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Media Release: Plan for new State of North Queensland fails

A proposal for a new state of North Queensland failed at the Local Government Conference in Mackay today.

The motion came from the Richmond Shire Council in Far North Queensland.

It was defeated by 123 votes to 74.

Long-serving Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully opposed the motion saying if the new state ever seceded from Australia Bob Katter would want to be the President of the Republic of North Queensland.

"Bob's ego is already as big as North Queensland, so just imagine if he ever became President Katter.

"The Premier Anna Bligh has already ruled out a new state, so this motion is a waste of time," Cr Tully said.

Conference speakers from southern Queensland said Australia needed fewer states and not more.

Cr Paul Tully - 07 3818 6900

Election 2010 Cliffhanger

With the 2010 election a complete cliffhanger, it may not be the seat of Hasluck in Western Australia which determines the winner but the seat of Brisbane in Queensland held by the ALP's Arch Bevis since 1990.

The ALP has been steadily pulling back the LNP Teresa Gambaro's lead since Saturday night.

The 2-party preferred vote is currently:

BEVIS, Arch ALP 32,851 (49.71%)
GAMBARO, Teresa LNP 33,233 (50.29%).

Arch Bevis has been a pugnacious little fighter for 20 years and he may yet survive this battle as well.

If he pulls it off and Labor wins Corangamite in Victoria and the Liberals win Hasluck in Western Australia, the final result of the 150 seats would be:

Coalition 71
ALP 73

Greens 1

Independent NSW 2
Independent QLD 1
Independent TAS 1

"Rogue" National WA 1


The National Party candidate from Western Australia Tony Crook who defeated the Liberals' star embarrassment Wilson Tuckey in the seat of O'Connor has said he will sit on the cross benches and support neither major party.

That's why his seat needs to be taken out of the equation in calculating the number of seats won by the Coalition with 71 seats, or 72 at the most, even if the WA "rogue" National seat is included.

Julia Gillard then has the first right to attempt to form a government.

The final minority ALP government might look like this:

ALP 73
Greens 1
Ind. TAS 1
Ind. NSW 2

TOTAL 77

or

ALP 73
Greens 1
Ind TAS 1
Ind. NSW 2
Ind. QLD 1

TOTAL 78

Even if the LNP wins Brisbane, a minority ALP Government might look like:

ALP 72
Greens 1
Ind. TAS 1
Ind. NSW 2

TOTAL 76


Alternatively, a minority Coalition Government might look like:

Coalition 72
Independents 4

TOTAL 76

Under all these scenarios, stability in government would seem more likely with an ALP minority government.

The minority LNP Government scenario would have to rely on a former Green candidate from Tasmania, now an Independent or a "rogue" National from Western Australia who detests the National Party in the eastern states.

Don't give up yet Julia.

Julia Gillard could remain Prime Minister with a little help from her friends

If Labor wins 73 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, it could still cobble together a minority government.

With the help of the new Greens MP in Melbourne Adam Bandt and the likely Independent "Green" MP in the Tasmanian seat of Denison Andrew Wilkie, the Labor Government would effectively have 75 seats to the Coalition's 72.
If Bob Katter was made Speaker of the House of Representatives, Labor would control the floor of Parliament 75:74, even assuming the two Independents from NSW, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott sided with the Coalition.

Alternatively, the three Independents might accept that the ALP received a higher two-party preferred vote across Australia than the Coalition and side with Labor.

On the current figures, this would give the ALP a total of 78 seats (including 4 Independents and 1 Green) to the Coalition's 72.

This would be seen as a remarkable victory for Julia Gillard and would leave Tony Abbott reeling for the next three years.

Federal Election: Narrow Labor win predicted tomorrow

The Queensland Times - 25 June 2010

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully is Ipswich's most qualified psephologist - a person who studies and predicts the result of elections.
In 2007, Tully accurately predicted the federal election result down to the exact number of seats Labor won.


FEDERAL ELECTION 2010

This election is likely to be the most-closely contested election since 1961 when Liberal Prime Minister Bob Menzies was returned with a 1 seat working majority after Jim Killen was re-elected as the Liberal Member for the Brisbane seat of Moreton after securing Communist Party preferences.  Menzies was reported as ringing Killen and declaring: "Killen, you're magnificent".

In 2010, there has been a myriad of polls, predictions and pundits' pontifications – some differing wildly, including today's Newspoll in The Australian showing the two parties locked on 50:50 two-party preferred vote.  But there are several key indicia which enable some reasonably confident observations and predictions to be made.

In 2007, Centrebet betting correctly showed Labor would win the election.

As at 7.00am today, Centrebet.com.au had the ALP at $1.33 and the Coalition at $3.25, an overnight lengthening of Labor's odds of winning the election

The bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro in New South Wales, on the outskirts of the ACT, traditionally elects a local member who is a member of the party which forms the Federal Government. The incumbent ALP Member Mike Kelly was quoted at 7.00am today by Centrebet at $1.22 whereas his Liberal opponent David Gazard is quoted at $3.85.  If the people of Eden-Monaro re-elect Mike Kelly, its bellwether status suggests Julia Gillard is on her way to The Lodge.

