Home-schooling parents have lashed the Queensland government’s plans to force them to teach the Australian curriculum during a parliamentary hearing this morning.

The government’s bill would also create a new guiding principle that home education should be in the best interests of the child, taking into account their safety, wellbeing and access to a high-quality education.

Education department officials earlier this month explained it addressed a recommendation from a review into the death of a child, which argued there needed to be more support for home-educated children.

Hilary Uhr, an admitted lawyer whose father Geoff Wilson was education minister under the Bligh Labor government, said she was home-educating her two young children, and argued the guiding principle’s child safety objective was misguided.

“That reports relates to deaths of children who are connected to the Child Safety department, not the broad home-schooling population,” she said.

“Home-schooling kids are not, by default, in need of protection from harm.

“The information available raises more questions about failures of Child Safety than about an issue with home education.”

On just one day of the year, Brisbane truly earns its unfair reputation as a big country town, and that’s Good Friday.

This public holiday is bad news to anyone reliant on our thriving cafe scene to get them up and moving – because many of them are shut.

So where can you buy your latte, flat white or cappuccino tomorrow morning?

We’ve got a few ideas. Read our list here.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles took a trip to Dreamworld this morning to urge people to stock up on chocolate Easter bilbies to help fund research and conservation efforts.

In a statement urging people to “hop into action”, the Premier said: “I’ve always loved bilbies and their conservation is something I’m passionate about.”

I know he’s being sincere, because it reminded me of this photo I took in 2017 – another occasion when Miles, at that time the environment minister, wanted people to buy Easter bilby chocolates.

“I’ve always loved bilbies.” Then-environment minister Steven Miles cuddles a bilby for an Easter photo op in 2017.

“I’ve always loved bilbies.” Then-environment minister Steven Miles cuddles a bilby for an Easter photo op in 2017.Credit: Felicity Caldwell

By my count, Miles has posed with bilbies on at least four other occasions, dating back to a 2015 announcement about the bilby-friendly Currawinya National Park doubling in size.

Miles, like pretty much every politician, has spent plenty of time posing with puppies, koalas and kangaroos for the camera too.

After threatening a man on crutches over a debt, Nicholas James Wilson doused him with methylated spirits and set him alight, a court has been told.

Wilson no longer faced an attempted murder charge but would remain behind bars after being refused bail over the alleged April 2022 attack in Brisbane.

The 43-year-old was accused of breaking into the man’s Woolloongabba unit before dousing him with the flammable liquid.

Wilson stood or leaned forward in a way to close the gap between the men before igniting a gas lighter that belonged to the man, who lived with a disability, the Crown alleged.

The device had “extraordinary capabilities” although there was no evidence Wilson knew it could shoot flames up to a foot-and-a-half, as the injured man told police, Acting Justice Ann Lyons said in refusing bail today. “We’re not talking about a cigarette lighter.”

Read more.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has been extended at the helm of the club through to the end of 2026, determined to end a premiership drought that now spans 18 years.

The former champion five-eighth guided Brisbane through to last year’s decider, and with a host of big names coming off contract at the end of 2025 – Selwyn Cobbo, Reece Walsh and Kotoni Staggs among them – the club has moved to confirm the mentor’s tenure.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters.Credit: Tertius Pickard

“I think the first thing is that you extend someone because they are doing a great job, and we have seen that with Kev,” Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy said.

“There are of course other benefits around continuity, certainty and stability within our game.

“He works incredibly hard behind the scenes. Often I will be saying to him to take a day off because he is constantly in the club.

“Often people see the larrikin behind Kevin Walters but don’t see the guy working really hard behind the scenes to ensure the team rolled out on the weekend gives them every opportunity to win the game.”

The Dolphins have confirmed the contract extension of boom halfback Isaiya Katoa, cementing him at the club’s scrum base through to the end of 2028.

Already signed to the end of 2025, the 20-year-old was tipped to be a hot commodity on the open market as struggling outfits hunt a No.7 who could rescue them from the doldrums.

However, on the back of the most accomplished performance of his career against the Dragons, the Dolphins have kept Katoa from being a target of rival sides from November 1.

He has already featured in six Tests for Tonga and will play his 24th NRL game for the Redcliffe-based side against the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The chief of the Australian Defence Force has apologised to personnel and veterans for the military’s failures, while pledging to do better.

General Angus Campbell gave evidence at the final public hearing day for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

“Our people deserve and should rightly expect the support and care they need both during and after their service,” he said.

Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell.

Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“I acknowledge that this has not always been the case, and tragically it’s led to the deaths by suicide of some of our people.

“Defence is committed, and I am committed to doing better.

“I apologise unreservedly for these deficiencies.”

General Campbell said the courage displayed by those who came forward to share their experiences was deeply admirable.

“I sincerely appreciate the efforts of those who have contributed to my learning and our deeper understanding of suicide and suicidality and its enduring aftermath,” he said.

The defence force chief will be the sole witness to appear at the commission today, which will conclude in Sydney.

Auditor-General Brendan Worrall has again criticised the Queensland government for a lack of transparency over cost blowouts for major projects.

Having already presented a report on transport project costs, that was tabled in parliament, Worrall was this week forced to follow up with an erratum to clarify his figures.

Worrall said the Queensland Audit Office relied on publicly available budget papers to report new Gold Coast stations would cost $187 million until the government disclosed it would likely cost $573 million.

“The absence of clear guidelines for agencies when deciding the level of detail to disclose for capital
programs can lead to inconsistencies, and limits transparency over capital expenditure,” Worrall told parliament.

His criticism came after the government acknowledged a blowout in the cost of the Coomera Connector project, having already reported increases in the likely cost of other road projects.

Brisbane’s most expensive private school has raked in more than half-a-million dollars in application fees in 2023 alone – with no guarantee of a spot for the students applying.

And despite a cost-of-living crisis, Brisbane Grammar School experienced an 85 per cent increase in applications from prospective students last year compared with pre-COVID – which will keep its wait list healthy for the next decade.

Brisbane Grammar School’s new STEAM precinct, which features 15 lab spaces of university standard, a specialised laboratory for biological dissections, art studios, a kiln room and a 300-seat open auditorium.

Brisbane Grammar School’s new STEAM precinct, which features 15 lab spaces of university standard, a specialised laboratory for biological dissections, art studios, a kiln room and a 300-seat open auditorium.Credit: Brisbane Grammar School

The inner-city school received about 1300 enrolment applications in 2023 – at $500 per child – up from about 700 applications four years earlier.

Read more.

Marion Scrymgour, the federal Labor MP for Lingiari in the Northern Territory, has spoken about the youth curfew put in place for Alice Springs last night, after a spate of violent incidents in the community.

The two-week curfew is designed to stop people aged under 18 gathering in the town’s CBD between 6pm and 6am.

“I think for some weeks [there’s] been a lot of unrest in the town and particularly amongst young people,” Scrymgour said this morning on ABC’s RN Breakfast.

Lingiari MP Marion Scrymgour in federal parliament.

Lingiari MP Marion Scrymgour in federal parliament.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

The MP said the violence has been increasingly steadily over a number of weeks, and the government had to do something.

She was asked if the Australian Defence Force should be called in to help tackle the issue in the community, a move NT senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price had called for.

Scrymgour said she believed the 53 extra police who will be sent to the town would help.

“I think it’s time for all sides to stop playing politics with this issue, it’s too important,” she said.

The MP said they needed to make sure resources were in place to ensure people can feel safe, and one step was making sure alcohol licences were being checked.

“I think it will be assisted by the curfew, it’s a pretty desperate situation,” she said.

According to NT police, the violence began when a large group of people from the Utopia district north of Alice Springs arrived in town to commemorate the death of an 18-year-old man who was killed on March 8 when the stolen car he was travelling in rolled over.

The group attacked other family members in the pub, which sustained $30,000 of damage after being pelted with rocks and bricks. Another brawl broke out nearby later that evening.

Home-schooling parents have lashed the Queensland government’s plans to force them to teach the Australian curriculum during a parliamentary hearing this morning.

The government’s bill would also create a new guiding principle that home education should be in the best interests of the child, taking into account their safety, wellbeing and access to a high-quality education.

Education department officials earlier this month explained it addressed a recommendation from a review into the death of a child, which argued there needed to be more support for home-educated children.

Hilary Uhr, an admitted lawyer whose father Geoff Wilson was education minister under the Bligh Labor government, said she was home-educating her two young children, and argued the guiding principle’s child safety objective was misguided.

“That reports relates to deaths of children who are connected to the Child Safety department, not the broad home-schooling population,” she said.

“Home-schooling kids are not, by default, in need of protection from harm.

“The information available raises more questions about failures of Child Safety than about an issue with home education.”

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