Magic Millions sales underway

This week’s start to the Magic Millions Carnival and Race is expected to dramatically boost visitor numbers.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Jann Stuckey said the event provided an outstanding combination of fashion, bloodstock sales and horse-racing to complement the Gold Coast’s fantastic weather, shopping, dining and entertainment.

“The Magic Millions offers 25 events that combine yearling sales, racing and social events until January 14 with the major highlight of the Carnival, the Magic Millions Race Day” taking place on Saturday Ms Stuckey said.

“The Magic Millions Carnival and Race Day is a shining event on Australia’s summer calendar, combining everything that Australians hold dear – sun, surf and the love of horses in our ‘Famous for fun’ destination.

Ms Stuckey said the Queensland Government was proud to support the Magic Millions Carnival and Race Day through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the Government’s commitment to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.

“Major events such as the Magic Millions Carnival and Race Day not only attract visitors, they reinforce the Gold Coast’s reputation as a premier event destination,” she said.

“We promised at the election to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy and this and other events will help us achieve that.

“Magic Millions joins major events such as the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600, Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Australian PGA Championship and the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, among others, which showcase the Gold Coast and Queensland to the world.

“The Magic Millions drew world-wide attention this year with the appointment of Zara Phillips, MBE, daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, as the first Patron of Magic Millions Racing Women from 2014 – 2018.

“Ms Phillips was an eventing team silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics and former European and World Champion and her patronage will ensure the Magic Millions Carnival and Race Day continues to be seen as a major international event globally.”

BeachCare tackle creek to coast clean up

BEACH-CARE is charging the way to keep Gold Coast’s beaches clean.

In fact, they are continuing their team approach to tackle coastal issues to improve the health of Flat Rock Creek.

Now is the time to join the BeachCare force to clean up the creek for a healthy ocean.

With support from Landcare Australia and Neutrogena Naturals, those who help out will be rewarded with new, sustainably-made healthcare packs.

Joel Hayes from BeachCare said, “Cleaning up Flat Rock Creek helps keep our ocean healthy, though, everyday products we use can also improve waterway health.”

“It’s a simple message, what goes down the drain has the potential to end up in the ocean. So, using sustainable products like Neutrogena Naturals is great,” he said.

The creek clean up will be happening this weekend from 9am through until 11am at Flat Rock Creek, Tugun (meet at Kropp Park).

All equipment and refreshments will be provided, plus a free healthcare pack from Neutrogena Naturals for anyone who volunteers.

This event is funded by Landcare Australia, Neutrogena Naturals, City of Gold Coast and Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

For more information please visit griffith.edu.au/coastal-management or contact Joel Hayes on 0414 762 374/ 0431 108 084/ joel.hayes@griffith.edu.au

Bikie president arrested hours after prison release

THE NATIONAL president of the Comanchero Criminal Motorcycle Gang will remain behind bars after facing court this morning following his arrest at the Gold Coast Airport on Monday night.

Mark Buddle, 29, from New South Wales was arrested on an existing warrent by officers from Taskforce Maxima when he landed at the airport for a summer holiday with his family.

He was transported to the Southport Watchhouse where he was charged for allegedly threatening to kill a Gold Coast police officer following an extradition arrest in December 2012

It is understood Buddle was only released on bail in NSW on Monday, just hours before boarding a plane to Queensland.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima stated, “This arrest and the ongoing conduct of gang leaders provides another example of unlawful activity carried by these Criminal Gangs and the threat they pose to community safety.

“The arrest sends a message to Gang members that unlawful actions will not be tolerated and enforcement action will be taken at every opportunity, regardless as to where they reside.”

He was remanded in custody following his appearance in Southport Magistrates Court this morning and will return via videolink on February 19.

Longer free bus travel for Gold Coast seniors

Local seniors can now travel for longer for free on Gold Coast Surfside buses.

Mayor Tom Tate said the free travel service for seniors was being extended by 30 minutes a day starting this week and would provide more flexibility for the 12,500 people who have registered for the free travel.

“Eligible Gold Coast seniors are now able to travel for free on buses from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday,” Mayor Tate said.

Since 2 September 2013, eligible Gold Coast Seniors have been able to travel for free on Gold Coast Surfside buses from 9am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. The extended timeframe brings the service forward by 30 minutes to 8:30am.

“The extension to the free travel service fulfils key directives in our Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031 by encouraging greater use of public transport and helping older people to remain connected to their communities,” he said.

The change in travel time will not impact on the Free Seniors Travel trial stickers which are affixed to red Seniors go cards. Seniors will be able to continue using their existing sticker for free travel.

The trial is part of the City of Gold Coast’s drive to encourage more Gold Coasters to use public transport and to make better use of existing services. It will operate as a trial until 31 March this year after which it will be assessed to determine the feasibility of it continuing.

