30 April 2010

Goodna gal hoping corsetry makes a comeback

Cassi Simpson: Showcasing what's hot

GOODNA: After a recent downturn in trading, Silk Orchid Corsetry owner Cassi Simpson is hoping a showcase of what's hot for women next month will help reignite her business.

Goodna-based Simpson will show off a range of her corset designs at What's New Pussycat?, which will feature displays from all-Australian and boutique businesses, to be held on May 14 and 15 at Lightspace in Brisbane.

With the event set to include stylists, beauticians, fashion and lingerie, as well as food, wine, and art, Ms Simpson, who established Silk Orchid three years ago, said it was the perfect platform to display her ideas.

``It's a bit of a girls' day out,'' she said.

``There are going to be a lot of things to look at.

``(I launched the business because) I didn't have enough money to buy them (corsets) so I started making them. It's nice to see how they look when they're done.

``(Business) started slacking off so I got a full-time job and now it's started picking up. I'll probably just keep it as an exclusive little hobby.''

Tickets are $30, with $5 from each going to the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

Register your interest for new walking groups at Springfield Lakes, Collingwood Park or Redbank Plains

Media Release - Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully

Ipswich City Council is seeking expressions of interest from residents wishing to join walking groups in the Redbank Plains, Springfield Lakes and Collingwood Park areas.

 Councillor Paul Tully said volunteer Walk Organisers were ready to go to lead new walking groups if there is enough interest from the community for groups to start in these areas.

"The groups usually take a walk three times a week with starts set down for 6pm.

"The late afternoon starting time usually provides a great option for many people who work during normal business hours to join a walking group to increase their physical activity while meeting new people in their neighbourhoods."

Cr Tully said anyone could register an interest in walking groups in these areas by contacting Council on 07) 3810 6666 or email .

Ipswich dog owners face fines as Springfield woman fined $1600 for dog attack

IPSWICH City Council has warned that dog owners who let their pets stray and bite people or other animals will face heavy fines.

Two cases heard in Ipswich Magistrates Court recently highlighted the consequences dog owners face if their unconfined pets attack.

On April 19, a Springfield woman whose German shepherd inflicted severe wounds on a Jack Russell was fined $1600.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum heard the German shepherd was in the front yard of a Scenic Crescent house in July, 2009, when the occupant's Jack Russell ran out at it.

The larger dog took the Jack Russell in its mouth and ran off, inflicting wounds that resulted in the little terrier having to be put down.

In addition to the $1600 fine, the owner was ordered to pay court costs of $73.80.

A Karalee man was hit with a $2000 fine after his rottweilers attacked an English pointer, a dalmatian and their owner as they walked along the street on November 23 last year.

The court heard two of the man's rottweilers ran through an open gate and on to Diamantina Circle, where they bit a man on the leg and set upon his two pets.

The dalmatian and the English pointer required antibiotics and pain relief, with one of the dogs also needing stitches.

The owner of the rottweillers also paid a $314 veterinary bill on behalf of the victims' owner.

Ipswich City Council Health and Regulation Committee chairman Andrew Antoniolli said the majority of dog-bite cases dealt with by council could be put down to the owner's momentary lapse in attention.

"More often than not it's a case where, for whatever reason, the owner forgets to pay attention to what their dog is doing," Cr Antoniolli said.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said it was the pet owner's responsibility to ensure their dogs did not attack.

If you or your pet is attacked by a dog you should contact council on 3810 6666.

Redbank Plaza race preview prompts call for raceway upgrade

QUEENSLAND Raceways CEO John Tetley has agreed with criticism  levelled at his event from leading V8 driver Craig Lowndes.

Craig Lowndes at Redbank Plaza shows a young fan
what the V8 Supercar drivers wear when racing.

QUEENSLAND Raceways CEO John Tetley has agreed with criticism levelled at his event from leading V8 driver Craig Lowndes.

Lowndes said there was a cloud hanging over the future of the race and the Willowbank track needed urgent facility upgrades.

"Race drivers love tracks with character, altitude change and corners that are difficult to drive. At the moment there is not much character at Queensland Raceway," Lowndes said in his Courier Mail column.

"The circuit must be upgraded with facilities for the fans such as better shade, seating and catering.

"It's not the most technical track to drive, but at least it gives the spectators a view of the whole circuit."

Tetley said he would love to implement Lowndes' proposed changes, but the V8 race did not generate enough money to justify it.

"Last year we lost money on the V8 race, so where would the money to make these changes come from?" he said.

"There's no doubt it needs an upgrade and it is a safe track which means it can be boring.

"But our main business is the 'V8 Experience' which we have running on all the time here and the track suits that program.

"The V8s are only here once a year and unless the State Government helps out we don't have the money to extend the track.

"I have been to the tracks in Europe which are like palaces and I'm very envious."

Lowndes said race drivers found the Queensland Raceways track unsatisfactory.

"I would like to see the circuit resurfaced and lengthened, preferably with more than just two left-hand corners," he said.

"It's a very basic circuit and there are really only two or maybe three places you can overtake."

Rival V8 driver Jason Bright agreed with Lowndes' comments and said the controversy could have been resolved when the track was built ten years ago.

"They had a big area to build a track and that's what they came up with and now they are stuck with it," Bright said.

"There's no doubt it needs an upgrade as it's not the most exciting track to drive on."

Speaking at last night's meet and greet with drivers at Redbank Plaza, race fan Trevor Green said while the track was up to scratch, the facilities weren't.

"As far as views go, the track is great. Obviously the drivers see it from a different perspective, but fans love it because you can see everything," he said.

"The facilities are pretty ordinary and there's not much shade, especially if you have young kids and are sitting around in the sun all day."

Historic Ipswich milk factory to relocate to Logan City

Jobs go with factory closure

One hundreds jobs will be lost at Ipswich after National foods decision to close its Booval factory.

The business has offered to relocate staff to Logan but Ipswich council wants them to stay.

Chandini Khan reports.


More than a century of production in Ipswich will come to an end when the Jacaranda Factory ceases operations early next year.

The decision comes a year after Japanese owned company National Foods took over from Australian owned Dairy Farmers.

Coun Paul Tully, Ipswich City Councillor: "Well we didn't expect that this would happen. This has come as a complete surprise when it was taken over by the current owners. I'd like to see it stay in Ipswich."

However that is unlikely that'll happen.

Mark Toomey, Operations Manager: "The board's decision was made on Friday to the Lion Nathan National foods board and we won't be reversing the decision."

Coun Paul Tully, Ipswich City Councillor: "We've indicated to them over a year ago that we would facilitate the redevelopment of this site if necessary but unfortunately it looks as though we've lost this development to Logan."

The Creastmead plant will become the sole factory in the region once expansion on the site is completed.

National Foods has promised to provide staff impacted with full entitlements offering them either redundancy or relocation to the Brisbane plant.

Workers aren't too happy about the closure but have accepted the decision despite the inconvenience it will cause.

Vox one: I'll have to buy a car to go to the job I only live up the road."

Staff willing to relocate to Logan will make the move early next year.

Mark Toomey, Operations Manager: "It's 30 minutes from the Booval site so we see it as a opportunity for people to grow with our business as well."

Chandini Khan, QUT News

Rangers host Irish in Barber Cup as Goodna take on Beenleigh

IPSWICH Rangers are taking nothing for granted when they host  Brisbane Irish at Woodend for the Barber Cup tomorrow.

Ipswich Rangers hope the return from injury of five-eighth
Stewart Banks (kicking ball) will ignite their attack at Woodend tomorrow.

THERE is no predicting what might happen in any given weekend of the Barber Cup at the moment.

Last-minute wins and upsets are the norm so Ipswich Rangers are taking nothing for granted when they host Brisbane Irish at Woodend from 2.40pm tomorrow.

Irish are coming off their first win of the season against Springfield Lakes and Rangers coach Mike McLean is wary of them as the Springfield team beat his mob in round two.

"We played them in a trial and they looked pretty good," McLean said of Irish.

"We look forward to being back at home. That's followed by a bye so we'll be going flat out."

Irish are renowned for their forward-oriented game so Rangers have been working hard to counter that.

With five-eighth Stewart Banks expected back to lead the attack, allowing captain Cade Hill to move from five-eighth back to inside centre, McLean hopes his team can score some tries.

"We need to be just a bit more expansive in the attacking 22 and push for a few more holes," McLean said. "It got a bit same, same last week."

