Big screen plans for sell-out Christmas Spectacular

A free outdoor live screening will spread the festive cheer even further, when Burdekin Shire Council hosts next month’s Christmas Spectacular over two nights at Burdekin Theatre.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said tickets to the free event in the Theatre Auditorium had sold out but everyone would still be able to join in on the merriment.

“The excitement for this free, family-friendly event has been wonderful to see and we don’t want anyone to miss out,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council will be setting up a big screen in the Theatre Forecourt so anyone who hasn’t secured a ticket to the event in the Auditorium at 7pm will still be able to join in on all the entertainment we have planned,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The festivities will be held at Burdekin Theatre across two nights on Thursday 21 December and Friday 22 December, with Christmas activities and entertainment in the Forecourt and Foyer from 5pm nightly. Foods and drinks will also be available to purchase.

Santa Claus himself is tipped to make an appearance.

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.

“Ticket-holders need to be seated in the Auditorium for a 7pm start for the play, Christmas carols and Christmas messages by church leaders. Council is encouraging everyone else to set up their picnic blankets and folding chairs in the Forecourt, where the event will be screened live,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We have a great line up of entertainment planned.”

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,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Anyone who a booked ticket and is no longer able to attend is asked to return the ticket to Burdekin Theatre for redistribution, as this is a sell-out community event. For further information please visit Council’s website or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

New structure for Burdekin Shire Council

An organisational restructure focusing on improved coordination of separate functions across Council has been adopted by Burdekin Shire Council.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the new structure would be based on a two director model, similar to what was in place at Council prior to the last restructure.

“The new organisational structure is a positive step in the right direction and will enable Council to better undertake strategic planning and to identify and progress long-term goals and opportunities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The restructure does not involve any job losses and endeavours to place inter-related functions together to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.”

Under the new model, two directors will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer instead of eight managers. Other areas of change include all governance activities being grouped together into a single work group and the Assets and Geographical Information System sections being combined into a work group.

Tourism will be transferred from Community Development to Economic Development, shifting the focus to the enhancement of economic activity in the Shire through tourism.

Burdekin Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Terry Brennan said the changes would improve Council’s ability to address strategic issues and progress opportunities in the Shire.

“The new structure will provide higher level support to Council’s Managers on operational and strategic issues and improve the coordination of separate functions across Council,” Mr Brennan said.

“When you look at what most similar size councils in Queensland are doing, the majority have three of four directors within their organisational structure, but there are also some that have a two director model, similar to what was in place at Burdekin Shire Council in the past.

“Council is committed to working with the community to ensure our Shire continues to be an inclusive, welcoming and healthy environment that offers a high quality of liveability for residents that is underpinned by a productive and diverse economy. I believe these changes will better enable Council to build on these commitments into the future.”

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

Explore street-route detail for Queen’s Baton journey through Ayr

Burdekin Shire residents can begin planning their Queen’s Baton Relay experience with street-route details of the Baton’s journey around Australia now available to explore at

The baton will travel through Ayr on Monday 19 March 2018 as part of the 100-day countdown to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Sixteen Burdekin residents will share the honour of carrying the baton through Ayr, after a nomination process earlier this year called on members of the community to nominate inspirational local legends to take part in the journey.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said as the Queen’s Baton travelled the length and breadth of Australia, it would not just pass through, but spend quality time in each community it visited, calling into hundreds of local schools and community celebrations along the way.

“The Queen’s Baton is the icon of the Games with Her Majesty’s message to the athletes, carried from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“On Monday 19 March, 2018 the Baton will pass through Ayr. A community celebration is planned to ensure residents and school students from across the district will have the opportunity to share in this memorable occasion.

“Save the date as we’ll be announcing more information about this exciting event in the coming weeks.”

The Queen’s Baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty’s message from the Baton and read it aloud to declare the Games officially open.

Already the Baton has been passed between thousands of people across Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and Asia, building excitement for GC2018.

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

Have your say: Ayr Showgrounds master plan

Burdekin Shire Council has launched a community survey this week to gather ideas from local organisations, clubs, groups and individuals around planning for the future of the Ayr Showgrounds.

