31 October 2010

Shakin' All Over - in Goodna

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and Australian Rock stars Normie Rowe, Tony Worsley, Lucky Starr, Denise "Ding Dong" Drysdale and Ian Turpie perform their last routine at the Goodna Jacaranda Festival today.

What a performance!

Cr Paul Tully at Goodna with Normie Rowe today

Things are winding up - and down - on the last day of the 2010 Goodna Jacaranda Festival.

Congratulations to Russell Dewar, Nev Byers and the team for organising the best Jacaranda Festival ever.

30 October 2010

Former Ipswich Mayor John Nugent marries today

Former Ipswich Mayor John Nugent married Elizabeth Lerch at Darra today.

A truly dashing couple.

John Nugent was Mayor of Ipswich from 1995 - 2004.

The Ipswich News float is ready for today's Goodna Jacaranda Festival Parade

The Parade starts at 2.00pm from Shiloh Christian Church on Redbank Plains Road via Queen St and Church St to the Evan Marginson Park, Woogaroo St Goodna.

River 949 live at Brentwood Rise at Augustine Heights today

Ruby and Dave in full swing today at the new display village.

Harvey Norman to open in Ipswich in November

WITH the opening of its huge superstore just days away, retail giant Harvey Norman is eager to connect with the Ipswich community.

Workers are putting the finishing to the store under the cinema in the Ipswich Mall ahead of the opening on November 8.

Soon, the AV and IT superstore will be packed with computers and electrical goods, across 2000 sq m of retail space.

It is expected to provide a much-anticipated kick-start for the mall and spark its best Christmas in many years.

Moses Ghadban, who will look after the computer side of sales at the store, said it was "100 per cent on plan for the opening day".

"We're really looking forward to being in the Ipswich community," Mr Ghadban said.

"We've hired a lot of Ipswich people to work here. It's been so long we've been coming here so it's so good to finally be here."

Peter Savas, the store's electrical appliances guru, said Harvey Norman was "really happy to be part of the mall rebirth".

"It will be good for the bakeries and the small specialty stores too, because they've waited so long for us," Mr Savas said.

"It's going to be massive and we're going to be a big part of the Ipswich community."

The two jokingly competed for the best opening special with Moses offering a one terabyte hard drive for $78 and Peter a kettle or toaster for $5.

Ipswich City Properties (ICP) chairman Paul Tully said Harvey Norman was a boon for Ipswich.

"The opening of Harvey Norman shows big business has confidence in Ipswich's future," he said. "Strong development and retail growth is vital to creating a vibrant city that keeps pace with the increasing population..

He said ICP was in negotiations with developers regarding Ipswich City Square and an announcement about plans was expected at the end of November.

Go Harvey!

  • Harvey Norman is Australia's leading retail chain
  • It has more than 195 stores
  • It started with a store opened by chairman Gerry Harvey with retailer Ian Norman in 1961.

29 October 2010

St Augustine's Choir from Augustine Heights sings at the Jacaranda Festival tonight

A great performance by children from local schools.

Goodna Jacaranda Festival comes alive tonight

PIC: Last night's sneak preview of the 2010
Goodna Jacaranda Festival

It could be the best Jacaranda Festival yet.

Come and celebrate 3 days of fun as the Jacarandas bloom.

The original Goodna Jacarandas on Brisbane Terrace were planted in 1932 by work gangs during the Great Depression.

Tonight's official opening will be at 6.45pm with the fireworks at 9.00pm.

Channel 10 is presenting their weather live from the Evan Marginson Park at Woogaroo St Goodna at approximately 5.55pm tonight.

Goodna Teaching mentor Rechelle Edwards top of the class

Rechelle Edwards from Westside Christian College was
recently awarded for her excellence in education and teaching.

WESTSIDE Christian College junior school mentor, Rechelle Edwards, has joined an elite group of teachers who will be rewarded as part of World Teachers' Day today.

Ms Edwards was nominated by her peers for the National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) for her work in guiding the education of more than 200 students from prep to year three at the Goodna school.

She was announced as a winner today – one of only 15 from schools in Queensland.

A humble Ms Edwards said she was delighted to have received the recognition.

"I think the best thing about working here is that the kids love learning and the parents are interested in their kids' schooling – and half the battle is won when that happens," she said.

"I also have a dedicated staff.

"I may have been the one nominated but it takes a team of great people to make it a great place here."

In addition to her work around the classrooms, where she oversees the curriculum for the 220 junior students, Ms Edwards also plays an influential role in extra-curricular activities.

In its profile, NEiTA said Ms Edwards hosted the college's open nights and the annual celebration night concert.

"Rechelle also encourages student participation in dance eisteddfods, book week parades, sport carnivals and service to others projects," NEiTA said.

She also volunteers at her local church and is a worship leader and praise singer.

A teacher for the past 10 years, Ms Edwards said incorporating new technology would be an important part of improving kids' education.

"I think the teachers here have been willing to change and go with the times in an effort to make things more interactive for kids," she said.

"Being able to incorporate that into their learning has been very valuable and its such a positive 
Ms Edwards will be presented with her award at assembly on Monday morning.


World Teachers' Day was started on October 5, 1994 by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

More than 100 countries observe the day including India, Africa, America and Europe.

The day aims to mobilise support for teachers.

This year's theme 'recovery begins with teachers', celebrates the role of teachers in recovery from natural disasters and economic crises.

Village not good enough: MP slams Brisbane River Terraces management at Goodna

MEMBER for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller has spoken out about the concerns of residents at a Goodna retirement village.

Mrs Miller was speaking in Parliament this week in support of the government's Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Amendment Bill.

She said elderly residents at Brisbane River Terraces had raised issues with her including rent, lighting and safety.

"For example, I am aware that some of the residents have agreements that are different and some pay different rents, which causes difficulties among residents," Mrs Miller said.

"I am also concerned about the deaths of some residents, the potential sale of their homes and the burden that that places on their families.

"Some families find it difficult to sell these homes and in the meantime they have to keep paying the rent and maintain the home, even though there is no use of water or power.

"I am also aware that the burden on these families can go on for years.

"In fact, a weekly rent of more than $120 can cause severe financial stress for the surviving relatives."

She said she had several meetings with residents and escorted Minister Peter Lawlor on a visit to Brisbane River Terraces.

"The residents are also very concerned about the lighting around the village. They tell me that the lighting is next to none and for elderly people that is dangerous," Mrs Miller said.

"I am also extremely concerned because the residents advised me that three residents have fallen on the badly maintained roads in the village and that one resident had to be hospitalised for eight weeks after a fall.

"The people who live at Brisbane River Terraces are really good people. They are the salt of the earth. I do not think it is hard for the owners or management to fix up some of these issues they are talking about."

Mr Lawlor agreed with Mrs Miller that "the people at Brisbane River Terraces certainly deserve a better performance from the managers than they are getting".

A spokesman for Shell Villages which owns Brisbane River Terraces said management was "aware of the residents' concerns and were attending to issues raised by the residents".

27 October 2010

Goodna goes purple for annual Jacaranda Festival


The annual parade will be a highlight at the Jacaranda Festival on Saturday.

THE clouds look set to part for the majority of this year's Jacaranda Festival, with forecasters predicting only passing showers for the first night of the celebration this Friday.

