Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tuesday Zedlines, 12th April

Queensland Bureau of Meteorology director Jim Davidson will testify in Brisbane today as part of the Flood Inquiry hearings.

In a written submission, Davidson has stated that forecasters had warned authorities of excessive rain over the wet season.

Yesterday the Inquiry heard engineers at Wivenhoe Dam based their operations on a prediction of no further rainfall, claiming forecasted rainfalls were volatile and unreliable.

Tasmanian Heritage Minister Brian Wightman has approved the construction of a bridge over the discovery site of forty-thousand year old Indigenous artefacts.

The bridge will be built over the Jordan river, north of Hobart. Strong local opposition to the project arose when over 3 million Aboriginal finds were discovered during planning.

A spokesman from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources said he would meet with the community before construction starts. Protesters at the site have said they won’t move.

Libyan rebels have rejected a peace plan from the African Union, saying they will not agree to any proposition that leaves Moamar Gaddafi in power.

The African Union, led by South African President Jacob Zuma, have tried to broker peace to end a two-month civil war.

Mr. Gaddafi had already agreed to the plan, which would have seen immediate ceasefire, suspension of NATO air strikes and an effort on democratic reforms.

The Gillard government has ordered the removal of bans in the Australian Defence Force preventing women from applying from the most elite and dangerous of defence jobs.

Defence Minster Stephen Smith is at odds with his ministry after scandals of sexual abuse and suicide, and has ordered a series of reviews and inquiries.

The announcement has been backed by the head of the defence force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who says as long as women can meet the tough physical requirements they should be allowed to serve.

A violent mob has looted and set fire to buildings on a rampage through a Papua New Guinean town.

The mob was reacting to claims police bashed a young man in custody who later died.

Two policeman have been arrested and charged with murder. The protesters managed to torch police cars and burn the district Treasury to the ground.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has said Australia’s economic growth will be challenged by natural disasters and global economic instability, particularly in north Africa and Europe.

However, the Treasurer also expects emerging economies will underpin growth in the Australian resource markets.

Quoting a recent report from the International Monetary Fund, Mr Swan predicted a growth of three percent for 2011.

The Greens have criticised Campbell Newman for moving Ray Hopper to the back bench in his shadow ministry.

Mr Hopper was a vocal opponent of coal-seam gas mining. The Greens said this indicates the Liberal National Party plan to focus on a pro-mine stance in the next election.

Mr Newman said his new front bench had a strong commitment to rural and regional Queensland.

Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may be elected to a seat in the New South Wales Upper House today.

Ms Hanson, who ran as an independent, is ahead by over six thousand cotes to her nearest competitor, Greens candidate Jeremy Buckingham.

Final votes will be counted by twelve o’clock today.

A suspected terrorist attack in Minsk, Belarus, has left 11 dead and at least a hundred more injured.

The explosion occurred at Mink’s busiest underground station in the middle of the evening peak hour.

President Alexander Lukashenko condemned the attack as an effort to undermine security in the region.

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Tuesday Zedlines, April 5th

 QR National will offer 115 voluntary redundancies to Ipswich workers next week, as part of a state-wide redundancy program.

The company, which was privatised from the state run Queensland Rail last year, had previously deferred speculation that jobs would be cut.

Around 75 million dollars are expected to be spent on the program, which is planned to offer redundancies to a total of 600 employees across Queensland.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand have called for public debate on legalising the sale of hemp seed and oil.

Hemp, which contains little of the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, is already used in Australia as animal feed.

The FSANZ said there are no associated risks with eating hemp foods, however a previous attempt to legalise hemp was rejected by ministers on the grounds it would increase acceptance of marijuana.

The US has called for the president of Yemen to step down, following the death of 17 protestors at the hands of presidential security forces.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has resisted calls to resign immediately, as anti-government protests today continue into their third month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney warned Al Qaeda could exploit a power vacuum in Yemen if conflict was not soon resolved.

A Beenleigh man has been found guilty of murdering his former flat mate, in what has been described as a “brutal slaughtering”.

Robert Ian Logan, a self-confessed cannibal, pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to murdering Bun Huntingford in 2006.

Logan has been sentenced to life in prison.

A climate change specialist has warned the Great Barrier Reef will be lost if greenhouse gases aren’t drastically cut.

The announcement is a preface to the GREENHOUSE conference, which begins today in Cairns.

The event will run until Friday.

The Centre for Resource and Environmental Management have warned the Northern Territory would face substantial risk from an Indonesian nuclear reactor fallout.

The Indonesian Government have announced plans to build four nuclear generators by 2022. The planned site for the build is close to an earthquake fault line.

Spokesmen have denied the sight is in danger, and said the site would be considerably more modern than the currently damaged Japanese reactors.

Fijian engineers are still working to restore water to thousands of residents after a planned maintenance shut down went wrong.

A new pipe system to improve supply lines was meant to be installed, but ran over schedule, allowing air to disrupt the system.

The system must now remove all air before it can function properly. Water supply is expected to resume by the end of today.

The Gillard government has been criticised for moving too slowly in providing vital infrastructure to remote communities around Australia.

Remote Indigenous Services Coordinator Brian Gleeson says the government should move faster to deliver acceptable facilities for remote communities, with many key promises brought to a standstill.

High on the agenda is an increase in the number of “safe houses”, which support community members suffering from abuse and violence.

Queensland Speaker of the House John Mickel has refused to allow Lord Mayor Campbell Newman to speak in parliament until he is elected to a seat.

Although Mr Newman is the chosen leader of the Liberal National Party, MP Jeff Seeney is the official party leader.

Mr Newman plans to contest the seat of Ashgrove. Premier Anna Bligh has refused to comment on when the next election will be held.

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