Stafford Highlighted in Disturbing Australia Post Dog Attack Data

New data reveals a troubling trend of dog attacks on postal workers, with the Brisbane suburb of Stafford emerging as a hotspot.

Photo Credit: Australia Post

Australia Post’s latest figures show Queensland leading the nation in such incidents, recording a staggering 466 dog-related events in the past six months alone.

This alarming statistic is part of a larger national issue, with over 1,420 dog safety incidents reported across Australia in the same period. The data, released on the 17th of June 2024, paints a concerning picture for postal workers, who face an average of 55 dog-related incidents each week.

The Ipswich suburb of Bundamba topped the list for southeastern Queensland, followed by Darra and Stafford in Brisbane. Video footage released by Australia Post captured several incidents where posties were chased and even bitten while on duty.

Australia Post is urging dog owners to take responsibility for their pets, emphasising that even seemingly docile animals can display aggressive behaviour.

Photo Credit: Australia Post

“While no single breed is more prone to aggression, we’re increasingly seeing smaller dogs exhibiting such behaviour,” a spokesperson noted.

Rod Maule, Australia Post General Manager of Safety and Wellbeing, highlighted the stress and anxiety these incidents cause for posties, who simply want to carry out their duties without fear of attack.

Photo Credit: Australia Post

Maule implores dog owners to secure their pets in a back garden, on a leash, or in a separate room when expecting deliveries, regardless of breed or temperament. He also suggests utilising parcel lockers as an alternative for those unable to safely restrain their dogs.

Australia Post has made it clear that deliveries will not be made if deemed unsafe and will cease altogether until the situation is resolved. Additionally, dog-related incidents are reported to local councils to ensure appropriate action is taken.

Published Date 19-June-2024

$335-M Earmarked for Gympie Road Bypass Tunnel, Surface Upgrades

A significant $335 million has been allocated over the next three years for the development of the proposed Gympie Road bypass tunnel and surface transformation. The centrepiece of this initiative is a proposed 7-km, two-lane tolled tunnel between Kedron and Carseldine.

Read: $35 Million Allocated to Check Viability of Toll Tunnel from Kedron to Carseldine

Financial Commitment

A substantial $318 million has been earmarked for Queensland Investment Corporation, operating through North Brisbane Infrastructure, to advance pre-construction activities. This includes geotechnical investigations and preliminary design work.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Additionally, $17 million over two years is dedicated to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to prepare a comprehensive business case for the Gympie Road Surface Corridor Transformation Project.

Proposed Tunnel Solution

Map of proposed bypass tunnel (Photo credit: North Brisbane Infrastructure)

The centrepiece of this initiative is a proposed 7-km, two-lane tolled tunnel between Kedron and Carseldine. This tunnel is projected to deliver significant benefits:

  • Time Savings: Commuters could save up to 32 minutes on a return journey during peak hours.
  • Safety and Connectivity: Enhanced safety and reduced pressure on suburban roads, alongside improved connectivity to the Gympie Arterial Road, benefiting motorists from Kedron to the Sunshine Coast.
  • Economic Impact: A projected Gross Regional Product boost exceeding $8 billion and the creation of approximately 1,800 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
  • Traffic Reduction: An estimated 40,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the tunnel, which will remain a free alternative for motorists and improve surface travel times.

The investment proposal highlights a critical need for the project, with forecasts indicating that without intervention, almost all main roads through North Brisbane will exceed capacity during peak periods by 2046. 

Gympie Road, serving both local and through traffic, experiences severe congestion and forces ‘rat runs’ on adjacent roads. The proposed tolled bypass tunnel is anticipated to offer substantial travel time benefits and alleviate pressure on the local road network.

Community Support and Consultation

Between October and December 2023, the concept of the Gympie Road bypass tunnel was presented to the community. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive:

  • Support Levels: 78 percent of respondents supported the bypass tunnel concept unprompted, rising to 83 percent when informed of potential project benefits.
  • Traffic Concerns: 94 percent of survey participants acknowledged current traffic congestion as a serious problem, and 60 percent expressed willingness to use the proposed tunnel.
  • Dissenting Views: Among those who did not support the project, the primary concerns were a preference for investment in public and active transport and an aversion to paying tolls.

