BRIEFS

Query over cash
Nanjing Night Net

for rail project

CANBERRA – More questions have been raised about the federal regional partnerships programme after it was revealed that the Government gave $660,000 to a now-defunct rail project in a marginal Liberal seat. Opposition regional development spokesman Kelvin Thomson said the grant to the Beaudesert Shire Railway Support Group was used in a vain attempt to get the project out of receivership.

The tourist railway project, in the Queensland electorate of Forde, ceased operating three months ago and is the subject of court action by creditors.

A Senate inquiry is looking into independent MP Tony Windsor’s claim that funding under the programme was made conditional on political considerations.

Palm Island calm ahead of funeral

PALM ISLAND – The smell of the Palm Island riot still lingered in the community’s main streets yesterday on the eve of Cameron Doomadgee’s funeral.

Two weeks ago, large plumes of smoke billowed from the north Queensland island following a riot sparked by news that Mr Doomadgee had suffered broken ribs and a ruptured liver in a scuffle when he died on November 19 in the island’s police station.

But the only signs yesterday of the events of November 26 in which the police station, court house and officer-in-charge’s house were burnt was the lingering smell of ash in the main streets.

Mr Doomadgee’s dying mother Doris, 67, told relatives her only wish was to see her son laid to rest.

The second youngest of nine children, his death has become the catalyst for nationwide protests calling for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Nolan family art feud ends in High Court

MELBOURNE – A bitter and costly family feud between the widow of famed Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan and his adopted daughter ground to a halt in the High Court yesterday.

Nolan’s widow, Mary, Lady Nolan, 78, was declared the winner of the legal tussle when the court refused to grant leave to appeal to Jinx Nolan against a ruling over the ownership of three Nolan paintings worth $1 million.

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