Month: November 2018

Qld population hits 5m four years early

Queensland is about to welcome its five millionth resident when the next birth takes place.Queensland’s population is set to hit five million people four years ahead of schedule.
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A baby born on Tuesday will become the state’s five-millionth resident, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told state parliament.

It comes 13 years after the state reached four million people, with the expectation then that the five-mill mark wouldn’t happen until 2022.

There was a further belief that the population would hit six million people in 2040, but with the current growth rate of approximately 80,000 new residents per year that could happen 10 years earlier.

Queensland is growing at about 1.7 per cent, higher than the national average (1.4), with international migration and natural increases the chief contributors.

But high housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne were starting to make their mark on the state, according to University of Queensland demographer Elin Charles-Edwards.

“For a couple of years, we had a low level of interstate migration, but we’ve seen this upswing in the past year or so,” she told AAP.

“There’s a bit of speculation the house price differential is starting to bite, so it is attracting people up here because it’s just that more cheaper.”

Dr Charles-Edwards said the state was coping with growth but warned against being in a position where it was playing “catch up”.

She said more public transport in the south-east epicentre of growth was needed.

“I think the notion of having a metro system in inner city Brisbane’s critical,” she said.

“In the southeast corner, further rail connections out to the south and western corridor are really critical.

“I actually think Queensland’s doing pretty well. We haven’t had quite the pressures we’ve seen in the southern capitals.

“But it is certainly something that needs continued and ongoing attention, particularly with transport as the urban expanse gets bigger.”

Last week’s federal budget included $300 million for the Brisbane Metro project.

Ms Palaszczuk welcomed the population milestone.

“We often host heads of government or heads of state … we are about to welcome our five millionth Queenslander,” Ms Palaszczuk said in parliament.

“Everything we do in this house, is for that five millionth Queenslander.”

Australian Associated Press

Indon suicide bombs work of two families

All told, 25 people have died since Sunday including a total of 13 militants and their children.An Indonesian family brought its seven-year-old daughter to a suicide bomb attack on the police headquarters in the country’s second-largest city, authorities say, a day after members of another family conducted coordinated suicide bombings on three city churches that killed 12 people.
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National police chief Tito Karnavian said the girl, who was with two of the attackers on a motorcycle, survived being thrown by the blast at Surabaya’s police headquarters.

The attack killed the four perpetrators. Six civilians and four officers were wounded.

The attack came just hours after police said the family that carried out the church bombings included girls aged 8 and 12.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the church bombings in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. Karnavian, however, said earlier police comments that the family had spent time in Syria were incorrect.

He said the church bombers and the police headquarters attackers were friends, as were another family whose homemade bombs exploded in their apartment Sunday night.

The use of children in the attacks has been particularly horrifying.

All told, 25 people have died since Sunday including a total of 13 militants and their children.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo condemned the attacks as “barbaric” and vowed that authorities would root out and destroy Islamic militant networks.

A security camera video of the attack on Surabaya’s police headquarters showed at least one explosion after the four attackers rode two motorcycles up to a security checkpoint. The motorcycles, which moved closely together, pulled up alongside a car and four officers manning opposite sides of the checkpoint.

Two men, apparently civilians, were walking into the area just meters (yards) from the motorcycles at the moment of the explosion, which a split second later was followed by a second possible blast.

Separately on Sunday, three members of another family were killed when homemade bombs exploded at an apartment in Sidoarjo, a town bordering Surabaya, police said.

The church attacks occurred within minutes of each other, according to Surabaya police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera.

Karnavian said the father drove a bomb-laden car into the city’s Pentecostal church. The mother, with her two daughters, attacked the Christian Church of Diponegoro, he said.

Based on their remains, Karnavian said the mother and daughters were all wearing explosives around their waists.

The sons aged 16 and 18 rode a motorcycle onto the grounds of the Santa Maria Church and detonated their explosives there, he said.

Australian Associated Press

Groups urge Bight drilling ban

Environmentalists have staged a mock oil spill to protest drilling in the Great Australian Bight.Oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight is too risky, with a major spill putting the tourism and fishing industries at risk along with Australia’s coastal way of life, environmental groups say.
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The Wilderness Society and Greenpeace came together with traditional owners and local councils on Tuesday to protest over plans by Norwegian energy company Statoil to drill in the Bight by October 2019.

They gathered outside the annual conference of the Australian Petroleum and Production and Exploration Association, urging the company to heed community concerns.

“There is no social license here, there is no support in Australia,” Wilderness Society SA director Peter Owen said.

“The people of South Australia do not want this risky deep-sea drilling happening in our Bight.

“We can’t put our tourism industry, our fishing industry and our coastal way of life at risk.”

Tuesday’s protest also came ahead of Kangaroo Island Mayor Peter Clements attending the Statoil AGM in Norway where he will seek to read a letter from Kokatha elder Sue Haseldine, telling the company it does not have consent to explore.

“We write on behalf of people around the world that are fighting to protect their country, livelihoods, and water from dangerous oil drilling and climate change,” the open letter says.

“Consent to drill the Bight has been neither sought, nor given.

“Together, we ask that Statoil abandon their plans to pursue risky deepwater oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, and around the globe.”

But federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said locking up areas such as the Bight would impact on Australia’s ongoing energy security.

“We must secure energy supplies both for our own economic future but also for our national security,” Senator Canavan told reporters at the APPEA conference.

He said areas like the Great Australian Bight were integral to protect Australia’s future production of liquid fuels and the country had extremely robust regulatory processes in place to govern offshore production of oil and gas.

“Any individual proposal for the Great Australian Bight will be properly assessed,” the minister said.

“But to just put up the white flag and say we can’t do it flies in the face of the experience we have had as a nation for nearly 50 years now in safely operating oil and gas infrastructure in challenging environments.”

Australian Associated Press

Zorko seeks more selflessness from Lions

Dayne Zorko has thanked his teammates for helping him get his hands back on the football.Dayne Zorko has thanked his teammates for helping him get his hands back on the football but says that team-first attitude needs to be better with the game on the line for the Lions to break their AFL duck.
Nanjing Night Net

The All Australian has responded well after being effectively tagged by all comers to open the AFL season, kicking four goals in each of his last two games.

But while the Lions have been competitive they are still winless from eight starts this season, with premiers Hawthorn next at the Gabba on Sunday.

The Lions have been within reach in six of those matches, falling frustratingly short against the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood in the last fortnight.

Asked what might make a difference, Zorko hinted at a tendency to try and do it all on their own with the game on the line.

“In pressure situations, we’re not doing it on purpose, but we’re going outside the team a little bit and trying to do it all ourselves a bit too much,” he said.

“Everyone wants to win. I don’t think anybody is doing it on purpose.

“There just seems to be a better option we could have used, and when we play really selfless team football we’re able to score really quickly.”

Zorko was marked out of games to start the season but had done his research and received a bit of help to record 34 and 24 touches in the last two games.

He says now he’ll be offended when the opposition doesn’t tag him.

“Absolutely, it’s been really nice to touch the ball again and a lot of credit needs to go to them (his teammates),” he said.

“Tagging went out of the game there for a bit; it was surprising that it was happening weekly.

“I guess I wasn’t prepared for it and didn’t have the tools to cope with it.”

Australian Associated Press