Burdekin Shire celebrates SES volunteers

Burdekin residents are being encouraged to celebrate their local SES volunteers during SES Week this October 7-15 and are invited to an open night where they can learn more about this vital community organisation.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said SES Week was an opportunity to raise public awareness of the contribution of SES members to the community.

She said fittingly, the event also coincided with Get Ready Burdekin Week, when residents would be encouraged to get cyclone ready.

“We’re inviting the community to come along to the SES open night at 7pm, on Monday 9 October at the SES building in McCathie Street, Ayr, where you’ll be able to learn more about the SES and register your interest in volunteering,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“To mark SES Week and Burdekin Get Ready Week, Council will be holding a week of displays in foyer of the Young Street Council Chambers in Ayr.

“I encourage residents to come in and check out these wonderful displays of SES equipment, goodies, balloons and information sheets, plus Get Ready guides, cyclone tracking maps, posters and postcards.”

Cr McLaughlin said SES Week was a chance to shine a light on the dedication and commitment of the SES members and the invaluable services they performed for the community.

She said there were many rewarding opportunities within the SES.

“SES members make a difference to those whose lives have been affected by disasters. They also participate in and provide support to community events,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Training is critical to preparing members and includes a number of nationally-recognised competencies. Training activities range from operating communications equipment to traffic control, working safely at heights, chainsaw operations, four wheel driving, map and navigation, land search and operating flood boats.”

The SES is free to join. For more information visit www.ses.qld.gov.au

Burdekin Shire Council takes active role in developing sport

Burdekin Shire Council will investigate future sport and recreational opportunities for the Shire as part of a 10-year plan to be developed this financial year.

Community members, sport clubs and schools will be encouraged to have their say on the 2018-2028 Sport and Recreation Plan through a series of community workshops and surveys which are planned to take place in coming months

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the plan would help to guide the provision of sporting infrastructure and services in the Shire for years to come.

Council received $43,800 through the Queensland Government’s Sport and Recreation Planning Program for the project and has engaged sport and recreation planning specialist Otium Planning Group to conduct the work following a recent tender process.

Cr McLaughlin said Council recognised the valuable contribution of sport and recreation to the community.

“Sport and recreation plays a crucial role in supporting the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of Burdekin residents,” she said.

“It brings people together and provides opportunities for social interaction and personal empowerment. Our local sport and recreation clubs are the hub of community life.”

Cr McLaughlin said it was important Council was proactive in planning for current and future sporting needs

“The last 10 year plan was prepared back in 2007 and with this having reached the end of its planning cycle, Council is seeking a fresh look at the sport and recreation needs of the Burdekin community,” she said.

“From identifying land requirements for future sport and recreation opportunities, to looking at how we position ourselves to attract major events, it’ll act as a strategic road map which will leave us better placed to support community participation in sport over the next 10 years.”

Cr McLaughlin said the new 10 year plan would guide Council in addressing future recreation and park needs, including the development, redevelopment and enhancement of all recreation and park services, programs and facilities in the Shire.

“It will identify the shortfalls, surplus and opportunities in the Shire’s sport and recreational supply,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This opportunity has been made possible thanks to the Queensland Government’s Sport and Recreation Planning Program.”

If you’d like to get involved, send any suggestions, or register your interest please email.

Register of Interest from Artists, Sculptors and Artisans

Over the next few years, Burdekin Shire Council hopes to install a number of artworks and sculptures throughout the Shire to beautify our town centres and encourage tourists to stay longer in district.

Council wishes to create a register of artists, sculptors and artisans.  These interested people would be advised when projects are being advertised to ensure that they receive timely advice of proposed projects.

If you are an artist, sculptor or artisan interested in undertaking commissions in Burdekin Shire, please register your interest by emailingadvising your name, contact information, details of the medium in which you work, and links to website information on your artwork.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Grants Officer, Mrs Janice Horan on (07) 4783 9836 or.

Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift – National Gallery of Australia exhibition

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift enables people from all around Australia to discover treasured objects. The idea of the exhibition, which tours to schools, regional galleries, libraries, community centres and nursing homes, is to give people a chance to appreciate original works of art by contemporary artists as well as works from other cultures and times.

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift has been enjoyed by thousands of children and adults in remote, regional and metropolitan centres throughout Australia,. It is a program that is at the heart of the National Gallery of Australia’s access services program. This opportunity to provide the Burdekin community, in particular children, with a way of appreciating specifically selected works of art is a unique one afforded by the generosity of the Wolfensohns.

The exhibition is on display in the Burdekin Library, 108 Graham Street, until Monday 16 October. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these wonderful works of art.

Register now – 2017 Burdekin 10,000 Steps Community Tournament

Burdekin residents can now nominate to join the 2017 Burdekin 10,000 Steps Community Tournament and step their way to fitness.

The whole community is invited to participate.  We would like 20 teams each with 10 members, however may take more depending on pedometer availability.

The challenge will kick off on Monday, 9 October and finish Sunday, 19 November.  Steps only, not exercise, will be counted toward the final tally.

Teams can register their interest by completing the below nomination form.  Nomination forms will also be available from Council’s website and the Burdekin Library Ayr and Home Hill branches.

The members of the winning team will each receive an individual prize pack donated by Burdekin Shire Council, Burdekin Shire Youth Council, Curves, Eathorne’s Sportspower, Lucky Black Cat Newsagency, NRGIZE and Snap Fitness.

Thanks to John and Kirstin Bonanno at SPORTFIRST Ayr, all participants will also receive a 15% discount voucher for use during the 10,000 Steps Challenge (9 October 2017 to 19 November 2017).

Please note: Team registration forms must be completed and emailed to melissah.lammon@burdekin.qld.gov.au by 5pm Thursday, 28th September 2017.

For more information, please phone Melissah on 4783 9800 or via email

Rates due date fast approaching

Burdekin Shire Council has reminded residents the due date to pay their rates is fast approaching.

Rates for the 2017/2018 financial year are due for payment by Monday, September 4.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said in order to make it as convenient as possible for residents, there were a number of options for people to pay their rates.

“This includes via BPay, in person at the Council Chambers or Australia Post, or by sending a cheque in the mail,” 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 bank about how they might be able to help set this up.”

Those struggling to find the full amount by Monday, September 4 also have the option of paying it off in instalments throughout the year.

Cr McLaughlin said this option attracted an 11 per cent interest charge.

“You should contact Council to advise your circumstances so that a suitable payment arrangement can be negotiated,” she said.

“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.”

Many ratepayers take the opportunity to pay their rates off in advance throughout the financial year.

Cr McLaughlin said an ever increasing numbers of residents were recognising the benefits of making periodic payments in advance.

“By making smaller payments in advance throughout the year, people can avoid altogether the burden of having to pay a big lump sum all at once,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“In fact, by the time some people receive their annual rates bill in the mail, they not only don’t have to pay another cent, but find they actually have a credit on their account going into the next financial year.

“If you would like to start budgeting now to pay next year’s rates, advance payments can easily be set up through BPay using the Customer Reference No. shown on your notice.”

Cr McLaughlin said rates allowed Council to fund essential services to the community.

“These include water and waste infrastructure, waste disposal, roads, parks and gardens,” Cr McLaughlin said.

For more information on paying your rates please contact the Customer Service Centre or visit www.burdekin.qld.gov.au

Celebrating our seniors

Burdekin residents of all ages will have plenty of reasons to celebrate during Seniors Week this August.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said from morning teas and open days to excursions and luncheons, there would be a range of great events and activities on offer during Burdekin Seniors Week 2017.

“Seniors Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution older people have made to our community, whether as volunteers or in the workforce, as community leaders and carers and as grandparents and advocates,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“As part of the festivities, Burdekin Shire Council will host a Seniors Luncheon in the Burdekin Theatre Foyer from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Friday 18 August.

“It will be a celebratory occasion for our older residents to show them that they are appreciated.”

Entry is $5 including lunch. Tickets must be prepaid and can be purchased at the Burdekin Community Association, 130 Queen St, Ayr, from 1 August.

Cr McLaughlin said a morning tea by the Catholic Women’s League on Wednesday 16 August would kick off nine days of activities in the Burdekin

“On Thursday 17 August the Burdekin Seniors Computer Group will present an information morning and the residents can learn more about the Burdekin Men’s Shed at the organisation’s Open Day on Monday 21 August.

“Other activities during Burdekin Seniors Week include a bus trip to Mio College, a Burdekin Machinery Preservationists display at Brandon Heritage Estate and a Seniors Friendship Group morning tea and cent sale.”

For the full Burdekin Seniors Week 2017 program and details on how to book, please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

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.”

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

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