Weekender: Ocean elegance at Milbi Gala Ball

Woollam dives in to aquatic centre construction

Megan Dean

Woollam is now on site and ready to start work on the Bundaberg Aquatic Centre, the next major project in the Queensland company’s almost 140-year history.

Appointed as head contractor for the Bundaberg Regional Council project, Woollam officially took over the site of the new aquatic centre this week.

Founded in 1884, Woollam is Queensand’s oldest privately-owned building company.

During that time it has been responsible for the construction of regional landmarks from the Stockman’s Hall of Fame to the recently unveiled Rockhampton Museum of Art.

Woollam General Manager Chris Lucas said the company was pleased to be working in Bundaberg again and to help deliver the Bundaberg Aquatic Centre.

“[The Bundaberg Aquatic Centre is] an incredible project for the community and we’re proud to be involved,” Mr Lucas said.

‘’Woollam is a name that has been around for 138 years and throughout that time we’ve always been known for working together - with our communities, with our contract partners, with our clients, and with each other – we’re excited to bring that philosophy to this project,” Mr Lucas said.

The Bundaberg Aquatic Centre construction is the single biggest contract undertaken in Bundaberg Regional Council’s history, requiring a head contractor with specialised skills and expertise.

Throughout the contract tender process Council has worked to ensure local contractors would be provided opportunities within the project’s construction.

Woollam Constructions was awarded the tender for its experience delivering major pools and complex large-scale community infrastructure with a commitment to engaging local companies in the construction process.

“We are engaging a great cohort of trades from the local area including major supply contracts such as reinforcing steel and concrete,” Mr Lucas said.

“We anticipate at the peak of construction we will have approximately 120 workers on site daily, so this will inject a significant amount of stimulus into the local economy too.

“Woollam has been working in the Wide Bay Burnett region since the early 1900s, and more recently completed construction work at Branyan Road State School, so we know that there are skilled and capable trades in the area.

“Working in the regions, if you don't partner with the local suppliers and trades, it's almost impossible to build these projects.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey joined Woollam Constructions on site of the new Bundaberg Aquatic Centre this week to welcome the contractor to the region.

“It is so exciting to see this project getting underway,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“The new Bundaberg Aquatic Centre will improve health outcomes for the entire community from learn-to-swim classes right through to rehabilitation and therapy sessions.

“Best of all, it’s best practice accessibility features will ensure the entire facility can be enjoyed by all.

“It’s a project that has been in the planning stages for over a decade and it’s very rewarding to see work starting on this generational project.”

Mr Lucas said Woollam Constructions recognised the significance of the project to the Bundaberg Region community.

‘’There’s a lot to be confident about Bundaberg in general,’’ he said.

“This is just the beginning of what will be an exciting and significant opportunity for Bundaberg over the next couple of years directly and indirectly.

“We’ve been building in the Fraser Coast to Rocky corridor for a long time, including the recent upgrade of Gladstone Hospital and a number of retirement communities in Hervey Bay, so we want to see jobs, opportunity, and dollars benefit the region where possible,” Mr Lucas said.

The Bundaberg Aquatic Centre has been funded with support from the Queensland Government Works for Queensland program.

Under the sea elegance at Milbi Gala Ball

Emma Turnbull

A spectacular highlight on the festive calendar is the upcoming Milbi Gala Ball, that is set to take guests to an extravagant underwater oasis while raising funds for several local charities.

The evening will be full of allure and style as the community comes together to celebrate and raise awareness about local sea turtles and the environment.

Dressed in bow ties or ball gowns the crowd will enjoy canapes, a two-course meal, drinks and entertainment, which will feature as part of the sea soiree raising money for a good cause.

Guests at the Milbi Gala Ball last year didn’t just enjoy an elegant evening of entertainment, they also dug deep for a good cause, raising $23,000.

Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said this year's Milbi Gala Ball would transform the Multiplex ballroom into an underwater oasis.

Cr Learmonth said the glamourous Milbi Gala Ball would be bigger and better this year and he encouraged community members to frock up for the grand occasion.

“This is a great event on the local social calendar, there will be a fantastic opening number by some of Bundaberg’s best local dancers, and entertainment by The Accidents will keep the guests dancing the night away,” he said.

“Last year the event raised well over $20,000 to help ocean conservation and I have no doubt this year will be just as successful.

“The ball is a standout feature on the annual Milbi Festival program, which is 10 days of events and activities celebrating local culture, history and of course our turtles.”

2022 Milbi Gala Ball charity fundraiser

When: Saturday 5 November from 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start.

Where: Bundaberg Multiplex, 1 Civic Avenue

Cost: $150 pp includes canapes, mains, dessert, and a drinks package. To purchase tickets click here.

Bundaberg Region baubles spread Christmas cheer

Megan Dean

The Bundaberg Region 2022 bauble is now available, raising vital funds to create hampers for local families in need as part of the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

Just over $7 from every Bundaberg Region 2022 bauble sold will be donated to the appeal, with a new bauble design to be launched every year.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the baubles had proven popular last year and were set to become collector’s items.

“The Bundaberg Region Christmas baubles are a lasting memory of the generosity of our community in coming together and helping each other,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“Every year when you hang it on your tree you will be reminded of the joy you have given to others.

“A Christmas lunch with loved ones is a treasured memory and the funds raised for the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal hampers help to ensure every single member of our community can enjoy one this year.

“Council is helping to facilitate the fundraising of Christmas hampers on behalf of the community groups who offer wonderful support to our community year-round.

“We’re not just helping to spread Christmas cheer to families in need, we’re showing these hardworking charities how much we appreciate all they do.”

The creation of the Bundaberg Region 2022 bauble was a community collaboration with Bundaberg Regional Council submitting the design to Community Lifestyle Support’s MAKI Print workshop for creation and the plywood material donated by Sunshine Mitre 10 Bundaberg.

Mayor Jack Dempsey thanked everyone involved in supporting the Christmas Cheer Appeal which, to date, has already raised more than $15,000.

“From the charities themselves to local service clubs, community groups and businesses, we have received an outpouring of support.

“We certainly are lucky to live in such a caring and generous community.”

The Bundaberg Region 2022 baubles are available for purchase for $10 from the Bundaberg Regional Council service centre on Bourbong Street with more stockists coming soon.

Any local businesses wishing to stock the baubles and help raise funds for the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal can contact Council on 1300 883 699 or complete the form on the fundraising project page.

Find out more about the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal and other ways to donate here.

Moore Park Beach winery proposed

Ashley Schipper

A winery and associated distillery has been proposed for development in Moore Park Beach, with tours and tastings part of future plans for the site.

Bundaberg Regional Council recently received the development permit for a Material Change of Use to establish a winery to process an existing grape crop at 32 Heron Close.

“Once established, a distillery producing less than 2,500L per annum is proposed to reuse waste by-product produced in the wine making process to create brandy,” the application states.

“Upon review of its operation, it is intended that this volume may be increased on an as needs basis.

The application states it is anticipated that ancillary tourism and retail uses would be associated with the proposed material change of use.

“This would be in the form of winery and distillery tours, tastings and wholesale retailing of the produced wine and brandy,” the proposal reads.

“The nature of tours and tastings would mean that visitor numbers would be grouped together for a limited number of tours per day.

“The existing facilities on site including a parking area, which are currently associated with the horse trail riding business would be shared and sufficiently accommodates the anticipated needs of the proposed development.”

Crazy Cactus opens in CBD

Georgia Neville

Crazy Cactus has opened on Bourbong Street, with a unique offering for all to enjoy and opening hours that will cater for everyone.

The new café is offering a unique take on both Mexican and Australian cuisines, with owners Gayle Clark and Sandy Davis excited to provide something new for the community.

With everything from pork and gravy rolls through to deep fried burritos and organic coffee, there is sure to be something for all on the menu.

Sandy said the café had been a work in progress for a few months now with its central location allowing the café to open late nights each Friday and Saturday.

“We have been working on this for eight to nine months now and we wanted to be central and in the main street and this space came up,” Sandy said.

“We will be open 10 am until 7 pm Monday to Thursday and on Friday and Saturday night we will be open until 1 or 2 am.”

Gayle said the different menu items had all proven popular with the community since they opened at the end of September.

“Sandy’s deep fried burrito is going really well as well as our nachos and tacos as well as the shank and gravy roll and pork and gravy rolls which are also proving really popular.

“Sundays we have an all-day roast, which brings the Aussie into it.

“The deep fried burrito is chilli con carne with rice and wrapped and deep fried.

“We are also going to make three different types of little pizzas in the afternoons.

“The name came to us because of the Mexican offering but also because we are a little bit crazy!”

Crazy Cactus café is located at Shop 1/54 Bourbong Street, next to The Club Hotel.

Seniors invited to Come and Try Day

Georgia Neville

Bundaberg Seniors are invited to attend a Seniors Come and Try Day at the Botanic Gardens, highlighting the local clubs and activities available within the community.

The event, to be held on Wednesday 19 October from 9 am to 1 pm aims to showcase different recreational pursuits.

The Come and Try Day provides a fun and enjoyable day for senior members of the Bundaberg community, an opportunity to meet local clubs, groups and associations and try new activities.

Those clubs and groups involved include:

  • Quota Club of Bundaberg
  • Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club
  • Queensland Country Women’s Association
  • Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild
  • Australian Red Cross
  • Bundaberg Croquet Club
  • Bundaberg View Club (newly formed)
  • CityFit Bundaberg

Other clubs and groups are encouraged to register by contacting Council's Community Development Unit on 4130 4150 or comdev@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.

Bundaberg Regional Council Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said it was a great opportunity for the community to build new social connections.

“Events such as these provide opportunities for people to widen social circles, ask questions, collect information, and connect with groups and like-minded individuals,” Cr McPhee said.

“I encourage everyone to attend this fantastic event if they can, to find out more about different options available to them.”

For more information on the Come and Try day, head to the website here.

About Queensland Seniors Month

Queensland Seniors month runs throughout October with the theme of social connections.

The aim of seniors month is to increase the feeling of social connectedness for all Queenslanders.

Seniors month will provide opportunities to promote positive community attitudes towards older people and ageing, facilitate community participation, and enhance community connections.

Find out more about here.

Free fitness opportunities for the community

Georgia Neville

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Be Active, Be Alive spring program will kick off from Monday with a number of free fitness activities available for the community.

With activities in Gin Gin, Childers and Bundaberg there is sure to be something for everyone in the program, including a fantastic mix of exercise options such as Yoga, cardio tennis and Boxfit at various times throughout the week.

Council’s Sport and Recreation Spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the free eight-week program provided the chance for the community to get active for no cost.

“The Be Active, Be Alive program is a fantastic initiative that provides free classes for community, encouraging people to making classes accessible for everyone,” Cr Habermann said.

“There are a range of different session times available, including morning and evening classes to make sure there is a time for everyone to try an activity they might be interested in.

“We love seeing the community get involved in the Be Active, Be Alive program and look forward to seeing its success once again.”

Free Be Active Be Alive sessions chance to try something new

Melinda Ricciardi from Woodgate BeachFit will be facilitating the gentle stretch sessions in Woodgate which are safe low impact stretching classes designed to increase a range of movement.

Melinda said the Be Active Be Alive program was a great opportunity for those who may not be as involved in fitness programs to try sessions for free.

“I love sharing fitness with those people in the community who attend the Be Active, Be Alive classes who may not regularly attend exercise classes,” Melinda said.

“Seeing the joy it brings to them is great, as well as the social connection it builds within the community.

“While the fitness aspect is important, the social interaction is just as important for people’s mental health, and after our Be Active, Be Alive classes here in Woodgate we go up the road for coffee too.”

You can find the full program for the free Be Active, Be Alive initiative here.

What's on

Waterloo Hall to light up for festival

Ashley Schipper

Waterloo Hall will host a night of country music under the fairy lights when the Woodfordia Festival of Small Halls travels to the Bundaberg Region.

Festival of Small Halls is a touring circuit that takes some of the best folk and contemporary acoustic artists on the road to rural and regional communities all over Australia.

Each night on the tour is a beautiful occasion for original music, and a chance to catch up with family and friends over cake and tea during a supper break.

As part of the 31st Festival of Small Halls Tour in Australia, 20 shows will be performed around the nation, including in the Bundaberg Region.

Waterloo Hall, situated along Waterloo Hall Road, was built by local residents in 1911 on land leased from the nearby juice mill.

At its opening ball in June, 150 people danced until morning on its Flindersia wood floors.

The hall has witnessed a lot since then – floods and fires, big dances, sporting competitions and meetings.

Young men of the district have gathered there to march off to wars and the hall was the place for families to celebrate the return, or mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Nowadays, the space is utilised for community barbecues, weddings, markets, cultural celebrations and more.

On Friday 9 December it will be showcased as part of the Festival of Small Halls.

Musicians excited to perform for Festival of Small Halls

Musicians Inn Echo and Sam Buckingham will be performing for the event and said they were thrilled to be involved in such a unique experience.

Inn Echo are a young trad-folk trio, blending hundred-year-old traditional tunes with
contemporary arrangements and originals that have been enchanting audiences across
the Pacific.

Their music is captivating and beautifully crafted, each member hailing from a
different town, they blend their individual experiences into this project.

“We are beyond excited to bring our music to Australia for the first time as part of the
Festival of Small Halls,” the group said.

Sam Buckingham is a folk-pop songwriter whose repertoire has progressed as she has.

Growing from her American/folk roots into Alternative pop with fierce storytelling and rich
soaring vocals, Sam’s live show combines vocal looping with guitar into a dynamic and
intimate performance.

“To be back touring again after two years of stops, starts and a lot of waiting has felt
magical,” Sam said.

“To then be invited to work with legendary Small Halls tour feels like a dream.

“I've seen my friends play these shows and heard them rave about the beautiful shows, the incredible team, and the lovely people they meet along the way.

“I'm honoured to become a part of this nation-wide family.”

Ellie-Lea Jansson, Producer at Festival of Small Halls, said the event celebrated community and culture.

“The festival invites rising stars of folk and contemporary music from within Australia and across the world, to share their musical stories with the communities that hold open their hall doors, call in their neighbours with the freshly baked scones, and create a home for the evening,” she said.

“Our artists experience a profound enrichment from the welcoming spirit of the hosts, this kind of reciprocity and joy is felt through everyone involved.

“Those who share in this wonderous night of music and kinship all agree that it is an experience that can’t be rivalled by large arena shows and is a triumph of the small but mighty hall.”

Waterloo Hall- Festival of Small Halls

When: Friday 9 December, 6 pm for 6.30 pm start

Tickets: $15 adults, children (aged 12 and under – must be accompanied by a responsible adult) free

Where: Waterloo Hall, Waterloo Hall Road

Find out more: https://festivalofsmallhalls.com/Waterloo-202

Flick the switch for turtle hour

Georgia Neville

With the Bundaberg Region renowned for the turtles that call it home the annual Turtle Hour event is an opportunity for residents to think about how they can reduce lighting impacts.

The event is set to once again be held as part of the upcoming Milbi Festival to promote reducing urban glow.

As a project in itself, the community is encouraged to see what they can do to help reduce urban glow on an ongoing basis, with Turtle Hour a good opportunity to start the conversation.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said Turtle Hour provided an opportunity for everyone to play a part in protecting the local environment.

“Our beautiful coastline is world renowned as a turtle nesting site and Mon Repos is an important natural area that we’re very proud of and keen to preserve,” he said.

“As residents of the region, we should be playing our part in reducing urban glow day in, day out, with turtle hour a perfect opportunity to start doing that.”

Anyone interested in being part of the annual event can easily get involved by simply turning off their lights from 7 – 8 pm on 31 October.

This event is hosted in support of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Reducing Urban Glow initiative.

Register for the event here.

To find out more about the ecological significance of turtles nesting in our region and how you can track light glow in our region here.

Turtle hour details:

Date: Monday 31 October
Time: 7 – 8 pm
Location: Your house or business
Cost: Free

About Urban Glow

Reducing Urban Glow is important as scientific evidence indicates that artificial light sources have a negative impact on adult turtle nesting site selection and hatchling ocean finding behaviour by preventing turtles from navigating to and from the ocean.

The Bundaberg coastline hosts the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the east coast of Australia and is home to 50 per cent of endangered Loggerhead turtle breeding activity in the South Pacific Ocean.

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