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Senate bee inquiry

The House committee will hold a hearing Friday with state Attorney General Maura Healey, who announced the probe into whether state employees broke the law by failing to disclose $3.3 million in taxpayer money to a political contributor. The committee will invite speakers including former Michigan Democratic Chairman Kevin Cullinan.

State officials did not return requests for comment on what the hearing might explore.

The state probe, along with other probes into state employees’ campaign spending, have drawn national scrutiny from Republican lawmakers and donors.

The state will pay $500,000 in a taxpayer-funded settlement to settle a federal civil-rights probe related to allegations that employees falsified campaign contributions and failed to submit reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Flood fallout lingers in cairns, marshes and beaches of western NSW

By the time of the big flash event in October last year it had already been over two months since the Great Cyclone of 2003 struck Queensland and New South Wales. Its rainfall from the storm peaked at 3.2m – almost one-and-a-half times the average for the eastern half of Australia. The storm had devastated much of the country. „It made the Great Cyclone of 2003 look like a picnic,” Mr Nettle said.

The 2005-2006 drought has also been described as a „tidal event” which has been blamed for causing devastating flooding which has impacted more than half of NSW and Queensland as well as inland Tasmania, Australia’s worst-affected inland region. Mr Nettle, who has been writing about cyclones since he was a child, said the Great Cyclone brought an increased level of intensity to the cyclone seasons. „One-and-a-half times the normal cyclone intensity,” he said. „That, combined with a very low water point and a prolonged period of warm weather which led to wetland formation and river flows, and a flood wall is what really got the storm through into its last two months and caused a big flash event over Brisbane.”

The 2005-2006 cyclone drought and flood occurred on the east coast of Queensland’s central coast between March and August of the same year. The drought came in a series of heavy rains on both sides of the continent – the south and north-west. The most severe was in March 2006 between the cities of Coober Pedy and Brisbane and an 11-year drought ensued.