FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - WHAT COULD IT MEAN FOR AUSTRALIA?
There hasn't been a Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak in Australia since the late 1800s, and now it's on our doorstep with confirmation in recent weeks that it has spread to Bali. The disease is highly contagious and impacts cattle, sheep, pigs and other livestock.
- Associate Professor Ben Lyons can explain why the Australian agricultural sector is justifiably nervous and what the flow on impact could be on the economy - from rural communities to the cities - if there's an outbreak here. Media contact: Megan Woodward 0487 352 859
The weather is ripe for drinking red wine, but vino-lovers are being warned to stock up on white varietals ahead of summer with prices set to soar in the coming months.
- Wine lecturer Ursula Kennedy says growers are struggling to keep up with surging demand, with white winegrapes - such as chardonnay, riesling and semillon - fetching their highest price since 2008. Media contact: Natalia Gradwell 0449 186 116
SRI LANKA PRESIDENT TO RESIGN
Amid an economic crisis and protesters occupying the presidential palace and the prime minister’s house, Ski Lanka’s leaders have vowed to step down.
- Comparative Law expert Dr Vito Breda is available to comment on constitutional crises and how governments can come to a tipping point. Media contact: Rhianwen Whitney 0427 428 380
WHAT WOULD DECRIMINALISING PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS ACHIEVE?
Being drunk in public is one of several offences that could be decriminalised under a Queensland Government Community Support and Services Committee review. If the measure was implemented, would it lead to an increase in this poor behaviour?
- Criminologist Dr Suzanne Reich can discuss the extent of these problems as it currently stands, what questions it raises on whether the laws have a deterrent effect and what alternatives there are. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0423 234 822
CLIMATE RECORDS TUMBLE
The Sunshine State is experiencing one of its frostiest July's, with temperature records tumbling across parts of the state.
- According to climate scientist Professor Roger Stone, the chilly conditions - and unseasonal wet weather - is set to continue. He says climate modelling conducted by the University of Southern Queensland is predicting a third consecutive La Nina event for Australia. Media contact: Natalia Gradwell 0449 186 116
School's back with hundreds of thousands of students returning to the classroom this week following the winter holiday break. But parents are being warned not to pack away the toys just yet as experts predict a spike in Term 3 absences.
- Online and remote teaching expert Dr Tania Leach says a combination of flu season and a third wave of COVID-19 is to blame, and that schools should brace for a state-wide staffing squeeze. Media contact: Natalia Gradwell 0449 186 116
CALLS FOR MASKS TO RETURN
There are growing calls for governments to bring back containment measures like mandatory mask wearing and lockdowns as the nation braces for a third Omicron wave.
- Public health expert Dr Aletha Ward can discuss whether public responsibility alone is enough to control the rise in COVID-19 infections or if states and territories should re-introduce a mask mandate to help reduce hospital admissions and case numbers. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0423 234 822