Use #visitburdekin to share your unique experience

Residents and visitors are being encouraged to play an active role in promoting the Burdekin by using the #visitburdekin hashtag to share their unique experiences of the region.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council viewed the local tourism industry as an underdeveloped section of the Burdekin economy, with great potential to build on.

“The Burdekin has so much to offer visitors, from our beaches and boat ramps to our shops, eateries and cultural attractions,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The #visitburdekin hashtag offers an opportunity to showcase our incredibly beautiful region using social media – and everyone can play an active role. We love seeing all of your snaps from around the Burdekin and hearing about your experiences, so be sure to use #visitburdekin when uploading your pictures to social media.”

Cr McLaughlin said visitors wanted authentic experiences. “They want to see what the locals see and do what the locals do,” she said.

“In addition to the new Burdekin 2018 Visitor Guide launched in November, the visitburdekin Facebook and Instagram pages are key resources that visitors can look up.”

Council has recently taken on the management of the Burdekin’s two Visitor Information Centres, following the winding up of Burdekin Tourism Association in December.

Cr McLaughlin said the role of community volunteers in manning the centres would be as vital as ever. “Our volunteers are often the first faces our visitors see when they arrive in our region,” she said.

“They do an incredible job of welcoming visitors to our Shire and in promoting the numerous attractions on offer. This volunteer base is particularly important as Council renews its focus on growing tourism in the district.”

Cr McLaughlin said tourism was key driver for job creation and economic growth as part of the economic diversification of the Shire. “Tourism is the largest industry in Australia and it is sustainable,” she said.

“We know the number of visitors to the Townsville North Queensland region are increasing every year so we want to make sure these visitors stop here in the Burdekin as they make their way along the Queensland coast. “

Council will this year start construction on a new Visitor Information Centre at Plantation Park in Ayr under the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.

Cr McLaughlin said a new tourist information centre would be a game changer for our Shire.

“Along with the Burdekin Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Home Hill, it will ensure drive tourists from both the north and south have the best opportunity to acquire information about our tourism products,” Cr McLaughlin said.

For more information about attractions, activities, accommodation and dining in the Burdekin please visit:

Burdekin schools join record networking effort to protect the Reef

Burdekin teachers have today come together in record numbers to discuss how they can contribute to efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef, as part of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority’s annual Reef Guardian Networking Meeting hosted by Burdekin Shire Council.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the annual meetings, run through the Reef Guardian Schools program, empowered schools and local environmental agencies to make positive environmental changes for the marine environment.

“Coinciding with the International Year of the Reef 2018, today’s meeting at Burdekin Shire Council Chambers has attracted a record-breaking school attendance, with 12 Burdekin Reef Guardian Schools and representatives from nine environmental and partner organisations,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“With our close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the Burdekin has an important role to play in protecting and conserving the Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.
“One of the key messages in the International Year of the Reef is that everyone – regardless of where you live – can help look after the environment through simple actions in your home school or office. This includes minimising the use of plastics; saying no to single use straws and coffee cups; and reducing electricity consumption.”

The Reef Guardian Council program showcases environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Cr McLaughlin said the program recognised the effective management and protection of the Reef required a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government.

“Many local residents assume their councils only deal with rates, roads and rubbish but Reef Guardian Councils are doing much more than this in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“There are 17 councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown in the Reef Guardian Councils program undertaking a range of projects. This covers a 300,000 square kilometre area and a population of almost 900,000 people.”

Cr McLaughlin said Burdekin Shire Council, together with contributing landholders, NQ Dry Tropics and Lower Burdekin Water, is engaged in ongoing activities to protect local waterways and aquatic ecosystems.

“In 2016/17, hundreds of hours were spent on restoration works transforming weed-choked waterways into healthy aquatic ecosystems,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“In one project, 4,000 cubic metres of weeds was removed from Kalamia Lagoon, directly upstream from Alva Beach, and transferred to nearby farms to trial as crop fertilizer – reducing chemical run off into the lagoon.”

Along with teachers, today’s event brings together staff from organisations including Burdekin Shire Council, Bowen-Burdekin Local Marine Advisory Committee, Birdlife Townsville, the Bowen Burdekin Integrated Floodplain Management Advisory Committee, Burdekin Canegrowers, Gudjuda Reference Group, NQ Dry Tropics, Paluma Environmental Education Centre and Tangaroa Blue.

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

Comiskey Road – Emergency Drainage Works

Burdekin Shire Council wishes to advise that emergency drainage works will commence on Comiskey Road on Tuesday 30th January, 2018 with an estimated completion date of Wednesday 31st January 2018, weather permitting.

These works will be constructed under a full road closure with access to local residents only.

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.

