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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 536329 times)
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Tibrogargan
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« Reply #1020 on: January 19, 2011, 07:43:19 PM »

Wear a blue ribbon to show support for flood victims as part of News Limited's Flood Fightback Ribbon Campaign

    * by Staff Writers
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 18, 2011 4:51PM

AUSTRALIANS are being urged to wear a blue ribbon to show their support for the victims and survivors of the devastating floods in Queensland, Victoria and other regions of Australia.

The Flood Fightback Ribbon campaign is being launched by The Courier-Mail and News Limited's other metropolitan newspapers - The Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Advertiser, The Mercury and The Sunday Times to visually galvanise the community in a national display of compassion and support for those affected by the floods.

The campaign is to encourage Australians of all ages to wear the blue ribbon as a symbol of their support, strength and comfort for those who have lost their lives and for the thousands whose lives have been devastated by the floods.

The campaign follows the success of the Yellow Ribbon campaign launched by Victoria's Herald Sun in the wake of the bushfires which ravaged the state in 2009.

Once again, Spotlight Stores are backing the campaign by distributing the blue ribbons for free at all Spotlight and Anaconda stores across the nation.

The Flood Fightback Ribbon Campaign follows News Limited's $500,000 donation to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

On Sunday January 2, Brisbane's The Sunday Mail donated 50c from every paper sold to the appeal, raising $250,000 and News Limited donated an additional $250,000.

The chairman and chief executive of News Limited, John Hartigan said: ``What we have witnessed in Queensland during this flood crisis is truly extraordinary, both in terms of nature's fury and the resolve and strength of the human spirit.

``By wearing a blue ribbon, we each have the opportunity to show we care for those who have suffered, and are still suffering, and support the thousands whose courage and commitment will help flood affected areas rebuild.''

Spotlight chief executive officer Mark Goddard said: ``Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the floods across Queensland and the eastern states; especially the many members of our team and customers who have been affected.

``Today we are proud to be able to launch the Flood Fightback Ribbon Campaign with News Limited.

``We are encouraging all Australians to get into a Spotlight or Anaconda store and wear a blue ribbon as a symbol of unity for those who have lost so much.''

Spotlight - Australia's premier sewing, craft and home decorating retailer - will donate thousands of metres of ribbon to News Limited readers. It is expected that churches, schools, community groups and corporate Australia will also get behind the campaign.

The blue ribbons will be available for collection free from Spotlight stores from Wednesday January 19.

Store locations can be found at www.spotlight.com.au/stores and www.anaconda.com.au/Stores

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/wear-a-blue-ribbon-to-show-support-for-flood-victims-as-part-of-news-limiteds-flood-fightback-ribbon-campaign/story-e6freon6-122599048546
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« Reply #1021 on: January 19, 2011, 07:56:08 PM »

A sad reflection from the family of one of our many missing children.  The parents of Daniel sold their home and business and went on the road visiting schools and youth groups spreading the word about personal safety. 


Daniel Morcombe twin brother Bradley breaks silence

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Sophie Elsworth

October 05, 2009 11:00pm

DANIEL Morcombe's twin brother has broken his six-year silence and spoken for the first time about the disappearance of his teenage brother.

Bradley, 19, revealed the pain he and his family have suffered since his twin brother went missing in 2003, but he still holds hope the mystery will be solved.

"We all live in hope it will be solved," he told New Idea magazine.

"Without really knowing what happened to Daniel, there's no final closure."

Daniel, 13, was last seen about 2.10pm on Sunday, December 7, 2003, under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass on the Nambour Connection Rd about 2km north of the Big Pineapple.

Bradley said that hardly a day passed when he doesn't think of his twin brother.

"I constantly think of him, we all do," he said.

"He was not only my twin, but my best mate.

"Birthdays are the hardest. It was our special day, blowing out candles together and taking turns opening presents. We shared a lot of good times."

He still remembers the day Daniel begged him to go Christmas shopping with him at Maroochydore's Sunshine Plaza, but he chose not to go.

"Daniel, myself and our older brother Dean were home together after mum and dad had gone to Brisbane for a work Christmas party," Bradley said.

"They wanted us to go, but we stayed back to do some passionfruit picking on a neighbouring farm.

"Daniel was really happy and so excited about heading off to the Sunshine Plaza to buy mum and dad something special for Christmas."

Bradley said he pleaded with Daniel to wait until the next day to go shopping but he refused and went alone.

He said he feels lost without Daniel by his side.

"I'll never forget how sad and lonely I felt about being dropped off at school by myself for the first time since Daniel's disappearance," he said.

Bradley now lives with his older brother Dean at Mountain Creek on the Sunshine Coast.

Despite many leads to Daniel's disappearance, his whereabouts still remain a mystery, with a $250,000 reward on offer to help solve one of the country's biggest murder investigations.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26171238-3102,00.html


Link to the foundation's website :

http://www.danielmorcombe.com.au/



Bringing this post forward as there is news of a task force inquiry into the handling of this case.
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« Reply #1022 on: January 19, 2011, 08:02:10 PM »

Police review ordered into Daniel Morecombe case

    * Kristin Shorten and Robyn Ironside
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 20, 2011 12:00AM

MORE than seven years after the disappearance of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe, a new taskforce has been set up at police headquarters in Brisbane to review evidence related to his suspected abduction.

A police source said Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon has pulled between 30 and 40 detectives in from other areas of the State Crime Operations Command to sift through 5000 job logs related to the 13-year-old boy's disappearance on December 7, 2003.

This comes as Mr Condon prepares to give evidence about how the investigation was conducted when the inquest, held before Coroner Michael Barnes, resumes in March.

Some police officers say the latest move is a "face-saving exercise" and a thorough review should have occurred sooner.

Almost 18,000 job logs, each representing a piece of evidence or information related to the investigation, had been recorded prior to the inquest starting last October.


Related Coverage

    * Inquest: Daniel case: No DNA test defended
    * Missing boy: FBI advice on Daniel 'ignored'
    * Inquest: Search for Daniel 'was delayed'


Sunshine Coast solicitor Peter Boyce, representing the Morcombes, welcomed the review.

"I have to admit, I wonder to myself why they hadn't had an independent review (of the job logs) previously, but we can't change what hasn't happened," he said.

Daniel's father Bruce said the review may have resulted from a November meeting with Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.

"We raised some concerns (about the investigation) as well as some suggestions and they were taken in good faith," he said.

"Certainly what we were interested in was Daniel's case not becoming a cold case without a serious review of all of the high priority job logs."

The Morcombes were preparing to come face-to-face with two "people of interest" when the inquest resumes.

"If the QPS has identified there was more they could do before the next 10 days of sitting that may well be fruitful," Mr Morcombe said.

"We've got two very ugly and suspicious people that are being called.

"We just need to load up every piece of weaponry we've got to fire very specific questions.

"It might just have to do with a timeline, a movement, a car or something that didn't come to light (earlier) . . . Or let's just hope they find that one mobile number (that holds a clue) and bingo."

Mr Condon would not confirm the existence of the taskforce.

A statement from Police Media said the QPS was "committed to utilising all possible strategies and resources to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion".

The statement said the investigation was ongoing.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/police-review-ordered-into-daniel-morecombe-case/story-e6freoof-1225991348938


I can bring over the above listed articles if anyone is interested in reading further about Daniel and the incompetent handling of the original reports

 
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« Reply #1023 on: January 19, 2011, 08:26:26 PM »

These are awesome :

High-resolution aerial photos taken over Brisbane last week have revealed the scale of devastation across dozens of suburbs and tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

The aerial photos of the Brisbane floods were taken in flyovers on January 13 and January 14.

Hover over each photo to view the devastation caused by flooding.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/infographics/qld-floods/beforeafter.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/infographics/qld-floods/beforeafter2.htm

Mouse over from right hand margin to view comparisons.




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« Reply #1024 on: January 20, 2011, 01:09:50 AM »

Beer ship to the rescue

RACHEL TOUNE  |  January 20th, 2011

TOWNSVILLE pubs have run out of XXXX beer because of the Brisbane floods, forcing brewer Lion Nathan to send a shipload of the amber fluid north to replenish dwindling supplies.

McDonalds has also been forced to send a planeload of lettuce north to keep burger lovers happy in a move which is believed to have cost the company $50,000.

Restaurants across the city have been forced to take some items off their menus due to stock shortages with price hikes for fresh produce hitting businesses.

XXXX corporate affairs manager Leela Sutton said a ship carrying 50,000 cartons had left the Port of Brisbane bound for Townsville as soon as the port reopened yesterday.

"That's on it's way to Townsville and then of course we'll be looking at rail and road as soon as we'll be able to access them as well," Ms Sutton said.

"If there is a shortage hopefully it will only for be a couple of days."

Carlton United Breweries fans have fared better with a Foster's spokesman saying there were no supply problems for their main product lines.

McDonald's spokeswoman Laura Keith said the company had flown produce to Queensland from Victoria and New South Wales, which was then trucked to Townsville.

She said McDonald's was also looking at air-freighting directly to the local area over the coming days.

"In some cases restaurants are offering limited menus until they receive full supplies," she said.

Gregory's Bites Cafe and Juice Bar owner Michael Keighran predicted prices for fresh produce would increase in coming weeks.

He said the cafe was offering diners alternative specials when meals were not available, rather than change their menu each day, with most customers empathising with their difficulty in sourcing some goods.

"We've had to be creative and people do understand," he said.

Jam Corner owner Matt Merrin said the restaurant had also experienced difficulty in sourcing fruit and vegetables, although meat and seafood had been more readily available locally.

"We've managed to work with our suppliers and get hold of most things so there's only one or two things (on the menu) we have run out of," he said.

Flinders St East restaurant Osman's Wood Fired Cuisine has also shut its adjacent kebab shop until further notice citing flooding in Queensland as the reason, notifying customers of the closure on their website.

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2011/01/20/201261_news.html

XXXX beer is called Four X
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« Reply #1025 on: January 20, 2011, 03:53:33 AM »

Flood victim Troy Cassar-Daley pulls out of country music awards

    * From: AAP
    * January 19, 2011 4:08PM

 BRISBANE country music star Troy Cassar-Daley has pulled out of performing at the Country Music Awards of Australia after his home was devastated in the recent floods.

The Golden Guitar award winner - who played at the fundraising telethon for Queensland flood victims at South Bank two weeks ago - was scheduled to appear at the event but his farm at Fernvale near the Brisbane River was flooded last week.

Troy helped raise more than $10 million from The Sunday Mail/Courier-Mail/Channel 9 appeal on January 9 but became a flood victim himself last Tuesday when the river burst its banks and water rose 20cms (8ins) inches into the second level of his home.

A spokeswoman from Mushroom Group Promotions said Cassar-Daley had to cancel some commitments at the festival in Tamworth, NSW, this week, but would fly in and out on Thursday for a show.

''He's obviously busy attending to the flood damage on his property,'' she said.

Luke Austen, a long-time member of Cassar-Daley's band, had been planning to marry his fiance Jessica at Troy's Fernvale farm in March.

Austen is nominated for four Golden Guitars at this year's CMAA, including male artist of the year for She's So You and said he is ''absolutely pumped'' about the nominations.

''Just to be up there with the names that are associated with the category that I am in, it's more than I could have ever wished for, so yeah, I'm stoked,'' he said.

''I already feel like a winner, simply because my songs are being recognised, but if I can turn one of the nominations into gold, I'll be over the moon.''

The nine days of singing, line dancing and guitar strumming throughout every nook and cranny of Tamworth will culminate on Saturday with country music's biggest night of the year.

Now in its 39th year, the awards celebrate the best that Australian country music has to offer, with 13 Golden Guitars to be awarded.

The main contender this year is country music darling Kasey Chambers, up for seven Golden Guitars, including album of the year, female artist of the year and single of the year for her album and title track Little Bird.

Former Australian of the Year Lee Kernaghan isn't far behind with six nominations for album of the year, male artist of the year and single of the year for his album and title track Planet Country.

In line for five awards are The McClymonts, receiving plenty of kudos for their album and single Wrapped Up Good.

Sisters Brooke, Samantha and Mollie from Grafton, NSW, who already have six Golden Guitars under their belt, said they were excited about their nominations, but were distracted by the festivities at Tamworth.

''We usually don't think about it until the actual day because you get so busy in Tamworth in between venues,'' Brooke said. ''It's nice to top it all off at the end of it, but it's definitely one of the highlights.''

Middle sister Samantha said the awards were the ''perfect way'' to end the festival.

''Everyone is there in the one spot and we haven't seen anyone all week, you can hang out with your friends and with your fellow artists, it's a really nice atmosphere, it's a really great night,'' she said.

The sisters are scheduled to perform on the night, along with Chambers, Kernaghan and Adam Harvey and Wendy Matthews.

The show will be hosted by country star Beccy Cole and 2GB announcer Ray Hadley.

AAP

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/flood-victim-troy-cassar-daley-pulls-out-of-country-music-awards/story-e6freq7o-1225991242809


http://www.country.com.au/
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« Reply #1026 on: January 20, 2011, 03:50:14 PM »

Police review ordered into Daniel Morecombe case

    * Kristin Shorten and Robyn Ironside
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 20, 2011 12:00AM

MORE than seven years after the disappearance of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe, a new taskforce has been set up at police headquarters in Brisbane to review evidence related to his suspected abduction.

A police source said Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon has pulled between 30 and 40 detectives in from other areas of the State Crime Operations Command to sift through 5000 job logs related to the 13-year-old boy's disappearance on December 7, 2003.

This comes as Mr Condon prepares to give evidence about how the investigation was conducted when the inquest, held before Coroner Michael Barnes, resumes in March.

Some police officers say the latest move is a "face-saving exercise" and a thorough review should have occurred sooner.

Almost 18,000 job logs, each representing a piece of evidence or information related to the investigation, had been recorded prior to the inquest starting last October.


Related Coverage

    * Inquest: Daniel case: No DNA test defended
    * Missing boy: FBI advice on Daniel 'ignored'
    * Inquest: Search for Daniel 'was delayed'


Sunshine Coast solicitor Peter Boyce, representing the Morcombes, welcomed the review.

"I have to admit, I wonder to myself why they hadn't had an independent review (of the job logs) previously, but we can't change what hasn't happened," he said.

Daniel's father Bruce said the review may have resulted from a November meeting with Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.

"We raised some concerns (about the investigation) as well as some suggestions and they were taken in good faith," he said.

"Certainly what we were interested in was Daniel's case not becoming a cold case without a serious review of all of the high priority job logs."

The Morcombes were preparing to come face-to-face with two "people of interest" when the inquest resumes.

"If the QPS has identified there was more they could do before the next 10 days of sitting that may well be fruitful," Mr Morcombe said.

"We've got two very ugly and suspicious people that are being called.

"We just need to load up every piece of weaponry we've got to fire very specific questions.

"It might just have to do with a timeline, a movement, a car or something that didn't come to light (earlier) . . . Or let's just hope they find that one mobile number (that holds a clue) and bingo."

Mr Condon would not confirm the existence of the taskforce.

