Gold Coast Uni hospital

New rapid flu tests tipped to improve emergency response on the Gold Coast

NEW and improved technology that allows doctors to diagnose influenza more quickly will be rolled out at two of the largest hospitals on the Gold Coast, making future flu seasons easier to manage.

The State Government will spend $600,000 to introduce the rapid point-of-care testing system in 15 of the state’s largest public hosiptals next year, including at the Gold Coast Uni and Robina hospitals.

The new point-of-care tests screen for influenza A and B strains and can provide results within 30 minutes.

Minister for Health Cameron Dick said the testing was “very efficient” and would “greatly assist” hospitals with early diagnoses and the subsequent management of patients.

Gold Coast Public Health Staff Specialist Dr Paul Van Buynder said the new rapid testing would have multiple benefits for patients and the health service.

“This will enable us as clinicians to decrease transmission in hospital by putting those patients with influenza into a negative pressure room so that other patients are less likely to be infected,” Dr Van Buynder said.

“In aged care settings we will be able to respond rapidly to outbreaks by having a positive diagnosis a day earlier than we currently get it.”

Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government would also invest an additional $700,000 in automated blood culture machines to replace the current systems in 2018.

“These machines quickly detect infections that are spreading through the bloodstream,” he said.

“This improved technology will lead to more efficient and timely diagnosis and management of bacterial infections secondary to influenza.”

Surfers Paradise restaurant owner fined $284,000 for paying staff $8 an hour

Underpaying workers nearly $60,000 has cost the owner of a Japanese restaurant in Surfers Paradise more than a quarter of a million dollars.

Nine workers at Samurais Paradise were paid as little as $8.00 an hour over four months.

Owner of the business, Shigeo Ishiyama, who formerly operated the Japanese Curry House Kawaii, was criticised by Federal Circuit Court Judge Salvatore Vasta who said the exploitation of the workers was “heinous” and “certainly deliberate”.

Mark Lee from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s office told MyGC the $284,000 fine is one of the top five fines of its kind in Australia this year.

“If you extrapolate that four-month underpayment over the course of a year, as the judge did in this case, that’s an unlawful wage saving of nearly $200,000,” he said.

“It is close to the maximum penalty that’s available for the court to give in this case.

“Originally, when we first came across these  issues they sought to cover them up and hide them, and it wasn’t until we took the matter to court that they admitted the conduct.”

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations while a free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Three arrested, drugs, cash seized in Coomera raids

Two men and a woman from Coomera are facing multiple charges after a raid by the Gold Coast Rapid Action Patrol today uncovered drugs and $14,600 in cash.

Around 8am today police executed a search warrant at a Jackson Street address in Coomera, allegedly locating in excess of 150 grams of Methamphetamine, various drug smoking utensils and property indicative of drug supply.

A 28-year-old Coomera man charged with trafficking and possessing dangerous drugs, and possessing the proceeds of crime will appear in Southport Magistrates court on Wednesday.

A 23-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man from Coomera were given a notice to appear in relation to possession of drug offences.

They are due to face Southport Magistrates Court in a fortnight.

Sea World’s adorable Polar Bear Cub makes a splash in Polar Pre-School!

Sea World’s super cute, five-month old Polar Bear Cub Mishka has reached the next stage in her development, making a splash in the deep pool at the refurbished Polar Pre-School exhibit!

The grassed area at Polar Pre-School has been removed to make way for the large, deeper pool to allow mum Liya to teach Mishka how to swim, dive and explore life under the water.

Polar Bear Shores Supervisor, Tacha Mulligan said Mishka had mastered her swimming skills in the shallow-water pool and is ready to progress to the deeper pool.

“Mishka has been doing really well in the purpose-built shallow wading pool we designed and has displayed a confident swimming ability but it is time for her to hone new swimming skills in the large pool,” she said.

PHOTO: Supplied | Sea World

“Since making her public debut, Mishka has been delighting crowds at Sea World with her playful and inquisitive nature and we can’t wait for guests to be able to watch her as she continues her development in the deep pool.

PHOTO: Supplied | Sea World

Tacha said Mishka is continuing to grow significantly in size and is now weighing roughly 30 kilograms and starting to interact with solid foods including fish, beef and pork.

Polar Pre-School is a specially designed area which allows for Mishka to develop her life-skills and explore new environments under the watchful eye of her doting mum.


The M1 looking north from Ormeau bridge

Tough new penalties for drivers who kill someone in an accident in Qld

THE maximum penalty for drivers who kill or seriously injure someone in an accident while speeding or affected by drugs or alcohol in Queensland will quadruple under new laws being considered by the State Government.

The proposed legislation comes after a review into the maximum penalties following the deaths of siblings Sarah, 30, and Daniel Walker, 22, who were killed in a crash north of the Sunshine Coast earlier this year.

The siblings’ close friend, Peter Knowles, and Sarah’s 14-year-old son, Sam, were also both seriously injured.

The man who caused the crash, Donald George Gayler, 66, was charged with driving without due care and attention.

He walked free from Maryborough Magistrates Court last month with a $3000 fine and a three-month suspension placed on his licence.

Sarah and Daniel’s mother, Kerri Walker, along with Knowles’ mother, Trisha Mabley and Sarah’s fiance Victor Bosley have spent the weeks since fighting for tougher penalties.

Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had consulted with the Walker family and other families whose loved ones had been killed in crashes before proposing the changes.

“Every life lost on Queensland roads is a tragedy and community concern has been heightened understandably recently following the crash that killed siblings Sarah and Daniel Walker outside Tiaro in April,” Mr Bailey said.

“This was a tragedy which claimed the life of two family members and left two other passengers seriously injured and I extend my sincere sympathies to everyone affected by this crash.”

Under the proposed changes, the maximum penalty for drivers convicted of careless driving causing death or grievous bodily harm (GBH) will double to a $10000 fine and 12 months in jail.

The maximum penalty will quadruple to a $20000 fine and two years in jail where there are circumstances of aggravation, such as drink or drug driving, speeding and driving unlicensed.

Meanwhile, the maximum penalty for drivers convicted of dangerous driving causing death or GBH would remain at 10 years in jail (14 with circumstances of aggravation), but the current six-month licence disqualification period would be extended to 12 months.

The final minimum licence disqualification periods will be determined following further consultation before the Road Safety Bill is introduced to Parliament.

Mr Bailey said the proposed changes were in line with recommendations handed down by the State Coroner as a result of the inquest into the tragic death of Queensland grandmother, Audrey Ann Dow.

The 81-year-old was killed when a disqualified driver drifted across double white lines and smashed head-on into her vehicle in Mackay in July 2013.

The driver of the other vehicle, Aaron Kite, 28, wasn’t even supposed to be behind the wheel. He was fined just $3000 and disqualified from driving for a further three months after being convicted of careless driving.

In his inquest, the State Coroner described Kite’s driving record as “utterly deplorable”, noting the young man had been disqualified from driving a total of four times.

“This government has accepted these recommendations and is progressing legislative amendments for parliamentary consideration,” Mr Bailey said.

“I want to thank Audrey’s family for their campaign to bring change.”