Talent Showcase attracts record nominations

A record number of talented North Queenslanders will put their best singing, dancing, music and performance skills on display in front of a live audience at this year’s Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase.

The Burdekin’s largest talent competition will be held at Burdekin Theatre in Ayr on Saturday 28 April, with former The X Factor winner Cyrus appearing as the guest celebrity and judge.

Burdekin Shire Youth Mayor Sarah McDonnell said more than 40 acts had already signed up to perform in the heats and nominations were still rolling in.

“Not only will we have Cyrus, but we will have national talent scouts in town and more than $2,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs,” Ms McDonnell said.

“Many of the people who have performed before have returned plus we have lots of new acts this year, including singers, dancers, musicians and even a stand-up comedian. Altogether, there are over 100 competitors of all ages and talents performing in groups or as individuals.

“The acts are coming from across North Queensland to be involved.”

Miss McDonnell said the top 20 acts from the Heats in the morning would go through to the Final Showcase that night, which Cyrus would also perform in.

She said the Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase was the Youth Council’s major event for the year and their members had been working hard to promote it within the community.

“If you love talent competitions like The X Factor, The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent you are going to love Fast Track,” she said.

“The Final Showcase nearly sold out last year so if you want to attend, make sure to book your tickets now to avoid disappointment. I’d like to thank Burdekin Shire Council and all the Youth Council members for their hard work in making sure the Burdekin gets a turn in the spotlight.”

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Fast Track was a national talent showcase that had launched the careers of many household names in the entertainment industry.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Burdekin and North Queensland talent to shine,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“As part of the experience, all the acts can attend a workshop with Cyrus on the Friday afternoon prior to the event so it will be a valuable chance to develop their skills with the support of an experienced performer.”

To register to perform in the Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase, which is open to all ages, email your name and contact details to. For more information call 1300 FAST01 or visit facebook.com/fasttracktalent.

Heats will commence from 11am with the Final Showcase featuring Cyrus at 7pm.

Audience tickets are $10 Heats and $25 Final Showcase and are available at the Burdekin Theatre website www.burdekintheatre.com.au; by phone (07) 4783 9880; or in person at the Burdekin Theatre Box Office or Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Burdekin Shire Emergency Dashboard goes “live”

Burdekin Shire Council today launches an online portal that will function as a one-stop shop for emergency information during disasters and throughout the year.

Residents and visitors can go to the Burdekin Shire Council Emergency Dashboard to access real-time information from multiple sources including Council, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Ergon Energy and Queensland emergency services – all in the one location

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the Dashboard was now live and could be found at disaster.burdekin.qld.gov.au.

“It will have Burdekin-specific information regarding any emergency news, road closures, power outages and weather forecasts, all in the one place where it can be easily and quickly accessed by the community,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We are very proud to have this dashboard go “live”. The objective is to have a page the community can go to for real-time information about what is happening in our Shire during times of disaster.”

Cr McLaughlin said access to up-to-date information was critical during emergencies, when situations could change quickly.

“Having one webpage, where people can go to access live feeds about which local roads are impacted, what the weather is doing and what areas are affected by power outages, will go a long way to improving the connectedness of the community during a disaster,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“It will also be a great resource that the community can access year around, as a one-stop shop for live updates pertaining to road closures, blackouts, weather events, emergency services updates and more

“The Dashboard will also have links to further information and resources to help our residents plan and prepare for disasters before they strike.”

Cr McLaughlin said the Emergency Dashboard had been created by Queensland Company, QIT Plus and Council’s disaster management team.

“This project is able to be delivered thanks to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority as part of Council’s Get Ready Burdekin funding,” she said.

Cr McLaughlin said 35 councils across Queensland now used Emergency Dashboards on their websites and had reported great feedback from their communities.

She encouraged all residents and visitors to explore Council’s Emergency Dashboard by visiting disaster.burdekin.qld.gov.au and to save the Dashboard as a favourite on their computers, laptops and smart devices.

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

Mixing Paint and Pixels at iPad Art Workshops

Burdekin residents young and old will discover new ways to use their iPads and mobile devices for art-making, photography and teaching in a series of hands-on workshops this weekend.

Cathy Hunt from Brisbane’s iPad Art Room will visit Burdekin Library on Saturday and Sunday April 21-22 to conduct free workshops for residents.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the workshops were a great way for local educators, parents, community members and children to explore digital art-making techniques.

“Cathy will run a dedicated Primary and Secondary Teachers Professional Development Workshop on Saturday, giving teachers the opportunity to find out how to use iPads for teaching and learning in Visual Arts,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Even more workshops will be held on Sunday catering to local children and community members interested in animation, art and photography.”

Children will create their own stop motion animations with an iPad or iPhone in a hands-on course from 8.30am to 10am, which will be followed by a Mobile Photography Skills Session, suitable for beginners 12 years and over, from 10.30am to 12 noon.

