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Media Release: Fire ant prediction comes true after 10 years

Ten years after being condemned as a doomsday prophet that the fire ant menace would never be controlled, Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully may have been vindicated after a fire ant infestation has been discovered near Grandchester 70km west of Brisbane.

At the time, Cr Tully likened fire ants to the rabbit and the cane today saying they would never be stopped in Australia.

In 2001, Cr Tully called for additional state and federal funding to curb the spread of the fire ant.

"Ministers and bureaucrats were quick to claim it was all under control.

"The federal government needs to respond nationally and pump more money into eradicating the fire ant.

"This will soon become a nationwide problem while bureaucrats dither over the issue," Cr Tully said.

LIMO: Is this so-called hair restorer fair dinkum?

Is Leimo hair dinkum or
just another consumer con?


It's being blasted across our television screens around Australia.

It's guaranteed by the promoter to restore your hair in the privacy of your home.

Use the magic wand and relax while your hair grows back!

But is it fair dinkum?

Does it really work or is it something the ACCC and the Office of Fair Trading should be looking at?

Always remember the old legal maxim: Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware!

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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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Elwyn Denman has a lot to answer for and owes a big apology to his Ipswich tenants

Elwyn Denman tries to defend the indefensible
on Channel 10

Elwyn Denman is a former real estate agent and Ipswich City Council alderman.

He was well-versed in property and town planning law from both professions, or he should have been.

He recently set up a series of homes around Ipswich for the poor and needy.

Unfortunately, Elwyn made one little mistake - he couldn't be bothered getting State Government or Council approval for his grand plan.

Now, he has been caught with his pants down and he is crying poor on television that he has been badly done by.

Well Elwyn, if you hadn't thumbed your nose at the law, you wouldn't be in this dilemma.

You are personally responsible for the effects of your recalcitrance on your tenants.

Elwyn, you owe them all one big apology.

Clearly, your abilities as a landlord are equally matched by your competence as a council alderman.

PPQ upsets more punters over failed Queensland Personalised Plates auction

By Shawki Kaddour

Thanks for your blog on the PPQ auction from last night.

I totally agree with your blog about PPQ, that they have become a rip off.

I entered both my plates for last night's auction but they did't let me enter them, one of them being I PRINT and MACHINE - one 6 and one 7 letter.

I couldn't believe the plates that they did pick:

CAMERON!
TOOWONG!
ANTHONY!

Plus many others.

I could already see the auction would be a disaster. 

Cheers

Shake

....................................................
Have you had a bad
experience with PPQ or
feel ripped off by PPQ,
send an email with full
details to PaulGTully@gmail.com
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Councils buck State Government on new voting system

The Courier-Mail

QUEENSLAND councils are bracing themselves for another fight after the State Government yesterday directed a parliamentary committee to investigate introducing a Senate-style voting system into local government.

Under the proportional representation system, the number of formal votes is divided by the number of available seats plus one vote.

Political scientist Dr Paul Williams said if this system was introduced into local government, it could spell the end of popular mayors unless a separate voting system was used to elect them.

Yesterday Leader of the House Judy Spence moved a motion in State Parliament directing the Law, Justice and Safety Committee to review the local government electoral process, including investigating the feasibility of proportional representation.

Sources say the State Government is pursuing the move because of pressure from the Greens, who stand to benefit from its introduction.

It has outraged southeast Queensland councils, who have called on the State Government to scrap the review.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale yesterday led a chorus of unrest over the decision to investigate the option, which he said would fragment councils and leave communities exposed to councillors who were interested only in furthering their political careers.

"It's absolutely rubbish. I would fight to my last ounce of breath if they try to change a fantastic model," he said.

Fellow Ipswich councillor Paul Tully said the proportional voting system would allow "River" community groups to gain a seat on council based on a single issue rather than on their ability to represent their community as a whole.

"It would be the worst thing to happen to local government in Queensland," Cr Tully said.

Logan Mayor Cr Pam Parker said she would be making a submission against the proposal as it would open the door to party politics.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said his council also opposed the PR system.

Currently about 30 per cent of councillors in Queensland are politically aligned.

Local Government Association of Queensland executive director Greg Hallam said proportional representation was considered the most democratic system but he was concerned that it could lead to instability within councils. 

Mr Hallam said currently there were no other councils that used the system in Australia.

Goodna Bypass "dead and buried" as Member for Moggill stirs issue

Westside News



A WESTSIDE MP believes the State Government should offer to buy residential land inside the Goodna bypass if the controversial project goes ahead.

But the Government said the $2.3 billion project was dead and buried, despite preserving the bypass corridor for future use.

State Member for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flag, said documents obtained under Freedom of Information last month proved the Government intend to build the bypass, which would run from Dinmore through Moggill to Gailes.

Dr Flegg said the documents show the bypass, championed by the Howard government in 2007, was a road option the Bligh Government could consider once public opinion against the project subsided.

"People who live on or adjacent to that corridor will find that their properties can't be sold or can't be used for anything," he said. "It will have a severe impact on property values.

