The stories that transformed the region in July
“IT DOESN’T matter if I open my eyes or close my eyes, I still see Dad.”
Those were the heartbreaking words Anthony Routledge used to describe the grief of losing his father David Routledge, 55, in a mine tragedy at Middlemount in late June.
MACKAY Mayor Greg Williamson has vowed to hold the State Government to account on the billions of royalties being earned in the region on the back of figures showing Australia’s resources earnings hit a record $275 billion in the 2018-19 financial year.
A WITNESS claims the murder of Shandee Blackburn was “supposed to be a snatch and run that went wrong”.
However during Sumara Blackman’s testimony, Coroner David O’Connell asked her if she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which she denied.
Her brother Levii Blackman, who also gave evidence, admitted he lied about what he knew in relation to Shandee’s murder claiming he had been pressured by police.
THE second the words left the doctor’s mouth, Ana McEldowney’s world stopped.
She had taken her eight-year-old daughter Mia for a check-up as the normally vivacious little girl had been having some trouble with her co-ordination. But it wasn’t supposed to end like this.
Within moments Mia had gone from being a normal grade three student who loved netball and dancing, to a child battling incurable cancer.
MOVE over mining and sugar, Mackay has a new major player in town – aviation.
Aspiring Qantas pilots would soon fill Mackay skies with the major Australian airline selecting the city as its second Qantas Group Pilot Academy site.
A BRAZEN burglary has “broken” a Finch Hatton family business, forcing them to close their doors forever.
Finch Hatton resident Chris Pollard’s voice cracked as she announced the closure of the Upper Pioneer Valley’s only service station, Valley Rural Services after 11 years of operation.
CRISIS talks over the safety of Queensland coal workers will be held after the mining community was left reeling from another tragedy.
Mining contractor Golding confirmed the death of a worker, a 27-year-old man, at the Baralaba North Coal Mine about 2am on July 7.
“DID you kill Shandee?” The man acquitted of Shandee Blackburn’s murder has denied being involved in her death after he was asked directly by Counsel Assisting the Coroner John Aberdeen during a coronial inquest.
But John Peros told Mackay Coroners Court he “can’t remember” what he did the night she was killed.
He also could not recall saying “she would be better off dead” or “I hate her and would love to stab the c***” at a party.
DEVELOPERS hope to attract ‘empty-nesters’ to one of Mackay’s most iconic beachside locations but the plan is at the mercy of councillors.
Pioneer Projects No. 1, McGrath Developments and Pointglen Developments will be given a decision that stands to either make or break a development that would transform the once idyllic Kohuna Beachside Resort into ‘over-50s resort lifestyle accommodation’.
A CRIME Prevention Unit officer has pushed for increased lighting and CCTV cameras across Mackay after exposing danger spots in the CBD.
Sergeant Nigel Dalton told Mackay Coroners Court, which was holding an inquest into the murder of Shandee Blackburn, there were various entrapment zones where something sinister could happen even if people were 10m away.
IT IS the end of an era for a well-known Mackay developer as Benarid Pty Ltd director John Galea announces the final stage of the Sugarfields estate.
After two decades, the project is finally in its last stages, with construction steaming ahead on Stage 6 of the estate.
MINE safety advocates are leading the charge for three extra mines inspectors to be based in Mackay following a spate of fatalities in Queensland coal mines in the past 12 months.
Announced yesterday, the new inspectors will be added as part of a raft of mine and quarry safety initiatives the State Government put forward in response to the mine safety crisis.
WHEN he was a kid, fishing was embedded into Allan Ahmat’s life early on.
Shortly after his family moved from the Torres Strait Islands, his father would take him out to catch a feed of fish for his family, friends and neighbours.
They’re memories he recalls fondly, and now he is eager to share his experience with the next generation of anglers.
SYD MIELS returned to his Sarina home to find his furniture destroyed, the fixtures in pieces and his pet dog writhing in pain on the floor.
Kula, his eight-and-a-half-year-old Weimaraner, had “gone wild” in his caravan home after, Mr Miels believes, consuming the common agricultural poison 1080.
