Virtual tour reveals more of Nature Based Play Space

Burdekin Shire Council is preparing to open tenders for the construction of North Queensland’s first Nature Based Play Space at Plantation Park.

Councillors were led on a 3D virtual tour last week of the play space design, which draws on natural materials such as rocks, sand and trees in the place of commercial playground equipment, creating unique opportunities for play, exercise and socialisation.

Council has allocated $469,000 in its 2017/18 Budget to develop the first stage of the Nature Based Play Space thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program. Construction will be completed before Christmas.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the project was based on Melbourne’s award-winning Royal Park, but on a smaller scale.

The idea comes after Council called on residents to share their vision for future uses of Plantation Park in a survey last year.

Cr McLaughlin said many people suggested playground equipment be provided in the area.

“The nature-based concept for the site is in keeping with the natural bush setting at Plantation Park and will be unique for North Queensland,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The benefits of children’s contact with nature are many, from connecting with the natural world around them to encouraging outdoor play and physical activity.

“Some of the highlights of Stage One include a timber climbing wall, sandy creek bed with fossil digs, swings, a rope balance bridge and net, a forked log climb and a seating circle with large rocks and timber plank seats. The design also incorporates accessible pathways and imaginative play opportunities.

“The hero of the development will be a proposed multi-level fortress with hiding nooks, rock and rope climbs and an elevated viewing area.

“There are elements of controlled risk and physical challenges for children built into the design, which are key to children’s physical and cognitive development as they grow and learn to navigate the world around them.”

An additional $165,000 will be spent on sealing roads and creating more car parks at Plantation Park in the area around the nature playground.

Burdekin Shire Council Operations Manager Wayne Saldumbide said stage one was aimed at constructing most of the hard infrastructure for the play space, while stage two would focus on artistic finishes, with the involvement of local artists.

“It’s not your stock-standard playground,” Mr Saldumbide said.

“We’ve tried to stay away as much as we could from shiny, plastic equipment. Shade is provided by a rustic roofed structure rather than bright, colourful shade sails.

“The feedback from the community reference group is that their vision for this project has been met very well.”

Burdekin Shire Council rates notices in the post

Burdekin Shire Council rates notices will hit mailboxes next week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said there were a number of options for residents to pay their rates this year, including BPay, in person at the Council Chambers or Australia Post, or by sending a cheque in the mail.

“BPay always tends to be popular because it’s one of the most convenient methods of payment through phone and internet banking,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“If people are interested in using BPay but aren’t sure how to get started, I encourage them to speak to their banks about how they might be able to help set this up.”

This year, Council has increased its pensioner rebate to $358. Cr McLaughlin said pensioners may also be eligible for the State Government pensioner subsidy of $200 and a 20 percent discount on their State Government Emergency Management Levy.

“Council has again increased its pensioner rebate to ease the financial burden on our pensioners and has flagged the intention to continue increasing the rebate over the next two years,” she said.

“Ratepayers will have until Monday 4 September to make payment.”

Cr McLaughlin said those struggling to find the full amount by the due date have the option of paying it off in instalments throughout the year.

“This option attracts an 11 per cent interest charge. The interest owing on any overdue balance is compounded on a daily basis, so by paying small amounts off regularly, residents can minimise their charges,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Some residents have been making regular payments in advance and will open their rates bill up next week to find an opening credit. It goes to show that by planning ahead, people can avoid the burden of having to pay a big lump sum all at once – a great position to be in.

“Ever increasing numbers of residents are taking this opportunity to make regular payments throughout the year.”

For further information please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

Temporary Road Closure – Mackenzie Street

A temporary road closure will be in place in Mackenzie Street from the Wickham Street intersection, commencing at 9.00am to 12noon on Monday 31st July, 2017 and on Tuesday 1st August, 2017 for the hosting of the Ayr Community Kindergarten Road and Bike Safety Program.

