Safe Schools supporters to rally in King George Square and more 9am Zedlines

The Federal Government announcement to cut the safe schools budget is causing an uproar throughout the country, with rallies organised nationwide. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Safe Schools supporters to rally in King George Square

The Federal Government announcement to cut the safe schools budget is causing an uproar throughout the country, with rallies organised nationwide.

Today on this National Day of Action speakers will defend the controversial Safe Schools program and supporters will march through our cities in a bid to change the Government's mind.

Brisbane locals are invited to join together for a peaceful demonstration today from 5:30pm in King George Square to show their support for the program, and those it aims to help.

Batteries a tool for change

Almost a tonne of power tool batteries in Brisbane alone have been returned by members of the public for recycling as part of a pilot program being run through Brisbane hardware stores.

Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles has attributed the program's success to the efforts of DIY-ers and tradies, and says Brisbane’s rates have been extremely impressive considering how new the project is.

Retailers helping out with the project include Masters, Bunnings and Trade Tool stores in the Brisbane metro area.

Closing offshore detention centres could save billions

New data shows the Government could save almost $3 billion by closing down offshore immigration detention and imposing a time limit for onshore detainees.

The Parliamentary Budget Office modelled figures that showed the closure of offshore facilities would boost the budget by just under $2.5 billion over the 2015-2016 budget forward, and that transferring offshore detainees to onshore detention with a 30-day time limit would also save a further $448 million over the same period.

However, due to the unpredictable response asylum seekers and those in charge of transport the data has at this stage been deemed to have low reliability.

An unusually hot start to Autumn hits Aussie farmers

Australian Farmers are calling for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after a new report finds longer summers will become more frequent.

The Climate Council report says above-average temperatures across much of Australia in the first half of March led to an unseasonably hot start to Autumn.

It notes this has serious consequences for Australia's agricultural production and, in turn, the price consumers pay for food.

Farmers say rapid action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or else; up to 70 per cent of Australia's wine growing regions will not be suitable for grape growing by 2050, heat stress will impact milk and cheese production reducing milk yields from dairy cows and the quality of staple crops will deteriorate, impacting bread and beer.

South East Asian countries seek defence ties with Australia

South East Asian countries are seeking closer defence ties with Australia amid geographical dispute with China in the South China Sea.

The Malaysian Defence Minister is meeting Australian Defence Minister next week as the latest country to establish defence ties with Australia and the United States, following Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam.

Many countries have overlapping geographical claims in the South China Sea including China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and Vietnam, with safe passage through the area essential to the trade of these countries.

Indonesia calls on Australia to lift refugee resettlement rates

Indonesia will plead for the Australian Government to accept more refugees during a three-day visit by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

Ms Bishop will meet with Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, who recently told Fairfax there is hope from Indonesia for Australia and all nations to accept more migrants who are waiting for resettlement.

The visit comes at a sensitive time diplomatically for the Federal Government, as there is ongoing tension with Indonesia over Australia’s controversial boat turn back policy.