Manus Island detention centre scheduled to close tomorrow and more Zedlines...

Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island is scheduled to be closed tomorrow, after being declared illegal and in breach of human rights in April 2016.

There are 600 residents currently residing on Manus Island, who will be resettled according to whether or not their claims to asylum are seen as valid.

If their claims are deemed valid, asylum seekers will be resettled in Papua New Guinea, but if they are deemed invalid, they will be repatriated, transferred to another offshore detention camp, or be resettled in a different country, such as the US.

The centre has been dubbed the “Australian Guantanamo”, however some refugees have stated that they will refuse to leave the centre after its closure, due to the even bleaker futures that await them elsewhere.

Bells welcome nesting turtles back to Bundaberg

Church bells will sound out across Bundaberg today as the area celebrates the return of nesting turtles to its beaches.

Member for Bundaberg, Leanne Donaldson, said the ringing of these bells is a reminder of how crucial the region is to the conservation of endangered loggerhead turtles, and acts as a reminder to the local community to turn off lights and close blinds at night, to help the turtles make their way to the ocean.

This year celebrates 50 years of turtle research and conservation in Queensland, with nightly turtle encounters and tours to view turtle nestings and hatchings taking place between November and March.

Brisbane public transport ranked Australia’s best

A new study has found Brisbane’s public transport system to be Australia’s best, despite disruptions to the rail service.

The Sustainable Cities Mobility Index has placed Brisbane at number 48 on a list of 100 growing world centres, ahead of Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth.

However, Brisbane’s lack of underground metro systems and continuing dependence on private vehicles prevented the city from being higher on the list.

Australians urged to boycott Streets ice cream

Unions are urging Australians to boycott ice cream favourites Paddlepop, Magnum, and Golden Gaytime this summer amid a pay dispute between workers and confectionary giant Streets.

Unilever, which owns Streets, is attempting to terminate the current enterprise agreement, which could leave workers with a pay cut of up to 46 per cent.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union spokesperson Steve Murphy says the time has come for Australians to choose between supporting struggling workers and supporting corporate greed.

Unilever claims it is only trying to keep manufacturing in Australia, saying it is 30 per cent cheaper to import a Magnum from Europe and ship it to Australia than to make one at the Streets factory in Minto, New South Wales.

Bank Tax vote secures return for $41.5 mental health funding

The South Australian Government has negotiated up to $41.5 million for mental health and disability services in return for the Dignity Party’s support for the government’s controversial bank tax.

As part of Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis’s Budget Measures Bill, the proposed levy on South Australia’s five major banks is expected to be voted on this week in parliament’s Legislative Council.

Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent said she would support the bill in return for a number of programs being established, with a major part of the deal being a $10.25 million Borderline Personality Disorder Centre of Excellence, which will have specialist resources for people struggling with mental illness.

PNG women attacked after being accused of witchcraft

There has been a surge in violent attacks and murders of Papua New Guinea women accused of practising sorcery and witchcraft.

The violence was originally contained to remote areas in PNG’s countryside, but is now spreading to the country’s larger towns and cities.

Most cases have come after an unexpected illness or death within a community, leading locals to choose one woman as a scapegoat, accusing her of witchcraft, and torturing her.

The PNG Government is working with community groups to implement the Sorcery National Action Plan in a bid to reduce violence through education, police, and health care strategies.