Tag Archives: Island

Australia tends to make u-turn on Manus Island road renewal guarantee

Updated December 11, 2015 21:01:43

The Australian Government has renewed a pledge to fix Manus Island’s primary road following community leaders mentioned it tried to renege on the promise, portion of a package of incentives to host the asylum seeker processing centre.

The pledge to re-seal the 30-kilometre road from the Manus provincial capital Lorengau to Momote airport was made when the Papua New Guinea government agreed to permit Australia to reopen the centre in 2012.

Audio: Australian U-turn on Manus Island’s principal road (Pacific Beat)

The pledge was part of a $ 37 million dollar help package for Manus, efficiently a sign of appreciation from the Australian Government for the hosting of its asylum seekers and refugees.

Sixteen million dollars was committed to re-sealing the road and the rehabilitation of two bridges.

Manus Island officials told Pacific Beat that Australian officials lately informed them that cost blow-outs meant only part of the road would be re-sealed.

“They told us that it is only going to be sealed as far as Lolak Bridge, that would be just below two-fifths of the road,” stated Ronnie Knight, the MP for Manus Island.

But following inquiries by the ABC, the Australian Government has announced it will honour the pledge, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) releasing a statement saying “Australia is funding upkeep to the road, including a re-seal”.

Asked to clarify if the complete road would be resealed, a DFAT spokeswoman said it would, “in line with community expectations”.

DFAT stated the roadworks must be completed about the middle of next year.

The governor of Manus Island, Charlie Benjamin, has welcomed the modify of heart.

“Firstly, I consider they could see that the government of Manus and the folks of Manus are not content at all. And I also think that possibly you coming in, as Australian media, I believe that almost certainly helped,” he said.

“We have by no means been informed of this news [the renewed pledge to total the roadworks]. In reality two weeks ago we had been informed they will not continue,” he stated.

Cease-commence roadworks

The road from Lorengau to Momote airport is the island’s primary transport artery and is in quite undesirable condition.

In some places the potholes are 80 centimetres deep, so deep that even heavy trucks get bogged.

So when the Australian Government announced as part of the help package that it would re-seal the complete road, locals rejoiced.

But senior local officials told the ABC that Australian gvernment representatives announced the downgrade in the course of a meeting with officials about two months ago.

“Nobody’s content with it. I can’t speak for the governor but I know that senior bureaucrats walked out of the briefing, they did not finish it, they walked out in disgust,” Mr Knight mentioned.

“The nearby men and women are very upset about it because all the gravel has been extracted from the Mamote location, and these trucks that they’ve been employing to extract gravel from those blocks have been [additional] tearing-up the road.”

Governor Charlie Benjamin backs Mr Knight’s story that Australian officials told his bureaucrats that the complete road would no longer be sealed.

“That was for the duration of that meeting when all of the stakeholders met and we were advised that they can no longer construct to the airport,” he said.

“The explanation that was offered was that they had committed the 36 million kina ($ 16 million) to the road, but at the time of the assessment the road was in a great situation. But following the plan was on, then all of the large autos came and broken the road.”

Mr Benjamin stated the announcement outraged locals.

“The reaction of the provincial government was that this was just unacceptable. They just had to stand up and [get] out of the meeting. The folks are extremely upset.”

Topics: refugees, immigration, community-and-society, road-transport, international-help-and-trade, papua-new-guinea, pacific

1st posted December 11, 2015 20:58:04

Agen Sabung Ayam

Crab bridge helps Christmas Island critters beat the site visitors

By Angus Sargent

Posted December 09, 2015 16:41:32

Red crabs swarm along the ground and up the side of a metal bridge over a road on Christmas Island. Photo: The specially constructed bridge is aimed at stopping the crabs acquiring crushed on the road. (Supplied: Kirsty Faulkner)
Map: Christmas Island 6798

Christmas Island rangers have taken road safety to a whole new level with the construction of a “crab bridge” more than the island’s busiest road.

In preparation for the annual spawning season, rangers have been setting up barriers along the roadside to stop the crabs from being crushed under the wheels of cars.

A five-metre-high bridge has also been constructed at one point along the road to aid the crabs move across the island and continue their migration.

Christmas Island Tourism Association marketing manager Linda Cash stated aside from the practical use, the bridge had also become a tourist attraction.

“Sydney can have its Harbour Bridge, and San Francisco its Golden Gate bridge, but it is our crab bridge which is currently wooing vacationers from all more than the globe,” Ms Cash said.

“The ubiquitous crabs take the most direct route possible from their burrows in the rainforest terraces down to the coast, turning the roads, golf course and beaches into a crimson carpet.”

Rangers on Christmas Island have also constructed 31 underpasses across the island to assist the migrating crab masses en route to spawn.

Far more than 50 million crabs are expected to be involved in the annual migration, predicted by the Tourism Association to take spot on January six.

Red crabs surround a woman standing on a Christmas Island, Photo: The red crabs and their new bridge have proved popular with locals and tourists alike. (Supplied: Kirsty Faulkner)

Topics: animals, conservation, travel-and-tourism, christmas-island-6798

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Triple suicide attack kills 27 on Lake Chad island

Posted December 06, 2015 06:39:36

A triple suicide bombing on an island in Lake Chad has killed at least 27 men and women and left more than 80 wounded, a Chadian security source says.

It was one more apparent strike by Boko Haram Islamists in spite of a regional offensive to cease the insurgency.

“Three suicide bombers blew themselves up in 3 different locations at the weekly industry on Loulou Fou, an island in Lake Chad,” the source in the capital N’Djamena stated, speaking on situation of anonymity.

On November 9, N’Djamena declared a state of emergency in the flashpoint Lake Chad area, which also straddles Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger and is regularly targeted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists.

The group declared allegiance to the Islamic State this year.

The decree granted the governor of the remote area the authority to ban the circulation of individuals and automobiles, to search properties and to seize arms.

In current months, Boko Haram fighters have stepped up attacks and suicide bombings on Chadian villages in the lake region that lie close to the frontier with Nigeria.

The deadliest attack on Chad’s side of the lake took spot on October ten, an additional triple suicide, which killed 41 men and women at Baga Sola.

Considering that the start of the year, the Chadian army has been on the front line of a regional military operation against Boko Haram, whose attacks have spread from northeast Nigeria, its traditional stronghold, to the country’s 3 Lake Chad neighbours.

The joint operation of the four Lake Chad nations plus Benin has involved eight,700 soldiers, police and civilians.

Markets a popular target

Regardless of being hit difficult by the offensive, losing territory, Boko Haram has responded with a wave of attacks and bombings.

Their attacks are typically carried out by young females or adolescent boys targeting markets, which are at heart of African everyday life.

Chadian president Idris Deby Itno not too long ago admitted that the regional force, which is not yet fully operational, “has without having a doubt weakened” the Islamists but “it has not defeated” them.

Nonetheless, Cameroon, part of the regional offensive, on Wednesday claimed to have dealt a key blow to Boko Haram, killing around one hundred fighters and freeing 900 hostages in a three-day operation last week.

The claim comes on the heels of twin attacks by ladies suicide bombers the preceding day in the far north of Cameroon, an region repeatedly targeted by the Islamists in which at least six men and women died.

No independent confirmation of the Cameroonian government’s statement was immediately obtainable from the area, which is inaccessible to the media.

Boko Haram fighters, believed to be hiding out in Nigeria’s Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad’s several islands, are held responsible for 17,000 deaths and for making 2.5 million men and women homeless in their six-year campaign of violence.

Over the previous year Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon even though also continuing to mount shooting and suicide assaults on markets, mosques and other mostly civilian targets inside Nigeria itself.

AFP

Subjects: unrest-conflict-and-war, government-and-politics, chad

Agen Sabung Ayam

Snorkeller reported missing at Lord Howe Island

Updated December 03, 2015 08:03:43

Map: Lord Howe Island 2898

A search is underway for a snorkeller missing at Lord Howe Island, off the New South Wales coast.

The 20-year-old man from the ACT went snorkelling about 20 metres from the shoreline at Middle Beach on Wednesday afternoon although his pals stayed ashore, police stated.

Emergency solutions had been known as when he could not be located.

Authorities and members of the public searched the location but the man has not been seen since.

Topics: accidents, lord-howe-island-2898, act

First posted December 03, 2015 08:02:21

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Former Palm Island mayor-turned-paramedic starts health-related degree

By Kirsty Nancarrow

Posted December 02, 2015 12:28:37

A former mayor is studying to become a medical professional to help improve the overall health of Indigenous Queenslanders.

Robert Blackley, 40, is the former mayor of Palm Island.

He is also a single of the initial men and women to complete the Queensland Ambulance Service’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cadet system.

“At 19 I wanted to be a paramedic but was deemed to be as well young at the time,” he stated.

He pursued a profession in politics and neighborhood development as an alternative, but often wanted to return to his original dream of becoming a medical professional.

“At the time when I was on Palm Island as a regional government councillor and the mayor, the life expectancy for men was 42, and ladies was 50 and that was unacceptable to me,” he said.

The cadet program has been operating because 2012 and has 15 recruits, functioning in Doomagee, Cairns, Thursday Island, Normanton, Palm Island, Yarrabah and Woorabinda.

Indigenous paramedic Robert Blackley Photo: Robert Blackley and QAS colleague Neil Noble verify their emergency gear. (ABC News: Kirsty Nancarrow)

Ambulance service operations supervisor Neil Noble stated two much more positions had been becoming created available at Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands.

“It really is the extremely very same education plan that all our other cadets go through to attain diploma level qualifications, just at their pace with lots of assistance exactly where they require it,” he mentioned.

Mr Blackley stated working as an Indigenous paramedic had provided him the opportunity to break down fears about western medicine and encourage individuals to reside healthier lives.

“Getting an Aboriginal man I’ve been able to swiftly create rapport with individuals because we have a shared encounter or a shared history and relationships,” he said.

He lately completed his Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) degree.

‘An inspiration to all other paramedics’

Mr Blackley will leave Cairns next week to study a Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Sydney, with his wife in the final stages of her medical degree at James Cook University.

