Do whatever you like.

Just don't dissent.

Activist Ciaron O’Reilly prohibited from G20, banned man arrested [Brisbane Times - 13/11/14]:

... A passerby who photographed Mr O'Reilly speaking with police was taken for questioning and asked to provide identification.

...

Ciaron O’Reilly becomes third person to be banned from the G20 [13/11/14]:

Veteran Brisbane Activist to confront/shirtfront Obama over Persecution of Queenslander Assange

...

I was at the G20 demonstrations in London in 2009 where the police killed Ian Tomlinson, a tragic example of what we can expect when over hyped, tooled up and bored police officers are let loose to exercise state violence on the people, the same dangerous mix evident in Brisbane this week. Mr. Tomlinson was not even part of the protests against the G20; he was making his way home from work and just happened to be passing the demonstration when he was attacked and killed. ...

G20 police interrupt photo shoot, mock motorcade [ABC - 13/11/14]:

... Police took the names of those involved and banned the motorcade from hitting the road, however the shoot was allowed to continue.

...

Coalition To End Immigration Detention calls for immediate release of children

Jesuit Refugee Service Australia [12/11/14]:

There is evidence that concludes children are being psychologically damaged in detention.

On the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Australian Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children is calling on the Australian Government to immediately release all children from detention.

The Coalition, which comprises a number of Australian human rights and refugee organisations, says there are currently just under 800 children in detention in Australia and offshore whose rights are being violated.

Spokesperson for the Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children and ChilOut Campaign Coordinator, Claire Hammerton, said it was essential the gove rnment alter its current practice and immediately release all children from detention in Australia and offshore.

“Australia is a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which clearly states that children should not be unlawfully or arbitrarily detained. The UN Committee which oversees the Convention has recommended that children live in non-custodial, community based alternatives to detention while their immigration status is being determined,” Ms Hammerton said.

“But Australia’s current practice is to detain the innocent in detention in secure facilities for an indefinite time period and in remote, even offshore locations.

“We strongly believe that immigration detention is never under any circumstance in the best interests of the child. There is evidence that concludes children are being psychologically damaged in detention.

“The effects of detention are well documented – it causes despair, anxiety and depression in children. And the effects last long after people are released into society,” Ms Hammerton said.

To mark the occasion, the Coalition will be staging an event in front of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne next Thursday where passersby will be encouraged to free a caged doll as a symbol of freeing a detained child.

3 arrested at #Villawood direct action against removal of #refugees #asylumseekers to remote detention prisons.

Important act of solidarity.

"tweeted" by Senator @leerhiannon [13/11/14]

#Villawood lock on protest by Aust Young @Greens #refugee #asylumseekers activists today!

Image: @STOB4Refugees - Students 4 Refugees [13/11/14]

United States continues bombing Iraq, Syria

Reuters [12/11/14]:

U.S.-led forces conducted 16 air strikes in Syria, most of them around Kobani near the Turkish border, and seven in the oil-producing northern region of Iraq since Monday, the U.S. Central Command said.

Ten air strikes conducted by the United States and its allies near Kobani hit eight small Islamic State units, damaged three fighting positions and destroyed a logistics facility, Centcom said Wednesday in a statement.

The town has become a test of the U.S.-led coalition's ability to halt the advance of the hardline insurgents. It is one of the few areas in Syria where it can co-ordinate air strikes with operations by an effective ground force.

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga have helped take some villages around Kobani but the lines of control in the town remain the same.

In Iraq, five air strikes near Baiji, home to an oil refinery, struck one large Islamic State unit, three small ones and destroyed two buildings, two vehicles and a sniper position used by the militants, it said. The other two strikes hit near the oil city of Kirkuk in Iraq's Kurdish dominated north.

12 persons killed, injured western Baghdad [IraqiNews.com - 12/11/14]

@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [12/11/14]:

Anbar: The air force of government's army has shelled by two missiles a school in Nazal neighbourhood in Fallujah causalities resulted unknown.......

Anbar: The air force of government's army has shelled by two missiles a school in Nazal neighbourhood in Fallujah...

Salah-il-deen: Dhelo'iyah people flee due to the aimless bombing of government's army and cutting all services...

Syrian rebels reject UN's Aleppo truce plan [Al Jazeera - 12/11/14]

Attack on Egypt naval vessel leaves 8 servicemen missing [France 24 - 13/11/14]

Israel approves new Jerusalem settler homes [Al Jazeera - 12/11/14]

Jailed Palestinian Leader Put in Solitary over Letter, Says NGO [Naharnet - 12/11/14]

Car bombs exploded in eastern Libyan towns under the control of the internationally recognized government on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding 20 others, officials said. ... [Al Akhbar - 12/11/14]

Unidentified gunmen on Wednesday killed five people in Pakistan's troubled southwest in an apparently ethnically motivated attack, police said. ... [Naharnet - 12/11/14]

Iran on Wednesday denied a report that one of its nuclear scientists was killed in an ambush near the capital of its war-torn ally Syria. ... [Naharnet - 12/11/14]

Saudi Arabia beheaded a convicted drug trafficker on Wednesday, the interior ministry announced, bringing to 66 the number of executions this year despite international concerns. ... [Al Akhbar - 12/11/14]

Egypt issues decree on foreign prisoners

Al Jazeera [13/11/14]:

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has issued a decree which allows him to repatriate foreign prisoners in the country, state media reported.

"The president issued a law on Wednesday allowing (him) to agree to surrender and transport non-Egyptian convicts and suspects to their countries to be tried or have their punishment implemented," the official news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

"This decision comes in the framework of upholding the nation's interests and preserving Egypt's international image" MENA quoted presidential spokesman Alaa Yousef as saying.

However, it is not clear what the decree means for three Al Jazeera journalists who have now been detained in Egypt for 320 days.

Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were falsely accused and then convicted of aiding the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The Al Jazeera Media Network has maintained that the accusations against the three journalists are absurd.

Western governments and human rights groups have condemned the case, with the United Nations questioning Egypt's reputation and the independence of its judiciary.

Sisi said in July that he wished the imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists had been deported and not put on trial.

Kiev not fully committed to ceasefire, amasses troops along E. Ukraine front line – Russia

RT [12/11/14]:

Kiev is not fully committed to the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Russian deputy UN ambassador Aleksandr Pankin said during Wednesday's UN Security Council meeting.

He added that the Ukrainian military is amassing forces along the front line.

“Throughout the ceasefire period a concentration of Ukrainian troops was observed almost along the entire front line,” Pankin said.

The withdrawal of heavy weapons and tech gear from the front line has not begun, he added.

Kiev’s allegations of the presence of Russian troops and weapons in Ukraine contradict the real situation on the ground, Pankin stated, adding that this misinformation is spread to justify Kiev’s own failures.

“Apparently, Kiev’s fear of the self-defense forces is so great that it tries to justify their own failures and massive transfer of personnel and equipment to the front lines by loudly claiming alleged Russian weapons and army,” Pankin explained.

“A more logical explanation is the presence of increasingly fortified positions of the self-defense forces, noted by the OSCE, in the regions that are being increasingly exposed to attacks by security forces.”

The deputy UN envoy also expressed Russia’s concern over the annulment of the law giving special status to the Lugansk and Donetsk regions by Ukrainian authorities, adding that the law is “a cornerstone of the Minsk protocol.”

The lack of reaction from the OSCE on the actions of Kiev's forces has only added fuel to the fire, Pankin stated.

The UN Security Council gathered for an emergency session on Wednesday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine, where the conflict between Kiev and anti-government forces is still unfolding, despite previous Minsk ceasefire agreements. The UNSC has also discussed the elections which took place in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on November 2, which Moscow recognized as legitimate.

Also on Wednesday, NATO once again accused the Russian army of crossing the Ukrainian border, saying that over the last few days they “have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems, and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine.” Moscow has refuted the accusations, saying that no evidence has been provided to support them.

Meanwhile, despite the ceasefire agreement, Kiev troops are preparing for a winter campaign against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said on Wednesday. He accused the self-defense forces of a military build-up in eastern Ukraine.

In turn, the Donetsk People’s Republic militia’s deputy head said it plans to observe the Minsk memorandum.

According to the militia, the Ukrainian army has been actively shelling Donetsk, with explosions being heard throughout the city.

Since the beginning of what Kiev calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in eastern Ukraine in April, the number of victims on both sides has exceeded 4,000 people. Over 9,300 others have been wounded.

