Tuesday Zedlines, Nov 9th

Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott will today meet with indigenous community leaders in Cairns.

Mr Abbott believes a Queensland state legislation to protect river systems inhibit Indigenous economic rights, and has vowed to introduce a Federal bill to overturn the embargoes.

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched to consider the fairness of the legislation.

Concerns have been raised over new laws in Ipswich that allow police officers to give on the spot fines for public nuisance offences.

Charges that were once required to be tried by a magistrate, such as alleged offensive or disorderly behaviour, can now be dealt directly by police to members of the public.

Potential fines range between 100 and 300 dollars. Legal commentators have noted individuals are still allowed to challenge the charge in court.

Federal Labor MP Bill Shorten has given his support to marriage equality, but said he won’t officially oppose the ALP’s stance.

Despite growing support, both public and political, the Labor party still oppose same sex marriage.

Earlier in the year Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a bill to legalise same sex unions, but it has not yet passed.

Qantas Airways have announced they will continue flights to Indonesia, despite concerns over recent volcanic eruptions.

Merapi Mountain, which most recently erupted on the 5th, has thrown potentially damaging volcanic ash into the surrounding atmosphere.

Qantas has maintained they will continue services to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

Premier Anna Bligh has been criticised by the lobby group AgForce for comments she made about the Australian dollar reaching parity with the US.

AgForce President Brent Finlay said more than half of Queensland’s commodities are exported, making a weaker US dollar damaging to profits.

Ms Bligh noted there were both good and bad sides to parity, and some industries may be affected more than others.

A mining company in Queensland has found traces of the carcinogen Benzene in three wells in the region of Moranbah, a town north-west of Rockhampton.

Exposure to the chemical can cause leukaemia and bone marrow deficiencies, however the company have stressed the wells are isolated from larger water bores.

Tests have been launched to determine whether the source is man made or a natural occurrence.

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