Welcome to the March 2017 issue of the WBBROC newsletter. We hope you find it informative and interesting.
Your positive feedback has been appreciated, and we are always happy to improve the way we communicate with you.
Don't forget that the WBBROC website www.wbbroc.org.au also has up-to-date information about our organisation and the various sub-committees, projects and WBBROC events.
Port of Bundaberg SDA
6,076 hectares of land around the Port of Bundaberg was declared as a State Development Area (SDA) on 10 February 2017. The declared area includes:
The land on the eastern side of the Burnett River near the Port of Bundaberg, including surrounding port-related industrial uses
The land on the western side of the Burnett River, predominantly used for sugar cane cultivation and rural landholdings.
The declaration of the Bundaberg SDA is a great step forward and will help to develop the Port as an industrial/commercial hub for the region. The next step now, is to prepare a development scheme for the declared area. This will involve a number of phases, including drafting the development scheme, stakeholder and public consultation, as well as consideration by Governor in Council.
It is anticipated that a draft development scheme will be available for consultation in mid-2017, with a final draft development scheme provided for Governor in Council consideration in late 2017.
Fraser Coast Regional Council has managed a successful sewer relining tender for the region, saving 5 other Councils from running separate tender processes. The tender has resulted in no increase in costs for relining sewer pipes.
It has also seen a saving of 47% in the costs associated with moving all the machinery, as all the Councils have organized their work so the machinery does not have to move to other regions, allowing the company to pass on savings of almost $60,000.
The work under this contract will be of a high quality, as it is inspected using special CCTV cameras at 4 stages during the process.
Cherbourg Abriginal Council will benefit significantly as instead of replacing all its sewer pipes, it will now reline its sewer pipes. This is likely to see a saving in the order of $2,000,000 for Cherbourg.
Relining sewer pipes can prolong the life of sewer pipes by up to 50 years, as well as saving almost two-thirds of the costs of replacing the pipes.
A great contribution
Peter Byrne has been the CEO at Bundaberg Regional Council for 21 years and has worked for local government for over 40 years. That includes 17 years involvement in WBBROC, as Peter was there when WBBROC was first established in 1999.
Mick Curran, the WBBROC Chair, thanked Peter for his contribution to local government and at the recent WBBROC meeting, Peter received a standing ovation from the Mayors, Councillors, CEOs and others.
Peter officially retires on 4 April and he mentioned how far WBBROC has come since it was first formed. Peter has played an important part in that development.
Continuing success - Telecommunications
WBBROC’s efforts in engaging an independent expert to test the lack of access to mobile telecommunications in the region and prepare a detailed report has paid off again.
In the latest round of funding announced in December 2016, the region has gained 14 additional sites. These were:
North Burnett – 1 new site
South Burnett – 4 new sites
Gympie - 3 new sites
Fraser Coast – 2 new sites
Bundaberg – 4 new sites
This is on top of the gains made in the first round. In total to date, the Wide Bay Burnett region has achieved over 17% of the new sites in Queensland (25 of 144), in both rounds.
Invasive species, biosecurity and dengue fever mosquitos
In the past 3 months, WBBROC has brought two new groups into the WBBROC organisation. The Invasive Species (Biosecurity) Advisory Committee is developing a regional biosecurity strategy. It will help Councils and the region to develop strategies to control feral animals and invasive weeds.
A Dengue Mosquito Sub-Group will now sit under the Invasive Species Committee. One of its aims is to eradicate the dengue fever mosquito and others from the region. At present, some Dengue mosquitoes have been found within the Wide Bay Burnett region. The region is currently the southern frontier for this mosquito and the group hopes that with State Government support, it can eradicate it from the region.
The Regional Water Trail - feedback
The booklet Water Trails (in the) Wide Bay Burnett has been in Visitor Information Centres and other tourism outlets since December 2016. Staff and volunteers have commented that it is a good publication with useful information. It has generally been well received by visitors to the area, with several boxes already given out in Monto alone. Uptake is expected to increase from now on with the tourist season commencing.
The web version of the Water Trail is an easy to access source of the information in the booklet and is available on The Perfect Place website. Since 1 January there have been over 70 unique visits to the website and all Councils are encouraged to promote links to the online Water Trail to increase visitor rates. The time spent on viewing the page is very encouraging and confirms that the information available is useful and relevant, with an average time of 3 minutes 20 seconds viewing the Water Trail page compared to 54 seconds on average per page for the rest of the website.
The project is being used as a case study with Sport and Recreation Services and has been nominated for a Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence in the Community Program of the Year category.
The Water Trails brochure is a great example of the six regional Councils working together, with input from local tourism organisations, to develop a water trail that encourages people to visit the many water features of the region.
The brochure is available from all Wide Bay Burnett tourism information centres and the web pages can be accessed at www.widebayburnett.qld.gov.au
WBBROC MEETING DATES
WBBROC will be meeting on the following dates in 2017: