5 things you might have missed

Posted by
8th February 2013

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….

Share with Friends
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email
  • Huegill Mortimer

    What about the major victory for employment and jobs in economically depressed Tasmania when the environment minister thankfully threw away environmental protections for the whole Tarkine region.With an unemployment rate of over 8.5% in the region it is no surprise and with Labor looking down in the polls in Tasmania it was always on the cards.A rare victory for jobs and development in Tasmania!

  • Anonymous

    You mean the same Tasmania which has historically had those kinds of figures despite the determined efforts of ungoverned greed to plunder as much as possible before environmental protections were put in place?

    Nice point I guess, but much better if you had some kind of connection between cause an effect. Of course, you know you don’t, given the number of times I’ve pulled you up on this issue when you have raised it to further your other unsupported arguments.

    Sadly, more of the same usual uninformed rhetoric.

  • Frank

    Theres no misinformation here because it is word for word what the environment minister quoted on ABC radio.He said himself he did this because of the perilous job situation in that region.Go read or listen to his comments before spouting such garbage.

  • Anonymous

    So, let me get this straight, you just want to abandon the discussion and skip right to arguing points I never made?

    The post I was responding to *IS* misinformation. This ‘perilous job situation’ pre-existed this government and any environmental actions you might care to mention. Failure to grasp this point demonstrates your inability to understand the subject as a whole. Likewise, attempting to link poll outcomes to this rate is sheer foolishness.

    That minister Burke is justifying his actions in this way in no way diminishes the point that the unemployment rate is not an adverse effect of Greens or Labor policy, and that polls are highly volatile and can be affected by thousands of variables.

    So, as I stated, you have an effect … but you cannot link to the items you cite as a cause. Mr Burke thinks he can ease the effect, and fair enough, it has to be a consideration, but he did not make the decision offset the cause of the problem, and any assertion on your part to this effect is just plain false.

  • Grandpa Simpson

    Explain how the unemployment rate in the region would improve if the entire forest became off limits to job creating mining and forestry operations.Mining is still a far bigger industry to Tasmania than tourism, lets not forget that.

  • Anonymous

    The fact is that mining in this region will not appreciably change the unemployment rate. Jobs will be created in the short to medium term, but nowhere near enough to rectify your ‘perilous job situation’. That is the point I seem to be unable to convey to you … we have had unrestricted access to these industries in the past and the economic situation in Tasmania remained relatively static, because there are a range of other factors in play.

    A hand full of short term jobs does not solve the problem you are claiming it will, especially when a fraction of those jobs will be filled by local workers.

    On the other hand, we stand to damage our largest rainforest, which in itself has a significant earning potential; long term earning potential. You don’t consider eco-tourism an important part of the Tasmanian economy, however, at somewhere in the vicinity of 1.3 billion a year, it stands equal to the other highest income source, metal production. Mining itself is significantly less as an industry, at around 400 million. Nothing to be sneezed at, but a part of a larger picture in which tourism (including eco-tourism) play a more prominent role.

    Whether or not you agree, the destruction of the Tarkine, apart from the environmental toll on wildlife and loss of this natural CO2 store (and I’m avoiding going into these significant aspects simply because you only seem to care about the financial aspect), will adversely impact the economic success of tourism in this state, not to mention discouraging future investment in this industry, in turn preventing economic growth.

    You’re advocating the reduction of a long term sustainable industry for the short term profits of the few.

    On the bright side, in 20 years you can say “Look at that economic basket case Tasmania, now that the mines are all tapped out, they have nothing to offer anyone at all. Fools.”

blog comments powered by Disqus