Tragedy as champion Aussie snowboarder drowns on Gold Coast

The sporting world is in mourning following the shock death of champion Australian snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, who drowned on the Gold Coast on Thursday morning.

The 32-year-old, a two-time world champion and three-time Olympian, was pulled from the water off 19th Avenue at Palm Beach around 10.30am.

It’s understood he was found unresponsive on the floor of the ocean whilst spearfishing alone at the artificial reef.

A police spokesperson told myGC lifeguards performed CPR on the man at the scene before Queensland Ambulance Paramedics arrived.

Despite desperate attempts by critical care paramedics, he sadly could not be revived and was pronounced deceased just after 11.00am.

“Police and QAS were called to the scene of where a diver was located off the artificial reef here at 19th Avenue,” Senior Sergeant Chris Tritton told reporters at the scene.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor where he raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in.

“QAS worked hard for quite a period of time and unfortunately were unable to revive him.”

Senior Sergeant Tritton said Pullin was not wearing an oxygen mask at the time.

“We understand he was free-diving and spearfishing out on the reef, so we will prepare a report for the coroner, who will investigate the cause of his death.”

Pullin appears to be an avid spear-fisherman and free diver, posting dozens of photos and videos of himself taking part in the activities on Instagram.

“Unreal day in the ocean! Whales singing & breaching all around us,” he posted just two weeks ago.

“Hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week”.

Pullin represented Australia at the 2010 Vancouver games and was the country’s flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

He grew up in Mansfield, Victoria and learnt to ski with his family when he was just 3-years-old, according to his website.

“At age 8, his parents who own and run a family ski/snowboard shop in Mansfield, gave him his first chance to step onto a snowboard. From there, he quickly fell in love with it and put as much time as he could into being out riding around his local mountain,” Pullin’s website biography reads.

Snow Australia has since released a statement, saying they’re shocked and saddened by Pullin’s passing.

“The Snow Australia community is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of triple Olympian, Alex Pullin, who today lost his life while spear fishing on the Gold Coast this morning,” the statement begins.

“Our deepest condolences are with Alex’s family, as well as his team mates and support staff. Alex was a beloved member of the Snow Australia community and he will be dearly missed.”

The Australian Olympic team described the 32-year-old as “an incredible athlete, beloved teammate and role model”.

“Three-time Olympian, Australian Flagbearer at Sochi 2014 and two-time World Champion. An incredible athlete, beloved teammate and role model, you will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace,” they tweeted.

Gold Coast surfer Mick Fanning has also taken to social media to pay tribute to his good friend.

“@alexchumpypullin was full of life! Always smiling and full of energy,” Fanning wrote alongside a series of images.

“He accomplished so much in his sport but the work that he put in and the dedication to his craft was second to none. I’ve never seen someone work as hard as Chumpy.

“In saying that his humbleness and joy for life was inspiring. Am honoured to have known him. Sending love to his family and his beautiful girlfriend @ellidy_ Where ever you are mate I know you’re making it better place. Much love 🙏🏼❤️”

 

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A report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

Investigations are ongoing.

Water Tap

Multiple Gold Coast suburbs set for water works, interruptions

A number of Gold Coast suburbs could be in for water interruptions today, with council carrying out various works around the city.

Currumbin residents may experience issues as crews work to repair a broken water main.

It’s the second day of work on those repairs, with homes along Tierney Drive expected to be affected.

While between 9.00am and 2.00pm today, Studio Drive in Pacific Pines may experience a water interruption.

Council is shutting down the water for a period of time so that a meter can be replaced.

Later tonight, there’ll also be a water shutdown in Labrador, part of a two day project that could affect homes along Dalton Street.

Residents could experience issues between 8.00pm and 5.00am both tonight and tomorrow night.

Also on the cards tomorrow is a couple of interruptions in Ashmore, which could affect residents along Heeb Street, Ashmore Road, Willamulka Avenue, Boree Street and Mulyan Place between 9.00am and 2.00pm.

Those works could continue into Friday as well.

For all the latest water works and alerts, click here.

Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Federal Minister lashes out at ‘weak’ and ‘heartless’ Qld Premier

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s been labelled ‘weak and heartless’ by a federal minister, after issuing fines to country pubs for COVID-19 breaches.

There are claims she’s treated regional Queenslanders differently to those in the southeast, after letting 30,000 protesters get off scott-free for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Agricultural Minister has lashed out at the state leader, claiming she should have done more to protect businesses that are now facing crippling $6,000 fines.

Minister David Littleproud says it’s weak of Premier Palaszczuk to just throw ‘her hands in the air, saying it is all a matter for the police’.

“The Premier’s actions show she’s prepared to treat regional Queenslanders differently to those in the south East.

“The Premier let 30,000 people protest in Brisbane with no penalty but lays into small country pubs going broke for a breach.

“People in Brisbane should know regional Queenslanders feel as though they’re second class citizens in our state.

“It’s heartless of the Premier to not even try and find a way to remove the fines on these small country pubs going to the wall due to COVID-19.

“I wrote to the Premier last week to take into account the tenuous nature of these regional pubs. I am still waiting for a response.

“What is needed here is a Premier who can see the punishment does not fit the crime and try to work it through to a solution.

“By abandoning the hard working country publicans, the Premier sends a signal that their business, the people they employ and the communities they serve, do not matter.

“Anyone can see that a fine of $6672 on a business that has been losing money hand over fist, due to COVID-19, could send that business under.

“And by not stepping up, the Queensland Premier reveals herself to be weak and heartless,” Minister Littleproud said.

Matthias Cormann announces retirement from federal politics

One of the Federal Government’s most senior ministers has announced he will be retiring from politics at the end of the year.

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann revealed the shock news in a statement on Sunday morning, confirming he has advised the Prime Minister of his decision.

“Having decided not to recontest the next election, I can confirm that I have advised the prime minister that the end of this year would be an appropriate time for an orderly transition in my portfolio,” Mr Cormann said in a statement.

“Before handing over the baton, there is another six months or so of hard work to be done in this job, to help manage a responsible transition out of this coronavirus induced crisis and to help finalise and set in train our five-year plan to maximise the strength of our economic and jobs recovery.”

Mr Cormann said in the meantime, he will continue to work with Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on the federal budget due to be handed down in October.

“So between now and the end of the year I will be working with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and all of my colleagues on finalising our July Economic Statement, our Budget in October and our half-yearly Budget update in December,” he said.

“Working with our team in the Senate, we will seek to secure the passage of all of our important reform legislation through the Parliament.”

Senator Cormann said “serving as a Senator for Western Australia and as the Australian Minister for Finance continues to be one of the greatest privileges of my life”.

“Having the opportunity to help shape the future direction of our country as part of a great team working to make our country even stronger, more prosperous and more resilient is a great honour.

“I love this job. Every single day I am giving it my all. I can honestly say that I have left nothing on the field.”

Mr Cormann, who has been Australia’s finance minister since 2013, finished by praising the Prime Minister and his Government.

“Making this decision has been made easier by the knowledge that the government of our country is in very good hands,” he said.

“Our Prime Minister leads a team that is stronger, more focused and more united than ever.”

It’s understood Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has been flagged as a potential replacement.

QAS Emergency Response Vehicle responding

Man in 60s hospitalised after scooter crash, Gold Coast

A scooter rider’s been hospitalised after a nasty crash in Varsity Lakes last night.

Emergency services rushed to the scene along Ferndahl Drive just before 7.00pm, following reports of the crash.

A man in his 60s was assessed briefly at the scene, before being taken to hospital for further treatment.

It’s understood he’d suffered abdominal injuries in the incident, with a critical care paramedic needing to be on board for his transport.

He’s believed to be in the Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.

No other injuries were reported.