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Podcast: Tracy Olive Photography and weed removal

In today's episode we meet local underwater photographer Tracy Olive, hear about the new Last Man Standing beer from Steven Bradbury, and learn about weed removal at Elliott Heads. 

Local news highlights include a record number of jobs for Wide Bay in December 2020, a visit from QLD Governor His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, and the Optus' Digital Thumbprint program. 

You can also listen on Google, Apple, Spotify, TuneIn or your favourite podcast app.

Podcast transcript

Gennavieve Lyons  00:05

Hello and welcome to the Bundaberg Now podcast brought to you by Bundaberg Regional Council. This podcast is all about showcasing news events and people in our beautiful region. I'm your host Genevieve Lyons and on today's show we have Adele More speaking to the amazing underwater photographer Tracy Olive about Queensland's newest dive site, the Ex-HMAS Tobruk. Bundaberg now's Craig Ross speaks with Steven Bradbury about the new Last Man Standing beer. And we hear about the latest weed removal project and Elliott Heads. But first here's a quick recap from this week's top news stories. A report from December 2020 revealed that the Wide Bay saw its largest number of recorded jobs since July 2012, with a total of 120,900 jobs now in the region. This is an 8.9% increase in the number of jobs compared to December 2019. Here is Yale Morgan, President of the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce with more

Yale Morgan  01:08

There is certainly a lot of activity going on in our region, which is very exciting. You know, we're seeing in various industries and sectors some increase, those industries, you know, still retail is going ok. reasonably strong. You know, we're seeing that resurgence in the tourism and hospitality. We're also seeing an increase in construction, both commercial and certainly residential.

Gennavieve Lyons  01:33

The Queensland Governor His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey visited Bundaberg on Tuesday and Wednesday and planted trees in support of council's One Million Trees initiative.

Governor Paul de Jersey  01:43

It's wonderful had the opportunity to plant a couple of trees in Bundaberg and Gin Gin over the next couple of days. It's a way that the community can return to nature. What it deserves, and a million trees it's a big commitment. But it'll be wonderful if that can be achieved and I'm sure it will.

Gennavieve Lyons  02:03

Over 2,320 students from Bundaberg Christian College, Bundaberg State High School and St Luke's Anglican school have all been armed with online safety skills after taking part in Optus's Digital Thumbprint Program. The free in school program supports young people to be safe, responsible and positive online. And that's the weekly news wrap.  Today on the podcast Adele More speaks with Tracy Olive, an amazing underwater photographer based in Bundaberg. She's here to speak to us about the Ex-HMAS  Tobruk wreck, as this weekend marks the two year anniversary since the first charter scuba divers visited and she wants us to know just how amazing this new dive site is.

Adele More  02:46

Welcome to the podcast Tracy. Thanks for joining us.

Tracy Olive  02:49

Good morning. Thank you.

Adele More  02:51

So can you tell us a bit about your first dive on the wreck?

Tracy Olive  02:54

Well, the first dive on the wreck was really exciting. I was only just advanced scuba dive when I went to do this dive but went with 11 scuba instructors, so I felt very safe. We went down the line and the ship appeared. And I had only barely seen it from the marina on land a couple of times and didn't really understand the extent of its size underwater. So straightaway I was in absolute awe absolute all of this great big structure under the water.

Adele More  03:29

Great and now two years later, how much is it sort of become part of the ocean environment?

Tracy Olive  03:35

It has really become such an amazing part of the environment. Nature has taken it over. It's allowed growth of all forms of algae, shells, there's fish there's octopus, there's Scorpion fish there's eels, there's uncountable things you see on a dive on the on the Tobruk

Adele More  03:58

Great and what is it?


The Tobruk is an ex navy ship, it was scuttled off the coast of Bundaberg two and a half years ago. It did have a little bit of concept controversy involved with its scuttling because it is laying on its side. But it's equally I believe, an amazing dive site. But despite that, despite that, it's it's an amazing place to be under the water.

Adele More  04:26

Great. So can you tell us about the actual structure itself how big it is and how deep it is?

Tracy Olive  04:31

I believe it's about 128 metres long, the Tobruk. Big boat, big big ship under the water and it lays it about 30 metres deep.

