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"Other cities will follow": Big trouble ahead for SUV owners

<p>Paris residents have voted to charge SUVs triple the cost of parking compared to standard sized cars in a bid to tackle air pollution and improve safety. </p> <p>54.6 per cent of residents voted to pass the plan, with the new parking tariffs expected to start in September. </p> <p>The price increase will apply to on-street parking for vehicles with combustion or hybrid engines weighing more than 1.6 tonnes and electric vehicles weighing over two tonnes.</p> <p>The change means that the vehicles will pay €18 (A$29.69) an hour for parking in the centre of Paris, up from €6 (A$9.90), and €12 (A$19.79) an hour in the rest of the city, up from €4 (A$6.60).</p> <p>"Parisians have made a clear choice … other cities will follow,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. </p> <p>Experts are onboard with the move and believe the Australia should do the same thing. </p> <p>Urban access consultant and author of the book<em> Rethinking Parking</em> David Mepham said that the move could help improve safety as: “SUVs are actually some of the most unsafe vehicles on the road for pedestrians with a fatality rate that is significantly higher than other vehicles.”</p> <p>“The injury and fatality rate should be a concern in highly pedestrianised areas such as city centres.”</p> <p>In 2022 alone, SUV and light commercial vehicles made up 76.8 per cent of car sales, coming in eighth on the top 10 vehicle sales according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.</p> <p>With spaces in the cities limited, Mepham added: “If you’ve got a larger car you should expect to pay more for that, you should pay for what you use.”</p> <p>Standards Australia has recently proposed to increase the size of off-street parking spaces by 20 centimetres in Australia, from 5.4 metres to 5.6 metres, which would make it easier for larger vehicles to park, but would limit car spaces. </p> <p>Executive director of the Australia Institute, Richard Dennis also said that SUV owners need to face the consequences of owning a larger vehicle. </p> <p>“If we want to drive much bigger cars, are we going to widen all of our city streets, are we going to have less car parking spaces?” he said.</p> <p>“Because if we want to drive these cars we need to own the consequences.”</p> <p>Marion Terrill, an independent transport expert, also agreed that higher parking fees for large vehicles are “absolutely reasonable.”</p> <p>“If you want more of it you can pay more, it’s the same principle as paying for parking at all," she said. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Dive below the surface with the Underwater Photographer of the Year awards

<p>There's a world beneath us that we don't know much about, and photographers around the world have all tried to capture its beauty. </p> <p>With over 6,500 photos submitted for this year's Underwater Photographer of the Year contest, one photo captured the panel of judges' heart - Alex Dawson's 'Whale Bones'. </p> <p>The image shows a diver swimming among the enormous skeletons of slaughtered whales off the coast of Greenland. </p> <p>"Whale Bones was photographed in the toughest conditions, as a breath-hold diver descends below the Greenland ice sheet to bear witness to the carcasses," Alex Mustard, Chair of the UPY Jury said. </p> <p>"The masterful composition invites me to consider our impact on the great creatures of this planet," he added. </p> <p>"Since the rise of humans, wild animals have declined by 85%. Today, just 4% of mammals are wildlife, the remaining 96% are humans and our livestock.</p> <p>"Our way needs to change to find a balance with nature." </p> <p>Lisa Stengel from the US won the title of Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024, for her shot titled 'Window of Opportunity'. </p> <p>The photo captured the beauty of nature as a mahi attacks a swarm of fish, an action shot that captured "high speed hunting at the decisive moment."</p> <p>Nuno Sá from Portugal won the award for 'Save Our Seas Foundation' Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2024 for his work titled Saving Goliath. </p> <p>The photo showed dozens of sun seekers working together to try and save a stranded sperm whale off the beaches of Costa da Caparica. </p> <p>UK residents Jenny Stock won the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year for her work  'Star Attraction' and Sandra Stalker won the title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2024 for 'Midnight raver'. </p> <p><em>Images: UPY </em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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The art of ‘getting lost’: how re-discovering your city can be an antidote to capitalism

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-dobson-1093706">Stephen Dobson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Do you remember what it was like to discover the magic of a city for the first time? Do you remember the noises, smells, flashing lights and pulsating crowds? Or do you mostly remember cities through the screen of your phone?</p> <p>In 1967, French philosopher and filmmaker Guy Debord <a href="https://files.libcom.org/files/The%20Society%20of%20the%20Spectacle%20Annotated%20Edition.pdf">publicised the need</a> to move away from living our lives as bystanders continually tempted by the power of images. Today, we might see this in a young person flicking from one TikTok to the next – echoing the hold images have on us. But adults aren’t adverse to this window-shopping experience, either.</p> <p>Debord notes we have a tendency to observe rather than engage. And this is to our detriment. Continually topping-up our image consumption leaves no space for the unplanned – the reveries to break the pattern of an ordered life.</p> <p>Debord was a member of a group called the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Situationist-International">Situationist International</a>, dedicated to new ways we could reflect upon and experience our cities. Active for about 15 years, they believed we should experience our cities as an act of resistance, in direct opposition to the (profit-motivated) capitalistic structures that demand our attention and productivity every waking hour.</p> <p>More than 50 years since the group dissolved, the Situationists’ philosophy points us to a continued need to attune ourselves – through our thoughts and senses – to the world we live in. We might consider them as early eco-warriors. And through better understanding their philosophy, we can develop a new relationship with our cities today.</p> <h2>Understanding the ‘situation’</h2> <p>The Situationist International movement was <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt183p61x">formed</a> in 1957 in Cosio di Arroscia, Italy, and became active in several European countries. It brought together radical artists inspired by spontaneity, experimentalism, intellectualism, protest and hedonism. Central figures included Danish artist <a href="https://museumjorn.dk/en/">Asger Jorn</a>, French novelist <a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/author/michele-bernstein-10219/">Michèle Bernstein</a> and Italian musician and composer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Olmo">Walter Olmo</a>.</p> <p>The Situationists were driven by a <a href="https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/34141">libertarian form of Marxism</a> that resisted mass consumerism. One of the group’s early terms was “unitary urbanism”, which sought to join avant-garde art with the critique of mass production and technology. They rejected “urbanism’s” conventional emphasis on function, and instead thought about art and the environment as inexorably interrelated.</p> <p>By rebelling against the invasiveness of consumption, the Situationists proposed a turn towards artistically-inspired individuality and creativity.</p> <h2>Think on your own two feet</h2> <p>According to the 1960 <a href="https://hts3.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/situationist-international-manifesto.pdf">Situationist Manifesto</a> we are all to be artists of our own “situations”, crafting independent identities as we stand on our own two feet. They believed this could be achieved, in part, through “<a href="https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/psychogeography#:%7E:text=Psychogeography%20describes%20the%20effect%20of,emotions%20and%20behaviour%20of%20individuals">psychogeography</a>”: the idea that geographical locations exert a unique psychological effect on us.</p> <p>For instance, when you walk down a street, the architecture around you may be deliberately designed to encourage a certain kind of experience. Crossing a vibrant city square on a sunny morning evokes joy and a feeling of connection with others. There’s also usually a public event taking place.</p> <p>The Situationists valued drift, or <em>dérive</em> in French. This alludes to unplanned movement through a landscape during journeys on foot. By drifting aimlessly, we unintentionally redefine the traditional rules imposed by private or public land owners and property developers. We make ourselves open to the new unexpected and, in doing so, are liberated from the shackles of everyday routine.</p> <p>In <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-10-8100-2">our research</a>, my colleagues and I consider cities as places in which “getting lost” means exposing yourself to discovering the new and taken-for-granted.</p> <h2>Forge your own path</h2> <p>By understanding the Situationists – by looking away from our phones and allowing ourselves to get lost – we can rediscover our cities. We can see them for what they are beneath the blankets of posters, billboards and advertisements. How might we take back the image and make it work for us?</p> <p>The practise of geo-tagging images on social media, and sharing our location with others, could be considered close to the spirit of the Situationists. Although it’s often met with claims of <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/when-why-not-to-use-geotagging-overtourism-security">over-fuelling tourism</a> (especially regarding idyllic or otherwise protected sites), geo-tagging could <a href="https://www.melaninbasecamp.com/trip-reports/2019/5/1/five-reasons-why-you-should-keep-geotagging">inspire us</a> to actively seek out new places through visiting the source of an image.</p> <p>This could lead to culturally respectful engagement, and new-found respect for the rights of traditional custodians as we experience their lands in real life, rather than just through images on our phones.</p> <p>Then there are uniquely personal and anarchistic forms of resistance, wherein we can learn about the world around us by interweaving ourselves with our histories. In doing so we offer a new meaning to a historical message, and a new purpose. The Situationists called this process <em><a href="https://www.theartstory.org/movement/situationist-international/">détournement</a></em>, or hijacking.</p> <p>For instance, from my grandfather I inherited a biscuit tin of black and white photographs I believe were taken in the 1960s. They showed images of parks and wildlife, perhaps even of the same park, and cityscapes of London with people, streets and buildings.</p> <p>I have spent many hours wandering the London streets tracking down the exact places these images were snapped. I was juxtaposing past with present, and experiencing both continuity and change in the dialogues I had with my grandfather. In this way, I used images to augment (rather than replace) my lived experience of the material world.</p> <p>Urban art installations can also be examples of detournment as they make us re-think everyday conceptions. <a href="https://www.cityartsydney.com.au/artwork/forgotten-songs/">Forgotten Songs</a> by Michael Hill is one such example. A canopy of empty birdcages commemorates the songs of 50 different birds once heard in central Sydney, but which are now lost due to habitat removal as a result of urban development.</p> <p>There are also a number of groups, often with a strong environmental or civic rights focus, that partake in detournment. <a href="https://popularresistance.org/dancing-revolution-how-90s-protests-used-rave-culture-to-reclaim-the-streets/">Reclaim the Streets</a> is a movement with a long history in Australia. The group advocates for communities having ownership of and agency within public spaces. They may, for instance, “invade” a highway to throw a “<a href="https://pasttenseblog.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/road-rave.pdf">road rave</a>” as an act of reclamation.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUL0C_T-Sqk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=999" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>As French avant-garde philosopher <a href="https://www.themarginalian.org/2014/07/24/the-poetics-of-reverie-gaston-bachelard/">Gaston Bachelard</a> might have put it, when we’re bombarded by images there is no space left to daydream. We lose the opportunity to explore and question the world capitalism serves us through images.</p> <p>Perhaps now is a good time to set down the phone and follow in the Situationists’ footsteps. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221606/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-dobson-1093706"><em>Stephen Dobson</em></a><em>, Professor and Dean of Education and the Arts, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-art-of-getting-lost-how-re-discovering-your-city-can-be-an-antidote-to-capitalism-221606">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Climate change is forcing Australians to weigh up relocating. How do they make that difficult decision?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">Justine Dandy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-whiplash-wild-swings-between-weather-extremes/">Big environmental changes</a> mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put.</p> <p>Communities in the tropical north are <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/three-aussie-towns-set-to-become-unliveable-due-to-extreme-heat/news-story/a96b36d1be5054d9fe3282ebf18c3431">losing residents</a> as these regions <a href="https://theconversation.com/study-finds-2-billion-people-will-struggle-to-survive-in-a-warming-world-and-these-parts-of-australia-are-most-vulnerable-205927">become hotter and more humid</a>. <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/weather-is-growing-more-extreme-the-pressure-is-on-the-bureau-of-meteorology-to-keep-up-20240111-p5ewms.html">Repeated floods</a> have communities along the east coast questioning their future. Others face <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-climate-change-is-bringing-bushfires-more-often-but-some-ecosystems-in-australia-are-suffering-the-most-211683">rising bushfire risks</a> that force them to weigh up the <a href="http://www.ohscareer.com.au/archived-news/bushfire-risk-for-those-who-move">difficult decision</a> to move home.</p> <p>However, the decision-making process and relocation opportunities are not the same for everyone. Factors such as socio-economic disadvantage and how we are attached to a place influence decisions to move or stay, where people go and how they experience their new location.</p> <p>Our research, working with other researchers at Edith Cowan University’s <a href="https://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/science/research/strategic-centres/centre-for-people-place-and-planet/overview">Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet</a> and Curtin University, seeks to document when and why people stay or go, and what this means for places and communities. In particular, our research suggests <em>who</em> is more likely to go may leave those who remain even more vulnerable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oCeYJPwUaTg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Darwin is already losing residents because of rising heat and humidity.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>We’ve been slow to adapt to increasing impacts</h2> <p>Climate change is global in scale and <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">has compounding effects</a>. It is increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, fires, storms and floods. It is also accelerating environmental changes such as soil erosion, salinisation of waterways, loss of biodiversity, and land and water degradation.</p> <p>Both sudden disruptions and gradual pervasive decline <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">have impacts</a> on the places where we live, work and play. So far, there has been <a href="https://thefifthestate.com.au/urbanism/climate-change-news/ahuri-rips-into-federal-government-inaction-on-helping-cities-adapt-to-climate-change/">little effective government action</a> to improve <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/411">climate change adaptation in Australia</a>.</p> <p>As we have seen in recent times in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/09/land-swaps-relocations-or-rebuilds-lismore-community-grapples-with-its-future">Lismore</a>, New South Wales, and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-17/mooroopna-shepparton-flood-residents-consider-staying-or-leaving/103324882">northern Victoria</a>, for example, living in some flood-prone locations will become <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-23/flood-insurance-costing-30000-dollars-where-not-to-build/13268966">unaffordable due to insurance costs</a> or simply uninsurable.</p> <p>In other locations, different reasons will force residents to leave. It might be because environmental change threatens their livelihoods, or they can’t tolerate new conditions such as more long heatwaves or less reliable freshwater supplies. Others might not be able to endure the threat of another disaster.</p> <p>In sum, living in the place they called home will not be sustainable.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqafq5UV5Iw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Repeated floods are forcing people in towns like Rochester in Victoria to contemplate whether they can afford to stay.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What factors affect the decision to stay or go?</h2> <p>Not everyone can relocate to cooler or safer places. Systemic inequalities mean some people are more at risk from environmental change and have <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/wcc.565">less capacity</a> to respond than others. These vulnerable people include children (both <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2024-01-25/climate-change-threatens-health-of-babies-in-utero/103362510">before and after birth</a>), women, older people, people on low incomes and/or with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other cultural and/or linguistic minorities.</p> <p>In addition, housing is more affordable in areas that are hotter or flood-prone. This makes it more likely to be owned or rented by people with fewer financial resources, compounding their disadvantage.</p> <p>For First Nations peoples and communities, connections to and responsibilities for places (Country) are intimately intertwined with identity. For them, the <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">impacts of climate change</a>, colonisation and resettlement interact, further complicating the question of relocation.</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">Place attachment</a> – the emotional bond between people and their environment – might suppress the urge to move. But environmental change might fundamentally alter the characteristics that make a place unique. What we once loved and enjoyed <a href="https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wcc.476">has then disappeared</a>.</p> <p>This sort of change <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953612003255">impacts human health</a> and results in feelings of <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(20)30250-5.pdf">loss and grief</a>. It can prompt people to decide to leave.</p> <h2>So who stays and who leaves?</h2> <p>In our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666623523000028#sec0014">research</a>, we found that when residents imagined the loss of what they valued about Perth’s environment this significantly increased their intentions to move away and significantly decreased place attachment. They nominated bushland, beaches, fauna and flora, and the climate/weather as characteristics they valued and feared changing or losing as climate change progressed.</p> <p>One study participant wrote: "It would be hotter and much more unpleasant in summer. I would miss the trees, plants and birds. I would hate living in a concrete jungle without the green spaces we have here. I would miss being able to cycle or walk to the local lakes to connect to nature and feel peaceful."</p> <p>But social factors matter too. We found people who valued characteristics of Perth such as social relationships and lifestyle were more likely to stay as they tended to have less reduction in their place attachment.</p> <p>We also found place attachment was associated with people acting to protect that place, such as protesting environmentally destructive policies. Yet people who were more likely to take such actions were also <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-019-01463-1">more likely to leave</a>.</p> <p>This could make the remaining community more vulnerable to further unwanted change. That’s because those who can afford to relocate are usually the ones with the resources – psychological, social, political and financial – to take action to protect their homes, neighbourhoods and cities.</p> <h2>Proper planning for adaptation is long overdue</h2> <p>Climate change impacts everyone. It causes significant economic and non-economic losses for both individuals and communities.</p> <p>Many locations are becoming unliveable. A changing climate and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-21/dark-roofs-raising-the-heat-in-australian-new-suburbs/102990304">inappropriately built or located housing</a> interact to create conditions where some people can or should no longer stay.</p> <p>Some will be prompted or forced to move, but not everyone has that capacity. Furthermore, relocation pressures have environmental, infrastructure and social <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/">consequences for the places to which they move</a>.</p> <p>The housing crisis in Australia adds to resource constraints and their impacts for individuals and communities. Relocating can also disrupt psychological, emotional, social and cultural connections that are crucial for people’s wellbeing.</p> <p>We need co-ordinated, well-governed, long-term planning for people to move in the face of environmental change to ensure equitable and positive transitions for individuals and communities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The authors wish to acknowledge the following contributors to this research: Professor Pierre Horwitz and Dr Naomi Godden (Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, ECU), Dr Deirdre Drake (School of Arts and Humanities, ECU) and Dr Francesca Perugia (School of Design and the Built Environment, Curtin University).</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221971/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-dandy-121273">J<em>ustine Dandy</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, Centre for People, Place &amp; Planet, and School of Arts and Humanities, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-leviston-823">Zoe Leviston</a>, Research Fellow, College of Health and Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-forcing-australians-to-weigh-up-relocating-how-do-they-make-that-difficult-decision-221971">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"WHY?!": Disbelief as "Best Aussie towns" crowned for 2024

<p>The top ten Aussie towns to visit in 2024 have been revealed, with some locals surprised to see their hometowns at the top of the list. </p> <p>Each year travel experts at Wotif release the top spots to visit across the country, narrowing down destinations based on the platform’s data index of accommodation affordability, quality and traveller feedback.</p> <p>This year’s top 10 list featured a number of regional towns over coastal escapes, with Bendigo in Victoria taking out the top spot. </p> <p>The small Victorian town, home to plenty of paddock-to-plate cafes, vintage trams and the famous regional Art Gallery, has been praised by visitors for its cultural experiences, and lively food and beverage scene.</p> <p>Also making the top 10 list are Katherine in the Northern Territory and Coober Pedy in South Australia, alongside Broken Hill and Bathurst in New South Wales. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3RO7pDycQX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3RO7pDycQX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Wotif.com (@wotifcom)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite their top ten rankings, one savage local commented on the official top ranking video on social media writing, "Have ya’ll ever been to Katherine &amp; Coober Pedy? Because they aren't on anyone’s top 10 list," while one confused Bathurst local simply asked, "Why?"</p> <p>Wotif travel expert Sarah King said trends of heading away from the coast this year indicate a demand for “inland educational experiences”, meaning the top 10 towns in this year’s awards feature a diverse mix of regional towns not typically included in “best of” listings.</p> <p>“Aussie travellers are driven by a curiosity to experience the world around them and it’s fantastic to see that pursuit of discovery leading many to find culture close to home,” Ms King said in a statement.</p> <p>Check out the entire top 10 list below. </p> <p>1. Bendigo, VIC</p> <p>2. Broken Hill, NSW</p> <p>3. Stanthorpe, QLD</p> <p>4. Katherine, NT</p> <p>5. Bathurst, NSW</p> <p>6. Tanunda, SA</p> <p>7. Griffith, NSW</p> <p>8. Stanley, TAS</p> <p>9. Exmouth, WA</p> <p>10. Coober Pedy, SA</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Major festival event cancelled after deadly find

<p>Mardi Gras Fair Day has been cancelled four days out from the event after asbestos was discovered in Victoria Park, Sydney CBD. </p> <p>The organisers of the event, were informed of the site's contamination on Monday, with EPA officers finding positive results for bonded asbestos after undertaking tests earlier this week. </p> <p>Mardi Gras chef executive Gil Beckwith said that they are heartbroken after the decision was made, but the community's wellbeing is more important. </p> <p>“Fair Day is one of our most loved events, and is attended by over 70,000 people each year,” Beckwith said. </p> <p>“It breaks our heart to see this Sunday not go ahead, but given the safety concerns, we must put our communities’ wellbeing first.</p> <p>“The rest of our festival continues unchanged, offering many chances over the 17 days for our communities to come together in celebration and solidarity.”</p> <p>Other highlights including the Mardi Gras Parade and Bondi Beach Party will still go ahead as planned. </p> <p>This comes after the EPA confirmed that there is a widespread asbestos contamination with 22 sites across Sydney being affected, prompting the closure of parks, building sites, schools and train stations. </p> <p>Asbestos is a fibrous substance that can be trapped in the lungs if it's breathed in, and can lead to an increased risk in developing lung, ovary and throat cancer, according to the cancer council. </p> <p>Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said that it was an “incredibly disappointing” decision.</p> <p>“The NSW government and the EPA must make sure this never happens again,” she said. </p> <p>Asbestos has been found in two other city parks including Belmore Park in Haymarket and Harmony Park in Surry Hills. </p> <p>The Sydenham to Bankstown Rail Corridor sites including Campsie, Hurlstone Park, Dulwich Hill, Belmore, Wiley Park, Punchbowl and Marrickville have also been affected, with licensed removalists working hard to clear the sites. </p> <p>Over the coming week 32 more parks will be closed off, as they conduct more tests for contamination. </p> <p>“We urge everyone to avoid the mulched garden beds and mulched areas under trees at these parks while the inspections are being carried out,” a City of Sydney spokesperson said.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Robert Irwin's favourite Aussie holiday spot

<p>Robert Irwin is a Queenslander through and through, and despite all the attractions and things to do in his hometown, the young conservationist is surprisingly a huge fan of Tasmania.</p> <p>When asked what his favourite destination was, Irwin said that it was a "very tough question" but narrowed it down to two spots: North Queensland and Tasmania.</p> <p>“I know what you’re thinking – two of the most polar opposite places, but they both have such rugged and raw natural beauty,” Irwin told news.com.au.</p> <p>He added that Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania's most iconic sights is one of his favourite spots and that it is a must-see destination.</p> <p>“I also enjoy the Tasman Peninsula, Launceston, Swansea and the stunning Tarkine Wilderness just to name a few spots.”</p> <p>In North Queensland, he lives up to his role as the son of 'The Crocodile Hunter' as he loves exploring the mangroves and estuaries.</p> <p>“At a good distance away from the water’s edge of course,” he added.</p> <p>“Surprisingly, Cairns also has some top-notch mountain biking, so if you love an adrenaline hit, it has got you covered.”</p> <p>Irwin added that all Aussies need to explore the far north and far south at least once in their lives.</p> <p>“To sum it all up, Tasmania has Tassie devils, and North Queensland has crocs. What more do you need,” he said.</p> <p>The young conservationist will soon be heading to South Africa to film the newest season of <em>I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!</em> as he replaced Dr Chris Brown as a co-host for the show.</p> <p>He shared that he will definitely bring his own camera.</p> <p>“We have supported wildlife conservation efforts there for many years and have spent so much time photographing the unique wildlife of South Africa,” he said.</p> <p>“My new I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! hosting role will definitely give me the opportunity to further pursue my passion for photography.”</p> <p>Images: Instagram</p>

Domestic Travel

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Boss slammed for demanding an employee complete work during annual leave

<p dir="ltr">A boss has been dubbed an “abysmal manager” for demanding his employee join a video call for work, despite being on annual leave. </p> <p dir="ltr">Businessman Ben Askins, who has dedicated his TikTok account to calling out unacceptable workplace behaviour, read out the text exchange between the man and his boss, who quickly became unreasonable in his demands. </p> <p dir="ltr">The first message came from the man’s boss, who asked “Where are you? Haven’t seen you at your desk today? I need to run something by you.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The employee responded, reminding his boss that he was off on pre-approved annual leave, and was enjoying a holiday abroad in Spain. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite his holiday, the employee still offered to help, saying he could “probably jump on a quick call when I am on the bus from the airport if it is really urgent.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2QFCsgtSoS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2QFCsgtSoS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Ben Askins (@benaskins.official)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Unhappy with the compromise, the demanding boss then asked if the employee would “jump on a Zoom call when you get to the hotel” as he would “prefer to do this in person”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Sorry, not really possible, we have a really packed schedule,” the worker replied to his boss, to which the manager hit back with, “Damn, wish you had told me that you were on annual leave.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The man reminded his boss he had signed off his leave two months prior and it was “in the system” but he came back saying, “Lol as if I would remember that. It is poor form for you to not remind me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As Ben continued to read the text exchange, he added his own commentary on the situation, saying, “It's your job to remember that, it's not his fault you're just being unbelievably shocking at yours.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is so bad, this poor employee has done everything right; he's got it signed off two months in advance, he's done all the handover, he's done everything he could have done,' Ben ranted. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Because the manager is shocking, it's now impacting the employee's holiday. I just hate it when that happens.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Ben, a self-described “champion of younger gens in the workplace” said the heated chat showed the boss's “really poor” form and “abysmal management”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“What are you doing being so unorganised? Because the problem when an unorganised manager happens it hits down to the team below him - what the hell he's playing at? I have no idea,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ben's clip was viewed more than 2.3million and had users fired up, with thousands of comments flooding in in support of the burnt out employee trying to enjoy his holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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The cheapest places to travel in 2024

<p dir="ltr">With the cost of living continuing to rise, many people are looking for cost-friendly ways to travel the world in 2024. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some destinations are more economic than others, with these somewhat overlooked holiday hotspots showcasing the best of travelling without breaking the bank.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re looking for a new adventure this year, these corners of the globe are the cheapest places to travel in 2024.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The Philippines</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The underrated gem located only a few hours northeast of Australia is one of the cheapest destinations in Asia, it's a wonder why more tourists don’t visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">Not only is it home to over 7,500 picturesque islands, six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an endless chain of pristine beaches, it's also very affordable with resort accommodation under $100 a night is not hard to find.</p> <p dir="ltr">On top of accommodation, day tours and activities (snorkelling, for example) will set you back around $30 to $40.</p> <p dir="ltr">Flights are also reasonable in cost, with return flights from Sydney to Manila coming in around $600 per person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Turkey</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Travellers can get to Istanbul from Melbourne and back for approximately $1,300 per person, to visit some of the world’s most historical sites. </p> <p dir="ltr">Turkey is a paradise for those travelling on a budget, with mouthwatering meals can be found regularly for as little as $5, and even less for street food.</p> <p dir="ltr">To make it even better, striking accommodation in the historic Galata region can be as low as $50 a night. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Hungary</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Hungary is regularly dubbed one of Europe’s cheapest tourist destinations, with  accommodation, dining and entertainment costs significantly lower than the neighbouring countries.</p> <p dir="ltr">Expect to part with $60 to $100 a night for a pretty-as-a-picture hotel in the city centre, around $10 to $15 for meals in restaurants, and anywhere between $7 to $30 for activities. </p> <p dir="ltr">There are also tourist passes available that make these costs even cheaper. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Albania</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located on the western part of the Balkan peninsula, this destination is often overlooked by tourists, making it an ideal budget-friendly destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The stunning country is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites and turquoise beaches, all while keeping your budget in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">Beachside accommodation can be found for as little as $70 a night, with prices comparable to Turkey for restaurant meals. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Backlash after airline starts weighing passengers

<p>Finnair has announced that they will start weighing passengers and their luggage, as part of their latest data collection. </p> <p>The flagship airline for Finland has copped some backlash following this move, which they claim is designed to improve balance calculations which will enhance flight safety, according to the<em> NY Post</em>. </p> <p>“Finnair will collect data by weighing volunteering customers and their carry-on baggage at the departure gate,” according to a statement from the company. </p> <p>“The weighing is voluntary and anonymous, and the data will only be used to optimise Finnair’s current aircraft balance calculations.”</p> <p>The airline said that weighing passengers would help ensure that they wouldn't exceed the set maximum weight that a plane can bear before take off. </p> <p>“We use the weighing data for the average calculations required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer’s personal data,” head of Finnair’s ground processes, Satu Munnukka said. </p> <p>Munnukka also said that the airline won't ask for the passengers name or booking number. </p> <p>Many were left shocked by the move taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, to voice their fury. </p> <p>“#Finair are to start weighing their passengers? Have I read that correctly? I am utterly shocked! And disgusted,” wrote one person. </p> <p>“I will not be travelling via @Finair as I won’t be #fatshamed by a bloody airline. Am I alone? (ie I never weight myself: my choice)" another person tweeted. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">What do you make of this one then?</p> <p>An airline has announced it will begin weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage in order to better estimate the plane's weight before take-off.</p> <p>The controversial move comes from Finnish carrier Finnair, who told media they began… <a href="https://t.co/EqEyTQXROG">pic.twitter.com/EqEyTQXROG</a></p> <p>— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) <a href="https://twitter.com/darrengrimes_/status/1755276929853231333?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 7, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>This comes after Air New Zealand announced that they too will weigh passengers travelling internationally in May last year. </p> <p>“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals on-board, to the luggage in the hold,” Alastair James, Air New Zealand load control improvement specialist, said at the time. </p> <p>“For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”</p> <p>Finnair joins Korean Air, Hawaiian Air, Uzbekistan Airways and Air New Zealand in the group of airlines that are weighing their customers. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty/ X</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Seasoned travellers share the most underwhelming tourist attractions

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to travelling the world, there are always places and attractions that have been overhyped by those who travelled there before. </p> <p dir="ltr">While some places are known as hotspots for a reason, others can fail to deliver. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing some of their experiences, a group of travel writers have shared stories of the times they were left feeling deflated while travelling the world. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Mona Lisa, Paris, France</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While most travellers who visit the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris are destined to join the hoards of people to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, others have dubbed her underwhelming. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to one travel writer at <em>Stuff Travel</em>, the small dimensions of da Vinci’s masterwork make it difficult to see. </p> <p dir="ltr">They wrote, “You either need to BYO ladder or be over six feet tall to even catch a glimpse over the hordes of tourists waving their cellphones.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“A security barrier also means that it's impossible to appreciate the finer details of the hyper-realistic work - which essentially defeats the point altogether.”</p> <p dir="ltr">They concluded by writing that despite being ‘the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world’, the Mona Lisa is also one of the world's biggest letdowns.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Playa del Carmen, Mexico</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this vibrant tourist hotspot is a treat for the senses, or, as others have called it, an overstimulating nightmare. </p> <p dir="ltr">A combination of the blazing heat, suffocating humidity, loud clubs, and seemingly endless floods of tourists, this vibrant destination is not for the faint of heart. </p> <p dir="ltr">One seasoned traveller admitted that while some might find the holiday spot idyllic, for those searching for somewhere a bit less overstimulating, “head a little bit further south to Tulum”. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>That Wānaka Tree, New Zealand</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">One of New Zealand's most popular tourist hotspots, especially on social media, is the picturesque Wānaka tree, located on the South Island. </p> <p dir="ltr">A travel writer made the trip to NZ with her sister to view the stunning landscape, but both women were left severely underwhelmed when they arrived. </p> <p dir="ltr">“From the carpark, over the bridge and down the trail to the lakeside to find That Wānaka Tree had not a single leaf. "Is that it?" my sister blurts out. I must agree, was that it?” the seasoned traveller wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“A true case of Instagram versus reality.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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Tourist arrested for disgusting act at sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site

<p>A tourist has been arrested after he committed this disgusting act on top of the Leshan Giant Buddha, a sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site in China. </p> <p>The man allegedly found a blind spot away from CCTV cameras, climbed over the security fence and on top of the statue. </p> <p>Once he reached the top of the monuments head, he proceeded to pull down his pants and urinate in front of horrified visitors who filmed the act. </p> <p>Security guards quickly removed the unidentified man and handed him over to police, after being informed of his actions. </p> <p>It is reported that the man was taken to a nearby hospital for psychiatric evaluation.</p> <p>The UNESCO World Heritage Site itself is a 71-metre-tall monument, which is considered to be the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. </p> <p>The Leshan Giant Buddha monument is located in the Sichuan Province of China, and was carved out of a cliff face between 713 and 803 AD. </p> <p>The statue and surrounding Mount Emei Scenic Area have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.</p> <p>This act is one of many incidences of tourists behaving badly across the world. </p> <p>In June 2023 a German tourist was detained after <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/tourist-accused-of-causing-over-8-000-in-damages-to-iconic-roman-statue" target="_blank" rel="noopener">climbing up</a> a 16th-century Fountain of Neptune, and was accused of causing over $8,000 in damages to the iconic statue. </p> <p>Prior to that, an Irish tourist landed himself into <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/tourist-busted-for-carving-name-into-world-s-most-famous-roman-relic" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trouble in Rome</a> after carving his and his girlfriend's name onto the walls of the Colosseum. </p> <p><em>Images: News.com.au</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Why can’t WE do this?! UK company unveils "Grans Go Free" flights

<p>EasyJet Holidays has unveiled their "first of its kind" offer allowing older relatives to travel for free on family bookings to popular European destinations, including Spain, Greece and Italy. </p> <p>The offer was announced during the final week of the easyJet Holidays Big Orange Sale last week, where customers could get up to £400 off. </p> <p>The move was made after a survey they conducted found that half of families have never holidayed abroad with grandparents.</p> <p>From the survey of 2,000 British adults, half of them said they regret not spending more time with grandparents and hoped to travel with them in their upcoming holidays. </p> <p>"We're proud to offer thousands of free kids' places, but we feel it's time to recognise the grandparents," easyJet Holidays Chief Operating Officer, Matt Callaghan said. </p> <p>"This research shows how important grandparent and grandchild relationships are and how much can be learned from making time for them."</p> <p>The tour operator hopes to encourage people in the UK to take a "3G" holiday - the term used for getaways with three or more generations. </p> <p>They found that seventy-seven per cent of the people surveyed agreed that the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is one of the most special relationships within a family. </p> <p>73 percent of these people also said that they would use the holiday opportunity to learn more about their grandparents' lives, and almost half of them want to benefit from their grandparents' wisdom. </p> <p>The most popular destinations for multi-generational holidays abroad are Spain (18 per cent), Italy and France, which both sit at 13 per cent. </p> <p>Limited spaces for the offer were made available and to qualify, the grandparent had to travel as part of a family booking with at least one child, and provide proof of age and relation had to be provided upon arrival at the hotel. </p> <p>The offer ended on the 5th of February, but it does make us wonder, when will Australia follow in their footsteps?</p> <p><em>Image: EasyJet/ Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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To avoid the worst of climate change we have to change how we travel

<p>In September last year I embarked on a 5 week trip throughout Italy and France.</p> <p>We swam in the waters of Cinque Terre, ate the best pizza we’d ever had in Naples, and walked blisters into our feet through the streets of Paris.</p> <p>The marvels of modern aviation meant I completed my 32,000 km round trip in roughly 24 hours each way.</p> <p>But while I budgeted for the monetary costs associated with the trip, I neglected to consider another crucial one – the carbon cost.</p> <p>Humans are changing the Earth’s climate. It is estimated our activities have caused about 1°C of additional  atmospheric warming since the industrial revolution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">crossing a 1.5°C threshold</a> will unleash devastating climate change impacts on human life and ecosystems.</p> <p>To keep global warming to below 1.5°C, as called for in the <a href="https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Paris Agreement</a>, emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest, halve by 2030, and reach net-zero as soon as possible before 2050. The <a href="https://www.unwto.org/the-glasgow-declaration-on-climate-action-in-tourism" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism</a>, launched at <a href="https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/cop26" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">COP26</a>, commits the tourism sector to these goals.</p> <p>So, what will global tourism look like as it begins to decarbonise? Will it necessitate changing the way I approach travel in the coming decades?</p> <p>Paul Peeters, a professor of sustainable transport and tourism at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands is one of the principal authors of a report released last year that seeks to <a href="https://pure.buas.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/27136592/Peeters_Papp_EnvisionTourism_report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><em>envision tourism in 2030 and beyond.</em></a></p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Tourism and emissions: how big of a contributor is it?</h2> <p>Tourism is a major contributor to climate change. According to Peeters, at least 5% of global CO<sub>2</sub> emissions come from tourism and travel, with some estimates as high as 8-11% if you include indirect (supply chain) emissions.</p> <p>These emissions are inequitable, about half of the global tourism footprint is caused by travel between the richest countries.</p> <p>If global tourism continues unchanged, it’s predicted to increase emissions by 73% by 2050, compared to 2019. In this scenario, the sector will use over 66% of the world’s remaining carbon budget between 2023 and 2100.</p> <p>Peeters says this is not a viable way forward. But it doesn’t mean that tourism will cease to exist, or that we must stop flying altogether.</p> <p>Instead, the modelling he presents finds there is a plausible decarbonisation pathway that allows tourism to continue with similar levels of growth in global revenue, trips, and guest nights compared to 2019, while also achieving net-zero emissions, by 2050.</p> <p>This model is called the Tourism Decarbonisation Scenario (TDS) and it requires us to re-think how we travel.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">How do you put tourism emissions into a holding pattern?</h2> <p>“If you look at the division of the [emissions from] different parts of travel, then in general… transport takes about 75-80%, 20% goes to the accommodation sector,” says Peeters.</p> <p>That 20% also includes activities, like visiting museums or amusement parks.</p> <p>“And then within transport, you see that about more than half of the emissions come from aviation, while at the same time aviation serves about a quarter of all trips,” he says.</p> <p>Each country party to the Paris Agreement – a legally binding international treaty on climate change – is required to establish a <a href="https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/all-about-ndcs#:~:text=Simply%20put%2C%20an%20NDC%2C%20or,and%20adapt%20to%20climate%20impacts." target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Nationally Determined Contribution</a> (NDC). An NDC is an action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, updated every 5 years.</p> <p>Most of tourism – like accommodation and on-ground transportation – falls within the Paris Agreement and these NDCs and will decarbonise through changes already happening in the legislation of each country. For instance, the transition to electrified forms of travel and accommodation powered by renewable energy. So, as a tourist, I won’t need to change my behaviour there.</p> <p>“But it’s not true for aviation. And the problem is that aviation, in terms of governance, has got an exemption,” says Peeters. Aviation emissions are much harder to reduce.</p> <p>The International Civil Aviation Organization  – ICAO – governs international aviation. It has a long-term aspirational goal for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to achieve these goals is pursuing improvements to <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/engineering/hydrogen-fuelled-planes/">aircraft technology</a>, <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/from-refinery-to-biofuel-reactor/">sustainable aviation fuels</a>, and <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/climate/carbon-offsetting-right/">carbon offsets</a>.</p> <p>But Peeters’ modelling says this won’t be enough.</p> <p>“The final technology is low or zero emission aircraft technology,” he says.</p> <p>“But that takes decades to develop and then decades to replace the whole fleet – you are not buying a new aircraft every year like a car.</p> <p>“That technology will come […] much faster actually than 10 years ago, but still it’s at a pace that we will have it by the end of the century fully implemented, not before.</p> <p>“We need an international body that governs the growth of aviation that actually stops it for the next couple of decades, to create a timeframe for the technology we need.”</p> <p>So until sustainable aviation technology can be fully implemented, the key is to slow the rate of growth of aviation.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Further does not equal better</h2> <p>In 2019, nearly all long-distance travel over 16,000 kms return trip was by air. These trips, equivalent to flying return Shanghai to Sydney or further, made up just 2% of all trips in 2019. But they were the most polluting – accounting for 19% of tourism’s total carbon emissions.</p> <p>My roundtrip from Australia to Europe sits in this bracket. I estimate my seats on those planes probably came with a carbon footprint of about 6.4 tonnes of CO<sub>2</sub> altogether. To put that in perspective, the average Australian emits 15 tonnes per year, according to <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/australia" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">ourworldindata.org</a>, and I emitted almost half that in just 48 hours.</p> <p>Failing to curb the growth of these longest-haul trips means they will make up 4% of all trips but account for a massive 41% of tourism’s total emissions by 2050. To prevent this, the TDS says we need to cap them at 2019 levels – about 120 million return trips per year.</p> <p>In this scenario, shorter distance trips up to 900km return – that’s roughly equivalent to flying from Rome to Milan in Italy – and those by car, rail, coach, and ferry, would increase to 81% of all trips by 2050.</p> <p>Longer distance trips (return journeys of more than 7,000km, roughly equivalent to return flying Sydney to Perth and further) would also grow less quickly than current rates and account for 3.5% of all trips by 2050 (down from 6.0% in 2019).</p> <p>This could have flow-on benefits, especially for local tourism.</p> <p>“So, you keep the number of trips, and you keep the number of nights – you could even increase that a little bit as a compensation maybe for not being able to travel so far, then you can travel deeper. And that means the total revenues in the sector can grow as we are used to because the number of trips and the number of nights generate most of the revenues,” explains Peeters.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What curbing the aviation industry could look like</h2> <p>So, what will this mean for my travel habits in the coming years, if further isn’t better?</p> <p>It will likely involve a switch in mindset to consider whether an alternative, less carbon intensive mode of transport exists to reach the destination I have in mind.</p> <p>According to Peeters, even 1 fewer person sitting in an aircraft’s seats can measurably change its emissions.</p> <p>“Aircraft are quite lightweight, half of the weight of an aircraft taking off is not its structure. But it means that if you remove 100 kilograms, even off an Airbus A320, you can measure the difference in fuel consumption. It will save, I calculated it for flights, just a 1,500 km flight, already up to 10 kilograms of CO<sub>2</sub>,” says Peeters.</p> <p>Compare that to a different mode – adding an additional person to an already incredibly heavy train will add perhaps half a kilogram in emissions at most, probably less.</p> <p>It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I’ve never considered the idea of an interstate road trip, taking the car across the border or opting for a coach or train instead of flying, as a viable option for domestic travel in Australia.</p> <p>But it has for other people. <a href="https://flightfree.net.au/about/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Flight Free Australia</a> encourages us to stop flying, and people have already taken their pledge to swear off air travel – whether for the next 12 months or until it’s ‘climate safe’ to do so again.</p> <p>As for Europe… Well, Peeter’s report predicts that ticket prices will increase, with the cost of flying increasing to 0.18 $/pkm in 2050, from 0.06 $/pkm in 2019, caused mainly by mandates for sustainable aviation e-fuels.</p> <p>Entire families have event attempted to make it from one end of the world to another without setting foot on a plane – a months-long journey ultimately <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-22/british-family-travel-australia-without-flying-carbon-footprint/103256280" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">foiled</a> by cyclones north of Darwin.</p> <p>Whether the changes outlined in the <em>Envisioning Tourism in 2030 and Beyond </em>report are made to the aviation industry, already my perspective on flying is changing. Why would I reduce my carbon footprint in other areas of my life, but turn around and negate those efforts by jumping on a plane?</p> <p>It doesn’t mean that I have to give up travel, just change my perspective on what makes a worthy destination.</p> <p>“You see a growing number of people, particularly young people, that say, ‘I stopped flying, whatever happens, I never go anymore’,” says Peeters.</p> <p>“And it makes your life so much easier. You don’t have to choose every time ‘should I fly?’. No, if you can’t get there by train, car, or whatever, you don’t go. And then you go somewhere else, of course, you’re not sitting at home. And you discover that somewhere else is also beautiful.”</p> <div> <p align="center"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/q_lossy+ret_img+to_auto/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Cosmos-Catch-Up-embed_728x150-1.jpg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Sign up to our weekly newsletter" width="600" height="154" title="to avoid the worst of climate change we have to change how we travel 2"></noscript></p> </div> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=294884&amp;title=To+avoid+the+worst+of+climate+change+we+have+to+change+how+we+travel" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div class="share-syndicate-wrapper margin-top-1"> <div class="article-sharing"> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div> </div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/synergy/to-avoid-the-worst-of-climate-change-we-have-to-change-how-we-travel/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/imma-perfetto/">Imma Perfetto</a>. </em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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The best countries for food lovers to visit

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to travelling, one of the best things about exploring a new place is sampling the local cuisine. </p> <p dir="ltr">From cafes adored by locals and the best of fine dining, to charming markets and unassuming but delicious street food, discovering a country’s culture through their food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in all the world has to offer. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to TripAdvisor’s 2024 Traveller's Choice Awards, some cities are better than others for foodies, with their top ten list showcasing the best destinations for lovers of food. </p> <p dir="ltr">Coming in hot in the number one spot for foodies to visit is the city of Hanoi, situated in the north of Vietnam. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a plethora of street food, fresh markets, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you won't be leaving hungry in this popular tourist destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The national dish of Vietnam, a noodle soup called Pho, is a speciality for visitors to fall in love with, and compare between the hundreds of restaurants that offer the delicious meal. </p> <p dir="ltr">Other foods to try there include banh mi, rice pancakes, and Bun cha, or Vietnamese meatballs.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the entire top 10 list of foodie destinations below. </p> <p dir="ltr">10. Phuket, Thailand </p> <p dir="ltr">9. Lisbon, Portugal </p> <p dir="ltr">8. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA</p> <p dir="ltr">7. Barcelona, Spain</p> <p dir="ltr">6. New Delhi, India </p> <p dir="ltr">5. Florence, Italy</p> <p dir="ltr">4. Cusco, Peru</p> <p dir="ltr">3. Crete, Greece</p> <p dir="ltr">2. Rome, Italy</p> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">1. Hanoi, Vietnam</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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'Australia's Forrest Gump' reaches major milestone

<p>The man dubbed Australia's Forrest Gump has arrived back Down Under to complete the final leg of a mammoth journey. </p> <p>Tim Franklin has long dreamed of becoming the fastest person to run from one end of the world to the other, and has already completed most of his journey. </p> <p>The 40-year-old has run over 19,000 kilometres through 17 countries across five continents, setting off on his epic adventure in December 2022. </p> <p>With a world record in his sights, has been averaging more than a marathon a day for the past 427 days, as he battled floods, snow, exhaustion and injury on his travels. </p> <p>The worst of his hurdles came when his father was dying, as he decided to pause his journey to come home and say his goodbyes to the man he describes as "my hero, my mentor".</p> <p>"That message he gave me of 'go out and finish that damn run' was the last thing he said to me before he passed away," Franklin told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/australias-forrest-gump-tim-franklin-lands-australia-final-leg-tim-runs-the-world/c3dac7d4-8c71-4fc5-84e2-4fbd2fb5af61" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9News</em></a>.</p> <p>The pause in proceedings knocked him out of world record pace but it didn't derail his dream and only further fuelling the fire for him to achieve his goals. </p> <p>In order to "officially" run around the world, certain kilometres need to completed in each continent.</p> <p>Franklin started his journey in New Zealand, before heading coast to coast across the US, then South America, and across from Spain through Europe to the Black Sea.</p> <p>After a short stint in Asia he decided to head back to Australia, landing in Perth to a surprise greeting from his siblings.</p> <p>Now, it's the beginning of the end as Franklin makes his way from Perth to Brisbane, via Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.</p> <p>"[I'm] really excited to be back here in Aus for the last leg of my run."</p> <p>When he finally reaches Queensland, his friends and family will be waiting but there's one thing the 40-year-old is looking forward to most.</p> <p>"I just wanna give my mum a hug to be honest," he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p>

International Travel

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Flight attendant reveals why you should never use the toilet paper on a plane

<p dir="ltr">A flight attendant has revealed the gross reason why you should never use the toilet paper on a plane journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">The seasoned cabin crew member, an American woman named Cheryl, shared the three things she would never do on a plane after seeing what really goes on behind closed doors on an aircraft. </p> <p dir="ltr">Her first tip for any traveller was not to use the toilet paper in a plane bathroom. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing her tips in a TikTok video, she wrote, "If you examine the toilet paper, I promise you're going to see water droplets on it, or what you think are water droplets."</p> <p dir="ltr">"I don't think we can trust most men to make it in the toilet on a normal day, let alone flying at 36,000 feet with turbulence."</p> <p dir="ltr">To combat this, the flight attendant recommends bringing a travel pack of tissues in your hand luggage to use instead. </p> <p dir="ltr">She also warned her viewers against wearing shorts on their next flight.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I would never wear shorts on a plane. You're going to freeze to death," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cheryl pointed out another valid reason to opt for long pants on a flight, stating, "Say we have an evacuation. You have to go down the slide. Your butt cheeks are going to be sizzled off.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Lastly, Cheryl urged travellers to never book less than a three-hour connection between flights.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Delays can happen for a million and one reasons. The likelihood that you're going to miss your connection is pretty high if you're booking shorter than three hours," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Dr Chris Brown recalls embarrassing moment on crowded train

<p>Dr Chris Brown tends to attract attention wherever he goes with his 6'5 height and beautiful blond hair - but he got more than he wanted on his recent trip to Japan. </p> <p>Appearing on the morning radio show<em> Triple M’s Mick and MG in the Morning Show, </em>he<em> </em>recalled an embarrassing incident that he would rather forget. </p> <p>“It may not surprise you to learn that I do tend to stand out a little bit on the streets of Tokyo,” he began, to the amusement of radio host Mick Molloy.</p> <p>“Um, six foot five, blond hair, and on the subway especially.</p> <p>“But, I don’t know if you know, in Japan you can buy beers absolutely anywhere — vending machines on the streets, in the subway when you’re just queueing for a train, and so I got involved in this.</p> <p>“I bought a can of Asahi, nice Japanese beer, and was carrying it in my bag, just over my shoulder.”</p> <p>As he got into the crowded train and made his way, the TV vet shared that started to feel a “cold trickle” down his leg. </p> <p>“I realised very quickly that the beer I’d bought had exploded in my bag,” he said.</p> <p>“And I now have a rapidly growing wet patch across my groin, running from my bag to my groin and down my leg, and a highly suspicious amber fluid going across a crowded train carriage,” he continued, making everyone in the studio laugh. </p> <p>“If I couldn’t stand out any more, I found a way.”</p> <p>He added that nobody said a word because Japanese people are so polite, but he did say there was “endless gazing," because they thought he wet himself. </p> <p>“They’re connecting the dots from the trickle along the carriage back up my leg and up to my very wet body,” he added. </p> <p>“Oh wow, oh well I hope you were filming that,” Mick Molloy chuckled.</p> <p>“By the way, that’s how I leave the station every day, on a train, with a wet patch, talking to myself,” he quipped.</p> <p>“Well, I tell you what, if you want to clear some space, it’s a great way to do it, let me tell you,” the TV vet laughed. </p> <p><em>Images: Mick &amp; MG in the morning</em></p>

International Travel

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"Anzac Day is not for sale": Veterans slam Anzac Day rock festival

<p>Military veteran organisations in New South Wales have expressed their fury after a controversial rock concert booked at the Domain on Anzac Day was approved. </p> <p>The Pandemonium 2024 rock music festival which includes performers like Placebo, Alice Cooper and Blondie is scheduled around around 11.30am on the 25th of April, just 900 metres from where the traditional march by veterans will be. </p> <p>The veteran groups are concerned that the first performances will clash with the memorial march that is set to end at 12:30pm. </p> <p>RSL NSW president Mick Bainbridge has called out the event organisers for the inappropriate timing of the festival. </p> <p>"We all love to have fun and live music is fantastic for Sydney, but Anzac Day is not the day for a music festival," he said.</p> <p>"Anzac Day is a day to think of the sacrifices made by the approximately 120,000 people from NSW who served overseas during World War I, as well as all who have served since.</p> <p>"It is a day for respect and quiet contemplation." </p> <p>Despite reports claiming that the organisers of Pandemonium 2024 have offered to direct a portion of ticket sales to veteran charities, the veteran groups have declared that Anzac Day is "not for sale".</p> <p>"Anzac Day is not for sale," Bainbridge said</p> <p>Although the RSL NSW president said that he understood the value of music for younger people, it shouldn't compromise the day of honour and respect. </p> <p>"If the organiser sincerely wants to support veterans' wellbeing, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how they can donate to organisations, including RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare Veteran Services to do so – without compromising a day of honour and respect."</p> <p>"I love live music and the community it builds. But it has to be at the right time," he added. </p> <p>"We've seen through the Royal Commission's hearings how important it is to protect and honour our community of veterans, and build opportunities to support each other, not tear them down."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News/ Getty</em></p>

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