Vic carbon rally looks to people power

post on February 3rd, 2019
Posted in 南宁QM

An estimated 10,000 people rallied in Melbourne on Sunday as part of a national climate-change campaign urging the federal government to set a carbon price.

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Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry said the big polluters and their supporters were running a scare campaign on the carbon tax but a people-power campaign was gaining momentum. “We’ve got to ramp up people power because in the next three months our parliament’s going to decide whether we take action or not,” Mr Henry told the Melbourne rally. Mr Henry said the majority of Australians wanted action on climate change, as shown by tens of thousands of people turning out for Sunday’s “Say Yes” rallies across the country. “We think momentum is building, people power is building, because Australians want action on climate change,” he told reporters. “We know this won’t be easy but the time to get moving is right now.” Mr Henry said now was the time to ramp up the campaign supporting a carbon tax. “I think we’re all worried that our parliamentarians won’t get over the line, they’ve blinked a couple of times before,” he said. “So it’s the right time for all Australians, from all walks of life, to say, `Hey, come on parliamentarians, no matter what your political colour, we pay your salary, we vote you in, we want action on climate change now and that means a price on pollution’.” ‘A show of strength’ Greens MP Adam Bandt described the rally as a show of strength from people who wanted real action on climate change. “What this is is a genuine people-powered movement that is going to ride over the top of Tony Abbott’s coal-fired fear campaign,” Mr Bandt said after the rally. The opposition leader last week urged the mining industry to become “political activists” in a last-ditch effort to head off a carbon tax. The government plans to finalise details of its carbon pricing scheme in early July, ahead of legislation being introduced to parliament by September and a fixed carbon price starting on July 1, 2012. Mr Bandt said the multi-party climate change committee working on the scheme would meet again this week and throughout June to see if an agreement could be reached about putting a price on pollution. Asked what minimum price was needed to make a difference, Mr Bandt said: “A price that will be effective and will begin the transition away from coal and towards clean energy.”

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Slain officer remembered at funeral

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Thousands of well wishers turned out for the funeral of Queensland policeman Damian Leeding who was gunned down in an armed robbery.

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Five officers, bearing the flags of Australia, Queensland and the state’s police service, marched to the beat of a single drum, towards his casket, draped in blue.

But within moments the silence was gone, replaced by a wall of electric sound as pop princess Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” reverberated around the auditorium. “… baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what you’re worth. Make ’em go ‘Oh, oh, oh!, as you shoot across the sky-y-y.”

For those who didn’t know the detective senior constable, it might have seemed a peculiar choice.

But his wife Sonya, who knew him best, knows it’s what he would have wanted. “Sonya said he would have wanted a simple and light ceremony,” the priest officiating at the ceremony told mourners.

“We may have to settle for a mixture of laughter and tears.”

The priest told those who’d gathered to remember the 35-year-old, shot in the face during a tavern hold-up just over a week ago, that an evil act had claimed his life. But Tuesday’s service would be a celebration of his life, and would give a glimpse of “Damo, the man”.

Coomera police officer Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Procter told of his mate and colleague’s determination to fight crime.

“The Damian I known is not the triathlete, not the (former) carpenter. The Damo I know is the hard working officer,” he said. “He was the sort of bloke you wanted to be around, work with and become friends with, a quintessential detective.

“He often came in daily, dragging a dealer off the street. He had a distinct dislike for anyone dealing with drugs.”

He said he went about his job quietly, never seeking recognition or the spotlight but received accolades nevertheless. “He was the ultimate quiet achiever,” Det Snr Sgt Procter said.

He spoke of his larrikin spirit, and his habit of planting rubber snakes at crime scenes and how he dissolved into laughter at the reaction of his panicked colleagues.

He said he had spoken to his friend about football on the Sunday he was shot but regretted the things he had not said. “I would have told him to be safe, look after himself and not be so brave.

There are so many things I would have told him,” Det Snr Sgt Procter said. He said the police family would always look after Sonya, his son Hudson, 2, and baby Grace, three months.

“We will honour you by staying strong and keeping the community safe,” he said. “Last Sunday night our world stopped.”

