In this WBBROC newsletter:
  • Changes to WBBROC membership
  • Changes to WBBROC
  • The importance of arts
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Welcome to the September 2020 issue of the WBBROC newsletter. 

Visit our new website at for up-to-date information about our organisation, projects and events! 

Changes to WBBROC membership

WBBROC’s membership has changed considerably since the Local Government Election earlier this year.  Our membership is made up of the Mayors, (mostly) Deputy Mayors and CEOs of the 6 councils in the Wide Bay Burnett. 
The Election saw 3 of the 6 Mayors change and 4 of the 6 Deputy Mayors change.  In addition, there has also been 1 new CEO since that time.  The new WBBROC members met for a workshop on 10 July where they had the opportunity to talk and get to know one another, as well as starting to look at where their common interests lay, in relation to regional priorities.

Further discussion will be important to focusing even further on exactly what WBBROC regional priorities will be and then lobbying the State and Federal Governments.

WBBROC Mayors from left:  Cr George Seymour (Fraser Coast Mayor), Cr Glen Hartwig (Gympie Mayor), Cr Rachel Chambers (North Burnett Mayor), Cr Elvie Sandow (Cherbourg Mayor), Cr Jack Dempsey (Bundaberg Mayor) and Cr Brett Otto (South Burnett Mayor) outside the 10 July workshop held at the Brolga in Maryborough.

Changes to WBBROC?

WBBROC was first formed 21 years ago and as far as we know, the organisation has not been reviewed in that time.  In June, WBBROC decided to hold an organisational review into the organisation’s role, function, purpose, structure and level of service.

This review is being conducted by independent consultants, CPEM, and is currently underway with a report due in late September.  There are sure to be some changes recommended by the review and we will keep you informed in due course.

Artist - Rocko Langton

The importance of the arts

Local Government is the largest contributor to arts and culture in the Wide Bay Burnett region.  Arts infrastructure such as galleries, theatres, convention centres, museums and the program that is critical to activating these facilities would not exist without substantial local government investment in capital and operational costs.
Arts and Cultural industries are fundamental to the provision of entertainment, education and lifestyle services in any community. People working in these industries include musicians, actors, directors, designers, photographers, painters, producers, curators, librarians, theatre technicians as well as specialist suppliers such as art supplies, set builders and so on.
People working in these industries are fundamental to events, tourism and industry attraction and/or retention and building and communicating regional competitive advantage. The flow on economic benefit to the community is directly felt in the hospitality and tourism sectors as people will often combine going to a gallery or a theatre with a night out – dinner before a show, a café get together with friends after a visit to the gallery, for example:
  • There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that the arts are highly effective tools for communities to use in the social recovery after disasters (e.g. fires, floods, pandemic, etc.)
  • The Arts is a strong contributor to whether professional people and families will come to and, more importantly, stay in a region.
  • The Arts are fundamental to the tourism economy.
  • The impacts of the arts can be felt across the whole community including health, well-being, connectivity and education.
Historic meeting at Cherbourg

The new membership of WBBROC held its first face-to-face meeting on 27 August.  It was historic, in that it is the first time that WBBROC has met in Cherbourg.  Members were given a tour of the Ration Shed (museum) and the recycling facility, before commencing the formalities of the WBBROC meeting.
Andrew Beckett, MRF Supervisor, giving WBBROC members an overview of Cherbourg’s recycling facility.
Local Wakka Wakka elder, Uncle Eric, gave a Welcome to Country and morning tea and lunch were provided by the staff at Cherbourg’s café.

WBBROC held a successful meeting and had both the Local Government Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, and Opposition spokesperson on local government, Ann Leahy video conference into the meeting.

This will certainly not be the only WBBROC meeting held in Cherbourg, as the new Council and new CEO are embracing an increased involvement in WBBROC.  This is being welcomed by WBBROC members.

Telecommunications and Connectivity study
At its recent meeting, WBBROC endorsed a proposal by consulting firm, GravelRoad, to undertake a comprehensive telecommunications and connectivity study of the Wide Bay Burnett region. 

This study will provide WBBROC with evidence-based information on current telecommunication blackspots, as well as areas where upgrades are required.  This information will be invaluable to WBBROC and Councils in their advocacy for local improvements.
The study will also investigate potential new technologies to improve digital access in the Wide B ay Burnett.  It will also provide recommendations on how to develop maximum benefit from the Queensland Government’s QCN fibre network. 
The QCN fibre network, which runs along over 6,000 kilometres of major power transmission lines across the State, has the potential to provide significant digital access and capacity for businesses, educational institutions, health services and the community more generally. 
WBBROC will be meeting on the following dates in 2020:
  • Thursday 19 November
Joe Veraa – Executive Officer
Tel:  0417 475 149
Additional regional website: 
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Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils Inc. · WBBROC c/- Gympie Regional Council PO Box 155 · Gympie, Qld 4570 · Australia

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