Where there’s (bush) fire there’s smoke

Oops- the tail light is out- better get that fixed! Fast forward to King St. Mechanical in Warwick. John came out and promptly fixed it- ‘No worries, mate. No charge’! It would have been the perfect introductory day in a new town, had it not been for the pall of bushfire smoke hanging over Warwick and communities to the east. At Yangan, 18 kms East, smoke from two fires burning in inaccessible country around Swanfels…

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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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Global Insights On Neglected Political Issues

There have been issues aplenty for people to mull over ahead of tomorrow’s Federal election, not all of them as obvious as climate change, refugees or the Murray Darling. Chair of Australia21, Paul Barratt, named those issues as his top three in a contribution to John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations newsletter. But he also added 10 neglected political issues. They include inequality, reversing the cuts to research and development, early childhood education and a world-class…

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Three (Political) Billboards Outside Caboolture, Queensland

A week before Easter, I was driving back from Bribie Island when my travelling companion pointed out the first of three political billboards. The first read: “Don’t Vote Labor”. A little further down the road: “If Shorten wins, you lose.” The third billboard featured the face of a minor party leader known for her dubious skill in empathising with those in the community who have a morbid fear of ethnic minorities. “I’ve got the guts…

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