More than $5,500 in Fast Track prizes

Fast Track finalists will be competing for much more than the title of the Burdekin’s biggest talent when the annual talent showcase returns next month.

Burdekin Shire Youth Council Mayor Sarah McDonnell revealed that contestants would be vying for more than $5,500 worth of prizes, including the inaugural Fast Track to Fame award.

“For the first time in Burdekin Fast Track history, two local acts will be selected to take part in the national final being held in Melbourne later this year,” Miss McDonnell said.

“This prize, called the Fast Track to Fame, is incredibly exciting as it means two local acts will be exposed to industry representatives and talent scouts, giving them a chance to further their career.”

Miss McDonell also revealed there would be an increase in cash prizes this year across the other eight categories.

“The prize for Best Overall Talent place has increased to $750, with Runner Up Best Talent now taking home $500,” she said.

“The total value for prizes during this year’s showcase is approximately $5,750, which is nearly double the amount from last year. On behalf of Youth Council, I’d like to thank the Queensland Government and all our generous sponsors for making this event possible.”

Nominations for the Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase are now open. To register, email your name and contact details to .

Heats will commence on Saturday 27 April from 11am with the Final Showcase featuring the 2018 Voice Grand Finalist Aydan from 7pm.

For more information call 1300 FAST01 or visit

Burdekin Shire Youth Council elect new executive

The Burdekin Shire Youth Council has voted on who will lead them for the next 12 months, re-electing Ayr State High School Sarah McDonnell as Mayor.

Burdekin Christian College Year 8 student Emily Holmes was named Deputy Mayor and Burdekin Catholic High School senior Jocelyn Eaton is Secretary.

Miss McDonnell said she was looking forward to leading the Youth Council again in 2019.

“I really enjoyed my last term as Youth Mayor and felt it was a great opportunity to develop leadership skills whilst working with a wide range of people. To have the opportunity to lead again is something I’m really thankful for,” Miss McDonnell said.

Miss Eaton said the Secretary position complimented her leadership role at Burdekin Catholic High School (BCHS).

“As Service Captain, I’m really pushing for BCHS to be more even involved in the community. I thought Youth Council secretary sounded like an excellent role, and by being part of the Youth Council executive I’ll also be able to keep my cohort up to date as well,” she said.

There are 18 Youth Council members in 2019, with representatives from Burdekin Catholic High School, Ayr State High School, Burdekin Christian College, Ayr State Primary School, Brandon State Primary School, Clare State Primary School, and St Francis Primary School. There is also one youth representative who is working.

Miss McDonell said the group was looking forward to representing the interests of local youth.

“A lot of young people want to change something in the Burdekin but they don’t know how. We want them to know this is where you can come, and they shouldn’t be afraid to make a difference.”

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin congratulated the outgoing 2018 Executive on their achievements.

“On behalf of Burdekin Shire Council, I would like to thank the 2018 Youth Council Executive for your hard work over the past 12 months. You have done an amazing job,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“I also congratulate the incoming Youth Council Executive and encourage all Youth Council members to get involved. I’m confident it will be another fantastic year ahead.”

Small business workshop to teach basics of Facebook marketing

Small local businesses will learn how to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool during an informative workshop on Tuesday 9 April.

The Basics of Facebook for Business workshop will discuss Facebook business pages, tools and how and when to effectively post content during the two-hour session.

The workshop, which is being held between 9:00–11:00am at Council Chambers, costs $18.41 and is open to all small businesses (0-19 employees) with an ABN.

To register, visit

This event is being delivered by ASBAS Digital Solutions Qld in partnership with Burdekin Shire Council and RDA Townsville & North West.

Council schedules flying fox dispersal activities in Home Hill

Council officers will be carrying out flying fox dispersal activities in Home Hill near Kidby Gully from Tuesday 19 March to Thursday 21 March.

It comes after a colony of flying foxes recently started using the residential area as a roost.

Officers will also be carrying out simultaneous dispersal activities in Lloyd Mann Park.

The activities will start before dawn at around 5am with starter pistols and will be conducted for approximately one hour.

Residents are asked to secure any animals that may be startled by loud noises.

BSCAT winds up after 13 years of promoting community safety

The Burdekin Building Safer Community Action Teams (BSCAT) has held its final meeting yesterday after nearly 13 years of crime prevention initiatives.

The committee was formed in 2006 in response to the Beattie Government’s Building Safer Community Action Teams program, which aimed to develop strong networks between police, local government and community stakeholders.

