Chronic stress could be making you fat

Sarah Jackson, UCL

The world is getting fatter and it’s making us sicker.

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But could rising stress levels be playing an important role in our growing waistlines?

Obesity is now one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is associated with increased risk of developing a host of chronic health conditions. There is great public interest in the reasons some people struggle with their weight while others find it easy to stay slim, with blame often attributed to genes or health conditions, such as thyroid problems.

Stress is another potential risk factor that has attracted research attention. People tend to report overeating and “comfort eating” foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories when stressed. And because the stress hormone cortisol plays a role in metabolism and fat storage, there are plausible biological mechanisms behind a possible link between stress and putting on weight.

In research published in Obesity this week we found that chronic stress was consistently linked with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.

Our data were collected over a four-year period as part of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a study that follows a large group of people aged 50 and older. We found that people who had higher levels of cortisol in their hair tended to have a larger waist circumference, were heavier, and had a higher body-mass index (BMI). People classified as obese on the basis of their BMI (≥30) or waist circumference (≥102cm in men, ≥88cm in women) had particularly high levels of cortisol in their hair.

When we looked back at people’s weight over a period of four years, we saw that those who had more persistent obesity had higher hair cortisol measurements than those whose weight had fluctuated or who had consistently been a healthy weight.

Lisa S/Shutterstock长沙桑拿按摩论坛,

Measuring long-term stress

Why did we use hair to measure cortisol levels? Previous studies looking at the link between cortisol and obesity have relied mainly on measurements of the hormone in blood, saliva or urine which may vary according to the time of day and other “situational factors”, such as diet or illness. Because these methods give a very short-term picture of a person’s stress levels, these studies were not able to evaluate the relationship between obesity and longer-term stress. The distinction between acute (short-term) and chronic (longer-term) stress is important because the former is thought to serve as a protective fight or flight response whereas the latter can have a damaging effect on the body.

Hair is a reliable way to measure long-term exposure to stress hormones. Catalin Petolea/Shutterstock长沙桑拿按摩论坛,

Over the last decade, a new method for measuring cortisol levels in hair has been developed, and has been shown to be a reliable way of assessing chronic stress exposure.

For our research, a lock of hair 2cm long was taken from each participant, cut as closely as possible to the person’s scalp. Hair grows at an average rate of 1cm per month, so our samples represented approximately two months’ hair growth with associated accumulated levels of cortisol.

We measured people’s weight, height and waist circumference, and we used these measures to assess the relationship between levels of hair cortisol and adiposity (fatness).

A new target for treating obesity?

We cannot be sure from our research that stress is causing people to become obese, but if causation can be proved through further investigation, the link between chronic stress and obesity offers a potential target for interventions aimed at preventing and treating obesity. Tried and tested stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation and yoga are cheap, widely accessible options that could help people reduce their risk of developing obesity. It may also be possible to use drugs that reduce cortisol levels to treat obesity in more severe cases.

Sarah Jackson receives funding from Cancer Research UK.

Teachers renew ‘I give a Gonski’ campaign

Teachers are going to step up pressure on the federal government as it finalises a new school funding deal with the states and territories.

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The Australian Education Union is using the success stories of 24 schools around the country to highlight the importance of increased funding to students in disadvantaged areas.

It will renew its “I give a Gonski” campaign, with new ads targeting what it says is a failure to support under-resourced schools.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham is in the final throes of negotiations on a new funding agreement, with the deal expected to be signed by leaders in April.

He wants the states to agree to a range of measures including higher standards for new teachers and tests for Year 1 students in exchange for commonwealth funding increases.

But the union has slammed the government’s refusal to proceed with the large increases in 2018 and 2019 that were part of the six-year Gonski deal.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to implement a new funding system is in chaos,” union federal president Correna Haythorpe said on Friday.

“States and territories won’t back it and the Catholic school peak body has said there is not enough time to implement a new funding system before the end of this year.”

Every student at Cowandilla Primary School in Adelaide – one of the examples in the union’s 2017 Getting Results report – has improved since it received extra money for specialist numeracy and literacy programs.

But principal Julie Hayes says that could not have happened in a resource-free vacuum.

If the boost in money continues, her school could help its large numbers of disadvantaged students access computers and other technology they didn’t have at home.

“Principals at disadvantaged schools are always keen to make sure they’re able to level the playing field by providing these things at school cost,” she says.

“So, if we had significant money it would help support that – a new way of learning.”

Opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek says the debate around school funding neglects the tools teachers need.

Too often teachers are blamed for all the problems with schools and student achievement.

“We must end the teacher blame game, and actually focus on what matters for schools, teachers and kids,” she will tell AEU’s annual conference in Melbourne on Friday.

“We know funding matters. Other things matter, too, but we can’t deliver those things unless we properly fund our schools.”

Sexton returns for Ireland to face France

Fit again, Ireland five-eighth Johnny Sexton returns to the side for France’s visit as coach Joe Schmidt picked from a near full-strength squad in a bid to stay in contention for the Six Nations title.

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Sexton, who has suffered a spate of injuries recently from numerous concussions to shoulder, hamstring and neck problems, missed Ireland’s first two matches of the tournament with a calf injury, when he was ably replaced by Paddy Jackson.

Despite only playing two of Ireland’s last nine matches and just three times for his province Leinster since October – failing to play more than 60 minutes on each occasion – the 31-year-old’s experience will be vital on Saturday, Schmidt said.

“He was frustrated missing those first two and he’s excited by the opportunity, and he takes a fair bit of responsibility as well,” Schmidt told reporters. “He’s obviously a leader within the team, and his experience contributes some of that leadership,

The New Zealander made two other changes after the 63-10 rout of Italy last time out, both in the front row. Prop Jack McGrath starts ahead of Cian Healy, and captain Rory Best returns after missing out on a 52nd consecutive Six Nations match through a last-minute illness in Rome.

IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Simon Zebo, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Donnacha Ryan, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (capt.), Jack McGrath. Interchange: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson, Andrew Trimble.

Hajj: The Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha explained

The festival, also known as the feast of the sacrifice, marks the third day of the Hajj.

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The Hajj is an annual journey to Mecca, a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia, that all able-bodied and financially capable Muslim adults are expected to make at least once in their lifetime.

Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on September 1, 2017, and is the day after the Day of Arafat.

Muslims praying in Lakemba during the festival of Eid al-AdhaSBS

Muslim worshippers pray during the Hajj pilgrimage outside Namrah Mosque in Arafat, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 31 August 2017. One day prior to Eid al-Adha.AAP

What does it commemorate?

Eid al-Adha marks the holy ritual when the Prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son to God.

In Islam, the Prophet Abraham was tempted by Satan to abandon his sacrifice, but showed the willingness to carry through the act and cast the devil away with stones.

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However, upon preparing the sacrifice Allah replaced his son with a ram.

Celebrated through prayer and sacrifice

On the morning of the public holiday, Muslims often dress up in new clothes and attend prayer at local mosques.

Community prayer is also often held in open spaces such as public parks.

Muslims often share food and gifts when meeting up with friends and family.

An Iraqi sheep vendor displays sheep for sale ahead of the Eid-al-Adha festival at a livestock market in Baghdad, Iraq, on 31 August 2017.AAP

Pilgrims at the Hajj travel back to Mina and throw the stone pebbles at pillars. The act resembes casting away the temptations of the devil.

Then after meeting with family and friends, Muslims often slaughter a sheep, goat, cow or camel – to complete the re-enactment of when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, only to find God had placed a ram there to be slaughtered instead.

Muslims give a third of the meat to the poor, a third to friends and leave the final third for the household as a gesture of parting with something precious.

How long does it last?

In some countries with large Muslim populations the festival is a national hoilday and can run for three days, but can also go for longer depending on the nation.

0:00 Muslims begin annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca Share Muslims begin annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca

Drug runner chasing ‘easy money’: court

A would-be Melbourne paramedic turned to drug running to make some easy money to keep up with his peers.

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Michael Ung, 24, is now facing a maximum term of life in jail and his girlfriend Beatrice Chang – who was in the car with him when police uncovered the stash – is pleading to be spared conviction.

Ung was trafficking four kilograms of methylamphetamine, or ice, from Sydney to Melbourne when stopped on the Hume Highway as part of a pre-planned intercept on January 24, the County Court was told on Friday.

He made $6000 from the trip and up to $25,000 in total for his drug running journeys, spending the money on a car and entertaining Chang, Prosecutor Kathryn Hamill said.

The court was told Chang knew Ung was involved in trafficking because they had discussed what they’d do with the money.

