Mike Crook

A byelection was held in the Queensland state seat of Redcliffe on February 22, following the resignation of the sitting Liberal National Party member, Scott Driscoll, over fraud allegations. The result was a 17% swing to Labor, and the election of the Labor candidate Yvette D’Ath. The Greens were also hurt by this swing; they failed to reach the 4% threshold to get electoral funding.
New research has found workers suffer many problems associated with working 12-hour shifts and rotating shifts. These problems include a disturbed body-clock, shortened and distorted sleep, and disturbed family and social life. This resulted in acute effects on fatigue, mood and performance. Without adequate coping strategies, this leads to chronic effects on mental and physical health, including elevated risk of cardiovascular gastrointestinal problems, and heightened safety risks.
Unionist Bob Carnegie was charged with 54 counts of contempt of court on October 17 for taking part in a community protest during a dispute between builders' unions and building firm Abigroup at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) construction site. It is a sign of things to come for community activists. About 650 workers took strike actions against Abigroup for refusing to meet demands over working conditions, subcontractor terms and an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry presented its final report on March 16 into the January 2011 flood that submerged parts of suburban Brisbane. There have been very few more expensive exercises in irrelevance than this 658-page report.
Campaign groups Western Downs Alliance and Six Degrees combined with a number of other activists and organisations to bring us the Rock the Gates Festival at Tara showgrounds from April 29 to May 4. The festival was organised to elicit support for, educate and inform about the Lock the Gates campaign which is aimed stopping the corporate destruction of the land and groundwater caused by the search for and extraction of coal seam gas in and around Tara.
There seems to be a misconception in the general community that there is something attractive or good about jobs in the mining sector. But as someone whose main career included 25 years in the refinery, mining construction and production industries, I can state quite emphatically that mining jobs are shit jobs. It wasn't always the case, but mining jobs have become progressively less desirable in the past 20 years.
News reports in early September said doctors had admitted to many instances of patients being seriously injured or killed due to doctors’ exhaustion. The data was from a study by Salaried Doctors Queensland earlier this year.
On August 21, a new group, “Forcewatch”, was launched to monitor the Queensland Police Service’s contentious “move-on power” laws.
Former Queensland Labor cabinet minister Gordon Nuttall was sentenced to seven years jail on July 17. He was found guilty of corruptly receiving secret payments from two Queensland businessmen.
On May 19, more than 37,000 state school teachers will stage a one-day strike against the Queensland government’s pay offer. The offer would keep Queensland’s teachers among the lowest paid in Australia.

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