Mercedes Corby lashes out at Queensland Premier

SCHAPELLE Corby’s sister, Mercedes Corby, has just spoken to media about speculation over the controversial paid tell-all interview she has reportedly signed with the Seven Network.

At the same time, Mercedes slammed Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, revealing his government spent $567k of taxpayer’s money on the Nine Network’s tele-movie ‘Schapelle’.

“Recent media reports about payments to Schapelle for an interview are completely wrong,” she said.

“The sums being reported are ridiculous.

“When Schapelle is ready to speak, the parole officers will be informed.

“Despite his comments, Queensland Premier Newman was so interested in this story that his government gave $567,000 for the production of a film for the Nine Network called “Schapelle”.

“This film was biased and inaccurate.

“It was based on a book where the major source was a convicted criminal,” she concluded.

It is reported Mercedes’ statement was pre-recorded by the Seven Network’s Sunday Night crew, then issued to an Indonesian crew, who distributed it to other media.

Bus driver jailed for allegedly having sex with girl, 15

A GOLD Coast bus driver has been jailed for allegedly initiating a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student that he drove to and from school.

Robert Bruce Bell, 55, was busted when the FBI alerted Australian authorities to the fact he was sending explicit pictures to the underage girl through Facebook.

Following a more thorough investigation, it was discovered Bell was 53 when he allegedly initiated a friendship with the then 13-year-old girl, gaining her trust before grooming her for a sexual relationship.

He was charged with having carnal knowledge of a child under 16, four counts of indecent dealing with a child and using electronic communication to procure a child. As a result of the nature of the charges, he was fired.

He pleaded guilty to all charges and will be released on parole in September 2014.

The Gold Coast Bulletin will have more on this story in Friday’s paper.

Fire fighters called to hinterland scrub fire

FIRE FIGHTERS remain on scene of a scrub fire burning in the Gold Coast Hinterland this afternoon.

Multiple Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) crews are at the scene near Eagle Heights, in the vicinity of Hayes Road and Welches Road, Wongawallan.

Crews say the fire, which started at around 11.30am, poses no threat to properties.

Firefighters are currently conducting backburning operations around the blaze and residents in the Eagle Heights area will experience smoke.

Motorists are asked to drive to conditions and residents suffering from respiratory conditions should keep their doors and windows closed and their medication close by.

Police raids uncover sophisticated meth lab in Upper Coomera

AN ALLEGED former Bandidos bikie has been charged with a list of offences after early morning police raids uncovered a sophisticated drug laboratory on the Gold Coast.

Detectives from Taskforce Maxima arrested the 45-year-old man after officers allegedly located a clandestine drug laboratory, as well as an amount of methylamphetamine and a shortened firearm fitted with a silencer, during raids on an address in Upper Coomera earlier on Thursday.

Police will allege the man is a former patched member of the Bandidos Criminal Motorcycle Gang.

Officers say they also found chemicals and a large quantity of spent reaction fluid at the property which is indicative the laboratory may have produced drugs in excess of $15 million.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said that this discovery has been a significant disruption to the criminal enterprises of the gang and it’s associates.

“It is further evidence of the link between the production of dangerous drugs and criminal gangs. The increase in gang numbers is clearly paralleled by the increase in the production and distribution of dangerous drugs,” Detective Inspector Smith said.

The man will face the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow on eight charges.

He has been charged with one count each of produce dangerous drugs, possess dangerous drugs, posses relevant substance (laboratory chemicals), prohibited items (laboratory equipment and glassware), possess things used in the commission of a drug offence, unlawful possession of a weapon (Category D), unlawful possession of a weapon (Category R) and possess utensil.

World-first in crime scene mapping for Queensland Police

THE FUTURE of crime-fighting has arrived, with the Queensland Police Service announcing the introduction of world leading technology which significantly reduces the time taken to map a crime scene.

The Zebedee scanner, developed by the CSIRO, is a hand held laser device which allows an operator to walk through a crime scene and capture data to generate a 3D map in about 20 minutes. The first device cost $37,000.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the Queensland police were the first in the world to use the technology in law enforcement after it was originally designed for caving and mine mapping.

“The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard to reach areas such as step declines and bushland,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“This cutting edge technology is allowing us to adapt to a new environment of ongoing change and improvement.

“We look forward to continuing our working relationship with CSIRO to explore new technology that will benefit our officers in their duties.”

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the Zebedee Scanner was primarily being used by Forensic Services to map crime scenes but has the potential to be used by the Forensic Crash Unit.

“This scanner is another example of how, after years of Labor neglect, the Newman Government has taken steps to move the Queensland Police Service into the 21st century.”

Science, Information Technology, Innovation and Arts Minister Ian Walker said he visited CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies last year, where the Zebedee Scanner was developed.

“Zebedee demonstrates how research and technology moves from the lab into commercialisation, with real and positive benefits for Queenslanders,” Mr Walker said.

“The Newman Government recognises how important the ongoing development of talent in the science sector is, which we’ve demonstrated with the injection of $8.75 million in the Accelerate program through the Science and Innovation Action Plan and our $42 million commitment to the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine in North Queensland.

“Zebedee is another example of Queensland’s strength in science and innovation.”

CSIRO Computational Informatics Dr Jonathan Roberts said the CSIRO would continue to explore ways to improve the technology and explore more uses for it.

“The latest research version contains a video camera to provide imagery on top of the 3D laser information,” Dr Roberts said.

“We’re very excited to see our home-grown, Eureka Prize-winning technology being used to help assess crime scenes – a new addition to what seems to be an ever-expanding number of applications.

“The 3D data visualisations that Zebedee creates provide a wealth of spatial information quickly and easily. It’s just a walk in the park!”