Tony Windsor announces return to federal politics and more 11AM Zedlines

Former MP Tony Windsor has said he will recontest for the seat of New England. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Queensland Parliament debates Stradbroke Island’s mining future  

The Queensland Parliament debated the future of sand mining on Stradbroke Island on Thursday. 

The Campbell Newman government extended and expanded the mining license, which was due to revert to native title in 2020 with a complete end of mining in 2025.

Nick Behrens of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Queensland appeared in parliament on Thursday, arguing sand mining was good for the local business community.

A submission by residents group, Save Straddie, claims tourism offers a robust and vigorous economic future for the island instead.


Brisbane duo’s horror flick hits the shelves

Brisbane brothers, Colin and Cameron Cairnes, will release their latest horror flick Scare Campaign in Melbourne next week.

The film was shot on location in four weeks at a deserted lunatic asylum in rural Victoria.

The brothers previous effort 100 Bloody Acres was critically acclaimed, but a record amount of pirated downloads prevented the film’s mainstream release.

Scare Campaign will launch in Queensland at the Gold Coast Film Festival.


Tony Windsor announces federal election candidacy

Former Independent MP, Tony Windsor, has announced his intention to run as a candidate for New England in the next federal election.

Mr Windsor held the electorate for twelve years before leaving politics in 2013.

Current MP for New England and senior member of the Turnbull Government, Barnaby Joyce said he was looking forward to the challenge Mr Windsor's candidacy presents.


ACT Government backs LGBT Safe Schools program

The ACT government has endorsed the controversial Safe Schools Coalition anti-bullying program.

The program directed at LGBT students is currently under review by the federal government, following criticism of its content.  

Labor MLA Jayson Hinder moved a motion to support the program in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Mr Hinder spoke out against homophobic and transphobic discrimination, saying the effects of the program reach beyond schools to help create a better society.


US interrogates Islamic State chemical weapons expert

A chemical weapons expert from Islamic State is being questioned by US special forces.

Reportedly captured in Iraq last month, officials said the man was once a specialist in chemical and biological weapons for Saddam Hussein.

Islamic State is thought to have used mustard gas at least twice against Kurdish forces, and once against anti-Assad rebels.

The capture and questioning of the man has hurt what Pentagon officials call Isis’ pursuit of "weapons of mass destruction".


Zika virus transmission easier than first thought, WHO warns

Sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than originally thought, according to the World Health Organisation.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said accounts in several countries “strongly suggest” the sexual transmission of the virus is more frequent than previously assumed.

Dr Chan stated the new reports were “alarming”.

Last month, the UN health agency declared the outbreak a global emergency.