29 April 2012

Ipswich City Council election results 2012

The following candidates were elected at the Ipswich City Council election on 28 April 2012.

Paul Pisasale

Division 1 - David Morrison (unopposed)
Division 2 - Paul Tully (unopposed)
Division 3 - Victor Attwood
Division 4 - Bruce Casos
Division 5 - Heather Morrow
Division 6 - Cheryl Bromage (unopposed)
Division 7 - Andrew Antoniolli
Division 8 - Charlie Pisasale (unopposed)
Division 9 - Sheila Ireland (unopposed)
Division 10 - David Pahlke



Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale sings his way to election victory

26 April 2012

Stan Briscoe talks to the media this morning about the end of an era at the Goodna Bowls Club

The end of the "Old Friend" after more than 30 years.

Interesting cloud formation over Goodna at the moment.

New bridge nears completion at Goodna

The new bike and pedestrian bridge is nearing completion over Woogaroo Creek at Brisbane Tce Goodna.

It is part of a new bikeway from Riverview to Gailes via Redbank and Goodna.

Bike enthusiasts as well as families will enjoy the new link which runs via Brisbane Rd Redbank, Francis St, Railway Tce, Woogaroo St, George St & Brisbane Tce Goodna.

The new bridge has already been described as Goodna's answer to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

21 April 2012

Call for maximum safe speed limit for cyclists on footpaths

Media release 21 April 2012

RAIL Back On Track ( a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers has called for urgent action by authorities to implement a 5 km/h speed limit for cyclists on footpaths when approaching and passing a bus stop shelter.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"There have been a number of recent reports of speeding cyclists putting at risk bus passengers preparing to board buses.  The design of the bus stop shelters with advertising boards also blocks the view of both cyclists and bus passengers in some circumstances."

"We believe it is only a matter of time before serious injury results unless urgent action is taken to force cyclists to slow down when on footpaths generally, but particularly when passing bus stop shelters."

20 April 2012

Mayor Paul Pisasale officially launches his re-election campaign at d'Arcy Doyle Place in Ipswich this morning.

Mayor Pisasale unveiled a wide range of progressive policies for the next 4 years.

The election is on Saturday 28 April 2012.

Voting is compulsory.

Voting hours are 8am to 6pm.

19 April 2012

Goodna flood cheats face justice

IPSWICH flood cheats who claimed emergency money they weren't entitled to have been caught out.

In two separate cases, people had applied for the grants at a flood relief centre and been given hundreds of dollars.

They then went to other centres and reapplied for the grants, claiming they hadn't received any money when filling out the application forms.

Hayley Elena Lei, 27, received four payments of $510 each time in January last year during the crisis.

Lei legitimately applied for the Emergency Assistant Grant (EAG) on January 19 at a Redbank Plains flood shelter and received a $510 payout.

She then went to a Goodna shelter on January 29 and declared she hadn't received any money when applying for another grant.

On February 3, she went to two different shelters at Bundamba and Goodna and made the same fake claims.

All up she received $1530 she wasn't entitled to.

Police prosecutor Constable David Thiel said the offences were extremely serious because more needy people might have missed out.

Const Thiel said the generosity of the grants weren't there to be abused.

Lei pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud, was fined $1000 and ordered to pay $1530 restitution to the Queensland Government.

Lei's defence said she needed the money at the time to pay for rent and groceries and was under a great deal of stress after her property had been flooded.

The court heard Lei worked for an agency that handled debt collections.

In a separate case, Imeleta Brown, 32, claimed an extra $340 at a Riverview shelter on January 28 but had since paid it back. Brown, a mother of three, claimed she misread the paperwork and didn't know she had to declare if she had already received money.

She was fined $500.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said both Lei and Brown "weren't alone" by losing everything in the floods.

"There were a number of people who lost everything in the floods - you knew it was a one-off payment," Ms Sturgess said. "You are not alone in this situation."

18 April 2012

Mayor's photo finish Pisasale slams poll

THE mayoral race between Paul Pisasale and Peter Luxton could be a close call as an online poll shows them neck and neck as voters prepare to go to the polls in local government elections in 10 days

Ipswich News18 Apr 2012

PAUL Pisasale has lashed out at an online poll showing the mayoral race against Peter Luxton was close, as voters prepare to go the polls in 10 days' time.

The Ipswich News poll had Mr Luxton three votes ahead of the mayor after 825 readers had responded to the question: Who will you vote for to be mayor? Cr Pisasale said it was probably the "same person voting" in the poll after he gained 81.31 per cent of the vote, compared with Mr Luxton's 11.26 per cent and Philip Luafutu's 7.43 per cent, in the 2008 elections.

"I can't wait for polling day to compare those results with your poll," he said. Mr Luxton argued the mayor was "rattled" by the poll.

"I hope it's a true enough reflection," said Mr Luxton, who dismissed the claim he had been behind the result.