With Banks out injured and long-serving half Dan Trevorrow making his return from injury in Reserves last weekend, it was no surprise Rangers lacked attacking spark.

"Cade had a great game but is more suited to inside centre," McLean said.

"Stuey will hopefully be back this week and provide a bit of continuity.

"Cade gives us great punch and is a sensational defender."

While not entirely convinced by his team's last-minute win over Pine Rivers last week, McLean was pleased with their perseverance to finish over the top of the opposition.

A lot of it has to do with their fitness this season. "We were still firing at the end when they were struggling," McLean said.

In other Barber Cup matches, Goodna host Beenleigh at Evan Marginson Oval tomorrow at 3pm while Springfield travel to undefeated Wynnum.

In the Pegg Cup, Goodna host Redcliffe at 1.30pm and Rangers host Everton Park at 1.20pm.

In the Scotney Cup, Rangers and Springfield have byes. Rangers Colts travel to play Wynnum 2.

29 April 2010

Collingwood Park-based tennis star Mark Richards on the rise

COLLINGWOOD Park-based tennis player Mark Richards bowed out of  the City of Ipswich International yesterday after a terrific fortnight  at Leichhardt.

Top effort: Women's number one seed, Queenslander
Shannon Golds, displays her confident form in comfortably
beating NSW opponent Deeon Mladin 6-0, 6-2 at Leichhardt

COLLINGWOOD Park-based tennis player Mark Richards bowed out of the City of Ipswich International yesterday after a terrific fortnight at Leichhardt.

Richards lost 6-1, 6-4 to top seed and Australian Open player Brydan Klein in his first round of the ITF Pro Tour event at George Alder Tennis Centre.

However, the rising 16-year-old benefited from playing an Australian Open and Davis Cup player.

"It was a tough game against Brydan Klein who has got a lot of experience," Richards said.

"On serves, he gets a lot more free points and you really have to take your chances against someone like that.

"I was very fortunate to get a wildcard into here."

Richards entered this week's international tournament in top form having won the Gallipoli Youth Cup final last Friday after reaching the Australian International Junior Grade 4 final a week earlier.

"I'm very happy with getting a lot of matches under my belt," the former Toowoomba player said.

"It's really good for me to develop my game on the clay and hit a lot of balls."

Richards' dad is senior pastor at Kruger Parade Baptist Church and his mum works at Springfield Lakes State School.

"This year I got into the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) program so I'm based down in Canberra," the rapidly emerging teenager said. "But I still come up here (Ipswich) a lot."

Another regional hope Ashleigh Barty lost her first round match 6-4, 7-5 to Karolina Wlodarczak.

Making her Australian Pro Tour debut, the 14-year-old Springfield player battled gallantly before going down to the Victorian.

Richards is planning a short break this week before focusing on next week's Pro Tour circuit event in Bundaberg and heading to Europe for a 10-week tour.

"I think it's a bunch of Futures and also some under-18 ITF events where I'll get a lot of different opponents," Richards said.

Klein, 20, is also planning to play next week's Bundaberg tournament before having a rest after returning from the United States.

"I thought I played pretty," Klein said after yesterday's match.

"I started off with a bad service game but then I played a really good set.

"I didn't play as good a second set as I would have liked but I was happy to get off to a good lead in the second set.

"A credit to him (Richards). He played slightly better in the second and pushed me a bit more."

In 2009, Klein reached the second round of the Australian Open and made his Davis Cup debut against Thailand.

As this week's men's top seed, the Perth-based right-hander is keen for more success in Ipswich after a satisfying victory in Arkansaw on hardcourt two weeks ago.

"I've just come from the US and I've come home pretty much to have a rest," he said.

"I thought while these two tournaments (Ipswich and Bundaberg) are here, I might as well play them. I haven't played on clay for a while.

"I'm definitely trying to pick up (international ranking) points and I'm looking to try and get a few titles under my belt.

"I'm looking to try and get a few more to get my ranking up."

The great Indy cover-up as Miss V8 Supercars entrants face fashion police!

The V8 Supercars girls will show a little less flesh and a little  more class this year.

The V8 Supercars girls will show a little less flesh and a little more
class this year.

Former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins rose to national fame in a chequered, bottom-skimming get up.

But the skimpy, figure-hugging jumpsuits of the former Miss Indy grid girls are now a racing relic of the past.

The scant kits have been ditched in favour of a conservative uniform.

Brisbane's Miss V8 Supercars hopeful Kaitlin Hawkins, 22.

Brisbane's Miss V8 Supercars
hopeful Kaitlin Hawkins, 22.

This year's Miss V8 Supercars will be covered from head-to-toe, in a move to coincide with a plan to tame the Gold Coast event.

Contestants in the Miss V8 Supercars competition will now wear long black pants, a light-coloured t-shirt, and a baseball cap.

But long-time competition organiser Leanne St George has denied the new gear was designed to appease a more conservative crowd.

"This is not about political correctness, because I'm not a great fan of it," she said.

"It's a new design, just like thigh-high boots are in one year, and ankle boots are in the next.

"We were looking for something that was different and classy."

First-time contestant Kaitlin Hawkins - a project manager in the family business, Brisbane's Hawkins Garden Centre - said she would not have entered the competition had the revealing jumpsuits not been replaced.

"I was really concerned about the outfits. I only agreed to enter once I heard that V8 Supercars wanted to clean up its image and make it an event that caters to more than what it has catered to in the past," Ms Hawkins, 22, said.

"I am so happy the new outfits are fun and sporty, yet are still not all about the flesh.

"I am more interested in being a businesses ambassador."

The new outfits will debut at this weekend's Ipswich 300.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke supported the move, saying the motorsporting event should not be characterised by scantily-clad women.

"It signifies a move to dignify the event. It was regarded too much as a 'boob exhibition', with the very skimpy outfits of the grid girls and the [displays] by female spectators from the balconies," Cr Clarke said.

"The race is the most important thing, not the spectators."

But Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully disagreed, saying the decision was too prudish for Australian racing.

"We're not prudes in Ipswich," Cr Tully said.

"The girls will look like athletes in tracksuits at the Olympic Games opening ceremony, not V8 Supercar girls."

Ms St George said the decision was a practical one.

"It could be 48 degrees in Darwin, it could be 38 degrees on the Gold Coast ... or it could minus three in Bathurst. So we need a uniform that goes across all the temperature extremes," Ms St George said.

"We do not want the girls to get burnt; we don't the girls to freeze either.

"We also need the girls to feel comfortable and empowered when they are wearing the uniforms, as corporate ambassadors to one of the largest sports in Australia.

"We are searching for the feminine face of V8 Supercars and she will have a very important role."

Twelve girls will contest each round of the V8s held throughout the country, with the winner of each competing for the title at the Sydney Telstra 500 in December.

Auditions for the Gold Coast round will be held in coming months.

Springfield USA votes to ban red light and speed camera enforcement

Imagine this happening here - the State Government would lose too much money!

Missouri Senate Votes To Ban Photo Enforcement

Missouri takes a step toward becoming the sixteenth state to ban automated ticketing machines.

Sen. Jim  LembkeThe Missouri state Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. The measure's champion, state Senator Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis), had failed in previous efforts to convince his colleagues to end the use of automated ticketing machines. This year, however, he was emboldened by the state supreme court's decision last month to strike down Springfield's photo ticketing as illegal (view opinion). Lembke successfully attached the red light camera prohibition to a broader, 106-page transportation measure that included a number of miscellaneous provisions. The vote was 23 to 8 in favor of the ban.

"No county, city, town, village, municipality, state agency, or other political subdivision of this state that is authorized to issue a notice of violation for a violation of a state or local traffic law or regulation, shall use or employ an automated photo red light enforcement system at any intersection within its jurisdiction," Lembke's amendment stated.

State Senator Timothy P. Green (D-St. Louis) received unanimous support for his companion amendment addressing speed cameras. Photo radar is rare in Missouri with Charlack, a tiny city of 1431 residents, deploying cameras to trap drivers passing through on Interstate 170.

"Notwithstanding section 304.120 or any other provision of the law to the contrary, no county, city, town, village, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state may use photo radar speed detection to determine compliance with any speed limit imposed by this chapter or by any local ordinance on any state highway," Green's amendment stated.

Green and Lembke were bolstered in their bipartisan effort by rising grassroots concern over the proliferation of automated ticketing machines in Missouri. Activists organized by the Liberty Restoration Project and supported by various Tea Party groups have held several anti-camera protests in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis (view video). Last year alone, three states -- Maine, Mississippi and Montana -- joined four cities in voting to ban photo enforcement.

The underlying transportation legislation containing the Lembke and Green amendments, House Bill 2111, has been referred to the Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee. As the measure has already passed the state House, differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed bills must be worked out in a conference committee. The compromise bill would then require a final vote in both chambers before being sent to the governor to be signed into law.

Fears motorway sale will drive up tolls prompts call for CPI limit


AUSTRALIA'S leading motoring body fears Ipswich residents could be slugged with higher tolls to use the Logan Motorway if the state-owned Queensland Motorways is privatised.

The RACQ said the sale of the government-owned corporation would condemn motorists to paying increased tolls on the motorway for the next 50 years.

Queensland Motorways has been put up for sale by the State Government along with parts of Queensland Rail and other state assets under Premier Anna Bligh's privatisation plan.

RACQ general manager for external relations Gary Fites said his group would fight for Queensland Motorways Limited (QML) to remain in public hands.

"There is a sound economic argument to show that the state's road infrastructure should be managed as a single integrated network for the benefit of all," Mr Fites said.

"And the decision to dispose of the tolling rights held by QML through a 50-year franchise arrangement would effectively condemn motorists to the payment of tolls on key south-east Queensland roads through to 2060.

"The entity that buys QML can make money only one way, and that's through toll revenue."

He said if it remained government owned, the tolls on the Logan Motorway could be reduced or done away with completely within the 50-year period.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully, whose electorate borders on a stretch of the Logan Motorway, said QML should only be sold if the government retained control of toll prices.

Cr Tully said price rises should only go up in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), otherwise thousands of Ipswich residents would be disadvantaged.

"It's the gateway to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Airport for the majority of Ipswich residents," Cr Tully said.

"People don't mind paying a reasonable toll for the motorway, but if it increases above the CPI rate it would affect a lot people.

"You could then have a situation where people avoid the toll road, which will lead to other roads becoming more congested."

Acting Premier Paul Lucas said it was unlikely the State Government would have removed the toll on the Logan and Gateway motorways.

Mr Lucas told reporters the tolls would have stayed in place because the revenue was used to fund infrastructure.

"Queensland Motorways Limited has a long-term franchise in any event that it has under public ownership," he said.

"The RACQ's position on toll roads is well known – they don't support the Gateway being a toll road full stop – so that's been their announced position."

LNP Leader John-Paul Langbroek said the RACQ was standing up for Queensland motorists who already paid the highest vehicle registration fees in the nation.

28 April 2010

Morgan Street Bellbird Park to be kerbed and channelled

Ipswich City Council will be commencing the construction of kerb and channel in Morgan Street Bellbird Park from Johnston Street to the bend near the eastern end of Morgan St on 12 May 2010. 

The project will cost $575,000 and will take approximately 8 weeks to complete.

The commencing and completion dates are subject to good weather.

Ipswich City Council will issue a letter to the residents of Morgan St a week prior to starting on site.

The next street in Bellbird Park earmarked for kerb and channel is Harris St, which runs from Johnston Street to Jones Road.

New traffic lights for Gailes and Camira intersections

Weather permitting, Ipswich City Council  will be commencing the installation of traffic signals at the corner of Alice and Newman Street at Gailes on 12 May 2010.

Once these are completed, the installation of traffic signals will commence at the corner of Old Logan Road & Formation Street at Camira.

These 2 projects will complete the Ipswich City Council signal installation program for the 2009-2010 financial year.

Both sets of signals are funded under the Federal Government's Blackspot Program.

Letters will be issued  to residents near the intersections a week prior to commencing on site.

These new signals will make both intersections much safer for local residents.

Remember the Love Springs water purifier scam in Brisbane and Ipswich last year: They're at it again in New Zealand!

Commerce Commission stops door-to-door sellers claiming sewage in tap water

The Commerce Commission has gone to court to stop companies selling water filters door-to-door making false claims, including that tap water is dangerous and contains sewage.

Three companies involved in selling 'Love Springs' branded water filters have been restrained by an interim injunction obtained by the commission in the Auckland High Court last Thursday.

The injunction prevents the companies, and any individual acting on behalf of them, from making false or misleading representations to consumers under the Fair Trading Act.

These include that tap, or bottled water is poisonous, dangerous, sourced from sewage, contains sewage, or is sourced from toilets.

The companies are also not allowed to claim that tap, or bottled water causes cancer, leukaemia, miscarriages, deformities in babies, asthma, or other health problems, is kept standing for weeks or months before being provided, is of a quality or grade other than that determined by the Ministry of Health, contains giardia, or is in any way unsafe or unhealthy to drink.

The injunction also prevents representations being made that the Love Springs filter would offer health benefits that it does not, such as improving asthma.

The injunction is against Auckland-based companies Love Springs Ltd and Tiny Terms Ltd and Palmerston North-based Successcorp Ltd.

The companies can continue to promote and market water filters but must not make false claims.

Love Springs featured in a TV3 news story earlier this month. A woman said she was told Porirua water came from recycled sewage water and wasn't safe to drink. She made an initial payment of $29.95 for a filter system that costs $1500.

Porirua Mayor Jenny Brash was outraged at the false claims and said Porirua was proud of the quality of its water.

The water in Porirua is supplied by the Greater Wellington Regional Council. It comes from the Kaitoke weir, not a sewer.

Love Springs was fined last year for breaching Queensland law. Residents in Ipswich were told they could develop cancer from drinking unfiltered water.

In New Zealand, companies found guilty of breaching provisions of the Fair Trading Act may be fined up to $200,000 and individuals up to $60,000. Only the courts can decide if a representation has breached the Fair Trading Act.

COMMENT: I had the pleasure of exposing these scammers last year in Ipswich.  They were showing women pictures of cancerous breasts and other diseased body parts claiming that the local town water was causing the problem.  Love Springs and its Managing Director were booth fined in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court for misleading consumers.  Now, they are preying on the decent people of New Zealand with the same trickery.  Injunctions, fines and other legal proceedings will not work against this company.  The only real remedy is for the directors to be jailed, if the company or its representatives are ever gain caught engaging in this sort of chicanery.

Staff celebrate centenary of St Francis Xavier School, Goodna

The Catholic Leader

Sharing: Former teachers of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, Ann  Everett (left) and Lisa Boyd chat to current teacher Brenda Reynolds  about changes to the school over the past 100 years

Sharing: Former teachers of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, Ann Everett (left) and Lisa Boyd chat to current teacher Brenda Reynolds about changes to the school over the past 100 years

CURRENT and former staff of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, took a trip down memory lane as they celebrated the centenary of the school recently.

About 60 people enjoyed a night of fun and memories as they gathered at the Goodna RSL function centre for a staff reunion dinner.

Master of ceremonies and former teacher librarian Glenda Hogg acknowledged guests and shared stories as past principals and staff entertained the group with anecdotes that kept the festivities on track.

Ms Hogg, who worked at the school for 25 years, was a great source of memories.

Tables were awash with the school's colour of blue, with accents of silver, and many gasps, sighs and chuckles could be heard as guests were treated to a slide show.

A highlight of the night was the trivia competition on the history of the school, which kept everyone talking.

Current staff member Brenda Reynolds said she was "ecstatic to mingle with former colleagues and catch up with friends from times past on such a wonderful evening".

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school and the staff reunion dinner was the first of many celebrations.

Events to look forward to included the opening of the new school buildings and the creation of a school mural.

Cancer Council’s million-dollar morning tea backed by Ipswich City Council

Cancer Council's million-dollar morning tea

The Cancer Council hopes to raise $12-million as part of Australia's Biggest Morning Tea.

Ipswich is once again contributing greatly to the cause and encouraging other cities to get on board.

Vanessa Fuchs reports.


Now in its 17th year of operation, Australia's Biggest Morning tea has raised more than $70-million.

This year the Cancer Council held a competition to design the 2010 mug, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale presented with the winning mug to add to his world record collection of short black coffee cups.

The mayor says Ipswich is on target to raise more funds than last year.

Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: "For a city like Ipswich you're only as good as the people you support you know we wanna be a city that's big enough to make a difference but small enough to care."

The Cancer Council says all sorts of groups can take part in the event, including cafes and childcare centres.

Erin Davies, Qld Cancer Council: "Workplaces are also a great opportunity to hold a morning tea where everyone can cook and donate money and have some fun with some raffles and some games."

An extraordinary $10-million was raised last year, which all goes towards research, education and patient support.

The biggest morning tea is Australia's largest and most successful event of its kind. Each year groups around the nation support the one in three men and one in four women diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75.

This year the aim is to raise a record $12-million.

Erin Davies, Qld cancer Council: "We have people like Paul Pisasale and the city of Ipswich that supply us with the support that we need to fundraise more and more."

The official date for the biggest morning tea is on the 27th of May, but groups can host an event any time during the month.

Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: "So get online, support it, I'll be supporting it and look, you'll have a lot of fun in the workplace."

RACQ says sale of Queensland Motorways means tolls for the next 50 years


The Bligh government's plan to sell off Queensland Motorways will condemn motorists to paying tolls on key roads for the next 50 years, the RACQ says.

Queensland's peak motoring body is the latest organisation to campaign against the government's controversial assets sell off.

It wants the planned sale of toll roads scrapped, saying motorists will face a long-term financial hit.

It says those in the southeast will be worst off because they're the biggest users of roads controlled by the government-owned company, including the Gateway and Logan motorways.

"Brisbane's major bypass system should not be controlled by a private operator obliged to maximise returns to shareholders," RACQ spokesman Gary Fites says.

"And the decision to dispose of the tolling rights held by QML through a 50-year franchise arrangement would effectively condemn motorists to the payment of tolls on key southeast Queensland roads through to 2060.

"The entity that buys QML can make money only one way, and that's through toll revenue."

Mr Fites says that if Queensland Motorways remains in government hands, tolls on the road system could be reduced or abolished well within the 50-year period.

The RACQ says the government wants to sell the company so it can retire billions of associated debt despite economists challenging the rationale of the sale.

Griffith University Professor of Economics, Ross Guest, who investigated the planned sale for the RACQ, concluded that the tolling rights should not be transferred to the private sector.

Mr Fites said the government should retain ownership of Queensland Motorways and focus on securing more federal road funding under the Nation Building Program.

McDonalds suffer as California County Bans Toys With Fast-Food Meals to protect children's health

For county officials in the Silicon Valley, it turns out that Happy Meals are not so happy after all.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, tackling the problem of childhood obesity, voted today to ban restaurants from offering toys with children's meals unless the food meets specific nutritional standards.

The measure is the first in the nation to restrict fast-food restaurants' marketing strategy of using toys to entice children to buy high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie meals.

"This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes," said board President Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. "It imposes commonsense nutrition on meals linked to toys. We hope that other municipalities, counties and states will follow suit."

The ordinance applies only in the unincorporated parts of Santa Clara County, a largely suburban region south of San Francisco. County officials say there are just 50 restaurants that would be affected by the law, and only a few are fast-food restaurants that might offer toys as incentives.

Nevertheless, the measure was strongly opposed by fast-food franchise operators and other restaurant owners who fear the idea might spread to other jurisdictions. Santa Clara County was one of the first to require that restaurants provide calorie information on their menus, a requirement incorporated in the federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama.

Dozens of opponents of the ordinance attended the meeting and at times applauded loudly when their representatives spoke.

"We do agree that there is a childhood obesity problem," Amalia Chamorro, local government director of the California Restaurant Association, told the board. "Getting rid of the toys is going to do nothing to solve this problem."

The board, granting a small concession, agreed to give opponents 90 days to come up with an alternative plan before the ordinance takes effect.

Supporters of the measure say toys offered with high-calorie meals entice children to choose high-fat, high-sugar items that can be addictive and lead to obesity.

County Public Health Director Dan Peddycord told the board that childhood obesity has become an epidemic and that nearly 25 percent of the children in the county are overweight or obese. One in every three children born today will grow up to be a diabetic, he said. The odds are even worse for Hispanic children: One in two will become diabetic.

"Childhood obesity is the public health issue of our era," he told the board. "We have a collective responsibility to right-size the environment we live in."

Children who become obese at a young age are likely to be obese as adults and have a significantly higher risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer, said acting county public health officer Sara Cody. A 2006 study found that obesity costs the county $420 million annually in health care expenses and $496 million in lost productivity.

The ordinance sets limits of 120 calories for a beverage, 200 calories for a single food item and 485 calories for a meal for any item sold with a toy.

Restaurants will be fined $250 for the first violation and $500 for the second.

Peddycord said a check of restaurants in the county found few children's meals under 650 calories.

Offering toys with the lower-calorie items could create an incentive for children to make healthier choices.

The issue brought out emotional, if not always well-informed, opposition. Some critics accused the board of banning all toys with meals.

Stephen Hazel, who brought one of his own favorite toys to show the board, says he collects them and sends them to children in the Philippines. He called Supervisor Yeager "head Grinch Ken Yeager" and angrily asked, "Do you want to be the one who bans toys?"

Kevin Kettila was equally heated. "I take this personally that you are trying to take away our freedom of choice," he said. "Parents have enough good information without you having to legislate this. You are going to deprive the little kids of a toy."

But Joanne Seavey-Hultquist, the mother of a 3-year-old and coordinator of a nonprofit for children called FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, said parents need help in countering the fast-food restaurants' marketing strategy.

"Research shows that parents are at a disadvantage when children are offered a reward for selecting a high-fat, high-calorie meal," she said. "I appreciate a policy that helps me as a parent to do my job."

And Nicole Kohleriter, communications director for the Health Trust, another Silicon Valley nonprofit, said fast-food marketers know that parents can be worn down when their children plead for a toy.

"The toys are in the food because the toys sell the food," she said. "I think this ordinance is not about taking away parental choice but about leveling the playing field."

Community Centre in Carole Park burns

Police are currently at the scene of a building fire at Carole Park.

Initial investigations reveal a wheelie bin positioned against the exterior of the Southampton Rd Community Centre was set alight just after 3am.

The fire spread to the building before QFRA officers managed to bring the blaze under control preventing the building from being completely destroyed.

No one was injured and the fire is being treated as suspicious.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigations should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Police officer spat on, attacked at Carole Park

THREE people have been charged with seriously assaulting police after two officers were allegedly spat on and attacked in unrelated incidents south of Brisbane.

A police officer was seriously assaulted during an arrest in Sinclair Drive at Carole Park at 3.30pm (AEST) yesterday.

Police say the male officer was investigating a separate matter when a 17-year-old girl allegedly became verbally and physically aggressive.

"The girl allegedly spat in the Senior Constable's face before a 37-year-old woman became involved and allegedly scratched the officer's chest, tore his shirt and gouged his ear," police said.

The officer was treated at the Mater Hospital for his injuries.

The 17-year-old girl was arrested and charged with two counts of serious assault and one count of obstruct police.

The 37-year-old woman was arrested and charged with one count each of serious assault and wilful damage.

They have been held in custody and will appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court today.

Meanwhile, police arrested a 16-year-old girl after she allegedly spat on an officer at Woodridge last night.

The female Sergeant was talking to the girl on Station Road at 8.40pm (AEST) when she allegedly became verbally abusive.

The girl then allegedly lashed out at the officer punching her several times and spitting at her.

The girl was arrested and charged with on count each of serious assault and obstruct police.

She has been held in custody to appear in the Beenleigh Children's Court today.

Ipswich will host world film premiere


IPSWICH will host the world premiere of John Jarratt's latest film  next month.

On the set of Savages Crossing, which was filmed in Ipswich.

IPSWICH will host the world premiere of John Jarratt's latest film next month.

Representatives from Reading Cinemas Redbank will meet the Savages Crossing team to finalise the premiere date today.

It is understood Jarratt and fellow star Craig McLachlan will lead the red-carpet event on May 12 or 13.

Reading Redbank complex manager Lauren Kerr said Savages Crossing would be shown at selected Reading and Palace cinemas in Queensland, News South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

"All we've got to do is confirm the date for the premiere, but it's very exciting for Reading and Ipswich," she said.

"It will be great to have the movie stars here."

Savages Crossing was filmed on location in Fernvale and North Booval in 2008.

It was produced by Jarratt and stars McLachlan, Rebecca Smart, Sacha Horler and Jessica Napier.

The thriller examines the death and mayhem that ensues when a group of people become stranded at a roadhouse during a flood.

Jarratt also plays the lead role of a psychologically twisted man who finds himself in a kill-or-be-killed situation.

The Wolf Creek star paid tribute to south-east Queensland's emerging film industry. "I just think Brisbane is a good place to film," he said.

"The environment's really good. You can shoot everything except snow, and it's got city and country.

