Friday, November 05, 2021

Renovated Queenslander smashes Brisbane suburb record by $650k

What a magnificent house! I have owned broadly similar houses but none that grand. Below is my best house of that ilk

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This property at 20 Pring St, Hendra, has sold for a new suburb record of $4.5m.

HENDRA’S suburb price record has been spectacularly broken with a renovated Queenslander selling under the hammer for $4.5 million, as Brisbane’s auction market continues to amaze.

Seven local bidders competed for the grand, five-bedroom home on more than 1000 sqm at 20 Pring Street before a couple upgrading from New Farm secured the winning bid.


Labor states push back on positive history curriculum bid

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge’s hopes for a national curriculum that presents a positive view of Australian history is facing a challenge from Labor states, with ministers in Victoria and Western Australia accusing him of trying to reignite culture wars over the nation’s past.

Mr Tudge will head into the final education ministers’ meeting of the year next Friday having graded the draft curriculum a “C” last month, saying it would teach students a “negative, miserable view of Australia” and future generations would be unwilling to defend the nation against threats to its liberal democracy.

The meeting is the last formal opportunity this year for education ministers to discuss the final draft curriculum, which requires a consensus to be implemented, unless an additional out-of-session gathering is scheduled. But the path to agreement, particularly over the history content, is unclear, with Labor ministers in Victoria, Queensland, WA, the ACT and the Northern Territory critical of Mr Tudge’s comments.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said Mr Tudge’s remarks were aimed at “inciting culture wars”, adding Victoria would advocate for a curriculum “that will produce the thoughtful and proud Australians of the future”.

“We have long called for Australia’s Indigenous heritage to be firmly embedded in our curriculum – not at the expense of other important aspects of the Australian story, but as part of a balanced, diverse history offering that covers both the inspiring and challenging parts of our nation’s history,” Mr Merlino said.

WA Education Minister Sue Ellery said it was important students learned different perspectives on the past as well as the skills to form their own judgments.

“I don’t think going again to the fake so-called history wars has added anything to the review as history is always judged by the perspective of who is looking at it,” she said.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said it had been unhelpful for Mr Tudge to comment on the review before it had been completed.

“I don’t think it helps to provide a running commentary on the teaching of Australian history and other subject matters,” she said.

A spokeswoman for ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry said she did “not share Minister Tudge’s concern regarding the history learning areas of the draft curriculum”.

NT Education Minister Lauren Moss said the independent review process “should be respected” and she supported attempts in the draft to strengthen Indigenous history content.

“Critical to two-way teaching and learning is being honest about the many facets of our history, and the Australian curriculum review seeks to improve this, including the ongoing impact of colonisation on First Nations Australians,” she said.

Mr Tudge’s criticisms of the draft curriculum included that Anzac Day should not be taught as a “contested idea” but as the most sacred day of the year. He has also argued the curriculum struck the wrong balance when it came to teaching Indigenous perspectives, saying they should be included but not “at the expense of dishonouring our Western heritage”. It is unclear whether these concerns have been addressed in the final document.

Mr Tudge did not respond directly to questions about whether consensus could be reached at next week’s meeting. In a statement, he said his concerns went well beyond the history content.

“I’ll be reviewing the final draft curriculum closely. Parents, guardians and school communities would expect nothing less,” he said.

Liberal education ministers in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania declined to say whether they agreed with Mr Tudge’s criticisms of the draft when approach for comment.

Speaking at NSW budget estimates this week, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said students should have a “proud understanding of Australian history”.

The review was undertaken by the independent Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which has held briefings with ministers on the final revised curriculum this week.

According to the timeline agreed by education ministers in June last year, the review process should be completed by the end of 2021, with the new curriculum documents made publicly available from the start of the new year.

“Once endorsed by Education Council, the revised F-10 Australian curriculum will be published on an improved website platform and be available for implementation from the start of 2022,” the terms of reference for the review state.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority chief executive David de Carvalho told Senate estimates last week the board had signed off on the final draft of the curriculum on October 14 and it had been sent to senior state and territory education officials for review before the ministers’ meeting.