Australian prime minister demands apology from Russia on MH17 [WSWS - 12/11/14]:

... Abbott’s confrontational comments are in sharp contrast to those of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when he met with Putin. Malaysia, which presumably possesses as much “information” as Canberra, lost 43 of its citizens in the crash.

Nevertheless Najib declared yesterday in Beijing: “Malaysia has always taken a very objective position. Instead of finger pointing, we would rather wait for the final investigation report to conclude what has really happened to MH17.”

Najib directed his criticisms to both the Ukrainian government and the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine for ignoring calls for a cease fire to allow investigation teams secure access to the crash site.

...

PNG: Forum to discuss death penalty today

PNG Loop [13/11/14]:

Members of the Law and Justice sector with relevant stakeholders will hold a one day forum on death penalty in Papua New Guinea.

The Constitutional & Law Reform Commission in Port Moresby is hosting the forum at the University of PNG.

The objective of this forum is to gather comments from relevant stakeholders and the general public on death penalty which the government has proposed to impose starting this year.

Fourteen speakers have been scheduled to speak at the forum on penalty.

The speakers include Chief Ombudsman, Rigo Lua; Deputy Police Commissioner Administration, Awan Sete; Public Prosecutor, Pondros Kaluwin; and Public Solicitor, Frazier Pitpit; Secretary of the CLRC, Dr Eric Kwa; acting Correctional Service Commissioner, Michael Waipo; and Chairman of Transparency International, Lawrence Stephens.

There will be speakers from the National Research Institute and the churches as well.

The forum will be held at the UPNG’s Main Lecture Theatre from 8am to 4pm.

Co-payments disastrous for people with serious mental illness

RANZCP Media Release [13/11/14]:

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has used a new report to call on all non-Government Senators to hold firm in their opposition to the Government’s proposed Budget measures for the introduction of a $7 co-payment for GP visits and pathology.

“We already know that many people with mental illness struggle to get the care they need,” RANZCP President Dr Murray Patton said today.

“However it is clear from our analysis, that the proposed co-payments will make an already bad situation, much worse. We are concerned about the effects of these Budget measures on people with serious mental illness, particularly those who also have physical illness. In particular we are concerned that the impact of the pathology co-payment has not been thoroughly considered. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Government the impacts of this reform on people with serious mental illness.”

RANZCP is concerned that the gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985. People with serious mental illness live between 10 and 32 years less than the general population. Around 80% of this higher mortality rate can be attributed to the much higher rates of physical illnesses such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancer experienced by this population.

“People who struggle with serious mental illness already face a range of barriers obtaining access to appropriate, high quality healthcare and we know that this impacts on their physical health. These new co-payments will be one more barrier. This will lead to other health problems not being identified or treated properly, leading to deterioration in patients’ health,” Dr Patton said.

The report, Keeping your head above water: Affordability as a barrier to mental health care, has highlighted a number of particular problems for people who have both mental and physical health issues:

A number of treatments for serious mental illness can cause side effects that, if left untreated, cause metabolic disorder, cardio-vascular disease and diabetes, and a range of other serious health issues. The best way to diagnose and manage these side effects is through regular pathology testing.

These tests will now attract a $7 co-payment for each test. People who are not eligible for a healthcare concession card because their income is marginally too high ‘fall through the gaps.' They are particularly disadvantaged by the new co-payment, as they will have to pay the full rate co-payment for pharmaceuticals, GP visits and pathology testing.

These additional costs can amount to many hundreds of dollars each year for care that is related to managing both physical and mental health conditions.

Consumers, carers and psychiatrists consulted as part of this report all thought that the co-payment would change the way they used health services and medication and could put their health at risk.

“This new co-payment regime will be particularly difficult for people who need to take medication to manage a mental health condition, the medication puts them at risk for a whole lot of other conditions, and then they are slugged with additional costs if they try to manage those side effects. We have serious concerns about the health impacts of these co-payments for this most vulnerable group of consumers,” Dr Patton said.

“We call on the Senate to continue to block the implementation of these measures. The College has a range of policy recommendations to ensure that healthcare remains affordable for people with serious mental illness. We would welcome the opportunity to work productively with the Government on a better package of reform for people with serious mental illness.”

Think Well, Be Well:

... To be held at Broadwater Parklands at Southport on Saturday 15 November, Think Well Be Well Festival will not only lift your spirits, but will also fill your bag with fun giveaways and bright ideas for reducing the stress in your life. It offers the rare opportunity to have your questions answered in person by some of Australia’s most influential mental health and wellbeing organisations.

