Call for freeze on train fares as patronage drops

A rail lobby group has called for train fares to be frozen for two years in an effort to get more South East Queenslanders on board. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

This came after Translink confirmed 10 million fewer passengers caught the train in 2016 and 2017 than eight years ago.

Spokesman for lobby group Rail Back on Track Robert Dow said he partly blames the drop in patronage on Translink’s 2014 decision to increase fares by 7.5 per cent.

Waterway health revealed in report card

A new report card released by the Healthy Land and Water organisation has revealed drops in water quality are a result of an increase in pollution loads.

The 2017 Healthy Land and Water Report Card showed a slight decrease in the condition of Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and Stanley River.

Healthy Land and Water principal scientist Dr Paul Maxwell said much is being done to improve the water quality, with the recreation value of Southeast Queensland waterways at about $3.2 billion annually.

ACCC to review NBN

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission is set to review the standard of service of the National Broadband Network delivers, following complaints about connecting to the network.

The ACCC said the inquiry would consider whether regulation is required to improve consumers’ experience.

ACCC chairman Rob Sims said unless improvements are made now, a significant proportion of consumers will be affected by issues as the NBN rollout continues.

“We are very concerned about the high number of complaints from consumers around poor customer experiences, particularly in relation to customers connecting to NBN services and having faults repaired,” he said.

Sydney homes destroyed for new toll road

Dozens of houses will be forcibly acquired and bulldozed in south Sydney to build the city’s new toll road, the ABC has revealed.

The cost of acquiring the 60 private properties to be either raised or destroyed will come in at around $100 million.

Construction of the 23 kilometre Sydney freeway, set to begin in 2021, will cost taxpayers $9 million.

Madrid jails ex Catalan ministers while prosecutors push for arrest warrant of former leader

An arrest warrant has been issued for the former leader of Catalan, Carles Puigdemont, while 19 Catalan politicians are being investigated for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

After the Spanish government took control of the region attempting to declare independence they announced their intention to pursue charges, causing the former Catalan leader and several other ministers to flee the country.

Prosecutors have called for a European arrest warrant to be issued after he failed to appear in court on Thursday.

Eight ministers are being held in jail, while a ninth was allowed bail.