Queensland Treasurer flags live music support, jobs training in upcoming budget

Queenslanders have been given a little taste of what to expect in the state budget on Tuesday.

The Treasurer has flagged support for the live music industry in a press conference today, while also insisting that the budget deficit will be lower than last year.

“We’ve done a lot to support the live music industry, and I’ll have some more to say around support for the live music industry on Tuesday,” Treasurer Dick told reporters this morning.

It comes after Night Quarter, a venue that used to be stationed on the Gold Coast, had a music event shut down on the Sunshine Coast for not being Covid safe.

“In relation to the Sunshine Coast, I know Queensland Health has been working really closely with that business over the last few months to try and support them,” the Treasurer continued.

“These rules are there for all Queenslanders, we need to have covid safe rules to protect all Queenslanders.

“Our number one priority as a government is to keep Queenslanders safe, to protect them from the virus,” he added.

The government is also spruiking a big spend on skills, training and jobs for Queenslanders, to help them get ready for work and into jobs.

$460 million will be allocated to the industry, most of which will go to the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the program’s helped more than 36,000 people into jobs.

“Supporting skills training is part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” the Premier said.

“The $320 million funding provided in the State Budget ensures this successful training initiative is retained.

“In fact, 73 per cent of Skilling Queenslanders for Work participants have gone onto secure employment or further training.

“The funding commitment for four years ensures disadvantaged Queenslanders can gain skills, qualifications and experience to join and remain in the workforce.

“Another $140 million will also go towards a revitalised Back to Work program.

“I want to ensure small business owners have the capability to not only create jobs but they can access a skilled workforce to fill them,” the Premier said.

The Treasurer remained pretty tight-lipped on other budget details in a press conference this morning.

However, he has insisted that the deficit will be slightly lower than last year.

“When I handed down the budget last year in December I predicted that the deficit for Queensland in 2019-20 and 2020-21 would be the two largest in Queensland’s history.

“Now the deficit in 2020-21 will still be significant. But thanks to the rebounding Queensland economy, thanks to Queenslanders taking the health advice and obeying the health advice, we’re seeing our economy coming back, we’re seeing jobs coming back, we’re seeing economic growth happening across the state which means the deficit will be lower,” the Treasurer said.

The budget will be officially handed down on Tuesday at 2.00 pm.

QAS Emergency Response Vehicle responding

Gold Coaster hospitalised after ‘low-speed’ car crash

A man’s been hospitalised after a ‘low speed’ crash on the Gold Coast last night.

Emergency services rushed to Latimers Crossing Road and Nerang Murwillumbah Road around 9.30 pm.

On arrival, paramedics reported a single-vehicle crash that happened at low speed.

A man in his 30s was checked over at the scene but was luckily uninjured.

He was still taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital was observation.

He’s understood to be in a stable condition.

Woman gunned down after answering knock at front door

A major manhunt is underway in Newcastle after a woman was shot dead after answering a knock at the door.

Emergency crews were called to a home on Queen Street at Stockton just after 8.00pm last night, following reports of a shooting.

Upon arrival, they found a 61-year-old woman, who is yet to be formally identified, deceased at the scene.

“Police have been told the woman answered her front door before she was shot,” NSW police said in a statement.

A crime scene has been established, which is currently being examined by specialist forensic police.

Detectives have also formed a dedicated Strike Force to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone who may have CCTV or dashcam footage from the surrounding area is being urged to contact Newcastle Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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

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

Gold Coast declares new dive site be named ‘Wonder Reef’

The Gold Coast’s new dive site has officially been named, with Council deciding to dub the floating structure ‘Wonder Reef’.

The attraction is nearing completion and is set to be open to the public early next year as Australia’s first floating dive site.

Councillors were guided by more than 200 responses from the Gold Coast community in their decision.

The Mayor has thanked everyone for their input in the process.

“There was a lot of suggestions and I thank the community,” Mayor Tom Tate said.

“We ultimately agreed with the name that external consultants had come up with after the consultants liaised with the dive and tourism industries.

“Behind the scenes, we had to ensure the name was legally available and marketable so in that regard, I believe we have found the perfect fit.”

The nine structures have been built and are just undergoing monitoring and safety checks before they’re lowed into the water in the coming weeks.

Each of the structures weighs more than 738 tonnes, and will eventually create a 32,000m3 reef habitat.

They will then be officially opened early in 2022, expected to bring $32.8 million into the region’s economy within the first decade of operation.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the state government invested $2.5 million in the joint project with Council and provided a 50-year lease over the seabed off Main Beach.

“The Palaszczuk Government is working with tourism destinations across Queensland to help the industry rebuild,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“We know this project is set to make a real splash with local divers and visitors.

“It has created 18 jobs during construction and 82 once operational which is great news for Queensland’s economic recovery.’’

Cold Shiver

Polar blast to send Gold Coast temps plummeting

The Gold Coast is bracing for a winter blast this week with temperatures set to drop 4 to 5 degrees below the average.

A polar blast has started sweeping across southern states and should reach our neck of the woods from Wednesday with snow possible in some areas of Queensland.

The icy air is expected to bring showers and cold westerly winds from Wednesday morning, seeing the temperature plummet.

The Bureau predicts we will wake up to temperatures of just 8 degrees at the Gold Coast Seaway on Thursday morning, well below the June average of 13.3 degrees.

Coolangatta can expect a 7 degree start to the day, lower than its June average of 11.4 degrees.

Thursday should still be sunny with tops of 18 degrees but the chilly winds will make it feel a whole lot colder than that.

The cool mornings will continue for the rest of the week with minimum temperatures of 8 or 9 degrees.

Parts of the Granite Belt are bracing for the possibility of snow from Wednesday afternoon.

The BOM had earlier warned of the possibility of sleet but has now changed its forecast.