Queensland swimmers win first Olympic gold for Australia

The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team has given Australia its first gold medal of the London Olympics after defeating the Netherlands and the United States. The relay team – Queenslanders Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger – swam for their lives to break the Netherlands’ stranglehold on the event. Coutts got the girls off on the right note with a tremendous start before passing the baton to Cate Campbell who brought the girls... Read More

Dairy Farmer drops sponsorship of Townsville stadium

Dairy Farmers won’t be renewing naming rights sponsorship of Townsville’s stadium at the end of 2012. The government-owned stadium, home of the North Queensland Cowboys, will be seeking a new sponsor prepared to pay the several hundred thousand dollars a year for naming rights. Lion, the company that owns Dairy Farmers milk, has revealed it will not be renewing several sponsorship arrangements. Lion spokesperson Peta MacDougall told Newsbytes today the company would focus... Read More

‘Gangster lifestyle’ turns man to crime

The Brisbane Supreme Court was told yesterday a man became involved with guns and drugs because he was impressed with the gangster lifestyle. Lee James Ralph, 26, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of unlawful possession of firearms and various dangerous drugs over the past three years. Defence counsel Mal Harrison said Ralph became involved with drugs and criminal figures as a teenager after his parents divorced and he tried to “impress others with a gangster-style lifestyle”. Crown... Read More

Wellington attacks parliament TV ban

Independent MP Peter Wellington says he is disappointed his notice of dissent on the TV cameras ban in the Queensland Parliament has been ruled out of order by Speaker Fiona Simpson. The ban on TV stations’ cameras for nine sitting days was announced by Ms Simpson last week. Mr Wellington tried to move dissent from the action, but after taking legal advice Ms Simpson ruled this out of order. The cameras have been suspended as punishment for videoing a demonstration in the... Read More

Speaker gives hairdresser Stefan a clip

Celebrity hairdresser Stefan Ackerie was reprimanded in Parliament yesterday by the Speaker, Fiona Simpson, after taking photos from the public gallery. Although not named by Ms Simpson, her warning to the gallery came in response to Stefan’s flamboyant visit to the state house for yesterday afternoon’s question time. Stefan, accompanied by veteran LNP MP Howard Hobbs, started waving to members and taking photos as soon as he was seated. Security guards did not appear... Read More

Newman chides senior minister in parliament

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman publicly criticised senior minister Bruce Flegg yesterday over the controversial appointment of a party official to audit the government printing service. “I have expressed some concerns about the choice of the particular individual due to the position he holds and the perception that such a choice may attract,” Mr Newman said in Parliament. The Opposition fiercely attacked appointment by Housing and Public Works Minister Dr Flegg of LNP... Read More

Carbon tax a threat to jobs – Newman

Livelihoods will be destroyed by the carbon tax according to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, who yesterday labelled the tax a “job killer”. Mr Newman said in Parliament job losses in the “real economy” would impact on Queensland, not recent public service cuts. “What about the job losses in the real economy – the productive economy that actually delivers the taxes that pay public servants’ wages and allows us to deliver for Queenslanders?”... Read More

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 answer to a question from Katter Australia Party MP Rob Katter, Mr Elmes said he had begun consultations with... Read More

Review: Beauty is Difficult

“Today you are going to enter the past of my life. Three things are carried by my wounded heart: love, despair, pain!” The Tango los Mareados frames tonight’s Winter Ball as we swirl past and dip into the lives and loves of Racine’s Phedre, Flaubert’s Emma Bovary, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Director Michael Beh’s fascination with each woman’s use and abuse of beauty has led to a competition. Each night, audience members will barrack for... Read More

Review: The Cabin in the Woods

What do you get when you take a bit of Truman Show, mix in a little Evil Dead and of course the secret ingredient: a whole lot of love? You get: The Cabin in the Woods. The film is the brainchild of geek-god Joss Whedon (Buffy, Avengers) and Drew Goddard (Angel, Lost, Cloverfield), with Goddard handling the reigns for his directorial debut. The film which has laid dormant since 2010 due to MGM’s financial woes has been given life by Lionsgate in the US and Roadshow Film... Read More

Education minister canes teachers’ union bosses

The Queensland Teachers Union leadership was criticised by Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek over their role in negotiations following last month’s protests outside Parliament House. Mr Langbroek said in Parliament today the QTU didn’t directly involve themselves in negotiations over the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement either before or after the protest. “There was a rally outside the parliament at which they asked us to look at these EB negotiations and to take... Read More

Health workers’ pay dates to be pushed back

Health Department staff will not be paid until 10 days after their roster, instead of the current three days. The change, to take effect in October, was announced in Parliament yesterday by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. Mr Springborg said employees would be given loans to cover the one-off gap in pay periods. “In October, Queensland Health will change the pay date for its workforce of about 84,000 employees,” he said. Although staff income would not be affected, a transition... Read More

Feds to foot bill for $370m Brisbane G20 summit

The Australian government will pay most of the costs for the G20 summit to be hosted in Brisbane in 2014. Queensland premier Campbell Newman has told parliament Queensland could not afford to contribute a significant amount to costs of the meeting of world leaders. “As this event is clearly a Government Commonwealth responsibility, an agreement has been reached that the Commonwealth government will pay a majority of the cost, as it has with similar events in other states,”... Read More

Premier urges price comparisons on energy bills

With the carbon tax in force and electricity prices reaching sky high records, Queensland premier Campbell Newman has urged Queenslanders to shop around for the best deal. Mr Newman said he had changed his own energy provider after comparing costs. Mr Newman said he was surprised when his power bill from Origin Energy showed a tariff 11 increase of 13.7 percent and a tariff 33 (off-peak) increase of more than 50 percent. “These are completely unjustifiable increases and... Read More

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, the focus was on lives lost and community, not the money for rebuilding infrastructure and payments to families. “Normally... Read More

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