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 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 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 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.

Roundabout works to begin on CBD intersection

A busy CBD intersection is set to gain a major safety boost, with Burdekin Shire Council preparing to begin construction of a new roundabout at the corner at Young and Macmillan Streets in Ayr.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said there had been extensive community support for a roundabout at the intersection, which is currently controlled with stop signs.

“Council trialled stop signs and found they have worked to a degree, however some motorists have been getting confused when they’re travelling across the intersection over who gives way to who,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program, Council is pleased to be able to allocate $200,000 towards the installation of a roundabout at this site, which will reduce this confusion while boosting safety for all motorists.

“Council has consulted with adjoining property owners who have been very positive about increased safety at the intersection.

“Burdekin Shire Council thanks residents and road users in anticipation of their patience during the construction period.”

The works are scheduled to begin on Monday 24 July and continue for about two months, weather permitting.

The Young and Macmillan Street intersection will be closed during the construction period, with on street parking in the vicinity of the works to be affected for the duration of the project.

Motorists are asked to obey all directional signs and any instructions from traffic controllers or on site personnel for their own safety and the safety of Council’s workforce.

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

Salute showcases Anzac Centenary commemorations

A Queensland Anzac Centenary publication showcasing how communities have come together to honour the memory of Australia’s servicemen and women is now available to the public at Ayr and Home Hill library branches and online.

The Queensland Government, through the Queensland Anzac Centenary program, has produced the second issue of Salute – a publication showcasing how Queensland commemorated the Anzac Centenary during 2016.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said communities across Queensland had united in extraordinary ways over the past two and a half years to honour the legacy of the nation’s servicemen and women, who had been serving the country for over 100 years.

“This publication is an excellent resource for families, schools and communities to gain a deeper understanding of the Anzac Centenary and the ongoing commemorative activities surrounding it,” Cr McLaughlin.

Salute highlights the many ways we can all contribute to and help to carry on the Anzac legacy.”

Salute is available for borrowing at the Ayr and Home Hill branches of Burdekin Library, or download your copy at

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

Lock up and win this Christmas

The Burdekin Building Safer Communities Action Team (BSCAT), with support from Queensland Police, is running a ‘Lock It or Lose It’ campaign throughout the Burdekin region over the holiday period.

The campaign aims to raise awareness and reduce the number of vehicles being left unlocked, and subsequently being easy targets for vehicle and property theft.

Council’s Community Development Manager and BSCAT Chairman Tony Vaccaro said a similar campaign in Bundaberg had proved successful.

“The campaign will include local police officers doing random vehicle checks from December through to February to ensure people have adequately secured their vehicles,” he said.

“The checks will be made in the Ayr and Home Hill CBDs as well as the smaller suburbs of the Burdekin or in back streets where cars are parked on the footpaths.

“Cars found to be secure will receive a congratulatory note on their windscreen along with an entry ticket to win gift cards from local businesses.

“We hope this will encourage everyone to lock up and secure their vehicles and personal property.”

Mr Vaccaro said tickets for the prize draw could then be placed in the entry boxes at the Burdekin Library Ayr and Home Hill branches.

“Vehicles not adequately secured will be given a list of tips on how to better secure their vehicle and personal property,” he said.

Burdekin BSCAT is a group of state and local government representatives together with business and community representatives who have developed a community partnership approach to crime prevention and community safety.

Burdekin BSCAT provides the opportunity for our local community to take positive action to prevent crime and build a safer community. This team is an advisory group to Council.

Council trials collecting fertiliser bags for recycling


Burdekin farmers are being encouraged to drop their used fertiliser bags to Council waste disposal facilities as part of a free recycling trial which will see the bags turned into alternative plastic products.

The trial is being run by Farm Waste Recovery in conjunction with the Council, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Incitec Pivot Limited, Impact Fertilisers and Canegrowers.

Governance and Local Laws Manager Dan Mulcahy said there would be special collection cages at Council’s waste disposal facilities in Ayr, Home Hill and Giru.

“There are more than 350,000 one-tonne bags and 2 million 25 kilogram bags being used by the sugar cane industry each year,” he said.