Ung pleaded guilty to trafficking a large commercial quantity of a drug of dependence while Chang, 24, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of trafficking a drug of dependence.

Defence barrister Trevor Wallwork said Ung became involved as a drug courier for “easy money” because he lacked hope for the future and felt he was falling behind his peers.

The former paramedic student suffered lupus, a chronic illness, which at times left him bedridden and he had gambled away his savings.

Ung told police he had “screwed up a lot” and told them not to blame his girlfriend.

“It’s not hers, please don’t do anything to her,” he told investigators.

“It was my choice in the end.”

Mr Wallwork said his client was grappling with the impact of his actions on his relationship and his family.

It prompted Judge John Carmody to respond: “I’ll see the impact of the methylamphetamine in the community for the rest of my time as a judge.”

Chang’s defence urged she be spared conviction due to her minor involvement.

John Dickinson QC said Ung had put the love of his life in a “big bind”.

“He’s put her in an awful position, and put himself in an awful position too,” Mr Dickinson said.

Chang has already served 43 days in pre-sentence custody and Mr Dickinson urged that the masters graduate be spared a conviction.

“You can’t really expect a naive, student-aged, gullible, inexperienced young woman to walk away in that situation,” he said.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.

Research gives mesothelioma sufferers hope

There may be light at the end of the tunnel for mesothelioma sufferers.

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The rare cancer, which results from exposure to asbestos, kills most patients but a team of Sydney oncology experts has found injecting sufferers with missing genetic information can reverse tumour growth.

“This has created considerable excitement in the scientific world,” the study’s principal investigator, Professor Nico van Zandwijk, said on Friday.

Researchers first identified that mesothelioma sufferers’ cancerous cells were missing important nucleotides, called microRNA.

This genetic information, present in all normal cells, not only controls cell function but prevents cancer growth.

Armed with this knowledge, the team began injecting patients’ deficient cells with microRNA.

After four years of trials they discovered replacing the missing microRNA nucleotides stopped cancer growth and could reduce tumour size.

“This is a magnificent finding,” Prof van Zandwijk from Sydney University’s Concord Clinical School told AAP.

But there’s a lot more work to be done before the treatment could be used to fight mesothelioma in the real world.

Prof van Zandwijk says more clinical trials are required over at least six years before the treatment could be registered.

Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world due to mining and the widespread use of asbestos in building materials up until the 1980s.

The cancer, which originates in the tissues lining the lung, is resistant to almost all forms of therapy.

Only 40 per cent of patients respond to standard chemotherapy which adds just months to their lives.

The results of the trial have been published in the latest issue of Lancet Oncology.

Roos quick to move on after Dusty fend-off

Unlike most of Dustin Martin’s on-field opponents, North Melbourne are adamant they won’t be stopped in their tracks by the superstar’s contract fend-off.

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The Kangaroos went hard in their bid to lure the powerful midfielder with a mammoth seven-year deal reportedly worth about $11 million.

North coach Brad Scott and members of the club’s leadership group even met with Martin as part of their audacious bid to sign him.

Their season-long serenade ended in heartbreak on Thursday night when Martin stuck with the Tigers on a seven-year deal worth about $2 million less.

But the Roos aren’t crying over what might have been.

“(Fans) should know that we are leaving no stone unturned to aggressively improve our list,” North football boss Cameron Joyce said.

“We want to add elite talent … and we will look at Plan B and C, if we need to get to that.

“We are very prepared. We are not going to just go and try and get any player … we targeted the elite to add to our group and we will continue to do that if we can this year, otherwise it might be next year.”

Greater Western Sydney star Josh Kelly has also been strongly linked with a move to Arden St with the lure of an even longer contract than the one offered to Martin.

With Dusty now a Tiger for life it follows that some of the money they had earmarked for him can be used to make their offer to Kelly even more difficult to resist.

Kelly is understood to be leaning towards staying with the Giants, but continued to play his cards close to his chest when he received his first All-Australian nod on Wednesday.

“(There’s) no timeline but I’m not even considering it at the moment,” he said of his contract status.

“I’m fully focused on the finals and excited by that.”

Despite Martin’s decision to stay at Punt Road, Joyce is adamant Arden St remains a desirable address for potential high-profile recruits.

“We went right down to the wire on this one,” Joyce told the Herald Sun.

