Hollywood celebrities Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon with Coffee Rocks at Rainbow owner Michael Read.
Hollywood celebrities Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon with Coffee Rocks at Rainbow owner Michael Read. Coffee Rocks at Rainbow

Tragedy, murder, good times, bad - how we experienced 2018

12-year-old Brian Birchall at the Lady Cilento Hospital after incessant school bullying drove him to self-harm.
12-year-old Brian Birchall at the Lady Cilento Hospital after incessant school bullying drove him to self-harm. Contributed

A crocodile captured in the Mary River. Courtesy of the Department of Environment and Science.
A crocodile captured in the Mary River. Courtesy of the Department of Environment and Science. Contributed

Tragedy to triumph: Gympie's year in review

March 1

'Question of honesty?'

QUESTIONS about Gympie Regional Council's financial "honesty” have been floated by councillors as they consider last year's community survey.

March 6


A GYMPIE family has launched a campaign against the sustained bullying and inadequate system they say almost cost their 12-year-old son his life #stopbullying.

March 7

'Ripped away'

A GYMPIE family is devastated and a school community in shock after the sudden death of a Gympie teenager.

The Year 9 Gympie State High School student Jack Gunston died in hospital on Monday following complications from a serious asthma attack.

March 8

Woodchipper murder twist

POLICE have re-opened the search of a Goomboorian property where a man's body was put through a woodchipper last November.

March 9

200 jobs

EMPLOYMENT in the region will be beefed up by more than 200 jobs with Nolan Meats announcing a $10 million expansion of their Gympie plant.

March 10

Stop the carnage

AUSTRALIA'S new Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was in Gympie this week to meet with Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien at the start of the final leg of the Bruce Hwy bypass.

March 13

Water bills up 46%

THE average water bill in Gympie exploded like a broken tap last year, soaring more than 46 per cent to buck a wider national trend of sinking prices.

March 14

Blood on their hands

WIDE Bay MP Llew O'Brien has put his own government on notice that its members will have blood on their hands if work does not start soon on the Bruce Hwy's Gympie by-pass.

March 15

For love of Jimmy

JIMMY Bryant was "ripped off” - his life stolen from him by a car crash which his mother believes might not have happened if he had done the defensive driving course at Gympie's Roadcraft centre.

March 16

That's not rainforest

MINING company Eclipse Metals yesterday denied allegations it had cleared biodiverse native forest near Amamoor as part of its manganese exploration in the Mary Valley.

March 17

Building sector 'refuses to slow down'

New approval figures show region's impressive growth and development is still on the rise

March 20

Doting father remembered while son fights for life

ANDREW Cole, 34, who was travelling on the Burnett Highway at Booubyjan, was killed at the scene of a horrific high-speed head-on collision that his left his son, 12-year-old Bailey Cole, fighting for life in a Brisbane hospital.

Raids yield $83K, $100K of drugs, 13 weapons

MAJOR raids in the Gympie region have uncovered cash, drugs and weapons in a highly successful operation conducted by police last week.

March 21

Brother's fury touches nerve

THE goal is in sight and the message is getting louder. Gympie is ready to fight the good fight against bullying.

March 22


ONE of the world's most famous names has backed the Gympie-born anti-bullying campaign.

Ed Sheeran this week threw his influence behind Fight the Good Fight Against Bullying, meeting Gympie campaign organisers Murray Benton and Mathew Castley before his Tuesday night performance at Suncorp Stadium.

March 23

Too close for comfort

FROM a dirt road in Toolara Forest to Crab Creek at Tin Can Bay, one or more crocodiles may have been sneaking around the Cooloola Coast

March 24

Through the roof

GYMPIE'S residential real estate growth in the past year ranked among the strongest in the state, according to the Queensland Market Monitor.

March 27

'I can't barrack for these cheats'

HEARTBROKEN and angry: Condemnation of the win-at-all-costs approach of the Australian cricket leadership

March 28

Shock twist in woodchipper death

THE ex-girlfriend of woodchipper victim Bruce Saunders is the main beneficiary of his will and has been described by police as a person of interest.

Fast track the funding to finish the Bruce Hwy bypass

THE GympieTimes yesterday launched an e-petition to help seal the deal for $800 million in Federal Government funding for the Bruce Hwy Bypass of Gympie.

March 31

Man taken to hospital after his car ploughs into a house

A MAN believed to be in his 60s crashed his Jeep into a house in Old Maryborough Rd on Thursday, causing major structural damage to the building.

April 3

High tide at Double Island Point strands campers, 4WDs

CAMPERS at Teewah Beach at Double Island Point were left stranded on sand dunes as a monster high tide swallowed most of the beach over the Easter long weekend.

April 4

Dead teen's father calls for defensive driver training in all high schools

AN ACCIDENT south of Gympie that killed 17-year-old Jade Dixson last week could have been averted if the young driver she was travelling with had been through a defensive driving course, Jade's grief-stricken father says.

April 5

Rates masterclass

WITH their past five budget rates believed to have been incorrectly levied, Gympie Regional council will be back in school today to learn about rates with the LGAQ.

April 7

United they stand

DAWN has broken on a new era for Gympie's RSL, with the sub-branch and club heralding a joint commitment.

April 10

Bullying victim opens up

THE family of teenage bullying survivor Brian Burchall has made an impassioned plea for change with an emotional interview on national television and a petition for a public inquiry.

Telstra's Great Horse Ride fail

A MASSIVE Telstra network failure which wiped out electronic payments at the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride has left organisers fuming, and prompted calls for the company to "step-up” and help.

April 11

James our hero of the nation

HERO lifeguard James "Jimmy” Cervi has received national recognition for "Rescue of the Month” after pulling a semi-conscious woman from monstrous, cyclone-induced swells at Noosa Main Beach in February.

April 12

Cereal offence

A GYMPIE woman has captured on her smart phone what appears to be another hungry P-plater eating cereal from a bowl while driving at 100kmh.

April 13

Armed attack

A CALCULATED yet baffling burglary on Gympie's Gold Mining Museum has left museum curators agog at the footage of a brazen offender bashing through property to get to his target.

April 14

Our punk turtle makes global splash

THE punk Mary River turtle is making international headlines on a new list of endangered reptiles.

Llew takes it to U.N.

WIDE Bay's Llew O'Brien has addressed the United Nations on behalf of road safety in Australia - unusual for a first-term backbencher.

April 17

Locals go good will hunting

IT'S not every day you get to ride some waves and sink a couple of cold ones with Hollywood legends. That's exactly what a group of lucky locals experienced at Double Island Point at the weekend, when Chris Hemsworth brought his mate Matt Damon for a visit.

April 18

Battle begins

A LATE entry has added a last-minute twist to the battle for Gympie Regional Council Division 8. Tim Jerome is the final candidate for the seat vacated by ex-Gympie councillor James Cochrane with nominations now closed for the May 5 poll.

Remnants of the Cherry Venture ship wreck emerge from the sand

RIBS from the hull of the shipwrecked Cherry Venture have emerged on Teewah Beach about 300m south of the Leisha Track entrance.

April 19

Shooter on the loose

A SHOOTER who heavily wounded a man with a shotgun blast is at large as police struggle to get answers from the victim who showed up at Gympie Hospital on Tuesday night.

April 20

Twice as many regional mums-to-be lighting up

MATERNAL smoking rates are declining across the Wide Bay, but more than 25 per cent of young mothers in the Gympie region still smoke while pregnant.

April 21

No room

RENTAL vacancy rates in Gympie have plunged from almost 6 per cent in June 2011, to 0.5 per cent, making it most likely the toughest rental market in Queensland.

April 24

We did it!

THE Gympie region is on the cusp of monumental change, with $800 million in federal funding announced yesterday to complete the biggest and most expensive leg of the Bruce Hwy by-pass.

April 25

Lest we forget

GYMPIE region honours our servicemen and women.

April 26

New record

HUGE crowds, including hundreds of children turned out for Gympie's Anzac Day.

April 27

New Rattler blowout

THE Mary Valley Rattler's return is now expected to cost $17.5 million, with another $2.35 million blowout hitting the heritage project today.

Saved: Widgee business and 50 jobs spared

WIDGEE Engineering has been saved from disaster by Gympie Regional Council, with councillors voting to let the business stay, in a tense general meeting vote.

April 28

Rattler rift grows

CR GLEN Hartwig warned against a 'patsy' taking the fall for Rattler project financial issues, and MP Tony Perrett said the 'stuff-up' will cost more like $20 million.