"It's not flooded with film production houses like Sydney and Melbourne, and there's a lot more excitement."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was looking forward to seeing the city on the big screen.

"Scenes for Inspector Gadget 2 were filmed in Ipswich and virtually all of Savages Crossing was filmed here," he said.

"To get actors like John Jarratt and Craig McLachlan here is tremendous for Ipswich, and it gets people talking about the place.

"I'd like to see Ipswich people get behind the movie and make sure it's a success, because investments like this bring a lot of benefits to the region.

"Hopefully we can continue to attract more film producers to the region. It's something that I support as mayor and I know a lot of people get a real buzz out of seeing the actors here."

For more information, visit

Goodna murder revelation may help Stafford compensation bid


Graham Stuart Stafford and friend, Deborah, outside court after  his murder conviction was quashed on appeal.

Graham Stuart Stafford and friend, Deborah, outside court after
his murder conviction was quashed on appeal.

Revelations that one of Queensland's most senior crown prosecutors declined to prosecute Graham Stafford could assist his compensation claim against his jail sentence, a legal expert said last night.

Mr Stafford served nearly 15 years for the September 1991 rape and murder of 12-year-old Goodna schoolgirl Leanne Holland, but his conviction was quashed on Christmas Eve last year.

Yesterday, The Australian newspaper reported that crown prosecutor Vishal Lakshman declined to prosecute the trial in 1992 because he was unconvinced of Mr Stafford's guilt. understands the claim, which would be delivered to Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick, is in the process of being formulated by Mr Stafford's legal team.

Bond University professor of law Eric Colvin said the revelation could help in Mr Stafford's compensation claim.

"In a compensation claim, there are no legal criteria, it's an ex gratia payment if it's awarded, and really any relevant information might be taken into account," he said.

"On a compensation claim it might be that they might wish to draw attention to this in the sense of suggesting the original decision to prosecute was ill-advised and, in a compensation claim, there's no reason why that couldn't be taken into account by the government."

Mr Stafford told he thought the revelations would strengthen his compensation claim.

But Mr Stafford said he hoped a cold case review into Leanne's death would be launched before any compensation claims were made.

"We had hoped that everything else would be put in order before a compensation claim is placed and I still hope everything else is in order before that happens," he said.

"But if not, someone of [Mr Lakshman's] calibre coming out and saying he had deep reservations about it from the get-go has got to raise a few eyebrows."

Mr Stafford said he wished Mr Lakshman had come out with his concerns about the case earlier.

"Given [Mr Lakshman] had deep reservations about it, it may have given us the impetus to have someone take a much closer look at it," he said.

"That would have been enough for one of the judges to say `gee, we have to look at this one more closely'."

But Professor Colvin said it would have been unlikely to assist Mr Stafford's trial defence, or his appeal.

"The fact that particular prosecutor took that particular view is of no legal significance at all - the considerations that lay behind the view expressed by that prosecutor would be the relevant thing on the appeal," he said.

"I don't think it could have helped if that information was in the public arena - it's interesting and fascinating information, but it's not information that would be of any legal significance."

Bond University criminologist Paul Wilson said compensation should be a given for Mr Stafford.

"It would be appalling if the state government does not compensate him for the nearly 15 years he spent in jail," he said.

"The Queensland Government have been very reluctant to pay compensation in these types of cases in the past and it would be the most mean-spirited move if they did that in this case."

Professor Wilson said a Royal Commission needed to be set up to get to the bottom of the case once and for all.

He said the relationships between investigating officers and a police informant, whose daughter last month suggested may have been Leanne's killer, had to be examined.

"These are Fitzgerald-type questions, they're not minor questions," Professor Wilson said.

"The case has gone well beyond the Stafford case now and well beyond the issue of Stafford himself."

But Professor Wilson said he thought any such inquiry was unlikely to get off the ground.

"I don't think they want it. Governments don't like these investigations and I would have to say I'm appalled that the opposition haven't said anything about this," he said.

"They say they're concerned about justice, but why have they not gotten involved in asking the tough questions of the government in this case?

"The case is not going to go away - that is apparent - it's not going to disappear. It hasn't done for 15 years and it's not going to go away now."

Citiswich to add gym, cafe to zone


IPSWICH City Council has given approval for a further four lots to be developed at Citiswich Business Park near Dinmore.

Council's Planning and Development chairman Paul Tully said the new lots would form part of the development's stage 2B.

The estate is planned to be developed over the next five to 10 years and is proposed to include a cafe, gym, child care and community recreation precincts.

Cr Tully said council welcomed the further development of Citiswich as it would provide local residents with access to a significant number of jobs.

Ultimately Citiswich is expected to be the base for industries employing up to 5000 people.

Division Four Councillor Trevor Nardi said the developer would be required to pay $761,628 to council for infrastructure for Stage 2B.

"A concrete path also must be constructed between Hoepner Road and Earl Street South, Dinmore to create a link for pedestrians and cyclists between Dinmore Station and the development site," Cr Nardi said.

Citiswich Business Park is Walker Corporation's largest project, valued at over $1 billion.

27 April 2010

Logan Councillor Hajnal Ban talks about Logan, Springfield and Ipswich

Does it cut both ways in terms of does the rail line deliver passengers to Bromelton as well as deliver passengers to the CBD?

• Yes well it needs to be dual gauged first and there was funding set aside by the federal government which has disappeared … but dual gauging is what's needed to then have a second line. It will still allow freight but they'll just have two lines on either side. That would take people into the city and back out.
So you see that as an extension of the citytrain network by that time?
• Hopefully by 2030. Yes definitely.

Where would you see stations along there?

• Flagstone and Greenbank would be the two. Flagstone at that stage would be a developed city of about 80,000. Greenbank would have infill of about 20,000. these figures come out of the regional plan. Jimboomba has a lot of infill. Bromelton shows job projections at about 30,000 jobs. And obviously some urban footprint around Boonah, Beaudesert and other small regional townships and those will rely heavily on rail.
• But Bromelton also has a very large urban footprint so it can cater for jobs and carting freight interstate as well.
Stations at Flagstone and Greenbank would be a must for you … do you see them being developed as Transit Oriented Developments (TODs)?
• That's what the regional plan has outlined as a requirement that under transport nodes that there is a higher density and we're going through the local area plans and structure plans as well. And the TODs certainly feature as part of that. Particularly right around the train stations, you'd have to have higher density.
• Flagstone and Greenbank are the two locations where we would be expected to have TODs.
In terms of development, there's also Yarrabilba as well, that's projected to have …
• About 80,000 people as well. I think the original figures were Flagstone to have around 100,000 but about 80,000 each one. So it will be a satellite city.
• The other thing there will be greater provision will be bus services as well. That's a really big feature of the plan … the infrastructure plan is to allow for more public transport and buses are certainly a part of that.
• And bikeways … so greater connectivity between the communities.

Looking at previous developments, what mistakes have been made there that can be rectified for Flagstone and Yarabilba?

• I don't think there was adequate planning. It was ad hoc. There was no large plan or plan for South East Queensland. It was just … subdivision occurring and there was no community infrastructure, social infrastructure or other infrastructure apart from the development. So what we had was a lot of blocks being carved up – one into two, one into 20, one into larger blocks – one into 100 – and there was no requirement to put into community centres or to put in playgrounds. So what we have are large communities that don't have good infrastructure in place.
• A lot of work we're doing at council level is detailed structure planning which actually looks at building a community, not just developing lots. So that will look at how to we get people from communities to jobs via public transport, how do we provide facilities for the kids … so it looks at the community as opposed to houses and residential lots.

Would you anticipate more schools?

• Absolutely. The existing schools are already at capacity. Greenbank has over 1000 and they're at capacity. I've spoken to the State member to try and buy some land for a Greenbank High School. So we desperately need the government to be visionary and forward thinking in getting land set aside for schools.
• Obviously this needs to be identified as part of the detailed structure planning but I think it needs to occur sooner rather than later because if you don't put the infrastructure in first then you won't attract people to the development.
• We've got to almost do what Ipswich is doing in that they put the infrastructure in before the population as opposed to building the infrastructure (the schools, the pedestrian crossings) afterwards. If you look to Springfield – that's a good example. They put a lot of infrastructure in and the population has just come over time. Schools are already at capacity and we're not just talking about primary schools and high schools … we're talking about TAFE's and Universities. I think over the years, particularly in the more rural areas, we've found that a lot of young people have yet – they turn 18 and then they leave – it's the biggest export of our city because there's no university or provision of work or jobs so we need to make sure we give people a reason to stay.

