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Queensland’s summer tourism booms post-Covid

It’s been a boom summer for tourism in Queensland, AAP report.

Summer holidaymakers are on track to pump more than $6bn into Queensland’s tourism economy, which is back on track after two seasons marred by Covid-19 restrictions.

Queensland and interstate tourists had generated 15m visitor nights in the month to January 10, up almost 2.5% on 2021, the state’s tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.

“It’s not the full story yet … [but] we do see that there is a absolutely bumper outcome for Queensland’s tourism economy,” Hinchliffe told reporters at Shorncliffe, northeast of Brisbane.

“That’s going to be $3bn of output for the Queensland visitor economy.”

Tory Shepherd

New chair of Murdoch royal commission to be announced after Kevin Rudd steps down

A new chair for the Murdoch royal commission movement is set to be announced, and will be as high profile as the one who’s about to stand down – former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Rudd will step down from Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission because it clashes with his new role as Australia’s ambassador to the US.

A spokesperson for Rudd told Sky News it would be “incompatible” with his new role and that he was “confident that Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission will thrive under a new chair as it continues the campaign against concentration of media ownership”.

The organisation’s national director, Kirsti Gorringe, said the next chair would “bring as much passion and expertise to the role” as Rudd, and was as widely recognised.

“I hope to be able to announce it soon,” she said.

Another former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has been a strong advocate of the proposed royal commission into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps dominance of and behaviour in the Australian media.

Gorringe said the movement, based on a petition signed by more than 500,000 Australians, had many other passionate champions.

2023 will see it continuing to push for investigations, monitoring government policies, and having national and state conferences.

“This beast requires coming at it from all angles,” Gorringe said.

Who is “Chippy”? A profile of New Zealand’s incoming prime minister:

Sydney beaches closed after shark attacks dolphin

A dolphin has been attacked by a shark on Sydney’s northern beaches, forcing lifeguards to clear swimmers from the water.

All beaches between Shelley and Queenscliff were closed as a precaution, the Northern Beaches council said, after the attack. A council statement said:

Lifeguards will continue to monitor the situation and will only reopen the beaches when it is safe to do so.

Council urges any beach goers at Manly to adhere to beach safety warnings and stay out of the water at this time.

All relevant authorities have been notified.

The shark was reportedly a three-metre bull shark, and the dolphin had to be euthanised.

This seal had a ripping time in the Victorian town of Point Lonsdale on Friday afternoon

A giant seal has run amok in Point Lonsdale this afternoon, loitering outside a local service station before drawing a crowd along the foreshore.

Local authorities managed to wrangle the wayward animal back, with bemused bystanders watching on. #9News

— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) January 20, 2023

Australia and Serbia sign new social security agreement

Australia and Serbia have signed a new social security agreement that is set to improve access to retirement benefits for eligible people who have moved between the two countries.

The minister for social services, Amanda Rishworth, and the minister for foreign affairs, Penny Wong, released a statement heralding the agreement, which will come into effect in 2024.

The agreement was signed on Friday night in Belgrade by Daniel Emery, the Australian ambassador to Serbia, and Nikola Selakovic, the Serbian minister of labour, employment, veteran and social affairs.

Victorian man charged over ‘Hey Mum’ SMS scam

Victorian police have charged a man with allegedly committing online scams including a “Hey Mum” SMS racket.

The Templestowe man was charged in relation to alleged fraudulent transactions between 3 December and 7 December in other outer suburbs of Melbourne, police said in a statement. The statement said:

It’s alleged electronic goods were obtained in person using false documents and a substantial amount of money was obtained under the ‘Hi Mum’ scam via SMS.

The 21-year-old man has been charged with five counts of obtain property by deception following an investigation over the past 6 weeks.

He has been bailed to appear at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on 18 July.

Michael Clarke and girlfriend fined after public spat in Noosa

Former Australian Test captain Michael Clarke and his girlfriend, Jade Yarbrough, have been fined after their public spat in Noosa, AAP reports.

Vision emerged on Wednesday of an expletive-laden argument with Clarke, Yarbrough and her brother-in-law, the TV presenter Karl Stefanovic.

Queensland police fined Clarke and Yarbrough with public nuisance.

Michael Clarke and Jade Yarbrough seen in Sydney in November. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Clarke will retain his role on Sydney’s Sky Sports Breakfast radio after station owner Tabcorp declared his public stoush a private matter.

Read the full story here:

Makes me want to start a swim, rather than a bike race, but I get the picture.

I’m off for now, thank you for your time! Nino Bucci is going to escort you through the afternoon.

Rugby union player Kurtley Beale granted bail

The high-profile rugby union player Kurtley Beale has been granted bail by a Sydney court after being charged over an alleged sexual assault.

The 34-year-old Wallabies winger was ordered on Saturday to surrender his passport, not contact witnesses and to report to police daily after appearing in Parramatta local court.

Beale was arrested on Friday and held in custody over an alleged incident in Sydney’s east on 17 December last year.

He faces four charges, including sexual intercourse without consent, inciting another to sexually touch without consent and two counts of sexually touching another person without consent.

In a statement, Rugby Australia said Beale had been suspended from all rugby pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings. He is due back in court in March.

Read more here:

Slowing weight gain as people age could save millions in knee replacements, study says

AAP is reporting on new research that shows cutting back on as little as two pieces of chocolate a week could save Australia’s health system $373m a year in foregone knee replacements.

According to the Monash University-led study, preventing weight gain from young adulthood to late midlife to prevent obesity could reduce the need for knee surgery by almost 30%.

Research author Prof Flavia Cicuttini stressed the importance of prevention in improving health outcomes, and said weight-loss recommendations for overweight or obese people with osteoarthritis often came too late.

“Focusing on prevention, with small average long-term changes in energy balance, can make a big difference,” she said.

The head of Monash’s musculoskeletal epidemiology unit said Australians tend to gain up to a kilogram a year over their adult lives. She said:

For example, eating the average equivalent of two fewer pieces of chocolate per week, or adding 10 minutes of exercise, can prevent the insidious half to 1kg weight gain we see per person per year in Australia.

This can result in tangible health gains, improving lives and saving money.

The study tracked data from more than 24,000 people across different weight and age groups over more than 12 years.

In that time more than 5% of participants required complete knee replacements.

The study found 28.4% of surgeries could have been avoided if participants had moved one weight group lower, meaning an average weight-loss of 8-12kg from early adulthood to late midlife would translate to a $373m saving for the annual health budget.

“We need to focus on preventing or slowing weight gain when people first present with any knee pain, even niggling knee pain,” Cicuttini said.

“This slow, steady accumulation of weight adds up, resulting in the obesity we see.”

Anthony Albanese meets with Microsoft founder Bill Gates

Prime minister Anthony Albanese welcomes Bill Gates at Kirribilli House in Sydney
Prime minister Anthony Albanese welcomes Bill Gates at Kirribilli House in Sydney. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, met with the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, at Kirribilli House today to discuss climate change, energy and health issues.

Meeting for the first time, Albanese greeted the billionaire who said he loves coming to Australia. He said:

Can I welcome you here very much. We haven’t met before but I’ve admired your work and your contribution not just financially but in raising debates including the need to deal with health issues.

We have just been through the pandemic but we need to prepare for future health challenges and the work that’s being done on eradicating malaria and other diseases in our region is very important.

Gates is visiting Australia with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and with representatives from his Breakthrough Energy company, which drives innovation in sustainable energy and in technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“My government was elected on a platform of taking climate change seriously – we introduced the first legislative caps of 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050, we are engaged in setting a whole range of mechanisms that will drive private sector investment through,” Albanese said.

“Here in Australia the business community was well ahead of the government in action and now we are working with all the state and territory governments as well as the private sector in driving that change through.”

Gates thanked Albanese for his “great partnership” on international health issues including the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He said:

A lot to do there as you say, the preparedness for the next pandemic is still a discussion that hasn’t been figured out.

Malaria, in the long run, we want to do the same thing we have done with polio, which is eradicate it regionally then eradicate it all over the world.

Both the foundation and Breakthrough Energy are excited about the things we can do together.

– via pool reporter Jessica McSweeney

This piece from Tim Byrne sent me down a full Sunday Reed rabbit hole:

I somehow entirely missed this exchange:

Hipkins says that “for the first time in history New Zealand has a gender-balanced parliament”. And that was that.

#Australia #news #live #Anthony #Albanese #meets #Bill #Gates #Sydney #beaches #closed #shark #mauls #dolphin

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