Great Barrier Reef in Danger  

A marine scientist known as the “Godfather of Coral”, Dr Charlie Veron, says the Great Barrier Reef - one of the seven wonders of the natural world - is in grave danger if the Australian government doesn't act on climate change. According to Dr Veron, who has worked on the reef for 45 years, without immediate action, the entire reef could be dead quite soon.
According to researchers from the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce (NCBT) - a federal government-funded initiative devoted to researching the reef - 7% of the world's largest living structure has been left unaffected by a massive coral bleaching event.
Coral bleaching happens when abnormal water conditions - for instance, rising temperatures caused by climate change - discharge tiny photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, turning the coral white and subsequently killing it.
Veron says that the only reason why the coral bleaching didn't spread to 100% of the reef was thanks to a sudden easing of warm conditions last December. “Once the coral's bleached, it's dead. It's the end of the road,” Veron says. “It's a matter of time before that full whammy happens.”
Veron has been particularly against the federal and Queensland state governments; decision to approve the massive Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland's Galilee basin, 500km from the reef.
The mine could produce up to 60 million tones of coal each year from six open-cut pits and five underground mines. The project has the support of both the federal and Queensland state governments, which affirm it will create thousands of jobs and inject $16 billion into the economy. However, over its period of activity, the mine is expected to pump billions of tones of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“Both governments have approved the the Adani mine without thinking of the consequences,” Veron says. “It's last thing Australia, of all countries, should be doing. I can't think of anything more harmful to do to the Great Barrier Reef than that.”
It's a sentiment echoed by Professor Terry Hughes convener of the NCBT, who says the approval of the mine shows the government isn't serious about stopping climate change and saving the reef. “I think an appropriate reaction from Hunt would be to rescind the 60-year permit. That would be real action for the Great Barrier Reef,” Hughes says.
Queensland's Environment Minister, Steven Miles, evaded any responsibility and passed it down to the federal government.“What the Reef needs is a set of policies that will cap and reduce emissions in real terms year on year,” Miles said. “The state government will play our part within the scope of our powers, but meeting our Paris [Climate Conference] targets is primarily the responsibility of the national government. What we don't have right now, and what we are demanding the Turnbull government deliver, is a national plan to meet those targets.”
Scientists from the Climate Council took a stand a placed a full page ad in Queensland's Courier Mail. The article explained that climate change is destroying the reef and immediate action is needed to prevent further damage. The open letter was signed by 56 experts with countless years of experience in studying climate change, and called for an end to investment in fossil fuels in Australia. “As you read this, a catastrophe is unfolding,” the letter reads, before going on to explain the extent of the coral bleaching event. (...) Why is this happening? As the Earth's temperature rises due to climate change, our oceans are experiencing record-breaking heat.”
Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes stated there is no doubt that the massive coral bleaching event on the reef is due to climate change. “This is not a surprise because we have known for decades that the burning of fossil fuels is driving climate change, and that delicate ecosystems like the reef will be destroyed as a result,” she said. “We are now seeing first hand the damage that climate change causes, and we have a duty of care to speak out.” There's some great research on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies website.
Crazy Facts About Australia  

Isolated from the world as an enormous island, Australia have developed their own little brand. As we kick off 2017 here are some interesting facts that will probably shock you about Australia.
Everyone knows Australia is quite big but nobody imagines that Australia is as wide as the distance between London and Moscow; therefore, the whole of the European continent could fit in this one single country Down Under. In fact, the whole of Belgium could fit in the biggest property in Australia. Even though Australia is so big, more than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre. It is such an amazing country that each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.
In terms of wealth, with a World History centred in Europe and the USA, nobody has stopped to think how rich Australia has been or is. For instance, in 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world. Guess how much Australia's richest woman -Gina Rinehart - earns every half hour. Nothing less than $1 million, this means she makes $598 every second.
Another interesting fact in Australian History is that in 1892, a group of 200 Australians unsatisfied with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia.'
In terms of world History, the first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Camberra. Also Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote, after New Zealand. Ever wondered who came up with the 8-hour working days? Well, it originated in 1856 when stonemasons took action to ensure this working hours which later became recognised worldwide. Australia was also one of the founding members of the United Nations.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Thereafter, he suggested his love of beer was the key to his political success.
There are also things that only happen in Australia. For instance, Australia's first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts. Also, Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.
Everyone knows Australians love their sports but what they might not know is that Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.
In terms of fauna, Australia can be very surprising as well. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna, including three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard. As to the animals on the Australian coat of arms, Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward. Speaking of which, Australia is one of the only countries where they eat the animals on their coat of arms.
The Great Barrier Reef is the planet's largest living structure and it has its own postbox.
The venom of the male platypus is strong enough to kill a small dog. When the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed that Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
Sydney Christmas Markets  
From festive artisan food to carols, gifts, fresh produce, gourmet treats, Santa Claus, retro fashion gifts, arts and crafts, children's stocking fillers, and festival local cheer, Sydney Christmas Markets offer all that the holiday season can afford.
Whether you are haven't done your Christmas shopping yet and are looking for special handicrafts, or you want to indulge yourself in festive gourmet treats or just enjoy a time out with your family and friends, you'll be spoilt for choice in the city. Jingle all the way through Sydney's top Christmas markets.
Lindesay Christmas Gift Fair
Held in a majestic Georgian house - Lindesay - this three-day annual market is the place to shop for unique boutique Christmas gifts. From arts and crafts, fashion and children's stocking fillers, you name it, they've got it. Shop till you drop surrounded by old-fashioned interiors and and period furniture. Indulge yourself in delectable treats from the stop kitchen and servants quarters as you enjoy the view of the Sydney Harbour.