Local government elections are on Saturday, April 28

COMMENT: It's about time Quest Newspapers called on their Ipswich editor Brian Semmens to shape up or ship out. Trying to justify the accuracy of this online poll shows how paranoid this man is. Peter Luxton will be lucky to get 20% of the vote on Saturday week yet the amateur newspaper psephologist from North Ipswich has the ex-Greens candidate ahead. Mr Semmens is now using his position to attack politicians via his Twitter account. He is supposed to be the editor of the Ipswich News, not some political commentator inflicting his own bias into Queensland's oldest provincial city. Mr Semmens doesn't understand the people of Ipswich and it would appear he never will. The sooner he returns to Bob Brown's territory, the sooner Ipswich News will have its credibility restored.  Or perhaps he could take on the editorship of the Oodnadatta Times where his style of looney journalism would be really appreciated by the extremists and political troglodytes who inhabit the town. 

By the way.  What odds is Brian Semmens offering on Paul Pisasale and Peter Luxton on Saturday week? Even at 1000 to 1 on, Mayor Pisasale would be the best bet of the year!


ABC ANZAC Day is a special event digital radio station, broadcasting national and international dawn services, live march coverage, plus additional stories and music to commemorate ANZAC Day 2012.  


Broadcasting for 36 hours, and beginning at 6pm on Tuesday 24 AprilABC ANZAC Day will have many of ABC Radio's finest broadcasters hosting a mix of live coverage and special interview programs.  These programs come from across ABC Radio, and include social history features as well as extended conversations from the ABC's Richard Fidler and Margaret Throsby.


Live coverage will include the Martin Place Dawn Service in Sydney and the Anzac Day March in Melbourne. Other events to be covered include delayed coverage the Anzac Day March in Townsville, as well as Dawn Services from Turkey and France.


For the complete rundown on programming or to hear it streamed online, go


"This is the third year we have broadcast ABC ANZAC Day on digital radio, bringing together the magnificent coverage that ABC Radio gives this significant day. It's fantastic to be able to commemorate ANZAC Day in such a manner," Manager, Network Development, ABC Local Radio, James O'Brien said.


Recent figures released by Commercial Radio Australia indicate there are over 1.2 million people listening to digital radio in an average week and just under 800,000 digital radios in the market.  Digital Radio can be heard in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. 


17 April 2012

Goodna girl Leanne Holland's murder still unsolved

Leanne Holland
TWO years after the investigation into the murder of Goodna schoolgirl Leanne Holland was reopened, Graham Stafford is still waiting to clear his name.

Mr Stafford was put behind bars for the murder of Leanne Holland in 1991 before he was paroled in 2006.

Leanne was only 12 when her battered and tortured body was found in bushland beside Redbank Plains Rd in September 1991.

Mr Stafford has always strenuously denied he didn't kill Leanne.

His murder conviction was quashed in 2009 and a retrial was ordered, but the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled in March 2010 that it would not proceed.

In May 2010, the investigation was reopened and a cold case review was put in place, starting with a forensic examination of the house Leanne lived in.

She lived in Alice St, Goodna, with her father Terry, sister Melissa and Mr Stafford, who was Melissa's boyfriend at the time.

In October 2010, a police officer travelled to the United States to use the latest forensic technology.

The new investigation was conducted by the Brisbane homicide squad and it was expected a report would be handed to the police commissioner early this year.

Graeme Crowley, a private investigator and co-author of Who Killed Leanne?, was baffled by the lengthy delay in making the report public.

"The original investigation took three days. This one has taken almost two years," Mr Crowley said.

Mr Stafford could not be contacted for comment but he has repeatedly said he was determined to clear his name.

"Someone is out there who is responsible for Leanne's murder and should be behind bars," he said in 2010.

"I also want an inquiry into the police investigation.

"You can't leave a serious crime like that hanging.

"The most important thing is to find out who killed Leanne and put them where they belong."

Mr Stafford's mother Jean Stafford said it was difficult waiting for an outcome, especially not knowing what was happening with the investigation.

"It just seems so funny that it would take so long. I can't understand it," Mrs Stafford said.

"It didn't take them long to put him in jail.

"I still don't know what's going on. No one has spoken to us.

"They spoke to Graham at the start but they haven't since.

"That's the hard part - not knowing what's going on," Mrs Stafford said.

A police spokesman said the investigation was still going and there was no date set for when it would be finished.

"This is a thorough review in which investigators are keeping an open mind and will consider all lines of inquiry," the spokesman said.

"The QPS is unable to estimate a completion date for the investigations.

"As with any ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to provide specific details about the techniques and procedures being used.

"We will be able to comment further once our investigations are complete or there is a specific investigative need to do so," the spokesman said.


Rain to hit SEQ for the rest of the week: BOM

BROLLY weather is back in the southeast, with falls in Brisbane and surrounds of up to 70mm expected today.

But it comes as long-term forecasters warn that the rain-bearing La Nina conditions of the past two years may be replaced by a drought-causing El Nino event.

