Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arrives in Auckland

Air New Zealand's first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arrives in Auckland

Update | Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 787-9 is expected to land at Auckland International Airport around 8.30pm today, Saturday January 4th, according to Boeing.

Previous | The first Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 will arrive in Auckland today as the advanced passenger jet undergoes extensive testing ahead of its mid-year debut.

It’s the third in a series of test aircraft, but once the tests are over it will be upgraded to Air New Zealand’s specifications, painted in the Kiwi Carrier’s eye-catching livery and make a second journey from Seattle to Auckland – this time, to stay.

The ‘Dreamliner down under’ visit will also include once week at Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia, as the aircraft undergoes hot weather testing under the scorching summer sun.

Average January temperatures in the Red Centre hover around 36 degrees Celsius (97.5 degrees Fahrenheit) with a record of 45.2 °C (113.4 °F).

That’s a crucial part of certifying the Boeing 787-9 for use by airlines, which is why this Dreamliner won’t carry any passengers apart from Boeing pilots, engineers and technicians.

They’ll put the plane through its paces in an array of real-world conditions, charting its performance on a comprehensive array of test equipment.

A stretched version of Boeing’s original 787-8 Dreamliner which Jetstar is now flying, the 787-9 carries more passengers and can fly over longer distances than its sibling.


See the 787-9 Dreamliner down under…

The Boeing 787-9 is expected to arrive into Auckland around 8.30pm on Saturday January 4th, 2014 to be showcased to selected media by worldwide launch customer Air New Zealand on Sunday January 5th.

(Australian Business Traveller will be visiting the Boeing 787-9 in Auckland as a guest of Boeing and Air New Zealand.)

A preliminary schedule supplied to Australian Business Traveller by Brisbane Airport lists the 787-9 as departing Auckland on Monday January 6th around 11am (NZ time).

It will then make a refuelling stop at Brisbane Airport, touching down around 12 noon with wheels-up again at 3pm, before reaching Alice Springs around 5pm.

Flight tests around Australia’s ‘red centre’ are expected to run from Tuesday January 7th to Saturday January 11th, according to the schedule.

It’ll then be nine long months of continued testing until the Boeing 787-9 makes its first commercial flight with Air New Zealand on October 15th 2014 from Auckland to Perth.

(Tickets for that flight are now on sale at and through the Kiwi carrier’s partner Virgin Australia at

As more 787-9s join the Air NZ fleet the Dreamliner will appear on the Auckland-Tokyo and Auckland-Shanghai routes.

The 787-9s will sport two variations on Air New Zealand’s new-look livery: the classic white…

… and the eye-catching ‘all black’ design.


Inside the first Boeing 787-9

Each of Air New Zealand’s ten Boeing 787-9s will see a three-class configuration of 18 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 263 in economy.

We’ve put together this quick video clip to showcase the seats. 

The pointy end of Air NZ’s Boeing 787-9 will see 18 of the familiarBusiness Premier seats already seen on the airline’s flagship Boeing 777s.

The lie-flat business class seats are arranged in a 1-1-1 herringbone layout so that every passenger has direct aisle access.

The seat is fitted with a ‘memory foam’ mattress, duvet and two full size pillows.

Less familiar are the Premium Economy seats, with Air NZ choosing a more standard ‘off the shelf’ design instead of its Spaceseat (show below).

AirNZ's Spaceseat has been dropped from the Boeing 787

The 787-9’s premium economy seats have been sourced from US seat designer Zodiac, with Air New Zealand calling them “a customised seat best described as Business-lite.”

Arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, the seats have a 41” pitch and 5” wide armrest, with a generous 9″ recline, integrated leg rest and extendable foot support.

There are 21 premium economy seats in this stand-alone cabin, which also has its own dedicated bathroom facilities.

Read: Air New Zealand “remains committed” to premium economy Spaceseat

The bulk of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 is given over to twoeconomy cabins with all seating in a 3-3-3 layout.

This includes 14 Skycouch rows of three seats where the legrests and armrests flip all the way up to convert into a ‘sofa-like’ flat surface.

The Skycouch rows have a 33″ pitch compared to the 31-32″ of standard economy seats.

Air NZ's Boeing 787-9 seat chart shows (in green) the 14 Skycouch rows in the first economy cabin

Read: Testing Air New Zealand’s Skycouch on the 777-300ER

The rest of the economy cabin will be fitted with a standard economy seat from Zodiac but customised to Air New Zealand’s specifications including a slimline seat back for more space, sculpted upholstering and a more flexible headrest.


