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Calls for investigations into heat stress policy - and more 11am Zedlines:
Debating the future of Queensland Nickel refinery:
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg suggests unfair pressure has been placed on the Queensland Government to guarantee a $10 million loan to bail out Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery under the condition he wholly exits the Townsville business.
The loan request from administrators has been rejected by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, however the State Government is still considering the risk such a move would place on taxpayers.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill welcomes the State Government’s approach, suggesting it may open opportunities for a sale and allow workers to keep their jobs.
Calls for investigations into heat stress policy:
Queensland workers are seeking an investigation into heat stress policy from the states CFMEU branches.
Currently the Queensland branch does not have a hot weather policy allowing workers to down tools when the temperatures reach 35 degrees.
A spokeswoman for the Union refused to comment however inquiries have been refered to their website.
Striking airport staff over Easter:
Australia’s international airports are likely to be affected by strikes over the busy easter period as Immigration Department and Border Force public servants voted to reject the latest government’s pay offer.
The vote on a wage increase offer of 2% a year involving more than 11,000 employees returned an 81% no consensus, the second time staff have rejected a proposal in the current round of bargaining.
The rejection follows similar votes against government proposals at the Tax Office, Human Services, and Defence departments.
The Road to Ruin:
Senior sources in the office of former prime minister Tony Abbott have disputed claims that former speaker Bronwyn Bishop was initially advised not to apologise for charging taxpayers for a helicopter flight to a Liberal Party event.
The claims come from a book by political commentator Nikki Savva, titled The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own Government, which is set to be publicly released today.
The book cited a source who claims Mrs Bishop wanted to apologise immediately, however a staffer has told her to hold off because an apology could be construed as an admission of guilt.
More wreckage from MH370 possibly located:
A resident of the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion claims to have come across a second piece of wreckage from Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 after his discovery of a wing fragment last year remains the only piece identified with any certainty.
The man found the new object while jogging along the beach, three days after an American amateur investigator found suspected debris in Mozambique.
The find has been sent to Australia for analysis.
North Korean ship impounded in the Philippines:
The Philippines impounded a North Korean ship in line with tough new United Nations sanctions introduced in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon said the cargo ship would not be allowed to leave the port and its crew will be deported.
Local authorities have inspected the ship twice and no explosives, drugs or banned substances have been found onboard.