The Bundaberg Now Podcast returns for 2021 with a weekly look at local news, interviews and events.
In today's episode we hear about a new arts exhibition, free sports activities, Australia Day celebrations and more!
Local news highlights include a recap of the local RACQ LifeFlight Rescue team's busy year in 2020, UQ Medical Students arriving in town for the Bundaberg Rural Clinical School, the Australia Day Railway picnic and more.
Dana Maggacis 0:05
Hello and welcome back to the weekly Bundaberg now podcast after our Christmas and New Year break, I'm Dana Maggacis from Bundaberg Regional Council. And today we have another interesting programme ahead. Soon we'll hear about a new exhibition, free sports activities, Australia Day celebration, and learn about illegal dumping in our region. But first, here's Michael Gorey with the news headlines.
Michael Gorey 0:35
Thank you, Dana. It's great to be back with Bundaberg now podcast news. The first luxury residential apartments to be built on the Burnett Riverside will be under construction in coming months. Half the Dockside on Quay development is already sold. The Ascot group is building 12 three-bedroom apartments overlooking the Burnett River near the RSL. In other property news, the first residents have moved into the new Burnett heads RV lifestyle village. Seven houses are already built with 20 more under construction as interest grows from the southern states and more people look to call Burnett Heads home. Stage two of the development was set to begin this week. Here's more from Amy Boyd.
Amy Boyd 1:17
We have three residents living on site at the moment we have four displays that are open and available for inspection. And then we have another 20 homes under construction as well.
Michael Gorey 1:27
The ChaplainWatch programme is reducing drunk and disorderly behaviour in the Bundaberg CBD on weekends. Chaplain Andrew Steele and nurse Sandi Blair helping to keep things calm and prevent trouble on busy nights. They're trained in CPR, first aid, mental health and managing aggression. Read more on Bundaberg now.com. The rural clinical school has welcomed 26 medical students to Bundaberg. The third and fourth year students will spend the year in clinical training as part of UQ's flagship Doctor of Medicine programme. Dr. Therese Ryan explains more.
Therese Ryan 2:02
We're here for introductory week for the MD students. Yes three and years for at the rural clinical School of the University of Queensland. We offer clinical skills programme that allows the students to learn in a simulated environment and whilst simulation programmes are available in Brisbane the number of students means that the opportunities are a little bit different.
Michael Gorey 2:28
In sport. The new year brings another exciting season of Brothers Social Touch Football. President Andrew McCracken urges locals to get a team together and sign up on Monday 25th of January at the back of the Brothers Sports Club from 6pm. Finally, celebrate Australia Day on Tuesday at the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic at Bergara. There will be food vendors and local musicians to entertain at Nielsen Park. All these stories and more on the Bundaberg now website. Back to you Dana.
Dana Maggacis 3:01
Thanks Michael. The local RACQ LifeFlight Rescue team had a busy year providing essential services in 2020. Here is Brian Guthrie and Clare Hunter to tell us more.
Brian Guthrie 3:13
Last year the Bundaberg crew completed 291 critical missions at a cost of greater than $7 million. This all came at no cost to our patients. The Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight rescue helicopter responded to more vehicle crashes than any other critical mission last calendar year.
Clare Hunter 3:30
RACQ LifeFlight was incredibly busy last year with 278 jobs and motor vehicle crashes. Now that was up 15% from the year before, so an incredibly busy year for those crews and jobs that they really don't want to be attending because usually it means that they come across some pretty scary and distressing situations.
Brian Guthrie 3:50
Our Bundaberg crews flew to 38 motor vehicle accidents between January and December of 2020. Nearly 2000 lives were saved by a rotary wing aircraft throughout Queensland. This is due to being able to respond quickly anywhere in the State to keep our crew and patients safe throughout the pandemic. Our engineering staff worked hard to modify the aircraft to provide barriers between the front and back of the cabin ultimately to keep responding to Queensland throughout
Dana Maggacis 4:18
After the holiday break out arts team have been busy launching a new exhibition. Here's Jolene and Rebecca.
Jolene Watson 4:25
Hi it is Jolene here from the Moncrief entertainment centre and today I am talking with Rebecca McDuff from Bundaberg regional galleries. Hey Beck.
Rebecca McDuff 4:33
Hey Jolene, how are you?
Jolene Watson 4:35
Really good and welcome back after Christmas and New Year's. We've still got more exciting things happening at galleries. I hear that there's a new exhibition opened this weekend just past at Children's art space.