The New Zealand Herald

Rotorua’s Lake Tarawera Trail opens this weekend

The pou that was gifted to Tuhourangi at a dawn ceremony on 22 October, marking the start of the Tarawera Trail. Photo: supplied

The pou that was gifted to Tuhourangi at a dawn ceremony on 22 October, marking the start of the Tarawera Trail. Photo: supplied

What is billed as being one of New Zealand’s best walks will open this weekend, with upwards of 30,000 hikers per year expected.

The Tarawera Trail will make the favourite picnic and camping spot of Hot Water Beach on the edge of Lake Tarawera now available for walkers and hikers – albeit with a little effort.

The collaborative project has taken over nine years of negotiations and development, with 11km of trail from the Te Wairoa car park to Te Rata Bay (Hot Water Beach) now complete. The one-way walk is expected to take moderately fit walkers around 4-5 hours to complete.

The Tarawera Trail was built in partnership between the Department of Conservation and several private Maori land blocks that border Lake Tarawera and the Te Wairoa Valley.

Tarawera Trail Trust trustee Te Ohu Mokai Wi Kingi says the opening of the trail is a great asset for Rotorua with the trail set to become one of New Zealand’s greatest walks.

“The volcanic backdrop, geothermal features of the lake, surrounding bush and cultural and historic stories make this trail one of a kind.

“We’re expecting 33,000 people a year to walk the trail – or around 90 people per day.”
Panels along the trail will educate walkers and hikers about the history and ecology of the area.

“The trail is a perfect addition to the region as it has a low impact on the environment and ensures tangata whenua, as kaitiaki of the area, continue the stories of their forefathers.”

In October this year the trail was honoured by the gift of a carved wooden Pou, Ohomairangi, by Tourism New Zealand and Te Puia|NZMACI, acknowledging the local hapu, Ngati Hinemihi and Tuhourangi’s significant contribution in establishing New Zealand’s tourism industry.

Ngati Hinemihi and Tuhourangi were New Zealand’s very first hosts, welcoming and guiding domestic and international visitors to the Pink and White Terraces on Lake Tarawera.

The official opening powhiri and ribbon cutting is on December 14 with the trail open to walkers and hikers on 15 December.

The Tarawera Trail is the first of the proposed network of trails, planned for development in the future, involving DOC and Maori private land owners to connect the 14 Te Arawa Lakes in this area.


The New Zealand Herald

Editorial: ‘Rock star’ New Zealand needs Aussies to play drums

General Motors will stop making cars and engines in Australia by the end of 2017. Photo / AP

General Motors will stop making cars and engines in Australia by the end of 2017. Photo / AP

Transtasman rivalry is wide-ranging but only rarely does New Zealand relish comparing itself economically with Australia. This, however, is one of those times. HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham has described New Zealand as a “rock star” economy among the OECD, and predicts the dollar may achieve parity with its Australian counterpart late this year. Before Christmas, New Zealanders were inundated with a surge of welcome economic news. For Australians, there was only gloom.

The single most devastating blow was the decisions by General Motors and Ford to stop manufacturing cars in Australia.

This meant, particularly, that Holden, a brand that had played a part in defining the national psyche for 65 years, would cease to exist.

The strong Australian dollar, high production costs, a small domestic market and competition have sealed its fate.

As well, Qantas, another symbol of Australian pride, has continued to flounder, a situation that has drawn obvious comparisons with the buoyancy of Air New Zealand.

More fundamentally, the Australian economy is feeling the effect of the end of a decade-long mining boom, during which the export of iron ore and coal to China effectively wrapped it in a recession-proof coat.

China’s decision to rely less on Australia as a source of iron ore has produced a range of consequences, the most obvious of which is a growth rate marooned at about 2.5 per cent. New Zealand’s economy is forecast to grow 3.3 per cent this year.

Unemployment across the Tasman is now forecast to reach 6.25 per cent this year. In New Zealand, the rate is 6.2 per cent and falling. Many New Zealanders enticed across the Tasman by the lure of high-paying work are now retracing their steps.

They are returning to a country where business confidence has soared to its highest in almost 20 years. Consumer confidence is also strong thanks to the prospects of more jobs and higher wages, as reflected in retailing figures for the Christmas-New Year period.

Whenever Australia feels discomfort, it is tempting to gloat. But this is not the stuff of a slump by one of its annoyingly successful sporting teams.

Australia continues to vie with China as our biggest trading partner. When it suffers, New Zealand exporters suffer. When it is prosperous, we benefit, as during the global recession when we escaped many of the worst consequences.

Australia now faces the challenge of reshaping an economy so there is no longer an over-reliance on mining or investment in dead-end industries. It will be much to New Zealand’s advantage if the Government of Tony Abbott takes the tough decisions necessary to return it to prosperity.

The divergent paths of the transtasman economies have not gone unnoticed in Australia. Some of the commentary has included a warning that milk powder is doing for New Zealand what iron ore and coal did for Australia.

The implication is that China will not rely indefinitely on New Zealand for a commodity, and, as with minerals, will choose to diversify its supply.

That is a moot point. Milk powder does not have the strategic factor associated with iron supply, and New Zealand has the added benefit of a free-trade pact with China.

Either way, however, a buoyant Australia will remain a key ingredient in this country’s economic wellbeing.


The New Zealand Herald

Ship involved in Antarctic rescue faces trouble

9:40 AM Saturday Jan 4, 2014

The crew of a Chinese icebreaker that had provided the helicopter said they were worried about their own ship's ability to move through the ice. Photo / AP

The crew of a Chinese icebreaker that had provided the helicopter said they were worried about their own ship’s ability to move through the ice. Photo / AP

A ship which came to the aid of ice-bound research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica is now itself ‘beset by ice’, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says.

Chinese ship the Xue Long had been sent to help the stricken Russian research ship which had 52 people on board, including six New Zealanders.

They have been transferred by helicopter to a third ship, the Aurora Australis, which is now in open water en-route to Australian Antarctica base Casey Station.

But the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said this morning the Xue Long’s attempt to manoeuvre through the ice early this morning was unsuccessful and it was now beset by ice.

“The Master of Xue Long has confirmed to AMSA that the ship is safe, it is not in distress and does not require assistance at this time.

“There is no immediate danger to personnel on board the Xue Long. The Xue Long has advised AMSA it has food supplies for several weeks.”

The Aurora Australis had been placed on standby as a precautionary measure, but it had since been stood down.

After resupplying at Casey Station it would continue to Hobart.

A crew member on board the Aurora Australis said some of the passengers required medications which would be flown to Casey Station. He would not expand on what the medications were but said everybody on board was “fine”.

The scientific team, led by scientists from the University of New South Wales, had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica when they became stuck. They had set out from Bluff on November 28.

The six New Zealanders are ornithologist Kerry-Jayne Wilson, University of Auckland doctoral student Colin Tan, historians John and Barbara Tucker, and two chefs.


The New Zealand Herald

Rearing cubs a key part in helping Brisbane roar in A-League

January 4, 2014

Michael Lynch


The Queensland club's success has been about far more than just buying in talent.

The Queensland club’s success has been about far more than just buying in talent. Photo: Getty Images

Brisbane Roar heads to Melbourne on Saturday night on top of the table and in the sort of title-winning form that brought it championships in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

For the past few seasons, the Roar has included a number of highly productive imports on its roster – men like German midfielder Thomas Broich and Albanian striker Besart Berisha – as well as experienced Australian internationals such as Shane Steffanutto, Jade North and the recently capped Ivan Franjic, who looks a good chance to make Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou’s World Cup squad for Brazil 2014.

But the Queensland club’s success has been about far more than just buying in talent.

All A-League teams want to claim a reputation for developing youngsters, giving them the chance to refine their game to the point where they are sold overseas and eventually go on to claim international status.


But few have done so as well, or as frequently, as the Roar, which can claim to lead the way in this, as it does in other on-field matters.

Inaugural coach Miron Bleiberg went, not surprisingly, for a number of experienced players to try to get the new team off to a flying start in the fledgling A-League. He was not alone, as most clubs did the same thing, especially as many of the more promising youngsters had not played high-level soccer between the demise of the National Soccer League in April 2004 and the start of the A-League in August 2005.

By the time his successor, Frank Farina, came along, the competition was more established and coaches were willing to take more of a chance on younger players.

Farina blooded or gave first-team contracts to the likes of Robbie Kruse, Michael Zullo, Tommy Oar, Dario Vidosic and Adam Sarota, all of whom have played overseas and have become full internationals. He also played Tahj Minniecon, who has yet to enjoy the success of his contemporaries but is rebuilding his career with Western Sydney. Melbourne Victory midfielder Mitch Nichols came through at Brisbane, playing a key role in its championship teams, while the latest young gun off the production line, Kwame Yeboah, has just been sold to German Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach.

