Tuesday Zedlines, Feb 22nd

Liberal backbencher Judi Moylan has criticised the Liberal National party’s immigration policy, following a move by the coalition to limit the number of asylum visas granted.

LNP immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said 96 per cent of Afghani boat immigrants were granted asylum, and that the limit would restore balance to those waiting in detention camps.

A spokesman for the Gillard government accused the LNP of wanting to politicise the debate surrounding immigration policy.

A spate of Aborginal suicides in the Kimberly region has led West Australian authorities to call for better management of services to remote Indigenous communities.

In the last month, seven Aboriginies, all under the age of thirty, have taken their own lives.

The region suffered a similar spate of suicides in 2006. A coronial inquest from this time recommended regional alcohol management and more prevention services.

Western Australian authorities have given the federal Immigration department the go-ahead to build a new detention facility in Northam, near Perth.

The planned site has been declared environmentally suitable, despite some concerns over a local endangered cockatoo species.

Over 700 Northam residents protested the detention centre plans when first announced in November.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Lawrence Springborg has given his support for a community group opposed to the development of a residential estate in Greenbank, Logan.

The Save Greenbank group are challenging the approval given by the Urban Land Development Authority, saying current legislation fails to allow residents to object to proposed developments.

A public meeting will be held tomorrow night at the Greenbank Community Centre for members of the public to voice their concerns.

Roughly fifty thousand homes lost power in last night’s storms.

Ipswich and Brisbane’s north were among the worst hit areas, however response crews were able to restore power to around eighty per cent of homes before midnight.

Two thousand houses are still without electricity, with the Sunshine Coast being the worst affected.

Violence in the Libyan capital of Tunisia continues this morning, as several high-ranking authorities publicly deride the regime of dictator Moamar Gaddafi.

A Libyan ambassador to the UN has declared that Gaddafi is guilty of genocide against the people, while the country’s justice minister has quit his post.

Libyan diplomats in China and India have resigned, and the embassy in London is today flying the flag of the protest movement. Two hundred and thirty five people have died in protests.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has demanded the Gillard government implement legislation requiring all states to purchase disaster insurance.

Senator Xenophon said he will not give his support for the controversial flood levy, a one-time tax designed to raise funds for flood relief, unless his requests are met.

However Queensland Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said there is no guarantee the state can be insured, and that the scale of recent disasters is unprecedented.

Papua New Guinea has appointed its first tribunal to investigate a serving Prime Minister.

PNG PM Sir Michael Somare will face three retired judges from Australia, New Zealand and England on charges of alleged misconduct in office.

Prime Minister Somare was first referred to public prosecution in 2006, but has fought the matter in PNG courts for the last five years.

A flood relief centre has been flooded, following last night’s downpour.

The centre, which was located on the lower levels of the RNA show grounds, has had roughly a third of its stock lost to water damage.

Volunteers have been asked for to help with clean up efforts.

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