Monthly Archives: January 2011

Tuesday Zedlines, Jan 25th

 

Concerns have been raised regarding the mental health of Queensland’s farmers, following recent flooding which devastated hundreds of properties

Mental health expert and 2010 Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry visited the town of Theodore, to help cotton farmers deal with the mental impact of the floods.

Professor McGorry says he is concerned the government will direct resources at fixing damaged infrastructure, at the expense of important mental health services.

Community nurses have rallied in Coffs Harbour to protest their exclusion from proposed changes made to hospital nurse working conditions.

The New South Wales Nurses’ Association were recently offered new workload agreements, however the offer only extended to nurses serving in hospitals.

Community nurses, who must travel to their patients, have asked for mandatory patient to nurse ratios, and greater inclusion of travel and administrative times in their schedule.

Retired talk show veteran Sir Michael Parkinson has reignited monarchy debates, following comments made at a Sydney event.

Sir Parkinson said it was only a matter of time before the move to become a republic took form.

The most recent referendum on the matter, held in 1999, defeated the motion with 54 per cent of the country against.

Interstate tourist hotspots have been accused of capitalising on Brisbane’s Flood crisis.

Occupancy rates in backpacker hostels around Brisbane are down up to 60 percent. Industry commentators have blamed deliberate misinformation spread by rival businesses.

The state government announced last week a six hundred and sixty four thousand dollar campaign promoting Queensland tourist destinations unaffected by flooding.

Community television station QCTV has returned to broadcast, following damage from flooding last week.

However the network, formerly known as Briz31, is still only able to broadcast six hours of original programming a day.

No date has been set for a return to full broadcast.

Queensland has introduced an online application form for one-day liquor licenses.

The license, which gives community groups the right to serve alcohol at public events, was made available online in response to increased demand on the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

The move was implemented following a successful trial in Brisbane earlier this year.

Federal Greens Leader Bob Brown has called for low income households to be excluded from a proposed flood levy to assist clean up efforts.

Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey has criticised the levy, saying the Gillard government could instead cut funding to the National Broadband Network.

Prime Minister Gillard is yet to announce whether the levy will be implemented.

Residents of the New South Wales town of Collector are protesting the installation of 80 wind turbines.

Though the findings of the National Health and Medical Research council saw no adverse health effects from wind turbines, the possibility of noise pollution and aesthetic degradation has been raised.

The proposed wind far is currently waiting on New South Wales Government planning approval.

The internet will run out of IP addresses, which identify computers on the net, in the next few weeks.

Lorenzo Colitti, a Google engineer, says the solution is to switch to another IP system that allows for trillions of internet addresses, compared to the four billion currently provided.

Google, Facebook and other major websites will trial the new system on June 8.

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Tuesday Zedlines, February 18th

 

Queensland community television station QCTV is still unable to broadcast, following last week’s floods.

The station, formerly known as Briz31, shut down last week when flood waters rose into the station’s West End headquarters.

Key power supply features have been damaged, although the broadcast machinery was not. No return date has been given.

Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Mike Spence has engaged two separate web security organizations to deal with a breach of the university’s web site last week.

The site was infiltrated a total of three times, with disparaging comments left on the front page. A spokesperson for the university said the matter had not been reported to the police.

Although an investigation is planned, no one has yet been named as a possible source for the breaches.

News South Wales Treasury officials will today face questioning over the sale the state’s electricity assets.

Premier Kristina Keneally has said she believes the sale was fair on taxpayers.

Eight power company directors who resigned before the deal went through will be questioned later in the month.

Premier Anna Bligh is enjoying a new popularity following her handling of the Queensland flood crisis.

The Premier, who the week before was facing a seventy four per cent disapproval rating, has polled eighty three per cent approval for her handling of recent flooding.

Leader of the Opposition John-Paul Langbroek has also praised worker efforts for assisting flood clearing.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has maintained that deals made regarding the National Broadband Network will be exempt from Freedom of Information laws.

As a joint public and privately-owned company, NBN Co does not fall into the jurisdiction of the FOI, which only covers government held documents.

A Greens spokesman has criticised the move, saying twenty seven point five billion of the thirty six billion dollar program comes from tax payer money.

An Adelaide court has ruled in favour of Native Title claimants in a case for the exploration of mineral resources at Lake Torrens.

The region, located in the north of South Australia, was requested by mining company Straits Exploration for drilling after negotiations with the traditional owners failed.

The site was found to have a genuine significance to the people and was protected by the court.

Coal prices are expected to face increases of up to sixty six per cent after mines in Bowen Basin were flooded last week.

The Central Queensland mines provide the world with roughly half its coking coal, which is used in the production of steel.

Prices are expected to reach five hundred US dollars a tonne, with the previous record being three hundred dollars a tonne.

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Tuesday Zedlines, January 4th

 

A Queensland Hotels Association spokesman has denied there will be a sudden increase in pub and hotel foreclosures following the Global Financial Crisis.

Roughly five per cent of pubs in Queensland currently face financial difficulties.

Inflated prices during the mid-2000s, and supposed unfair loaning practices by banks have been blamed as the cause of the current credit difficulties.

The Greens Party have called on the ALP to seek an injunction in the International Court of Justice against Japan’s seasonal whale hunt.

Over the weekend, two boats from the controversial conservation organisation Sea Shepherd were hit with powered water jets from a Japanese whaling fleet they sought to disable.

The LNP have also called for Australia to form an independent body to monitor annual whaling in southern oceans.

A spokesman for a Tasmanian Aboriginal activist group has warned they will not move from the area of planned bridge construct on a significant indigenous archaeological site.

Part of the proposed bridge runs through a region said to hold roughly three million artefacts, some of which could be up to 40 thousand years old.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has placed an emergency heritage listing on the area, however concerns have been raised that construction could begin later in the week.

Northern Territory Treasurer Delia Lawrie has raised concerns over the ethical benefits of the national mining tax.

Under the national Minerals Resource Rent Tax, a 30% tax will be placed on the profit made, based on the value of the resource.

A senate inquiry into the scheme is currently in progress.

The Electronic Frontiers Association have raised concerns online commerce may suffer as a result of campaigns by major retailers.

An open letter published today by companies including Borders, Harvey Norman and Myer, called for the Australian Government to raise the GST level on imported items.

The EFA said the benefits diversity offered by the internet should dissuade any changes aimed at hindering online shopping.

Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger has announced he will retire from political this Monday, following the completion of his second term.

The former body builder and movie star was first elected in 2003, garnering the moniker Governator. He was then re-elected in 2006.

Mr Schwarzennegger has not yet announced any plans for his future career.

The New South Wales Nurses Union has announced bed closures in Wollongong, following failure to meet demands for improved nurse to patient ratios.

The union has been in negotiations since November, asking for one nurse to every four patients. More closures have been threatened if the situation continues.

A spokeswoman said the closures would affect non-urgent matters, but urgent or intensive care would not be affected.

Cairns scientists have launched the world’s first biological attack on dengue fever.

The attack involves releasing thousands of mosquitoes, infected with a bacteria that stops the transmission of the disease, to breed with the local population

Cairns has undergone some of the worst fever epidemics in Australia over the last two years. There is currently no vaccine for the disease.

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