Council to launch inaugural Burdekin Women’s Network

A new business women’s network will be formed in the Burdekin to strengthen connections between women wanting to further develop their skills, knowledge and confidence.

Following on from the success of Queensland Women’s Week – It’s Time to Shine in March, Burdekin Shire Council is launching the inaugural Burdekin Women’s Network – Rise & Shine.

A launch event will held on Monday 26 June 2017 from 5.30pm-6.30pm in the John Hy Peake Room at the Burdekin Shire Council Chambers.

Women are invited to come together for a champagne and nibbles to network, connect and develop relationships with like-minded women

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council had received a lot of positive feedback from Queensland Women’s Week.

“It was fantastic opportunity to encourage women to pursue leadership positions in the community and workplace,” she said.

“Council now looks forward to leading the establishment of a Burdekin women’s networking group.

“Collective support and the sharing of ideas, resources and contacts is key to individual and business success.”

Council is fortunate to have Moya Steele as a guest speaker for the inaugural event.

Ms Steele is a planning and development lawyer, business owner and director of a not for profit organisation advocating for economic and tourism development in our region.

She is also a director of a government-owned organisation managing billions of dollars in infrastructure throughout the State.

With a regional practice spanning 20 years acting for local governments, major developers, publically listed companies, private entities and community organisations, as well as leading her own business in partnership, Ms Steele has a proven record of getting things done regardless of  ‘glass ceilings’, gender dominated industries and any perceptions of women in business and the community.

She will speak on the strength of personal values, the power of networks, and leadership today.

The inaugural Burdekin Women’s Network – Rise & Shine is presented by Burdekin Shire Council and Ayr and Home Hill Chambers of Commerce.

For information please call Eliza Lovell on (07) 4783 9800 or visit

New-look library branch to reopen

The Home Hill branch of Burdekin Library will reopen from 1pm tomorrow after receiving an exciting makeover.

The 33-year-old library has been transformed with new shelving, furniture, carpet and a new front desk.

Library Officer Robyn Elphinstone said a dedicated children’s area had also been created and was sure to be popular with families.

“I think people are going to be amazed by the library’s transformation – from top to bottom it is new,” she said.

“We’ve also refreshed our book collection.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation while the renovations were being conducted.”

Ms Elphinstone invited residents to come down and check out the new space.

“We encourage all residents to come in, join up and enjoy the benefits of their library,” she said.

“There are books but we also have DVDs, free internet for library members, a photocopying and scanning service and some great programs, including Storytime and Baby Rhyme Time.”

“It’s a real community space.”


Public feedback sought on Nature Based Play Space

Preliminary concept designs for the proposed Plantation Park Nature Based Play Space have been presented to Burdekin Shire Council.

Some of the highlights of the concept design include an interactive water play area and creek bed; fossil digs; swings; a rope balance bridge and net climb and a sensory respite garden with seating. The design also incorporates accessible pathways and imaginative play opportunities.

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

The plans will be on public display for the next few weeks and residents are invited to provide their feedback in person at Burdekin Shire Council’s Customer Service Centre or the Ayr branch of Burdekin Library, or by calling Council on (07) 4783 9800.

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

“During Council’s community consultation about the future development of Plantation Park, many people suggested playground equipment be provided in the area,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The project is in keeping with the natural bush setting at Plantation Park and will be unique for North Queensland. The concept offers fantastic opportunities for children to enhance their fine motor skills and develop upper body strength by incorporating challenges and risk encountered in outdoor play.”

A steering committee with community representatives developed a wish list of ideas for the play space, which helped to inform the concept design.

The Department of Infrastructure and Planning approved $2.93 million in funding to Council earlier this year, to upgrade existing infrastructure and allow for the establishment of new projects.

An amount of $494,000 has been set aside to be spent on developing the Plantation Park Nature Based Play Space.

The plans are currently on public display at the Council Chambers, Ayr Library and at the following links:




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


Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships

A spectacular cane fire has heralded the start of celebrations for the 2017 Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships.

Six hundred people converged on Gudjuda Home Hill Showgrounds on Wednesday night when about a hectare of cane, grown by volunteers, was burnt in preparation for the Championships this Saturday.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the fire was just the start of more festivities to come.

