WATCH: Aussie couple Hamish & Zoe Blake star in new “City Escapes” tourism campaign

Aussie funny-man Hamish Blake and his equally hilarious wife Zoe-Foster-Blake are helping to lure Aussies back to major cities across the country, including the Gold Coast, as part of a new Tourism Australia campaign.

The City Escapes campaign, which is the latest iteration of the Holiday Here This Year campaign, aims to drive visitors back to cities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said every Australian should do their “patriotic duty” and take a holiday in Australia this year.

“Every dollar spent on a holiday in Australia is a dollar that supports a tourism job and business and helps support our wonderful tourism sector,” Mr Tehan said.

“So now is the time to book a holiday to explore one of our major cities, and experience the worldclass accommodation, attractions, dining and culture on offer.”

With international borders closed until at least June, Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said it’s our cities that are continuing to bear the brunt.

“While our international borders remain closed and travel restrictions continue to fluctuate around the country, our cities run the risk of continuing to bear the brunt of this pandemic despite offering so many incredible, safe experiences and being more affordable than ever,” she said.

“As part of this campaign we are calling on Australians to help support their fellow Australians by booking a city escape, which in turn will help to support the thousands of city-based hotels,
restaurants, bars, cultural attractions and experiences that rely on tourism for their livelihoods.”

Hamish and Zoe, who are the faces of the campaign, are encouraging Aussies to explore all that our country has to offer.

“We have such a unique collection of clean, safe, beautiful cities with lots in common with each other but a vibrancy that’s unique to each city. We’re extremely lucky,” the pair said.

“There is always a café, shop, pasta spot, or small business just around the corner waiting to give you a memory you weren’t expecting.

“And at the moment our cities are full of Australians! And that gives travelling such a unique vibe right now that we may never feel again, it’s like a big family holiday wherever you go.”



Storm Gold Coast

Gold Coast missed the worst of SEQ storms, but more to come

It’s been a wild night of storms across the southeast but the Gold Coast managed to avoid the worst of it.

Large cells passed over the hinterland and northern suburbs late yesterday afternoon, before a little bit of rain fell overnight.

Since 9.00 am yesterday, less than 10 millimetres fell in areas around the Gold Coast.

While up the road in Logan, some areas saw massive amounts fall within just half an hour.

Greenbank copped the worst, recording 74 millimetres during the height of storm activity.

We’re being warned that we’re not out of the stormy woods just yet, with more action on the way today.

The Bureau is forecasting a high chance of showers around the Gold Coast this morning, becoming less likely throughout the afternoon and evening.

There’s a chance of a thunderstorm around as well.

A shower or two is expected tomorrow as well, but the chance of storms will have passed. We can look forward to mostly sunny conditions on Friday.



Blood Donation

22,000 blood donors needed as elective surgeries dry up supplies

The Red Cross Lifeblood is in desperate need of thousands of donors, with stocks on various blood types running low.

Around 22,000 blood or plasma donors are needed over the next fortnight alone.

In particular, blood types O-, A-, A+ and B- are all running low.

The shortage is due to the sharp increase in elective surgeries, with hospitals tackling the backlog from the coronavirus pandemic.

Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone says there are also fewer people actually donating blood.

“Hospital demand is up 7 per cent compared to this time last year and we have around 10,000 fewer people donating now than we saw at the peak of the pandemic.

“We need more donors to roll up their sleeves to ensure fridges are well stocked. We have 22,000 extra appointments to fill during the next two weeks.

“Even if you don’t know what blood type you have, we still need you – we need all blood types every day.

“31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.

“As we continue to ride the wave of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that blood and plasma donations continue,” Ms Stone said.

For more information or to book a donation call 13 14 95, visit or download the free Donate Blood app

QAS Emergency Response Vehicle responding

Motorcyclist suffers serious injury in Gold Coast crash

A motorcyclist has suffered multiple injuries after a nasty crash in Palm Beach last night.

Emergency services were called to Palm Beach just before 6.00 pm, following reports of the incident.

It’s understood the motorbike crashed along Palm Beach Avenue, with no other vehicles involved.

A man in his 30s was assessed briefly at the scene, before being taken to hospital for further treatment.

He’s suffered arm and chest injuries and is believed to be in a serious but stable condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

It was a busy night on the Gold Coast for paramedics, with crews called to another two crashes after that.

A pushbike rider had to be hospitalised with a minor head injury after they were hit by a car in Coolangatta.

That happened at the intersection of Pacific Parade and Musgrave Street around 6.30 pm.

They were taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital in stable conditions.

Later on, paramedics were called to a two-car crash at Kumbari Avenue and Smith Street in Southport.

It happened around 11.30 pm, with three patients needing treatment in hospital.

One of them suffered abdominal pain and was also assessed for spinal injuries.

They’re all understood to be in stable conditions at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Queensland fire and emergency truck

Police investigating suspicious early-morning car fire on the Gold Coast

Investigations are underway after a massive car fire in Ashmore early this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene along Walabah Drive around 2.30 am, following reports that a car was on fire.

On arrival, it appeared a fire had spread from a sedan to three other cars, with all of the vehicles sustaining various degrees of damage.

Early indications show that the fire was deliberately started.

Paramedics were on standby at the scene, but there were no injuries reported.

Anyone with information is being urged to come forward as investigations continue.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.