A statement from Police Media said the QPS was "committed to utilising all possible strategies and resources to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion".

The statement said the investigation was ongoing.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/police-review-ordered-into-daniel-morecombe-case/story-e6freoof-1225991348938


I can bring over the above listed articles if anyone is interested in reading further about Daniel and the incompetent handling of the original reports

 

This is a very interesting case, Tib.  Would you want to start a thread in our Missing Person's Forum for Daniel?  I've not heard of this case and am interested in it and I think others might want to follow it too.  We're seeing more older cases being revisited and sometimes solved. 
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« Reply #1027 on: January 20, 2011, 07:24:31 PM »

Muffy, thank you for the invitation to start a thread on Daniel.  I will work on this over the weekend.  There are a lot of items in our media about the case and I am sure most of the earlier ones would still be available.  I admire Daniel's parents as they have set out to do similar work to what Beth is doing by travelling all over warning children about the dangers of abduction.

    BTW when you buzz this way again, would you kindly delete my post 1025.  I know it is a lighthearted item about some of the "sacrifices" thirsty flood victims have had to make but I do not think it warrants reading twice.   Monkey Devil!  Done.  MB
There was a server hiccup just as I posted and I must have hit the send button more than once, hence the duplication.

TIA.    

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 07:42:56 PM by MuffyBee » Logged



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« Reply #1028 on: January 21, 2011, 07:27:54 PM »

Flooded residents wait for Queensland Government decision before rebuilding

    * by Anna Caldwell
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 22, 2011 12:00AM

THOUSANDS of flood-affected Queenslanders face months waiting for the State Government to decide if they can rebuild their shattered properties.

The Government's statutory recovery authority, announced this week, it will have the power to determine if some streets can be rebuilt in the same way, or if they can be replaced at all.

That has led to widespread fears among business owners and residents in the worst flood zones that it could take weeks or even months before they could begin the painstaking task of renovating, repairing or rebuilding.

Premier Anna Bligh conceded yesterday that the rebuilding could take months but tried to hose down fears of long bureaucratic delays facing residents.

"We'll be doing everything in our power not to slow down the process," she said.

However Lord Mayor Campbell Newman called for more clarity, saying victims needed to know as quickly as possible if they would be allowed to rebuild.

"The cases that I've seen and I've talked to many people across Brisbane is that they do want to rebuild, they want to stay where they're living," Cr Newman said.

"I think that's something the state needs to address and needs to address now."

The Federal Government has meanwhile indicated that a special levy might be needed to help fund the massive recovery effort.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said while the scale of the flood was still becoming apparent, it was clear that in economic terms it was the largest natural disaster in Australian history.

He said his Government had not reached a conclusion about a levy, but conceded the idea was under careful consideration.

"The commonsense thing to do is to have all options on the table," he said.

"We will be looking for there to be expenditure reductions, there's no doubt about that, but the fact is the scale of this is such that it may require a variety of decisions.

"We have a responsibility to look at (all options)."

Mr Swan said returning the budget to surplus by 2012-2013 was still a high priority.

New figures released by Ms Bligh yesterday indicated that at least 5400 homes across the state were severely damaged after water flooded them above the floorboards. A total of 30,000 homes were affected in some way.

It is likely the Bligh Government's statutory authority will oversee a buy-back scheme of some properties, partnering with local governments.

Meanwhile, a week of very high tides culminating in a king tide yesterday proved a headache for Brisbane residents and business owners.

The king tide peaked at 1.75m at 11.30am, inundating low-lying streets at Albion, Milton, Hemmant, Ransome, Newstead and Herston. But by noon it had already dropped to about 1.5m.

The peak level was 70cm higher than Thursday's high tide but there was no serious damage.

Greg Webb, of Delta Taxi Management, in Hutcheson St, Albion, was one of dozens of people who scrambled to protect property.

Mr Webb said repairs to his office and workshop had only started after last week's flood.

He and his staff masked the lower part of the office with thick plastic sheeting and used sandbags to block the rising water.

As he lugged another bag toward the office door, a truck lumbered around the corner through the waters.

"Slow down!" he yelled as a bow wave from the vehicle sloshed down the road outside his business.

Mr Webb said the continuing flooding was frustrating.

"I'm having to pay all these people for nothing," he said.

"It's cost us $200,000 in business we have been only able to work half days."

Despite yesterday's setback, Mr Webb hoped that by the time he had finished rebuilding he would have "future proofed" his business.

- additional reporting by AAP

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/flooded-residents-wait-for-queensland-government-decision-before-rebuilding/story-e6freon6-1225992593094
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« Reply #1029 on: January 21, 2011, 07:30:19 PM »

Swan weighs levy to foot rebuilding bill

    * David Uren
    * From: The Australian
    * January 18, 2011 12:00AM

A FLOOD levy is one of the options before the federal government as it considers how to honour its commitment to cover the lion's share of rebuilding costs while preserving the budget's return to surplus in 2012-13.

Any levy would likely take the form of an addition to the 1.5 per cent Medicare levy, which raises $10 billion a year.

Julia Gillard indicated yesterday that the government's obligations to support Queensland would form part of the planning for the 2011-12 budget.

"There's going to be a lot of effort and money and resources needed to rebuild, particularly rebuild Queensland, but we'll be managing the federal budget through the federal government so that we can meet those needs as well as managing the budget into surplus in 2012-13," the Prime Minister said.

Wayne Swan said the government was not yet ready to announce the form of commonwealth assistance, but confirmed it would be a significant burden on the budget.

"While the full extent of the damage from this terrible disaster is not yet known, we have been very clear in saying that the Gillard government will continue to supply substantial assistance, with the form of further assistance to be announced in the coming weeks and months," the Treasurer said.

If the government was to adopt a temporary levy it would probably be confined to paying for the rebuilding of infrastructure damaged in the flood, not assisting householders whose insurance policies have proven inadequate.

The commonwealth is obliged to cover 75 per cent of the cost of rebuilding infrastructure damaged in natural disasters in the states.

Mr Swan said the government would take its time to assess the full cost of the disaster.

He said the government's financial position was strong and the economy was in good shape.

"So we do have underlying economic strength to deal with the challenges that are posed by this natural disaster, but of course it will involve difficult decisions," Mr Swan said.

It is understood that it is too soon for the Treasurer's office to decide how it will pay for rebuilding and it is yet to rule out any options.

Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said yesterday the government should deal with the additional cost of the Queensland recovery by cutting spending, not by imposing a new tax.

"Quite properly, the community and the Coalition are keen to see appropriate levels of government support to rebuild infrastructure in flood-affected regions," he said.

"But given the unprecedented levels of waste and mismanagement from this government, spending should come from reprioritised spending, not a new tax.

"At the top of the list, plans for the National Broadband Network should be put on hold until its value is established through a benefit-cost study."

Mr Robb said the government's fiscal rules required it to offset any new spending with cuts in other areas.

"They have not demonstrated they can take the tough decisions to achieve this. At the first big test, and it is a big test, Labor instinctively resort to a new tax," he said.

The Howard government imposed a series of levies to pay for the gun buyback after the Port Arthur massacre, severance pay for Ansett workers and the restructuring of the sugar and milk industries. It abandoned a plan to impose a levy to pay for the military engagement in East Timor after community resistance.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/queensland-floods/swan-weighs-levy-to-foot-rebuilding-bill/story-fn7iwx3v-1225989845355
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« Reply #1030 on: January 21, 2011, 07:33:17 PM »

Queensland Ride Relief

International cycling legends Lance Armstrong and Robbie McEwen will lead a special fundraiser bike ride through the streets of Brisbane this Monday, 24th January.

The ride will depart from the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane, head out of the city over the Story Bridge down Wynnum Rd and wind through Bulimba back over the Story Bridge, returning to the Showgrounds by 12pm.

This is your opportunity to ride with the greats and show your support for Queenslanders affected by the recent flood event.

Where: Ride departs and concludes at RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane

Date: Monday 24 January

Time: Gates open at 8am. All Entries close at 9.30am with all riders to be on site by 10am. Official event brief and start 10.30am. Ride concludes and course closed at 12pm.

Parking: Limited parking available. Cyclists are encouraged to ride to the event.

Entry fee: $50.00 donation (with $1.50 booking fee and $1.20 credit card fee for online registrations)

Event organisers have worked closely with the Queensland Government, Queensland Police and Brisbane City Council to ensure minimum traffic disruptions from the event as all authorities continue to remain focused on flood recovery efforts.

This is a social fundraiser but due to the nature and level of difficulty of the 25km ride, the event is for cyclists 17 years and over and not suitable for casual riders. Please ensure that you comply with the terms and conditions below.

Click here for terms and conditions.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/extras/creative/editorial/ride-relief/
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« Reply #1031 on: January 21, 2011, 07:37:45 PM »

Flood-devastated Grantham shares its sorrow

    * Jasmin Lill
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 22, 2011 10:08AM

A TIN of baby formula sits in a tangle of weeds beside a bridge.

A once-loved doll is wedged in the mud, but its head is missing.

Fluorescent pink warnings are spray painted across empty homes warning "unsafe, no entry".

For three hours yesterday, Grantham let media into its hurt community that had previously been closed to allow residents privacy to clean and grieve for lost family and friends.

Police issued a statement to media from the townspeople that urged respect for individuals' wishes in relation to photographs and interviews.

But mostly, residents were keen to share their stories about what they'd lost, and plead for insurance companies and authorities to help them.

Harris St was one of the worst-affected streets. Residents Deb Schmidt and Tony Moore lost everything as the now infamous wall of water etched a scar across the town.

As it bore down on their home, the pair raced next door and rounded up the elderly residents before scrambling on to their neighbour's roof.

In horror, they watched as the inland sea shifted houses and cars, and they phoned their family to say goodbye.

"We thought we were going to die," Mr Moore said.

Angela Adams also lives in the street and was asleep when she and her dad heard a neighbour screaming.

"As soon as we looked in the backyard, the water was coming in the house," she said.

"We holed up in my room and had our little dogs on my bed. Once the water got too high, we put the dogs in the cupboard."

They floated on furniture until the water surged up to their necks, while a floating torch in her room alerted a neighbour who rescued them in a canoe.