“We are talking about a potential Brownlow medallist, a multiple All-Australian, best-and-fairest winner and a superstar of the competition who was seriously considering coming to North Melbourne.

“That is the huge positive in this.”

Rival netball coaches see eye-to-eye

The long-standing netball rivalry between Australia and New Zealand hasn’t stopped coaches Lisa Alexander and Janine Southby seeing eye-to-eye on one key issue.

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Going into Sunday’s quad series finale in Invercargill, both are demanding a more ruthless approach from their teams.

On the surface, the Diamonds are in better shape than the Silver Ferns in the four-nation tournament.

They have recorded two wins from two starts, edging a fast-finishing England 54-50 first up before downing South Africa 58-52 in Canberra on Wednesday.

In contrast, Southby’s Silver Ferns are coming off an upset 49-45 defeat to England two days ago in Auckland, just the fifth time they’ve lost in 88 Tests against the Roses.

The Kiwis were also unconvincing in accounting for South Africa 63-56 last Saturday in Brisbane.

Both Alexander and Southby know exactly where they want to see improvement when the two arch-rivals clash at Stadium Southland.

They talk about consistency across four quarters, with both teams having faded in and out of their games against South Africa and England.

Alexander wants the Diamonds to replicate the strong start they delivered against South Africa, but she also wants to see them extend their lead with every quarter.

“We got off to a good start, then we let it go and that’s what was so disappointing,” she told NZ Newswire on Friday.

“We were 7-3 at one stage, and should have pushed on. We really need to work on that – we need to make sure we put the foot down and keep going.”

The Silver Ferns also struggled to maintain pressure against England, culminating in a chaotic final quarter where they were outscored 7-1 in the final five minutes.

Southby says that inconsistency proved costly throughout the whole game.

“We’d be up by five or six goals, then we’d go back to being one or two up – that seemed to be the pattern of the game,” she told NZ Newswire.

“A learning for this group is that when you get the chance, you’ve got to put the foot down, because other teams will just keep pushing back.”

Low expectations for new Syrian peace talks

Representatives from opposition groups and the government are meeting at United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

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The talks come as Russia has asked the Syrian government to halt air strikes across the country.

After almost a year of stalling, negotiators have arrived in Geneva for another attempt at returning peace to Syria.

At the United Nations headquarters, the focus is on a political solution to the almost six-year-old war.

Opposition groups are desperate for a transition of power that would lead to President Bashar al-Assad stepping down.

The government, though, says that is up to the Syrian people to decide.

Neither side has been willing to budge on its position, which resulted in last year’s talks being suspended.

And this year, the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, says he is keeping his expectations realistic.

“Am I expecting a breakthrough? No, I’m not expecting a breakthrough. But I’m expecting and determined for keeping a very proactive momentum. There is a rush between us and the spoilers. The spoilers want to keep a momentum. We have to outpace those few, but clear, spoilers with the momentum on the political track. And I think we can aim at that. So I’m not expecting an immediate breakthrough from this round of negotiation but the beginning of a series of rounds that should enable (us) to go much more in-depth on the substantive issues that are required for a political solution in Syria.”

The mediator has declined to discuss the precise format of the latest talks but says bilateral meetings were set as the starting point.

Syrian opposition spokesman Salem al-Muslet has also called for direct talks with the Syrian government.

He says the group is hoping for “a serious partner” in the talks but suggests the government is just “buying time,” trying to gain more time for its offensive.

Half a million people have been killed in the civil war, and 12 million have been displaced.

A nationwide ceasefire is currently in place, but it has been steadily falling apart since it started.

A separate set of negotiations in Kazakhstan, convened by Russia, Turkey and Iran, has been dealing with the ceasefire and other humanitarian issues.

Russia has been a strong and crucial supporter of the Syrian government.

But, in what has been dubbed a goodwill gesture, Staffan de Mistura says Russia has called on the government to halt its aerial bombings.

“Today, the Russian Federation, at the ceasefire taskforce, did announce to everyone, and every country present, and to myself, that they have formally requested the government of Syria to silence their own skies in the areas touched by the ceasefire during the intra-Syrian talks. We are being requesting those who have an influence on the opposition to try themselves also to do the same. They don’t have aeroplanes, but they can do something similar, in terms of reducing any type of provocation on any side to give a better chance to the intra-Syrian talks.”

