Friday, February 08, 2013
Tasmanian Greens headed for a rare defeat
FEDERAL Environment Minister Tony Burke is expected to make an announcement today allowing mining to go ahead in the Tarkine.
Mr Burke is scheduled to make an announcement on the heritage listing for the northwest Tasmanian Tarkine region in northern Tasmania today.
Although the state and federal governments were remaining tight-lipped about the listing last night, the Mercury understands Mr Burke will allow mining to go ahead in parts of the region.
Emergency listing for area that has become a political battleground between environmental groups, unions and federal and state political parties was allowed to lapse in 2010.
The State Government has called for mining to be allowed in parts of the region that has been home to mining for more than a century.
However, the region and has become an example of the anger directed at the State Government and its stablemates the Greens.
During a rally in Burnie in November, that attracted nearly 3000 people, Premier Lara Giddings and Resources Minister Bryan Green were heckled for being "in bed with the Greens".
A strong campaign by the Australian Workers Union included a delegation of miners going to Canberra to hand Mr Burke a petition signed by more than 6000 people.
Environmental group the Tarkine National Coalition spokesman Scott Jordan said last night he feared the Tarkine would be opened up for mining based on public statements from Mr Burke in the past.
"We are very concerned," Mr Jordan said. He has vowed to keep campaigning for the protection of the region.
There are about 10 new mines planned for the region over the next five years.
No free speech for army personnel?
The sacred sodomites being worshipped again
The Queensland Senate hopeful kicked out of Bob Katter's party for anti-gay comments now faces punishment from the Defence Force.
Bernard Gaynor, the former national secretary of Katter's Australian Party and a member of the Army Reserve, was suspended from the party last month after he tweeted that he would not allow gay people to teach his children.
A "hot issue brief" shows the defence force is worried about his "inappropriate" comment because media reports on the controversy mentioned his army service.
"The member's chain of command is seeking legal advice in relation to administrative action," the document says. Adverse administrative actions are "designed to admonish and correct unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance". But Mr Gaynor said on Thursday he stood by his position "that a parent should be able to choose who teaches their children".
Mr Gaynor was one of two budding politicians who had to give up their hopes of running for Katter's Australian Party after making comments about gay rights last month.
The other, Tess Corbett, withdrew her nomination for the federal seat of Wannon in Victoria after sparking controversy by claiming paedophiles would "be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights".
$10m funding boost for the Left's propaganda arm
The ABC has received $10 million in additional funding from the Federal Government to enhance its news output.
ABC News director Kate Torney says the funding will be used to enhance news and current affairs on radio, television and digital services.
Ms Torney says more journalists will be hired around the country and more cameras will be placed in regional Australia.
ABC News will also establish a fact-checking and research unit, and recruit a Freedom of Information editor.
"It's good news for our news and current affairs teams, for the many staff across other divisions who work with us to produce coverage for radio, television and digital platforms, and, most importantly, it is great news for ABC audiences," she said.
"This investment will deliver more quality coverage for Australian audiences and allow ABC News to enhance the service it has proudly provided for 80 years."
The ABC's managing director Mark Scott added: "I am delighted that we will recruit more journalists to deliver more in-depth quality reporting on the stories and issues that matter to all Australians
Smoking banned in children's playgrounds
You can't expect manners or consideration from addicts so you have to lean on them
The Victorian Government is moving to ban smoking in children's playgrounds.
The law will be changed so people will not be able to smoke in playgrounds, at swimming pools, children's sports grounds or skate parks. Offenders face a fine of $140.
Health Minister David Davis says the Government wants to reduce children's exposure to smoke.
"Children ought to be able to be in a playground, be at a skate park, be at a children's sporting event without encountering smoke, or the role model impacts of those who smoke," he said.
The Government will not say when it might ban smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas.