Car clue in Cedar Pocket torso investigation

Witnesses believe they saw a Nissan Micra in the area where a human torso was found in Cedar Pocket. Photo: SuppliedPolice investigating a baffling case where a burnt human torso was found on the side of a rural Queensland road have identified a car seen in the area prior to the body being found.
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Investigators believe a small orange, gold or bronze Nissan Micra hatchback was seen in the area prior to the discovery of the remains in Cedar Pocket, about 17 kilometres east of Gympie.

The car was seen by witnesses near the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach areas on September 19 last year before the body was found at 6.27pm that evening.

The driver of the car has been described as a middle-aged Caucasian woman of medium build with blonde/brown hair.

The torso was found decapitated, with both arms removed below the elbow.

Detectives are yet to identify the victim, but DNA testing on the remains has revealed that the deceased is a man aged between 40 and 80 years old, who was likely to be more than 183 centimetres tall with a solid build.

Forensic examinations showed the man had been taking prescription medication named Quinine. Earlier this year, police said they were trying to contact GPs and pharmacies to find further clues on the man’s identity.

Police also found a burnt beach towel at the scene.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestoppers南京夜网.au.

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Queensland needs 100 new schools: Planning Commission

The Schools Planning Commission has mapped the hotspots in need of new schools over the next 20 years.The Schools Planning Commission has determined more than 100 new schools will probably be needed across the state in the next 20 years – and it is already failing to take into account about 38,000 students.
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Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek tasked the commission with mapping Queensland’s growth areas and returning with a plan of where new schools would be needed and when.

But the most up to date statistics it had to use were from 2011. And in three short years, the estimates have blown out even further.

“What you are seeing…is a final determination for new schools over the next 20 years, commission chair Bob Quinn said. “Already, I have to say because of the change in data that has come from the Bureau of Statistics, it is somewhat out of date.”

“We are 38,000 students short of our estimates at the moment.

“The latest numbers signed off by the Treasurer, only about a month ago, means that there is a another 38,000 students coming into this state over the next 20 years.

“So you can see how important this process was. These maps will be updated every 12 months from recommendations that we’ve made to the minister and from there, all of the stakeholders will be continued to be involved in terms of where they are planning new schools, what type of new schools, what the time frame will be, how large they’ll be.

“So there will be a sharing of information like there has never been before to make sure that very scarce resources aren’t wasted as we build into the future.”

The plan covers suburbs of the Gold Coast, such as Robina, as well as growing regional areas such Cairns, Mackay and Beaudesert.

A funding model for the new schools is still to be worked out. The government has 11 new schools in the pipeline, which will be finished in the next couple of years. Ten of those were funded through a public-private partnership model with The Plenary Schools Consortium.

Under the PPP, the consortium builds the schools in exchange for a 30-year maintenance contract with the government.

Mr Langbroek said the hows and whens of building the new schools, estimated to be between 99 and 119, with up to 83 primary schools and 36 high schools, would be determined at a later date. But he reiterated the importance of the commission, working together with the government and independent and Catholic schools sectors to ensure needs were met quickly and, at the same time, some areas were not inundated with unnecessary facilities, while others faced over-crowding.

He said the change to the statistics indicated how “volatile” the Queensland population-growth figures were.

“As we have already heard, there are 38,000 new children, prospectively, then we might have planned for before,” he said.

“We need to make sure that just in certain areas there might be some changes….we need to be able to look at the data, see where we are now and make sure we adapt for the future.”

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Price of love: the real cost of tying the knot

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: Grant Hopson and Amanda Brodbeck were floored to find out how much a wedding costs these days. Photo: Barry Smith 101213BSD03Source: Northern Daily Leader
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LOCAL love-birds on the quest for the perfect wedding are forking out an average of $54,294 to tie the knot.

Bride to Be magazine’s most recent Cost of Love survey results show the total cost of the average Australian wedding is now a heart-stopping $54,294 – almost the same amount as the respondents’ average annual income.

In the past decade alone the cost of a wedding has almost doubled, according to Bride to Be editor Sarah Stevens.

Tamworth’s Amanda Brodbeck fiance Grant Hopson are in the process of planning their dream wedding.

The couple will say “I do” in front of about 100 guests at the picturesque Tangaratta Vineyard in November.

Like many modern brides,Ms Brodbeck said she was shocked to find out how much it would cost to turn her envisaged nuptials into reality.

“Gee wiz it’s pricey,” she said.

“Just everything in general.”

Even with “a bit of help” from both sets of parents, the cost of their special day is still smarting, Ms Brodbeck said.

“My parents are doing the traditional thing, buying my wedding gown, and my partner’s parents are contributing towards the bar and things like that, but it’s still ridiculous. It’s really a deposit for a house,” she said.

The 28-year-old has set a budget of $25,000 for the momentous occasion, excluding the honeymoon, but concedes they will probably go over it, as some things, such as lasting memories, are priceless.

“I don’t think you can budget for photography. It’s such a big thing to be able to look back on your special day in 50 years,” Ms Brodbeck said.

“I didn’t want something cheap, I wanted to make sure I get great photos.”

Although it is going to cost the couple a mint, Ms Brodbeck said she would not have it any other way.

“Every girl dreams of being a princess for the day and that’s what I’ve always dreamt of. Having the big white dress, beautiful flowers and the big cake. I’m loving it, I love (planning) it. I just can’t wait for the day to be here so I can see it all come together,” she said.

Expulsions skyrocket as schools won’t cop it anymore

Expulsions skyrocket as schools won’t cop it anymore Public Schools NSW director for Albury, Peter Smith, believes the rising number in suspensions and expulsions does not reflect deteriorating standards of behaviour. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON
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Parent Philip Evans does not believe suspensions and expulsions reflect a high rate of trouble in public schools. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

Parents Joanne Moir was confident the higher suspensions kept her children safe. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

TweetFacebookSource: Border Mail

THE number of students expelled from Riverina schools has skyrocketed from two to 20 in two years, new NSW Education Department data has revealed.

The jump in expulsions coincided with an increase in those students suspended from Albury schools and the district that runs from Mulwala to Jingellic.

There were 149 Riverina students suspended in 2012 for more than four days, an increase on 138 in 2011 and 133 in 2010.

The data did not reveal the number of expulsions in Albury and district.

The results also reveal most students were being suspended for physical violence and persistent misbehaviour.

Public Schools NSW director for Albury, Peter Smith, said the figures were not a reflection of worse behaviour but of schools taking steps to provide greater safety.

“It’s a small number when you think about how many students there are,” Mr Smith said.

Although students had been expelled, Mr Smith said it did not mean they were excluded from the system.

“Just because they are expelled from one school doesn’t mean we wipe our hands of them,” he said.

“The department works with students and families to find a suitable alternative.

“If they are expelled from one school, they might be able to go to another school, a behavioural school or TAFE.

“We have a responsibility to find an education avenue for each student.”

One Border parent yesterday said he did not believe the rise in suspensions and expulsions reflected problems in public schools.

“I think you get truancy and people misbehaving in all schools,” Philip Evans said.

Pam McMillan said she supported suspension and expulsion as punishment.

“There should be more of it,” she said.

“I’m not surprised there are more kids being suspended when you see the way they sometimes react to situations and how agitated they can get.”

Ms McMillan said students were given too many chances.

Joanne Moir said she was confident suspension kept her children and others students safe.

“There needs to be discipline for action,” she said.

“I think in-school suspension is a better idea because it’s less like a holiday.”

Mr Smith said suspensions were not an easy way out for students.

“They are given work to do, which their teachers follow-up,” he said.

“It’s done that way so teachers have time to put measures in place to better accommodate them.

“It’s better to take action to assist students to modify behaviour than do nothing.”

Clive Palmer deal saves Tony Abbott’s reforms

ClivePalmerto support FOFA changes:The PUP gives a win to the government while the Greens and consumer group are worried of future financial disarray from the water down regulations.
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The Abbott government has rescued its financial advice laws through an 11th hour deal with the Palmer United Party but the changes have drawn harsh criticism for increasing red tape and diminishing the rights of investors.

The regulations will allow financial planners associated with banks to continue to receive payments for directing customers towards the banks’ own products.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann revealed in the Senate that the government had agreed with the balance-of-power senators to introduce further protections as a condition of their support for the unravelling of changes made under the previous Labor government.

It capped a tumultuous few days during which Labor tabled the government’s reforms against its wishes and Clive Palmer said negotiations with the Coalition were not taking place when they obviously were.

The deal, first reported by Fairfax Media on Tuesday, caught Labor and the Greens by surprise and saw them attempt to block the changes with a motion of disallowance in the Senate.

The final Senate vote of 31-34 for disallowance meant the attempt to strike down the changes failed.

Labor has argued its Future of Financial Advice reforms were aimed at stopping the kind of fraud that ruined the retirement plans of investors who sought the advice of the Commonwealth Bank’s financial services arm and lost their life savings.

