Storms force Gold Coasters to spend night without power

6am UPDATE: Thousands of Gold Coast homes and businesses remain without power this morning, following yesterday afternoon’s severe thunderstorm.

Gusty winds and heavy rain swept across the region between 4pm and 5.30pm, knocking out power to more than 16,000 properties.

Energex has managed to restore electricity to most areas overnight, but 2,999 still remain in the dark, with Varsity Lakes, Tallebudgera and Burleigh the areas most affected.

Early on Monday forecasters were predicting the Gold Coast would be in for a battering come the afternoon and at 3.52pm dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Coolangatta.

Wind gusts of up to 94km/h were recorded at Amberley RAAF Base.

The wild weather led to delays of up to one hour on the Gold Coast, Beenleigh and Airport train lines.

By 5pm 16,300 local properties were without power and the SES had received 55 calls for assistance.

42mm of rain was recorded in 10 minutes at Slacks Creek and Highvale, with Underwood inundated with 39mm.

The Gold Coast Seaway has received 14mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

Police seek information about Surfers assault

Gold Coast police are again seeking assistance from the public in relation to an assault that occurred in Surfers Paradise on October 13, 2013.

Around 2.30am, two men aged 25 and 26 years were in a licensed premises in Cavill Avenue when they were each struck in the face by two men holding beer bottles. It’s believe the attack came without warning.

The men were also punched and assaulted a number of times before the offenders fled the scene.

Police believe that the three men pictured will be able to assist them with their investigations and are yet to identify them.

The men pictured or anyone who may know them are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Policelink on 131 444.

Victorian bikies face Southport court

UPDATE – Five interstate bikies arrested for allegedly meeting on the Gold Coast are expected to spend around six weeks behind bars after facing court today.

Officers from Taskforce Maxima arrested the group yesterday morning after investigations identified three members of the Hells Angels and two members of the Comanchero CMG, Victorian Chapters.

The investigations included the execution of search warrants at the alleged offender’s accommodation.

The five men were each arrested on charges under Section 60A of the Criminal Code – “Participants in criminal organisation being knowingly present in public places.”

A 30-year-old man from Dandenong in Victoria, believed to be Sergeant at Arms of the Melbourne Chapter of the Hells Angels Criminal Motorcycle Gang (CMG), was among those detained.

A 31-year-old man, believed to be a prospect member of Melbourne Chapter of the Hells Angels CMG, and a 29-year-old alleged patched member of the same chapter were also arrested, as were two alleged members of the Hallam Chapter of the Comanchero CMG, aged 30 and 23.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said it is important for gang members to understand the new Queensland legislation targets criminal associations regardless of where their home base might be.

“These actions send a clear message to interstate of members of criminal gangs – come to Queensland and commit offences and you will be arrested.

“These actions clearly reflect the QPS on-going commitment to disrupting the criminal activities of these gangs, with the goal of driving them from Queensland,” he said.

Geoff the vet crosses the finish line in Antarctica

Gold Coast Veteranarian Geoff Wilson has successfully completed his latest hair raising mission, raising money for the McGrath Foundation.

Geoff the Vet has crossed the vast expanse of Antarctica, tethered to a coloured kite and dragging what has become known as the “boob sled”.

He has posted on his Facebook page that he has completed his 3300-kilometre expedition to cross Antarctica solo and unassisted.

Geoff set off from the South African end of Antarctica on November 13 and was four days in when a ”very frightening storm” with 70-knot winds convinced him he would never finish.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald ”in the first 14 days I spent seven days stuck in the tent.” Then came the glacier – a 3000-metre climb over 200 kilometres. ”The sled is 180 kilos full of food and fuel and kites and skis. I had to split the sled into two loads. To cover six kilometres, you’d walk 18 during the day. You’d go up with one load, come back, drag another load up and do it all again the next day.”

Wilson’s Pink Polar Expedition has raised almost $200,000 for the foundation, which cricketer Glenn McGrath founded with his wife Jane before she died of breast cancer in 2008.

Geoff told the 5th Element Expeditions “final credit must go to my amazing wife Sarah – who on many nights, would break things down simply, provide loving support, advice and sound counsel on the sat phone.  At multiple points when I felt I couldn’t go on, or had entered a cul-de-sac or dead end, Sarah would from afar know her man well enough to refocus and redirect my energies so that I found the strength to proceed. For my family – I am glad the stress is over and that I am homeward bound”.

He also paid tribute to local Journalist Kate Carlyle who was first diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago.  Mr Wilson said “I caught a glimpse of what you have endured for 4 long years, I have an understanding of the Breast Cancer journey now.  I am committed to the great work that the McGrath Foundation do for women like yourself and can only say that I hope I carried myself across this vast continent with a tithe of the grace and strength that you have shown in battling this disease.  My good friend, I am glad both our treks are coming to a successful close”.

Tomorrow Geoff will transfer to Union Glacier and then head home to the Gold Coast.  He has not ruled out future challenges.

Ladies Day sets pace for Magic Millions

The Magic Millions Carnival has been launched in style with Ladies Day at the Turf Club being dubbed a huge success.

Race-goers braved Saturday’s high temperatures to fill the Club’s new multi-million dollar facilities to capacity.

Grant Sheather, CEO, Gold Coast Turf Club said the success of the event has set the pace of a building Magic Millions vibe on the Coast this week.

“Ladies Day was party day for many locals who made the most of the opportunity to dress in their best and to enjoy the luxurious facilities that have taken the club’s ability to cater for special events to an unprecedented level,” said Mr Sheather.

“The event also recognises the highly important role women play in racing, consistent with Katie Page-Harvey’s outstanding Magic Millions Racing Women initiative.

Congratulations to Kacey Lloyd (Best Dressed Filly), Shirley Croft (Best Hat), Kall Burns (Best Dressed Stallion) & Lisa March (Best Dressed Mare) who were all recognised for their style on the day.

The Club now looks towards its biggest raceday of the year next Saturday, the Jeep Magic Millions Raceday.