Weekender Molly

Council’s stormwater strategy wins best paper award

Megan Dean

Engineers and infrastructure managers from across the region have voted Bundaberg Regional Council’s Stormwater Management Strategy best paper at a recent conference.

Presented by Council engineer Timothy Fichera and AECOM engineering consultant Jordan Maultby, the strategy received the award for best paper at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Qld) Central Queensland/Wide Bay region.

Tim said it was rewarding to have the strategy recognised by his peers.

“I think it was just a really good opportunity to show other regional councils our strategic approach to how we are going to manage stormwater,” Tim said.

“In developing the Stormwater Management Strategy we have learnt a lot of lessons along the way so it’s great to be able to share our experiences and show other councils how they can also sustainably manage their stormwater networks as well.

“We are definitely one of a few regional Council’s leading the way in this space.”

The 10-year Stormwater Management Strategy provides a framework to prioritise works.

Throughout the process, 150 potential capital projects were identified, demonstrating how essential it is to approach future drainage works strategically.

The best paper award means Bundaberg Regional Council’s Stormwater Management Strategy is now in the running to be presented at the IPWEAQ state conference later this year.

Tim said the strategy represented 18 months’ worth of work and it was pleasing to know it was well received by the conference delegates.

He believes a key to the strategy’s success is the fact that so many different areas within Council collaborated to develop the final product.

“It was a pretty big undertaking and a co-design process.”

Polo pops back into town for 2021

Georgia Neville

The region is set for the return of Pop-Up Polo in 2021, with the official launch of the event held with series ambassador Paige Van Lunteren this week.

Residents are being encouraged to get dressed up for a day of fun and entertainment by the polo track at the Bundaberg Recreation Precinct when it comes to town on Saturday, June 19.

Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the Pop-Up Polo was part of a stellar line-up for the 2021 Taste Bundaberg Festival and would attract visitors from far and wide.

“This event was a massive success in 2019, attracting not only locals but also plenty of new visitors to the region and I am sure this year will be no different,” he said.

“I think any event like this is great for any council as it showcases our area and everything that goes with it, especially coinciding with the Taste Bundaberg Festival as people want to get out and about.

“The polo is a great chance for both locals and visitors alike to experience local hospitality and produce available within the Bundaberg Region.”

Paige Van Lunteren, Pop-Up Polo Series Ambassador, said she was excited to bring the event back to Bundaberg in 2021.

“We’re bringing Pop-Up Polo back to promote the regional area here and to give the local people an event to get out to while getting dressed up and having some fun,” she said.

“We’ve got an action-packed day of activities planned including the famous divot stomp, the men’s and women’s dash and the car vs pony race.”

Paige said there would also be the return of fashions on the field and entrants were encouraged to try something new.

She suggested hats or alternative headwear and jumpsuits were this year’s trends.

“Rather than fascinators, we are more interested in hats and different styles of headwear and in terms of dresses, we love jumpsuits, something that is comfortable to get around in but also very fashionable,” Paige said.

“I love getting dressed up myself and so I am very excited to be judging the fashions on the field this year.”

Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased here.

Black Spot Program targets busy intersection

Ashley Schipper

The intersection of Boreham and Burrum Streets in Bundaberg West is undergoing construction to boost road safety in the area.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the work was part of the Federal Government's Black Spot Program.

“The program supports upgrades to locations that have significant crash history by funding road improvements,” he said.

“As part of this program, Council was successful in securing funding to provide treatments to the Boreham and Burrum Streets intersection to reduce the risk of further crashes in the area.”

Cr Trevor said intersection works were now underway and would be completed in seven weeks, weather permitting.

“These works will include off road active transport infrastructure connecting to the Burrum Street pathway towards the Friendlies Hospital and Boreham Street towards Bundaberg State High School,” he said.

“There will also be a pedestrian bridge constructed over Saltwater Creek and increased traffic lane widths across the culvert in the area.”

Cr Trevor said a pedestrian refuge with lighting across Burrum Street would also be installed as well as refreshed road surfacing , line marking and signage.

“These works will provide many benefits to road users including increased awareness of the intersection, better visibility for drivers and increased safety for pedestrians,” he said.

“Bundaberg Regional Council is aware of the inconvenience construction work causes and thanks residents and road users in advance for their patience and co-operation.”

During construction, the road will be subject to traffic management measures and will have the appropriate signage to guide motorists through or around the site.

The Black Spot Safety Works are funded through the Federal Government's Black Spot Program.

Junior sport star returns to launch Haimes Industries

Georgia Neville

He’s well known locally for his sporting achievements but Matt Haimes is back in town to make a name for himself in the building industry.

A prominent junior swimming and surf lifesaving champion, Matt’s return to the Bundaberg Region also sees him fulfill a lifelong dream with the launch of new business Haimes Industries .

And the qualified builder has a host of local connections to call upon, making his business endeavour a family affair with the involvement of skilled relatives.

Matt said he had always wanted to start a family owned and operated building business.

“It has been a goal for many years to start a construction business utilising some of the expertise we have in the family such as my brother who is an electrician, my father who is in telecommunications and myself a builder,” Matt said.

“The business is in a steady growth stage as we continue to set up in Bundaberg, but the local support has been amazing so far.”

Matt finished school in grade 11 to start an apprenticeship and said he knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in building.

“I was into furniture building and manual arts in school, so I have always been interested in building and known that I wanted to be a builder," he said.

"I love being able to design something and see the finished product."
Matt Haimes

Having lived in Brisbane since 2015, Matt decided a move back to Bundaberg was needed to get away from the busy city life since welcoming his first child late last year.

Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Haimes Industries, working as a site manager for a high-end residential property developer in Brisbane.

“Having worked on many different projects during my time in Brisbane, I have used this experience to help shape Haimes Industries and the work we are doing.”

Over the next 12 months, Matt hopes to build the business with a focus on servicing the needs of the Bundaberg community.

Matt and his team are currently working on the fit out of a new Burnett Heads cafe set to open soon.

Item 1 of 1

Kaloola Creations spreads joy throughout the community

Georgia Neville

A mother-daughter duo from Gin Gin are the faces behind jewellery and hair accessory brand Kaloola Creations, crafting unique pieces while raising funds for various organisations.

Kayla McCotter established the business with help from her mum Jodie last year after the gift of a sewing machine to make scrunchies had propelled her creative aspirations.

Having previously sewn her scrunchies by hand, the time saved by using the machine allowed Kayla to begin making matching earrings to sell as a set - and thus a business idea was born.

“I loved making and wearing my creations and wanted others to enjoy them as well, so after many discussions I decided to have a go and make a little business out of it as a way of meeting people and bringing a smile to their face,” she said.

“The support we have received from family, friends and people in the community has been amazing and these wonderful people have given us the confidence to keep going.

“We are learning so much and are appreciating all the experiences it is giving us.”

With support behind them, the pair decided to do more for the community by raising funds through the sales of scrunchies and earrings to give back to different charities.

“Our first thoughts went to Walk With Me Autism Awareness Acceptance, a Gin Gin based organisation raising much needed funds to donate to schools and other education facilities for the purchase of special needs equipment in our community,” Kayla said.

“We have some very dear friends who have formed this organisation and we wanted to show our support to help them keep doing the wonderful things they are doing for our community.

“We decided to make scrunchies and earrings from Autism printed material and donate all our sales from those to Walk With Me.”

Kayla said the business had raised just over $400 so far with scrunchies and earrings still available.

As well as raising money for Autism, Kaloola Creations have made donations to the RSL in Gin Gin, the Starlight Foundation and local cent sales.

The scrunchies and other items can be picked up locally, delivered throughout Bundaberg or posted at a cost of $9.

The duo have also been attending the Bullyard Hall Markets, held on the first Sunday of every month from 7am to 11am, with the hope of supporting more markets in surrounding areas in the future.

Thanking the local community for the support, Kayla said she looked forward to seeing where the business journey would take her and her mum.

“Our little business is bringing us much joy and to donate and help others along the way is very rewarding, “she said.

“As they say, ‘from little things, big things grow’ which is so true, and we are very excited to see where this journey takes us.”

New Boreham Park playground to host Flourish Family Fun Day

Ashley Schipper

This year's Flourish Family Fun Day and Welcome Baby Celebration will have an all-new feel when it is held at the upgraded Boreham Park playground in July.

The popular event will showcase the new features of the playground while presenting a fun and informative morning out for the region's families.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said Flourish Family Fun Day aimed to provide families with much needed information about what was available to them in the community.

“There will be plenty of activities on the day including camel rides, a rock wall, jumping castle and over 50 stalls from family friendly organisations providing activities and information to families,” she said.

“The event has a very festive feel with entertainment on stage, a Tiny Tots sing along and the Teddy Bear Parade where prizes are won for best bear, oldest bear, best dressed bear, most unique bear and more.

“An ‘underwater' theme will also be featured and we are encouraging everyone to dress up in their best costume!”

Cr McPhee said the Flourish Family Fun Day also featured the Welcome Baby Celebration, which welcomes new babies to the Bundaberg Region with a certificate and special gift presented by Council and the Mayor.

“This popular event is for babies up to 15 months of age and we urge anyone who is interested to register before the big day,” Cr McPhee said.

Boreham Park to transform into family festival for Flourish

Divisional Representative Cr John Learmonth said the July festivities were always popular with families but this year would be extra special due to the completion of the new Boreham Park playground.

“This event will be a fantastic introduction to the new play equipment in Boreham Park, which has been undergoing construction for the past few months,” he said.

“Not only will families be able to experience the many great stalls, rides and activities on offer during the day, children will have the added fun of exploring the new play area which will feature an eight metre high adventure tower, climbing elements, a large tube slide and more.

“There will definitely be plenty happening to keep the whole family entertained at the Flourish Family Fun Day.”

Successful event back on track after Covid break

Cr Learmonth said the last time the event was held was in 2019, with over 70 babies presented to the Mayor, 54 stalls and 300 people in attendance.

He said event organisers were hoping this year's festivities would be bigger and better than ever after missing out on hosting the 2020 event.

“While we could not hold this wonderful family day out due to COVID last year, our fantastic team still managed to send out all of the Welcome Baby packs to our newest members of the community,” Cr Learmonth said.

“This year, the event will be back in action and is promising to be a great day for getting outside on a winter's day in the July school holidays.”

Cr Learmonth said for those who couldn't make it to the Bundaberg event, there would also be Welcome Baby Celebrations in Gin Gin and Childers.

Flourish Family Fun Day will be held in Boreham Park from 9am to 1pm on Thursday, 1 July.

To find out more or to register for the Welcome Baby Celebration click here.

East Water Tower visit emotional for family

Ashley Schipper

A special trip to the Bundaberg East Water Tower has proven to be an emotional one for brother and sister duo Doug King and Val Gaal.

The pair were recently given access to the heritage listed tower by Bundaberg Regional Council after they enquired about the building their great-grandfather had once constructed in the early 1900s.

Neils Carl Steffensen, known as the “Builder of Bundaberg” was the contractor assigned to the task and completed the construction of the iconic tower in just two years.

It was one of the main water sources of its time and the original water tower for the region.

Doug and Val said it was a privilege to be able to see inside the tower and view the work and skillset of their great-grandfather.

“I have been wanting to do this for a lot of years,” Doug said.

“Just the fact it was built by a family member, it is special and I am amazed that he could do that type of thing back in those times.”

The pair said it wasn't just the East Water Tower that Neils Carl Steffensen had famously constructed.

The local man was also the builder of the Bundaberg Post Office, original National Bank and the police station - just to name a few.

“He was obviously very busy,” Val laughed.

An obituary printed in the Maryborough Chronicle on Thursday, 18 September 1947 details the many amazing works that Neils Carl Steffensen was involved in.

Many of the historic buildings are still iconic features in the region today:

“The death occurred on Saturday at the Bundaberg General Hospital of Mr. Niels Carl Steffensen, who had been aptly named the ‘Builder of Bundaberg'— not only in brick and stone, but also of families,” the obituary reads.

“He was the proud head of five generations.

“Buildings he constructed in Bundaberg and Maryborough stand as monuments to his memory.

“Born at Zeeland, Denmark, on August 27, 1853, Mr. Steffensen came to Queensland in the sailing ship ‘Alardus,' which reached Maryborough on June 20,1873.

“He was then not quite 20."

The obituary read that Neils received a sound education in the building trade.

“He went to Brisbane during the slump in building in Maryborough and worked on many fine buildings there.

“His first work in this country was building punts for the transporting of sugar cane and log timber on the Mary River.

“Attracted to Bundaberg, Steffensen's first local job with his business partner and shipmate Hansen was the erection of the Q.N. Bank premises.”

The pair also built the Bundaberg Post Office and Queen's Theatre.

“After a period in cane farming, Mr. Steffensen erected several business premises in Bourbon [sic] Street and other parts of the city.

“He also constructed the piers and wings of the Burnett and Kennedy bridges, the police station and watch house, and the East Bundaberg water tower.

“When a disastrous fire destroyed many business premises in Childers Mr. Steffensen was engaged there for many months erecting brick buildings."

Many of the Bourbong Street buildings are also credited to Mr Steffensen including the third storey of the Federal Hotel and Wyper Bros factory.

“Other buildings which stand as examples of his ability are the Church of England, the Bundaberg General Hospital, the Ambulance Centre, the Holy Rosary Church, and the Olympia Airdome," the Maryborough Chronicle reported.

“Thus it was that he became known as the ‘Builder of Bundaberg'.”

Poh to share tips in Taste Bundaberg masterclass

Megan Dean

Poh Ling Yeow will deliver a Taste Bundaberg Festival cooking masterclass, dishing up “a good bit of Poh chaos” with her signature South East Asian style.

