Economic Issues

Concerns over toxic landfill in East Timor and more Zedlines

There are fears for the health of young scavengers seeking a living in East Timor's unregulated Tibar Landfill near the capital Dili. (Image source: UN Photo/Martine Perret)

Children exposed to toxic conditions in East Timor 

There are fears for the health of young scavengers seeking a living in East Timor's Tibar Landfill near the capital Dili.

The unregulated dumping ground has been named an environmental and public catastrophe, and is home to lethal substances such as asbestos and untreated hospital waste. 

According to the World Health Organisation, "about 100 tonnes of hazadous wastes are produced every year in Dili from healthcare activities alone". 

 

Queensland deforestation rates could be on the rise and more Zedlines

New figures indicate that if proposed land clearing goes ahead it will double last year's figures for deforestation. Image credit: Flickr

The Wilderness Society says Queensland deforestation rates have the potential to double last year’s figures, with close to 1 million hectares of land already being approved to clear.

Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman says ‘deforestation in Queensland has increased 250% since 2011’ and ‘more than 99 per cent of the proposed clearing is of untouched forest and woodlands’.

1.25 million hectares have been cleared in the four years since the Newman Government relaxed tree laws.

 

Optus offers compensation to NBN customers and more Zedlines...

Optus is the latest telecommunications giant to offer compensation to customers who have not received the National Broadband Network speeds they were promised. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The admission by Optus that some customers might have been overcharged follows yesterday's move by Telstra to refund around 42,000 accounts where advertised speeds could never be achieved.

Like Telstra, Optus has attributed the underlying source of undelivered speeds to NBN copper wire access.

School fails students in marking blunder

The Queensland Education department has admitted that a significant marking blunder at an Ipswich state school could affect the chances of some senior english students gaining entry into university.

24 Hour vigil for Manus Island detainees to take place at Peter Dutton's Office

A 24 hour vigil is being organised by the Refugee Action Collective QLD to support the 600 ex detainees that are stuck in Manus Island without food, water and medical supplies. Since the Detention Centre closed on the 31st of October with water and electricity being cut off the men are without basic amenities and a humanitarian crisis is under way. The men refuse to leave as they worry for their safety in the communities of Papau New Guinea. 4ZZZ Reporter Jack McDonnell spoke to Mark Gillespie from Refugee Action Collective about this planned action and the situation on Manus. 

 

Australia's Big Four Banks and why they probably don't care about the Government's Parliamentary Hearings

Twice a year Federal Parliament’s Committee on Economics puts the CEOs of Australia’s four biggest banks (the Big Four) in the hot seat and ask them tricky questions. In the face of an unending parade of scandals the opposition has called for a Royal Commission into the banks. The Turnbull Government has stated that the Parliamentary hearings are enough to pull the banks into line.

Do the banks take these hearings seriously? Probably not —  and here’s five reasons why:

1. The Australian Government hires the Big Four

Global gender equality not expected for another century

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) to will take 100 years to close the gender inequality gap at the current rate. (Image from: Pixabay)

The WEF report has ranked 144 countries on their gender equality, through education, health, political participation and economical opportunities.

The 2017 report shows the gap has worsened since last year, and if efforts aren’t improved it will take a century to close the gap globally.

Women in Scandinavian countries have achieved the highest overall rankings, while women in the Middle East and North Africa held the lowest gender equality scores.

 

Activists call for humane treatment of Manus refugees

New Zealand proposes to ban foreign housing buyers and more Zedlines

New Zealand is planning to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes in an attempt to tackle the country’s housing crisis. (Image Source: Pixbay)

Prime Minister-Designate, Jacinda Ardern, announced the proposed restrictions, which follows a campaign pledge by the country’s Labour party to crack down on ‘property speculators’.

The country’s proposed ban on foreign buyers, which would only apply to non-domiciles, comes amid rising support for protectionist policies in developed nations around the world.

 

Moves for rental properties to meet new minimum standards in Queensland welcomed by advocacy group

Brisbane best for small business... and more zedlines

The latest report from survey company, Sensis, has shown Brisbane is the best city in Australia for small and medium businesses to thrive. (Image: Max Pixel)

Confidence in business has gone up 17 percentage points in the past quarter - the highest rise among capital cities.

As for regional areas in Queensland, small business confidence remains steady, which is still better than the rest of the country, where confidence is down.

Talks of extended trading during Commonwealth Games

People on the Gold Coast might not be sleeping while the Commonwealth Games are in town, because there are talk to extend trading hours for the city.

Brazilian design meets Aboriginal Art and more zedlines...

Designers from Brazil are collaborating with Aboriginal artists for the National Gallery of Victoria’s first international Triennial.

Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, the gigantic soft sculpture is beginning to take shape, with the piece welcoming visitors to the Gallery's first international Triennial of contemporary art and design, opening in December this year.

The sculpture is to be shipped to Melbourne in the coming weeks, where visitors will be presented with a seven-metre-dome structure that is made with steel and embroidered panels.

Thailand orders donation halt for monks and sale of holy objects at temples...and more zedlines

Image source: Pexels In an attempt to overhaul a religion recently marred by controversy, Buddhist in Thailand monks are launching reforms to impose tighter checks on the finances of the thousands of temples in the country.

There have recently been a host of rape, drugs, and embezzlement charges laid against Buddhist monks, which prompted the government to devise a smart ID card that would carry information of drug and criminal offences for monks instead of paper documents.

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