Russia and the new United States administration have been meeting to discuss how to deal with the war.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says he discussed safety zones with US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

“Concerning the proposal of creating safe zones, we talked on this topic during my meeting with Rex Tillerson in Bonn on the 16th of February within the ministerial meeting of G20. The American side has said that this concept is now being worked out, and we will await further clarifications.”

Sergei Lavrov says Russia is awaiting US suggestions on how best to cooperate in Syria.

“We have said what we are ready to talk about. And we are waiting for clarification from Washington. We are ready to review any other proposals on cooperation in Syria. And we hope that, as the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said and as the official representative of the White House said, the United States is interested in cooperation with us on a Syrian peace settlement.”

 

Interpol request for N Koreans over Kim

Malaysia has requested Interpol to put an alert out to apprehend four North Korean suspects in the murder of Kim Jong Nam.

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The estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was killed in Kuala Lumpur’s main airport last week, in what South Korean and US officials say was an assassination carried out by North Korean agents.

Malaysia’s police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said on Thursday that two women – one Vietnamese, one Indonesian – arrested last week had been paid for carrying out the fatal assault on Kim using a fast-acting poison, but declined to say if they were working for a spy agency.

Police are also holding one North Korean man, but are seeking another seven in connection with the murder.

Three of them – a diplomat, a state airline official, and another man – are believed to still be in Malaysia.

The other four are believed to have fled Malaysia on February 13, the day of the killing.

Khalid told reporters that a request had been made to Interpol to put out an alert to apprehend the four suspects, who they believe have already made their way back to North Korea.

Khalid also said the police have sent an official request to the North Korean embassy requesting to interview the embassy’s second secretary and the airline official, having released their names on Wednesday.

“If you have nothing to hide, you should not be afraid to co-operate, you should co-operate,” Khalid told reporters.

Khalid said an arrest warrant will not be issued for the second secretary, as he has diplomatic immunity, but that “the process of the law will take place” if the airline official does not come forward.

Police have still to receive DNA samples from Kim Jong Nam’s next of kin, Khalid said. He also denied that Malaysian police officers had been sent to Macau, the Chinese territory where Kim and his family had been living under Beijing’s protection.

North Korea’s ambassador has said the Malaysian investigation cannot be trusted, and the embassy issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the three suspects that have been detained should be released.

‘We don’t care if you survive’: Young workers left feeling jilted over penalty rates move

Unsurprisingly, the move to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalties for those working in the retail, fast-food and hospitality industries has not been well received by the employees themselves.

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After July, when the changes are expected to kick in, a casual retail employee on the minimum wage over the age of 18 classified as a level one employee – the lowest grade possible – who would have earned approximately $35 an hour prior to the amendments, will instead make around $30.63 an hour. 

For a six-hour working day this equates to $26.22 less each Sunday, or potentially $104.88 less a month.

Now, many of those affected by the upcoming changes have been left scratching their heads as to how they will make ends meet come July.

“Penalty rates can literally be the difference between paying rent and/or buying food for retail workers,” Daile Kelleher, the State Retail Manager for St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland, wrote on Twitter.

Penalty rates can literally be the difference between paying rent and/or buying food for retail workers.

— Daile Kelleher (@DaileKelleher) February 23, 2017

“Workers who are often supporting a family or putting themselves through university or study survive off penalty rates,” she said.

Cutting penalty rates is giving the message to these workers that we don’t care if you can survive or not.

— Daile Kelleher (@DaileKelleher) February 23, 2017

Former retail worker Sharon McClafferty said penalty rates were the difference between her being able to study or not.

Without #penaltyrates I would not have been able to stay in university. David Jones Sunday shift was how I paid rent. It was a win:win

— Sharon McClafferty (@SharonsNetwork) February 23, 2017

While President of the Fair Work Commission Iain Ross argued that the cuts reflected that “the extent of the disutility [of working Sundays] is much less than in times past”, student Katelyn Peschel said they did not reflect that there was often little choice for employees who needed to work Sundays or holidays.

As someone who studies 5 days a week and has to work weekends, the cut #penaltyrates means there’s less reward for having no “days off”

— what’d i miss (@katelyn_peschel) February 23, 2017

Gold Coast hospitality worker Ashleigh Dunstan said the move was an ironic one.

“Love it how people who don’t rely on weekend pay decide I should earn less, as they enjoy their Saturday nights and Sunday lunches with friends and family,” she wrote on Facebook.

