News

Safety alert for 100,000 visitors

HANGING AROUND: The Swift Water Recue helicopter performing a demonstration rescue.
HANGING AROUND: The Swift Water Recue helicopter performing a demonstration rescue. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH doesn't have the endless golden beaches or the gateway to Moreton Bay, but it does have a lot of dams.

More than 100,000 water-skiers, fisherman, canoeists and campers will crowd the banks of popular spots such as Wivenhoe, Somerset and Moogerah dams with their tents and swags and caravans this Christmas.

The region's police, firefighters and SEQWater rangers will take charge of the massive job of trying to ensure holiday-makers play it as safe as possible over the end-of-year break.

In addition to crews of water police, who will travel from the Port of Brisbane to patrol dams across the Ipswich district, traffic branch police from various divisions, as well as rangers, will be on the lookout for anyone doing the wrong thing.

Water supply Minister Mark McArdle officially launched the "Be Dam Smart" safety campaign at Wivenhoe Dam's popular Logan's Inlet recreational area yesterday.

About 500 enthusiastic school kids, mainly from Ipswich, were invited to the launch, in the hope that they would pass the message up to parents and family members.

"You are the ones who will eventually run this great state and we want to keep you safe," Mr McArdle told the students.

SEQWater manager Jim Pruss said about 4000 camping permits had been issued for the Logan's inlet area for the school holidays, with 160 boat permits at Wivenhoe and about 3000 at Somerset Dam.

"With so many people out there, safety is extremely important for everyone who uses the dam," Mr Pruss said.

Brisbane water police's Senior Sergeant Warren Francis said the most common offence that boaties committed was neglecting basic safety equipment such as life jackets.

"I am pleased to say that, while we do lots of breath tests, we don't get a lot of drink-driving on the water," Snr Sgt Francis said.

"Most people seem to recognise the risks and we hope it stays that way.

"The rules for drink-driving on the water are the same as those that apply to driving on the road."

Hannah's Foundation co-founder Andrew Plint was also at the launch to show his support for the safety campaign.

He said that while dams always looked benign from a distance, there was always the risk of hidden dangers underneath.

"Your lifejacket is your seatbelt on the water," Mr Plint said. "I think that if you can educate kids about this so that the first thing they do when they hit the water is put their PFD on, it becomes a habit and it gets passed on to the next generation."

Topics:  moogerah dam, seqwater, somerset dam, wivenhoe dam



QT’s name and shame: This week’s drink and drug drivers

Senior Constable Simon Cook with the RBT bus at Tweed Police Station Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News

This week's convicted drink and drug drivers

More than 9000 Queensland kids in foster care

The Department of Communities and Child Safety suspended or cancelled the permits of 30 carers last year while it substantiated 144 cases of harm to children.

30 foster carers banned as 144 cases of harm to children revealed.

Strike to cause stoppages at airports, cruise ships

Extensive rolling stoppages to start today

Local Partners

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'