One man who knows more about the Brisbane youth set-up is Melbourne Heart midfielder Massimo Murdocca.

Until the start of this season, Murdocca had been a one-club man with Brisbane, having been part of Bleiberg’s original team.

He, too, was a youngster back then, given his chance as a 20-year-old, and he believes Brisbane has had such success with kids because managers have not been afraid to give youth its chance. ”I think it’s just the fact that the club are prepared to put them in and give them a go. It’s been very good at blending the mix, bringing in youngsters with senior players gradually,” he said. ”… They are very clever the way they do it, and are smart about who they play and when they play them. It’s all about gradually blending them in. They all start in the youth team, and then, when they are doing very well there, they might be called into the first team to train maybe once a week, then twice a week, then maybe a bit longer if you continue to progress. Then in one game you will be named on the bench. No one ever gets thrown in at the deep end.”

Murdocca has seen all of Brisbane’s talented teens come through and says watching them develop is inspirational for older players. ”I was there when they were nobodies coming through and saw them all working hard and eventually becoming good enough to push into the first team,” he said.

”It’s a great thing as a player actually to look back to see where these really good players who go on to have big careers start out. It’s actually quite inspiring to see them start off behind you and then go on to surpass where you are. It definitely keeps you on your toes.

”I remember being surprised when they overlooked Dario [Vidosic] in that first season. I played a trial there in 2004 and I remember thinking ‘this kid is a gun’ and wondering why they didn’t sign him. But he was only about 17, so they were bringing him along slowly. He trained with them in that first A-League season, then got his deal in the second season.”

Murdocca thinks hard when asked who impressed him the most at first before selecting Kruse, now with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, and Zullo, who had several seasons in Utrecht, Holland, before returning to Adelaide United on loan this season. ”I think Krusey and Zullo got their debuts together from Frank Farina. They were incredible. Both played really well, they played with no fear, as so many young boys do. Both were quick and skilful. Farina was very big on giving the best kids a go,” he said. ”He brought in Krusey, Zullo, Mitch Nichols all at the one time and played them. Mitch was the slowest to develop but he got better every year to the point now where he is a very good player with great prospects. He’s at the best level I have ever seen him.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina says ref blunders are groundhog day

January 4, 2014 – 7:20AM

Steve Larkin

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina says refereeing blunders are making a groundhog day out of every A-League game.

Contentious refereeing calls went against the Sky Blues in Friday night’s 2-2 away draw against Adelaide United.

Sydney copped a penalty which Farina said was ”soft” and had Nick Carle sent off for a questionable second yellow card.

Ranko Despotovic of Sydney attempts to head the ball.


And Farina reckons it’s a common theme for all coaches this season.


”It’s groundhog day for every coach in the league, every week there is something controversial,” he said.

”To be honest, I’m tired of talking about it.

”We just move on. You can’t do anything about it so there is no point talking about it and complaining, just move on to next week.

”If I was a young coach coming in, I would have been complaining about this and complaining about that. But you learn over time you can’t do anything about it, nothing is going to change.”

Sydney took an early lead when Ranko Despotovic scored in the eighth minute, with Adelaide losing Bruce Djite (groin) and Cirio (hamstring) in the following 20 minutes.

The Reds equalised through Fabio Ferreria, then went ahead when Jake Barker-Daish converted the controversial penalty, which came when Adelaide debutant Anthony Costa fell in the box from slight contact from Sydney defender Matthew Jurman.

But the Sky Blues levelled in the 82nd minute with a header from substitute Corey Gameiro, despite minimal contribution from captain Alessandro Del Piero.

The Sydney skipper was in doubt for the game with a back injury but played 77 minutes, though rarely moved anywhere near top gear.

”He’s fine … I was happy to get 70-odd minutes out of him, I’m expecting he’ll be fine for next week,” Farina said.


The Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney FC draw with Adelaide United despite Nicky Carle red card

January 4, 2014

Steve Larkin


Sydney FC overcame a harsh send-off and rough penalty call to scrap a 2-2 draw with an injury-hit Adelaide United in a controversial clash on Friday night.

The Sky Blues, with Ranko Despotovic and Corey Gameiro scoring, shared the points with the Reds, who lost two key attackers to injury in 10 minutes at Coopers Stadium. Adelaide lost Bruce Djite (groin) and Cirio (hamstring) in the first half-hour, but Sydney also rued rotten luck.

Nick Carle reacts to his red card.

Nick Carle reacts to his red card. Photo: Getty Images

The Sky Blues’ Nicky Carle was marched for a questionable second yellow card, while the visitors slipped behind because of a soft penalty call.