Ms Adams who was eventually taken to Helidon in a backhoe doubts she can stay in the town.

On the Gatton-Helidon Rd, Frances Arndt, 65, and husband Ken, 72, were lucky their daughter phoned to warn them about the water headed their way.

"We were in our ute trying to escape when the wall of water hit us,"' Mrs Arndt said.

They couldn't open their doors because of its force, and had to float through their car windows.

"We climbed up into some trees and held on for dear life," Mrs Arndt, a former timber contractor said.

"How ironic is that? When that tree saved our lives, we vowed we'd never cut another tree down again."

The couple say they've been on an emotional rollercoaster, struggling to work out why they lived when some of their neighbours were lost.

Shirley Marshall is still coming to terms with the death of husband Bruce, who perished in their house during the flood.

The couple's caravan was swept away by the torrent and they saw it for the first time yesterday in the backyard of a stranger.

"It was my husband's pride and joy," Ms Shirley said.

Daughter Tanya helped her mum pick through their mangled possessions yesterday, happy just to find her dad's metal detectors and a precious family photo.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/flood-devastated-grantham-shares-its-sorrow/story-e6freon6-1225992764788
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« Reply #1032 on: January 21, 2011, 07:45:43 PM »

Flood of support from LA Aussies

    * Confidential reporters
    * From: Herald Sun
    * January 22, 2011 12:03AM

AUSTRALIA'S Hollywood A-list will show its support for the victims of the Queensland floods, with the G'DAY USA gala to double as a fundraiser.

The Mentallist star Simon Baker will act as a celebrity auctioneer at the gala dinner to be held on Sunday in Los Angeles, where many major Australian businesses are expected to dig deep.

The event, to be hosted by Rove McManus, is tipped to attract a stellar roll call of stars, including Golden Globe nominee Jacki Weaver, Barry Gibb, Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.

One of the highlights of the evening will be a showcase of Australian fashion presented by Myer and featuring Kris Smith, Laura Dundovic and Pia Miller on the catwalk.

Smith will be joined in LA on Sunday by his partner, Dannii Minogue, in what will be the couple's first break away from their adored six-month-old son, Ethan.

"It is horrible, absolutely horrible, being away from him, but he is at the age where he is not going to resent me for it,'' Smith said yesterday. "He is chilling out with my parents, who flew in (from Britain) last week. He absolutely loves my parents and loves being around them.''

Smith joked: "He (Ethan) was offered the opportunity (to go to LA), but declined. He is going to have much more fun where he is.''

Smith said the robust tot might cause chaos while he and Minogue were away, turning the family home upside down.

"He might even take over my man cave,'' Smith said of his backyard den of big boy's toys.

"It has the billiards table and beer fridge and TV and dart board. It has got everything. Dannii sends me there when I am eating too much protein and am stinking.''

Smith's catwalk partner, Dundovic, attracted plenty of attention during a photo shoot on Hollywood Boulevard yesterday being swept off her feet literally by a superhero -- or at least a man dressed as a comic book character.

"I had a Mr Incredible ask if I would shake his hand and as I did the handshake he spun around and then picked me up and started walking off with me,'' Dundovic said.

"I was like: 'Oh my God, please put me down'.''

Dundovic is hardly travelling light on her whirlwind trip to LaLa Land arriving with 50kg of luggage.

"The Myer people took one look at me and said: 'My God, Laura, what did you pack?''' she said.

"They keep calling it my bag of tricks because at all of the shoots I have done, and when they have said, 'What have you got in your bag of tricks?', I have been able to pull out something perfect.''

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/celebs-say-gday-to-la/story-e6frf96x-1225992651845
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« Reply #1033 on: January 21, 2011, 07:58:48 PM »

When Oprah gives, someone else pays

Karl Quinn
January 22, 2011

The TV host takes the glory for gifts that often don't cost her a cent.

OPRAH Winfrey is the female Santa. She is such a bountiful and renowned giver of gifts that, as with any kid on the day after Christmas, the first question anyone who has attended one of her shows will be asked is, ''What did you get?''

Sometimes the baubles are insubstantial - a book, say, or a $10 McDonald's voucher - but sometimes they are massive. The trip to Australia for 302 fans is the most famous giveaway, but it's not the most exorbitant. In 2004, she gave a new car to each and every member of her audience, a gesture that was valued at the time at $US7.8 million. On one fabulous day each year, she gives everyone in her studio audience the 10 things that have made it on to the list of her ''ultimate favourite things'' for the previous 12 months. Last year's swag included an iPad, a $400 handbag and a pair of sparkly Ugg boots. No wonder tickets for the taping of her shows are so hotly sought after.

Oprah's reputation for generosity is further bolstered by her financial donations. Between 1998 and 2007, she gave $US230 million to her Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which disperses money to many charitable causes, including her school for girls in South Africa (sadly, the site of an ugly sex scandal) and the homes built in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Advertisement: Story continues below

All of which might make you think Oprah ought to be nominated for sainthood, or at least for a Nobel prize (there was a fan-driven campaign to earn her a nomination for the latter in 2005, which fell well short of its own 100,000-signature target). But hold off on those garlands; Oprah's giving is not quite as selfless as it seems.