In 2007, Centrebet favourites won 144 of the nation's 150 electorates and there is no reason to think that the smart money is not following the winners again in 2010.

Malcolm Mackerras' Pendulum should never be overlooked in making predictions about the outcome of any Australian election.  His pendulum is based on the fact that swings across Australia are never uniform but higher (and lower) than expected swings tend to cancel each other out, thus making each party's overall percentage an excellent barometer of that party's final number of seats.


NOW FOR MY PREDICTION FOR 2010

This is the toughest election to predict since I correctly forecast the 1974 debacle in Queensland when Labor was reduced to a cricket team of 11 in the Queensland Parliament after the Labor leader Percy Tucker was humiliated by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Percy also lost his own Townsville-based seat.

Tomorrow, Labor will lose a significant number of seats in Queensland and New South Wales.  Labor may pick up a handful of seats in Victoria but the status quo is generally likely to prevail in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Things can always change over the next 24 hours but I predict that Labor will win the 2010 election and that the 150 seats in the House of Representatives will be won as follows:

ALP 77

Liberal/National 70

Independents 3

or

ALP 76

Liberal/National 70

Independents 3

Greens 1.

After supplying the Speaker, Labor would have either a 3 seat majority on the floor of the House of Representatives in the first scenario or a 1 seat majority in the second scenario.

Assuming Labor wins by a small margin, as Menzies did in 1961, it would be tempting for the Coalition to think that the 2013 election would be a walk-in for them.

That's what the ALP thought after the 1961 election but Menzies called a general election a year early in 1963 and INCREASED his Liberal/National Party majority and the Coalition then went on to hold power for another 9 years!

 In Queensland, I predict The Greens will wins their first Senate seat.

WHAT IS PSEPHOLOGY?

"Psephology" is the art or science of predicting the outcome of elections.  Psephologists across the world are doing this every day.  In reality, everyone is a psephologist.  In practice, it is neither an art nor a science but simply a judgment by each individual, based on polls, figures, trends, hunches, good luck and sometimes plain old political bias.

Good luck to you for tomorrow night in your own practice of psephology.

Cr Paul Tully
PaulGTully@gmail.com

20 August 2010

Tony Abbott admits campaign trail can be depressing: Wait until Saturday night Tony!

 
TONY Abbott revealed today he has been "depressed" at times during the campaign and that he doesn't want to give up surfing and triathlons if he becomes prime minister.
 
As Mr Abbott joined journalists on the bus to the marginal seat of Petrie, he sat on a wobbly seat.
 
"Gee it's hard to find a safe seat," he joked:
 
"Sometimes you think this is a bit depressing because you're all human, even senior politicians are human - you're subject to the usual range of emotions."
 
The admissions came as he mounted a marathon nonstop effort to win power.
 
"Margie (his wife) has said a few times whatever happens what an amazing thing to have experienced to be a party leader and go through an election campaign," he revealed.
 
Mr Abbott said his best moment of the campaign so far was the Rooty Hill people's forum last week.
 
He said he understood prime ministers had tough time demands but he wished to continue his rigorous exercise regime.
 
"I would be incredibly disappointed if I couldn't still be involved in a bit of sport because everyone's got to have some recreation - even prime ministers - and for me physical exercise has always been a great form of recreation," he said.
 
"It's stress relief apart from anything else.
 
"Cycling is a very social sport, surfing is a very social sport. Something like an ironman or a half ironman - ok, it's very gruelling, but it is actually a community event.
 
"I don't see why you would be precluded from attending community events. So I'm not ruling it in but I'm not ruling it out."
 
CourierMail.com.au

This politician may need medical help: Barnaby Joyce frothing at the mouth over the AustralianGreens

Barnaby Joyce attacks the Australian
Greens over 'secret deals' with Labor. 

 
Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce has launched a scathing election-eve attack on the Australian Greens, who look set to hold the balance of power in the upper house after the federal election.
 
The Greens hold five Senate seats, but opinion polls have them boosting their representation to seven or eight, which would effectively give them a casting vote on contentious issues.
 
Senator Joyce told a Rural Press Club breakfast in Brisbane on Thursday that there were secret deals between the Greens and Labor that could see the reintroduction of death duties, a 50 per cent top marginal tax rate and an end to coal mining, live cattle exports, rodeos and fishing.
 
"We will see a Labor-Green deal," Senator Joyce said of a Labor victory on Saturday. "The Labor Party are only going to get about 40 per cent of the vote and if they win, they'll win (on) the Green preferences and the Greens will have every right to say: `You got there because of us and you will pay the piper and (we) will call the tune'.
 
"Death duties will come back, and Julia Gillard might say no, but it's not her choice because the Greens determine what goes through the Senate."
 
Senator Joyce said the Greens' anti-mining stance would deliver "a nation full of wind chimes and windmills".
 
He said he also feared for the future of Australia's $500 million rice industry, which exports to more than 70 countries, including many poor African nations.
 