Access the survey here: Ayr Showgrounds master plan survey.

The project is seeking new and exciting ideas to guide the strategic planning and management of the showgrounds for the next 10 years.

This is the community’s opportunity to make Council aware of the way the showgrounds are currently used, and how they could be used in the future. Burdekin Shire Council has appointed CPR Group to develop the master plan.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said, “It’s an exciting opportunity for the community to have an input into shaping the future of this valuable facility and we’d like to hear from as many people as possible.

“It is our aim to not only optimise the use of the site but to also reactivate the showgrounds as a multi-purpose community facility. The ideas and views of community members are important to ensure that all issues are considered in the master plan.”

The survey will be open for completion until 15 December, 2017.

Council is seeking input even from those people or groups who have not used the facility in the past but may have ideas about how it could be used in future. It is important for community members to keep in mind that this is a planning process designed to assess desired community needs, taking into account available funding and realistic timeframes.

It is estimated that the survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

For more information about the master plan please contact CPR Group on (07) 5443 6247, or

2016/17 Annual Report highlights Council achievements

Burdekin Shire Council completed the 2016/17 financial year in a strong position and continues to increase its focus on the community and the promotion of tourism as a key economic driver.

Council has adopted its 2016/17 Annual Report, which is now available for viewing on the Burdekin Shire Council website

The Annual Report is one of the financial accountability documents required of Council by the Local Government Act 2009 and contains important information for the community on Council’s achievements, challenges, values and plans for the future.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the document provided an excellent opportunity for Council to present its activities for its first full 12 months in office.

“There have been many highlights with Council expanding a focus in new strategic directions,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“This has not compromised the standard of service provided in the long-established areas of Council’s operations and Council employees continue to deliver programs and services with pride and commitment in their work.

“The Burdekin community spirit is alive and thriving and evident by the support given to numerous community events throughout the year.

“On behalf of Council, I extend sincere thanks to all community members in a wide range of areas who contributed their time, expertise and energy to enhance our district in 2016/17.”

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

Tourism in Focus at Burdekin Industry Breakfast

A new Burdekin Visitor Guide showcasing tourist, business and lifestyle opportunities in the district will be officially launched when Burdekin Shire Council hosts the next Burdekin Industry Breakfast.

The breakfast will held at 7am on Wednesday November 22 at Burdekin Theatre.

Townsville Enterprise Tourism Marketing Executive Lisa Woolfe has been confirmed as a guest speaker and will provide an overview of tourism in the Burdekin, with an emphasis on the role of tourism as ‘everyone’s business’.

Her presentation is to be followed by the launch of the 2018 Burdekin Visitor Guide by Burdekin Advocate Manager Stephen Darwen.

Mr Darwen said the Burdekin Advocate produced the guide with the support of Council.

“The guide has been created to fit in with Council’s renewed focus on growing tourism opportunities in the district. Its new distribution further up and down the coast will ensure it is reached by an even wider audience of potential visitors to the Shire,” Mr Darwen said.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said tourism was a key driver for job creation and economic growth in the region. “The Burdekin has so much to offer visitors, from our beaches and boat ramps to our shops, eateries and cultural attractions,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council has supported the Burdekin Advocate in its development of this fantastic new-look visitor guide for our region and is pleased to announce the guide’s official launch as part of the upcoming Industry Breakfast. 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.”

Also presenting at the upcoming breakfast will be Burdekin Shire Council’s Disaster Management Team.

“They will talk about getting your business disaster ready,” Cr McLaughlin said. “With the cyclone season now upon us, there is no better time to ensure your disaster plan is up to date – and this applies to our businesses as well as our homes.”

The cost of the breakfast is $10 per person and includes a hot breakfast. For more information or to RSVP please contact Eliza Lovell at the Council on (07) 4783 9831 or

Burdekin Shire Council releases State Election priorities

Burdekin Shire Council is advocating for a list of priority projects for the region ahead of the State Government Election on November 25.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said with a focus on key community infrastructure and job creating projects, the list contained 13 priority initiatives for the Burdekin Shire which needed State Government support to progress.

