Weekender: Lyn grows community kindy

Council staff rescue 10 ducklings from drain

Georgia Neville

A team of Council staff swooped in to save the day when 10 two-day-old ducklings were trapped in a drain recently.

 Community members reported the trapped ducklings after they noticed two adult ducks attacking the grate that covers the storm drain, attempting to reach their babies.

While animal control officers Brittany Petersen and Donna Wolgast spend most of their time working with cats and dogs, the pair didn’t hesitate to fly into action.

"The ducklings had fallen through the grate that covers the storm drain opposite the BMX track," they said.

"While the mum and dad duck would have been big enough to walk over, the 10 babies that were approximately two days old were not.

"It was very lucky that the passers-by noticed the mum and dad attacking the grate covering the drain and were able to slow traffic as the mum and dad kept going on the road."

While rescuing the adorable and fluffy victims would normally have fallen to an animal rescue organisation, the pair knew time was of the essence and called on their co-workers to ensure the rescue mission was carried out safely.

"We had to bring in help from Josh and Terry from roads who helped us to get the grate up, having the correct tools to carry out the removal," they said.

With mum and dad duck nowhere to be found after the rescue was complete, the 10 ducklings were taken to a wildlife carer.

They said while they don't work with winged animals on a daily basis, it was still a similar process to rescue the ducklings.

"It is not often we deal with the two-legged variety of animal, although it wasn't too different to usual, just a bit cuter," they said.

"We are always here to provide resources and support to our community, no matter the job."

Council's regulatory services team continue to work closely with wildlife carers and rescue agencies to ensure the safety of animals.

Local farm goes carbon positive by repurposing waste

Ashley Schipper

A Bundaberg macadamia farm has gone carbon positive by using waste such as grass clippings, nut husks and prunings to create nutrient-rich food which helps its trees thrive.

Through the implementation of practices to promote soil health and fertility, Marquis Macadamias shareholder-supplier Hinkler Park Plantations has significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions while making positive contributions to the environment.

The 3000 hectare macadamia farm has achieved the result, plus the removal of 17,670 tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2020 and 2021, through carbon sequestration as well as cutting energy and fertiliser use.

Carbon sequestration is a natural or artificial process in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

Ways in which to effectively sequester carbon include composting agricultural waste, which works to store the carbon in the soil instead of it being released into the air. 

Hinkler Park Plantations Queensland General Manager and Marquis Macadamias Director Clayton Mattiazzi said by going back to basics, Hinkler Park Plantations had completely revolutionised its farming operations.

“This time eight years ago we were struggling with soil health, tree health and yields,” Clayton said.

“By implementing biological farming practices, we have completely reinvigorated the health of our farm and quality of our macadamias.

“We did this by creating a media of nutrient rich material to optimise growing conditions for our macadamia trees.”

Clayton said this included repurposing excess organic matter such as nut husks and grass clippings from the farm and placing the material back under the tree.

“What we have now is a farm that sequesters more carbon than it produces, preparing us for climate change by building a biologically healthy and more robust farming system,” he said.

To put it into perspective, Hinkler Park Plantations' carbon positive result is equivalent to offsetting the emissions from 4236 passenger vehicles for an entire year.

Clayton said getting to this point was a culmination of investing time and resources into improving soil health.

“We looked at our farming practices and systems to see if we could improve them in a more environmentally-friendly manner and we highlighted our soil health as the main factor in doing that,” he said.

“We implemented composts into our farming systems and looked after our orchard floor, reducing herbicides and reusing our organic matter rather than removing it.

“The only product that is removed is nut and shell, everything else gets recycled back into our soil.

“Not only does this mean we are now carbon neutral, we are also carbon positive by putting more carbon back into the soil than what is removed.”

Clayton said these practices provided many benefits for both the grower and the consumer.

“As for our farming practices, they are completely different to what they once were,” he said.

“We are not completely reliant upon chemical input, whether it is fertiliser or pesticides.

“What we have built is a healthy and robust farming system where our trees give us natural resilience, meaning we are not as prone to droughts, excess rainfall or root diseases.

“We get more reliable yields and have increased our quality which means a better experience for our customers through a more tastier, crunchier nut.”

Fresh new café opens in Bundaberg North

Georgia Neville

After spending a chunk of her working life as a teacher, Bundaberg woman Carrie Grima has decided to delve into a whole new passion by opening up her first café called KC’s Fresh.