Rebecca McDuff 4:49
There certainly is we've actually just opened the exhibition Mind the Picturesque at our Childer's Art Space . Mind the Picturesque is is a solo exhibition for Fraser coast artists Wilhelmus or better known as Henry Breikers. So Henry's a really interesting artist, I'm actually going to use his words to describe what he sees that is behind the exhibition. So he says, I take inspiration as I find it. And still remember when I was much younger being energised by having represented on something on paper, something that was there in front of me. So Henry actually grew up in Holland, and he immigrated to Australia with his parents when he was a child. And I think it's really interesting. You can see this is his take on the landscape and the way that he looks at the world coming through. His work, when you look at it, it is landscapes, but it reflects its origins. So in the landscapes at the Children's Art Space, you can see there's riverheads to Yorkshire from Tiaro to Dundathu, and to the Flinders Ranges, so huge range of areas and geographic locations represented in the landscapes, but they actually draw the viewer in so they're quite whimsical. They have a really breathtaking use of colour. Do love colour in artworks, Jolene?
Jolene Watson 6:00
Oh, I love landscapes in general.
Rebecca McDuff 6:02
These are really interesting, it's definitely worth having a look. He uses this green, and I'm a bit of a green fan. So I really loved it in these artworks. There was this green in the artwork Some things are not seen. And there was also an artwork called Sky Wolf, and you had to really get up close, but the colour and intensity he got with his greens was just stunning. So I really encourage viewers to take the time at Children's art space stand in front of the works, and really appreciate the depth of what he's achieved there. And this exhibition is actually open to the public from now on to the 7th of March in Childers.
Jolene Watson 6:36
Excellent I can't wait to get over there and have a look. It's such a beautiful spot over in Childers.
Rebecca McDuff 6:40
It's a wonderful gallery. It's a really beautiful, it's got such lovely light in it. So it really, this exhibition is so complimentary to that space and of course to the memorial that sits within that space as well.
Jolene Watson 6:51
Yeah, thanks for that. Now, what else have we got coming up here? What what what interesting things have you got going on?
Rebecca McDuff 6:58
We have a little bit of a competition that has just launched at the galleries. I don't know have you seen the competition that we've launched recently?
Jolene Watson 7:04
I think I did see a mention of it on Facebook. Yes, absolutely.
Rebecca McDuff 7:07
So you can win a very special Valentine's Day treat for you and a special someone. All you need to do is add a comment to our ART DATE post on Facebook, and let us know why you would want to bring a date to the gallery. The lucky couple will be in a private brunch at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery before we open on Saturday the 13th of February and this will be accompanied by a gallery tour of the national photographic portrait prize and that too will be an exclusive tour with me as gallery director. The branch has been made possible by the very generous sponsorship of the Windmill, Bergara, Cha Cha Chocolate and from Farm to Vase so big shout out to our sponsors for this, it's a really lovely exhibition and lovely competition. So I'm really keen to read the entries. There's some very creative ones so far Joleen. So I'm really keen to see who's actually going to win.
Jolene Watson 7:58
Oh that's brilliant. And I love that once again, we're using those local suppliers to support this next competition that you're having here. Absolutely, you know, and they were just so fantastic. They jumped straight on board as soon as we contacted them about being part of the competition, and it's wonderful. We set up a little table, it's very romantic, actually set up a little table, you get your flowers, you can have your glass of champagne and coffee or tea. It's very nice little morning, actually. So I think anyone would be very pleased to win this. And I should say that the competition is open from now through the 10th of February we'll be drawing the lucky winners on the 10th of February and letting them know so they can get ready for their date on the Saturday. That's brilliant. Well, that is just beautiful. So make sure you get on to the Bundaberg regional galleries Facebook page and website to to check out what's upcoming.
Rebecca McDuff 8:47
Absolutely. Yeah, definitely hop on there and have a look.
Jolene Watson 8:50
Rebecca McDuff 8:51
Dana Maggacis 8:52
Thanks Jolene and Rebecca. Looking to put those new year's resolutions into action? Council are offering the exciting free, Be Active Be Alive Program, and today I'm joined by Rayne Juster from Sports and Recreation to hear all about it. Thanks for joining me today.
Rayne Juster 9:11
Thanks for having me, Donna
Dana Maggacis 9:13
So Rayne, what exactly is Be Active Be Alive Program
Rayne Juster 9:16
Well, Be Active Be Alive was initiated by the Bundaberg Regional Council in 2012. Essentially, it's a free pool and park programme and it was commenced initially with the help of state government funding. So the programme continues to be developed and refined under the council's healthy inactive charter. And essentially it just provides an inclusive mix of activities across the regions parks and pools and open spaces. The programme being run since 2012 means we've delivered over three and a half thousand free fitness classes to the Bundaberg region, which is pretty exciting. And effectively you know there's 300 plus fitness classes a year on offer and then it typically spreads out Six months of the year with eight week programmes towards the end of the year towards the start of the year and in the middle part of the year. So there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to get out at a low cost and enjoy, you know, beautiful parks and pools in our region and get fit and healthy.
