Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival expands to include cultural fair

The Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival will be a whole lot sweeter this year after Burdekin Shire Council announced the festival will include a cultural food and activity fair in 2019.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin made the announcement during the official launch on Friday night, saying the newly-announced Burdekin Cultural Fair would expand the festival into a three-event program.

“The Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival was a great success in 2018, with more than 2,000 people witnessing the power of the First Fire and a further 3,000 attending the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This year will see the return of the First Fire on Thursday 30 May and the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships on Saturday 1 June, and we are incredibly excited to announce that the event will now conclude with the Burdekin Cultural Fair to be held in Ayr on Sunday 2 June.

“The Burdekin Cultural Fair will celebrate our diverse culture here in the Burdekin through a range of cultural activities, food and entertainment, and will ensure the festival is celebrated throughout the Shire.

“Through this signature festival event, we envisage growing the visitor economy and offering a unique experience for both visitors and locals alike.”

During the launch event it was revealed that renewable energy company Pacific Hydro had committed to a three-year partnership with Council, coming on board as Presenting Sponsor of the Festival.

Pacific Hydro Engagement and External Affairs Manager Krista Kim said the partnership was extremely important to the company.

“Having the opportunity to once again partner with Burdekin Shire Council to deliver the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival is very exciting for us,” she said.

“It is also the perfect opportunity build on the many relationships that we have worked hard to forge over the last two years since we first entered the Shire.

“Successes in our relationships with the communities where we operate are as important to our business as other factors, such as technical and financial success.”

Cr McLaughlin also announced Evolution Mining as the Presenting Sponsor of the First Fire event and Queensland Sugar Limited as the Presenting Sponsor of the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships.

Created in 2018, the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival is a celebration of the Burdekin agricultural region and the enviable lifestyle that comes with it, from fresh produce and culinary delights through to adventure and sports tourism experiences, country hospitality, great music and family-friendly entertainment.

The inaugural event combined the pre-existing First Fire and Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships events to create a revitalised family friendly festival.

Cr McLaughlin thanked the Queensland Government for supporting the Burdekin Cultural Fair under the Celebrating Multi Cultural Queensland Program.

Nominations open for 2019 Fast Track Talent Showcase

Talented singers, dancers, musicians and performers of all disciplines are being invited to nominate for Australia’s largest talent showcase, Fast Track.

Burdekin Shire Youth Council Mayor Sarah McDonnell said the national talent showcase would be returning to the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday 27 April with a celebrity guest.

“On behalf of Burdekin Shire Youth Council, I am extremely excited to announce that The Voice Grand Finalist Aydan will be appearing as special guest performer and judge,” Miss McDonnell said.

“The Burdekin Fast Track competition continues to grow each year. 2018 was our biggest competition to date, with more than 40 nominated acts and approximately 140 individual performers taking to the Burdekin Theatre stage.

“We can’t wait to see the talent unearthed during this year’s competition.”

To register in the Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase, which is open to all ages, email your name and contact details to .

Heats will commence from 11am with the Final Showcase featuring Aydan from 7pm.

For more information call 1300 FAST01 or visit facebook.com/fasttracktalent.

Reformed gang member Luke Kennedy to share inspirational story during free community session

Motivational speaker Luke Kennedy will share his journey from troubled teen to successful businessman during a free community session at the Burdekin Theatre on Thursday 21 March.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Mr Kennedy, a former leader of a street fighting gang, would use his experience to inspire and enlighten others.

“As the former leader of a street fighting gang, Luke came close to death numerous times. He was stabbed twice – once in the lung and once in the head,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Fortunately, Luke was able to turn his life around. He is now a successful business owner, mental health advocate and one of Australia’s best motivational speakers.

“Burdekin Shire Council in conjunction with Burdekin Building Safer Communities Action Team are excited to be bringing Luke’s incredible story to all local High Schools, and I invite all parents, caregivers, guardians and community members to join us during our free community session.”

The free community session will run from 5:30pm on Thursday 21 March for approximately one hour.

State and Federal funding assistance for flood affected Burdekin Shire

Burdekin Shire residents, primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations affected by the recent monsoon trough event may be eligible for a number of State and Federal funding assistance measures.

Details of the assistance measures can be found at the web addresses below. For further information please phone the relevant State or Federal authority.

Community Recovery

Assistance for flood affected residents in activated locations

Emergency Hardship Assistance

Essential Household Contents

Structural Assistance Grant

Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant

Department of Human Services (Centrelink)

Assistance for residents adversely affected by a major disaster

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority)

Assistance for Primary Producers:

Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants

Disaster Assistance Loans

Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital)

Assistance for Small Businesses:

Disaster Assistance Loans

Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital)

Assistance for Non-profit organisations

Disaster Assistance Loans

Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital)

Works begin on Alva Beach Park playground upgrade

Works have commenced on the Alva Beach Park playground upgrade.

A section of the park has been closed to allow works to be undertaken safely, however the barbecue, picnic areas and toilet amenities remain open to the public.

