Santa is coming to Town

(and she drives a red convertible)

A fun annual Christmas tradition that's been running for 12 years will hit the road this weekend, North Lakes' own Santa Run.
You may not know her name but tireless local Helena Grieg (pictured, and on our cover) has been hitting the streets armed with wrapped lollies bringing Christmas cheer to local kids for over a decade now.
What was once a very localised festive celebration in just a few streets has now grown to cover all of North Lakes, handing out a whopping 40-45 kilograms of wrapped sweets.
Long term residents may remember that the Neighbourhood Watch Santa used to visit on the tray of a flat bed truck. Helena was involved back then but when Neighbourhood Watch disbanded, Helena continued with the support of donations from generous locals and local businesses. Now the team of three people; Helena, Vicki and a Santa (yet to be named) do the run for two days in two cars.
This year's Santa Run is this weekend - Saturday 9th December and Sunday 10th December.
On Saturday in the little red car the team will drive the streets of Freshwater, Crestwood, Eastridge, Woodvale, Shearwater, Greengate and Woodside from 9.30am.
Then on Sunday they will cover all the streets adjoining Endeavour Drive and Bounty Boulevard, Bridgehaven, Hilltop Green, Edenvale, Parkview, Fairway Chase, The Outlook and Mode from 9.30am in both the red car and blue SUV.
The Messenger spoke to Helena ahead of the run. It's a big effort each year for the full time Childcare centre worker, but she persists for the kids.
"It’s a bit of community spirit and I just like seeing the kids smile. People are so happy to see us each year that it puts a smile on our faces too, that’s why we do it,” Helena said.
You'll hear them coming by the festive tunes playing on loudspeaker; tooting car horns and Santa's bell ring ting tingle-ing too. If you hear them and think it's too late to race out to join in (and grab some sweets) - it's not. Like Santa checking his list, the team drive down each street twice, once to to announce their presence, then doubling back to gift out the lollies. Children are of course asked to stay on the footpath at all times. Don't worry, you wont miss out.
If you're reading this before the run and want to help out, the team appreciate any wrapped lollies and cash donations (ssed to buy appropriate lollies). Lolly donations must be individually wrapped and the team suggest Minties, Redskins, lollipops etc.
"This run purely works on community spirit, we couldn't do it without the donations. If you could find it in your hearts to buy a pack of wrapped lollies in your grocery shopping and be happy to part with it , we would absolutely appreciate the support," Helena said.
You can get in touch with Helena via 0427 133 874 or by finding them on Facebook, where you'll also find more information about the run.

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Triple M’s Biggest Skin Check today

Free Pop-UP Skin Clinics at Jimmy Rods North Lakes, - Woolloongabba, Oxley, and City

December 1 is the official start of summer. Aussies like to spend a lot of time in the sun, probably too much. It's a good idea to get your skin checked.

So today from 9am to 2pm, Triple M will host the Biggest Skin Check with FREE pop-up skin clinics at Jimmy Rods North Lakes. If you commute but can duck out you'll also find them at Woolloongabba, Oxley, and the City.

The Triple M crew have called in the experts from Montserrat Day Hospital and Doctor Link to give everyone a thorough skin check and to answer any questions. PLUS the Queensland Reds players will be at each location from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Find the free skin checks here::

NORTH LAKES 9am to 2pm - Jimmy Rods - Tenancy 1208, Level 1, Westfield North Lakes, Cnr Anzac Ave & North Lakes Drive
Queensland Reds player Reece Hewat will attend from 1pm to 1.30pm

WOOLLOONGABBA 9am to 2pm - Jimmy Rods - Tenancy A1 at Ivy Terrace, 4 Gibbon St – Wallaby and Queensland Reds player QUADE COOPER will attend from 1pm to 1.30pm
CITY 9am to 2pm - Jimmy Rods Shave Saloon - Tenancy 4, Mezzanine Level, 480 Queen St Queensland Reds player Kane Douglas will attend from 1pm to 1.30pm

OXLEY 9am to 2pm - Jimmy Rods - Shop 3/133 Oxley Station Rd Queensland Reds player Sef Faagase will attend from 1pm to 1.30pm

Look for the Triple M & Montserrat signage will be out front at each location for high visibility and general event signage at each location. There will be private rooms or cubicles set up in each Jimmy Rods store to allow for privacy for each skin check.

Rock patrollers will be armed with refreshments for the queue, and Jimmy Rods will provide discount vouchers for attendees.

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Brisbane, Gold Coast among top holiday destinations for locals

food and dining, sun, island, beach most popular travel experiences

If you haven't made up your mindup about your Chritsmas holiday or wonder where all those jealousy inducing Instagram pics can be taken, new information from agoda reveals we don't have to go too far, Australians almost exclusively stay within the Asia-Pacific region over the Christmas and New Year period.
Agoda's recent Travel and Tech Study found 'food and dining' and 'sun, island, beach' were the two most popular travel experiences for Australian Millennials - and Bali offers all of the above. The popular Indonesian island has grown into a lifestyle destination that caters to the Millennial foodie lifestyle, with cheap yet stylish 'instagramable' cafes, bars and restaurants, set against the backdrop of a tropical island.

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Person Of Interest, Chef Massimo Speroni

The celebrated flavour maker dishes on expat life in SEQ, what he thinks of the local produce and people and what's on the menu this Summer at Bacchus

Big name chefs are no strangers to us Aussies. We have some of best and freshest produce in the world which attracts some of the planet’s most celebrated flavour makers to our shores. Most of us can name a handful of these stars but we often have to travel south to sample their skill on a plate or worse yet, watch along on telly, our tastebuds perpetually unrequited. So it was big news for local epicureans, foodies and us regular mortals who like good food when the Massimo Speroni took up residence as Head Chef at the multi-award winning Brisbane restaurant, Bacchus.
Even for arguably Brisbane's best dining experience, this was a big get. Earlier in the year, fine dining specialist Massimo Speroni flew in direct from two Michelin-starred restaurant San Domenico in Imola Italy where he was Sous Chef. He immediately put his stamp on the local scene with a deft touch we've rarely had in residence locally. Now, nine months later Speroni is once again upping the ante with a creative update to the menu, just in time for summer. The refreshed menu stars Australian seafood, kangaroo, as well as new takes on Italian favourites and some intriguing ingredients.
32 year old Massimo's passion for fine dining began at an early age. Born in the Abruzzo region of Italy near the Adriatic Sea, Massimo was influenced by flavours from the north of the country and throughout the central region around Rome, where he grew up. At San Domenico as Sous Chef, he worked with famed chef (and owner of the establishment) Valentino Marcattilii. He had worked with Chef Marcattiliia as a junior and credits his former mentor for much of his flavour preferences now.

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Attention Kids! Our Christmas Colouring Comp

Download and win - $300 Cash to be won

A Messenger Christmas tradition and a favourite with local kids for many years, this year, our Christmas Colouring Comp has 3x $100 cash prizes to win.

So kids, print the page below, grab your colouring and decorating gear and show us some colour!

There are three age groups and a $100 winner will be selected from each. The age groups are: 3-5, 6-9 and 10-13.

Get your entries in by Monday December 11. Don't forget to put your details in the space provided, and good luck!

Once you've completed your entry mail it to:
Messenger Christmas Competition
P.O. Box 127
North Lakes QLD 4509

Download the colouring page

What's driving Brisbane's high petrol prices?

In December 2014 the Australian Government directed the ACCC to monitor the prices, costs, and profits of unleaded petroleum products in Australia for a period of three years. The results have been released finding local prices exceedingly high.

and how to find the cheapest local fuel

Read the article

The cost of living a decent life

Newstart falls below the Minimum Income for Healthy Living standard - a standard designed to ensure that in addition to material consumption, it allows for a healthy level of social participation.

The Newstart Allowance received by people looking for work falls well below the minimum income required to achieve a basic standard of living – defined as a budget standard – according to a new report by researchers from UNSW Sydney.
The New Budget Standards for Low-Paid and Unemployed Australians Report, compiled by UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) with support from Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and United Voice, found that the Newstart Allowance is below the identified budget standard by $96 a week for a single person, $58 a week for a couple with one child and $126 a week for a couple with two children.
A budget standard measures the basic costs to achieve a minimally adequate standard of living – a level below which no-one should be allowed to fall, the report authors say.

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With all of the horrific incidents occurring seemingly weekly, not only does it leave us with a profound sense of sadness for the victims and their families, but also has us questioning how safe it is to travel – and to travel fearlessly at that. Cei Creighton Investigates

I’m going out on a limb here, and state quite openly that I believe as a whole that the world is a safe and wonderful place for travelers. I also say this having been the victim of a terrifying and violent hostage situation that lasted a number of days in the Solomon Islands. So I do feel qualified – qualified to understand your concerns, qualified to look after your travel arrangements, and qualified to keep a balanced perspective while guiding and advising you and never dismissing your fears.
Big news does not equal big risk!
The chances of being involved in a terrorist attack are slim. Very slim. According to the US State Department data, 24 Americans were killed overseas as a result of terrorism in 2014, a number that’s vanishingly small compared to the number of deaths in the U.S. from traffic accidents, heart disease, and other more mundane causes. Let’s look at the risk of terrorism in a cold, logical, statistical way. Your odds of being killed by a terrorist overseas or in the air are 1 in 20 million (Washington Post and Time). Your odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 10 million (New York Times). Keep perspective.
If not now, when?
With only one life to live, we can’t afford to let these events dictate our plans. There are many who have waited years to take a special trip. There are dangers in our own backyard that are much more likely to impact us personally than any random act of terrorism. If your fears are insurmountable, go ahead and delay your trip a year. Europe will still be waiting to welcome you with open arms… there is no ‘Used by date’.
Refuse to be terrorised
Fear is the outcome terrorists want because it makes their atrocities even more successful, we want to support our friends in Paris, London and worldwide with our visits to show that the terrorists will not deter us. It's futile to "do something" to be safe from terrorism. It's so random and localized, it's impossible to anticipate. Keep on top of the news, but keep things in perspective.
Don't be shy about asking questions. In any city, the folks behind the hotel desk are a great source of information and they want you to have a safe trip. And assure those who will worry about you that you'll call home every few days. It's cheap and easy to call back to Australia from the US or Europe these days.

