Monthly Archives: September 2010

Tuesday Zedlines, 28 September

Macarthur Coal Chairman Keith DeLacy has criticized Julia Gillard’s proposed introduction of carbon pricing.

The Australian Labor Party agreed to introduce the plan as part of negotiations with the Greens party to form a minority government.

Greens Senator Christine Milne has welcomed the proposal as a sign of serious action against climate variation.

Queensland Liberal National Party MP Vaughan Johnson has apologised to Leader of the Opposition John-Paul Langbroek following criticisms made last week.

Several MPs, including Mr Johnson attacked Mr Lanbroek’s planned reshuffle of his party’s cabinet to improve polls in the next election.

After a meeting held yesterday, Mr Vaughan has now given his support for Mr Langbroek.

A secret ballot will be held today to decide the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Queensland Liberal National MP Ron Slipper is expected to fill the role. The ballot will be held after Federal Parliament resumes.

Current Speaker of the House, ALP member Harry Jenkins, is expected to remain in power.

A bridge linking Bulimba and Teneriffe would need to be between 13 and 30 metres above the surface of the Brisbane River to allow for large yachts, an experienced bridge engineer told a public meeting last night.

The meeting was at the first under the joint Brisbane City Council and State Government ‘RiverCity Blueprint’ to guide growth in the city’s inner suburbs.

Structural engineer and Bulimba resident Stephen O’Brien told residents a proposed bridge between the two suburbs would also have to be a drawbridge spanning almost 400 metres of river.

However, Infrastructure Minister Stirling Hinchliffe told the meeting at Bulimba Sailing Club that any bridge was at least 20 years away.

A high-speed rail network linking Australia’s major cities isn’t viable because they are too far apart or don’t have the population to justify the cost, departmental documents show.

Labor announced during the August election campaign that, if re-elected, it would initiate a $20 million feasibility study for a high-speed rail network linking Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, with a particular focus on the Sydney-Newcastle leg.

However a document obtained under a Freedom of Information request showed Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese was told in March the plan was not viable.

Macarthur Coal Chairman Keith DeLacy has criticized Julia Gillard’s proposed introduction of carbon pricing.

The Australian Labor Party agreed to introduce the plan as part of negotiations with the Greens party to form a minority government.

Greens Senator Christine Milne has welcomed the proposal as a sign of serious action against climate variation.

Queensland Liberal National Party MP Vaughan Johnson has apologised to Leader of the Opposition John-Paul Langbroek following criticisms made last week.

Several MPs, including Mr Johnson attacked Mr Lanbroek’s planned reshuffle of his party’s cabinet to improve polls in the next election.

After a meeting held yesterday, Mr Vaughan has now given his support for Mr Langbroek.

Cairns has been declared the site of a Dengue Fever outbreak following a fifth diagnosis of the disease.

Though common, outbreaks usually occur around November, leading authorities to predict this year may be worse than usual.

The fever, which causes joint pain and headaches, may also be present in at least another six patients awaiting test results.


Liberal National Party MP David Gibson today turned up the heat on opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek and left the door open for a leadership challenge.

The Member for Gympie yesterday repeated his criticism of Mr Langbroek’s “unpredictable” leadership and said the leadership issue was “a decision for all the MPs” to make.

While he didn’t rule out a leadership challenge, Mr Gibson said he was not aware of anyone canvassing support in anticipation of a leadership spill.


The federal budget will enjoy only one year in surplus before being dragged back into the red by lower commodity prices, the forecaster Access Economics says, undermining a key election priority of the Gillard government.

While the government is projecting growth in the budget surplus from 2012-13, the consultancy known as ”Treasury in exile” says the nation’s public finances will quickly lurch back into deficit in 2013-14 as the resources boom dwindles.

In stark contrast to most of the developed world, Australia’s budget is expected to return to positive territory in 2012-13 when the Treasury projects a $3.5 billion surplus.

However the latest budget report from Access, published this morning, says 2012-13 will be ”five minutes of fiscal sunshine” before the budget slumps back to a $1.8 billion deficit.


