World Wakeboarding champ relaxing on the Gold Coast

IT’S HOPED a visit with family and friends on the Gold Coast will help prepare Australia’s World Wakeboarding champion for her title defence.

Courtney Angus will spend the next week on the Glitter Strip before departing for the US to start the Triple Crown Series in July.

Since her return to Australia late last year, the 21-year-old’s based herself out of Penrith’s Cables Wake Park, the facilities there allowing Courtney to fine tune her style and introduce new high-flying aerials as part of her 2014 competitive repertoire.

“While back home in Australia I’ve also claimed victories in five of the seven Pro events I competed in, so I’m amped and ready to take my wakeboarding to a whole new level,” Courtney said.

“Last year was such an awesome experience getting to compete across Europe, China, United States, before pulling everything together at the World Titles in Abu Dhabi,” she added.

While Courtney is the youngest ever Pro Women’s Features World champion, she does possess World Title pedigree, claiming her first international crown in the under 14s age group in 2005.

It’ll be straight back to business upon arriving at her Texas base later this month, with intense training to continue prior to the start of the Triple Crown Series in July.

Queensland to develop new inland Highway

DRIVERS and regional communities will benefit from a Queensland Government decision to create an inland highway.

This week, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney told State Parliament that a vital alternative north-south link would be both strategically and economically important for Queensland.

Existing roads will be upgraded to create the much-needed inland route which will be used during flooding and natural disasters and to ease pressure on the coastal Bruce Highway.

“In a state the size of Queensland, high quality road networks are essential to keep the economy rolling and to boost quality of life for regional Queenslanders,” Mr Seeney said.

“This is not about building a whole new highway. Our intention is to identify existing roads that will form the inland alternative to the Bruce Highway and given them a priority in funding decisions.

“As the inland alternative is progressively upgraded, we hope it will carry increasing volumes of traffic and expand the economic horizons for communities along the route.”

The Government says they will consider upgrading roads such as the Burnett, Gregory, and Kennedy Highways, and the Kennedy and Gregory Development Roads.

New ground breaking laws introduced

THE Government’s promise to revitalise frontline services and make Queensland a safe place to raise a family has taken a major step forward with a raft of ground breaking criminal law reforms introduced in Parliament today.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2014 tackled cut and run sex offenders, animal torturers, match fixing cheats and looters.

He said many of the changes were ground breaking, putting Queensland ahead of the rest of Australia when it comes to tackling the criminal elements in the community.

“The reforms are wide ranging and reflect Queenslanders’ concerns about legislation that no longer meet community standards,” Mr Bleijie said.

The reforms include:

  • Mandatory one year imprisonment (maximum 5 years) for a sex offender who removes his or her GPS monitoring bracelet.
  • A new offence of serious animal cruelty, with a maximum penalty of 7 years in jail.
  • Applying amendments to Queensland’s double jeopardy rules retrospectively, allowing offenders who got away with serious crimes in the past to be retried if new and compelling evidence emerges.
  • Amending the existing offence of Stealing by looting to ensure the penalty applies to an offender who steals property from a declared area under the Disaster Management Act 2003, including when the theft occurs immediately after the declaration ends to ensure victims are appropriately protected until they return to their property.
  • Increasing the maximum penalty for procuring a child or a person with a mental impairment for prostitution from 14 years to 20 years.
  • Allowing the court to list a predator convicted of child grooming as a Dangerous Offender, even if he or she was caught by a police officer pretending to be a child.
  • Creating six new match-fixing offences with maximum penalties of 10 years imprisonment, in line with other Australia jurisdictions.
  • Allowing online pleas of guilty for minor offences which currently already allow written pleas of guilty.
  • Establish a presumption that expert witnesses give evidence via video link, instead of in person in court, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

 

Gold Coast lifesavers compete for Summer Surf Girl title

IN a year of milestones for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program, eight Gold Coast entrants are heading into the final round of judging next week.

The local entrants (listed below) will be joined by 15 others from across the state for a week-long program of judging activities, before the winners are named at a Gala Ball at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on Saturday, May 17.

The Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program is one of SLSQ’s largest and most enduring club-based fundraising programs, this year marking its 50th year as well as the 20th year in partnership with Jupiters Hotel & Casino.

SLSQ Chief Operating Officer and judge George Hill applauded the efforts of the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrants and their contribution to the lifesaving movement.