Under this program, the Burdekin BSCAT committee – which was made up of Councillors, Council staff, Queensland Police Service personnel and community representatives – received an initial grant for $20,000 to use on crime prevention initiatives.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin praised the ability of the Burdekin BSCAT to make the one-off funding last such a significant amount of time.

“During its lifetime, the Burdekin BSCAT committee has carried out several successful campaigns and projects, including the Crime Prevention Conference, Youth Watch Patrol, Queen Street traders height charts and One Punch Can Kill presentations to local schools.

“The funding also assisted in securing burglar beware signage on buses, lock it or lose it street signs, and CCTV at both Tommy Tie Park and the Graham Street Bus Shelter.

“I would like to thank the BSCAT committee members, past and present, for their valuable contributions to promoting community safety over the years.”

Residents encouraged to register unwanted agvet chemicals for collection

Growers, farmers, veterinarians and chemical users have until 19 April to register their unwanted agricultural and veterinary chemicals for Agsafe’s Chemclear collection, which will be servicing Queensland in June 2019.

Chemclear is a not-for-profit waste collection service for agvet chemicals, and provides periodic collections of those products across Australia.

To take advantage of the program, waste holders must complete an inventory of unwanted chemicals and register the inventory with Chemclear.

The inventory must provide the name of the product, manufacturer, container size and the remaining quantity in the container. If the container has no label on it, ChemClear requires the size of the container, whether it is a powder, granule or liquid and the remaining quantity in the container.

Chemical containers displaying the drumMUSTER logo or agvet chemicals that are currently registered under the Industry Waste Reduction Stewardship initiative are eligible for free collection.

Containers without the logo or are unlabelled, expired, mixed or from non-participating manufacturers, are designated fee-for-service products incurring a per L/kg fee for disposal. A quote will be supplied for fee-for-service chemicals before collection.

A retrieval vehicle will be collecting registered chemicals from allocated sites in each Shire Council area where a registration has been received.

Waste holders can register their chemicals online at or phone 1800 008 182.

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 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

North Queensland Tourism staff and volunteers to converge on Burdekin

More than 75 North Queensland tourism staff and volunteers will converge on the Burdekin next week for the 2019 Regional Visitor Information Centre Volunteers Conference.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the conference, which is being held on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March, will inform attendees about Burdekin Shire visitor attractions.

“This will allow VIC volunteers’ throughout the greater Townsville region to better advise tourists about the attractions and events within the Burdekin,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Attendees will take part in a regional famil where they will see the artworks on our Burdekin Art Trail, take in the view from atop Mount Inkerman, and learn about the Plantation Park Nature Based Play Space and our signature event, the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival.”

Cr McLaughlin said the conference was a win for the local economy, with nearly 50 visitors expected to utilise local accommodation, as well as access retail and food and beverage providers during the two-day event.

Council welcomes Australian Government funding for Economic Development Strategy

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that Council has been successful in receiving close to $20,000 to assist in production of the Economic Development Strategy.

“This key strategic document will provide Council with an informed direction for economic development in the Shire that we hope will see an increase in employment opportunities, new industry development, growth and retention of existing business, as well as increased visitor numbers and local spend,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The Economic Development Strategy document will complement our Burdekin Tourism Strategy, which was adopted in August last year.”

Cr McLaughlin said the project is expected to cost $38,636 with Council to receive $19,318, or 50% per cent, in funding.

“I thank the Australian Government for investing in the Burdekin through their Building Better Regions Program.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen met with Cr McLaughlin in Ayr on Wednesday to make the announcement.

Council welcomes Australian Government funding for accessible toilet amenities at Ayr and Home Hill pools

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that Council has been successful in receiving $48,000 to assist in the construction of accessible unisex toilet and changeroom amenities at the Ayr and Home Hill Swimming Pools.

“The current amenities at the Ayr and Home Hill pools were built more than 50 years ago. Whilst council has made recent improvements to the pools, such as the introduction of accessibility ramps and mobility chair lifts, the construction of accessible amenities is the next step in ensuring that everyone in our community has equal access to our swimming facilities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The unisex amenities will include accessible toilet and changeroom facilities, as well as private cubicles for showering.

“They will improve visits for people with disabilities, their families and carers, and will make the swimming pools a more inclusive place for our community.

“I thank the Australian Government for investing in the Burdekin through their Community Sport Infrastructure Program.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen met with Cr McLaughlin in Ayr on Wednesday to make the announcement.

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