Defying Expectations: How A 20-Year-Old Purchased His Own Home at Covella Greenbank

At just 20 years old, Jonah Blackburn has accomplished a feat that many of his peers can only dream of – he’s a homeowner. Blackburn recently purchased a block at the new Covella Greenbank housing development, a remarkable achievement for someone so young.


Read: Townhouses with Brookwater Golf Course Access Green-Lit in Springfield


The path to homeownership wasn’t an easy one for Blackburn. He was initially turned down when trying to purchase an existing home, a common roadblock for first-time buyers. But Blackburn was undeterred, and he set his sights high by breaking into the property market at a young age.

A key factor in Blackburn’s success was taking advantage of the First Home Buyers Grant. Blackburn explained that when you purchase a house outright, as soon as you do the deal and deposit, the government injects $30,000 into your loan. He noted that this money is not deducted from the buying power, but rather paid at the slab stage.

Greenbank
Jonah Blackburn and his partner (Photo credit: covella.avid.com.au)

Blackburn is now looking forward to building and moving into his new home with his partner. But the journey hasn’t been without sacrifice. Blackburn explained that he hasn’t done anything overly smart or majorly different, he’s just worked a lot more than most of his peers, even having three jobs at one stage.

covella Greenbank
Photo credit: Covella Greenbank/Google Maps

Blackburn shared most people only need around $30,000. However, he saved a bit more than that, recognising that there are often additional expenses beyond just the deposit. 

He noted that there are usually extra costs involved, such as stamp duty on the land and various registration fees, so it’s prudent to have a slightly larger savings cushion to cover those additional outlays.

covella Greenbank
Photo credit: Covella Greenbank/Google Maps

A spokesperson for AVID Property Group, which is behind Covella, stated that buyer inquiry remains strong at the development, with first-time home buyers making up 50 percent of the inquiries.

It’s revealed first-time home buyers at Covella Greenbank are not only seeking affordability, but also a community with access to transportation, green open spaces, and lifestyle amenities such as shopping and dining options.

The first home owner grant provides eligible first-time home buyers in Queensland with either $15,000 or $30,000 to put towards the purchase or construction of a new home.


Read: Flowers and Coffee Abound at Greenbank’s Adored O’NO Cafe


Blackburn’s story serves as an inspiration to other young people who may be daunted by the prospect of homeownership. By being disciplined with his spending, working tirelessly, and taking advantage of government programs, Blackburn has proven that it is possible to break into the property market at a young age.

Published 16-April-2024

Uncovering a Hazard: Asbestos Found in Springfield School, Greenbank Dog Park

A recent asbestos contamination issue from NuGrow’s compromised compost in Ipswich, one of Queensland’s major disposal and recycling entities, has unsettled locals who frequent the Everleigh Dog Park in Greenbank and the Spring Mountain State School community in Springfield.



The discovery has prompted immediate responses from local authorities, leading to the closure of Everleigh Dog Park and the isolation of a recently completed construction site at Spring Mountain State School. 

Although the affected area at the school, lying beneath a layer of mulch, is inaccessible to the public or students, the situation has raised significant concerns.

Proactive Measures and Community Safety

In light of these findings, Queensland’s environmental authority and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have embarked on a mission to ensure public safety through rigorous testing and containment strategies. Asbestos detection, even in small amounts, has necessitated a “very precautionary approach,” intending to maintain transparency and protect community health.

The impact on Greenbank and Springfield underscores a broader crisis, as Queensland grapples with the fallout of contaminated compost that has also affected areas in New South Wales. 

With 16 businesses and public spaces potentially exposed to the hazardous material, authorities have halted the movement of NuGrow’s soil products and initiated comprehensive testing across the southeast and beyond.

Reflection: A Call for Vigilance

The situation in Greenbank and Springfield is a wake-up call, urging a reevaluation of environmental safety and waste management standards. As investigations continue, the emphasis remains on minimising risk, reinforcing safety protocols, and ensuring such incidents do not recur, protecting Queensland’s communities and their cherished environments.

Asbestos
Photo Credit: Alpha/Flickr

“A proactive audit program of Queensland companies that manufacture and supply landscaping products has detected a small amount of asbestos in a stockpile of soil at a business, NuGrow in Ipswich,” Workplace Health and Safety Queensland issued in a statement.

“Given the low level of contamination found in the test sample, Queensland Health has advised that there is minimal risk to public health and safety at this time.

“The fact that this product is for use outdoors also reduces the risk to public health and safety.”

Phone 1300 130 372 for concerns and further information. 



Flowers and Coffee Abound at Greenbank’s Adored O’NO Cafe

Do you love flowers, coffee, and that feeling of being a regular at a neighbourhood gem? If so, O’NO Cafe and Flowers in Greenbank is for you.


