Big coal mine opposed by Greenies gets a go-ahead from a Leftist State government
Royalties are a tax and seeking a taxbreak while an enterprise gets going is normal and may even be offered by a government
The $16 billion Adani coal mining project is back on track after the Indian resources giant agreed to a royalties deal with the Queensland government.
It comes a week after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reportedly backflipped on a deal because of divisions inside her government, which lead to a snap cabinet meeting on Friday.
Ministers unanimously agreed the company would not be given a royalties holiday on its proposed operation, and on Tuesday evening Adani announced it had agreed to the deal.
A week of warring among Labor factions was sparked when details of Ms Palaszczuk's original agreement with the company surfaced.
Under that deal, Adani would have had pay only $2 million a year over the first seven years of the mine's operation, which could have cost Queensland taxpayers up to $320 million.
No details of the new deal were available due to commercial reasons, an Adani spokesman told AAP on Tuesday evening. "The royalties arrangement means the project is back on track to generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in regional Queensland," the company said in a statement. "This shows a strong commitment by the state government to the project and is a benchmark decision to take this project forward."
The board of Adani's parent company will consider the deal at its next meeting, the statement said.
On Saturday, Ms Palaszczuk said her government had worked "night and day" to finalise the new framework, but denied she had backflipped on a previous deal she had struck with the firm.
Deported: Sex creep taxi driver to be kicked out of Australia
SEX creep taxi driver Jagdeep Singh is finally being kicked out of Australia. Several Australian Border Force officers grabbed him at his Lalor home and put him in detention prior to his deportation back to India.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal foiled Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s first attempt to get rid of Singh after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a female passenger in December 2015.
Singh appealed against the visa cancellation decision made by a delegate for Mr Dutton. AAT senior member Miriam Holmes then overturned the delegate’s deportation decision in November last year and reinstated Singh’s visa.
She did so despite making a formal finding that Singh committed “a significant sexual offence involving a vulnerable member of the public while the applicant was engaged as a taxi driver”.
Mr Dutton last night exercised his power to overrule the AAT and ordered that Singh be detained by Australian Border Force officers and deported. A spokesman for Mr Dutton confirmed to the Herald Sun that Singh’s visa had been cancelled again.
Ms Holmes gave Singh, 34, his visa back in November last year, despite finding “it was apparent to the Tribunal that the applicant showed no remorse in relation to the criminal offence”.
In her written decision outlining why she overturned the deportation decision of Mr Dutton’s delegate, Ms Holmes said the cancellation of the visa had adversely affected Singh’s ability to manage his psychological condition with his treating psychologist.
She also said Singh’s wife had demonstrated depressive symptoms require anti-depression medication and would suffer emotional hardship if her husband’s visa was cancelled.
The decision noted that if Singh’s visa were cancelled he would become an “unlawful noncitizen” and might be liable for detention and possible removal from Australia.
Singh arrived in Australia from India in 2008 on a student visa as a dependent of his wife and started work as a taxi driver in Melbourne in 2011.
Singh’s victim hailed his cab outside Crown casino and asked Singh to driver her home to Clayton. She asked him to start the cab meter, but Singh replied for her not to worry and that something could be worked out later.
While Singh was driving he used his left hand to reach behind him to grab her leg and touch her hand. She repeatedly said “no” to Singh before eventually succeeding in pushing his hand away.
When Singh drove into the driveway of her home she put money on the centre console and got out of the taxi.
Singh jumped out of the cab and put his arms around the woman and hugged her close to his body. He told her he didn’t want her money and said “please, let’s work something out”.
She told him “no” and that he should take the money, at which point he kissed her on the neck.
The woman twisted her body to get away from Singh, but as she got to the gate he grabbed her from behind and pressed himself up against her.
She managed to get away for him again, told him to get back in the cab and leave her alone.
As she opened her front door he pushed her inside against a staircase and tried to kiss her neck and face.
Singh ran off after her screams alerted her housemate to the sexual attack.
He was caught and pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the woman and was given an 18-month community corrections order in December 2015 requiring him to do 150 hours of unpaid community service.
Australia plans to deny passports to convicted paedophiles
Convicted paedophiles would be denied passports in Australia under a "world-first" plan proposed by the government.
The proposal, to be introduced to parliament, would prohibit registered sex offenders from travelling overseas.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said it would affect about 20,000 offenders who had completed punishments but remained under monitoring by authorities. Sex offenders would be able to apply for passports if they were no longer on the register, the government said.
"No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids," Mr Keenan said.
About 800 registered sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia in 2016, according to the government. The government said about 3,200 sex offenders would never be eligible for passports because they were being monitored for life.
Mr Keenan described child sex tourism as an "absolutely abhorrent crime".
The proposal was reached with independent Senator Derryn Hinch, long time campaigner for tougher laws to deal with sex offenders. Mr Hinch said the proposal would protect children.
"You go to Bali, you go to Phnom Penh, you go to Siem Reap, and you see these middle-aged Australian men there, Caucasian men, with a young local kid - they are not there to get a suntan," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Last year, Australian man Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis was convicted of sexually abusing 11 girls in Indonesia and jailed for 15 years.
Apple-picking robot targets labour-hungry fruit sector in Australia
Goodbye to immigrant workers?
Many fruit growers across Australia were left scrambling to find pickers this season and were forced to leave fruit on the trees to rot. Would harvest be less stressful if they had a robot to do the work instead?
A team of engineers from California are close to commercialising a machine that strips a canopy of apples using a vacuum arm.
For the past five years they have been working on the prototype in orchards in Washington State and, more recently, at Warragul in south-east Victoria.
Abundant Robotics chief executive Dan Steere said the invention may just be the solution to a global labour problem. "The industry struggles to attract a large enough labour force, even when they're paying pretty high wages," he said. "This has been a growing problem for several decades in the US as well as Australia and other places.
"I think automation offers the promise of being able to relax that constraint from an industry that without it, would struggle to remain viable."
The robot the company has developed can drive itself down an orchard row of apples and look for fruit on a trellis up to 3 metres tall.
It is programmed to select fruit for colour, then using its arm, sucks in a piece of fruit off a branch.
Mr Steere said the goal was to have the robot matching the quality of fruit picked by people. "When people are picking apples today, there's a certain amount of damage that happens as you pick them or empty them from the bag into the bin," he said.
"In Victoria this past year, we were comparing the rate of damage which we saw with our machine. "It was actually measured by the packing house at 1.8 per cent to the human crews' picking.
"So that level is actually a little bit less than the amount of damage that they normally see from people picking fruit."
Tasmanian orchardist Scott Price thought he would never see an apple-picking robot in his lifetime. He reckons it will not be long before they will be driving up and down orchards on the Apple Isle. "A lot of new orchards would lend themselves very well to picking," Mr Price said.
"The biggest fear we have in the orchard game is people injuring themselves. "If the machine injures itself we'll just take it back to the workshop and try to fix it, so that would be a bonus."
Mr Price said not every farm would have the robots in the next five to 10 years, but bigger properties may. "And there may be a machine shared amongst growers," he said. "Technology will change very rapidly, I'm sure."
Abundant Robotics' commercial release of its robotic apple picker is planned for next year.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here