Burdekin Shire prepares for a spectacular Christmas event

Preparations are in full swing ahead of the Christmas Spectacular at Burdekin Theatre this Thursday and Friday night.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said anyone who didn’t secure tickets to the nightly show in the Auditorium could still watch a free live stream of the entire program in the Burdekin Theatre Forecourt.

“The event will be held over two nights so there are two chances to take part in the festivities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“From 5pm nightly we’ll have free Christmas activities and entertainment in the Theatre Forecourt and Foyer with food and drinks available to purchase. Santa Claus himself is tipped to make an appearance.

“Families will also be able to step into our on-site photo booth and have a free Christmas themed portrait taken with a professional photographer.”

At 7pm the free Christmas Spectacular will take place in the Theatre Auditorium, including a program of family-favourite Christmas carols and the children’s play, Elf.

Council is encouraging everyone who missed out on a ticket to set up their picnic blankets and folding chairs in the Forecourt, where the event will be screened live.

Cr McLaughlin said the Community Christmas Carols were a great community tradition and this year Council had received funding through the Queensland Government’s Community Drought Support Package to make the event even bigger.

“I thank the Queensland Government for its assistance in making this event possible, by providing $22,500 through its Community Drought Support Package,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin said director Pat Nuttall and Burdekin Singers had put together a special production of Elf, starring 36 local school children.

“The night will also include Christmas messages by church leaders and a program of family-favourite Christmas carols performed by some of our talented local singers,” she said.

“I invite everyone to come down and enjoy this free family event.”

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

Burdekin Library school holiday fun continues into New Year

Children’s author Ian McIntosh and illustrator Matt Lewis will host a free workshop in Ayr, giving Burdekin kids the opportunity to explore creative writing and illustrations these January school holidays.

Following on from Burdekin Library’s December school holiday program, there will be even more activities and events on offer in the New Year to keep the Shire’s youngest residents entertained.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said families should get set for some amazing activities at Burdekin Library in January 2018.

“As a part of Summer Reading Club 2017/2018, we are pleased to announce that children’s authors and Illustrators – Ian McIntosh and Matt Lewis – will be hosting a workshop at Ayr Branch of Burdekin Library on Tuesday 16 January,” she said.

“This is a free workshop where children aged 10-15 will be able to create their very own story board game.”

It is just one of the events on offer as part of the January school holiday program, which commences on Tuesday 9 January with a workshop on Ozobots.

“Participants will be able to try out an Ozobot – a little robot toy that blends the physical and digital worlds – and teaches kids programming,” Cr McLaughlin said.

A full program of events and activities at the Ayr and Home Hill branches of Burdekin Library in January is available at the following link: School Holiday Program January

Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Burdekin Library on (07) 4783 9970.

Free school holidays activities to keep the kids entertained

Burdekin children will have plenty of opportunities to stay entertained these December school holidays with free activities at the Ayr and Home Hill branches of Burdekin Library.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said kids would be able to participate in an array of art and craft workshops tailored specifically for the festive season.

“These Christmas-themed workshops are designed to keep children’s creativity alive over the school break,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The school holiday program is on from Tuesday 12 December until Wednesday 20 December, with a January program to follow.

Cr McLaughlin said the participants would learn to create DIY Bon Bons, Christmas Sand Art, Reindeer Dioramas and more. A full program of activities is available at Burdekin Shire Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au.

“Registrations are essential so if you’d like to attend one of the workshops please contact Burdekin Library on (07) 4783 9970,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The Summer Reading Club is also back for the school holidays.

“Registration is free and opens on December 1. When participants register at Burdekin Library they will receive a Summer Reading Club pack,” Cr McLaughlin said.

To launch the Summer Reading Club, Burdekin Library is hosting a Junior Writing Competition. Details are available from the Library page of Burdekin Shire Council’s website or by calling Burdekin Library on (07) 4783 9970.

Magic to be had in Anzac Park these school holidays

Ayr’s Anzac Park will be transformed into a digital playground where cute kittens, dinosaurs and robots roam these December school holidays.

Following a successful trial of the Magical Park app at Plantation Park for Parks Week in March, Burdekin Shire Council is bringing the popular augmented reality game back to the Shire during December 9-24, with even more fantasy worlds to explore.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said residents and visitors could download the free Magical Park app on their smart phone or tablet, giving them access to games like Prehistoria, Alienscape and Augmentia.

