27 September 2023

News in Brief

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Burketown inaugurated

Burketown’s latest police station has been officially inaugurated with Police Minister Mark Ryan and Commissioner Katarina Carroll present.

The recently established facility, located on Gregory Street, replaces the previous police station that stood adjacent to it.

At a cost of $2 million the new facility boasts a range of amenities including a dayroom, meal room, interview room, equipment room, locker room and more.

The new station aims to serve both the Burketown community and the broader public, ensuring that officers are adequately equipped to address the evolving needs of the community.

Free flu vaccination

All Queenslanders are being offered a free flu vaccination to deal with the spike in influenza cases that have risen around the State.

Free influenza vaccinations will be available at GP doctors and pharmacies across Queensland until 31 August after the number of influenza cases has reached more than 51,426 cases compared to last year’s total of 44,438 cases.

The State’s Health experts have said Influenza B was causing severe disease in some children with 78 children aged 6 months to four years old hospitalised since 1 July.

Museum opens Holocaust stories

Queensland’s first Holocaust Museum and Education Centre has been officially opened in Brisbane’s Cathedral Precinct.

Locally-recorded stories of Holocaust survivors and their families living in Queensland feature prominently alongside tributes to non-Jewish people who risked their lives to save Jews in peril from Nazi atrocities.

The museum is to have an online presence, and a mobile facility is being developed to travel throughout the State.

It was established though a $3.5 million State Government grant, which will be matched by the Australian Government, and a Brisbane City Council pledge of $500,000.

‘Majestic’ barramundi a fishing winner

A 109-centimetre barramundi, described as a “majestic piece of God’s creation”, has been caught by the fourth winner in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ tagged fishing competition.

Executive Director of Fisheries Queensland, Dallas D’Silva said Brisbane angler, Mark Hennessy reeled in the fish at Lake Tinaroo, near Cairns, in May.

“Windy weather forced Mark and his brother, Michael to abandon planned reef fishing trips in favour of fishing on Lake Tinaroo,” Mr D’Silva said.

“The change in plan became a $3,000 winning move when Mark landed the fish with the distinctive green tag while fishing at night.”

Data proves State a holiday drawcard

New data for the Tourism Research Australia’s year to March confirms Queensland to be Australia’s top holiday destination.

A record 11.3 million Australians holidayed in Queensland, up 24 per cent, delivering an unprecedented 50.5 million holiday nights and a nation-leading $16.7 billion, share of holiday overnight visitor expenditure.

Interstate holiday makers to Queensland jumped 17 per cent on pre-COVID-19 data to a record 3.9 million, spending $9.8 billion in the year to March 2023.

Brisbane (2.46 million), the Sunshine Coast (2.48 million) and the Fraser Coast (460,000) welcomed more domestic holiday visitors than ever before, with total visitors to the Gold Coast hitting a record 4.22 million.

New rules for Spanish mackerels

Fisheries Queensland has new rules in effect designed to ensure recovery of Spanish mackerel stocks off the east coast.

The changes were announced last year after a peer-reviewed stock assessment found stocks of Spanish mackerel had fallen to 17 per cent of the estimated original biomass.

For recreational fishers, the possession limit will reduce to one fish per person or two fish per boat carrying two or more recreational fishers.

The recreational boat limit will not apply to recreational fishers on licenced charter fishing trips.

Funds for safety in croc country

The Department of Environment and Science is allocating funding over three years to implement initiatives that help locals and visitors make good Crocwise behaviour choices in crocodile country.

As part of a new Crocwise Strategy, the Department will partner with Local Governments to trial, develop and install small-scale Crocwise infrastructure to prevent crocodile attacks in high-risk areas.

The strategy also includes the development and commercialisation of a device to detect and deter estuarine crocodiles by using multi-beam sonar technology and artificial intelligence to detect the animals, and deter their approach.

The strategy is part of the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan which is designed to help keep people safe while ensuring the survival of crocodile populations in the wild.

WorkCover updates cost tables

WorkCover Queensland has updated its Allied Health Tables of Costs, effective from 1 July.

Changes include the creation of 19 new item codes to support new services and to allow the expansion of existing services, and a new standalone Mental Health Services Table of Costs combining all mental health services.

There is also a change in the Exercise Physiology Services Table of Costs to increase pre-approved sessions from one session to six sessions in line with other providers.

The tables reflect the maximum fees payable.

Rangers identify dingo in attack

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers on K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) are monitoring a wongari (dingo) responsible for an incident where a 10-year-old boy was grabbed on the shoulder and dragged under water in front of a camping area.

Assistant Principal Ranger, Danielle Mansfield said the boy was walking alone at the water’s edge when the incident occurred.

“The boy’s 12-year-old-sister who was nearby reacted quickly and ran to assist him,” Ms Mansfield said.

“Rangers identified the tagged wongari and chased it away from the camping area. We have increased patrols in the region to monitor the wongari’s behaviour and pass on dingo-safe messaging to campers and visitors.”

Funding to complete Correction Centre

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) has received Budget funding for the second stage of the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct, which will complete construction.

When completed in 2024, the Correctional Precinct will have more than 1,500 beds with a focus on health and rehabilitation to reduce reoffending.

QCS Commissioner, Paul Stewart said it would be the largest correctional centre in Queensland, taking the pressure off other centres, with facilities to drive behaviour change through mental health, alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.

A further allocation will enable pre-commencement design works, site investigations and other preliminary works for the future Townsville Correctional Precinct, managing the demands of a growing prison population.

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