North Queensland mayors given holidays by Adani... and more Zedlines

Two North Queensland mayors have each received more than $1600 worth of gifts from Adani this year, as part of a deal where the local councils would pay for an airstrip to service the company. (Image: Stop Adani, Flickr)

Mayor Margaret Strelow and Mayor Jenny Hill were both afforded holidays to India from Adani, and disclosed the benefits on official council registers.

However, official minutes of both councils do not show the councillors declaring the holidays as conflicts of interest during chamber discussions on the Adani deal.

No word on public service returns before election

Queensland voters will head to the booth this month without knowing whether the State’s expanding public service has delivered returns.

KPMG investigated whether the increase of more than 16,000 public service staff members since the 2015 election has delivered any results for Queenslanders.

The Palaszczuk government had promised to release the findings from report once the cabinet had considered it.

However,Palaszczuk confirmed this week the report had not been to cabinet and the results will not be released before November 25.

Sydney’s attraction ‘not enough’ for people to stay

Experts have weighed in on the livability of Sydney, and say despite its great reputation among tourists, the ‘fun vibe’ and the harbour are not of any help when it comes to permanent residents.

It was agreed Sydney is lacking in areas like affordability, transport, and internet speeds, when compared to cities of similar size - Amsterdam, Chicago, and Beijing.

With forecasting saying most of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, the Committee for Sydney policy director Eamon Waterford says Sydney is already struggling to cope with the influx.

All Canberra secondary students to receive laptops

In the ACT, the state government has chosen a contractor to deliver laptops to all secondary students in public schools.

Datacom systems will be delivering Acer Chromebooks, and currently expect the rollout will be complete by the beginning of the 2019 school year.

In the budget, more than $17 million has been set aside for the project, which has been on the cards since before last year’s ACT state election.

Floating garbage dump appears in Caribbean

A small island of garbage has floated into the Caribbean, and is currently off the coast of Honduras.

It is mostly made up of everyday plastic items like food packaging, but includes everything from flip-flops to construction waste.

One of Australia’s top scientists, the CSIRO’s Dr Britta Denise Hardesty, says it has appeared because of recent hurricanes which have lashed the region, and adds the new garbage island is ‘shocking and confronting’.

MSF closing cholera clinics in Yemen

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), is closing nearly all of its 37 cholera treatment centres in Yemen, as the crisis has passed its peak.

Since the beginning of the cholera epidemic in April, there has been 884,000 cases and more than 2000 deaths; but now, MSF centres are down to treating around 500 cases a week.

While the organisation says cholera patients are decreasing in number and the crisis is not over, Yemen is no longer a top priority for MSF.