Young Mercer thanks ‘Uncle Dean’ after World SUP title win

“Thank you for being with me Uncle Dean. I hope I made you proud.”

The niece of two-time Ironman champion Dean Mercer has paid an emotional tribute to her uncle after winning the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in Denmark.

Jordan Mercer took to Facebook overnight to say the title win was “for my family”.

It comes less than a week after her uncle died suddenly when he suffered a heart attack while driving in Mermaid Beach.


“Dean was an amazing husband and loving father who loved nothing more than sharing his and (wife) Reen’s love of life and love of the surf,” the family said in a statement following his death on Monday.

Jordan is the daughter of Ironman champion Darren Mercer, and is part of the Sunshine Coast surf life saving scene.

The 23-year-old was in Australia at the time of her uncle’s death, but encouraged by her family to go to Denmark to compete.

“I greeted Copenhagen Denmark with a broken heart and a broken board,” she explained on Facebook while thanking her team for pulling an ‘all nighter’ repairing the board.

A special service to remember Dean will be held at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre in Carrara on Friday.

All surf lifesavers are being encouraged to wear their club caps and uniforms.


Empty seats but LNP ready to roll if early State election called

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls is confident the LNP is ready for the next Queensland election, despite having no candidates in several seats.

Speculation is building that the Palaszczuk Government will call the upcoming State poll by the end of this week, with a number of key platforms likely to include issues affecting the Gold Coast.

Among the hot topics will be growing congestion on the M1 between the Coast and Brisbane, and the LNP’s idea of a bullet-train running from the tourist strip to Bundaberg.

The opposition is still finalising preselection in up to 10 seats but Mr Nicholls said they’re ready to go if an election is called quickly.

“Not only are we ready to fight an election, we’ve released over 40 policies, we are ready to govern in the interests of all Queenslanders,” he told reporters.

“I simply repeat the call to (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk, stop the uncertainty, stop what is occurring out there in Queensland with people wanting job security, and name the election date now.”

While the timing is still unknown, the political posturing between the parties is well under way.

The LNP’s announcement of a business study into a Very Fast Train network has been seen by many commentators as an early election promise.

The study aims to connect the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay with Brisbane in a high speed network of trains.

Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, called the proposal “fanciful” before pushing the Labor Government’s Cross River Rail Project, by announcing the start of preliminary works on Monday.

The project will create and upgrade high-capacity stations in Brisbane’s CBD as well as provide over 10km of new track through the city.

Ms Trad has called on the opposition to fully commit to the scheme.

Doctor Patient Cough

GC chronic flu season appears to be easing

The worst of the Gold Coast’s flu season, which has taken a heavy toll on workers and seen massive numbers of people asking for help at local hospitals, appears to be easing, however the Department of Health is still urging people to take precautions.

This year nearly 30,000 Queenslanders were struck down by the disease but Queensland Health Medical Director, Dr Heidi Carroll, said there are simple measures everyone can take to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

“Although the best defence is to be vaccinated, there are also practical steps we can all take that reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading the flu,” Dr Carroll said.

“Steps such as staying at home when sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, washing hands, seeing a GP, and getting vaccinated all reduce the risk.

“This week there have been 4,554 new notified cases of influenza throughout Queensland, which brings the total to 29,996 so far this year.

“This time last week we reported 4,749 new cases, although these weekly notifications subsequently increase as further test results come through. When compared to the same period in the previous week, figures have decreased.”

Some Gold Coasters are eligible for the government-funded influenza vaccine from their doctor or healthcare professional; those eligible are:

  • pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
  • persons 65 years of age or older
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 15 years of age or older
  • People six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

Otherwise you can get the flu vaccination from your doctor or some community pharmacies.

For more details phone 13 SICK (13 43 25 84).

Cricket Ball

Aussies need early wickets after falling to Bangladesh spinners in the first Test

Bangladesh goes into day three of the first Test against Australia with their foot firmly on the throat of the visiting team.

The Aussies crumbled under the pinpoint accuracy of a spinning attack which left one batsman after another walking back to the dressing rooms shaking their heads.

Three of our most experienced batsmen were dismissed in the first 12 overs yesterday with captain Steve Smith throwing away his wicket, clean bowled for 8 to leave his team staggering at 4-33.

However a 49-run partnership between Ashton Agar (41 not out) and Pat Cummins (25) salvaged some ground for Australia, eventually all out for 217.

We need early wickets on day three with Bangladesh resuming at 1 for 45 at Dhaka, a lead of 88.


Gold Coast mayor unveils new mangrove deck, paths at Broadwater Parklands

A NEW Mangrove Deck worth almost one million dollars has been unveiled at the iconic Broadwater Parklands.

The $770,000 project, jointly funded by the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast, features improved park space with a timber deck, new pathways, seating, shading, and dune restoration works.

Representing Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones Stirling Hinchliffe MP and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate opened the deck behind the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Monday morning.

Mr Hinchliffe said the project was delivered through the state government’s Embracing 2018 Legacy Program.

“It’s another great legacy that will leave a footprint long after the Games for residents and visitors to the Gold Coast,” he said.

“It highlights the environmental and cultural heritage significance of the mangrove wetlands and the interpretive elements will tell a story for future generations that visit the area.

“The Commonwealth Games is set to become one of Queensland’s greatest ever sporting success stories and I’m delighted to join Mayor Tate today to highlight the positive legacies that we will achieve for the Gold Coast well beyond the Games,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Mayor Tate said the project played an important part in “preserving the footprint and function of the mangrove wetlands and the indigenous history” at the site.

“It will improve the spectator experience during GC2018 which can then be applied to all the other events that this precinct hosts,” Cr Tate said.

The mangrove wetland – a functional, saltwater wetland home to a diverse range of flora, and a nursery, feeding and protected area for fish and crustaceans – was built as part of the stage one and two redevelopments at the parklands.

Artwork depicting local marine life by Indigenous artist Lisa Sorbie Martin is prominent throughout the precinct.

Mayor Tate said future plans for the Parklands’ eastern foreshore area included new seating, shade structures, informative signage, picnic and barbecue areas, furniture and trees.