Police Gold Coast

Brave police officers awarded top honours after Gold Coast pub shooting

A POLICE officer who was shot in the face by an armed robber during a hold up at a Gold Coast pub four years ago has been awarded top honours for his exceptional bravery.

Senior Sergeant Gary Hamrey was shot in the cheek at point blank rage after he and Senior Constable Stephen Cook chased and cornered two gunmen who just minutes earlier had held-up the Arundel Tavern.

Both officers were awarded Queensland’s top Police Valour Award for their exceptional bravery at a ceremony held in Upper Coomera on Wednesday.

Six other officers and courageous tavern employee Stacey Denman were also recognised for their bravery shown on the night of the 2013 robbery.

Ms Denman was awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding assistance throughout the terrifying ordeal.

She had only worked at the pub for nine days and used the iPhone emergency function to alert police.

Fellow officers Sgt. Gregory St Clair, Snr. Cons. Daniel Lukic, and Cons. Lachlan Knowles received a Bravery Medal.

Senior Sergeant Marc Kimber, Det. Snr. Sgt. Ian Armbruster, and Det. Snr. Cons. Julie Castle were all awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate for Notable Action.

Meanwhile, a further 13 officers and a police dog were awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate (Operational) for the way in which they handled the Broadbeach bikie brawl in the same year.

Commissioner Ian Stewart said all award recipients were of the highest calibre.

“Everyone presented with an award today shows the professionalism that is a hallmark of the QPS. Each of them should be justifiably proud of their service and the contribution they have made,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“It’s important we also acknowledge family and friends who provide our members with the essential support needed to perform our roles every day, who stand alongside all of us during both the challenging and the rewarding times.”

An extra six officers were issued the Queensland Police Service Medal for 10 years of diligent and ethical service, and special Clasps were presented to a dozen more for each additional five years of service.

Other awards to note included the Assistant Commissioner’s Certificate, awarded to Sergeant Danny Rahe and Constable Michael Mamaril for exceeding expectations in the execution of duty in an operational field.

The District Officer’s Certificate was awarded to Senior Constable Jeffrey Brier-Mills, Senior Constable Daniel Horne and Senior Constable Bev Ward for outstanding contributions to the delivery of policing services.

Eleven other officers and one client service officer were presented with the National Police Service Medal, while a further seven were awarded the National Medal.

Also awarded for their work in the force were Police Dogs Biff, Blitz, Ox, Robbie and Wizard and their handlers.

They each received the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association Canine Service Medal.

Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the recipients have a proven range of skills and attributes that enable Queenslanders to place their faith and confidence in their police service.

“Police perform a vital role in the maintenance of law and order, and public safety; and on behalf of the communities and the Palaszczuk Government, I am delighted to see officers being awarded,” Minister Ryan said.

“Their skills highlight courage, aptitude, boundless dedication and commitment, not only to their profession, but also to Queensland communities.

“They are a credit to the Queensland Police Service, to the community in which they serve, and to their family and friends.”


Dreamworld to take in Koalas ‘stranded’ within Coomera development

14 koalas, left stranded in Coomera as bulldozers set about destroying their habitat, will be taken in by Dreamworld.

The short-term solution has been rubber stamped by the Queensland Government, which is allowing the theme park to collect up to 25 of the marsupials from the wild as part of its captive breeding program.

The Coomera koala population is being threatened by a Stockland development, with at least 14 known to be in the area and essentially cut-off from their habitat corridor.

In a statement, Environment Minister Steven Miles said his department had issued a new bridging authority which would allow Dreamworld to collect male koalas from non-protected areas in South-east Queensland for its breeding program.

“Dreamworld currently has the ability to take females from the wild, but with spring on the way, it was important for the project to be able to capture males as well,” Mr Miles said.

“This means Dreamworld has the ability to take up to 25 koalas of both sexes into its program,” he added.

“Any koalas they take will be part of a valuable breeding program and Dreamworld will return the koalas, and any resulting offspring, to a suitable habitat in the area later on.”


PHOTO: © ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Dreamworld General Manager Life Sciences Al Mucci said the captive breeding program was part of a partnership with University of Queensland to explore new ways of protecting the genetic diversity of koalas in South-east Queensland.

“The bottom line is we cannot allow koalas to be lost when there are real prospects of protecting and securing their future as individuals and sub-populations,” Mr Mucci said.

“We need to think about how we manage and live with koalas if we want them to be around for the next generation.”

Nicole Taylor, spokesperson for the Coomera Conservation Group, said they were concerned about the fragmented pockets of koalas throughout South-east Queensland.