Preparations are well under way at Goodna's Evan Marginson Park, where as many 50,000 people will enjoy what will be the iconic festival's 30th year.

Traditionally marking the flowering of the jacaranda trees, the three-day event – which runs from Friday night to Sunday – is a showcase of more than just nature.

Live bands, more than 100 stalls, a 10km fun run, talent quest, street parade, skateboard competition and fireworks will feature at this year's festival.

Local area Councillor Paul Tully said Goodna residents had been working 30 years to ensure their festival remained successful.

"Goodna has been celebrating its beautiful jacaranda trees since the 1940s with various garden parties, shows and festivals," Cr Tully said.

"This year marks the 30th anniversary since the current festival began in 1980.

"Ipswich residents are very proud to continue the tradition of embracing the community spirit and pride that the Jacaranda Festival instils in local schools, businesses and sporting organisations.

"People come from far and wide for the three-day festival and with the support people continue to give, we plan to continue showcasing Goodna and Ipswich to make the festival bigger and better each year."

Things are looking good weatherwise, with sunny, hot days predicted throughout the festival weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting maximums of 26 on Friday, 27 on Saturday and 28 Sunday, with only a chance of a brief shower on Friday night.

Hopefully it won't put a dampener on the fireworks, which will light up the sky on both Friday and Saturday at 9pm.

Festivities will end with a bang on Sunday afternoon, with a star-studded line-up set to entertain as part of a new event called Rock Fest.

Australian rock and pop legends including Normie Rowe, Lucky Star, Denise Drysdale, Ian Turpie and Tony Worsley will hit the stage from 1pm.

As always, entry to the festival is free this year, apart from a $5 fee for those wanting to take part in the fun run or talent quest.

New lanes on Centenary Highway - a clear winner for motorists

Media Release

Minister for Main Roads

The Honourable Craig Wallace


New lanes on Centenary Highway - a clear winner for motorists

Another congestion-busting milestone for Brisbane's busy Western Corridor was reached today with two new lanes of high-speed road opened to traffic on the Centenary Highway.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said the 4.5 kilometre four lane stretch between Richlands and Carole Park would slash travel times and ease congestion for busy motorists.

"It's a welcome relief for the 40,000 commuters who travel the stretch between the Logan and Ipswich Motorways every day," Mr Wallace said

"The opening of the new lanes signals the end of construction of the road component of Stage One of the $800 million Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor project.

"It took a little over two years to upgrade the road. All four lanes are now open and signposted at 100 kilometres an hour, delivering two high-speed lanes in each direction between Carole Park and Toowong," he said.

Member for Inala Annastacia Palaszczuk said the design of the new, upgraded Centenary Highway allows for an extra lane to be added in each direction if there is a need in the future.

"I thank the community and the many motorists who pass through the area for their continued patience while these important works are underway.

"They will be the ultimate beneficiaries for a first class road and transport network," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor is part of the Queensland Government's $124 billion South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program

"It's a big jobs generator with around 650 full time jobs a year. It couldn't have come at a better time with jobs and job security more important than ever," Ms Palaszczuk said.

For more information, email or visit

25 October 2010

Police car badly damaged in crash at Collingwood Dr and Namatjira Dr at Collingwood Park

Police car that was damaged in an accident at
Collingwood Dr and Namatjira Dr, near Redbank Plaza.

A POLICE officer was injured and a police car severely damaged when the vehicle mounted a kerb and crashed at a set of traffic lights at Collingwood Park.

A witness on the scene said he saw the police car, which was travelling with its lights and siren on, just seconds before the crash at the intersection of Collingwood and Namatjira drives about 8.15pm.

"I saw the police car coming through full through lights and sirens," said the man who asked not to be named.

"I lost sight of him for just a second but he's actually swerved to miss an oncoming car that pulled out in front of him.

"Then he's gone up the gutter and straight in to the pole."

The witness said the police officer appeared winded and "bashed up" after the crash but was able to walk.

A police spokesman said the crash happened after the officer swerved to avoid another vehicle at the intersection.

Full story:

23 October 2010

Police search for Goodna robbery suspect

Knife used in Goodna robbery

POLICE are searching for a man who robbed a person at knife point at
Goodna on Wednesday morning.

The offender escaped with the victim's credit cards after threatening
them with a pocket knife on Queen Street about 10am.

He was last seen running towards St Ives Shopping Centre.

22 October 2010

Goodna woman devotes life to care

DISPLAYING a level of dedication few can match, Ellie Chalk is among the millions of carers Australia-wide who unselfishly provide love and ongoing support around the clock.

For the past 20 years, the Goodna resident has been her husband Harry's primary carer after his health deteriorated.

With limited mobility, Harry now uses an electric wheelchair and has no function or feeling from the neck down.

Doctors have so far been unable to diagnose his condition, but it is thought to be a virus similar to polio, which has caused permanent paralysis.

In the midst of National Carers Week, the Chalks highlight what is an often unspoken reality, that carers are the foundation of our health, aged care, palliative and community care systems.

Spinal Injuries Association CEO Mark Henley said unpaid carers played a vital role in the community.

"And while it's a role that people often take on unquestionably because they're caring for a loved one, being a carer can take an enormous toll on your health," he said.

"A 2007 survey of carers' health and wellbeing found caring for someone does not get easier with time, more than one third of carers experience severe or extreme stress, and the major reason carers don't receive treatment for themselves is that they have no time.The role of carers cannot be underestimated."

Mrs Chalk said there was never any option about caring for her husband of 38 years – she just had to.

"We've only had paid support workers come to our house to assist Harry for the past 10 years," she said.

"We receive four hours help a day but it's not really enough. When you consider that Harry needs assistance with everything from the time he wakes up in the morning to the time he goes to bed at night, four hours isn't a lot."

While they face many ongoing challenges, the Chalks also have a lot of love and laughter in their lives, with two daughters and five grandchildren.

"There's no point moping about it. Have a bit of fun," Mr Chalk said.

"It can be difficult, but it's a two-way street and I try to be supportive of Ellie and the challenges she faces."

Redbank school to mark 145 years


Redbank State School celebrates its 145th anniversary today with an art exhibition.

IT is a rare milestone but after 145 years in operation Redbank State School staff and students are preparing to celebrate.

Principal Colleen Engel said almost 35,000 students had passed through the school's gates since it was officially opened on July 21, 1865.

Mrs Engel said while the school began with just 31 students, it now catered for 218 children from prep to year seven.

"It is certainly an achievement," Mrs Engel said.

"It is a special time for us."

The celebration will include a jumping castle, book fair, displays of student art and historical memorabilia.

"We have a number of photos collected of the Redbank area over time including historical pictures of the school and local Redbank community," Mrs Engel said.

Boasting a "small country feel", Mrs Engel said the school held a number of unique functions, such as its bi-annual debutant ball.

"It is a tradition established in 1935," she said. "The year one and two students make their debut.

"It was a tradition established by the infant teacher at the time and has run ever since."

The celebration will be held today from 5pm to 8pm.

The school is located at 9 Brisbane Road.

