Australia records its hottest winter on record

Australia has officially recorded its hottest winter on record, according to a new report released by the Climate Council.

The “Hot & Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter,” report shows the nation experienced its warmest winter ever, while more than 260 heat and low rainfall records were also broken throughout the season.

Climate Councillor and ecologist, Professor Lesley Hughes said Australia’s hottest winter in history was related to worsening climate change.

“Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,” Ms Hughes said.

“We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels.

“The current situation in which the government continues to not only delay real action to reduce emissions, but is actively supporting further development of coal-fired power is simply nonsensical.”

The report by Climate Council also found the country recorded the second driest June ever.

Crystal Meth

New study reveals alarming increase in Gold Coasters seeking treatment for ice

Alarming new data released by The Salvation Army has revealed a concerning increase in the number of people seeking help for ice use on the Gold Coast.

According to the study, the number of people needing help for amphetamine addiction on the Coast has more than doubled in the last five years, going from 16.7%  to 34.2%.

Operations Manager of The Salvation Army’s Drug and Alcohol Services Gerard Byrne says more and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of addiction and says the Salvos are struggling to keep up with the great need in the community.

“More and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of use,” Mr Byrne said.

“The Salvation Army is struggling to keep up with the great need in our community. People can be waiting from anytime between two to six weeks before they get the assistance they need.”

Mr Byrne says the problem will only get worse without further investment from state and federal governments to increase availability of treatment options.

He says mainstream drug and alcohol services cannot keep pace with demand and waiting lists are increasing daily.

“Ice is now readily available in towns and cities across Australia, which has caused an increase in usage. Its relatively cheap cost in comparison to other illicit substances has also fuelled demand,” Mr Byrne says.

“Governments need to place more resources into existing drug and alcohol services, which are bearing the burden of increased pressure on already stretched resources. This has created a situation that is tearing communities apart.”

If you or someone you know needs help with issues surrounding drugs, alcohol or gambling, The Salvation Army can help. For more information, visit salvos.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

Working Mum

Govt. initiative gets more than 800 unemployed Gold Coasters back to work

MORE than 800 unemployed or disadvantaged residents on the Gold Coast now have a job, thanks to a $10 million state government initiative.

The Palaszczuk Government’s successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work program has so far helped 840 Gold Coasters get back into the workforce and a further 206 have gone onto further training or returned to school.

The figures come as the program reaches a new benchmark of getting 10,000 people back to work across the state.

Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath said the government had invested $10.1 million for a total 85 projects.

“These projects offer tailored support to young people, mature age people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, and people from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds,” Mrs D’Ath said.

Mrs D’Ath said the figures showed Skilling Queenslanders for Work was making a real difference to people’s lives.

“Through these programs, job seekers are developing their skills that will ultimately help them stand out during the job application process and make a good start when they get an opportunity.

“It is wonderful to see Skilling Queenslanders for Work is producing fantastic outcomes for people in the Gold Coast region and across the state.”

Skilling Queenslanders for Work funds skills development, training and job opportunities for unemployed, disengaged or disadvantaged Queenslanders through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.

Applications for the next round of Skilling Queenslanders for Work funding closed at 5pm today.

Mark Ridout and the Rhythm

EXCLUSIVE: The stars who’ll face-off in the Gold Coast’s Battle of the Buskers competition

The iconic Buskers by the Creek event is returning to the Gold Coast this October, and myGC has been given the exclusive drop on which 11 Aussie musical stars will be performing in the event’s Battle of the Buskers competition.

The competition, to be held at Currumbin Creek Tavern on Friday 13 October will see the select artists in a play-off for the coveted Buskers crown and a slew of prizes worth over $10,000, including a paid spot on the Airlie Beach Festival lineup, and automatic entry to Bluesfest Busking comp.

“Selecting finalists this year was seriously tough. So much talent on the lineup caused ‘lively’ discussion amongst committee members!” said Festival Director, Cindy Jensen.

