Tuesday Zedlines, March 1st

 

The Wivenhoe dam release is expected to be extended another day following heavy rainfalls last week.

Wivenhoe’s drinking water levels were expected be at seventy-five per cent by today, however an extra forty thousand megalitres of dam flow have left levels around eighty-two per cent.

Dam officials have advised designated viewing areas have been closed for safety reasons, and that spectators should not attempt to view the dam release.

Brisbane doctor Rolf Homes has petitioned the Gillard government for one point five million dollars to fund cardiac services in rural areas.

Under the program, a mobile unit would travel to regional towns to provide assistance. Cardiac related illness is the largest contributor to middle aged Australian mortality.

The service is planned to begin next year.

Two Queensland oil workers have been evacuated from Libya, after they were stranded for ten days on an oil rig south of Benghazi.

Left by their contractors, Gary Nicholls and Terry Hinz were part of a team evacuated on Sunday by the British navy.

Hinz said as anti-Gaddafi rebel movements began taking over the area, it was the local Libyan people, not his employers, who helped his team escape.

A former Japanese delegate to the International Whaling Commission has criticised the Japanese whaling fleet for returning early following activist obstruction.

The para-legal activist group Sea Shephard have been blamed for reducing the fleet’s seasonal catch to a fifth of its usual total. Supporters say whaling fleets are abiding by the IWC code, while Sea Shephard is not.

However, anti-whaling groups have noted a current stockpile of six thousand tonnes of unwanted whale meat.

Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades has called for more support from the federal sector to support local road networks receiving significant traffic from freight services

The Gillard Government last week announced its draft National Freight Strategy, which would increase the number of roads available to trucks transporting goods across Australia.

However, Coffs Harbour Shire Association President Bruce Miller said focus should instead be put on increasing rail line transport. The draft strategy is currently open for public comment.

China may relax its strict one-child policy, after it was yesterday announced the country’s massive population has made a modest jump to 1.34 billion people.

The census was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, and showed China added almost 6.3 million people to its population last year.

Experts say the slowing growth rate is due to the generation-old one-child policy, combined with the country’s increasing wealth and urbanisation.

State Government is set to reintroduce cattle to the Victorian Alpine National Park, in a trial intended to lessen fuel for bush fires.

Greens MP Adam Bandt has labelled the act “environmental vandalism”, and said keeping the four hundred cattle in the national park puts many endangered species at risk.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has also condemned the move, and said an investigation is under way as to whether any federal laws have been breached.

Kenilworth residents are on alert after it was discovered an application has been lodged to explore the area for the metal manganese.

State Government last week advised the community that Adelaide-based company Monax Mining has applied to search for manganese, a metal used in stainless steel, over a 304sq km area.

The Sunshine Coast Environment Council said it was concerned by the proposal, and said environmental and social issues need to be further considered before the exploration went ahead.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences have announced predictions of 2.3 billion dollars in farming losses due to recent natural disasters.

The coal industry is also expected to face losses of two billion dollars due to lost production times.

The proposed flood levy is still in negotiations, with independent Senator Nick Xenophon refusing to approve the bill until Queensland agrees to acquire disaster insurance.

A former Japanese delegate to the International Whaling Commission has criticised the Japanese whaling fleet for returning early following activist obstruction.

The para-legal activist group Sea Shephard have been blamed for reducing the fleet’s seasonal catch to a fifth of its usual total. Supporters say whaling fleets are abiding by the IWC code, while Sea Shephard is not.

However, anti-whaling groups have noted a current stockpile of six thousand tonnes of unwanted whale meat.

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