“The koalas at the Stockland site found themselves in this situation at the hands of humans due to development,” Ms Taylor said.

“Doing nothing means the koalas cannot disperse safely, and this would be akin to animal cruelty,” Ms Taylor explained.

“We have been calling on the State Government and the council to act now to ensure the koalas’ safety through rescue.

“So today’s news is a great step towards achieving a better outcome for these koalas.”

Bush Fire

Fire crews, council to conduct hazard reduction burn on the Gold Coast

RESIDENTS in and around Mudgeeraba are being told to keep their doors and windows closed on Tuesday while fire crews conduct a hazard reduction burn in the area.

The burn will take place at John Rogers Parklands and will be carried out by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in conjunction with City of Gold Coast.

QFES warns smoke may affect the immediate and nearby areas so residents are urged to keep their windows and doors closed during the operation.

Residents suffering from respiratory conditions should keep their medication close by.

Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions.

JB Hi-fi & Max Brenner to set up shop at Australia Fair

Major retail brands JB Hi-Fi and Max Brenner are preparing to open their doors at Australia Fair, as the iconic Southport shopping centre continues its $25 million revitalisation.

JB Hi-Fi, Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer, and Max Brenner, the international company responsible for creating a chocolate culture worldwide, are the latest tenants to join the new-look retail hub and are expected to begin trading by December.

JB Hi-Fi will be located next to Telstra on the ground floor, while Max Brenner will beckon shoppers to experience its custom sweet sensations at its café and dessert bar, situated by the Scarborough Street entry.

Australia Fair general manager Ramon Otten said the new tenants will enhance the Centre’s offering for shoppers, as upgrades to the ground floor modernised the mall and its exterior for a new generation of residents and visitors.

“We are thrilled to welcome JB Hi-Fi and Max Brenner – both household brands known and loved by Australian families – to Australia Fair’s retail family, at this very exciting time of our redevelopment,” Mr Otten said.

“With so many new retailers coming on board, we are in the throes of the evolution of our centre, with major works to both our interior and exterior creating a whole new look and feel for shoppers.

“It is certainly exciting to see the transformation progressing so well and we look forward to unveiling a vibrant and contemporary shopping experience ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Work is under way for the expansion of Coles into the former outdoor food court, with the new entrance opening early September and the grand unveiling of the new look Coles set to open before Christmas.

The exterior facelift is creating a contemporary facade for the retail, dining and entertainment complex, with the new structure to feature lighting and fresh signage bearing Australia Fair’s new branding.

Other new tenants joining Australia Fair’s exciting retail offering who have recently opened at the centre include Colette by Colette Hayman, Ted Ross, U Grill, Joy Stylist and Green Valley Butcher. Brazilian restaurant and bar The Grill House, Vintage Grind, Stella Saigon Street Food, Chikor, Wrap and Roll and LiquorLand are also set to open their doors over the next few months, while several existing traders are relocating or undergoing a fresh fit-out.

Stage one of the redevelopment project is expected to be completed by Christmas.

Hurricane Harvey Rockport Texas

Harvey the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years

UPDATE @ August 28 2017, 7:30am: At least five people are dead and more than a dozen are injured as Tropical Storm Harvey pummels south-east Texas.

More than 1,000 people have been rescued, with hundreds still trapped in cars and homes by floodwaters caused by unprecedented rainfall.

The National Weather Service advised that parts of Houston and just west of the city could receive 1270 millimeters (50 inches) of rain as Harvey stalls over Texas.

“This rain will lead to a prolonged, dangerous, and potentially catastrophic flooding event well into next week,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a statement.

Harvey slammed into Texas late on Friday as a category four hurricane with winds of 209 kilometres per hour. It is the strongest storm to hit the state since 1961.

The storm ripped off roofs, snapped trees, triggered tornadoes and flash floods and cut off power to nearly 230,000 people, mostly in the Houston area.

EARLIER @ August 27 2017, 5:55am: It was billed as the biggest storm to hit the US since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and Hurricane Harvey didn’t disappoint.

The 2005 storm was the country’s costliest natural disaster and claimed more than 1200 lives during impact and subsequent flooding.

So far, no deaths have been reported since Harvey made landfall on Friday night (local time), but as a category four, it is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years.

It hit about 48km northeast of Corpus Christi packing 209km/h winds, before slowly moving inland, dumping torrential rain which is expected to cause catastrophic flooding.

Up to 102cm to 127cm of rain is predicted.

1800 members of the military have been brought in to conduct search-and-rescue operations on the ground and by air.

They also will help with the subsequent clean up.