Clockwise from top left: Murder victim Girum Mekonnen; exciting Ipswich High footy prospect Ogden George, and Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.
Clockwise from top left: Murder victim Girum Mekonnen; exciting Ipswich High footy prospect Ogden George, and Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.

Here is this week’s Friday Top Five, with editor Andrew Korner

IT HAS been a hectic time at the Queensland Times this week, and also a time of change.

After only recently saying goodbye to our cadet reporter Samtui Selave, we are also on Friday bidding farewell to Paige Ashby, who has been one of our gun reporters now for about a year.

Paige has been beckoned by a career in teaching, and I’m sure she will do a fine job.

Looking ahead, we are excited to announce former Gatton court reporter Ebony Graveur will be joining the QT team as of Monday.

Paige’s role will be replaced in the coming weeks, and we in the process of recruiting.

Now onto the news front, here is this week’s Friday Top Five.

1. Trouble on the streets

Girum Mekonnen was killed in a violent clash in a Zillmere park on Sunday night. Picture: Facebook
Girum Mekonnen was killed in a violent clash in a Zillmere park on Sunday night. Picture: Facebook

THERE was disturbing news out of the northern suburbs of Brisbane this week, with what looks to be an unfortunate Ipswich connection.

The violent killing of Girum Mekonnen in a park at Zillmere, allegedly at the hands of a group of 12 people, is thankfully not the kind of thing we are accustomed to seeing on our streets.

Police are still investigating with Girum’s death occurred as a result of some kind of retribution for an earlier gang attack on a young man at Redbank Plains on September 8.

What we do know is that 11 out of the 12 charged with murder earlier this week are from the Ipswich suburbs of Redbank Plains, Goodna and Collingwood Park.

2. Ride worth the wait

Redbank Fair organiser Justin Gill prepares for the first crowds to roll in on Friday night. Numbers will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Redbank Fair organiser Justin Gill prepares for the first crowds to roll in on Friday night. Numbers will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In covering the various businesses and industries dealt a savage blow by coronavirus this year, I can feel nothing but sympathy when I hear of the difficulties many people have been through.

It seems so obvious, with all the cancellations, that carnival ride operators would have been really finding it hard this year, but it was not until speaking to them at Redbank this week that I realised how bad things were.

Queensland Amusement Hire lost 40 agricultural shows and 25 school fetes this year as a result of restrictions on public gatherings.

As we have seen so often, they are refusing to give up on 2020 and they are hoping as many people as possible can enjoy the Redbank Fun Fair starting Friday night.

3. Death threats just not on

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young. Picture: NCA NewWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young. Picture: NCA NewWire / Dan Peled

We often refer to ourselves as the Lucky Country – the place where you just don’t see the same brand of lunacy that you might witness in places like America at the moment.

Here in Australia, I would like to think we can have intelligent debates about things including how best to handle the movement of people across borders during this pandemic we are all dealing with.

For the most part, intelligent debate has been what has occurred, but our democracy was dealt a blow with the alleged death threats made against the Premier and our Chief Health Officer.

From where I sit, it doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit on, this sort of thing is not on.

Whether you agree with their decisions or not, you have to accept that this country’s big decision makers have an extremely tough task at hand.

There are going to be times where they have to make difficult decision that are not going to please everyone, but may still be for a common good.

If you don’t agree, you are free to say so, but making threats to those in charge during such times is not going to make anyone’s life better either.

4. Uncertainty for meat workers

JBS Dinmore workers face an uncertain future. Picture NRM
JBS Dinmore workers face an uncertain future. Picture NRM

Tough times have continued for our JBS Dinmore workforce, who were recently informed their numbers would be reduced by about 600 due to challenging conditions in the industry, compounded by coronavirus.

Speaking with workers earlier this week, we discovered that Dinmore employees still don’t know whether or not they will be among the 600 to lose their jobs.

5. Ipswich footy talent just keeps coming

Ipswich State High School footballer Ogden George
Ipswich State High School footballer Ogden George

There was some more great news from Ipswich High this week, with young backrower and lock Ogden George scoring an academy contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

At only 15, it is an exciting and drastic step forward for young Ogden and his footy career prospects.

Ogden’s good news came after we reported on the Roosters snapping up Ipswich High pair Evander Tere-Rongotaua and Tommy Luhrman.