The new Woodgate Beach community bus boasts a glorious beach scene and is an unmissable advertisement for the seaside township.
The bus, a $72,860 purchase, is an ongoing reminder of the hard work of the bus committee and the generosity of people and businesses across the region.
Secretary of the Woodgate Community Bus committee, Pauline Greer, said securing the bus had been a project that had clearly demonstrated the giving nature of the community, many of who were “quiet contributors”.
“I believe everyone saw the benefits this bus could bring to our community, especially in assisting our seniors to get to medical appointments and other essential business that requires transport out of Woodgate.”
She said the bus service grew out of an initiative of committee president, Margaret Featherstone, who was a vocal advocate for the service.
The new 12-seater bus replaced one donated by the Woodgate Beach Hotel and which had served the community faithfully for several years.
“It was obvious that the service was a priority for our residents and especially for those with no form of transport,” said Pauline.
“We started fundraising in March last year and over a 12-month period through grants, donations and sponsorship we reached our target of $70,000 in March this year.”
“We were fortunate to gain funds through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund and also the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities program.
“We are very proud that so much assistance was forthcoming from our local Woodgate Beach community.
“Organisations like the Woodgate Men’s Shed chipped in $4000 while Woodgate Beach Hotel and Caravan Park have been outstanding with their support.”
Men’s Shed chips in $4000
Russell Perrett from the men’s shed said his members had seen first hand the value of the community bus service and had no hesitation in making a substantial donation.
He said much of the men’s shed funds were raised through support from the Woodgate community so it was appropriate that the club should reinvest those funds supporting a vital local service.
Pauline said the bus was currently running at reduced capacity and restricting passenger numbers to six to ensure social distancing requirements were observed.
“Our committee has extended a special thanks to Traci Osborne from the Woodgate Recreational Club Inc for her photograph of Woodgate Beach which was used as a skin to identify the bus.
“It is an outstanding image and one that captures what Woodgate Beach provides – sun, sand, surf and serenity,” Pauline said.
The committee is currently visiting donors to show them the bus and to thank them personally for their support.
“Our fundraising efforts regarding the bus are certainly not over,” she said. “We estimate that it will cost around $9000 a year to keep the bus on the road.”
The club would like to acknowledge the following bus sponsors: Woodgate Beach Hotel and Caravan Park; Queensland Government Gambling and Community Benefit Fund; Australian Government Stronger Communities Program; The Men’s Shed; Bundaberg Toyota; Woodgate Community Events; Woodgate and Districts Residents Association; Bundaberg Regional Council Stronger Communities Program; Rotary Club of Childers; Woodgate Beach Camera Club; Woodgate Beach Thrifty Link Hardware and Hire; Austchilli Group; JAC Metal Fabrication; Mr Gavin Torrens; Woodgate Beach Post Office; Woodgate Recreational Club Inc.; Monday Mahjong Group.