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

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

Homestead Road – Emergency Drainage Works

Burdekin Shire Council wishes to advise that emergency drainage works is being undertaken on Homestead Road with an estimated completion date of Friday 9th February 2018, weather permitting.

These works will be constructed under traffic lights with traffic reduced to one lane.

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.

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

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

Burdekin Citizen recognised for decades of volunteer work

Burdekin Shire Council has named community stalwart Alfred Shand as its Citizen of the Year for his tireless volunteer work spanning half a century.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Mr Shand had been Treasurer of the Home Hill Boat Club for more than 50 years and has rarely missed a meeting, working bee or social event.

“He has made a remarkable contribution to not only the Home Hill Boat Club, but the township of Groper Creek itself, through his incredible efforts over many decades,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin said Mr Shand was also a founding member of the Burdekin Machinery Preservationists when it formed in 1984 and has held the position of Treasurer ever since.

“Mr Shand has worked tirelessly to preserve the farming history of the Burdekin through the Machinery Preservationists and has been responsible for obtaining several grants for buildings and projects the club has entered into,” she said.

“He is a foundation member of the Burdekin Trailer Yacht Club, which he has been involved with since the club’s inception in the early 1980s. Still the current Treasurer, he has been the backbone of the club, having applied for numerous community grants to bolster club facilities.

“A parishioner of St Helen’s Anglican Church for all his life, Mr Shand has served on the Parish Council and as Church Ward, Synod representative and lay minister.”

The Young Citizen of the Year is Sarah McDonnell, an active and passionate member of the community who has been enthusiastically involved in the Burdekin Shire Youth Council, Burdekin PCYC Management Team and Interact, the school based club aligned with Rotary.

Her other achievements include fundraising for Relay for Life and the Red Shield Appeal, performing as a dancer in the Burdekin Singers production of Phantom of the Opera and taking part in the JCU Young Diplomat Program as a researcher and team member.

“Sarah is an inspiration to the Burdekin community,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Sarah has participated in the Rostrum – Voice of Youth Program since 2015, she often volunteers her time to assist at chaplains’ school breakfasts and in 2017 she was selected to participate in the prestigious STEM Girls Power Camp Program at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.”

Cr McLaughlin thanked the community’s volunteers for their efforts.

“Each year at the Burdekin Shire Australia Day celebrations, we are presented with an insight into the many great achievements of local residents,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“What makes the Burdekin such a wonderful place to live is our extraordinary community.

“We are innovative and industrious with strong public participation. The fact that we boast over 80 volunteer, sport, recreational and community groups in our Shire is a testament to this.”

One new citizen was also welcomed to the Burdekin community – Mrs Maria Jelinekova.


2018 Burdekin Shire Australia Day Awards Winners

Citizen of the Year – Alfred Shand

Young Citizen of the Year – Sarah McDonnell

Young Citizen of the Year (Achievement) – Mathew Trenfield

Life Time Contribution Award – Les Wellington

Community Event of the Year – 2017 Fast Track Talent Showcase

Senior Cultural Award – Mickey McKellar

Junior Cultural Award – Alysse Contzonis and Kelsy Rye

Senior Environment Award – Gary and Angela Spotswood

Excellence Award – John Furnell

Excellence Award (Achievement) – Alex Lawson

Senior Sportsperson of the Year – Sonya Lampton

Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Luke McNee

Junior Sportsperson (Achievement) – Nikita Wallis

Sports Administrator – Cara Trindle

Australia Day closure

The Burdekin Library and Home Hill Branch Library will be closed on Friday 26 January for the Australia Day public holiday. The Burdekin Library will reopen at 9.00 am on Saturday 27 January and the Home Hill Branch will reopen on Monday 29 January at 1.00pm.

Mayor condemns “deplorable” act after vandals target lookout

Vandals have caused thousands of dollars in damage to Mount Inkerman just weeks before the reopening of the landmark Burdekin Shire attraction, in what Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has labelled a “deplorable act”.

Council is completing construction work on Mount Inkerman ahead of its expected reopening on Friday 9 February following a $1.48 million upgrade.

However vandals have left the brand new tourist and recreational attraction in a state of disarray after tearing down a bollard and conducting burnouts on the new concourse area and lookout structures.

Cr McLaughlin said the site, which had been upgraded for the benefit of the community, had been discovered on Saturday morning strewn with tyre marks, burnt rubber, beer bottles and cans.

It is believed the vandalism occurred sometime on Friday night.

Cr McLaughlin said it appeared the vandals had accessed the site with their vehicle by tearing a bollard from its concrete base and driving on the newly completed pedestrian walkway.

“I am absolutely appalled by this deplorable act that has occurred,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The Mount Inkerman lookout has been upgraded to make this fantastic natural attraction even more accessible to locals and tourists and its reopening in less than three weeks has been highly anticipated by the community.

