Industry Breakfast to reveal $11.5M Lower Burdekin Home for the Aged development

Plans for an $11.5 million expansion to the Lower Burdekin Home for the Aged Ayr campus will be unveiled during an Industry Breakfast at the Burdekin Theatre next week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the future development to the aged care facility will be conducted in two stages and would involve the construction of a two story building to accommodate a further 80 beds.

“Lower Burdekin Home for the Age first revealed intentions to expand the site earlier this week when they released three artist conceptions of the proposed designs.

“This is a significant investment in the aged care sector within our community which presents substantial opportunities for local businesses to benefit from.

“Council is delighted to announce that, as part of the upcoming Burdekin Industry Breakfast on Wednesday 24 October, we will have Lower Burdekin Home for the Aged’s General Manager Jim Collins and Communications Consultant Madonna Simmons to share even more about the plans and potential contract opportunities.

“I encourage any local business who may be interested in hearing about these potential opportunities to come along to the Industry Breakfast to learn further about the development and engage with the presenters.”

Attendees will also hear from Local Buy Regional Client Relationship Manager Emma Peter.

“Emma will provide an overview of Local Buy and information on how local businesses can access local government contracts,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Owned by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Local Buy has established more than 40 prequalified supplier arrangements for Councils since 2012.

Through this platform, councils are able to access a range of goods and services through a quotation rather than a tender process.

“The Burdekin is home to a number of businesses that could access a range of contracts including civil construction and road resurfacing, electricity, office and stationary supplies, oils and lubricants, pipes, pumps and concrete products, trucks, tyres, tubes and batteries,” Cr McLaughlin said.

To attend the Burdekin Industry Breakfast RSVP to Eliza Lovell by Monday 22 October 2018 by phone (07) 4783 9831 or email . Cost is $10 and includes a hot breakfast.

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


Coordinated baiting program to target pest populations

Wild dogs, feral pigs and foxes will be targeted during an upcoming coordinated baiting program conducted by Burdekin Shire Council throughout the greater Burdekin Shire area.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that during the ten day program, which runs from 30 October to 8 November, Council’s Pest Management Officers would be visiting landholders to provide 1080 treatment on-site.

“To increase effectiveness of the control measures, it is essential for Council and residents to coordinate the current baiting program with neighbouring properties.

“Consequently, Council has arranged a schedule for providing baiting treatments to ensure the best coverage across different parts of the Shire and to maximise the effectiveness of this program, as well as to coincide with baiting programs in neighbouring shires.”

As per regulations set out by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, baiting can only be carried out under specific conditions. Property size and proximity to built-up areas are two key considerations.

Landholders that comply with the regulations are invited to supply bait medium to Council Officers for 1080 treatment during the times outlined below:

Baiting Areas

  • Inkerman- 30 October 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Kirknie- 30 October 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Rita Island, Jarvisfield, Brandon and Alva coastal areas- 31 October 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Clare- 1 November 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Millaroo- 5 November 2018, 8:00AM – 1:30PM
  • Dalbeg- 6 November 2018, 8:00AM – 1:30PM
  • Barratta-Haughton area- 7 November 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM
  • Woodstock-Giru Rd and surrounds- 8 November 2018, 7:30AM – 2:00PM

1080, or sodium fluoroacetate, is found naturally in approximately 35 Australian plants and consequently native animal species are less susceptible to 1080 poisoning than introduced species. It is widely used in Australia to protect against the impacts of invasive animals.

Once baiting has reduced pest populations, other follow up controls such as trapping, shooting and destruction of pests’ refuge can further reduce the number of invasive animals.

Council continues to support farmers by offering four pig traps and two hog hoppers to borrow free of charge all year round.

The upcoming baiting program follows Council’s coordinated aerial shoot in June this year, which involved 41 landholders and killed more than 300 wild pigs and four wild dogs.

Any landholder wishing to supply their bait for treatment is asked to contact Council’s Pest Management Officers on (07) 4783 9800 before 23 October to register and to discuss any relevant pre-baiting measures, such as pre-feeding for wild dogs and foxes.

Landholders are also invited to contact Council to arrange an alternative date for treatment if the pre-arranged dates are not suitable.

For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries regulations and eligibility, please contact Council’s Pest Management Officers on (07) 4783 9800.

Burdekin residents urged to join the 2018 Great Northern Clean Up

Burdekin residents are being urged to continue the war on waste by descending upon Alva Beach on Saturday 20 October for the Great Northern Clean Up.

Created in 2009, the annual event has so far attracted an estimated 23,187 northern Queenslanders across 648 locations.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said “Council was involved in the first Great Northern Clean Up in 2009 and has continued to run the day annually in conjunction with Tangaroa Blue.

“Since 2015, we have collected over one tonne of rubbish from Alva Beach, with 190kg of that collected in our last Alva Beach clean-up effort in March.”

The Great Northern Clean Up is a great way to get rid of rubbish left behind by receding floodwaters, irresponsible resident and visitors and illegal dumpers.

Single use disposable items such as food & non-food packaging, beverage containers and beverage rubbish are among the main rubbish items volunteers generally find.

During the event, data will be collected by community volunteers to add to the Australian Marine Debris Database. This information will be included in the biennial Source Reduction Workshop discussion which is due to be held in 2020 in the Burdekin.

Information presented at the 2018 Source Reduction Workshop revealed that over 51% of rubbish found at Alva during past clean-up efforts were plastic fragments. A further 19% was plastic and glass bottles.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Ayr Surf Life Saving Club in Sandowns St, Alva, at 8.30am.

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

A free barbecue and cold drinks will be supplied by Wilmar to all volunteers at the Alva Beach Park after the clean up to thank them for their efforts.

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

Clare Pool closed due to storm damage

The Clare Pool has been closed until further notice, following damage sustained to the acid pump and chlorine doser system during Friday night’s storm.

Burdekin Shire Council has engaged external contractors to carry out the necessary repairs or replacements to the affected equipment.

Council will notify the community once these works are completed and the pool is reopened.

Council thanks the community for their co-operation and patience during this time.

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

Slightly elevated PFAS levels detected in Ayr

Following a regular test of the water supply in Ayr, a recent sample detected slightly elevated levels of PFAS.

Council can assure residents that there is no immediate health risk from consuming the town water supply.

Burdekin Shire Council Director of Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Nick Wellwood said the level detected is only slightly higher than the recently adopted national health based guideline values and that a re-test has already been ordered.

“If further tests show an elevated result in one of the bores, this bore will be disconnected from the network as a precautionary measure and will not come back into operation until it is retested below the health based guidelines,” Mr Wellwood said.

Council is currently undertaking upgrades to other bore fields throughout the Burdekin Shire in order to manage any potential short fall in water supply in the interim period should a bore need to be temporarily disconnected.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin assured residents that the town water supply continues to be safe to drink.

“Council remains vigilant in providing clean, safe water to residents and this includes our practice of regularly carrying out testing at our bore fields,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“As always, we ask residents in Ayr Burdekin to be water wise to minimise demand on our water supply and prevent water wastage.”

Council continues to work with the Water Regulator, Queensland Health and Department of Environment and Science to assist in the management of any PFAS levels and to determine the source of any PFAS in the bore field.

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

Landcare offers free natives to replace destructive Neem trees

Lower Burdekin Landcare with the support of Burdekin Shire Council and NQ Dry Tropics is tackling the spread of invasive vegetation in North Queensland by offering to replace household yard Neem trees with native trees for free.

Lower Burdekin Landcare Chair Keith Kiloh says Neem, a woody weed native to the tropical woodlands of northeast India, has shown signs of potential invasion in tropical Australia.

“Neem is a problem because it has the ability to create a mono-culture. It seeds very heavily and the conditions here are just ideal for it to flourish,” Mr Kiloh said.

“When it flourishes, it has the ability to lock out and to stop native species from germinating and growing. It can take over large areas very easily.”

Mr Kiloh says that the invasive plant is often confused with the popular white cedar however residents can look for two key differences between the plants.

“The trunks are quite different. The Neem trunk is a darker, brown colour and the leaf is slightly broader and glossier than the white cedar.”

Council is already taking a proactive approach at controlling the problematic plant.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that under Council’s Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environment Management) 2012, the introduction, sale or propagation of Neem throughout the Burdekin Shire is not permitted.

“Whilst Council staff already actively removes any identified Neem trees from Council land, this initiative attempts to eliminate the weed from residential properties,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Residents who remove a Neem tree from their property are encouraged to contact Lower Burdekin Landcare in order to replace the weed with a native plant free of charge.

As part of the initiative, Lower Burdekin Landcare has produced a free brochure which outlines how to identify Neem trees and the problems associated with the woody weed.

The brochure, which is available from Lower Burdekin Landcare on 0429 708 408, was partly funded by Council’s Environmental Levy.

Through the Environmental Levy, applicants can seek funding for environmental projects that benefit the Burdekin region.

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

Ignite Your Mind Festival authors to present special Story Time

Former Play School presenter and Star Wars actor Jay Laga’aia will host a special Story Time session at the Burdekin Theatre Forecourt this Friday at 10:30am to coincide with the opening of the 2018 Burdekin Readers and Writers Ignite Your Mind Festival.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Mr Laga’aia, a former ambassador of both Queensland Kindergartens and the Touch by Olivia Foundation, is best known internationally for his role as Captain Typho in the Star Wars franchise.

“Jay is also well known for his television show Jay’s Jungle, his four children’s albums and for narrating each of the characters on the children’s show Larry the Lawnmower,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Mr Laga’aia will be joined by children’s author and illustrator Shannon Horsfall.

Mrs Horsfall released her first picture book, Was Not Me, in 2016 and was subsequently shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year awards.

She has since released a picture book called Nomax about a dog who goes about life with his ears pinned back.

“Council is incredibly excited to work with the Burdekin Readers and Writers Association to facilitate this special Story Time session,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Both Jay and Shannon are fantastic entertainers and we hope that many families come along to this free event.”

