Govt enacts controversial racing changes

Despite fierce objections from the Liberal National Opposition, a Bill to amalgamate control of the three racing codes was passed in State Parliament on Thursday. The new law will place the horse, harness, and greyhound racing sectors under one legislative body. It also lets the Government claim a portion of assets sold by racing clubs. Opposition racing spokesman Ray Stevens said the laws made no sense. “This is the most ill-conceived, illogical and deliberately destructive... Read More

Busking in glory

Some Brisbane city buskers can make a healthier living on the street than in a normal job. According to 39-year-old guitarist Tim Brennan (pictured) the corner of Elizabeth and Albert Street, outside bookstore Borders, is the place to be. “I make about $700 a week there, Wednesday to Sunday from 8 ’til 4. It’s great!” he said. There are more than 100 licensed buskers performing for Brisbane residents and tourists in our busiest malls and squares. Mr Brennan said the... Read More

Love potion works its magic

Wide blue skies, a windmill atop ochre coloured hills, and the token sheep of an outback station set the opening scene of the QPAC production The Elixir of Love firmly in Australian territory. The light-hearted opera, written in two acts by prolific Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, premiered as L’elisir d’amore in Milan in 1832. This lively production of the universal story of love overcoming class division, with a bit of assistance, has been cleverly adapted to... Read More

Sunshine Coast hospital delay confirmed

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas this week refused to recommit to the building of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital by 2014. In Question Time in Parliament LNP Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie asked Mr Lucas to recommit to the original time frame of 2014, and “admit that the reckless delay in building the Sunshine Coast University Hospital has cost lives”. The delivery of the $1.97 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Kawana is expected to... Read More

Brawls between neighbours lead to new laws

Neighbourhood rows about fences and overhanging trees are set to be reduced following tabling of proposed laws in the Queensland Parliament. Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick has called for public consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Bill. “We have modernised the outdated laws regarding dividing fences, which were introduced almost 60 years ago, to ensure they are more applicable to life in Queensland in the 21st century,” Mr Dick said. Changes... Read More

Campaign aims to end indigenous disadvantage

Kokoberra woman and former Young Australian of the year Tania Major called for a better deal for indigenous people at the Brisbane launch of Generation One in Queen Street this week. Ms Major appealed passionately to the patriotic fervour of all Australians to acknowledge the plight of Indigenous people. “For so long in Australia, the fate of black people has either been a black problem or a government problem — in fact, it’s an Australian problem,“ she said. “I... Read More

Escape hatches for turtles boost prawn trawling industry

A device (pictured left) that lets turtles escape from prawn trawling nets has opened the way to increased overseas markets. The United States’ granting of export accreditation to Queensland prawn trawlers would open a vast export market according to Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin. Mr Mulherin said the new accreditation meant Queensland’s trawl fishers were now part of the largest export market in the world, with the US importing more than 540,000 tonnes of prawns each year. “Previously... Read More

Colonial cottages to get a facelift

Two neglected Heritage-listed buildings on the old Sinnamon Farm site are set for rejuvenation with Rotary Jindalee stepping in to do much-needed maintenance. The hand-sawn timber homestead “Beechwood”, built in 1869 (left), and the old schoolhouse are both in a state of disrepair. The homestead, which borders busy Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, is one of the oldest buildings in the district. The long term fate of the surrounding land lies in the outcome of possible development... Read More

Women in red promote heart awareness

The Premier and most women MPs were in their best red livery this week in honour of the Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of Australian women, killing 11,000 women in Australia each year. According to the Heart Foundation, heart attacks kill nearly 30 Australian women every day. Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas said in Parliament he encouraged Queensland women to make... Read More

Lucas should take the rap on payroll failure – Premier

Premier Anna Bligh expects Deputy Premier Paul Lucas to take responsibility for the debacle in the payroll system, she told Parliament today. She was answering a question from Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek, who said some health workers had not been paid for five consecutive cycles. He said the Government could not fob off its “shoddy treatment” of health workers and the Premier should not exonerate the Health Minister and Deputy Premier, Paul Lucas. Ms Bligh... Read More

Attorney-General won’t meet Graham Stafford

Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick has ruled out meeting victim of procedural miscarriage of justice, Graham Stafford. Opposition member Peter Wellington asked the Attorney-General in Parliament yesterday if he would meet Mr Stafford and reassure him the the Government would seek to redress the terrible miscarriage of justice. A 1992 jury found Graham Stafford guilty of the 1991 murder of Leanne Holland. Mr Stafford was jailed until his third appeal in 2009 where... Read More

Aboriginal leader says Doomadgee inquest didn’t go far enough

Aboriginal community leader Sam Watson slammed a coronial inquest into Aboriginal deaths in custody at a rally outside Parliament House today. Mr Watson wants another inquiry into the Palm Island death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee, also know as Mulrunji, after the inquest, directed by Deputy Chief Magistrate Brian Hine, delivered an open finding. He said the coroner’s recommendations did not go far enough and called for community groups to be appointed as monitors for... Read More

Uproar as four Bills rushed through State Parliament

The Bligh government was today accused of gagging debate after voting that four Bills be urgently passed through Parliament. Leader of the House Judy Spence provoked uproar in the chamber when she moved that four current Bills be marked as urgent, setting a severe time limit on debate for each Bill. She moved that all four Bills be completed by Thursday night. Leader of Opposition Business Jeff Seeney said he had not seen such an extraordinary motion in his 12 years in parliament. “Every... Read More

Council tells Sutton to be messenger girl to PM

Brisbane Council sent a message to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week opposing the Federal Government’s super tax on mining – and chose the Opposition leader Shayne Sutton as messenger girl. A motion carried at Tuesday’s council meeting directed Ms Sutton to “personally convey to the Prime Minister this Council’s deep concerns about the impacts of the Federal Government resources super tax on both the economies of Brisbane and Queensland”.... Read More

Help for young Queenslanders with disabilities

More than 100 young Queenslanders living with disabilities had been diverted from aged care, the Disability Services Minister, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said in Parliament today. Ms Palaszczuk said Ellen Buckley Place, in Brisbane’s south-west, would house eight young people who could live there independently among people of their own age. She said this would provide them with independence and choice. “After listening to the stories of the future residents of Ellen Buckley... Read More

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