Burdekin River Bridge 60th anniversary competition

This year the Burdekin River Bridge is celebrating its 60th anniversary and the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads is giving one lucky person the chance to scale the bridge right to the top. AND you get to choose one lucky friend to go with you! Who would you pick!?

How to enter

  1. Snap an awesome photo (or find an old photo you already have) of the Burdekin River Bridge – just remember it must be your own original photo!
  2. Post your photo to your Facebook page
  3. Caption your post using #BRB60years
  4. Make sure the post is set to public so we can see it!

The competition runs from 9am, Friday 4 August 2017 to 5pm Friday, 25 August 2017.

Get creative, have fun and post your best bridge photo to win!

The person with the best photo, as determined by the judges, will be deemed the winner.

Applicants must adhere to the Competition Terms and Conditions here.

Fun fact: The Burdekin River Bridge, known historically as the Silver Link, celebrated its Diamond Anniversary on 14 June 2017.

Fun fact: The bridge, which is longer than the Brisbane Story Bridge, was officially opened on 14 June 1957.

For full details please visit the Burdekin River Bridge 60th anniversary competition page on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website here.


Claude mows down fundraising goal for Bravehearts

Charity campaigner Claude ‘The Mowerman’ Harvey is on a mission to make Australia the safest place in the world.

Mr Harvey has been pushing his lawnmower all over Australia to raise money for child protection organisation Bravehearts and on Tuesday 8 August and Wednesday 9 August, he’ll rev up his trusty lawnmower in Ayr on his quest to make a difference in the lives of child sexual assault survivors.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Mr Harvey’s fundraising dollars were used to enable Bravehearts to continue its counselling and education services in support of families around the country.

“Mr Harvey has been visiting towns from Rockhampton to Townsville since July on his Rockyville mow-a-thon. I look forward to welcoming him to our Shire,” Cr McLaughlin said.

In nearly 10 years, Mr Harvey has raised over $925,000, walked his way through 83 pairs of his trademark sandals as well as push his faithful mower more than 24,000km across Australia.

Reaching the $1 million mark will mean a lot to him, but raising awareness of the issue of child sexual assault will mean even more.

“It is more about raising the awareness of this horrendous crime in as many communities as I can across Australia. If I can change the life of just one child that is worth more than a million dollars to me,” he said.

To learn more view Claude’s fundraising page here: https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/Bravehearts/bravehearts/individual.do?participationRef=759.0.296791173

Flipside Circus workshops to bring fun for kids and teens

Burdekin kids will learn to trapeze, juggle and hula hoop their way around a circus arena when Queensland’s largest youth circus company tumbles into the Burdekin this month.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Flipside Circus will hold a series of workshops at Burdekin Library and Burdekin Theatre during 31 August to 1 September.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for children and teenagers to participate in a range of fun and interactive workshops while learning some circus tricks they’ll never forget,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Numbers are limited so I encourage families to get in early and book their workshops now.”

Children aged 5-8 years can participate in a bouncy and active three hour workshop on Thursday 31 August, from 3.30pm.

Then, on Friday 1 September, a teen circus workshop will be held for 8-16 year olds. The participants will learn a diverse range of skills on the ground and in the air, from juggling and mini tramp, to trapeze and tumbling. It will be followed by a mini performance for friends and family.

Cr McLaughlin said a free Story Time Circus session would also be held for children aged 0-5 and their carers.

“This workshop uses circus skills to take young children on an imaginative journey inside classic children’s stories,” she said.

“Kindy and Early Learning Centres can also take advantage of a number of Kindy Camp sessions, where little circus stars work with the trainers to explore all the fun the circus has to offer.”

To purchase your tickets visit the Burdekin Theatre website www.burdekintheatre.com.au or phone (07) 4783 9800.

Ayr artwork damaged by vandals

A piece of public artwork has been vandalised just weeks after its official unveiling in the heart of Ayr’s library and theatre precinct, in what Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has condemned as a “disgusting and shameful act”.