Mr Noble mentioned he was sad to see Mr Blackley leaving but stated he would be welcomed back to the nearby roster for the duration of university holidays.

“He’s undoubtedly been a excellent paramedic for us and an inspiration to all other paramedics to not just stop at a paramedic diploma or degree but to adhere to via with medicine,” Mr Noble mentioned.

Mr Blackley stated he hoped to function as a rural generalist focusing on emergency medicine back in his property neighborhood of Palm Island, which is at the moment with no a permanent Indigenous medical doctor.

He mentioned there was a shortage of indigenous doctors and is encouraging other individuals to adhere to in his path.

“There’s around 200 now and we require yet another two,000 to attain parity with the two per cent Indigenous population, so there’s a long way to go,” he stated.

Subjects: emergency-incidents, medical doctors-and-medical-professionals, cairns-4870

Agen Sabung Ayam

Asylum seekers return to Indonesia after Christmas Island turn-back

Posted November 27, 2015 11:22:28

A boat carrying asylum seekers has arrived in Indonesia carrying the same men and women as a boat turned around at Christmas Island last week.

The ABC has confirmed the boat arrived in Kupang, on Indonesia’s Timor Island, and was carrying 17 people, like 1 crew member.

The asylum seekers had attempted to reach Australia by boat but have been intercepted just off Christmas Island on November 20.

1 of the asylum seekers, who said his name was Muhammad Anwar, told Indonesia’s Rima News he spent 4 days detained by Australian security forces.

He said Australian security forces had sent them back to Indonesia on a new ship following scuttling the ship that was utilized to travel to Christmas Island.

Topics: refugees, immigration, indonesia

Agen Sabung Ayam

North Stradbroke Island traditional owners trial eco-cabins

Posted November 26, 2015 20:58:54

A cabin established by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation Photo: 1 of two trial eco-cabins established by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation on Stradbroke Island. (ABC News: Kathy McLeish)

When sand mining on North Stradbroke Island comes to an end the traditional owners say they will be prepared.

The Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) have been trialling two eco-cabins, specially made to showcase cultural values and built to be environmentally sound.

The organisation has plans to roll far more cabins out at locations across the land below lease to Belgian mining giant Sibleco as soon as the sand mining comes to an finish.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello stated the cabins also incorporated sustainable materials.

“Sustainable design and style, that is what is attractive to the tourism marketplace, it really is a combination of traditional camping elements and supplies with some of the luxurious mod cons that men and women expect,” he stated.

We believe it is time we must be able to let the rest of the community get pleasure from what is down there.

Darren Burns, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation joint management coordinator

“It is the way of the future. This for us is a international eco-cultural tourism location.”

QYAC’s joint management coordinator Darren Burns mentioned the community just wanted to move on from mining.

“There’s been 60-70 years of mining and it has been a godsend for a lot of the community yes but we just can not go on,” he mentioned.

“We consider it really is time we should be able to let the rest of the community appreciate what’s down there.”

He stated about 40 per cent of the island was under mining lease and a further 20 per cent of the island was inaccessible because of restrictions designed by the mining areas and referred to as on the company to release non-operational leases now.

“We’ve got a 20,000 year old site that was partially mined 30 years ago that we nevertheless can not get community access to,” he mentioned.

‘It’s a tall order to replace mining with something let alone tourism’

National Parks Minister Steven Miles said Stradbroke Island was completely positioned as a cultural tourist site.

“It’s a quite specific spot correct on Brisbane’s doorstop … but locked away from Queenslanders,” he stated.

“It really is the only location in the state exactly where mining leases exist more than the best of national parks. Our national parks are for all Queenslanders to get pleasure from.”

The commitment to end mining in four years was an election promise by the Labor Celebration.

Darren Burns with Cameron Costello Photo: Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation’s (QYAC) joint management coordinator Darren Burns with CEO Cameron Costello. (ABC News: Kathy McLeish)

The Newman Government had extended the timeline for the mining leases to 2035.

In October, Katter’s Australian Party tabled a private members bill with a compromise date of 2024.

But Dr Miles stated today, the transition strategy and a bill to close the mine by 2019 have been expected ahead of the end of this year.

He mentioned they had been determined to meet their election commitment.

“I am confident that the Parliament will pass our bill and will acknowledge that our bill combined with the economic transition technique is a sensible outcome that can set North Stradbroke Island up for a very vibrant future,” he mentioned.

North Stradbroke’s Chamber of Commerce chairman Colin Battersby mentioned it was a “tall order to replace mining with anything let alone tourism”.

But he stated traders and locals have been determined to take a good approach and keen to contribute to the transition strategy.

“So we’ll be searching forward to seeing a plan … get some certainty, move forward and we can all get pleasure from our live once more,” Mr Battersby mentioned.

The sand mine on Stradbroke Island. Photo: The Queensland Government is determined to finish sand mining on Stradbroke Island by 2019.

(ABC News: Giulio Saggin)

Subjects: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, charities-and-neighborhood-organisations, dunwich-4183

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