Spring Gardening Tips


Hello Gardeners, what a crazy Winter! The plants have no idea what is happening because of the high daytime temperatures we’ve experienced.

Don’t be fooled though, leave all your pruning until the middle of September, as we may still see more cold weather. You should be getting your beds ready now for Spring planting: Apply a wetting agent, Organic Extra and re-mulch all your gardens to help your plants through what looks like being a long, hot Summer.

We are often asked when is the best time to plant ‘this and that’ type of plant and the simple answer is, NOW! Unless you are trying to grow tropical or temperate plants, you can plant most sub-tropical plants anytime of the year. However, it is best to avoid the hottest and coldest weeks if you are time poor and can’t give them that little extra tender loving care.


If you are having trouble growing plants it could be that the Ph of your soil is out of balance. Have it checked – it makes a big difference if the Ph level is correct. Mulch from the tip and fresh from a tree lopper can severely deplete your soil of nitrogen. We don’t say not to use this mulch, just add some nitrogen rich fertiliser to counteract the process. However, using composted material will save you all the bother.

Use slow release fertiliser and don’t over fertilise your plants. Use smaller amounts of fertiliser but put it on more regularly. Plants are like us – they need food, water and a little TLC.

Happy gardening and have fun in the garden!

Bruce and Judi – Theo’s Garden Centre

14/09/2018 |

Extended Trading Hours at Treasure Markets


You asked for it, now you got it – both the Dakabin and Caboolture Treasure Markets will extend their operating hours as part of a three month trial.

Spokesperson for Asset Construction & Maintenance Cr Adam Hain said the announcement was in response to overwhelming community demand.

“The Treasure markets have been incredibly popular and we keep hearing that people want to be able to shop here more than just the current Friday and Saturday openings,’” he said.

“So from next week, we’re going to start trading six days a week from 10am to 2pm Tuesday through Sunday, meaning the Dakabin and Caboolture Treasure Markets will only be closed on Mondays.”


The trial period starts Tuesday 18 September and ends Saturday 15 December, but will be continued if the demand is there.

Division 7 Councillor Denise Sims said the changes would make visiting the tip more convenient for local residents and businesses.

“We want people reusing and recycling as much as they can and this message is being embraced more and more in our community,” she said.

“With more options now to visit the Dakabin and Caboolture Treasure Markets, we hope to see more people coming along and seeing what trinkets they can pick up at a bargain.

“If you haven’t been to the Treasure Markets they are well worth checking out, you’ll be surprised by the range and quality and blown away by the prices.”

The treasure markets are a hugely popular council initiative that started 16 years ago.

In that time thousands of tonnes of donated and second-hand goods such as planks of timber, lounge chairs, kitchen sinks and bath tubs have been recycled.

Dakabin and Caboolture Treasure Markets will continue to accept donated items as per normal.

For more information about council waste facilities and recycling initiatives visit

14/09/2018 |

Magpie Season is Upon Us!


You have probably experienced it, or seen it happen to someone else at some stage. The sudden whoosh above your head causing you to duck in fright. Looking up, you see a flash of black and white as the magpie banks around to have another go at you.


Typically it is the male bird that swoops, they have been known to defend their nest within a 100m radius during the breeding season, which runs from July through to December. The season generally peaks from August through to October.

A Brisbane study has shown that only nine per cent of magpies are aggressive towards people.

To find out whether there may be nesting magpies in your vicinity, or along a path you walk/ride, check out You can add any swooping birds you may come across if they’re not on the list.

Follow these techniques to avoid or reduce the impact of a magpie attack:

– Never deliberately provoke or attack a magpie.
– Avoid areas where magpies are known to swoop.
– Do not attempt to rescue a stranded chick or touch a young bird that is on the ground.
– Find the bird and keep watching it when entering magpie territory. If swooped on, don’t crouch in fear or stop.
– Move on quickly but don’t run. Wear a hat, sunglasses and carry an umbrella.
– Cyclists should dismount and walk through the territory. Cyclists can also attach large cable ties to the back of their helmet.
– Magpies generally attack from behind. Painting or sticking eyes on the backs of hats or helmets may confuse birds and dissuade them from swooping.

