Could you pass the proposed English test for Australian citizenship?

English language tests will be used to decide Australian citizenship. The Australian government is proposing tough new English language competency requirements for those seeking Australian citizenship. Alongside a test of Australian values, and proof of your integration into Australian society, you’ll need to prove you can read, write and speak English at a competent level We’ve been here before Question: What do these...

New rule slows road users to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles

New rule slows road users to 40km-h when passing emergency vehicles
July 1 and new rules pertaining to passing emergency/enforcement vehicles comes into play on Victoria The Victorian State Government has announced that from 1 July 2017, road users will need to slow down to 40km/h when driving past stationary or slow-moving emergency or enforcement vehicles with flashing red, blue or magenta lights, or sounding an alarm. Emergency and enforcement vehicles include...

On The Stella Prize

Isn’t fabulous when a UK online magazine site takes an interest in Australian fiction? That’s the view of Shiny New Books, an independent book recommendations website, who invited me to write a piece on The Stella Prize for their readers. I’d been following with interest the progress of The Stella Prize ever since the first winner was announced in 2013....

A venomous paradox: how deadly are Australia’s snakes?

A pair of rare sea snakes, thought to be extinct, sighted off Western Australia’s mid-north coast in 2015. Our stunning range of vipers inspire fear, but is that fair? AAP Image/WA Parks and Wildlife/Grant Griffin Australia is renowned worldwide for our venomous and poisonous creatures, from snakes, spiders and ticks on land, to lethal jellyfish, stingrays and stonefish in...

Grattan on Friday: Plenty of ‘rising damp’ in Turnbull government’s approach

On energy security, there is a distinctly “big government” approach by Malcolm Turnbull. The Liberals have a new duumvirate at the top of their organisation. Nick Greiner, one-time New South Wales premier, will be installed – in absentia, because he’s in Europe - as president at the party’s federal council on Friday night. Greiner is Malcolm Turnbull’s personal...

Three charts on: the NBN and Australia’s digital divide

The NBN’s multi-technology mix seems unlikely to deliver the same internet quality to everyone. The National Broadband Network (NBN) is widely considered to be failing Australians, but it isn’t failing them equally. Our research, undertaken at the Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity, seeks to address health inequities by looking at the geographical distribution of infrastructure,...

A beautiful evening

A beautiful evening
MUSIC REVIEW   Josh, one of our new music reviewer’s arrived to a full house at the Tote in Collingwood on the weekend, for the launch of  Ferla’s  new album Guilt Pop / Stay Posi. ‘It was packed, nearly overflowing, an Indie rock sound, a bit electronic; in the genre of Sticky Fingers. The crowd … Continue reading A...

LOADED LUNCHBOX

Why I’ve been frequenting St Kilda’s Dear Liza of late: heaps of fries, grilled corn cob, coleslaw – the creamiest, best I’ve tasted – and fried “chicken ribs” which are like big wings but without fat and gristle, coated in Chinese 5 spice crumbs. With a spicy tomato relish dip. For $12.50. What? Yes: $12.50. #St_Kilda #lunch #lunchbox #haxtrax.com   Asia, Australia,...

Wherefore Art Thou, Monsieur Romeo?

As far as careers go, you know you've "made it" when some of your many artistic collaborators included the likes of Beyonce, Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga. Monsieur Romeo, also the first man to perform at the infamous Crazy Horse Paris,  has worked with such names. But under the veneer of this incredibly talented performer lies an intelligence that...

Land clearing on the rise as legal ‘thinning’ proves far from clear-cut

A ‘thinned’ landscape, which provides far from ideal habitat for many species. Land clearing is accelerating across eastern Australia, despite our new research providing a clear warning of its impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, regional and global climate, and threatened native wildlife. Policies in place to control land clearing have been wound back across all Australian states, with major consequences...