Children evacuated after smell of fire at community centre

70 CHILDREN were evacuated from the Labrador Community Centre this afternoon, after a burning smell was detected in the building.

Emergency services were called to the Nakina Street building, off Kumbari Avenue, shortly after 2.30pm.

Crews have since investigated the premises with thermal imaging devices and have failed to locate a source of the smell with no sign of any fire.

All of the children are safe and have been accounted for, although a small number are believed to be asthmatic. They are being monitored at the scene.

The occupants have been advised to thoroughly ventilate the building.

Thunder and lightning and hail, oh my!

WITH QUEENSLAND only half way through storm season, and already having experienced more than its fair share of severe weather, Suncorp Insurance is encouraging residents throughout the state to ensure they have adequate cover.

There are no denying severe thunderstorms in Queensland can cause serious damage – with rain, wind, lightning and hail being the worst offenders.

“Our customers have reported damage from rain entering their properties (33 per cent of storm claims), as well as wind (26 per cent of storm claims), lightning (19 per cent of storm claims) and hail (13 per cent of storm claims).” Suncorp Insurance spokesperson Melissa Cronin said.

“As we’ve seen all too frequently in Queensland over the past five years, flood and storms can cause devastating damage. Houses and homes can be completely destroyed in minutes – so it pays to ensure you’re covered.”

Research shows as many as eight in 10 Australians* are underinsured when it comes to their home and contents – a worrying statistic and something Suncorp Insurance would like to see changed for the better.

Mrs Cronin said with more storms predicted for Queensland over the coming months, it is vital that Queenslanders protect themselves, and their belongings.

“Insurance is about protecting yourself, your family and your belongings from the unexpected,” Mrs Cronin said, “But it’s important to ensure you have enough cover.

“If you are underinsured, it means that while you have paid for an insurance policy, a severe incident like a bad storm or flooding could leave you well short of what it takes to rebuild your home the way it was.

“Underinsurance is far too common amongst Australian households, and the impact can be particularly devastating for those who are in their later years, when it is simply too late to start from scratch again”, Mrs Cronin stressed.

“Sadly, we have come across people who have found themselves left with less than half of what it would have cost to rebuild their home, so that’s why we’re encouraging all Queenslanders to ensure they have adequate cover as part of their storm season preparation/maintenance.”

Suncorp Insurance’s top tips for avoiding underinsurance are:
(1) Understand your policy. Make sure you understand the insurance product you have chosen by carefully reading the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), and ensure it is right for you and your family. If you have any questions contact Suncorp Insurance on 13 11 55.
(2) Review the replacement value of your home and contents each year at renewal time, and adjust your cover accordingly. We all make changes to our home, and new purchases each year – ensure these are reflected in your insurance policy.
(3) Keep an inventory of all your belongings and their cost of replacement – ensure this matches up with your policy and your Sum Insured.

Hospital staff will resign if CEO is cleared: Local MP

MEDICAL STAFF at Gold Coast University Hospital will resign in light of a leaked report that the CMC is likely to clear the CEO Ron Calvert of official misconduct, says member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas.

In November 2013, Mr Douglas asked the Premier about the progress of an investigation into the hospital’s CEO.

This week, the Premier confirmed Queensland Health had referred the complaints to the CMC, but the Gold Coast Bulletin revealed that Mr Calvert was likely to be cleared of any wrong doing.

Mr Douglas said if this was the case, many more senior medical staff would walk out the door, following the resignations of all directors of all major departments, from the medical superintendent down, in 2013 – including the director of radiology who resigned in the new year.

“Just because the CMC leaked the verdict that says the hospital CEO has not done anything they think is illegal, does not mean what Mr Calvert did was right,” Mr Douglas said.

“Such outcome will see many more senior medical staff resign.”

“It says much of what is wrong in the Gold Coast University Hospital when it appears that a hospital administrator can oversee all manner of disasters and not be held to account for these.

“If the offensive contracts that the Health Minister champions as the greater solution to future staff employment in Queensland Health were not bad enough, this outcome of the CMC is probably the icing on the cake.

“If the strategy is to deplete the new hospital of senior medical and nursing staff to complement the fact the hospital is 350 beds short of what it should have been, then the Health Minister and Hospital CEO will have achieved the ability to produce endless budget surpluses from the hospital budget.