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has struck a deal with the Abbott government to wind back reforms to financial advice laws. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In a letter from Mr Cormann to Mr Palmer, the government agreed to require financial advisers to act in the best interests of their client and prioritise their client’s interests ahead of their own.

It also requires advisers to disclose to clients any payments they receive from product providers, give clients the right to return financial products under a 14-day cooling-off period, and change instructions to their adviser if they experience a change in their circumstances.

The regulations also specify that any instructions to alter or review instructions must be in writing, signed by the client, and acknowledged by the client.

The government has also agreed to establish an “enhanced public register” of financial advisers, including employee advisers, which includes a record of each adviser’s credentials and status in the industry.

The head of the government’s financial system inquiry, David Murray, expressed dismay on Tuesday that there wasn’t already a public register of approved financial advisers.

His inquiry recommends a register and higher trading standards.

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari slams the wind back of financial advice laws in the Senate. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The chief executive of National Seniors, Michael O’Neill, said the deal would do nothing to help investors or fix problems in the industry.

“On the surface it adds nothing to the issue at all, except potentially another layer of red tape, which was the reason why the government made its changes to start with. This was a grubby deal and Clive Palmer has treated older Australians with contempt the way he’s dealt with this today,’’ he said.

The head of the Financial Services Council, John Brogden, said the amended regulations would make financial advice more accessible and affordable. David Whiteley, of the Industry Super Association, said the changes would not prevent bonuses and other forms of conflicted remuneration being paid to financial advisers.


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Kelpie rescued after being found starving and alone in the outbackVIDEO

Nicko the Kelpie was rescued wondering alone in the NSW outback.Source: Ballarat Courier
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WHEN it comes to working dog rescues, Nicko hit the jackpot.

Things looked grim for the black and tan kelpie cross, who was found wandering the bush in outback New South Wales.

Fortunately for Nicko, Australian Working Dog Rescue Inc (AWDRI) liberated him from a pound and put him in the care of Ballan foster carer Jess Joy. He then found his way to the Nash family in Ballarat in April 2012 and now lives a life of luxury.

After adopting a cat (Indi) through the RSPCA, Vicki Nash says the family wanted to adopt a rescue dog. Fortunately for all concerned, it proved to be love at first sight.

“He was advertised on Pet Rescue by AWDRI. We didn’t mind if it was a kelpie, we just didn’t want a little dog,” Ms Nash explains.

“I can remember the photo of him. The look on his face was really sad. He was sitting on an outdoor chair and looked very calm but looked like he needed a loving home.

“We got in touch with Jess. She brought him over and we loved him straight away, although he wasn’t real calm then. He was acting a bit mental.”

When he landed at the Nash house, Nicko was called “Nick” by the AWDRI people.

That name didn’t quite fit with the bouncy, energetic kelpie cross, however.

Vicki Nash

“‘Nick’ seemed a bit too formal. So we just added the ‘o’ at the end,” Ms Nash said.

“We’re mad Richmond supporters, so we wanted to call him ‘Tiger’, but Nick was already his name. I couldn’t change it because he was already Nick in his own mind, so it become Nicko.”

It seems likely Nicko was abandoned because he had not made the grade as a working dog, an all too common occurrence.

While he lives his life as a pet now Vicki says you can see traces of his bloodline in his behaviour.

“We go on the Rail Trail and there are paddocks which back onto it,” Ms Nash explains. “There are cattle and sheep there and he goes up to the fence. He shows an interest, for sure. But he never goes in.

“We live on Dyson Drive and when the farmer who has property near us is working with sheep and cattle with his kelpies, Nicko watches with interest but that’s about it.”

Nicko lives with Ms Nash and husband Gavin, their four children Ollie (15), Ned (13), Scarlett (11) and Clementine (six), and Indi.

A large, active family has clearly been a good fit for him.

“He is a very good inside dog, and is happy to sit and do nothing. but he is also very fit. When I ride my bike he will go 20km with me. He loves it,” Ms Nash says.

“He loves balls and, if anyone goes outside, he wants to play outside.

“I have to say he is big sook in terms of having to sleep indoors. He has four kids who encourage him to be a sook.”


Widow of murdered Arncliffe father John Gasovski says family has felt ”relentless pain”

Widow of murdered Arncliffe father John Gasovski says family has felt ”relentless pain” ”Relentless pain”: The wife of murdered Arncliffe father John Gasovski at the press conference calling for the public to help with the police investigation. Picture: Kate Geraghty.
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Widow’s plea: Mr Gasovski’s wife, Jackie, pictured with Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Mick Willing, appeals to the public to help find her husband’s killers. Picture: Kate Geraghty.