21 October 2010

Police continue search for Dulcie Birt in the "Murder without a Body" case at Ipswich

A YEAR on from the suspected murder of Ipswich woman Dulcie Birt, police say they have not given up hope of finding her body.

Dennis Birt of Goodna with his 10-month-old
daughter Savanah one year after his twin sister
Dulcie Birt went missing.

A YEAR on from the suspected murder of Ipswich woman Dulcie Birt, police say they have not given up hope of finding her body.

Dulcie Birt – also known as Darcy – went missing from her Riverview home on October 21, 2009, triggering a massive search of bushland adjacent to her home and a subsequent murder investigation.

Ipswich district Detective Inspector Mick Niland said the search for Dulcie's body was still focussed on an abandoned mine filled with water, not more than a few kilometres south of her home.

Police searched the lake – known as Green Lakes – extensively from the time of her disappearance right up until March this year, utilising Navy diving experts and state-of-the-art sonar equipment without success.

"We remain in consultation with the owners of that property at Green Lakes – we still want to drain that lake," Inspector Niland said.

Police remained tight-lipped on the reasons behind the delay in draining the large water storage.

Inspector Niland was unable to comment further on the investigation due to the fact that the matter is before the courts.

Dulcie's twin brother Dennis Birt said he still held hope that his sister was alive, and would continue to do so despite the fact that a man had been charged with her murder.

"I won't believe she's dead until they find a body – and the police still haven't told me anything," he said.

Police charged Bundamba man Alwyn John Gwilliams, 41, with murder in February this year.

Full story:

COMMENT: An alleged murder, no body, a defendant languishing in jail for 8 months, police still negotiating with a landowner to search a lake for a missing body.  This is fast becoming one of Queensland's most-infamous crimes which
Agatha Christie would have revelled in.

Couple buy fourth coffee franchise at Springfield Central

COFFEE is fuelling the business dreams of Brassall couple Angela and Boubacar Barry.

Angela and Boubacar Barry have opened their fourth
Coffee Club, this time at Springfield.

COFFEE is fuelling the business dreams of Brassall couple Angela and Boubacar Barry.

The Coffee Club franchisees this month took ownership of their newest store at Orion Springfield Town Centre.

It continues their long affiliation with the award-winning international brand and joins their franchises at Ipswich Riverlink shopping centre, Booval Fair and Redbank Plaza.

Mr Barry said the Springfield store had plenty of potential.

He said the fully-licensed venue operated as a cafe, bar and restaurant and would soon be open on Saturday nights.

"We knew the previous owners and were given the opportunity to take ownership of the business," Mr Barry said.

"We've got a great customer base out here and a lot of community support.

"Most importantly, all the staff is brilliant. They work together like a family.

"We have a full restaurant menu, so we serve things like steak, pasta and risotto. We're going to open on Saturday nights because that's the night customers want to go out for dinner."

Mr Barry and his wife opened their Riverlink and Booval franchises in 2007, followed by Redbank in 2009.

"We love the challenge, this is what we know," he said.

"We've been part of The Coffee Club for a long time."

Mrs Barry said the Springfield franchise would undergo a "mini refurbishment" to give it a fresh, clean look.

Full story:

Redbank Plains booming with development

REDBANK Plains' newest resident Lynne Eleison said when she looked for a place to live in Ipswich, there was only one suburb she considered.

Tom and Lynne Eleison have returned to live in
Redbank Plains from Lockrose. Redbank Plains is
Ipswich's fastest growing suburb.

REDBANK Plains' newest resident Lynne Eleison said when she looked for a place to live in Ipswich, there was only one suburb she considered.

And Mrs Eleison was not the only one who dreamed of Ipswich's eastern suburbs.

The Springfield to Bellbird Park region is officially the city's fastest growing, with Redbank Plains the number one destination for the region's new residents.

Ipswich passed the 170,000 population mark at the end of September and Ipswich City Council has revealed the five most popular suburbs people have moved to during the past three months.

They are Redbank Plains, Springfield Lakes, Augustine Heights, Brassall and Raceview.

While figures from the past 12 months show the most popular suburbs listed are the same but placed in a different order, with Springfield Lakes coming out on top, Redbank Plains placed second and Brassall placed fifth.

Mrs Eleison and her husband Tom settled on a house in Redbank Plains on Monday.

"It's a quiet area with no trouble and it's close to everything," Mrs Eleison said. "It was perfect.

"We aren't getting any younger and where we are is just a two minute walk to the shops so as we get older and need to use taxis more it won't be that expensive.

"We used to live in the country in Lockrose so we did not want to be in the middle of the city either."

Jodie Mitchell from Ray White Real Estate Goodna said the proximity of Redbank Plains to a major shopping centre in Orion and easy access to Brisbane were its great selling points.

"We sell a lot of houses in Redbank Plains, I assumed it was the fastest growing suburb in the city," Ms Mitchell said.

Full story:

20 October 2010

Smiths Road extension from Goodna to Redbank nears completion

PIC: Cnr Collingwood Drive and the new Smiths Road extension from Goodna to Redbank.

The new Smiths Road extension from St Ives Shopping Centre at Goodna to Redbank Plaza is almost complete.

The project is a joint initiative of Ipswich City Council and the State Government.

It will provide a direct link between the two suburbs with drivers being able to avoid the Ipswich Motorway.

The new road should be completed within 3 months, weather permitting.

Goodna man linked to Morcombe case

Daniel disappeared while waiting for a bus at Woombye, five kilometres south of Nambour, in December 2003.

The inquest has heard detectives started investigating a known pedophile from Goodna soon after Daniel disappeared.

The man, referred to as P5 in the inquest being held in Maroochydore Coroners Court, was jailed for eight years for abducting and assaulting a boy in Gladstone in the 1990s.

He was released from jail on November 7, 2003, one month before Daniel disappeared.

Detective Senior Constable Ross Hutton read out a letter in the inquest sent to P5 in prison that was intercepted by police.

The letter said the writer was haunted by Daniel's picture and that the person was "going off my head for what we've done to him".

"I have to clear my conscious. I will go to police soon," the letter read. "You're in jail now, what does it matter if you stay there. You killed the poor kid, his parents need to know."

P5 is behind bars for an offence against his sister.

Snr Const Hutton said P5 was investigated because of his criminal history, his association with the Sunshine Coast and because he drove a blue car, the same colour as the one thought to have been used in Daniel's abduction.

The inquest heard P5 told police he was at home in Goodna the day Daniel disappeared.

Phone records showed a three-hour window of opportunity to commit the crime but doubts were raised about whether he could drive to Woombye and back in that time.

19 October 2010

Ipswich and Goodna are alive with colour

THE streets of Ipswich have been splashed with purple after heavy rain encouraged jacaranda trees to bloom early this year.

The vibrant trees are in full flower across the city, ensuring there will be no shortage of violet during the Jacaranda Festival later this month.

The annual three-day event is expected to attract 50,000 people to Goodna for a star-studded line up of performers from October 29.

This year's festival at Goodna's Evan Marginson Park will include bands, more than 100 stalls, a fun run, school talent quest, a parade and skateboard competition.

Fireworks will light up the sky at 9 on the Friday and Saturday nights with the festival closing on the Sunday with a new event called the Rock Fest.

