Tuesday Zedlines, March 29th

Homeowners in flood-affected areas will be allowed to raise their houses and build a metre beyond the current roof line limit, say new Council guidelines to be finalised today.

The rebuilding effort for thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed in the floods will allow houses with a height of up to nine and a half metres.

Brisbane developers will also be forced to protect infrastructure for water and electricity in preparation for another flood.

Newly elected NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has started an independent audit of the state’s finances, after claiming a four and a half billion dollar deficit was left by the Keneally government.

The former government was voted out of power over the weekend, with O’Farrell’s Liberal National Party taking more than two thirds of parliamentary seats.

However, Greens MP John Kaye has accused the LNP of overstating the deficit in order to cut back on state spending. Mr O’Farrell denied he would back out of any election promises.

The Australian Dollar has hit one dollar and three cents US, it’s highest since 1982.

Investors are predicting a boom for the Australian iron ore and natural gas industries in the wake of Japan’s earthquake disaster.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both rose point five of a percent yesterday.

One of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets, The Elizabeth Street Laneway, will be shut down to make way for a driveway for a new one hundred and eighty million dollar office tower.

The cultural hub, home to cafe The Coffee Suppliers and popular gig space The Alley, is the first victim of the Council’s pause on the Vibrant Laneways Project.

The sixteen-storey tower will be home to the new Australian Tax Office. The Coffee Suppliers will shut its doors today.

Government representatives have refused to comment on speculation that hackers have accessed the computers of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other government ministers.

Allegedly hackers found away into the Parliament House email network, but not the departmental accounts used for sensitive communication.

News Limited reports this morning suspect foreign intelligence agencies may be behind the unconfirmed breach.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has faced court for the first of four criminal charges brought against him. Mr Berlusconi claims they are political ploys.

The controversial billionaire media giant and politician is alleged to have embezzled and fraudulently represented prices of television stations his company, Mediaset, acquired.

Mr Berlusconi faces another two charges of corruption as well as a charge for having sex with an underaged prostitute.

The Australian Defence Force have announced an investigation into soldier drug abuses in Townsville.

The Australian Defence Association, who oversee the ADF, said allegations of serious drug abuse were misleading.

Investigations have also been carried out in Cairns and Sydney, but an ADA spokesman said they were not related.

Julia Gillard’s suggestion for a regional processing centre has been rejected by East Timor, who deem it ‘unimportant’ to the solution for people smugglers.

Diplomats and senior officials have gathered in Bali to discuss solutions for processing asylum seekers.

While they expect to come to an agreement at the conference tomorrow, it will not be binding on anyone’s government.

 

The Brisbane Coroner’s Court this morning heard a girlfriend of a convicted paedophile lied to police about his whereabouts on the day of Daniel Morcombe’s abduction.

The woman says she was blinded by love and agreed when her boyfriend told her to tell the police he had spent the day at home with her.

She now admits the man left for most of the day, and drive a car similar to the suspected abduction vehicle. She says she didn’t know he was in jail for offences to children. The inquest resumed today.

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