Burdekin residents advised to prepare

The Core members of the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group met this morning to discuss the forecast weather event associated with Cyclone Owen.

The Group has moved to ALERT status and will meet again tomorrow to monitor developments.

Each agency briefed the group on their preparation for the possible weather event. At this early stage, advice from BOM indicates that the Burdekin area could experience high rainfall and strong winds on Saturday evening/Sunday morning.

As part of your preparation, residents are advised to clean up your yard and secure loose items. For further details please refer to Council’s Emergency Action Guide which was distributed to each household last year.

We encourage residents to monitor the situation either on the BOM website and/or Council’s Dashboard accessed through the Council’s website.

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


Media contact:          Anna Grohn

Phone:                        (07) 4783 9800

Free dumping weekend labelled a success

Last month’s free dumping weekend has been called a success after more than 150 vehicles took advantage of the unlimited disposal of domestic waste.

Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said 169 vehicles entered the Kirknie Road Landfill gates on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November. This was a major increase from the usual 10 vehicles per weekend.

“The numbers show that this was an incredibly popular event amongst our residents,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We recovered approximately eight tonnes of metal for recycling across the weekend. We also accepted 170 tyres, 14 mattresses and 14 non-degassed fridges. We will now shred the mattresses to recover even more metal for recycling, whilst the tyres will be taken away by an approved tyre recycler.”

Cr McLaughlin commended the community’s behaviour when attending the free dumping weekend, saying that the majority of ute loads were secured or covered, and that residents sorted all waste before dropping recyclable materials in the designated areas.

Whilst the free dumping weekend did mean that standard fees were lifted across the two days, the majority of sorted waste can be accepted at Council Waste Facilities free of charge all year round.

“Household waste which is sorted and placed in the relevant recycling area typically does not attract a disposal fee. Fee exempt waste includes items such as scrap metal, degassed white goods, batteries, household appliances, green waste and furniture.”

Customers can also take up to 6 litres of motor oil and 20 litres of cooking oil to Council’s Transfer Stations for free.

For more information about waste disposal visit https://www.burdekin.qld.gov.au/services/waste-and-recycling

South Ayr Water Treatment Plant bypass pipeline on track for completion

The South Ayr Water Treatment Plant bypass pipeline project is on track for completion this month following the successful cut in of a section of pipeline into existing infrastructure last Wednesday 5 December.

Director of Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Nick Wellwood said Council employees and local specialist contractors were on site between 8pm and 8am to carry out the critical works.

“Despite some threatening thunderstorms and overnight rain, our team was able to successfully connect the 450mm diameter bypass junction at the water facility. This was a key stage in our project and means we continue to be on track for completion by the end of the year,” Mr Wellwood said.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said construction had been scheduled at night to take advantage of lower overnight water demand, minimising the potential for loss of continuous supply.

“To allow the cut in to occur, the Ayr Water Treatment Plant was taken offline for approximately five hours which resulted in reduced water supply capacity to the townships of Ayr, Alva and Brandon,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“As a result of the community’s efforts to conserve water, I’m happy to report that we did not experience any loss of water supply during the overnight disconnection. This is a great result and I would like to thank the community for their cooperation.”

Council officers will now focus on the final stages on the project, which include final pipework connections and operational testing of the bypass system.

Once completed, the pipeline will allow water from Conlan Street bore field to bypass the existing water facility in South Ayr and directly connect to the town water supply.

2019 Morning Melodies season revealed

Popular opera and musical theatre artists Tenori, wildly entertaining Peter Allen tribute performer Danny Elliott and classically trained musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music are among the talented line-up for the Burdekin Theatre’s 2019 Morning Melodies season.

Burdekin Shire Council Cultural Venues Manager Chris Patrick revealed the stellar line up last Wednesday 5 December during the final Morning Melodies event for the year.

“Our 2019 Morning Melodies season features so many talented musicians. We hope the community gets behind it, as they have done this year,” Mr Patrick said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lyn McLaughlin announced that Council will continue to support the Morning Melodies program by hosting a free event for residents in December.