Senator Joyce said the Labor government was unwilling to release the plan for the Murray-Darling Basin because of the Greens deal.
 
"If you take the capacity to feed 20 million people out of the top of the chain then there's someone on the bottom of the chain that doesn't get fed - somebody you haven't seen, some person living in Kenya, some person living in southern Sudan who doesn't get fed because you made the decision that you weren't going to grow rice," he said.
 
"So how many people do we want to starve to death because of this decision?
 
"What is the appropriate moral bounce? Is it appropriate that 10,000 people starve to death or maybe 20,000?"
 

Ipswich footbridge named after local resident and famous Australian who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Brisbane's Story Bridge

 
Mayor Paul Pisasale (front) and Councillor Paul Tully
on the newly named Bradfield Bridge.
 
 
FROM unsteady beginnings, the Riverlink pedestrian bridge now has a name that carries the historical weight of Ipswich's proud past.
 
The much publicised and long-delayed bridge from Riverlink shopping centre to Ipswich City Square will be called Bradfield Bridge.
 
Ipswich City Council yesterday voted to honour former Ipswich resident John Bradfield who, if he did nothing else, would be forever famous for designing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and helping design Brisbane's Story Bridge.
 
He also helped design and plan the University of Queensland, engineered Sydney's electric railway system and was associated with engineering works including the Cataract Dam near Sydney.
 
Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said the new bridge in Ipswich was the first in Bradfield's name.
 
"It's a proud day we can recognise his achievements and his connection with the city," Cr Tully said.
 
From his Sydney home, Dr Bradfield's grandson Peter Bradfield was thrilled to hear of his grandfather's honour.
 
"I think he'd be delighted he's been so kindly remembered. He was a proud Ipswich boy," Mr Bradfield said. "His place in Sydney was full of Queensland plants and a stained-glass window from the family home in Ipswich.
 
"In 2008 I went to Ipswich and Andrew Antoniolli showed me around grandfather's junior school at North Ipswich where there was a lot of artefacts about the bridge and him.
 
"I've been asked to come up with my wife for the opening. We were going to be away at that time but I'm sure we can make it."
 
Councillor Antoniolli, who went to the same primary school as Dr Bradfield, supported the bridge being named after him.
 
"It was a long time coming but I think it's the right one," Cr Antoniolli said. "I'm very pleased with the outcome."
 
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the official opening was expected to be in the first half of October.
 
"It's going to be a big day for celebration. There will be a community celebration and joint retail promotion on both sides of the river," he said.
 
"The Bradfield Bridge will quickly become a vital part of the city's infrastructure. This is a historic moment for the city. There's no other walking bridge like this in Australia."

QT.com.au

ANZ Insurance rips off Chinese couple in Brisbane

ANZ has done a backflip which would win spectacular awards at the Moscow Circus.

On Friday, a Brisbane Chinese couple was told by ANZ that the insurance on their home which had been destroyed by fire was void because they had taken in a boarder.

No wonder Australians think banks are disgraceful when they treat customers like dog droppings!

After a spurt of adverse television publicity, ANZ announced today that it was all a big mistake and the couple - who had been living in their car - would be paid after all.

The ANZ should have honoured the insurance last Friday - not when the sh*t hit the proverbial fan.
The couple was at its most-vulnerable immediately after the fire, yet the ANZ treated them worse than a mongrel dog should be treated.

ANZ is a disgrace and consumers should boycott this heartless, greedy corporation.

John Howard set to win 2010 Federal Election - according to Channel 9

Julia Gillard in male drag - looks amazingly like little Johnny Howard!

Maybe Mark Latham is still throwing a hammer in the works at Channel 9.

Police loses appeal over speeding ticket: What a waste of our money

BrisbaneTimes.com.au

Queensland police have lost an appeal against a judge's decision to acquit a woman of a speeding charge.

Police launched a review of traffic charge trials after Bilyana LeKich successfully appealed a speeding ticket.

On September 4, 2008, a magistrate found Mrs LeKich guilty of speeding and fined her $200.

Police alleged she was driving at 114km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Bruce Highway.

Their only evidence was a photograph taken by a fixed speed camera.

Mrs LeKich did not dispute she was driving the car or that the speed camera took a photo, but argued she had not been speeding.

She appealed to the District Court, which found the photograph was inadmissible because police failed to provide proper certification.

Since the photo was the only police evidence, the appeal was allowed and the conviction set aside.

"If the deficiency reflects the ordinary practice adopted in these prosecutions by the traffic camera office, it seems to me that the practice requires review," Judge John McGill said at the time.

Police appealed Judge McGill's decision to the Court of Appeal which in an unanimous judgment on Friday refused it.

In his written judgment, Supreme Court Justice Hugh Fraser rejected the police argument that the speed camera photo should be accepted as admissible evidence because such photos were presented routinely to court.

Police had argued that in 2008 and 2009 briefs were prepared for potential hearings in 475 matters and 406 matters respectively, and they had a "prosecutions pending" list of 1,556 and 1,719 speeding offences respectively in the same periods.

