Turnbull's tax reform shrinks in size and more 9AM Zedlines

Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly turning away from serious tax system overhauls. Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

WWF joins Queensland farmers in regulating run-off

Queensland cane farmers have been working with the World Wildlife Fund to improve water quality and reduce agricultural pollution in run-off to the reef.

Stakeholders met in Cairns yesterday to review progress on drip irrigation, nutrient management and other innovations in cane growing.

The Department of the Environment and Heritage Protection last week threatened to enact legislation to control run-off if farmers did not improve their self regulation.


Woman killed by falling tree in "freak accident"

A woman was killed in the Lamington National Park yesterday by a falling tree.

A group of bushwalkers, staying at the Binna Burra lodge, reported that a large tree unexpectedly snapped and fell on them, killing one woman instantly.

Another walker brushed aside by falling branches survived the encounter.

The incident was described by a National Parks, Sports and Racing spokesperson as a “freak accident”.


Perth program focuses on domestic violence perpetrators 

Perth is trialling an approach to domestic violence that removes the perpetrator instead of the victim.

Called Breathing Space, the program is designed to help perpetrators realise they are not the victims and that lashing out at the people closest to them is no way to deal with their frustrations.

It provides four hours of group therapy each day to the perpetrators, who stay onsite permanently for three months.

The program is supported by high profile advocate for domestic violence services and former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.


Federal government backpedals on tax reform

The Turnbull government is apparently set to abandon substantial tax reform.

Instead the Coalition is looking at savings measures deemed to be political safe, including capping excessive use of negative gearing.

The reserved approach will allow the LNP to launch an attack against Labor’s negative gearing policies, claiming the opposition’s plan would see more than $250 billion dollars wiped from the nation’s property market.

The suggested move may not be enough for some Liberal backbenchers, who are calling for the government to drop all of the proposed changes to negative gearing.


Italy negotiates same-sex marriage laws

Italy is set to join the list of nations passing legislation to recognise marriage equality it was announced yesterday.

The Italian Senate is due to vote this evening, Australian time, on legislation agreed between progressive and conservative parties.

The agreement comes at the expense of parental rights for gay couples, which was a sticking point for the Catholic senators in the New Centre Right party.


Peacetalks halted in Libya

The Libyan parliament failed again, yesterday, to form a Unity Government with the Islamist Dawn group and focus its military efforts on fighting ISIS in the north African country.

International forces, primarily the USA and France, are active in Libya trying to stop ISIS from gaining ground and sending terrorists into Europe through Tripoli, the closest point to Sardinia and the EU and a major refugee departure port.

A major attack earlier this week by US and French forces in Benghazi, only 30 miles from Tripoli, has killed a major ISIS leader, but has sharpened differences between the government and Islamist Dawn in the Libyan parliament and halted political progress toward a ceasefire.