Next Steps

NBI has already undertaken extensive geotechnical investigations along the Gympie Road corridor, with findings informing the investment proposal submitted for consideration.

Read: Brisbane Commuters Face Soaring Toll Costs as AirportlinkM7 Fees Increase

The project’s advancement will involve detailed planning, community engagement, and environmental assessments to ensure a balanced and effective solution to North Brisbane’s traffic challenges.

Published 16-June-2024

Unexpected $344K Payroll Tax Debt Strikes Popular Kedron Cafe

The owners of the popular Farmhouse Cafe in Kedron are facing a significant financial challenge after being hit with an unexpected payroll tax debt.

Read: Farm House Pays Tribute to Fresh Food Producers

Amanda and John Scott, owners of the cafe, were reportedly given just two weeks to pay 70 percent of the $344,000 debt. This sudden financial burden has emerged due to an “outdated” state government rule that led to their inadvertent breach of payroll tax regulations.

Located at the former site of Farmer Joe’s, the Farmhouse Cafe is recognised as one of Queensland’s top cafes, renowned for its healthy dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The cafe, alongside the Scotts’ other business, Oh Boy Bok Choy in Stafford, fell afoul of a grouping rule in Queensland’s payroll tax law. 

Payroll tax
Photo credit: Noni Creasey/Google Maps 

According to this rule, if a business is related to another, they are treated as a single entity for payroll tax purposes. This means once the combined wages of the businesses exceed $1.3 million, a 4.75 percent payroll tax applies to all related entities, regardless of individual wage bills.

Payroll tax
Photo credit: Michael Stone/Google Maps 

The Scotts, who also previously owned a gelateria, were unaware of this rule until a phone call from the Queensland Revenue Office (QRO) in May. This was followed by a $344,000 bill, backdated five years to the opening of their second business, including interest charges. 

Mrs Scott expressed frustration at the handling of the situation, noting their reliance on their accountant and the lack of prior communication from the QRO over the past five years. 

Despite acknowledging their responsibility, she criticised the process, highlighting the severe impact on their businesses, which employ around 70 people. The substantial tax bill has forced the owners to take out a mortgage to manage the payment. 

Photo credit: Lesley Greenhalgh/Google Maps

A spokesman for the QRO refrained from commenting on individual cases and did not explain the five-year delay in notifying the Scotts. It is understood that QRO’s compliance actions depend on data matching with the Australian Taxation Office.

The incident has spurred calls from industry experts, including the Australian Restaurant and Cafes Association (ARCA), to abolish the controversial payroll tax entirely. ARCA, a newly formed body representing approximately 50,000 hospitality businesses, argues that eliminating the tax would support the struggling industry.

Read: Rode Meats Under New Management As Owners Retire After 43 Years

The tax issue has also impacted the Scotts’ future business plans, causing them to abandon the idea of opening another cafe, citing it as a disincentive for business expansion.

Published 11-June-2024

Padua College Kedron Breaks into Queensland’s Top 150 Schools for 2023

Padua College in Kedron has made a significant entry into Queensland’s top 150 schools for Years 7-10, debuting at 38th place in the 2023 rankings.

Read: Padua College Looks to Extend Facilities at Assisi Campus

Alongside Brisbane South Secondary College in Dutton Park, it’s one of the two schools that have entered the top 50 for the first time this year.

According to data from the independent specialist schools website Better Education, Padua College boasts a State Overall Score of 98 percent, underscoring its academic excellence. 

Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

The school’s Better Education percentile stands at an impressive 94%, reflecting its top-tier performance relative to other schools across the state. This notable accomplishment is particularly significant given that Padua College did not make the cut in the previous year’s rankings.

Padua College: A Centre for Excellence

Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

Padua College, an independent Catholic boys’ day school conducted by the Franciscan Friars, serves approximately 1,510 students from Year 5 to Year 12. With a Socio-Economic Status (SES) index of 95, the school offers a supportive and enriching environment that fosters academic and personal growth.

Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

Further cementing its reputation for excellence, the school was recently named the first boys-only school in Australia to be recognised as a Middle Years School of Excellence by Adolescent Success. This prestigious honour highlights the school’s dedicated approach to the education, development, and growth of young adolescents aged 10 to 15 years.

On their social media page, the school expressed immense pride in this recognition, attributing the achievement to the hard work and dedication of their talented staff and the enthusiastic engagement of their students, fondly referred to as the “Good Men of Padua.”

