Early election likely as double dissolution looms

Queensland expected to 27 new mayors, early election likely as double dissolution looms, Obama makes historic trip to Cuba and more 8am Zedlines (image source: Wikipedia)

Queensland expected to 27 new mayors

At least twenty-seven new mayors are expected to take office following Saturday’s local government elections.

The Local Government Association of Queensland says current voting trends show big changes in rural areas where there has been a fair level of dissent and concern within the rural communities.

With counting continuing through to next week, current statistical reports show only thirty-seven returning mayor candidates, with eight of those retaining their seat unopposed.

New senior school assessment to hit Queensland

The Queensland government has signed off on a complete change to senior school assessment, with subject results based on three school assessments and one external assessment from twenty-nineteen.

Education Minister Kate Jones has unveiled plans to have just four pieces of assessment per subject, with one to be marked by teachers from other schools.

For maths and science, half their final year’s marks will depend on one external exam, and in other subjects, external exams will contribute 25 per cent.

Early election likely as double dissolution looms

An early federal election is looking increasingly likely, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced yesterday he would recall both houses of parliament to debate a potential double dissolution trigger.

The Government needs support from six of eight crossbenchers to pass the legislation, however, three senators including Jacqui Lambie, John Madigan and Glenn Lazarus (LAZ-a-rus) have already confirmed they will vote against the reforms.

The bills in question seek to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a watchdog set up by the Howard Government in 2005 to monitor the industry sector, a move which unionists fear will strip power away from workers.

Parliament will reconvene in April to debate the legislation, with the threat of a July second election if the bills aren’t passed.

Tasmanian rainforest timber unappealing to consumers: market research group

Conservationists are urging consumers to think about timber purchases as the push to protect specialty trees in Tasmanian forests continues.

The United Nations shot down the State Government’s plans to selectively log World Heritage areas over the weekend, with projected demand for specialty timbers a factor in any future logging plans.

Conscious consumer group Markets for Change spokesperson Peg Putt says the Tasmanian Government could also reduce timber waste by changing storage methods, and will release a full market

AsiaVision talks on the cards

An Asia-Pacific version of Eurovision could be a reality soon, with the SBS stating they have an exclusive option to bring the concept to the region, possibly as early as 2017.

If finalised, Eurovision Asia would unite performers and songwriters from twenty countries, with an estimated audience of more than a billion.

The show would showcase the best of Bollywood, K Pop, and Chinese and Japanese music.

Obama makes historic trip to Cuba

US President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba yesterday for a three day visit in Havana, it is the first time an American president has visited the communist country in 88 years.

The trip is a demonstration of Obama’s foreign policy principle of engagement with Cuba following his 2014 announcement that the US will end its 50 year long diplomatic freeze with the long time foe.

Amidst talks of human rights and mutual cooperation, the pair promised to put aside their differences in an effort to beginning what Obama referred to as a "new day" for the relationship between the two countries.