In today's episode we learn about an exciting local tourism experience, a Bundaberg Regional Libraries update, and a new Art as an Act of Optimism song from Mark Lavender.
Local news highlights include QANTAs scheduling more flights from Bundaberg to Brisbane, the release of the Gladstone Ports Corporation Annual Report, and Council's call to State political parties for the delivery of the new Level 5 hospital, plus much more.
You can also listen on Google, Apple, Spotify and now on TuneIn.
Dana Maggacis 0:06
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 information from across the Bundaberg Region. Soon, we'll hear about the amazing local tourism experience of the turtles, a Bundaberg Regional Libraries update and another great song from Art as an Act of Optimism. But first, here's Michael Gorey with the news headlines.
Michael Gorey 0:36
Thank you, Dana. Lots happening in local news this week. Qantas has started scheduling more flights between Bundaberg and Brisbane. Online bookings show up to three flights a day on several days a week from late October and services seven days a week. The airline says more flights will be added as border restrictions begin to ease. Gladstone Ports Corporation has released its annual report showing a 27% drop in cargo volume at the Port of Bundaberg. Despite this, the corporation says the outlook is positive as more commodities start to be shipped through the Port. Bundaberg Regional Council is calling on State political parties to begin delivering a new level five Hospital in the next term of Government. Here is Mayor Jack Dempsey.
Jack Dempsey 1:21
The announcement of the Bundaberg Hospital site certainly is pleasing news and the commitment to funding the business case. A new Hospital with level five services, protecting and securing the health and well being of our community. We can have those level five services attached to our new Hospital, it means better health outcomes, creating jobs and future for our young people and our current citizens and also ensuring that we have a bright future for the whole of the Bundaberg Region.
Michael Gorey 1:53
The Federal Government is investing funds to upgrade roads and bridges in the Bundaberg Region, including a Gin Gin truckstop, Boggy Creek Bridge and Goodwood Road. We hear now from the member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd.
Ken O'Dowd 2:06
Round Five will see another eight replaced bridges mainly wooden bridges, on Council Roads, and of course we've got the other four projects that will include widening, bridge stops those type of things for road trains in the area.
Michael Gorey 2:24
Bundaberg is hosting more than 300 people this week from the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia in town for their annual meeting. Kim Atkinson says Bundaberg is RV friendly.
Kim Atkinson 2:35
We chose Bundaberg because amazingly in Australia, it has the largest concentration of our grey Nomad public and members. We've got about 140 vehicles coming on-site for anywhere from two to four nights. That'll give us about 290 odd people on site for the AGM. We also have about 70 of our membership so about 120 people coming on just for the day.
Michael Gorey 2:58
Farm industry organisations are sponsoring a school holiday jobs programme to encourage local young people into horticulture careers. Lets hear more about that.
Kylie Jackson 3:09
School holiday jobs programme is a partnership between Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Bundaberg Cane Growers and myself as part of the Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network, and it was identified through this collaboration that we wanted to find opportunities where we could get young people in the industry. We've been working on this for about two years, the September holidays, these ones now, it's just been astounding. I received more than 45 applications from students across six different schools.
Abigail Marsman 3:39
I've applied because our school focuses more on the animals more than horticulture, and I wanted to get a taste of horticulture. Right now we are picking strawberries and maybe this afternoon, I think we're going to go look at irrigation.
Marcus Ashley 3:56
I welcome anyone interested in pursuing careers in Ag or Hort to come and spend some time on the farm. I'll spend time with them, if they want, to show them different aspects of the farm, especially different areas where they can have careers if they want to take it further.
Kylie Jackson 4:10
We've actually placed 21 students across six farms.
Hamish Derrick 4:15
Yeah, it's been pretty good. It's not as hard as it looks. They treat us pretty well here and they pay good. I'm more into the mechanics, working on either the big machinery or the loading vehicles and all that and planning and agriculture and all that.
Marcus Ashley 4:29
There's a career in so many facets of a farm. Irrigation, the entomology, the disease side of it, even farm planning, mapping,
Kylie Jackson 4:38
There are opportunities for young people and young people who do want to come into the industry.
Michael Gorey 4:43
Finally Across The Waves Eagles win the AFL Wide Bay Grand Final on Saturday in what's been described as an epic contest. You can read about that and more local news on Bundabergnow.com. Back to you Dana.
Dana Maggacis 4:58
Thanks Michael. Now, I'll hand over to Ellie Tonkin from Bundaberg Tourism to chat about the amazing local tourism experience, here in our own backyard.
