Two arrested after Qld coal mine protest


Two activists have been arrested after locking themselves to coal loading machinery at Abbot Point in a protest against the Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland.

Frontline Action on Coal activists Jeanette Kemp and Rupert Russell locked themselves to the equipment at the port, “effectively stopping the coal conveyor belts from operating”, about 7.15am AEST on Thursday.

Queensland police told AAP the pair were taken into custody about 9am.

Ms Kemp says she was protesting against the $2 billion mine being built by Indian-owned Bravus, formerly known as Adani Australia.

“I know a fair bit of that country where the mine is and got to know the vegetation through my work as an ecologist. It’s just crazy to me that we’re going to dig up this whole area,” she said in a statement.

“There are too many mines that are damaging our land and I just don’t want to see Queensland go that way.”

Mr Russell said he was lucky to be able to protest because he was a retiree and did not have to worry about his job.

Ms Kemp was worried about her job but said her protest was more important than her reputation.

“It just shows people that anyone can do this, just take time off work – it all contributes and makes people stand up and notice,” she said.

Earlier, Bravus chief executive David Boshoff said 2000 people were already working on the project, with $1.5 billion on contracts awarded to local businesses.

He said blasting had started at the mine site and work on the coal-handling and processing plant had also begun.

“Now we have reached rock we have begun to use controlled blasts to break it up so the excavators and trucks can move it. This means coal production is one step closer to being a reality,” Mr Boshoff said.

Bravus expects the mine’s first coal to be produced in 2021.



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Qld economy lags but jobs bounce back


 

Queensland’s economic “bounce back” was the second-worst in the nation last quarter, beating only locked-down Victoria, a new report shows.

The latest ANZ Stateometer report found that every state except Victoria “recovered ground” in the September quarter and there were positive early signs of growth continuing to expand through to the end of the year.

ANZ senior economist Cherelle Murphy said border closures had dragged down growth in states such as Queensland that enforced strict travel controls between July to September.

“There still was somewhat of a recovery and I think that will probably get better in the December quarter,” she said.

“A lot of the indicators we’ve been getting have been quite strong … showing that the economy is getting back closer to normal,” she said. The report found economic growth in Queensland was “below-trend pace” for the September quarter, but had improved following the disastrous June quarter at the height of the pandemic.

Cherelle Murphy, ANZ Research.

“(The Queensland economy) did not bounce back as well as the rest of Australia, with the obvious exception of Victoria,” the report says.

Consumer spending was the only sector in Queensland that grew above the trend rate, but the housing, business, labour market and trade sectors were all down.

“Queensland’s economy has recently felt the impact of reduced resources industry investment and reduced dwelling investment,” it says.

“Prices for Queensland’s major commodity exports, LNG and coal, also fell in the quarter. China’s import restrictions and strong domestic ­supplies are weighing on the coking coal price.”

Prices for Queensland’s major commodity exports, LNG and coal, fell in the last quarter.

Prices for Queensland’s major commodity exports, LNG and coal, fell in the last quarter.

But the green shoots of ­recovery were also starting to show with positive signs in employment and consumer confidence.

Queensland’s job market recorded the nation’s second-largest plunge (8.2 per cent) between March and May, but since then, its “bounce was also strong”, according to the report.

From May to October, employment across the state was up 8.7 per cent, the best recovery in the nation for the period. Consumer confidence around the nation had also surpassed levels from early March.

Confidence levels in Brisbane and the rest of Queensland were both higher than the national average.

The report also included gross state product figures for the 2019-20 financial year, with Queensland again recording the second worst result following a 1.1 per cent drop in output.

Originally published as Qld economy lags but jobs bounce back





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CQ tops QLD for road deaths, X-rays and chronic conditions


CENTRAL Queensland is the region with the highest road fatalities, diagnostic imaging requests and people with more than one chronic health condition, the Health of Queenslanders 2020 report reveals.

The report was prepared by Queensland’s chief health officer and Queensland Health deputy director-general, Dr Jeanette Young, who was both lauded and criticised about her advice to the government concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

The population of the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service catchment in 2018 was 218,421 people, five per cent of which spoke a language other than English.

Queensland Chief Health officer Dr Jeanette Young speaks during a press conference at Parliament House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

A tragic badge of honour held by CQ revealed in the report was that more fatal road crashes occur in the region than anywhere else in Queensland.

This statistic was despite 2019 recording the lowest number of road fatalities since records began in 1952, with 219 deaths.

