BUSY BEES: South Burnett Regional Council staff maintain their social distancing at work. Photo: Laura Blackmore
BUSY BEES: South Burnett Regional Council staff maintain their social distancing at work. Photo: Laura Blackmore

SNAPSHOT: 10 things you missed from council meeting

MANY bit ticket items impacting the region were discussed at the South Burnett Regional Council’s meeting held on May 20.

Here’s a snapshot of what was on the agenda this month.

1. More debt written-off by council

For the second time this council term, councillors have unanimously voted to write off thousands of dollars worth of outstanding debt.

Last month, more than $300,000 worth of unpaid rates and interest charges were written off by council.

At the May council meeting, Mayor Brett Otto moved the resolution to approve the write-off of a further $158,740.78, which had not been collected.

Read more about it here.

2. Future of community hospital up for discussion

After postponing the appointment of directors to the Board of Directors of South Burnett Community Hospital Foundation from March, council has finally announced the new members.

The councillors unanimously voted in favour to appoint the directors. However, the conversation quickly steered towards the purpose of the board and future of the Lady Bjelke-Petersen Community Hospital at Kingaroy.

Check out the story here.

3. Council adopt carpark design plan

The long-awaited reconstruction of a Kingaroy CBD carpark is one step closer to becoming a reality after the design was adopted by council.

The design for the Alford St carpark was submitted during the May council meeting and included aspects such as overnight caravan parking and disabled access parking.

Read more about the latest carpark design plans here.

4. Will council be able to deliver the toughest budget yet?

Council is preparing to deliver one of its toughest budgets in history.

The combination of drought plaguing the region for years and the impacts of coronavirus have been heavily felt at council, especially in the revenue department.

Read about why the council asked for an extension on the 2020/2021 budget and when they will have to deliver it here.

5. Community hub reopens after being closed due to coronavirus

Division 3 councillor Danita Potter announced that South Burnett libraries would be reopen this week after closing in March.

She said a maximum of 10 customers would be allowed in each branch at a time and they would be able to borrow items off the shelf.

READ MORE:

‘Loss of life’ possibility for those near Paradise Dam

Council releases next stage of road upgrades for region

Smaller towns missing out on visitor boom

6. Council farewells much loved staff member

Following the reopening off the South Burnett libraries, one of their most well-loved staff members will not be returning.

Regional Librarian Anna Derham retired in April, 2020 and contributed many years of her life to the success of the council operated facilities across the region.

7. Planning underway for rural communities

As the holder for new Rural Resilience Portfolio, Division 5 councillor Kathy Duff said she had started planning new projects in anticipation of funding being received as part of the Federal Government Drought Package.

She said the drought was still having a large impact on the region’s rural communities and she was excited to lead this portfolio and work closely with people in these areas.

8. Wild dog and feral pig control on the rise

Division 6 councillor Scott Henschen said landowners were supplied with 100 doggone baits in the Boondooma area, 400 doggone baits in the Tarong area, 20 fresh dog meat baits in the Tarong area and 12 Fresh dog meat baits in the Gordonbrook area.

Solid yarding at the Burnett saleyards.
Solid yarding at the Burnett saleyards.

9. Saleyards still operating during pandemic

Cr Henshen said staff inspected 1752 head and processed 2022 head through the dip in April A total of 1109 of them were sold through the Coolabunia Saleyards.

The first weaner sale for the year was held at Coolabunia on Thursday, April 23 and attracted 833 head.

A total of 829 head were sold liveweight with a further four being sold at auction and no head being passed in, which generated a total sale of generated $817,989.

10. Water restrictions to remain unchanged

Division 1 councillor Roz Frohloff said in the last reporting period, Bjelke-Petersen Dam was sitting at 22.4 per cent and Boondooma dam was at 37.1 per cent.

She said council would continue to try to find alternative water supplies.

In the meantime as drought conditions remained the same, she said water restrictions would stay on Level 3.