“Council recognises the critical nature of these projects to our region and advocates for them on behalf of the community,” Cr McLaughlin said

“The need to expand Ayr’s industrial estate has become urgent. There has been increasing interest from businesses wanting to establish here and needing additional land however several constraints are present including a State imposed wetland overlay.

“Resolving this issue is critical to ensuring current and future demand for job-creating businesses can be catered for.

“Another urgent priority for our region is increasing safety at the Mount Inkerman/Bruce Highway intersection. Transport and Main Roads have also identified this location to upgrade in the future, however with increased numbers visiting this area, this upgrade is required urgently to mitigate the risk of a potentially severe accident.

“The Works for Queensland program, which allows for infrastructure projects and asset maintenance to be undertaken without submitting grant applications and awaiting successful submissions, has also been a vital initiative for our Shire. Council has received almost $3.3 million in funding since the program began, allowing many projects to go forward which Council’s budget would not otherwise be capable of incorporating.”

Cr McLaughlin said Stages 2-4 of the Nature Based Playground at Plantation Park, the duplication of the single lane boat ramp at Cromarty Creek and the extension of the Burdekin Be Active Trail were all examples of important community-based projects with the ability to make a big impact on the region.

“Council is also advocating to construct and operate, for a 12 month trial period, an algal bioremediation facility at the Ayr/Brandon Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will be able to be duplicated at numerous similar sites in Queensland which discharge into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, at a significantly reduced cost to conventional upgrade options,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“In addition, Council is calling for an upgrade of the electrical infrastructure at Ayr Showgrounds; improved resources to deal with the issue of domestic violence locally; and the establishment of a Flexible Learning Centre in the district.

“Council is also throwing its support behind Burdekin Basketball’s request for State funding to undertake improvements to their facilities in Ayr and is advocating for a review of the current funding model for the delivery of community services in the Burdekin and for the duplication of the sewer rising main at Ayr.”

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


1. The Works for Queensland Program – The Works for Queensland program initiative allows for infrastructure projects and asset maintenance to be undertaken without submitting grant applications and awaiting successful submissions. Grant applications do take a considerable amount of time by a number of Council Officers and this initiative not only saves time but also supports job creation. Without this funding Council’s budget would not be capable of incorporating these projects. The Works for Queensland program is a highly valuable initiative for regional Councils.

2. Industrial Land Development – There has been increasing interest from businesses wanting additional land and as Ayr’s existing Industrial Estate is close to capacity, the need for additional lots to be created has become urgent. Council owns sufficient ‘industrial zoned’ freehold land able to be serviced by appropriate infrastructure. However, several constraints are present including a State imposed ‘wetland’ overlay. This particular constraint severely restricts further expansion of the estate. Council is currently investigating strategies that will allow the estate to expand to ensure current and future demand is catered for. Until this issue is resolved, additional land for future industrial land uses is scare throughout the Burdekin Shire.

3. Use of Macro-Algae to Remediate Sewerage Effluent – $2 million – The project involves the cultivation of the freshwater macro-algae, Oedegonium Intermedium, to remediate nitrogen and phosphorous from the discharge effluent of the Ayr/Brandon Sewage Treatment Plant. These two nutrients represent a significant threat to the ongoing health of the Great Barrier Reef. Research conducted over a six week trial period by James Cook University (JCU) revealed the Oedogonium consistently reduced the inorganic nitrogen content of the wastewater from the Ayr/Brandon Wastewater Treatment Plant to trace levels and reduced total nitrogen by 84% and total phosphorous by 61%. The scope of works is to construct and operate, for a twelve month period, a 1.0 hectare algal bioremediation facility at the BSC Ayr/Brandon Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will be able to be duplicated at numerous similar sites in Queensland discharging into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon at a significantly reduced cost to conventional upgrade options.

