Queensland - Hundreds of troops sent north in army restructure

Bushfire risk increases as el Niño climate pattern confirmed


23-09-19 05:01

Australia is now in an El Niño climate pattern, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). This will increase the chances of a hot and dry summer and heighten the risk of dangerous bushfires. El Niño raises the risk of dangerous bushfires by creating drier and hotter conditions. The BoM also confirmed that a positive Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) event is underway. The IOD is determined by differences in sea surface temperature between the eastern and western Indian Ocean. A positive IOD usually results in decreased spring rainfall for central and south-east Australia.

Anti-Voice rallies organised by pro-Putin conspiracy theorist

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-19 09:40

Rallies opposing the Indigenous Voice to parliament planned around Australia this weekend are being organised by a pro-Kremlin activist and anti-vaccination campaigner living in the Russian consulate in Sydney.

As El Niño Arrives, Australian Region Sees ‘Catastrophic’ Fire Conditions

NY Times

23-09-19 08:54

Australia is experiencing record-breaking spring temperatures as the country enters its annual fire season. The state of New South Wales is currently facing "catastrophic" fire conditions, with high winds and temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The El Niño weather pattern has officially arrived, bringing hot and dry conditions to the continent. Australia is now bracing itself for a dangerous fire season, four years after the deadly Black Summer wildfires that killed nearly 500 people and destroyed over 60 million acres of land. Authorities have warned that the current conditions are not as high-risk as those that led to the Black Summer wildfires, but parts of the country still face an elevated risk of fires.

Gas surplus on the cards as ACCC flags higher exports in 2024

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-19 12:30

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said that there will be enough gas in the country to meet domestic demand until next year. Its quarterly report into the gas market said there will be a surplus of 1.4 petajoules on the east coast. Export demand is expected to increase by 9% in 2022, adding AUD$2bn ($1.48bn) to gas producers’ revenue. The surplus is welcome news amid concerns about rising prices, although Tennant Reed, director of climate change and energy at the Australian Industry Group, warned the market was still “very tight” and subject to unexpected disruptions.

‘Stand with me’: Cathy Freeman declares her support for the Voice

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-19 11:59

Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman has voiced her support for the Voice referendum, which aims to recognise Indigenous peoples in the Australian constitution for the first time. In a video message, Freeman called on Australians to vote "yes" on 14 October, saying that the opportunity for change feels "urgent" and "momentum has been so strong". Freeman, who wore a full bodysuit when she won gold in the 400-metre race at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is not known for backing social causes. The Voice referendum is part of a broader campaign for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Kyle is addicted to driving fast cars. Even if that means facing death


23-09-19 21:11

The death of a driver at a Brisbane car racing event has raised questions about the safety of amateur car racing. Powercruise is an amateur cruising car event that allows participants to push their car's performance levels to the limit. The event is legal and open to anyone, provided their car passes safety checks. The death of the driver has cast a shadow over the amateur racing community, and while safety measures are in place, the sport always carries a risk. Data from the National Coronial Information System shows that 551 people died in motorsports activities between 2001 and 2017, with over 33% of those deaths occurring at a racetrack.

Thousands of pages of phone data stall case of high-profile rape accused

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-20 01:23

Prosecutors in Queensland, Australia have requested more time to examine 19 months of phone data in the case of a high-profile man accused of rape. The accused, who has not been named, faces two charges of rape from alleged events in Toowoomba in October 2021. The phone data is said to consist of "many thousands of pages" and is expected to be reviewed by the end of next week. The case has been adjourned for six weeks. The Queensland government recently passed amendments to allow the media to identify people accused of sex offences earlier in the court process, bringing the state in line with other jurisdictions. The laws will take effect from October 3. The accused's lawyer is expected to seek a non-publication order to keep his client's identity hidden before that date.

‘Retrograde, misguided and naive’: Top director slams NSW film and TV budget cuts

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-21 09:30

Filmmaker George Miller has criticised the New South Wales (NSW) government's cuts to film industry incentives, calling them "retrograde, misguided and naive." Miller, who directed the Mad Max films and Happy Feet, said the cuts would lead to an exodus of talent leaving the state. The NSW government has cut $60m from three major film industry programmes, which industry representatives say will affect 85 film and television projects and 30,000 jobs. The government has said it will restore $5m for critical projects and work with the industry on a case-by-case basis.

