Australia news live: Steven Miles to be Queensland’s next premier after Shannon Fentiman concedes | Australia news – Freedom Voice


Steven Miles to be Queensland’s next premier

Amy Remeikis

Amy Remeikis

Queensland’s next premier will be Steven Miles after his opponent for the leadership, Shannon Fentiman, conceded she doesn’t have the numbers.

Fentiman posted the following on Facebook on Tuesday morning:

It is clear that a majority of Labor members of parliament will support Steven Miles to be the next leader of the Labor party, and therefore the next premier of Queensland.

As a result, I will not be standing as a candidate for the Labor leadership when caucus meets on Friday.

I want to congratulate Steven and offer my support in the work ahead.
Steven is a longstanding friend, and he will have my full support as premier of Queensland.

Now is the time for unity, and Labor’s focus must turn to delivering for Queenslanders and retaining government at next year’s election.

There is so much at stake for our great state, and Queenslanders cannot afford an LNP government of cuts and chaos.

I will continue working tirelessly to ensure the return of a Labor government for Queensland.

Key events

BoM update on Tropical Cyclone Jasper

The Bureau of Meteorology has published a new update on Tropical Cyclone Jasper:

The cyclone is currently a category one system, with sustained winds of 85km/h at its centre and wind gusts of up to 120km/h. It is around 265km east north-east of Cairns currently, and 350km north north-east of Townsville.

It is moving north- west at 14km/h. It is expected to reintensify today as it moves toward the coast and cross into a category two system tomorrow, most likely between Cooktown and Innisfail.

Artist Mike Parr has spoken to ABC RN after he was dropped by Melbourne gallery owner Anna Schwartz after a 36-year relationship.

This followed a piece from him titled “Sunset Claws”, commenting on Israel’s military action in Gaza. Schwartz spoke to ABC radio yesterday, which you can read about below:

Essentially, Schwartz said she was not censoring art but “when it got to the point of the word Nazi and the word Israel being on the wall together, whatever the intention … the co-appearance of the word Nazi with the word Israel made me sick”.

Speaking to ABC RN today, Parr argued he “never brought together the word Israel and Nazi”. He said he was not trying to provoke Schwartz with the piece, but provoke empathy more broadly to the plight of Palestinians.

Parr also said he feels censored:

Anna’s response was disproportionate … No one else’s experience of this work has been … invited. No one else has been asked what they thought of my performance.

Asked about Schwartz’s response in the context of intergenerational trauma – as she lost relatives in the Holocaust – Parr acknowledged this, but added: “What about the trauma being inflicted on the Palestinian people?”

Disaster support higher priority than Queensland leadership contest, mayor says

Asked about news that Queensland health minister Shannon Fentiman has dropped out of the race to become premier, paving the way for Steven Miles to take the state’s top job, Douglas Shire’s mayor, Michael Kerr. said disaster support is the priority.

Doesn’t matter who is at the top of the hill as long as we as locals are getting that support and that’s what is most important.

Q: Has it been a frustrating or concerning at all for you that there is a change in leadership at this time?

It hasn’t really affected us in this short period of time, no.

Douglas Shire mayor details cyclone preparations

The Douglas Shire mayor, Michael Kerr, just spoke to ABC News Breakfast about community sentiment as Tropical Cyclone Jasper approaches the Queensland coast.

The latest from the Bureau of Meteorology suggests the cyclone could make landfall at Port Douglas tomorrow around lunchtime. Kerr said the last couple of days has involved preparing properties and issuing sandbags, with more than 5,000 issued.

He said reef boats have been “packed away in the groves” to ensure they remain safe. Businesses are expecting to get their boats back out on Thursday and operating by Friday, Kerr said.

The closure of a couple of days doesn’t have that much impact (on businesses) but certainly if it goes any longer than that, it does start affecting the region.

Kerr suggested the area is protected by a mountain range nearby:

Once it’s passed across (and) goes inland, then they’ll be able to get the boats back out and hopefully by Friday have operations back to normal.

Steven Miles to be Queensland’s next premier

Amy Remeikis

Amy Remeikis

Queensland’s next premier will be Steven Miles after his opponent for the leadership, Shannon Fentiman, conceded she doesn’t have the numbers.

Fentiman posted the following on Facebook on Tuesday morning:

It is clear that a majority of Labor members of parliament will support Steven Miles to be the next leader of the Labor party, and therefore the next premier of Queensland.

As a result, I will not be standing as a candidate for the Labor leadership when caucus meets on Friday.

I want to congratulate Steven and offer my support in the work ahead.
Steven is a longstanding friend, and he will have my full support as premier of Queensland.

Now is the time for unity, and Labor’s focus must turn to delivering for Queenslanders and retaining government at next year’s election.

There is so much at stake for our great state, and Queenslanders cannot afford an LNP government of cuts and chaos.

I will continue working tirelessly to ensure the return of a Labor government for Queensland.

Volunteers and disaster responders head north in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Jasper

70 SES volunteers and 25 disaster assistance response teams have departed Brisbane airport this morning, travelling 1,400km north to help far north Queensland residents as Tropical Cyclone Jasper approaches the coast:

Police radios to fall silent one year on from killings

At 4.36pm today, police radios across Queensland will fall silent for a minute. The time marks exactly one year since constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, jumped a fence at a property at Wieambilla, west of Brisbane, before Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey Train gunned them down in cold blood.

A year on from their heinous killings, emotions are still raw as the Arnold and McCrow families approach a second Christmas without their loved ones. The Arnold family has released a statement via the Queensland police, writing that 12 December 2022 is a day their family will never forget:

A day when incomprehensible evil murdered our beautiful son and brother, for simply doing his job.

Matt had no chance of survival on that day, and this makes his death so unfathomable. It is so cruel and unfair that we never got to say goodbye. We miss Matt’s laugh, kindness, empathy and willingness to help.

These traits were what made him such an excellent police officer and made him love his job.

Queensland police officers pay their respects at a memorial service last December.
Queensland police officers pay their respects at a memorial service last December. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

The statement also paid tribute to the McCrow family:

On this day, and every day, we think of Rachel McCrow and her family. Every day we are in awe of Rachel’s bravery and courage.

We will forever stand with the McCrow family in the pain they feel with losing Rachel. We thank both of Matt and Rachel’s friends and colleagues who have shared stories about their friendship, work shenanigans and fierce board game battles.

– with AAP

Welfare groups urge more social housing as homelessness data shows extent of crisis

New data has been released today showing the extent of the homelessness crisis across NSW and Victoria.

New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that 68,400 people used homelessness services in NSW in the most recent financial year.

In a statement from Homeless NSW, it noted that demand was so high less than half (49%) of people who needed emergency accomodation were able to receive it. And only 21% of people needing longterm accomodation were helped. CEO Dom Rowe said:

(The government) must also urgently build more social housing which is at historically low levels. This will provide stable homes to people in need, take heat out of the private rental market and ease pressure on our schools, hospitals and community services over the long term.

Meanwhile, Victorian data shows one in 67 people received help for homelessness assistance, compared to the national average of one in 95. 34,708 Victorians sought help from frontline services because of housing affordability stress in the year to 2022-23, an increase of 2,287.

CEO Deborah Di Natale said another 60,000 new public and community homes were needed over the next decade to turn the housing and homelessness crisis around.

Heavy fog affects Melbourne airport

As we flagged earlier, heavy fog across Melbourne has been impacting traffic – and Melbourne airport has been impacted as well. 28 cancellations have occurred so far today, and there were 105 domestic cancellations yesterday – roughly 15% of the airport’s schedule.

It is understood flights are operating normally but if the fog persists, arrivals could be delayed, which could then lead to departure delays. A Melbourne airport spokesperson said:

Fog and low cloud may reduce the number of aircraft able to land at Melbourne airport this morning, which could result in delays.

We would advise passengers travelling today to check with their airline for any changes to flight departure times.

New Services Australia CEO appointed

Senior public servant David Hazlehurst has been appointed as Services Australia’s new CEO.

Announced today by the Albanese government, Hazlehurst joins the agency following the retirement of inaugural CEO Rebecca Skinner PSM earlier this year.

Hazlehurst has held senior roles in the public service sector for more than 30 years, including in the department of the prime minister and cabinet. The government services minister, Bill Shorten, said:

Services Australia has responded to significant challenges and undergone a raft of changes since Labor came to government, including the conclusion of the robodebt era of administration.

