Government repatriation flight plan ‘the least they could do’, says mother of two stranded in Punjab

For the past 15 months, Melbourne mother Gill Harman has been trying to bring her two toddlers home from Punjab, India. 

A three-month holiday in November 2019 turned into a lengthy ordeal, which Ms Harman hopes will end when repatriation flights restart after May 15.

“My children went to Punjab in November 2019 with my husband. He stayed with them for three months and came back alone in February 2020,” she said.

“My parents planned to come to Australia in March 2020 but the borders were shut and they couldn’t travel to Australia as they are not permanent residents.

Ms Harman travelled to India in March this year in a bid to bring them all home.

Since then, she has had one flight cancelled already and says communication from government departments has worsened since the ban came into effect on Monday.

“There was no communication about future plans, which made a lot of people anxious. I felt uncertain and still do because I don’t know if I will get seat on these flights or not,” she said. 

The next step for Ms Harman will be footing the bill for return flights and quarantine at Howard Springs in Darwin. 

“If you have to book for one person it’s fine but for families it’s a lot, I’m looking at $12,000 for flights and $3,000 for quarantine,” she said. 

“I think they should build more facilities like Howard Springs in NT for the future.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced there would be three repatriation flights before the end of May, with a focus on returning those deemed most vulnerable. 

About 900 of the 9,000 Australians wanting to return from India are considered to be vulnerable. 

Plans to resume commercial flights between India and the Northern Territory will be considered after next week while New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria have expressed interest in accepting repatriation flights from India.

“What’s important is that the biosecurity order that we have put in place has been highly effective, it’s doing the job that we needed it to do,” Mr Morrison said.

Gold Coast Sikh leader and director of Covax Australia Mannu Kala said the Australian government needed to be more empathetic in its response. 

On Monday, the Prime Minister warned those who attempted to return home from India could face hefty fines and jail — a move widely criticised for being “immoral and un-Australian”, as well as unconstitutional, according to lawyers. 

“If you were in India right now and you want to fly back home, and you could die or suffocate without oxygen but the other option was to go to jail for five years, I’d pick jail every time,” Mr Kala said. 

Mr Kala said he understood the decision to temporarily halt flights from India, but real solutions must be devised by the government and shared with India to support its response. 

“We have managed the pandemic very well and we have many strategies to deal with COVID-19,” he said.

“I think those strategies — from testing to isolating and lockdowns — politically and diplomatically should be shared with our counterparts in India.

“Locally, members of Parliament need to come out and we are regularly meeting with the Indian community, organising vigils to give support and empathy towards our community and making sure we are all standing together in this.

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Australian fritillary butterfly tops list at greatest risk of extinction, study reveals

It’s relatively large and quite eye-catching, but it’s been many years since anyone has spotted an Australian fritillary butterfly.

In 2001, there was a confirmed sighting, and in 2015 one was reportedly seen just north of Port Macquarie, on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.

There has been nothing since.

Trevor Lambkin from University Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences said concerns were increasing that the Australian fritillary species had already been wiped out. 

“We have gone for 20 years now without a confirmed sighting.

“We could have pushed it to extinction at this point, but no-one knows.”

Dr Lambkin is one of the authors of a new study, Butterflies on the Brink, published in Austral Entomology, which has identified the top 26 Australian butterfly species and subspecies at greatest risk of extinction within the next 20 years. 

The Australian fritillary butterfly tops the list.

The study found that, without new conservation action, the Australian fritillary had a 95 per cent likelihood of extinction within 20 years. 

“It stands out as the only butterfly species in Australia where there are no known colonies at the moment.”

Dr Lambkin said there was still the chance of a sighting.

“It would be exhilarating to spot one,” he said.

“After that, we would have the pleasure of forming some sort of recovery project for it, and that would be outstanding.

“No-one young coming up through the system liking butterflies has ever observed it.”

The Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub coordinated the study, which involved 28 scientists and butterfly experts.

Co-researcher Michael Braby from the Australian National University said it was vital that Australia’s invertebrate biodiversity was conserved. 

“Our ecosystems and ultimately our survival may depend on it,” Dr Braby said.

“Each state and the Northern Territory has butterflies on the list. 

“North-east NSW and adjoining south-east Queensland is also a hotspot, with six imperilled species, including the pale imperial hairstreak, mangrove ant-blue, black-grass dart and bulloak jewel.”

One of the major problems facing the Australian fritillary and other butterfly species is habitat loss, including the draining of swamps for farming and urbanisation.     

“The [Australian fritillary] habitat has been disrupted incredibly,” Dr Lambkin said.

The study lead author, Hayley Geyle, from Charles Darwin University said identifying species at risk was a crucial first step in preventing extinctions.

At the moment, only six of the 26 butterflies identified are listed for protection under Australian law.

“The good news is that while the butterflies we identified are not doing well, for the majority of these species, there is still a very good chance of recovery if there is new targeted conservation effort.”

Australians are encouraged to report any possible sightings of the Australian fritillary, which can be recorded with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

“These  [Australian fritillary]  butterflies, what we know of them, they are very secretive things,” Dr Lambkin said.

“Most often, you get them in discreet localised colonies.

“Surveying for them is particularly difficult because they can exist in all sorts of low wetland areas, from Port Macquarie to Gympie.”

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Australia’s largest regional art gallery HOTA to lure culture-conscious travellers to the Gold Coast

Australia’s largest regional art gallery will open its doors on the Gold Coast this weekend, showcasing never-before-seen acquisitions from its $32 million collection.

“We’ve really put a line, literally, in the sand and said that we are now a place about art and culture,” said Tracey Cooper-Lavery, director of the HOTA Gallery.

Designs for the $60.5 million HOTA (pronounced hotter) Gallery were first sought in 2013 to replace the original Gold Coast City Art Gallery, built in 1986.

“Even from the time it opened it was too small,” Ms Cooper-Lavery said of the former gallery.

The HOTA Collection was established in 1968 and houses more than 4,400 artworks — only three per cent of which can be on display across four new exhibition spaces.

Award-winning artists included in the inaugural hang include Ben Quilty, whose piece Sarah Island, Tasmania, will be exhibited as part of the collection for the first time.

Gallery CEO Criena Gehrke said the inclusion of such pieces was a “tear down the cheek” moment.

“Those works have deserved this home for their entire lives and they just look so incredible in those exhibition spaces.”

The centrepiece of the HOTA Collection, The Rainforest by William Robinson, won the 1991 Wynne Prize — the landscape art equivalent of the Archibald Prize.

“In our midst we had this nationally known, very important artist living locally (at Springbrook) so it seemed like a great opportunity to acquire a work,” said Ms Cooper-Lavery.

“In 1991, when inaugural director Fran Cummings looked to acquire the painting it was valued at $80,000.”

A local campaign to stop the city council spending ratepayer funds on the work put an end to the purchase and it was only secured after a public fundraising effort.

“We wouldn’t be standing in this building and the design of this building because the architects have used this work; the painting has inspired the building.”

Forty-six per cent of the HOTA Collection is produced by female artists, a ratio unheard of in many collections.

“For a long time, we’ve been supporting women artists,” Ms Cooper-Lavery said.

“We’ve got one of the largest collections of Indigenous artists in regional Australia, if not the largest,” Ms Cooper-Lavery said.

“We’re very focused on acquiring Queensland Indigenous artists. Hopefully down the track that will be something people say we’ve done really well too.”

Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection, which includes the single largest collection of Andy Warhol pieces globally, will have its world premiere at HOTA Gallery in November — an Australian exclusive.

“But also we are forever committed to showcasing locals because it’s part of who we are, the home of the arts.”

Gold Coast-raised Elliot Bastianon, currently featured in the NGV Triennial, is one of 19 local artists commissioned to produce new works in the gallery’s opening exhibition.

He said he felt “incredibly humbled and lucky to be a part of the inaugural show”.

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Flu vaccinations down, leaving healthcare workers worried about vaccine confidence

Healthcare professionals in regional Queensland are worried people who would normally get their influenza vaccination are skipping it this year.

Mount Isa Pharmacy First owner and pharmacist Leigh Houldsworth said there had been a “wobble” in vaccination confidence.

“We’re seeing about a 30 per cent to 40 per cent decline in influenza vaccines being delivered this year,” Ms Houldsworth said. 

“That’s super concerning going into winter.” 

Ms Houldsworth said with COVID-19 still “on the radar” she and her staff were working extra hard to get the community vaccinated. 

“This year, we have prepared to be able to vaccinate everybody who wants and who has traditionally been vaccinated in our pharmacy,” she said. 

