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Fires are still very much front and centre for swathes of communities across the country - be it on Kangaroo Island, the NSW Coast or on the fringes of the ACT where the immediate threat is very real. But as omnipotent as the fires' presence has been this summer, life goes on elsewhere. For some that means dealing with the overwhelming aftermath of the fires' devastation; for others it is dealing with other dire environmental issues. There's always the bread and circuses in the nation's capital and, well, an Olympian in a TV show.
SOUTH COAST REGISTER: Dozens of images of the catastrophic aftermath of the 'forever fire'
It's been more than 60 days since the Currowan fire began to consume the NSW South Coast. Unlike most disasters, which are singular in nature - a flood, an earthquake, a cyclone that strike one location - this one just keeps rolling on.
It's destroyed towns and villages, laid waste to forests and farmland, disrupted lives and distorted our very sense of time. It's like a psychotic home invader we can't get rid of, quiet one day but triggered into a violent, unpredictable rage the next. John Hanscombe has lived and breathed the fire since it began. READ ON
CANBERRA TIMES: Bringing home the bacon: a brief history of pork-barrelling
Pork-barrelling is not an Australian phenomenon, but in our parliamentary system it becomes an entirely new beast. Katie Burgess takes a look into history, home and abroad, to explain just how we got here. The practice may be rooted in the United States, and its origins far more exotic than the ol' US of A, but it seems that thanks to the Australian parliamentary system we've taken to it like a pig in ... mud. READ ON
NEWCASTLE HERALD: The Williams River farmers' despair as their livelihood erodes
As she cruises along the Williams River in a tinny, tracing the edge of the East Seaham property her family has farmed for five generations, Janelle Spearpoint feels she is also moving closer to her wits' end. For she is looking at her future on this land being eroded.
"It's horrific, it's absolutely horrible," Mrs Spearpoint says, as she wipes away tears. "When you're a farmer, you've got emotion for the land." Scott Bevan went along for a ride along the riverbank, too. READ ON
BENDIGO ADVERTISER: Jumping into the void to build a new life
At the height height of the Global Financial Crisis, Irish architect Conor Cunningham made the bold decision to search for work on the other side of the world.
Would you do it? Chris Pedler spent time with Conor to learn of the hardships, the discoveries and the lessons he's learned. READ ON
BEGA DISTRICT NEWS: If a fire did this, how could their home survive?
With black trees and scorched earth as far as you can see, it's incredible to think anything could have survived the New Year's Eve bushfires on the NSW South Coast.
But Paul Whitington and Kerri-Lee Harris' house stands, almost entirely untouched, and they are also fascinated by the life returning to their "personal ecosystem". Wait until you see the difference a month makes. READ ON
PORT MACQUARIE NEWS: Remember, don't mess with Shane Gould
When you have already gone head-to-head with a bunch of people stuck on an island without regular food, no communications devices and tortuous challenges thrown at you daily, why on earth would you want to do it all again?
Winner of Australian Survivor season three, triple Olympic swimming gold medallist Shane Gould, AM, MBE, PhD, says it's because she didn't want to miss out. READ ON
Enjoy your Sunday.
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