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LGBTIQ Pride festivals are an opportunity to connect with the community, to stand visibly, collectively and to celebrate who we are with revelry. Theyre also contentious recent controversies include whether police should be permitted to march in London and Toronto, and the subsuming of the umbrella into Gay Pride. Indeed, celebrating who we are ...
The post OPINION: Why Visibility Of LGBTIQ Pride Is More Urgent Than Ever appeared first on QNews Magazine.
Magpies are not uncommon in Aussies backyards but I have not had
any in my yard since I moved up here nearly 15 years ago. However,
not everyone likes these birds in their yard. They often become
very aggressive during the breeding season and they are big birds
with big strong beaks. This is the bird that has recently been
visiting my yard - I think it is a male.
A gay couple whose emotional reaction to the announcement of the yes result last November went viral have wed in Brisbane. Brad Harker and Scott DAmico (pictured) were among those gathered in Queens Park to hear the result announced on November 15. The couple became the local face of celebrations as photographs and footage spread ...
The post Brad and Scott, The Gay Couple Who Went Viral On Yes Day, Have Wed In Brisbane appeared first on QNews Magazine.
By Robyn J. Whitaker, University of Divinity From Friday, September 21, the Uniting Church (UCA) will be the first of the three major Australian Christian denominations to endorse same-sex marriage, and thus the first to offer gay and lesbian Christians the option of a church ceremony. This move comes nine months after same-sex marriage was ...
The post Uniting Church of Australia To Endorse Same-Sex Marriages From Friday appeared first on QNews Magazine.
As soon as the Rotacyclists heard of the Rotary Ride Against Drought, the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians Australian Chapter (IFMRA) were keen to donate $500.
Members have also been challenged to join the ride from Brisbanes Rocklea Showgrounds on 6 October 2018.
Lionel Cansdale of the IFMRA says Rotary International is made up of 1.2 million ordinary folk.
Since 1905, Rotary has provided humanitarian aid through charitable donations, and hands-on service.
Ordinary folk join their local Rotary club to meet a personal desire to selflessly help others both in their own community and further afield, Lionel says.
A Rotary club is a meeting place; an enabler for likeminded people drawn from all walks of life, to pool their skills and strengths. Importantly Rotary is non-religious and apolitical.
A personal benefit from Rotary involvement is the enjoyment of lifelong friendships and networking opportunities with people that share the same core values; best described as ethical, honest and helpful.
Lionel says Rotary isnt just about hard work and fundraising....
Queens's Wharf is a whole new look for the city of Brisbane.
Voil the original architectural showreel, courtesy of Star Group...
And now it's getting underway...
Exciting times for Brissie.
And not a winking kangaroo in sight.
By Amy Bhatt, University of Maryland The Indian Supreme Court has legalized homosexuality, overturning a 157-year ban on consensual gay sex. In a nearly 500-page unanimous decision issued on Sept. 6, Indias highest court affirmed that whenever the constitutional courts come across a situation of transgression or dereliction in the sphere of fundamental rights which ...
The post Indias Gay Sex Ban, Now Repealed, Was Britains Anti-Gay Colonial Legacy appeared first on QNews Magazine.
A new social media campaign is in the works to help young LGBTIQ people in Queensland fill in the gaps in their knowledge of sexual health and better understand the risks of HIV. Fortitude Valley-based Open Doors Youth Service is working with researchers from the University of Queenslands School of Public Health to develop the ...
The post New Campaign Aims To Educate Young Queenslanders About HIV Prevention appeared first on QNews Magazine.
City of Sydney Councillor Kerryn Phelps has confirmed she will contest former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulls seat of Wentworth as an independent. Professor Phelps, a former Australian Medical Association president and now GP in the electorate, was a high-profile backer of same-sex marriage and was heavily involved in the yes campaign during the postal survey ...
The post Dr Kerryn Phelps Confirms Bid For Malcolm Turnbulls Sydney Seat Of Wentworth appeared first on QNews Magazine.
Rapper Eminem has suggested he regrets directing a homophobic slur at fellow rapper Tyler, the Creator on his latest album Kamikaze. Eminem surprise-released the album two weeks ago but the track Fall caused a backlash because he raps, Tyler create nothin, I see why you called yourself a faggot, bitch. Tyler hinted that he identifies ...
The post Eminem Admits Homophobic Slur On New Track Went Too Far appeared first on QNews Magazine.
|LEFT: decorated anemone, RIGHT: green anemone.|
Just before I appeared on 612 ABC Brisbanes Breakfast program last week, one of the presenters Bec Levingston asked Deputy Premier Treasurer Jackie Trad what it would cost to air condition every classroom in Queensland, a question she obviously couldnt answer without notice. Having spent the bulk of my schooling in un-air-conditioned classrooms in tropical Townsville, it struck me as a peculiar question, and I though air conditioning every classroom in the state would be a massive extravagance. That said, it did prompt me to look at what the state government currently spends on education capital works and compare it to what it spends on other priorities.
In state budget paper 3, the Capital Statement, we are starting to see the huge cost of the number one extravagance in the state at the moment, Cross River Rail. Total spending on property, plant and equipment for Cross River Rail, which is part of the Treasury portfolio, is estimated to be $733 million in 2018-19. This $733 million spent in inner city Brisbane on Cross River Rail is greater than total property, plant and equipment purchases for the Education portfolio of $674 million across the whole of Queensland! To be fair, I should note that if you add in $99 million of capital grants to other entities (which I suspect includes private schools and universities), total estimated education capital spending comes to $773 million in 2018-19. Still, the fact Cross River Rails total capital spending is of the same scale as education capital spending across the whole state should raise eyebrows. Incidentally, the region benefiting the most from education CAPEX is inner city Brisbane (see chart below). Political commentators would observe the government is worried about a Greens takeover of inner city seats.
I made two trips to ABCs South Brisbane studios yesterday. On the Breakfast program, hosts Bec Levingston and Craig Zonca and I chatted about Queenslands growing state debt, the distinction between good and bad debt, and the states credit rating. I spoke after the Deputy Premier-Treasurer had chatted with Bec and Craig, and you can hear me from around 2 hours, 34 minutes into the recording:
On Steve Austins Drive show in the afternoon, Steve and I chatted about my impressions of the budget, released just three hours earlier. I told him I thought the projected operating surpluses were too thin and actually negligible when compared with gross state product (see chart above based on data published in the budget as well as ABS data). I also noted that, even according to the metrics the government prefers, the budget projects a deterioration in Queenslands fiscal position. For example, on p. 48 of Budget Paper 2 we discover:
The vindictive prosecution of a whistleblower who should in fact have been praised casts a dark shadow over the reputation of the QPS. It shows the police as having no morality at all. They were furious that Flori revealed the ugly truth about them and desperately wanted to get back at him.
Now that their prosecution has failed, it is surely time to ask some very challenging questions of Ian Stewart, the Queensland police chief.
The prosecution was undoubtedly stressful for Flori -- as would have been intended -- but there was a silver lining to his dark cloud. After her own victory over a crooked cop and his QPS defenders, Renee Eaves has done a lot to help other innocent victims of the police. So she flew to Fiori's side when his prosecution was announced and has given him support ever since. And as well as a her strength of character and iron will, Renee is absolutely gorgeous. A former bikini beauty, she is a dream walking. Having her nearby would soothe most troubled male souls.
You see her walking beside Fiori below. I had the great privilege to help her once when she badly needed it
A FORMER Queensland police sergeant who leaked footage of officers bashing a handcuffed man in a Gold Coast station basement has been found not guilty of misconduct.
Rick Flori, 47, was acquitted of the charge by a majority 11-1 verdict by a jury on Wednesday following a six-day trial at the Southport District Court.
Flori, who has since resigned from the Queensland Police Service, says he released the footage of the January 2012 arrest to cast a spotlight on illegal practices within the force.
Flori released footage of police at the Surfers Paradise station bashing a handcuffed man, Noa Begic, in a basement car park in January 2012.
