Madeleine Coorey

Madeleine Coorey

    World-beating winemaker Michael Fragos sees his South Australian vineyards as the perfect spot to grow grapes. The only problem is the lack of water in one of the country's driest states, a hurdle that he and other McLaren Vale vignerons have overcome by using treated waste water to irrigate the deep green vines.

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday he had ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in his first official act after being sworn in as leader. "Today I have signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol," Rudd said in a statement.

    A year ago, Australia was awash in wine. But thanks to the worst drought in a century, the 2007 vintage will be one of the leanest in years and the grape glut is drying up fast. For winemakers like Terry Dolle, who has a small vineyard near the cool-climate town of Orange west of Sydney, the past year has been a "series of disasters".

    Australia's mergers panel on Sunday rejected a private equity consortium's last-ditch attempt to revive a chaotic Aus$11,1-billion ($9,2-billion) bid for national carrier Qantas. The Airline Partners Australia bid initially collapsed late on Friday after it failed to garner more than 50% of shareholder acceptances.