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The eastern seaboard's recent extreme weather wiped around $5 billion off the value of mineral and farming production, but that hasn't made a dent in the commodities boom. ABARES' latest quarterly outlook expects mining and agricultural commodities to rise to a record $251 billion next financial year. Source: abc.net.au
A Senate inquiry will hear how firefighters face much higher rates of cancer than the general population due to being exposed to burning plastics, chemicals and other toxins. The inquiry will be told that more firefighters die from occupational exposure than from attending on-scene fires.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is currently on a tour of Middle East, where he spoke to jounalists in Jerusalem. He reinforced calls for an international no-fly-zone over Libya to stop Colonel Gaddafi's attacks on civilians from the air.