Land clearing means Qld unlikely to reach climate targets - and more 8am zedlines

Qld unlikely to reach climate targets, environment group warns. Image source: WikiCommons

New measures to combat domestic violence

The Premier has announced new measures to combat domestic and family violence, aimed at holding perpetrators to account.

Non-fatal strangulation will now be listed as an offence in Queensland, and amendments have been made to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, to make domestic violence an aggravating factor on sentencing.

The move comes as part of the government’s response to the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.

Qld unlikely to reach climate targets, environment group warns

The Wilderness Society has warned that Queensland is unlikely to reach its climate emissions reduction target if the current rate of land clearing is kept up.

Land clearing in Queensland in 2013-14 released the equivalent of 36 million tonnes of carbon pollution, more than 6 per cent of Australia’s entire emissions that year, according to the government figures released today.

Australia currently has a climate pollution reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020, in the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit which begins on November 30.

Government lessening support for doctors in Indigenous communities

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA has criticised the Federal Government for planning to cutting the number of doctors supported in the area, from 56 to 19.

Indigenous people face high rates of health problems, and a Health Council spokesperson says that the government’s plans would negatively impact Indigenous health.

A Federal Department of Health spokesperson says the policy does not change the intent of the GP funding.

Sacred sites in Alice Springs maps as NBN rollout continues

A two year project to map Aboriginal sacred sites in Alice Springs is now complete, as the remote town gets ready to be the latest receiver of the NBN.

The mapping was necessary as the NBN will be supplied by fixed-line underground cables in the area, which need to avoid the various sacred sites.

More than 600 sites are on the map, which is not available for public viewing because of the meaning of them. The NBN is expected to be available in Alice Springs by mid-2016.

Brazil seeking billions in damages after mine disaster

Brazil is seeking at least 7.2 billion dollars in damages from BHP Billiton and its joint venture partner Vale, after a dam at one of their iron ore mines burst, causing massive environmental damage and whole villages lost.

So far 13 people have died, and six more are still missing, after the village of Bento Rodrigues was engulfed in what the UN describes as ‘toxic sludge’.

About 50 million tonnes of iron ore tailings flooded the Doce River system after the dam burst on November 5, with waste finding its way into the Atlantic Ocean, 600km away from the mine.

Saudie women to vote in electoral first

Saudi women will be able to run for office in the upcoming December 12 municipal elections, for the first time ever.

More than 900 women are up for this year’s election, which will also be the first election women will be allowed to vote in.

However many women say the system is still stacked against them, in a country where women are not allowed to drive, and their voter registration is blocked by bureaucratic red tape.

The country’s first election were held in 2005, and then 2011, in which only men were allowed to vote.