Comprehensive Educational Approach

Padua College
Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

Padua College’s success can be attributed to its holistic and intentional approach to education. The school’s mission is not only to achieve academic excellence but also to cater to the diverse needs, interests, and achievements of its students. This is evident in the range of co-curricular activities offered, including music, choir, performance, debating, public speaking, chess, and community service.

Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

Situated in Kedron, with additional facilities in Banyo and an Outdoor Education Facility in the Noosa Hinterland, the school provides a comprehensive environment for young men to thrive academically, socially, and personally. The school’s affiliation with the Franciscan Order further enriches its educational philosophy, instilling values of community, service, and personal integrity.

Understanding the Rankings

Better Education’s rankings are based on the Overall Academic Performance Rating or State Overall Score, which ranges from 60 to 100. A score of 100 indicates the highest level of academic achievement. Padua College’s score of 98 places it firmly within the top echelons of Queensland schools, translating to a top 6% percentile ranking.

Looking Ahead

Padua College
Photo credit: Padua College/Google Maps

With its recent accolades and rising academic standing, the school is poised for continued success. The school’s commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals and its emphasis on both academic and personal excellence set a strong foundation for future achievements. As Padua College continues to grow and evolve, it remains a beacon of quality education and a testament to the power of dedicated teaching and community support.

Read: Padua College’s 6th State of Origin Representative Didn’t Let His Grandfather Down

The school’s debut in Queensland’s top 50 schools marks a significant milestone in its journey towards educational excellence. The school’s recent recognition as a Middle Years School of Excellence and its strong academic performance underscore its role as a leading institution dedicated to the holistic development of young men.

Published 9-June-2024

Lutwyche Set for Residential Transformation with Proposed Six-Storey Development

A significant redevelopment is on the horizon for Lutwyche, as a development application has been submitted for a new six-storey residential building at 21A-25 Windsor Avenue.

Development on 21A-25 Windsor Avenue, Lutwyche
Photo Credit: DA A006413833

The proposal, designed by Architect Angelo Patrick, aims to introduce 16 new units to the area, replacing the existing single-storey dwellings on the 2,918-square-metre site.

The project envisions a modern structure with a rooftop communal area for residents, offering views to the north. A commitment to green space is evident in the plans, with 15.8% of the site dedicated to deep planting. The development also addresses transportation needs, providing 34 car parking spaces and designated bicycle spaces.

Development on 21A-25 Windsor Avenue, Lutwyche
Photo Credit: DA A006413833

Spanning a gross floor area of 21,567 sq m, the building is designed to occupy 65% of the site. Notably, the project aligns with the area’s High-Density residential zoning, which permits structures up to eight storeys. It also adheres to the guidelines of the Lutwyche Road Corridor Neighbourhood Plan.

Submitted on the 31st October 2024 the development application, referenced as A006413833, is now under review by the council. The proposal has been meticulously documented in reports from Tam Dang Planning, with design drawings by Architect Angelo Patrick and landscape drawings by AGLA. For a visual representation of the project’s potential impact, an interactive image combining Google Aerial and Streetview is available.

Development on 21A-25 Windsor Avenue, Lutwyche
Photo Credit: DA A006413833

This development marks a notable shift in Lutwyche’s urban landscape, promising to increase residential density and introduce contemporary architectural elements to the neighbourhood. As the project progresses through the approval process, it will undoubtedly spark discussions about the future of housing and development in the area.

Published Date 14-May-2024

Bradbury Park Playscape Wins Big Regional Architecture Awards

Bradbury Park Playscape in Kedron has been named Brisbane’s Building of the Year at the prestigious Greater Brisbane Regional Architecture Awards. The revolutionary anti-screen time playground took home four major honours on Friday night, including the John Dalton Award for Building of the Year and the Greater Brisbane People’s Choice Award.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

Designed by Joel Alcorn and his team at Alcorn Middleton, the playscape was conceived to lure teenagers aged 10-15 away from digital devices by providing an adventurous play experience resembling the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of Mad Max films.

