Travel Briefings

Freely Travel Briefing: Issue No.17

The federal ban on us leaving the country could be lifted in weeks, with the PM saying he can foresee NSW resuming international travel once vaccination targets are hit even if other states remain reluctant. It’s safe to say our Federation is a bit fractured at the moment, so this week, we’ll examine where everyone stands. We’ll also hop over to Wilcannia and Broken Hill, where Operation Deliver-roo is literally delivering ‘roo to hard-hit Aboriginal communities; and will share some ocean optimism to help you stay afloat. Keep on keeping on folk, and wishing everyone celebrating the Jewish New Year a wonderful Rosh Hashanah. 💙

Untangling Australia’s Complicated Reopening Plan

Photo by: Leio McLaren
Might NSW resume international travel before everyone else?

Our states and territories have demonstrated unprecedented independence over the course of the pandemic in responding to the needs of their populations. With NSW and Victoria abandoning COVID-zero in favour of living with the virus, states with no cases or lower vaccination rates have made it clear they’re uneasy about reopening. So what exactly is going to happen, and might NSW resume international travel before everyone else?

Full piece by: Catherine Taylor in the ABC

Operation Deliveroo: Feeding the Far West

Photo by: Meg Jerrard
“If we can lighten the load on families in town there, that’s what we want to do.”

When COVID erupted in the Far West of NSW, a group bunkered down at Mutawintji National Park decided they wanted to help. Now, a few times a week, Malyangapa Barkindji Wiimpatja man Leroy Johnson and Wiimpatja Marli man Warlpa Thompson exercise their native title rights by conducting cultural hunts on Country, processing the roo meat on-site and dropping it to Wilcannia and Broken Hill. “Our mob love a bit of wangga or wild meat, so we are just providing it for them,” Johnson explains. “If we can lighten the load on families in town there, that’s what we want to do.”

Full piece by: Karen Michelmore and Otis Filley on NITV

Amongst an Ocean of Bad News, Marine Conservation is Paying Off

Photo by: Max Gotts
This collection of good-news stories presents a strong case for ocean optimism.

We’re grimly aware that warming oceans are destroying coral reefs, and we also shudder at the threats to our seas posed by overfishing, pollution and greedy mining companies. But marine conservation efforts are starting to pay off, too! Most sea turtle populations are swelling, many fisheries are now relatively well-managed and marine protected areas are expanding rapidly. This collection of good-news stories presents a strong case for ocean optimism and a glimmer of hope in the battle to save our planet.

Full piece: Eric Bender in Knowable Magazine

Sick of your lockdown hobbies? So is Monica Tan

Photo by: Daniel Salgado
“I am… one sourdough starter away from completely losing my mind.”

“I’m so tired of being a good girl toiling away at my stay-at-home lockdown hobbies,” writes Monica Tan. “Screw your air fryer. Screw your cryptocurrency bets.” With Victorians in the midst of their sixth lockdown and those of us in Sydney now in our 11th week, many of us are growing weary. In this hilarious op-ed, Monica acknowledges her support for restrictions whilst lamenting her restlessness: “I am simultaneously committed to doing my bit to save lives while being one sourdough starter away from completely losing my mind.” We giggled and thought you might too.

Full piece: Monica Tan in The Guardian

AROUND THE WORLD

In the 1950s, the Thames was declared biologically dead, and in 1959, The Guardian reported that, “The tidal reaches of the Thames constitute a badly managed open sewer.” Fast forward to 2021, however, and the Southern English river has come back to life. In fact, the Zoological Society of London’s most recent annual survey just counted hundreds of resident harbour and grey seals on the sandbanks and in the creeks downstream from London, living off a varied diet of more than 100 species of fish.
After a tricky two years – starting with floods in late 2019 and finishing with the COVID-19 pandemic – tourists have returned to Venice in full force. To combat over-tourism, which has become a huge problem in Italy’s sinking city, Venice’s leaders have come up with a solution. In a year or so, only tourists who have booked will be allowed to enter Venice, and to enforce this, special turnstiles will be installed at major entry points. It might sound a bit odd, but Venice is a tiny city with a fragile ecosystem, so if that’s what it takes to make tourism more sustainable, we reckon so be it!
If you’ve ever been to Sangeh Monkey Forest in Bali, home to Pura Bukit Sari temple and countless grey long-tailed macaques, you’ll be familiar with the monkeys’ voracious appetites for cassava, peanuts and bananas. But deprived of much of their usual food source (snacks brought in by tourists now stuck at home), the monkeys are getting even cheekier than usual, raiding villagers’ homes in search of tasty treats. It’s even getting dangerous, with villager Saskara Gustu Alit advising others in the region to spend time in the forest interacting with the monkeys and offering them food to stop them going feral. 🙊

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