“Although some are returned to the manufacturer, most are dumped, burned or stockpiled on farms.

“This trial collection would be an ideal way for farmers to help our environment by clearing the bags from their farm.

“All you have to do is empty the bags, roll the bags up and tie them with the bags own string ties before taking them to your nearest collection cage.

“This will allow for easy collection by the recycling processers and minimise the risk of bags being blown around in strong winds.

“The trial will run until mid-December this year so hopefully farmers will have plenty of time to clear their farms of the bags.”

“The aim of this trial is to see if it is feasible to continue collecting these bags,” he said.

“If it gets sufficient support it is likely that Council will continue to act as a collection point for the fertiliser bags.”

Fertiliser bag collection locations are:

  • Ayr Waste Transfer Station – Open 7 days from 9am-5pm
  • Home Hill Waste Transfer Station – Open 7 days from 10am-5pm
  • Giru Waste Transfer Station – Open Fridays and Sundays from 3pm-6pm

For more information on Farm Waste Recovery go to


Minister to open Ideas@108


Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland, Minister for Seniors and Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke will officially open the Burdekin Library’s new innovation hotspot, Ideas@108, next week.

The opening celebration will be held on Wednesday, August 12, at 9am in the Music Loft, which adjoins the creative space.

Burdekin Shire Council Library Services Manager John Scott said Ideas@108 would benefit Burdekin small business, start-up business and local youth.

“This is a great space where businesses and community members can come to explore, create and grow ideas,” he said.

“This is an exciting development for the Burdekin and I thank the State Library for funding the $36,500 project.

“We want people to come in the space and ask ‘Can I?’ and use the latest technology we have on offer, like the 3D printers, 3D scanner and computers, to achieve their aim.

“There will be a number of programs will operate in this innovation space.

“A TAFE Queensland North _ Burdekin Campus representative has expressed an interest in being part of an industry liaison group for the life cycle of this project and beyond.

“We have also partnered up with the Ayr and Home Hill Chambers of Commerce who will provide access to business mentors for those wanting to start-up a business and innovators.”

Mr Scott said the State Library of Queensland also was bringing along a humanoid robot.

“The NAO robot has been used in schools in the United Kingdom as part of their IT studies and this one will be here for a couple of weeks to allow our schools the opportunity to see and use it,” he said.

“The sky really is the limit as to how our community can use this space and what ideas can be created here.”

The Burdekin community is welcome to join opening of Ideas@108 celebrations, but are asked to contact the Burdekin Library on 4783 9970 for catering purposes.


Australian Small Business Advisory Services Program to benefit Burdekin business


Burdekin small businesses have a new program they can access for advice on how to build their business.

Burdekin Shire Council Economic Development Manager Adrian Scott said Council was pleased to be partnering with the Ayr and Home Hill Chambers of Commerce and the Townsville Business Development Centre (TBDC) to offer the Australian Small Business Advisory Services Program (ASBAS) to local businesses.

“The TBDC will help businesses in the Burdekin by delivering advisory services which will enable them to develop and prosper into the future,” he said.

“The service is being launched in conjunction with the next Ayr Chamber of Commerce meeting on July 14 at the Ayr Traveller’s Motel, Ayr.”

TBDC chief executive officer Sharyn Brown said the centre is committed to providing advice on business and strategic management, financial management, marketing, increasing management capabilities and digital engagement implementation.

“At TBDC we are all about finding solutions, creating opportunities and contributing to the economic development of Townsville and the North Queensland Region,” she said.

“Our vision is to see small businesses operating independently, with confidence, to ensure sustainable commercial growth and create employment opportunities.”

TBDC currently offers a range of subsidised advisory services and fee for service business advice, including development, marketing, finance, planning, record keeping, policy and procedures, coaching and mentoring, across the commercial lifecycle, from new business start ups through to developing and well-established businesses.

The Australian Government will invest $18 million over the next three years in the ASBAS Program to increase the capacity of small business advisory services to provide small businesses with easy access to low cost, expert advice.

For more information about the program go to or call 132 846.


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