Despotovic opened the scoring in the eighth minute before Djite hobbled off in the 20th minute, followed 10 minutes later by his Spanish teammate Cirio. But the double injury blows, which compounded pre-game losses of attackers Jeronimo (suspended) and Marcelo Carrusca (bruised knee), were punctuated by an equaliser by Adelaide’s Fabio Ferreira.

A pin-point Steven Lustica cross in the 24th minute found the Portuguese-born winger, whose right-foot shot struck the far post and rolled in to the relief of the Reds’ parochial 15,347-strong home crowd. Adelaide’s injury woes forced them to rely in attack on novices Awer Mabil, a substitute in all his 10 A-League games, and striker Anthony Costa, on debut.

Ranko Despotovic of Sydney attempts to head the ball.

And after Carle was unluckily sent off in the 68th minute after making negligible contact on Adelaide’s Isaias Sanchez, Costa figured in the controversial penalty three minutes later.

The first-gamer seemingly crumpled from minimal contact from Sydney defender Matthew Jurman and Adelaide were given a penalty, converted by Jake Barker-Daish. But the Reds’ 2-1 lead lasted just 10 minutes, with Gameiro neatly angling a header from a Nikola Petkovic free kick into the net for an 82nd-minute equaliser.

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina said the penalty against his side was ”a bit soft”, but was proud of the character of his side.

”It’s groundhog day for every coach in the league, every week there is something controversial,” he said. ”I thought we were going very well up until the red card. And 2-1 down, with 10 men, I would have signed for a draw.”

Adelaide coach Josep Gombau praised his players for an honest effort, but lamented a lost opportunity for a win. ”With all the difficulties that we had this week, and that we had in the game … they did very well, I am satisfied,” he said. ”But with the result, I am unhappy because after 80 minutes, we are winning 2-1, and to win this game was very important.”


The Sydney Morning Herald

2013, the year in State politics.

January 4, 2014 – 12:01AM

Amy Remeikis

State political reporter

Australia 1

It was the Year of the Snake. The Year of Quinoa. The Year of the Selfie. And in Queensland, the year of the bikie.

2013 had a lot going on the world over. But in the sunshine state, the government was motoring through legislative changes. In just 13 parliamentary sitting weeks – which run for three days each – 64 Bills were passed into law. Of those, 18 had been introduced late in 2012. A further 71 Bills were introduced during the parliamentary year – two were discharged almost immediately, 59 were sent to committee for review and 23 Bills were referred until this year.

Not surprisingly, the state’s first law officer – Jarrod Bleijie – introduced 22 of the 60 pieces of legislation the government put forward. Education was Queensland’s next big legislation point – and John-Paul Langbroek introduced six bills. Treasurer Tim Nicholls followed with five pieces, while ministers Mander, McVeigh, Cripps and Emerson introduced three pieces each.

Premier Campbell Newman put forward two, as did David Crisafulli, Lawrence Springborg and Jack Dempsey. Jeff Seeney, Tracy Davies, Jann Stuckey, Glenn Elmes, Andrew Powell, Mark McArdle and Steve Dickson introduced one each. Only Ian Walker was without a piece of legislation to his name.


Breaking down the other numbers – 655 MPs rose to make statements to the house with 305 being made by ministers. Given the number of issues being considered, it is no surprise 126,594 Queenslanders signed 126 petitions which were tabled in parliament.

Parliament resumes on February 11. But before it does, take a look back at the year that was.


January 2013

Campbell Newman rules out exceeding the 14,000 public sector job cuts already announced.

Campbell Newman declares 2013 to be a year of growth for Queensland

Queensland experiences its second major mass flood event in just two years.


February 2013

Parliament resumes

David Crusifulli given new ministry of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience

Ros Bates resigns as Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts citing ill health.

The government vows to go it alone in changing succession laws

Penelope Wensley’s term as Governor is extended until July 2014

Department of Transport and Main Roads stood aside director-General Michael Caltabiano is sacked.

In a statement, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman confirms he had given Mr Caltabiano, who remained on full pay, notice that his employment will be terminated from March 15.

The Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll comes under fire for alleged financial mismanagement and sexual harassment of employees while he was president of the Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers’ Association.

More allegations come to light about consultancy fees paid by the Regional Community Association Moreton Bay to his wife’s company Norsefire.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek announces the government will look into designing its own education reform, but does not entirely rule out taking part in the federal government’s Gonski plan.