What about health facilities?

• Both the major cities (Flagstone and Yarrabilba) … when we talk about creating a city, it refers to the provision of all services so you get your community, you get your residential lots as well as your work (commercial and industrial) but also your hospitals, schools, TAFE's, university because to sustain a population of 80-100,000+, you do need local hospitals, you do need schools and for example in the immediate catchment area – Logan and PA (Hospitals) – they're too far out, they're already at capacity so there will need to be medical services incorporated into that city and that's the thing about masterplanning and creating a community as opposed to just carving up lots – it's about providing all the infrastructure necessary to support that development. That includes your police, your fire, your ambulance. We'll be identifying that as we move forward in our detailed structure planning and council obviously as we progress and implement that plan – over the next decade or two decades and beyond - will be making sure that everything fits within that plan so that the infrastructure is there but also it's a reminder to the state and federal government to do their part and to provide those uses as well for facilities and services.

Market forces – catering for 80,000 … if you build it (some infrastructure) they will come?

• Things like a cinema would come when population would demand. There are certain things that people would expect and people's expectations have changed now. Years ago you could have a population of 20-30,000 before you put in a small corner store or land was acquired for park purposes. Now those people have an expectation that there will be a basic level of services provided. As far as roads, libraries, sporting ovals … but as a population grows there's a greater need for greater retail to stop people from traveling into the city just to meet those needs. So there's a lot of things that are market driven, particularly commercially. But certainly services, when it hits a certain threshold, there has to be some basic services – state, federal and local that have to kick in to support a community that's grown so rapidly.
• I guess the state came out with a regional plan. It was their concept and their idea and in principle I think it's a great idea – I might not necessarily agree with how they decided and what they came up with the cities should be – but in principle I think having a regional plan for South East Queensland is good. But what we then need is a doctrine of equal weight which then says how the state is going to contribute to public transport and other services for that growth in that community.

So you're saying it's great to have all those lofty ambitions to have 80,000 residents, but there should also have a plan to fund these things:

• And we've had none of that released by the state at all. They've given us the South East Queensland Regional Plan, cater to this catchment area for over 100,000 people and no details on how they are going to fund the schools or the hospitals, education, main roads … absolutely nothing. So council is already forward thinking and planning for water and sewerage. Council's doing a lot by determining how much parkland we need and what it's going to cost us and so the state should do this at their level.

What do you think of a future north-south link east of Beaudesert Rd?

• A lot of north-south and east-west links are important to connect the urban footprints and a lot of them do that i.e. provide connectivity between the two satellite cities or further up north or down to the Gold Coast to connect Ipswich.
• It's part of a greater plan to connect the major cities

What do you think of a future enhanced link between Greenbank and Springfield?

• More upgrades are needed. We've been long pushing for a major road upgrade but Main Roads haven't yet told us whether they have an intention to take that road over because at the moment it's not coping with the volume of traffic.
• We're doing some planning as far as looking at the road network in the whole corridor and one thing that I've proposed is having a road going through the army camp and connecting out with the arterial road to Springfield and then leaving the existing road to service the school and local traffic. Something like that is needed and I think down the track I see that happening. I do see that in 20 years time that will have happened.
• I know then I'll look back and say I said this was going to occur.

Anything else:

• More generally about the city … I think we'll have a really good identity by then. If you look at Logan at the moment – I mean 30 years ago it was made up of part of Brisbane and Albert and Beaudesert that no one wanted and then with the last amalgamations, Gold Coast gave the bit they didn't want and the State Government didn't want Beaudesert to thrive so they gave the most viable part to Logan and so Logan doesn't have a strong identity and that's one of its weaknesses.
• But I think with good planning, which I think is occurring … in 20 years time, I think the city will have a very good identity. I think Woodridge will be like the next West End … it will be culturally rich and I think it will be really cater for the 170-200 nationalities that will be living here … so I think it will be the arty quarter of south-east queensland. It will be culturally rich and just have a strong identity – which I think we're just totally lacking at the moment.
• It's been thrown together. It's been a mishmash of other council areas. And as soon as Logan was starting to get on its feet and build up an identify, it's gone through some major reform again and it's created a lot of unrest so I think that in 20 years time assuming the boundaries don't significantly change again … I think the city will have its own identity and will just dramatically alter as to what it currently is.
• If you look at West End … there's a good example of years ago you wouldn't live in West End but now it's one of the trendiest suburbs and I think the same will happen to Woodridge – it's 15 minutes to the city and I think it's only a question of time. By 2030 our population would have well and truly doubled. People will still want to live close to the city. I think we'll be known for our culture and our fine food and for our great planning. We'll leave behind a very good legacy for the future.

Driver in attempted murder charge after Carole Park incident


AN IPSWICH teenager is recovering from head and leg injuries after an alleged deliberate hit and run.

Police have charged a man with attempted murder over the incident, which occurred outside a convenience store in Carole Park in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The 15-year-old boy was part of a group of young people, who police said had been involved in an argument with two men at Waterford Road, Carole Park, about 1.30am.

It is alleged a man then used a vehicle to chase the group of youths – mounting the footpath near the intersection of Muriel Avenue before hitting the victim.

Skid marks at the scene show the vehicle involved then drove over two concrete abutments in the convenience store car park and fled the area down Waterford Road.

Police said they tracked a 34-year-old man down to a house at Kingston on Sunday.

A search of the man's property allegedly found knuckle dusters and a drug utensil.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, assault occasioning bodily harm, possession of a drug utensil and possession of a category M weapon.

Police said the teenager, from Chuwar, sustained serious head and leg injuries and was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Carole Park convenience store owner Hai Vu said blood stains could still be seen on the road where the victim was struck and thrown on to the bitumen.

Mr Vu found out what had happened outside his store – which he has owned for 22 years – early Saturday morning when he turned up for work and an Inala police officer told him his front car park was a crime scene.

"It's a rough neighbourhood around here," Mr Vu said.

Police have examined surveillance footage taken outside the store.

The accused man is due to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court today.

Goodna Murder Sequel: Doubt turned prosecutor Vishal Lakshman off Graham Stafford case

The Australian

ALMOST 20 years after Graham Stafford was convicted of the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Ipswich, one of Queensland's most experienced crown prosecutors has revealed that he declined to prosecute at the trial because he did not believe the accused committed the crime.

Vishal Lakshman, 74, who retired in 1992 after 30 years, during which he prosecuted dozens of rape, murder and manslaughter trials in Queensland, is writing an autobiography detailing his life as an immigrant to Australia and the criminal trials with which he was involved. The only prosecution from which he ever withdrew was the 1992 Supreme Court trial of Mr Stafford, who was charged with the sadistic mutilation murder of schoolgirl Leanne Holland.

"I wrote the chapter about Mr Stafford a year ago and my family encouraged me to speak out now because it was my belief and theirs that he was not guilty of the crime of murder," Mr Lakshman said.

"Among the many records I kept and from which I drew to write my memoirs is a copy of a memo I wrote on December 4, 1991, to the then director of prosecutions, Royce Miller QC.

"At the time, I wrote: `I refer to our brief discussion regarding this matter. Stafford has been committed for trial and the evidence is entirely circumstantial. There are features in this case that give rise to some doubt that Stafford is the offender in this crime'."

Among the many high-profile murder cases Mr Lakshman prosecuted were the cases of Bevan Meninga, brother of rugby league great Mal Meninga; Barrie Watts, killer of Sian Kingi on the Sunshine Coast in 1987; child murderer Barry Hadlow, who was released after serving life for one child murder, then murdered another at Roma in western Queensland; and Ernest Knibb, who murdered ABC scriptwriter Miranda Downes on a beach north of Cairns in 1985.

Mr Lakshman's detailed memo to Mr Miller concluded: "I have done many circumstantial evidence cases over the years and this is one of the few in which I find myself having some reservations as to whether the accused is the perpetrator of this crime.

"I may not entertain any such view after some discussion with you but it would be desirable if you would be good enough to look at the material yourself and let me have your comments some time next year."

Mr Stafford said yesterday he was devastated to hear of the memo Mr Lakshman wrote and questioned why the Director of Public Prosecutions did not make the information available to the defence team at his trial or subsequent appeals. "It is gut-wrenching - this whole thing could have been sorted out before it started if we had known," Mr Stafford said from his Sunshine Coast home. "We knew there was something amiss when my counsel from the committal was changed, and so was the prosecutor."