Read: How Two Sisters, Founders of Injex Springfield Lakes, Built a Thriving Cosmetic Empire in Brisbane


This charming shop at the Greenbank Shopping Centre breathes new life into the suburb’s cafe scene. Best friends and longtime locals Vito and Daniel opened O’NO in early 2023, finally making their dream of owning a warm, welcoming business come true.

After over 20 years building community ties here, their passion for service shines through. O’NO maintains a hyper-local vibe where everyone feels included. Come in for specialty coffee, pastries, unique floral arrangements, gift items, and most of all – that feeling of home.

Vito and Daniel, owners of the cafe (Photo credit: O’NO Cafe and Flowers/Instagram)

Vito brings immense retail experience to managing daily operations and is naturally enthusiastic about food, coffee, and pleasing customers. Daniel oversees customer service with bubbly energy and an eye for quality coffee and team leadership.

Photo credit: O’NO Cafe and Flowers/Google Maps

Together, their know-how and vision breathe new life into the cafe. Though a rebrand of the coffee shop at the Pub Lane Shopping Village on the corner of Teviot Road and Pub Lane, O’NO maintains a hyper-local vibe as a neighbourhood go-to.

Photo credit: Vickie Robinson/Google Maps

Patrons can enjoy cafe favourites like milkshakes and ask about the “bean of the month” specialty coffee. Besides flowers, gift items are also available in the shop. House cookies, scones, and breads are perfect for an afternoon treat or breakfast on the go.


Read: Springfield Grande Shopping Hub Soon to Rise in Springfield Lakes


Beyond quality drinks, food, and florals, O’NO provides an inclusive space where locals and visitors alike feel at home. Vito and Dan’s vision shines through in the genuine welcome they extend to all who stop by. It’s this hospitable spirit that makes O’NO a cherished addition to Greenbank.

Follow them on Instagram @onocafenflowers for updates.

Published 10-January-2024 

Greenbank Resident Deals with 2nd Home Loss in Sudden Storm Deluge

A Greenbank resident woke up to disaster when her home was inundated by 131 mm of rain in a matter of hours. Maria Noutsatos described the deluge as a “tsunami” of floodwater and debris that wreaked havoc on her property, leaving her family stunned and overwhelmed.



A Painful Déjà Vu

On 9 Jan 2024, Ms Noutsatos shared heart-wrenching footage of the catastrophe on her social media, capturing the sheer force of nature that struck her home. The day began with heavy rainfall that quickly escalated into a torrential downpour. As she was preparing to leave for work, Noutsatos heard “loud bangs” and witnessed the overwhelming floodwater surging through her shed and house in Greenbank.

“The water has come through the entire property. It was literally like a tsunami hit it … it has never, ever come through here,” she said in the video. 

Tragically, this is not the first time that Ms Noutsatos and her husband, David Clarkson, have faced such devastation. In 2021, they lost their home due to floods and water inundation from the roof. However, Ms Noutsatos emphasised that the volume of water they witnessed on Tuesday was unlike anything they had previously encountered.

No Time for Rescue

Ms Noutsatos was visibly emotional as she assessed the damage, expressing concern for her pets. As Mr Clarkson attempted to reach the property, he encountered a formidable blockade of gushing water on the main road leading to Greenbank.

The calamity in Greenbank was part of a slow-moving storm system that unleashed intense rain over parts of South East Queensland on Tuesday. Just 10 minutes away from Ms Noutsatos’ residence, Springfield Lakes recorded a staggering 131mm of rain in three hours.

Ms Noutsatos and her husband, who had been living in a caravan since the previous flood, had recently completed building a living area in their shed last month. They expressed their preparedness this time, having undertaken extensive work to enhance drainage and water diversion on their property. However,  Ms Noutsatos remained pragmatic about the road to recovery. 

“We didn’t have contents insurance the first time … insurance told us if they were to rebuild our house, they wouldn’t finish for 18 months to two years,” she said.

Rising Insurance Costs

The harrowing experience in Greenbank mirrors a broader trend of rising insurance costs for disaster-prone areas. Recent reports indicate that some residents in these regions are facing exorbitant premium hikes, with increases as high as 500 per cent compared to the previous year.



Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers weighed in on the issue, urging insurance companies to act responsibly and support disaster victims rather than complicating their already dire circumstances. He emphasised the collective responsibility of governments, corporations, and communities to assist those affected by natural disasters.

Published 10-Jan-2024

Police Identify Man Killed In Greenbank Dog Attack

Police investigation is currently underway after a man was mauled to death by dogs in a property at Greenbank in Logan.


Read: Australia’s Largest Animal Genomics Lab to Be Established in Ipswich


The man was identified as Kane Minion, 42 years old, a meter reader for Energex. This was confirmed by a spokesperson from the company.

