Library a Treasure Trove for Children’s Book Week

Burdekin children with a thirst for adventure will be able to go on a scavenger hunt, search for treasure under the sea and even receive a special pirate name during Burdekin Shire Council’s Book Week celebrations this year.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the annual event, which runs from Monday 20 to Saturday 25 August, was a great opportunity to celebrate books, authors and reading.

“The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) theme for this year’s event is Find Your Treasure and there is plenty to find in our local libraries,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“During Book Week, the Burdekin Library will have a number of book displays aimed at different age groups, meaning that every member of the family can find their next treasured read.”

Other activities include an interactive Storytime Session, where children will hear one of the books shortlisted for the 2018 CBCA’s Book of the Year award and take part in craft activities.

“The importance of developing a love of reading early on is well documented and I encourage all Burdekin families to engage in regular reading activities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Families can take part in the Burdekin Library scavenger hunt and interactive displays Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

The Book Week Storytime Session will happen on Friday 24 August at 10:30am and bookings are not necessary.

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

Roll up your sleeves for National Tree Day

Community members are being asked to roll up their sleeves and pick up watering cans on Sunday 29 July in an effort to plant 300 native trees for National Tree Day.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin encouraged residents of all ages to get involved in the Planet Ark initiative.

“National Tree Day is a great opportunity for our community, Lower Burdekin Landcare Association and Council to work together in making real improvements to our environment,” she said.

“Volunteers who come along on Sunday will be treated to a free barbecue and free drinks,” Cr McLaughlin.

National Tree Day is Australia’s largest tree-planting and nature care event.

Since its inception in 1996, more than 4 million people have planted 24 million trees.

The 2018 Burdekin National Tree Day event will run from 9am to 11am at Burdekin Landcare’s proposed new centre at the corner of Cox Street and International Road, Ayr.

Volunteers will receive gloves, tools and the equipment needed to plant the trees.

Participants will need a hat, sunscreen and closed in shoes and it is recommended people also wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants for protection.

Author Debbie Terranova to share North Queensland internment history at Burdekin Library

Burdekin residents intrigued by the treatment of so-called enemy aliens during the Second World War are invited to take part in a discussion morning with author Debbie Terranova at the Burdekin Library on Tuesday 31 July.

Entitled What Really Happened on the Home front in WWII?, Mrs Terranova’s presentation will discuss her latest novel and provide a brief history about World War II on the home front in Australia.

The presentation will also include historical photos of the Loveday internment camps in South Australia.

Though fictional, Mrs Terranova’s novel Enemies Within These Shores centres on the true events of the round up and internment of Italian workers in Far North Queensland.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the topic of internment camps would resonate with many Burdekin residents.

“The Burdekin is rich in cultural diversity and is home to many people of Italian heritage,” she said.

“Though we now celebrate our multiculturalism, internment camps are an awful reality of our region’s history.”

Mrs Terranova, who has recently received a fellowship from the State Library of Queensland to do further research about women and war, invites all residents with personal stories from the 1939-1945 period to make contact.

In particular she is seeking to meet women who were affected by wartime national security measures, such as those who were interned due to their nationality, associations, political or religious allegiances, and those who were left behind to run farms without men.

She is also interested in discussing the various roles that women played during the war such as those who became part of the military or civilian workforce.

The discussion morning is a free event, commencing at the Burdekin Library at 10:30am.

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

Cowboys CEO to share leadership insights at Burdekin breakfast event

North Queensland Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner will speak about leadership and success at an industry breakfast in the Burdekin this July.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the next Burdekin Industry Breakfast, to be held at Burdekin Theatre, Ayr at 7am on Wednesday 18 July, would be a great opportunity to learn more about the leadership strategy of the North’s premiership-winning NRL club.

“The Burdekin Industry Breakfasts are a Council initiative to engage with local businesses and update them on infrastructure projects and new business opportunities in the region,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We are thrilled to have Mr Tonner join us for our next breakfast event in the Burdekin. The North Queensland Cowboys not only demonstrate leadership and success on the field but they play an important role off the field too as ambassadors and role models in the North Queensland community.”

Cr McLaughlin said the topic of Mr Tonner’s presentation ‘Leadership and Success – on and off the field’ would have a practical application across all industries.

Following Mr Tonner’s talk, Cr McLaughlin will address the audience on Council’s 2018/19 Budget.

“Council’s 2018/19 Budget includes $16.6 million for capital works, renewals and improvements of infrastructure and delivers an appropriate mix of fiscal restraint and new initiatives designed to enhance the liveability of our region,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“I look forward to sharing more details of the Budget highlights with Burdekin Industry Breakfast participants.”

To attend the Burdekin Industry Breakfast RSVP to Eliza Lovell by Monday 16 July, 2018 by phone: (07) 4783 9831 or email. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast.

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

Burdekin supports Plastic Free July

Burdekin Shire Council is encouraging residents to throw their support behind the Plastic Free July campaign by saying ‘no’ to single use plastics such as plastic straws and packaging.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said every person had a role to play in reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

“Plastic Free July raises awareness of our growing plastic waste problem and supports behaviour change by helping people to avoid single-use plastic,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Building on the success of the recent It’s Your Reef Fest at Alva Beach Park, Council is pleased to announce that for the month of July we will be introducing plastic free catering and removing plastic straws and cups from functions, events and council meetings.

“It is just one small action that Council can take to raise awareness. The only way change happens is by starting change which is why we are calling on the community to join us in this initiative by taking steps to reduce their plastic usage this July.”

Cr McLaughlin said every individual could contribute to reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

“This includes saying ‘no’ to plastics that become litter, such as plastic straws, takeaway cups and containers,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The Queensland Government plastic bag ban, which has now commenced, and the upcoming Container Refund Scheme are examples of the strong push from government and the community for an increased awareness and improvement in the area of waste disposal, especially around its effect on our waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.

“Council is also proud of its role as a Reef Guardian Council and encourages activities that support the ongoing health of the Reef.”

Cr McLaughlin said plastic fragments were the most abundant litter items collected from Alva Beach during numerous beach clean-up events over the past five years. “The need to reduce plastic litter items was a key message of our Source Reduction Workshop held in partnership with Tangaroa Blue earlier this year,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“It’s Your Reef Fest was a wonderful example of the community coming together to support this. No plastic straws were there and no plastic cups were there, so there was a real effort by all of the suppliers to reduce the usage of single use plastic.  We also had a pledge wall and people who made a pledge received a free water bottle that could be filled at the water station.”

Plastic Free July is a global movement that has mobilised millions of participants across more than 200 countries to take measurable steps to reduce plastic use.

Community groups, businesses, schools, and other organisations can also participate in Plastic Free July. The website: has a toolbox of resources and ideas to assist the interested organisation or individual.

Jazz legend returns to where it all began in NAIDOC celebration

Residents will be encouraged to celebrate NAIDOC Week at a series of community and cultural events at Burdekin Theatre and Burdekin Library this July.

In a special event on Thursday 19 July, Burdekin Theatre will host ‘My Music, My Life, My Story’ – an evening of entertainment featuring indigenous artists and prominent figures headlined by Australian jazz legend and Birrigubba Elder Johnny Nicol.

Mr Nicol, born George Roy, was a member of the now legendary Maori Troubadours with New Zealand’s beloved Prince Tui Teka and has performed at prestigious venues around the world, but his musical journey started in Ayr where he was born and raised.

“It’s been my goal to get back to where I started and tell my story,” Mr Nicol said.

“I’m proud of where I am and what I’ve achieved in my life and I want to tell the fellas back there that if you focus on your journey, you can achieve anything you wish.

“It’s very special to me that it will be taking place around NAIDOC Week.”

The night will also feature pianist Kevin Hunt; artist, comedian, author and Bwcolgamon woman Maggie Walsh; Bindal Elder, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood; jazz singer and Birrigubba Elder, Shireen Malamoo; comedian Sean Choolburra; Aicey Zaro and the Burdekin Gospel Singers; and Alfred Henaway.

Tickets are $15-$35 from the Burdekin Theatre Box Office, by phone (07) 4783 9880 or by visiting

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said NAIDOC Week was a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.

“NAIDOC Week is officially held during 8-15 July and a number of events will take place in the Burdekin during the month of July,” she said.

Burdekin Library will host an exhibition of stories and images of local community elders as interviewed, researched and written by Ayr State High School students.

The exhibition, titled ‘Because of Her We Can’, will be launched at 6pm on Friday 20 July and will continue to be displayed until September. It will then progress to Ayr State High School for display.

“The exhibition is a partnership with Burdekin Library and Ayr State High School and is made possible thanks to NAIDOC grant funding from the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Workshops to assist community and sporting groups with grants

Burdekin Shire Council’s Community Grants Program has been updated and will be carried out in three rounds throughout the year.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council’s Community Grants Program was a wonderful initiative which enabled Council to provide support to community and sporting groups.

“Due to the growing demand for Council support, the program has been reviewed and updated to make it an even more equitable process for everyone,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Groups will be able to apply for funding under three separate rounds during 2 July to 3 August 2018; 1 October to 2 November 2018; and 4 February to 8 March 2019.

“All community and sporting groups wishing to apply for the Community Grants Program must ensure their application is submitted within the ‘round dates’. Applications submitted outside of the ‘round dates’ will not be accepted.”

Council will stage a series of workshops to assist community and sporting groups to apply for financial assistance under the program. The first two workshops will be held at Burdekin Shire Council Chambers on Thursday 12 July at 12pm-1pm and 5.30pm-6.30pm.

Cr McLaughlin said groups wishing to apply for grants were highly recommended to attend one of the sessions where they would gain a better understanding of the new process and have the opportunity to seek advice on their applications.

