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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Australia Day and the beach

There’s nothing much planned here for Australia Day (aka Invasion Day) except a trip to the (doggie) beach and an evening neighbourhood gathering at a local park. You won’t find much flag-wearing/waving, lamb eating, dunny-racing, gumboot-tossing fervour in this essay, probably because I am among the 16% of Australians who think a national day of commemoration is unnecessary. (Robbie Burns’ birthday (today) being the exception to the rule – Ed). The headline item in a…

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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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Rising sea levels and apocalyptic fiction

I’d always thought my song about the mountain dwellers ending up on waterfront row because of rising sea levels was not to be taken too seriously. It was an apocalyptic view of what might happen if it didn’t stop raining and, moreover, not a terribly original idea as it turned out. But the risk of flash flooding from above-average rainfall is only half the problem for people living down there, at sea level. A loyal…

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