Intensified Mosquito Spraying Planned for Clayfield, Hendra and Other High-Risk Areas As Ross River Virus Alert Goes up

Health authorities are sounding the alarm over a looming surge in Ross River virus infections, a concerning mosquito-borne illness. The rising number of infections has prompted mosquito spraying initiatives in high-risk suburbs, such as Wooloowin, Clayfield, Gordon Park, and Hendra in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, among other areas.



Chief Health Officer John Gerrard revealed a very high number of Ross River virus detections in mosquitoes across nine different council areas stretching from Mackay to South East Queensland. 

And the number of infected mosquitoes — at 31 positive traps of the 700 tested across the state — is higher than what was detected during the horror 2019-2020 summer, ultimately leading to a whopping 3381 Ross River infections for that year. 

There were 699 cases of the Ross River virus in 2023. As of the end of January this year, 64 people have been infected. 

Efforts to increased mosquito spraying are underway in Wooloowin and other North Brisbane areas.

About the Ross River Virus

There is no cure nor vaccine for Ross River virus, and whilst most people recover in a few weeks some people experience joint pain and fatigue months after infection.

Origin and Spread

Ross River Virus (RRV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that is endemic to Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. The virus primarily spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes, notably those in the Aedes and Culex genera, which are common in these regions.

Symptoms and Treatment

RRV infection can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild to debilitating. Common symptoms include polyarthritis, rash, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain. These symptoms can significantly affect an individual’s ability to perform daily activities and, in some cases, can persist for months or even years. While there is no specific treatment for RRV, management of symptoms is possible through medication and physical therapy.

Epidemiology

The virus has shown a notable propensity for causing large outbreaks, particularly in coastal regions. The incidence of RRV infection varies seasonally and geographically, with the highest rates typically observed in areas with warmer climates and in proximity to bodies of water where mosquito populations thrive.

Prevention

Preventing RRV infection centres on controlling mosquito populations and minimising individual exposure to mosquito bites. Public health measures include community education on the use of insect repellent, the importance of wearing protective clothing, and the need to eliminate standing water around homes and communities to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

Global Health Perspective

RRV is considered a significant public health issue within its endemic regions. With climate change and increasing global travel, there is a potential for RRV to expand its geographical reach, making it a subject of interest for global health monitoring and research

Ross River Virus
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Elevated Risk and Intensified Efforts 

Dr Gerrard expressed concern over the significant increase in Ross River virus detections in mosquito populations early in the usual season, particularly across a wide geographical area. This surge indicates heightened virus activity. 

Typically, Ross River virus infections begin to surge with the arrival of rain and warm temperatures in December, reaching their peak in February and March. Moreover, it’s common to observe a notable increase in Ross River virus cases every three to four years, indicating a potential spike in infections. 

With the current high mosquito numbers and recent surveillance findings, there is an increased risk of human exposure to mosquitoes carrying the virus throughout Queensland.

Metro North Public Health Unit entomologist Jon Darbro said in the past month it had been either wet or hot which added to the extra mosquitoes around. 

Mr Darbro explained that the increased rainfall this season provides mosquitoes with additional breeding sites for laying eggs and larval development, resulting in larger mosquito populations.  Warmer temperatures also contribute to heightened mosquito activity, accelerating their growth and the drying process of eggs. These conditions create an ideal environment for multiple mosquito species to thrive, as observed by many.

Metro North covers areas like Wooloowin, Clayfield and Hendra, which has intensified its spraying efforts in late January 2024. 

More Mosquito Spraying for Brisbane and Gold Coast

Swarms of mosquitoes have inundated nearly every suburb across South East Queensland, with wet weather and warm temperatures creating the perfect breeding grounds for the flying pests. The unwanted buzz and bites have forced Brisbane City Council to spray an extraordinary 2,400 sites a week – a 140 per cent increase on the normal mozzie spraying schedules including seven aerial attacks in the past nine weeks.

Across Brisbane, 136 of 190 suburbs have been targeted and 24 on the Gold Coast. Redland City Council have increased their aerial treatments of mosquito larvae by 60 per cent making it the biggest year on record since 2016-2017. While Logan City Council, Sunshine Coast Council and Gold Coast Coast have also increased their spraying schedules. 

According to the Queensland Health notifiable notifications data, dozens of mosquito-borne disease cases have been confirmed, including 29 cases of Ross River virus and three of dengue in the first three weeks of January.



Prevention Measures Urged

Dr Gerrard reiterated that people needed to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases. 

  • Any mosquito could potentially carry Ross River virus; increased bites raise the likelihood of infection.
  • Mosquitoes are active throughout the day, with some species most active at dusk and dawn.
  • It’s advisable to avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito activity times.
  • Preventive measures include regularly applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear loose, light-coloured clothing to cover up arms, legs, and feet to minimize exposure to mosquito bites.

Published 12-Feb-2024

Community Concerns Grow Over Proposal for Childcare Centre in Hendra

Local residents have expressed growing concerns over a proposed childcare centre in Hendra that will feature outdoor sport and recreation facilities. 


Read: Sisters of Mercy Convent Site Transformation into New Childcare Centre Commences


Plans

Childcare Centre in Hendra
Photo credit: Mijollo International

Designed by Mijollo International, the project entails a two-storey childcare centre, accommodating up to 239 children, along with a public basketball and handball court that can be rented for recreational purposes. 

The proposal encompasses an array of features, including two large outdoor play areas, two communal play areas, 11 activity rooms, covered outdoor spaces, a nature zone with landscaping,  acoustic screening treatments, and a basement housing 52 car parking spaces.

Childcare Centre in Hendra
Plans (Photo credit: Mijollo International)

If approved, the proposed childcare centre in Hendra is slated to open its doors from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, providing essential services for working parents in the community. 

Meanwhile, the multi-purpose courts will be available for bookings only, offering recreational opportunities between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.

Objections From Locals

Photo credit: Google Street View

Following a public notification period from 13 May 13 2022 to 3 June 3 2022, a total of 118 objections were lodged against the project. The wave of opposition primarily originates from individuals residing in close proximity to the proposed development site at 25 Lethem Street, Hendra. 

Local residents argue that the intended project would significantly increase the extent of traffic in Lethem St and that it’s grossly incompatible with the existing context of the area, potentially resulting in a significant compromise of the surrounding residential amenity.

Artist’s impression of proposed childcare centre in Hendra (Photo credit: Mijollo International)

According to one resident, there is already an excessive abundance of childcare and early learning centres in the vicinity. The resident further pointed out that there are at least 15 existing or authorised centres within a 2-kilometre radius of the subject site.


Read: Local Community Is Split Over Proposed Wooloowin Street Development


In response to residents’ concerns, Brisbane City Council advised the applicant to revise its application, such as removing the outdoor sport and recreation component and replacing this area with deep planting/landscaping, given that development is primarily for a childcare centre.

Further information about the development application can be viewed via Council’s PD Online, with the reference A005894902.

Published 17-May-2023

Upcoming Events for All Ages at Urban Xtreme in Hendra

Urban Xtreme, a top indoor sports centre in Hendra, has lined up some exciting events and adventures for all ages, including the extension of the school holiday programs to keep the children active and pre-occupied.



Extended School Holiday Programs

For a fabulous school holiday summer adventure, Urban Xtreme unleashed its special offer for kids, which consists of two hours of fun at the Adventure Park at $28 and an extra third hour for free.

Because of the extension of the school holidays, Urban Xtreme will also continue with the supervised school holiday programs until Saturday, 6 Feb 2022. These programs consist of six hours of access to the  Ninja, Parkour, Rock Climbing, Trampolines, Launch Jump, Dodgeball & Laser Tag for kids between the ages of six to 14 years old. 

Meanwhile, all other events and workshops from four years old to 14 years old, such as the  Xtreme Ninja, aerial cross-training, rock climbing, snowsport, laser tag, and parkour will run as scheduled. The venue is committed to “spread fun safety” with increased daily sanitation, social distancing, and other measures to protect both guests and staff. 

Pinnacle Sports 2021 Queensland Lead Youth & Junior State Titles

On 29 and 30 Jan 2022, Urban Xtreme will host the Pinnacle Sports 2021 Queensland Lead Youth & Junior State Titles. Saturday will be reserved for Qualifiers Day with registration starting at 2:00 p.m. This event will run until 8:15 p.m. On the other hand, Sunday will be Finals Day and will start at 7:00 a.m. 

Photo Credit: UrbanXtremeAdventureSportsPark/Facebook

The Youth Lead Climbing Titles is open for the following age groups:

  • Junior (born 2002/2003/2004)
  • Youth A (born 2005/2006)
  • Youth B (born 2007/2008)
  • Youth C (born 2009/2010)
  • Youth D (born 2011 – 2014)

Singles Night and Womxn’s Night

The Single Rock Climbing at Urban Xtreme happens first Wednesday of the month. Also known as the Climb Singles Night, this is a social night for climbing and runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

On the other hand, the first Thursday of the month is dedicated to the Womxn Climb Night. Learn to rope, lead routes, auto-belays, or race a friend on the speed-walls, whilst making new friends with like-minded women.  

For more updates about the adventure sports park’s events, follow their updates on Facebook.



“The staff are absolutely wonderful.  So kind and happy.  From Reception staff to the Kiosk to the activities staff they could not have been more lovely.”

Rosemary Sheen

“My kids have joined in a few different days for the school holiday program and have been having a blast. They have done some days with their siblings and some days with friends and they are really enjoying the different activities. Plus it tires them out for the rest of the day which is awesome! Thanks guys for having this fun activity during school holidays.”

Anika Hope

“Urban Xtreme provided my niece a great place to develop skills in a dynamic, safe, well-staffed and maintained space.  I wish this type of centre was around when I was a kid!  I really enjoyed the encouraging atmosphere of ‘give it a go’ that was scaffolded well by all the attentive and friendly staff.  Well done!”

ClareMarie Apelt

New Owner Secures Legacy of Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse in Hendra

A new owner has come in to save Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse from closing permanently. The popular lolly store in Hendra was on the verge of liquidation but a restaurateur has big plans to continue the legacy of its former owner and the store’s namesake, Tom Jeanes.



Mr Jeanes died on June 2021, upsetting generations of adults who have been customers of the iconic shop in the last four decades. He was 78 years old.

Now, Adiel Ben-karmona, who owns Redcliffe’s Pilpel Restaurant, specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine, plans to revitalise Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse and continue Mr Jeanes’ legacy.  

In a video posted on the candy store’s Facebook, Mr Ben-karmona said:

“We have to keep Tom’s legacy going as the best confectionery warehouse. We will continue with the same (concept), just bigger, better and newer. We’re keeping the same name in the same location.”

“The ideas I have here are crazy…to put a kid in a lolly shop! I can’t wait to start this project. This will be a great add-on to the Pilpel Group. This will become a ‘destination’ with a wall dedicated for Tom’s memory.”

Mr Ben-karmona was only one year old when the shop opened in 1982. He also shared plans to put up a Willy Wonka’s World with an interactive section for families and their kids, as well as an area for the adults to hang out and have coffee or snacks.



Whilst the store is currently closed, Mr Ben-karmona said the remaining stocks will be sold at discounted prices at his restaurant. More details of the transformation of Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse, including additional jobs, will be revealed in the coming months. 

Follow the store’s Facebook page for updates. 

Latest All You Can Eat Chicken Wings Buffet Opens in Hendra

Why are chicken wings buffet growing in popularity in Brisbane? The latest chicken wings eatery to open on the north side is in Hendra. You can find Chook Wings & Beer at what used to be The Hamptons on Gerler Road. 

Chook is the newest endeavour of the restauranteurs behind establishments like Asian Republic, Chai Thai, Chapter IV, Phat Boy, Phat Elephant. Offering an all-you-can-eat chicken wings buffet for just $21.90, this foodie spot could be your next go to place for quick, affordable and easily satisfying meals. 



Chicken wings buffet offers so much versatility. A basket full of chicken wings can be an appetiser, a full meal or a snack. Unlike other dishes, this food comes in a variety of flavours and sauces, giving every order a unique taste. At Chook, you can actually pick from six flavours but the owners plan to change the choices regularly. 

Photo Credit: Chook/Facebook

The buffet comes with choices of unlimited sides as well, like fries (waffle or shoestring), coleslaw, or fried rice. However, if you fancy other dishes than wings, Chook also offers sliders that perfectly pair with their extensive selection of beers and siders from James Squire, Corona and VB, to name a few.

Photo Credit: Chook/Facebook

As a newly-opened chicken wings buffet, Chook is still finding its footing. However, as it’s operated by reputable restauranteurs, you can expect good food that lives up to the hype. 

Chook opens for dinner seven days a week. Phone for table bookings and orders +61 7 3268 4331.



“Delicious wings, burgers & fries. Even though they were busy we didn’t have to wait long for our takeaway. If you love wings this is the place for you!”

~ Rachael Creese, Facebook 

“Best wings we’ve had for a while. Buffalo & sweet n sour for the win. We’re going again tonight, expecting the line to be down the street because it’s a Friday but it’s worth it.”

~ Jasmin Taylor, Google Reviews

This Urban Playground and Adventure Park on Nudgee Road Isn’t For Kids Only

Unleash that daredevil within you at Australia’s ONLY indoor ski and adventure park at Nudgee Road, Hendra. Urban Xtreme is the ultimate playground for active children and daring adults who love a bit of a workout and physical challenge. 

This adventure park features six sections where you can learn new skills, improve on your strength and endurance, release bodily and mental tension, or play an epic game with friends or family.

Xtreme Climb

The climbing wall has a creative and exciting route suitable for new or experienced climbers. Instructors will be on hand to guide and help guests as they take the top rope and lead routes or the auto belays and speed climbing.

There is no age limit to use the climbing wall but the auto belays have a weight limit (minimum 15kg/maximum 120kg). Guests between the ages of 8 to 12 may also sign up for climbing classes.

Ski + Snowboard

Learn and enjoy skiing and snowboarding all year round at this indoor facility. Build your muscles and hone your snowsports skills by trying the taster sessions or the public sessions.



Ninja + Parkour

Urban Xtreme’s obstacle course is built for the super adventurer in mind. This adventure park has a rock climbing area, several parkour platforms and an obstacle training course. All of these were designed to improve balance and agility — just like a ninja! 

If you’re really serious about your ninja training, the adventure park offers a 10-week program for three different groups: 4 to 7 years old, 8 to 12 years old, teenagers and adults. Each class welcomes a maximum of 20 aspiring ninjas.

Photo Credit: Urban Xtreme Ski + Adventure Park/Facebook

Laser Tag and Dodgeball

If you’re not keen on training or learning for now, you can still enjoy the adventure park to round up your group for a game of laser tag or dodgeball or to celebrate birthdays or organise a weekend competition for bonding and team building. You may also enlist in the weekly social tournaments to make new friends.  

Trampolines

Keep fit and have fun bouncing, flipping and rolling at Urban Xtreme’s extensive trampoline. This particular adventure park attraction is always a hit for any age. It’s also a great form of exercise that keeps you and your kids unglued to the screen. 

Photo Credit: Urban Xtreme Ski + Adventure Park/Facebook

Playland

The little ones also have their very own “extreme sports” section. Start their physical fitness early at the junior play gym, super slide, trampoline and a mini climbing wall. 

Urban Xtreme offers Parents + Totts classes every school term. 



Booking, Passes, Memberships and Parties

The facility operates based on bookings, which you can make in advance online. Urban Xtreme also offers passes and memberships for guests who might like to keep coming back to play or train. 

The centre also open to hosting parties, events and functions. The coaches are also available for personalised and individualised training. 

Take note of Urban Xtreme’s operating hours:

ADVENTURE PARK 
(Ninja Parkour/Laser Tag/Dodgeball/Trampoline/Playland)
Sun–Thurs: 10am–6pm
Fri–Sat: 10am–9pm
SKI CENTREMon–Tue: Closed (exclusive to group/private functions)
Wed–Fri: 4pm–9pm
Sat: 9am–9pm
Sun: 9am–6pm
XTREME CLIMBMon–Fri: 4-9pm
Sat: 10am-9pm
Sun: 10am-6pm

A Closer Look at Glengariff in Hendra

The iconic Glengariff in Hendra is one of Brisbane’s remaining large villa residences constructed during the late nineteenth century.

The massive historic home at 5 Derby Street, Hendra is definitely a head-turner with its beautiful architecture and landscaping.

From being the home of a bank manager to the home of a renowned Fortitude Valley businessman and later becoming an episcopal residence, Glengariff certainly has a lot of stories to tell if only its walls could speak.

History of the Glengariff in Hendra

View of the home and grounds of Brisbane residence, Glengariff, in 1923. Photo credit: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; Negative number: 145445

Architect HGO Thomas designed Hendra’s majestic home which was built in 1888-1889 for bank manager Edward Jones. Jones was the first bank manager of the Commercial Bank of Australia in Queensland.

The first owner called the home Dura. It stands on nearly 5 acres of land acquired by Jones in 1886 from the Queensland Turf Club.

Although the home is ideally located near the state’s premier racecourse and to the Sandgate / City Railway line, Edward Jones did not reside at Dura for long. Records show that Jones no longer live there in 1892 and another manager of the Queensland National Bank, DG Stuart, rented the home until  TC Beirne and his family acquired it in 1898.



The Beirne Family

Family portrait at the wedding of Henry Alexander Cecil Douglas to Catherine Cecilia Beirne, 1914 Photo credit: nla.gov.au/nla.obj-151169578

After the acquisition of the property, the Beirnes decided to call it “Glengariff”. TC Beirne and his wife Ann Kavanagh had ten children, five daughters surviving infancy.

TC Beirne was publicly known for his Fortitude Valley store whilst Glengariff played a big role in his private life. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, his pastimes mainly involves spending time with his family in his home, Glengariff with its beautiful grounds, tennis, and croquet courts.

In 1907, TC Beirne worked with architect RS (Robin) Dods to carry out additions to Glengariff. Dods’ work at the house included the addition of double-storey verandah rooms to the western side of the house and the building in of cupboards in the dining room.

The Beirne family lived at Glengariff until TC Beirne died in 1949. Following their father’s passing, the five Beirne daughters gave Glengariff to the Catholic church as a present.

Glengariff Today

Glengariff (2009); Photo credit: Heritage Branch staff

After serving as an episcopal residence for several years, the church decided to sell the property in 1985 to its present owners.

Since then, the owner of Glengariff made several changes in the house and sold portions of the land in 1993.

Glengariff was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 August 1992.

Apparently, one of remaining part of the original estate is the TC Beirne Park. Established in 1949, the park is located at the rear of the house.