Ellie Tonkin 5:07
As the weather warms up, the Bundaberg Tourism Industry is looking forward to a strong summer season. A peak time for visitors to the region, summer and the Christmas school holidays is driven primarily by families and adventure seekers in Southeast Queensland, who are looking to spend their holidays experiencing the natural wonders and the reef we take for granted here. Every year, from November to March, the islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and the shores of Mon Repos come alive. As mother turtles haul themselves up the beach to nest, and hatchlings begin the first steps of their journey, as they make their mad dash to the sea. The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is a hero experience for the Bundaberg Region. We generally welcome around 30,000 visitors each year, who inject $9.5 million or more into the regional economy. With the Bundaberg turtle season just around the corner and dates have just been announced, our marketing team is busy inspiring visitors to holiday in the region this summer and make memories to last a lifetime. This year. The Mon Repos Turtle Encounters will commence on Friday the 6th of November and continue through to late March 2021. Bookings for the encounter will be available from Monday the 12th of October through our website, Bundabergregion.org, over the phone on 1300 722 099 or in person at any of our friendly Visitor Information Centres in Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin. COVID has changed the way tourism experiences are operating, and in line with the parks COVID plan, the Turtle Encounters will look a little different this year. To keep our community, our visitors and the Mon Repos team safe. visitor numbers have been reduced for the Turtle Centre and Turtle Encounters this season will be more limited, so we strongly suggest you pre book your ticket. However, we are so lucky to have a wealth of totally incredible Turtle Encounters, within reach of Bundaberg. Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Islands are just off Bundaberg and our incredible experiences to take the kids or your visiting relatives if you want to meet the ladies of our refilled backyard. The sun soaked waters and Coral Reefs are the perfect spot to find friendly marine life including the endangered Loggerhead, the Green, the Flat Back and the Hawksbill Turtles right up close. We encourage you to consider your holiday coming up in the Bundaberg Region, and if you have any questions please contact us on At Visit Bundaberg on Facebook or Instagram or on 1300 722 099.
Dana Maggacis 7:49
Thanks Ellie. Now it's Jaala and Peta from Bundaberg Regional Libaries for a quick update.
Jaala Beauchamp 7:55
Welcome to our quick library update. We're going to answer some common questions we've been asked, so Peta, Are we open?
Peta Browne 8:03
Yes, all our libraries are currently open.
Jaala Beauchamp 8:06
Where are our library branches?
Peta Browne 8:07
Our library branches are located in Bundaberg, Childers, Woodgate Beach and Gin Gin. In fact, the Gin Gin Library is now in the new Community Hub, which is a beautiful space and well worth a visit.
Jaala Beauchamp 8:21
Sounds good. What can you do at our libraries?
Peta Browne 8:25
Libraries are open for all sorts of things including borrowing and returning, you can use the Wi-Fi and the internet PCs and you can print and just generally have a bit of a browse and read in the library.
Jaala Beauchamp 8:38
Sounds great. What's available online?
Peta Browne 8:42
Currently, we have all our E-services online so people are able to access from home our collection of ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music and magazines, so plenty to keep you occupied. Also, a lot of our programmes are happening online via the Zoom platforms. So things like code club, chess club, online movies, kids activities and so forth, and that's been very popular.
Jaala Beauchamp 9:11
So we've done a lot of online, what about programmes that are more in person?
Peta Browne 9:16
Currently, some of our programmes are open in person so our kids regular programmes for the under fives are taking place in person in a COVID safe way. Some of our technology sessions also have an in person component, again with small groups to meet COVID regulations, but we hope in the next few months to be able to open our in person programmes up a lot more, although still obviously following COVID guidelines.
Jaala Beauchamp 9:44
What's the best way to keep up to date about all the different things that are happening in our libraries?
Peta Browne 9:49
The best way is to find out what's happening in the libraries is via either our website at www.artsbundaberg.com.au/libraries or via our Facebook page, but you can also give us a call or email us if you'd like as well.
Jaala Beauchamp 10:05
Or have a chat to us when you're next inside one of our library branches. We'll see you soon.
Dana Maggacis 10:11
Thanks ladies. Now we've got another great tune. The arts and cultural services team have been working with local artists through the 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 Mark Lavender.
Arts Bundaberg Advertisement 10:31
The Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, Bundaberg Regional Galleries and Bundaberg Regional Libraries, and together were Arts Bundaberg. We love the Arts just as much as you do, and whether you're a book lover, an arts 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
Mark Lavender 11:01
Hey folks, this is Mark Lavender and you're dialled into the Bundaberg Now podcast. During COVID was a tough time for a lot of industries, music and the performing arts were one among those. For myself as a full time musician, I took the opportunity to take a different approach to music and do live concerts online. Performing weekly live shows. I also released my latest single called Strong Man. Strong Man is a song that goes out anybody that's been touched or affected by any sickness, particularly cancer, written about a close friend that lost their battle with cancer and the effect it had on him and his family. So this goes out to everybody that's reached out and everybody thats shown support. I thank you so much, look forward to seeing everybody out there at a venue sometime soon. My name's Mark Lavender, thanks very much guys, and we'll see you soon.
Arts Bundaberg Advertisement 15:56
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 podcasts 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 16:23
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.