Carrie said her café aimed to provide customers with a casual atmosphere to enjoy a coffee while supporting a number of local growers and businesses from across the region.

“We offer simple, fresh food including locally roasted coffee beans and locally hand-blended, small-batch, loose-leaf tea,” Carrie said.

“We are using as much local product as we can source, which we also incorporate into our menu items therefore reducing food mileage and supporting local businesses.

“The food is made on site which includes gluten free, vegetarian and dairy free options and less nasty preservative and additives.”

While supporting other local producers, Carrie and her husband Kev source a lot of produce from their own farming business, also called KC's Fresh.

“My husband is a primary producer and we are driven by that significantly as we have kept the same business name as we have used for our farming business since 2006,” she said.

“We want to be able to use the ample amount of fresh produce we have available right here on our doorstep.”

Carrie said her menu included items such as pumpkin and ginger scones, lamb sausage rolls and mango smoothies.

The café also stocks Kadilly Coffee, a local coffee roaster, as well as Ettie and Dorrie tea who provide a range of loose-leaf tea.

Working with local company Baked Love allows KC’s Fresh to offer a number of gluten-free and dairy-free options for customers.

A range of retail products and gift lines are also available including jams, sauces, spices and earrings, all of which are locally made.

The café has an option for online ordering.

Located at Northway Plaza in Bundaberg North, the café is open six days a week from 7am to 3pm weekdays, and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays, offering a menu with a heavy focus on fresh, local produce.

More information about KC's Fresh is available on Facebook.

Wide Bay ITV to bring Netflix-like service to Bundaberg

Georgia Neville

A new streaming service is set to launch in the Bundaberg Region, featuring a number of locally produced television shows.

Wide Bay ITV is Bundaberg and the Wide Bay – Burnett’s new locally owned and operated free online streaming and on demand service with a local production hub.

Executive Producer at Wide Bay ITV Phillip Harris is hoping to launch the on demand service in mid-2022 and said it would cater to a range of audiences with a number of shows on offer.

“There are a number of high-quality Australian made programs which will be new to Queenslander's but they will also be met with locally produced programs from right here in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay region,” Phillip said.

“There have been 16 series and some movies committed to us from external producers with lots more on the way.”

“The service is very much like Netflix, SBS On-Demand or ABC iView as users can watch video on demand, live streams and themed programmed evenings.”

Wide Bay ITV consists of three different parts:

Video on demand (VOD) like SBS on demand.

Live stream of events or programs

Themed programmed nights

Wide Bay ITV’s purpose built website allows all three parts to happen simultaneously.

Phillip has created a short list of potential programs that will feature the region including Business Insiders, Bundy on a Plate, The Shed and The Whinge.

“The short list of proposed local programs is hopefully just the beginning of what we can make here in Bundy,” he said.

“I, as a program maker, came up with a list of shows I think the community will enjoy being a part of as it had to start somewhere and others will have their own ideas and that’s what we are looking for.

“Shows will vary in length from 20 minutes to several hours for some sporting live streams, although we will aim to try and stick to what we are used to which is 30 – 60 minute programs.”

Wide Bay ITV programs will be filmed both in studio and also the ability to film outside and on location using their broadcast van.

“We have a multi camera capable outside broadcast van being fitted out for location filming and live streaming as well as a studio which will be located on Quay street,” he said.

The team will be looking to fill a range of positions as they start work, including a number of opportunities for people to volunteer and be trained on the job.

“We are open and encourage community involvement, we want the community to get involved in making programs on all manner of subjects,” he said.

“This is the opportunity for anyone to become a maker of TV programs.

“Eventually we will have up to ten full time positions and around ten part time and we will be providing training for all our full, part time and volunteer positions.

You can find out more about the Wide Bay ITV service here.

Community comes together for Tonga Appeal

Megan Dean

A community collaboration to launch the Tonga Appeal for those impacted by last month’s volcanic eruption and tsunami has been kickstarted by a $10,000 donation from Bundaberg Regional Council.

 The local Tongan community, together with Council and Shalom College, is encouraging residents to join forces and raise the much-needed funds.

 Mayor Jack Dempsey said $10,000 was a good start but much more assistance was needed.

 “The country has been devastated by the volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami, families have been separated and now they are dealing with an escalating COVID outbreak,” Mayor Dempsey said.

 “Our South Pacific Island neighbours need our support.

 “We already have strong ties with this region and our assistance now, at their greatest time of need, will only further strengthen this relationship.”

 He said there was no doubt the local community had the spirit and the resources to fundraise but working together was key.

 “I am so encouraged to see the level of community support already coming to the fore, we truly are the most caring community.

 “But taking a coordinated approach will achieve the best outcome going forward.”

 Local NRL legend and Shalom College teacher Antonio Kaufusi approached Council with the idea to hold a Tonga Appeal when he was trying to find a way to support his family members impacted by the volcano and tsunami.

 His cousin Father Ekuasi Manu is principal of Api Fo’ou Catholic College in Tonga’s capital.

 While the school building itself was spared from major damage, ash and water entered classrooms and tsunami waves crashed onto the school grounds.

 Fr Ekuasi said the school’s 1300 students, the majority of which come from low-income families, were part of the clean-up effort.

 “It took us two weeks to clean the ashes from rooftops and roads,” Fr Ekuasi said.

 "We were able to coordinate these cleaning up campaigns with teachers, ex-students, and parents.”

 He said the community was grateful to hear of the Bundaberg Region’s support.

 Mayor Dempsey said he understood there was a need for food and physical items but financial support would provide immediate aid.

 “We’ve liaised with DFAT and other NGOs looking at timing, transportation and logistics and the best way to get the Tongan community the assistance they need when they need it is to send funds as soon as we can,” Mayor Dempsey said.

 “We’re still committed to offering longer term support but in the short term let’s come together and provide immediate relief for the school, the village and the wider community.

 “The money we raise will go direct to Api Fo’ou Catholic College to be distributed to the community and it won’t be tied up and filtered through administration and logistical costs.”

 Shalom College has elected to act as the collection point for funds which they can then distribute school to school.

 Principal Dan McMahon said his school had links with the Tongan community and assisting with the fundraiser was a way they could reach out.

 “We have students and their families with relatives still in Tonga and dealing with the aftermath,” Mr McMahon said.

 “Schools over there - like here often in small communities - they’re the spokes of the community.

 “We’re hoping, in supporting a school with the things they need, it will also support those families who are there and the community in which it is based.

 “We are trying to get a way to give the aid that people will generously give to the people that will need it most.”

How to donate:

Account name: Shalom College
BSB: 034 210
Account Number:  831 772
Or by visiting Shalom College or phoning their Finance Officer on (07) 4155 8111.

To find out more head to ourbundabergregion.com.au/tonga-appeal.

Locals create organisation to support those suffering

Ashley Schipper

Driven from a passion for helping others and a connection to the community, eight locals banded together in 2018 to establish the Bundaberg Regional Suicide Prevention Network.

The local organisation includes a mixture of professionals and community-minded people who help to create awareness while connecting residents to services available in combating the scourge on society that is suicide.

Their work has been profiled as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative which aims to celebrate community members and organisations who go above and beyond.

Chair David Facer said being part of the Bundaberg Regional Suicide Prevention Network was about encouraging the community to make conversations with one another.

“Being involved in the network is being a part of developing something greater than yourself, endeavouring to save life through sharing time and knowledge with a wider community who may be losing hope,” he said.

“Although the national awareness day is marked on September 10, suicide prevention is a daily activity and increasing our awareness as individuals and as a community goes a long way to achieving a better, more caring community for the future.”

Network member Chris Foley added that the organisation was focused on preventing suicide through connection, collaboration, and education.

“What drives me to be part of this group is doing what I can to have a positive impact in someone’s life by creating supportive relationships throughout the tough periods,” Chris said.

“We are community-orientated people working together to combat suicide.”

Since the establishment four years ago, the Bundaberg Regional Suicide Prevention Network has hosted a number of community events and initiatives.

The organisation was responsible for the Resilience Forum in 2019, the annual Out of the Shadows Walk and the school art exhibition and the Dog Walk for Suicide Prevention in 2020.

Committee members are also heavily involved in R U OK Day, World Suicide Prevention Day and Queensland Mental Health Week events.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact the Suicide Prevention Network here or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

A Grand Display in The Vault

Georgia Neville

A Grand Display is a sculptural installation by renowned Australian artist Troy Emery which has been developed specifically for The Vault, featuring a number of iconic textile sculptures.

Through the use of different materials including tassels and rope, Troy has bought to life a dark space in the upstairs room of the Bundaberg Regional Galleries.

Having never visited Bundaberg before, Troy said he was excited when he was contacted to exhibit in the region.

The Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery is the only space in Queensland you can currently see his works.

