4zzz Headlines (Pt. 19)

  • QBCC to replace BSA today
  • Thai protestors call for PM’s resignation
  • G20 dissent grouped formed in Brisbane
  • Roving crime inquiry announced for 2014
  • New river management plans underway
  • SA hospitals risking patient deaths with old tech

QBCC to replace BSA today
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission has today officially replaced the Building Services Authority.
The Commission was formed after an inquiry into the BSA recommended the formation of a new regulator, one which, according to the Housing Minister Tim Mander, properly reflected the importance of the building sector to the state’s economy. The QBCC will have a governing board and Commissioner overseeing it and will be responsible for licensing contractors, dispute resolution and the Home Warranty Scheme. QBCC license cards will not come into effect until current BSA license cards have expired.

Homeless plight under Salvos spotlight at Christmas
A report released by the Salvation Army in the lead up to Christmas has revealed the increasingly bad situation homeless people are in.
The Salvation Army provides homelessness services, and according to the report, the lack of housing affordability is the reason nearly half of homeless people access these services. Over half of the women accessing those services were homeless due to domestic violence. Currently over 100,000 people are homeless in Australia, or one in every 200 people. The Salvation Army is calling on Australians to remember those who are homeless at this time of the year.

Thai protestors call for PM’s resignation
Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has refused to resign, in the wake of violent protests in the city of Bangkok.
Schools were closed as security forces defended government buildings with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons against rock-throwing demonstrators. Protesters are demanding the Prime Minister resign and suspend the country’s democratic system, which they see as corrupt.The protests, which started on the weekend, have left several dead and over a hundred wounded in the capital city alone.

New anti-flying fox measures for Qld
The Newman Government has announced the removal of what they termed ‘green tape’, to allow councils greater power to remove flying fox roosts.
The new framework will give councils ‘as-of-right’ authority to manage roosts in urban areas without the need for a permit. Environment Minister Andrew Powell has said there is still a code of practice in place to make sure flying fox dispersal is done in a way which appropriately handles animal welfare issues, and a permit is required for non-council removals. The new guidelines also allow for flying fox roosts to be removed when they are not in designated urban areas. Powell has described the move has “putting the health and well being of people above flying foxes”.

G20 dissent grouped formed in Brisbane
Concerned Brisbane residents have announced they are forming the Brisbane Community Action Network G20, to increase their dissent of the G20 summit next year.
BrisCAN-G20 aims to increase collaboration between community groups and provide commentary and critique of the G20 and Australia’s role in it. BrisCAN-G20 feel that the G20 perpetuates an ‘abusive economic system’, focusing on outcomes which best supports the wealthy while disregarding environmental and human rights. Members of the group hope that their actions will help the G20 become an opportunity for nationals “to promote peace, social justice and ecological sustainability”.

Warrant issued for leader of Thai protests
The Thai court has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of this week’s protests, Suthep Thaugsuban.
The warrant charges Thaugsuban with “insurrection which shall be punished with death or life imprisonment”, over his role in both the protests, and his calls for Thailand’s current government to be disbanded. Last week, a separate warrant was issued for him, charging him with orchestrating the occupation of government ministries. Thaugsuban still faces murders charges from 2010, when, as deputy prime minister for the then-ruling Democratic Party, he ordered a deadly crackdown on protesters.

Roving crime inquiry announced for 2014
A special parliamentary inquiry is set to travel the state from early next year, to get Queenslanders’ views on crime and how it affects them.
The inquiry, which will be conducted by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, will examine the link between organised crime and other crimes, as well as hearing from victims of crime. The inquiry will pay particular attention to the experiences of rural and regional Queenslanders which Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said had previously been ignored. The inquiry will build on reforms already introduced by the Newman government.

Web yields positive impact on eating disorders
New research has been released showing that social networking sites may have a positive impact on eating disorders.
It was traditionally believed that these sites had a negative impact on people with eating disorders, but this may have been disproved by researchers of the Griffith School of Public Health. These sites can provide opportunities for people with eating disorders to connect and discuss their condition, when traditional relationships are not working, as well as create the identity they wish to present.

New river management plans underway
The state government has confirmed its promise to keep its water extraction from Cooper Creek in western Queensland at the same rate.
The announcement comes after the government established the Western Rivers Advisory Panel to give advice on developing an alternative framework for the management of Queensland’s western rivers. The new plan provided by the Panel, which included its promise for Cooper Creek, will incorporate means to ensure natural flows are maintained, as well as allowing 2,200 megalitres of water to be used for purposes other than irrigation.

SA hospitals risking patient deaths with old tech
Patient records have been mixed up and system shutdowns are increasing at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Adelaide, staff memos show.
Patient details are being lost as they are recorded, and patient data is being mismatched both in the clinic and the operating room. Doctors at the hospital have written to South Australia Health’s chief to warn that if the system is not upgraded, patients care will suffer, and patients will die. Reportedly, the system used by the hospital has been cobbled together over the past six years, and costs $420,000 each year to maintain. A second hospital in Adelaide, the Lyell McEwin Health Service, also uses the same system, and there are concerns the same malfunctions are occurring there.

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