The report revealed there were 65 fatalities in the CQ police region, followed by 57 in the Southern region, 53 in the Northern region and 28 in Brisbane.

CQ had the highest rate in the state of people requiring diagnostic imaging per health service, the second highest rate of allied health treatment, and the fourth highest rate of by GP visits and specialist treatments required by patients.

The region clearly led the state in the number of people reporting more than one chronic condition at almost 70 per cent, compared to an average of about 47 per cent.

Chronic conditions are defined in the report as diseases and disabilities that have lasted, or are expected to last, more than six months.

Rockhampton Hospital.

Rockhampton Hospital.

The second highest number of aeromedical retrievals across Queensland were also performed in CQ in 2019-2020, with 2781 patients flown for treatment, compared to 2801 from the Darling Downs and 2476 from Wide Bay.

In total, 23,026 patients were transferred across Queensland, 12,091 by plane, 5357 by helicopter and 2815 by ambulance, while 2818 calls to emergency services didn’t require transfer and 125 people were taken by other services for treatment.

One quarter of people in CQ self-reported having mental health and behavioural problems, placing the region fifth in the state.

Almost 4000 people per 100,000 in CQ were hospitalised for injuries, the fifth highest of 15 regions across the state.

A dengue fever outbreak was reported in Rockhampton in May 2019, resulting in 21 cases, 13 confirmed and eight probable.

This resulted in 1935 premise visits and 1874 premise inspections, with 884 premises requiring mosquito control treatment.

The outbreak was declared over on October 9, 2019.

The rate of 538.9 cases of cancer per 100,000 people in CQ, in 2017, was below the state average of 541 cases per 100,000.

This placed CQ eighth out of 15 regions in the number of cancers being detected.

The Health Contact Centre interacted with 1,447,391 Queenslander’s over the past year, with about 580 people per 10,000 of CQ’s population triaged requiring hospital treatment.

This triage rate of CQ patients was equal fourth with Wide Bay among the 15 regions in Queensland.

Gladstone Hospital.

Gladstone Hospital.

People from CQ were also reported to exceed single occasion risky drinking levels

at least monthly, one of five regions statewide (Mackay, North-West, South-West, Torres and Cape) considered above average for alcohol consumption at least once a month.

While this sounds alarming, eight other regions ranked above CQ, which was in line with the state average of 22 per cent, for adult lifetime risky alcohol consumption.

Alcohol use accounts for 40 per cent of liver cancer, 33 per cent of lip and oral cavity cancer

and 28 per cent of chronic liver disease in Australia.

More people from CQ are eating junk food, with data showing daily consumption of five serves of vegetables across the region declined between 2009 and 2019.

About 30 per cent of adults in CQ self-reported being obese, a figure that has increased by 20 per cent between 2009 and 2019.

This compares to a state average of 35 per cent self-reporting they were obese.

The number of smokers has decreased in CQ between 2009 and 2019 by 21 per cent, against a state average of a 36 per cent reduction.

This had CQ ranked third statewide for smokers at about 14 per cent of the population, behind North-West (18 per cent) and Torres and Cape (25 per cent).

Potentially Preventable Hospitalisations are certain hospital admissions that potentially could have been prevented by timely and adequate health care in the community.

In CQ, 16 per cent of Indigenous and 10 per cent of other hospital admissions were classed as

PPHs in 2018-2019.

Emerald Hospital.

Emerald Hospital.

Child immunisation rates in CQ across children aged one, two and five varied compared to the state average.

The immunisation rate in CQ’s Indigenous one-year-old’s was 91.7 per cent compared to a state average of 92.5 per cent.

Other one-year-old immunisation’s in CQ were ahead of the state average of 94.4 per cent, at 95.5 per cent.

In two-year-old Indigenous children, the immunisation rate in CQ fell to 89.4 per cent, against a state average of 89.8 per cent, while in other CQ kids the same age, the rate was 93 per cent, compared to 92.1 per cent statewide.

The five year-old Indigenous immunisation rate in CQ of 97.4 per cent exceeded other kids of the same age at 95.3 per cent, both figures being above the state average.

CQ was one of three regions where the number of adults achieving one hour of physical activity daily (classed as sufficient) lagged behind.

About 55 per cent of adults in CQ achieved 150 minutes per day of physical activity, just below the state average of 59 per cent.

But between 2009 and 2020, the number of adults participating in sufficient physical activity in CQ increased by 11.9 per cent, the second highest increase across QLD.

Despite this, Queensland was the highest ranked jurisdiction for adult insufficient activity

based on population.

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Do you still need a border pass to enter QLD? Restrictions to end as Qantas and Jetstar bolster flights


Two of the nation’s major airlines have slashed fares on flights between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as the Sunshine State’s borders prepare to reopen.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the captain’s call on Tuesday, with Greater Sydney’s hotspot declaration to be revoked on December 1.

The premier said Queensland will also reopen to Victoria next Tuesday, assuming the state surpasses the 28-day threshold on Wednesday.

Families and travellers from NSW and Victoria can finally swap border passes for boarding passes, allowing them to make their plans for the upcoming holiday season.

Two of the nation’s major airlines have slashed fares on flights between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as the Sunshine State’s borders prepare to reopen.  Credit: Getty Images

To go hand-in-hand with the announcement, Qantas and Jetstar will operate more than 1,200 flights into the Sunshine State before Christmas.

From December 1, the airlines will operate more than 250 return flights per week across seven routes from Sydney.

More than 160 return flights per week will also operate between Victoria and Queensland, pending the border decision.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the airline is buoyed by the border news.

Shoppers in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall (file image)
Business groups say Queensland’s border openings will boost confidence ahead of the holiday season. Credit: AAP



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State of Origin 2020: Brad Fittler regret, NSW vs QLD, Blues vs Maroons


Blues coach Brad Fittler has revealed his biggest regret in his side’s Origin series deciding loss at Suncorp Stadium and forecast personnel changes for 2021.

While careful not to put too much blame at the foot of the players he picked, Fittler lamented to The Daily Telegraph his side’s inability to execute their plan B in the pressure cooker of a decider they lost 20-14.

“To be in that situation again, you’d like to have the players definitely know what to do,’’ Fittler told The Daily Telegraph.

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“We spoke about things to do and we couldn’t achieve it on the field under pressure. The Plan B stuff we practised, but maybe we didn’t practice it enough.

“I’m talking about ways to get around them being up in your face and things that you can nearly guarantee are going to happen.”

Fittler’s dream run of two series victories from two attempts is now over with the old master Wayne Bennett outdoing him this season and now the NSW golden boy finds himself under pressure heading into 2021.

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Fittler has come under fire for a number of decisions, including playing two non-specialist centres in Clint Gutherson and Jack Wighton, leaving noted hard men and winners in David Klemmer and Wade Graham out of his squad and getting the mix of his bench wrong.

Carrying four forward on the pine instead of a utility like Ryan Papenhuyzen came back to bite the Blues when skipper James Tedesco was knocked out in the opening stages of the decider.

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Reading between the lines Fittler won’t be afraid to shake-up the team for Game I next year as he did in Perth last season when he drafted in big game players Graham, James Maloney and Tom Trbojevic.

“You’re constantly weighing up why we got ourselves in that position,” Fittler said.

Brad Fittler consoles Blues skipper James Tedesco after Origin III.
media_cameraBrad Fittler consoles Blues skipper James Tedesco after Origin III.

“Was it because we couldn’t get to our plan, is it because of certain players, is it because of what they were doing, is it because of the referee, you just try and come up with a reason that you can now go do something about.

“At the end of the day it’s about applying pressure, finding a way to win and finding the people to win.

“Our next job is going to be to pick a team for 2021.”

Originally published as ‘Finding the people to win’: Freddy reveals his biggest regret over crushing Origin defeat



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State of Origin 2020: Cameron Munster, Wally Lewis Medal, player of the series, NSW Blues vs QLD Maroons, Game III


Cameron Munster has claimed the 2020 Wally Lewis Medal.

The nifty five-eighth has topped off a huge month with the honour after winning the premiership with the Storm in October.

Munster was a star for Queensland in the second half of Game I as he led the Maroons’ comeback to claim the victory.

He was wiped out early of Game II after a nasty head knock but shone once again as QLD claimed the series on home soil at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

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State of Origin 2020: Game 3 result, QLD Maroons beat NSW Blues, Brad Fittler mistake, Ryan Papenhuyzen, bench, Greg Alexander


NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has admitted it was a big mistake to leave Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen out of the squad for the Origin III decider, with the Maroons’ win leaving him “shattered”.

The Blues’ best player and captain James Tedesco saw his game end after just 20 minutes when he was knocked out my an accidental knee to the head from Jai Arrow, throwing the NSW’s structure into disarray.

With Fittler opting to go with four forwards on the bench, rather than going with fullback Papenhuyzen, who is capable of filling a number of positions along the back line, and was left ruing his decision.

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NSW ‘need to make changes’

1:08



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