“The dedication and commitment of this year’s Jupiters Summer Surf Girls is outstanding and I have no doubt their efforts will serve as an inspiration to all lifesavers across Queensland,” Mr Hill said.

“To think that close to $14 million has been raised for surf life saving clubs around the state since the program started in the 1960s is outstanding, and we can’t thank Jupiters Hotel & Casino enough for their continued and valued support,” Mr Hill said.

SOUTH COAST BRANCH REPRESENTATIVES:

Sarah Sammut (Point Lookout): “Point Lookout SLSC is such a big part of my life, and I see the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program as a brilliant opportunity to show my appreciation to an organisation that really defines so many aspects of my life. The last few years have been heavily consumed by study, but the surf club and its members have always been a release from that stress, and now I have graduated, I saw this year as the perfect opportunity to give something back.”

Tiffany Smith (Coochiemudlo Island): “I wanted to be a Jupiters Summer Surf Girl because my club has given me a lot of support and encouragement to be the best I can be. I wanted to participate in the program to give back to my club and say thankyou. It’s really important to raise as much money as I can for my small club.”

Bronwyn Abraham (Surfers Paradise): “My Jupiters Summer Surf Girl involvement is important to me, as I am
motivated by my nippers and a desire to get better equipment for them to train with to make it a more enjoyable
experience for them. From a wider and possibly more important perspective I believe that my surf club could
better coordinate and come together as a club. Jupiters Summer Surf Girl is, in my opinion, an opportunity to
unite the club and bring together all club members regardless of their club roles or interests.”

Sarah Friend (Northcliffe): “The Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program is important to me as I find it rewarding
teaching young kids and adults the beach safety rules. It’s also important as it gives greater awareness to the
wider community about Northcliffe SLSC and hopefully this is an opportunity to give something back to my club.”

Olivia Wilson (Broadbeach): “Giving something back to the club and the organisation that has given so much to
me is hugely important to me. A recent career change meant I could finally enter the competition without any
extra pressure and I could just be myself. I love the program and have always wanted to participate, and there’s
no time like the present!”

Tamika Gillett (Kurrawa): “Jupiters Summer Surf Girl will allow me to raise money to purchase new lifesaving
equipment that can be used for both training purposes and to assist during patrols. It also allows me to get the
sun and surf safe message across to the wider community. I would like the public to know that although the
beach can be a fun place it can also be a very dangerous place and that every lifesaver takes on the role knowing
what can happen, but most importantly how to deal with those situations. The second reason this competition is
important to me is to build my confidence and also show people that have doubted me that anything is possible
when you put your mind to it.”

Morgan Marrinon (Pacific): “I am often asked which club I am from. I always reply with a very proud “Pacific”,
which often results in a blank stare in return as we aren’t really well known. The Jupiters Summer Surf Girl
opportunity is important to me and my club as I am determined to prove to the community what a small club like
Pacific is capable of achieving and to put us firmly on the map. I would also like to demonstrate the effectiveness
of hard work and commitment to the younger members of our club , and to do this in a positive way and
hopefully be viewed as a good role model.”

Michelle Linsdell (Coolangatta): “From this experience as Coolangatta 2013/14 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl, I’ve
gained some important skills and knowledge and have definitely grown as a person. This program has given me
the opportunity to promote my surf life saving club and gain more community awareness about our great club
and the movement. It has also given me the opportunity to raise funds for ongoing renovations. Coolangatta
Beach is such a beautiful place and through this program I can make people more aware of this.”

Chopper cops receive their ‘wings’

TWO police helicopter crewman received their fully-trained ‘wing’ badges on the Gold Coast today.

Senior Constable Ben Dixon and Senior Constable Chris Smith from Helicopter Support Gold Coast have now attained the status of Tactical Flight Officer.

They will lead crews during various operations across the entire Gold Coast including traffic operations, major event management, drug crop detection, and searches for offenders and missing persons.

Only four wings have been presented since the inception of a Queensland Police Service helicopter.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the two Senior Constables demonstrated their capabilities after completing a rigorous regime of training to provide rapid police assistance.

“I wish to congratulate these officers on this recognition and wish them well serving the residents of the Gold Coast,” Mr Dempsey said.

The Gold Coast Police Helicopter will be joined by a second police helicopter based at Archerfield by mid-2014.