Historic F-111 flyover for Australia Day

Chris Logan, Andree Withey and Meera Nambiar

Updated January 27, 2010 09:09:00

This year’s Australia Day F-111 flyover in Brisbane will be a historic one for aviation enthusiasts.

The fighter jet will fly over South Bank at the same time as a 21 round salute is fired from the cultural forecourt.

Squadron leader Phil Griggs says it will be one of the last times Brisbane will be able to see an F-111 because they are being retired at the end of the year.

“This is the last Australia Day that you’ll see F-111s fly over South Bank,” he said.

“There may be other opportunities later in the year for F-111s to fly over Brisbane, but this’ll be the last Australia Day that you’ll see F-111s.”

Police presence

As Queenslanders celebrate Australia Day, they are being warned there will be a strong police presence at festivities right across the state.

Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart says officers will target the consumption of alcohol in unlicensed public areas and unruly behaviour.

He says officers will focus on coastal parks and popular public meeting spots.

“We will be out in force right across the state enforcing the laws making sure that anyone who is impacting negatively in terms of their behaviour on other people in the community that we’ll deal with those,” he said.

“If people are acting unreasonably, if they’re impacting negatively on the peacefulness of the area and the situation, if they’re causing distress to other members of the public, we will act very, very decisively.”

Lifesaver’s plea

Lifeguards are urging beachgoers to swim only in patrolled areas today.

Five swimmers have been rescued on Sunshine Coast beaches in south-east Queensland this morning.

One rescue at the Maroochydore river mouth was in an unpatrolled area and four swimmers had to be assisted back to shore at Bullcock beach after trying to swim across to the sandbank against the outgoing tide.

All swimmers were returned to shore safely.

On the weekend, several beaches were cleared after surfers spotted sharks on the Sunshine Coast and some Gold Coast beaches in south-east Queensland were closed after hundreds of swimmers were stung by bluebottles.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) spokesman Byron Mills says people need to follow lifesaver directions.

“With large crowds, the best thing that anyone can do that visits the beach is to make sure they listen to the warnings from life savers and life guards,” he said.

“They’re keeping a look out for all dangers in the water or on the beach, so just follow their direction.

“If they’re asked to get out of the water, just to do so in an orderly manner at quick as possible.”

Australia day outback

With temperatures expected to reach the high thirties in far western Queensland, the Diamantina Shire Council has taken a sensible approach to Australia Day festivities.

Youth councillor Jade Smith says the day will be spent at the Bedourie pool.

“We are just having water polo, backyard cricket, lamington scoffing, egg throwing, thong throwing, a barbecue and hopefully everyone can come along and have some fun,” she said.

“It means just celebrating being an Aussie and being free – I suppose like we don’t have all the dramas like what’s happening in Haiti at the moment.”

Topics: australia-day, event, law-crime-and-justice, crime, antisocial-behaviour, police, brisbane-4000, australia, qld, bundaberg-4670, cairns-4870, longreach-4730, mackay-4740, maroochydore-4558, mount-isa-4825, rockhampton-4700, toowoomba-4350, townsville-4810

First posted January 26, 2010 08:34:00

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