Division Two Councillor Paul Tully said Goodna residents had been working together for 30 years to make the annual Jacaranda Festival a success.

"Goodna has been celebrating its beautiful Jacaranda trees since the 1940s," Cr Tully said.

"Ipswich residents are very proud to continue the tradition of embracing the community spirit and pride the Jacaranda Festival instils in schools, businesses and sporting organisations."

Queensland Building Services Authority helps record number of homeowners

Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology

The Honourable Robert Schwarten


BSA helps record number of homeowners left in the lurch by shoddy builders

The Global Financial Crisis continues to hit the Queensland building industry with a record number of homeowners last year making insurance claims after builders failed to complete building work.

Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said today that 368 non-completion claims had been received in 2009/10, an increase of 95 on the 273 claims last year.

He said Queensland's building industry watchdog, the Building Services Authority (BSA), had assisted homeowners to fix incomplete or shoddy work with a record $42 million in insurance payments from the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

"The Bligh Government is protecting homeowners from builders who have closed their doors without warning or who have done shoddy work," Mr Schwarten said.

"Last year was a very unstable year for the building industry, due to the ongoing effects of the GFC, and I am pleased that the BSA has been there to look after homeowners," he said.

Mr Schwarten said 337 of the 368 claims had been approved - an approval rate of 91 per cent.

In 2008/09, 234 of the 273 claims were approved - a rate of 85 per cent.

Mr Schwarten said the BSA also had reduced the average time taken to approve claims from nearly three months to under two months, from 80 to 50 calendar days.

Under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, homeowners dealing with a licensed builders are insured for incomplete or defective work.

It is the best home warranty scheme in Australia.

Before it approves a claim, the BSA must inspect a property for defects and inspect the state of the works,.

It then prepares a plan for completion of the work and tenders to at least two competing builders, who generally take 20 to 25 days to return a quote to the BSA.

Once the quotes are received, the claim is considered and, if approved, the home owner can enter into a new contract to complete the home with a builder of their choice.

Mr Schwarten said he was pleased that the BSA had reduced the time taken to approve claims.

"Unfortunately the number of claims for incomplete claims has risen as a result of economic circumstances but the BSA is doing a good job in assisting homeowners in a timely way," he said.

18 October 2010

Ipswich park named for St Mary MacKillop at Augustine Heights

St Augustine's College students from left, Tatiana Rodas, nine,
Ashlea Ross, nine, Aiden Court, 13, Kirrah Jobst, 10, Taylor Stassen, 10,
and Sophie Walker, 10 at the newly opened park in Augustine Heights
named in honour of St Mary MacKillop.

IPSWICH residents joined the celebration of Australia's first saint by naming a park in her honour yesterday.

Australian pilgrims gathered at St Peter's Square in Rome yesterday to watch Mary MacKillop being officially canonised as a saint by Pope Benedict.

But Ipswich had its own celebration in recognition of the saint's connections to the city at a new park in Augustine Heights – the first naming of a community facility in Australia after the nation's first saint.

MacKillop, now known as Saint Mary of the Cross, established a small Catholic school at Redbank Plains in 1874.

The school was run by the Sisters of St Joseph following a request from the Ipswich Parish Priest Fr Andrew Horan.

The building, which housed the original school at Redbank Plains, was moved to Goodna in 1916 and is now a heritage-listed solicitor's office in Church Street.

The school had closed in 1877 after the student population had dwindled to eight.

Fr Peter Casey Dean of the South-West Deanery and Goodna Parish Priest Fr Roger Burns officially dedicated the new park at Augustine Heights yesterday in honour of Mary MacKillop.

Students from St Augustine's College at Augustine Heights and St Francis Xavier School at Goodna watched on excitedly during the ceremony, which included the release of white doves as an expression of world peace.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the park was an important tribute to her work in Queensland.

"She was a woman whose dedication to the poor and needy is finally being recognised across the world," Cr Tully said.

"This is an ecumenical service which officially acknowledges Mary MacKillop principally as a great Australian as well as our first saint in Australia's 222-year history."


Israel Folau honoured with street naming at Goodna

Goodna names street after Folau

THE sign has already been stolen three times, but that did not stop Israel Folau grinning from ear-to-ear as he unveiled a street named in his honour.

Aussie Rules convert Israel Folau talks with media
after having a street named after him in Goodna.


THE sign has already been stolen three times, but that did not stop former Goodna rugby league player Israel Folau grinning from ear-to-ear as he unveiled a street named in his honour.

Folau, 21, made the headlines earlier this year when he defected from the NRL's Brisbane Broncos to AFL but he returned to his home town to humbly watch the naming.

"It's pretty cool... I feel very special," Folau said.

"It would be nice to own a home on this street."

When asked what it felt like to be a role model for so many young people, Folau said he hoped the street sign would encourage Goodna kids to aspire to greatness.

"They can achieve whatever they want if they put their mind to it," he said.

"They've got to work hard and you've got to make a lot of sacrifices along the way but in the end it's all worth it."

Folau said Ipswich had always been very supportive and he would miss Queensland when he moved south to play for Greater Western Sydney.

Folau played for Goodna Rugby League club as a teenager and is the second rugby league international to come from Goodna since the 1950s, after Noel Kelly.

Rugby league international Noel Kelly played for Australian in 1959 and had a street named after him in 2003.

"Noel had to wait 40 years to be honoured but Israel gets his after only three," Goodna Councillor Paul Tully said.

Cr Tully said the street would serve as a reminder to all the children in the Goodna area of what they could achieve with efforts and determination.

Ironbark residents Darren and Amanda Amos travelled to Israel Folau Street with daughter Lily so their eight-year-old son Ethan, a passionate footy fan, could get his jersey signed.

Mr Amos said Ethan loved watching the league and wanted to ask Folau if he thought he would be better suited to AFL or NRL because he still had a bit of growing to do.

"He's only eight," Mr Amos said.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasalesaid people were obviously keen to celebrate Folau's connection to Goodna but if anyone wanted to get a copy of the street sign they could buy it from Council.

"You don't have to steal the sign," Cr Pisasale said.

When asked about the thefts, Folau cheekily replied: "I'm not sure; I might be one of them."

MP's bullseye against Premier Anna Bligh


Patrick Lion

ONE of Anna Bligh's disgruntled MPs wants a bullseye on the Premier's head.

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller has proposed erecting a dartboard featuring a photo of the Labor leader at a festival in her electorate to raise party funds from her constituents.

The Sunday Mail has learnt Ms Miller floated the idea for the looming Jacaranda Festival at Ipswich during a recent brainstorming session with party members.

Labor sources said a happy snap of Ms Bligh would have been pinned to the bullseye of the dartboard, with punters called on to fire missiles at the Premier for a small contribution to party coffers.

Openly critical of the asset sell-off, Ms Miller yesterday declined to comment.

``Basically, I'm not talking about any issues relating to Labor party meetings,'' she said.

Some close to the MP confirmed the plan was floated but insisted it was an off-the-cuff remark and was said in jest.

But others say it was not a joke and that the MP said it would please her cranky constituents, many of whom work for Queensland Rail.

It is believed the ALP has instead decided to use raffles and other fundraising measures at the festival later this month.

17 October 2010

St Mary MacKillop Park opened at Augustine Heights

The City of Ipswich beat the Vatican by 4 hours to officially recognise St Mary MacKillop this afternoon.

16 October 2010

Israel Folau Street officially opened at Goodna

Israel Folau Street officially unveiled by Seamus O'Connor, Mayor Paul Pisasale, Israel Folau and Cr Paul Tully.

Israel Folau Street was officially unveiled at Goodna today.

Israel is only the second Rugby League International to come out of Goodna since Noel Kelly who played for Australia in 1959.

Israel Folau played Under 15 for the Goodna Eagles in 2004 and then played for the Brisbane Broncos, the Melbourne Storm and in the Queensland State of Origin.

He played his first Rugby League Test against New Zealand in 2007 in which he scored two tries.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale paid tribute to Israel Folau at today's opening and local Councillor Paul Tully said he was an inspiration to all young people as to what they could achieve.

 Israel Folau Street is located in the Cunningham Rise estate off Stuart St at Goodna.

Ipswich Talk Fest takes off today

The Bremer Forum Communicators all-day talk fest takes off in d'Arcy Doyle Place in the heart of Ipswich this morning.

Goodna Councillor Paul Tully spoke about the Ipswich connection to the Kelly Gang.

Congratulations to Lorraine Foran and her colleagues for organising this great event.

15 October 2010

Water release to stop from Wivenhoe Dam

‪‪SEQW Flood Control Centre has advised they will progressively shut down the discharge from the Wivenhoe Dam commencing later this evening and continuing over the weekend.

They estimate Colleges Crossing and Kholo Bridge will be free of inundation late Monday, and gates fully closed Tuesday pm.

This is subject to no major rain event over the weekend.‬

Severe weather warning for southeast Queensland


for Damaging Winds

For people in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts.


Issued at 4:40 pm on Friday 15 October 2010

A vigorous cold front is forecast to pass through southeast Queensland during the evening, moving off the east coast early on Saturday morning.

Local damaging winds gusts to 100 km/h are forecast about the Darling Downs and Ganite Belt district, possibly developing about southern border areas of the

Southeast Coast district during the evening.

Damaging wind gusts are no longer expected in the Maranoa and Warrego district and are forecast to ease about the western Darling Downs this evening and through remaining parts on Saturday morning.

The State Emergency Service advises that people in the affected area should:

· seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees

· secure loose outdoor items

· beware of fallen trees and powerlines

Contact the SES on 132 500 for emergency assistance if required.

The next warning is due to be issued by 11pm.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts; the Bureau's website at or call 1300 659 219.

The Goodna Rugby League Annual Sportsmen's Lunch kicks off

Goodna is alive at Richardson Park this afternoon.

Traffic chaos at Ipswich prompts renewed call for Brisbane western ring road

PIC 1: Allawah Road which is the only local connection from Ipswich to
Mt Crosby following the closure of Colleges Crossing and the Moggill Ferry.

PIC 2: Like ducks to water at Colleges Crossing at Karalee 5.4 metres under water.

The closure of two of the three secondary links between Ipswich and Brisbane's western suburbs has prompted renewed calls for a western ring road  from the Ipswich Motorway to the Bruce Highway.
Brisbane River flooding continues to cause chaos with the Moggill Ferry out of action and Colleges Crossing in the Ipswich suburb of Karalee 5.4 metres under water.
The only current route from Ipswich to Mt Crosby is via a dirt road and single lane bridge across the Mt Crosby weir.
Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully has renewed calls for a ring road which would link the Ipswich and Logan Motorways with a connection through Brisbane's western and northern suburbs to the Bruce Highway north of Aspley.
Cr Tully said the Moggill Ferry was an antiquated service which commenced in 1878 when Cobb and Co coaches travelled between Brisbane and Ipswich.
"When it operates, it is open 12 hours a day between Riverview and Moggill.
"The Moggill Ferry should be sent to a museum and replaced with a bridge as part of a new western ring road.
Cr Tully said drivers from Ipswich to Brisbane's western suburbs including Mt Crosby and Moggill have to travel along a 2km dirt stretch of Allawah Road then navigate a narrow single lane bridge across the weir.
"It's amazing a few storms across Ipswich and Brisbane a week ago are still creating traffic havoc days later.
"Planning should commence now for a western Brisbane ring road.
"If nothing happens soon, it will still be the same in 50 years with substandard road links and bureaucrats still sitting on their hands doing nothing," Cr Tully said.

Israel Folau to be honoured by street naming in Goodna tomorrow

Australian Rules convert, Israel Folau will have a street named in his honour in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna tomorrow.

Israel played for the Goodna Rugby League club as a teenager and is only the second Rugby League international to come out of the town since Noel Kelly in the 1950s.

The naming follows his test debut for Australia in 2007 as an 18 year old in which he scored two tries against New Zealand.

The street name honours a promise after Folau's international debut from Goodna-based Cr Paul Tully, also the council's planning chairman,  who said a street in Goodna would be named after Folau, whose efforts helped Australia win the Test against New Zealand 58-0 in Wellington.

"This name will serve as a permanent reminder to all the kids in the local area of what you can achieve with effort and determination," Cr Tully said.

Folau became Goodna's second rugby league international after Noel Kelly who played for Australia in 1959 who had a street was named after him in 2003.

"Noel had to wait 40 years to be be honoured but Israel gets his after only three," Cr Tully said.

"Israel will be on hand for the the unveiling of the street sign in his honour and this will be the last time many fans will have the opportunity to say farewell from Queensland as he heads south to play Australian Rules for Greater Western Sydney," Cr Tully said.

To celebrate the occasion, a family fun day will be held between 11am and 2.00pm and a formal presentation ceremony for Israel Folau will take place at noon.

The event will be held at Cunningham Rise estate, corner of Ashbourne Avenue and Whitmore Crescent, Goodna.

The Cunningham Rise estate at Goodna may be accessed from Clements Drive, off Stuart Street.

13 October 2010

Flooding brings back memories of the 1974 flood in Goodna

Israel Folau to unveil local Goodna street this weekend

AUSTRALIAN Rules convert, Israel Folau will be on hand to unveil the naming of Israel Folau Street at Cunningham Rise Estate in Goodna this Saturday.
The street was named to honour the former Queensland and Australian outside back, who played a majority of his junior rugby league games in the region.
To celebrate the occasion, a family fun day will be held between 11am and 2.30pm and a formal presentation ceremony will take place at 11am.
The event will be held at Cunningham Rise Estate, corner of Ashbourne Avenue and Whitmore Crescent, Goodna.
Local Councillor Paul Tully has invited residents to attend Saturday's presentation cermeony which will kick off at 11am.
"Israel Folau is only the second Rugby League International to come out of the Goodna Rugby League Club after Noel Kelly in the 1950s.
"There will be a free sausage sizzle on the day and the opportunity for Ipswich people to say farewell to Israel from Queensland," Cr Tully said.
The Cunningham Rise estate at Goodna may be accessed from Clements Drive, off Stuart Street.

12 October 2010

Jacaranda Festival ready to rock in Goodna 

Jacaranda Festival ready to rock

THE jacaranda trees are starting to bloom in Goodna which can only mean one thing – it's time for the Jacaranda Festival again.