A Brisbane politician has waded into the fiery world of online comment wars, slamming critics as “keyboard warriors” whose arguments for the National Broadband Network were “pathetic”
.

Federal Member for Bowman and new shadow parliamentary secretary Andrew Laming took aim at two comment posters on the website of his local newspaper last week.

The MP, who captured a 10 per cent swing for the Liberal National Party in the August 21 election, disputed claims by an anonymous reader that the government’s NBN would be cheaper than the Snowy Hydro Scheme and said the commenter’s calculations were billions of dollars out.

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Egyptian political repression increases: Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested and police beat anti-Mubarak protesters

The Muslim Brotherhood website in Egypt reports that police beat protesters at a rally in Cairo last week. The site reports the protesters were unhappy with plans they believe exist to hand power from President Hosni Mubarak to his son, Gamal. The report quotes a number of organisations condemning the police beatings, including the National Association for Change, an alliance between groups as diverse as the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and liberal and left-wing organisations. The National Association for Change is headed by former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed El-Baradei.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s site also reports that five leaders of the Brotherhood were arrested last week. The report claims that this was an attempt to suppress possible Muslim Brotherhood candidates in upcoming elections to Egypt’s parliament. While the Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, its members ran as independents in the 2005 parliamentary elections, winning eighty-eight seats out of four hundred and fifty four.

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New Israeli settlers move into occupied Palestinian land on the River Jordan’s West Bank

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Pro-Choice Action Collective meets tonight to plan October rally

The Pro-Choice Action Collective is meeting tonight to plan a rally in support of a Cairns woman who is charged with procuring her own abortion. Tegan Simone Leach will face trial in Cairns under Section 225 of the Queensland Criminal Code on Tuesday October 12. Rallies in support of her, and in support of the right to abortion, will be held in Brisbane and other cities on Saturday October 9.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at 6.30pm at the Trades and Labour Council building at 16 Peel Street, South Brisbane, near the corner of Grey Street, and a short walk from the Cultural Centre bus station,  the South Brisbane train station and the South Bank City Cat terminal. Click here for a Google Map.

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Refugee Action Collective to meet to plan campaign on Wednesday

The Refugee Action Collective will hold a public forum this Wednesday to discuss how to plan a large-scale program in favour of refugee rights.

Hassan Ghulam, an Afghan community worker at the Romero Centre will speak at the meeting. Mr Ghulam wrote a report in 2004 explaining what happened to Afghansylum-seekers left with nothing in Indonesia because of the policies of the Australian Government.

People from the Australian Greens, Amnesty International and the Refugee Action Collective will also speak.

The meeting is at 6.30 pm this Wednesday, September 29, at the Trades and Labour Council building at 16 Peel St, South Brisbane, near the corner of Grey St and a short walk from the Cultural Centre bus station, South Brisbane train station and South Bank City Cat terminal. Click here for a Google Map.

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Today marks the launch of the RSL Queensland and Australian Rainforest Foundation partnership

The new initiative will see Brisbane North RSL District support the creation of a once lost habitat that will honour those who have or are currently serving in the Australian Defence Force.
The RSL Rainforest is located in the George Mansford Rainforest Reserve at Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns and is part of 200 acres of rare tropical rainforest bought by the Australian Rainforest Foundation in 2007.
Every tree bought and planted in the RSL Rainforest will result in a financial contribution back to RSL Queensland in support of its veteran welfare work across the state.

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The Commonwealth Ombudsman has released a new report aimed at reducing the difficulties people with mental illness have when interacting with our social security system

Allan Ashers investigation focused on government agencies involved in employment or social services including Centrelink and contracted employment service providers.

Mr Asher says, ‘A recurring theme in complaints to us are about the activities that a person has to undertake to maintain eligibility for payment and communication arrangements which don’t take into account the limitations posed by the customer’s illness.’

The report makes eleven recommendations to reduce the disadvantage that people with mental illness encounter. Key points include; greater consideration of a customer’s barriers to communication, more staff-training to identify mental illness customers and better recording of information about a customer’s illness or barriers to communication.

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