Records show that after a two-year La Nina, an El Nino or neutral conditions will follow, 70 per cent of the time.

National Climate Centre meteorologist Andrew Watkins said the bureau had modelled current conditions 30 times.

"None of the models are going for a La Nina,'' Dr Watkins said.

"They are all going for either neutral conditions or hedging towards El Nino.

"We are assessing our modelling against world modelling and will come up with a position on Wednesday. An El Nino can't be ruled out.''

Despite the predicted long-term drier conditions, Dr Watkins said the chances of receiving above-median rain in April to June were up to 75 per cent for southeast Queensland and the border areas in northeast NSW.

Damper conditions will continue in the short term due to a natural lag as the atmosphere gradually dries. Weather Bureau forecaster Rick Threlfall said falls of 30mm to 50mm would be widespread in the southeast today, but storms could almost double that in some areas.

"We've got a high-level low and there's not much wind up there to push it around, so any thunderstorms will likely be slow moving and sit in the same place for a while,'' he said.

"These will be in isolated pockets but maybe will produce falls to 70mm.''

Showers are forecast to continue through the week, from the Wide Bay region to the Darling Downs and NSW, with heavier falls on Friday.

Goodna Two-up: Come in spinner - it's time to play

Brian Evans, Tom Burton and John Paul, Goodna RSL Services Club
two up  on ANZAC Day.
The divide between law and reality has been bridged in Queensland with the State Government legalising games of two-up during Anzac Day celebrations.

The gambling game has long been entwined in Australian military history and is traditionally played at RSL Clubs across Queensland on Anzac Day, despite it previously being technically illegal.

The Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming (Two-Up) Amendment Bill 2011 passed Parliament in February with bipartisan support.

Former attorney-general Paul Lucas said the new law formally allowed punters to play not-for-profit two-up in RSL and Services clubs.

The changes were welcome news for ex-servicemen Brian Evans, Tom Burton and John Paul of the Goodna RSL, who would no longer be flouting the law this Anzac Day.

Goodna RSL president David Christie said veterans across the state would welcome the changes.

"We're looking forward to having the veterans come into the club on Anzac Day to enjoy a drink and meal with the members of the club and also to enjoy a game of two-up and crown and anchor," he said.

"It takes away the police's authority to actually charge someone for playing the game that has been a tradition of the Diggers."


Redevelopment surging ahead with 8-storey building next Project will bring back CBD heart

A SECOND, eight-storey tower in the massive Icon Ipswich project is on the drawing board as the billion-dollar redevelopment surges ahead.

The Ipswich City Square redevelopment on the corner of Brisbane and Bell Sts has been called the rebirth of the city centre.

The first stage of the project is a nine-storey office tower with 18,000sq m of office space and 200 car parks.

The developers Leighton Properties and Ipswich City Properties are preparing to lodge a development application for a second tower.

ICP chairman Paul Tully said tower one was ahead of schedule and interest was building in tower two.

"Tower one is progressing well, with expectation the project will be completed by the third quarter of 2013," he said. "With tower two, we are in the market for tenants and actively pursuing opportunities." He said construction was scheduled to start in the first quarter of next year and it was expected to have eight levels.

The finished multi-stage reconstruction will span four CBD blocks, incorporating 170,000 sq m of commercial, retail, residential and public space.

A Leighton Properties spokeswoman recently said the developer was on the verge of announcing tenants for Icon Ipswich.

Leighton Properties managing director Mark Gray has said that, once built, the Icon Ipswich master plan would "restore the CBD as the pre-eminent commercial, civic and cultural centre for Ipswich and the western heartland." The first stage of redevelopment was the demolition of the old shopping centre.


15 April 2012

Official Launch of the 10th Annual Ipswich Poetry Feast at Walloon this morning

Don Walker reads "The Babies of Walloon" as Chloe Dickson and Denbeigh Darnell from the Walloon State School dance around the lilies to remember the tragedy at Walloon over a century ago.

14 April 2012

New gym to offer high level of training Apr 2012

OLYMPIC lifting, rope climbing and gymnastic movement will be among the activities on offer at a new indoor gym set to be established in Bundamba.

Ipswich City Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said Hybrid Strength CrossFit had received approval from council to establish the gym at unit 1/17 Mining St, Bundamba.

Cr Tully said CrossFit was a strength and conditioning program used throughout the world by many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes.

He said CrossFit programs gave people the opportunity to develop flexibility, co-ordination extraordinary strength, balance, agility, and accuracy.

Hybrid Strength CrossFit operates like a personal training studio rather than a commercial gym and offers varied movementbased activities at high intensity.

Cr Tully said the new facility would help Ipswich strive towards its goal of becoming one of Australia's healthiest communities.

All classes will run for about an hour and accommodate up to 10 people.

$100 million to expand USQ campus at Springfield Central

University vice-chancellor and president Professor Jan Thomas
 with chancellor Bobbie Brazil and chairman of Springfield
Land Corporation Dr Maha Sinnathamby. 

THE future of the University of Southern Queensland Springfield was secured yesterday with a $100 million commitment from USQ and the Federal Government.

USQ signed a $50 million deal to buy the auditorium, central building and 3ha of land from the Springfield Land Corporation.

USQ also unveiled plans to build a second multi-level building at a cost of $50 million above the existing car park.

The building will be largely funded by the Federal Government and will open for Semester 1, 2014.

USQ vice-chancellor and president Professor Jan Thomas said the expansion would allow for increased campus capacity.

"We've leased this building for six years and today we've moved from being a tenant to a landlord," Prof Thomas said.

"We're currently at full capacity with 1500 students studying here, so this new building will allow us to offer more places."

Prof Thomas said the campus would also offer more courses when the second building opened.

"The new building will be mostly teaching space, and we'll be able to offer more courses including Engineering."

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the expansion was terrific for Ipswich.

"This funding will increase the services that this regional university offers; it will open up a range of options for Ipswich students," he said.


Meet Goodna's slim king - Craig Horsfall

Goodna's Craig Horsfall - shed 68kg in 6 months
ONE man is showing Ipswich how to take on weight loss and beat the threat of diabetes that plagues one person in 20 across the region.

Six months ago Goodna resident Craig Horsfall weighed 160kg, cutting a distant figure from the active sportsman he was only a few years ago.

In a transformation he is still coming to terms with, Mr Horsfall shed an incredible 68kg after his GP laid out the hard facts of his declining health.

He has now set his sights on becoming a personal trainer and helping others make the life changing commitment.

Statistics released last year by Diabetes Australia show the number of people with diabetes in Ipswich, the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim regions has increased by 50 per cent over the past four years.

In an 18-month stint working 12-hour days as a security guard on the Mt Isa minefields, the father of two over-indulged and put on an immense amount of weight.

He was diagnosed as being obesity type two in November, increasing his chances of suffering a heart attack and developing diabetes.

The appointment was the beacon he needed and set him on the staggering weight loss path.

Now the thought of raising a piece of takeaway pizza to his lips is enough to make him shudder.

"I have cut out all junk food, I don't even eat Subway. I just eat salad and eat smaller portions. If you are going to snack eat fruit," he said.

There is no secret to his weight loss.

During the irregular working hours Mr Horsfall found himself eating dinner-plate sized meals and snacking between - even if he wasn't hungry.

He has halved his meals sizes and is no longer tempted to nibble on a chocolate bar and exercises 45 minutes a day, six days a week.

"I feel a lot healthier and I'm not as tired. I have a lot more free movement. It's been an amazing transformation.

"Originally I thought I would lose 15 to 20kg. I didn't think I would lose that much."

His turnaround follows in the footsteps of his mother, who dropped from 160kg to 54kg over an eight-year period.

Finding the energy to keep up with his two daughters Rayleen, aged six, and Shakira seven months, is no longer a problem.

More Ipswich News:

13 April 2012

Cardena Drive extension underway at Augustine Heights

The extension of Cardena Drive at Augustine Heights is progressing well.

The "missing link" to Brittains Rd should be completed by May.

The new road will provide a direct connection for parents and students to the Augusta State School and will ensure an alternative link from the suburb and school in the event of an emergency.

Local Councillor Paul Tully thanked the developer for finally "coming to the party" to build the much-needed link.

Goodna's Go kart kid - Ardie Jonic

Go kart kid: KID WITH A DREAM: Ardie Jonic got seven podium finishes at the junior quartermaster midgets at Archerfield speedway.

12 April 2012

Goodna Veterans fuming over thefts

Secretary of the Veterans Support and
Advocacy Service in Goodna
Reg Bond (front) with
Syd Hockley, Tony Beaven
and Bob Stumer (l-r)
at the shed which has been
targeted by thieves.

A CLOSE-KNIT group of Ipswich veterans are fuming over the fourth break-in at their makeshift Goodna home since the 2011 floods.

The Veterans Support and Advocacy Service Australia (VSASA) Ipswich branch was forced to vacate its permanent headquarters at the RSL Services Club on Woogaroo St following last year's floods.

Their new meeting place - a shed across the road from the Goodna RSL on Peel St - has been repeatedly targeted by "low-life" over the last 15 months, with cash, equipment and food stolen.

In the latest break-in, early last week, the thieves took cans of soft drink, jars of vegemite and peanut butter and club shirts and merchandise.

Members said the gear, worth no more than a few hundred dollars, was hauled away in a garbage bin.

While it doesn't sound like a lot, branch secretary Reg Bond said it took a lot of work to fundraise enough money to replace the stolen items.

"Obviously we are an easy target here," Mr Bond said.

"We've had four of these break-ins now. This low-life should front up to the Anzac Day parade. They can hang their heads in shame as we march past and remember our mates and those who have lost their lives so this scum can live in freedom."

