SBS Radio News, November 7, 2013
Funding boost for Queensland education
Queensland is set to receive 884 million dollars for education from the federal government.
The announcement comes after a meeting in Canberra between State Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and his federal counterpart, Christopher Pyne.
Mr Langbroek says the deal means the federal Coalition has honoured a pre-election commitment to match Labor’s school funding.
And he told the ABC the four-year funding deal allows the Newman government to spend the money however it wants, no strings attached.
“Christopher Pyne said before the election that should the Coalition be elected they’d make sure they lived up to Labor’s funding for the next four years … he’s conceded to me that they’re prepared to do that. So we can spend money in our schools in Queensland as we see fit.”
Pakistan ex-military ruler freed from house arrest
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who has been under house arrest since April, is now allowed to travel the country.
A Pakistan court lifted the former general’s house arrest days after an Islamabad district court granted him bail over a deadly raid on a radical mosque in the capital city in 2007.
It’s the last of the criminal cases against Musharraf dating back to his rule between 1999 and 2000.
Prison staff left his villa on the edge of Islamabad after his legal team submitted bail bonds totalling 200,000 rupees
However, the 70-year-old isn’t allowed to leave the country and he remains under heavy surveillance due to serious threats to his life.
Australians living longer
Australians born today are expected to live longer than any that have come before them.
That’s according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, according to which the combined average life expectancy for male and female Australians born today is around 82 years.
It’s the highest life expectancy ever recorded in Australia.
The Bureau’s Bjorn Jarvis says Australians are among the longest-living people in the world.
“Life expectancy has been generally increasing for the last 100 years. So we’ve seen an increase from 2011 to 2012 and certainly it will be interesting to see whether we see an increase from 2012 to 2013 and then how far into the future.”
Updated estimates on Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy are expected to be released next week.
Scheme aims to reduce illegal dumping of asbestos
The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia hopes other states and territories will follow a New South Wales government scheme aimed at reducing illegal dumping of asbestos waste.
At least 10 local government areas will take part in a 12-month trial next year, which will see the state government temporarily scrap the levy on asbestos waste sent to tips.
Responsibly disposing of asbestos waste costs people in Sydney more than $100 per tonne, while the levy leaves those in regional New South Wales more than $50 out of pocket.
The foundation’s president Barry Robson says the high cost of disposing asbestos from home renovations is one of the leading causes of illegal dumping.
“We’ve been campaigning for many many years to have it removed completely because all it does is encourage people to do illegal dumping of asbestos. People are dumping it in the streets, in our parks, in our bush and it costs local government a lot of money to clean the mess up. So this is the first step but what we’re asking the New South Wales Government to do is to follow the lead of the West Australian Government, where they have amnesty days, where local residents and ratepayers can take their asbestos to the local tip and dump it free of charge.”