Zedlines, Tuesday 15th

Protestors have rallied in the Queensland town of Tara against a planned sixteen kilometre pipeline by the Queensland Gas Company.

The QGC said more than half of the pipeline, which begins construction later in the week, will run through their own land, and that compensation deals had already been made with other landowners.

Premier Anna Bligh noted the opportunity for economic growth from gas mining, but said the protestors had the right to voice their opinion.

Floodwaters in Cardwell, south of Cairns, are expected to drop today as torrrential rain finally eases in the region.

Cassowary Coast Mayor Bill Shannon said that many towns in far north Queensland were still isolated, with many roads either blocked or washed away completely.

The state of the roads cannot be assessed until floodwaters ease.

Christmas Island administrator Brian Lacy has assured local residents the protests on Christmas Island have been peaceful and are under control.

The detention facility saw two mass break-outs and a riot over the weekend, with police being forced to use tear gas to restrain around three hundred detainees.

Queensland’s Deputy Commissioner has ruled six officers involved in the Palm Island death in custody investigation will not face disciplinary action.

Last year the Crime and Misconduct Commission called for charges against police involved in a flawed investigation.

The 2004 death of Mulrunji Doomadgee while in custody has been the subject of three coronial inquests and elicited comments about a culture of self-protection within the Queensland police.

Electrical Trades Union Secretary Peter Simpson has been granted a twenty four hour reprieve from his expulsion from the Labor party.

Mr Simpson has been among those opposed to the Queensland Asset Sale for the last two years. An ALP disputes tribunal recommended expelling Mr Simpson a fortnight ago.

However, an Administrative Committee was unable to enforce this last night following a dispute over voting. A second meeting has been scheduled for tonight.

A motion has begun to increase the penalties for animal cruelty following a recent spike in Queensland.

The proposed revisions broaden the scope of the protection laws, as well as tripling the maximum jail time for those found guilty.

The motion is expected to be introduced around June, with the law passed by the year’s end.

The Transport Workers Union will today meet with the Transit Australia Group, following five protest strikes since last December.

The meet is to settle a pay dispute over the Sunshine Coast Sun Bus service, which recently undertook a new bargaining agreement.

Negotiations are expected to be finalised by today’s end.

The Federal Coalition Energy Spokesman has warned Australia shouldn’t be intimidated by nuclear power because of multiple Japanese meltdowns triggered by Friday’s earthquake.

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian MacFarlane said he is still in support of nuclear power, and the country needs an honest, science-based discussion of the issue.

The crisis in Japan had intensified debate about nuclear power plants, with supporters noting its relatively clean by products, and detractors noting its risk of contamination.

The Fijian Government have announced plans to provide electricity to the island nation’s northern region.

Fiji’s north, which is a strong source of sugar cane and pineapple farming, is being developed as part of a plan to open the region to foreign investors.

Further infrastructural developments, including improving roads and communication, is also planned.


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