The Star partners with local Aboriginal community to boost native honey production

The Star will soon have a selection of local native honey to use across its restaurants and bars after partnering with the Aboriginal community on North Stradbroke Island to boost production.

Since November 2017, the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, representing the island’s Traditional Owners, and The Star Entertainment Group have been trialling an Aboriginal native bee honey production business on the island, traditionally known as ‘Minjerribah’.

The pilot trial of the ‘sugarbag’ native bee honey production has been hailed a success and both partners have now committed to harvesting up to 140 hives on the island, creating a future supply of authentic and exclusive Indigenous product.

As part of the deal, The Star will secure 50 per cent of supply for VIP gifts and as a key ingredient across its restaurants and bars.

Both partners joined Australia’s leading native bee expert and former CSIRO entomologist Dr Tim Heard to extract the first honey from the trial’s original nine hives – before splitting some in half to form more hives.

Further, another 12 hives have been installed to take the total number to over 20 – which will continue to double each year as hives are split to form up to 140 hives by around 2022 – ahead of the opening of The Star Gold Coast’s Dorsett hotel and apartments tower, and the transformational Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said the move from an industry-first trial to a sustainable partnership was a result of a strong and mutual commitment to help deliver capacity-building outcomes for the Quandamooka People.

“Right now, we’re enjoying the sweet taste of success with our joint trial enabling us to realise the potential of an Aboriginal native bee honey microfood business here on our beautiful and pristine island,” Mr Costello said.

“We are proud to have The Star’s support and see this trial grow into a long term partnership that will create many economic growth opportunities for our Quandamooka People – especially in jobs and training.

“For example, we’re proud to have our new lead bee keeper in training, Cheyenne Doyle, with us and to also see interest from the next generation of Quandamooka People like Tu Wai McDonald, one of our cultural guides and tourism trainees who is keen to explore a career as a chef.”

The Star Entertainment Group General Manager Tourism, Food and Beverage, Strategy and Partnerships Michael Hodgson said the company was proud to extend the trial to an exclusive supply partnership that will see it used across its existing properties and future South East Queensland (SEQ) world-class developments.

“This exclusive partnership opens up a world of opportunity for us – now and in the future as we expand our footprint in both Brisbane and on the Gold Coast with our Hong Kong-based consortium partners.

“Today, we have 30+ restaurants and bars at our existing Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast properties.

“By around 2022, our $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort development will have launched 50 new restaurants, cafes, and bars; and our ongoing expansion at The Star Gold Coast will have seen the opening of the Dorsett hotel and apartments tower open, which will also include a range of exciting dining outlets.

“On top of that, we have approval for a further $2 billion-plus expanded masterplan at The Star Gold Coast, which includes another four towers on the island as well as associated resort facilities, presenting further opportunities.

“As we continue to grow, delivering authentic Queensland experiences for locals and visitors to SEQ will remain a top priority, so having exclusive use of QYAC’s high quality native bee honey will further enable our ability to achieve that.”

Garth Brennan

EXCLUSIVE | Titans coach ensuring team doesn’t ‘peak too early’

AFTER BREAKING their 2019 NRL season duck, the Gold Coast Titans have enjoyed a relaxed week of training, heading into their Easter Sunday clash against Newcastle in Robina.

“It was a good win, it was a gutsy win,” Coach Garth Brennan told Hot Tomato’s Galey Mal and Moyra on Thursday morning.

He’s of course referring to their Round Five victory over Penrith (30-24) that saw the team nab their first win of the season.

“I was happy for the boys because I know how hard they’ve been working,” Brennan explained. “We just hadn’t quite got the result.”

This week, they have been able to ease-off the hard training a little, due to a long turn-around between matches.

“Today’s our big day, we’ll ramp up our session this morning, day off tomorrow and have our light run on Saturday (to) get ready for Sunday.

“Because it’s a long turn-around – we don’t play until Sunday night, coming from a Friday night game – it’s about making sure we don’t peak too early.”

When asked about the player that has impressed him greatly so far this season, Brennan easily pointed to Tyrone Roberts.

“Tyrone coming back (from England) has been really good for the team.

“I see a more experienced (player) and a leader. He showed that on the weekend when we lost Ash (Taylor) early, Tyrone really stepped up and controlled that team and the game really well.”

The Titans take on the Knights at CBUS Super Stadium on Easter Sunday from 2pm.

Climate plan won’t ‘cost’ economy: Shorten

Labor’s proposed action on climate won’t cost the economy but will help it grow in the next decade, according to Bill Shorten.

The coalition, however, says the opposition leader’s claim is “evasive and misleading”.

A day after refusing to answer questions on how much Labor’s climate and energy policies would cost, Mr Shorten on Wednesday pointed to findings by ANU economist Warwick McKibbin.

The opposition has vowed to introduce a target to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

The coalition has an emissions reduction target of 26 per cent.

Mr Shorten maintains that under both targets, Dr McKibbin’s modelling shows Australia’s economy would continue to grow, racking up growth of 23 per cent throughout the 2020s.