The incident happened at around 10:47 a.m on 3 December 2022, whilst Minion was reportedly doing his job inspecting electricity meters outside the said property. Officers were called to a property off Ison Road and found Minion unconscious.

Photo credit: Kane Minion/Facebook

Despite the efforts of paramedics, he died at the scene due to the injuries he sustained. 

Homeowners were not around when the incident happened, though the gate flashed a warning sign that reads “Guard dogs on duty. Do not enter.”

Authorities found three dogs on the Greenbank site, including a Rhodesian Ridgeback cross and a Bullmastiff cross, which were already taken by animal control officers from the local council. Reports indicate that the dogs were already euthanized.

Moments after news broke of Minion’s death, social media was inundated with messages of grief and condolences. There were also concerned individuals who gave their two cents regarding keeping certain breeds as guard dogs.

Photo credit: Alexas Fotos/Pexels

“I think it’s time for the Logan Council to review the breeds of dogs it deems acceptable. Not just for metre reader’s safety but the general community. The origins of these breeds may make them great guard dogs but not good neighbours,” one Facebook user commented.

“Dangerous breeds should be banned for sale and forced to be restrained even at home if metre readers or charity door knockers are put at risk. People who want vicious animals are the problem,” another one said.


Read: No Poison in Animal Tongues Found at Pebbles Park in Ecco Ripley


Meanwhile, Work Safe Australia, an organisation which aims to reduce workplace harm and improve outcomes for injured workers, will also run a parallel investigation with the police.

National Stroke Week: Greenbank Dad Shares Recovery Journey and Message to Act FAST

Do you know how to spot the most common signs of stroke? In observance of National Stroke Week, here’s a reminder that acting fast can be critical to saving someone’s life. A stroke can happen at any time and at any age, as in the case of Shaun Bickley, 38, from Greenbank. 



Shaun, a fairly young man who embraces a healthy lifestyle, experienced severe headaches overnight and woke up losing his sight in one eye. He and his wife, Lauren Bickley, went to the hospital for some tests and that’s where Shaun had a stroke and lost all of his eyesight completely.

As stroke affects the brain — the human control centre for thoughts, feelings and movements — Shaun lost his ability to speak and became paralysed on one side of his body. 


Highlights

  • Stroke can happen to anyone at any age, as in the case of Shaun Bickley, a healthy dad at 38.
  • Acting F.A.S.T. can make a difference in a stroke victim’s recovery.
  • Raising awareness on F. A. S. T. is in observance of National Stroke Week from 2 to 8 Aug 2021.

“I was warned to brace for the worst, which is heart-breaking,” Lauren said. “Thankfully, Shaun pulled through.”

It took the Greenbank local six weeks of rehabilitation to regain his function to walk and speak. Whilst Lauren thought her husband was doing better, Shaun suffered another stroke. However, with the help of Lauren and the medical workers, his determination to get better brought great gains to his recovery.

Photo Credit: Supplied

In 2020, more than 5,300 suffered from stroke for the first time in Queensland. There are an estimated 87,000 stroke survivors in the community. 

Stroke Foundation Queensland State Manager Andrea Sanders said that when a stroke happens to an individual, the family and people close to that person feels the impact. 



With the theme “United by Stroke” for National Stroke Week from 2 to 8 Aug 2021, the couple wants to thank the healthcare professionals who have crucial roles in the patient’s recovery from stroke: from the person who takes the 000 calls, to the paramedics, surgeons, and allied health professionals. 

“Those actions unite people along the stroke journey and improve the chance of survival and recovery. Getting that urgent medical attention is so critical, which is why we want everyone to learn the F.A.S.T message,” Ms Sanders said.  

Photo Credit: Supplied

To recognise the most common signs of stroke, remember to act F. A. S. T. (Face Arms Speech Time): 

  • Face –  Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time is critical – If you see any of these signs call triple zero (000) straight away

Learn the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke from Stroke Foundation on Vimeo.

State Government Sets New Primary School in Greenbank, Opens January 2022

Work on a new primary school will soon kick off in North Maclean (Greenbank) following the awarding of the contract to the builder, FK Gardner & Sons Pty Ltd. 

Education Minister Grace Grace confirmed that the tradies will “hit the ground running” by early 2021 and complete the school building in time for the January 2022 opening. 

The  $73 million Greenbank school is one of three projects that received funding from the State Government, along with a new primary school in Caloundra South and a special needs school in Coomera.



“More than $198 million (GST inclusive) has been invested into building Stage One of the schools, supporting a combined total of 600 construction jobs,” Ms Grace said. “These schools will not only provide students with a world-class education but construction will ensure local tradies can continue to work as we recover from COVID-19.” 

