The Australian Federal Government brought down a tough budget a couple of weeks ago, and its opinion poll figures nose-dived as a result. We’ve heard Government ministers say they’ll have to spend Federal funds advertising the budget – to make sure Australians understand it and can make “informed” decisions about it. Not everyone thinks this is the best use of taxpayer money, especially if we’re in an age of tightening belts and co-payments. So we thought we’d lend a hand, in a tongue in cheek Gruen Transfer kind of way. We’ve made three radio ads for the Federal Budget – and we’d like you to choose the one we should send to Canberra. Listen to all three and then vote for your favourite.
FIGHTING FOR OUR FUTURE
SEVEN BUCKS GOES A LONG WAY
A NEW ERA HAS BEGUN
OK – over to you. Choose a winner.
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It’s whale season in far north Queensland – a time of year when your chances of seeing a whale up close are pretty good. The local reef and tour boat operators have a network of people who report sightings, and even a short boat journey from Cairns might get you a whale moment or several. It is a breath-taking experience, seeing these huge creatures in their environment. But big as they get, they are still vulnerable, with climate change, collisions with boats, and hunting being the major threats.
The humpback whale is the one you’re most likely to see in far north Queensland waters – LISTEN our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen talk about what we know – and don’t yet know – about humpbacks: their diet, their migration, their love-life:
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Here’s an opportunity for train lovers to get involved with the restoration of steam engine 3620 – which used to pull the elegant silver carriages of the Cairns Kuranda Steam Railway. It’s a few years since its seen service and has been sitting in the railway yards off Sheridan Street north Cairns, going through an extensive restoration. That’s nearing completion, and the friendly team who volunteer their time and talents on this project have room for some new friends. They’ve set up the Cairns Local Loop club – which you can join here
There’s an assortment of diesel and steam at the north Cairns rail yards, and it’s home to the iconic far north Queensland Savannahlander – that does the run out to Forsayth.
Come an audio tour of the rail yards and meet Rob Rutten and Mike Lee
We’re just hours away now from one of the biggest events in the sporting universe. The best rugby league players on the planet are at Lang Park in Brisbane for the 100th State of Origin game. With eight consecutive series wins, Queensland go into this series as firm favourites, but you can’t ever write New South Wales off. Earlier today, Queensland coach Mal Meninga was honoured with the unveiling of a statue of him at the ground, alongside statues of “King” Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer.
You’ll hear Origin 1 live on ABC Far North – and to get you in the mood, here’s our Origin special edition of Phil Staley’s Thoughts on Sports
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It’s a fact of Australian political life that most questions put to voters by way of a referendum will be rejected. But in May 1967, voters overwhelmingly responded “yes” when asked the question “DO YOU APPROVE the proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution entitled— ‘An Act to alter the Constitution so as to omit certain words relating to the People of the Aboriginal Race in any State and so that Aboriginals are to be counted in reckoning the Population”
Just over 90% of voters supported the proposal, which became law in August of that year. There’s still some misunderstanding about what the result meant – but in essence, indigenous Australians were from then on to be counted in the census, and the Federal Government had acquired power to legislate for indigenous people. It was a significant step forward, and is commemorated every year with Recognition Day.
In Cairns, the local Tropical North QLD Institute of TAFE has a long tradition of putting on a concert featuring indigenous performers – this year that’s on tomorrow, Tuesday 27th May from 4-11pm. The program features up-and-coming local talent such as Ingrid Piper, Greta & Micki, Folkcentric, Kalen – Ja, Tamarind Rose, Indigenous Young Boyz, Elements and much more. And one of the rising stars of the far north Queensland music scene is on the bill – Danny Bani. He hails from Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait, a man blessed with musical talent who has just released his first album – called db.
LISTEN to my interview with Danny and concert organiser Mark Fuccilli
The Recognition Day Concert is held at ‘R’ Block Theatre, entry via Newton Street, Manunda.
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World Africa Day will be celebrated around the world this weekend – commemorating the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. In Cairns, you’re invited to enjoy African music and food at the Community Hub on Macnamara Street, Manunda, on Saturday 24th May from 4pm to 10pm.
To get you in the mood, Tony Hillier presents a selection of music from Australian-based African bands.
N’Tunya by Sydney band Keyim Ba – on their new album Mami Wata