Upcoming Dates:
  • 17 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm
  • 18 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm
  • 19 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm
 
Eryldene Christmas Fair
With over 50 quirky stallholders, the Eryldene heritage home in Gordon offers a unique Christmas shopping experience. A visit to its famous garden and the open house tour of the Historic Houses Trust property are the perfect addition to a the festive shopping day.
Upcoming Dates:
  • Eryldene Christmas Fair Saturday & Sunday 26 & 27 November 2016
 
Round She Goes
If you are a vintage and retro fashion lover, this is the market to do your Christmas shopping. Located in Marrickville Town Hall here you can find a gift for anyone of your family and friends and, of course, for yourself. From frocks and bags, brooches and buttons and plenty of bargains, you'll be spoilt for choice. At Round She Goes events and on the online marketplace, you can shop for preloved designer labels and quality vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery.
Upcoming Dates:
  • 12 November 2016
 
Central Coast Christmas Fair
If you happen to be around Sydney with your family during the holiday season, this is an unmissable family Christmas event. Widely known amongst locals, here you can choose from over 150 gift stalls, and even grab your fresh Christmas tree from the Rotary stall. Activities for the kids also abound. Enjoy your shopping while your kids are jolly getting pictures with Santa, going on rides or enjoying puppet shows and performances all day long. The Central Coast's favourite Christmas event returns to the beautiful waterside tranquil location of Mount Penang Gardens. You can enjoy the Coast's largest free outdoor Christmas shopping experience on the water in a relaxing environment with plenty of free parking.Now in its ninth year, the event features over 160 hand-picked, high-quality local arts and crafts stalls, international food zones and fresh seasonal produce areas, puddings, and delicious cakes. Santa will be there too and you can take photos with him on the water!
Upcoming Dates:
  • Sunday 4th December 2016, 9am-2pm
 
The Beaches Christmas Market
With over 100 producers offering a variety of the most delicious goods available, this is the market to stock up on farm fresh produce and gourmet treats. Apart from the delicious food, you can also find genuine artisan stalls and heaps of family friendly activities. Currently their most updated page is their Facebook page.
 
Upcoming Dates:
  • Sat 17 December 2016, 9am-3pm
The Australian Open of Surfing  

Every year the world's top adrenaline-fuelled athletes converge at the birthplace of professional surfing, Manly Beach, Sydney, for the country's fiercest surf, skate and music event - The Australian Open of Surfing.
Over this nine-day event, the world's greatest surfers will ride the waves like mythical creatures and bring Manly Beach, Sydney's premier beach side destination, to life. Attendees will be able to be mesmerised by an exciting mix of athletes competing in QS6000 men's and women's WSL-sanctioned surf contests, two men's and women's world junior star-events.
The world-class skateboarding won't disappoint. Be ready to be impressed by the jumps and turns of the incredible skaters as cool music plays in the background.
After enjoying the glorious Australian sun, hopefully with lots of sunscreen on, the sand and the waves, head to the stage in the evening to enjoy live music. You can also take pleasure in art and fashion. And it's all free.
Everyone will come together to celebrate youth culture, innovation and athleticism at Manly Beach. There's plenty of things to see and do at Manly Beach. Indulge in over 40 activities and beaches, 130 bars, restaurants and cafes or explore over 200 shops and stores. As you stroll down sidewalk you'll be able to get an iced coffee, smoothie or win a jet ski from one of the countless stalls that line the beach.
Surfing, skateboarding, art and Channel V concerts attract more than 160,000 people every year. You can get there by ferry from Sydney Circular Quay.
The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world's largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing. This annual event is owned and produce by IMG and is held at Huntington Beach, California. The event aims at celebrating inclusion and creativity while inspiring the next generation of athletes and artists.
 
