The Junior Eagles who represented the South Burnett at last year’s U43kg carnival, played at Wynnum (Photo: SBJRL)

June 18, 2015

Posters advertising the 50th anniversary43kg Carnival will begin appearing around Murgon next week

Between 300 and 400 visitors from all over Queensland are expected to converge on Murgon between July 5-10.

Ricky Collard, from the Murgon Mustangs, told members of the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) on Thursday night that Murgon has been chosen as the host venue for this year’s 50th anniversary 43kg Carnival.

The last time the Carnival was run in Murgon was in 2007.

Players, their parents and officials will be attending from as far afield as NSW and north Queensland.

Mr Collard said the event was primarily for under-12 players, and it will be held at the Murgon Show Grounds.

A major highlight will be a community State Of Origin Finals night on Wednesday, July 8 with two big screen TVs, two pig on a spit dinners and a licensed bar.

Patrons will be able to choose to view the game either inside or outside the Murgon Mustangs clubhouse.

There will also be three A-grade league matches played at the Show Grounds on Saturday, July 11 after the Carnival concludes.

The final Carnival program is expected to be released next week and will be distributed to MBDA members by email.

Souvenir printed copies will be available for purchase during the event.

Mr Collard asked MBDA members to help raise awareness of the Carnival and to welcome participants while they were in town.

* * *

The MBDA will investigate the town’s free camping ground to determine where caravanners who use it would go if the facility weren’t available.

In an effort to protect the interests of local commercial accommodation operators, the MBDA will ask the South Burnett Regional Council to enforce the grounds’ 48-hour maximum stay limit after receiving reports some visitors had exceeded this recently.

They will also arrange a new sign for the wall of the grounds’ amenities block to remind users of the 48 hour limit, and direct them to the town’s two commercial caravan parks if they want to stay in the area longer.

MBDA Secretary Margaret Long said both the MBDA and Council thought the free camping area captured overnight caravanners who had formerly passed through Murgon.

This was a new market that should have no impact on the town’s existing accommodation operators.

However, the meeting agreed neither the MBDA nor Council had any local market research to support this view.

In an effort to gain more insight into users’ accommodation habits and motivations, the MBDA will poll camping ground visitors over the coming month to ask them what they would do – and where they would go – if the facility didn’t exist.

The results of the study are expected to be presented at the group’s next meeting.

* * *

Murgon is gearing up for cycling action this weekend.

Cr Kathy Duff, delivering her monthly update on Council activities, reminded members the first leg of this year’s Ciclismo cycling classic will be held in the Murgon and Boat Mountain areas on Saturday, June 20.

There will also be two community rides – the IGA Supa 8km Community Ride and the Hell for Leather 25km Challenge Community Ride – which will kick off from the Murgon Youth Park around 10:30am.

The exact number of local participants was unclear at present because people could register online, Cr Duff said.

MBDA President Leo Geraghty said he had arranged to get the entry form for the community rides published on Page 35 of the June edition of Murgon Moments so locals could hand in hard-copy forms on Saturday if they preferred.

* * *

A new building is being erected at the Queensland Dairy Industry Museum.

Dairy Industry Museum chairman Ritchie O’Neill advised members the concrete slab for the new building has now been laid.

While he was unsure exactly when the project would be completed, he expected it would occur within the next few months.

This would mean the new facility would be ready in time for the South Burnett and Cherbourg On Show long weekend festival in October.

* * *

The issue of installing CCTV cameras in Murgon’s CBD to improve town security is still on the MBDA’s agenda.

Cr Duff told the meeting she is working with Murgon Police to look for grants that might fund the project.

Members agreed that there have been few incidents of concern in town recently.

* * *

Cr Duff said public consultations about the Kingaroy-Kilkivan Rail Trail have now been concluded, and the overwhelming majority of submissions had been “very positive”.

Council officers will now use feedback from the public consultation period to draw up a plan for the Trail that will incorporate as many suggestions as possible within the project’s budget.

Cr Duff said an agreement had been reached with Gympie Regional Council about how to split up the $2 million State Government funding which is paying for the Trail.

GRC would receive $600,000 for the Murgon-Kilkivan section – which will largely be given over to horse riders, since it is entirely within the “tick zone” – while the SBRC will receive $1.4 million for the Murgon-Kingaroy section.

* * *

The Clontarf Academy are now operating at Murgon State High School and Cherbourg Primary School.

Cr Duff told members the Academy encourages students to attend school regularly by offering intensive rugby league programs as an inducement.

The Academy had been persuaded to come to the region after many years of intensive lobbying by Marcus Priaulx from the Barambah Parental and Community Engagement (PaCE) program.

Cr Duff said it was very sad that the PaCE program’s funding was ending on June 30, and praised Mr Priaulx for his “excellent work” over the last five years.

President Leo Geraghty agreed, saying Mr Priaulx had done a terrific job and he was genuinely sorry to see his involvement in the local community coming to an end.

On behalf of the MBDA, he wished him the very best for the future.

* * *

Community attitudes towards the Murgon Skate Park have warmed since it was unveiled almost two years ago.

Cr Duff told members some people in the community had been concerned the Skate Park might encourage truancy or vandalism when it opened.

However she’d recently received “very positive comments” about the facility from people who’d initially been skeptical about it.

The park has become a popular venue for Murgon’s youth and appears to being treated with respect by users.

Work on the new Murgon Aquatic Centre located further along Gore Street is also progressing well, Cr Duff said, and the new centre is still on target to be open in time for the 2015-16 swimming season.

A Wide Bay swimming carnival has already been booked for the new Centre.

* * *

Murgon will take its place on the world art map on July 4 when the Dual Arts Exhibition opens at 90 Lamb Street.

The exhibition – by Murgon artists Lee Porter and Sandy Hoffmann and Murgon photographer Sherrianne Talon – will feature 20 iconic South Burnett scenes side by side, both as paintings and photos.

The exhibition will attempt to settle the debate about whether photography can really be considered art – a question often posed (but never answered) since photography was invented a 150 years ago.

The exhibition’s opening will run from 10:00am to 2:00pm along with a street party in the CBD that will include amusement rides for children and a sausage sizzle, then continue between 10:00am and 4:00pm daily until the end of July.

A souvenir glossy coffee-table book featuring all the exhibition’s works will also be available on opening day for $24.98 per copy.

Ms Porter told the MBDA about the project at the group’s May meeting.

President Leo Geraghty said the MBDA had made the event the lead story in the latest edition of Murgon Moments and was happy to support the arts project, which has been funded by the South Burnett Regional Council’s RADF fund.

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