Qld MP urged to resign over federal tilt

Pressure is mounting on Queensland MP John McVeigh to resign from state parliament as he attempts to enter federal politics.


The Toowoomba South MP on Saturday won Liberal National Party (LNP) preselection to contest the federal seat of Groom, which will be vacated by former minister Ian MacFarlane at the upcoming national election.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad on Monday urged Mr McVeigh to resign as soon as possible.

“I think it’s important that people understand he’s still attracting a wage for being a state member of parliament, while quite clearly he’s clocked out of that arena,” she said.

As the opposition’s science, information technology and innovation spokesman, Mr McVeigh’s salary is $209,999 a year.

Mr McVeigh said it was too soon to say when he would resign but confirmed he would not run again if he lost Groom.

“I was preselected two days ago and obviously I’ll have discussions with my parliamentary leader, Lawrence Springborg, who is on a plane at the moment coming home from overseas,” Mr McVeigh told AAP.

“I’ll be talking to him as soon as he lands.”

Mr Springborg, the state’s opposition leader, will return from a trade mission to Asia on Tuesday morning.

Mr McVeigh said Clerk of Parliament Neil Laurie had told him he’d need to stand down “by the time a federal election is called”.

“Should I be unsuccessful in securing the federal seat of Groom, I can confirm that I will not be seeking re-election to the state parliament,” he said.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Mr McVeigh’s switch to federal politics could leave tens of thousands of people in his electorate without state representation for “some weeks and potentially months”.

Ms D’Ath said Mr McVeigh would have to resign from state parliament before nominating as a federal candidate.

But a byelection in his southeast Queensland seat of more than 33,000 voters couldn’t take place until the federal poll had been decided, she said.

However, the section of the Parliament of Queensland Act that Ms D’Ath was referring to would only come into play if Mr McVeigh wrote in his resignation letter that he was contesting a federal seat and wanted to recontest his state seat if he was unsuccessful.

Mr McVeigh, who is widely expected to win the safe LNP seat of Groom, said it was up to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to set the byelection date at a time of her choosing after he resigned.

“In the meantime, all I can say is I’d certainly be taking the word of the clerk of the parliament over the attorney-general,” Mr McVeigh said.

Germany urges registering shell companies

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has called for an international register that lists the actual owners of shell companies after presenting a 10-point plan to combat tax havens.


Speaking to public broadcaster ZDF, Schaeuble also said that an agreement between about 100 countries to automatically exchange tax information – due to come into effect in 2017 – should be expanded to include countries such as the US and Panama.

“With access to these two systems, one would be able to find … all people who use tax havens to launder money or avoid tax,” Schaeuble told ARD late on Sunday.

Germany had already launched a push for international co-operation on tax evasion in 2014, but a huge leak from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca just over a week ago has elevated the issue to the top of the agenda in Berlin.

About 11.5 million documents analysed by a consortium of media outlets show how the world’s wealthy hide their money with the help of offshore companies, implicating politicians, sports stars and celebrities from more than 80 countries.

Schaeuble’s 10-point plan also says that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development should act as a supervisory body when it comes to making sure that countries are taking part in the information exchange.

It adds that a statute of limitations for tax-related crimes should only start once the taxpayer has provided all necessary information, that tougher laws are needed to combat money laundering in Germany’s commercial sector, and that banks should be forced to disclose details of tax-saving schemes they offer to clients.

Govts must embrace new industries: Greens

Governments must do more to help towns like Whyalla adapt when manufacturing is threatened, Greens leader Richard Di Natale says.


About 1600 workers at Whyalla’s steelworks and mine face an uncertain future after the town’s biggest employer, Arrium, appointed administrators.

Senator Di Natale has backed calls for the federal government to help fund upgrades to the steelworks and says Australian steel should be used in taxpayer-funded projects.

But governments had to embrace new industries, such as renewable energy, to ensure regional communities such as Whyalla could adjust and diversify if industries collapsed.

“This is what’s happening right across the world in terms of the transition that is necessary to ensure we are more efficient in those energy-intensive industries,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.

“Rather than reacting after the event, it’s incumbent on political leaders to show a bit of courage and vision and outline their road map for what the future looks like.”

SA Premier Jay Weatherill has said he is increasingly confident the Whyalla steelworks can be saved with assistance from the state and federal governments.

He compared Whyalla to nearby Port Pirie, where a major redevelopment – partly underwritten by the state government – transformed the town’s lead smelter into an advanced metal refining facility.

“It was a very substantial turnaround, it required a lot of work and it took a lot of time,” he told reporters on Monday.

“The government stayed the course, insisted that we received a proposal which was about the long-term future of the plant and ultimately we were prepared to support it in that way.”

Whyalla is one of several South Australian towns heavily dependent on traditional industries that are under threat from global economic headwinds.

Others include Port Augusta, which is facing the closure of two coal-fired power stations in May, and Leigh Creek, where Alinta recently shut down a century-old coal mine.

Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride said Arrium’s difficulties showed the need to reinvent regional communities with sectors such as tourism.

“What we’ve heard from our regional members is ‘we want to diversify’ so if there’s one torpedo that hits, it’s not the one that sinks us all,” he told AAP.

“We have for too long relied on these single companies and these single industries, and it’s a painful lesson we’re learning now.”

Arrium’s administrators, Grant Thornton, have tasked a team of global experts with collecting data and sifting through tens of millions of documents related to the company.

The complex forensic investigation involves 94 separate entities within Arrium and is expected to take up to two weeks.

The administrators will then begin to assess options for a restructure of Arrium, starting with its Whyalla operations, in the hopes of encouraging a recapitalisation of the company.

The first creditors’ meeting is scheduled to be held on April 19.

Hosp deceased ‘never aggressive’: inquest

A schizophrenic indigenous man who died after being restrained in a southeast Queensland hospital was placid and well-managed before his death, his family says.


Bradley Karl Coolwell died in September 2011 after he was admitted to Logan Hospital, some four years before his brother Shaun also died after being restrained by police.

Family members attending a Coroner’s Court hearing in Brisbane on Monday wore t-shirts bearing the Aboriginal flag and text reading: Shaun Coolwell Our Land Is Where We Stand.

Outside court, Mr Coolwell’s sister Sonya Coghill said in some ways the hearing was harder to sit through than Bradley’s funeral.

“I’m just gutted because he was so well-managed,” she said.

“Everyone who knew him knew he was non-violent. He did have episodes but they weren’t extreme.”

In evidence, another sister Shontay accepted counsel assisting Anthony Marinac’s suggestion Bradley sometimes took on a superhero personality but insisted he was never aggressive and loved the police.

“He loved superman. That was it. It was like if you have a favourite singer,” she said.

“Bradley loved Superman but he wasn’t like `okay I’m going to fly off a building’.”

The court heard detectives attending the scene of Mr Coolwell’s death observed marks on his body – such as chest and arm bruising and a small amount of blood on his nose and cheek – as it lay on the floor of a seclusion room.

Dr David Storey conducted an autopsy and said he found evidence of mild to moderate force being used but nothing that could be attributed as a cause of death in its own right.

He said a condition known as extreme delirium syndrome – in which a person suddenly dies after being in a state of heightened agitation – was of “limited relevance” in his opinion.

The controversial condition has been linked to deaths involving multiple police officers restraining an agitated person but is not formally recognised by many high-ranking medical bodies.

But he did note Mr Coolwell was suffering from acute bronchitis.

The hearing continues before Coroner James McDougall.

Daily Mail confirms moves to bid for Yahoo

Britain’s Daily Mail is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid for Yahoo’s internet assets, eyeing a plan to buy the troubled US internet pioneer to help boost advertising revenues from the Mail’s globally popular online news site.


The parent company of the British newspaper, the Daily Mail & General Trust, said on Monday that it was in early stage discussions with several parties about a possible bid for Yahoo, confirming a Wall Street Journal report it had approached private equity buyers to team up.

“We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders,” a spokeswoman for DailyMail苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛, said in an emailed statement, declining to name the private equity firms or give any financial details.

DailyMail苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛, and MailOnline are the celebrity-focused news websites of the right-leaning London-based Daily Mail newspaper.

Globally the websites attract 14 million visitors a day, putting them among the world’s most popular English language news sites.

Buying Yahoo’s assets – which range from search and email to news, sports, photos and other properties – would expand DailyMail苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,’s reach and improve its digital ad revenues, which for its 2015 financial year came in at STG73 million ($A136.70 million), a tenth of the company’s overall annual turnover.

Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said a deal with Yahoo would be positive for the company, helping it sell more US advertising and reducing its dependence on shrinking advertising sales from its newspaper business in Britain.

“The US has been the main driver of digital growth for Daily Mail & General Trust, whilst traffic has grown well they haven’t quite monetised this traffic as successfully as they would have liked,” Whittaker said.

That would follow a similar but smaller deal last year when it bought Elite Daily, a US news and entertainment website in a deal which it said would make its offering to US-based advertising buyers more attractive by widening its audience.

Daily Mail & General Trust’s potential bid could take one of two forms, according to the WSJ report, citing people familiar with the matter.

In one scenario, a private-equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business, with the Mail taking over the news and media properties.

In the other scenario, the private-equity firm would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and merge its media and news properties with the Mail’s online operations. The merged units would form a new company that would be run by the Mail and give a larger equity stake to the Mail’s parent company than under the first scenario, the report said.

Bids for Yahoo are due on April 18, in an auction which is likely to be hotly contested.

Time Inc is also considering partnering with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo’s core internet assets, Reuters reported earlier this month while US telecommunications giant Verizon, which owns AOL, another fallen internet pioneer, is also eyeing a deal.

Blackstone Group, KKR & Co, TPG Capital, Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are some of the financial parties weighing bids for Yahoo’s internet assets, sources have told Reuters.