This year it runs from 25th Feb to 5th March, 2017. While waiting check out some cool surf pics from Bali on Wavedog
Bizarre Facts About Australia  
Right before you land in Australia, the flight crew shows you an image warning you that there are over 1000 species in Australia that can kill you in a matter of seconds, yet the country is still one of the world's top destination. So there must be a reason why. It might not sound safe, but surely it is so, so don't let this article dissuade you from travelling Down Under, characterised by an undeniably bizarre nature. And there are also some shocking facts that seem to be taken from a science fiction film about this wonderful land you are about to learn.
Far North Queensland's rainforests host a neurotoxic stinging tree that feels like electrocuted and burnt with hot acid at the same time, leading to months of excruciating. But don't stress, if you find yourself in Far North Queensland, you'll find signs warning you of the stinging tree that can cause severe pain and distress, advising you to see immediate medical attention if stung. Dial 000.
Irukandji might be the size of a $2 coin, but it's venom is 100 times more potent than cobra venom. Not looking so insignificant now, is it?
Try not to lose an eye in Australia - literally. The fact is that every year some unfortunate person loses an eye to one of Australia's most dangerous predators - the magpie.
Originally, Australia's cyclones were named after politicians a weatherman disliked. Consequently, he could report that the pollies were “causing great distress” or “wandering aimlessly about the Pacific”.
Have you watched the film thunderbirds? Well, this is nothing like it. Just imagine that giant thunderbirds roamed Australia as recently as 15,000 years ago. It's like being closer to the film Jurassic Park.
With over 10,685, you could visit a new beach in Australia every day for more than 29 years.
Undeniable the force is in Australia with 65,486 Jedi (including Jedi Knights, Padawan and Sith Lords), which makes Jedi the 18th biggest religion in Australia.
In Australia, they like their happy drinks, and animals are no exception. In 2013, a feral pig stole 18 beers from campers, got drunk and started a fight with a cow.
Alcohol also plays a part in Australia's History. For instance, rum was the main currency in colonial Australia. When Gov. William Bligh tried to end the army officers' monopoly in 1808, his government was overthrown in the only coup in Australian history.
Brisbane Festivals  
From film to comedy festivals, Oktoberfest and yoga fairs, events in Brisbane caters to every crazy all year long.
Ocean Film Festival Australia
Showcasing the world's best ocean cinematography from above and below the surface, this festival is a must for ocean lovers. Get ready to be fascinated by fascinating underwater scenes and fast-paced sequences, along with spellbinding and breathtaking footage from above the surface. The cost for adults is £30, child $22 and group tickets are $25.50 per person.
Brisbane Comedy Festival
Who is up for a laugh? Each year Brisbane Comedy Festival gathers dozens of international and Australian comedians for a night full of giggles and chuckles. With sarcasm, dark and silly humour, comedians are all set to crack you up.
Sail Festival
The Easter Bunny goes nautical for a colourful seaside celebration in Brisbane. With hundreds of markets lining up the beautiful foreshores of Suttons Beach, you'll be spoilt for choice. Treat yourself to some delicious snacks while you enjoy the stage entertainment or get on rides. There are also kids workshops for the little ones in this festival that takes place early April.
Illuminations Festival
Colourful lanterns, projections and illuminations display will bring the foreshore alongside the Wynnum wading pool and jetty to life in a a festival like no other. Designed to thrill your senses, the light show is accompanied by fire twirlers, street entertainers, a day/twilight market and music entertaining visitors over the winter solstice weekend. The event is culminated by a street lantern parade and local artwork based on the theme of “Illuminations”.
School Fete
Offering rides, homemade products, face painting, school based performances, entertainment and other activities, this festival is designed to make the whole family happy.
YogaFest
With a large diversity of Yoga workshops, style presentations, Chinese Medicine, dance, massage and plenty more activities, this festival is a must for Yoga aficionados.
Oktoberfest Brisbane
There may be countless Oktoberfest spin-offs around the world, but Brisbane's German Festival has its own identity and taste. From mouthwatering German sausages to pork knuckles, schnitzels and pretzels, desserts - including the black forest cake, Bavarian cheesecakes and apple strudels- the cultural event is sure to delight your palate. Yet no Oktoberfest celebration is complete without the drink that started this tradition - beer! Make sure you sip on some of the handcrafted beers on offer while you dance or enjoy the performances and entertainment through the festival
 