“Participants of the photography skills session will explore various techniques for creating interesting compositions, effects and artworks with mobile photography,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The final workshop at 12.30pm will be a Drawing and Painting on iPads for Beginners session for residents 12 years and over, exploring a toolkit of exciting apps and a variety of techniques on iPad.”

Participants are asked to bring their own iPads for several of the workshops and may need to download a number of apps on arrival. For more information and requirements please visit Council’s website www.burdekin.qld.gov.au.

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

Shared pathway to boost safety in Home Hill

More than half kilometre of new pathway is being installed adjacent to the Bruce Highway at Home Hill, providing a safer route for residents and visitors to access local shops, schools and work places by foot and bicycle.

Council crews have commenced works at the site, along Seventh Avenue, with the first concrete poured last week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the 2.5m wide footpath would extend from Sixteenth Street for 510m towards the Burdekin Bridge.

“This is the first stage in the provision of a shared pathway in Home Hill which will allow pedestrians and, ultimately, cyclists to traverse the township,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council is undergoing strategic planning to identify where connections between existing pathways can be made and where access to the pathways from the road can be improved. This will be a long term plan, working to achieve a high standard of pathways in Home Hill.”

Burdekin Community to Tackle Litter at the Source

Burdekin residents will come together to figure out how to reduce the flow of rubbish into local waterways at a collaborative workshop in Ayr next week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the Source Reduction Workshop would be held from 9am – 12 noon on Wednesday 18 April in the Loft of the Ayr branch of Burdekin Library, in a partnership between Council and Tangaroa Blue Foundation to tackle litter at the source.

“Marine debris and litter is a complex problem so we need all parts of our community to help find the solutions,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“At the workshop we’ll be taking into account the results of our Clean Up Australia Day at Alva Beach last month. A total of 190kg of rubbish was collected from the beach in just a few hours, with plastics and plastic bottles accounting for the most common items of litter found on the day.”

Cr McLaughlin said the workshop would bring Council, environmental agencies and community members together with the aim of creating a plan to reduce common litter items. She said since 2013, past clean ups conducted by Council and Tangaroa Blue at Alva Beach had removed a total of 2,187.45kg of litter.

“Going back over the past five years the most abundant litter item collected has been plastic fragments, with another prominent one being aluminium cans from recreational use of the beach,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Importantly, 2018 is the International Year of the Reef. With our close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Burdekin residents have an important role to play in protecting and conserving the Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.”

The workshop has been made possible with funding through the Australian Government’s Community Heritage and Icons Grants program.

Cr McLaughlin said everyone was invited to participate, from schools and teachers to local business operators, community members and organisations. Morning tea will be provided and numbers are strictly limited, so registrations are essential.

Register at the following link: REGISTER HERE. For more information please call Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

New playground equipment for Home Hill park

Arch Dunn Memorial Park at Home Hill is set to be transformed with new playground equipment and a new picnic shelter and barbecue.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said a spiral slide, cubby house, climbing nets and suspension bridge were some of the new features set to be installed at the park as part of the works.

“Arch Dunn Memorial Park is great community space in the heart of Home Hill which has always been very popular,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The park is well used with good shade provided from the trees and many children’s parties and family barbecues have been held here over the years.

“Some of the existing pieces of playground equipment at the site are beginning to age and are now due for replacement.

“The new equipment will give Home Hill families even more reasons to get outdoors and get active, with a range of elements that are not only fun but which are also beneficial for the development of children’s gross motor skills and confidence.”

The existing barbecue area will also be replaced with a new, modern barbecue and shelter.

Cr McLaughlin said Council aimed to encourage increased use of community spaces and facilities in the district.

“Our parks and playgrounds are provided for the benefit of the whole community, as places to meet, socialise and engage in sport and recreational opportunities,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The park will be closed for the duration of the works, which are scheduled to take place in May.

More information on the closures dates will be provided in coming weeks.

Tickets to Burdekin’s biggest talent show now on sale

Tickets to the heats and final of the 2018 Burdekin Fast Track Talent Showcase go on sale from 10am today, with home-grown Burdekin talent set to shine alongside former X Factor winner Cyrus.

2017 Burdekin Shire Youth Council Mayor Tayla McKaig said the Burdekin’s largest talent competition would be held at Burdekin Theatre on Saturday 28 April and tickets to be part of the audience were expected to sell fast.

“Singers, dancers, groups, musicians, comedians and dance troupes from the Burdekin and beyond will put their talent on display for the chance to win great cash and prizes,” Miss McKaig said.

“The Fast Track team is always blown away by the level of talent that we have here in the Burdekin and I am sure this year will be no exception.

“Burdekin Shire Youth Council plays a key role in running this annual event and has been working behind the scenes to put together another fantastic showcase in 2018.”