Peter Costello hands down the final Commission of Audit report to Treasurer Tim Nicholls “on time and on budget”.


March 2013

A 28-page executive summary of the 1000-page Commission of Audit is publicly released. It recommends the sale and outsourcing of state assets and services.

The government commits to responding to the report in two months time. Campbell Newman maintains the government will not sell assets without a mandate; meaning taking the matter to election. As yet the government has not ruled out long-term leases.

Scott Driscoll continues to be attacked over his dealings. He defends himself in parliament and says he is the victim of a smear and innuendo campaign. A CMC investigation begins

The Commission of Inquiry into the bungled Queensland Health payroll system, initiated by the previous government, begins.

It is revealed that sensitive documents relating to the Fitzgerald Inquiry had been mistakenly made public while others had accidentally been destroyed.

Campbell Newman and Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie both publicly call for an explanation from the Crime and Misconduct head Ross Martin and the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee charged with overseeing the watchdog body.

Mr Newman accuses the PCMC of being more “lapdog” than “watchdog”.

CMC Chair Ross Martin announces he will be taking permanent leave as he has cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant.

The Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee inquiry into the release and destruction of Fitzgerald documents begins.

Campbell Newman says a “new standard in government accountability has been set” with the public release of his diary and that of his ministers. Mr Newman said it was the first time in Australia that the diaries of senior government officials have been made available to the public.

Council de-amalgamation votes occur – all four, Douglas, Livingstone, Mareeba and Noosa vote yes.

The government flags a program where justices of the peace help adjudicate minor civil disputes up to $5000 in Brisbane, Ipswich, Southport, Maroochydore and Townsville.

The government promises to introduce the nation’s “toughest” anti-hooning laws.

Ground is broken on the new government building on 1 William Street

Campbell Newman defends fundraising “round table” dinners, where (for an annual $11,000 fee) business and industry stakeholders can have access to various ministers, saying the party “has to raise money, because we are up against the unions”.


April 2013

The Gonski education reform negotiations between the state and federal government begin to publicly break down

John-Paul Langbroek announces Great Teachers = Great Results education policy.

Queensland Rail is moved from being a Government Owned Corporation to a statutory authority, which gives the government more control.

The government prepares its commission of audit response.

Scott Driscoll resigns from the LNP just hours before he is due to face a ‘show cause’ hearing with the party executive.

The government calls on the federal Labor government to release disaster relief funding

The Malone review into the Rural Fire Service is released, calling for more funds.

Alex Douglas and Carl Judge, independents since their late-2012 resignations from the LNP, announce they have joined Palmer’s United Party

The Callinan and Aroney Inquiry into the CMC is handed down


May 2013

The Queensland Plan summit is held in Mackay

Plans are announced to change the definition of ‘worker’ under compensation laws to bring the state’s definition into line with the federal tax office model.

Queensland “in the spirit of compromise” amends its succession legislation, creating a “hybrid model” which is passed, clearing the way for the Commonwealth to pass its laws.

Queensland signs up to the NDIS, which is almost overshadowed by the most ridiculous news story of the year – “sandwich-gate”.

The QCA announces electricity prices are to rise 22.6 per cent or $268 a household in the next financial year

A commission of inquiry is ordered into Racing Queensland

Water prices rise by $1 a week

Barry O’Sullivan wins pre-selection and is named the successor to Barnaby Joyce’s Senate spot.


June 2013

Budget is handed down. Treasurer Tim Nicholls reiterates the choice between raised taxes, cut services and asset sales. Levies and fees rise by $181.

The federal education minister Peter Garrett is banned from speaking at two Queensland state schools.

Joe Hockey’s wife, Melissa Babbage is appointed to a Q Super board.

The ‘Flegg Tapes” – a series of recordings allegedly made by the member for Moggill, Bruce Flegg in 2011 are made public by The Courier Mail. Conversations range from the possibility of Mr Flegg leaving his seat to commentary on other LNP MPs.

John Bjelke-Petersen, son of Joh, quits the LNP

Labor begins its pre-selection process for the next election

The union transparency legislation is passed, which curtails unions ability to run campaigns

A joke menu disparaging prime minister Julia Gillard is produced by a Queensland restaurant during a fundraiser for the LNP.


July 2013 – Estimates hearings

Queensland signing up to Gonski looks increasingly shaky

While the premier is on holidays, deputy Jeff Seeney announces the pay rise politicians have to have – 41 per cent or $57,000 increase to base salaries. Public sentiment continues to turn against the government until the premier returns and freezes the pay rise and establishes an independent tribunal to determine what Queensland MPs are paid.

