Calls on Jimmy Barnes to help music industry - and more 11am Zedlines

Federal government backbencher Ewen Jones has called on Jimmy Barnes to help lobby his colleagues about the music industry, even proposing the idea of a music festival on Capital Hill in Canberra.

Federal government backbencher Ewen Jones has called on Jimmy Barnes to help lobby his colleagues about the music industry, even proposing the idea of a music festival on Capital Hill in Canberra.

Barnes and other Australian musicians, including Josh Pyke and Baby Animals frontwoman Suze DeMarchi, performed at a gig in a parliamentary courtyard, with the aim of getting the industry's concerns heard at a federal level.

Mr Jones says the $15-billion-a-year Australian industry is lucrative for some musicians, but that 78 per cent of artists make less than $10,000 a year.

 

Backpacker tax could hurt agriculture

The Federal government is reconsidering a tax on foreign backpackers, as it could damage Australian agriculture and tourism.

Under the tax, foreigners on working holiday visas would have to pay 32 point 5 cents on every dollar they earn, and their tax free threshold would be repealed.

Senator Colbeck says backpackers are vital to Australian tourism and agriculture industries, and legitimate concerns have been raised up about the impact the tax could have on our global competitiveness as a destination for backpackers.

The government has decided the proposed backpacker tax requires further discussions.

Contaminated soil found at Gold Coast Airport.

Potentially carcinogenic chemicals have been found in soils surrounding Gold Coast Airport. A spokesperson for Airservices Australia confirmed the presence of multiple chemicals in soils at the airport fire station and surrounding area. The chemicals are component materials of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a substance used in firefighting at the airport up until 2010.

Lindy Smith, a spokesperson for the Tugun Cobaki Alliance advises nearby residents to avoid using nearby waterways, or consuming any fish caught from them. Ms Smith has called for additional studies to determine if chemicals are present in groundwater near Gold Coast Airport.  

Queensland program helps retain health workers

The South-West Hospital and Health Service says it wants to expand a program solving attraction and retention issues for health workers in remote areas of Queensland.

The 'Grow Your Own Staff' strategy is currently available to hospital staff, who are provided leave and financial support to gain further qualifications.

Executive director of nursing and midwifery Chris Small says training local residents created a workforce that wanted to stay in the region.

 

Increased risk of psychosis for Europe’s refugees

Researchers writing for the British Medical Journal have confirmed that refugees fleeing violence and persecution are more likely to develop psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia compared to people who migrate for economic or social reasons.

The study published yesterday suggests healthcare officials in countries that take in refugees should plan ahead to manage an increased number of mental health patients.

Worldwide there are currently more displaced people, asylum seekers and refugees than at any time since Word War Two.

 

Trump wins Florida, Rubio withdraws

Donald Trump has beaten Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, with Mr Rubio announcing he is dropping out of the Republican race for the White House.

In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton has beaten rival Bernie Sanders in both Florida and North Carolina.

The states of Illinois, Missouri and Ohio will also be voting today in contests for both parties.