Part of popular Brisbane bikeway closed for 12 months

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By Ruth McCosker

Part of one of Brisbane’s most popular bikeways will be closed for 12 months from Monday.

The Bicentennial Bikeway will be closed from the Goodwill Bridge to behind 1 William Street as part of an upgrade linked to the Queen’s Wharf development.

The design plans for the new section of the bikeway previously sparked concerns from the Brisbane City Council and cycling groups but the state government has announced a feasibility study to work out the design.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane said that when the upgrade was done the 500-metre section of bikeway would be transformed to include a three-metre-wide separated bikeway with an improved line of sight, the removal of dangerous pinch points and an adjoining two-metre-wide pedestrian path.

“In addition to this, a dedicated mangrove walk will be constructed on the river as a scenic walk for pedestrians,” Queen’s Wharf Brisbane’s bikeway fact sheet said.

Users of the Bicentennial Bikeway will be diverted along Gardens Point Road to connect between the Goodwill Bridge and Bicentennial Bikeway near Margaret Street.

The speed limit on the shared zone has been reduced to 20km/h.

The QUT CityCat terminal will operate as usual.

Star Entertainment Group managing director Queensland Geoff Hogg said safety during construction was the priority.

“The alternative route has been developed based on independent traffic studies, traffic engineering

reports, and consultation with bicycle groups, which have also contributed to the many safety
improvements that we will be making along Gardens Point Road,” he said.

Bicycle Queensland chief executive Anne Savage said the group worked closely with Destination Brisbane Consortium and other cycling groups to seek feedback and incorporate suggestions into the final diversion design.

“The diversion along Gardens Point Road is a safe, seamless solution for cyclists and pedestrians, which has been achieved through strong community consultation and engagement,” she said.

It was expected the diversions would be in place until mid-2019.


Source :  The Brisbane Times

Arnold with a plan to end goalscoring worries

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Australia’s new head coach Graham Arnold will lead the Socceroos to defend their AFC Asian Cup title, believing that he can end their goalscoring woes on the back of an early exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Australia suffered defeats against France and Peru, and drew 1-1 with Peru, ending their Russia 2018 campaign at the bottom of Group C.

Replacing Bert van Marwijk immediately after the World Cup, Arnold anticipates a better performance now that he is at the helm for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup next January in the United Arab Emirates, revealing that he would first tackle the psychology of his players.

“A lot of it these days is about the mind and what the mind tells you,” said the former Sydney FC head coach.

“I think that’s the big improvement that you’ve seen in England. A lot of the top sides now use sports psychologists for the players; there’s a lot of negativity in social media around players and what they read. It can affect people.”

The 54-year-old former Socceroos international, remains confident of the Australian talent on the pitch saying: “I just think that there’s a lot of talk that we don’t score goals, I think we’ve got the players there, but then it’s about the belief and backing yourself and giving yourself the opportunity to make a big impact.”

Arnold, who witnessed Australia’s performance in Russia, further revealed that his charges would focus on a possession-based game.

“Maintaining possession and making the opposition work – obviously the ball never gets tired – is something that is shown especially with the bigger team, the higher teams, it’s a great tactic for them.”

Australia are in Group B at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 along with Jordan, Palestine and Syria. They open their campaign on January 6 against Jordan.

Photo: AFP


Source :  Asian Football Confederation Website

Brisbane councillor accused of harassment under investigation

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By Ruth McCosker

A Brisbane City Councillor has been called a “disgrace” and is under investigation by the council following claims they were unfit to hold their position.

Jonathan Sri was elected as the councillor for The Gabba in March 2016 and since his election while fulfilling his role as a councillor he has also attracted attention for attempting to break into state-owned property, staging protests and is well known as the rapping rainbow scarf man.

The conduct of Green councillor Jonathan Sri is under investigation by the council's chief executive.
The conduct of Green councillor Jonathan Sri is under investigation by the council’s chief executive.

Photo: Bradley Kanaris

The first-time councillor, who lives on a houseboat, is currently the subject of a councillor conduct review complaint and is also under investigation for allegedly harassing contractors at a council road project.

Cr Sri said he was taking the negative comments and complaints in his stride.

“I think it is inevitable that when you’re pushing for the kinds of radical changes that we’re talking about that there is going to be a bit of backlash,” he said.

