246 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to own a rabbit in Queensland unless you're a magician?

From Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries brochure Can I have a pet rabbit?, Why are pet rabbits illegal in Queensland? Rabbits are Australia's most destructive agricultural ...
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  • 2,590
129 votes
Accepted

Is this a satellite image of Australian bushfires?

No, this is not a real satellite image of Australia. This is a heatmap of the areas affected by Australia's brushfires compiled using composite satellite images from NASA between December and January ...
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  • 1,534
121 votes
Accepted

Is this a real photo of Australia?

No, it is not a real photo. It is computer rendering created by Anton Balazh, a graphic artist who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia This graphic is available in his portfolio on Shutterstock: ...
user avatar
  • 4,648
112 votes
Accepted

Do drop bears exist?

I'm going to take a wild guess, and say the first time you heard of drop bears was from a recent Pharyngula post that mentioned them. I'm guessing a few people were introduced to the concept by that ...
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  • 132k
62 votes
Accepted

Are raptors in Australia intentionally spreading brush fires to smoke out prey?

This is a new paper published in a peer reviewed journal. It will take time before it garners the positive or negative citations that are the real peer review. In the mean time, our best option is to ...
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50 votes
Accepted

Does Australia produce unique 'specialty steel'?

The Australia-headquartered corporation BlueScope produces specialty coated steel. For example see ZINCALUME® steel: Next generation ZINCALUME® steel’s patented Activate® technology introduces ...
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  • 96.4k
49 votes

May only licensed electricians change light bulbs in Australia?

Victoria is the only state where to my understanding the usual exceptions to requiring licensed electrical contractors are not directly listed in the relevant Act, so my answer focuses on the ...
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  • 591
47 votes

Were 50°C (122°F) days recorded across Australia during the 1800s?

This is true, but misleading Temperatures over 50 were routinely measured in Australia in the 19th century, but it was due to the fact that Australia hadn't modernized its weather technology until ...
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34 votes
Accepted

Is this comparison of wedge tailed eagles and bald eagles accurate?

American Bald Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus Claim #1: One of the smallest Eagles in the world. False Length of the American Bald Eagle is 94-106 cm (this is in the length range of 85 - 106 cm for ...
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  • 22.4k
33 votes
Accepted

Are the Australian bushfires in the same path as a proposed high speed rail line?

TLDR: No. Initially, I wrote that this was just silly, but now I see it is worse than that. It is tautological. Map of rail route on the right. Perhaps the funniest idea of this conspiracy theory ...
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  • 132k
30 votes

Does the Australian government spend more on welfare than on defense?

Yes, this is true. The 2014 budget allocates $145.8 billion to social security and welfare and $24.2 billion to defense. In the 2013 budget this was $138 billion versus 22$ billion. Of course this ...
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  • 2,492
30 votes
Accepted

Is dancing at private New Year's Eve parties forbidden in WA, Australia?

Indeed, there is a state-government ban on dancing under certain conditions in Western Australia covering the 2021/2022 new year. The relevant legislation states: These directions come into effect ...
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26 votes

Do wombats share their burrows during fires?

Yes, they do share... but not specifically because of the fires or out of a sense of altruism. According to AFP Fact Check: University of Adelaide ecologist Dr. Michael Swinbourne told AFP via ...
user avatar
  • 719
22 votes

May only licensed electricians change light bulbs in Australia?

It's not true in Queensland, at least. The Electrical Safety Act 2002 specifies that "electrical work" may only be done by licensed electricians, but Section 18-2-c specifically excepts ...
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  • 5,916
22 votes
Accepted

Will the new Royal Adelaide Hospital have a Muslim-only prayer room while other religions share?

No, it's not true As reported here, the new hospital does have a prayer room with washing facilities, but the prayer room isn't "exclusive" to Muslims. It merely accommodates Muslims, who ...
22 votes

Is this a satellite image of Australian bushfires?

BBC Report on recent Australian fire maps One image shared widely by Twitter users, including by singer Rihanna, was interpreted as a map showing the live extent of fire spread, with large sections ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Did Tanya Plibersek call ISIS "not a terrorist organisation"?

The claim in the picture is completely and utterly wrong for a number of reasons. Tanya Pilbersek's maiden speech was in 1998, not 2002. It does not mention the words ISIS or terrorist, or anything ...
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  • 54.2k
18 votes
Accepted

Were Boundary Streets in Queensland named as boundaries that Indigenous Australians were not allowed to cross?

This answer focuses specifically on Queensland's capital Brisbane, since its history is best documented, but the general principles would have applied to other towns as well. 1) Is it true that these ...
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  • 1,333
18 votes

Was 10-year old Australian girl assigned homework to discuss erections and ejaculations with her father?

Short Answer Erections and ejaculation are normal parts of coed sex education curriculum focused on puberty for puberty-aged kids. Encouraging students of this age to talk with their parents about ...
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  • 1,456
17 votes
Accepted

Have 5% of Australian Catholic priests been charged with child sexual abuse offences?

This one surprised me. I had started writing an answer suggesting that this was most likely a misunderstanding of a claim by Professor Des Cahill to a Victorian state inquiry in 2012: AT LEAST one ...
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  • 132k
17 votes

Is new nuclear power cheap?

That claim cannot really be proven or disproven, because there is not clear (or objective) what "cheap" means. Nuclear power is fairly cheap, but it is not the cheapest. As already mentioned in a ...
user avatar
  • 1,975
16 votes

Have 5% of Australian Catholic priests been charged with child sexual abuse offences?

Referring to RMIT professor Des Cahill's 2012 analysis, the answer is yes to the '1 in 20' figure based on a population of 378 Corpus Christi priests graduating between 1940 and 1966 out of which 14 ...
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  • 22.4k
16 votes

Does Australia produce unique 'specialty steel'?

There are many specialty steel variants, and no doubt at least some of them are patented by Australian firms and therefore cannot be sourced from other places. Also, the exact composition of the raw ...
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  • 3,896
14 votes

Do smoking-related deaths save cost to health service?

TLDR: The claim does appear to have support from scientific studies. Details: The original claimant has tweeted a citation to support her claim: It's true! Smokers die earlier so cost the health ...
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  • 401
14 votes
Accepted

Are (former Australian Prime Minister) Tony Abbott's Indian Facebook likes fake?

Mainstream media reports suggest the fandom is genuine. So, like, likable: Tony Abbott's Facebook popularity soars thanks to Narendra Modi indicates that Indian PM Narendra Modi has a lot of facebook ...
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  • 38.4k
12 votes

Does preferential voting disadvantage minor parties and independents?

I believe this question is based on a misunderstanding of the poorly-expressed claim (which seems to be plagiarised on many sites). Compared with the distortions caused by First Past the Post voting, ...
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  • 132k
11 votes
Accepted

Did a war memorial in Australia have a Japanese flag on the floor to trample?

This was noted by Masamune Wada, a Japanese politician belonging to the centre-right Your Party. A tweet about the photo, and mentioning Masamune Wada, can be seen here The Japanese language Wikipedia ...
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  • 38.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Is the Australia Post CEO the highest paid postal executive on the planet?

No, he ist not the best paid Post CEO. Frank Appel the CEO of Deutsche Post AG (German Post) has a salary of 5.2 million Euro, which when considering the current exchange rate fluctuations within the ...
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10 votes

Do Australian Aboriginal people have low intelligence and sexual control?

Intelligence Australian Aboriginal people have a lower intelligence This is a very vague question. What is intelligence? And how do you measure it? Is this question about some sort of innate, ...
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  • 50.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible