Labrador Retrievers Reign Supreme as The Gap’s Top Dog

Labrador Retrievers are firmly in the spotlight in The Gap, where recent data reveals an abundance of these beloved canines, solidifying their position as the top dog in the leafy enclave.

According to recent data compiled by Ray White analyst Jemima White from Brisbane City Council animal registrations, Labradors is the city’s top dog, with a remarkable presence in several suburbs, particularly in The Gap.

The report highlights The Gap as a Labrador haven, boasting 2085 registered Labs, showcasing the breed’s popularity in sprawling house blocks. However, Labradors aren’t solely confined to The Gap; they’re a beloved presence stretching across various suburbs from Alderley to Annerley and beyond.

Photo Credit: Pexels

The analysis also sheds light on other popular breeds in Brisbane, revealing that while Labradors dominate, breeds like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Border Collies also enjoy substantial representation. These insights not only provide a glimpse into Brisbane’s dog culture but also reflect the preferences of residents and the housing dynamics of different areas.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Jemima White noted that suburbs with higher populations of young families and relatively affordable median property prices tend to be the hotspots for dog ownership. These areas offer amenities like parks, schools, and easy access to the city, making them ideal for families with furry companions.

Real estate agents are also witnessing a shift in priorities among house hunters, with many considering their pets’ needs when searching for a new home. For instance, Ray White Sherwood agent Lisette Schults-Rand highlighted the importance of accommodating pets like her office companion, Steve, who contributes to a positive work environment with his friendly demeanour.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

However, amid this canine craze, there’s a sobering reality. The housing crisis in Brisbane has impacted pet owners, leading to an increase in surrender rates at animal shelters like the Animal Welfare League Queensland. Rising living costs and limited rental options have forced some to part with their beloved pets, underscoring the challenges faced by both humans and their furry friends in these uncertain times.

As Brisbane continues to evolve, so does its relationship with its four-legged residents. While Labradors may reign supreme for now, the ever-changing landscape of pet ownership reflects broader societal trends and challenges, reminding us of the importance of compassion and understanding in our communities.

Published Date 25-March-2024

Benjamina Place Park: The Spot That Inspired Bluey’s ‘Turtleboy’

Bluey has captured the hearts of children and adults across the globe. With Brisbane as the backdrop to the series, get to know the locations that have inspired your favourite episodes, like Benjamina Place Park inspiring “Turtleboy” and see Brisbane through Bluey’s eyes.

Read: Bluey’s Hammerbarn Comes to Life at Bunnings Keperra

In the ‘Turtleboy’ episode, Bingo finds an abandoned toy turtle at the park’s playground and desperately wants to take him home. But wise Dad explains it’s not the “done thing,” as the turtle’s owner may return looking for their beloved toy.

Funny enough, some cheeky Bluey fan made the episode’s premise a reality last year. A simple green turtle plush, just like Turtleboy, was carefully placed at Benjamina Place Park’s playground, abandoned but hopefully to be re-discovered by a new owner. 

Photo credit: Jason Read/Google Maps 

Whilst the toy’s origins are unknown, the gesture delighted local kids who had a smile at the Bluey reference come to life.

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Recreate the iconic scenes of Bingo and Dougie’s turtle game by laying in the cool grass and watching the clouds roll by. Or spend an afternoon having a picnic in one of the sheltered eating areas whilst the little ones burn off a snack-inspired energy burst.

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This beloved local park allows kids to have fun whilst being protected from the harsh Queensland sun. 

Photo credit: Livinbep/Google Maps 

Meanwhile, a new shade sail has been installed as part of Brisbane City Council’s Sun-safe suburban playground program, allowing for extended playtime. Under this shady oasis, kids can expend their endless energy on the playground equipment, basketball court, and shared pathways perfect for scooting.

Read: Take Your Coffee Break Among the Trees With Brisbane’s ‘Coffee Carts in Parks’

Whether you’re a diehard Bluey fan or just a Brisbane local, Benjamina Place Park offers the ultimate setting to experience this beloved show. With its shady play areas and picturesque scenery, Benjamina Place Park allows the Bluey magic to come alive.

Published 6-March-2024

Platypus Exchange Program Enriches Conservation Efforts at Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

A significant exchange involving one of Australia’s most iconic creatures, the platypus, has taken place between two states, which aims to bolster the platypus population whilst simultaneously advancing public education efforts regarding this unique species.  Amidst this exchange, the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre in The Gap in Brisbane will also play a pivotal role, as it becomes the new home to two platypuses, further enriching Australia’s conservation efforts.

At the heart of this exchange, orchestrated by the Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) and the Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA,  is a 10-year-old platypus named Wally.

Wally, from the David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast,  is now embarking on a journey to the Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, where he will play a crucial role in the platypus national species conservation program. 

This program marks a remarkable synergy between the two departments, with historical ties to where Dr. David Fleay successfully bred platypus in 1943. 

Wally’s Contribution to Platypus Conservation

Wally’s relocation to Healesville Sanctuary represents a milestone in platypus conservation. As part of this program, he is set to share his genetic heritage to diversify the gene pool, which is essential for maintaining a healthy platypus population. 

The program not only allows Wally to engage in natural mating behaviour but also contributes significantly to ongoing species research, a legacy of the esteemed Dr Fleay.

On the 13th of December 2023, Wally embarked on a journey from the Gold Coast to Victoria, safely enclosed in a purpose-built crate designed to maintain his body temperature below 20 degrees. Having settled into his new habitat, Wally is now introduced to a female platypus, marking a crucial step in the conservation effort.

Expanding Opportunities for Breeding

In this collaborative endeavour of the Platypus Exchange Program, male platypus Tarrabi and female platypus Waddirrang arrived in Queensland on the 16th of December 2023. This exchange not only creates more breeding opportunities but also offers a unique chance to study the behaviours and breeding strategies of multiple individuals. 

With their arrival in Queensland, Waddirrang has found her new home at the David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast. Meanwhile, Tarrabi has taken up residence at the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre at The Gap in Brisbane. 

These locations not only provide excellent living conditions for the platypuses but also serve as inspirational hubs for future generations of wildlife enthusiasts, continuing the legacy of platypus conservation in Australia.

Published 22-Jan-2024

Empowering the Future: The Gap Netball Club Launches Pioneering Program

The Gap Netball Club, in collaboration with the QLD Suns Men’s & Mixed Netball, has launched its ‘Boys in Netball’ Pilot, a first-of-its-kind mentoring program designed to boost boys’ participation in netball and establish sustainable pathways within the sport.

Fueling their aspirations, the club secured a grant from Woolworths, enabling the launch of this “All Play Inclusion Program” slated for 2024. This initiative introduces a pioneering mentoring program designed to boost boys’ participation in netball and establish sustainable pathways within the sport.

The Boys in Netball initiative operates on the principle of “You can’t be what you can’t see,” striving not only to encourage boys to embrace netball but also to establish connections with elite-level players.

The Gap Netball Club
Photo Credit: The Gap Netball Club

Beyond this groundbreaking program, the club is committed to advancing the skills of coaches, umpires, and players. Substantial investments in additional sessions, activities, and training sessions are earmarked for the coming year.

Boys aged 7-12 registering for the 2024 season will enjoy exclusive benefits, including half-price registration fees, a complimentary uniform (singlet, shorts, and socks), a ticket to a Netball Queensland School Holiday Boys Clinic in 2024, and a Queensland Suns Mentor/Buddy. 

The mentorship program also promises a meet-and-greet, monthly Zoom catch-ups, attendance at a QLD Suns team training, and an experience at a Nationals game at Nissan Arena in April 2024.

Hilder Rd State School in The Gap serves as the training ground during the week, with game days unfolding at Downey Park Netball Association in Windsor on Saturdays.

As anticipation builds for the 2024 season, online registrations will open on 8 Jan 2024. Prospective members can explore the club’s offerings at a Club Open Day on Saturday, 20 Jan 2024, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  

Follow The Gap Netball Club on Facebook for more updates. 

Published 26-Dec-2023

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre in The Gap: Turtles Need a Long-term Commitment for Care

The Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre in The Gap is home to a unique resident, a freshwater turtle of extraordinary proportions, dubbed by wildlife officers as the largest turtle they have ever encountered. 

However, amidst this notable resident at the Centre lies a deeper issue that concerns not only The Gap but Queensland at large—a growing trend of well-meaning individuals acquiring pet turtles without fully comprehending the commitment these reptiles entail and then giving them up when they realise they can no longer care for them as pets.

A Popular Yet Misunderstood Choice

Freshwater turtles have long been a beloved choice among Queenslanders when it comes to keeping pets. Their captivating appearance, especially as hatchlings, often leads people to believe they can thrive in the confines of a fish tank. However, this assumption proves misguided, as these creatures require meticulous care and attention throughout their long lives.

Warren Christensen, the Manager of Southern Wildlife Operations, emphasised that owning a turtle is not a fleeting commitment, akin to a seasonal Christmas ornament. 

He explained that freshwater turtles can live for an impressive 40 to 50 years. Thus, they require not only a spacious habitat with water for swimming but also access to land for exercise, and when kept indoors, a large fish tank coupled with ultraviolet light.

Health Matters

Aside from the space and environmental requirements, the health of pet turtles is paramount. Mr. Christensen warned that neglecting their need for clean water can result in various health issues, including soft, cracked, or peeling shells. 

Regrettably, many turtles surrendered to authorities, like those from The Gap, often exhibit signs of neglect and poor health due to improper care. Mr Christensen further explained the grim reality that many surrendered turtles cannot be rehomed, given the stringent requirements for their care. 

One recent incident involved a 20-year-old turtle, relinquished by an owner who could no longer care for it. Astonishingly, this turtle had been living indoors with the freedom to roam and an unregulated diet, conditions far from ideal for its well-being. Fortunately, the turtle is now thriving at the Walkabout Creek Discovery in The Gap.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Addressing the Issue of Permits

One glaring issue that compounds the problem is the lack of necessary permits for turtle ownership. Many individuals who surrender these creatures have procured them without the proper documentation. 

This, Mr Christensen stressed, contributes to the illegal trade of native wildlife—a grave concern in Queensland and Australia as a whole.

The illegal trade of native animals poses a significant threat to Australia’s unique wildlife, as it often involves the unlawful removal of creatures from their natural habitats. Both sellers and buyers who partake in this trade risk facing fines or even court prosecution. 

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is unwavering in its commitment to combating this issue, reiterating its zero-tolerance stance towards the illegal wildlife trade.

An Appeal for Responsible Pet Ownership

As the holiday season approaches, and people consider welcoming a pet into their homes, Mr Christensen issues a heartfelt plea. He encourages potential pet owners to thoroughly educate themselves on the specific care requirements of native animals, including turtles. 

Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of obtaining the necessary permits to ensure that these animals are acquired legally and ethically.

Published 18-Dec-2023

The Best Christmas Gift You Can Give Koalas in The Gap

This festive season, residents of The Gap in Brisbane have a unique opportunity to give a truly meaningful gift — helping to conserve and protect the local koala population.

As Brisbane prepares for an unusually hot summer, the spotlight shifts to the koalas of The Gap, a suburb where the intersection of urban life and natural habitats brings unique challenges for these native animals. 

Koalas are currently in their breeding season, a time fraught with challenges. This period is especially demanding for mother koalas with young, who face dangers such as road accidents, often leading to orphaned joeys. The need for vigilance and care in areas like The Gap is vital during this time​. 

Threats to Koalas

Disease Threats: Koalas contend with diseases like chlamydia and koala retrovirus, which significantly impact their health and survival. These diseases compromise their immune systems, making them more vulnerable to other health issues and environmental stressors​​.

Food and Water Scarcity: The current hot and dry conditions are affecting the nutritional value of gum tree leaves, koalas’ primary food source. This situation is forcing koalas to venture further in search of additional water sources, increasing their encounters with urban dangers​​.

Road Hazards: The Gap’s koalas often face dangers from increased traffic. Awareness and caution from drivers can play a crucial role in reducing the number of accidents involving koalas, especially during the night and early morning hours. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Dog Attacks: Domestic dogs present a significant risk to koalas. In areas like The Gap, where backyards and natural habitats intersect, dog owners need to be responsible and ensure their pets do not pose a threat to these vulnerable creatures​. Keeping pets confined or restrained at night, providing wildlife avoidance training, and considering koala-friendly fencing are crucial to protecting koalas.

Backyard Encounters: Koalas may occasionally find themselves in suburban backyards. Residents should understand how to coexist with these animals, taking care to avoid direct interaction and instead contacting wildlife rescue services if a koala appears in distress or danger​.  Residents can further help by planting koala food trees and making fences koala-friendly, allowing these animals to move safely in and out of properties. Installing a pool cover and securing swimming pools are also important, as koalas are at risk of drowning in backyard pools.

Assisting Koalas in Distress

Providing Water: Residents can aid koalas by placing shallow bowls of clean water near gum trees. This small act can be a lifesaver for koalas, especially during hot days​​. 

Rescue and Care: In case of encountering a sick or injured koala, the best course of action is to contact local koala rescue groups. Direct handling should be avoided to prevent additional stress on the animal​​. 

Community Involvement and Awareness

Educating the public about the challenges faced by koalas and ways to mitigate these risks is critical. Residents of The Gap and surrounding areas can participate in local conservation efforts, such as habitat restoration and supporting koala hospitals and wildlife groups​​​​.

The survival of koalas in The Gap and across Brisbane depends on a collective effort from the community, government agencies, and conservationists. Understanding these animals’ challenges and taking proactive steps to mitigate them is essential in ensuring their continued presence in our natural landscapes.

