Around the State

Townsville Bulletin - - Weekend Extra -

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.

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