Work on fixing Ellesmere Road’s shoulders will begin within weeks, Cr Gavin Jones told Wednesday’s South Burnett Regional Council meeting.
The road had been a hot topic of conversation at a recent public meeting in Kumbia, where several local residents said they found it too dangerous to use.
Steep drop-offs combined with an increasing volume of traffic over the past decade made them prefer the Bunya Highway whenever they had to travel to Kingaroy.
The road’s upgrade is being funded by the State Government’s “Works For Queensland” job creation program, which awarded the Council $4.2 million for maintenance and minor capital works projects earlier this year.
Other projects being paid for by the grant which will also be starting in the next few weeks include gravel resheeting on Ironpot Road, and pavement reconstruction on Mt Stanley Road in Nanango.
Road crews will also continue the reconstruction and widening of Franks Road in Blackbutt, and make a start on improving the Taylors Road intersection with the Bunya Highway north of Kingaroy – a notorious black spot that has been the scene of many accidents in recent years, some fatal.
Cr Jones said Council’s outdoor staff and contractors were also attending to many flood damage repairs in the region caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, and asked residents to be patient.
“I can understand that if you’ve been waiting a long time for your road to get fixed, it can be pretty upsetting to see Council workers turn up, fix a small bit of it and then go,” Cr Jones said.
“I hope people understand that this is what we have to do if we’re being funded for work repairs.”
The State Government’s plan to introduce a container refund scheme from July 2018 could open up a useful new source of fundraising for South Burnett community groups.
But the devil is in the detail – or rather, the lack of it.
Cr Roz Frohloff told Wednesday’s Council meeting very few details about the scheme have been released yet.
What is known is that it will be very specific about what types of beverage containers will attract a refund, and what types won’t.
Cr Frohloff said she understood the Queensland Government is creating a Development Code to guide interested groups about what will be involved in setting up a Collection/Refund Centre.
Community groups who think they’d like to do this should contact the Council to register their interest so the information can be forwarded to them once the Government releases it.
The South Burnett’s draft Planning Scheme may have been nine years in the making, but it is now very close to being adopted, Properties portfolio chair Cr Terry Fleischfresser said.
Revisions to the draft planning scheme document and supporting maps have been completed in response to public submissions made during the period the document was open for comment.
The revised Planning Scheme has now been forwarded to the Department Of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning for Ministerial approval.
Cr Fleischfresser said it was anticipated the new scheme could be adopted within the next three months.
The South Burnett Planning Scheme will replace four old planning schemes for the former Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon Shires which have remained in operation since the 2008 amalgamations while the new, region-wide Planning Scheme was prepared.
The South Burnett Rail Trail should be sealed between Kingaroy and Barambah Creek within the next few weeks, weather permitting, Cr Kathy Duff told the meeting.
This would make a continuous 35km strip of the 42km trail available for walkers, runners and cyclists.
The remaining 5km stretch between Barambah Creek and Murgon is expected to be open by early July.
The completed Rail Trail will be officially opened on the October long weekend.
The Watoto African Children’s Choir will need to pay a hiring fee for Kingaroy Town Hall, Wondai Town Hall and Murgon Town Hall for its latest trip through the region.
The Choir, which raises money to support orphans from Uganda by performing free concerts and asking the audience for donations, has been touring through the South Burnett for several years.
It will be returning later this month and in early June to put on its latest series of concerts.
Sistas in Sync and the Barambah Ministers Association had both put in requests that Council consider waiving the hire costs for the halls.
Councillors considered the requests briefly, then gave both applicants a 50 per cent discount.
They did the same to the Wondai Senior Citizens group, who had requested a 100 per cent waiver of Wondai Town Hall hire costs for their annual Seniors Week lunch, giving them a 50 per cent discount instead.
Finally, Councillors also turned down a request from the Burrandowan Picnic Races that Council waive its $200 fee for the Race Club to hire a PA from Council for this year’s race meeting.
Mayor Keith Campbell noted the Council already gave a large amount of support to the event.
The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) received seven applications for the second, final funding round of 2016-2107 requesting a total of $17,667.
It approved four of them for a total of $3500, and gave conditional approval for another project for an amount up to $3450.
The successful applicants were:
Applications by the Nanango Association For Dance to run a RADAR dance workshop and the South Burnett Cake Decorators Association for funding to attend a national seminar in Perth were turned down.
Both unsuccessful applicants were encouraged to resubmit to a future RADF round.