South-West News, July 31

Below is a collection of stories written by James Drew and published in South-West News on July 31.

Click here to see the full South-West News digital edition.

July 31South-West News

Mayor Pisasale labels his $378m budget as “doing more with less”

THE rates bill on an average owner-occupied home in Ipswich rose by 3.63 per cent to $1112.76. The rates rise was part of Ipswich City Council’s $378 million “doing more with less” budget, handed down by Mayor Paul Pisasale last Wednesday.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said it was a moderate rates increase for difficult economic times.

“We’ve tried to keep the rate rise to a minimum but keep services,” he said. “People never like paying more but we’ve kept it within the level of inflation.”

Also on the rise is Council’s debt, now at $432.9 million, up $13.8 million. Council’s long-term projections expect that debt to be reduced to $330.5 million by 2022-23.
Councillor David Morrison, Division 1, defended the debt, saying it is under control.

See the full story at South-West News.

– James Drew

Calls to ditch the unfunded Cross River Rail in favour of a Coalition inland freight route

RAIL side residents in Yeronga and Yeerongpilly have voiced support for a Coalition alternative to the stalled $5.5 billion Cross River Rail project.

Yeronga District Residents Association and Cross River Rail Action Group member Peter West has backed the Coalition’s plan to build a major interstate freight network along the Logan and Gateway motorways to the Port of Brisbane, effectively freeing up urban tracks for passenger rail.

The alternate freight route could forego the need to haul coal and freight carriages along the Ipswich and Tennyson railway lines which cut through high-density residential suburbs such as Goodna, Corinda, Oxley, Darra, Yeronga and even through Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Griffith electorate.

Mr West said the freight plan, floated by The Nationals leader Warren Truss, would create heavy-gauge freight tracks from Rosewood to Kagaru, up to Larapinta and along the Logan and Gateway motorways.

“Freight is noisy, it’s dirty and it should not go through populated areas because people don’t want to be woken up by freight trains. It’s disturbing… plus there’s the coal dust problem,” Mr West said.

See the full story at Quest News.

- James Drew

CorindaCross River RailDarraGoodnaOxleyThe NationalsWarren TrussYerongaYeronga District Residents Association

South-West News, July 24

Below is a collection of stories written by James Drew and published in South-West News on July 24.

Click here to see the full South-West News digital edition.

July 24South-West News

South-West News, July 17

Below is a collection of stories written by James Drew and published in South-West News on July 17.

Click here to see the full South-West News digital edition.

July 17South-West News

Mater’s neonatal unit went into code yellow on Sunday as the treatment of legionella bacteria continues

THE clean-up of legionella bacteria around taps in an area used to monitor premature and sick babies is continuing at the Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane.

Over the weekend a code yellow internal emergency was declared on level six where the bacteria was located. It houses the Mater Health Services’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU).

It is understood a code yellow can be called to coordinate the response to emergency situations which could impact the structure of a hospital or staff and patients.

Mater Public Affairs Manager Jacqueline Hayes said the code yellow was called to ensure treatment of the taps in the neonatal area went as smoothly as possible with minimal impact to patients and families.

“It ensures there is one person in command and there is a coordinated response from multiple teams across the organisation,” she said.

See the full story at Quest News.

– James Drew

Darra timber yard fire suspicious

STAFF at a Darra timber recycling yard were forced to down tools today as police investigations into a suspicious fire continue.

Police were called to The Big Red Shed on Sumners Rd on Sunday night at 6pm where a fire had engulfed a hoop pine storage shed.

A police spokesman confirmed the fire was being treated as suspicious with the criminal investigation branch on scene today.

Click here to see the full story.

– James Drew

criminal investigation branchDarraSumners Rdsuspicious firethe big red shed

Citycat ferry helps rescue man from Brisbane River

A CITYCAT ferry was used to help rescue a man from the Brisbane River on Saturday.

Police deployed a Swift Water Rescue team armed with flotation devices to assist the man at about 4.10pm and it is understood there were grave concerns for his safety.

A police spokeswoman said the man swam into the river but was pulled ashore a short time later.

A Brisbane City Council spokesman confirmed a CityCat ferry assisted in rescuing the man.

Click here to see the full story at The Courier Mail.

– James Drew

Brisbane City CouncilBrisbane Rivercity catpolicesafetySwift Water Rescue

Political warrior Bernie Ripoll says Labor can win

THE member for Oxley believes Labor can win the next federal election but is declaring his party the underdog “coming from a long way behind”.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and for Small Business Bernie Ripoll made the comments at a sod tuning ceremony at Springfield earlier this week.

After preferences, Mr Ripoll holds his seat with a commanding 55.8 per cent of the vote.

He said if his party, under a revived Kevin Rudd leadership, was united and worked hard it could win at the next election “whenever that might be”.

See the full story at Quest News.

– James Drew

Bernie RipolllaborOxleyParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurerspringfield

South-West News, June 26 and July 3

Below is a collection of stories written by James Drew and published in South-West News on June 26 and July 3.

Click here to see the full South-West News digital edition.

July 3June 26South-West News

Fatality-free parkland less liable: Pisasale

IPSWICH City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale would rest easy knowing children are not drowning in Robelle Domain Parklands after talk of installing a South Bank-style beach there was quashed.

Federal and local politicians and representatives of Springfield Land Corporation braved grey skies and muddy conditions yesterday to turn the first soggy sod on the $10 million stage two parklands projects which was widely anticipated to contain a beach feature.

But with the State Government foregoing its $5 million contribution to the project and mounting concerns about the ongoing cost and liability of maintaining a beach has tempered expectations.

“We don’t want to duplicate South Bank; what we want to do is something we’ve seen over at Jamison Square in Portland, Oregon,” Cr Pisasale said. “For us to duplicate and copy South Bank is just reinventing the wheel.”

See the full story at Quest News.

IPSWICH City Council MayorPaul PisasaleRobelle Domain ParklandsSpringfield Land Corporation

Gillard ousting best way to turn back the votes, Neumann

Gillard deserter and Blair MP Shayne Neumann has defended his vote to reinstall Kevin Rudd as Prime Minster and reasserted his support for the carbon price.

After being sworn into the Rudd Ministry as Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and for Health and Ageing, Mr Neumann said Mr Rudd was Labor’s best hope of electoral victory against Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Mr Neumann voted against Mr Rudd in the 2012 leadership ballot and until recently maintained his support for former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who visited his electorate a number of times while in office.

“I made a pragmatic, realistic and practical decision that I thought Kevin was the best person to win us the election,” he said.

See the full story at Quest News.

– James Drew

Blair MPjulia gillardkevin ruddPrime MinsterShayne Neumann