The Burke Report

Liz Burke rounds out the week in news and current affairs...

Another week, another disaster, another reason for rolling media coverage and another excellent display of compassion from our fellow downundermen. The shocking 6.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch, New Zealand’s historically rich, picturesque city, transforming it into a quake-ravaged disaster zone, saw monuments, homes, businesses, and at least 113 lives lost in the devastation. At the time of writing, there are 200 still missing, while police and emergency rescue forces scour the once-bustling area and begin the clean-up process with a faint hope for more incredible stories of human survival.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called on the old “ANZAC spirit” to encourage Australians to support New Zealand in their time of crisis, and the Kiwis are still showing a great sense of humour, using unofficial NZ mascot the “beached as” whale to drum up donations. In the meantime, the PM has used her platform this week to put climate change back on the national agenda and further the discussion about putting a price on carbon tax emissions.  

While the opposition leader is scaring us out of a carbon tax, saying it would be a “conspiracy against the people”, Gillard’s minority government has taken the first step in implementing a complex carbon pricing system, which could cost average households $300-$500 annually.

The Prime Minister has been grilled over the proposal and her “back-flipping” on the issue. In a radio interview this morning, 2GB’s Alan Jones told Gillard (after berating her for her tardiness) that dealing in emissions trading buried Rudd, and would bury her. There was more than a bit of tension in that studio. Gillard consistently denied the initial denial of implementing a carbon tax, and justified the costs saying, "Electricity prices are going up, that's the hard truth. They're going up whether or not we price carbon."

Also pushed back into the public eye this week is the 17-year-old school girl who released nude photos of St Kilda players last year who finds herself at the centre of AFL’s latest scandal as an investigation is underway over disgraced manager Ricky Nixon’s affair with the girl.

The rapid stream of social media assisted anti-government uprising tearing through the Middle East continues with protestors in Libya now closing in on dictator Moama Gaddafi. The scene of protests in key towns in Libya’s west have been described as massacre, and residents have fled the capital to seek refuge from the violent clash of protestors.

There has been some entertaining news, however. While civil uprising, scandal, and natural disaster dominated bulletins this week, news from the catwalks of London and Milan’s Fashion Weeks have provided some pretty relief. It was less 'climate change' more 'outfit change' for pop star Katy Perry as she adopted no fewer than nine ensembles to make her debut in Milan, which makes Anna Bligh's five changes for The Weekly in a two-hour shoot slot look modest by comparison.

GWAS Note: Speaking of The Weekly, our dear Liz is flying to Sydney this weekend to take up a post with The Australian Women's Weekly starting Monday. Big loss for GWAS (and Brisbane), but wonderful for Liz and the nation's number-one selling glossy (though too late for the Park St cameras!). Good luck, Liz. You will be sorely missed, Missy.

Liz @ Girl With a Satchel