Guest celebrity Cyrus, who won the X Factor grand final in 2015, will be part of this year’s Burdekin Fast Track industry workshops, act as a guest judge and perform a mini concert at the Final Showcase.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin congratulated the Youth Council on securing Cyrus for the event.

“He will be a wonderful mentor for all of our performers on the day,” she said.

Heats will commence from 11am with the Final Showcase featuring Cyrus at 7pm.

Tickets are $10 for entry to all heats and $25 for the final showcase featuring Cyrus.

Tickets will be available from today, Monday 26 March via the Burdekin Theatre website www.burdekintheatre.com.au; by phone (07) 4783 9880; or in person at the Burdekin Theatre Box Office or Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Registrations to perform in the talent showcase are also currently open.

Singers, dancers, bands, duos, trios, classical musicians, comedians, DJs, rappers – and anyone else with a talent – are invited to apply.

Register by emailing your name and contact details to. All ages are welcome.

For more information call 1300 FAST01 or visit facebook.com/fasttracktalent

Magical time at Watson’s Green

The Magical Park experience is coming to Watson’s Green at Home Hill these Easter School holidays and Burdekin families are being encouraged to join in the fun.

Through the use of a mobile device and the Magical Park app, families visiting Watson’s Green this 31 March to 15 April will have access to an augmented reality playground where cute kittens, dinosaurs and robots roam.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the app used geolocation technology, so when families stepped into Watson’s Green they would be stepping into a blended virtual world seen through the app.

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

“The idea is to get kids moving outdoors in a safe environment, while sparking their imaginations. There will be a variety of games so they can choose their own adventure.”

Council previously brought Magical Park to Anzac Park for the 2017/18 Christmas break and plans to roll the app out at various locations across the Shire during gazetted school holidays in 2018.

“This time around we’re bringing Magical Park to Home Hill,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council would love to see more children and families frequenting our parks, which are great community assets in themselves. Magical Park is an innovative way of encouraging them to do that. Kids are given the opportunity to get active outdoors while enjoying the use of modern technology.”

Cr McLaughlin said Magical Park consisted of multiple game worlds so kids wouldn’t get bored.

“Importantly, these games require them to run around and move. On average kids run between 500m and 2km while playing one of the games,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The Magical Parks app is available to download from Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

Visit the Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/BurdekinShireCouncil for more information and for a video preview of the app in use.

Forum to help Burdekin growers progress to being export ready

An export forum to be held in Ayr this May 4 aims to get Burdekin growers thinking about opportunities to export their produce into lucrative international markets.

Following Burdekin Shire Council’s participation in last year’s Singapore Insights delegation, led by Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL), the 2018 Burdekin Export Forum will provide growers with the latest information on emerging markets, international opportunities and supply chains.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said mango producer Manbulloo and Achacha Fruit Plantation were two Burdekin businesses already exporting their products into markets around the world.

“We’ll be hearing from Marie Piccone from Manbulloo and Bruce and Helen Hill from Achacha Fruit Plantation, who will share the stories of their journeys to export with the audience,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We’ll also have speakers represented from across government, transport, business and agriculture.

“Council is very keen to work with local growers to explore exporting opportunities to support diversification of the local agriculture and horticulture industries. The forum will provide growers with the information needed to progress to being export ready.”

Cr McLaughlin said case studies from local and Queensland businesses would be presented to provide growers with practical insights into doing business internationally.

“The forum is also an opportunity to network, interact and learn from each other and from trade and investment service providers,” Cr McLaughlin said.

The forum will be held at Burdekin Theatre from 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday 4 May. Cost is $40 per person.

To register or for more information please ‘click here’ .

Contact Eliza Lovell or Lucy Poppi at Council for further details by calling (07) 4783 9800 or email.

Unwind in Theatre Forecourt with jazz sounds, tapas and drinks

Burdekin residents will be able to kick back in the Burdekin Theatre Forecourt on Saturday 24 March and enjoy a free afternoon of jazz music by the 1RAR Band.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the Jazz n Shiraz n Tapas event, to be held from 3pm to 5pm, was free to attend however residents should secure their tickets from Burdekin Theatre.

“Entry is free, and delicious tapas and drinks will be available for purchase,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Simply bring along a blanket or chair and enjoy the afternoon.”

Cr McLaughlin said the Band of the First Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, was made up of a group of exceptional professional musicians who were based in Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.

“They are highly regarded and sought after throughout North Queensland,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“We are pleased to welcome them to our Shire for this unique event. It will be a great opportunity to sit back and relax with a glass of red in hand while listening to some wonderful music.”

Patrons can contact the theatre to secure a table however guests are encouraged to BYO chair and/or rug. The bar closes at 6pm.

Tickets can be secured online at www.burdekintheatre.com.au, in person at the Burdekin Theatre Box Office or Council’s Customer Service Centre, or by calling (07) 4783 9880.

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