“They wanted to cater for that age bracket to get them back in the world because they’re so digitally focused now,” said Alcorn.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

With features like a 6m high balancing beam, climbing walls, tunnels evoking hollowed logs, and a massive slide, the jury praised the “pioneering approach” that “reimagines the traditional playground.” They highlighted how it builds risk-taking into play in an innovative way.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

Alcorn explained, “We’ve never designed a playground before so we came in with a unique perspective and challenges. We had to entertain a certain age group so what we offered had to be more adventurous than your typical playground.”

The jury lauded it as “a new benchmark for both government and private industry in the provision of innovative play for older children”.

The unconventional Bradbury Park Playscape captivated judges and public alike, setting a new standard for playground ambition in Brisbane.

Published 6-May-2024

Intersection in Kedron a Fines Frenzy with 700+ Notices

The busy intersection of Lutwyche Road and Kedron Park was one of the state’s top hotspots for traffic infringements as of the end of the 2023 financial year, new data reveals.

Read: Kedron Included in Proposal for Safer School Precincts in Brisbane

According to the Queensland Revenue Office, some 716 notices were issued for offences detected at this intersection, a particular trouble spot for both red light and speeding violations.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Across Queensland, a total of 156,000 fixed speed camera notices and 23,281 red light camera notices were handed out over the 12-month period.

Fixed speed cameras are permanently installed to enforce speed limits, while red light cameras target drivers running red lights at intersections with a high crash history. Strict criteria is used to determine where the intersection cameras are placed, based on factors like the number, causes and severity of crashes over the prior five years.

Despite the number of speeding fines decreasing from the previous year’s total of 186,942, concerningly the state’s road toll from speeding incidents actually increased from 52 fatalities in 2017 to 88 last year.

Concerns on Road Safety

Photo credit: Google Street View

RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Dr Michael Kane warned that people are not paying sufficient attention when they are driving. He added that they are not paying attention to speed or when approaching intersections and potentially going through red lights.

Dr Kane said both inattentive driving and deliberately flouting road rules were contributing to serious crashes and fatalities on Queensland roads. The latest RACQ survey shows public concern is rising over issues like speeding, reckless driving and road aggression.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said all money collected from traffic fines is reinvested into road safety initiatives and programs. They reiterated the importance of obeying speed limits and not running red lights, two of the “Fatal Five” high-risk driving behaviours alongside drink/drug driving, distraction and fatigue.

Read: Brisbane Commuters Face Soaring Toll Costs as AirportlinkM7 Fees Increase

With over 700 infringements at this single intersection in Kedron, the data is a stark reminder that more care needs to be taken by motorists at a local level. Paying attention, obeying road rules and driving safely are crucial steps to reducing the number of fines and, more importantly, making Queensland’s roads safer for everyone.

Published 4-May-2024

Marketcart Kedron Brings Healthy Drive-Thru Dining to Brisbane

This passion project offers ‘real food alternatives, real fast’ without even leaving your car! Check out Marketcart Kedron, a drive-thru cafe that offers preservative-free meals, made fresh daily for people on-the-go.

Read: Stafford Tavern Offers Free Meals for Kids

Tucked away just off the busy Gympie Road corridor, the cafe charms with its rustic green weatherboard shed exterior and striped awning. Marketcart Kedron is the passion project of married couple Andrew and Andrea Harcourt. Their goal? To provide “real food alternatives, real fast” to busy locals.

The inspiration derives from farmers markets, with an enticing menu of preservative-free meals made fresh daily on the premises. From savoury breakfast muffins with double-smoked bacon and free-range eggs to zesty Mexican chicken burritos and vegan granola cups, there’s something to satisfy any craving.

Photo credit: Marketcart Kedron Drive Thru/Facebook

According to Andrea, she was inspired after seeing healthy grab-and-go cafes whilst in the UK and wondered why the concept wasn’t available back home. After opening their first successful cafe at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital nine years ago, Marketcart Kedron is now their newest “little baby.”

Photo credit: Marketcart/Facebook 

What sets Marketcart apart is its commitment to using quality local ingredients from small Australian businesses whenever possible. The coffee is roasted just up the road by Bear Bones Coffee in Fortitude Valley, using 100 percent Arabica beans. Meanwhile, the smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and desserts all showcase fresh seasonal produce.

Photo credit: Marketcart Kedron Drive Thru/Facebook

“It’s not diet food or rabbit food. It’s simply real food that tastes better because it’s natural, handmade and balanced,” the owners stated in their website.