“It’s easy to produce medical budget surpluses when you don’t treat patients fully. Just having patients pass through accident and emergency at the hospital is not fully treating a person.

“The standards required at a major hospital administration in Queensland are high and the hospital CEO’s performance has not reached that level.

“Hospital staff are now voting with their feet. Patients don’t have that option.”

Push for speed camera on Hinkler Drive

ANOTHER fixed speed camera could be rolled out to deter offenders from one of the Gold Coast’s worst speeding hot spots following calls from concerned residents.

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP is lobbying for a fixed speed camera to be introduced on Hinkler Drive at Worongary to allay residents’ fears of a serious accident.

“Residents have told me they’re worried about speeding motorists on Hinkler Drive who often use the road to avoid the Pacific Motorway,” Mr Douglas said.

“I’ve asked the Police and Emergency Services Minister to urgently consider a camera to deter speeding motorists.

“Gold Coast City Councillor Glenn Tozer also shared his concerns with me, particularly given the volume of offences recorded on the road.

“I’ve heard that residents in the area have been the target of aggressive drivers who break the 50 km speed zones and put the lives of others at risk constantly.

Mr Douglas said residents were also concerned about the number of heavy vehicles using Hinkler Drive as a bypass to the motorway, causing a large amount of carbon monoxide in the local neighbourhood.

“The area has been described by the local media as the city’s worst speeding hot spot since it opened in 2007.

“I am also seeking the assistance of Nerang Police for increased speed monitoring and enforcement in the area.”

Surf and ink a highlight in Broadbeach

This year’s SURFn’ink tattoo festival has come at the height of the bikie crackdown, with a strong police presence expected.

Officers will be on the look out for people with connections to criminal motorcycle gangs.

The event starts tomorrow, just days after new tattoo licensing laws came into effect, at an annual cost of more than $1,100.

SURFn’ink will celebrate its fifth year at the Gold Coast Convention Centre with a three day festival
featuring an A-list of tattoo artists from Australia and around the world.

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event which features tattooists, tattoo competitions, rockabilly and rock’n’roll bands, guest appearances by Angry Anderson and Dean Vegas, pro-wrestlers, Miss SURFn’ink pageant, art fusion and industry related displays.

To ensure tattoo industry operators are abreast of Queensland’s recently introduced tattoo industry laws
and the assessment process, Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading will hold a free seminar at the
SURFn’Ink Festival tomorrow evening at 7pm.

The seminar will cover details of who needs to apply and everything that people inside or hoping to enter
the industry will need to know. The presentation will be delivered by Peter Reinhold, Director Business
Services Division at the Office of Fair Trading.

SURFn’ink organiser Lindsay Hall said the Office of Fair Trading seminar will be an opportunity for those working
in the industry to hear first-hand what the new laws entail and how artists can ensure that when the licensing
deadline comes into effect from 1 July, they have ticked all the necessary boxes.

“We are pleased to host the Office of Fair Trading for this seminar as there are so many myths and rumours
circulating within the industry right now. This will give everyone the chance to hear about the laws and their
obligations come July.

“SURFn’ink attacts one of the biggest gatherings of tattoo artists in the country and many tattooists from
interstate and overseas are keen to find out how these laws will affect them when they come to Queensland for
events such as ours.

“These regulations are unheard of in other countries around the world. International artists especially need to be
assured they are still welcome to come to Australia to tattoo at festivals and events,” said Lindsay.

The Office of Fair Trading has outlined that tattoo parlour operators will need to apply for a licence to run their
businesses before June 30. They are urging people within the industry not to delay their applications as existing
operators will face closure if they have not applied by the deadline.

From July 1 the new licensing laws will make it illegal to operate a tattoo parlour without a licence, carry out body
art tattooing without a licence or permit or employ a tattooist who does not have a licence or permit.

Once a licence application is received it will be assessed by the Office of Fair Trading. The assessment will include screening by the Queensland Police Service to ensure no links to criminal motorcycle gangs. Operators who apply by the deadline will be able to continue operating while they are assessed.

For more information on the new laws visit www.qld.gov.au/tattoolicensing.