“When I was asked if I would be interested in displaying here I definitely was, having been locked in Melbourne for the past two years, it is almost surreal to be somewhere different,” Troy said.

“All of these works have been made brand new just for this exhibition, and it is currently the only place in Queensland there you can see my work.

“All of these pieces have come out of my studio over the past six months.”

When Troy found out his exhibition would be taking up the space known as The Vault, he got thinking about how the opportunity was presenting itself to exhibit his works in a slightly different way.

“I was invited up here to exhibit and when I heard that I was going to be using a space that used to be an old bank vault, I found that really interesting,” he said.

“It has been a really great opportunity to play with the way I display my work as well as being able to come up to Bundaberg and have a hands-on creative control over the space.”

Troy took on the opportunity to present his works in the dark space by taking inspiration from a museum.

“I realised by exhibiting in this space, there was the opportunity to do a dark museum-like install,” he said.

“So, when people come to see this they are walking into a dark space with these textile animal sculptures and they are kind of illuminated like you are in a tomb or maybe visiting a museum.

“My works always play on the kind of aesthetics of the museum and animals in museums and taxidermy.”

Troy said it can be challenging to find the right mix of form and materials to get the shape and style he is looking for in a piece.

In terms of hands-on labour, it takes about a week or so of full-time work.

“People will see that I use unusual materials in my work such as hardware and craft materials,” he said.

“In this exhibition you can see here is a pure wool wall hanging, and other pieces that are made of cotton chenille tassels, florescent reflective paracord, used pink cotton rope and polyester tassels.”

Troy said he was looking forward to the Bundaberg community visiting the gallery and seeing his exclusive works.

“I am really looking forward to the Bundaberg community being able to see my work and it is a real honour to exhibit away from home,” he said.

Currently residing in Melbourne, Emery’s work is held in private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, City of Townsville, Goulbourn Regional Art Gallery, Deakin University Art Museum, Macquarie University Art Gallery, and Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Troy Emery is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney.

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Get your glow on at annual MOVE It Expo

Georgia Neville

A dance party featuring great tunes, glowsticks and plenty of fun will be part of the 2022 MOVE It Expo when it is held at the Bundaberg Multiplex next weekend.

For 10 years the Bundaberg Regional Council-run event has been helping the community to stay on track with health and fitness by bringing local sporting clubs, trainers and health and wellbeing experts together in the one space.

Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said more than 40 stallholders would be part of this year's MOVE It Expo with plenty on offer for the community.

“The MOVE It Expo provides a platform for people to find a sporting club, organisation or business that will help their physical and mental wellbeing,” he said.

“During the expo there will also be a number of demonstrations including a blow-up hockey field, a mechanical surfboard, radio-controlled cars and taekwondo.”

Cr Habermann said the 2022 event would also feature the first-ever MOVE It Expo after party, with Zumba and Clubbercise on the agenda.

He said the party would mark the end of MOVE It while raising money for Angels Community Group through gold coin donations.

“Clubbercise and Zumba activities will be featured, with neon glow sticks and disco lighting brightening up the hall to create a fun atmosphere,” Cr Habermann said.

“This event is a fantastic extension to celebrate the expo while raising some much needs funds for a great charity.

“If you like the idea of moving freely in a comfortable and social environment while getting fit at the same time then I highly recommend coming along and giving it a go.”

Angels was decided as the charity of choice by expo providers, who wanted to recognise the tireless work the organisations put into supporting the community and the younger generations.

This Move It Expo After Party is open to everyone, with those individuals 16 and over needing to be fully vaccinated.

You can find out more about the MOVE It Expo and After Party here.

MOVE It Expo

Where: Bundaberg Multiplex, 1 Civic Avenue
When: Sunday, 27 February 2022
Time: 10am to 1pm
Cost: Free

MOVE It Expo After Party

Where: Bundaberg Multiplex, 1 Civic Avenue
When: Sunday, 27 February
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Cost: Gold coin donation (proceeds going to Angels Community Group)

In our garage: Kerry’s Kosman Kawasaki drag bike

Paul Donaldson

Kerry Ellis went to his first drag meeting at age 16 and instantly fell in love with the bikes and the atmosphere.

At age 68, with over 40 years of racing behind him, Kerry still loves the feeling of acceleration down the 1/4 mile.

He shares his exciting insight into racing a drag bike:

Q. Tell us a bit about your current drag bike.

It's a Kosman Kawasaki. It was first built over in America, probably back in mid 80s. I purchased it from Jack O'Malley in America in 1991.

