Editor's note

It may come as news to many people living in New South Wales, but there is a state election to be held on March 23, writes University of Wollongong Professor Gregory Melleuish. Although the seemingly big issues we read about in the paper, like the demolition of the Allianz stadium, may matter to city folk, they have no bearing on the lives of those in the bush. And their issues, as well as their voice, seem to have fallen by the wayside. Professor Melleuish argues there’s a risk the Nationals will lose too many seats to Independents, putting an end to the eight-year streak of a majority Coalition government.

And more than 300 scientists have petitioned state and federal governments to strengthen land clearing laws. Martine Maron and her colleagues argue rampant tree removals in recent years have made life tougher, rather than easier, for farmers by worsening bushfire risks and damaging ecosystems.

Sasha Petrova

Deputy Editor, Politics & Society

Top story

Country voters may be deciding the fate of NSW in the upcoming election. Dean Lewins/AAP

Low-key NSW election likely to reveal a city-country divide

Gregory Melleuish, University of Wollongong

In 2019, the expectation is that the National Party will lose many seats and put the NSW Coalition government majority at risk.

Pets are a common sight in places like cafes overseas, but are generally unwelcome in many public places in Australia. Anastasiya Lobanovskaya/Pexels

Australians love their pets, so why don’t more public places welcome them?

Louise Grimmer, University of Tasmania; Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology

Pets are not welcome in many public places. As we increasingly choose high-density living, city planning and legislation should address creating opportunities for more human-animal interaction.

Without significant tree cover, dry and dusty landscapes can result. Don Driscoll

To reduce fire risk and meet climate targets, over 300 scientists call for stronger land clearing laws

Martine Maron, The University of Queensland; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; April Reside, The University of Queensland; Bill Laurance, James Cook University; Don Driscoll, Deakin University; Euan Ritchie, Deakin University; Steve Turton, CQUniversity Australia

A new petition is urging state and federal governments to rein in Australia's rampant land clearing, which worsens the risk of bushfires and threatens to undo the work of the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Business + Economy

Health + Medicine

  • Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?

    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University

    Evidence that people who drink moderately are healthier is probably influenced by many other health and lifestyle factors. We're now seeing that even modest amounts of alcohol could impact our health.

Science + Technology

Arts + Culture

Environment + Energy

  • Kauri pines are late-blooming rainforest giants

    Kevin Glencross, Southern Cross University

    During its first few decades, this tree is the runt of the rainforest. And then it starts its growth spurt, and can go on to live for millennia.

Politics + Society



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