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Australia’s National Library is on a crusade to save the country’s internet browser history. It says the country is losing valuable information about art, history and commerce as websites are taken down.
The library’s Colin Webb likens it to book burning. “It doesn’t require cultural genocide for much of the information on the web to be lost. All it takes is nobody accepting responsibility for archiving and preserving it,” he says.
The library has already saved important sites including the Sydney Olympics, but Webb says that one site that disappeared quickly was that of former prime minister, John Howard.
“[It] disappeared off the internet very quickly once the 2007 Federal Election results came through. Luckily, we had already secured a copy of it,” he adds.
Reloaded: sites saved for posterity
1. Sport – Sydney 2000 Olympic Games 2. Politics – Every election since 1996 3. Media – Archives of Crikey (news site)
A Security Council bid, meetings with US presidential hopefuls, a rebuke for China over human rights: new PM Kevin Rudd squeezed a lot into his recent international tour. How do analysts rate his foray?
1. Dr Michael Fullilove of Sydney’s Lowy Institute of International Policy: “In the US, he came across as an effective alliance manager. In China, his language skills [he speaks Mandarin] were a huge hit.”
2. Sally Warhaft, editor of The Monthly: “He handled the trip well. He surprised people by voicing concerns about China.”
3. Dr Gregory Pemberton, dept of politics and international relations, Macquarie University: “He was cautious; in the US he played down differences over Iraq.”
Asia’s mix masters
Highly educated Asian migrants are changing the face of New Zealand. New figures also show that the country’s Asian population is growing faster than any other group and is set to double over the next 20 years. According to recent census data, the country’s Asian population will rise to 790,000 by 2026, when the population is estimated to reach 5.52 million, up from 400,000 in 2006 (out of 4.25 million).
Release of the numbers coincided with a report from the Asia:NZ Foundation think tank, which found that the number of Asian immigrants who could speak three or more languages was five times the national average, and Asian migrants were also more likely to be university educated than other New Zealanders.
However, the figures still managed to ignite a race debate when MP and deputy leader of the minority NZ First party, Peter Brown, who was born in Britain, called for a halt to “foolish” immigration.
Few seem to be listening, however, especially as the country has just signed a free trade agreement with China that will be worth about €140m annually.
Auckland’s Asian mix:
- Chinese: 98,391
- Indian: 74,442
- Korean: 21,351
- Filipino: 9,819
- Japanese: 5,289
- Sri Lankan: 5,049
- Cambodian: 3,375
- Thai: 3,225
- Other Asian: 15,567
Figures are for 2006 and refer to ethnicity. Auckland accounts for the majority of NZ’s ethnic population.
Melbourne has a case of urban indigestion as 1,200 new residents arrive each week. Expansion is putting its transport system under strain, but not everyone sees growth as a bad thing. When a Sydney newspaper found that one in five of its residents would consider leaving the city, the premier of Victoria, in a quest to score points against its rival, claimed Melbourne would be the bigger city by 2028. However, in a subsequent Melbourne poll, more than half said they would leave if it outgrew Sydney.
Election facts: Aussie rules
In Australia the average voter turnout in elections is 95 per cent. That’s because it’s compulsory – don’t vote and you can go to jail.
The Kiwis were among the first to give women the vote, in 1893. Elections are held on Saturdays so as not to clash with work.