FORMER Navy seaman and Clive Palmer’s man-for-Moreton Jeremy Davey wants parliament recalled to debate refugee policy before “lives are lost at sea”.
The Palmer United Party federal candidate for Moreton spent much of his 18-year Navy career patrolling Australia’s northern waters and said a turn-back-the-boats policy would be reckless and diabolic if implemented.
“In my opinion, and in my experience, turning back the boats increases the danger to our men and women,” Mr Davey said.
“Boats are being overcrowded and people have a high anxiety. They really want to get here.
“If the Coalition government is elected and they implement this policy, without a doubt I can see refugee boats being scuttled and people being thrown into the ocean because they’re going to want to be rescued by the Australian authorities.”
ELECTION officials will arm voters with magnifying glasses at polling booths to deal with Queensland’s burgeoning Senate ballot paper.
With up to 50 political parties planning to field candidates for the state’s six contestable Senate seats, a voter would need hawk-eye vision to read the anticipated tiny-font, metre-long Senate ballot paper.
Australian Electoral Commission confirmed on Tuesday it planned to order enough magnifying glasses for every voting screen in Queensland.
AEC spokesman Evan Ekin-Smyth said it was difficult to find a printer capable of printing millions of ballot papers larger than one metre at short notice, meaning the font size must shrink.
“We can only hypothesise based on the number of parties,” he said. “If we have 100 or 120 (senate candidates) it could get down to 7pt or 6.5pt font.”
Former porn star and AFL legend Warwick Capper says Wayne Swan is “like watching grass grow” after being announced as the The Burger Urge Party’s candidate for the Brisbane seat of Lilley.
Famous for distributing condoms to West End homes as a publicity stunt, fast food franchise Burger Urge says it registered the party with the Australian Electoral Commission and plans to run a number of candidates at next election, including Mr Capper in Lilley.
On Friday Mr Capper – best known for his stint with the Sydney Swans and being kicked of Big Brother for nudity – declared himself “the face of small business” and said he wanted to introduce a referendum to recognised multiculturalism in the constitution.
“I’ve got a bit of colour in myself anyway and a great suntan so I’ve got to stand up for the common man and dark people,” he said. “I’ve got a bit of aboriginal in me.”
Mr Capper said he lost 5kg in six months from eating Burger Urge burgers and plans to open coffee shop in Melbourne.
THE rates bill on an average owner-occupied home in Ipswich rose by 3.63 per cent to $1112.76. The rates rise was part of Ipswich City Council’s $378 million “doing more with less” budget, handed down by Mayor Paul Pisasale last Wednesday.
Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said it was a moderate rates increase for difficult economic times.
“We’ve tried to keep the rate rise to a minimum but keep services,” he said. “People never like paying more but we’ve kept it within the level of inflation.”
Also on the rise is Council’s debt, now at $432.9 million, up $13.8 million. Council’s long-term projections expect that debt to be reduced to $330.5 million by 2022-23. Councillor David Morrison, Division 1, defended the debt, saying it is under control.
RAIL side residents in Yeronga and Yeerongpilly have voiced support for a Coalition alternative to the stalled $5.5 billion Cross River Rail project.
Yeronga District Residents Association and Cross River Rail Action Group member Peter West has backed the Coalition’s plan to build a major interstate freight network along the Logan and Gateway motorways to the Port of Brisbane, effectively freeing up urban tracks for passenger rail.
The alternate freight route could forego the need to haul coal and freight carriages along the Ipswich and Tennyson railway lines which cut through high-density residential suburbs such as Goodna, Corinda, Oxley, Darra, Yeronga and even through Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Griffith electorate.
Mr West said the freight plan, floated by The Nationals leader Warren Truss, would create heavy-gauge freight tracks from Rosewood to Kagaru, up to Larapinta and along the Logan and Gateway motorways.
“Freight is noisy, it’s dirty and it should not go through populated areas because people don’t want to be woken up by freight trains. It’s disturbing… plus there’s the coal dust problem,” Mr West said.
IPSWICH City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale would rest easy knowing children are not drowning in Robelle Domain Parklands after talk of installing a South Bank-style beach there was quashed.
Federal and local politicians and representatives of Springfield Land Corporation braved grey skies and muddy conditions yesterday to turn the first soggy sod on the $10 million stage two parklands projects which was widely anticipated to contain a beach feature.
But with the State Government foregoing its $5 million contribution to the project and mounting concerns about the ongoing cost and liability of maintaining a beach has tempered expectations.
“We don’t want to duplicate South Bank; what we want to do is something we’ve seen over at Jamison Square in Portland, Oregon,” Cr Pisasale said. “For us to duplicate and copy South Bank is just reinventing the wheel.”
Gillard deserter and Blair MP Shayne Neumann has defended his vote to reinstall Kevin Rudd as Prime Minster and reasserted his support for the carbon price.
After being sworn into the Rudd Ministry as Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and for Health and Ageing, Mr Neumann said Mr Rudd was Labor’s best hope of electoral victory against Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Mr Neumann voted against Mr Rudd in the 2012 leadership ballot and until recently maintained his support for former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who visited his electorate a number of times while in office.
“I made a pragmatic, realistic and practical decision that I thought Kevin was the best person to win us the election,” he said.