Portland delays vote on $18M in police cuts: report


More than 150 people addressed the city council of Portland, Ore., on Wednesday regarding the panel’s plans to slash $18 million more from the city’s police budget, according to a report.

After an online meeting that lasted more than five hours, council members decided to seek more information from city budget officials and delay their funding decision until next week, OregonLive.com reported.

That means the decision will be made next Thursday – after voters decide Tuesday whether Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly will win new terms.

PORTLAND OFFICIAL PROPOSES ADDITIONAL $18M IN POLICE BUDGET CUTS TO GO TO COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE

Eudaly cast the sole “no” vote to adjourn Wednesday’s meeting, with Wheeler and commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Ryan all opting not to decide on more than a dozen budget matters, the news outlet reported.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty left the meeting early, saying she was “disgusted by the lack of courage” from Wheeler, Fritz and Ryan in choosing to wait until after the election.

Eudaly and Hardesty have been leading the effort to move $18 million from the police department to other various other city programs, OregonLive.com reported.

They have proposed using $7.5 million for food assistance for city residents, $7.5 million for legal expenses for city residents facing evictions, and funding for portable toilets and other services for occupants of tent camps that have been sanctioned by the city.

Wheeler, 58, is seeking his second term after previously serving as a state treasurer and a Multnomah County commissioner. He has drawn frequent criticism from President Trump, among others, for his handling of the frequent riots and vandalism in the city in recent months – in which fatal shootings also have occurred. Wheeler also serves as the city’s police commissioner.

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He’s facing a challenge from urban policy consultant Sarah Iannarone, who has referred to herself as an “everyday anti-fascist,” Willamette Week reported.

Eudaly, 50, is a former bookstore owner and renters’ rights advocate who is also seeking a second term. She is involved in a runoff election against challenger Mingus Mapps, an activist who has helped manage the city’s Neighborhood Association and Crime Prevention Program, according to his campaign website.



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$1.8M pledge to tap into mountain biking potential


MOUNTAIN bike riders from across the nation, and eventually the world, could flock to the Whitsundays under a project set to be funded if the LNP wins the upcoming election.

The LNP has made an election pledge of $1.8 million for a major upgrade of the Conway Circuit mountain bike trail.

Under the Whitsunday Mountain Bike Trails Program, money would be spent on a track upgrade, signage and a shelter station.

LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm said the project was expected to bring in 13,200 new tourists to the region every year, create 10 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 34 ongoing jobs.

 

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Mountain biking was one of the fastest growing sports in Australia and the world, she said.

“Given the challenges with international travel, people who are mountain biking are going to be looking at other places,” Ms Camm said.

Ms Camm said the Whitsundays was well placed to take advantage of this interest and the focus would be on encouraging extended stays, so visitors would also visit the Great Barrier Reef and other attractions while here.

The Whitsunday Mountain Bike Trails Program is a project that has been floated by the Whitsunday Regional Council and Greater Whitsunday Alliance as a potential way to boost the region’s COVID-19 recovery.

Dawson MP George Christensen also recently listed the project on his Federal Budget wishlist.

Ms Camm said the benefits of the shovel-ready project would be two-fold – an initial injection of jobs through the construction phase followed by ongoing jobs and visitors.

“It’s about the Whitsundays establishing itself as a diverse destination that coexists in the natural environment,” she said.

“Adventure tourism has seen a huge uplift in New Zealand and Tasmania and the LNP’s investment will secure the Whitsundays a slice of the pie,” Ms Camm said.

 

 

Whitsunday mountain bike riders on the track at the Big4 Airlie Cove Resort & Caravan Park. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington said energising the tourism industry was a key part of the LNP’s economic plan to boost the regions and lead Queensland out of this recession.

“The LNP will seize this opportunity to create a new tourism and marketing opportunity for the Whitsundays,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The potential of the Conway Circuit mountain bike trail to create jobs and stimulate the local economy is enormous.

“A full track upgrade will create a new world-class level eco-tourism and sports destination to boost tourism in the Whitsundays region.

“Keen mountain bike riders will come from interstate and overseas to take on the upgraded Conway Circuit mountain bike trails and spend money in the community.”





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Tech companies to raise $18m



Perth-based Hazer Group is raising $8.4 million from a share placement to fund the development of its proposed hydrogen plant, which will be built at Water Corp’s Woodman Point facility, while Harvest Technology Group is raising funds for software development.



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