"With only one life to live, we can’t afford to let these events dictate our plans"

Ultimately, assessing the risk of any endeavour and the decision to travel fearlessly is a personal choice, but travel is still a huge unifier - perhaps a more vital force for peace than ever. If you hate terrorism, the most effective way to fight it is to travel a lot, learn about the world, come home, and help our country fit better into this ever-smaller planet.
Always ALWAYS have comprehensive travel insurance, register with Smartraveller, heed all warnings posted on Smartraveller, get qualified advice and travel fearlessly!

Read all about it here

A tale of good politics

Boundary Road Interchange opens six months early, under budget and future proof

Living in one of the nation's fastest growing regions, none of us are no strangers to infrastructure news, in fact we're all so used it to now that even large scale projects are often met with barely a raised eye-brow.
But this one is different. This is a project that will significantly improve life in the region for locals and make things more attractive for visitors. It's a project that has been wanted for years and needed even before Costco, Bunnings and other developments arrived. With yet more development on the cards, and people flowing into the region, it couldn't have come soon enough.
It's different for another reason also. Anyone who had driven the old bridge recently, or sat congested in traffic waiting to cross, knows it was desperately needed so it was refreshing to see the levels of government, belonging to different parties, come together.

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New Ferry to Moreton

Starting next month, locals and visitors will be able to take a 40-minute journey across Moreton Bay to Bulwer aboard the Redcliffe2Moreton Express.

With the old barge service ceasing in 2008, they are now the only operator to offer this service in the Moreton Bay Region. Ferry services will depart from the Redcliffe jetty on Sundays at 10.00am and return at around 4.00pm (leaving Bulwer, Moreton Island at 3.00pm).
The first public trip will be on Sunday, 24 September, with tickets available for purchase online through

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NBN access and concerns

As the National Broadband Network rollout hits the halfway point locals are warned about scams and false advertising claims

With the National Broadband Network (NBN) access now reaching 70 percent of local addresses, due diligence is required by consumers.
Federal Member for Petrie, Luke Howarth recently told us (Messenger, July 29 2017, available online) that 59,289 local homes and businesses are now service ready, with 28,339 already connected.
A great milestone in the largest infrastructure project our nation has ever seen, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Scamwatch have both raised concerns about truth in retailer advertising and a warning about scammers respectively.

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Fuel Price Confusion to end

New laws mean the price you'll see on signs is the prices you'll actually pay

The Queensland Government has proposed new ‘what you see is what you pay’ style regulations that will ban fuel retailers from displaying discounted prices on fuel price boards which aren’t available to all motorists. Theses laws will stop drive-by confusion and bring us into line with other states.
The strict regulations mean fuel retailers will still be able to promote discount fuel price schemes, but only the full price available to all motorists can be displayed on signage.

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To Prep or not to prep

Weighing the pros and cons of delayed start to primary school

Parents of pre-school children and infants often feel significantly stressed as they ponder the pros and cons of delayed entry to primary school in a vacuum of objective information.
Psychologist and education academic QUT's Dr Amanda Mergler, Senior Lecturer the Faculty of Education's School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, and co-author Professor Susan Walker, also of QUT, have published the results of a study into the factors that affect parents’ decisions about whether to voluntarily delay their child’s entry into formal schooling.
The study, “This is possibly THE hardest decision a parent has to make. Deciding when your child is ready to start Prep” (view online at found the issue was a “highly emotional” one that caused significant stress.

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North Lakes Australia’s Best Master Planned Community

Mother's Day is just days away. You love your mum so you really should have made plans to treat her by now... if you haven't, start freaking out! Just kidding, we've prepared a prime selection of top treats to make you look good.

North Lakes has been named Australia’s Best Master Planned Community 2017 at the prestigious Property Council of Australia awards.
Since its launch in 1999, North Lakes has been setting new benchmarks in innovative community design and features a diversity, scale and depth of facilities and services not previously seen in Queensland.
David Laner, Regional Manager for Stockland, said Stockland was thrilled to win the industry award recognising the success of North Lakes.
“We are very proud of what has been created at North Lakes and it is a great honour to have the community recognised by the Property Council of Australia in this way,’’ Mr Laner said.
The win for North Lakes follows on from its previous industry success, being named best Masterplanned Development in both the 2010 and 2016 UDIA Queensland Awards for Excellence.
North Lakes sits on a 1,036 hectare site beside the Bruce Highway, formerly used as farmland. Stockland has remained true to the original vision, which was for a new residential and economic powerhouse based in Brisbane’s northern corridor.

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