Monster machines come alive in Southport

IF YOU’VE ever wanted to get behind the wheel of a massive bulldozer, tractor or quad bike, today is your lucky day.

The Monster Machinery Day is being held at Mitchell Park, at the corner of North Street and Marine Parade in Southport, where all the city’s biggest and best toys come to life.

Mayor Tom Tate said the free family event had become a one of the city’s most popular annual drawcards, with more than 7000 people attending last year.

“I encourage you to come along, slap on a hard hat and imagine yourself as a landscaper, lifeguard, beach cleaner, fence builder, dune protector or construction worker,” he said.

“There are so many exciting projects underway on the Gold Coast, from China Town in the Southport CBD to the Broadwater Parklands redevelopment. This event is your chance to see the fleet of machinery that is transforming our city as well as maintaining our parks, beaches, roads and neighbourhoods,” he said.

The City’s $75 million mobile fleet comprises approximately 1400 items, including cars, 4WDs, trucks, tractors, loaders, excavators, dozers, graders, mobile libraries, quad bikes, jet skis, boats, wood chippers and street sweepers. More than 40 of these will be on display at the event.

The fleet operates across a 1378 square kilometre area, with some vehicles operating through the night to manage the workload.

Cr Tate said he was impressed with the commitment Councillor Dawn Crichlow had made to the event over the past 11 years, building it from a small community gathering to one of the city’s most popular days out for young families.

“There’ll be some fantastic activities on offer including the little diggers’ competition, free rides, live machinery demonstrations, food stalls and prize draws,” said Cr Crichlow.

“The City is continuously updating the fleet to ensure it’s safe, cost-efficient and up to date with the latest technology.”

Parking is available at the Broadwater Parklands.


Gold Coasters unite to stop whaling

A GOLD COAST community group will gather tonight to help put an end to whaling off Australian shores.


The first Animal Action Night: Inspriing Action for Whales will be held at Quality Hotel in Mermaid on Saturday night.


Animal Action Events founder Aldwyn Altuney organised the fundraiser for Sea Shepherd after watching the movie Blackfish and in response to whaling by the Japanese.


It follows seven annual Animal Action Day events, which have raised over $10,000 for different animal charities.


Sea Shepherd Gold Coast co-ordinator Stephanie Ashton-Walters said at least three Japanese whaling ships were heading back out to whale in Australian southern Antarctic waters from November 2014 to February 2015.


“Australia won an International Court of Justice lawsuit against Japan’s whaling program in the southern ocean this year, but Tokyo is still continuing with its hunt,” Ms Ashton-Walters said.


“Despite the ruling in court, the Japanese will continue whaling this season with what they call ‘non-lethal research’ on the basis of supporting an application the following season for a lethal research permit.”


Sea Shepherd Australia will monitor Japan’s operations in Antarctica and ensure that no whales are killed off our shores at the end of this year.


“We are highly suspicious of their intention to uphold the ruling and will be monitoring them closely,” Ms Ashton-Walters said.


“The fuel alone for four of our ships to go out costs about $5 million. We are purely non-profit and non-government funded so we rely entirely on donations to survive.”


She said Sea Shepherd stood strong in its stance that whaling was illegal off Australian shores.


“We have saved about 5000 whales’ lives in the last 10 years off Australian shores which has led to an increase in the number of whale sightings,” she said.


The Animal Action Night will feature entertainment by Rhythm IV Vision band from Byron Bay Junkyard soul blues performer Benny D Williams and soulful melodic singer songwriter Lauren Napier.


Speakers include Stephanie Ashton-Walters, Connect 2 Animals animal communicator Eliza Priddle and Spirit of Gold Coast whale watching cruise director Denise Ryan.


To attend the event head to Eventbrite or contact the Quality Hotel on 5572 2500.


Stosur shines at French Open

SAMANTHA STOSUR continued her march through the women’s draw at the French Open with a classy straight-sets defeat of Slovakian ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova.

The Gold Coaster won 6-4 6-4 in the third round on Friday to reach the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time since 2012.

Stosur could meet trouble in the next round, with it likely she’ll have to face 2012 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, a player she has only beaten twice in 16 attempts.

It came as third seed Agnieszka Radwanska became the latest big-name women’s casualty at Roland Garros.

The Pole lost to Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-4 to follow the top two seeds, Serena Williams and Li Na, out of the tournament.

After a frustrating start to the season and a drop in the rankings, Stosur has played some of her best tennis this year this week.

“I’m very happy with my tennis and today was my toughest match,” Stosur said.

“I thought Dominika played pretty well so I’m very happy to get through this one in straight sets and I look forward to the next round.

“I just love playing here. I’ve had some really great moments here and some of the best matches of my career actually.

“Hopefully I can still have a few more

Man knocked unconscious after coward attack

A MAN has reportedly been knocked unconscious after a “coward attack” in Surfers Paradise this afternoon.

There are reports the man was king-hit from behind on Cavill Avenue in what appears to have been a random attack.

The Bulletin reports police are searching the area for the attacker who simply walked away after the incident.

Read more at the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Footage captures bike v car on Gold Coast

DRAMATIC video has emerged of a frightening collision between a cyclist and a car on the Gold Coast.

The footage, released by Nine News, shows a cyclist being cleaned up by a maroon vehicle down what appears to be a quiet street.

The impact of the collision throws the rider into the air and onto the top of the car before he “bounces off”.

Nine News will have the full story tonight at 6.00pm.