Archive for April, 2019

  • Toowoomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport airport to have first flights

    Date: 2019.04.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Response: 0

    Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba. Photo: Glenn Hunt FLIGHT AFR Pic by James Davies 000424Flight travel take off generic kangaroo Qantas sunset airlines rural COPYRIGHT JAMES DAVIES / AFR***FDCTRANSFER*** Photo: James Davies

    After just 18 months of construction time, passengers will start checking in at Australia’s first privately built public airport on Monday.

    The Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba, built by the Wagner family, will be open from 8.30am on Monday, ready for the arrival of the first QantasLink flight from Sydney at 8.35am.

    “To see our vision of a jet-capable airport come to life and celebrate the first flight with our first customer QantasLink, it’s a moment we are all extremely proud of,” Wagners chairman John Wagner said.

    QantasLink flight QF2017 will depart Wellcamp for Sydney at 9.55am – the day after parent airline Qantas’s 94th anniversary.

    QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the inaugural flights at Wellcamp marked an “important milestone” in Queensland’s history.

    “Forward bookings are strong and we’re confident that the new flights will stimulate tourism and business opportunities for the Toowoomba region,” he said.

    “QantasLink customers travelling to and from Brisbane West Wellcamp will enjoy our exceptional product and service on board our Q400 aircraft, as well as seamless connections to domestic and international Qantas services.”

    The 300-hectare airport, with its 2.87km runway and 8000 square metre terminal, cost the Wagner family more than $100 million to build.

    A second airline, Regional Express, will service the airport from next year.

    The airport will be able to cater for Boeing 747s, although planes of that size are unlikely to be regular visitors to Toowoomba.

    Smaller planes, such as the Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s operated by Qantas and Virgin Australia on domestic routes, are more likely.

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  • G20. Old is new when it comes to boosting growth

    Date: 2019.04.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Response: 0

    Australia has committed itself to business as usual  to play its part in boosting the size of the global economy.

    Its 16-point contribution to lifting the combined gross domestic product of the world’s largest economies detailed in a 25-page addendum to the G20 communique consists largely of previously announced measures, most of them election commitments or budget measures.

    The measures include previously announced spending on road and rail projects, the six-month waiting period of Newstart for young jobseekers and the paid parental leave scheme. Next to each is an annotation describing it as “new”.

    A spokesman for  Treasurer Joe Hockey said any measure adopted since last year’s G20 meeting in St Petersburg in Russia in  September is defined as new. The St Petersburg meeting was held on the eve of Australia’s 2013 election, allowing the Coalition to claim that each of the initiatives is new for the purpose of making a commitment to boost global economic activity.

    The 16 Australian measures have been assessed by officials from the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which  have made an estimate of how much they will boost economic activity.

    That estimate has not been published, either for Australia or for any of the other G20 members. All that has been made public is the officials’ estimate of the total contribution, which they say will amount to 2.1 per cent of the G20’s combined GDP by 2018. The benchmarks that will be used to assess the success of the  measures are vague.

    The benchmark for the success of Australia’s paid parental leave scheme is said to include “the progress of legislation through the Parliament, the take-up of the scheme, retention rates and female labour force participation rates”.

    The progress of each nation on implementing its promises will be assessed each year by a panel of officials from international organisations.

    Addressing concerns that it would be difficult to tell whether  the benchmarks had been met and whether  they had boosted economic growth as much as promised, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said 12 months ago people thought  this G20 would never come to any agreement.

    “We have come to a series of very important agreements, so the next objection is to say, well, they will never actually implement them.”

    Many of the commitments made by other nations have also been previously announced. The US has committed itself to completing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. China says it will “speed up” talks on concluding a free trade agreement with Australia.

    Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

    Twitter: @1petermartin

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  • Attorney-General appeals against the release of secret diplomatic information on East Timor

    Date: 2019.04.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Response: 0

    The Federal Court is to hear a “top secret” appeal by the Australian government aimed at suppressing information from a diplomatic file on Indonesian military war crimes in East Timor more than 30 years ago.

    The highly unusual legal case, which involves a mystery government witness identified only as “X”, is likely to set important precedents for how courts determine national security matters.

    In a late development prior to Monday’s hearing, the government upgraded the secrecy of the proceedings by obtaining an order from the court for its submissions and evidence to be treated as “top secret” – information that if disclosed would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security.

    The case arises from a decision in April by Administrative Appeals Tribunal president Justice Duncan Kerr who ruled that the National Archives was right to deny University of NSW Associate Professor Clinton Fernandes access to parts of two Department of Foreign Affairs files dealing with an Indonesian military offensive across East Timor in 1981.

    The operation involved the Indonesian army using East Timorese civilians as human shields and ended with a massacre of hundreds of people.

    Attorney-General George Brandis issued a “public interest certificate” that excluded Dr Fernandes and his legal representative from hearing evidence presented by government witnesses.

    Although the full reasons for Justice Kerr’s decision are classified secret, the judge did reveal that Office of National Assessments deputy director-general Jim Hagan emphasised the “particular sensitivity” of Australia’s relationship with Indonesia and warned of potential “damage to Australia’s international relations and security interests.”

    Justice Kerr did agree, however, to the release of one line of text and another paragraph from diplomatic file dating back to 1981, and the prospective release of this information that is the subject of the government’s Federal Court appeal.

    The National Archives argues that Justice Kerr failed to fully take into account “closed and confidential evidence” given by secret government witness “X”. The existence of “X” was not disclosed to Dr Fernandes during the tribunal proceedings.