Despite the healthy slant, the menu is far from boring. Indulgent yet nutritious options like smashed avocado with feta on Turkish bread and blueberry and cream cheese bagels make regular appearances.

Read: How Repair Cafe Workshops Foster Community Connections

With its cheery striped awning and convenience of drive-thru service, Marketcart Kedron makes eating well on-the-go a reality for time-poor locals. This charming addition is surely welcomed in a world of ubiquitous fast food chains.

Published 30-April-2024

Stafford Heights Residence Restoration Strikes the Perfect Balance

Updating an old home is a balancing act of adding modern elements while retaining the charm of its original character. The Stafford Heights Residence is the perfect example of a restoration process that strikes the balance effectively.

After acquiring the property eight years ago, Lisa has decided to restore the home’s retro charm. The house suffered from maintenance issues such as utility problems, peeling paint, and roofing concerns. It’s about time for a much-needed restoration.

The house suffered from maintenance issues such as utility problems, peeling paint, and roofing concerns.
Photo Credit: Paul Butterworth Architect

Lisa turned to Paul Butterworth Architect to breathe new life into the decaying structure.

Paul’s direction was simple. He retained most of the existing home with fresh coat of paint, refinished floors, and a new roof to ensure the longevity of the house. The living space was expanded to accommodate an open, spacious dining area.

Photo Credit: Paul Butterworth Architect

The mid-century terrace at the entrance sets the tone for the home. Breeze blocks and V-shaped steel beams mimic the geometric blue triangles painted on the garage below.

Photo Credit: Paul Butterworth Architect

Lisa loves the mid-century style, and it clearly reflects on the project. Inspired by iconic residences such as the Rose Seidler House and the now-demolished El Dorado Motel in Gold Coast, she aimed for the same playful elements.

Yellow became the central theme, with the front door sporting a vibrant chartreuse hue. Similarly coloured square creates striking accents.

Photo Credit: Paul Butterworth Architect

The outdated kitchen received an overhaul. The floating island remained with a lively yellow laminate countertop, but the real eye candy of this space is the abstract mural done by local artist, Drapl. This area seamlessly connects the indoors to the outdoors, capitalising on the views of Morton Bay, refreshing sea breezes, and the subtropical climate.

Photo Credit: Paul Butterworth Architect

Paul emphasises the value of preserving historical homes. “They are a legacy for memory and a testament to the people that built them & the families that were born & raised in them,” he says. He believes that even if the owner has the budget to demolish and rebuild, he wouldn’t still have done it.

“Lisa didn’t know how to ‘fix’ her home, but we helped curate her initiative into an outcome that fulfils her needs and enriches her lifestyle. The opportunities to create interesting outcomes for existing homes and homeowners are endless, we just need to ask the right questions.”

Published 27-April-2024

New Open Arms Counselling Offices Open in Stafford to Support Veterans

A new Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling office was officially opened in Stafford, significantly enhancing mental health services for Brisbane’s veterans and their families.

This facility, along with another site in Mount Gravatt, will provide free counselling, group programs, and peer support to the mental well-being of over 60,000 veterans and their families in the Brisbane area.

Each new counselling office will host specialist staff, many of whom are veterans or members of veteran families, equipped to offer military-aware and trauma-informed care. This initiative ensures that the services provided are finely tuned to the specific needs of the veterans and their families.

Established initially by Vietnam veterans as the Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service, Open Arms has been a pivotal part of veteran mental health support since 1982. To date, it has provided over 2 million free mental health sessions to more than 300,000 veterans and their family members.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling
Photo Credit: OpenArms-Veterans & Families Counselling/Facebook

The Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to the mental health and welfare of ADF personnel, veterans, and their families is demonstrated through the expansion of Open Arms counselling services across Brisbane. 

Assistant Minister for Veterans Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite highlighted Brisbane’s significant role as one of Australia’s largest homes for veteran communities and noted the facility as the leading specialist mental health service for the demographic. 

“Our veterans have given much in the service of our country. Although we can never fully repay them, we can ensure robust support systems like Open Arms are readily available,” he stated

Open Arms offers specialised, free, and confidential support across Australia and is accessible 24/7 at the contact number 1800 011 046. For more information, individuals are encouraged to visit the Open Arms website.

Published 26-April-2024