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NEWS

Sin BRIEF

War planes over Straddie

STRADBROKE ISLAND.COM All you need to know about Straddie – and a lot you didn’t know you needed to know – is now available online at a website launched by the North Stradbroke Island Chamber of Commerce. “Several commercial website operators have Stradbroke Island websites that offer selected information based on advertising revenue,” Chamber spokesperson Col Battersby said. “This site offers independent and up-to-date information on all of the Island’s accommodation, attractions and tours as well as the various transport options available from Toondah Harbour and on Island buses. Most visitors know about Point Lookout … but they might not realise how much they’ve been missing by not visiting Amity Point and Dunwich.”

MELVA FOR MAYOR Melva Hobson will stand for mayor in next year’s March election. “I’ve got enthusiasm and energy for the job and I’ve still got a lot more to give,” she said. “One thing I will continue to do is refuse to buy into the party political argument over the mining end date. “Regardless of who forms the next state government, our job will be to get the best deal for residents on whatever closure timetables are set.”

MUSEUM TAKES STOCK Historic North Stradbroke Island has been reprinted and is on sale at the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum shop in Welsby Street, Dunwich for $20. Also in stock the illustrated children’s book, Father Sky, Mother Earth, by Oodgeroo Noonuccal ($25) and the two-part Queensland Museum publication, Wild Guide to Moreton Bay ($50), as well as t-shirts, tea towels, hand-made hand-towels, notelets and jars of locally-made cumquat marmalade. Items also sold at the Point Lookout Markets on Sundays. Discounts for museum members.

MINISTER VISITS ISLAND Jan Jarratt, Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business, visited Straddie recently and was guided around the Island by Quandamooka representatives Darren Burns and Aunty Joan Hendricks, as well as officers from the Department of Environment and Resource Management. The minister met with small business owners, members of the new Chamber of Commerce and members of the economic transition taskforce.

FERRY MERGER APPROVED The Australian Competition and Consumer Council (ACCC) has approved the takeover of Stradbroke Ferries Limited, operators of the Stradbroke Water Taxi and Stradbroke Vehicle Ferries (the blue ferries) by Transit Systems Pty Ltd (operators of the Big Red Cat). Stradbroke Ferries CEO David Thomson said there would be no major changes to operations over the summer holiday period, other than more flexibility between the vehicle ferries. “If one barge is full then staff can send customers to the second one where their tickets will also be accepted.”

stealth plane used for combat missions by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq was deployed from Point Lookout recently – to monitor humpback whales. The ScanEagle unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) made more than 50 flights over Straddie waters to capture video footage and still images of whale pods, as part of trial research being conducted by Murdoch University and Insitu, manufacturer of ScanEagle and a Boeing subsidiary. Researcher Amanda Hodgson, from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, told SIN Straddie was ideal location for the trial because whales pass by so close to the Point Lookout coast.

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The ScanEagle quietly surveyed whale pods for periods of up to an hour, at low altitudes of above 2000 feet, without disturbing the whales or affecting their behaviour. Ms Hodgson aims to develop new methods for using the UAVs to assess the abundance and distribution of other marine mammals in the future. “The objective is that eventually we’d be able to use the UAVs for surveying all marine mammals, so I’m hoping that we can do a survey of Moreton Bay and get a population estimate for dolphins as well as dugongs.” — Maria Tan

Jan’s outstanding contribution

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unwich high school teacher Jan Connolly has been recognised as an Outstanding Teacher of Science for her work with students of the Dunwich State School & Secondary Department (DSS&SD). Mrs Connolly was the school’s science and maths for 10 years until ill health forced her retirement this year. The Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science and Science Education—named for a Brisbane-born Nobel Prize-winning scientist who was educated at Indooroopilly State High School—recognises students, teachers, schools, leaders, volunteers, mentors and organisations that have made outstanding and innovative contributions to

6 STRADDIE ISLAND NEWS — 10 YEARS OF LIVING IN SIN

science and science education in Queensland. Jan Connolly was one of seven teachers from across Queensland, recognised for their outstanding work in this area. Bernadette Mollison of the DSS&SD told SIN: “Jan actively sought partnerships to enhance her teaching, including partnerships with scientists, mathematicians, science and maths teachers, curriculum leaders, and special program facilitators and sponsors. “Jan’s commitment, leadership and willingness to share all aspects of math and science has been invaluable in fostering students’ curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, as well as enhancing scientific literacy.” Mrs Connolly has moved to Toowoomba with her husband Barry to be close to her children and grandchildren. SUMMER 2011-12

War planes over Straddie  

A stealth plane used for combat missions by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq was deployed from Point Lookout last month to monitor humpback...

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