“It beggars belief that someone would wilfully set out to damage something that the whole community is supposed to benefit from.

“The person or people behind this mean-spirited and senseless act of vandalism should be ashamed of their actions.

“With Australia Day just around the corner, I can’t think of a more a un-Australian way to behave.

“The police have been notified and I encourage anyone who may have any information about what occurred to come forward.

“I hope the offender is apprehended, charged and, if convicted, a suitable punishment is imposed. This is a view shared across the community.”

A toilet block in Anzac Park, Ayr was also vandalised and left in a mess sometime on Friday night, with hundreds of dollars in damage sustained.

Cr McLaughlin said vandalism cost ratepayers many thousands of dollars annually and was a scourge on the community.

She said Council planned to beef up security across the Shire with the roll out of a new network of CCTV cameras at key locations, including Mount Inkerman.

“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.

Council recently updated its Vandalism Policy and will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest of any persons for vandalism.

The full Vandalism Policy is available at the following link: Burdekin Shire Council Vandalism Policy.

Mount Inkerman – Road Closure

Burdekin Shire Council wishes to advise that the expected opening date of Mount Inkerman has been revised until Friday 9 February, 2018, weather permitting.

Construction works are still being undertaken at the site and were impacted by minor delays due to rain last week.

Mount Inkerman will remain closed to all traffic and pedestrians until construction work is completed.

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

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


Director Corporate and Community Services and Director Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services

The Burdekin Shire Council has recently undertaken an organisational review and restructure, and is now seeking applications for two key executive leadership positions.

Director Corporate and Community Services

  • Lead the Finance, Governance, Customer Services, IT and Community Services teams.
  • Review the operations of the Corporate and Community Services team and lead a change project improving performance, engagement, collaboration and team development.
  • Improve community engagement and refresh and develop Council’s community events programme.
  • Contribute to the organisational strategy as a member of a high performing executive leadership team.

Director Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services

  • This is a very broad portfolio of programmes, including land use planning, regulatory services and management of Council’s infrastructure assets.
  • Oversee and provide expertise to the Council’s Asset Management Strategy.
  • Develop and implement a structured capital assessment process.
  • Develop and implement a Directorate-wide project management framework.
  • Contribute to the organisational strategy as a member of a high performing executive leadership team.

Teamwork, collaboration and strong planning and project management skills are highly valued in the Burdekin Shire Council, and applicants must demonstrate exceptional skills in these areas.

The Council is offering very competitive remuneration packages, reflecting the significance of these roles to the organisation and to attract the highest calibre candidates to these key positions.

Experience and a history of achievement in executive leadership in a local government and tertiary qualifications relevant to these positions will be highly regarded.

The Burdekin Shire is centred on the rich farming land of the Burdekin River delta, covering an area of approximately 5000 square kilometres and is home to an estimated 18,000 residents.  The major township of Ayr is situated 90km south of the large regional city of Townsville and 190km north of the relaxed lifestyle of the Whitsundays.

Council employs approximately 240 staff and has an annual operating budget of approximately $46.7M.

For further information, download the Briefing Packages for these roles from or contact Mark Ogston at Leading Roles on 0407 674 412.

The application period will close on Monday 29th January 2018 at 5pm.


Free Swim Day a cool idea to thank Burdekin families

Burdekin Shire residents will be able to cool off for free this Sunday 21 January with Ayr and Home Hill Swimming Pools hosting a Free Swim Day for local families.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said coinciding with the end of the school holidays, the Free Swim Day was a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy some fun in pool.

“Council is conscious of those hot days over summer and wanted to provide an opportunity for families to get together while beating the heat,” she said.

“It’s also a good chance for people to engage in physical activity after the Christmas break.

“If you’re looking for a way to cool off this weekend, I encourage you to get down to either the Ayr Swimming Pool or Home Hill Swimming Pool this Sunday where you’ll be able to enjoy the facilities for free.”

The gates open from 10am to 6pm. The kiosk will also be in operation with food and drinks available.

Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult over 18 years of age at all times.

Cr McLaughlin said the event celebrated the end of the school holidays but it was also a way of giving back to the community for its support of the Shire’s pools over the past year.

“In the last swim season, 14,529 children and adults came through the gates of Ayr Swimming Pool alone,” she said.

“Our swimming pools are fantastic community assets where locals and visitors can go to cool off, learn to swim, or get active with a few laps. Every year they are also accessed by the swim club for events.

“For families who haven’t used the pools before, the Free Swim Day is a good opportunity to check out the facilities on offer and if you would like more information about pool passes, simply speak to the staff on the day.”

Ayr Pool is located at 242-250 Queen Street and Home Hill Pool is located at 63-95 Eleventh Avenue.

For more information on Burdekin Shire Council pools visit


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