Aussies lag in pre- schoolers
CROCODILE populations in Queensland have been rising since the 1970s, placing more people in direct conflict with the dangerous reptiles.
A new study by a Department of Environment and Heritage Protection scientist has, for the first time, acknowledged that crocodile numbers across the state are increasing, with the rate of attacks from the predators growing at an average of 1.3 per year since 1996.
The study, by the department’s northern wildlife operations manager Dr Matt Brien, is to be published by the CSIRO in coming months.
The paper, which examines patterns of human- crocodile conflict in Queensland between 1971- 2015, says the management of saltwater crocodiles through targeted removals around areas of higher human habitation is essential for public safety.
An EHP spokesman said the results of a three- year survey of crocodile populations would not be released until the project was completed.
“So far the specialist teams of wildlife officers have completed a sweep of the populated east coast in the first leg of the survey with the Norman and Staaten rivers in the Gulf the most recent to be monitored,” the spokesman said.
DANIEL BATEMAN AUSTRALIA’S enrolment rate in early childhood education is lagging on a global stage.
An international report found that about 70 per cent of Australian three- year- olds were in formal childcare in 2014.
That is well below rates in France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, which have enrolments above 90 per cent.
The Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development report also found that 15- year- olds who attended more than one year of early childhood education significantly outperformed students who did not. MORE than $ 63 million worth of construction is under way at North Shore as the rapid growth in Townsville’s north continues.
A new $ 40 million state primary school, about 60 homes and site works for Stockland’s latest display village are under construction.
North Shore project director Andrew Astorquia said the projects were creating hundreds of local jobs.
“Since our launch in 2008, there has been a huge investment in the community including a shopping centre, roads, community buildings, schools, kilometres of bike paths, playgrounds, parks and four display villages,” he said.
“It really is a hub of activity out here at the moment with trades from just about every discipline working. It shows the resilience of a city and the importance of creating communities that are well planned to continue to attract families through livability and lifestyle.”
North Shore has grown significantly since it was launched with about 5500 people now living in the masterplanned community.
The community has kickstarted a range of residential and commercial developments such as the Northern Beaches Leisure Centre, Bunnings opening a new store and Stockland Shopping Centre.
Most recently, Arcare opened its $ 20 million aged care facility while there are also plans for a tavern.
Townsville City Council divisional councillor Paul Jacob said the growth had been helped by families flocking to the northern beaches for the great lifestyle the area offered.
“I think it’s really good to see the growth in the northern beaches area … and council has plans for a youth activation hub,” he said.
“It is one of the major growth areas of Townsville and having facilities like a school will further aid that population growth.
“It has an atmosphere of a family area and it’s nice and close to the beach while one of the other driving forces of the area is you can now get straight on the Ring Road and go to three major employers, being the university, defence barracks and hospital which makes it just that more attractive to people.”
NORTH SHORE PROJECT DIRECTOR ANDREW ASTORQUIA GROWTH HOTSPOT: Department of Education superindentant Reagan Paine, North Shore project director Andrew Astorquia, Mendi Constructions managing director Jeff Doyle and CPB Contractors project director Marcelo Di Bella at the Burdell school site.