March 3, 2021
Former South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell has accepted an invitation from current mayor Brett Otto to become an “ambassador” for the Kingaroy Transformation Project.
The announcement was made at the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s meet’n’greet at South Burnett Care on Monday night.
“Keith has been a big supporter of the need for the CBD transformation works and was instrumental in securing the $4.5 million Building Better Regions funding for this project,” Mayor Otto said.
“He understands the South Burnett, the community and the project very well, which is why I am thrilled to invite him to join the team as Project Ambassador.”
Mr Campbell told the meeting that when he was asked about six weeks ago, he first said “let me think about it”, then thought “why not?”.
“I have a great relationship with the business community that will be impacted by the Kingaroy Transformation Project,” he said.
“It’s going to be an absolute winner for us here in Kingaroy that will extend out and beyond to the other regions …”
“I know there are some people who don’t have great admiration of the KTP.
“I have an absolute admiration for it and it will be my intense desire to ensure that this project is delivered in a way that meets the expectations of every part.”
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South Burnett Regional Council has emphasised that “asset renewal and replacement” is at the forefront of the KTP.
In a media release, an SBRC spokesperson stated the project budget was “largely made up of funding sources directly reserved for the replacement of the essential assets in the town streets such as roads, footpaths and water infrastructure”.
“This need for replacement has recently been reinforced as a result of the numerous water main breaks in and around the Kingaroy central business district, most obviously the multiple breaks in Haly Street near McDonalds, in Glendon Street near Circular Place and the multiple leaking water valves throughout town,” the statement said.
“Footpaths are quite old and are made of multiple materials, such as pavers, bitumen, and concrete. With the passage of time and installation of additional telecommunication service pits damaging the footpath surface, ongoing maintenance of these assets has now become uneconomical and non-viable.”
southburnett.com.au understands there have been complaints from some CBD businesses recently who lost water for periods due to infrastructure failure, and photographs of a water spout from a broken pipe in Alford Street were shared widely on social media.
Mayor Otto said a priority of the KTP was the significant upgrade of underground infrastructure: “106 businesses service the community within the project footprint, the KTP will ensure that the CBD has a reliable supply of services and a high level of future proofing to support economic regeneration for the region”.
“We have water mains dating back to the 1950s, roads and drainage systems over 40 years old and many footpaths have had no work for almost the same time,” he said.
“The kerb and channel in some locations like Haly Street, dates back to the mid 1970s when accessibility for all people was not commonly planned for.
“Assets can be compared to a torch battery. They have a limited runtime and once used enough become flat. Similarly roads, water and drainage assets have a use-by date and will require replacement at some time – and that time is now.
“Working on these old assets is a bit like delicate surgery.”
The Council statement said many underground services would be upgraded to bring them to modern, safe and compliant standards, while providing capacity for future growth.