Another colleague Senior Constable Warwick Brown said the police family would make sure Hudson and Grace knew what an exceptional man their father was.

“Damo you are our hero .. a hero to all the nation,” he told the congregation.

“We will ensure that Hudson and Grace will grow up to know what a hero their dad was. We will miss you, I will miss you mate.”

Friend Tracey Wilkinson said the last time she’d spoken formally of Damo was at his wedding. “None of us thought the next time would be at Damo’s funeral,” she said.

She spoke of his romantic nature, and his proposal to Sonya on a hot air balloon ride, and of his willingness to serve as a taxi driver when Sonya went out for drinks with her girlfriends.

Then there was Damo, the builder, the trade he learned before joining the force.

“He was always building something and renovating,” she said. But it was the police force where he found his true calling.

“It was something he was very passionate about.” In the end, the realities of that job took him from his children.

“They were his proudest accomplishments in life,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“He loved nothing more than kicking back with a Corona watching the football and relaxing with his family.”

Police Chaplain Father Columba MacBeth-Green told mourners Det Snr Const Leeding’s death had generated a wave of love, and that must be his legacy.

“I think the events of the last week and a half we have seen a lot of real love,” he said. He spoke of brotherly love, empathy, and the love of common humanity.

“Damo’s tragic passing has brought this out in our community again,” he said.

He spoke of floral tributes piled up for the slain officer, the outpouring of messages of support for his family, and the community’s determination to support Sonya and the couple’s children.

He spoke too of the love colleagues had shown.

“We saw Damo’s mates at the hospital, staying there … often for quite a long time, they didn’t want to leave.

“They stayed there in vigil, they were hurting but they come together to look after each other in their hurt.”

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson paid tribute to an exceptional officer, whose loss was being mourned at simultaneous services across Queensland.

“The Queensland Police Service has lost an outstanding officer,” he told the congregation.

But his family had lost so much more. “Although we try, words are inadequate to express that loss.”

The congregation was told Det Snr Const Leeding would be posthumously awarded the valour medal, the Queensland Police Service’s highest award.

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Most think war on terrorism failing: poll

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Almost a decade after the September 11 terror attacks in the US, most Australians and Americans think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not worth the cost.

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A study conducted by the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney has found a significant number believe the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are not helping to win the war on terrorism.

The study involved online polling of the views of 2210 Australians and 900 Americans between May 2 and May 18.

The centre’s chief executive, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, said responses gathered after the death of terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden showed most Australians polled (63 per cent) think the war on terrorism will never end, with only 30 per cent of Americans and 20 per cent of Australians confident it is being won.

“Both Australians and Americans are clearly sick and tired after the 9/11 decade of war,” he said in a statement.

“They doubt the prohibitive costs have been well spent and don’t think the West is winning. People have moved on from the 9/11 decade to focus on their economic anxieties after the global financial crisis.”

Only four per cent of Australian and three per cent of American respondents selected terrorism as the most important problem facing their respective countries.

In both cases, just one per cent nominated the war in Afghanistan as their greatest concern.

However Americans are more worried about a terrorist attack on home ground than Australians, who believe their country has moved on from the “9/11 decade” more readily than the US.

On both sides of the Pacific the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC are regarded as more significant than the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The study found ALP and coalition supporters tended to strongly agree on matters to do with terrorism.

In the US, Democrats and Republicans were less likely to agree on terrorism, although they were closer on that topic than on other issues in American public opinion.

Asked to identify the most important problem facing Australia, respondents chose from immigration, environment, the Afghan war, terrorism, natural disasters and the economy.

Thirty per cent rated the economy as the number one concern, ahead of immigration.

On the same question, Americans weighed in at 38 per cent for the economy, 16 per cent for health care and 14 per cent for security.

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Swan’s unhappy, bad luck: Barnett

post on February 3rd, 2019
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West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is not worried that his budget may cause frustration for federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

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WA Treasurer Christian Porter announced on Thursday the government would increase royalty rates on iron ore fines from 5.625 per cent to 7.5 per cent by 2014.

The increase on royalties for iron ore fines will bring in $1.9 billion in extra royalties to WA’s coffers by 2015, creating a black hole in the federal government’s budget.

“It’s raining, I’m happy, you’re happy, Wayne Swan’s unhappy, bad luck,” Mr Barnett said to laughter at a Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast on Friday.

The decision comes despite Mr Swan warning in March, when he unveiled the final details of minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), that the states should not raise royalty rates.

Mr Swan hit out at Mr Barnett, accusing him of playing politics with the mining boom and warned WA would suffer through a decline in GST revenue.

The WA premier on Friday rejected Mr Swan’s accusations, saying the decision had nothing to do with the MRRT.

“The decision we took to phase out the long-existing concession on iron ore fines, we made that decision on its own merit, not in any way to impact on the federal government,” Mr Barnett said.

He said miners “do not hesitate” to raise the price of commodities to their consumers in China.

“People in WA are entitled to get the full price of fines… It was a principled decision and the correct decision,” he said.

Mr Swan continued the attack on Friday, saying there were “strange figures” in the WA budget and doubted whether the state would really net an extra $2 billion as a result of the decision to increase royalties.

“It’s somewhat less than that, but I’m going to get the Treasury to do the work over the weekend,” he told ABC Radio.

Mr Swan said WA’s share of GST revenue would be cut by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

“(WA premier Colin) Barnett will end up with less revenue, that’s the Treasury advice that I’ve got,” he said.

“Western Australia is a loser from this.”

But Mathias Cormann, an opposition frontbencher and WA senator, accused Mr Swan of “going to war” with his state and pointed to Treasury modelling showing $25 billion out of $38.5 billion in mining tax revenue would come from iron ore production there.

“No wonder Western Australia made the legitimate decision seeking to protect its revenue base,” Senator Cormann said.

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NZ families in mourning after Gold Coast killings

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Two New Zealand families are in mourning following the killings that claimed three lives, including that of a five-year-old girl, in southern Queensland and northern NSW.

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New South Wales police say they are investigating whether the father of the girl took some form of poison before he gassed them both in a car.

Former Nelson man Anthony Way, 33, and Tania Simpson, 31, were found stabbed to death in Simpson’s unit at Robina on the Gold Coast on Monday morning.

Simpson’s daughter Kyla Rogers, 5, had been reported missing at the weekend, and her body was found with that of her father, Paul Anthony Rogers, from Hamilton, after both had apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Police say Rogers may have stabbed Way and Simpson as Kyla slept in another room and then taken her away in his station-wagon.

Kyla’s 20-month-old brother Bronnson, earlier thought to have been abducted, was found safe, having spent Sunday night with his grandparents on the Gold Coast.

Way’s family said in a statement they were devastated by the loss of their son and brother and asked for privacy.

Way, who was known by many of his friends as “Ant”, grew up in Nelson, attending St Joseph’s Primary School and Nelson College.

He left New Zealand eight years ago and had been working in Australia as a renderer.

“Ant was one of those charismatic guys with an X-factor who drew people to him. He had a sharp sense of humour and would give you the shirt off his back.

He was generous, positive and had the most captivating smile,” his family said. He is survived by his parents and elder brother, who live in Nelson and Blenheim.

The family planned to hold a memorial service on the Gold Coast, followed by a funeral in Nelson.

The details of the Nelson service are yet to be finalised. Gold Coast Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Trezise said Rogers and Simpson had been separated for eight months.

Simpson moved out of the family home at Ormeau, which the couple had bought two years ago from her parents, to become a manager of the Robina unit complex. Until last month, Rogers had been living in the caravan park they owned together in Inverell.

The couple had been planning to marry prior to their separation.

“They had been making plans to marry. I understand wedding invitations had been sent out,” Trezise said.

“They’d been together eight years, but unfortunately the relationship broke down prior to the wedding.

“In difficult circumstances like this, when we have a triple homicide and what we believe at this stage to be a suicide, it’s not easy to explain exactly why this happened.”

Trezise said evidence found at the unit yesterday indicated Kyla might have slept through the double killing.

“Kyla had gone to bed in the unit, but was missing come Monday morning,” he said.

“There’s some evidence at the scene which indicates that she was asleep in bed the whole time.”

NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett said Kyla’s death appeared to have happened after a dispute.

“The man (Paul Anthony Rogers) and (Kyla’s mother) had been estranged for some time; they had been living apart,” he told the ABC.

“(Kyla’s mother) had moved up to the Gold Coast and started a new life for herself and sadly this series of events has unfolded unexpectedly, and it has just been a tragedy.

“The whole family has been simply torn apart – a 20-month little boy left without a mother or a father.”

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263).

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Skype cadet accused wants to resume course

post on February 3rd, 2019
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A defence academy cadet at the centre of a Skype sex scandal will be allowed to make an application to resume his studies following a court appearance in Canberra.

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Daniel McDonald, 19, has been charged with offences relating to a Skype broadcast showing him having consensual sex with a female cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

His lawyer, Tony Burns, on Friday asked the ACT Magistrates Court to alter bail conditions that required his client remain at least 100 metres from the victim.

He sought a limit of five metres, enabling McDonald to resume studies at the academy.

Prosecutor Kylie Weston-Scheuber opposed the application.

Constable Leesa Alexander from the Australian Federal Police’s sexual assault team told the court she had spoken to the female cadet on Friday morning.

She had told her that she felt “sick to the stomach” every time she thought of the incident, the officer said.

The female cadet, who is overseas, would not return to ADFA or Canberra if the original bail conditions were altered, Const Alexander said.

Under questioning from Mr Burns, the police officer conceded there had been no sexual assault.

The female cadet had not claimed to have been harassed by McDonald and had admitted the sex had been consensual.

ADFA representative Flight-Lieutenant Michael Bennerman told the court McDonald had controlled his emotions well.

If the bail condition was removed the cadet would be able to apply to resume studies at the academy, he told the court.

A second cadet, Dylan De Blaquiere, charged over the incident has returned to South Australia.

Both cadets have indicated they will plead not guilty to any charges.

The case continues.

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Xstrata to close smelting, refining

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Global Swiss-based miner Xstrata says it will close down its copper smelting activities at Mt Isa and refining in Townsville, in north Queensland, as part of a program to “sustain the future of its .

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.. operations” in area.

Xstrata announced the program on Wednesday, saying it also would expand its Mt Isa mining and concentrate production operations.

Copper smelting at Mt Isa and refining in Townsville would close by the end of 2016, Xstrata said, in a statement from its local subsidiary, Xstrata Mount Isa Mines.

The statement follows a report in News Ltd newspapers on Wednesday that said Xstrata would threaten the closures as part of a stand-off with authorities over emissions.

The report said up to 500 jobs would be lost by the closures.

The Xstrata statement said, however, that the Mt Isa smelting and Townsville refining would phased out by the end of 2016.

“The future for Xstrata’s north Queensland operations includes the expansion of existing mining operations and the potential development of new mines at Mount Isa and the broader region,” Xstrata said.

“This would also include the continuation of lead smelting and the expansion of port facilities in Townsville and create long-term employment opportunities.”

Xstrata Copper North Queensland Chief Operating Officer, Steve de Kruijff, said the plan had not been adopted lightly, but was a necessary response to changing global market conditions.

“Market conditions have been very challenging for copper smelting and refining operations as a result of overcapacity in the global market, low treatment and refining charges and increasing operating and capital costs,” Mr de Kruijff said.

“The economic viability of our Mount Isa copper smelting and refining operations has been under increasing pressure for a number of years and cannot be sustained in the long term

. “We need to evolve our business to ensure we can secure the future of our operations for the long term.”

Mr de Kruijff said Xstrata’s operational plan over the next five years would see significant investment in north Queensland to focus on exporting mineral concentrates, along with the development of the necessary infrastructure to increase rail and port capacity.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that we value our people.

“Our main priority is to ensure employees remain with the business and we will be working closely with our workforce to deliver retraining and retention packages to support our operations well into the future.”

Xstrata said the company’s Mt Isa resources of 587 million tonnes of zinc mineral and 416 million tonnes of copper mineral were “potentially accessible” through expanded underground and open mine operations.

Concept studies into development were proceeding.

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines said it would submit an Environmental Management Plan to the Queensland government seeking endorsement for its long-term strategy for Mount Isa operations.

“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and we are committed to complying with all environmental objectives as required by the new regulations,” the company said.

Xstrata would continue to work closely with the Queensland Government, its employees and local communities to implement its long-term strategy for sustainable operations in north Queensland.

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Indigenous plan has not improved standards

post on February 3rd, 2019
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A NSW government plan to overturn Aboriginal disadvantage hasn’t delivered the intended improvements to living standards, the auditor-general has found.

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The disadvantage experienced by NSW’s 160,000 Aboriginal people was still “substantial”, Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat said on Wednesday.

“Despite the best of intentions, the plan has failed to deliver the overall outcomes that were intended,” he told reporters.

“Sadly, literacy and numeracy rates remain high, unemployment rates remain high, and living conditions only improved marginally.

“For example, the unemployment rate for Aboriginal people is at least three times higher than the rate for all NSW residents, and hospital admissions for diabetes are also around three times higher.”

Mr Achterstraat’s report was into the 10-year Two Ways Together plan, introduced in 2003, which was meant to overcome disadvantage suffered by Aboriginal people and communities.

It was designed to better co-ordinate government service delivery in seven areas: health, housing, education, justice, economic development, families and young people, and culture and heritage.

Mr Achterstraat said the plan had raised awareness of such disadvantage and led to some improvement.

But despite “the best of intentions” it had not significantly bettered living standards for the state’s indigenous people.

Mr Achterstraat also found accountability was “unclear” for the $240 million spent by various government departments on services for Aboriginal people.

“Government departments that are given money for Aboriginal specific programs need to tell the community how they’ve spent the money and what was actually achieved,” he said.

Despite the failings of the Two Ways plan, Mr Achterstraat believed the program was worth continuing.

“There are green shoots, activity is starting to occur, but we need to nurture this and keep it going,” he said.

“Entrenched disadvantage does take a long time to overcome because you’ve got a variety of factors. You’ve got health issues, you’ve got education issues and you’ve got employment issues.

“One leads to the other, and they all need to be addressed.”

Mr Achterstraat recommended the appointment of an independent “champion” to oversee the co-ordination and accountability of spending on Aboriginal services.

Government departments delivering programs to indigenous people should also begin detailing how much money was spent, and the outcomes achieved, he said.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell accused the former Labor government of failing Aboriginal communities, and pledged to take the auditor-general’s findings “extremely seriously”.

“My government will talk openly and honestly with Aboriginal people about the challenges that we jointly face and how to ensure that the mistakes of the previous government are not repeated, he said.

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Rush suffers execution nightmares

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Bali Nine drug mule Scott Rush says he still suffers from nightmares about being executed, a week after his death sentence was repealed.

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In a letter sent to The Age newspaper, Scott said he now feels he has found new purpose and can glimpse life outside the walls of Bali’s Kerobokan prison.

Rush said he was in his cell when he received the news that his death sentence had been commuted to life in prison.

“I sat there in silence for a while. I don’t know how long but it was quite surreal,” the letter to the newspaper said.

“So many emotions welled up in me. It is a hard feeling to describe, a mixture of guilt, a sense of release and the realisation that I have a second chance.”

He said his determination to reform was strengthened.

“One dreadful burden has been lifted, a new responsibility has begun,” he wrote.

Rush said if he is ever released he wants to be an ambassador against drugs.

“I have met so many people inside Kerobokan prison whose lives have been destroyed by drugs, and (seen) the pain it has caused their families…So I would like to give back to my community and help others say no to drugs,” he wrote.

Rush, 25, from Brisbane, had been facing the death penalty for his part in a 2005 plot to smuggle more than 8kg of heroin from Bali into Australia.

One of nine Australians convicted over the drug-smuggling conspiracy, Rush was given life in prison when initially convicted, but had his sentence increased to death at his first appeal.

Rush was only 19, and on his first overseas trip, when he was arrested at Ngurah Rai Airport with 1.3kg of heroin strapped to his legs and body underneath his clothing.

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Thousands protest about solar policy turn

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Solar industry installers, solar panel owners and supporters are voicing their opposition to the NSW government’s decision to retrospectively slash tariffs to existing subscribers.

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Greens MP John Kaye labelled the move as “semi-unlawful” and said it would hinder the state’s push towards a clean energy future.

“It will squander investment in renewable energy,” Mr Kaye told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s a semi-illegal move.”

Mr Kaye called for a one-for-one feed-in tariff so energy companies pay the same for solar energy generated by households as they make households pay from electricity produced by coal-fire.

NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher on Friday announced the scheme will no longer be open to new applicants.

Most of the existing 120,000 subscribers receive 60 cents for every kilowatt hour of electricity they generate from their solar panels.

Retrospective legislation will be introduced to slash that rate to 40 cents.

John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Energy Society, urged the protesters to contact independent MPs, saying it would be the only way to stop legislation passing parliament on

Tuesday.

“We need two more votes … there are four independent members, they will decide it,” Mr Grimes said.

“We will not back away from this fight. We will use every method at our disposal.”

He said people should contact the Christian Democrats and members of the Shooting Party.

The protest organisers told AAP there were about 1500 people at Circular Quay.

They were chanting “save solar today” and carrying banners such as “Chris Hartcher equals Tariff snatcher” and “The future is solar”.

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Mining royalties change will cost you, PM warns WA

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Prime Minister Julia Gillard says Western Australia will get less money for major projects and in GST payments following tax changes by the Barnett government.

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The WA coalition government on Thursday announced it would increase the royalty rate for iron ore fines to 6.5 per cent as of July 1, 2012, then to 7.5 per cent the following year.

It is expected to net the WA government $2 billion over three years.

Under the minerals resources rent tax deal with the big mining companies, the federal government must credit them back with money they pay into state coffers, meaning the Gillard government could be short $2 billion under the new WA arrangement.

IT’LL COST YOU, WA

Ms Gillard told reporters in Adelaide the decision – which ran contrary to the coalition’s campaign against higher mining taxes – would end up costing WA in terms of GST revenue and infrastructure.

“Today we can say that the campaign that was run in WA against the minerals resources rent tax by members of the Liberal Party has now turned out to be a pretty hollow campaign,” she said.

“It’s Premier (Colin) Barnett who is now increasing taxation on mining companies.”

Ms Gillard said Premier Barnett had scored an own goal.

“He knows how GST works and he knows that under the current system that this means the GST money will be moved away from Western Australia,” she said, referring to determinations by the independent Commonwealth Grants Commission.

“They will also lose infrastructure funds that would have flowed from the minerals resources rent tax.” SURPLUS PLANS

Ms Gillard said she remained committed to returning the federal budget to surplus by 2012/13.

“We will deliver that budget surplus and, as a result of the actions of Premier Barnett, of course we will… be adjusting infrastructure expenditure for Western Australia to protect the federal budget,” she said.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said he doubted WA’s tax move would net an extra $2 billion.

“It’s somewhat less than that, but I’m going to get the Treasury to do the work over the weekend,” he told ABC Radio on Friday.

Mr Swan said he was surprised by the WA government’s budget decisions, which would punish smaller miners.

Opposition frontbencher Mathias Cormann said the states should never have been left out of minerals resource rent tax negotiations, given how important mining revenues were to their bottom lines.

“The Gillard government has not engaged with the states on the mining tax at all, even though it has serious implications for their capacity to raise their own revenue,” he said.

The WA senator accused Mr Swan of “going to war” with his state and pointed to Treasury modelling showing $25 billion out of $38.5 billion in mining tax revenue would come from iron ore production there.

“No wonder Western Australia made the legitimate decision seeking to protect its revenue base,” Senator Cormann said.

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Home phone books to be ordered

post on February 3rd, 2019
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The era of having the residential phone book delivered automatically to your door is over in Sydney and Melbourne.

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While the White Pages Business and Government Directory will still be delivered to all, the residential phone book will only be delivered to those who order it.

Sydney and Melbourne people needing the home directory to find phone numbers, prop their computer up to the right height, or even up one end of their bookshelves will need to go online, call the hotline or go to Australia Post.

Sensis, which publishes the directories, is not commenting on how the change will affect its print run, but the printer’s union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is saying the print run of the residential directories was cut this year from almost 1.4 million to 165,000 in each city.

White Pages group manager Peter Barclay said on Wednesday most people no longer needed a residential phone book and were instead going online or using mobile phones and personal books to search for people’s numbers and address.

The change is being piloted this year after consultation with groups such as the Council on the Ageing (COTA) and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

Mr Barclay said he was confident groups such as the elderly would still be able to get the residential phone book if they wished to, by ordering it on the phone or over the internet, or by picking it up from Australia Post.

“While more and more consumers are using digital platforms to search for residential contact information, parts of the population still rely on the printed version of the White Pages residential book,” Mr Barclay said in a statement.

All businesses and households in Australia’s other capital cities and in regional areas will continue to automatically receive both the business and the home directories.

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Malaysia won’t take current boat arrivals

post on February 3rd, 2019
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Malaysia says it will only accept asylum seekers who arrive in Australia after the transfer deal with Canberra is finalised, placing those who have been intercepted in the past 10 days in limbo.

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Under the deal announced on May 7, up to 800 new boat arrivals will be relocated to Malaysia for processing, in return for Australia accepting 4000 people who have already been granted refugee status there.

Malaysia’s Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein reportedly has said that a boatload of 32 asylum seekers which arrived on May 14 will not be accepted by his country.

“On reports that a boatload of 32 asylum seekers temporarily housed at Christmas Island before being sent to countries such as Malaysia or Papua New Guinea where their refugee applications would be processed, Hishammuddin said the batch was not part of the transaction as the deal had not been finalised,” the Malaysia Star reported.

The comments come after Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Tuesday said anyone who arrived on a boat after May 7 would not be processed in Australia, and would be sent to a third country.

“What we’ve said about people who arrive in Australia from last Saturday, and this is the situation again consistently from now on, is that anybody who arrives in Australia will not be processed in Australia and has no guarantee of resettlement in Australia,” he told the ABC on Tuesday evening.

“Of course, the prime ministers of Malaysia and Australia have agreed to the principles, senior officials have been working through some of the finer details. I expect that to be settled in coming weeks.”

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government accepted that “no person will be sent to Malaysia until the arrangements are finalised”.

“Advanced negotiations are continuing with both Malaysia and Papua New Guinea in relation to all arrivals following the May 7 announcement,” the spokesman said.

Another two boats, carrying a total of 75 passengers, arrived on Monday.

However, the comments from the Malaysian home minister suggest where and when they will be processed is also in doubt.

The development came as Mr Bowen confirmed Australia would discuss with Thailand a deal similar to that agreed with Malaysia, and would also be interested in discussing such an agreement with Indonesia.

Indonesia, along with Malaysia, is the main transit point for asylum seekers heading to Australia by boat.

“We would have discussions with Thailand. I’m not pre-empting the results of that discussion,” he said.

“We’re not in formal discussions about a transfer agreement with Indonesia at the moment because my focus has been on Malaysia.

“But I do think this shows the potential for the sorts of agreements that could apply across the region.”

Indonesia, while not necessarily ruling out future discussions on the matter, made it clear it was not currently pursuing a transfer deal.

“We are in close contact with Australia at various levels in how we can co-operate in dealing with these issues that affect both our countries,” a spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry told AAP.

“Certainly, we cannot rule anything out for the future. In the future anything can happen,” he said.

The Malaysian home minister said it was hoped the deal between Australia and Malaysia would provide a template for similar arrangements in the region.

“I believe it is a pioneering, courageous and noble move that many will pick up to resolve this widespread issue due to economical reasons, crisis and transnational crime,” he said.

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