Once the footage was run by The Courier-Mail, an internal investigation lead to a search of Floris home where the footage was located on an SD card.
Flori told investigators hed acquired the footage for training purposes and denied knowing anything about the email address used to arrange the leak with a journalist.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said Flori was upset at being overlooked for a promotion to senior sergeant in 2011.
Once he realised the footage included the man who had been given the promotion at his expense, Senior Sergeant David Joachim, hed set about leaking it to discredit his rival, Mr Fuller argued.
Mr Fuller said in the email sent to the journalist, Flori failed to mention any of the other officers involved except for Sen Sgt Joachim, despite Senior Constable Ben Lamb being the man who kneed and punched Mr Beg...
Gold Coast police again. They are deep-dyed thugs. No part of this is appropriate police behaviour
A former federal security and police officer is suing Queensland Police for $750,000 claiming he was put in a deadly chokehold in a wrongful arrest.
Paul Gibbons alleges officers were excessively violent, abused him and threatened him on his honeymoon at a hotel in the Gold Coast.
He claimed he was confronted by police because they were allegedly annoyed at him taking 10 seconds to open the locked door to the hotel lobby.
One reportedly told him they could shoot him and receive a medal according to papers lodged to Brisbane District Court show, the ABC reports.
Mr Gibbons, who previously served in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), has taken the State of Queensland to court.
He is claiming damages for assault, battery, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.
Footage from a security camera inside the hotel lobby shows the moment he is wrestled to the ground after police surrounded him when he started filming them on his phone, Mr Gibbons alleges.
The ABC reports Mr Gibbons claims the officers threatened to arrest him for obstructing police, who were at the hotel for another matter.
The former ASIO agent, who also served in the Australian Federal Police, says when he questioned why they required entry, a police officer pointed to his gun saying the weapon was his authority.
The court heard the officer allegedly said: 'When we tell you to do something, you don't ask questions. You f***ing do it. 'Hell, we can put a bullet in your f***in' head and get a medal.'
One of the officers said the recording on Mr Gibbons phone would be 'easily remedied' flashing a torch directly into the camera.
The CCTV footage shows Mr Gibbons handcuffed on the floor while an officer scrolls through the device.
Mr Gibbons said he felt as though his throat would be crushed by one of the officers when they squeezed him during the incident in 2016.
The same officer is alleged to have later said: 'I'm going to kill you c***. When we get you out to the truck, I'm going to smash your f***ing face in c***.'
Part of the claim also includes $50,000 for potentially missing out on selling the footage from his phone to the media after it was deleted.
The state government, who is representing police in the case, has not replied to the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Queensland Police Service said the force could not comment while the matter was being dealt with in court.
In a November 2015 post New 1,500 seat theatre would likely be a waste of taxpayers money, I questioned the desirability of a state government-funded $1.3M business case to investigate a new 1,500 seat theatre for Brisbane. At the time, I was criticised by the Courier-Mails Paul Syvret for seeing things through a coldly commercial prism (see this post). But based on todays news, I feel even more strongly that my comments at the time were justified. Following Premier Palaszczuks announcement yesterday of a new $150M theatre being tacked on to QPAC, todays Courier-Mail reports:
A market-led proposal by Sydney-based Foundation Theatres for a $100 million theatre on the old State Library site adjacent to Queens Wharf has been with the State Government since last year. Foundation Theatres, which runs the hugely successful Capitol and Sydney Lyric Theatres in Sydney, would have required only $25 million from the Government.
Yesterday the Premier insisted that proposal was still in play.
If they still want to pursue that they can, she said.
But by announcing the new theatre as an extension of QPAC she has effectively killed off that proposal.
This is another good example of government activity crowding out private sector activity. Government activity is generally only justified where there is market failure or equity concerns (in which case transfer payments are typically more efficient than public provision of a good or service). Given the market-led proposal from Foundation Theatres, where is the market failure in this case?