The government offloads 200 social housing homes.

State coroner Michael Barnes finds employers and the state and federal governments all share the blame in the deaths of three young Queensland men during the Commonwealth home insulation scheme

Changes are flagged to youth justice laws, which include naming and shaming and transferring teenagers to adult prisons following their 17th birthday.

Echo and Crown are invited to talk about possible additional casino licences with the government.

Electoral reforms are proposed – public funding threshold raised from 4 to 10 per cent and the declared donation limits are raised.

The government announces plans to outsource 90 per cent of its social housing.

Estimates hearings put the salary of the premier’s chief of staff, Ben Myers, under scrutiny.

The government ups the stocking density limit for free range eggs from 1500 to 10,000 per hectare.

The LNP state conference is held – the premier becomes upset by a joke federal Nationals leader Warren Truss makes at his expense.

The government responds to the Callinan and Aroney review into the CMC and among the changes, complainants are told to accept the risk they may face prosecution if found to have made a baseless or vexatious complaint.

The Auditor-General releases a report finding the Labor scheme, which saw private patients treated in public hospitals, has cost the state $800 million.

The schools closure consultation process is closed two weeks early

Tim Carmody hands down his final report after the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry


August 2013

$2 million of inner city land is donated by the government to the charity Youngcare

The government vows to meet its election commitment to extend the North Stradbroke mining leases

An amendment is made to the union transparency legislation to stop unions from establishing separate companies to run campaigns

Two term Redlands MP Peter Dowling’s private life makes international headlines after photos he sent his mistress are made public. One which features his penis in a glass of red wine earns him mention on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and the nickname ‘plonker’. He resigns as the chair of the ethics committee.


September 2013 – Federal election

The Keelty review into emergency services is handed down, recommending “major overhauls”

Clive Palmer wins the federal seat of Fairfax and warns the LNP his party will turn its attention to Queensland next

Public service core values are released

Bikies are put on Cabinet’s agenda after a brawl in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast

Labor calls for an inquiry into Ros Bates’s fundraiser activities, believed to have been referred to the CMC by the Electoral Commission Queensland

Schools closure announcement is made. Six of the eight named schools will close at the end of the 2013 school year.

A 1am lockout and 3am curfew for the state’s pubs and clubs is put on the table

Barry O’Sullivan’s formal Senate nomination is delayed by the Queensland government because of the ongoing Flegg Tapes investigation

Parliament House is revealed to need $1 million in security upgrades

The government announces the department of community safety will be renamed Fire and Emergency Services. Corrective Services will be rolled over to the Justice Department, while Queensland Ambulance Service becomes part of Queensland Health/


October 2013

The government announces changes to workplace laws which will force unions to give 24 hours notice before going to a job site.

Changes are made to workers’ compensation laws which put a 5 per cent threshold on common law claims, angering unions and the legal community

The government’s bikie laws are introduced and passed just two weeks after they were first discussed.

Security is beefed up at government buildings and key minister’s homes as a precaution against retribution because of the bikie laws

Up to three new casino licences are announced by the government, including one for Brisbane, but only to developers who build ‘integrated resort developments’.

Scoping studies are ordered for Powerlink and SunWater

Treasurer Tim Nicholls calls the LNP’s goal of 4 per cent unemployment in six years a “stretch target”.

The Queensland Plan summit is held in Brisbane.

Daylight saving hits the agenda and is quickly knocked back down.

The government passes laws which would enable it to overrule a court’s decision and keep declared prisoners in jail, in response to Robert John Fardon’s bail application

A war of words is sparked between the government and the judiciary when the Premier accuses judges of “living in ivory towers”.

Ros Bates apologises to parliament for claiming she was a registered nurse

Barry O’Sullivan’s appointment to the Senate is delayed until at least February.

The independent remuneration tribunal returns with its decision on politician’s salaries – they receive a 5. 35 per cent increase

Acting CMC head, Ken Levy, writes an opinion piece in support of the government’s bikie legislation


November 2013 – last parliamentary sittings for the year

The CMC parliamentary oversight committee calls Dr Levy forward for a public hearing to ask if he had any contact with anyone in the government before writing his opinion piece. He says he did not.

Further PCMC hearings are held in secret. Labor, including PCMC members, begin calling for Dr Levy to resign from his position.

A war of words breaks out between the government and the PCMC. The committee releases transcripts of hearings with Dr Levy and the head of the premier’s media unit which appear to contradict each other.

