Victorian Myki system under investigation, and more 10am zedlines

Victoria’s Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the enforcement of the myki system, their equivalent of Queensland’s go card. Image source: Flickr.

Qld to erase historic convictions for gay sex
The Palaszczuk Government has announced it will be taking action to expunge historic convictions for gay sex.

The move brings Queensland in line with several other states, including the Victorian government which announced in 2014 that it would be removing historic convictions for gay sex from the record.

The convictions, and associated criminal records, have never affected Australia's lesbian community, as the existence of lesbian sex was never acknowledged by those laws.

New funding for wild dog culls
The state government has committed more than $4 million to aid in the culling of wild dog and cat populations in drought-affected areas of Queensland.

So far there has been 60 expressions of interest in the program, mainly regarding wild dog cluster fencing and management programs.

The Federal government has promised to provide an additional 10 million dollars to the program, to subsidise a range of activities such as cluster fencing, baiting and trapping, and weed management of the key pest plant prickly acacia.

In national news...

Bendigo mosque opponents ordered to pay $55,000 costs
A court has rejected an appeal by opponents of the construction of a Mosque in Bendigo and awarded costs of $55,000 to the City of Bendigo and the Australian Islamic Mission, the group behind the proposal to build the mosque.

In rejecting the mosque opponents' claims, the judges said the tribunal acted correctly in ignoring objectors, as there was no evidence building a mosque in the community would have adverse social effects.

The mosque opponents led a series of protests in Bendigo and Melbourne in recent months that police claim have cost the taxpayers in excess of $75,000 to keep the peace between the anti-muslim protesters and anti-fascist groups.

Victorian Myki system under investigation
Victoria’s Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the enforcement of the myki system, their equivalent of Queensland’s go card.

The investigation comes after more than 1700 complaints to the ombudsman and more than 40,000 fines being legally challenged, with most of the complaints related to the behaviour of authorised officers.

The enquiry will review the issuing of penalty fares and infringement notices, the complaint and review process and the exercise of discretion by officers.

The enforcement of the myki system has been controversial, but it did yield more than $5 million in consolidated revenue last year.


In international news...

EU to debate Polish judge dismissals
The European Union will today hold a debate on how to respond to controversial new laws in Poland.

The Polish government has recently stood down and replaced a number of Supreme Court judges; which comes following other laws giving the government the power to appoint and dismiss media executives, and changes to the constitutional court.

The commission is likely to call for more investigation into the Polish laws; though future moves could be to enforce sanctions or even suspend Poland’s voting rights in the EU.

Experts doubt North Korea's nuclear claims
Experts now say the nuclear and ballistic tests North Korea claims to have fired last week may not have been as successful as claimed.

Analyse of the footage appears to show heavy editing and the reuse of old footage to make it appear the event was several continuous launches, instead of a single misfire.

The skepticism continues, with US and Australian experts critical of North Korea’s purported hydrogen bomb test. They say that while the detected seismic activity shows the possibility of nuclear testing, it was too weak to be that of a hydrogen bomb.