High Court rules same-sex marriage postal survey will go ahead

UPDATE @ 2.20pm: THE same-sex marriage postal survey will go ahead next month, after the High Court threw out two challenges against it.

During question time in Federal Parliament today, the full bench ruled that the Turnbull government’s method of funding the $122 million postal vote was within the constitution.

Moments after the decision was handed down, Prime Minister Turnbull made a passionate plea to parliament.

“Lucy and I will be voting yes and I will be encouraging others to vote yes, but … above all, I encourage every Australian to have their say because unlike the leader of the opposition I respect every Australian’s view on this matter,” Mr Turnbull said.

The printed ballots will be sent out in the mail from Tuesday.

The High Court decision comes after two groups of same-sex marriage advocates launched legal action against the government in a bid to stop the postal vote.

They argued that the government did not have the legal authority to bypass parliament in funding the survey.


EARLIER @ 6.45am: The High Court will hand down its decision in the legal battle over the same-sex marriage postal vote today.

Two groups of same-sex marriage advocates launched legal action against the government in court this week in a bid to stop the postal vote.

They’re arguing that the government did not have the legal authority to bypass parliament in funding the $122 million survey.

The Turnbull Government says they plan on funding the survey using the Appropriation Act, as the expenditure is “urgent” and “unforeseen”.

The final decision is expected to be handed down during Question time in Federal Parliament around 2.15pm today.


Australians in Asia urged to monitor the North Korea crisis

Australians living, working or holidaying in South Korea and Japan are being urged to keep a close eye on the escalating North Korean crisis.

The warning, which was issued by the Australian Government on Wednesday, comes following North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to conduct nuclear tests and ballistic missile tests, further aggravating the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” the Australian travel advice update reads.

“Further provocations by the DPRK or reactions by other countries cannot be ruled out.

The government urged Aussies to closely monitor the situation, with fears tensions could rise.

“Australians in the Republic of Korea (ROK) should monitor developments closely due to the risk that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate with little warning.

They did however, reassure travellers not to be overly alarmed.

“The level of this advice has not changed. Exercise normal safety precautions in the Republic of Korea.”

It comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a 30-minute phone call with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, with North Korea a top topic of discussion.

Turnbull described the phone call as “warm and constructive”.

Surfers Paradise

City brings in reinforcements to deter vehicle based terror attack

It was just a matter of time…

Gold Coast Council has confirmed, overseas terror events and the current terrorist threat level, has prompted the need for added security measures in our city’s most popular pedestrian areas.

Concrete security barriers will be installed in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach to enhance public safety.

Additional concrete barriers will be put in at the eastern and western ends of both Cavill Ave and Broadbeach Malls, to deter vehicles from entering the mall areas at speed.

Image: Supplied

Mayor Tom Tate said the barriers would be installed this week at a cost of $10,000 to help protect locals and visitors.

“In light of recent tragic events, our current terrorist threat level and especially as we prepare to host the Commonwealth Games, we need to do our utmost to keep the community safe,” Cr Tate said.

“These barriers, along with our extensive CCTV network, are helping people to feel safer in busy public areas,” he added.

The concrete barriers will be positioned to allow access to malls for operational and emergency service vehicles but are designed to deter hostile vehicles driving at speed into the malls.

Planning for other long term security provisions like retractable bollards, structural public art and garden beds which complement the design and aesthetics of the major city precincts is underway.

Image: Supplied

Anglican Church stained window

Anglican church passes new child protection rules

The Anglican Church has passed new national guidelines at their national conference today in a bid to protect children from sexual abuse.

Under the regulations clergy and church workers will be bound by national regulations for the first time.

These include a code of conduct, standards for screening people and pathways for dealing with sex offenders.

The church also agreed to be regularly audited by an independent body and have the results made public.

The changes come after the head of the Australian Anglican church condemned Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s decision to cut welfare payments to 100 asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

The Anglican Primate of Australia, Philip Frieier, said it was a callous attack on vulnerable people.

“I am deeply concerned about the recent announcement by the immigration minister that welfare services will be cut to around 100 asylum seekers who were brought here for medical treatment,” he said.

“This is just the latest in a series of decisions to place vulnerable people in even more exposed conditions.”

At the synod, the Archbishop told Australia’s 23 dioceses that refugee policy was a matter which many politicians would like the church to remain silent on.

Motorbike speed

Gold Coast man flung from motorbike into Brisbane River

A Gold Coast man has died, after losing control of his motorbike in Brisbane.

The 31-year-old was heading from Ann Street to the on-ramp towards Coronation Drive about 10.20pm on Saturday when the bike hit a side rail.

He was thrown over the barrier and into the Brisbane River.

A search was carried out by Water Police and other emergency services with the rider located near the Queen Street Ferry Terminal.

He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Forensic Crash Unit is appealing for witnesses.

Anyone travelling through the city, along Ann Street towards the on ramp to the Riverside Expressway and Coronation Drive who has dashcam footage or witnessed the motorcycle prior to the crash is urged to contact them.

Investigations are continuing.