At the time of the murder, Mr Stafford was living with the Holland family and was engaged to Leanne's older sister, Melissa. He was alone at home with Leanne on the day she went missing. At his trial, the prosecution alleged he beat her to death with a hammer, kept her body in the boot of his car for two days, then disposed of it in the bush several kilometres from the Hollands' home. Her body had burn and stab marks consistent with having been tortured.

Stafford, now 45, was convicted and served 15 years of a life sentence before his release in 2006.

He consistently maintained his innocence and a support team took up his case while he was in prison, organising several appeals.

Last December, the Queensland Court of Appeal set aside Stafford's conviction, on grounds of a miscarriage of justice, and ordered a retrial. But Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan SC said the crown would not conduct a retrial because in the 20 years since the offence, "evidence had been adversely affected".

So Mr Stafford is left in limbo. His conviction has been set aside and his innocence presumed, but he has served 15 years in prison and the state is not liable for compensation because he has not been found "not guilty". Mr Stafford said yesterday: "I am indebted to the honesty and decency of Mr Lakshman for coming out now as he has done, but the fact is it would have made a huge difference to my appeal team or at my original trial if we had been made aware of it.

"I am just devastated now to hear that this important opinion was available but was kept from me."

V8 drivers rev up for Ipswich 300


YOU have seen them burn up the track at Mount Panorama, zoom  around Albert Park and breeze through the Surfers Paradise street  circuit.

Fan-tastic: V8 Supercar driver Jamie Whincup with
some of his fans.

YOU have seen them burn up the track at Mount Panorama, zoom around Albert Park and breeze through the Surfers Paradise street circuit.

And now you can see your favourite V8 Supercar drivers right here in Ipswich.

With the City of Ipswich 300 set to burn up the Queensland Raceway track this weekend, V8 fans can meet the drivers in the lead-up to the big race.

The unique opportunity to rub shoulders with some of motorsport's elite off-track kicks off tomorrow night when Garth Tander visits Red Rooster at Booval Fair from 4pm.

The Holden Racing Team favourite, who won the 2007 V8 Supercar championship, said such meetings with fans gave drivers the opportunity to thank their supporters.

"It is great to be able to take the time to meet the fans away from the track," Tander said.

"An activity such as this allows us to spend a greater amount of one-on-one time with Toll Holden Racing Team supporters."

Perhaps the biggest meet-and-great will be on Thursday night, when Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom and Michael Caruso will speak to fans at Redbank Plaza from 6pm.

V8 Supercars Australia media manager Cole Hitchcock said the Thursday night fans' session had been increasing in popularity each year, with hundreds turning up.

"It always extremely popular with the fans and the drivers enjoy seeing the great support they have," he said.


TODAY: Russell Ingall and Greg Murphy at Llewellyn Motors from 6pm.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28: 2007 V8 Supercar Champion Garth Tander will meet fans at Red Rooster, Booval Fair, from 4pm to 6pm. Bottle-O Racing's Paul Dumbrell will visit the One Mile Hotel from 5pm.

THURSDAY, APRIL, 29: Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Michael Caruso will be at Redbank Plaza shopping centre from 6-7pm.

Garth Tander and Will Davison will be special guests at a Variety Queensland fundraising dinner at the Metro Hotel Ipswich International from 6.30-9pm

FRIDAY, APRIL 30: Drivers not taking part in practice sessions will sign autographs at the Queensland Raceway track, behind the V8 garages, from 11.30am to 12.10pm.

SATURDAY, MAY 1: All drivers will be at autograph sessions at the Queensland Raceway track, behind the V8 garages, from 1.45pm-2.20pm.

26 April 2010

Check the TPG internet speed around Ipswich's eastern suburbs from Redbank to Springfield Lakes

TPG Internet users  - and prospective TPG users - can check their indicative internet speed for ADSL and ADSL2+ via this interactive link.

Around Ipswich's eastern suburbs, checks can be made on the Goodna and Redbank Plains telephone exchanges which service the entire area from Redbank to Springfield Lakes and the Wacol exchange which services Gailes and Carole Park.

Click here:

Kids rule Queens Park


QUEENS Park came alive yesterday as Orion Springfield Kids Kingdom  took over the venue.

Robert Gibbon with his daughter Lucinda.

QUEENS Park came alive yesterday as Orion Springfield Kids Kingdom took over the venue.

Ipswich Events Corporation chairman Paul Casos said the event was a great way to finish this year's festival, with rides, food stalls, free face painting, roving performers and popular acts such as Ben 10 and the Amazing Drumming Monkeys.

"The crowds just seem to get bigger and bigger each year," Mr Casos said.

"It was a beautiful day.

"The crowd seemed to be in a patriotic mood.

"They attended Anzac Day services and called into the park on their way home.

"The way we started with the Ipswich Orpheus Chorale singing traditional Australian songs seemed to blend perfectly into the afternoon of activities."

Gailes resident Rowena Donmall was among those who enjoyed the festivities, relaxing with two-year-old daughter Sienna and extended family.

"I brought my sister and her two kids. They're from the north side of Brisbane," Ms Donmall said.

"It's a nice family day out.

"Sienna is a bit little for the rides but she likes the arts and crafts."

For Tracy Baker it was an opportunity to spend some quality time with her sons, two-year-old Flynn and four-year-old Drew.

"The boys have had an absolute ball," she said.

"They loved Ben 10."

Ipswich community honours Anzacs


AS the early morning fog cleared across Ipswich yesterday the mood  remained sombre as young and old remembered those who made the ultimate  sacrifice.

Remember them: A RAAF serviceman pays his
respects at the Amberley dawn service.

AS the early morning fog cleared across Ipswich yesterday the mood remained sombre as young and old remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ipswich residents turned out in record numbers to a multitude of Anzac Day services across the region yesterday to pay their respects as flags flew at half mast.

Tears were shed at an emotional service at the Amberley RAAF Air Base at yesterday's dawn service.

Speaking to the gathered crowd of servicemen and women as the sun crept above the horizon, Officer in Command Health Services Wing Group Captain Michael Patterson said those who fought and died for Australia had created our sense of national identity.

"There was an incredibly strong sense of mateship that existed amongst these men," GPCAPT Patterson said.

"Men who went to war as teenagers and, if lucky, returned several years later as men.

"The first Anzacs have gone and as such they have become the stuff of legends."

Bundamba resident Doug Eadie, who served in the RAAF 78 wing with the No 3 and 79 Squadron in Malaysia from 1964 to 1966 attended the Amberley service and the 75-year-old said there were fewer familiar faces in the crowd this year.

"We were here the year before last and we knew so many people and they're just starting to dwindle off now," Mr Eadie said.

"I don't know where the last 50 years went."

The Ipswich community gathered in Timothy Molony Park after a march from the corner of Limestone and Ellenborough streets, which included present and past ex-servicemen and women.

An FA-18F Super Hornet flew over the park to mark the beginning of the service which was led by Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Ripley twins Tara and Sean Kearney, 8, wore t-shirts with their grandfather Colin Alderdice's photograph emblazoned on the front and said it was important to remember sacrifices of the fallen.

"It's to remember everybody that served and fought in wars," Sean said.

Tara and Sean's mother Patricia Kearney said her father was an armourer in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies during WWII and she brought her children to an Anzac Day service every year.

Goodna RSL Sub-branch president Vivienne Stanbury said the Goodna ceremony, held around the Queen Street memorial stone, was the first to be organised by the youth.

"It is the youth who are going to lead the way," Mrs Stanbury said.

"We have to step back and let them control these ceremonies and I really believe they've done a good job."

Bush boys too slick for City with Goodna on board

THE boys from the bush, with the help of the Goodna tractor gang,  breathed life into the Ipswich Rugby League representative calendar on  Saturday night.

Players from the City and Country representative
sides get heavily involved in Saturday night's match.


THE boys from the bush, with the help of the Goodna tractor gang, breathed life into the Ipswich Rugby League representative calendar on Saturday night.

Country, which includes Goodna, more to keep things even than any rural tendancies the Eagles players have, beat their City counterparts 26-22 at the North Ipswich Reserve in a fitting tribute to the league's centenary celebrations.

Country got up over their City rivals thanks largely to a standout performance form Joel Smallwood and the combination he struck up with Goodna's big forwards.

City did well given their preparation was severely hindered by the withdrawal of 10 players in the lead-up to the game and led 10-6 at halftime.

It was soon after the break that Country stepped things up with two tries that gave them an advantage they maintained until full-time.

"It was a good game all round," Country coach Boss Cecil said.

"We had a good period after the start of the second half."

Cecil took advantage of the unlimited interchange rule, keeping his big men like the Piutau brothers, Sione and Andy, and Goodna team mate Frank Matiu fresh by leaving them on the field no longer than 15 minutes at a time.

"The City side struggled a bit with our size," Cecil said.

"In the second half we went to the edges a bit and made some good metres there.

"We were unlucky not to score a couple of other tries but our big boys kept making inroads through the inside lines."

Country were led outstandingly by skipper and halfback, South Burnett's Smallwood, who struck up a fluent combination with Fassifern's Mohu Hala who grabbed two tries from five-eighth.

The extent of Smallwood's influence was most obvious when he left the field dazed for 10 minutes, having copped a head knock.

"That was probably when we lost our way a little bit," Cecil said.

"Joel was quite outstanding."

City fullback Tim Sauer agreed with Cecil's assessment of the game.

"Probably just their big guys running off Joel Smallwood (made the difference)," he said.

Given the short and interrupted preparation to the match for both teams, it was no surprise it began in disjointed fashion.

"Once everyone got to know the guys outside them, things got better," the Brothers back said.

"It was a little bit of a step up from A grade.

"The defence was pretty good, even though there were a few tries leaked."

City suffered injuries to Beau Yates, Colin Walker and Clint Hennelly while Morgan Carroll and Nephi Tusa had to back up after playing the under-20s match to cover late withdrawals.

"I didn't think we went too badly given we didn't have any players on the bench by the end of it," Sauer said.

The Ipswich Diggers open team to play Gold Coast at Southport on May 8 will be selected tomorrow night.

Goodna Gladiators miss key players


JUST when Goodna appeared to have their season up and running the wheels fell off temporarily on Saturday.

The Gladiators were coming off their first win of the season over the defending premiers but were hindered by some players not turning up for the trip to Wynnum, who won 24-6.

"We just weren't prepared well enough for it and were out played," coach Les Shine said.

Undefeated after three rounds Wynnum look the team to beat in this year's competition.

"They're definitely the benchmark," Shine said.

"They're where we want to be.

"They were pretty good.

"Well drilled and skilled."

Too well drilled and skilled for a Goodna team forced to call up players who had just played an hour in the second grade match before.

"A whole lot of little things snowballed into a poor performance," Shine said.

"We didn't train that well and three key players pulled out on Thursday night.

"But there are no excuses and they were the better team on the day."

Despite Goodna's interrupted preparation the Eagles were still in the match with 10 minutes to go before two late Wynnum tries blew the scoreboard out.

Shine is confident when his team gets its act together the result will be very different.

"I've got no doubt," he said.

"Once we kept hold of the ball and went wide we made huge inroads.

"We'll take a lot out of the game."

Shine made a point of mentioning the performances of flanker Morris McKenzie and second rower Iti Matautia.

"Both had brilliant games," the coach said.

Meanwhile Ipswich scored on the bell to defeat Pine Rivers 16-13 in their Barber Cup clash and Springfield Lakes went down 15-10 to Brisbane Irish.

In the Pegg Cup Goodna beat Wynnum 7-5 while Ipswich lost 20-0 to Pine Rivers Boars.

In the Scotney Cup Rangers lost to UQ 60-5 while Springfield Lakes drew seven all with Sunnybank

Rangers colts beat GPS 15-7.

25 April 2010

2010 Redbank Anzac Day service held with full splendour

A large crowd turned out this morning for the 2010 Anzac Day Service at Redbank.

For the second year, the service was held at the new memorial at Bridge Street Redbank.

Veterans, members of the public and local school students made the service a day to remember.

Redbank was a major Australian and American military base during World War II.

The 2010 Anzac Day Parade gets underway at Goodna

The annual Anzac Day Parade got underway at Queen Street Goodna at 7.15 this morning.

Veterans marched proudly down the main street as one of the largest crowds in years looked on at the 95th celebration of the landing at Gallipolli in 1915.

The service was conducted at the Goodna War Memorial which was officially unveiled by the Governor of Queensland in 1921.

24 April 2010

All Australian states and the Commonwealth agree to fire ant eradication funding

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland

The Honourable Tim Mulherin


All states and the Commonwealth agree to fire ant eradication funding

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said he was pleased with the ongoing commitment to fire ant eradication showed by all states at yesterday's Primary Industries Ministerial Council in Darwin.

Mr Mulherin said all states and the Commonwealth agreed that this is a battle that needs ongoing funding to allow the continuation of the effective treatment program and the development of remote sensing technology to eradicate fire ants.

"Scientific trials have been conducted in the use of high tech imagery for the purpose of detecting fire ant colonies using remote sensing technology, the securing of ongoing funding allows the completion of this testing," Mr Mulherin said.

"Helicopters have flown over 243 known mounds and captured 2033 hectares of imagery data.

"This data is currently being analysed by staff from Biosecurity Queensland and the University of Sydney, with preliminary results expected in November.

"Modeling shows that alternative, cost-effective, surveillance techniques are essential to the continuing viability of the eradication program," Mr Mulherin said.

Mr Mulherin said the National Management Group will now consider the detail of Queensland's $21 million funding proposal for the 2010-11 financial year.

"While the remote sensing technology is refined over the next two years an aggressive containment program will be deployed so fire ants do not spread further," Mr Mulherin said.

"We believe eradication is possible, we know that if we can find the ants we can kill them. The issue is finding better ways to detect the ants.

"The battle against fire ants can still be won, but an adequate funding program must continue to be supported by all States and the Commonwealth to improve technology, employ staff and promote community awareness."

Mr Mulherin said while the area of infestation has expanded, the level of infestation remains low and Queensland remains confident that eradication is feasible.

"This has been the wettest summer we've had since eradication started in 2001 and conditions have been perfect for fire ants to spread," Mr Mulherin said.

"We've recently trained an additional 64 fire ant field staff, bringing the number of staff fighting fire ants to more than 150.

"More strategic methods of operation have also been developed resulting in increased detections in high risk areas.

"Biosecurity Queensland has also run a successful media campaign to raise awareness amongst the general public of the risks fire ants pose, resulting in an increase in the number of detections reported by the public," he said.

With adequate funding from all State Governments and the Federal Government, Biosecurity Queensland can continue to apply these effective methods of detection and eradication of fire ants, to prevent their spread to other states of Australia.

This initiative will be
welcomed by the people
of southeast Queensland.

Brisbane's Northern Link gets the go-ahead

Brisbane City Council's $1.7 billion Northern Link tunnel has received state government approval, paving the way for work to begin later this year.

The two parallel twin-lane tunnels will run underground from the Toowong roundabout, connecting the Western Freeway to the Inner City Bypass.

Construction is set to start in December and, when completed, will be Brisbane's third toll tunnel, after the Clem7 and Airport Link.

Infrastructure Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said 34 conditions had been imposed on the project by Co-ordinator General Colin Jensen after 28 months of evaluation.

"The Northern Link road tunnel is obviously a major piece of infrastructure that will have a positive impact on improving traffic flows in Brisbane, " Mr Hinchliffe said.

"Its construction will need to be managed carefully to minimise any adverse impacts on local residents and the environment."

Mr Hinchliffe said the Coordinator-General and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning spent 28 months thoroughly assessing the council's environmental impact statement and associated materials.

Mr Jensen said the conditions in the evaluation report were the most extensive and stringent ever for a transport infrastructure project in Queensland.

He said the conditions included issues which had been raised with Clem7 and the Airport Link tunnels.

Those included air quality issues and the excavation of rock from the tunnel.

Mr Jensen said conditions governing air emissions from the ventilation outlets would be covered directly by an environmental authority set by the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

"Another major concern raised in the submissions was the air quality levels from the two ventilation outlets. One is proposed at each end of the tunnel," he said.

"During construction, rock excavated from the tunnels will be transported to Mt Coot-tha Quarry by a conveyor belt.

"Any changes to the conveyor route proposed recently by council will be subject to further separate assessment once council has completed its tender process.

"Conditions governing air emissions from the ventilation outlets will be covered directly by an environmental authority set by the Department of Environment and Resource Management."

The Federal Government has chipped in $500 million to the $1.7 billion project, which is projected to provide 1400 jobs during construction and 85 jobs when it is running in 2014.

Council's opposition leader Shayne Sutton yesterday questioned the financial implications on Brisbane ratepayers of the project.

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