Was it ScoMo or Hanson?

Who is responsible, Scott Morrison or Pauline Hanson?

Which of these Australian politicians is responsible for the destruction of yet more Australian wildlife?

Morrison and Hanson both handled wombats in recent years and now a large proportion of the nation’s wombats suffer from mange. Coincidence?

Mange is one of the biggest killers of wombats. The mange mite buries itself under the wombat’s skin triggering extreme itchiness which makes the wombat scratch, causing open wounds and scabs to form.  These become infected, the wombat loses condition, becomes dehydrated, malnourished and slowly dies. The good news is, it can be treated.

The Wombat Protection Society of Australia is working to eliminate that threat. WPSA is a national non-profit organisation created to raise awareness and money in order to provide wombats with immediate protection from harm. WPSA enhances quality of life, funds projects that develop and protect suitable habitat, and provides sanctuaries for Australian wombats.

Mange is considered to be the major health issue impacting wombat welfare. It is caused by the parasitic mite sarcoptes scabiei, and the society has brought attention and action to this issue by encouraging and supporting research and collaboration in the treatment and prevention of mange in both free living and in-care wombats.

Wombat conservation occurs throughout Australia but is carried out almost exclusively by volunteers. Very little government funding is provided to wombat protection groups, and Morrison and Hanson could change this; Morrison especially. Instead, both politicians exploited wombats for photo opportunities instead of substantially increasing funding for their protection.

The One Nation leader posed for a bizarre photo with a distressed wombat while campaigning. She straddled it before appearing to knee it in the back in a move that’s not even legal in the NRL or Super Rugby. That wombat is likely to be suffering a lot more than mange.

Morrison appears extremely uncomfortable handling the wombat during his photo opp, but one can’t expect a man to offer empathy to an animal if he can’t even offer it to humans.

Morrison and Hanson attract an equal amount of suspicion. Both are populist leaders more capable of slogans and photo opportunities than actual policy formation or genuine action. Both utilise racism and the gullibility of semi-literate Australians to maintain their power, and both have a terrible track record on issues of environmental sustainability during their terms.

So who gave the mange to Australia’s lovable native animals?

Was it Scott Morrison or Pauline Hanson?

Images: AAP, ABC

AGL welcomes everyone…

Australian energy company AGL invites everyone…to suffer.

AGL is Australia’s biggest polluter but has also won awards for diversity inclusion, indicating that it welcomes everyone to suffer from the effects of climate change.

The company was recently awarded Gold Employer status for LGBTQ+ inclusion at the AWEI Awards, while simultaneously earning the title of Australia’s biggest domestic contributor to climate change by Greenpeace. Greenpeace argues that AGL emitted 42.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019-2020. Greenpeace data confirms that the energy company creates,

“…24.6% of electricity sector emissions and 8% of Australia’s total emissions, which primarily comes from the coal burned at the energy giant’s three coal-burning power stations: Liddell, Bayswater, and Loy Yang A. AGL’s own data confirms that 85% of energy generated by the gentailer comes from burning coal.”

At the same time, AGL boasts publicly that:

“This is the third year we have been awarded Gold Employer status, and the fifth year that we have participated in the AWEI. Our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, was created in 2014. The network focuses on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees – while also advocating internally and externally for gender inclusion beyond the heteronormative binary.”

Creating a safe space for LGBTQIA+ people in encouraging, but let’s not beat around the bush. How hard is it to be inclusive in 2022?

Encouraging diversity essentially means treating everyone equally.

How hard is that?

Even if AGL does genuinely support LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace, what exactly does this entail?

It involves affirming the Darlington Statement which articulates the human rights demands of people with intersex variations. A statement written by someone else.

Does it involve paying a diversity trainer or consultant to conduct training sessions on diversity with employees, or hosting social days to celebrate diversity?

Does it involve allowing all staff to choose their own pronouns, and updating HR documents, or posting the rainbow motif on all social media platforms?

It might even include sponsoring a float in Mardi Gras, targeted employment or other active steps. They might even make a difference to the lives of employees.

