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Environment Minister Sussan Ley faces a critical test: will she let a mine destroy koala breeding grounds?

environment minister sussan ley faces a critical test: will she let a mine destroy koala breeding grounds?
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Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas In the next few weeks, federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley will decide whether to approve a New South Wales quarry expansion that will destroy critical koala breeding grounds. The case, involving the Brandy Hill Quarry at Port Stephens, is emblematic of how...

On the road to COVID normal: the easing of regional Victoria’s restrictions signals hope for Melbourne too

on the road to covid normal: the easing of regional victoria’s restrictions signals hope for melbourne too
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Image: Shuttlestock As of 11.59pm yesterday (September 16), regional Victoria took the third step out of COVID-19 restrictions, Premier Daniel Andrews announced today. According to the roadmap revealed last weekend, the move to step 3 in regional Victoria could happen when the daily average number of cases for...

No, Prime Minister, gas doesn’t ‘work for all Australians’ and your scare tactics ignore modern energy problems

no, prime minister, gas doesn’t ‘work for all australians’ and your scare tactics ignore modern energy problems
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Image: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas The federal government today Monday it will build a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley, NSW, if electricity generators don’t fill the energy gap left by the Liddell coal-fired station when it retires in 2023. The government says it’s concerned that...

New coins celebrate Indigenous astronomy, the stars, and the dark spaces between them

new coins celebrate indigenous astronomy, the stars, and the dark spaces between them
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The Seven Sisters Uncirculated Coin. Royal Australian Mint Two new coins have been released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They feature artworks from Wiradjuri (NSW) and Yamaji (WA) artists that represent two...

The rise of ultra-processed foods and why they’re really bad for our health

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Picture: Shuttlestock Humans (and our ancestors) have been processing food for at least 1.8 million years. Roasting, drying, grinding and other techniques made food more nutritious, durable and tasty. This helped our ancestors to colonise diverse habitats, and then develop settlements and civilisations. Many traditional foods...

Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong

now everyone’s a statistician. here’s what armchair covid experts are getting wrong
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Image: Shutterstock If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics...

In gold we trust: why bullion is still a safe haven in times of crisis

in gold we trust: why bullion is still a safe haven in times of crisis
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Picture: Shuttlestock “Gold” said famed investor Warren Buffett in 1998, “gets dug out of the ground in Africa or someplace, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching...

Eat Out to Help Out: crowded restaurants may have driven UK coronavirus spike – new findings

eat out to help out: crowded restaurants may have driven uk coronavirus spike – new findings
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Busy August, quiet September. EPA England is about to re-impose nationwide restrictions on gatherings to control the spread of COVID-19. This comes less than two weeks after the end of the government’s half-a-billion-pound scheme to get people to eat out in restaurants. Depending on how things...

Are your devices spying on you? Australia’s very small step to make the Internet of Things safer

are your devices spying on you? australia’s very small step to make the internet of things safer
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Image: Shuttlestock From internet-connected televisions, toys, fridges, ovens, security cameras, door locks, fitness trackers and lights, the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) promises to revolutionise our homes. But it also threatens to increase our vulnerability to malicious acts. Security flaws in IoT devices are common. Hackers...

Sunday essay: COVID in ten photos

sunday essay: covid in ten photos
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Crew on board the Ruby Princess as the cruise liner docks at Port Kembla, Wollongong, Monday April 6, 2020.  AAP Image/Dean Lewins Our memories are malleable, they change over time. Memories can, however, crystallise through repetition. One of the most interesting things about memory is...