Once completed, the improved play area will feature old favourites such as slides and swings, as well as instrument-inspired installations including slap pipes and a four-note drum.

The project is expected to be completed in early March.

Burdekin Theatre reveals upcoming season in 2019 Event Guide

Music fans and theatre lovers have been promised an entertaining 2019 following the launch of the Burdekin Theatre’s 2019 Event Guide.

Burdekin Shire Council Cultural Venues Manager Chris Patrick says the new season promises to be a year of diverse and dynamic performances for the whole community to enjoy.

“We have everything from comedy to ballet, musicals to free events, dinner show cabarets, concerts, and film festivals to name a few. There is something for everyone to enjoy during this incredible season,” Mr Patrick said.

Highlights include performances by Troy Cassar-Daley, 13-piece Japanese drumming outfit Yamato, A Taste of Ireland and Melbourne City Ballet. Dinner and show productions are also returning after two sell out events in 2018.

“Following the success of the Dirty Dicks Theatre Restaurant and Fawlty Towers Dining Experience last year, we’ve included two dinner and show productions in the 2019 line up,” Mr Patrick said.

“Tomorrow night is our Valentine’s Day special event One Night in Italy, and then later this year is the Royal Flying Doctor Service fundraiser Mediterranean Magic in the Theatre forecourt.”

Six Morning Melodies performances feature in this year’s line-up, starting at 11am today with The Lounge Suit.

Young ones also have plenty to look forward to, with the theatrical adventure Loose Ends touring in May and Mem Fox’s charming Possum Magic coming to life in July.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the 2019 season was a great opportunity for residents and locals to experience high-calibre cultural events.

“We are so fortunate to have such outstanding facilities in our Shire with both the Burdekin Theatre and Burdekin Memorial Hall,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Last year, Council upgraded the Burdekin Theatre’s sound systems, installing a state-of-the-art Clair Brothers PA system. Clair Brothers are the company of choice for all the large touring shows, including Metallica, the Rolling Stones and Garth Brooks.

“These speakers have lifted the audio in the Burdekin Theatre to rival any theatre in the country.

“I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of the Burdekin Theatre 2019 Event Guide and take advantage of the many quality performances happening this year.”

The 2019 Burdekin Theatre Events Guide is available from the Box Office or Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Tickets for all 2019 performances are available online www.burdekintheatre.com.au, from the Box Office, Council’s Customer Service Centre or phone (07) 4783 9890.

Burdekin LDMG moves to alert

The Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group has moved to alert this afternoon after nearly two weeks of standing up.

Floodwaters have largely receded in the Giru, Woodstock and Hodel areas, as well as on the Bruce Highway between Plantation Creek and the Burdekin River.

Rita Island and Groper Creek continue to be isolated due to floodwaters however it is anticipated that access will be restored Tuesday.

Since first standing up on Tuesday 29 January, the LDMG has received 118 tasks and 259 enquiries.

Six emergency food and medicine resupply missions were completed by helicopter, with further resupply missions completed via truck, ute and boat by agencies including Queensland Police, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, SES, Volunteer Marine Rescue Burdekin and Burdekin Shire Council.

Emergency resupplies were delivered to approximately 65 properties.

In addition to this, the LDMG hosted a Recovery Information Centre in Giru on Friday 8 February, which was attended by approximately 60 people.

Giru Transfer Station extends operating hours, removes charges for domestic waste

Burdekin Shire Council is helping residents clean up after extended floodwaters by providing free dumping of domestic waste at the Giru Transfer Station. Residents are able to take advantage of the free unlimited dumping of domestic waste until Sunday 10 February.

In addition to removing charges for domestic waste, Council is also extending weekend operating hours. The Giru Transfer Station will be open until 6pm Friday, and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

For updates on disaster information please visit http://disaster.burdekin.qld.gov.au/ and follow the Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre on Facebook.


Community recovery information centre to re-open in Giru on Friday 8 February

The Burdekin Local Disaster Recovery Committee (BLDRC) will reopen a recovery information centre at the Giru CWA Hall tomorrow to provide information and support services to Haughton River flood-affected residents.

Residents were previously invited to attend the centre on Wednesday 6 February, however the BLDRC was forced to close the centre early due to rising Haughton River levels.

Represented agencies include:

  • Burdekin Shire Council
  • Burdekin Community Association
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

The hub will be located at the QCWA Hall, 9 Carey Street, Giru and will open 10am to 2pm on Friday 8 February 2019. Residents are asked to bring identification to present on arrival.

The BLDRC is investigating additional opportunities to provide support for those unable to attend at this time.

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

Giru residents must conserve water

Giru residents are being urgently advised to conserve water until further notice.

Townsville City Council have advised that the Cungulla Water Treatment Plant is currently offline due to increased turbidity in the water.

The water within the Giru township remains safe to drink, however it should not be used for any major clean up to ensure availability of potable water for essential purposes.

Townsville City Council is currently attempting to restore plant operations, however Giru residents must conserve water until further advice is provided by the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG).

Residents in the Shirbourne area should continue to boil water as per previous Burdekin LDMG advice.


Back to top