Townsville and Rockhampton councils to pay over $31 million for Adani coal mine airstrip...and more zedlines

Image source: Lock the Gate Alliance/Flickr Townsville and Rockhampton councils are paying $31 million for an airstrip for Adani’s Queensland coal mine hundreds of kilometres away from both towns, and could see costs rise if a deal between the energy giant and traditional land owners fails to be met.

Townsville and Rockhampton have agreed to spend $15.5 million each on the airport in a deal to secure Adani’s guarantee of 2200 jobs for residents.

Townsville has also agreed to pay up to $18.5 million if the airport is shifted to a location outside Wangan (wang-gern) and Jagalingou land, where a traditional owners group is currently battling Adani’s plans to build Australia’s largest coal mine.

An online petition to stop the use of ratepayers money in building the airport has gotten around 4100 signatures since being created 6 days ago. To sign the petition, click here.

‘Significant vegetation’ to be cleared for coastal housing development

A bushy 9.9 hectare block, which includes 1.7 hectares of ‘significant vegetation’, on the Sunshine Coast is set to be cleared for a 338 unit development.

The development, which is being funded by the Uniting Church, will be on Mari Street at Alexandra Headland.

The block currently holds the Alexandra Headland Conference Centre, which will be demolished and some of the church's block will be donated to the council for environmental park purposes.

An ecological report says “revegetation is proposed to offset the removal of significant vegetation and once established will equate to approximately 71.1 per cent of retention of the total area.”

Medical guidelines to help women with menstrual bleeding

Women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding, suffer from severe pain that could significantly impact their social, emotional and physical well-being.

Approximately 25 per cent of Australian women experience heavy menstrual bleeding, with some waiting years to receive medical treatment.

New guidelines for doctors will help ensure women have accessibility to the best treatment options available for heavy menstruation.

Senior medical advisor at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, Professor Anne Duggan, says hysterectomy used to be one of the few options for heavy menstruation, but there are now several less invasive treatment options available.

Parliament knocks back NT bill of rights

In the Northern Territory Parliament, a motion to introduce a bill of rights for all citizens has failed, despite expectations it would pass.

Independent MP for Nhulunbuy (Nool-un-boy), Yingiya (Ying-ee-ya) Guyula (Goy-a-la) brought forth the motion, which was based on the UN Declaration of Rights for Indigenous People.

When parliament voted to consult further on greater statutory recognition of Indigenous people, Mr Guyula (Goy-a-la) says he chose to accept a meaningless amendment to keep the entire motion from being lost.

Professor George Williams, Dean of Law at the University of New South Wales, says Northern Territorians were entitled to expect parliament would issue the bill, allowing them to hold governments to account.

US calls for Hamas to “disarm” in response to Palestinian reconciliation deal

Following last week’s Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, the US has released a statement saying Hamas must “disarm”, and the Palestinian Government must recognise the State of Israel, and commit to nonviolence.

Israel spoke out against the reconciliation deal earlier in the week saying they would not participate in diplomatic negotiations with Palestine if Hamas is part of the government, unless their conditions are met.

In a statement to the AFP news agency, Hamas officials called out the US and Israel for “blatant interference” in Palestine’s internal affairs, while a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority’s President says the conditions will not change its move towards reconciliation.

Sexual predators and human traffickers target Rohingya refugee camps

Criminal gangs and sexual predators are scouring Rohingya refugee camps on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border searching for orphans, promising dodgy jobs and exploiting women for so-called ‘survival sex’.

Around 580,000 Rohingya muslims have entered Bangladesh, fleeing from Myanmar security forces and local vigilantes.

Humanitarian group CARE Bangladesh country director, Zia Choudhury says gangs are offering vulnerable people dubious jobs as cleaners and maids, to eventually whisk them away to worse situations.

The Bangladesh government and aid agencies are doing their best to protect vulnerable people by keeping predators away from such camps.