4. Upgrade of the Mt Inkerman Road/Bruce Highway Intersection – Mt Inkerman is used extensively by locals and tourists as a fitness/recreational area and a tourist location. There have been numerous community members identify the issue of safety at the turn off from the Bruce Highway to Mt Inkerman Road. Transport and Main Roads have also identified this location to upgrade in the future, however with increased numbers visiting Mt Inkerman, the highway upgrade is required urgently to mitigate the risk of a potentially severe accident.

5. Stages 2/3/4 of the Nature Based playground – Stage 1 of the Nature Based Playground in Plantation Park, Ayr has been funded by the Works for Queensland program. The proposed play space preliminary concept designs have been put forward for community consultation. There is a master plan for the development of Plantation Park, and the Nature Based Playground is a key feature in the plan. The current funding will allow for the development to begin, but due to funding constraints, completion of the project is delayed.

6. Double lane Boat Ramp at Cromarty Creek – This project will duplicate the existing single lane boat ramp at Cromarty Creek which provides access to the Haughton River system and Bowling Green Bay.

7. Extension of the Burdekin Be Active Trail – Grant applications have enabled the development of sections of the Burdekin Be Active Trail which is highly utilised by residents. Requests have already been received to extend the trail in certain areas. It is important to recognise that sport and recreational activities play an integral role in the health and wellbeing of the community and the Trail encourages residents to be active.

8. Duplication of Sewer Rising Main at Ayr – This project would duplicate the existing 3km sewer rising main which provides the disposal route for all wastes from the town of Ayr to the Ayr/Brandon Wastewater Treatment Plant.

9. Upgrade of electrical infrastructure at Ayr Showgrounds – The existing electrical infrastructure at the Ayr Showgrounds is based on old outdated infrastructure and presents a safety and maintenance problem both now and in the future. New underground electrical infrastructure will bring the standard up to modern day levels and provide a safer and more reliable supply for a well-used community facility.

10. Review of the current funding model for the delivery of community services in the Burdekin given the issues that are occurring with the local vs regional delivery of these services and the split of resources amongst a large number of service providers leading to a lack of coordination and duplication of administrative support services.

11. Burdekin Basketball Association – support their request for State funding to undertake improvements to their facilities in Ayr.

12. Domestic Violence – improved resources to deal with this issue locally based on issues raised by the local services that are dealing with the issue.

13. Burdekin Flexible Learning Centre – The Burdekin Shire Council on behalf of the wider Burdekin community would like to support the concept of establishing a Flexible Learning Centre (FLC) in the Burdekin district.  A public meeting was held on 12 June 2017 bringing together a large number of stakeholders including: Burdekin PCYC, local primary and secondary school leaders, local community groups, service providers, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Government agencies and the Burdekin Shire Council.  The meeting had been convened following community concern on the rising level of disengagement from schools by children from a young age through to senior secondary school students.  The high level of representation demonstrates that there are many groups committed to establishing a FLC in the Burdekin.  At the public meeting a steering committee was established to further progress the initiative.  On 10 July 2017, the steering committee met and resolved to formally request that Youth Plus Foundation consider establishing a Youth Plus Flexible Learning Centre in the Burdekin district.

Community forums to gauge sport and recreation priorities

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the sport and recreation needs of the Burdekin Shire community over the next 10 years.

Burdekin Shire Council will develop a 2018-2028 Sport and Recreation Plan to guide the provision of sporting infrastructure and services for years to come and project consultant Otium Planning Group is running a series of community forums in Ayr and Giru this Monday.

From 5.30pm to 7pm on Monday, 13 November residents are invited to attend either the Council Chambers at 145 Young Street Ayr or the School of Arts Building at 3 Invicta Road Giru, to participate in their local Community Forum.

The Burdekin’s youth are being asked to give their feedback too, so earlier that afternoon, the consultant will also be hosting a youth consultation event from 4pm-5pm at the Council Chambers in Young Street, Ayr.
A stall will also be held at the Home Hill Harvest Festival this Saturday.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin encouraged all residents to take the time to have their say.

“Council is planning for the future and wants your ideas and input on sport and recreation across the Burdekin region,” she said.

Community members can also get involved by participating in an online survey on Burdekin Shire Council’s website Sport and Recreation Plan 2018-2028 Survey.

