forgot climate change’ may be a slightly misleading headline, even though Greens Leader Richard Di Natale essentially said as much when interviewed on 2GB. He was elaborating on a press release issued on Budget night which castigated the Federal Coalition for virtually ignoring climate change. “(Treasurer) Josh Frydenberg said in his speech that we owe our children budget discipline,” Di Natale said. We owe our children a plan for their future, and…

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Ten days in Aotearoa

As the doors swished open at Brisbane International Airport and I walked out into 35 degrees and a dusty, smoky atmosphere, I very briefly wished I hadn’t left Aotearoa behind. How I love the mellifluous way that Maori word trips off the tongue – Ao-tea-ro-a. The Maori language uses vowels more than we do in English and it also uses them in combinations. The language has fewer consonants, preferring the use of Wh to replace…

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Confessions of a Tree Hugger

The derogatory label ‘tree hugger’ is worn with pride by environmental guerrillas, the ones who chain themselves to trees in a bid to prevent them being chopped down. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines tree hugger as ‘someone who is regarded as foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world from pollution and other threats’. Yes, well, that’s objective. Although chaining yourself to a tree…

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Cape York or bust

No 5 in an outback series On the last day of Queensland’s school holidays, a steady line of dusty 4WD’s returning from Cape York are queuing up for the Daintree River ferry crossing. Many of these road-beaten vehicles are rentals from Cairns. You can tell the real deal 4WD by the snorkel (a vertical exhaust above the cabin – designed for crossing creek and rivers without killing the engine). Kids or even adults have written…

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