In today's episode we learn about about what's happening at Central Park, our local whale-watching experience, and hear another Art as an Act of Optimism song, from Christie McLucas.
Local news highlights include a local documentary ‘Big Fish Big Adventure‘ about open-water fishing off our coast, dog registration fee waiver, a new local newspaper, the Bundaberg Jobs Commitment charter signing, and the reopening of the Norville Park Pool.
You can also listen on Google, Apple, Spotify and now on TuneIn.
Dana Maggacis 0:08
Hello and welcome to the weekly Bundaberg Now podcast. I'm Dana Maggacis from Bundaberg Regional Council. Today we have another interesting programme with news and inf from across the Bundaberg region. Soon we'll hear about the Central Park upgrades, a local whale experience and another great tune for Art As An Act Of Optimism. But first, here's Michael Gorey with the news headlines.
Michael Gorey 0:37
Thank you, Dana. The Bundaberg region's magnificent coastline is being showcased to the world with a locally produced documentary now streaming on Amazon Prime. Big Fish Big Adventure is an eight part series by local filmmakers David Quarrell and Johnny Nichol. It follows the crew of Big Cat Reality Fishing Charters as they explore the ocean coast off Bundaberg. Don't miss it. Bundaberg Regional Council is waiving dog registration fees for six months. It's part of the Council's coronavirus relief package. Here's portfolio spokesperson Councillor May Mitchell.
May Mitchell 1:14
Dog registration is free in the Brandenburg region until February next year as part of Council's coronavirus relief package. If you own a dog, you don't need to do anything to access this fee waiver as it has been automatically applied to all registrations. The discount also applies to new dog registrations between now and February.
Michael Gorey 1:32
A new local newspaper will launch in Bundaberg on Friday, September 11. Called Bundaberg Today, the paper has local owners and local staff. It will be published weekly on Friday and available from local news agents. School principals from across the Bundaberg region met recently to sign the Bundaberg Jobs Commitment Charter. The programme is a council initiative to prepare young people for employment. Bundaberg State High School Principal Karen McCord explains.
Karen McCord 2:04
The Jobs Commitment is really important as part of how we operate in Bundaberg with everyone. So being able to be with all schools and the Council and key people to make sure that we're all committed to the same thing for our kids is critical.
Michael Gorey 2:17
Finally, good news for swimmers that Norville Park Pool has reopened for the summer season. We now hear from Councillor Vince Habermann, pool manager Michelle Watson and happy pool user Helen Pearson.
Vince Habermann 2:31
Well, 1st of September, first day of spring and what a great place to be at Norville Park Pool in Bundaberg opening today for the season.
Michelle Watson 2:40
I think we are going to have a busy season this year. From the phone calls we've taken, the messages on Facebook, it looks like we're in for another good season. We have look people are asking how things are going to be a bit different with COVID. But we've got all that in place. Really. Chlorine is one of those wonderful things that kills Corona. So you know, we've got our COVID plan in place. And any groups that come here will have theres in place as well. So I think it's really important, there's a lot of people in Bundaberg that are finding, not a lot to do for their children. So we're happy to open and have kids outside running around in a happy, healthy environment. Last season was incredibly busy with the waterslide and the water play areas, lap swimmers, aqua aerobics, things like that. So that's all back again, there's no reason we need to change that. We've introduced a new check in process that will speed things up for customers, especially those that come regularly. We have a QR check-in system operating from the kiosk which is really secure. I can't even see the people that check-in. All the information is kept for 56 days, and it's only to be used by the government if they need to, if there's a COVID case that comes to Norville.
Helen Pearson 3:53
Because I can't walk very far. I like to get into the pool and just walk laps because the waters supports my body weight. And it doesn't make my backache Oh, absolutely. I've made lots of new friends at the pool who are walking at the same time. There's a lot of benefits in that for me, and I've missed that since I haven't been able to do it.
Vince Habermann 4:13
Lots of people like to come to the pool for relaxation with families and that so it's just wonderful. And with the beautiful weather we have at the moment, encourage people to come along to your Norville Park Pool.
Dana Maggacis 4:23
Thanks, Michael. Now, I'll hand over to the Parks team because some exciting news about Central Park.
Roana O'Neill 4:29
Hi, everyone, its Roana from the Parks Branch. So do you skate, scooter, rollerblade or maybe you even know someone that does? Well stay tuned because Brett Kronk from the Parks Branch team is going to be talking about a fantastic project that's happening at our Walla Street skate park in Bundaberg where Central Park is. Hey, Brett, how you going?
Brett Kronk 4:49
Hey,good, how are you Roana?
Roana O'Neill 4:50
I'm really excited about this project and I understand that the community is going to have a chance to have a say in this.
Brett Kronk 4:56
Yes, following on from our community consultation weekend earlier in the year where we had a design workshop and some on site sessions, we're now excited we can release our concept design to the community,
Roana O'Neill 5:07
And how will they be able to find out about it?
Brett Kronk 5:10
Yep, so from this Friday, the 4th of September, there'll be links on Bundaberg Now and our website to a fly through video and 3D design and also a quick survey to get some feedback from the community and to also give you a chance to provide your thoughts on the concept design.
Roana O'Neill 5:28
A fly through video? Can you explain a bit more about that? That sounds really exciting.
Brett Kronk 5:31
Yeah, so our skate design, Convic Create Community and LA3 have developed a fly through video, which gives you an understanding and appreciation of the layout of the facility and not just the still image but it really gives you, I suppose, the idea of what it would be like to be inside the skate facilities to make sure we can get as much feedback as possible.
Roana O'Neill 5:50
And so after the two weeks when you have everyone's feedback, what will you do with that?
Brett Kronk 5:55
The information that we gained through this feedback will be fed back to our design team of LA3 and Convic to review and identify any required changes to the design prior to construction, which will happen early in 2021, and to be finished by June 2021.
Roana O'Neill 6:11
And I understand people can also hop on to the Bundaberg Regional Council website, which is Bundaberg.qld.gov.au, and just do a search for Walla Street Skate Park or Central Park and you can find out more about the project. And Brett, if anyone has any questions, how can they get a hold of you or your team?
Brett Kronk 6:27
Either send an email into Council or give the Parks Projects Team a call on 1300883699.
Roana O'Neill 6:34
Great, thank you so much.
Brett Kronk 6:36
Bye, thanks Roana.
Dana Maggacis 6:37
Thanks Ro and Brett. Now, we hearing a bit about the amazing local whale experience from Lisa Douglas, Manager of Tourism and Events, who's chatting with the local tourism guest.
Lisa Douglas 6:48
Hello, listeners. We have such a special treat for you. today. I'm going to introduce Shane Emms from Lady Musgrave Experience, and he's going to chat to us today about these gentle giants getting up close and personal, only 30 minutes out of Bargara. And did you know folks that we actually have a humpback highway? Oh, hey there how are you Shane? If you could tell us a little bit more.
Shane Emms 7:08
Good morning, how are you? Yeah, look, it's incredible. The humpback highway goes up and down the east coast of Australia. But we get great access out of Bundaberg straight out of the port here and it is about 30 minutes to there. And once we're there, the whales just put on a huge show for us. I mean, people have probably seen all of our photos on the Australian Whale Experience Facebook page or the website, but it has just been incredible so far this year. Right from the word go it almost as soon as they spot our boat, they just head straight on over and start, you know, putting on a circus show.
Lisa Douglas 7:39
Shane Emms 7:40
Lisa Douglas 7:41
How many would we expect to see on a particular trip?
Shane Emms 7:44
Well, we're dealing with nature. So I mean it you know, some days you can get five, six, you know 10 and there's other days it might be two and it depends on how frisky they are probably is a way to describe it. But most of the times we see that they're just full of energy and they're just going for it and they get right up in close and personal to the boat. We've seen some incredible photos this year, like whales eyes where people have actually snapped the eye of the whale is just incredible. And even the baby whales recently, the calves. Someone's seeing the … they've got a photo of the umbilical cord of the whale. It's just incredible close up for this.
Lisa Douglas 8:19
Oh, this sounds like a marine petting zoo.
Shane Emms 8:22
It's it's one of those things that it's like swimming with turtles. It's one of those things that people can tell you all about. But until you actually do it yourself, then you're just like, God, why? Why did I not do this 10 years ago.
Lisa Douglas 8:38
A once in a lifetime experience. But something you can do here is a local every season.
Shane Emms 8:43
We have people that come out and 6 – 10 times a year. And every every time is different. I mean, I've been at every year for the last four years. It's just incredible keeps getting because the population the numbers are increasing about 10% per year. So it's just getting bigger and bigger.