THE jacaranda trees are starting to bloom in Goodna which can only mean one thing – it's time for the Jacaranda Festival again.

The annual festival, which attracts about 50,000 people during the three days of events, also boasts a star-studded line up of performers this year.

Community engagement committee chairperson Councillor Heather Morrow said the festival was growing to be a very popular event in Ipswich.

"Starting at 5pm on Friday, October 29, this year's festival will have bands, more than 100 stalls, a 10-kilometre fun run, school talent quest, a festival parade and skateboard competition," she said.

"Fireworks will light up the sky at 9pm on the Friday and Saturday nights with the festival closing on the Sunday with a new event called the Rock Fest.

"The Rock Fest will be from 1pm to 5pm on October 31, with performances by Australian rock legends Normie Rowe, Lucky Star, Denise Drysdale, Ian Turpie and Tony Worsley."

Division 2 Councillor, Paul Tully, said Goodna residents had been working together for 30 years to make the annual Jacaranda Festival a success.

"Goodna has been celebrating its beautiful Jacaranda trees since the 1940s with various garden parties, shows and festivals," he said.

"This year marks the 30th anniversary since the current festival began in 1980.

"Ipswich residents are very proud to continue the tradition of embracing the community spirit and pride that the Jacaranda Festival instils in local schools, businesses and sporting organisations."


The Jacaranda festival will be held from October 29, to 31, at Evan Marginson Park, Goodna. Entry to the festival is free but there is a $5 entry fee to compete in the fun run or talent quest.

Ipswich honours St Mary MacKillop this Sunday at Augustine Heights

IPSWICH is hoping to lead the world in recognising Australia's first Saint, Mary MacKillop who established a small Catholic school at Redbank Plains in 1874.

The original building from Redbank Plains where Mary Mackillop established a school in 1874 which was moved to Goodna in 1916 and is now a solicitor's in Church St.

IPSWICH is hoping to lead the world in recognising Australia's first Saint, Mary MacKillop who established a small Catholic school at Redbank Plains in 1874.

The school was run by the Sisters of St Joseph after a request from the Ipswich Parish Priest Fr Andrew Horan.

The building, which housed the original school at Redbank Plains, was moved to Goodna in 1916 and is now a heritage-listed solicitor's office in Church St.

The school closed in 1877 after the student population dwindled to eight.

Mary MacKillop will be officially canonised as a saint in Rome by Pope Benedict on Sunday, October 17.

A new park at Augustine Heights in Mary MacKillop's honour will be officially opened and dedicated earlier that day by Fr Peter Casey Dean of the South-West Deanery assisted by Goodna Parish Priest Fr Roger Burns. It will be the first naming of a community facility in Australia after our nation's first Saint.

Councillor Paul Tully said all members of the public were welcome to attend the hour-long park dedication service which will start at 2pm at Leon Capra Drive, Augustine Heights, off Augusta Parkway.

Water discharge from Wivenhoe Dam to double as bridges and crossings remain closed

SEQWater Flood Control Centre has advised they intend doubling the discharge from Wivenhoe from 700m3/sec to 1400m3/sec for the next couple of days.

This will create some Dam surge capacity to meet further forecast rain in the catchment next week.
It means the bridges and crossings affected by increased flows from Wivenhoe will remain closed until after the weekend.

ABC 612 comes to Ipswich

Madonna King, Mayor Paul Pisasale and Kev Walters at Riverlink North Ipswich this morning for the broadcast of Madonna's morning program.

Another first for Ipswich.

Rain deluges Ipswich

A month's rainfall in 12 hours

Zane Jackson And Peter Foley | 12th October 2010

BUCKETING rain drenched Ipswich yesterday dumping a month's worth of rainfall on the region in less than a day.

Roads and properties around the Ipswich region were flooded after yesterday's massive downpour, which dropped 84.2mm up until 5pm.

It was one of the heaviest days for rainfall in the past 18 months and was well above the long-term October monthly average of 73.7mm.

The rain caused havoc for motorists with 18 roads closed during the day, while public transport commuters also faced a series of delays due to the weather.

Full story:

11 October 2010

Ipswich roads closed by flooding

The following roads have been closed owing to flooding or have the appropriate signage erected advising significant water over the road affecting vehicular traffic as at 12:00 pm Monday 11/10/10

Please note that conditions and the state of the road closures is very changeable depending on where the major rainfall and runoff is occurring. 
• Mt Crosby Rd Colleges Crossing; 

• Louisa St Marburg;

• Marburg Fernvale Rd at Black snake Creek ; 

• Reinke Rd Ashwell;

• Ivan La Ironbark;

• Schultz Rd Ironbark;

• Riverside Dr Pine Mt;

• Minden Post Office Rd Marburg;

• Karrabin Rosewood Rd Walloon;

• Railway St Rosewood;

• Haigslea Amberley Rd Walloon ;

• Rosewood Warrill View Rd Rosewood;

• Taylors Rd Walloon (gravel section) Walloon;

• Rosewood Laidley Rd (near Bunney's Rd) Rosewood;

• Boyles Rd Pine Mt;

• Barram Rd Ripley;

• Haigslea Maller Rd Marburg

• Coach La Ironbark;

• River Rd Bundamba

Ipswich Conservation Parks closed

Ipswich City Council advises the following conservation estates and day use areas are closed until further notice due to flooding:
White Rock Conservation Estate which includes Paperbark Flats Day Use Area and Yuddamin Horse Trail
Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate which includes Hardings Paddock Day Use Area and Flinders Plum Picnic Area.

09 October 2010

Sleek Adenbrook display homes open at Augustine Heights

showcasing two very special home styles with the release of the Layton and the Austin at Brentwood Rise at Augustine Heights.

Designed for relaxed indoor and outdoor family living, both homes have an open plan living layout combined with an alfresco area and separate bedroom zones.
The exotic four-bedroom
Layton is inspired by the tribal rhythms of Africa, with the rich colours of the savannah, textured accents of earthenware and animal prints of the safari.

In contrast, the influence for the Austin is a coastal beach house, with cool and breezy furnishings in the colours of sand and ocean blue. Textures of driftwood influence a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

Located in the rapidly growing Springfield region, Brentwood Rise is just five minutes from Springfield Town Centre, 10 minutes to Ipswich and 40 minutes to Brisbane CBD.

Ideal for families, the estate is in close proximity to current and planned infrastructure including public transport, schools and
shopping centres.

Adenbrook Homes builder Rick Maklary said the homes were designed and styled for relaxed family living, in a community ideal for families.

"Brentwood Rise is in
Queensland's most exciting and fastest-growing region," Mr
Maklary said.

"While it's centrally located with easy transport access to Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, the boom in the Western Corridor has seen active growth in retail, commercial and other large industries.

"With an increase in employment, this area has already become a micro city where residents live, work and play"

The Layton and the Austin display homes are now on show at Brentwood Rise Display Village, 7 Finnigan Street, Augustine Heights.

New neighbourhood takes shape at Investa's Brentwood estate Augustine Heights

SINCE the first home was built just over a year ago, families have continued to flock to Investa Property Group's Brentwood Rise at Augustine Heights with more than 200 homes completed.