Mr Hazlehurst will be a steady hand to lead the agency through the next phase and I have full trust in his professionalism and ability to put our must vulnerable Australians first.

I thank acting CEO Chris Birrer for his steadfast and passionate leadership in this important transitionary period, following Ms Skinner’s retirement.

Shorten said the selection panel for Hazlehurst’s appointment included a welfare advocate, for the first time in the social services portfolio. His tenure will begin in early January.

Husic calls out ‘McCarthyism’ in relation to people expressing concern on what is happening in Gaza

Q: You’ve also said that some of those expressing concern for Palestinians are facing our generation of McCarthyism. What do you mean?

Ed Husic:

I mean, we have journalists sign up to a letter that said we need to make sure that the way that we’re reporting the conflict is accurate, and they’ve been taken off writing stories in relation to the conflict by their editorial boards. Doctors who joined in a petition that in particular focused on the humanitarian impact in Gaza, I’ve got records now, are being professionally investigated for their participation in that … and you saw what happened with the Sydney Theatre Company too where three of the actors involved in the performance of The Seagull had basically triggered a furore, as it was being described, by wearing Palestinian scarves.

And the question being, then, if people express a view, and have the decency to show heart in relation to what’s happening in Gaza and calling out the need to recognise humanity, then (are) effectively professionally blacklisted, I don’t think that’s right.

I think people should be able to express their concern and stand with humanity and say that they are very concerned about what they’re seeing in Gaza, and they shouldn’t have to face professional retribution as a response.

Ed Husic calls for second ceasefire

Ed Husic clearly said that a ceasefire needs to occur:

I think the thing that we do need to focus on is to ensure that a ceasefire can occur where it occurs after the release of those hostages.

Hamas can play a role in accelerating towards the ceasefire by releasing hostages and Israel needs to cease the action that it’s undertaking that has seen a phenomenal loss of life in that part of the world.

Husic: ‘These kids are not Hamas’

Q: Is Israel respecting international humanitarian law?

Ed Husic:

Ultimately, I would not be surprised if courts will be called to make a response to the very question that you have put.

He pointed to the deaths of children amid the war and the heartbreaking position that parents and families are being put in:

I think one of the hardest things to learn about was parents writing the names of their children on the soles of their feet because they they figured that the next morning, that they may or may not be there, and they need to be identified.

If you put yourself in a place of a parent having to make that choice and recognising effectively that they have surrendered their ability to protect their child, that’s pretty tough. And I think a lot of parents can relate to that. And they don’t have to be Palestinian to do so.

I think we’ve got to do better – those kids are not Hamas and they should not have had to bore the brunt of that military action.

Ed Husic says innocent Palestinians have paid ‘too heavy a price’ for Hamas atrocities

Labor MP Ed Husic just spoke to ABC RN about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

He said that Palestinians have paid “too heavy a price” for the atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October, and he is concerned by the amount of people losing their lives “that are innocent and have nothing to do with the barbarity of Hamas”.

There are people across the world who are deeply concerned by what they’ve seen on their screens, what they’ve learned has happened and I don’t think that’s in Israel’s long term interests.

Husic said we cannot have a situation where people are told to leave the north of Gaza and go south, and then we see “the bombing affect the southern areas where people were told to move to”.

There is that requirement, I think, to observe international humanitarian law in particular, that involves not targeting hospitals, that involves not targeting civilians, and I think we should never hesitate – and I don’t think we have in our foreign minister – the emphasis repeatedly on respecting international humanitarian law.

Jason Clare on next year’s education funding agreement

The education minister Jason Clare said next year, ministers will need to look at the recommendations and work out what is put in the next national school reform agreement – with funding tied to reforms that will make a difference for children.

Those negotiations will take probably the best part of next year.

The report recommends a 10-year plan is made, and Clare said any agreement needs to be linked with the funding put in by the states and commonwealth to make sure public schools are fully funded, as well as any reforms.

There’s a direct link between a drop in the number of people finishing high school and more people falling behind at primary school. So that’s why I say this can’t just be about money, it can’t be a blank cheque, we need to make sure we tie funding to the sort of reforms that will help children to catch up and to keep up and finish school.

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