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QLD Digital Licence Now Available | eScooter Accidents Surge Involving Children | GPs Raise Prices For Third Time In 2023 | Live QLD Fire Tracker and more!
Today’s newsletter is 1503 words: 5.5 minute read.
Happy Thursday, November 2!
🚨GC Community Alert: It’s going to be a hot and smoky summer, so stay fire-aware with this live QLD Fire and Emergency Services Active Incident Tracker
In today’s email
eBikes and eScooter Speeding: A surge in accidents involving children
Doctors To Increase Fees For the Third Time In 2023: And what the government is trying to do to help
NSW Beats QLD Regions: For the title of being the most desirable location for metropolitan movers
Trending: The QLD Digital Drivers Licence is finally here!
Around The Web (Snippets): A $20 100-point Shiraz, new pickleball courts, a monster underwater vortex and more!
Live Gold Coast Housing Price Index
1. One Big Thing: e-Scooter and eBike Accidents Involving Children Surge
eBikes, eScooters, eSkateboards, and yep, eUnicycles…, aka Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), have all been steadily increasing in popularity over the last few years.
Following Lime introducing the first e-bike ride-share scheme in December 2020, it soon attracted 100,000 registrants willing to jump on, let alone the thousands that opted to purchase their PMDs directly.
Statistics released from Queensland's Injury Surveillance Unit have now shown a six-fold increase over the past three and a half years in the number of children presenting at the state's emergency departments with serious injuries relating to PMD use.
The Rules of The Road
One year after Lime appeared on the Gold Coast, the Council issued the Road Safety Plan 2021-2026.
It had its sights on reductions in road-related fatalities and injuries through education and enforcement.
Along with light rail and cycling, the council had the foresight to set the rules for personal mobility devices PMDs, although a mere three years later, they are being updated and with good reason.
Local GC Rules for PMDs:
Riders must be 16 years of age, 12-15 years old, must have adult supervision and those 11 and under are not legally allowed to ride PMDs - $154 fine for non-compliance
You can only depend on paths, bike lanes and roads; ALL RULES OF THE ROAD APPLY
Do not ride beyond ‘personal mobility devices prohibited signs.’
Land and property owners and local councils may also designate areas where riding is prohibited.
Helmets are a required
Using a mobile phone while riding is prohibited
Whether your PMD is shared through a company or personally owned, it must have:
An effective stopping system in good repair and working order
A working bell horn or other warning device
A white light when riding at night on the front
A red light on the back when riding at night
A red reflector that is visible from at least 50m
Queensland is laser-focused on keeping laws updated and using the power of police-issued fines for better compliance.
Fines that Queensland police will issue:
Speeding - could rake in up to $619 to the state coffers
No Helmet - Pay $154
Using a phone while cruising on a PMD, cough up a $1161 fine
Doubling up will cost you a fine of $154
Riding on a prohibited road – it will cost you $185
Here is a more extensive list of fines for PMD riders in Queensland.
PMDs Driving Hospital Admissions
An ABC story just back on September 25 was aimed at parents with a headline that reads, “Parents urged to change mindset on e-scooters as accidents involving children surge”, with data showing that, in the past 12 months, 88 children were treated for head, neck and limb injuries as a result of falls and crashes on e-scooters, e-bikes and e-skateboards.”
New questions are arising about liability insurance and coverage for those injured by privately owned and ride-share PMDs.
What To Look For Next
Increased fines, holding retailers legally responsible for selling underage, educational campaigns, and device registrations are all likely points that may get raised.
But one sure thing is with so many incidents increasing at such a fast rate; more needs to be done to bring some sort of order to PMD usage.
2. Triple Trouble - The Third Price Rise By GPs This Year
From today, non-bulk-billed GP fees are set for a rise (which pretty much feels like every GP these days..), marking the third recommendation by the AMA this year.
AMA suggests a fee increase for the third time in 2021.
New rates align with rising operational costs.
Not all clinics will have uniform rates; AMA's fee list serves as a guide.
Why It Matters
These price hikes underscore the financial pressures faced by medical practices amidst escalating operational expenses.
