The Headlines: FYI, Your Phone Could Be Tracked at WorldPride’s Mardi Gras

The Crowd Tracking Tech at the 2023 Mardi Gras 

Is Sydney turning into 1984 for WorldPride’s 2023 Mardi Gras? Or is the city using crowd-saving technology? You decide!

Multiple CCTV cameras that can review a crowd’s mood and density will be installed on Sydney’s Oxford Street for its Mardi Gras Parade this Saturday. However, once this parade is over, these cameras will be removed. 

A source close to the 2023 Mardi Gras Parade has revealed this information, stating that these cameras are being installed for safety reasons. Mardi Gras doesn’t want their event to turn into crowd crush news. 

“Simply knowing a head count does not provide critical information,” said this source. “For example, knowing the density or mood of a specific area of Oxford Street allows us to identify if a pinch point is occurring there, whereas simply knowing the headcount across Oxford Street doesn’t give any of that information.” “

“It would be incorrect, dangerous to assume the crowd will distribute themselves evenly and safely.”

What’s more, at least two mobile phone tracking boxes have been installed in the vicinity of the 2023 Mardi Gras Parade. One at Daily Jocks on Oxford Street, and the other at Ziggy’s Barber Salon on Riley Street. This tech will also be used to track crowd density. 

“Sydney WorldPride are using safety technology that estimates how many people are in an area via pings to mobiles phones,” said a Sydney WorldPride spokesperson. “This technology does not require cameras, and the data is not personally identifiable. All that is reported is the amount of mobile phones in the area. Sydney WorldPride are covering the cost of this safety technology.”

In 2023, the Gender Pay Gap Is Shrinking

Meanwhile, in national news, the gender pay gap between Aussie men and women has narrowed. In May of 2022, the gap was 14.1%. In November of 2022, the gap shrunk to being 13.3%. This news means that women are, on average, earning 87 cents for every dollar a dude makes.

However, while this is a step in the right direction, Australia hasn’t reached pay equality just yet. Additionally, before COVID hit, the gap was just 13.4%. Yup, the pandemic exacerbated gender equality, and we’ve only just clawed our way back.

As the Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Mary Wooldridge, said, “This is actually returning us to where we were effectively three years ago. Everyone’s got work to do on this front.”

Related: Why Australia’s Pay Secrecy Clauses Died in 2022

Related: The Hardships Impacting 2023 Women — The UN Spills

How Dung Beetles Are Helping Flood-Impacted Farmers

On the border of NSW and Victoria, around 20,000 dung beetles have been donated to some flood-devastated farmers. Why? Because dung beetles bury animal poop, which helps fertilise and regenerate soil. This process is going to be super useful at revitalising this region’s damaged paddocks. 

“This is our chance to try to replenish damaged soils,” said Ben Evans, a farmer working in the area.

“Hopefully, the dung beetles can go back into the soil and help get some topsoil back into these paddocks.”

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