Graduates to use superannuation to pay off HECS and more 9AM Zedlines

Treasurer Scott Morrison will decide whether students can use superannuation funds to pay off higher education loans.

Retail workers on the rise in Queensland

Employment numbers are on the rise in retail, with more than 250,000 Queenslanders now working in the sector.

Nationally, there are more than 1.3 million retail workers, a first time in Australian history.

The National Retail Association says the numbers reflect a strength in the industry, despite online, economic, and political challenges faced in 2015.

NRA CEO Trevor Evans says the job vacancy rate in retail has been going up each month for about a year.

 

Scientists uncover living fossils 

A research expedition in far north Queensland has uncovered living fossils in coastal waters.

The Deep Down Under expedition allowed Australian and German researchers to document marine life that had never before been found in Australian waters.

The team, who sent a remote vehicle 800 metres down into Osprey Reef, discovered living fossils, and ecosystems that have remained untouched for millions of years.

Scientists from the team say there are still unexplored depths in the ocean, and with the aid of new technology, much more to be learned.

 

Students' super for study

A plan to allow graduates to use their superannuation fund to pay off higher education debts is being urged on Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The plan would allow young workers to pay off their debts early, but would require them to make catch up super payments later on in their careers.

Liberal senator Chris Back is “very hopeful” that the plan will be introduced in the next budget.

 

Indigenous dual names approved in Tasmania

Seven locations in Tasmania significant to the local Aboriginal community are to be given wider recognition after approval was granted to give them dual names.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre expressed frustration at the slow process of the name changes, which were submitted ten months ago.

This is the second round of dual name changes approved in Tasmania since 2014, bringing the total to 13.

 

IS destroys Iraq's oldest Christian monastery 

Satellite images have confirmed the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq was destroyed by Islamic State militants in late 2014.

St Elijah’s monastery had survived as a place of Christian worship near the city of Mosul for 1,400 years.

The demolition of the monastery joins the growing list of historical sites being destroyed by the group.

 

2015 hottest year ever

Global temperatures in 2015 were the highest since 1880, American science agencies have revealed.

In 2015 the average global temperature was 0.9 degrees higher than the 20th century average.

The new record marks the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century.