This Queensland island is about to dry up, causing residents to bathe in and drink dirty water

The Courier Mail Megan Palin October 07, 2015

A TROPICAL island on the Great Barrier Reef is about to run out of water as its dams dry up and levels become so low that thousands of residents are forced to bathe in and drink contaminated water.
Many, including children and the elderly, have fallen ill; suffering nausea, diarrhoea and boils, since the water on Palm Island turned a “filthy, murky dark brown”, has been told.
Palm Island is located about 65km northwest of Townsville, off the coast of Queensland and home to about 4000 residents.

Read more:


Data used in Mount Isa environmental lead exposure study outdated public health director says

ABC News Zara Margolis 8 October 2015

A north Queensland public health director says he believes data used in a recent research paper on the management of environmental lead exposure in Mount Isa is out of date and misleading.
Earlier this week, the ABC reported on a study that cited almost 5 per cent of children under the age of five in Mount Isa had higher than recommended blood lead levels.
Dr Steven Donohue from the Mount Isa and Townsville Public Health Unit said that information was more than five years old and latest figures showed average blood lead levels in tested children were declining.

Read more

Coroner adjourns inquest into death of apprentice electrician Dale Kennedy in Cairns

ABC News Renee Cluff 8 October 2015

A coronial inquest into the death of an apprentice electrician in Cairns three years ago has been adjourned to allow two separate electrical audits to be carried out.
Dale Kennedy, 20, was installing security sensors in a ceiling at Bentley Park College in 2012 when he was electrocuted.

Read more

Cairns killer Brandon Peter MacGowan loses appeal against double murder conviction

ABC News Sharnie Kim 7 October 2015

A Cairns’ mechanic has lost an appeal against his conviction for a double murder.
Brandon Peter MacGowan, 45, was sentenced to life imprisonment last year for the 2012 murders of Mount Isa couple Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells.
The Supreme Court in Cairns heard he shot Mr Maitland in the back of the head and stabbed Ms Masonwells after failing to restore a panel van they had paid him to fix.
Their bodies were dumped near Cairns’ Copperlode Dam.
MacGowan took his case to the Queensland Court of Appeal, arguing the trial judge had erred in his directions to the jury.

Read more


Cairns man seeks CCC investigation into alleged assault by officer during traffic stop

ABC News 7 October 2015

A Cairns man has called for Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) to investigate his claim he was bashed by a police officer during a routine traffic stop.
Kenneth Wong, 24, is yet to face court on charges of failing to stop, contravening a direction and obstructing police arising from the incident.
But he said police took his phone and edited footage of him being assaulted by a male constable.

Read more

P-plates: Austroads report says it will be beneficial to install alcohol interlocks for all probationary drivers

Townsville Bulletin DAVID NANKERVIS The Advertiser October 08, 2015

BREATHALYSER interlocks should be mandatory for P-plate drivers to help reduce car crashes, a national road safety report says.
The recommendation by Austroads is based on data that shows P and L-plate drivers are eight times more likely to have an illegal blood-alcohol level when involved in a crash compared to fully licensed drivers.
The report by the national road safety body, of which the SA Transport Department is a member, comes as the State Government conducts its own review into the effectiveness of its existing interlock scheme.
As revealed in The Advertiser last month, a record number of motorists are using interlocks, which are mandatory for drivers caught three times over the limit or driving under the influence at least twice in five years.
But the Austroads’ interlock report says there is a “strong case’’ for the system to be extended to include all ­novice drivers.
According to the report, 17 per cent of P and L-plate drivers involved in a crash between 2003 and 2012 had an illegal blood-alcohol level. P and L-plate drivers must have a zero blood-alcohol level.

Read more:

Link to Austroads Report – Options to Extend Coverage of Alcohol Interlock Programs


Gold Coast Titans NRL stars face court over cocaine charges Jeremy Pierce, Greg Stolz October 8, 2015

FORMER State of Origin star Dave Taylor and fellow ex-Gold Coast Titans players Jamie Dowling and Joe Vickery will stand trial for allegedly supplying cocaine after their lawyers did not attempt to have the charges thrown out.
Four past and present Titans — ex-skipper Greg Bird, former Maroon Ashley Harrison, departing hooker Beau Falloon and Kalifa Faifai Loa — had their charges dismissed in Southport Magistrates Court today and yesterday after successful “no case” submissions by their lawyers.

Read more: