Hundreds brave winter rain in bid to save the Regent [with video]

Early morning rain and cold did not stop more than 300 protesters gathering at Reddacliffe Place in the city yesterday morning to call for rescue of the historic Regent Theatre. Regent building owner Industry Superannuation Property Trust plans to keep the Regent’s historical components but turn the rest of the building into a 38-storey office block. The grand foyer and marble staircase will be saved, but the four cinemas will be demolished to build a 300-seat cinema... Read More

Queensland riders storming the desert

John Ellis riding high as he prepares for the Finke Desert Race (photo: John Corlett) Queensland dirt bike riders will form the biggest interstate contingent of riders at the Finke Desert Race in June this year. Finke race sectary, Kelsey Rodda, said more than 90 Queensland dirt bike riders would travel to Alice Springs to compete in the gruelling two-day cross country race. She said the Finke was the largest race of its kind in the southern hemisphere, with nearly 600 bike and... Read More

Waiters on the run

Waiters and waitresses raced up and down Queen Street Mall on Friday, forbidden to spill a drop from the glasses of wine on the trays they carried. They were celebrating Italian Week which runs from 26 May to 2 June. The Waiters’ Race, or Corsa dei Camerieri, saw staff from some of Brisbane’s Italian restaurants compete to be named Brisbane’s Fastest Waiter. Frank Paolino (left) of the Dolce Sapori patisserie in Clayfield claimed the title. He said his victory... Read More

Mueck’s sculptures show life in the raw

“A Girl” is Ron Mueck’s scuplture of a nude newborn baby complete with blood smeared on her body and a purple-blue umbilical cord still attached. The baby is quite ugly, suggesting a challenge to the idea of beautiful and innocent childhood. This sculpture is of no innocent, but of a primal force of nature. One is reminded of how babies take over the life of new parents totally and utterly: in the same way that the baby is everywhere in their lives, this baby... Read More

Nikki Lynn – an angel sings dirty

You probably would not take your parents to see her perform. In fact, she did not even let her biological parents hear any of her “funny songs”. [WARNING: strong language follows] If you did not understand English you would swear Nikki Lynn Katt (pictured) was an angel singing. But when you understand her, it’s a much different story. She seems to know this. “I think that my songs make people think that I’m not exactly marriage material,” she told Newsbytes... Read More

Expert warns ‘two million trees’ program could fail

The City Council’s Two Million Trees for Brisbane program would fail unless they provided ongoing care for young trees planted under the program, a environmental expert said yesterday. Queensland University Planning and Environmental management expert Dr Clive McAlpine said the council needed to ensure ongoing care to prevent a repeat of the failed one billion trees for Australia scheme under the Hawke government. “The maintenance of them is in the long term, it’s... Read More

Highway too dangerous for Council staff to use – MP

A section of the Bruce Highway is so dangerous the local council has told its staff not to use it, a Sunshine Coast MP said this week. Opposition member Jarrod Bleijie (pictured) said Sunshine Coast Regional Council had instructed their staff members not to use the section of the highway or the entry and exit points as they understand it to be a very dangerous area. “Council have instructed their drivers to stop coming out of Sippy Creek road, so that’s even council directing... Read More

Council treats community as ‘the enemy’ – academic

Proposed laws to exempt Brisbane City Council’s civic cabinet from the Right to Information Act will treat the community as the enemy, a local government expert has warned. Dr Doug Tucker says democratic principles are threatened by the move. The City of Brisbane Bill 2010, to be debated in Parliament in a fortnight, will amend the RTI Act to exempt the Council’s key decision-making body. Civic cabinet, known officially as the Establishment and Coordination Committee,... Read More

$1.7m hi-tech fire fighting unit unveiled

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service displayed its hi-tech Mobile Command and Control unit at Parliament House last week. The unit (pictured left) lets commanders on the spot see quickly how a fire is developing, where all their fire engines are, and exactly where streams of water are being directed onto a fire. It also lets senior officers at the Kedron Brook headquarters see what is happening without officers at the scene taking the time away from managing their firefighters... Read More

Community garden wins battle to open

After more than a year’s planning and despite opposition from the local councillor and some residents, the community garden in Faulkner Park Graceville will officially open today. The site (pictured) was chosen from several possibilities in the area because of its location and accessibility to the Benarrawa Community Development Association. Graceville community garden committee co-ordinator Paul Grace said they had a great relationship with the people who run the Benarrawa... Read More

Call for computers at polling booths to stop vote cheating

A Toowoomba author and life coach is campaigning for computerised voting registers to stop people rorting the electoral system. Nancy Sommerfield (pictured left) wants polling booths to be equipped with computers so that Queenslanders are flagged state-wide when they vote. “Voting is really important, sometimes there are only six votes difference in elections,” she said. Ms Sommerfield has organised a petition, tabled last week in the Queensland Parliament, calling on the... Read More

$10,000 fine for breaking promises – MP’s plan

Politicians will face fines of up to $10,000 for breaking election promises under legislation proposed by Queensland Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek. The Private Member’s Bill, introduced into parliament last week, would make it an offence to make false or misleading claims in electoral advertising and would affect print, broadcast and online media. Mr Langbroek (pictured) said politicians and political parties should be held accountable for the claims they make during... Read More

Paper theme for student exhibition

Paper is the theme of an exhibition by art students of the Queensland College of Art this Saturday. Titled “Paper Walls”, the exhibition showcases the work of 13 students, mostly in their final year, from different disciplines. Organised and put together entirely by students, the exhibition is part of a learning project where students learn how to put together a show, work together, and develop into professional artists. Final year student Shayna Wells described... Read More

Tough guy Schwarto is Minister for the Roses

After two straight hours sledging his opponents in the bear pit of Queensland Parliament and copping warnings from the Speaker, you’d think Minister for Public Works Robert Schwarten would be panting in the corner, getting a massage and towel-down from his support team. But no, head-kicker “Schwarto”, as he’s known, was in the parliamentary rose garden plucking a bloom for a young lady. “You’ve got to smell the roses,” he said, when... Read More

Brisbane iPhone game slices up the competition

An iPhone game from Brisbane developers has become an international success story, despite an industry ravaged by the global financial crisis. Fruit Ninja, by Brisbane developer Halfbrick, has shot up the iPhone charts and become one of the top three most downloaded paid apps in more than six countries only a month after its release. It’s had more than 200,000 downloads. Fruit Ninja creator Luke Muscat (pictured left) said he was elated by the success of his brainchild,... Read More

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