Investa Property Group
Queensland general manager Bruce Harper said the rapid growth and popularity of
Brentwood Rise confirmed the appeal of the project in the midst of a number of well-established communities.
"We are part of one of south-east Queensland's
strongest and most competitive residential growth corridors," Mr
Harper said.

"But our key attributes have allowed us to develop a real niche in this market.

"Our prospective buyers love the fact that living at Brentwood Rise means being part of a small neighbourhood of just 350 families surrounded by natural open space."

"Our display village opened earlier this year featuring 24 homes from 12 of Queensland's leading builders, and continues to provide a showcase of the Brentwood Rise lifestyle to hundreds of people each week.

"With home and land packages priced from below $400,000 plus include a Springfield train station with direct links to the City by 2013 and a Woolworths hardware superstore.

Mr Harper said the new State School, set to open in time for the beginning of the 2011 school year, was also a major draw card for families.

"The school site is really starting to take shape now. It is perfect for residents of
Brentwood Rise as it's just a short walk from home."

The Brentwood Rise
display village is open
10am-5pm seven days a week, off Augusta Parkway, Augustine Heights.

For more information phone 1300 853537.

Springfield Lakes expansion

IPSWICH City Council has
approved the further development
of land in Springfield Lakes into residential lots.

Planning and development
committee chairman Paul Tully said the plans included 18 more lots and a road to be constructed in The Summit residential village.

"Developers plan to integrate the homes with parklands and these lots will be opposite Aspect Park and Mist Lane, offering residents plenty of green precincts to enjoy," Cr Tully said.

Major development site for sale at Redbank Plains

Toowoomba Chronicle

Saturday 9/10/2010

Queensland residential
development land

A 123 ha master plan residential development site in the heart of South East Queensland's western growth corridor is being offered for sale by tender through Ray White Special Projects.

Representing a development opportunity in one of South East Queensland's active growth precincts, the Redbank Plains property is being marketed under instructions from the receivers and managers Justin Walsh and Shaun McKinnon from Ernst & Young.

Ray White Special Projects Queensland Director Mark Creevey said he expected interest in the site to be strong with early interest shown from some of Australia's most prominent development groups.

"Comprising a total land area of 123 ha across five titles, the site provides the opportunity to deliver a range of development outcomes," Mr Creevey said.

Redbank Plains is located just 10km from the Ipswich CBD and 25km south west of the Brisbane city centre.

The site is situated just 500m from the future Redbank Plains connection point to the Centenary Highway and is only five minutes from Springfield Town Centre including Orion Regional shopping Centre Directly adjoining the land estates of Fernbrooke by Urban Pacific and Devine's Mountview project, its first stage has been approved for 40 lots.

Formal offers to purchase close at 4pm on Thursday, October 28, 2010.

QLD Severe weather warning: Damaging winds and flash flooding

QLD Severe Weather Warning: Damaging Winds and Flash Flooding

09-Oct-2010 12:39 PM

QLD Severe Weather Warning: Damaging Winds and Flash Flooding
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people along the SE coast overnight and for Sunday.

Issued at 11:15 am on Saturday 9 October 2010

Synoptic Situation:
An intensifying high over the southern Tasman Sea and a trough off the east
coast will increase the winds along the SE coast overnight and for Sunday with
increasing rainfall. These conditions will extend inland to exposed parts of the
inland ranges during Sunday.

A flood warning remains current for Sunshine Coast streams and Hinterland.

The State Emergency Service advises that people in the affected area should:
· avoid walking, driving or riding through flood waters

Redbank Plains rioting charges dropped by Ipswich Police

Rioting charges dropped
9th October 2010

CHARGES have been dropped against 15 people who were accused of
rioting when two rival car clubs clashed at Ipswich.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard 27 people were charged over the
alleged suburban showdown and shooting at Redbank Plains earlier this
year between the Logan-based Southside Ridaz and Ipswich-based Pure

Members of the car clubs are alleged to have armed themselves with
planks of wood, an iron bar and a shovel in the violence on Highbury
Drive in the early hours of March 14.

But prosecutors yesterday dropped charges against 15 of the accused.

The court heard 12 people still face various charges including rioting
and assault and are expected to face a hearing in mid-November.

Big Dad's Pies founder declares he's broke as Big Dad's highway store at Goodna closes

Big Dad's Pies founder: I'm broke
Zane Jackson | 9th October 2010

ICONIC food chain Big Dad's Pies has been dealt a major blow following
the closure of its supplier and four stores in Ipswich – the city
where the business began.

CEO and founder Stephen Donnelly this week closed his four stores in
North Ipswich, Churchill, Ebbw Vale and Goodna's Railway Terrace at
short notice.

Another of Mr Donnelly's businesses that supplied pies to the
remaining 26 Big Dad's franchises also closed, leaving store owners
only with the stock left in their freezers.

They will be forced to use to interim pies and pastries until
franchisee owner, the Retail Food Group (RFG), can find a new
supplier, which it expects will be by the end of the week.

Some franchise store owners and workers at the Heathwood-based supply
business, the Pie and Pastry Emporium, claim they were not given
notice about the closure and are awaiting their pay.

The Retail Food Group brought the chain's franchising rights and
intellectual property, including pie recipes, from Mr Donnelly in
April this year for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Donnelly yesterday said he had been forced to wind up his
operations because he could no longer afford to keep them open.

"Things have gone quiet, overheads have increased and the cash flow
has dried up," he said.

"We had to look at what was best for us. For me this is seven-
and-a-half years of hard work gone."

He said workers were aware that the closure was happening, but not
when. He said he was the "big loser" out of the closures, with the Pie
and Pastry Emporium owing money to creditors.

An Ipswich worker from the supply business, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said staff had had no notice of the closures and had not
been paid.

"We don't know if we'll ever see the money owed to us," he said.

A Big Dad's store owner from the Ipswich region said he only heard
about the supply business winding up on Wednesday morning.

The store owner said he was concerned the interim pies and pastries he
would have to now sell could turn away Big Dad's fans.

But RFG head of strategy Gary Alford stressed his firm still owned the
rights to the recipes and that a new supplier should be found by the
end of next week.

Mr Alford said it was important to understand only Mr Donnelly's
stores had closed, not the whole chain, and that RFG would talk to
landlords about the possibility of taking over the closed sites.

He said RFG was taking contact details of workers left without a job
and would try to find them work where possible.

"It's been a big 24 to 48 hours for us, long hours, trying to ensure
that franchises can continue to trade," he said yesterday.

Big Dad's Pies was established in Ipswich in 2003 with the pie recipes
of Mr Donnelly's father Noel Donnelly.

Leanne Holland Sequel: Police seek Goodna murder breakthrough

Andrew Korner | 9th October 2010

A POLICE officer will travel to the United States to use the latest
forensic technology in the search for answers as to who murdered
Leanne Holland.

The 19-year-old case was re-opened this year after judges overturned
the conviction of Graham Stafford, who served 15 years behind bars for
the crime.

Leanne was only 12 years old when she was found dead in bushland
beside Redbank Plains Road in 1991.

The decision to send an officer overseas follows the return of police
to the house where Leanne lived with her father Terry, sister Melissa
and Melissa's then boyfriend Mr Stafford at the time of the her death.