Gold Coast doctors are warning flu cases could increase this year, partly due to increased domestic and trans-Tasman movement. 

Gold Coast Primary Health Network director Lisa Beecham said flu vaccinations were about 30 per cent down from last year.

“It could be a number of things; it could be that people are hanging off for the COVID shot so they’re delaying the flu shot.”

Dr Beecham said anyone who had received the COVID-19 vaccination needed to wait two weeks until they could get their influenza shot.

She said increased hygiene measures during the COVID-19 pandemic could be part of the reason for the drop in flu cases, but said she feared people were now more complacent. 

Dr Beecham said the trans-Tasman bubble might play a role in a bounce-back of the flu virus.

“Now we’ve got the NZ bubble open that border is open and we’re all travelling more interstate and intrastate,” she said.

“Realistically, we can expect this year that there may well be an increase in influenza back to its normal previous rates.”

Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland branch acting president Chris Owen said while there was a decline in number of people getting the flu jab this year compared to last year, it was up 70 per cent from 2019.

He explained so far this year, between March 1 to April 26 about 2.4 million vaccines had been distributed Australia wide compared to 5.1 million last year and 1.5 million in the same period in 2019.

“The most important people to get a flu jab are the under fives, and the over 65 … the over 65 because they’re the greatest risk of having an adverse effect if they do get influenza and the under fives because they’re considered super spreaders.”

Mr Owen said he did not believe people’s changing attitudes to hygiene, like washing their hands more and socially distancing since the global pandemic, was enough.

“I think the most important thing is to realise that vaccines are all about the community at large.

“It may not necessarily be about you in particular, but it might be about your grandmother or your friend who has a serious illness where their immune systems are lower,” he said.

I also think that we understand that if those people in our community are at risk, then we need to be doing it for those people as well.

“And taking a little bit of the selfish attitude away from it, and saying, it’s not going to affect me – well it may not but it may affect that person to you are close to.”

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Sharks and all, Olympic kayaker Shannon Reynolds trains in Gold Coast canals

When surfing star Mick Fanning escaped a shark attack in South Africa’s J-Bay Open surf contest, millions of people were watching.  

But kayaker Shannon Reynold’s shark encounter on the Gold Coast was a much more solitary affair.

The Olympian, 26, who lists Fanning as one of her sporting heroes, was training in the murky canals at Broadbeach when her kayak was bumped by a bull shark.   

“It came in closer and closer and then it just knocked the back of the boat and I just squealed so loudly,” Reynolds said.

“It was terrifying. 

“I’ve only seen a bull shark once here, but the fishermen see them a lot in the canals.

Reynolds’s coach, who was in a motorboat that normally keeps unwelcome creatures at a distance, came to the rescue.

“Our coach just came quite aggressive towards us and we didn’t see the shark again,” she said.

Aggressive bull sharks aside,  the canal network on the Gold Coast is proving to be an ideal training location for Olympic kayakers preparing for the Tokyo games.

“I’ve heard the water can be a bit choppy in Japan, which is actually not the worst thing because sometimes it’s quite windy here,” Ms Reynolds said. 

“The Gold Coast canals can get a bit bumpy with the tides, so hopefully it will be quite similar and put us in good stead.”

Reynolds, who hails from Karratha, Western Australia, will be competing as a canoe sprinter and in the women’s K4 in Tokyo.

Much like the choppy canals at training, it’s been a bumpy journey to get to the Olympics.

“It sounds so corny, but it genuinely was such an emotional roller-coaster,” she said.

“We got selected in March 2020 and then a week later basically Australia went into lockdown.

“We weren’t really sure if we were going to have to … do the whole trials all over again. 

“About a week later we found out we were still selected and we just had this whole year to train together.  

“So a lot of highs, and then a bit of a low, and then a massive high and the excitement of moving to the Gold Coast and jumping in the boat with the girls.” 

Australia’s Tokyo chef de mission, Ian Chesterman, said up to 480 athletes would be part of the Australian team.

He said extra mental health support services would be available as athletes navigated strict COVID protocols.

“We’re very much aware that that’s an important thing at these games because they have been so different,” Mr Chesterman said.

“It has been a very stressful time for our athletes and we just need to make sure they’re well supported.

“I don’t think we can underestimate the challenge that it’s been to athletes over the last 15 months.

“They will have extra support systems in place and we’ll have a good network, a system, established in Tokyo.

“Some sports are taking their own psychologist.

