In this WBBROC newsletter:
  • Merry Christmas
  • Resilience Awards
  • Mary Catchment Workshops
  • New WBBROC REDAC Chair
  • WBBROC Commences Urban Water Supply Security Assessment Program
  • WBBROC Mayors meet to Formulate Water Advocacy Priorities
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The Perfect Place News

Welcome to the December 2018 issue of the WBBROC newsletter.  Don't forget that the WBBROC website also has up-to-date information about our organisation, projects and events.

Resilience Awards

WBBROC was the recipient for 3 awards recently, for the community consultation and work it has undertaken with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) in the Burnett River Catchment.  This led to the development of the Burnett Catchment Flood Resilience Strategy (you can view this strategy at the following link: 

A total of 95 actions form part of the implementation of this strategy and with the help of Andrew Bryant, our Regional Resilience Coordinator, this will help farmers, business and the community generally, be much more resilient in future flood events.
Brendan Moon, CEO of the QRA; Keith Campbell, South Burnett Mayor; Mick Curran, WBBROC Chair/Gympie Mayor; Cameron Dick, Minister for Planning; Rachel Chambers, North Burnett Mayor; Jack Dempsey, Bundaberg Mayor; and George Seymour, Fraser Coast Mayor, after receiving the Resilience Awards at Parliament House.
Bundaberg, Cherbourg, North Burnett and South Burnett Councils were also recipients of these awards, due to their direct involvement in the development of the strategy.  This pilot project has now led to three new projects starting in other catchments across Queensland, including the Mary River catchment.

Mary Catchment Workshops

As mentioned above, work has now started on the resilience needs within the Mary River catchment.  The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has already held workshops in several locations, including Gympie and Hervey Bay, to help them to find out the unique needs of this catchment, and helping communities become more resilient in the future.

The QRA will now be working directly with Councils and other government agencies and will also be holding workshops in the near future with other community organisations.
Participants (in their socks!!) walking on a map of the Mary River catchment and adding notes on flood impacts at key locations.

New Chair for WBBROC Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee

Kerren Smith has recently been appointed to the role of independent Chair of WBBROC’s Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee (REDAC).  As a successful and experienced business person, he is already contributing a business perspective to discussions at REDAC meetings. 

As the REDAC Chair, Kerren is currently playing and active leadership role in helping the Committee to develop a new Regional Economic Development Strategy.  His emphasis is on setting clear and achievable goals so that WBBROC will clearly see what is being achieved.  He believes that local government’s role is in “enabling” businesses to innovate and grow, thereby creating wealth which will help to lift the socio-economic profile of the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Kerren Smith is the Managing Director of Smith Global Pty Ltd, an established engineering consultancy business that has been advising some of the world’s leading companies spread across six continents in mining, heavy haulage transport, materials handling and sugar industries, spanning more than four decades.

Kerren started as production manager in 1975  of J Smith & Sons Pty Ltd and was appointed Managing Director in 1993, building on the Company’s reputation as an innovative and leading global transport and mining equipment manufacturing business. J Smith & Sons Pty Ltd ceased operations in 2013.
Kerren Smith, Chair of WBBROC's Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee

WBBROC Commences Urban Water Supply Security Assessment Program

WBBROC has teamed up with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) to initiate a pilot program investigating water supply security for the region’s 27 potable water schemes. This program is the first of its kind in Queensland and seeks to ensure the ongoing security of supply to all small and medium urban water schemes outside the region’s five major centres and not previously examined by the department.

WBBROC received QWRAP funding to employ two engineering undergraduates to assist with this work under the supervision of the Urban Water Technical Committee which has engineering representatives from all six WBB local government councils.

The program plans to deliver a preliminary report to WBBROC executive in early 2019 to inform and prioritise advocacy and strategic initiatives by local government and feed into the Regional Water Strategy currently under consideration by the region’s councils.

WBBROC Mayors meet to Formulate Water Advocacy Priorities

WBBROC’s Mayors are meeting in early December to formulate a collective advocacy plan on water security issues across the region’s 6 council areas.

This meeting will draw on the findings of the draft Regional Water Strategy with the aim of ensuring that the region presents a coordinated position on the importance of water security to State and Federal governments. Topics to be included in the agenda include the State’s proposal to undertake refurbishment works on Paradise dam that potentially impact future security of urban and irrigation water for the lower Burnett basin including Bundaberg.
WBBROC will be meeting on the following dates in 2019:
  • Thursday 7 March
  • Thursday 30 May
  • Thursday 29 August
  • Thursday 21 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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