coal mine

Adani Aust is ’emboldened’ after meeting

MINING giant Adani’s Australian boss feels “emboldened” about moving forward with the controversial coal mine project in Queensland after meeting with state government representatives.

Adani Australia CEO Lucas Dow says he has had productive talks with the officials after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ordered the meeting to thrash out a timeline on the coal mine approvals process.

“The constructive nature of the meeting has certainly emboldened us in terms of the level of support that were seeing from the Queensland government,” Mr Dow told reporters on Thursday.

He said the mining giant was focused on moving forward with the coal mine in the Galilee Basin and felt they were closer to reaching more certainty on the project.

Mr Dow is looking forward to the premier making an announcement on Friday about the timeline for outstanding approvals for the Carmichael Mine.

“We are not being pig-headed about finalising these plans and will work with state government officials as quickly as possible in order to move forward,” he said.

Mr Dow said the company expected the mine would produce 1500 direct jobs during the construction phase and 6750 indirect jobs.

“What we are talking about is 8250 jobs that are going to exist in Queensland and in particularly regional Queensland that do not exist today,” he said.

Asked about how many permanent jobs the mine would produce he said: “Our industrial relations strategy is one of being able to provide people certainty of employment and the ability to have full time employment”.

CFMEU Queensland state secretary of the union’s construction division, Michael Ravbar, warned the premier “risked being taken for a ride by a shonky multinational with a chequered corporate history”.

In response to Mr Ravbar’s statement, Mr Dow said he ran an Australian company.

“The company I run is an Australian ‘Pyt Ltd’ company,” he said.

He said concerns about the automation of mining jobs was “one of the great lies” surrounding the project.

“There is no automation contemplated in our project,” he said.

“We’re not engaging in 457 visas, we’re taking about jobs for Queenslanders, for regional Queenslanders.”

© AAP 2019

Man charged with manslaughter over horror high-speed crash

A MAN has been charged with two counts of manslaughter after killing two people and injuring three others in a horrifying high-speed crash in Brisbane.

The 37-year-old lost control of his BMW sedan on Lutwyche Road at Windsor, in the city’s inner north, just after midnight on Saturday, May 18.

Police said the sedan collected a moped in northbound lanes before becoming airborne, crossing onto the wrong side of the road and smashing into five other cars, including a Subaru and a Jeep.

The impact was horrific, with at least one of the vehicles involved crushed beyond recognition and car parts strewn across the road.

Senior police described the crash as one of the worst they’ve ever seen.

Tragically, the 32-year-old man riding the moped and 23-year-old man behind the wheel of the Subaru were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other innocent victims were treated by paramedics and taken to separate hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

The woman in her 50s and the man in his 40s were transported in stable conditions with minor injuries, neck, shoulder and back pain.

The driver of the BMW, which came to rest on its roof, and one of his two passengers fled the scene immediately after the crash.

As well as abandoning the deceased and injured, the pair also left behind their 24-year-old female friend who had been travelling with them in the BMW.

She was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Following extensive inquiries to locate the BMW driver, he was today formally charged with two counts of manslaughter and one of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm (excessive speed and fail to remain on scene).

The 37-year-old Burpengary man was due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court later today.

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Uber launches world’s first ride-sharing submarine in Australia

UBER has teamed up with Tourism and Events Queensland to launch the world’s first ride-sharing submarine on the Great Barrier Reef.

scUber‘ will take tourists 30m underwater to explore the Reef like never before, complete with 180 degree views and all without getting wet.

The three-person submarine was launched on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef on Thursday.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience can be booked through the Uber app for $1500, which includes a helicopter from Gladstone to Heron Island, from May 27 to June 18 and will be strictly subject to availability.

After wowing visitors on Heron Island for two weeks, scUber will then move further north to Quicksilver Cruises’ Agincourt Reef, off the coast of Port Douglas.

Source: Tourism and Events Queensland

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said ScUber was expected to attract thousands of tourists to the area from key source markets like the US, Canada, UK, France and New Zealand.

She said the government would “tap into Uber’s vast customer base throughout North America and Europe to showcase the Reef”.

“The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest tourism asset [and] this will give visitors a completely new way to experience this great natural wonder,” she said.

“We’re working harder than ever before to find new ways to showcase the unique experiences on offer in Queensland.

“Our exclusive four-week promotion is about getting the message out to the world that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful places on earth to visit.”

“We know that visiting the Great Barrier Reef can change people’s perception. By giving more visitors direct, personal access, scUber will hopefully inspire others to come and experience the Reef’s beauty.