Magpies are a protected species throughout Australia under The Queensland Nature Conservation Act (1992). It is against the law to kill the birds, collect their eggs, or harm their young.

Moreton Bay Regional Council actively install ‘magpie alert’ signage where nesting is occurring on public land.

If you feel a magpie is a serious menace, you can report it to the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Please refer concerns about native birds on private property to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372

13/09/2018 |

Supporting Women’s Mental Health this September


Women’s mental health fundraiser, Liptember, has launched its 2018 campaign, supporting six key beneficiaries by raising funds for research and support programs throughout the month of September.

Liptember-2018Now in its eighth year, the national campaign encourages women to ‘kiss away the blues’ by wearing brightly-coloured Liptember lipsticks, sold through exclusive retailer and major charity partner Chemist Warehouse. Liptember Founder, Luke Morris says, “Through the funds raised during last year’s campaign, we were able to bring on additional beneficiaries and assist them to support more Australian women who might be experiencing mental health issues. This year, we hope to raise even more funds to support even more people.”

This year, Liptember will continue to support and donate funds to The Centre for Women’s Mental Health and Lifeline in addition to Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, R U OK?, The Pretty Foundation and Batyr who came on board as beneficiaries in 2017.

It has been found that 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety during their lifetime, and 1 in 5 women in Australia will experience depression. Women are faced with different life challenges to men which can be key drivers in deteriorating mental health which include but are not limited to: adolescence and hormonal changes, pregnancy and early parenting and adaptation to menopause and ageing.

With these statistics and potential challenges in mind, Liptember recognises that the way men and women need to be treated for mental health issues is very different. “More focus needs to be placed on treating men and women separately when it comes to depression and anxiety, with women statistically much more susceptible to these conditions. Throughout a woman’s life, she will go through more changes than your average male and needs to be supported  accordingly”, said Luke.

With the support of major charity partner, Chemist Warehouse, Liptember will continue to support its beneficiaries including:

The Centre for Women’s Mental Health – Providing expert clinical and therapeutic services for women whilst conducting research and providing education and training facilities. Funds received will enable the development of a women’s health centre providing support for women who need emergency assistance. In 2017, Liptember funded the refurbishment of a mental health centre for women to visit and be supported by Liptember’s postnatal and domestic violence programs developed through previous years funding.

Lifeline – Lifeline Australia is a national charity providing all Australians with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. With thousands of volunteers across Australia, individuals are supported in a range of ways to deliver services, raise funds, run events and work in Lifeline shops. Liptember provided continued support for Lifeline’s online crisis chat service around Australia, which provides online crisis counselling from 7pm – 4am every night.

Jean Hailes for Women’s Health – Striving to improve the knowledge of women’s health throughout various stages of their lives. The funds donated by Liptember enabled a world first national research study into the challenges of mental health for older women.

R U OK? – Dedicated to encouraging all Australians to connect and have regular and meaningful conversations with anyone struggling with life. As the principal partner of R U OK? in 2017, Liptember started 9.5 million conversations with women in Australia, providing guidance on how to have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling.

The Pretty Foundation – Committed to empowering women and girls with the perspective, skills and support to develop and nurture a positive body image for themselves and others. In 2017, Liptember funded the development of Charlie’s Tales, a children’s book series aimed at educating young girls around self confidence and positive body image.

Batyr – Providing preventative education in the area of youth mental health. Liptember funded the delivery of the batyr@school program into female secondary schools across the country, educating 10,500 of the next generation on the importance of mental health and providing services and resources around mental health. Two facilitator training workshops were also funded in addition to the training of additional female speakers for the batyr@school program.

Getting involved in Liptember is easy! Simply register online at register and seek donations from family, friends and co-workers for wearing official Liptember lipstick during the month of September to help start the conversation and raise much needed funds for women’s mental health.
Official Liptember lipsticks are available at all Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and My Beauty Spot stores nation-wide for as little as $4.99.

For more information, visit Anyone seeking help should contact Lifeline on 13 11 44 or visit

13/09/2018 |

Move for your Mental Health


We know the benefits that exercising can have on our physical health, but did you know that getting your body moving is just as good for your mental health?