For further information please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

QantasLink calls for ‘My Town’ video competition entries

QantasLink Spirit magazine has launched a competition to find Australia’s favourite towns in a campaign to showcase the best of regional Australia.

The ‘My Town’ competition invites applicants to submit a short video highlighting why their town is the best place in Australia to visit.

Judges are looking for creative and original entries that showcase the places and the people that are the lifeblood of their nominated town and why it belongs on every traveller’s bucket list.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the carrier was proud to play a role in encouraging travellers to discover more of Australia.

“The My Town video competition is a great opportunity to put more of Australia’s less-travelled regional destinations on the map,” said Mr Gissing.

“We know many travellers make their plans based on the stories they read and the recommendations of others.

“By inspiring our massive inflight and online audiences from across the country and around the world to spend more time exploring our extensive regional network, we’re also continuing to drive tourism vital to the local economies of towns and regional areas.”

An expert panel will judge the competition with finalists’ videos featured across Qantas’ social channels, highlighting and promoting those towns to an audience of millions.

In addition, Spirit magazine will fly a production team to the winning town to film a professional video, showcasing what the town has to offer travellers. The video will be showcased on Qantas’ Travel Insider website and social channels, in Qantas lounges and available to view inflight.

The winning town, two runners-up and a People’s Choice winner will also be highlighted in a professionally photographed feature story in the November/December issue of Spirit magazine. To support tourism in the winning region, Spirit magazine will make the professional video and images available to the town for its own marketing purposes.

The maker of the winning video will also win 100,000 Qantas Points and three nights’ accommodation in Uluru for two people, staying at Ayers Rock Resort’s five-star Sails in the Desert hotel, including daily activities.

The competition closes on 2 September, 2017. For more information, please visit  http://travelinsider.qantas.com.au/mytownspirit

Community tree planting event shines spotlight on the environment

Burdekin residents will join forces to plant up to 300 native trees this weekend as part of Australia’s largest tree planting and nature care event.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said this Sunday 30 July was National Tree Day and to mark the occasion, residents were invited to a community tree planting celebration at Morrat’s Pit on Beach Road.

“We’re going to plant 300 trees and add to the great work that’s already been completed at Morrat’s Pit by Lower Burdekin Landcare Association to improve the site’s habitation and ecological qualities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council is hosting this event in conjunction with Landcare to raise awareness of the local environment and to encourage our residents to play an active role in its care.”

Gloves, tools, equipment for planting and drinking water will be provided on the day but participants will need to bring covered shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. A long sleeved shirt and pants are recommended but not compulsory.

Cr McLaughlin said those who participated would be rewarded with a free barbecue lunch and refreshments following the tree planting event.

Lower Burdekin Landcare Chairman Keith Kiloh said National Tree Day was an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the environment.

“If we can get more people involved in supporting the environment and every individual is doing their little bit to help, I think that’s only to the benefit of everybody,” he said.

Sunday’s community tree planting event commences at Morrat’s Pit, on Beach Road, at 9am.

RSVP your attendance to Julie Kenniff by calling 0429 708408 or by email

For further information please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

Job Vacancy 17/28 – Rates Officer (Temporary)

Burdekin Shire Council is currently seeking applications for a Rates Officer. This is a temporary position for a period of up to 15 months.

The Position

The key responsibilities include:

  • Ongoing maintenance to ensure integrity of the property and land rating database for levying of rates and charges, property searches and rating system upgrades.
  • Generating and checking rate certificates prior to issue.
  • Assist with debt collection processes for collection of outstanding rates.
  • Assist with issue of annual, supplementary and half-yearly water consumption notices.
  • Assist with preparation of rate reports including rating statement, audit reports, two and five year rating comparison, comparative annual rates collection report.

The Person

The successful applicant will possess the following attributes at a minimum:

  • Demonstrated high level of administrative and financial experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn multiple new work procedures and adapt to changes in process, practice, and technology, while applying attention to detail and accuracy of work.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and prioritise own work to meet deadlines and achieve desired work outcomes.
  • Experience in Local Government property and rating systems, including knowledge and understanding of policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to a team that values a positive working environment, self-development and initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle private, confidential and sensitive information.

