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Amazing Australian Situationskoala overpopulation on kangaroo island

Too many koalas on Kangaroo Island, should they be shot?

Sometimes situations arise that are a bit amazing, here is a selection of amazing Australian sitiuations...

Airport security

Late 2002 Australia was bracing itself for a terrorist attack, the fear was that intense the government even spent a few million dollars on fridge magnets telling you what to do in the event of an attack so Australian women would be reminded of it every time they got their husband another cold beer from the fridge.
Meanwhile media widely published the fact that luggage on domestic flights was not x-rayed and would not be for at least another year so the fact that nothing happened is due more to terrorists not being bothered or organized than actual security. When in late 2003 tighter security measures were introduced they still did not include regional airports where anyone can walk onto the plane carrying anything as nothing is checked there.
QANTAS did a check on its own security measures and their undercover inspectors managed to walk from the terminal into restricted areas at Australian airports 53 times in 2002.

Black birding

Many people are surprised to hear that Australia's history includes the phenomena of "black birding", a local version of the slave trade that occurred on American plantations in the early days of settlement there.
When white settlers first started turning the landscape into sugar cane plantations they found it hard going in the tropical heat and honestly believed that white people could not work in such circumstances. While the Dutch were succesful getting Indonesians to work hard on spice plantations Australian settlers were not so succesful getting Aborigines to do the same (though they proved their skills as horsemen and workers on cattle stations). A solution was found in sailing out to Pacific islands and kidnapping people to bring back to the cane fields.
Though officially they were not slaves the pay was that ridiculous that they could not afford to return home and thus had little choice other than to stay and work to survive and even nowadays you can see dark skinned people in sugar cane areas that are not Aborigines but descendants of Pacific Islanders that decided to stay after the "slavery" was abolished.

Koala cull?

While koalas might be endangered in some parts of Australia, in Kangaroo Island there are too many! This presents a huge dilemma to local National Parks Rangers. If they are left to multiply they will exhaust food supplies and this will cause all koalas to starve, they are too cute and loved to start shooting them, they are too uncooperative to feed them the birth control pill, and you can not simply relocate them as they have quite a complex family life.

No electricity for Cape Tribulation and the Daintreeno electricity in cape tribulation

Cape Tribulation in the Daintree, victimized by subsequent governments to live without mains electricity in the 21st century!

Everywhere around Australia where there is an indigenous community of a few dozen people the authorities normally place a generator and install a i grid to distribute electricity to their houses.
Cape Tribulation in the Daintree area of North Queensland has no indigenous population and so the residents here miss out on the basic service of electricity that everybody else takes for granted.
When the area was originally subdivided in the 1970s the developer was supposed to have put all the services like power, water etc. in but thanks to corruption being rife at the time none of this was done.
In later years when the area was finally recognized for its outstanding natural values authorities decided that there was never going to be any mains power installed to discourage settlement which would ruin this area. So for years only Mike Berwick, the mayor of the shire (until he got sacked) and a handful of his neighbours enjoy mains power north of the Daintree river.
Almost all residents of Cape Tribulation nowadays have solar power installed but in a rainforest area with clouds, rain and lots of trees this is far from a practical solution, a bit of joke really.
In reality this ' renewable energy community' is running on generators most the time burning lots of petrol and diesel, three million litres of fuel is trucked up every year.
As it is very in-efficient to run a generator for only one household and it would be far better for the environment to have one big generator in a central location with a distribution network like every Aboriginal community around the country has. Even the greenies agree on this. But try to get the government to see this and do something about it!

One of the issues that has frustrated Cape Tribulation residents over the years is that the (now ex-) mayor of their shire, Mike Berwick, lived comfortably on mains electricity north of the Daintree river, while he is against mains power to the rest of the population that survives on solar and generators, only his neighbours share this luxury that the rest of the western world takes for granted.
On the left you see the warning sign for boats so they don't hit the Mike's power line with their masts.

pollution in the daintree

I had in 18 years of residency suffered about 3000 periods of 48 hours without electricity, so I was eligible for a payment of $3 million. I emailed PM Julia Gillard but no reply as yet....

This map shows how Ergon operates 33 remote standalone power systems around Queensland, mainly in indigenous communities. It is a grave injustice that the Daintree community has had to suffer the lack of electricity and the resulting energy poverty all those years!

map of remote power stations

No swingers in Cairns

The councillors in Cairns have some strange priorities. On the one hand they are spending their rate payers hard earned dollars on a 'Pink Guide' to attract gay tourists with big dollars, on the other hand they have gone flat out closing 'Bella Vista', locally well known for being a 'swinger B&B'. Now if you're promoting your city to gay men, who will no doubt be having sex between scuba diving and Skyrail, why stop straight people from doing it with eachother?

Oil tankers and the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is recognized as the world's largest living coral system and its uniqueness and value is undisputed. So many people are surprised when they hear that shipping lanes run right through the Marine Park. You would think it would make sense to send ships right around the Marine Park at a safe distance but as often happens in life commercial interests are more powerful so now all sorts of ships from cargo to oil and fuel prefer to weave their way through the 1600 reefs that run for 2300 km from Bundaberg to the top of Cape York instead of just going in a straight line around the outside of the Marine Park. Everytime a ship runs on the reef, which has happened several times over the last few years, people call for ships to be banned from the Marine Park but also everytime nothing happens and the storm dies down again. Ships have to use pilots supplied by the authorities but even that didn't stop a fueltanker from running on the reef in 2002, luckily it did not lose its cargo and so far it has only been sheer luck that no disaster has happened that could do irreversible damage to this unique place.
Since then several more ships have run aground but so far no disasters have been big enough to wipe the reef out.