The artwork, titled ‘Walking Forward’ by local artist Michael Dudley, was built from recycled materials and depicts the figures of a man and woman with a child holding a library book.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said in separate attacks on Friday 28 July and again on Monday night, vandals had damaged the artwork and torn the arms off the man and woman.

“It was a wonderful artwork created for the enjoyment of the whole community. A lot of people were involved in its development and were so proud of what had been achieved,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Now it has been broken into pieces. I am absolutely disgusted.”

Cr McLaughlin said one hand of the male figure in the artwork was still missing so Council was appealing to the public to please come forward with any information that might help.

“This vandalism is the result of the mean-spirited actions of a small number of people who show no respect for public property.  The majority of our residents are community-minded, good people and would be deeply disappointed by what has occurred,” she said.

“The matter has been forwarded to police and Council also offers a monetary reward, through Crime Stoppers.”

Cr McLaughlin said the artwork was the result of a community Think Tank staged in the Burdekin in February.  “The Think Tank arose from the Burdekin Shire Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Advisory Group and from a desire to create future art, cultural and community development projects in the Burdekin,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Cr McLaughlin said vandalism cost ratepayers many thousands of dollars annually.

“When Council is required to spend money repairing vandalised property, it means those funds aren’t available to spend on other community services and facilities,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Community tree planting event a success

More than 30 people have pulled on their gardening gloves for a community tree planting event in the Burdekin.

Sunday 30 July was National Tree Day and to mark the occasion, residents joined forces to plant hundreds of native trees at Morratt’s Pit, on Beach Road.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council hosted the event in conjunction with Lower Burdekin Landcare Association.

“It was the biggest turnout we’ve seen in years and as a result, over 300 trees were planted, bagged, mulched and watered in record time,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to help make the day a success.

“What a difference they have made. As well as improving the visual amenity of the area, the trees will play a role in improving the water table, preventing nutrients from entering nearby waterways and keeping weeds in check.”

In attendance were volunteers from Ayr Police, the Endeavour Foundation, Burdekin Water Festival, Council and Lower Burdekin Landcare, along with members of the public.

“Special mention goes to all the children who not only participated but really got into it and took charge with planting and watering the trees. It’s wonderful to see our youngest residents take an active interest in the environment,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The participants were rewarded for their efforts with a barbecue lunch and refreshments.

Planet Ark estimates over 250,000 people took part in National Tree Day at over 2,500 planting sites across the country, planting 1.1 million native trees, shrubs and edibles and helping to beautify their local communities.

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

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.

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.

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.

Burdekin Industry Breakfast to deliver Singapore insights

The Burdekin Industry Breakfast series will shine a light on the Australian Government’s developing relationship with Singapore and the opportunities for Burdekin businesses, when it returns to Burdekin Theatre on August 2.

Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) Policy and Investment Director Michael McMillan has been confirmed as a guest speaker for the event, which comes as TEL prepares to lead an Insights Delegation from across the region to Singapore in September.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said there were immense opportunities for Burdekin businesses covering a range of sectors, as the Australian Government strengthened its ties with Singapore.

“Michael McMillan will provide an overview of the 2017 Singapore Insights Delegation being coordinated by TEL,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The delegation is designed to give local businesses the opportunity to connect with key business and government officials and gain insights into the opportunities this market presents.

“Industry streams covered across the delegation include Agriculture, Aquaculture, Connectivity, Supply Chains and Logistics, Innovation, Emerging Industries and Health, Tourism, Sport and Events, Urban Renewal and Property and Investment.”

The second guest speaker announced to present at the breakfast is Trade and Investment Queensland Trade Advisor Vic O’Keefe.

“Vic will provide an overview of the resources available to assist businesses interested in exporting,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“There will also be a Q & A session as well as an opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with both Michael and Vic after the breakfast.”

Tickets to the Burdekin Industry Breakfast, which commences at 7am, are $10 and include a hot breakfast.

To RSVP please call Eliza Lovell on (07) 4783 9831.

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