Staggering as it is, the aforementioned decade worth of financial gifts - all tax deductible, of course - amounts to less than 13 per cent of her $US1.8 billion income over the same period. Forbes magazine has declared Oprah the wealthiest black person on the planet, with a net worth last estimated at $US2.7 billion and earnings of $US315 million in 2010 alone. The launch this month of her OWN (for Oprah Winfrey Network) cable channel could see her earning even more than that in years to come.

But, you say, even if Oprah can afford to be generous, not every billionaire is so ready to open their wallet for a cause. True enough. But nor is every donor so determined to make sure we notice every time a nickel is tossed into a tin cup.

Oprah's unofficial biographer Kitty Kelley details the degree to which the chat queen is concerned that her giving should be documented. Oprah began ''giving in earnest'', Kelley writes in her 2010 book Oprah, in 1997. That year she donated $12 million to the foundation established in her name, and also set up Oprah's Angel Network, a charitable body that collects donations from her viewers.

By 2008, Kelley claims, ''her viewers [through the Network] had contributed more than $70 million to 172 projects around the world … all selected by Oprah and donated in her name. She fully understood the goodwill that accrues to those who give, and when she gave, she did so very publicly. Her philanthropy was not quiet or anonymous.''

Oprah likes to say, as she did at the end of her first live show in Sydney in December, that you get back what you give out. Certainly, that seems to be her MO where acts of charity are concerned: you give out (money), you get back (the positive associations). And the beauty of it is, her production company, Harpo, is willing to let others have a little slice of that action, too.

Those cars in 2004, for instance, were donated by General Motors, and the people who received them had been selected by Harpo as worthy (on the grounds of poverty or need or good works done for others). In scenes that foreshadowed the great Aussie giveaway, Oprah told everyone ''You get a car. And you get a car. Everyone gets a car.''

Everyone was a winner: Oprah looked generous, General Motors looked generous, the audience members looked ecstatic. Only after the credits rolled did it emerge that some of the recipients would have to forgo the gift because they couldn't afford the $7000 taxes payable on the gift (and which Harpo was unwilling to cover). Bummer, but no harm done to Brand Oprah.

In Australia, Oprah ''gave away'' $1 million worth of computer gear to a needy school (donated by IBM and Hewlett Packard). She gave away $250,000 to a cancer sufferer and his family (donated by X-Box). She gave away 6000 pearl necklaces (donated by West Australian pearl producer MG Kailis) and 6000 diamond pendants (donated by Rio Tinto). And, of course, she gave away the trip of a lifetime to each of the 302 ultimate fans who accompanied her from Canada and America (donated by Australian tourism bodies).

None of which is to say there is not a lot to admire in Oprah's generosity. It's merely to make the point that when Oprah gives, there's a very good chance someone else is picking up the tab - even as she is picking up the glory.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/when-oprah-gives-someone-else-pays-20110121-1a012.html

Paragraph above bolded by me for emphasis.
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« Reply #1034 on: January 21, 2011, 08:02:28 PM »

Hi Tib.  Thank you for all the information and updates. So many have lost so much  
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« Reply #1035 on: January 21, 2011, 08:07:11 PM »

Thank you Muffy.  You are a very helpful Bee   

It will take a little longer than I estimated to research Daniel's case history as there are over 8,000 results in my Google search of Australian media.  I was planning to get items into some sort of chronological order and will do my best.  Google is my friend.

 
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« Reply #1036 on: January 22, 2011, 08:51:04 PM »

Thank you Muffy.  You are a very helpful Bee   

It will take a little longer than I estimated to research Daniel's case history as there are over 8,000 results in my Google search of Australian media.  I was planning to get items into some sort of chronological order and will do my best.  Google is my friend.

 

Take your time Tib.  I realized when I mentioned starting a thread for Daniel, it would be a lot of work/time and if it's too much, then don't worry.  I know what you mean about trying to get some items into a chronological order.  I find sometimes when I'm posting a case that has history/has been around a while, it does take research and forethought.  If you decide to go ahead and set up the thread I will be glad to help you if need it.  I can help edit or delete a post you may make in error etc.  BTW, Google is my friend too 
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« Reply #1037 on: January 23, 2011, 10:13:25 AM »

When Oprah gives, someone else pays

Karl Quinn
January 22, 2011

The TV host takes the glory for gifts that often don't cost her a cent.

OPRAH Winfrey is the female Santa. She is such a bountiful and renowned giver of gifts that, as with any kid on the day after Christmas, the first question anyone who has attended one of her shows will be asked is, ''What did you get?''

Sometimes the baubles are insubstantial - a book, say, or a $10 McDonald's voucher - but sometimes they are massive. The trip to Australia for 302 fans is the most famous giveaway, but it's not the most exorbitant. In 2004, she gave a new car to each and every member of her audience, a gesture that was valued at the time at $US7.8 million. On one fabulous day each year, she gives everyone in her studio audience the 10 things that have made it on to the list of her ''ultimate favourite things'' for the previous 12 months. Last year's swag included an iPad, a $400 handbag and a pair of sparkly Ugg boots. No wonder tickets for the taping of her shows are so hotly sought after.