Australia eyes more oil and gas fields as COP26 seeks fossil phase-out

Morrison's flim flam at Glasgow has left Australia free to pursue its best interests

Australia’s coastline could soon be opened up to more oil and gas drilling even as the United Nations declares the world cannot afford to increase fossil fuel production if it wants to avoid catastrophic global warming and 80 nations pledge to cut methane emissions.

The federal government is preparing to begin community consultations on potential exploration activities spanning new parts of Western Australia’s Bonaparte, Browse and North Carnarvon basins and Victoria’s Gippsland Basin, which oil and gas companies have identified as areas of interest.

Environmental advocates on Wednesday described the push for new fossil fuel exploration along Australia’s coastline as “callous and cynical”.

“This is an attempt to broaden the footprint of fossil fuels, while Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor attempt to make friends in Glasgow,” Wilderness Society WA campaigns manager Patrick Gardner said.

“The mindless creep of fossil fuel expansion is being pushed onto communities that do not want it.”

The launch of community consultations – after which exploration companies must bid for a release and be assessed as a deserving applicant – comes amid growing warnings against ramping up production of planet-heating fossil fuels.

Supporters of gas, including the Morrison government, describe it as a necessary “transition fuel” in the green power shift, as a comparatively less-emitting alternative to coal that can keep energy reliable and affordable in periods when weather conditions for wind and solar generation are unfavourable. Gas is also used as a raw material in a range of manufacturing processes.

But the fossil fuel’s future is increasingly under question, with scientists and climate advocates arguing gas remains a heavy source of emissions and its role must be urgently reduced not expanded.

Another major achievement at Glasgow came with the agreement from 40 nations including Australia, which together generate 40 per cent of global GDP, committing to collaborate on clean technology to replace carbon-intensive industries like steelmaking and power generation.


Leftist government to allow more logging

A refreshing change. Vast areas of Australia have had logging completely locked out

Victoria's water catchments will now have fewer protections against logging, after the state government changed legislation to allow the practice in previously off-limits areas.

The change removes a strict ban on logging on steep slopes in those areas — a law experts allege was repeatedly broken by VicForests.

Scientists say logging on steep slopes can result in soil eroding into waterways, which can pollute them, and even cause dangerous algal blooms.

Since 2019, the ABC has reported a string of allegations that VicForests was breaching laws designed to protect Victoria's important water catchments, including the Thomson, which provides the majority of Melbourne's drinking water.

On at least two occasions the Office of the Conservation Regulator confirmed breaches had occurred, but declined to take any regulatory action.

Scientists alleged breaches occurred in hundreds of locations. Much of that alleged activity would now be legal.

Victoria's state-owned logging company VicForests has put Melbourne's drinking supply at risk by illegally logging on steep slopes in an important water catchment.

"Instead of abiding by the law, what they've done is simply change the laws to make what was a widespread, illegal logging approach legal," said David Lindenmayer, a professor of forest ecology at the Australian National University.

Professor Lindenmayer led research that alleged "widespread" and "systemic" breaches of the slope proscriptions.

"This is what you might expect to see in places like Indonesia or Madagascar, not in a developed first world nation like Australia," he said.

When it proposed the changes, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said it was doing so to clarify the intent of the existing law.

"Without this allowance, even a small hill or landscape variation could cause technical non-compliance, which was never the intention of these limits," the department said in an explanatory note.

In a logging area, known as a coupe, of 40 hectares, the new law will allow an area about twice the size of the MCG to be logged beyond the slope limit.

Under the change to the code, up to 10 per cent of any coupe in a water supply catchment can now be logged over 30 degrees.

"This is one of the most retrogressive changes to forestry practices I've ever seen," Professor Lindenmayer said.

"It makes the Environment Minister look very weak. It makes the Premier look very weak. It's the Victorian government kowtowing to the CFMEU and VicForests to cover up illegal behaviour."

Loggers welcome changes, advocates slam weakened protections

A spokeswoman for VicForests said in a statement: "VicForests takes its responsibility of sustainably harvesting coupes within our state forests for today and future generations extremely seriously."




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