Bleats

Zac Was 18 When He Jumped Out Of A Car, He's Never Been Seen Again

Someone knows something.

Three years ago today, Zac Barnes went missing. He was in a car with two other people when he reportedly jumped out and ran into the bush. He hasn’t been seen since, becoming one of the 38,000 missing persons in Australia right now. 

After going out with mates for the weekend, Zac didn’t make it home on the Sunday afternoon which was very unusual for him. His mates claimed he was acting in a really strange way. 

His mates said they watched him get in a car followed by two other people from a house before they all drove off. This drive away from the house is when Zac allegedly got out at the intersection of Haussman Drive and Tripp Close at Thornton in the Hunter Valley and disappeared into the bushland. 

Zac was 18 at the time. He’d be 21 today.

The podcast What Happened To Zac? speaks to Zac’s family and friends about what the last three years have been like for them. His mum Karen, and older brother Cody, talk about how they remember Zac – as a happy, popular guy who has absolutely no problem standing up for what was right.

There is also a push towards getting a coronial inquest into the disappearance of Zac Barnes, with funds currently being raised to make it happen.

As the third year anniversary comes and goes, living without answers is taking a massive toll on Zac’s family. As Karen tells the podcast host, Jay:

“Living in limbo, it’s the hardest thing”.

Episode 1 of What Happened To Zac? is out now on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can follow the Official Family Page – Find Zac Barnes – on Facebook.

Or help Karen raise funds for the coronial inquest on the Go Fund Me page.

If you have information that could help police, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Here’s Why There’s More To Remembrance Day Than WWI

Lest We Forget.

Today, the 11th of November, marks Remembrance Day. It’s the day that the Armistice was signed to end World War I, and this year is the 101st anniversary. The conflict lasted for four years, and 60, 000 Australians lost their lives in the process. 

Remembrance Day is inextricably tied to WWI, and has come to represent our collective memories of the World Wars. Even though those memories aren’t as fresh as they once were, Australians have been involved in several other conflicts since the end of WWII that we also honour on Remembrance Day.

If you’re wondering why we still bother with Remembrance Day, here are all the other conflicts that Australia has been involved with since WWII ended.

Korean War (1950-1953)
Australia got involved in the Korean War only five years after WWII ended, and troops were sent in to defend South Korea. By the end of the war, 340 Australians were killed, 1,216 were injured, and 29 had been prisoners of war.

Malayan Emergency (1950-1960)
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought after some plantation workers were murdered by members of the Malayan Communist Party. 39 Australian servicemen were killed.

Indonesian Confrontation (1963-1966)
The Indonesian Confrontation was fought between Indonesia and Malaysia because Indonesia’s President believed that the Federation of Malaysia was an attempt by Britain to keep ruling in the area. 23 Australians were killed.

Vietnam War (1962-1975)
Australia followed the USA to defend South Vietnam from the spread of Communism from the north. 521 Australians were killed and over 3,000 were wounded.

The First Gulf War (1990-1991)
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Australian troops were sent in as part of the UN. No Australians were killed.

Afghanistan (2001-present)
When George W. Bush declared a “war on terror”, Australia followed the USA into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. Currently 41 Australians have been killed and 249 wounded.

The Second Gulf War (2003-2009)
Once again, Australia followed the USA into Iraq, this time to locate “weapons of mass destruction”. No weapons were ever found. Two Australians died. 

Facebook's Play At 'Spreading Festive Cheer' Has Backfired With Biosecurity Laws

Is sending politicians flowers ever a good idea though?

There are several reactions that people can have when receiving a bunch of flowers. Calling the cops isn’t usually one of them, but that’s where Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie went when he got a floral arrangement from Facebook sent to his office from Sydney.

In an interview, Wilkie said that the flowers “immediately sparked concerns about implications for the Tasmanian environment and the likelihood of it being a serious breach of Tasmania’s tough but entirely warranted biosecurity laws.”

“My office immediately contacted Biosecurity Tasmania who were very concerned that the arrangement had not been quarantine cleared and likely contained live seeds and the possibility of serious pests and diseases.”

According to Facebook, they sent all the Tasmanian federal MPs and Senators a bunch of flowers to “to spread some festive cheer.” A classic example of good intentions, terrible execution.

You hear that, Facebook? No illegal flowers needed.

The website for Tassie’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (aka the people in charge of what gets in and out of the state) says that they have some of the world’s toughest biosecurity requirements, so overall Zuckerberg (well, his underlings, but I like to think it was him) really did a great job of picking where to send their flowers.

People try and ship all sorts of things around the country without thinking about what will actually happen when their gift arrives.

There was that time that a South Australia tourism company decided to send a bunch of live goldfish to media organisations to promote themselves. Not only was this a terrible idea and a biosecurity nightmare, but when the fish got to their destinations they were… not… alive….

There was a similar situation when a PR company sent live butterflies to journalists. The exact same thing happened. Asia O’Hara should have learned from these people’s mistakes, but I digress.

This moment could have been avoided
(Credit: VH1)

And lest we forget, the most spectacular biosecurity breach in modern history: that time Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got a massive telling off from Barnaby Joyce for bringing their dogs into the country. Facebook sending flowers is amusing, but probably won’t end with Barnaby Joyce threatening to kill anything.

I live in hope that one day soon we’ll see Zuckerberg forced to film a video like this:

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