Tuesday Zedlines, 14th September

Julia Gillard has pledged a referendum to update the Constitution, as well as to officially recognize Indigenous people.

Proposed changes include section 25, allowing states to disqualify citizens from voting based on race, and section 51 subsection 26, allowing a law to apply to a specific races.

No date for the referendum has been set.

Queensland Parliament will today introduce legislation creating two extra public holidays to follow Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Both holidays fall on Saturdays this year, meaning those working on these days would not receive the same rates as those working on other public holidays.

Attorney General Cameron Dick said the move would ensure workers were paid fairly. However, the move has been criticised by the United Retail Federation for being unfair on small businesses.

A Rockhampton man who shot an alleged intruder in the neck has been charged with attempted murder.

Police were forced to search for the 20-year-old when he fled after allegedly shooting a 39 year-old man on Sunday night.

Initial investigations suggest the alleged victim was trying to break into the 20-year-old’s home when he was shot in the neck, and needed to be airlifted to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition.

More than 13,000 learner drivers a year are caught behind the wheel without a supervisor, Queensland Transport figures have shown.

Frustrated traffic police have warned novice drivers they’re endangering their own lives and those of other road users, and say they will be caught.

However Transport Minister Rachel Nolan last night admitted the potential $160 fine and one demerit point wasn’t enough of a deterrent, and flagged the need for tougher penalties for learners driving solo.

The Returned Services League will debate whether to lobby the government for special accommodation facilities for younger disabled veterans.

Currently, those injured in the line of duty may be too young to qualify for aged care services.

The RSL’s annual national meeting is being held today in New South Wales.

The Brisbane City Council’s Graffiti Reduction Unit has been accused of illegally entering private property to erase a commissioned artwork.

Artist Anthony Lister was commissioned by the owners of a vacant lot in Fortitude Valley. The piece was removed by the GRU roughly two days after completion.

However, Families and Community Services Chairwoman Councillor Geraldine Knapp has noted the individuals owned the lot, not the building on which the mural was painted.

NAPLAN test results have shown Northern Territory schools behind every other state.

Education Minister Chris Burns blamed major policy changes as contributing to disengagement from indigenous communities, as well as falling attendance records.

Canberra led the tests, scoring highest in 15 of the 20 categories.

Queensland state government is considering approval for a 20 billion dollar mining project in the Darling Downs.

A 3 point 5 billion dollar coal o liquid facility has been proposed for the Felton region, and is projected to produce roughly twenty percent of Queensland’s total unleaded fuel consumption annually.

However, a spokesman for the Friends of Felton group have noted the facility would put food production in the area at risk.

A Queensland company charged with safety breaches following the death of a teenage insulation installer will face court today.

Reuben Barnes, 16, was electrocuted while installing fibreglass insulation in a Stanwell home, near Rockhampton in central Queensland, in November 2009.

Four people died during the federal government’s multi-billion-dollar home insulation program, which was also blamed for almost 100 house fires.

Queensland’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General laid charges against Rockhampton company Arrow Property Maintenance following an investigation by the Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.


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