July 14, 2016
The Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) intends to hold new Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien to his promises.
Mr O’Brien made a pre-election commitment during a campaign visit to Murgon in June to help the group secure funding for a CCTV network in the town.
CCTV cameras would not only cover the CBD area but local schools, Murgon RSL and the free overnight parking area in Krebs Street, MBDA President Leo Geraghty said.
The MBDA also intends to hold Mr O’Brien to other promises he made on the same visit to get an extension built to the Murgon Men’s Shed, and to improve the acoustics of the South Burnett PCYC.
At its monthly meeting on Thursday, the group voted to write Mr O’Brien a congratulatory letter on his election as a polite first step.
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Federal Government cuts to aged care funding are costing jobs in Murgon.
The Murgon and Business and Development Association (MBDA) heard the Castra Retirement Home has already lost $85,000 from its budget, and its operators Southern Cross Care expect to lose even more in January next year.
As a result, Castra is not recruiting new staff when staff leave, and instead is trying to work harder and smarter to keep within budget.
At present Castra has 38 people on its high care waiting list.
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Madelene Flanagan, from Moreton Resources, advised the meeting the approvals process for the company’s proposed coal mine near Kingaroy is ongoing.
The company hope to move their proposal forward and are currently looking a beginning construction of the mine in mid-2017.
If things go to plan, the first coal will be dug from the mine in 2019.
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The MBDA will be sending an invitation to South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and all other Councillors to attend MBDA meetings.
While divisional Councillors Kathy Duff has only missed two MBDA meetings in the past 8 years, other Councillors elected in March have yet to put in an appearance.
MBDA members thought an occasional briefing on the Councillors’ portfolio areas would be helpful, and will extend an open invitation later this month.
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Cr Kathy Duff was unable to attend the Thursday meeting in person, but submitted a written report which was read by MBDA secretary Margaret Long in her absence.
Cr Duff advised there will be upgrades to the paths and lighting in Rotary Park and the Youth Park soon. This will be followed by a small on-site celebration when work is completed, along with an official naming ceremony, to acknowledge the invaluable assistance Murgon Rotary Club gave to the project.
Cr Duff also advised the SBRC is partnering with Murgon Tennis Club, Tennis Australia and the Department of Sport and Recreation to install lights and resurface the Murgon Tennis courts. The Council has also planned a major upgrade to Murgon Cemetery this financial year.
Finally, the Council are in the process of upgrading the Murgon Waste Water Treatment Plant. This upgrade will allow the plant to produce Class A recycled water, which can then be used by local sports clubs to water their grounds.
This would be far more cost-effective than the current situation of using Council’s treated water in a tiered system, Cr Duff said.
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Murgon’s first defibrillator has arrived, and it was presented to the MBDA on Thursday morning by the Murgon Baptist Church, who have donated it to the community.
Pastor Adam Clayton told the group Kerry Baldwin will be organising an official hand-over in late July or early August, and giving demonstrations at that time.
In the meantime, the defibrillator will be housed inside the Lamb Street Visitor Information Centre.
Once the CBD’s CCTV cameras and lights have been installed, it will then be housed outside the centre in a special case for ease of access should it be needed.
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Pastor Clayton also advised his church are working on a holiday program for the September school vacation.
The church hope to provide holiday programs of about 3 hours per day for primary and high school students, which will include crafts and games.
Since the program is a first for the church, Pastor Clayton said his group intend to keep things simple to start with, but he hopes to be able to increase the program’s hours once they’ve trialled the concept properly.
All school holiday activities will be free, and the church is seeking sponsorship from Murgon’s business community to help – for example, supplying baked goods for morning teas and similar things.
Pastor Clayton said he hopes the program will run from Murgon State School’s shed, but if that is unavailable he hopes to run it at the South Burnett PCYC instead.
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MBDA President Leo Geraghty told the meeting the Council’s waste transfer station is changing its layout.
Large bins are being relocated further up the hill to make room for other waste to help prolong the life of the dump, he said.
He also reported the footbridge between Murgon Hospital and Macalister Street should be fixed soon, and will reopen once it has been repaired.
Graham House is also set to be demolished so that a new, modern building can be erected in its place.
“Graham House was a hospital once, and some of its features will be preserved at the Dairy Museum,” Mr Geraghty said.
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Mark Smith said he’d noticed Council have been mowing the railway line near footbridge, and thought the process took longer than it did in the past when local firies burned the area as a training exercise.
He thought a return to the former practice might be more economic, and should be suggested to Council as a cost-saving measure.
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Gary Long said he was concerned about the lack of penalties imposed on litterers, and suggested the MBDA write a letter to the police to suggest on-the-spot fines.
He would also like to see signs erected to warn about the penalties littering could attract.
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Work on the refurbishment of Murgon’s Royal Hotel is well underway, and licencee Mark McDonald told the meeting he’s very happy with the way it’s progressing.
The hotel’s Beer Garden is the next area that will be getting a make-over, Mark said.
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The Murgon Business and Development Association represents the businesses and community of Murgon and surrounding districts.
The group holds regular monthly meetings and new members are always welcome.
The MBDA’s next meeting will be a breakfast meeting at Murgon’s Royal Hotel on Thursday, August 11.
Breakfast is $15 and coffee an extra $4.