This week's Queensland Times Friday Top Five includes stories about firefighters preparing for the storm season (main image), the Mt Crosby Interchange, MP George Christensen, and the old Ipswich courthouse.
This week's Queensland Times Friday Top Five includes stories about firefighters preparing for the storm season (main image), the Mt Crosby Interchange, MP George Christensen, and the old Ipswich courthouse.

Here’s your QT Friday Top Five

WITH the election campaign heating up, the Queensland Times has started putting the feelers out to local community groups regarding any questions they would like us to ask at our upcoming online forums.

We hope to cram as many questions as we can into our half-hour forums for Ipswich and Ipswich West, which are scheduled for October 26 and will be broadcast for free out our website via Streamyard, live.

If you would like to suggest a question for the candidates on the night, send me an email at andrew.korner@news.com.au.

On the digital paper side of things, there is some more good news on the way, with death notices set to become a fixture of our digital editions from next week, if all goes according to plan.

I know many of you have been crying out for death notices to be brought back to the flip-book for some time.

Our superiors have heard the message loud and clear and have spent weeks coming up with a solution that we hope will work for everyone.

Don’t forget you can view the death notices at any time on our website too.

Onto the week in news now. Here is this week’s Friday Top Five.

1. Highway to Hell

You’ll know if I’m passionate about a story, because I’ll give it a famous song title for the headline.

I know I am not the only one who feels strongly about this issue though; thousands of people every day are getting caught up in the mess that is the Mt Crosby interchange.

Mt Crosby Rd interchange aerial photo. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Mt Crosby Rd interchange aerial photo. Picture: Cordell Richardson

This week I asked the question: If there is $400 million in State and Federal funds set aside for the Warrego Highway from Ipswich to Toowoomba, why can’t we justify spending more than a relatively paltry $22 million at Mt Crosby.

In the afternoon peak hour, the choked off ramps are a potential death trap, while the backlog on Mt Crosby Rd itself in the morning and afternoon is robbing commuters of precious time.

This will no doubt be a hot election debate topic later this month.

2. Prepared for the worst

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Swift Water development trainers gathered at Wivenhoe Dam to simulate scenes resembling real emergencies and design new training sessions.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Swift Water development trainers gathered at Wivenhoe Dam to simulate scenes resembling real emergencies and design new training sessions.

Our firefighters face some horrific scenes in the line of duty, and many of us would be familiar with the terrors they were up against back in 2011.

After a few dry years, there is talk of another La Niña this year, which means the possibility of more flooding.

With that in mind, our firefighters conducted a real-life training scenario near the Wivenhoe Dam wall earlier this week, where they plonked a car in the Brisbane River and worked to get the passengers out alive.

It might seem a bit far fetched that a car would end up in such a situation, until you think back to the things we saw in 2011.

It is good to know our fireys are ready for whatever the elements throw at them.

3. Curious George back in the headlines

There was furore this week after it emerged Federal LNP backbenchers George Christensen and Craig Kelly had written to Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.

Somehow, and we still don’t know exactly how, that same letter found its way into the letter boxes of Ipswich residents recently.

Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Laura Thomas
Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Laura Thomas

The use of the drug has been consistently spruiked by US President Donald Trump, but – perhaps not surprisingly – widely condemned by medical experts.

Regardless of how their communication ended up being distributed across our city, the contents of the letter sparked some angry reactions.

Federal Blair MP labelled the pair as ‘idiots’ who were spreading dangerous misinformation.

4. Is there life in our old courthouse?

The former Ipswich courthouse on the corner of Limestone and East St.
The former Ipswich courthouse on the corner of Limestone and East St.

Dirty, dank, dingy, smelly, run down – and that was before they closed it.

Our old courthouse on the corner of Limestone and East streets is the embodiment of everything that was wrong with 1980s architecture.

Unfortunately, things have got even uglier since it shut down about a decade ago.

It is a badly kept secret that squatters have frequented the place, forcing the new owners to increase security.

The good news is that we are told things are happening behind the scenes to give new purpose to this old building.

Credit must go to anyone who can turn such a run-down place into something we can be proud of again.

Hopefully there is a positive story still to come out of this.

5. Fire ban kicks in

It seems odd that weeks after the weather bureau told us we could be in for an unusually wet October, we are facing a local fire ban.

Mind you, if you have lived in this area long enough, it should not surprise you one bit that we are experiencing a dry spring.

Temperatures are set to climb toward the mid-30s this weekend, and with the earth bone dry and old La Niña yet to have any effect, fire conditions are getting worse.

Please do the right thing while the fire ban is in place and keep a look out for updates on the conditions.



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