Cut Snake to cut loose at Sail Paradise Regatta

EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the Southport Yacht Club’s Sail Paradise Regatta.

Brisbane multihull sailor Rob Dean has declared he’ll be racing his 12-metre catamaran “Cut Snake” at the March event.

Apart from looking forward to some great racing against a fleet comprising both multihulls and monohulls, Dean is planning to use the regatta as part of his preparation for the 50th Brisbane to Gladstone multihull race, which will start on Moreton Bay on Good Friday.

“Everything about Sail Paradise is perfect for us,” Dean said while working on his boat on the hardstand at Coomera.

“The timing is right, and the racing promises to give us everything we need as we prepare for the Brisbane to Gladstone,” he added.

Rob has contested three Brisbane to Gladstone races with Cut Snake and last year his efforts were fully rewarded when the yacht took handicap honours in the 308 nautical mile classic.

Sail Paradise 2014 is open to racing and cruising monohulls, multihulls and off-the-beach sailboats.

Luxury boats destroyed in Marina Mirage fire

THREE luxury yachts moored outside Marina Mirage in Main Beach have been destroyed by fire.

Crews were called to the scene next door to Palazzo Versace on Seaworld Drive around 3am on Wednesday to find the vessels well involved.

Six fire crews sprayed fire-proof foam in the water to stop the flames spreading and managed to extinguish the existing fires.

The cause of the fires is unknown and Police are trying to track down the owners of the boats.

No one was injured.

Peter Andre confirms engagement

YOU can say this for Peter Andre, he doesn’t scare easily.

The Gold Coast raised singer-turned-reality star has announced he’s heading down the aisle – again.

The 40-year-old’s decided to make an ‘honest woman’ out of his babymama, Emily MacDonagh, 23, reports OK Magazine.

Andre confirmed the good news as he showed off his newborn baby daughter in a shoot for the British rag, revealing he popped the question in the nursery room at his family home before the baby arrived earlier this month.

Emily was completely shocked by the proposal but immediately accepted.

‘He always said he’d like to do it before the baby was born and I just thought he’d do it after – I was happy, I didn’t need a ring, but it was amazing,’ she says.

Peter adds, ‘She said: “Are you serious?” and burst into tears – it was so emotional. We lay down in the nursery for ages because it was such a special room to us.’

The baby girl, whose name is yet to be revealed, is his first child with Emily. Peter is also father to Junior, eight, and Princess Tiaamii, six, with ex-wife Katie Price.

Queensland state schools to share in $131m

THE NEWMAN Government has unveiled a bold new plan to lift student outcomes and ensure that Queensland is among the top performing states in literacy and numeracy in Australia by 2020.

Premier Campbell Newman and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek today announced that a funding boost of $131 million would be provided to all Queensland state schools in 2014 through the Great Results Guarantee.

Mr Newman said that the majority of funding would be directed towards the early years of school, which research indicated was the key to achieving better outcomes.

“Queensland has a real opportunity to target funding where schools need it most and the Great Results Guarantee will do just that,” Mr Newman said.

“Queensland’s education system needs to be at the top of its game in order for the state to be able to innovate and rise to the challenges of tomorrow.

“By building a solid learning foundation, we can maximise student results and achieve this.

“The annual funding will come with a guarantee that every Queensland state school student will either; achieve the National Minimum Standard for literacy and numeracy for their year level or have a plan in place to address why they might be falling behind.

“These guarantees will be published on every school’s website, and we want parents and the school community to have input into these targets. Engaged school communities will only strengthen outcomes in the classroom.”

Mr Newman said Queensland simply could not rest on its laurels any longer and allow students to progress through school with mediocre levels of literacy and numeracy and overall achievement.

“The Great Results Guarantee will make a real difference on the ground in schools and contribute to this government’s wider school improvement agenda to achieve better student outcomes,” he said.

Mr Newman said the investment was the result of the Abbott Government’s $794 million Students First – A fairer funding agreement for schools initiative to be delivered over the next four years.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said all state schools would receive their current level of funding plus a share of the $131 million.

“Every school will be better off under this plan,” Mr Langbroek said.

“There will be extra investment in the early years, which we know will achieve the best long-term results, by tackling poor literacy and numeracy before it’s too late.

“This is not a quick fix or a short-sighted media stunt like we have seen in the past from previous state and federal governments.

“The Great Results Guarantee will provide a safety net to capture students who are falling below the National Minimum Standard for literacy and numeracy and also prevent our high performing students from sliding backwards.

“It is an investment in Queensland’s future.”

For more information on the Great Results Guarantee go to www.education.qld.gov.au/resultsguarantee.

100th Cancer Milestone on Gold Coast

THE GOLD Coast’s only private radiation oncology clinic, Premion, has reached a prostate cancer treatment milestone, treating 100 patients with low dose rate brachytherapy with uniformly positive results.

Low dose rate brachytherapy is a form of radiation treatment which involves the precise placement of short-range radiation-sources (‘seeds’) directly at the site of the cancer.

Only one treatment procedure is required and in Premion’s experience the patients report fewer side effects, less requirement for medication post-treatment, less discomfort such as bladder irritation, no incontinence and no requirement for further treatment.

Premion radiation oncologist Professor David Christie says that the low dose rate of radiation released right at the cancer site allows radiation to be given off very slowly.

“Brachytherapy competes very successfully with other kinds of prostate treatment,” he says. “Most patients are able to tolerate the procedure very well and because they only need it once, it is very convenient.”

“We see a lot of patient benefit clinically, physically and psychologically and have identified no significant recurrence in the group so far as a result.”

Graham Wooldridge, retiree from Reedy Creek, was Premion’s 100th low dose rate brachytherapy patient.

“I only had the procedure last week and I feel 100 percent,” he says. “I’ve always been fit and healthy so a diagnosis of prostate cancer last year hit me like a brick in the face.

“When I was presented with my treatment options, I liked the sound of brachytherapy. Only having one procedure with minimal side effects looked pretty good to me.”

Professor Christie works closely with local urologists in treating prostate cancer.  He has performed each of the 100 low dose rate brachytherapy procedures with urologist Dr Steve Bourne, who has referred each of the patients.

Over 20,000 men each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia, representing a third of all reportable cancers in men. The majority of patients are diagnosed at age 60 years and older. Each year, Premion treats about 1,200 men from the Gold Coast and Northern NSW for prostate cancer.

“Premion is one of Queensland’s leading radiation oncology providers and brachytherapy is one kind of treatment procedures,” adds Professor Christie. “The message to men diagnosed with prostate cancer is to consider all of their treatment options.

“There is a range of treatment modalities. The more informed patients are, the better equipped they are to talk to their doctor and make a treatment decision that is best for them.”

Premion, based in South East Queensland, is Queensland’s largest private radiation therapy provider, and has provided more than 100,000 patient treatments since commencing operations in 1988.  With 13 Radiation Oncologists, Premion employs over 160 staff, and offers a comprehensive range of clinical services across its five treatment facilities: on the Gold Coast at Southport and John Flynn Private Hospital (Tugun); in Brisbane at Chermside and at The Wesley Hospital (Auchenflower); and on the Sunshine Coast at Nambour.