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Courts, politics and unfortunate events

You’re most interested in court cases, Queensland politics, unfortunate mishaps, sports results and Bob Katter’s view on gay marriage.

That’s what the statistics tell us you clicked on most for 2012. Sometimes, it was a one-off story that attracted interest. Or in the case of our top-ranked issue of the year, it was a series of stories about the discovery of Allison Baden-Clay’s body, followed by police charges against husband Gerard Baden-Clay.

1: As the search for missing mother-of-three Allison Baden-Clay entered its 11th day in April, a canoeist reported to police at 11am the discovery of a woman’s body in a creek at Anstead.

Soon after, the woman’s husband and well-known business identity in Brisbane’s west, Gerard Baden-Clay, was charged with murder. He remains in prison awaiting trial.

2: On March 24, Queenslanders voted the Campbell Newman-led coalition into power. It was the most resounding victory in the state’s political history.

As Anna Bligh departed, the newly-instated LNP embarked on cost-cutting which would lead to thousands of public service jobs being axed. The year that was in politics.


3: In one of the more unusual court cases of the year, in January a mother of four who subjected her 11-year-old daughter to a “bizarre sex education” was jailed for four years.

The judge in the Sunshine Coast case said the mother, 37, had deprived her daughter of the right to “a wholesome and loving relationship with her mother”.

4: In March, the Surf Life Saving community mourned the loss of a “great kid”; teenager Matthew Barclay, from Maroochydore, who was killed during the organisation’s national championships at the Gold Coast.

More than 200 lifesavers joined the frantic search for Matthew, whose body was found 1.5km from where he was competing at Kurrawa Beach. The championships resumed, but at a different beach.

5: Family Court matters rarely make their way into the news, but this one certainly piqued public interest. It took Justice Colin Forrest six days to consider judgement that four sisters should be returned to Italy to live with their father.

The mother’s plea to have her daughters stay with her in Australia became international news and was charged with emotion.

6: In what was supposed to be a massive celebration for school leavers at the Gold Coast, Ashgrove teenager Isabelle Colman, 17, fell to her death from the balcony of her holiday apartment.

The tragedy left school friends struggling to come to terms with the death of their peer, and wanting nothing more than to return home.

7: In March, Bob Katter ramped up his party’s election campaign with an anti-gay television advertisement. It drew widespread criticism from many, including his gay half-brother Carl.

Bob said he respected Carl’s decision to speak out against the ad. Bob said: “I admire his candour, his forthrightness in coming forward. I haven’t had a lot to do with him down through the years, but I admire him for that.”

8: In February, Churchie teacher Jason Lees, aged 40, jumped to his death from the Story Bridge, holding his two-year-old son, Brad. It was a suspected murder-suicide.

The Churchie school community, family and friends mourned the loss of the popular teacher who was looking after a Year 6 class. He was also a respected rugby coach and referee.

9: In a bizarre twist, three Japanese tourists in March came unstuck on their Aussie holiday when they abandoned their hire car in Moreton Bay.

It was low tide, and the GPS navigation system was directing them on a drive from Oyster Point at Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island.

10: Logan Councillor Hajnal Black – after seven days on the run from police – contested the April local government elections.

She didn’t make it onto the council, but she left some bitter quotes about how she feels the Bligh government treated her: “I’ll face my voters. I’ll face my electorate, I’m going to be frank ... because if it’s happened to me, it’s going to happen to them.”

In other most-clicked articles, sports results were extremely popular, as was the home page and "Queensland" news page.

See who we think will make the news next year.