A backdoor to the shed was jemmied open in the latest break-in, however thieves haven't always had to break in to the shed to get what they're after.

In a previous theft, the offenders cut through padlocks to steal a generator from a mobile barbecue trailer that was parked next to the shed.

The trailer is now parked at one of the members' houses to keep it away from thieving hands.

The Ipswich line: Long wait for new rail services

Robert Dow - Rail Back
on Track spokesman
Transport lobby group Rail Back on Track has called for the Ipswich rail line to be included in a 15-minute frequency trial set to begin on the Ferny Grove line.

The trial was announced by then LNP candidate Campbell Newman during the Queensland election campaign.

The 15-minute trains will double the services offered in non-peak times over the next two years and are due to start in the middle of the year.

The Ipswich line carries 13,900 commuters between Oxley and Rosewood stations each day, only 400 shy of the patronage on the Ferny Grove line of 14,300.

The lobby group spokesman Robert Dow said the $18 million project should be expanded to include Ipswich line.

Mr Dow said there is enough evidence already to suggest the trial would also be a success between Darra and Rosewood.

"What we would like to see is when the LNP get settled is to look at the core network with a view to investing in the network. The Ipswich line must be a priority because it is the engine room of the network," he said.

A Translink spokesperson said Ipswich commuters have benefitted from timetable changes last June, with trains operating every six to 12 minutes in the busiest period of morning and afternoon peaks from Ipswich to the city.

The spokesman said at all times during the day trains operate every 15 minutes or better on the Ipswich train line between Darra and the city.

The additional frequency between Darra and Central has meant commuters on the Ipswich line have more express services, better reliability and less overcrowding.

Time trial

•   2100 commuters use the Richlands line during peak times each day.

•   Less than 350 commuters use the Rosewood line stations during peak times.

•  Train patronage increased by 5.7% last quarter, up 700,000 trips across the network.

Girl, 13, dead after crashing stolen car at Bellbird Park

The scene of a fatal car accident at Bellbird Park where a 
 young girl was killed. 

A 13-YEAR-OLD Ipswich girl has died after stealing a car and crashing it into trees on Kruger Parade in Bellbird Park.

The girl, who was in foster care, had an argument with her carer and stole a car in Collingwood Park.

Police were on the way to the house, before spotting the vehicle at a set of traffic lights and attempting to pull the girl over. The girl then took off and lost control of the vehicle while coming around a corner.

"She came around the corner at more than 100km/h," said local resident and witness Fay Wust. "She was swerving all over the road, hit a concrete gutter, ploughed into the bush and hit the trees."

The girl died soon after impact. The death followed a high-speed police pursuit of young drivers in Brisbane's northern suburbs on Sunday night and another two-hour chase of teenagers in the south on Monday.

Queensland Police Union CEO Ian Leavers lamented the worrying trend of young drivers stealing cars and evading police.

"This girl is only 13 years old, she hasn't even lived life yet. It's a tragedy," he said. "This issue is becoming a real problem and we need to do something to stamp it out.

"(The police) pulled over and got out of the vehicle. They did not pursue (the girl) in any way, shape or form."

Police will only pursue a runaway driver if they are deemed a violent high-risk criminal or someone compromising the life of another. The legislation was changed last year after a Crime and Misconduct Commission report showed pursuits had caused 19 deaths and 737 injuries since 2000.

But Mr Leavers was at pains to point out that in this instance, the girl had pre-existing problems that contributed to her behaviour.

"This is very sad and very concerning," he said. "The 13-year-old girl who was in care obviously had problems - we know she had a history of violence. It's a very sad event that has taken place and it affects everyone involved."


Telstra blames thieves for outage

TELSTRA is blaming thieves for causing widespread outages for its mobile phone, fixed phone and broadband customers in the Springfield area.

The provider's southern Queensland region general manager Nigel Beaman said cables had been deliberately cut in a pit near a service station that was the target of a burglary.

"Apparently thieves cut the cables in a bid to disable alarms," Mr Beaman said this afternoon.

"Telstra have had a repair crew on site since early this morning and we hope to have services restored by late this afternoon all being well.

"Telstra is obviously very concerned for the inconvenience caused to our customers from this sort of vandalism and we are doing all we can to restore services as quickly as possible."

Police are investigating the incident.


11 April 2012

Telstra cable cut affects Greater Springfield

Telstra advises there is a service interruption to some Mobile Phones and Landline Phones affecting Camira, Springfield and Springfield Lakes area.

Telstra is in the process of repairing the cut cabling to restore these services.

09 April 2012

Staff bashed at Goodna Hotel

A CCTV image of a man wanted by police following two robberies.

EASTER goodwill was broken in a wave of armed robberies on Saturday night that left two victims in hospital.

Two staff at the Irish Heart Hotel in Goodna were viciously assaulted and, in separate incidents, service station attendants in Springfield and Eastern Heights had a gun pulled on them in attacks that police believe are linked.

The United service station on Woodcrest Way was the first to be hit by the gun-wielding bandit at 8.40pm on Saturday.

The man, described as 180cm tall and of Caucasian complexion, approached the attendant, producing a hand gun and asking for a sum of cash to be placed into a plastic bag.

The attendant obliged and the man fled on foot.

At 5.45am two staff at the BP service station on Robertson Rd at Eastern Heights were approached by a man, who made the same demands before threatening two attendants with a hand gun.

Police have released CCTV footage of both robberies in which the alleged assailant wore a dark coloured beanie and jacket at Springfield and green cargo pants, black jacket, white joggers and a multi-coloured balaclava at Eastern Heights. No staff were harmed during the robberies.

Later yesterday morning two men entered the Irish Heart Hotel on Queen St in Goodna at 7.45am.

They attacked a 46-year-old man, punching him a number of times in the face, leaving him with significant bruising and cuts to his face.

They then turned their attention to a 21-year-old female employee, telling her they were armed with a syringe while attempting to take money from a desk.

A short struggle ensued and one of the offenders held the female by the throat and struck her on the face. She was left with bruising and a headache.

The men stole a sum of cash and fled the hotel on foot before entering a small white vehicle parked on Queen Street.

It is believed there were two females inside the vehicle.

They were last seen travelling down Alice St towards Camira.

Both victims were transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment.

If anyone has information contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Goodna crash sequel: Teens remembered at vigil

Family and friends gather at a candlelight vigil at Queens Park
 on Friday night, held for three Ipswich teenagers who were
 killed in an alleged hit and run at Goodna 12 months ago.

A SOLEMN vigil has been held to remember the lives of three Ipswich teens killed in a car crash one year ago.

The heartfelt candlelight ceremony remembered the tragic deaths of Nick Saxby, 16, Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Matthew Prior, 18, who lost their lives when an alleged drink driver's car collided with their sedan in Goodna.

Sitting under trees, on the few benches and on the ground, more than 100 people paid their respects to the three at the Bush Chapel at Queens Park, before members of the group travelled to the corner of Brisbane Rd and Layard St in Goodna where the crash occurred on April 8 last year.

The ceremony held on Friday night was run by Peter Wiedemann, who knew the three through his role as a youth worker at Bremer State High School.

Mr Wiedemann said the year had been tough for many of their friends.

"A vigil like this, it helps people to grieve," he said.

"Many young people haven't had experience with tragedy, so something like this is a really good opportunity to let people come together and pay their respects as a community."

With many of those in attendance holding candles, one each was lit for Matthew, Nick and Brittany, before emotional family and friends spoke, remembering them.

Despite the imminent anniversary of the tragedy, attendees chose to remember happy times in the lives of Nick, Matthew and Brittany, rather than their deaths.

Speaking to the crowd, they described the three as good-natured, friendly, fun-loving, widely loved by the community and deeply missed.

Last year Brittany, Nick and Matthew were travelling back from a day at Dreamworld when their car was struck.

The event was organised by Kaliym Skellern, who had travelled back from Dreamworld in a separate car, along with members of the Young Life and Friday Night Club groups.

The accused driver of the car, Michael Daniel Henderson, 34, has been charged with drink driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident showing callous disregard.


Ripley Valley at standstill

TWO years after the State Government promised to fast track the Ripley Valley development, it remains stalled on the start line.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it was high time to return planning powers to the council and get the Ripley Valley moving again.

He is confident Campbell Newman and his government will show more respect for local government than his predecessor.

"In March 2005 we formed the Ripley Valley Task Force. We did all the community consultation and everything else; it was all finalised and in 2010 we were ready to go," Cr Pisasale said.

"In May 2010, the State Government brought in changes for so-called quick approvals. But two years on the Ripley Valley is still where it was.

"That's the first thing I said to Campbell; that I want to get rid of all that rubbish. I think Campbell Newman understands what needs to be done."

In May 2010, Premier Anna Bligh announced the Ripley Valley would be one of three south-east Queensland communities master-planned by the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA).

With construction expected to start within 18 months, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale described the Premier's announcement as "a great step forward for Ipswich".

It was estimated Ripley Valley's population would mushroom from 900 to 120,000 people and 55,000 homes over the next two decades.

But the first crack in the master-plan appeared the next day with Ipswich City Council accusing Infrastructure Minister Stirling Hinchliffe of a back-flip.

Council planning chairman Paul Tully and deputy mayor Victor Attwood said Mr Hinchliffe assured them the council's development application (DA) powers for the Ripley Valley would not change. But he wrote to The Queensland Times claiming that was not the case.

The councillors also said the government was grandstanding because the council had already done most of the planning.

Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss, whose electorate includes the Ripley Valley, says the LNP will review planning processes.

"We'll also be reviewing the South-East Queensland Regional Plan and the way the ULDA is operating," Mr Lockyer said.

"I think a lot of the planning powers can go back to the councils to give them a bit more authority."

