Red planet breaks dry spell

Scientists from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission have the week announced the discovery of liquid water flowing on the surface of the planet Mars. Astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack from the University of Melbourne says the discovery will help pave the way for eventual manned missions to the red planet.

Early NDIS roll out in far north Qld

The state government has announced an early release of the NDIS in far north Queensland, where it will be accessible for young people with a disability in Townsville and Charters Towers, and people under 65 on Palm Island. Paige Armstrong, a spokesperson for the Queenslanders with Disability Network, says it is a significant move which has the full support of the QDN.

Federal funding for domestic violence ‘not enough’

The new federal government has announced they are spending an additional $100 million dollars to combat domestic violence. I spoke to Senator Larissa Waters and family lawyer Heather McKinnon about this. Continue reading Federal funding for domestic violence ‘not enough’

Indigenous youths tear gassed in prison

Amnesty International Australia has previously raised concerns about the treatment of young people at the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in the Northern Territory, after initial details emerged of tear gassing late last year. Now, the Northern Territory’s Children’s Commissioner has tabled his report on the incident, as well as the circumstances leading up to, and after, the transfer of six young people to an adult prison in August 2014. Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights Adviser, Rodney Dillon, spoke to me about this, as well as Amnesty’s stance on the issue, and his personal take as an indigenous person.

New mental health bill before Qld parliament

Last week saw the introduction of a new mental health bill, which is currently before the state parliament. The bill, which replaces the previous 15 year old act, has been applauded by mental health officials for its consumer-focused changes and commitment to community based care. I spoke to Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck about the bill, and just what it means for Queenslanders. This October 10 during Mental Health Week, head down to Musgrave Park for Sanity Fair, an event to raise awareness, promote open conversations about mental illness and break down stigma. There’ll be live music, activities, information stalls, a conversations tent and free food, clothing and toiletries so check it out.

Turnbull announces new cabinet

Last Sunday, 20 September, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his new cabinet, which saw some old faces in new roles, as well as some new faces stepping up to the front bench. I spoke to Associate Professor and Political Science academic, Sarah Maddison, about these changes and the Australian public’s perception of them.

Qld considering new domestic violence laws

Queensland premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has this week introduced new legislation into parliament to tackle rising rates of domestic violence. The proposed laws includes special witness measures, increased penalties for Domestic Violence Offences, and the establishment of an independent Death Review Board. We spoke to the director for the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research, Annabel Taylor, about this topic. If you, or someone you know, are suffering from domestic abuse or violence, you can phone the national helpline 1800 Respect, on 1800 737 732, or go to their website, 1800respect.org.au.

Return of Turnbull to Liberal party power

September 14 was a tumultuous day for Australian politics. At 4pm Malcolm Turnbull announced he was challenging Tony Abbott as leader of the Liberal Party, at 6pm Tony Abbott spoke out, at 9.15 they had a vote, and by 9.45 there was a new leader of the Liberal Party. Is this indicative of a larger trend? And what changes might Malcolm Turnbull have in store for his party and for Australia? I spoke to Melbourne University’s Associate Professor Sarah Maddison about this.

Australia’s internet continues to underperform

Melbourne Univeristy’s Professor Rod Tucker held a talk on Tuesday night, where he spoke about Australia and the NBN. For those who couldn’t be there, I spoke to him about the NBN, Australia’s internet speeds, and how and why we’re lagging behind other countries in this area.

Protest planned for refugee action

The Refugee Action Collective is protesting outside Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s electoral office from 7am tomorrow, Wednesday 9th, to bring attention to the current refugee crisis. I spoke to Collective spokesperson Mark Gillespie, about what the protest is for, as well as the current refugee situation both in Australia and overseas.