The applicable salary is to a ceiling of Level 3 ($66,826pa) with the commencing salary dependent upon the skills and experience of the successful applicant.

Application packages are available from the Human Resources Office on (07) 4783 9800 or you can download the application package using the following link.

Applications for 17/28 – Rates Officer (Temporary) should include:

  • A cover letter
  • A current resume
  • Statements addressing the selection criteria found in the Position Description

Applications can be submitted using one of the following methods:

Applications close on Wednesday, 9 August 2017 at 5.00pm. Word or PDF format is preferable.

For further information please contact Kim Olsen, Manager Financial and Administrative Services on (07) 4783 9800.

Job Vacancy 17/27 – Compliance Officer (Maternity Relief)

Burdekin Shire Council is currently seeking applications for a Compliance Officer. This is a maternity relief position for a period of up to 4 months.

The Position

The key responsibilities include:

  • Undertake compliance activities including inspections, patrols and investigations, to identify breaches of Council’s Local Laws and the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, including seizure and impounding of animals including livestock.
  • Undertake investigations into alleged dog attacks, aggressive /nuisance animals, breaches of conditions for regulated and/or restricted dogs.
  • Investigate customer requests and take enforcement action when necessary including issuing compliance notices, penalty infringement notices and obtaining warrants.
  • Gather and document evidence for further enforcement action, including interviewing alleged offenders and preparing statements; taking and storing photographic evidence and collection and storage of physical evidence.

The Person

The successful applicant will possess the following attributes at a minimum:

  • Sound written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in handing animals including dogs, cats and livestock.
  • Excellent customer service skills with the ability to work in high conflict area.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively in a team environment.
  • Basic computer skills with the ability to adapt to new computer technology.
  • Demonstrated understanding, or the ability to acquire understanding, in legislation enforcement.
  • Possession of a current Queensland “C” class drivers licence for manual vehicles.

The applicable salary is to a ceiling of Level 3 ($66,826pa) with the commencing salary dependent upon the skills and experience of the successful applicant.

Application packages are available from the Human Resources Office on (07) 4783 9800 or you can download the application package using the following link.

Applications for 17/27 – Compliance Officer (Temporary) should include:

  • A cover letter
  • A current resume
  • Statements addressing the selection criteria found in the Position Description

Applications can be submitted using one of the following methods:

Applications close on Monday, 14 August 2017 at 5.00pm. Word or PDF format is preferable.

For further information please contact Anne Christman – Technical Officer Environment and Health on (07) 4783 9800.

Job Vacancy 17/26 – Cadet Technical Officer – Design

Burdekin Shire Council is currently seeking applications for a Cadet Technical Officer – Design. The successful applicant will be required to undertake full time employment while completing an Associate Degree of Engineering (Civil) through the University of Southern Queensland.

The Position

The key responsibilities include:

  • Enrol in an Associate Degree of Engineering (Civil) and commit to studying for and obtaining this qualification. Apply this knowledge to the workplace.
  • Under general direction, undertake surveys, design, drafting, estimating, and compilation of specifications, job supervision, costing analysis and asset database maintenance.
  • Undertake projects as a technical project officer, including investigation, design, cost estimation, specification preparation, tender assessment and project implementation, as constructed recording and asset and maintenance management.
  • Participate in Council’s Flood Reporting Service including preparation of reports during times of floods.

The Person

The successful applicant will possess the following attributes at a minimum:

  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or equivalent, with a minimum achievement of a sound level in English and Mathematics A.
  • Demonstrated ability and time management skills to enable study towards the required tertiary degree while working full-time.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in school, sporting or community associations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment and take direction from qualified associates and management.
  • Experience in computer graphics and design.
  • Experience in basic construction activities.
  • Class C drivers licence.

