Federal takeover of TAFE - and more 9am Zedlines

The Turnbull government has proposed a takeover of TAFE funding from the states in a recently circulated paper.

New road plans back in action

A plan to retain land for an inter-regional road has been revived after 15 years.

The proposal suggests four lanes running from Coomera to Jacobs Well to help ease congested traffic on the Pacific Motorway, while also providing an alternate route should accidents occur.

The issue was raised by the mayor’s of south-east Queensland following a recent funding bid for the future of the road, as well as Tuesday’s truck crash and fire which shut down the Pacific Motorway.

 

Palmer can't recall donations

Clive Palmer says he doesn’t know if he approved millions of dollars in donations from Queensland Nickel to his Palmer United Party.

Acting as director of the company in January last year, Mr Palmer said he isn’t sure whether he authorised the $6 million donation to the Palmer United Party.

More than $700, 000 was donated during Mr Palmer’s 26-day period as director.

In light of Queensland Nickel’s current voluntary administration and worker redundancies, Mr Palmer said the political donations were made at a time when the company was in good financial shape.

 

Gastro hits cruise ship again

More than 150 passengers onboard a Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Sydney are suffering from an outbreak of gastro.

The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District said 158 passengers and some crew were being treated by the ship’s doctor.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is the third ship in recent months to be struck with an outbreak.

 

TAFE takeover proposed

The Turnbull government has proposed a takeover of TAFE funding from the states in a recently circulated paper.

The takeover would see TAFE fees deregulated and TAFES would receive the same level of funding as private colleges in an attempt to increase competition.

Former TAFES Director Australia chairman Bruce Mackenzie called the proposals “outdated” and “clumsy” and said students will face higher costs and increased debt if the changes go ahead.

 

Syrian peace talks suspended

United Nations peace talks aimed at ending the five-year war in Syria have been suspended just days after they began.

Government and opposition forces both blamed each other for the collapse of the talks, with the opposition saying air strikes must end before peace talks can be held.

The UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura said “it is not the end or the failure of the talks.”

 

North Korean planned rocket launch causes alarm

Japan’s military is on high alert in anticipation of a planned North Korean rocket launch.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is working with other concerned governments to “strongly demand” North Korea cancel the launch, which is suspected to be a missile test in disguise.

The rocket is likely to pass over Japan’s southern island of Okinawa at an altitude of several hundred kilometres.