Public transport overhaul proposed by Labor and more 8AM Zedlines!

A South-east Queensland public transport overhaul has been proposed by Labor's mayoral candidate Rob Harding. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Possible public transport overhaul

Labor’s candidate for lord mayor of Brisbane, Rob Harding, says he wants to overhaul south-east Queensland’s public transport fare structure.

In a submission to the Fare Review Taskforce, Mr Harding proposed the city should be consolidated into two zones, instead of the current five.

The proposed changes include a flat fee for travel on the CityCat and ferry network, and discounted fares for all-stop services into the CBD during peak hours.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is expected to make his own public transport policy announcement in the coming weeks, while Greens candidate Ben Pennings said Brisbane public transport has become the most unaffordable in Australia under both Labor and the LNP.


Calls for heavy vehicle ban on Annerley Rd

Brisbane city councillor Helen Abrahams has sided with cycling groups in calling for a heavy vehicle ban on Annerley Road.

The calls for change come after an incident on January 20 when a truck hit a protection beam at a notorious rail overpass where one cyclist was killed in 2013.

Councillor Abrahams proposed heavy vehicles should be rerouted down Stanley Street to Ipswich Road or the Southeast Freeway.


Australia faces condemnation over human rights standards

Australia has been heavily condemned for failing to meet international human rights standards across a range of policy areas, a new report has found.

The World Report 2016 Human Rights Watch has criticised Australia’s failures in indigenous health, same-sex marriage, disability rights, and foreign policy.

Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers were labelled as “appalling”, while the new counter-terror laws were also viewed unfavourably.


A 'smoke-free' generation on the horizon

The number of young Australian’s who smoke has dropped to a record low, giving health officials hope for a “smoke-free” generation.

A new report shows that over the past 20 years, the number of young people currently smoking has lowered by almost 20 per cent, with the average age of initiation also increasing from 14 to 16.

Health officials are using the data to highlight the significance of key policy items in the fight against tobacco, including plain packaging laws, price increases and public education campaigns.


Italy begins same-sex marriage debate

The Italian senate is set to begin debating proposed legislation that would recognise civil unions for same-sex couples.

Italy has been warned that it may face economic repercussions if the bill fails to pass, as multinational companies hesitate to invest in the country.

Italy is the only country in Western Europe that does not recognise same-sex marriage.


Dissident artist Ai Weiwei closes Danish exhibition

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has closed his exhibition in Copenhagen in protest at a new law allowing Danish authorities to seize valuables from asylum seekers.

He said the protest is “an artist trying not just to watch events, but to act,” and that the decision was spontaneous.

Mr Weiwei is currently on the Greek island of Lesbos performing research on the refugee crisis.