Music Festival

Groundwater Country Music Festival unveils epic line up for 2021

Dust off the cowboy boots and whip out the flannel Gold Coast, Groundwater Country Music Festival is coming back this year and we cannot wait.

After missing the 2020 performance (due to the thing that shall not be named), this year’s show is locked and fully loaded.

Music stages and festivities will take over Broadbeach in November, in an incredible display of Country meeting the Coast.

From November 12 – 14, a host of charismatic Country artists will come together to rock the city all night(s) long, with The Wolfe Brothers, Adam Harvey and Sara Storer to headline.

Festival Director Mark Duckworth says it’s going to be epic.

“I’m so excited to be planning the November festival and bringing an array of talented Country artists back to the Gold Coast for our Groundwater CMF fans.

“There is just something so special about having a country music festival beachside on the Gold Coast and at Major Events Gold Coast we can’t wait to bring country back into the streets and parks of Broadbeach again in 2021,” Mr Duckworth said.

The exceptional line-up will also star the unlikely duo in life and love, Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham.

Both successful artists in their own right, Felicity as a solo artist, and Josh with the lovable outfit The Waifs, the duo met at a creative collective called the Song Club.

What started as a union in music grew from there, and the unexpected couple is set to showcase their unforgettable talents at Groundwater 2021.

Felicity says the Groundwater event is particularly special to her.

“Over the years they’ve supported me through triumph and tragedy.

“Last time I was there in 2019 the Groundwater love got me through a really hard time so it seems fitting to return this year with a new album and lots to celebrate,” Felicity said.

Qld orders anyone who visited Sydney exposure sites to quarantine

Queensland has issued a quarantine order for anyone in the state who has recently been to a COVID-19 exposure site in Sydney.

It comes after a man in his 60s was diagnosed with the virus in Bondi late yesterday, with a household contact of the man also testing positive overnight.

The pair visited a number of venues while potentially infectious, with urgent contacting tracing now underway.

As a result, anyone in the sunshine state who has been to a declared site during the risk period is now automatically required to quarantine.

However, the state’s top doctor has stopped short of declaring the area a hotspot.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation in NSW over coming days,” Chief Health Officer Dr Young said.

“It’s important that anyone who has been to these venues in Sydney follow the advice of NSW Health, and not travel.

“If you have been to any of these sites and are already in Queensland, you must immediately travel by private transport directly to your home or accommodation and quarantine.

“You also need to complete the Queensland Health online contact tracing self-assessment form, get tested as soon as possible tomorrow morning, and await advice from Queensland Health.”

Dr Young said she acts quickly in these situations to “protect the health and safety of Queenslanders and visitors.”

A list of the NSW exposure sites can be found here.

QLD Budget 2021: What’s in it for the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a major winner from a massive infrastructure spend in the Queensland state budget allowing several major projects to get up and running.

An estimated $1.3 billion has been earmarked for infrastructure on the Gold Coast which the government predicts will support 3,900 jobs.

The state’s $1.044 billion commitment for Stage 3 of Light Rail to Burleigh has been confirmed in the budget.

At least $113 million of that will be spent in the next 12 months allowing construction to finally get underway later this year.

Construction of the Coomera Connector is also on track to start later this year with $115 million allocated over the next 12 months for stage one between Nerang and Coomera.

The government’s ongoing funding for the M1 upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun continues with another $200 million for the project this year.

Money has also been set aside to upgrade Exits 41 and 49 on the M1.

$113.8 million has been allocated this year for Light Rail Stage 3 to Burleigh | PHOTO: Supplied

$1.8 billion has been allocated for health and hospital services on the Gold Coast supporting an extra 1330 nurses over the last 12 months along with 345 extra doctors and 98 extra paramedics.

$171 million will be spent maintaining and upgrading schools across the city.

The government is attempting to address the housing crisis on the Gold Coast with $48.7 million allocated to expand and improve social housing in the city.

The Gold Coast’s dive site will receive $4.3 million in funding from the state with the project expected to be up and running early next year.

QLD STATE BUDGET 2021: Gold Coast winners:

Roads and Transport 

  • M1 Exit 41 – $58.1 million out of total spend of $81.1 million to upgrade Yatala South interchange
  • M1 Exit 49 – $8.5 million out of total spend of $110.8 million to upgrade Pimpama interchange
  • M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun – $200 million to of total spend of $1 billion to continue widening of M1
  • Coomera Connector, Stage 1 – $115 million out of total spend of $1.531 billion to begin construction of Coomera Connector between Nerang and Coomera
  • Light Rail Stage 3 – $113.8 million out of total spend of $1.044 billion to begin construction of light rail extension to Burleigh
  • New Gold Coast train stations – $120 million total spend to build new train stations at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac as part of Cross River Rail

Health 

  • Ormeau Ambulance Station – $3 million out of total spend of $4.5 million
  • Gold Coast University Hospital – $44.8 million to improve facilities and construct new Mental Health Unit
  • Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct – $1.4 million out of total spend of $32.8 million
  • Robina Hospital – $7.6 million out of total spend of $14.5 million to improve facilities and deliver a second CT scanner
  • Varsity Lakes Day Hospital – $500,000 out of  total spend of $10.6 million for new equipment to improve efficiency and capacity
  • Gold Coast Satellite Hospital – Will share in $265 million for seven new satellite hospitals across the state, but no details on location or completion have been provided
  • Gold Coast Health Training – $10 million for nursing and allied health training facilities at Southport TAFE

Education 

  • Ormeau Woods State School – $7.2 million out of total spend of $9.8 million for new building
  • Gainsborough State School – $16.6 million to construct stage two
  • New Special School in Coomera – $23.8 million out of total spend of $42.7 million to construct new facility
  • Foxwell State Secondary College  – $28.3 million out of total spend of $40.3 million to construct stage 2
  • Pacific Pines State High School – $24.8 million out of total spend of $26 million for new building
  • Southport Special School – $980,00 out of total spend of $1 million to improve school entrance
  • Nerang State High School – $591,000 out of total spend of $5 million to upgrade existing hall
  • Miami State High School – $971,000 out of total spend of $10 million to deliver a new hall
  • Robina TAFE – $10 million to fit out new Robina TAFE campus
  • Palm Beach State School – $7.9 million out of  total spend of $10.6 million to construct new building
  • Palm Beach Currumbin State High School – $5.1 million out of total spend of $10 million to deliver a new hall
  • Numinbah Valley State School – $500,000 to upgrade existing amenities block

Housing

  • $48.7 million to expand and improve social housing on the Gold Coast

Law & Order 

  • Pimpama Police Station – $5.3 million out of total spend of $6.1 million for new Police station
  • Wanding trial – $1 million to trial metal-detecting wands in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach

Environment & Tourism 

  • North Shores – $604,546 out of total spend of $1.1 million for Stage 2 development of Mt Tamborine food tourism offering
  • Spit Masterplan – $60 million total spend to improve The Spit
  • Gold Coast Dive Precinct – $4.3 million out of total spend of $5 million for floating dive site
  • Gold Coast Desalination Plant – $8.9 million out of total spend of $16.1 million to replace reverse osmosis membranes
  • Hazelwood Luxury Country Retreat – $145,103 out of total spend of $9.2 million for luxury country retreat
  • Binna Burra Via Ferrata – $161,700 out of total spend of $1.7 million to construct cliff climbing system using permanent steps
  • Gondwana Rainforests – $275,000 to promote cultural ecotourism offerings

Industry 

  • Gold Coast Manufacturing Hub – Funding for new manufacturing hub in Nerang
  • Gold Coast Film Industry – $73 million to attract film production in Queensland

Sport & Community 

  • Robina Raptors Junior Rugby League Football Club – $589,424 out of total spend of $598,953 to construct change rooms and amenities to support female participation
  • Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club – $1 million out of total spend of $2 million to upgrade clubhouse including ground floor disability access
  • Palm Beach Currumbin Rugby Union Club – $276,500 out of total spend of $553,000 to construct amenities block with indoor gym, change rooms and admin rooms to support female participation
  • Coolangatta AFL – $350,000 out of total spend of $500,000 to construct amenities block to support female participation

 

Koala

Gold Coast Council to buy up big to protect native animal habitats

The City is about to embark on a massive spending spree to try and protect habitats for native animals, including koalas.

Gold Coast Council today announced the largest wildlife corridor land purchase scheme in its history, with $11 million being allocated from the budget to try and create wildlife corridors.

It’s understood at least 40 sites covering over 3515 hectares, from Numinbah Valley to Coomera, have already been eyed off for purchase.

As a result, Gold Coast ratepayers will pay an additional $2.50 each into an open space koala habitat fund to support the land purchases, on top of the existing $1 per annum koala habitat program, that was introduced in 2018.

“We are growing at a rapid pace and it is imperative we continue to manage our green open space to care for our native fauna and flora,” Mayor Tom Tate said.

“This program will provide $11 million in the 2021-22 budget to buy key sites across the city, focusing on our critical wildlife corridors.”

Of the 40 sites, seven have been highlighted as a priority for immediate landholder approach with negotiations set to start next month.

“With the program focused on voluntary acquisition, Council has agreed that the administration can start negotiations with land holders,” the Mayor said.

According to Council, long-term benefits include “securing and restoring critical parts of the City’s wildlife corridors to link habitat areas on private and public land” as well as “connecting existing conservation reserves to provide opportunities for walking tracks and improved management”.

The initiative forms part of the city’s broader ‘Our Natural City Strategy’, with negotiations on a large parcel of land in the East Coomera population corridor continuing.

“Council has faced some hurdles as we attempt to buy this parcel of land but I’m confident we will have this resolved in the 2021-22 financial year,” Mayor Tate said.

“The 40 land parcels we have identified are spread from north to south of the city. We cannot publicly list the sites just yet as we don’t want to unduly influence the purchase price. However, we will advise the public as each site is purchased so they know how their funds are being invested.”

Chris Hemsworth Thor

Qld film industry to receive $71M boost to entice blockbusters

The Queensland Government is injecting millions of dollars into the entertainment industry in a bid to lure more Hollywood blockbusters to the sunshine state.

We’ve been given another taste of the State Budget and the local film industry appears to be one of the big winners.

A massive $71 million has been earmarked for the industry, making it the biggest funding injection in six years.

More than $53 million will be going straight towards the State’s Production Attraction Strategy to bring international filmmakers into Queensland.

Those previously lured to the sunshine state by the strategy include blockbusters such as Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Godzilla vs. Kong, Love and Monsters, Escape from Spiderhead, Thirteen Lives, Ticket To Paradise and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic.

Around $4 million has also been allocated to boost the screen industry in the state’s north, while $10 million over two years has also been put aside for the “Post, Digital and Visual Effects Incentive”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new funding would cement Queensland’s reputation as a production powerhouse, create jobs and support the state’s economic recovery.

“Queensland attracted more international productions than any other State in 2020 and this funding will help us to attract even more,” the Premier said.

“Our screen success is not an accident, but the result of long-term planning and strategic investment in the industry, led by Screen Queensland.

“It’s also due to how well Queenslanders have managed the COVID pandemic which has made filming here so attractive.

“Through the global pandemic our State has been a safe haven for local and international productions while others were shut down, keeping cameras rolling on COVID-Safe sets.”

Massive productions currently filming in Queensland include Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, Season Two of the Amazon Original series The Wilds starring Rachel Griffiths, and The Portable Door, a co-production between Brisbane company Story Bridge Films and the renowned The Jim Henson Company.

The blockbusters keep on coming, with several upcoming productions set to call the sunshine state home.

Those include Joe Exotic, which will kick off filming at Screen Queensland Studios from July, Netflix’s Jessica Watson biopic and the much-anticipated Ticket To Paradise, starring Academy Award winners George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

The full state budget will be handed down at 2pm tomorrow, when further details about the funding will be revealed.