When you exercise, your body gets a healthy dose of happy-inducing endorphins and serotonin, designed to skyrocket your mood.

That’s why regular exercise is known to be a stress reliever, energy booster and can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Your diet can also play a major role on your mental health. That’s why Fernwood’s Food Coaching program and food plans are based on the Mediterranean-style of eating.

Deakin University’s Food and Mood Centre have found a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, with a high intake of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fish and limited processed foods can reduce the risk of some mental disorders.

According to the ABS 2014-15 National Health Survey, 1 in 8 women reported having an anxiety related condition and 1 in 10 women reported depression or having feelings of depression.

The Fernwood Foundation hopes to contribute to reducing those figures by providing women with information and resources for identifying and managing anxiety and depression.

100% of money raised by the Foundation funds research at Deakin University, investigating the role that diet and nutrition plays in mental wellbeing and for the development of scientific, evidence-based programs and services for women with mental health issues.

You can learn more about the Fernwood Foundation at or visit your local Fernwood North Lakes Club.

12/09/2018 |

Plastic Straw Ban Kicks In


Australia’s third largest council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, has ditched the plastic straw.

After becoming the first council in South East Queensland to make the pledge to phase out single-use plastic straws, Economic Development and Tourism Spokesperson Councillor Peter Flannery said Moreton Bay had now removed plastic straws at council-operated venues and events.

Cr Flannery said council would now encourage local sporting and community groups to join the cause, and we hope the move would also inspire local businesses to follow suit.

“Already a number of businesses and cafes in Moreton Bay are taking up the push for greater sustainability through re-usable cups and biodegradable cutlery, and I hope this move encourages them to also ditch the single-use plastic straw from their menus.”


06/09/2018 |

Locals Making a Difference

Eric & Marion Barker

There are areas of Mango Hill and North Lakes that seem to attract an unusual amount of rubbish.

As we went to photograph and bring this to the attention of locals on Facebook @northlakesqld, we ran into Eric and Marion Barker, collecting cans along Kinsellas Road East.

They told us that as they take their evening walk, they enjoy collecting cans which they recycle, with proceeds going to benefit their nominated charity, that they choose on a yearly basis.

This year they have chosen Hummingbird House. Thank you Eric and Marion for doing a wonderful deed for the community!

Eric & Marion Barker


05/09/2018 |

Local Voice: Save North Lakes Golf Course


Local resident Phillip Carlson addresses Moreton Bay Regional Council on the sale of the North Lakes Resort Golf Club.


On Tuesday 14 August 2018, I had the privilege to provide a resident’s viewpoint on the incomprehensible re-development of the North Lakes Golf Course into a retirement village.

I spoke to most of the Moreton Bay Regional Council Councillors, a few staff and some members of the public. Our local Councillor, Julie Greer advised those in chambers that on the advice of the Integrity Commissioner, she had a conflict of interest and left the room. I was appalled that she could not even hear a constituent’s concerns.

For 5 minutes I spoke about several provisions of a document that regulates all development in North Lakes, the Mango Hill Infrastructure Development Control Plan (MHIDCP).

The MHIDCP states that it may be amended, but only if an amendment is minor and does not affect any person. Further, because the original developers chose to build a golf course, that it must always remain a golf course.

The intent of the MHIDCP is to provide clarity to those who bought land in North Lakes. Clarity is something that we could really use a lot more of right now.

Part of me is still hoping that this has all been some collective bad dream from which we will soon wake. However I begrudgingly accept that it’s not and to VRG I say:

WE WILL fight on and WE WILL ensure there is always a golf course in North Lakes.

Words by Phillip Carlson

03/09/2018 |

First Public Meeting of the ‘Save the North Lakes Golf Club’ a Great Success!


Over 400 North Lakes residents attended the first public meeting of the “Save the North Lakes Golf Club” movement on Sunday.

The packed room at the North Lakes Sports Club heard from a range of speakers including Chris Whiting MP, Corinne Mulholland Labor Candidate for Petrie and a representative of Luke Howarth MP.

Matt Williamson from Save North Lakes Golf Club chaired the meeting and said how impressive the response had been, even though it had only been eleven days since the movement was launched.

