Gold Coast’s ‘Tinny Man’ to hand over GoFundMe cheque to Sea Shepherd

The hailed hero dubbed ‘Tinny Man’ who cut a whale free from shark nets on the Gold Coast last month will hand over a GoFundMe cheque to Sea Shepherd.

Otherwise known as Django, tinny man was filmed speeding out to a baby whale trapped in the nets at Burleigh Heads, before diving in the water with a knife and cutting it free.

The whale was trapped for some hours, with nervous bystanders waiting on the beach for rescue crews to come to its aid.

Out of nowhere, ‘tinny man’ came to the rescue, before speeding off down to the Tweed where he was met with officers from the department of fisheries.

It was initially understood he’d be up for thousands of dollars worth of fines, for both approaching a whale and interfeing with nets.

Since the video of his heroic rescue went viral, along with news that he’d be fined for it, a GoFundMe page was quickly started to help him pay the fine.

It had raised thousands of dollars before the department of fisheries confirmed there would be no fine.

Now the money is being handed over to Sea Shepherd Australia, a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

This afternoon, Django will hand over a cheque for more than $16,000, and be presented with a Bravery Certificate for his actions.

Related article: ‘Man in tinny’ fined after cutting baby whale free from shark nets off Burleigh Heads

Qld govt has no idea how much border closures are costing us

It’s been revealed the state government has not done any modelling on how the Queensland border closures are effecting the economy.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stood firm on the border closures at the advice of the Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young, despite already ‘smashing the curve’.

With just three active cases left in the state as of yesterday’s figures, the decision to keep the borders closed is gaining more and more attention, particularly from tourism businesses hoping to welcome interstate holidayers over the winter period.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison even pleaded with states to seriously consider the economic impact of the border closures just yesterday.

Newscorp has now uncovered that the state government hasn’t modelled the impact of the border closures, despite predictions that they could cost the tourism economy around $5 billion.

Gold Coast leaders have become particularly concerned, as Qantas and Jetstar begin boosting domestic flight services.

Yesterday, the airline announced around 300 services would be added each week as the country continues easing restrictions.

But none of those are headed for the Gold Coast, with the border closures blocking interstate routes, and the flights within Queensland only going as far south as Brisbane.

Related article: Gold Coast snubbed as Qantas, Jetstar boost Qld flights

The Queensland government isn’t expected to address borders again until the end of the month.

Two teen girls charged with murder over Surfers balcony death

Two teenage girls have been charged with the murder of a young Brisbane man, who plunged to his death from a Surfers Paradise balcony last month.

The body of Cian English, 19, was discovered at the foot of the View Pacific Resort on View Avenue in the early hours of May 23.

Police allege that he was attempting to escape a violent robbery where three men were attempting to steal clothes and mobile phones.

He had also been wounded in the arm.

Cian and his friends were reportedly invited upstairs by a second group who were also staying in the complex.

It’s alleged the other group had a large amount of prescription medication.

Police claim that the group later went to Cian’s apartment and attempted to rob him and his friend.

Footage of the incident, allegedly filmed by one of the girls and posted on social media, shows Cian attempting to protect his friend before being assaulted himself.

A subsequent video shows the moment after the 19-year-old fell from the balcony.

Jason Ryan Knowles, 22, Hayden Paul Kratzman, 20, and Lachlan Paul Soper-Lagas, 18, have already been charged with murder and armed robbery and remain behind bars.

Two girls aged 15 and 16, both from Coomera were arrested this morning and have been charged with murder, armed robbery, deprivation of liberty and torture.

“The investigations this week have led to additional video on the phone to some of the offenders which clearly show there is no remorse. Some of the post-offence conduct is reprehensible,” Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said.

“Legislation allows people to be charged with being a party to an offence, that includes aiding or encouraging an offence and that is what we will be alleging in this case.

“The girls videoed the incident and the torture on the boy, on both English and his friend, and that they took no active step or tried to disengage and it is clear they were actively encouraging.

“I think the community would expect, people that encourage this sort of behaviour are held to task that is what we are doing today.”

Image: Marcus Greig

Detective Inspector Smith expressed disbelief at the circumstances surrounding Mr English’s death.

