Australia is the driest, flattest and least inhabited continent (except Antarctica). Drought, Fire and Flood are part of the Australian experience and indeed mould the National Character. It also is expressed in ‘mateship’ a rough corollary of civic cooperation and good neighbourliness, in an unforgiving environment where standing alone results in destruction. Australia has endured drought for the 50,000 years of its human habitation. People survive drought by relying on each other in times of need. Not so much in the early 21st. Century however, it seems.
Western Queensland and New South Wales and the Eastern parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory have been locked in drought for over a decade. Not a normal drought. Australian farmers can handle those. No this is a once in a 1,000 year drought. In places in Western Queensland there has been NO RAIN AT ALL for over 3 years. The sheep flocks have long ago been sold off and now the cattle herds are starving. Even the most drought resistant resident of the Australian Outback are dying as well. The Red Kangaroos are dying in their tens of thousands. What is to be done?
Under the Australian cardinal’s leadership, the Vatican bank has been cleaned up and cleaned out
Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, gestures as he leaves the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 13, 2014. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Shortly after George Pell was named Archbishop of Melbourne, he instituted several reforms at the archdiocesan seminary, including daily Mass and the daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, both of which had fallen by the wayside in the preceding years. The seminary faculty, enthusiastic proponents of Catholic Lite, thought to call the archbishop’s bluff and informed him that, were he to persist in such draconian measures, they would resign en masse.
The archbishop thanked them for the courtesy of giving him a heads-up, accepted their resignations on the spot, and got on with the reform of the Melbourne seminary—and the rest of the archdiocese. George Pell proved that such action was not a fluke and went on to cleaned out and cleaned up the Sydney archdiocese as well.
To the unitiated reader the Australian bush (countryside) is a pecular place. Fire is a natural ally and Australian eucalyptus do not die in a minor fire. Rather they have adapted to fire to crack their seed heads and spread new growth. Small controlled fire is the friend of the Australian bush. Massive violently hot fires are its nemesis, and Green leftist politicians and progressive urban academics damage and destroy that which they claim to hold dear. These are the ideological and ignorant fools that are destroying the Australian bush.
Not to long ago, Western Australia was a textbook example of astute fire management. Now, if you wonder why the state is burning once again, look to the green-minded romantics, public service careerists and academics who are wrecking the very forests they profess to love
One of the invariable outcomes of a major bushfire like the one that is lashing the karri forest as I write, is that the debate about hazard-reduction burning always resurfaces. The Greens and their supporters in the leafy suburbs and university campuses, who are never threatened by bushfires from one year to the next, all oppose it. The emergency services bosses, whose status and budgets would decline if hazards were reduced, talk it down (while all the time calling for more firefighters and greater investment in helicopters and tankers). The wine-grape growers, concerned only for their profits, threaten to sue if the merest whiff of smoke blows across their vines. The media, which love a big fire almost as much as they love stirring possums, are ambivalent — they can’t really come out and say that they don’t like it … after all, if you oppose hazard reduction you are basically saying you support hazard retention. But journalists find irresistible the battle scenes associated with the bushfire disasters that result from failure to put a hazard-reduction program in place.
From Quadrant Magazine’s Geoffrey Luck
If you are of the opinion that the Australian national broadcaster (Australian Broadcasting Commission) doesn’t do genuine comedy, let me urge a close reading of Barbara Heggen’s farewell to Radio National colleague Waleed Aly, as published in the liberal Progressive rag the Sydney Morning Herald. Thing is, though, this gushing lady is serious, which tells us rather a lot about the ABC
For all their verbal skills and encouragement by Premiers’ and Prime Ministers’ literary awards, satire has not been high on the list of Australian writers’ accomplishments. Until this weekend. The Sydney Morning Herald published a tongue-in-cheek lament by Australian Broadcasting Commission (Australia’s PBS equivalent) Drive Producer Barbara Heggen entitled: Waleed Aly: How to cope when he leaves you for another network. The piece began: “When a good workplace relationship ends, and he’s enjoying the new workplace, the grief can be startling. Continue reading
A controversial group dedicated to stopping halal certification in Australia will reportedly petition the government in early 2015 to push the “costs” of certification onto Muslims.
Halal certification makes food permissible for Muslims to eat and as trade with the Middle East and South East Asia increases it is set to become a bigger earner for Australian producers.
Companies that pay the fee for halal certification are able to trade more freely with Muslim-majority nations.
However, a “Boycott Halal” movement is gaining momentum in Australia, with adherents claiming the process is cruel to animals, adds unfair costs to domestic products and even funds terrorism.