Lisa Douglas 8:58
Yeah. And now, tell me about the mothers and the calves and the teenagers.
Shane Emms 9:02
It's incredible. The mother, the first calf arrived last Sunday. What are we Wednesday it was Sunday, the first calf arrives on Sunday with their mother. So they're already on the way back from north heading into what is a really comfortable feeding zone. So here in the whole Hervey Bay area, but the beauty out of Bundaberg is that we see them before they go down to Hervey Bay, and they're quite calm when they get down here. So what we tend to see at the top here is quite a lot of action. And I think going up on our Facebook page tomorrow – the day after, is going to be some photos of the actual calf. He was also – or she – I don't know which one it was – was coming out of the water to to have a look at what was going on themselves.
Lisa Douglas 9:43
Okay, great. So tell me about these naughty teenagers.
Shane Emms 9:46
It depends what you call naughty. They're really like they just put on a show. I mean they're full of energy. They're just jumping out of the water left right and centre breaching, splashing, slapping their tail, flapping their flippers they're just they're energetic. They're just like, just like kids in the backyard running around until you know until the sun goes down. That's what these whales do out there on Humpback Highway. It's amazing. From a guarantee perspective we've had 100% success rate for the last three to four years. Was not once we've gone out that we haven't had a large whale encounter. There's not many other places that can actually claim that so why – why wait? I mean, the seasons gonna close probably in about the middle of October. Yeah, here we are the middle of August, two months. The next six weeks are going to be the most active get on board get out there and really enjoy it.
Lisa Douglas 10:36
Okay, Shane, this is fantastic. How do we all book?
Shane Emms 10:40
Quite easily really, you can call us on 4151 5225. Lady Musgrave Experience – you can go online at Australiawhaleexperience.com.au and you can book online. We have some great opportunities. Adults. We go out Tuesday, Wednesdays – sorry – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. And adults can – we start at 10am in the morning. Finish at 2pm in the afternoon, includes a light lunch. Adults $110 per person kids is $65 per person that's four to 14 year olds, under four is free. Or of course for locals we do a special for locals, which is a 10% off for the for the whale option. So they've got that, but I think the actual best deal is our Great Barrier Reef and whalewatching deal. I mean, you can normally go out the roof for $220 per person and for the whales $110 we combine the two for a knockout $258 per person. I mean, it's incredible. Get out there on the whales now and then you can come and see the reef just a little bit after as it's, you know, in the next few weeks. It's just awesome.
Lisa Douglas 11:46
Yeah, fantastic. What a great deal. So you heard it folks. Go and see the whales these gentle giants and their calves. What I'm experience to see them frolicking in their Humpback Highway only half an hour out of Bargara. It's so of breathtaking I'm going to book my tours. I'm going to book that reef and whale tour, as soon as I'm finished, he was Shane. I can't wait to get out there and see those naughty teenagers. Until next time, see you later.
Dana Maggacis 12:12
Thanks Lisa and Shane. Now we've got another great tune. The Arts and Cultural Services team have been working with local artists through Regional Arts Development Fund to showcase their original work right here on the Bundaberg Now podcast. A total of 11 artists will be featured throughout the upcoming weeks and this week we will hear from Christie McLucas.
Arts Bundaberg Advertisement 12:33
The Moncrief Entertainment Centre. Bundaberg Regional Galleries and Bundaberg Regional Libraries. And together we're Arts Bundaberg. We love the arts just as much as you do. And whether you're a book lover, an art lover, or a theatre lover, the arts and cultural services of the Bundaberg Regional Council are connecting locals all in one place. To keep up to date with the things you love jump online to artsbundaberg.com.au.
Christie McLucas 13:04
Hi everyone. My name is Christie McLucas and I'm the featured artists for this week Bundaberg now, I'm really excited to be part of the project. And the song that you're going to hear today is an original of mine called Come Outside. A couple of months ago I wouldn't have described myself as a songwriter but as it happened, there been a few things changed and I sat down to write a few songs over the old lock-in period. And this song is about relationships really, ones that work and ones that don't and ones that are in the middle. So I really appreciate you listening to this today and what's my world debut I guess, have a great day.
Arts Bundaberg Advertisement 18:12
Art As An Act of Optimism the podcast series brought to you by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. Keep listening to the Bundaberg Now podcast to discover more talented artists within our region. To keep up to date with all things arts, jump online to artsbundaberg.com.au.
Dana Maggacis 18:41
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.