Published 15-Dec-2023

Grassroots Grants Give The Gap Little Athletics a Head Start

The Coles Little Athletics Community Fund has announced its latest round of grants, benefiting forty grassroots Little Athletics centres across Australia, including The Gap State High School’s Little Athletics Centre.

The Gap centre has been awarded more than $2,600 to purchase a defibrillator to ensure the safety of its aspiring athletes and parent volunteers.

Coles Little Athletics Community Fund Support

Coles Group, in partnership with its Little Athletics Community Fund, continues to invest in the development and safety of young athletes across the nation. This year’s grants, totalling over $150,000, will enable Little Athletics centres to procure essential equipment, including hurdles, mats, shot puts, laptops, and defibrillators.

The Coles Little Athletics Community Fund, established in 2018, has now contributed more than $2.4 million to support 469 Little Athletics clubs and centres.

The Gap State High School’s Grant

The Gap State High School’s Little Athletics Centre is one of the proud recipients of this grant. The centre, founded in 1977 as one of the first Little Athletics Centres in Queensland, recognises the importance of the health and safety of all participants. 

The Gap Little Athletics
Photo Credit: Supplied

According to Centre Manager Craig Preston, they identified a significant safety gap when they realised that the nearest defibrillator was located in a neighbouring shopping centre. Hence, the Coles grant of $2,666.50 will be used to invest in an on-site defibrillator, ensuring that safety remains paramount for all local athletes.

“When we identified that the nearest defibrillator to our centre was located in the neighbouring shopping centre we knew we needed to use the Coles grant to invest in having one on site. Safety is paramount to us here at The Gap and a defibrillator should be a compulsory safety item for clubs where people are gathering for physical activity.”

The Gap Little Athletics
Photo Credit: Supplied

Former Little Athlete and Coles ambassador, Jaryd Clifford, highlighted the significance of having the right equipment for young athletes. He emphasised how grant programs like the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund relieve the burden on volunteers, allowing them to focus on helping athletes succeed rather than spending their time and energy on fundraising for essential equipment.

The Coles Little Athletics Banana A-Peel

The announcement of these grant recipients coincides with the launch of the Coles Little Athletics Banana A-Peel campaign, beginning on National Banana Day, Wednesday, 18 October. Coles, in collaboration with Aussie banana growers, will donate 10 cents for every kilogram of Cavendish bananas sold during the campaign, up to a maximum of $150,000. These funds will be directed towards the next round of grants to help even more clubs and centres purchase new equipment.

Coles Little Athletics Australia CEO, Myles Foreman, praised the positive impact of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund over the past five years, making volunteering easier for parents and providing young athletes with appropriate and safe equipment for all ages and abilities. He encouraged Coles customers to support the fund by purchasing bananas during this year’s Little Athletics Banana A-Peel.

In addition to the substantial grants, Coles has also donated over 3.9 million bananas to help fuel young athletes since 2017. This combined effort ensures that little athletes in The Gap and across the nation are equipped for success and safety as they pursue their athletic dreams.

Published 24-Oct-2023

Brisbane’s Cafe Tara: Building Community Over Breakfast for 18 Years

From its humble beginnings as a small breakfast cafe nearly two decades ago, Cafe Tara has transformed into more than just a place to grab a coffee in the neighborhood. The cafe has emerged as a thriving community hub that brings locals together and sparks positive change through their sustainability efforts.

Read: The Gap Households Embrace Green Waste Recycling with Record Orders of Green Bins

Led by husband-and-wife owners Pramesh and Asha Ram, Cafe Tara prides itself on using locally-sourced ingredients and reducing waste. The cafe uses recycled milk cartons for takeaway trays, in an aim to reduce cup waste.

Photo credit: Cr Steven Toomey/Facebook

They support community groups, including ‘Boomerang Bags The Gap & Surrounds,’ which makes fabric bags to reduce the reliance on single-use plastic bags.

They also host monthly Scrabble games, which is open to all. The cosy interior and corner booth seating make it easy to settle in for hours of conversation with friends or family.

As for food, the cafe serves hearty breakfast options like eggs, pancakes, and toast along with sandwiches, burgers, and fresh salads for lunch. Vegetarians delight in the many meatless choices.

Photo credit: Nelle B/Google Maps

The cafe, which has been a local staple since 2005, has been like a second home to many residents, who count on the friendly service and community feel almost as much as the stellar brewed coffee and baked goods.

In celebrating 18 years this year, they show no signs of slowing down. Locals have depended on this neighbourhood staple since the beginning. The Rams credit their success to adapting with the neighbourhood whilst staying true to their original vision of sustainability and building connections.

