GC Laughs HOTA

Take a trip to the funny side with GC Laughs

GC Laughs has just announced their line-up, and it’s pure comedy gold. This brand-new festival promises a whole week of non-stop funniness from some of the biggest names in comedy alongside the next generation of up and coming talent.

GC Laughs is the brainchild of Festival Co-Directors Josh Armstrong and Craig Ivanoff who felt it was time the Gold Coast had a comedy festival of its own.

‘Most cities around the country stage a comedy festival, it’s a rite of passage for many a famous name to “tread the circuit” and audiences love discovering new talent before they are famous,’ said Josh.

This year’s diverse line up features big names like Ross Noble, Arj Barker and Stephen K Amos plus rising stars like Fern Brady, Rhys Nicholson and Becky Lucas.

GC Laughs Acts

Ross Noble, Arj Barker and Fern Brady | PHOTOS: GC Laughs Festival / HOTA

With support from HOTA for the next three years, the comedy festival will put the Gold Coast on the map as a major player on the comedy circuit and plans to become a cornerstone event on the Gold Coast’s cultural calendar.

We had a chat with Festival Co-Director Craig Ivanoff:

Why did you want to bring a comedy festival to the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the leading tourist destination in the country, making it a perfect location for world-class entertainment. The comedy scene here has gone from strength to strength over the last 5 years. We now have show’s most nights, the only thing that was missing is a big event to draw in the big acts, and big crowds. And it’s a privilege to bring it to an amazing venue like HOTA.

What’s special about seeing comedy live?

There’s definitely something uniquely special about live comedy. When you’re in a crowd of people, hyper-focused on the performer, the mood is infectious, and the result can be electric. The very nature of comedy means that comics often get to be provocative, to get people to think outside the box. The comedian engages with a different audience every night, an ever-changing unpredictable group of people who have come together to laugh, which makes it fresh and exciting. When the show ends, it can never be reproduced in exactly the same way again.

Who’s your top tip to see at the festival?

The Gala, hosted by Sammy J and Randy is definitely one of the hottest shows to see, with an amazing line-up of international and local acts. Helen Bidou’s show was hugely popular last year and was nominated for multiple awards, winning best show at the Sydney Comedy Festival. Having Daniel Sloss join us after dropping his two incredible Netflix hours is pretty special as well.

Check out the full program of events for GC Laughs at HOTA from 17-24 March, you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy.

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Syringe Needle

Decade-long study proves: no link between vax and autism

So, here’s the thing. The thing is, the dubious debate around vaccinations and their apparent link to autism (and related conditions) has been raging for years. For decades, even.

And it was all thanks to the infamous and now discredited former doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who peddled a fraudulent research paper related to just 12 children, which kicked off the conspiracy.

But now. Finally. This week, a new major study from researchers at Copenhagen’s Statens Serum Institute has confirmed that there is no link between autism and a childhood vaccine used by millions; the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The Danish study (published March 5), which looked at data on more than 600,000 children born between 1999 and 2010, shows that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism; nor does it trigger autism in susceptible children; and it is not linked with clustering of autism cases following vaccination.

To repeat: there is no link. None. Nada. Nothing whatsoever.

This is not new information. The Australian government has published countless fact sheets, like this one, that outline “how we know vaccination does not cause autism and where the misunderstanding came from”.

And yet, people continue to choose not to vaccinate their children due to these “risks”.

What about the other risks? The risks of your child contracting a life-threatening or life-ending disease?

Dr Rachel Heap is an intensive care specialist who works in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. After losing too many patients to preventable diseases – including many sweet babies who have died of whopping cough – she shared her insights:

“When your daughter gets rubella when pregnant, how are you going to explain that you chose to leave her at risk?

“What will you say when she calls you and tells you she has cervical cancer, because you decided that she wouldn’t need the HPV vaccine?

“What do you tell your son when he breaks the news to you that he cannot have kids, thanks to the mumps that he got as a teenager?

“And what do you say when he gives influenza to his grandma? How do you explain that she won’t be coming home from hospital? Not ever.

“Do you tell them that you didn’t think these diseases were that serious? That you thought your organic, home-cooked food was enough to protect them?

“Do you say sorry?”

The note went viral. With this new round of irrefutable research, we can only hope that an urge to vaccinate our children goes viral, too.

