Clarke falls victim to Johnson’s power

Despite only excelling in the past few months, Australian Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson has picked up cricket’s coveted Allan Border Medal.

Sans ‘Mo’, the pace bowler capped off a remarkable comeback to test cricket to claim 168 votes compared to Captain Michael Clarke (156) who was on the way to becoming the only player to receive the award a record five times.

Johnson was left out of the Aussie squad for the tour of England, staying home to hone his skills in the shorter form of the game.

Sports News First reports, the 32-year-old notched eight more ODI appearances than his captain and across the three formats collected more wickets than any other Australian.

“It has been an amazing journey coming back from injury, having a lot of doubters out there,” Johnson said.

“But I just knew in my own heart that if I had that opportunity that I could make the most of it.”

Earlier, Clarke won the Test player of the year for a record fourth time.

George Bailey was named one-day player of the year, to ease the pain of being dropped from the squad that will tour South Africa next month.

Aaron Finch collected the Twenty20 player of the year award.

Victorian opener Meg Lanning won the Belinda Clark Medal for the premier female player of the year, Victorian Cameron White was named domestic player of the year and Tasmanian batsman Jordan Silk was presented with the Bradman young player of the year award.”

Corby another step closer to freedom

Schapelle Corby’s received another boost to her bid to be released from her Bali jail cell.

The Gold Coast drug smuggler has cleared two of the bureaucratic hurdles standing between her and her parole bid. She now only has two more to go before she can be released from Kerobokan prison.

The Brisbane Times reports, spokesman for the Indonesian Corrections department, Ayub Suratman, has confirmed the Australian government has issued the 36-year-old a new passport at the request of the country’s immigration department.

The immigration department has also confirmed in writing that Corby, who has served nine years in jail, was legally able to stay in Indonesia to serve out her sentence.

She has now fulfilled all the immigration requirements of a foreign prisoner serving parole — including a guarantee from the Australian embassy that she will behave well.

The two remaining hurdles are sign-off from a meeting of staff of the corrections department to confirm that all the paperwork is in order; then political approval from Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin.

Once she is out of jail, the former beauty therapist must spend the rest of her sentence under the care of her sister, Mercedes, and brother in law, surf-shop owner Wayan Widyartha, who live in Kuta, Bali.

She has agreed she will work designing bikinis at Mr Widyartha’s shop.

Corby was found guilty of smuggling 4.2kg of marijuana into Indonesia in 2004 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. After a two-month sentence cut for good behaviour at Christmas, she will be eligible to return to Australia on July 25, 2017.

Gold Coast’s ‘mowerman’ raises $600,000

CLAUDE ‘The Mowerman’ Harvey is a regular fixture on the streets of the Gold Coast, but he will soon be mowing his way across Tasmania to raise further funds for children affected by sexual assault.

His iconic customised cutter is now a cut above the rest after undergoing a makeover including the attachment of a new donation box, an iPod dock and a head-turning paint job.

Gold Coast creative agency 40/40 Creations, best known for its funky street art, teamed up with RAR Embossed and Kane Donaldson Pine Striping & Lettering and donated time and creativity to the project.

The makeover was received just in time, as Mr Harvey, 68, prepares for his next mowerthon – this time a 62-day trek through Tasmania starting on January 29.

“40/40 is a great supporter of the work Bravehearts does in the community and when approached to work on the famous mowerman’s cutter, we couldn’t refuse,” says 40/40 co-owner Luke MacDonald.

Claude has already raised $600,000 for the worthy cause and is striving to raise $1 million to fund counselling and education services for Aussie kids and their families affected by sexual assault.

Lawyer wants more bite in Qld dog laws

QUEENSLAND’S dog laws need more bite according to Gold Coast lawyer Bruce Simmonds after a court case where a dog owner was acquitted after her dog bit a resort manager.

He said the current laws generally allowed every dog to get one “free” bite but the law was poorly structured and needed to be toughened so a dog owner was held responsible in town settings for any and all actions by their dogs.

Mr Simmonds, of Gold Coast law firm Parker Simmonds Solicitors and Lawyers, said the issue was in the news after a court case where a dog owner was prosecuted by the Gold Coast City Council after her Staffordshire terrier bit a resort manager.

The woman had taken her dog to the resort’s pool area and got into an argument with the resort manager over a noise complaint issue. The court heard the dog bit the manager after he picked up a metal crutch to ward off the animal.

Mr Simmonds, who was not involved in the court case, said he had acted for numerous dog bite victims in compensation claims and felt the public did not necessarily appreciate the ongoing trauma victims suffered from dog attacks.

“What if the victim in this case was a child or a baby? Our dog laws are too lax. They should be tightened up so a dog owner is responsible in town settings for all actions of their dog. If they can’t look after it they shouldn’t have one. A dog should not be roaming common property.

“In the country if a dog bit a person or stock it would be shot,” he said.

Mr Simmonds has long argued that Queensland should adopt the New South Wales system where owners are automatically liable for their dog’s behaviour and can be fined or even jailed if they ignore their responsibilities.

“In Queensland even though a dog is allowed to have a first bite before it can be classed as dangerous, you still have to show negligence in not containing the animal

“There’s no real criminal liability here although certain dangerous breeds are banned, as they should be. But the dog laws system is still soft and needs strengthening,” he said.

“We should have a system that says you must have compulsory third party insurance when registering your dog. If the dog bites someone, there’s automatic liability on the dog’s owner,” Mr Simmonds said.

The system could also provide for a substantial fine and the dog’s destruction if the dog’s insurance or registration lapses.

“Responsible owners will follow the rules, it’s the lazy and irresponsible ones we need to target,” he said.

“If a person can’t insure their dog, they can’t have a dog, just as you can’t legally drive a car if there’s no CTP insurance,” he said.

Conflicting information over new bus services causing confusion

CONFLICTING information being distributed by Translink about new bus services is causing confusion among Nerang commuters this morning, according to Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP.

“Last week residents at the YMCA Housing Complex in View St were advised by Translink Phone Inquiry Line that they would no longer be able to catch a bus at Railway Parade and would need to walk to Paradise Street to meet the bus as no service would travel along Railway Parade,” Mr Douglas said.

“Today they’ve been advised the service will include Railway Parade although Translink is confused by what is happening.

“Commuters have been mislead by in some cases confusing route maps which in this case did not list Railway Parade as a stop and did not clearly state the route was on Railway Parade which caused angst amongst residents.

“After being approached by upset complex residents, the YMCA community and compliance manager met with me on Friday to express concerns about the new timetable which she said would no longer include Railway Parade and leave 118 tenants without a close service,” Mr Douglas said.

Transport Minister, Scott Emerson took to radio airwaves on Monday morning, arguing that Mr Douglas was providing misleading information.

Mr Douglas has since responded, advising Mr Emerson to question Translink staff who had initially distributed the conflicting information to Gold Coast commuters.

“Residents serviced by Yarimbah Drive and Dungadan St services certainly don’t agree with the Minister that the Gold Coast will have a far better service today, as their services have been cut back significantly to finish mid-afternoon Monday to Friday and no weekend services,” Mr Douglas said.

“I haven’t made up these stories – I’ve just acted on information supplied to me by upset commuters and the advice given to them by Translink.

“Further confusion has been added by incorrect bus stop signposts and timetables being put up at the weekend at Robina and Helensvale Stations.”