Earlier today I put up a video of zebra finches trying to escape the heat. Here’s some more hiding in a wood heap. Apologies for the hum. I mounted the camera on top of the air conditioner.
It’s been hot this summer in outback Australia. Our average this month will be 5C more than the usual January average at about 44C.
The animals out here are really feeling it. Especially the bird life. My veranda has become a refuge mainly for zebra finches but also a few budgies and other birds. Half a dozen finches are dying each day along with a peregrine falcon, an immature crow and owl and a few budgies. There are owls flying into my trees through daylight as the trees in my yard have thicker leaf cover than those in the bush without a drop to drink.
I have a veranda around three sides of the house with masses of zebra finches along two sides. Here’s a short video with the zebra finches in one corner taking off when my troopie goes past and a second flight when the dingo runs up to the veranda.
It’s been hot all over Australia with Tasmania alight and NSW having a shocking day today with over 132 fires.
Out bush we’ve had fires burning out almost continuously for months now. Some of it as planned patch burning, others by lightening strikes and others well, just because…. But we have a bit of room out here so they barely impede us.
It’s also been a bit warm. Here’s the daily maximum temperatures at Warburton (125km away) since Christmas Day
Recent Maximum Temperatures
|Date||Maximum Temperature (Centigrade)|
|25 Dec 2012||40.3|
|26 Dec 2012||42.0|
|27 Dec 2012||39.5|
|28 Dec 2012||39.7|
|29 Dec 2012||41.5|
|30 Dec 2012||41.9|
|31 Dec 2012||40.4|
|1 Jan 2013||42.0|
|2 Jan 2013||44.4|
|3 Jan 2013||41.6|
|4 Jan 2013||40.6|
|5 Jan 2013||41.7|
|6 Jan 2013||44.8|
|7 Jan 2013||47.0|
|8 Jan 2013||47.0|
We’ve had eleven days in a row over 40C and if it wasn’t for the cool change on the 27th and 28th of December with maximums of only 39.5 and 39.7 respectively we would have had 19 days straight above 40C.
December’s minimum temeratures were 2.2C above average at 23.7C and the maximum average was 38.3C, 1.9 above average.
Last night was warm, perhaps the warmest January night out here ever at 32.2C and if these temperatures keep going we’ll have our warmest January average at 43.^C which id over five degrees above average.
I don’t know about you lot but I’m going to enjoy the cool change on Sunday. It’s predicted the maximum temperature will drop to 41C.
A couple of posts ago I wrote about the Minister for Families stating she could live on the Newstart allowance. Personally I think she was talking rubbish that she may yet come to regret down the track. I also mentioned the cost of a few things in remote Australia.
Here’s what Newstart offers you.
There is a remote allowance for those on benefits who live in remote.
This remote allowance works out – for a single person – at an extra $474.50 a year.
What would the public servants receive when they visit remote areas? The Public Servants Association has a list of the current allowances.
It’s hard to tell what is paid when they come past gazetted towns and onto Aboriginal lands. But their allowance for visiting Alice Springs is a lazy $224.30 a day. Now that covers accommodation and meals (apparently you can’t buy food for yourself when travelling).
But here’s what a public servant would get extra for living remote.
A person on Newstart with no dependants living in remote Australia receives an extra $474. If he/she was a public servant they would receive $1260. It is nice it is recognised it costs more to live remote. But are the costs greater for those with a job?
But the discrepancy is even worse if you have children and live remote. If you are on Newstart you receive an extra $7.30 per extra child a fortnight. But if you are a public servant with kids out bush you get an extra $10.50 a week. Apparently kids of public servants cost more to look after than Newstart kids.
And that’s for the lowest employee class in the table.
There are over 600,000 Australians on Newstart. The Australian Senate agrees the amount is inadequate.
Surely we and our government can have some compassion for the least well off in our society.