IT has been very hot in southern Australia. I have been waiting to hear someone blame global warming and it came, but only today, and I’ve only heard it from Climate Change Minister Penny Wong: “The scorching weather across southern Australia proved the accuracy of warnings by climate change scientists.” 
Of course it’s been hot before in southern Australia. Following is text published on January 1, 1900. 
“THE oppressive heat was a major talking point of the vast and drought stricken country of Australia.
“While cyclonic winds have been lashing the coast off Townsville, the temperature today soared to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 C) in Adelaide and Broken Hill, and 104 (40C) in Melbourne.
“So dry is much of Australia that the riverboats on the Murray have come to a stand still. On a cattle station in central Queensland, it is reported that the kangaroos are too weak to hop and the kookaburras can no longer fly.
“In Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, the New Year sees these State’s battling to recover after recent bushfires. But if its not fires it would be floods, and if not floods it would be drought.
“In the north the odd cyclone adds a bit of interest by knocking down a few towns, or sinking the fishing fleet. Australians are used to having nature knock them off their feet every so often.
“The country has battled through the long droughts, and seen the downturn in the bush rush right to the doors of the city banks. But the crashes of the nineties are behind as the New Year  comes near.”
1. Heatwave shows climate scientists are right, Wong says, January 29, 2009. The Canberra Times. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/heatwave-shows-climate-scientists-are-right-wong-says/1419596.aspx
2. Chronicles of Australia, Ed John Ross, Legrand 1993. Above quote via Alan Asbarry – much thanks.
Picture taken by Peter near Longreach, western Queensland, in July 2004.