Thousands more pets abandoned each year

Animal shelters across Queensland are facing an increase of 5,000 animals passing through each year according to RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty. Mr Beatty said the number of animals being surrendered or confiscated annually had increased from 41,000 to 46,000 over the past five years. He believes the problem lies in people not thinking adoptions […]


Safety of women and children paramount in alcohol review – minister

The government will not liberalise indigenous communities’ alcohol management plans in in any way that will put women and children at risk, Queensland Parliament was told yesterday. The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, Glen Elmes, said revised plans needed to ensure women and children were not bashed or neglected. In […]


Ministers grilled on disaster aid

Disaster relief and toxic waste were among issues fielded by Australian ministers at yesterday’s community cabinet meeting in Ipswich. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the establishment of a natural disaster fund was debated at the time of the Queensland floods -“in economic terms, the most costly natural disaster we had ever seen”. At the time, […]


Government drops house sharing plan

Public housing tenants will not have to share their homes with other people. Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg said today a survey of tenants showed overwhelming opposition to the scheme, which had been proposed in the face of an accommodation crisis. Dr Flegg said 10,500 tenants responded to the survey and were unanimous in their […]


Refugee begins new life in Australia after eight years a prisoner of war

Ethiopian Geteye Teka Fantabil is thrilled to show his Australian citizenship after escaping death and being released from eight years’ captivity. In the year 2000, aged 28, Geteye was trained by Ethiopia’s government to go to war against Eritrea. He went to the outpost Zela Ambesa without really knowing the reasons. “I saw many people […]


Bosses brave the cold to raise funds for homeless

More than 150 business executives and politicians will be battling the winter temperatures in Brisbane on Thursday night to raise awareness of homelessness. Some high profile CEOs taking part include lord mayor Graham Quirk, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls and Kenlynn Properties Australia joint managing director Anthony Flynn who has raised […]


Aussies’ cushy lifestyles may make them tougher on refugees – sociologist

Australians’ comfortable lifestyle may make them less sympathetic to refugees, a refugees advocate said yesterday. Sociologist and mental health nurse Jane Hasler said many people were driven by the “I’m all right Jack” philosophy. There was a prevailing attitude of “don’t come and play in my back yard”. Dr Hasler spoke to Newsbytes before the […]


Facebook users asked to pay for highlighted posts

Facebook has raised the ire of many of its Australian users by quietly rolling out a feature that charges users to highlight their posts. Although Facebook has always said it would remain free, the feature enables users to pay to ensure their posts are seen by more of their friends. The controversial feature was introduced […]


Concerns over health risks of shared bike helmets

A leading Queensland hairdresser and members of the public have expressed concern over hygiene risks of shared bike helmets, although a scientist says the danger of head lice is low. The hairdresser criticised Brisbane City Council for providing helmets as part of the city cycle scheme, claiming the helmets are a violation of the council’s […]


Street poll: Drones OK for crime control

A Newsbytes street poll has found people are not concerned about the idea of high-tech surveillance drones as long as they are used only for crime control. Queensland Police could trial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the near future. Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said he didn’t want to ban UAVs but […]


1400 pairs of shoes tell the sorrow of lives lost on the roads

In a stark reminder of the lives lost on Australian roads each year, more than 1400 pairs of shoes lined Brisbane Square today for Fatality Free Friday. Superintendent Andy Morrow of the State Traffic Safety Branch told Newsbytes younger drivers were disproportionately represented in road toll figures. He said the most critical factor of fatal […]


Sea of red as thousands rally for the disabled

Rallies were held around the country today to raise awareness of the financial difficulties facing people with disabilities and their carers and to promote the National Disability Insurance Scheme. About a thousand people including many with disabilities, Paralympians, carers and representatives of various disability groups including Endeavour, Cerebal Palsy League and Spinal Injuries Association of […]


Carers tell of financial challenges

Families of many disabled Australians suffer financial hardship caring for their loved ones. This was a common story told by carers and family members gathered at Reddacliff Place in Brisbane today to advocate for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Event organiser Fiona Anderson of the Every Australian Counts campaign had first-hand experience with the […]


Protestors call for stop to Chinese live organ harvesting

About 40 protestors held a candlelight vigil and gathered signatures in King George Square last week to draw attention to reported live organ harvesting of political prisoners in China. The Falun Gong group, a banned organisation in China, says 45,000 of its members have had organs harvested against their will. Falun Gong Queensland spokesman John […]


Refugee activists call for 90-day detention limit

The release of a federal parliament report last week has sparked calls for urgent government action to make things easier for refugees. Refugee Action Collective spokesperson Paul Mckinnon said he endorsed the recent report that recommended asylum seekers be given a 90-day maximum time limit in detention. “It would be a tremendous step forward in […]


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