Weekender: skate park event

Isis Mill season second-highest in history


At 9.43pm on Monday 9 January 2023, Isis Central Sugar Mill's longest-ever crushing season came to an end.

The 2022 season started eight days later than originally planned, on Tuesday 14 June, and ran for 209 days.

That’s not the only significant achievement.

While the numbers are still being finalised, ICSM processed the second highest season throughput volume in its 128-year history.

The Isis Mill crushed almost 1.423 million tonnes of cane with a seasonal average of 12.8 units of CCS.

The Isis cane supply regions supplied 860,121t and the Maryborough supply regions supplied 562,733t.

“To say it was a hard-fought campaign would be an understatement,” CEO Peter Hawe said.

“The effort of the ICSM workforce was nothing short of superhuman.

“They were flexible, job shared, worked longer hours, upskilled and trained new employees.

“This was all done with a sense of loyalty, ownership, and pride.”

Isis Mill season has its challenges

Mr Hawe said the season had its fair share of challenges, including road works delays and the impact of wet weather, with some locations receiving 1.5 metres of rainfall in the 2022 calendar year.

“The water table was full.

“Harvesting was a nightmare.

“Growers resorted to cane fires as a last resort to dry out large wet sprawled crops in muddy fields,” he said.

“They shared machinery and were patient, for the most part, while we used our best endeavours to harvest as much of the cane as possible.

“Harvest rotations, logistics, scheduling, and transport were altered every day.”

Mr Hawe said cane transport was impacted by the weather too.

“Wet weather and flash flooding damaged road and rail, which complicated arrangements and created logistic troubles and delays while repairs were carried out,” he said.

“The wet weather and muddy conditions also increased wear in the factory.

“However, the entire production team worked hard to make the best of a bad situation and achieved well above expectations.”

Isis Mill season record broken in 2012

The Isis Central Sugar Mill recorded its highest-ever season in 2012, at 1,505,399.64t.

Walla Street skate event a hit with locals

Ashley Schipper

There was plenty of action at the Walla Street Skate Park on Thursday with bike riders, skaters, artists and local services coming together for a special youth skate event.

Xmas in the Skate Park was finally celebrated in the sunshine after being rescheduled when wet weather hampered original plans.

Bundaberg Regional Council partnered with yourtown to showcase local youth-based services, an ephemeral street-art battle, and a free sausage sizzle for community members to enjoy.

yourtown's Zoja Jurczakowski said the skate event was made up of plenty of activities with headspace, Community Access Support and Phoenix House just some of the providers who engaged with youth.

She said the event was about getting the community together to utilise local facilities in a social setting.

“Covid's been tough for a lot of people and what I think has had the most harm with young people is that inability to socialise and just get some fresh air,” she said.

“I think those are the things that young people need to do more and we need to give them that opportunity to do that more.”

Skate event an opportunity to enjoy time with friends

Kai Bissett attended the Xmas in the Skate Park event and said it was a great opportunity to be out in the good weather with mates.

“I wanted to come down for a ride and saw it was happening so I thought I would get involved,” he said.

“I like to ride for something to do, we are all friends here.”

The skate event was an initiative of Bundaberg Regional Council and yourtown.

Zoja Jurczakowski, Skye Zielke, Karla Jurczakowski and Trae White-Cobbo from yourtown.

Zoja Jurczakowski, Skye Zielke, Karla Jurczakowski and Trae White-Cobbo from yourtown.

Jayvia Monsen.

Jayvia Monsen.

Kirsten Ohlsen and Cirsty Murphy.

Kirsten Ohlsen and Cirsty Murphy.

Axle and Jasper Palethorpe.

Axle and Jasper Palethorpe.

Many enjoyed the skatepark event.

Many enjoyed the skatepark event.

Jack Cronin tests his skills.

Jack Cronin tests his skills.

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Zoja Jurczakowski, Skye Zielke, Karla Jurczakowski and Trae White-Cobbo from yourtown.

Zoja Jurczakowski, Skye Zielke, Karla Jurczakowski and Trae White-Cobbo from yourtown.

Jayvia Monsen.

Jayvia Monsen.

Kirsten Ohlsen and Cirsty Murphy.

Kirsten Ohlsen and Cirsty Murphy.

Axle and Jasper Palethorpe.

Axle and Jasper Palethorpe.

Many enjoyed the skatepark event.

Many enjoyed the skatepark event.

Jack Cronin tests his skills.

Jack Cronin tests his skills.

Skye Pools laps up lifestyle in Bargara

Emma Turnbull

Lapping up the coastal lifestyle, Tristan and Emily Duggan have opened new business Skye Pools at Bargara.

Specialising in building both concrete and fibreglass pools, as well as servicing established pools, Emily said they had been busy since opening at the beginning of the year.

“We opened here purely because it made sense,” Emily said.

“Moving here 12 months ago from New South Wales, we thought everyone would have a pool because of the climate, so we’re filling the gap.”

Located at See Street at Bargara, Emily said Skye Pools offered advice to help maintain existing pools, and it also boasted a showroom to help give homeowners a chance to see a variety of pool build options.

Emily said Skye Pools had been a proud pool builder with more than two decades of experience before moving to the Bundaberg Region.

“We have been installing fiberglass and concrete pools for the past 25 years in New South Wales,” Emily said.

“We have great experience installing any pool, in any complicated site (and we) organise everything from start to finish, and after.” 

Emily said the Bundaberg Region’s idyllic lifestyle was also a drawcard for homeowners to consider adding a pool to their backyard.

“We’ve been quite busy since opening – business is going good,” she said.

“I think a lot of people move here to enjoy retirement and they want to add a pool to their home.

“It’s definitely a lifestyle, that’s for sure.

“Families with kids enjoy the holiday feeling in their own house when there’s a pool,”

Emily said Skye Pools does not just stop at pools, they also offered paving, concreting, fencing and water features.

“We have our shop down in 3/15 See Street Bargara, with a display of filtration and cleaners, either for your new build or existing pool,” she said.

“We also have colour samples with brochures and photos of our pools we offer to install, or sit down and create your own pool style.”

To find out more click here.

Gin Gin broadcaster celebrates new studio and visitor centre

Megan Dean

Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 will celebrate 14 years on air with the official opening of a new studio as they move broadcasting into the volunteer-run Visitor Information Centre.

The broadcasting team took over the operation of the VIC last year to ensure there was always a passionate local on hand to share the area’s tourism attractions.

The birthday celebrations, to be held on Thursday 26 January, will also act as the VIC’s grand opening with the team now also broadcasting from the building, centrally located on Mulgrave Street.

Treasurer Chris Flewellen said the station first hit local air waves in 2009.

“So, we decided, since we're reopening the information centre and we've built a second studio in here, that we would use it as a birthday for the radio station,” Mr Flewellen said.

“2009 'til now we're sort of, what, 14 years ... in action so it's quite a big milestone.”

He said from the time they began broadcasting the station had steadily grown and had a great range of announcers.

Taking on the Visitor Information Centre when it became at risk of closing was a natural progression for the team of passionate locals.

“It was just basically the next stage from broadcasting to physically looking after the tourists while they're here as well.

“We want to see Gin Gin grow.

“The whole point is to get Gin Gin growing and to get some activity happening here and get the tourists to come here, stay in town for a while rather than just, you know, go to the toilet and get a coffee.”

He said they now had a very unique offering for visitors.

“It's the only one in Australia that we know of.

“There's no other information centre with a radio studio broadcasting live from an information centre.”

The team is working on a range of trails which would feature things to see and do in the area.

“And hopefully that means they'll put their feet up for a couple of days and stop.”

Bundaberg Tourism Marketing Manager Ellie Tonkin said they had been pleased to offer support to the Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 team of volunteers.

“We are particularly excited about the opportunities to partner with the team and the community on some marketing projects in 2023,” Ms Tonkin said.

“Gin Gin Broadcasters and the community have come forward with some fantastic ideas to promote the area and Bundaberg Tourism has committed to working alongside them to get these ideas and local gems out to as many of the region’s visitors as possible.

“Visitor Information Centres around the nation are built on the passion of residents who wish to share their extensive local knowledge, tips and tricks to make visitors’ trips extra special. 

“Gin Gin Broadcasters and the whole Gin Gin community have stepped up to offer an incredible volunteer service and we look forward to a long and positive relationship with them.”

Mr Flewellen said the VIC’s grand opening was an opportunity to come along, meet the broadcasting team and wish Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 a Happy Birthday.

Gin Gin Visitor Information Centre grand opening

When: Thursday 26 January from 11 am

Where: Gin Gin Tourism Centre, Mulgrave Street centre

What's on

Paul shares Aussie spirit as state’s ambassador

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg’s Paul Dellit OAM will share the true spirit of what it means to be Australian after he was named an Australia Day Ambassador.

Australia Day Ambassadors include past recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards, talented athletes, medical professionals, business leaders, media personalities and community workers who provide inspiration and pride to Australia Day events.

Paul is one of 45 proud Queenslanders selected to generously volunteer their time and energy to contribute to local Queensland celebrations.

“What it means to me to be Australian – we live in a country where you can be yourself,” Paul said.

“It’s a great place to live, we have this ideal climate and a good economy. We’re very lucky to live in Australia.”

Paul is driven by his passion for the performing arts and those who work within it, and he is currently the manager of the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.

Australia Day Ambassador role an honour for Paul

Surrounded by foods Australian’s love to enjoy, Paul said he was honoured to be invited to participate in a diverse range of activities as an Australia Day Ambassador.

His duties will include providing an inspirational address, presenting awards and meeting with locals at the Maranoa Regional Council Australia Day event.

In 2001, Paul was the recipient of a Centenary Medal for his services to the Arts in Australia and in 2017 he was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia.

For more than a decade he was one of QPAC’s most versatile and experienced producers working on projects as diverse as international ballet productions and major concerts featuring Broadway stars.

Last year, Paul received the Gold Matilda Award from the Brisbane theatre critic and the Alan Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the Actors’ and Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund of Queensland.

Living a life in the arts, Paul has had the opportunity to travel abroad, but he says he always returned home to Queensland as there was nowhere else he’d rather be.

“I’ve been lucky enough to travel, when I was younger to places around the world,” Paul said.

“Australia is the best country to live in, in my opinion.

“We have this relaxed and wonderful lifestyle here and I do think a lot of people are envious of this.”

Read more about the Australia Day Ambassador program here.

Mud, sweat and tears in Obstacle Hell event

Ashley Schipper

There will be plenty of dirty tactics in next month's Obstacle Hell event when participants climb, jump, crawl, slip and grip their way through more than 40 muddy courses.

The popular travelling fitness event is coming to the Carina Speedway grounds in Alloway on Saturday 18 February and promises to be a helluva time!

Event manager Dan Gold said it wasn't the first time locals had enjoyed Obstacle Hell but at this year's course they could expect something a bit different.

“We have been coming to Bundy for five or six years and we try to make our courses different and exciting each time,” he said.

“This year we are focusing very heavily on mud.

“The mud mile is going to be filthy and people are absolutely going to love it.”

Dan said the course would twist around six kilometres of the Carina Speedway and would feature mud pits, climbing walls, monkey bars, tyre walls, cargo net climbs and much much more.

He said the event was open to those eight years and over of any skillset.

“This is a fun and challenging course, its's not a race or competition but more of a personal conquest,” he said.

“We have had people up to 80 years old participate, hardcore fitness fanatics to those who have never tried anything like it before.

“It's all about having a good time.”

Dan said participants could sign up as an individual or make a team.

“As long as you all book the same session time you will all depart together,” he said.

“My one rule is if you finish clean, you have to do it again!”

Ticket prices include a bandana, gloves, finishers medal, shower facilities and more.

Find out more or book your ticket here.

Young dancers given opportunity with In2Dance

Ashley Schipper

More than 50 dancers from the ages of six to 17 were recently treated to a five-day series of intensive and specialist workshops with industry professionals for the In2Dance Summer School program.

The Bundaberg Combined Ballet Association program was established 2011 and ran successfully up until the pandemic.