Fellow Sarina resident Alan Kochevatkin has started a petition asking the State Government to review exclusion zones and distance requirements surrounding the poison’s use to improve community safety.
IN WHAT the tourism industry hopes is a sign of even better things to come, new data shows a million visitors have forked out $545 million in the Mackay region.
This is a staggering 47.9 per cent growth in domestic overnight expenditure year-on-year in the 12 months to March 2019.
LOUIS Moore had a big dream to own his own home before the age of 25.
Excitedly, 24 days before his 25th birthday, Louis phoned his mother Karen Moore to tell her he had done it.
Louis, his fiance Courtney Leverington and their 14-month-old daughter Ayla moved in on June 1 to continue their life together.
Tragically, less than two months later Louis was killed in a crash on the Bruce Highway.
NEGOTIATIONS to secure a $150 million ‘regional deal’ took a giant step forward after four major players committed to working together for the region’s future.
But they need the Commonwealth and Queensland governments to loosen their purse strings for the deal to go ahead.
MACKAY has battled for years to keep its best and brightest sports stars in the region – fought, but often failed, to knock back the tempting tendrils of opportunity sent out by nosy neighbour Townsville and the metropolitan might of Brisbane.
We can no longer turn a blind eye to this.
AN UNDERLYING medical condition, loss of control due to environmental factors or a bump to the head are three possible scenarios investigators probing the death of mine worker Allan Houston have put forward after failing to determine the direct cause of his death.
The Gracemere father, 49, was working at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Saraji Coal Mine near Moranbah at 10.25pm on December 31, 2018 when the dozer he was operating travelled over a bunded low wall edge and rolled down the embankment.
A SARINA man claimed he only armed himself with an axe for protection after watching a “vicious” dog attack the family pet.
But Mackay Magistrates Court heard the 47 year old grabbed the axe from his yard, went directly to home of Brett Webster and Tara Malone and threatened to kill their dog Bus.
RANDOM workplace drug testing has revealed too many Mackay workers are going to their jobs drugged up on ice and marijuana.
Two workers, aged between 40 and 50, had so much methamphetamine in their system that the urine could have damaged testing equipment.
THE deployment of drones and autonomous haulage will form part of BHP’s plan to protect workers as the Queensland mining industry grapples with the fallout of a safety crisis after a tragic spate of six deaths in 12 months.
In a speech to the Bowen Basin Mining Club, provided exclusively to Daily Mercury, BMA asset president James Palmer will outline the company’s strategy to address workplace safety during a “critical time” for the industry.
A TRUCK driver went to his Paget workplace armed with a gun in a desperate move to recoup what he believed was up to $30,000 in stolen wages.
First the Carmila man lured manager Darryl Caracciolo and administration worker Susan Gravino into an office inside Global Food and Wine Mackay under the pretence of handing over paperwork.
COMMUNITY leaders have condemned a green group’s plan to bombard a Mackay business supplying Adani’s Carmichael Mine with a “week of action”.
In an email to supporters, Mackay Conservation Group said engineering company GHD was helping Adani “design its climate-wrecking coal mine” and called on the community to protest against the company.
QUEENSLAND mud crab – the “hero” of our food tourism trade – is under the crunch as tensions boil over in the state’s $300 million seafood industry.
Some of the state’s 2000 commercial fishermen plan to launch a legal injunction against the State Government over tough new limits, the Daily Mercury exclusively revealed.
A MOTHER accused of helping her son, who is facing cocaine trafficking charges in Mackay, flee the country is in hospital following her Australian Federal Police arrest.
The case against Elizabeth Anne Turner was briefly mentioned in Mackay Magistrates Court.
Mining businessman turned fugitive Markis Scott Turner is accused of being a major player in a multimillion-dollar cocaine syndicate.
MACKAY Sugar is scrambling to ensure the last remaining growers agree to the final hurdle under Nordzucker’s takeover bid, after 95 per cent of grower members voted in favour of the deal at the Extraordinary General Meeting.
Following a resounding ‘yes’ vote, the last remaining growers will need to agree to changing the cane supply payment formula from PRS to CCS.