Unis urged to resist ‘Chinese influence’
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
Canberra: Australia’s top diplomat has waded into the row over alleged Chinese interference in Australian universities, telling students that silencing debate was “an affront to our values.”
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson made the remarks during a speech to a Chinese Government-funded academic institute in Adelaide over the weekend, the ABC reported.
Ms Adamson told “international students” at the University of Adelaide’s Confucius Institute that “silencing of anyone in our society — from students to lecturers to politicians — is an affront to our values”.
Scott Morrison: GST ‘holding economy back’
Canberra: Treasurer Scott Morrison says Australia’s GST model needs a proper fix not “band-aid” solutions.
It comes after the nation’s key economic adviser found the current system is holding the national economy back.
The Productivity Commission released its initial findings today on the current formula used to calculate the GST carve-up, claiming it was among the fairest in the world.
But the Commission’s draft report on the formula — which is designed to encourage a “fair go” for each state in terms of the services the government is able to provide — is now out of balance and a drag on economic productivity.
Coalition losing ground in regional areas
Canberra: The Coalition is losing ground to Labor in regional Australia, with support dropping to 34 per cent in the third quarter, the latest Newspoll shows.
And despite the government raising its support in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, it has not been able to halt the national slide towards Labor, the poll conducted exclusively for The Australian shows.
Labor continues to lead the Coalition 53 to 47 per cent in two-party-preferred terms. There is also growing support for minor parties, particularly in South Australia.
Malcolm Turnbull continues to lead Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.
Farmers Receive $1M in Quad Bike Safety Rebates
Sydney: NSW farmers are safer on their properties after receiving $1 million in quad bike rebates from the NSW Government’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.
Since 2011, 117 Australians have died in quad bike incidents, including 32 in NSW.
Under the program, farmers can apply for rebates of up to $2,000 towards safer side-by-side vehicles, and new safety equipment for existing quad bikes. They can also attend free quad bike training, after which they will also receive a free helmet.
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said farmers have responded positively, claiming more than 1500 rebates worth $1 million, since the program’s launch in July 2016.
The warning is for parts of the state of Victoria
Melbourne: Australia thunderstorm asthma risk raised to 'moderate'
Locals in an Australian state hit by a thunderstorm asthma outbreak last year have been warned of a "moderate" health risk this week.
Nine people died in Melbourne last November after rain and wind triggered asthma attacks brought on by pollen.
On Sunday, authorities asked people in Victoria to plan for asthma conditions, although they may not eventuate.
Emergency Service Volunteers Honoured at Memorial
Sydney: Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today paid tribute to the men and women who have died while performing duties as emergency service volunteers.
“The Volunteers Memorial pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting others,” Mr Grant said.
“Today we recognise our volunteers for their hard work, courage and commitment. We thank them, their families and employers for their continuing support.”
In NSW more than 88,000 volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES), Volunteer Rescue Association and Marine Rescue NSW answer the call to help when disasters strike.
Tas land returned to traditional owners
Tas: A remote property that's home to several indigenous cultural sites on Tasmania's northwest coast is being returned to its traditional owners.
The Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania has bought the 338 hectare Kings Run property as part of a funding arrangement with organisations including the Bob Brown Foundation.