Labor pushes for light rail as key election promise - and more 9am Zedlines!

Brisbane Mayoral candidate Rod Harding is promising a billion dollar light rail project if elected, with stage one running between University of Queensland and Newstead. Source: Gold Coast Light Rail, Wikipedia Creative Commons

Labor's light rail promise

Labor’s Brisbane Mayoral candidate, Rod Harding, has promised a new $1.2 billion Brisbane light rail project within the first term if Labor is elected.

However, current Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has likened the plan to "wishing for a fairy godmother", with a projected Council contribution of less than $200 million, with the need for the remaining $1 billion to be found elsewhere.

Stage one of theroute is set to run between the University of Queensland and Newstead, with the specifics to be arranged following community consultation.


Record rains not enough to break drought

A country community in remote North-West Queensland has been transformed by the recent weather patterns.

In early February 162.2 millimetres of rain fell on the small community of Urandangi in 24 hours causing the evacuation of at least 20 people and left travellers stranded at the local hotel.

Unfortunately, while this record rain has brightened the landscape, it has not been enough to break the drought.


Gap between technology and poverty widens

There are fears that Australia’s disadvantaged youth are being left behind in the digital revolution.

Despite Australia having one of the highest internet access rates in the world there is a huge gap between Australian families.

While 83 per cent of the nation has a home internet connection, a third of homes are offline in disadvantaged communities, and with online study rates increasing many children are getting left behind.


Australian basketball player apologises for blackface

Australian basketball star Alice Kunek has come under fire from her teammates for posting a picture on Instagram of her with her face painted brown.

The act of wearing blackface is widely considered to highly offensive but the star came out claiming it was a mistake and that it had never been her intention to offend.

The image has since been deleted, an apology has been issued, and a different image has been posted in the costume sans face paint.


London Mayor supports Britian-EU split 

London’s Mayor has thrown his support behind the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

Boris Johnson has said he believes the European project is in danger of getting out of democratic control, and that Prime Minister David Cameron had failed to deliver fundamental reform.

The calls follow a deal Mr Cameron struck on Friday.


Explosions in Syria kill over 100

Bomb blasts in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus have killed more than 100 people, according to monitors and state media.

Reports say a double car bombing in Homs claimed fifty-seven mostly civilian lives, and at least four blasts in Damascus killed at least fifty.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blasts in Damascus.