Music and sport help refugees feel at home [audio]

For refugees escaping persecution in their homeland, adjusting to Australian culture can be difficult. Refugee inclusion groups in Brisbane are using sport and music to break down social barriers, not only between refugees and the Australian community, but also between separate cultures within the refugee community. Brisbane Women’s Volleyball coach Mandy Cox said sporting clubs provided an environment where refugees could build social skills which are often not developed... Read More

Blood flows as bikies roar into town

Brisbane blood donation levels were given a welcomed boost over the weekend when motorcycle enthusiasts united to give blood in the fifth annual Merlo Coffee Red Ride for Life campaign. More than 115 riders from across south-east Queensland roared into the Springwood Red Cross Blood Donor Centre on Saturday to help resuscitate much-needed blood supplies following a convoy trip down the M1 from Merlo Coffee Torrefazione in Bowen Hills. Red Cross Blood Service Community Relations... Read More

Street poll: Election slogans overused? [video]

With the federal election set for August 21, each major party has come up with a slogan to represent them throughout the election campaign. But the Labor Party’s “Moving Forward” and the Liberal’s “Real Action” catchphrases have attracted criticism for being simplistic and condescending. Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended her party’s slogan on the ABC’s 7.30 Report this week, saying they captured the spirit of Australia. “I’ve been using... Read More

Poll: smoking ban in Queen Street? [video]

In the last few days the public discussion around smoking in the Mall has fired up. Brisbane City Council opposition leader Shayne Sutton is spearheading this movement. “The issue of banning smoking in the Queen Street Mall is not new and organisations such as Cancer Council Queensland have been calling for the ban for some time,” Councillor Sutton said. “This is something I believe the majority of Brisbane residents want to see introduced, and the ban would help improve... Read More

Jail for man who harassed ex on Facebook

A man was sentenced to jail in the Brisbane District Court last Thursday after he pleaded guilty to seven charges related to the harassment of two women from previous relationships. The charges included making threats to his ex-girlfriend through Facebook. Kenneth Thomson, 26, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, perverting the course of justice and using a “carriage service” [internet and telephone] to harass, as well as four counts of breaching a domestic... Read More

Shoplifter tutors magistrate on fish care

A Brisbane woman gave magistrate John Quinlan a lesson in keeping fish when she appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court last week charged with stealing pet supplies. Prosecutor Sergeant Fiona Pedersen said Sarah Ann Isaac entered a pet supply store on 11 November, 2008 and left without paying for items she placed in her handbag. Petfood Direct of North Ipswich was seeking restitution of $31.70, the value of the stolen items which included gravel, a heater and fish... Read More

Tournament attracts cast of thousands

Thousands of lords and ladies turned out to re-create history and celebrate all things medieval at Caboolture last weekend. The Abbey Medieval Tournament included medieval markets, dancing, mock battles and jousting, as well as new events horse archery and falcolnry. Abbey Museum CEO Edith Cuffe said the festival was the largest of its kind in Australia, drawing more than 14,000 visitors last year. “I think we’re going to top that significantly, so we’re very... Read More

Protestors attack asylum policy

Two election candidates rejected Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s policy on asylum-seekers at a rally in Brisbane on Friday. Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane Andrew Bartlett (pictured) said people were very disappointed at how badly they had been let down by the ALP Government. He said substantial, genuine change meant shifting votes away from the two major parties. Opponents of Australia’s current policies needed to emphasise that asylum-seekers were not to be... Read More

RACQ welcomes drink ban on new drivers

The introduction of zero-alcohol limits for novice drivers of any age has been welcomed by Queensland’s motoring body, the RACQ. The tough new laws, which came into effect last month, prohibit all learner and provisional licence holders, and all restricted (RE) motorcycle licence holders in their first year of riding, from driving after consuming any alcohol, no matter their age. RACQ spokesman Jim Kershaw said the organisation supported the zero-alcohol consumption restrictions... Read More

Fraser challenges Newman to ‘come clean’ on water profits

Brisbane City Council should “come clean” on revenue raised from water charges, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said last week. Mr Fraser said the Council should tell Brisbane residents what they planned to do with the recent average increase of $107 per water bill. “Only $44 of that amount is due to increases in State bulk water charges. The remaining $63 goes to council-owned water businesses who deliver their dividends and payments back to council,” he... Read More

Patel jailed for seven years [video]

Disgraced former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel was today sentenced to seven years’ jail for the manslaughter of three patients. Patel was convicted of three counts of manslaughter and one of grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to seven years on each manslaughter count and three years for grievous bodily harm, the sentences to be served concurrently. Aniela Hedditch reports from the Brisbane Supreme Court… Camera & editing: David Stuart  Read More

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