Read: Expect New Footpaths, Pedestrian Bridges, Road Resurfacing, and Other Enhancements at The Gap Ward This Year

Their thoughtful ethos and authentic care for customers old and new are what make this cafe a cherished mainstay after nearly two decades in The Gap.

You can find Cafe Tara in The Gap Village Shopping Centre at 988 Waterworks Rd. Check out their Facebook page for updates.

Published 21-August-2023

Brisbane Fee Cut Sparks Surge in Green Waste Recycling Bin Orders

Residents of The Gap are leading the charge in adopting green waste recycling bins in Brisbane, after the annual fee has been slashed to under $1 per week.

Read: The Gap Locals Petition To Move Bat Colony; Conservationists Advise Against It

The Gap accounted for 39 of the 1,372 green bins ordered in July 2023 across Brisbane, according to Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. This represents a threefold increase compared to the same month last year, when only 452 bins were ordered citywide.

The surge in green bin orders comes after a council decision on July 1 to permanently reduce the annual green waste recycling fee from $93 to $45, or less than $1 per week. Cr Schrinner said the fee cut is part of the council’s $80 million cost of living relief package in the 2023/24 budget.

green waste recycling
Photo credit: Brisbane City Council/Facebook

“Rising living costs are the number one issue for Brisbane households right now and that’s why our Budget is focused on helping them,” Cr Schrinner said. “I’m pleased that our decision to cut the fee has led to over 1,300 new Brisbane households adopting a green bin.”

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The city currently has around 138,500 households with green bins that are collected fortnightly. Mayor Schrinner hopes the reduced cost will encourage more residents to adopt green waste recycling as Brisbane gears up to expand its food organics recycling program in the future.

Read: The Gap Netball Club Among ‘Woolworths Eat Fresh Play Fresh’ Grant Recipients

The council reminds residents to check if they have enough space to store a new green bin before ordering one. Households are limited to two bins maximum, but can request more if needed. Visit the council website for more information on green waste recycling bins, such as the acceptable and unacceptable bin items.

Published 17-August-2023

The Gap Spotlights Brisbane Flight Path Changes and Noise Action Plan

To address the escalating issue of aircraft noise, a long-abandoned flight path plan for Brisbane Airport has resurfaced with a renewed proposal for significant changes. Here’s how it will impact residents of The Gap. 

The plan, dropped over two decades ago, has been revamped to include a controversial suggestion of round-the-clock simultaneous takeoffs and landings from both runways at the airport. The proposed changes were unveiled by Airservices Australia (ASA), a federal aviation agency, as part of a new Noise Action Plan. 

As this will be a major change, various community consultations across Brisbane are underway until 10 September 2023. In The Gap, the consultation is scheduled for 23 August 2033 at St Marks Church Hall along Waterworks Rd. 

ASA has encouraged public participation in these discussions and has assured that a range of experts will be present to address questions and concerns. The consultation process is part of ASA’s efforts to incorporate community feedback into its decision-making process. 

Residents may also give their feedback online through the ASA site.

New Noise Action Plan

One of the most striking alterations to the new Noise Action Plan entails permitting 24-hour simultaneous takeoffs and landings from the airport’s two runways. This adjustment, known as Simultaneous Opposite Direction Runway Operations (SODPROPS), would potentially direct more aircraft over Moreton Bay.

Since the inauguration of the second runway in July 2020, ASA had initially claimed that SODPROPS could be safely executed only during nighttime hours when flight volume was lower. However, the plan now envisions extending this practice throughout the day, contingent on wind patterns, weather conditions, and air traffic volume aligning favourably.

Photo Credit: Airservice Australia

The resurgence of the flight path plan comes after mounting complaints from residents about increased aircraft noise, even during lockdown periods. The controversial decision to open the second runway led to noise-related grievances, prompting ASA to address the matter through community feedback and consultation.

Marcus Foth, spokesperson for the Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance (BFPCA), expressed both appreciation and reservation regarding the proposal’s expansion. He welcomed the 24-hour implementation of SODPROPS but criticized ASA for not implementing such measures sooner. 

Foth claimed that the aviation agency has complicated the issue by inundating the public with technical jargon, impeding informed public engagement.

ASA’s proposal also includes exploring alternative flight path options, to be developed over the following two years, and aimed at sharing the noise burden more evenly across the city. These options, ASA asserts, will not increase the airport’s capacity but will offer respite for affected areas.

The outcome of the consultation and the subsequent revisions to the Noise Action Plan will likely shape the future of Brisbane’s flight paths and determine whether these changes will successfully alleviate the escalating concerns of affected residents.

Published 8-Aug-2023