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Wide Bay Burnett

In this edition:

Message from the Premier

Every Queenslander deserves to go out and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.

That is why I recently released Australia’s most comprehensive package of reforms to stamp out alcohol and drug-related violence, restore responsible behaviour and ensure Queensland’s nightlife is safe for all.

The government’s draft ‘Safe Night Out Strategy’ consists of a range of initiatives including alcohol and drug education in schools, community awareness campaigns and tougher penalties for anti-social behaviour.

Our message is clear: we need to change the culture of binge drinking and violence in our nightspots.

Most Queenslanders drink responsibly. This is about targeting troublemakers and making them accountable for their actions.

These reforms are now available for your comment and I encourage all Queenslanders to have their say.

With Easter just around the corner, I urge everyone to stay safe and have an enjoyable long weekend with their loved ones. Whether you’re planning a big trip over the weekend or staying closer to home, please remember to drive safe on the roads.

Campbell Newman
Queensland Premier

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Calling all budding fashion designers for Project SPF

Young Australians have the highest incidence of malignant melanoma in the world.

Queensland Health’s newest sun safety campaign, Project SPF (stay pretty forever), is seeking fashion inspiration that will encourage young women to protect their skin from the sun while looking stylish from head to toe.

Aspiring Queensland designers have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a mentoring opportunity with popular fashion designer and Australia’s first Project Runway winner, Juli Grbac.

Fashion-forward Queenslanders can enter the Project SPF fashion design competition by designing a highly wearable look that marries high fashion with sun safety. To enter, visit the Project SPF Facebook page. Entries close 30 April 2014.

Stepping out in a sun-safe and stylish outfit? Share it with everyone on Instagram. Search for projectspf and add #ProjectSPF to your next sun-safe outfit post.

Keep a close eye on the Project SPF Facebook page and blog for the latest sun-safe fashion trends from fashion royalty like Style Creeper’s Nyla Jade, stylist Laura Stead and the girls from Sabo Skirt by going to the Project SPF tumblr and Facebook pages.

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Millions for Indigenous training

A new $4 million strategy has been developed to help Indigenous people undertake and complete training that leads to jobs.

The Strategic Indigenous Vocational Education and Training (VET) Partnership will see up to $1 million a year over the next four years invested in accredited training and assessment services that lead to Indigenous employment.

Priority will be given to programs and initiatives in skill shortage areas and the Queensland Government priority sectors of tourism, agriculture, resources and construction.

Local employers, industry and Indigenous communities will be involved in identifying the skills and employment needs and geographic areas where they are needed.

The Strategic Indigenous VET Partnership is part of the Queensland Government's Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Economic Participation Framework and is strongly aligned with the Solid partners. Solid futures and Great skills. Real opportunities action plans.

Find out more about the Strategic Indigenous VET Partnership.

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Changes to school principal selection

Parents and communities now have a greater say in who runs their schools thanks to changes to the way school principals are recruited.

The recruitment and selection of principals is critical to making sure we give students in Queensland state schools quality teaching and learning outcomes.

The new process allows School Parents and Citizens Associations or school councils to have direct involvement in selecting a suitable principal to meet the specific needs of their school.

Principals can also apply for vacancies as they occur on the Smart Jobs and Careers  website as opposed to waiting for an annual recruitment process.

Find out more about changes to school principal recruitment.

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Making our roads safer for all

With a 30 per cent increase in the number of fatalities among cyclists and their passengers between 2012 to 2013, new rules have come into effect to protect cyclists on our roads.

Under the new rules, motorists passing cyclists on the road must:

  • leave a minimum distance of 1 metre in a 60km/h or less speed zone
  • leave a distance of at least 1.5 metres where the speed limit is over 60km/h.

Motorists will be allowed to cross centre lines, including double unbroken centre lines, straddle lane-lines or drive on painted islands to pass cyclists provided the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic and it is safe to do so.

At the same time, fines for cyclists who break the road rules have been increased—so cyclists now have to pay the same as motorists when they break the law.

Find out more about the new cycling rules.

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Take a stand against alcohol-related violence

We’re cracking down on alcohol and drug-fuelled violence and making sure Queenslanders can have a good time, safely. To do this, we’re seeking your views on whether our Safe Night Out Strategy is on the right track to tackle the problem.

The draft strategy outlines steps to stamp out alcohol and drug-related violence, restore responsible behaviour and make sure Queensland’s nightlife is safe for all to enjoy.

Some of the key elements of the draft strategy include:

  • establishing 15 Safe Night Precincts to safely and effectively manage key entertainment areas
  • mandatory ID scanners in venues trading after midnight in Safe Night Precincts
  • ‘coward punch’ deaths to be punishable through a new offence of unlawful striking causing death with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The consultation on the draft strategy closes on 21 April.

In the meantime, police will be out in full force to make sure entertainment precincts are safe for everyone, especially around the Easter break. Patrons who break the law can expect to be fined or charged.

Don’t let alcohol dictate who you are. If you plan to drink, stop and think.

Have your say on the draft strategy or find out more.

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Creative Generation up in lights yet again

Tickets are now on sale for the 10th anniversary of the Creative Generation—State Schools Onstage.

Audiences will be wowed by the dazzling display of some of the most talented dancers, singers and musicians from Queensland state schools.

The shows will feature spectacular special effects, a 700-voice choir, a 65-piece student symphony orchestra, more than 700 dancers, up to 300 string players and more than 30 featured vocalists.

The incomparable James Morrison will also be returning with The James Morrison Creative Generation Big Band to perform in the show.

Four arena-style shows will be staged at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 July.

Don’t miss out, get your tickets now at Ticketek.

For more information on Creative Generation.

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Changes to student transport discounts

From 1 July, to receive student transport discounts all full-time tertiary and postsecondary students in Queensland will need to present the new Tertiary Transport Concession Card along with their student ID when travelling on public transport.

The cards are valid for a maximum of 12 months and must be presented when buying a concession paper ticket or concession go card. Make sure you get your concession card now to avoid missing out on discounts.

Apply for a Tertiary Transport Concession Card or find out more.

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Free legal advice for park and retirement village residents

For the first time in Queensland, a new service will be available to residents of manufactured home parks and retirement villages to help them better understand their rights and responsibilities.

Across Queensland, there are more than 40,000 people living in retirement village units and around 21,000 people living in manufactured homes.

The new Park and Village Information Link program will pilot for two years and provide free legal advice to these residents on their rights under the contracts and legislation governing their living arrangements.

The service is provided by not-for-profit organisation Caxton Legal Centre and is available to those living in both regional and metropolitan areas.

The Queensland Government has provided $600,000 funding for the two-year pilot.

For more information contact the Caxton Legal Centre on (07) 3214 6333.

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Healthier.Happier this Easter

Make some small changes this Easter and improve your health and fitness age. You could get creative with non-chocolate Easter gift ideas like a basket of fruit for friends or a soft toy for young kids. And for those moments of weakness why not replace Easter eggs with some yummy strawberries instead.

Check out more tips to help improve your health and fitness age this Easter.

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New pilot to shape government services

A new pilot will help shape the way state government services are delivered to the community.

The One-Stop Shop pilot will look at how we can make it easier for everyone to access government services. It could be anything from jumping online, calling, or visiting a counter to sort out your car registration, hire a baby capsule, get camping permits or even your fishing license.

The pilot started by consulting residents in Lockyer Valley and the Scenic Rim and will be rolled out across the state so that other communities can have their say.

Great progress has already been made in moving 200 services online by the end of 2015, with 40 new services added since July last year. This includes services that allow Queenslanders to register relationships, request historical birth certificates, and check vehicle registration.

Find out more about the One-Stop Shop or the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley pilot.

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Contact government using social media

You can now use social media to contact the Queensland Government.
Ask a question about a government service on Twitter or Facebook.

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Nominations open for budding Queensland scientists

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science and Science Education.

Named after Brisbane-born and educated Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, the awards recognise Year 12 students, science teachers, support officers, schools and science education partners who make outstanding contributions to science education in

This year, 27 awards worth a total of $109,000 are available in five categories:

  • Outstanding Senior Science Student Awards (10 awards of $3000 each) 
  • Outstanding Teachers of Science Awards (10 awards of $5000 each) 
  • Science Support Officer Awards (2 awards of $5000 each) 
  • School Science Awards (2 awards of $5000 each) 
  • Science Education Partnership Awards (partners/volunteers/mentors) (3 awards of $3000 each) 

Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by another person.

Nominations close 5pm, 2 May 2014.

Winners announced from 16–24 August 2014 during National Science Week.

Find out more about the awards or apply.

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Cool shorts:

Free workshops to skill-up JPs

Are you currently a registered Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations?
Free professional development workshops are now running with topics including general witnessing procedures, issuing search warrants, witnessing land title documents and many more.

Register to attend a workshop in your local area or view the workshop calendar.

Neighbourhood Watch goes digital

You can now get involved in Neighbourhood Watch anywhere, anytime. Simply join our new online community and take part through new blogs and social media forums. You could be in the park, walking on the beach or sitting in your kitchen.

Neighbourhood Watch no longer means you need to attend a monthly meeting to be involved. Being part of the new online community will give you greater access to real time crime and prevention information, and an easier way to report crime and communicate with police.

Sign up for Neighbourhood Watch or find out more.

Australian Heritage Week

Celebrate the places and stories that make Australia and Australians special, during Australian Heritage Week (12–20 April).

Communities around Queensland will host a range of exciting activities showcasing their unique local heritage to the rest of the country. Events include guided walking tours of special heritage places, plays and re-enactments of our special stories, exhibitions and displays, open days for heritage places and many more.

Find an event in your local or find out more about Australian Heritage Week.

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Working to protect the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is precious to all Queenslanders, and the world.
That is why we are committed to further improving the management, health and protection of this amazing icon. As proud custodians of the reef, we will ensure that it continues to be the best-managed marine ecosystem in the world.

Find out what the Queensland Government is doing to protect the reef (PDF, 384KB).

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New Bundaberg disability housing on the way

Bundaberg’s elderly parents who care for their adult child with a disability can expect more help, with plans underway for a new $1.2 million disability housing complex.

The site on Osborne Street, Svensson Heights will include two units for people with disability, two units for people without disability, as well as another unit where families can sleepover during a visit.

To help people with a disability build their skills and confidence to live independently, the project design includes a separate unit where they can make a staged transition out of home.

The project is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Endeavour Foundation as part of the government’s Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial.

Find out more about the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial.

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Bridge to the muster up and running

Local residents and visitors attending the annual Gympie Music Muster in August will have an easier time getting there thanks to the opening of the new $2.2 million Amamoor Creek Bridge.

The new concrete two-lane bridge includes a pedestrian walkway and has been built next to the old timber bridge that was damaged in the 2012 floods.

Having two lanes instead of one means traffic access will be vastly improved, particularly at peak times including during the muster. It will also provide a much safer crossing for both vehicles and pedestrians.

The project was jointly funded by Gympie Regional Council and the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRAA), which includes 75 per cent of funding from the Australian Government and 25 per cent from the Queensland Government.

Find out more about the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

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Local singers to shine on stage at La boheme

The Fraser Coast’s budding artists have a rare opportunity to perform in the chorus of a new professionally staged opera with rehearsals set to begin shortly.

Thirty-six adults and twelve children from the Fraser Coast are among artists selected from eight communities across the state to perform in local choruses of Puccini’s La bohème. In the opera they will sing in Italian and act alongside OperaQ’s principal artists and Queensland Symphony Orchestra musicians.

As part of rehearsals, locals who wowed the Project Puccini team at auditions will soon begin an intensive 10-week development program to hone their music and drama skills, and equip them to build social and creative networks.

We’re also looking for budding filmmakers in each region to help document this world-first arts project. Film makers will be granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the project. To register your interest, fill out our Expression of Interest form.

Project Puccini is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund, and by the Graeme Wood Foundation.

The Brolga Theatre chorus will perform La boheme on 20 August.

Find out more about the Fraser Coast’s Project Puccini performance in Maryborough.

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Gearing up to the Anzac Centenary

This year marks the beginning of Anzac Centenary initiatives. Between 2014 and 2018, the country will take part in a number of important initiatives, including next year when we mark the Centenary of when Anzac soldiers landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, on 25 April 1915.

This Anzac Day is an opportunity for community members to come together and tell their personal stories in what is a significant period of our nation’s history.

Find out more about the Anzac Centenary.

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Last updated
15 April 2014

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