In this week's Bundaberg Now Podcast we hear about the new Burnett Heads RV village under construction, the Botanic Gardens Kids Activity Trail and more.
Local news highlights include LifeFlight's record year, the local strawberry season under way, a makeover of the Bundaberg Multiplex, Bundaberg Hockey's season start and Council's million trees target.
- If you missed it, here is last week's episode.
Dana Maggacis 0:05
Hello and welcome to the weekly Bundaberg Now podcast. I'm Dana Maggacis from Bundaberg Regional Council. Today we have another interesting programme filled with news and information from across the Bundaberg region. Soon we'll hear more about the #artsbundyathome project. Local lifesavers, Botanic Gardens kids activity trial and the Burnett Heads RV Lifestyle Village development. But first, here's Michael Gorey with the news headlines.
Michael Gorey 0:37
Thank you, Dana. Making news this week – it was a huge year for Bundaberg LifeFlight Rescue team performing a record 306 missions and opening a new purpose built base. Those airlifts were valued at more than $3.8 million but were delivered free to patients. The most common call outs were for motor vehicle accidents and cardiac conditions. Goodnews for strawberry lovers. The local picking season is underway and fresh local strawberries are now available in Bundaberg Region supermarkets. Here's Bree Grima from Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers.
Bree Grima 1:11
Bundaberg growers in this region, they contribute about $35 million farm gate value and contribute about 16% of the total state's production. The majority of the planting material is sourced from the Stanthorp region. Due to the ongoing drought and number of COVID restrictions there was a reduced number of runners that were delivered to producers in the state, but we don't think that that will impact on the total production volumes coming from this region.
Michael Gorey 1:36
The Bundaberg Multiplex has had a makeover with drapes being installed at the back of the stage in the main auditorium. The installation improves the appearance of the venue and the acoustics. In sport Bundaberg hockey swung back into action at Hinkler Park on Saturday after more than three months off the field. Senior winners were Raiders Rovers and Wave City in the women, Raiders and Waves in the men. Joining me now is Mayor Jack Dempsey to talk about Council's bold vision to plant 1 million trees to improve livability in the Bundaberg region. Mayor Dempsey, thanks for joining us. What are the timeframes?
Jack Dempsey 2:14
It is an ambitious programme Michael but working together we can make it happen over four years. This initiative will involve Council working with the community to support the planting of 1 million trees in the Bundaberg region between the first of October 2020 and the 30th of September 2024.
Michael Gorey 2:36
What are some of the benefits to the community from this programme?
Jack Dempsey 2:39
There are benefits for the environment, which means the community also benefits too. Council has a range of targets to offset our carbon emissions by 2030 or even earlier. So one way to achieve this is by planting trees.
Michael Gorey 2:55
You mentioned working in partnership with the community.
Jack Dempsey 2:58
Yes Council has partnered in the past with organisations such as Green Fleet to plant trees. In 2016, we planted 90,000 trees alone in Barolin Reserve with Green Fleet.
Michael Gorey 3:12
Who might some of the partners be?
Jack Dempsey 3:13
The project will take a collaborative approach that encourages community groups, indigenous organisations, volunteers, commercial nurseries, and other levels of governments to complete planting projects supported by Council. Organisations such as Burnett Mary Regional Group, Green Fleet, Planet Ark and local Landcare groups have been identified for general support for the programme. Stakeholders will be consulted as the project plan continues, but locally registered training organisations might be able to provide some of the day labour also.
Michael Gorey 3:52
Where will the trees be planted?
Jack Dempsey 3:54
Well the project will establish a register of sites where permanent trees can be planted. This will include Council freehold and reserve lands along with private land holdings identified through a public register of interest. The register will focus on larger sites where more than 1000 trees can be planted, and tree planting projects will focus on environmentally sensitive sites and planning programmes that ensure plant survival.
Michael Gorey 4:21
Money doesn't grow on fees. What will this programme cost?
Jack Dempsey 4:24
Well Michael, commercially purchased native tube stock can cost between $1.50 and $2.50 each. However, the tube stock pricing can be reduced if seedling collection and propagation is done on a larger scale. We will look to partner with local natural resource groups and registered training organisations to grow the required tube stock and we'll look at grant opportunities also. We estimate the annual budget will be in the order of approximately $200,000 per year, but this will also cover things like planting material and equipment, even into the training aspects and the tube stock as mentioned before.
