Foreign Affairs

Federal Government backflips on plan to cut community legal aid and more Zedlines

The Government backs out of plans to cut community legal centre funding. Image source: Flickr

As per their budget, the Turnbull Government was due to slash $35 million from the community legal aid sector, a system which provides free legal help to disadvantaged Australians in 190 centres.

Senator Brandis remarked on the financial backflip, by saying ‘the government has always recognised the essential role of the legal assistance sector in providing access to justice for the most vulnerable Australians’.

The reinstated money will go toward frontline services in community legal centres and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

Australia is gearing up to import Indian mangoes and more zedlines

Australia to import mangoes from India. Image Source: Wikipedia/Mark Benecke

India is set to begin exporting mangoes into Australia.

This is not the first time Australia has imported mangoes, often getting its supply from Mexico, Pakistan and Philippines.

Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association, says the if the fruit meets biosecurity standards, supply will begin well before Australia’s own mango season.


Damage figures of a billion for ex-cyclone Debbie

The Queensland Treasurer has released damage figures following ex-cyclone Debbie.

PACER-Plus - What is it and will it help our Pacific neighbours?

Australia, New Zealand and 12 other Pacific nations have this week in Brisbane agreed to the terms of a trade deal called the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations.

The Australian government has said the deal is meant to help build smaller Pacific economies. But Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two biggest Pacific economies, have opted out.

4ZZZ reporter Andy Paine spoke to Patricia Ranald from the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network about the deal and what effect it will have on the region.

First International blind tennis competition, and more Zedlines

Five Australians from Melbourne will travel to Spain next month to participate in the first international blind tennis competition. Image source: Pixabay

Maurice Gleeson, president of Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria, said the event is an important milestone for the sport, after previous attempts to cater the sport to blind people was unsustainable.

The sport is played in much the same way as conventional tennis, but with a yellow foam ball that makes it easier for players to hear it, as well as modified rules.


Translink to launch in Toowoomba

Public transport is set to improve in Toowoomba, after the announcement that Translink will launch in June.

Astronauts reach International Space Station, and more Zedlines

A Soyuz spacecraft has reached the International Space Station (ISS), completing the first two-man flight there in over a decade. Image source: Wikipedia

Russian Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and US Astronaut Jack Fischer successfully docked into the ISS, ready to begin a five-month mission alongside three astronauts already stationed there.

The crew is set to conduct several experiments in orbit, including making a Russian dairy product.


Community event helping fund mental health initiatives

A community event has been instrumental in providing the funds needed to support a Central Queensland program helping prevent suicide among youth.

Himalayan Glaciers now legally recognised as 'person' and more Zedlines

A court in India has officially recognised the Himalayan glaciers as a ‘legal person’. Image source: Wikimedia

The decision comes after the court granted a similar status to the country’s two most sacred rivers, in an effort to curb environmental destruction and widen environmental protection in the mountainous region.

A spokesperson for the highest court in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, says the rights of the entities shall be the equivalent to the rights of human beings, therefore any injury or harm caused to these bodies shall be treated as injury or harm caused to human beings.

Dinosaur-bird fossil discovered in Queensland

Dutton labelled a liar, and more Zedlines

Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has been accused of lying after making comments on a shooting incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre. Image source: Wikimedia

Dutton alleged the incident, which saw detainees forced to shelter inside as locals stormed the facility, escalated after asylum seekers were seen leading a local 5-year-old boy into the centre.

Refugees on Manus Island refuted these claims, and said that any implication of a young boy being led anywhere is nonsense, and that Dutton is a liar who is trying to hide the truth.  


Brisbane’s worst roads to travel during peak hour!

Daintree Residents Warned of Flesh-eating Bacteria and more Zedlines...

(Wikimedia) Flesh-eating bacteria has been identified in the Daintree forest, with residents urged to take precautions when venturing in the area.

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has confirmed a resident in the area had  been infected with Daintree Ulcer, which can leave victims disfigured.

Cairns vascular surgeon Dr Christina Steffen said the bacteria is one of the worst cases of Daintree Ulcer she has treated over the decades and urges people to wash their skin and “wear protective clothing as much as they can.”

Brisbane artist finds peace amid WW1 Centenary

Australia’s largest solar farm proposed for Queensland and more Zedlines

A Queensland company is proposing to build Australia’s largest solar farm, pending council approval.

Solar Q applied to Gympie Regional Council on Tuesday for building approval for a three hundred and fifty megawatt site, with hopes it could power up to three hundred thousand homes.

The managing director, Scott Armstrong says, the development which will be located thirty kilometres north-west of Gympie would aim to source labour locally and not take up prime agricultural land.

Donors, Mayors and Councillors! Welcome to The Crime and Corruptions hearing!

Vandalised War Memorial to be restored by Anzac Day and more Zedlines...

Brisbane City Council is racing against the clock to have The Toowong War Memorial, which was vandalised by religious extremists, restored in time for Anzac Day.

The Cross of Sacrifice, which had its bronze sword removed and stoneware damaged, has been able to have the sword recast and is ready to be put into position next week.

This also comes just as the Cameron Rocks Reserve War Memorial in Hamilton also finishes 12 months of repair in time for Anzac Day.


M1 Warned to be Avoided During 2018 Commonwealth Games

With the 2018 Commonwealth Games less than a year away, police have urged drivers to avoid unnecessary driving on the M1 Highway while the Games are being held.