The Queensland Parliament e-petition, sponsored by Chris Whiting, was currently the third largest e-petition on the State Parliament website after only a few days, he said.

Phillip Carlson from Shine Lawyers North Lakes addressed the crowd on the process of development applications and what can be done to object to any development proposal.

Chris Whiting MP stated he wanted to see golfers keep on playing the fairways of North Lakes and he wants the green open space character of the area maintained.

Corinne Mulholland said to the crowd that the Broome Golf Club was awarded $5.1 million under the Building Stronger Regions Fund from the Federal Government and she would write to the Federal Minister about the fund.

Kara Thomas reported Luke Howarth was currently in Bangladesh and that he fully supported the community.

Andrew Cathcart from Save North Lakes Golf Club confirmed that over one thousand local residents watched the meeting on Facebook LiveStream.

For more news on saving the North Lakes Golf Club, follow the Facebook page or email


07/08/2018 |

Dear Alice – Once a Cheater, Always a…?



Dear Alice,
A few weeks ago, at a work party, a colleague and I ended up going home together. We were both drunk and we had a lot of fun together. We really connected and have been dating since. The only problem is that she has a boyfriend and they live together. She says she wants to leave but she’s afraid of conflict. I want to be with her but I know it’s the wrong thing to do. I don’t know what to do Alice, I’ve been cheated on before and I never wanted to be ‘that guy’, please help me!
– Dave

Hi Dave,
This sounds like quite the pickle you have found yourself in! In my opinion, the chances of a happy ending here are not great; you have many obstacles to overcome. Clearly the first problem is the boyfriend. Lying and dishonesty is never a good plan. In order to do the ‘right thing’ and avoid being ‘that guy’, you need to stop being intimate with this woman. You need to tell her that you will respect her situation and give her time to resolve it. Give her a date by communicating, “By this date you will have told your partner that you want to break up.” You need to step away and allow her to end the relationship on her own. Please do not be her ‘saviour’ and whatever happens, please don’t offer your house for her to move into. She needs to put her big girl pants on and end it for her, not for you. Some people have a pattern of serial monogamy, where they are so afraid of being alone that they line up partners to overlap. You may think that this was a romantic accident but I’d say subconsciously, it’s all apart of her plan to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Say she ends it, she stands on her own two feet and you start officially dating; you both get what you want. You will sail along smoothly but you will always have a nagging feeling that she could be cheating on you. How are you going to find peace within this distrust? If you proceed, you need to accept that she will most likely do to you, what was done to the last guy. You can still enjoy your time together; surrender to the unknown, be comfortable within your self, give unconditional love, trust and understanding and know that whatever the outcome, it was worth it. If you can do this, fantastic! If you can’t, you will not be secure in the relationship. When a relationship starts in dishonesty, it is going to be quite difficult to change that. You need to be prepared for the hard work that awaits you. The next question that I would ask is; What is it about you, that attracts you to a hot mess of a situation? Why don’t you find someone that is drama-free? Are you confusing passion and toxicity? This is a great opportunity to reflect on your own self and question what type of partner you need in your life. Be honest with yourself, because if you can identify that you consciously choose a dramatic whirlwind experience, then you may be able to accept the outcome and avoid damaging your heart further. Just try to align your behaviours with your values and protect your integrity, no one else is worth loosing yourself. Beware and good luck Dave.

Dear Alice info banner

07/08/2018 |

No Excuse for Elder Abuse


This year, the Queensland Police Service is determined to get the message out that there’s no excuse for elder abuse.

Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person.

Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

Using the funds of an elderly parent without their knowledge, such as skimming their pension or taking their key card, is elder abuse. So is intimidating an elderly person into signing legal documents to hand over assets or make new wills. Someone neglecting the care of an elderly person they’re responsible for is elder abuse, and can have devastating effects on health and wellbeing.
Sadly, it is most often close family members who are the abusers. This can mean older people are less willing to tell someone, or we are reluctant to identify this behaviour in others, and it stays hidden.


It’s vital to start a conversation and recognise these different forms of abuse so we can effectively combat it as a community.

Visit the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors website for more information –

They provide resources to help you see whether a situation might be abusive, and will give you the tools you need to identify, support and report.