By The Numbers
AMA's new suggested fee for a Level B (Item 23) consultation: $102 (previously $98).
Current Medicare patient rebate for a Level B consultation: $41.40 (an increase of 20 cents from before).
Gap fee (difference between AMA's recommended fee and Medicare rebate) for patients: $60.60.
AMA's Fee List Update
An overall increase in all items on the AMA's Fees List: 4.57%.
Bulk-Billing Incentives (Federal Government)
Bulk-billing incentives for GPs tripled as part of a $3.5 billion package to benefit specific groups only:
Children under 16 years.
Patients with a Commonwealth concession card.
GPs who bulk-bill an eligible patient in metropolitan areas: New incentive of $20.65 (previously $6.85).
In very remote areas, the incentive for a standard consultation: $39.65 (up from $13.15).
The Big Picture
With these price hikes and contributions, the question arises: Is the government's targeted financial aid sufficient, perhaps a bit too targeted?
What the People Say
"Sharp increases in business costs have affected us too," reveals Dr McMullen of the AMA, emphasising the need to reassess costs to sustain top-notch medical care.
What To Look For Next
With a federal initiative aimed at aiding Australians with escalating GP costs, watch how these changes play out for both doctors and patients, especially in the light of increased bulk-billing incentives.
In short, here’s hoping a lot more doctors bring back bulk billing to make healthcare in Australia great again for all.
3. NSW dethrones QLD regions
Regional NSW has emerged as metro movers’ prime pick, dethroning Queensland’s regional areas according to the September 2023 quarter Regional Movers Index (RMI)
Why It Matters
With Sydney residents leading the regional migration, Gold Coast and other local economies are set to experience shifts in dynamics with a new competitor drawing what would otherwise be some new locals.
The latest RMI shows two in five people (39%) moving from cities, in net terms, headed to regional New South Wales in the 12 months to September 2023, up from 26% in the previous 12-month period.
NSW areas are buzzing: Snowy Valleys saw a 200% quarterly growth in migration.
Yet, it's not alone: Greater Hume Shire, Ballina, and Lake Macquarie also made the popular list.
The Big Picture
This isn't a pandemic blip.
City-to-regions migration now stands 11.7% above pre-Covid levels, heralding lasting changes in Australian living choices.
What the People Say
Liz Ritchie, RAI CEO: “The exodus from capital cities to regions is not short-lived. It's here to stay.”
Paul Fowler, CBA Exec: "Regional centres provide lifestyle benefits, affordability, and community connections."
What To Look For Next
With regions like the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast staying in vogue and NSW regions rising, anticipate a continually evolving Australian migration map, probably for the better.
In March of this year, The Gold Coast Minute covered the QLD digital licence coming soon…
Well, they’re finally here!
Check it out and download it below👇
5. Around Web (Snippets)
A 100-Point Perfect $20 Red Wine: Was just awarded to Aussue wine legends Taylors
BE Connected Gold Coast Celebrated: The City’s industry leaders and innovators at HOTA
A Monster 100-300km Wide Underwater Vortex: Called an ‘eddy’ is spinning into existence just off of Sydney
QLD Drivers Fined $87m: Amid a new road safety strategy, the equivalent of $909,000 per day or $10.50 every single second
New Local Pickleball Courts: A being built up in Pimpama
Qantas Launches Perth To Paris: Flights for the 2024 Paris Olympics
Div 6 | Southport | Cr Brooke Patterson
Div 11 | Robina and Varsity | Cr Hermann Vorster
Asia Pacific Screen Forum: November 1-4, local filmmakers, APSA Award nominees and international delegates will connect through networking events
Bollywood Film Festival: November 2-5 at Dendy Cinemas Southport to help celebrate the lead-up to Diwali
Veteran Health, Wellbeing and Support Expo: November 3, with over 35 exhibitors at the Currumbin Palm Beach RSL
Gold Coast Family Fun Day: November 4, a multicultural carnival with a multi-ethnic flavour that promises a day full of fun activities for all ages
GCs Military Museum Open Day: November 5 at the Southport Military Museum
Melbourne Cup at Aquis Park: November 7, From heart-pounding entertainment to first-class hospitality and more
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