Sydney is grumpy and going through a severe bout of summit envy now that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed the G20 will drop in on Brisbane in late 2014.
There is a pervasive view that Brisbane is a nice place but a long way from town while Sydney is the sophisticated senior capital, and clearly the first choice for any international event.All of which must be adding to the amusement of those organisers of APEC 2007 who were able to survive, with sanity intact, the whining and moaning which came from those Sydney sophisticates.
In 2007 the erection of a fence through the CBD, traffic diversions, public transport delays, associated security systems were fuel to a prolonged Sydney whinge-a-thon, before and after the event.
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Barnaby Joyce objected with characteristic sophistication to Peter Singer getting the nation’s top honour last week, the Companion of the Order of Australia. Various letters appeared defending Singer on following days, but all talked of his moral philosophy and honours without touching on his environmental insight which was well ahead of its time.
Back in 1990, in the second edition of Animal Liberation, Singer wrote that forests and meat animals compete for land and then outlined the contribution of deforestation to global warming and wildlife loss. He described the imperative for reforestation to avoid the worst of both.
In the two decades since those prescient words, while mainsteam environmentalists were busy with BBQ fundraisers to raise money to campaign on such pressing matters as plastic bags or disposable nappies, the Queenland cattle industry deforested another 7.8 million hectares. Globally, cattle have increased by 130 million to over 1.4 billion weighing more than the human population.
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Hooray for Friday at The Punch. How’s your week been?
Share it or anything else that’s on your mind here.
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As speculation mounts that ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will become the new Foreign Minister, is there a better role out there for him in the world?
Kevin Rudd was known for appointing politicians of both sides to important positions overseas.
He shipped former Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson off to Brussels as an Ambassador when he was discarded as Opposition Leader. At the same time Kim Beazley who he knocked off as leader was predictably sent packing for the plum job in Washington.
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Well he did secure press coverage saying things like “centre of world gravity just moved closer to Australia” and headlines such as Triumphant Rudd leaves as Obama battles on, so it’s no surprise the Prime Minister is looking like he’s just been told Christmas is coming twice this year.
But have a look at the rest of the pics after the jump - in every one, Kevin Rudd has a grin that looks like it was painted on with a roller brush. Enter your captions and explanations in the comments.
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SOME Australian voters might view their prime minister as a process-driven, even slightly nerdy, policy wonk but he is in fact a fun guy according to his German counterpart, Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Speaking after the two met in the fabulously large yet sparingly furnished Chancellery - said to be the largest government headquarters building in the world - Dr Merkel described the process of dealing with Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the Australian Government as ``a lot of fun’‘.
The clean lines and huge scale of the Chancellery building, itself a monument to Germanic excellence in design and architectural boldness, seemed a perfect counter-balance as the two heads of government fairly droned on in the all-too-familiar monotonal language of power-politics. But despite Mr Rudd lasping briefly into the most technical of bureacratese with a reference to ``programatic specificity’‘, (which as the name suggests, means bugger-all) Dr Merkel said, the issues and challenges made the relationship enjoyable.
``It’s actually a lot of fun to work together,’’ she said welcoming Mr Rudd formally to her country.
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