Adele More  04:42

Great so it's more of an advanced dive?

Tracy Olive  04:45

Definitely an advanced dive. There are nooks and crannies to explore the great big tank deck that you can swim in and out and it is a little technical. If you haven't dived before on a wreck this deep yes, you should have an advanced certificate to be able to say that you're safe on the water.

Adele More  05:05

Great. And so it's two years since you first dove it. What are some of the differences have you noticed down there?

Tracy Olive  05:13

The first one we did dive it, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of growth already on it. There were crustaceans growing all over the deck. And there were also crustaceans that had filled the cavities of the deck. So I'm not completely sure if I am correct. But the crustaceans as they grew and got heavier, they then fell off and died. And then they are then creating their own rubble on the ground, and in the crevices and flat parts of the Tobruk as well as underneath on the sand. So there's lots of shells and things right on the bottom. And it's just a part of nature's process, I believe.

Adele More  05:55

Great. So it's become its own little habitat out in the middle of the ocean?

Tracy Olive  05:58

Yes, it is just amazing little bio diverse, underwater world. So there's the crustaceans, there's the algae, and then the little fish came and they started eating all that stuff that had been grown. And of course, the small fish bring the big fish and then the bigger fish and the bigger fish.

Adele More  06:20

So you've got small fish, you've got big fish. What else can people see out there?

Tracy Olive  06:25

We have a little turtle, a little juvenile green sea turtle. We named her Brookie, my daughter's name is Brooke. And it's the Tobruk, so she got the name Brookie. So which is quite sweet for me.  She is amazingly friendly for a wild animal. She is very wanting to interact with any diver. She seems to have some favourites, which I hope is me. But I we don't really know why. But she really likes to rub herself on us. She has quite a few barnacles on her back. And we maybe think that she's trying to rub those barnacles off. But of course we don't talk turtle. So we don't really know. So we lap up her attention.

Adele More  07:12

So you say there's a fair bit of growth on the record itself. What do you think that's going to turn into over the next few years? Is it sort of more encrusted? I guess?

Tracy Olive  07:21

Yeah, well, I'm really hoping that as the Great Barrier Reef spawns, that some of the hard corals will attach themselves to the wreck. There's a lot of parrot fish out there. So the parrot fish, they chew the algae off, which leaves a nice, clean surface that a coral polyp can then attach to and then grow. So without those parrot fish, that's not possible. So it's really a healthy ecosystem that is happening there that that that could be possible. There's a lot of soft corals, they're already growing there. The water is nutrient rich, there's so many particles and it's one of the reasons why the scientists decided to put it where it is, is so that the nutrient rich water feeds all the animals, feeds the corals, encourages the growth and creating this this amazing underwater world.

Adele More  08:18

So you're a underwater photographer. And is this one of your favourite sites to photograph?

Tracy Olive  08:23

Oh, definitely. Absolutely. I am self taught. So it's challenging when I go and photograph there so I have learnt to use my strobes better I wouldn't say completely properly but I every time I go I read something somewhere and then I start to practice it underwater. There's usually so much life and so much going on that sometimes I don't get it right because I'm so in awe of what is happening in the water rather than worrying about the settings on the back of my camera. So yeah, it's it is one of my favourite places.

Adele More  08:59

So if people want to go and see Tobruk for themselves, how do they do that?

Tracy Olive  09:03

So Lady Musgrave Experience which is based in beautiful Bundaberg. They take trips out depending on the weather and how many divers from the port.

Adele More  09:16

The whole day trip?

Tracy Olive  09:17

Yeah. Yep. good food, good company, good divers. If you haven't, if you haven't got your advanced ticket well, Julian at Bundaberg Aqua scuba, he can do all that with you so that you can go and experience the wreck. So it's not. I think that you can't because you haven't got the right tickets because you can absolutely get that in Bundaberg as well.

Adele More  09:41

Great. That sounds like such an amazing adventure. Um, thanks so much for joining us on the podcast today. It was great to have a chat with you.

Tracy Olive  09:47

No worries. Thank you.

Gennavieve Lyons  09:49

Craig Ross from Bundaberg Now had a chat with Steven Bradbury about the new Last Man Standing beer.

Craig Ross  09:55

Thanks. Thanks for your time today my time obviously speaking to you mostly about the new Last Man Standing Australian lager. I guess given the name of it might you've, you've kept your sense of humour about the 2002 Gold medal.

Steven Bradbury  10:12

Yeah, we thought it was a pretty obvious name for the beer and a good night for me too. But yeah, we also have the hare and the tortoise on our logo, which is a little bit about taking a piss out of myself, but also about encouraging responsible drinking because you don't want to be the hare go too hard too early. You got to pace yourself, not make a fool of yourself and be the tortoise.

Craig Ross  10:35

Right. Yeah, I love the double meaning to the name it's it's clever branding.

Steven Bradbury  10:41

Yeah, we will. We had some clever people help us with that, wasn't all my idea.

Craig Ross  10:47

Well, yes, I guess it Yeah, you teamed with the brothers, Damien and Steven Prosser to produce the beer. How did that all come about?

Steven Bradbury  10:56

Well, their dad, his name was Roy Prosser, he used to fly for the Wallabies back in the 70s. And after his rugby career became one of the head honchos and cow United Breweries. him and I became sort of unlikely mates. And then I became mates with his sons as well. And we love beer, we love a beer, while we're watching sport. We're mates and we all thought will, one day, let's all do our own beer together, unfortunately, big Roy passed away anout 12 years ago, and his sons and I continued the conversation, but never did anything about it. And eventually, after talking about it for a decade, decided that we didn't want to live with the regret. So we were doing it with passion, through friendship, through the memory of big Roy.

Craig Ross  11:41

That's fantastic. Yeah, that's that's a great story. I wasn't expecting that behind at all. So I guess, yeah, now that you're not having to compete as an athlete. Yeah, you're obviously promoting responsible drinking, must be nice to be able to enjoy beer whenever you like.

Steven Bradbury  11:59

Now my wife might tell you that sometimes I need to have one or two less. I do enjoy relaxing and having a beer after a hard day's work. And I think that's part of the Australian tradition. You know, we work hard, and then we relaxed. And for me as a, as a speed skater, you know, I try my guns for 40 years before I became an overnight success and think we're all entitled to, to sit back and have a look at the things we've done.

Craig Ross  12:34

That sounds reasonable. I think so. I guess speaking of your success, your overnight success in inverted commas. Yeah, the I guess there's the saying now ‘doing a Bradbury' is part of the Australian vernacular. But how do you feel about that?

Steven Bradbury  12:53

I love it. Every time I hear the hair on the back of my neck, it's great that I've been able to be remembered and also able to, I think, influence people usually in a positive way, in that if people are prepared to try really hard at something for a long time, then they can put themselves in position to get a little bit lucky. And I'm probably the luckiest individual gold medalist in history. But that didn't change the fact that I was the one there to capitalise on the competition or my mistakes. And I think the the average person is, is able to draw some similarities to that in their own life. Where when you look at a superstar athletes like Michael Phelps or Kelly Slater, and can't draw any similarities with somebody who's that dang good. With a speed skater from Brisbane who wasn't a world beater, but trained his guts out for fourteen years. And I can I can draw some similar similarities to that. So you know, if my story's able to inspire us to try a bit harder and what they do, then I say go out there and do your own version of a Bradbury.

Craig Ross  14:04

Great point, but I think, yeah, as much as it was a memorable style of victory, I think might be underselling yourself a little bit because I'll need your help here. But from memory, you quite a strong contender at the previous Olympics as well, we're going to be but then you had an injury upset you or something like that.

Steven Bradbury  14:29

We all had that background. I was competing in my fourth Olympics, when when I was had a bit of luck and got the gold medal. But in previous games, now, especially at Lillehammer, in Norway, that was eight years before the gold. I was actually in the in a relay team then and we got bronze which was Australia's first Winter Olympic medal. Unfortunately, nobody remembers bronze. Yeah, I was the favourite or one of the big favourites with 1000 metres at that Olympics as well and a guy knocked me over in the first round of the competition. As to why the cookie crumbles sometimes and I didn't give up and funnily enough when I wasn't one of the favourites to get the gold medal a lot of the things that maybe I did right by people through most of my life and I played hard, it's like fair, builds up a few karma points over the years and cashed them all in at once.