The private sector appears willing to have met the bulk of the cost of the new theatre. The private sector proponent Foundation Theatres isnt totally pure, as it was asking for a $25M contribution from the state government, but this would have been a much smaller outlay than the $150M the government will now spend building the theatre itself. Of course, one would need to consider what exactly the state government would have received for its $25M investment in the Foundation Theatres venture. That said, based on the limited information in the public domain, it is difficult to understand the logic behind the Governments $150M investment in a new theatre at QPAC.
I have previously posted on the high cost of free parking, the problem identified by UCLA economics professor Donald Shoup that arises when councils do not properly price access to on-street parking (see Another example of the high cost of free parking in Toowong). Now the Brisbane City Council (BCC) is proposing to cover the parts of West End and Highgate Hill in the vicinity of the City Cat ferry terminal with a residential parking permit zone, which will allow local residents to park on local streets almost for free and restrict the parking options of non-local residents, as reported by the Brisbane Times yesterday:
This is really bad policy. The most efficient (and arguably equitable) solution is for the car parks to be allocated to those people with the highest willingness to pay, which will include many commuters catching the City Cat. This also means the council can raise more revenue, if it properly meters on-street parking in the area. If it finds that, at the metered charge it sets, demand is high relative to the supply of car parks, it should raise the charge. In this way, the community will get a good idea of the true willingness to pay for car parking in the area, and BCC or private investors might well realise it would be optimal to build a multi-storey car park for the City Cat terminal, for example. I should add that having commuters drive to West End to catch the City Cat is preferable to those same commuters instead driving to the CBD or University of Queensland, both big attractors of traffic and major locations of congestion.
Local residents should not be exempt from on-street parking charges, as they typically are under residential parking permit schemes. Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, property boundaries dont extend on to local streets. But, by granting a residential parking permit at a very low annual fee of $10 per vehicle (see the BCC website), BCC confers a valuable additional property right to local property owners. Given the inner city precincts that residential parking permit schemes cover, local residents are typically reasonably well off and dont need an extra benefit handed to them by the council. (Incidentally, this is why I dont think residential parking permit schemes are equitable.) If local residents are conferred such a valuable benefit by council, they should pay for it, through a much higher residential parking permit fee,...
The construction industry is very important to the Queensland economy, and it employs nearly 10 percent of all workers (see Queensland Treasurys Employment by Industry brief). One part of the broader industry, residential construction, has grown strongly in recent years, owing in part to the huge amount of apartment construction activity in Brisbane. But activity in residential construction has always been expected to fall back as projects were completed, and indeed it has been doing so. Private dwelling construction in Queensland in December quarter 2017 was 5.8% lower than in December quarter 2016. In contrast, non-residential construction activity is recovering nicely from its post-mining-investment-boom slump, with private non-residential construction increasing 11.6% over the same period. Growth in non-residential construction has therefore offset the adverse impact of the recent slowdown in dwelling construction on the state economy.
But what does the future hold? To gain some insight, we can examine building approvals data, the latest batch of which (updated with February data) were released last Wednesday by the ABS. Broadly speaking, as discussed below, the outlook is positive, based on recent approvals data and expected public sector capital works (e.g. Cross River Rail) and resources sector developments, possibly including the Adani mega mine (see this recent AFR article), although many observers remain doubtful it will ever proceed.
Non-residential building approvals have been at higher levels over the last couple of years after recovering from the trough in 2014-15 (chart below). This gives us reason to be confident about non-residential construction activity, although Queensland has not experienced the massive surge in non-residential approvals seen in NSW and Victoria.
Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Robotstart via YouTube
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. Well also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; heres what we have so far (send us your events!):
Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy todays videos.
Only try this at home on April 1.
You might remember the Flowbee hair cutting vacuum device from commercials back in the late 1980s. Weve come up with a new concept to disrupt the hair styling market once again, this time through collaborative robots. With Snips by Sawyer barbershops will never be the same.
[ Rethink Robotics ]
Since April 1 wa...
On Wednesday 4 April, Royal Australian Air
Force (RAAF) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-003 of
the VIP 34 Squadron in Canberra was spotted resting quietly on the
Rockhampton Airport apron.
