Mayor Brett Otto, local resident Gayle Carroll and Cr Scott Henschen with the Kumbia streetscape proposal
Cr Scott Henschen addressed the meeting

December 16, 2020

Kumbia’s much-promised street upgrade was the subject of a wide-ranging discussion led by Mayor Brett Otto with local residents last Thursday night in Kumbia.

About 30 people gathered at a BYO-chair get-together outside Kumbia Memorial Hall to give feedback on proposed streetscaping along Bell Street.

Local councillor Scott Henschen handed around plans for the upgrade, which include the planting of trees and the creation of a pedestrian refuge to be located somewhere between the school and the Brook Road triangle as a traffic-calming device.

He emphasised the plans were just a proposal at this stage and were not “set in stone” which is why Council was seeking feedback from local residents.

Other topics raised at the meeting included:

  • Where are Kumbia’s town signs? The Mayor said he was hopeful they would be up before Easter.
  • Parks and vacant blocks need to be mowed regularly. The Mayor said a mowing schedule was being set up across the region.
  • A red chair (for domestic violence awareness) and a blue chair (for men’s health awareness) would be located in Kumbia.
  • A suggestion was put forward for a mural to be painted on the wall of the hall to mark the 2022 town centenary.
  • A suggestion was put forward that the facades of all the old stores in Kumbia be restored with the original names of the businesses.
  • Water pressure problems – the water pressure is low at the school and kindy, and for fire trucks refilling.
  • Approaches to the town need to be tidied up.
  • Mowing needs to be done and fallen trees removed on adjacent roads.
  • A proposal to relocate the free caravan park and create a dump point near the sportsgrounds.
  • Tourist destination board and signs to point the way to the wind farm. Cr Henschen said plans for a viewing area at the wind farm were “in the pipeline”.
  • The Australian Flag on the corner needs to be replaced.
  • Request to email residents about upcoming meetings.
  • Brochure or flyer to promote Kumbia.

Mayor Otto told the residents that “parochialism is a good thing” as it meant people were passionate about their towns which helped to keep Council “on its toes” and not forget about the smaller communities across the region.

He said he did not want to see Kingaroy grow at the expense of the smaller towns.

“I don’t think centralisation is a good thing,” he said, saying resources had to be shared “equitably”.

“I see the region as a big chain. Every town is a link in the chain and as you know, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” Mayor Otto said.

“If we have one little town that starts to die off, that could cause a cascade of other towns going the same way.”

Mayor Otto said he didn’t expect to see Kumbia to double in size overnight, but there were good opportunities for the town to grow as it was a gateway to the Bunya Mountains as well as the rest of the region.

He wanted every town to have a community plan in place – even if it was only a two or three-page document.

“What do you want to see in your community over the next five years?” he said.

“We can document that and when Council comes back to make decisions we can refer back to that information.”

Mayor Otto said he planned to hold another meeting in Kumbia in three months to gather feedback from the community about the proposals.

NB. has approached the SBRC to publish the streetscape proposals.

Related articles:

Mayor Brett Otto explained that his vision was for every small town across the South Burnett region to have a community plan – what the residents want for their community – which Council could refer to during decision-making
The meeting was held in the open air outside Kumbia Memorial Hall

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