Big gas producers accused of predatory pricing

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-21 08:06

Large commercial energy users in Australia have accused major gas producers of predatory pricing and have called for a mandatory code of conduct to be put in place to protect households and businesses. The chief executive of the Energy Users Association of Australia, Andrew Richards, stated that large energy users are paying excessively high gas prices and have little or no bargaining power to negotiate better deals. A mandatory code of conduct governing the sector came into effect in July, with the competition watchdog enforcing the code this month.

Content quotas won’t guarantee another Bluey, says Ten boss

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-21 14:01

Paramount, the owner of Network Ten, has stated that forcing Australian commercial TV networks to produce more homegrown kids programming will not result in another hit like Bluey. Beverley McGarvey, Paramount Australia's chief content officer, said that the success of Bluey was not due to quotas but because it is a brilliant show consumed all over the world. Paramount is bringing popular kids' shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, and Dora the Explorer to free-to-air television in Australia, as the country's local children's content has dried up in recent years.

Why Valentine Holmes will be the NRL test case for escaping double jeopardy

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-21 19:00

North Queensland Cowboys player Valentine Holmes is facing potential sanctions from the club over the recent white bag scandal. However, due to a new condition in the NRL's collective bargaining agreement, Holmes will only need to pay the higher of the two fines imposed by the club and the NRL. The Cowboys are expected to reach a decision on Holmes' case soon, with a large monetary penalty being the likely outcome. Additionally, Holmes is set to serve his NRL ban during the upcoming Prime Minister's XIII match in Port Moresby, allowing him to potentially be selected for the Australian Kangaroos. The Cowboys are also working on a one-year contract extension for prop Jordan McLean.

Rupert Murdoch steps down from News Corp as new book promises Fox bombshells

The Independent

23-09-21 17:04

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, has announced that he will be stepping down as chairman of his Fox and News Corp businesses. He will be replaced by his son, Lachlan Murdoch, following the annual meetings of the companies in mid-November. Rupert Murdoch will become chairman emeritus of both companies. In a letter to staff, he said that the time was right for him to take on different roles, but that he would still be engaged with news and ideas. Murdoch began building his media empire in Australia in the 1950s and went on to acquire several major media companies, including The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News. He will be succeeded by his eldest son, Lachlan, who has also worked in the family business and is currently the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation. The change in leadership comes just before the release of a new book by Michael Wolff that examines the recent past and future of Fox News.

Alexander steps down as Fittler pitches to keep Blues job

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-21 22:07

Greg Alexander has stepped down from his role as selection advisor for the New South Wales Blues as head coach Brad Fittler seeks a 12-month extension. Alexander, a former teammate of Fittler's, has been his chief confidante since 2018. Fittler has confirmed his desire to continue coaching, and the NSW board is receptive to him coaching on under new terms for 2024. Alexander's departure suggests a shake-up of Fittler's coaching staff, with Ivan Cleary potentially continuing in a support role next year. Billy Slater's future as coach of Queensland is also uncertain.

Two men arrested over stabbing outside Oxford Street nightclub

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 02:56

Two men have been arrested in connection with an attempted murder outside a nightclub on Oxford Street in Sydney, Australia. The incident occurred in July when a 25-year-old man was stabbed by a group of men armed with knives, including a machete. A 34-year-old stranger who tried to help was also stabbed. Both victims were taken to the hospital and have since been released. A 21-year-old man was arrested in Queensland and is being extradited to New South Wales, while an 18-year-old man was arrested in Sydney. The police believe that the attack was targeted and not a random act of violence. The investigation is ongoing.

What Chris Dawson’s teenage bride confessed over coffee

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 01:45

Rebecca Hazel, a lawyer and author, has released a book titled "The Schoolgirl, Her Teacher and His Wife" which delves into the story of Lynette Dawson, a woman who disappeared from her home in 1982. The book is the only first-hand account of the story, told from the perspective of the schoolgirl who was groomed and abused by Lynette's husband, Chris Dawson. Hazel became obsessed with the story after hearing about it in 2007 and spent over a decade gathering evidence and conducting interviews to tell the story of both women. The book aims to shed light on the lives of both Lynette and the schoolgirl, whose identity remains anonymous throughout the book.

Hazel’s book not only details the abuse suffered by the schoolgirl but also highlights the failures of the police investigation into Lynette’s disappearance. The book reveals that Lynette’s family had suspicions that Chris Dawson was involved in her disappearance and even wrote to an underworld figure to inquire about his potential involvement. However, it wasn’t until 1990, when the schoolgirl went to the police with her suspicions, that Dawson was questioned for the first time. The case remained unresolved for decades until Dawson was charged with murder in 2018.

The book has received praise from Lynette’s family, who credit Hazel’s research and dedication for helping to bring justice for their sister. They believe that the book will serve as a landmark case and an example of how well investigations can work when the police, media, and public are involved. “The Schoolgirl, Her Teacher and His Wife” sheds light on the lives of both women involved in the case and provides insight into the failures of the police investigation.


Inside the deal that brought Reynolds - and maybe a premiership - to Brisbane

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 01:45

Former Brisbane Broncos player Chris Johns played a key role in the signing of Adam Reynolds by the club. Johns, a friend of Broncos coach Kevin Walters, believed that Reynolds was the perfect fit for the team and pushed for his signing. Johns sought advice from former coaches Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy, who both recommended Reynolds. Johns then contacted Reynolds' manager, Steve "Chimes" Gillis, to set up a meeting between Reynolds and Walters. After a successful meeting, the deal was done within days. However, Reynolds' first year at the Broncos was not successful, with the team finishing ninth. Despite this, Walters has maintained faith in the young players on the team and has continued to support them. Johns is now looking for a new halfback for the team to follow Reynolds.

This house was sold by John Singleton for $840,000. It’s now asking $85m

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 01:30

The Dan family's beachfront estate in Rose Bay, Sydney, has been listed for $85m ($59m), making it the fourth most expensive house for sale in Australia. The 3,000 sq metre property is being sold by Adrienne Dan. The price would put it behind Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar's $100m and $130m houses, respectively.

Queensland's health workers were the heroes of the pandemic. Now they're facing another 'psychological' blow


23-09-22 07:11

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) has expressed concerns over the decision by Queensland Health to lift its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for workers. The QNMU claims that the decision was made too soon and without adequate consideration of the safety and wellbeing of staff. The union has called for a thorough assessment of the psychological risks faced by healthcare workers before the mandate is repealed. Queensland Health has stated that the decision was supported by advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

The Jacinta Price phenomenon: How a newbie senator became a conservative rock star

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 07:06

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, the Coalition’s Indigenous Australians spokeswoman, has become a political phenomenon in Australia. Price, who only entered parliament in July 2019, has been campaigning against the Voice to parliament proposal. At a recent event in Melbourne, Price received a “rock star reception” and was mobbed for photographs and autographs afterwards. However, her remarks have been fiercely criticised by Indigenous groups who argue that she denies history and its ongoing impacts. Price has also been accused of failing to respect the work of Aboriginal leaders trying to tackle alcohol and domestic abuse.

Price is a highly polarising figure and is immersed in the tribally conservative media ecosystem of Sky News and News Corporation. She has been reluctant to distance herself from offensive comments made by fellow campaigners, and has been criticised for failing to criticise offensive remarks made by others. Despite the controversy, Price has amassed a large social media following and her press club speech has been streamed over 130,000 times on YouTube. The Voice to parliament referendum is due to take place on 14 October and is currently expected to be voted down. If this is the case, Price is likely to be regarded as a conservative legend.

Price has a background in children’s television and music, which some have suggested helps her to emotionally connect with political audiences. She has previously indicated a desire to broaden her remit and speak out against gender transition for children. If the Voice is defeated and Price continues to build her political profile, she could potentially be appointed as a minister in a future government.


Wahs love got to do with it? The NRL team you can’t hate

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-09-22 05:55

The New Zealand Warriors' success in the NRL has left fans searching for reasons to dislike the team, and has raised questions about whether hatred is really necessary in rugby league. The Warriors are a team that fans can't help but love, with their humble nature, sacrifices during the Covid-19 pandemic, and close-knit team dynamic making them a likeable and relatable side. This presents a problem for fans who are used to hating teams that are successful, as the Warriors have never won a title. The article argues that hatred is a drug of addiction that the league has been hooked on for over a century, and suggests that league could live without it. The author reflects on their own experience of uncontrollable hatred at a game, and acknowledges that while tribalism can be enjoyable, it has its dark side, particularly when it moves to the online world. The Warriors' success, whether they win or lose, challenges the default setting of hatred in rugby league and offers a glimpse of a more positive and compassionate way of supporting teams.