In July this year, forensic officers scoured the house at Alice
Street, Goodna, as part of what police called an open and transparent
review of the investigation.

Assistant commissioner Ross Barnett said police would conduct forensic
analysis of areas of the house that had already been examined in 1991
– to see if there was any evidence not captured during the original

"As you would appreciate, there have been significant improvements in
forensic science in the past 20 years – broadly in terms of DNA and
blood that we now have the ability to enhance samples in a crime
scene," Mr Barnett said.

Police were focussing on the bathroom area initially but it was
unclear what evidence was going to the US to be tested.

"As a part of the full review of the Leanne Holland's case, the QPS is
making use of new forensic technique.


08 October 2010

Queensland Rail signs lease on Ipswich office

Minister for Transport
The Honourable Rachel Nolan

Queensland Rail is returning to its roots after negotiating a lease on
office space for its first corporate presence in Ipswich.

Transport Minister and Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said Ipswich,
the traditional home of rail in Queensland, was the perfect location
for a new Queensland Rail premise.

"Queensland Rail was born in Ipswich in 1865 when the first railway to
Grandchester was opened," Ms Nolan said.

"For 150 years, the city and the railway have had strong ties and this
new office cements the connection.

"Queensland Rail's new Ipswich office at 38 Limestone Street will
initially house around 30 operations staff but could accommodate up to
50 staff in the future.

"A range of operational roles will be based at the Ipswich office
including Human Resources, Customer Service, Strategy and Corporate
Services and legal services.

"This is part of the State Government's commitment to staged
decentralisation of government services, which will reduce pressure on
the Brisbane CBD.

"It's also an outcome of the State Government's growth management
summit earlier this year.

"Many Ipswich-based staff live nearby so the move will mean they can
live and work locally.

"Shorter travel time will mean staff can spend more time with their
families and generally enjoy better work-life balance.

"The building is also within easy walking distance of the train
station so staff can continue to catch public transport to and from
the office."

Queensland Rail has signed a lease on office space at The Limestone
Street Centre, which is owned by the Joint Venture formed and managed
by Trident Corporation.

Queensland Rail expects to begin operations at the Ipswich office by
December once the fit-out is complete.

Ipswich's million dollar properties

PRESTIGE properties across Ipswich are reaching the $1 million mark
for the first time as the region continues to defy nationwide trends.

Residential suburbs such as Karalee, Brookwater and Augustine Heights
have joined rural areas like Esk, Lowood and Fernvale in seeing top
properties passing the $1 million milestone.

REIQ Ipswich Zone chairman Peter Mendoza said an August sale at
Sadliers Crossing was the latest property to break the six-figure

"We had a recent sale of $1.1 million in Burnett Street that was a bit
of a milestone," he said.

In Augustine Heights you've got some places selling for $700,000 to $800,000.

Full story:

Redbank Plains Arson Sequel: $235,000 club fire was lit for fun

A MAN will spend the next seven months behind bars after admitting setting fire to an Ipswich soccer club "for fun".
Christopher Colin Forshey, 19, and Robbie Joseph Nowlan, 19, were drinking at Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve with friends early in the morning of March 7 last year when they decided to break into the club's canteen.
But after stealing lollies and ice cream, the pair lit a fire inside the Westminster Soccer Club using paper and air freshener.
Ipswich District Court heard the building was engulfed in flames and entirely destroyed, causing $200,000 damage to the building and $35,000 in contents damage.
Crown Prosecutor Kathleen Christopherson said the pair "burnt down this public property for fun".
Full details:

07 October 2010

Help save our honey bees

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland

The Honourable Tim Mulherin


Survey beeline

Queensland's commercial growers and backyard gardeners are being urged to take part in a bee pollination survey to help fight a serious pest.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the Small Hive Beetle had become endemic throughout most of eastern Queensland, where it had destroyed many beehives in the last two years.

"With two in every three mouthfuls of food needing pollination by agents such as the honey bee, we are keen to gather data to accurately assess the wider impact this pest might be having on our food production," the Minister said.

"Without pollination our food supply chain would effectively collapse.

"This would have drastic ramifications for Queensland's economy with one in eight jobs in the Queensland workforce either partially or entirely supported by the agricultural supply chain.

"This equates to more than a quarter of a million Queensland jobs in the food supply chain which would be affected.

"This is why we are keen to gather data to accurately assess the wider impact this hive beetle pest is having on our food production.

"This is part of the Bligh Government's commitment to protecting Queensland jobs and strengthening the value of the regional economies.

"Up until now we have only had anecdotal evidence to suggest the beetle is affecting the pollination of backyard, horticultural and agricultural crops throughout Queensland.

"An online survey in October and November will provide scientists and industry groups with a clearer picture of the indirect but wider damage being done by the Small Hive Beetle.

"The survey specifically asks these target groups what they grow, whether they have noticed a decrease in the number of bees and/or in their yields in recent years.

"Agri-Science Queensland scientists from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) also w ant to know if growers have sought paid pollination services over the past two years."

The Minister said researchers were particularly interested to hear from people who had vegetable patches in their backyards.

"There are thousands of backyard vegetable patches throughout eastern Queensland," Mr Mulherin said.

"Declining yields don't just affect big producers and many people with vegetable patches might not be aware of the important role bees play in pollination.

"Many backyard vegetable growers mightn't know their plants aren't producing fruit, or the fruit died on the vine because the flowers weren't pollinated.

"Some people with vegetable patches might've noticed a decrease in yields over the past two years in common produce such as zucchini, squash and pumpkins.

"We also want to hear from people who routinely self pollinate their vegetables, or those who have started self pollination.

"It is important for all producers and horticultural and agricultural groups to respond to the survey."

Dr Diana Leemon from Agri-Science Queensland said the most affected hives appeared to be the backyard hives that weren't moved around.

"Hives that aren't moved are prime targets for the beetle, so while the owners of backyard vegetable patches or hives might think their production is small, their feedback will be valuable," she said.

"There are limited control options, mostly involving management strategies, for the Small Hive Beetle.

"The beetle is an exotic pest from South Africa and was first detected in Australia in 2002.

"There is widespread concern throughout the agricultural and the beekeeping industry because of the destruction the beetles can cause.

"The beetles are spreading at an alarming rate, often up to 15 kilometers a day.

"Beetle larvae feed on baby bees, pollen and honey and totally destroy the hive when large numbers of larvae build up.

"In the last year alone, 734 Queensland beekeepers reported more than $2.1 million in hive losses due to the Small Hive Beetle.

"While there is so far no effective way to stop the beetle, there are management strategies in place including some commercial and home made in-hive traps."

Dr Leemon said the pollination survey data would prove extremely useful for scientists and industry groups in the fight against the beetle.

"It is important that we get accurate data about any flow on effect the loss of bees is having on backyard and commercial crops in Queensland," she said.

"The local honey bee industry plays an important role in the pollination process and is estimated to provide around $1 billion in value to the Queensland economy."

The online survey is available at

For more information call DEEDI's Business Information Centre on 13 25 23 or visit

COMMENT: Ipswich residents are encouraged to get involved in this survey which will help Queensland's beekeepers and keep our honeybees alive.

Channel 7 News Flashback to 1995