She’s impressed the MasterChef judges and triumphed in elimination cook-offs but at the Multiplex the pressure is off and Poh’s focus will be sharing her love of food with Bundaberg Region audiences.

In addition to her expert tips and advice, Poh is looking forward to sharing her love of cooking and that “food should be fun, tasty and convivial”.

It’s her first time in the Bundaberg Region and Poh is looking forward to the visit.

“I’ve made it no secret that I have a soft spot for rural communities,” Poh said.

It’s such an honour and delight to be invited to be such a big part of the festival – it must mean they like me there!

“I’m most excited to meet the locals and of course, to suss out Bundaberg ingredients and growers.

“A lot of the ingredients I grew up with in Malaysia grow in Bundaberg, so I’m definitely going for a South East Asian vibe.

“I definitely have huge enthusiasm for all the tropical fruit.”

Poh said she felt a synergy with the ‘eat local’ message that made up such a big part of the Taste Bundaberg Festival ethos.

“Local means less food miles and being in touch with producers,” she said.

“Having this line of communication always creates higher quality produce that respects seasonality and terroir.”

The one hour Local Flavours by Poh cooking masterclass will be held across two sessions on Saturday 12 June at 1 pm and 3 pm.

The masterclass is just $30 to attend and will be held at the Multiplex Sport and Convention Centre, 1 Civic Avenue.

Poh will also be in attendance at the Taste Farmers Market on Saturday 12 June held in Alexandra Park from 7 am to 11 am with a limited number of cookbooks to give away.

Elizabeth's creative garden full of personality

Morgan Everett

Elizabeth Hunter has transformed her garden from barren to beautiful in three years, building outdoor rooms full of upcycled creativity.

Coming home to her investment property after eight years meant starting from scratch but it was all worth it, according to Elizabeth.

She said the outdoor area had flourished, becoming home to three chickens, seven native beehives, birds and frogs.

“My vision was to create a green oasis and privacy is so important when living in close proximity to neighbours,” Elizabeth said.

“Maybe sharing my garden motto might help describe the picture I had in my mind.

“It’s flowers for fun, herbs for healing, food for foraging and a forest for the future.”

The local green thumb said she also developed a love for upcycling, going hand in hand with the practicality and sustainability of the garden.

“For me I want a garden I can live in,” Elizabeth said.

“The corner deck in the garden is part of my sons’ old fence, it’s a lovely spot for a cuppa.

“I concreted my old gardening hat then painted it for a bird’s nest in that spot.

“No birds but it has become a green frog’s favourite place to sleep during the day.”

Elizabeth said gardening has always been dear to her heart, inheriting the passion from her mother.

“She always spent more of her time in the garden than indoors,” she said.

“I remember with a smile how she used to be out in the garden early in the morning in her dressing gown and slippers and no I am not confessing to doing the same thing!”

Elizabeth said she believed “we’re all gardeners at heart, sometimes life just gets in the way”.

“My garden is a place of healing for me, a place that I can find peace and solitude if I need it,” she said.

“There are what I call rooms in my garden, for reading, creative projects and places for just being still.

“It provides me with an opportunity to help others by sharing.”

Item 1 of 4

Netball Titles to bring boost to the region

Georgia Neville

The Queensland State School Sport Netball Titles is dishing up plenty of opportunity in the Bundaberg with up to one thousand people descending on the region this week.

The competition is hosting teams from 12 regions across Queensland, with each comprising of two teams for the 13-15 years age group and the 16-19 years age group, made up of 10 players and additional staff.

With parents and family members also attending the event, organisers said benefits would be seen for accommodation and hospitality venues across the region, with all attendees using these throughout the four-day event.

Bundaberg State High School Event Convenor Melanie Currie said the opportunity to host the event would showcase the Bundaberg Region to those visiting from around Queensland.

“We are hoping that all visitors to our region really enjoy what Bundaberg has to offer, as well as high quality netball over the four days of competition,” she said.

“On Saturday, teams will be finished in the early afternoon so hopefully the weather will be conducive to teams exploring some parts of Bundaberg.”

Further to the benefits for the region, the carnival provides the opportunity for local students to be involved in volunteering and supporting the event.

“The titles are providing an opportunity for student helpers from across the region, with approximately 20 student helpers from schools across Bundaberg,” Melanie said.

“We also have assistance from 10 Bundaberg State High School students and local staff throughout the course of the event.”

In addition to the players and team staff, there will be a number of independent selectors, umpire coaches and managers and 24 student umpires.

Queensland Secondary School Sport allocates championships to regions who have facilities to host the events, with the Wide Bay region asking for expressions of interest for convenors last year.

Planning for the event has been in progress since late last year, with Bundaberg finding out they were successful in term three.

The Queensland State School Sport Netball Titles will be held until Sunday.