Craig Ross  15:18

Yeah, why not? And they gotta gotta take the you know, 'cause like obviously went against you earlier so you gotta at least you got to catch him when luck went your way that time. All right, I guess back to back to the larger, Last Man Standing Australia lager. So what's it like? what's what's the beer like? Why should we be out there trying?

Steven Bradbury  15:40

Well you should come and see me at Bundaberg Dan Murphy's, yes, Friday between 3 and 6pm. And you can come and try one for yourself for free. It's an easy drinking lager. 4.5% unpasteurized, unfiltered, no preservatives. Equals fresh tasty beer. It's not a craft beer at all. It's bitter through the drink with a hint of malt in the aftertaste. As no fruit or other corruption in it. It's a beer that actually tastes like a beer and a full flavoured multiarch to taste. So I believe it's the best lager ever brewed but I'm a little bit biassed. So gets yourself down to Dan Murphy's to try it yourself. So it took us a long time to get the recipe exactly the way we wanted it. And I think nine out of 10 beer drinkers are going to enjoy it. If you know you'd beers technically well, our beer is very close to a Pilsner. So it's like an old fashioned traditional style lager that they used to make back in Germany and Czechoslovakia hundreds of years ago, that the objective is for us. Three blokes having a crack in the most competitive industry imaginable. But we're Australian owned and an Australian made and none of the other big companies can say that anymore. They're all owned offshore. And I think on the back of this whole COVID thing are Aussies have to support Aussies a bit more. So hopefully, some people can come and have a crack at some Aussie owned beer that's bloody tasty as well and isn't gonna break the bank.

Craig Ross  17:10

Yeah, great. Well, thank you. I appreciate your time. And yeah, best of luck with the rest of the trip. Like I said see you Friday.

Gennavieve Lyons  17:18

Now we hear from the parks team about the weed removal and Elliott Heads and the upcoming planting day on Saturday 27th of February.

Sally Obst  17:26

The Bundaberg region features over 150 kilometres of coastline and the coastline is really varied. We go from a lot of rocky outcrops to small sandy pocket beaches to long sandy beaches, down at Elliott Heads, we have an interesting dune system that runs along the entry to the Elliott River. The steam system is actually really young, which makes it quite unique. back before the 1970s the water actually used to come right up against the cliff there. And over the last 50 or so years, the sand has built up building this very young dune system. One of the issues that we have it at Elliott heads been a relatively new dune. We also have extensive weed in that area. A lot of these weeds come from local gardens, we call them garden escapees. And over time those weeds take over some of the area and that's what we've seen in Elliott Heads. So late last year, our team decided to tackle this weed issue. So we're working together with the land protection officers to remove a lot of the weeds. So a lot of these weeds were introduced into the gardens. Plants like lantana have a really pretty flower. And unfortunately, once they're in the natural environment, they grow really wildly and can take over areas and outcompete the native gene vegetation. With the initiation of this project, we've had a lot of strong community interest, which is really exciting to hear that the community really came to see the area cleaned up from waves and revegetated. We've had one community event where we invited the community members along on a Saturday morning to do some handwork, removal of weeds and we removed over 60 kilogrammes of weeds that morning. We're also inviting community members along this Saturday from 8 to 10 to do some weeding and also to plant some low lying June vegetation. We're just meeting at the first beach access between the community hall and the kiosk. And we welcome all community members to come down on the day even if you don't have any experience in these kinds of activities. So I mentioned earlier about garden escapees. So plants that look lovely in your garden but are actually weeds in the natural environment. So Council has a programme called the plant swap programme. So if you have any of these large weed bases such as the broadleaf pepper or the Brazilian cherry, if you remove that weed council will actually provide you with a voucher for a free tree to replace that that plant in your yard. So this is one of a number of projects that are currently being undertaken by the natural areas team. We look after not just the coastline, but also the nature reserves throughout the region. We're really passionate team and we really care about the investment. And also providing the opportunity for the community to come into the environment and experience such a beautiful region that we have. If you'd like some more information about the community event on Saturday or about our plant swap programme call Council on 1300 8 83699.

Gennavieve Lyons  20:18

That's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this week's podcast. Join me again next week for more news and stories from across our beautiful region. Bye for now.

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