Weekender: Deems share secret to lifelong love

Do your BITS for a better transport network


Local residents are being encouraged to have their say on the future of freight, passenger, and active transport across the Bundaberg Region.

A questionnaire is now live, which will allow the Bundaberg community to provide valued feedback on the jointly funded Bundaberg Integrated Transport Strategy.

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said $1.01 million was allocated to the integrated transport strategy project, which would focus on the development of a preferred road network for the Bundaberg Region.

He said the State Government was investing a record $27.5 billion on roads and transport over four years, supporting 27,000 jobs.

“Whether you drive a car or truck, ride a bike or even get around on a scooter, your local input will generate a positive impact of the future transport strategy for the Bundaberg region,” Mr Smith said.

“Investment into our local roads means an investment into our local economy through the creation of more jobs and the delivering of key infrastructure projects."

The Bundaberg Region has experienced steady growth and increased transport over the past 10 years, with high levels of development activity occurring across the region.

The strategy will consider this growth and develop a long-term plan for future preferred freight, passenger and active transport networks.

Bundaberg Regional Council Deputy Mayor and Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the collaboration between Transport and Main Roads and Bundaberg Regional Council had the ability to become a best practice example of combined transport planning.

“It’s fantastic to be working hand in hand with TMR and sharing our planning, knowledge and expertise to develop the best possible outcome for the Bundaberg Region community,” Cr Trevor said.

“The strategy will take a holistic approach to developing our network.

“We are starting by listening to transport users about how they use the network now and how they’d like to see it adapt in future.

“This invaluable feedback will help us to prioritise works in the short, medium and long term to support growth and create a safe, convenient and efficient transport network.”

The questionnaire is now live and will remain open until late June 2022 for locals to jump online to have their say.

All feedback collected will be used to inform the strategic planning, which will be used to prioritise potential future projects in the Bundaberg Region.

Mr Smith said the strategy demonstrated the State Government’s commitment to delivering for regions such as Bundaberg.

“Over four years we will see more than $1.5 billion in road and transport projects being delivered in the Wide Bay Burnett region."

He said the State Government was investing a record $27.5 billion on roads and transport over four years, supporting 27,000 jobs.

The Bundaberg Integrated Transport Strategy is a strategic level transport plan being delivered by Transport and Main Roads and Bundaberg Regional Council.

Access the survey on the TMR website.

Bucca Hotel to celebrate 125 year milestone

Emma Turnbull

One of the region's oldest pubs will soon celebrate a milestone birthday, with a mini festival set to entertain the crowd as Bucca Hotel rings in 125 years in July.

The popular watering hole has been operated by Ron Kadel since 2016 with his partner Sarah Wessner managing the venue.

The duo said they were excited to bring the community together for the big birthday event and share in the history of Bucca Pub.

“It's lovely to see the pub still in operation after all these years,” Sarah said.

“It's great to hear the stories from patrons when they used to visit 15 or 20 years ago and how things have changed.”

Early history of Bucca Hotel

According to Bundaberg Regional Council's Heritage and Neighbourhood Character Planning Scheme Policy, the Bucca district began to take shape in the late 1800s.

A provisional school opened from 1890 indicating the modest population growth.

By 1897 Bucca Hotel had been constructed by Danish immigrant Neils (Niels) Christian Dahl and it now stands as one of the oldest hotels in the Bundaberg Region.

N C Dahl died in September 1900 and in 1902 the licence was taken over by Maria Anderson from Dahl's widow Ellen Marie.

While there are many timber-constructed hotels in the Bundaberg Region, the Bucca Hotel is significant as a small, single storey rural hotel and, in this sense, is considered rare.

During its life, the pub has been through changes and challenges, including being significantly damaged by Cyclone Fran on 5 March 1992.

As part of the pub's 125th birthday celebration, Ron and Sarah said they were hoping to collate as much history as possible and were asking the community for assistance.

“It's very hard to get a hold of the history of this gem,” Sarah said.

“I mean there's bits and pieces, but it would be great to showcase it in the future.

“Something I plan to do is have a wall dedicated to the history of the pub, so that everyone who passes by gets to enjoy the stories of the Bucca Hotel.”

Mini festival planned for Bucca Hotel 125 years celebration

During the Bucca Pub 125-year celebration on 9 July, Sarah said the community could expect a mini festival featuring 12 hours of live music, a selection of food stalls and a great atmosphere in the country.

The Wolfe Brothers, Catherine Britt, Jasmine Rae, Sammy White, Brooke Schubert and Bundaberg’s own Mark Lavender will entertain the crowd.

“We are very excited to have these musicians be part of the huge milestone, I mean it's not every day that a small country pub turns 125 years old,” she said.

“It's definitely something worth celebrating!

“We hope that this is the biggest event coming out of the Bucca Hotel to date.

“If It is a success we will continue to hold an annual event, Bucca's Birthday Bash has a good ring to it!”

To purchase tickets to the Bucca Hotel 125 years celebration, click here or head to the Facebook page.

Recent rainfall good news at Fred Haigh Dam

Ashley Schipper

Recent rainfall is continuing to benefit dams across the region with Fred Haigh Dam the latest catchment to reach 100 per cent capacity in the past week.

Located on the Kolan River about 20 kilometres north of Gin Gin, it is the main source of water for the Kolan sub-scheme within Sunwater’s Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme.

Fred Haigh Dam has a storage capacity of 562,000 mega litres which reached 100.1 per cent on Friday morning.

The results are a stark contrast to two weeks prior, when then dam recorded just 53 per cent on 11 May.

A Sunwater spokesperson said it was good news for the region.

“Sunwater is pleased to have received good rainfall in recent months that has provided a boost to many of its storages in regional Queensland,” the spokesperson said.

“Bundaberg’s Burnett sub-scheme, which includes Paradise Dam, is also at 100 per cent for both high and medium priority allocations.

“These inflows will enhance water security in the Bundaberg and Burnett region for some time.

“Sunwater understands the importance of water for regional communities and is happy some landholders will have received water for their storages.”

Paradise Dam is currently at a reduced capacity but is set to return to its full 300,000-megalitre capacity after the announcement in February this year that the restoration project was fully funded between the State and Federal Governments.

History of Fred Haigh Dam

Fred Haigh Dam last spilled on 24 February 2018 when storage reached 103 per cent capacity.

On 31 October 2021 the dam was at 35 per cent capacity, its lowest level in 11 years.

The dam had a historical low of 3.29 per cent in 2003 and a historical high of 181.5 per cent in 2013 when the region was devastated by the January floods.

According to Sunwater, Fred Haigh Dam was completed in 1974 as part of the first stage of the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme.

“It was originally called Monduran Dam but the name was changed in 1979 to honour Irrigation and Water Supply Commissioner Fred Haigh who was a driving force behind the project.

“Haigh died in 1974 before the dam was finished.

“The storage formed by the dam is still known as Lake Monduran.”

Photo: Sunwater

Online produce business grows to open first-ever shopfront

Ashley Schipper

Ashley and Sharen Staier have been operating Bundy Online Fruit and Vege for eight years and soon they will be opening their first-ever shopfront in the region.

The local couple said the online component of their delivery business had been very successful while they lived in Bullyard but, upon recently moving to Bundaberg, they had decided to expand to offer a walk-in shop.

“Opening a fruit and vegetable shop has always been something that we have dreamed about!” Sharen said.

“Now that we are living in Bundaberg we saw the opportunity to expand our business to accommodate the needs of our customers.

“We have found that more and more customers are busy and want the convenience of click and collect for their orders.”

The couple are still in the fitting-out stage of the premise on 21 Bourbong Street and said once up and running, they would provide a range of quality fruit and vegetables, plus a few extras, six days a week.

“We aim to sell the best quality produce and we will be sourcing these from local farmers in and around the Bundaberg area where possible and also from the Rocklea Markets in Brisbane,” she said.

“We will also sell coffee, freshly squeezed juice and local flowers (when available).

“We will have some tables inside for customers to enjoy their beverages and also have takeaway options.”

Sharen said Bundy Online Fruit and Vege was a natural progression as working with produce ran in their blood, thanks to Ashley's long farming history.

“Ashley is a born and bred farmer and has been farming since he was 12 years old when his parents owned a farm in Maryborough,” she said.

“He has a keen eye for detail and knows what customers want.

“We both have a passion for customer service and I think that's what makes our business thrive.

“If our customers are happy then we are happy!

Bundy Online Fruit and Vege store a family project

Sharen said the Bundaberg store would be a family-run business with her, Ashley and their son at the helm of the operations.

“Our son Karl will be busy making coffees, doing deliveries and serving customers,” she said.

“My Father, Gary, has been a huge help in getting the shop up and running.

“Dad is a cabinet maker by trade and his skills have been very useful and we are very thankful for his contribution.

“We have other staff members who have been with us for a long time and we are thankful for their help and support of our local business.”

Sharen said renovations were currently underway with the business set for opening in July.

“Our coffee shop will be open from 6.30 am Monday to Friday and the fruit and vegetable shop will open from 8 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday.

“The shop will also be open on a Saturday morning.

“We are very excited about our new adventure and look forward to seeing all of our regular customers face to face and serving and meeting new customers in our local community.”

In the meantime, Sharen said customers could still order fruit and vegetables from the Bundy Online Fruit and Vege website.

“We will deliver them to your door for free provided you are within our delivery area and you can pay by credit card or Paypal from our website,” she said.

“Orders need to be placed by Monday nights by 10 pm for delivery the same week.”

Find out more here.

Flourish festivities provide fun for whole family

Ashley Schipper

A ninja obstacle course, face painting and the popular Teddy Bear Parade are just some of the exciting activities that will make up the 2022 Flourish Family Fun Day in June.

Boreham Park will host the popular event with local families invited along for the fun on Thursday 30 June from 9 am to midday.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said this year's theme, Trash to Treasure, would focus on recycling, upcycling and everything pre-loved.

“Our Trash to Treasure theme will highlight all of the benefits of recycling and reusing, to show our younger generations just how important it is for our environment,” she said.

“There will be plenty of activities and stations set up to take our young participants through the steps of recycling and to show them how to turn trash into something special!”

Cr McPhee said the 2022 Flourish Family Fun Day was expected to be bigger and better than ever before after Covid restrictions had eased.

“2021 saw between 2500 and 3000 members of the Bundaberg community attend the successful event, with over 50 stall holders,” she said.

“This year's Flourish Family Fun Day is set to include a huge program and even more stalls on site.

“Whether you are looking for day care options, NDIS information, health services and everything in between, Flourish Family Fun Day can link you to what you need.”

Teddy Bear Parade, Welcome Baby part of Flourish Family Fun Day

Divisional spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said families would not be the only visitors to Boreham Park for Flourish, with plenty of teddies also invited along.

“The popular Teddy Bear Parade is set to make a return and all teddies great and small are welcome to attend Flourish Family Fun Day,” he said.

“This year we will have prizes for most-loved bear, brightest bear and best trash and treasure bear so don't forget to bring along your best bear friend for a great day out at Flourish!”

Cr Learmonth said Welcome Baby would also make a return.

“Our Welcome Baby celebration is an opportunity to formally introduce and welcome new babies as valued members of the Bundaberg Region community,” he said.

“Each participating baby will receive a ‘Baby Loves Bundaberg' pack and an acknowledgement certificate signed by the Bundaberg Mayor, a small gift and their very own Welcome Baby teddy.

“The ceremony is a great opportunity to create a sense of belonging in the region, particularly for those with new families and for new residents.”

Register for Welcome Baby here.

Flourish Family Fun Day is a Bundaberg Regional Council initiative to celebrate family, inclusivity and promote connection within the community.

Flourish Family Fun Day details:

When: Thursday 30 June, 9 am to midday

Where: Boreham Park

Cost: Free entry

Students do their part to help plant One Million Trees

Ashley Schipper

Students from Bundaberg Christian College didn't mind getting their hands dirty this week to help plant native trees as part of Council's One Million Trees project.

Principal Paul Thompson said the Year 6 students joined in the initiative as part of their roles as Reef Guardians, planting bottle brushes, grevilleas and other native species along the school fence line.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to get involved in helping the environment, especially being located near the Woongarra Scrub,” he said.

“We also wanted to support a local initiative from the Council, it has been a real privilege for us as a college.”

The school's Reef Guardian representatives were all-hands-on-deck for the planting event, learning as much as they could about the importance of trees.

One Million Trees a special project for students

Year 6 student Hudson Urquhart said he loved participating in the One Million Trees initiative.

“I love being out in the bush and in nature, it is one of my favourite things to do,” he said.

“It's going to be really exciting to see how big the trees will grow when we are in Year 12.

“They will grow, just like us.”

Students Chloe Franz and Evie Mason said planting more trees was an important part of keeping the environment healthy while providing homes for many different animals species.

“They give animals somewhere to live, like bees have somewhere to hang out,” Evie said.

“It felt good to help the environment.”

Chloe agreed and said she was glad to be involved in the project, with the chance to get their hands dirty making it a fun task.

Get involved in One Million Trees project

Bundaberg Regional Council has a vision of planting one million thriving trees in the region by the end of 2024.

Residents, businesses, schools and community groups can get involved by hosting a community tree planting event, participating in the Landholder Program or registering a tree.

Find out more, including how to apply for free trees, here.

What's on

Self-taught artist John Andersen opens exhibition

Georgia Neville

When he retired John Andersen decided he needed something to do so he picked up a paintbrush, began attending water colour lessons in Bundaberg and participated in YouTube tutorials.

What started as an opportunity to learn new skills has grown into a passion for John, with the artist opening his second ever solo exhibition called Colour Ways at Childers Art Space recently.

John, who now resides at Woodgate Beach, said although he spent many years working as a textile printer and colourist, painting was a new skill he had to learn.

“When I retired from work, which was about five years ago, I found myself wanting to do something, and in Bundaberg there were some free watercolour painting lessons,” John said.

“I went in there and took part in the basic course on watercolour painting and the rest is just what I have taught myself, as well as what I have learnt from watching many YouTube videos.

“We called this exhibition Colour Ways because when I used to work, my work was in textiles and printing as I am a qualified textile printer and textile colourist so my job was to match colours for dresses and shirts and fabrics.

“I have always been very good with colours so I put this exhibition together using all my colourists talents.”

John Andersen exhibition features 27 artworks

Johns’ exhibition is made up of 27 artworks including both abstract and traditional landscape paintings.

“I have tried to include a little bit of everything, rather than just sticking to one theme for the exhibition with everything from traditional paintings through to semi abstract and to full abstracts,” he said.

“With the way my art is going now I am more and more inclined to go the abstract way as it is a challenge and very hard as it all has to come from your head, there is no reference or anything.”

Having previously won awards for his abstract works, John said he believed the style of art was a way to express uniqueness.

“Abstracts to me is just coming straight from someone’s heart and imagination so they are putting themselves on the canvas, totally raw,” he said.

“At the end of the day the colours and everything else still have to work, so you still have to know your composition like a normal artist would to ensure it still looks good.

“90 per cent of my paintings start from just paint being thrown on the canvas in a loose, spontaneous way to get things moving and I then take it from there.

“Occasionally I will use a reference photo to get my perspective right when it is of a place in particular. When it comes to landscapes though, I know what a tree looks like and I know what water looks like.”

While the exhibition is currently running, John is still working away on other pieces, looking to enter into the Bundaberg Art Prize again this year.

“I am working on a piece that I am going to enter in the Bundaberg Art Prize as I was lucky enough to win an award last year for my abstract,” he said.

You can visit John Andersen's Colour Ways exhibition at the Childers Arts Space until Sunday 17 July.

Get frocked up for 2022 Pop-Up Polo

Ashley Schipper

Fabulous frocks, fine food and plenty of action on the field will contribute to a great day out at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct when the 2022 Pop-Up Polo kicks off in June.

It will be the third year the event has been hosted in Bundaberg by Events Queensland.

Director Matthew Turich said the 2022 Pop-Up Polo event, scheduled for 18 June, would feature even more of a focus on local produce and business plus plenty of fun trackside.

“Guests can expect world class polo action coupled with locally inspired hospitality, bespoke marquees, vogue fashion and of course guest favourites which include the famous divot stomp, men's and women's dash, car v pony race, fashions on the field and the highly anticipated on-site after party,” he said.

“Our group is always striving to improve and we have developed robust relationships with some amazing local businesses as well as leading international brands, which will see the event continue to be elevated from a production and styling perspective.

“In addition, our executive chef is working tirelessly to develop a menu which showcases the abundance and quality of produce available in the Bundaberg Region.”

2022 Pop-Up Polo receives community support

Matthew said the local community had thrown its support behind Pop-Up Polo ever since it was launched in the region three years ago.

“The support for the event has grown year on year and in 2022 we are expecting in excess of 3000 guests, which illustrates the Bundaberg community's recognition and support of the event,” he said.

“The event also provides significant economic stimulus, with 30 per cent of all event guests attending from outside the Local Government Area.

“This results in those guests frequenting accommodation, retail, and hospitality venues etc. while in the region.”

Matthew said for those wanting to attend the 2022 Pop-Up Polo event, tickets were on sale.

“Pop-Up Polo is a sporting, social, fashion and culinary event all rolled into one and therefore appeals to a broad audience!”

The 2022 Pop-Up Polo Bundaberg will be held at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct on Saturday 18 June.

There are two ticket options to choose from including the Polo Lounge ticket for $60 with fees, which features a meet and greet with players, DJ, shaded beer garden, cash-bar, Fashions on the Field competition and lucky door prize giveaways.

Polo Club tickets cost $229 with fees and includes premium interior, gourmet canapé menu, fine wines, beers, spirits and other select beverages, as well as polo action and great company.

Find out more about 2022 Pop-Up Polo here.

Got You Covered library column

In Our Garage: Ray Bates' 1989 VN Commodore

Paul Donaldson

Ray loves to take his "street machine" - a VN Commodore - to car shows and help inspire others with ideas for their own cars.

Q. Tell us about your car:

A. My car is a Holden Commodore 1989 VN that I've had for approximately two years now.

It took a year to do a ground-up rebuild.

Basically, you take everything out of the car, you take all the paint off and you take every part out of the car, rebuild every part, make it look like new, refit it all and repaint the car.

You could probably say it took about three months of good solid work in hours, over 12 months.

Q. What was the condition of the car when you purchased it?

A. The paint was fantastic when I first bought it. It was originally white, and the paint was really glossy.

I didn't have to actually take it back to bare metal.

It basically got scuffed down, there was two very small dents in the left-hand passenger's door, which is only repaired under it and basically was all masked up and sprayed.

The hood lining was sagged, so I had to have a brand-new hood line put in.

The interior was in mint condition and the carpets were still original.

I didn't have to touch the dashboard.

It's got all modern instrumentation put in there as well, which is all customised.

I put an aftermarket steering wheel on it just to make it look more modern and more sporty.

Q. What work have you done to the engine?

A. The engine used to be a 304.

A mate of mine decided that we might build it and stroke it, so we put a 355 stroker kit into it, with a 750 double pumper Holley.

It has behind the motor a turbo 700 stage-two shift kit and a three-grand [stall convertor].

Then behind that is a three-inch tail shaft that we got, and a nine-inch Ford diff.

The exhaust comes through some extractors which go into two and a half, then into three inch and then into the four inch at the rear, all stainless steel.

