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MY CAPE YORK LIFE – A PODCAST OF GREAT STORIES FROM CAPE YORK PENINSULA

mcylI love good stories. This podcast series is full of them. It’s called My Cape York Life, made by Cape York NRM, launched on February 10. You can find My Cape York Life in your podcast app or stream/download here

And here’s a 60 second sample

Cape York Peninsula is my favourite place.I love its wide-open spaces, its earthy colours, its bone-jarring dirt roads. I admire the tenacious spirit of the people who call it home, and I love their stories.

cy-2012-547It’s not easy living and travelling on the Cape. It’s rugged, and beautiful, all at once. Distance and remoteness challenge notions of community and connection. My Cape York Life takes you to the Cape’s tropical savannas, lush rainforests, abundant wetlands, its magnificent coastline and pristine rivers. You’ll meet the fascinating people who live and work here and take care of this surprisingly fragile place. My Cape York Life will take you to the Wenlock River, Mapoon, Lakeland, Port Stewart, Wujal Wujal and more.

The stories are entertaining, inspiring, and often hilarious. You’ll hear about epic wet season adventures, close encounters with crocodiles, the Cape’s first attempt at helicopter cattle mustering, and the joys and challenges of living in remote and isolated places.

Late last year, my friends at Cape York Natural Resource Management and South Cape York Catchments decided to give the region’s land managers a place to tell and share their own remarkable stories. And My Cape York Life was born. Lyndal Scobell travelled the Cape, recording the stories. I was invited to do the editing and audio production – and I’ve loved every minute of it.

If you live on the Cape, have a connection to the place, you’ve travelled there or dream of doing the great red dirt adventure one day, My Cape York Life is for you. Search My Cape York Life in your podcast app, and you can stream & download from http://landmanager.capeyorknrm.com.au/content/my-cape-york-life

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REMEMBERING LARRY

pic courtesy of ABC

pic courtesy of ABC

There are tens of thousands of people who will reflect today on something they have in common – cyclone Larry.

Larry came howling in from the Coral Sea early on Monday March 20, 2006 – ten years ago today. Winds up to 290 kilometres per hour cut a trail of destruction across far north Queensland.

Some 50 thousand people directly in its paths endured a terrifying ordeal, while another 100 thousand in surrounding areas spent an anxious day or two waiting for news of relatives, friends and colleagues.

And then there were the people who responded from other regions – emergency crews, the Defence Force, government workers, NGOs, tradies, community organisations, the electricity crews, building and agriculture sector groups. They helped us rebuild, recover, and get going again.

So many people were affected by cyclone Larry and its aftermath. Each of them has a unique and important story to tell. There is much to learn in these stories – about courage, resilience, the way we prepare for and recover from disasters, and about what people can achieve when they work together.

In 2007, radio ace Suzanne Gibson and I made a radio documentary series called REMEMBERING LARRY. It’s the story of a category four cyclone, its aftermath, and how we got back on our feet. It’s a remarkable insight into life in the tropics, told by the people who live there, who lived through Larry. The theme music is a song called “Hey Rain” written by Bill Scott, performed by Penny Davis and Roger Ilot.

Click on the audio player to hear each episode in MP3 audio.

And read my recollections of being on air at ABC Far North during the cyclone here

 EPISODE 1 TROUBLE BREWING OUT IN THE CORAL SEA

EPISODE 2 WE’VE HAD A BIT OF A BLOW

EPISODE 3 WHERE THE HELL DO YOU START

EPISODE 4 AND IT WON’T BE LIKE THIS TOMORROW

EPISODE 5 REMEMBERING LARRY

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in rd on the road

 

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IT’S BUTTERFLY TIME IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

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The far north Queensland wet season is over for another year and the start of the dry is a great time to see butterflies and moths around the region. During the wet, conditions are just too tough for these beautiful creatures to flourish in significant numbers, but as the seasons change, you’ll see plenty of Cairns Birdwing and Ulysses butterflies, and many more.

Our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen introduces you to the many butterfly and moth species of Cairns and FNQ.

LISTEN

Martin Cohen at Lake Eacham FNQ

Martin Cohen at Lake Eacham FNQ

 

 

 

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DAINTREE RAINFOREST STILL A WORLD-BEATING ATTRACTION – BUT IS THE PRICE OF THE CAR FERRY PUTTING PEOPLE OFF?

DAINTREE - THE WORLD'S OLDEST RAINFOREST (pic courtesy Daintree Discovery Centre

DAINTREE – THE WORLD’S OLDEST RAINFOREST (pic courtesy Daintree Discovery Centre)

The world’s oldest rainforest is just a 90 minute drive north of Cairns. The Daintree continues to be one of the main reasons visitors come to far north Queensland. It runs right down to the sea between Mossman Gorge and the Bloomfield River – Australia’s largest area of continuous rainforest. But when you do the drive from Cairns, the first road sign you’ll see with the word “Daintree” on it is just before you get there – as you approach the Daintree River car ferry.