Brisbanes Fortitude Valley is now home to a brand new outdoor live music venue, The Valley Drive In. The venue has taken the place of the beloved Brightside carpark, which has housed gigs from the likes of Dune Rats, DZ Deathrays and WAAX, as well acted as a home for festivals like BIGSOUND and The Blurst Of Times.
As reported by The Music, Brissy-based music fans will already be much acquainted with the space, with venue booker Cael Johnston saying that the demand for gigs in the asphalt area became so large he had no choice but to expand.
Weve found that so many artists and promoters are looking to put on a show that simply cannot be experienced inside a traditional live space and we feel that this venue will give punters an evening that they will never forget, Johnston says.
The Valley Drive In is officially a fully licenced venue and is set to be fixed with its own permanent staging and production get ready to suss plenty of gigs and festivals there throughout 2018.
Sydneys Middle Kids are getting geared up to release their debut album, Lost Friends, at the start of May, and now theyve just teased us even more with the release of their newest single, On My Knees.
Middle Kids have had a pretty stellar couple of years, releasing the gorgeous Edge Of Town in 2016 ahead of the release of their eponymous EP. Now, as their debut album creeps ever-closer, Middle Kids have already released tracks like Mistake, but theyve now upped the ante again with On My Knees.
Getting its debut airing on triple j on Wednesday morning, On My Knees has been kept in the vault for quite some time now, with the band having played the tune during their Austin City Limits performance in the US last year.
In a time where a lot of division is growing, we want to be part of the conversation that unites people around certain ideals that are universal, like hope and love, frontwoman Hannah Joy said to triple j of the new album.
Thats so much a thread throughout this album: Even though things are tough, its worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from whats going on.
The new, heartfelt number is another moment of brilliance for Middle Kids, so if you start drafting up your Hottest 100 votes now, you might help the group finally crack the full 100 this year.
Middle Kids Lost Friends is slated for release of May 4th. While we wait for this instant classic to drop, check out their new single below.
Wednesday, May 9th
Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
Thursday, May 10th
Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA
Friday, May 11th
Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA
Friday, May 18th
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Friday, May 25th...
The Commonwealth Games is about to start on the Gold Coast and it will be the first time the Commonwealth Games have been held in Queensland since 1982.
Queensland at that time was under the rule of the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen LNP Government. Civil liberties were trampled; indigenous Australians outcast in their own land. Queensland was seen by many around the world as not too dissimilar to Apartheid South Africa, or the deep south of America. Opposition to the government and their reactionary legislation was growing not just onthe domestic front, but abroad, twelve months out from the Games, a boycott was being rumoured by African, Caribbean and Asian countries, due to a South African rugby tour of New Zealand. With the Moscow 1980 Olympics Games had been affected by boycotts, the threat for Brisbane was real.
A crisis meeting in May 1982 in London, resolved that there would be no boycott. With this threat petering out, the LNP government set about tackling domestic opposition.
A Commonwealth Games security bill was introduced in the 12 months lead up to the Games. It allowed police to detain people for 48 hours without charge, a ban on any protest during the games, increased fines, gave the police power of entry without a warrant. All this come on top of an increase of $10 million in the police budget. In a nutshell, basic civil liberties in Queensland were suspended during the Commonwealth Games.
Yet opposition was strong. Indigenous Australians, trade unions, progressive minded people were prepared to defy this draconian legislation. Across the Tasman many Maoris expressed their support for those opposing these laws. Ai number of African governments whose nations were participating in the Games spoke out about their concerns, looking at pulling out of the games.
Back in Australia ticket sales were down, .as opposition to the reactionary regime grew stronger. However, the Games went ahead. Demonstrations without permits were held in Brisbane. The police brutally sought to stop them. While the British royal family watched the launch of their games, protestors stood strong against the brutality confronting them.
The eyes of the world watched the behaviour condemned the racism and brutality showed by the police.
The Bjelke-Petersen government and was subsequently condemned to the dust bin of history.
Indigenous Australians in Queensland have made some progress; civil liberties have improved, with the overt corruption fading away.
Another Commonwealth Games is being conducted in Queensland. How will history judge these ones?
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