The PCMC recommends the Dr Levy investigation be taken over by a select ethics committee.

The government agrees and then sacks the entire PCMC membership. It later names a new committee, where a LNP MP holds the controlling vote.

Calls are made to reinstate the state’s house of review.

The Fair Work Harmonisation law is passed.

Steve Irwin’s Reserve is granted protection from mining

New industrial relation laws are passed six weeks after they were first introduced.

Changes to the state’s cycling laws are flagged – including a 1m safe passing distance for motorists.

Campbell Newman breaks his silence on Clive Palmer and reveals the reason for the party fall out was Mr Palmer wanted preferential treatment, which had been speculated about when Mr Palmer resigned from the party the previous year.

Michael Caltabiano is cleared of any wrong doing by the parliamentary ethics committee.

Scott Driscoll resigns from parliament ahead of an expulsion vote, after the parliamentary ethics committee found him guilty of contempt of parliament and misleading the house. He is called before the Bar of parliament to give his side of the story and later fined $90,000.

Mr Driscoll’s wife, Emma, is charged over her alleged role in her husband’s business dealings.

The premier is threatened by an activist from the online group Anonymous via an online video which goes viral over the government’s bikie laws.

Thousands of people protest the bikie laws.


December 2013

Asset sales are put firmly back on the agenda.

The Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service loses all funding and closes.

The Plenary Group are announced the PPP contract winner to build 10 new state schools by 2019.

The mid-year budget review is released. Debt is revised down, but so is revenue.

The government signs an education funding deal with the LNP federal government – $794 million over four years.

QCA releases two draft determination of electricity prices for the upcoming financial year, one with the carbon tax repealed and one with it remaining in place – both mean an increase.

CITEC is put up for sale by the government.

Scoping studies are ordered for assets the government is considering selling, if given a mandate at the next election.

Campbell Newman says the government “intends” on going full term.

Tension between the judiciary and the government continues to simmer.

The Royal Commission into the Rudd government home insulation program begins in Brisbane. Rudd and Garrett could be called.

Minor parties begin making preference deal plans for the next state election.

The government responds to the Carmody report.

The Auditor-General releases a report which finds contestability may not achieve the government’s “desired outcomes”.

The CMC finds no evidence of electoral bribery in the Flegg Tape investigation. The LNP executive releases a statement which says there is now “no impediment” to Barry O’Sullivan taking his Senate spot.

Robert John Fardon, the man who sparked the government’s sex offender laws, allowing it to keep certain prisoners in jail regardless of the court’s decision, is released on parole. The court declares the government’s legislation “invalid”.

The CMC releases a statement that on advice from the DPP, prosecution of Michael Caltabiano would “not have reasonable prospects of success” and therefore no criminal charges will be laid.

The Brisbane Times

Doctors urge care during heatwave

January 4, 2014 – 12:01AM

Cameron Atfield

Brisbane Times and Sun-Herald journalist


As Queenslanders brace for summer’s hottest days so far, the state’s medical fraternity has urged residents to look after themselves and each other as temperatures nudge 40 degrees.

With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a top of 41 degrees in Brisbane on Saturday and as high as 45 in Longreach and Winton, doctors are bracing for a spike in heat-related illnesses and injuries.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Christian Rowan said major health risks accompanied the heatwave that was gripping the state.

Brisbane is set to swelter through its hottest day of the year.

Brisbane is set to swelter through its hottest day of the year. Photo: Michelle Smith

“The extreme heat we’re seeing at the moment can certainly predispose people to becoming dehydrated and suffering from heat related exhaustion and stress,” he said.


“Those people particularly at risk are the elderly or those who may have chronic complex diseases.

“Heat related stress can also affect young children, those who are pregnant and also babies, so it’s very important that fluids are maintained, particularly if people are outside in the middle of the day.”



Dr Rowan said children and pets should never be left in a stationary car, which could result in death.

He said it was also important to check up on elderly neighbours and relatives, who may be forced to suffer in silence and in isolation within their homes.

“Even though they may be inside, temperatures inside houses can become significantly elevated when the outside temperature is quite hot as well and they can become dehydrated indoors,” he said.

If going outside, Dr Rowan said the old “slip, slop, slap” adage was as relevant now as it was in the ’80s when the campaign first started.

And the consecutive days of stifling heat, particularly in western Queensland, only added to the medico’s concern.

“If people aren’t hydrating adequately every day, it can have a cumulative affect with additional strain on their heart and kidneys in particular,” Dr Rowan said.

The Brisbane Times