Anti-abortion campaigner appealing marijuana sentence

A FATHER of nine children who planted one of Australia's largest marijuana crops is today appealing his 13-year jail sentence.

Michael Bennett Gardner Snr was the central figure in a large-scale "sophisticated and elaborate commercial venture" on a remote former sheep property at Inglewood, from mid-2004 until December, 2008.

The 58-year-old organised family to buy the 2225-hectare property because it had prime grazing land at the front which would "mask the illegal actions" in rocky gullies in the mountainous region behind.

Gardner was producing marijuana in eight fields ranging from 10m long by 15m wide to 30m by 300m.

All but half of one field had been harvested when police arrested him in 2008.

Police still found 22,000 plants and 3.59 tonnes of harvested dried marijuana.

The black market value of what was left amounted to almost $70 million.

Gardner, who had already served 1023 days in custody when he was sentenced in June, was ordered to serve at least 80% of his sentence.

He is expected to represent himself when he appeals the sentence in the Court of Appeal in Brisbane today.

Gardner called Justice Roslyn Atkinson a "tyrant" after she handed down the 13-year jail sentence in June.

He claimed he grew the crops because he wanted to fund a nationwide media campaign against abortion.

Topics:  abortion inglewood marijuana

Council begins consultation over skate park development

The Fraser Coast Regional Council has begun community consultation with local youth groups on the expansion of the Maryborough Skate Park facility in Anzac Park.

The council held an onsite meeting with a number of young people

Torbanlea races go back to basics of 'great country day'

READY TO RACE: Eighteen-year-old Tayla Draper with stock horse Steady Neddy.

The races have been a staple of the town since the early 1970s.

Ability Awards make Fraser Coast 'an inclusive community'

Karen Burton and daughter Sez came runner-up for Young Community Spirit Award and Trish Freyer and Mark Elisala with the runner-up Sports & Recreation Award.

All the winners from the Fraser Coast All Abilities Awards.

Local Partners

Library to air next classic film series at free event

FRASER Coast Libraries will screen An American In Paris as part of the next series of their classic film series.

Something for young and old at annual antique fair

Hervey Bay Antiques and Collectables Fair, PCYC - Kaitlyn and Charlotte Smith enjoyed looking over the jewellery on the Magpies Collectables stall.
Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The Fraser Coast Antique Fair is on again

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Veteran photographer's work on show at gallery

Fraser Coast Chronicle chief photographer Alistair Brightman's photographic exhibition at Hervey Bay Regional Art Gallery is on now. It's called 20twenty20 Vision - Views & News.

"In my free time I do a lot of landscape and nature photography."

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge