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Articles Archive for April 2011

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[23 Apr 2011 | 3 Comments | 2,559 views ]

THERE is an old adage that, to avoid heated arguments and acrimony, sex, politics and religion should never be discussed at the dinner table. In many parts of Australia, fresh water should be added to the list.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world, with most of our landmass regarded as desert, arid or semi-arid. However, the far north receives huge amounts of mostly summer rain, with vast volumes of water wastefully flowing out to sea.
Many thinkers have been fascinated by the potential for diverting some of this water …

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[22 Apr 2011 | Comments Off on Horror of life in the trenches | 1,858 views ]

IN Crack Hardy, Stephen Dando-Collins uses the letters and journals of his great-uncles, the three Searle brothers, reinforced by remembrances of other family members, to construct a deeply moving account of Australian soldiers so far away from home during World War I. All the conversations and quotations in this vivid and well-researched book are taken from wartime letters and diaries, as well as newspaper and oral history accounts.
The author of the justly acclaimed Captain Bligh’s Other Mutiny and the award-winning Pasteur’s Gambit, the Tasmanian-based Dando-Collins recounts the true story of how, during what was grievously misnamed as the “Great …

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[11 Apr 2011 | Comments Off on Praise for Swan’s polished display | 1,512 views ]

WITH what seems to be his somewhat premature decision to prevent the merger of the Singapore and Australian stock exchanges, Treasurer Wayne Swan is once again in the media spotlight.
This concentrated attention can only increase when Swan who is Acting Prime Minister until Julia Gillard returns from leave tomorrow hands down the May 10 federal budget. One doesn’t have to have a crystal ball to predict that the 2011 budget will be one of the toughest in the last decade, as the Gillard Government fights to bring the books back …

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[10 Apr 2011 | 4 Comments | 5,966 views ]

After briefly living behind the police station in the working-class Sydney suburb of Redfern, Francis Michael Farrell, born in 1916, was brought up in the ethnic melting pot that was Marrickville.
Named after St Francis of Assisi, Farrell was a devout Roman Catholic of distinctly Irish heritage. The future infamous Sydney policeman and legendary captain of the Newtown rugby league team gained his nickname from his habit, as a teenager who often walked barefoot, of picking up discarded cigarette butts, or bumpers, which he broke open, using the tobacco to make his own cigarettes. Indeed, throughout his …

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[9 Apr 2011 | Comments Off on World searches for consensus | 818 views ]

THE debate about climate change, and what should be the appropriate response, is polarising the Australian community.
Those who are calling for deep cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide believe they are on a mission to save the planet, while those who oppose a carbon tax believe they are on a mission to save the economy and jobs.
Prior to the last election, Prime Minister Julia Gillard appeared to understand there were deep divisions when she promised to act on climate change only “when the economy is ready and when the Australian …