"With any property in that corridor there should be the option for that land to be acquired."

Dr Flegg said the bypass was an expensive and impractical option to ease southeast Queensland's traffic problems.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said the bypass had been scrapped.

"Dr Flegg shouldn't stir up the community with his hypothetical questions because the bypass is dead and buried," he said.

Queensland Personalised Number Plates auction falls flat - Buyers wary of so-called bargains



PIC 1:
"Toowong"
Number Plates
bring just $1750
- much less than the
across-the-counter
price from PPQ

PIC 2:
A number plate not
auctioned tonight but
showing on the PPQ
website as available
for purchase for $2295 -
a combination fit for the
bosses of PPQ!

PPQ (Personalised Plates Queensland) officials would not have been happy with the prices brought for the majority of personalised Queensland number plates at tonight's annual auction at the Victoria Park Golf Club.

The halcyon days of personalised number plates in the Sunshine State which saw plates sell for $100,000 only 25 years ago appear to be gone forever - and that was with Russ Hinze as the auctioneer!

Most of tonight's plates brought very poor results with TOOWONG selling for $1750 which is $2000 below the normal PPQ across-the-counter price!

NEW FARM was not much better bringing in just $3500.

350 CHEV was passed in at $2500 when it failed to reach the undisclosed reserve price with a similar fate falling on PAINTER, Q31 and V.

There were a few notable exceptions to the less-than-spectacular auction with Q70 selling for $80,000 with SOLD going for $25,000.

You only have to go onto eBay to see that the bottom has completely fallen out of the personalised plates market in Queensland.

People are seeking crackerjack prices on eBay with most auctions attracting not a single bid.

It seems that PPQ may have almost reached saturation point in Queensland with almost all of the top alphabetical and numerical combinations and sequences gone forever!

Some of PPQ's prices are outrageous, with the cost of simply changing the plate registration from a large trailer to a sedan almost $140.

$137.80 for a junior PPQ officer to tick one box on the computer - a complete and utter consumer ripoff!

If you switch from personalised plates on a sedan to a large trailer, you have to forfeit one of the plates.

What they don't tell you is that you will be slugged almost $140 plus a remake fee to change back.

"Tough luck" is basically what customers are being told who query the ripoff.

How can PPQ justify charging $57.20 for an identical re-make of 2 plates and $195 to re-make 1 plate plus a simple computer change from "large trailer" to sedan.

Same owner in both cases, same plate design, no other changes - just a 10 second computer entry changing from "large trailer" to a sedan - and they want almost $140 for the privilege.

They charge only $76.60 to change the name of the owner of a set of personalised plates but almost double that for a simple computer change - with the SAME owner - from large trailer to sedan.


PPQ are legalised ripoff merchants with their customer skills almost non-existent.

If you are planning to buy personalised number plates in Queensland, expect to be ripped off by PPQ and don't expect your purchase to be a good, long-term investment.

You would be better off buying Penny Black stamps or 1930 pennies than placing your hard earned cash on a couple of bits of metal from PPQ.

The full list of auction results from tonight's auction:

BNE 01 - $3000
COOPER S - $4500
V8S RULE - $3750
CAYENNE - $4500
ANTHONY - $2500
CAMERON - $3000
NEWFARM - $3500
TOOWONG - $1750
SURFERS - $10,500
SOLD - $25,000
BUILDER - $13,000
FINANCE - $6000
PLUMBER - $7000
DENTIST - $9500
Q70 - $80,000
YY - $4750
Q387 - $11,000
Q410 - $10,000
Q425 - $6500
Q625 - $10,500
Q2010 - $4500
Q4011 - $2750
Q4007 - $3750
Q4101 - $3500
Q4006 - $3250
Q8808 - $4500

One Lot:
Q1012
Q1013
Q1014
Q1015 - $16,000 (a real bargain)

Q88880 - $50,000

4 other lots were passed in after failing to reach the reserve price.

Till next year!

Media Release: Gold Coast White Shoe brigade welcome in Ipswich

The white shoes and gold chains of Gold Coast property developers would be welcome in Ipswich with open arms, according to Queensland's longest-serving city councillor.

Gold Coast developers are reported today (Courier-Mail page 11) planning to abandon the Glitter Strip in favour of Ipswich because Gold Coast Council infrastructure charges have doubled, making projects unviable.
Veteran Gold Coast developer Norm Rix described councils such as Ipswich and Logan "welcoming".

Ipswich Planning and Development spokesman Paul Tully said the white shoes and gold chains of the "Gold Coast chardonnay set" would be welcome in Queensland's most-famous blue collar city.

"We already have major developers such as Lang Walker, Maha Sinnathamby and Bob Ell investing in the city.

"Ipswich's land prices and infrastructure charges are quite modest compared with the Gold Coast which seems to be chasing developers away.

"If duty calls and it means donning white shoes and gold chains to attract developers from the Gold Coast to Ipswich, then I am prepared to accept my sartorial responsibility to get these developers to our city," Cr Tully said.