Cr Tully called on Premier Newman to scrap the ULDA and hand back its powers to councils.

"This experiment has been an unmitigated disaster and has cost Queensland taxpayers a king's ransom with nothing to show but failed promises and a stack of repetitive media announcements by ex-ministers," Cr Tully said.

"The ULDA is a top heavy, useless bureaucratic organisation whose entrepreneurial development skills rank somewhere between Buckley's and none. The ULDA has wasted two years in bringing the Ripley Valley to fruition."

He singled out former minister Hinchliffe for his most-stinging criticism.

"Stirling Hinchliffe's disgraceful display of obfuscation and befuddlement put him right in the Oscar winning category," he said.

"It was this sort of arrogance by all of Anna Bligh's ministers which saw the Labor Party booted out of office last month."


08 April 2012

House on fire at Price St Riverview.

Irish Heart Hotel Goodna remains closed after this morning's armed holdup which put 2 staff in hospital

The Irish Hotel at Queen St Goodna remains closed following this morning's armed holdup which put two staff members in hospital.

Two robbers armed with a syringe tied up the two workers with cable ties inflicting head injuries to the pair.

A vehicle believed to be used in the robbery which was parked 100 metres away outside Cr Paul Tully's Goodna Electorate Office was captured on Safe City cameras.

Local councillor Paul Tully said he expected a quick arrest.

"These thugs deserve a long stint in jail rather than a tap over their wrists with a feather which is usually what the courts do," Cr Tully said.

Do Not Knock sticker to stop door-to-door sellers under new laws

KNOCK, knock: A simple ``Do Not Knock''
sticker will be enough to prevent marketers
 from entering a property.
ANNOYING door-to-door salespeople will soon be stopped from hounding householders.

Under new laws to take effect mid-year, a simple "Do Not Knock'' sticker will be enough to prevent marketers from entering a property and pestering the occupants. Salespeople who ignore the signs will face prosecution, a range of fines and other penalties.

The stickers are already available from the Queensland Government and consumer groups, but there is uncertainty over their legal force.

A landmark legal case next month will clarify the situation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched court cases against three energy retailers and their companies to clarify the legal standing of "Do Not Knock'' stickers.

The actions, to be heard in the Federal Court in May and June, allege the firms engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in the course of door-to-door selling and breached consumer law by failing to immediately leave the premises at the request of the occupier.
The ACCC contends that the fact the householders had placed the signs on their door constituted a request to leave.

Whatever the outcome, all doubt will be removed by July 1 - the target date for states to implement the new National Energy Customer Framework which includes greater consumer protections.

Queensland Consumers' Association spokesman Ian Jarratt said the new legislation strengthened existing Queensland codes by stating clearly that marketers must obey the stickers.

Pressure is also growing for a national "Do Not Knock'' register similar to the existing "Do Not Call'' register which prevents unsolicited telephone marketing. 

New research shows 85 per cent of people support the idea of such a national register.

More than three-quarters of respondents to the Consumer Action Law Centre survey found people dislike the door-to-door marketing tactic, which is used most often by power companies and other utility companies.

Consumer Action policy and campaigns director Gerard Brody said the commission-driven nature of the sales technique often led to high-pressure and misleading tactics, resulting in homeowners signing up for inferior deals.

A third of people surveyed said they had later regretted a deal done with a door-to-door marketer.

Some 69 per cent of people said they had received such a visit in the past two years, rising to 80 per cent in areas like southeast Queensland where there is competition between energy companies.


07 April 2012

Springfield rail revolution right on track

An artist’s impression of the
 Springfield  Central  train station
 which will connect the master-
 planned  community with Brisbane.
IT IS the final stage of the $1.2 billion rail project that is set to change the face of Springfield forever.

The 9.5km rail link from Richlands to two new Springfield stations - Springfield Lakes and Springfield Central - is just over 15 months from opening.

The line is stage two of a rail development that will connect Darra to Springfield Central.

The earliest projected opening of the Springfield link is July 2013, but it will be up and running by the end of next year at the latest.

Springfield Lakes station will be located near Woodcrest College while the showpiece of the development is the double-level $60 million state-of-the-art Springfield Central station, across the road from Orion Shopping Centre.

The shopping centre is on the other side of the road to the station but there will be an underground carriage that will provide ease of access for commuters.

Increased bus services will bring residents from nearby areas to and from the station and 100 all-day car parking spaces provided for those who need to drive to the stations.

Springfield Land Corporation (SLC) marketing and communications director, Naren Sinnathamby, said the rail project was "the development that will change the face of Springfield".

"And I think it will encourage a lot more development to be brought to the area," Mr Sinnathamby said.

"We've had families with us for 20 years who we sold this dream to, so we are so happy to announce this victory for the whole of greater Springfield - and we hope the residents embrace it.

"The kids, students, young people and elderly who don't have access to a car will have full transport facilities through the new rail network that will take them to Brisbane or anywhere they want to go.

