5 things you might have missed
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It’s been a busy start to the year, but we’re back with a bumper edition of Five Things You Might have missed. Sophie kicks off the year with a round-up of what we’ve been hearing about, reading about, and thinking about as we kick off 2013…
1. January was brought to a climactic end with Julia Gillard’s unexpected announcement of the 2013 Federal Election date, to be held on September 14. Almost eight months out, speculation from every political pundit, young and old, has already begun to stir on the likely performance of our politicians in the lead up to the event.
Jane Caro laments the excessive focus placed on the PM’s so-called ‘Hipster’ glasses which, threatening to overshadow the announcement itself, has led to a flurry of witty memes about her new look. Is this a sign of the quality of the debate to come or are we simply getting the politics we deserve?
2. Sadly, a Happy Australia Day was not had by all as a result of the violent ex-tropical cyclone Oswald and flooding which ravaged the coast of QLD and North-Eastern NSW over the long weekend. New worldwide research headed by the University of Adelaide, predicts that the intensity of such extreme rainfall events are only set to increase in the near future as a result of climate change.
3. It’s time to face the facts and start a conversation, say those advocating for a permanent disaster relief fund for Australia. With frequent fires, floods and earthquakes now a fact of life, is this really an issue that we can risk putting off until the next rainy day?
4. There’s been light at the end of the rainbow for same-sex couples across Europe this week, with landmark marriage equality legislation passed in both Britain and France. With eleven countries now granting same sex couples the right to marry, it seems that Australia is slipping further and further behind.
4. Time is running out and the Australian Government looks set to receive a big fat ‘F’ on its report card from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee unless significant progress is made on key recommendations, and fast. For a full account of the grief facing the reef, take a look at the article in The Conversation here.
Last Friday, the voices of 127,040 people were heard when GetUp’s National Director, Sam McClean, met with Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, to hand over the petition to ‘Save the Reef’.
The Minister may look cheery here, but we suspect he won’t be smiling when he hears what UNESCO has to say….