Heat

It’s official – last month was the hottest July the planet has seen in 137 years

I FELT it, you felt it…we all felt it, but now NASA has officially confirmed it; global temperatures are on the rise.

Last month – the middle of winter in Australia – was the hottest July the world has endured since records began.

According to data released on Tuesday by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, last month’s global temperatures across all land and ocean surfaces were 0.83 degrees Celsius above the 1951-1980 average.

That’s just 0.01 of a degree warmer than July last year, making the last two consecutive July’s equally the hottest on the planet in at least 137 years.

According to NASA’s database, temperatures were the highest above average during July in China, northern Australia, the Middle East and northwestern North America.

Interestingly, last month also marked 32 years since NASA recorded the last colder-than-average July in 1985.

Overall, the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 each set a new global record for warmth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Daffodil Day Cancer Council

Call for schools to participate in Daffodil Day

Gold Coast schools are being encouraged to grow hope for Queenslanders affected by cancer by participating in Daffodil Day.

Cancer Council Queensland is calling on teachers and students to take part in the iconic fundraiser on Friday August 25.

Assisi Catholic College in Upper Coomera is one local school ready to educate its students this Daffodil Day.

Prep Green teacher Suzanne Black said the college will hold a prayer assembly on the day. “We would like to pray for all the people affected by cancer,” she said.

Ms Black will also sell Daffodil Day merchandise to staff.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan thanked Assisi Catholic College for their support of Daffodil Day and encouraged other schools to get involved. “Getting involved in Daffodil Day is as easy as talking to students about why we have Daffodil Day or holding a dress yellow day for a gold coin donation,” she said.

“Introducing the work of Cancer Council to students will help them understand the impact of cancer and why we need to work together to fund research, education programs and support services for those affected.

“Daffodil Day is all about raising much-needed funds, but it’s also about having fun, and no matter your school year or size, get involved and make a difference.”

For more information on Daffodil Day and school specific resources, visit daffodilday.com.au.

Police Gold Coast

16 speeding tickets, 8 on drugs, 1 drunk driver

Gold Coast police have been left shocked after they charged 16 people for speeding, eight for driving under the influence of drugs, and another person driving while nearly four-times over the legal alcohol limit in an operation on Sunday in the city’s north.

Sergeant Glenn Shore from Gold Coast Rapid Action Patrols said it was extremely disappointing to see so many drivers taking such a big risk in an area full of young families and children.

One speeding driver was allegedly traveling at nearly 90 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.

“Police are asking motorists to slow down, drive to the conditions and don’t drive if affected by alcohol or drugs,” he said.

Vaccination

New $5.5m campaign to encourage Gold Coast parents to vaccinate their kids

THE Federal Government has announced it will spend $5.5 million to encourage parents to vaccinate their children, particularly on the Gold Coast where immunisation rates remain amongst the lowest in Queensland.

The “Get the Facts about Immunisation” campaign was launched at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital today.

While more than 93 per cent of five-year-old’s are fully vaccinated in Australia, immunisation rates remain low in some parts of the country, including on the Gold Coast where rates are as low as 83.7 per cent in some parts.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said the Government was making it easier for parents to “Get the Facts” on childhood vaccinations.

“Immunisation rates in Australia are already high, with over 93 per cent of five-year-old children fully vaccinated. But there are some areas where the immunisation rate is too low.”

“Some areas in the southern Gold Coast have immunisation rates as low as 87.3 per cent per cent.

“It is these areas of low coverage which pose risks to the community, especially to people who can’t be vaccinated, like newborns and those with medical reasons,” Mrs Andrews said.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government will use child care centres and social media to target the new campaign to parents in problem areas, including on the Gold Coast.

“Research has shown that when people are fully informed about the benefits of vaccination, they are more likely to vaccinate,” Minister Hunt said.

“Stories of parents losing their young children to these horrible diseases are simply heartbreaking,” Minister Hunt said.

“I would like to thank the Hughes and McCaffery families, who shared their heart breaking stories as part of the campaign.”

Riley Hughes and Dana McCaffery were both only a month old when they died of a vaccine-preventable disease.

They were both too young to be vaccinated, so like all other newborns, relied on the rest of the community being vaccinated to offer protection.

The new campaign also features Immunologist and 2006 Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer. His credible, evidence-based information about childhood immunisation is one of the new campaign’s great strengths.

“Ensuring parents are fully informed about immunisation is vital in ensuring we increase the rates of immunisation across Australia in the 0 to 5 age group,” Professor Frazer AC said.

“Australia has a strong immunisation record which has seen a reduction in disease in this country, however we still see cases of disease outbreaks, particularly in areas of low immunisation coverage, so it’s important immunisation rates are as high as possible.

“Vaccines work to protect children against being infected by these diseases.

“A parent will never know when their child may come into contact with someone who has got one of these infections, so the best way to protect children from these diseases, is to make sure they’re fully immunised.”

You can find out more information about the campaign by visiting www.immunisationfacts.gov.au

Police issue free ‘safety’ wristbands for children at the Ekka

Police are urging parents and carers to avoid losing their children at the Ekka by collecting free wristbands and organising a meeting point in case they become separated.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said he wants everyone who visits the show to be able to enjoy themselves and remain safe.

“The free wristband initiative at the Ekka has provided 10 years of ensuring lost children are quickly reunited with their parents or caregivers,” Minister Ryan said.

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose sight of their child so we are urging parents and caregivers to be vigilant with their child’s safety and to talk to their child before attending the Ekka to ensure they know what to do if they do become separated.”

Superintendent Innes said the initiative had been a proven success for many years, ensuring that lost children at the Ekka were quickly reunited with their parents or caregivers.

Last year, 44 children were successfully reunited with their parents.

“Police encourage parents to know where their children are at all times,” Superintendent Innes said.

“On arrival at the Ekka, parents should show their children where the police station is, teach them how to identify a police officer, and explain that they need to find a police officer if they become lost.

“We suggest taking a photo of your child on the day so that we know what the child is wearing and charge your mobile phone so the police can contact you if needed.”