QUEENSLAND’s state government has awarded a build-operate-transfer concession to the Airtrain Citylink consortium for construction of an 8·5 km rail link to Brisbane airport at a cost of A$223m. Work is expected to take two years, followed by a 35-year operating period before the line is handed over to the state.Airtrain Citylink Ltd is owned by Macquarie Bank (30%), Colonial Ltd (20%), British utility group Hyder (15%), GIO Australia Ltd (11%) engineering group Transfield (10%) and French group Transroute (10%). Financial close was reached on February 3 for an initial equity component valued at A$89m, split between shares, bonds and debt. Another A$175m of debt will be provided by ANZ Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dresdner Bank and BNP. Design work began in February, with heavy construction getting under way later this year. The branch will diverge from the existing QR network near Toombul. Most of the route will be elevated, with two stations serving the international and domestic terminals.Airport services will run every 15min, using QR tracks to reach the city centre, where they will connect with QR’s Citytrain network. Alternate trains will continue south to the Gold Coast resorts. Airtrain Citylink has ordered 12 EMU cars from the Walkers/Adtranz joint venture for A$38m. Based on QR’s inter-city multiple-units also build by Walkers in Maryborough, they will have IGBT traction drives supplied from Adtranz Sweden. Delivery will run from October 2001 to January 2002.
As the government starts opening up the economy, the Department of Education (DepEd) is hoping that the number of enrolled school learners will continue to increase.DepEd Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that as of Sept. 15, more than 24.4 million students have enrolled in public schools. Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)“As of this morning, we already have 24.4 million learners who are enrolled, formally enrolled in our system. We (have) achieved 98.8 percent of the numbers last year for the public sector,” she told lawmakers during the House Committee on Appropriations’ deliberations on the DepEd’s 2021 budget.She also disclosed that 2.082 million learners enrolled in private schools. “This constitutes already about 48 percent of last year’s private school enrolment,” Briones noted. She recalled during the first week of June, only 7,388 students had been enrolled in the private sector.“The private sector enrolment is at 48 percent now, so every day the numbers move. Last June, when we started enrolment there were only .36 percent (or) less than one half percent of the private sector learners who enrolled,” she said. She stressed that the drop in enrolment numbers is attributable to the economic downturn brought about the COVID-19 pandemic. “Kitang-kita ang improvement ng enrolment figures natin sa pagbukas ng ating ekonomiya,” Briones said.(We can see improvement in our enrolment figures with the opening up of our economy.) The opening of classes for school year 2020 to 2021 has been rescheduled to October 5. SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
L-R: “The Facts of Life” stars Kim Fields, Lisa Whelchel, Nancy McKeon, Charlotte Rae, Mindy Cohn; Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Actress Charlotte Rae, best known as wise and lovable house mother Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life, died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, She was 92.Rae’s publicist, B. Harlan Boll, confirmed her death to ABC News. A cause of death wasn’t provided but the actress revealed in spring 2017 that she’d been diagnosed with bone cancer.Rae, born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, got her start in theater and radio before landing a role as Sylvia Schnauser, the wife of Al Lewis’ Leo Schnauser, in the 1960s sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? However, her breakout role came came in 1978, when Norman Lear cast her as kooky housekeeper Edna Garrett in the NBC series Diff’rent Strokes, opposite Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman.A year later, Rae earned a starring role in the Diff’rent Strokes spin-off, The Facts of Life, playing a house mother to students at the all-female Eastland School in New York. The series, co-starring Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon, ran for nine seasons and spawned three TV movies, the most recent in 2001. It also earned Rae an Emmy nomination in 1982.Rae’s later TV appearances included guest spots in shows like ER, Pretty Little Liars, Sisters, and The King of Queens, and films including the Adam Sandler comedy Don’t Mess with the Zohan.Memorial arrangements are pending, Rae’s publicist said. In lieu of flowers, Rae’s family is asking that donations be made to The Actors Fund, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or the Clare Foundation.Several of Rae’s former cast mates expressed their condolences on social media:Kim Fields: “You all already know my heart is heavy yet…. sorry, no words at the moment just love and tears… and yeah, smiles….”Mindy Cohn: “It’s with a heavy heart and tears (but a smile as i think of her lil’ bod and hear her voice) that I now move through the world without this incredible force of a woman being it. she was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live as a creative, along with your talent and gifts. i love you char.”Todd Bridges: “Different Strokes would not have been the same without you #CharlotteRae. You were loved by everyone on our show and you were loved by everyone on the facts of life will miss you “My heart is full of Pain” Rest in peace my friend.”The news of Rae’s death comes as Sony TV is in early talks to reboot The Facts of Life with a new cast. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jessica Biel are reportedly in talks to executive-produce the series. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.