Bronwyn Lee, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians, said the changes to penalty rates meant an increasingly casualised workforce would have to work harder to catch up with their older counterparts.

“With a significant proportion of retail and hospitality workers under the age of 24, this latest decision to cut penalty rates is another example of how young Australians are being disproportionately affected by challenges in the workforce and the growing risk they face in an increasingly flexible workforce.

“We need to be asking how we can help these young people survive and thrive in the future, by putting them at the centre of the national policy discussion – not making further cuts to their livelihoods,” she said.

At the time of writing, a petition urging Malcolm Turnbull to take action on the rates decision had aproximately 13,000 signatures.

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‘Real-time’ MP donations tracked in Qld

The Queensland government has unveiled a “real-time” donation disclosure system in the lead-up to the next state election, but the opposition has raised concerns the system could still be exploited.

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The system, which went live on Thursday, will show all donations to politicians of over $1000 within seven business days.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the “real-time” system was an Australian first.

“The public want to know who is donating to which political party, in what quantity and whether or not those donations are having any impact whatsoever on political decision making,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Thursday.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said under the previous six-monthly reporting system, the actual figures weren’t known for up to nine months after the donations were made.

“The reporting period of 1 July last year to December last year is still not actually tabled with the electoral commission,” Ms D’Ath said.

“So we will go from waiting eight or nine months for these figures to waiting seven business days.”

The government has opted for a seven-day grace period rather true “real-time” reporting to prevent “malicious” donations being made and to accommodate people who donated using cheques.

But Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson said the system should truly real-time, or else it was still open to abuse.

“We know that Labor and the unions will do a secret deal, give a nod and a wink, and only give the money six days before (the election)” Mr Emerson claimed.

He said the opposition would abide by the changes, but wouldn’t say if they had plans to repeal them if they take office.

The Electronic Disclosure System can be accessed through the Electoral Commission of Queensland website.

The announcement comes as speculation mounts about a possible date for the Queensland election, which is due by early next year but is widely expected to be announced later this year.

Essendon airport reopens after fatal crash

Commercial flights have resumed at Essendon airport after a plane carrying five men fatally crashed and exploded into flames just after take-off.

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Flights from Essendon took off again on Thursday morning, two days after the charter plane to Tasmania’s King Island crashed into a Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre near the end of a runway.

Four Americans on a golfing trip and their Victorian pilot were killed.

Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester says the flight’s cockpit voice recorder has been retrieved from the wreckage and sent away for more analysis.

“The cockpit voice recorder may contain some important information for the investigators and that’s why it’s gone to Canberra for further analysis,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Essendon airport had been open to emergency services only until Thursday morning, an Essendon Fields spokesman said.

A flight bound for Warrnambool with 11 people on board was the first flight out, while a flight from King Island also touched down.

During the closure, incoming flights were diverted to Melbourne or Avalon airports.

Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are still collecting evidence at the crash site.

Pilot Max Quartermain made two mayday calls but they did not contain information about the cause of the crash.

It’s believed catastrophic engine failure may have caused the tragedy.

Mr Quartermain’s passengers, Greg Reynolds De Haven, Glenn Garland, Russell Munsch and John Washburn, had planned to play golf in King Island, while their wives had stayed behind in Melbourne for the day.

Family members in the US were understood to be on their way to Melbourne to provide support to the women.

Agencies are working with the US passengers’ families to repatriate the bodies.

Among the support and condolences for the families include the queen says in a statement she and Prince Philip were saddened to hear the news.

The DFO centre where the plane crashed remains closed until further notice.

The crash reignited concerns about whether the airport – surrounded by homes, a retail outlet and freeways – should remain open.

But the Australian Airports Association says the airport is integral in supporting passenger services, freight and emergency services in Victoria.

“Essendon manages more than 50,000 aircraft movements a year and plays a critical role in connecting regional communities, especially in Victoria and Tasmania, with vital services in Melbourne,” the association said on Thursday.

The DFO will be remain closed for trade on Friday but a dedicated area will be set up outside at midday to allow people to pay their respects to the men killed in the crash.

“Out of respect for those who lost their lives and their families, we have made the decision not to reopen the centre until Monday morning, ” says CEO for Vicinity Centres, Angus McNaughton, in a statement.

“This allows our community the opportunity to pay their respects.”