Telstra moves to install extra cabling at Goodna

After the recent debacle at the new commercial development at 12 Queen Street Goodna, Telstra has now moved to install a major cable in the town centre.

Developer Manos Saridakis ordered 200 telephone lines for the development and was given ten.

With Manos' tenants on standby and adverse publicity haunting the communications giant, Telstra has finally decided to install the cables which were ordered months ago.

Congratulations to the Gold Coast Bulletin - 125 years old this week

This week, a true milestone in Queensland journalism occurs with the Gold Coast Bulletin reaching 125 years.

The Gold Coast Bulletin has been a dogged advocate of truth and justice for one and a quarter centuries.

The current editor Dean Gould is fortunate to be at the helm while the paper celebrates this key milestone.

Not that all politicians - past and present - would agree!


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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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Warning on latest email scam to hit Australia

This is the latest email scam to hit Australia overnight:


National Lottery, UK
pg_ap_gmbd@bsnl.co.in

Your email id has won £1,532.720.00GBP in the UK Electronics Award


The Commonwealth Government has forced Internet Service Providers (ISP's) to block porn sites coming into Australia.

ISP's should be forced to stop these fraudulent emails over million of dollars to unsuspecting internet users.

And the sooner the better.

Ipswich and Logan commuters want local music in Clem 7 Tunnel


LATE NEWS: Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has discussed this issue today with Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman with a view to resolving this issue as soon as possible.  Thank you Campbell - the picket fence remains down!



Ipswich and Logan City commuters are being forced to listen to Brisbane radio stations in the Clem 7 tunnel after Brisbane City Council stopped transmissions from two local radio stations.

Special transmitters in the tunnel boost the signals of all Brisbane stations but Ipswich's River 949 and Logan City's 101 FM are reduced to heavy static in the 4.8 km tunnel.

In the event of an incident in the tunnel, emergency radio messages are broadcast to vehicles in the tunnel on all local radio frequencies.

Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully has appealed to Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman to re transmit the Ipswich and Logan radio stations in the Clem 7.

"Why should Ipswich and Logan listeners be denied the opportunity of listening to their favourite radio station when they are paying for the privilege of using the tunnel."

Under federal law, any radio station within 50km of the GPO of a capital city has traditionally been regarded as a metropolitan station.

Cr Tully said not everyone wanted to listen to the dulcet tones of 4BC's Jamie Dunn or the elocution of the ABC's Spencer Howson in the mornings.

"I am calling on Campbell Newman to make the Clem 7 a better experience for out-of-town commuters with the country music of Logan City or the provincial sounds of Ipswich piped into the tunnel.

"If Family Radio and Triple ZZZ can get a guernsey in the Clem 7, Ipswich and Logan deserve the opportunity as well.

"Why should commuters be forced to switch stations just to drive through the Clem 7 tunnel," Cr Tully said.

Drug lab blast blows home apart at Springfield

Time bombs in our suburbs.

One home drug lab a day is being found in Queensland.

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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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Sizzler staff quick to apologise after human - or animal - hair found in cheesy bread

Anthony - a waiter at Sizzler Annerley - was quick off the mark today after a human, or animal, hair was found in a serve of cheesy bread.

His apology was immediate and genuine and was followed within two minutes by a second apology and no fuss refund of the entire $64.30 bill by Manager Michael.

Michael promised to investigate the problem as far back as the supplier, if necessary.

These food contaminations sometimes occur but how they are handled is the key.

Sizzler, Anthony and Michael deserve top marks for their faultless approach to customer relations.

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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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What a brilliant idea - U.S. Police send crime reports to local residents via email and SMS

www.popular-communications.com

The American periodical Popular Communications reports that police in Lower Paxton Township in Pennsylvania are giving residents the opportunity to sign up to receive up-to-the-minute crime reports.

It's a free service via email and SMS with information about local crime incidents.

The updates include information on things like a spate of car break-ins or suspects on the loose.

The townsfolk love the service which helps keep down the level of crime in this American hamlet.

This seems like a great idea for Australia's eight Police Services to take on board.
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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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Free TV Australia crying wolf over much-needed changes

Free to Air television is currently running advertisements across Australia demanding the right to maintain its monopolistic first option to show sport on Australian television.

This campaign is laughable given the networks' disdain of viewers with all sorts of programming antics over the years including:

• International Rugby Union on Channel 10 on an hour's delay at night in Queensland;

• Major sports events not being shown live in Australia;

• Overseas Olympics on many hours delay in Australia;

• The Australian Open on the 7 Network on delay in Queensland;

• Rugby League fans getting the rough end of the pineapple from the 9 Network in Queensland.

If anything, the free-to-air networks should be stripped immediately of their monopoly for major sports events.

Pay TV would clearly do a better job anyday.

And the sooner the better according to many keen sports' enthusiasts.


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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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Some Queensland backpackers work under atrocious conditions - Sacked for pleading for water

The Sydney Morning Herald

Date: March 13 2010


Backpackers are victims of rogue operators in the fruitpicking industry, writes Rick Feneley.