But Justice Fraser noted that since the District Court decision police prosecutors had been following the relevant Act.

Who are the clowns running the Australian Electoral Commission: GetUp! wins again in online vote case

BrisbaneTimes.com.au

Australians will be able to enrol online after the Federal Court ruled in favour of activist group GetUp! in its action against the Australian Electoral Commission.

The group took the commission to court after concern was expressed about an online voting enrolment site it created in July.

But today Federal Court Justice Nye Perram ruled the test case of 19-year-old Sophie Trevitt, who enrolled on the GetUp! website OzEnrol, was legal.

'Historic' win ... GetUp! national director Simon Sheikh.

'Historic' win ... GetUp! national director Simon Sheikh.


GetUp! national director Simon Sheikh called the win "historic".

"Today's decision vindicates the process of online enrolment," Mr Sheikh told reporters.

"We know that we pay our taxes online, that we do our banking online and we should be able to enrol to vote online."

He said GetUp! would be campaigning to allow online enrolments in all future elections, starting with Victoria's state election in November.

"The AEC's next moves are up to them. We'll be pushing the case for online voting vigorously so that it can be in place in time for the Victorian state election."

It is the second win the group has had in court in two weeks – last Friday the High Court ruled Howard government laws that closed electoral rolls on the day writs for an election were issued were invalid.

In a majority judgment, the full court struck out the laws brought in by the Coalition government in 2006 that cut the deadline from seven days to one for enrolment and three days for a change of details.

Queensland Politics: Police won't budge on pay offer

Is Ian Leavers President of the QPU doing the right thing by his Police Union members?

Rank and file police union members must be disappointed at their union's rejection of a pay offer which would have given them significantly more annual salary than their counterparts in NSW and Victoria.

......................................................

Joint Statement: Premier and Minister for the Arts

The Honourable Anna Bligh

Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services

The Honourable Neil Roberts

13/08/2010

Qld Government offers immediate police pay rise

Premier Anna Bligh said today she was disappointed the police unions had rejected an immediate, increased pay offer which would see Queensland police getting thousands more than their counterparts in NSW and Victoria each year.

"What we put on the table today was an offer of an immediate three per cent increase backdated to July 1, 2010," Ms Bligh said.

"Today's interim offer would have delivered an immediate pay rise while the three-year enterprise bargaining agreement went to the independent umpire - the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission - for final determination."

The Government's offer was subject to an agreement that: public servants other than police operate speed camera vans, and all other outstanding issues - including the final amount of the pay rise over the next three years - be resolved with the assistance of the Qld Industrial Relations Commission.

"The Government wants to see this money getting into the pockets of police because we recognise and respect the vital role they play in keeping Queensland communities safe," Ms Bligh said.

"I am disappointed the police unions have today rejected our offer because it would have meant each and every week around an extra $38 for a constable, $47 for a senior constable and $57 for a sergeant."

The Government has now filed an application in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission seeking the assistance of the independent umpire in settling the dispute.

"I want this dispute settled as soon as possible so our police can get a wage rise," Ms Bligh said.

"Given that discussions have reached a stalemate, the best way forward is through the QIRC."

Ms Bligh said the increase (including base salary, superannuation and shift allowances) would also mean:

·A constable gets $3,451 more each year than their counterpart in NSW and $7,393 each year more than their counterpart in Victoria;

·A senior constable gets more than $4,522 more than their counterpart in NSW and $10,859 more than their counterpart in Victoria; and

·A sergeant gets more than $7,274 more than their counterpart in NSW and $9,629 more than their counterpart in Victoria.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said today the Government had a strong record of supporting the police service - delivering a record budget this financial year and more police officers to the frontline.

"We've now got more than 10,300 serving police officers helping to keep our communities safe," Mr Roberts said.

"And this year we delivered a record $1.8 billion Budget investment in our police service - an investment which also includes delivering better crime fighting equipment and upgrading and improving police stations."

"Today's offer - particularly in the context of a tight budget - is fair and reasonable and I'm disappointed the Queensland Police Union didn't come to the party and ensure this pay rise got to our hardworking officers who deserve it."

Snob Hill comes to Brisbane while chefs stew as unknowns poach awards

BrisbaneTimes.com.au

Industry insiders were shocked when Aria wasn't named best new  restaurant.

Industry insiders were shocked when
Aria wasn't named best new restaurant.

Brisbane restaurateurs have fried Monday night's industry awards after several shock winners.

Some of the city's leading chefs have criticised the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence for making what they argued were many wrong decisions and questioned whether the public would take them seriously.

They were most surprised by a little known modern Australian cafe - Drift Cafe, which occupies the old Oxley's site on the river at Milton - beating famed chef Matt Moran's riverside Aria to be named best new restaurant.

Drift owner David Moore said he was surprised and "shocked" to beat Mr Moran, but believed his team was worthy of the accolade.

"I think a lot of people expect that a well-known restaurateur or a celebrity chef will win but it comes down to how good does he run the business?" Mr Moore said.

"Just because I haven't got the celebrity status or the [reputation] throughout Australia doesn't mean that I can't provide any more than Matt Moran can provide.