Lifeline, Headspace and Relationships Australia will be in attendance, and the Gold Coast Drug Council is among the organisations that will offer information and support to individuals and families about how to solve problems and really start living.

...

With the support of heavy duty sponsors like the Queensland Government , Gold Coast City Council and Griffith University, the focus for this National Psychology Week event will be helping Australians to manage stress and increase their wellbeing, and to recognise when professional help is needed.

Lifestyle factors that impact on health and wellbeing are a key focus for the festival, which aims to direct visitors to sources of guidance on psychological strategies, so they can achieve a healthier lifestyle and more pleasure in daily living.

Stress is having a significant impact on the lives of 75 percent of Australians, and recent research shows that for one in five of us stress is having a powerful impact on our psychological functioning. Positive mental health is a lifestyle, and where better to learn how to create the perfect lifestyle while having a great day out than by the water in Australia’s lifestyle capital! See you at Think Well Be Well Festival.

Think Well Be Well takes place at Broadwater Parklands on Saturday 15 November from 10.00am until 4.00pm. And it’s all free.

US nurses hold strikes, protests over Ebola measures

Reuters [12/11/14]:

Thousands of nurses across the United States staged protest rallies and strikes on Wednesday over what they say is insufficient protection for health workers dealing with patients possibly stricken with the deadly Ebola virus.

California-based National Nurses United had expected about 100,000 nurses nationwide to participate in the protest, but officials from the union could not say on Wednesday afternoon how many people took part.

The union is embroiled in contract talks with the operators of nearly 90 California hospitals and clinics, and one hospital in Washington, D.C.

About 19,000 nurses who on Tuesday began a two-day strike against those California facilities were part of the Ebola measures protest, which in other parts of the country did not involve nurses walking off the job.

Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, which operates most of the California facilities where the nurses were striking, has accused the union of using Ebola as a pretext to justify labor action.

The nurses are pressing hospitals to buy hazardous materials suits which leave no skin exposed, as well as powered air-purifying respirators, to properly protect nurses from exposure, and they are calling for more training to handle patients suspected of having Ebola.

"The best way to protect our community is to protect our nurses," said Evan Brost, a nurse who joined more than 30 people in a protest outside the White House over Ebola measures.

Elsewhere, protests took place in Chicago, Oakland, and outside the offices of some state governors, said National Nurses United Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has ordered $2.7 million worth of personal protective equipment to help hospitals care for Ebola patients, but union officials contend that is not enough. A CDC spokeswoman declined to comment on the protest.

Representatives from Kaiser Permanente and the American Hospital Association could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The last U.S. patient being treated for Ebola recovered from the disease on Tuesday.

The Ebola epidemic has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa but only one person, a Liberian native, has died in the United States. Two nurses who treated the man at a Dallas hospital contracted Ebola but recovered.

Medical experts say Ebola can be transmitted only through the bodily fluids of a sick person with symptoms.

Driver trapped in car crushed between two trucks on Melbourne freeway

Nine MSN [13/11/14]:

Rescue crews are attempting to save a driver trapped in their car, crushed between two trucks on a busy Melbourne freeway this morning.

Emergency services were called to an incident just before 9am when a car became trapped underneath a truck on the Princes Freeway near Forsyth Road.

All outbound lanes have been shut as crews work to free the driver who appears to have survived the crush.

The driver is believed to be a man and is still alive despite suffering head and chest injuries.

A witness told Fairfax Radio the rear truck drove over the car, spreading metal and debris all over the road.

...

Woman injured in quad bike accident

West Australian [13/11/14]:

A 28-year-old woman is in a stable condition in Royal Perth Hospital after she was in a quad bike accident yesterday.

RAC Rescue Helicopter flew to Jacobs Well Road in Morbinning at 6pm after the woman fell off her quad bike.

She arrived at RPH just before 8pm.

Fatal traffic crash, Racecourse

QPS Media [13/11/14]:

A 17-year-old man has died following a single vehicle traffic crash at Racecourse yesterday evening.

Initial investigations suggest that around 9pm, a ute travelling along Stotts Road rolled several times on a straight section before coming to a stop on the edge of the road.