Daniel Johns Aerial Love  
It took over 8 years, and finally one of Australia's top musicians released an album that now needs a re-listen one year on. His debut song as a solo artist is titled “Aerial Love', an airy piece of modern pop he created with Lorde and Broods collaborator, Joel Little.
Daniel Johns became world famous in 1994 as the front man of grunge band Silverchair. The band kept rising in popularity with their following albums to become one of Australia's most influential bands of all times. With Diorama, we could perceive the band's intention to swerve from its Grunge roots to become more alternative. The next album, Straight Lines, confirmed that this trajectory was meant to continue.
That was the last album Silverchair released as a band, but Daniel Johns also had side projects while he was in Silverchair and after. An diversion from rock music was latent in the music he released with another band he formed, The Dissociatives and other collaborations he was part of over the years, for instance with Kimbra.
However, an even more surprising collaboration was released recently in 2014 when Daniel Johns featured with rapper 360 in the single Impossible.
With the release of his new song, Aerial Love, Daniel Johns proves once again his capacity to surprise, revolutionize and innovate himself. Starting from Grunge to alternative rock, pop, rap and more soulful melody found in Aerial Love, Daniel Johns has shown himself to be an eclectic, curious and ambitious artist that lives to challenge himself, experiment with new music and evolve as an artist.
The song was accompanied by a trailblazing video created by using drone camera technology. The video was directed by Lorin Askill (Flume & Chet Faker, Phoenix and Sia's Chandelier editor. The video transmits the song's weightlessness, timeless, shyly carnal feel.
Overseas tourists  

There were 624,000 visitor arrivals during October 2015, an increase of 6.9 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year. This growth rate is moderate
This brings us to 7.27 million visitor arrivals for year ending October 2015, an increase of 6.7 per cent relative to the previous year. This represents an extra 455,000 visitors on the previous year.
Hostorically, there were 6.1 million visitor arrivals for year ending January 2013 in Australia. This entails an increase of 4.1% relative to the previous year. As to the month of January 2013, there were 495,000 visitor arrivals which shows a decline of 1.5% in comparison with the same month of the previous year.
The great majority of visitors, a total of 82,100, came from New Zealand during January 2013, an increase of 9.5% relative to the same month previous year.
Visitors from China are still highly relevant Down Under. During January 2013, 58,700 tourists from the Asian country visited Australia, which reflects a decline of 24% relative to the same month in 2012.
UK visitors still represent the majority of European visitors in the Antipodes. There were 57,800 visitors from the United Kingdom during the month of study, which shows an increase of 1.4% year on year.
There has been a positive growth in US visitor numbers to Australia. On January 2013, a total of 42,100 American tourists visited Australia, which represents an increase of 8.5% relative to the same month previous year. Consequently, Americans represent the fourth largest tourist group in Australia.
Also, while the number of European visitors increases (France, 8%; Germany, 2.3%), the number of some Southeast Asian countries declines (Singapore, 8.4%; Malaysia, 4.7%). In the meantime, some Northeast Asian countries show different trends; while the number of Korean visitors has seen an increase by 9.4%, the number of visitors from Taiwan has declined by 9.9% relative to the same month in 2012.

 