"[The award] is judged on a number of criteria and that goes down through everything from answering the phone to paying the bill to the service quality."

Mr Moore has previously won two Restaurant and Catering awards.

"I may not have the profile that Matt Moran does but I certainly have the runs on the board, a lot of people don't know that," he said.

Chefs and restaurant owners interviewed by brisbanetimes.com.au were also surprised by Bravo Bar B Que in Fortitude Valley taking out best steak restaurant ahead of John Kilroy's Cha Cha Char Wine Bar and Grill; Viale Canova at Clayfield being named Best Italian Restaurant; and Brisbane's Customs House taking home Best Contemporary Australian Restaurant – Informal (50 - 100 Seats).

E'cco owner and chef Phil Johnson threatened to boycott next year's awards.

Mr Johnson, an internationally acclaimed chef, was beaten by Customs House but said it was not "sour grapes" that had him sizzling over the winners.

Numerous winners were undeserving, he said, and it was "unfathomable" that Aria was beaten by a cafe unheard of in the industry.

"[Aria] is a professional, well run restaurant; it's pretty staggering," Mr Johnson said.

"The awards have probably left me cold and I very much doubt I'll enter again.

"It's not about winning but if the awards can't throw up the right winner I just have to question how it's being done.

"I don't think the awards ever really reflect what's happening in the industry. They run hot and cold.

"And for that I can't every believe how the public would take it seriously."

Highly regarded new Fortitude Valley tapas bar Ortiga also did not appear in the awards on Monday night.

But owner Simon Hill said he had chosen not to self-nominate because the judging criteria went against what he was trying to achieve at the restaurant.

"The way the Restaurant and Caterers Awards are judged causes them to sometimes throw out results that are completely opposed to market perception," Mr Hill said.

"The judging criteria favours restaurants that are not idiosyncratic, specialised or different and as odd as it sounds this is exactly what we are trying to achieve.

"Criteria such as scope of menu, range of items on menu, menu explanations, value for money and so on can skew the results to favour the restaurant that is, say, cheap, has lots of varying menu items and easy-to-read menu terminology.

"And while you could mount a pretty good argument in favour of those criteria, the fact remains that the rest of the food writing/critic industry and in my opinion the general public are after quite the opposite."

Last month, Ortiga and Aria were two of six Queensland nominations for the prestigious Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards, the most of any state. 

At the Restaurant & Catering Awards on Monday, Restaurant Two received the top gong as restaurant of the year.

Chef and owner David Pugh said he was "over the moon", but admitted if the judges had visited before he employed a new manager earlier in the year his restaurant would not have won.

The award would help fill more tables but, he said, at the end of the day customers would judge for themselves.

"It's all subjective," Mr Pugh said.

"It's been said before, on any given day the judges come in and make an appraisal of a restaurant and if ... they come on a bad night or day it's goodbye.

"You can't afford to rest on your laurels."

Mr Pugh said he was surprised by Aria and Cha Cha Char's results, but said it was not uncommon for smaller, suburban establishments to create memorable experiences.

It took only a few small glitches, such as spilling wine or a grim waiter, to disappoint the judges.

"When you come in with a reputation like Aria ... everything goes under the microscope," Mr Pugh said.

"[But] even though Aria didn't win best new restaurant last night, it's still one of the best places to go to.

"The fact there's another good new restaurant out there [Drift Cafe] should be supported."

In the case of 11-year-old Cha Cha Char, the judges may have viewed Bravo as being "fresher", Mr Pugh said.

"You can't expect to win awards year in, year out if you're going to offer the same thing," he said.

Mr Pugh said he applied that theory to himself and would not expect to again win next year.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association chief executive officer John Hart defended the awards.

He said the marking system had been created by a mathematician and was "squeaky clean".

"I trust these results implicitly," Mr Hart said.

"It's absolutely as clean and objective as you can possibly make it.

"And if it says that there's a new restaurant that got a great score and that beat Aria then so be it."

Mr Hart said the system was used to review more than 2500 restaurants nationally each year.

Establishments were judged anonymously against 55 or 66 criteria and the results were posted to the association.

Brisbane Airport worker Tyler Cheung Wong on the wong side of the law: Drunk chef caught with loaded gun in his underpants 'in wong place at wong time'

YES, it really was a pistol in his pocket ... or rather, his underpants ... and police were not pleased to see him.

Brisbane Airport chef Tyler Cheung Wong was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong item when officers pulled him and a mate over on the Gold Coast early today.

There had just a terrifying armed hold-up at the Parkwood Tavern, where staff were tied up and robbed by balaclava-clad gunmen, and police were on the hunt for the culprits who were in a stolen getaway car.

They noticed the late model Mercedes in which Wong was a passenger driving erratically on the M1 and intercepted it.

When officers patted Wong down, they found a loaded .22 calibre revolver concealed in his underpants.

Wong, 28, pleaded guilty in Southport Magistrates Court to unlawful possession off a weapon and ammunition.

Duty solicitor Vered Turner told the court Wong had been very drunk and had only come into possession of the gun a few hours earlier.

She did not explain how he got the gun but said he had told it was 'a very stupid thing to do'.

Magistrate John Costanzo said it was 'an appalling lack of judgement (and) ... grossly reckless behaviour'.

`'In this country, we do not tolerate people carrying loaded concealable firearms under any circumstances,'' he said.

Wong was given a two-year jail sentence, wholly suspended for two years.

His co-accused was given a notive to appear in court later this month charged with drink-driving.

CourierMail.com.au

Channel 10 earmarks 2½ hours of news and current affairs


Channel 10 has stolen a march on its rivals with plans detailed in today's Sunday Telegraph to run  2½ hours of news and current affairs each week night.

Local one-hour 5pm bulletins will be followed by a national news bulletin at 6pm then at 6.30pm the highly-credible Jennifer Byrne will head a current affairs program to rival A Current Affair on Channel 9 and Today Tonight on 7.

Ten will maintain its 7PM Project, giving Australian viewers an unrivalled two and a half hours of news and current affairs, 5 days a week.


The changes are expected to take effect in January 2011.


Biggest Ekka Ripoff: Lunchtime "Crust Gourmet Pizzas" with a 75% price hike!

The Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar in the heart of the Ekka's Sideshow Alley would have to be the biggest ripoff at the show.

At lunchtime, the pizzas are $7 for a pretty average slice but by mid-afternoon, having slugged the lunchtime crowd, the price drops to $4.

So, the tip for show goers: Buy your Crust Gourmet Pizza after 3pm or vote with your feet and boycott them altogether.

It's a pity that the RNA officials allow this sort of thing to go unchecked year after year.

Tim Mulherin acts on a whale of an idea for Queensland

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland

The Honourable Tim Mulherin

06/08/2010

Whale pingers installed to reduce entanglements

New acoustic alarms, or pingers as they are commonly known, to help reduce whale entanglements are being fitted on shark nets from Mackay to the Gold Coast this week.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the pingers were designed to alert whales to the location of shark nets to help them avoid entanglement.

"Last migration season six whales were caught in shark nets on the Gold Coast, " Mr Mulherin said.

"That is a relatively small number considering there are up to 13,000 whales migrating back to southern waters, but still six too many.

"While all of these animals were successfully released by our Marine Animal Release Teams, this type of operation is expensive and can be taxing on our officers - prevention is certainly a better option.

"Obviously any preventative measures we can take, such as these new pingers, to reduce entanglements is better than mounting a release effort."

Mr Mulherin said 90 pingers in total would be fitted to nets from Mackay to the Gold Coast with 300 manufactured in total.

"The pingers will be in place from now until the end of November which is the time when whales are making their southern migration," Mr Mulherin said.

"The pingers were recently tested in the water for 45 days to check their durability and showed that they can last in our ocean environment.

"Generally the pingers will only be on nets for 21 days at a time and will be changed over when the nets are changed."

Mr Mulherin said the alarms had been developed by a Queensland-based specialist acoustic device manufacturer and give off a louder noise for a longer listening period making it easier for whales to hear.

"It is important to recognise that these alarms are designed to alert whales to the presence of nets - they are not designed to scare them away from the equipment," Mr Mulherin said.

"With 13,000 whales expected to pass along the Queensland coast this whale migration season, the Bligh Government is committed to minimising the impacts of its shark control program on non-target species such as whales.

"As I announced last month we are also trialling the use of surfcams for eight Gold Coast beaches through the coastal watch system to help confirm entanglements.

"This system allows officers to remotely access the surfcams, generally used by the public to check surf conditions, and zoom in on nets to confirm if an animal is caught.

"Using this system will allow us to activate a release team for confirmed entanglements only rather than for false alarms."

Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program Manager Tony Ham said that in total 90 pingers would be in the water at any one time - three on each net from Mackay to the Gold Coast.

"The pingers will be in place in time for the second half of the whale season when young whales are more likely to come closer to shore and become entangled.

"After that the pingers will be fitted to the nets from May 1 to November 30 each year."

To report whale entanglements call the shark control hotline on 1800 806 891.

Langbroek slammed over AFL somersault

Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport

The Honourable Phil Reeves

06/08/2010

LNP: Breathtaking hypocrisy on AFL

The LNP which opposed an AFL stadium on the Gold Coast is now pretending to support AFL, Sport Minister Phil Reeves said today.

"This is the most breathtaking hypocrisy by a political party in years," Mr Reeves said.

"The Bligh Government is building a brand new AFL stadium on the Gold Coast to support the game in Queensland and drive up event dollars.

"But when we announced this stadium the LNP were fiercely opposed and attacked it as an election stunt.

"Now Mr Langbroek has the gall to pretend he is an AFL supporter.

"What a joke. He will be seen for the fraud that he is on this topic.

"The Member for Surfers Paradise has become the 'Johnny come lately' when it comes to supporting AFL and the jobs it creates," Mr Reeves said.

