Class action against government dam operators and more Zedlines

A class action by more than 6,000 Brisbane and Ipswich flood victims against the state of Queensland and dam operators Seqwater and Sunwater began yesterday.

The court case is being held after dam engineers were said to have been “unreasonably concerned” by Bureau of Meteorology warnings at the time of the 2011 Queensland floods, resulting in significant damage to the Wivenhoe dam’s surrounding areas.

Barrister for the plaintiffs, Julian Sexton QC, says that the government and dam operators failed to put in measures to prevent further flooding in the area.
Potential leadership spill for LNP

A leadership spill could be on the cards for the Queensland Liberal Party after their poor performance in the recent state election.

Former LNP leader John-Paul Langbroek, deputy leader Deb Frecklington and Member for Everton Tim Mander have all made phone calls stating their wish to challenge the current leader, Tim Nicholls, for his position.

It is unclear at this stage whether Tim Nicholls will fight to retain his role as LNP leader.

 
Indigenous politicians struggle to confirm citizenship 

Australia’s citizenship drama has resurfaced a legacy of hurt and pain for some indigenous MPs, who have already gone to great lengths to confirm their citizenship.

Recently all parliamentarians have been required to lodge declarations and evidence of their Australian citizenship, including the date and place of birth of parents and grandparents

Some Indigenous politicians struggled to complete documents, as they were unable to give details on where their families were born because the government failed to register births or recognise them as citizens.

Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy describes clarifying her citizenship again as difficult and asks for constitutional recognition for First Nations people.

 

Labour Senator Katy Gallagher facing dual citizenship allegations

Labour Senator Katy Gallagher may be referred to the high court after British authorities have confirmed she was a dual citizen for more than a month following the 2016 federal election.

Earlier this year, Ms Gallagher received legal advice from British and Australian barristers, that confirmed she would not be ruled ineligible to sit in Parliament, as she took all “reasonable steps” to renounce her citizenship.

However, recent documents released to the Senate have revealed Ms Gallagher was a British citizen by descent at the date of her nomination for election in 2016.

PM Malcolm Turnbull has promised to refer any Labour MP facing ineligibility to the high court for further investigation into the matter.

 

Venezuela to launch oil backed cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the country will launch a cryptocurrency to overcome the US-led financial blockade.

He said the country will create a currency, backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves to advance issues of monetary sovereignty and assist in making financial transactions.

Opposition leaders have openly criticised the announcement,  arguing that Maduro would need to obtain congressional approval and casting doubt over whether the currency would be effective in what is already unstable country.

The announcement comes after U.S president Donald Trump imposed sanctions on the country which have subsequently affected Venezuela's ability to move money through international banks.

 

Philippines investigate dengue vaccine scare

The Philippines have launched an investigation into a dengue vaccine that could worsen the disease in people not previously infected.

Dengvaxia is the first-ever dengue vaccine, and it was administered to 730000 children before the program was suspended.

French drug company Sanofi says no deaths have been reported because of the program, but more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination.

WHO has recommended Dengvaxia only be administered to those known to be infected with dengue prior to vaccination.