Daily News Roundup

May 3, 2019

Chewbacca of Star Wars fame has died. Peter Mayhew, the man who played Han Solo’s Wookiee sidekick in the blockbuster films was 74.

The actor’s family announced on social media that the English-American actor had died on April 30, surrounded by family in his North Texas home.

“Peter was the man behind the mask of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, episode 3 of the prequels, and the New Trilogy.

“He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“He also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his successor.

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films, from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.”

A memorial service for family and friends will be held on June 29, with a memorial for fans set to take place in early December in Los Angeles.


Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland has suffered another setback with the state government’s Environment Department rejected the mining company’s management plan for the black-throated finch.

The department says it wants more information before the management plan is approved

The management plan had been approved by the Federal Government, and is one of two approvals that need to be cleared by the State Government before work can begin on constructing the mine in the Galilee Basin.

Queensland’s Environment Department met with Adani on Thursday to outline a number of new commitments they want the Indian mining giant to meet before it can approve the plan.

“The department … has advised Adani that it cannot approve its black-throated finch management plan in its current form because it does not meet the requirements of the company’s environmental authority”, a spokesperson said.

“This position is based on the best available science.”

Adani can now submit a new or revised management plan for the bird.

The black-throated finch population at the site represents the largest known population of the endangered southern species, the spokesperson said.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the State Government’s decision was a classic example of the Labor Party siding with the Greens.

“We’ve seen Bob Brown and his convoy come up here this week, we’ve seen the Labor Party do a preference deal with the Greens and surprise, surprise, the Labor Party once again caved in to the demands of the Greens and the likes of Bob Brown,” he said.

“It’s the same management plan that’s been approved by the regulators and scientists at a Federal Government level.


Adelaide’s City of Marion Council has lifted bans on fake grass being used on road verges as an alternative to lawn.

The practice was popular across the country during the millennium drought when strict water restrictions were in place.

Gardening Australia host Sophie Thompson said she recently used an infrared thermometer to measure the radiant heat of artificial turf in Murray Bridge and measured it at 66 degrees Celsius.

“Bitumen was 10 degrees cooler than fake turf, and the dolomite was cooler too,” she is reported to have  told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“So too was concrete, at about 11 degrees cooler.”

Ms Thompson said roadside verges were an “amazing opportunity to create urban habitats” and could, for example, be turned into butterfly gardens.

Marion Council Deputy Mayor Luke Hutchinson moved to overturn the ban on fake turf last week, which resulted in a tied vote that was eventually resolved by Mayor Kris Hanna.

In a tweet, Mr Hutchinson said common sense had prevailed.

“If a resident wishes to install artificial turf, a robust application process will ensure quality products and maintenance will be required.”

Mr Hanna said he understood it was not “the most environmentally optimum surface to have on the footpaths”.

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