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A group of global health experts have united to pressure the World Health Organisation into including a process of mass vaccination into its management strategy for cholera outbreaks in Africa as the deadly disease spreads.

The announcement of a $57 billion deficit by the Federal Government on Tuesday did not surprise Associate Professor Mark Crosby; but the decisions to delay policies such as maternity leave and a pension increase have.

“It seems strange that the Government has decided to delay certain policies because if it’s a good idea why not start now?” he says.

“The effect of delaying these policy delays will have a minimal effect on revenue and taxes, as while some changes will cost the government, some are revenue raising.”

Associate Professor Crosby also said claims from the Liberals that they had built up a large surplus from which Labor are now spending is not accurate.

“While some of the reforms introduced by the Liberals – such as the GST – were good from an economist’s perspective, from 2002 onwards they simply got lucky. There was a lot of money coming in and they didn’t really use it as well as they could have,” he says.

“The challenge for the Labour party now is that they are in office during much more difficult times and will be forced to make difficult decisions.”

 Despite this, Professor Crosby says Australia is starting from a very strong position – even with such a large deficit - when compared to most global economies.

Associate Professor Mark Crosby is a lecturer in Economics at the Melbourne Business School.

A new study has revealed that mother birds can provide an early advantage to the chicks that they have sired with their non-social partner (known as extra-pair offspring).

The spread of integrated technology in buildings is helping to make living and working conditions more comfortable, as David Scott explains.

Researchers have gained new insight into how the immune system responds to HIV. The new findings are a step closer to understanding how to develop preventative and therapeutic vaccines against HIV and why some individuals have better clinical outcomes after treatment.

“Habitat destruction, pollution, climate change and a deadly skin disease caused by a fungus are the main threats to frogs around the world” says Dr Kirsten Parris of The University of Melbourne.

The science behind Victoria’s recent bushfires will be discussed at a forum at the University of Melbourne this week. The Melbourne School of Land and Environment will host a public forum as part of the Bushfire Recovery Initiative (BRI). The forum will address critical scientific issues including climate change, understanding the risks and management of bushfires, bushfire behaviour and the implications for our catchments and streams.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Princeton University have shown for the first time that the difference in reflection of light from the Earth’s land masses and oceans can be seen on the dark side of the moon, a phenomenon known as earthshine.

A living green roof is providing a spectacular feature at this year’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS). Designed and built by a team from the University of Melbourne’s Burnley campus, the display highlights the benefits of green roofs which include aesthetically pleasing cityscapes, longer roof life, significantly reduced building energy use and a reduction of the urban heat island effect.

Scientists have severely underestimated the impact of climate change and politicians can no longer afford to delay action, University of Melbourne climate change expert Professor David Karoly has warned.

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