Around the State
A FAMILY’S house has been razed just weeks after they finished repairing the damage done by Cyclone Larry.
Christmas dreams turned to ashes for El Arish’s Smith family, who lost almost everything when fire destroyed their home on Tuesday night.
The fire burnt unopened Christmas presents, killed their pet cockatiel and reduced their possessions to rubble.
‘‘We thought (Cyclone) Larry was bad but it only took the roof and some of our things,’’ mother-of-three Leonie Smith said.
The couple’s new roof was installed just six weeks ago to replace worn tarpaulins used since Cyclone Larry hit in March.
‘‘It’s been a year for it, you’ve got to laugh now or you’d cry again.’’
Mrs Smith believes an electrical fault may have been to blame.
Left with nothing but their cars, their wallets and the clothes on their back, the family is thankful their home is insured.
Mrs Smith said the community had already rallied behind them.
‘‘That’s the blessing of a small town, they were all out with their hoses and we’ve already had friends coming with clothes and vouchers for us, and the offer of a place to stay,’’ she said.
CAIRNS doctor has been singled out for investigation after an inquest into the suicide of Cooktown mental health patient Patrick Lusk.
Dr Errol Van Rensburg was a senior medical officer and admitting doctor at Cooktown Hospital when Mr Lusk sought treatment for depression in April 2005.
Coroner Tina Previtera said she would provide the Queensland Medical Board with evidence and reports about Dr Van Rensburg’s conduct before and after Mr Lusk’s suicide.
She listed 29 concerns over Mr Lusk’s treatment, including lack of knowledge about mental health issues, illness and policy and a failure to hold a mental state examination and clinical risk assessment.
The revelations came as Ms Previtera released a scathing report into the deaths of Mr Lusk, 66, and two other Far Northern suicide victims — Emily Baggott, 16 and Charles Barlow, 32, who were treated by other doctors shortly before dying.