• Gold Coast receives $410,000 for safer cycling infrastructure

    Gold Coast receives $410,000 for safer cycling infrastructure

    Cyclists on the Gold Coast will enjoy safer cycling infrastructure following a $410,000 funding boost to the Queensland cycle network.

    Local governments across Queensland with an endorsed Principal Cycle Network Plan were invited to apply for grants from the state-wide Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program.

    Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles announced as part of Governing from the Gold Coast that Gold Coast City Council had been awarded funding for two cycling infrastructure projects through the 2017-18 grants program.

    Projects awarded funding include:

    • $210,000 – Gold Coast Highway Shared Path (Chelsea Ave to Convention Centre) Construction
    • $200,000 – Tugun to Bilinga Oceanway Design

    “The Tugun to Bilinga Oceanway will run along the ocean foreshore between Toolona Street and Matters Street, connecting to existing oceanway at either end,” Mr Miles said.

    “The detailed design of the 1.7km, 3.5m wide link in Tugun will include mid and end of trip facilities.

    “We’re also committing $210,000 towards the construction of the Gold Coast Highway Shared Path which will be 380 metres of off road shared path along the western side of the Gold Coast Highway between Chelsea Avenue and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.”

    Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government has awarded $17 million to 30 local governments across Queensland for the delivery of an additional 35 kilometres of cycle network.

    “The program has jointly funded more than 480 cycling infrastructure projects since 2006, including the latest round of grants,” he said.

    The projects are part of a $182.5 million investment into cycling infrastructure across the state over the next four years including an injection of an extra $4.7 million per year for the grants program, to deliver on the Queensland Government’s vision of ‘more cycling more often’.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is committed to making cycling safer and more accessible for communities across Queensland,” Mr Miles said.

    “Investment in safer cycling infrastructure helps people to enjoy active and healthy travel around their community.

    “Projects delivered through this program will deliver better facilities for cyclists, improve the safety and convenience of local cycle networks and encourage more people to cycle, more often.

    “We know that, on average, every dollar we invest in cycling infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queensland with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion, and lower transport costs.

    “Working with local governments to deliver these projects also contributes to our commitment of creating more local jobs.”

    Works on these projects are expected to start progressively throughout this year and next, weather and construction conditions permitting.

    Councils are awarded funding for cycling infrastructure on a 50/ 50 basis.

    For more information on Cycle Network Local Government Grants, visit

  • The most remote music festival in the world announces 2018 dates

    The most remote music festival in the world announces 2018 dates

    Following the hugely successful fifth annual Birdsville Big Red Bash, three-day outback music festival with headline acts Missy Higgins, James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Lee Kernaghan, organisers today announce the 2018 dates to fall in July school holidays – July 10th to 12th, 2018 at the iconic Simpson Desert Big Red sand dune.

    The 2018 dates fall in the mid-year school holidays aligning with all school holiday terms across the country, allowing families to take their children on an outback adventure to the heart of Australia. Over 6,500 festivalgoers attended the 2017 bash including dogs that enjoyed the popular pet camping area.

    The 2018 headliners and full artist line up will be announced ahead of tickets going on sale in November.

    Event organiser Greg Donovan expects 2018 to be even bigger stating, “The atmosphere at the past festivals is always electric with people of all ages getting involved. It really is a once in a life time experience so make sure to save the dates 10th – 12th July 2018 to your diaries and be sure to spread the word.”

    For more information visit the event website:



    As Queensland continues its push as tourism powerhouse, one of the state’s most unique travel destinations – Birdsville – is gearing up for a historic year.


    For the very first time this year, the Australia International Dive Expo (AIDE) will take place at the International Convention Centre Sydney as part of the Sydney International Boat Show, the largest recreational boating event in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • HOW TO: Train For Any Hike

    In a world that increasingly consists of flat expanses of pavement, hiking can seem like an intimidating pursuit. How can you get in shape for hiking if you live in a city or don’t have time during the week to get out on trails?

  • Palaszczuk Government funds innovative ‘smart-aid’ kit which could save lives

    An ultra-compact first-aid kit that will help thousands of people make the right decisions in emergency situations is being backed by the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland fund.

    Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Original Rescue Swag is one of 119 innovative businesses across Queensland sharing in $16.5 million from the first two rounds of Ignite Ideas funding.

    “Many Queensland businesses have developed world-class products and services, but lack the financial capacity to successfully commercialise them,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s Ignite Ideas fund – another Advance Queensland innovation and jobs initiative – is about helping businesses get products to market faster, which boosts business growth and creates jobs for Queenslanders.”

    Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding targets startups and small-to-medium-sized enterprises to help them with rapid commercialisation of their market ready innovations.

    The Rescue Swag was founded in 2013 by Tracey Beikoff, who said it is the world’s first ‘smart-aid kit’ that connects to an app and shows people how to use their first aid gear. The swag also has extra functionality, including a sling, splint, immobilisation unit and even a birthing mat to assist women during labour.

    Mrs Beikoff said the product has the potential to save lives. “It allows people to apply first-aid correctly anywhere, anytime,” she said.

    The Mareeba-based startup has recently received $100,000 in Advance Queensland funding to progress the commercialisation of the product, including field testing and market research, to better understand markets in Australia and the United States.

    Having come up with the idea after a minor horse riding incident, Tracey recognised a need for a more mobile first-aid kit and launched the Original Rescue Swag as a way to raise funds for her local RSPCA.

    “I soon realised there was a broader demand for rescue swags and a much bigger market out there,” Mrs Beikoff said.

    “This is a significant breakthrough in the first-aid market, introducing functionality and engagement in a way that has not previously been possible before.

    “We provide our customers with an engaging way to connect with rescue swags, which in turn increases first-aid response skills and preparedness to guide people during emergencies.

    “With support from the Queensland Government, our product will better prepare many thousands of new first-aid responders with the equipment, knowledge and confidence to take the right action in emergency situations regardless of whether they have mobile phone coverage – which is an important feature when you’re in the outback.”

    In 2015, the Original Rescue Swag landed a $220,000 deal with prominent Australian investor and Shark Tank celebrity Steve Baxter to grow its manufacturing base and ramp up marketing activities.

    “I saw huge potential in The Original Rescue Swag. It really caught my eye and had international appeal – which was a sound bet for me,” Mr Baxter said.

    “Tracey has an Aussie product that is great for any sort of outdoors adventure like horse-riding, motor biking, kayaking – and it has potential to make a real difference.”



    More than 4.3 million domestic and international overnight visitors last year choose to hike in NSW as part of a holiday experience, up 5.2 per cent on the previous year*.
    Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “NSW is the perfect place for a hiking holiday. The state is home to some of Australia’s most popular walking trails, as well as many hidden gems including superb multi-day hikes and fantastic short and long day hikes along stunning coastal and inland trails.”
    Here are some of NSW’s great walks, as well as some hidden gems just waiting to be explored:
    New tours
    · The Seven Peaks Walk is one of the newest walks to join the list of Great Walks of Australia. This challenging hike on Lord Howe Island is for experienced hikers, with a few sections of the walk off-track and requiring a steady head for heights.
    · For a coastal trek, try the three-day Light to Light walk which hugs the coastline between Boyds Tower and Green Cape Lightstation in Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast. If hiking in luxury is more your style, Light to Light Camps can carry your gear, set up camp each night and cook your dinner, all while you enjoy the walk at your leisure.
    Secluded and unspoilt
    · Explore the secluded beaches and spectacular cliffs while hiking the rugged coastline of the Kangarutha Walking Track in Bournda National Park near Tathra on the South Coast. Suitable for most ages, this moderately challenging hike is 9km each way.
    · The Murray Valley Regional and National Parks, near Mathoura on the Murray River, are home to part of the world’s largest stand of River Red Gums. The short walks in and around this park take you through stunning red gums and to an impressive Ramsar-listed wetlands, Reed Beds Wetland.
    · Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Washpool National Park, between Grafton and Glen Innes, offers wonderful undisturbed wilderness including the world’s largest stand of coachwood trees. With walks ranging from just a few hours to multiple days, the 45km Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk is the most challenging. This four-day walk takes you through eucalypt forests, rainforests, wetlands and granite tors in the rugged Northern Tablelands.
    · Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness runs a two-day tour that includes climbing Mount Gulaga, an extinct volcano rising 797 metres above sea level near Narooma on the South Coast. Mount Gulaga is culturally significant to the local Yuin people, particularly women.
    · Tri State Safaris offers guided tours of Mutawintji National Park and through the Mutawintji Historic Site. Boasting one of the best collections of Aboriginal art in NSW, a challenging two to four hour guided walk through rocky terrain visits Aboriginal rock engravings and ochre stencils, as well as the remains of fireplaces, stone flakes and grinding stones.
    Close to Sydney, but feels like a million miles away
    · Pack your bags for a challenging two-day hike in the Hawkesbury, along the Colo River. The Mountain Lagoon Loop via Colo Meroo and Tootie Creek is a challenging river walk along the lower reaches of the Colo River. The Hawkesbury hiking guide has details of 12 bushwalks in the area.
    · Explore the trails of the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Barrington Tops National Park. With more than 18 walking trails, from two hour hikes through sub-alpine forests and wetlands, to the challenging 38km Gloucester Tops to Careys Peak trail that offers scenic views from the tops.

    · Stretching 426kms, The Hume and Hovell Track is an epic trail in the south east of NSW that traverses rugged and beautiful countryside following a mix of public roads, fire trails, purpose built single tracks and over 100 footbridges. For trip planning, check out the interactive map and photos showing 360 degree views of the campsites along the way on the Hume and Hovell Track website.
    · Snow shoe Australia’s highest peak with K7 Adventures on the Mount Kosciuszko Majestic Tour. Kosciuszko National Park is as compelling in the winter months as it is during the summer wildflower season and although the weather can be challenging, the experience is truly remarkable.
    Share your favourite walk in NSW with us on social media by using the hashtag #NewSouthWales and #ILoveNSW. For more information visit



    Brisbane cyclist April Lea, the youngest competitor in Velothon Sunshine Coast (13-16 July) at age 23, is living proof that anything is possible and there are a million and one ways to get involved in cycling.

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