Arnclife man John Gasovski. Picture: supplied

Still searching: Police hope someone who saw Mr Gasovski or his van, NSW Rego BJQ82K, before he died, will come forward. Picture: NSW Police Media.

TweetFacebook“Any information you have, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, could prove crucial in helping us solve this case.”

Commander of the Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Mick Willing,This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Gavin Jones: trailblazer

DEVASTATING: Gavin Jones will be remembered as an inspirational person, and a champion for Aboriginal Australia.
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Jake KeaneGavin Jones: 1966-2014Tributes flow in for Gavin Jones – visionary and leader

THE community is reeling at the loss of Vibe Australia founder and Aboriginal rights advocate Gavin Jones, found dead at his Goulburn property on Saturday morning.

Described as a crazy genius, a visionary and shining light, Mr Jones was the founder and director of Deadly Vibe Magazine, a national publication whose staff operated predominately from Montague Street offices.

He established the annual Deadly Awards – an Australiawide event dedicated to showcasing the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Mr Jones was 47.

Police would not comment on his death in detail, but confirmed a brief was being compiled for the coroner.

The news stunned both the Goulburn community and those further afield.

We’ve lost a great man & trailblazer in Gavin Jones. He gave voice to contemporary Aboriginal culture. Sorely missed

— Warren Mundine (@nyunggai) July 14, 2014″Indigenous Australia has lost a champion this week. Vale Gavin Jones, he will be sadly missed…”

Troy Cassar-Daley”Gavin was the most generous, humble, warm-hearted man I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend…”

Cr Alfie WalkerVale Gavin Jones, a great bloke and a great neighbour. So generous and creative.

— Pru Goward (@PruGoward) July 15, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Axe, crossbow used in alleged Somersby attempted murder

A MAN will face court on Wednesday after allegedly attempting to murder another man at Somersby with an axe and crossbow on Tuesday.
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Police arrested a 49-year-old man on Tuesday after they were called to Dawson Street at Somersby about 1.30pm.

A 56-year-old man came out of his house carrying a laptop and stood in his driveway, police said.

It is alleged the younger man approached the older man with a crossbow before firing at him.

Brisbane Water police said the arrow struck the man’s laptop and the younger man then allegedly ran at him, striking him in the head with an axe.

A struggle ensued before another man intervened and the younger man was restrained until police arrived.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding.

Police also allege he was in possession of a crossbow, knives and a piece of wire.

The older man received treatment at Gosford hospital, receiving stitches for a head wound before he was released.

The 49-year-old faced Gosford Local Court on Wednesday and did not apply for bail.

It was formally refused and he will re-appear by audio-visual link in September.

Images released of body in bin victim Valmai Birch

Detectives are appealing for assistance from members of the public as they continue to investigate the death of a woman found in a wheelie bin near Wollongong in 2011.Valmai Jane BirchAround 10pm on Monday 22 March 2011, police from the Wollongong Local Area Command attended a unit block on Woods Avenue, Woonona, after residents reported smelling a foul odour coming from a flat.
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Source: Illawarra Mercury

Police have released two images of Woonona murder victim Valmai Jane Birch in a bid to jog the memories of anyone who may have seen the 34-year-old mother in the lead-up to her death in March 2011.

Ms Birch’s body was found hidden in a wheelie bin in the bathroom of her Woods Avenue flat on March 22 after neighbours reported smelling a foul odour.

Police forced entry into the flat about 10pm where they made the grisly discovery.

At the time, Woods Avenue resident Brett Atkinson told the Mercury he heard screams coming from the unit in the weeks before Ms Birch’s death.

“We definitely heard the screams and it was pretty bad, it was full on,” he said.

The two images, taken on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, were sourced from CCTV cameras at Wollongong Railway Station. They are among the last images taken of Ms Birch before her death.

Detective Acting Inspector Darryn Gunn from the Homicide Squad said police would like to hear from anyone who may be able to help with the investigation into Ms Birch’s death.

“We believe Ms Birch was murdered between Wednesday, March 9 and Monday, March 22, 2011,” he said.

“We’re particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Ms Birch during February or March 2011.

“It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the information may seem, it could help us crack this case and bring whoever is responsible for Ms Birch’s death to justice.

“Please remember, information can be provided anonymously and will be treated confidentially.”

The morning after Ms Birch’s body was discovered, Wollongong crime manager Inspector Joe Mura said her body may have been in the bin for “a number of weeks”.

Neighbours remembered Ms Birch as a pleasant woman but said they believed she had problems.

Ms Birch is survived by her two young sons.