Australia Queensland motorway in $600m cost blowout
How does Boris Johnson hope to avoid another winter lockdown?
The prime minister is pinning his hopes on the UK's vaccination programme greatly reducing the threat of COVID-19 this winter.Almost two months on from "freedom day" in England - when most COVID-19 restrictions were scrapped - the government has set out its plan for what scientists fear could be a "bumpy" winter for the NHS.
The federal government says it won't be helping Queensland with a $600 million cost blowout to replicate a stretch of the M1 on the Gold Coast.
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey has revealed the first stage of the so-called second M1 - a six-lane, 45km arterial route from Nerang to Logan - will now be $2.1 billion.
That's up $632 million on the $1.5 billion it was originally expected to cost.
Mr Bailey says the project has always been funded 50/50 by the state and federal governments and he's written to Acting Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Barnaby Joyce seeking an extra $316 million.
Protesters block M25 for the third time this week as police make swift arrests
Climate protesters blocked the M25 for the third time this week. Essex Police, Surrey Police and Kent Police all confirmed they had responded to incidents.Footage from Essex appears to show officers have taken a tougher stance and swiftly made arrests, however, a tweet from protest group Insulate Britain shows a road in an unknown location was blocked.BBC Radio Surrey reported that the M25 anticlockwise sliproad at junction 9 was blocked, with two lanes of the motorway temporarily closed causing long tailbacks.
He blamed the blowout on delays by the previous Liberal National Party government and an overheated market that was charging more as governments pour money into infrastructure to keep the economy ticking during the pandemic.
"That delay has meant that we have been caught in the middle of an unprecedented boom in investment in infrastructure projects across Australia," he said.
But federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said Queensland shouldn't get its hopes up.
"The Queensland government is responsible for the procurement, management and delivery of this project," the minister's office said in a statement.
"The Commonwealth's commitment is set at $750 million, we do not provide open ended insurance against mismanagement of a project by the state government."
Qld highway crash victims had 'no chance' .
A young child is one of four people to have died when two cars collided and exploded into flames on a southeast Queensland highway.The crash in the suburb of Redbank in Ipswich happened after a sedan travelling in the wrong direction hit a four-wheel-drive about 11.15pm on Wednesday.