“We have cane cutters travelling to the Burdekin from all around Queensland to be part of the  2017 Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships, which will be staged at Gudjuga Home Hill Showgrounds this Saturday,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This year, the event is going to be bigger and better than before, with something for all the family.

“There will be free entertainment on offer throughout the day, children’s activities, food stalls and we’ll have more shade and seating this year.

“Wednesday’s First Cane Fire of the Season was a wonderful way to kick off the festivities. Council was thrilled to see so many people embracing the event, which included a paddock to plate long-table dinner and live music.”
Burdekin Shire Council is looking to develop the Championships into an iconic event for the region and is presenting this year’s event with support from the Queensland Government, Burdekin Tourism Association, Gudjuda Reference Group and the organising committee.

It will be held Saturday 3 June from 10am – 5pm at the Gudjuda Home Hill Showgrounds.

Entry is free and so are most of the activities.

There are six cane cutting competitions held throughout the day featuring age group categories, a ladies category and a top and load relay.

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

Fun Run to kick off Queensland Day festivities

Burdekin residents are being encouraged to pull on their running shoes for a brand new fun run by the beach, as part of this Sunday’s Queensland Day Fun, Fitness and Lifestyle Expo.

The Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club (ASLC) Queensland Day Fun Run will follow a scenic 5km course through Alva Beach, along roads and on hard sand, beginning and ending at the surf club at Sandown Street.

The fun run will feature cash prizes in various award categories for kids, youths and adults and will kick off a full morning of expo festivities from 9am to 1pm at Alva Beach Park and the ASLC Clubhouse.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Queensland Day was an opportunity to celebrate all that was wonderful about our state. “It’s also about showcasing the great health, fitness and lifestyle opportunities we have access to in the Burdekin,” she said.

“Our aim is to make the day fun for the whole family.”

Free health, fitness and wellbeing information will be available with special guests Caro and Kingi from The Block set to emcee the event. There will also be food and drinks for sale, prizes and giveaways, a 100m Dash for Cash, free come and try activities and children’s rides.

Some of the new stalls this year include a boat display from the Lower Burdekin Ski Club, a mini golf course, a mini tennis court as well as the Volunteer Marine Rescue Boat for the kids to have a look through.  There will be something for all ages.

Registrations and check-in for the Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club Queensland Day Fun Run open at the ASLC Clubhouse from 7.30am with the run commencing at 8.30am. It is $5 to pre-register or simply turn up and register on the day for $10. Food and refreshments will be available after the race.

To pre-register for the fun run contact Council’s Community Development team on (07) 4783 9800 or visit

For more information visit or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

Mount Inkerman lookout works to begin

Works on Burdekin Shire Council’s $1.48 million upgrade of Mount Inkerman will begin next Thursday 8 June.

The major revamp of the iconic natural landmark will include an upgrade of the lookout area, road and car parks and the construction of a walking path.

In order for the works to be carried out, the lookout area at the top of Mount Inkerman will be inaccessible to the public from next Thursday 8 June for at least three months.

The public will still be able to access the main car park near the lookout.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the scenic lookout upgrade would enhance the site’s natural assets and make it more attractive and user-friendly.

“This picture perfect spot will be even more accessible, offering tourists, locals and investors a panoramic lookout from which to view the entire district,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council was fortunate to have received two State Government grants – $200,000 from the Scenic Lookout Program and $541,341 from the Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program (SRIPP)– to support these works to proceed.”

The lookout revamp will involve removing existing structures at the site, levelling and concreting the surface, construction of retaining walls and providing improved all-abilities access.

Two new lookout structures will be installed.

Later this year, roadworks will also be conducted on Mount Inkerman Road, the route to the top of the lookout, including the provision of several passing areas and car park improvements.

The road will be closed for a period of time in coming months to allow these works to be completed.

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

Ayr fountain goes maroon for Queensland

Even the water is turning maroon this week, as the Burdekin prepares to celebrate all that is great about living in Queensland.

With Queensland Day festivities taking over Alva Beach on Sunday, and State of Origin 2017 kicking off tomorrow, Burdekin Shire Council has coloured Ayr’s CBD fountain maroon for the week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Queensland Day was a celebration of Queensland’s birthday and its official separation from New South Wales as an independent colony on 6 June 1859.

