Readers guide to Friday on My Mind

A few weeks ago I promised you an overview of the past five years’ worth of Friday on My Mind missives, but the Federal election got in the way. Sorry about that. Today it’s a mostly politics-free zone. I started this weekly column (it was supposed to be a one-off) with my theory (and not at all an original idea), about taking refugees and asylum seekers off Nauru and Manus Island and resettling them in…

Continue reading

Refugees settling in despite funding cuts

While refugees and migrants have been welcomed into Australia’s rural communities, successive Budget cuts have made life difficult for refugee support services. Although not attracting too many headlines, a $50 million cut in the 2018-19 Budget, and another $77.9 million over four years in the 2019-20 Budget, means that organisations trying to help refugees with the transition to a new country, a new culture and a new language are left scrambling. The Refugee Council of…

Continue reading

Media bias and quality news

A couple of years ago I wrote an essay called ‘In search of quality news” which many people told me they found educational. The piece was sparked by a media bias infographic invented by US patent attorney Vanessa Otero. Vanessa supplied an updated media bias chart for today’s main picture. It is self-explanatory in that the quality news outlets are clustered around the middle. The worst of the fake news and extreme right (or left-wing)…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading