Fraser Coast introduces harshest animal desexing laws - and more 9am Zedlines

Fraser Coast has seen a significant reduction in impounded and euthanised cats since introducing and enforcing laws requiring owners to desex their cats. Image Source: WikiCommons

Fraser Coast implements strict pet neutering laws

The Fraser Coast Regional Council is introducing Queensland’s strictest laws for desexing household cats and dogs.

As of May first, all dogs and cats given away, sold or newly registered must be neutered or come with a voucher for the procedure.

Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor Robert Garland said four years ago the council impounded more than 2,000 pets and euthanised 700, which has been reduced to 1500 impounded and 300 euthanised due to enforcing cat desexing laws.

RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty said it is solving the problem before it emerges and he has called upon Queensland to implement the laws statewide.

Greens may prefer LNP to Labor if more transparent on political donations

The Greens’ mayoral candidate has said he would be willing to preference the LNP ahead of Labor if they are more transparent on political donations.

Ben Pennings said he thought Greens supporters would understand his rationale, and says both major parties are the same when it comes to donations from vested interests.

He said the mayoral preference decision would be made in the next few days but branches would decide preferences in local wards.

Senate committee proposes amendments to protect people in dangerous jobs with refuge

A senate committee has recommended that proposed legislation that reduces protections for people whose refugee claims have been rejected should be amended to protect people in dangerous jobs like journalists and human rights activists.

Currently those whose claims have been rejected but who still face significant risk of harm if returned to their home countries can apply for a humanitarian visa under complementary protections laws, but the government has introduced a bill to tighten eligibility.

The bill will require cross-bench support to pass the senate as both Labor and the Greens oppose it.

No jab no pay policy shows anecdotal increase in immunisation rates

Anecdotal evidence has shown an increase in immunisation rates since the introduction of the no jab no pay policy which denies child care and family tax benefits from parents who fail to immunise their children.

National Health Performance data released yesterday has revealed a number of areas in Australia had vaccination rates too low to stop the spread of disease in 2014 and 2015, which the no jab no pay policy aimed to address.

Many of the least immunised areas were in New South Wales, including the north coast region, areas west of Sydney, areas in the Blue Mountains, and Byron Bay, which all had immunisation rates under 80% for one year olds.

Iranian national parliament campaigning begins

A week of campaigning has begun in Iran ahead of elections for the national parliament and the Assembly of Experts - the body in charge of appointing the Supreme Leader.

6200 candidates have been approved to compete for 290 parliamentary seats, but the country’s Guardian Council has blocked a significant number of reformist candidates from standing.

Reform parties have formed an unprecedented coalition for the elections and are aiming to minimise the number of hardline conservatives elected.

Leader of Ugandan opposition briefly detained during presidential election

The leader of the main opposition party in the Ugandan presidential election, Kizza Besigye, was arrested and briefly detained yesterday amid ballot stuffing allegations before being released without charge.

Uganda began counting votes yesterday for the election, which has been affected by a lack of voting materials in many of the polling stations.

Many of Mr Besigye’s supporters believe the delays were deliberate to favour the current president, Yoweri Museveni, as many polling stations failed to open altogether.