Billion-dollar research facilities on verge of closure without promised funds

The Sydney Morning Herald Nicky Phillips March 5, 2015

In the early days of flight MH370’s disappearance the search focused on areas of ocean off the West Australian coast where authorities suspected the plane may have crashed. They asked scientists for models of ocean currents to predict where debris may have floated. Some of the most up-to-date information came from observing equipment floating in the area, part of Australia’s ocean surveillance system known as the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).
Despite the value of IMOS’s data to this search and rescue effort, but also to climate researchers, the fishing, oil and tourism industries and the Defence Force, a political stalemate may shut it down by June 30, leaving $35 million of ocean equipment decommissioned or abandoned in oceans.

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Measles alert issued for Cairns AAP March 05, 2015

A MEASLES alert has been issued in far north Queensland after a person with the highly contagious virus visited a busy shopping centre and hospital.
INFECTIOUS Diseases Physician Trent Yarwood says the person visited two GPs on Sunday and Monday displaying measles symptoms.
“The case also attended the Stocklands Earlville Shopping Centre on 1 and 2 March, as well as the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department on 2 March,” Dr Yarwood said on Thursday. “Staff from the general practices and Cairns Hospital will be contacting people who may potentially have been exposed.” Measles is highly infectious, can be a severe disease complicated by pneumonia and is usually characterised by a red blotchy rash. Dr Yarwood said anyone displaying symptoms should call ahead before visiting doctors’ rooms, hospitals or pathology services.

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Death investigation, Bribie Island

Qld Police Media March 5, 2015

Police are investigating the death of a 36-year-old Bribie Island man.
The unconscious man was transported to Caboolture Hospital around 9.40pm on February 26 from outside a Bribie Island address, and he passed away on March 4.
Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death continue.
Police are unable to provide further information at this stage.

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Fatal traffic crash, Palmview

Qld Police Media

A person has died in a two vehicle traffic crash in Palmview this morning.
Initial information suggests at 10.24am, a head-on collision between a sedan and four-wheel-drive occurred at the intersection of Frizzo Road and Palmview Drive.
The male driver and female passenger of the sedan, and the male driver and sole occupant of the four-wheel-drive were all transported to Nambour Hospital in a critical condition.
One person was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Frizzo Road was closed but has reopened.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
There is no further information available at this time.

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Family of suspected SIDS baby call for WA forensic changes

Perth Now AAP March 03, 2015

THE family of a newborn baby boy who died of suspected SIDS say it was devastating to delay his funeral three weeks because Western Australia’s only forensic neuropathologist was on leave.
Mason Martin was just three-weeks-old when he died on February 4 and he was not cremated until almost three weeks later, prompting his grieving family to call for a review of the state’s forensic services.
“The trauma of that was something that the whole family had to come to terms with,” Mason’s grandfather Graham Hood told 6PR Radio.
The family had wanted to avoid an autopsy so Mason would not be “carved up” but were told it would take a Supreme Court injunction. If they wanted an immediate funeral, the family had to accept the body without Mason’s brain.
“We were all gutted,” Mr Hood said.
When the neuropathologist returned from leave, the family had to wait another four days because she only worked at the state mortuary one day a week.

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Algal bloom linked to neurone disease

The Australian Sean Parnell 5 March 2015 pp 1 -2

Toxins associated with blue-green algae blooms in waterways are being investigated as the potential cause of the rapid growth of Australians dying from motor neurone disease.  Researchers working on a suspected  MND cluster around Griffith in NSW say blue-green algae could be the common environmental link in several cases.

MND is responsible for a growing number of deaths in Australia.

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Sports star Karmichael Hunt pleads guilty to four charges of possessing cocaine Jeremy Pierce March 05, 2015

QUEENSLAND Reds star Karmichael Hunt has been fined $2500 after pleading guilty to cocaine charges.
The court was told of a number of character references, including from NRL master coach Wayne Bennett.
No conviction was recorded.
Hunt has pleaded guilty to four counts of the lesser charges of possessing cocaine, after he was originally charged with supplying the drug.
Police allege Hunt arranged to pick up drugs with suspected drug trafficking kingpin and former professional rugby league player John Touma on four occasions from September 1 to October 3.
Hunt’s lawyer, Alastair McDougall, said the facts alleged by police were not in dispute and his client had made “poor choices”.

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