Cr McLaughlin said Council valued the contribution of the Burdekin’s sporting and community groups.

“Our volunteers bring immeasurable value to our community,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council will be heavily supporting the community to take advantage of the Community Grants Program through the workshops and one-on-one sessions can also be arranged with Council’s Community Development Manager to discuss the application process.”

Application forms for the Community Grants Program can be found on Burdekin Shire Council’s website

Projects stamp Burdekin as vibrant place to live, work and visit

More than $2 million will be injected into projects across the Burdekin including parks, playgrounds, public artwork and a new visitor information facility thanks to funding from the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said 14 projects were set to be delivered under the 2017/19 program, stamping the Burdekin’s reputation as a vibrant place to live, work and visit.

“The Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program supports regional councils to undertake job creating projects,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We’ve been allocated a total of $3 million in funding with $2.07 million earmarked to be spent in 2018/19. This includes funding for a new visitor information facility in Ayr as part of Council’s plans to build tourism as an economic driver for the Shire.

“Visitor information facilities are a first point of call for tourists. Along with the Burdekin Gateway Visitor Information Centre at Home Hill, the new facility will ensure drive tourists from both the north and south have the best opportunity to acquire information about our tourism products.”

Cr McLaughlin said parks and playgrounds would also be boosted with funding earmarked for upgrades to Anzac Park, a Burdekin Be Active Trail Exercise Station and the Nature Based Play Space at Plantation Park.

“The continuation of the Nature Based Play Space will see our vision for this unique play space come to life,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“In addition we’ll be carrying out an infrastructure and drainage upgrade at Ayr Showgrounds, upgrading the public toilets in Queen Street and extending the Burdekin’s street art trail with more art works across the Shire.”

Cr McLaughlin said a fuel facility would also be installed at Ayr Aerodrome, Rangemore Road and Home Hill Transfer Station would receive upgrades and a number of Council buildings would undergo energy efficiency improvements.

“Council is grateful to the Queensland Government for making all of this possible,” she said.

Council will have until June 2019 to complete all of the projects.

$5.6 million for waste services and infrastructure

Burdekin Shire Council will spend $5.6 million delivering and upgrading waste services and infrastructure in the 2018/19 financial year while keeping charges to ratepayers to a minimum.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said significant funds had been allocated to improve Council’s compliance with existing licence conditions at the Kirknie Road Landfill.

“These works will be funded from existing waste reserves, meaning there is no increase to waste charges in the 2018/19 Budget,” she said.

“Council has budgeted $1 million to construct a hardstand area for green waste and scrap steel with associated drainage lines and sediment ponds; and for an upgrade and expansion of the existing stormwater sediment ponds.

“Other major works proposed at the landfill include new internal road construction to the value of approximately $100,000, minor improvements worth $25,000 and new ground water monitoring bores budgeted at $20,000.”

Residents of Clare and surrounds will be able to visit Clare Transfer Station seven days a week on a permanent basis, with Council budgeting $22,000 towards the annual operation of the unmanned-facility following a successful trial.

Council took over the management of Clare Transfer Station from Clare State School P&C in 2017 due to a shortage of volunteer numbers needed to keep the gates open twice per month.

Cr McLaughlin said Council recently conducted a four month trial measuring the feasibility of allowing the transfer station to run on an unmanned basis, with positive results.

Budget delivers support for community and cultural facilities

Burdekin Shire will invest in supporting the community and upgrading cultural facilities in the 2018/19 financial year.

Wi-Fi and internet services will be expanded across Home Hill Library, Burdekin Memorial Hall and Watson’s Green, providing public Wi-Fi access to residents and visitors.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the Wi-Fi network expansion project would enhance and encourage the use of local cultural facilities.

“It will provide our Home Hill Library members with internet services equivalent to those at the Burdekin Library in Ayr, while the Burdekin Memorial Hall will be able to offer patrons, sponsors and performers access to public Wi-Fi during events at the hall,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“It means Council will also be able to provide the general public with public Wi-Fi during major events held at Watson’s Green. The expanded Wi-Fi service may even encourage more visitors to stop or stay in Home Hill, supporting tourism and Home Hill businesses.”

Cr McLaughlin said Council worked to support projects and activities that encouraged increased use of community spaces and facilities and had budgeted more than $260,000 to upgrade Burdekin Theatre, Burdekin Memorial Hall and Burdekin libraries in 2018/19.

“This includes $115,000 for upgrades to Burdekin Theatre, another $65,500 for Burdekin Memorial Hall upgrades and $84,000 for Burdekin Library and Home Hill Library,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin said Council valued the contribution of the Burdekin’s community organisations, sporting and not-for-profit groups and had once again earmarked significant funds to support the community.

“Council has allocated $85,400 for welfare donations, $88,000 for community events and $52,200 to cover in-kind support costs, such as setting up for events with bins and signage,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Another $142,200 is allocated towards standing donations to community and sporting organisations.”

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