She said this Sunday’s 2017 Queensland Day Fun, Fitness and Lifestyle Expo, on 9am-1pm at Alva Beach Park and Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club (ASLC) Clubhouse, was one of many events being held across the state to mark the occasion.

“The expo just gets bigger and better every year. In 2017 we’ll have free come and try activities and children’s rides, a 100m Dash for Cash, prizes and giveaways and food and drinks for sale,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“It’s sure to be a great day out for the whole family.”

For the first time, the expo will feature a five-kilometre ASLC Fun Run, which will leave from the surf club at 8.30am.

Registrations and check-in for the run open at the ASLC Clubhouse from 7.30am. It is $5 to pre-register or simply turn up and register on the day for $10.

To pre-register for the fun run contact Council’s Community Development team on (07) 4783 9800 or visit

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

Grant paves way for switchboard upgrade

Burdekin Shire Council has received a Queensland Government grant to upgrade its aging South Ayr Water Treatment Plant Switchboard.

The upgrade will improve the reliability of the Burdekin’s water supply network for years to come.

Burdekin Shire Council Manager Operations Wayne Saldumbide said the project was co-funded by the Queensland Government and Council on a 50/50 basis, thanks to a grant provided through the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning’s Community Resilience Fund.

“The works will include the provision of an emergency backup generator which will enable continuous service supply during power outages and natural disasters,” he said.

“Council thanks the Queensland Government for helping to the fund this important project, which will boost the reliability of our water supply network heading into the future.”

Preliminary works will commence on Monday 29 May 2017.

The South Ayr Water Treatment Plant will need be taken completely offline between Monday 19 June and Friday 23 June, 2017 to allow electricity supply mains to be cut over to the new switchboard.

Council requires the cooperation of residents, who are asked to limit their water usage to essential purposes to ease demand during this week, as the townships of Ayr, Brandon and Alva will be relying solely on Nelsons Lagoon borefield during this period.

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

Townsville Enterprise Limited briefs Council on opportunities

Burdekin Shire Council has been briefed on Townsville Enterprise Limited’s (TEL) plans to grow and develop the region.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin yesterday welcomed TEL Chief Executive Officer Patricia O’Callaghan and members of her team, who visited Council to deliver a presentation and update on current and future projects.

Cr McLaughlin said the Burdekin was seen as an important part of the bigger regional picture for North Queensland, with unique opportunities for agriculture, aquaculture and tourism.

“Burdekin Shire Council would like to thank TEL for visiting us yesterday to provide an update on their work and to present on some of the opportunities for our Shire and for North Queensland going forward,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“These opportunities include looking at how we can build and develop our presence in areas like agriculture, aquaculture and edu-tourism, and what skills and support resources are available to make that a reality.

“The need for energy and water projects to secure North Queensland’s future have been highlighted by TEL as key priorities for the wider region.

“While all the individual councils will have their own specific priorities, working together to create a vision for North Queensland as a whole was spoken about as a key strategy going forward.”

North Queensland Regional Plan ideas hub

Burdekin residents are being invited to help shape the first ever North Queensland Regional Plan by sharing their ideas at a community consultation event at Plantation Park Markets this weekend.

The plan will bring together Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville councils and will guide the region over the next 25 years.

A series of community events organised by the Queensland Government will be held across North Queensland giving residents a chance to have their say.

The first ideas hub in the Burdekin will be held at Plantation Park Markets this Sunday 21 May between 8:00am and midday.

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke encouraged locals to have their say and help create a vision for the future of North Queensland.

“The plan will provide the basis for the planning and delivery of infrastructure and services, connect council areas and improve opportunities for economic development and liveability and is core to the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to the future of our region,” she said.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Burdekin residents now had the chance to have their say on shaping North Queensland.

“The Burdekin offers unique opportunities for employment, agriculture, tourism, education, lifestyle and more,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The North Queensland Regional Plan will establish a vision and direction for the wider region and look at, as a Council area, how we contribute to that picture going forward.

“Each of the five councils will have their own priorities, but there is a definite need for councils to plan as a region.”

You can also have your say at

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