The pickers know him only as Max, but their stories are remarkably consistent. ''Pick faster,'' he screams. ''Hurry, pickers. Work with two hands. Faster, workers, or you won't be paid.''

''You feel like a slave,'' says Martin Pflaamenger, 22, a German backpacker.

He was one of several fruitpickers sacked while picking tomatoes on a farm near Bundaberg on February 16. The reason? They had pleaded for water after hours in the intense Queensland sun. Mehmet ''Max'' Tosun sacked them on the spot.

Only three months ago another German backpacker, Jessica Pera, 24, collapsed and died while working on a nearby farm. The coroner is investigating dehydration or heat exhaustion as possible causes of death. By all accounts to the Herald, that farm takes good care of workers. It insists they drink plenty of water.

The same cannot be said for the way Tosun does business. He and his wife, Calie, are a formidable team in Bundaberg. He is 27, she 23. Since October they have been running East Bundy Backpackers - a source of labour for Max's other business. He is a labour hire contractor for farms, which need a constant supply of fruitpickers.

Tosun and his wife, known as ''Kelly'', have refused to answer the Herald's questions concerning allegations it has gathered from seven backpackers over three weeks. But when the local newspaper ran similar claims by other backpackers this week, Calie Tosun, formerly Unwin, was quoted as saying: "I've heard people complain about the work, but if they don't like it they can leave." Her husband disputed many of the claims, but said he had to yell to make pickers work. "They need to be told what to do.''

They have only days to get their ''house in order'', says Queensland's Workplace Rights Ombudsman, Don Brown. He will not discuss individual cases, but he is sending his team to Bundaberg to investigate the industry - yet again. ''We intend to name and shame, and to refer people for prosecution where required,'' Brown told the Herald.

The federal Fair Work Ombudsman has ''serious concerns'' and has begun a separate inquiry.

Bundaberg is familiar with this sort of controversy. The mayor, Lorraine Pyefinch, other hostel operators and farmers are tired of rogue operators. They have been working hard to clean up the industry's image. Adding to their sensitivity is the coming 10th anniversary of a tragedy in nearby Childers in which 15 died in a fire at the Palace Backpackers Hostel.

''This area is entirely dependent on seasonal workers, and particularly backpackers, for our agricultural and horticultural industry,'' Pyefinch says. ''It's the backbone of our economy … In Bundaberg alone, at any one time, there's a thousand registered beds. You can double or triple that in the peak picking season - and they're the unregistered ones.''

Many backpackers go there to fulfil a requirement for a second-year holiday working visa: 88 days of fruitpicking. But Daniel Stockwell, 27, from England, has gone home, broke, having lasted one day as a picker under Max Tosun.

''I love Australia,'' Stockwell says, ''but this just killed it.''

He was sacked on February 16 with his English friend Oliver Brown, 24, Martin Pflaamenger, another German and an Australian. They woke at 3am, but there was no room on the first bus so they caught the second at 5.30am. They were lured by $17.60 an hour. ''But when we got there we heard that had changed,'' Stockwell says. ''We'd be getting paid $1.80 per bucket … I'd been picking for an hour and I'd hardly got one bucket.''

They moved to another field. After 2½ hours they were ''gagging for water''. After three hours, Brown says, he had picked eight buckets of tomatoes. ''You can do the sums.'' Thus far: $14.40.

Workers are unable to carry their own water bottles while picking. They asked for water but none came. Some sat down, refusing to work. ''How can we work without water?'' Stockwell asked.

Tosun bid them farewell. Back at the hostel they were given one hour to leave. Signs warned that only working fruitpickers could stay at the hostel. The group protested that they had paid $160 in advance for a week's accommodation. They said they called in the police, who told them it was a civil matter and they must leave. They left with no pay and no refund.

Yesterday the owner of the farm, SP Exports, terminated its contract with Tosun. Its investigations had revealed ''considerable substance to the allegations'', said its managing director, Andrew Philip. ''We employ 300 and it is certainly not the way we treat them or how we expect people to be treated.''

A spokesman for the Fair Work Ombudsman said piece rates could only be paid if a worker received at least the federal minimum wage for every hour worked, now $14.31.

John Walker, who runs the Bundaberg Workers and Divers Hostel, estimates the illegal industry in Bundaberg is at least twice as big as the legal one. But he believes the state ombudsman is missing the point attacking hostels and growers. ''He is tarnishing the whole industry while failing to target the real culprits - the labor hire contractors.''

Don Brown, the ombudsman, says: ''The bad name earned for the region through backpackers would definitely be causing Australia, and particularly Queensland, tourist dollars.''

Mayor Pyefinch worries that, with the internet, ''we're responding to a network of opinion that's available all around the world''.

Oliver Brown is part of that network. He checked his bank account this week to discover that he and Daniel Stockwell had finally been paid. ''I got $20.36 for a day's work. Daniel got $9.60 for exactly the same work.''

Telstra passes the buck over phone line fiasco at Goodna

Developer Manos Saradakis
speaks to the media over
the Telstra bungle which
is costing him almost
$40,000 a month


Telstra has excelled again with its "blame game" propaganda.

Telstra Countrywide Manager in Toowoomba has now stepped in to resolve the issue at 12 Queen Street Goodna.

Telstra is now apparently conceding they do not have the 200 cable pairs in Queen Street.

Telstra should stop the blame game and get the problem fixed.


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PAUL TULLY: PaulGTully@gmail.com

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BREAKING NEWS: Ipswich developer to sue Telstra over 6 month phone delay

Ipswich developer Manos Saridakis is planning to sue Telstra as part of a massive class action against the communications giant.

Mr Saridakis has been waiting six months for Telstra to connect telephones lines to his new commercial development at 12 Queen Street Goodna.

Telstra's spin doctors have gone into overdrive in the past 18 hours with spurious claims they have been unable to connect the lines because the developer had not installed the necessary conduits on the street.

Local Goodna Councillor Paul Tully, whose electorate office is two doors from the development, confirmed the conduit had been installed last August on the day the project commenced.

"I personally witnessed the conduit going into the ground," Cr Tully said.

Mr Saridakis is briefing lawyers this afternoon with plans to sue Telstra as part of a wider class action against the company.

"How much longer do businesses have to put up with this sort of incompetence?

"This is costing me $30,000 a month. I am calling on businesses across Australia who are on the receiving end of Telstra's poor service to join me in my action against Telstra.

He said Telstra has had six months to get the installation sorted out.

"I have three tenants ready to move in but without any phone connections they cannot take up their new tenancies.

"This is costing me a small fortune with my tenants very angry."

He said he should not be out of pocket because of Telstra's failures.

Mr Saridakis said he rang Telstra on Wednesday of this week to find out what was happening but was put through to a call centre in Asia where the operator couldn't understand him and hung up on him.

He said if Telstra was going to use Asian call centres, they should at least ensure the staff understood basic English.
Cr Tully said Ipswich was the fastest-developing city in Australia but Telstra was "behind the eight ball" in keeping up with the pace of development in the city.

"No wonder their shares have dropped almost 25 percent in the past year."

Cr Tully said Telstra was one of the worst companies in Australia when it came to customer relations and they used a "mixture of spin, bravado and lies" to try to get out of embarrassing media publicity.

"The problem is that Ipswich is managed out of Toowoomba by Telstra bosses 100km away from the city who have probably never heard of the Ipswich or the western corridor."

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Telstra screws Goodna developer

PIC: Manos Saridakis has been waiting 6 months
for Telstra to provide telephone lines to his
new, multi-million dollar
development in Goodna.


Manos Saridakis is a hard-working developer who has contributed a lot to the Ipswich economy.

He has already developed two commercial properties in Queen Street Goodna, a third in William Street and a double child care centre in Alice Street.

He also has plans to redevelop the Redbank Shopping Village in Brisbane Road Redbank.

But his latest multi-million dollar investment is a two-storey office block and commercial premises at 12 Queen Street Goodna.

The development is substantially complete with tenants ready to move in - except, surprise surprise, Telstra has failed to deliver.

This development includes government offices, private suites, financial service providers and the latest up-market Coffee Club.

Six months ago, Telstra was asked to install 200 telephone cable pairs to service the 8 tenants at 12 Queen Street.

In December, they turned up to install 10 pairs - barely enough for one tenant, let alone eight.

Now, tenants cannot move in because at this time there are no telephone connections to the site.

The tenants are very upset and Manos is feeling like the meat in the sandwich.

Telstra is again treating the people of Ipswich and Goodna as second class citizens.

Telstra has had six months to get this right but they have still failed to deliver at every milestone.

They are real shockers.

Telstra's customer service in Ipswich is generously rated as somewhere between Buckley's and none.

The local Telstra Countrywide Manager for Ipswich Nigel Beaman is based in his ivory tower in Toowoomba almost 100km away and has probably never heard of Goodna.

Telstra doesn't care what standard of service it provides.

It treats residential and business customers with utter contempt.

It's surprising Telstra shares are not languishing around the 1 cent mark rather than their inflated $3 figure which is unsustainable in the long-term, given Telstra's anti-customer attitude which is hardening by the day.

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New valuation laws a kick in the teeth for Property Council of Australia

Steve Greenwood -
a three time loser
in his stoush with
the State Government

Despite his political posturings and awkward attempts to save face, the Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Steve Greenwood has suffered three big losses in one day.

The State Government has legislated to maintain existing property valuations as well as the legality of individual Council rates plus it will abandon the current valuation methodology on which the Property Council based its entire ill-fated campaign.

Poor old Steve Greenwood - he couldn't get up one even leg of the Brisbane trifecta.

Moving from un improved capital value to site value in Queensland will ensure a much better and more equitable regime for the calculation of land tax and local government rates.