The council received a complaint about Cr Sri following a protest over the safety of cyclists he organised on May 2 near the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Cyclists staged a "die-in" protest during Brisbane's peak hour traffic on May 2.
Cyclists staged a “die-in” protest during Brisbane’s peak hour traffic on May 2.

Photo: Amy Mitchell-Whittington

“A member of the public wrote to the council complaining that you have abused your position [as councillor] and in effect condoned child abuse by encouraging members of the public to impede access to a life-saving facility,” a letter from council’s chief executive Colin Jensen to Cr Sri said.

“The member of the public further alleges that you are a disgrace to the Brisbane City Council and are unfit to hold the position you do.

“I have decided to refer the complaint to the Councillor Conduct Review Panel.”

Cr Sri said the protest was 100 per cent legal, had a permit from police and that police were in attendance controlling the intersection.

“Any other councillor who organises an event that blocks a road … if you get the permits and have the support of the police and the council hasn’t raised any objection there seems to be nothing to worry about,” he said.

“There really seems to be a double standard.”

A council spokeswoman said Mr Jensen would advise both the alleged offending councillor and the complainant in writing of the outcome of the assessment of the complaint.

Mr Jensen is also investigating a formal complaint from a contractor for the council-led Wynnum Road Corridor Upgrade project.

The contractor Fulton Hogan alleged Cr Sri was on site on May 14, May 31 and June 13, following and filming workers.

An artist's impression of the proposed stage one of the Wynnum Road upgrade, showing the intersection with Heidelberg Street, East Brisbane.

An artist’s impression of the proposed stage one of the Wynnum Road upgrade, showing the intersection with Heidelberg Street, East Brisbane.

Photo: Brisbane City Council


The council’s infrastructure chairwoman Amanda Cooper said the complaint stated Cr Sri had harassed the workforce and the contractor alleged that a trainee employee had hidden from Cr Sri for a two-hour period when he was on site.

“Additionally, both council officers and contractor employees have reported threats being made against the project works, as well as equipment and signage for the project,” she said.

Cr Sri admitted he was on site on some of the dates the council alleged he was, but not all.

“I think the longest I have filmed any work down there has been 30 seconds and I never film workers close up,” he said.

Cr Sri confirmed he was on site about 2.15am on May 14 due to noisy night works and admitted he had an “angry conversation” with workers but said he would not describe it as harassment.

“If there is noisy, out-of-hours construction work I need to document that as the council won’t take action unless there is video evidence,” he said.

Cr Sri said despite the recent complaints about his behaviour he overwhelmingly received positive feedback from residents about his leadership.

“I will be running in the 2020 election and am feeling very motivated and passionate about it,” he said.

Source :  The Brisbane Times

Man fights for life, three flee scene after car rolls north of Brisbane

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By Toby Crockford


First published at 

A man is fighting for life in hospital after the car he was driving rolled in the Moreton Bay region.

Emergency services were called to the scene at the intersection of Michael Avenue and Morayfield Road in Morayfield about 5.20am.

Police said when officers arrived it was believed three occupants of the car had fled the scene and left the driver inside the wreckage with multiple serious injuries.

The driver, a man believed to be about 25 years old, was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service.

The crash scene near KFC Morayfield.

The crash scene near KFC Morayfield. Photo: Facebook

Source :  The Brisbane Times

Is this what motivated David Leyonhjelm to insult Sarah Hanson-Young?

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By Kasey Edwards

Sarah Hanson-Young says David Leyonhjelm hurled sexist abuse at her during a debate on violence against women.

Sarah Hanson-Young says David Leyonhjelm hurled sexist abuse at her during a debate on violence against women. Photo: Fairfax Media

If you’ve ever wondered why libertarians are predominantly privileged white men, you need look no further than David Leyonhjelm’s recent “contribution” to Australian politics.

The Liberal Democrats Senator and free speech advocate thought an appropriate expression of his “free speech” was to engage in a sexually aggressive attack on Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Sarah Hanson-Young accuses David Leyonhjelm of sexist slur

Sarah Hanson-Young accuses David Leyonhjelm of sexist slu

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has accused Senate colleague David Leyonhjelm of hurling a “sexist slur” across the chamber.

Leyonhjelm reportedly yelled that Sarah Hanson-Young “should stop shagging men” and then told her to “f— off” when she confronted him about it.