The commencing salary is dependent upon age and experience with a minimum starting rate of $28,987 per annum.

Application packages are available from the Human Resources Office on (07) 4783 9800 or you can download the application package using the following link.

Applications for 17/26 – Cadet Technical Officer – Design should include:

  • A cover letter
  • A current resume
  • Statements addressing the selection criteria found in the Position Description

Applications can be submitted using one of the following methods:

Applications close on Friday, 18 August 2017 at 5.00pm. Word or PDF format is preferable.

For further information please contact Matthew Ingle, Design Office Manager on (07) 4783 9800

Burdekin calls to join underwater art discussions

Burdekin Shire Council is calling for the Burdekin to be considered for an underwater art attraction as part of the push to develop an underwater art museum off Townsville.

Acclaimed international artist Jason deCaires Taylor recently visited Townsville to investigate the possibility for a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Underwater Art Museum near the coast.

Four sculptures have been proposed at four separate sites off the Strand, Magnetic Island, Palm Island and at John Brewer Reef off the Hinchinbrook Shire coast.

Calling for the Burdekin to be considered as another possible location for a sculpture, Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the region was ideally placed for the opportunity.

“Yongala, off the coast of Alva Beach, is already listed as one of the top dive sites in the world,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The addition of an underwater sculpture off the Burdekin’s coast as part of the Underwater Art Museum would put the Burdekin firmly on the international map for dive tourism and encourage these visitors to stay even longer in our region.

“The City of Townsville, Hinchinbrook Shire and Palm Island Shire have all been earmarked as locations for the artworks.

“Let’s bring the Burdekin into the discussions and potentially create an underwater art trail within our region that we could all be part of.”

Cr McLaughlin said the work of Jason deCaires Taylor was renowned and had become a huge drawcard for visitors around the world.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Underwater Art Museum would be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

“He created the world’s first underwater museum off the coast of Grenada in 2006. That site is now listed by National Geographic as one of the Top 25 Wonders in the World,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Another of his projects, The Museo Subacuático de Arte off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, resulted in an increase of annual visitor numbers of almost 400,000.”

She said the sculptures would take over two years to construct and there would be opportunities for local artists to get involved as well as workshops for the public.

“There could also be opportunities for our indigenous groups to get involved with conservation of the site,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Tourism Operator and business owner Matt King, of Yongala Dive, said it would be a huge drawcard for visitors to come to the Burdekin and he would almost certainly be able to expand his business as a result.

“It would be so beneficial to our business but also to many other businesses,” he said.

A project team led by SeaLink Queensland, Reef Ecologic, Townsville City Council, Palm Island Shire Council, James Cook University and Townsville Enterprise have been working with the artist in recent months to develop the underwater museum project.

For further information please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

Pet owners encouraged to take advantage of 50% discount

Burdekin pet owners have just a few days left to pay their animal registration fees if they want to take advantage of the early bird discount period.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said residents who paid their registrations by Monday 31 July would only pay 50% of the normal fee, excluding regulated dog fees.

“Pet owners can make a significant saving by paying within the discount period so if residents haven’t done so already, I encourage them to get in now before time runs out,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Your registration fee could decrease even further if your pet is microchipped or desexed.

“Council plays an active role in promoting responsible pet ownership so there are a range of incentives for animal owners to take advantage of. For example, those registering new pets under the age of six months will pay a one-off fee of only $8.”

Cr McLaughlin said all dogs and cats were required to wear the registration tag provided by Council.

“Puppies and kittens must be registered from three months of age,” she said.

“Registration helps Council to return your pet if it gets out of its enclosure.

“It also promotes responsible pet ownership throughout the community, reduces the numbers of unwanted pets and provides important statistics to help Council provide appropriate management strategies and facilities.”

Registration renewal notices for 2017-2018 were posted on July 4.

If you haven’t received your renewal notice, please contact Council as soon as possible. Pet registration renewals can be made online or at Council’s Customer Service Centre.

For further information please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

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