Meanwhile, Steve Greenwood can chalk up another loss in his expensive, failed campaign to be the king-pin of Queensland politics!

Property Council made to look like dunces thanks to Steve Greenwood

Steve Greenwood - a friend of local
government for many years and now
its arch rival!


The Property Council of Australia continues its political campaign against the Bligh Government in Queensland with another full page advertisement in today's Courier-Mail.

The Property Council under Executive Director Steve Greenwood wants to retain the status quo with property valuations set to drop overnight by up to 35%, as a result of a recent court decision.

The corresponding shortfall in rates would have to be made up by ordinary householders, forced to subsidise big business, if Steve Greenwood had his way.

This guy is really a class act - having worked with the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and now in his new role with the Property Council attempting to smash local government financially.

If fairness and equity were the test on this issue, Steve Greenwood would fail badly.

Today's Courier-Mail also features a full page advertisement from the Queensland Government which puts this whole issue in perspective:

NO CHANGE for family home valuations

NO CHANGE for mums' and dads' investment properties

NO CHANGE for superannuation funds

NO CHANGE for tourism owners and operators

NO CHANGE for local shopping centres

NO CHANGE for farmers

NO CHANGE for renters

NO CHANGE for retail tenants

NO CHANGE for tradies.

LGAQ President Paul Bell is quoted in the State Government advertisement rightly supporting the proposed legislation.

Paul Bell must be acutely embarrassed that a former LGAQ staffer would spearhead such an anti-local government campaign to stop this legislation.

The ONLY CHANGE really needed is for the Property Council to dump Steve Greenwood for wasting its funds on this ill-conceived political campaign which is doomed to fail abysmally.

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Camira tops the list in Ipswich house and land prices

The Ipswich suburb of Camira has topped the list with average property prices increasing 9.8% over the past quarter.

Flinders View scored a 9.3% increase with Raceview coming in at third spot on 5.5%.

In the past year, the best performing Ipswich suburb was Karalee with a 15.9% increase followed by Flinders View on 12.5%.

Across the city, average house prices experienced a 1.6% increase from $315,000 to $320,000 from December 2008 to December 2009.

Apart from Camira, in Ipswich's eastern suburbs, the best-performing suburbs were Springfield Lakes and Goodna with 4.1% and 1.7% increases respectively.

Ipswich City Council Planning and Development chair Cr Paul Tully said Ipswich had weathered the global financial crisis remarkably well.

"Prices have held up in most suburbs and the developing western corridor remains strong with house and land prices set to increase significantly in future years."

"The development potential between Springfield and the Ripley Valley will ensure Ipswich's population will double from 166,000 to over 320,000 in the next 20 years," Cr Tully said.

Steve Greenwood is out of his depth in Property Council's bunfight against the Queensland Government

Steve Greenwood - junior
Queensland political prize
fighter who flies like a
butterfly and stings like
a mosquito!

The self-appointed Queensland Opposition Leader Steve Greenwood, Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, is at it again.

This junior prize fighter of Queensland politics has authorised another round of bare-knuckled, full-page newspaper advertisements attacking the State Government for its plan to restore 60 years of land valuation methodology which was recently overturned by the Land Appeal Court.

The latest advertisement is full of errors, spurious arguments and idiotic claims.

Under Steve Greenwood's stewardship, the Property Council has become nothing but a puppet for the LNP in Queensland.

Anna Bligh is on the right track on this issue with legislation designed to protect ordinary Queenslanders from exorbitant rate rises.

Why should the punters of Goodna or Bellbird Park or Springfield have to pay more rates while businesses pay less!

That's what Steve Greenwood wants.

But the worst part of Steve Greenwood's latest, pugilistic rantings is that he has somehow managed to rope in the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the UDIA, QHA, REIQ, MTA and the Shopping Centre Council of Australia to help his ill-conceive anti-Labor campaign.

Steve Greenwood has forever politicised the Property Council of Australia and sooner or later his bosses will realise his purely petty, political little campaign has backfired, rendering the Property Council a political neuter in the State of Queensland forever.

Lightweight Steve Greenwood is out for the count on this issue and it's still only Round 2 in this mismatch against the heavyweights of Queensland politics.

He should throw in the towel now so he might one day still be able to make a comeback in his own lightweight division.

Anna Bligh should now ensure this legislation is passed swiftly through the Parliament.
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One billion dollar deal for Brookwater

Pic: Artist's impression of the proposed Brookwater Urban Village


The Queensland Times
Chris Garry
4 March 2010

A $1.1 BILLION retail development approved for Brookwater is set to transform the Springfield region.

The Brookwater Urban Village will include a hotel, a child care centre, 514 residential dwellings, 20,000sq m of commercial space, 15,000sq m of retail area, a medical centre and indoor entertainment facilities.

Springfield Land Corporation's Planning and Infrastructure manager Russell Luhrs said development of the vibrant Brookwater Urban Village was an important step forward for the city to attract new business.

"There's a well-known movie line, if you build it... they will come," Mr Luhrs said.