“The games use geolocation technology, so when families step into the Anzac Park boundaries, they will be stepping into a blended virtual world seen through the app,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The games are designed for children aged six to 11 and create an exciting and engaging world for them to explore.

“The idea is to get kids outdoors and active. They’ll be running around catching virtual kittens, collecting dinosaur eggs and rescuing aliens.”

To coincide with the festive season, children will also have access to the Magical Park Christmas game.

Cr McLaughlin said Council would run Magical Parks at four Shire parks during gazetted school holiday periods over the next 12 months.

The intention is to have only one Magical Park operating at any one time.

“We’re starting with Anzac Park and, over the next 12 months,  we’ll also be bringing the Magical Park experience to Memorial Park at Home Hill, and Plantation and Coutts Parks in Ayr,” she said.

“If Council determines to continue Magical Parks beyond this initial 12 month trial, we could also look at expanding in to other suitable parks throughout the Shire

“Council would love to see more children and families frequenting our parks, which are great community assets in themselves. This is a wonderful way to encourage them to do that, giving kids open space to exercise and get outdoors while they enjoy the use of modern technology.”

Family backs 10 year plan for Burdekin sport and recreation future

All five members of Home Hill’s Casswell family love getting active in the great outdoors and have played nearly every sport available in the Burdekin Shire between them.

For Col and his wife Kate and their three children Andrew, 25, Hannah, 23 and James, 20, sport plays an important role in their lives, which is why they are throwing their support behind the development of a new 10 year Sport and Recreation Plan for the Shire.

Burdekin Shire Council received $43,800 through the Queensland Government’s Sport and Recreation Planning Program for the project and has engaged sport and recreation planning specialist Otium Planning Group to conduct the work.

Col, who volunteers as the Secretary of Home Hill Tennis Association, said his family was lucky to have such wide range of parks, sporting and recreational boating facilities on their doorstep, but he believed planning for the future was important.

“In the future I’d like to see a good mix of new facilities undercover and more opportunities for the sharing of facilities between different sporting groups,” Col said.

“Growing the participation levels in sport in the community is also needed. At Home Hill Tennis Association we’ve been working hard to improve the facilities and we do attract some big competitions. In another 10 years, we’d like to see more people playing tennis overall, socially as well as for competition.”

Hannah grew up playing sports and went on to represent Queensland in tennis and North Queensland in softball and cross country before embarking on a career as a PE teacher.

“I would love to see more facilities in the Burdekin with the ability to attract high level events and competitions. This gives the kids coming through something to aspire to,” she said.

“It’s about having the facilities and also having the people who can make it successful.”

Council is currently calling on residents and sporting clubs to have their say on the sport and recreation needs of the community.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin encouraged residents to complete the Burdekin Sport and Recreation Plan 2018-2028 Community Survey, which is now available at Burdekin Shire Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au and in hard copy at the Ayr and Home Hill branches of Burdekin Library and from Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Sporting clubs are also urged to have their say by completing the Burdekin Sport and Recreation Plan 2018-2028 Club Survey.

This survey was emailed to clubs earlier this month and is also available by contacting Council’s Community Development team on (07) 4783 9800.

“Your views about sport and recreation participation, activities, facilities and services will help us to set priorities and plan for the future,” Cr McLaughlin said.

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

Theatregoers to welcome return of Burdekin Theatre Box Office

Burdekin theatregoers will be able to buy their tickets direct from the Box Office, with the eagerly-awaited reopening of a dedicated ticket shop at Burdekin Theatre this week.

Burdekin Shire Council Cultural Venues Manager Chris Patrick said after a hiatus of more than two years, the Burdekin Theatre Box Office was back up and running in the Theatre Foyer.

“We’re very excited to re-open the Burdekin Theatre Box Office. This means that patrons no longer have to visit alternative venues to source their tickets,” Mr Patrick said.

“Our staff here are happy to serve patrons through their entire Theatre experience, from buying tickets all the way to ensuring they enjoy the performance on the night.”

Theatre gift vouchers will also be sold at the Box Office.

Mr Patrick said the Box Office hours were 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, as well as one hour before each performance.

Tickets can still be purchased at Council’s Customer Service Centre, 145 Young Street Ayr; from the Burdekin Theatre website www.burdekintheatre.com.au; or by phoning the Theatre on (07) 4783 9886.

Burdekin Shire Council awards tender for nature based walking trail

The construction of a nature based walking trail at Mount Inkerman will begin in January, 2018.

Burdekin Shire Council this week awarded a tender for the design and construction of the walking track to Living Trails.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the track would utilize natural terrain and natural features as it wound its way through the bush to the summit.

“The trail is a perfect fit with Council’s plan of growing nature-based experiences in the Burdekin,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“It will also really complement the whole precinct we’re creating up at Mount Inkerman.

“The Mount Inkerman lookout is a fantastic spot from which residents and visitors can take in spectacular views of the whole district and Council’s $1.5 million upgrade will ensure it becomes a premier tourist and recreational attraction for our Shire.”

Living Trails has completed notable walking tracks throughout Australia, including the Grampians Peak Trail; the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria; and the Three Capes Walk and Wineglass Bay Lookout in Tasmania.

Cr McLaughlin said the successful tender by Living Trails would see the entire walkway, from the base of the mountain to the summit, completed in just one stage – even sooner than initially expected.

The works are proposed to be completed by March, 2018.

“The offer from Living Trails is to construct a fully developed 1,563m walking trail at Mount Inkerman from the base to the summit,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Additional materials will need to be purchased by Council but the final cost will still be within the budget allocation of $307,000.

“The cost of the Mount Inkerman Walking Trail is included in Council’s 2017/18 Capital Works Plan and is jointly funded by the Queensland Government.

“Council thanks the Queensland Government for supporting this project through a $200,000 grant from the Scenic Lookout Program.”

The track will be one of the final components of Council’s $1.5 million upgrade of Mount Inkerman.

Two new lookout structures, additional car parking, a public concourse and a toilet amenity have already been installed at the summit.

Mount Inkerman Road is currently closed and being upgraded to provide a safer journey to the top for motorists and pedestrians.

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

Local Law amendment a new deterrent against threats and abuse

People who threaten, insult or use abusive language to a Council officer are committing an offence and risk being fined, under a new Local Law amendment adopted by Burdekin Shire Council.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the purpose of Administration (Amendment) Local Law (No 1) 2017 was to provide a deterrent for people who choose to display unacceptable behaviour.

“The vast majority of residents are respectful, friendly and community-minded so when this sort of behaviour does occur, it is not in keeping with the expectations of the community,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The original Local Law only addressed a situation where an ‘authorised person’ was threatened or abused.

Cr McLaughlin said under the amendment, the Local Law had been extended to include ‘all Council officers’.

“Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence shows that abuse has escalated over time and members of the public are more aggressive and more likely to challenge Council workers when they are just doing their job,” Cr. McLaughlin said.

“This change has been made to provide some redress to those employees who are placed in that situation.

“It is not intended to rely upon this amendment to the Local Law to automatically issue fines in all situations, however it will be beneficial for those affected employees to have the backing of this legislation, particularly in serving as a deterrent.

“Although Council would hope not to have to issue a fine, the ability to do so is there.”

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

Emergency Action Guide: Get ready before a disaster strikes

Burdekin Shire households will receive an Emergency Action Guide to help them prepare for natural disasters.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council had been developing a brand new Emergency Action Guide with a focus on natural disasters and this November, free copies would be distributed to all households in the Shire.

The guide is also available on Council’s website here: Emergency Action Guide

“Between 10 and 13 cyclones are expected to form in Australian waters this summer,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“With November now marking the start of cyclone season, it’s important to prepare your home, cars, boats and pets to make sure everything is ready.

“It is vital that every household has a ‘WHAT-IF’ plan. Take the time to ask yourself what are you and your family going to do if a cyclone, bushfire, flood or other disaster strikes.”

Cr McLaughlin said Council’s new Emergency Action Guide would assist residents to prepare their emergency plans, emergency kits and evacuation kits, along with providing information on the risk and likelihood of disasters within the community

“Know your evacuation route, have an emergency kit and take steps to limit damage to your property,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Knowing where to get information during emergencies is also critical.”

Cr McLaughlin said the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) and Council were the community’s official sources of information during a disaster.

“Depending on the severity of the event, during a disaster the Burdekin LDMG may establish a Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC) which will be manned by trained Council staff, emergency services and key agencies,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“You will find disaster information about when the centre is operational on the Burdekin Shire Council website, the Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre page on Facebook, public notices and the local radio.”

Council’s Emergency Action Guide 2017-19 was made possible thanks to funding from the State Government’s 2017/18 Get Ready program.

The guide will hit mailboxes in the Burdekin Shire in coming days.


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