Schapelle Corby

Unless you have been in a Nullarbor cave for the last few years you would have heard about the holiday from hell that Schapelle Corby is having in Bali. When she arrived at Bali airport an airport official found 4.1 kg. of marijuana in her bag. Schapelle claims to know nothing about this, which makes sense, as why would you carry water to the sea? Normally drugs are smuggled the other way, the street market value of this marijuana is far and far higher in Australia than in Bali.
Another Australian has testified that he overheard prisoners talking that it was in internal shipment gone wrong, baggage handlers at the airport meant to move the drugs from Sydney to Brisbane using her bag but somebody forgot to remove it in Brisbane and it continued to Bali where it was found.
Since then more hard evidence has surfaced and arrests made amongst baggage handlers that were involved in drug shipments.

Just after the verdict many furious Australians rang aid-organizations to demand back their money they had generously pledged to Indonesia after the tsunami, though when it was explained to them that this would only hurt people not related to this case they changed their mind again.

Soon after the verdict of 20 years the website came online where you could register your pledge not to go there . They suggested you go to Fiji or Hawaii instead, we'd like to say stay in Australia, the north of Australia has the same climate, thanks to Richard Branson the flights are cheap now, the food won't give you Bali Belly and if baggagehandlers use your bags to ship drugs at least you can spend your time in a comfy Aussie jail close to home! Australia has some great destinations!!!

The Banbali website only lasted a couple of days as governments were very unhappy with it and hackers kept putting rude images on it so it is now no longer online, but you can go to the website her family set up;

Mabo case

In 1982 Torres Strait ( North Queensland) resident Eddie Mabo and a few others of the Meriam tribe took their case to the High Court to clarify their right to their own traditional land. Up till then Australian law had worked on the principal of Terra Nullius, presuming nobody owned Australia at the time of Cook's landing, perhaps because Aborigines were nomadic and did not fill the landscape with fences,houses and all the infra structure ususall visible where people live.
The Mabo case ran for ten years and Eddie Mabo died before then but the granting of rights to their traditional lands sent shock waves through Australia's farmers and mining companies as ownership of land was suddenly not so secure anymore. To calm investors the Federal Government came up with the Native Title act a year later which basically said that any Aborigines who could prove a continuous occupation of an area since the arrival of the European setlers could be granted ownership of this area or be compensated for the loss of it, all this to be decided by a specially set up Native Title Tribunal.

Medical indemnity crisis

We still need to do some research on this but the basic story is that through major mismanagement a huge insurance company that insured just about all Australian doctors and anyone to do with the medical business suddenly collapsed and many people in the medical profession refused to work, or went into early retirement not wiling to work without insurance.
( If you're reading this and you know about this saga please send us your version of events.)

Missing Rockhampton teenager

Rockhampton teenager Natasha Ryan disappeared from her home in August 1998.
Despite intense police investigations no trace of her was ever found, causing great distress to her parents. Several years later in 2003 serial killer Leonard John Fraser was in court charged with her murder when police received a tip off and went to the house of Natasha's boyfriend Scott Black. They searched the house and found Natasha hiding in a cupboard! While her parents thought she had disappeared and probably been murdered, for five years she had been hiding in a house just around the corner! Her parents were, after recovering from the shock, happy to see her and Scott Black was charged with perjury for misleading police, they may also seek restitution for the half a million dollars the search for Natasha was estimated to have cost.

Pilot strike

Another one we still have to do some research on to get the exact facts together but the basic story is that somewhere in the late 1980s all pilots in Australia ( on the big airines anyway) wanted a payrise. As usually happens the employers weren't too keen on it and it developed into a huge standoff coming to a point where the airlines said; right, tomorrow you're back at work or you're fired. Guess what, they didn't come to work the next day so they were all sacked and for quite some time there were no domestic flights. The tourism industry, especially in remote places like north Queensland and Northern Territory, went into a huge crisis and many people spent many hours and days taking the bus across Australia. Bit by bit the airlines managed to hire new pilots from overseas and from previous employees that broke ranks with the unions, and were wiling to risk death threats from angry ex-colleagues.

Sheep ship saga

Australia exports live sheep to the Middle East so the Muslims there can be assured they are slaughtered the halal way but in august 2003 Saudi Arabia refused a shipment because they were of the opinion the sheep were diseased. The Australian government swung into action and tried unsuccesfully to find another buyer but in the end the poor sheep spent 11 weeks at sea while they were offered free of charge to 57 different countries until finally Eritrea accepted them on the condition Australia paid for their food and another million dollars for unloading expenses. More than 5000 sheep died in this saga that cost Australia about $10 million. If this solution had not been found then the sheep would have been brought to the Cocos Islands, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean with no real port or unloading facilities to speak of, so that could have been interesting too.
Before the next lot of sheep could be loaded animal rights activists opposed to live sheep exports contaminated their feed with pigmeat which led to a two week delay. Ralph Hahnheuser, 39, of Semaphore in South Australia was arrested and could face a $1.4 million compensation claim if convicted. This saga also inspired the website

The Aussie "terrorist"

24 year old Melbourne boy David Hicks was looking for adventure back in 2000 and went to do a bit of military training in Afghanistan. He was enjoying himself playing soldier until the Americans invaded and dragged him off to Guantanamo Bay where he spent the next eight years which was a lot less fun.
When the Americans finally came to the conclusion that David was not a terrorist the Aussie Government paid over half a million dollars to fly him home in a private jet! When David's father was questioned by media about this big expense for the taxpayers he said that they would have preferred to pay David's ticket on a normal flight but the Aussie government would not let him.


You heard of ( or are involved ) in some amazing Australian situation? Then contact us!

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