Remember, however, that government schools throughout Australia are just as inclusive as AGL, but they don’t win awards. They also do so with a fraction of the money available to AGL. They do it with underpaid, overworked, undervalued teachers.

Did AGL win an award because it operates within the resource sector, and is the resource sector full of bigots?

Either way, winning an award for diversity inclusion does not change the fact that AGL is still Australia’s biggest polluter. It does not change the fact that:

Lesbians will suffer from climate change

Gay people will suffer from climate change

Bisexual people will suffer from climate change

Trans people will suffer from climate change

Queer people will suffer from climate change

Intersexed people will suffer from climate change

Asexual people will suffer from climate change

That’s not all.

Males will suffer from climate change

Females will suffer from climate change

Men will suffer from climate change

Women will suffer from climate change

Non binary people will suffer from climate change

Gender neutral/Androgynous people will suffer from climate change

Gender fluid people will suffer from climate change

Agender people will suffer from climate change

Cisgender people will suffer from climate change

Demigender people will suffer from climate change

Gender questioning people will suffer from climate change

Genderqueer people will suffer from climate change

Intergender people will suffer from climate change

Multi-gender, bigender and trigender people will suffer from climate change

Pangender will suffer from climate change

Bois, Tomboys will suffer from climate change

Butch/masc people will suffer from climate change

Femme people will suffer from climate change

Gender noncomforming will suffer from climate change

To the LGBTQIA+ community, don’t be fooled by AGL’s slick marketing campaign. You will suffer the effects of climate change.

To the LGBTQIA+ community, don’t let AGL exploit you to distract Australians from their climate destruction.

The cats eating Australia.

Cats are eating Australia alive. Cats kill millions of native animals every year and one region has introduced a plan that may well save many adorable Aussie animals from death or extinction.

Cats are estimated to kill about 1.5 billion native animals per annum in Australia. This destruction is the work of domestic cats, stray cats and feral cats. All of these cats are derived from pet cats, as feline species have never been native to Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 1994 only 26% of domestic cats were confined both during the day and night. This means 74% of cats where roaming happily, hunting and destroying native wildlife. In the same year, 42,126 cats were dumped on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Only 3% of the cats were reclaimed and 74% were put down.

Feral cats threaten at least 124 Australian species which are in danger of extinction, and cats are a major reason that Australia has the highest rate of native mammal extinction in the world – not per capita – outright.

Chantel Benbow is an ecologist, and some would say a hypocrite. She owns a cat and lets it roam free at night around the streets of inner Sydney. Her cat does wear a bib developed by Murdoch University, and utilised widely in the Eurobodalla Council region on the NSW far south coast. The bib claims to distract the cat from the prey, and to stop 81 per cent of cats from catching birds, 45 per cent of cats from catching mammals, and 33 per cent of cats from catching lizards and amphibians.

Not 100%.

That said, Benbow still advises:

“If you want to have a pet cat, keep it indoors because they are hunters. They are beautiful, they are cute and fluffy but they will kill something.”

This is why the Australian Capital Territory has introduced a policy that could save thousands of native Australian animals.

The policy requires all new pet cats obtained after July 1, 2022 to be contained indoors or in a cat run. It does, however, allow cats acquired before July 1, 2022 to roam free if their owners do not live in a new Canberra suburb. These cats can happily kill native wildlife every day and night. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Another law change allows cat owners to walk their cat on a lead, which is actually prohibited, not just odd. This applies to 17 designated cat containment suburbs in the territory. Cats will also have to be registered, just like dogs, under the new law.

The maximum penalty for breaching the law is $1,600.

Politicians announcing the new law boasted that the ACT is a leader in cat containment.

“The ACT government wants to minimise the impacts of domestic cats on native wildlife by reducing the number of feral, unowned and semi-owned cats through more de-sexing, improved domestic cat welfare and management practices, better ways to identify lost cats and reunite them with their owners,” Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said.

“Every year, free-roaming but owned Canberra cats are estimated to prey on 61,000 native birds, 2,000 native mammals, 30,000 native reptiles and 6,000 native frogs.

