Gold Coast students to compete for spot on Gallipoli Anzac trip

A NUMBER of Gold Coast students could be off on a trip of a lifetime next year.

Local kids now have the chance to compete for one of 70 spots on a trip to Europe in 2015, where they will witness the Anzac Day centenary at Gallipoli.

Premier Campbell Newman said the students and 10 chaperones would join widows and direct descendants of Anzac soldiers, the veteran community, official representatives, and 6,000 Australians and 2,000 New Zealanders drawn from a ballot at the commemoration.

“These young Queenslanders will be incredibly fortunate to be part of the centenary celebrations – a moving tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by ANZAC soldiers one hundred years ago,” Mr Newman said.

“The 2015 Premier’s Anzac Prize will determine who will be part of this unique experience.

“I encourage Year 8 to 11 students to enter the competition which opens on Anzac Day.”

Students are required to submit an original, two to five minute multimedia presentation addressing how the Anzac tradition shaped Australia, why it is still important and how future generations will keep the tradition alive.

For more information on the Premier’s Anzac Prize, including tour reports and footage, click here. Queensland’s centenary activities are documented on the Anzac Centenary website here.

Coolangatta man accused of killing Rugby League identity

A breakthrough for Detectives working on the case of murdered rugby league identity Tony McGrath.

In May last year the body of the high-profile referee was located at his home on Maynard Street in Woolloongabba.  An autopsy revealed he died as a result of a gunshot wound.

Last night and as a result of extensive investigations, detectives from the Dutton Park Criminal Investigation Branch and State Crime Command’s Homicide Investigation Unit arrested a man from Coolangatta.

The 43-year-old man faces a whole host of charges following the death of Mr McGrath who was 57-years-old.

He is accused of murder, robbery with violence whilst armed, attempted murder or alternatively GBH, arson, stupefying in order to commit indictable offence, enter premises with intent and three weapons act offences.

Detectives also executed a search warrant at a Terranorra, NSW residence and are speaking to a number of people believed to be linked to the investigation.

Bikies arrested during Gold Coast raids

TASKFORCE Maxima’s ‘Criminal Economy Unit’ conducting investigations in relation to suspected fraud related matters have today conducted raids on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

Operations Mike Reflective and Lima Violin have resulted in the arrest of a number of people suspected of being participants, or their associates, of Criminal Motorcycle Gangs.

Detective Superintendent Mick Niland, Taskforce Maxima, and Detective Inspector Phil Stevens from the Taskforce’s ‘Criminal Economy Unit’ will update the media at Police Headquarters in Brisbane this afternoon.

Tweed locals get a ‘voice’

TWEED residents will get to voice their concerns today, during a visit by Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner.

He arrived in town with his team of Nationals MPs their first regional meeting of the year.

Mr Stoner announced today the NSW Government would soon launch the 2014/15 Public Reserves Management Fund, which is expected to offer at least $23 million to support maintenance, upgrade and repair works on public reserves across the State.

Mr Stoner encouraged the State’s Crown reserve trusts and managers to start thinking about projects for the targeted Government funding so they are ready to go when applications open.

“Round one of the 2014/15 Public Reserves Management Fund (PRMF) will open in the coming weeks,” Mr Stoner announced in Tweed Heads (pictured courtesy of nswtravel.com.au) this morning.

“Under last year’s program, we offered a total of $23.6 million in grants and loans to assist managers in the development, maintenance and improvement of public reserves.

“This Government is committed to investing in important local infrastructure – $6.5 million of last year’s total funding went to North Coast public reserves alone, while just over $15 million of grants and loans were delivered to all our regional areas.

“We want to continue supporting regional investment and economic growth. For this year’s program, we are encouraging the development of collaborative, multi-trust projects and applications that support tourism, events and employment, especially in regional communities.”

Mr Stoner said the 2014/15 PRMF would be separated into two rounds – the first round focussing on pest and weed management and the support of showgrounds.

“Managers of showgrounds, or managers of any reserve type with a suitable pest or weeds project, will have until mid-March to submit an application,” Mr Stoner said.

“This first round is expected to be finalised by June, before the broader second round – focussing on caravan parks, state parks, showgrounds, local parks and reserves – opens around August.”

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the North Coast’s 4000 or so public reserves should take advantage of the generous Government funding and carefully consider making applications.

“Tweed public reserves were offered a massive $1.2 million in funds under last year’s PRMF to go towards enhancing recreational amenities and accommodation at two of our local holiday parks,” Mr Provest said.

“Hopefully our region can share again in the pool of funds on offer under this year’s PRMF.”

Reserve managers interested in applying for financial support should access the full list of program priorities, eligibility/assessment criteria and details on how to apply, online now at the Crown Lands website.

One year on, Upper Coomera mum Novy Chardon still missing

ONE year on, mystery continues to surround the disappearance of Upper Coomera mother Novy Chardon.

There has been no sign of the 34-year-old since she disappeared from her home during the night of February 6, 2013.

The Brisbane Times reports, earlier that day Ms Chardon visited her Gold Coast solicitor with a friend to discuss her divorce from a man 31 years her senior.

John Chardon claims the decision to divorce was a mutual one, following 11 years of marriage.

After meeting with her divorce lawyer, Ms Chardon dropped her friend home and went to collect her young son and daughter, aged seven and nine, from school.

Later that evening, Ms Chardon left her Bridie Drive home with her daughter and returned to her friend’s house. There, Ms Chardon began preparing her affidavit for the upcoming divorce proceedings.

At 8.50pm, Ms Chardon dropped her daughter back home. She and her friend then drove to the BP station near Days Road, Upper Coomera, before stopping by the neighbouring McDonald’s drive-through.

CCTV cameras captured the last images of Ms Chardon, refuelling her car and ordering food, wearing red shorts and a grey shirt.

The two women then drove to a Thai restaurant at Runaway Bay, where the husband of Ms Chardon’s friend worked. The pair sat in the four-wheel-drive for some time, while Ms Chardon sent a text message to another friend about arrangements for a new website for her home-based beauty business.

She arrived home between 10.30pm and 11pm, according to her husband.

Mr Chardon says he woke about 7am on Thursday to find his wife missing.

At 8.45am, he booked flights for his two children to join him on a pre-planned business trip to Indonesia. “I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t leave them home alone,” he told Fairfax Media.

The next day, he boarded a plane for Indonesia with his daughter and son.

It was a friend of Ms Chardon’s from Sydney who reported the 34-year-old mother missing on Saturday, February 8.

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Ms Chardon is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.