“We have a headquarters psychologist but they also have a person back here coordinating all the home support as well.” 

With fewer than 80 days before the Tokyo games, Ms Reynolds said she was trying to stay level-headed.

She accepts daily health checks and rapid COVID testing will be a part of her Olympics experience.

She’s already being extra cautious with hand hygiene and social distancing. 

“Training has really ramped up lately, ” she said.

“On top of that there’s a lot of phsyio, then dietician meetings, psychology meetings, so it is quite full-on at the moment.

“I totally understand it won’t be the same Olympic experience as most other Olympics, but I’m just so grateful that it’s still going ahead and I just want to get on that line and race.”

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Kelly Wilkinson was in contact with police daily before her alleged murder, sister says

The sister of Kelly Wilkinson, who was allegedly murdered by her estranged partner, says the mother of three was in contact with police and support services on a daily basis in the last few weeks of her life.

“I know she was in contact with somebody daily and making statements nearly every second day, just going to the station,” Danielle Carroll told 7.30.

Queensland police had previously revealed Ms Wilkinson had gone to local Gold Coast police stations at least twice before she was allegedly set on fire by her former partner Brian Earl Johnston on April 20.

Ms Carroll also revealed her sister was “absolutely scared” after police released Mr Johnston on bail just over a week before her death after he was charged with a number of serious offences.

“That’s when she was really getting into police contact daily and just asking, screaming for that help,” she said.

“If their hands were tied for him, why was there no safeguard for her? She was never offered a safe house, she was never offered some sort of security, she was basically left to fend on her own.”

The Queensland Police Service has launched an internal review into the matter.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd acknowledged the family’s claims that Ms Wilkinson’s pleas for help were effectively ignored.

“That’s not how it’s recorded with us, but I want to be open to the examination of revealing just exactly what did occur,” he told 7.30.

“The system has let her down and failed her because she came to us seeking assistance, and we did provide her with assistance.

“We immediately responded to her needs, and immediately implemented a police protection notice,” he said.

“She did reach out to us to express some concerns about potential breaches … that were related to contact being made with her by phone, [but] the determination by the investigating police was it didn’t meet the threshold warranting prosecution for a breach.”

Assistant Commissioner Codd admitted it was a difficult situation.

“I don’t want to add to any trauma by the family because they’re fully entitled to ask questions,” he said.

The Assistant Commissioner said one of the critical elements for his review will be the decision by police to release Mr Johnston on bail.

“It quite rightly needs to come under scrutiny,” he said.

“And of course now with hindsight … that certainly calls that into question.”

Ms Carroll and her husband Reece are now caring for Ms Wilkinson’s three children, in addition to their own five children.

“The best thing about it all is just seeing those kids interacting together and knowing that they’re safe and happy and that really is helping us through the whole thing as well,” Reece Carroll said.

The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the support of the children. 

Ms Carroll says she finds strength through her sister Kelly.

“Kelly has done her part, she’s told the whole world, she was a strong woman,” she said.

“I just look at those children and I think we’ve got to change things for those kids — future generations.”

Watch this story on 7.30 on ABC TV and iview.

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Gold Coast boy dies in hospital after being injured while playing with Sea World toy, family says

The family of a six-year-old Gold Coast boy says he has died in hospital after being allegedly severely injured on Anzac Day by a toy purchased from Sea World.

According to a crowd-funding page, Deklan Babington-MacDonald’s life support was turned off at the weekend, after doctors told his family his injuries were “beyond recovery”.

The boy had allegedly been playing with a toy purchased from Sea World at his Nerang home on Sunday April 25, when his mother found him unresponsive.

According to the fundraising page, the family performed CPR on the boy before he was rushed to the Queensland Children’s Hospital to be treated for critical injuries.

The six-year-old remained on life support from Sunday until Friday, when his life support was turned off by doctors.

According to the page, he died “surrounded by his closest family, extended family and some close friends”.

“They [the family] are reading the beautiful messages of support and love, and appreciate all the kindness and donations,” Deklan’s aunt wrote.

She said a memorial would be organised for Deklan in the near future.

In a statement issued last week, Village Roadshow Theme Parks said it had removed the toy in question from sale.

A spokesperson said it was a “plush-toy walker”, which looks like a penguin wearing a harness, attached to a lead or stick.

Village Roadshow said it would fully cooperate with all investigations into the matter, and was distressed to hear of the accident.

