Prison Cell Hands

Gold Coast teen jailed over ‘cold blooded’ murder of grandfather

A young Gold Coast woman has been sentenced to a minimum of 21 years behind bars for the “cold blooded” stabbing murder of her grandfather.

Brittany Dwyer was just 19-years-old when she and her co-accused Bernadette Burns, drove from Queensland to Adelaide to rob 81-year-old Robert Whitwell of his life savings last year.

Dwyer was given a non parole period of 21 years in South Australia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday, while Burns was given a non-parole period of 13 years.

During sentencing, Justice Kevin Nicholson said the murder was ” brutal, callous, cold-blooded and dispassionately planned.”


1029 Hot Tomato

1029 Hot Tomato nominated for Queensland Homicide Victim’s Support Group Award

Whenever there is a sausage sizzle at a 1029 Hot Tomato event, the money raised is more often than not donated to the Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group (QHVSG).

The not-for-profit organisation provides specialist support to the families and loved ones left behind after homicide, including to partners, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, work colleagues, classmates, friends and communities.

1029 Hot Tomato has supported the organisation over a number of years, and it’s something QHVSG want to recognise.

This year, the Gold Coast radio station has been nominated for The Mitchell Ferrario Compassion in Media Award which will be presented at the QHVSG  ‘Annual Night of Recognition and Christmas Celebration’ .

In the nomination, QHVSG wrote:

“1029 Hot Tomato on the Gold Coast have been an incredible support to QHVSG over the past few years. They have helped us raise thousands of dollars by having us along at many of their public events, paying us to hold barbecues for their listeners and allowing us to raise awareness for the organisation.

“The staff have been so supportive of our cause, promoting us on air and on their social media pages, giving us exposure to thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t know that our organisation exists.

“Hot Tomato are also happy to promote QHVSG’s events on air and on their community page, when some other media outlets wouldn’t.

“Each time the radio hosts have contacted us for interviews, they have done so with such compassion, knowing that homicide is a very delicate subject, but also knowing that awareness needs to be raised. The hosts and promotions team have always being so caring, warm and genuinely kind.

“The money that Hot Tomato has helped us raise will make a phenomenal difference to our members, and the positive impact from the awareness they have raised for QHVSG has been just incredible.

“Thank you, Hot Tomato. I don’t think any of you realise the significant difference that you continue to make to our organisation.”

Other awards presented on the night include:
The Damian Leeding Compassion in Police Award (sponsored by Julie Waters and Family)
The Brad Lees Compassion in Service Award (sponsored by the Sutton family)
The Jody Galante Future Trail Blazer Award (sponsored by Jody Galante’s family)
The QHVSG Volunteer of the Year Award

Voting is now open for all of the awards, with the Gold Coast public encouraged to help decide the winners by voting on Facebook.

GC2018 Commonwealth Games medals revealed!

A spectacular set of medals for next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has been unveiled!

The medals were designed by Queensland-based Indigenous artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins and were created by the Australian Mint.

There will be approximately 1,500 medals produced for the Games and each medal will be minted in Australia’s largest coin press.

GC2018 Comm Games Medals. Supplied GOLDOC

Commonwealth Games Ambassador Sally Pearson was the first athlete to view the medals and said it was a very humbling experience.

“Medals are symbols of success and we aspire to have them,” she said.

“Having the opportunity to strive for a gold medal from a Games in my own hometown is very special.”

Ms Cockatoo-Collin’s influence for the design of next year’s medal comes from the Gold Coast coastline.

She explained, “the medal design represents soft sand lines which shift with every tide and wave”.

Watch the video below to find out how these medals are uniquely Gold Coast.

There are only 150 days to go until the Commonwealth Games starts and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the unveiling of the medals is another important step towards opening night.

“We are sure this event is going to be a Games to remember and it’s only fitting the athletes that will be awarded these medals are going to have a beautiful memento of their time on the Gold Coast,” he said.

Beach Bag

Greens propose four extra public holidays including State of Origin Day

How would you like an additional four public holidays per year, including one on State of Origin Day? Well that’s what the Queensland Greens are promising if they’re selected at the upcoming state election.

Michael Berkman, Greens candidate for Maiwar says Queenslanders deserve the extra break.

“Everyday Queenslanders are working longer and harder while wages are stagnant and corporate profits soar,” Mr Berkman said.

“This is not just about an extra barbecue or trip to the beach.  This is about ensuring everyone can enjoy more time with loved ones, volunteering or building community.”

The extra holidays the Greens are proposing include State of Origin Day, International Women’s Day, National Parks and a day of significance for First Nations communities in Queensland.

“The Queensland Greens would consult widely on the extra public holidays,” Mr Berkman said.

“At least one of the extra days off would fall between Queen’s Birthday in early October and Christmas Day on 25 December where there are currently no public holidays at all.”

‘It’s not a theme park’: Tourists to be banned from climbing Uluru from 2019

THE indigenous owners of Uluru will ban visitors from climbing the sacred rock from October 2019, saying it’s not a theme park like Disneyland.

Around 300,000 visitors make the trip to the red centre to see Uluru each year, but only 16 percent of visitors made the climb between 2011 and 2015.

In a historic decision, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board of management today unanimously decided to permanently close the park on October 26, 2019.

The decision was made in line with the 2010-2020 Management Plan, which required one of three preconditions to be met, including the proportion of visitors climbing falling below 20 percent.

The impending closure date is also significant, marking the 34th anniversary of Uluru being handed back to Anangu, the traditional owners of the sacred site.

Uluru traditional owner and board chairman Sammy Wilson said simply that it was time.

“We’ve talked about it for so long and now we’re able to close the climb. It’s about protection through combining two systems, the government and Anangu,” Mr Wilson said.

“We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity.

“This decision is for both Anangu and non-Anangu together to feel proud about; to realise, of course, it’s the right thing to close it.

“The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let’s come together; let’s close it together.”

“If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don’t enter or climb it, I respect it. It is the same here for Anangu.”

Mr Wilson said that the climb may close, but Anangu believed it would open up more opportunities for partnerships with traditional owners, based on true cultural experiences for visitors.

Director of National Parks Sally Barnes, also a member of the Board, said the date October 26 was hugely significant to Uluru’s traditional owners.

“We’ve chosen the date of 26 October 2019 to close the climb permanently as it is a date of huge significance to Anangu,” Ms Barnes said.

“On 26 October 1985 Uluru and Kata Tjuta were handed back to Anangu after many years of hard work by elders.

“We’ve always committed to giving the tourism industry at least 18 months’ notice.

While there has been a significant reduction in the numbers of people wanting to climb, to less than 20 percent, today we’ve got many alternative activities on place on the ground that people can enjoy instead of climbing.

“This includes experiencing Uluru’s culture – for which we’re World-Heritage listed.

“To come and learn from Anangu about their culture is one of the most memorable experiences for many of our visitors.

“On a personal note, to be part of this moment of Australian history, is an enormous honour.

“We’re looking forward to a future where we can all work together to protect culture and country as we should do, while continuing to provide visitors with fulfilling experiences based on the parks unique cultural and natural attractions.

“This is a significant moment for all Australians and marks a new chapter in our history. It clearly says we put country and culture first when managing this place for all Australians and our visitors from around the world.”