Fire Service – Prefu – Prefu Reaction – Job Losses – Train Crash – Indonesia – Netanyahu – Stagecoach Strike – Boer War – Frigate Waikato
FIRE SERVICE LEVY UP: The fire service levy which is passed on through fire premiums is to increase. The move has infuriated United MP Peter Dunne, who says that it shows how much money has been wasted. Trevor Mallard says the increase is needed in part to pay for Fire Commission legal bills.
PREFU: The treasury’s PREFU paints a rosier view of the fiscal outlook for an incoming . Treasury sees growth of 2.3% to March 1999. Surpluses are set to rise to $2 billion. Treasurer Bill English is upbeat about the figures. Current Account deficit is expected to blow out to over $8 billion because of one off objects.
PREFU:REACTION: Labour says the PREFU presents no problems for Labour’s spending plans. ACT says the forecast is not as good as it was at the last election.
JOB LOSSES: 4800 jobs have been lost in the last year in the Northern region in manufacturing and processing industries. The report’s author says that it is terribly tough for those who have lost their jobs. Meanwhile Lane Walker Rudkin says that apparel manufacture is possible in NZ with local production of small, quick runs, of product.
TRAIN CRASH: The investigations into the Southland train crash which killed one driver yesterday will examine a system of “track warrant control” which has been investigated five times before by authorities. Tranzrail says most of the wagons in the collision will be cleared by the end of today. The track is now open again. The locomotives are badly damaged. Some wagons are also damaged.
INDONESIA: Violence has swept through Indonesia after a Muslim Cleric was elected president. The new president is the head of an almost feudal Islamic organisation with 30 million members.
NETANYAHU: Israeli police have searched the house of former PM Benjamin Netanyahu for gifts given during is term in office. Mr Netanyahu is now accused of corruption and several boxes of evidence have been seized at his house.
STAGECOACH STRIKE: A lobby group wants immediate action to fix Auckland’s public transport. They say that strikes are bringing commuters to their knees. A spokeswoman says more money should be put in to alternative public transport assistance – including cycling paths. Green MP Rod Donald says cyclists should be made to feel safer if more commuters are to be expected to cycle to work.
BOER WAR: Commemorations have begun in Wellington for the departure of troops to Boer War 100 years ago. Around 80 soldiers and civilians marched from Ben Burn Park to the Karori Cemetery retracing the steps of soldiers 100 years earlier.
FRIGATE WAIKATO: The Navy Frigate Waikato is to be handed over to its new owners today in Auckland. The Waikato will be holed and sunk as a divers reef in Northland. The boat will be sunk near the already sunk former survey ship Tui so divers can visit both wrecks at once.