Best Jobs in the World  

Best Jobs in the World
Are the Mondays blues getting you down? Imagine exploring a tropical island, hiking through ancient rainforests and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef... and getting paid for it. Too good to be true? Well, this dream became a reality for one lucky adventurer back in 2009 as part of the Best Job in the World Campaign.
Now it is your chance to make this fantasy come true. This year, the offer is back, but this time it comes multiplied by half a dozen.
Tourism Australia offers you the chance of a lifetime to work in one the six amazing jobs it is promoting -each with a six-month contract and a salary package worth AUD $100,000. Each job is located in an spectacular area of the country, showcasing the best of Australia and what the country has offer the world's youth travellers. An incredible job, an attractive salary and a dreamy location. What more can you ask for?
The jobs include Chief Funster (New South Wales) -put up some of the state's biggest and boldest parties, festivals and events; Outback Adventurer (Northern Territory) -uncover the best adventures and experiences for working holiday makers; Park Ranger (Queensland) -protect and promote Australia's natural wilderness; Wildlife Caretaker (South Australia) -educate visitors about Kangaroo Island's outstanding ecosystem; Lifestyle Photographer (Melbourne) -capture this cultural city's lifestyle in pictures; and finally Taste Master Western Australia -become a connoisseur of Western Australia's produce, gastronomy and vineyards and then promote it.
In an exclusive interview for australiahop.com with Senior PR Executive, UK & Northern Europe at Tourism Australia, Emma Bunning, we found out more about this successful campaign that has sparked youths around the world to get their dream jobs.
How many people have applied so far?
So far we have had over 365,000 applicants, with 52,403 applications from the UK. There has never been an initiative quite like this in the past and so there is nothing to directly compare this to. Tourism Queensland ran Best Job in The World in 2009 and had around 34,000 applicants in total to give this some context. But Best Jobs in the world is slightly different in that we are offering 6 jobs this time.
What is the criteria used to determine who will win the competition in each category?
We are looking for five key elements from the videos: English language proficiency, personal presentation, technical proficiency as shown in the video (good sound and vision quality is vital), content and experience, creativity, originality and motivation. Proficiency in English is a must as the successful applicant will be working in Australia where English is the most commonly spoken language. Personal presentation is also important in such a high profile position. The technical proficiency demonstrated in the video application is an important element, as the job requires the successful applicant to produce blogs and video diaries.
Knowledge and experience of the job you are applying for as demonstrated by the content in the video submission is vital in assessing whether you are the right person for the job. Like any job you apply for, it's important to show you have researched the role and you explain how well you could carry out the responsibilities.
Demonstrating creativity, motivation and a genuine enthusiasm for this position is vital. We need candidates who can sustain worldwide interest for six months and have the energy to commit to a busy schedule during this time.
How is this initiative designed to benefit tourism in Australia?
‘Best Jobs in the World' is designed to promote Australia's Working Holiday Visa Maker Program to a global audience. Youth is an important target market for Australian tourism, currently representing 26% (1.6m) of all international visitors to Australia each year. Importantly young travellers tend to stay for longer, spend more and disperse more widely through the country than most other target segments, so they provide an excellent benefit to the economy, particularly in regional areas.
In addition, the fact that Tourism Australia, in conjunction with its State and Territory Tourism Office partners, is offering six jobs means that the campaign showcases a variety of experiences and locations that will appeal to the youth audience.
What are the implications of "Best Job in the World" for the economy?
In 2012 Working Holiday Makers contributed AUD$2.5billion to the Australian economy. On average Working Holiday Makers spend in excess of AUD$13,000 during their stay and contribute to regional economies and job creation – with every 1,000 WHM creating just over six full time equivalent jobs in the economy.

Expensive cities  
Sydney, one of the world's most expensive cities
As the Australian currency becomes stronger, the cost of living in the country keeps increasing. Consequently, nowadays Sydney -which was once a relatively affordable locality- keeps moving up the ranks of the world's most expensive cities.
According to a study carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2013 Worldwide Cost of Living Index, Sydney is the third most expensive city in the world. The survey -published in CNN Money- compares n U.S. dollars the average prices of of 160 everyday goods and services, including good, drink, rent, clothing, household supplies and transportation. More than 50,000 individual prices were gathered to create average prices for goods and services in 131 cities.
As the research's findings point out, in Sydney, a loaf of bread costs $5.03, a bottle of table wine is $25.38, a pack of brand-name cigarettes is $15.48 and high-end 3-course dinner for four with wine is $731.96. Indeed, it is not a cheap place for smokers.
The most expensive city to buy a loaf of bread is in Tokyo where it costs $9.06, while Paris -unsurprisingly- can be the most expensive place to have dinner (a bill can reach $2,100).
The American reputed magazine Time also places Sydney on the third place in “The World's 10 Most Expensive Cities of 2013”. Sydney alongside another Australian city -Melbourne- have seen some of the biggest rises in prices over the past year. The strong local currency -partially powered by the country's strong economic links to China's burgeoning economy- has recently pushed up the prices in a significant measure.
Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities for luxury Real Estate. “Global billionaire activity in world real estate markets has been so intense over the last seven years that it has led to a doubling of property values in this sector,” says Savills, a global real estate firm, in its annual World Cities Review report.
According to the study, Sydney is the 10th most expensive billionaire city where the average price per square foot is 580 pounds ($880) and the average property size is 19,400 sq. ft.
This trend might reflect Sydney's growing importance as an hub for business in the region. “Billionaire activity has been concentrated on high-end urban centers rather than leisure properties in the surrounding countryside or regional sunbelts,” says Yolande Barnes, head of world research at Savills. ”This reflects a global preference for urban locations as these billionaires need to be located in cities where they can do business.”
  
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