Indigenous youths tear gassed in prison

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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.

Qld considering new domestic violence laws

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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.

Protest planned for refugee action

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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.

Acland mine to go ahead despite protests

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The Queensland Government has approved an Environmental Authority for the Acland Stage 3 coal project, despite its investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission over dodgy political donations. Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, says the mine will drain precious groundwater, destroy some of the best agricultural land in the country, and put the health of local communities at risk.

Youth homelessness on the rise

Youth homelessness is on the rise, both in Brisbane and nationally. In light of this, why hasn’t the Queensland government signed off on the latest federal homelessness funding? Adam Barnes, Program Manager of the Homelessness and Housing Team for Brisbane Youth Services, talked about this, as well as ways to combat youth homelessness rates.

Aussie foster care separating siblings

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The Create Foundation’s June survey found that what most foster care children want is to be with their brothers and sisters. Sadly, over a third of children in foster care are separated from their siblings, and over a third of children aren’t placed with all of their siblings. I spoke to the lead researcher with the Create Foundation, Dr Joseph McDowall, about what this means, and ways Australia can improve.

4zzz Headlines (Pt. 23)

– Rui Arajo announced as East Timor’s new PM – SA opposition attacks government’s mental health plan – Russia, Egypt to collaborate on Egyptian nuclear plants – Tunisian smugglers protest police brutality – ‘Judas camels’ culling herds – Tasmanian mental health system “chronically underfunded” – Modern India sees increase in female abortion – Fake snow leopard attempts zoo escape – Cell discovery could change the face of cancer research – Qld election has record number of informal votes