It's no understatement to say we’re living in unprecedented times. While it's important to keep on top of the latest COVID-19 advice and updates from authorities, the constant barrage of coronavirus news can be super overwhelming. Tate has hustled some headlines to keep you across what else has been happening lately.
Flick through any mainstream news sites or social media feed and you’d be hard-pressed to find any non-corona related news. Well, lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work and found four headlines you probably missed this week:
1. The Victorian Government has lifted its ban on gas exploration
The Victorian Government is introducing laws to open up gas exploration in the state. It was previously banned by a moratorium (suspension) in 2017 after environmental concerns. However, a three-year investigation by Victoria Gas Program, overseen by Victoria’s Lead Scientist Amanda Caples, determined that gas could be extracted without causing environmental damage. Interestingly, in the same week, the Victorian Government also made the temporary ban on fracking and coal seam gas permanent.
2. Rescued koalas are beginning to be released back into the wild
Koalas rescued from devastating bushfires in the Blue Mountains have been able to return home. Recent rainfall in the region has meant that vegetation has started to grow back. This includes eucalyptus trees that are vital for the koalas to survive and thrive in their habitats. Five of the 12 rescued koalas have been returned to their natural habitats in the Blue Mountains area, which is home to the most genetically diverse koalas in the world, making ongoing conservation efforts all the more important.
For more information on the Science for Wildlife Blue Mountain Koalas Project, including how you can help conservation efforts, check out their website.
3. Australian Olympian sets Tan Record
One of Australia’s best middle-distance and steeplechase runners, Genevieve Gregson, who competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and who was set to travel to Tokyo, has broken the record for the fastest lap around the famous Tan track in Melbourne.
Gregson finished the 3.827km course around Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens in 11 minutes and 54 seconds, beating the previous women’s record by three seconds, formerly set by Australian Olympian Sarah Jamieson in 2006. Watch Gregson break the record here.
The Tokyo Olympics may be in a holden pattern, but Australian steeplechase champion Genevieve Gregson is staying on track. Rather than wasting her peak fitness, the 30-year-old has set a new record for Melbourne’s iconic Tan Track. | @NickButler10 pic.twitter.com/vFHEGj5N95
— 10 News First Melbourne (@10NewsFirstMelb) March 24, 2020
4. Pablo Escobar’s hippos may be filling a hole left from the Ice Age
A study led by Erick Lundgren, an ecologist at the University of Technology in Sydney, suggests that introduced fauna, like the hippos left behind at notorious drug dealer Pablo Escobar’s luxury estate in Colombia, have the potential to return an ecosystem not seen since before early humans. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, megafauna were prolific around the world, especially in the Americas where Escobar’s former estate is located.