He argues the finding means the policies aren’t a cost.

“Our economy is going to grow, I don’t accept the characterisation that it’s a cost,” he told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.

“We are going to grow because we are going to move to a lower carbon pollution economy and there’s other aspects which means that we will grow, but the modelling has been done.”

But senior coalition minister Simon Birmingham says Mr Shorten’s comments about Dr McKibbin’s modelling are misleading, as the economist was clear his work “did not examine Labor policy”.

He pointed to modelling by climate change adviser Brian Fisher of BAEconomics, which found Labor’s emissions reduction target will cost $472 billion by 2030.

“Growth will be slower. That means fewer jobs, lower wages, for Australians under Labor’s policy,” Senator Birmingham told reporters in Canberra.

Dr McKibbin has called Dr Fisher’s work “highly credible”, the senator noted.

Mr Shorten earlier stressed it would be expensive not to address the changing climate, given natural disasters cost Australia $18 billion each year.

“There is a cost of not taking action,” he told ABC Radio Perth.

Not having a clear energy plan has also driven up power prices across Australia and prevented investment in power generation, he said.

Mr Shorten said Labor would allow companies to purchase offsets if they can’t meet their emission reduction targets through productivity changes.

But he doesn’t expect the cost to companies of needing to buy the offsets would be near $472 billion.

“I don’t accept that the price of buying international offsets is anywhere in that dimension.”

© AAP 2019

PM says no to govt Notre Dame aid fund

Scott Morrison has scotched the idea of having a government-backed Australian fund for people who want to help rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, saying the French can pay for it themselves.

As news of the destructive fire at the Parisian landmark broke on Tuesday morning, the prime minister reminisced about visiting it with wife Jenny nearly 30 years ago.

“It’s a pretty special place and to see it in flames today was just really sad,” he told Adelaide’s 5AA radio on Tuesday.

“Paris is an eternal city and it will rebuild and it will restore.”

Later, Mr Morrison was laughing off suggestions – first raised by his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull – the government should set up a charitable fund for people who wanted to donate to restoration efforts.

“I’m sure that President Macron is able to deal with this as is the Catholic Church and, if individual Australians want to do something, well, it’s a free country – they can do whatever they like,” he told reporters in the Victorian seaside town of Torquay.

“We’re not making a government fund.”

Mr Turnbull said there was precedent for establishing a charitable fund, along with a possible direct government contribution.

Earlier, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had no doubt many Australians would want to chip in.

“Absolutely, if money is going towards the restoration and Australians who want to contribute can, that is to be supported,” he told ABC TV.

Labor leader Bill Shorten noted the “brooding, gothic cathedral” had been an important landmark in the days before GPS when he visited Paris as a young backpacker, and again during early morning runs on a more recent visit.

“I think Australia should contribute to a restoration fund,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“Notre Dame doesn’t just belong to Paris or France, it belongs to the world. I think we, all of us who’ve enjoyed that architecture, that history, we too should perhaps rally around and help Paris and Notre Dame.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said an international campaign would be launched to raise funds for the cathedral’s rebuilding.

The massive fire gutted and destroyed the roof of Notre Dame, but firefighters say they have saved the shell of the stone structure from collapse.

© AAP 2019

Smith Collective rolls out red carpet for Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny is preparing to make his first visit to the Gold Coast’s newest landmark community as Smith Collective gears up for the annual celebration.

The country’s first build-to-rent development at Southport will host a free program of Easter-themed events during the school holidays, including arts and crafts, food decorating and the chance to be photographed with everyone’s favourite rabbit.

Residents and visitors are welcome to head to the $550 million development’s outdoor retail mall for the fun and games, with families expected to embrace the chance to not only meet the Easter Bunny but discover why Smith Collective is considered a game-changer for the Gold Coast.

Smith Collective Senior Retail & Marketing Manager Mel Kite said the Easter celebration was a taste of the community-minded events the development was set to become famous for.

“As well as reinventing rental, we are committed to ensuring Smith Collective is a lifestyle destination for all Gold Coasters,” she said.

“With loads of outdoor space and a rising number of traders opening their doors, both residents and visitors are getting to see the community come to life. Our Easter celebrations are another milestone in that evolution and families who decide to pop by are sure to have a ball.”

The Easter activities will run from 10am-1pm on Thursday 18 April and Saturday 20 April, with professional children’s entertainers to host face painting, arts and crafts (Thursday) and cookie decorating (Saturday).

Children will also be able to meet the Easter Bunny, who will be handing out chocolate eggs and posing for photos in his own special area.

Smith Collective aims to redefine the traditional rental process by forgoing individual landlords and offering residents many benefits of home ownership, including long-term security and the ability to paint walls and have pets.

The community will eventually be home to 2500 people across 533 one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments – 172 of which are accessible; 637 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments and 82 townhouses featuring three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

It will also feature an emerging retail and dining hub, with major supermarket chain Woolworths and retail giant BWS already securing tenancies.

For residential enquiries, please contact