    Fairfax Media understands that the two sections of text relate to information from Australia’s overseas espionage agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

    Dr Fernandes and his legal counsel will be excluded from much of Monday’s proceedings and will not hear the government’s arguments relating to evidence provided by “X”.

    A former Australian military intelligence officer turned academic, Dr Fernandes has been engaged in a six-year legal struggle to secure declassification of archives relating to Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of East Timor.

    Speaking to Fairfax Media, Dr Fernandes was critical of the Attorney-General’s intervention in the proceedings.

    “The Australian Government is pursuing a secret appeal against a secret judgement about the secret evidence of a secret witness. This goes against the English tradition of fairness from which our legal system springs,” Dr Fernandes said.

    “Why compromise on those principles, just to protect a group of ageing war criminals in Indonesia?”

    The appeal will be heard in Canberra by Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice Geoffrey Flick and Justice Michael Wigney.

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  • Princes Highway ‘death traps’: NRMA calls for safety upgrade to continue in a ‘tale of two roads’

    Date: 2019.04.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Response: 0

    The NRMA is calling for safety upgrades on the Princes Highway to continue. Upgrades to sections of the highway have produced a 90 per cent drop in the number of car crashes. Photo: Christopher ChanSafety upgrades to sections of the Princes Highway have produced a 90 per cent drop in the number of car crashes causing injury, according to a major review by the state’s motoring lobby.

    But the NRMA study also exposes the lack of improvement and the continuing risk of driving on vast stretches of the south coast highway where governments have not spent money upgrading the road.

    The NRMA’s latest review of the Princes Highway, covering almost 430 kilometres from Dapto to the Victorian border, tells “a tale of two roads”.

    In the most heavily trafficked section of the highway, north of Jervis Bay, the number of road accidents has dropped dramatically following a number of major road upgrades and widening programs.

    In the five years to the end of 2012, for instance, the upgrade to a dual-carriageway highway between Oak Flats and Kiama coincided with 48 fewer casualty crashes on that stretch compared to the previous five years before.

    However, further south the risk of driving on the Princes Highway has increased in recent years according to the NRMA due to an overall increase in traffic volumes.

    “South of Jervis Bay road, the Princes Highway remains to a large extent a death trap,” NRMA local director Alan Evans said in the report.

    “Tragically, 45 people died and a further 1401 were injured on the Princes Highway over the five year period 2008-2012. Already this year, eight people have lost their lives.”

    The NRMA is calling on the installation of more wire rope barriers along southern sections of the coastal highway. These barriers, used widely in Victoria, are controversial among some motorcyclists who say they present a major safety risk.

    But the NRMA argues wire rope fencing, which has already been installed on some sections of the Princes Highway, could reduce by around 60 per cent the number of crashes causing injury. While reviewing the road, the NRMA’s team saw two cars in 24 hours that had crashed into wire rope barriers and averted serious injury.

    Roads and Maritime Services is planning or tendering for an extensive range of works on the highway north of Jervis Bay. It is exhibiting designs of a bypass of Albion Park, though has not set a time for construction to start. The Gerringong upgrade should be finished next year and construction is slated to start early next year on the Foxground and Berry bypass.

    But the roads lobby also wants a clear program to improve the highway on sections further south that have less overall traffic. It is not proposing to turn the entire highway into four-lane divided highway, but wants two-by-one lanes separated by wire rope parries.

    “The Pacific Highway has taken too long to upgrade and as a result too many lives have been lost – we don’t want to repeat these mistakes with the Princes Highway,” Mr Evans said.

    A spokeswoman for Roads Minister Duncan Gay said: “The Liberals & Nationals Government has invested record levels of funding in the Princes Highway the likes of which have never been seen in the history of NSW.”

    “There are now work sites all along the Princes Highway because we are an infrastructure government and will continue to deliver for the people of the Illawarra and South Coast.”

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  • Child abuse helpline calls quadruple: survivors wait decades to seek support

    Date: 2019.04.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Response: 0

    Many survivors of child abuse wait 30 years or more before seeking support.Calls to Australia’s leading child abuse helpline have quadrupled since the start of the royal commission with research finding many survivors wait 30 years or more before seeking support.

    Analysis of the Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) professional support line has found that almost 100 people are coming forward each week with the majority of them aged over 40.

    The study of 4000 callers found the most common age for abuse to occur was between 6-10 years of age, but the majority of callers seeking help were aged between 40-49 years old.

    President of ASCA, Dr Cathy Kezelman, said the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had encouraged more people to come forward.

    She said many had carried the burden of abuse for decades before seeking help.

    “There is an incredible sense of shame and self-loathing which does hold people back from seeking support,” she said.

    “People still worry about not being believed which is another deterrent.”

    ASCA’s professional support line employs 14 specialist counsellors who work seven days a week but only between 9am-5pm. Dr Kezelman said ASCA hoped to fund an evening support service.

    “We have more counsellors to fulfil the demand but it’s not just about the number of calls, we also need to take the complexity of the cases into account,” she said.

    ASCA will launch a social media campaign this week to support the estimated 5 million adult survivors of childhood trauma in Australia, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

    Retired nurse Barbara, who suffered both physical and sexual abuse as a child, kept quiet for decades until she felt brave enough to speak out.

    Now 68, Barbara was abused in foster care and in institutions as a child but did not speak publicly about it until about 15 years ago.

    “I didn’t want to tell anyone because I was worried no one would believe me and I was embarrassed so I just said nothing,” said the Brisbane woman who does not want her surname disclosed.

    She is no longer ashamed and says speaking about the abuse has helped her recover.”I used to be very quiet and subdued,” she said. “Not any more. I’m not afraid to speak out anymore. They are not going to make me a victim any more. I am over being a victim.”

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