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Australia is a global top-ten deforester – and Queensland is leading the way

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AUSTRALIA IS A GLOBAL TOP-TEN DEFORESTER – AND QUEENSLAND IS LEADING THE WAY
A chain used for land clearing is dragged over a pile of burning wood on a drought effected property near St George, Queensland. AP Image/Dan Peled When you think of devastating deforestation and extinction you usually think of the Amazon, Borneo and the Congo. But eastern Australia ranks alongside these in the top 10 of the world’s major deforestation...

Sunday essay: when did Australia’s human history begin?

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SUNDAY ESSAY: WHEN DID AUSTRALIA’S HUMAN HISTORY BEGIN?
Fossilised ancient human footprints at the Mungo National Park. How are we to engage with a history that spans 65,000 years? Michael Amendolia/AAP In July, a new date was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. It is the latest development in a time revolution that has gripped the nation over the past...

This is how to create social hubs that make 20-minute neighbourhoods work

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THIS IS HOW TO CREATE SOCIAL HUBS THAT MAKE 20-MINUTE NEIGHBOURHOODS WORK
Highton Shopping Village in Geelong.  Leila Farahani, Author provided Successful neighbourhood centres are important as places to meet and for social activity. People’s access to neighbourhood centres and the diversity of buildings and commercial uses found there can significantly influence how, and to what extent, we interact. Developing successful neighbourhood centres is at the core of Plan Melbourne’s strategy to create 20-minute neighbourhoods. These...

Facebook wants your nude photos to prevent ‘revenge porn’ – here’s why you should be sceptical

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FACEBOOK WANTS YOUR NUDE PHOTOS TO PREVENT ‘REVENGE PORN’ – HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD BE SCEPTICAL
Show me yours, and we'll make sure no one else sees it! Facebook’s latest attempt to tackle the non-consensual sharing of sexual pictures (often known as “revenge porn”) appeared so wrong-headed that at first it seemed like a joke. But the social network has made clear its system of asking users to send in explicit images that they don’t...

The road to same-sex marriage support has been long – and the fight isn’t over yet

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THE ROAD TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORT HAS BEEN LONG – AND THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER YET
People celebrate the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey in Melbourne. AAP Image/Luis Enrique Ascui Wednesday's same-sex marriage survey results represent a moment of extraordinary change. It is well within living memory that homosexuality in Australia was considered a crime, a sickness and a threat to the nation itself. The final Australian state to decriminalise male homosexuality was...

Grattan on Friday: In 2017 Australia has delivered to LGBTI community but failed its First Peoples

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GRATTAN ON FRIDAY: IN 2017 AUSTRALIA HAS DELIVERED TO LGBTI COMMUNITY BUT FAILED ITS FIRST PEOPLES
Trevor Evans, Trent Zimmerman and Tim Wilson congratulate Dean Smith following the second reading of his marriage bill.  Important detail is being debated but for all intents and purposes the same-sex marriage issue is over. The Coalition conservatives don’t have the numbers to insert egregious amendments into the bill that’s now before parliament. Turnbull had a glass of champagne and,...

Hemp can now be sold as a food in Australia (and it’s super good for you)

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HEMP CAN NOW BE SOLD AS A FOOD IN AUSTRALIA (AND IT’S SUPER GOOD FOR YOU)
You can eat and cook with whole hemp seeds right, hearts (centre) and ground seed (left). marekuliasz/shutterstock Most of you know hemp, or marijuana, as a drug to be smoked. Laws restrict its use and sale in Australia and other countries. From November 12 2017, changes to the Food Standards Code to permit the sale of low-psychoactive hemp seed as a...

Mungo Man returns home: there is still much he can teach us about ancient Australia

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MUNGO MAN RETURNS HOME: THERE IS STILL MUCH HE CAN TEACH US ABOUT ANCIENT AUSTRALIA
Mungo Man finally returns to where he was found in the Mungo National Park. Office of Environment and Heritage/J Spencer The remains of the first known Australian, Mungo Man, today begin their return to the Willandra area of New South Wales, where they were discovered in 1974. They’ll be accompanied by the remains of around 100 other Aboriginal people who lived in...

Four reasons Victorian MPs say ‘no’ to assisted dying, and why they’re misleading

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FOUR REASONS VICTORIAN MPS SAY ‘NO’ TO ASSISTED DYING, AND WHY THEY’RE MISLEADING
Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and Finance Mr Daniel Mulino voted against the state’s assisted dying bill.  JOE CASTRO/AAP Imagine Victoria’s upper house has resumed its debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying bill. The bill is now at the committee stage and a vote is expected as soon as Thursday (it needs 21 votes to pass). At the conclusion of its last sitting, the Legislative...

Australians vote overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage

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AUSTRALIANS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO LEGALISE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Supporters of same-sex marriage in Melbourne celebrate the Yes result. David Crosling/AAP Australia should have same-sex marriage legalised by Christmas after an overwhelming 61.6% “yes” vote in the voluntary postal ballot, to 38.4% for the “no” side. After the decisive result, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared it was now up to parliament to “get this done”, as the result triggered...