Good news (for a change)

First night parrot sighting in WA for 100 years

In the first verified sighting since 1912, a night parrot has been photographed in Western Australia.

It follows a history of disbelieved reports, futile ecological surveys and unverified sightings of the species that was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in Queensland four years ago.

The discovery was made by a group of birdwatchers from Broome who were looking for an entirely different bird. At the undisclosed location in inland WA, a night parrot darted out in front of one of the group, who was able to take a photograph.

The discovery could have a significant impact on mining development in parts of WA now known to be night parrot habitat.

Support for government plummets

Support for the Malcolm Turnbull government has fallen 10 points below the Labor Party in the two-party preferred vote, according to the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll.

The Coalition trails Labor 55% to 45% in its biggest fall since last year’s election. It is a worse result than that recorded in August 2015 (54% to 46%), when Tony Abbott was replaced as leader by Turnbull.

If an election were held today, the government would suffer an electoral landslide and loose 24 seats, including cabinet ministers Peter Dutton and Christian Porter.

The poll also found 63% of voters do not believe the Coalition’s argument that the decision to cut penalty rates will mean more businesses will be open on Sundays or public holidays.

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