To make matters worse, the exchange came during a parliamentary debate about women and violence. And being a man of principle, Leyonhjelm is refusing to withdraw his comment or apologise.

In spite of this, Leyonhjelm claims on his website that he could never be a sexist, (or a racist, or homophobic) “because I refuse to define people collectively.”

But that’s not how sexism works. You don’t have to define people collectively to be sexist. A man who appears fixated on denigrating a particular woman who’s in power is just as sexist as one who denigrates them collectively.

And the accumulated weight of a culture of sexism, racism and homophobia isn’t simply erased because someone declares on their website that we’re all individuals and should be judged as such.

Other examples of Leyonhjelm’s great and lofty defence of Australia’s civil liberties show a similar pattern. Exhibit one, his defence of Wicked Campers’ right to paint offensive and sexist slogans on their vans, such as “A wife: an attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done”.

But he wasn’t so committed to The Chaser’s right to free speech when they confronted him about Wicked Campers, telling them to “f-ck off” and then later telling women’s rights activist Melinda Tankard Reist to “Shut the f-ck up.”

Aside from banging on about the size of government, and in Leyonhjelm’s case, relaxing gun laws, libertarians spend their time championing personal freedom. They particularly like to lecture us all about the right to offend as the price of free expression.

But, as we saw in the Senate last week, what libertarians like Leyonhjelm are often fighting for is nothing more than their right to denigrate women (and minorities) as an assertion of their own privilege.

That’s why we didn’t see the likes of David Leyonhjelm going to the barricades to defend Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s freedom of speech when she was attacked for her Facebook post drawing a connection between the suffering of Anzacs and those in other wars.

While Abdel-Magied’s post clearly sparked a ton of offence, it actually had a serious intent. Whether you agree with it or not, Abdel-Magied’s post is the sort of clash of ideas that makes for a robust democracy.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied on Q&A in February.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied on Q&A in February. Photo: ABC

But Leyonhjelm doesn’t seem to have a lot of conviction to defend free speech that doesn’t serve his own interest, or the interests of other white, privileged men. Instead, he uses the freedom he has to try to delegitimate a female political opponent with a sexual slur.

It’s not a coincidence that the few female high-profile libertarians who love to play the Free Speech Card are also white and extremely privileged. As we saw with conservative commentator Prue MacSween who claimed she was “tempted to run over” Yassmin Abdel-Magied in response to her Anzac post.

MacSween defended her threat of violence with, “I think it is sad that people cannot express their opinion in this country… for fear of upsetting the feral trolls.” She had rather less to say about how sad it is that people in this country can’t express an opinion that Prue disagrees with without Prue expressing her desire to kill them.

The libertarian worldview is underpinned by the central idea that everyone enjoys the same privileges of white, able-bodied, straight, middle-class and reasonably educated — or at least loudmouthed — men. Men like David Leyonhjelm, in other words.

It’s a worldview that assumes that there’s a level playing field when it comes to free expression. But that’s not the case. Male politicians are not routinely subjected to sexualised innuendo when they express legitimate views. Nor are their lives made a misery if they enter public debate. The costs — both personal and professional — for women and minorities expressing their views are often much greater than men like Leyonhjelm will ever know.

If Leyonhjelm was paying attention to the debate in the Senate about violence against women, rather than yelling about Senator Hanson-Young’s sexual history, he would know that the world is not an equal place. And his brand of libertarianism makes it even less so.
Source : The Brisbane Times

Light plane crashes after clipping tree on property north-west of Brisbane

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By Toby Crockford

A male pilot had been airlifted to hospital in Brisbane after his light agricultural plane clipped a tree and crashed on a property north-west of Brisbane on Saturday.

Emergency services were called to the crash scene on Malmborg Road in Coominya, about 90 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, about 1.25pm.

The agricultural aircraft crashed in Coominya in the Somerset Region.

The agricultural aircraft crashed in Coominya in the Somerset Region. Photo: 7 News Brisbane – Twitter

The agricultural plane “caught a tree before impacting the ground”, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service.

The pilot, who paramedics described as “an elderly male”, suffered facial and hip injuries and was flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a stable condition.

Neither police or the ATSB were expected to be involved in the investigation into what went wrong.

The aircraft was registered to Recreation Aviation Australia, so RAA were expected to investigate the crash and provide their report to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which will then determine whether any further action was needed.