Oprah's reputation for generosity is further bolstered by her financial donations. Between 1998 and 2007, she gave $US230 million to her Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which disperses money to many charitable causes, including her school for girls in South Africa (sadly, the site of an ugly sex scandal) and the homes built in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Advertisement: Story continues below

All of which might make you think Oprah ought to be nominated for sainthood, or at least for a Nobel prize (there was a fan-driven campaign to earn her a nomination for the latter in 2005, which fell well short of its own 100,000-signature target). But hold off on those garlands; Oprah's giving is not quite as selfless as it seems.

Staggering as it is, the aforementioned decade worth of financial gifts - all tax deductible, of course - amounts to less than 13 per cent of her $US1.8 billion income over the same period. Forbes magazine has declared Oprah the wealthiest black person on the planet, with a net worth last estimated at $US2.7 billion and earnings of $US315 million in 2010 alone. The launch this month of her OWN (for Oprah Winfrey Network) cable channel could see her earning even more than that in years to come.

But, you say, even if Oprah can afford to be generous, not every billionaire is so ready to open their wallet for a cause. True enough. But nor is every donor so determined to make sure we notice every time a nickel is tossed into a tin cup.

Oprah's unofficial biographer Kitty Kelley details the degree to which the chat queen is concerned that her giving should be documented. Oprah began ''giving in earnest'', Kelley writes in her 2010 book Oprah, in 1997. That year she donated $12 million to the foundation established in her name, and also set up Oprah's Angel Network, a charitable body that collects donations from her viewers.

By 2008, Kelley claims, ''her viewers [through the Network] had contributed more than $70 million to 172 projects around the world … all selected by Oprah and donated in her name. She fully understood the goodwill that accrues to those who give, and when she gave, she did so very publicly. Her philanthropy was not quiet or anonymous.''

Oprah likes to say, as she did at the end of her first live show in Sydney in December, that you get back what you give out. Certainly, that seems to be her MO where acts of charity are concerned: you give out (money), you get back (the positive associations). And the beauty of it is, her production company, Harpo, is willing to let others have a little slice of that action, too.

Those cars in 2004, for instance, were donated by General Motors, and the people who received them had been selected by Harpo as worthy (on the grounds of poverty or need or good works done for others). In scenes that foreshadowed the great Aussie giveaway, Oprah told everyone ''You get a car. And you get a car. Everyone gets a car.''

Everyone was a winner: Oprah looked generous, General Motors looked generous, the audience members looked ecstatic. Only after the credits rolled did it emerge that some of the recipients would have to forgo the gift because they couldn't afford the $7000 taxes payable on the gift (and which Harpo was unwilling to cover). Bummer, but no harm done to Brand Oprah.

In Australia, Oprah ''gave away'' $1 million worth of computer gear to a needy school (donated by IBM and Hewlett Packard). She gave away $250,000 to a cancer sufferer and his family (donated by X-Box). She gave away 6000 pearl necklaces (donated by West Australian pearl producer MG Kailis) and 6000 diamond pendants (donated by Rio Tinto). And, of course, she gave away the trip of a lifetime to each of the 302 ultimate fans who accompanied her from Canada and America (donated by Australian tourism bodies).

None of which is to say there is not a lot to admire in Oprah's generosity. It's merely to make the point that when Oprah gives, there's a very good chance someone else is picking up the tab - even as she is picking up the glory.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/when-oprah-gives-someone-else-pays-20110121-1a012.html

Paragraph above bolded by me for emphasis.

I guess you have to read all the small print. Did not know this but should have guessed.
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« Reply #1038 on: January 25, 2011, 08:00:41 PM »

Muffy thank you for you offer to help.  I am sure I will need it when I finally get organised.  Just got to remember the links ........

4 Donks  I know how you feel.  We all realise that companies "donate" their products and services to game shows in exchange for advertising on the show but I think what gets to me about Oprah is the way she portrays herself as the great benefactor out of her own pocket, and not just the means by which these companies have their products given away and can write off the costs against their profits.  I do feel sorry for the folk who had to forgo the gift of a car because they could not afford the taxes.  These would be the people who would be helped the most by the gift IMO.

As some wise person once said  "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is”

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« Reply #1039 on: January 25, 2011, 08:03:58 PM »

Today January 26th is our Australia Day.

Australia Day

Australia Day History
Australia Day Timeline
Australia Day and Reconciliation

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.

Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788 (to read a comprehensive history of the evolution of Australia Day, click here).

Though 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation's history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.

On Australia Day, over half of the nation’s population of 21 million attend either an organised community event, or get together with family and friends with the intention of celebrating our national day. Many more spend the public holiday relaxing with family and friends.

Yet Australia Day is much more than barbeques and fireworks. It is more than another public holiday. It is more than the pride and excitement of new citizens who call themselves Australian for the first time on 26 January after being conferred citizenship.

At its core, Australia Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebrations held in each town, suburb or city – unified by the celebration of what’s great about Australia and being Australian – are the foundation of its ongoing success.

http://www.australiaday.org.au/experience/page31.asp
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