Rebels bikies arrested following cross-border drug blitz

POLICE from NSW and Queensland have closed a cross-border drug trafficking operation targeting the criminal activities of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang.

Last November, detectives from Ballina Police Station commenced an investigation into an alleged drug supply operation involving members of the Rebels’ Ballina Chapter.

Police inquiries indicated that members and associates of the gang were trafficking drugs from NSW over the border into Queensland where they were being sold to buyers on the Gold Coast.

Ballina Detectives contacted officers in the Queensland Police Force’s Taskforce Maxima, who immediately joined the investigation and began to closely examine the gang’s activities on the Gold Coast.

Today, police executed a number of search warrants in NSW and Queensland, resulting in a number of arrests and the seizure of illicit drugs, firearms and weapons.

Police arrested a 31-year-old Bangalow man in New South Wales after allegedly seizing a quantity of amphetamines valued at $14,000. It is alleged the man is a patched member of the Rebels Criminal Motorcycle gang and Vice President of the Ballina chapter.

He was charged with being a participant in a criminal organisation and being knowingly present in a public place, two counts of drug trafficking with circumstance of aggravation (VLAD Act), one count each of possessing dangerous drugs with circumstance of aggravation (VLAD Act), possessing instructions for producing dangerous drugs, possessing house breaking tools and driving under the influence of drugs and five counts of disqualified driving.

A 19-year-old man from Carrara, was arrested and charged with being a participant in a criminal organisation and being knowingly present in a public place. It will be alleged this person is a participant of the Rebels Criminal Motorcycle Gang.

The offenders are due to face Southport Magistrates Court later today.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said the arrests were a result of both police agencies working in close collaboration.

“This operation clearly reflects the ongoing co-operation between Queensland and New South Wales Police. Both agencies work closely to target the activities of criminal motorcycle gangs,” Detective Inspector Smith said.

“These gangs attempt to exploit state borders in an attempt to hamper law enforcement efforts but the success of this operation obviously illustrates law enforcement work together to successfully target their criminal activity regardless of where they live and operate.

“These actions clearly reflect the Queensland and New South Wales Police commitment to disrupting and eliminating the criminal activities of these gangs.”

Investigations are continuing and additional arrests are expected throughout the day.

Cut Snake to cut loose at Sail Paradise Regatta

EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the Southport Yacht Club’s Sail Paradise Regatta.

Brisbane multihull sailor Rob Dean has declared he’ll be racing his 12-metre catamaran “Cut Snake” at the March event.

Apart from looking forward to some great racing against a fleet comprising both multihulls and monohulls, Dean is planning to use the regatta as part of his preparation for the 50th Brisbane to Gladstone multihull race, which will start on Moreton Bay on Good Friday.

“Everything about Sail Paradise is perfect for us,” Dean said while working on his boat on the hardstand at Coomera.

“The timing is right, and the racing promises to give us everything we need as we prepare for the Brisbane to Gladstone,” he added.

Rob has contested three Brisbane to Gladstone races with Cut Snake and last year his efforts were fully rewarded when the yacht took handicap honours in the 308 nautical mile classic.

Sail Paradise 2014 is open to racing and cruising monohulls, multihulls and off-the-beach sailboats.

Luxury boats destroyed in Marina Mirage fire

THREE luxury yachts moored outside Marina Mirage in Main Beach have been destroyed by fire.

Crews were called to the scene next door to Palazzo Versace on Seaworld Drive around 3am on Wednesday to find the vessels well involved.

Six fire crews sprayed fire-proof foam in the water to stop the flames spreading and managed to extinguish the existing fires.

The cause of the fires is unknown and Police are trying to track down the owners of the boats.

No one was injured.

Peter Andre confirms engagement

YOU can say this for Peter Andre, he doesn’t scare easily.

The Gold Coast raised singer-turned-reality star has announced he’s heading down the aisle – again.

The 40-year-old’s decided to make an ‘honest woman’ out of his babymama, Emily MacDonagh, 23, reports OK Magazine.

Andre confirmed the good news as he showed off his newborn baby daughter in a shoot for the British rag, revealing he popped the question in the nursery room at his family home before the baby arrived earlier this month.

Emily was completely shocked by the proposal but immediately accepted.

‘He always said he’d like to do it before the baby was born and I just thought he’d do it after – I was happy, I didn’t need a ring, but it was amazing,’ she says.

Peter adds, ‘She said: “Are you serious?” and burst into tears – it was so emotional. We lay down in the nursery for ages because it was such a special room to us.’

The baby girl, whose name is yet to be revealed, is his first child with Emily. Peter is also father to Junior, eight, and Princess Tiaamii, six, with ex-wife Katie Price.

Queensland state schools to share in $131m

THE NEWMAN Government has unveiled a bold new plan to lift student outcomes and ensure that Queensland is among the top performing states in literacy and numeracy in Australia by 2020.

Premier Campbell Newman and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek today announced that a funding boost of $131 million would be provided to all Queensland state schools in 2014 through the Great Results Guarantee.

Mr Newman said that the majority of funding would be directed towards the early years of school, which research indicated was the key to achieving better outcomes.

“Queensland has a real opportunity to target funding where schools need it most and the Great Results Guarantee will do just that,” Mr Newman said.

“Queensland’s education system needs to be at the top of its game in order for the state to be able to innovate and rise to the challenges of tomorrow.

“By building a solid learning foundation, we can maximise student results and achieve this.

“The annual funding will come with a guarantee that every Queensland state school student will either; achieve the National Minimum Standard for literacy and numeracy for their year level or have a plan in place to address why they might be falling behind.

“These guarantees will be published on every school’s website, and we want parents and the school community to have input into these targets. Engaged school communities will only strengthen outcomes in the classroom.”

Mr Newman said Queensland simply could not rest on its laurels any longer and allow students to progress through school with mediocre levels of literacy and numeracy and overall achievement.

“The Great Results Guarantee will make a real difference on the ground in schools and contribute to this government’s wider school improvement agenda to achieve better student outcomes,” he said.

Mr Newman said the investment was the result of the Abbott Government’s $794 million Students First – A fairer funding agreement for schools initiative to be delivered over the next four years.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said all state schools would receive their current level of funding plus a share of the $131 million.

“Every school will be better off under this plan,” Mr Langbroek said.

“There will be extra investment in the early years, which we know will achieve the best long-term results, by tackling poor literacy and numeracy before it’s too late.

“This is not a quick fix or a short-sighted media stunt like we have seen in the past from previous state and federal governments.

“The Great Results Guarantee will provide a safety net to capture students who are falling below the National Minimum Standard for literacy and numeracy and also prevent our high performing students from sliding backwards.

“It is an investment in Queensland’s future.”

For more information on the Great Results Guarantee go to www.education.qld.gov.au/resultsguarantee.