Palmer palms away legal fight against Captain Bligh

Joint Statement: Premier and Minister for the Arts

The Honourable Anna Bligh

Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development

The Honourable Andrew Fraser

06/08/2010

Statement by Premier

Premier Anna Bligh, Treasurer Andrew Fraser and businessman Clive Palmer have today reached a settlement after mediation over defamation action brought by Mr Palmer.

Ms Bligh said the parties reached an agreement which meant the matter was now finalised and would not proceed to court.

"I'm very happy that we have been able to settle this matter and avoid the expense and inconvenience of having to proceed to a court hearing," the Premier said.

"This matter is now closed."

The Premier, Treasurer and Mr Palmer agreed to release the following statement:

In January 2009, in the course of discussing political donations, the Premier and Treasurer made certain remarks concerning Professor Palmer. As a result of those remarks, Professor Palmer brought actions against the Premier and Treasurer.

The parties have settled those actions on the following terms:

1.Professor Palmer will discontinue the actions.

2.Each party will pay his or her own costs of the actions.

3.There is no requirement that this settlement be kept confidential.

4.The parties agree there is an entirely legitimate role for individuals and entities to support political parties through either donations (in cash or in kind) or other efforts.

The Premier and Treasurer agree that Professor Palmer has not acted unlawfully in supporting the LNP.

Equally, Professor Palmer agrees that robust political debate is absolutely vital to a functioning democracy.

The Premier and Treasurer do not hold the view that any political donations made by Professor Palmer to the LNP were made for an unlawful purpose.

All parties agreed that each is honestly committed to the prosperous future of Queensland.

Flegg Flogged: LNP Member for Moggill 'delighted' by Labor BER program yet stands by Abbott promise to give QLD schools 'the cuts'

Minister for Education and Training

The Honourable Geoff Wilson

06/08/2010

LNP Member for Moggill 'delighted' by Labor BER program yet stands by Abbott promise to give QLD schools 'the cuts'

Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson has welcomed today's release of the Federal Government's interim review of the Building Education Revolution (BER) program.

Mr Wilson said the report confirmed many key points already highlighted in the two independent Price Waterhouse Coopers reports commissioned by the Queensland Government.

"Young Queenslanders all over the state are enjoying learning in world-class facilities because of this Labor Government investment," Mr Wilson said.

"The BER program is delivering real work for Queensland businesses, real jobs for locals and new facilities for our schools.

"Even the LNP Member for Moggill acknowledged in a letter to me that he was 'delighted' by the BER program in his electorate and asked for additional funding.

"While I was happy to confirm extra Queensland Government investment it amazes me he continues to condemn the program.

"The LNP Member for Moggill has today criticised th e government for not spending money fast enough while standing by Tony 'the cuts' Abbott in his promise to stop building in Queensland schools.

Mr Wilson said Queensland had the second most P21 projects (1,592) and yet was delivering on time with a significantly lower number of issues.

"Today's report confirmed that the Queensland Government has made best use of industry capabilities and resources and 'appear to have better aligned the risk allocation associated with procurement in the pursuit of value for money.

"The taskforce also believed schools self-management of BER projects in the larger government systems would have been problematic and increased the risk of not delivering on time, or for predictable cost.

"The report stated that the Queensland Government system implemented a different procurement strategy so to engage different construction industry participants and ensure stimulus and work was delivered broadly across differing parts of the industry.

"It highlighted that construction managers were contracted at under 6% with a specific direction to engage smaller builders who ensured small firms were involved.

"The contract manager then assumed responsibility for those small businesses who lacked the occupational health and safety (OH&S) and environmental management systems and other experience necessary for work in schools.

Mr Wilson said he welcomed ongoing scrutiny of the program to ensure value for money was being delivered.

"I will not defend waste - if it is found immediate action will be taken.

"The delivery of BER in Queensland has been a partnership with projects designed to suit school community by the school community; no cookie cutter approach has been taken.

"Queensland has had no performance payments or bonuses with all money directed into school projects and savings reinvested into other projects at the school.

"Combined with the Queensland Labor Government's $850 million State Schools of Tomorrow program more than $10 million being spent on infrastructure in Queensland schools every day.

"Mr Flegg has continually complained of waste and mismanagement in BER delivery in Qld. Yet despite two inquiries by the independent auditor, not one claim has been substantiated.

"It's about time Mr Flegg put up or shut up.

"Anybody with evidence of waste or mismanagement is urged to send it immediately to the Director-General of Education Queensland, PWC or the Federal Government's BER Implementation Taskforce," Mr Wilson said.

The Bligh Labor Government is dedicated to best-practice learning supported by world-class facilities.

The Queensland Government has used independent quantity surveyors to audit BER projects at design and construction phases to ensure value for money.

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) were engaged by the Queensland Government to independently investigate any complaints and assess value in the program's delivery.

PWC Report 1 was published in September 2009 and focussed on whether QLD system of BER implementation would achieve value for money based on best practice.

PWC Report 2 was published in June 2010 and investigated 12 official complaints, interviewed stakeholders and reviewed sample of projects focusing specifically on delivered value for money.

Both reports confirmed systems and delivery were achieving value for money.