The ACT is not the first region to introduce some form of ban on pet cats in order to save Australia’s wildlife.

The municipality of Knox in Victoria has introduced a 24-hour cat curfew on all domestic cats to come into effect on October 1, 2021. Cats must be confined to their owner’s property at all times and the new law was established for one primary reason; to protect native wildlife.

Owners face fines for failure to comply, and the rationale for the law also sites general nuisance and safety for cats. However, it is not difficult to read between the lines of the government document and determine the primary motivation for the move.

The council in Melbourne states that there are “…currently over 6,500 cats registered with Council.” Even if each cat kills only one native animal per day, that municipality will lose 6,500 native animals every day. In the space of a year…

The law should have been introduced long ago. It should be nationwide policy.

The municipality of Knox trialled the curfew in 2020 and more than 86% of residents are said to have supported the continuation of the program, including cat owners themselves.

Opponents or critics of the curfew might also argue that it is not necessary because they put a bell on their cat’s collar to alert wildlife. Their cats then roam guilt-free. Blue Mountains City Council, which administers a large area surrounded by national park, claims:

“Bells on collars don’t always work. Cats with bells can learn to stalk prey silently,” and

“…native animals don’t associate the sound of bells with danger.”

Other Australian communities have also introduce such a ban. Mount Barker near Adelaide implemented a similar law in 2019. The law proposed penalties for cats found roaming freely between 8pm and 7am, and a limit of two cats per property. The community lobbied for the law after becoming sick of domestic cats defecating on people’s properties, fighting in gardens and killing wildlife.

Similar laws aimed at protecting wildlife have also been trialled or implemented in Gawler, Adelaide Hills, Marion and Campbelltown in South Australia. The law in Gawler included a provision to ‘seize, detain and destroy’ any cat caught roaming within its boundaries if the animal isn’t claimed by its owner within three days.

Various forms of cat curfews are also being considered in locations such as Yarra Range Council in Victoria and Wollondilly Council in Sydney. Interestingly, a councillor from Wollondilly Council, Simon Landow, was quoted as saying that the plan had been met with great support, but that the rules had no teeth unless the state government enacted similar legislation.

Mount Barker, Knox and many of the regions mentioned above feature residential areas which adjoin an area of bushland or open space, where native wildlife can still be found. If that wildlife is to survive, a cat curfew must be implemented across the nation.

Image: david_g_bevan_writer

Do you love wombats?

Wombats are cute and cuddly, furry and funny. They waddle their fat little bodies in and out of their burrows and give birth to impossibly cute babies. They’re some of the cutest animals on the planet. Some might say they’re as cute as koalas.

They’re also under threat.

Mange is one of the biggest killers of wombats. The mange mite buries itself under the wombat’s skin triggering extreme itchiness which makes the wombat scratch, causing open wounds and scabs to form.  These become infected, the wombat loses condition, becomes dehydrated, malnourished and slowly dies. The good news is, it can be treated.

The Wombat Protection Society of Australia is working to eliminate that threat. WPSA is a national non-profit organisation created to raise awareness and money in order to provide wombats with immediate protection from harm. We enhance quality of life, fund projects that develop and protect suitable habitat and provide sanctuaries for Australian wombats.

Mange is considered to be the major health issue impacting wombat welfare. It is caused by the parasitic mite sarcoptes scabiei, and the society has brought attention and action to this issue by encouraging and supporting research and collaboration in the treatment and prevention of mange in both free living and in-care wombats. For more information, contact WPSA at mange@wombatprotection.org.au

You can help

Wombat rescue programs operate throughout Australia, and many are staffed by volunteers. You could perform one of the following volunteer roles:

Field visits

Volunteers and full-time staff visit wombat habitat and establish and maintain wombat flaps. The flaps are placed in front of the wombats burrow and every time the wombat brushes the trap, liquid medicine is emptied onto the wombats back. This kills the mange.

The medicine is also administered via a scoop, like a scoop used to retrieve a golf ball from the water. Volunteers scout the wombat when it is out of its burrow, and approach it like an assassin. Instead of killing the wombat, they get close enough to pour the medicine on its back, then chase it to its burrow to check on the condition of the flap.

