Joyce to be boon for North

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

QUEENS­LAND se­na­tor Matt Cana­van said he was con­fi­dent Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce would “take like a duck to wa­ter” af­ter it was an­nounced he would act as Min­is­ter for Re­sources and North­ern Aus­tralia.

Se­na­tor Cana­van re­signed from Cabi­net last month af­ter it was re­vealed he had a dual cit­i­zen­ship with Italy.

The Se­nate yes­ter­day re­ferred Se­na­tor Cana­van to the High Court to es­tab­lish whether he could keep his job but the process could take months.

Se­na­tor Cana­van said yes­ter­day that he was con­fi­dent the North would be looked af­ter.

“Barn­aby ( Joyce) is right on the agenda of build­ing things,” he said.

“He will take like a duck to wa­ter to build­ing more things across the North. “It’s what he’s about.” Se­na­tor Cana­van said be­ing a Deputy Prime Min­is­ter, he had a “few more strings” he could pull.

“It’s not a bad pick for the North,” he said. A HAY shed has gone up in flames, de­stroy­ing bales and a trac­tor in an in­tense fire off Her­veys Range Rd.

The fire erupted about 2.30pm yes­ter­day, quickly en­gulf­ing the shed and was well alight by the time fire­fight­ers ar­rived.

Thick black smoke from the blaze could be seen from as far away as the city.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing into how the blaze started. A FORMER Townsville man was al­legedly mur­dered in the toi­lets of a Gold Coast hos­pi­tal emer­gency depart­ment af­ter a row over wait­ing lists.

John Fran­cis Im­ber, 53, who had been home­less, died af­ter sus­tain­ing head in­juries fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in the Gold Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal ED toi­lets about 8am last Fri­day.

Po­lice yes­ter­day charged Woodridge man Paul John Cono­ley, 38, with Mr Im­ber’s mur­der.

It will be al­leged Mr Im­ber and an­other pa­tient had an ar­gu­ment af­ter one of them tried to “jump the queue” at the busy ED.

Mr Im­ber, who suf­fered from seizures, had been dis­charged but was sleep­ing in the wait­ing room.

Po­lice claim two se­cu­rity guards found a man stand­ing over Mr Im­ber in the toi­lets in a pool of blood. It is un­der­stood med­i­cal staff noted that Mr Im­ber’s in­juries were pos­si­bly caused by a seizure and a fall.

But on Sun­day a po­lice of­fi­cer be­came aware an as­sault had al­legedly oc­curred and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched by se­nior de­tec­tives.

Po­lice de­clined to com­ment last night be­cause the mat­ter was be­fore the court.

Sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said Mr Cono­ley was at­tend­ing the hos­pi­tal as a pa­tient for a non- life threat­en­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion and dis­charged later on Fri­day.

The lawyer for Mr Cono­ley, Jon Ide, yes­ter­day ap­peared in the South­port Mag­is­trates Court over the mur­der charge.

Mr Cono­ley was not re­quired to be present for the brief men­tion.

His mat­ter was ad­journed un­til Au­gust 31 for men­tion.

Out­side court, Mr Ide said Mr Cono­ley in­tended to plead not guilty to the charge.

Mr Im­ber is be­lieved to have pre­vi­ously worked at The Ken­more Tav­ern in Bris­bane.

He lived on the Gold Coast af­ter leav­ing Townsville about 18 months ago.

His so­cial me­dia pro­file shows he was home­less and in trou­ble with the law for sev­eral years be­fore his death.

In sev­eral so­cial me­dia posts Mr Im­ber speaks of seek­ing help from the Sal­va­tion Army.

A spokesman for The Sal­va­tion Army in Townsville con­firmed the man was known to them.

In other Face­book posts, Mr Im­ber dis­cusses re­hab, al­co­holism, court ap­pear­ances and God.

Mr Im­ber had a crim­i­nal his­tory lit­tered with of­fences through­out Queens­land in­clud­ing be­ing charged with pos­ses­sion of a knife and pub­lic nui­sance.

In Jan­uary, he was sen­tenced to nine months pro­ba­tion in the South­port Mag­is­trates Court af­ter be­ing charged with go­ing armed to cause fear.

TRAGIC END: Former Townsville res­i­dent John Im­ber was al­legedly mur­dered in a toilet at Gold Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal ( right).

Matt Cana­van.

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