Bus driver salaries revealed...and more Zedlines

As bus drivers continue to refuse collecting fares today as a result of ongoing disputes regarding enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations, the average salary has been revealed.

Council public transport chairman Adrian Schrinner says Brisbane’s bus drivers were the second best paid in Australia with wages ranging between $40 000 to $102 000, with the average wage just over $68 000, higher than the national average.

According to latest ATO data, the average salary is close to $53 000 for a male bus driver and just over $44 000 for a female driver.

However, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union is continuing to fight for a higher raise in salary of 3.5% over the next 3 years and an $800 signing bonus, saying that the 2.5% increase and $400 signing bonus proposed by the government isn’t consistent with rises in cost of living and the council is not offering drivers enough workplace protection.

Queensland schools prepare kids for jail

Schools are preparing Queensland’s youngest citizens for jail, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson says.

Pearson is criticising the state school system, saying they are “preparatory institutions for incarceration” failing to teach children to read, which lead to a pathway of disadvantagement as a result of ‘reading failure’.

Pearson also states that Indigenous Australians are the most imprisoned people in the world per capita, which was confirmed in a fact check by The Conversation, with latest census data stating that Indigenous adults make up 32% of the population in adult jails.

He says that the state education system has a “long, long way to go.”

Bank tax passes SA lower house

A tax against big banks in South Australia has passed the state’s lower house.

The state’s Labor government included the tax, which will see $370 million dollars raised from the banking sector, as part of its budget measures.

However, the Liberal opposition opposes the move and sought to have it removed from the budget in a vote which ultimately failed.

Now it has passed the state’s lower house it will move onto the upper house, where it is expected to fail due to the opposition of backbenchers.

Shorten slams marriage equality postal vote

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has spoken out against the marriage equality postal vote in parliament, saying Labor will blame prime minister Turnbull for the "filth" that will be aimed at gay people as the debate continues.

Mr Shorten says the postal vote is a “ridiculous waste of time and taxpayers money” and states the predicted $122 million dollar cost would be better spent on on dialysis machines, teachers, housing or training.

In his fiery address to parliament yesterday afternoon Mr Shorten mentioned he was critical of that fact normal electoral rules would not apply and there would be "no protection against ballot fraud, electoral bribery, intimidation, interfering with the electoral roll, publishing misleading and deceptive material".

People smuggling claims the lives of 55 in Yemen

55 people have died off the coast of Yemen after people smugglers forced them from their boats, according to to the United Nations.

The UN says that including the deceased, there were about 180 ethiopians and somalis who were forced into the water off the coast of Yemen and that it was likely done because the smugglers were afraid to go to the mainland due to the threat of encountering armed groups in the war-torn country.

It is the second such incident in the past week and the UN is worried it may be the beginning of a new trend.

Cambodian court upholds espionage charges against Australian filmmaker James Ricketson

A Cambodia court has refused to drop espionage charges against Australian film maker, James Ricketson and has sent him back to Pray Sar prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh earlier this week.

The 69-year-old from Sydney was arrested in June after flying a drone over an opposition National Rescue Party rally ahead of the Cambodian national elections.

Mr Ricketson’s lawyer, Ou Helene, told the Phnom Penh Post a closed court hearing rejected a request to annul the proceedings and dismiss a charge of gathering sensitive information with the intention of supplying it to a foreign state.

Ms Helene says the decision to dismiss the annulment request cannot be appealed.