“As a parent myself, I don’t understand how this would occur. I know if my daughter when she was 16 and she wasn’t at home I would be asking the question, where the hell is she? Why aren’t parents doing that today?

“We have a 19-year-old male who has died tragically and we have people who don’t seem to care.”

It’s also been revealed another friend of Cian was robbed of his clothing while he lay unconscious on the balcony after the 19-year-old had already died.

“We will be alleging they have seen him go over the verandah, they have looked down and saw he’s obviously deceased and then they have stolen clothing off this unconscious male on the verandah,” Det Insp Smith said. 

“It is beyond belief these people behave like this.”

Both girls fronted Southport Children’s Court earlier today.

Police have also recovered some of the clothing allegedly stolen following searches at a number of properties.

Detectives are also still investigating links between the three men and a number of pharmacy robberies across the Gold Coast and Logan.


Bomb squad declare ‘suspicious device’ in Southport safe

LATEST @ 4.00 PM | A suspicious device found inside a toilet block on the Gold Coast today has been declared safe.

A member of the public discovered the object inside a public toilet block in Carey Park on Marine Parade in Southport just after 11.30am on Thursday.

It forced stores in the nearby Australia Fair Shopping Centre to be evacuated as a precaution as police officers swarmed the area.

The Brisbane bomb squad was also called in to examine the device, with authorities confirming it was “taken apart” and the “threat diminished” just before 4.00pm.

Acting Inspector Chris Smith said the object was made to “look like a bomb” with some wires that had been taped together.

“It’s extremely frustrating, this is a very busy part of the Gold Coast,” he said.

“There are a number of police resources that needed to be utilised for this incident… We have to use the best resources we have to make this area safe.”

Road blocks in the area have since been lifted with traffic now returning to normal.

Police are now reviewing CCTV footage in a bid to try and track down who may have planted the device in the toilet block.

Investigations are continuing.

EARLIER @ 12.00 PM | A major incident is unfolding on a busy Gold Coast street this afternoon following the discovery of a suspicious device.

Police rushed to Marine Parade in Southport just after 11.30am, after a member of the public found the suspect device in a public toilet block in Carey Park.

An exclusion zone has been set up around Marine Parade, near Australia Fair Shopping Centre.

Senior Sergeant Leigh McGuinness says some stores in the centre have been evacuated, with officers continuing to liaise with management.

“We take all suspect devices seriously until we can prove otherwise… but we do have a number of police on scene,” Sergeant McGuinness said.

“Some of the shops have been evacuated to er on the side of caution and the management of Australia Fair Shopping Centre have been cooperating with our requests.”

PHOTO | Marcus Greig

The bomb squad have now arrived on scene from Brisbane to examine the device, with police urging everyone to avoid the area.

“In terms of numbers we have at least 30 – 40  personnel on scene managing this incident,” Senior Sergeant McGuinness said.

“We’re asking pedestrians and traffic to avoid the Gold Coast Highway northbound in the vicinity of Marine Parade.”

PHOTO | Marcus Greig

According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, all lanes on Marine Parade have been affected, with long delays expected.

Investigations are continuing.


Gold Coast Police

Pair charged over alleged violent car robbery

Two men have been charged after they allegedly assaulted two Gold Coast men before stealing their car at Tweed Heads earlier this week.

The frightening incident happened on Wharf Street around 6.40pm on Wednesday.

Police say two men, aged 21 and 25 and both from Pimpama, were getting into a Mazda 6 Sedan when they were approached by two 25-year-old men who are known to them.

“We will allege a verbal altercation occurred between the two groups, before one of the 25-year-old men assaulted both Pimpama men and demanded the keys to the vehicle,” police said.

The alleged offenders then took off in the car while the 21 and 25-year-old men fled on foot to a nearby business and called police.

Following investigations, a 25-year-old Kingscliff man attended Tweed Heads Police Station about 11am on Tuesday where he was arrested and charged with robbery in company.

Local police, with the assistance of the Police Dog Unit, then attended a home on Horseshoe Road in Terranora yesterday, where they arrested a second 25-year-old man.

He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was also charged with robbery in company.

Both men were formally refused bail at court to re-appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

Police have since located and seized the Mazda.