Facebook on Phone

PM to meet with tech giants over policing extreme content

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to meet with tech giant representatives today, to discuss news laws around the distribution of violent content on social media.

It comes after social media companies were criticised for taking too long to take down footage of the Christchurch terror attacks.

The Federal Government is now considering changes to the privacy act to make it a criminal offence to leave the violent material on their sites.

Under the proposed changes, tech companies could face penalties of more than four times the current penalty, for breaching privacy laws.

In a meeting in Brisbane today, Mr Morrison is expected to ask tech executives what is being done to ensure the violent footage of the attacks doesn’t continue to spread online, and what action the government will take if they don’t think enough is being done.

The meeting comes less than a fortnight after the horrific Christchurch attacks, which tragically killed 50 people and injured just as many.

The gunman live streamed the terror attack to social media.

Mum and Child

Paedophiles to be named on public register under LNP plan

PARENTS will be able to get online and find out exactly how many paedophiles are living in their suburb and see photos of their faces under major child-safety reforms proposed by Queensland’s opposition party.

The public sex offender register would allow parents to identify convicted child sex offenders living in their area.

The LNP plan, modelled on systems in Western Australia and the UK, would also allow parents to check the background of anyone who has regular unsupervised access to their children.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington said protecting children was more important than protecting a paedophile’s identity.

“As a mum of three daughters, I believe every parent has the right to know if someone is a threat to their kids,” Ms Frecklington said on Saturday.

“If I become premier, I will do everything I can to stop kids being targeted by sexual predators.”

Ms Frecklington said strong safeguards would be put in place to prevent vigilante action against offenders.

Anyone who uses the register to harass a listed offender or distribute their photos or personal details will face up to 10 years’ in jail.

Anyone who uses false information to request a background check or misuses the information provided by police could be jailed for up to seven years’.

The Queensland Police Service already operates a Child Protection Offender Registry (CPOR), which requires child sex offenders to keep police informed of their whereabouts.

The LNP’s plan would provide parents with access to three tiers of information on sex offenders:

  • Missing Offenders’ Register – Photos and personal details of offenders who fail to report to police and whose whereabouts are unknown will be published online for access by the public.
  • Local Offender Search – Parents will be able to search their suburb and adjacent suburbs to view photographs of child sex offenders living in their community. Importantly, anyone accessing this information will face a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment if they harass a listed offender or distribute their photograph or personal details.
  • Community Protection Disclosure Scheme – Parents or guardians will be able to apply to the police to inquire if a person who has regular, unsupervised contact with their child is a reportable sex offender. Anyone who uses false information to request a disclosure or misuses information provided by police could face seven years’ imprisonment.

Sharon Tomlinson was 12-years-old when she was raped at gunpoint by convicted child sex offender Robert Fardon and says the public register is needed to protect the public.

“The community has a right to this information,” Ms Tomlinson said.

“Parents need to know if there is an offender living in their midst.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids from sexual predators.”

Shadow Police Minister Trevor Watts said the public child sex offender legislation would be introduced if the LNP wins the next state election in October 2020.

“We can’t keep parents in the dark when it comes to their children’s safety,” Mr Watts said.

“If we can prevent one child from becoming the victim of sexual abuse these laws will be worth it.

“The use of similar laws in WA and the UK shows that they are effective and are used responsibly by the community.”

Revealed: First look at new M1 Exit at Oxenford

WORK will begin on upgrading the notorious M1 interchange at Oxenford before the end of the year, it has been revealed.

The State Government unveiled its initial design for the new look, $25 million upgrade of Exit 57 on Wednesday.

Additional turning lanes will be added to both south and northbound exits for motorists turning onto Tamborine-Oxenford and Hope Island roads in a bid to ease congestion, reduce ramping, and improve travel flow.

Motorists will, however, be unable to turn right onto the motorway from the Old Pacific Highway in Oxenford, with the right turning lanes set to be removed.

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said construction will start on upgrading the ‘busy and complex’ interchange by the end of the year.

“The design give motorists and residents their first opportunity to get a sense of what the upgrade of Exit 57 might look like and how it could operate,” Ms Scanlon said.

“With its proximity to shopping, services and the Gold Coast’s fastest growing residential areas, Exit 57 at Oxenford is a complex and busy interchange.

“High volumes of east and westbound traffic have been given careful consideration in the initial design plan, as has improving traffic flow and of course road safety.”

(Source: Supplied/Queensland Government)

Ms Scanlon said early estimates suggested the project will support an average of 75 direct jobs.

Solar panels at the interchange will be removed temporarily to give workers access to the construction site but will be returned once construction of the upgrade is completed.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the tender to deliver a detailed, preferred design had been awarded to GHD.

‘‘Exit 57’s final design, with others including Yatala, Ormeau and Pimpama, is crucial to reducing congestion and improving the safety and efficiency of the M1,” Mr Bailey said.

As the detailed design progresses, specific project inclusions will be decided based on their potential to increase capacity and safety.

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“Egg Boy” won’t take further action against Senator Anning

The teen dubbed “Egg Boy” won’t pursue any legal against Senator Fraser Anning or his minders.

Will Connolly, 17, was hit twice by Senator Anning after he cracked an egg on the Senator’s head on Saturday in protest at his controversial comments following the Christchurch terror attacks.

The Senator’s supporters then placed the teen in a headlock and dragged him to the ground where he was held in a choke hold for some time.

The teen’s actions have divided the public with many applauding him, while plenty of others condemned the incident and claimed he deserved the retaliation from the Senator.

There had been calls for Senator Anning and his supporters to be charged with their response described by some as an overreaction.

Connolly was due to meet with Victoria Police this afternoon, but lawyer Peter Gordon says they won’t be asking for further action to be taken.

“He’s considered his position fully and he has no plans to make complaints or take any action of his own of a legal nature,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr Gordon said they were not sure whether charges would be laid against the teen.

“We’ve had no indication of that but obviously Police have got a job to do and it’s our instructions and it’s our intention to cooperate in that process.”

“To use Will’s own words, the Police have been awesome both in their handling of the matter on the weekend and their support for him and the family since and it’s his intention to cooperate as fully as he can.”

Connolly has turned down multiple requests for interviews as he grapples with his new found notoriety.

Mr Gordon says the teen has been through a tumultuous time and may tell his story in time, but for now wanted privacy.

A Go Fund Me page set up for money for Connolly to pay for his legal fees has now raised over $56,000, but Mr Gordon says he won’t be accepting any of it.

“We are acting pro bono so there are no legal expenses and Will is committed that every cent of the money raised from the Go Fund Me page go to support victims of the tragedy in Christchurch.”

Gold Coast man charged after police found ‘significant’ quantity of dangerous drugs

A man has been charged after police allegedly found a significant quantity of dangerous drugs at his Southport home last week.

Detectives from the Gold Coast CIB executed a search warrant around 2.00pm on Friday at an address on Marine Parade.

They allegedly found around $7,500 worth of methylamphetamine (ice), as well as other drug paraphernalia.

A 43-year-old Mermaid Waters man has been charged with supplying dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs, possessing anything used in the commission of a crime and possessing a drug utensil.

He’s expected to front Southport court later this month.

Police say they will continue to target the supply of dangerous drugs, with further arrests expected.

Investigations are continuing.

PHOTO | Supplied by QPS