Australia smashed its temperature record in the year to the end of June, beating a high set during the most recent El Nino weather event in the Pacific.

Global warming can benefit the Australian tourism industry, former Queensland premier Peter Beattie says. Mr Beattie, now a visiting scholar at the University of South Carolina in the United States, this week gave a guest address at the university on sustainable tourism. "There is a silver lining to global warming in Queensland, and it is not just developing clean coal technology to clean up energy generation and a more environmental way in which we inhabit this planet," Mr Beattie told the forum.

ALL Australian parents would have access to low-cost child care and welfare services under a proposal Kevin Rudd will take to his 2020 ideas summit. Days before the summit begins, the Prime Minister has outlined a vision for universal access to a network of "one stop" child-care centres. The centres would provide a broad mix of maternal and child health services, including feeding advice and vaccinations, long day care, preschool education and support for parents.

ONLY George Orwell could have invented

Air New Zealand is offering customers carbon credits to offset emissions from their travel and is investing in forest planting to reduce its own pollution.

Victorian petrol prices have already peaked before the Easter long weekend and will continue to drop over the next few days, the RACV says.

Melburnians tossed and turned through the warmest March night on record with the mercury dipping to a balmy minimum of 26.9 degrees just before 7.30am today.

More than 300 Melburnians have fainted, collapsed or suffered heat stress since Melbourne's autumn heatwave hit four days ago.

London edged out Paris for the unwanted accolade of dirtiest city in the survey of more than 1100 travellers carried out by TripAdvisor.