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Scarborough, Queensland: no longer allowed to factor in sea-level rise in its planning laws. Seo75/Wikimedia Commons

Complacency rules as Queensland makes risky edict on sea-level rise

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s decision, revealed this week, to order a Brisbane council to remove future sea-level rise from its planning regulations seems a rather short-sighted thing to do…
Queensland’s cuts to water red tape could leave outback bores high and dry. kdliss/Wikimedia Commons

Queensland risks running the well dry by gifting water to coal

On Wednesday, Queensland’s parliament passed water reform legislation that will make it easier to take and use water, particularly for large mining and agriculture projects. The state government also recently…
King tides are just one of the threats faced by the people of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, as a result of climate change. Brad Marsellos

Rising seas pose a cultural threat to Australia’s ‘forgotten people’

While you may have heard about the increasing threat that climate change and rising seas pose to Pacific islands — already forcing some communities to move — Australia has its own group of islands that…
How prevalent is the use of lethal force by police in Australia, and is a disturbing trend developing in Queensland? AAP/Dave Hunt

Shoot to kill: the use of lethal force by police in Australia

Over the weekend, Queensland police shot and killed a 51-year-old man who was allegedly armed with a knife. On Monday night, another man was shot and killed on the Gold Coast. It was the sixth Queensland…
In a 6:1 decision, the High Court upheld the validity of two offences created under Queensland’s anti-bikie measures. AAP/Dan Peled

High Court invites fresh challenge to Queensland’s bikie laws

Last Friday, the High Court handed down its decision in a constitutional challenge to Queensland’s controversial suite of anti-bikie laws. This decision is as interesting for what it does not decide as…
The Toronto G20 summit showed what starts out as a peaceful protest can turn into a violent clash. EPA/Sergei Ilinitsky

G20 lockdown: the challenge of balancing freedom and security

The Brisbane G20 summit is shaping up to to be Australia’s largest security operation. In recent decades, most large-scale protests in Australia have been relatively peaceful events, but the policing of…
Wayne Goss claims victory in the 1989 Queensland election, when Labor won government after 32 years in opposition. AAP/Queensland ALP

Wayne Goss, a modernising leader who left Queensland a better place

Thank you, Queensland. You’ve been good to me. I hope I’ve left you a better place. So said Wayne Goss as he resigned the role of premier on February 19, 1996. He had served since the election in December…
Flying over Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Kiyo/Flickr

The plan to save the Great Barrier Reef is destined to fail unless …

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble, and a draft government plan to ensure its survival does not go far enough. A number of submissions including those from the Australian Academy of Science and Environmental…
Australia won’t be building anything as big as the Gordon Dam any time soon. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Dam hard: water storage is a historic headache for Australia

The agricultural green paper released last week proposes 27 new water and irrigation projects, which the government claims will be necessary for Australia’s agricultural expansion. The emphasis is firmly…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has the support of his federal government colleagues to privatise assets, but the electorate remains unconvinced. Dan Peled/AAP

Making the case for selling off Queensland’s power assets

Queensland’s Campbell Newman-led coalition will seek a mandate to privatise the electricity sector, along with two ports and water pipelines, in next year’s state election, despite it being rejected by…
Under a Greens-PUP deal, the senate inquiry into the Queensland government will investigate coal seam gas approvals granted under the previous Queensland government. Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr

Greens-Palmer deal: a roadblock for environmental one-stop shop

The Greens have secured a deal with the Palmer United Party (PUP) and Labor that effectively kills the federal government’s plan to hand its environmental approval powers to the states under its “one-stop…
A test pit for the Alpha Coal Mine proposed by GVK Hancock, which was successfully challenged in the Land Court. Such a challenge would not be allowed under Queensland’s new mining laws. Lock the Gate Alliance/Flickr

Mining coup in Queensland removes public objection rights

The Queensland government has recently removed long-standing public rights to object to mines. In shades of the Bjelke-Petersen era, Queensland mines minister Andrew Cripps made fundamental changes one…
There’s a long-term shift underway in Australia that all politicians should be watching. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Indigenous Australia’s rapid rise is shifting money and votes

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
The latest report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef shows the reef condition is “poor” Scientific Editor/Flickr

Reef condition is ‘poor’, and probably worse than healthcheck suggests

The latest healthcheck of the Great Barrier Reef shows the overall outlook is “poor”, and getting worse. According to the Outlook Report produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, climate…
Are Queensland’s cassowaries being let down by Canberra’s officialdom?. Dave Kimble/Wikimedia Commons

Cassowaries and chaplains: how to avoid Canberra’s conservation overreach

What do school chaplains and cassowaries have in common? Both highlight the degree to which federal governments struggle to devolve quality public decision-making to the right level. Our schools and our…
Centenary Pool, Spring Hill, architect: James Birrell. James Birrell private collection

Queensland’s hot modernist architecture shows bold city vision

When most people think of Brisbane architecture, they usually picture a Queenslander: high-set, timber-and-corrugated iron houses that are ideally suited to subtropical conditions. Modernism fits into…
The Saraji coal mine in the Bowen coal basin produces around 5 million tonnes of coal each year. Adani’s Carmichael mine could produce up to 60 million. Image Library/Flickr

Carmichael mine is a game-changer for Australian coal

The Carmichael coal project, approved this week by environment minister Greg Hunt, is unprecedented in its scale, and also represents a significant shift in Australia’s coal industry. If the mine goes…

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