Ms Grace posted on Facebook that the projects will ensure 600 local jobs for the first stage. 

Photo Credit: Grace Grace MP/Facebook

The new school’s location is at the Ivory Parkway where a housing development for Mirvac’s Everleigh is ongoing.

“Stage 1 of the new school will include an admin block, library, multi-purpose hall, prep and junior learning areas, amenities, canteen and covered areas,” the minister added.



“As a proud Queensland and family-owned construction and engineering business, we are very pleased to be awarded the contracts,” FKG Group Managing Director Nick Gardner said. “Adding these projects to our pipeline is great news and gives us the chance to create further opportunities for local subcontractors and to support our local communities.”

Urban Pantry To Remain Open For Great Takeaway Food

Well-known for its tasty burgers, good brews and delicious menu line-up, Urban Pantry continues to rise to the occasion, despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The Greenbank eatery is committed to remaining open for customers who are staying or working from home who still want to keep eating delicious, homemade meals without the need to prepare it themselves. 

The tiny cafe announced that it will keep serving takeaways despite adjusting its trading hours. 

We are open…We will be trading as long as we are allowed…To allow us to do so we have Social Distancing Measures…

Posted by Urban Pantry on Saturday, March 28, 2020

“We will also be taking extra precautions to make sure that everything is sanitized and as clean as possible,” the store owners said on Facebook

“If you have any concerns about waiting for your food please phone ahead and we will give you the best approximate wait time that we can. If you chose to come in and order and wish to wait in your car please let the staff member know when placing your order and advise make and colour of your vehicle…we will run it out to you.” 

Photo Credit: Urban Pantry/Facebook


Take note of the Urban Pantry’s store hours during this indefinite period:

Monday 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Tuesday to Friday5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The store can prepare dim sums, pulled pork sandwiches, and various combination meals or family bites for group takeways. Please phone 3462 9065 ahead of time to make arrangements for your orders and the pick-up:

Photo Credit: Urban Pantry/Facebook


Urban Pantry used to be in Ipswich but has since moved to Greenbank in late 2019. 

“Great food, the pulled beef loaded fries was to die for and the service and hospitality was awesome”

Marie Longworth, Facebook 

“Awesome fresh made food exactly how you like it.. friendly staff who go the extra mile to give you the best service possible.”

Neil Briscoe, Google Reviews

Greenbank Among Suburbs with Highest Percentage of Households with Rooftop Solar Installations

The recently released Climate Council report has ranked Greenbank in Logan among the top Queensland suburbs for percentage of households with rooftop solar installations.

The Climate Council report released 7 August 2019 underscored how Queensland is leading the way in terms of rooftop solar installations, as Australia continues to embrace  renewable sources of energy, demonstrated by the soaring number of households with rooftop solar.

The Report stated that Queensland remains to be a leader in rooftop solar where 25 out of 34 Australian suburbs and towns with more than half of dwellings have rooftop solar installations, are Qld suburbs. 

Australian PV Institute reports that one third of all households in Qld have installed solar PV — almost 600,000 rooftop solar households, according to Clean Energy Regulator — outnumbering all other Australian states and territories. 

The Logan suburbs Greenbank, Boronia Heights, Lyons, and New Beith are collectively ranked 10th among the top Qld suburbs in terms of rooftop solar installations, with a total of 3,728 or 56.1 percent of total dwellings.

RankingPost CodeSuburb / TownRegionRooftop solar installations% of dwellings with rooftop solars*
14516ElimbahMoreton Bay92370.6%
24280Jimboomba, South and North MacleanLogan City3,47960.9 %
34270TamborineLogan City/Scenic Rim84659.6%
44553Diamond Valley, Mooloolah Valley, Glenview, PalmviewSunshine Coast1,27959.1%
54520Samford Valley, Cedar Creek, Enoggera ReservoirMoreton Bay2,06257.1%
64512Wamura, BracalbaMoreton Bay70656.7%
4156Burbank, MacKenzieSoutheast Brisbane58256.5%
84561Yandina, Maroochy River, North Arm, Yandina CreekSunshine  Coast1,52656.4%
94228Tallebudgera, Tallebudgera ValleyGold Coast96056.4%
104124Boronia Heights, Greenbank, Lyons, New BeithLogan City3,72856.1%
*excluding postcode with under 1,000 dwellings
Source: APVI 2019 / Climate Council of Australia Ltd 2019

In the decade of 2007 to 2016, Queensland incurred a total of  $11 billion yearly in economic cost due to extreme weather events such as heat waves and coastal flooding, making Qld the most vulnerable Australian state to climate change.

“The sun-drenched state of Queensland is making the most of an abundant natural resource.  Powering your house with the sun rather than fossil fuels is an incredibly powerful step in tackling climate change,” said the Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie.