'Bulldozer' cartoon by Rolf Hiemann, Overland Magazine, 2008


This is a cartoon by Rolf Heimann which shows workers and machinery about to bulldoze a forest. Addressing an audience from the back of a truck, a speaker says, 'As we bulldoze this forest for a modern nuclear dioxine toxination mill we acknowledge and honour the original inhabitants the Nullungurra-gurra people.'

Educational value

The release of the Garnaut Report in September 2008 confirmed the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions in order to combat climate change. Debate within the Liberal Party regarding its stance on the Emissions Trading Scheme Policy was well documented by cartoonists. Comment was also made on the response of our politicians to the continued decline of the Murray-Darling river system.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Rolf Heimann is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne.

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