I originally didn't have a hole in the bonnet but just to get a little bit more attention, I cut a hole in the fibreglass scoop and put a higher air clean on there.

It just attracts people to look at the car and go, wow, look at that thing.

Q. What does the car sound like?

A. It's actually a very loud car, I must admit.

It's because it goes through a stainless steel system and a set of extractors, it runs through 10-inch mufflers and they tend to resonate and put a real nice deep throat noise to the car, and it's very, very noisy.

It's actually quite pleasant on the road, especially at a certain rev, but when you're down low in the revs, it does get a little bit of a drone inside the cabin.

Me and my partner, we often go to the car shows together and she loves doing the cruises.

Sometimes she gets a bit of an earache because of the sound of the motor going up and down the roads, but she loves it.

That's why it's a muscle car and a street machine because you just need that grunt, you know, that noisy grunt.

To me, a street machine is something that has muscle and sound, and it looks good and it sounds loud.

Q. What do you love about your VN Holden and taking it to car shows?

A. It's simplicity and the true body lines.

It's so straight and shiny and everything just matches.

It's not overdone, it's not underdone, and it just gives that wow factor.

When I go to car shows, the thing I love about that is the people you get to talk to and the comments.

And the inspiration that some of the people get.

The last one I went to was Hervey Bay and I got top ten out of 550 cars, so I was very happy with that.

To have your vehicle featured in In Our Garage contact us at news@bundabergnow.com

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Brothers Bulldogs celebrate 50-year milestone

Georgia Neville

Brothers Bulldogs is celebrating 50 years of kicking goals with the milestone crowning the organisation among the oldest AFL clubs in the region.

What started from a meeting in 1971 has transformed into a club with over 200 registered players and there's no sign of it slowing down soon.

The first Brothers Bulldogs committee formed five decades ago included Bill Jenkins as President, Ted Winterbottom as Secretary and Graham Stringer as Treasurer.

Bill said the club was established after he saw an advertisement in the paper calling for people interested in starting an AFL competition.

“There was a meeting held for anyone interested in AFL and representatives came from Brisbane and said, ‘we need three or four clubs’,” Bill said.

“I put my hand up and that is where it all began.

“I worked very closely with Ted Winterbottom who played for the Bulldogs in Brisbane, and we had meetings at his house and kept building from there and now we have 50 years of history behind us.”

50 years of Brothers Bulldogs

Five decades of Brothers Bulldogs achievements and history are proudly on display in their clubhouse.

The walls are lined with memories including the 36 premiership cups and the expansive honour board.

Current President Braden Krebs said he had been part of the club of seventeen years and started playing back in 2005.

“It is a wonderful club to be involved with and I have made many lifelong friends through the club and the game of AFL,” Braden said.

“I started off in the under 17s in 2005, I then went on to play 200 senior games which included winning a premiership in 2010.

“2010 was a big year, we call it the year of the dog, where I played in the Senior Men's premiership winning team, and the club won all grades from Under 13 through to Seniors.”

Proud of the club’s history, Braden said he was looking forward to celebrating 50 years of Brothers Bulldogs at a special event for past and present players, members and the community.

“I have been on the committee for the last three years before taking over the President's role from Jason Baulch for the 2022 AFL Wide Bay season,” he said.

“Marking 50 years this year provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich history of our club.

“Personally, I am looking forward to catching up with former teammates and past members of the club to reminisce about old times.

“We would not be where we are without the hard work and dedication from volunteers and longstanding sponsors.

“It is a professional, family friendly club and we are always looking to welcome new players, coaches, volunteers and supporters.”

As the game continues to grow within the region, so does the Brothers Bulldogs, most recently expanding into the Senior Women’s competition.

“The continual growth of the club and AFL in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay is great to see,” he said.

“We have over 200 registered players for the first time in the club's 50-year history.

“I'm particularly excited about the continual development of our Brothers Bulldogs senior women's team under the coaching of Felicity Tankey.”