How fast is a wombat?

There’s one way to find out.

Let’s not beat around the bush (well, not yet). It’s not glamorous work, it’s quite physical, and it can be quite confronting. Seeing a wombat with mange is a horrible sight. Some people might be affected by it, and some may never be comfortable with it. If so, perhaps another role might suit you better.

DIY

Wombat flaps need to be constructed. At the moment, many are scraped together with donated or recycled materials including plastic take-away containers, vegemite jar lids and open for inspection signs. Someone with construction skills and a desire to save these beloved animals could create a more sturdy, permanent design for a wombat flap – you could do it all in your shed.

Administration

Administration is a large part of wombat protection, and can include any of the following tasks:

Website design

Data entry

Rostering

Letter writing

Grant requests

Social media marketing

Report collation

Event organisation

Education and teaching

To volunteer in an admin role, you don’t have to live near wombat habitat in order to help, in fact you don’t even have to leave the house. There are roles you could perform from the comfort of your loungeroom.

For further information and to find out how you can help protect these lovable creatures:

http://www.wombatprotection.org.au

info@wombatprotection.org.au

0448 087 994

Images: University of Tasmania, Getty Images, Australian Reptile Park, Paul Looyen

One element missing from Australia’s secondary schools.

The majority of Australian secondary schools are missing practical environmental sustainability projects. The same projects are increasingly prevalent in Australian primary schools.

The projects include compost bins, organic gardens, nature play areas or native gardens. Very few secondary schools in Australia allow teenage students to get their hands dirty and experience practical environmental projects.

How do I know?

I’m a secondary school teacher. I’ve taught full-time or part-time in many different secondary schools throughout Australia and I’ve seen very few practical environmental sustainability projects in any of the schools.

Why?

Secondary students learn environmental education, so why don’t they have the chance to put this theory into practice?

Crowded curriculum

Yes, the Australian secondary school curriculum is very crowded and education authorities seem determined to cram even more topics into it every year. Yes, schools would need to find a time and space to include practical environmental activities, as well as finding qualified teachers to deliver them. However, projects such as compost bins do not need to be taught in a specific subject at the expense of other topics.

Students can use compost bins when they eat. They can fill compost bins at recess and lunch time to dispose of organic food waste. Students would need to be taught which food scarps can and can’t go into the bins and their use would need to be monitored, but most teenagers should be smart enough to learn how to correctly us compost bins. Many already use them at home. The food waste can then be added to soil to create earth, especially if the school has some kind of native garden or organic food garden. Students could lead the project which converts the food waste to soil.

In my experience, the only secondary schools conducting this sort of program are Steiner schools or specific environmental schools.

Lack of space

Yes, inner-city and urban secondary schools are restricted by the lack of physical space in the school grounds. This in itself, however, can be turned into a learning point. How do we create a sustainable project in such a small space? How do we colectively solve the problem? Teenagers can be more adaptive and creative than many people think. Also, many of the same teenagers are likely to live in high-density areas when they leave school, so school is a great time for them to learn about how to create a sustainable project in restricted space. Urban sustainability is a growing movement, and many people have found practical solutions to this problem. It is possible.

Money

Yes, government schools in Australia are underfunded. That said, government primary schools manage to access funds for compost bins and other resources required for practical environmental projects. Can secondary schools do the same. Private schools certainly don’t lack money – when will they spend it on environmental resources?

Are teenagers too old?

Many primary school students are involved in environmentally-friendly projects on a daily basis. Many primary schools have compost bins, where students from Kindergarten to Yr 6 place their food scraps, after being educated on which food waste can go in compost.

Some primary schools even have separate rubbish bins in their classroom, and students are encouraged to avoid putting any items in the waste bin. It can even become a source of pride for the class to produce ‘zero waste’ on any given day or week. Of course, students are encouraged by incentives, but it has been successful in many schools, and some primary schools now produce very little waste for landfill, instead sending it to recycling or to compost. The compost then nourishes the school’s own organic garden.

Why can’t this be done with teenagers?