Do-it-yourself abortion guide to be launched online by Brisbane doctor Adrienne Freeman

Ultrasound of a 21-week-old foetus

CONTROVERSIAL MOVE: A Brisbane obstetrician
plans to launch a website with information on
abortion drug Misoprostol.



A BRISBANE doctor is poised to launch an online DIY home abortion guide featuring a controversial pill banned from public sale.

Prominent obstetrician Adrienne Freeman said her website Safe Home Abortions featured "how to" videos and a range of information and research papers extolling the virtues of abortion drug misoprostol.

The controversial website, set to be unveiled and submitted for medical peer review in October, is the latest twist in Queensland's highly emotive abortion debate.

Right-to-life groups yesterday branded the website a hazard to women.

The website's home page reads: "Plain and simple instructions are given and scientific evidence and personal practice experience are detailed.

"Pregnancies can be terminated at any gestation by administration of misoprostol."

Ms Leach, 20, is to face court on October 12 for allegedly attempting to procure her own miscarriage using imported misoprostol pills from Ukraine in December 2008.

She faces a maximum penalty of seven years' jail under the state's Criminal Code Act.

The case – believed to be the first time such a charge has been laid since the law was introduced more than 110 years ago – sparked heated debate in State Parliament last year.

Parliament closed a loophole in the Act that could have led to criminal charges being laid against doctors who prescribed the misoprostol drug.

Dr Freeman, a GP since 1972 and specialist since 1982, says women have the right to choose when and where to terminate a pregnancy.

She is still fighting a ruling by the Health Practitioners Tribunal last year that found her guilty of unprofessional conduct after she helped a sex worker abort a 19-week-old fetus at home in 2003.

"No matter how careful people are in their lives there will always be a need for pregnancy terminations," Dr Freeman said.

"The website simply makes already published knowledge available in one place – particularly for women in remote and regional areas, where there is nowhere for them to turn to."

Cherish Life Queensland state president Teresa Martin warned of potentially "frightening" ramifications if abortions were performed at home.

"What we really need is true and honest websites that point women in the direction of honest and true counselling to find out what they want to do and to give them options," she said.

Children By Choice spokeswoman Kate Walsh stopped short of supporting the Safe Home Abortions site but said it highlighted the "archaic" treatment of Queensland women seeking abortions.

"But serious questions need to be answered about our health and legal systems when women in Queensland are so limited in their options," she said.

Students and immigrants caught in Australian racket: 'Innocents' help commit credit card fraud

 
AN ORGANISED crime ring is recruiting unwitting Victorians to commit credit card fraud, police say.
 
The ring advertises on legitimate job sites, offering large sums of money for people willing to work as ''dispatch managers''.
 
Detective Senior Constable Tim Johns said the ring used stolen credit card numbers to buy items over the internet, such as cameras, laptops, or expensive bicycle parts. The items would be shipped to the recruit's home, where a courier would collect the goods and ship them out of the country.
 
Senior Detective Johns said the group was preying on international students and new migrants, and did not pay people for the work they did.
 
''Once the recruit has worked for a month and starts asking for payment, the syndicate stops replying to their emails and the recruit is never paid.'' He said police had uncovered $100,000 worth of fraud committed by the group and three recruits in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. But he believed that was the ''tip of the iceberg''.
 
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
 

ACCC Nobbles Horse Betting Group


http://smarthouse.com.au

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has nobbled a horse betting operation who was using software that they believed was likely to mislead or decieve consumers after they claimed punters could earn between $50,000 to $70,000 working from home.

Sports betting software company, Intervest Global Live Pty Ltd, has stopped an advertising campaign on SeekCommercial after raised concerns about claims made for a horse betting software program called "Trilogics".

Intervest Global has acknowledged, in a court enforceable undertaking, that a number of claims in its advertisements about Trilogics software and how much people had earned from using the software were likely to be misleading or deceptive.

Intervest Global had represented in advertisements:

that it guaranteed that customers would earn $50,000 - $70,000 from home by using the software, when Intervest Global did not offer a guarantee of this nature.

that customers had earned a certain amount of average income from using the software in 2008, when Intervest Global had no basis for making that representation, that it had many customers who had been with Intervest Gobal for 10 years, when again Intervest had no basis for making that representation, and that the software was a franchised business, when it is not a franchise.

"It is fundamental that businesses must be able to substantiate every claim that they make about a product, particularly where claims about earnings and guarantees are designed to lure in potential buyers," ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell said.

"Consumers should be wary of businesses promising big returns from sport or horse betting products," Mr Kell said. "Remember that sports betting is gambling, not an investment, and the ACCC has been contacted by many consumers who have lost money through sports betting products."

The ACCC has been working with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Police, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Taxation Office to develop coordinated enforcement and consumer education strategies to tackle these types of sports betting products.

The ACCC can now issue notices that require businesses to substantiate claims that they make. If they breach the Trade Practices Act 1974, businesses also risk being issued with infringement notices of $6,600 for corporations and $1,320 for individuals, under the ACCC's new powers.