Premier calls for global giants to show their hand for second Gold Coast casino

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed the Queensland Government is pushing ahead with its plans for a Global Tourism Hub on the Gold Coast, which would likely include a second casino.

Today she will ask for registrations of interest for the “best proposal that would boost the tourism and entertainment offering for the city”.

Potential proponents will have until April to register their interest.

It follows intense backlash from a number of local residents as well The Star, who claims its $2 billion Broadbeach Masterplan is already the tourism hub for the city.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government would only approve a global tourism hub that delivered new entertainment venues, convention space, high end retail and dining and luxury hotels.

“This could be a game-changer for the Coast,”  Ms Jones said.

“As global tourism hubs are developing around the world we are seeing a greater focus on entertainment, high-end retail and convention centre markets, not gaming revenue.

“That’s why today I can announce we will cap the gaming footprint of any new development at five percent of gross floor area.

“We expect a Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub to create more than 6000 local jobs and attract an extra million tourists each year.

“We’ve already had strong interest from the global market since the decision was made in August 2017 to retain a casino licence on the Gold Coast – to build a new global tourism hub for the city.

“In fact, this has been talked about for more than six years and we are determined to get the best outcome for the Gold Coast.”

Ms Jones said to ensure that the Gold Coast community had a say on the design, scope and location the state government would establish a Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel to advise the government throughout the procurement process.

“We’re not going to say yes to anything that does not have the strong support of the Gold Coast tourism industry and broader community,” Ms Jones said.

“The Panel, chaired by prominent Gold Coaster John Witheriff will include representatives from City of Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport, local business and community.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the council was committed to working with the state government to deliver a quality new global tourism hub for this city.

“Today is a great day for the Gold Coast,” he said.

“While tourism continues to grow, unless we invest in new opportunities we risk losing market share.

“The previous state government created this casino licence to help Gold Coast reach our tourism potential.

“We’ve lobbied really hard to ensure the Palaszczuk Government honours this licence for the Gold Coast Community.

“We know a global tourism hub will support thousands of new jobs for Gold Coast and has the potential to take tourism to a whole new level.”

Mayor Tate said City of Gold Coast would work with the State Government to advise on suitable sites.

Gold Coast Suns Challenge Accepted

Gold Coast Suns young guns star in preseason win

The Gold Coast Suns have had a cracking win in their preseason, with a five-point victory over the Western Bulldogs last night.

An early few goals from the Suns saw them power ahead, setting a tone for the match at the Great Barrier Reef Arena, that the Bulldogs couldn’t quite catch.

While the Western Bulldogs dominated possession, the Suns held on for a close but sure 11.11 (77) to 10.12 (72) win.

The Suns’ fresh faces really sparked the side to victory, with Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine driving the forward line.

Meantime, the more experienced Anthony Miles, Jordan Murdoch and Sam Collins helped fight off a comeback from the Dogs.

The Suns’ Brayden Fiorini racked up 26 disposals, and Ben Ainsworth clocked up 21, both proving notable performances in the midfield.

The Gold Coast Suns will head to Lismore this weekend to take on the Sydney Swans at Oakes Oval.

Traffic Jam

Police launch investigation after truck crash triggered traffic chaos on the M1

UPDATE @ 06.45 March 1 | POLICE have confirmed they are investigating a truck crash that caused traffic chaos on the M1 around Beenleigh during peak hour on Thursday afternoon.

The driver was rushed to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with serious head injuries where he remains in a stable condition.

According to police, it’s believed the truck left the roadway and collided with a tree, blocking the lane.

Officers were forced to close the area for several hours while the Forensic crash Unit investigated but it has re-opened this morning.

Inquiries will continue.

EARLIER @ 5.20PM Feb 28 | A MAN has been rushed to hospital with severe head injuries following a nasty crash on the Gold Coast.

It happened in the northbound lanes of the M1 at Yatala just before 4.30pm.

It’s understood a truck crashed into an embankment near the off-ramp.

Smoke could reportedly be seen issuing from the truck following the crash.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said paramedics treated a man in his 60s at the scene.

He sustained head injuries and has been transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

The city’s High Acuity Response Unit also attended the scene and accompanied the man to hospital.

The crash has thrown the afternoon commute into chaos, with northbound lanes gridlocked for at least 10 kilometres between Beenleigh and Ormeau.