Teenagers are surely more able to distinguish between landfill, recyclables and organic waste. However, it is unusual to see a compost bin in any Australian secondary school.

Teenagers are more suited to practical environmental projects. They are old enough to design, plan and prepare a project, and old enough to create the project with their bare hands, with appropriate supervision. Teenagers could realistically create a native plant garden or organic garden from scratch.

Why should they?

Children will inherit the planet we are now shaping. They are also just a few years from becoming the decision makers in the world.

Do you know why?

If you’ve read this far, and you know why practical environmental projects are scarce in Australian secondary schools, feel free to get in touch. Better still, if you know of secondary schools which are doing this, and you know how to convince other schools to do the same, let us know.

Image: Element5Digital

ACT Brumbies make controversial announcement.

The ACT Brumbies Super Rugby team has shocked the rugby world after deciding to change its name to the ACT Feral Horses. The club made the sudden call after realising that the word Brumby romanticises one of the most destructive feral animals in Australia.

“The ACT Super Rugby franchise will now be known as the ACT Feral Horses,” began a statement from the club.

“The word Brumby carries a romanticised ideal of a destructive feral pest which is causing enormous damage to Australia’s environment, especially in the alpine national parks which lie just a short drive from the ACT. For that reason, the club has decided to apply a name which more accurately depicts our mascot.”

Conservationists and scientists throughout Australia have long been calling for the eradication of feral horses from alpine regions, especially the NSW section of Kosciuszko National Park. However, strong lobbying from a small group of conservative politicians, farmers and people running horse-related businesses in the park has succeeded in preventing the eradication.

“When the ACT Super Rugby franchise was established in 1996, we were unaware of the harm Brumbies were causing to the natural environment. We only knew of the Brumby as a tough, rugged, free-spirited, resilient animal, whose attributes reflected the attributes we want in our own players.

However, we now know they are causing the destruction of areas which many of our players, officials and supporters love to visit. The snowy mountains are just a short drive from the ACT and many within the ACT rugby family want to see these areas protected.”

The name change also means that a percentage of ticket sales, membership and merchandise sales will be donated to organisations working to eradicate the feral horses.

Fans erupted on social media at the news.

Some slammed the club for pandering to the wishes of bleeding heart greenies and saw the move as excessive political correctness. Many denied the claims of environmentalists about the extent of the damage feral horses are causing the alpine regions, and said they ‘reject the science’.

One feared the club would simply become known as the ‘Ferals’, to which another supporter replied:

“Well, have you seen what goes on at rugby clubs?”

A number of members threatened to cancel their membership, and one went as far as saying he would now support the Waratahs.

In contrast, various members and supporters endorsed the change, arguing that naming a mascot after a destructive pest helps to create an unrealistic image of the horses, which are the only feral species in Australia which is protected by law. Other supporters said the team could always choose another animal as its mascot, and that protecting the national park was more important than giving a football team a nice name.

The club also explained that it would consider changing its name back to the ACT Brumbies once every single feral horse is removed from the park.

“This would allow us to acknowledge one small piece of Australian history, and to honour the remaining animals which are able to be rehomed on private properties where they can live out their lives in peace.”

Image: Sitthixay Ditthavong

How is this legal?

A stranger enters your home.

They throw over your furniture. They tear down paintings and artworks. They break objects and rip items out of draws. They smash your possessions and make a mess that will take for ever to clean up.

They steal what is most vaulable.

Days later, the police catch them. Mug shots and finger prints are taken. Their identities are confirmed. You don’t know them, nor did you invite them into your home. You certainly don’t want them to keep your valuables.

They are not punished.

They do not have to return the valuables they stole.

They do not have to pay a fine.

They do not spend any time in jail.

They don’t even have to clean up the mess, or pay for someone else to do so.

They don’t have to fix or pay for the damage they caused.

This could never happen in Australia could it?

It does.

Every day.

Outsiders steal from Australia. They take what is valuable. They cause enormous and often irreparable damage and refuse to fix what they broke. They also refuse to clean up the mess they made, or pay for it to be done.

Who are these people?

They are mining companies.