For more information on the trial go to www.cityofgoldcoast.com.au/freeseniorstravel

Conditions ease on Stradbroke Island

08.15pm UPDATE: The WATCH and ACT Message for North Stradbroke Island has been CANCELLED.

Multiple QFES and RFSQ crews are at the scene of the large bushfire in the vicinity of Brown Lake.

Fire crews were successful with their efforts to fight the blaze this afternoon, and are currently blackening out and mopping up from Myora Springs up to Brown Lake.

Crews will continue to monitor the fire throughout the night, including along Gatumba Street and East Coast Road.

Significant helicopter waterbombing was conducted today, and is expected to continue tomorrow morning.

There is currently no threat to property, however the fire is producing a large smoke haze.

Residents are advised to keep their doors and windows closed, and if they suffer from respiratory conditions, to keep medication close by. Motorists in the area are advised to drive with caution.

 

5.30pm UPDATE: Firefighters with the help of significant water bombing in the area are attempting slow the fire and it has still not yet reached Myora Springs. Water bombing is expected to cease around 6pm.

Residents in the vicinity of Myora Springs and Gatumba Street are advised to start enacting their bushfire plans and prepare for a bushfire in their area.

At 5:30pm, the large bushfire was located near Brown Lake and is heading towards the Myora Springs area is currently fanned by 35-55km/hour south-easterly winds. The wind direction is expected to remain the same overnight.

The large, fast moving bushfire is travelling in a north-westerly direction and may impact the area of Myora Springs in the next two hours.

This fire is moving quickly and spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

Residents are strongly advised to be prepared to relocate to a safer area if required. Leaving is the safest option for survival in a bushfire.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters may not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

 

03.30pm UPDATE: Firefighters are undertaking significant water bombing in the area in an attempt slow the fire. Flames have not yet reached Myora Springs however this fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty in controlling it.

Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

Residents in the vicinity of Myora Springs and Gatumba Street are advised to start enacting their bushfire plans and prepare for a bushfire in their area.

At 3:30pm, the large bushfire was located near Brown Lake and is heading towards the Myora Springs area fanned by 50-60km/hour south-easterly winds.

The large, fast moving bushfire is travelling in a north-westerly direction and is still expected to impact the area of Myora Springs in the next two hours.

Residents are strongly advised to be prepared to relocate to a safer area if required. Leaving is the safest option for survival in a bushfire. Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters may not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

 

02:00pm UPDATE: In addition to the Watch and Act Message for Stradbroke Island, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) advises multiple crews are responding to a bushfire currently burning in inaccessible country in the vicinity of Brown Lake.

Crews are monitoring the situation and water bombing aircraft will be utilised. The fire may cause a significant smoke and ash hazard in the Amity Point area.

People are advised to avoid the area due to the heavy smoke, which is making visibility on roads very poor.

Residents are asked to close their windows and doors and keep their medication close by if susceptible to respiratory illness. Motorists should also take care and drive to conditions.

 

01:00pm BREAKING UPDATE: A Watch & Act Advice message has been re-issued for the bushfire burning on North Stradbroke Island as strong winds push flames towards properties.

Residents in the vicinity of Myora Springs and Gatumba Street are advised to start enacting their bushfire plans and prepare for a bushfire in their area.

At 12:30pm, the large bushfire was located near Brown Lake and is heading towards the Myora Springs area fanned by 50-60km/hour south-easterly winds.

The large, fast moving bushfire is travelling in a north-westerly direction and is expected to impact the area of Myora Springs in the next two hours.

This fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty in controlling it. Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

Residents are strongly advised to be prepared to relocate to a safer area if required. Leaving is the safest option for survival in a bushfire.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters may not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

· Put on protective clothing
· Drink lots of water
· Move car/s to a safe location
· Close windows and doors and shut blinds
· Bring pets inside and restrain them (leash, cage or secure room) and provide water
· Wet down fine fuels close to buildings
· Remove garden furniture, doormats and other items
· Seal all gaps under doors and screens
· Fill containers with water – eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins, etc
· Have ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside)
· Have generator or petrol pump ready
· Check and patrol outside for embers and extinguish any spot fires and seek shelter as the fire front arrives.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or at www.fire.qld.gov.au or by listening to their local radio station. For information on current bushfire incidents visit http://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.html

 

10.00AM UPDATE: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are continuing to monitor the bushfire, which is burning within containment lines in inaccessible terrain at the southern end of the island.

 

A helicopter will be used today to provide aerial reconnaissance of the fire zone. Yesterday’s rainfall of about 60mm assisted the firefighting effort, however residents and visitors are asked to remain vigilant and take care as the fire is still active.

Motorists should take care as some roads may continue to be affected by emergency services operations. East Coast Road is open, but delays are expected.

Main Beach remains closed. Inland tracks are also closed due to the danger of fallen and unstable trees, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) advises that no campfires or open fires are permitted.