Plastic not so fantastic – Join Plastic Free July

Burdekin Shire Council is once again encouraging local households, businesses and schools to throw their support behind the Plastic Free July campaign by saying ‘no’ to single use plastics such as plastic straws and packaging.

The month-long global initiative, which has mobilised millions of participants across more than 200 countries, aims to raise awareness of a world-wide plastic waste problem and supports behavioural change by helping people to avoid single-use plastic.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said this is the second year Council has taken part in the challenge.

“Every person has a role to play in reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment – including Council,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Last year, Council introduced plastic free catering and removed plastic straws and cups from all Council functions, events and meetings.

“We will go even further this year, with the Burdekin Theatre also committing to absolutely zero plastic waste for all Council run events.”

Cr McLaughlin said every individual could make small changes to reduce the impact of plastic waste.

“Single use plastics tend to be used for only minutes, yet their impact on our environment can last thousands of years.

“Thankfully, we all have the ability to make small behavioural changes which can greatly improve our ability to stay single-use plastic free. A successful initiative that comes to mind is the recent plastic bag ban.

“Positive steps include carrying a keep cup, water bottle, cutlery set and reusable shopping bag with you, and saying no to items such as plastic straws.”

Cr McLaughlin said a number of local businesses, including Chill Parlour, are already leading the way by reducing plastic straw use by introducing alternatives such as metal straws.

Community groups, businesses, schools, organisations and individuals can participate in Plastic Free July by visiting www.plasticfreejuly.org. The website features a number of resources and ideas to inspire at home, work, school, and within the community.

Brazilian pocket rocket to give cane cutting competition a chop

“I spent my childhood at my cousin’s house, jumping the fence to get into the neighbouring cane fields to play hide and seek with my cousins,” says Barb Roberts, a 33-year-old now living in Brisbane.

“I remember snapping off pieces of cane for a sweet treat. We’d peel them with our mouths and chew them as we walked home to Grandma’s.”

It’s a childhood that wouldn’t sound out of place in the Burdekin, but Barb’s upbringing happened a world away from North Queensland.

The Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL) Trading Analyst was born in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and spent her school holidays in Piracicaba – the heart of the centre-south’s cane growing region.

“I remember driving down the road and seeing them cutting the cane with knives. The sugar cane industry was big in that area.”

She left the world of sugar behind when she moved for her tertiary studies, but now many years later, Barb is getting back to her sugar cane roots.

The Brazilian pocket rocket has entered the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships, representing QSL in the inaugural Corporate Challenge on Saturday 1 June.

“When I began with QSL eight months ago in Brisbane, I had a chance to go to Bundaberg and be in the cane fields again. It was really nostalgic for me, so when I heard about this competition, I wanted to be a part of it.

“I’ve never cut cane before and I’m only little, so I don’t know if I have the strength, but our team is going to work hard – and hopefully win!”

The Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships, presented by QSL, gets underway at the Home Hill Showgrounds from 11am on Saturday 1 June.

Nominations for the seven different divisions are currently open.

To nominate, visit http://bit.ly/AHCCCreg, phone Burdekin Shire Council’s Tourism Department on (07) 4783 9800 or email . Competitors can also nominate on the day.

A Cutters Muster will be held prior to event to provide young and new competitors the chance to learn skills from experienced hand cane cutters.

The championships is one of three events making up this year’s Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival between 30 May and 1 June.

For more information, visit www.sweetdayshotnights.com.au.

Burdekin waterways showcased during Australian Fishing Championships

Burdekin waterways were seen around the country over the weekend, with the Australian Fishing Championships Barra Series Burdekin Round premiering on television on Saturday 11 May.

The Burdekin round of the elite competition was filmed in Bowling Green Bay last September and saw reigning AFC Barra Champions Craig Griffiths and Karim De Ridder go head-to-head with Team Firefly’s Jon Millard and Luke Katsaros.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the professional competition would help create greater exposure of the Burdekin region.

“The AFC will showcase to national and international audiences what Burdekin locals already know- that the Burdekin is unrivalled for its fantastic fishing opportunities,” she said.

“The AFC is considered the pinnacle of tournament fishing in Australia and is broadcast in 17 countries, with an approximate viewership of 38 million people.

“The exposure of the Burdekin from this series will help cement the region as a must-see destination on the Australian Tourism map, helping to drive tourism and ultimately benefiting our local economy.”

During the competition, professional anglers receive championship points for longest fish and for longest bag, which is the sum of their 5 longest fish.

This is the first year in the competitions history that the Burdekin has been included on the tour and the first time competitors have fished for saltwater barramundi.

Viewers can catch an encore episode on Channel Ten HD this Saturday 18 May at 6:00am. Episodes are also available for re-viewing on the TenPlay app and website.

The episode will be broadcasted to international audiences on channels including FOX Sports Asia and Star Sport from July this year.

Roll up your sleeves for Clean Up Australia Day

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has challenged residents to make 2019 the year when ‘Change Starts with You’ by joining Council’s Clean Up Australia Day event.

The community mobilisation event is being held on Sunday 31 March at Alva Beach Park.

“Clean Up Australia Day is an easy way we can all get involved and remove rubbish accumulating in our environment before it harms our local wildlife,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Last year, volunteers collected more than 190 kilograms of rubbish from Alva Beach in just a few short hours.

“We would love to see even more volunteers take part this year. I encourage residents to gather their family, friends and neighbours and roll up their sleeves for this important community initiative.”

Cr McLaughlin said data collected by Tangaroa Blue Foundation during the event will be used in evaluating the impact of the Ban the Bag and Containers for Cash schemes.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Ayr Surf Life Saving Club in Sandowns St, Alva, at 8:30am.

Cr McLaughlin said people should wear closed in shoes, sun safe clothing and a hat. Gloves and other equipment will be supplied.

“A free barbecue and cold drinks will be supplied to all volunteers at the Alva Beach Park after the clean up to thank them for their efforts,” she said.

For more information and to register, see www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Council values regular feedback from the Burdekin community regarding satisfaction with our services.

From 8 January 2019, Council will be conducting surveys to gauge customer satisfaction levels in lodging requests regarding a range of services, and to determine emerging issues and priorities.

Persons who have recently lodged a Customer Request with Council will be sent a link via email to complete the Customer Satisfaction Survey online.

Persons who do not have an email address on file will receive a survey via post. Residents may complete the survey by filling out the form and returning to Council Chambers at 145 Young Street, Ayr or by returning via post in the enclosed Reply Paid envelope to PO Box 974, Ayr Qld 4807.

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