"Development investment in the Urban Village is set to top $1.1 billion over the next 15 years so there's no doubt this will be a high quality precinct giving

residents, visitors and the future 30,000 strong local workforce a place to eat, live, shop and enjoy life."

Construction will begin this year and is scheduled to finish in 2025.

Once completed the Brookwater Urban Village will provide a mix of business and pleasure with the Brookwater Village Hotel, Brookwater Office Park, Brookwater Village Shopping Centre, Main Street and Village Square.

"The hotel complex will allow visitors from around the globe direct access to the Brookwater Golf Course, which has been ranked the number one public golf course in Queensland for the past five years," Mr Luhrs said.

Planning and Development Councillor Paul Tully said the approval of the Brookwater Urban Village Precinct Plan enabled council to consider further development plan applications in the region.

"The Brookwater Urban Village incorporates a number of parcels of land bounded by Augusta Parkway to the west, the Brookwater Golf Course to the north and east and Mirvac's Fairways development on Melaleuca Drive," he said.

 

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Ipswich is 150 years old today.

Pic: Channel 7

Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Paul Tully have their cake and eat it, in Ipswich today to celebrate the city's sesqui-centenary


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Ipswich's 150 celebrations continue


The Ipswich Town Crier Mark Overell and the Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale swap hats as the city's sesquicentennial celebrations get into full swing.

Ipswich was proclaimed a municipality by the Queensland Government 150 years ago today.

Happy birthday Ipswich!
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Ipswich celebrates 150 years today


150 years ago today, Ipswich was proclaimed a municipality by the Queensland Government.

It is a great day for Ipswich and Queensland.

The Ipswich celebrations will continue all year.

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Kmart backs down on move to trade on Anzac Day


Kmart has withdrawn its ill-conceived and idiotic application to trade all day on Anzac Day.

How a major company could display such insensitivity in honour of the almighty dollar on this important national day beggars belief.

Maybe a major donation by Kmart to help needy diggers and their families would be a better gesture than their half-hearted, belated act of contrition to the people of Australia.

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Apple iPad lauch may be delayed

iPad a laughing stock?

Why are so many people ready to poke fun at Apple's latest creation, the iPad?

Apple may delay or limit the size of the launch of its anticipated iPad tablet computer because of an "unspecified production problem", Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek wrote in a research note this week.

Misek said Apple's Taiwan-based supplier Hon Hai Precision could be facing a production bottleneck or a shortage of components.

"An unspecified production problem at the iPad's manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the U.S. and the number of units available to roughly 300,000 in the month of March, far lower than the company's initial estimate of 1 million units. The delay in production ramp will likely impact Apple's April unit estimate of 800,000 as well," Misek wrote.

Apple has not publicly stated an official release date or how many models it is expecting to put on sale. It has said that Wi-Fi models will ship in "late March," while 3G models will ship in April in the U.S. and selected countries, including Australia.

Canaccord still expects Apple to sell 550,000 iPads in the third quarter ending in June, and 1.2 million iPads in the 2010 fiscal year.

"The only material impact from the iPad delay could come in the form of frustrated consumers and some modest loss of luster for the company's product launch," Misek said.

Messages left for Apple were not immediately returned.

However, in a statement to Wired, Apple said "the iPad will be available in late March".

It did not comment on the claimed production issues or Misek's claims that they may lead to the launch region initially being limited to the US.

P&O Cruises scratchie lottery for travellers

Fresh from their recent on-board scandals, P&O Cruises has descended into the realms of commercialised gambling with scratch lotteries being distributed through local Australian newspapers.

The average punter is being induced to get hundreds and even thousands of dollars off the cost of their expensive cruises.

P&O is even offering a $15,000 prize on the Pacific Jewel for one lucky punter.

And who pays for this? - All the mugs who have to pay top dollar to subsidise these get-rich-quick inducements to travel with P&O.

More importantly, let's hope P&O has now got its act together and can give travellers an iron-clad guarantee that it's cruises are drug free and that they are not at risk of dying on-board from the effects of unlawful stupefying drugs.

Australian warning: You've got mail...and a scam

Media Release

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading

The Honourable Peter Lawlor

02/03/2010

You've got mail...and a scam

JOINT RELEASE

High-tech fraudsters are disguising themselves online and targeting inboxes with a new wave of 'e-scams', say Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor and Police Minister Neil Roberts.

Mr Lawlor said the Office of Fair Trading warned people about an increasing number of scams being received electronically via email and text message.

"The National Consumer Fraud Week (1-7 March) awareness campaign is underway and this is a good reminder to people to get up to date on different types of cyber threats," he said.

"While many of us understand that spam involves unwanted emails being sent out to a multitude of email addresses, some of the newer scams such as phishing and smishing may not be understood."

The warning follows an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report released yesterday showing that Australians lost almost $70 million through scams in 2009.

Mr Roberts said the impact of fraud on the community was often underestimated.

"Advances in technology have provided more opportunities for offenders to prey on the most vulnerable members of our community," Mr Roberts said.