Dana Maggacis 10:18
We're starting back up again in 2021. Can you tell me when the programme is actually running?
Rayne Juster 10:24
Alrighty, so the pool and park programme kicks off again on the 25th of January. So there's four weeks for the free pool classes. And and then it's followed up by four weeks of Park classes and wraps up on the 21st.
Dana Maggacis 10:39
Now there's a heap of activities available from local providers. Can you talk us through what they are?
Rayne Juster 10:44
Yeah, sure can. So out in the park environment, we've got a range of different things starting with Fitness for Life, which is a mixture of exercises like circuit bootcamp, boxfit, anything with a bit of intensity to get the heart rate going. This year, we're trialling a new style of class which is called mSwing. mSwing uses a single dumbbell and a natural flowing movement. Heaps of fun, challenging but suitable for all ages. Yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and also you know, we get involved and we support the programme with parkrun and all those other free activities around the region. With the pool, the pool can be a range of different activities, it can be aqua aerobics, or they can even do sort of water based fitness sessions like your circuits and stuff like that. So yeah, heaps heaps to to.
Dana Maggacis 11:36
And for interested listeners, where can we find out more information?
Rayne Juster 11:41
Alrighty, so, a couple of places, easiest places to find out information are on the Bundaberg Regional Council website. So if you were to go to Bundaberg.qld.gov.au/ be-active and there's a nice easy button there you can click and download the whole programme or you can just view it on the website. Alternatively, you can go to our be active Bundy Region Facebook page and the programme. Same again there you can click and download the programme there. And you'll also find all the updates and cancellations on the Be Active Bundy Tegion Facebook page as well.
Dana Maggacis 12:15
Awesome. So listeners jump on to bundaberg.qld.gov.au/be-active or the Be Active Bundy Region Facebook page to check out that programme and make your plans to get on down to some of those great free sessions. Australia Day is just around the corner. And again this year we have an exciting event planned. Here is Heidi Mason from Council's events team along with a guest to tell us more.
Heidi Mason 12:45
I'm here today with David Facer from the Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak who are this year's hosts of Council's official Australia Day celebrations. Dave, we're here today to talk about Australia day and the opportunity for the community to come and celebrate Australia Day at your event. Tell us about the Great Australian Bites Railway Picnic event and what we can expect to see on Australia Day at Nielson Park.
David Facer 13:06
Well, we've got a fantastic lineup for the day. It's starting at 11 o'clock in the morning. So for those people out early to enjoy the beach, that'll be absolutely fantastic. We've got the rotary showcase, commencing at 11.30 as well. So we can have a really great start to our event. Throughout the day, there's plenty of entertainment, we've got the great spargo brothers, who will be kicking off the Australia Day with our national anthem. And we've got some fantastic performances from the people from Vanuatu. We've got some great games done by a fantastic community organisation called Rec Link got a great band called Purple Hills. And near the end of the day, we can listen and take part with a Bundaberg Unity Drummers. There's lots to do and lots to see.
Heidi Mason 14:04
That sounds great. So tell us why did Daybreak rotary want to be part of the Great Australia Bites concept?
David Facer 14:10
Our Rotary Club is a firm believer in promoting and showcasing all the great things of our region. We've got the picnics put together by a local restaurant, and all of our musical talent, are all local bands and groups. We're really proud of the fact that as a local community, we've got lots of people out there and we'll end up having a great time in our local community.
Heidi Mason 14:37
Sounds terrific. I believe rotary are also celebrating a milestone and this has been incorporated into the event. Tell us a little more.
Dana Maggacis 14:44
Yeah, the the Rotary milestone is 100 years celebration of being in Australia. And the showcase is called reflect respect and celebrate. Rotary has been able to put on a national public broadcast presentation, it's about an hour and a half and it's going to be delivered from a centralised studio and include presentations from Australia's Governor General, Professor Patrick McGorry, the past Rotary International president in Roseland, and a director, Dr. Jesse Harmon. All of these presentations that combined with musical entertainment from well known Australian musicians. Rotarians, and members of the public will be able to view this broadcast in the rotary marquee, which will be located within the COVID safe Nielson Park precinct. Also, a second component will also take place in the rotary marquee, which is a presentation of our static displays and talks by local Rotarians that focus on current and past projects undertaken by rotary clubs in the Bundaberg district. So if you've ever wanted to know more about rotary, and what it does in our local area, come and have a look in there.
Heidi Mason 15:58
Sounds really interesting. I guess. Lastly, COVID. Safety is definitely our new norm now. And it really is of the utmost importance that all community events. Tell us what rotary has put in place to ensure that public is safe. And if there's anything that we can expect to see a little differently on the day.
Dana Maggacis 16:16
Yeah, I agree with you. It is our new norm now. And COVID safety is quite paramount to all organisations and all events to keep people safe. We're having the QR code check in, which allows people to use their their phones. And also there will be phones on site to use if people are not too certain around how to use that. The whole event is going to be capped at 3000 attendees at any one time. Also, we've specially arranged very frequent cleaning of all the public spaces. So I'll be really clean. But we would like to ask anybody, if you're feeling unwell, please don't attend this event. And always while we're in there to practice our social distancing. It's going to be something that's really important to keep our community safe.
Heidi Mason 17:09
Well, Dave, I think that just about wraps it up. And I know I'll definitely see you on Australia Day at 11am down at Nielson Park. Thanks for taking the time today to come in and have a chat.
Dana Maggacis 17:19
That's absolutely beautiful. Thank you very much for that. Look forward to seeing you.
Thanks, guys. And finally, today, I'm joined by David McNicoll, the branch manager of Health and Regulatory services at Council to chat about the issue of illegal dumping in our region. Thanks for joining me today Dave, can you explain to us what illegal dumping is?
David McNicoll 17:42
Look at anything that's waste that's dumped, where it really shouldn't be, whether that's down the track, or even on the roadside
Dana Maggacis 17:49
And just how bad is this issue in our region?
David McNicoll 17:53
So in the last 12 months, we've had 292 reported cases of illegal dumping, which equals about 436,000 litres, so almost 2000 of your big wheelie bins full of illegally dumped material.
Dana Maggacis 18:11
What does Council do about this issue?
David McNicoll 18:14
So with them, we've got funding from the Queensland Government who proudly supports the programme, we've got two officers that monitor the situation, they do sort of go to the most regular dumping locations, they actually go through the material that's dumped and we find you know, often find information about who's dumped it. We've got contractors who collect the the illegally dumped material, and then obviously that's taken to the landfill site.
Dana Maggacis 18:45
Now, what's the biggest problem that Council face with illegal dumping?
David McNicoll 18:50
There's probably three things that are of concern to us. One is that people think it's okay to dump it all. It has a huge impact on our environment. And it's quite ugly, and just just not the look that our region's trying to present. The second issue is that we really need people to be reporting illegal dumping straightaway, we find that anything that's dumped tends to breed more dumping on top of that. When there's nothing there and the place is quite attractive. It takes a fair bit for that person to dump material. Whereas if there's already things there, people think it's there, okay, and in some way to then dump. And probably the third one is we're finding a lot of material dumped outside charity bins. And then once it's dumped outside the bin, it gets rained on and trashed. And that becomes a material that needs to go to the landfill. And that's really horrible for the charity who has to handle it and dispose of it. So if it doesn't go inside the bin, it's actually dump material.
Dana Maggacis 19:53
Now I've heard that there are some fines associated with illegal dumping. Can you tell our listeners what the cost of this issue is?
David McNicoll 20:01
Look a few years ago in Queensland, the fines really ramped up, and they are now over $2,000. So if you can imagine, the cost to take a trailer load of material to our landfill is only about $17, $27 for a large trailer, but the fine of dumping it in the bush or roadside is is $2,036. That's a huge impact out of someone's weekly wallet I would have thought and definitely avoidable. Look, last year, we had $28,000 worth of fines, which is probably a bit disappointing. But that number of fines needed to be issued.
Dana Maggacis 20:47
And other than fines. What other techniques have council use to combat this issue.
David McNicoll 20:52
If the illegal dumping is look relatively minor, we do get the person to go and clean up that area. We had a classic story where a neighbour paid their mate next door, you know, $10 to get rid of some of his material, he was doing a run to the tip. And that was dumped on the roadside. And so we had names and addresses of the of the innocent person who paid the $10. So when we made an inquiry, the person who dumped the material was now working away. And we had to speak to his wife who, who said just to leave it with her and I understand that her and the kids had to go and clean up the area. So that fella had a pretty frosty reception when he got back into town I'd imagine. But you know, basically if there's a lot of material dumped and it's clearly commercial, or a large amount of material than a fine is applied.
Dana Maggacis 21:52
Well, thanks so much for joining me today, Dave and for educating our listeners on this issue.
David McNicoll 21:57
Dana Maggacis 21:59
That's all for today. We hope you enjoyed the programme. Join us next week for more interesting news from across the Bundaberg Region. Bye for now.