“We need to understand the circumstances around what has occurred,” the statement said.

“As our number one priority is always health and safety, we have removed the toy in question from sale at this time.

“We will also be reaching out to Deklan’s family to offer support.”

According to the spokesperson, while the toy is no longer for sale, a full investigation will need to take place before it is entirely recalled.

The fundraiser for Deklan’s family has so far raised almost $15,000.

Queensland Police said it was not treating the boy’s death as suspicious.

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Problem gamblers seek help in large numbers after COVID-19 lockdowns

A lucky dip at a school fair seems like a bit of harmless fun, but for David, it was the start of decades of addiction and shame.

The 53-year-old, from regional Queensland, said he was only 10 years old when he started to display the behaviours of a problem gambler.

“I was told at the fete that the boys’ lucky dip had one good prize and was warned not to spend all my money,” he said.

It was a pattern that repeated itself through David’s life and at one point, led to his family kicking him out of their home.

While gambling addiction can occur at any time, the pandemic has led to a huge spike in demand at Queensland’s Gambling Help service.  

“After the lockdown we saw a big uptake in online and phone counselling and my books are completely full,” said the service’s Susan Rounsevell.

“We expect there will be more problems now that COVID payments have reduced, as people get used to that level of income.”

For David, gambling was a form of escape.

As a young adult, he would drive hundreds of kilometres to indulge in his first love – casino games.

“It wasn’t uncommon for me to get paid on Thursday and then after work I would drive to Broadbeach and gamble,” he said.

He said he did whatever he needed to do in order to continue gambling.

“I thought it was a financial issue, so I held down three jobs and worked 80-plus hours a week.

“But the more money I got, the more I gambled.”

David said one of his lowest points came when his youngest sister found out he’d committed fraud against her, using her credit card to access cash.

“It’s not a spectator sport — family, friends, employers all get to play … the ability to cause great harm is high.”

Ms Rounsevell said when gambling started to affect relationships, work and finances, it became a problem.

“There are free services like ours, which are funded by the state government to help people address the issue in a holistic way,” she said.

“It’s about emotional help, financial help … behaviours are part of who you are and it takes a long time to learn new ways of being.”

Ms Rounsevell is also concerned that young people are normalising gambling.

“A lot of games adolescents play include prize boxes and loot bags and encourage them to take a chance,” she said..

David said being a “problem gambler in action” was incredibly tiring.

“You’re juggling so many balls in the air and telling so many lies.”

Part of the challenge he faced in seeking help was a deep sense of shame.

“It (problem gambling) is a very misunderstood thing,” he said.

“If someone has an alcohol problem, people will have a range of suggestions to help.

“People will pay off a mortgage quicker than I will pay off my gambling debt.”

Despite his life once being dominated by the impacts of problem gambling, David said he didn’t believe tighter regulation was needed.

“I have a deep acceptance of about it because no-one ever forced me to do anything, I made all those decisions.”

David said he had spent a lot of time reflecting on his addiction, and his decision to abstain from gambling for more than two decades.

“I would say to my 20-year-old self, you don’t have to needlessly suffer any more … there are many ways to get help.”

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‘Hardly anyone’ using COVID vaccination centre earmarked for frontline workers

Confused residents say a COVID vaccination centre set up on the Gold Coast for medical staff is hardly being used. 

The Albert Waterways Community Centre in Mermaid Waters isn’t publicised as a vaccine venue.

According to Gold Coast Health that’s because it was established to help roll out the 1B vaccinations for health care workers and emergency response personnel only.

But members of the public who aren’t in that category are now randomly turning up and getting the COVID jab.

Highland Park resident Larissa, who is not a health worker, said she was the only patient at the facility when she turned up without a referral. 

“I was quite surprised but quite pleased as well,” she said. 

“I was the only person getting injected but there was one other person in the waiting room.

“I was surprised no-one was there, that it wasn’t really busy and that I was able to get it so easily.

“I saw at least 8-10 staff and I suspect there were more in the examination rooms.

“I did say to them that I was surprised that I was able to and they said, ‘No, I was more than eligible’ and could proceed through.

“I was told that they weren’t advertising and they’d prefer to use word of mouth and I said, ‘I will happily tell everybody I know’.

Queensland’s Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said she feared vaccines were going to waste. 

“What’s the point of having 8-10 staff there with no-one to vaccinate?

