AFP arrest two men for allegedly smuggling cocaine into the Gold Coast

Miami Drug bust

Australian Federal Police pounce on a man suspected of smuggling cocaine into the Gold Coast. PICTURE: Blair Kissel SOURCE: Supplied

TWO men accused of helping smuggle more than two kilograms of cocaine disguised as protein powder into the Gold Coast are today behind bars.

Australian Federal Police yesterday arrested a 32-year-old Mackay man after he picked up two parcels allegedly containing cocaine from the Miami Post Office.

A 25-year-old American tourist was also arrested nearby.

They both faced the Southport Magistrates Court, each charged with conspiracy to import a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug. The 32-year-old man was also charged with possession of of the drug.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports the case was adjourned, with a bail application set for next Tuesday which the AFP is expected to oppose by alleging the initial importation was just the first of a major drug importing scheme.

They were remanded in custody.

Coomera Anglican College hunts graffiti bandits

DO you recognise these two young boys, or their graffiti tag?

The Coomera Anglican College is seeking public assistance following the latest round of anti-social behaviour at the school.

The college has taken to Facebook, posting an image of the two individuals believed responsible for damaging school property with graffiti.

Graffiti bandits

Do you recognise these tags? PICTURE: Coomera Anglican College SOURCE: Facebook

“Do you know these two individuals and their calling cards?” the post said. “Have you had these calling cards on your property?”

“If you have any information, please either email the College on or call 55859 900.

“We would like to pass the information onto the police. Any assistance would be appreciated.”

Graffiti bandits 1

Do you recognise this graffiti tag? PICTURE: Coomera Anglican College SOURCE: Facebook

The Facebook post has been shared 47 times and seen by hundreds of people.

Alternatively you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

First stage of Coomera Town Centre retail development given go ahead

THE first retail stage of the Coomera Town Centre was today given the green light by the City Planning Committee – with limitations.

The committee recommended a development permit and preliminary approval be granted for the major commercial and retail site, which will form the foundation of the future integrated $500 million town centre.

However, the State Government has put a condition on the approvals, requiring the upgrade of the Foxwell Road Interchange (Exit 54) on the M1 to prevent further traffic congestion from occurring.

The development is currently limited to 20,000 square metres Gross Floor Area (GFA) until this road upgrade occurs.

The entire retail project covers a total of 93,320m square metres and, when complete, will comprise of a department store, two supermarkets, two discount department stores, a nine-cinema complex, six mini major tenancies, 123 specialty shops, a fruit and vegetable market, 61 food outlets, 22 kiosks, a nightclub and a tavern.

Described by the applicant, Westfield, as a “catalytic retail and commercial centre”, the 18 hectare site on Foxwell Road sits opposite the Coomera railway station and future transport hub.

Divisional Councillor Cameron Caldwell said he now hoped to see construction on the centre begin quickly.

“This is one of the most significant planning approvals we have seen lodged for quite some time. It’s also been a long-awaited project, so I hope we see some early works commencing as soon as all the necessary approvals have been ticked off,” he said.

Future development stages include a range of residential and commercial uses that will be guided by the proposed Coomera Activity Centre North Structure Plan, which is the subject of a separate development application.

The master plan for the Coomera Town Centre, declared by the State Government in December 2009, covers 680 hectares and will allow for 25,000 properties providing homes for about 50,000 residents.

The committee recommendation will go to full Council for a decision next Tuesday, 25 March.

Loan repayments made five days late now lead to bad credit listing

CONSUMERS who make loan payments only five days late will now have the late payment listed on their credit files.

Legal Aid Queensland senior consumer protection lawyer Loretta Kreet said new credit reporting laws could result in consumers struggling to get personal or housing loans for up to two years after the late payment was made.

“The new laws help lenders to easily assess whether a borrower can pay the loan, and no longer rely on a customer verbally verifying how many credit cards and personal loans they already have,” Ms Kreet said.

“However, the new laws report on a borrower’s payment history for the last two years, which means people may have difficulty getting a loan long after a fairly minor infringement has occurred.”

From March 12, the new laws mean credit reporting agencies will have access to more comprehensive information on people such as:

  • The type and amount of credit they have sought in applications;
  • Credit limits and dates their accounts have opened and closed;
  • Two years worth of payment history showing missed or late payments; or
  • If any serious credit infrigement has been committed.

“People also need to be aware of credit repair companies fooling people into believing all negative listings on credit reports can be erased,” Mr Kreet said.

“Some credit repair companies are charging up to $1000 to remove each negative credit history listing, but the only way a listing can be removed is if it is incorrect and shouldn’t be there in the first place.

“If a consumer thinks a listing on their credit file is incorrect, they should get legal advice.”


Bus driver who killed another motorist after running red light jailed

A GOLD Coast bus driver who killed another driver after running a red light in Nerang last year has today been jailed and disqualified from driving for two years.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports David Sawtell, 37, was driving a Surfside bus when he became distracted as the lights turned red at the intersection of McLaren and Beadesert-Nerang roads.

The bus slammed into a Camry being driven by a 62-year-old man, spearing his car into a power pole. He later died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Mr Sawtell was charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and subsequently fired from his position with Surfside.

He appeared in the Southport District Court today and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The Bulletin says he will be granted parole in July after serving four months.