Ms Jones said the campaign would support 15,700 jobs, generate an extra 1.4 million visitors and deliver an additional $1.8 billion in visitor expenditure to the region over the next three years.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the scUber promotion would show the world that the Great Barrier Reef is brimming with life.

The Reef welcomes almost three million visitors every year, contributes $5.7 billion in economic value and supports almost 59,000 full time jobs.

“This is a great win for Gladstone and for tourism businesses right throughout Central Queensland,” Mr Butcher said.

“The Great Barrier Reef is the centrepiece of Queensland’s tourism offering, and Australia’s most valuable natural tourism asset.

“This campaign will show the world through the eyes of high-profile influencers, the media and every day travellers that the reef is teeming with life, marine animals and beauty.

“The management of the Great Barrier Reef is world-leading and Queensland’s tourism industry plays a key role in protecting and advocating for the reef.

“Tourism operators in Queensland are developing innovative new experiences to meet evolving consumer trends and we hope the launch of scUber will stimulate demand for this new type of travel.”

TEQ Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said it was fitting to launch the campaign 10 years on from the Best Job in the World promotion.

“Just as ‘Best Job’ was a ground-breaking way to promote the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, the launch of scUber will offer an unparalleled insight and unfiltered lens to the extraordinary underwater world of the reef,” Ms Coddington said.

“Research undertaken for TEQ in late 2018 showed us that submarine travel was at the top of travellers wish-lists as a future experience on the reef.

“scUber brings that wish to reality, and a lucky few from around the world will tell that story to the world over the next four weeks, showcasing the reef like never before.”

Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager of Uber, Australia and New Zealand, said the submarine was an innovative first for the Great Barrier Reef.

“Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Tourism and Events Queensland to help showcase the reef to the world with the launch of scUber,” Mrs Anderson said.

“At Uber, we believe good things happen when people move – whether that’s by getting people from A to B in their city, or by making dreams come true experiencing the world’s greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the reef for years to come.”

The initiative will be supported by a global integrated marketing campaign, consumer competition and retail offerings through key distribution partners in the UK, New Zealand and the USA.

Man seriously injured after train hits truck

A MAN has suffered significant injuries after a train smashed into his truck on Queensland’s Southern Downs.

It happened at the intersection of Evans and Warwick Allora roads in Toolburra, near Warwick, about 2.10pm.

Queensland Ambulance said a man aged in his 70s sustained head and facial injuries.

The man was stabilised by paramedics at the scene before being conveyed to hospital.

He was transported to Warwick Hospital in a stable condition.

Police are on scene directing traffic with sandstone blocks from the truck strewn across the road.

Gold Coast bus 700 to Broadbeach South

Awards to recognise Queensland’s top bus drivers

QUEENSLANDERS will be able to recognise their favourite bus driver when nominations open for the Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Awards next Monday.

Nominations for the awards will open on May 27 and all bus drivers working on public passenger services in Queensland are eligible.

The awards will recognise the huge contribution drivers make to ensuring customers travel safely and conveniently.

More than 250 drivers were nominated for last year’s inaugural award, with Ella Reid from Clarks Logan City Bus Service taking out the top gong.

This year’s awards have been expanded to include three new categories – South East Qld drivers, Regional drivers, and School drivers.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey encouraged customers to nominate their favourite driver.

“These awards celebrate Queensland bus drivers who go above and beyond in delivering excellent service,” Mr Bailey said.

“We encourage customers to get behind our drivers and share powerful stories of their bus driver improving their journey.”

Ms Reid wished good luck to the drivers nominated for this year’s awards.

“It was an honour to be named the inaugural winner of the Queensland Bus Driver of the Year award in 2018 and I wish all of the nominated drivers the best of luck this year,” Ms Reid said.

“It is great to see the recognition for our industry as there are so many hard-working drivers who regularly go above and beyond.”

Queensland Bus Industry Council Executive Director David Tape welcomed the opening of nominations for the Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Awards.

“Our bus drivers across all sectors provide an essential service in getting Queenslanders and our visitors to and from work, to medical appointments, to school and social events, they help bring communities together and aid in the growth our economy,” Mr Tape said.

“It is great to see Minister Bailey and TransLink acknowledge our bus drivers for the excellent job they do day in day out, delivering their passengers in a safe and professional manner.

“I sincerely hope that Queenslanders will get onboard with this, acknowledging and highlighting the great job of their local bus drivers.”

Customers will be able to nominate a driver on the TransLink website from Monday, May 27.

All nominations will be reviewed by a judging panel and assessed against the criteria, including positive customer impact, excellence in customer care and displaying a customer-focused attitude.

A public vote will be held once the finalists have been announced, before the winning drivers are presented with a trophy and $1000 cash prize at the awards ceremony at the end of August.