Murgon Men’s Shed members pose outside the two former railway carriages that were shifted next to the old Murgon Railway Station in Macalister Street last October . . . the group plans to restore them to create a feature railhead for the South Burnett Rail Trail (Photo: Murgon Men’s Shed)

July 13, 2017

The Murgon Men’s Shed’s plan to refurbish two railway carriages and create a Murgon railhead has been dealt a blow by vandals.

Glen Vonhoff told the most recent meeting of the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) that one or more people had inflicted some damage on the carriages recently.

The incident has infuriated members who worked for six months to get the rolling stock to the old Murgon railway station in Macalister Street, and prompted the Men’s Shed to install temporary security fences around both carriages.

The group is also considering investing in security cameras and extra lighting.

Even so, the Men’s Shed intends to proceed with its plan and are looking forward to the South Burnett Rail Trail’s official opening on October 1.

Glen also told the meeting that when a recent $60,000 grant to extend the existing Men’s Shed was found to be slightly short of what was needed, several members stepped in to loan the missing amount so the project could go ahead as planned.

The Murgon Men’s Shed now has 60 members.

This has forced the group to extend their opening times to Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

* * *

Potentially dangerous palm trees in a small park at the corner of Angel and Gore streets in Murgon will be removed.

The trees surround a triangular area known locally as Palm Island, and can drop heavy barbed spines.

They have been an issue of concern for the MBDA for more than a year.

The group was worried school children travelling to or from Murgon State School or St Joseph’s Catholic School could have been speared by spines dropped from the palm trees, with potentially tragic consequences.

Cr Kathy Duff told the meeting that in light of local concerns, a decision has been taken by the South Burnett Regional Council to remove the palms and replace them with much safer Australian native trees.

The Council is also considering removing trees along Coronation Drive if no residents object.

The trees are very old and the Council had received requests to open the area up and make it safer, Cr Duff said.

Public consultation about the Coronation Drive trees will occur in the near future.

* * *

The Coolabunia Saleyards and all the Council’s dip facilities will be going out for expressions of interest soon, Cr Duff said.

They were not core council business and had been inherited in the 2008 Council mergers.

It was likely private industry operators could run them more efficiently, and that would be a better outcome for ratepayers if that were the case.

“Anyone interested in operating any of these facilities should contact the Council about them,” Cr Duff said.

* * *

Murgon residents worried about crime are being encouraged to install motion sensor solar floodlights on their houses.

The MBDA was told the devices turn on automatically if they detect motion around a house, and are a very good crime deterrent.

They can be bought for about $50.

Meanwhile, work on Murgon’s $369,000 CCTV system is proceeding, and local suppliers have been asked to quote on the cameras and associated items needed to get the system up and running.

Apart from the CBD, it now seems likely the surveillance cameras will also be able to keep a watchful eye on Gore Street to ensure the town’s school children are secure.

* * *

A new South Burnett First Aid Volunteer Training Centre will be opening at 109 Macalister Street on Thursday, July 13.

Cr Kathy Duff told the meeting the new centre is being run by Grant Geddes, and he had invited her and Cr Roz Frohloff to perform the official opening.

MBDA and community members were also very welcome to attend.

The following week the Rotary and Youth Park in Gore Street will be given an official opening, too.

* * *

South Burnett Regional Council has spent a lot of money in the Murgon district recently, Cr Duff told the meeting.

A new concrete bridge at Marshlands is now open, and $600,000 of Works4Queensland funding is being invested in Silverleaf Road.

The money will be spent on pavement rehabilitation.

In addition, the Council is introducing a new road maintenance system which should see big improvements in rural road maintenance over the coming year.

* * *

The Murgon Business and Development Association represents the interests of the businesses and community of Murgon and surrounding districts.

The group holds regular monthly breakfast meetings and new members are always welcome.

More details about membership can be obtained by contacting MBDA secretary Margaret Long at Murgon Real Estate on (07) 4168-2922 or 0413-488-418.

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