Climate debate burning fiercely

As we prepared to move from the Sunshine Coast hinterland after 17 years, the air was full of bushfire smoke, dust and haze from an early, hot start to spring. It blew a gale up there for the best part of a week; strong south-westerlies, the last thing you need in an early bushfire season. Multiple properties were lost around Stanthorpe and in the Gold Coast hinterland between Sarabah and Canungra as hot gusty winds…

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Water shortages – here and there

When visiting friends in the water starved towns of Warwick and Stanthorpe, it does not take long for the local message to sink in – ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down’. This is a water-saving tip for times of drought – seemingly a more or less a permanent state of affairs in south-east Queensland. Southern Downs residents are currently on a per capita water limit of 120 litres per…

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Moving North Queensland water to Murray-Darling

Australia’s mismanagement of water is coming home to roost now, with the highly visible deluge in North Queensland in sharp contrast to the water-starved Murray-Darling Basin. Far North Queensland residents and emergency workers are still struggling to cope with the worst floods in living memory. Tully, arguably the wettest place in Australia, had 955mm over 27 days since New Year’s Day, about a quarter of its annual rain. Townsville broke all records with 1,200mm falling…

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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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