If you are concerned about someone, you can contact the Elder Abuse Helpline (1300 651 192) for free, confidential advice and support. In an emergency always call Triple Zero (000).

For free legal and support services, contact your local Seniors Legal and Support Service, on (07) 3214 6333

Call 1300 063 232 for support and advice services located in Gladstone, Gold Coast, Mackay, Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.

07/08/2018 |

Dr Google Can Improve Older People’s Health – If we Bridge the Technology Gap

Dr Google can help - seniors week - the conversation

David Tuffley, Griffith University and Amy Antonio, University of Southern Queensland

With more health information going online every day, it has never been easier to proactively manage our health. The problem is, the people who would benefit the most seem to be using it the least.

Older adults typically have a greater need for health-related information but their health literacy – their capacity to obtain, process and understand health information to make appropriate health decisions – is the lowest among all age groups.

Research shows that only about 3% of the elderly know how to access health-related information. And of those older adults who seek health information online, few are careful to evaluate its credibility. This points to the need for interventions to assist older adults’ use of computers and the internet.

There are clear benefits, both at a personal and social level, to teaching the elderly how to access health information and to use the internet generally. Efforts have been made to address this skills gap, but with limited success.

What works?

Sometimes the best solutions to behavioural problems are those that graft naturally onto people’s instinctive behaviours. The European Union has done just that with the Grandparents and Grandchildren program that puts old and young together so that the old might learn from the young.

This approach is working, probably because it taps into the natural instinct we have to connect with our blood relatives. School and college-age people are spending time with their grandparents for the purpose of learning how to use technology.

Beyond the family benefits, there is the potential for great savings to be made on health-care costs, keeping people in their own homes and out of hospital; a win-win situation.There are clear benefits to teaching older people to source health information online.

Several health literacy programs are being trialled that involve helping the elderly to use the internet to find and appraise web-based cancer information. The participants in these programs reported getting better at doing this.

Follow-up studies show that once having learnt, the participants continued to use the internet to search for health-related information.

Benefits of digital literacy

Google heads recently announced they will improve the validity of health-related searches by creating a database of commonly searched medical conditions that have been fact-checked by doctors. When consumers search for these conditions, these pre-vetted facts will appear at the top of the search results. It is hoped that this will get people the right information faster.

Once the elderly know how, they can proactively manage their health by accessing a wealth of information on many topics. A person with type 2 diabetes, for instance, could learn how to live on a low-glycaemic index diet, thus reducing the need for medication and lowering their risk of heart attack. They could also make use of the many health and fitness apps now available. SmartWatch technology is taking the whole business to a higher level of sophistication.

Important for healthy ageing is keeping the social bonds of family and friends strong and maintaining a sense of social connection. Not an easy thing to do in today’s world with friends and family living far and wide for employment. Skype, email and social media can go a long way to making people feel connected with those they love. Skype can help older people connect with family and friends.
With an ocean of knowledge just a few key-strokes away, there is plenty of scope for people to explore their interests. No matter how specialised they might be, you can find a community of interest to get involved with. It is well-known that keeping one’s mind active helps to delay cognitive decline and the on-set of dementia.

Many elderly people have lived interesting lives. They have things to say, but no-one on hand who is prepared to listen. These folks might want to record their experiences for posterity by writing their richly-textured biographies. Who knows what gems of wisdom might be contained in such accounts?

Next steps

It takes a village to raise a child, as the old saying goes, but we might also add that it is a two-way street – it takes a community to look after the elderly. We need to put in some time and effort into finding better ways to do this.

One of the best things we can do for the older members of our community is to give them the means to better look after themselves by teaching them how to use the technology that the rest of us take for granted. An Australian pilot study to adapt the Grandparents and Grandchildren would be a good start.

It is true that not everyone in this age group will want to learn. Some will be content to let it pass them by. But others will see the possibilities and eagerly embrace the potential for improvements to both quality and quantity of life.

David Tuffley, Lecturer in Applied Ethics and Socio-Technical Studies, School of ICT, , Griffith University and Amy Antonio, Lecturer, University of Southern Queensland

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


06/08/2018 |
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