Please keep paying attention to and following all guidelines from authorities in relation to Coronavirus. And if you’re good and well-behaved, I will keep finding all the big news stories you probably missed this week. Here’s four right now:
Joseph Schubert, who works for Museums Victoria in entomology (the study of insects and their relationship to humans, the environment and other living things) and arachnology (the study of spiders), has recently published a research paper that describes seven news species of the native Peacock Spider. Exactly how small are these tiny critters?
“About the size of a grain of rice. I’d describe peacock spiders as tiny, little, colourful kittens,” says Schubert.
Peacock spiders are famous for the courtship dance of the males, which has resulted in the internet pairing the courtship ritual with various popular songs.
Among the newly discovered species is the Maratus Constellatus, so named as the colour combinations on the archnid’s abdomen reminded Schubert of Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, The Starry Night (1889). Yep, constellatus means ‘starry’ in latin.
The Australian children’s show about a family of Australian Cattle Dog’s has won an International Emmy award for the category Best Kids Show: Preschool. The program is produced by Brisbane creative studio Ludo, and follows the adventures of energetic and creative six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy, Bluey, her younger sister Bingo, and their patient parents.
The ABC, the TV home of Bluey, has stated that it is their most watched show ever on their online playback platform iview. Episodes are approximately 7 minutes in length and the new season can be seen at 8:00AM everyday on ABC kids.
The Victorian Government has extended the Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA) that exempt the logging industry from conservation laws, including in areas where protected forests were destroyed by bushfire, while unprotected areas remain intact.
Conservation groups have criticised the decision from the government as negligent.
“To roll over this agreement…is grossly irresponsible,” says Environment Justice Australia chief executive Brendan Snydes. “RFAs have proved inadequate in protecting conservation values and to pretend they can…respond to the catastrophic fires is implausible.”
The Victorian Government pushed back on these claims, with the state’s Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio stating that the new RFAs, “strengthen protections for Victoria’s wildlife and biodiversity”. As a part of the Victorian Government’s Victorian Forestry Plan, the state plans to phase out the logging of native forests by 2030.
With travel and tourism restrictions putting a handbrake on the demand for short-term stay accommodation, thousands of Airbnbs are being listed as long-term rentals. There has also been a downturn in demand for renting, due to many renters moving back in with their folks during the coronavirus isolation period.
This means, according to real estate website Domain’s economist, Trent Wilshere, that, “Now might be a good time to get a good deal or renegotiate with your landlord.”
Some quick numbers:
- Nearly 40,000 new homes for rent have hit the market nationally. That’s a 20% increase from this time last year.
- In Tasmania there’s been the biggest surge in listings, with an increase of 58%
- Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have seen increases of 25%, 21% and 18% respectively.