"The design of Springfield Central is unique and upmarket and the way it integrates with the town centre was fundamental. Council, government and the SLC all came together to work on the project."

The Greater Springfield area is expected to grow from a current population of 22,000 to 105,000 over the next 30 years so the project is much needed infrastructure.

The train line in its current format will stop at Springfield Central and in future will extend to Ripley Valley and Ipswich and then circle back to the Brisbane CBD.

SLC chairman Maha Sinnathamby said the completed rail project would reduce the traffic congestion on the Centenary Hwy and draw commuters from Springfield and surrounding areas.

It is expected the new rail line will take 2500 cars off the road.

"Nowhere in Australia has a suburban railway of $1.2 billion been undertaken for a very long time," Mr Sinnathamby said.

"What it does show is the huge population explosion that is expected for Springfield and the western corridor. One thing we do here at Springfield is to plan for the next 30 years."

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce president, Ralph Breaden, owns a financial planning business and said the railway line would draw people from far and wide and be a massive boost for business by making it far easier for consumers to access shops and services.


Ram-raid gang strikes again at Collingwood Park

POLICE believe a break and enter at a Collingwood Park supermarket is linked to similar offences at Fernvale and Karalee.

Four people used rocks to break into the Woolworths at Collingwood Park about 4.15am yesterday.

The offenders, who wore tracksuits and had their heads covered, gained access to cash tills inside the store, but no money was kept at the premises and they left empty handed.

The Criminal Investigation Branch is investigating the break-in, along with two others which were committed at Woolworths supermarkets at Fernvale and Karalee in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

They said a red Ford sedan had been used in each of the offences.

Police said a group of youths wearing masks smashed a glass window at the Fernvale supermarket, obtaining an undisclosed sum of cash and cigarettes before fleeing in the red Ford.

No more than half an hour later, the same group of tracksuit-wearing crooks was thought to have driven the red sedan to Junction Rd, Karalee, where they were disturbed by witnesses after breaking into another supermarket.

They fled without stealing property.

Police have also linked the group to the burglary of a bottle shop in the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield, which occurred about 2.30am Wednesday.

Investigations into each of the break and enter offences is continuing.

Police are yet to provide detailed descriptions of the offenders or the vehicle they were seen driving.

As of yesterday, there was no CCTV footage available from the latest break-in.

Anyone with information that could assist police should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


05 April 2012

Ipswich City Council programs and activities for April

The following are the programs and activities being delivered during April by the Ipswich City Council. 
Ageing Stronger Active Longer Program
The launch of the Ageing Stronger Active Longer Program in Camira will follow on from successful programs currently running in Ipswich.
Date:        Tuesday 10 April
Time:         9: 00 am -  2:00 pm
Venue:       Langley Park Hall, Langley Road, Camira
National Youth Week - Redbank Plaza Activity
Ipswich City Council in partnership with Redbank Plazawill be celebrating National Youth Week with series of performances by local young people from Redbank Plains State High School and Hip Hop Crew MnB Entertainment. The event will showcase local young people's music, dance and performance skills and promote National Youth Week
Date:         Thursday 19 April
Time:         6:00pm to 6:30pm
Venue:       Redbank Plaza
Art Beat Festival incorporating National Youth Week Activities
The 2012 Art Beat Festival showcases and celebrates the arts in Ipswich, including contempary arts, craft, performances and arts information.  This year the Festival will also incorporate a National Youth Week activities which will showcase and provide youth focussed activities, workshops, displays and performances incorporating hip-hop/street dancing, street art, murals, trash/upcycled fashions, street theatre, music, multi-media productions, and other youth arts related activities
Date:         Saturday 21 April 
Time:         10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Venue:       Browns Park, 29 Downs St, North Ipswich
Skills Development WorkshopsVolunteer Management and Recruitment and Business Planning


 A Skills Development Workshop to enhance the skills, capacity and sustainability of local community members and organisations, will be held at the Civic Centre. 


This Workshop ison Marketing, Media and Communication and details are as follows:

Date:        Tuesday 24 April 
Time:        9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Venue:      Ipswich Civic Centre 
Ipswich City Council Seniors Concert 
The first Seniors Concert for 2012 is L'Amour de Paree, performed by the Senior's Concert Partry.  Details of the session times are as follows:
Date:        Tuesday 24 April 
Time:        10:am -  11:4am 
Venue:      Ipswich Civic Centre 
Date:        Tuesday 24 April 
Time:        1.30:pm -  2:40pm 
Venue:      Ipswich Civic Centre 
Morning Melodies Seniors Concert
The annual Morning Melodies Seniors Concert is being held in conjunction with the Ipswich Festival, and will be held under the sails at the Ipswich Mall.  The concert will include various local performers, and previous attendance by members of the community has exceeded 300.
Date:        Friday 27 April 
Time:        9.00am -  11.00am
Venue:      Ipswich  Mall 
For more information, contact Ipswich City Council on 07 3810 6666. 

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