Michael Gorey 5:08
Will local residents be able to get involved?
Jack Dempsey 5:10
That's what we want Michael, definitely. There will be opportunities to volunteer. We also envisage that residents will be able to access native tube stock also to plant native species on their residential properties also.
Michael Gorey 5:25
How will people know if the target is being met?
Jack Dempsey 5:27
Well, there will be a web page with tools and resources relating to the programme including a counter of trees planted over the next four years.
Michael Gorey 5:36
Mayor Dempsey, thanks for joining us.
Jack Dempsey 5:38
Thanks, everyone. Have a great day.
Dana Maggacis 5:40
Thanks, Michael. Now, I'll hand over to Robert McLellan and a special guest to chat to us about the #artsbundyathome project.
Robert McLellan 5:48
Thanks, Dana. I'm down here at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery with Trudie Leigo. How are you Trudie?
Trudie Leigo 5:54
I'm good, Robert. How are you?
Robert McLellan 5:55
I'm good. Now, Trudie is one of our #artsbundyathome ambassadors, and she's committed to revitalising the Bundaberg arts industry from the impacts of COVID-19. Now, as well as Trudie, we have two more ambassadors, Jess O'Neill and Phil Oakley, who will come together on the 5th of September at the Children's Arts Space, and they will livestream a community conversation about the where to from here. So our deadly panel have been keeping up to date with the free webinars Council is offering as part of the ideas and conversations series. So if you've missed any of these, jump online to the artsbundaberg.com.au and check out #artsbundyathome page.
Trudie Leigo 6:47
Fabulous thanks for that. I'm actually really looking forward to that Robert and I'm also enjoying that today we're going to be chatting about the next upcoming webinar, which is focusing on industry crisis to recovery and it will be presented by Pat O'Neill and David Berthold, and it's this coming Monday at 12:30pm.
Robert McLellan 7:05
Now Pat O'Neill he was the ex army commander who was helping around the time of the 2013 Bundaberg floods crisis, wasn't he?
Trudie Leigo 7:16
Yeah, that's right Robert. So he has seen Bundaberg at both its worst, but in some ways at its best because he was here and saw the community's response to the floods. We'll also be hearing from David Berthold. And he is a well known theatre and festival director. And he recently just finished his tenure as the artistic director at the Brisbane Festival.
Robert McLellan 7:37
That sounds really exciting. I think this webinar is certainly one that is not to be missed. So I suppose what, what excites you mostly about this webinar?
Trudie Leigo 7:50
Look, Robert, the floods and COVID-19 are not going to be the only disasters that we go through as a community. So I think these conversations and having this opportunity to hear from people that have got the experience that Pat and David have got is really, really essential because this is going to generate conversation for us as a community and we're going to figure out, how do we use creativity to respond to these huge challenges.
Robert McLellan 8:14
Sounds so exciting. Thank you Trudie for chatting with me today and look to all of our listeners. Do not miss this exciting webinar on Monday, the 20th of July. Check it out today on artsbundaberg.com.au.
Dana Maggacis 8:29
Thank you, Robert and Trudie for joining us. We're now going to hear from Julie Davis and Michael Harris, about Surf Lifesaving Queensland's fitness proficiency testing that took place at Kelly's Beach on Saturday, the 11th of July.
Julie Davis 8:42
So basically what today is – is just bring all the lifeguards together because a lot of them don't see you know, like a bunch of you that don't get to see the guys down here. Working together, I have a couple of guys come up from Brisbane. They're also in the lifeguard service down there and they deliver any new scenarios, new upgrades, new information as far as communication goes and all that sort of stuff to them as well. So all of our lifeguards are on the same page and ready to hit the ground running when we start up on the 19th of September. The lifeguards that are here doing their proficiency – Yeppoon, Emu Park, Tannum Sands and then Bundaberg, obviously, and Hervey Bay. Two of them are my supervisors they come up from Brisbane, yes, like Cal Lovett it and Jack McNicol, they come up from Brisbane to help me tick everybody off and get through the scenarios. And as I said in any, any upgrades that needs that they need to know and that sort of stuff at the start of the season. Cal and Jack, you know, run me plus them through it as well. As well as the lifeguards that participate that work here as well, I also open it up to any of the newer, newer guys. So I sent an email of interest to anyone who's of that age 17, who's interested in lifeguarding Some of them might not even thought about it. And if they are interested then they're invited along to, to run through to see what it's like to be a lifeguard. And then if they want to join up then they know what it's all about. So I opened it up to you know, anyone who wants to give it a go. I think it just shows up all the people we've got here in Bundaberg, you know, they just give it their all. They're very passionate about what they do. They like doing it. And, you know, it's been a camaraderie between all the guys as well, which is fantastic. So, yeah, I think it's fantastic. Yeah, I'm very proud of all of them, they will do a really good job. As far as the physical component of being a lifeguard, there is an 800 metre course that they have to do in 30 minutes. And then this mission, so what's this mission entitled the lifeguard mission entails is a 600 swim, an 800 run a 600 board paddle, and an 800 run and they've got to do that in 28 minutes. So that's, that's the timeframe, and then we do them again before each holiday so a lifeguard has to do that three or four times a year to keep their fitness up. So I'm trying to make it once a year, yes so they all will get together and then I know that once a year and they're all ticked off with all their awards I know they've all got them and then I don't have to worry about chasing them up for anything for the rest of the season once it kicks in. So I've got beaches from Yeppoon to Hervey Bay, I know that all my guys are watching. Thank you Bundaberg Council for taking up the contract again.
Michael Harris 11:19
My name is Michael Harris. I'm a lifesaver at Bundaberg Surf Club, but I also do beach lifeguarding for the Council. I'm a teacher at Shalom College as well. I think I'm the oldest lifeguard here. And I've been competing now in everything from swimming, water polo, lifesaving, triathlons for the last well 50 odd years. Something I enjoy doing. I've got two of my family members that are doing lifeguard as well. I've got a younger daughter who's in Nippers and she'll do it. Something I really enjoy doing. Obviously been fit all my life and I really enjoy these days when I get to go against some of the younger people. We've all to compete the proficiencies at least four times a year. If we don't pass then we we can't do the lifeguarding. And so we patrol the beaches for the Council, mainly during the summer season, but at the beach like at Kelly's it's all year round on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dana Maggacis 12:16
Thanks guys for that great insight. Now, he's Roana O'Neill to talk us through the exciting initiative of the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens. The kids activity trail.
Roana O'Neill 12:30
Hi everyone, it's Roana O'Neill Coordinator Communication and Engagement. The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens team and I are really excited to let you know about a new kids activity trail that's just been launched at the Botanic Gardens. There are 20 activities inside a booklet and all of them focus on the plants and animals at the Botanic Gardens. So if you have children or grandchildren or students who are around middle to upper primary age, this will be great for them. If you have younger children, they may need some parent or guardian assistance. If you are a carer for someone you might also find that they enjoy using the booklet as well. The activity trail takes you around the top leg of the Botanic Gardens which is just behind Hinkler Hall of Aviation and Cafe 1928. The children will be passing through three different plant communities which include the Fern Garden, the Sclerophyll Woodland and the Australian Rainforest. We've designed the trail to be close to amenities including toilets, the cafe, car parks, playgrounds and some of the other attractions in the gardens. There are 20 numbered posts in the ground that signal where to stop and the great thing is that we've designed it to be very flexible. You can do the activities in any order at any pace and they don't have to be completed in one go. You can complete the booklet over multiple visits to the gardens. We hope that the booklet shows the diversity of plants and animals and engages children's senses in the gardens. We also hope that it brings the gardens into focus beyond people by learning about plants they may have previously walked by before but it's also meant to be fun. The booklet includes opportunities for drawing, matching, measuring, sketching, wordfind and decoding words. So children will be able to identify a plant, make a sound map, do some animal spotting, measure a tree and much more. And for questions that have answers to them, we provided the answers in the booklet. You can pick up the free booklets from Cafe 1928, Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the Bundaberg and District Historical Museum. We're very mindful of the environment so the booklets have all been printed on recycled paper. The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens offers some great opportunities for outdoor learning experiences. So if you'd like to discover the Brazilian Silk Floss tree, the Autograph tree and the largest fan in the world grab a booklet and we look forward to seeing you in the garden soon.
Dana Maggacis 14:46
Thanks Ro and finally today. I'll hand over to Wayne Heidrich, Council's Senior Media Advisor who is chatting with Amy Boyd about the RV Lifestyle Village development that is taking shape out at Burnett Heads.
Wayne Heidrich 14:59
Amy Thanks very much for sharing your time with us this morning. Amy, can you give me a little bit of a rundown on what RV lifestyle villages actually does and where it's currently at.
Amy Boyd 15:11
RV Lifestyle Village is our flagship community and our first. It's a masterplanned community designed for active travellers. And you'll see from our display homes that all of our homes feature a large oversized RV garage capable of fitting a vehicle up to 16 metres long.
Wayne Heidrich 15:27
So how long has this project been in the planning?
Amy Boyd 15:31
We started planning RV Oceanside side in September 2017. So we've had probably two years of planning to really design something that we think is going to appeal to travellers and the market that we're targetting.
Wayne Heidrich 15:43
Obviously, this part of the Queensland coastline is a beautiful area and so forth. But why Bundaberg and why Burnett Heads?
Amy Boyd 15:50
We think it's a real untouched little paradise up here. The land that the village is being developed on is family land, and we'd always looked at opportunities for what we thought would bring new residents into Bunnett Heads and we think certainly with the the popularity of caravanning and travelling somewhere like Burnett Heads offers the greatest of both worlds in that it's, it's close to the highway and close for people that do love to travel. But for those that really want to come and settle and live by the coast, Burnett Heads is a perfect location.
Wayne Heidrich 16:19
The design of this village, how does it cater to the RV person?
Amy Boyd 16:23
The village has been designed to really accommodate people with with RVs and caravans. You'll notice from the village that we've got really wide streets, all of our homes have six metre driveways, and those large oversized garages that really protect one of the biggest assets that people own other than their home.
Wayne Heidrich 16:43
So obviously, this is a stages development. So this is stage one of how many stages?
Amy Boyd 16:48
This is stage one. We've got 80 homes in stage one as well as the bulk of our community facilities. And we sort of expect the construction timeframe to be over five to seven years until we've completed all the home sites and we've got capacity here at the moment for 486 homes.
Wayne Heidrich 17:06
Obviously there's not a one style of home. There's a variety of homes available to potential purchasers?
Amy Boyd 17:13
Yeah, we've got a variety of homes from two and three bedroom standalone homes, as well as duplexes for those that are up to something a little bit smaller, but still with that large garage as well.
Wayne Heidrich 17:24
Enhancing that lifestyle or village lifestyle, you mentioned that there are community facilities available here. So what sort of things are we looking at within the community facilities.
Amy Boyd 17:34
We've really designed something that wouldn't look out a place in a five star luxury resort. We've got a 600 square metre lagoon pool, as our feature to the community facilities. A games room that'll have 10 pin bowling lanes, golf simulators, table tennis, pool tables as well. A really beautiful outdoor fire pit that people can sit and have a drink and enjoy the beautiful Queensland lifestyle and the weather, gymnasium. We'll have a cinema coming along as well as covered lawn bowls and tennis courts. The list just keeps going. You know, honestly, if you come in here you wouldn't want to leave.
Wayne Heidrich 18:10
I did touch on it before but one of the things we did notice here is the large piles of basalt rock. And obviously you found a way that you can utilise a lot of that material back into the site?
Amy Boyd 18:20
Yeah, look, the basalt is beautiful. It's a really, really lovely dark rock. And, you know, a lot of landscapers would love to have the problem that we have of having this excessive rock but we've decided to utilise it through our landscaping and also we've had the opportunity to crush some of the rock to use as the foundations for our pool.
Dana Maggacis 18:39
Thank you, Wayne and Amy.
That's all for today. We hope you enjoyed the programme. Join us next week for more news and stories from across the Bundaberg region.
Bye for now.