President Danni Stranieri said this year was the first time the event had taken place since 2019.

“We really wanted to kick things up a notch,” she said.

“One of the highlights was the professional industry experiences the dancers get to have throughout the week; professional headshots and dance images, professional standard choreography working with industry experts, the ability to come together with other passionate dancers from different schools and studios, and so on.

“The main highlight was the end-of-week showcase at Shalom College, where the dancers have the opportunity to show their friends, family, and other key stakeholders the product of their hard work throughout the week.

“It's such an exciting time for everyone involved.”

Danni said this year the event received Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF) which had gone towards the implementation of the 2023 event and scholarships to assist dancers.

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

“The In2Dance Summer School would not have been able to go ahead this year without the support of Arts Queensland and the Bundaberg Regional Council through the Regional Arts Development Fund,” Danni said.

“Our funding allowed us to offer 10 scholarships (nine accepted) to dancers who experience personal or socioeconomic barriers to participation, as well as to significantly reduce the cost of participation on previous years.

“This has made the program far more financially accessible to families, without compromising on the quality of the experience itself.

“These opportunities don't come often to regional areas, and most of our local dancers need to travel to metropolitan centres or interstate for similar experiences.”

In addition to Arts Queensland and the Bundaberg Regional Council, In2Dance thanks platinum sponsors Shalom College and Gypsy-Leigh Productions.

In Our Group with Bundaberg
Amateur Radio Club

Emma Turnbull

Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club secretary David Nebe, VK4DN, shares the workings of the electronics and radios through the local group's 60-plus-year history in the region.

Tell us about the group?

The Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club is a group of amateur radio operators passionate about electronics and radio. 

We get to communicate with other amateur radio stations from all over the world using short wave radio equipment.

Founded in 1961, our club has about 40 members.

We maintain repeaters and radio towers at a number of locations around the Bundaberg district allowing us to chat locally to other amateurs in the area or connect electronically with other amateurs around the world.

Unlike CB radio, we are able to operate on many different bands and frequencies and also have other privileges, such as being able to use more power.

What significant events will take place this year?

This year on Saturday 15 April 2023 at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct our club is holding an open day and Hamfest.

A Hamfest is like a car boot sale where people have tables and sell radio and electronic equipment.

This is to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day, and we will be demonstrating different types of radio transmitters and have a display of a satellite tracking system and demonstrations of Morse code sending and receiving.

There is a lot of history with radio but today we are also able to operate the latest state-of-the-art radio equipment.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

Our club supports a number of local organisations, such as the Scouts Jamboree On The Air, JOTA, in October every year.

This allows young scouts to chat to other scouts throughout Australia and around the world.

It’s a world-wide event and our club has been involved since the 1970s.

In March 2021, our club facilitated a contact with the International Space Station with the Avoca State School allowing the school kids to talk to an astronaut on the ISS.

It was an amazing event for kids of all ages.

We also supply comms with the local trail riders in the district where we set up checkpoints around the track to support the organisers and riders in case of incident or emergency. 

Our club also funds the Bundaberg WICEN (Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network) Group and work with the SES and other emergency services where we can provide communications between locations when needed.

Our WICEN group was activated during the recent floods in Bundaberg.

When and where do you meet?

We hold quarterly club meetings on the last Saturday of each month in February, May, August and November at the SES building on Kendalls Road Avoca.

We also have regular workshops every week or so, where we build antennas, electronic equipment and collaborate on projects.

We have a workshop clubhouse over Bundaberg North with tools and equipment available to members.

We also have regular social events and other activities throughout the year.

How can the community be involved?

Our club is open to all ages and genders and invite members of the community to join this exciting hobby. 

To become an amateur radio operator, you will need to sit for an exam to be issued with a license and callsign.

Our club offers training courses and exam services to assist people to get their license and on the air waves. 

There are so many different possibilities with amateur radio!

Whether you are just wanting to chat to other operators, make friends locally or around the world, build interesting projects, learn Morse code, build antennas – it’s always interesting and there is something for everyone.

How can the community find out more information about the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club?

You can contact the club secretary David Nebe on 0410 121 345 or visit the website for more information.

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