Hard copies of survey are available at the Ayr and Home Hill branches of Burdekin Library and Council’s Customer Service Centre.

“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.

“The last 10 year plan was prepared back in 2007 and with this having reached the end of its planning cycle, Council is seeking an update of the sport and recreation needs of the Burdekin community.

“Sport and recreation plays a crucial role in supporting the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of Burdekin residents.

“It is important Council is proactive in this area.”

Cr McLaughlin said the 10-year plan would identify key priorities and investigate a range of issues including Council’s role, how parks, sport and recreation facilities are managed and what parks, sport and recreation services are important to the community.

“It will identify the shortfalls, surplus and opportunities in the Shire’s sport and recreational supply, ” she said.

Council received $43,800 through the Queensland Government’s Sport and Recreation Planning Program to develop the 10-year plan and has engaged sport and recreation planning specialist Otium Planning Group to conduct the work following a recent tender process.

“I thank the Queensland Government for its support in making this initiative possible,” Cr McLaughlin said.

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

Lock up and win this Christmas

The Burdekin Building Safer Communities Action Team (BSCAT), with support from Queensland Police, is running a ‘Lock It or Lose It’ campaign throughout the Burdekin region over the holiday period.

The campaign aims to raise awareness and reduce the number of vehicles being left unlocked, and subsequently being easy targets for vehicle and property theft.

Council’s Community Development Manager and BSCAT Chairman Tony Vaccaro said a similar campaign in Bundaberg had proved successful.

“The campaign will include local police officers doing random vehicle checks from December through to February to ensure people have adequately secured their vehicles,” he said.

“The checks will be made in the Ayr and Home Hill CBDs as well as the smaller suburbs of the Burdekin or in back streets where cars are parked on the footpaths.

“Cars found to be secure will receive a congratulatory note on their windscreen along with an entry ticket to win gift cards from local businesses.

“We hope this will encourage everyone to lock up and secure their vehicles and personal property.”

Mr Vaccaro said tickets for the prize draw could then be placed in the entry boxes at the Burdekin Library Ayr and Home Hill branches.

“Vehicles not adequately secured will be given a list of tips on how to better secure their vehicle and personal property,” he said.

Burdekin BSCAT is a group of state and local government representatives together with business and community representatives who have developed a community partnership approach to crime prevention and community safety.

Burdekin BSCAT provides the opportunity for our local community to take positive action to prevent crime and build a safer community. This team is an advisory group to Council.

Council trials collecting fertiliser bags for recycling


Burdekin farmers are being encouraged to drop their used fertiliser bags to Council waste disposal facilities as part of a free recycling trial which will see the bags turned into alternative plastic products.

The trial is being run by Farm Waste Recovery in conjunction with the Council, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Incitec Pivot Limited, Impact Fertilisers and Canegrowers.

Governance and Local Laws Manager Dan Mulcahy said there would be special collection cages at Council’s waste disposal facilities in Ayr, Home Hill and Giru.

“There are more than 350,000 one-tonne bags and 2 million 25 kilogram bags being used by the sugar cane industry each year,” he said.

“Although some are returned to the manufacturer, most are dumped, burned or stockpiled on farms.

“This trial collection would be an ideal way for farmers to help our environment by clearing the bags from their farm.

“All you have to do is empty the bags, roll the bags up and tie them with the bags own string ties before taking them to your nearest collection cage.

“This will allow for easy collection by the recycling processers and minimise the risk of bags being blown around in strong winds.

“The trial will run until mid-December this year so hopefully farmers will have plenty of time to clear their farms of the bags.”

“The aim of this trial is to see if it is feasible to continue collecting these bags,” he said.

“If it gets sufficient support it is likely that Council will continue to act as a collection point for the fertiliser bags.”

Fertiliser bag collection locations are:

  • Ayr Waste Transfer Station – Open 7 days from 9am-5pm
  • Home Hill Waste Transfer Station – Open 7 days from 10am-5pm
  • Giru Waste Transfer Station – Open Fridays and Sundays from 3pm-6pm

For more information on Farm Waste Recovery go to


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