“Ultimately we are stoked with the 11 finalists. All are worthy and will indeed make for one hell of an entertaining battle on the 13th, so you should all definitely come cheer them on!”

myGC EXCLUSIVE: The 11 Finalists for 2017 Battle of the Buskers

  1. ELSKA – Gold Coast multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who mixes harp with the modern technology of a loop pedal creating music that feels contemporary, yet nostalgic.
  2. Joel James – Melbourne-based one-man-band who plays guitars, bass, ukulele, piano, synths and a 3-piece drum kit all in unison with his loop pedal.
  3. James Bennett – Newcastle-based performer who sings, and plays guitar, harmonicas and stomp box.
  4. Tessa Devine – Wollongong performer who uses looped guitar harmonies knitted with soprano harmonies to create an effect described as ‘magical’.
  5. Mark Ridout & The Rhythm – an uplifting and positive folk/reggae/funk act from Byron Bay, AU, sharing rousing songs inspired by love, nature and self discovery.
  6. Cecilia Brandolini – Sydney artist, originally from Byron Bay, who dazzles across multiple instruments – piano, violin, and of course ukulele – but has also honed that rarest talent of all; a style and voice of her very own.
  7. Liv Heyer -Gold Coast singer/songwriter who has won national music competitions, a variety of music awards and is globally recognised for her song-writing.
  8. The Heart Collectors – With soaring cello, intricate guitar, sparkling mandolin, banjo, and the occasional passionate strike of the tambourine, these four charismatic performers create synergy with a ‘Fleetwood Mac’ meets ‘Peter Paul and Mary’ inspired marriage of rock sensibilities and clean classical precision.
  9. Daryl James – Fusing gritty rock-blues with raw acoustic roots, and an undeniably funky undercurrent of ska and hip-hop, this Snowdonia artist is captivating, soulful and down to earth.
  10. Euphoria Under Fire – best friends with a love of music and entertaining. Coming together in 2014 in another friends back yard, the duo have spent the last 2 or so years playing wherever and whenever they can, from local competitions, busking, paid gigs, private and corporate events, music festivals and even a few local radio appearances…and loving every second of it!
  11. Mistram – Gold Coast-based team with strong, driving harmonies,with velvet vocals alongside dancing swells on the keys and intense guitar jams to create timeless classics for a genre not yet identified.

The final, 12th spot will be offered to the ‘Fan Finalist,’ which will see the artist with the most fan votes on the Buskers By The Creek event page battle it out for the Buskers crown.”

Voting for Battle Of The Buskers’ ‘Fan Finalist’ is open until 5PM on 1 October with all finalists performing at Currumbin Creek Tavern on Friday, 13 October.

Prison/Jail Man

Federal Government planning longer jail terms for pedophiles

The Federal Government is planning to crack down on pedophiles with a series of tough new laws.

People who prey on children would face longer jail terms, mandatory minimum sentences and stricter supervision after release.

There have been calls for a publicly accessible sex offenders register but the government won’t commit to making information about offenders available.

Independent Senator, Derryn Hinch, is fighting for people’s right to know.

“If you knew a pedophile lived down the road, you wouldn’t let your children go and play down there,” he said.

“The next step is getting this on the Council of Australian Government’s agenda.”

When asked about the pubic sex offender list Justice Minister Michael Keenan dodged the question saying it wasn’t a federal issue.

“We have a national database of sex offenders which can be accessed by law enforcement,” he said.

“But it would be up to the states if they want to have one which is accessed by the public, I’ve never been one to lecture the states about what they should and shouldn’t do.”

The Minister believes the minimum sentence for child sex offenders should be 25 per cent of the maximum sentence.

In Queensland, this would mean the minimum sentence for sexual assault would be 2.5 years behind bars.

Under the proposed laws there would be tougher fines for online companies which do not report abusive material.

The government hopes to have the legislation passed by the end of the year.