Gold Coasters urged to get the flu vaccine now

We’re being warned to get our flu jabs now, ahead of another busy flu season on the Gold Coast.

Gold Coasters are able to book in with their pharmacist or GP for the vaccine, and there are various free clinics available throughout the year as well.

Free flu vaccines are available to those over 65 years old, as well as pregnant women, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months to five years and from 15 years plus, and any individual over 6 months old who may be predisposed to severe influenza.

Now 16 and 17 year olds can visit a pharmacy to get their jabs, without parental consent.

Until recently, people had to be 18 years or older.

Queensland’s Health Minister Steven Miles is urging those to book in with their GP or pharmacist as soon as possible, so they don’t end up in the emergency room this year.

“It’s important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year because it’s the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

“Flu viruses change frequently, which is why it’s so important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year.

“While it’s never too late to vaccinate for influenza, I urge Gold Coasters not to delay in having their flu jab,” Mr Miles said.

Courtney Potts knows too well how serious the flu can be, after an emergency visit to Robina Hospital with her daughter Maddison, who was two years old at the time.

“We were away on holiday and Maddy kept having little coughing fits and stopped eating.

“She just wasn’t herself and had high temps, so we came back home.

“Maddie went downhill quickly though, began vomiting and was almost unresponsive.

“As soon as a rash developed, we went to Robina Hospital and they took us straight in to a private room.

“They gave Maddie antibiotics and vaccinations straight away and took swabs on the spot.

“Everyone was amazing, especially as it was New Year’s Eve.

“We were transferred via ambulance to Gold Coast University Hospital where we stayed for two nights,” Ms Potts said.

Children’s Emergency Department Staff Specialist Doctor Graham Jay said Maddie’s story illustrated just how serious the flu can be, particularly in the very young.

“Flu is serious viral illness.

“It is not the same as a common cold and can lead to serious complications, particularly in the very young, elderly and people with complex chronic diseases.

“Each year, the impact of the flu is significant in our community, and we see that reflected in the increase in presentations to our hospitals during flu season.

“Nearly 450 people have been admitted to hospital with influenza since last April, with 32 of those requiring ICU admissions,” said Dr Jay.

Traffic M1

Thousands expected to hit the road for Easter break

WITH THOUSANDS of holiday-makers expected to begin their Easter long weekend journey today, we’re being reminded to be patient on the roads.

Gold Coast drivers are encouraged to be prepared and time their trip to reduce the need to ‘make up time’.

Queensland Roads Minister Mark Bailey spoke to myGC, imploring drivers to do what they can to ensure a zero road toll for the Easter break.

“Last Easter was a terrible time, we had four people die and 102 people in hospital, many with permanent injuries for the rest of their lives,” Minister Bailey said.

“Give yourself a bit more time and get all the basics right: putting the seatbelt on, not speeding, putting the phone away. It all contributes to a safe journey,” he added.

“Another key reason to make road safety your priority is there will be a very heavy Police presence out on our roads.”

Minister Bailey also reminded everyone to have a ‘Plan B’ if they plan to drink alcohol over the long weekend.

“Have a great time, but stay safe.”

Gold Coast Boats

14 boats destroyed during Gold Coast Waterways cleanup

MORE THAN a dozen boats, along with other pieces of abandoned property have been destroyed as part of a pre-Easter clean-up of Gold Coast waterways.

The 14 vessels – from various parts of the Coast, including The Broadwater, Paradise Point, Marine Stadium and some local canals – had either been left to rot, or their owners had failed to follow removal notices.

As a result, they’re being crushed up and disposed ahead of Easter, as part of a clean-up by the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA).

GCWA CEO, Hal Morris, said the recovery and crushing operation is part of the GCWA’s ongoing efforts to keep our waterways safer and accessible for everyone.

“These boats and abandoned property pose potential threats to the safe enjoyment of the waterways by other users,” Mr Morris said in a statement.

“The boats have either been abandoned by their owners or have overstayed their welcome in anchoring zones, so we’ve had to issue notices to have them removed,” he explained.

“We’ve spent more than $15,000 on this exercise. Unfortunately, that’s money taxpayers have had to stump up because some people aren’t doing the right thing on our waterways.

“Where we can, we try and sell the property to recover some of that cost but in this case, the boats aren’t considered seaworthy and can’t be sold so our only option is to destroy them.”

GCWA encourages people concerned about abandoned vessels and property or anchoring breaches to contact them on 5539 7350.

Bleach Burleigh

WATCH: Bleach* hits the beach in Burleigh

A pop-up beach club is now open in Burleigh for Bleach* The Gold Coast Festival!

The city’s biggest celebration of arts and culture will officially kick off Wednesday night, with a special launch party planned at the new Bleach* at Burleigh precinct at Justin Park.

Boasting enviable views of iconic Burleigh Beach, guests are invited to visit the precinct over the next 12 days to enjoy of performances including dance, music and entertainment from the Bleach* 2019 program.

Find out what’s on offer at the precinct in the video below:

The line-up includes ARIA award-winning songstress Montaigne, Mama Kin Spender joined by the HOTA Chamber Choir, the ever-popular Pub Choir and the Gold Coast’s own Shock Therapy Productions with The Cleaners.

Visitors to the precinct can also pull up a daybed, bar stool or patch of sand and sip on a premium range of beers, wines, soft drinks and more while chowing down on a menu of nibbles and substantial-bites from The Collective Palm Beach.

For more information on Bleach* The Gold Coast Festival, visit: bleachfestival.com.au

 

Car Parks

Hundreds of car parks will be added to Varsity Lakes station

It’s been announced that Varsity Lakes station will get an 185 new commuter car parks, and make 165 temporary spaces permanent.

Overall capacity at the station will jump to more than 650 spaces, with commuters benefiting from 350 permanent spaces in total.

The temporary spaces were initially installed last year to accommodate for travelling visitors and staff for the Commonwealth Games.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says the Park ‘n’ Ride facilities are crucial to the transport network.

“Under the Palaszczuk Government, more and more Queenslanders are backing public transport – in fact, we’ve already seen an additional 5.77 million trips on public transport so far this financial year, when compared with same period last financial year.

“That’s why we’re investing more than $114 million for park ‘n’ ride upgrades across the south east.

“This is a significant investment in Gold Coast public transport that further demonstrates we are taking necessary steps to help ease congestion as the region continues to grow,” Mr Bailey said.

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon is glad the parks will be made permanent for commuters.

“This park ‘n’ ride investment will make it even easier for locals to access public transport, and help reduce commuter parking pressures experienced at Varsity Lakes station,” Ms Scanlon said.

Detailed designs for the Varsity Lakes Park ‘n’ Ride upgrade will commence in coming months.

For more information, click here.