“Looking back at past Morning Melodies seasons, it is pleasing to see crowds continue to increase,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Each year Council has invited residents to celebrate the festive season with a free Christmas-themed Morning Melodies performance, which is always popular. I am happy to announce that Council will continue to support the program in 2019 with Silver Bells- a Buble Christmas,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The 2019 Morning Melodies season includes:

  • The Lounge Suite starring Dale Pengelly – 13 February
  • We’ve Only Just Begun starring Angela Lumicisi – 27 March
  • Tenterfield to Rio starring Danny Elliott – 5 June
  • Practically Perfect starring Karla Hillam –14 August
  • Timeless starring Tenori – 16 October
  • Silver Bells- a Buble Christmas – 4 December

The six-part season will move to an 11am timeslot next year, to align with all other venues on the Morning Melodies tour. The complimentary morning tea, which is generously donated by the Friends of the Burdekin Theatre, will be provided from 10am.

Tickets to all six Morning Melodies performances go on sale 14 January 2019.

Tickets will be available from the Burdekin Theatre’s website www.burdekintheatre.com.au, the Box Office, Council on (07) 4783 9800 or the Theatre on (07) 4783 9880.

Community Christmas Carols attract record crowds

Wet weather did not deter those in the festive spirit from attending the Community Christmas Carols last night, with record numbers attending the event.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said hundreds of residents flocked to the Burdekin Memorial Hall in Home Hill for an evening of local entertainment.

“It was wonderful to see so many community members come together and celebrate as one. People of all ages gathered, from the very young to the young at heart. It was lovely to see generations of families enjoying the carols,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin said Council had received lots of positive feedback regarding the choice of entertainment, especially headline act René Le Feuvre and emcee Reece D’Alessandro.

“René Le Feuvre was a crowd favourite, performing a mix of Christmas Carols and classic hits. Reece D’Alessandro did a brilliant job presenting the evening.

“Both René and Reece are two of the district’s favourite young sons. We appreciate they took time out of their schedules to return home during this busy time of the year.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the wonderful performances produced by countless locals. Last night, we had everything from musicians to gymnasts, local choirs and a dance school. These are the groups who really make any Community Christmas Carols come alive.”

The Burdekin Combined Chaplaincy Committee expressed their appreciation for the overwhelming generosity of the community, with the Chaplain’s Collection raising over $1,000.

Fun for whole family at Burdekin libraries this Christmas

The Burdekin and Home Hill Branch Libraries will be hubs of activity this December following the announcement of the Christmas school holiday activities program.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said with a number of free and affordable activities on offer, there’s something to keep everyone busy this festive season.

The program includes old favourites, such as Christmas-themed Storytime and a movie at Ideas@108, as well as plenty of new activities.

“What’s really exciting is that for the first time we’ve included two adult craft sessions in our holiday activities program, meaning there really is something for everyone at the libraries,” Cr McLaughlin.

“Our Christmas activities are always popular, so I encourage families to book early to avoid disappointment,” Cr McLaughlin said.

 Burdekin Libraries


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 athletes and coaches eligible for CQUniCares North Queensland Sports Foundation Scholarship

High performing Burdekin athletes and coaches about to begin university are being encouraged to apply for one of three sports scholarships being offered by North Queensland Sports Foundation and CQUniversity.

Under the CQUniCares North Queensland Sports Foundation Scholarship, elite athletes and coaches who are about to begin the first year of a Bachelor’s degree at CQUniversity are eligible for up to $10,000 in financial assistance.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our Burdekin athletes to develop their sporting careers and further their education whilst remaining in North Queensland.”

There are three scholarships on offer, including one dedicated to Indigenous Athletes.

As Burdekin Shire Council is a member of the North Queensland Sports Foundation, all Burdekin residents are eligible to apply.

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 11 January.

For more information and details on how to apply, visit https://www.cqu.edu.au/courses/scholarships

A new Christmas-themed Magical Park is waiting for you

Ayr’s Anzac Park will turn into a digital fantasy land these school holidays when the augmented reality game Magical Park returns to the Burdekin Shire.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that after downloading the free Magical Park app on their smart phone or tablet, users could chase reindeer, battle Yetis and help Santa save Christmas during 5 December – 7 January 2019.

“Users will step into a blended virtual world seen through the app once they enter the boundaries of the magical park,” she said.

“A great safety feature of this game is that Magical Park only works within a confined area in the park, meaning that the game content disappears as the device holder reaches a pre-set boundary.”

