Welcome to the June 2019 issue of the WBBROC newsletter. Don't forget that the WBBROC website www.wbbroc.org.au also has up-to-date information about our organisation, projects and events.
Goomeri Water Tanks Project
Gympie Regional Council carried out an approved inspection program of rainwater tanks in the township of Goomeri in 2018. Goomeri is currently the only township in the Gympie Region with a population of Dengue Mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The aim of the inspection program was to eliminate the permanent breeding habitat of this mosquito. Rainwater tanks hold thousands of litres of water all year around, and are capable of producing large mosquito numbers when left unmaintained.
The program inspected a total of 553 rainwater tanks and found 42% of properties with unsealed tanks (broken or missing screens, derelict tanks holding water). Council efforts included resident sealing or removing rainwater tanks that were at risk of breeding mosquitoes. Upon completion of the program, all unsealed tanks were brought to compliance with the Public Health Regulation 2005 resulting in a drop of Dengue Mosquito numbers across town.
The historic disappearance of Dengue Mosquito in Brisbane has been linked to the gradual removal of rainwater tanks and increased surveillance efforts and regulatory enforcement by local authorities. WBBROC’s Mosquito Group is currently working on a Pilot Project based on the work completed in Goomeri to eliminate the Dengue Mosquito from the WBBROC region.
Regional Innovation Project (1 of 12)
As part of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Innovation project, the Food Incubator project being led by the Kandanga Farm Store secured matched funding of $80,728 from the State Government Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP). Since the project began, some great wins have been achieved as planned activities are delivered that foster innovation, collaboration and community engagement to drive economic security and long-term sustainability for local businesses, customers and the broader region.
One of the key deliverables is to establish a commercial kitchen and workshop space to help support the growth and development of food and agricultural businesses in the Mary Valley and wider Gympie region. Some of the businesses that have been involved with the project and benefited include Winsland Park, Forage Farms, Mighty Bean, Little Bunya Organics and Red Earth Farmers to name a few.
Since the project started, a number of workshops have been hosted by the Kandanga Food Store including Mighty Minerals workshop (22 participants); Bush Foods workshop (8 participants); "I can’t go Organic Because" workshop (18 participants); Hydrology workshop (25 participants) just to name a few. Through these workshops/events, participants develop knowledge of organic production options and local organic growers are given the opportunity to come together to share and collaborate.
For more information about this project visit the Kandanga Farm Store Facebook page.
Work is continuing on the flood resilience project for the Mary River Catchment with a workshop held in late May to look at the things the region values for resilience. Fraser Coast, Gympie, Noosa and Sunshine Coast Councils were well represented at the workshop, as they are all part of the Mary River Catchment.
Again, it was shoes off at the workshop, and walking on the large floor map in our socks!
WBBROC meets with Ministers
WBBROC meets with Queensland Ministers at Parliament House, Brisbane, twice a year. WBBROC is always looking to improve its approach to Ministers, but we do get heard.
At our May meeting with Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch, WBBROC received some positive responses. When WBBROC told the Minister that the way the State Waste Levy was going to be prepaid would impact on the perception of next year’s Council budgets, she agreed to make the necessary changes to the accounting documents to allow the prepayments to be accounted for in the next financial year.
When we discussed the role of her Department as a regulator, with the ability to fine Councils, the Minister agreed with our suggestion to develop a partnership approach and better communication related to landfill sites and sewerage plants. The Minister also stated that her focus for the next year was going to be on improving communication and relations between local government and her Department.
The Regional Economic Development Growth Forum will be held at the Gympie Civic Centre on 7 November this year. Please save the date in your diaries.
WBBROC MEETING DATES
WBBROC will be meeting on the following dates in 2019: