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Almost half the men surveyed think they could land a passenger plane. Experts disagree

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/guido-carim-junior-1379129">Guido Carim Junior</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chris-campbell-1414564">Chris Campbell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elvira-marques-1362476">Elvira Marques</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nnenna-ike-1490692">Nnenna Ike</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tim-ryley-1253269">Tim Ryley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Picture this: you’re nestled comfortably in your seat cruising towards your holiday destination when a flight attendant’s voice breaks through the silence:</p> <blockquote> <p>Ladies and gentlemen, both pilots are incapacitated. Are there any passengers who could land this plane with assistance from air traffic control?</p> </blockquote> <p>If you think you could manage it, you’re not alone. <a href="https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/survey-results/daily/2023/01/02/fd798/3">Survey results</a> published in January indicate about one-third of adult Americans think they could safely land a passenger aircraft with air traffic control’s guidance. Among male respondents, the confidence level rose to nearly 50%.</p> <p>Can a person with no prior training simply guide everyone to a smooth touchdown?</p> <p>We’ve all heard stories of passengers who saved the day when the pilot became unresponsive. For instance, last year <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbMoyWukjbs">Darren Harrison</a> managed to land a twin-engine aircraft in Florida – after the pilot passed out – with the guidance of an air traffic controller who also happened to be a flight instructor.</p> <p>However, such incidents tend to take place in small, simple aircraft. Flying a much bigger and heavier commercial jet is a completely different game.</p> <h2>You can’t always rely on autopilot</h2> <p>A pilot spends about 90% of their time monitoring autopilot systems and making sure everything is working as intended. The other 10% is spent managing problems, taxiing, taking off and landing.</p> <p>Takeoffs and landings are arguably the most difficult tasks pilots perform, and are always performed manually. Only on very few occasions, and in a handful of aircraft models, can a pilot use autopilot to land the aircraft for them. This is the exception, and not the rule.</p> <p>For takeoff, the aircraft must build up speed until the wings can generate enough lift to pull it into the air. The pilot must <a href="https://youtu.be/16XTAK-4Xbk?si=66yDo5g5I086Q2y2&amp;t=65">pay close attention</a> to multiple instruments and external cues, while keeping the aircraft centred on the runway until it reaches lift-off speed.</p> <p>Once airborne, they must coordinate with air traffic control, follow a particular path, retract the landing gear and maintain a precise speed and direction while trying to climb.</p> <p>Landing is even more complicated, and requires having precise control of the aircraft’s direction and descent rate.</p> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/u_it9OiTnSM?si=xNZrLB9ZH870LEa3&amp;t=360">To land successfully</a>, a pilot must keep an appropriate speed while simultaneously managing gear and flap configuration, adhering to air traffic regulations, communicating with air traffic control and completing a number of paper and digital checklists.</p> <p>Once the aircraft comes close to the runway, they must accurately judge its height, reduce power and adjust the rate of descent – ensuring they land on the correct area of the runway.</p> <p>On the ground, they will use the brakes and reverse thrust to bring the aircraft to a complete stop before the runway ends. This all happens within just a few minutes.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Nyx4NyMrvOs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Both takeoff and landing are far too quick, technical and concentration-intensive for an untrained person to pull off. They also require a range of skills that are only gained through extensive training, such as understanding the information presented on different gauges, and being able to coordinate one’s hands and feet in a certain way.</p> <h2>Training a pilot</h2> <p>The journey from student to commercial pilot is a long one. It normally starts with a recreational licence, followed by a private licence, and then a commercial licence (which allows them to fly professionally).</p> <p>Even before stepping into a cockpit, the student must study aerodynamics, air law and flight rules, meteorology, human factors, navigation, aircraft systems, and performance and flight planning. They also need to spend time learning about the specific aircraft they will be flying.</p> <p>Once the fundamentals are grasped, an instructor takes them for training. Most of this training is conducted in small, lightweight aircraft – with a simulator introduced briefly towards the end.</p> <p>During a lesson, each manoeuvre or action is demonstrated by the instructor before the student attempts it. Their attempt may be adjusted, corrected or even terminated early in critical situations.</p> <p>The first ten to fifteen lessons focus on takeoff, landing, basic in-flight control and emergency management. When the students are ready, they’re allowed to “go solo” – wherein they conduct a complete flight on their own. This is a great milestone.</p> <p>After years of experience, they are ready to transition to a commercial aircraft. At this point they might be able to take off and land reasonably well, but they will still undergo extensive training specific to the aircraft they are flying, including hours of advanced theory, dozens of simulator sessions and hundreds of hours of real aircraft training (most of which is done with passengers onboard).</p> <p>So, if you’ve never even learned the basics of flying, your chances of successfully landing a passenger aircraft with air traffic control’s help are close to zero.</p> <h2>Yet, flying is a skill like any other</h2> <p>Aviation training has been democratised by the advent of high-end computers, virtual reality and flight simulation games such as Microsoft’s <a href="https://www.flightsimulator.com/">Flight Simulator</a> and <a href="https://www.x-plane.com/">X-Plane</a>.</p> <p>Anyone can now rig up a desktop flight simulator for a few thousand dollars. Ideally, such a setup should also include the basic physical controls found in a cockpit, such as a control yoke, throttle quadrant and pedals.</p> <p>Flight simulators provide an immersive environment in which professional pilots, students and aviation enthusiasts can develop their skills. So if you really think you could match-up against a professional, consider trying your hand at one.</p> <p>You almost certainly won’t be able to land an actual passenger plane by the end of it – but at least you’ll gain an appreciation for the immense skill pilots possess.<!-- 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/218037/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/guido-carim-junior-1379129"><em>Guido Carim Junior</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chris-campbell-1414564">Chris Campbell</a>, Adjunct Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elvira-marques-1362476">Elvira Marques</a>, Aviation PhD candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nnenna-ike-1490692">Nnenna Ike</a>, Research Assistant, Griffith Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tim-ryley-1253269">Tim Ryley</a>, Professor and Head of Griffith Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Shutterstock </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/almost-half-the-men-surveyed-think-they-could-land-a-passenger-plane-experts-disagree-218037">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Nat Bass reveals injury that landed her in hospital

<p>Natalie Bassingthwaighte has shared the details of a gruesome injury that landed her in hospital. </p> <p>The Aussie singer and actress was performing at a music festival in Tasmania, just hours before sustaining the injury. </p> <p>On Sunday night, the 48-year-old took to her Instagram stories to tell her followers what happened, while laying in a hospital bed. </p> <p>"Now I have ended up in here 'cause I have just cut my wrist, I [am] tired, happy Sunday," she said. </p> <p>Later, she gave her followers a further update when she was released from hospital, explaining what happened. </p> <p>"OK I decided to do a little video because I'm getting so many messages asking if I'm OK, I am OK, I'm very tired, but I'm OK, thank you for your concern," she said.</p> <p>"I did end up in emergency because in Byron there's no doctors or anything open on Sunday nights."</p> <p>She went on to share with followers what happened to her, saying, "Cut my wrist on a glass picture frame that had a crack in it."</p> <p>Bassingthwaighte continued, detailing her treatment at the hospital, adding, "Anyway I got straight in [to the hospital] and they put anaesthetic in it which killed."</p> <p>"A lovely doctor cleaned it up, made sure there was no glass in there and put a little glue on it."</p> <p>Recording her update with wet hair, she explained her recovery process. "I can't shower or no I can shower, I can't get it wet for a few days so I just sat in the bath and my daughter washed my hair which was quite lovely."</p> <p>She concluded her explanation with a shout-out to her followers. "But thank you for all your concerns. I'm okay, happy Sunday."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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"32 years of safe landings": Pilot's surprise speech reduces passengers to tears

<p>A pilot has brought his passengers to tears with an emotional speech on his final flight after 32 years in the skies. </p> <p>Jeff Fell, an American Airlines pilot, took off from Chicago on his retirement flight as he stood in front of his passengers and delivered a heartfelt message. </p> <p>At first, his message seemed routine, informing travellers of the weather and and flight time, before acknowledging it was strange for him to deliver the address from outside the cockpit. </p> <p>“I normally don’t stand up in front of everybody like this, I usually just stay in the cockpit and talk on the PA. If I get a little emotional please forgive me for that,” he said in the speech, which was captured on video by a passenger. </p> <p>With passengers still unaware of what was to come, he pointed out a group of “very important people” to him sitting at the back of the plane.</p> <p>“They’re the majority of my family who have come along with me on my retirement flight,” Mr Fell said.</p> <p>The plane was filled with applause as the pilot's voice wavered with emotion.</p> <p>“They’re on-board with me on my retirement flight after 32 years with American,” he said.</p> <p>He continued, fighting back tears, “Thank you all for coming along with me tonight and celebrating this very memorable time in my life. I love all of you."</p> <p>With another round of applause from his passengers, Mr Fell added:, “I didn’t want to get emotional but goodness gracious.”</p> <p>“Finally, for my wonderful wife Julie who has been at my side for the majority of my 32 years at American. She has been the rock, the solid rock in the foundation in our lives and our marriage. Her faith in the Lord, wisdom, strength and love has guided our marriage and family throughout these years. I love you and look forward to the next chapter in our lives. And welcome aboard everybody.”</p> <p>The video was uploaded to TikTok and has since gone viral, raking up millions of views, and you can watch the full video <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@realjharrison/video/7299484162648509738" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p>Thousands of social media users left comments of support, with many confessing the clip had brought them to tears.</p> <p>“As soon as he said retirement flight my tears came,” one person wrote, while another added, "32 years of safe landings also. God bless him and all pilots.”</p> <p>“To think of the amount of families, people, and cultures he has single-handedly connected throughout the world. Thank you!” penned a third person.</p> <p>“32 years of bringing people closer together. I’m crying!” agreed another.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

International Travel

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Extreme weather is landing more Australians in hospital – and heat is the biggest culprit

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Hospital admissions for injuries directly attributable to extreme weather events – such as heatwaves, bushfires and storms – have increased in Australia over the past decade.</p> <p>A new <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/extreme-weather-injuries/contents/about">report</a> from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows 9,119 Australians were hospitalised for injuries from extreme weather from 2012-22 and 677 people died from these injuries in the decade up to 2021.</p> <p>In 2021-22, there were 754 injury hospitalisations directly related to extreme weather, compared to 576 in 2011-12.</p> <p>Extreme heat is responsible for most weather-related injuries. Exposure to prolonged natural heat can result in physical conditions ranging from mild heat stroke, to organ damage and <a href="https://www.dea.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DEA-Fact-Sheet_HeatwavesWEB.pdf">death</a>.</p> <p>As Australia heads into summer with an El Niño, it’s important understand and prepare for the health risks associated with extreme weather.</p> <h2>A spike every three years</h2> <p>Extreme weather-related hospitalisations have spiked at more than 1,000 cases every three years, with the spikes becoming progressively higher. There were:</p> <ul> <li>1,027 injury hospitalisations in 2013–14</li> <li>1,033 in 2016–17</li> <li>1,108 in 2019–20.</li> </ul> <p><iframe id="vLaas" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/vLaas/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In each of these three years, extreme heat had the biggest impact on hospital admissions and deaths.</p> <p><iframe id="P03sm" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/P03sm/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Extreme heat accounted for 7,104 injury hospitalisations (78% of all injury hospitalisations) and 293 deaths (43% of all injury deaths) in the ten year period analysed.</p> <p>In 2011-12, there were 354 injury hospitalisations directly related to extreme heat. This rose to 579 by 2021-22.</p> <h2>El Niño and La Niña</h2> <p>Over the past three decades, extreme weather events have increased in <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/">frequency</a> and <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/">severity</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, El Niño drives a period of reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures and increased bushfire danger.</p> <p>La Niña, on the other hand, is associated with above average rainfall, cooler daytime temperatures and increased chance of tropical cyclones and flood events.</p> <p>Although similar numbers of heatwave-related hospitalisations occurred in El Niño and La Niña years studied, the number of injuries related to bushfires was higher in El Niño years.</p> <p>During the 2019–20 bushfires, in the week beginning January 5 2020, there were 1,100 more hospitalisations than the previous five-year average, an 11% increase.</p> <p>Although El Niño hasn’t directly been proved as the cause for these three spikes, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, two of the three years (2016-17 and 2019-20) were El Niño summers. And the other year (2013-14) was the warmest neutral year on record at that time.</p> <h2>Regional differences</h2> <p>Exposure to excessive natural heat was the most common cause leading to injury hospitalisation for all the mainland states and territories. From 2019 to 2022, there were 2,143 hospital admissions related to extreme heat, including:</p> <ul> <li>717 patients from Queensland</li> <li>410 from Victoria</li> <li>348 from NSW</li> <li>267 from South Australia</li> <li>266 from Western Australia</li> <li>73 from the Northern Territory</li> <li>23 from the ACT</li> <li>19 from Tasmania.</li> </ul> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/latest-reports">AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>The report also includes state and territory data on hospitalisations related to extreme cold and storms.</p> <p>During the ten-year period analysed, there were 773 injury hospitalisations and 242 deaths related to extreme cold. Extreme rain or storms accounted for 348 injury hospitalisations and 77 deaths.</p> <p>From 2019 to 2022, there were 191 hospitalisations related to extreme cold, with Victoria recording the highest number (51, compared to 40 in next-placed NSW). During the same period there were 111 hospitalisations related to rain and storms, with 52 occurring in NSW and 28 in Queensland.</p> <h2>What about for bushfires?</h2> <p>Over the ten-year period studied, there were 894 hospitalisations and 65 deaths related to bushfires.</p> <p>Bushfire-related injury hospitalisations and deaths peaked in 2019–20, an El Niño year with 174 hospitalisations and 35 deaths. The two most common injuries that result from bushfires are smoke inhalation and burns.</p> <p>During the 2019–20 bushfires, in the week beginning 5 January 2020 there were 1,100 more respiratory hospitalisations than the previous five-year average, an 11% increase.</p> <p>The greatest increase in the hospitalisation rate for burns was 30% in the week beginning December 15 2019 — 0.8 per 100,000 persons (about 210 hospitalisations), compared with the previous 5-year average of 0.6 per 100,000 (an average of 155 hospitalisations).</p> <h2>Some people are particularly vulnerable</h2> <p>Anyone can be affected by extreme weather-related injuries but some population groups are more at risk than others. This includes older people, children, people with disabilities, those with pre-existing or chronic health conditions, outdoor workers, and those with greater <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/15/1/813">socioeconomic disadvantage</a>.</p> <p>People in these groups may have reduced capacity to avoid or reduce the health impacts of extreme weather conditions, for example older people taking medication may be less able to regulate their body temperature. “Thermal inequity” includes people living in poor quality housing who have difficulty accessing adequate heating and cooling.</p> <p>For heat-related injuries between 2019–20 and 2021–22, people aged 65 and over were the most commonly admitted to hospital, followed by people aged 25–44.</p> <p>Across age groups, men had higher numbers of heat related injury hospitalisations than women. This difference was most notable among those aged 25-44 and 45-64 years, where over twice as many men were hospitalised due to extreme heat as women.</p> <h2>We still don’t have a full picture</h2> <p>The AIHW data only includes injuries which were serious enough for patients to be admitted to hospital; it doesn’t include cases where patients treated in an emergency department and sent home without being admitted.</p> <p>It includes injuries that were directly attributable to weather-related events but does not include injuries that were indirectly related. For example, it doesn’t include injuries from road traffic accidents that occur due to wet weather, since the primary cause of injury would be recorded as “transport”.</p> <p>Improved surveillance of weather-related injuries could help the health system and the community better prepare for responding to extreme weather conditions. For example, better data aids communities in predicting what resources will be needed during periods of extreme weather.</p> <p>A more complete picture of injuries during weather events could also be used to inform people of actions they can take to protect their own health. Given a predicted hot summer, this could be a matter of life or death.</p> <p><em>This article was co-authored by Sarah Ahmed and Heather Swanston from the Injuries and System Surveillance Unit at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.</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/216440/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><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, NHMRC Research Fellow, School of Population Health &amp; co-founder UNSW Beach Safety Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</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/extreme-weather-is-landing-more-australians-in-hospital-and-heat-is-the-biggest-culprit-216440">original article</a>.</em></p>

Caring

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No, the Voice to Parliament would not force people to give up their private land

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-galloway-9907">Kate Galloway</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>In the polarised debate about the Voice to Parliament referendum, some proponents of the “no” vote have <a href="https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/voice-legislation-does-not-authorise-a-land-grab/">claimed</a> the creation of the new advisory body would lead to the conversion of private land titles in Australia to native title.</p> <p>The implication is that people will be forced to give up their land. This has sown fear among some Australians.</p> <p>Last week, a false letter purporting to be from a member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria was distributed to homes in regional Victoria, saying the body was moving into the “next phase of reacquiring land”. The minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/fake-letter-scaremongering-about-indigenous-land-claims-sparks-outrage-20230912-p5e43n.html">called</a> it a “another example of the dirty tricks campaign” being waged to sow doubt over the Voice referendum.</p> <p>Similar concerns were raised following the High Court decision in the <a href="https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/mabo-case">Mabo case</a> in 1992 and passage of the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00178">Native Title Act</a> a year later.</p> <p>Like the fear-mongering over the Mabo decision, the current alarm over the potential loss of private lands with a Voice to Parliament is unwarranted because this claim is manifestly incorrect.</p> <p>There are two foundational legal reasons why:</p> <ul> <li> <p>because of the words of the proposed constitutional amendment itself</p> </li> <li> <p>and because of the way that native title works.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Would the proposed Voice have powers related to land?</h2> <p>The proposed constitutional amendment that would create the Voice is very simple. It seeks to insert one new section into the Constitution, which reads:</p> <blockquote> <p>In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:</p> <ol> <li> <p>there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;</p> </li> <li> <p>the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;</p> </li> <li> <p>the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.</p> </li> </ol> </blockquote> <p>The words clearly provide for only one activity to be undertaken by the Voice. The new body “may make representations” on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.</p> <p>There is no express or hidden power to either take people’s land or give land to First Nations people. The Voice is a committee that may provide advice to parliament and government on issues relating to First Nations people. That is all.</p> <p>And this advice is not binding. The parliament of the day is free to ignore it, if it wishes to.</p> <p>The new provision also gives one sole power to the parliament – it would have the capacity to set up the Voice. It is not possible to understand this provision as creating a special power to take people’s land, or to “convert” land to native title.</p> <p>Importantly, the power to establish the Voice would not be given to the government – it would belong to parliament. In exercising this power, normal parliamentary processes will apply and the parliament will be accountable to the public.</p> <p>There are no other changes to the Constitution proposed in this referendum.</p> <h2>How native title works</h2> <p>In the famous Mabo case, the High Court found that the land title of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, held under their traditional law and custom, survived the introduction of British sovereignty over Australia.</p> <p>Mabo confirmed native title can only be claimed over land where there is no interest in conflict with the exercise of this right. Native title will always give way to grants of exclusive land use.</p> <p>Following this decision, the law now states that every grant of freehold land (“private” land) extinguishes native title. Further, in the later case of <a href="https://jade.io/article/68082">Fejo v Northern Territory</a>, the High Court confirmed that once native title has been extinguished, it cannot be revived.</p> <p>Consequently, even if the constitutional change creating the Voice did (somehow) recognise native title, it is not possible to “convert” freehold land to native title. On private land, native title no longer exists under Australian law.</p> <p>To put these claims of “land conversion” in context, it is helpful to recall the public response to the Mabo decision.</p> <p>Following the High Court judgement in Mabo, the mining industry ran a national campaign asserting that native title would threaten people’s back yards. The managing director of Western Mining, Hugh Morgan, <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=(Id:library/prspub/raf10);rec=0">said</a> the High Court’s decision</p> <p>"put at risk the whole legal framework of property rights throughout the whole community."</p> <p>This campaign led to significant public fear about the effects of native title.</p> <p>These claims about native title after Mabo were incorrect. Private landholdings have not been threatened. Indeed, on the ten-year anniversary of the Mabo decision, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett even <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/i-was-wrong-on-mabo-kennett-20020601-gdu9dt.html">admitted that his initial fears had been unfounded</a>.</p> <p>In reading or listening to claims about the effect of the Voice, it is prudent to question the source of information. If you have questions, seek a reliable source to read the words of the proposed amendment and understand the objective of the constitutional change. If you hear of a claim that seems extreme, it may well be aimed at diverting the public’s attention from the real issues.<!-- 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/212784/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/kate-galloway-9907"><em>Kate Galloway</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</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/no-the-voice-to-parliament-would-not-force-people-to-give-up-their-private-land-212784">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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“A lesson learned”: Uni student lands herself in an overdue book nightmare

<p dir="ltr">A university graduate student received the shock of her academic career when an email arrived in her inbox to inform her she owed her school’s library a whopping $11,900 in overdue book fines. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hannah took to TikTok to share her story, posting a snippet of the horror email, and the news that her library account had amassed a debt of “$11,9000 owed for 119 lost books”. The books had been declared lost, though Hannah was quick to note that she was “still using” each of them, and had every intention of returning them once she was finished with her studies. </p> <p dir="ltr">To drive home the fact that the books were not missing, and instead safely in her scholarly possession, Hannah panned around the various piles of tomes stacked around her home, with a caption reading “the books aren’t lost, I’m just hoarding them until I finish my dissertation.” </p> <p dir="ltr">The email itself explained the books were marked as lost in the library’s system if they exceeded 30 days overdue, and that there was a flat rate of $100 per book in such instances. And according to the library, it was up to each patron to renew their books, and that Hannah “received overdue notices on the following dates prompting you to renew your library books before they are declared lost.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As she explained to <em>The Daily Dot</em>, she had checked out her collection three years prior while she’d been preparing for exams, and confirmed that she had received four reminders to either renew or return the books, but she’d put it off each time. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Then I got the automatic email,” she added, “saying all of the books were marked as lost and my account was charged $100 per book.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Hannah’s woe drew a mixed response from her audience, with some surprised that her library had even let her withdraw that many books in the first place, others unable to wrap their heads around the fact she could have let her situation get so bad, and many quick to defend the librarian, who they declared had only been doing her job. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My library only lets me check out 5 books at a time,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s why keeping library books past their due date is considered stealing,” another said, to which Hannah responded to promise her lesson had been learned. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Only 30 days over due??? Damn give a lil more time,” said one, with Hannah informing them that she’d had the books for years by that point. </p> <p dir="ltr">It wasn’t all bad for the budding scholar though, with Hannah explaining in another comment that “it was hunky dory”, as the library had waived her fees as soon as she’d responded to them, and that she’d been allowed to keep all 119 for an additional year. </p> <p dir="ltr">And, as she told another follower, “I’ve never replied to an email faster.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Books

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Property from a galaxy far, far away heads to the market

<p dir="ltr">The time has come for dreams to be realised, particularly if you’re someone with a passion for outer space - or more specifically, a galaxy far, far, away - and want to live among the stars while keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground. </p> <p dir="ltr">Approved plans for a <em>Star Wars </em>light cruiser-inspired property are heading to the auction block, with a Melbourne-based IT specialist launching his 131 Pipers Creek Road campaign on May 4 - better known as ‘Star Wars Day’. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a price guide of $1.05m-$1.15m, the 2.42ha block in Kyneston is perfect for any buyer with enough passion to carry out Shyam Avatapalli’s galactic-level plans. </p> <p dir="ltr">As Avatapalli explained, his intention was to either build the home and sell it, or just to sell it along with the appropriate permits. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s inspired by one of the space ships from one of the older films and The Mandalorian TV series, called a<em> Star Wars</em> light cruiser,” he told <em>Herald Sun</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve always been a <em>Star Wars </em>fan and always like to think outside of the box when designing or building something.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It isn’t the first unique approach to property planning that Avatapalli has taken, with his own home in Donvale boasting a kitchen that also draws heavy inspiration from<em> Star Wars</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The potential Kyneston home’s location was selected for its otherworldly and treeless landscape, with Avatapalli even securing a permit for “a low cost culvert crossing” over the block’s creek, along with those for the property itself. </p> <p dir="ltr">The five-bedroom home was designed in collaboration with an architect, and would feature Colorbond steel as well as a hallway resembling one aboard a fictional spacecraft, and three water tanks that may draw Boeing 747 jet engine’s to mind, as they were inspired by the real-life planes.</p> <p dir="ltr">As for where the hallway’s ‘middle cylinder’ might come from, Avatarpalli intends to put the buyer in contact with an art dealer who could help them to get their hands on a jet engine “built by Rolls Royce in the 1970s”. According to Avatarpalli, it would even be from a “real British Airways flight”.</p> <p dir="ltr">As Ray White’s Brendan Milner said, “the sky was the limit” for the property’s next proud owner, as well as noting that they were likely to be someone searching for “a bit of a wow factor, one-off property, with eccentric taste that goes with the design …</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because it’s a spaceship anyone with an otherworldly fascination would definitely have an interest.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: realestate.com.au </em></p>

Real Estate

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What's inside the $126k Oscars gift bags?

<p>For many actors, being awarded an Oscar is the greatest gift of their career. </p> <p>However, if an actor misses out in their category, it doesn't mean they'll walk away with nothing. </p> <p>The Oscars' gift bags have long been jam-packed with a selection of luxury goods, bringing the total value of the goodies well into the six-figure mark. </p> <p>This year is no exception, with the Los Angeles-based marketing company Distinctive Assets once again sending out its infamous "Everybody Wins" swag bags to the top nominees.</p> <p>The bags are worth an impressive $126,000 this year, with 26 nominees in acting and directing categories going home with the goodies. </p> <p>The celebrities will be offered thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods, and even more in vouchers for things like vacations and cosmetic procedures.</p> <p>Among the contents is a luxury getaway to Canada, which is said to be valued at $40,000, vouchers for cosmetic procedures like liposuction and micro-needling, luxury skincare and gourmet foods, and and "the first-ever chocolate box with a personalised video embedded inside." </p> <p>Also in the goodie bag is one unusual gift that has caused outrage with Indigenous Australian communities: a plot of land in regional areas of Australia. </p> <p>Pieces of Australia is one of a number of brands to pay $4,000 to secure a spot in the Oscars gift bag, offering a small parcel of land in outback Australia as part of its “Conservation Gift Packs”.</p> <p>The land parcels all come with a “certificate of land licence”, but the terms and conditions go on to state that “you have purchased a symbolic souvenir … of the land” and people who own a “pack” may not “take possession of the parcel; use the parcel; enter upon the parcel and/or the land without the licensor’s express written consent”.</p> <p>The digital “member’s handbook” which comes with the pack referenced the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN) without the company's permission, causing outrage with the traditional owners of the land.</p> <p>In a statement, ICIN said it “has not granted permission for any of our information, publications or photos to be reproduced to support the Oscars ‘Goodie Bag’ or ‘Pieces of Australia’.”</p> <p>“The Indigenous Carbon Industry Network is a 100% Indigenous-owned charitable company owned by 23 Indigenous organisations across Australia,” it said.</p> <p>“ICIN is seeking legal advice regarding this matter and will be able to provide further statement once we have sought appropriate advice.”</p> <p>The Pieces of Australia founder, Niels Chaneliere, said the intention of his organisation was to provide “land licence agreements (where there is no land title transfer at any point) as novel/symbolic gifts for people around the world to engage and participate positively in conservation efforts”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Movies

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24-year-old flight attendant dies as plane lands

<p>A flight attendant who died suddenly when her plane landed shared how much she “loved her job” in a final Instagram post.</p> <p>Greta Dyrmishi, 24, was a cabin crew member for Air Albania and was travelling from Tirana, the Albanian capital, to Essex in the UK when she suddenly fainted on the tarmac.</p> <p>Paramedics arrived on the scene, giving CPR after reports of a woman being seriously ill, but unfortunately, they were unable to save her.</p> <p>A post-mortem found that the Ms Dyrmishi had died from “sudden adult death syndrome”.</p> <p>The 24-year-old, who was very active on Instagram and regularly posted about her travels, shared an aerial view of city lights at night, paired with the words, “That’s why I love my job.”</p> <p>She shared a clip from a plane window, roughly nine weeks before she passed away, showcasing the ocean, buildings and countryside.</p> <p>Ms Dyrmishi also shared footage on Instagram where she was seen enjoying a night out with co-workers.</p> <p>Essex Coroner’s Court was informed the young woman was given basic first aid on the tarmac when she fainted.</p> <p>“Ten minutes later there was no pulse and CPR commenced. Paramedics treated her and confirmed she had passed away,” Michelle Brown, area coroner for Essex, said.</p> <p>“A post-mortem found her cause of death to be sudden adult death syndrome.”</p> <p>According to the British Heart Foundation, Sudden Adult Death syndrome, also referred to as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), is “when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest, but the cause of the cardiac arrest can’t be detected.</p> <p>The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia revealed SADS is one of the biggest causes of death for Australians under 50 and is five times more likely to affect men.</p> <p>“The primary cause of SCD in adults 35 and over is coronary heart disease. In younger people under 35, it is congenital heart conditions and heart rhythm disorders,” it says on its <a href="https://baker.edu.au/health-hub/sudden-cardiac-death#:~:text=Sudden%20cardiac%20death%20%E2%80%94%20also%20sudden,over%20is%20coronary%20heart%20disease." target="_blank" rel="noopener">site</a>.</p> <p>Ms Brown stated at the time of the incident that Ms Dyrmishi was at the front by the doors on the plane at Stansted Airport.</p> <p>“This is suitable for a documentary inquest in due course,” she said.</p> <p>At the time of her death, Air Albania issued a statement that said, “On December 21, after disembarking the passengers from our flight to London, one of our cabin crew Greta Dyrmishi had a heart attack.</p> <p>“Even after all medical assistance was provided immediately, we still lost her.</p> <p>“She was taken to the hospital in London, and procedures are being followed.</p> <p>“From the first moments, Air Albania contacted her family, and we continue to be close to them in these difficult moments.</p> <p>“In respect to Greta and her family, we decided to share the news with the public at the appropriate time.</p> <p>“We will always remember Greta as a passionate professional, an excellent co-worker, and a great friend to all of us. May God mercy her and give peace to the family. Air Albania will continue to be with her family.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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“SO PROUD OF YOU”: Nicole Kidman’s niece lands major TV gig

<p>Lucia Hawley, Nicole Kidman’s niece, has just landed a major presenting role after years of “working towards” a career in TV journalism.</p> <p>Lucia, 24, is also the daughter of TV presenter Antonia Kidman and was announced as the new face of Live From E!, hosting red carpets with stars across the country on the new 7Bravo channel.</p> <p>Despite her celebrity connections, the 24-year-old has expressed she’s “no nepo-baby,” sharing that she has been “working towards" becoming a full-time TV presenter for years.</p> <p>“I am so lucky to have them both as role models — not only are they amazing at their jobs, but they also have a really strong sense of self and are very intellectual as well,” She told the <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/lucia-hawley-says-shes-lucky-to-have-mum-antonia-and-aunt-nicole-kidman-as-role-models/news-story/b83c3b48554c9b69f630aff63007d212" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Telegraph</a>, referring to her mum and aunt.</p> <p>“Having a mum who had been in the industry, through osmosis you gain that perspective and understanding and I think that’s been one of the biggest things that has helped in preparing me for this role, just having watched her and how she has carried herself through everything.</p> <p>“This is honestly like a dream come true. I always wanted to present and red carpets are naturally what I gravitate towards, so it came about pretty serendipitously.”</p> <p>Lucia shared the news on social media, writing, “Secret is finally out! I’m so excited to announce that I am the local host of @7Bravoau and the new face of Australia’s Live From E! red carpet coverage. Still pinching myself!”</p> <p>Friends and fans flocked to the comments to congratulate Lucia on the next step in her career.</p> <p>“SO PROUD OF YOU LUC!!!! You’re going to absolutely thrive,” one commented.</p> <p>“Thrilled to bits for you,” another said.</p> <p>Lucia has previously interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the ARIAS and the Logies for Channel 9. She is also very into fashion, which is reflected in her online posts.</p> <p>In 2022, she shared several images of her from the Logies, wearing a patent pink sleeveless gown.</p> <p>At the 2018 ARIAS, Lucia walked the red carpet accompanied by her aunt and Keith Urban.</p> <p>Nicole Kidman marked the occasion, sharing a sweet snap on Instagram of her and Lucia embraced in a hug.</p> <p>“Going to the #ARIAs with my niece, we’re so excited to see Keith hosting!” Nicole captioned the image.</p> <p>Image credit: Instagram</p>

TV

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Bocelli family land in Australia for epic tour

<p>Andrea Bocelli has been joined by his family on his latest Australian tour, as his son and daughter get the chance to show off their talents on stage. </p> <p>The Italian musician was joined by his son Matteo in a chat with <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/andrea-bocelli-brings-family-down-under-for-australian-tour/2c207065-359f-4593-b69a-f8445f03a224" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Current Affair</em></a> just hours after hey landed in Australia. </p> <p>Before beginning to speak about his highly anticipated national tour, Andrea apologised for his broken English. </p> <p>"I'm sorry, my English is horrible. I'm the only one in my family who doesn't speak English," Bocelli politely apologised.</p> <p>"For me it's difficult, because at school I studied French and I learnt my first word in English when I was 35 years old."</p> <p>Whether he spoke English or Italian, the musician was thrilled to be embarking on a tour with his kids in tow. </p> <p>"The thing that I love the most is the opportunity to travel the world with them," Bocelli said about his family.</p> <p>"For many years I went around the world alone and every time it was the moment to say goodbye, it was very sad."</p> <p>"Finally we are all together."</p> <p>The Bocelli's are in Australia for their sold out concert and to promote their new Christmas album, <em>A Family Christmas</em>.</p> <p>Andrea's daughter Virginia, 10, is also in Australia for the tour, but fell asleep moments before the interview. </p> <p>"She is exhausted. She's a very sweet little girl, she's good at school and then she comes with us to work on this beautiful project," Bocelli said.</p> <p>Despite being a living musical legend, Bocelli's most important and favourite role is being a dad.</p> <p>"I really admire the love, the passion he has for music and for life," Matteo said about his dad.</p> <p>"For example, (if) he has the passion for chess, he will give 110 per cent of his energy to study and learn more about it.</p> <p>"He's a great example."</p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair</em></p>

Music

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"Terrifying" mid-flight brawl forces Jetstar plane to make emergency landing

<p>A Jetstar flight has been forced to make a priority landing after a brawl broke out on the plane. </p> <p>Just 24 minutes into a flight from Melbourne to Brisbane, two men were being pulled apart from each other after several punches were thrown. </p> <p>One passenger captured the chaos on video, with another traveller saying the altercation was "absolutely terrifying". </p> <p>"It was unnerving," the passenger told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/cabin-brawl-jetstar-flight-melbourne-brisbane-video-footage/b797737a-d832-4135-a2bd-a68cdc3e98be" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a>.</p> <p>"There was a commotion, there was yelling, people started standing up, it went on for a couple of minutes."</p> <p>"One gentleman was then escorted to the rear of the aircraft, he had blood on his face... we didn't hear anything else, we had no information."</p> <p>The passenger said the plane started to descend without warning, as the pilot carried out a priority landing. </p> <p>"We didn't know what was happening," the passenger said.</p> <p>A map of the flight's path shows the aircraft turned around near Mansfield and returned to Melbourne airport where Australian Federal Police removed the two people from the plane.</p> <p>Passengers claim one of the men involved in the brawl was behaving aggressively before he boarded.</p> <p>"The guy was aggressive before he got on the plane and we thought surely they won't let him on the aircraft," the passenger said.</p> <p>A Jetstar spokesperson said the airline had a "zero tolerance for disruptive and abusive behaviour".</p> <p>"The safety of our passengers and our crew is always our first priority and we thank our customers for their patience," the spokesperson said.</p> <p>Shortly after landing, the flight resumed to Brisbane, as the AFP confirmed no arrests have been made. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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New research in Arnhem Land reveals why institutional fire management is inferior to cultural burning

<p>One of the conclusions of this week’s shocking <a href="https://soe.dcceew.gov.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">State of the Environment report</a> is that climate change is lengthening Australia’s bushfire seasons and raising the number of days with a fire danger rating of “very high” or above. In New South Wales, for example, the season now extends to almost eight months.</p> <p>It has never been more important for institutional bushfire management programs to apply the principles and practices of Indigenous fire management, or “cultural burning”. As the report notes, cultural burning reduces the risk of bushfires, supports habitat and improves Indigenous wellbeing. And yet, the report finds:</p> <blockquote> <p>with significant funding gaps, tenure impediments and policy barriers, Indigenous cultural burning remains underused – it is currently applied over less than 1% of the land area of Australia’s south‐eastern states and territory.</p> </blockquote> <p>Our <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-12946-3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent research</a> in <em>Scientific Reports</em> specifically addressed the question: how do the environmental outcomes from cultural burning compare to mainstream bushfire management practices?</p> <p>Using the stone country of the Arnhem Land Plateau as a case study, we reveal why institutional fire management is inferior to cultural burning.</p> <p>The few remaining landscapes where Aboriginal people continue an unbroken tradition of caring for Country are of international importance. They should be nationally recognised, valued and resourced like other protected cultural and historical places.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Different indigenous fire application today with a country full of weeds. First burn of of two applications this year. This is what we have to do to make country have less flammable vegetation. Walk through, More time and love put into country. <a href="https://t.co/pnoWFQbq6C">pic.twitter.com/pnoWFQbq6C</a></p> <p>— Victor Steffensen (@V_Steffensen) <a href="https://twitter.com/V_Steffensen/status/1505384041402748930?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 20, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>Ancient fire management</strong></p> <p>The rugged terrain of the Arnhem Plateau in Northern Territory has an ancient human history, with archaeological evidence <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-07-20/aboriginal-shelter-pushes-human-history-back-to-65,000-years/8719314#:%7E:text=New%20excavations%20of%20a%20rock,earlier%20than%20archaeologists%20previously%20thought." target="_blank" rel="noopener">dated at 65,000 years</a>.</p> <p>Arnhem Land is an ideal place to explore the effects of different fire regimes because fire is such an essential feature of the natural and cultural environment.</p> <p>Australia’s monsoon tropics are particularly fire prone given the sharply contrasting wet and dry seasons. The wet season sees prolific growth of grasses and other flammable plants, and dry season has reliable hot, dry, windy conditions.</p> <p>Millennia of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-worlds-best-fire-management-system-is-in-northern-australia-and-its-led-by-indigenous-land-managers-133071" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skilful fire management</a> by Indigenous people in these landscapes have allowed plants and animals needing infrequently burnt habitat to thrive.</p> <p>This involves shifting “mosaic” burning, where small areas are burned regularly to create a patchwork of habitats with different fire histories. This gives wildlife a diversity of resources and places to shelter in.</p> <p>Conservation biologists suspect that the loss of such patchy fires since colonisation has contributed to the <a href="http://132.248.10.25/therya/index.php/THERYA/article/view/236/html_66" target="_blank" rel="noopener">calamitous demise</a> of wildlife species across northern Australia, such as northern quolls, northern brown bandicoots and grassland melomys.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"Fire is the way to really look after the land and the people. Since we started here, we've been using fire. And we need to bring it back because it unites the people and the land." Jacob Morris, Gumea-Dharrawal Yuin man. 🎥 Craig Bender &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/VeraHongTweets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VeraHongTweets</a> <a href="https://t.co/Afh6iwIrOX">pic.twitter.com/Afh6iwIrOX</a></p> <p>— FiresticksAlliance (@FiresticksA) <a href="https://twitter.com/FiresticksA/status/1436177617049296901?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 10, 2021</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>Collapse of the cypress pine</strong></p> <p>Our study was undertaken over 25 years, and wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support and close involvement of the Traditional Owners over this time.</p> <p>It compared an area under near continuous Indigenous management by the Kune people of Western Arnhem Land with ecologically similar and unoccupied areas within Kakadu National Park.</p> <p>We found populations of the cypress pine (<em>Callitris intratropica</em>) remained healthy under continual Aboriginal fire management. By contrast, cypress pine populations had collapsed in ecologically similar areas in Kakadu due to the loss of Indigenous fire management, as they have across much of northern Australia.</p> <p>The population of dead and living pines is like a barcode that records fire regime change. The species is so long lived that older trees were well established before colonisation.</p> <p>The timber is extremely durable and termite resistant, so a tree killed by fire remains in the landscape for many decades. And mature trees, but not juveniles, can tolerate low intensity fires, but intense fires kill both.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/475072/original/file-20220720-22-odbe84.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a></em><figcaption><em><span class="caption">Cypress pine timber can remain in the landscape decades after the tree died.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Michael Hains/Atlas of Living Australia</span>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY-NC-SA</a></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p>Since 2007, park rangers have attempted to emulate cultural burning outcomes. They’ve used aircraft to drop incendiaries to create a coarse patchwork of burned and unburned areas to improve biodiversity in the stone country within Kakadu.</p> <p>Unfortunately, our research found Kakadu’s fire management interventions failed to restore landscapes to the healthier ecological condition under traditional Aboriginal fire management.</p> <p>While the Kakadu aerial burning program increased the amount of unburnt vegetation, it didn’t reverse the population collapse of cypress pines. Searches of tens of kilometres failed to find a single seedling in Kakadu, whereas they were common in comparable areas under Aboriginal fire management.</p> <p>Our study highlights that once the ecological benefits of cultural burning are lost, they cannot be simply restored with mainstream fire management approaches.</p> <p>But that’s not to say the ecological impacts from the loss of Aboriginal fire management cannot be reversed. Rather, restoring fire regimes and ecosystem health will be slow, and require special care in where and how fires are set.</p> <p>This requires teams on the ground with deep knowledge of the land, rather than simply spreading aerial incendiaries from helicopters.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">After 60 years of fire exclusion, another magic day restoring fire to Arakwal-Bundjalung-Bumberlin country. <a href="https://t.co/xRRNb4ELdQ">pic.twitter.com/xRRNb4ELdQ</a></p> <p>— Dr. Andy Baker (@FireDiversity) <a href="https://twitter.com/FireDiversity/status/1537768580455931905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 17, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>There’s much to learn</strong></p> <p>There remains much for Western science to learn about <a href="https://theconversation.com/fighting-fire-with-fire-botswana-adopts-indigenous-australians-ancient-burning-tradition-135363" target="_blank" rel="noopener">traditional fire management</a>.</p> <p>Large-scale institutional fire management is based on concepts of efficiency and generality. It is controlled by bureaucracies, and achieved using machines and technologies.</p> <p>Such an “industrial” approach cannot replace the placed-based knowledge, including close human relationships with Country, underpinning <a href="https://www.firesticks.org.au/about/cultural-burning/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cultural burning</a>.</p> <p>Cultural burning and institutional fire management could be thought of as the differences between home cooking and fast food. Fast food is quick, cheap and produces the same product regardless of individual needs. Home cooking takes longer to prepare, can cater to individual needs, and can improve wellbeing.</p> <p>But restoring sustainable fire regimes based on the wisdom and practices of Indigenous people cannot be achieved overnight. Reaping the benefits of cultural burning to landscapes where colonialism has disrupted ancient fire traditions take time, effort and resources.</p> <p>It’s urgent remaining traditional fire practitioners are recognised for their invaluable knowledge and materially supported to continue caring for their Country. This includes:</p> <ul> <li>actively supporting Indigenous people to reside on their Country</li> <li>to pay them to undertake natural resource management including cultural burning</li> <li>creating pathways enabling Indigenous people separated from their country by colonialism to re-engage with fire management.</li> </ul> <p>Restoring landscapes with sustainable cultural burning traditions is a long-term project that will involve training and relearning ancient practices. There are extraordinary opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike to learn how to Care for Country.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Victor Steffensen, the Lead Fire Practitioner at the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation, who reviewed this article.</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/184562/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><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-bowman-4397" target="_blank" rel="noopener">David Bowman</a>, Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888" target="_blank" rel="noopener">University of Tasmania</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-i-roos-1354187" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Christopher I. Roos</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-methodist-university-1988" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Southern Methodist University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fay-johnston-90826" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Fay Johnston</a>, Professor, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888" target="_blank" rel="noopener">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/new-research-in-arnhem-land-reveals-why-institutional-fire-management-is-inferior-to-cultural-burning-184562" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: @FireDiversity (Twitter)</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Mother slammed for making her 18-year-old daughter sign a lease to stay at home

<p>A mum who made her 18-year-old daughter sign a $100-per-month lease in order to continue living at home has sparked a furious debate online.</p> <p>In a TikTok, she opened up about the financial agreement with the teenager, her daughter Jada who recently turned 18. She made her sign a legal lease agreement and then went on to post it with the caption “when your 18-year-old decides to stay at home”.</p> <p>The unnamed woman's video then cuts to her daughter signing the legal agreement with the caption “setting [her] up for success.”</p> <p>Her clip sparked some outage, racking up more than 1.5 million views, as well as thousands of likes and comments - with many users left divided over whether the mom was treating her daughter fairly.</p> <blockquote class="tiktok-embed" style="max-width: 605px; min-width: 325px;" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@c_d_g/video/7112179079968804142" data-video-id="7112179079968804142"> <section><a title="@c_d_g" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@c_d_g" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@c_d_g</a> Rent a room🤷🏻‍♀️<a title="droppinbytoshowlove🤟🏼" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/droppinbytoshowlove%F0%9F%A4%9F%F0%9F%8F%BC" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#droppinbytoshowlove🤟🏼</a> <a title="daughter" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/daughter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#daughter</a> <a title="mother" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/mother" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#mother</a> <a title="18" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/18" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#18</a> <a title="leaseagreement" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/leaseagreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#leaseagreement</a> <a title="setupforsuccess" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/setupforsuccess" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#setupforsuccess</a> <a title="softplacetofall" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/softplacetofall" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#softplacetofall</a> <a title="saftynet" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/saftynet" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#saftynet</a> <a title="stayinhome" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/stayinhome" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#stayinhome</a> <a title="myhouse" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/myhouse" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#myhouse</a> <a title="myhousemyrules" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/myhousemyrules" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#myhousemyrules</a> <a title="♬ It's The Hard Knock Life - Annie Movie" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/It's-The-Hard-Knock-Life-211283664486187008" target="_blank" rel="noopener">♬ It's The Hard Knock Life - Annie Movie</a></section> </blockquote> <p>After receiving many hate comments, Jada's mum took to TikTok to post a response video where she attempted to explain to her over 24,000 followers why she made her daughter sign a lease.</p> <p>“I was a single mom at 16 and my parents didn't set me up for success, I had to fight for every single thing I have,” said the Oklahoma woman.</p> <p>She went on to add that she doesn't want her children to depend on her for anything and everything she does “prepares” her children for the “real world”.</p> <p>The mom-of-six added that in the area of Oklahoma they are from, renters must have proof of rental history when they are preparing to rent or buy a home, she added that she made the legal lease agreement so her daughter would have a rental history.</p> <p>She stated that the $100 Jada pays her mom every month goes towards “utilities, room, food and everything else.”</p> <p>The mother, who made all of her other children sign a lease, emphasized that she was setting up her daughter for success and while Jada has the right to move out, in this economy it would be a lot harder if she did.</p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Home & Garden

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Swapping stamp duty for land tax would push down house prices but push up apartment prices, new modelling finds

<p>In the state budget, NSW have announced a switch from stamp duty to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-to-phase-out-stamp-duty-introduce-property-tax-20220612-p5at3p.html">land tax</a>.</p> <p>It will become the second Australian jurisdiction to do so, with the ACT halfway through a <a href="https://www.treasury.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1618407/cops-final-report.pdf">20-year</a> switchover.</p> <p>Homebuyers who accept the offer will be taxed annually on the value of their land, instead of hit with an upfront fee (that averaged $50,000 for Sydney in 2018) when they buy.</p> <p>Once they have accepted, their property will be out of the stamp duty system and subject only to land tax for future owners.</p> <p>It’s become conventional wisdom to say that such a revenue-neutral switch would <a href="https://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-10/FFR%20Final%20Report%20-%20200828%20%281%29.pdf">boost productivity</a>.</p> <p>Why? Moving house sets in motion a chain of transactions: residents engage lawyers to transfer titles, real estate agents to manage the property sale, removalists to transport possessions, and so on.</p> <p>Stamp duties compound these costs, by adding a significant, additional layer of taxation, which in some states makes up 80% of the total cost of moving house.</p> <p>Land tax, in contrast, is one of the least-damaging taxes. It encourages land owners to put land to its <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/understanding-the-economy-wide-efficiency-and-incidence-of-major-australian-taxes">highest-value use</a>.</p> <p>In a landmark <a href="https://www.copsmodels.com/ftp/workpapr/g-330.pdf">modelling exercise</a> completed this month, my team at the Victoria University Centre of Policy Studies finds that the productivity gains are large by the standards of tax swaps.</p> <p>After 20 years, replacing stamp duty with a land tax would boost national income by A$0.30 for each dollar of revenue swapped, or up to $720 per household if implemented Australia-wide, about 0.34% of annual gross domestic product.</p> <p>Of greater interest for homeowners and buyers is what it would do to prices.</p> <h2>Houses versus apartments</h2> <p>Broadly, we find that the switch would put downward pressure on prices, but not for every type of home.</p> <p>Across the market as a whole, we expect downward pressure on the price paid by buyers of about 4.7%, and downward pressure on the price received by sellers of about 0.1%.</p> <p>But for houses, we expect much stronger downward pressure than the average suggests.</p> <p>We expect the price paid by house buyers to fall by about 7.6%, and the price received by sellers to fall 3%.</p> <p>Interestingly, for apartments we expect movements in the other direction, pushing up the price paid by buyers by 2%, and pushing up the price received by sellers by 6.4%.</p> <h2>What’s so different about apartments?</h2> <p>Why would the switch put downward pressure on the price of houses but upward pressure on the price of apartments?</p> <p>It is because of how two offsetting effects play out.</p> <p>One is that higher land taxes depress land prices. Buyers who know they will be lumbered with future bills find their purchases less valuable. This effect is much bigger on house prices than apartment prices, because houses occupy more land on average.</p> <p>The other effect is that removing stamp duty not only removes an impost on the current buyer, but also removes an impost that will have to be paid when the current buyer sells, and when the subsequent buyer sells, and so on, making resale more valuable to the current buyer than it would have been.</p> <p>For properties that aren’t turned over often this effect isn’t very important, but for properties that are turned over frequently, it becomes significant.</p> <p>Apartments are turned over twice as frequently as houses, meaning that for apartments the upward effect on prices from removing stamp duty overwhelms the downward effect from imposing land tax.</p> <h2>Much depends on exactly what’s proposed</h2> <p>It would be possible to lessen this upward pressure on apartment prices by imposing higher land taxes on higher density housing, an idea canvassed by the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/review/the-australias-future-tax-system-review/publications">Henry Tax Review</a> in 2010. Planning and zoning rules could also play a role.</p> <p>Other policy design decisions could have other effects on prices. Our modelling is based on an immediate swap of stamp duty for land tax.</p> <p>This is not the same as the NSW government’s opt-in proposal, which could have different price consequences to the policy we modelled.</p> <p>The NSW government is also reported to be considering excluding the most <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/stamp-duty-move-puts-pressure-on-other-states-20220613-p5ataj.html">expensive 20%</a> of properties from the switchover, so it can continue to collect stamp duties on high-value transfers.</p> <p>In future work we plan to extend our modelling beyond a simple swap of stamp duty and land tax.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/swapping-stamp-duty-for-land-tax-would-push-down-house-prices-but-push-up-apartment-prices-new-modelling-finds-184381" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Real Estate

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Dreaming of greener pastures? You could be paid to move to the Scottish countryside

<p dir="ltr"> If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to start afresh in a remote area on the other side of the world, you could be in luck - and you could even be paid to do it.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a bid to boost the populations of Orkney and the Isle of Skye, the Scottish government has been handing out up to £50,000 ($88,000 or $NZ 97 thousand) to people who are willing to make the move to the countryside.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to its mission statement, the Island Bond fund was created to support island residents to stay in their community and encourage others to move there, with financial support totalling £5 million ($AU 8.77 or 9.66 million NZ) split between 100 households.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We launched the Islands Bond consultation on 2 August 2021, providing an opportunity for our island residents in particular to identify the key challenges that a bond may be able to respond to.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As well as boosting local populations, it’s also hoped that the scheme encourages new residents to start new businesses in the region, giving the local economy a boost.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, local residents and councillors on Orkney have shared their reservations about the scheme, including Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6c7718c8-7fff-41df-b161-d4c5a4d61f91"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“Rather than offering bribes to individuals, which could prove divisive, Scottish Ministers should commit to investing in projects that benefit whole island communities such as new ferries or faster broadband,” he wrote on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Rather than offering bribes to individuals, which could prove divisive, Scottish Ministers should commit to investing in projects that benefit whole island communities such as new ferries or faster broadband. <a href="https://t.co/EJLI1HRGKz">https://t.co/EJLI1HRGKz</a></p> <p>— Liam McArthur MSP (@Liam4Orkney) <a href="https://twitter.com/Liam4Orkney/status/1528711611665489928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“The proposed islands bond is set to benefit only a small minority,” he explained, per <em><a href="https://www.tyla.com/news/scottish-island-50k-20220525" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tyla.com</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It also has the potential to open up divisions rather than tackle the root causes of depopulation in island communities.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite reservations, the program has already been well-received, with <em>Tyla.com</em> reporting that applications have come from as far away as South America.</p> <p dir="ltr">To find out more about the scheme, head to the Rural and Islands Housing Fund (RIHF) website <a href="https://www.mygov.scot/rural-housing-fund" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-cf8e1e26-7fff-68a3-969d-81bf484e6fb7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Real Estate

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Florida man with no flying experience lands plane

<p dir="ltr">A passenger on a small plane has kept his cool after the pilot collapsed at the controls, forcing him to take over and land the plane with zero flying experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Darren Harrison told NBC’s <em>Today </em>show that he had been relaxing in the back of the single-engine Cessna on his return from a fishing trip in the Bahamas when the pilot told him and another passenger: “Guys, I gotta tell you I don’t feel good”.</p> <p dir="ltr"> “He said, ‘I’ve got a headache and I’m fuzzy and I just don’t feel right’,” the 39-year-old Florida man said. “And I said, ‘What do we need to do?’ and, at that point, he didn’t respond at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After climbing into the cockpit, Mr Harrison discovered the unconscious pilot and that the plane was diving fast.</p> <p dir="ltr">“All I saw when I came up to the front was water out the right window and I knew it was coming quick. At that point, I knew if I didn’t react, that we would die,” he recalled.</p> <p dir="ltr">The flooring salesman then reached over the pilot, grabbed the controls, and slowly pulled back the stick to level the plane, which he said was simply common sense.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I knew if I went up and yanked that, the airplane would stall,” he explained. “And I also knew that at the rate we were going, we were going way too fast, and it would probably rip the wings off of the airplane.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c62cb2da-7fff-bea4-3d9f-2b3d2e801c49"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">He said that thought was “the scariest part of the whole story”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">What if your pilot became ill and you had to fly the plane? That’s what happened over the ocean, 25 miles from <a href="https://twitter.com/flyPBI?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@flyPBI</a>. Air traffic controllers sprang to action and calmly guided a passenger to land safely. Read about the miracle at 7,000 ft on our blog <a href="https://t.co/4Hn7JzNKN5">https://t.co/4Hn7JzNKN5</a>. <a href="https://t.co/2KPhpmqG2S">pic.twitter.com/2KPhpmqG2S</a></p> <p>— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) <a href="https://twitter.com/FAANews/status/1524498223749996544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The other pilot - who he said was a friend of the pilot - helped him move the pilot out of the seat so that Mr Harrison could take his place.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, when he put on the headset, he realised the wires were frayed and the plug was gone and took the headset from the other passenger.</p> <p dir="ltr">He reached out to an air traffic controller in Florida but, when asked if knew the plane’s position, said the GPS was out so he had no idea.</p> <p dir="ltr">The air traffic controller then asked what he could see, with Mr Harrison telling him: “I see the state of Florida and I see a small airport”.</p> <p dir="ltr">He recalled refusing to let fear set in at that moment, with the knowledge that landing the plane was his only choice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When I was flying and saw the state of Florida, at that second I knew I’m going to land there,” he said. “I don’t know what the outcome’s going to be, I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I knew I’m going to have to land this airplane because there’s no other option.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Harrison said he had to get home to his wife, Britney, who was seven months pregnant with their first child.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People said what if you had crashed and died? You could have at least called her, you could have reached out to her, you had time,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In my mind I knew I wasn’t going to die, and the thought never crossed my mind to call and tell my wife, ‘bye’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">With the help of air traffic controller Robert Morgan, Mr Harrison safely landed the plane at Palm Beach International Airport.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I said thank you for everything and threw the headset on the dash and I said the biggest prayer I’ve ever said in my life,” he recalled.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s when all the emotion set in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Harrison recalled offering a “thankful prayer for the safety and everything that had happened”, with the strongest part of the prayer going to the “guy in the back because I knew it was not a good situation”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pilot was taken to hospital and is expected to be released this week, according to Mr Harrison.</p> <p dir="ltr">After landing, Mr Harrison then called his wife, who wasn’t expecting to hear from him so early. </p> <p dir="ltr">Britney said that last year, her brother-in-law died when her sister was six months pregnant, “so honestly, I took a deep breath and prepared myself for it not to be him on the other line”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I told myself, ‘God we can’t do this again’. I don’t think I could do it again. And thankfully we didn’t have to.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-90e94bda-7fff-da91-15ca-51df9cd7280f"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The new enclosure: how land commissions can lead the fight against urban land-grabs

