Monthly Archives: September 2010

Tomorrow, When OMG IT’S THE INDONESIANS WTF!?!?!?!

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Stuart Beattie, 2010)

Stuart Beattie’s adaptation of John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, about a group of teenagers dealing with an invasion of Australia, lets us see two interesting examples of Australian nationalism at work.

The first is a strange, misguided pride in local product. Beattie’s film has been greeted with generally kind reviews from local critics, and it seems Australians have been indulgent of a film that dares to do what Hollywood movies routinely do but Australian films generally don’t. This isn’t about a father and a son reuniting on a road trip through the outback, or a family confronting secrets about their past while out on a farm in the outback, or an examination of the travails of indigenous Australians in remote communities in the outback. This is about a war! And explosions! And there are fighter planes and stuff! And we made it, and it mostly doesn’t look fake!

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The Harshest Lesson

Image by Neil Creek, used under Creative Commons Licence. Click for details.Originally published as an editorial in Planning News 36, No. 8 (September 2010), under a joint by-line with Tim Westcott and Gilda Di Vincenzo.

The final report of the Bushfire Royal Commission, released at the end of July, is a challenging document for the planning profession. As intense as debate might sometime set within the profession, we normally have the luxury that our work is free of truly life or death consequences. The tragic events of February 2009 changed that, and chapter 6 of the Commission’s report, which discusses planning and building responses, is disquieting reading. It is unsettling to find so few easy answers in a situation where so much is at stake.

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