Daily News Roundup

March 12, 2018

Monday, March 12

A row has erupted in Queensland schools after it was revealed that propaganda for the powerful and lawless Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) will be splashed in classrooms across the state.

The Courier Mail reported today that the campaign has been slammed as an attempt to “indoctrinate children as militant unionists”.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union has pledged to put images of the Eureka Stockade flag  – the symbol of the militant CFMEU – “in every school in Queensland” in retaliation of its banning from Commonwealth building sites.

The Courier reported that QTU boss Kevin Bates claimed the action was part of teachers’ responsibility to ensure “young people are exposed to a broad range of ideas”.

The paper said furious federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham accused the union of politicising classrooms, saying students should learn about “Pythagoras, not how to run picket lines”.


Traces of a nerve agent have been found in a restaurant and a pub in an English city, after a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent, British health authorities say.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in hospital after the attack in the city of Salisbury.

The wider risk to public health remains low but there are concerns that the risk could build if people are repeatedly exposed to tiny quantities of the nerve agent, Jenny Harries of Public Health England told a news conference.

She said people who were in the restaurant and pub on March 4 and 5 should take “simple” precautions by washing their clothes and taking other measures to protect their skin from repeated exposure.


The Catholic Church has hit back at claims it is “making excuses” and dragging its feet on a compensation scheme for victims of child sexual abuse, the ABC reports.

The Prime Minister and the Attorney-General have been pressuring the church to join the national redress scheme, with Malcolm Turnbull saying institutions that don’t sign up should be publicly “shamed”.

In a major development, New South Wales and Victoria last week became the first states to sign up to the scheme, which would provide up to $150,000 in compensation to victims of child sex abuse.

With a planned start date of July 1, the Commonwealth is ramping up pressure on the other states and territories, institutions, churches and charities to join, warning those who do not “will be judged harshly”.

Christian Porter, who is the architect of the scheme, has taken aim at the “underwhelming” response from the Melbourne Archdiocese of the Catholic Church after it indicated it needed more time to review the details before jumping on board.

“This issue has been reviewed more extensively probably than any issue in Australia’s recent modern history,” Mr Porter said.

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