SeaWorld to Stop Breeding Killer Whales, and more 8am Zedlines

SeaWorld US to stop breeding killer whales and using them for theatrical shows. Source: Wikicommons

Queensland Government to Restrict FIFO Workers

The Queensland Government has announced a new policy of not allowing mines to hire a workforce made up entirely of fly-in-fly-out employees.

From later this year, new Queensland mines must look to local communities first, before relying on travelling workers.

The policy also includes mandatory workforce plans for resource companies to maximise skills development and job training.

Queensland Government Introduces New Vegetation Laws

The Queensland Government is set to introduce new vegetation laws to stop land-clearing.

Under the previous LNP government of Campbell Newman, land-clearing was legal if it served high-value agricultural purposes, and landholders were allowed to self-assess clearing.

The new laws propose more stringent restrictions on land-clearing and expand land protection from three to all six catchment areas.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says she is optimistic about the environmental effects of the laws, but critics say the proposed changes will prove detrimental to rural landowners.

CSIRO Job Cuts Breach Code of Conduct

The Senate clerk has said private emails between senior staff discussing job cuts at the CSIRO may breach its code of conduct.

The issue has led the Senate committee examining the job cuts to ask the auditor-general to investigate staff’s use of private email services.

The CSIRO confirmed 350 redundancies in February, with most of the cuts in the climate change division, and has denied that private emails affected their record-keeping obligations.

Jamie Oliver for Sugar Tax

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has urged Australia to tax sugary drinks, following the UK’s decision on Thursday to introduce a sugar levy in 2018 to combat obesity.

Assistant health minister Fiona Nash has been quick to discount the idea, saying Australians have the right to make their own choices about the food they eat.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale says sugar taxing is an interesting idea that Australia should consider implementing.

Denmark is the Happiest Country in World

The United Nations World Happiness Report 2016 reveals Denmark as the happiest country in the world.

Rankings take into account factors such as health, access to medical care, family relations, job security and political freedom.

Australia ranks at number 9, with New Zealand at number 8, the United States at number 13, and the UK at number 23.

SeaWorld to Stop Breeding Killer Whales

SeaWorld has announced it will stop breeding killer whales and using them in theatrical shows across all its theme parks in the United States.

The decision follows poor publicity and reduced attendance linked to the documentary “Blackfish” released in 2013.

SeaWorld says it will aim to promote natural encounters with killer whales.