“Even more concerning is, are they wasting vials because there are not enough arms to inject into?” Ms Bates said.

“You either let the public know that it’s publicly available and get on with it, or you restrict it. It’s a confusing message.
“The minute you open a vial and there’s no-one there, then you’re wasting a vaccine, so why not put it into the arms of Queenslanders who are willing to have the vaccine right now?

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said she would always support people to get vaccinated. 

“We’re very careful to make sure we use all the vaccine we possibly can, so I have no idea about the specifics there,” Dr Young said.

“The message we get out in Queensland, to all our vaccination centres, is that our long-term aim is to get every single Queenslander who’s able to be vaccinated, vaccinated.”

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Locals fear Coolangatta tower will set ‘ugly precedent’, but buyer interest grows

A Gold Coast councillor has raised concerns about the approval of a controversial 12-storey tower at Coolangatta’s Point Danger and says changes are needed to the city plan.

The 36.5-metre tall Awaken luxury residential building has been given the green light by council without community consultation.

It was approved by special delegation in early April, with the popular Cafe DBar now set to be demolished to make way for the high-rise.

Councillor Gail O’Neill said that because the application was code assessable, meaning the proposed tower satisfied height requirements, it did not need to undergo a public consultation process.

“I did have some concerns which I did raise with the special delegation committee who approved it,” Ms O’Neill said.

“Those concerns were the increase in site cover, no customer parking for the commercial area and minimal set-backs.

Councillor O’Neill said changes were needed to the city plan to ensure the impact of developments at iconic sites were given special consideration.

“It is code assessable and I feel that when you have a building like that in a very iconic position, it should have actually been impact assessable.”

Gold Coast City Council’s first city architect and advocate for sustainable city shaping, Phillip Follent, said he was surprised that there was no opportunity for public comment, but that the council was within its rights.

Mr Follent said the community was “perplexed” at how a 12-storey building would be allowed on the Cafe DBar site.

“Most projects submitted on the Gold Coast end up being planned assessable — they’re only triggered to become impact assessable if they exceed a given height.

A previous building height study, which Mr Follent said was only partially available to the public, was intended to be used in the amendments to the city plan.

He said the plan, which he worked on in 2006, was “to ensure we did have a much more nuanced city plan”.

“[It was to] develop an iconic skyline that didn’t try and compete with the natural headlands, of which we have very few.

“The only avenues really are through local councillors to raise this issue, and say, ‘Why is it that the building height study … is taking so long?’.

“The development industry is way ahead of council in terms of finding prime sites and then developing them within the rules of the current city plan.

“Until the city plan is amended, there is really no opportunity for the public to have a say.”

Southern Gold Coast community advocate Nicolle Archer, who has campaigned against the Burleigh Arcade development, says the approval of development had “snuck up” on the community.

“What would be the harm in engaging the community to get the best outcome for both the developers and residents alike?,” Ms Archer said.

She says the Awaken complex will be an eyesore on an iconic site.

“To have a 36.5-metre residential tower plonked on the plum spot … that thing is going to poke out and the whole of the coast is going to see it.

The development comes after a spate of divisive applications in the area, including approval of the 12-storey Flow tower by the same developer, S&S Projects

“We’re looking to bring some of the same elements that attracted so many buyers to Flow Residences into this new project,” spokesman Paul Gedoun said.

“Our last development was well oversubscribed with buyers and no doubt a lot of those people who missed out will be looking to secure a place in Awaken Residences.”

Mr Gedoun said the developers paid $8 million for the parcel of land.

“We believe this is one of the best and most spectacular development sites — not only on the Gold Coast, but on the eastern seaboard — and we are looking to create something extra special.” 

Coolangatta local Kavina Pyke said she had lived in the area for about 30 years and was devastated to hear the cafe would be demolished.

“For old times’ sake, we decided to come down and have one last look, grab a cup of coffee, and just reminisce about what a lovely area it is,” Ms Pyke said.

Ms Pyke’s daughter Talicia said DBar was her favourite cafe and she would miss taking visitors to the coast there.

“My friends and I at the end of exams every semester would come here and have a cocktail and celebrate,” she said.

Thank you for stopping to visit My Local Pages. We Hope you enjoyed seeing this news release on “News & What’s On in Queensland’s Gold Coast Region” titled “Locals fear Coolangatta tower will set ‘ugly precedent’, but buyer interest grows”. This story was shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local events & news services.

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