Story Time is a weekly event where children are entertained with stories, rhymes, songs and crafts to facilitate adult-children interaction, pre-literacy support and communication development. The programme is aimed at children 0-5 years and their families.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket for this special outdoor event. Water and sunscreen will be provided.

Mr Laga’aia will also be presenting two free workshops at the Burdekin Library’s Ideas@108 on Saturday 13 October as part of the Ignite Your Mind Festival.

Residents can register online for the Creativity and Performance in Writing (11am-12pm) and Illustrating and Building a Stronger Literacy Foundation with Your Children (12:30pm-1:30pm) workshops at

For further information about the Burdekin Libraries Story Time programme, please visit Council’s website or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.

Burdekin residents encouraged to get online this October

Burdekin Shire Council is helping local residents to improve their digital skills by hosting a free morning tea as part of the international Get Online Week.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin says the event, taking place at the Burdekin Library on Monday 15 October at 10:30am, gives residents the opportunity to make the most of the internet.

“During the Get Online morning tea, Council’s Library staff will host a short information session regarding the various online services offered by the Burdekin Libraries, such as our movie streaming, eBook and eAudiobook platforms,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Staff will also go through step-by-step how to use the Library’s online catalogue, which allows members to reserve physical books at any time.

“Participants are encouraged to bring along their own tablet and library membership card to allow staff to help in setting up member’s online accounts.”

Running from Monday 15 – Sunday 21 October, Get Online Week will see hundreds of community events take place across the country.

It is the first time the campaign has been held in Australia, after 11 successful years in the UK where hundreds of thousands of people have been supported.

The campaign aims to support the two and a half million Australians who are not online.

Jess Wilson, National Director for Good Things Foundation, the organisation running the campaign, said “Get Online Week will help thousands of people across Australia to improve their digital skills – whether they’ve never been online before, or have done a little but want to do more. There is free and friendly support in hundreds of communities, and so whatever you want to do online, you can find the support to do it.”

Cr McLaughlin said Council hoped the event would encourage members of the community who are nervous about getting online to do so with support from Library staff.

“Council would like to thank the Good Things Foundation for the funding received to deliver this event.”

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

Get ready for disaster season

This Get Ready Week (8-14 October 2018), Burdekin Shire residents are being urged to prepare for the upcoming disaster season.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said “It’s important we ensure that our homes are prepared, we have a fully stocked emergency kit and our paperwork is in order.”

“Queensland is the most disaster impacted state in Australia, so it’s crucial that we do not leave our preparations until it’s too late.”

Cr McLaughlin also encouraged residents to familiarise themselves with the Burdekin Shire Council Emergency Dashboard.

“This website is a one-stop shop for emergency information during disasters. Through the Dashboard, residents can 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,” Cr McLaughlin said.

Free cyclone information packs, containing brochures, fridge magnets, important phone numbers and other useful information, are available from Burdekin Shire Council Chambers in Ayr.

Burdekin Shire Council officers distributed information and engaged with the community at the Burdekin Water Festival and will also be set up at the Home Hill Harvest Festival next month.

As part of the Get Ready Burdekin program, Council is offering a Yamaha 2KVA as part of a lucky draw. Residents can enter in the draw at either of the festivals or at Council Chambers.

To view the Burdekin Shire Council Emergency Dashboard, visit

For more information, visit Council’s website or phone (07) 4783 9800.

Changes to waste disposal throughout Burdekin Shire

The engagement of a new green waste contractor by Burdekin Shire Council is changing the way locals dispose of rubbish throughout the shire.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said thanks to a new tub grinder machine, locals now had the ability to dispose of logs and stumps at four of Council’s transfer and waste stations.  This service is currently not extended to the Clare facility.

“Previously, large logs over 300mm in diameter could only be accepted at our Kirknie Landfill Station for a small fee,” Cr McLaughlin.

“Council is happy to announce that Burdekin residents can now dispose of large logs and stumps at all of our major transfer stations and landfills for free.

“Council also welcomes residents to help themselves to the resulting mulch which will now be created.”

Burdekin Shire Council Director of Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Nick Wellwood said a second machine is also able to break down large pieces of concrete and mattresses.

Mr Wellwood said he expected the move to have a positive impact on the amount of bulky waste entering landfill in the Burdekin.

“Previously, a single mattress could take up anywhere from 0.5m2 to 1m2 in landfill,” Mr Wellwood said.

“Now, these mattresses will be reduced to small pieces and any scrap metal will be separated and recycled.

“Additionally, the machinery will break down stockpiled concrete into smaller 20mm pieces and remove any steel reinforcement.

“This concrete can then be reused by Council in carrying out road works or used as engineering fill.

“This means we’re spending less money on purchasing materials as well as reducing the amount of waste entering landfill.”

Residents can dispose of mattresses at any of the transfer stations for a nominal fee of $5.

The changes to waste disposal methods have been implemented ahead of the introduction of a Queensland-wide waste levy next year.

Under the proposed Waste Levy legislation, which is expected to commence on 4 March 2019, commercial waste would incur a levy of $70 per tonne.

The levy should not have any direct impact on households.

For more information about waste disposal throughout the Burdekin Shire, visit Council’s website

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