Australia’s mining industry is 86% foreign owned. They get away with his behaviour because they have spent over $541 million in the last ten years on lobbying Australian governments.

In addition, foreign companies hold 10 out of 14 position on both the Minerals Council board and the Queensland Resources Council board.

A 2011 report estimated 83% of mine production in Australia was attributable to foreign owners, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. yes, even ‘Aussie’ companies such Rio Tinto and BHP, which called itself ‘The Big Australian’. BHP is 76% foreign owned, and Rio Tinto is 83%. Between them they constitute 70% of listed mining company resources.

This means that less than 10% of mining projects are solely owned by Australian owned companies, while over 90% have some level of foreign ownership. Foreign investment accounts for 86% share of ownership of major mining projects, including 26% from the US and 27% from the UK.2.

If the mining companies are based off shore, the profits go off shore. Australians are left to clean up the mess.

Discovery of Banjo Paterson’s lost poems leads to major policy shift.

The discovery of Banjo Paterson’s lost poems has prompted an overhaul of New South Wales government policy on invasive species and land management.

Archivists recently stumbled upon a host of previously unknown texts from the beloved Australian poet, who grew up in regional NSW, but wrote many of his works about life on the land while living in Woollahra, Sydney.

Paterson’s famous poem, The Man from Snowy River, is often cited when justifying the protection of feral horses in Australia’s alpine national parks and to argue against conservationists who are demanding a cull due to the destruction of the high country ecosystem.

The NSW government has afforded the feral horses more protection than the Victorian government on the other side of the ranges, and horse numbers have exploded in recent years, as has their trail of destruction. Countless ministers have drawn support from feral horse lovers who argue the horses are an integral part of Australian heritage, as expressed in The Man from Snowy River.

For this reason, the discovery of Paterson’s other poem’s will see more feral animals afforded the same protection.

Run Randy Rabbit!

A heartwarming poem about a cute little bunny who outruns farmers after destroying all of their crops. Rabbits will now be protected throughout NSW. It is illegal to kill any feral rabbit, anywhere in the state. Efforts will be made to humanely rehome every feral rabbit.

How Nice Are Mice!

An alternative representation of the much-maligned pest. As a result, mice are a protected species throughout NSW, and every mouse which comprises the current mouse plague throughout NSW will be humanely rehomed.

Another famous Paterson poem is Waltzing Matilda. This has been subject to a revisionist reading, and as a result, the government has declared it illegal to kill sheep or lambs, and to consume this meat anywhere in New South Wales. Discussions continue regarding the legality of sheering sheep for wool.

Paterson wrote a sister poem to his famous tale about sheep theft, and it is called Moulting Ma’ Killer, about a loveable cat which kills countless native Aussie animals every day, before returning to the loving embrace of its owner beside the hearth. Law makers have now axed programs to eradicate feral cats and control stray and pet cats. Every feral and stray cat will be free to roam night and day.

The treasure trove of hidden poems also included works from many more Australian poets writing about other feral animals. While researchers continue the painstaking task of matching the delicate and faded documents with their respective authors, their discovery has already reversed invasive species laws throughout the nation.

One poem is called That Bloke from Humpty Doo. It glorifies the humble cane toad, and it is therefore illegal to kill cane toads anywhere in Australia. Official policy is to humanely rehome every cane toad in Australia.

The Poor Man’s Bass depicts a typical Aussie battler trying desperately to feed his young family with carp after failing to land a bass in Australia’s regional rivers. The heartbreaking poem won protection for carp throughout Australia.

Other poems romanticise animals such as the fox, donkey, camel, wild pig, wild dog, buffalo, deer and goat, and all of these animals are now protected as part of the massive policy overhaul. Severe punishment awaits anyone who is caught attempting to harm feral horses or mice, rabbits, cane toads, cats, foxes, carp, cane toads, donkeys, camels, wild pigs, wild dogs, buffalo, deer or goats

Images: Jae Park, Daniel Fazio, Big Game Australia, Melbourne Press Club.

Controversy surrounds Moana Pasifika.