It comes after Council introduced the game in two local parks last year.

Cr McLaughlin said Council hoped the game would get children outdoors and active these school holidays.

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

“Council would love to see more children and families frequenting our parks. 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.”

Magical Park is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.


South Ayr Water Treatment Plant bypass pipeline project reaches key stage, water pressure to be temporarily affected


Council expects to complete construction of a 450mm diameter bypass pipeline at the South Ayr Water Treatment Plant by the end of the month.

The major project, which commenced in August, has involved extensive infrastructure upgrades between Rossiter’s Hill and South Ayr.

It will allow water from Conlan Street bore field to bypass the existing water facility in South Ayr, directly connecting to the town water supply and providing greater water resilience for our region.

Director of Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Nick Wellwood said the project would reach a key point tonight when Council officers conduct cut in works at the water treatment facility in South Ayr.

“To allow us to carry out these pipe connection works, we need to temporarily cut off the water supply from the South Ayr Treatment Plant,” Mr Wellwood said.

“This means that water pressure throughout Ayr, Alva Beach and Brandon will be dramatically reduced and indeed some people may find very little water supply. This situation is unavoidable however we will be commencing this cut in after 10pm Wednesday to minimise the inconvenience to the public.”

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council asks all residents to limit water usage to essential purposes only during the cut off period to minimise the chance of water supply interruption.

“We ask that residents refrain from using water for non-essential purposes such as sprinkler irrigation. We expect that water supply pressure will be back to normal by Thursday morning and thank people for their understanding during this critical water connection period.”

Cr McLaughlin said the project demonstrated that Council is serious about water security in our region.

“As part of Council’s overall water resilience strategy, officers have been actively investigating opportunities to increase water resilience in the Shire.

“This project will increase volumetric supply capacity to the townships of Ayr, Brandon and Alva, as well as improve the resilience of our water networks during unplanned outages or planned scheme maintenance.

“The pipeline will also cater for the potential development and incorporation of additional bores, allowing Council to accommodate future population growth.”

Cr McLaughlin acknowledged the commitment by all Council employees in delivering this project which has involved extensive night works.


Mayor slams claims Burdekin LDMG is suffering from training shortfalls

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has slammed claims that the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is suffering from training shortfalls, saying that the figures quoted by media were outdated.

Cr McLaughlin said “I am incredibly angry that the community was made to feel uneasy about the state of our LDMG training, as the numbers quoted by the media do not accurately reflect the current position of the Burdekin LDMG. Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) and the Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Management Officer have been incredibly proactive in providing in-person and online training opportunities to our LDMG members, particularly in the lead up to disaster season. Consequently, the numbers quoted by the media from October’s internal audit were already outdated by the time the article was released late last week.”

Last week, media outlets claimed that of the current 50 Burdekin LDMG members, 13 members had not completed the Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements Modules (QDMA modules), 23 had not completed Intro to Recovery and 16 Members had not completed Intro to Evacuation.

“I can confirm that every single one of our core LDMG members have completed all relevant training modules.

“I can also confirm that of our LDMG members, only 7 have not completed the QDMA modules and Intro to Evacuation and only 11 have not yet completed the Intro to Recovery. However, nearly all members with training gaps have been members of the LDMG for less than six months, and we expect they will be fully trained within the next six weeks.”

Cr McLaughlin also highlighted that the Burdekin LDMG is significantly larger than most other North Queensland LDMGs.

“We have a total of 50 members in our Burdekin LDMG, which is up from 38 people in March 2018.

“We have been proactive in making sure our LDMG includes stakeholder organisations from across the community. Nearly every organisation has identified at least one deputy who must also complete the relevant training.

“This gives us depth in the LDMG to handle any fatigue management issues, meaning we are in a stronger position for when an emergency does strike.”

Cr McLaughlin went on to say that residents should feel reassured that community safety was the Burdekin LDMG’s first priority.

“Council has heavily invested in understanding and identifying hazards that affect our region and we pride ourselves on our commitment to community resilience.

“Over the past twelve months, not only have we employed a dedicated part-time Disaster Management Officer, we have also developed the Burdekin Emergency Dashboard, distributed an Emergency Action Guide to all Burdekin households, and produced five Community Recovery fact sheets. We will also be running a cinema advertisement from 1 December until the end of May.”

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