Queensland introduces GPS trackers for commercial fishermen and more zedlines...

Queensland commercial fishermen will be affected by some major changes, with GPS trackers aiming to be fitted in all boats. (Image Source: Wikimedia)

As part of the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, all boats including small tender boats, used to drag out nets will require tracking devices to help collect data in assessing the sustainability of fish stocks.

With most commercial fishermen recording their catch data on hard-copy log books, the vessel monitoring system (VMS) helps make data collection more efficient.

Fisheries Queensland executive director Claire Andersen said VMS allowed data in fisheries to be gathered in real time, and provided detailed information concerning the sustainability of fish stocks.


Rain sweeps away $4 million from Burnett farms

Roads and crops in Queensland’s North Burnett region have been destroyed by torrential rain.

North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers said the rain has stopped harvests, causing a $4 million loss which will have a flow on effect to small business and the day-to-day lives of residents.

Community leaders have called for action by state government following five days of heavy rain, a downpour which the Bureau of Meteorology said has broken a 64 year record in Bundaberg.

Dams have been overflowing, at least 14 school and childcare centres were shut down, and 70 roads were closed across Gladstone, Wide Bay, Burnett and Sunshine Coast areas.


Proposed euthanasia legislation debate in Victorian Government ongoing

The Victorian Government have spent over 24 hours in an ongoing Parliament debate over the proposed assisted dying legislation, with the final vote yet to take place.

The legislation, if passed, will allow people over 18 with a terminal illness, less than 12 months to live and suffering severe pain to request lethal medication from their doctor.

Opponents have spent the last 24 hours failing to pass clauses and amendments, with Liberal MP Graham Watt saying the current proposed legislation will make Victoria a “suicide tourist destination.”

Supporters have accused opponents of deliberately delaying the bill, with Greens MP Ellen Sandell tweeting about Liberals and Nationals “filibustering” and calling out their “appalling behaviour.”


NDIS announces reform as disabled people’s voice not heard

The head of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has announced a reform will take place after admitting the original roll out was flawed.
The NDIS has received criticism for its lack of face-to-face interaction with disabled people and engagement with their concerns.

Advocates have labelled the current scheme as ‘soul destroying’ as support for a disabled person will be decided upon by someone they’ve never met, someone who doesn’t know their story.

The reform will make face-to-face consultations standard practice, yet ACT manager for the National Disability Service Stephen Fox said time will tell, as similar assurances have previously proven to be empty.


Lebanon parliament passes first state budget in 12 years

The parliament of Lebanon has endorsed the first state budget in more than 12 years.

The decision is said to be a vital step towards reforming the fragile economy and preventing rising debt spinning out of control, as past governments have been unsuccessful in passing budgets due to a string of political crises since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Passing a budget was a priority for the government of Rafik’s son, Saad al-Hariri, who took office in January and declared the agreement a “historic achievement”, saying his government would strive to return the country to financial and political health.

A main obstacle to passing the budget was demands from some politicians that an audit of extra-budgetary spending from previous years be carried out, however this was not completed.


Ecuadorians sit-in for women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights

Social organisations in Ecuador have called for a sit-in to prevent violence against women and LGBTQIA+ people, amidst an offensive by right-wing and religious sectors who oppose a new protective legislation.

Organisers said there was an urgent need for the action, as in Ecuador a woman was violently killed every 53 hours and the life expectancy of a trans person in Ecuador was below 35 years old.

The controversy began over a new project called the Organic Law for the Prevention and Eradication of Gender Violence against Women, which has yet to be debated by national assembly but has already seen opposition from conservative groups.

Conservative group The National Front for the Family along with religious groups marched last weekend to criticise the law, an event human rights activists called a manifestation of hate and part of a disinformation campaign that seeks to delegitimize rights advances in Ecuador.