Search Results: bushfires

  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Fatal firestorm's distant witness

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 05 January 2010

    A year ago, on the day of the National Apology, the emotion was palpable over the seas. But it was hard not being there, standing on the same dirt as your fellow countrymen. It is similarly difficult to be away from home during a time of natural disaster. February 2009

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lessons from Greek and Australian 'quench-fires'

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 September 2009
    3 Comments

    In Australia it would beggar belief to see elderly nuns directing garden hoses against the fires that threaten their convents. But that is what happened last week in Greece. Australia and Greece resemble each other in many ways, but not in the way they cope with fire.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Flame blame is a shame

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 August 2009
    10 Comments

    The Black Saturday bushfires had the same relationship to previous fires as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima did to other bombing raids. Defects of communication and organisation, while regrettable and costly, were irrelevant: there's no assured safety for those who live near bushland.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Strategies for a new era of firestorms

    • Paul Collins
    • 21 August 2009
    5 Comments

    There were many mistakes made on Black Saturday and the Interim Report of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission points them out. For now the commissioners avoid the 'bigger fire questions', but in the end these will have to be faced.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stupid men in a brutal land

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 July 2009

    Australia, 1902. One year since Federation. The nation is a sickly child, as yet unaware of its weakness. The colonisers deceive themselves into thinking they can tame the land. A century later, not much has changed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Predicting Black Saturday

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 May 2009
    1 Comment

    It's frightening how precisely experts predicted the weather and its impact on the seemingly inevitable Black Saturday fires. A new documentary questions the adequacy of the response, given the veracity of these warning signs.

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  • RELIGION

    On blaming God for swine flu

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 May 2009
    15 Comments

    An American priest reportedly claimed that swine flu was God's punishment for sin. The idea that God might use natural disasters to punish people is repugnant. But at first glance the Scriptures do seem to represent God as doing just that.

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  • RELIGION

    Kevin Rudd and the problem of evil

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 April 2009
    25 Comments

    With uncharacteristic vehemence, Mr Rudd said people smugglers could rot in hell. This kind of language echoes the tabloid characterisation of people who have done foul deeds as monsters. The Christian view of evil is more complex.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Outsourcing care

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 March 2009
    5 Comments

    The Victorian bushfires forced people to think about the costs and values associated with living in the bush. The financial meltdown will in turn make us consider our care for the needy, and how, and indeed whether, we must pay for it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What price our sporting soul

    • Edwina Byrne
    • 10 March 2009
    7 Comments

    Members Equity Stadium, ACER Arena, Suncorp Stadium, Etihad Stadium; corporations think they own a lot of our stuff. These buildings, and the events they house, constitute our cultural and urban landscapes. They should be sources of community pride.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gain from pain

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 March 2009

    The Victorian bushfires occurred during a time of financial uncertainty, but Australians gave their money generously. It was as if they were consciously and calculatingly investing their funds in the solidarity of the community.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Loving Australia's hard and soft faces

    • Toby Davidson
    • 27 February 2009
    1 Comment

    Sixteen Indigenous authors contribute stories of creation, love and yearning for place. Their country is one whose ancient landscape and traditions of custodianship were violently disrupted well before the 2009 fires.

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