June 17, 2016
The latest Federal politician to drop into the South Burnett bearing gifts this week was Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, who accompanied LNP candidate for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien on a visit to Murgon and Cherbourg.
Along the way, the pair announced a number of funding commitments to assist the local community, including a $396,698 project to install 41 security cameras in the Murgon CBD.
The CCTV network project was unveiled by former police officer Llew O’Brien to representatives from the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA).
The MBDA has long been pressing for an upgrade to Murgon’s solitary security camera which sits on the roof of the local Visitor Information Centre.
“I have always been keen in preventing anti-social behaviour and one of the best ways you can do that is by implementing a CCTV network in your town,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It’s a great way to reduce crime; it’s a great way to gather evidence of crime and everywhere that these have been implemented under the Federal Government’s Safer Communities Fund, they have been a great boost.
“They’re a great boost for confidence locally, but also tourism as well.”
Mr O’Brien said this was the biggest CCTV project for the Wide Bay region.
Mr Scullion, who is also Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, said CCTV was a “functionality” for a town, just like plumbing.
“We don’t see it, we just need to know it’s there,” he said.
Murgon Men’s Shed
Mr Scullion and Mr O’Brien then moved on to the Murgon Men’s Shed for their next funding announcement.
The visit had been planned well in advance but sadly coincided with a wake being held at the shed for founding Murgon Men’s Shed president Paul Pfeffer, who died last Saturday.
Paul’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Wondai on Friday morning.
Initially, the group decided to defer the announcement, but Men’s Shed members consulted with Paul’s family and they were invited to continue because of Paul’s great passion for the shed.
South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff delivered a tribute to Paul, followed by brief speeches by Mr O’Brien, Mr Scullion, Men’s Shed president Jim Rook, and Paul’s brother Joe.
Mr O’Brien said a re-elected Coalition Federal Government would provide $25,000 to extend the Murgon Men’s Shed.
“Men’s Sheds are valuable community places where people can meet to share their skills, knowledge and ideas,” he said.
“They also serve an important health and well-being role by reducing social isolation and improving mental health, particularly among retired and older men.”
South Burnett PCYC
The group then moved on to the South Burnett PCYC building, located at Murgon Showgrounds.
Mr O’Brien said a re-elected Coalition government would provide $20,000 to line the roof of the main hall at the PCYC.
An “acoustic ceiling” will improve the functionality of the area, which is also used for concerts and dinners.
The announcement pleased Murgon Rotary Club members, who organise the annual Country Music Muster in the facility and who have been fielding complaints from performers for years about the poor acoustics in the hall.
Mobile Black Spot
Mr O’Brien and Mr Scullion also announced that a new mobile phone base station will be erected along the Wide Bay Highway, between Woolooga and Kilkivan, if the Coalition is re-elected.
The station will be part of an additional $60 million commitment to extend the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Mr O’Brien said he welcomed this new tower particularly because of his experiences while serving as a police officer in Kilkivan.
He said people would now be able to contact police and family members during emergencies, and report wandering stock.