March 19, 2015
People living in rural areas of the South Burnett will have the opportunity to get out and connect with their neighbours soon, thanks to a $65,000 grant from the State Government’s Department Of Communities.
The Department advised the South Burnett Regional Council yesterday that its application to the Community Drought Support program had been successful.
Communities Portfolio chair Cr Ros Heit said she was pleased the region received the funding, which is designed to help rural communities strengthen their resilience by revitalising community support networks.
The grant will be administered by Council’s Healthy Communities subcommittee, which will ask local organisations in the Durong, Mondure, Cloyna, Maidenwell, Ironpot, Kumbia and Booie areas to organise functions for residents in their own communities.
Cr Heit said she hopes the community get-togethers can be run in the next few months.
At each one, local residents will be able to enjoy a free BBQ meal and live entertainment; get information about support services they can access; and walk away with a “goodies bag” full of handy items.
Most importantly, though, they’ll be able to meet and talk with their neighbours in a relaxed and informal enironment.
“We applied for this grant because we know many residents living in rural parts of the region have been doing it tough the last few years,” Cr Heit said.
“If you’re isolated on your farm and don’t have much contact with the outside world, small problems can quickly grow into big ones.
“But if you can get out and connect with your neighbours, it often helps put things in perspective. You realise you’re not alone, and your problems aren’t that much different to other people’s.
“And any problem shared is usually a problem halved.”
Cr Heit said the Healthy Communities subcommittee will be asking local groups to organise the functions because they know their own areas best.
“There are many groups in our region who do wonderful things for the community, but its always with a fundraising purpose which means they have to keep an eye on turning a profit.
“In this case, Council will be picking up the tab so all they need to do is put things together.
“That will probably be a very pleasant change for all of them.”