<p>When Boris Johnson sold the 35-acre <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/f7b5599c-c7b0-11e2-9c52-00144feab7de">Royal Albert Docks in London</a> to Chinese buyers in 2013, it was his biggest commercial property deal as mayor of London and one of China’s largest investments in the UK. The Greater London Authority sold off further parcels of land in the area in a bid to regenerate the Royal Docks, which had fallen into disrepair with the decline of the docklands from the 1960s.</p> <p>Over the past few decades, huge transfers of land from public to private ownership have occurred throughout Britain. Since Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister in 1979, <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/3050-the-new-enclosure">one-tenth</a> of the entire British landmass, or about half of the land owned by all public bodies, has been privatised. This has included, for instance, dozens of <a href="https://www.forces.net/services/tri-service/more-50-bases-go-mod-estate-sell">former military bases</a> on Ministry of Defence land.</p> <p>In our cities, one result of this land privatisation has been the long-term shift from public to private housing tenure: social rented housing <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13604813.2012.709403">declined</a> from 31% of Britain’s total housing stock in 1981 to just 18% in 2012.</p> <p>As what was effectively our <a href="https://theconversation.com/urban-commons-are-under-siege-in-the-age-of-austerity-heres-how-to-protect-them-121067">common wealth</a> is sold off, local authorities are losing the capacity to address the interconnected housing and climate change <a href="https://www.tcpa.org.uk/blog/blog-the-need-for-better-environmental-standards-in-homes-old-and-new">crises</a>. From London to Leeds, this transformation of land has <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0264275115300299">impeded democratic involvement</a> in urban planning. It has <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13604813.2012.709403?needAccess=true">displaced</a> working-class communities. And it has <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13604813.2012.754190">heightened</a> social inequalities.</p> <p>In a bid to make Liverpool the fairest and most socially inclusive city region in the UK, the mayor, Steve Rotherham, launched England’s first land commission in September 2020. The commission’s findings chime with <a href="http://www.gmhousingaction.com/who-owns-the-city/">our research</a>. It argues for a fundamentally new understanding of what land is.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433148/original/file-20211122-17-1h5hnoj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Panoramic view of London from Highgate Hampstead Park" /> <span class="caption">Even many of our so-called urban commons don’t belong to the people at all.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/panoramic-view-london-highgate-hampstead-park-632934269" class="source">pabmap | Shutterstock</a></span></p> <h2>What is a land commission?</h2> <p>Liverpool was the first metropolitan area in England to establish a participatory land commission. The participants were from the public, private and voluntary sectors as well as from academia. They were <a href="https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/steve-rotheram-launches-englands-first-land-commission-focused-on-community-wealth-building/">tasked</a> with a radical year-long mission: to figure out how to make the best use of publicly owned land in the city region.</p> <p>The idea is to build what economists call <a href="https://cles.org.uk/community-wealth-building/what-is-community-wealth-building/">community wealth</a>. In response, the commission released its <a href="https://cles.org.uk/publications/our-land/">final report</a> in June 2021, in concert with the Manchester-based <a href="https://cles.org.uk/">Centre for Local Economic Strategies</a>.</p> <p>Public authorities in recent decades have largely looked at urban land through a narrow economic growth lens. This has focused on <a href="https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/man-city-champions-league-final-20494480">attracting investment</a> at the expense of wider community needs – social housing, say, or public green space.</p> <p>By contrast, the commission recognises that land plays an important function in <a href="https://landforthemany.uk/">addressing</a> social and environmental, as well as economic, needs. This challenges the processes of privatisation, commodification and wealth extraction that have characterised urban development since the 1980s, and which political economist Brett Christophers has described as the <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/3050-the-new-enclosure">“new enclosure”</a>. Similar processes can be seen in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X16305484">other countries</a> around the world too.</p> <p><a href="https://www.thelandmagazine.org.uk/articles/enclosure-grand-scale">Karl Marx</a> and <a href="https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-invention-of-capitalism">others</a> drew a direct connection between the <a href="https://www.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&amp;p=568">enclosure of the commons</a>, which took place during the 16th-19th century in England, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the elite. If enclosure led to the dispossession of the rural peasantry, that storing up of wealth by the privileged few, in turn, led to the rise of capitalism in western Europe.</p> <p>As historical <a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520260009/the-magna-carta-manifesto">research</a> shows, the very notion of the commons is revolutionary. It defines land as collective wealth that belongs to everyone. This stands in stark contrast to the capitalist model of private property.</p> <p>It is this idea that motivated the 17th-century reformer, <a href="https://www.culturematters.org.uk/index.php/culture/theory/item/2978-a-common-treasury-for-all-gerrard-winstanley-and-the-diggers">Gerard Winstanley</a>, along with a group of men and women who became known as the Diggers, to create a social order based on common ownership of the land.</p> <p>This historical tradition animates the Liverpool land commission’s vision of how urban land can be managed for the benefit of the many rather than the few. The report explicitly situates the commission’s work within that long history of enclosure and resistance, quoting a <a href="http://jacklynch.net/Texts/winstanley.html">1649 pamphlet</a> from Winstanley: “The earth was not made for you, to be Lords of it, and we to be your Slaves, Servants and Beggars; but it was made to be a common Livelihood to call, without respect of persons.”</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433146/original/file-20211122-25-nausrs.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433146/original/file-20211122-25-nausrs.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Overhead view of the Three Graces and the Liverpool waterfront" /></a> <span class="caption">Urban land is increasingly seen as an economic asset, at the expense of its social functions.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/lrG9KIuxQzo" class="source">Phil Kiel | Unsplash</a>, <a href="http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en" class="license">FAL</a></span></p> <h2>Practical steps</h2> <p>The commission’s report includes a series of practical recommendations to reclaim the social function of urban land. These include establishing a citizen-led body for governing public land. It recommends making public land available to community organisations for socially valuable projects such as cooperatives, green spaces and social enterprises. And it suggests establishing an online map of public land resources, including empty land, that is currently held by councils.</p> <p>Further, it recommends capturing rising land values (future profits derived from the development of currently underused land) to fund reparations for Liverpool’s historic role in the transatlantic slave trade. And it suggests using public land to install the green infrastructure needed to combat climate change.</p> <p>If adopted, these recommendations will mark a rupture from the Thatcherite approach to <a href="https://theconversation.com/ending-austerity-stop-councils-selling-off-public-assets-113858">selling off public assets</a> that has dominated since the 1980s. As such, the commission demonstrates how decisions about urban land use can be undertaken in a democratic, participatory and transparent manner.</p> <p><a href="http://www.gmhousingaction.com/who-owns-the-city/">Our research</a> on public land privatisation in the neighbouring city of Manchester suggests that the land commission approach needs to be expanded to other UK cities. We raised a number of concerns about public land sales by Manchester City Council, including the lack of transparency around deals and the fact that large amounts of public land have been sold to private developers to build <a href="http://www.gmhousingaction.com/report_launched_on_housing_finance_gm/">city centre apartment blocks</a> that contain no social or affordable housing.</p> <p>In response to this research, over 60 civil society organisations <a href="http://www.gmhousingaction.com/gm-land-commission-letter/">signed an open letter</a> calling for the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to stick to his <a href="https://andyformayor.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Andy-Burnham-Manisfesto-v2.1-002.pdf">manifesto</a> commitment to establish a Greater Manchester land commission.</p> <p>The UK government’s “<a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/56238260">levelling-up</a>” programme has brought regional inequality and postindustrial urban decline to the fore once again. But addressing these longstanding issues will require a fundamental rethink about what land is for and the purpose it serves in today’s society. The Liverpool land commission has opened the door to the future. Which cities will follow?<!-- 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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167817/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-silver-534810">Jonathan Silver</a>, Senior Research Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sheffield-1147">University of Sheffield</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tom-gillespie-1253447">Tom Gillespie</a>, Hallsworth Research Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-manchester-1204">University of Manchester</a></em></span></p> <p>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-new-enclosure-how-land-commissions-can-lead-the-fight-against-urban-land-grabs-167817">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Songquan Deng | Shutterstock</em></p>

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