"While the Internet is a powerful communication tool, offenders have adapted to it quickly and are now using it en masse to target victims via text message and email.

"We see victims suffer not only embarrassment and humiliation but too many are losing their home and life savings.

"The Queensland Police Service's expert Fraud and Corporate Crime Group has a number of initiatives aimed at preventing this crime and educating the public on how to avoid becoming a cyber crime victim."

Mr Lawlor said phishing referred to emails that tricked people into giving out their personal and banking information.

"The term smishing is used when people are targeted by text messages to their mobile phones," he said.

"These messages appear to come from legitimate business, often banks or telecommunication companies, and have an authentic feel about them.

"Emails will often link to websites that look identical to a real company's page, with similar logos and headings; the key is to look carefully at the web address.

"If a real bank's webpage was www.realbank.com, a fake address might be www.realbank.com.log107.biz

"The scammers are trying to obtain personal information allowing them to withdraw money from bank accounts.

"Even clicking onto a fake website can allow scammers to load spy ware onto your computer which gives them access to any information you have saved.

"It's a good idea to rest your mouse icon over the top of any link your unfamiliar with before clicking through, as this reveals the full web address at the bottom left of your screen.

"This will give you a strong indication of whether the website is legitimate or not."

Mr Lawlor said the key message to consumers was to be aware that there are scams out there and to carefully guard their personal information.

"Personal details and financial and banking information should be closely protected and not passed on without careful consideration."

Tips to beat the scammers:

- When surfing the web, check the address of any links you're unfamiliar with by holding your mouse icon over the link.
The address will show up on the bottom left on your page;

- Use different passwords for your online banking, email, social networking and shopping accounts;

- Regularly scan your computer for viruses and spy ware;

- Don't open emails or attachments from unknown sources - the best thing to do is to delete them;

- Never provide your credit card and personal details to an unsecured website. A secure website can be identified by a padlock at the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

For more information on protecting yourself from scams, visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.scamwatch.gov.au


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Kmart is a national disgrace to all decent Australians

Kmart's attempt to open before 1.00pm on Anzac Day is nothing short of a national disgrace.

Kmart is peddling spurious claims they want to open to provide an outlet for essential consumer items saying their New South Wales customers would be "severely inconvenienced by our closure".

What a load of codswallop!

How have we survived in the past?

Anzac Day has always been sacrosanct from this sort of un-Australian commercialism and that's the way it should always remain.
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Fraud Week Warning on Scams

Media Release

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading

The Honourable Peter Lawlor

01/03/2010

Fraud Week warning on scams

JOINT RELEASE

Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor and Police Minister Neil Roberts have urged Queenslanders to take care when disclosing their personal and financial details for the launch of National Consumer Fraud Week which starts today.

Fraud Week, which will run from 1 - 7 March, aims to raise awareness about the serious threat to personal identity and financial security caused by scams and the increase of attacks being carried out online.

Mr Lawlor said thousands of Australians fell victim to scams each year.

"The Office of Fair Trading received 2173 complaints relating to scams in 2009," Mr Lawlor said.

"This is an increase of more than 800 compared to 2008.

"1 in 20 Australians will be scammed this year, with consumers set to lose more than $1 billion."

Mr Roberts said the impact of fraud on the community was often underestimated.

"Advances in technology have provided more opportunities for offenders to prey on the most vulnerable members of our community," Mr Roberts said.

"While the Internet is a powerful communication tool, offenders have adapted to it quickly and are now using it en masse to target victims via text message and email.

"We see victims suffer not only embarrassment and humiliation but too many are losing their home and life savings.

"The Queensland Police Service's expert Fraud and Corporate Crime Group has a number of initiatives aimed at preventing this crime and educating the public on how to avoid becoming a cyber crime victim."

Mr Lawlor said scams could target anyone and were increasingly reaching people's homes from multiple sources - including through the post, email, door-to-door and over the phone.

"Unfortunately many scam victims don't report their experience because they feel humiliated when they realise they have been duped, and they'd rather bear the amount of money they have lost out of fear of embarrassment.

"I encourage all Queenslanders to be wary of offers they receive that are in the 'too good to be true category'.

"Victims come from all walks of life and a range of ages. Younger people aren't immune to being tricked.

"The best thing people can do with something they think might be a scam is to throw it in the bin.

"Scammers are manipulative and make a living from lying to consumers by promising easy money, great prizes and offering a way out of financial hardship.

"They promote professional looking websites, letters, brochures, emails and leaflets to dupe consumers into providing their personal details like their credit card number or password.

"The best way to protect yourself from scams is to know the warning signs and be able to identify when a product or offer doesn't seem quite right.

"Always be wary of high pressure sales tactics, unsolicited offers, and promises that seem too good to be true."

Mr Lawlor said the Fraud Week campaign was an important national initiative.

"The Office of Fair Trading, as a member of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, is committed to bringing about a greater knowledge and understanding of scams among consumers."

For more information on protecting yourself from scams, visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.scamwatch.gov.au