The 17-year-old man was located deceased at the scene. A male passenger was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The Forensic Crash Unit are investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle charges, Edmonton

QPS Media [13/11/14]:

Police have charged a man after an incident in Edmonton and Gordonvale last night.

Around 8.45pm police allegedly sighted the man driving a stolen vehicle on the Bruce Highway, Gordonvale. When police attempted to pull him over it is alleged he drove away at speed.

A short time later the vehicle was again sighted by police at Roberts Road Edmonton. Police will further allege the man purposely collided with two police vehicles after refusing to obey police direction.

Police officers finally gained entry to the vehicle where the man and a female passenger were taken into custody.

A 23-year-old Westcourt man was charged with 33 vehicle related offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and wilful damage of a motor vehicle. He is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court today.

A 30-year-old Cairns woman was charged with unrelated offences and is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court today.

Police investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

Murdoch fuelled aggression from drivers: Cycle death claimed health care champion

West Australian [13/11/14]:

... Associate Professor Paola Ferroni was riding her bike along Kings Park Road on November 5 when allegedly hit from behind by a Toyota Rav 4.

She was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with critical injuries and died on Saturday night.

A celebrated academic, Professor Ferroni was dedicated to improving health care in developing nations.

In 1999, then Curtin University vice-chancellor Professor Lance Twomey invited her to establish its Centre for International Health.

She was director of the centre until 2008 when she retired.

Her partner Associate Professor Rosemary Coates said Professor Ferroni "built it from nothing into a vibrant centre".

Professor Coates said her partner of 34 years was the "quintessential academic, intelligent, contemplative and secure enough in her own place to be generous with others".

She did her PhD in epidemiology at the Australian National University and was always proud of the fact her supervisor was "the father of Medicare" John Deeble.

An avid cyclist, Professor Ferroni was known for riding at any opportunity, including while overseas.

Professor Coates said the couple cycled extensively in Italy on much busier roads than in Perth and were confident riding in the Italian traffic.

"I am horrified at the attitude of Perth drivers," she said.

"There seems to be a war between drivers and cyclists in this city.

"I am also horrified at the behaviour of many cyclists, who do not seem to respect the road rules and are careless of other cyclists and pedestrians and don't seem to value their own life."

Emeritus Professor Jeanette Hacket paid tribute to both Professor Ferroni's academic achievements and her inspirational take on life.

Professor Hacket said Professor Ferroni brought an innovative and real-world approach to her work and helped forge international links with other educational institutions that continue to benefit students.

"She looked like a 40-year-old because she was so physically active, a splendid example of someone who kept herself very fit and worked very hard," Professor Hacket said.

"She was a ball of energy and a real motivator."

Three weeks ago, Professor Ferroni finished a 200km walk on Spain's Camino de Santiago despite painful blisters.

Associate Professors Sue Gillieatt and Sue Jones said Professor Ferroni was a wonderful mentor to her students and left them feeling captivated by the "most wonderful educator".

Appeal for public assistance – traffic crash, Toowong (April)

QPS Media [12/11/14]:

Police are appealing for public assistance in relation to a traffic crash in Toowong back in April.

Between 6 and 7pm on April 23, a vehicle travelling inbound along High Street near its intersection with Sherwood Road when it collided with [hit] a female pedestrian.

Anybody who may have witnessed the crash or stopped afterwards to render any assistance to the woman, described as being of Asian appearance, is encouraged to contact police.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

High Court decision on Queensland's anti rights laws due tomorrow

Sunshine Coast Daily [13/11/14]:

Family members of the "Yandina five" hope a High Court decision on the VLAD laws tomorrow will allow them to do what they have not been able to do for a year - be a family in public.

The United Motorcycle Council has challenged the "anti bikie" laws introduced last year which make it an offence for more than three members of an outlawed motorcycle gang to meet in public.

Five men alleged to be Rebels motorcycle club members or associates were arrested and charged under the legislation in December last year after CCTV cameras filmed them at the Yandina Hotel.

Family and friends claim the men, Steven Smith, 28, his brother Scott Michael Conley, 36, their brother-in-law Joshua Carew, 30, long-time friend Dan Whale, 26, also known among his friends as Dan Black, and another man, Paul Lansdowne, were doing nothing more than having a drink.

Two were released on bail after nearly three weeks, two remained in custody until mid-January, and the last was not released on bail until March.

Since the arrests, Michael Smith, a former Rebels sergeant-at-arms, his sons Steven and Scott, and son-in-law Josh Carew have not been able to be in public at the same time and place.

Mr Smith senior said he was looking forward to the High Court decision.

He hopes the High Court will overturn the legislation which he said was in breach of every Australian's right to freedom of association.

"The judges have got a very, very difficult job. I don't envy them their position," he said.

"We hope the case is treated fairly and the laws are interpreted the way we see them being and we can go back to some sort of normality."

Josh Carew's wife, Tracey - Mr Smith's daughter - said she hoped the family, which now numbered eight grandchildren, could be together this Christmas pending the High Court decision.

She gave birth to a baby boy last Saturday.

"He's one good thing to come out of this year,'' Tracey said.

"Hopefully, there'll be another."

GasFields Community Leaders Council meeting in Toowoomba today

Chronicle [13/11/14]:

... The GasFields Commission's flagship event - the GasFields Communiy Leaders Council meeting - will bring to the table senior management from the major onshore gas proponents, local government, state government, local business and agricultural leaders.

The focal point of this event will be presentations by the major proponents on the way forward for creating greater opportunities for local businesses to service the onshore gas industry.

Commission Chairman John Cotter advises that the senior management of the major onshore gas proponents will present information on future opportunities for local businesses as the industry transitions from construction to production.

The Commission had formally requested the major proponents to provide full information on workforce number projections and locations; potential work packages over the next 12 months; and how local business should approach this next phase.

Mr Cotter said the key concern for local business is the apparent lack of information or advice presently coming from the proponents about what this next phase of production will look like and what it could mean for their businesses.

Mr Cotter said the gas industry transition comes at the same time as the agricultural industry is facing extremely tough conditions due to the prolonged drought.

He said it has been a double-whammy for those local businesses that service both these two industries in the Surat Basin, putting pressure on financial returns and staff numbers.

Commissioner Shane Charles, Commissioner for Community and Business, who works in the community to maximise opportunities for local businesses said that while many local businesses from across the Surat Basin have benefited from the intensive construction phase of recent years, many of these same businesses are now experiencing a significant slowdown as these projects are completed.

"Local businesses in Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles or Roma recognise that the construction phase wouldn't last forever, but they need greater clarity and detail if they are to adjust their businesses to meet some of the long term opportunities with the onshore gas industry," he said.

The event will be held at the Toowoomba City Golf Club from noon today.

Indigenous climate campaigners confront Peabody Energy

NIRS [13/11/14]:

Six members of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network have participated in a protest against one of the world's biggest mining companies, Peabody Energy.

The Chief Operating Officer of the company was giving an address at a G20-related energy forum in Brisbane where he was arguing coal could be 'clean'.

But he was interrupted by climate campaigners who chanted, "we don't want your coal."

Bundjalung woman Amelia Telford led the protest and she says climate issues should be high on the agenda at the G20.

Peabody Energy targeted by climate activists at G20-related energy forum [Guardian - 12/11/14]

Shell 'warned Nigeria pipeline could leak before spills'

BBC [13/11/14]:

Oil firm Royal Dutch Shell was told a pipeline had reached the end of its life years before it spilled up to 500,000 barrels of oil, according to court documents seen by the BBC.

Two spills in 2008 affected about 35 sq miles (90 sq km) in southern Nigeria, according to a group suing Shell.

The area included sensitive mangroves.

Shell "dismisses the suggestion that it has knowingly continued to use a pipeline that is not safe to operate," it told the BBC.

The emails, letters and internal reports submitted to a court in London show that senior Shell employees were concerned before the spill that Shell's pipelines in the area had reached the end of their lives and needed replacing to avoid danger to lives, the environment and the economy.

The spills took place in Bodo, a town in the Ogoniland region, where people interviewed for an Amnesty International report into the effects of the incident reported headaches and eyesight problems.

Following the spills, the price of fish, a local staple food, rose as much as tenfold, according to Amnesty.

People who worked in fishing had to find jobs in other industries which proved more difficult to find.

Oil spills in the Ogoniland region have also contaminated local drinking water sources, seeping into groundwater, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Toxins found by UNEP in the wider Ogoniland area's drinking water include benzene, which is thought to cause cancer.

The two spills came from the same pipe on the Trans Niger Pipeline, operated by Shell, which takes oil from its fields to the export terminal at Bonny on the coast. It carries about 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The firm disputes the size of the spills and says much of the oil was spilt as a result of thefts and sabotage.

In September 2006 - two years before the spills - a letter from Basil Omiyi, managing director of Shell's Nigeria business, SPDC, to the governor of Rivers State said that the pipeline was of "immediate and utmost concern".

Shell had not inspected the pipeline for several years due to difficulties in accessing it, he said.

"There is a risk and likelihood of rupture on this pipeline at any time, which if it happens, could have serious consequences for the safety of life, the environment and the nation's economy."

...

Senate Inquiry into Qld Inc will shine the light on curious CSG approvals, dodgy deals and donors

Lock The Gate [13/11/14]:

The public will get its best chance yet to follow the money trail between big donors, mining approvals and government when the Senate Inquiry into the Queensland Government and its finances, opens today, Lock the Gate Alliance said.

Public hearings begin on the Gold Coast this morning in what is hoped will be a forensic review of years of questionable approvals related to coal and gas projects and exports.

“This inquiry will examine how and why “Queensland Incorporated” has been allowed to flout international environmental regulations, ride rough shod over landholders and kowtow to mining interests,” Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton said.

“The inquiry will look specifically at CSG project approvals, and other resource exports including coal, and we hope it will get to the bottom of how and why some very questionable deals were ever given the green light.

“We are hearing from landholders across Queensland who are working on submissions to put before the inquiry on coal and gas projects that have taken their water, disrupted their businesses and impacted on their health.

“This is the best chance we have had to get to the bottom of large donations to political parties that have coincided with mining approvals; the surprise three minutes to midnight changes that stripped landholders of objection rights to mining projects; and the reasons why some mining projects are railroaded through departments for approval with little or no examination.”

Among the first witnesses invited to give evidence is tourism operator Innes Larkin from the Scenic Rim area who spent two years away from his business fighting coal seam gas related projects that should never have been on the table.

Mr Larkin will outline how CSG projects proposed for his unique World Heritage region would have contravened Australia’s international environmental obligations and were only stopped by a mammoth effort from the community.

“I will be telling the inquiry that the Federal Environment Minister should never delegate his powers to the states under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act especially when there are cross border issues involved such as the proposed gas pipeline that would have cut a swathe through the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia,” Mr Larkin said.

Follow the inquiry on twitter #Qldinc

Senate Inquiry into Queensland Government: First public hearing to be held on Gold Coast today

PUP Media Release [13/11/14]:

Palmer United Senator for Queensland and Leader of Palmer United in the Senate, Glenn Lazarus, today released information regarding the first public hearing for the Senate Inquiry into Certain Aspects of the Queensland Government Administration.

Senator Lazarus is the Chairman of the Senate Inquiry and the spokesperson for the Inquiry Committee.

“The people of Queensland have responded with vigour to the Inquiry,” said Senator Lazarus.

“Many submissions have been received from various sectors across Queensland and they are still continuing to come in.

“I strongly urge Queenslanders who have not yet lodged submissions to do so.

Your voice will be heard and your concerns will be addressed.

“This Senate Inquiry is providing a real and genuine forum for Queenslanders to raise their concerns with the Queensland Government under Parliamentary Privilege.

“The first public hearing for the Inquiry will be held at the Gold Coast tomorrow.

“The Inquiry forums are public forums and members of the community are able to attend.

“Members of the community and organizations who have lodged submissions as well as others who have expressed a desire to raise issues at public hearings have been invited to participate in the public hearing tomorrow.

“Tomorrow’s hearing on the Gold Coast will cover issues including the Gold Coast Spit, the Gold Coast Broadwater, the Gold Coast Quarry and various other matters.

“I strongly urge all media to attend to cover the hearings also.

“The next public hearing will be held in Brisbane on the 21st of November. Details concerning this hearing will be available next week.

“It is expected that public hearings will continue to be held across Queensland until February 2015.

WATCH LIVE HERE

HEARING DETAILS

Date: 13 November 2014
Time: 11.00am – 3.00pm
Location: The Crown Plaza Hotel, Surfers Paradise – Phoenix Room
2807 Gold Coast Highway
Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast hearing will include:

1. Save our Spit
Dr Steven Gration, President
Mr Phil Hoile, Treasurer

2. Save our Broadwater
Ms Kate Matthews, President

3. Main Beach Bathing Pavilion
Mr Don Magin

4. Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council
Ms Lois Levy, President

5. Stop the Gold Coast Quarry
Mr Sam Stewart, President
Mr Rob Richards

6. Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic
Mr Innes Larkin

7. Australian Rainforest Conservation Society
Dr Aila Keto, AO, President

Select Committee into Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs

Electoral Commission Queensland Approves Palmer United Party Registration

PUP Media Release [13/11/14]:

The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says he’s delighted the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) has approved the registration of the Palmer United Party ahead of the coming state election.

Mr Palmer said the ECQ has advised the Palmer United Party it had ‘overwhelmingly’ exceeded its membership requirements – and a week before a November 17 deadline.

“We’re pleased the ECQ has confirmed the Palmer United Party has easily met its requirement of having 500 party members as we have thousands of members in Queensland,” he said.

Mr Palmer said confirmation of the Palmer United Party’s official registration in Queensland was an embarrassment for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, in particular The Courier Mail newspaper, which had published “nonsense stories” questioning the party’s legitimacy.

The Courier Mail is acting as a cheer squad for the LNP and Premier Campbell Newman and is failing to provide its readers with fair, balanced and unbiased reporting,” he said.

“Well, Campbell Newman now has a major fight on his hands at the next election from the Palmer United Party.

“The Palmer United Party is the last sentry at the gate for Queenslanders and we will stand firmly against the LNP’s plans to dispose of state assets.

“If successful at the next Queensland election, our party will resume any state-owned assets that have been sold off, without providing compensation to private sector investors who bought into them.

“The LNP is merely supporting lobbyist friends who will earn millions in commission cheques for leasing these assets.

“A Queensland-elected Palmer United Party government would stimulate the economy and protect assets owned by Queenslanders.’’

Remote Queensland’s lack of access to affordable and reliable technology services is a “shame on the nation” according to Queensland LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. ... [North West Star - 12/11/14]

Man dies after car tumbles off hinterland road, Advancetown

MYGC [13/11/14]:

A man has died after his car tumbled off a dark, winding road in the Gold Coast hinterland on Wednesday night.

The crash happened around 9.00pm at Advancetown, near where Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd meets Beechmont Rd.

It’s understood the man was trapped in his vehicle after it tumbled off a sheer drop and come to rest against a tree.

A man believed to in his thirties was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The car was reportedly left balancing precariously on a ledge, which hampered efforts to free the man.

The Forensic Crash Unit are now investigating the circumstances leading up to the crash.

Police are also appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact Crime Stoppers or their local police.

More violence greenlighted by Australia's political and media establishment

Herald [13/11/14]:

Police from Newcastle City command are seeking further information following an assault outside a Wallsend mosque on Wednesday evening.

At around 9:40pm on Wednesday a 47-year-old man was allegedly assaulted on Metcalfe Street at Wallsend.

The man contacted police, who patrolled the area, but could not locate the alleged assailant.

The man did not require medical assistance.

Police are continuing their inquiries and anyone will further information is encouraged the contact Crime Stoppers.

Dickensian

West Australian [13/11/14]:

A police dog was used to track a man who allegedly robbed a pizza shop in Doubleview last night.

It will be alleged that 8.20pm a 24-year-old man threatened staff with a firearm at the shop on Scarborough Beach Road before leaving with a sum of money.

Police began searching the area and the alleged offender was found hiding in a backyard by police dog Freddie.

The money and a toy firearm were recovered.

New Zealand: Officer's use of police dog justified - IPCA [RNZI - 13/11/14]:

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has ruled an Upper Hutt police officer was justified in using his police dog against a man believed to be involved in a burglary.

In the incident, the man was bitten on the leg and needed eight days' treatment in hospital.

The authority's report says officers saw two people running away after a reported break-in at a shop in the early hours of the morning in June.

A police dog picked up a scent leading from the scene, caught up with the suspect and was found by his handler biting the man on the leg. A second person was arrested without injury.

The IPCA ruled there were reasonable gounds to suspect the two men's involvement and both men later admitted attempted burglary. Using a police dog to catch them was the only realistic option.

It says a subsequent claim the bitten man was punched by police was not supported by any evidence.

 

13 November 2014

HOME