The Moana Pasifika Super Rugby team has decided to boycott its first ever game just hours before kick off in order to protest inaction on climate change. The players from Pacific Island nations are demanding that countries like Australia do more to reverse climate change which threatens Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

“Sea levels are rising and already threatening the homelands of the players which make up this team,” began a statement from the new franchise.

“This is caused by climate change, and climate change is being driven by wealthy countries such as Australia, where we will play many of our games and where some of the players have played and lived for years. We made this difficult decision after much discussion and in order to draw attention to this urgent issue.”

The statement went on to explain how Australia has the highest per capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth and is contributing greatly to the climate crisis. The country, which is home to four Super Rugby franchises, continues to burn and export coal, and is planning to expand the fossil fuel industry.

Furthermore, various members of the new Moana Pasifika team have played for the Wallabies.

“Our players are already seeing the lands of their ancestors adversely affected by rising sea levels. Salt water from the ocean is mixing with fresh water and ruining the crops on which people have relied for generations. If fossil fuels continue to be dug up and burned, entire low-lying islands could be underwater and residents would lose their homes.”

“For this reason, we have put family and country head of the sport we love and decided to boycott our first ever game. We hope the boycott will convince rugby fans and rugby loving politicians to move Australia away from fossil fuels and other destructive practices, and towards a future with renewable energy.”

Players from other Super Rugby teams expressed their support for the stand via social media, as many of them have Pasifika heritage.

In response, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison tweeted a photo of himself in his Cronulla Sharks rugby league jersey.

Image: http://www.moanapasifika.co.nz

Australia kicked out of Olympic Winter Games.

The Australian Olympic Winter Games team is in disarray after the the International Olympic Committee (IOC) forced it out of Beijing 2022 on the eve of competition.

Athletes, coaches and team officials were thrown out of the athletes village and onto planes bound for Australia just hours before the official opening ceremony, due to the appointment of Hancock Prospecting as a major sponsor of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)

“Gina Rinehart and the mining activities of Hancock Prospecting threaten the very existence of the Olympic Winter Games,” began a brief statement from the IOC.

“Rinehart’s enormous fossil fuel mining and cattle farming businesses are major drivers of climate change. The subsequent accelerated warming is melting ice caps and creating less snow throughout the world.”

“Without snow, there is no Olympic Winter Games.”

The decision to announce Hancock Prospecting as the major sponsor of Australian Olympic teams until 2026 does not sit well with the IOC, and for this reason the Australian team was ordered out of the village, and out of the games. The governing body also disagrees with the decision to award Rinehart an Order of Australia (AO) in the recent Australia Day honours.

“The sponsorship arrangement also covers the Pacific Games in 2023, though there may not be many Pacific Island nations left in 2023 if Hancock Prospecting continues its climate destroying practices,” continued the statement.

The shock announcement denies any Australian athlete the opportunity to compete at the games, including those with realistic medal chances. The AOC was given no opportunity to appeal the decision.

International media has already highlighted the fact that the majority of the snow at Beijing 2022 is man-made.

“If the climate crisis continues, even man-made snow will not suffice for winter sports,” continued the IOC spokesperson. “Man-made snow is only effective if the ground is cold enough. If not, the snow simply melts, and conditions resemble late season skiing in Australia.”

The decision means that the Australian Olympic Committee is also banned from sending athletes to future competitions such as the summer and winter versions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.

Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates refused to comment of the sudden decision, explaining that he was waiting for Gina to tell him what to say. Meanwhile, Minster for Sport Richard Colbeck said the decision was of no major concern, because Australia wins so few medals at such events compared to other countries, such as China and The USA, that Australia shouldn’t bother competing in the games at all. Plus, he prefers cricket.

Rinehart, meanwhile, was unfazed at the announcement and its motivation.

“Personally, I couldn’t care less if some young Aussie kid wins a medal for twirling themselves up in the air on a snowboard. I only threw some of my pocket money at this to keep sports-mad Aussies under my spell, and to stop them from forcing the government to take real action on climate change.

“It’s amazing what you can do to the Aussie people if you pretend to like sport.”

Image: Patrick Hamilton