It’s a wonderful journey and the rainforest is breath-taking. But visitor numbers have dropped and some local businesses have closed since the global financial crisis. The people who run tourism related concerns in the Daintree are a determined lot, who have long lived with the waxing and waning visitor arrival numbers – perhaps that’s just a fact of life in the industry. But there are concerns the Daintree has lost some of its lustre, that it needs to be much better promoted as a destination than it currently is, and barriers to tourism should be reduced.

ron and pamOne of the pioneers of tourism in the region believes the price of the short ferry trip across the river is a significant barrier. It’s the only way in from the south by road – it will cost you $23 for a return trip, and while you might spend some time waiting to get aboard, the crossing lasts barely two minutes. Ron Birkett is the director of the Daintree Discovery Centre – and he’s offered to pay the ferry fare for visitors to his Centre during the usually quiet FNQ wet season. Ron has made the offer to drum up some business, but also to make a point about a fee he believes deters visitors and adds to the already significant cost of living and running a business in the Daintree, where people have to generate their own power and provide their own water and sewerage systems.

LISTEN to my interview with Ron Birkett here

Ron first came to the Daintree in the 1980s, having seen TV news coverage of the blockades staged there by people opposed to the Queensland Government push to build a road through the rainforest. More about the blockades here

And you can take an online audio-visual tour of the Daintree Discovery Centre here

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NEW MUSIC FOR THE WET SEASON – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC

TONY HILLIER CASTWe’ve had plenty of rain here in far north Queensland this past couple of weeks, with the monsoon dumping falls up to 400 millimetres in some places. By a strange coincidence, songs pertaining to precipitation can be found on three excellent new Australian albums featured this week on Tony Hillier’s World of Music.

LISTEN

PLAY LIST

Tango Lluvia (Tango Rain) from the Tangalo CD Good Enough For Gringos

Unfallen Rain Tom E. Lewis Beneath the Sun

Raining On Me from Women in Docs new CD Carousel

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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in EFFINCUE, music, rd on the road, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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HOW MANY SEASONS ARE THERE IN A TROPICAL YEAR? IN KAKADU, THE ANSWER IS SIX

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

Here in far north Queensland, indeed, right across tropical Australia, we tend to count just two seasons – the wet and the dry. In the wet, the monsoon brings huge amounts of rain and the possibility of cyclones – and it’s all that water that makes this place such an attractive home to our wildlife. During the dry, the days are hot, nights are warm and the place is chockers with tourists. Of course, it can rain during the dry, but the rain comes from a different direction and in usually much smaller amounts. But within those two broad “seasons”, there are subtle changes, periods when change is on its way and signs of what’s next become more apparent. Indigenous people in tropical Australia identify several distinct seasons – in the lush wetlands of Kakadu, in the Northern Territory, the local mob recognise six distinct seasons.

COMB CRESTED JACANA

COMB CRESTED JACANA

Our wildlife correspondemt Dr Martin Cohen is in Kakadu this week, working with a Japanese film crew who are documenting the region’s most famous wetland – Yellow Waters – and some of its wildlife, including Norm the comb crested jacana, who Martin reckons should get the dad of the year award. LISTEN to Martin explain the critters and the seasons of Kakadu 

Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast app

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Aboriginal, EFFINCUE, environment, indigenous, tropical weather & climate, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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GET READY CAIRNS – WET SEASON IS ON THE WAY

monsoon trough

You’re looking at a pretty typical wet season weather chart. That blue line of dots and dashes across the top of Australia represents the monsoon. It’s a line of unstable weather that shifts, with the seasons, north and south of the equator. During the Australian summer, it surges south of the equator, pushing in to northern Australia. Along the monsoon trough, you get areas of low barometric pressure, heavy to phenomenal rainfall, and the perfect breeding conditions for cyclones.

The monsoon can begin to head south anytime from late November, but at present it’s still to the north, where Typhoon Haiyan is roaring through the Philippines. It’s one of the most powerful tropical weather events in a long time, and a very timely reminder to us of the need to prepare for the coming Australian wet season.

get-ready-queensland-logoYesterday in Cairns, ABC Far North was involved in the latest Get Ready Queensland event. Local emergency management, disaster responders, local & state government agencies took part, talking about their roles in an emergency and how each of us can prepare for cyclones and floods. The clear message is if you live in far north Queensland – now is the time to get ready. Early and comprehensive preparation dramatically improves your chances of getting through a weather emergency unscathed and back on your feet in a shorter period of time.

KEY MESSAGES

HOW WET WILL THIS WET BE Richard Wardle is supervising forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology

WILL THERE BE FLOODING Andrew Preece is senior hydrologist at the Bureau of Meteorology

WHAT IS GET READY QUEENSLAND Cheryl-Lee Fitzgerald at Emergency Management Queensland

SHOULD I GO TO A CYCLONE SHELTER Ian Fell from Cairns Regional Council says shelters should be a last resort

WILL THE ROADS BE OPEN Jim Harding-Smith is with the Department of Main Roads

WHAT ABOUT DOCTORS & HOSPITALS Brad McCulloch is with the Cairns & Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

DISASTER PREPARATION LINKS

Atherton Tablelands residents go here

If you live in the Cairns Regional Council area go here

For Cassowary Coast residents, this is the link for you

And if you live in Cook Shire go here

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