Source :  The Brisbane Times

Thousands of employers face a $20 billion tax hike under ‘captain’s call’ by Bill Shorten

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By David Crowe & Eryk Bagshaw

Thousands of employers face a $20 billion tax hike under a Labor government in the wake of a shock decision by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to repeal most of the Coalition’s company tax cuts if he wins power, sparking claims his “roll back” plan will punish workers.

The Turnbull government is aiming to mobilise business against the new Labor policy in a bid to warn 20,000 small employers – including local supermarkets, service stations and mechanics – about the hit to their fortunes under a change of government.

Mr Shorten sparked a political furore over his policy pledge as critics accused him of a “captain’s call” that was made without consulting his shadow cabinet or the wider Labor caucus.

Industry chiefs said they wanted an urgent meeting with the Opposition Leader out of concern the move was a blow to confidence that could set tax reform back a decade.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott warned that employers were “stuck in stasis” from the political clash in Canberra when decisions were needed to help the economy grow faster.

“A week of political glory could mean ten years of slow economic growth,” she said.

The government estimates the Labor policy will increase taxes for companies that employ 1.1 million staff, a new target for a Coalition campaign ahead of five byelections on July 28 and the general election to follow.

More than 25 medium sized businesses in Braddon and 40 in Longman – where voters will head back to the polls on July 28 – would be stripped of the planned tax cut, according to a government analysis of Tax Office data.

Labor to repeal tax cuts

A Shorten Labor government would repeal already legislated company tax cuts for businesses turning over between $10 and $50 million.

Any swing against Labor is likely to have policy implications for a looming general election, where hundreds of businesses turning over between $10 million to $50 million in just five marginal seats -including Forde, Cowan Hindmarsh and Capricornia – could be hit by the change.

Fairfax Media has been told of concerns about Mr Shorten’s judgement following his announcement, which took his own colleagues by surprise after months of discussion in the opposition’s shadow ministry.

The government has already legislated cuts to the company tax rate for all companies with annual turnover of up to $50 million, but Mr Shorten revealed on Tuesday he would repeal the cuts going to companies over a $10 million threshold.

While the announcement triggered speculation that Labor might “roll back” the tax cuts to an even lower threshold of $2 million, Fairfax Media understands the $10 million benchmark is the final policy.

Council of Small Business chief Peter Strong warned that any Labor plan to apply a $2 million threshold would be a “declaration of war” on business.

Mr Strong said Labor had introduced more uncertainty into tax policy in a way that would discourage small employers from hiring more staff or turning casual staff into permanent positions.

While the small companies already get a cut in the company tax rate from 30 to 27.5 cents in the dollar, the legislation will extend this to 25 cents in the dollar by 2027. The Labor pledge would restore the 30 per cent rate for all companies over $10 million in turnover.

Mr Shorten said his opposition to the tax cuts was a question of Labor priorities compared to the agenda set by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“I don’t agree with Mr Turnbull that multinationals should get a tax cut,” he said.

“It’s all a matter of values. Now he’s entitled to his opinion, he’s made it very clear – he’s for the top end of town, I’m for our hospitals and school funding,” he said.

But the government rejected Mr Shorten’s claim that companies between $10 million and $50 million in turnover were the “big end of town” when they included family businesses, service stations, local supermarkets and retailers with large sale volumes but slim profit margins.

“Give me a break, they are not multinationals,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison attacked Labor's decision.

Treasurer Scott Morrison attacked Labor’s decision.

Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The move sharpens the political divide on company tax cuts just as Finance Minister Mathias Cormann tries to get the second phase of the plan through the Senate, hoping to cut taxes for all companies after last year securing the cuts for smaller businesses.

The prospects for the bill dimmed on Tuesday when Pauline Hanson’s One Nation hardened its stand against the second phase, leaving Senator Cormann without the numbers needed in the upper house.

The tax cuts already legislated cost $29.8b in foregone revenue over the first decade of the plan, while the unlegislated cuts would sacrifice another $35.6b over the same decade.

The government estimates that a “roll back” of the first phase would mean increasing taxes by $15 billion to $20 billion over the decade, at the cost of companies with turnover of more than $10 million a year.

The tax cuts went to companies with turnover of up to $25 million this year and will be extended to the $50 million threshold on July 1 next week, capturing up to 20,000 businesses according to the government analysis of Treasury and ATO figures.

Source :  The Brisbane Times