I built a motor for it because it was only a rolling frame when it came. The motor now is 1640cc. It's got a Falicon crankshaft, a 3 speed gearbox, centrifugal clutch and progressive nitrous oxide on it.

The bike runs on a V.P fuel called C-23. That in conjunction with the nitrous oxide, makes a lot of horsepower quickly, and this is what we want.

It has wheelie bars to stop the bike from just flipping over backwards.

The tyre is 10.5 x 15. You have to have a tyre that size for the horsepower that you’re making. Sometimes I wish it was bigger depending on the track.

The bike is called Southern Intruder because I live in Bundaberg and if we go south, I am a southern intruder.

If I go north, I'm from the south so I am a southern intruder. My first bike was Southern Intruder I. This bike is Southern Intruder II.

Q. How fast does the bike go and what records have you achieved?

Our best time so far would be 7.38 seconds. That's for the quarter mile. The best speed that we've done on it is 181 mph.

I have held several track records, and some are still current.

Back in 2015, I flew Billy Vose over from America who is one of the most highly regarded gurus for nitrous oxide. This was because I was getting out of my league a little bit with the progressive stage set up.

With Billy’s help, we gained another Australian Record for the AA Modified Bike that still stands.

Last year we went to Gladstone and that was a 1/8th mile track. We did 4.63 seconds at 153 mph, and that was our best ever 1/8th mile run.

Q. What do you love about drag racing?

When you pull up with the lights to do a run, there's no better feeling.

All your concentration is on the lights. I have done a triple zero reaction time, which means getting of the line as soon as the last light comes on.

It is a great feeling and it's very hard to explain because there's not too many people that will ever experience that sort of acceleration.

It only lasts for five, six seconds, but it's exhilarating. It makes you feel good for a long time afterwards.

I'm still reasonably healthy. I'm 68 and I enjoy it. I can remember being at Heath Coat in Melbourne back in the 90s and the Americans came over. Jim McClure was there, and he was in his 70s and still racing. So that sort of inspires me.

I don't do as much racing as what I used to, but it's still good to come out and mix it with the young fellas.

Last week's vehicle: Wayne's Holden HQ Monaro

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Book review

NRL legend visits Bundaberg before match in August

Emma Turnbull

NRL legend Phil Gould and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs board members visited Bundaberg this week ahead of the team bringing one of its NRL home games to the region in August.

The match against North Queensland Cowboys is set to be a gamechanger for the region, which will inspire and delight local rugby league fans.

As general manager for the Bulldogs, Phil said it was terrific to bring one of their home games to regional Queensland.

“The Bulldogs are bringing one of our home games this year up to Queensland, to Bundaberg, playing against the Cowboys in round 21, so local Bundaberg people will be able to see live NRL action here in their home city,” Phil said.

“The Bulldogs have made a commitment for the next two or three years to come up here and play a game – maybe that will be extended down the track.

“We want to learn more about the area, more about junior rugby league participation and maybe even pathways through to the NRL.

“I’m excited for the start of the competition in a month’s time, but certainly really looking forward to coming up to Queensland later in the year.”

Bulldogs chairman John Khoury said the Bundaberg Region was the stand out choice for one of the regional NRL games to be held.

“There was five or six options presented to us, and Bundaberg was hands down the most attractive to us,” John said.

“I really like the collaboration with the Council, the State Government, Tourism Queensland and the NRL and of course the Bulldogs.”

John said the Bulldogs had a proud history of being a development club, giving young talent from regional communities, like Bundaberg, a chance to follow their NRL dreams to one day play on the national stage.

This partnership between Bundaberg Regional Council, the State Government and the Bulldogs will see the Bundaberg clash provide an economic boost to the region, while delighting and inspiring local rugby league fans.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was fantastic to welcome members from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and to show them around the beautiful Bundaberg Region.

“It was great to be able to welcome the mighty Canterbury Bulldogs here to Bundaberg, to look over the facilities, meet with stakeholders for the up-and-coming NRL fixture between them and the mighty North Queensland Cowboys,” he said.

“Council is working in collaboration with the State Government to be able to get funds to entice the mighty Bulldogs here to Bundaberg for the next three years, and it’ll only be a success if people come and support this great event.”

The round 21 clash will take place in the at Salter Oval at 2 pm on Sunday 7 August. See the full 2022 NRL draw at nrl.com.